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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Irit SilvermanIrit Silverman NBC5 Street Team (Video)

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, look no further. I’ve prepared a little mini-weekend guide with all of the hot happenings this weekend in our great Windy City:

Friday, July 27th

6pm The Chicago Trophy at Soldier Field

The Chicago Trophy is a new international soccer tournament featuring the top soccer clubs in the world. This will be the biggest international soccer event in Chicago since the opening match of the 1994 World Cup. Friday is the inaugural day of the tournament and starts at 6 pm with Wisla Krakow (Poland) playing Reggina (Italy), and continuing at 8:15 pm with Sevilla FC (Spain) squaring off against Toluca (Mexico). For more information visit http://www.thechicagotrophy.com.

7:11 pm Chicago White Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays at U.S. Cellular Field

Another sporting option for Friday night- the White Sox play the Toronto Blue Jays. I don’t know much about the American League. Ok, I don’t know much about baseball. BUT, I was in Toronto Wednesday and saw the Blue Jays tie a franchise record with an 11 run sixth inning in a 13-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins. So in my humble opinion, this should be a great game!
*And just in case my die hard Cubs fan family is reading this, you could also stay home to watch the Cubs away game in Cincinnati at 7:10.

Saturday July 28, 2007

6-10:30 pm Imerman Angels Event Lakeshore Athletic Club (1320 W. Fullerton Ave)

Imerman Angels One on One Cancer Support charity will be hosting an event on the rooftop of Lakeshore Athletic Club. There will be a Live Band and DJ as well as complementary food and drinks. They are expecting a ton of people- this amazing charity usually draws a huge crowd- so get there early and help out the cause. Before the Post Party at Lumen (839 W. Fulton Market, head over to Venetian Night.

Venetian Night on Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan will host this annual boat parade between the Shedd Aquarium at Roosevelt Road and the Chicago Yacht Club at Monroe Street beginning at 8:30p.m. Around 30 boats will be lit and decorated with a common Chicago theme, and the evening will also feature a fireworks display in celebration.

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Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Team

The Family Values Tour made it’s third stop on its trek across the U.S. in Tinley Park this past Sunday. Fans began filtering into the venue a little after lunch time for an all day festival complete with affordable ticket prices (starting at $9.99 for lawn seats) and 2 stages of music. The main stage acts on this years line up include Droid, Neurosonic, Trivium, Hellyeah, Flyleaf, Atreyu, Evanescence, and the tour’s creator/headliner Korn.

The event got off to a chaotic start with the first stage running almost an hour behind schedule. The crowd piled into the main pavilion around 2:30pm where Droid was supposed to start things off, only to find crews frantically hoisting lighting rigs into place. To compensate for the for the tardiness, Droid was moved to the second stage to play later in the afternoon. This turned into a blessing in disguise, for the smaller stage allowed Droid lead singer, James Eason, to dive into the pit and sing with the fans. Their set proved to be a highlight of the night along with thrashers Trivium and supergroup Hellyeah.

See Photos From The Family Values Tour

As the evening wound down, the front row exploded with screams of joy when Amy Lee of Evenescence took the stage. Many had claimed there spot and held onto it all night to see Evenescence play tracks from their highly successful “The Open Door” album. Korn followed up and closed out the night with a massive stage set up, some wild drum beats, and a fog that eerily spilled into the night air. Ramps, platforms, and railings allowed Jonathan Davis and the guys to hang on and perform above the crowd inciting applause and cheers from below. The band is gearing up to release a new album at the end of this month and this year’s Family Values Tour is allowing them to remind festival goers they still got what it takes.

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Crystal Hilliard, University of Missouri

Crystal Hilliard is an NBC5 summer intern. Some of her postings from the NBC5 Next blog will be posted here as well.

