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Chicago Auto Show and Subsequent Revelry

Steve, Tom, having just arrived from Charlotte, and I headed to the Chicago Auto Show with the Badger Bimmers BMW club and stuck around Chicago for the night to visit with our bud Bob. Being a local resident, Bob was the tour Guide for the evening.

Starting off Saturday we had to get up at o-dark-thirty to meet the bus at 6:45AM. The club graciously chartered a bus to take the faithful from Milwaukee to Chicago.

The trip down was leisurely, as we did not have to be at the show until it opened at 10AM so we stopped at Cracker Barrel to break our fast.

For a bit of history, in the past we headed to the Detroit International Auto Show and always thought of Detroit as the best of the best. For me the celebration and sheer spectacle of Detroit is very hard to beat. Chicago still does not seem as full of pomp but I must admit that I enjoyed the show more than Iíve enjoyed Detroit for the past few years. Frankly, Detroit just gets too crowded on the weekends. If you go to Detroit hit it on a weekday.

Even though we hit Chicago on a weekend day, and the first weekend at that, the place is so spread out that there was never the assholes-to-elbows component of the Detroit Experience. Really, the only thing I missed about Detroit was the road trip. It is normally a 3-day affair with other activities around Detroit filling our time. Variously, Kart Racing, Hooters, Walter P. Chrysler Museum, Hooters, Casinos, Strip Clubs, Hooters again watching Barret Jackson at Jeffís etc. Iím looking forward to being able to go back to Detroit next year.

Chicago Auto Show Overview

Chicago Auto Show overview

Anywhoo, there were a lot of great vehicles on display. Of the production cars you could really purchase, the new 530xi from BMW piques my interest. Also. The new Mustang is really sweet! One really tempting ride is the stripped Subaru Impreza WRX. Without all the boy racer add-ons the car is pretty reasonable and if you want to geo rallying it is a great starting point for a very competitive car. If I were going to autocross again Iíd scope out the new version of the Honda Civic Si. I used one to good effect in the late 80ís and early 90ís. The new car seems to have moved a bit towards the size and purpose of the í87 that I really liked.

bmw 530xi

BWM 530xi

We banged around the show for about 5 hours and pretty much saw all wanted to.

Tom dialoging Nina

We moseyed to our hotel, The Hilton Garden Inn, and found the room satisfactory and a relative bargain in downtown Chicago. Thanks fro the hook up Bob!

After a brief rest in the room we cruised across the street to Rock Bottom for an appetizer and a Sampler. 9 beers for 7 bucks. Not bad.

After the food and beer we crashed at the hotel for a couple of hours while we waited for Bob. Various snorts and snores were heard and we kind of watched Lackawanna Blues on HBO. Iíd rather have seen Deadwood but the new season doesnít start until March 6th!

Bob showed up about 7:30 and after the preliminaries were dispensed with we walked around for a bit, went the wrong way, then hailed a cab. We made it too Scoozi for our 9PM reservation and had a nice dinner punctuated with several martinis.

Following dinner we cruised to a few of Bobís favorite restaurants to check them out for future reference; variously having drinks or not.

After the restaurant tour we made a stop at the Hard rock cafť where martinis were a surprisingly affordable $7. Had to stay for a couple!

Later, we headed to Rush Street and after a couple of quick stops at clubs where the young and beautiful hang out we lighted at Cactus and consumed mucho Herredura Blanco. Out of a snifter of course! I dug this place since it was in the heart of the action yet not crowded. For an old fart like me the pushy, sweaty masses donít have the same thrill as they did when I was a youth.

At about 1AM we said good-bye, Bob.

At 2AM we were back at the room where we left sleepy Tom. Steve and I were not quite done.

We went out and hailed a cab and gave the cabby one request. Take us to the nearest open bar! We ended up right back where we had just been. I guess the Rush Street area is the late nightspot.

We killed a few more brain cells at Cactus and were, for some reason, feeling hungry again. We split from Cactus about 3:30 and we hit upon the best place of the evening for me, a place called Dublinís. Dublinís was still serving, so a Bass Ale filled the bill and then the menu came. So many choices at 3:30 it was hard to choose. The Irish Stew got the call and it was the perfect thing. Very good! Do try it if you get in the area.

Breakfast at Andrewís Sunday AM, a trip to Union Station and a ride back on the Hiawatha finished an enjoyable weekend.

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