Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 9/15 – 9/18

We are somehow already in the second half of September and I wouldn't have it any other way. The weather is just right and the events are still flowing in. While this weekend is filled tacos, trails, and concerts, there is one series that I would like to highly recommend. Wicker Park and West Town Lit Fest is happening all over those two neighborhoods, with plenty of bookstores holding events throughout the entire weekend. I highly suggest that you check out their full Wicker Park and West Town Lit Fest events list over at their Facebook page.  I have picked a few of my favorites for this post, but there are tons of events that deserve a look. Now let's get your curated weekend started THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th Activate: TASTE @ Cow Path Alley, 100 W Monroe St, 5:00PM WHAT: Chicago Loop Alliance’s fifth ACTIVATE event of the year SO WHAT: This year’s ACTIVATE series explores the five senses—touch, hear, smell, see and taste— through the scope of dynamic art, music and lights. Taking place at Cow Path Alley, this edition of ACTIVATE will have attendees take a journey from alley to rooftop. Art installations by local artists will be set up in the Cow Path Alley alongside a fashion show, DJs and plenty of surprises. Next, head to AIRE at Hyatt Centric the Loop and Boleo at The Gray as the energy of ACTIVATE follows you up to the rooftops for more art, food, live shows and specialty bites and sips. NOW WHAT: Check out the event’s suggested attire to take part in the art. The event is free and attendees who RSVP in advance  will receive a complimentary drink ticket for beer or wine at the event. Quimby's 25th Anniversary Celebration @ Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 W North Ave., 7:00PM WHAT: A celebration of one of the best comic book stores in Chicago SO WHAT:  Quimby’s will be welcoming back founder Steven Svymbersky to the store where he will present a history of zines and underground comics as well as sharing memories of his years as a zine publisher and the beginnings of Quimby’s Bookstore. Additionally there will be an exclusive Chris Ware print celebrating the anniversary, the release of an printed store history with stories and graphics, a commemorative t-shirt by artist Gabby Schulz, an artisanal Marz Community Brewing Quimby’s beer with a specially designed label by Chicago artist Laura Park and many more surprises. NOW WHAT: This free event is the kick off to the Wicker Park and West Town Lit Fest, so start the weekend off right! FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th Bill Ayers - Demand the Impossible @ Volumes Bookcafe1474 N Milwaukee Ave., 7:30PM WHAT: Bill Ayer presenting his new book weeks before the publication date SO WHAT: Bill Ayers is a social justice activist, teacher, Distinguished Professor of Education (retired) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and author of two memoirs, Fugitive Days and Public Enemy. His latest book, Demand the Impossible!, is a manifesto for movement-makers. It urges readers to imagine a world beyond the mass incarceration, endless war, economic crisis, catastrophic environmental destruction, and a political system offering more of the same and have us believe that radical social transformation is possible. Ayers inspires strategies for building a movement to create a more humane, balanced, and peaceful world. NOW WHAT: This Wicker Park and West Town Lit Fest event is free and open to the public Mild High Club @ Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., 9:00PM WHAT: Laid back tunes for your Friday night SO WHAT: Mild High Club is the project of Chicago native Alexander Brettin. He divies headlong into the a psychedelic haze, making Mild High Club share a musical kinship with the likes of Mac Demarco and Ariel Pink. Perfect music for a Friday evening. He will be joined by locals Divino Nino and Troy Anderson, who will open up the show with their own psych twinged sounds. .  