Very soon, millions (or billions or thousands or whatever) of mostly Suburbanites will descend upon the majestic shores of Lake Michigan to marvel at technology invented some 130,000 and 100 years ago, respectively. It will be a grand event– with loud noises, packed beaches, and drunken shirtless men….with a little theft and assault thrown in for good measure.
Which is why, this weekend, I will be far away.
For those who don’t know me personally (or, haven’t done a whois look-up on this site…stalkers), I live in the near vicinity of North Avenue Beach, aka the Fifth Circle of Hell. Every year, at this time, the streets near my Fortress of Solitude are teeming with overly-excited (and medicated, in one way or another) sky-watchers. Whether they’re confused on which direction to go once they get off the Red Line (uh, I dunno, towards the water maybe?) or marveling at the dude on Clark & Division that sells old-school CDs (nice guy, too), it’s one giant clusterfuck.
Admittedly, I haven’t always been this cynical about one of the last big tourist days of the Summer. When I first moved to my humble abode a few years back, my rooftop deck served a perfect place to have a few drinks, socialize, & watch Blue Angels narrowly avoid hitting my spiky hair. I even ventured to North Ave Beach that Sunday, and quickly
remembered why I’d rather pull out my leg hair with band-aids then to be in large, non-native crowds. Especially when people who shouldn’t be in beachwear decide, yeah,
Then, came the next year…
I was sick that weekend, and trying, and I stress trying to just watch some TV and get better. Fat chance. My TV on the wall was shaking like Michae..ok no I won’t go there, but you get the idea. The volume set at “Deafening” didn’t help a bit. I literally felt like I was curled up on the couch on an O’Hare runway during the holiday season.
Since then, I’ve personally soured on the whole thing. But, it’s really something you should experience for yourself. Few tips from a vet, though:
- Hide your iPhones, Galaxy 4’s, toddlers…basically anything you don’t want stolen. Because it’s likely it will be.
- Planes are pretty high in the sky, so you don’t really need to be at the beach to see one. Stay away from North Avenue. And Oak. And Navy Pier. And, well, everywhere with people.
- Rooftops. Find one. Stay there.
And, above all, don’t say I didn’t warn ya.