I know that much of the violence and murder stays in the tired depressed areas. However, it seems a lot of stuff is happening in central and touristy areas too, with gangs running wild with no conscience.
We are due to spend 4 nights in Chicago staying at the IC mag mile.
Msnbc are reporting of very bad stuff going on in Chicago, with comments about areas like Gold Cost, Mag Mile etc to be avoided.
Will someone be so kind to shed more light for me please. Going with wife and 5 month boy. Not sure I wish to dwell around a city risking getting murdered or worse, having some lowlife's harm my family.
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I was recently in Chicago for a long weekend, staying at the end of the mag mile. It is very crowded in that area with tourists so besides some common sense like in all cities while traveling, you will be safe. Enjoy your trip.
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Fair enough. I realize my original response was unnecessarily dismissive, and I apologize for that. My point, had I had taken the time to explain it properly, is simply that Chicago, like any major metropolitan city, has its share of crime. But three incidents over a weekend in a city of several million is simply not reason not to visit one of America's great cities (or to worry about it). As in any world city, one has to be smart and aware: stay in well-lit areas, stay in groups when possible after dark, and be aware of one's surroundings.
Michigan Ave north of the river (i.e., the Magnificent Mile), which is where the OP said he'd be staying, is going to be just fine. South of the river, in the Loop, can get quite deserted after working hours and on weekends and so one has to be more careful.
At any rate, OP, I apologize for my initial tone, and wish you and your family a great trip to the Windy City. I was just there in April for work, will be returning next month with my wife and daughter for fun, and truly love it. Enjoy!
I've lived in various neighborhoods in the city for about 8 years, have friends who've been here for 10+ years, and none of them has ever been the victim of a violent crime. The worst that's happened to me is having a bike stolen (Chicago is one of the worst cities for bike theft for some reason). I host many foreign visitors for work, usually every month or so, and just about every one has remarked at what a tourist-friendly city it is.
For some perspective, there are just under 2.7 million year-round residents within the city limits, and another 7 million or so in the greater metropolitan area. In 2010* there were more than 39 million visitors to the city, including over 1 million foreign visitors. From a purely statistical perspective, your odds of having trouble during a four day trip are quite small. Enjoy!
I'm sure this summer police presence will be beefed up in all tourist areas. I second the other posters, watch the iphones. Try not to take them out unless you need to and especially on public transportation. I take the el every work day and work in the loop and have never had any issues.