The first night of the 2006 IgoUgo Get-Together was held at Cubby Bear's, a bar located in the historic Wrigleyville District in Chicago's North Side. Cubby Bear's is located across the street from historic Wrigley Field, home of those "Lovable Losers," the Chicago Cubs.
On the cab ride into Wrigleyville from Oak Park, I saw Wrigley Field in its glory across the road in lights. Darn! I wish that the get-together was in August or September, so I could have caught a game there. My sister and brother-in-law caught a game at Wrigley Field in 2001 between the Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers. Mom, Dad, and I were home in Donnelly and would get updates on ESPN and a chance to catch Erika and Todd in the stands. No dice there, but Erika did call from Wrigley Field to say hi and let us know that they were having fun. We could hear the public-address system in the background and envied Erika and Todd for being there.
Wrigley Field is the second oldest baseball stadium in the USA, next to Boston's Fenway Park. Built in 1919, it was owned by the Wrigley family, those of the famous chewing gum and newspaper publication family. Since 1919, Wrigley Field has been the scene of many a Cubs' heartbreak. The most recent heartbreak was in 2003, when the Cubs made the National League Championship Series against the Florida Marlins. The Cubs had a chance to make their first World Series since 1945, but a foul ball that could have been caught by the Cubs' Left Fielder Moises Alou was grabbed by an overeager fan, and it was curtains for the Cubs and tears for the fans. Most of us Red Sox fans can sympathise with the Cubs and their fans, because that year, we lost to the dreaded "Evil Empire," the New York Yankees, in the bottom of the 9th inning on a home run by Aaron Boone off Tim Wakefield. Until 2004, the Red Sox, White Sox, and Cubs had the longest period between World Championships. The Red Sox's curse ended in 2004, the White Sox in 2005, but the poor Cubbies have still to make the show and win their first World Championship in 98 years.
I stopped drooling at Wrigley Field to go inside Cubby Bear's, which is a local hangout for the college crowd and other residents of Wrigleyville. There are weekly concerts there, and the bar is split into the main bar and a smaller bar, where the get-together was held. IgoUgo members were greeted at the door by members of the editorial staff and given name tags, along with souvenir T-shirts and tote bags. Umbrellas were also available, but I didn't think it would fit into my suitcase.
It was great seeing members from the get together in Vancouver like zabelle, travelprone and her son Mark, and others, and it was great to meet new friends and members, like Ed Hahn. Most of the time was spent eating from the buffet and catching up with old friends. Zabelle and other members gave little speeches, and I enjoyed the ambience of Cubby Bear's. The bar we were in had shirts of many of the Cubs greats, such as Ernie Banks and Ron Santo, and the baseball playoffs were on the big-screen TV.
The party broke up at about 9:30pm, but we met up again the next few days to sightsee and for other adventures.
Cubby Bears is free to enter except on concert nights. Then it's about a $5 to $10 cover charge to get in. They have a good selection of beers and other drinks and is a good place to meet the locals.
Wrigley Field is across the road on Addison, and it is advised to buy tickets to the games early, because they can sell out fast, even if the Cubs are in last place. Bleacher seats are the least expensive way to get the Cubs experience.