Lincoln Park Zoo is a wild scene

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Lincoln Park Zoo is free and is open 365 days a year. That is something few zoos of its  size and splendor can boast. There’s nothing else like a hot summer day at the zoo with the sun shining brightly. And there’s nothing else in the world like the aroma of zoo popcorn in the air and the laughter of children eating cotton candy.

Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is a keenly unique zoo experience. There you are inYES-Tiger sprawling  Lincoln Park, wedged between the elegant condos along the Inner Drive and high-speed Lake Shore Drive along the deep sparkling blue Lake Michigan on the other side.

Surrounding the zoo are other fascinating mini-escapes from the city: the Lincoln Park Conservatory, a lily pad pond hideaway, a butterfly museum, gardens and lagoons and grassy knolls as well as numerous statues of famous people by famed artists. And a real sight to behold to the south is the mighty and breath-taking Chicago skyline.

The zoo itself and all of the surrounding area is a nice place to visit, even stay awhile, in any season. But this is no ordinary zoo. Year-round, the zoo hosts all sorts of activities. There’s plenty to do at the zoo, from tours to workshops to yoga (not just for adults — there’s also a parents/toddlers class) to sing alongs at the farm in the children’s zoo.

Yes-gorillaHere are some of the special events happening at Lincoln Park Zoo throughout this summer season:

Wine & Wildlife (a “wilderness story slam”)
Tuesday, August 22
6-8 p.m. at Café Brauer
Register here ($17; $14 for members)

WTTW The Big Idea Show (for kids/families)
Thursday, August 24
10:30-11:30 a.m. at Foreman Pavilion
FREE

Lincoln Park Zoo Challenge (adults: costumes and games; prizes awarded; food andYes-Giraffe margaritas available)
Friday, August 25
6:30-10:30 p.m.
Register here ($25; $22.50 members)
NOTE: Wear a costume; come as a team of two to five, or contact them in advance to be added to a team.

Night at the Zoo (adults 21+ only, particularly popular with folks in their 20’s and 30’s)
Saturday, September 9
6:30-11 p.m.
Buy tickets here (Early bird tickets now being sold for $17.40)

YES-RhinoZoomba at the Zoo
Sunday, September 17
9-11 a.m. at the Main Mall
Register here ($20; $17 for members)

Why hesitate: Make plans now to enjoy the Lincoln Park Zoo! Any time of the year, Lincoln Park Zoo is a beautiful place for animals and people in the middle of a beautiful city.

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What’s happening at Chicago beaches, parks and other summer events

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Beaches

Chicago boasts terrific beaches from the south side to the north side and beyond along Lake Michigan and even inland. This link gives an alphabetical list of them all including directions and information. Hyperlinks to each beach are included on this website so you can see pictures and learn more about each beach, including current water conditions; at times, the water may be too tumultuous for swimming or the water quality may not be safe; these things are vital to know before going to the beach if you’re planning to be in the water. Lifeguards are available at these beaches from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. You can still swim off-season, at your own risk.

Some beaches have bands and special events all season. North Avenue Beach has volleyball tournaments and other games plus Castaways, a fun restaurant/bar in a structure that looks like a beached ship where a predominantly young, sporty crowd gathers to play. Beware: The tropical-style drinks are delicious but deceptively strong. There are DJs spinning music through Labor Day (September 4).

North Avenue Beach is also where the Chicago Air and Water Show happens, which is coming right up August 19 and 20, although you can see — and you will definitely hear — the planes from many other locations in the city, including the day before when they are practicing. If you can’t get to the lakefront that weekend – or perhaps you want to avoid the crowds – try to find a rooftop or high window view overlooking the lakefront from where you can watch the show.

The Dock at Montrose Beach (not the actual Montrose boat dock but a restaurant/bar) features live music on stage in the summer. This is a pleasant place to enjoy live music with good food and drinks as the sun sets and is low-key compared to Castaways at hyper-popular North Avenue Beach. 2Small-12th St

Also worth mentioning: Adjacent to 12th Street Beach is Huntington Bank Pavilion, hosting big name artists all season. Outside the pavilion, in the park and on the beach, is like a party where people come to enjoy the lakefront, hang out and listen to the music. Sometimes officials close the beach during these concerts, but there’s plenty of room to spread out in the park. 12th Street Beach has a good taco place that has expanded into a sit-down restaurant with live music at times.

