Surely you’ve heard about Grant Park – it’s the place in Chicago where Barack Obama will hopefully say “I win” tonight. It’s totally the Studio 54 of American politics.
As I mentioned in earlier dispatches, Chicagoans expect this evening’s festivities to be one of three things: 1 – The greatest celebration in recent political memory; 2 – A big fucking riot; or 3 – The most fantastic celebratory riot in United States history.
Details regarding Grant Park were mostly kept secret until this morning. We might have known earlier, but Chicago Mayor Richard Daley this past week invited the entire city down, causing his police force to get annoyingly ambiguous.
While Daley initially predicted that one million people would and should descend upon the park, it turns out that only about 100,000 heads will get to party. Of that number, about 70,000 are ticketed guests, which means that, according to the mayor’s estimation, there will be approximately 900,000 angry supporters hanging on the outskirts.
We’ll see what the mood is later on. Here’s my litmus test: I’ll hit a bar near Grant Park, stand on a stool, point to the preppiest dick in the place, yell “Republican,” and then see if the crowd hugs, berates, or bashes him.
I’m hoping for the best, but you can’t blame people who expect pandemonium. After all, this is the city where hoops fans flipped cars and torched garbage cans every time the Bulls won a championship.
I haven’t met a single person under 40 who doesn’t hope to be there. Some older folks told me that they plan to watch from home, but every yuppie, hipster, and Obama groupie who I interviewed has a downtown game plan.
By now you must be asking: Will The Boston Phoenix be on the front lines? Sort of. I don’t have press credentials, but I will be arriving early to secure a pedestrian spot. Be sure to keep refreshing this web site, as I’ll be Twittering the whole time.
For the record, if I did have official credentials I’d have bartered them for kinky sex on Craig’s List by now. Every chick wants in – next to AC/DC this is the hottest ticket in town.