Today Erika and I drove to Carl's house (Felicia's boyfriend's) in the South Side listening to Common's "Like Water for Chocolate" until we got to 87th street and Cicero. It felt good being back in SoChi, I haven't spent anytime time there since my Americorps gig in 2005.
It was the first time in my life I met Erika's work friends from the University of Chicago hospital--I liked them very much. I would have preferred having subtitles as they spoke because they used a lot of medical jargon and strange abbreviations, but other than that, I liked watching them get animated like that. The scene itself was mellow and fun. There was patron tequila and Henny, lots of fried and barbecue chicken (which kept tempting me in the giant tinfoil box), spaghetti, soda, tons of beer. Both Erika and I took really nasty jello shots, ate fruit and raw veggies, and later I drank a Heineken, and a bunch of people got tats in the basement while we watched the rest of the Cubs-Diamondback game. Jenny got a California State tattoo with a palm tree and a star shining right above San Diego, Jenny Ty got a fairy between her should blades that made her cry in her seat. Personally I wasn't won over by the art, or the design ideas, but the theme behind the party was rad as hell. I didn't even know there was such a things as a tat party.
Afterwards, as we were driving to NoChi on the highway with the citscape in full view, I started to realize how much I'm gonna miss Chicago, the people, the sports, the goodness and humor of people. At the party there were aunts and uncles, babies, interracial couples, Asians, Peruvians and Cubans, blacks, whites, grad students and thugs, nurses and tattoo artists--and I just eat that shit up. I love it when people come together from diverse backgrounds and celebrate. There's something so beautiful and right about that.
LB and I met her parents at Ethiopian Diamond and then we demolished our plates of spicy lentils, cabbage, rice, shiro, salad, gomen and teff bread. What a great day.