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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Bongs, Caffeine and Physical Fitness: Part II

Bongs, Caffeine and Physical Fitness: Part II

Dominick M. Maino

At the end of Part 1 of Bongs, Caffeine and Physical Fitness, your intrepid walker, while seeking the magical 10,000 steps to fitness FitBit Nirvanna, was just leaving the Déjà Vu Smoke & Vape Shop, a new store on Milwaukee Ave….. 

Portage Park Nature Trail
…walking now from Milwaukee Ave onto Laramie and then going west on Irving Park Road, I soon arrived at Portage Park (where, in 1972, Gold Medalist Mark Spitz set new world's records during the U.S. Olympic swimming trials). Portage Park has a great deal to offer including a nature trail that features spunky squirrels, flowering plants and trees….and the pleasant chirping of birds (a real middle of the city, country oasis). At the southeast corner of Central Ave and Irving Park Road, sits a lot with 
Starbucks Drive-thru?
several cars parked upon it that may be turned into a strip mall with a Starbucks. ([Ugh!) I am not a fan of either strip malls or drive thru Starbucks stores. I am a fan of walkable city streetscapes, people places and bike friendly, art-filled spaces.

All morning I’ve been checking my FitBit and now notice that I am not quite at my 10,000 steps goal….so onward to the Perkolator coffee shop…for caffeinated experience #2, a delightful macchiato.

Selfie in front of Thrift & Thrive
The Perkolator is owned by Joe and Melissa Basilone, both of whom not only own The Perkolator, but also the Sputnik Records and Thrift & Thrive stores as well. This dynamic duo supports the community and are leaders in the Irving-Austin Business District Association. While at Thrift & Thrive, I had an opportunity to talk to Melissa and learned about the new and exciting activities occurring on the west side of my Portage Park neighborhood.

Tea'se Shoppe
I’m now over my 10,000 steps…feeling a bit weary but ready for the last part of my walk-about neighborhood adventure. On the way home, I stop in to Tea’se Tea Shoppe remembering how much my wife likes their Lemony Lemon blend of tea. David Ratulowski, the owner was not there today, but I had a most pleasant and informative discussion about tea with Lilla who was 
staffing the store when I came in. I spotted some Bourbon Praline tea and had to try some on the spot. The aroma was incredible.

Cappuccino. Macchiato. Bourbon Praline Tea. 

Steps and caffeine levels achieved.

I did not check my FitBit heart rate.

So you see, Bongs, Caffeine and Physical Fitness was the perfect title for this blog post. 

I walked 17,223 steps today…. Drank 3 wonderfully caffeinated drinks…. 
And have embarked on my personal adventure to becoming physically fit.

It was a good day.

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