Sunday, July 27, 2008

some random observations about the windy city

H did such a bang up job blogging about the rest of our time downtown I'm going to save myself some time and suggest you go read it here. We totally didn't pay that much attention to detail when we were there - our handy dandy Go Chicago! books filled in some details I think. Instead of paraphrasing I'll take some time to share some of the quirky things we noticed while in Chicago.

The first thing I noticed were the French people everywhere! Les francais, les quebecois, they all seem to have been visiting at the same time as us. I'm not sure what exactly makes Chicago such a hot spot for the French inclined, but it was sort of fun hearing them everywhere we went.

Also, and I'm sure I was supposed to know this and not be surprised by it at all, was the number of black people in Chicago. Yes, this is probably like me being surprised by the number of Asians in Vancouver, or Ukrainians in Saskatchewan but sometimes I forget things while I'm busy living under my little rock.  Visually seen, about 50% of Chicago's population is black.  Nifty.  

People of all races are stupid over Apple stuff. I am a lover of almost everything Apple makes. I own a nano, a macbook, and if my budget allowed I would likely own many more toys from the Apple family. I however, cannot understand how every single time we walked past the Apple store there was a huge lineup just to get in the store. I understand why Apple would want to limit the number of people in their store (hello Vegas Apple Store, you could take a hint here) but I don't understand why you would stand in line to look at stuff you can buy at any larger chain store. Unless of course they give out cookies while you shop, then I would totally understand (and be a little sad I didn't stand in line.)

Marketing has really been taken to the next level in the States.  Wednesday morning before we got started we were too full for breakfast but were looking for a coffee before we headed to the museum.  There was an ING cafe right across the street from our hotel so it seemed easiest.  This cafe totally did its job of making me want to bank with ING.  The baristas and *insert name of male equivalent of barista here* were actually all bankers in disguise.  Friendly  - and one French - bankers.  They cut their schpeel on ING rather short when they realized we couldn't become customers, but they were still super nice and even offered to let us use the free internet.  As we were doctoring up our coffees a regular customer came in for coffee and they knew her name and what she wanted to order.  If my bank wanted to buy me coffee everyday I think I could get behind that!

So I think I should wrap this up here as it's taken me two weeks to finish this post...  I'm definitely looking forward to returning to Chicago and would highly recommend it as an American holiday.  Ok, done now.

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