CCCCs, Part 1: Prelude to a conference

Greetings from Chicago! A few pre-conference thoughts before I get back to grading:

  • We’re staying at the Congress Plaza Hotel for this thing. I would have preferred to stay at the Palmer House, which is the conference hotel for the CCCCs and STC (which is where my roommates Bill H-D and Steve B are right now), but when that filled up, we ended up here. We were warned by many a WPA-L writer not to stay here.
  • There are at least two problems with the Congress Plaza. First, the local hotel workers union has been on strike here for literally years. I don’t really know what the status of the strike is, but last night, I saw a picket sign propped up on a garbage can, and this morning I saw a few picketers. I don’t like crossing the line, but I also need a place to stay, so….
  • What I do know is that the Congress is a kind of run-down, older, city hotel, but other than that, it seems fine. The service so far has been good, we have a large room/quasi-suite, etc.
  • Internet access has been a problem, and it might continue to be so for the whole conference. The Congress Plaza charges $7.50 a day for wifi, and that’s only available in the lobby of the hotel. This morning, I did find a Panera’s just two blocks away, and but that’s kind of a mixed bag. I did get the wifi connection to work eventually, but it was a frustrating half-hour or so.
  • I think I forgot my microphone for my iPod, which really sucks. I had hoped to record some podcast kinds of comments from the conference tomorrow, but unless I left the microphone in my car (which is completely possible), it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Oh well….
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2 Responses to CCCCs, Part 1: Prelude to a conference

  1. Jeff Ward says:

    Hi Steve– I’m at the Carleton in Oak Park, which is great. I have a Griffin I-talk for the older Ipods with me in my bag. Shoot me an e-mail if you don’t find yours, and if that helps you out in any way.

  2. Steve B says:

    You ought to update this post with the info you learned about the strike–well, at least a little bit of it. The part about how people are striking and continuing to work part-time for the hotel, and how the larger union org decided they don’t really have a beef worth pursuing. That would be enough. I also don’t know if I would describe the hotel cavalierly as “run-down.” In my experience most big-city hotels in older buidlings can’t re-do everything about the interior of the hotel–but we had a two-room suite with a king and 2 doubles, 2 nice sitting areas inside and a large, if steamy, bathroom. Pretty sweet accomodations. It’s true the wi-fi and such were real issues–but if that had worked up in our rooms we could have been working in front of a bank of windows looking out at the lake and over downtown buildings–that would have rocked.

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