Englewood and Dreamtown's bodyguard of lies

In the fictional town of Lake Wobegon “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”

Visit Dream Town Realty’s revamped Web site and, on the shores of Lake Michigan you’ll find a fictional town where all the neighborhoods are wonderful places to dine, shop, educate your children, cavort in the parks and bask in the glow of ever-rising property values.

Chicago Magazine’s Dennis Rodkin was impressed by the site and its voluminous neighborhood information which was, according to Dream Town’s Yuval Degani, “researched at travel-magazine quality.”

The goal of a travel magazine is to sell travel to the destinations it features, and the goal of Dreamtown’s site is to sell real estate in Chicago’s neighborhoods. Since most of the buying public aren’t complete fools the most effective sell is one that omits inconvenient truths altogether or, in Winston Churchill’s resonant phrase, attends them with “a bodyguard of lies.”

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Englewood in the course of a dozen visits over the past year. See our video playlist at YouTube, spend some time in Englewood, talk to its residents, and then visit Dreamtown’s Web site to “Imagine Englewood If” there were no drugs, no lead poisoning, no gangs, no random shootings, no soul-killing schools – and no aura of despair.

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