Attend A Warehouse Party

2015
08.02
Sponsored by Four Loko

Sponsored by Four Loko

Everyone in Chicago should attend a warehouse party once in their lifetime before they leave this magnificent city.  Warehouses parties are fun, chaotic, and great amusement!

This week’s party was a Lollapalooza Afterparty courtesy of Four Loko.  Four Loko if you recall was originally an alcoholic energy drink, but since they’ve been banned they’ve remade their formula to clock in at a dazzling 12.5% ABV.

We took an Uber to the secret party location which turned out to be Moonlight Studios on the near west side.  It was hidden and the Uber driver had a hard time finding it but the unmistakable line of people made sure we were in the right spot.  Once in the line we waited awhile with some people not knowing what was going on and some people ready to rock.

DJ WhooKid

DJ WhooKid

Once we got in, there were free sunglasses handed out, purple lights everywhere and a wicked sound system blasting out that bass.  Four Loko flew at high velocity as the bartenders worked furiously to dish out drinks to all attendees.  Knowing that the stage would crowd up once Wacka Flocka Flame showed up, I camped out in front of the stage way before anyone else had the same idea. DJ WhooKid opened it up and got the people moving in an opening set that was a perfect pre-game.

Wacka Flocka Flame

Wacka Flocka Flame

Waka Flocka was wicked, leading the rapping and people filling in all of the words I didn’t know.  Eventually he ran out into the crowd and started rapping right in the middle of everybody!

Not being a fan of live rap, this was by far one of the greatest shows I had ever witnessed – Waka Flocka is a terrific performer, dancing, rapping, getting the whole crowd amped up.  When the hot girls started dancing on stage he didn’t stop them, but he did spray everyone with some fine Andre sparkling wine and Four Loko!

The crowd rules

In the end the hot girls began to dance on stage then everybody and their mom bum rushed the stage.  Me being in the front, I then had to fight a deluge of people rolling up on the stage.  It was awesome, Wake Flocka pulled a mission accomplished and the night was a raging success.

Thanks, @fourloko for the bad ass party.  Nothing beats #lokonation !!!


Have a drink at Ola’s Liquor

2015
07.30
Old Style at Ola's

Old Style at Ola's

Very few times in my life have I had the chance to go to a liquor store bar.  Generally when I think of liquor store bars, I think of serious dives with cheap drinks and hijinks.  Going to this bar my friend recalled that another friend went and tried to order cocktails to which they refused.

It was an idle Tuesday, so we decided to go for some Old Style after a fine meal up the street at Pub Royale.  Divey it was and we found ourselves in the right place.  $2 Old Style flowed freely and we helped ourselves to some rounds.  This bar/liquor store had the Cubs game on and plenty of room in the bar.  One cute girl was drinking but she didn’t stay too long.

Not my kind of place, but I am glad I checked it out – you can never judge a book by its cover.

Fireworks Show at U.S. Cellular

2015
07.24

As a die hard Cubs fan, it goes against my Northwest side sensibilities to go to US Cellular field when the Cubs aren’t playing or if a friend is not visiting from out of town.  Having not seen an old friend in awhile, I was more than happy to head down to the South Side!  Inside the stadium we got craft beers and headed to my friend’s season ticket seats.  High above the stands we watched John Danks pitch masterfully only to have Yadier Molina ruin the day with a bases clearing triple that went along with with choruses of, “Yadi! Yadi! Yadi”

A night at the ballpark

After this, we marched down to the outfield to meet another friend and finish off the game.  Sox lost, Cardinals won but then the lights went out!  Much to my surprise a fireworks show started and it was something I had meant to see but never got a chance to!


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Italian Beef Crawl 2014!

2014
10.05
Italian Beef Crawl 2014 is HERE!

Italian Beef Crawl 2014 is HERE!

Italian Beef Crawl 2014 is upon us.  What is Italian Beef Crawl?  It is a tour de force of beer and beef stretching across the city on a magical 8 hour tour. Included with this year’s invitation:

1 t-shirt to commemorate Italian Beef Crawl 2014

1/2 a beef sandwich at 4 beef restaurants

Beer at every bar on the beef crawl

Beer on the bus

Bus transportation from 12pm-8pm

Voting scorecards for the beefs of the day

Without further ado, here are the selected locales for this year’s beef crawl!

