#Chicago blog

The ultimate Chicago events, restaurants, bars and nightlife blog

Chicago Ideas Week brings literature to the CTA with its "Books on the L" program.

Chicago Ideas Week brings literature to the CTA with its "Books on the L" program. Photograph courtesy of Chicago Ideas Week

Chicago Ideas Week puts books on the El

Posted by Zach Long on Sept 23, 2014 at 5:47pm

We've all accidentally shared a magazine or newspaper with our fellow El passengers by forgetting it on our seat. Chicago Ideas Week's newly launched "Books of the L" program aims to share hundreds of books in a similar fashion, by simply placing them on trains all over the city. If you're lucky enough to stumble across a book, you're free to take it home, read it and then bring it back to a train and leave it for someone else.

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"David Bowie Is" runs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sept 2014–Jan 2015.

"David Bowie Is" runs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sept 2014–Jan 2015.

MCA & Ritz-Carlton Chicago offer David Bowie-themed menus

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Sept 23, 2014 at 3:17pm

"David Bowie Is" opened at the MCA this morning, and once you’ve made your way through the show and picked up merchandise at the gift shop, you’re not done—there are still David Bowie-themed salads to eat. Puck’s Café at the MCA is offering a Bowie menu on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4–8pm and Fridays from 4–10pm.

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My favorite eggs benedicts in Chicago

-----------------Time Out guest contributor--------------------

Posted by Jessica Berson on Sept 22, 2014 at 9:10am


The Chicago brunch scene has positively exploded in the last few years, overwhelming foodies with hundreds of choices to begin their weekends with. My favorite twists on the most classic of all brunch dishes, eggs benedict, should make a good starting point for brunchers of all levels of experience. In no particular order:

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Poolside at Berkshire Room

Poolside at Berkshire Room Photo: Jason Little

GQ, Food & Wine recognize Chicago bars

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Sept 17, 2014 at 11:10am

We already know Chicago's drinking scene is fantastic, and now two national magazines do, too. In its September issue, GQ named Chicago the best drinking city in America, and highlights Logan Square cocktail bars like Scofflaw, Analogue and Billy Sunday, as well as Aviary, Hopleaf and much, much more. Today, Food & Wine announced that voting was open for its People's Best New Bars contest, which is divided by region.

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The Art Institute of Chicago.

The Art Institute of Chicago. Photograph courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago ranked as the best museum in the world

Posted by Zach Long on Sept 16, 2014 at 4:45pm

This morning TripAdvisor revealed that the Art Institute of Chicago was named the top museum in the world as part of the website's 2014 Travelers' Choice awards. The ranking was determined based on the overwhelming amount of positive reviews of the museum that have been posted by TripAdvisor users, which include more than 5,000 "Excellent" ratings—the highest rating an attraction can receive. The museum was already the top ranked attraction in Chicago, but this award places it above international institutions like the Louvre in Paris and the Vasa Museum in Stockholm.

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Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in Birdman

Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in Birdman

Chicago International Film Festival announces full lineup

Posted by Jessica Johnson on Sept 16, 2014 at 3:38pm

Chicago's two-week celebration of films from around the globe observes its 50th anniversary this year. Today, The Chicago International Film Festival announced the full lineup of programming it will present from October 9-23. As always, the film selection includes titles that have been making the rounds at the year's film festivals like Sundance darlings The Babadook and Dear White People, as well as highly-anticpated fall releases like the theatrical Birdman and the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game. This year the festival will also be offering a selection of classic films from their fifty year history.

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The Calabrese Burger at Umami Burger in Wicker Park.

The Calabrese Burger at Umami Burger in Wicker Park. Photograph courtesy of Umami Burger

Umami Burger opens Thursday in Wicker Park

Posted by Zach Long on Sept 16, 2014 at 12:13pm

I've taken a two-hour detour to eat at an In-N-Out Burger. I can debate the pros and cons of eating at Kuma's Corner or Lockdown. But for some reason, I've never been to an Umami Burger. That changed last night, when I sat down in the brand new Wicker Park location (1480 N Milwaukee Ave) of the much-lauded California burger chain. The restaurant's name refers to the Japanese word for the elusive "fifth taste," a savory, meaty flavor that differs from the usual range of sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Umami's first Midwest location opens to the public on Thursday, but I was invited to give some of the restaurant's dishes a try a few days early, including its eponymous burger.

