A few more places I'd like to avoid in Chicago.

Once again, I love my great city. However, there are inevitably good and bad sides to everything. After some thought, here are a few more places I'd like to avoid.

Exiting Lollapalooza after you’ve stayed for the encore. So every year, I claim, “I’m NOT GOING BACK ITS TOO MUCH.” What do I do every year? Get a three day pass. Usually because one of the main bands is someone I really want to see. My advice? Get the HELL out of there before they are done playing. Leaving there when everyone else is leaving is similar to a cattle stampede. Actually though, I think the cattle may be more organized. It’s the biggest clusterfail. Especially when you have a broken shoe.

 The AT&T Store on a Saturday morning. Ah, here is the hub of hangover. I bet if you asked 4 out of 5 people why they are there the answer is one of the following:

“Um, I left my phone in a cab last night.”

“Um, my phone might be at Moe’s Cantina in the bathroom but I called from my friend’s phone and they couldn’t find it.

“I have NO DAMN CLUE where the thing is.”

Then, in similar fashion to the DMV, you take a number and are directed to sit down where “someone will be with you shortly” (meaning about an hour and a half) and wallow in your sorrows that your phone has disappeared. And hang your head in shame because, it was, absolutely your fault. Shouldn’t have had that last vodka soda. People in here also generally have a dual diagnosis of missing keys, wallets, dignity, etc.

This is a really big wild card but, Jerry’s Fruit Market in the near northwest suburb of Niles. I’ve never seen such hostility from the elderly trying to race to get 10 cent onions. In fact, I've never seen such hostility, period. It's like a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight to get some tomatoes. It’s a free for all and they will battle you. Do not try to go to battle with Mrs. Basia Czywnensnewski even though she is 85 and 5’2”. She’ll cut you. (And I can say this because I’m Polish.)

Forever 21 on Michigan Ave .  I love getting good bargains here. I really do. However, if you go at any time that’s not an “off time” (let’s say, 2pm on a Wednesday in January), it is complete and total mayhem. I really do want that $3 bracelet but I cannot stand in line with 40 screaming teenagers debating which dress that is inappropriate for them in the first place looks better for “Tyler's party”.

 On that one EL car that doesn’t have air conditioning when it is hotter than your body temperature outside.  You need industrial strength oxygen tanks designed by NASA to survive this. And why is it that of all the cars that stop, this HAS to be the one that you pick? Always.  This goes well with my fellow blogger Corie’s post about the Red Line and it's delights.

The corner of Clark and Division. Now, I know, you may ask, “Why do you live there?” Well, it’s a great area, minus the….corner. And also, I don’t really want to sell my place for about 70% less than I paid for it right now. But ,I also don’t really want to be harassed on my way to the red line while wearing sweatpants as if I was dressed as Elizabeth Berkeley in Showgirls. And I also don’t need to see two 80 year olds (yes, they were literally in walkers) in the middle of Clark street yelling obscenities at each other.  The corner of Chicago and State is a close runner up.

The Taco Bell in Wrigleyville after a Cubs game. This is also one of the biggest displays of “asshattery” (yes, I just created that word) that I’ve ever seen in my entire life. First of all, people order 13 things off the menu (ahem, maybe have done this) because they are sooooo hungry which backs up the line. Second of all, a line barely exists because no one knows what planet they are on and is not paying attention. Everyone is falling all over each other and there may even be an appearance by Ronnie Woo Woo. Then, biggest fail of all? They hide the hot sauce here! You have to ask for it! Totally unacceptable.

There are of course, many more places, but here are a few more I thought would be worthwhile sharing.


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  • Have to agree with you on Jerry's. I loved their prices and the quality of their produce, but hated feeling like I was in the middle of a mosh pit.

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    Amy Litterski DeSario

    Born in Chicago. Probably not leaving any time soon. 30-something. Married to this guy I met 14 years ago at a Northwest side block party. Have a wacky, adorable dog. University of Illinois alum. I've loved to write since age 4. I enjoy coffee and hot sauce too much. You can reach me at scribblingofthoughts@gmail.com.

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