Archive for the ‘trivia’ Category

rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team
Even if you’re not getting married, chances are you know someone in your circle of friends that is. If you are the lucky bride-to-be, then an event at the historic Drake Hotel this Thursday should be on your radar.

Read the rest of this post on nbcchicago.com.

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aprillawsonsmallApril Lawson, NBC Chicago Street Team

The term “Black Irish” is commonly used to refer to dark haired Irish Caucasians that don’t resemble the porcelain skinned, red or flaxen haired stereotype. But here is some little known history.  During the mid-18th century there were small numbers of black African and Caribbean people residing in Ireland especially Dublin. Never very numerous, most of them were assimilated into the larger population by the second third of the 19th century.

Notable Americans like Alex Haley, Rosa Parks, Jimi Hendrix, Derrick Jeter, Claude McKay and Ella Fitzgerald can all trace their roots back to Scottish/Irish ancestors. So does that make Shaquille O’Neal Black Irish? Not for certain, but here are some well-known native born Afro-Irish. Samantha Mumba is a pop singer and actress of Zambian and Irish descent from Ireland. Her most notable role was Mara in the 2002 film, The Time Machine. Songwriter and bassist Philip Parris Lynott came to prominence as the frontman of the wildly popular Irish rock band, Thin Lizzy.  Thin Lizzy is best known for the hit ‘The Boys are Back in Town, 1976  He was the son of an Afro Brazilian father and an Irish mother. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to the entire global village!

Samantha Mumba

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Cara Carriveau, NBC5 Street Team

Well, the rumours were true.  The “secret” location for U2‘s live event in Chicago last night wound up being U2 at The MetroThe Metro on Clark.  I was among the lucky few who were bussed to the location, and when we saw “Stand Up Comedy, U2” on the sign board when we pulled up to the Metro, everyone clapped & screamed.  There were TV crews and throngs of fans waiting nearby, hoping to get a glimpse of the band.

We walked into the Metro around 6pm but the “show” wouldn’t start until 8pm.  My husband asked the bartender if they had any food and she suggested getting a Guiness because “it drinks like a meal”.  So, it was two hours of drinking and no food for a few hundred folks – you can imagine how high the energy level and volume of the crowd was by the time Shirley Manson of Garbage strolled onstage to introduce U2.

This was a live radio event simulcast all over the country, so the radio geek in me was fascinated by how technically trouble-free the event was pulled off.  Each member of U2 chose a song to play, and they explained the story of why they chose each song before playing it.  Larry Mullen was first (OMG he looks really amazing up close!).  Thank goodness he chose “I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones, because prior to the broadcast the dj at the Metro played that song and for some unknown reason abruptly stopped playing it and threw on a country song resulting in an angry crowd screaming profanities at that poor guy.

The best part of this intimate U2 experience was what did not get broadcast across the country.  As each song played and during commercial breaks Shirley Manson fielded questions from the crowd.  It’s too bad that no one was able to record this part because there were some great questions and fabulous answers.  Such as…

Someone asked The Edge if he would ever sing lead vocals in the future since he has such a great voice.  Bono stepped in and said jokingly that “his BACKING vocals are particularly good”, causing the audience to erupt in laughter.

Bono was asked to name his favorite song on their new album No Line On The Horizon.  He said that his favorite part was actually about 1/3 of the album, particularly “Breath” because it’s autobiographical.  “Here we are, traveling town to town selling you our wares”. 

When asked what their favorite song to play in concert is, Larry Mullin said it’s “a song that hasn’t even been written yet”.

Several members in the audience commended Bono on his humanitarian work, including the One campaign.  How did Bono feel when the wall came down in Germany?  “The idea that geography decides whether you live or die…I want to outlaw that.”

The sweetest answer came from Bono when someone asked him his secret to having such a good marraige.  “I don’t feel like I’ve fully gotten to know her”, he said.  “She’s a very beautiful person, but hard to know.” And he explained how he met his future wife as a kid when she was “in class with The Edge, that bastard!”

Danno from ElevationPrior to the show I had fun walking around Chicago with the lead singer of the U2 tribute band ElevationNBC5 filmed as folks came up to him asking for his autograph! To say he is a total Bono clone is an understatement.  See for yourself – check out the pictures here.

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Twilight is such a highly anticipated movie that literally mobs of excited fans are attending all the promotional stops prior to the movie (especially when the incredibly handsome Robert Pattinson is involved). I’m halfway through the book by Stephenie Meyer right now and definitely understand what draws the fans. Her story is very intriguing. I am absolutely glued to the book. And from what I’m hearing from those who attended the preview earlier this week, the movie is very true to the book. And the ladies all agree that Robert Pattinson is yummy.  The movie officially opens here this weekend.

