Sunday, July 17, 2005

Dear Chicago

I went to Chicago this past March. I never really posted much about it, except a recap of a few of the days' events which really lacked a lot of.. stuff.

The decision was made rather quickly as Nick and I had been talking about it for weeks upon weeks, we finally made the final choice to go in the Curtain Theatre after Sketch-22's first Spring performance. We decided that Nick would come on down to New York City for a few days (which turned out to be rushed, and a real disappointing tour of NYC for Nick, at least in my opinion), and then we would drive off to Chicago for the rest of the week, where we would meet up with a bunch of friends who would've gotten there while we were in New York.

There were many reasons to make this trip. First and foremost to visit friends in a really fantastic city. I had never seen Chicago before, and I was absolutely thrilled. Another was for Nick to scope out the city for prospective living situations come the Fall. Nick has since announced he will be moving to Chicago next month. ::tear:: And finally, to see improv.

Chicago has more or less become the go-to city among a large group of UMassers because of its friendly environment and reputation as the "improv and comedy capital of the world." Improv as we know it was pretty much invented here, most prominently at The Second City and The ImprovOlympic, which has since been renamed The I.O. Theatre due to legal complications. (Yes, the actual Olympic committee sued the theatre.. ridiculous, I know).

And so, off we went.

One of our first stops was Grand Central Station on the east side of Manhattan. As you'll soon notice, I have a quirky obsession with trains and railroads. This place is really the big kahuna.
Yeah, I just used "big kahuna" to describe a train terminal.

Nick had never had oysters before, so we had a way-too-expensive lunch at the Grand Central Oyster Bar. Here's Nick slurping down his first seafood delicacy.

Nick tries his best to mimic the logo out in front of the UCB Theatre.

We had our first Chicago breakfast at this very hip restaurant called Orange. One of the highlights was Frushi -- fruits prepared to look exactly like sushi. Also, my entree...

Green Eggs & Ham. Deeeee-lish.

While trying to get to the science museum, Nick and I ended up in a bad part of the city. In fact, what was later described to us as
"Bad Bad Leroy Brown, south side of Chicago, worst side of town."
We were scared, so we hid behind a garbage can.

James, Steve, Scott, Nick, Liz, Conor, myself, and Misch all hang out on the steps in front of the science museum.

With the museum closed for the day upon our arrival, Nick and James decide there's only one thing to do: conquer it.

That guy's from Hopkington, MA, and that gal's from Utah. So what are these two cool cats doing making the city of Chicago their own?

The El rattles along in the Windy City. (with apologies to Rhett Miller)

Did I mention I LOVE trains?

The Hancock Building was truly spectacular. Nick and I rode to the top, which is actually a higher observation deck than the Sears Tower, but decided to go back down right away and eat dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. DUH, who wouldn't?

Wrigley Field. One of the most legendary ballparks in America. Thanks, Cynthia Rogers. I'm sure you're awesome.

Scott and Nate do it up. Chicago style. (Which apparently means 40s and no pants.)

Absolutely NO peddling of any kind.

Trains. I'm telling you. They're FANTASTIC.

Jon Dick is happy on the bus to Andersonville.

Drex is happy too. Shannon looks like she's content being a sea serpent.

Everybody on the stoop.
Moments after this picture was taken, Andy decided he should...

hump the van.

The Wrigley Building.

Mecca. AKA: ImprovOlympic.

The brand spanking new Millenium Park was extremely cutting edge, and very cool.

And so, we said goodbye to Chi-Town, but not before we pretended were were gangstas.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The First Post

Welcome, friends! And to those of you who are not my friends, let's change that!

Well, I've finally done it. I have created a "blog."

It started out as a senior in high school, under the SgtPepperZL moniker on the Xanga server. Posts became sporadic and uninteresting, as it became just another colossal waste of time and webspace, filled with memes and and rehashes of the previous day's events. But seeing as there wasn't much exciting going on in my life, was it really imperative to tell the world which Simon and Garfunkel album's personality I paralleled most?

Yes. Yes, it was. (I was Bookends.)

Much gratitude is due to Liz Caradonna, who is primarily responsible for my graduation from Xanga to LiveJournal. Being a new college student, a change was in order, and that change came in the form of my ElJay. But that too quickly became a place for a naive college freshman to gripe about his depression. A meme or picture set would occasionally pop up, but let's be honest people.. I was not the most exciting thing on your "friends pages."

In order to fill space, I plugged my comedy shows, informed readers of my semester schedule, and made incomprehensible lists of cities and public transportation systems that made little to no sense whatsoever to people other than myself. Will things like that occupy this new webspace? Yes, I'm sure they will.

But I promise you -- this blog will be a more interesting read, less inane babbling and meaningless memes. And more awesome pictures like this classic of Paul McCartney hanging out with a giant squirrel...