Archive for September, 2007

Real Men Wear Pink

Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

If you would have told me at the beginning of the season that I would attend a game at Wrigley Field in a pink Cubs shirt, I would have called you a liar.

But there I was last weekend watching the Cub versus the Pirates dressed pretty in pink. But I wasn’t the only male in the crowd rockin’ the pink. It was all part of National City Bank’s efforts to honor breast cancer survivors.

Several weeks ago, I nominated Dr. Sandy Goldberg to be recognized as one of 20 breast cancer survivors at Wrigley Field. Dr. Sandy has been cancer-free for the past 7 years. Along with her segments on NBC5 News on weekend mornings, Dr. Sandy and I also do a weekly health podcast, and besides being colleagues and South Loop neighbors, she’s become family to me. Ryne Sandberg, Dr. Sandy Goldberg, Marcus RileyIt was hard to express it all in the 50 words or less that the nomination form called for. Along with being a survivor, Dr. Sandy has also started A Silver Lining Foundation, an organization dedicated to spreading breast cancer awareness, and more importantly, providing free mammograms.

Images: Breast Cancer Survivors Honored

Last week we headed to Wrigley Field, along with her husband Greg, and had brunch before the game with the other 19 survivors, the people who nominated them, and none other than Hall of Fame Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg! Of the 20 survivors, eight were chosen to stand at one of the positions on the field before the game, and Dr. Sandy drew second base! There she was, hamming it up on the field with Mark DeRosa before the Cubs put a whuppin’ on the Pirates. It’s a day I’ll never forget.

So this October when you start hearing about Breast Cancer Awareness month, don’t just let it go in one ear and out the other. It’s a disease that touches all of us, and there’s a long way to go in the fight to eradicate and treat it.

Podcast On Subject:

Read Full Post »

Green Ties For All!

Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

For the past year I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a green bowtie-vest combination, knowing that I’d need it for the annual Green Tie Ball. But despite the advanced warning, there I was days before the event, scouring the Magnificent Mile looking for the proper accessories (I refuse to rent anything!) At the last minute, I found a cool — and cheap — vest/tie combinaton at a south suburban shopping mall. It was one of those places where you can also buy bright orange suits, shoes and a hat to match. Who knew!

Images: Green Tie Ball

Fresh, dressed like a million bucks, I put on the Bally shoes and the fly green socks and headed toward Northerly Island. The Green Tie Ball has elevated itself to the one of the “must-attend” soiree’s on the city’s annual social calendar, and this year was no exception.

“The Garden of Good or Evil” lived up to his billing. Guests were given a halo or horns to wear — depending on their mood, or intent — and I’m pretty sure I saw more horns spread throughout the Northerly Island grounds.

Gateway Green’s annual fundraising event supports the non-profit organization, which is dedicated to the beautification of the city — and the beautification of the people, judging by this crowd!

Take a look at the video evidence in this Nude Hippo piece below. I’m off to find a seersucker suit for next year’s Kentucky Derby!

Read Full Post »

Sarah Vargo, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

On Friday, September 14th, I had the pleasure of hosting the Reality TV for Charity party at A New Leaf. I am on the Board of Directors for Active Chicago – the charity hosting the event. Active Chicago was founded by Survivor: Fiji contestant Mookie Lee. I have known Mookie for over seven years…we met in college when our respective fraternity and sorority had football block at the University of Illinois. After gaining notoriety on Survivor, I was happy to learn he was starting a charity and using his exposure in a positive way. I was honored when he asked me if I would help him start a charity to sponsor underprivileged children to fund their extra-curricular activities. Other board members who made this event happen are Tom Raleigh, Marissa Pallan, Troy Chafin, and Hadi Saeid.

Images: Reality For Charity

In order to raise awareness of our charity and cause, we decided to throw several promotional bashes throughout the summer. Our big event, however, was on Friday, September 14th at A New Leaf. We had several reality stars come to support our charity: Alex Angarita and Edgardo Rivera from Survivor: Fiji, Sarah Blank from Big Brother, Nadia Underwood from Beauty and the Geek, Matt Lorenz from Bravo’s Top Design, Becky Lee from Survivor: Cook Island and Aimee Trottier and Michael Laungani from The Apprentice.

