Chicago Trip Report, Part 1

Dear People of the Internet,

Yesterday we (TFBIM and self) arrived in Chicago. I was instantly reminded why I ought give thanks every day I left Detroit and arrived in SoFla at age 11. Badger is right. You don't need to shovel heat. It was cold, and by the time we had settled in and gone for some lunch (Mity Nice in the Water Tower Shops) it was snowing freely and sideways.

Now I know what people in the rest of the country thought of people in SoFla. "You guys are @#$%ing nuts to live here." The whole schlep of switching wardrobes, donning (and doffing) coats, hats, mufflers, scarves, gloves, galoshes, etc. everyday for 25%-33% of the year strikes me as madness...much like people look agog at our schlep of hurricane shutters, generators, etc. So we all make choices. (But no, seriously, you people are deranged.)

Anyway, we meandered to the Polo Store, where we often see one of Poppy's pals working in the floor (not this time, alas) and this person is, frankly, a character. I'll leave it to Poppy to expound further on him and his quest to become the social arbiter of this place. Anyway, the nice thing about shopping in the permafrost is that all the summer stuff receives far more attractive pricing than it would back home, in particular in the men's section, where I went through like a leveling wind. (Ex. corduroy chinos, orig. $120, down to $34.95)

Sports shirts, cords, chinos, belts and shoes all managed to wend their way into my bag in exchange for far less wampum than you'd think. Let's just say I didn't even pay a fifth of what would have been the total "full retail."

So-o-o-o many people crossed off the Christmas/Chanukah gift list. I also--shhhhhhhhhhhhh!!--sneaked up to the RLPL dept. and got measured for my annual* MTM suit. Because it was cold, I opted for having a Real Winter Suit, charcoal flannel with a very faint white & burgundy overplaid. Last time they forgot to cut my buttonholes on the sleeve and getting this remedied has been an ordeal.

Following this, dinner with client. We had reservations at Keefer's but given the snow and all, the client (i.e. the car we'd be taking) took forever to get here and forever-er to even traverse a few streets, so our reservations were null and void. Luckily we drove by, and decided to dine at, Bin36. Off-the-charts good and very reasonable price given the insane quality of the edibles and potables. It's an interesting concept in restaurants, where the food is aligned to match the wines and not the other way around. The wines are excellent and available by the glass and even half-glass! Whenever you have a given wine the sommelier leaves a little card by your glass, explaining something about the wine--conveniently available at the Bin36 shop. They also have a cheese menu along with desserts. This place, along with Francesca's on Taylor, the aforesaid Mity Nice and Campagnola are my go-to places in Chicago.

Today, after the client agreed to sling along a check impressive for its number of zeroes, we have the day off to spend with Poppy and eventually TSMSM. I am done working for 2005. I will shop today, making a special pilgrimage at Paul Stuart and a more thorough examination of the RLP flagship.

Life is good, if too cold.

-Joke, who thinks his prostate is now rooming with his adam's apple.

* Technically this is incorrect, since I had a MTM suit done at that PB trunk show, but you get the idea.


Badger said…
Okay, but some of us live in places with no galoshes and scarves AND no hurricane shutters and whatnot. And lots and lots of swell restaurants and bookstores. I'M JUST SAYING.

Although it never got above freezing yesterday and is barely there today, so I'm also fudging the truth just a TINY bit, although truly I do not own a SINGLE pair of galoshes. And also it'll be back in the 60s this weekend.

Joke said…
Um, unless the Weather Channel webmaster is on acid, things got a teeny bit crisp up in the TX Hill Country.

I live somewhere that has received snow exactly once (1/4") since they started keeping records.

Still, it's nice to see snow and realize "I fly out tomorrow and won't have to see this for another year."

Poppy Buxom said…
I feel that way about palmetto bugs.

Joke said…
But you DRIVE out, which means the bugs can actually give proper chase.

Sarah Louise said…
MTM? TFBIM? TSMSM? PB? RLPL? Are these vitamin or mineral supplements? I am sooo confused!!

Chicago is a great town. I was there in the summer (when it was warm) and loved it. Unfortunately my camera ate some of the best photos, due to a metal detector malfunction...

tagbewvv: Tag! Be Winter, Velvet velcro.
Joke said…
Joke-to-English Dictionary:

MTM = Made To Measure
TFBIM = That Fabulous Babe I Married
TSMSM = That Stud Muffin She (i.e. Poppy) Married
PB = Palm Beach
RLPL = Ralph Lauren Purple Label


Sarah Louise said…
Thanks, but what is HTH?

jlbwlub: junipers love bundled watercress living under bogs.
Sarah Louise said…
umm...happy to help? I'm not completely dense...
Joke said…
Close enough! I thought it was "hope that helps," but your way sounds more altruistic.


-J., Kng of Abbrvtns

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