Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Travel Story - Chicago Zine Fest 2012 - Part 3 and Conclusion

Arcade room of Logan Hardware

Being on vacation can be kind of a mind jolt.  After driving so much much and being so busy the day before, you lose your perception of time.   On top of the normal stresses of traveling and having to deal with a rigid schedule, losing an hour of your morning due to daylight saving just add to the lost perception.  Just as I went to sleep at what I thought was 2am the night before at N's place, it was really after 3.  This would have been fine on any other day, but for this particular Sunday, N was going to show me cool neighborhood record store that had an arcade in the back.  N was to meet with a friend later that day, so time was short.  I was kinda pissed to find out that we sprung ahead that night, and I would be losing an hour to hang out with N for the day.  After my first shower since I've left my place three days before and eating a large hashbrown breakfast, N and I set out to show me around his neighborhood.  Last time I was in the city, I was in the same area, so a lot of it was familiar to me.  I needed a cup of coffee so i made N lead me to a local coffee house on the way to Logan Hardware... a local record shop.  The weather for most of the trip was more on the cold side, but on this particular day it was in the 60's and was perfect walking weather.  N is quite the bike nerd, and as we walked he was telling me how lame and trendy fixed gear track bikes are, and how some of the local bike shops in his area were started by legendary cyclists, yet their children are super douchey because of it.  Ha!, it was some good stories.  On the way to the record store we passed the legendary Fireside Bowl, the once popular spot for punk shows throughout the 90's.  Since 2004, the long-running bowling alley now is only used for bowling.  A few blocks down the street we approached Logan Hardware record shop.  The store gets it's name from the previous tenant at that address, and decided to keep the name of the business.  This particular record shop reminded me a lot of Antiquarium here in Omaha, with mostly a selection of album-era records of various genres, but also a nice selection of punk, hardcore, noise, etc.  What makes this record shop different than any other I've ever been in is that all buying customers can play the arcade cabinets in the back room for free.  I noticed that there was a larger than normal reggae section, and I was happy to find a pretty rare copy of a Cornerstone Records comp. lp as well as a cool street style dual DJ record from the early 80s.  I also found a clean copy of a New Model Army 12" single that I didn't have so I scooped that up as well.  I really wasn't in the mood for spending a lot of money, so I checked out paying just over $20.  Just to the left of the cash register, were two flat black painted doors.  Beyond the doors was one of the coolest things I've ever seen... a room wall to wall with classic 80's arcade cabinets, and pinball machines.  There was a few 90's titles and N and I decided to play the TMNT Arcade Game.  I remember the game being much harder and longer as a kid.  After only about 3 or 4 continues, and 45 mins later, N and I beat the shit out of Shredder, and the turtles saved the day once again.  N filmed a few seconds of me playing the game and I'll have to see if he still has it saved.  The shit is funny.  I also played a few games of the legendary Pinbot machine before it was time for N to meet his friend for a date.  Even though  N had planned to hang out with me during the day, he also made plans to hang out with his ex-girlfriend and they were gonna go see newest Hayao Miyazaki produced anime: Arrietty.  I've met N's ex-gf once in the past when he was still working at the co-op, and she insisted that I come with them to the movie.  I had other plans in mind, but decided to break them for the movie on the fact that Hayao Miyazaki's anime quality is always high, and I was intrigued to see it.  The film was sweet and tender like every other Miyazaki film, and was a nice view.  After the movie, i really had no plans on doing anything else in the city, So i felt it would have been a good time to just head back towards Omaha.  I said goodbye to N and his friend one last time, and head out on the road back home.  It was late Sunday, so traffic was really light, so I had no problems driving through Illinois.  By the time I crossed the state border into Iowa, it was dark and rainy.  Due to the circumstances, and just wanting to get home, I didn't stop at Iowa 80, the worlds largest truckstop as I was planning.  This particular truckstop has a mini-mall of all things Americana, and I really wanted to get an American flag bandanna for when I went to local wrestling events.  I didn't need the gas, and with the rain, I just kept on rolling through.  On the way back, I got gas at the exact same gas stations as I did on the way out, stopping only briefly to stretch.  On this particular night, the traffic was almost none, especially once I got passed Des Moines, so sacrificing gas mileage, I drove in excess of 80mph and often over 90 to get home faster.  I rolled into Omaha at about 12:30am, and was at my apartment at 1am on the nose.  I felt relieved to make it all the way back without any further car problems, and was happy to see that I still made a descent 33 miles per gallon on the entire trip, including the erratic driving conditions of Chicago traffic.  

My zine haul from the fest.  Not bad.

All in all it was a good, but too short of a trip.  I would have liked to do more things in the city, but with the circumstances with friends and time, as well as not wanting to spend anymore money I decided not to linger around.  Now that I know my way around a bit more, and after talking to some locals about what to check out, I have a clearer idea of what i'd like to do next time i'm in town.  The zine fest itself being the highlight of the trip, and the main reason why I went, so everything else was just details.  Although I didn't get as large of a zine haul as I thought  I was going to get, I did get quite a bit of things to read for a good while.  A lot of what I got is on the more personal level, but some are really awesome music interview zines, art, and comic related zines.  One zinster even drew a comic on the inside cover of her comic book just for me!  how bad ass is that?  Chicago Zine Fest, and the short time I spent with my friends was such a good time, I will be back for next years event for sure.  Till then...

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