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April 30, 2007



I moved to Chicago in July and I hate it here! The weather is so bad that it defies description. On my birthday it was snowing with gusts of wind of 25 MPH so that it hit your face like daggers. But the real topper was that it was only in the mid 30s but it was snowing so hard that there was still snow on the ground like god dumped a half melted slushy over the entire city. You caught the only good weather in about a month.I am moving to Boston, so obviously I haven't learned my lesson.


>HA!gotta love chicago.


oh, and benaiah. weather aside, chicago is a far cooler city than boston. at least that's what this expat manhattanite in los angeles thinks.

emily latella

I grew up in That Toddling Town...I actually saw a man who danced with his wife. In Chicago. But I never saw a building like the twisted dork or whatever that horrid building is going to be called. Oh, and by the way -- We don't care who wins so long as it's the Cubs. R.I.P. Harry

Andrew Wickliffe

Lover's Lane moved, by the way. I think the new location has more space.


Hey, if you go to Chicago in nine and half years you could catch the Olympics

The Curmudgeon

Speaking as a proud resident of Chicago -- thanks, Mr. Levine, for the great snapshot.Speaking as a life-long Sox fan, I agree, "The Cell" (the current nickname comes from U.S. Cellular Field -- Cingular is the company that doesn't have Joan Cusack at its spokesperson) is much improved since it opened. With the green seats back it no longer looks so much like an homage to Yankee Stadium.And, finally, speaking as a taxpayer, Mr. Levine: Come back soon -- and bring money! Those hotel and meal taxes help defray my property tax bill....

Ken Levine

Oops. My bad. Thanks Curmudge. Have made the correction.


Speaking as a life-long Sox fan, I agree, "The Cell" (the current nickname comes from U.S. Cellular Field -- Cingular is the company that doesn't have Joan Cusack at its spokesperson) is much improved since it opened. With the green seats back it no longer looks so much like an homage to Yankee Stadium.Actually, it always seemed like a homage to a Dr. Moreau-like blending of Yankee Stadium and Royals Stadium, but that's neither here nor there. Which was exactly the problem with the park until the renovations -- unlike its demolished predecessor, it had no feel, no sense of place.Back in the eighties, when a new park for the Sox was being bandied about, a local architect proposed a ballpark which would have been on parkland just north of the old Comiskey site and whose shape would have been somewhat similar to the old Polo Grounds in New York (where, as fate would have it, the Sox had won their last World Series prior to 2005 -- an 88-year wait largely devoid of pretentious literary claptrap written about it), with the Chicago skyline in the background. It would have been magnificent instead of merely utilitarian.

M. Brownlee

The Apollo Theater in Chicago is currently in their "Life Cycle" series, I think. They made it big with "The Vagina Monologues", then followed it up with "Menopause: The Musical". Right now they're advertising "Bingo: The Musical". I'm afraid of what comes next. "Hospice: The Musical"? "Prune Juice & a Nap: The Musical"? "Six Feet Under: The Musical"?


Actually, the pizzas at HomeMade Pizza are not frozen. They are freshly made to order, but yes, you do cook them yourself.

Tim Susman

Your comment that U.S. Cellular Field is 16 years old made me pause. 17 years ago, I guess it was now, I was living in Philly and a friend and I went on a road trip to see old Comiskey before it was demolished and "new Comiskey" went up. We caught a couple Cubs games and one Sox game. Doesn't seem that long ago now. I've been back to Chicago many times, but never to new Comiskey/ U.S. Cellular. Thanks for the review...

The Captain

Trying to think of how Frank Lloyd Wright might've handled "The Spire". I guess it would lay horizontal, and probably leak from its resevoir tip.Keep travelblogging!! Even if the publishers don't call...they are always a fun read.

Will Teullive

It is kinda funny that in the Midwest and East coasts we have Hollywood Tans and L.A. Fitness.I don't remember any Midwest or East coast references to physical appearance enhancements during my time in LA. It usually works the other way ...things that make you fat get attributed to the rest of the country (i.e. Chicago style pizza. Philly cheesesteak, Boston cream pie, etc.)


I was exiled there in the '70's when the Navy sent me to protect America from North Vietnamese gunboats, I guess. Never figured out that one.It was a step up from miserable to live in a place where the state bird is the mosquito; and where anyone can proudly serve the political machine, like John Wayne Gacey, for example.Yep, my most memorable experience from that gulag was listening to my friend recount the then recent story of her false arrest by one of Da Boyz in Blue. Her father (fortunately, an attorney) had to pay off the court bailiff, judge and arresting officer in order to have the bogus charges dropped....Oh, and after court was dismissed, the arresting officer asked her out.Yea, baby. Welcome to Chicago!


Also, for the record, it's no longer Cingular, but the "new" ATT.


Sorry to disappoint--I am not the long awaited editor, but my blogpal Curmudgeon sent me here to your blog and I enjoyed it very much. I was born in Chicago and from time to time miss it. I live now in Scotland, so it was nice to think about pizza, baseball, Frank Lloyd Wright, and live theatre.


"weather aside, Chicago is a..."Hold it right there. When dealing with Chicago, one must NEVER put weather aside.My lifelong experience of Chicago (More extensive than I'd like. Mother was raised there, and kept dragging us back for visits) is that the weather is insane, as I would have to be before living there. I understand that it's population remains there during the October-to-May interval, though I can not conceive of why. It is unfit for human habitation during those months, as opposed to being merely awful the rest of the time. (99 degrees with 100% humidity? How does one dress for that?)I did indeed find it to be full of extemely nice, if clearly charmingly demented, people. Okay, I guess you were pointing out that Frank Lloyd Wright (Whom we had out here too. Plenty of Wright structures in Los Angeles) wasn't a nice person. This is a fact. But few nice people leave behind the mgnificent legacy that Wright did. If it takes a bastard to make a "Falling Water", than we need more bastards, and fewer "nice" folk.

Paul Atkinson

I think the Spire looks cool... I mean, at least it's different.Anyway, I've never been to Chicago. It's one of the places I've most wanted to visit, being the 3rd largest city in the country and all, but I've never gotten around to it.All of these weather stories from the north make me glad I'm in Atlanta. Then it starts raining all winter long and I get jealous of southern California. I also wonder if a person raised in LA gets scared to death when they hear thunder. Anybody know?


I actually saw Bingo the Musical at the Apollo and don't let the name fool you.This is one energetic and well written piece of work.Very funny and the actors are extremely talented. Worth seeing -far outshines menopause.

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    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
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