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Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.

Much to the delight of theater fans, Chicago Shakespeare Theater has completed construction on quite the new addition: The Yard is the newest theater at Chicago Shakespeare's expansive Navy Pier campus. Chicago Shakespeare now boasts three theater spaces; in addition to the Courtyard Theater and the theater Upstairs, The Yard is the newest venue. The ribbon cutting ceremony took place on September 12, and the first production, James Thierrée's The Toad Knew, is set to open on September 19.

Located in a chic new building where State and Rush converge in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood, Maple & Ash continues to receive attention as one of the city’s compelling new steakhouses, with an outside seating area that draws looks from passers-by and a menu curated by Chef Danny Grant that has received thoughtful accolades from all corners.

We are gearing up for an exciting fall season, but first we've got to get our last bits of summer through a number of outdoor activities this weekend — soak it all in with this urban explorer itinerary. Then stop by the many creative (Expo Chicago & Chicago Architecture Biennial top the list) and exciting events (from Riot Fest to Taco Fest) throughout the warm afternoons before topping off the night at one of the fun concerts (Ed Sheerin is in town, plus several world music headliners). Come and join the party! Here are ten things to do in Chicago this weekend.

VeganMania is Chicago's premier celebration of all things vegan and wonderful. From cooking demos to veggie-focused workshops and of course, delicious treats galore, there's something for everyone at this foodie fest Even if you're not vegan, it makes for a wonderful opportunity for anyone looking to incorporate more fruits, veggies, and meat-free items into a daily diet. 

Chicago has so many wonderful summer festivals with every weekend in June, July and August packed with a festival for every taste, cuisine and musical genre. Thankfully, the fun doesn't end Labor Day weekend. There are plenty of wonderful, fall festivals planned in neighborhoods across the city. Here are three kid-friendly, fall festivals in Chicago you won't want to miss this autumn. 

What makes a great public transit facility, you ask? I'd say it is a well-lit space to wait for the next train, combined with compelling architecture, public art, and easy access for people with physical handicaps.

Such a station now graces the eastern side of the Loop 'L' trains, as the stunning Washington/Wabash Station opened for use by visitors and Chicagoans on August 31, 2017. It’s the first new station in the Loop since 1997, and rave reviews continue to come in from architectural magazines, transit wonks, and a range of other outlets.

Cochon555 Comes to Chicago

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 2:00 PM by Amber Gibson

Pork lovers, get ready. On October 1,14 chefs from 14 cities across the country will face off in Chicago for Grand Cochon, the epic national finale of Cochon555, a head-to-tail cooking competition that crowns the winning chef “King or Queen of Porc.” In anticipation of the event, we talked to Travelle Kitchen + Bar's Chef Ricardo Jarquin, hometown favorite, about his love of all things pork and his plans for taking home the crown. 

As we continue to support Chicago's Year of Public Art, I thought of Chicago's Fabulous Fountains, which happens to be a new book by local author Greg Borzo. Greg has written about a vast range of Windy City topics over the years, and he's one of the go-to experts when people want thoughtful commentary on such matters. I reached out to Greg to ask him a few questions about his favorite fountains and how these unique objects contribute to Chicago's public art landscape. 

The largest architecture and design exhibition in North America returns to Chicago on September 16, with the second edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Over 141 designers and architects representing 20 countries will address the theme "Make New History," by presenting drawings, installations, events and "immersive environments" at the Chicago Cultural Center and six off-site community locations. The main biennial at the Cultural Center is FREE and open to the public through January 7, 2018.

Check out a few of the highlights of this dazzling showcase of new perspectives, images, buildings and plans.

Mushroom Mania

Monday, September 11, 2017 9:00 AM by Amber Gibson

It's National Mushroom Month in September and Chicago chefs are having fun with fungus in a variety of tasty dishes.

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