Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tribune: France warns its tourists about Chicago's West Side, Far South Side

Who wants to protest the French consulate over this and how many want to welcome French tourists to our part of the south side?
As Chicago tries to entice foreign tourists, France is telling its citizens to avoid Chicago's West Side and the South Side below 59th Street.

Pascale Furlong, press attache for the French Consulate in Chicago, said Monday that just as the U.S. State Department issues warnings about foreign travel, so does France.

"It's our responsibility towards our citizens that are traveling abroad," she said.

Furlong said she did not know how long the caution about Chicago had been on the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. It was highlighted — along with foreign warnings about other U.S. cities — in a recent article in The Washington Post.

While Furlong said no Chicago official had reached out to complain, the people of the Cleveland area were none too pleased. France's warnings about three Cleveland suburbs — Cleveland Heights, Lakewood and Euclid — were removed Friday after "reactions" to their being listed, Furlong said. According to news accounts, the mayor of Cleveland Heights lambasted the French government as "foolish."

The French guidance for visitors to Chicago — eviter le West Side et le sud de la ville apres la 59eme rue — means "Avoid the West Side and the south of the city after 59th Street." In effect, anything more than two blocks south of the Museum of Science and Industry is a French no-go zone.

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