CHICAGO, Thursday, September 6, 2012. If it weren't for old man winter lurking in the shadows, I could totally fall in love with this time of the year. What could be better than running in the crisp early morning air to the beat of acorns and black walnuts pounding the pavement along with my Nikes. Everything takes on a new intensity at this time of the year. The lazy, hazy days of summer seem a distance memory as it's back to school, back to work and back to reality.
The NFL season kicks off this weekend with the Chicago Bears taking on the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Soldier Field. The Chicago White Sox are in first place (at least for today). They're at the Cell all weekend--and from what I hear tickets are aplenty. The Chicago Cubs are going for a record season, currently with 85 losses and 24 games left to play, they have a serious shot at the 100 mark. Now if they can only do it at home, Wrigleyville will go wild.
Flips flops and tanks are so last summer. Catch the latest trends at tonight's Fashion's Night Out with 72 events in the city and more in the burbs.
The Chicago Theater scene is on fire with the 2012-13 season promising an amazing line-up of world class and experimental pieces. The Fringe Festival, an inexpensive way to catch what's happening in Chicago's Theater world, winds up this weekend in Pilsen.
The hard core fest lovers still have a lot to look forward to with the Fall Festivals offering some of the best music, food, wine and craft beers available. Here's a welcome salute to fall and a rundown of this weekend's city scene.
- Open Streets, the free pedestrian playground, returns to the Loop--promising "bigger and better" on Saturday, Sept. 8, (it makes its Wicker Park/Bucktown debut, next week on Sunday, Sept. 16).
- The 92nd annual German-American Fest, an Oktoberfest type celebration of everything German plus the Von Steuben Parade (Saturday, 2p.m.) takes place in the Lincoln Square hood, September 7, 8, and 9. Lincoln Ave at Leland Ave.
- The Windy City Wine Festival, comes to Buckingham Fountain on September 7 and 8, 500 S Columbus Dr. $35, advance $27, designated driver ticket $10. Sample more than 270 wines from around the world plus music and cooking demos.
- The Renegade Craft Fair livens up the already bustling Bucktown neighborhood on September 8 and 9. Division St. at Damen Ave.
- Lakeview East Festival of the Arts on Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9 features over 150 juried artists, food, music and more. Broadway from Belmont to Hawthorne.
- The Stars of the Lyric Opera stage a free performance at Millennium Park on Saturday, September 8. Enjoy Lyric Opera’s annual gift to Chicago— featuring Christine Goerke, Brandon Jovanovich, Susanna Phillips, Amber Wagner, and René Barbera, plus the Lyric Opera Chorus. Verdi's "Va pensiero," concert performances of Act One of La Traviata and Act Four of Carmen, and more. Millennium Park, 7:30p.m. Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
- Misericordia Family Festival, Sunday, September 9, 11a.m. to 6p.m., 6300 N. Ridge, $8 adults; $5 children.
- THE BOSS, Bruce Springsteen at Wrigley Field, Friday and Saturday evening.
- PLEASE NOTE: The Red Bull Flugtag for North Ave. Beach on Saturday has been CANCELLED (as of 8:13a.m.) "due to unsafe marine conditions."
- The first place Chicago White Sox take on the KC Royals at Cellular Field, Friday at 7:10p.m.; Saturday at 3:05p.m.; and Sunday at 1:10p.m.
- It's the Chicago Bears vs. the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday and noon at Soldier Field.
- Chicago's Half Marathon and 5K race brings nearly 20,000 runners to town for the run along Lake Shore Drive. 7a.m. start time, followed by the 5K stepping off at 7:45a.m. The run starts and ends Jackson Park, next to the Museum of Science.
In addition to the Fringe Festival, below are some shows that you won't want to miss if you enjoy theater.
- The Chicago Fringe Festival runs through Sunday at five locations in Pilsen. Tickets are $10, plus $5 for a festival badge.
- Dreamgirls at the Marriott Theater, Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire.
- TimeLine's 33 variations, at Stage 773, Belmont near Racine.
- Sweet Bird of Youth with Diane Lane at the Goodman Theatre.
- Equivocation at Victory Gardens Biograph Theate
- Hamlet at Writer's Theatre in Glencoe.
- The Magic Flute at Harris Theatre.
- Idomeneus, Sideshow Theatre Company, at DCASE Storefront Theatre.
- Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses at Lookingglass Theatre.
- Good People at Steppenwolf Theatre.
- Edward Albee's Seascape, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, at the Greenhouse Theatre.
- Jitney at the Court Theatre.
IN THE BURBS.
- Festival of the Vine September 7-9 offers wine, women (and men) and song in Geneva. There's an arts and crafts show, merchant wine offerings, flower market, live demonstration stage, a kids’ corner, complimentary trolley and horse-drawn carriage rides. Geneva’s historic downtown along Third Street.
- Chucks Fest 2012, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Food, beer and music with national and local acts including CANDLEBOX, LOCAL H, MAGGIE SPEAKS, RONNIE BAKER BROOKS plus over 100 craft beers, Cajun, gourmet Mexican, BBQ and desserts. $5, Toyota Park, 7000 South Harlem Avenue, Bridgeview.
- Link to upcoming Oktoberfests in Chicago and Suburbs.
- The 48th Chicago International Film Festival, October 11- 25, 2012.
- Chicago Gourmet's Hamburger Hop and Chicago Gourmet 2012. Hamburger Hop, Friday, September 28, 6–9pm Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph St. Chicago Gourmet, Millennium Park, Sat 29, noon–6pm; Sun 30, noon–5pm., 55 N Michigan Ave. 312-380-4128,.
- ART EXPO, September 20 through 23 at Navy Pier.
- The Hideout Block Party and A.V. Fest, September 14 and 15.
- Guiness Oyster Fest, September, 15, 16.
- Lake Forest Library Huge Book Sale, September 14, 15 and 16.