River Currents: Forget the February Blues
Loop North News


River Currents by Pasha Holiday

Toast to Life

Forget the February Blues

(Left) None of these three Mardi Gras revelers are blue. They were photographed on February 5, 2008 in New Orleans by Flickr photographer Toast to Life.

It is freezing out.

It gets dark before dinner.

River North has a blanket of snow over its patios and balconies. The Chicago River is one vast sheet of ice that only breaks in hopes of warmer weather. The February blues are in full force. Marina City and its surrounding community residents have taken cover under snuggies and fuzzy slippers. Everyone is in dire need of vitamin B but will be satisfied with a night out, a reason to let loose and a party to populate. After all, there are some sunshine vitamins in orange juice and Grey Goose.

The good news from River Currents, your new, local entertainment column, is that there is a reason to get out and have a good time. Take off those crusty PJs, put on something other than work clothes and go out to celebrate the cantankerous month of February!

Dick’s Last Resort, located at the intersection of North Dearborn Street and the Chicago River, gives you too many motives to party in February. First it was the Super Bowl and now it is the Saints winning it all. The City of New Orleans is partying all the way through to Mardi Gras and darn it, so should Chicago! Alas, this is not New Orleans – it’s cold up here in the Midwest. So stay in and celebrate.

Dick’s is having its annual Mardi Gras party – Habitat for Insanity 2010 – on February 16 (Fat Tuesday!) Stay warm with $3 Hurricanes and a full Creole menu, including jambalaya, Drunk Cajun Shrimp, Spicy Gator Tail and even buckets of beignets. True to form, Dick’s wants all of its patrons to dress up for the festivities. The wildest costume will win $250 and the person who finds the baby in the King’s Cake wins dinner for two. If Dick’s didn’t love Mardi Gras they wouldn’t hang bras on the bar! Bring (or wear) a bedazzled one – or heck, one that promotes your company. The best one will win a $50 bar tab and the coveted Mardi Gras spot at the bar.

(Click on address for map)

Amano Italian Trattoria
335 North Dearborn Street

Dick’s Last Resort
315 North Dearborn Street

LaSalle Power Company
500 North LaSalle Street

10pin Bowling Lounge
330 North State Street

The Underground
56 West Illinois Street

If residents would rather not head out for self-serving hedonism, maybe charity is worth a trudge in the sludge. Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan is playing at LaSalle Power Company (500 North LaSalle Street) on February 18 at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $150 to $300 and benefit Kellogg Cancer Care Center at Evanston Hospital.

Photo by Kristin Burns

Billy is not expected to bring his new girlfriend, Jessica Simpson. Surely the entire River North community will be bawling into their snow-capped scarves.

(Left) Billy Corgan, vocalist and lead guitarist for alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. Photo by Kristin Burns.

The Underground at 56 West Illinois Street is hosting the fifth annual Tickled Pink party, a fundraiser for breast cancer where local celebrities will be slinging drinks and passing out appetizers.

For spur of the moment good times and an any-time excuse to go outside in February, look no further than any of the River North bars and restaurants that feature cold weather specials. There is always some sort of a price-break and good time event, seven days a week! A few of the particularly tantalizing specials are right here at Marina City, including the Sunday Special at 10pin Bowling Lounge. Three hours of unlimited bowling and shoes for $15 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Amano Italian Trattoria features $10 carafes of wine on Tuesday and Dick’s has $5 Fiesta Fridays that include Cuervo margaritas, Coronas and select appetizers.

Even though American Idol is on television and the old winter coat is now tattered from its endless winter abuse, throw on a pair of mittens and scurry over to your favorite River North hang out. February can’t scare River North and it certainly can’t last forever!

Pasha Holiday is a former newspaper reporter and columnist. She now spends most of her time renovating a 110-year-old Chicago bungalow and working for Dick’s Last Resort at Marina City.

 Email Pasha

By Peter Hancock | Capitol News Illinois | phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com

Published 12-Feb-10 12:00 AM

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