Thursday, July 3, 2008

Gypsies, Tramps, and Pizza

Leave it to Chicagoans to turn a discussion on crime and racism into a discussion on pizza. (Are Gypsies robbing the elderly in the Western Suburbs? Eh, whatever. Here's a picture of pizza!)

Page 6 of the Riverside Illinois Newsletter is titled: "The Police Department likes noisy neighbors. It's one sure way to run Gypsies right out of town!" No, it's not a joke, it is an actual newsletter and was published in 2007. In it, the police officer says that there is a traveling group of Romani people, who can be identified by their dark skin and dark hair, who will use any ruse to get into your home to steal your valuables. He goes on to compare them to cockroaches.

Now, the original poster thought this was ridiculous but many of the subsequent commenters seem to validate this point. One commenter notes that they (the Gypsies) lived behind Fairyland Park (an amusement park that closed in the 70's) and often worked there. My brother worked there as a teenager so I emailed him to ask if he was, in fact, a Gypsy. I am eagerly awaiting his response so that I will know whether or not to hide my valuables when he visits.

To me, this whole things smells of racism and is somewhat shocking that in 2007 such an article would be published by a member of the Police Department. Do people scam the elderly? Of course they do, all the time. But to claim that it is exclusively by a band of Romani Gypsies is ludicrous.


Important note: Villa Nova's really does have great pizza.


Pecos Blue said...

I am actually in Chicago. I will have to check it out.

DineometerDeb said...

Hey Pecos, how ya doin?
If not familiar with Chicago, Villa Nova is in a working class neighborhood and usually off the beaten business trip or tourist map. I love Villa Nova's pizza because I grew up in the area, but good neighborhood pizza places abound in Chicagoland, so I don't know if it would be worth a special trip.
Have a great trip!

Artster63 said...

Don't get me started on pizza. Capri pizza on S. Commercial Ave. The best childhood (food) memory I have. The cheese and spices were incredible.

Back to the gypsies, I remember back in the day, the neighborhood newspaper, "The Daily Calumet", would write these stories of gypsies in the area and pretty much referenced a group of transient people who would prey on the elderly. Hey can I use your phone? That kind of thing. But now, after 30 years, the police have actually narrowed it down to a specific "nationality"? This should be a "Cold Case" segment.

DineometerDeb said...

Hey! Good to see another Chicago expat.

Chicago pizza is unbeatable, isn't it. I don't know what it is but pizza outside of Chicago just doesn't have it.