There's no sensation quite like having three good friends all in the air during a terrorism alert.
I woke up on Thursday to the news that the likelihood of espresso or Pantene exploding in mid-flight was causing travel snarls across the country. I wondered whether Jon, Sean, and Lars would make it to Chicago at all, or whether I'd wind up wandering around the Stitches Market not buying anything all by myself.
In spite of all odds, Sean signaled early in the day that he was on his way. Jon followed him not long after. Poor Lars, however, was only heard from late Thursday night as he waited in Indianapolis for his plane to refuel. It seemed there'd been a diversion due to thunderstorms over Midway. When you get right down to it, Al-Quaeda still has nothing on Mother Nature.
We convened at my apartment in Boystown, and embarked on a walking tour of the 'hood. Lunch at Joy Noodle, the traditional "first date" restaurant for gay men of all ages, and then a walk up Halsted Street including a stop at Beatnix, an equal-opportunity emporium where you can buy drag supplies (they have an entire wig and tiara room) and/or leather gear. Guess which Jon preferred.
The owners of the shop had apparently anticipated his arrival.
Thence to Rosemont Convention Center, via Chicago's sparkling and elegant public transit system. Sean worked his eye-crossing cabled sweater from a chart as we jolted along Irving Park Road on the x80 bus to the Blue Line.
To be continued.