There are people in Logan Square who would like to hang out with you. Yes, you.
With Meetup.com‘s easy format and concept—of getting people with shared interests together—there’s no excuse to post up on the couch and watch re-runs of Friends with your cats, if being social is part of a good quality of life. That is, unless the meetup group you’re attending or hosting is based on watching re-runs of Friends in the presence of cats from the comfort of a couch.
If you live in Logan Square and feel like socializing, Meetup.com can get you writing and talking about writing, running with fitness noobs, listening to live jazz, talking about books, creating in-the-moment theatre or—as LoganSquarist writer Ashanti De Silva reported recently—slacklining.
Time To Get Out Of The House
Running might seem straightforward, but if you’re a beginner, you probably want advice on a good pair of shoes, get coached on form or maybe talk about the pros and cons of fitness trackers and apps for runners. Logan Square Beginning Runners meets in front of a Logan Square business like Starbucks or Dunlays and heads out on what is usually a casual two to three mile run along the boulevards. With 89 members in the group, and with the weather getting warmer, plenty of people will come out with their runners laced up. If you’re planning on running a 5k, 10k or a marathon, this might be the perfect group to find a training partner.
Arts Workshop at Mozart Park is another outdoor meetup. Organized by the Borderbend Arts Collective, which meets every Monday, this group has 166 members who engage in painting, poetry, music and performing in a workshop setting. The idea is to engage in the arts in an experimental way that revolves around the theme of learning and honoring artists or musicians who helped shape Chicago as a center for creative expression.
Step Indoors For Some Culture
A few literary meetups make their home in Logan Square. One at City Lit Books (2523 N. Kedzie Blvd.) features regular appearances by local and well-known published authors. Lev Grossman and Kate Mulgrew (“Red” from Orange is the New Black) are two recent stars who have made appearances to talk about their books and speak to meetup-goers at City Lit.
Another boasts over 600 members and involves a bit of reading to participate. The Logan Square Book Club meets at various locations for a monthly meetup where they discuss a book that members are given (appropriately) a month to read. Some of the latest reads include A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, American Gods by Neil Gaiman and Persuasion by Jane Austen. Though this club will make you feel accountable to read consistently to participate, it also meets for non-reading events like a “Macaroni and Cheese Eating” meetup, as well as film viewings and discussions that are popular with the group during Oscar season.
For literary types who type words for others to read, Just Write Chicago—a group that hosts meetups in some of Chicago’s coziest of corners—meets weekly (at times bi-weekly) at New Wave Coffee (2557 Milwaukee Ave.) in our hood. At the typical Friday meetup, the groups scatters throughout the coffee shop, free to write as they please from noon to 2 pm, and then they gather at 2 pm for an hour to talk. This is not, however, a group that writes to critique, but rather meets to support the writing process where writers offer each other advice and motivation to keep writing and advancing their projects.
To sit back and soak in the culture, Logan Square Live Jazz Meetup dedicates Thursday nights (at 9 pm) to a casual BYOB gathering at Logan Square Studio (2341 N. Milwaukee Ave.). Jeff Kier and The Grilly Brothers Quintet are the regulars who play until 11:30 pm. And while they’re asking for a $5 donation per person, per show, like all the other meetup groups in Logan Square, they’re not doing it for the money.
Another cultural group gets together at G-Mart Comics via the Chicago Game Lovers meetup group. This is another Chicago-wide channel—one that focuses on playing board games—and has nearly 3,000 total members. The meetup at G-Mart happens every Thursday night, usually starting at 7 pm, where those who come have a wide array of games to choose from. If attendees have a favorite game they’d like to bring along, they’re encourage to do so.
Moms Who Know C.R.E.A.M.
Child rearing isn’t enough for some mothers, and there’s a Logan Square meetup group for mothers who run their own businesses. Logan Square Mompreneurs meets monthly—at a location disclosed only to members of the group—in Logan Square to discuss how to develop current or future business ideas and plans, and also to showcase other successful business-owning mothers who understand that “Cash Rules Everything Around Me.” These power moms also meet for one-off social events like cocktail hours and discussions regarding health and fitness.
Of course, social scenes can be accessed throughout most corners of Logan Square without Meetup.com. Facebook is a great place to look to see what local businesses, musicians and entertainers are doing to share their craft, and as a consequence get people together.
Some worth checking out are the Seven Deadly Sins Story Night at Cafe Mustache (2313 N. Milwaukee Ave.), Open Mic Comedy Night at the Logan Theatre (2646 N. Milwaukee Ave.) and of course the LoganSquarist monthly meetups that highlight (and take over) a local business each month.
Yes, We May Have Missed Some…
And if you have a group you’d like to talk about or mention, please leave us a comment on this article or on Facebook. We’d love to know if and where dog lovers, knitters, bakers or Friends-watching cat-lovers are getting together.