Attention Chicago couples, this one is for you! We are pleased to share with you a new service that will change the way you view date nights. Datelivery is a monthly subscription box service based out of Chicago; that focuses on providing novel and creative date night experiences for couples to enjoy right in the comfort of their home. Each month we plan, package and ship out a different themed date night to our subscribers. Included also in each box, are a number of complementary items to use during the date night that coincide with that month’s theme.
Still wondering the benefits? As a couple living in Chicago we know how expensive it can be going out for a date night. Two meals at a nice restaurant can easily cost $150. The cost of date nights in Chicago is just half the battle. Can we talk about the weather? We can’t recall how often we’ve canceled date night because the weather just sucked. See we bet you can relate. Couples can find comfort that with Datelivery, they can enjoy at home date nights that are not your typical dinner and a movie, but are unique, fun, exciting, competitive, romantic and more importantly delivered monthly at an affordable price.
Our philosophy is that date nights are important in relationships and should be done regularly and kept fresh. However, my fellow Chicagoans you don’t have to battle traffic, dish out $150 on a meal, or base your plans around unpredictable weather every time you want to have a date night. It is possible to have a novel date night right at home. So visit us today at www.datelivery.com and let us start planning your at home date nights.
Check out a review from a blogger who was first to try out our product here.
Tags: at home date night, cheap date night, Chicago couples, Chicago date night, creative date night, Datelivery, home dates, local Chicago, Love, marriage, novel date night, relationships, subscription box, themed dates
Can you relate to dealing with a struggle of opinion, being stuck teetering on what morals and ideals you choose to support? This identifiable theme can be found, in one way or another, in many people’s lives all across the World, which is why this remarkable film by Lise Birk Pedersen is one not to miss, as she transports us over to Russia.
On March 28th, The Chicago Committee of Human Rights Watch will hold a very special screening, Putin’s Kiss. It is an engaging and moving story of struggle and politics during the Putin era in Russia. Through the screening, you will experience a first-hand glace of Russia’s political climate through the eyes and struggle of a 19-year old girl, Masha.
Join Masha on her journey beginning with full support of the Nashi Youth Movement and Putin’s policies aiming to remove Russia’s “enemies” which focus on those who support controversial issues, investigative journalists, and human rights defenders. However, through mixing and mingling with a new set of friends, Masha starts to question Nashi’s beliefs and it’s leaders, causing great angst and confusion. Come along on her journey, and you will discover what shocking event leads her to make an ultimate decision between the two groups.
After this emotional screening, stick around for a panel discussion to dig even deeper into the context with Human Rights Watch’s Deputy Director of the Europe and Central Asia Division, Rachel Denber, and other special guests. To round out this memorable night, cap off the evening with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Held at the beautiful Museum of Contemporary Art, the MCA galleries will be open for viewing as well.
Holy Motors marks the return of French auteur Leos Carax after a 13-year hiatus since his last film. And he arrives in grand fashion, positing an exuberant, surreal tale that’s quite unlike any other film in recent years. Any attempt to accurately and succinctly convey the narrative would prove futile, and perhaps beside the point. Mr. Carax presents an avant-garde patchwork of scenes, whose only commonalities are the lead character, the distinct visual fingerprints of its director, and a pervading sense of despair.
The film opens with shots of a dimly lit theater filled with a faceless, static audience watching King Vidor’s The Crowd in a drone-like manner. A man, played by Mr. Carax, awakens from his sleep and scales one of his bedroom walls, finding a keyhole, which he unlocks with his finger. In doing so, the director acknowledges that this is a meta-narrative, a self-reflexive film about film. And so the character, along with the audience, enters into this Lynchian visionary dream of a movie.
