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Happy birthday, James Van Der Beek! What former teen (not really, Dawson’s Creek premiered in 1998 when Van Der Beek was 20 but you know what we mean) has a better sense of humor and sense of self than Van Der Beek! He’s great and underutilized and why aren’t there more roles for attractive, blue eyed, dirty blonde hair men?

Also, tell all your friends to subscribe to the Chicago mailing list. We gave away tickets to Chicago mailing list subscribers.



We write stuff. Here’s some of that stuff from the last week that may be applicable to your preferences



ACTIVE: Reach Yoga’s Yoga+Music series is doing an all-Bowie night. Get real stretched out while vibing to the Thin White Duke himself.

CULTURE: Head to the Art Institute of Chicago for part two of their How To Draw In Museums series, which explores the more in-depth approaches and techniques that can be used when visiting an art museum for creative inspiration.

FILM: There’s few things more enjoyable out there than the Animation Show of Shows, a feature-length collection of some of the most exciting and innovative animated shorts released in the last year, plus a few rarely-seen gems from years past. Get over to the Siskel Film Center, this is the last showing of the run!

FOOD + DRINK: Estelle’s Café and Lounge is celebrating International Women’s Day with their friends at Jameson, buying everyone a free shot between 9 and 11 tonight! What a way to honor the day.

FREE: Wrigleyville’s only good bar, Gman Tavern, hosts a listening party in partnership with Vinyl Me, Please, showcasing their latest reissue, Beach House’s Devotion. Go hang out and maybe win a copy of the record!

MUSIC: Activists/punk rockers/shit stirrers Pussy Riot headlines Beat Kitchen tonight, with special guests Nikki Lynette and Dorian Electra. The best!

OUTSIDE: Get to know your city a bit better by taking a walking tour of Chicago along Route 66. It’s nice to act like a tourist in your home city sometimes!

STAGE: The Museum of Broadcast Communications hosts a panel discussion entitled Conversations in Comedy: SNL & The Second City, featuring guests like Tim Kazurinsky, Kelly Leonard, and Beth Kligerman from Second City and more!

STAY IN: What if you just went and grabbed a copy of Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride, released earlier this week, and just absolutely devoured it at home tonight? This sensitive, emotionally raw memoir has already received rave reviews from Harper’s, Publishers Weekly, and more. Go grab a copy!



ACTIVE: 360 Chicago’s got another chance for you to go up like 90+ stories into the sky and then do some damn yoga. It’s an hour-long class on the 94th floor of the Hancock Building!

CULTURE: Cheney Mansion in Oak Park hosts an event from the folks at The Murder Mystery Co., an interactive murder mystery called Midnight at the Masquerade. Navigate the upper echelons of high society while solving a thrilling mystery, you know?

FILM: The Chicago Feminist Film Festival at Film Row Cinema at Columbia College wraps up today with screenings of Ky Dickens’ Zero Weeks and a series of short films throughout the day.

FOOD + DRINK: In honor of the impending St. Patrick’s Day apocalypse coming to the city in the next week or so, Replay Lincoln Park is dressing up as Paddy’s Pub from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, complete with a Philly food, Sunny-­themed cocktails, and a live performance of The Nightman Cometh.

FREE: Everyone should experience Pilsen’s Second Fridays art walk at least once. It’s a ton of fun and showcases galleries from amazing established and up-and-coming artists alike!

MUSIC: The Empty Bottle hosts the 10th Annual Dre Day celebration, a party in honor of Dr. Dre’s massive legacy, with performances from Low Down Brass Band, Rich Jones, Psalm One, and more! Expect giveaways, a crip walk contest, and other general insanity!

OUTSIDE: Explore Chicago and solve puzzles over a three hour app-guided scavenger hunt. The Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure Chicago is another novel way to see your city with fresh eyes.

STAGE: High quality comedy/experimental music freakshow Helltrap Nightmare returns to the Hideout with an amazingly stacked bill, featuring LA-based comic Jamie Loftus and NYC-based comics Mitra Jouhari and Rebecca O’Neal, with musical guests Good Willsmith. Yer not gonna find a better bill than this one, folks.

