As befits a place known as The Windy City, my visit was something of a whirlwind.
I got into Chicago with a day to spare before An Event Apart kicked off. I made the most of that blessedly sunny day; walking out to Navy Pier, down Lake Shore to the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium, stopping for a typical specimen of the Chicago hot dog on the way. By the time I walked back to my hotel—stopping for an obligatory mirror shot at the bean—I was fairly knackered and happy to spend the evening relaxing in the company of my fellow speakers.
The conference itself was great. From Eric’s mind-blowing opening talk to Jim’s relaxed film-filled closing, the quality remained consistently high although it dipped a little at the start of the second day when I took to the stage and made the audience mimic Eric’s patented devil horns.
As great as the speakers were, the crowd were the real stars. I had some great conversations with the smart standards-savvy folk who came to the conference and followed on to the post-presentation drinkipoos. The opening night party was lubricated by the generous and dangerous guys at Media Temple. I’ll be seeing them again next week at the dConstruct pre-party.
An Event Apart wrapped up yesterday. Today I had some time to kill before heading for home. I spent it taking in the wonderful architecture from the vantage point of a river boat tour followed by a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago. They were both gratifying cultural experiences but I don’t think they could quite compare to the late-night visits I had already paid to Chicago’s true cultural icon, the Billy Goat Tavern.
It feels like I just got here but here I am, back at the airport. Having experienced most of Chicago’s tourist attractions—art, architecture, hot dogs, pizza and cheezborger—I am currently engaged in the one activity that every visitor to Chicago really can’t avoid: sitting in O’Hare for hours, waiting for a delayed flight.