Travel advisory: Come to Chicago

Travel advisory: Come to Chicago
Image: PV Bella

In the spirit of civic pride and public interest, Interesting Chicago is issuing the following travel advisory:

Come to Chicago.

All you tourists, business travelers, and day or weekend trippers. People from around the country and around the world, come to Chicago.

Chicago is one of the safest cities in America. It offers the best in dining, entertainment, and attractions for every age. You can walk the streets at night.

Transportation, especially public transportation is first class and safe.

There is no reason not to visit Chicago. You will be as safe or safer here than anyplace else.

Chicago comedian William J. Kelly is supposedly running for mayor. Kelly is a gadfly candidate. Fly by night  is probably a more accurate description.


Chicago comedian, William J. Kelly speaks at the Hancock Center.

Kelly is known for his ambush so-called journalism, disrupting mayoral press conferences, embarrassing himself, and generally angering real reporters trying to do their jobs.

Reporter's and cameramen's eyes roll whenever Kelly shows up with his cameraman tethered to his microphone like a little puppy. Comedians love pets.

By the way, if he is running for mayor then he should not be "reporting". That is a breach of journalistic ethics. Comedians have no ethics.

Kelly issued a travel warning on his campaign website:

“In light of Sunday’s violent riot at Montrose Beach, it is painfully clear that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has officially lost control of our city.Under his failed leadership, the Chicago Police cannot protect themselves. Emanuel refuses to hire more police officers and works the remainder of the force to exhaustion. He has done everything possible to deny citizens their basic legal right to concealed carry in violent Chicago – a city that is now known as the new ‘Murder Capital’ of the country. Sadly, Mayor Emanuel’s handpicked police chief, Superintendent Garry McCarthy, has other priorities than the safety of the people of Chicago – which should be his only priority. Instead, his stated priority is the re-election of Mayor Emanuel.“

“That is why, regretfully, I am issuing this Chicago travel advisory and asking citizens around the country not to travel to Chicago. No area of Chicago is safe.”

Kelly is perpetrating the big lie. Chicago Police do a very good job of protecting themselves and the citizens. Kelly should be ashamed of himself for such a bald faced prevarication. Comedians have no shame.


Superintendent Garry McCarthy is not campaigning for Mayor Emanuel's reelection. His priority is running the Chicago Police Department. He has not demonstrated any other priority.

William J. Kelly owes the men and women of the Chicago Police Department an apology. Being a comedian means never having to say you're sorry.

Kelly lives in one of the safest neighborhoods in the city. The only danger he faces is bumping into tourists while walking down the crowded streets.

Kelly, a native Chicagoan, knows very little about his city, its neighborhoods, or people. Comedians do not have to know anything of substance.

Chicago is not the murder capital of the world, as the down market New York news media would have people believe.  Chicago is one of the safest cities in the world for tourists and other travelers.

There is crime in every major tourist and travel destination in the world, even other world class cities. Chicago is safer than many of them.

As to the Montrose beach incident Kelly cites, that was a one time incident, partially due to overcrowding with the addition of a pop-up concert with no permit. Stuff like that can happen anywhere. Look what happens after soccer games in many world class European cities, soccer riots.

Montrose beach is relatively safe. It does get overcrowded which can lead to problems. It is no less safe than the tourist beaches further south.

Montrose beach is not a tourist attraction. It is far off the beaten path. Kelly should know that. Comedians are clueless.


Tourists and travelers stay downtown or Near North.

Tourists stay downtown or on the Near North Side, frequenting the lakefront in those areas.

Many stay right in Kelly's neighborhood. If it is so dangerous Kelly should move. Who would live in a danger zone? Comedians have no common sense.

Unless tourists are visiting family or friends, most do not venture into the dangerous parts of the city. Most tourists do not even venture into the safe neighborhoods. There are no tourist attractions in residential areas.

The mayor, or candidate for mayor, is supposed to sell Chicago. Candidates and incumbents are not supposed to embarrass themselves with clownish behavior.

Kelly is selling Detroit or New York City. Maybe he should run for mayor in those two violence plagued hell holes. Maybe a comedian is what is needed to save New York and Detroit.

Kelly cites the shortage of Chicago Police officers. He offers no solution. There is no money to hire enough police officers to bring the force up to strength. Former mayor, Richard M. Daley spent money necessary for essential services on boodle and boondoggles for his and the aldermen's cronies. Comedians have no fiscal sense.

Mayor Emanuel has not "lost control of this city". He is playing the bad hand he was dealt by his predecessor. He does have enough class not to blame Richard M. Daley for leaving him a major mess. Practically and pragmatically, Mayor Rahm Emanuel cannot undo 20 years of political malfeasance and malpractice in four years. No one can. Comedians are not practical or pragmatic.

The mayor of Chicago and potential candidates should not be comedians, circus clowns, or carnival barkers. Mayoral candidates should not pull silly and embarrassing publicity stunts. They should offer serious debates on the challenges Chicago faces going forward.

Sadly, not one candidate or potential candidate has emerged who can do that.

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