Most of my last weekend was spent painting, walls not canvas', as our long awaited kitchen
is finally due to be fitted this week. The cabinets came yesterday and the appliances Thursday and somewhere in between it should be installed. We ordered this bloody thing before Christmas, but I guess that is what happens when you move to the US and then buy an Italian kitchen. It's probably a lot cheaper to buy in Parma
Having no kitchen (it was all ripped out last Wednesday) has meant we have either eaten out or stayed in and ate peanuts and drunk wine. On Friday night we went to a new restaurant that opened in the city called Alhambra Palace
. Named after the Moorish Palace in Granada
, this regal looking space with 35ft ceilings in the west loop is decked out authentically in artwork, artifacts, gold gilded railings and furniture imported we are told from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.
A few belly dancers are chucked in with a very middle eastern band and incessant, I suppose they call it singing? Add some hookah pipe smoking and you could be somewhere other than Chicago. The food was disappointing by the way and the service was awful but this might be because it has only just opened and it is an absolutely huge place.
But the most remarkable fact was that late Friday night, most of the customers eating, drinking, smoking the hookah and dancing like natives were people of a middle-eastern persuasion. I know that encompasses a lot of groups but I had never seen a real element of an arabic population here, so I have no idea where they came from or if they will come here on a regular basis. It did make for a very unique night out, something you just don't get in other 'ethnic' restaurants or cafe's in the city.
Sunday I played football and we got hammered again. I and a couple of others are seriously thinking about quitting and seeking our Sunday morning fix somewhere else because losing is becoming too much of a habit and having a young version of Bill Gates play as sweeper this week may have been the final straw. My Thursday team is so much better and they are a fun bunch, with a bit of a social kick to it, which makes the experience on Sunday all the more wearisome.