Monday, September 29, 2014

Chicago, Sister, and Friends

My last entry was blogged from Pittsburgh, but I haven't covered my last day in Chicago, because I was distracted by the worst things, so I will do that now.

I did all my laundry at Karlyn's (before I knew about the bedbugs, but just because laundry was necessary), and I mention this only because both her washer and dryer had a "casual" setting.  I have no idea what this means, but apparently the "casual" dryer setting does not get your clothes dry.  Maybe the dryer is being a little too relaxed; I don't know.  But don't use that one.

I made plans to have dinner with a friend and his wife downtown, so I had saved all the downtown activities for that day.  Downtown was significantly colder than the south side/Hyde Park, and gave meaning to the "Windy City" nickname, so if you're going from one to the other, just note that there will be a temperature change.

My first stop was lunch, so I went Hannah's Bretzel on Karlyn's recommendation.  This is a local chain of sandwich shops that touts their organic ingredients and sustainable everything.  The food is also pretty good.  I had a chicken and avocado sandwich on a "wecken," which is like a roll, but in this case, out of pretzel-ish material.



The chips are made in-house and are actually really very good.  They are seasoned just like fried chicken.

Then, since it was only two blocks away, I walked by the main office of the law firm I'll be joining, just out of curiosity.  The Chicago office is way nicer than the New York office, at least from the exterior.  Oh well.  (My first day of work is actually... today.  I am very sad about this.  Not that I don't like the firm, but compared to travelling?  That's a no-brainer.)

Afterward, I walked to Millennium Park, which has a lot of noteworthy things in it better told in photo/caption form.

This fountain has two of these screens that face each other.  They are people who sort of just stare straight ahead, sometimes making facial expressions, but not of any one clear emotion.  It's weird.
Then they spit water for a while, and then the water stops, and it changes to another face.
These appear to be normally proportioned at an angle...
... but are actually super narrow.
The bean!  It is really shiny.
The skyline in the bean!
Candide in the bean!
Underside of the bean!
A really big fountain that I think is technically in another park, but borders Millennium Park.
Chilling lakeside.  (Looking at a map told me this was Lake Michigan, and that I should already have known that.)
Are those... police boats?  (Yes.)
After wandering around for all that time, I took a bus through Magnificent Mile (sorry, but shopping's not my thing) to my friend's apartment, and we went to Giordano's for stuffed pizza.  This is apparently 40% more stuff than deep dish.  I don't know enough to care about this distinction.  Max's wife wanted lots of veggies rather than meat since it was so heavy, and I was very skeptical at first, but it was totally the right call.


The three of us split a small (6 slices), which was plenty.  Max's wife has a very interesting background.  She's half-Japanese, half-Jewish (and can pull off the respective languages without sounding stupid) and semi-grew up in rural Texas, where people open carry, kill snakes in their yards with hoes, and cannot fathom "how to get to" places that don't allow guns.  She used to work in fashion design, but everyone in fashion is terrible (as in making-fun-of-models-who-kill-themselves-because-everyone-is-terrible terrible), so now she does graphic design.  She is especially good at design when she is angry, which amuses me greatly.

I got back after Karlyn had gone to bed (because she works in a high school) and was advised to take a cab rather than the train, so if you are staying in the south side, make sure you know the parameters for when it's safe to take what modes of transit.

The next day, I flew to Pittsburgh, where I stayed with my sister.  Now when the Zhu girls get together, all we do is watch TV and eat food, so I don't have all that much to blog about Pittsburgh.  The best I can do is give you pictures of food and Carnegie Mellon's campus.


Korean style fried chicken in soy garlic sauce.  If you haven't had it before, I highly recommend it.  It varies depending on the place, but it's more of a thin, crispy skin and much sweeter than the typical savory Southern style.
Ice cream from Dave and Andy's.  This is cinnamon pecan and "stillers" cookies 'n' cream.
Oh, Candide is thirsty.
Wait, no, it's a pizza cone.
Dessert from Waffalonia.  I gotta say, though, putting a bunch of ice cream and syrup on a waffle means that the waffle could be really shitty for all I know, even though the owner went to Belgium to learn how to make these waffles.
Gotta love that sculpture.  Really enhances the beauty of the campus.
Those short posts are the fence that has probably thousands of layers of paint on it.  (Students paint over it for every event imaginable.)
I got back to New York yesterday evening, and Ken and I planned to stop by the pop-up Central Perk coffee shop today, but there was a THREE-HOUR wait.  The line wrapped around the block and continued onto another block.  It was madness.  So we did not wait.


This is the second block that the line had wrapped around onto.

We did, however, have a board game night (Pandemic!) with a bunch of our friends, so that was a lot of fun.  I should, however, go to bed, since today is my first day of work, and I have to be in the office in 8 hours.  Goodbye, having control over my own time.  I'll see you... eventually.

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