<= 2001.04.27

2001.04.30 =>

how was your april worthwhile?

Hello: I've been in Chicago. It was my first trip, other than flying through the airport, and my only other real urban experience has been in San Francisco, so I'm not sure what to say about it. It's very different from SF, certainly. There's the strangest Midwestern vibe. The first couple of bars we went to were exactly like frat parties, only everyone was 35. Then we started going to places that charged a cover and ended up at BAR.

I do not know how to explain BAR, other than to say that it appears to be a franchise with clubs in several major American cities and its layout suggests that it's probably considered pretty hip by people who know about dance clubs, and by having been there I've probably gained Zeitgeist points without even realizing it. There were many attractive and well-dressed women dancing on the counters, but the paucity of women on the actual dance floor suggests that the counter women may have been paid to dance there. Especially because some of them were making out with one another. There was also a midget in a gold lamé jester's hat, who appeared to be enjoying himself. "Sweet Child of Mine" and "Jump Around" were played. The DJ would periodically shout into the microphone, addressing all of the "party people." The ceiling of BAR was outfitted with industrial-looking girders and light rigs and after a while I began to fear that the strobe would give me a seizure, so I hid behind my purple sunglasses. The whole thing reminded me of Berlin in the late '20s/early '30s, and only increased my secret fears that Western society is headed somewhere terrible.

The unquestionable highlight of the trip was the food. Zaiqa is an Indian/Pakistani restaurant where the cab drivers of Chicago congregate. Every car within a block of this place was a taxi. I couldn't pronounce most of the food, but it was spicy and sublime. Generally, you know you've found a good restaurant when your party is the only one speaking English. We also went to Salonica which, as Marlowe points out, is the Greek Denny's. The omelets contain feta and so on. Good stuff. And then we stopped in Ottawa, IL for fifty-cent convenience store baked goods wrapped in plastic.

Amnesiac is out on 4 June.

 

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