I Love the City and Free Events

Being job-free has forced me to seek out new types of cultural events with an emphasis on free, free, free and cheap. I love living in the city because there is so much to choose from and so much of it is free. Or cheap.

On Friday night we met up with Elizabeth of BikeCommuters for her friend’s show, musician Javier Mendoza. The show was free, although contributing to the tip jar and drinking a beer required a bit of money. Still a deal for a great night out.

A picture of Elizabeth taking a picture of Greg taking a picture of us

A picture of Elizabeth taking a picture of Greg taking a picture of us

Saturday was jam-packed with freebies and I traveled from place-to-place on my bike, of course.

After a crazy ride in insane traffic, Greg and I started at Navy Pier to see Cirque Shanghai. Elizabeth got the tickets for free but wasn’t able to use them, so passed them along to me. The acrobats were amazing – we decided the performers were those who did not make it on the Olympics gymnastic team.

Cirque Shanghai

My next trick - Cirque Shanghai

From there we headed further south to catch Keirin Queen at the Bicycle Film Festival. I got a free pass for volunteering with the local bike advocacy group. The BFF website describes the film as follows:

A classic Japanese Keirin track film screened for the first time in the United States (with English subtitles)! Miki, a daughter of a tiny fish store owner in a mountain village, gains confidence riding a bicycle because of her morning routine of riding to the fish market. Miki starts training very hard at the Nippon Keirin School and begins to ride the road to success on the way to becoming a Keirin Queen.

Although the setting is distinctly ’50’s, the movie is surprisingly feminist. The main character puts off marriage, the “graveyard for life,” to train to become a Keirin racer – and earn her own money. I’ll note that she gains her “skilled legs” by riding a heavy bike very similar to my Oma around on errands. Highly recommended, if you can get your hands on it or make it to an upcoming BFF.

Keirin Queen

Keirin Queen

Contemplating my future in Keirin racing

Contemplating my future in Keirin racing

Finally, from the film festival I made my way alone to the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park for a free orchestra show of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, stopping at Chipotle to pick up a picnic supper first.

Pritzker Pavilliom amd the Grant Park Orchestra

Pritzker Pavilliom amd the Grant Park Orchestra

That’s four cultural events for no more than the cost of a beer, tips, a soda, and a burrito. That’s why I love the city on my bicycle!

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5 thoughts on “I Love the City and Free Events

  1. sara says:

    Yes to the city & free events! We spent much of this summer trying to take full advantage of all public space/things with our kids and spent hours at splash pads in some local playgrounds, swimming in the local public school’s pool during its ‘open hours,’ listening to free music on the Green, enjoying the mini-beach at a city park, etc. Often we have a great time and there seems to be an added layer of enjoyment that we got it for free.

  2. Patrick says:

    You should check out http://www.brokehipster.com nothing but daily super specials around Chicago for the monetarily challenged or smart bargain hunter. You definitely get to try out new places around town! Cheers to a great blog.

  3. […] Chicago, Dottie at Let’s Go Ride a Bike also volunteered with her local bike advocacy group for a free pass to BFF. In New York, […]

  4. … [Trackback]…

    […] Informations on that Topic: letsgorideabike.com/blog/2009/08/i-love-the-city-and-free-events/ […]…

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