83 With A Bullet
After this, it's the hits. Okay, so not hits, but you know, the songs that we all know are objectively the hits.
This is from our third album. You know, before we 'lost it'.
Never change, Gareth.
I went to Chicago! Not, as you might think, for work (though I did drop off a client laptop and gave everybody chocolates), but seeing Los Campesinos! on their first US tour for three years, and anything else I could fit in along the way. Which turned out to be quite a bit!
But boy was it cold. Of course, Chicago native Jimmy was happily walking up and down the city streets while Tammy and I were chattering our teeth and cursing our collective failure to bring scarves. And it wasn’t even cold by local standards!
(It did snow, though, which made me want to head over to Union Station to re-enact this bit of 90s television:
Sadly, there’s never a Mountie around when you need one)
Another reason for visiting was to eat at Next Restaurant. I was a touch concerned that their Ancient Rome menu was going to be very heavy on the fish, but as it turned out, it wasn’t too bad (I had to admit to defeat at the shrimp studded with olives though: essentially Ian kryptonite. Thankfully, as I was there with Tammy, it didn’t go to waste!). I also managed to complete the Alinea trifecta by arriving 45 minutes early. They packed us off to The Aviary, where this happened:
That’s a cocktail containing: ‘caramel, peanuts, popcorn, rum, whiskey’. And jolly nice it was too, and it came with a prize! What more could you ask for?
(oh, and it was warm. Which was very welcome, as the wind chill outside was nasty)
Anyway, Next was wonderful! I think my favourite dishes were the stuffed quail with table-side-baked bread and the surprisingly tasty artichoke and grapefruit dish that transitioned us to dessert.
It seems like the tag-line for Fox In A Box Chicago is that they won’t put you in an escape room with strangers. Which is a great selling point, especially if you failed your last escape room because people pulled out the tubing you had carefully placed with moments to spare.
(not that we’re bitter or anything)
The three of us were plunged into total darkness and given the task of stealing a diamond from a bank vault. Things didn’t go entirely to plan - one of the puzzles had a failed electrical connection, but we managed to escape with minutes to spare. So go us!
After a huge Korean BBQ chicken meal (seriously, we were missing one piece of chicken from our order and still left a third of it uneaten), we headed off to the Field Museum. Because I am weird, I think my favourite part of that was seeing which of the museum exhibits still used decades-old typography. It seems I prefer the parts of museums that are themselves museum pieces - the old, forgotten parts of The Science Museum in London have a similar attraction.
Oh, and pandas. Obviously.
Aside from the part where I gamely looked at a surprise pig’s foot in my lunch and the bit where we saw Lego Batman, I think that mostly wraps up Chicago…
…oh! But before I go, let me present: THE SWANKIEST WALGREENS YOU EVER DID SEE:
Yeah, that’s more middle-class than your average Pret A Manger, isn’t it?