One Year before the Outbreak

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One Year before the Outbreak

in 2019:

My last par­tial year in Chica­go. I just came back into town from a very nice vacay in Nagshead which is the Out­er Banks (aka OBX by the locals, I know sounds like a tam­pon brand). It was a nice time, my sis­ter rent­ed an obnox­ious house on a golf course on the sound side, which is stu­pid. You want to be on the ocean front. Any­ways, I still had a hell of a time, real­ly. Best seafood ever, and it was so refresh­ing. I only regret­ted hav­ing to return home to Chi­town even­tu­al­ly.

Lit­tle did I real­ize that I would be relo­cat­ing to North Car­oli­na a month lat­er.

The remain­ing few weeks before leav­ing, I vis­it­ed all of the places that I could think of:

Byrons Hot­dogs: I know that Antho­ny Bour­dain fea­tured Budack­i’s on Damen & Lawrence, and I don’t know why. He had a pecu­liar fond­ness for Kore­ans, what’s there not to like? Most Kore­ans are cute, crazy peo­ple. I’m only half so I guess I’m half cute, half crazy. This place is my spot for greasy fast food and I’ve been com­ing here since I was a young pup. So has my entire clan. I’d come after school to get a quick bite or take some friends along with me for lunch.

3rd Coast Cafe: I did­n’t get a time e to squeeze this place in. This was my secret spot, my hang place, and my favorite cafe in the city. I would go on dates here, spend hours at a time dur­ing win­ter sim­ply writ­ing in my sketch-jour­nal, fill­ing them up, and do my home­work here as well.

Tan­go Sur: my fav and one of the longest stand­ing restau­rants in Wrigleyville, this Argen­tin­ian steak house is a gor­geous ambiance, and their steaks are exquis­ite.

Davis The­ater: had to see a movie here one last time. It’s where I saw LOTR, and the orig­i­nal Star Wars tril­o­gy. It’s also where I had my first date and first date kiss (not my first kiss, first date kiss. I had my first kiss kiss when I was like 2 or 3). I think it was 1917 or some­thing.

Sulz­er Library: on equal foot­ing with 3rd coast cafe, this library was one of my most beloved spots in the entire city. Maybe because I came here since I was a young pup, where I;d get the sci fi/fantasy nov­els with 70’s look­ing hot girls and their big entic­ing boobs (or the Nation­al Geo mags with naked Trib­al women). My dad would take me to the Kore­an restau­rant right down the street fre­quent­ly (called Dol San).

Cho San Oak: a tiny hole in the wall Kore­an restau­rant, the own­er Mr. Lee was one of my first Tae Kwon Do instruc­tors. I had a secret crush on his daugh­ter who was a lit­tle old­er than me. Used to play in the tele­phone booths set in the wall. Mems of siz­zling hot Kalbi (Kore­an spareribs) and man­doo.

Green Mill Lounge: stopped in for a drink, used to work right across the street. Lived 5 blocks away. It’s every­one’s spot, it’s every tourist’s des­ti­na­tion.

Argyle street: lit­tle Saigon, or North side Chi­na­town. Ate me some pho at Hai Yen.

Water Tow­er: Came to get my sis­ter some fan­cy Gar­rett pop­corn, don’t real­ly like the mall much. I’ve always been a Cen­tu­ry Mall kin­da guy (a mall that once was much more pop­u­lar back in the day, by Diversey & Clark). Missed the the­ater they once had in here.

Art Insti­tute of Chica­go: will miss you. At least I got to say my last good­bye.

Mil­wau­kee, WI:  did my last road-trip the first week of August.












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