NATO Chicago

What happens when leaders of more than sixty countries descend on the Second City? There are cops, security, and secret service everywhere. The average Chicagoan has virtually disappeared from the city streets, probably lodging near the Cubs/Whitesox game. There are so many police officers, they outnumber the denizens. State and out-of-state officers are hired to keep the peace. In some downtown locations, there are as many as twelve officers to a street corner. Roads close in front of you unexpectedly to make room for delegates. Hotels in Lakeshore East and Streeterville are surrounded by blockades. The bridge on Columbus is closed because of its proximity to the Sheraton. Caravans of black cars and white vans abound as unmarked vehicles turn into government cars unexpectedly. On Sunday, during a thunderstorm, there are untimely fireworks off Navy Pier above the blue blinking lights of police boats that have made Lake Michigan into a no-sail zone. In short, NATO in Chicago is simply a no-fun zone.

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