Hockey Night in Chicago

How one South Sider celebrated the return of the Cup to Chicago
Share |

Monday night started out innocently enough. I got off work at the coffee shop in Beverly (on Chicago’s far south side) and rode my bike east on 91st Street to the Metra station. I was headed to Ukrainian Village, on the near northwest side, to meet a friend for a drink. My plan was to take the Rock Island Line downtown, then pedal the couple miles remaining to the bar. I love riding but I’m in no shape to ride the whole thirteen or fourteen miles. Somewhere in the back of my head I knew the hockey game would be on and thus chose a bar where the TV is only on a few times a year—for the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl and not much else.

The bike route from downtown Chicago to Ukrainian Village mostly runs along Milwaukee Avenue. It’s the most heavily used bike lane in the city, sometimes dubbed the Hipster Highway. Not only am I out of shape but my bike was built for comfort, not speed. Dozens of cyclists blew by me like I was standing still. That was all right. It was nearly 90º out and I was in no hurry.

I got to the Rainbo about a half hour early. I’d heard there might be a flash storm coming and asked Matt the bartender if I could take the bike inside. He had no problem with that since the bar was nearly empty at 6 p.m. Halfway into my first vodka-soda we could feel the wind and rain whipping around outside without even seeing it (the Rainbo’s only window is a diamond-shaped porthole in the front door.) The storm was gone as quickly as it had come. My friend John walked through the door a few minutes later. We talked about the movie he’d just finished making and what he was gonna take up next. We talked about the chances of some studio picking up the TV show idea we’d worked on a year before. He bought the drinks since he was currently flush, while I was barely managing to pay bills every month. Matt said he felt bad for the late-shift bartender, Kenny, who would be relieving him at 8 p.m., because the bar would be dead until the hockey game ended.

Around 8 p.m. John had to leave for another engagement and I decided to bike to a place on Western to meet another friend for another drink. The Blind Robin was full of red-black-and-white jerseys, their owners’ eyes glued to the flatscreens above the bar. The fans made bad-sex sounds in reaction to what was happening in the game while Rae and I talked about my impending marriage and her impending divorce. When the game ended we watched the exultant crowd around us rather than anything going on on the TV screens. It wasn’t our joy, but at least we could enjoy the sudden happiness of others. I walked Rae and another friend home then got on the bike for the ride south.

When the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010 I had to drive my cab through the madness of their fans’ celebration. This time around I was content to read reports about meatheads throwing bottles at the police on Twitter. Heartening to know that masses of long-suffering bros had found a cause to rally around. I saw the occasional cop car fly by as I pedaled south, but for the most part, the people in the neighborhoods I was riding through didn’t seem so concerned with hockey. I passed warehouses and darkened buildings. A lot of places were still without power from the brief but violent storm that had whipped through the city several hours before.

At 18th Street, in a fit of alcohol-inspired nostalgia, I decided to stop at Don’s Grill for a cheeseburger. Don’s is one of those old-fashioned all-night diners where you can only sit on stools bolted into the floor and the counterman takes your order, then turns away and fries it on the flat-top for you. I used to live down the street and still stop in from time to time. The three or four other patrons didn’t seem especially jubilant about the Stanley Cup, or anything else for that matter. I ate my burger and onion rings, paid, and got back on my bike.

My plan had been to get on the southbound Western Avenue bus when I got tired but no buses passed me. So I just kept going. At around 61st Street, I felt the bike chain slip. Somehow a bungee cord from my bike rack had wrapped itself around the base of the back wheel and had popped the chain off. I managed to free the cord but could not get at the chain, because my bike has a mudguard that completely encloses the rear wheel. I didn’t even have a Swiss Army knife on me. I took the #49 bus to its terminus at 79th Street, watching my bike wobbling on the bus’s front rack every time the bus hit a rut or pothole, which, on that stretch of Western, happens often.

I was still about three miles from home. I decided to walk rather than waiting for another bus. The Dan Ryan Woods—something between a city park and a forest preserve—lines Western Avenue from 83rd Street to 91st Street, so I didn’t cross paths with many people. A homeless person sleeping, surrounded by all his belongings in a bus shelter, was the only one that left any impression. I wondered whether he knew or cared about the Blackhawks. Mostly it was broken tree branches blocking my path. It was about 12:30 a.m. by now and I was pretty wiped out. This was the most exercise I’d gotten in years.

Hardboiled Coffee, where I work afternoons, was at about the halfway point of my walk home. I had keys, so I decided to try to use the tools there to fix the chain so I could pedal the rest of the way. I dug through my wallet and found a four-digit number I thought was the store alarm code. It wasn’t. The alarm kept blaring as I punched the same wrong numbers in over and over. It kept trilling as I called Gregg, the owner, and left a panicked voicemail, and as I dug through my wallet and finally found the correct password. The alarm went mercifully silent but I was covered in sweat in the darkened shop—there was no electricity on for blocks and thus no fans or air-conditioner on here—the alarm was the only thing still working. I had just gotten the mudguard off when the cops arrived.

