I have been presented with the opportunity to do what I do best-giving someone an introduction to Chicago.I will meet with a collge student who is coming to Chicago to study. He won’t know anyone here and I have taken up writting a list of essentials they need to know for city living.
This list includes where banks, grocery stores, hospitals and police stations are located. I tend to ramble and I’m afraid I may go on a rant about something non-essential, but this person is staying downtown, so I need to initially keep my focus there.
Most importantly I want them to know where NOT to go in the city. God forbid I find out something bad happened because they went somewhere or did something heinous. I am sure people will tell him the south side is a war zone, which it is not, but there are areas where people are up to no good. Extra consideration should be taken as well, since this person could be mistaken as a thug-depending on what his wardrobe consists of. So here are some pointers I thought of:
Don’t wear the “thug” uniform: big white t-shirt, low-hanging jeans
Keep your iPod out of view or don’t wear it at all on train platforms
Stay away from obnoxious youths a cop could assume you are friends with
You can gamble at 18, and drink at 21.
Don’t go to K-Town
Bus tokens do not exist
Plain-clothes police vehicles’ license plates start with the letter “M”
If you want to make donations for the homeless, it’s your prerogative, but don’t be surprised if that guy who needed busfare up north yesterday needs it again today-for the same reason.
Don’t do/buy/sell drugs. If the name of something your friend bought sounds like drugs-assume they are or ask them what they’re talking about.
If the person next to you on public transit starts talking to themselves or says things to you that are inappropriate, just get up unapologetically.
You may find that bus drivers don’t know where anything is-ask a fellow rider if they aren’t helpful.
Keeping on the CTA-if the bus breaks down, the riders are the LAST to know. Your driver will probably will get off the bus, make a call, and then tell riders they have to get off.
Outside of Downtown, NEVER sit in a parked car at night.