Eaglie's Aviary

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Diagon Alley (Sort of) of Oak Park

DISCLAIMER! I went there for much less time than most people. In fact, I skipped midnight, partly because I can get ahold of the book through other means and partly because I had to host a party.

Oak Park, home to literary giants... or well, just Ernest Hemingway I guess. It's also kind of my home, though I more live next door in Forest Park, the place they send their thru traffic and black families.

Yes, I grew up in the shadow of Ernest Hemingway's museum, birthplace, childhood home, and wide lawn. And Saturday was his birthday, and what a coincidence! My birthday! My 21st! Yesterday! So I apologize for not staying to the end, of course, but Butterbeer is not the same as a Doplebock or Hefeweisen (or a whole load of friends spritzing you with a 30-pack of Old Style).

Now, off to the land of wide Harries and narrow Potters (eewww!). That's right: you get a picture story!

My budget for my journalistic endeavour. Better not waste it on Chocolate Frogs and Butterbeer!

Hogwarts, at last!

The building itself looks like an old field house. I think Oak Park should've sprung for a higher budget and built a full-scale Hogwarts.

I solemnly swear I am up to no good, jerkface.

The Quidditch Pitch, wizards and witches ages 6-12.

How were they playing Quidditch? All the kids had to be on their brooms to play.

Brooms galore!

Three periods, ten minutes each, would be played. Snitch catches would NOT be ending these games (so inaccurate, these nerds). A score with the Quaffle was five points (it is ten in the books), and a Snitch catch was 50 (150 in the books, and there could not be multiple catches).

There were three hoop goals on each end of the pitch, protected by a Keeper. The other players were the three Chasers (ones who take the shots on goal), two Beaters (the defenders and brutes for the team), and one Seeker (the Harry Potter).

The Pitch.

There were four balls on the field: one Quaffle, a large black-and-silver ball, two Bludgers, orange-and-blue Nerf basketballs (in other words, small), and one Golden Snitch, a cute little thing (more on this later).

The Beaters were given a Nerf bats to protect the rest of the team from Bludgers. The sideline refs threw the Bludgers. If hit by a Bludger, a player would have to drop everything they were doing and go ring the bell on the side of the field.

As you can imagine, the bats were not just used for this. As the announcer pleaded, "Beaters must remember to not attack Chasers, only Bludgers!"

The bell to ring when hit by a Bludger.

As for the Snitch...

The Golden Snitch was a guy in a hat swinging around a golden ball on a string. Really.

See! Look at his hat!

The game I watched the entirety of was between the Lady Dragons versus the Holyhead Harpies!

The stands, filled with fans!

The box score:
Holyhead Harpies -- 130 - 70 - 135 -- 335
Lady Dragons -- 160 - 160 - 55 -- 345

Lady Dragons win! It was a great game for all involved, including the parents. One remarked, proudly, "Is this going to help them on college applications?" I am sure these 6-through-12-year olds already want that sporting scholarship.

I decided I needed to move to the rest of the party. Lucky for this Muggle, transportation showed up.

The Knight Bus is apparently Grey Line-owned.

But I decided against that transportation to continue my investigation and spy what I could on the way. I walked.

The local church joins in, calling itself Grace-yndor! Get it?!

Is that the entrance to the Ministry of Magic or a Time Lord's primary weapon?

Scoville Park in reality is NOT Hogsmeade Village, proven by the fact that they are quite a way away from each other.

Rickshaws, chosen transportation of Scoville Park.

Wizard's Chess! Just as boring as real chess!

The announcer's minions pose.

I invoke the King's Privilege! Gangbang!

Dumbledore Is Alive! Elvis Has Twins!

A segway into the next picture...

Granddad's Wands, selling you plenty of little overpriced yet finely crafted wooden sticks.

A finely crafted $32 wand or this free pen? Sometimes, the pen IS mightier.

House Elf Sock Drive!

And a horse.

Unfortunately, my picture of the portrait of the fallen wizard Albus Dumbledore didn't come out well due to the reflective surface he was behind, but his portrait was quite animated as we gave each other thumbs up.

What I spent my budget on. I also got the knockoff brand of butterbeer. Tonic water, caramel and Irish Cream coffee syrups, and ice. Lots and lots of ice.

My chocolate frog lost its butt.

I finish out the day where I started... getting drunk on the doorstep of Hogwarts.

Here's to getting my book and hoping Harry doesn't die in the rain.