Considering the enervating walk of the previous day, after breakfast, we decided to explore closer to home. “Closer to home” meant limiting ourselves to the Lincoln Park area. Yet somehow we ended up on a 40 minute walk to Wrigley Field, passing through Boys Town. Boys Town was where we were planning to spend our night – and we may or may not have visited some naughty shops and some vintage shops along the way too. Tsk tsk, readers.
Anyone remember the movie Rookie of the Year? Oh my gosh, that was my shit back in the day. I remember in 5th grade we were allowed to watch movies during recess and everyone’s first choice was ROTY. Come on, you remember, it’s that movie about this pre-teen boy who injured his arm and subsequently gained some kind of awesome reflex (which sounded like a stretching rubber band when he was winding up) that made him the best pitcher in the state. So good that he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs! Since then, Wrigley Stadium had been some kind of “go-to” location for me. The setting for a favorite childhood film.
So passing by it was kind of cool. Even cooler was that there was a Cubs game actually going on! Walking through the neighborhoods, you’d see a sea of blue and red jerseys herding towards the stadium. Ironically I don’t enjoy the game of baseball too much (and neither do my friends), so it makes sense why we didn’t attend the game. It was so exciting to see the stadium packed and fans eager to watch their beloved Cubs. Even if we weren’t among them.
What was for lunch, you ask? More deep dish? No. More cupcakes? Thankfully, no. Even better! Delicious … grilled … frickin’ …. cheese from a joint called – wait for it – Cheesie’s. In Jacksonville, we have this popular food truck with specialty grilled cheese. It’s called “The Happy Grilled Cheese” and they post over social media where there truck will be visiting next. Specialty grilled cheese means that they’re adding bbq, mac & cheese, various meats, shoot, anything you can think of.
It’s expensive, but you feel happy afterward. That could have been the beer though.
We chilled out the rest of the day by watching Bob’s Burgers and prepared mix drinks that we would divulge in before going out on the town. Boys Town, to be exact. This was one of the things I was most looking forward to before getting to Chicago. The only bars I have been to are filled with either sloppy frat boys or brooding hipsters, nothing too indelible. But a gay bar? No, I have never stepped foot in one before. And frankly, I was super excited! Jacksonville has openly gay individuals, of course. But, nowhere near as open as in Boys Town!
I wore a blood-orange-maxi-dress (NOT with heels, but my gladiator sandals, because my feet were killing me mind you. And, remember, that Boys Town was nearly a 30 minute walk away) and my hair in a twisty-bun-thing. Elena said I looked like a Grecian goddess, which I will totally take. I was excited to go out and dance! (*cue Dane Cook* “I JUSS WANNA DUNCE!”) We spent a lot of time at a bar called Roscoe’s Tavern – we danced on stage and the music was bumping the whole time. Oh, it was so much fun! So much better than any other bar experience I have had – no weird, nasty guys creeping on you. Rather, it was cute gay guys telling you that your outfit was on point or that they love your hair! Like, what?! The night started slipping away after we had our second pink pitcher of alcohol. Let’s just say that the walk home was a memorable (or can we say that?) one! Such a fun time with my friends who I have never gone out with before. If this picture below doesn’t summarize the whole night, I don’t know what will.
I have a story to tell. It was my most favorite, most memorable part of the night. In the center of the bar, there was this beautiful asian girl donning a tight, red dress with the highest pair of stiletto heels I had ever seen. It was after she waved to a group of onlookers, that I looked back and saw those same heels heading into the boys bathroom. We all looked at each other like, “Yeah, girl!”. Girl was a boy in drag! Don’t you hate it when they look prettier than you?! Haha. Anyway, later that night, I go into the girls bathroom to break the seal, and LO AND BEHOLD, it is the SAME girl from earlier. I sidled next to her as we both washed our hands in silence. She turned over to me, touches my shoulder and says, “You are so pretty! I absolutely LOVE your dress.” It was when I responded with, “Thanks, girl, you too!” that she wiped her hands, made her way to me again, and blew me a kiss. Like, I could feel her breath in face. I cornily pretend caught it and smiled as I watched her sassy-walk right out of the bathroom. I will tell this story whenever I get the chance.
Danny told us the normally 30 minute walk home took us about an hour. My Grecian goddess look turned into a wet-mess. And we went to sleep in the living room.
What are your favorite going-out memories? Ever gotten a little crazy in a city that wasn’t home? Let me know all about them!