Since I went to the Philadelphia game two nights ago, a lot has happened—most of it in the last few hours:
So, I am aware of all these things, but the only purpose of this post is to put up photos from Philadelphia. First, city hall (which is becoming a trend in these posts):
Citizens Bank Park:
And this, which astute readers may recognize as the Noah's Flood bearing down on the city:
I will now dive into my photos from last night's game...
I'm flying out today to begin a four-day tour of baseball parks in the Northeast. Tonight: Angels at Orioles, Camden Yards, Baltimore. (The cheezy graphic is from MLB.com.)
The Orioles (48-54) are in last place (and want you to know that there are still seats available at the park for tonight's game). The Angels, at the moment, have the best record of any team in baseball, 63-39. (The Cubs' record is 60-43, second best overall and top of the National League.)
Photos from the park may have to wait until Sunday evening as I've got to scoot to Philadelphia Sunday morning to catch the Phillies (54-49) host the Braves (49-53) at 1:30.
Yes, that's right, I've earned the Master of Beer Appreciation from Goose Island Beer Co., here in Chicago. It took nearly four years—I started on 12 September 2004—but I persevered, drinking 35 different brews, and now I get Imperial pints (as opposed to regular ones) whenever I visit their twin pubs.
All right, it's not up there with my J.D., but it's still an accomplishment, if for no other reason than I no longer need to carry the very old booklet in my wallet any more.
At the All-Star break, the Cubs remain in first place, 4½ games out. I'm looking forward to October.
I'll attend tonight's game at Progressive Field in Cleveland with a cheery optimism. As feared, the Indians have dropped their last 10 in a row; what are the odds they'll make it 11? Very slim, right?
Addendum: Cleveland will play Tampa Bay, who are tied with the Cubs at 55 wins, making them the best team in the league right now. Does that change the odds?
As of this morning, the Cleveland Indians (my next stop on the 30-park geas ) have dropped their last 9, putting them two games out of next-to-last place in the American League Central. In fairness, four teams (Seattle, Washington, Colorado, and San Diego) are doing worse. Right now, though, the tension mounts: will they drop their 10th today? Will I see them win tomorrow?
Oh, right, forgot: the Cubs are still in first place, as they've been since April, and are the second-best in all of baseball right now, after the Red Sox. What a World Series that will be, eh?
I have to go through O'Hare four times in the next three weeks, so this will affect me:
Summer air travelers who use the Blue Line to get to and from O'Hare International Airport will face an inconvenience for most of July.
Beginning Tuesday, Blue Line trains will go no farther than the Rosemont stop, the last one before the airport, because of work on the tracks.
A 24-hour shuttle bus will begin running between the Rosemont station and O'Hare at 3 a.m. Tuesday. Normal train service is scheduled to resume July 28.
Still, having experienced a 90-minute trip from downtown to the airport, I'm glad the CTA is fixing the Blue Line.
It's time for the semi-annual update of the Chicago sunrise chart. (You can get one for your own location at http://www.wx-now.com/Sunrise/SunriseChart.aspx.)
||6:30am sunrise; 7pm sunset
||Equinox, 10:44 CDT
||Latest sunrise until 2 Nov. 2010
Latest sunset until Mar 4th
||Standard time returns
Earliest sunrise until Mar 2nd
||6:30am sunrise (again)
||Earliest sunset of the year
||Solstice, 06:04 CST
||Latest sunrise until Oct. 29th
||Earliest sunrise until April 12th
Earliest sunset until Oct. 25th
||Daylight savings time begins
Latest sunrise until Oct. 25th
||7am sunrise, 7pm sunset
||Equinox 06:44 CDT
||6:30am sunrise (again)
||Earliest sunrise of the year
||Solstice 00:45 CDT
||Latest sunset of the year
You can get sunrise information for your location at wx-now.com.
Just jiggled the 30-Park Geas schedule a little. After discussing with my cousing the pros and cons of visiting Miami in August, we decided to hit two Cubs games in Atlanta, whereupon I'll pop out to San Francisco to see Dad and catch the A's-White Sucks series.
(Sox. White Sox. My mistake. Sorry, I live north of Madison.)
So, with eight parks down, and seven scheduled, we go into the bottom of 2008. National League 9, American 6.
In Chicago, we have an annual vehicle tax of $75. Many neighborhoods also have restricted parking zones; permits are $25. Both vehicle stickers and parking permits expire on June 30th.
I mention this because I went to renew these things in person this afternoon down at City Hall. Yes, three business days before their expiration, I stood in line. How long? you wonder. This is city government, after all.
Chicago really is the city that works.
I even had time to go to the County Assessor's Office to clear up an issue with my property tax. That adventure took—wait for it—no time at all because the receptionist walked me through the process as soon as I entered the office.
City and county services like these make my head spin. Let's review: I walked into the building at 4:15 pm, and walked out at 4:45 with my vehicle sticker, parking permit, and corrected property tax information.
Try that in any other major city in the world. Ha!
And as an added bonus, via Calculated Risk, 75% of Americans blame the Current Occupant (208 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes) for the deteriorating economy. For the record, I'm one of them.
Side note: Chicago is wikitravel's destination of the month.