We ate at every booth and food truck on opening day at Taste of Chicago to come up with our favorite bites. Check out what we think is worth your tickets in the gallery above.
I have lived in the South Loop for almost 10 years. During this period, I have seen this community grow and expand at a healthy pace, thus becoming only one of three community areas experiencing significant residential growth in Chicago. This trend continues with several high-rise buildings currently under construction, and others in the planning stages.
Regrettably, infrastructure improvements have not kept pace with the ensuing needs, particularly those having to do with the amelioration and prevention of traffic congestion. On several occasions throughout the year, traffic in the Loop and South Loop has become impassable and impossible.
One of the major contributing factors is the frequent, often unannounced, closure of Columbus Drive, a major thoroughfare for both residents and commuters, from Roosevelt Road to Monroe Street, and its intersecting streets from Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive.
Marathons, Lollapalooza, parades, Taste of Chicago, to name a few, all rely on Columbus Drive being closed. This year, thanks to Taste of Chicago, Columbus Drive has been closed, without proper prior notification, since June 27, and will not reopen until July 12. The event itself runs from July 5 to July 9, or 15 days of misery for five days of tasting. Taste of Chicago’s dubious fiscal, gastronomic, cultural and entertaining benefits do not justify the resulting motorized and pedestrian traffic entropy, but offer instead a truly different and unpleasant taste of Chicago.
While I understand the need for the city to hold such events, I find the city’s complete and utter disregard for the impact these have on its residents and commuters quite inexcusable.
For years the city has promoted residential growth in the Loop and the South Loop. This expansion and these recreational events are no longer capable of coexisting as they did when the area was mostly business based. Now, and in the future, there is no longer sufficient space to accommodate both without major disruptions. The city should reassess what it’s doing in this area.
— Giacomo Mancuso, Chicago