Friday, June 24, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #23

Okay, my final tidbit isn't an event or entertainment or eatery or anything like that. It's a strong piece of advice. We're supposed to be hitting near record temperature highs this weekend, so please, please, please remember to stay cool and hydrated throughout the day. Spending the conference sick will be no fun whatsoever. And with that cheery thought, have a wonderful time at the conference if you're coming and I'll do my best to post my impressions and/or pictures for those who aren't. Also, be sure to check out the PLABlog and LITABlog.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #22

If you're a morning person, check out the NBC5 News Today show. This is Chicago's version/preshow to the New York Today show. Weekday broadcasts begin at 5 a.m. and weekend shows begin at 6 a.m. If you're at the Sheraton, it's right across the street.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #21

In case you haven't heard, the Critical Mass Bike Ride occurs the last Friday of every month and guess what this Friday is? Meet at Daley Plaza (55 W. Randolph) with your bike at 5:30 pm is you want to ride with them.

Metromix listing

Monday, June 20, 2005

Reading Tidbits

Okay, a little something extra for the night. If you're still looking for something to read on your way to and from Chicago, here's what's caught my eye lately:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - audio version - ready by Stephen Fry. Do I need to say more?

Black Rose by Nora Roberts - second book in her In The Garden trilogy. Romance with an older heroine and hero, *very* good.

Killing Time by Linda Howard - you'll have to like romance to appreciate this, but there are some interesting thoughts on the preservation of information media peppered throughout the story. I'll be expounding more on this after the conference.

Chicago Tidbit #20

You may remember that I talked about the Taste in an earlier Tidbit. Well, if you're planning on attending any of the programs outside of McCormick Place, the Taste is going to be your biggest obstacle in getting there on time. Give yourself enough time for the shuttle to get you around it. If you're tight on time, though, either renting a bike (also an earlier Tidbit) or taking the Metra Electric line will get you where you want to go in the quickest time. The Metra Electric has a stop at MCP and takes about 7 minutes to get to the Randolph/South Water station which is right below the Hyatt Regency Chicago where you can then pick up the shuttle if the hotel is longer than a quick walk away. The Sheraton is only a 5-10 minute walk away if you're not loaded down by swag from the exhibits. A one way ticket on the Metra Electric is $1.85 and is well worth it if you're not fighting traffic. Check out the schedule here.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #19

Just a note that the last of the tidbits will be posted on Thursday, with the 23rd tidbit. My conference starts on Friday and I will be posting about the conference itself if I can find time to post :D

Today's tidbit takes us into the art world. Gallery 37 was begun as an arts training program putting to use an empty city block (which is across the street from Marshall Field's - State Street). It's still an arts training program, but has moved down the street to 66 East Randolph. Exhibits, a storefront theater, and a cafe are open to the public.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #18

Saving money during a conference can be hard to accomplish at times. Visiting museums can be really expensive. If you're planning on seeing more than one, you need to look into the CityPass program. One ticket gets you into 6 venues with some added bonuses that don't come with regular admission. ALA has also partnered with the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau to bring you some special values with

Friday, June 17, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #17

If you happen to be out and about around 10:15 Saturday night and you're downtown, look towards the lake as Navy Pier puts on a fireworks show at that time every Saturday in the summer. If you're in town on a Wednesday night, they do it at 9:30 then.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Chicago Tidbits #15 & #16

I didn't realize until I came to post #16 that I never did #15. So, here's #15: Millennium Park. Use the park that opened four years after it's namesake. We Chicagoans beg you. How else to justify the expense? See the Cloud Gate, aka The Bean (well, part of it), the spitting faces, and the Pritzker Pavilion. It's a great place to enjoy all those goodies that you picked up from the Taste down the street.

