Pelikan Hubs 2017: Chicago

Pelikan Hubs Chicago banner

Sorry i couldn’t get this up more quickly, but “better late than never” is the motto made for me. So, better late than never, here is my report on the 2017 Pelikan Hub in Chicago, held this past Friday night.

In two words: so fun! For (many) more words, it’s on to the next page.

(click Page 2 below to continue)

24 thoughts on “Pelikan Hubs 2017: Chicago

  1. This was a great read, thank you! And I’m jealous. Also, sometimes I think I must be the only fountain pen fan who has never even tried Tomoe River paper. As I’m a fan of lined notebooks, that have to lay as flat as a freshly pressed pancake, would you have any recommendations?

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    1. Thank you!

      Paul, I have a (perhaps mistaken) impression that Wonder Pens sells paper from Tomoe River. Maybe that could be a source? Otherwise, in terms of lined notebooks that use Tomoe River, I’m far from an expert, but the one I know is the journal-sized “Writer” from Nanami. That is made in Japan and sold by a US guy. Jetpens has always been my source for unlined looseleaf Tomoe River (I buy the off-white, not the white). I believe other stores sell the looseleaf paper, too. (And I hope Wonder Pens is among them, since the stores I know are in the US.)

      I’ve actually got a few posts on this blog about The Writer from Nanami. I’m not sure I’d say it opens “flat as a pancake,” but it opens pretty flat, especially if you rest your hand on the page as you write, as I do. There are some photos in these two posts: here and here.

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  2. A most excellent write-up. Your singing words capture the exuberance of the experience and the multi-faceted experience that happens at gatherings like this. Good to have you back writing again!

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          1. I’d sign on for that, too.

            And I wasn’t really serious about trying to fix it either. πŸ™‚ “Maybe I can [do something] sometime” is me pretty much (1) having an idea, and, at the exact same time, (2) realizing it’s too much effort. πŸ™‚

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  3. Excellent review and breakdown of the hub! I wish I could have made it to one. Chicago would have been closest to me, and it’s like 7 hours away. Boo.

    I love purple ink, btw. I don’t like any other purple things, but I have a ton of purple ink and use it all the time. Is that weird?

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    1. Seven hours? Oof. You are excused. But next year, you’ll have more time to plan…. πŸ™‚

      No, sorry, I was kidding about the purple ink. πŸ™‚ Liking purple ink makes *you* normal. πŸ™‚ I’m the oddball. πŸ™‚

      See, purple is such a popular ink color, but for some reason I don’t like most purple ink. That can make me feel like a misfit among fountain pen people — as can my love for Lamy Safaris, extra-fine nibs, nibs that don’t flex, and Field Notes. I’m very not on-trend. Sigh. So of course everyone at the Hub loved purple inks. That sort of thing delights me, because, of course. πŸ™‚ And if I couldn’t at myself, what would I have to laugh about? πŸ™‚

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      1. I definitely hope to make it next year!

        Haha, I’m just picking on you. People like what they like, and there’s nothing wrong with that! That’s why I love how much variety exists within fountain pens. There’s something for everyone!

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      2. I also like purple ink. I especially like the Lamy-Dark Lilac. You don’t even like dark purple that sheens? Don’t feel bad about what you like. I am usually in a minority on some of my tastes as well. As far as ink my interests are very wide. About the only ink I don’t really use much is a true red. Most other inks I have on hand. I do have Diamine-Wild Strawberry. (30ml only) I like Red Dragon a lot, but don’t have it. I thought purple ink is something most people don’t use much. I like it, but I don’t use it all the time.

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        1. Thank you. πŸ™‚

          Well, I think Dark Lilac was nice enough, although you’re right: I never used it. I had a box of cartridges, and I gave away all of them except the one I used when I first got the pen. (I’m not really into sheen that much.) But I do like Papier Plume’s Mardi Gras Indians, which is a dark purple — and I’ve been using that this summer. So maybe I’m learning. πŸ™‚

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  4. This sounds a perfect evening, in good company and with a wonderful bottle of ink to take home too. I enjoyed reading about your Chicago hub. It is a good idea making notes (mental or written) of what pens you saw, what you liked and what to add the wish list. At the London hub I loved hearing about other people’s pens and getfing to try them. The evening sped by and was over all too soon.

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    1. Unfortunately I didn’t think to make written notes, or even take photos, because I was having way too much fun. πŸ™‚ And, as you say, the evening passed by in the blink of an eye, which is the mark of a good time. πŸ™‚ What were the pens you saw that you liked the most?

