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LouieB

Going to Chicago....what to do, see, stay, etc.

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Just the Downtown Sound and Made in Chicago serieses are enough to make one want to camp out all summer. Really great stuff.

 

LouieB

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Jazz fans mark your calenders.

 

August 30th - September 2nd - Chicago Jazz Festival

 

http://pix724.blogspot.com/2012/04/chicago-jazz-festival-announces-artist.html

 

from Ken's twitter feed:

 

 

 

CHICAGO JAZZ FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Ken Vandermark to play throughout free festival, Aug. 30 – Sept. 2

 

 

CHICAGO JAZZ FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

Ken Vandermark to play throughout free festival, Aug. 30 – Sept. 2

 

 

The Chicago Jazz Festival announces saxophonist and composer Ken Vandermark as its Artist in Residence for this year’s festival. The Chicago Jazz Festival exclusively names Chicago artists for its Artist in Residence program, now in its tenth year, commissioning large-scale compositions and presenting multiple performance opportunities over the course of the four day festival. A Chicago-based recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, Vandermark has focused on expanding the possibilities of improvised and composed music for most of the last three decades.

 

Vandermark has worked continuously from the mid-nineties as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe , with a creative emphasis on contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation. He has performed and recorded in a vast array of contexts with many internationally renowned musicians, touring on a regular basis in North America , Europe , and Japan . His concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed in the U.S. and abroad.

 

“The Artist in Residence program has been a great addition to the festival since 2003,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “This approach of highlighting talent residing locally is unique among jazz

festivals in this country, and demonstrates the important commitment the Chicago Jazz Festival has made to support the continuum of Chicago ’s jazz legacy.”

 

When notified of his selection, Vandermark said that he has never before been given the chance to present a panoramic picture of his music that the residency provides. That this would take place for the first time in his home town is a source of great meaning for him.

 

Vandermark has elected to use the residency to highlight the musical relationships he has cultivated in the Netherlands , Eastern Europe , South America and the United States ; creating a band of fellow travelers from Chicago and around the world, some of whom will play together for the first time. Widely known for his experimental spirit, Vandermark has

broken boundaries through compositional approaches and rigorous collective

improvisation. The international aspect of this Artist Residency marks a new milestone in

its evolution.

 

 

Vandermark’s four residency’s performances begin on Friday August 31 at 5:00 p.m. at Roosevelt University ’s Ganz Hall with a duet with fellow saxophonist Joe McPhee. Since his emergence on the creative jazz and new music scene in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, McPhee has been a deeply emotional composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist who is both a kindred spirit and musical counterpart to Ken Vandermark.

 

Grant Park provides larger settings for Vandermark’s music which finds him performing first on the Jazz and Heritage Stage on Saturday September 1 at 2:00 p.m. with Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. One of the most innovative, dynamic and versatile drummers in jazz, Nilssen-Love has worked on various projects with Vandermark in Europe and in the Netherlands .

 

Later on Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. , the world premiere of the composition commissioned by the Chicago Jazz Festival takes place on the main stage at the Petrillo band shell with Vandermark’s Resonance Ensemble. The creation of the ensemble was inspired by Vandermark’s desire to bring together creative musicians he has played with in Chicago and from around the world. The ensemble created for this performance includes Magnus Broo (trumpet), Steve Swell (trombone), Per-Ake Homlander (Tuba), Waclaw Zimpel (clarinet), Mikolaj Trzaska (reeds), Dave Rempis (Sax), Mark Tokar (bass), Devin Hoff (bass), Tim Daisy (Drums) and Michael Zerang (drums).

 

On Sunday September 2 at 2:00 p.m., Vandermark’s Made to Break Quartet performs on the Jazz on Jackson Stage. Vandermark’s newest ensemble is also his most radical, as he has devised a compositional framework for the band that can be restructured for every performance and deals with melody, sound, and rhythm in a completely unique way. The individuals involved (Chicagoans Tim Daisy, Devin Hoff, and Argentina ’s Christof Kurzmann on reeds) bring their diverse approaches to improvisation, giving the ensemble a dynamic and spontaneous energy.

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On a much more mundane topic; if you are coming to Chicago this summer to see and hear all the great music and other stuff we have to offer, don't ignore the parking machines that have replaced the parking meters. I know some out of towners won't care because they figure they are never coming back, but city is ticketing the living shit out cars that have not paid up and this includes even the most out of the way neighborhoods. I saw them ticketing people in my neighborhood on Sunday morning when almost no one was on the streets.

 

Chicago is revenue happy, so if you care, make sure you pony up. Meanwhile if you are coming in to break a few windows during the NATO meeting, nevermind.

