Hall Chat: Fourth of July Heat Wave

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Holy heat wave! This past week, Chicago had temperatures in the 100s for what seemed like forever. Just getting to work in the morning was such a chore, and by the time I arrived, I already needed a shower and a nap.

It. Was. Hot.

The Fourth of July was smack dab in the middle of the heat wave, and all I really wanted to do was crank up the a/c, curl up in bed, and watch movies all day. But alas, friends plan things, and it was a day off from work, so I decided to crawl out of the cool air and head to a cookout with some friends in Ukrainian Village.

The walk there almost made me turn around. I noticed a lack of people in the street, something that is so unusual for a holiday in the city. Usually there are people everywhere, but I assume that because of the heat, people went to their destination and parked it. They were conserving energy, I know it. And, of course, that’s smart to do in the heat — don’t want anybody fainting before fireworks!

So that is exactly what I did. I parked it on a stoop with some friends and ate some Tofurkey hotdogs and couscous salad. For some reason, no one was really clamoring to get a hold of my Tofurkey dogs. Instead, they were opting for cheese-filled, bacon wrapped sausages. So strange?

What I enjoyed most about celebrating the Fourth in the Chicago this year was this magnificent stoop that we all sat on. I love the stoops and the front porches in Ukrainian Village and all of the trees. It’s a really gorgeous neighborhood and a lovely place to have a holiday barbecue, even if it was 105° out. We were able to get relief from the heat by running through the sprinklers and hosing ourselves off every half hour or so, which was oh so necessary and extremely refreshing.

Around 9pm there was a fireworks display just around the corner, and watching fireworks from the brick-lined stoop, sipping on a cold-beer, and chatting with friends was the highlight of my Fourth of July (that and the tan!). I don’t know what it is, but holidays in the city of Chicago, especially the ones where you’re outside cooking with friends are my favorite.