Wednesday night was the epicenter of this week’s polar vortex that froze Chicago. I was all set to ride it out from the comfort of my couch. But then I saw this:
If Sister Jean is out and about at 98 years old, attending the Loyola Ramblers’ 61-60 victory over Northern Iowa, why am I cowering indoors?
Plus, a sense of history hit me. When I’m old and gray I can talk about living through the coldest day in Chicago. Where was I, you ask? I certainly wasn’t under a blanket watching Netflix. I went to the local tavern to enjoy spirits and camaraderie. That’s what we did back in 2019.
I wanted to make it memorable. I sipped a couple beers at home while I watched the Bobby Portis lead the Bulls to a convincing win over the Heat in Miami. Wiz texted me in the 4th quarter and picked me up after the game. I called ahead to make sure The Corner Bar in Bucktown was open. Sure enough, the bartendress assured me they’d be open all night. Good crowd, too. Most of the barstools were occupied and a couple full tables as well. Wiz and I got beers and hit the TouchTunes machine. After due consideration, Wiz selected a respectable mix of Mudcrutch, Buffalo Tom, The Band etc. He left me 3 credits – his mistake as I jumped him with a play next of Kick Push by Lupe Fiasco. Wiz had never heard it. Bit of a music snob, is Wiz.
The bartenders at Corner Bar are solid and personable as can be. I marveled at the Old Style Oktoberfest cans that were on sale for $2. Never knew G. Heilem & Co. put out such a variety. Girl behind the bar said it’s actually not a bad beer, but since it’s no longer October, they’re trying to sell their stock. I couldn’t pull the trigger and opted for High Life with some Jameson mixed in. Wiz, also somewhat of a beer snob, ordered a Maplewood Black Winter. I am big a fan of Maplewood brewery.
As usual, it was a neighborly crowd. Chatted about our music selections with this fella…and when U2 came on Wiz joked they both resembled Bono impersonators.
After some Bulls postgame coverage, the entertainment shifted to a Tom Hanks movie marathon. First Forrest Gump then Big. Check out how well my TouchTunes chosen Pearl Jam song provides a soundtrack for this roller coaster scene.
Drinking through the polar vortex – it’s the Chicago way.
Warmer temps (and more snow) are on the way tonight. No more of this (pic courtesy of my buddy Ryan), but proud to have survived it all: