I am the first to admit that I’m a creature of habit.
We all know that I eat pretty much the same breakfast every single day.
And I’ve been known to become a regular at bars and restaurants more often than I’ve tried new places. I’ve literally had bar stools reserved for me at a certain bar I frequented pretty much twice a week every week during my early 20’s.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but every once and a while I find the need to venture out and try new things.
I think it’ll make me a more interesting person in my old age. Just imagine the yarns I’ll weave for my grandkids. I don’t want to be that grandma that only has cheek pinches and stale Trident gum to offer them.
Enter: last night. My friend had been offered free admission to be a part of the live audience for a forum between the candidates running for mayor of Chicago, to be broadcast on WTTW.
Me? Watch a mayoral debate?
It was awesome, even with the obstructed view. Sure, I’ve watched debates on TV before, but there’s something about being in the same room as the candidates that makes you feel so much more engaged and, well, interested.
You can’t flip over to Bravo halfway through when they’re talking about the intricacies of the city’s bureaucracy. But you can feel the tension and excitement in the air, and you start to realize why people want to go into politics in the first place.
If you ever have the chance to attend a live debate, do it. Even if you don’t think you care. Even if you don’t like any of the candidates. I think it’s an experience everyone should have once.
And it sorta makes you feel like a responsible citizen, too.
Speaking of doing things Chicago-y, I headed to a somewhat unknown Chicago landmark for dinner tonight.
Paramount Room is housed in a building that’s over 100 years old and used to serve as a speakeasy. If you ever had any doubt that this city was once run by mobsters, you need to check this place out.
This gastro pub looks like a teeny tiny storefront from the outside, but has a tavernous lower level with evidence of a back door escape route that was used during raids back in the day. Yes, that door is halfway up the wall. I’m pretty sure it’s purely decorative now.
Makes you feel like you’re living in a piece of history, though, and all while you’re enjoying a $9 Kobe burger.
Now that’s Chicago, baby.