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Archive for the ‘chicago’ Category


at the stadium: u2360 chicago


as usual, the chicago shows were epic. i came to hear the new tunes, stay and bad….and we got them all!

i’ve come to chicago the past 5 tours dating all the way back to zoo tv in the early 90’s and we’ve always had a great, great time…and the band loves chicago….turning out super unique setlists and gems just for this city. i would almost dare say i would rather see u2 in chicago than in my hometown of new york. luckily, i don’t have to choose.


we got into the pit both nights…the secret this time around was to not…not…not…i said: not being in the front row. the stage was so high that some complained that after waiting all day, they looked at a wall and only saw the top of the band’s heads!!! and so much happened around the stage that they needed a 360 degree neck to see it all.

so we hung out in the middle of the pit. and sang our innards out.


but u2 shows for us are not just about music and the band. they are very much about reunions and friends. we take the opportunity every 3-4 years to reconnect with old friends in different cities around the country.

chicago is a homecoming for a lot of my efc friends! this time around efc people came from ny, md, la, chicago and almost vancouver! we missed debby this time around. and we made new friends with rachel, christine, alexi…teaching them our secrets and helping them get closer than they had ever been.


and are you kidding me??? snow patrol opened for them?? it was 2 concerts in one.

chicago equals epic. these shows renewed my soul again.


goodbye, chicago. thanks, again. we will see you soon. don’t you, forget about me(us)

Posted under chicago, u2

some of our favorite(chicago)things: francesca’s on taylor

i got to go to a quick conference before zoe was born so i wanted to post on a place that we like to eat at when we are not in nyc. again, not necessarily the best or whatever superlativeā€¦just places we go to regularly when we are in your town.


with one meal in chicago, we almost always go here. its in an italian district of chicago and is possibly my most favorite italian place in the country,Ā  even with all the choices in nyc. however, i must admit that i have been to mostly touristy places back home. the better italian places are also likely the more expensive places in manhattan which we have not started discovering yet. but that’s what makes francesca’s a favorite…really good food at regular yuppie prices(as opposed to baller prices).


and my hosts love it too. this is why cassie tolerates my presence…i insist on what is definitely her favorite italian eatery. she’s the president of the fan club…i’m the vice president. though theresa might be running for both titles when she returns to chicago.

i think this is what cassie got…a yummy chicken with fettucine? likely with garlic, garlic, garlie. cassie, tell me what this was….


i got this amazing chicken with capers, olives and spicy tomato sauce. it has all the things I love.

hoping to make a stop with theresa in the fall when our irish friends make their first stop.

Posted under chicago, some favorite non-nyc things

world tour update: chicago

before baby mania hit our household, i went on a week long trip for 2 work conferences for a few seminars, a lot of networking and sweet reunions. so we do a flashback lost style to a simpler time…three weeks ago.


back home in the city that shaped me just as much as new york has. from 1990-2006, i frequented chicago multiple times a year including living in the western suburbs from 1990-1994. missed it greatly…and once i touched down, it was familiarly safe as home should be.



the city felt a certain way but chicago has always meant people….special relationships…

15 years of youth ministry has produced friendships across the country but especially in chicagoland. really touched that people traveled out over an hour to hang out and relive old jokes and make new ones. extremely joyous moments hanging out with people i’ve known for almost two decades….and we’re all still in the prime of our lives so there will be many more days.


what brought me to the city was work….conferences with pastors from all over the country…also good friends that i love connecting with and learning from. always very humbled and receive a lot more than i am able to contribute to the conversation.



l2 sponsored the latter part of the week and they always feed us right. each evening we got to head downtown to sample some of the favorite eats of the city including steaks at sullivan’s and of course, deep dish pizza.

a great week of relational refreshment and feasting right before my baby came. prepared me for the crush(maybe).

thanks to all involved for a great week…will see chicago again very soon. it was too long in between visits.

Posted under chicago, world tour

love letter to chicago

i miss you, chicago.

since 1990, 2007 was the first year that i did not set foot in the city of chicago. no visits, no weddings, no graduations, no retreats, no classes, nada. i lived in chicago-land from 1990-1994 and have fond, fond magical memories from this city. it set the direction and course for my life. my college years were the start of a long run of incredible years.

like most people post college-graduation, you don’t expect to visit your school or college town too often…. some people go back for the first time at their 10 year reunion and then proceed to only return once a decade. maybe.

but because of efc, a long string of students attending illinois schools(wheaton, u of i, northwestern among others) and my irish friends(i’ve attended the last four u2 tours in chicago), i went back every year from 1995-2006. there was always a graduation, wedding, reunion, retreat, speaking gig or concert. and in some cases, a girl. that string ended last year. a little bit sad and i mourn the loss. i feel too grown up now. like the next stage upon me and the last stage has passed. i’m so much older than i can take. but what a run….and i celebrate the goodness that god has showered on my life. more than i could have hoped for. more than i could have imagined. more than i deserve.
i’ll return one day. i left youth ministry 3 years ago and i have one student left at wheaton. and my cousin just got in too. and a new album comes out in the fall so 2009 looks good.

but the future is here. onto the future and the new things god has for me and this is my future:

dallas….and my niece, jacqueline.

i lied. on a random layover on said trip to dallas in 2007, i wound up at midway airport. resigned that there was nothing to bring me back, i smiled at my realization when i picked up a sunday copy of the chicago tribune. i sensed god’s wink. i got a few footsteps in…….

also…….for those interested like jasmine……

the 2008 world tour has started

2/14 boston

3/8 chinatown nyc

3/24 dallas

3/28 moco, maryland

3/31 seoul

4/18 nyc comic con

7/4 phoenix

8/15 san fran

8/18 los angeles

8/22 san fran

fall/08 alaska

11/26 baltimore

but no chicago……….

Posted under chicago, dallas, jacqueline, wheaton