As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
✶ Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. ✶
Thursday, March 23
Relish your weekend at the Chicago History Museum's second annual hot dog fest. Beginning today, you can grab a sausage from one of eight Chicago vendors while checking out tribute bands like Who's Who and Kashmir. 1601 N Clark St., 10am-5pm. Free.
The 33rd annual Northalsted Market Days takes over Halsted Street between Belmont and Addison in Boystown today and Sunday from 11am to 10pm. Shop, eat street fair food, and enjoy music on three stages -- culminating tonight in a live performance by Belinda Carlisle. $10 donation requested.
The 59th annual Ginza Festival, runs Aug. 8-10 at the Midwest Buddhist Temple, 435 W. Menomonee St. Enjoy traditional Japanese foods, watch martial arts demonstrations, dance, and taiko drum and other musical performances, and browse crafts by visiting Japanese artisans. A donation of $7 for adults, $6 for children and seniors is requested. The festival is open from 11:30am to 9:30pm today.
Retro on Roscoe fills up Roscoe Avenue in Roscoe Village from Damen to Oakley today and Sunday from noon to 10pm. Watch live music on three stages, send the little ones to the kids area for fun activities, and check out the classic car show. $10 donation requested.
Local author Jac Jemc (My Only Wife) leads a workshop called Fooling Ourselves (Into Writing) this afternoon at the Chicago Publishers Resource Center (858 N. Ashland) at 1 p.m. Over the course of three hours, she'll delve into tactics such as creating "language banks" and accessing "gluts of memory" to help writers get unstuck. $25.
Mash Tun Journal hosts the Homebrewer's Ball today from 2:30 to 6pm at Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan St. The first annual competition features beers from more than a dozen homebrewers, all available for you to taste and vote on the best. Tickets are $30 and include a tasting glass, a copy of the new Mash Tun Guide to Craft Beer in Illinois, a commemorative t-shirt and snacks from food trucks -- plus tastes of all the beers. Naturally, the event is 21 and over.
Brain Frame hosts its third anniversary and final show tonight at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport Ave. Doors open at 6pm for a gallery of screen printed Brain Frame posters, live experimental ambient music sets and interactive art installations, then at 8pm founder Lyra Hill hosts collaborative performances by Anya Davidson and Carrie Vinarsky, Aaron Renier and Jessica Campbell, Ian McDuffie and Emily Hutchings, the Rough House puppetry collective, Nick Jackson, and Gina Wynbrandt, and Hill performs a piece of her own. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. 21+
On the second Friday of every month, the 30-or-so galleries and creative spaces in the Chicago Arts District at Halsted and 18th streets open their doors to showcase art and artists from Chicago and the world. The opening receptions begin at 6pm and last officially until 10pm, letting viewers get up close with the art and artists for free. Maps are available at the information center at 1821 S. Halsted St.
CHAOS Brew Club hosts its annual Summer BrewBQ tonight from 6 to 11pm at its headquarters at 2417 W. Hubbard St. Try more than two dozen beers and ciders made by CHAOS members, enjoy tasty barbecue (including veggie options) and enter a raffle for a variety of fun prizes. Members only, but a 60-day trial membership will get you in the door, if you know what I mean. 21+
You're Being Ridiculous, the sassy, funny and fun storytelling show created by Jeremy Owens, is back tonight in Andersonville. With three shows this month, there's sure to be a date that matches your calendar. Come out tonight to hear stories on the theme "Fear" from Eileen Dougharty, Jill Howe, Mary Lorenz, Kelly Loris, Elise Mayfield, Jeremy Owens, and Parker Stockman. Stories start at 7:30pm at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St. Tickets are $15 online or at the door.
Victory Gardens Theater hosts the world premiere of the new show by Chicago Dance Crash, Tron: End of Line, based on the series of films. Full details and advance tickets at the Victory Gardens Website. Victory Gardens: 2433 North Lincoln Avenue. Box office: (773) 871-3000.