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TEAM: CGØ TEAM: 0UT TEAM: Team FOEcakes BART Psychogeographical Association Rank 1: Commuter EquivalenZ Rank 2: Human Googlebot The University of Aesthematics Rank 1: Expert Biome Rank 1: Hiker


50 + 125 points

Journey to the End of the Night Chicago by LittleMonk

April 24th, 2008 11:32 AM

INSTRUCTIONS: A pursuit across Chicagø in 6 parts, staged on the night of April 19th, 2008.

The city spreads out before you. Rushing from point to point, lit by the slow strobe of fluorescent buses and dark streets. Stumbling into situations for a stranger's signature. Fleeing unknown pursuers, breathing hard, admiring the landscape and the multitude of worlds hidden in it.

For one night, drop your relations, your work and leisure activities, and all your usual motives for movement and action, and let yourself be drawn by the attractions of the chase and the encounters you find there.

If you participated in Journey Chicagø - as a player, chaser, or volunteer - please post your adventure here. We encourage you to be detailed and thorough. If you have photographs, please post them. If you don't, consider making a comic. Describe your chases, the people you met, what you thought of the route, the checkpoints, and the city in general. Feel free to make opulent references to Debord, de Certeau, Céline, Psychogeography, Social Plastik, subversive play, Reclaim the Streets, and the aesthetics of failure.

Dax Tran-Caffee

What an epic night. Team FoeCakes started out as maybe 20 people who all started the race together. A few blocks of sprinting later and the team had dispersed. A lot of us made it to the first checkpoint together and then we headed down the safe zone. We came to the final block of the safe zone and I said I would go scout an alternate route through a cabbie junkyard. I got to the end of it and found a suitable alley to follow and turned around. Where did the team go? Rex and jumpin’ jane flash were there, but no one else was. That’s the last time I scout for them! I got a call from Gremlin and met up with her and Kevin and somehow lost Rex and jumpin’ jane flash. Then a chaser on a bike spotted us. We all ran for it. Gremlin and Kevin back to the safe zone, the logical thing to do. I ran across the street, hoping the median would keep the biker from following me. She went for Gremlin and Kevin. Excellent, my plan worked. Wait, now I’m stuck in this little alcove with an apartment door and the chaser is circling back around… So I did what anyone who’s a fan of spy novels would do: I pretended to be fumbling with my keys in the apartment door, my back to the street. My heart was pounding in my chest. If the chaser saw me, I was done for. I heard the whir of the bike as it sped past. Success!! (This little story won me the gold metal at the end of the night for best story in 10 words or less. The Story: I pretended it was my apartment and lost the chaser.)

After that close call I met up with Gremlin and Kevin again and we started the long haul through various alleys and 1 hobo path to the next checkpoint. We met little resistance as we went. A block from the safe zone of checkpoint 2, we decided to let a group of 3 runners go in front of us to act as bait and flush the chasers. But as they passed us, we realized it was meredithian, Mr. G, and Sparrows Fall, all members of team FoeCakes. So we joined forces and a few steps later, were scattered when an UNMARKED chaser ran after us. Some of us managed to escape into the subway. We sent a few other runners up ahead of us as bait and then made a made dash for the safe zone. Success! We ended up waiting for Gremlin to rejoin us there and headed for the blue line. Incidentally, this was the 1 and only time we took a train and it was only for 1 stop. My poor CTA card must have felt cheated.

We got off the train and headed for Lower Wacker Drive.
“Is there a pedestrian walkway on Lower Wacker?”
“I don’t know. Let’s go!”

Lower Wacker Jaunt
More Lower Wacker Jaunting

We found a service driveway and kept to that, stopping to check out some thugs ahead and make sure they weren’t chasers. They weren’t, but the 2 people lazily heading towards us were. Run! After scattering again, we all somehow managed to avoid the chasers and meet up again at checkpoint 3. We promptly got separated again, heading for checkpoint 4. Gremlin and I stayed with Rex and jumpin’ jane flash after a pit stop to Walgreens. We decided to take the direct route of Michigan Ave and tried to blend in with the crowd of tourists. We did this so well that one homeless man didn’t believe us when we said we were from Chicago. Mission: Accomplished. One block from checkpoint 4, we lost Cara to exhaustion. We once again met up with our cohorts and headed for checkpoint 5, possibly the most harrowing part of our journey. We went way out of the way to avoid the chasers (this was the theme of the night). This plan worked well until we were once again a block from the safe zone. Kevin and meredithian went running off in different directions and the rest of us headed down into an underground parking garage.
“That’s a private driveway!”
“No through traffic!”
“For cars, not people!”
We got the end of the garage and spotted a 4 foot cement wall that wasn’t fenced off, but decided to try the entrance ramp back up to street level instead. A few of us scouted it out and promptly ran back in the other direction, after seeing 5 chasers laying in wait. They followed and one by one, we all jumped the cement wall and ended up next to train tracks and running through gravel and debris until we made out way up to street level. Definitely the highlight of my night.

