When did you mark the beginning of summer?

The Daily Reader

June 7, 2023

When did this summer start for you?

Did it happen when we stumbled into June last Thursday? 

Did you mark it the first day you went to picnic on Promontory Point? (I did so on Memorial Day.)  

Or how about the first hot dog you ate at a minor league baseball game this season? (That’d be the Chicago Dogs season opener in early May for me.)

What about your first camping trip of the year? (I went out to Door County to camp a couple weekends ago.)

Or the first time you see the Hacky Sack Guy at a street festival? (I spotted him at Do Division just before Dan Deacon’s festival-closing set Sunday evening.)

What about strolling through neighborhood-wide yard and garage sales? (Shout out to the annual Ravenswood Manor garage sale, during which I picked up a vinyl copy of the original Broadway recording of Cats.)

This past weekend was the first time this year I felt overwhelmed by the number of summer activities I wanted to do, since that greatly outweighed the number of activities I actually could do. I consider this the true beginning of summertime in Chicago. I’ve been able to enjoy warm weather events before June, and I’ve had to miss plenty of events I’ve wanted to attend back in May, but this past weekend marked the first time I could count a week’s worth of events I wanted to be at happening on a single weekend night. I’ve gotten used to this feeling long before now. I wouldn’t call it FOMO, because I appreciate that the options are there, and that this city is so big that I will never be able to experience it all in a year, never mind a weekend. And at this point in my life, I’m at peace with that fact; it helps me enjoy what I can experience, and it helps me relax too, which is part of what I love about summer in this city in the first place.

This summer I’m endeavoring on a monthslong project that will mean I miss some events I’d love to witness to meet one goal: to throw out a first pitch at as many minor league baseball parks as I can fit into a couple months. Last Friday, I threw out a first pitch at a Windy City Thunderbolts game in suburban Crestwood. I’ll save the details for the final story, but I do have one newer goal for the summer: I need to work on my form.


*P.S. – If you’re free Thursday night, I’ll be at Exile in Bookville in the Fine Arts Building to talk with my friend Lior Phillips about her new book, South African Popular Music. The talk is free to attend, and if you’re interested in coming through, you just need to register in advance at this link. It kicks off at 7 PM!

 “Tone Glow 096: RP Boo,” by Corrigan Blanchfield (Tone Glow)
 “Searching for Meg White,” by Melissa Giannini (Elle)
Boys Weekend, by Mattie Lubchansky


 Vine, Forever
 Foo Fighters, But Here We Are 
 McKinley Dixon, Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!?

😎 Leor’s “Summer 2023 is here” playlist 

Avant-garde jazz genius Henry Threadgill drops in to talk about his new memoir
Plus: Pianist Javier Red releases an album devoted to empathy for autistic kids, and world-weary cabaret singer Mister Tom Musick showcases his many moods on a new record.

by J.R. Nelson and Leor Galil 
Read more

‘This is the kind of stuff I’ve looked for my entire time in America’
The Chicago Mehfil creates a space for South Asian arts that’s free of casteism and religious nationalism and open to everyone.

by Ankur Singh Read more

Experimental doom pioneers Khanate make a surprise return after 14 years of silence

by Luca Cimarusti Read more

Sampa the Great imbues polished hip-hop with the psychedelic magnetism of Zamrock

by Leor Galil Read more

The best of Chicago’s arts and culture.

Our arts and culture newsletter is packed with all things you need to know, see, and do to experience our city’s vibrant visual and performing arts scene. 


Issue of
June 1 – 14 2023
Vol. 52, No. 17

View/Download Issue [PDF]

View this e-mail as a web page




Chicago Reader on LinkedIn



Forward this e-mail to a friend.

Want to change how you receive these e-mails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Copyright © 2023 Chicago Reader, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Chicago Reader, 2930 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 102, Chicago, IL 60616