Located in the sliver of Lakeview bounded by Sheridan, Diversey, Belmont, and the Inner Drive, our neighborhood is paralyzed annually by the Pride Parade.
If we don’t go out of town, we must choose between staying in all day, or going out all day, because once you leave the neighborhood in a car, bus, or cab, it’s hard to return. One year we drove somewhere in our car and tried to get back, only to be stopped by the police and told that the roads were still closed for cleaning, even though by then it was at least 6:30. The roads that remain open during the parade are choked with traffic, so that it’s impossible to get anywhere anyway.
By noon, the air was filled with the sounds of helicopters, honking horns, emergency sirens, distant drums. We headed for the only refuge we could think of, setting out on foot to visit the zoo.
About a quarter-mile to the south, it was a haven of peace. The weather was cool, and we very much enjoyed looking at the exotic animals. The aardvark, in particular, spoke to me.
It was a good way to fill the afternoon until the return of peace.
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