View from above of the wall we jumped. There was simply no time during the escape to stop for a photo op.

Some of us were separated and made another dash when more chasers followed. We ran behind a bank building and made a new plan. It was right out of Saving Private Ryan. Gremlin, Rex, Sparrows Fall and I decided the only thing to do was make a mad dash for the safe zone, hoping one of us survived. We’d do it as a team or not at all. We pumped ourselves up, made our peace, then emerged…only to find that all the chasers had disappeared and our path to the safe zone was clear. How anticlimactic!

Checkpoint 5 Confusion

After regrouping at the checkpoint, we set off for the final leg. We once again, went WAY out of the way to get to Balbo to cross Lake Shore Drive. Paranoia was high, but we met no resistance. Our legs were just about to give out when we timed our movements to make the walk signal across LSD and found ourselves in the final safe zone! I couldn’t believe we had survived. And it only took 5 hours…

Some of Team FoeCakes give the cupcakes what's coming to 'em.

It’s Thursday and I’m only now not limping around because of the horrible shin splints. A Saturday night well spent! Thanks Dax and all the volunteers for making this one of the most memorable nights in Chicago!! I think my favorite part was getting to explore parts of the city I might not otherwise go and to look at the streets from a very different perspective. That of a runner.

- smaller

Lower Wacker

Lower Wacker

Lower Wacker 2

Lower Wacker 2

The Wall

The Wall

Checkpoint 5 Confusion

Checkpoint 5 Confusion

Get the cakes!

Get the cakes!

25 vote(s)


foecake, chicago

13 comment(s)

(no subject) +2
posted by Evil Sugar on April 24th, 2008 11:58 AM

Go Team FOEcakes!

(no subject)
posted by The Animus on April 24th, 2008 2:23 PM

Comment votes are in!? Nested replies?

Awesome adventure. My group also took Balbo to Lake Shore Drive.... Considering it was the second-most obvious choice to Lake Shore, I'm surprised it wasn't guarded. Wasn't that last block along Grant Park fucking scary?

Wow. +2
posted by Lincøln on April 24th, 2008 2:28 PM

The best website ever keeps getting better.

(no subject)
posted by Tøm on April 24th, 2008 2:30 PM

It certainly does.

(no subject)
posted by Haberley Mead on April 24th, 2008 4:14 PM

Apologies for the minus, still getting used to this system - meant to be a plus, honest!

(no subject)
posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on April 24th, 2008 5:53 PM

I also hit the minus just to see what it would do.

Since I can't undo it, I hit the plus sign for Evil Sugar's comment above you. My karma will be even, at the very least.

(no subject) +1
posted by Julian Muffinbot on April 24th, 2008 6:04 PM

Nice use of cakes.

(no subject)
posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on April 24th, 2008 6:41 PM

Quality adventure FOEcakes.

Next time won't be so easy.

(no subject)
posted by Mr. O. on April 24th, 2008 9:47 PM

Very cool to hear it from a different perspective!

(no subject) +1
posted by meredithian on April 25th, 2008 6:54 AM

I love that picture of us FØEs destroying the cakes!

(no subject) +1
posted by Beetle bomb on April 29th, 2008 10:10 PM

I feel sufficiently diverted, well done on the fumbling key tactic!

(no subject) +1
posted by Beetle bomb on April 29th, 2008 10:10 PM

I feel sufficiently diverted, well done on the fumbling key tactic!

(no subject)
posted by LittleMonk on May 1st, 2008 11:06 AM

I feel sufficiently diverted, well done on the fumbling key tactic!

Oh good! I'm glad I actually fooled you and you weren't just humoring me! Nice chasing, by the way. I heard many horror stories about you!