The Run Down

On the first Saturday of every month, there's a former church, turned circus training and performance center, that opens up its doors for a show. For this guide, we're headed to that church located in Logan Square to watch circus performers fly through the air, walk on tight ropes, and perform other incredible physical feats. But before show, we're going to take advantage of our time in the neighborhood to dine on traditional Puerto Rican cuisine. Here are the highlights:

1. Eat @ La Bomba

2. Show @ Aloft Circus Arts

1. La Bomba

For our first stop, we’re headed to the corner of Kedzie and Armitage near the border between the Logan Square and Humboldt Park neighborhoods. We’re near the epicenter of a very vibrant and sizable Puerto Rican community, and lucky for us, that means we can get a taste (literally!) of the Puerto Rican culture experience without leaving the city.

Our first stop is La Bomba, which is a family run restaurant that has been serving up traditional Puerto Rican cuisine in the Logan Square / Humboldt Park since the early 2000’s. Here are some notes about the place to get you going.

– The most expensive item on the menu is $10.50. You will dine well without breaking the bank.

– Puerto Rican cuisine is called “cocina criolla” which means creole cooking. It’s been described as a mix between Carribean and Spanish cuisine

– Their sandwiches were right on the money. For their Jibarito sandwich, instead of bread, they use fried plantains — excellent choice for all you paleo dieters out there.  Fun fact,  the Jibarito was actually invented by a restaurateur in the Humboldt Park neighborhood.

Steak Jibarito – $6

2. Aloft Circus

Our next stop is about a mile away to Aloft Loft — a former church that’s been converted into a circus training and performance center. The Aloft circus company was started in Chicago by Shayna Swanson, and for over 10+ years, they’ve toured internationally and have performed a standing monthly show in the city.

A couple of notes on the show.

– Tickets are $25 (general admission); $30 for a seat at a table.  The best seats are table seats which are right in front of the action with clear view of everything. I’d recommend shelling out the extra $5 for a table seat.

– You can bring drinks and snacks. In fact during the show, Shayna (who was the MC during the night) invited people to the center stage to take shots of malort — a sign of a good host.

– Getting tickets is a bit tough. They don’t have a schedule of shows on their website or links to buy tickets.  You’ll have to follow them on Facebook where they post links to purchase tickets.  The shows sell out fast so you’ll have to be diligent and prepare in advance if you want buy tickets.

– Shows are the first Saturday of every month (usually at 8pm).

The show kicked off with an aerial acrobatics performer dropping from the second floor balcony, running up walls, and flipping through the air.

Trapeze artists wowing the crowd

Learned that this is a Cyr wheel. The strength and balance needed to pull that off is just insane.

A couple of featured pictures from the other acts through the rest of the night.

Downing Malort while MC’ing the show.