Halloween’s gone, Logan Square—though you can totally keep celebrating this weekend, as long as you’ve got some spare Joker face paint for one last costume party. We here at LoganSquarist are not going to judge. But even without the best holiday for adults that doesn’t involve mashed potatoes (unless you’re into, like, really weird candy), our fair neighborhood still offers plenty of good times and excellent distractions. Keep the fun going with our best picks for things to do in the neighborhood (and nearby) every week in November.
Friday, Nov. 1: Day of the Dead @ Hairpin Arts Center, 4:30 p.m.— 11:30 p.m.
With Halloween coming just before the weekend this year, Hairpin Arts Center (2810 N. Milwaukee Ave., Fl. 2) promises Day of the Dead activities “with a Halloween flair.” Yes, you guessed right: Everything will be pumpkin-spice flavored! (Not actually, we hope.) For this traditional Mexican holiday honoring relatives who have passed, Hairpin has organized cookie decorating (think pumpkins, skulls and coffins), mask making, and dancing for adults and kids both. Lagunitas Brewery sponsors, and your $5 Eventbrite RSVP gets you a free drink. Throw one back for your ancestors.
Saturday, Nov. 2: Logan Square Coffee Shop Tour (with a splash of philosophy) @ various coffee shops, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Our very own food writer Shanti will be leading a special tour that combines both her passions: coffee and philosophy! Join her for the inaugural coffee shop tour and talk philosophy with one of the best. This first tour, which is part of AirBnB Experiences, will visit Colectivo Coffee, Pilot Project and Caffé Umbria. More info about the tour and the host can be found here.
Saturday, Nov. 2: Lady Arm Wrestlers ‘Good vs. Evil’ @ Logan Auditorium, 9 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Keep those Halloween claws unsheathed a little longer, you beasts of Logan Square, for CLLAW, the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers. The city’s finest, toughest, arm-wrestlin-est female-identifying competitors come to the Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N. Kedzie Blvd.). The forearm-straining battle royale benefits Sideshow Theatre Company and Girls Rock! Chicago, a nonprofit that fosters leadership and self-esteem via music.
Sunday, Nov. 3: Farmers Market Moves Indoors @ Emporium, 10 a.m.– 3 p.m.
Here it is, folks, the clearest sign of the changing seasons: The Logan Square Farmers Market is moving back inside, so its extremely delicious vegetables (and extremely attractive customers) can escape the bitter Chicago cold. As in recent years, the market heads into Emporium Logan Square (2363 N. Milwaukee Ave.), where the bleeps and bloops of Mario, Luigi and the NBA Jam announcer will coax all the best vitamins out of your salad ingredients.
Wednesday, Nov. 6: The Skewer 4th Anniversary @ Cafe Mustache, 8 p.m.– 9:30 p.m.
Logan Square’s very own cynical, skewed (get it?) political review ends its first four years with a blow-out featuring a series first: Fearless co-hosts Tom Harrison and erica dreisbach will face off in a political debate for the ages on Cafe Mustache’s (2313 N. Milwaukee Ave.) stage… And yes, for those of you keeping count, four years is also known as one presidential administration, which means The Skewer has been skewering just before the Scourge of al-Baghdadi won over all of our hearts and minds. The trial by fire of launching a political show in these highly interesting political times sharpened the show’s takes (check out our review), and the series celebrates year four with more spoken essays, quizzes, debates and anguished screaming.
Saturday, Nov. 9: Windy City Soul Club 11th Anniversary @ Sleeping Village (Avondale), 9 p.m.
Four years? Pretty good, but how about more than a decade? The anniversary shows continue with Windy City Soul Club’s year 11 fete. The night of Motown, soul, and R&B jams moves to Sleeping Village (3734 W. Belmont Ave.) for year 11, but still brings a night of tunes expertly curated by local musicians. Only, it now takes place in Sleeping Village’s massive space, with plenty of dancing room and 56 beers on tap.
Wednesday, Nov. 13: Movie Club: Robot Cop’s Big Adventure @ Logan Theatre, 7:20 p.m.– 9 p.m.
Take two (or more!) beloved movies, jam them together violently and insistently, and stand back to admire the hilarious wreckage that results. That’s the idea behind Logan Theatre’s (2646 N. Milwaukee Ave.) Movie Club, wherein local comedians break down some of your, perhaps questionable, celluloid favorites only to build them back up again into something bigger, sillier, more hilarious. This outing jams “RoboCop’s” big, shiny gun right into the bike spokes of “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure’s,” with a little “Bladerunner” thrown in for spice. “You do not need to have seen the movies beforehand,” the hosts advise.
Thursday, Nov. 14: Judson Claiborne @ Cafe Mustache, 8 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Cafe Mustache (2313 N. Milwaukee Ave.) hosts an eclectic night of music, headlined by rootsy, Missouri-born singer-songwriter Judson Claiborne, who’s toured with Neko Case, Band of Horses and more. Experimental, synth-based Levinson-Mahlmeister supports, with 5-part chamber group A Light Sleeper.
