Quintessential America: Chicagoan Muslims Do Evening Prayers for the Cubs Outside Wrigley Field

Muslims in Chicago Do Their Evening Prayers Facing Mecca at Wrigley Field
ahead of the National League Division Series againtst the Dodgers in October 2008
as Press and Tourist Look On

Wrigley Field, McDonalds, and Evening Prayers: an Exquisite Mix of America

This is an repost from my old blog "Bridget Eileen's Commonplace Book," from when I vacationed in Chicago in 2008.

Check out this Amazing, Beautiful Photo I took during my trip to Chicago last month.

What Is Going On Here?

Here's the story:

It's been a month since our trip to Chicago and between a friend's adoration of being a new resident there, Obama's celebration there, and the fact that I was thisclose to moving there for college - I am missing the place. I finally, tonight, uploaded the amazing photos I was able to take in Wrigleyville.

Check this out: the Cubs were down 2 games to none against the Dodgers in the National League Division Series. We went over to Wrigleyville in the afternoon to take the obligatory photos of the famous sign and pick up the tchochke souvenirs for friends and family back home at the souvenir shop across Addison. And then we left. Some people went to the zoo. Some people rode the El as a means of touring the city, and one very dorky Bridget went to the Chicago Public Library, because that's what geeky librarians do. It was there that I reached for my camera to take a photo of the sparkling foyer and realized I had lost my camera! AHHH!

I called & texted all the girls and none of them had it. The last time I had it was at the souvenir shop...so I called over there. And guess what? THEY FOUND IT! And they kept it to the side for me. After touring the library, I took the train back to Wrigleyville and that's when I saw the most amazing, almot surreal, only-in-America beautiful convergence of seemingly clashing world cultures.

First I noticed a semi-circle photographers and camera people and touristy looking folk. Then I noticed they were looking at a group standing in rows. Then I realized the group were all facing at a peculiar angle, right in front of Wrigley Field. Then the men bowed several times. Then they knelt down and bowed on their knees several times. Then they stayed bent down with their foreheads on the ground.

It was a group of Muslim men, facing Mecca, who had gathered at Wrigley before game three for their evening prayer in order to pray to Allah for the Chicago Cubs.

Really. I've always proclaimed that one of the things I love so much about sports in general and baseball especially is its ability to bring all sorts of seemingly-at-odds people together for the common cause of fandom. I mean, for about 4 innings of every Red Sox game, my family would barely fight while we watched the Sox. That's right - four whole innings! Impressive, if you know my family. Also, if you're a liberal lefty Yankee fan, we'll get along at an Obama rally, but I will trash on you hard core at Fenway. Unity!

So, I pulled out my phone and took these photos on my camera. God or Yahweh or Allah or Godesss or whatever your nomenclature Bless America!!!!!

And thanks to this dude at the souvenir shop who rescued my camera. I'm sorry that I first gave you crap for your Yankees hat, only to find out that you were the valiant soul to save my photography life.

By the way, the Cubs lost that night, so my joke was "whether you call it The Fates, a God, Yahweh, or Allah, He clearly hates the Cubs." But now that has been remedied thanks to my Theo and Joe Maddon.