In exactly one week, Chicagoans will decide who will become the city's next mayor. Whether it's your first or fortieth time voting in the city, you may have a few questions about the process. If you're ready to head to the polls (or you're just trying to figure out where exactly the polls are), take a look at our simple guide to voting in the Chicago mayoral election. When is election day? Chicago's mayoral and aldermanic election falls on Tuesday, February 26 and polls are open from 6am–7pm. Who's up for election? This election will decide the city's new mayor and aldermen that represent each of Chicago's 50 wards. Since Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decided not to seek a third term, there's a crowded field of challengers looking to take his job. There are currently 14 candidates competing to be named Chicago's next mayor, the most in the city's history. That means you'll need to do some research before you head to the polls—Chi.Vote's guide to each candidate's stance on major issues is a good place to start. You'll also vote for the City Clerk (incumbent Anna Valencia is running unopposed) and City Treasurer (Melissa Conyears-Ervin, Ameya Pawar or Peter Gariepy). Why is it important to vote for an alderman? Your ward's alderman is almost like the king or queen of your neighborhood and is one of the first people you should contact if you have an issue. The alderman's office helps fix potholes on your street, issues permits for street festivals, decides which businesses ge
The winter music festival isn’t a new phenomena in Chicago, set during a bleak time of the year when we often find ourselves pining for both the warmth of summer and the season’s packed schedule of outdoor shows. Schubas and Lincoln Hall have hosted the multi-venue Tomorrow Never Knows festival every January for more than a decade, while Empty Bottle throws its outdoor, weather-be-damned Music Frozen Dancing block party come February. When online publication Pitchfork announced the debut of its Midwinter music festival, set inside the galleries and venues of the Art Institute of Chicago, it sounded like a clever way of bringing the well-curated, of-the-moment lineup of the annual Pitchfork Music Festival to an indoor space. Spread across three evenings, Midwinter promised to give attendees the run of a world-class museum while allowing acts like indie-rockers Deerhunter and rapper JPEGMAFIA to perform in the institution’s various venues and theaters. For those accustomed to the relative affordability of Pitchfork Music Festival (a three-day pass was $175 in 2018), Midwinter’s most notable deviation was its inflated admission prices. The event employed a convoluted ticketing system that required attendees to first purchase a $50 base ticket for each night of the function, which allowed access to the Art Institute’s galleries, a handful of performances and soundscapes installed throughout the building. Every other concert required a separate ticket, ranging in price from $15
If you missed out on last month's Super Wolf Blood Moon total lunar eclipse, which was as epic as it sounds, you're in luck. Tonight, Chicago will be treated to another lunar oddity: the Super Snow Moon. The term "super moon" isn't exactly scientific; it's simply a way of signifying a full moon that is closer to Earth than usual. Close, of course, is a relative term as the moon will still be 221,693 miles away. Nonetheless, super moons can appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter. Michelle Nichols, Adler Planetarium's Director of Public Viewing, says that to experience the full effect of the super moon, you should go outside slightly before 6pm and look to the northeast. "When you see the moon close to the horizon, what your brain is trying to do is reconcile the fact that it knows that moon is far away and that anything on the horizon is closer," Nichols says. As a result, your brain will pull the moon closer to you, making it appear bigger than it actually is. There are a couple of easy ways to test this illusion. One way is to take a picture on the moon with your phone—it might seem gigantic against the horizon to your eyes, but in the picture it'll be much smaller. Alternatively, you can stick your thumb out at arm's length and compare the moon and your thumb side by side. They should be roughly the same size (mind blown, right?). While tonight's super moon will be the biggest and brightest of 2019, you'll have another chance to see a larger-than-usual
