Cool stuff I’ve done that you should do, too: Part IV*

We all know I love exploring Chicago – so why not share that love with all of you? If you’re looking for things to do to help you prolong summer, here’s a list of some fun things I’ve done in the past month or so that I would recommend.

Full Moon Fire and Drum Jam

Apparently once a month during the summer, Chicagoans become werewolves. Well, maybe not werewolves, but they sure act strange around the full moon. At the Full Moon Fire and Drum Jam, held once a month near the Foster Avenue Beach, attendees are mesmerized by talented fire spinners and are hypnotized by the beat of drums around the circle. When I attended on Sept. 12, I was one of hundreds of people enjoying the sights and sounds – dozens of whom brought their own drums and probably a dozen more who participated in the performance. I don’t know much about the origin of this event, nor about its sponsors, but it seems to be growing in size since its inception in 2004, according to their website. The fire spinners make it look easy — I’m good at hula hooping (I used to win all the bar mitzvah party hula hoop contests), so how hard could it be to hula hoop with a hoop of fire? Save the date for the last jam of the year on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 6:15 p.m. – but be the cool kids who arrive fashionably late to the party, because the night won’t really gear up until 8 p.m. or so.

2905 N Clark Street, Chicago

After the fire jam, all you’re going to be able to think about is an authentic European waffle from Baladoche. I’ve written about this place before, but that was before I tried the waffle. I also won’t tell you how many times I ate there this week, but let’s just say it was more than once, but don’t be ridiculous, it was certainly not three times. Baladoche prides itself on being really European, and even prefers if you can pay in euros (man, I always leave my euros in my other purse!). Enjoy a fresh waffle with gelato, cinnamon and sugar, nutella, cookie spread, or whipped cream, each dessert with its own mildly suggestive name. I’ll admit that I loved their “booty call,” a waffle with cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla gelato. This place makes all of Clark Street smell like chocolate, and if that doesn’t lure you in, surely the actors-by-day-waiters-by-night employees will entice you with their free samples. This is a great choice if you just want a real, pure dessert and you don’t think that Italian ice will cut it (if there ever is such a night!). Who’s coming back with me next week?

Women Are Crazy Because Men Are A**holes
The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago

The title pretty much says what we’ve all been thinking, and so does this play. We follow the humorous, sad, and scandalous stories of five couples as they come together, break apart, and explore what it means to be with someone of the opposite species – I mean, gender. You’ll wonder if this play was written for you and your last boyfriend/girlfriend – and it probably was. This play was good, but not worth paying full price; make sure to get your tickets on Hottix and catch the show before it leaves on Sept. 25.

We Live Here
The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago

Yeah, I guess I saw two plays at the Greenhouse Theater Center in  two weeks. You’re already too late to see this play (sorry!), but you would have loved it. This show is an in-depth look at Chicago from the perspective of eight residents’ monologues. They each have a story relating to the city – why they first moved here, a love that never happened here, their sympathy toward Steve Bartman. They showed how the city is so much a part of who they are. The play’s final message is what I’ve been telling everyone all these years – it may get cold in Chicago, the traffic may be bad, and our sports teams may leave something to be desired; but all in all, we are lucky to be living in this cultural epicenter, this magical city, the best city on the planet. If “We Live Here” ever comes back to town, you should wear your Chicagoness on your sleeves and check it out.

Randolph Street Market Festival
1340 W. Washington, Chicago

I’m not one to go “antiquing,” but this antique festival was certainly a lot of fun. At this summer festival that takes place monthly, you’ll see more tchotchkes and knickknacks than you ever knew existed. It’s a great place for costumes, old art, or that perfect vase that completes your eclectic collection. You’ll find old-fashioned typewriters, lawn animals of all shapes and colors, jewelry, old books, and things that you’re not quite sure if they are considered “art” or just “weird.” And if you’re like me and you’re obsessed with Chicago, the Wizard of Oz, and the Beatles (come on, who isn’t obsessed with those things?), you’ll find lots of artifacts to keep you busy. If you missed the Groupon to get in for $4, it’s still probably worth the $10 just to be a part of the antiquing experience.

What are you waiting for? Go re-live my life from the past month!

*Click here for my last installment of “Cool Stuff.”


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