The Dorchester Commons Shopping Center, in the Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park, has a new 3,000 pound granite plaque that commemorates where First Lady Michelle Obama and President Obama had their first kiss back in 1989. I’m sure we all know the story by now. After taking Mrs Obama out on their first date to see the movie “Do The Right Thing”, the President then took her to Baskin-Robbins and it’s there where they shared their first kiss.
Inscribed on the plaque is a President Obama quote from a 2007 O Magazine interview:
“On our first date, I treated her to the finest ice cream Baskin-Robbins had to offer, our dinner table doubling as the curb. I kissed her, and it tasted like chocolate.”
That Baskin-Robbins has since been turned into a Subway. However, there is a new Baskin-Robbins a few doors down.
While some may feel the plaque is over the top, some residents in the Chicago neighborhood think it’s cute and that it may even bring more tourism to the area. How do I know? I am one of those residents. While I am not a fan of large crowds of tourists that block sidewalks, make already limited parking impossible and can often be downright annoying (if you live in a major city and have to deal with suburban weekend day trippers, you know exactly what I’m talking about.) I am a fan and proud of Chicago’s Presidential Heritage.
As someone who takes out of town guests for a spin by President Ronald Reagan’s childhood home, also in Hyde Park, I enjoy letting my visitors know that my neighborhood is and was home to two Presidents – despite their political ideologies.
I’m also psyched about the possibility of the Obama Presidential Library in my neighborhood. While we may not have an Air Force One in our library, “The Beast” will be nice, but what the hell we’ll take an Air Force One too.