Reading the “latest in hip hop news”, you’ll pull up a quick blurb about Lil Wayne & Ja Rule separately getting arrested for possessing illegal drugs and weapons this past weekend in NYC…

Well, that’s if you believe the hype. If you don’t? Well, you must have been in the same house as me Sunday night. If you’re a real Chicago hip hop head or just appreciate the culture, Zune’s Live At The BBQ was the place to be on Sunday night. Little Brother & Bilal warmed up the stage so by nightfall, the crowd was ready for Talib Kweli and Mos Def.

Perfect weather? Check. Delicious BBQ? Check. Games, kids and an excited crowd? Check, Check, Check.

First Talib Kwali and Jean Grey rocked the stage for about an hour. Regardless of Talib fumbling and forgetting the words to some of his classics and completely skipping all but one song on The Beautiful Struggle (one of the best Cd’s ever), he came with it. He rocked us with Talib classics, a few recent hits and spit a lil somethin somethin from his new album (which is wicked). He rocked out for about an hour until Mos Def jumped on stage in the middle of a Black Star song, backpack and all, and delivered his verse.

Mos Def gave Kweli and Grey an hour break while he performed some classics and recent hits. He hit the hype crowd with verses from Black on Both sides (also one of my favorite Cd’s ever) all the way up to The New Danger. He even spit a few rhymes from his upcoming CD (which were all super crazy). Although Kweli had an immense amount of stage presence, Mos Def took crowd involvement to the next level. He nearly crowd surfed as he jumped down to the media section and shook hands with everyone he could reach.

Slideshow: Zune BBQ

STRAIGHT UP crew, like no playin’ around: These dudes straight rocked the West Side Sunday night. I couldn’t believe how great of a show they put on. They were chill but at the same time, so entertaining. Dancing, singing, rapping lyrics to songs they didn’t even know. Even the new girl on the block, Jean Grey held it down for the ladies. It’s hard to find a genuine female emcee with skills so she definitely did her thing. The three of them were so real and genuine, the whole crowd was moved. They were definitely excited to be in Chicago, and Chicago showed them love in return. The crowd cheered and sang along to every song, even the unreleased cuts. From 60’s to 90’s babies, The generations came alive and came together to celebrate Hip Hop in its true essence. We stomped our feet, waved our hands and were a unified body for one night.

To all of the emcees, fans and critics who believe in the death of hip hop, I’ve got news for you…

We ain’t goin’ nowhere.

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Smoking Squares

Shreyas Shah, NBC5 Street Team

On December 31st, 2007, at approximately 11:54 pm, I am going to be at one of my favorite nightspots in Chicago, lighting up a cigarette right at the bar. At 11:59:50 I’m going to put it out and ring in the new year by kissing my girlfriend with my ashtray-smelling mouth. And I’m going to enjoy it…because it will be the last time I, or anyone else, can legally smoke a cigarette at a Chicago bar in my lifetime.

It may sound like I’m against the statewide smoking ban that goes into effect on January 1st, 2008, but I’m all the way for it. To be sure, us Good for Party people passionately believe in having a progressive attitude towards human vice. But second-hand smoke kills, everybody knows it, and if some smokers can’t understand the basic libertarian principle that you have the right to do what you want as long as you’re not hurting the guy next to you, and that smoking in indoor public places grossly violates that principle, then they’re just being selfish bastards.

I, like thousands of Chicago smokers, will dearly miss the simple yet sublime pleasure of lighting up after a great meal at one of our city’s fine restaurants. I’ll miss being at a club, sipping a cocktail and taking a drag while listening to some good dance music and hitting on a cute bartender. It just won’t be the same without the square.

But hey New York City smokers got over it, and Chicago will too. Of course, its summer right now and smoking outside is a pleasure, I’m sure I’ll be hating by January…

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Julia Gray, Columbia College Chicago

Julia Gray is an NBC5 summer intern. Some of her postings from the NBC5
Next blog
will be posted here as well.

