Printers Row Book Fair Part 1
06/06/2009 9:16 AM
The first things that arrived at the Printers Row Book Fair (and that’s what I’m calling it forever, the Tribune be damned) on Thursday morning were the port-a-potties. Which makes sense. They had to be there while the workmen set up. I saw them arrive when I was on my way to the Union League for a breakfast dealing with the Freedom of Information Act, Lisa Madigan herself in attendance vowing to enforce to the hilt the new bill that only needs Governor Quinn’s signature.
Next, they rolled out the astro-turf on the parking lot on Printers Row. It was done by the time I was on my way home that afternoon.
Then the clanking started on Friday morning--even as a few stray cars were left on Dearborn. I saw and heard it when I went to Café Medittera for coffee. Up went the tent frames, one by one, along Dearborn and Polk. They got all the way to Harrison Street by early Friday evening, as I walked over to the Union League for the “Authors in the Schools” fundraising dinner put on by the Near South Planning Board, which started the Book Fair back in the day. (Author Dave Eggers was the featured speaker at the dinner, and he talked and gave out one of his books, “What is the What.” )
I figured the tents were going to stop at Harrison this year, what with the economy and all, but by the time I walked home from the Union League a few hours later, the tents went all the way to Congress--and it was just like it always is. Most of the tents had their white coverings on and each one had the Tribune logo-filled banner that goes in front of the booth folded and sitting peacefully on its table.
So late on Friday night, it looked like that was all that was left to do--the sterile look-alike banners had to be put on and, of course, the books had to be put out (a few vans were being allowed onto Dearborn for that purpose). I assume the prep went on all night.
Now I am headed out to see it all in its final form. And get a schedule and see everyone--including Alderman Bob Fioretti break ground for the Printers Row Park, which is several years behind schedule already.
This is my favorite weekend of the year in the neighborhood.