In case you missed it this year (it was in mid-July), be sure to be a part of this charitable beach event next year: Paws Chicago Beach Party. This is a very good cause: To help homeless animals. Your pets are welcome at this event! There is no reason any animal should ever be put down just because they find themselves homeless. Let’s become a humane civilization! Plan on this event next year, and in the meantime, you can donate the this important cause here.

Choose your beach to fit your taste – or try them all! While some of Chicago’s beaches (Oak Street Beach, North Avenue Beach) are almost like pick-up spots for the tanned and toned, others are more family-oriented, like Grand Avenue Beach (almost secretly tucked away nearby Navy Pier) and 12th Street Beach. Some are small, some are crowded. Montrose Beach is huge and sprawling where you can really spread out and not feel hemmed in.

Back in the day, Meigs Field was adjacent to 12th Street Beach, a small airport for private planes that was shut down after 9/11. It used to be kind of a thrill to watch planes fly in and out while laying on the beach. But now, 12th Street Beach is quite peaceful, except during concerts at Huntington Bank Pavilion, and a good spot to find sea glass.

A good day can be had bicycling to 12th Street Beach; a great route for this is via the lakefront along the backside of the Shedd Aquarium — and while you’re in the area, cycling down at Burnham Harbor (where you can fish – be aware of the rules and that you’ll need an Illinois fishing license, about $5 – $15 for a day; get it here) and around Northerly Island, a beautiful nature preserve from which you can also enjoy the Chicago skyline.

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Northerly Island, just one of Chicago’s many parks, also features special events, even camping. See other Chicago Park District events at several locations throughout the city here.

Paid Events

Worth mentioning are a couple of not-to-be-missed pay venues for your summer entertainment:

Through September 13, Wednesday evenings – Take in some jazz along with a stupendous view of the skyline at Shedd Aquarium’s Jazzin’ at the Shedd. It’s $20 for tickets, unless you’re a Shedd member in which case entry is free. For $60 ($46 for members), you can upgrade to Jazzin’s happy hour which includes open bar plus hors d’oeuvres and allows access to the Aquarium, including the hottest new exhibits.

Through September 17 – Take a trip outside the city to experience Ravinia Park, the classic, original, one and only Ravinia, an especially magical venue for concerts. They host famous musicians from classical (accompanied by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) to almost every type of music including famous modern bands.

You can sit in the pavilion — but what’s really popular is to stretch out on the lawn. Ticket prices vary per show; season passes are available. Pack your most elegant picnic-ware, including candles, vases with flowers and tablecloths: Ravinia is a one-of-a-kind setting where folks go all-out classy.

Heads up: For more popular performers, be sure to get there early (before doors to the park open) to claim a piece of land and get parking closer in. Be prepared, during super popular concerts to wait in long lines of traffic – from every direction – to get into the Ravinia parking lot (which costs $25). Sometimes the lots fill up, in which case parking is available at a nearby train station. Parking there yields a charming walk through the woods to Ravinia – but if weighted down with chairs and tables and coolers, the walk may seem arduous, especially at the end of the night in the darkness, although with the memories you’ll take away from Ravinia, it will be worth it.

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You need never have a dull time in the city of Chicago if you know where to go. Nor do you need much money to enjoy Chicago in any season, especially summer! Follow my blog and I’ll keep you informed, with helpful insider tips only a savvy Chicagoan would know.

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August is here; live it up!

 

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This year, Chicago is enjoying a near perfect summer: Not too hot, not too humid, not much rain – mainly temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s and mostly sunny days! And now it’s August, the most summery time of the year. Chicago is the perfect place to be during summer. If you don’t live in Chicagoland, visit us soon!

