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.
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.
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.
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.
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!