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Old 05-15-2018, 11:01 AM   #15
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fearmongoring?

I worked in downtown Chicago for 40 years. I witnessed 2 shootings, 2 physical assaults, and numerous robberies not to mention daily road rage. These people are not afraid of you or the police. If you actually believe your safe there than God help you. The latest thing in down town Chicago is 6 to 20 older teens mobbing people to rob them then running away. Be Alert the entire time your there and you still can enjoy the city. Sorry to be such a downer but I have helped a number of bloodied innocent people that didn"t think it could happen to them.
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:42 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by RandyNH View Post
There was a post here last year, mentioning the same thing, I had already planned on staying at a park up near the old nuke plant and I expressed many of the concerns which have been posted in this thread.

Fast forward, after further research, we stayed at McCormick almost a week, we were in town for the marathon. There were two other airstreams and a few class A motorhomes and some RPods but mostly tractor trailers being staged for transfer. Overall, for what it is, it was a great experience and served it's purpose perfectly, up early walked across to the park and then up into town, when we actually wanted to go somewhere, we tried (for our first time ever) Uber and they picked right up at the gate.

Being there for an extended period of time, and trying to save the tanks (there is no dump station) we used the Porta potties that are strategically placed around the property and they were surprisingly clean.

What used to be the South side of Chicago, with all the knowledge of Caprini-Green, is not what it used to be and has been pushed a lot further south with all of the development in the area over the last two decades. Most crimes are those of opportunity and McCormick's location is such that it just isn't really opportune and convenient, being mostly truck trailers if anything it would be roaming graffiti kids. Part of that research was going over crime maps and that little area of Moe Drive just doesn't really show up anything.

We never felt insecure at any time and slept quite well. While this spot would never make it to the top of any vacation lists, if you understand it's purpose it performs it quite well.

As far as getting in and out goes, if you plan your times it can be a complete non-issue, even in Chicago (years ago I was stuck in a traffic jam on the highway at 2am) the only time it was overly crowded going in was the last 2 miles to go at the end of the 55, I think it was early afternoon, getting out was a breeze in the morning. As an alternative, instead of the crowded tight highway approach, if you rather straight lane, not really jockeying for position stop light intersection traffic, almost all the main roads between here and the airport are major tractor trailer roads and can be used from a distance.

When all was done, the wife said that was better than she thought it would be and we can do that again if and when we return.
I am a Chicago boy. The downtown tourist areas the lakefront and the close in loop areas are heavily policed. Could you get mugged in these areas? Perhaps but unlikely. We enjoy walking the Lakefront and Michigan avenue late at night when the tourist are in bed. In 60 years I never been mugged. The nasty areas are south south west from the loop.
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:30 PM   #17
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Here's some information.
The second is a map of violent crime, the first from Google Earth.
Someone other would have street information. I'd get off before I-55 turns into Lake Shore drive, right there!
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:40 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post
I lived at lake point tower for 15 years
Lake Point Tower is one of my dream locations if I won the lottery. My wife babysat a couple there while she was in Law School, and they picked her up in a stretch limo. Views to die for.
However, I was there in the summer, I've also felt the wind blow in off the lake in December!
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:52 PM   #19
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I started a thread on this subject last year before we went. I'd visited downtown Chicago many times but was always staying in hotels. I was a bit apprehensive about taking the rig up to the marshaling lot but after researching it, I was encouraged by all the positive comments by other RVers. (Not just Airstreamers) I haven't found one negative comment on the internet from anyone who ACTUALLY did it. Lots of bad and fearful comments from others who would never dream of doing it. I get it, but we had a very positive experience and it appears that others who tried it experienced the same. Obviously any time you are in the big city there is a certain amount of risk. Uber will pick you up right there at the lot and take you anywhere. We needed to go up north to Northwesterm Memorial for a doctors appt. Hope you're safe and happy if you go!
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Old 05-15-2018, 01:48 PM   #20
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I live in Chicago and own a Airstream and I would NOT stay at McCormick place. Indiana dunes is s excellent campground I highly recommend it, we camp there at least 4 times a year. Another option is the Cook County forest preserve district. They recently built several campgrounds in the Chicago suburbs one is near us and itís very nice. Google cook county forest preserve for there website.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:54 AM   #21
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I'm always surprised at the "Chicagoans" that are terrified of the city. It usually turns out they are suburbanites. I grew up in the city, on the dreaded south side so I get a little huffy about it. If you are afraid then don't go. But if you have one ounce of street sense then I'd go if I were you.

