Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Things to do in Chicago when you're alive

A quick rundown of some other places we hit in terms of shopping and entertainment ensues. ETP already covered a lot of this in a post he did, but if you're not used to repetition around here, you never will be.

Mitsuwa Marketplace
Formerly known as Yaohan. The only way to get there is by successive approximation. This works as follows:
  1. Someone says "Hey, let's go to that Asian Mall."
  2. Someone else says "Okay, where is it?"
  3. First person says "Somewhere on the west side of town, I think. Algonquin road."
  4. Third person says "I think it's in Arlington Heights."
  5. First person concurs.
  6. Consult the atlas - figure out how the fuck to get to Algonquin road in Arlington Heights.
  7. When finally getting off the highway, turn in the exact opposite direction of where you're supposed to be going.
  8. Admire the campuses of companies like Motorola while catching a glimpse of half-million dollar townhomes and hating your life back in Colorado.
  9. Have someone (most preferably the one who spent lots of time living in the Chicago area) realize that things should be getting more city-like as we drive as opposed to less.
  10. Turn around.
  11. Have some chicks, dicks, and bunnies as you curse yourself for nearly making it back home.
  12. Find your way back to civilization, a process which includes trying to locate a White Castle because you're all hungry.
  13. Fail to find White Castle, saving that joy for another day.
  14. Find your way to a section of town where the businesses have an Asian theme to them.
  15. Find a large building and pull into the parking lot, only to realize it's just an Asian grocery store.
  16. Continue on down the road until you realize you're well past the commercial sector. Turn your ass around and go to a gas station so that you can check the fucking phone book.
  17. Buy a $20 guide to Chicago, then just look in the goddamn phonebook which tells you everything you need to know to find the Asian Mall. Or at least, Asahiya bookstore, which is in the mall.
  18. You know that grocery store you were at 20 minutes ago? That wasn't a regular grocery store. It was your fucking destination.
  19. Return to the "grocery store" along with your riding companion, shame.
Fuckers just had to go and change the name on me. Of course, I didn't remember the name "Yaohan" either, but had it still been called that I would have remembered it, goddammit. Anyway, so this place was pretty fucking neat. There actually is a grocery store in there, but that's not all. There's a food court, the aforementioned bookstore (no photobooks or porn mags, I'm sorry to report), and several other stores. One store had all sorts of dishes and sushi sets and other cookware and shit, and I don't know how I managed to get out of there without spending a bunch of money. Then, of course, there's the toy/anime store. Okay, so they sold bootleg CDs and stuff which pisses me off because it offends what few morals I have, but the guy running the place was really nice so we'll forgive him. Plus, they had all kinds of cool shit that I had been looking for. So you know what? Fuck morals, I need an Enterprise-E model and ETP needs Masterpiece Optimus Prime. Plus, BOETP had to fulfill her life's work by finding one fucking wallscroll.

Here's a tip: if someone is giving out free samples of roasted chestnuts (or whatever the fuck they were), you're not supposed to try and eat the hard outer shell unless you want to lacerate your intestines. Also, trying to spit that fucker out once you've realized this is not going to be a very successful endeavor.

Woodfield Mall
Woodfield is out in the suburb of Schaumburg. Woodfield is big. My sources tell me it is the biggest mall out there in terms of retail space. The Mall of America is bigger in terms of overall size, but that's because it has a fucking rollercoaster in it. I don't want a rollercoaster. I'm a pussy, and I hate rollercoasters. I want to fucking shop. And shop you can at Woodfield. There's nothing all that special or unique, but there is lots of it. I have to bow down to the sheer size of it. After all, the fucking place doesn't have levels, it has tiers. It also has Talbots.

Michigan Avenue AKA "The Magnificent Mile"
Walking along Michigan Avenue is like being wrapped inside joy. No, wait, that was the Nexus in Star Trek Generations. But Michigan Avenue is close. Tons and tons of places to shop. Entire fucking malls inside buildings you didn't realize could house an entire mall. If you like to shop, you had better just set an entire day aside for Michigan Ave. If you don't like shopping, then stay the fuck home, because we don't need your dead weight.

Our afternoon on Michigan Avenue did remind us, however, that there are always plenty of fucked up people out there. One of the first things we did was hit a food court so that we could keep from dying. As I've mentioned, BOETP doesn't eat much. As such, some of her baked potato from lunch was destined for the garbage. However, destiny was derailed by some creepy guy who comes up to her and says "Are you going to throw that out? That's good food! Praise the lord!" That's... Fantastic. It wasn't some transient or anything, just some dorky looking white guy who obviously needs to be put away.

Other than that, though, Michigan Avenue is good times. That bloody place even got me to buy something from the Gap. I hate the Gap, having moral issues with it akin to bootleg anime soundtracks, but they had a really nice jacket I wanted. So you know what? Fuck morals, I look good in this thing. I don't know what it is with me, but I have this really weird thing for buying jackets and coats. Oh, wait, I know what that thing is - a compulsive spending habit. Still, I always have this need to buy new jackets. Jackets which, of course, I hardly get to wear since I usually get them towards the end of the season. You see, in addition to being a compulsive spender, I'm also stupid.

The only time Michigan Avenue isn't good times (aside from Creepy Guy, of course) is if you want to go to the Tribune Store on Sunday, because it's closed on Sundays. Man, fuck the Lord's day. Now I have to wait yet another trip to get one of those Chicago Tribune toy trucks. Also, keep in mind that when on Michigan Avenue, you're going to be doing lots of walking. As such, if you're going to buy a large item - like, say, a Hello Kitty doll house - you may want to make that purchase towards the end (no, the doll house was not for me, but yes, I was tempted to see if they had another one in the back). You will survive, however, and come away with huge guns. You'll survive even if you're some 80-year-old cunt who is willing to walk a billion miles to shop Michigan Ave. but you'll still use the elevator to save the trouble of walking up ONE flight of stairs. I hate people who do that, and it helps to make fun of those people while other people are doing the exact same thing.

The Art Institute of Chicago
We had planned to hit at least two, maybe three museums while in Chicago. Naturally, we only hit one. Actually, I guess I should be surprised that we managed to hit any at all. Just being in Chicago had us at 7%, or at least damn near that mark. The Art Institute is yet another place you need to devote a full day to, if not several full days. Naturally (really this time) we failed to do this. We wasted a bunch of time looking at paintings we didn't care about (well, they're neat and all, but we'd fucking seen them before), and then had to hit the other stuff we wanted to see lightning round-style.

One thing I made sure to hit (once I remembered it, that is) was the Thorne Miniature Rooms. Now, my fetish for miniatures is well documented, and this exhibit is right up my alley. They're basically glorified doll houses (I'm detecting a theme here), and the detail in these things is fucking amazing.

This was my second time to the Institute, and my second time of completely fucking up the scheduling of my visit. Next time, god damn it. Next time.

Alright, I'm getting towards the end of the stuff from Chicago, which is already two weeks behind me, so you're almost spared from having to hear more bullshit about my trip. Almost, because there are still a couple of posts to go. Unless, of course, if I think of anything not currently on my list.

No comments: