Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 7/28 – 7/31

If you haven’t heard. this weekend is the 25th anniversary of Lollapalooza. The festival that has called Grant Park home since 2005 is a huge, over the top spectacle that is more often than not a fairly good time. Unfortunately tickets have been long gone unless you’re into the whole StubHub/Craigslist thing, so most of you are looking for something great to do this weekend. Thankfully this weekend is filled with a diverse set of events that will expand your horizons, whether it’s through learning about preserves, leather crafting or beer brewing.

It’s time to decide just how good your weekend will be.


The 32nd Annual Newberry Book Fair @ Newberry Library, 60 W Walton St, Thursday and Friday 12:00PM-8:00PM. Saturday and Sunday 10:00 – 6:00PM

WHAT: A huge book fair supporting the Newberry Library

SO WHAT: There is no such thing as too many books. Newberry Library knows this and there annual book fair is a great place to add one or a dozen new books to your growing library. Whether it’s cookbooks, biographies, children’s literature or heartbreaking works of staggering literary genius; with over 120,000 books for sale there’s a good chance you’ll find it at the fair. Also on Saturday, don’t miss the annual Bughouse Square Debates in Washington Square Park, across from the Newberry.

NOW WHAT: Make some room on your shelves for some new books because admission is free, and all proceeds support the Newberry Library.

Slow Chicago: Pear Tree Preserves + Hewn Pop-up Shop @ BOOMBOX, 1260 N Milwaukee Ave.

WHAT: Slow Food meets Slow Fashion

SO WHAT:  BOOMBOX is the tiny little shop on Milwaukee Ave. that hosts an ever changing group of local merchants. This time around a mixture of food and fashion will be on display at this unique pop-up. Pear Tree Preserves and Hewn will be on hand to  demonstrate and sell their small batch preserves and locally tanned leather and handcrafts bags and wallets. They will be hosting a workshop on July 30th focusing on leather crafting and doing a preserves demo using the hot water bath canning method.

NOW WHAT: Sign up for events on their Facebook event page and get ready to expand your knowledge. Spots for the leather craft are $45 and spots for the preserves demo are $35.


Culture Collide Chicago Kick Off Party @ Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, 230 N Michigan Ave., 9:00PM

WHAT: A night of music, drinks and legends

SO WHAT: Collide returns to Chicago to bring a fun party to the Hard Rock Hotel. Indie music legends Dinosaur Jr. will be there supplying the music alongside local rockers NE-HI and Georgia’s post punk outfit Arbor Labor Union. Beverages will be provided by Revolution Brewing, Topo Chico, Old Style, High Brew Coffee, and Deep Eddy Vodka. This is a night that’s not to be missed!

NOW WHAT: This 21+ show is free with RSVP, so sign up here. Get there early and let the  rocking vibes


Flosstradamus Pop Up Store @ St. Alfred, 1531 N Milwaukee Ave., 12:00PM – 4:00PM

WHAT: A pop up collaboration between Flosstradamus and St. Alfred

SO WHAT: If you into sneakers r street wear in general, you should know about St. Alfred. Wicker Park’s purveyors of clean shoes and even cleaner clothes will be hosting a pop up with DJ duo Flosstradamus. In addition to exclusive Hydnation gear at the pop up, there will be a release of a special collaborative clothing and more surprises.

NOW WHAT: Stay tuned for more info on St. Alfred’s Instagram and Twitter. Prepare yourself for what is likely going to be a long line for some tremendous clothes.


Gapers Block Microbrewery Crawl @ Lagunitas Brewing Co., 2607 W 17th St., 10:30AM

WHAT: The return of Gapers Block’s fun microbrewery crawl

SO WHAT: Gapers Block may be gone but Andrew Huff is keeping it’s spirit alive with this microbrewery crawl. You’ll seeing four different breweries throughout the day, getting some beer and a tour at every stop. Things start off at Lagunitas Brewing Co., then a bus will take you over to Off Color Brewing, where there will be a food truck ready to help soak up some of those delicious beers. Then you’ll get a chance to see the relatively new Dovetail Brewery getting started, and finish up at The Finch Kitchen. Have fun drinking and learning about beer!

