wow, chicago is a different city when you work the night shift.
this has been my first "normal" off-time since i switched shifts...after my first week of nights Mark came to visit and i moved, and after my second week of night shifts was HOPE. last night and tonight, however, it has hit me like a ton of bricks how few late-night hangout options there are in this city that aren't bars.
last night, i went to a circus out near wicker park. after it, i wandered through wicker park trying to find late-night food. i didn't want to drink. i didn't want to eat Drunk Food (TM) like flash taco or underdog. i wanted to eat something delicious. and, it was damned near impossible. i finally ended up at a place i always thought was a diner, since it advertised "late night dining" and was done up like a diner...only to find out that it was a douchey bar, and the kitchen was only open until 1am. fortunately, they took some pity on me and made me a flatbread pizza, but seriously...if you are advertising yourselves as a "late night dining" option, i shouldn't have to arouse your pity in order for you to make me some food at 1 o'clock in the morning.
tonight, i wanted to get out of my apartment for a while, drink some coffee, and use the internet. sure, i can tether to my phone at home, but it's slow as all-get-out, and i wanted to actually download stuff, update some software, that kind of thing. the lack of twenty-four hour coffee shops in this town is just...pitiful. i live at washington and damen, and the closest twenty-four hour coffee shop i could find with free wireless was at clark and argyle. sure, there are two closer twenty-four hour starbucks, but they don't have free wi-fi, and the dearth of power plugs in those places is just appalling. i had never been to the one at clark and argyle, but decided it was worth a try. i'm here now, and i have no complaints...it's quiet, the connection is speedy, the coffee is good, and there are a ton of power plugs. however, the fact that i had to go from washington and damen all the way to clark and argyle in order to get late night coffee with a side of intertubes is just ridiculous.
(hint: if you're thinking of starting a business in chicago, start an all-night internet cafe in the united center district, or even the west loop. i will be there all the time.)
i knew this was coming. there's so much i love about this city, but it's just not the same between the hours of midnight and 6am. sure, if i want to go out drinking, there are plenty of places that will have me covered until 2am and 4am, depending on their license. but, as much as i like to go out drinking, sometimes i want to do something that doesn't involve going to a bar and dealing with the kinds of barflies who stay until closing time on a sunday night. then, on top of that, 4am isn't my bedtime. my bedtime is more like 9am or 10am.
sigh. i don't know how much i can do about this, and i should probably get some reliable intertubes and good coffee at home. but...it still annoys me that there's so little here this late at night. it's the middle of the day as far as my body is concerned, and i don't want to have to be cooped up at home every night i'm off, unless i want to bar-hop. that's just depressing.
unrelatedly, apparently i write like cory doctorow. maybe this makes me a bad hacker, but i still have yet to pick up one of his books.