Monday, October 30, 2006

some notes about my weekend in chicago

  • chicago can be a lot of fun... once you reach your destination. the process of trying to reach your destination can be extremely aggravating. driving (or should i say "parking"?) on i90 is ridiculous. and while the public transit system is fantastic (definitely better overall than san francisco's, though in sf the trains are a bit fancier), the transit map is so complex that it's difficult to understand if you aren't intimately familiar with chicago geography. and that's assuming that all the trains are actually running. (the orange line is apparently out right now, for example.)

    sitting on the blue line inbound as we soared past all the cars that were stuck on i90 was immensely satisfying. sitting on a stopped train for 20 minutes outbound at 2am while crews worked on the tracks was not as much fun.
  • the negativland show was really good, though not much to look at. it was basically a rendition of their radio show on stage; they even provided blindfolds to better duplicate the "radio" experience. jima has more, and here are a few photos. we remembered to bring virago's camera, but not to check whether there was a memory card inside it (oops!), so we didn't take any pictures.

    that said, the venue didn't do a good job handling the show. tickets had assigned seats, but a sign at the venue informed us that the show was general admission. the venue doors opened on time at 10pm (which seemed late, but i guess the venue had another show earlier in the evening), but then we were all stuffed into the lobby, where we were forced to stand around in an increasingly dense crowd for a half an hour before finally being admitted into the theater itself. also, drink prices were ridiculous: $8 for a cocktail!
  • before the show, we met jima for dinner at the casbah cafe, down the street from the lakeshore theatre. we had eaten a large "snack" a few hours earlier, so virago & i shared the lamb brochette, which was excellent. if i lived in the area, i'd definitely go back there sometime.
  • right before dinner, we spent some time at nearby reckless records, where i snagged a bunch of vinyl goodies, including thom yorke's the eraser, this is stunt rock volume three, and a few other things.
  • virago wanted to check out the skydeck at the sears tower, so we managed to navigate our way there, but when we got to the basement and saw 100 or so people in line ahead of us, we gave up on the idea. i seem to recall reading something on the blogs about intense security at the sears tower negatively impacting the service there, but if so i can't find a link.
  • the field museum was pretty cool, and the king tut exhibit was full of interesting artifacts (as well as comma errors). but we were in for some sticker shock: not only was it $25 each to see the tut exhibit (which we knew in advance), it was $15 for parking, which seemed excessive. at least the hot dogs we got at the stand in front of the museum were reasonably priced. virago had really wanted to try a chicago-style dog, and got her wish. i had mine plain, with just mustard, because i didn't want all that crap on my weiner.


paul said...

in defense of the cta, the fire last week was huge and extremely destructive, and that's the only reason the orange and green lines weren't running. it's very rare to have a line out... you just got lucky!

stAllio! said...

yeah, i thought i saw something on the news about that fire.