Lower Wacker and GPS-NOT A Good Match…



There are just some places people should avoid… Places that just scream trouble.

Places like:
-The back of an alley on a pitch black night
-Dark, abandoned buildings
-Any store on Black Friday. Really leaving the house at any point on Black Friday is just plain terrifying
-Woods or forest preserves of any kind when you’re by yourself

But here in Chicago, there is one place people know to avoid like the plague. A little place called Lower Wacker Drive. While a handy short cut for people in cars who know where they are going, for those less familiar or on foot, Lower Wacker can be a source of major stress. GPS stop working and the never ending, poorly labeled tunnels do not offer a lot to those who find themselves lost within.

My friends and I learned this the hard way last year. One chilly, January night we were headed to dinner and  The Chicago Theater to see Eddie B, a teacher comedian. We parked nearby, checked our GPS to see how far we were from our destination, and began what should have been a quick walk.

Several turns and a few city blocks later with our handy GPS leading the way, we found ourselves a looooooooooong way from our dinner spot, lost on Lower Wacker.

Walking along, everything seemed okay at first. We figured we would eventually get service and be able to find out way out. There were three of us and we felt pretty safe so we decided to keep walking. And we walked some more. Ideas for hailing a taxi were thrown out, and quickly waved off because, “My GPS says we are close.”

Spoiler Alert: We were not close. Not even a little close.

Annnnd then we began stumbling upon homeless communities huddled in blankets sleeping on grates. We maneuvered our way around, trying not to disturb or interrupt, our hearts breaking for those stuck out in the cold.

Again, the idea for hailing a taxi was thrown out- maybe it would be safer for us to just grab a cab. But noooooo, our GPS claimed, “we were close.” So, we continued moving forward, hoping that the end of lower wacker was in sight.

Pausing to wait for a walking signal, we noticed a scary sight. An individual with a blanket tied around his shoulder fanned out like a cap was quickly approaching. Hearts beating a mile a minute, we decided it was finally time to give in and grab a cab- three girls by themselves lost on Lower Wacker…not such a great combination.

A quick minute or two later of waving our arms, we were safely inside the cab and headed to our initial destination.

Literally just a block from where we parked. Dang GPS.


6 responses »

  1. You know, you should probably not hang out with the friend who insisted that you didn’t need a cab, she sounds like she might not be the best person in charge of directional decisions. 😁
    I’m glad you can Slice about your adventure with such a sense of humor.

    • Hmmm, I’ll definitely have to keep that in mind the next time we hang out. This may also be the reason why you’re never “allowed” to drive anywhere! 🤣

  2. I’m laughing so hard as I read this! I’m sorry – I know it was not at all funny when it happened. I remember this story from last winter. Never, I mean NEVER walk Lower Wacker! I guess you know that by now….

  3. Lower Wacker! Oh my! Haven’t been there in years. Reading this I remember knowing how to drive down there to get to 290. I don’t think I could do it now 20 years later.
    This also reminds me of the original movie of “Adventures in Babysitting”.

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