In the barbecue genre, smoked proteins are, and always will be, the big hog on the menu. In many cases, they are dominant to a fault. Other menu items become a distant afterthought, to the point where a side dish may consist of a single, sad slice of discount white bread. Thankfully, some of the best local ‘cue joints are wise to the importance of backing up the headliners with stellar supporting dishes, and adding a gourmet flair to the far corners of the menu. Here are some of the standouts.
Here in the Midwest, accessories on guys often begin and end with something akin to a fanny pack. This is an unnecessary reality, and one that can be avoided without spending too much money on Main Street or wandering for hours like a lost bovine at the mall. Summer means dressing down, but accessories are a good way to dress back up a bit with seasonal style. Here’s a selection of add-ons that will help you do summer right, i.e., without a freaking fanny pack.
It’s the season for big-ticket concerts and weekend-long lineups with multi-day passes priced in the hundreds. Luckily, for us cheapskates, summer’s also the season for live music events of the free variety. One of the perks of big city life is there’s plenty of free entertainment, and you don’t have to look too hard to find it. The hefty schedule of outdoor festivals downtown and in the neighborhoods add up nicely to a summer’s worth of live jams on the cheap, and there’s something for every taste. Here are my personal picks for the top local freebie shows for Summer 2012.
Chicagoans who suffer the chills of “second city syndrome” should feel the warm & fuzzies this June, as we become top dog on the American comedy scene. How so, you may ask? Well for the fourth year in a row, Chicago will host the largest comedy festival in the United States, a multi-venue, multi-talent laugh-fest that spans the city and pulls the country’s hottest comedians in from the comfy coasts to their faithful city of stand-up destiny, Chicago.
As if a stroll through Lincoln Park on a fine day weren’t enough to convince Chicagoans that city summers are a more than adequate payback for the preceding winter, there are innumerable jewels nestled within the landscape to ensure that great things await you at every turn. Peaceful gardens and ponds, historic buildings and statues, playlots and paths abound, and in the middle of it all is a world-class (and free!) zoo…
Yes, rooftop bars often have restrictive reservation policies, get easily overcrowded, and charge a premium for the minimum, but the vibes and the breezes and the boozes often go a great distance toward making up for the fusses. Here’s a selection of the city’s finest upper-floor hangouts to sip, be seen, and gaze upon the wondrous urban canopy beyond.
While barber shops may seem like a ubiquitous dime a dozen, there’s quite a lot that can set one apart from another. Often its the little touches that make a shop special, like a particularly good value, eccentric decor, the effortless precision of a master barber with a few good jokes, complimentary beer, or the owner’s dog lounging at your feet while you wait. Here’s a list of some of the best places in town to become a regular customer at that will keep you looking tight.
For both newbies and regulars alike, The Hideout is an abundantly friendly venue with great rustic appeal, a front-porch Americana vibe that is hard to find elsewhere, an ideal destination for a laid-back night of down-to-earth fun with a group of friends. It’s a vibrant nugget of conviviality tucked modestly away on an industrial side street, with plenty to offer beyond the standard menu of amusement, and should be embraced for these virtues and more. Here are eight reasons why.
Going back to the earliest days of cinema, when silents were accompanied by live-in theater musicians, music and film have been artistically complementary. The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival, now in its fourth year, honors the enduring relationship between the two art forms with four days & nights of film screenings, live performances, VJ/DJ sets, and several Q&A sessions with actors, directors and musicians, at various venues around Logan Square and Wicker Park. Here’s a selection of highlights from the lineup for this weekend’s CIMMfest.
If you’re planning a North side baseball outing with modern amenities in mind, or with a group to accommodate, the Wrigley rooftops are an ideal alternative. The rooftop experience is something like watching a game in a nice bar with an actual view of the game, cleaner restrooms, and (usually) shorter food/beer lines. Gather some friends and pick a date, or start nudging the boss to get the summer office party plans rolling. Anyway, there are 16 rooftops to choose from, so here’s the breakdown.
Every theater season in Chicago brings some recognizable names to town in some form or another, and the local entertainment calendar’s got a variety of marquee line-ups on the way. From highbrow drama to lowbrow comedy, and a little bit in between, here’s a selection upcoming on-stage appearances by notable names and familiar faces this season.