Friday, Nov. 15: Poet Neil Hilborn @ Logan Auditorium, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Neil Hilborn gained some fame, as much as a slam poet can gain, a few years ago with the inventive, heartbreaking, funny poem “OCD,” with lines like, “She was the first beautiful thing I ever got stuck on.” Thanks in part to that viral poem, the College National Poetry Slam champion describes himself as “the most-watched poet ever … with over 150 million views to his credit.” He’ll perform with singer-songwriter Willow Hawks (of The Sonder Bombs) at Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N. Kedzie Blvd.).
Saturday, Nov. 16: Boozy Bingo Benefit @ The Native, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
What’s better than bingo? Bingo with booze! And what’s better than bingo with booze? Bingo with booze for a cause! The Native (2417 N. Milwaukee Ave.) scores that irresistible trifecta with its Boozy Bingo Benefit, with proceeds helping to feed residents of Humboldt and Wicker Park. Your $10 donation ($5 with a canned good or winter clothing donation) goes to charities aiding the homeless and families in need. In addition to its usual, neo-dive charm, The Native will offer a “Bonus Party Wheel” with special prizes.
Wednesday, Nov. 20: LoganSquarist Meetup @ Young American, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
The best events, by far, are of course LoganSquarist neighborhood meetups. This one brings you to the still-newish Young American (2545 N. Kedzie Ave.). In the old Johnny’s on the Square space (RIP), Young American mixes nostalgic decor (a “neon fever dream” or a “Wes Anderson whodunnit set“) with CBD-infused cocktails. It’s been popular place since its February opening, and it recently switched its menu to an interesting Filipino focus. Come check all that out and meet some of your neighbors! RSVP here.
Thursday, Nov. 21: aMUSE Stand-Up Showcase @ Avondale Coffee Club (Avondale), 8 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.
The Avondale Coffee Club (3185 N. Elston Ave.), still relatively new but well-known by now for its midcentury modern decor, has been rapidly expanding its events offerings. This show highlights female standups, “with a token male comic or two.” Plus, the coffee shop recently added boozy drinks to its menu, so those laughs will come easier.
Saturday, Nov. 23: Comfort Food Reunion Show @ Cafe Mustache, 8 pm. – 1 a.m.
Long-time performers at Cafe Mustache (2313 N. Milwaukee Ave.), The Owl (2521 N. Milwaukee Ave.) and other area venues, the funky experimental jazz group Comfort Food reunites “for one night only” on the Mustache stage. It’s your last chance, the band promises, to catch them before they “burst into a colorful cloud of smoke and gas once again!!!” Noise rock band Imelda Marcos opens.
Sunday, Nov. 24: Clothing/Book/Swag Swap @ Reed’s (Avondale), 2 p.m – 5 p.m.
Want to look your best, sporting some new (old) duds at Thanksgiving dinner? Want to impress your guests for Friendsgiving by showing off your newly cleaned-out closet and shelves full of interesting books you haven’t (yet) read? Do it, with Reed’s Local’s (3017 W. Belmont Ave.) clothing and book swap. Just bring a bag or two of stuff you want to trade in and walk out looking like brand-new in some well-worn items.
Thanksgiving: Roasted Heritage Turkey @ Longman & Eagle, seatings from 1 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
You’ve got a lot of choices for Thanksgiving dinner — from a potluck with your friends to a traditional meal with tense political discussions among your SO’s family. But if you’d rather let the pros handle the preparation, check out one of my favorite spots in the neighborhood for a great meal: Longman & Eagle (2657 N. Kedzie Ave.) is now accepting reservations for its Turkey Day meal. L&E’s hipster-chic chefs will treat you to roasted heritage turkey, cranberry and bourbon sauce, cornbread dressing, and more fancied-up takes on the traditional holiday fare. Eight seatings from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Plus, Thanksgiving-leftovers sandwiches start going out at 3.
Saturday, Nov. 30: Small Business Saturday @ Various times.
Black Friday? Forget it—the big-box stores will be chaos, and no one needs a new Xbox that badly. Cyber Monday? Amazon doesn’t need any more of your money. Small Business Saturday is where it’s at, particularly in Logan Square, with our wealth of local gift shops, bookstores, clothing boutiques, restaurants and more. Spend your dollars in the neighborhood, where, like karma, they’ll come back to benefit you. The Logan Square Chamber of Commerce (3147 W. Logan Blvd.) has a punch-card program going on all November for Small Business Saturday: Validate at 10 participating local spots, and you get a shot at winning prizes donated by those businesses.
Saturday, Nov. 30: 9th Anniversary @ Moe’s Tavern (Avondale), 7 p.m. – 2:30 a.m.
One of the area’s favorite little dives and small music venues, Moe’s (2937 N. Milwaukee Ave.) celebrates nine years of neighborly fun and regular rock shows. Expect a full lineup of bands (including classic rock-loving Moe’s favorites Wax Works), food, and celebratory decorations to mark the anniversary.
Featured Photo: Hairpin Arts Center, by Jesse Buendia