10 Things to Do This Weekend: Sept. 21-24

1. Toast

Goose Island Beer Co. marks the end of summer with its annual 312 Block Party, a suds-and-music bash that features $3 pours (they vary in size) of its flagship brew in addition to Old Man Grumpy, Oktoberfest and Bourbon County Brand Stout. Live music highlights: The Record Company, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Filthy Friends (Friday); Animal Collective, Joey Purp, DJ Prince Paul (Saturday). Food vendors include Girl and the Goat, Wow Bao and Beat Kitchen. And not to be overlooked: an honest-to-goodness, prêt-à-porter “jorts” station churns out custom cuts for charity.

Psst: There’s another West Town beer bash this weekend. (See “Experience” below.)

Details: Gates open 5 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. Saturday at 1800 W. Fulton St. $10 suggested donation. / MAP

2. Indulge

The upscale food fest Chicago Gourmet turns 10 this year, and you can bet your bubbly they’re going to crank up the party. Among the highlights of a weeklong anniversary celebration are a Rick Bayless dinner on the 606 trail ($200) and a dance party at the Willis Tower Skydeck with Mindy Segal ($85). Find info on all of the satellite parties here.

As for the main event: Expect cooking demos from local talent, seminars and book signings in addition to the dozen gourmet tasting pavilions that run the flavor gamut from barbecue to Thai food to Mexican and beyond. Participating chefs include—in addition to Bayless and Segal—Graham Elliot, Stephanie Izard, Paul Kahan, Art Smith, Carrie Nahabedian, Tony Mantuano and Takashi Yagihashi.

The annual Grand Cru tasting ($205 in addition to main event ticket) takes place from 2-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Main event: Noon-6 p.m. Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday at Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St. $185. / MAP

3. Shop

More than 100 artists set up shop at the pet-friendly Edgewater Arts Festival, stocked with paintings, photography, handmade jewelry, ceramics, glass, fashion and more. Additional highlights: an eclectic live music lineup on three stages; a beer garden featuring Lagunitas and wine, plus food options from Mexican restaurant Mas Alla Del Sol and Cajun-inspired Fireside Restaurant and Lounge; kids activities and a music talent show; and jewelry workshops and art classes.

Details: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday along Granville Avenue, from Broadway to Kenmore Avenue. $5 suggested donation. / MAP

4. Laugh

Hannibal Buress. T.J. Miller. Fred Armisen. Cameron Esposito. What else do these four comedians have in common? A shared history of making folks laugh at The Lincoln Lodge, billed as the nation’s longest-running independent comedy showcase—with an impressive alumni club, to boot. Now in its 18th year, the show extends to two nights in 2017 and rocks a new Wrigleyville location. See local stand-up comedians plus a variety act and an awkward-funny “Man on the Street” segment.

Details: 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport Ave. $10. / MAP

5. Groove

Thirty-five free concerts comprise the two-day Hyde Park Jazz Festival, featuring local, national and international artists across 11 stages. Among Saturday’s offerings: Official Reggae Movement, Ari Brown Quartet, Dee Alexander, Ben Goldberg, Majestic Gents and The NuBlu Band and DJ Sadie Woods; on Sunday, see CALJE, Yes We Can: the Songs of New Orleans and more. Extras: an outdoor dance floor, food and drink vendors, picnic areas, artists and more.

Details: 1 p.m.-midnight Saturday; 2-7 p.m. Sunday at various locations in Hyde Park, including the Midway Plaisance at Ellis Avenue. All performances are free; a $5 donation is suggested. Some venues have limited seating. / MAP 


6. Experience

A swig of Williamsburg cool comes to Chicago this weekend via The Brooklyn Brewery Mash’s Beer Mansion, a traveling beer festival that organizers playfully describe as “a wind-in-your-hair, seat-of-your-pants, highwire-act of a beer bash.” Making its penultimate stop in West Town, the global seven-city tour includes a souvenir tasting glass, unlimited pours of beers and cider from the host brewery in addition to local heros Solemn Oath, Marz Brewing, Hopewell and Whiner Beer; food vendors selected by foodie website Eater; games, tech and art; and performances by Deeper and Negative Scanner (Friday) and Connections and Peter Stringer-Hye (Saturday).

