I took these photos from the bow of a Big Boat parked at the Columbia Yacht Club, 111 N. Lakeshore Drive. The yacht club’s address reminds me of 111 Archer Avenue, the fictional home of the Tenenbaum family from The Royal Tenenbaums. I believe the Tenenbaums, Richie specifically (he was a Big Boat guy), would have enjoyed the majesty of this ship and the dusky views of Chicago it afforded its company.
The only reason I’d ever board such a vessel is to attend an event called Lobster Fest, which featured some 20 prominent Chicago restaurants handing out small portions of high-brow seafood and endless bottles of free booze. Work hooked me up with a last-minute ticket, so I arrived in my workaday attire of canvas shoes, jean shorts, and a second-hand sweater that just so happened to be passably nautical-looking. I consumed more shellfish on that boat than I have in the last full year of my life and happily noted that I remain not one hive’s worth of allergic to these delicious oceanbound creatures.
Rick Bayless, Star Chef, personally handed me a cup of limey green ceviche. He even broke off a piece of cracker and stuck it in there for me. Voila! Rick wore a bushy mustache and seemed like a nice man. Later, while I was snapping one of these pics, a woman standing next to me looked out over the water and then into her own cup of marinated raw fish and said, “Again with the ceviche, Rick. Jesus.”
I wondered if they weren’t old friends.