A planet in a Windy City
Sometimes it seems to me that it would be unspeakably cool to live in Chicago. You have the new Millennium Park. You have multiple art museums, the Michigan Mile, and a lake that thinks it's an ocean. You would, admittedly, have to deal with constant articles and fans of Blue Balliett but it would still be worth it. Why? Because of kooky krazy places like the Planet Esme Bookroom. It's not a bookstore. It's not a public library. It's an entirely independent little entity created and run by author Esme Raji Codell. Codell brings in authors to speak, has fairy godmother fashion contests, workshops, the whole kerschmozzle. It gets better too. Go to her website, turn down the volume, and watch her video review of the month. I guess you don't actually have to turn down the volume, but I've found it to be a lot more fun that way. There's something about watching an authorial hipster pulling magic wands out of thin air that's inherantly amusing. I watched this video on mute with the teen librarians of NYPL's Teen Central and it was a hoot. Two thumbs way way up.