The city with wide shoulders is about to don a jacket with mega-sized shoulder pads.
As a we speak, our law school hosts "Milwaukee's Future in the Chicago Megacity", a conference whose stated purpose is to "consider Milwaukee’s opportunity to strengthen its stature as part of this global megacity...will address the central questions of how closely the Milwaukee region should connect its future to Chicago and how that might be accomplished through public policy and business might."
In other words, we will be assimilated, it's just a question of whether or not we will go peacefully.
While there could be distinct advantages with letting the winds from the south blow over us, my fear is that in reality a tornado of Chicago politics and corruption will flatten all that is good about our city, while dropping here the worst of Chicago.
We've always had a rather uneasy relationship with our southern neighbor. We happily take the cash they spend here on vacations, second homes and speeding tickets. Still, we seem to suffer from a case of low self esteem, constantly comparing ourselves to the towers and theaters of the other.
I'd much rather that Milwaukee be the best Milwaukee it can be, rather than become just a cog in the Chicago machine.
Update: Heh. I knew this would come back to the railroad. "Upgrades to the Amtrak Hiawatha service between Milwaukee and Chicago are a high priority, a state Department of Transportation official said at a conference Tuesday about strengthening the economic ties between the two cities." Milwaukee Mayor Barrett was a big supporter of the Milwaukee-Madison high speed rail line that Scott Walker nixed as one of his first acts as governor. Some little boys never lose their love for their trains sets... too bad they try to buy them with taxpayer funds.