A lesson in going native

I’m so used to doing a daily blog that I thought this would be the easiest one to write yet. Alas I have been having such a mad old time of it I almost struggle to keep time in perspective. Yesterday feels like an age away. This morning, if you can count it as this morning, feels like eons ago. I’m having the most fabulous experience here in Chicago. It’s even beating New York for me, which I never thought it would.

So yesterday I met up with Amber and her little one, Alex. Super cute. Very stranger aware. Particularly male strangers. It took six hours for him to even look at me. Very cute tho. We met at Lincoln Park and went around the farmers market and the zoo.


Super cute photo with the Goats here. Alas I didn’t get to go in as I had to stand outside with Alex’s apple. The bind that is toddlers. At some point or another it appears life with a two year old is spent either refusing to apologised for your child, wondering why the child is defying you in every which way or generally not knowing your arse from your elbow as you are busy pacifying a small child or trying to sell a trip to the pub mid afternoon to the child, whilst allowing yourself a moment of adult pleasure. Amber does amazingly, she does not seem to have been fazed by it all. It’s fairly inspirational stuff. I mean, I couldn’t even collapse the pushchair.

We spent the afternoon firstly having a bite to eat at Nookies in Old Town, which was really nice. A glass or three of bucks fizz later, we went to Wicker Park for a few beers on the street. Really cool, I love al fresco drinking. It was a soho kinda atmosphere, all hipsters/trendies in their funky outfits and dishevelled hair. That’s where I fell foul of my first Europeanism. I faced the wrath and scorn of the bar man. I didn’t tip. I gathered I’d upset him when he referred to me as a “fuck”. I assumed he was maybe gay and wanted a piece of me. I then put two and two together when he almost literally chucked the beers at me.


We finished up, then had a lift off Pinkus to our hotel. This then turned into a battle of wills, mine and Amber’s bladders vs the traffic of Chicago. You have never seen a group of people dive out of a Chevvy so quickly and with such determination than we did to urinate. Crisis was however averted.

We parted ways with Amber whilst Pete and I steeled ourselves for dinner and a night out in Boystown. As Pete and I had bought the same pair of jeans, he won the right to wear them last night, which was no bind seeing as I have discussed Boystown outfits at length with MC over the weeks so the choice was pre made. We dined at PF Changs, a recommendation from Catherine and Syl. Lovely chinese place, really enjoyed it. I ruined it slightly by rather ridiculously chewing on a birds eye chilli. Moron. My tongue now has a chilli shaped burn on it.

We then got on the CTA to go to Boystown. It was like rush hour on the tube, but at 11pm. It was madness. We got on, then slinked out of the crushing crowd at Belmont station and went for a walk down to North Halstead. There we were immediately faced with all things gay. Queens hugging one another referring to each other as “sister girl”, a gay sauna, and bar after bar. It took a while to figure our which of the bars we should go to. We settled on Minibar to start with. Gaga was playing, so it was a no brainer. Pretentious is not the word. It was a meat market of epic proportion. It was evident that muscle marys was a phrase used on the job description, as the pumped up bar men simultaneously took their shirts off around 12:15am. No exaggeration. There was a weird time where it just happened. This bar may have been happening in some circles, but us Brits found it a bit soulless.

Instead we went to Sidetrack, a video bar apparently. Which meant no dj, just videos playing. Like GAY Late in Soho. This was better. We got chatting to some strange locals. One guy who kept making racist jokes and saying just kidding afterwards. Which is a bit like running someone over and saying sorry, I didn’t mean to hit you. Intention is immaterial, the act has happened. Just like his racism happened, even if he says he didn’t mean it. He also divulged all sorts about two guys in their who he had slept with, who he then introduced us to. Weird. The one guy had just moved back after three years in Paris. He had a French iPhone. I asked if the maker of his phone was pomme. He told me this was absolutely not funny. I’m still giggling about it, I think it’s hilarious.


We left Sidetrack to go to a club called Hydrate. This place was dead and even more soulless than Minibar. We went therefore to Roscoes, a pub where they played all sorts of random tunes, including that German eurovision winner. Very bizarre, but good. We met the most orange queen. We got a photo, check this out. He even had a Mutya Buena esque lip piercing.

Bizarre. Anyway, we descended into drunken madness. I have photos of Pete asleep in the taxi on the way back, but won’t post them, they aren’t interesting, but a great time was had by all.

As a result today has been hard work. Even harder for me seeing as Pete watched Cast Away, quite possibly my second least favourite Tom Hanks film. The worst being The Terminal. Hated that one. I have never seen the end and I just hope there was a gas explosion and they all died. Terrible film. We are dining in the hotel tonight, keeping it local. Tomorrow I think I will check out the stores and sights around Boystown by day. There is a bakery famed for it’s cinnamon buns, and my inner John Inman will not allow me to forgo the opportunity to ask if I can sample the waiters buns. I’ve waited 30 years for this chance, they must indulge me.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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