Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Boro away. What was the score? Won 3-0
I've just checked BBC Sport
and I am both amazed and unbelievably estactic at the result I have just seen come in. Fantastic.
Boro' haven't had a shabby start to the season either and any result up there would have been a valuable one, but 3-0?
It was the result that we threatened to get their last season and perhaps already examples the difference between then and now.
I'm still in Oman and a nice curry awaits tonight, washed down by some cold imported beer. It will taste like heaven, cheers.
All unpacked and then packed again!
Back from godforsakenville, Oklahoma. It was a treat let me tell you? Just 14,000 people live in the town of Lawton, of which 2,500 work for the biggest tyre factory in the world.
I'm going to be getting on a plane tomorrow at kick-off time. Remember be patient with the lads and get behind them. Come on you Addicks.
Back from St Louis yesterday just in time to re-pack my bag for a trip to Akron, Ohio tonight. I get there late and meet a client first thing tomorrow morning to fly in their company jet (sounds sexy, but my it has been a pain in the arse) to a place called Lawton in Oklahoma.
Lawton is deep in the south of Oklahoma near the border of Texas and they will probably think I'm an alien as I don't expect they have met many South-Londoners!
I then fly back on Friday afternoon via Dallas, landing in Chicago at around 8.30pm. Then on Saturday morning I fly to London and on Sunday I fly to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to start a 12-day holiday. 5 nights in Dubai are followed by 7 in Muscat, the capital of Oman.
Its going to be an adventure and its going to be hot. I'll tell you all about it when I get back and I will try to find some internet access to keep abreast of the Addicks in the desert, where we are staying before moving onto the sparkling modern architecture in Dubai itself and then the sand dunes and souks of Muscat.
Nothing on the official site about it but elsewhere the media are reporting that Mark Fish
has retired from the game. He follows a long line of Addicks who have been forced to retire through injury, and defenders in particular with the former South African international following Richard Rufus, Gary Rowett, Mark Penfold, Terry Naylor and Geoff Scott, to mention just a few.
All in all he proved a good signing for us but his knee may explain some woeful performances at the tail end of last season, although to me he was never the same after suffering horrific cuts following an accident at home.
He played 111 games in the red shirt and scored 2 goals. He, like his countryman Shaun Bartlett, is a hero back in South Africa for whom he played 60 times. Good luck Feeeesh.
It was good to see Dennis score tonight, although even I may have swept that one in, and have a good game. That and Darren Bent not getting on the pitch will have given us maximum value from England's crap performance
against the Danes in Copenhagen.
Unfortunately we won't be getting the benefit of Darren Ambrose's winner in the U21 friendly
the night before for a few weeks yet but well done to him anyway.
Trump Tower update
The Trump Tower in Chicago continues apace. The Wabash Avenue bridge which they had to knock down to insert 200-feet caissons, which will prevent the new structure sinking into the ground, is being rebuilt and along with two levels of parking
garage will be ready by December.
However, the Donald and his sky-high building could be trumped by a proposed hotel and condo
skyscraper to be built on the Chicago lakeshore.
Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava's
twisting 2,000-foot, 115 story building would be the tallest building in the nation, surpassing the current one Sears Tower and the future one, New York's Freedom Tower.
The $500m price-tagged tapering Chicago skyscraper, whose concave walls turn 270 degrees around its spine, has been compared to everything from a drill bit, a birthday candle, a blade of grass and even the wisp of smoke from an early-day American Indian campfire.
However a plan is one thing, real life is another and it is thought that this project, unlike Trump's will not get of the ground.
England call up Bent
What a weekend for Darren Bent and Addicks everywhere. Today Sven called up 2-goal hero Darren Bent for the England squad to play against Denmark on Wednesday 17th after Palarce's Championship striker cut himself on a Coca Cola tin ring pull. Hows your luck?
Dennis Rommedahl is in the Danish squad as is Claus Jenson for the friendly match in Copenhagen.
You suck, St Louis!
This week sees me begin a six-week period of travelling and for four and a half out of the next six weeks I will be away from Chicago, this includes a two-week holiday and a round of work trips.
Today I will be in Wisconsin at a friend's engagement party, but I will be back tonight to witness the last game of a four-game series at Wrigley Field between the Cubs
and St Louis Cardinals
. Cardinals are pissing the standings
in the National League's Central Division, and the Cubbies have been generally toilet but the Chicagoans have won two of the three games in this series.