I spoke to actor Peter Facinelli this week. He plays the very handsome Dr. Carlisle Cullen, one of thepeterfacinelli vampires in Twilight. He was incredibly modest not only about his good looks (c’mon!) but also about assuming that the movie would be hugely successful garnering a guaranteed sequel. He spilled to me that he was a vegetarian until he filmed this movie. Apparently, playing a vampire made him crave red meat!

You can listen to our conversation by clicking HERE.

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Cara Carriveau, NBC5 Street Team

Anyone who grew up in Chicago and listened to the radio in the 60’s have fond memories of Clark Weber. I didn’t move here until 1989 but I’ve heard about him over the years and was very excited to pick up his new book, “Clark Weber’s Rock & Roll Radio: The Fun Years, 1955-1975″.  It’s a really cool coffee-table book with lots of great pictures and extremely entertaining stories.  The best part is the CD that comes with it with plenty of radio clips from back in the day.

I am so glad that I made a point of meeting him at a book signing.  He’s had quite an interesting life & career in radio.  I admire him and consider him a mentor.   His book is a must for anyone who is a fan of radio or a fan of music from the ’50’s-’70’s.

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Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team

The dog days of summer is the time of year when writers and editors call me with questions about fashion, style and, lately, politics.

I’m so used to giving answers for a living that I rarely get to ask the questions myself. Here are some questions I’d like to ask. (OK, sue me. I’m impatient so I answered them too. Old habits die harder than Bruce Willis.)

Feel free to add to my list, but keep in mind this is a public forum and a good double entendre is as risque as you can get.

Who really motivated Marie Osmond to lose all that weight? The makeup person who finally screamed at her “for God’s sake it’s blush not steaksauce!”

What do you wear to a foreclosure? A housecoat.

In a post-Scalia Supreme Court, what will a burglar be wearing to your home? A chalk outline.

What kind of rice is dangerous if it stays in your cabinet too long? Condi Rice.

How many years does it take Neocons to screw in a lightbulb? The same amount of time it takes them to screw everyone, 8 years.

Why is Rick Santorum’s first name so often misspelled? Because the P is silent.

Why do rumors still abound that Bill Clinton keeps getting caught with his pants down? Because it’s Hillary who wears the pants. 

What’s the subtle difference difference between Christ and ChristoChrist would like it very much if Oprah got out of the business of walking on water. Christo would like her to stand perfectly still.  

On what floor does Antonin Scalia always exit a building? The gun lobby.

On a tangentially related note, if you have never checked out stuffwhitepeoplelike.com, you are missing some serious hilarity. It turns out “Stuff White People Like: The Book” hits bookstores today.


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Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team

Given the national reaction to my last blog, I’ve decided that, if you care to indulge me this summer, I’ll be posting more of my running musings on substance, style and popular culture.

Music videos are by definition a triumph of style over substance. You literally have only 4 minutes to savor the hope of attaining your 15 minutes of fame.

There are no more videogenic singers on the planet right now than Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and Rihanna, he the Magnum XL cum laude graduate of the Bryan Ferry dripping-with-detachment-school-of-personal-style, she the Barbados born beauty of the legs that start somewhere around her earlobes and end at the floor.

Both are perfectly matched in their vocal inability to (thankfully) make it past the top 12 on “American Idol.”

While they have each made compelling visual statements in their own videos, who knew that they would be so perfectly matched in the most palpably erotically charged and relevant music video of 2008 for the single “If I never see your face again?”

It’s a refreshing alternative to the insufferably pretentious Madonna and Justin Timberlake collaboration “4 minutes to save the world,” which wears its misguided attempt at substance right in it’s title.

“4 minutes” tries to sell us on the (yesterday’s news cliche) Madonna-as-cougar-Justin-as-boy-toy but the sexual tension comes off as pathetically Oedipal.  Justin is no more than the wind machine to her current Stevie Nicks-like inability to move coherently or gracefully. “Stand back, stand back” I keep thinking to myself.

(Note to Mad: You’ve really lost your touch and missed the cultural vibe entirely, just like the other gal who was recently peddling her experience in an effort to save the world .) 

“If I never” on the other hand, has it’s visual finger right on the jugular of the cultural moment. (To anachronistically combine Bill Clinton and Barak Obama’s political playbooks, “It’s about change stupid.”)

Unlike the pedantic “4 minutes,” “If I never” brilliantly oozes studied nonchalance both lyrically and, most importantly, visually. The on screen pairing of Adam and Rihanna is frought with at least as much transgression as that of the anscestoral Adam and Eve.

There’s no apple or serpent here, just a microphone which is audaciously wielded about like a shared sex toy and (given the political moment) as a middle finger to the historical interracial intolerance of the miscegenation laws.

