Adventures in Festing: West Fest

Ah, summer in Chicago. It brings sweaty porch beers, unbearable heat waves and–my favorite–street festivals. I missed a couple of my faves while in Europe, but was lucky enough to actually participate in West Fest. Taking place on Chicago Ave. from Damen to Wood, West Fest celebrates all things West Town, from vendors to music to food.

I actually forgot how rad Chicago Avenue is. My memory was jogged perusing the vendor tents; lots of great bars and restaurants I wanted to spend more time in. I stopped into Chickpea for Boy Sustenance in the form of a Dajaj sandwich. I didn’t get to try some myself, but word was that it was quite tasty. They’ve got Arabic movie posters on the walls and retro formica tables, along with specials for every day of the week. I’ll be back soon. Otherwise, Chicago ave. is home to Cleo’s and Highdive, bars that I haven’t been to in a really long time. Club Foot is a little north on August and Honore…all good places to be. Ah, Ukrainian Village, you unsung hero.

Anyway, West Fest. I would have to say the highlight of the whole thing, during the day at least, was the Elder Tree Stage in the Kids Fest, their fest-within-a-fest. Fest Fest Fest. They had this amazing bboy battle, awesome music, and a series of workshops for kids and teens. I led a short yoga workshop (Moksha, represent) for a demographic I’m not used to teaching, and I had an awesome time. Hopefully the kids got something out of it too.

The other workshops included cycling tips, screenprinting, breakdancing, and music theater. Then there were the graffiti artists:

picture by Mr. Tony
picture by Mr. Tony
picture by Mr. Tony

People watching and art makes me want to get more tattoos.

Next Adventure in Festing: Milwaukee Arts Fest July 20-22. Stay tuned!


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