20 Years Of Remembrance

It was a normal Tuesday morning, 20 years ago this morning, when someone stopped by my desk to say that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center and that we were under attack.  Little did I know that for once, Chicken Little was right and the sky really was falling.

Most of the morning remains a blur.  Updates were hard to get through traditional sources and most of the news I was getting was from the old Warren Ellis forum on Delphi and whatever incarnation of the Bendis Board was up at the time.  At one point, I went out to my car to get an update from the Howard Stern show, which at the time was on a one hour tape delay here in Chicago, but we were one of the few markets that cut away from the show in order to simulcast a news station.

We all know what happens next: the Pentagon gets hit, another flight crashes in Pennsylvania, and, eventually, the towers fell.  We went to a pretty deserted Superdawg for lunch that day, listening to the radio for updates the entire time.  I remember the eerie drive to the gym after work, as people were as polite as they’ve even been on the roads.

The legacy of that day is messy.  Two long, ill-advised wars followed.  The nation united in a way that it is unable, or unwilling, to do today, as the COVID pandemic, our biggest tragedy since the 9/11 attacks, continues to rage as the right battles against both masks and vaccinations.

It’s a day that, for a little while, unified the country, but at great cost.  A day we would all like to forget.  A day we never will.

200 Things To Do In Illinois – Crosstown Doubleheader

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018.  To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities.  Now that the state is starting to open back up following the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We conclude things this week with one of the entries from the Sports category: Crosstown Doubleheader, from Chicago, IL.

Usually, at least once during the baseball season, there’s a Cubs home day game followed buy a Sox home night game – or vice versa.  When these scheduling stars align, hop on the Red Line and hit both games for a crosstown day-night doubleheader.

One of the best things about living in a two-team town is the occasional opportunity to take in two games, one at each park, in the same day.  There have been 7 times I’ve watched both the Cubs and the Sox on the same day at their respective homes: first, in 2003 as the Rockies defeated the Cubs and the Mariners throttled the White Sox, and most recently last season, as the Nationals beat the Cubs and the Rangers shut out the White Sox.

There was an 8th instance, in 2004, where I took in games in both parks on the same day, but it didn’t involve the White Sox.  The afternoon tilt that day at US Cellular Field was between the Expos and the Marlins, relocated to Chicago due to Hurricane Ivan. That night, the Cubs slipped past the Pirates at Wrigley Field.

200 Things To Do In Illinois – Water Tower

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018. To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities. With the state still shut down due to the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We continue things this week with one of the entries from the History category: Water Tower, from Chicago, IL.

Salute a survivor of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 by stepping inside the city’s Historic Water Tower, an enduring Michigan Avenue landmark that’s now a repository for local artists’ work.

If I’m being honest, I’ve never actually been inside the old Water Tower.  But, I’ve been by it plenty of times, including catching a carriage ride after junior prom way back when.

200 Things To Do In Illinois – Morton Arboretum

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018.  To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities.  Now that the state is starting to open back up following the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We continue things this week with one of the entries from the Nature category: Morton Arboretum, from Lisle, IL.

Thank Morton Salt Co. founder Joy Morton for this “tree museum” spread across 1,700 acres.  Trees from 40-plus countries populate the nearly century-old arboretum, whose offerings include walks with a certified forest therapy guide.  Cap off the arboreal experience with a cup of tea made from edible plants foraged along the trail.

The Morton Arboretum was a favorite field trip location during my grammar school years.  I have vague recollections of trips there, mostly about seeing trees and butterflies.  I haven’t been there in well over 30 years, so you can’t expect much more from me, can you?

200 Things To Do In Illinois – Route 66

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018. To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities. Now that the state is starting to open back up following the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We kick things off with one of the entries from the History category: Route 66, from Chicago, IL.

Snap a selfie under the “begin” and “end” signs of historic Route 66, the legendary 20th century highway that stretched nearly 2,500 neon-lit miles from Chicago to Santa Monica, California.  The brown markers are at Michigan Avenue and Adams Street (the westbound starting point) and Michigan and Jackson Boulevard (eastern terminus).

The Mother Road was decommissioned years ago, but lots of Route 66 relics remain along Illinois’ 300-mile stretch between Chicago and St. Louis.

Truth be told, I can’t say that I’ve even seen the signs marking the start and end of Route 66 on Michigan Ave, but it isn’t for a lack of being in the area.  I spent most of grad school 1 block east of Michigan on Jackson, so I would make the walk over on occasion, as time permitted.  Not to mention events in Grant Park, like Lollapalooza or the Cubs championship parade in 2016.