[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“]
Reading Room, University of Chicago Library
Last Sunday I spent a very enjoyable afternoon meeting T. Greer of Scholar’s Stage blog and visiting with him and Lexington Green of the group blog Chicago Boyz ( where T. Greer and I both occasionally post). Greer was in Chicago for The Midwest Political Science Association Conference at The Palmer House downtown. It was good to finally meet T. Greer and see Lex after a long hiatus and our conversation in person took off from where they had been online without skipping a beat.
The weather was uncooperative, but Lex took us on a walking and driving tour of his alma mater, the University of Chicago.
We spent some time at Powell’s Books, a Lexington Green favorite, which is an absolutely fabulous bookstore for the serious bibliophile. We went through the stacks and reached the basement level.
I bought a few from the military history and strategy section
Next we spent some relaxing time and deep conversation about books, ideas and policy at the legendary Jimmy’s Tap where Saul Bellow and a legion of intellectual luminaries, students, writers and workingmen just off their shift rubbed shoulders. We sat in the back room where it was quieter. The discussion was a rare pleasure.
Finally, we ate at another Chicago and Hyde Park landmark – the cafeteria style service Valois. If you ever visit the University of Chicago, eat here. The food was outstanding (I had the prime rib with hash browns, which I strongly recommend) and the prices more than reasonable. We ate our fill and talked some more.
One of the nicest aspects of blogging has been the friendships forged in the broad circle of folks debating military and foreign policy, strategy, counterinsurgency, intelligence issues and (unavoidably) politics. From meetings like this to book and article projects to the Boyd Conferences, the interactions have all been positive and enriching.