Archive for July, 2007

Common Comes Home

Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

If you weren’t at the World Bar (formerly known as Chromium) at 817 W. Lake last Tuesday, you literally missed a “hot” performance by Chi-town’s resident MC-turned-thespian, Common.

The sweltering heat inside the World Bar wasn’t enough to keep away Common’s most die-hard fans. Before the doors even opened, there was a line down the block for the invite-only album release party given by Power 92 and Geffen Records. All were in tow to help celebrate Common’s seventh album release, “Finding Forever”, one of his most prophetic and introspective releases to date.

Once inside, patrons made a beeline for the bar to get a cool refresher from the Sahara winds that were swirling inside. Did someone forget to turn on the AC??? Power 92 mixologist, DJ Kid Scratch kept the sweat beads running as he pumped an infectious mixture of classic hip-hop joints that ranged from A Tribe Called Quest to Eric B. & Rakim to Souls of Mischief. Occasionally, he threw in a current hit that you’d hear in rotation on Power’s playlist to satisfy the new hip-hop aged audience.

Slideshow: Common Comes Home

An hour later, I made my way up to the VIP area to check out the scene and low and behold, the man of the hour had just arrived. Common was sporting one of his signature Soji caps and looked “cooler than a polar bear’s toenails” as the heat didn’t affect his swagger. He took a moment to pose for a few pics while flanked by two large F.O.I. bodyguards. It was no surprise that Rasheed “Lonnie” Lynn’s celebrity has grown somewhat these days, although he remains as humble as ever.

As the crowd on the main level grew restless, their patience didn’t have to wear any thinner. The morning show team of Kendra G. & Trey “Da Choklit Jock” made their way to the stage for the introduction.

The ladies and “b-boys” at heart showed lots of love for their hometown hero when he hit the stage. The “socially conscious love artist” gave a brief appreciation speech and then launched right into songs from his brand new album, “Finding Forever” including the first single, “The People” and his ode to 87th Street, “Southside”, which features the man behind most of the production on “Forever”, Kanye West. Just when you thought the show couldn’t get better, Common brought in a surprise guest to assist him…fellow MC and actor, Mos Def. Mos drew huge cheers from the ladies and the fellas as he executed a freestyle assault that nearly stole the show. Mos and Common sent the crowd into a frenzy with they performed two of their legendary collaborations “Respiration” and “The Corner (Remix)”.

Common did his thing and left the crowd screaming for ‘more’. He proved why he’s had longevity in the game and stayed true to his hometown base. This was definitely one of the most talked about events of the summer and I was glad to be a part of hip-hop history. Check out “Finding Forever” and you’ll get a taste of it for yourself.

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Amy Tara Koch, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Hey folks! I’ve got some great tips on how to throw an awesome summer bash with inexpensive yet elegant items. Also, is your patio furniture in need of a makeover? I’ll show you the latest trends for brightening up your furniture without breaking the bank. Take a look at my video for ideas.

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Katrell Mendenhall, NBC5 Street Team

What do you get when you have spa treatment, food, drinks and friends? Your very own customized “Spatini”. You’ve heard of Kiva’s and Honey Child well instead of the hustle and bustle of trying to fit in a massage or facial, have Spatini come to you. Spatini is a spa on wheels that create a beautifying environment fit for the needs of you and your guest.

Spatini specializes in anything from bachelorete, birthday’s to corporate appreciation and much more. Let’s say you like salsa or belly dancing, they will create an evening full of spa with excitement. Rendy Nelson, owner and event producer refers to her company as “an event with a twist, an ambiance of personal, intimate and relaxing spa treatment” Services range from manicures, pedicures, massages and makeup. The spa experiences are reasonably priced ranging from $25-110 per person depending on the “twist”.

Slideshow: Spatini

I attend a Spatini and this particular twist was a bridal shower hosted at a lingerie boutique called Wildflowers. This boutique is non like I’ve ever seen. It sits in the corner on Wells and Schiller in a European style gated courtyard, so as you walk in you feel of the elite! Owner Gretchen Reachmack and top bra specialist to the stars like Ivanka Trump, has a true passion for her gift. Reachmack, feels as tough “every women is beautiful, unique and different and enjoys giving what she calls lingerie wardrobe makeovers”. Reachack claims if your single and allow her to be your lingerie expert your guaranteed to find a date. Well ladies, being the single lady that I am I purchased from the store and put it to the test.

The two forces could not have been a better match. To have your own Spatini or lingerie party log onto http://www.spatini.com or http://www.shopwildflowers.com

Until next time wish me luck on the dating scene!

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from doing a weekly sex podcast with reknowned sex and relationships therapist Dr. Laura Berman, it’s that there’s no such thing as deviant sexual behavior — unless it involves animals or children. Bottom line is, what’s normal for one person — or group of people as the case may be — is often completely unthinkable for another.

