Thursday, June 26, 2014

OUR PRIDE ADVICE: Enjoy The Days, Avoid The Nights

A Chicago Police car is used as a dance floor during the 2013 Pride Parade.
The Chicago Police Department's annual warning about an impending crackdown on drinking at the Chicago Pride Parade caused the annual roar of gasps and outrage yesterday.

Of course, the exact same warnings were issued last year. And similar announcements were made the year before that. And the year before that and...you get the idea.

New this year were the shrieks of horror at the announcement that building inspectors and the fire department would be looking for overcrowded rooftops and balconies. Even though they've been doing that for years, too. (Unlike the city's public drinking ordinances, the laws of physics are strictly enforced. Even on Pride Sunday.)

None of that has anything to do with our concern: The largely post-parade mayhem that last year saw at least four people get robbed, scores battered, and forced the police department to close some bars early because near-riot conditions had developed on the streets.

Some nice thunderstorms could roll through after Sunday's parade, putting a damper on the BS that has come to mar the festivities in recent years. But the gamblers at CWB live by one rule: "Always bet the streak." And we will.

Last year, we published our suggestions for enjoying Pride Weekend after dark. We see no reason to change our recommendations this year:

At All Times

Nobody wants to be that guy.
• Stay with the herd. Walk with at least one other person. If possible, tag along with other groups. Muggers and other ne'er-do-wells function just like the cheetahs on Animal Planet. You do not want to be the slowest gazelle.

• Carry as little cash as possible. If you can get by with your ID and one credit card, do it. Leave everything else behind.

• Avoid using your phone on the street. Look around before you take your phone out in public. Minimize the time your phone is exposed and stay alert when it is out.

• Do not get drunk. Okay, fine, we'll meet you halfway. Do not drink to the point that your level of intoxication is apparent in the way you act. Swervy, stumbly people may as well scream "take my stuff!"

• Do not engage strangers on the street. Keep walking. Do not stop to give someone a cigarette, a light, or a dollar.

• If things start to get even a little sketch, jet!

Friday and Saturday

• Leave the area by midnight. If possible, take a taxi.

• If you take the train, use the Addison L station. Do not use the Belmont station.

• Avoid walking through large groups that are blocking the sidewalk. Go as far around as possible.

Police work to tamp down violence on Belmont Avenue following
last year's Pride parade.
• Belmont Avenue is a NO GO ZONE between 11:00pm and 6:00am both nights. Stay at least a block away from it, no matter how many people are with you.

Sunday

• Enjoy the parade. Leave the area by 8:30pm

• On Sunday, Belmont Avenue is a NO GO ZONE after 8:30pm. Stay at least a block away from it, no matter how many people are with you.

• If you take the train, use the Addison L station. Do not use the Belmont station.
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55 comments:

  1. Don't stop stop for a group of shady people having their own little afterglow under a shade tree on the darkest part of the street who ask you to take a group picture for them (oh, I'd be happy to -NOT). Just respond with "Oh sorry, I've really gotta let my dog out" and move along. If you totally ignore them, they might feel slighted and attack anyway.

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    1. Better yet, say " Sorry, I'm running late for my shift at the station. The Commander will have my ass if I don't get on my beat ASAP". Or, "Sorry, gotta get home to clean this gun. It's gotten too much use today". Ha Ha!

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  2. What can we do to get this Parade moved to Columbus Drive where it well suited for larg groups of poeple?

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    1. I totally agree. Get it to Columbus asap. I'm sick of it taking over the neighborhood. Street fests - fine. A parade the size of one that fits on Columbus? Go please. People always make the comment that "you chose to live in that neighborhood". Guess what? That doesn't validate or require utter mayhem in the neighborhood I pay taxes to live in.

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    2. The problem is that if the parade were to be moved it will have no influence on the number of people who will still come to Boystown after the parade to party.

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    3. If that was the case the bar owners would be in favor of moving it. They are afraid they will lose buisness if it's moved. It's all about $$.

