Articles By: John Paris

John Paris
Born in Cincinnati, raised in California, John has lived in a lot of great cities -- Montréal, San Francisco, Boston -- but now calls Chicago home sweet home, and has done so longer than anywhere else. Leaving the hills behind, he has found comfort in the flatness of one of the largest grids in the world. Neighborhoods divided into quadrants, divided into city blocks, divided into equal rectangular plots would seem to be a recipe for a grim, constricted civic culture. Not so, says John -- we Chicagoans are blessed by our situation. As inhabitants within the template of boulevards, and streets, and avenues, we dance on a perfect dance floor. The swirling, tumbling activity of circular pegs amused by square slots is the real creative genius of this fair city. Onward circular pegs!
Sunday Night Poetry Slam at the Green Mill

Sunday Night Poetry Slam at the Green Mill

Mark Smith runs a tight ship at the poetry slam held on Sunday nights at the Green Mill.

Fogo de Chão (Restaurant, River North)

Fogo de Chão (Restaurant, River North)

This is one of those beloved “not just for tourists” downtown institutions. In this room, with this service, with this food, it would be near impossible not to feel like a pampered star nestled in the lap of luxury.

The Harris Theater at Millennium Park

The Harris Theater at Millennium Park

Situated directly behind the Pritzker Pavilion, the Harris theater is one of the gems in the Millennium Park crown and, as of 2003, one of the great venues in Chicago for viewing dance and music events.

The Volo Auto Museum

The Volo Auto Museum

The Volo car museum is one of the most family friendly museums around but it’s also perfect for anyone seeking a quirky, off-the-beaten-path experience. Car buffs, engine aficionados and civilian motorists alike will be wowed by the exhibits.

Catalan Tapas at Mercat a la Planxa

Showcasing traditional Catalan tapas dishes updated with contemporary flourishes, Mercat offers an outstanding dining experience in a beautiful setting.

Cirque Shanghai Extreme

Cirque Shanghai Extreme

It’s not Cirque du Soleil. Less theater, more thrills; less art, more action. Cirque Shanghai is the other big circus which rolls through town every year.

The Windy City Wine Festival

This annual Windy City Wine Festival brings in wineries from around the world offering samples of their stock without the pretentious atmosphere.

Live Music at “Sundays in the Park” in Logan Square

Live Music at “Sundays in the Park” in Logan Square

On select Sunday evenings through October, you can drop in and catch live music at the Centennial Monument in Logan Square as part of the Sundays in the Park music series.

Cirque du Soleil’s OVO

Cirque du Soleil’s OVO

As you know if you’ve seen any of the Cirque du Soleil productions, you’ll be captivated and delighted by all of the show’s hallmarks: amazing acrobats and contortionists, dazzling themed costumes, and oddball intergalactic clowns.

Summer Dance Chicago

Happening Thursdays through Saturdays, Summer Dance Chicago features a different style of music from around the world, and attendees are invited to learn the dance style associated with the music before a live band takes the stage to kick the proceedings into high gear.

KISS Meets the Neo-Futurists

Fortunately, the good folks over at the Neo-Futurists never let bad movie scripts disappear. With their weekly series, “It Came from the Neo-Futurarium X,” running every Thursday, the talented troupe of actors resurrect the dead for the purpose of hilarity.