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Chicago Like a Local Blog

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

Tag - Chicago Friday Night Flights

The leaves aren't the only thing changing in Chicago right now. Michigan Avenue is preparing for the opening of a flagship Apple store, and we're all planning out which identities we'll assume for Halloween festivities ahead of October 31. It finally feels as though we're settling into the brisker weather, so we're glad so many of this weekend's events are cozy, indoor ventures. 

Like much of pre-19th Century Chicago, Ravenswood (once part of Lakeview Township) was inhabited by various Native American tribes. Modern day Clark street was once an important trail, named Green Bay Trail, that led to Green Bay, Wisconsin.  By the mid-1800s, Chicago was growing and the population was booming. Real estate planners sought ways to make a buck while offering residents an escape fro the hustle and bustle of the city.  Many of our city’s neighborhoods developed in this fashion, and Ravenswood—which was to become the home to Chicago brewery Band of Bohemia—was a first of its kind. 

As August cruises toward an end, we’re taking advantage of some of the last summertime street festivals and outdoor events in Chicago. If you don’t catch us running around these events in Chicago this weekend, you might find us eating alfresco on one of these off-the-path patios or indulging in these desserts unique to the city. Header photo credit: lizzyfay.com 

In recent years, the West Loop has been one of the hottest tickets in town. Restaurateurs and real estate developers have transformed the area into a vibrant space where local and tourist foodies alike descend for a delectable bite. But the area has always had a rich culinary history. And while this particular community is new, the concept of community in the neighborhood is one that is strongly rooted in the past.

Summer is still in full swing, Chicago! Although the school year season is creeping closer, the summer adventures aren't over and the great weather is something to take advantage of. From craft beers to Chicago-style hot dogs to a bug exhibit to a handful of cultural celebrations, this weekend has something for everyone. Other than the packed list of things to do in Chicago this weekend below, there is also a handful of August festivals to keep your eye out for. 

Summer is flying by, Chicago! July is now over halfway done and if you haven’t had the chance to experience a craft beer event, this weekend is a perfect opportunity. Friday Night Flights continues downtown and Chicago Craft Beer Festival is joining with a music and garden event in Lincoln Park. Beer is not the only thing being highlighted this weekend. A Michigan Avenue art fest and a River North tasting event will be open to visitors of all ages. Add the list of events below to your calendar and don’t forget to check out our July list of festivals and August list of festivals to look forward to for the rest of the summer!

Drinking in the Vice

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 5:00 PM by Liz Garibay

In the late 1800s, all of Chicago was booming. The city was re-building and growing in ways that were unthinkable. No matter the industry, opportunity was available for any and all. And as much as the good was thriving, the bad did too. 

Vice districts flourished in all major urban centers, and Chicago had her fair share. The most infamous of them all, The Levee, was located in modern day South Loop. It was here that Chicago would come to gamble, drink, and visit an assortment of brothels. Aldermen Hinky Dink Kenna and Bathhouse John Coughlin ran the successful First Ward and advocated for its existence. Thanks to Karen Abbott’s insightful book, Sin In The Second City, you can read all about the unique cast of characters that once were. And if you want to throw back a few where some of this history sultry history happened, head on over to Vice District Brewing (1454 S Michigan Ave). 

As Chicagoans, we are often inspired by our city. The people and places of both the past and present seem to influence much of what we do. From fires to fairs, our history is varied, and complicated. And perhaps one tale from our rich past is the one that has affected us the most. The Great Chicago Fire was such a pivotal moment for us that we honor it with a star on our beloved flag. It was a time of tragedy, yet it was a time for a rebirth. When I first encountered Burnt City Brewing in Lincoln Park, I was singed with curiosity. And then I got it. And I appreciated it. Not just because of a fire, but because beer. And history.

After a long holiday weekend behind us and a short work week finishing up, the weekend is coming up fast. Chicago is full of fun attractions and sightseeing (by boat? yes please!), but summer is also packed with festivals and events to enjoy in the warm weather. To craft a perfect itinerary, work your way through the summer essentials bucket list and see all the weekend happenings below, from the city’s biggest and best food fest (that would be Taste of Chicago of course) to margaritas to top-ranked art. Millennium Park and Navy Pier are hosting an array of fun things to do in Chicago this weekend too, so don't forget to check their always-packed calendars.

Beer lovers, rejoice! It’s a great time to be alive!  This could have been a headline in 1890s Chicago when our town was one of the biggest producers of beer during the late 19th Century.  And lucky for us, history repeats itself.  Today we are in the midst of the greatest beer producing period in American history.  Walk in any direction and you’ll undoubtedly find a brewery within half a mile.  As a historian, it’s fun to think about how the past influences our present.  And as a beer historian, it’s pretty special to reflect on recent beer history.

In thinking about the modern era of Chicago beer, there are certain breweries that were true pioneers.  Piece Pizzeria & Brewery (1927 W. North Avenue) opened in Wicker Park in 2001, at a time when the city of Chicago had only one other brewery (waves at Goose Island).  A brewery in Wicker Park may have seemed novel 16 years ago, but 116 years ago, not so much.

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