Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Promised Land (Obamapalooza, I)

East o' the moon, west o' the sun, or the other way around... Who knew that the promised land was south of Balbo and north of Roosevelt? Preparations are massively underway at Grant Park for the Obama rally on Election Night. Streets are already blocked off (including the aforementioned Balbo), as well as the sidewalks all around, to prevent you from either scoping out or sabotaging the grounds, I assume. In order to get around the grounds, my friend and I had to cross over Lakeshore Drive (hence the across-the-street shot here) and walk down to Museum Campus and cross back to Michigan on Roosevelt. Quite a detour. Yet not big enough to fit the million and more who are expected, I don't think, so I don't know what they will do; plans are probably hampered by Buckingham Fountain's renovation, which means that a huge section of the park is already closed.

As you can see, other than the fencing all around, white tents and pavilions are going up, as well as huge towers with massive klieg lights, and no doubt some wind machines to blow the fairy dust all around. We also spotted rows and rows of port-o-potties, and a parking lot next to the grounds was almost full, though I don't know where all those people were -- we couldn't really see through the trees. Security is already ramped up; in addition to the blocked off streets and policewomen standing at corners to redirect, we spotted a Homeland Security truck turning into the parking lot and a federal police car circling the area.

Very little has been announced about the rally, except that I do know I'm not one of the 8,000 who got tickets and will be in the inner circle. I hope they communicate it well at some point, but anyone who tries to drive through downtown on Tuesday night is a born fool.

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