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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Wow.  I can’t believe it’s been literally decades that I’ve known John Schenk and often hosted charity concerts that he’s put together for his Rainbow Foundation.  From UFO’s Pete Way to Jim Peterik to Randy Jackson to Dennis DeYoung to Shooting Star to Kevin Chalfant to Rik Emmett…the list goes on and on.  His many charity shows benefited sick children and their families.  Their stories were tragic yet somehow these events were so fun!  His giving spirit always impressed me, and his ability to put on a great rock concert that helped so many heartbreaking situations really amazes me.

This Saturday, May 13 it’s time to celebrate two decades of concerts/charity events…by having another concert!  Swing by The Penny Road Pub  to catch a great show from Firehouse and UFO’s Paul Chapman while celebrating 20 years of The Rainbow Foundation helping children and families in crisis.

Ticket’s are only $13 in advance (get them through ticketweb) or $16 at the door.

Erik Sorensen, NBC5 Street Team

It will be a somber St. Patrick’s Day for those of us slowly coming to terms with the absence of our beloved South Side Irish Parade. On March 25th of 2009, the South Side St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee announced that the event would be cancelled, indefinitely. The decision was welcomed by some, but widely regarded as the end of a cherished era by most.

For many, the parade was as much a staple for their neighborhood as any event; so much so, that it grew in popularity every year and eventually became too large to manage. Or so the explanation goes.

South Side Irish Parade Route

While there were many legitimate factors that influenced the cancellation, (namely public intoxication, trampled property, unruly behavior) none represent what gave the parade its heart and soul: the families. It was about gathering to celebrate our Irish heritage, but you always got the sense there was more to it than that. Droves of families and friends poured faithfully each year into Western Avenue like a green human river; walking distances from as short as their front lawns to neighborhoods miles away.

Some of my earliest and fondest memories can be attributed to that parade. I watched it with my family and relatives as a child; marched in it as a boy scout; attended it with dear friends as a teenager; played in it as part of the Marist High School Marching Band and returned to it as a spectator, and an adult. It was an event to share with your children, and your children’s children. A gathering of proud people surrounded by the buildings and streets they love. It was the celebration of the neighborhoods the event represented, and the stores you rode your bike to as a kid. It was the South Side Irish Parade, and it was ours.

(Replacing the event will be the South Side Irish Parade Family Fest, held on Saturday, March 13th, hosted by the Beverly Arts Center. The daylong festival features family-friendly activities including: bag pipers, an Irish soda bread contest, a small children’s parade, dancers, a best dressed “Irish dog” contest and an array of Irish-themed arts.)

TICKETS
Admission (from 11am-4pm): $10 Adults,
$7 Seniors, Free for children under 12
Admission (after 4pm): All tickets $25

http://www.beverlyartcenter.org

by April Lawson

What if Ebony could have twittered 15 years ago?   This would have been  a Herculean innovation for the home of now defunct WJPC Radio and it’s 8-track tape machines. If you want a great read about an iconic publisher set right here in your own backyard, then this weekend you gotta get Living The Ebony Life: E-Mails from the Plantation by Zondra Hughes. The book signing will be at Azizi Books in Matteson, this Saturday March 13th from 2p.m. to 4p.m.

Zondra Hughes worked as an associate editor for Ebony from 1999 to 2006, and as she illustrates in her latest work, sometimes your dream job can become your worst nightmare. Living The Ebony Life: E-Mails from the Plantation is the compelling insider’s tell-all of life at the No. 1 magazine in Black America.

“New media didn’t derail Ebony magazine,” Zondra says, “bad management did.” In EBONY LIFE, she provides the context for the magazine’s recent woes with a shocking paper trail that exposes the work conditions under a few rogue overseers, collectively referred to as ‘The Man.’

Ms. Hughes made her literary debut on the outrageous and over-the-top Wendy Williams smash hit, Ritz Harper Goes to Hollywood! (Pocket Books/Karen Hunter Publishing). She is currently the editor of N’Digo, and a featured blogger for both The Huffington Post and ChicagoNow. For more information visit www.livingtheebonylife.com.

Baseball season in the Chi doesn’t start for another 27 days, 4 hours and 21 minutes so you have absolutely no excuse for not attending this dazzling event brought to you by the Chicago Lions Rugby Super League.

The Chicago Lions RSL team will be opening their season with a spectacular display of elite rugby competition by taking on their cross-town rival, the Chicago Griffins, at Hope Field (2431 W. Roosevelt Rd. Chicago, IL) on March 20th at 1 PM.

 The Chicago Hope Academy, the Lions community partner in Lions for Hope, will start the day with a high school match against DeKalb HS @ 10:30 AM. The Lions RSL B side will follow the A side match @ 3PM. The 3 games will be followed by a post-match party on the Lions field. In addition to high level rugby, USA Eagles (USA Rugby’s National Team) Head Coach Eddie O’Sullivan, will be present to scout for the national team and available for meet-and-greet throughout the day.

 The Chicago Lions rugby match against the Griffins on March 20th has all the makings of a great day for the Lions and all of our supporters. Rugby is growing rapidly in popularity, especially with the recent release of Invictus and the addition of rugby 7s to the 2016 Olympics, and this is our opportunity to display rugby in its preeminent form to the people of Chicago. Together with the unique partnership of the Chicago Hope Academy, and the introduction of rugby to high school students, it will be memorable sporting event.

