Last January my father suggested that we do a vacation together and we planned a tentative trip to northern California. Well, one thing led to another and we ended up meeting this weekend in Chicago under the guise of catching a weekend series at Wrigley. Quite frankly, I’ve not had the chance to visit the Windy City since the last time I lived there in 1982; I was very pleasantly surprised by much of what I saw. Except the Cubs of course, they reminded me of the Black Knight in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” But then again I fully expected them to lose, isn’t that what they always do? Always the same story, the best fans on earth and the worst management in baseball.

Chicago had it’s share of nice little neighborhoods, I’d move there in a heartbeat were it not for the winters. Everywhere I went I saw these magnificent brownstones being renovated and the tree-lined streets made me feel right at home. I can’t say enough about Chicagoans – everywhere we went people went out of their way to help with directions and the food scene was fabulous. Hold your heads up Chicago, you truly are America’s best city!

One thing that perplexed me was all of the rainbow flags I saw in the Wrigleyville area, finally one of the cab drivers clued me in on the nature of the neighborhood. I’m not a bar hopper and perhaps that’s a good thing. Cubs fans were loud and they cheered the good and booed the bad; the crowd seemed to be a pretty good cut of people. My father was surprised though at the lack of black fans at the ballpark, we only saw two or three African American fans amoungst the faithful. The ballpark was beautiful, for the first time in ages I felt like a little kid again, staring in wonderment at the world around me.

I’m already looking forward to a 2007 visit to the Friendly Confines – I strongly advise a pilgrimmage to Wrigley to all of you outside the Chicagoland area. Don’t be disappointed about the Cubs, there’s not much you or I can do as long as MacFail and Hendry are running the show. Don’t worry, be happy.

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