The rest of the film follows a day in the life of Monsieur Oscar (Denis Lavant), presumably an actor, who is chauffeured around Carax’s fantastical Paris in a white limousine by the blonde Celine. Over the course of the day, Celine transports Monsieur Oscar to numerous “appointments,” whose details are outlined in dossiers, much like that of a script filled with scene and background character information. Monsieur Oscar proceeds to transform himself into character in the back of the limo, which serves as his dressing room. Lavant, a regular in the Carax canon, pulls off a powerhouse performance as the chameleon-like Monsieur Oscar. Even being with Lavant for nearly the entire film, the actor somehow manages to become nearly unrecognizable to the audience from one scene to the next. He inhabits a multitude of characters, ranging from an old beggar lady, an accordion player, a hit man, a sewer-dwelling troll, a man on his deathbed, a motion-capture acrobatic performer, and so on. With scenes so varied in content and genre, the director creates a pastiche of familiar episodes in the history of cinema. The viewer is always left guessing what will come next in the abstract odyssey of Monsieur Oscar, while still trying to comprehend what just transpired in the previous scene. Carax never indulges much into the private life of Monsieur Oscar, but underlines the character’s existential angst with a palpable melancholic mood. Time and again, the director thwarts audience expectations, including uncharacteristic turns by Eva Mendes as an undeterred fashion model, and Kylie Minogue as a former lover of Monsieur Oscar.
Even considering Holy Motors’ fluid, unusual narrative structure, it’s hard to deny the film’s affecting emotional punch and stimulating visual prowess. It is a wildly original, pure cinematic experience. While Leos Carax laments the downfall of celluloid with the rise in digital filmmaking, with this art-house thrill ride the cynic ironically proves there’s much to be excited about in the future of cinema. Although Holy Motors wasn’t recognized by the Academy for awards consideration, the film was met with great critical appraise and found itself positioned on many prominent critics’ top ten lists for 2012.
It’s no secret that we Chicagoans can’t get enough of this wonderful city we call home. From the over abundance of restaurants, to the never-ending list of things to do, to the Midwestern charm we badge ourselves with, it’s hard to find a reason to not like Chicago. What makes this city even more special is the fact we have the unique experience to be exposed to people from all different walks of life-right in our very own backyard. How many other cities across the U.S. can truly compare?
This Thursday, Northwestern University is hosting a free night of classic short documentaries, Never a City So Reel: Chicago Portraits on Film, that highlight Chicago people and places. The entire program was inspired from the university’s One Book One Northwestern featured book, Alex Kotlowitz’s Never a City So Real. In this book, Kotlowitz showcases his favorite Chicago people and neighborhoods. The film program, in turn, will be showing short films from NU, Kartemquin Films and the Chicago Film Archives that give you a deeper sense into the heart and soul of the city. Topics range from racism, gentrification, an early gay pride parade, and more.
Mark your calendars for Thursday, February 21st at 7:00 p.m. at the Block Museum of Art. Not only will you learn about Chicago’s rich culture, but you will also get the chance to listen to guest speakers and directors Tom Palazzolo and Peter Kuttner.
For more info click here!
Tags: alex kotlowitz, Block Museum of Art, chicago, Chicago documentaries, Chicago Film Archives, chicago people, early gay pride too, gentrification, kartemquin films, Never A City So Real, northwestern, northwestern university, NU, One Book One, One Book One Northwestern, Peter Kuttner, racism, Tom Palazzolo
Growing tired of your usual dinner-and-a-movie date? Mix it up this weekend and attend the 3rd annual Chicago Food Film Festival. The brainchild of George Motz, Travel Channel host and filmmaker, the festival will screen 17 films highlighting food and drink. There are 7 awards categories including: Best Feature, Best Short, Best Super-Short, Best Food Porn, Food Filmmaker of the Year, Best Film Made Locally, and Audience Choice Award.
Still not enthused? It gets better. At the Chicago Food Film Festival audience members are served the food/drinks that appear on the screen! This year’s fest includes 4 world premieres, 1 US premiere, and several Chicago premieres.
This year guests will enjoy whisky tastings from 8 distilleries in Scotland during the screening of Whisky: The Islay Edition, a fish fry during Fish Fry Night Milwaukee, and much more. Renowned chefs also participate in the gathering of food connoisseurs. Chef Phillip Foss brings back his famous “fries and ice cream,” and ramen expert Chef Keizo Shimamoto flies in from Japan Saturday to host Midnight Ramen, a meet-and-eat hosted by Kitchit, Gohan Society, and Sun Noodle.
