One Year before the Outbreak
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.