The New York Times has an excellent piece of what this security burden is like for the future First Family and the residents of their Hyde Park neighborhood. Here is a little taste: "The trappings of his life are increasingly presidential. Although he does not yet have access to Air Force One, he now rides in an armored government limousine, complete with the war wagon and other motorcade vehicles zipping through red lights with traffic blocked. Although the Secret Service long ago set up concrete barriers around his house here, they expanded their perimeter by several blocks after the election and brought in explosive-sniffing dogs....The streets around Mr. Obama’s home have been closed to outside traffic. Residents show picture identification at checkpoints as officers scan lists of pre-cleared people. The K.A.M. Isaiah Israel synagogue across the street gave the Secret Service a list of 2,000 members and regular visitors, who are checked by metal detectors before services."
The President-elect has not given up all the traditions of his pre-presidential life though: "He did manage to take his wife, Michelle, on Saturday night to Spiaggia, a four-star Italian restaurant in downtown Chicago, where the future president loves the wood-roasted scallops. The Obamas have been going to Spiaggia with its lakefront view for years for what they call 'date night,' including on their anniversary last month and Michelle’s birthday earlier this year. 'It’s always just the two of them,' said Tony Mantuano, the chef and co-owner. 'Now it’s just the two of them and 30 Secret Service agents.'"
So goes life in the bubble. It is too bad that our First Families have to give up so much of their personal privacy and freedom; however, given America's abysmal historical track record protecting its presidents, it's a price the president and family has to pay to keep them safe.