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Monday, July 24, 2006

The friendly confines and more

One thing about a vacation trip: It reminds you that other cities and other regions have plenty to offer, too. Take Chicago, for instance. Its skyline is more spectacular than New York's. Its museums -- the Art Institute and the Field (from previous visits) and the Shedd Aquarium (this time) -- are on a par with, or better than, New York's or Philadelphia's. The boat ride from the Chicago River through the locks and out into Lake Michigan is incomparable. And the drive along the lake is quite a sight.

And then there's the reason for the trip -- Wrigley Field. This lifelong baseball fan had never been there. It didn't disappoint. The bars, restaurants and all those rooftop bleachers make Wrigleyville one of a kind. It's the friendly confines for good reason, but we didn't expect to meet so many friendly baseball fans. Sure, its scoreboard is so early 20th century and those stanchions interfere with sight lines, but it's an American institution -- like Boston's Fenway -- that must be seen.

Now that doesn't mean I'll become a Cubs fan or move to Chicago anytime soon. New York loyalty and the cold and wind and snow of a Midwest winter will ensure that. But for a mid-summer weekend, it's a special place.


Anonymous Nick Fera said...

They have a wonderfully simple line in Chicago about the Cubs: "I think the Cubs are going to go all the way this year." That's it. They don't bore you, like other fans, with talk of a pitcher's mechanics or a hitter's slump. They love their Cubs and they love baseball. They don't have guys like Randy Johnson who goes on and on about how he threw this pitch or tried to throw that pitch. They don't tolerate self-absorbed jerks like that. They UNDERSTAND baseball.

5:49 PM, July 25, 2006  
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