While David is hustling his ass off in the East Coast, I guess I’ll have to contribute something since I’ve been MIA for awhile now. I thought about my trips last year around the U.S. and found Chicago to be the one of the best places to visit, mainly because of the badass skylines, buildings, and people. Southwest airlines happened to have their $69 one way ticket deals so I took advantage of that and booked a ticket to Chicago for 4 days. I had planned to go alone, but since my friend and brother had never been, I invited them to go as well. The trip ended up being an eating fest starting from the time we had landed til the time we had departed back home to Houston. Luckily, I got away for a few hours to attend a car meet at a Toyota dealership in Palatine, IL. It was a good 30-45 minutes NW of downtown Chicago. Now how did I get there if I didn’t rent a car?
A few days before arriving to Chicago, I contacted Ginash of JDMChicago, since he was “the guy” who would know if anything was going on that weekend. A car meet happened to be scheduled the day I had arrived into town called FNL (Friday Night Lights) Saturdays. I had to think of a way to get to the car meet so I asked Ginash if he knew of a way for me to get there. Within a couple of minutes he emails me the contact information of Max L. and what he will be driving. A badass black VIP Style Lexus IS250. I wish I had pulled out my camera as he pulled around the corner because you would not expect something that nice and low to ride around the streets of Chicago.
After getting picked up in style, we headed out to Ginash’s to meet up with the rest of the JDMC crew. There we met up with Michael in his Blue Evo X, Jason and his 535i, and of course Ginash rolled out with his Imola Orange NSX.
This was the last big car meet of the year and it was definitely “big”. It actually reminded me of the old Planet Zero car meets we had back home in Houston while JohnP was running the car meets but this Toyota parking lot was able to hold 8-900 cars. The meet was scheduled for 7 p.m. but people started rolling in at 5 p.m. to get a decent parking spot. By 7 p.m. you either had a spot or had to wait 30 minutes just to get into the parking lot, drive through, and find any available spots. This was how insanely full it was.
I ended up staying at the meet for only couple of hours before heading back into town. In those couple of hours I got to meet old friends and a few new people. One person I got to meet that was really cool was Ming of Fizz Autosports, owner of the Vertex Edge widebody S15 on Volk TE37SL’s. I wasn’t sure if he followed Mayday, but apparently he did. After offering him a sticker, he asked if he should put it on his car, and I asked if he was serious? He said yeah and placed it under his Fizz Autosports decal. Thanks for supporting Mayday, Ming!
The meet lasted til about 10 p.m., but I didn’t stay til the very end. I would have liked to, but just shooting all of the cars at the meet alone was impossible. Getting out of the meet was just as tough as getting into it. You know it was a successful meet when that happens. I got a ride back into the city in Ming’s VIP M35 around 9 p.m. and wanted to end the night early. The timing was almost perfect because as soon as we got to Fizz, it started raining.
A few shout outs to Ginash and Max for helping me find rides and the cool JDM Chicago Option style tshirt, and for checking up on me at the meet, and Ming for the ride back into town. Without these guys I would be either hitchhiking, taking a bus that would take forever, or taking a cab that would burn a hole in my pocket back into the city.
You can also check out a video of the meet by Jays Cinematography HERE .
In the 2nd part of my random trip to Chicago, I’ll post about the places where the locals hang out late nights.