Goodbye Margaret

September 14th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Surprise!!!! :: American Legion, Bucktown, Chicago

Still in shock, singing Fat Bottom Girls :: American Legion, Bucktown, Chicago

Rory & Margaret :: American Legion, Bucktown, Chicago

Scott is the best at performing Faith :: American Legion, Bucktown, Chicago

Margaret & Rachelle :: American Legion, Bucktown, Chicago

Guys from Time Out Chicago singing to Margaret :: American Legion, Bucktown, Chicago

Olivia & Margaret singing Total Eclipse of the Heart :: American Legion, Bucktown, Chicago

I can vividly remember the first time I met Margaret. It was at a Starbucks on Michigan Avenue, I’d just moved from New York to Chicago and I was wearing a blue hoodie that said “New York” on it, I was disappearing from work for a bit (my office was a building away), I was tired from working a lot that week, and I’d just returned from a trip to Hawaii (where I met Dallas). I knew Gothamist’s Jen and Jake from when I lived in New York and Margaret was a friend of a friend of Jake’s and we were meeting to talk about starting “a site like Gothamist but for Chicago.” I have lived in Chicago around the same amount of time that I’ve known Dallas and around the same amount of time that Chicagoist has existed. They’re all one intertwined experience for me.. and Margaret has always been a big part of it. These days I barely, if at all, participate in Chicagoist… and now? Margaret is moving to New York. Sad face (as she would say)!

Last night a bunch of people surprised Margaret at her favorite karaoke place, The American Legion with Rory Lake as the karaoke DJ. Margaret has had her birthday party there for the past two years. Last year I went and had so much fun, but this year I couldn’t make it because it was the day after The Vodka Lemonade Incident and I was in rough shape. Alden was supposed to go with me but I had to cancel so he came with me last night. Margaret was totally surprised and before she could get over the shock of it someone stuck the microphone in her hand and made her sing “Fat Bottom Girls.” It was like on American Idol where they tell them they lost and then make them sing, except in a happy way.

I talked to the bartender Rod a bit (that’s Hot Rod, for the ladies) and he said that to rent out the American Legion space is a few hundred dollars. If you just want to drink there you have to be a veteran or a booster. To become a booster all you have to do is pay them $10 per year. The beer at the American Legion is $2. It seems to me that you usually have to pay a $10 cover for a NIGHT of drinking discounted beer, not a year! Plus you get a cool American Legion card with your name on it.

We stayed at the Legion until about 2:30 in the morning and then should have gone home but didn’t. We were deciding where to go and someone said it had to be “a 5 a.m. bar.” I was like “5 a.m.? I thought the bars were only open until 4 a.m.” Olivia then informed me that I was old. Which… compared to her… yes, I am! And of course, then I couldn’t go home. We went to The Continental. Of course, once there Olivia decided she couldn’t drink any more (probably a good thing). Alden and I each had one more and then all three of us split a cab ride home. I think I got home at 4 a.m. I have no idea how late Margaret and the others stayed. 5 a.m.?

Definitely tired today, but it was a really fun night. Good to see Margaret.. we’ve done a bad job keeping in close touch this year. Definitely have to see her again before she moves in 2 weeks and definitely she will be added to the list of friends to see when I visit New York.

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