The evening of Day One brought some nice lounging around but it showed the need for some entertainment options that I think Wizard could adopt into the convention experience. Click below for more :
Two things here. Number one, the pics in this post were taken by my cell phone so the quality is poor. Number two, all of the pics feature my beautiful wife Liz, whose accounting prowess made this trip possible once again this year :-) So after being bombarded by everything a comic geek could want at the Convention Center, we retreated to our hotel to check out the area’s options for food and relaxation. Now, this convention is called Chicago but it is actually in Rosemont which is just outside of O’Hare Airport about 30 minutes from downtown. Since we didn’t feel like driving after the long day, we checked out what Rosemont had to offer.
First we stopped for a drink at the WXYZ Bar in the hotel and also got some decent area recommendations from the bartender. The loud group with kids that were checking in earlier had taken over the lounge area and we found it difficult to relax while ten year olds were running around, shooting pool (one of the balls actually did jump the table and flew down into the bar area) and generally being annoying. We ended up having dinner at Bogart’s Bar & Grill which is inside a complex called Muvico 18 across from the hotel. Dinner was good and not as expensive as I had anticipated (awesome, more money for the con). We then headed back to the hotel and the loud group of kids was gone which left a beautiful and peaceful lounge area.
Here is one of my recommendations for the organizers. I feel that there needs to be some organized social events in the area for those that are staying the weekend, and I don’t mean the high-priced cocktail receptions with the celebrities. What I’m thinking of is something along these lines : a comic themed party at a hotel or local club where your weekend pass gets you admission. Cash bar would be cool, with some decent music and areas for gathering and mingling. Maybe show some comic movies or cartoons on screens like some clubs do. Convincing some of the big name artists and writers to attend and mingle would also be a good move. My wife was telling me that when Milwaukee hosted Gen-Con a few years back that there were similar get-togethers for convention-goers and that it was fun to be able to meet others with similar interests in a relaxed atmosphere.
Although it was fun walking around the hotel and hanging at the lounge, giving nods to fellow members of the Green Lantern Corps as they passed by wearing their GL t-shirts, or seeing others with wristband bracelets lugging large bags of goodies. Our hotel lounge also had a large area with big couches, tables and chairs as well as random board games scattered about. Liz and I enjoyed a game of classic Battleship while having drinks that was more fun than it should have been. I would have enjoyed getting to know some people in the lounge but comic fans are an insular bunch and most people seemed to retreat to their own corners.
After a few rounds of shooting pool (poorly) and a few drinks, the sleep need finally set in and we went to enjoy some rest. Although, having forgotten that we were about a mile from one of the world’s busiest airports, there was a period of getting used to the sounds of jets all night long. But, sleep or no sleep, I was going to be up and ready to go bright and early like a kid on Christmas.