ROUTE

12:00pm-1:00pm: Five Star Bar – $2 PBR

1:30pm:                   Johnny’s Beef

1:45pm-3:15pm:    Phil’s Sports Bar

3:30pm:                 Mr. Beef & Pizza

3:45pm-5:15pm:   O’Malley’s Pub $12 Domestic Buckets

5:30pm:                  Marco’s Beef & Pizza

5:45pm-7:15pm:   The Question Mark $1.75 Domestic Drafts

7:45pm:                  Jay’s Beef (North Ave)

8:00pm:                 Two Way Lounge

COST

Please bring $55 to cover the cost of Italian Beef 2014.  We’ll meet on October 18th and get this show on the road.

Please note this post is not an open invite – if you have registered for Italian Beef Crawl through Brion Coughlin, Kurt Magnuski, or An Phan, you are good to go.

May the beef be with you!

The Great Chicago Fire Festival Recap

2014
10.05

The Great Chicago Fire Festival took place last night on an unseasonably cool night marked with the third earliest snowfall in Chicago history.  This artistic homage to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 featured buildings on floating platforms and much anticipation for a flaming tour de force that fell flat in its execution.

Arriving to Wacker Ave. at 7pm, chaos reigned as onlookers gathered on the Lower Wacker Riverwalk and the various bridges.  Security and police tried to clear spectators from the bridges due to safety concerns as fireworks were scheduled to begin later in the evening but the police changed their mind.  This left me to fight my way down to Lower Wacker Drive where all of the prime viewing spots had already been taken.  People lined up precariously on stairwells and some resorted to standing on muddy slanted hills to try to get their vantage points.  A man with a lit up Home Run Inn Pizza placard walked around to pass out coupons to all passers and maneuvering through the endless sea of people soon became a fruitless endeavor.

Eventually we settled into a spot under Wabash Bridge only to notice that the bridges had not cleared with thousands of people still standing on them.  Was this a legitimate safety threat?  Had police and security lost all control of public safety?  All of this reminded me of the much maligned Looptopia circa 2007-2008 that was subject to the same public mass disorganization.

Eventually the PA systems turned on to announce the schedule of events and explain the backdrop of the event.  Students did help assemble these great looking floating platforms and there were various community leaders and political big wigs ready to help with the lighting of the everything.  Trendy music popped in and the narration of the history of the Chicago Fire made us remember those fateful Chicagoans who had to deal with a mean southeast wind that would set their city ablaze.

Floating Building Platform

The anticipation of the setting of the fires was met with bemusement and prolong confusion as no fires were lighting up the buildings.  Music and the audio sounds of fires popping kept repeating on the loud speakers but it was clear that a certain element was missing:  fire.  Soon the crowd burst into chants of, “FIRE! FIRE! FIRE” which reminded me of Chicago Fire chants, but no capo to lead the cheering was to be found.  Eventually an announcement was made to admit defeat and capitulation as the gatherers were informed of the electrical malfunction and that now we would be setting the fires via manual mode which inevitably meant more delays.

At this point, the crowd began to thin out as disappointed onlookers were not willing to remain braving the cold for a partial glimpse of buildings on fire.  This gave me a much better vantage point to start shooting pictures, but there wasn’t much to shoot.  From Lower Wacker, you could see Marina City Tower residents gathered on their balconies trying to catch a view of the impending flames below, but the waiting continued.

At last - a fire?

At last - a fire?

Eventually the buildings were set ablaze with much cheering and applause.  The high winds did not help with the flames and we soon realized these buildings were fizzling out, much like the spirit of the event.  At this point, a vast majority of the people started fleeing the scene in an effort to avoid the inevitable public transportation logjam that would ensue.  An announcement soon proclaimed that the fireworks show was soon to begin!

Chicago Fire Fireworks!

Chicago Fire Fireworks!

At last, something to watch with awe and to think about.  Fireworks boomed from all bridges (with people still on them) and the greatest boom came from Michigan Avenue bridge which was just a bit too far out of site.  It was a fun fireworks show to watch and even more fun to take pictures of.  Execution here was great, but the lackluster never was blaze served as a great disappointment on a personal level.  Having been to a Red Moon event before, I was expecting flawless execution and an amazing show considering the $2M spent and considerable newspaper coverage.

The purpose of the event was to unite the city with its various communities being represented as well as to draw in people from all over the city to enjoy our seldom used Riverwalk.  I commend everyone who worked hard on the event and feel terrible that the inclement weather of the last few days resulted in less than perfect execution.  The idea was thought out and the considerable effort showed and I hope for more great city events in the future.