Monday, March 17, 2008

FanBoyWonder’s Tales of the Windy City—Chicago’s Our Kind Of Town

Did you miss us? Well rest easy now because FanBoyWonder is back and we’re happy to report that the Windy City of Chicago is still there—right where we left it the last time we were there.

We hadn’t intended to go so long between postings but technical difficulties kept us from getting onto the Internet while we were away, so we felt like we spent the past week half blind.

Once again we were traveling for work—our third trip in five weeks. It was a heck of a time to be away as things have been breaking at both home and at work, so in one respect it was nice to get away but now we’re back and we’ve got some things to deal with.

Of our recent trips—to Orlando and to New Orleans and last week in Chicago—we must confess that there are much worse ways to spend a week than in the Windy City.

We lucked out with the weather last week—it was chilly for a couple of days but warm (for March) on others but in total we were blessedly spared the Chicago winter chill.

Chicago—which as every fanboy should know serves as the template to Gotham City in Batman Begins and the upcoming The Dark Knight—has become our favorite city to visit.

Chicago is an old city but not ancient—not in the same Colonial way that our native New England or even current world headquarters in Maryland feels.

We found that our lodging during our stay at the historic Palmer House Hilton Hotel to be....satisfactory. It’s not up to our usual standards of the Days Inn or the Super 8 but we made do.

Unlike our recent trip to New Orleans, we weren’t all that social, dining alone with no business dinners—but we enjoyed the solitude as we’ve had some heavy duty thinking to do.

However, we did make a point to try to dine at a couple local, non-chain eateries. For Lunch on Wednesday during some downtime we enjoyed pint or two of Guinness ® at the Elephant & Castle pub and restaurant on North Wabash Street.

The next night we enjoyed a nice Italian dinner at Pizannos Thanks to our waiter Sergio who recommended a really good Kansas beer whose name we can’t recall, as well as the extra-ordinary dish of spaghetti and meatballs. Good deal.

Following our Irish lunch on Wednesday we made our way to our favorite new comic book store in the Windy City—Graham Crackers in The Loop.

As an aside, kudos go to the Palmer House’s Concierge—FanBoyWonder fully expected to stump the hotel’s answer man when we asked where we could find the nearest comic book store.

Yet without missing a beat, he gave us a map and directed us to Graham Crackers. While at GC’s threw was so many goodies—tee-shirts, action figures and the like—but we had to limit our purchase by what we would be able to fit into our carry-on bag for the return trip home.

Yet we still managed to make a nice donation to the store. Our purchase included that weeks books—Suicide Squad #7, Batman Confidential #14, The Amazing Spider-Girl and Green Lantern Corps #22—a trade paper back—The Invincible Iron Man: The Many Armors of Iron Man as well as the most recent issue of Comics Buyers Guide for reading on the airplane ride home.

We’ll be reviewing those books presently as we get back to speed on our blogging. We also picked up just a little something (very little) for our best pal Kemosabe. Who loves ya baby!

Speaking of goodies, Grandpa FanBoyWonder couldn’t leave the Windy City without picking up something for the grandkids—Brianna the Girl Wonder and Baby T.J.

For Brianna we got her a lively pink Chicago tee-shirt. For T.J. being less than 6 months old made it a challenge. We finally opted to get him a Chicago Cubs jumper…but the size was 12 months. So by the time he’s a year old it will be the playoffs and with luck the Cubs will win the Pennant and make the World Series and he’ll be fashionably dressed for the occasion.

We got back on Friday and had to deal with more issues over the weekend. Today we were catching up after a week gone the office but we’re done traveling for a little while and we hope we can resume regular programming in the near future.


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