Monday, 6 April 2009

Cue "Ride of the Valkyries"

Per request, photos of the Chicago pillow fight, a phalanx of tourists riding Segways, and the Art Institute.

Monday, 3 September 2007

There and back again

I got back from APSA in Chicago last night, after a relatively uneventful conference; most of the highlights involved locating the best bar specials on Goose Island 312, although I think I had a few good interactions at the meat market and got a couple of leads on other jobs. It was nice seeing a few old friends here and there, mostly all-too-briefly; with the exception of Frequent Commenter Scott and his grad school buddy John, I didn’t spend much time with anyone except Marvin and a few of his grad students at dinner Thursday, and Dirk and his family, who hosted a nice lunch for me and a couple of friends out in the ‘burbs on Sunday. (Particular apologies to Michelle, with whom I only interacted via cell phone.)

Alas, nobody seemed to take me up on my suggestion of creating a scene at the registration desk when their name tag appeared bearing the mark of the beast. One of these days I’ll figure out how to create mass mischief at APSA, but not this year.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Chicago, Chicago

I just got back from the Midwest conference in Chicago; Frequent Commenter Scott and I shared a rather palatial room on the nosebleed level—at a price significantly below the conference rate to boot. I can say that all three panels I participated in were intellectually stimulating and full of intriguing papers, the choices of food and beverage destinations by FCS were all excellent, it was great to catch up with a few Signifying Nothing groupies readers in the discipline, and Southwest Airlines did its usual quality job of shuffling my derrière from point A to point B with minimal fuss. Given my time constraints on Wednesday, I had to abandon my earlier plan of riding the train, although the CTA did get a healthy chunk of change from me while in Chicago (to/from Midway and on our gastronomic touring).

Now I just need to track down a local source for 312 and Honker’s Ale.

Thursday, 29 December 2005

Bad news for Midwest attendees

The Berghoff Restaurant in the Chicago Loop is closing at the end of Februrary; residents and tourists visiting the Windy City in late April may encounter herds of disoriented political scientists trying to locate other restaurants at which they can eat.

þ: TigerHawk

Tuesday, 4 October 2005

Local shopping discovery of the week

My big find: six packs of Goose Island Root Beer at Target for $4.49 (yes, it’s pricey, but it’s worth it). Now if you could just get Goose Island Beer around these parts…

Sunday, 15 May 2005

Yay corruption

The City of Chicago managed to lose 16,800 tons of asphalt last summer, apparently due to theft by paving contractors or the companies contracted to haul the asphalt to job sites. The weird part is that asphalt really isn’t worth that much; according to the article, a ton can be had for around $10. (þ: Dean Jens)

Friday, 29 April 2005

Quiz'd again

Yeah, this is pretty much right, although the high ranking of Philly was a bit of a surprise, since Scott and I thought it was kind of a cesspool when we visited for APSA in 2003:

American Cities That Best Fit You:
65% Chicago
65% Philadelphia
60% Atlanta
60% Miami
55% San Diego
Which American Cities Best Fit You?

þ: PoliBlog.

Tuesday, 12 April 2005

Art I didn't see in Chicago

I apparently missed the big excitement in the Chicago art scene last week; the Secret Service, however, didn’t:

Organizers of a politically charged art exhibit at Columbia College’s Glass Curtain Gallery thought their show might draw controversy.

But they didn’t expect two U.S. Secret Service agents would be among the show’s first visitors.

The agents turned up Thursday evening, just before the public opening of “Axis of Evil, the Secret History of Sin,” and took pictures of some of the art pieces—including “Patriot Act,” showing President Bush on a mock 37-cent stamp with a revolver pointed at his head.

When isn’t a death threat a death threat? When it’s an artistic statement, apparently. Thankfully, exhibit curator Michael Hernandez de Luna has his priorities straight:

“It frightens me… as an artist and curator. Now we’re being watched,” Hernandez said. “It’s a new world. It’s a Big Brother world. I think it’s frightening for any artist who wants to do edgy art.”

Hernandez said he hopes the public sees the exhibit as a whole—and not just about one man or even one country. Some works Hernandez thought would be more controversial challenge Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Church. Others look at Nazi Germany and the killing fields in Cambodia.

He refused to talk about the 2001 incident, when he was suspected of being involved in a fake anthrax stamp that shut down an area of Chicago’s main post office. Hernandez and another Chicago artist routinely sent fake stamps through the mail, then sold them for thousands of dollars.

Man, I can so feel my free speech rights being trampled even from here.

Update: Jeff Quinton, who inexplicably hasn't trackbacked, has a roundup of posts.

Meanwhile, this guy doesn't seem to get the point; if I create an image of the president (George Bush, Bill Clinton, whoever) with a gun to his head, I'd pretty much expect a visit from law enforcement; there's this little thing called incitement to imminent lawless action, you know. If the image were of John Kerry or Hillary Clinton, I’d imagine the David Niewarts of the world would be screaming for the feds to investigate—and I’d agree with them.

Saturday, 9 April 2005

More playing tourist

As anticipated, I spent the afternoon goofing off: I had lunch at the Goose Island Beer Company on Clybourn, then walked back downtown and visited the Museum of Contemporary Art before returning to the hotel for the MPSA President’s Reception (key highlight: the open bar). Like yesterday, my feet are tired, but I suppose all the walking makes up for my general laziness in Jackson the last week or so.

Now I’m looking forward to getting back home tomorrow so I can get organized for the final two weeks of classes and see my “normal” friends again.

Friday, 8 April 2005

Free at last

I finished up the discussant gig this morning, so now I’m free to finish having fun. I think I’m going to get some lunch somewhere nearby, then wander north on Michigan Avenue for a while; gotta be back for a reception at 6:30, but beyond that I’m free for the day.

Wednesday, 6 April 2005

Dinner, dessert, but no detox

Dinner with Dirk was at the MPSA-legendary Berghoff; I thought the meal was fine, but I’m not quite sure why people who come to Midwest rave about the place—I’ve eaten better elsewhere in the city.

Also today, I finally finished reading The Lady Tasting Tea; I may or may not have a review soon. I just started Empires of Light; I’m enjoying it so far, but I agree with the reviewers that complain about the author’s overuse of adjectives and flowery language.

Conference blogging

I finally made it to Chicago after missing my connection in Atlanta due to the nasty storms out by the Jackson airport delaying my flight to Atlanta. In five minutes in the lobby, I ran into five different political scientists I know (four of whom actually recognized me), two of whom are named Chris. For a change, the folks at the Palmer House actually honored my request to be near the elevator (I guess finally making Silver HHonors membership has its privileges), but then again that may have just been a coincidence.

Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up with Dirk tonight; then I can get organized for my panel tomorrow morning and my discussant gig Friday morning, so I’ll be free to work on the “things to do in Chicago” list Kelly gave me Friday night most of the rest of my time here.

Sunday, 3 April 2005

Weather is evil

I think the weather gods are conspiring against me… check out the forecast for my trip to Chicago this week:

Wednesday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 64. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Wednesday Night: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low near 44. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Thursday: A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high around 50.

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 35.

Friday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 57.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 32.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 65.