Saturday, March 15, 2008
heaven on the lake
ahhh, chicago. back again for the fourth time in 5 years. my cab rolled me into downtown after midnight; i haven't been here for more than 2 hours and once again i am loving this city.
i forgot it's the eve of st. patty's weekend, and just like 2006 the party is ready to start big time. the river is green and the bars have exchanged glass for plastic. tomorrow they open at about 8am and go straight through the following morning. in 06 i had my share of bar hopping and sightseeing on the eve of the housewares show, led by ex-pres jeff d., a chicago college vet who knew the ropes, and loved reliving some great times with lolita and me.
the next 5 days have a magnificent, sunny, brisk midwest forecast...typical for all the trips i've had to this metropolis. this year i am staying at a boutique hotel just off the magnificent mile. dunkin donuts is across the street, apple is around the corner, and everything else you could want to buy or window-shop, eat or drink is within a few short blocks. heaven!
why do i keep coming back? because on sunday, the ultimate engine driving the food chain of the materialism movement in the usa begins. more shit than you could imagine, all peddled by everyone from the little guys to the global brands, all trying to get the retailers of the world to buy and resell their stuff. the international home and housewares show. got a house? an apartment? a shack? a trailer? whatever you may call home, there is something among the millions of square feet of this tradeshow that is or will be in your abode, guaranteed. and you don't need any of it. none. nada.
all this while america's lenders gave billions to borrowers who simply can't pay them back. unemployment is up, the fed prints money to bail the lenders out, the dollar is plummeting, the markets are more volatile than ever, and some of the top economists in the world say that we are on the verge a huge rally so buy, buy , buy, while some of the other top economists are predicting the worst recession since the second world war. worse than the seventies... some say the housing market has hit the bottom while others say it still has far to go.
whether you are on the way up or on the way down right now, hold on. next week you could be on the other side of that slope.