Mondays with Mike: Note to self—next Lolla, read note to self

August 4, 2014 • Posted in Mike Knezovich, Mondays with Mike, Uncategorized by

Well, we just survived another Lollapalooza, the gargantuan music festival that takes over Grant Park and major thoroughfares like Columbus Avenue for what seems forever every summer. I was going to blog about it–but Beth reminded me, I already had. On August 4, 2014. Since my sentiment’s the same and Lolla is still, OMG, Lolla, I’m just going to repost the first one. 

Mondays with Mike: Note to self—next Lolla, get out of town
Originally published August 4, 2014

Summers in Chicago have dazzled Beth and me since we moved downtown in 2003. Free concerts and movies at Millennium Park. Printers Row Lit Fest right at our front door. Free dance lessons and swing bands at Chicago SummerDance. Every weekend a music and/or neighborhood fest.

Imagine this group, times 50,000, everywhere. For three days.

Imagine this group, times 50,000, everywhere. For three days.

On the flip side, summer brings lots of tourists. And they seem to have difficulty driving and especially walking—yes walking—in the big city. As in, they like to saunter four abreast unaware of the walking commuters who are trying to get somewhere. They like to stop abruptly on the Michigan Avenue Bridge to take a picture. At 5:00 p.m. on a workday. They rent Divvy bikes and ride them on the sidewalk.

Mostly, I hold the “get off my lawn” cranky old man attitude at bay. I’m happy to have visitors enjoy themselves and spend money here. But it’s hard during the biggest tourist event of the season: Lollapalooza. Helicopters. Traffic. Hordes (an estimated 300,000 last year) of young people traveling around the city in marauding bands of six to 12, trying to figure out the CTA. Now mostly, they seem well behaved, save for the odd midday sidewalk vomiter and the ODs being rushed to hospitals by ambulance.

 

These three Lolla people had become separated from their pack. As I followed them headed north on Clark, the tall guy screamed into his phone, "We're headed south on LaSalle."

These three Lolla people had become separated from their pack. As I followed them headed north on Clark, the tall guy screamed into his phone, “We’re headed south on LaSalle.”

But there’s something lemming-like about the whole thing. They all look alike. Almost all appear 24-26 years old. Almost all Caucasian. All working hard at clothing that says I’m a laid back music festival goer. And the obligatory tie-dyed t-shirt/headband “Hey this is sorta like Woodstock, right?” look.

They are by their very presence and number annoying as hell. This isn’t a rant about young people. I work with young people who defy all stupid stereotypes of them. There’s just something painfully contrived about this whole event.

Next year, maybe we’ll head up to Wisconsin to see gus.

Meantime, for now: Lolla people! Get off my lawn!

 

Janet On August 4, 2014 at 8:09 am

Can we come with?

Lori On August 4, 2014 at 8:17 am

Haha! Your quote of the guys walking up Clark is the best. I definitely managed to avoid the whole thing this year.

Mike On August 4, 2014 at 10:50 am

For the record, I was about to set them straight on directions but was beaten to the punch by someone who set them in then right direction.

Sheila A. Donovan On August 4, 2014 at 9:13 am

Not to mention the LOUD music. I could hear it from my condo at 26th & Indiana. I live across the street from Mercy Hospital. What ever happened to quiet zones for hospitals? Imagine being deathly ill and having to put up with loud music. Yes, Lollapalooza is good for Chicago’s businesses, but they need to tone down the loudspeakers so the noise stays within a block of the fest, instead of a couple miles circumference.

Mike On August 4, 2014 at 10:49 am

Luckily we’re far enough that we didn’t hear it, but on a walk near the Hilton on Michigan, it was LOUD.

Janet Sterling On August 4, 2014 at 10:34 am

Uhmmm, Mikey…you have always been a cranky old man in my eyes. 🙂

Mike On August 4, 2014 at 10:49 am

And just what might you imagine would make me cranky, Jan-Jan?:)

Patricia On August 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm

“save for the odd midday sidewalk vomiter” – definitely my favorite words in this blog…

Chuck Miller On August 5, 2014 at 6:33 am

Leaving town over Lolla weekend is sage advice, and we did just that, this year. I am sure it will be a yearly weekend getaway for us, from now on…

Mike On August 5, 2014 at 10:54 am

Your sager than I am Chuck. We’ll follow your lead from here out.

Bev On August 5, 2014 at 6:39 am

Walking etiquette…..wish there was such a thing.

Marilee On August 5, 2014 at 9:58 am

“lemming-like” What a great description! Made me laugh. I would make your plans now for next year. Those pictures are ugly:)

Mary Rayis On August 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Mike, You have given voice to my feelings about Lolla. I was looking at photos in the Trib and noticing that there were hardly any people of color. It does seem like a privileged white kids event.

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