The rivalry between the two teams is intense and there will be plenty of 'St Louis Sucks' t-shirts around the stadium. Strangely, I will be in St Louis on Tuesday and will watch the Cardinals play in the evening after being invited by a client. I won't be wearing the t-shirt though.
Sunderland away. What was the score? Won 3-1
A fantastic start to the new season today for the Addicks and there will be a few pale ales sunk on the journey back from the North-East.
I listened to the game online and we were hungry and alive from the off. What really pleased me was that we created opportunities and we always sounded dangerous going forward. With Darren Bent's ability to hang on the shoulders of the last defender and the pace to take him into telling areas we have bought the kind of player we have been missing. He had a dream debut, unlike his namesake who is now added to the missing list.
After Ambose's sending off, we showed wonderful character and at 1-1, which could have easily been 0-2, and with a man down I felt we would still score and we did. How enjoyable it must have been to have been sat behind the goal and follow Murphy's free-kick into the net.
The home crowd, of which I thought was surprisingly low in number, went quiet and the back four coped admirably as Sunderland tried to find a way through it. However I was to be running around the room again in the dying minutes as Darren Bent's tired legs, Curbs said he was an injury doubt this morning, swept in his 2nd of the match and our 3rd.
It's pouring of rain here, but what the heck, the sun's out over SE7. Let me have a look at that league table.
Reports from those that were there: Addicks Diary
; BBC Sport
; All Quiet
A new dawn
The smell of a new season. Hang on, deep breath.... mmm smells good. Curbs has done what a lot of us were asking for, we have some new faces, the 1,000 or so fans travelling to Wearside tomorrow will have some different names on the back of their replica shirts. Ok, we still have some of the old names too but what is without a doubt our best ever squad, brims with quality and depth.
That new found depth will be tested in the opening game of the season as 6 players are ruled out due to injury or suspension - Spector, Holland, Fortune, El Kak, Kiely and Sorondo.
This is a big season for a number of players - Murphy, Jeffers, Holland, Rommedahl, Anderson, Sam.
Bent, Ambrose, Sorondo and Spector will be looking to endear themselves to the Addicks faithful quickly. And the player I think that will dictate a lot of our games and ultimately our season will be Alexei Smertin. After 4 clubs in 4 seasons, he will fit in quickly and hopefully we will see his obvious class and confidence starting at 3pm tomorrow.
I think Curbs would have played 4-5-1 at the Stadium of Light without injuries having an influence. I expect to see this team tomorrow: Anderson; Young, Perry, HH, Powell; Ambrose, Smertin, Murphy, Hughes, Rommedahl; Bent.
Its also a big season for us, the fans. The nature of our support has changed, fact. Some of us remember the bad old days, some of us long for those days again (the atmosphere and spirit if not the league position), some only go back as far as Sunderland play-off final, whilst others have jumped on the bandwagon more recently. One thing is for sure though and that is we are all Charlton fans. We are in it together. It is a love affair for life.
To those supporters travelling up to Sunderland tomorrow, this could be a new dawn, its a long way to go to come back without a croaky voice, get behind the boys, they deserve nothing less.
Come on you Addicks.
What was the score?
has had its fair share of Palace twats
visiting here on the way to the Championship but dear old Frankie Valley
looks like he's got them lining up. School must be out judging by his recent comments page. And he's so nice to them as well.
Apparently Millwall are their rivals now as well as Brighton but not us because we are gypo pikies who are actually really Tottenham fans. Yep, Chicago Addick has his caravan moored up on Navy Pier and I can normally be spotted around the windy city with a pair of these Edgar Davids rose-tinted glasses
on (thanks to Rothko for the link).
Palace aren't our rivals because it's like saying that Partick Thistle are Celtic's or Bury are Man Utd's. Only difference is that Gigg Lane
is actually owned by a local benefactor and loyal fan and not by Ron Noades who can't be described as either of those two things.
Maybe once Uncle Ron decides to turn Selhurst into a caravan park (perfect for us Addicks), Palace can join FC United
at Gigg Lane. Oh, what goes around comes around.
Thomas helps Addicks out of Myhre
signed today on a one-year contract. He left Sunderland in the summer after only being offered a one-year contract(!). He had been on a monthly deal with Norwegian side Fredrikstad
. Also today old Fish
face signed a month's loan deal with Ipswich.
