Category Archives: Chicago

Chicago Restaurant Week 2014: iNG

iNG

iNG

Chicago Restaurant Week finally arrived, and I was really excited about starting it off with iNG, a restaurant featuring molecular gastronomy that I’ve been wanting to try for ages. They use miracle berries, and they change up their menu on a regular basis. When I went to iNG on January 24th, the menu was based on the artwork of Salvador Dali. The food was highly inventive, and the plating was creative, but overall, I was left underwhelmed. (Also, I apologize for the poor quality of the photos: the restaurant was very dimly lit.) Continue reading

Broadway In Chicago: The Book of Mormon

Nic Rouleau, Ben Platt, and Syesha Mercado (photo from Broadway.com)

I saw a lot of theatre last year – I’ve seen a lot of theatre in my life, for that matter – and none of it has captured my heart as utterly, thoroughly, and immediately as the Chicago cast of The Book of Mormon, which became the 2nd National/Jumamosi Tour. Don’t get me wrong: Wicked on Broadway was magical, and it’s still probably tied with BOM for my favorite musical (and the Emerald City tour with Alison Luff and Jenn Gambatese really was terrific), but The Book of Mormon was life-changing. Nic Rouleau and Ben Platt (as Elders Price and Cunningham, respectively) were – and presumably still are, since they’re now reprising their roles on Broadway – perfection. Continue reading

“Giving Back The Love Inside” with the Cast of Ghost The Musical

With Stephen Grant Douglas and Katie Postotnik, the leads of Ghost The Musical

With Steven Grant Douglas and Katie Postotnik, the leads of the FIrst National Tour of Ghost The Musical

I have mixed feelings about the benefit cabaret “Giving Back The Love Inside”  by the cast of Ghost The Musical at The Laugh Factory on Monday night, but one song was an utter standout: Nicole Turner* singing “Random Black Girl.”

The song contains a pointed message about how rarely black women get cast as lead roles in musicals (“My agent gave me advice. / Those words I’ll never forget. / He said ‘Don’t think you’ll ever be cast / As Eponine or Cossette’”) and how frequently they are cast as, well, “a random black girl singin’ the soul.”

The lyrics are on-point; the music is memorable; Nicole Turner is fantastic. As the lyrics go, “you gotta be thinkin’ to yourself / ‘Goddamn, this sister can sing’” – and oh, seriously, she can sing. I thought she sounded the best of the night, and the song was – to me, at least – very obviously the best. It was intelligent and had a real point. Continue reading

14 Restaurants for 2014

There are always tons of restaurants I want to try and simply haven’t gotten around to yet (due to lack of time, the not-optimal location of the restaurant, and/or, most commonly, lack of finances). And now that I have a stable job, I’m going to work actually dining at some of those restaurants. Around the beginning of the year, in lieu of creating New Year’s resolutions, I compiled a list of restaurants to visit this year from all of the restaurants I’ve recently researched. I’ve decided that if I pick a set number and post about it, I may actually make it happen. So, here are those fourteen restaurants that first came to mind:

2013: A Year in Review

Despite the fact that I haven’t been blogging about it (this is only the second post this year), 2013 has been quite the year. I was named godfather to the most precious baby in the whole world, my now eight-and-a-half-month-old goddaughter. I was hired for three jobs – a part-time job and a temp job that transformed into a full-time-with-benefits-and-everything job that I officially started yesterday. I traveled a bit – to Minnesota four times to see my family, on vacation in Belize with family, and to Pennsylvania for the wedding of my college roommate. And I saw a ton of theatre and ate a lot of great food. Continue reading

Finally Back in Chicago

It has been exactly nine months since I last posted. During that time, a lot has happened. Most importantly, I moved back to Chicago a few weeks ago. Since I originally started this blog the first time I moved to Chicago, I decided that I should take up the blog again, now that I’ve moved back. Continue reading

Weekend In My Favorite City

This weekend was my second trip back to Chicago since I moved away in April, and it’s been fantastic. I am exhausted; I needed to cancel my credit card this morning because a stranger has it; and I have to wake up at 4 AM tomorrow morning (and later work until at least 10 PM) — but it has been a phenomenal weekend.  Continue reading

La Boheme and the American Chamber Opera Company

The American Chamber Opera Company‘s first performance of La Boheme is this weekend in Chicago — November 19th at Saint John Cantius Church (see below for the related Groupon). If you’re in the Chicago area, you should definitely think about going. And in case you’re not familiar with opera, don’t be nervous: the American Chamber Opera Company was founded with the goal of making opera accessible.

To quote the website, the American Chamber Opera Company’s mission is “to perform full-length opera and oratorio in English” and “to convey a true sense of the composer’s intent in each piece, while making relative connections with [their] audiences.” Additionally, “the company looks to find young artists with exceptional talent to perform the roles.” Continue reading

Helping Students Living with Autism Speak with DonorsChoose.org

Imagine having to navigate through life completely silenced; never being able to tell someone your opinion or communicate your needs. Many of my students living with Autism face this experience every day of their lives.

Mr. Cunningham, a teacher at Hearst Elementary School in Chicago, IL, created a classroom project at DonorsChoose.org called “Helping Students Living with Autism Speak.” He has a class of thirteen students, all of them living with Autism, ranging from second through fifth grade. His project involves using the text-to-speech capabilities of iPod Touches with his students; he writes, “This technology will provide my students with the power of a voice; something many of us take for granted.” Unfortunately, this project will not affect these students’ lives unless the money is raised for the iPods.  Continue reading

Back In Chicago! (But Only Visiting)

I have spent the past four days in Chicago. After four months and sixteen days away, it was fabulous beyond words to be back. It felt so right. As I started recognizing buildings and street names, it felt a little like coming home. I’m not sure I’d realized how much I miss the city of Chicago, not just the people I love within it.

I lived in Chicago for about nine months — not really all that long a time — and yet it has made such an impact on my life. When people ask me where I’m from, I’ll generally tell them that I’m currently living in the eastern suburbs (of the Twin Cities) but that I spent most of the past year in Chicago (if it seems relevant, I’ll add that I’m originally from the Twin Cities, but I went out east to college near Philly). For whatever reason, Chicago has really captured my heart in a way I never expected. Continue reading