CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel doesn't think very highly of the French.
"Don't get me started on what I think of the French," the mayor said Tuesday afternoon. "I don't think that would be good."
The comment came in response to a Washington Post article that reported the European nation warned its citizens about traveling on Chicago's South and West sides.
The website says: éviter le West Side et le sud de la ville après la 59ème rue. (Avoid the West Side and the southern part of town below 59th Street.)
Emanuel defended Chicago's neighborhoods, citing Garfield Park Conservatory and Theaster Gates artwork planned for the 95th Street Red Line station, which is being revamped.
If tourists concentrate solely on the Art Institute of Chicago and other Downtown sites "They also won't get to see the vibrancy of our neighborhoods and communities," the mayor said.
"The reason people are coming to the most American of all American cities … is we are the most American of American cities," Emanuel said. "And if people don't want to go to the West Side, they wouldn't see Garfield Park. If people didn't come to the South Side, they won't see work by Theaster Gates."