Lyrically, the song reminds me of the best line of dialogue  ever from an American movie. In “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” a film which oddly enough is famous for a scene involving a piano and a microphone, Michelle Pfeiffer confronts Jeff Bridges about their “relationship.” Bemused, he asks her: “Relationship? What relationship? All I did was [expletive] you twice!” 

I assume that’s the exact same response we would get from our current president, as the next election looms, if we were to confront him as an electorate about our collective 8 year relationship.

And if he were ever to find it within himself to say sorry for the economic and military  reality he created and is leaving behind, I can hear Rihanna singing her current solo single “Take a Bow” in its entirety, sort of an “Exhale to the Chief: “Don’t tell me you’re sorry cause you’re not. You’re only sorry you got caught.”

Click here to see the video of “If I never see your face again.”


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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

Fifty years ago, on June 22, 1958, the last streetcar ran in Chicago. The decade-old Chicago Transit Authority had switched from the difficult to maneuver cable-bound cars to more economical and swifter buses. What was the nickname of the last streetcar?

Sheila Kelley's S FactorEmail your answer to trivia@thelocaltourist.com by midnight, June 23. This week’s prize is two introductory certificates to Sheila Kelley’s S Factor.

Congratulations to Melissa A. She knew that the first Jazz Showcase opened in 1947.

Type The Local Tourist into the Search bar in the upper right hand corner of the page to see my reviews, bands of the week, trivia questions, upcoming events, and more or just click here. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

It was a sad day for Chicago music when legendary Jazz Showcase lost its lease. It wasn’t the first time the club closed. It’s taken a year and a half, but this time it’s reopening in what Joe Segal and his son Wayne say will be its final home in Printers Row at Dearborn Station. When did Joe Segal first open the renowned club?

Chocolate GrapeEmail your answer to trivia@thelocaltourist.com by midnight, June 16.

This week’s prize is a $75 certificate to Chocolate Grape, a new wine and chocolate cafe.

Congratulations to Jake Young. He knew that the first Blues Fest was inspired by the Father of Chicago Blues, Muddy Waters.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

A few weeks ago I put the trivia contest on hold so I could concentrate on Save Chicago Culture, a petition website to stop the potentially crippling “promoters ordinance” from being passed. Within a few short days there were over 6,000 comments from participants and fans of culture. This overwhelming reaction, combined with Alderman Schulter’s meeting with prominent figures in the music industry, caused the City Council to step back and take another look at the damage the current language could inflict. It’s still being reviewed and I’m keeping on top of it, but for now things are quiet.

It’s only fitting that I bring back the trivia contest with a question about the music for which Chicago’s known best. This weekend is the 25th Annual Chicago Blues Festival. A few legends, including Koko Taylor and B.B. King will be performing. Sadly, blues legend Bo Diddley passed away earlier this week. The passing of another great 26 years ago prompted the first blues fest in 1984, and since then most fests have been themed for a deceased musician. Who was the inspiration for the first Chicago Blues Festival? (Hint: they’ve got a whole night dedicated to him.)

Email your answer to trivia@thelocaltourist.com.

220 CommunicationsThis week’s prize is tickets for two to After Hours Wine and Chocolate Tasting on June 13. Besides the obvious wine and chocolates, there will also be prizes and live music. Winner and guest will also each receive a CD from Jabon, who will be performing that night. This evening takes place at the Southern Shore Yacht Club in Jackson Park Inner Harbor, just south of the Museum of Science & Industry.

Chicago-area businesses interested in reaching a local market, contact me about participating in the trivia contest.

Type The Local Tourist into the Search bar in the upper right hand corner of the page to see my reviews, bands of the week, trivia questions, upcoming events, and more or just click here. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

Navy Pier is the most popular tourist destination in Chicago. Locals tend to snub their noses at the landmark, but it actually has quite a bit to offer. Besides the dinner and tour boats docked along the side and the beer garden with its live music during the summer, the pier also has significant history and played important roles in both military and scholastic worlds. To win this week’s prize, what type of military training was offered during World War II?

220 CommunicationsEmail your answer to trivia@thelocaltourist.com for a chance to win two tickets to Pampering For A Purpose on May 17. This event features spa treatments, refreshments, and giveaways, but it’s not just for the ladies. There will also be special prizes and activities for men.

Congratulations to Valerie Tucker! She knew that Haymarket Sqare was located at Randolph and Desplaines and gets two tickets to see NYCO‘s show at Park West on May 18. Check out my interview with front man Ted Atkatz and you’ll wish you’d won!

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Chicago Trivia: Mart Man

The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

Merchandise MartArtropolis takes over the Merchandise Mart April 25 – 28. This historic landmark has 4,000,000 square feet of floor space, its own zip code, and takes up two square city blocks. Whose brainchild was this monument to shopping?

