Archive for August, 2007

Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

What a week. Comiskey passed away.
Neighborhood activist, and one of my heroes, Florence Scala passed away.
And the idea of getting city-wide Wi-Fi passed us by.

Is anyone as upset as I am about the Municipal Wi-Fi project going away? Here is the in-depth article as to why.

From what I gather, other cities in the U.S. are having similar municipal Wi-Fi issues. Ok, that’s fair. But after all the Chicago style grandstanding about being the first city in the U.S. to cover everyone home, hobbit, office, condo, etc. with Wi-Fi, I’m not happy.

I understand that plans change, etc, but couldn’t the team responsible for this project conduct more interviews or due diligence ahead of time? Did they visit other cities to see how things are done there?

For the record, Daley Plaza is supposedly a free Wi-Fi hotspot, but I’ve planted my tukus in that plaza multiple times and couldn’t pick up a free non password signal. I do not want to pay T-Mobile every month to use their hotspots, nor do I want to use the signal at Starbucks (since the Michigan Avenue Fruit Fly incident, I don’t give Starbucks any business). I enjoy going to my public libraries and using their free Wi-Fi, sure. But at the same time, I respect my fellow bookworms and don’t want to be talking on a cell phone or conducting a biz meeting.

Chicago reversed the flow from Lake Michigan.
Chicago hosted a monumental World’s Fair.
Chicago rebuilt itself after a massive fire.
Chicago gave birth to Improv and some of the best comedians around.
Chicago is the homeland of unions.

Chicago can get municipal Wi-Fi. Mayor Daley, if you need some help, I’m your gal. Sign me up.

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Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Team

The beautiful weather last Sunday was perfect timing for the first live performance act at Crust. Crust, located at 2056 Division, is Chicago’s very own certified organic restaurant and the first of it’s kind in the Midwest. The menu includes a variety of fresh and visually spectacular dishes including pizza, lunch/dinner options, desserts, and drinks.

The back patio hosts additional outdoor seating for those that wish for privacy from the hustle and bust of Division in front. The patio also is equipped with enough porch space to host live performances while customers enjoy there meal or stop in for drinks. The Ditty Bops were proud to be the first ever live performers at Crust on Sunday afternoon.

See Photos From The Ditty Bops at Crust

After a sold out show at The Old Town School of Folk Music the night before, The Ditty Bops held a laid back set 1pm. The group’s performance of folk with a little rock flare was a wonderful addition to the afternoon atmosphere. When the set had come to a close, the group spent time with fans signing autographs and chating while enjoying some of the Crust dishes.

The event was a hit and hopefully encouraged Crust to continue holding live performances for the remainder of the summer and into early fall. You can visit Crust’s website at www.crusteatreal.org and check out The Ditty Bops currently on their Farm Tour 2007 www.thedittybops.com.

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Put some clothes on!

Rikki Greenberg, NBC5 Street Team

I’ve always been kind of indifferent about Rihanna. I never really liked her voice but somehow her music always grew on me.

Unfortunately, I’ve lost respect for Rihanna over the last couple months she’s been out. Like all other young female musicians before her, she has gotten to know her slutty side and to be honest, it’s just too much.
Brian Bredder/Getty Images
Her video for her latest single “Shut Up and Drive” is a classic example of in-your-face sexuality that seems more staged than real. I understand that it’s not driving that she wants to do here but do you really need to rub up against every car in your “Let’s not wear clothes” repair shop to get people to understand that?

Not to mention the fact that it seems like she forgot to wear a shirt without holes in it and shorts that look more like painted on underwear than a piece of clothing.

As a female, this is not something I wish too see. When a female is reduced to the same value as the car she is groping on, we have some problems. Now, I’m all for celebrating the fact that your hot but in Rihanna’s case, I just want to say that the jig is up. We get it. You’re hot. Now can you please put some clothes on!

I hope that Rihanna understands that you don’t have to wear leather booty shorts and a leather jacket that looks like it would fit my 5-year-old cousin to be taken seriously.

The girl has some talent but it’s hard to see that when she is treated more as an object than an actual person. I just think that it would be refreshing and kind of nice to see a young female musician I can respect rather than be disappointed by.

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Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

In town this weekend? I have just the ticket for you – The Bash on Wabash is taking place this Saturday and Sunday, September 1 & 2. Here are the main details. I’ll be working, so come on down and say Hola…along with seeing how the South Loop is exploding with fun neighbors, new restaurants and down home good vibes. See you then!

The South Loops’ premier outdoor event, Bash on Wabash, marks its fourth year by honoring New Orleans. The 2007 music line-up will reflect the rich musical heritage of New Orleans, featuring top name national and regional Zydeco, blues and jazz acts.

The Greater South Loop Association hosts this unique event, which showcases Chicago’s hottest, trendiest neighborhood. Just blocks from downtown Chicago, the South Loop, home of Chicago’s Mayor Daley is undergoing a renaissance, and is now a vibrant, culturally rich, diverse yet tightly knit community.

