Friday, September 25, 2009

It's extortion I tell ya!

The Polack and I recently went to a U2 concert. It was a fun date night, although we had quite an adventure trying to park in Chicago. The concert was being held at Soldier Field. As we entered the parking area by the stadium (and several museums) we were in line when we saw a sign that said, PARKING $45. Surely they didn't mean it was $45 for the concert parking, we thought. Yep, that's what it meant. Ridiculous! Even more so when we got to the actual lot and went to pay. Cash only. WHAT?!? You're charging $45 and you only take CASH??!! We only had $40 on us and tried to talk the lady into letting us in. No luck, she said we'd have to back out of the line and go to an ATM. They even hire people to help direct cars so you can back out. There were at least guys helping us. I commented that maybe instead of hiring people to direct cars, they should just fork over the money to install credit card machines. I don't think they appreciated my suggestion.

Once we were out of the line, we went to search for an ATM. The Polack spotted one right between the Field Museum and Soldier Field. Score! He dropped me off (because lord knows, we couldn't actually PARK) and I jogged over to the machine (in heels, no less). I wait in line behind all the other idiots who didn't have enough cash to park. And guess what? The ATM was out of order! HAHAHAHA! That's so funny.

I head back to the car to tell the Polack the bad news. I suggest we make our way across Michigan Avenue to either find a working ATM or another place to park. It was a smart move - there was a garage with plenty of parking and they only charged $15. And guess what? They took credit cards! They didn't even have to pay someone to monitor everything. We were happy to be in the 21st Century again. I was so excited about avoiding the $45 parking fee, I didn't even mind walking 1.4 miles in my heels. (Yes, I mapped it to get that distance!)

The concert was great. I was hoping to see Black Eyed Peas for the opening act but they're only doing the last few U2 shows. Snow Patrol was good though. Here are some not-so-good pictures. They were taken with my iPhone. Not bad considering we were in section 439.

The stage was really cool. It was circular and went around part of the crowd. Bono was running all over the place and did a great job of getting people pumped up.

Here's the view of the pretty Chicago night. It was fun being sorta outdoors and the weather was perfect.

Come to think of it, the last time we were in Chicago, we had trouble on the tollway because they didn't take credit cards either. We'd used up all our cash and didn't have enough to get through our last toll booth. We ended up going through the IPass lane without paying. I'm sure I'll be getting that bill sometime.

We're headed back to Chicago with Mia this weekend. We're going to check out the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science & Industry, see the Blue Man Group and then we're watching the Tigers play the White Sox. Note to self: don't forget to stop at the ATM.

1 comment:

Deanna said...

Extortion doesn't quite cover it! When we were in Chicago in May, the hotel where we stayed charged over $50 a day for parking. We took Amtrak instead of driving, got a 3 day bus pass, and STILL came out ahead!!
But what a great concert to go to - looks like you had fun! ;-)