The reopening of Wrigleyville has been starkly juxtaposed with citywide curfews and the almost constant sound of helicopters in the background. I don’t know how I expected the COVID-19 pandemic stay at home orders to end, but it was not this. I didn’t plan on ending my functional quarantine with a protest, but sometimes history intervenes and you just have to roll with it.
2020 has been an unbelievable year, and we are only in June.
The emergency alert curfew warnings never get normal. I understand that emergency alerts are designed to get our attention, but the anxiety spike I feel over something over I already know still takes me back. If my Twitter feed is any indication, I’m not the only one, so I was thrilled that Mayor Lightfoot announced the curfew was over effective immediately today:
It wasn’t just the curfews ending. You could almost convince yourself things were normal walking around the neighborhood today. Wrigleyville almost looked like the Cubs were just out of town this weekend. Although if you knew what to look for, it was easy to see that the reopening is far from normal. While residents enjoyed the vast number of patios, outside spaces and window seats the neighborhood has to offer entry to all of these places came with warnings that reflect our pandemic reality:
The Cubs Store at Gallagher Way has finally been reopened and the mannequins that seemed frozen in time in St. Patrick’s Day Cubs gear have finally gotten a costume change - they have also gotten new rules and a gigantic hand sanitizer container:
It isn’t merely the rules that have changed in Wrigleyville, however. The protests that made their way through the neighborhood this week have left their mark on more than the marquee, which still calls for an end to racism. Take for example Dimos Pizza on Clark St:
It’s not just the businesses, either. As I walked around the neighborhood this week I was heartened to see signs of support for the protesters all over private residences, like this balcony on Clark St:
We are truly living in unprecedented and it is remarkable to document the ways our lives continue to change as history writes itself in our midst.