Taste of Chicago 2012

Declining attendance and profits in previous years lead to a historic change to the world’s largest food festival – a shortened change.  This year’s taste only spanned 5 days.  Though this wasn’t our first time attending the Taste, it was our first time attending as Chicagoans.  As a result, we pledged to enjoy the entirety of the Taste throughout 3 of the 5 days instead of stuffing ourselves in one visit.

Day 1

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We walked to Grant Park to join Chicagoan Jennifer Hudson for the opening festivities, who did a fantastic job!  She included a beautiful and lively tribute to Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson that caused all to Want to Dance With Somebody! I spy spotted an old friend, Marcus Phillips, playing bass for Jennifer Hudson.

                          Mayor Rahm Emanuel waves upon entering Jennifer Hudson concert.

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Day 2

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It rained.  However, it didn’t stop us and clearly most others. Our strategy: sample the taste portions of all that we wanted to determine what we’d have a full portion of on our Day 3 following the Chaka Khan concert.  (Forgive Day 2’s low quality pictures as we took the camera that if got wet wouldn’t really hurt our feelings.)

Vee Vees Restaurant
steak jibarito
jibarito – sandwich with fried plantains used in place of bread
Sabor Latino
                jerk chicken with red beans and rice

not pictured:

*tortilla encrusted tilapia taco – Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill
*tequila lime marinated grill chicken breast taco – Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill
*house special dry ribs – Lao Sze Chuan

Day 3

Chaka Khan!


After declaring that I’m Every Woman, we were off to get dinner from our declared winner!Image   Image

From the looks of it, many others declared Iyanze their favorite too!


However, it was their rendition of a classic Jamaican dish that had everyone coming back for more!

Image  jerk chicken with jollof rice and plantains
                                                       hibiscus sorbet topped with lemon whipped cream

Our ride home



99 problems but Obama ain’t one . . .

Yes, I have 99 problems.  What are they?  Glad you asked.  They are the 99 days left until the U.S. Presidential election.  Ninety-nine days of more than a billion dollars spent causing eye-rolls and changed channels with “I approve this message” ads and those candidates cannot approve.  Ninety-nine days of debates, uneducated commentaries, forgetful memories and deflecting questions.  And really, 99 days of asking non-factors like “the shooting his friend in the face former Vice President” his opinion on the current administration and upcoming election?!?!

This past weekend, we traveled to Las Vegas to attend a wedding.  It wasn’t long after our arrival that we were reminded that Las Vegas resides in a battleground state.  The hundreds of millions of dollars raised by each candidate’s campaign, Super PACs and national committees were on full display.  Every. Single. Commercial. we saw was a campaign ad, mostly endorsing former Governor Mitt Romney.  It was at that moment I silently thanked the universe for residing in a non-battleground state.

Yes, I have 99 problems.  They are the 99 days we each have to wait to cast a vote we could all cast today.


Morning Prayer

Happy Monday! May your week be a beautiful one filled with joy, accomplishments and laughter.

Dear God,
I give this day to You.
May my mind stay centered on the things of spirit.
May I not be tempted to stray from love.
As I begin this day, I open to receive You.
Please enter where You already abide.
May my mind and heart be pure and true, and may I not deviate from the things of goodness.
May I see the love and innocence in all mankind, behind the masks we all wear and the illusions of this worldly plane.
I surrender to You my doings this day.
I ask only that they serve You and the healing of the world.
May I bring Your love and goodness with me, to give unto others wherever I go.
Make me the person You would have me be.
Direct my footsteps, and show me what You would have me do.
Make the world a safer, more beautiful place.
Bless all Your creatures.
Heal us all, and use me, dear Lord, that I might know the joy of being used by You.

Marianne Williamson


A Golden Olympic Moment

Sportswriter David Zirin takes us all to school on this, A Golden Olympic Moment.

Gold medal winner Tommie Smith; Bronze medal winner John Smith 

Image courtesy Harvard Athletics

1968 U. S. Olympic crew team


Still True?

So in a sense we are all participants in that horrible act that tarnished the image of our nation. By our silence, by our willingness to compromise principle, by our constant attempt to cure the cancer of racial injustice with the Vaseline of gradualism, by our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim, by allowing our movie and television screens to teach our children that the hero is one who masters the art of shooting and the technique of killing, by allowing all these developments, we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular pastimes.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – November 1963 – response to President Kennedy’s assassination, 


Does this still ring true? Could we temporarily remove the word “racial” to incorporate all injustices?