Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Crowds are Back!

It was a slow few days, but as I suspected, the crowds are thickening up with the onset of the holiday weekend. Makes getting around the Taste a bit more tedious, but it's good for sales, so we'll take it!

The main entertainment today was Trey Songz. I don't know what he sings, but I've heard the name and he's apparently one of the hot hip hop celebs at the moment. So, we had a young, rowdy crowd, which always translates to more issues, cops, and attitude. Moral of the story: if you come to Taste, pay attention to the entertainment schedule when deciding the days to attend.... Come on the days when they have Broadway or Country & Western - the crowd's pretty mellow on those days!

Speaking of Country & Western, the copper cowboy is here every year, posing, scaring unsuspecting passers-by who haven't noticed he isn't REALLY a statue. Just one of the many sideshows you might catch on any given stroll through the Taste (not even including the sideshows who just show up among the crowd!)

Between errands before arriving and being so busy with the extra crowds, we didn't get a chance to eat much today. That's probably a good thing as my pants are already tighter than when I arrived! We did stop for a few snacks along the way, though. Got more of that chopped salad from Malnati's. Asked this time and was told that delicious dressing is a sweet vinaigrette. I'll have to try to recreate when I get home!

Hope got a pork taco from Adobo Grill for one of the guys working at BJ's. Looked pretty good, but too many onions for my middle-aged digestive system! I, on the other hand, was already thinking ahead for the next morning and on my way back to Lagniappe-Creole Cajun Joynt for beignets.... The order came with 2, so I chomped down 1 (before the photo again!) and saved the other for breakfast. I promise, it was much more appetizing than the photo can depict! The generous amount of powdered sugar had already started to get moist by the time I snapped the pic, but the dough was fried to crispy perfection and soft and sweet inside. I hope it will taste as good tomorrow as it does when warm and freshly served!
That's about all we had time for because it got so busy at BJ's booth that even Hope donned a visor and went to work. Bri was aching to work also, but Mom forced her to wait it out until the crowd thinned.

And the upside to all that hard work on the crowded days: MORE work for the support staff counting tickets! (If you've never been to Taste or I-fest in Houston, you have to buy tickets from the city in order to buy food. No currency exchanged at the vendor booths. That way, the city ensures they get their take, 15% in the case of Taste, when it's time for the vendors to cash in!)

So, we had a BIIIIG pile to dump when we arrived at ticket counting central, Hope's mother-in-law's, Juanita. Here she is taking in the sight of the mountain of tickets to be sorted and
counted, along with sister Linnie who works the early shift and collected a good portion of those tickets. Linnie comes in every year from California to help out and also likes to go around the Taste collecting all the freebies she can find: bags, t-shirts, water bottles, frisbees, you name it! If they're giving it away, Linnie's gonna find the source!

It's all a family affair for BJ's at Taste of Chicago! Hope and I pitched in, (with Linnie in the middle), for Ticket sorting duty, too! Brianna helped as well.... See that smile on Hope's face - she looooves to get those biiiig piles of tickets! Mo' money, mo' money, mo'money!

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