Monday, May 18, 2015

HELL FREEZES OVER: We Want To Organize A Community Walk

Pieces of information are beginning to emerge about how the city and Chicago Pride Parade organizers plan to rectify the increasing challenges that the event has faced in recent years. And a formal announcement on the details may come within a week.

But we have one idea we’d like to propose (and we can hardly believe that we’re suggesting it).

We want to organized a Pride Sunday community walk. Kind of a post-Pride Parade parade. More on that in a sec.

First, here are a few details about the 2015 parade that have emerged:

At a recent community meeting, Erin Duffy of Ald. Tom Tunney’s office announced that a “parade committee” has been formed, although how its members were selected and who its members are remains a bit of a mystery.

Duffy said that this year’s parade will kick off at noon, as the parade always has, putting the kibosh on talk that it may start earlier in an effort to reduce drunkenness.

Duffy also announced that this year’s parade will be led by all of the participating politicians walking in one group rather than as individual entries. This would seem to be an effort to reduce the length of the parade.

We’d much prefer that the politicians be placed at the end of the parade. After all, the parade isn't about them. But, hey, when politicians are making the decisions, politicians get to march wherever they want.

According to Duffy, the clandestine committee is focusing on the parade’s effects on the neighborhood for a full 24-hour window.

Somewhat cryptically, all public statements about the 2015 parade route, including the official parade site, have said only that this year’s parade will be held in the “East Lakeview/Uptown neighborhoods.”

As recently as last October, the official site listed the actual route, which was established in 2012.

That may mean nothing or it may mean that a route change is coming. We favor having the parade bypass Halsted altogether—going straight down Broadway to Diversey. That would eliminate the dangerous overcrowding that forms as spectators naturally try to get as close to Roscoe and Halsted as possible. This will probably never happened, but we favor it.

Anywho, on to that idea of ours.

We would like to invite Alderman Tunney, Alderman James Cappleman, business representatives, neighbors, our new police commander, and parade organizer Richard Pfeiffer to join us for a walk of the neighborhood at 1AM on the Monday morning after Pride.  That's about 10 hours after the parade is supposed to be over.

We’ll walk the streets from Roscoe and Halsted down to Belmont then over to Sheffield. We'll hang out there, taking in the local flora and fauna, and then walk back east on Belmont and north on Halsted to Addison.

The goal? To remind the remaining, uh, revelers to respect the neighborhood and not ruin the fun for everyone. Maybe we could hand out little pieces of paper with Pride Fest’s 2015 slogan, “Keep Pride Proud" and a request to disperse in the interest of the parade's future.

Now, we know. At this poiint, faithful CWB readers are probably thinking that someone has hacked our site. After all, we hate positive loitering and “take back the neighborhood” marches. We think they are nothing more than theater for cameras and feel-good events that make it look like something is being done.

But this would be different. This would be a chance to for everyone to see exactly what is going on and to make an effort to clear the streets. It’s a chance to confront at least one of the many issues that face Pride this year.

Who’s in?
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58 comments:

  1. Nearly 20 years ago I was a stupid straight college kid who went to the Pride Parade to see what the fuss was about, and I had a great time and got to meet the gay community, and it was a good time and a good experience to learn about another culture. People were cool and you could leave without thinking you're in the middle of a complete shitshow.

    Now, I'm older and less tolerant. Not of gays, but idiots. The parade is all about politicians and businesses, pandering for dollars. Combine that with surburbanite and underage drinkers and it's no longer about "pride", but debauchery. And instead of being excited for the parade, I want to be nowhere near it.

    The only thing I can hope for for that weekend is a torrential downpour. Sunny weather will make that neighborhood a mess during the Parade.

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  2. I'm in if I can be armed.

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    1. I hear you. I'm afraid to be out at that hour after Pride. Too dangerous.

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    2. ...and can wear body armor.

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    3. You can be armed if you have a permit as long as you aren't in a bar or on the CTA. Just saying :)

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    4. Or any place that has a No Guns decal in their window (next to the faded and worn Visa/Mastercard logos, HR campaign, Yelp and Zagat rated stickers).

      Next.

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    5. Unfortunately everyone is wrong. Even with a permit you can't be armed. One of those no carry zones that the city wanted to be part of the law. Maybe with time that can be overturned, but not right now. Only exception is if you had to walk through the parade route to get to your home.

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    6. I'm a cop, you have a legal concealed carry permit? Carry on my friend I could care less what area rahm says you can't carry in public... Private property different story but you want to carry Belmont and Sheffield on the street? You have a permit? I'm good...

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    7. Thank you Mr. Officer.

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  3. The entire community will be flocking to the clown politicians at the front of the line so they can get their selfies with the same people that have made it unsafe for us to leave our homes. But they don't care, because these clown politicians support gay marriage and boycotting against people that won't make a pizza for a gay wedding.

    Sadly, a walk at 1:00 a.m. won't do much good because the only other people that will be out will either be the thugs or the losers drunk out of their mind passed out on the sidewalks. A much better use of time would be to organize a massive boycott and booing of these politicians in the parade, but there's not a chance in hell of that happening.