My phone blew up yesterday so I went on little expedition way north of the city today, involving a train and a bus and those that know me will tell you I'm not so good with buses.
I was in a neighbourhood (more of a street) than a 'hood called Devon
. This is basically a concentration of Indian and Pakistani immigrants and I am told, not unexpectedly, the best place to get a ruby murray in the city.
The Street is also a haven for electrical goods, hence me up there looking for a new mobile. For Ric's
benefit, it was a Nokia 6230i.
I would have taken some photo's, but my batteries ran out. I did buy some more, but they were dud. And when I took them back, the bloke wouldn't exchange them because I had opened the packet! I swore at him and threw the batteries over the counter and walked out. Therefore no photos!
Promise me you won't shop at Ghandi Electronics on the corner of Western and Devon Avenues? Thanks.
My Chicago - #2 Lincoln Square
Located in the heart of Chicago's North Side is Lincoln Square. The brown line
Elevated Train (The El) changed this area for ever in 1907 when developers began building homes for those who wanted to live outside the hustle and bustle of the city, yet needed an easy way to travel to their jobs downtown.
Early settlers here were mainly German and Austrian and the area does have a slightly Bavarian feel to it.
The train became a popular mode of transit, herding 10,000 passengers a day and homes began to spring up alongside the tracks. People moved into the area in waves, escaping the city to live in Lincoln Square's clear air, not polluted by the heavy industries to found further south in the city.
By the 1920's the area was a bustling business district with banks, grocery stores and even a department store. The current Leland Liquors location (4660 N. Western Ave) operated as a speakeasy during Prohibition.
About 130,000 German immigrants were understood to be living in the area after World War II. Then in the 1960's Greek families, who were displaced by the construction of the University of Illinois at Chicago campus in the South (that area is still known as GreekTown), began moving to the neighborhood. The restaurant Barba Yianni Grecian Taverna
(4761 N. Lincoln Ave) remains.
The neighbourhood runs from Montrose Avenue in the south to Foster Avenue in the north and is bordered by the Chicago River to the west and Damen Avenue a mile or so to the east.
The heartbeat of Lincoln Square is N Lincoln Avenue which runs diagonally through the area. It is on this thoroughfare that you will find most of the action.
If you can
get a seat, the outside Cafe Selmarie
(4729 N Lincoln Ave) is well worth a visit, although The Grind
(4613 N Lincoln Ave) is also good for a coffee stop.
But the German influence is big here. One of Chicago's oldest deli's, Delicatessen Meyer
is at 4750 N Lincoln and for beer there's the Huettenbar
at 4721 N. Lincoln Ave and Lincoln Square even has its own Brauhaus
(4732 N Lincoln Ave). If you are here in October, put your Lederhosen on and get down here for some oompah, brats and jugs of Splaten!
The pub's owners, brothers Kempf (perhaps the German Spandau Ballet?) are credited with the conservation of the area and the Kempf Plaza
hosts the Lincoln Square Summer Concert Series.
Wine drinkers are not forgotten either. Fine Wine Brokers
is at 4621 N Lincoln Avenue and I am told Gerhard, the owner, has a wine for every occasion.
By my reckoning, and it ain't hard, this area has the best shop in Chicago for football gear. Chicago Soccer
(4839 N Western Ave) stocks kits from over the world but not surprisingly from a little place in London SE7!
On the corner of Lincoln and Leland is a 3,000 sq ft mural
which was completed in 1991. It captures a number of famous historic landmarks such as the Liebfrauen Church in Munich, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, a house in the Black Forest and Lake Constanze.
At the junction of Lawrence St and Western Ave stands the obligatory statue
of Abraham Lincoln, commissioned in 1951.
Like a lot of Chicago the achitecture is a mix of new and old but the best example here is the Museum of Decorative Arts Building. It was built in the 1920's and was the last project of renowned American architect, Louis Sullivan
I was pleasantly surprised by Lincoln Square. I have a friend who has just moved there and he really likes it, however to be honest there is not an awful lot to see north of Lawrence Avenue, although both River Park
(I play football here) and Winnemac Park
are quite pretty. *click on pictures for full view.
As someone said on Netaddicks
, you can't buy class.
I would've loved to have seen Richard Murray's face this morning, reading the Guardian
with a wry smile on his face whilst sipping a cup of darjeeling.
