How Ribs Are Saving My Neighborhood

uptown ribfest

I live in a neighborhood of Chicago called Uptown.  We’re about a mile north of Wrigley Field.  The good news is that I’m close to the lake and have a beautiful condo.  When I moved here seven years ago I was able to double my square footage than had I moved to Lincoln Park.  While Lincoln Park is a ten on the beauty and fun scale, Uptown is a three.

Why are we a three?   About twenty-five years ago the alderman that came to power in this district was an actual communist.  I know a write at the Sun Times that used to know her when she identified herself this way, just before she got into politics.  Now, I don’t have an issue with communism.  Whatever.  Just not from the person running my neighborhood.

The result was that over her tenure she adopted more social programs and public housing than any other area in the city.  Anyone with mental health issues got shipped to Uptown.

We have awesome crazies, too.  They  look  like bums, except they mumble and scream occasionally, but never ask for cash.  Lots of wild arm  flailing.

I know I’m painting a dreary watercolor of Uptown.  But all hope is not lost.   Why?

Because we have Rib-Fest!

This July 13th will mark the third annual Uptown festival of ribs, our neighborhood’s only party.  Chicago is already overrun with rib events.  And we’re certainly in last place in neighborhood block party coolness.

So, while I thrilled we have something going on, there’s a little trickery involved.  Four mobile food trucks of ribs.  There’s the Texas rib place, the Kansas City rib place, the Chicago rib place, and, for some reason, the Australian rib place.  They all proudly call themselves “award winners” and sell their own  barbecue  sauce.

But, they’re just carnies in disguise.  Upon further examination of their set up, you realize that the signage is pretty much the same.  Just a different brand.  I’m sure they’re owned by the same crew.  But you know what?  We don’t care.  They just travel around state and county fairs across the country.

We’re just glad they stop here in Uptown for a few days.  Also this year, Smash Mouth is the main act on Saturday night.  I think they sang that song about glitter and gold, but I’m too lazy to look it up.

Anyway, I’ll be there – most likely alone.  I’ll get one of the crazies to take a photo of me eating ribs.

uptown ribfest
Hey, at least Rib Fest is better than the Gazpacho Soup Festival in the Spanish and Portuguese area of Chicago. That shit’s gross

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