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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

My Kind Of Town (Chicago Is)

May 18, 2018



My Kind Of Town (Chicago Is)

The night after the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, I had a wonderful dinner with my mother and her longtime friend Lolly and then headed over to one of my favorite music venues in the world the fabulous Vogue Theatre to catch a show by Anderson East, before hitting the road for a quick trip to Chicago where I went to see a Sunday matinee performance of the Broadway sensation, “Hamilton” with my friend Beth, before returning to Indianapolis.

The Vogue Theatre is where I spent much of my younger years attending concerts, Formally a movie theater, I saw my very first R-rated film there, James Bond’s “Diamonds are Forever” back when I was nine and it has been a place where I have enjoyed going ever since. I always check to see who might be playing there while I am in town and this weekend was the singer/songwriter Anderson East, who I was not all that familiar with, but had decent reviews when I looked on-line.

Anderson East

Every now and again, I take a chance on seeing an artist and it really pays off, this was one of those times. The show was absolutely stunning. Trying to categorize East and his style is so difficult. I am guessing he would be considered Americana, though he has songs that range from an almost country sound to more upbeat gospel infused R&B. It is an almost unique style that I have a tough time comparing him to anyone else. All I know is that he is a damn fine performer and the show really blew the roof off the venerable Vogue.

I was off after the show heading to Chicago to see Hamilton. I arrived early enough on Sunday that I was able to spend a few hours at the Brookfield Zoo. Located in the Chicago suburb of Brookfield, the Chicago Zoological Society or Brookfield Zoo as it is commonly known is a fantastic zoo, Opened in 1935, the zoo features over 450 species of animals spread out on the 216 acres of land. The zoo was ahead of its time by creating large enclosures separated by moats and natural features rather than traditional cages and it continues to be among the most forward thinking and coolest zoos in America.

It had been probably thirty years or more since I had visited the Brookfield Zoo and it has improved a great deal since then, though it also still maintains a classic old time quality that makes it the best of both the old and the new. The zoo features all of the traditional animals that one would expect, but also a large selection of animals that you do not see so often including a few that I had never encountered in my many years of visiting zoos.

After the zoo visit, I headed downtown to meet my friend Beth at the CIBC Theatre where we were going to see the stunning Broadway play, “Hamilton”.  Hamilton: An American Musical is the sensational sung- and rapped-through musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, with music, lyrics, and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda, inspired by the 2004 biography “Alexander Hamilton” by historian Ron Chernow. Incorporating hip-hop, rhythm and blues, pop music, soul music, traditional-style show tunes, and color-conscious casting of non-white actors as the Founding Fathers and other historical figures, the musical has achieved both critical acclaim and box office success.


The play was nominated for sixteen Tony Awards in 2016 and won eleven and has been the toughest ticket on Broadway and beyond since opening in 2015. I have been wanting to see it, and having the chance to catch the show in nearby Chicago was a chance I was not going to pass up. I was thrilled to have my friend Beth, a Chicago resident who I don’t see often enough join me. We even had time to talk a nice walk along the Chicago River and grab a quick bite.

On my way back to Indianapolis, I had the opportunity to stop by my favorite brewery in the US, Three Floyd’s in Munster, Indiana. Consistently rated among the best breweries in the country, Three Floyd’s has a well- deserved reputation for its beer. I was thrilled to be able to stop there on my return trip and pick up one of my favorite beers ever, Zombie Dust. I had not had a good Zombie Dust since seeing the breweries booth at Hunahpuh’s Day Festival in March. The beer is gaining better distribution in Indiana, but is still pretty rare and I was happy to get a chance to pick some up.

Once back in Indianapolis, I took the opportunity to visit some of my favorite spots, picking up some T-shirts at Kilroy’s Bar and Grill and treating myself to dinner at the historic and delicious St. Elmo’s Steak House. I had a pair of their world famous shrimp cocktails and a delightfully prepared Filet and more Zombie Dust on Tap.


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