Tag Archives: 2010

Hitting Up the US Open

If Wimbledon is dinner on a white tablecloth, the US Open is a well-planned barbeque. Tennis die-hards slathered in sunscreen line up promptly at 10 a.m. to watch Federer and sweat under the midday sun. After 6 p.m., the sun sets, the air cools and men in dress pants and women in stilettos slowly take over the grounds. No matter which crowd is your scene, expect plenty of booze with a side of rowdy.

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A Labor Day play-by-play

For this week only, the Twitter world makes perfect sense. Wozniacki and Sharapova bumped Justin Bieber off the trending list. And when you tweet a question to John McEnroe, he announces your name and responds live on stadium-exclusive commentary! Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

11:03 p.m. (Sep 4th) Just saw this Wilson commercial [below] at a bar and think this is the coolest couch ever. Can’t wait for US Open Mon!

9:21 a.m. (Sep 6th) …And my dreams are coming true. http://plixi.com/p/43612708

9:52 a.m. Fun fact: Nick Bolleteri started teaching tennis for $3 an hour to pay for gas while attending U Miami.

11:03 a.m. Some quick SAT prep: “Nutmeg” is to soccer as “tweener” is to tennis.

11:24 a.m. McEnroe says today, the big, strong, tall players are more successful. Marat Safin was the first, followed by players like Monfils. Agree?

11:33 a.m. Which do you predict will be the most interesting match of the day? @usopen #amextennis

11:59 a.m. Thanks John McEnroe for announcing my tweet live on the air! Answer: Mardy Fish and Novak Djokovic http://es.pn/9DbMyf @usopen #amextennis

12:27 p.m. “Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Monfils has broken his shoe.” Then he served an ace. http://plixi.com/p/43637313

4:39 p.m. RT @ReenCostello Do you think the Bryan bros are better suited for Justin Bieber performances or on-court performances @usopen #amextennis

4:55 p.m. Who’s loving neon tennis outfits? Goerges. Yeah, man. http://plixi.com/p/43675407

5:13 p.m. Good luck, Mardy! Bryan bros play Fish and Knowles any minute now. http://plixi.com/p/43677773

5:48 p.m. FYI: You only get to keep the fly ball in baseball. In tennis, the right thing to do is give it back (to keep wear and tear consistent).

6:01 p.m. To the net! http://plixi.com/p/43684560

6:38 p.m. Gotta say, the large bucket of waffle fries ($6.50) and the popcorn ($4.50) are the best cheap eats here.

6:42 p.m. With the Bryan brothers’ win, so ends your semi-biased, not-quite-ESPN coverage of the @usopen this Labor Day. @TKGO post to come!

Planning on making a trip yourself?

Take a hint from the Costellos, my long-time family friends — one of whom has been to the US Open 11 times, in addition to other grand slams!

Pack light. You have to check large bags (like backpacks and duffels) at the entrance, so to keep your items with you, it’s best to limit yourself to sunblock, sunglasses or a hat, a sweater for after dark and a lightweight towel to put between your skin and the plastic sweat-inducing seat. As lines are long and food is expensive, you may want to bring water and snacks, too.

Plan ahead. Pick up an AmEx headset at the entrance or the AmEx booth so you can hear commentators while you watch. Get there right at 10 a.m. when the doors open. The practice courts aren’t crowded that early, so you can see your faves up close during their warm ups, and you can get a good seat in the grandstand. If you’re dying to see the Bryan brothers (like we were), get to that court before the last half hour of the prior match. You’ll likely be crashing a women’s doubles match and might snag courtside seats.

Choose a souvenir wisely. Last but not least, you can’t go home empty-handed! The $40 official t-shirt might set your wallet on fire after buying meals all day. Instead, scope out other options. This year, Grey Goose offers a $13 cocktail and serves it in a souvenir cup with all the past singles winners’ names and years. And if you’re drinking anyway, consider it a savings.

