Sunday, 29 October 2006

Yesterday was really about getting to Chicago to kick things off. And it seems the travel gods were smiling on me as if to say my quest was right and true.

The first good sign was the gate assignment for my flight to Chicago: G18. If you go all the way into the terminal, that’s way out on one of the arms of the airport. Luckily, there is a security checkpoint along a walkway that goes between two of the concourses. That walkway is directly above the airport’s light-rail station. I got off the train, took the elevator upstairs, and was through security and at the gate in all of 10 minutes. And that was with an extra bag inspection because I forgot to take the little bag with my shampoo and toothpaste out of my suitcase before I put it through the x-ray machine.

The flight was uneventful – after all, how much can happen when you’re only in the air for 45 minutes?

About a week before the trip I realized that my hotel was actually about 10 miles North of the city, rather than near either venue for my first couple shows. I can only chalk it up to my being an idiot, but Google Maps and the Chicago city planners are complicit.

The hotel is on 2875 North Milwaukee Avenue. It turns out there are two places in the area that fit that address. One is in Chicago proper, the other is in the nearby suburb of Northbrook. I’m used to how things are in the Twin Cities. You can lay a great big grid over the whole area and pretty much find anything with a single numbering system; one for North-South, the other for East-West. Apparently in the Chicago area the start the numbering over again even when it’s the same street that appears in multiple cities, like Milwaukee Avenue.

I ended up sticking with the same hotel because I got a good rate for a decent size room and they had already charged my card for the room since it was a pre-pay Internet deal.

There must have been two conventions in town, or something. As I pulled into the hotel two tour buses pulled in after me. Out of them came at least 100 Russian or Ukrainian (I couldn’t tell from the language they were speaking) girls and their mothers. Tons of them all over the place. Later I saw a group of 20 or so Chinese guys all gathered together.

I’m still working on a review for the show, but that should be on-line very soon.

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