September 30, 2007
Yesterday morning, I enjoyed Illinois.
Given a tip by a friend that a last-second trip to the Spivey Building was coming together, I drove over to the deserted ESL landmark. That meant jumping on the PSB, exiting at 4th Street in East Saint and then driving about two more blocks onto the Spivey's sunken parking lot. Simple. Direct. Easy.
Yesterday evening, I didn't enjoy Illinois.
Intending to get directions to Liederkranz Park in Millstadt, IL, via Mapquest, I was told that such directions existed. Uh-oh. I tried the superior ("true dat, double true") Google Maps and it did offer some thoughts, but my trip to see Fragile Porcelain Mice's outdoor set was snuffed where so many dreams die: Route 3 in Sauget. There, I couldn't located Tudor Avenue and no combination of map consultations, questions at QT's and educated (if bad) guesses righted me. I saw cornfields and subdivisions and Our Lady of the Snows, but never sniffed Millstadt.
I found myself on every type of road: city street, rural route and highway, none of them given over to especially good signage. I was stopped by a train. And I eventually wound up passing the Spivey again, at about 11:30, a half-hour after FPM's set was scheduled to start; amazingly, in the civic planning disaster that is downtown ESL, hundreds of partiers were clogging the streets, on the way to clubs. People out having fun, great.
On October 12, the relatively-reclusive Mice will play a show in Columbia, IL, at a club called Topshooters. I give myself a 50/50 shot of making it.