Native Chicagoans know summer is a short season. So if you’re a resident, every weekend of your calendar, and even some week nights or days off for a staycation, could be jam-packed with activities to make the most of it!

Get out there and socialize and get your exercise walking around, bicycling, dancing. Now is that rare time of year Northerners can actually absorb enough Vitamin D from sunshine. All this while gleaning the most out of life. Nighttime in Chicago is just as alive as daytime. There’s nothing like a perfect summer night when you can comfortably wear your sleeveless shirts outdoors all night until dawn.

Here is a list of FREE events and activities, most involving live music, food and drink. This will keep you busy for the rest of summer:

Through mid-August – The Grant Park Music Festival (classical) takes place in Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion (through August 18) which also hosts the Millennium Park Summer Music Series (through August 21). This is like downtown Chicago’s answer to fancy Ravinia picnics for city folk; bring your food and drinks and relax on the lawn or grab the seats up front, while available.

Through September 4 – Navy Pier’s Miller Lite Beer Garden: Free live music with available food and drink (don’t bring your own alcoholic beverages; the police patrol Navy Pier heavily, and your drinks will be confiscated, along with your cooler). Fireworks happen every Wednesday and Saturday night. There are also free exercise classes, performances, special rotating exhibits, carnival rides and lots of beauty and good food to be enjoyed at the Pier. It’s Chicago’s #1 tourist destination. Join the crowd, at any time of year, to find out what the excitement is all about.

Through September 14, Wednesday through Sunday – If the idea of dancing under the stars to unique live music appeals to you, SummerDance is the place for you! It happens mainly at the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park but also at other locations throughout the city. Music from all over the world is featured, including dance lessons. Food and beverages (including alcohol) are available as well as chairs (but come early for those). If you haven’t been to SummerDance yet, make this summer the one!

Through September 26, Tuesday evenings – The Museum of Contemporary Art features Tuesdays on the Terrace with free live jazz shows plus museum admittance. Food and drink are available, but I recommend you bring your own. The lines are long for drinks and snacks which are pricey. The MCA also has farmers markets during the summer and fascinating productions year-round.

Through October 26 – Don’t miss Movies in the Parks; there are many movies happening throughout the city all summer and into autumn. While you’re at it, check out the schedule for varied, fascinating events produced by the City of Chicago at Night out in the Parks which take place throughout the year.

There are also many smaller festivals sprinkled throughout Chicago neighborhoods, far too numerous to mention here, but here’s a link to find them all and be where the action is.

Stand by for my next post about what’s happening at Chicago beaches, including the Chicago Air and Water Show. To stay up-to-the minute, subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss any of the fun!

Check out the links I’ve included above, making it easy to plan your calendar; and come autumn, instead of regretting that you didn’t make the most of summertime, you can look back with wonderful memories at the summer of ‘17.

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Lollapalooza Chicago – No excuses: Be there!

Lollapalooza hits Chicago this week. Don’t miss it! Here’s a list of excuses you’re not allowed to use in order to miss out on Lollapalooza:

  • You’re clearly not 20-something anymore and perhaps there’s no hiding it short of aesthetic procedures…But you really love music, especially live, and no matter what your age, that is never going to change! Age is irrelevant: You deserve this!
  • Maybe you cannot afford the pricey tickets; after all, not everyone can justify the expense. If it comes to a choice between keeping a roof over your head or spending the weekend at an unforgettable rock concert…Well, it’s a tough choice.
  • Perhaps you don’t relish crowds or being fenced in, the long lines waiting for something to drink, something to eat, or to relieve yourself. Keep reading for an alternate idea.
  • All the general admission tickets are already sold out…Well, obviously, there are ways to get tickets if you seriously intend to, sold out or not.
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Lollapalooza Gate

Lollapalooza is an experience of a lifetime, and if you’ve a mind to attend, I hope you will. When a gal pal called me a few years back while groovin’ to Snoop Dogg’s performance up close and personal at Lollapalooza, I endured huge pangs of envy overhearing Snoop and his exuberant audience over the phone.