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    4. Perhaps if you understood the historical context of the Pride Parade, you might understand the desire to see it remain in the 'Boystown' area.
      The Parade is relatively problem free. It's the post-parade, after dark revelry that is the problem.
      Thats why the nightly crime wave is every night and not simply on Pride Sunday.

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    5. You're just one person...Ya had all year for this..and yer asking now? ;) Not gonna happen!

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    6. Anonymous said... "Perhaps if you understood the historical context of the Pride Parade, you might understand the desire to see it remain in the 'Boystown' area."...

      Everyone in this neighborhood is well aware of the historical context of the Pride Parade.

      The suggestion that some make regarding relocation is more of a public safety and property damage issue--two relatively new concerns that have grown out of the parade's dramatic increase in size.

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    7. I've worked several feats in my two decades, to the poster that says the parade is relatively problem free... In what context? Traffic congestion? Public urination, public drinking, sex on the public way, lost children, lost parents, protests, I could go on and on... In comparison to the after party maybe you have some grounds but on the scale of parades there are three in Chicago you don't want to work... South side Irish, bud billiken and gay pride. Now all three of those feats have one thing in common... They are not held on Columbus drive... All three are a nightmare to pull off logistically.

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    8. I understand the history of the Pride Parade and Boystown. Things change and evolve time to move it to Columbus. Being GLBT is widely accepted in the City now. And before Boystown there were other gayborhoods in Chicago. Be out and proud downtown. We can watch at Sidetrack or Roscoes on TV for those of us that don't want to go down there. Then when it's over people that want can come celibrate in the Boystown can. Also bars can sponsor buses back and forth from the neighborhood.

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    9. shed no tears for the bar owners, they would be packed irregardless of where the parade is held.

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  3. For both days...be afraid. Be very afraid. That instinct will protect you.

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  4. What is the over/under on (a) the number of reported crimes and (b) the number of arrests made in the area between noon Saturday and noon Monday?

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    1. There were more than 50 arrests last year.

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  5. Everyone please pray for rain on Sunday afternoon after the Parade!

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  6. I lived at Halsted and Cornelia for 23 years. I watched the neighborhood change, and not always for the better. It's been 10 years, and I don't miss it a bit.

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  7. These are all great suggestions, CWB. Just stay away from the post-parade antics, go to a private party, and get home at a reasonable time on what is a work night, anyway, and nothing is going to happen to you.

    The city cracking down on rooftops and patios is ridiculous. Crack down on the damn morons who come from outside the neighborhood to cause destruction. It is fairly obvious who and where they are. Leave us residents and our invited guests alone.

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    1. A few years ago 13 young professionals DIED at a party in Lincoln Park. The fairly new porch appeared safe- but was not. Kids were just having a fun summer party and ended up dead. It was heart breaking.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/without-warning-chaos/

      Without a doubt, increasingly violent crime is the number one problem in our neighborhood. It is caused mainly by outsiders to our neighborhood who know we do not have the police protection needed to stop them.
      We have a right to be angry that our police force was cut by 27% in the past few years. Our pleas are ignored by the only people who caused that, and the only people who can change that- the mayor and the police chief. It is infuriating that the news media chooses to ignore the escalating violence.

      But police coverage and building inspectors are two separate issues.Do you know how much weight your balcony can safely hold? I don't. Building inspectors do.

      It's their job is to know how keep buildings safe for their inhabitants. (And yes, they will make money enforcing the regulations) But consider the alternative when you have a huge group on a balcony which may not have been built to hold that weight.

      Please be responsible for the safety of your guests.

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  8. One further piece of advice: DON'T ATTEMPT TO DRIVE ANYWHERE NEAR THE AREA THIS WEEKEND. Either get out of town for the weekend, or stay in and DO NOT DRIVE.

    It's just one weekend a year now. Stay safe, friends.

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  9. Will the boss of 019 recieve extra manpower from downtown ??? Citywide units ? Bike teams? Anything ?

