Backyard, Happy Village

Today was Gretchen’s last day at her job. She’s been meaning to leave her position for a while, and finally took the plunge. A bunch of us met up at Happy Village to celebrate her last day.

I was here a long while ago, back in January for Michael’s birthday party. But good lord, I had no idea about the backyard area!

Walking out the back door is like entering a totally different world. I had no idea this place was even back here. Just a totally great area full of foliage, offering spacious seclusion. And that’s a hard thing to get in Chicago.

I snuck away to shoot a few quick shots. As more people showed up, we spread ourselves out across two large picnic tables. This reminded me a lot of my grad school days, drinking with friends at Larry’s Bar, Grill and Seminar, our tables lined up one after another, viking hall style.

I’m drinking liquor because it’s more patriotic.

This place is even cooler when it gets dark, and the lights kick in.

Met a few new folks tonight, and had fun seeing Gretchen and Rob again. I made it an early night, and left by 10:30 or so.

Oh, on a chess note: I played a quick game with one of the bartenders (I think his name was Louis), who had a chess set lying around. I saw him back at Michael’s party, and played him then. While I won our last game, he got me this time around.

And I forget if it was Will who told me, or one of the other guys at the Wicker Park Chess Club, but supposedly there’s this big chess set here at the Happy Village. Not fully life-size, but the pieces are maybe two, three feet tall? Louis and I used a chess clock and set a 10-minute time limit for ourselves. Rumor has it that the clock is also used to play speed chess with those larger pieces, with each player running around to make a move, and then running back to slap the clock.

Supposedly, weekdays are better for the lawn chess (less people around). I’m so going back for that.

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