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Mimi & The Blue Angels

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

This weekend is Chicago’s 52nd Annual Air & Water Show.  I look forward to this event every year, but not because I want to head down to the lakefront to jostle for position and sweat with thousands of suburbanites and tourists.  My reasons are far more sentimental.

My paternal grandmother (Mimi, as we called her) loved the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, one of the highlights of the Air & Water Show.  Because we lived so close to the Lake Michigan, we got to witness essentially four days’ worth of mid-air maneuvers by these skilled pilots.  (Four days = two days of practice + two days of actual Air & Water Show.)  Without fail, Mimi pulled out her rickety, metal sunbathing chair and set up in our backyard to watch the Blue Angels fly, twist, dive, and roar overhead.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say this was the highlight of her summer.  And, our backyard – if you want to call it that – was no more than an 8×8 patch of grass behind our 6-flat apartment building on West Lexington Street.  But when I was sitting out there with Mimi watching those planes, and watching her face glow ever so slightly with delight, I could have been anywhere in the world and it would not have mattered.  My Mimi pretty much was my best friend until she passed away in 1988, when I was 14 years old.  I miss her like you can’t imagine, even more than twenty years later, but getting to see those Blue Angels every summer makes me remember those days in our little backyard, and a whole host of other happy memories from those brief fourteen years I had with her.  I hope the Blue Angels keep on flying forever.

Posted by Francesca

Pet peeve alert

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Pet peeve alert, originally uploaded by Francesca….

While I applaud the city of Chicago’s attempt to be multi-cultural, I am disappointed and annoyed as hell that the Chicago Park District didn’t do their homework. In the photo on the right is a close-up of the Welcome sign that is found in, I’m guessing, all of the parks in the city. The word “Welcome” is expressed in several languages, one being Italian, and it’s spelled incorrectly!! On the sign, it’s spelled b-e-n-v-e-n-u-t-t-i. The correct spelling is b-e-n-v-e-n-u-t-i, with one T. Someone should have double-checked the proper spelling before spending God only knows how much money on these signs.  And this city wants to host the Olympics… how embarrassing.

Over 700 City workers to lose jobs, but don’t worry: the Jumping Jack Program will be saved!

Thursday, November 20th, 2008
It's true. Read about it here. The city that works... Posted by Francesca

Blackhawks Training Camp Festival

Thursday, September 18th, 2008
This Saturday, September 20th, is the first ever Blackhawks Training Camp Festival at the United Center. Admission is $5 and it includes entry into the United Center for a Blackhawks' public practice and all other activities at the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Blackhawks to play outdoor game at Wrigley

Saturday, May 31st, 2008
This is the best news ever!! The Blackhawks reportedly will play an outdoor, non-exhibition game (meaning it will count in the regular season standings) against the Detroit Red Wings on January 1, 2009, at Wrigley Field. How ... [Continue reading this entry]

Francesca made the news!

Monday, April 21st, 2008
Francesca was picked to "train" Ana Belaval of WGN's Morning News on how to call-take at our City's 911 center. Check out the video here. If the video doesn't immediately load, look for "Around Town at a ... [Continue reading this entry]

Earthquake measuring 5.2 in Chicago

Friday, April 18th, 2008
It was the weirdest thing. I was half-awake, just lying in bed, and I felt the bed moving - not really shaking, but moving. Mark had already left for work so I continued to lie there with my ... [Continue reading this entry]

Thoughts from the first 2008 visit to Wrigley

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
Before last night, it had been almost two years since I went to my last Cubs home game. It was good to be back at Wrigley and see the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-5. Felicia and I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Someone call the Punctuation Police!

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008
Yesterday, as part of Opening Day ceremonies at Wrigley Field, the Cubs unveiled a statue of Cubs legend, Ernie Banks. I watched the replay of the ceremony during the 40-minute rain delay and, shortly after the statue was uncovered, I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Earth Hour, Chicago

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
On Saturday, March 29th, at 8:00pm, Chicago will turn out the lights and participate in Earth Hour. For one whole hour, residents, communities, and business owners are encouraged to turn out all non-essential lights to show support and commitment ... [Continue reading this entry]