Fear in Writing: Chicago, World Cup, Stanley Cup and Me

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chicago, World Cup, Stanley Cup and Me

I write to you from the heart of Chicago.  My break this week was not planned, but was much needed.

On Saturday last, I drove my two children across the mountains of North Carolina, through the rolling hills of Tennessee, nine and a half hours to Nashville--or the little suburb where my parents and in-laws live, Brentwood.  We spent two days at my in-laws and then I took off for the Windy City, where I am helping my sister find a place to live.  Lucky girl gets to live in this vibrant place while she attends Northwestern University law school.

So, for the past four days, I've been roaming the concrete, staring at historic buildings refurbished as modern commerce, and seeing what kind of view you can get for as little as possible.

I love cities.  I love the feel of buildings soaring above me, architecture beckoning me to guess its era, and people--endless streams of colorful people!  I fell in love with Boston in two days, dream about New York ever since visiting, and could wonder Seattle for days.  But Chicago?  I've never considered Chicago.  As it turns out, it is fantastic!  Clean, crisp, Midwest-meets-East Coast.

And now...USA v. England!!!  I am sitting in a fantastic restaurant watching the players warm up.  I won't claim I follow the teams religiously.  But USA v England!!!  The USA is trying to repeat its 1950 World Cup win over the British. And what a time for South Africa!  With all sympathy paid to Nelson Mandela and his family, the country is hopefully exultant at the attention they are receiving.  Most of you know I played soccer for 14 years, including competitve teams and some college.  (I just pissed off some non-soccer fans at the bar who wanted to watch something else.  The city is getting in my blood!  Go USA!)  I saw the World Cup games in Dallas when they came to the US in '94.  Now my friend tells me we're planning to go to Brazil in 2014...I'll start planning now!

We were also lucky enough to be here for Chicago winning the Stanley Cup.  The city went wild!  Every car was honking and every person on the street was yelling.  People who had never met were joined by this event.  Hard to deny the divisive and cohesive nature of sports.

Alright.  I know it's a mishmash, but the city is The Great Conjunctive.  So, here.  Thank you for returning and understanding my absence.



  1. Thought that was cool the Blackhawks won!
    Score is tied at the moment. Considering the post I just read on a British blog, be real funny if we won.
    Oh, and I do have an official button now if you're interested.
    Enjoy Chicago!

  2. I'll grab your official button soon...

    New layout but no time to totally move stuff around--it will be better soon! This new Blogger template thing is nice!


  3. I watched the game too. England was a little bit better I think, but unlucky goal keeper. Usually, I'm hardly watching TV at all, but love soccer WC, watching about every game. The TV production in South Africa is the best I've ever seen; overview cams, detail focus cams and cool super-slow motion replays.

    Never been to Chicago, would like to visit, only been in transit on O'Hare airport a few times on the way to or from Europe.

    Cold As Heaven

  4. Chicago is one of the cities I think I would like. I've used it for a setting in an ms even though I've never been there. In my research it comes out as a great place :)

  5. Sorry but after USA beat Oz in the friendly I can't barrack for your team.

    I'm like that - bitter and twisted :-)

  6. I was wondering where you had disappeared.

    The hubby is a cricket buff, but I have the kids addicted to football (sorry, can't bring myself to call it soccer), and I come into my own now!

    Didn't know you played competitive football - awesome.

  7. haven't watched hockey since Canada fell out of the playoffs. Can't bear it - I just get too too crazed. As for the World Cup - think I might try watching a game or two - we'll see. My brother is there and that is exciting to me. He lives in Yellowknife, NWT and he met his youngest daughter there arriving from visiting her brother in Australia. Everyone whizzes around so much. My mother lived in Chicago in the dirty thirties. Her dad died there in an industrial accident. Her family had moved from Rossburn, Manitoba (tiny tiny town) for work. I always wanted to go there. She spoke of it with much affection.

  8. I was just in Chicago this week as well. Sorry I missed you. Who knows, we may have passed on the street. :)

  9. I am really psyched for Soccer or Football... whatever you call it from where ever you are.

    I'm glad the Blackhawks won.


  10. I watched the US-England game in Philly on Saturday. It was pretty intense. They'd even closed down one block so that a couple bars could put a huge TV outside and people could drink and stand and watch the game on the street.

    And when the US evened the game? The noise was enough to cause hearing damage, I'm telling you.

    The divisive and cohesive nature of sports indeed. Well said, good lady.

  11. Have fun on your trip! :-)

    (I don't watch soccer so haven't a thing to contribute to this conversation... Would have been fun to catch the flood of Chicago's excitement though!!)

    - Corra

    the victorian heroine

  12. I saw the Blackhawks hoist the Stanley Cup on TV. 39 years is a long time to go since the last one. They had a great season.

    Stephen Tremp

  13. I'm glad you all liked the sports post! Lots of great response...

    Football or Soccer--whichever, it's a great sport!