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Friday, July 04, 2008

Chicago's 3rd of July

Chicago regularly holds their Independence Day fireworks on the third, although this year is a weird one because Navy Pier will also be holding theirs tonight.

It's hard to describe the urban density of the event, especially from Grant Park. There was a over a million people packed into a few city blocks to the east of Michigan. As you push and angle your way through it's obvious that humankind just wasn't designed for this kind of navigation. Nobody quite knows how or where to move.

Thankfully some friends of a friend had scoped out a place early. And by early, I mean they got there at two o' clock for a show that starts at half past nine. A show, I might add, which lasts about half an hour.

It is, however, quite a show. And the spot was so sweet that you could occasionally feel the aftershock of the explosion in your chest.

And in some ways the show doesn't end after the fireworks stop blasting. There's nothing quite like walking down the middle of Michigan Avenue with a few thousand of your fellow Chicagoans.

Yet with all this mass crowding came a grim reality. We actually heard about the shooting first by overhearing some high school kids talking about running from gunfire. Apparently if you put that many people from Greater Chicagoland into the same zone, someone is going to have a problem with someone else.

Definitely not your suburb's celebration.

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