And when I opted to miss Golgol Bordello at Lollapalooza — my excuse was that it was during work hours — I regretted it ever since, especially after reading the reviews and seeing the pictures. I repeat: Do not chance missing Lollapalooza; eating your heart out forever after is no fun.

Many of the bands live stream their shows on YouTube. So one option that’s better than nothing is armchair Lollapalooza. We chose this option when Foo Fighters played in the pouring rain in 2011. Perhaps you could throw your own Lollapalooza house party while streaming Lollapalooza.

But better yet: If you live in the Chicago area, I encourage you to come on down and make the scene! We do this every year; We call it “poor man’s Lollapalooza,” however politically incorrect that may sound. If you live downtown, you’ve got no excuse not to try this. You will discover the outer circle is full of fun-loving revelers. You’re not smashed together with the crowd in front of the stage, but you can still hear the music just as well — maybe better, and certainly differently — and see the light shows and the musicians on the big screen or on stage (bring binoculars).

Memorable Highlights

  • When long-time heart-throb Billy Idol came to Lollapalooza in 2005 — the summer Lollapalooza came to Chicago and made its home here — a gal pal and I took blankets and a picnic over to Lake Shore Drive for the concert. It was surreal with the traffic whizzing by, and we felt a bit conspicuous — but we were not alone: Lots of folks were doing it.
  • Rage Against the Machine was here in 2008, and my husband and I walked over from our downtown abode. As we approached, we could hear the concert just starting as it echoed eerily off the buildings. It sounded surreal, even psychedelic. As we walked through the peaceful park, Zack de la Rocha’s voice cut through the crickets and cicadas with clarity. Walking behind the stage, we discovered that is the best place to hang out if you favor the bass! It reverberated through our bodies and made me feel more exited than a kid on parade day when the drummers march by. We wound our way over to Lake Shore Drive where we found we could see them on the big screen, not to mention the music was clear as it floated out over the lovely lakefront, especially those insane guitar leads and the drums beating out a rhythm that was nothing less than empowering.
  • Walking back from Lollapalooza with thousands of music fans is a high-energy rush. Once while walking home from Lollapalooza, the crowds behind us started vocalizing. The sound was like a wave that caught on and caught up to us and we joined in as the wave of sound continued ahead of us: An unforgettable experience!

Have the best experience possible

  • Lollapalooza is heavily-guarded. Don’t try to penetrate or scale the fences. Plenty of people have been hurt/arrested doing this. It’s not peace-and-love Woodstock. Security guards are right there waiting in the cover of darkness and bushes to take you down.
  • To do a Lollapalooza walk-around will require plenty of walking: The whole area will be fenced off from Monroe to Roosevelt Road and parts of Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive. But look at it this way: What could be better than to be out walking on a summer night in beautiful downtown Chicago. Oh the sights you’ll see, the music you’ll hear, the party people you’ll hang out with in the park and along the lakefront!

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    Perry’s Stage
  • Do your homework: See the schedule and map to find out what time and on what stage your favorite artist(s) will perform. Stay on the Michigan Avenue side, in Grant Park overlooking the train tracks, to best check out Perry’s Stage. Get over to Lake Shore Drive to experience the Grant Park Stage.
  • SummerDance is happening just adjacent to Lollapalooza on Michigan Avenue and Balbo. You can enjoy live free music there without any of the hassle.

You still have time to plan on Lollapalooza this year. There are so many great performers; here are some really popular ones (including links to their YouTube channels):

Thursday, August 3: Lorde, Porter Robinson, MUSE

Friday, August 4: Blink-182, DJ Snake, The Killers

Saturday, August 5: The xx, KASKADE, CHANCE THE RAPPER

Sunday, August 6: Justice, Zeds Dead, Arcade Fire

Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky insiders — or maybe we’ll meet you on the fringe. Either way, it’s all good at Lollapalooza.

Self-defense, part 2 – weapon of choice

This is the last in my eight-part series on personal safety. What makes me any kind of authority? My father, Ralph E. Clarke, Jr., was an authority who researched and authored books on this topic and drummed this information into the heads of his three teenage daughters in hopes of keeping us safe.

