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Flying High: Air Show weekend, VIP-style

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Amalie Drury

It's my job to write about Chicago and all of its people, places and things. If it's new and it's cool, I'm checking it out.

Pick your spot to watch the Chicago Air & Water Show this weekend. I'll be sipping a daiquiri at the Oak Street Beachstro.

My level of nerdiness when it comes to the Chicago Air & Water Show is sky-high. Ha! When I heard the first roar of a practice fighter plane flyby this morning, I got so excited I could barely type. I wanted to shout it in all caps on Facebook, I wanted to IM it from the rafters: Guess what, people?! AMAZING AERIAL ACROBATICS ARE ABOUT TO BE PERFORMED FOR A CROWD OF MILLIONS! On a side note, I got to interview the longtime air show announcer, Herb Hunter, last year. It was kind of like meeting Madonna. But I digress. 

If you're planning to take in America's largest spectator event this weekend, I suggest doing it VIP-style, which is generally how I prefer to roll. If you're not invited to a corporate tent, a fabulous rooftop or a friend's yacht party, your next best option is the Oak Street Beachstro

It's smack dab in the middle of the action, and, among palm trees that would never survive in Chicago past September, you can watch the Blue Angels buzz by from the comfort of your very own reserved table while eating a salmon sandwich. You can sip a margarita while watching Vince Vaughn parachute from the sky! I'm not kidding, that's really happening. (VIP package prices range from $65 to $165 and don't include alcohol; call 312.915.4500 for reservations.)

Other options:

The rooftop at Rock Bottom Brewery, where they'll be serving a special Chicago 'flight' (ha!), a sampling of all six house beers and two speciality pours for $6.95.

Jerry Kleiner-style at Lobby Lounge, his bar in the South Loop's Kerasotes movie theater, where huge windows overlook downtown (Lobby Lounge will be serving themed cocktails with names like the Air & Sky for $12).

Aboard one of the Entertainment Cruises boats docked at Navy Pier (Spirit of Chicago, the Odyssey or Mystic Blue). Prices range from $49 to $79 per person and include food, but no drinks.

See you at the Beachstro! I shall now watch Top Gun in anticipation of the weekend. 

P.S. Chicago mag's Seen on the Scene photographer will be snapping away at Benchmark in Old Town on Sunday afternoon, and while the bar isn't having a specific air show party, its near-the-lake rooftop is sure to provide some action. Check here on Monday for pics. 

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2 Comments

Matt Johnson said:

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I'm watching from my building's roofdeck in Lincoln Park right on the lakefront. Easy access to my condo for free cold beer, bathrooms and food and better view than from the ground. You can see the planes circle around. Always fun to watch the lemmings stuck in traffic trying to get in and out too!

Amalie Drury said:

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Hi Matt! Is that an invite to anyone who shows up with a six-pack and mentions The Chaser? Or are you just trying to make us all jealous? ;)

Thanks for reading!
Amalie

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