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    1. I think that's the point of the walk at 1am...

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  4. Why not move it to Saturday? Combine it with a usual night of drunken idiocy, crime and let everyone recover Sunday? (Memo to NFL: why don't you do this with the Superbowl, too?)

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  5. "this year’s parade will kick off at noon, as the parade always has,"

    ...for the past several years. I remember the days when the parade would kick off at 3:00pm. But back then things were not as out of control, and there were probably 50 parade entries, rather than 250.

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  6. Go ahead and march, you will be another robbery statistic...

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  7. Will we be walking in haz-mat bullet proof vests? Im in

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  8. Yesterday I read this blog's "Helmont" post, which cited the following criminal activities (among many others) in this area over the past weekend:

    1. Group of 30 young men just chased a couple of guys into Boystown's Scarlet Bar, 3320 N. Halsted. The pack is now waiting outside for the victims to leave.

    2. Officer: "We got about 100 people here on Belmont. Get some cars [to Clark and Belmont] to shag these guys."

    3. Large crowd in the 7-Eleven parking lot at Roscoe and Halsted. Some people in the crowd are firing off stun guns.

    4. Five people fighting on the Belmont CTA station's northbound platform. Another caller says it's 8 people fighting. "They're flooding my [dispatch] board with these calls….now you got a person with a knife fighting."

    Based on just the above incidences, I don't think you'd need to confine your "Community Walk" idea to the early morning following the Pride Parade for evidence of the ribald activity that plagues this area.

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  9. How do you propose that your group of marchers will be protected from armed thugs? Will there be a police escort? Tunney and Cappelman carry guns but I question their aim and proclivity to shoot one of their preferred favorite "misunderstood youth."

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    Replies
    1. Tunney can carry a gun, but he does not. Making up BS makes you less credible.

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    2. Look up BS in the dictionary and Tunney's picture is included in the definition.

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  10. I bet Tunney wishes you guys would walk east until you hit the bottom of the lake. But then again he's "just one guy".

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  11. You guyz are usually on this but...
    "from Roscoe and Halsted down to Belmont then over to Sheffield. We'll hang out there, taking in the local flora and fauna"
    You propose a trip to ground zero of Helmont at 1AM with a group of unarmed, possibly lit parade goers, and some db politicians? Match meet accelerant. Please elaborate on the thought process(es) going into this idea as you are usually a voice of reason.

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    1. Yesterday I was almost robbed of my garbag - I got away but I'm sure I'll be fined for dropping my garbage and running.

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  12. People should be in bed at 1a.m. It's not a gay ghetto, as many people portray the neighborhood. It's now a very mixed community. It was perhaps 20+ years ago gentrified by gays but the neighborhood has evolved and become a safe and varied neighborhood with many gay bars. Ans that's it. Time to move on. Put it downtown.

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    1. I met a girl from Nebraska that lived right on the corner of Belmont/Clark. She was clueless of what goes on around there but mentioned she's in bed by 11pm every night.

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  13. The cops should be out at 1am. I'd like the mounted police actually to be seen daily, parade or no parade. There's a lot of seedy people in the hood in general.

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  14. Last year on parade day, I had to go to work at Masonic at 11 pm. The cab took Barry to Halsted to avoid Belmont. We were waiting for people to cross and they began yelling at the cab and smacking the car. The cabbie was screaming at them. I thought I was going to die. I have never seen anything like this in my life! This year, my weekend to work is scheduled for parade Sunday again. They don't know it yet but I'm calling in sick.

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    1. You go, girl. Calling in sick is an excellent idea.

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  15. I'm too afraid to be at Belmont and Sheffield during the day, much less at 1:00 AM.

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    1. Ditto. And did that Clarke's throw in the towel and close? Looks like their windows are covered in paper.

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  16. Who will escort us to and from our home when we have to walk to Roscoe and Halsted at 12:30 or so in the morning to join this march toward Helmont. There is no way I'll be out and about as a target. Sorry, guys.

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  17. My guess is that the "parade committee" is the same as the alderman's "crime task force committee" and we all know how legitimate and effective that was. Instead of a neighborhood walk, it would be great of the residents of the area could be compelled join together, display a true show of numbers and line the streets shoulder to shoulder in front of their homes all night if necessary. Now THAT would certainly garner a ton of media attention. Imagine every street you walked down lined with the homeowners, residents and tax payers of the neighborhood standing sentry.

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  18. How will you prevent the bloodshed? This sounds like a worse plan than sitting in an open limousine next to a woman in a pink suit during a motorcade in Dallas.

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  19. You used some of my videos in your TBOX and St Pats articles. I was planning on shooting some video of the parade charade anyways. I would be willing to show up and video. the1stmikec

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    1. start shooting videos of hellmont after 2 am on Fridays and Saturday. send them to tunney, the mayor, the police and the media

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    2. Absolutely send the videos to the media....and not just Chicago's media since our media is often censored by the mayor. I'm sure some "real" journalist out there - somewhere - would love the do a piece on the lawlessness that is rampant in Chicago's last remaining "safe" neighborhoods. Don't forget, crime is down!