After convincing them that I did indeed work there—one was a morning regular, which helped—I went back to the bike but it was no use. I’m no mechanic and whatever that bungee cord had done was beyond my abilities to mend. I put the bike in the back room, locked up the store, and started walking south again.

My t-shirt was soaked in sweat, my hands were covered in axle grease, but I couldn’t resist the urge to check on the Stanley Cup celebrations via Twitter. I read reports of smashed storefronts and packs of marauding bros in Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville as I walked up the quiet, tree-lined streets of Beverly to my house. Had I walked further south on Western to the Cork & Kerry and the other sports bars down that way, I’d have seen my share of ugly post-championship hangover, but I was thankfully spared all that. The only celebration I witnessed was the dog barking like a maniac as I unlocked the door. He does that every time I come home, Stanley Cup or no Stanley Cup.

The next morning I woke up late, aching all over from the alcohol and the unplanned exercise. I walked to work and told Gregg about my little adventure. He didn’t even get the voicemail I’d left him til he woke up in the morning. Good thing it wasn’t an actual break-in. Beverly Bicycles, a couple doors north of the coffee shop, fixed my chain for free. Customers came in and wanted to relive the glory of the game. I nodded along with them, but for me the memory of the night the Chicago Blackhawks won the 2013 Stanley Cup would have very little to do with hockey.


Share |

Comments

I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article... voyance par telephone

Reap and Sow Marketing | boke A good blog always comes-up with new and exciting information and while reading Zahnarzt Drewitz It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. real estate licence ontario I have feel that this blog is really have all those quality that qualify a blog to be a one. Bali water sports package | natural cure of cancer

sharing tours Italy | hamilton tickets I don’t know what has happened to the custom of delivering consistent streaming box good articles. I hope that the custom comes alive after this..thumbs up for your work. https://www.intakt-reisen.de | Imported Tile

RealStew | Best Ecommerce Developers in India I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have games o3 generator you saved to fav to look at new information in your site. http://www.mannadanmark.dk/ | coupon

I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article... READ MORE

We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. smm panel

book pr firms
Incredible posting this is from you. I am really and truly thrilled to read this marvelous post.

Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work. For sure i will check out more posts. This site seems to get a good amount of visitors. Ajax movers

cheap iphone repair shops | How to win back a man Its my great pleasure to visit your blog and to enjoy your monroe taxi great posts here. I like it a lot. I can feel that you paid much attention best place to buy body jewelry for those articles, as all of them make sense and are very useful. https://designthinkingworkshop.nl/ | cheap flights

hitet shqip 2017 | http://www.ganchor.com Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly short curly haircuts for women a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work! http://www.visitsydvestsjaelland.dk | orea courses

i never know the use of adobe shadow until i saw this post. thank you for this! this is very helpful. loafers

i never know the use of adobe shadow until i saw this post. thank you for this! this is very helpful. Domain name

mobile pr
The web site is lovingly serviced and saved as much as date. So it should be, thanks for sharing this with us.

Hello, this weekend is good for me, since this time i am reading this enormous informative article here at my home. minyak kelapa dara

I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article... Megabox HD apk

Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work. For sure i will check out more posts. This site seems to get a good amount of visitors. mens designer clothes

Hey, this day is too much good for me, since this time I am reading this enormous informative article here at my home. Thanks a lot for massive hard work. high quality links provide

It is my first visit to your blog, and I am very impressed with the articles that you serve. Give adequate knowledge for me. Thank you for sharing useful material. I will be back for the more great post. visit us

generateur gta5 | harmony I just got to this amazing site not long ago. stingray clutch I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. getting pregnant with pcos Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page! Short Haircuts | Digital marketing agency

chiropractor in brandon fl | classic cars for sale I am very happy to read this article .. nama bayi thanks for giving us go through info. how to make your life better Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. vashikaran specialist | dovrak

I got too much interesting stuff on your blog. I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work. sagittarius woman

goevo
This text is an interesting wealth of informative knowledge that's attention-grabbing and well-written.

goevo
This text is an interesting wealth of informative knowledge that's attention-grabbing and well-written.

goevo
This text is an interesting wealth of informative knowledge that's attention-grabbing and well-written.

kids mobile games | Tshirt Metro I’m excited to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for craniosomatic therapy this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and Đồ cũ Thing Store i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site. http://www.dashingpet.com/pets/motorcycle-dog-carrier-buyers-guide.html | sewa apartemen

website design johannesburg | http://bestflightcases.co.uk/ I found your this post while searching for some related information on blog search.. Billboard Its a good post..keep posting and update the information. Your blog provided us with valuable to work with. http://none.dk/ Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging.. uopklaret.dk | vacation rentals destin fl

Ncert books download
I am continually amazed by the amount of information available on this subject. What you presented was well researched and well worded in order to get your stand on this across to all your readers.

