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Chicago Business Trip

posted at 11:48 am
on Feb. 26, 2005

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I just flew in from Chicago, and BOY are my arms tired.

Ha Ha.  I kid.  Actually, My stomach’s tired—I ate a great deal of meat, and in a very short span.

Susie and I were pitching our services to the Department of Cultural Affairs. We were accompanied by Roland Tanglao, a fascinating fellow from Bryght.

The meeting went very well, but we’re up against four other firms.  The good news is that the list used to be 33 firms long.  One little flirtation with disaster: the hinge on my PowerBook snapped for no reason what soever, I was just opening it as usual, fairly gently.  Metal shards now poke out, and I’m facing a fairly high repair bill when I get back to Vancouver.

We’ll see what happens.

Meanwhile, here’s what I learned about Chicago:

  • Red Light is a tasty Asian restaurant with soft-spoken waiters and metal railings in the shape of abstract animals.  We had the catfish—HUGE and tasty, though they brought it to our table a little under-cooked and had to take it back for a quick second dip in the oil. We also had this Hong Kong steak dish that was very good.  Luckily we all agreed on “rare” because we shared both dishes.  The crowd was an interesting combination.  Mostly 30s and 40s couples and groups of 4.  Not many larger parties, no kids.  It was not full of “young and pretty” types, but certainly some interesting people watching.  Attentive service, good bar.  Price: about $19-28 an entree.

  • The Big Downtown is a dark and chummy bar / restaurant with TV playing sports, confused if well-meaning waitstaff, and steaks and ribs that are SO GOOD it will make you wish you were a coyote.  You know, so that you could eat cows all the time.  OK, that doesn’t really work, but you get my drift.  And then, just when we were feeling doped up with so much meat, they brought the dessert tray and I was like, damn, I gotta have that.  Again, entrees in the $17-35 range, but burgers available to, and I bet they’d be good—I almost order the DIABLO burger, just because of the video game connection.  Gin and tonic with a kick.  Seemed almost entirely full of guys who had gotten off work and had come there to hang out for many hours with their office girl co-workers in big and small groups.

  • Final restaurant review: This Italian place called Rosebud about three blocks from the Museum of Contemporary Art.  We toured the museum, then went across the street to Eli’s, but they close the lunch kitchen at 2:30 and so we wandered further away from the water.  We ate instead at Rosebud and it was so yummy.  Very fancy waitstaff.  Great carb sandwich, nice fries.  Roland asked for a non-menu item and they didn’t bat an eye.  And the portions were FAR to huge for lunch, but they said we were there at 3 p.m. so they staff was sort of in a dinner mood already.  I’m sure the desserts would have been great, but we were so full, it felt like perhaps we ought not to all squish into a cab for fear of explosion under pressure.

    I should add that Roland bought an iPod shuffle, you might want to see what he has to say about that.

  • Overheard

    “The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

    ...who said it?

    “Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

    ...who said it?

    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

    ...who said it?

    “I play with variables constantly.”

    ...who said it?

    “Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

    ...who said it?

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