Whether you’re looking to see a good movie or get a savory bite to eat, the Chicago Food Film Festival is sure to satisfy your craving. It’s a great opportunity to broaden your palette, both for the culinary and cinematic arts!
I know what you’re thinking. It’s too early to talk about holiday stuff. Halloween just ended, right? Well you may not want to participate, but next thing you know, you’ll be hearing “Let it Snow” on LITE FM. In between searching for the perfect gifts for your loved ones, take a break to enjoy some Chicago holiday classics.
Christkindlmarket, November 20-December 24th Daley Plaza transforms into a German wonderland for a month. Get unique gifts, eat some amazing German food (Spaten and Struedel, naturally), and meet up with Santa Claus. Don’t forget about the tree! The 99th Annual Tree Lighting will take place November 20th at 5pm.
Want to mix aerobic exercise with awesome architecture? Ice-skating at Millennium Park is for you! I’ve been doing this since 2001 when it started. It’s so much fun because it is FREE. The biggest tip is to bring your own skates. I know, you never use them, but seriously. The line for rentals can be an hour long, so have a pair ready. Don’t have any? A lot of thrift shops will have them this season. Scrounge around and you’ll have them forever!
Here’s another oldie but goodie: lunch at the Walnut Room. It really doesn’t get better having great food under the beautiful tree. It’s something everyone in Chicago enjoys doing. Something Chicagoans don’t like doing is waiting. So my little tip is to not eat lunch there. It can be a 2 hour long line on a weekend to get your hands on some of Mrs. Herring’s pot pie. Here’s what my family likes to do: put our name in, have lunch, shop and have dessert in the afternoon. Think about it: their desserts are the best part of their menu. Enjoy some of their Frango cheesecake and skip the craziness!
Even the least festive person can’t say no to this next one: A Christmas Carol. You’ll go in saying “Bah Humbug” and leave saying “God bless us, everyone!” It’s the 35th year the Goodman has performed this classic Dickens Play. The run starts November 17th and ends December 29th.
Lights! Animals! Action! Another great tradition is a little north of the Loop at the Lincoln Park Zoo. ZooLights features warm drinks, holiday crafts, and a light show. Get some food on Clark Street (there are so many classic restaurants…Chicago Oven and Pizza Grinder anyone?) and head over to see the amazing lights! You can see the animals too, but for some reason that darn polar bear is never out…
Tags: chicago, Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder, christmas, Christmas Lights, Christmas Trees, Daley Plaza, Frango, german, Goodman, Goodwill, Holiday, Holidays in Chicago, lincoln park, Lincoln Park Zoo, Loop, Macy’s Christmas Carol, Thrift stores, Unique, Village Thrift, Walnut Room, Zoo, ZooLights
The Chicago Comedy Film Festival got it’s start in 2011 when a few good funny people got together and realized that comedy hasn’t be equally recognized in the film scene. Aside from the usual drama shorts and films, most other pictures chosen to be included in film festivals consist of experimental works that give you a different perception on things. Emotional rollercoaster titles and pseudo intellectual ideals are great, but where are the laughs at these special events?
This question is one that Chicago Comedy Film Festival director Jessica Hardy asked herself many times, I’m sure, before giving a place for independent comedy film makers and award winning directors from all over the world to show their stuff in one great place of laughs and appreciation.
Last year, the show featured 13 sponsors with the 31 short films and comedy works but this year will be bigger and better. With 15 sponsors, including DePaul University’s School of Cinema and Interactive Media, and 32 films – we at a Chicago Thing have nothing but high hopes for the 2nd Annual Chicago Comedy Film Festival!
We will be there to catch some laughs – will you? (nod your head at this time affirming your attendance)
Featured films include:
Many great short films are also featured! You can find the full list & purchase tickets here:
I’ve always been a natural hostess, someone who jumps at any and every chance to entertain my family and friends. Yet, whenever I have guests in town, I struggle with my role as a “tour guide,” wondering how to put Chicago on display without succumbing to the ever-popular, though quite cliché options of shopping on Michigan Ave., taking pictures in front of the Bean, or eating our way through the city (a city that, mind you, boasts some of the best restaurants in the world).