Active Chicago partnered with The Parkways on this event and was also honored to have sponsorship from the following: XA, 24/7 Chicago, Snow Queen Vodka, Miller Lite, Capmark, Smartwater, Vitamin Energy, Pink Yellowtail and Phil Stefani Restaurants.

One of my favorite boys DJ Rock City got the crowd dancing with his funky beats and Dance 2 XS performed two amazing dance numbers! This troupe is actually going to tour with Justin Timberlake so you can only imagine how good they are!

We set up the party so the guests would feel like they were on their own reality show. 24/7 Chicago, a new, hip entertainment television show, filmed confessionals upstairs that mimicked the popular tactic seen on the king of all reality shows, MTV’s The Real World. Exhibit, an amazing Lincoln Park boutique also provided gift bags after guests confessed their deep secrets to the camera. With all the cameras flashing, it was hard not to feel like a star or in the middle of a new season of a reality show.

Guests had a blast confessing their secrets of the city and maybe some funny things that happened to them at the party. It was wonderful to get together all the reality stars to do something positive for children. Stay tuned for some more cool events from Active Chicago. We’re just getting this started! Please check out www.activechicago.org for updates!

Read Full Post »

Art “Chat Daddy” Sims, NBC5 Street Team

Don’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover…An Intimate Chat with former Porn Star Heather Hunter

I hope you will join me this coming Saturday, September 29, as I host an up close and personal conversation and book signing with former porn star, Heather Hunter. This must attend event is being hosted in conjunction with Afrocentric Bookstore at the All New Spoken Word Cafe, 4655 South King Drive. Doors open at 9pm and the revealing chat will begin at 10pm sharp. Following the chat, there will be a birthday celebration for Heather featuring a delectable blend of beats provided by Chicago’s very own, DJ Chuck Dog.

Hailed as this generation’s most revered sexual icon, Heather Hunter, AKA Double H, was one of the world’s most famous adult film stars. This event is to promote her new novel INSATIABLE, which is inspired by Hunter’s own life and career. INSATIABLE is a highly sexual and tantalizing tale of one woman’s rise to fame in the adult film industry but Hunter has now imbarked on another phase of her career as a rapper and author.

Hunter has performed in hundreds of music videos with many of the world’s most famous multi-platinum music artists, thus, making her a permanent fixture in hip-hop culture. Hunter has really proven herself over the years because she is the first African-American porn actress to cross racial barriers into mainstream recognition, and has appeared in all forms of media: Television, Film, Music Video, Radio and Magazines. Hunter has been featured on HBO, BET, VH1, and USA Networks. Heather hosted the top rated BET Pay-Per-View show, “THE PEEP SHOW”. It was the top revenue maker for BET’s PPV channel. Hunter also has a role in the upcoming fall release of “AMERICAN GANGSTER” starring actors, Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

INSATIABLE will be available for purchase at the event for only $20. Each chapter of the book begins with stunning full page photos of Heather, which makes this book a collector’s item. Only books purchased from Afrocentric will be autographed. No exceptions. Yes! You are welcome to bring your cameras!

Come out and enjoy a premium cash bar, valet parking, and intriguing conversation. Admission is only $10 per person, $15 per couple! You must be 21 years or older to attend.

I encourage you to come hear Heather’s moving story of exposing herself for the world to see. While at the same time, keeping her eye on the prize of succeeding and changing her life through it all.

Early arrival is strongly suggested. Hope to see you there!

Read Full Post »

Erik SorensenErik Sorensen (Video)

Twenty-three-year-old Australian singer/songwriter, Missy Higgins will be performing at Martyrs, in Lincoln Park on October 7th as part of her U.S. Tour for her new record, “On A Clear Night“. …And for someone that’s from “the land down under,” she does just fine at being on top.

