If hip hop isn’t your speed, check out the World Music Festival, which runs this week through Thursday. Performances will be held at a variety of venues throughout the city, showcasing a variety of traditional and contemporary music from various cultures. Many of the performances are free, so check out the Web site for more information.
Finally, there’s a lot of buzz about Chicago Gourmet. Think Taste of Chicago, only indoors — and less sweaty people. The organizers describe it as a celebration of food, wine and city’s rich culinary history. Chefs will be coming from all over the world to showcase their skills, so be sure to check it out. Log on to ChicagoGourmet.org for more information.
For this week’s segment we headed to the Windy City Wine Festival to talk about some of the events coming up this week. I’ve never personally been to the Universoul Circus, but I’m told it’s quite the spectacle. It kicks off Wednesday in Washington Park. Think about your traditional circus under the big top, but with an added international and urban edge. Log onto to http://www.universoulcircus.com for more information or call (773) 256-1248.
It may be September, but it’s never too early to get a jump on Oktoberfest. Berghoff Restaurant will help you in that respect, with an Oktoberfest celebration running Wednesday through Friday this week at Federal Plaza Square (219 S. Dearborn St.). The free event features live music, food, drinks and raffles. You may have to sneak out of work for this one, as the festivities kick off at 11:45 a.m. each day and the last band takes the stage at 5 p.m.
If you wanted to do something outside of the city limits next weekend, Wheaton is a good option for the DuPage County Fall Festival. This free festival features a 5k run and walk, food vendors, a craft fair, a car show, live music and much more. It will be held Saturday at the DuPage Convalescent Center (400 N. County Farm Road). Call (630) 784-4495 for more information.
Morton’s Steakhouse was good enough to let us use their Wacker Street location for our Word On The Street segment this week. Morton’s is without question one of the contenders in the “best Chicago steak” debate, but over time I’ve learned it’s also a great place for happy hour, with daily bar specials making it also easier on the wallet.
As for the events on tap, it looks like the Wine Crush in Old Town is a good bet next weekend. Wells Street will be transformed into a European-style market with food from local restaurants, tastings, fashions shows and a grape stomping competition.
This week’s Word On The Street segment took us to the brand new Dana Spa and Hotel, a Chicago owned and operated facility located at 660 N. State St. The word “Dana” translates in Sanskrit to “the pleasure of giving,” which is what the operators of this swanky new establishment try to deliver.
The hotel is set up to be a refuge from all the hustle and bustle from the busy downtown streets surrounding it. Along with the plush rooms, the spa offers a full range of treatments. The hotel restaurant, Ajasteak, is looking to put its stamp on the city’s culinary map. Think of it as a traditional steakhouse with an Asian twist. Make sure you check out their signature floating sushi bar, located on the first and second floors.
Gen Art Chicago Film Festival
Five movies, five nights, five after-parties. It can only mean the second annual Gen Art Chicago Film Festival. The festival kicks off Monday, with the opening night event being held at The Music Box, 3733 N Southport.
Two of the stars of the opening night movie, Bart Got A Room, will be at the Opening Night event — Alisa Shawkat (star of the upcoming Arrested Development movie), and Steve Kaplan.
A $75 pass gets you into all five nights of activities, including the after-parties.
Check out an interview about the festival with one of the organizers.
Taste Of Chicago
What more can you say about the Taste of Chicago? It’s one of Chicago’s most famous events, even though many locals turn up their nose at the over-the-top sweat-fest.
But pick your spots and Taste can be a great time (like playing hooky from work and going during the day when it’s less-crowded).
The music lineup is pretty stellar this year, with Stevie Wonder, Chaka Kahn, Joss Stone, Bonnie Raitt and more taking to the stage.
For this week’s “Word On The Street” segment, we hit Stretch Run Sports Club & Grille, an off track betting facility in River North.
Stretch Run will no doubt be the place to be next Saturday, when Big Brown tries to complete the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes. In short, this place is a guy’s dream. TVs, TVs and more TVs, all playing sports from all over the world. Plus food. And beer.
For the fourth consecutive year, the “Streets of Chicago” Hair and Fashion Show will be held to benefit a local charity. The team behind Sine Qua Non Salon are behind the looks at the fashion show, which will also showcase local fashion designers.
Project Runways “Steven Rosengard” will also be on hand as a special guest designer.
If you want to go, you have to act quickly. The event will be held at the Victor Hotel on Sunday, and starts with a 6:30-7:30pm complimentary cocktail hour, followed by the fashion show which includes a multi-media presentation and live DJ.
For this week’s ”Word On The Street” segment we hit Park 52, a welcome addition to Hyde Park’s culinary scene. Designer/owner Jerry Kleiner again teams with Marc Brooks to put their signature stamp on this space.
When you walk in Park 52′s circular rotating main door, you’re immediately reminded of this duo’s previous collaboration, South Loop’s Room 21. Think rich reds and plush, velvety accoutrements in the design, along with the signature Kleiner hand-made silk shantung lighting fixtures. Be sure to check out the high fashion and celebrity photography in black and white and color. Jerry doesn’t spare any detail in his projects, and will not rush any restaurant into opening until his vision is reached — in design, food and service.
Executive Chef Chris Barron (Opera, Red Light, Ritz Carlton, Beverly Hilton, Border Grill, Park Hyatt) and Sous Chef Matt Moss (Cascina Langa Italy, Crofton on Wells, Butter) are behind the food, described as an American bistro dinner menu. Beginning in June, the chefs will buy ingredients from Hyde Park’s weekly Farmer’s Market and incorporate it into the menu.
5201 S. Harper Ct
No Country For Old White Men
Second City is without question one of Chicago’s treasures, and the launching pad for a countless amount of comedians who later went on to the “big time.” And as on SNL — where some of these performers could end up one day — politics seem to be the easiest fodder for laughs.
The previous show, “Between Barack and a Hard Place” was a resounding success, and the current production, “No Country For Old White Men,” mines the same topical, political satire. This from the press release:
“From a You Tube electorate grabbing their 15 minutes of fame to a rare US visit by the British House of Commons, No Country for Old White Men is trading in its Cadillac and country club membership for some sweet soul food and a side of girl power.”
Tickets for No Country for Old White Men are available by phone at (312) 337-3992 or online at www.secondcity.com.
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