"... Tell me what's going on in North St. Louis."
"Nothing more than what's in the papers every night." Chuck raised his voice, as if many stupid people had been asking him this very question. "Nothing more than business as usual. Now, to my knowledge, there's been no excessive speculation on the North Side. Property values have risen, and the various institutions I serve have seen fit to protect their future and the future of the depositor -- the little man, Martin -- by making some selected and I believe wise purchases in the area. To add to what we already had. And, of course, to replace what we'd sold before we properly assessed the market's strength. There's some very choice property down there, and it's about time the city made something of it. ... I think the time is coming. We're certainly quite satisfied with the crime situation at present."
- Jonathan Franzen, The Twenty-Seventh City (published in 1988)