This bud’s for you…


This bouquet is for the wonderful Gratiana Lovelace and my elf on the street, M., who have so graciously taken over the implementation of the Chicago TBOTFA Fan Event since my schleprock life has made it impossible for me to attend.  Clicking on Grati’s name above will take you to the most up-to-date info on the event.


BOTFA Chicago Fan Event..We’re Getting Close Now!!

I can hardly believe it, but the Chicago meet up is only just over a week away.  I’ve been conferring with the ever present and extremely diligent elf on the ground and she’s got some firmer Intel to report:

After looking into the availability of the Walnut Room and finding that there were no reservations even at 4:00 or 4:30 pm, I decided to make a reservation for the Volare at 4:30. That is very near the theater, and I think from the comments (and my own two visits) that the food and service are very good. After dinner, we could go out on Michigan Ave. for a walk and/or shopping if we wanted to.

I think that for the morning, we would definitely want to go to the Art Institute, since the new exhibits are very interesting. (Obscura note:  There is an absolutely stunning special exhibit on Byzantine Art at the moment) The Art Institute opens at 10:30 am. The Berghoff and Russian Tea Time restaurants are nearby; we could also consider going to the food court at the Art Institute itself, although it is hard to predict how crowded it would be (on the day after Thanksgiving it was packed, but last Saturday it was easy to get a seat). Or, we could go to some place near the theater. Please let me know your thoughts on this.

Given that we are so close to go time, we really need to know how many people to expect, so if you haven’t already done so, please email me at to let us know you’ll be there and so that I can set up an email list for sending out the final details.

PS…the extended forecast is calling for a balmy 35F on the 20th!

UPDATE REVISTED: TBOTFA Chicago Fan Event…Proposed Activities


Hello again Windy City Contingent!!  As we get closer and closer to the event, my Elf on the ground and I (pointy hats off to Elf – she’s doing all the real work – I’m just doin’ the promo!) are looking to firm things up a bit.  In order to do so, we need some feedback from people who are firmly planning to attend the event on Saturday December 20th.  The film time is 1:30pm (you’ll find a link to tickets HERE) so there is time for activities both before and after viewing the film.  Here is a text of an email detailing some of the possible venues.

I thought I would send a few possibilities and ideas for the activities of the BOFA viewing event, so we can start thinking about them.  
I have made a point of looking at restaurants that are within reasonable walking distance of the theater.  Besides MacGuffins and the Asian fusion restaurant (Niu) that are right next to the theater, there are several others a block or two away.  Volare, an authentic Italian restaurant (i.e., not part of a large chain), is about a block away to the west on the lower level (i.e., without any stairs to climb).  I had lunch there a week or so ago, and found the food very good.  The site is  About two blocks north of the theater, on Ohio Street, are two restaurants next to each other, Bombay Grill and Emilio’s Tapas, and further to the west along that Ohio Street block is Sayat Nova, an Armenian restaurant (i.e., Mediterranean food) that my husband and I have visited for years and really like.  Here is its link:
Of course, we may not be choosing places to eat by how near they are.  If we want to choose landmark places, there are at least two that come to mind as favorites.  The first is the Walnut Room at Macy’s (formerly Marshall Fields).  Our ITS group in August wanted to go there, but could not get a reservation because someone had rented the whole venue.  On the Saturday before Christmas, we would of course have to plan our visit–either make reservations (I’d have to see if they take them), or hang around in the store with flashers until our number comes up (I’ve done that too).  The other possibility I think of is the Signature Room at the Hancock Building,  I am familiar with it, having organized banquets that took place there.  It has fantastic views, like the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower.  There is a buffet lunch for $20.  Of course, there are other landmark venues (e.g., Palmer House, Navy Pier) or restaurants (Maggiano’s, Lawry’s, Pizzeria Uno, Heaven on Seven, etc.) that are not too far away.  I can check out anything that we are interested in.  
For other activities, I think we would want indoor ones, although Grant Park has activities like ice skating that we could at least watch.  The Art Institute has a wonderful exhibit on Byzantine art, and some other things.

What I need from you all is

(1) notification that you will attend

(2) an idea of your preferences for restaurants and other activities (there are a lot of variety to choose from, and we will make every effort to accommodate, but are generally working on the *majority rules* system.)

You can comment here with your answers to (1) and (2), or send me an email at:

Thanks for your help!!

UPDATE: The Battle of the Five Armies Fan Event – Chicago Edition

Back in October I polled the Chicago area fan population about a favored day to assemble as a group for the opening weekend of the final Hobbit installment:  The Battle of the Five Armies.  Of the dates given, Saturday December 20th was the favorite by a narrow margin.  After several conversations, my elf on the ground in Chicago and I have set the date as Saturday December 20th for a 1:30 pm screening at the AMC River East 21 Theater.

Click HERE for tickets

Click HERE for tickets

We’ll be in touch soon with a more complete itinerary for the day’s events, but we wanted to get the date and time set so everyone who is planning to attend could get their tickets.   If you are planning to attend, could you let me know in comments or via email at – we need to get a firmer number to make restaurant reservations.

Happy clicking Chicago contingent!



Click here for tickets

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Chicago Fan Event…round 1

After Gratiana of the Something About Love blog so graciously hosted the Into the Storm Chicago fan event in August, I volunteered to pitch in and help organize the next one in the hopper…The BotFA event (I really cannot be bothered to type out that entire title more than once)  Although work related commitments have put my actual attendance in question AGAIN!!,  I am pleased to be able to help coordinate the event in the digital world…there is a very helpful elf (I settled on “elf” since the movie opening is so close to Christmas…) on the ground in the Windy City who is doing the all real work.  Elf, if you are reading this… if at any time you want to be named and praised by me for saving my bacon, please let me know…until then, I will diligently guard your anonymity 🙂  .

So, I know it is still two months out, but we are trying to get a provisional idea the number of people who are at least planning to attend and what date is preferable so we can hit the planning ground running…

If you think you are likely to attend, please complete the poll below…