Now Waukegan I could easily do! (mostly because I can completely avoid I-94 and those outrageous tolls!) Driving in downtown Chicago is rather unnerving for me (I don't even like driving in downtown Milwaukee and I do that every day! I'm a wuss, what can I say?!).
How close to the HW Library region is the Amtrak station (via a NE trip)? Is the general vicinity accommodated with reasonable hotel and family attractions?
By car it's 18hrs. minimum! From what I am hearing about the traffic, maybe not the smartest method to consider.
Amtrak is 3 or 4 blocks from the library. Remember, you are downtown Chicago at the Harold Washington Library. There is a 'hostel' downtown Chicago, mere 5 minute walk from the library. Phone number is 312/ 360 0300. @ 24 East Congress Pkwy. That's the cheapest way to go for roof over your head.
Downtown Chicago 'hostel' website: http://www.hichicago.org/whatsnew.htm
Nard, yes! I did a Mapquest search and was pleasantly surprised at the near proximity of the two sites. Now for the details to take life!
We did a hostel in Italy once - then, no kids! My tastes have greatly changed since those days. With a couple of young coyotes in tow, amenities for a few extra days' stay in the Windy City would be a must for what little sanity I am holding on to!!
Museums, a performance, and a science center/aquarium/zoo visit usually are the basics on our family exursions. Thus, my inquiry into nearby attractions for the time that will be spent in the city.
What would be the most practical mode of transportation around town? I have read a bit about a CityPass!? Thanks!
Everything you mentioned in basically within a 3 mile range the Harold Washington Library.
You have the Field Museum, the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, The Chicago Art Institute (which has Ray's favorite artist and painting (Georges Seurat): http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/eurptg/28pc_seurat.html
There are 3 elevated trains, 2 subways, that get's you around, plus lots of buses and a shuttle tram (to Navy Pier, for instance) and other various locations. That one's free.
fj--You can get daily passes and weekly passes that are good on both the buses and the el. Also, with kids, I would recommend taking in Navy Pier. There is so much to do there, including boat rides (very expensive though), a giant ferris wheel, a children's museum, great restaurants and shops, etc. Or how about a Cubs game? They are at home April 8-13. There's nothing like a day at Wrigley Park!
Because several people had indicated they may be coming to Chicago from out of town for this event, I wanted to pass along some news I received this morning from Ray. Ray indicated that, because his doctor does not want him to fly anymore, he does not think it will be possible for him to appear in Chicago at the Harold Washington Public Library in April. While no doubt disappointing news for Ray's many readers and fans in the area, I am sure that everyone understands and realizes that Ray's health comes first and foremost. If there are any future updates about this Chicago event, I have no doubt someone will post them to the Board. And don't forget that Ray and Sam Weller are, I believe, still scheduled to appear together at the Los Angeles Festival of Books this year!
[This message has been edited by Richard (edited 01-19-2005).]
Last evening we spent quite some time checking into many of the activities you have suggested, Nard and Imskipper. The Cubs for two young Yank fans would have been great! (The Pirates are coming in on Friday, 4/22). The locations all were too good to be true.
Alas, with the news Richard brings, the plans may have taken a major detour. I have that entire week off for spring break, too. Really disappointing, but understandable to all of us here.
Tho it most assuredly would be a wonderful experience to have Ray visit Chicago one more time, and Waukegan (Green Town, IL.) as well, this is good news!! We are all disappointed, and I know Sam Weller is ahead of the line on this one.
But what are you going to do?!
Made mention before that I thought this trip could be too much for Ray. I was pushing for some info in previous postings of just exactly how Ray made the Washington D.C. trip. I was really surprised to learn that he took commercial air. Perhaps private jet was a better possibility. But I surely applaud this decision to ''stay home''.
As an aside, this Saturday I'm off, with a couple of friends, to visit writer Algis Budrys. Many of you may remember Algis as author of novels such as ''Rogue Moon'', "Hard Landing" etc. Algis too, as I understand, had a stroke. And he too, uses a walker. But Algis has trouble breathing as well. Much different here, tho, is that Algis has given up writing completely. http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue280/classic.html
Wish us well that we may be able to cheer up Algis Budrys at least for the time of our visit with him.
With all the fraility that getting older presses upon the spirit and body, the spirit may be willng but the flesh is weak rings truer than ever at times like these. If Ray's doctor gave a 'go-for-it' mandate, maybe things would turnout a lot differently. But as it is, a good portion of common sense is the best policy here.
