Chicago!

Last Thursday I was picked up at the airport by Jonathan, my guide to Chicago, and dropped off my stuff at my new home for the week. I would be staying in a warehouse–large windows, little bedrooms created out of old doors, 2x4s and plastic sheeting. A room full of recording equipment. Through the wonders of Facebook, I had gotten in touch with a friend that was on tour with her band, Bellow, and they just happened to be playing a short walk from home. The house was small, and smokey, and Bellow was amazing. Of course we met up with Osa of Shotgun Seamstress. Just my good luck! We bonded over our sadness than Colleen could not make it out with me. After the show Jonathan and I stayed up till dawn, talking, staring stories of the four months since we had last seen each other.

Friday was a long afternoon walk  through the Ukrainian Villiage. Taking pictures of churches and saints, eating Varenyky and candy sold by the pound. Drinking pear soda. Had lunch with another friend, Jail, who makes amazing creepy music. She was leaving for tour the next day and showed me the best place to get cheap copies. We walked to Quimby’s and was so excited to see two Mend My Dress Press books in the window display! Thank you!The Youth Reading and the Exhibitor Reading at the Boring Store was wonderful. I read from my brand new zine. I was nervous, but happy. All of the readings where really amazing and inspiring.

Neelybat and Maranda Elizabeth
Neelybat and Maranda Elizabeth

Saturday morning was a chore: the train line broken, I arrived late to the zine fest, set up my table quickly and settled in. I spent the whole day excited and happy. I met so many friends, both new and old (I will not bother name checking everyone, heaven forbid I forget someone, but you know who you are). I did lots of zine trades, sold bunches of books and found some new stuff for the distro. It was a very productive day on all counts.  Thank you so much Chicago Zine Fest!

The rest of my time in Chicago has been become a bit of a blur. What night did I stay up at an after-after party dancing, waiting in the pouring rain, falling into bed at six a.m.? What morning was spent cursing the very real rain (so so unlike the northwest mist), hailing to meet friends at Quimby’s?  How many hours where spent eating and talking at the falafel place? How many hugs and promises to write. How many zines did we dream up? When did we eat ice cream sundaes at midnight? Whatever, all you need to know is that my week was magical and that CZF is already on my calender for next year.

xoxo, Neelybat

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