a late night visit to the south end of Chicago
Chicago Travel Blog› entry 4 of 5 › view all entries
The next morning was the same as the previous and we made more great contacts at the show. Dick, Rich, and Sarah all left early for their flights while George and I stayed at McCormick Place until the tradeshow closed. We got together with one of his friends who was in town for dinner at Webber Grill Restaurant where they cooked your dinner over actual charcoal on Webber grills. Following another massive meal, we took a 20-minute cab ride to Martyrs’ Pub to see Gan Bua (traditional Irish music). The band was very good and the crowd was only locals, so it was an enjoyable, laidback kind of night.
From the bar, the three of us caught the last train back downtown where George’s friend grabbed a cab to his hotel while George and I took another train toward our part of town.
Toward the end of the ride, George pointed out that there were few cars on the roads we were passing, much less any taxis. It then turned out that we were on a train heading for Cottage Grove and East 63rd rather than Ashland, which would have been closer to our hotel got off at the King Drive station.
We found ourselves deep in the south end of Chicago, which is not a pretty part of town. I sat on a bench next a couple of middle-aged black guys while George checked out the bus schedules on a post. He thought a bus might be quicker than a cab, so we walked down to the corner of Ashland and 63rd. There did not appear to be an identified bus stop, so George went back to check the maps again while I stood on the corner.
As George was passing by the two men with whom I had earlier shared the bench, one asked “Hey, where’s your partner,” to which George replied, “He’s on the corner down there.” The man then warned, “He don’t want to be hanging around on that corner.” George promptly called me over just as a cab dropped someone off and we were able to get our ride.
Shocked to find two guy of fair complexion in the south end and at such a late hour, the driver inquired, “What are you doing in this part of town,” almost before asking “Where to?” Along the ride back to the hotel, he filled us in on how unsafe the area is and expressed surprise that nothing had happened to us.