North Avenue Beach
Rain was in the forecast today, but on North Avenue Beach, it was nowhere to be found. Sunny, warm, but none of the July and August humidity was in the air, which probably kept beach attendance down a bit, but there were still plenty of people milling about. Everyone seemed to be having a good time. Volleyball, touch football, castles in the sand, and even paddle boarding. No doubt there were some spirits in water bottles and other containers that people were carrying.
Meanwhile in Lincoln Park, families were out in force. The Zoo was packed, as was the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Dogs were everywhere, and so were baby strollers and ice cream vendors.
A heavy police presence at the beach was both comforting and a little disconcerting. Police horses patrolled the beach, so people had to watch where they stepped with their bare feet. A police helicopter was flying very low, making repeated passes, while police SUVs drove up and down the bicycle path, and police all-terrain vehicles rolled over the sand. Lots of police officers maintained a vigilant foot patrol, and there was what seems to be the every increasing bicycle force. The sound of sirens regularly punctuated the air. The City was sending a message. However anyone feels about the heavy presence, it does serve as a strong deterrent.
The Chicago Tribune confirms my observations, noting that this year there were 1,300 extra officers patrolling the City, as compared to 880 extras last year.
On the lighter side, here are some photographs of people relaxing and having fun.
Two Friends Enjoying a Relaxing Day in the Park
Across the Great Divide
Crowds Gathered At North Avenue Beach on Memorial Day 2017
Mission Control, We Have Lift Off
Double Popcorn at the Zoo
Carrying a Big Stick Down the Alleyway in Lincoln Park
Billy Wilder's Donuts in the Afternoon