Simpson’s Tavern: A Long Goodbye

Feature photo by cesposito2035

Simpson’s Tavern, 1133 S Western Ave, Chicago, 312-243-4217
Hours: Sat 11:00am-3:00am; Sun-Fri 11:00am-2:00am

So here I am or there I was at Simpson’s on the corner of Claremont and Taylor, and I’m afraid this is goodbye Chicago. Believe me, it’s not you, it’s me… I swear. The truth of the matter is that regretfully, Sammy and I have parted ways and while looking for a place to hang my head I got a job offer in New York.

This is goodbye Chicago, with your millions of bars and at least a million more opportunities past and present, familiar faces even if I’d never set my gaze upon you, love lost and never found and the ones who’ve moved on, on both planes of existence.

Simpson’s seems like a good place to do this. They’ve got cold beer and a shoveled walkway, and that’s the best you can hope for being that Mother Nature decided to whitewash the Midwest like some cosmic fraternity prank gone horribly wrong. Have you seen it out there? Even more important, is grandma okay? Luckily, mine lives in Florida and other than the threat of gator attacks and the occasional hurricane, the only thing she’s really had to worry about is Jeb Bush. Good for her, sucks to be us. But we’ve banded together and now the streets are just about safe enough to put your chair in front of your spot and pray all the “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” memos you’ve left to yourself don’t really mean anything at all. Shucks, I was able to finally make it out to see the Packers win the Super Bowl—well played, God. Well played.

But enough about the weather. It’s a topic best left to the old men sit outside the restaurants in Greektown. It’s a topic best brought up in late October when somehow it still manages to hit in the eighties. It’s best forgot about on a warm nights as the cabs bump down Lakeshore and the night owls bop down the street.

Chicago, I will miss you after New York and on to wherever. I have the suspicion that I will think of you many a night and miss your hum, your “L,” the way you’ve held me these lonely nights I roamed your streets. I will think of you as the summer passes to fall and when I smell those scents all familiar as you.

I will curse the Yankees when I’m at the park and always say the Giants suck. And I will never put goddamn ketchup on a hot dog, this I can guarantee.

From Simpon’s I can’t really see much, but it’s not that I need to. I can see you every time I close my eyes. Your streets are every love I’ve ever had. You’ve been near to me, and you’ve been both cold and caring to me every night I’ve been home and will stay with me long after the bulldozers have come through and give you the plastic surgery that a timeless woman will never need.
But there’s always cold beer somewhere where it doesn’t seem to change all that much, and the Rolling Stones still make it on whatever will count as a jukebox in the future. There will be places that still smell of a lit cigarette and bourbon is just in back of the beer. There are many places where I can get a drink and hang my head, but it’s really Chicago that I think I’ll ever call home.


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