You can read Colin Smith’s full preview here. NOW WHAT: Tickets are $10.00, so go have yourself an affordable and good time. SATURDAY - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th - 18th Sam Adams Lakeview Taco Fest @ Lakeview, W Addison St & N Southport Ave., 11:00AM - 10:00PM WHAT: All the tacos you could ever want in one place SO WHAT: This is the fourth year o Chicago’s premier taco related festival. The glorious taco will get spotlight it has long deserved. Whether your looking for a hard or soft shell tortilla filled with a meat, chicken, guacamole, fish or any of the other imaginative ingredients, this festival is for you. The Southport Corridor, on Southport between Addison and Roscoe, will be host to special beer and taco pairings, crowd-pleasing luchadores, plenty of music, and a chance for visitors to text vote for Chicago’s “Best Taco.” NOW WHAT: There is a $7 suggested donation which benefits the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce. Checkout their website for a full lineup of vendors, music, and entertainers that will be making you weekend better. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th Adam Levin, Toni Neale, and Zoe Zolbrod @ Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co., 1276 N Milwaukee Ave., 4:00PM - 5:00PM WHAT: Three amazing writers discussing their works SO WHAT: Three authors who have been published by McSweeney's and Curbside Splendor come together for readings from their recent releases. Author of the lengthy and masterful The Instructions, Adam Levin, will be reading from his collection of short stories Hot Pink; Toni Neale's complex examination of journeys, homelands, family, and motherhood in Miles Between Me will be in full effect during her reading; and Zoe Zolbrod personal and revealing memoir The Telling will undoubtedly inform her readind. NOW WHAT: This Wicker Park and West Town Lit Fest event is free and open to the public A Night With Nelson Algren @ Volumes Bookcafe, 1474 N Milwaukee Ave., 6:30PM - 11:00PM
WHAT: Intensely talented local authors read the works of Nelson Algren SO WHAT: Wicker Park & West Town Lit Fest Weekend will be celebrating all things Algren on Saturday evening. Starting the night at 6:30pm will be Mary Wisniewski speaking on her new biography Algren, A Life. Then at 8:00pm, local literary heavy hitters including Lindsey Hunter, Gint Aras, Jac Jemc, Jim Davis, and Roger Reeve will be reading/performing from Nelson Algren’s prolific Chicago: City on the Make. Come because you love Algren. Come because you love Chicago, in all its flawed glory. Afterwards attendees will be crawling afterwards to one of Algren’s haunts, The Rainbo Club, because that is the sort of ending that a night of Algren readings deserves. NOW WHAT: This Wicker Park and West Town Lit Fest event is free and open to the public Chicago Sinfonietta With Anderson & Roe Piano Duo and Piano Prodigy Clayton Stephenson @ Wentz Concert Hall, North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Ave., 8:00PM - 10:00PM
WHAT: Great classical performances from extremely talented performers. SO WHAT: The Chicago Sinfonietta, conducted by Mei-Ann Chen, will be performing with the groundbreaking Anderson & Roe Piano Duo and piano prodigy Clayton Stehpenson. You cna check out the wonderful preview from Louis Harris here. NOW WHAT: Tickets range from $48 to $60 and are available here. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th The 606 Walk + Peace Picnic with Juicebox Concerts @ The 606, 1801 N Ridgeway Ave., 11:00AM - 6:00PM WHAT: A perfect way to explore the 606 SO WHAT: The family-friendly Juicebox Concert Series goes global with a special kick-off at the World Music Festival’s The 606 Walk + Peace Picnic. The event will begin with hands-on maker stations on The 606 from 11am–12:30pm at Milwaukee/Leavitt Park and the Ridgeway Trailhead,1801 N Ridgeway Ave. Families will be able to make their own instruments, peace signs and T-shirts. At 12:30pm, all are invited to take part in the The 606 Walk + Peace Picnic. The route will follow along the 606 to the Humboldt Overlook, and from there to the Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1301 N. Sacramento Ave., for the Global Peace Picnic at 2pm, complete with music from World Music Festival artists from Ghana, Colombia and Tanzania. NOW WHAT: This beautiful event is completely free. Kevin Coval & Slang @ Volumes Bookcafe1474 N Milwaukee Ave., 5:30PM WHAT: A discussion between writer Kevin Coval and local artist Slang SO WHAT:  Kevin Coval  and local artist Slang will be coming together to discuss Coval’s play This is Modern Art and the world of graffiti art. Kevin Coval is a prolific poet and expert in hip hop aesthetics.  Tyrue “Slang” Jones has been cultivating and innovating ideas reflected though a wide array of styles, ranging from graffiti to fine art, for over 25 years. You can read Nancy Bishop’s take on This is Modern Art here. NOW WHAT: This Wicker Park and West Town Lit Fest event is free and open to the public
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Julian Ramirez