August 2012: Windy City Lives Up to Its Name
By Jill Olle
The second annual Chicago Hub Lake Michigan Brew Cruise almost didn't happen this year. Strong full-fetch winds streaming down the lake the week of the brew cruise threatened to drydock AIESEC alumni when it appeared that the cruiseship deck would have more in common with a teeter-totter than a saloon. Fortunately Shoreline Cruises operates more than just lake cruises. Instead of cruising the wave-tossed lake, Shorline put us on a Chicago River tour boat.
Our arrival at the dock was timed very closely, due to meeting at Pei Wei with recent alumnus Patrick Yi Jiang (NU '12) and NU/CCI trainee Hiroki Shimomura, who had only arrived in Chicago that very afternoon. Arnold Kas (NU '97) and NIU/Spraying Systems trainee Adel Zaitri, as well as Katie Sassaman (GT '09) and Jill Olle (NIU '96), did a fast power walk from Ontario Street to Navy Pier to make the boarding call. The wind was not as noticeable in the concrete and steel streets of Chicago, but once at the lakefront, it was immediately apparent that there would be no lake cruising. Ensuring that no stragglers were left behind, Katie Sassaman went to the lakeside dock while Sean Parnell (NIU '95) was the first aboard the river bound boat. Katie put to good use her marathon training when she raced to and from the docks making sure everyone knew of the change in location.
We had the pleasure of welcoming two more alumni to the Chicago Hub, Katie Jahnke Dale (KS '08) and her husband Eric (MA '07). They merged perfectly into the group, and the conversations never stopped, ranging from stories about childhood haunts (Eric's mom was an accomplished seamstress and used to drag him to JoAnn Fabrics every other day) to favorite concerts we had seen and which ones were lipsynced (shhhh, I'm sworn to secrecy).
""The AIESEC Life Summer 2012 Brew Cruise was a blast! It was my first AIESEC Life event
and it was so great to reconnect with AIESECers I had met while in school and meet alumni living in Chicago.
We will definitely be back for more events!"" - Katie Jahnke Dale, AIESEC Kansas 2008
""The AIESEC Life Summer 2012 Brew Cruise allowed me to meet and chat with one of the local trainees, which reminded me of the great work
that AIESEC does. Although no dances were involved (maybe next year), it was also a great opportunity for me to reconnect
with old friends and meet new people doing some amazing things."" - Eric Dale, AIESEC Madison 2007
The Brew Cruise was hosted by Blue Moon Brewing Company, out of Golden Colorado. Ryan Bing and Justine Stauffer were our hosts, and they shared a short history of Blue Moon and the spirit of entrepreneurship and the international brewing experience of their founder, Keith Villa, who has a doctorate in brewing science. We were privileged to be the first audience for the Chicago launch of their Harvest Pumpkin Ale on tap this season. The HPA was tweaked this year, and seasoned author of Historic Bars of Chicago Sean Parnell said that it was definitely noticeable, and he enjoyed the different nuances it brought to the palate.
While Katie and Eric had to call it a night, the rest of us went to D4, a popular Irish bar on East Ohio Street. Patrick and NU/TMC trainee Lowraynne Pedroso, along with Patrick's international rugby-playing friend Mike who was in town for a match, met up with us for drinks and appetizers, while Hiroki stayed in to adjust to the time zone differences between Japan and the US.
Only once in a blue moon (seriously, check your calendar) would you have the opportunity to experience two spectacular alumni events in Chicago spaced so closely together. This Thursday night, in Millennium Park, we will be gathering to listen to a world-class tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. Details are in the Events tab on the AIESEC Life website, as well as on our Facebook group. Please join us as we listen to Dee Alexander, Frieda Lee and Spider Saloff celebrate Ellaâ€™s 95th birthday with original arrangements of music by Gershwin, Kern, Ellington, Arlen, Mercer, Berlin, Porter, and Jobim from the legendary Songbook recordings Ella made in the 1950s. The singers and the CJO, expanded to an orchestra including 17 strings, honor Ella Fitzgeraldâ€™s unique contribution to American culture. This will be our last outdoor event of the season, and a great way to enjoy the last hurrah of summer.
9/5/12 ETA - We had a wonderful time under the blue moon. Pictures forthcoming in a new blog post later this month. Our next big thing is our Signature Event of the quarter - Oktoberfest at the Chicago Brauhaus. Please join us on Friday, October 5th as we ring in the cooler weather with an Oom pa pa band and great beer."