Route 66 events:  Chicago talk April 19th on public art along Route 66


We’re in the news again – well, yours truly is.  I’ll be giving a lecture and slide presentation on Tuesday, April 19th in downtown Chicago at the Chicago Cultural Center on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Washington Streets, right across from Millennium Park.  The topic will be “Public Art Along Route 66,” covering the route between its eastern terminus at Jackson Boulevard and Michigan (only a few blocks south of the lecture venue!) and downtown Joliet some 40 miles southwest.  The 90-minute presentation will begin at 1:00pm and will be held in the Renaissance Court, which is located in the northwest corner of the first (main) floor, right off the Randolph Street entrance.

Sponsored by the Geographic Society of Chicago, the free lecture is part of the society’s monthly travelogue series.  Registration is unnecessary, but show up at least 15-20 minutes in advance to get a good seat.  See you there, or be square!

 
Your own 66 roadiegal,
Marie

 

Yes, it's in the wrong place ... but you'll be in the right place if you come to my lecture!

Yes, it’s in the wrong place … but you’ll be in the right place if you come to my lecture!

Route 66 ghosts:  Cigars and Stripes BBQ Lounge serves up ’cue and boo in Berwyn, IL


Yes, we know that Hallowmas is over (as of last Sunday morning), but it is the beginning of The Dead Season.  No, that’s not the name of a new TV series on AMC or F/X, despite the numbers of dead and semi-dead running around on the boob tube on those cable networks.  The fact is, almost-winter, winter and almost-spring are also the dead season up north for most car cruising and road trips.  Which, to Route 66 roadies, means that either you go further south and west on the route or else you become a (temporary) armchair traveler.  We don’t mind:  we accommodate armchair travelers, too [grin!].

In that spirit, during the Dead Season we bring you stories of other spirit(s) on Route 66, this time over at Cigars and Stripes BBQ Lounge in Berwyn, IL.  If you recall, we’ve already clued you in about owner Ronnie Lottz’s tasty smoked hot wings and his tent-and-music extravaganza during the annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show every September.  We’ve even mentioned SweetPea, the resident mummy with its own namesake barbecue sauce; said mummy was out to a day-spa for the fake undead last time we visited Ronnie’s place (we trust that SweetPea’s tattered wraps are all rejuvenated and back in place now).

SweetPea, it seems, has spooky company in the way of a resident ghost or three – or at least there are three possibilities for such spiritual visitations.  Ghost stories about the tavern include tales of glasses falling off shelves, bottles falling over or down to the ground, martini shakers flipping in the air by themselves, keys disappearing then reappearing in front of customers, a phone lifting off the hook by itself, a shadowy figure crossing the lounge area or appearing in a doorway, and unexplained noises.   And now we have people willing to talk about their experiences in the lounge on YouTube.

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Springmania: Route 66 gets some love on Chicago media


You can tell spring is really here in Chicago:  the lilacs are blooming, the days are warmer, overnight temps no longer approach freezing, and Route 66 got some attention on local television this weekend.  Oh, and the local landscapers are now waking people up at the crack of dawn with their edge trimmers, lawn mowers and leaf blowers, earning a colorful cussing from many a sleeper … but I digress.

Drive time has arrived!

The Associated Press led off the weekend early Friday morning with a news item from Santa Fe, NM:  law officers across all eight states of the Mother Road participated in a 24-hour-long campaign to get drivers on the historic road to buckle up.  Local press covered it, too, mostly by citing AP.  Given that seat belts and child restraints save about 13,000 lives yearly and you’re 75 percent less likely to die in a rollover crash if you’re wearing a seat belt, according to federal statistics,* it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.  But it did mean a crackdown all the way up and down the route this weekend.

* National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s figures

The Route 66 roadie's dream

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Route 66’s Automobile Row in Berwyn


Photo credit: copyright 2012 by J.D. Kubal; all rights reserved.

Just in time for the annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show:  a history of Route 66’s own Automobile Row on Ogden Avenue, by none other than my own dear colleague, Joe Kubal.  Kudos, Joe!!  Our thanks go to Gina Blitstein, editor of The 66 News and the web site of the Route 66 Association of Illinois, who posted Joe’s article about Automobile Row today on the group’s web site.  Gotta love that wonderful slide show, too, which she put together from the photos Joe took or obtained.  Very slick, Gina! Continue reading

Berwyn Route 66 Car Show this weekend, Sept. 7-8


If you’ve never been to the annual Route 66 Car Show in Berwyn, IL, you’re in for a treat. It’s this coming weekend along Ogden Avenue and will be centered, as usual, at the intersection of Ogden and Ridgeland Avenue (6400 W). For several blocks along Ogden Avenue, you’ll see a display of classic, antique and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles. This is where ‘car people’ in the western suburbs come to see and be seen on Ogden for one weekend every September, from late in the morning until late at night. Even better, it’s free to the public.

The car show typically includes special appearances by hot rod, drag race and NASCAR racing stars, along with displays of some pretty amazing vehicles and live music to keep things jumping. Expected this year, for example, is a return visit from the beloved local rock and jive band, The Crown Vics. For a complete schedule and information for exhibitors, visit the show’s official web site here. And while you’re there, don’t forget to stop at the booth for the Berwyn Route 66 Museum and drop a dollar in the kitty to help fund some of the new displays the museum is planning. Continue reading

Hello, Route 66 devotees around the world!


Welcome to CuriousTraveler66, the blog for the upcoming book The Curious Traveler’s Guide to Route 66 in Metro Chicago.  Please forgive us, but we’re not quite live yet – still making a few adjustments to our appearance.  But we’ll be up soon!

Meanwhile, feel free to leave us a note about what you like most on Route 66 in the greater Chicago area.  We’d like to know how many Route 66 fans are out there. ;D