Chicago List: Out of Hibernation

It’s been a while since I drafted a new list of things to do around the city. With summer ramping up, it seemed a perfect time to build out something fresh, a brand new list of what I’m looking forward to doing and seeing and experiencing as the city comes out of hibernation.

The 3 Arts Club Cafe in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood

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Preview: Chicago Critics Film Festival

Though the heyday of Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel has passed, Chicago boasts a strong showing in film criticism these days. The guys (because it’s mainly guys) who make up the Chicago Film Critics Association work hard across outlets to cover film releases and happenings around the city.

On Friday, their fifth annual Chicago Critics Film Festival kicks off a week of screenings at Chicago’s classic Music Box Theater. A small festival by any measure – no galas, no panels, no frills – it’s big where it matters: the movies. More than twenty features will screen over the course of a week, and for those of us keeping track of these kinds of things, they’re two dozen great films.

With such a fantastic line-up heading to a theater within walking distance (a long walk, but still), my plans include at least one film a day (and one day with three!). Here’s what I’ll be seeing: Continue reading “Preview: Chicago Critics Film Festival”

Two for Two: Logan Square

After a really wonderful time away (see here), it honestly wasn’t until I was on the plane back to the U.S. that I started thinking about, you know, being back in the U.S. That first week was fairly chill (as have been the subsequent weeks, too). I may get into that side of things in a future post, but for now I want to focus on much more important matters: food.

As it happened, I had two separate plans for the weekend after I returned. One, a chance to catch up over dinner before a friend jetted off on her own travels. The other, brunch with my cousin who’d been feeding my cat, so I could get my keys back and check out a local gallery he was interested in.

Both occasions took us to Logan Square, that hip, quickly-gentrifying neighborhood on Chicago’s northwest side. Indeed, when I moved back to the city two years ago and inquired with locals what neighborhood might be the closes to my dear Williamsburg, to a person they all said Logan Square.

And they’re not entirely wrong. On the cusp of becoming so cool it’s not cool anymore, Logan Square is just north of the famed Wicker Park, that hipster bastion of yesteryear (you know, like 2010). Everyone who can’t afford it these days is going just a few stops up the Blue Line to Logan Square, with its tree-lined boulevards, indie coffee shops, brick two-flats and great restaurants.

I don’t get to this trendy area as often as I’d like. For one, I’m off an entirely different train line. And also, my natural state is solo Netflix bingeing from my couch. (Kidding…I think.) My point is, I was glad for the excuse to enjoy good food with great company at new-to-me spots.

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