Bike riders participating in the Four-Star Bike Tour
STAR REPORT Helmet? Check. Water? Check. Getting in at least one meaty bike
ride before summer wraps? Check, thanks to this weekend’s Four-Star Bike Tour.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 08.24.11 through Tue 08.30.11: We don’t want to alarm you, but summer is dwindling. Here’s what to do before it’s too late.


sports/rec Ride the bike you had tuned up back in May.
Its name may have changed, but the Four-Star Bike Tour, formerly known as the Boulevard Lakefront Tour, is otherwise the same—which is to say, an awesome way to spend a day outdoors. Four routes, from a manageable 12 to a semiheroic 65 miles, cycle through parks and neighborhoods citywide.
GO: 8/28. $15–$40; bike-safety course $25 extra. Rides begin between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. at UIC’s Circle Memorial Grove, at the intersection of Morgan and Taylor.


gardens/parks Sink your teeth into a luscious brandywine.
Summer may be winding down, but after months of watering and waiting, tomato season is finally ramping up. Celebrate the juicy bounty at Chicago Botanic Garden’s Heirloom Tomato Weekend, wherein professional green thumbs give tours of the on-site crops and conduct demos on seed preservation.
GO: 8/27–28 from 11 to 4. Free admission; parking $20. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook, Glencoe.


film See a popcorn flick that doesn’t stink.
Douglas Sirk’s 1953 extravaganza Take Me to Town has all the elements of an over-the-top crowd pleaser: Romance! Comedy! Con artists! Showtunes! You can’t get it on Netflix, but you can see it as part of the Northwest Chicago Film Society’s summer series, screened in 35 millimeter in the equally anachronistic and charming Portage Theater.
GO: 8/24 at 7:30. $5. Portage Theater, 4050 N Milwaukee.


jazz Catch an outdoor concert.
You let Downtown Sound, Pitchfork, Dusk Variations, the Grant Park Music Festival, and Lollapalooza all get away from you. Some might call that lazy, but we’re here to help, not to judge. Make up for lost time with the single best entry on this year’s Jazzin’ at the Shedd schedule: the saxophonist Pat Mallinger, a Green Mill regular and a deviation from the series’ frequent smooth-jazz (read: snooze) players. See “Freebies” below for another alfresco option.
GO: 8/24 from 5 to 10. $10–$12; cocktails and some museum exhibits extra. Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S Lake Shore.


theatre Be inspired by genius.
A MacArthur-certified genius. In its 2011 season, Eclipse Theatre Company has been working its way through Naomi Wallace’s plays; now, with her drama The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek onstage and one more, The Fever Chart: Four Visions of the Middle East, left in the lineup, Wallace visits for a discussion of her works and a staged reading of her latest play, And I and Silence. It’s a chance to be part of a candid conversation with a major talent—one who might motivate you to add a few lofty goals to your own summer to-do list.
GO: 8/27 at 12:30. $10. Eclipse Theatre Company at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln.


Morlen Sinoway, artist, furniture designer, Guerilla Truck Show founder, and proprietor of Morlen Sinoway Atelier
Morlen Sinoway

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Morlen Sinoway, the artist, furniture designer, Guerilla Truck Show founder, and proprietor of Morlen Sinoway Atelier in the West Loop.

I’m a spontaneous combustion type of guy. I rarely plan. It kind of keeps things open and interesting. My birthday is coming up: September 1. I’m going to a new decade, a new stratosphere. My brother, daughter, son-in-law, and three-year-old granddaughter, Gwen Violet, are coming into town next week. I’m going to keep it very low-key. People think I like a big ballyhoo of a thing.

“I’ll probably go to Michigan. My wife and I have a little two-bedroom loft on Wabansia, and a house in Lakeside, Michigan, that’s even smaller; my garage is bigger than both. It’s a flat-roof contemporary house built in the 1950s. We have these great gardens, full of perennials. I grill. I’m a two-pan-or-less type of guy. My brother loves to cook using 37 pans. I do meat: chicken, fish, stuffed tenderloin tied together with dental floss. I grill anything, any vegetable. I don’t go to recipes. We eat, drink wine, build a fire in the fire pit. It’s not camping by any means.

“I keep a bike there. I’ll probably put together a ride with a couple of people. We average 40 to 50 miles in a weekend. Wine country is hillier, and right now the grapes are coming in, and they’re very aromatic. When we get hungry, we can stop and eat grapes. Sometimes we go to Indiana. I’m down to three bikes. I had a beautiful one stolen last week: my Public bike, a white one with a brown Brooks leather seat and an orange rack. An eight-speed. I was having breakfast with Rob Forbes, the founder of Public, who was in town for a Moving Design panel on transportation. He was staying at The James. I chained my bike at Rush and Ontario, went in, came out, 11 o’clock, cable was cut, bike was gone. It’s been 30 years since I had a bike stolen. I listed it with Chicago Stolen Bike Registry.” –As told to Jenna Marotta


jazz Kindred Spirits of the Horn
If anyone can pay credible homage to the disparate trumpet legacies of Miles Davis and Roy Eldridge, it’s the versatile Chicago horn slinger Corey Wilkes.
GO: 8/25 at 6:30. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Washington.

ALSO THIS WEEK: The local bands Health & Beauty and Singing in the Abbey play Logan Square’s tiny Comfort Station on 8/25. Two days later, Golden Horse Ranch Band plays in the shade of the Illinois Centennial Monument directly across the street.

dance Chicago Dancing Festival
Seats for CDF’s free-but-ticketed programs went faster than you can say, “pas de bourrée.” But two events—an eight-hour marathon of dance films, including 1948’s The Red Shoes, and the fest’s grand finale, Celebration of Dance, featuring the New York City Ballet’s Gonzalo Garcia and Tiler Peck dancing Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux—are first come, first serve. As in, line up now.
GO: Movies: 8/26 at 10. Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington. Celebration of Dance: 8/27 at 7:30. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Washington.


Photograph: (BIKE TOUR) Greg Borzo; (SINOWAY) Bjorn Kavanaugh