Growing up in the mid west (if you call Cincinnati the mid-west), and having traveled to Korea, Los Angeles, San Francisco, France, and a whole bevy of other cities around the world, you would think that in the 28 years that I have been alive, that I would had made it to Chicago.
Well, Kids, the joke is on you.
It was not until last month that I made any time to spend more than a couple of hours in the Windy City. I traveled there, specifically, on the happen chance that I would meet Keith Boykin, who was participating in the 2006 Gay Games.
When I first read that Keith Boykin would be participating in the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago, the wheels in my head started churning, trying to figure out ways that I could make it there just on the chance that I would be able to see him at a venue in person.Because I was already going on vacation to Michigan the week before the Games, I decided to take an extra few days of vacation days and try to spend them in Chicago. It just so happened that a Cincinnati friend of mine had already rented a three bedroom apartment in Chicago because he was participating in the Games and was driving to Chicago the day after I returned to Cincy from Michigan.
Running into my hometown buddies and hanging out in the VIP lounge of the House of Blues was
not on my agenda during my stay in the Windy City, but since it happened, I did not complain too much. Not with the great food that I experienced at Red Light and amazingly cool evening with friends at Crew.
Yesterday was the last day of my Chicago vacation. My bus for Cincinnati was scheduled to leave at 3pm so I did not have that much time to explore the city more before I had to get ready and head out of town. I did meander to Evanston, IL where the Keith Boykin and the Gay Games’ Wrestling event
I guess I thought it would be cool if I could just see Keith in person. According to the website, the wrestling event was to begin at 9am, so when I arrived at 10am my hopes to see Mr. Boykin had left me as fast as the L-train leaving Belmont Station.
On arrival I see that there are many wrestlers on the large, tri-serviced mat, but it seemed as though they were taking a break, so I walked half way up the stands where there was a walking row that went around the entire gymnasium.
Standing there alone and taking in the sites, I turned my right and less than 5 feet away from me is Keith Boykin walking towards me!I had a split second to think and the only thing that came to my mind was to say his name. We shook hands and after a couple of seconds of stuttered speech (done by me of course) he resumed on to his seat.
Time was running short and I was not sure if I would be able to wait until Keith wrestled, but a few moments later the competition started and Keith was the first match. He lost the first match, and I had to leave, but his other matches he won and went on to win the Gold in his division. So if you read this
Keith, great job, but I wish I could have watched you win a match.
Today, I spent my first full day back to work and it was definitely sobering. It’s ok though.
PS-I promise that the subsequent post will be a bit more informative…
Needless to say, that I had the time of my life. Here are some of the places that I would suggest hitting up if you have a few days to kill in Chicago.
3458 N. Halsted St.773-975-9244Hours: 6 p.m.-4 a.m. Sunday; 8 p.m.-4 a.m. Monday though Friday; 8 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday
820 W. Randolph Chicago, IL 60607 312.733.8880
Hours: Lunch: Monday – Friday 11:30am – 2:00pm Dinner: Sunday – Thursday 5:30pm – 10:00pm, Friday – Saturday 5:30pm – midnight
* Between June 1st and August 31st we will open for dinner at 6 PM every day
House of Blues
329 N. Dearborn Chicago, IL 60610