Chicago After Dark/Not So Magnificent/The Naked Truth From A Prince Of the City

Chicago After Dark/Not So Magnificent/The Naked Truth From A Prince Of the City

I gotta say if there ever was one man who knows the city of Chicago inside out it’s Peter Bella. Nearly three decades as a street cop in Chicago, a photographer, probably a better chef than the great Emeril Lagasse but he saves his best delights for the less fortunate across the city who have no housing or food. A true Prince of the City. So it is when Peter talks, people listen because well! you’re going to get the straight story. No spin, no bullshit, no exaggeration. Peter just wrote a piece that I thought was worth repeating for those of you who are not aware of the goings-on of the last few years on Chicago’s so-called Magnificent MILE and Downtown shopping areas. Below is a shocking graphic that most people will find difficult to believe. This is the other side of Chicago separate from the Magnificent Mile. Of our four freedoms in America — Want-Speech-Religion and of course freedom of FEAR — is sorely lacking in one of America’s great cities.

I have to admit that I agree with every word he writes. What happens after dark in Chicago and recently in broad daylight in what was once described as the Rodeo Drive of the Midwest, Chicago’s tony “Magnificent Mile” is probably the most underreported news since the good old Kennedy days in the White House. Without question the biggest enemy of systemic failure is TRUTH. One of the best ways to control the news is to not report it. In my opinion, watching and listening to the Chicago Mayor and her desultory attempts to try and control a city that has lost its soul IS LIKE BEING TIED TO A CHAIR AND WATCHING A TODDLER PLAY WITH A LOADED GUN. BELOW ARE THE WORDS OF PETER V. BELLA——PETERVBELLA.COM

The great Downtown Chicago used to be safe at night. From the Loop to River North, Gold Coast, and beyond, you could walk down State Street or Michigan Avenue in relative safety. You could even walk on the lakefront until closing hour.

The street lights, store windows, neon, and other attractions lent a romantic atmosphere. The crowds were gone. People were out enjoying themselves. You could go to the movies, walk to dinner, then just walk. Maybe you would stop into a watering hole for a drink, or two or three. There were clubs with all kinds of entertainment.

During the Christmas season, there was a festive air. Christmas lights, street decorations, store window decorations, and Sal Army Santas ringing their bells. There was a festive atmosphere. People were in a happier mood.

No more.

Criminals own the night. Bands of violent criminals attack, and brutalize people for no reason, or violently rob them. No one steps in to stop them. No one steps in to help.

The headline below shows two men attacked, brutally beaten, and robbed on the 400 block of Noth State Street.

For over four minutes, two men were robbed and brutalized while bystanders shot phone videos, celebrated, danced, and twerked. Motorists kept driving by, trying to avoid hitting anyone.

Nowhere is safe in this Mad Max era of Chicago. Michigan Avenue, River North, and the Gold Coast are no longer safe at night. The romance and festivity turned into a nightmare. Even the parking lots are not safe.

People used to be able to go out to dinner, walk, stop in one or two places for a late-night drink or two or three. There are clubs for entertainment. Now, people are the entertainment for criminals and their bystander fans.

Downtown, North and South Michigan Avenue and River North turned into violent crime-ridden areas. There are roving bands of robbers, thieves, groups wilding, and other violent actors. Even during the day, bands of thieves invade designer stores, stealing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. They will pummel anyone who tries to stop them.

Nighttime is the worst. The night is when there is no value for human life. The night is when you are most vulnerable. The night is when you could be beaten, shot, wounded, or killed. Areas once known for safety are now dangerous.

The revitalized gem, Grant Park turned into a staging ground for wildings, groups of young people running amok, terrorizing the area because they can. The Magnificent Mile is no longer magnificent. River North and River West are dangerous. The night turns these neighborhoods into the Wild West.

It is a pity our city came to this. The places we should be proud of are turning into violent, crime-ridden battlegrounds at night. This criminality is not new and has been building up over the past few years. It started to get worse last year and is worsening this year.

The alderpersons representing the wards are complaining. Their complaints land on deaf ears. One alderperson was the victim of a battery while waiting for friends outside of a restaurant. Mayor Lightfoot is trying to please everyone and is pleasing no one. The citizens, news media, and City Council cannot figure out what she is doing.

Thanks to City Hall, an incompetent Superintendent of Police, a State’s Attorney who cares more about coddling criminals than prosecutions, and a court system that enables a revolving door of catch and release, the Loop, Mag Mile, and River North went from being attractive, safe places to visit or walk around to places to fear.

Nowhere is safe at night in those areas. The criminals know there are cameras all over the place. They do not care. They do not fear arrest or imprisonment if, by fat chance, they are prosecuted. This is not just criminality. It is a culture of violence. Violence is acceptable and expected behavior.

Criminals are waging war. There is no rhyme or reason for their actions. They do it because they can. They do it because they want to. They do it for fun. They do it because no one will stop them. They do it because they know there will be no consequences.



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