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City life is not for the faint of heart

August 17th, 2003

Our trip into the city on Friday just served as a further reminder as to why I’m really happy I live in the suburbs. The city itself is gorgeous, but the people in it scare me. I lost count of how many crazy people (quite literally) we passed on the street in the few hours we were there.

When we were crossing the river after the boat tour, some guy started walking next to me and asked, “May I ask you a question Miss?” I kept on walking, refusing to look at him as I responded, “No, you may not.” I never stop to talk to people on the streets because they are usually looking for a handout. I worked in the city for many years and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been dealt the “I just lost my wallet and need bus/train fare to get home” card. People honestly think I’m stupid.

New York may be the city that never sleeps, but Chicago is not. Everything in the Loop area shuts down by 10 pm so our walk back to the L was a bit stressful. The only people left on the streets were of a questionable nature. Of all the time I’ve been in the city, I never saw so many shady people in such a short span of time. We even saw some guy pissing against a building in plain view, right on Michigan Avenue no less. I honestly didn’t feel safe walking through the area after dark even though Joe was with me. To think I used to walk alone through the same area nightly in order to catch the train home from work. I must have been out of my mind. I’m lucky I didn’t get mugged, raped, or killed.

So the moral of this story for anyone thinking of visiting Chicago is to a) enjoy the city during daylight hours and/or b) head up to the Lincoln Park area if you’re looking for somewhere to hang after dark.

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