I dig flea markets and antique shows. It must be in my blood because my mother got me hooked at a tender age and today is my shopping partner. In the past, we’ve hit the major flea markets in the area: Sandwich, Kane County and a few other small ones in Wisconsin. On a larger scale, we’ve been to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, the Chelsea market in NYC and le grand-pere of all flea markets-Clignancourt in Paris-where, at one time, one could actually purchase French antiques at bargain prices. The trick was getting the antiques shipped over the pond without losing the wares or worse, getting ripped off by some unscrupulous shipping company.

Since I spent a decent chunk of my adult life in LA, one Sunday a month found me at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. When I moved back here, I went through a flea market withdrawal of sorts. Yes, Sandwich was just as big (if not bigger) than the Rose Bowl, but it didn’t quite have Bowl’s character. I had a friend who used to collect blue jeans (read: Levi’s) and sell them at the Bowl for obscene amounts of money to young Japanese folks who would then return to Tokyo and sell the jeans for a small fortune. Also, Diane Keaton was always in attendance, dressed in a black Armani suit with a high, white-collared shirt-no matter what the temperature-and an over-sized black fedora-esque hat. She also pulled a matching, black granny cart filled with odd trinkets that either ended up in one of her homes or were shipped off to friends like Larry McMurtry. Who knows if that really happened and if Larry was actually a recipient. One can imagine, right?

Back to local flea markets. A few years ago, Chicago started up a once-a-month antique market in the Randolph Street Market District, and we were thrilled. We had Rose Bowl quality without the Hollywood prices or attitude. And, plenty of parking! Outside, one can find everything from vintage dental equipment to rugs from Damascus. Inside the adjacent Plumber’s Hall Complex, many of Chicago’s jewelry and clothing designers sell their unusual designs. In the past, Mom bought earrings and a necklace from Abby Koch and a beautiful leather clutch from a purse designer from the South Side. We both purchased one-of-a-kind t-shirts from Eva May.

This past flea spree netted some Kilim pillows for me and these funky, French marble spheres for mom. I saw my favorite rugs-the Chinese Deco kind –but the price for these gems has risen sharply thanks to Martha Stewart opening up her big yap and saying how much she likes them. She did the same thing to Jadeite and those huge-ass, vintage, pottery mixing bowls. I wish she was still in jail because her likes are costing me a fortune.

In spite of Ms. Stewart’s raves, we were quite happy with our purchases.

Click here for more info on the Chicago Antique Market.

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Rikki Greenburg, NBC5 Street Team

If your looking for a fun and casual place to chow down, then Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar is the place to be.

Buffalo Wild Wings offers a unique dining experience that caters to both the adult and family crowd.

Weekly specials such as 40 cent Tuesdays, 99 cent kid meals and 50 cent boneless wings Thursdays are easy on the wallet and deliver mouth-watering food that is sure to keep you coming back for more.

Buffalo Wild Wings also offers a wide array of wide-screen T.Vs,a full menu complete with 14 signature sauces ranging from super sweet to fire hot and Buzz Time Trivia, where customers can play trivia games and get a chance to win some pretty cool prizes.

For all you sports enthusiasts out there, this wing haven is the perfect place to catch the latest game. Buffalo Wild Wings has a full Direct TV package, which means that every game imaginable is at your very fingertips.

I had the pleasure of watching a Monday night Bears game and it was incredible because I felt like I was at the game. The crowd was so excited and happy to be there that it was more like watching the game with my extended family than being at a restaurant.

Buffalo Wild Wings can be found in Mount Prospect, Vernon Hills, Algonquin, Skokie, Hoffman Estates and Round Lake Beach in addition to 37 other locations across the United States.

So if you missed your favorite game or are looking to spend some hard earned change, then head on over to Buffalo Wilds Wings. After all, you have to be here!

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Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

‘Tis a warm and funny Tuesday for me and this is why….

I am sitting at my computer, fresh from my gym workout at my South Loop Fitness Formula Clubs. It’s member appreciation week and I’m enjoying some Starbucks coffee provided by the gym (I’m not a big fan of S-bucks, but hey, it was available!). If you are nice to me, you can even be my ‘free guest’ all week and watch me on the elliptical or curling free weights like the non girlie-man I am:).

