The days of Facebook stalking and blogging breaks between each paragraph (or sentence) of your shitty, gen-ed essay are over – it’s time to shed your scholarly shawl and embrace summer with all you’ve got. Put down that iPhone! Stop daydreaming about playing Diablo 3! We only have a couple of months before the reset button gets hit, and we’re doomed to repeat every anxiety attack, skipped class, and sacrifice of coffee over groceries. To aid in your spiritual development, The Leader’s collected some ideas to play with instead of spending time on the couch, watching Arrested Development for the umpteenth time.
S. Alan Sangria
1 bottle (750 milliliter) dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
2 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, chilled
2 1/2 cups pear nectar, chilled
2 1/2 cups apricot nectar, chilled
1 cup green-tea vodka (see Tips & Techniques)
1 pear, thinly sliced for garnish
In a pitcher, combine the wine with the pomegranate juice, pear and apricot nectars, and vodka; refrigerate until chilled, 20 minutes. Pour into glasses over ice, garnish with the pear slices, and serve.
The Rob Butler
2 sprigs thyme
1 1/2 ounces tea vodka
3/4 ounces fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. water
In a cocktail shaker, lightly muddle 1 of the thyme sprigs. Add ice and the tea vodka, lemon juice, and honey syrup, and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass or coupe and garnish with the remaining thyme sprig.
6 pack beer
Lemonade concentrate (undiluted)
Pour beer over ice in a pan, barrel or some rustic container. Add lemonade, pour in a can of gin. Stir.
Reinhold the Ice
1 1/4 oz rum
5 oz lemon-lime soda
1 slice lemon (optional)
1 slice lime (optional)
Add spiced rum and lemon-lime soda in tall ice-filled glass. Garnish with lemon and lime slices if desired.
Elmhurst Area Parks
East End Park
Known colloquially as “The Hospital Park” for its proximity to Elmhurst’s own medical practice (fall out of a tree? No problem!), this park is perhaps best outfitted with all playtime necessities. Situated around a teasingly dry swimming pool rumored to have a drop-off water slide, fun can be found on the basketball court, numerous baseball fields, wide open plains, climbing equipment, or in the tip-top of the many varieties of trees. Surrounded by textbook suburban homes, the kiddies head in around dinner time, and your imagination will run wild with visions of what ungodly practices are manifesting behind those perfect, white picket fences marred only by the incessant honking from the visible highway just yonder.
Veteran’s Memorial Park
Truly the ultimate park, Veteran’s Memorial should charge admission. Located a short distance from its parking lot, park go-ers will first happen across a shockingly large, indescribably 3D pentagon-like metal structure (get the picture?) with ropes crisscrossing throughout the middle for ultimate scampering – any climbers’ absolute dream. Two swing sets, a large basketball court, a playground for tiny people and another playground for especially tiny people are fabulous amenities all overshadowed by the park’s most distinguishing feature: its adult-sized, mini zip line.
To be avoided during daylight hours when it resembles a Tiny Person Zoo rather than a park, Wilder Park is your super average play facility with the perfect benefit being that it’s about a block from campus. Just a few paces from EC’s own tennis courts, this park also boasts sprawling green pastures with its abundance of slides and swings. Wilder Park is best visited during the witching hours, but be careful, there aren’t any trees to duck into when the pigs roll up late-night looking for thugs like you.
The onomatopoeic nature of this park goes well with its clunky equipment. As we all know, the only necessary part of a park is its swing set, and Plunkett doesn’t have one of these, but it does have some of the most puzzling playground equipment this side of the tracks. Eat some fungus, take the short stroll from the Terrace apartment complex, and try to balance on the futuristic, unexplainably odd equipment. When you get dizzy, catch some rays and sink into the vast meadows surrounding the park. Added bonus: children are rarely present.
Old Town Art Fair
June 9-10; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
1763 N North Park Ave., Chicago, IL
Suggested donation: $7
Chosen by museum curators, gallery owners, and professional artists, the picks for the Old Town Art Fair in Lincoln Park tend to be pretty snazzy. From 3D mixed media to printmaking to jewelry, the fair offers oddities to satiate trendy Chicago travelers and has been recognized as one of the top 10 art fairs in the country by doing so. A music stage provides some jams by local talent, food courts boast Chicago foods, and all donations go to youth groups, schools, and neighborhood preservation projects.
Printers Row Lit Fest
Dearborn Street, from Congress to Polk streets in Printers Row, Chicago, IL
Fuck Kindles! Much like The Book of Eli (without the religious mumbo jumbo), the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Lit Fest has sworn a fierce loyalty to “old school” books. Promoting literacy, the written word, and those who wish to continue or begin their literary lifestyles, the Lit Fest cultivates a community with discussions, book signings, readings, and all of those things that make literary lovers’ hearts flutter. We suggest bringing a backpack – hauling around your literature grabs with sunburnt arms might get sticky come June.
Union Park, Chicago, IL
A prerequisite for joining The Leader’s Beat staff is passing a “what obscure artists to do you know” exam. If you fail to list at least 50 bands no one on staff has heard of, well… To aid in our recruitment, we recommend stopping by Pitchfork. Sure, maybe bands like the Dirty Projectors and Vampire Weekend are semi-known, but there’s some really, gritty underground shit to boost your rep with. The Pitchfork Music Festival has grown in recent years, hosting over 40 indie bands on three stages over three days.
Wicker Park Festival
July 27-28, 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Milwaukee Ave. between North and Paulina
Suggested donation: $5
If you’re going to EC, things usually go two ways: you’re swimming in debt, working every day, and crying tears of self-loathing every night, or your parents pay for everything. Although category number two might be able to go to Lollapalooza and see Black Sabbath (wait, what?), category one should check out Wicker Park Festival, which offers all of the sweat, rowdy crowds, and loud music, but without the big ol’ bill.