It’s March now and Chicago is finally defrosting. With all the warm weather coming our way, the Recorder has done a run-down of what we are all looking forward to experiencing in the city in the upcoming months that doesn’t involve hiding inside our home under a blanket.
My family lives only a block away from Lincoln Park, so in the summer we love to walk down to the Green City Market. This outdoor farmers market is just one of over 50 markets that spring up in Chicago. You can purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses made in the Midwest, flowers grown in Illinois, and some fantastic freshly prepared food as well. If you are at the Green City Market, you have to try out the apple cider donut holes! This year, we are going to participate in our first CSA, community supported agriculture, with Meadow Haven Farm. With a CSA, you purchase a “share” of fruits, vegetables, meats, etc. that are grown at a local farm. Then once a month, you head to the market and pick up your “share.” The farmers markets in Chicago are a great way to find fresh food and support the regional farms around Chicago, and it gives you a reason to get out of your house earlier than noon on a weekend!
We have a new munchkin at home, so we’re looking forward to taking advantage of the many city parks and street festivals. I had a great time last year at Square Roots and we’re definitely planning to do that again this summer.
I’m also really looking forward to summer running. Chicago has a great running scene (I mean, it’s hard to beat the scenery on the Lake Shore Path!) populated with people like super famous runner Peter Sagal. The Chicago Area Runners Association has a circuit, and fantastic resources for local runners. I’m kicking my season off a Glo Run in May, and capping it off with a half marathon in September. I haven’t really figured out which runs will go in between, but CARA will help me fill in the pieces.
Baseball baseball baseball!
The Cubs aren’t going to be completely sucky this year! (Take that with all the grains of salt.)
The bleachers are going to look awesome!….eventually….
There will once again be vomit all over the sidewalks directly outside my house! My neighborhood will routinely be invaded by drunken bros and bro-ettes! Old Style will pour like golden waters that smell more like piss than…well, you get the idea.
But more importantly…
One of the best things about warmer Chicago weather is outdoor spectacles: in the past five years, I have spent many excellent afternoons and evenings enjoying the Grant Park Music Festival, the Downtown Sound concerts and Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park, free movies in many Chicago green spots (including a trip with many Recorder writers to see It Happened One Night), and plenty of Shakespearean productions. One of my biggest goals this year is to attend more of such shows, especially when they’re free (unlike the crowded concerts at Taste of Chicago) and welcoming to those who want wine-and-cheese picnics.
Becky covered this a little bit, but long walks through the parks are one of my very favorite things in Chicago. There’s lots of great ones around town, but with Lincoln Park all of two minutes out our front door that promises to be our destination of choice. The Green City Market is great, of course, but the best thing to do in Lincoln Park is just head to the water. North Pond is just a stone’s throw away, but the Lake Michigan waterfront is only a little further along. While the lakeshore path is crammed with bicyclists and runners, it’s just as easy to stroll along the breakwater or through the lawns. The water, the sunshine, and the downtown skyscrapers across the lake are all just the best. Bar none.
The spring thaw means that C2E2 is right around the corner, when our friends from around the country crash with us for an awesome April weekend. The temperatures mean that my dad and his siblings are up on the northern Wisconsin farm where they grew up, tapping trees to eventually make maple syrup. As Travis and Andrew mentioned, it’s also when baseball season and street festivals start.
But what I really love about the thaw is more mundane: it means I can mix up a nice, tall Americano cocktail, take it outside with my notebooks, and sip a refreshing libation as I write up the next game session for 13th Age or Delta Green.