7.18.2010

Taste of Chicago: No Thanks


Did you go to the Taste this year? I sure as heck did not. Not that we would have had any time to go, but the more I think about going with a toddler, the more I don't ever want to go back.

See my new post over at The Chicago Moms. I hinted at it before, but the official launch isn't until this week, so I've posted it below as well...

Wait, I missed the Taste this year? Oooh, bummer. Yeah, that’s too bad (imagine my shoulders shrugged, hands up in the air, head cocked to the side). Ugh, man, maybe next year… Or not. You see, I missed the Taste of Chicago on purpose this year. There, I admit it.

Growing up the Taste was something my parents took us to every other summer. My dad gets bugged by crowds (apple does not fall far from the tree I’m beginning to find), so we would go at off times. Then in high school and college my friends and I would take the train in from our suburbs and it would be an exciting adventure. In my city-living 20′s I went every now and then, usually when we had friends in from out of town or happened to be downtown and walking through was convenient.

But, here’s the thing, now that I’m toting a toddler around, the last place I want to bring him is the Taste. I can look past the fact that it’s often really hot and sticky and is a magnet for panhandlers. I can get over the gross bathrooms and the overpriced tickets and the lines and the random E. coli outbreaks and the whole standing while eating stuff. I can even get over the crowds. But, I can’t get over the violence. I just can’t.

When I read the story of a family getting jumped this year at The Taste, I was disgusted, but overall I wasn’t surprised. These are the stories we hear every year after the Taste. Someone gets stabbed or shot or a fight between two gangs breaks out. The cops find a group of people with guns stuffed in their pants. And, I’m done with it. So, in my own little way, I’m boycotting. I’m apparently not the only one.

I don’t expect the city to be able to clean it up. Crime is a reality in Chicago. And it always will be. I’m not looking for a city without crime, with flowers and rainbows everywhere you look, but I am looking for a way I can spend a day with my son without worrying that I might be in the wrong place at the very second something goes really wrong. I know, I know it could happen anywhere. And, trust me, I’m usually one of those who subscribes to the “I could get hit by a bus tomorrow” school of thought, but not when it comes to bringing my kind into a breeding ground for violence. No thanks, Chicago. I’d rather taste you in a more controlled environment.

Photo taken at the Taste in child-free days with friends: Lisa (left), Justin (center), and Emma (right).

3 comments:

Nicki said...

You know, these things never happen at The Taste of Charlotte. (The violence, I mean. We still have questionable bathrooms and stand to eat.)

I'm just sayin'...

Marketing Mommy said...

Yeah, NO desire to take my kids to the Taste. We did the July 3rd concert once with a 3 y.o. and a baby and NEVER AGAIN. I thought we were going to be trampled to death.

Logo Design said...

That's great...