This morning, I was on a mission. Actually two missions at the same time:
Mission #1: Today is the launch of the NBCC Robertson Institute for Community Leadership. Early this morning I watched a live stream cast from Harbour Station in Saint John of guest speaker, Marc Kielburger, inspiring 4500 NBCC staff and students to do community service as a way of transforming lives and communities in a positive way. After that, and with Monica in tow, I headed for the streets of downtown Chicago. One the way, we bought bottles of water and power-bars at the grocery store. As we walked the streets, I passed out nutrition to homeless people. The first one gave me goose-bumps. With each grateful smile and humble “Thank you, Sir”, I was filled with many senses; helpfulness, empathy, support, peace. My transformation was realizing that homelessness does not mean without community. These people are very much a part of their community and, on this day, their purpose was to bring me great joy in my service.
Mission #2: Monica and I did the walking tour and photo logging of the downtown public sculptures. There are many and all of them strange and wonderful. My favorite was the Marc Chagall Four Seasons stained glass mosaic.
At noon, Mon and I met up with Maneau and Jake for lunch at Buddy Guy’s Legends Lounge. There was excellent live music (Anthony Moser) and the cajun shrimp were blisteringly awesome. What a fantastic place. The photos and memorabilia are really worth the visit (see the photos below).
After lunch, we hopped the subway to the Magnificent Mile and bought hop-on hop-off bus tickets for the luxury version of sight-seeing (our feet are dead). We did the loop tour and enjoyed the info commentary from the tour guide. We saw where Lady Gaga lives, where Transformers and Superman were filmed, where Oprah lived (for sale now @ 2.2 million), the church where Al Capone shot up the competition, and much more.
We hopped-off for an early dinner at the Purple Pig… a Chicago style tapas restaurant where we shared a cheese plate called Ewe Calf to be Kidding (a mix of cow, sheep and goat cheese), the grilled octopus, halibut with olive salata drizzled with rhubarb, grilled lamb steaks and milk-braised pork shoulder all with and a nice bottle of nebbiolo wine from Italy. Are we spoiled, or what?
After dinner, we sped back to the apartment to get dressed for the evening’s entertainment. We went to the Bank of America Theater to see Amazing Grace… based on the true story of John Newton, a slave-trader’s son in the mid 1700’s England, who wrote the song “Amazing Grace”. What an excellent play (no photos allowed) and the perfect end to a perfect day.