One more about the Cubs and then I’ll shut up about them…until next Spring. Let me tell you about Cubs Day. MY Cubs Day.
After the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, most of the city of Chicago was on a crazy baseball high. (Some of us still are.) The team even had a special day (Friday, November 4) designated as World Series Champions Chicago Cubs Day by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. That was the day of the parade and rally, the one whose estimated crowds of 5 million people made it the seventh largest gathering in human history.
I had to work on Friday, November 4 and so I missed all of that. It nearly killed me to be home that day (slight exaggeration). I immediately started planning a trip downtown so I could take pictures of all the festive Cubs decorations (including the Art Institute lions, who have worn all of the other Chicago team hats but never the Cubs) before they were taken down and stored for next year when we win again. Hush, eternal optimism is a personality trait in every true Cubs fan.
My partner-in-crime that day was my favorite city partner-in-crime, Margaret (though I call her “Pizza” in honor of our traditional lunches). Margaret runs Chicago Elevated, a walking tour company, and it is always a treat to stroll around the city with her. She was exceedingly patient as I took tons of pictures, and she was also fun and hilarious as usual. By the way, of course we made a lunch stop for deep dish pizza, this time at “our” Gino’s East in Lakeview.
Let me back up. We started at the Art Institute.
Margaret and I waited for a beautiful flag unfurling in the background there. After about twenty shots I still didn’t get it. Not mad about it.
From there we walked to Millennium Park and grabbed some pictures at the Bean (“Cloud Gate” is actually the name of the sculpture, created by Anish Kapoor). We also saw the Chicago Christmas tree being installed, complete with a “W” flag on top.
From there we walked towards City Hall, and on the way I noticed one of the World Series buses.
I had just seen a news report that morning saying, “If you see one of the El trains or buses that was wrapped for the World Series, get a picture because they’ll be gone soon!” And that day, this one drove right by us.
City Hall was gorgeously Cub-sy.
I wanted to grab that “W” sign in the middle for my wall at home. Obviously I did not because I’m a decent, honest person. (ooh but I wanted it.)
After City Hall we grabbed my car and headed north. On the way to lunch I remembered that Heritage Bicycles had installed a gorgeous Cubs mural on the exterior wall. We had to drive right by there anyway and I asked Margaret to wait in the car so I could leave it running while I ran across the street, snapped a picture, and nodded at the folks who were out on the patio drinking coffee before returning to my car.
***CUBS DAY PIZZA BREAK! (Yum.)***
After lunch we headed to Wrigleyville for the piece de resistance.
It was a pretty emotional sight. After admiring that gorgeous sign for a few minutes, we headed around the corner to check out the back walls of Wrigley Field, where fans had been writing tributes in chalk. Some notes were for the team and some were tributes to diehard Cub fan family members who passed away before getting to see a World Series win. I can’t express how glad I was to make the trip and see it in person. The colors were absolutely amazing and beautiful, and I loved watching people write fresh messages right before my very eyes. The chalk was being washed off by the maintenance crew starting at 5:00 that afternoon so it was especially busy as folks tried to squeeze in last-minute notes.
No, we did NOT.
I tried to capture how overwhelmingly cool this was, and how large a scope it had. This doesn’t even do it justice.
It was a full, fun Cubs Day, boosting my pride for my team and my city to overflowing. I’ll never forget it. (Thanks for sharing it with me, Pizza!)