Well, I’m in Chicago and I did my first bit of official SBL business.

Yup, I got the tote-bag!

I arrived Thursday evening after a few small misadventures. First, I forgot to fill out the online travel registry with the US dept. of Homeland paranoia, so they didn’t have a record of where I was staying. Got through the security et. al.,  but the United Airline guy got stroppy and wanted to see my Green Card…

Anyway, that wasn’t much of a delay, and all my flights were on time, but the United flight to Chicago from Calgary had the cabin temperature up around 90F. Major headache developed.

I got to the hotel alright, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place (by the convention center), but they said my reservation was for the OTHER Hyatt 3 miles away. It was not. I checked about 10 times when I made the reservation. Anyway, they changed it back so here I am.

Then this morning I had a weird dream that someone kept taking flash pictures which was very annoying. I woke up to find that the  fire alarm flashing light was going off (no audible alarm, though). One near epileptic fit later, I called the front desk who reassured my that all was well.

So, I started working on my two papers, actually both needed to be shorted drastically. I also translated them into something approaching English (broadly conceived). Went for a little walk around, got the tote-bag, and then had a good “Metacriticizing Biblical Scholarship Progam Unit Steering Committee” meeting with Hector Avalos, Rebecca Raphael and John Kutzko (Executive Director of SBL). It was quite productive. John told us about some of the things that go into organizing an event as big as SBL and all the different sorts of people he has to meet with, from event organizers of all sorts to representatives from the host city, hotels, buses, etc. etc. etc.. I can honestly say that I do NOT want his job! Somehow he seemed rather cheery. Suspicious… Anyway, he wins a lolcat for general heroics.



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4 Responses to “Well, I’m in Chicago and I did my first bit of official SBL business.”

  1. The Vicar Says:

    Welcome to Chicago! If you’ll be here very long, get away from the convention center for a bit. (It’s overpriced and not well-placed, except for access to Chinatown. And although I’m not knocking Chinatown, there’s a “Chinatown” in nearly every big city, so if you’re looking for stuff to see which is genuinely unique to Chicago, it’s not the best place to go.)

  2. Dr. Jim Says:

    Thanks! I’ve got all Monday off so I will be out and about. I really wanted to go on the gangster tour but it conflicts with one of my papers. alas.

  3. Eamon Knight Says:

    The Field Museum. Must.

  4. The Vicar Says:

    I would have said the Art Institute, really, since it’s the only Chicago museum which is genuinely world-class and has stuff you can’t see anywhere else, but if you’re trying to see a lot in a short time, maybe that’s not a good choice anyway. (It’s just too big — if you spend the time necessary to really look at everything, you can spend a whole day there and still not get around to the entire collection. And the problem is even worse now that they have the new wing.) And besides, if it’s warm enough out, you can just wander around Millennium Park for free and shake your head in wonder that Daley was willing to pay for all that. (Except the chrome jelly bean. The chrome jelly bean was worth every penny.)

    Just stay away from the Hall of Corporate Logos and “Out of Order” Signs, or as it is more commonly known, the Museum of Science and Industry.

    (Oh, and I don’t care whether you like German food or not; don’t go to Berghoff’s — they pulled a big “sorry everyone but we can’t afford to stay in business” thing a couple of years ago and got the local press all steamed up and did a roaring trade in sentimental “last visits”. Then they reopened almost immediately with the same menu and same name and same prices a few blocks away — the only difference is that the unionized waitstaff is now gone. Regardless of whether you like unions, they should not be rewarded for such shamelessly dishonest tactics. If you want good highfalutin ethnic food in the Loop, go to Russian Teatime right by the main entrance of the Art Institute instead. Or walk north about a half-mile from the Loop and go to Maggiano’s Little Italy — I know it’s a chain, but it’s a surprisingly good chain, and the one north of the Loop is apparently the original one, and still has the best cooks.)

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