How to Survive the Nato Riots

I’m a child of Y2K.  Remember that?  The big scare that computers everywhere were going to shut down because they couldn’t figure out how to change a date?  I remember it being a huge let-down when the lights stayed on, the computer still worked giving me no excuse for an unfinished paper, and the grocery stores continued operations and we never got to live off of the copious amounts of rice that my mom stored in nifty containers in the basement.  

So, you will have to forgive me if I have a healthy dose of skepticism in my viewing of potential disasters.  And I haven’t dedicated any part of my brain to that weekend in May since the G8 summit was moved to Camp David. 

But the events are only a month away, a fact brought to my attention by the Library Tower recommending its residents leave during the summit.  Leave, get out of town, don’t return until Sunday.  Mostly, they probably wanted an excuse to get all of their annoying residents out of the building so that the cooler residents can throw an exclusive 3-day party.

If this big residence building is predicting problems, then maybe we should all be prepared.  So I’ve put together a survival guide for an actual event happening in Chicago.

1.  Stock up on food and drinks.  I think a classy event like Nato requires classy food.  So I think I will stock up on a few bottles of a nice Malbec from Argentina, various cheeses, flavorful crackers.  That should tide us over in case my favorite restaurants and bars have their hands full dealing with various heads of state and accompanying posses. 

2.  Get your shopping down before Friday.  Need a new pair of shoes for that weekend?  A new dress for the party?  Better get down to Nordstroms before the thousands of hippies descend on the city.  You don’t want to get caught carrying a Nordstrom bag that represents all the evil and everything that is wrong with the world through a protest. 

3.  Make sure you have all of your camera equipment ready to go.  You just never know when you might be able to catch that one interesting picture of that one thing that happens that you might be able to sell to a respectable (or even better, a not so respectable) news agency for $100,000,000. 

4.  Prepare your car for a quick getaway.  If you realize that you can’t live without that new pair of shoes and you didn’t follow rule 2, you can always make a quick trip to the suburbs and suburban shopping malls.  Just be prepared to stay out there once you realize that traffic coming back into the city is a nightmare.  But it’s ok, just call it a staycation.  Or suburbcation if you will.  Enjoy the empty streets, the wide parking spaces, the trees (and the extra oxygen these trees provide), and Olive Garden.  A trip to the suburbs is never complete without a stop at Olive Garden. 

5.  Avoid hot-spots.  Like Oak Street where the 50 visiting dignitaries might throw a fit when they realize that only 10 of them can fit in that exclusive store at one time.  Or the Marilyn Monroe statue on Michigan avenue where all of the protesters will get distracted by the desire to get their picture with the leggy blond and her lifted skirt.

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