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If You're Thinking of Visiting Chicago Next Weekend . . . Don't


Mike

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The NATO summit is coming to town and things will be pretty screwed up around here from May 19-21, and perhaps a few days prior. Major street and highway closures, mass transit shutdowns and security checks, museum closures, and more. It's a beautiful city, a wonderful place to visit . . . but it's gonna suck for a few days.

 

Unless you have to be here, spare yourself the pain.

 

Secret Service Security and Transportation Plan here.

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Peter Parts

Thanks for the heads-up. We had a G20 in Toronto not long ago. Big mess and lotsa maybem. I would only comment that bikes are helpful in urban traffic jams because you can do u-turns and drive on sidewalks and alleyways (AKA as laneways) and lane-split. On the other hand, in these riot situations, bikers seem part of the suspicious youth culture and may attract the wrong kind of attention from authorities.

 

Next weekend. Better change that "June 19..." to "May 19-21" in your post.

 

Funny thing, barring the unforeseen, I am rolling my beautiful S to your town 10 days after, May 31 for a few days. 50th reunion of my college class, University of Chicago, class of 1962.

 

It will be nice to be back in Hyde Park and the South Side. Got mugged on E. 61 Street, November, 1958. I understand the situation is improved and that I shouldn't fret over overnight street parking for the bike (or waking up in the ER again)?

 

Any guidance appreciated (albeit in another thread or PM) please.

 

Nice there's that new Countryside BMW dealer not too far away - not that I have to visit dealers too often except for fun. Gosh, these are reliable machines.

 

Thanks for post.

 

Ben

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Thanks for pointing out the incorrect dates. Fixed that.

 

Initially, this was supposed to be a combined G8/NATO meeting. The G8 portion was moved to Camp David, so the protest planners have begun calling NATO the military arm of the G8.

 

I certainly hope that there's not a lot of violence, but this type of situation is always volatile. I've praised the Chicago Police Department for their handling of large protests over the past couple of years, but we may see protests on a scale that hasn't been seen in Chicago for a while. Whatever happens, the travel restrictions and security measures will be a pain in the neck for anyone here at the time. Many businesses are directing their employees to stay home on Friday and Monday, telling them that anyone who wants to come into work must specifically get permission to do so. Others are simply encouraging telecommuting or other options to cut down on the number of people coming in.

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Peter Parts

Our event was a terrible mess and a great embarrassment to Toronto where protest is routine but ordinarily orderly, of course. Naturally, everybody says it was outsiders and in our case, plausibly so with loads of bad folks in black garb coming in from Montreal.

 

While the city police are pretty capable and don't usually add to the mess, they were bossed by the provincial police (AKA state police headed by a major fool) and they by the federal police (AKA the Mounties, also dim management).... all by remote control from their bunker somewhere in another city.

 

Public inquiry is just starting up now.

 

Ben

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The NATO summit is coming to town and things will be pretty screwed up around here from May 19-21, and perhaps a few days prior. Major street and highway closures, mass transit shutdowns and security checks, museum closures, and more. It's a beautiful city, a wonderful place to visit . . . but it's gonna suck for a few days.

 

Unless you have to be here, spare yourself the pain.

 

 

Time to head to Torrey. Leave now and beat the madness! :grin:

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Harry_Wilshusen
I would only comment that bikes are helpful in urban traffic jams because you can do u-turns and drive on sidewalks and alleyways (AKA as laneways) and lane-split. On the other hand, in these riot situations, bikers seem part of the suspicious youth culture and may attract the wrong kind of attention from authorities.

 

 

Ben

 

 

I would speculate that red is the cause of blue.

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A preview of what the coppers are going to be dealing with here.

 

WARNING: EXTREME MORONIC BEHAVIOR. DO NOT VIEW THIS VIDEO IF YOU'RE THE TYPE WHO LIKES TO PUNCH STUPID PEOPLE IN THE FACE.

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It's a complicated picture. Hyde Park, where Ben will be, is lovely, about as peaceful a place as you'll find in a big city. It's everything you'd expect in a neighborhood that's home to one of the world's great universities (boasting 87 Nobel Laureates!).

 

However, there are zones of gang violence elsewhere where the rules of civilized society seem to have been forgotten. As is the case when visiting any city, awareness of where you are, where you shouldn't be, and what's going on around you are key to an enjoyable experience.

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Peter Parts
quote

It will be nice to be back in Hyde Park and the South Side.

unquote

 

I hope that was said with a huge dose of wry, sardonic humour and tongue placed firmly in cheek Ben :rofl:

 

Chicago is considerably less nice "nice", if it ever was THAT nice :cry:So far in 2012.....

 

Naaaaaah. I wasn't going to be on those particular streets. For two years, I worked in the Bedford-Stuyvesant slum in New York, danger or not, you go bravely forward like a Roman and do your business. I have a nasty theory about why some people think they need to carry guns.

 

If you've read some Philip Roth, you might get a sense of how attached we students are to that intellectuals' heaven-on-earth: living on the campus at the University of Chicago. Many have trouble ever leaving the neighborhood and stay around as book store clerks, servers, etc.