 

LouieB

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And for the Illinois residents visiting our great city, the city can now go after your Illinois tax return for any unpaid tickets (who knows, perhaps, soon they will be able to dip into your Federal)

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And for the Illinois residents visiting our great city, the city can now go after your Illinois tax return for any unpaid tickets (who knows, perhaps, soon they will be able to dip into your Federal)

Good point, I forgot about that when I wrote the posting. As careful as i am about not getting tickets, I do occasionally decide to roll the dice and not pay and it often comes back and bites me in the ass (mixing a bunch of metaphors0. Don't even walk away for five or ten minutes to run an errand or pick up something quick at a store, because chances are good you will get a ticket. It sucks.

 

LouieB

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I'm going to Chicago over labor day! I have not been since 1994! I am going with the wife (Who's never been) and my 5 month old son. Help me find a reasonable hotel near a cta line stop for easy access to the city...I may just stay near O'hare and take the blue line because hotels are $200 chepaer then downtown! Other suggestions...

 

Also while your at it...where is the best place to get a chicago hot dog?

 

:guitar

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I hope someone chimes in here. Lots of folks have stayed here since 1994. Depending on if you want to stay downtown or a neighborhood. I know some folks have stayed at the little hotel by the Vic and had an okay time. (Belmont and Shefield). Also the Days Inn on Diversey.

 

As far as Chicago Hot Dogs, everyone has their favorite. I stopped eating them a few years back and I know some of my old faves have closed up. Wolfy's still makes a good one I think, but that is not in a neighborhood you will go to. Look for a Vienna Beef sign though. Others??

 

LouieB

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I thought we couldn't talk about Chicago anymore on this site. :D

 

Remphish1, if you have not done so already, you may want to check Price Line, Orbitz, etc. You may find some downtown deals. Coming here over Labor Day is going to make it more difficult to find a deal, though. But, my wife and I have found some good deals when we decide to stay downtown for an anniversary or such.

 

Jazz Fest will be going on that weekend - it's free.

 

As far as hot dogs, being a vegetarian, I can't help you much - haven't had one in a while. The White Sox will be town, you can catch an game and have a hot dog at the same time. I agree with Lou, you can't go wrong with a Vienna dog.

 

Enjoy.

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if you want a really awesome hot dog, Chicago style and otherwise, please do yourself a favor and go to Hot Dougs. You should really get one of their specials instead of the chicago dog, though. They are often on vacation so check their site before heading out: http://www.hotdougs.com/

 

Here is a thread in LTH Forum (an amazing chicago foodie board) all about different chicago dogs and which are the best. Pick one! http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=19223&hilit=chicago+hot+dog

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I thought we couldn't talk about Chicago anymore on this site. :D

 

Remphish1, if you have not done so already, you may want to check Price Line, Orbitz, etc. You may find some downtown deals. Coming here over Labor Day is going to make it more difficult to find a deal, though. But, my wife and I have found some good deals when we decide to stay downtown for an anniversary or such.

 

Jazz Fest will be going on that weekend - it's free.

 

As far as hot dogs, being a vegetarian, I can't help you much - haven't had one in a while. The White Sox will be town, you can catch an game and have a hot dog at the same time. I agree with Lou, you can't go wrong with a Vienna dog.

 

Enjoy.

 

Yeah checked out priceline and orbitz...hard to book when you need a guaranteed crib in the room :ermm ...anyone know of an area right outside the city thats an easy train ride in? Ahh hotdog mmmm can't wait!

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Rosemont has a lot of hotels and is a short ride on the CTA blue line to the city. Oak Park is also lovely, home to lots of FL Wright's work (http://www.oprf.com/...index-walk.html), and a short-ish ride on the train. Not sure about the hotel situation there, though.

 

After much debating and internet research I got an ok deal downtown. Staying at the Mile North Hotel...only $195 with $52 a night parking :stunned I will probably be parking elsewhere but will appreciate the ability to be downtown. Thanks for all the advice...I feel like a lost puppy and I go to NYC every week... :uhoh

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Regarding parking, don't park at the hotel. FInd a city or some other lot and park there. You can find lots in the River North area that will be considerabley less. Look for the green and white P sign. At the city/private non-hotel lots you should be able to park for about 30-40 per 24 hours. It's a crap shoot too. (Just so you know the Mile North is not downtown per se, it is just north of the Loop which is downtown. Good place to stay.)

 

I like Hot Dougs,and it is a great hipster destination, but if you have a child they aren't going to know the difference between Dougs dogs and Veinas which are ubiquitous to Chicago. (oops your child is 5 months not 5 years.) The lines at Hot Dougs are long on weekends and may not be worth the time and it is far off the beaten path. (Although they do make a decent veggie dog for us current non-meat eaters.) But stopping by just about about any hot dog stand on the near north side will fit the bill. I wish Gold Coast Dogs was still open, because they had great food, but alas they are not.

