What quote am I vibing? “Fearless of the future; unheeding of our individual fates; with unflinching hearts and undimmed eyes; we stand at Armageddon, and we battle for the Lord!” Theodore Roosevelt (from a speech during the 1912 Republican National Convention at the Chicago Coliseum)
Road Day: 23
MLB Stadiums Visited this Road Trip: 2 (Guaranteed Rate Field - White Sox)
I woke up this morning feeling a little dejected about Chicago. I loved seeing Hamilton, but I didn't connect with the city at all last night. There were so many things that I was supposed to eat and do when I came here, and I was completely unmotivated to do any of them.
I knew that I wanted to go to the White Sox game, so I bought a ticket and started there. I thought the stadium was closer than it was, but even when I saw that it was 4 miles away, I set out to walk there. I was starving last night and this morning, so when I passed Core Juice Bar on Archer, I stopped in. I don't know that I've EVER had a protein shake, because I have an idea in my head that they are not tasty. I was very wrong about this. I had their Skinny Summer Bod shake, and it was delicious. I'm a convert!!
I walked a little farther, and then realized I was going to be late to the game and dripping with sweat by the time I got there, so I ubered the rest of the way. I decided to opt for the Italian Beef rather than the Chicago Dog in my choice between local favorites. That Italian Beef is delicious. I am going to make several enemies right now - it's better than a Philly Cheesesteak.
In the bottom of the 4th, the Royals were beating the White Sox 6-0. AND THEN 3-RUN HOMER - HOMER - RUN - HOMER. Tied in one inning!! An inning or so later, the White Sox scored again and I felt I could leave the stadium to avoid heat stroke safely, with their win in the bag. I was correct.
Part of my unease about this leg of the trip was it's lack of Teddy. While I was sitting watching the game, I looked up the Chicago Coliseum where the Republican National Conventions took place when he was nominated in 1904, and when he was defeated by Taft for the nomination in 1912 - in a really CRAZY convention with a lot of shady deals and in-fighting. The quote from above is from Roosevelt's speech at that convention. He was not short on melodrama, that wonderful man. The Coliseum is long gone, but there is a park in its place! Coliseum Park. 2.7 miles away, and I decided to walk.
People don't like me walking in Chicago. I know this. But I also know that every time I step outside, there is a risk that I calculate. Walking in Chicago at 4 pm on a Sunday is a risk I'm willing to take. I've found that walking in a city is the only way that you can fully experience it. I was walking, and walking, and seeing things, and hearing birds and traffic, and interacting with people. When you walk, you become part of the city, no matter who you are or where you're from. Because I walked, I found myself in Chinatown, where I thought "I can buy tea here!" and then a tea store appeared in front of me, and I bought tea. This wouldn't have happened if I ubered to Coliseum Park.
Coliseum Park is a playground. As pictured, there are remnants of what it used to be, but there's no plaque identifying the significance of the architecture or history. It is simply a playground for children, and when I entered photographing it, I seemed weird. But I'm not weird. History happened there. No matter what it is now.
Now that I had completed my journey, I had to pee. Like, where is the nearest restaurant - that's where I'm eating - I'll sit outside - where is the restroom?
Fate again stepped in to guide me to a perfect situation - Flo & Santos - a Polish-Italian fusion restaurant where I had Ravirogi - meat pierogis with vodka sauce. Literally two of my favorite things on Earth. The Polish food did make me a little melancholy for home, I'll say.
But, as I sat back in my chair, full and happy - I closed my eyes. I heard an elevated train clattering behind me. I was content. Chicago and I had had a good day after all. All I had to do was trust the process.
As an extra treat, on my way home, my uber driver was a former Purdue University star receiver who played with Drew Brees, who he remains pals with. I even saw a pic of them together. 😍
Chicago, it's been swell, but in 10 or so hours, I'll be on my way to South Dakota.