Kaitlyn Lawlor, concierge at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile, offers her top three picks for what to do and see in Chicago this weekend. Here’s a look at what tops her list:
Tags: Animal Inside Out, BBQ Restaurants, Body Worlds, Bub City, Dollop Coffee & Tea Company, Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile, Kaitlyn Lawlor, live music, Museum of Science and Industry, River North Restaurants
Okay, you all know me as the food writer for CP, but my “day job” is as a musician, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t use my blog spot this week to promote a hugely important event that promises to entertain AND help those in need. Re(New) Amsterdam is a special event organized by Marcos Balter and Doyle Armbrust at the Empty Bottle this Sunday starting at 1 pm. Proceeds go to help the New Amsterdam music label that suffered extreme damage to its Brooklyn headquarters during Hurricane Sandy.
Now I know you all would go just to support the music label, but let me tell you what’s in store for all attendees. The new music scene in Chicago is one of the finest in the country, and you’ll hear our hometown heroes tear up the stage with great music of wildly different styles. Among the performers spanning the 4-hour marathon are 2-time Grammy winners (and 2013 nominees) eighth blackbird, Fifth House Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, Third Coast Percussion, Chicago Q Ensemble, CUBE, Access Contemporary Music, Gaudete Brass Quintet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Fulcrum Point, and many, many more. Honestly, I cannot remember any other event that has brought together so many of Chicago’s finest players and it couldn’t be for a better cause.
New Amsterdam is not your average music label. They support the weird, the daring, and the inventive minds active in the classical new music scene. Their artists include the Chiara String Quartet, Nadia Sirota, Newspeak, Missy Mazzoli, So Percussion, and others who delight audiences across the globe. During Hurricane Sandy, their new offices were completely flooded, and despite serious precautions, 70% of their CD stock was lost along with devastating structural damage. Because artists retain 80% of the profit from sales of New Amsterdam records, this most grossly affects the artists themselves, and Chicago wants to help get them back on their feet!
Tickets and more information are available here. They are asking for a mere $10 donation for entry, but I’d kindly ask you to give what you can. We can’t fix everything, we can at least lend a helping hand.
While National Hispanic Heritage Month is just getting started in Chicago, there are several activities to celebrate everything Latino, including a special kick-off celebration this weekend at Navy Pier’s Landshark Beer Garden.
On Friday, Sept. 14, and Saturday, Sept. 15, make the most of the gorgeous fall weather and head to Navy Pier to take in live music, dance and so much more. Admission is free.
Friday, September 14
Arte y Vida Chicago Fifth Anniversary Concert at Navy Pier! Featuring live music by Canteca de Macao (Madrid, Spain) & Soulphonetics and Produced by Navy Pier, Arte y Vida Chicago, and Ratio Nation.
Arte y Vida is a calendar of Hispanic art and culture in Chicago. For more information, visit www.arteyvidachicago.com.
Saturday, September 15
Enjoy an afternoon of Chicago’s best Mexican folkloric dance ensembles with folk dance by Ballet Folklorico Nacional de Victor Soria and Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council Ballet Folklorico.
Presented in collaboration with the National Museum of Mexican Art as a part of the Sor Juana Festival.
Prost, Ein Toast! The Berghoff’s Oktoberfest returns Sept. 12-14. The open-air celebration boasts the best Bavarian-style revelry Chicago has to offer with classic German food, Berghoff’s private-label Oktoberfest beer, and Bavarian polka performances by the beloved Johnny Wagner Band. Admission is free.
Held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day in Federal Plaza (Adams and Dearborn Streets), this year’s festivities include live entertainment by:
There will also be a raffle benefitting the Mercy Home for Boys & Girls with prizes including a two-day luxury getaway to southern California.
Herman der German, the Berghoff’s lederhosen-clad bratwurst mascot, has been traversing the city handing out Oktoberfest goodies. If you spot him around town, make sure to take a photo with him and upload it to your Facebook page for your chance to win a VIP party for five friends at Oktoberfest, gift certificates and more. Make sure to “tag” the Berghoff in your post.
To honor Oktoberfest’s origin as a celebration for Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese in 1810, the Berghoff is calling all engaged couples to tell them why you and your better half deserve to become Oktoberfest royalty. Winner gets an all-expense paid rehearsal dinner at the restaurant. Details here.
The Boulevard Bash is a three-day Chicago music fest in the historic and diverse neighborhood of Logan Square.
Two stages will be set up on the beautiful greenery of Logan Boulevard at Milwaukee Avenue on August 24-26, to play host to a slew of the city’s hippest local bands. These live tunes are free, so you can save your hard earned bills for the food, the craft beer, and the charming collections of local artisans.
A portion of the proceeds from the $5 suggested donation benefit the mission and outreach of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church (2649 N. Francisco Ave.) of Logan Square, active community member for over 100 years.
The Boulevard Hours: Friday, August 24, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, August 25, from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, August 26, from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Shedd Aquarium is hosting their 18th annual summer concert series, Jazzin’ at the Shedd, every Wednesday starting June 27.
Boogie on down to beats from top artists in the urban jazz scene. Later, catch Navy Pier’s fireworks display in the evening.
Admission is $18 for adults and $16 for children.
Enhance your music experience this year by taking advantage of the first-time-ever Jazz Lounge located in the Soundings Café at the Museum Campus. Enjoy an indoor view of the fireworks in the evening, live music performed by a jazz duo, a buffet of savory small plates and a complimentary cocktail.
The lounge is available at every Jazzin’ event from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission to Jazzin’ with the lounge experience is $52.95.
