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….

2 thoughts on “CCCCs, Part 1: Prelude to a conference”

  1. 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–
    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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