A clinch to remember
Between all the intern things, like mailing out dozens of Vine Lines to various writers, moving boxes and making copies, I was given the opportunity to leave my cube located in the old donut shop outside of Wrigley Field on Clark Street, and walk around Wrigleyville to find out how Cubs fans were celebrating the impending clinch. I met a variety groups, from an elderly couple getting a quiet lunch at Harry Caray’s to six 22-year-olds carousing at The Cubbie Bear.
Like the people I met, Wrigleyville has become a town of conflicting values and dual agendas. You have the new, high-class Wrigleyville, fresh with upscale restaurants like Tuscany and nicely finished bars/grills like Harry Caray’s. On the other hand, you still have the old Wrigleyville, the blue-blooded Wrigleyville, where bars like the Dugout and Sluggers still have a place–where you almost can taste the stale beer from the worn wood and linoleum floors; bars that beg you to ignore the city’s new smoking policy and light up a Marlboro Red, letting the smoke fill your lungs.
The presence of both is unique, but also makes up the Cubs fan base. Listening to the elderly couple talk about how long they have waited for a Cubs team like this or two bartenders who drove 45-minutes just to be in Wrigleyville for the clinch is in stark contrast with other Cubs fans like the bar hopping group of 22-year-olds. One even said he was a Cardinals fan until that day, changing his allegiances to the Cubs.
This is the duality of Wrigleyville, and it links Cubs fans together. They help define each other. Watching as the two merged and celebrated a Cubs division clinch was an interesting and telling experience that I hope to properly convey to readers through a pictorial in next year’s Gameday Souvenir Program, and hopefully with the picture above.