Friday, April 25, 2008

katie casey had the fever and had it bad

There's really only one thing I wanted to do while in Chicago, besides all the other things: see a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Rudy had a ticket to the game too and our seats weren't near each other, but it ended up working out because no one ever claimed the seats next to me.

Rounding the corner, here's what I looked like at the exact moment I first set eyes on Wrigley.

Freakin' Wrigley, man. When I was a little kid I'd spend my summers sitting in my bedroom sorting baseball cards and watching Harry Caray call Cubs games on WGN. I've never really been a Cubs fan, but the games were on and thusly I watched them.

The scene around the park is insane. I've never seen so much hype around a sporting event, including big time NBA playoff games. These folks love their Cubbies.

We got there way early, checked out the neighborhood. Met up with some friends of friends at this hole in the wall bar.

At least I thought it was a hole in the wall. It was packed to the gills, and narrow doorways led from room to room to room. This place was huge!

Ah, there's the famous Chicago El Train, named by the early Spanish settlers to the region.

"Hey, help me get up there. I'm gonna write some awesome graffiti on the El rail."

"Oh yeah? What's it gonna say?"

"It's gonna say, 'Cubs."'


Rudy and I walked through the tiny concourse and he stopped, took a look at the field, and said "Dude." Nothing else needed to be said.

I've been to my share of Major League parks, but Wrigley might be my favorite. It's so intimate, and the crowd was great.

Here's all-star Derek Lee. He hit a home run on this swing.

Fan favorite Kosuke Fukidome.

"You can't arrrrrg-ue with great taste." I didn't understand this at first, then I realized the Cubs were playing the Pirates.

I wonder if they change the sign for every series? "our brewers never strike out." That's all I got. You come up with more.

As it happens, my favorite player, Doug Mientkiewicz, plays for the Pirates now.

You've probably never heard of him, but he played for the Salt Lake Buzz in 2000, a powerhouse team that produced a lot of Major League players. He had to cut the season short to play for the good ol' US of A in the Olympics, where he hit a game-winning homerun to upset Cuba. Then he played for my Minnesota Twins in 2001, their first winning season in like ten years. He's bounced around a lot since then and even though he's known for his stellar defense, he's never really been able to get his bat going.

Cubs won, 13-1. Such a great experience, but it could have been so much better if I hadn't forgotten my banjo.

After the game me and my new friends headed out for a place called Sheffield's. Passed this on the way.

His real estate seems great until you realize it's just a bunch of green-screen.

Every movie that has ever taken place in Chicago has filmed a scene under this track. Probably.

A word about neon. I was incredibly disappointed by the neon selection in Chicago. Maybe I just wasn't going to the right places, but I hardly saw any neon at all. This is the best picture from the whole weekend.

Now let's Microsuede it up a bit.

Spent a lot of time at Sheffield's, a haven for beer snobs. They had 200 different varieties of beer, which is great for me since I like to collect interesting beer bottles or bottles from particular good times.

I really like this one, from a place in Colorado called Ska Brewing. It's like this bottle was made just for me.

I disagree, I don't think I drank too much at all.

Back to the hotel for a half-hour nap, which ended up lasting five hours. I woke up at midnight totally bummed that I had slept through the Jazz game and potentially wasted the entire Saturday night. Luckily there was a place open late, so I was able to get my chill on.

Nora the Lithuanian: "Are you from Illinois?"

B. "No, Salt Lake."

Nora the Lithuanian: "Exactly."

Some Stranger: "Do you like Heroes?"

B. "The show or the ... type of person?"

Some Stranger: "The show."

B. "Well, not really."

Some Stranger: "Okay." (disappears)

Maybe I reminded her of Hiro. Some people have said that before which is weird because I don't wear cardigans.

Finally, time for some food. I seemed to be hot on the trail of a disrobing barista.

This McDonald's was a grand palace of indulgence.

I wish I could have gotten a better picture of this guy. He looked exactly like my brother Sean. Same poofy hair, same beard, same size and shape, same hang dog expression. Uncanny.

I realize that it's rude to take pictures of a stranger just trying to enjoy some McDonald's. I'm not proud of myself. But still, he looked just like Sean.

next: art


  1. i remember now that i was supposed to get either a baseball player or a sock from your trip. i cant believe you forgot.

  2. the baseball player wouldn't fit in my carry-on, and he wasn't cooperating anyway. but i do have a white sock with your name on it.

  3. I'm very jealous of your day at Wrigley, it's on my "summer of Matt" itinerary but I have yet to declare the summer of Matt.

    But far exceeding my jealous feelings is the happiness to find someone else who knows all the words to "take me out to the ballgame."

    You continue to be my Hiro.

  4. Awesome Sjob, I'm glad you caught that!

  5. Hey, I got another sign idea:

    "Mets a good beer."

  6. "A beer so good that Cardinals."

  7. So good you won't even notice your padres.