Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lit Fest In Chicago

For the past several years, I’ve attended the “Printer's Row Book Fair” or Lit fest as it’s known now.  I am not a reader.  So, I go with someone who does like to read and I’m along for the ride.  To protect the identity of other’s, I’ll call the interested party Tina.  Tina is a librarian and has a blog “Reader for Life,” so this is right up her alley.  We have some friends in Chicago and we typically stay with one in particular…we’ll call him Brian.

Responsible insert – if you like reading, collecting books and being in the literary know…you should go to this event.

So, each year in the spring, we look at our calendars and mark the LitFest.  Then there is correspondence with Brian to see if he will be in town to join us.  There are year’s he’s not available, yet we still stay at his place.  There is another friend, let’s call her Nori, who we also check to see if she can join.

Lit Fest is like any other festival, but it’s all about books.  There’s a look of the people who attend this event…lots of glasses.  There are tents with book vendors and then there are special sessions/rooms with actual authors.  Over the years, it’s clear Brian and I are not interested in the authors, but Tina has an agenda and we follow along.

The day typically goes as follows:  We drive to an area and find a lot to park.  Brian and/or I don’t read signs or understand how to pay and Tina figures it out.  It’s either too hot or raining, so Tina has to endure our complaining.  The first stop is typically for water/a snack/cash/food.  Once we find some sort of comfort, we walk around until the first author talk/reading.  From there, Brian and I nestle into our chairs and hope we won’t be bored.  My job is to take photos for Tina’s blog, so I at least feel like there is a task or objective.

Once we have seen all of the authors on Tina’s list, we are done.  Sadly, the highlight for me is the lunch break at a Mexican restaurant called Flaco’s Tacos.  It’s situated right on Printer’s Row and it’s always busy during the event.  They have fish tacos and tamales and I dream about them.

Over the years I’ve seen some notable personalities including Charlie Pierce, Amy Dickinson, Chuck Barris, Bill Geist, Erik Larson……  But this is one gentleman I see almost every year…and this is a little weird and cosmic…his name is Reid Duffy and used to do restaurant reviews on a local television station in Indianapolis. Anyway, I see Reid EVERY year in the crowds.  This year I was even more obsessed and took lots of snaps.  The photos forced me to Google him and I think he’s still doing some writing and food related stuff in Indy, but he’s originally from Chicago.

I don’t know who is going to be at next year’s Lit Fest and I don’t care.  I will put it on my calendar in the spring and start thinking about those tacos and seeing Reid Duffy around May.  June will come soon enough and it’s then when I know summer is starting.

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