I loved the Windy City. There was just some old 30s charm that appealed to me. I can image speakeasies and men in fedoras and long trench coats, strolling down to their favorite haunt or back alley. Dinners and pizza became a staple in our diet that week. Since I do love cheese and lots of tomato sauce, I declare Chicago to have the best pizza. Ever. The slice I was served in Giadano's was literally an inch high and thick. I only finished that slice and was beyond full. I wish they had pizza out here in Southern California like that. Oh well. I sight-saw with different friends everyday. I made new friends. We stayed up at all hours of the night (to the dismay of the hotel and our neighbors sometimes). I watched the sun rise over Lake Michigan. If you've never seen the sun rise over a body of water, you're missing out. The colors were so vibrant. The water simply beautiful and clear. I tend to stay away from the big tourists places and just like to wander around a city to see what its really like. Tourists here in California really don't see what Los Angeles is really like. They see Hollywood and Universal Studios, Venice beach if they're adventerous. There's so much more though! Anyway, that's a rant for another day. Back to Chicago. I talked to a couple locals. One was hilarious and I wish he would have appeared more often. It helped that he was very complimentary towards myself and all of my friends.
I felt like Daisy except I didn't have any of her and Gatsby's problems. The Hilton was all gold and crystal. Chandeliers hung everywhere. A tall clock sat in the middle of the lobby dividing two staircases. A baby grand piano was on the north side of the lobby. Random people played. The funny thing was if you were good, security left you alone. If you couldn't play or messed up quite a bit, they'd ask you to get off. My friend David from across the pond graced us on the second to the last day to some beautiful pieces. He's way too modest with his playing. I wish I had kept up my practices, but at least I still have my "ear" and can read notes. Every night of that week, someone somewhere was having a party. Wizard Rockers would play periodically and charm their fans. I went to an acoustic session and was incredibly impressed. The Wrock has come a long way and has definitely improved. I'm a new fan of the Mudbloods. That guy, Adam, has a voice that brought tears to my eyes. He sang a song from Snape's perspective about Lily... I kept thinking, "Don't cry. You're wearing mascara." My heart ached for the dear professor.
The whole trip just re-energized my love of the Potter fandom. Everyone is extremely friendly. I can't pick a single highlight. I'd have to say some of the best memories I have are getting into the Cubs v. Cardinals baseball game, hearing security rush into a concert because the chandeliers below us were swaying and crystal was falling from all the people jumping to the music (the floor was moving, too), watching X Files with Potter people (yes! combining obsessions), and being up at all times of the day with people. I love my friends, old and new.
I would go to Chicago again in the future.
Other random stuff...
Warner Bros.'s has post-poned the release of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince!" Yeah, yeah, it's old news, but my anguish is still pulsing through me. Hearing that Summit moved the release of "Twilight" to that slot is good news, but still doesn't fill the void Potter left completely.
"Parasomnia" has released their trailer and it looks wonderful. Both dark and fairy tale like, it's something fresh to my senses. Kathryn Leigh Scott makes a couple appearances so I'm definitely going to see this.
I have more movies (such as Rickman's "BottleShock") that I want to mention, but that's going to be it for now, folks.