What's going on in Chicago?
April 9, 2005 9:03 AM   Subscribe

I'm taking a trip to Chicago one of two weekends this month, and I need help choosing which...

I've got two blocks of time free-
April 16-19th, or April 23-26th. I've read every ask.metafilter thread about Chicago, so I know the general consensus on places to go. I've looked at Gaper's Block, the Chicago Reader, and a plethora of venue-specific websites, hoping to find a show or an event that would seal the deal, but didn't.

If there's anything really interesting, any great shows or events in these two times, I'd love to know. I'm interested in art (mostly contemporary, and particularly digital or electronic), music (electronic, but not DJs, really, also indie, rock), and anything science-related. I did see that Korperwelten will be at the Science Museum and I'm definitely checking that out.

Oh yeah, 23, male, single, broke/cheap. Willing to try just about anything, on your recommendation. Would love to meet/see any of you.
posted by fake to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (11 answers total)
How late can you decide? I know this sounds mundane, but the weather is a pretty significant factor. There's no place nicer than Chicago on a nice spring/summer day, but it can be pretty unpleasent to be outside when it's crappy. I'd err on the side of the later weekend if you have to pick now and there aren't any other factors.
posted by true at 9:34 AM on April 9, 2005

Try taking a look at Metromix.com if you haven't already - you can specify which dates you want to know what's going on. The only things I have on my calendar right now for those two weekends is Andrew Bird (a local guy) playing at Metro with some others on the 16th - he's supposed to be good, though I haven't seen him. And there's Carbon Leaf at Martyrs on the 23rd, if you like them.

Have you checked the smaller venues for concerts? Martyr's, Schuba's, the Abbey Pub, Bottom Lounge.... I agree with true on trying to get good weather.

Email me if you have any questions (bandy.chi at sbcbglobal dot net) - I should hopefully be able to at least point you in the right direction. :-)
posted by bibbit at 9:38 AM on April 9, 2005

Go the second week. The Cubs are in town.

Seriously, Wrigley is a fun way to spend a few hours. The first time I drove across the US I stopped in Chicago, and as luck would have it, the Cubs were playing. I got to Wrigley sometime around the third inning, stepped off the El and was greeted by dozens of scalpers. I picked one couple that seemed the least sketchy and asked how much they wanted for their tickets; they just handed them to me for free because they had to leave early. Third row in from the third base line. The minute I sat down, Sosa stepped up and hit a home run. Chicago peeps are nice peeps.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:00 AM on April 9, 2005

While you're doing all that, check out three of my favorite bars on the planet:

Delilah's - best punk rock jukebox ever and excellent selection of beers (Lincoln & Diversey)
The Rainbo Club - indie music on PA and cheap, cheap drinks (Damon & North)
The Matchbox - best scratch bloody maries and margs in town (Milwaukee & Chicago)
posted by psmealey at 11:10 AM on April 9, 2005

Also in terms of bars I'll reveal my favorites: the Hideout which is very fun, and the Skylark, both divey.

The weather is great right now, so spending time in Chicago's great parks which include the lakefront and "the emerald necklace" is so very pleasant. The latter is the chain of parks that make their way through the Hyde Park, Jackson Park and Washington Park South Side neighborhoods.

The Shedd Aquarium is possibly my favorite place to be in Chicago in all my 20+ years of living there. It is very much worth the admission fee, packed with magical dark tanks, and new shark exhibit where the tank arches over your head. The Lincoln Park Conservatory is possibly number 2.

Half an hour drive southeast are the Indiana Dunes.

Restaurants: the Lula Cafe where you will not be disappointed in the food, cool people and atmosphere, and art; I had the best meal I have ever eaten in my life there (and am a discerning eater). The Penguin for Argentinian, completely authentic gelato.
posted by scazza at 12:36 PM on April 9, 2005

By the way, it's good that you've found the Chicago Reader and Gaper's Block as they will be your best sources for good reccommendations of current events.
posted by scazza at 12:37 PM on April 9, 2005

a correction: the Rainbo is at Damon and Division (how quickly goes memory, it's only been a year since I left Chicago).

As far as music clubs go, my favorite is the Empty Bottle, which usually has a pretty good cross section of indie and experimental or electronic stuff (they even have an avant garde jazz night). The Double Door has great sound, but mostly only features red meat rock acts. I'll also second the Hideout, both for drinking and seeing music.
posted by psmealey at 2:48 PM on April 9, 2005

Ditto on the Empty Bottle. Back when I lived in Chicago (some years ago) it was the coolest place in town.
posted by sic at 3:07 PM on April 9, 2005

If you like indy bands, Shuba's is your place. Also, check out Time Out Chicago for things going on in town.
posted by cajo at 3:12 PM on April 9, 2005

Thanks everyone... I'm still not decided, but I've got a lot more to choose from.
posted by fake at 6:44 AM on April 10, 2005

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