Twenty years ago, when I was a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, I wrote a column about how the Chicago Auto Show was good for a marriage. It was for mine. It gave my late ex-husband and I a lot to talk about--positive stuff about makes, models, body comparisons, knockoff styles and prices, not to mention gas mileage, leg room, leather seats, the best car stereo system and trunk size. It took time away from other subjects like money, sex and housekeeping.
A year ago, I wrote about the auto show again, for the first time since. In fact, I wrote about it twice. The first was a blog post in which I no holds barred stated that the car show at McCormick Place is totally a South Loop event, that it belonged to our neighborhood because everyone who went had to come to our neighborhood in their cars or on public transportation; it required a stroll through the South Loop and our sights and sounds and smells were all there for the asking.
The second was a column that said the car show shouldn't take place anywhere near the South Loop because it's a neighborhood in which cars are totally unnecessary. And that the car show should be held in the suburbs somewhere where cars are more indispensible.
After which a South Loop resident who I'd met at a South Loop gourmet club emailed me with a few thoughts on the subject. He said that although moving the show to the suburbs would relieve congestion in our neighborhood for the 10 days or so that the show takes place, there's really nowhere in the suburbs that has the space to handle it. So my idea was impractical. He also confided that although he didn't use his Suburu much in the South Loop unless he wanted to visit the suburbs or pick up a few cases of soft drinks at Jewel, he did drive his Subaru to Alaska and back. Twice.
Hmmmmm, I thought. He sounds like an interesting guy. And if I ever wanted a guy in my life again, he would be the type. So I wrote him back and one thing led to another and we had a correspondence. And in June we went on our first date--to the Hyde Park Art Fair. And by August we were in love. And we still are. And I do thank the Chicago Auto Show for bringing him solidly into my life. He has certainly enhanced it. Being in love later in life like we are is an exciting journey. We are on a road trip and we don't know exactly where we will end up.
Yesterday, I went to the auto show again. Alone. Just to see if there were any changes since last year. But there weren't. The Chevy Volt wasn't as big a deal this year. The big interactive, drive yourself around the floor of McCormick Place in a Toyota sort of attractions were the all the same as last year.
I ate some Connie's pizza, which I remember was so good last year that I had two pieces. Not this year. It was too doughy.
And the cars all sort of looked alike to me this year.
But I did notice something new that captured my interest: some cute, neat little brochures that were well-done, interesting and sensible. They were put out by Subaru.