Friday, November 16, 2007

Progress... of sorts

Recently I was in Champaign, home of the University of Illinois, for the Illini / OSU football game (they were playing in Ohio, but this was close enough for me). Whenever I am back at my ol' school I like to walk around and see what's new.

And what a surprise! I walked down Green street, the main street in campus town, and they were building a sleek new high rise, just like the ones in my neighborhood River North in Chicago. The new building had all the amenities that you'd expect, even including a pool.

To put this in perspective, a good friend of ours who now lives in Colorado at one point was visiting U of I for grad school. We were driving past the off campus housing and he honestly thought that we were driving through the slums, instead of buildings where grad students actually lived. This was a long time ago (almost 20 years!) and things have gotten a lot better as the U of I students have gotten richer and richer.

But where is this building located? On the site of the former disgusting Burger King that we all used to visit after happy hour, then again when the bars closed. Those BK meals were best when you had no memory of them, at all.

Hey this ex-BK lot is right next door to Dan's old place! We used to hang out there and drink and heckle passerby's. Dan's roommate had a plant with one leaf that we smashed with a bat during a party (seemed like a good idea at the time). I also called the police from that balcony when someone was waving around an automatic weapon in the BK lot... but that is a different story.

Well things have changed a lot, and I guess demolishing that disgusting BK was a step in the right direction. O'Malley's isn't there anymore, and Gully's is some bar named FU-bar. Record Service is closed, since no one buys CD's in this day and age. The kids seem cleaner-cut and hang out in coffee shops. Aarrgh....


Dan from Madison said...

Wow the old place! Still there! Man that place was party central. Good memories there.

To this day I can smell a BK miles away. My wife is amazed that I can pinpoint that smell so accurately. We will be just driving around town and well before the BK is in sight I will just blurt out "BK near" and sure enough we will pass one.

No O'Malleys or Gullys - that is sad. I need to get to campus, I haven't been back in 15 years. Maybe a football game next year.

Carl from Chicago said...

Definitely a game next year, that is a good idea.