Today I was in downtown Chicago. I Ieft from my parents’ house in Barrington, and got on the train almost completely blind. I do not know anything about Chicago, I didn’t have a map, and I wasn’t quite sure what to look for. I had mentioned something about a cafe, some thrifting, a bookstore. That was the core of what I wanted. It is the core of what I would want anywhere in the world: someplace to drink strong coffee and watch people, some interesting and cheap things to handle (check for texture, variety, provenance), and a bookstore in case I need to bury myself inward. I travelled to the “chicago” stop of the Metra (am I in such a small town that there is a main one-word stop?) and got in a cab and asked to be taken to Milwaukee and Division street. Getting out of the cab, it looked like oakland. A wig shop. Cheap shoes. Hot dogs. Some boarded up businesses. I kept walking. Saw my first hipster a few blocks down (they should really be tagged with GPS devices and sold to marketers). I had lunch at the ugly-ish named “The Earwax Cafe” which has good food, and a back porch with a fence painted like fruit stripe gum. It took a while to get food, and in the meantime I sat and looked at my fellow patrons. The same signs as SF–the tattoos. The piercings. The too tight jeans. The ironic t shirt. The faux hawk. The tousled look. Girls with newspaper boy caps. All I wanted to do was ask people for a sex/age/gender/orientation/class/race/education check. In san Francisco it seems so obvious. It is a place of BLARING signs where I feel that most people wear their affiliations to different social clubs like Vegas shines neon. In Chicago I guessed that I might be 70 per cent right based on what I know, but that exciting (!) 30 per cent made me happy! They are broadcasting and I am not hearing them! They haven’t trained me yet! I can just be oblivious and eat my food.