You usually need a ticket to ride the Metra (unless you reach your stop before the conductor reaches your car), but this weekend is an exception. For the first time ever, Metra will be offering free rides on all of its lines on Saturday, February 16 and Sunday, February 17. The promotion is an effort to increase weekend ridership on the commuter rail system after a bout of extremely cold weather in the area, which forced Metra to light some of its rails on fire to keep the system running. “We survived the polar vortex - now let’s have some fun,” Metra CEO and executive director Jim Derwinski said in a press release. “There is a lot to do in Chicago and the suburbs and Metra can take you there.” Derwinksi isn’t wrong; Chicago’s neighborhoods and surrounding suburbs are filled with cheap, fun attractions located within walking distance of Metra stations. If you decide to take a free ride this weekend, we've gathered some interesting destinations to explore. ’ Galloping Ghost Arcade (Brookfield, Congress Park Station, BSNF) For only $20, you can play all day at this retro arcade. With nearly 700 different games, Galloping Ghost is easily the largest arcade in the Midwest. Two Brothers Roundhouse (Aurora, Aurora Station, BSNF) With the money you save on Metra tickets, you can easily afford a beer or two at this popular brewpub. Two Brothers Roundhouse is located in a historic, circular building that once served as a train station. Pullman National Monument (Pullman, 11
Tonight the team behind Three Dots and a Dash debuts a new bar-within-a-bar concept called the Bamboo Room, where guests can sip cocktails mixed with rare and high-end rums. The 22-seat area offers a menu curated by beverage director Kevin Beary; expect simple, well-balanced beverages that are more refined than their Three Dots counterparts. A highlight of the menu is the daiquiri program, which allows patrons to select one of four house rum blends, which are mixed and poured tableside over hand-shaved ice. "The Bamboo Room is an ode to rum and rhum agricoles that utilizes the cocktail techniques working behind the scenes at Three Dots and a Dash," says Beary in a media release. "The menu is more refined and focused with a collection of carefully selected rum and tiki cocktails that you might not find at a traditional tiki bar." Reservations for the Bamboo Room are available via Chicago-based ticketing service Tock. Groups of two to four can book a table to order drinks from the a la carte menu, which requires a $20 deposit per person. Bar seating is available for groups of one to three, and guests are treated to an omakase-like experience where bartenders guide the experience with two or three cocktails ($35 and $50, respectively). The Bamboo Room is open Thursday and Friday from 4pm to midnight and Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to midnight. Take a look below to scope out some of the sophisticated creations you'll find there. Photograph: Jeff Marini Photograph: Jef
Lake Shore Drive may be in shambles and Chicago's traffic is officially hellish, but the CTA appears to on the up and up. Today, CTA officials announced a pilot program that will bring three new amenities to various El stops (mostly on the Red Line) throughout the city come springtime. Here’s a quick rundown of what may be coming to a stop on your daily commute. MobileQubes These vending machines will allow CTA riders in need to a quick charge to buy or rent battery packs for iPhones and other mobile devices. There’s an initial fee of $4.99 to obtain a charger and a rental fee of $0.99 per day afterward. The cubes can be returned to any MobileQubes kiosk in the country. In total, the CTA will host 35 of the machines at 26 different stations, with the majority of them located along the Red Line. Photo Booth You've probably snapped a photo inside a booth in a local dive bar, but soon you'll be able to get your picture taken at the Chicago Red Line station. The machine will take souvenir photos ($14.99) portraits, ID photos and even passport photos ($4.99). Farmer’s Fridge You've probably come across one of these Chicago-based vending machines, which are stocked with snacks and meals made with organic, locally sourced ingredients. Soon, you'll be able to grab a salad at from machine being installed at the following stations: Grand (Red), Fullerton (Red, Brown, Purple), Indiana (Green) and Damen (Pink). According to a release, all of the costs associated with the install
