Posts tagged - Social events

Ovid Party at the Hyatt

Social Butterfly, wrapping up the evening!

My third stop on Monday night was the Ovid party in the Hyatt.

And you know, a lot of parties have dancing. They pretty much all have drinks. They pretty much all have some manner of food.

But if you want a party where you know without doubt you can count on a live band full of energy, food and drink around the edges, and a crowd of dancing librarians in the center of the floor? You MUST go to the Ovid party. Just follow the music on whatever floor of the conference hotel has a big ballroom…you’ll find it.

The Ovid party was a great last stop of the night for me, because honestly I cannot stay up much longer, but it got me just the right amount of worn out. (I have to pack–I’m leaving tomorrow and will miss the closing reception! If any aspiring Social Butterfly wants to blog it, get it touch with me and I will post it for you. You could be famous. At least, as famous as I am.)

The music is loud, so this party is pretty terrible for conversation, but you don’t go to talk. You’ve had plenty of chances to talk. You go to this party if you want to have a couple of drinks and dance (or just boogie gently in your seat and watch your colleagues dance).

I could barely look at food by this point in the evening, but I did enjoy the classic Chicago deep dish pizza (also thin crust for those who prefer a little less dough), the fresh steamed veggies, and the caramel popcorn. There were, of course, also plentiful drinks at open bar stations around the ballroom: I think it’s fair to say no one went thirsty.

The band played a good mix of older and newer songs, all with admirable energy and enthusiasm, and the dance floor was packed the entire time I was there. (Yes, I danced. Perhaps you noticed my spirited moves set to “Footloose”? If not…you missed out.)

This was definitely at least one of the Places to Be on Monday night.

I have been uniformly pleased by the social events at MLA ’14 (sorry I missed Library School Reunion, the JAMA party, the Armadillo Ball, PEPID wine tasting, etc…I am only one woman!). I’ve had a lot of fun, met a lot of fellow librarians, and enjoyed my fair share of the food and drink that Chicago has to offer.

Thank you Ovid, and thank you, Chicago!

I have loved being your Social Butterfly for MLA’14…even if I am a bit worn out and ready to crawl back into my cocoon right now.

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JoVE Party at Gruen Galleries

Social Butterfly Take Two!

After leaving the AAAS event, I headed out to the Gruen Galleries, where JoVE (the Journal of Visualized Experiments, for those not in the know) was holding a party.

I loved this location! It was not exactly next door to the Hyatt, but it was worth the walk (I walked it in about 20 minutes: a cab would of course be quicker). The galleries are located in a former candy factory, so there’s lots of beautiful open space showcasing lovely abstract and landscape artworks. The old, creaky wood floors and exposed beams are very industrial-vintage-chic.

I got a fairly bad photo of the location:

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Perhaps this will convey a tiny snippet of the charm of the place. Or not. If it looks, bad, ignore that–it’s my lousy camera phone making everything look drab and gray.

In addition to circulating trays of appetizers (which I was unfortunately too full of candy and Cracker Jack from AAAS to really enjoy), there was a live jazz band setting a nice mood. They took a break at one point in the evening to allow Adam Ruben, a science comedian, to entertain us. (Sample math pun: “I wanted to know what percentage of alcohol was in my mouthwash, so I read the label, but it wasn’t listed. Apparently the proof was outside the text of this Scope.”) Apparently we were a reasonably geeky audience.

The JoVE folks were very charming and welcoming, and again, I loved the location even if it took a bit of effort to get there. This was a smaller party that was well worth the effort.

Many thanks, JoVE!

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AAAS Event at A Kerry Simon Kitchen

Social Butterfly blogger reporting for Monday!

The AAAS reception and panel has become a cherished tradition at MLA (at least for me, and I think for others considering the enthusiastic attendance), and I was excited to attend in Chicago. The event was held at Chuck’s A Kerry Simon Kitchen, which apparently is a local institution.

I was incredibly pleased to find that the appetizers at the reception were fresh salty pretzels and mustard, hot dogs, popcorn, Cracker Jack, and a variety of candy bars with Chicago connections, including Butterfingers, m&ms and Jelly Belly jelly beans. Seriously, I love candy. An entire party focused around candy is my kind of deal. They could have shown us the appetizers, thrown some journals at us, and shown us the door and I would have been happy. (Kind of puzzled, but happy.)

In this case, the event was actually focused around an informative panel of experts who spoke about scientific topics like Big Data and genomics. I will not attempt to relate the content, because that would add a sober, educational note to my otherwise flighty reports about social occasions, but I will say that I always enjoy this event because it’s nice to hear from people who are working directly with the information that we work so hard to store and make available. Hearing how researchers are working with data, as well as how libraries are managing challenges associated with its access and storage, is always fascinating.

Following the panel there was a “real food” reception for those who hadn’t filled up on pretzels and candy, and an opportunity to mingle and talk with other attendees. The Kerry Simon Kitchen location was faintly Gothic and glamorous, with dark paneled walls and high ceilings.

