Archive for August, 2004

What is this “toll road”?

When people come to Chicago from other states, they are baffled by our toll roads. When I moved back here from California, my Mr. Man (raised in Oxnard, California) didn’t understand why we had so many tolls.

Mr. Man: Oh yeah, we have these in California. You pay to go express, right?
Me: No, you just pay
Mr. Man: I don’t get it. What do you get out of it?
Me: Construction, Which means more traffic
Mr. Man: Dude, you guys got ripped off

And we are about to get ripped off a whole lot more. Twice as much more. Instead of 40 cents, drivers without an I-Pass will be forking over 80 cents. That means, on a trip to go camping at Devil’s Lake via I-90, you’re gonna be paying about a gazillion dollars. Seriously, for reals. I did the math, and it is exactly a gazillion.
My littlest cousin from Wisconsin, was wise enough at the ripe old age of 6 to say, “I know we are in Illinois when Daddy has to get his wallet”. I get the feeling that all the other states are in stitches. [ link via chicagoist ]

The Sky Line

I just came back from San Francisco. It is a beautiful city. (Although, it has too many homeless!) The whole Bay area is awesome. But Chicago has the lake front Sky Line. Nothing can compete with our line of skycrapers towering the shore of our Lake. Drive south on Lake Shore Drive, like to the Museum on 57th Street. When it is dark drive up north. At one point of your ride you will see the sky line in all its magnificence. Talk about the 7 Wonders. They ignored that one.

A media outlet has a political agenda? No way.

The Sun-Times and The Trib are duking it out in the name of journalistic ethics. Tribune editor William Rood printed a first person account of his time served in Vietnam with Kerry. This, in the heat of the battle between Kerry and Swift Boat Veterans.
Bear in mind, I am fully voting for Kerry in November. I think the ads are a load of shit. But I also know a thing or two about journalistic integrity, and I don’t appreciate the news shoveling their opinion down my throat. I look to the Trib for its unbiased account of events in the world. In this case, I say “Badly done, Tribune, badly done”.
To be fair, I read this article in The Washington Post, which is always a pillar of objectivity. Yeah.

There it goes…

They say it will take two months to demolish the old Evanston parkinmg garage…biuilt in 1969. Someone told me yesterday that he once drove his van in there and it scraped the top of the tunnel. That tells yiou just how much cars have cjhanged over the last 20 years .

Ukrainian Fest: a Festivus for the Rest of Us

I’m sure you’ve heard enough about the Air and Water Show, and I’ve seen plenty of the Blue Angels flying over my rooftop in the past few days, too. So I figured I’d do something a little different this weekend and get to know more about my neighborhood (Ukrainian Village) at the same time.
The booths at the Ukrainian Festival 2004.
Let me just say this about Ukrainian Fest; at first glance, it wasn’t very Ukrainian. Sure, there were tons of Ukrainians there, and suddenly I’m the foreigner who doesn’t understand. However, there were also booths for MB Financial Bank (they’ve been in the neighborhood all of three weeks now), Western Union (send money to the Ukraine!) Mancini’s (an Italian restaurant/cafe in Oak Park), some weird liquid yogurt drink, and an ice cream truck.
the Ukrainian ice cream truck... booth. Er...
Seriously, an ice cream truck. THAT’s Ukrainian Village? Of course the incessant jingle, which he insisted on playing, was annoying EVERYONE. I felt so sorry for the other booths.
After I stayed longer, though, the truly Ukrainian booths made themselves evident. There were tons of little mini-booths that sold various arts and crafts. Let’s face it, all I care about is the food, and I found four food booths that could be called Ukrainian. Of these booths, one was done by someone’s grandmother who only cooks for these festivals, one was the Ukrainian Cultural Center who only does catering and banquets, and one was the Magic Jug restaurant way northwest on Irving Park Road, nowhere near Ukrainian Village. The fourth was Cafe Ballou, a local place run by a Ukrainian. Sure, it sells American style coffee and sandwiches, but at this point, I’m going to take what I can get. Yes, that was it, folks. Here is a place you can get food from that is actually in Ukrainian Village. One booth.
That's Christine at the Cafe Ballou booth, pointing to me and telling me I need to pay a royalty for this photo.
Maybe I’m being a little over-critical. A fest is a fest, right?
The singing and dancing on Sunday evening was pretty fun to watch. And who realized it’s been thirteen years since Communism crumbled?
Actually Herbie Hancock's 80s hit Rockit was playing... no, not really...
On a personal note, I didn’t win the big screen TV they raffled away, which really bummed me out.

