Thursday, April 13, 2023

City and NASCAR Announce Dates of Street Closures Prior to 4th of July Races

The NASCAR Chicago Street Race is undoubtedly going to be a big, unique event for the city - but as expected it likely will be a headache for those of us who live or spend a lot of time in the Sloop.

How much of a headache?  Well the city just released a list of street closures in and around Grant Park and it's going to be much longer than we expected (via Yahoo):

NASCAR's Chicago Street race is slated to take over the city for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, but the impacts for drivers will be felt long before and after the race is done.

Officials on Monday detailed a traffic plan, featuring more than a month of rolling closures around the city in the lead-up and tear-down for the first-time event.

Closures will include major roadways like DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Columbus Drive, Jackson Drive, Balbo Drive and Michigan Avenue and are expected to kick off on June 2 and continue through July 15, adding to a long list of traffic disruptions for drivers in the city already battling major construction projects on the Kennedy Expressway and elsewhere.

The biggest interruptions are slated to begin on June 25. (Full list of closures at link)

On top of the closures, officials said they expect roughly 50,000 people to attend each day of the two-day event.

Yikes - a month and a half of street closures will likely be pretty disruptive.  Yes, maybe some of the closures early on are small swaths of streets, but still will be confusing and painful.  

(Hat tip:  Mitch!)

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

20 Years Later After the Close of Meigs Air Field (Now Northerly Island)

Northerly Island is a quiet retreat for us in the Sloop, but many newer residents might not realize it's history.  WBEZ has a good read on how the current concert venue and park became what it is today thanks to a brash move by a mayor:

When the sun came up over Chicago on March 31, 2003, it shone down on six large Xs that were bulldozed overnight into the runway of a small downtown airport.

Under the cover of darkness, then-Mayor Richard M. Daley made it clear who ran the city when he ordered the destruction of Meigs Field on Northerly Island without alerting the City Council, the statehouse or the Federal Aviation Administration. The former airport is now a park, which the mayor had wanted for years.

Daley defended the move the next day by citing safety concerns and told reporters it was a risk to have planes that close to skyscrapers in a post-9/11 world.

The destruction of Meigs was a brash stunt that epitomizes Chicago politics. Simpson equates bulldozing Meigs with similarly “autocratic” schemes greenlit by Daley’s father, Mayor Richard J. Daley, such as ordering police to maintain law and order among protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, resulting in violent clashes.

Twenty years after the overnight destruction at the airport, Simpson and others said the maneuver is fading from collective memory, but it can serve as a reminder of the need to have checks and balances on mayoral power.

Monday, April 3, 2023

Life at Nema (1210 S. Indiana)

We don't live inside the Nema rental building (1210 S. Indiana), but have gawked at it from the outside and recently spent some time in the shinny new Dollop Coffee shop.  We recently stumbled upon a video on Tik Tok and recognized some of the views and deducted that it was a young 20 something, entrepreneur shooting as if he lived on top of the world in the building.  Anyway - if you ever wondered what it was like to live in Nema, maybe his videos can give you an idea:

 (Hat tip: @theibrahimansari)