I love the GPS on my iPhone!

I was supposed to take my son Alex to a football game at 54th and Narragansett Avenue. I have a general idea of what the nieghborhood is like because it’s near Midway Airport, my old stomping grounds. No problem, right? I mean how hard is it to find a football field? Well, when I get to where the football field is supposed to be, I see nothing but residential buildings. Someone didn’t give out the correct address for the game. And I don’t have any of the phone numbers for any of the coaches or the staff! What to do?

Luckily, I had my iPhone and I had used the calendar to schedule the game. So, I knew the game was supposed to be at Wentworth Park, at least according to football schedule that gave me the wrong address. I search for Wentworth Park using Google Maps and I discover that I’m in the general vicinity, but about a mile away. The map even indicated the traffic flow of one-way streets! Using the map on my iPhone, I successfully find Wentworth Park. This was actually one of the uses I had in mind when I bought the iPhone. I hope to use Google Maps a lot the next time I go to Mexico.

Take two lefts and then a right.

Mexico vs. Poland

Bishop Plácido Rodríguez and Pope John Paul II

A few years back, there was a soccer / football / fútbol match at Soldier Field between Mexico and Poland. The game sold out almost as soon as the tickets went on sale. Why? Well, because Chicago is the fifth largest Mexican city and Chicago is also the second largest Polish city. Chicago has a lot of people of Polish and Mexican descent living here.

For as long as I can remember, I have always had Polish friends. In Chicago, it’s just inevitable. In many Chicago neighborhoods, Mexicans and Poles live and work side by side. Despite the language barrier, they get along quite well because they have so many other things in common.

First of all, many of them have strong connection to their home country because they are either immigrants or they know recent immigrants. Most speak English as their second language. Both Poles and Mexicans are mainly Catholic and have a great devotion to the Virgin Mary. They both come from rural areas and adapt to a major city like Chicago. Both groups are known for being hard workers. So, there are many couples that are Mexican / Polish, or, if you prefer, Polish / Mexican, in Chicago. And they, too, get along just fine.

How they meet often remains a mystery since both Mexicans and Poles prefer their own people. But they have plenty of opportunities to meet each other in Chicago because they live and work together. Sometimes, only one person of the couple is a U.S. citizen. Usually, gaining U.S. citizenship has nothing to do with their becoming a couple. There is a genuine attraction between the two because they have so much in common. I’ve been to many Polish parties for baptisms, weddings, birthdays, and family gatherings, and I always felt like I was extremely welcome there. In fact, many times Poles would approach me with a friendly smile and immediately begin talking to me in Polish. I’d have to shrug and tell them that I didn’t speak Polish and that would end our conversation since they didn’t speak much English. Considering how many Polish girls I have met, I’m amazed that I’ve never had a Polish girlfriend.

Súper Tazón XLII

On the road to Bears Camp.

Okay, as a true Chicagoan and Chicago Bears fan, I cannot contain myself anymore and I must have my say about the outcome of today’s Super Bowl. My sons asked me who I wanted to win the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots, I said without even hesitating. They were amazed because they want the New York Giants to win. But that’s understandable because they don’t know Chicago History. I’ll never forget the horrendous disaster that occurred on December 2, 1985–a disaster in Chicago History that ranks right up there with the 1812 Fort Dearborn Massacre, the 1871 Chicago Fire, and the 1992 Chicago Flood! Yes, I’m talking about the Chicago Bears loss to the Miami Dolphins in what would have been the perfect romp to Super Bowl XX. Yes, the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl, but their record was slightly diminished. Their nearly perfect season was reduced to a mere 18-1 record by the Dolphins who held the record of 17-0 for the most wins in a season. Okay, so that’s why I want the New England Patriots to win tonight’s Super Bowl and go on to a perfect record of 19-0. Just so they can beat Miami’s perfect season of 1972. Only then will I feel vindicated over that Bears’ loss to Miami, oh, so long ago, even though the wounds are still fresh in my heart! Go, Patriots!

New food

I am not the most graceful of people. I was just getting this walking and talking thing down pat, when what do you think someone invents? A walking taco! Basically, you get a bag of Fritos piled with chili, lettuce, sour cream, and hot sauce. Walking tacos are very popular at carnivals and local sporting events in the greater Chicagoland area. Personally, I think of tacos as a sit-down kind of food that demands the eater’s complete and undivided attention because they are tricky to eat even while sitting down. Anyway, I bought a walking taco the other day at my son’s football scrimmage game and I actually tried to eat it while walking; I wanted to see if there was truth in advertising. However, I don’t recommend this at all. Well, I was also holding an umbrella open because of the rain and I was carrying a can of pop, too. The walking taco was very tasty, but difficult to enjoy because I was afraid that I would drop either the umbrella, the can of pop, or God forbid, the walking taco. I accidentally spilled some chili on my shirt and couldn’t wipe the stain off because both my hands were full. Everyone knew what I had eaten. “How was that walking taco?” “Did you get any of the walking taco in your mouth?” Etcetera. My question is, does this qualify as Mexican food or American food?

Can I eat a walking taco while sitting down?