Chicago’s traffic situation is officially a disaster. This morning, a new report from transportation analytics firm INRIX revealed that the city now ranks third in the country for traffic congestion, eclipsing New York City and Los Angeles. The dubious distinction came on the heels of a difficult Monday for Chicago commuters, after two cracked steel support beams were discovered beneath the northbound section of Lake Shore Drive near the Chicago River, closing the busy thoroughfare for much of the morning and evening rush hour. The Chicago Department of Transportation believes the extreme dip in temperatures over the past few weeks was at least partially responsible for the damage, and Lake Shore Drive’s constant traffic definitely didn’t help the situation. The affected northbound section of Lake Shore Drive, which is expected to be reopened before tonight’s evening rush, handles an estimated 60,000 vehicles a day. However, the damaged steel beams aren’t the only things feeling the burden of the city’s problematic congestion. In its report, INRIX states that traffic costs each Chicago driver an average of $1,920 in lost productivity annually, resulting in a total cost of $6.2 billion each year. Chicago’s jump in the traffic congestion rankings—the city was ranked fifth in 2017—can be attributed to two major roads. I-94/I-90 from the Stevenson Expressway to Interstate 294 was the second most congested U.S. road in 2018 with a 26-minute average daily delay. A stretch of I
Christina Tosi's Cereal Milk soft serve is so tasty that we might consider flying to New York or Los Angeles to get a fix. Lucky for us, the sweets empire has plans to expand to Chicago over the next couple of years, as first reported by Eater. The tip comes from a New York Times profile published Tuesday on Tosi and her thriving business: "Ms. Tosi plans to open Milk Bars in cities where there’s already a fan base, including Chicago and Miami," NYT correspondent Kim Severson reported in the piece. Though the popular chain originated in New York, it now has outposts in Los Angeles, Boston, Las Vegas, Toronto and Washington, D.C. If you've seen Tosi's episode of Chef's Table: Pastry, you know that the bubbly baker creates sugar-laden treats that have their own cult following. Perhaps you've heard of her famous Crack Pie with a toasted oat crust and gooey butter filling? Or maybe you've seen her iconic "naked" Birthday Cake on Instagram—the one with vanilla rainbow cake and layers of creamy vanilla frosting. If you're a diehard fan, chances are you've tried your hand at her Compost Cookies, which are filled with pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, graham cracker, butterscotch and chocolate chips. (Are you drooling yet?) The PR manager for Milk Bar told us that while the company has its sights set on Chicago, along with some other cities in the future, they "don't have any concrete plans to share as of right now." In the meantime, satiate your cravings with these photos of
Eataly Chicago will once again host its all-inclusive SpringFest, which allows guests to take over the bi-level store and enjoy unlimited food and booze until midnight. The popular annual event will be hosted on Friday, March 22, and tickets are already on sale. This year, the Italian superstore will offer three check-in times at 6, 7:30 and 8:30pm. The event goes until midnight for all attendees, so we have an inkling that the 6pm time slot will sell out first. Regardless of which check-in time you select, all tickets are $78 and include unlimited food, drink and entertainment. There are no pesky sample vouchers—simply go from stand to stand and indulge in never-ending Italian bites and drink samples. Throughout the evening, Eataly chefs will prepare signature dishes like Neapolitan-style pizzas, handmade pastas, cheese and artisanal meat platters and more. Guests can roam the store with cocktails, Italian wines and in-house beers in hand. Once you've had your fill of chianti and salumi, bust a move to music from the live band. Salute! What's life really like in Chicago today? Take the Time Out Index survey and tell us about it.
Last year, we asked 15,000 people from around the world some big questions about the cities they live in. When the results were tallied and tabulated, Chicago was named the world's best city for having it all—for the second year in a row. We found that Chicagoans are downright happy, they're proud to rep their city and they absolutely love the diverse dining and drinking options at their fingertips. No city is perfect, but Chicago comes pretty damn close. Now we want to find out if that's still true. Will Chicago once again be crowned the best in the world? Is our dining scene better than ever? Which neighborhood do real city-dwellers love the most? We want to answer these questions and many more, but we need your help. Take the Time Out Index 2019 now and tell us all about life in Chicago today. It’s fun and anonymous, it takes about 10 minutes, and when you’re done, we’ll reveal your soul city: the place that you absolutely have to visit this year, based on your survey answers. Here's hoping the numbers prove what we already know: Chicago is the finest city in all the land. Start the Time Out Index survey now.