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Gang Violence in Chicago

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Gang Violence in Chicago

We are planning a family vacation to Chicago in July.

We are staying outside of the city at Indian Lakes Resort, but plan to visit and sightsee in the city.

Can I get some useful advice about what not to do

or where not to go to keep safe.

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1. Re: Gang Violence in Chicago

That's being discussed here:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g35805-i32-k192138…

even as we speak.

Opinions clearly differ, but in general, petty theft (pickpockets, shoplifting) is the biggest problem in the tourist areas. Keep an eye on your belongings, use common sense, and you'll be OK.

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2. Re: Gang Violence in Chicago

The places of interest to most tourists are in safe areas. Most likely the only thing that might happen is some beggar will approach you asking for money. I usually give them a polite but firm "No". As in any urban area, you will want to stay aware of your surroundings.

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3. Re: Gang Violence in Chicago

The gang violence that has been making headlines the last few days is occuring in neighborhoods that tourists do not go into.

Stick to the highways when driving into the city even if you hit traffic, gas up and hit the bathroom before you leave Indian Lakes (good idea anyways since gas is more expensive in Chicago). You can end up in very bad neighborhoods trying to avoid traffic headaches.

Most of the attractions in the center of the city are safe to visit during regular hours, if you head down to the Museum of Science and Industry, I'd suggest parking in their underground lot and not trying to find street parking.

Otherwise, behave like you would in any large city, don't flash your money around, don't put your wallet somewhere where a thief can easily grab it (ie back pocket or purse that is easy to open), don't wander down deserted alleyways. Park in well lit areas or in a secure garage.

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4. Re: Gang Violence in Chicago

The recent news from Chicago in terms of violence has obviously not been wonderful. In general, if it is a tourist area, you are good to go, particularly during the day or when there are other people around. If it looks like it is somewhere you don't want to be, you're probably correct. In particular, the Loop, Mag Mile, River North, Lincoln Park, and Museum Campus are going to be areas you will probably want to spend most of your time, and these are areas that you will have no problems with.

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5. Re: Gang Violence in Chicago

As with any big city, or any place for that matter, use your common sense.

Don't take a wad of cash out of your pocket and flaunt it around. Don't wear flashy jewelry. Keep your purse close to you, and make sure it's closed. Pay attention to those around you. If something (or someone) makes you feel uncomfortable, leave immediately.

Chicago is a beautiful, wonderful city and I'm sure you'll have a wonderful visit. Enjoy!

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6. Re: Gang Violence in Chicago

unless your idea of a vacation is going into outlying neighborhoods and competing with local drug dealers, wearing competing gang colors and flashing gang signs, consider Chicago gang safe.

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7. Re: Gang Violence in Chicago

I was thinking of getting the train down to the South side wearing a red bandana and a white vest, are you saying thats not a good idea?

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8. Re: Gang Violence in Chicago

sandyinpa, I am that terrible poster who dared to mention on another thread the website where to find information on crime happening in Chicago, in response to a query by a wise poster after reading national headlines.

It appears that you have visited some major cities (San Francisco and London) already, so you should already be aware on how to handle yourself in large cities and I'm pretty sure the others aren't telling you anything you don't already know. But just in case...

Here is the most useful advice I can give you. Go to the City of Chicago's website, then into the Chicago Police Department's section. In that section, there is a sub-section called "Alerts and Safety Tips" which gives pages and pages of information on any number of possible circumstances. It includes information on crime alerts (city-wide and by district), gang awareness, bike safety, child safety, seasonal safety, personal safety, and so on. Read it. (I hope you don't feel that I'm trying to be brusque with you here but when you see the long pages full of information, you'll know why I'm not trying to condense it for you in this thread.)

You know, this is like the old saw about whether the glass is half-empty or half-full. Yes, the large majority of the crime in the Loop, River North or Magnificent Mile areas falls in the category of larceny-theft (purse-snatching, retail theft and the like) - but not all of it. Somebody, somewhere, was involved in that other percentage of crime.

Sometimes people are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Such as the six people (including the local news anchorperson and a 75-year-old woman) who were attacked by the unstable man in the Loop recently (see 4/23/08's Chicago Tribune, NBC, ABC, etc.). How would you ever be able to prepare yourself for something like that? I personally don't think you can.

But usually people do things which put them in a more dangerous situation (such the man recently stabbed outside the Morse CTA Red Line station on the North Side about 3:30 a.m.). You might want to read reader comments on the Topix website (or another) about this event. Of course, you'll find inane comments thrown in there, but there are some rather good points to note.

IMHO, Chicago is just one of the most wonderful cities in the world and I wouldn't even want to discourage anyone from visiting it - safely.

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9. Re: Gang Violence in Chicago

I've lived in Chicago for 22 years and Chitownfriend is making want to move! You are not going into gang neighborhoods if you are going to the tourist areas of The Loop, Millenium Park, Michigan Ave. Wrigleyville, Lakeview or even Bucktown or Uptown. Just be aware of your surroundings and enjoy yourself.

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10. Re: Gang Violence in Chicago

I realize gang violence in Chicago has become a big topic nationwide and even internationally lately. What people need to realize about the stories on the news are:

1) These shootings occur in areas tourists would never dream of finding themselves

2) These also generally occur late at night/early morning.

Tourists are not going to find themselves in danger this summer. I live in Chicago and am no more concerned about gang violence this summer than I am any other time. As usual, using common sense will help you avoid most issues. But there's no use in spending one second of your time worrying about gang violence if you're going to Navy Pier/Millenium Park/Wrigley/any other tourist destination.

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