Sunday, September 21, 2008

Return to Chi-Town

Rich and I made it back to Chicago yesterday to catch our friends Evan and Miranda's wedding reception. While I've been covering the Winston-Salem beat, Rich has been an hour down the road in Charlotte. Rich's experience in the South has been mixed. A couple days ago, I got an email from Rich where he said that he was "stuck at work because there's no gas in Charlotte, apparently, and I can't get home because my tank is empty." I think Rich spent that night sleeping at work. So... he had kind of a rough week. As we landed in Chicago, Rich felt like he was coming home.

Since we made it to town pretty early, we had about half a day to kill before festivities started. We started by getting lunch at the Lao Sze Chuan restaurant in Chinatown. We were afraid that we had ordered too much spicy food, and when the food arrived, it appeared our worst fears were confirmed. The "Chef's Special Dry Chili String Bean" that we ordered is below:

Luckily, by picking around the peppers the dish was not fatally hot. When we were through with it, there were about 30 uneaten red peppers left on the plate. I offered Rich 20 bucks to down the rest of it, but he declined, reminding me that he wasn't a grad student any more, and therefore didn't need to do stupid stunts for a quick buck anymore, either. So I tried a different tact:
Me: "If you do, it'll make for a good story."

Rich: "Really. And what story would that be."

Me: "The one where you earn your 20 bucks, but then end up stuck in the bathroom for three hours at Evan's wedding."

Rich: "That sounds more like a good story for you than for me."
...So to make a long story short, it didn't happen, and I am now reduced to writing a story of a story. Or something like that.

We next went to the Museum of Contemporary Art, where we saw a very interesting exhibit by Jeff Koons, and then made it to the wedding reception. The location was amazing: the "Library" bar on the 40th floor of the 190 South LaSalle building downtown. But more than that, it was just great to see our old friends again.

View from the party near sunset. Batman can sometimes be spotted atop the building to the left.

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