So there I was, loving the membership fest at my gym and watching sports highlights on ESPN. I saw a clip of Barry Bonds and smirked – I was in Milwaukee last weekend and caught the Brewers playing the Giants. The Giants toppled the Brewers and Bonds didn’t do much. In addition to anticipating Bonds at the plate, I was taking in Miller Park. Wow. I gotta say, I was pretty envious of the entire park and the way Milwaukee folks celebrated outside the park before the game. From the time you walked from your car (parking was only $8) to the time you got to the park, you heard bands, smelled hot dogs and felt like you were in a tight community. I was jealous. I didn’t think our North side or South side parks could compare to this pre-game fun fest. All these feelings washed away during the game.

Chicago baseball fans put Milwaukee fans in their place. I sat thru a game and didn’t hear much cheering, booing or yelling. I missed Chicago and hence, I decided engaged fans supersedes bands in the parking lot. Fellow Milwaukee folks, I love your town, but our fans rule!

I flipped away from ESPN and watched a few minutes of The Today Show. There they were, our beloved boys from Villa Park, The Plain White T’s. Joining their suburban brothers, Fall Out Boy, The Plain White T’s shone on that stage and sang their hit, “Hey There Delilah!” with emotion and spirit true to Chicagoland bands.

I finished my quick 20 minute set, did a speedy weight training session, poured my Member Appreciation Starbucks and silently high-fived our town. Booyah.

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Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team (Video)


Ignore this at your own peril. ( I know the last time
you screwed up, you got promoted from National
Security Advisor to Secretary of State, but I have a
feeling this time you’ll have to be held accountable.)

Victoria Beckham has hit American shores! Yes,
Victoria, wife of superstar soccer player David (as in
Bend it Like) Beckham. You may have seen them both on
the cover of the August W. (No, not your W, but the
magazine.) There’s much, much more of them on the
pages inside. You say you have no recollection? I

Did you happen to catch the NBC hour long reality
show of her arrival to Los Angeles? Reality shows
really aren’t your thing? I should have known.

Perhaps you’ve been busy re-reading the Baker/Hamilton
Iraq Study Group recommendations–oh, wait you said
you don’t like reality shows. Well, in any case let me
catch you up, girl.

The special starts in Spain, just as the Beckhams are
finishing up shooting their very risque spread for W.
(No, not that W. Please pay attention this time.)
Victoria has to come to Los Angeles, with her makeup
artist and hairdresser in tow, to prepare for her
family’s arrival.

That basically means she has to hire a personal
assistant for herself, buy a mansion( she had planned on that),
and get a valid driver’s license (poor thing had no idea
she had to do this until she got pulled over and
discovered her European license was not gonna cut it. Who knew?)

Those pesky aliens, I know, Condi.

Anyway, hillarity ensues as Victoria (Secret Service Name: Posh Spice)
goes to the DMV, puts Perez Hilton in his place, and
learns how to throw a baseball. The segment where she meets her socialite
Beverly Hills neighbors is priceless. These women have
had more work done to them than the reports of WMD in
Iraq. (Oh, now you get it. Funny, right?)

Advance word was we were all supposed to hate her,
since Posh is much reviled in the UK–confirm that
with Tony Blair, he’s not busy these days–as a hauty,
humorless, robotic, anorexic, rhymes with rich (as
they used to say about Nancy Reagan).

Well, surprise, surprise, she’s the best thing to hit
American television and America since the early
episodes of “Absolutely Fabulous” originally aired on
Comedy Central.

Condi, how can I describe Posh if you’ve not seen the
NBC reality special documenting her arrival to Los
Angeles? Here’s my best shot:

She’s got Anna Nicole’s tenuous hold on reality–but
she’s sober; Kathy Griffin’s wit, and determined self
promotion–but she’s on the A list; Donatella Versace’s
high heels go with everything and everywhere lifestyle –but
her native tongue is English.

