Are you an artist who is too broke for a Soho House membership? Do you wish you could enjoy the glorious rooftop pool of Soho while sipping on one of their herbaceous cocktails after a relaxing massage with other creatives? For one magical Sunday afternoon in Logan Square, I was able to afford the luxuries that come with a Soho House membership.
So Broke House (3551 W. Diversey Ave.) was the perfect remedy for broke artists who yearn for the lavish comforts of Soho House but simply cannot afford the egregious membership.
I had the opportunity to attend this innovative pop-up on Sunday, July 28th and wasn’t sure what to expect. It was essentially a free mini-party in the Basic Studios gravel lot from 2-5pm during the hottest part of a 90-degree day. They also had a complimentary bike valet with diagnostics for eco-friendly creatives. There were two mini-pools with therapeutic rafts and a unicorn water fountain to shower you with enchantment.
For your creative self-care needs, they offered: free group yoga, a DIY printing station, self-guided tours of an art exhibition, and a $5 tarot card reading and massage. To quench your thirst, attendees had the privilege of drinking boozy punch, beer, water, and LaCroix to help replenish the liquid lost from sweating in the sun and dancing.
The event was described by Extra Projects, a multidisciplinary project space that hosts artist studios and exhibitions as “a pop-up kiddie pool paradise in a decorated gravel lot. Designed for people working in the creative industries, So Broke House welcomes a community of like-minded individuals, i.e. broke a$$ artists and their friends, to an afternoon of DIY luxury.”
There were two levels of membership ranging from the regular “$0 So Broke House Membership” to the “$5 Extra Broke VIP $tatus” membership, which “include[d] a DIY spa day gift pack with spa essentials [swiped from bougie hotel rooms across the world], zines or other multiples from local artists curated by Katie Waddell, PLUS a raffle ticket and two drink tickets,” according to their event page.
The music set the mood perfectly with a mélange of house, disco, and electro pop ending with LCD’s classic “Dance Yourself Clean” and Talking Heads’ “This Must be the Place”. The highlights were the highly imaginative music and the lavish kiddie pools with the unicorn fountain. I also had my tarot cards read, which satisfied my burning personal questions. For one glorious afternoon I truly felt like a VIP creative in Chicago. Thank you Extra Projects and Basic Studios for thinking of the non-bourgie creatives that need as much self-care and networking as the wealthy ones.
Photos: Tom Vlodek