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Smart Museum

Smart Museum Photograph: Chris Strong

500 Clown goes to the Smart Museum

Posted by Kris Vire on Sept 15, 2014 at 1:09pm

The performance troupe 500 Clown will turn to visual arts this fall, taking up residency at the Smart Museum of Art's new GalleryX space. The project, titled "The Art of Experience" and devised by 500 Clown's Adrian Danzig and Rebecca Stevens, aims to reframe the way museum patrons engage with art. "The Art of Experience" launches October 2 with an At the Threshold social, 5–7:30pm. GalleryX is a temporary space that will serve as a center for the Smart Museum's 40th-anniversary events across this school year.

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Kelly Abell, from top left, Daniel Desmarais, Hannah Gomez, Christina Hall, Andrew Jessop, Leslie Ann Sheppard, Jeff Trainor and Leah Urzendowski

Kelly Abell, from top left, Daniel Desmarais, Hannah Gomez, Christina Hall, Andrew Jessop, Leslie Ann Sheppard, Jeff Trainor and Leah Urzendowski

Theater Wit adds Bad Jews to season

Posted by Kris Vire on Sept 15, 2014 at 12:00pm

Theater Wit will complete its three-play 2014–15 season with the Chicago premiere of Bad Jews, the company announced this morning. Joshua Harmon's 2012 comedy, about two cousins squabbling over a family heirloom in the aftermath of their grandfather's funeral, will open in April. Bad Jews joins the previously announced Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, which has completed casting for its January bow. Kelly Abell, Daniel Desmarais, Hannah Gomez, Christina Hall, Andrew Jessop, Leslie Ann Sheppard, Jeff Trainor and Leah Urzendowski will star in Anne Washburn's Simpsons-inspired post-apocalyptic work. David Sedaris's The Santaland Diaries returns in Theater Wit's 11th annual holiday staging to complete the season.

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Nutella spice latte at Cookies & Carnitas

Nutella spice latte at Cookies & Carnitas

The Nutella spice latte at Cookies & Carnitas is here to make you feel better

Posted by Laura Baginski on Sept 12, 2014 at 4:02pm

This weather is lousy. One way to get through it is through delicious warm beverages (and booze, of course). But before you march to Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte, hear this: You do not know fall in a cup until you've tried the new Nutella spice latte at Edgewater restaurant Cookies & Carnitas.

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Festival goers keep it cool at North Coast Music Festival in Union Park.

Festival goers keep it cool at North Coast Music Festival in Union Park.

Park District bans smoking in Chicago parks

Posted by Zach Long on Sept 10, 2014 at 5:49pm

We knew this was coming, but now it's official: DNAinfo is reporting that the Chicago Park District's Board of Commissioners has banned smoking in Chicago's parks, effective immediately. The ban applies to all forms of smoking, including tobacco alternatives like e-cigarettes and vaporizers.

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Steppenwolf Garage

Steppenwolf Garage Photograph: Courtesy of Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Steppenwolf announces 2015 Garage Rep lineup

Posted by Kris Vire on Sept 9, 2014 at 12:31pm

Steppenwolf Theatre Company has revealed the three theater companies that will make up the sixth annual Garage Rep lineup, to run in repertory, February–April 2015. The three include Cold Basement Dramatics, Pride Films & Plays and Red Tape Theatre.

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Punks, headbangers and rockers unite for the Riot Fest Chicago 2013 music festival on September 15, 2013.

Punks, headbangers and rockers unite for the Riot Fest Chicago 2013 music festival on September 15, 2013. Photograph: Max Herman

Riot Fest announces complete schedule and set times

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Sept 5, 2014 at 12:25pm

Riot Fest continues to impress. First, it announced the best lineup of all the Chicago summer festivals with acts like the National, the Cure, the Flaming Lips, Tegan & Sara and too many others to name (well, not really, they're all below). Then, the festival nearly quadrupled its size, expanding to take over over Humboldt Park. Today, Riot Fest released its complete schedule and set times. That's not revolutionary, but unlike Lollapalooza (and even Pitchfork), there seems to be far more thought put into how these acts are bunched. Check it out.

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Jessie Mueller and the Broadway company of Beautiful—The Carole King Musical

Jessie Mueller and the Broadway company of Beautiful—The Carole King Musical Photograph: Joan Marcus

Broadway in Chicago announces latest subscription season

Posted by Kris Vire on Sept 3, 2014 at 11:34am

Broadway in Chicago has firmed up the subscription offerings for a "2015 Spring Season" that stretches well into winter, with new subscriptions going on sale this Sunday, September 7. The six shows in the package, all previously announced, include two Broadway-aimed musicals: First Wives Club and the autobiographical jukeboxer On Your Feet, by Gloria Estefan. Touring productions include the return of Kinky Boots, the new Broadway revival of Pippin and Beautiful—The Carole King Musical. Rounding out the offerings is The Illusionists.

