Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Our kind of town

Moving home and having a baby are supposed to be two of the most stressful things in life, so I'm not sure that doing both at once is the best idea I've ever had. Nonetheless, the lovely Leo Francis Hopkins was born on March 31st in London at 9lbs and 13 oz--a whopper by any measure--and we plan to move to Chicago in August this year.

Writing for the science department at The Economist has been an enormous privilege. I am sad that I've had to move on. But I did need to make a move, had I not I would have fossilised. Which is why it is so thrilling to be starting, in a few months, a new job as the next Midwest correspondent for The Economist.

The entire family is shipping out to one of the most glorious and exciting cities in the world. Home to a new mayor, a presidential re-election campaign, massive debts, crumbling infrastructure, and more than its share of failing schools. A town where petrol at a mere $4 a gallon shocks and disturbs the locals. A town where the water authority can say with a straight face that cleaning up the river (which is an open sewer) is a bad idea because it will increase the risk of accidental drowning. A town known around the world for its corrupt politicians and where a former governor is currently on trial. Its a rich and hearty stew to feed any journalist. And Chicago is a tiny part of a vast territory that I'll be covering in the next three years. Excited doesn't even begin to cover it.

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