I went to my first Cub game of the season. I used to live near Wrigley in the 1990's and Dan used to visit a lot; the area has been immensely cleaned up and upgraded since then. While walking around before the game the whole neighborhood was as crazy as ever, and there are lots of new clubs, bars and restaurants.
The CTA has definitely upgraded the train lines recently. Last year I wrote about how they rebuilt stations and improved performance on the ancient brown line. They also have made a ton of progress on the red line, as far as slow spots are concerned; the ride from the loop to Wrigley was much faster than in prior years, when it actually seemed like you could get out and walk faster than the train.
There is a big Captain Morgan bar out front of Wrigley Field - you can go here even if you don't have a ticket to the game (this is good for tourists since they can get close even if the game is sold out).
The Sports Corner bar, which used to be a hole in the wall across the street from Wrigley, is now IMMENSE. It is multiple stories with the 3rd deck open for summertime drinking. It looks like something built in the Eastern bloc or something.
We had some great weather and got to sit right near Zambrano when he warmed up before coming out in the late innings as a reliever. It seemed like he threw 100 warmup pitches and he was pounding his bullpen catcher.
The most important innovation was that they put in shelves above the troughs in the men's washroom so that you can set your beer up there.
The Illini vs. Northwestern football game will be at Wrigley Field on November 20th. To have the opportunity to buy tickets you had to buy Northwestern season tickets; so now oddly enough I am the (?) proud owner of 4. Oh well guess I will go to the game in Illini colors and root against them, although I must admit that Northwestern sure is a well coached and good program, especially since their students likely aren't academic deadwood and leave-your-buddy-for-dead type athletes like we have at the good ol' U of I. That game will be quite an experience.