Smile Politely

Weekender: June 15–17

Friday, June 15

Bernie at The Art Theater, Friday, 5:00, 7:30 p.m. | Saturday, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30 p.m. | Sunday, 2:30, 5:00 p.m.

Richard Linklater’s comedy is based on a true story about murder in a small Texas town. I plan to catch this film tonight, after enjoying Two Beers at Mike ‘N Molly’s. (TN)



Drink a cold one, at Bunny’s, 4:30 p.m. and into the evening

Legitimately, I loved this week’s issue of Buzz. It was really good, and especially the “50 Things to do in and around C-U.”


16. Fill up a kiddie pool in your backyard and play around. If you’re lucky like I was, your older man neighbor may come over and offer a cup of spiked lemonade.

and this:

22. Sneak into the steam tunnels and conduct a séance. Don’t get caught!

and this:

28. Climb on the rocks in the Boneyard Basin.

But then, there was this, which was charmingly assumptive, and with the grain of truth that is the key to effective condescension:

13. Go hang out at the townie bars in downtown Urbana. Hit up Bunny’s Tavern and talk to the townies about shooting rifles.

And it reminded me of how much I do really love Bunny’s. I love how long it’s been around, and how it’s changed shape over the past few years, and how no matter what, there’s a decent beer special and really attentive service. And good, solid, everyman’s food on the menu, priced in the right way.

So, I concur with Buzz here. Go hang out at Bunny’s, but make sure to approach the townies with caution; they are just waiting for a reason… (SF)

Saturday, June 16

Drink on Green Street (legally) and hear great music, Campustown, basically all day, free (+ cost of booze, food, etc)

Smile Politely Show Series is going big for its second installment with Champaign Center Partnership and 88.7 WPCD to bring the Center City Summer Stage to Campustown. There will be vendors selling food and drink, as well as a ton of great locals. Here’s the schedule: 

FREE Admission, Outdoor Stage — 6:15 The Dirty Feathers, 7:15 Evil Tents, 8:15 Grandkids, 9:15 New Ruins, 10:15 Common Loon, 11:15 Elsinore

Post Party @ Joe’s Brewery — 11:30 Midstress, 12:30 That’s No Moon, 1:30 Santah (PS)

Urbana Park District Strawberry Jam, Meadowbrook Park, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Free

4 p.m. Grass Roots Revival, 5:30 Big Bluestem, 7 p.m. The Prairie Dogs

From the UPD’s website: “Summer is a time to take it slow and easy. There’s no better way to celebrate that feeling than with live music and your favorite summertime treat! Enjoy musical performances by local bluegrass musicians and taste fresh strawberries over ice cream (while supplies last). This free summer event features a hayrack ride through the park and guided prairie tours. Don’t forget your blanket or lawn chairs! Parking is available at the Stone Creek Church at the corner of Windsor Road and Race Street.”

If you’re looking to chill out on the grass for a while before heading to Green Street, this is a great place for a picnic. (JG)


Free Screening of The Healthcare Movie at Channing Murray Chapel, 7:00–9:00 p.m.

This movie is presented by Progressive Democrats of America. (TN)



Aroma Cafe’s new muffins, anytime

Since Aroma Cafe’s change to new ownership a couple months ago, they have been receiving deliveries from a nearby bakery. Since I was hungry, I didn’t ask where they were coming from, I just ate.

The old, big box store muffins are out (I don’t dare speak of where the old ones originated), and the new muffins are in. A few new flavors of the moist, crumbly muffins include orange ricotta, pictured here, blueberry, poppyseed, and some dramatic pink strawberry thing. 

You can still play checkers on the tables, if you’re that awake during breakfast. (SK)

Beneath the Skin Music and celebration at The Highdive, 7 p.m.–12 a.m.

Young Survival Coalition C-U and local musicians are sponsoring an event to honor young women affected by breast cancer in Central Illinois. Tickets ($10) and drink specials benefit YSC C-U. See:

  • Carl Hauck
  • Tricia Scully
  • Megan Johns Band
  • An Evening With Your Mother
  • The Palace Flophouse

Tickets available at Exile on Main Street in Champaign. (SK)


Juneteenth, Douglass Branch Library, Noon to 3 p.m., Free

From the Champaign Public Library’s website: “Join us in celebrating 147 years since the news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas and freed the last of the slaves. Bring your family and friends to Douglass Park for summer fun and games.” (JG)


Sunday, June 17

Fourth Annual Crawfish Boil at Crane Alley, 1:00 p.m.

Tickets: $18 advance / $23 at the door

On the menu:

  • Fresh, live crawfish from Louisiana
  • Hand-made Andouille sausage
  • Corn, bell pepper, onion, celery and potato
  • Five different craft beers
  • Outdoor bar with Hurricanes, Red Bull drinks, and bomb specials

If you’ve not been to Crane Alley’s Crawfish Boil, please do yourself a favor and do so this year. I’ve been to two, and both times the Crawfish was fresh and large, seasoned perfectly, and the Hurricanes were cold and strong. If you plan to sit outside, though, bring an umbrella because you’ll need the shade. Check out Thursday’s feature story for more details. (TN)

Remind Dad, all day

I think this may be my least favorite of the canned holidays where we’re forced to appreciate a loved one, but only because I communicate with my father, pretty much daily.

Here’s how it goes down:

Early A.M.: a link to something on Gold and Black, the Purdue Rivals site, that talks about the inner workings of a 15-year-old’s mind. He poses the question: if he were to commit, would the other recruits follow?

Mid A.M.: after a three-word response, and a quick tidbit from my older brother, Dad chimes back in to say, “we shall see.”

Lunch: A phone call. Missed.

Just after lunch: A call back. Missed.

Just a moment thereafter: I answer his return, but something goes screwy with his flip phone, and I am forced to hang up, chalking up to the same ol’, same ol’.

15 minutes later: an email explaining what happened.

4:00pm: I respond, letting him know that I read more about the ball player. It’s true: could be a game changer. Are we certain we want to eat that again, come Sunday?

6:13pm: copies the entire family, along with one random person from one of the organizations he works with, letting everyone know: Seth is unsure about food. Discuss.

6:15pm: older brother responds, with an apology to the random person copied.

I mean, I can go on here, if you wish.

This is how it goes down. It’s mundane. It’s basic. But it’s every day. And there is nothing I am more appreciative for, quite honestly. A relationship like this with one’s father is a lucky one. And I am only too thankful. (SF)

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