Archive for December, 2006

Good Shepherd Gone Bad

Danielle Barrera, NBC5 Street Team (video)

As soon as I saw the preview for the movie Good Shepherd, I knew I just had to see it. With an amazing cast, and directed by Robert De Niro, I was ready to bedazzled. This movie had stars such as Angelina Jolie, Matt Damon, Joe Peshi, Robert De Niro and Alec Baldwin. It after all was suppose to be one of best CIA films done in history…

UGH! Let me just say that I can appreciate a good long film. However, this movie had NO action. No twist. It jumped back and forth, from place to place, and from year to year. While understanding the bulk of the movie, I did not understand why certain scenes were even in the film. It’s one of those movies that you want to see again, not because it was that great, but because you just want to fully understand it. I figure that Robert De Niro may have wanted to make the movie very realistic, however, when I go to the movies, I like to get away from REAL life and enjoy a film with a little meat on its bones. I give it 3 stars, eh, why not 3 ½. After all it did have Matt Damon and Angelina, who we all know are easy to look at.

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Ibiza In Love

Amanda Hunt, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

New York and San Fran are notorious for hiding secret, one of a kind merchandise amongst busy streets; now Chi-town has got you covered.

Oprah put us in “the know” on how to wear our jeans, here is your exclusive tip on where to find them. Ibiza on 233 E. 47th Street is “bananas” or as our West Coast affiliates would say…”hot”! Hosting quality and expressive brands like Antik, Ed Hardy, and Citizens of Humanity, Ibiza provides truly fashionable options with personable customer service. As one private shopper put it, “Coming here is like having an club membership”.

Call Jabari Jackson or Craig Elliott at 773.924.5199 for your mean jean.

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Slideshow: Ibiza Images

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

I just started a new freelance gig as a nightlife correspondent for Taste, a very slickly-produced wine, cuisine and lifestyles show that runs on NBC5 on weekends (times vary, so check your local listings — or set your Tivo or DVR). It’s a job I REALLY would have loved to have 10 years ago when I was really out running the streets, but hey, that’s the way life goes sometimes. I’ll have to suck it up and “force” myself to hang out at all these cool clubs, lounges and bars for you, my dear blog audience and Taste viewers.

For my first segment I headed to Close Up 2, a brand new smooth jazz bar in the South Loop (416 S. Clark St.). Yon Kim, the president of CU2, says many years ago there was a similar jazz club in the area, and many of the customers who remember that spot are coming out in droves to check out her new establishment.

Even though a group of college exchange students from Ireland stumbled into the club the night we shot the piece, this is typically not a place where you’ll find a lot of 20-somethings. Smooth jazz tends to attract the more mature set, and general manager Frank Goss, who handles the music side of the club, says he’ll be reaching out to up-and-coming smooth jazz artists to perform at CU2.

My jazz tastes tend to run more toward the Miles and Coltrane era, and I’m personally not a huge fan of smooth jazz — an admission Kim was shocked to hear while we chatted after our interview. I’m personally lobbying for a jazz fusion night, where the jazz is slightly more up-tempo and the band might also include a live DJ.

But despite where your music tastes lie, CU2 looks like a great spot to take a date. The atmosphere is inviting and the vibe is very chill. Especially for those of us who can’t stay up as late as we used to.

Slideshow: Close Up 2 Jazz Club

Alternate Video: Taste Segment

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Check’em Out!

Shlomi Rabi, NBC5 Street Team

Not too long ago, I read that squillionaire Steve Wynn sold a Blue Period Picasso for $139 million in a symbolic move to prove to Ron Lauder that HE was in possession of the world’s most expensivest painting, therefore putting Lauder’s $135 million Klimt to shame, shame, shame. Oh, the embarrassment he must have felt. It’s like showing up at a party wearing a lesser Chanel. I couldn’t even imagine. Anyhoobie, apparently Wynn’s money is not enough to repair the optical defect that limits his peripheral vision, and while giving a presentation on the painting post-sale, he accidentally tore a hole through it the size of a quarter with his elbow. Naturally, everyone’s first thought was “By Golly! Who knew Wynn had razors for elbows?”

