Saturday, September 13, 2008

Viejo Chicago: The Off Days

A day after traveling to Chicago to see the Red Bulls lose on a pathetic giveaway goal to the Fire, the only acceptable response was to drink our faces into the ground... and that is what we did.

With the start of the NFL season upon us, there was no better way to spend our time than at Chicago's German-American Festival. As one of the guys put it, "we went from Chicago to Munich in 10 blocks and didn't even have to go through customs." We got there sometime in the middle of the afternoon. After a couple of liter beers, things started getting more interesting as we met the gentleman below now referred to as "10 Cent," a true P.I.M.P. if there ever was one.

I vaguely remember it started getting dark outside and after 5 or 6 liters of Hofbrau, we were leading all the dances and songs in one of the tents. At one point, Chef Leon decided it would be funny if someone took a dive into the large pile of ice laying on the ground. With $50 on the line, I surely wasn't going to say no. See my ice dive here.

At around 10 PM, the German Festival ended and a few of the peeps ventured back home not able to fight through the boozefest and continue on. Went to a lounge called Rodan that had a DJ playing techno all night. Pretty decent atmosphere for a Sunday night. Went somewhere else after that which was open to 4 AM (most places close at 2 AM and a few open at 4. You have to ask around about the 4 AM places).


On Monday, the boys decided Ist Miller Zeit! To translate, "It's Miller Time." Yep, we made the 90 mile trek to Milwaukee to hit up the Miller Brewery. The place is damn impressive. It's a 5-6 block square campus.

Here Chef Leon and myself (NJB holla!) are pictured in front of the Miller Truck. The tour was decent and presented some quality photo opportunities. The beer sampling was better than other tours as they actually give you three full beers. No costs. Not bad.

Afterwards, we drove through Milwaukee looking for the oldest bowling alley in the United States: Holler House. What we found was a not completed two lane alley that looked straight out of the movie Kingpin. Would have been historic to grace the lanes of this fine establishment, but it was not meant to be.

After the brief stop at Holller, we ventured to Miller Park to pick up a game of the Brew Crew. A really nice stadium with a retractable roof which was gold as it had been drizzling on and off all day. Most of the fans' attention was on the Packers-Vikings game taking place simutaneously, so it was amusing to hear a random cheer throughout the game knowing it was when the Packers had made a big play, caused a turnover, or scored some points. Too bad for the Brewers, as they blew the lead in the 9th and lost the game to Cincy. Definitely a good idea to check out Milwaukee when you're in Chicago, but I wouldn't recommend doing more than 1 day there. I just wish we had the time to hit up Madison and University of Wisconsin. Now, that would have been the shizzy hizzy.


Tuesday was a fairly relaxed day as we decided to stay in town and save ourselves a bit in anticipation of the US/Trinidad match on Wednesday. Took the crappy, above ground subway into the main part of the city and spent a ton of time around Millenium Park. New York has a beautiful skyline, but Chicago's is not too shabby either.

Millenium Park is a cross between Central Park and Rockefeller Center. I won't spare you with all the details, but I spent a half hour walking through some giant pool that had water spitting out of a computer mouth.

We drank some more and headed over to the Southside of Chi-Ca-Go for the White Sox/Blue Jays game. Had some excellent tickets courtesy of CBS Chicago (Thanks CA!) where we were seated about 20 rows from the field behind homeplate. Cool experience seeing Ken Griffey Jr. actually playing live. Without those injuries, he could of shattered Aaron/Bonds HR record.

Later this weekend, I'll discuss the big game: USA/Trinidad WCQ from Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL. I'll go through some of the chants and highlights from the match that you wouldn't have seen on your screen at home.

Until then, a NJ Fist Pump for Michael Bradley for his goal against T&T.

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