Saturday, May 28, 2011 — Once again after a semi-sleepless night I wake up later than planned. I forgo breakfast yet again for another coffee at Lavazza. Along the way I take some photographs of a series of stained glass artworks depicting the history of the First United Methodist Church in Chicago [see blog post].
Michigan Avenue Bridge, looking north.
The rest of the morning is spent on the river, with a tour of Chicago River bridges during a scheduled lift to allow high-masted boats to leave their river dockings for harbors and marinas open to Lake Michigan [see blog post]. On this occasion, Upper Wacker Drive was the staging area for the city’s Memorial Day Weekend parade. Our bridge tour had to negotiate its way through a plethora of JROTC bands gathered at riverside to get from one bridge to the next.
With camera batteries running low I return to the Hotel Allegro for a fresh pair and a brief rest.
Looking at your credit card balance while traveling is unwise. All those yet unregistered expenses and damage deposits. It thins the blood.
After perusing the bar scene around CBOT only to find them all closed on the weekends, I land on the rooftop bar at the Plymouth Restaurant & Bar, with a pint of Spaten, watching every damn JROTC band from Chicago to Bumfuck, Illinois marching down the streets below.
After a brief downpour, followed by a steady rain, I hop the Red Line to Streeterville and cocktails at the Second Story Bar, a gay bar that I came across on my last visit. A littler louder, hotter, and more crowded than I remembered. One vodka drink later and I feel a little less claustrophobic.
I switch over to Bushmills on the rocks. It may be a double-poured drink, but it still sets me back eight bucks. I also find out that the Second Story is a cash-only bar. I’ve no other choice but to hit an ATM later, and get ass-raped in bank fees.
A couple of pizzas from Rosati's show up and I help myself to a few tasty slices. This improves my mood greatly.
Post whiskey. On the tail end of my second gin and tonic I get up to go to relieve myself. Not wanting the last swallows of my cocktail to be tossed out in the interim, I say to the new bartender "I shall return." He hears "A shot of Patrón," which awaits me upon my return. Despite my plea to pay up for the error, I get it on the house. Thank you, dear heart.
A few more gin and tonics and yet another barkeep, this time a youthful lad who implied that I was undertipping. My mood suddenly shifts and the remark caused me no end of alcohol-fueled grief.
The big problem with having manic/depressive tendencies is that one minute you're flying high, then one innocuous comment can plummet you into the depths.
Leaving quickly I screw around with two different ATMs until I can finally release some twenties. Realizing how drunk I am, I bow out of any other activity tonight except to score some grub and get back to my hotel.
Post-drunk mac and cheese with meatballs.
Embarrassingly, walking down the sidewalk of Michigan Avenue, I miss seeing the curb of a turn-in lane and take a tumble. Left hand and right knee take the brunt of the fall. It’s not the first time I’ve taken a fall on Michigan, and certainly not the worst [see blog post].
Across the river and a block further south, I find Noodles & Company and nosh on a big bowl of macaroni and cheese with added meatballs. Al dente pasta helps make life passable, especially when soused.
Still nursing a booze-fueled hunger I pass through a McDonald's for a couple of burgers that I tuck into back at the hotel, sprawled out on the bed, watching Chelsea Lately on E! Next thing I remember is waking up a couple hours later in a most awkward position with face down, ass up. Where’s 2 Live Crew when you need them?