Different states have wildly varying laws when it comes to what you can carry to defend This Oneyourself. Obviously carrying a firearm comes with all sorts of rules and regulations and red tape, and this is a good thing. Too bad, though, that criminals and dangerously unstable people seem to be able to get a-hold of them so easily. If you want to carry a Taser, extenuating circumstances allowing special clearance and permitting needed. Certain types of knifes are also illegal. But a Swiss Army Knife, especially if it includes a corkscrew, could save your life in more than one type of situation.

We often hear that carrying pepper spray or mace is a smart thing for a woman to carry. In most parts of the country, it’s fine to be armed with these products to ward off a potential attack. But be aware of local regulations: In some areas (Illinois, Chicago included), one must be at least 18 years of age to legally carry pepper spray.

Carry other things on your person that you can get to in a jiffy (not by digging in the bottom of your purse) if necessary including tactical flashlights (that can be used not only to blind your opponent but use as a weapon on them as well if big enough), noise makers (air horns are great, but be aware: they’re painfully loud so make sure to aim it away from your own head) and police whistles (also illegal to use in some locations and certainly illegal in many places to use indiscriminately – that is, unless really needed at a time of danger).

Here’s an interesting tidbit: Only a very small number of captured rapists are armed. Rape generally carries a lesser sentence, but rape with a weapon can get someone thrown in the slammer for decades. This works in our favor

If you look like you’re going to be a force to be reckoned with, you stand a better chance of averting attack. Attackers have admitted when interviewed that they will usually avoid women carrying long pointed umbrellas or other similar objects that can be seen clearly from a ways off. They are out scoping for easy prey and if that doesn’t look like you, it’s likely they’ll keep their distance.

If you’re in a remote area, high-crime neighborhood or out after dark, it’s a good idea to have your weapon of choice (i.e., pepper spray) in hand and ready to use. Just remember that anything you can use as a weapon can also be turned against you, so stay out of arm’s reach and in control and don’t let that happen!

If someone is coming right at you, toward you, no matter how small and feminine you are, this is the time to get tough. Hold up your hands and yell “Stop!” or “Stay back!” Many would-be attackers don’t want your kind of trouble. They’re looking for a quick and easy mark, not someone who is going to give them trouble.

Even better, hold out your pepper spray or weapon of choice and shout in a loud serious tone, “I have pepper spray and I will use it!” What if you find yourself out and about and don’t happen to have a self-defense product with you? Pretend! The aggressor will probably not know the difference. Even a squirt gun can look menacing, especially at a distance and in the dark. If possible, do not shake and moderate your voice likewise. Let the pest know you mean business and you will hurt him or her if he or she tries to hurt you.

  • Any of the following that you might have in your purse or briefcase at any given time can be used as a weapon:
    • Pencil or pen
    • Nail file (the metal ones with a sharp end)
    • Tweezers (especially the ones with a sharp end)
    • Cuticle clippers
    • Pin (the longer and bigger the better)
    • Hair spray (to be sprayed directly into your assailant’s eyes)
  • Poke your umbrella [point, although most of them don’t have points as they once did] as if it’s a sword into the midsection or any soft area of your opponent’s body
  • Some people used to say keys were a good deterrent, but you have to be way too close to an assailant to use them as a weapon. However, if that’s all you’ve got, use them if it comes to that. Hold them concealed in your hand enough so that the assailant might think you’re holding a gun; don’t let him see that they’re merely your set of keys.

Look at these pictures to ready yourself psychologically to get tough against victimization. And consider getting the book “100 Deadly Skills,” a book my father gave to me in which I learned how to disarm an armed attacker. If you’re the one brandishing a weapon for your own protection, you also must be aware of how your assailant might try to disarm you so you could prevent that. Whatever you do, don’t let an enemy get too close to you while you’re holding a weapon.

Remember this: If you protest like you’re mad and act like you’re ready to fight, this can scare off an assailant. It won’t take long to get your point across, and let’s hope they scat. Then call the police immediately while getting yourself quickly to the nearest safe location.

