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Thinking back to Oprah's 2009 Michigan Avenue flash mob, it's hard to believe that the same term is used to describe this past weekend's incident, which took place on the same street.
Saturday's "flash mob" was a decidedly violent attack, the most alarming instance of what seems to be a growing problem, especially in this area. The impact of the event is severe: 28 teenage participants were arrested and CNBC reports that the IRSA is urging Mayor Emanuel Superintendent Garry McCarthy. There's apparently talk of hiring security guards for each store, which would significantly alter shoppers' experiences.
With its wide streets and bustling energy, Michigan Avenue definitely seems like the city's most natural spot for a flash mob. This isn't the first time the area has been a target: ABC news warned Chicagoans that plans for a flash mob were underway about a month ago, and a simple google search shows videos of several flash mobs from the past few years.
Tell us what you think: Why have flash mobs become such a problem in th downtown area? Are you more likely to avoid the Michigan Avenue storefronts, opting instead to shop in, say, Wicker Park, an area with fewer disturbances?
· 28 Arrested Last Night In Disturbances On Chicago's Magnificent Mile [Chicagoist]