Well, if you want to bypass the embarrassment of ruining a trillion-dollar Picasso, do yourself a favour and get your eyes checked at D-Vision Optical on Division. The place is chic beyond words, with the hippest collection of eyewear, from Oliver Peoples to Kazuo Kawasaki, La Font, Etnia, and my personal favourite — Face A Face. Additionally, the place doubles as an art gallery, currently showing works by Wendy Keller. That provides you with the benefit of appreciating the artwork, and reduces the chance that you’ll run your elbow through it, even if by accident.

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Do It BEFORE They Die

Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

I felt I should do something Monday to mark the passing of James Brown, but aside from switching up the song on my MySpace page, I wasn’t sure where to start.

I sometimes feel a sense of loss when an artistic great dies, mainly because their talent seems to be taken for granted while they were alive.

One day my kids — or at this rate, my nieces or nephew — may ask if I ever saw James Brown in concert. Unfortunately, I’ll have to say no.

It does get me thinking about all the great, aging musicians who I should absolutely see at least once before they pass. The master of the sitar, Ravi Shankar (Norah Jones’ father), is always near the top of my list. If you’ve ever seen the documentary for 1968’s Monterey Pop Festival or heard The Beatles’ foray in Middle Eastern music, then you know what I talking about. Although it may sound a little morbid, every time he passes through the city I happen to live in and something else comes up, I can’t help but feel that I may have missed my last opportunity. Currently, he’s not touring because of an injured shoulder.

I’ve always felt the same way about legendary reggae singer Yellowman, because when he does make a rare public appearance, frankly, he tends to look close to death.

B.B. King is 81 years old and still going strong, and thankfully I’m able to say I’ve seen him a couple of times. I also have a 15-minute videotape of a candid one-on-one interview with him from the back of his tour bus that I need to dig out of storage, as I’m sure it will come in handy one day — but hopefully, not anytime soon.

So my question to you my dear blog readers is this: which musician do you absolutely need to see before they die?

Slideshow: James Brown

Slideshow: Celebrities Who Died In 2006

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Paul Jones, NBC5 Street Team

Recently I was invited to a wine tasting and dinner at Sage Grille located in Highwood, IL. First off, I would like to thank owners Paul Preston and Chuck Rhea for the opportunity to preview their new establishment. That being said, Executive Chef Greg Darrah and GM/Wine Director Mark Melzer did an exceptional job combining their talents to pair exquisite cuisine with a masterful wine selection. Greg and his team were awesome in the preparation and presentation of the entrées. Mark is an inexhaustible source of knowledge for those who aren’t quite sure about pairing wine and meals.

The décor of the restaurant is extremely stylish and contemporary. Comparable, and in some cases, surpassing anything upscale found in the “big city.” However, Greg and Mark bring a very small town and personable feel to the environment. Its so warm and inviting, you’ll want to kick your shoes off — but I wouldn’t recommend it! It’s a quick train ride north on the Metra or a nice drive on the Edens from the city, but regardless how you get there, it’s well worth the trip! Check out www.sagegrille.com for more information. Thanks also to Jim Lee and Chrissy Cox for hosting the event.

Slideshow: Sage Grill

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ErikaErika and Monika Simmons, NBC5 Street Team,

Yes, yes ladies and gents. We are coming out of retirement. What retirement you say? Well, it’s the one where we only attend parties and events that are work related. Don’t get us wrong, we love our social life. Our “party with a purpose” attitude, epitomizes the perfect blend of fashion, fun and networking. But, we started to forget about, good old fashioned fun for the sake of fun.

Back in our “nothing to do but kick it ” days, (ages 19 to 25), we loved attending Phil and Nate parties, trips and events. But as we became more mature, and for that matter, more sober, we could barely stay up past 10:30 pm, let alone 3 am!!!

Now, we’re getting our second wind at age 34! If Phil and Nate productions can “Return to Greatness”, so can we. At least for one night that is:-) So come on out and join us Saturday, December 30th, at the House of Blues and dare to party, or at least stay alert!

Click here for ticket information

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