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October 9, 2003

Erica gives you a life: the first installment

Where fun comes to die—now that's an attractive reputation. It's definitely something worth bragging about or, better yet, screening on t-shirts. The Chicago Tribune recently did a feature on college life in the city, and while Northwestern kids will travel from Evanston to Wrigleyville in search of a good time, U of C students barely make it to Jimmy's. I, for one, would like to shake this reputation. Turn it into nothing but a nasty rumor. A liberal education means being well-rounded; studying constantly does not equal well-rounded.

Honey, you need to get out more. Luckily, the city of Chicago can help to remedy this. We live in a fabulous city, yet many of us don't take advantage of it. There is a wide array of excuses: it's too hard to get to, it's too expensive, O-Chem is eating my soul, et cetera. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Enough with your whining! Try this: Brew ‘n View. You'll like it. An almost nightly event at the Vic Theatre near Sheffield and Belmont, Brew ‘n View is easily accessible by CTA or car, and more importantly, it's cheap. Cheap like five bucks cheap. Cheap like two scoops of ice cream at Bartlett cheap, and oh-so-much more fulfilling.

Basically, you get two or three (depending on the night) second-run movies in a really chill environment with the option of eating pizza and getting drunk in the process, if you are so inclined. The movies generally run at 8 p.m., 10 p.m., and midnight, and it's worth the trip for even just one. This is not the normal movie theater setup. Instead, there are little tables and booths without any of those annoying armrests to get in the way (wink, wink). Part of the appeal of this place is that you don't have to be considerate. No one will shush you—alternatively, people yell at the screen. When I saw Van Wilder, basically anytime Tara Reid walked across the screen someone would politely suggest that she take her shirt off. All of this makes for a good time, especially if you are in the mood to see cheesy, plotless, hot actor-of-the-month flicks. Intense movies are good to see, too; all of the thinking keeps the audience quieter.

My words of warning: careful with the IDs 'cause they card hard. You only have to be 18 to get in, which is fantastic, but because of this, The Vic gets a lot of heat from the city about controlling underage drinking. Same hair color is not gonna cut it. If you are 21, they have nightly drink specials, like Miller Lite & MGD for a buck-fifty on Thurdays. Be careful with the parking, too. As I learned, five dollars plus the $125 towing fee isn't as good of a bargain. Sigh.

Directions:

Via CTA: #55 bus to Red Line. Red Line to Belmont. Walk about a block west on Belmont to Sheffield. Make a left, and it's on your left.

Via Car: Take Lake Shore Drive north to Belmont. Make a left on Sheffield from Belmont, and it's on your left.

For movie schedules and more information, check out www.brewview.com