Best Excuse to Turn My Neighborhood Into a Burned-Out Police State

Chicago Fire

Critics' Picks

It's 2 AM. Smoke's billowing out of an abandoned brick building while helicopters circle overhead, their spotlight beams visible through the haze. Police cars, paddy wagons, and news vans are posted up all over, the street is blocked off, and a general sense of panic fills the air. This was happening one block away from my apartment as I was walking on a Friday night a few weeks ago. What the hell happened? Arson? A bomb? None of the above: this was a production crew filming a scene for the NBC drama Chicago Fire. Since the winter, the show has been staging dramatic crime scenes, closing streets, turning storefronts into burned-out facades, and in general transforming lovely Logan Square into a desolate police state reminiscent of Detroit in Robocop. I understand that this project is bringing an incredible amount of revenue to the neighborhood, but I liked the house next door to me a lot more before it looked like it got hit with a bazooka.