Coming up: Posts on fun summer stuff to do! Follow by Blog to stay informed on what’s happening, especially in Chicago, so you can make the most of summertime. In the box on the right, insert an email address then click on the Follow button. You’ll get an email from WordPress asking you to confirm your subscription. Click on the link they send – and that’s the only thing they’ll ever send you — no spam — only my articles, hot off the press. Life is exciting; let’s jump in with both feet!

Self-defense, part 1 – let’s get physical

Male or female, this post has vital information to ward off an attacker. For the sake of continuity after my previous two articles on how not to get raped, the following is addressed mainly to women coming up against a male attacker. But men could use these tactics too.

Women, we are stronger than we think; and we are also smart, agile and resourceful. We can run and hide, dodge and duck. And when fearful, our adrenalin flow makes us much stronger than usual, like three times as strong – but also, when fright kicks in, sometimes confusion does too.

That’s why mind rehearsal is a good idea. No, it will not be your favorite form of daydreaming, far from it! But it’s important. Police women are trained to call on their wits in a hairy situation and they practice mentally by inventing dangerous scenarios and thinking up ways to escape.

GET FIT AND STRONG! Work out regularly, doing both cardio and muscle strengthening exercises. Your own safety is yet another good reason to keep a regular exercise program. Women’s muscles are not weaker than men’s; they’re simply smaller, putting most men at an advantage over most women. Our large leg muscles can be our ally in defense, but that takes balance, skill and know-how — in a word: training.

Get MAD if someone tries to take advantage of you! Be willing to HURT THEM. If it came down to who would survive, you or them, you would want it to be YOU. React like you are fighting for you life; you may well be!

Just as a weapon can be turned against you, physical combat is not a sure thing. Better to stay out of reach, scream and run; but if someone has a-hold of you or tries to, you may need to use physical force. STRIKE FIRST. Get the first lick in! Catch him off-guard before he catches you off-guard! Surprise works in favor of whoever makes the first move.

Strike quickly and with all your might at an assailant’s weak spots with the intention of wounding. After all, if someone wants to hurt you, hurt them before they get the chance. MAKE IT COUNT so you’ll be able to break away and get to safety. Here are some ways to fend off an attacker:

  • Jab your knee into his groin or whack him there with something hard — just make sure you don’t miscalculate and that you do it forcefully. This move may be blocked if the assailant is wearing a heavy coat.
  • Gouge the eyes with your thumbs. This is a very vulnerable part of the body. Poke hard. Yes, it sounds disgusting, but DO IT. You want to LIVE.
  • Strike his Adam’s apple, nose, or temple; you can use your purse or any heavy object, even the force of your hand — just be careful to not hurt your hand.
  • Grab his neck, try to aim for his windpipe, squeeze real hard. Poke him right in the soft spot in the middle of the neck above the collar bone; aim!
  • Use your fingernails; scratch hard.
  • Bend his fingers back. When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible pushing down on them with as much pressure as possible.
  • Bite if you have to. Do whatever it takes.
  • Your elbows are strong and sharp. Use them if as weapons: for instance, gouge an attacker in the ribs with your elbows.
  • Kick him in the shin(s) so as to disable him.
  • Knees are very vulnerable; a good swift kick here can take down even a big guy.
  • If grabbed from behind, smash down hard on his instep with your heel.
  • Also if grabbed from behind, head butt him in the face by quickly and violently throwing back your head.
  • If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh real hard. These are sensitive areas.

Rapists interviewed behind bars concurred: they’re not looking for nor wanting any type of resistance; they’re hoping for easy prey. If you start causing trouble, making a real racket and fighting him off, chances are better he’ll flee.

Gals, some of these suggestions may turn your stomach. By nature, we are nurturers and don’t want to hurt anybody. But consider this: You don’t want to be hurt either! BE FORECEFUL when you fight off an attacker.

