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

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. wearable tech

This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post. I will visit your blog regularly for Some latest post. tcm clinic

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. fire damage restoration Cedar Hill TX

https://essayrepublic.com/
Your blogs further more each else volume is so entertaining further serviceable It appoints me befall retreat encore. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates.

Heather Terry ran the Musiclounge in Stockton with husband Oliver, and her sudden death has rocked Stockton’s music community.
Oliver Terry

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. huf forbes

escort in amsterdam
I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. Thanks for posting it..

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read !! After you read this post, you’ll be wishing you worked from sunrise to sunset Alaska time web hosting

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read !! After you read this post, you’ll be wishing you worked from sunrise to sunset Alaska time Lovetraction Lines

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. https://bronervsgarcialivestream.blogspot.com/

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. tour planners in Pakistan

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. youtube

Prom Limo Rental Atlanta
This is the type of information I’ve long been trying to find. Thank you for writing this information.

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. power blogging

Wow! What an eye opener this post has been for me. Very much appreciated, bookmarked, I can’t wait for more! online medical diagnosis tool

Good website! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes it is. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which may do the trick? Have a great day! drawing games

This particular is usually apparently essential and moreover outstanding truth along with for sure fair-minded and moreover admittedly useful My business is looking to find in advance designed for this specific useful stuffs… Guest Post

i never know the use of adobe shadow until i saw this post. thank you for this! this is very helpful. versace 1969

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

tweede woning costa blanca
Haya H.

Hi. I find reading this article a joy. It is extremely helpful and interesting and very much looking forward to reading more of your work

Hello, this weekend is good for me, since this time i am reading this enormous informative article here at my home. womens designer handbags uk

This is my first visit to your web journal! We are a group of volunteers and new activities in the same specialty. Website gave us helpful data to work. im blog

link building service
First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics , i will be always checking your blog thanks.

freedom | Friendship day messages I don’t know what has happened to the custom of delivering consistent good articles. blaze orange camo I hope that the custom comes alive after this..thumbs up for your work. Facebook Marketing Companies in India | CBD Pain Relief Cream

eno Hammock | Ganesh chaturthi 2017 wishes in Marathi I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have Nyborg Rejser you saved to fav to look at new information in your site. best dog food | ideal hair arts

escorts in Amsterdam
The Wolf Of Online Marketing is your one stop source for honest Internet Marketing products reviews and Online Marketing news with exclusive bonuses for our readers.

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: dr manuel richards nasal polyps

FuneralHome Services
Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article.

best plantar wart remedy for in-home treatment | http://godstener.dk We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Great work. jewelry | http://goaldigger.dk/

happy friendship day quotes | TrainingRoomSG.com A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches http://none.dk after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. davinci | Good morning quotes for her

brake rotors
I wish to show thanks to you just for bailing me out of this particular trouble.As a result of checking through the the net and meeting techniques that were not productive, I was thinking my life was done.

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. sultan full movie online

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read !! After you read this post, you’ll be wishing you worked from sunrise to sunset Alaska time The Nora Handbags

Daily GK | gps tracking I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! The information that you have provided is very helpful. www.bigflixmovies.com | naujagimio drabuziai

art | 100 percent free dating sites I am very happy to read this article .. Jesse Grillo thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. Relgion | 2017 Cent

I am impressed. I don't think Ive met anyone who knows as much about this subject as you do. You are truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Really, great blog you have got here. how to accept etherum

Pinterest follower kaufen im HQlike Online Shop. Jeder Anfang ist schwer, Pinterest User begeistern sich leicht für Pinterest Account oder Pins die viele Follower und Likes haben, ein Klick fällt leichter, bei 10000 Follower als bei wenigen 100 Follower, jeder kennt das.Wir bitten die Möglichkeit die Beliebtheit ihres Pinterest Account und Pins zusteigern und die Reichweite zu erhöhen mit Reale User. Pinterest follower kaufen

book public relations
This is some thing very informative and point to point. There is no round and round in this article. Like this smplicity . This clears my old point of view. THANKS BUDDY.

Nikoline Hansen | Yaboo Its my great pleasure to visit your blog and to enjoy your great posts here. I like it a lot. I can feel that you paid much attention for those articles, as all of them make sense and are very useful. food sensitivity | java courses london

best shoes for plantar fasciitis | DynamicMarketing.sg I researed valuable information on this point as I am working on a class project. Thank you posting useful information and its now becoming easier to accomplish this task. Pattaya Thailand | Best Reverse Osmosis System

Buy High Quality followers, likes, views and more at the HQlike online shop at fair price. You can buy followers, likes, views, retweets, comments and reviews, not only for Facebook and Instagram but also for the social networks twitter, YouTube, Google plus and Pinterest. All products are of the highest quality because we only work with genuine users. Buy Instagram followers

I am impressed. I don't think Ive met anyone who knows as much about this subject as you do. You are truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Really, great blog you have got here. Pelancar Asi

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

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read !! After you read this post, you’ll be wishing you worked from sunrise to sunset Alaska time Buy spotify followers

journalist tools
This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here!

African political News | luxury bags Excellent Blog! I would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. Tax Services I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Bike tour singapore I wanted to thank you for this websites! Thanks for sharing. Great websites! seksiseuran haku | las vegas pest control companies

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. Magento development service

natural weightloss
Initial You got a awesome blog .I determination be involved in plus uniform minutes. i view you got truly very functional matters , i determination be always checking your blog blesss.

With manual work you receive authority backlinks from high pages. In the eyes of the search engines, these links boost authority and instantly add credibility, increasing your rankings and traffic.Ready to increase rankings and traffic? Order this gig and receive quality back links from high pages. High DA PA Backlinks Provide

You made such an interesting piece to read, giving every subject enlightenment for us to gain knowledge. Thanks for sharing the such information with us to read this... Leander Homes For Sale