Sociology Books pdf
Incredible posting this is from you. I am really and truly thrilled to read this marvelous post. You've really impressed me today. I hope you'll continue to do so!

Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? Because I’m going to start my website soon, but I’m a little lost on everything. Many thanks! Questions to Ask Your Boyfriend

alquimia | uopklaret.dk A good blog always comes-up with new and exciting avast activation code information and while reading I have feel that this blog is really massage ball have all those quality that qualify a blog to be a one. essay writing help | telephone engineer hereford

Mock Test Series for IAS Prelims Exam 2018 | https://yourstuhrlingwatches.tumblr.com/ I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to entry level offshore jobs look at new information in your site. Very good points you wrote here..Great stuff... orea courses I think you've made some truly interesting points.Keep up the good work. blondinen.dk | best marketing manager zurich

newmarket landscaping
Greenbay Northern landscaping is located in Richmond Hill we provide service anywhere from Newmarket to North York including ;Markham, Maple and Vaughn.

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. download aadhaar card Online

Awesome home room designs. I have bookmarked this page to visit later again. sourcing from china

laser clinic toronto
The Ideal Dream Laser Clinic is a cosmetic-medical center offering only certified, result-oriented hair removal, Skin rejuvenating, body countering and weight loss services for both men and women. Our team includes certified technicians, Registered Dietitian and specialized skin and laser consultants. We offer the highest level of safety and service in an environment where the main priority is your safety, health and privacy. Our clinic located in heart of north York , Yonge and Steeles area close to public transit. 5 min walk to center of Yonge and Steeles, 88 Steeles Ave. East Toronto.

real estat A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCp9ivHLyCc You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Egyptian falafel I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. Airport Transfer Service | Online Shopping in Pakistan

mandalas | limo hire reading I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info. Hardwood flooring in New York Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. Agen Domino This is a wonderful article, Given so much info in it, rhino grillz These type of articles keeps the users interest in the website, and keep on sharing more ... good luck. buy real facebook likes | baby clothes

Thank you because you have been willing to share information with us. we will always appreciate all you have done here because I know you are very concerned with our. designer handbags uk

Thank you because you have been willing to share information with us. we will always appreciate all you have done here because I know you are very concerned with our. designer handbags uk

Personal Alarms | ECommerce Website Development A good blog always comes-up with new and exciting information and while reading reduce bills I have feel that this blog is really have all those quality that qualify a blog to be a one. mini displayport to hdmi | book cover creator

redação do ENEM | how to make your life better Took me time to understand all of the comments ComforBro but I seriously enjoyed the write-up. It proved being Italian handbags really helpful to me and Im positive to all of the commenters right here! reborn babies for adoption | fort worth plumber

weight loss program scarborough
Samira Laser Clinic in Scarborough should be your only choice for laser hair removal. Our precision equipment carefully removes your hair while keeping your skin soft and glowing. We specialize in laser hair removal, facials and microdermabrasion. We also perform waxing and sell laser hair removal machines!

Agencia de marketing digital en valladolid | pokercc I did enjoy reading articles posted on this site. banheiros modernos dicas e ideias They are impressive and has a lot of useful information. mindfulness teacher I'm really happy to find this site and did enjoy reading useful articles posted here. blocked ear The ideas of the author was awesome, thanks for the share. tragus piercing healing | fluck.dk

Cafe verde | hiphop This is a great inspiring article. best dog beds I am pretty much pleased with divorce lawyer Singapore your good work.You put really helpful information. office renovation Singapore Keep it up. I researed valuable information on this point as hypoallergenic cooling towel for sensitive skin I am working on a class project. eletricista residencial na zona leste Thank you posting useful information and its now becoming easier to accomplish this task. Vivere portable hammock stand | pokercc

limo hire reading | nigeria news today Great tips and very easy to understand. security license ontario This will definitely be very useful best coffee machine reviews for me when I get a chance to start my blog. yoga mat bag A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. chakra You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. animated explainer videos free I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. Midnight Food Delivery | Yellow Pages

This is my first time visit to your blog and I am very interested in the articles that you serve. Provide enough knowledge for me. Thank you for sharing useful and don't forget, keep sharing useful info: Italian shoes

Towelroot V3
This article is an appealing wealth of informative data that is interesting and well-written.

Really I enjoy your site with effective and useful information. It is included very nice post with a lot of our resources.thanks for share. i enjoy this post. Towelroot V3

Thank you because you have been willing to share information with us. we will always appreciate all you have done here because I know you are very concerned with our. click here

voyance audiotel
Problèmes sentimentaux ? soucis au travail ? des interrogations concernant vos finances ?
Voyance par telephone peut vous aider.