Dan and Steve from Food Network Star at Printer's Row Book Fair in Chicago, Illinois.

Of books and bread pudding at Printer’s Row Book Fair.

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On my way to the Printer’s Row Book Fair, I pondered why anyone would walk on the street when if they took about 10 steps to the east they could walk through the park. I also figured everyone thought I was a tourist because, as always, I was snapping pictures of everything. (Seriously, I was taking a photo of the bridge and this Asian dude asked if I wanted him to take my pic in front of it…I should have taken him up on the offer…and given a peace sign.)

The bridge going up in Chicago, Illinois.

I trudged through Millennium Park and doused myself in water from the fountain and went and took pics of the bean (note: this will not count as me ‘going to Millennium park’ because I have seen the things I saw before and didn’t go see all of it). I don’t care what anyone says, those are two of the damn coolest things in the world!

Cloud Gate - The Bean in Millennium Park, Chicago.

Anyways, I finally trudged my way to Printer’s Row Book Fair. I checked out the books in desperate search for an oldie that may have been a Goldenbook with the phrase “ouch you naughty lion, you mustn’t bite” in it. No luck. If anyone knows the title of said book, please tell me. While wondering I started to hear some really good music. It sounded all pop-punk and then I saw the band and they were all kinda hot…and then I realized that they were the “Not Ready for Naptime Players.” Would it be wrong to become a groupie for a kiddie-song group???

Not Ready for Naptime Players at Printer's Row Book Fair in Chicago, Illinois.

12:30 came and it was time for the panel I came to see, which included Michele Morano (my favorite professor at DePaul, who wrote an awesome collection of essays about Spain and language called “Grammar Lessons: Translating a Life in Spain” Go buy it and read it), Brian Bouldrey (who wrote a very interesting sounding book – yet to be released – called “Honorable Bandit: A Walk Across Corsica”) and Tony and Maureen Wheeler (Professional travelers and founders of the Lonely Planet travel mecca). It was very interesting to hear them all speak about their books, their writing, and their lives. I felt kind of bad though because all of the audience questions were for Lonely Planet, so the others didn’t really get to talk much. I brought along my copy of Grammar Lessons to get signed by my professor and picked up a copy of Unlikely Destinations for Tony and Maureen to sign.

Then I headed over to see Dan and Steve, who own a catering company in Chicago and were, as they put it, “The Kelly Clarksons of Next Food Network Star.” They made a yummy looking duck sausage cassoulet (fake duck sausage actually, they used chicken instead), but I don’t like sausage. Then they made a bread pudding. Yum.

Dan and Steve from Food Network Star at Printer's Row Book Fair in Chicago, Illinois.

THE COOLEST PART OF THEIR TALK: They are opening a new restaurant in CHicago! But not just any restaurant…it’s going to have a TV studio in it. Then what they’re going to do, is have little cooking demonstrations…and then have you come up and film you giving the cooking demonstration!!! It’s my dream since whenever I cook I talk to the fake cameras anyways. I’m sure it will be hella expensive…but I definitely plan on having a b-day party there!

After that I headed off to another panel with Amy Hempel (who writes amazing short stories) and a couple of others who sounded interesting. I’ll have to check out their stuff. What I found most interesting is when Hempel was talking about her writing process, and that sometimes after writing something big, she won’t write anything at all for a year or more. It’s kind of comforting because I always hear writers saying how they “need to write” and it’s good to hear someone who loves it and is successful at it and passionate for it, but doesn’t feel like she is compelled to write constantly.

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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Sid
    June 10, 2007at9:50 am

    that bean is freaky-awesome

  • Chris
    June 10, 2007at4:30 pm

    That restaurant sounds awesome! I am very jealous!

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