They don’t call her Posh for nothing.

The conceit of American culture is that the rich and
famous are just like you and me. Posh, refreshingly,
shows us otherwise. (Of course, so did Scooter Libby,
but you already knew that one.)

So I say, move over Obama girl and Guiliani girl.
Victoria Beckham is in the house, and “that’s major!”

Ignore her at your own peril.


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LeeAnn Trotter, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Hey gang. I hear it’s supposed to be a beautiful weekend, so get out the house and do something! As you can tell by my segment below, there’s no shortage of choices. Plenty of new movies, but why stay stuck indoors when the weather is supposed to be nice? I hear the Old St. Pat’s party is supposed to be kind of crazy, so start there and see where you end up! Have a great weekend!

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Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Team

Poison’s music may not change the world or start a revolution, but their live show will make you forget your troubles for a while. Twenty plus years of rock and roll have given these guys an education in how to make a concert an experience. Poison knows how to get a crowd going, keep them entertained, and have themselves some fun while doing it. Bret, C.C., Rikki, and Bobby brought their A game to Tinley Park for a weeknight show complete with a little fire and a lot of flare.

The wrap around riser set up, a Poison staple, semi-circled Rikki Rockett’s drum kit with a stair case on either side. As the crowd cheered and the music began, front man Bret Michaels rose from a trap door in the riser with arms outstretched to the sky. A little bit of pyrotechnics accompanied the group as they came out swinging with “Ride the Wind” and “Look What The Cat Dragged In”.

C.C. DeVille showcased his solo shredding while the rest of the guys caught their breath after an energetic first three songs. Following a little keyboard accompanied Ray Charles jam, C.C. provided vocals for “I Hate Every Bone In Your Body But Mine”. The band returned and Bret gave a heartfelt shout out to Veterans before performing the hit “Something To Believe In”.

See Photos From The Poison Concert

The night was filled with several tracks off Poison’s latest release, a cover album titled Poison’d. Although I prefer hearing a band’s original material to cover songs, the guys put a nice twist on “Can’t You See” by The Marshall Tucker Band and “I Need To Know” by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.

Poison avoided the mid set lull by providing us with some rock and roll stage antics that kept things moving . Rikki Rockett and his drum kit automatically moved forward to the front of stage, paused, and then rose up in the air. As he soloed, Rikki continually spun his drum sticks and caught them end over end without missing a beat. The jumbo screen provided a bird’s eye view so you could see his handiwork from an angle most concertgoers miss.

The audience went wild with approval and the band pulled out a five song string of showstoppers to end the night. “Unskinny Bop”, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”, “Fallen Angel”, and “Talk Dirty To Me” were played followed by an encore of “Nothin’ But A Good Time”. All along fire popped, rained down, and burned in the background a reminder of how fun pyro and a big outdoor venue can be.

Bret Michaels assured us that Poison would return next year and thanked Chicago for constantly being one of their favorite tour stops. Smiles graced the faces of fans as they headed back to their cars in the humid July air. They will be back next time around and if you haven’t seen a Poison show yet get out there and see what your missing!

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Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Finally, now that I’ve finished scoring my
clients–and myself –some great bargains at Neiman
Marcus’ Last Call, I can come up for air.

Since the great sale buys of the summer are mostly
gone from the stores, what are the great finds to
wear now or trasition into fall?

Guys, you should head to Club Monaco and stock up on one of the 5
versions of the Hayden dress shirt ($99) and a skinny
tie ($69). For those of you in the know, you might
recognize the shirts as good copies of the Ralph
Lauren Black Label shirts which sell for up to 3 times
as much. That’s because Ralph Lauren owns Club Monaco.
Take advantage of the design synergy!

