While Palo Alto wasn’t exactly boiling hot it was positively tropical compared to the polar temperatures in Chicago. From 60F to -26F in the space of the four hours it took me to reach the windy city. My friend Sean had told me that it was cold and to bring a coat. Well excuse me but I’m too cool for coats. I’ve never even zipped a jacket up before – one can’t be cool if you look like mummy dressed you. Next thing you know I’ll be hiring a middle aged woman to dab my face with a damp handkerchief.
But anyway Sean met me in the city to bring me back to his apartment where I was staying with he and his family. By the time I bumped in to him on the road my ten quid fleece was beginning to demonstrate its limitations. The wind ripped through me, freezing my eyeballs and leaving me moaning incessantly about how unreasonable the meteorological situation was. “I told you it was cold,” Sean nagged, some might think quite reasonably. Well how the hell do I know what -15F feels like? I’m not Phil Connors!
Ned! Ryerson! BING!
Sorry, I loved that movie.
Friday night saw myself and Sean head to a neat Irish bar called Fadós before moving to a piano bar in the city to meet my fellow MySpacer Jenni and her friends Violent and Narin. Myself and Sean showed off and bought a 55 bucks bottle of Pinot Noir. It was nice but I could have gotten five good bottles of wine for Tesco for that. We quickly worked out that the average age of the person at the bar was twice any of us so headed down to Dublins, a very unconvincing Irish bar.
When the girls decided that we were starting to slur a bit too much they headed home and we went on to Coyote Ugly – probably the lamest place ever. Judging by the dancing talent on show I can only guess that they re-enforced the bar. We then made the short trip next door and stood in a queue for some club called Red Dragon I’m told. Sean – the brains of the operation – quickly worked out that we were in something of a minority in the queue. “What is this, Asian night?” he enquired of one of the many Asians that surrounded us? Undeterred by the feeling that we may be entering something of a cultural gap, we paid thirty dollars in (after my customary refusal to show ID) for ten minutes entertainment before heading home.
I love Chicago.
Shopping day! I’m a rubbish shopper, especially when (a) hungover and (b) it’s well below freezing. But two pair of Levis 514s (best fitting jeans ever!), two decent Old Navy tees and – the coup de grace – a leather jacket significantly reduced from its “ten bottles of Pinot Noir” price tag later, I was revitalised. I was ready to go home with all this in tow but Sean seemed to be on a mission to visit a shop on every block in the city so it turned in to a six hour marathon session.
That night I went in to Howl at the Moon to meet Jenni for more Irish-themed fun (ie drink) and we were joined later on by my dear friend Holly. Holly was done in the early hours and as I looked at my watch at about 1am myself and Jenni could the see the end in sight…
…so I walked in the door of Sean’s apartment at 8am knowing full well that I had to get up for my flight back to San Francisco in three hours. Even his two adorable kids thought it was funny. So I went up and got a few hours sleep before setting off for the west coast again.
Really that’s where the story ends. I got to San Francisco about 7pm to hear that Chicago Bears had lost the Superbowl which was a shame. My colleague John picked me up in his new Porsche 911 and as we screeched away from the kerb leaving a homeless waif rubbing exhaust fumes from his eyes I thought to myself…”these jeans are really f*cking nice”.
Me and Jen-Nay!
Me and Holly!
Me and Sean!