Which leads me to last night’s episode of Entourage on HBO, which in my opinion, was the best episode of the best show on TV. I’ve been hesitant to describe this show as a guy’s Sex and the City, but last night’s episode convinced me that it’s one of the best television representations of how guys think and act. I also find it interesting that more females in our newsroom seem to watch it than males.

Last night’s episode centered around a $5,000 bet between two of the characters to see who could be the first one to find a woman to have unemotional sex with. Pool any group of guys and you’ll find one or two alpha-males in the group (Vince and Drama), the guy who wants to be a player but can’t get any (Turtle), and the guy who forms an emotional bond too easily (Eric). The characters are as easily identifiable as Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte. (Guy hint: if you’re ever talking to a group of female friends in a bar, ask them to choose a Sex in a City character. In unison, they’ll immediately point out the Samantha of the group. Every time.)

Without giving away the outcome of the episode for those of you who TiVo’d Entourage last night, I will say that part of the storyline revolves around furry erotica. Perhaps it’s my own juvenile fascination with mascot humor (see ESPN commercials, Milwaukee Brewers sausage race), but I thought it was hilarious. And the ending was priceless.

Speaking of furries — or plushophiles, whichever term you prefer — the episode reminded me of a scene from Blaxploitation: This Is How We Deaux, a comedy produced by M.P.A.A.C.T., a local theater group. Enjoy this clip, my furry little perverts!

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Rikki Greenburg, NBC5 Street Team

I don’t know about you but I love being tan! Being as fair as I am, having a little summer glow made me feel twenty times better and I was willing to do anything to get it.

My obsession started last summer when I signed up for my first spray tan. The whole process was slightly uncomfortable to say the least but I immediately fell in love with the results. I sported my new faux tan with the up most confidence and couldn’t help but blush when someone commented on my darkened complexion.

In a few short days my euphoric state began to wane as my new found brownness began to fade and pretty soon I was left with blotching and a skin tone that was unidentifiable to the human race.

Unfortunately, this didn’t cure my addiction and I began to find new ways to achieve my former tanned self. I am happy to report that I have finally found something that is bringing me one step closer to getting the beloved Jennifer Lopez glow.

This new product is none other than Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer in medium/tan skin tones. This product is amazing because it actually deposits enough color to make you look like you’ve spent hours laying out in the sun without being outside. This product is streak-free and makes my skin incredibly soft.

I highly recommend this product for all of you in search for a healthy summer glow without the sun damage. Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer costs a mere 6.99 so you won’t be stretching the wallet either unlike those who have spent way more on a spray tan…or two…or three.

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Ben Soldinger, NBC5 Street Team (video)

80 years ago in 1927 Calvin Coolidge was President, commercial transatlantic telephone service was inaugurated, Babe Ruth became the highest paid player in Major League history ($70,000 per year – he ended up hitting 60 Home Runs that year), there weren’t many automobiles on the road, and television hadn’t been invented yet.

In Chicago, an institution was born. The Italian Village restaurant (71 W. Monroe St: 312-332-7005) came to the scene founded by an Italian immigrant named Alfredo Capitanini who had never been in the restaurant business before.

80 years later, the third generation of the Capitanini family is still at large and in charge of every aspect of the operations. This is a very important distinguishment for our Chicago that most other cities cannot claim to have.

Slideshow: Italian Village

Not only is the Italian Village Chicago’s longest standing restaurant, it has expanded to three restaurants in all (Vivere and The Cantina), is nationally renowned for its spectacular wine list, and was also the first recipe of Chicken Vesuvio!

If it’s been a while since you’ve visited or if you have yet to stop by for the first time, go enjoy a memorable evening of fine cuisine and Chicago history.

Ben’s Blog Archives:

Tavern On Rush

Chicago – ‘Home of the Blues?’

PARLOR Restaurant

Wednesday Nights at Sushi Samba

Quiet Comfort Lounges

Guns N Roses

The Perfect Casual Italian Restaurant

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Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Hello Chicagoans! I’m spreading the word that fellow entrepreneur with a genius idea, Genevieve Thiers of Sittercity.com, will be a guest on ‘The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch’ tonite. 9 pm, repeats at midnite. CNBC.

If you don’t know what Sittercity.com is, then you are missing out. Based in Chicago, Sittercity is a phenom matching tool that enables parents to find qualified babysitters. In addition to childcare, Sittercity lets folks find pet sitters and elderly care, too! Love it.

Genevieve’s success is just wonderful and it’s women like her that pave the road for tech gals like me to carve out new businesses. Do you thing, Sittercity! (far away high-five CLAP)

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