Details: 6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday at Morgan’s on Fulton, 950 W. Fulton St. $50-$65. / MAP

7. Pluck

Take a bite out of fall at the 26th annual Apple Fest in historic Long Grove, where local vendors are stocked with treats both traditional and unusual, like apple popcorn, apple cider donuts, hot cider and apple fudge. Other festivities include live music on three stages, kids activities and games and daily apple pie-eating contests. Music headliners: Modern Day Romeos (Friday), Sixteen Candles (Saturday) and American English (Sunday).

Details: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday at 308 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove. $5; free for kids ages 12 and under. Free parking in public lots. / MAP


8. Satisfy

Do you have a mysterious rock, fossil or bird photo you’re curious to get more information about? Stop by ID Day at the Field Museum, where scientists are on hand for the fourth year to identify your interesting objects and answer questions about them. (Think of it as the science version of “Antiques Roadshow” – without the monetary appraisal.) Please, don’t bring in anything that’s alive or was recently, say organizers. And if you don’t have your own object to show, stop by to see and touch various museum specimens.

Details: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive. Free admission for Illinois residents. / MAP(© The Field Museum)

9. Listen up

Theater meets history meets empowerment when members of the newly created MC-10 Playwrights Ensemble take inspiration from the ACLU for “Use It Or Lose It: An Evening of Short Plays About Your Rights.” The one-night-only show takes on President Donald Trump’s travel ban, abortion, encounters with the TSA and other topics.

Details: 7 p.m. Saturday at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets are “pay what you want.” / MAP

Greenhouse Theater Center’s MC-10 Playwrights Ensemble, from left: Zayd Dohrn, Rebecca Gilman, Lydia Diamond, Julie Marie Myatt, Laura Schellhardt, Sandra Delgado, Brett Neveu, Thomas Bradshaw, Philip Dawkins and Tanya Palmer.

10. Jump

The countdown to Halloween is officially on as the doors of haunted houses creak slowly open. In Morton Grove, two new shows aim to raise your hair and elicit screams when House of Torment returns for the third year. A zombie cheerleader leads the freak fest in “Nightmare High: Fall Harvest,” while deadly insects and creatures run rampant in “The Swarm.” The attraction includes a cast of 75 actors and 50 “stunt personnel,” plus free parking. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Details: 8-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday at 8240 Austin Ave., Morton Grove. Continues on select dates through Nov. 4. $19.99-$32.99, plus tax. / MAP

(Courtesy of House of Torment)

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Second Chicago Architecture Biennial officially kicks off

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Architecture Biennial Artistic Directors Sharon Johnson and Mark Lee joined together to formally kick off the multi-month exhibition that will showcase the work of dozens of architects and designers from around the globe. With a theme of “Make New History,” this year’s Biennial will explore the role history plays in making new architecture.

Similar to the 2015 edition, this year’s Biennial will call the Chicago Cultural Center its home base. The Biennial will not only display works and exhibits from designers in the building, but the event will transform the Chicago Cultural Center itself by featuring several so-called legacy installations throughout the building’s interior atrium, corridors, and arcade.

In addition to its main hub at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Biennial will feature six neighborhood “anchor sites” outside of downtown. They include the Beverly Arts Center in the Beverly community, the DePaul Art Museum in Lincoln Park, the DuSable Museum of African American History in Washington Park, the Hyde Park Art Center in Hyde Park, the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen, and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture in Humboldt Park.

This year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial launch aligns with EXPO Chicago, Navy Pier’s annual art and design convention. Running through January 7, 2018, the Biennial will feature 141 participants from 20 countries and will showcase the work from local artists and designers such as Ania Jaworska, Daniel Everett, David Schalliol, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Marshall Brown, Norman Kelley, and many others. The full list of firms and artists participating in this year’s edition can be seen on the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s website.