I perhaps have a possible solution. Does anyone remember how Ray got around the country years ago before he had to use a commercial airliner to return home due to a family emergency? He traveled by rail road trains!
What a leisurely way for Ray to travel with someone (Patrick) or his daughters to assist him as they head for Chicago.
I say this, unfortunately, with tongue in cheek as a train trip would be far more exhasting than a few hours on a plane, but for many years Ray traveled only by train for any long distance. I remember his writing about train travel in a Life magazine article.
Oh behalf of all of us, Richard, thanks. And, of course, anyone who learns any details, please keep us all updated.
This is NOT a Bradbury item, but for those interested:
As I mentioned a few posts up, I had intended to visit science-fiction writer Algis Budrys, who lives in the Chicago area.
And did! With a friend, Keith, from Wheaton, IL., we arrived at Algis Budrys' house amidst a really giant snow storm. There we were greeted at the door by his wife, Edna, where inside Algis was sitting in the living room watching Court TV.
In a moment or two, we were graciously asked to sit, TV was turned off, both given a round of hot tea and home made banana cake, and talked with Algis (and his wife) for the next hour. Algis has a severe form of diabetes (not a stroke as a previously mentioned)...but it has left him mostly bed ridden. He does use a walker, but has not been outdoors in some time. And he has given up writing. He cannot use a keyboard on the computer anymore, and he hates to dictate.'' It doesn't work for me,'' he said.
I had him sign a couple things, and the signature was very small and written on the paper as if he had a thousand of them to sign and wished to get to all of them before the hour was up. His beard has payed an admirable visit his face, as if he spent a long time in the company with Ernest Hemingway.
"Oh, I met him many years ago, and he was much taller then I am," Algis remarked when I spoke about the similiarities.
We got around to a half dozen questions, but Algis speaks slowly and percisely, and his recall is impaired by the diabetes.
We talked about Harlan Ellison, (Algis has known Harlan since Harlan was 17. Can you imagine that?!) and Frank Herbert, and others. I hope to pay a visit soon with Algis, and put together a long list of people he has known thru the years. I am sure he has a lot to say about many, including Ray Bradbury, Avram Davidson, John W. Campbell, and so many others. Stay tuned.
In the meanwhile, wish the best for Algis. Anyone interested in writing Algis, email me, and I'll send along to you his address in Evanston, Illinois.
[This message has been edited by Nard Kordell (edited 01-23-2005).]
many thanks for your update on Algis Budrys. His characters are some of the best-realised in all of SF/fantasy, and his book reviews were always spot on.
Algis has been around a long time and, as you say, has known a lot of major SF figures. Has anyone conducted any interviews with him recently? It would be great to get his reminiscences in print or on the web. I've never heard anyone say a bad word about him - and that includes critics and reviewers!
I had a funny thing happen to me the other day. I was in a thrift store, where I like to bargain hunt every now and then, going through a clothes rack, looking at sweatshirts. I will only buy the ones that are near new, and have no stains on them. So there I was pushing hangers left and right, when suddenly I see this sweatshirt that has been signed by Ray Bradbury. The marker ink was faded badly, and the sweatshirt had a nasty stain right in its middle front area. I stood there fighting the urge to buy it in spite of the stain, and see if I could wash it out. Finally, desire won and I did buy it. After getting it home, I tried my hardest to clean it so I could wear it proudly. I totally erased the signature in the process. This made me very sad. I have always wanted a book signed by Mr. Bradbury so much. I have all his old paperbacks and treasure them to no end. I ended up throwing the sweatshirt away, and felt bad for having to do so also. After that, I got online and found this website. I think that sweatshirt brought me here for some reason. I can think of nothing more exciting than getting Mr. Bradbury's autograph. Do you think he would sign a book for me if I went to see him in Chicago? Would trying to get his autograph be out of line? I hope I'm well enough to make that day in the windy city. I'll bring my eleven year old son along and show him one of the greatest authors of our time. If I do that, my son will always have that day to remember me with, everytime he opens up a Ray Bradbury novel.
BrainSparks: Sorry! You are not the only one under the weather. Ray himself is not feeling well enough to make Waukegan and Chicago.
And this thing about a signed sweatshirt in a thirft shop is nearly hard to believe. Certainly THAT is a story in itself how it ever wound-up there. Exactly, where was this thrift store? Living in Chicago myself, you have my curiosity.
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