9 awesome things about The Chi

No, not the TV show … the City.

Another cityscape pic 2.JPG

Logan Square

For the first time in 11 years, I’m celebrating my birthday at home. I’ve been globetrotting for some time but now I’m back. And in honor of this amazing city — that I’ve always called “my heart” because it’s more than just “my home” — I’ve compiled a list of the 9 most awesomest things about it:

9. Easiest city to navigate … All the streets run north/south and east/west. Most intersections are “T” grids. Some streets you can literally take from one side of the city and in an hour reach the other side. If you get lost in Chicago then I don’t know what to tell you.

8. #SummertimeChi … If you are bored in Chicago in the summer you must be from Green Bay. #SummertimeChi is not only a popular hashtag, or line in a song, it’s a way of life. AAHH Fest picEvery single summer weekend there’s something to do (and the weekends begin on Thursday). From the music festivals (Pitchfork, Lolla, Riot, AAHH) to the art festivals in Old Town and Hyde Park, everybody from Howard to Austin to the wild-100s are out and about enjoying them. Then there’s the annual Jazz, Gospel and Blues fest down in Grant Park. And if you want something to satisfy your stomach, there’s always a food festival going on. You’ve got:

  • May: Italian Beef Festival … Oh mio Dio!
  • June: Puerto Rican festival in Humboldt Park
  • August: Tacos & Tamales Festival in Pilsen
  • August: Festa Italiana on Taylor Street … I’m a be there!
  • August: Hot Sauce Fest in Avondale
  • There’s so much more: Chicago Food Festivals & Chicago Music Festivals 

7. Conscious Rap …  Chicago is known for conscious rap. We’ve never had a distinctive “sound” in hip hop but our lyrics have always pushed listeners to think intelligently about the world around them. Common’s The Corner, Kanye’s Crack Music, Lupe’s All Black Everything, Chance’s Blessings, the list goes on and on and on. And please note that when I say “Kanye” I’m talking pre-Yeezus Kanye … when he was just a humble kid from Oak Lawn making 5 beats a day for 3 summers. Nonetheless, I’m so proud of the hip hop we produce. (***I say “we” like I’m in the studio laying tracks, Ha!***)

6. Sports … Do I really need to go there?!?!?!?! Yes. Yes I do.

George Halas, Dick Butkus, Walter Payton, MJ store picMike Ditka, Buddy Ryan, Da Defense, Da ’85 Bears, The Super Bowl Shuffle, The Chicago Stadium, BJ Armstrong, Bill Cartwright, Horace Grant, John Paxson, Michael Jordan, Michael Jordan, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Tony Kukoc, Luc Longely, Steve Kerr, Phil Jackson, ’91, ’92, ’93, ’96, ’97, ’98, burning cars, 35th & Wentworth, Ozzie Guillen, Kenny Williams, Jerry Reinsdorf, Rick Hahn, Paul Konerko, AJ Pierzynski, Scotty Pods, Jon Garland, Mark Buehrle, Sweaty Freddy, Jose Contreras, Johnny Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, Dustin Byfuglien, Brandon Saad, Joel Quenneville, Joe Maddon, Theo Epstein, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Dexter Fowler, Javy Baez …

Do I need to continue?!

Yes. Yes I do.

Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, D-Wade, Thib Thib, Anthony Davis, Jabari Parker, Coach K, Doc Rivers, Chris Chelios, Eddie Olczyk, Shani Davis and last but not least Kirby Puckett.

Continue reading

16 things I miss about Boston

Watching the Boston Marathon today, I got a little nostalgic. I started thinking about all 280932690_3d4efa0126_bthe things I miss about the B. I lived there for 9 wonderful years — meeting some amazing people along the way while building my sports career and eating dozens of cannoli. So, since it’s the 16th day of the month, I decided to compile a list of the 16 things I miss most about the City on a Hill:

16. The Boston Marathon & Patriots Day …  The Red Sox play early. Everyone calls in sick for work. And everybody’s outdoors enjoying the potentially spring-like weather. It’s one giant party for the entire city. I have fond memories of standing along the route with my best friend from New York, randomly yelling out “Go Paul, Go Adam!” while runners jogged by. I didn’t know any Pauls or Adams’ in the race but I figured one them was bound to named Paul or Adam.

15. The New England Revolution … Yes, I enjoyed the Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots and Celtics. (Especially the 2008 C’s with Garnett, Allen and Pierce … and Doc at the helm… they were unstoppable). But my actual start in the sports TV industry, before the Red Sox, was the Revolution. I was a production assistant and statistician for a number of years, covering every home game (and U.S. games) and loved every minute of it.

14. Walking through the city … Considering it was so small, I walked all over the place: from my apartment in Brighton to Newbury Street, from B.U. to the North End, and from Watertown to Arlington. By the time I left, I might’ve logged more miles than the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land. I loved walking and Boston was the PERFECT place to amble through.

13. Friendly Toast (at MIT) … My friend and I would wait almost an hour for a table but the New Hampshire Finest — scrambled eggs with goat cheese and asparagus — was everything I ever wanted in life.

12. The close proximity to New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine … All three states: gorgeous, rustic, picturesque. Great for day trips and mini-vacays.

11. Summer … For one reason and one reason only: ALL THE STUDENTS WENT HOME AND TRAFFIC WAS REDUCED BY A MILLION! T’was a glorious time.

Continue reading

24.3 Things To Do Instead of Focusing on Deflategate



Roger Goodell. Tom Brady. Robert Kraft. Ted Wells. Wells Report. Ball Boy. Ball Boy whose name sounds like a hall-of-famer. Football. PSI. Deflategate. Deflategate. DEFLATEGATE.


I’m still tired of it all. It’s been over a week since the Wells Report disrupted our daily lives and it’s driving me CRAZY. It’s a 243-paged dissertation and in an effort to NOT focus on it I’ve come up with 24.3 things we can do instead:

  1. Find Jimmy Hoffa … It’s been decades since his disappearance and we still don’t know where he is
  2. Find the rest of Bill Belichick’s sleeves … I imagine they’re all tucked away somewhere at Gillette
  3. Save Chicago from bankruptcy… please!
  4. Save baseball from boredom … double please!
  5. Bring baseball back to the hood! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!
  6. Repair Baltimore … Just grab a broom and dustpan and get to work
  7. Free Adnan
  8. Figure out if Serial is sponsored by “Mail Kimp” or “Mail Chimp” … It’s sad that we still don’t know how to pronounce it!
    Continue reading