STAY IN: Imported BBC miniseries Collateral comes to Netflix tonight, why not get a jump on your impending weekend binge of this dense crime series starring Carey Mulligan, John Simm, and Nicola Walter.


ACTIVE: Ecstatic Dance Night is back for another evening of meditative, transcendence-inducing dance workshops. Shake your butt while attaining higher levels of consciousness, my dude.

CULTURE: The Oriental Institute Museum hosts a celebration of the upcoming Persian New Year, where you can enjoy food and festivities while exploring this hidden gem of a facility.

FILM: The Music Box Theatre’s got a one-time-only screening of the 1918 film Little Orphant Annie, a surreal, inventive silent film accompanied by a live score from the Music Box’s house organist. This movie is god damned 100 years old. Go see it!

FOOD + DRINK: Alter Brewing Company in Downers Grove has got a Beer & Cheese Social planned for you. You love cheese and beer and have been meaning to find an excuse to go out to Downers Grove!

FREE: The Chicago Handmade Market returns to the Empty Bottle, boasting 30+ local vendors showcasing their artisanal wares! Go browse stuff for free but also please consider buying things and supporting your local arts community!

MUSIC: The Hideout’s Annual SXSW Send Off Party is a nice way to bid adieu to some of the many bands from Chicago heading south to Austin for SXSW. Catch sets from buzzy locals like Varsity, Bunny, Pixel Grip, and more!

OUTSIDE: The folks from Goose Island and Do 312 have teamed up for a special celebration of our hometown with a series of Chicago-centric activities, for example a 312-sanctioned trip on the Chicago Architecture Tours on their iconic double decker buses.

STAGE: Local comedy collective The Nerdologues celebrate eight years of geekery with an anniversary party/album release show at the Cards Against Humanity Theatre. Free admission with a purchase of their new album!

STAY IN: Okay so you can only watch the Great British Bake Off so many times on repeat, you’ll eventually have every line memorized and you’ll begin to yearn for another pleasant, charming show based around the art of baking. Enter Nailed It, a new series on Netflix where charming home cooks with iffy-at-best records of success compete to rise above the competition.


ACTIVE: Go for a damn competitive jog on the South Side for the Emerald Isle Mile, a one-mile race down Western Avenue. Winner gets a gift card to sportswear shop Running Excels!

CULTURE: The Block Museum in Evanston’s got a free tour available for anyone interested in learning more and gaining deeper context for their current exhibits. What better way to explore this well-loved gallery?

FILM: The Music Box’s ongoing series of employee-selected matinee screenings returns with a showing of the influential early ‘90s indie auteur flick My Own Private Idaho.

FOOD + DRINK: Logan Square cocktail mainstay Scofflaw turns 6 this year, so help celebrate their foray into late-early childhood at their fun looking party! Drink specials, raffles, and live music are among the many things you can expect here.

FREE: Open Books has a free to enter Buffy The Vampire Slayer trivia night, so if you have a good memory of minutiae from a 90s horror sci fi TV series, here’s your chance to thrive!

MUSIC: The Beauty Bar’s Emo vs. Pop Punk night returns: two subgenres enter, one subgenre wins, everyone has fun remembering the music they listened to in middle school.

OUTSIDE: Offbeat travel folks Atlas Obscura have coordinated a walk through one of Chicago’s oldest cemeteries, the Rosehill Cemetery, guided by author and Atlas Obscura Society member Adam Selzer.

STAGE: What do you think about tap dancing? What about musicians from Chicago like Ministry, Smashing Pumpkins, or Muddy Waters? What if they were smashed up in a weird, jazz cover-y way? Then Sweet Tap Chicago at City Winery, presented by Chicago Tap Theatre. Wow! This sounds insane!

STAY IN: American Idol has returned, now on ABC. If that’s something that’s interesting to you, stick around the house tonight and watch/stream that! Is Simon still on there? Little black t-shirt wearing goofball.