Not just a great ’70s rock band, but also an awesome city

Millennium Park, originally uploaded by dcwriterdawn.

Those of you who are following me on Twitter (sorry, I don’t add people unless we’ve met in person) know that I’ve spent the past week in Chicago, basically having the time of my life.

So before that “I got out of town and away from all the B.S.” shine wears off, I just wanted to say howdy and share this lil iPhone photo of the Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park.

I really missed being in a big city. Chicago is a cleaner version of Baltimore, and with much more to do, IMHO.

Some of the highlights:

Sushi Wabi — one of my boys ordered for me and it was a seaweed-wrapped orgasm, is all I can say.

Naha — the wine was a 2005 pinot noir with a smoky flavor and the foie gras is the best I’ve ever had. Nom nom nom.

Harry Caray’s — I paid $35 for the petit filet all by itself, and added a salad with the best Caesar dressing I’ve ever experienced, and of course topped it off with a nice Chianti. Sweet Jesus, I gave up meat a few weeks ago but couldn’t POSSIBLY go to Chicago without trying a steak. ;9 They can dress it up for you three different ways, with a gorgonzola crust or a house-made sauce. But I had it naked with what tasted like a simple salt-and-pepper crust. I remember Tweeting that I could die happy after that meal.

Park Grill — OK, I am aware that my highlights are food-related, but seriously, this meal cost me the least and made me pretty damn happy. The peach salad was meh, mostly because the dressing was abundant and I forgot to request it on the side. But the watermelon gazpacho was to die for. It tasted like it had Cajun spices in it and was topped with a shrimp and some tiny calamari rings. Good stuff. The eatery was also just outside of Millennium Park, so the city view was spectacular.

Oak Street Beach — I got here purely by accident, mostly because I was just so busy wandering that I figured I’d go till my feet screamed for mercy. It just so happened that I could rehabilitate my tootsies in the sand along Lake Michigan. Aaah, paradise.

Magnificent Mile — A hootenanny of stores all along Michigan Avenue. I barely bought anything — I guess I’d had enough with paying $15 each way for my one piece of checked luggage that I wasn’t willing to ship more shit home for a mere $35 for the second bag. Yaaar.

I tried to get into the Apple Store the day the new iPhone came out. Epic fail — the line went around the block. Not that I could afford it anyway, as my hotel just for the last three nights cost more than my stimulus check!

I purposely ran into an old friend along Michigan, where I believe we proceeded to talk for two hours. And I got to play with his new iPhone, so nyah. God, it was so good to catch up with someone who “knew me when.” It’s been about a dozen years but it felt like merely 10 minutes had passed since we’d last hung out.

I’ve come to regard it as a rite of passage now, running into people I grew up with/went to school with, in cities far away from where we first crossed paths. It’s a sign of growing up, I guess. It’s nice to know that there are people out there rooting for you — and you, for them — even when you don’t get the chance to hear/say it in person.

Wicked: the Musical — My friend warned me that I’d be singing the songs long after I left the Oriental Theater last night. He wasn’t kidding. OMG, loved, loved, LOVED it. It was the story of the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch as roommates and even friends in the prequel to “The Wizard of Oz.” And don’t think I am not eyeballing the “Defy Gravity” v-neck T-shirt even now. I was just bummed that the only apparel they had that said Chicago on it was a blah men’s T-shirt. But seriously, I got a GREAT seat at the last minute and that is just dandy by me.

I did a lot more stuff in Chi-town but we’ll leave the business stuff out of it. All in all, though, it was a great trip and I was thrilled that my boys invited me. I spent enough money that this sort of has to qualify as my vacation, so it was a win all around. And I’d LOVE to say it’s good to be home but, well, Twitterers know THAT story. …

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