Soup and Bread

A summer report from Veggie Bingo

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Popping in here to share this great blog post by blogger “Dave in the Shack.” Dave lives in Ottawa, Illinois, and his post was shared with me by our mutual friend (and longtime S&B champion) Jody Osmund after he and his wife came up to Chicago last week for an action-packed visit with their kids that included a trip to Veggie Bingo at the Hideout. I’m sharing it here because a) it is hilarious and b) I think Soup & Bread folks will appreciate what Dave has to say at the end about the urban-rural divide and finding community in the strangest places. The whole thing is here. The part that makes my heart sing is below:

As we travelled back downtown, I began thinking about Chicago and how we imagine it as downstaters. Some of us ascribe violence and danger to the entire city, are intimidated by its size, puzzled by its neighborhoods, blown away by both the traffic and the transportation systems designed to avoid it, and generally at a loss as to how to navigate it all.  We know cities offer much more,not only culturally but overall, yet we are dubious about how day to day life feels.  When downstaters pop into the city for a few days they can easily feel anonymous and small.

We tend to believe small towns have an edge on creating community.  And that may be true to some extent.  But community is not defined by city limits.  Community is the bond you feel to others through relationships and membership in groups.  Community gardens; the people who plant and tend them, and the people who support them, are an example.   Who would think a sliver of Chicago dwellers would be bound together by kale and zucchini?  The feeling in the pop-up bingo parlor in the backroom at the Hideout that night, even the Hideout itself, was of shared values and enjoyment. 

Community is where you find it, and if you look closely you will find that community abounds in Chicago and other big cities.  You may have to look for it in unusual places, but don’t ever think its not there.  The crowd at Vegetable Bingo was young and hungry.  Hungry for vegetables, but also hungry for a sense of belonging.   I think they found both inside that beat up old building on Wabansia.  I know my wife and I did. 

Thanks Dave, for coming to the Hideout and for taking the time to write about it so thoughtfully!

I hope you all are enjoying that last lazy days of summer. There are two weeks left of Veggie Bingo — tonight and next Wednesday, August 28, at the Hideout, starting at 5:30. Come out and share a hot dog and some kale with us before the autumn descends. You might be surprised by what you gain.

Posted: Wednesday Aug 21,2019 10:08 AM In Uncategorized

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