Fortunately, I stumbled upon the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s website, home to a ton of interactive tours, which have definitely become a go-to form of entertainment for my out-of-town guests. From boats, to buses, to bikes, and beyond, the CAF provides an unparalleled insight into the city’s internationally renowned historic and modern architecture. The best part? The tours are all led by real Chicagoans, with real knowledge about the city (and some even include bars on board!) – you won’t find anything cheesy or boring here.
Like most citywide tour organizations, though, CAF docents tend to focus their efforts on teaching excited attendees about the exterior of Chicago’s buildings. So, while gawking at skyscrapers, admiring innovative construction, and reveling in the historic landscape that has molded this city, I constantly find myself wondering, what’s inside of that building? What does that iconic theater’s auditorium look it? What makes up the interior of that enormous home?
Well, for its second year in row, the CAF is giving curious people like myself a sneak-peek into some of the city’s most exclusive spaces. On October 13th and 14th, Open House Chicago (OHC) will expose over 150 buildings in the city – from repurposed mansions, to private clubs and secret rooms, to world famous hotels. Even better? It’s totally FREE! That’s right – no fees or registration, AND no lines or leaders. It’s a completely self-guided experience, allowing you to explore the city’s hidden gems at no cost and with no real restrictions. What better way to spend the weekend?
So, grab a friend, venture out into some of Chicago’s most diverse neighborhoods, and enjoy the open house.
September 22nd should be a great night for comedy as The Chicago Theatre welcomes comedian George Lopez. The comedian is scheduled to entertain what is sure to be a full house during the second night of his 2012 stand-up tour. Following the cancellation of his TBS talk show “Lopez Tonight,” George Lopez has decided to bring his presence to the stage for a second tour entitled “That’s The America I Live In”. The tour kicks off on September 21st in Milwaukee with Chicago on the following night.
Lopez could very well face some competition from fellow comedian and actor Rob Schneider who is performing at Improv Chicago in Schaumburg, IL throughout the weekend of September 21-23. The entertainer has had a pretty consistent career in comedy since his start on “Saturday Night Live” and has spent the years starring in hit comedies. He had a cameo in the film “Jack and Jill” which received extremely negative reviews and scored a staggeringly low 3% on Rotten Tomatoes but has had impressive success with his CBS sitcom “¡Rob!” in which he plays himself and marries into a Mexican-American family.
Good luck to both guys on their tours! I’m sure we will be nothing but impressed. So if you are looking for something to do you should definitely check out either one of these great Chicago venues during the weekend of September 21-23. In 2010 when Schneider visited “Lopez Tonight”, the two discussed the prospects of returning to stand up comedy after having spent a large chunk of their careers focusing on film and television.
In time of political polarity and Chicago teacher’s strikes, it’s nice to have something to laugh about.
“With everything goin’ on in the country, it’s always a good time for stand-up.” – George Lopez
Summer nights in the city are fun. The warm weather gives us plenty of activities to do at night! Last year, Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park had a bike-in movie night and they are bringing it back!
The beautiful Whole Foods Market is teaming up with New Belgium to bring back bike-in movie nights! The neighborhood grocery store will be hosting a series of movie night’s right on the rooftop. Each event will benefit a different local non-profit group and of course, a different movie (check back for the next movie on the website). Come out for a bike ride to Whole Foods to help them kick off the first night TOMORROW June 12th! Start things off with a reception down at their 1550 Bar at 7pm. Movie starts at 8:15pm!
The first screening will be an 80’s classic, The Breakfast Club: a story about five high school teenagers in different cliques who spend a Saturday in detention together coming to realize that they aren’t that different from each other after all. All proceeds will benefit City Farm.
If you didn’t catch this event last summer, make sure you register and head out to one of the movie nights on the rooftop this summer! Lastly, enjoy the summer nights in the city!