How to Chicago: Running. 

40.  It’s marathon week in Chi-town (or the week of chafe if you prefer). If you’ve given into the peer pressure, well then, enjoy your Gu. I personally think marathons are bad for you, but I am but a lowly physical therapist. 

Thrive. For non marathon exercise, it’s fun to run through the city. It’s a lovely visual tour of an architecturally epic city. There’s excellent people watching. It’s easy to mark your distance. Eight blocks to a mile. One suggestion for big city jogging. Don’t do it down Michigan Avenue. Don’t do it down State Street. They are teeming with humans that you must constantly dodge. They get annoyed. You get annoyed. One must brake every block for a stoplight. Instead select some nice, long, lesser touristy side streets where you don’t need to interupt your stride.

Side note: Listening to people talk about marathon training ranks right up there with listening to people tell you about the tattoos that they are going to get one day. Or listening to people talk about their  fantasy football team. Or listening to people talk about their golf game. (This post has gotten longer than I wanted.)

Go ahead and marathon if you feel like you need to prove something to someone. I wish you luck and I’ll see you in the clinic on Monday. I’m a physical therapist. 

2nd side note: Half marathons are perfectly acceptable because my wife do them. 

How to Chicago: Sporting Events

38. Thrive: We are nearing that time of year. The sports equinox occurs when the MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA are all underway. Watching pro sports in person is invariably better with more details. Nowadays all teams have an app where you can listen to the radio feed real time on your mobile. Grab a $10 beer then pop in an ear bud and listen to the radio guys explain every detail of the game as you watch it live. You can still socialize with your home boys, but now when something odd happens during the game, say all the umpires meet at the pitchers mound for a 10 minute discussion, you’ll know it was because they found cork in Sammy Sosa’s bat. Everyone around your seat will turn to you for the info. You’ll feel powerful.  It almost makes paying $50 to park worth it. 

P. S.  My wife goes to more pro sporting events than me by a hundredfold. 

I just needed to get that off my chest. 

How to Drive Chicago: “Shitgun!”


36. Drive. And Survive. And Thrive. We were pulling out of a parking lot recently after our ten thousandth little league game and we drove past another family. I watched 2 siblings fighting for the front seat. What started as a verbal argument ended with Homer on Bart style choking. Parents in tears. Human sacrifice. Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria. 

But you . . . you’re better than that. You’ve figured this out already. Or, maybe you’re one of those families who’s flatulence has no odor and your clones never argue. If that is NOT the case, allow me to help.  

Child “A” in the front seat on the way to all destinations. Child “B” in the front seat anytime you are on the way home. Done. That’s it. Doesn’t matter if it’s a one-way trip. Doesn’t matter if you’re dropping one off at an orphanage and he will never ride with you again.  “A” in front on the way there. “B” in front on the way back. 

Doesn’t matter if the getaway trip takes 5 hours and then we find a worm hole and the return is 6 minutes. “A” on the way there. “B” on the way back. 

Accordion your car killing your family? Does not matter. Corpse “A” in front. Corpse “B” in back. 

Now, I’m quite aware of the math issues if you own a third child. In that case, keep it simple. The baby stays in back until your oldest stops riding with you. Good to keep her confidence down anyways. Make it up to her in some other way. Let her lead prayers or something 

How to Chicago: Car Wash

30. Thrive.  Chicago hand car washes, the ones where you pull into a garage and then exit the vehicle and let the bathing begin (the car, not you…..though that would be an interesting concept) flood the landscape. Here’s what I’ve noticed. The one right around the corner run by people of Middle Eastern descent without any cars waiting in line is just as good as the one 6 blocks away run by Latinos with 30 cars in the queue (well, almost). It’s water and soap on metal. Some vacuuming.  You don’t need to wait in line 70 minutes for that. 

One suggestion if you work at said car wash. There is no need to Armor All the brake! Jesus Christ . It’s like stepping on a wet fish when you pull  away. 

How to Chicago: Refreshment

26.  OK people. Week 26 of the year. Week 26 of this blog. We are halfway through both. 

Thrive. Let’s keep er simple this week for the half-yearly. This has nothing to do with the size of your city so suburbanites, you have my blessing.  Here’s a nugget for good, clean living. Visit the local 7-Eleven and fall in love again with ………the Slurpee. They are so choice. Nothing beats it on a calescent, summer day. Start with Wild Cherry (consider it a serving of fruits and vegetables) and work your way through the flavors.

22oz for $1.39 ! (drop the mic)

How to Chicago: Weeknights 

24. Thrive. You live in a big city! It’s wonderful and it’s crowded. Take advantage of what downtown has to offer on weeknights. Beach on a Tuesday after work? Yep. You’ll have it all to yourself. Free concert downtown on Thursday night? Sure. Only locals are out. Dinner on a Wednesday night in River North? Do it. It’s gonna be swarming with people in three days.

How to Chicago: Concerts

Dinosaur Jr.


21. Thrive.  Go to shows. Plays. Musicals. Concerts. They’re ubiquitous in the metropolis. It’s one of the fundamental reasons you’ve chosen to live there…. endless entertainment options. If you’re heading out for a bit of the old rockity roll, call the venue that afternoon and get the set times. Nine times out of 10 they will tell you exactly when the opening act starts, when the headliner begins and when the headliner has to be finished by. They are staggeringly accurate. Very few bands take the stage when they’re “feeling” it, or end the show when they’re satisfied.  It is all predetermined. That’s useful for letting your babysitter know when you’ll be home. Better yet, you no longer have to guess when the best time is to arrive. There’s nothing worse than showing up at 7 when music doesn’t start until 11. 

Bobby Bare Jr.


Dale Watson


Alia Shawkat


Mike Watt