Girls, you can head to either the Gap or to Express or

At Gap you can find 4 shirt dress styles ($69.50) that
can be worn alone or over leggings and under a great
vest clear into fall. Also, look at their strappy pleated empire
dresses($69.50), perfect for the dog days of

At Express, the real find is their cap sleeve triple
dart shirt (with or without buckle detail) for $44.50.
My favorites are the pindot and striped versions,
great for wearing to the office or more casually with
their perfect city shorts with satin sash

The darted shits work especially well
for women who are short waisted. Those of you who are,
know exactly how hard it is to find a perfect fit in a
shirt. So run over, don’t walk!

And if you go in before August 4th you can get a
coupon for $30 off any $100 purchase. I did say run
didn’t I?

Happy Shopping!


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Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Team

Dust clouds, dance parties, and guitarists with giant wings were just a few highlighted moments on this year’s Pitchfork Festival. The three day concert took place in Chicago’s Union Park starting on Friday the 13th and closing up on Sunday night. Over 39 acts ranging from jazz, to gritty metal, to Yoko Ono played three stages across the park. Along with the music, concertgoers could enjoy a variety of food, merchant tents, or lay out and take in the beautiful weather.

Playboy.com sent out three photographers, including myself, and its own Associate Editor to cover every single band that took the stage. Head over and check out hundreds of band photos, festival photos, and read the review. If you missed out on Pitchfork or were there and want to recap the memories, check out Playboy.com’s Pitchfork Festival feature to get the full scoop.

NBC5.com Slideshow
Playboy.com Pictures And Reviews

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Anytime you give a lady great wine, gorgeous scenery and attention, love is sure to bloom (or at least some serious animal attraction). Deliver all three and tickle her fancy with a trip to The Chicago Botanic Garden.

Recently I visited their Wine Festival and was utterly pleased by the hospitality and ongoing options. Leaving my preference for Riesling behind, I courageously embarked upon uncharted territory, and after only five tastings, found three sweet, wet wines impressive to my palate: Blackberry and Cherry from St. James Winery and Peach Spumante from Ms. Marys Natural (all available at Binny’s). Of course, I continued “testing”, due to my ambitious nature to learn, only to find my curiosity combined with open fields, crisp waters and beautiful flowers in bloom to be the perfect potion for love. I wanted Mr. Right, right now! (The chocolate strawberries didn’t help.) Long and short of it — the experience was captivating!

I’m sure to capture her heart you’ll spare no cost. Lucky for you, $15 parking is the only expense. Visit http://www.ohwow.org/ for details.

Slideshow: Botanic Gardens

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Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

I recently made the decision to sell my 2-stroke, 149 CC steel bike, Stella. Having a bike with manual transmission in the city is rough: always changing gears at stop signs, changing spark plugs and needing an old-fashioned garage to tinker around with, versus a high-rise garage. It didn’t make sense to keep the scooter for the time being and having the extra $2,000 in the bank doesn’t hurt either. Michael and I decided to buy an automatic after the wedding.

My love affair with bikes started five years ago. In March 2002, I found myself at Scooterworks and bought a Stella on the spot. Dean and the other crew at Scooterworks were nice enough to let me keep the bike at the shop, visiting on weekends and practicing with gear changes. On my first attempt, I popped a wheelie. I kid you not. A Scooterworks employee flanked me on each side. I gave a little gas, had the bike in neutral and somehow, the revs were so high, I popped a wheelie and the entire bike, with me on its seat, shot straight up in the air. I landed safely to the side (I had my helmet on) and earned my first dent.

Later, I attempted to park the bike for the first time on Wrightwood and still didn’t master the ‘sit and roll’ maneuver of parking (I’m now an expert). Instead, I was getting off the bike and rolling it back on its kickstand. Not knowing how much leg power I’d need to roll the bike back, I earned dent #2 when I gave up and let the bike fall on its side.

