Archive for January, 2005

When do the boats come back?

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Mental Geography

I’ve only lived here 5 1/2 years, so I’m still building my mental map of Chicago. I can navigate anywhere (thanks, grid system) but some places I have to look up directions again and again until I can connect it to something familiar in my head. I was visiting some friends a few days ago who, in my head, lived in the middle of nowhere. Until this time, approaching their house on foot, I noticed that they were just down the street from the Beat Kitchen, where I’ve been plenty of times, and then realized that the park across the street from their house was Hamlin Park, where I played kickball all fall. It just clicked into place like a mental puzzle piece.

When you need someone who can do more than just play doctor

So I was really quite sick last week. Like, oh I don’t know, everyone this time of year, I felt terrible. But things seemed particularly bad so it was time for a trip to the doctor.

I hate going to the doctor. Doctors are good people but I

The good, the bad and the kinda good

It was my birthday this weekend, so I found myself dining at a flurry of restaurants I have never been to before.

Friday night, we decided to ditch our normal routine of Riverview Tavern or Village Tap or Beat Kitchen and head over to Xippo on Damen. We had looked at a house on Damn and Waveland about 2 years ago and noticed Xippo up the street. I have wanted to go there for a while, but never really got up the excitement to make it. I looked at the menu online and saw dishes like “pan-seared duck breast and sauteed Black Tiger shrimp served over ravioli in an alfredo sauce garnished with black caviar”. That looks good. We got there around 8:30 or 9, and were seated near the kitchen at a raised table. We then moved because the tables had a totally unintuitive design and had a bar around the legs right at your knee, so you kept slamming your kneecaps against them when you tried to sit comfortably. Awesome. So we moved to a boothish thing, and waited another 10 minutes for a menu. I was expecting a nice, elegant menu, and was surprised when a laminated piece of paper with about 15 dishes on it was placed in front of me (and it was on cloud print paper from Michael’s). The food was OK; I ordered the turkey burger with brie that was tasty but too big and too hot, Brianne ordered the chipotle hummus which she hated, and Patrick got the BBQ chicken salad which he decided was good. So that all kind of blew.

Saturday night, we headed out to Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba for my birthday with the whole Liss clan in tow. I had never been, and usually prefer Iberico for tapas, but my dad had a gift certificate that he would never normally use (note: parents hate restaurant gift certificates. It forces them to realize they can never go out). I wouldn’t say that it is better then Iberico, it is much of the same. Ba-Ba-Reeba’s sangria was better and offered more variety. We had the Black raspberry and Passionfruit sangia, and both were totally awesome. However, the patatas bravas tasted EXACTLY like BBQ Pringles. I am not even kidding. My 11-year-old sister even agreed. In the long run, I will probably pick Iberico just because the atmosphere feels more authentic and less “theme”-ey.

THEN

On Sunday morning, I headed to brunch at Wishbone, along with half of the North Side. The place was packed to the rafters. People were stacked on top of each other. It was totally surreal. Turnover was pretty efficient, and we only had to wait about 30 minutes for a table. I had heard a lot of good reviews of Wishbone, and agreed that it was good, but not that good. Not good enough to draw a small nation to Sunday brunch. The grits were awesome, but Matt’s steak was overcooked and underseasoned. I still prefer Mitchell’s or Kitsch’n for breakfast.

catch me, i’m falling

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Parking free for all starts today.

Ms. Liss wanted to know what the statute of limitations was on “dibs” on a parking space you dug out of the snow, right? Well, with the power vested in me by my over-arching ego and my self-indulgentent sense of import I hearby dub today the day that “dibs” expire city-wide.

I mean, c’mon. Snow is melting everywhere and any that is actually left on the street is there for color and definitely does not compose any sort of obstacle to parking. So give it up people, the free lunch endeth today!

Dang It

I always forget that Critical Mass is the last Friday of the month until I see a stream of bikes go past downtown. It looked like they had a good crowd, especially for such a chilly day.

(Would I have actually ridden tonight, even if I had remembered? Umm… no. It’s freezing. And I had a show to go do. And it’s freezing.)

Think Spring

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Ahhh, winter. We’re fortunate to be able to experience the different seasons. To know what it’s like to slowly feel your toes freeze, one by one…

Playing Hookey

Over the past month, I have had the overwhelming urge to just ditch work. A few weeks ago, I ditched work and checked out the Machu Pichu Exhibit at the Field Museum with my Fianc

Wasn’t it supposed to be warmer today?

I mean, wasn’t it? I keep hearing how we’re going to get a week-long stretch of above freezing temps. I keep hearing how all that snow is going to start thawing. I keep hearing that all that water mass may start to damage roofs and collapse additions on houses and start to flood city streets.

And then I get up in the morning and NPR is telling me it ten fricking degrees or some nonsense outside.

So, wasn’t it supposed to be warmer today? It sure doesn’t feel that way!

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