Just like mine when I tuned into bbc.co.uk
to find their result against Luton today."We will start well and we will be top of the league. We will be. I guarantee you, we will be at the top of the league."
Isn't it a pleasure to have Richard Murray as our chairman?
A day at the races
On Thursday I went to Arlington Park
Race Track to see where my fellow Chicago Addick
spent some of his misspent youth.
Arlington Park is just a few miles from where Spector grew up in Arlington Heights. The course is set in secluded countryside and if you are ever in Chicago, add it to your list of things to do, especially if you fancy a flutter.
Next Saturday the race track hosts the Arlington Million
, which is one of the biggest races on the American calendar and it will be the 20-year anniversery since the Park was devasted by a huge fire. Remarkably they still ran the big race just a few weeks later after clearing debris and installing temporary bleachers (terracing). The site was then shut for 4 years whilst they rebuilt it and a very good job they did too.
Here are some pictures from the day:
Its looking good
According to reports we played well tonight (All Quiet
) and Darren Bent's further proficiency at the point of a 4-5-1 looks like it could produce results and results garnered with a bit more flair than last season. Jeffers and Bent in a pair is also an option and I suspect that with the size of the squad we will see more chopping around, tailored for the opposition and venue.
Smertin earned further good reviews tonight, although personally I would prefer to see Ambrose start in the middle and not out wide.
Curbishley's comments after the game about Bent: "I know his strengths are in a two and he'll be even more dangerous with someone up there with him,"
I think underline that a big strong forward is still a target.
Well, its looking good and AEK Athens to come at the Valley on Saturday, with us wearing the new white away kit
. Rumour has it that the new red one is almost made to last, pity we will all be picking the all:Sports logo off it next summer.
It looks like Jason Euell's Bentley will be staying in the players car park a bit longer. Last night in the reserve friendly at Dover
he dislocated his shoulder
and will be out for 6 weeks.
Of more concern is Dean Kiely's fractured finger
, sustained in a warm-up in training on Monday. This does give 23-year old Stephan Andersen a massive opportunity but Curbs needs to decide whether he signs a short-term replacement for Deano or puts his faith in youngsters Darren Randolph and Rob Elliot. Randolph warmed the bench tonight and expect Elliot to do the same on Saturday.
Matt Holland and El Karkouri are also sidelined plus Jonathan Spector, Radostin Kishishev and Jonathan Fortune sat out the Feyenoord game with "little niggles."
One sad note to finish on is the news of Graham Stuart's retirement from the game. Apart from the official site
, this story has had very little press. At 34, you would have thought he might be good value to a Championship or a League One club, but he did have a lot of other interests outside the game and I think he does have an inkling for some media work. Best of luck Graham.
A roller coaster ride in New Jersey
I got back to Chicago tonight from New York. Whilst my fellow Addick was at Watford
on Saturday I was in Manhattan today doing some work but not after a couple days in complete contrast staying with some friends on the New Jersey shore.
The Jersey shore
stretches 127 miles from the bottom of New York in the North down to the Delaware Bay in the South. It is a rich stretch of bays and people - New Jersey has the highest population density in the US - and seaside homes fight for views of the Atlantic Ocean.
We stayed about halfway down the coast at a place called Seaside Heights
, which had a soft sandy beach but not a very appealing murky sea. It was also my very first experience of an American boardwalk with arcades, bars and rides, so there I was Saturday night hanging on for grim death on the roller-coaster after eating far too much food.
An unexpected treat was a stop off on the way to the beach for an afternoon at Monmouth Park Race Track
, where my friends' fiancee was having a family gathering. My bet won the first race but I promptly gave my winnings back the attractive blonde girl at the betting window.
Sunday afternoon we headed back to Manhattan where I met another ex-pat for drinks (Palace fan, I did only mention Jon Fortune's name a couple of times) in the evening.
New York is a place that I can't make my mind up about. It is very different to Chicago and the manic, smelly, rubbish strewn streets are in utter disparity to the windy city, however the big apple has that amazing electric draw for me too, walking back last night via Times Square, one just has that feeling that something is going to happen.
Then as I was staring up at the absolutely pitch black star-less sky, I bumped into, literally, the 6' 4½" actor Jeff Goldblum
. I wasn't sure which made me more dizzy, banging into Jeff Goldblum or the boardwalk roller coaster?*click on pictures for full view.