Much lurve for the weekend


You know, nothing feels as good as taking a weekend off. Sleeping late, finishing the Harry Potter book*, polishing off the three Netflix movies that have been hanging around my living room for weeks, spending QT with the GF, more sleeping, catching up on Tivo’d episodes of the Colbert Report. It was marvelous!

The downside however is that I have very little to blog about from the weekend. The one thing which was a little amusing is from the GF and my trip down to Wicker Park Fest** in my old ‘hood of Wicker Park. We went Sunday evening for a beer and to catch some music and peoplewatch. Since Wicker Park is the center of the Greater Chicagoland Urban Hipster Sanctuary, the peoplewatching there is particularly good - lots of witty T’s***, unusual piercings, faux-bedhead hairstyles, and copious tattooage.

But in the end, Wicker Park is like a lot of gentrifying neighborhoods in that it is rapidly being swarmed by loads of yuppie-types who can’t afford to live in Lincoln Park but want the lifestyle. We’re seeing more Bugaboo strollers being pushed by young moms carrying their Fendi bags and drinking their Starbucks. Which is why we were a little surprised to see one of the stands set up at the fair was for Batteries Not Included – a local establishment that sells, ahem, “adult” films and “novelties”. Apparently, they had just opened a second location down the street and were using the fest to introduce themselves. Their first location has been in Boystown for years, but (as the guy explained to us) the Wicker Park location carries a different selection of products due to the “somewhat different demographics” of that neighborhood.

What kind of surprised me was that their wares were pretty much up and out on the street in view of anyone who walked in. And considering that some of the cover art on the dvd’s was - shall we say - less than subtle, it was no surprise to the GF and myself that their tent had been located somewhat off the main drag in a parking lot off to one side. Of course, to hear the employees say it, apparently they didn’t understand the “different demographics” as well as they claimed. Oh well, I hope it works out for them and that the location sells a lot of novelties. After all I’d much rather have that than another Starbucks, bank, or real estate office. America doesn’t need any more of those, but it can only benefit from more stores selling outrageously-priced exotic women’s underwear! F*ck yeah!

* Which I completely agree with TOWWAS – the ending is very satisfying.
** Which is one of the countless neighborhood festivals that happen in Chicago during the summer – live music + beer tent + fair food + overpriced purse/jewelry vendors.
*** Although I was complemented multiple times on my Threadless shirt, which felt very validating.


C'est moi! said…
I used to live in the neighborhood and I feel the same way about the novel, new, and unexpected staying there despite its loosening grip. "Batteries" kind of lost its edge - not that *I* am personally adventurous in said manner - earlier when Boystown started becoming more gentrified in the past five years and toddlers began appearing in front of the leather shops. Its present location is a bit odd in light of its previous one because it tended to cater to the other neighborhood's demographics so aptly.

Of course, one could argue that our attitude is a typical phenomenon of the 'indier than thou' subculture, the ones who ride the crest of a tide far before the trend. I can personally vouch for never being terribly hip, but rather, hoping for a neighborhood whose character didn't wither away as soon as its first Starbucks opened.** The ball and chain keeps admonishing me on this fact alone, as well as reminding me that Chicago is a lot bigger than the two-mile radius from the lake.

** The opening of such franchises are not always a bad thing, as is the case for the rejuvenation of areas in Rogers Park/Uptown.