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Another option is the Cook County forest preserve district.
This is a good recommendation. We've been to Camp Reinburg in Palatine and it's okay, no water hook up but sewer (go figure) and only 5 sites. (These are not James Island or Fort DeSoto level campgrounds.) I'd recommend calling because the information on the website is scant and incorrect. It is 3 miles to the train station and about an hour into the city.

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I guess it just depends on whether you are going for the trailer time or the city time.
Agree 100%. Have fun!
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:54 AM   #22
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This is an option I wasn't aware of! Good to know, although I probably wouldn't use it because I live so close to the city. It is good to know the urban options, as the cities are often a destination when traveling. A list of urban campgrounds would be good to compile. We've stayed at the St Louis RV park when there for a concert and to see family, and we're planning to stay at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in Milwaukee soon. Indianapolis has camping at the Indianapolis Sate Fairgrounds, and we've been there. I'll take the Airstream occasionally when on multi-day sales trips, and stayed in Davenport IA and Peoria IL in County campgrounds. Other urban options?
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:18 AM   #23
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We are glad to know about this as a possible option also. I think the location, security, type of neighborhood and directions have been presented well. Since members here on the Forum have used it without any problem it is certainly something we would consider. The cautionary, security and safety advice is would well headed. We also plan to visit major cities when our retirement begins. Knowing about these spots with easy access into exciting cities is a plus. We have several other threads regarding New York City and Washington DC saved for future use and visits.

Mind you we live in an urban area and have lived in other major cities so our comfort level might be different. We would not compromise our safety or security.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:16 PM   #24
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To each his own, I guess. 1hr 20min + each direction on a commuter train does not sound like fun (even with an app} that's 3 hours of travel per city trip.

I guess it just depends on whether you are going for the trailer time or the city time.
You caught me, Randy. I live in the country and a train ride is as exotic for me as getting my pizza delivered (which we can't here). Or FIOS; Not in my lifetime, I'm sure.

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Old 05-16-2018, 03:08 PM   #25
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That would be exciting then, and certainly doable for the time there if for no other reason than the experience and to learn why it is you appreciate the country living..

As to that heat map, I saw that and avoided it, it is from 2012, it's changed a bit since then. Here is a more current one.



Even on your original map, I've added a little more detail.
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:12 PM   #26
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Here's some information.
The second is a map of violent crime, the first from Google Earth.
Someone other would have street information. I'd get off before I-55 turns into Lake Shore drive, right there!
Actually the best way to get to the McCormick RV/Truck staging area for out towners is taking I-55 into Lakeshore Drive south. Take it to the first exit which is 31st street. Make a sharp right into what is the LD frontage road and that will end up at the lot. Very simple and easy and you avoid all city traffic BS.
The ramp SB comming off I-55 onto SB LD has been under construction for a couple of years and has only 1 lane open. However if you time your run in between rush hour you will avoid and lengthy back ups.
I have been biking that section of LD and the harbor areas all the way from Navy Pier to 67th street for the last 35 years and know it like the back of my hand. I would highly recommend it bikers. It takes you past the best sights of the downtown highlights.
PS there is a lot of nonsense posted here about this.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:53 AM   #27
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Actually the best way to get to the McCormick RV/Truck staging area for out towners is taking I-55 into Lakeshore Drive south. Take it to the first exit which is 31st street. Make a sharp right into what is the LD frontage road and that will end up at the lot. Very simple and easy and you avoid all city traffic BS.
The ramp SB comming off I-55 onto SB LD has been under construction for a couple of years and has only 1 lane open. However if you time your run in between rush hour you will avoid and lengthy back ups.
I have been biking that section of LD and the harbor areas all the way from Navy Pier to 67th street for the last 35 years and know it like the back of my hand. I would highly recommend it bikers. It takes you past the best sights of the downtown highlights.
PS there is a lot of nonsense posted here about this.
One thing I forgot to add is that you can drive your pick up on Lake Shore drive. I always use my truck to take the bikes, I 55 to LD North onto Columbus Drive and park it right by the Buckingham Fountain. You can prepay for an extended length of time with a credit card and walk to the Museum Campus, Shedd Aquarium and Millennium Park. You are smack in the middle of it all there.
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:12 AM   #28
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Other urban options?
The Airstream couple on YouTube have a video from when they stayed within sight of the Statue of Liberty.



and hey, one of Chicago too:
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