Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Stellar Weekend in the City

There are weekends you rest, there are weekends you have to work. There are weekends you travel. And then there are those weekends you spend with your favorite people, stay up till all hours multiple nights in a row, and have to end up reluctantly, sluggishly dragging yourself to work on Monday, with a smirk on your face you can't wipe off.

This past weekend was one of those weekends.

With georgeously warm, clear weather Friday, Saturday AND Sunday, I made the best of it by taking advantage of some of the best Chicago has to offer.

Friday night, my roommate Laurel and I went to Mix Bar (on Diversey & Halsted) for the Young Professionals of Chicago's annual "Summer Soiree" fundraiser. For a mere $40, we were fed, watered (with a top shelf open bar), and provided great company. It think these guys have a great idea going as far as fundraising goes too: they know their target audience, and they know that they're going to do better charging $40 to get in (with a raffle & silent auction), than they will with a $120 a plate black-tie event. Anyway, it was loads of fun.

Saturday, I slept in then met Amy to throw around a frisbee in Oz Park, which is up the street from my apartment. It has a lovely big field, just perfect for tossing a disc. When we got tired, we headed down to Wells St. to check out the Old Town Art Fair... which we didn't realize was a Dillo Day style drinking-fest until we got there. Yes, there was a lot of lovely art that I only wish I could afford. And there was festival food-- I got a BBQ Chicken Sandwich and then Amy and I split some Chocolate Dipped Strawberries On a Stick... mmm. The only downside to the fair was that it was horriffically crowded and every bar was totally packed to overflowing. Now that we know what the scene is, we'll have to plan ahead to get there earlier next year! Nevertheless, it was fun to check out.

headed out to the Chicago Brauhaus in Lincoln Square with a posse of my college friends for some boot-drinking good times. The Chicago Brauhaus, little did we know, is a kind of family-type restaurant with authentic German roots-- they're apparently known for their brat selection, and for their schnitzel. However, it was the giant glass boots of Spaten that we came for-- and enjoyed. If you've seen the movie Beerfest, you'll know what I'm talking about. The rules of the boot are simple:

1) the toe must always point toward the middle of the table
2) the boot can never touch the ground / table until it's empty
3) after you drink of the boot, you must flick the boot before you pass it to the person next to you.

Kind of like communion at church.... but not.

After the boots had done us in, we happily cabbed down to the Cubby Bear to see Mike & Joe, of course. There was no line at the door which was a welcome surprise, but the place was hopping as usual. It was a great set list that night as well-- I always tell people Mike & Joe are like the best mix tape only live, and I mean it-- they not only play good music, but they know how to line their songs up. Just when you think you've heard the best song of the night, they kick it up a notch. Never fails to impress!

Sunday morning I slept in, then miraculously willed myself to run 6 miles. After nursing my sore-from-singing vocal cords with some tea, it was off to the main event of the weekend: FALL OUT BOY, +44, THE ACADEMY IS..., and COBRA STARSHIP at the Charter One Pavillion on Northerly Island (also called Mag's Field... it's right on the lake by Soldier Field). Sadly Amy and I got there just in time to MISS Cobra Starship... big tears... but TAI, +44, and of course FALL OUT BOY rocked my socks off. Oh yeah, and even LUPE FIASCO made a surprise guest appearance in the middle of Fall Out Boy's set... wicked!! The show was all pyrotechnics, big stage antics, seizure-inducing jumbo-screen visuals, screaming thirteen year olds, and SO much fun. Thanks to our friend Morgan, who INSISTED we must brave the crowds and get close to the front, we had a great view. And the performance itself was spectacular-- Patrick Stump was spot on, even in his killer rendition of Michael Jackson's Beat It. Man that guy can hit the high notes! And I sang along with every one... at the top of my lungs.

Needless to say, on Monday morning I dragged myself and my lost-voice out of bed and to work... but I couldn't wipe the smirk off my face all day.

Thank god for weekends like this. I love Chicago.

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