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  20. There are 3 things I know for sure:
    1) I can always count on CWB to deliver the truth
    2) I never eat at Ann Sather's
    3) Thank God or my Guardian Angel that for some reason I changed my mind about buying that condo I loved at Belmont and Sheffield at the closing 7 years ago.

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    1. Good choice. I would have forfeited a $5,000 deposit to get out of that deal.

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    2. haha..love this

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  21. I think it's a good idea...but I'm vacating that weekend. Not subjecting myself to that again.

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  22. CWB, what is your problem with Positive Loitering? It's obviously effective.

    I can think of two examples making $106,000+ per year, and getting a staff, for Positively Loitering on behalf of the neighborhood. THAT seems pretty damn effective.

    Plus it makes for great bumper stickers.

    CAPPLEMAN - Positively Loitering for You!
    TUNNEY - Positively Loitering since 2003

    Don't know when you guys CWB folks will get it right.

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  23. Rather than this, why not hope that it's worse than ever this year and not do anything to help the gathering look better than the mess that it is so that the city has to make good on its promise to move it next year if it's still bad this year? Or am I being naive that they'll ever move it no matter how horrible it gets? I'd like to march but I'll be miles away. I just love to get driven out of my own home several times a year because a bunch of drunken criminal thugs and assholes are allowed to run loose in my neighborhood with zero consequences.

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  24. It's a great idea, but the parades are always on Sunday. No parading through the streets at 1 am when I have to be at work bright and early Monday morning at 8. I guess you could say that I'm not going to get any sleep anyway with the aftermath of the parade (because that is pretty much true), but I'm still going to try. If it were on a Friday or Saturday I'd be there with bells on.

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  25. I think a walk / march is a great idea.... too bad the ""OUT OF TOUCH"" POLITICIANS don't know or care.. the police commanders are so out of touch as well... they don't care either......

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  26. Had an unexpected, impromptu conversation with a cop in Lincoln Park tonight. I think he thought I was doing something out of the ordinary. Just doing his job but it was all kinda funny. I just made a wisecrack about them keeping the cab drivers off of the bike path and this really got him talking. He said they ticket them left/right all over, especially downtown but there aren't police to get the job done. We just started babbling about changes in behavior with people in this city, drivers downtown, crime, drunks as early as 7am, etc. This guy didn't stop, I almost couldn't get away (no pun intended). Anyway, couldn't help but remember some highlights of the conversation while driving away:

    - he's retiring shortly
    - "There aren't enough of us".
    - "It's only going to get worse".


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  27. How much money is there behind this parade that the city can just turn its back on the safety issues of drunken overcrowding and having police cars turned into dance floors and destroyed? What other city would put up with this? What other neighborhood would put with this? Is there no one in city hall who sees a problem with this?
    It must be a heck of a lot of private money buying the politicians and over-riding common sense and basic government.

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    1. Ask the owner of Sidetrack.

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    2. And the owners of Hydrate, Roscoes, mEAT, DS Tequila, Mini Bar, the new dreadful horrific little Dive Bar, Little Jim's, Cellblock, and the office of the "alderman" for ward 44, one Thomas Tunney. Oh, and also, why does nobody hold the "owner" of the parade accountable, Richard Pppfffifer or whatever his name is.

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    3. And how do you "own" a parade anyway? That right there proves the we've all been "owned"

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    4. Well, Pfffiefffer does indeed "own" it and I can only imagine the profit$ he enjoys. Where is the accountability???

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    5. A lot of so called fundraiser, parades and non profits in the gay community are all about profit first. Like the Center on Halsted. Look at the salaries the people make. They won't make that in the private sector.

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  28. Amen to the first two items on your list. Especially since all my candidates lost their elections. Boycotting Sather's is the only political act that remains.

    There are 3 things I know for sure:
    1) I can always count on CWB to deliver the truth
    2) I never eat at Ann Sather's


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    1. We need to go back to writing up shitty reviews on Trip Advisors for Ann Sathers, and also note the dangerous neighborhood they reside in.

      The incessant positive remarks about the cinnamon buns is so stupid.

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    2. Trip Advisor is so 2011. Yelp is where the shitty reviews need to be written!

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  29. rahm... tunney..... and McCarthy say the neighborhood is safe.... so I believe it.....

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  30. we should just sue the "owner of the parade" and alderman when our property gets damaged in the aftermath of this shit-storm parade

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    1. Wouldn't work. The "system" would close ranks to protect one another. That means: Rahmie, Tunnie, Cappleflock, whomever the current police commander is, the city's legal department (wow, what a fucking oxymoron!), and so on and so on. Pfffifefffer is the crown jewel of the city's eye for the "pride" parade event, as he single-handedly brings in trillions and hundreds and millions of dollars to the neighborhood, which I assume of course is then distributed to God-only-knows how many different people and entities.

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    2. Yes! For inciting a riot, disobeying traffic signals, littering, interfering with a funeral procession, public nuisance....

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