If you haven’t heard of her, the best thing you might do today is visit MissyHiggins.com, where you can listen to all of her newest album. Chances to see an artist like this, at an intimate venue like Martyrs, are rare. Especially when Australian fans would die to be able to see her without the aid of binoculars.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Shortly after Releasing her first album, “The Sound Of White,” in 2005 with Warner Bros. and winning the “Artist Of The Year” award in Australia, she skyrocketed to fame in her native country, and it’s only a matter of time until word spreads to the U.S..

Shuffling back and forth between piano and guitar, she captivates her audiences with a gimmick free performance and incredibly modest personality. Rarely do you see a performance that goes above and beyond the studio recording and reminds you why you buy tickets to see musicians perform live.

No need for wardrobe malfunctions, help from Chris Angel or giant boas to entertain,here. This is the real deal.

Missy is a can’t-miss.

Read Full Post »

Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

I’m Laura in the NUDE HIPPO Newsroom with these top stories!

Want to impress your friends and scare your neighbors (yes, YOU, crazy naked couple in the window across the street.) Bet you haven’t tried the Afro-Brazilian martial art combining dance, fighting, gymnastics and live instruments. No, I’m not making this up. It’s called Capoeira, and classes are held at Gingarte Capoeira on Milwaukee Ave. If you’re not all that confident about your fighting/gymnastic skills, you can always try some belly dancing at Sweet Magic Studio or the ever-intriguing cardio striptease at All About Dance.

Feeling subversive? Celebrate The 26th Annual Banned Books Week (well, maybe “celebrate” isn’t quite the right sentiment, but you get it) by attending the Banned Books Read Out at Pioneer Plaza, free from 1-4pm. Then load up on hilariously inappropriate greeting cards from Chicago designers’ newly-launched Naughty Betty line at Paper Boy on Belmont & Southport. (And to think that I was just lamenting that Hallmark doesn’t make an “I’m sorry your house is sinking into the ground and it will cost you $8,000” card…) Maybe I still won’t find one quite that specialized, but Naughty Betty does have cards for both breakups and “Chrismukkah”.

Continuing north on your provocative journey, check out Next Theatre’s Chicago area premiere of The Busy World is Hushed, a drama about an Episcopal minister who hires a gay academic to ghostwrite her controversial book on the Gnostic Gospels, but instead must face the questions that arise when the academic and her son fall in love.

For the obscure: The Emergency Chicagoland Commodore Convention happens Saturday at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Lombard. In case you’re wondering, the Commodore 64 is (according to Wikipedia), “the best-selling single personal computer model of all time.” Probably because it was the one of the only ones that existed then, but whatever. Who am I to spoil the hardware and hacking fun.

If you think I’m crazy and you just want to drink beer at an Oktoberfest (the two are certainly not mutually exclusive), there’s always LakeView Neighbor’s Oktoberfest, the Lincoln Park Fall Festival, and the St. Alphonsus Sixth Annual Oktoberfest. So there.

E-mail me at NudeHippo@nbc5.com and let me know about any upcoming events and be sure to watch some of the fun locations and events that NUDE HIPPO has covered at NBC5.com/nudehippo

Read Full Post »

Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Team

A loyal hoard of fans gathered at the Metro for a night of dueling guitar solos, 8 minute long songs, and enough headbanging to start a tidal wave. Power metal was the theme and powerful they were as Sonata Arctica hosted Friday night’s concert with support from The Agonist and Cellador.

Those who made it out for the 6pm start were treated to Omaha, Nebraska’s Cellador who have been building a strong Chicago following over the past year and a half. The band played a 30 minute opening set which included tracks “Leaving it All Behind”, “A Sign Far Beyond”, and “No Chances Lost”. If you missed them this time around be sure to catch them when they return with King Diamond in early ’08.