Avoid the Porcelain God

Don’t eat at Delmonico’s. I’m begging you. And, no, I’m not talking about the Delmonico’s in New York that made that cut of steak famous or whatever. This is Chicago Metblogs, not New York Metblogs and even if it were New York Metblogs, I totally wouldn’t talk trash about the New York Delmonico’s because it rocks, very hard, even after all these years and you should eat there, like, now.
No, I’m talking about the Delmonico’s “gourmet” deli that is located in the food mall at Illinois Center (I think there’s another location, but I haven’t been there and, after what happened to me Friday, I sure as hell wouldn’t seek it out in an effort to sate my appetite). The Delmonico’s “gourmet” deli offers up about twenty hot dishes and twenty cold dishes for you to choose from and I would say about 35 out of the 40 total dishes include among their ingredients at least a half a cup of salmonella.
I’m dead serious. I have eaten at Delmonico’s only twice in the past four months and that’s primarily because when the place first opened about eight months ago, every single person in our office was all, “Whoo! A New York-style buffet deli! WHOO!” All of the transplanted New Yorkers, of course, just rolled their eyes and went to Tokyo Lunch Boxes and laughed heartily when the delusional Chicagoans trooped through the halls with their buffet selections of greasy meatballs, greasier Chinese noodles and “white meat” tuna that was probably made of sandust and fish sauce.
I wound up eating there about three times in one week, got totally sick of something I ate (but since I’d eaten approximately ninety-three things, I couldn’t determine just what it was that had made me ill) and didn’t darken its doorway again until about four months ago. Nothing made me sick that time, so, when I headed down for a late lunch on Friday, it didn’t occur to me not to give Delmonico’s one more try. And one more try was all it took.
What did I eat? What does it matter? It all came right back out of me about six hours later. I felt totally fine right after I ate it, even though I was kind of stuffed; I mean, you can’t shove grilled mushrooms, curry chicken, broccoli and a quarter cup of tuna salad on lettuce down your gullet without getting a bit of a stomachache. But I hadn’t eaten since the night before, I was a tad peckish and, yeah, I overate. Still. I shouldn’t have been punished for this by an extended visit to Elvis’s office.
All I’m saying is, if you don’t want curry chicken exploding out of you in liquid form for nearly 24 hours after you ate it, DON’T GO TO DELMONICO’S.
P.S. My friend Lena just told me that the Delmonico’s near her got shut down for health code violations. Yeah. This would have been valuable information BEFORE I ATE THE CURRY CHICKEN.

sneaky McSneaks

I don’t plan on only posting about restaurants that piss me off. In fact, tonight I’m going on some cruise thing, and I’ll be able to write about that, but in the mean time, another important warning.
Gaylord India is a great Indian restaurant (name su-ucks–my one Indian friend has a more traditional Indian name, Reginold). If you’re going to have a nice dinner there, make sure you take a look at the bill, because they add a 15% gratuity to every check. There were two of us, and I almost gave the dude another 20% which would have been too much.
Another one is Cafe Iberico. The meal was good enough, but they charge for soft drink refills. I made a comment on their site, but since I doubt it will get through their moderator, I’ll repost it here: DON’T FUCKING CHARGE FOR EVERY COKE. WHAT, IS THIS 1991?

No, we weren’t under attack.

Unless you were deaf or working in a soundproof building today (8/19/04), you heard the deafening thunder as the Blue Angels screamed overhead several times. I was lucky enough to catch this shot of five flying over my apartment, my own (not so) private preview of the Chicago Air and Water Show happening this weekend (8/21-8/22/04).

No, we weren’t under attack.

Unless you were deaf or working in a soundproof building today, you heard the deafening thunder as the Blue Angels screamed overhead several times. I was lucky enough to catch this shot of five flying over my apartment, my own (not so) private preview of the Chicago Air and Water Show happening this weekend.

Dog Days III

It seems that, now that the art festivals are done, there is a ‘dead time’ before schools open. Chicago has few new art gallery shows now…everything starts next month. The only things that are not delayed are construction p-rojects.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.