 For more information about this event, please visit the website at www.chicagolions.com or contact Chicago Lions RFC President Keith Brown at 312.952.1028. If you have any questions or seek more information about the Lions for Hope partnership, please contact Chicago Hope Academy President Bob Muzikowski at 312.781.2139 or visit their website www.chicagohopeacademy.com.

Hope to see you there!

LaShonda Matlock, NBC Chicago Street Team

Jay-Z may be performing at the United Center but the after-party is definitely at The Shrine!

Hennessy Black & Rich Paul Presents  THE BLACKOUT Thursday March 18th, at The Shrine (2109 South Wabash).  Celebrities expected to attend THE BLACKOUT including LeBron James will be Jay – Z, Trey Songz, Young Jeezy, Michael Jordan, Memphis Bleek, Shaquille O’Neal, Donte Whitner (Buffalo Bills), Ted Ginn Jr. (Miami Dolphins), Jerry Azumah, Hustle Simmons, Mark Anderson, Fred Carter (Minnesota Vikings), Devin Hester and WGCI’s Leon Rogers.

This is don’t miss party people so come and enjoy The Blackout!

The Blackout Teaser from MCM on Vimeo.

March 18th
The Shrine
2109 South Wabash
9pm-2am

Erik Sorensen, NBC5 Street Team

So this is what it’s come down to, has it?

Taking the least respectable portion of a demographic and giving them a platform on which to embarrass themselves and everyone they represent? So has been, and continues to be the ongoing trend in reality television. Normally, you’d breathe a sigh of disapproval, change the channel and feel sorry for the city or culture that has just been misrepresented. This time is different, though. This time it’s personal.

According to www.oconnorcasting.tv, O’Connor Casting has begun searching for White Sox fans who live on Chicago’s South Side, who dislike the Cubs, and who (wait for it….)  resemble a  “”Jersey Shore” type of reality star.”   The casting call goes on to describe its criteria: ARE YOU THE NEXT “Jersey Shore” TYPE OF REALITY STAR? Do you live on Chicago’s Southside? Are you the GUY or GIRL who is awesome in oh so many ways? Are you sexy, crazy, fun, outgoing, outrageous, love to make things exciting, always up for an adventure, and a HUGE SOX fan who thinks the CUBS suck? If so, then we want you, your friends, your total awesomeness. CONTACT US NOW!”  View the entire casting call here: http://oconnorcasting.tv/castingboard/index.php?q=node/6

In other words — unless I’m mistaken — an excuse to manufacture a Chicago version of what has become one of the most socially protested, insulting, grotesque displays of human behavior in recent television history.  Already, I can hear the collective sounds of Chicagoans (myself included) hurling their lunches into their laps. White Sox fans and South Siders don’t deserve to be represented by the lowest common denominator of individual. We are one city, despite the connotation a show like this would suggest.

While the website does not disclose when, where or on how grand a scale the reality show will air, one thing is certain: whether you’re a Cubs fan, or White Sox fan, or don’t care for sports altogether – this is bad for Chicago. Period.

There is no benefit in plucking the most abominable members of any fan base, culture or city and parading them around as if they were the majority. “Jersey Shore” became a television phenomenon for all the wrong reasons. Its success came at the the expense of many who never asked to be associated with the stereotypes the show has created. And yet, it seems companies are tripping over themselves to clone and serve up the next batch of culturally destructive, two-dimensional, well…… “Hiney Birds,” as “HawkHarrelson might describe them.

Shame on any Chicago-based company that so willingly offers up its own people to be used as embarrassing pawns in the name of a reality television show. The Windy City deserves better.


Natalia Avilez, NBC Street Team What is best described as a town  surrounded by  magical realism in the Gabriel García Márquez’ novel; “One hundred years of Solitude,”    is now a reality. Macondo- Colombian Coffee & Empanadas, is  a fair- trade Colombian coffee and (gluten-free) empanada shop  located in Lakeview  that offers patrons a taste of Colombia that goes beyond Coffee.

From the hand-picked selection of traditional and contemporary  music that plays in the background, the Colombian-themed art work, and the trinkets that adorn this rustic coffe-house;  Macondo is surrounded by a warm feeling that reminds you of home-at least for me it did.  As I snacked on the Aborrajado; a sweet plantain filled with guava covered in mozzarella and sipped on Juan Valdez Café Reale; Leo Suares -owner, took the time to  speak with  patrons about  Colombian culture, music and art.

 Macondo’s menu varies from 8-10 different bite   sized  empanadas;a  turnover with a shell made of either wheat or corn flour filled with endless possibilities of deliciousness, sweet plantain wedges, as well as other Colombian dishes for under 10$ that will satisfy both your appetite and wallet . Although the service was friendly fast and efficient both the coffee and the atmosphere were so inviting  that each time I tried to leave I kept ordering more items from the menu!  

If you are looking for a great way to experience Colombian music, culture and food in a relaxing environment, I highly recommend this humble coffee and empanada shop located at 2955 Lincoln Ave. For more information on Macondo, their delivery area, or to attend one of  their many upcoming events check  out  www.macondochicago.com.

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