I assume by now the booths are up. I assume the lines are long. I assume the music is playing. And I know I won't be there. This marks the 19th, or perhaps it is the 20th, consecutive year that "Taste of Chicago" will be celebrated down by the Lake without me.
I have nothing against Chicago traditions and Chicago monuments. I have been to sports events at Wrigley and the Cell, Soldier Field and the United Center. I have seen concerts at all of them too.
I love Chicago restaurants and have told you about my historical favorites. And I don't always have a problem with big crowds downtown--I still fondly recall a wonderful New Years Eve fireworks celebration in 1981 presided over by the late Mayor Jane Byrne, she of the fortuitous snowfall.
Lady Jane must have had an in with someone, because that night was clear and temperate, perfect for the show. So I don't hate all Big Chicago events. But the Taste, alas, just awakens a latent anorexic genetic trait in me. I just don't want to be there in my flip flops, Bermuda shorts and Steely Dan t-shirt. And I don't want to eat there.
Five Reasons I Won't Be There:
- If I have to stand in a line longer than the TSA's security checkpoint at Midway on a bad Monday, I don't want it to be for something that is battered, fried, or falling off a stick.
- It is looong drive. And a quick check of SpotHero shows the cheapest parking spot going for the mid-$30's. Use public transportation, you say? Google predicts that will take me a mere 2 hours and 15 minutes. Well, that may be less time than the wait for a taco.
- Heat and humidity. Repeat. Heat and humidity.
- Of all the bands playing, the only one I have heard of is The Decemberists. I would do better at Lollapalooza (as if THAT is going to happen for me!)
- Too many Cub fans. It's too easy to catch the El from the Wrigleyville bars and find yourself downtown. Cub fans are only tolerable to this Sox fan when the Cubs aren't tolerable.
Or perhaps, I am just getting old and cranky. That may be the case, but I will just enjoy my Lou Malnati's Pizza in the comfort of one of their many restaurants. that is what they are there for!
Music Trivia Question:
Can you think of pieces of music, or musical artists, that include a year in their title? I'll give you a starter--Prince's classic "1999". List more in the Comments, or send them to me at email@example.com. A shout out to whomever comes up with the most.
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photo credit: Lou Malnati's - Who Has the Best Pizza in Chicago? via photopin (license)