Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March getaway to Chicago: Day 3

The day started early as I awoke at 2:30 a.m. to the sound of an episode of Combat! on MeTV and stayed awake to watch the inevitable outcome. Unable to get back to sleep wrote some blog posts while watching episodes of Dobie Gillis and Love, American Style – oh, I had forgotten just how fetching Karen Valentine looked. I opened one of two packets of pumpkin seeds I bought the day before. Unearthly white and salty beyond belief I threw away half the seeds.

I had planned to take the Red Line north, but instead I chose to go downtown, transfer to the Blue Line and rode northwest to the Belmont station, and walked west through the Avondale neighborhood, populated by an interesting mix of Latinos and Eastern Europeans, especially Polish around Milwaukee Ave.

The Polish Village along Milwaukee was my intended destination. First seeking out an acceptable place to take a leak – settling on a municipal senior citizen's center – I wandered about until I came upon the Bristol Lounge, a little haven for Poles to hang out, to speak in Polish, drink Polish beer, and watch Polish television. The only English spoken during my stay there was between me, the comely barkeep, and the beer tap repairman.

While the repairman finished his duties, I requested a tall glass of water and surprisingly received a refreshing club soda. Once the tap was fixed I enjoyed a cool half-liter of Zywiec, a popular Polish pilsner.

With beer quaffed I walked across the street to the Red Apple Buffet for a satisfying, filling Polish buffet [see blog post]. Stuffed, I retraced my route back to the Blue Line station, walking down a long alley paralleling Belmont, taking pics of the artful graffiti adorning the back walls along the way.

The ride downtown was uneventful, but all that Polish food wiped me out while ascending the stairs from the subway to street level. Looking for something to munch on later in the evening I walked into a Garrett Popcorn store but balked at the prices.

I took a breather on the north edge of Millennium Park while I figured out how to get home with the least amount of effort. Eventually I found a bus stop a half-block away, got back to the apartment, and sacked out for the afternoon.

Venturing out around 7 p.m. I walked over to Water Tower Place – an upscale mall on Michigan Ave. – for an evening snack and settled on some pricey salted cashews, dark chocolate-covered pistachios, and a bottle of San Pellegrino.

Back home for good at DeWitt Place, I noshed on my relatively light treat and on a lark checked the Museum of Science & Industry's website to see if any more tour times were scheduled for the MythBusters exhibit opening the next day. Indeed a couple of afternoon times had been added, so quickly I made a purchase. I go to bed halfway through Chelsea Lately, in hopes of a good nights' sleep for the busy day to come.

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