On Wednesday evening after work I went over to Nordstrom Rack on State Street to browse. I found a couple of Calvin Klein work dresses on sale, so I decided to buy them and went over to the register. There were fourteen people in line to pay for purchases. (Yes, I counted because I couldn't believe how long the line was.)
On Friday night, I went out for drinks in the Old Town neighborhood. At around eleven o'clock, Wells Street was covered with people waiting in line to get into bars like Benchmark and Fireside Inn. The other bars along that strip (roughly from Goethe up to just north of North Avenue) were jammed with people buying drinks and food.
On Saturday afternoon, I went over to the Bucktown/Wicker Park area around Milwaukee/North/Damen to do a little shopping. Again, the sidewalks were jammed with people, and there were loads of people in every store I went into, many of whom were buying things.
On Saturday night, I went out in Wrigleyville (don't ask), and much like the night before in Old Town, Clark Street was jammed with people waiting in line to get into John Barleycorn's, and the other bars along there weren't doing so bad either, with people buying drinks and food. Wrigleyville on a Saturday night in the summer is usually packed like this, to the point where there are people walking in the street because there is no room on the sidewalk.
And then today I see this article:
Illinois' 10th casino opened in Des Plaines today after years of legal and regulatory fights over its gambling license -- and the result was so successful that casino operators would like people to stay away ... at least for now.
When asked for a reaction to a turnout that clogged roads today in and around the facility, a Rivers Casino repesentative wrote this in an e-mail:
"Due to the tremendous interest this afternoon in our grand opening, our casino and entertainment complex is at capacity. We would ask our guests to consider delaying their visit. Please call back later (888-307-0777) or check www.playrivers.com for updates."So, I have to wonder...with all of these people out and about shopping, eating out, patronizing the bars, and going to the casinos, are things really as bad as the media makes them appear?