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      1. I liked the M600 size as had not handled one before. That is on the wish list! Then there was the Conid Bulkfiller which was interesting for its filling system but I need to give thst one some more thought. Katherine of handoverthatpen.com showed me a Nakaya Piccolo which had quite a soft nib although I was too excited to write down properly which one it was. I have since looked on Iguana sell and read about urushi lacquer. I was a bit shocked to see how expensive they are. But then I inked up my Campo Marzio Ambassador, a brown flake marble resin pen of similar chubby shape to the Nakaya Piccolo but with a steel nib, with my Smoky Quartz hub swag ink, and was content with that.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, I want to try a Piccolo some day. I hope it’s too small, like the Neo-Standard was too big. πŸ™‚ I actually owned a Nakaya Writer for a while. That was a great size for me, but I just didn’t love the pen enough to justify the price (for me). I learned an important, albeit fraught, lesson from that: to never buy an expensive pen I haven’t seen in person first. Boy, I still cringe when I think of that. But it was a valuable lesson.

          I like the M600 size, too. It’s my favorite. πŸ™‚

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  5. Oh the White Tortie. It’s destined to be my white whale. Anytime I find one, it’s out of my price range. Let Sigh.

    This sounds like so much fun! Sadly, the hubs could not be pursuaded to drive us to Chicago on a work night, I would’ve been able to show off my teal/turquoise collection.

    @tealosaurus_nyx on Instagram πŸ˜‰

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    1. Seriously, we had a great couple from Indiana, and one of these years I’ll get my friend from Iowa to come in, so it’s worth thinking about making a trip of it. πŸ™‚ There was a Murakami exhibit at the MCA…. Not to mention the Cubs! (Our the reigning World Series champions — maybe I’ve mentioned that?) There is preseason Chicago Blackhawks hockey (only for the dedicated, I know, but that would be me.) And I shouldn’t even mention the Bears, because they are so terrible, except tickets would be cheap, and the team did mark the Hub weekend with an unanticipated, if not shocking, victory — and lest you think that means Hell had frozen over, we were actually in the midst of a string of 90 degree days so that’s unlikely.

      We have beautiful beaches, great architecture, many restaurants, great theater, a great music scene, some of the best art museums in the world, and super nice people. Also: Field Notes, too! It’s a great city to visit. Also, not for nothing, there’s the Chicago Pen Show in May 2018 that will be absolute fire, which while technically not *in* the city would be another nice opportunity to visit us, and then spend a few extra days in the city. πŸ™‚

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      1. Oh I know all about Chicago’s fabulousness. I grew up there! A six hour drive for a one night event that I didn’t hear about until the day before just isn’t in the cards haha

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        1. Six hours is very long. But … you grew up here?! So cool! And you know the secret Chicago way to pronounce the name of these streets: Paulina and Devon Avenue. And you know what the Edens, the Kennedy and the Ryan are. And you say, “gym shoes.” As one does. πŸ™‚

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  6. I enjoyed hearing about this event. I wish we had something like that around here. I don’t own a Pelikan pen. I hope to get one some day, or at least try one. The one I’d really like to see is the Brown Tortoiseshell 400. As soon as that was released I’ve drooled over it. I still want an Aurora Optima. For cheaper pens I would like a Boston Safety Pen by Noodler’s, and a Lamy-Aion. I’d like to hold an Aion if possible though.

    I had someone send me samples, and I sent them some. I haven’t had samples in ages so this was great. I just started using one of them and it was the Pelikan Dark Green. I just put it on my wish list. My wish list just keeps growing. If I could try more inks I could discount some. But then again by trying them, more get added to the wish list too. I did get to try my first iron gall ink. (Platinum Classic-Forest Green) I like it a lot. This is a sample and I just refilled my pen with the Forest Green again. I would like to try the other Platinum Classic colors too eventually.

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    1. Oh, yes, I think someone had the latest (current) M400 Tortoise Brown at our Hub. Lot of people love that!

      If I can make a suggestion, there have been a number of Pelikans in the 400 size in brown tortoise over the years, dating back to the original (now vintage) 400, 400nn and 400n in tortoise shell, and running through various limited/special editions over the years, up to this current one. Have you considered going used, or even better, vintage, for a tortoise? Vintage is much cheaper; I think the vintage tortoise bindes are more attractive; and many people prefer the vintage nibs.

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      1. Laura, I would consider that in the future. Thanks for suggesting it. I have not had good luck with getting vintage pens though. I have a friend who knows about old pens. The problem is he wants the same one I do!

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