As for #16, for those of you not planning on seeing David Sedaris at PLA's shindig Monday night, he will be signing at the State Street Borders at 12:30 pm. The signing line begins at 8 AM. Get there early if you can as I know from experience that line can get LO-O-O-ON-N-NG-G-G-G.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #14

On the theme of tours, you can get a personalized tour by a Chicago Greeter. These are Chicago residents with in-depth knowledge of certain parts of the city and the public transportation is complementary. Warning though, advanced notice of 7 business days prior to arrival is required. If you can't do this while here for ALA, you might want to consider it for future trips to Chicago!

City of Chicago Greeter Program

Monday, June 13, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #13

Tours abound in Chicago. You can explore the city by land, sea and air. Chicago Traveler has a great listing of your options. There's even a Chicago Hauntings tour led by the author of Chicago Haunts, Ursula Bielski.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Chicago Tidbits #11 & 12

Sorry for the delay in posting number 11. Hershey has opened a new "experiential" store at 820 N. Michigan. So, if you're a chocoholic and won't be finding yourself near Hershey, PA anytime soon...

To burn off all those calories you'll absorb at Hershey, why not bike around the city? Bike Chicago offers rentals at Millenium Park, Navy Pier, and North Avenue.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #10

Calling all fans of Neil Gaiman. See the stage adaptation of Stardust at the Griffin Theater. Its run ends on June 26th. More information is available at

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #9

Chicago's got some great shopping districts. In the loop, there's State Street. Featuring the flagship store of Marshall Field's, H&M, Borders, Nordstrom Rack and Old Navy this strip has some great deals for the bargain hunter. North of the river, there's North Michigan Avenue. More high end stores line this street including Nordstrom's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, American Girl Place, and an Apple Store. Also, educators, including librarians, get a 10% discount at Apple as long as you bring your work ID or a pay stub and photo ID.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #8

Did you know that Chicago was the birthplace of the movie industry? Beverly Hills was supposedly named after the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago. Films are always shooting in and around Chicago. You can find out which ones are currently scheduled by checking out the City of Chicago's Film Office.

Chicago Tidbit #7

I'm up late because I'm hot and sticky. That's not the tidbit, I'm just warning you.

Looking for computer and Internet access while in Chicago? The Chicago Public Library now offers WiFi access in addition to guest passes to their computers at the Harold Washington Main Library. Harold Washington is conveniently located as a stop on the "L" at State and Van Buren.

CPL - It's the Hot Spot!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #6

Does the history of the book get your motor running? Disbound and Dispersed: The Leaf Book Considered is the current exhibit at the Newberry Library. Explore the development and impact of this late-19th century format.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #5

Bring a blanket and some munchies from the Taste and enjoy the music of the Grant Park Orchestra as they bring you "A Symphonic Night at the Movies: Gotta Dance!" at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millenium Park on Saturday, June 25th. Music from such movie favorites as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Brigadoon, Singin' in the Rain, Madame Bovary, and An American in Paris will be featured along with signature dance sequences. The fun begins at 9:30 pm.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #4

Looking for a place to hang out, grab something to eat, have a drink or two, and sing along to "Time Warp"? Check out Howl at the Moon!!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #3

Enjoy music? Did you know that there are free concerts at the Petrillo Band Shell during the Taste? This year's lineup includes Lauryn Hill, Leann Rimes, Clint Black, the casts of Wicked, Disney's The Lion King, Little Shop of Horrors, and Donna Summer. More information here.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #2

ALA won't be the only convention game in town. If you're into gadgets and technology, Wired Magazine's NextFest will be at Navy Pier June 24th-26th. Day passes are $10 online and $15 at the door.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Chicago Tidbit #1

I'll be posting periodic tidbits about Chicago leading up the ALA conference.

Today's tidbit is about the Taste of Chicago. The Taste will be celebrating its 25th year of bringing together Chicago's restaurants in one place. It will begin Friday, June 24th and run for 11 days. Tickets will be $7 for a strip of 11 tickets during the Taste. You can also buy them online here ahead of time. If you're looking for lots of choices in food, the Taste is the place to be.