Sunday, June 25, 2006

Dojo visit

Just returned from a weekend trip to Chicago. We went for a memorial service--for the father of one of Bruce's high school friends--and stayed to visit with family.

I enjoy going to cities. London's my favorite, and then my hometown Cleveland, but Chicago is definitely up there, too. The memorial service was in Lincoln Park, a neighborhood north of the downtown area. Jean's dad was apparently not a religious man, so his memorial service was not in a church. It was in Ann Sathers Swedish restaurant!

The announcement of the service urged us to take public transportation if possible; Jean's environmentally-conscious and city-loving dad "would have approved," the note said.

Don't need to convince us! We love public transport. So we took the train to Union Station and the L up to Lincoln Park. The boys loved it. "It's like the tube, but up high," said Robbie.

We sat at the back of the banquet room so I could take the boys out if necessary during the service. It was necessary. But Lincoln Park is such a cool neighborhood. I knew we'd find things to look at. We did. There was a poster store, a bonsai store, and a store with elegant vintage dresses. Great for window shopping.

But when I spotted a Japanese Market, we had to go in.

We looked around at the food (sticky rice cakes, about 8 varieties of Pocky Sticks, sesame crackers . . . ) and oragami books. Then I convinced the boys to go upstairs. That's where the Karate classes were being held. "Visitors welcome," said the sign.

Like our dojang, this dojo was in a large open gym above a business. They had a huge wooden platform to practice on; the rest of the floor was tile. Mirrors lined the walls at one end, and chairs stood along the side on the tile part of the floor. There was a children's class going on, just 4 children and 2 adult black belts.

After we entered, one of the black belts slipped over to us and smiled. I bowed and she did too.

"Can we watch?" I asked. "I'm studying Tae Kwon Do, so I'm interested in seeing your school."

"Oh," she said, smiling. "You're welcome to stay."

We stayed for a very short time, but got to see the children working on some moves across the floor, marching, like we do with Ms. Pryor. They were a little sloppy, as kids sometimes are, but the teachers corrected gently.

I would have liked to have come back for the adult class--at noon, after the service was over. We were all together, though, so I suggested a walk to Wrigley Field and the L back down to Millennium Park instead.

Maybe sometime when I go to Chicagoland, I'll find out where Kicker Chick studies and visit her!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are welcome anytime, TKD Mom!
Kicker Chick