Wine bars have evolved quite a bit in recent years, and now appear in a lot more varieties than they used to. You don’t have to be a glasses-and-turtleneck Wine Spectator subscriber to appreciate them, either, as the food (and, yes, beer) at many local establishments has broadened the wine bar appeal…
One great way to find a more genuine and contemporary Irish experience is through the island nation’s current contributions to cinema. Luckily, the south side offers more for St. Pat’s than dubious parade experiences, so consider checking out the 13th Annual Chicago Irish Film Festival at the Beverly Arts Center March 2-7. Here’s a guide to this year’s six-day ode to Irish filmmaking.
At the corner of Washington Street and Michigan Avenue, across from Millennium Park, stands the 115-year-old former central library building that now serves as Chicago’s cultural epicenter. The Chicago Cultural Center is a local treasure, beckoning passers-by to stop in and experience the bouquet of cultural bounty flourishing within its impressively-crafted walls…
Since 1993, the Groundhog Day holiday has enjoyed renewed interest due to the namesake cult film starring the very excellent Bill Murray as weatherman Phil Connors. While Punxsatawney, PA gets most the national attention on the day itself, the actual location of the filming of Groundhog Day is our very own Woodstock, IL. Murray was the star, but the town itself plays a major role…
While Chicagoans are a more than a little spoiled with all of the music festivals that happen during the warmer months, our hibernation season offers few comparable options for large and impressive lineups of live music. But that’s just one of the reasons why this month’s Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival is a welcome addition to winter’s cultural calendar…
The dawn of a new year is particularly exciting for local theatre-goers, as it signals the start of new seasons of productions around town. While the Broadway-style shows in the Loop often steal the limelight, there’s never a shortage of top-quality theatre to experience outside of downtown. Neighborhood theatres are too often one of those things that people discover only after having lived in a particular area for a long time…
The Chicago area has a wealth of writerly and publishing talent producing a steady stream of new volumes. If you haven’t yet burned through those Barnes & Noble and Amazon gift cards from the holidays, consider directing your book browsing to the city’s literary scene and some of the latest Chicago-related offerings from the publishing world. Here is a selection of eight current releases to consider adding to the “local” section of your personal library.
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Every third Monday of the month Essay Fiesta takes over The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square to present an engaging and often hilarious event featuring actors, comedians, writers and artists reading true tales mined from their personal experiences.
- Students Disciplined For ‘Sexting’ Incident At Evanston Township HighIn a letter to parents dated Thursday, District 202 Supt. Eric Witherspoon wrote that girls sent inappropriate photos to members of the varsity baseball team.265
- Cops Crack Down On Retailers Who Sell Stolen GoodsA new law in Illinois is allowing police and retailers to work together to crack down on organized retail theft. CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli reports.117
- Jury Sides With Donald Trump In Condo Dispute With Woman, 87A federal jury has sided with developer Donald Trump -- not the 87-year-old woman who says she was cheated financially after buying two condominiums at his Trump Tower project.1056
- VIDEO: Guard Allegedly Pushes Dunbar Student Down StairsAn employee at a public high school in the Bronzeville neighborhood has been taken off the job after being recorded on cell phone video pushing a girl down a set of stairs.408
- Concealed Carry Bill Moves To House Floor, But Senate ObjectsA concealed-carry gun deal brokered by House Speaker Michael Madigan cleared a House committee Thursday, but its prospects were unclear across the Capitol in the Senate because of the way it would curb existing local gun laws.165
- Four Hurt In Wrong-Way Crash On Chicago SkywayA 25-year-old man has been cited for driving the wrong way on the Chicago Skyway, after a head-on crash with a pickup truck Thursday morning that sent four people to hospitals.232
- Benjamin Moore Which Team Colors Matter Most? May 24, 2013Which Team Colors matter most to you? Either way, you could be a winner! Just sign up now for a chance to win $500 Depot Dollars to the Chicago Sports Depot to pick up some gear with your favorite team colors as they battle it out this week!
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- Join Hankook Tire To Reel In The Next Big Catch May 20, 2013Join Hankook tire to reel in the next great catch! Click here to go to www.TirePrize.com and enter for your chance to win the ultimate fishing excursion in Puerto Rico!
- Meet Jim Rome On Set In Los Angeles May 20, 2013AutoZone and the Jim Rome Show are giving one winner and a guest a trip to meet Jim Rome in Los Angeles on the set of his Showtime television show! Enter for your chance to win!
- RT @Millennium_Park: Tomorrow morning see a LIVE preview of Dinosaur Petting Zoo on CBS 2 from Millennium Park @CBS2Chicago @VinceGerasole … 4 hours ago
- RT @ChicagoDCASE: Tomorrow morning see a LIVE preview of Dinosaur Petting Zoo on CBS 2 from Millennium Park @CBS2Chicago @VinceGerasole htt… 4 hours ago