Friday, May 18, 2012


So, back to NATO.

Over 60 world international leaders are meeting Sunday and Monday at McCormick Place, which has caused a frenzy of anticipated protest activity.  As a result of this, there are closures to places like to museums near McCormick (Field, Adler, Shedd), lakefront paths and road are closed as well as some offices today and Monday (lucky Ben gets to work from home Monday, etc). Ben’s office is off Michigan Ave and near the hotels were several of the leaders are staying, so their building is on increase security today and closed Monday. Boeing, near my office, is supposedly literally boarded up and employees aren’t to report back downtown until Tuesday. The National Guard has been brought in, as well as additional police forces.

My office building is between is on the outskirts of the technical “Loop” El train tracks, but Wacker Drive has been closed due to construction with a few pedestrian access paths; now they closed those due to this weekend because Sears Tower and Chicago Mercantile Exchange were worried about protesters.  My building is smack in the middle so now I have to walk 3 blocks out of my usual route to get to/from the El.

There’s been articles and news briefs telling those who are still working downtown to dress casually as they anticipate protesters harassing anyone who “looks” corporate. On the El this morning out of 2 train cars, they were still mostly full, but there was only 2 people dressed professionally; out of at least 50 people.  Usually it's like 90%+ professional. The Metra (trains to suburbs) are having a security protocol Sat-Mon which includes refusing people to bring food, drink, book bags, etc on the trains.  Just like the airport, the only liquids that will be allowed must be 3 oz or less.  Can you imagine having a 45 minute train commute in the morning and not being allowed to have your coffee.

I’m hoping this is all precautionary and that no major riots, etc breakout, but it is kind of scary.  Plus we have tickets for the big Crosstown Classic on Saturday; White Sox vs Cubs, which is always a huge event.  Ben and I have mentioned time and time again when we’re at a sporting event, what an easy target that would be for a disastrous attack.  Here’s hoping we have a safe wknd! (and go Cubbies!!)

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