I returned to Chicago this week for the first time since I moved from the city 16 months ago. It was a good trip. I stayed at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco on Wacker and Wabash. I enjoyed some salmon downstairs at South Water Kitchen before venturing out to The Map Room, “A Traveller’s Tavern” on the corner of Hoyne and Armitage. While there I finally got my first taste of Victory’s HopDevil Ale.
The brewer’s site describes it thusly:
Menacingly delicious, with the powerful, aromatic punch of whole flower American hops backed up by rich, German malts. HopDevil Ale offers a roller coaster ride of flavor, coasting to a smooth finish that satisfies fully.
I had reason to cheer. Since, my hotel was but a block from 233 N. Michigan, I could not help but reflect on how much things have changed for the better since I stopped working in that black building. Which is not to say I don’t love Chicago, because I do. Without a doubt, it’s one the great American cities along with San Francisco and New York.
While we don’t have the number of amazing restaurants, neighborhood bars or limitless live music possibilities, life in Lowcountry or Slowcountry, if you will, has its own advantages–natural beauty, great weather, affordable housing and recreational pursuits like beachcombing, boating, fishing, surfing, etc. Yet the thing that trumps all of this is the fact that I now have the job I was looking for in Chicago and could not find.