5 things to do in Chicago this weekend

Riot Fest might be taking over town for the weekend, but there’s still plenty to do, and most of these activities are a whole lot quieter than the riotous fest.

Festival favorite at Music Box

“Columbus” has been one of the darlings of the film festival circuit this year, and it’s also been playing at Music Box Theatre for the last week. If you want to see it, Thursday is your last chance, with shows at 2 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The critically acclaimed drama hits close to home, literally, telling the story of a man who leaves Korea for a return to his Midwestern home in Columbus, Ind., to see his hospitalized, dying father and winds up connecting with a local woman over his dad’s death and her dreams. Tickets: $11 at musicboxtheatre.com.

Retro rummaging, all about Chicago

Fashion show from creator of Chano’s overalls

Let’s be honest: we’ve all noticed the overalls Chance the Rapper has been rocking occasionally, and we’re all jealous. It’s OK to admit it. Where did he get them? In true Chano fashion, the overalls came from another local, fashion designer Sheila Rashid, whose unisex brand includes the Rapper’s chic overalls. This weekend, you can see Rashid launch her full “Made and Delivered” collection—overalls included—at a fashion show 7 p.m. Friday at The Annex (1620 W. Chicago Ave.). The free show includes sounds spun by Chante’ Linwood, and champagne will be served. RSVP at sheilarashid.com.

Art on Pier-ade

Pizza god

Chef Gabriele Bonci is something of a singular savant when it comes to pizza. Italian Vogue dubbed him “the Michelangelo of pizza,” which comes pretty close to capturing Bonci’s stature when it comes to these pies. The Roman pizza maker recently blessed the West Loop with one of his signature pizzerias, and, at 6:30 p.m. Monday, he’ll be at SoHo House (113 N. Green St.) for a pizza-making party. The pizza is on the house, but bring money for sides and drinks. RSVP to EDNChicago@sohohouse.com.

Obama Foundation to host public meeting for Presidential Center plan

Obama Foundation

The Obama Foundation has announced that it will host a public meeting to discuss plans for the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park and to receive feedback from residents in attendance. According to the organization, the meeting will be held on Thursday, September 14 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place starting at 5:00 p.m.

A number of key Obama Foundation leaders and designers behind the planned Obama Presidential Center will participate in the public forum, including Michael Strautmanis, the foundation’s Vice President of Civic Engagement, Museum Director Louise Bernard, as well as lead architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien and lead landscape designer Michael Van Valkenburgh.

The public meeting comes after continued frustration surrounding the planning of the presidential museum and library campus, specifically the closed-door nature of previous discussions and events. Last week, the Chicago Sun-Times published an editorial by reporter John Vukmirovich who compares the planning for the Obama Presidential Center to the fictional narrative from the film Chinatown.

“For the past year or so, I have been fretting over the placement of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park, and what that might mean for the taxpayers, regarding not only the “add-ons” that have been made public, but also regarding the fundamental issue at the heart of that project: the turning over of a considerable section of public land to the control of a private concern,” Vukmirovich writes for the Sun-Times. “It’s a done deal and has been for some time, and the now-rising demand for information on the part of community groups and the Sun-Times is just a lot of shrugging, sighing and snorting.”

Obama Foundation

Indeed, concerns over the nature of the planning and the deal with the city have been ongoing since the Obamas selected Chicago for their library and museum campus. Last month, the Obama Foundation announced that the organization would be paying to build its own parking garage for the Obama Presidential Center. The move means that the Obama Foundation will be seeking three to four more public land for the campus project.

However, there are still questions surrounding other logistics like traffic, the removal of hundreds of trees, and the final design for the buildings on the campus.

“As for the more recent news about the Obama Foundation offering to pay for the building of an above-ground parking garage on city land on Midway Plaisance, will the Foundation pay the city for that land, and if so, at what price?” Vukmirovich asks in his recent Sun-Times editorial. “Or, is this another example of a public land giveaway, and are more such giveaways on the horizon?”