As I mentioned, yesterday we went to hang out at Washington Park for some sporty fun. The park is an amazing urban space. Someone recently was grouching that Chicago parks have no character and I wish they had come with us to see how much character and life they do have - from people, natch.
The pecularities of Chicago do exist. The baseball crowd tagged to the corners of the giant park happens to comprise of South Side blacks. The cricket crowd scatttered in the middle around 4 cement pitches is desi/carribean expats. The soccer crowd on the north end of the park is latino. Off to the side are a small group of white techies playing Ultimate. The audience seems to stick to their demographic. There is no cross-talk, no place where any one would mingle [not even a watering hole]. A sports segregation, if you will. I wish the Chicago Park people took some initiative. A small building/shaded structure would focus the crowds, at least, to interact around picnic tables or BBQ pits or vendors. We could have a scoring chalkboard. Something.
Driven by emigrant nostalgia, cricket has been going strong in the Midwest for a long time. A recent article in the WaPo touched on these issues in the DC area. It quotes a Jamaican immigrant's desire to play cricket: ""It reminds me of my background," he said. "It keeps me tuned." Such were the sentiments of those who dedicate their weekends to cricket in Chicago.
Cricket as a vehicle to understand nationalism or society in the commonwealth has been done. Next step, using cricket to examine the diaspora.
Anyways, here are a few random pics I took.