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London's Electric Diner is a spin-off of Au Cheval.

London's Electric Diner is a spin-off of Au Cheval.

We tried the burger at Electric Diner, London's Au Cheval spin-off

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Sept 3, 2014 at 9:01pm

With a reel-to-reel machine behind the host stand (but not spinning), red leather booths and Cowshed soap and lotion in the bathrooms, it’s obvious from first glance that London's Electric Diner is a Brendan Sodikoff restaurant. The Chicago restaurateur teamed up with London's Soho House (we just got one of those in Chicago, and we'll have more on it next week) to open the Diner, which is a spin-off of Au Cheval. The menu has a mix of Sodikoff hallmarks. Of course, that includes the Au Cheval burger. It doesn't export well.

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A rendering of Chicago Surf at Montrose Beach

A rendering of Chicago Surf at Montrose Beach

A Chicago native wants to bring surfing to Montrose Beach

Posted by Zach Long on Sept 2, 2014 at 1:45pm

For years, Midwestern surfers (yes, they exist) have trekked to Sheboygan, Wisconsin to catch waves along a five-mile stretch of Lake Michigan. Now, a native Chicagoan is trying to bring surfing to Montrose Beach, though you won't be hanging ten in the lake. Instead, K.C. Hoos wants to install a SurfStream wave machine by the beach. Hoos is turning to Kickstarter to raise $101,000.

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A colorful array of music fans and costumes were on hand for day one of North Coast Music Festival 2014, Friday, August 29.

A colorful array of music fans and costumes were on hand for day one of North Coast Music Festival 2014, Friday, August 29. Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

North Coast Music Festival Friday photos

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Aug 30, 2014 at 11:37am

The weather gods must dig bass. Despite forecasts and unlike last year, when torrential rain fell on Union Park on the first day of North Coast, the air was muggy but sweet for headliners Bassnectar and Alesso. That brought out the glow sticks, hula hoops, tie dye and Adventure Time characters. See if you can spot them all in our shots from Union Park.

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Jay Cutler looks skeptical.

Jay Cutler looks skeptical. Jamie DiVecchio Ramsay

Soldier Field to serve "DaBurger Sliders" at Bears games

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Aug 28, 2014 at 10:17am

Aramark, the food and beverage provider for 11 NFL teams, unveiled new signature items for each of its clients this week. Aramark's "tribute to [Chicago] heritage, hometown culinary scene" is DaBurger Slider, a pepper-jack pork burger with chorizo cream, chipotle barbecue pulled pork, Havarti cheese, thick-cut bacon and crispy potato sticks. Question this concoction's relevancy to Chicago's culinary scene at your will, but you have to admit that tiny little sliders feels wrong for the Bears fan. This thing should be the size of Ditka's face.

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Onlookers welcome the Jackie Robinson West Little League team back to the city with a parade on August 27, 2014.

Onlookers welcome the Jackie Robinson West Little League team back to the city with a parade on August 27, 2014. Photograph: Max Herman

Jackie Robinson West Little League parade and rally photos

Posted by Zach Long on Aug 27, 2014 at 2:34pm

Friends, family and supporters (including Mayor Emanuel and Governor Quinn) gathered in Jackie Robinson Park on the South Side today to welcome the Jackie Robinson West Little League squad back to the city. Joined by head coach Darold Butler, the Little League World Series U.S. champions took the field at their home field, while onlookers cheered them on. After the celebration, the team boarded a trolly which drove them to Millennium Park, where Chance the Rapper introduced them to the assembled crowd.

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A rendering of the Field Museum's Cyrus Tang Hall of China

A rendering of the Field Museum's Cyrus Tang Hall of China Photograph courtesy of Tang Foundations

The Field Museum announces a new permanent exhibition

Posted by Zach Long on Aug 27, 2014 at 12:45pm

Yesterday, the Field Museum revealed that a new permanent exhibition of Chinese artifacts is currently under construction. When it opens next June, the Cyrus Tang Hall of China will showcase more than 350 pieces from the museum's collection, including textiles, bronzes, ceramics and sculptures. The exhibit will explore the history of China, tracing a path from the country's ancient beginnings to its modern status as a leader in trade, technology and innovation. The new exhibit will replace the museum's previous display of Chinese artifacts, which was closed in 2013.

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