 

I had to go forth and make my way in the outside world and have been back only once these last 50 years.

 

Ben

I can't recall ever being anywhere in Toronto at any hour of the day or night when I felt I couldn't be there safely.

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DavidEBSmith

The real trouble will be around Wrigley Field. Cubs v. Sox, North Side v. South Side.

 

The rest of it, unless you're in the NATO zone or immediately downtown or taking the electric train from the south, I don't think you'll notice.

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The real trouble will be around Wrigley Field. Cubs v. Sox, North Side v. South Side.

 

The rest of it, unless you're in the NATO zone or immediately downtown or taking the electric train from the south, I don't think you'll notice.

 

Correct - -it would be a mistake to 'avoid ChicagoLAND' because of some morons on the Lakefront.

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Ahh! The morons!

 

Unless you get aggressively panhandled or mugged!!

 

Just a couple of the many reasons why we left "Chicagoland" Eebie ;)

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Antimatter

Let me add that the current tactic of assassination using a motorcycle and a passenger to attach a bomb to a car might make the authorities really leery of riders in or near the security zone. If you do find yourself riding there, I'd use your best behavior to avoid being profiled in a negative way.

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Peter Parts
Let me add that the current tactic of assassination using a motorcycle and a passenger to attach a bomb to a car might make the authorities really leery of riders in or near the security zone. If you do find yourself riding there, I'd use your best behavior to avoid being profiled in a negative way.

 

A very interesting comment. Thanks.

 

I tried to think of what I'd do to "pass" as a normal soccer dad kind of guy (at least to first appearances)?

 

Long ago, took a scoot that included Maine (1968). Was stopped every hour or so. I was wearing a shiny white Bell helmet and a jacket from Abercrombie and Fitch (honest). With my helmet off, I was just another fancy-dude scientist from Bell Labs.... but I must have looked pretty ominous to the Maine State Police on my 1961 BMW.

 

I once got lost in a small town nearby (Brampton, 1975) and was cheered as the vanguard motorcycle in motorcade of the Queen (not far behind) as I drove down their route. No kidding. I think it was my yellow rain slicker.

 

But it is indeed a good question how to dress or behave to seem harmless.

 

Good muffler?

 

Ben

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These three gents allegedly wanted to be instruments of change through the use of Molotov cocktails, directed at police officers, the Mayor, and the President's reelection headquarters. They also allegedly had an assortment of weapons in addition to a few completed Molotov cocktails, included a crossbow, throwing stars, and a mortar.

 

There have been a couple of incidents involving our visitors throwing bags of feces at police officers and those they believed to be one-percenters.

 

Oh, the CPD Police command and control computer system has reportedly been hacked, though there is no confirmation of that in the mainstream news media. Reported here in a blog that's quite often correct.

 

Of course, none of what's happened so far holds a candle to what the gangbangers inflict on one another on a warm summer night. The guys and gals in blue are earning their paychecks this weekend.

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Peter Parts

Exactly 2 yrs ago, the G8 meeting was moved from a country resort to the middle of Toronto (with only 4 months planning time) for the same cynical political reasons.

 

This week, the reports appeared with blistering criticism of the Toronto Police (normally pretty competent) and recommendations for discipline going up to the second-in-charge. Kind of like the "police riot" of Chicago in 1968, eh.

 

I don't want to deflect criticism from the nasty creeps in black shirts and face masks and should get what they deserve. Not at all. But it does take professional policing to keep a lid on the situation... which is not always practiced.

 

I do not have the saintly virtues it takes to be a good cop. But that's also the case for many cops.

 

Ben

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The CPD seems to be handling things well. I've personally witnessed protestors trying very hard to antagonize them. So far, to no avail. Some south side residents and to the police officers' defense a couple of days ago, thumping on the protesters, which led to the police having to intervene to stop their "protectors." :thumbsup:

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My "curious" visit to the NATO protests yesterday were,I found, "interesting an at times,quite amusing" (people watching was the order of the day) and no-way at any time feeling dangerous at all.

Cops "very" friendly,people friendly,few people dressed up as some sorta super hero's,many protest signs (it was a protest after all right??). The whole event felt like being at an "Outdoor Rock Concert" with a lot of sweaty people,only without the music !!!

Maybe a handful or two of rowdy mid twentys people but that's about it!

All in all,a great motorcycling day that started early to beat the heat.

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I still have vivid memories of visiting a girlfriend who was a grad student at Chicago in the late 60s.

The lobby of her dorm had a Chicago city cop on duty with a 12 gauge in a wall rack right behind him- not exactly what I was usedd to seeing atCornell where even our own student march with firearms wasn't threatening to any of us who happened to be there. Despite the cop on duty, there had been two murders in the street outside the dorm and a couple muggings in its lobby.

And being that it was Jan, the weather sucked- pretty obvious why they call it the Windy City.

I put it on my list of place "for someone else but not me". I go there as infrequently as my career has allowed including avoiding transfers at any of the area airports whenenver possible (they're just inconvenient and subject to weather problems). I also wouldn't live anywhere in or around NYC but for totally different reasons...

 

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