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Despite Sandy's havoc, New York gallery owner travels to Chicago

One of Chicago’s major international arts fairs, Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA), opened at Navy Pier Thursday. But some participants from the East Coast almost didn’t make it.

Shoko Aono owns a gallery in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood.

Earlier this week, she was planning to take a plane to Chicago to come to SOFA, but Hurricane Sandy forced her to change her plans.

So, late Wednesday, Aono carried her two suitcases in the dark down the stairs from her 12th floor apartment, got into a hired car, and rode all the way to Chicago.

“Fifteen hours. I could make it to fly to Japan," she lauged. Even though the trip cost $7500, she says she’s relieved she made it in time. 

"It was such an adventurous moment," she said. "For me, the darkest hour, but it was also the brightest hour.”

Since her Chelsea gallery is flooded, Aono says this weekend’s fair is especially important to her livelihood.

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