Okay so you’ve all survived your first week and you have six novels , two film screenings and Hegel to read over the weekend and MAPH Central keeps telling you to leave Hyde Park. So if you don’t think you can squeeze in a play on this dreary rain-filled weekend save this post for some future night when you have an evening free and are wondering what you can do for $10. Some of you are in an arts reviewing class so seeing performances is homework.
Chicago is a fantastic theater town. There are many big theaters but there are also great small theaters performing in church basements and storefronts. There are performances where you could reach out and touch the actors (although the actors won’t like that). There are roughly 300 theaters producing work for almost every taste. Most of them are listed at the League of Chicago Theatres website.
However, the League won’t group them by style of theater and give you tips for seeing things cheaply. My updated guide to Chicago theaters and tips for seeing theater on the cheap is after the jump.
What recession? You’re flush with loan money (aka Play Money….aka money that you’ll have to be careful with and keep safe and spend on books).
Or, well, for now, you’re new to town, and can use your green status as an excuse so treat yourself to (just one, you swear) really fantastic meal before the whirlwind starts up. Chicago is up there with New York and San Francisco when it comes to gustatory delights. And if you think it’s a steakhouse-only town, here are some places that will disabuse you of this rumor. These places won’t break the bank wide open (and if you’re interested in Alinea, Charlie Trotter, L2O, or any of the others, you might start trying to get reservations now…).
Rather, these places are more than delicious for the price of entry.
1) HB: Up in Lakeview, chef and owner Joncarl Lochman puts together a menu of wildly different flavors and ingredients that are locally sourced. HB offers a contemporary take on comfort food, and it’s one of two BYO’s on my list. Prices are really, really reasonable for both the portions and the quality of the food. You never feel rushed either–but make a reservation if you can. (Wallet impact with wine: Pricey / Without wine: downright reasonable)
If you’re stumped on wine, hop across the street to The Gourmet Grape and pick up a bottle. Here are some recommendations of some CA wines they have on offer:
Merlot: 2005 Duckhorn, Napa (expensive, but really delicious: $57)
So it seemed like it was time to update the blog with a new batch of free or cheap ways to entertain yourself as a graduate student. Courses haven’t started so there is no excuse for not trying out a few of these options before you are drowning in reading.
First for incoming students it is great to know that your University of Chicago ID serves as your arts pass to get you in free or discounted to many area museums and theaters.
Ceiling at the Chicago Cultural Center
Festivals and Lectures
There will be many fantastic lectures on campus. However, the Chicago Humanities Festival hosts events all over the city in October and November. Most of them free or very cheap for students there is no excuse not to go see Steven Sondheim, Laurie Anderson or Jonathan Franzen speak.
Many Chicago street festivals are still happening in September and October.
Discounted theater tickets are available the week of performances at hottix It is always worth asking for a student rate or checking your arts pass discount at most theaters.
Be sure to check out my guide to Chicago theaters here. There are over 200 small theaters in Chicago covering ever style, taste and price range, many small companies still have industry nights, or pay-what-you-can nights.
As September swiftly approaches, we know you nerds are getting just as excited about buying a stock of your favorite pens, cracking open the spines of brand new books, and hunkering down for some serious assigned reading as we are. But, alas, as these days are still several weeks away, here are some pre-core-reading videos with which to wile away your last precious days of summer…
In case you’ve already faced various forms of censure from your family about being a graduate student in the Humanities, this will put your mind at ease. And when we say at ease, we mean, “don’t fret…everyone feels the same way your family does about Humanities grad students.” Everyone. Including your professors.
This next one needs no introduction. Except to say that this is probably the best flash mob in history.
And this one is really just in case you forgot what Daniel Radcliffe looked like at age 11. I wouldn’t be opposed to hosting a MAPH Harry Potter Movie Marathon. We can take a vote during Core.
Speaking of, the syllabus for Core will be released soon, so you’ll have plenty of delicious theory and philosophy to occupy your time the few weeks before Colloquium. But, in the meantime, make sure you’re enjoying your summer! For those of you who have recently moved to the area, we’re currently planning an early-arrivals meet up so you can start schmoozing with one another before colloquium even starts. More on that coming soon.
While we trust that you’ll be checking MAPHtastic every hour on the hour for urgent updates on all things social/academic life at UChicago, in case you want to hear a different voice, here are some of the best in-town publications to check out. Allegedly people still read the Tribune and the Sun-Times.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra is located a quick Metra ride from Hyde Park (get off at Van Buren Street) on Michigan Avenue. Supposedly Ricardo Muti, who was hired as Musical Director after epic, NFL Lockout-like negotiations last year, went on to spend nearly the entire season convalescing (17th Century Style) in the Alps for what seems to have been a mysterious illness (post-contract fatigue. See also ADAM DUNN but HOLY GOD Don’t get me started). Get student rush tickets after the jump… » Read the rest of this entry «
Perhaps best known as the home base of the Daly dynasty (you know, the American Pharaohs), Bridgeport is a small and eclectic neighborhood on the near South Side (though it’s only an 8 minute drive from Hyde Park, it takes about an hour to get there via public transit. Trust me. I know). For one reason or another, its residents fiercely defend the distinctiveness of the neighborhood. The local Assembly of God has gone as far as to make their own custom “Bridgeportopoly” which you can buy or win as a prize at Bernice’s Tavern (see below). » Read the rest of this entry «
It’s August: the wet armpit of a globally warmed world. Not to mention the economy is (once again) exploding and London is burning. It’s a good time to curl up in the A/C and get reading. We know that you’re jumping out of your skin to get going with all that lovely theory that’s headed your way. But before you feast your brain on Lacanian incomprehensibility, here are a few suggestions for the last few weeks of a scorching summer. (What to read…after the jump)» Read the rest of this entry «