I spent three days in Chicago last week at the wonderful Newberry Library, looking at tracts from the Council of Trent printed by a Jewish physician and other old books, mainly from 16th-century Italy. I also participated in a workshop on the Italian book trade led by Angela Nuovo.
And I drank good coffee and ate nice pastries at "Bombon Americano," a little cafe behind the Newberry. I also ate excellent Indian food at the curiously named "Gaylord's Indian Restaurant," on Clark Street about 7-8 blocks south of the Newberry. I bought a sweater on Michigan Mile (at Filenes' Basement, you understand), and I had a view of the world's largest McDonalds from my hotel. All in all a good trip.
There was so much new construction--mainly high-rise condo buildings--in the Newberry's neighborhood ("Near North" I think they call it) that one might have thought the Chicago fire was in 1996!
Finally, I was one of at least three people on my flight from Chicago to Pittsburgh reading Michael Chabon's new novel, The Yiddish Policemen's Union. I felt so trendy!