Within months, I was earning respect of fellow scooterists (there weren’t too many scooterists around town between 2002-2004), smoothly changing into 4th gear and building a relationship with Stella. I used to love riding through Lincoln Park’s windy road, passing the bus riders on the #151 while yelling out, “SUCKERS”! I got a kick out of hoodlums on Damen trying to race me at the Damen/Chicago intersection, and surprise them when I kicked Stella into 3rd. I’ll miss the scooter rallies and the way scooterists would pass each other, nod or honk in unison.

Most important, I loved mastering the art of a steel machine, understanding its inner workings and examining parts the way my dad did when he fixed our cars in metro-Detroit (and still does, by the way).

Other minor tech hiccups clouded my time with Stella – a leaky fuel line, dead spark plugs, dead battery, etc. I decided it was time to sell my scooter, letting another lucky person experience the joy of my bike. I called Billy of Billy and the Boy Motorcycle Towing (773-239-5971)to pick up my bike and send her off to Scooterworks for a pre-sale tune-up. Billy is a former Chicago cop and had some wicked stories to share when we loaded his truck. He started this towing service specifically for motorcycles 17 years agoed my bike on – he was stranded, couldn’t get towed and decided to start a business. Love it.

A few Craig’s List postings later, I found a buyer. Allen B. from Grand Rapids, MI was willing to drive the 2.5 hours to Chicago and pick up Stella. I was impressed.

On ‘sale day’, I walked down to my garage and started my Stella for the last time. I sat in driving position, revved the gears, took in the gas cloud engulfing my parking spot and smiled. I helped Allen load the scooter on his trailer and I got quiet. That bike represented more than a ‘thrill ride’. My Stella was one of the most consistent things in my life at a time where I was single, changed jobs, went to Europe and bought my home. Stella was always there, ready for me to take her for a spin and let the breeze erase everything away.

(here is my final picture)

I look forward to buying a replacement in a year or so, but nothing takes the place of your first – scooter.

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Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

I had a business meeting at my local coffee shop, Hi Tea, this afternoon. I was happy to see Raymond behind the counter, but shocked by the news he shared.

Pat Brice, known in many circles as one of the next comedy greats (he was already selling out clubs in the Midwest and zipping to the west and east coast) passed away on Sunday morning. Pat grew up on Chicago’s Southside and had a natural talent that so few will ever see in this lifetime.

Raymond spoke about Pat with such love and respect, tearing up when he was thinking about the countless times his Southside crew hung out together. Raymond also reminded me that we never know when our time comes. Pat Brice was with us a short time but fulfilled the dreams he always set out to do – and made his fellow Chicagoans laugh at the same time.

We’ll miss you, Pat.

It was an ironic day for me…I hear about a comedic talent passing away on the same day I formally introduced myself to Jim Belushi’s talented son, Rob. Rob visits neighbors in my building and we chatted in the elevator today. I see him quite a bit, but never introduced myself.

Good thing is, Pat Brice won’t be by his lonesome. I’m sure Rob’s uncle, John, will be there waiting to exchange some stellar one liners.

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Shreyas Shah, NBC5 Street Team

Party people, we’ve got a great event going this Sunday at Vintage Wine Bar called “Sweet & Full-Bodied: A Chocolate & Wine Pairing Experience.

We love chocolate and wine because few substances stimulate the libido more than the two combined. Did you know that chocolate contains:

Tryptophan, an essential amino acid? It stimulates the production of serotonin.
Anandamide, a cannabinoid found naturally in the brain.
Phenylethylamine, a naturally occurring trace amine in the brain. It releases dopamine in the pleasure centers. It peaks during orgasm.

Did you also know that ethanol, the type of alcohol we consume, when combined with strawberries, is an excellent antioxidant? Still, some insist they like them just for the taste.

The night will feature 6 different stations of Vintage’s full and juicy wines paired with Coco Rouge’s succulent, rich chocolates, served with a seriously seductive mix of jazz.

This event is free to enter, and if you rsvp your first taste is free… rxvp@goodforparty.com


Vintage Wine Bar
1942 W. Division
Wicker Park
Sunday, July 22nd
5pm – 10pm

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