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    1. Only if he cant handle it - like last year..3 different districts had to be sent.

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    2. Three? Last year was the biggest manpower pull in the history of the department... In an emergency situation... More people had to be called in last year than even for when the el fell off the tracks decades ago...

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    3. Yes there will be extra Officers. The uninformed should keep comments to themselves

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  10. Good advice but I'm going one step further. I'm leaving Sunday morning and staying the night at a friend's house. That's the only truly way to stay safe, sadly.

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  11. I'm not disagreeing with your suggestions, CWB, but it is utterly absurd that they need to be provided. The complete secession of these areas to criminals on a daily basis (I wish this were just a Pride weekend problem) is unacceptable. Thanks for continuing to do what you do and help improve our neighborhood. If we all put forth as much effort - myself included - we'd be in a much better place today.

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  12. Everytime I see that picture in this article, my blood pressure goes up and I start fantasizing about what I'd do if I witnessed that. I want to go vigilante on those little twerps and yank them off that police car. "Wrong, it IS my police car. I pay property taxes. Go back to Naperville."
    This is why I'll be staying inside all day.

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  13. And most importantly be sure to boo Rahm Emanuel and Tunney.

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    1. I plan to boo them both. Been talking about it on FB. Hope everyone boos these worthless fools.

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    2. Boo Joe Berrios too. I did last year. He is a walking conflict of interest.

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  14. One more DON'T -- FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, **DON'T** let ANYONE use your fone to make a call. You allow that...and you deserve to lose your fone.

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  15. According to a Cubs Press Release, Tom Tunney requested the Cubs reschedule the game on Sunday. The Cubs agreed and are now playing a doubleheader on Saturday. This was done "in consideration of neighborhood traffic and congestion in connection with the annual Pride Parade in Chicago on June 29."

    Nice to see Tunney showing some leadership.

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  16. So how late on Sunday does one have to worry? I generally get back from out of town around 11pm-12:30pm. That involves unloading at my building and then finding parking before walking back. It's generally not bad (I always have my huge dog with me) but checking to see if that hour will still be an issue this Sunday.

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    1. Hopefully, there will not be issues. Last year, and other very recent years, the trouble has continued until 3AM.

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    2. Thanks, CWB... I'll be sure to keep a look out for any trouble.

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  17. I drove down belmont on tuesday night by red line and was absolutely baffled by the blazon and open drug dealling on shefield not even attempting to hide the drug and money transactions. I know narcotic sales occur but it was literally so embarassing that I live here because I had visitors in car with me. I couldnt believe that the police department dont have a vice or narcotic unit who could arrest undercover nightly to address problem or I can assume dont give a f##k. I never thought in million years belmont avenue would have turned into englewood with open drug market

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    1. It goes far beyond drugs too. There are mobs of more than 50 people quite often on the weekend roaming around for no other reason than to cause problems. The acts of crime have become so brazen on the 900 block of Belmont. I used to walk home via Belmont from places at night but now I feel safer on unlit side streets. How sad.

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    2. Belmont has been an open air drug market for over twenty years... You just noticed now? It's actually been designated a narcotic hot spot by the Cpd for at least as long as they started that program

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    3. Did u call the Police and give any descriptions? More and more calls will turn a few heads at tge weekly meetings CPD has. Dont write about it here and do nothing when u observe these things

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  18. I live right on Roscoe and Broadway, and my suggestion is to do what I do every year for pride, LEAVE THE CITY! I had no problems in Toronto two years ago and no problems last year in New York. Toronto World Pride, here we come! Love Chicago, but not what's it's become, and oh, I was one of the mug victims last year at the beginning of Market Days......

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  19. < If you take the train, use the Addison L station. Do not use the Belmont station. >

    You "locals" probably know what is below, but for the benefit of tourists, there will be lots of tourists. Chicago is the capital of the midwest, they may think the North Side is safe:

    I would say better yet is to use Wellington and Diversey stations. Addison is too close to Center on Halsted and other Wrigleville rift-raft Check the schedules to see when Brown Line trains stop running. (For the east coast tourists: those are local stops. Unlike NYCT, express trains do not make local stops even when the local train stops running for the night).