There is probably not a single person in the whole world who won’t benefit by taking a self-defense class or at least learning basic self-defense tactics — especially students, women, anyone living in the city, especially in a high-crime neighborhood, or anyone who is ever out after dark — that’s probably all of us. Don’t approach this half-heartedly, thinking that one class will enable you to street fight. Every bit helps, but it’s best to take a full complement of classes. A good school that teaches women basic self-defense and specializes in using the leg muscles is Impact – I was very impressed when I went to a girlfriend’s graduation to see how they teach women to use their thigh strength to ward off attackers. There are many self-defense methodologies out there. Choose a class and go.

My father, who wrote books on staying safe, gave me a book with a strange title — yet it contained great advice: “100 Deadly Skills,” available online. You can even learn how to disarm someone with a weapon – though such things take continuous practice.

DEVELOP AN ATTITUDE; see yourself as strong and capable; carry this vision of yourself wherever you go! Watch some inspirational movies about women who fight back and win. There are plenty of popular movies with athletic, superhero-type women. They are not squeamish; they fight when necessary! Hopefully this will become more of what the ideal woman will be like in coming generations. You can start to be this woman now!

James Bond is the ultimate survivor, as are many commonly revered movie heroes. Next time you watch such a movie, don’t just enjoy it, but let the survivor mentality rub off on you while taking note how to survive. You may find yourself in a life-or-death situation where you have to think fast. What would the James Bond character do, or Angelina Jolie in one of her tougher roles? YOU CAN SURVIVE!

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Avoiding rape — or worse (part 2) – your escape

Gals, read my previous articles on staying safe in the world. This is one of the scariest subject matters, one we don’t like to think about — but stuff like this happens out there in the world, so we must be vigilant plus know how to get away from someone who would cause harm. Following are simple, ingenious, tried-and-true suggestions, some from Ralph E. Clarke who researched this topic exhaustively and wrote a series of books on the subject of personal security.

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Make Noise

To scream or not to scream: This depends on how close you are to them and whether or not they have a weapon; if they have a gun, keep your voice low and soft and don’t make any sudden moves. If the intent is simply to get your goods, cooperate up to a point. The contents of your purse are not worth your life!

Screaming “Fire!” may actually be more help than screaming “Help!” especially in the city and these modern times – because people are sometimes wary to get involved. Yelling “Fire!” instead will draw people to the scene because most people are gapers.

As a last resort, break a window, possibly by throwing something through it; this will create noise and possibly set off an alarm system. Curious people in the vicinity will head your way for a look; it’s human nature. Just make sure to shield yourself and don’t hurt yourself when breaking glass.

Run!

If the predator has a gun and your intuition tells you he means to kidnap, hurt or do worse, as long as you are not in his firm grasp, it’s best to make a run for it. Even trained police only make four out of ten shots even at a short distance of three to nine feet. This is because shooting a gun at someone is stressful and affects aim. Chances are your foe would shoot and miss; and even if you do get hit, being further away could avoid him hitting a vital organ. Courage: Make a break for it if possible.

Run and keep running till you are safe!

Be careful where you run to: Don’t run into a dead-end alley and don’t run up; once you reach the top, there’s no place else to go. You see this common mistake in movies a lot, so keep your wits about you because blind fear can make you do stupid things you wouldn’t ordinarily do.

Hide, but leave yourself an escape route in case you are spotted – or be prepared to get the first strike in case you are found.

In most cases, don’t run in high heels, unless high heels are more natural to you than bare feet. If you find you have to run away from someone in your heels, if you have a second, kick them off and pick them up, depending on the pavement. You could use your shoes, especially spiked heels, as weapons.

Put obstacles between you and your chaser. Run around and around something, i.e., a parked car; there’s a chance the enemy will give up, especially if help arrives. This tactic has saved lives.

A rapist is hoping to get hold of a gal and quickly move her to another location where he can get what he wants and not have to worry about getting caught. So sometimes it’s not just an attack, it’s an abduction. Your objective is to get away and not be taken away. Women, stay on your guard and, if necessary, take action quickly.

Who’s your favorite female superhero? BE HER!