This lively, colorful festival mirrors the South Loops’ vibrancy and diversity offering something for everyone. Bash on Wabash features top name, national music headliners, continuous live music, a wide variety of food choices, including some top area restaurants, beer and wine, upscale arts and crafts, and an elaborate kid’s area with games and rides such as Willie Wonka, Moon Walk and climbing walls.

6:30 p.m. – Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Cha’s
8:30 p.m. – Terrance Simien

8:30 p.m. – Buckwheat Zydeco

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Rikki Greenberg, NBC5 Street Team

The only reason why I look forward to getting mail is the surprise gifts of the assortment of magazines I get each month. I was shocked and intrigued when I received my September issue of Allure in the mail with none other than Britney Spears as the cover girl. I hate to admit it, but I couldn’t wait to read the interview.

I know Britney Spears gets a lot of heat for the being Britney Spears but the girl never fails at keeping people interested. Since she has been through so much, I was curious to read what she had to say.

I flipped through the gorgeous glossy pages, only to realize I almost missed it when the last two pages caught my eye. “Britney on Hold” it said, followed by a rather seductive picture of Spears on the right.

I start reading but quickly became confused. The “interview” starts out with the author sharing background information on Spears and her anticipation about the interview…but there’s no interview. No questions. No fascinating quotes set aside in bold, red print. Just pictures.

All that excitement for pictures? I decided to backtrack and read the editor’s letter, hoping she would have the answer to the millions of questions swirling around in my head. It turns out the author who was in charge of interviewing Spears was never able to get a hold of her. Not too surprised but OK. She had to come up with something so she wrote about her efforts in trying to track down Spears.

I thought that was pretty neat and probably the best interview I ever read. It was smart, witty and contained no traces of any bitterness. The fact that the piece included no direct information from Spears herself was the most genius part.

Honestly, I never underestimated Spears in her ability to keep the people wanting more. I think she did the right thing by not giving an interview. The mystery of what she might of said is far better than what she would of said anyway.

I hate to say it but…Oops! She did it again!

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Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

It’s been a week of giggles for your truly. Between Vladimir Putin’s glamour shot and Nicolas Sarkozy’s love handle disguise, nothing surprises me any more with our global leaders. I started wondering, would Mayor Daley ever go to the extreme to either a) show us his guns or b) make sure his extra Italian Beefs were photoshopped out?

First, Russian President Vladimir Putin, had some photos taken of him during a fishing trip. Putin was hanging out with Prince Albert II of Monaco up in the Siberian Mountains. Check out the body shot of Russia’s comrade/president/beefcake:

Yes, I am a fan of French culture and politics. I cracked up when I read the recent story that Nicolas Sarkozy, the new French president, had his love handles ‘Photoshopped’ out.

Mr. Sarkozy was vacationing in New Hampshire and was canoeing with his son. The Associated Press snapped a picture of the President doing his vacation thang and the next thing you know, French celeb magazine, Paris Match, photoshopped his love handles outta the picture. Hee Hee. Check it out. I don’t think Sarkozy asked for the photo to be fixed, however, his good buddy, Arnaud Lagardere, is rumored to have ordered the fat removal. Arnaud owns Paris Match.

All this posturing made me wonder, would Mayor Daley ever be a part of either scenario? Would he ever eat too many Polishes that he told his head creative staffer to erase away the evidence? Or, would the Mayor get himself in such amazing physical shape that he’d stage photos of himself kayaking down the Chicago River? I’m thinking no.

This post isn’t to make fun of these two global leaders per se (Ok, maybe Putin, kinda…come on, we all know you stage the shots). Sarkozy claims to not know about the love handle disappearance. Either way, the pressure is on for global leaders to look their best.

On a sad note, Charles Albert Comiskey II, grandson of the founder of the Chicago White Sox, died this weekend. Perhaps he and his grandfather can send new vibes to the team and get them back on track for 2008….Brooks Boyer can use the marketing help, too.

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

If you read this blog regularly, you know that “Entourage” is one of my favorite shows on TV, although after this week’s episode of “Weeds,” I’m not so sure. But I digress. When I heard that Kevin Dillon, aka Johnny Drama, was going to be in Chicago, I had to be there.

Dillon plays the loser older brother of Hollywood superstar Vinny Chase on the show, and his escapades are definitely one of the highlights of each episode. In fact, I have a running discussion with a co-worker about whether he’s the best character on TV. It’s debatable, but the fact that he’s even in the conversation, means he must be doing something right.

Slideshow: Johnny Drama At Crobar

Art kind of imitates life, in that Kevin Dillon also has a famous brother — Matt Dillon. But he doesn’t have to take a back seat to anyone these days, and he definitely seems to be enjoying life and his newfound fame.

Dillon stopped through Crobar on the first leg of his 42nd birthday weekend, which culminated with a bash in Vegas. And of course — I had to ask him about the whole Plushie thing, which I blogged about a couple weeks ago. Check out the interview below. Victory!

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