Watch the weekly “Word On The Street” segment on 24/7 Chicago: Secrets of the City,” at 12:05 a.m., immediately following Saturday Night Live on NBC5.
Hanging Out Downtown
This week we used the beautiful backdrop of Millenium Park to shoot our segment. We were initially going to use Grant Park, but unfortunately there wasn’t much happeing that Tuesday nights (at least until the Outdoor Film Festival starts in a couple of weeks. But I’m getting ahead of myself.)
Anyway, there’s plenty of options for live music, dance lessons and much more from Wednesday on into the weekends, and most of it is sponsored by the City of Chicago, which does a fabulous job of providing free and interesting entertainment in what’s often referred to as Chicago’s front yard. Here’s a few Web sites if you’re looking for some ideas.
Wii Wars at Harry Caray’s Tavern
I hesited before including this item this week. After all, the Crosstown Classic is on the South Side. And I’m not sure about this new Harry Caray’s in Wrigleyville. I’ve been once, and quite frankly, it felt a little sterile and lacked personality. The joint they had in there before was always jumping after Cubs games, and you were always guaranteed some good entertainment when the tipsy crowd whipped itself into a frenzy — especially after a Cubs win.
But I digress. It takes time for bars to develop a personality. And every Tuesday should be fun when Harry Caray’s allows you to match your skills against a celebrity at Wii Wars. It kicked off on June 17th when visitors had a chance to play Home Run Derby with none other than Mr. Cub himself, Ernie Banks. Brian Urlacher and former Cub Ryne Sandberg will also participate this summer.
Festival Of Life
I don’t get a lot of opportunities to really experience my Caribbean roots in this city — although the odd trek to Uncle Joe’s on the south side for some jerk chicken hits the spot — so that’s why I always look forward to the yearly African Caribbean celebration in Washington Park, which kicks off on Thursday.
Not only is it a fun time during the day, with a huge amount of food and merchandise vendors, but the music is off the hook as well. This year, Beenie Man is back on Friday (check out our 2006 interview). A name that true roots reggae heads will recognize is Gregory Isaacs, who will perform Saturday. And fellas, make sure you take your lady to this one, because no one sings a love song like Gregory Isaacs (sample). And on Saturday night, another reggae legend, Junior Reid, headlines. Check the Web site for more info.