My main complaint regarding this event is that my Social Butterfly schedule was very full tonight, and so I had to leave early and I missed the sundae bar.

This is pretty much the lowlight of my day. I can only take comfort in the fact that I brought about 5 candy bars away with me for the plane ride tomorrow, so I will not lack for sugar.

Still…I missed the sundae bar! Truly a sad moment for me.

Other than that, I have no quibbles. As noted, I always enjoy the AAAS event, not only for the food, wine and conversation, but also for the chance to hear from researchers on various topics within the broad audience for Science journals.

Thank you, AAAS! I hope to see you again next year.

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McGraw-Hill at the Field Museum

What a party!

After splitting into teams of eight on the bus over, we charged headlong into the awesome Field Museum on an information scavenger hunt, following clues to various exhibits to answer 14 different questions. This got us looking at a lot of the cool things to see (albeit in a very narrow and hasty fashion), and let us find our way around the place.

There are a lot of very interesting exhibits, including fascinating materials on the histories of different native cultures and a lot of amazing, beautifully presented natural history displays.

The main bad thing about the evening was the fact that my team, Sue’s Clues–although obviously the most awesome team of all from any objective standpoint–was denied a place in the Winner’s Circle due to what I believe to be a combination of blatant favoritism, rampant cheating, bribery and corruption at the highest levels, and the fact that all of us were born under an evil star. Nevertheless, we know in our hearts that we were the best. We’ll always have those memories, team. Sue’s Clues Forever!

Crushing disappointment aside, it’s hard to find much fault with the party at the Field Museum. I felt bad that I didn’t get a picture of the sturgeon for you at the Aquarium on Saturday, so I took this one of Sue the T-Rex and the (ominously red-lit) elephants.

Enjoy!

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(Question: Sue vs. two elephants–who wins? They’re actually pretty much the same size, Sue’s just farther away. And I know Sue’s a T-Rex and all, but there are two elephants and they look pretty fierce.)

I did not get a picture of the very classy tables set up for us, with floral centerpieces and linen napkins and nice china and all, but it was a lovely arrangement. The food was good, and the beverages plentiful and varied, with mixed drinks in addition to soda, juice, wine and beer.

I would note that the music was pretty loud, making conversation a bit of a challenge if you didn’t shout at each other, but this is pretty standard for events and restaurants (does everyone except me love music so loud you have to shout? Why is the music always so loud you have to shout?), so I don’t place any particular blame on the party’s organizers.

My only other complaint is that this party was scheduled at the same time as Library School Reunion, which I therefore had to miss. I’m so sorry, Dr. MacCall. You know we still love you!

It was a lot of fun to have the chance to visit this very cool location after hours, and I had a good time getting to know the other members of my team, so the scavenger hunt was a fun activity even if it was hideously rigged against us from the start.

Big thumbs up for this party. I would go again tomorrow if they had it twice, because we didn’t see half of what there was to see in the museum.

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Clinical Key at the Shedd Aquarium

Good news, everyone!

Your dedicated Social Butterfly blogger is checking in, fresh from the Clinical Key party at the Shedd Aquarium.

There was a great deal of mingling, facilitated by the brilliant orange cards of MLA Twitter Bingo. (Ask Marie Ascher or Beth Whipple for a card, and fill it out for awesome bragging rights. I’m @aettien, find me! Especially if you are on my card.) I personally talked to several people I would not otherwise have charged up to, even though I only signed one card and got no signatures for my own.

There was a brief introduction from Clinical Key staff, and then the crowd dispersed to the several different-themed food stations with plenty of light edibles (Sliders, Asian, Italian, crackers and cheese). A dessert stand of adorable mini cupcakes rounded out the meal, and abundant wine and beer were on hand to slake the thirsty crowd. I saw several intrepid librarians out on the dance floor doing the Electric Slide, even as I personally darted away to admire the bullfrogs.

Although many of the aquarium’s exhibits had gone to bed by the time the party came through, it was possible to see some lovely fish, frogs, and reptiles (including an impressively large anaconda), especially if you were willing to stare really hard through the glass into the dark water.

A highlight of the evening: I touched a sturgeon. Not something one does every day, right?

A sturgeon is a big, leathery-feeling fish that according to the aquarium employee standing nearby grows as large as it can in its habitat. In this case, there were a couple about as long as my leg, and several smaller ones that weren’t as interested in being touched. You don’t really think of fish as creatures to pet, but these two big ones would swim casually by under your fingers, and even nudge up against your hand, like large, hairless, underwater dogs. It was kind of awesome.

If you make it to the aquarium, definitely look for the sturgeons. It’s a bit of a hike from the Hyatt, but buses shuttled partygoers there and back during the evening, which was nice.

I saw a lot of people talking, dancing, eating, drinking, and looking at fish. That about sums up “awesome party” where I come from.  (At least, it does now.)

Nice work, Clinical Key!

 

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