Chicago- June 2010
I went to Chicago for my nephew's baptism, and just by chance happened to be a part of the celebration for Chicago Blackhawk's first NHL championship in 49 years.

This visit was action-packed, with lots of buses, trains, boats, and visits with friends and family, old and new.

I left Chicago in 1995 for Arizona. The city always amazes me both for how it changes, and for how it stays the same.

My nephew, Lil' Jimmy, is now nearly one, and starting to formulate vocabulary (Mama, Dada, Ba ba, Uh Oh), and clap on cue. He has a high pitched squeal when he gets excited or wants your attention. I translate to be more or less of a "Hey!".
He's also trying to walk. Jim says he's always "gettin' up in the business"--meaning, grabbing what he can get his hands on, dismantling things, throwing stuff. Everything goes into the mouth.

I'd not seen him since he was about a month old. At first he was a bit suspicious of me, but we quickly became pals.

Jim and I attended "Point Break Live!", a stage rendition of the 1991 Keanu Reeves/ Patrick Swayze surfing bank robber flick at some hidden hipster theater on Elston Avenue near Irving Park or Montrose. The lovingly crafted perfomance captured all the tiniest details and most random throw away bits of dialogue perfectly. I could not stop laughing the entire time, even when they were spitting fake blood or dousing the crowd with water during the "50 Year Storm".

After visiting some Trylovichs, Carla, Jim, Lil' Jim and I went to Humboldt Park for Jibarito sandwiches at El Borinquen with Melissa, followed by Margie's for desert.

Jim and I walked around his neighborhood, Edison Park (my last Chicago neighborhood before I moved away), and our childhood neighborhood near Kelvyn Park-- just like we were kids again.

The christening was at Park Ridge Community Church, followed by brunch at nearby Houlihans. Lil' Jim did great at the church. He was a big hit with the entire congregation.

I managed to make it to Evanston to see Alice and Tim for a few hours one night. It's been 3 years since I saw Alice. They cooked me dinner, and played me harmonica tunes. We had a couple of beers, and many laughs. It was great to see them, and to finally meet Tim.

Dinner with the family at Russell's the last night. Heather drove out to meet us during rush hour traffic. Then it was home again.

It was only 4 days in the city, but seemed like 2 weeks, all the stuff we did.
Still so much to do, so many people I didn't get to see.

Until next time, my darling Chicago.
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