If you’re not headed to the US Open at all this year, make the Grey Goose specialty cocktail, the Honey Deuce, on your own while you watch the finals at home. Fill a glass with ice and add (Grey Goose) vodka. Fill the rest of the glass with lemonade and float raspberry liquor. They recommend you serve it with melon balls, which Maureen and I are all for!

Check out our US Open 2010 Facebook album on the TKGO Facebook page for more photos!

Tara for TKGO

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Joining the Hunt for the Stanley Cup

Thanks to the Blackhawks’ win on Wednesday, the Stanley Cup has returned to Chicago after 49 years of absence.

Since 1995, tradition dictates each player gets 24 hours with the 34.5-pound Cup (and its Hockey Hall of Fame chaperone) during the year it remains in the team’s possession. What do the players do with it? In 1996, Colorado Avalanche assistant captain Sylvain Lefebvre and his wife had their first child and baptized her with the Stanley Cup. But lucky for Chicagoans, most players celebrate with it at bars and steakhouses.

 

Hawks captain Jonathan Toews hoists the Cup before the Crosstown Classic on Sunday, courtesy of Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/MCT

 

If you plan to spend your summer hunting for the Cup (like us), you’ll need help from social media. Follow @WheresTheCup on Twitter to keep track of the Cup’s busy nights on the town. @BillyDec owns nightclubs Sunda, Underground and Rockit, and updates frequently. He let his followers know the Cup would appear at Rockit after the Crosstown Classic yesterday (and he’s really proud of his game 5 shots at the United Center). To learn about the Cup’s scheduled TV and other public appearances, follow @NHLBlackhawks. Google Maps helps pick out trends, like the Cup’s fetish for steakhouses, including Gibson’s, Harry Carey’s, and Tavern on Rush.

 

Google Maps users track the Stanley Cup

 

Since the parade through the streets of Chicago Friday morning, the Stanley Cup has been spotted at Wrigley Field for the Crosstown Classic on Sunday, and Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Adam Burish and Patrick Sharp brought it to Underground, Sunda and Manor on Saturday night.

If you give up, tune into The Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight at 10:30 p.m. (CT) for a glimpse of the Cup at the end of the show. And if you’re up for a laugh, check out this love affair between the Cup and a soap opera actress in 2006:

Happy hunting, and comment if you catch it!

Tara for TKGO

Countdown to the World Cup 2010: Four Days

The World Cup isn’t all that happens in Cape Town.

Tune into the first matches this Friday, June 11 at 9 a.m. (CT) South Africa v. Mexico, and at 1:30 p.m. (CT) Uruguay v. France. Matches take place all over the country, but Cape Town is enough to entertain.

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Still not satisfied? Fill your house with the smell of Cape Town by making the Kalmanson family bobotie recipe. The traditional meat pie was invented by the Cape Malays.

Tara for TKGO

Weekend Recap: Mifflin 2010

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“Mifflin” is both the name of a street in Madison, Wisconsin, and of one of the biggest block parties in the nation. The event, which even has its own Wikipedia page, typically draws thousands of college kids (…and parents and grads) annually on the first Saturday in May.

The whole thing started as a dance-filled protest against the Vietnam War in 1969, where Madison, and specifically the University of Wisconsin at Madison, was a hotbed of political activity. Today, it’s more like a daytime party centered on drinking alcohol, hanging out on porches and balconies and running around in the streets. Student bands and slightly more well-known artists put on concerts in the streets and in backyards, and the party typically rages from 9 a.m. until 6 or 7 p.m., when the crowds empty for dinner and a nap before venturing to the bars that evening.

Thinking of going to Mifflin? Pack light: you’ll need a state-issued ID (to make talking to police a lot easier), some cash for food and beer, your cell phone (you will get lost) and some sturdy shoes (your feet will be stomped on). And even though all the sorority girls wear matching tank tops and more than a few guys will take off their shirts, it’s best to stick to a basic t-shirt.

Sorry for the low-res cell phone pictures, but I think you can understand why bringing a camera with heavy zoom to Mifflin is the worst idea of the century.

Tara for TKGO