Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Little Picnic Basket

It's finally summer in Chicago, which is basically just like any other season in Chicago except that it features a few hotter-than-hell days and a bevy of new outdoor activities. And speaking of new outdoor activities, if you love embracing your faux-yuppie side as much me, you need to invest in a cheap picnic basket. I bought that little beauty at World Market (don't tell anyone). City picnic-ing may sound unsanitary but I assure you it's a really nice way to enjoy the parks, old movies and maybe some company. When packing a picnic for an outdoor activity, it's important to consider all the "oh shit" things, like blankets, wine openers, bug spray and proper cutting surfaces for your Aldi cheeses. Below I'll outline all you'll need including a biased list of Chicago Park District's Movies-in-the-Park lineup! 

Packing a proper picnic basket is pretty much like a game of Tetris. Like a good dip, it's important to layer. Put your practical items on the bottom, because they should never leave the basket. As you can see, I have trailer-trash cups, napkins, plates, and paper straws (left over from a Halloween party). Key features: wine opener, pig-shaped cheeseboard and a cheese knife. People also love plastic utensils. 

Choosing the right things to bring is pretty easy. Don't bring a whole meal, it makes everyone uncomfortable watching you eat a messy sandwich on their favorite picnic quilt. Think of the snacks people would eat during a party scene in any Nora Ephron movie: soft cheeses, fancy crackers, some kind of sweet fruit, and obviously white wine. For some reason Twizzlers are a staple for my picnic basket. I also made some pretty awesome cookies not featured here. If you are so lucky to be invited to a picnic, don't show up empty handed. At least bring a bottle of wine, it'll get consumed and appreciated. 

Movies in the Park 2013 (Northside)

Earth Girls are Easy @ Wicker Park (6/20)
Little Shop of Horrors @ Churchill Park (6/26)
Funny Girl @ Hollywood Beach (6/28)
Annie @ Chase Park (7/19)
Jurassic Park @ Wicker Park (7/25)
It Happened One Night @ Belmont Harbor (7/29)
The Sandlot @ Montrose Harbor (7/30)
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory @ Montrose Harbor (8/12)
Young Frankenstein @ Grant Park (8/19)
The Wiz @ Oz Park (8/25)

Obviously there are way more movies in way more parks this summer, this is merely the list I curated for me and my homosexual friends. Also Chicagoans, don't forget about Millenium Park and the Ravinia in the 'burbs. Can't wait to picnic out to some David Byrne & St. Vincent! 

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