Email your answer, and include your mailing address, to trivia@thelocaltourist.com by midnight on April 28.

This week’s prize is a $75 certificate for the soon-to-be-opened Chocolate Grape. This new Chocolate Grapechocolate and wine cafe will be opening by May 9 at the latest on West Division Street.

Congratulations to Melissa A! She knew that Bucktown was named after the number of goats raised in the neighborhood in the 19th Century, because a male goat is a buck.

Type The Local Tourist into the Search bar in the upper right hand corner of the page to see my previous blogs.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

Everyone’s heard of the Great Chicago Fire, but did you also know there was a Great Chicago Flood?

Just south of Kinzie Street and north of where the Chicago River splits stands a perpetually raised bridge. This bridge marks the spot where a crack in an underground tunnel caused by construction Kinzie River Bridgecrews allowed the river to pour in, starting a massive flood that filled buildings throughout the Loop and prompted an evacuation. The public was notified when WMAQ radio reporter Larry Langford investigated a report that fish were in the basement of the Merchandise Mart and noticed a drain-like swirl.

When did this flood fill downtown Chicago’s underground? Email your answer, and include your mailing address, to trivia@thelocaltourist.com by midnight on April 14.

Dragonfly MandarinThis week’s prize is two $25 certificates to Dragonfly Mandarin Chinese Restaurant.

Congratulations to Michele Pfeilschifter! She knew that the Chicago Board of Trade was originally located at 101 S Water Street and will receive a certificate to Moonstruck Chocolates.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

On April 3, 1848, the Chicago Board of Trade opened. Since then it’s moved a couple of times, once because of the Chicago Fire, until settling into its current location at LaSalle and Jackson. Where was the CBOT originally located?

Email your answer, and include your mailing address, to trivia@thelocaltourist.com by midnight on April 7.

Moonstruck ChocolatesThis week’s prize is a $75 certificate to Moonstruck Chocolates. I had the pleasure of tasting several of their chocolates and they’re delicious! They’re also almost too pretty to eat, especially the ladybugs and the ice cream cones. Definitely try the sea salt caramel (wowsers it’s good!) and the Mayan Truffle.

Congratulations to Rita Nelson! She knew that Meigs Field opened in 1948 and gets two $25 certificates to Dragonfly Mandarin.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

Five years ago this Sunday, construction crews ripped big X’s in the runway at Meigs Field. I remember it well because I had taken my son the previous October for a flight from the airport in a single engine plane. From 1994 until the airport’s unexpected closing, the Tuskegee Airmen and their Young Eagles offered free flights for kids to introduce them to flying. As Airplanes at Meigs FieldI heard of the police-guarded demolition in the middle of the night, I was grateful that my son had the opportunity to experience the intimate aerial tour of Lake Michigan, and saddened that he was one of the last.

The former airstrip is now home to Northerly Island. The Charter One Pavilion concert venue attracts big-name acts with big-ticket prices, but the Chicago Park District continues to provide free events for kids and families.

Dragonfly MandarinTo win this week’s prize of two $25 certificates to Dragonfly Mandarin Chinese Restaurant, email when the airport officially opened to trivia@thelocaltourist.com by midnight on March 30.

Congratulations to Consuelo! She knew that the Chicago River was reversed in 1900 and she and a guest will be attending the Wine & Chocolate Tasting hosted by 220 Communications.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

Chicago has a reputation for political corruption and police brutality, and both have been in the forefront lately. There was a time when Chicago was entirely without a police force after the whole department was fired by an outgoing Mayor. When was this, and for how long?

676 Restaurant in the Omni HotelThis week’s prize is Two 5-course tasting menus at 676 Restaurant, Sun – Wed (Value $130).

Email your answer, and include your mailing address, to trivia@thelocaltourist.com by midnight on January 27.

Congratulations to Kelly Gorham, who knew that the Chicago Transit Authority was formed in 1947.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath, but wait no more. After the holiday hiatus, the weekly Chicago trivia contest is back!

Chicago's Provident HospitalAlthough Chicago is still extremely segregated, it actually was home to the first integrated hospital, Provident Hospital. Prominent black surgeon Dr. Daniel Hale Williams was the founder of the hospital, and he also performed the world’s first open-heart surgery on stabbing victim James Cornish, saving his life.

Q: What year was this groundbreaking hospital founded, and when did Dr. Williams perform the life-saving procedure?
Chicago Sinfonietta
This week’s prize is tickets for two to the Chicago Sinfonietta’s annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Email your answer to trivia@thelocaltourist.com for your chance to win two tickets to this concert!

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