Great day in Chicago, starting at 0'awfully-early with a TV interview at ABC-7. Nice folks there, a fun chat about "Lost," among other things, then hello black coffee! Took the metro ez-pz up to Lincoln Square where I stopped in at the Book Cellar. That is one very cool indie bookstore! Back to the hotel to drop off... er... the shoes I bought. And not just one pair. But never mind that. Back to work: cab through a sudden rain that ended just as soon. Caught the commuter train down to Hyde Park, home of the brick and ivy University of Chicago. And home to co-op bookstores. The rain had quit, sun was out, so I donned my hat and set out. Visited with Javier, a manager at the 57th Street Books and then found my way into the caverns of its partner store -- the Seminary Bookstore on campus. Both of them are funky yet cozy, with amazing inventory (including Bible Babel - yay!). Awesome that they're essentially owned by the customers.
I still had a couple of hours to hop across the street to the Oriental Institute Museum before it closed. A place I've been wanting to visit for quite some time, they've got an incredible collection of artifacts from the ancient Near East excavated and analyzed by some of the world's leaders in the field (so to speak - hah). Spent some time taking in the truly colossal (about 40 tons, over 16 feet tall) lamassu -massive winged bulls with beneficent human faces. A pair once flanked the entrance to Sargon II's throne room in Khorsabad at the end of the 8th century BCE (721-705 BCE). A final stop: Powell's, specializing "in quality used, rare, and discounted books, especially academic and scholarly." Hopped the number 6 bus back north and had the happy luck to visit with a couple of women interested in Bible Babel. Charlene bought the last copy I was toting and helped me figure out how to get back to the hotel. whew! Off to dinner and home to Virginia tomorrow ~