day 55
chicago, illinois

"I used to put on a sock and pretend it was my sister." -jon.
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Windy City:
Festival: Chicagoween
Location: Daley Plaza
Sponsor: Old Navy
Kiddie Fun: Picasso Slide
Circus: Harry's Haunted
Celebrity Guest: Harry Potter

Claim to Fame: For the Columbian Exposition, the Hyde Park area of South Chicago was flooded and gondolas were allowed to float from plaster building to plaster building. Once the fair was over, they used the plaster buildings as molds for new concrete buildings, many of which are being used today.

Crappiest Item for Sale in Hammacher Schlemmer

Foozball 2001!

Location: Hammacher Schlemmer
Contestants: Jon and Kev
Competition: Fierce
It was a tight game with each contestant taking turns scoring until Kev leapt into the lead. Jon tried to make a comeback in the 8th minute, but couldn't stop Kev!
Final Score: K:10 J:6
Quickest Ways to Get Booted from Jon's Dorm:
1. Possessing or using fireworks, firearms, weapons, etc.
2. Setting off false alarms.
3. Tampering with any safetly equipment.
4. Playing with fire in any manner.
5. Physically attacking or threatening physical attack of other residents, staff or guests of the house.
6. Throwing objects from the windows.
7. Obstructing the use of any door by tampering with locks or otherwise preventing entrance.
8. Going out on the roof. *There is a silent alarm.*
9. Possessing, using, or distributing illegal drugs.
10. Through other discipliary measure: verbal warning, probabtion, etc.

We're on a Mission from Gad
Oct 20 - "It's a hunnerd an' fifteen miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses."

"Hit it."

The Blues Brothers... a classic. The only movie to come out of Saturday Night Live that was halfway decent. Except maybe Wayne's World, but I was 15 when that came out, so your guess is as good as mine.

We wandered around Chicago, not quite sure what it had to offer. We were with our friend Jon, who had been going to school there for the past three years, but you know how it is when you visit someone in their town: they don't have a clue where to take you, and they've never actually seen the city themselves. In Jon's case, he was so bad at giving directions he didn't even know which way was up.

Story of our lives.
We started with the Sears Tower. Closed. Okay fine, so we moved on to the other major tourist attractions in the city. What are they? Eeeeexactly.

So we thought up a new angle. Movies. There were only a few movies we could think of that were filmed in Chicago: The Negotiator, filmed

at police headquarters on 77 Wacker Drive (easy enough to find); The Fugitive, which really wasn't anywhere specific in the city except the St. Patrick's Day parade where they dye the water green and Richard Kimball escapes the U.S. Marshalls by putting on a funny hat; and of course, the American classic, The Blues Brothers.

Picasso. Enh.
We had driven through Joliet on the way in, namesake of Joliet Jake Blues, so we were already off to a pretty good start. We'd be driving through Calumet City on the way out towards Indiana, so that was covered too. The only really significant thing left was Richard J. Daley Plaza. Dat's where dey got day Picasso.

In case you don't recall the movie (you really should see it), they had to get $5000 in back taxes to the Cook County Assessor's office in Daley Plaza by noon to save the orphanage. In their haste, they inadvertantly cause the destruction of 115 police cars. Upon arriving at Daley Plaza, they throw a bunch of crap in front of the door so the army can't get in, head up the elevator to the tune of The Girl From Ipanima, and pay the taxes in time. Then they sing a round of Jailhouse Rock and everybody goes home happy.

How do we get to Daley Plaza? Here's where it gets interesting.

We stopped at a tour booth, the place you'd pick up tickets to one of those double decker bus tours. We asked the girl how to find Daley Plaza, and mentioned jokingly that we were on the Blues Brothers self guided tour. "Really? Where does that start?" she replied, as though we'd picked up a map somewhere. "Oh, nowhere, we're just making it up. You know, the movie?"

She'd never heard of it! We were shocked! Here she was, a tour operator in Chicago, and she'd never seen the Blues Brothers. Sure, she could find Daley Plaza, but there went our plans to find Ray's Music Exchange, the fancy restaurant run by Alan Ruben (How much for de women?), or Aretha's diner. And we were so looking forward to an order of dry white toast, four chickens and a Coke.

Oh well. Not everything turns out as planned. At least we could look forward to heading South. I hear the Good Ole Boys are playing at Bob's Country Bunker this weekend.

Rawhide! HYAAH!

Meet Jon Kern:
U. of Chicago Student, All Around Funny Guy

Hometown: New York
Education: 4th year, University of Chicago
Programme: Sociology
Term He'd Never Heard Before: Programme
Summer Occupation: Open Mic Comic, Playwright.
Best Stand-Up Acts: Zoob Tube Solo, The Lunch Break.

How We Met Jon: We met Jon while we were volunteering at Ground Zero. We immediately sensed that he was one of the good guys.
Memorable Ground Zero Moment: He borrowed our cell phone and ran away. We couldn't find him for the rest of the day.
Why We Like Him so Much: Jon's one of those rare fellows with a wicked sense of humour that's just slightly warped. And he tends to giggle to himself now and then. He also let us sleep on his floor. We love anyone who lets us do that.

Fear Factor: Jon's got a nasty fear of spiders. While we visited, he was taping up a small hole in his screen to make sure none of the nasty critters got in.
Moment of Terror: One day Jon woke up to find a spider on his bed. He's been traumatized ever since.
Cooking Skills:Jon cooks up a mean dish of spaghetti.

Tour Guide Skills: Pretty shabby. Jon's lived in Chicago for three years, but his level of knowledge of the city was on a par with our own. Nevertheless, we did manage to stumble upon everything that we wanted to see. No thanks to this bozo.
Guilty Pleasure: Cinnamon Cereal. We gave him our supremely yucky Homer Donut Oh's. He was thrilled. Apparently they're still test marketing the cereal, so it may be the only box he'll ever see.

dat picasso...




more photos in the archive...

We've got mail...

thanks for the cereal and the cinnalicious Persians. The Simpsons box alone is enough to stand as a beacon of shiny brightness in a world of unshiny darkness and scratchy, uncomfortable sweaters. I read the travel guides you uploaded here. Amusing as always. Also, I checked the 'toons and the combination of creative ideas and technical wizardry is a might impressive. Physics jokes. Gotta love those. And mod style promos. Love that too. Like Bullit without Steve McQueen and car chases.

Enjoy riding the river down. Curious to find out your exciting adventures in the Big Easy. what a neat-o-riffic sobriquet?
take care,
- Jon, Chicago IL

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Next Stop: Indianapolis, IN

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Today's Weather:
Getting Warmer

Daily Stats
Parking Found:Twice

Sleeping Quarters
Jon's Dorm

We made a midnight run to North Chicago to try to catch Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, but the show was sold out with a line around the block. So it was back to the dorm where we took over Jon's T1 line and did our upload thang.

North Chicago
BlackStone Dorm
Hyde Park
All:Jon's Famous Spaghetti
Hyde Park
All:Famous Stuffed Pizza with Pepperoni & Sausage

We have found heaven. Its name is Giordano's.

As our friend Mark McNamara would say: do yourself a favour.

Buy a ticket to Chicago this weekend. Rent a car. Take the 41 North to Hyde Park. Pop into Giordano's Pizza on Blackstone. Order up a Large Famous Stuffed. Then write us and thank us.

Your email address...

© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Orange Whip? Orange Whip? Three Orange Whips.