I've been wondering this for a while but have never been able to figure it out. From time to time I'll hear loud booms from somewhere in the sloop (maybe from the train yard) but I'm not sure. Does anyone know what they could be?
Dan not sure where specifically you are hearing these booms since you didn't state that? But there has been very loud and random booms occurring since a week or two before the 4th of July into the beginning of August by Roosevelt & Wabash. If this is the vicinity you are talking about then I can tell you for a fact it was fireworks cause I live in that area and know the person who was shooting them off.
They're definitely NOT the fireworks from Navy Pier, or Soldier Field, or US Cellular Field. These are loud booms, one every 15 to 20 minutes, that lasted from mid-morning until early evening on Sunday, August 19th. They were just aerial shells that make a loud report but no visual display.
The old Italian parishioners usually do this for the Procession of Santa Maria Incoronata in September from 26th St. to St. Therese Catholic Church in Chinatown, but those don't last all day, just a few hours. Apparently there was also a procession on Aug. 19th for the Feast of San Rocco di Simbario, so that's probably what it was.
Not to beat a dead horse but I too hear the booms only on the weekends and only during daylight. Not sure about Mon. - Fri. during business hours because I'm in the loop. I too rule out White Sox fireworks because their fireworks are 8 - 13 consecutive booms vs. the mysterious solo boom(s) that are staggered by 1 - 10 minute intervals. I love that someone else recognized this and started this thread. Would LOVE this pinpoint the source.
From what I can tell the boom's you are hearing are from M80 fireworks which are being shot off almost every weekend from the area of Clark and Cermak. How do I know this.....I see them from my balcony on a regular basis. For a while I thought it was the fireworks from the white sox game however it wasn't long before I started to witness it first hand. They leave big clouds of smoke when then explode in the air.
At first I thought last night's 1:15 boom was just thunder, but the sky was clear. Normally, I associate the booms with the trains down at 16th street. When they stop and start up again it pulls the slack in the trains and causes a lot of noise. Last night's noise was a lot louder than what I associate with the trains.