NOW WHAT: There are only a total of 40 spots and previous years have sold out. As of 8:00 AM on Thursday, there are only 8 tickets left, so act quickly. Tickets are only $45 per person and will get you plenty of drinks and knowledge of the beer world.  And remember, this is a 21+ event and drink responsibly.

FLOODfest @ Somewhere in Chicago (TBA), 10:00PM

WHAT: A free Lollapalooza After Party

SO WHAT: FLOOD magazine will be hosting FLOODfest Chicago right in the middle of this year’s Lollapalooza festival weekend. It’s a chance to see Local Natives take a smaller stage and Classixx perform a DJ set before they’re big shows at Grant Park on Sunday and Baio just after his set this very day.

NOW WHAT: Details for this 21+ show will be revealed with a confirmation to an RSVP, which you can do here. Space will be extremely limited as the event will be first come, first served.


Don’t Think Twice’s Producer Ira Glass @ Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave., Various times

WHAT: Screenings of Don’t Think Twice featuring appearances by the film’s producer Ira Glass

SO WHAT: Producer Ira Glass (Host of NPR’s This American Life) returns to the Music Box Theatre for the opening weekend of his new film Don’t Think Twice which was written, directed by, and starring Mike Birbiglia. The film tell the story of a NYC improv troupe as they realize not everyone’s going to make it big. Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard and Tami Sagher also star in the film. There will be an audience Q&A with Glass at each screening.

NOW WHAT: Ira Glass will appear at 4 screenings on Saturday, July 30th, as well as the 2pm screening on Sunday, July 31st. You can see the full schedule and purchase tickets here

Chicago Poetry Block Party @ The Historic Former Wabash YMCA, 3700 S Wabash Ave., 2:00PM = 8:00PM

WHAT: A festival of poetry, music, art, and community

SO WHAT: Poetry Foundation, Crescendo Literary, and The Renaissance Collaborative unite to host the Chicago Poetry Block Party at the historic Wabash YMCA in Bronzeville. This all ages event invites people to com and enjoy workshops, art activities, and music and poetry performances from some of Chicago’s best poets. Additionally there will musical performances from soulful vocalist Ravyn Lenae, rapper Ric Wilson, and Avery R. Young who blends hymns, jazz and hip hop in his work. Chicago-based poets Nate Marshall, Eve Ewing, Fatimah Asghar, Sarah Kay and José Olivarez will lead the poetry workshops and perform original works. Other performances include DJ Delisa, Happiness Club, DJ Chante, Porsha Olayiwola and more. Check out Sam Rappaport’s full preview here.

NOW WHAT: Prepare yourself for a good time surrounded by music and poetry.


Rekenekt Cuisine With Kimski’s @ Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar, 960 W 31st St., 2:00PM-6:00PM

WHAT: A cookout for charity

SO WHAT: Rekenekt Cuisine is teaming up Kimski’s at Maria’s for a nice summer cookout. They will be working with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and 25% of the proceeds of the event will go to charity. This night of great dining will also include some good beer and Rob Young and the Elms playing music throughout the night. Your meal ticket gives you a choice of entree, side, dessert, and a beer from Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar.

NOW WHAT: Grab your tickets here and enjoy your Sunday evening.

Tony Fitzpatrick and Frank Catalano @ DePaul Art Musuem, 935 W Fullerton Ave., 4:00PM

WHAT: A big event for Tony Fitzpatrick’s The Secret Birds

SO WHAT: Tony Fitzpatrick is a quintessential voice in the Chicago literary scene. He’s an artist as well and he’ll be signing, reading, and hanging out at this event which will also feature a performance from Frank Catalano and band. Fitzpatrick’s art will be on display as well through August 21st. If you’ve never heard him read, it’s worth attending. You can check out Andrew Hertzberg’s review here.

NOW WHAT: The event is free and the perfect way to end your Sunday.

Julian Ramirez
Julian Ramirez