On July 18, the Shedd Aquarium will celebrate Chicago’s 175th birthday by hosting toe-tappers in the Jazz Lounge with their featured drink, the Skyline Cocktail. For more information and full list of performers, please visit www.sheddaquarium.org.
Now that summer is in full swing, get ready for music, drinking, dining, and more in Millennium Park!
The Plaza at Park Grill provides a casual al fresco dining experience with something for everybody: starters, salads, sandwiches, a children’s menu for kids under 10, and a walk-up bar with an impressive summer drink menu. The Grill is open every day from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., so stop in and find yourself in the midst of all The Plaza has to offer.
After lunch, why not visit The Plaza at Park Grill North Lounge, a comfortable lounge area where events can be seen all summer. Make sure to visit the tented South Lounge as well for games, food, and cocktails.
The Plaza at Park Grill’s summer events list includes a “Run to the Plaza” lakefront run (6 p.m. on June 19, July 24, and August 28) where the first 312 runners who sign up will receive refreshments, entertainment, and a complimentary 312 Urban Wheat Ale.
Thursdays this summer will host “Party in the Park” with 101.9 The Mix, including live bands every week from 4 to 6:30 p.m., and Friday afternoons from 5 to 8 p.m., Chicago cover band Rendition will perform, with specials on Goose Island 312 brews. On Saturday evenings beginning at 8 p.m., see DJ Heyzomb!e spin live!
All of these events are free so take an afternoon to stroll through the park, cool off with a frozen treat from Park Café (open every day at 10 a.m.), and enjoy Chicago in the summer with The Plaza at Park Grill.
Set sail on a cruise, complete with blues and some booze, this weekend aboard Tall Ship Windy at Navy Pier!
The official Tall Ship of the city of Chicago, Tall Ship Windy’s blues cruises run from 7:30 p.m. until 8:45 p.m., enabling patrons to enjoy live music amidst the winds and waters of Lake Michigan while sipping a drink from their bar.
Sit back and enjoy the city skyline at sunset from the decks of this majestic tall ship. Tall Ship Windy will host several artists that will perform on this laid-back cruise, including: Barry Cloyd, Devin “Red” Wildrose and Aaron Wilhoft
On Saturday, June 9, set sail with the melodious voice of Barry Cloyd, a Midwestern based, touring singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who performs the genre of Blues, Folk, Celtic, Original and Roots music into a unique blend all his own.
On Sunday, June 10, Aaron Wilhoft will take the stage with Texas blues traditions followed by Devin “Red” Wildrose, known for his Chicago blues. He has received national recognition and recently performed as a featured artist at the Lincoln Center in New York.
For tickets and additional information, visit Tall Ship Windy online.
Saint James Cathedral’s Rush Hour Concerts – in partnership with the Richard H. Dreihaus Museum – will be presenting a series of free Family Concerts every Saturday beginning on Feb. 25 and running through March 10.
Held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the historic Dreihaus mansion, a new theme will be presented every Saturday that is designed to introduce young listeners and their families (ages five and up) to basic musical concepts to help them get to know the woodwind family of instruments.
A fun treasure hunt in the historic mansion will follow each performance. Admission to the concerts are free, though tickets are required.
• February 25: The Mystery of the Missing Musical Clock
Who stole the clock? Solve the mystery by listening to musical clues of high vs. low, fast vs. slow, and soft vs. loud.
• March 3: Quintet Idol!
Quintet Idol brings the instruments of the wind quintet to life in a fierce competition that highlights each woodwind instrument. Who will be the winner? It’s up to you to decide!
• March 10: Where in the World is Quintet Attaca?
Where will Quintet Attacca go on their upcoming world tour? Hear music from all over the world and learn a little about the countries, too!
Concierge at the Hotel Allegro – A Kimpton Hotel, located in the heart of Chicago’s theater district, Anthony Gates is a lifelong Chicagoan who loves to keep himself informed on the best happenings around town in order to tailor his guests’ experiences accordingly.
“I love helping to create a great experience in Chicago,” he says. “Helping to organize guests’ sightseeing itineraries so they get the most out of their visit in a specific time frame is incredibly rewarding, challenging and fun.”
And when those guests return to the hotel and have nothing but positive feedback on their experiences? Well, that’s just icing in the cake for Anthony. “It’s what makes me feel especially passionate about my job,” he adds.
So, how did he get his start as a concierge? “I was working at the Westin Hotel on Michigan Avenue as a night auditor and when I would leave at 7 a.m., I noticed that there would be a line at the concierge desk,” he says. “I took the initiative of going over there and helping with basic questions and really discovered my passion for hospitality and the profession.”
When it comes to helping his guests explore all that Chicago has to offer, Anthony excels at staying current on what’s happening in Chicago. Whether it’s street closures due to construction and giving his guests’ directions to avoid the hassles to knowing the top places to see and be seen.
“As a concierge, it is so important to be on top of the timely events that are taking place around town,” he says. “From watching the news and reading the newspapers, keeping yourself informed is a necessary—and fun—part of the job.”
What tops his list of things to do and see in Chicago right now? “Ice skating outdoors at Millennium Park or indoors at the John Hancock Observatory is an absolute-must,” he says. “I also encourage my guests to catch Buddy Guy when he performs at his eponymous club.”
When it comes to dining options, Anthony is passionate about our hometown eats. “You can’t be in Chicago without trying some of our specialties like a Chicago-style hot dog, deep-dish pizza or indulging in a steak,” he adds.
Tags: Anthony Gates, Buddy Guy's Legends, Chicago Events, Chicago Steakhouses, Chicago-Style Hot Dogs, Concierge of the Week, concierge picks, Deep Dish Pizza, Hotel Allegro-A Kimpton Hotel, ice skating in Chicago, John Hancock Observatory, live music, Millennium Park