Just got back from Chicago last night, after a VERY delayed flight due to flight cancellation and bad weather. So, yes, as you can see, I survived my Chicago trip: I did not get lost and die in a ditch somewhere. After talking with a couple of other out-of-town exhibitors, I found out I’m the only one who has this particular anxiety when going to new places. Also, I do not enjoy flying. Doesn’t matter if the flight is only 1h40 minutes, it’s still plenty of time for the plane to crash. But let’s stop talking about all my anxieties, which I’m told are numerous, let’s talk festival!

CAKE really surprised me. Granted I had set my expectations very low because the last two festivals I had done were huge disappointments, so I felt it was best to assume the worst. By the first day, I sold out of my prehistoric books. I brought fifteen (5 of each title), and in past festivals, that was usually more than enough. I think it helped that I could use Square this time around because there was actual wi-fi at the venue. Also, the turnout was really good. BY FAR though, my favorite aspect of the festival was the free cake for exhibitor. It’s genius and it’s those little details that really shows caring from the organizers: they call their festival CAKE and they offer cake. I mean, I don’t see MOCCA giving exhibitors free mocha and they should considering they charge $400 a table. And it’s not just the cake and free snacks that blew me away, but the show was very well organized and the staff was very friendly. It was a really awesome festival: they had cheap tables, great venue with wi-fi, great turnout, great staff, after parties, and free snacks. Also I had a great table-mate in Greg Kletsel who was patient enough to deal with my incoherent babbling. I got to catch up with Maria Hooey of Coin-Op book who, as always, graciously imparted her knowledge of all things festival

. And let’s not forget Alden Viguilla, who also had to deal with my babbling because he was staying at the same hostel as me.

Now with the review of CAKE out of the way, let’s talk Chicago! It turns out, it’s very similar to New York and Brooklyn, only less dirty. To be honest, I was kind of let down by how similar it was to New York, which I guess I should have predicted given the two cities are in the same general area. I haven’t traveled a whole lot, so I think it’s just dawned on me that in the end, most cities look alike.

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