 

If you do NYC, Chicago will be a breeze. Re-read some of the early stuff, get a CTA pass, take the buses and els, check out Jazzfest if only for something to do (I certainly don't want to get yelled at again that not ALL of us like jazz), get a copy of the Reader for entertainment news, and contact any of us regulars off-line if you like. Like NYC, Chicago is now a huge tourist destination, so the area you are staying in will be filled with tourists on Labor Day. For a break, get on the el and ride it to the end of the end of the line or stop off in one of the neighborhoods for a breat from the crowds.

 

LouieB

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Thanks Lou..yeah I realize it is a little North of Downtown but looks walkable to most of the good stuff. I like jazz but my wife doesn't :yeaahh but maybe it is in the cards..probably going to be walking all day and eating..nothing wrong with that!Thanks again y'all! :guitar

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Jazzfest is right downtown so there is other stuff to do right next door. Going during the day to the side stages is plenty fun for people watching, and doing stuff in the part adjacent to the fest.

 

And yes you can walk all over from where you are staying. If you have a stroller you will fit right in in such hip neighborhoods at Wicker Park and Lincoln Square, where an infant has become the newest hipster accessory, if you have upgraded from a dog.

 

Regarding dogs, hot dogs in particular, the thread that was posted about good places included a mention of Portillos, which ihas a place pretty near where you are staying. They have good hot dogs and great Italian beef. That trread is so old they are still talking about Gold Coast Dogs, which is now gone.

 

LouieB

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I was there last week and stayed at the Best Western on North Broadway. For three nights it cost us a total of $600 for three people. Nice place. They had a nice continental breakfast and was a short walk to the Red Line elevated train which was on Addison by Wrigley Field. I used my government employee discount and saved almost $100 a night. (Are you a teacher?)You park in the garage right next door and can access your car when ever you need it. Lots of bars and eating establishments within walking distance. There is a per day fee for parking but it is very convenient. Try Al's Italian beef sandwiches. I think there are three locations around town. One is directly across from Gino's East Pizza. Maybe Lou can give you the exact addresses or streets. I can't quite remember them. We got a three day CTA pass for $14. Used it way more than its' cost to me.

 

Link to hotel...

 

http://bestwesternil...e-terrace-hotel

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Al's is a large chain that was an outgrowth of one beef stand on Taylor Street that won a Chicago Magazine contest/article many years ago. When I went to their website I notice they only advertise a handful of sites in Chicago (and a bunch in other towns), but I know there are many more than that. (Franchise arrangements?) Al's is pretty good, but I think Portillos is better. The Mr. Beef on Orleans is only one place and maybe the most famous beef place in town. Chicagoans can argue about such mundane shit as who has the best hot dogs, beef, deep dish pizza, all day long.

 

Good location for that Best Western. Good suggestion.

 

LouieB

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The original Al's is my favorite beef. I love the hint of anise in their spice mix.

Plus, in the summertime, you can go across the street to Mario's and get a frozen lemonade.

 

Mr. Beef is good, but the guys behind the counter are assholes.

And Portillo's is okay.

 

I have yet to try Johnny's on North Ave. in Franklin Park, but I know people who swear by it.

 

(And here is a perfect example of one of those Chicago native arguments that Louie was talking about.)

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You could do the Harry Carray's on Navy Pier. They have fireworks later at night if you are there later. They will at least have a bunch of other kid friendly activities nearby and I've seen quite a few kids at Harry Carray's before. A boat ride before could be fun!

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The original Al's is my favorite beef. I love the hint of anise in their spice mix.

Plus, in the summertime, you can go across the street to Mario's and get a frozen lemonade.

 

Mr. Beef is good, but the guys behind the counter are assholes.

And Portillo's is okay.

 

I have yet to try Johnny's on North Ave. in Franklin Park, but I know people who swear by it.

 

(And here is a perfect example of one of those Chicago native arguments that Louie was talking about.)

I would agree that the orginal Als is probably the best of the lot, but its in the old neighborhood, Also agree that the Mr. Beef staff can be jerks. I have been to Johnnys but only after I stopped eating meat so can't attest to the quality of that, but they do make good Italian lemonade aid and pepper and egg sandwiches. Johnny's WAY off the beaten track.

 

Edit-the Buona Beef places are also pretty good. It seems like the local chains have become pretty much the same, so the original places including Mr. Beef, Johnnys, Romas (a couple locations) and Max's (up near me) have true partisans.

 

LouieB

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Back! Had a fun time! Only had 24 hours or so but did all I could on that hot a humid saturday! Went for Breakfast in Wriglyville (Nookies Tree House...good meal) Walked around Wrigley, Lincoln Park and the zoo, Spent time by cloudgate and the fountain then had some pizza at Pizzano's walked by the Marina Towers , Navy Pier and up Michigan ave to the Watertower and Hancock building. Then went for Dinner at Harry Caray's behind the Marina Towers In between somewhere I had a hot dog and Garrets popcorn...uggh no more crazy eating for awhile! :guitar

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