    If at Belmont & Halstead, such as in Spin or Lucky Horseshoe, take advantage of the "K" (Kedzie) based 151 buses to get out as they loop back to downtown form there. The 156 does not run on weekends.

    Also note the 36 bus stops running around midnight. Don't stand on Broadway waiting for a non-existant bus to stop. That is asking for trouble.

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  20. And if the shit storm does occur Sunday night as expected, be on the phone calling Tunney's office first thing Monday morning, so he can't use his lame-ass "you're just one person" thing like he did last summer at the CAPS meeting following parade Sunday!

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  21. Above all, if you live in the area, make a decision to stay or leave. If you decide to stay, good for you. Have a great pride weekend. Stay safe, don't drive, bunker down... if you decide to leave, good for you too... have an equally great pride weekend, and come back well after parade hours and stay alert as you come back to the area.

    Happy pride weekend everyone! Don't find yourself on this site! (except as a commenter, of course)

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  22. At what point does this thing begin to be like the booze soaked South Side Western Ave parade with enough Police and citizens getting hurt that it becomes necessary to talk of curtailing it. Or will the politics and bar profits keep this monster going perpetually ? With all due respect to the LGBT community this thing is getting to be too much far all concerned. As stated here its not the Parade its the aftermath.

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  23. The best advice written here is leave the area for the day. The parade has grown far too large for the area and frankly should prob.be a nice memory, like the big downtown fireworks. Great in its time, but in this new day of brazen crime, no longer feasible.

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    1. I concur 100%.

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    2. Absolutely. Gay pride is 24/7/365. The parade served a purpose when we were invisible, not on TV, not on the radio, not in the newspaper, not in government, etc. It is no longer needed. Maybe in places like Grand Rapids, Michigan or Podunk, Alabama or Stick Up The Butt, Utah, but certainly not in a city like Chicago. Time to say see ya.

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    3. Couldn't agee more and we need move on from the past and move forward. Every group that keeps living in the past ends up do more damage than good. Really the Parade is just about money and certain bar owners to push their opinion of who to vote for.

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    4. Agreed. And that's why I don't even go to the bars anymore. They're having a tough time getting their former - GWM - clientele back after bringing in the masses in sake of the almighty $. I know this.

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  24. Has anyone started to contact those who live in apartments above these troubled areas to see if we can put camera's there full time? Time to enter the 21st century folks.....someone needs to start video documenting these regular weekend shenanigans. CWB, can't imagine that with your reach and influence you couldn't help be the focal point/source for this. I would be willing to bet the camera's would even be donated or sponsored by some of the local establishments. You do a lot of good work already, obviously, but, stop using pea shooters in your mission to spread the word and help the neighborhood residents, and start using some B1 bombers (video evidence). Show us. A picture is worth 1,000 words. Show the world what Tunney and the Chicago media won't. Show us what is being tolerated there on a nightly basis.

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    1. This is the video that opened my eyes. For those who haven't seen what goes on around here. We need more of this type of footage on Youtube.
      This is Halsted Street:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q6j3VF8eGs

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  25. Chicago Pride Parade is the NASCAR of Pride Parades.

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  26. I saw CAPS people distributing blue flyers to houses and apts on Buckingham at around 7pm last night. Unfortunately my dog wouldn't let me get close enough to read one. Does anyone know what they were in reference to? I assumed I'd get one on Melrose but never did.

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    1. The flyer is from Tiny Tunney's office.....“Light the Night Community Project". Stating everyone should turn on their porch lights and make sure all of the outside lights in the area are working. Having the area all lit up will help to deter crime. See Tiny's FB page.

      I believe the lights on Belmont between Halsted and the El work, but that hasn't deter any crime. Or has it?

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    2. the front light will sure help - not. Call Tunny on Monday. There are not the staff to answer all the calls.

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