See Photos From Sonata Arctica, The Agonist, and Cellador

The Agonist provided something a little harder in the middle of the power sandwich to add a nice variety to the night. Singer Alissa White-Gluz combined harsh growling vocals with melodic harmonies which showed off her impressive vocal range. The group sliced through the stage whipping guitars and hair around as though they were deadly weapons. The heavy crunchy sound mixed with high pitch solos is a winning combination that has earned them a slot with Century Media Records and a video debut on MTV’s Headbangers ball that was slated for the following night.

The Metro was instantly turned into an amphitheatre when Finnish rockers Sonata Arctica struck their first chords. The sound was crisp and clear from side of stage all the way to the top of the balcony making it seem like the venue had doubled in size. The audience sang every word to every song and took the lead when singer Tony Kakko would turn the mic to them. The set seemed carefully planned to build excitement with triumphant choruses and heartfelt ballads. Sonata played for almost an hour and a half covering material from their 1999 release “Ecliptica” all the way through this year’s album on Nuclear Blast Records titled “Unia”. The set list included tracks “Caleb”, “My Land”, “Full Moon”, “Victoria’s Secret” and “Don’t Say A Word” .

Read Full Post »

Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

I love Chicago, but of course, y’all know that. I also love the type of weekend I just had, where random people cross my path while I shop on Michigan Avenue or attend a Cubs Rooftop fund raiser.

On Friday night, Michael and I hit Shaw’s Crab House for dinner. Make sure you get the BBQ Eel and Avocado roll. Good lord, it was amazing. I don’t think most folks know about the stellar sushi selections at Shaw’s. Go get some. Also, try the Pomegranate martini, topped with champagne. Thanks to Martin for making two yummy drinks for yours truly.

While at Shaw’s, Alice Cooper strolled in for dinner. I think he was with his wife and a buddy. Sure, a couple of folks turned their heads, but in true Chicago spirit, the table was left alone and had a nice meal. The night was topped off with watching Superbad. Michael Cera is a star in the making – his comedic timing at such a young age is dead on.

Saturday was shopping day. My wedding shower is in Detroit this weekend, so I hit Michigan Avenue bright and early. I ran into Kim Coles going down the escalator at Bloomingdale’s. Kim is one of the co-hosts of the new show, ‘In the Loop’. Since I went to the first taping, I had to stop her and tell her what a great job she and the cast are doing. Kim was so nice and laid back. I think this is her first long-term stint in Chicago, and so far, she is digging it. Ms. C also mentioned how nice everyone is. She’s got that right. No zany photo people will be chasing her here! Welcome to Chicago, Kim!

After buying a dress at Mark Shale, I strolled down to Nordstrom to see Reggie in shoes. On my way, I ran into Norm Bobbins, Chairman of LaSalle Bank. I had to stop him on the street and let him know about the amazing job he’s done at the bank. LaSalle Bank is also the sponsor of the annual Chicago Marathon and Mr. Bobbins always represented us well with international media. Such a nice man.

I finished my shopping trip at Nordstrom. Franco Sarto was in the shoe department signing things, but I didn’t pay much attention. I needed some shoes to go with my outfit. As usual, Reggie took care of me, complete with a pair of chocolate brown suede Mary Janes.

On Sunday, I headed over to the Cubs Rooftop Fundraiser for Alderman Fioretti that I mentioned in an earlier post. I had the chance to meet Brian Rosen of Sam’s Wine. Sam’s is opening up a new location in my South Loop neighborhood. Needless to say, we are all very excited for the new addition on Roosevelt and Wabash. Tony Peraica was also in the crowd, too. I always wanted to meet him (I personally wish he won his election, but oh well…and yes, I’m a democrat). Mr. Peraica is running for State’s Attorney.

And this is why Chicago is such a great town. You’ll never know who you’ll meet and who is making an impact in your neighborhood each and every day.

On a sidenote:
I was on the fence about this Children’s Museum issue, but I gotta say, Mayor Daley, you’re terrific. But….

Can’t the Museum go oh, I don’t know…in the current Museum Campus facility? Interesting how the Children’s Museum will get $1Million in taxpayers money for moving to Grant Park.

Read Full Post »

Into the Wild

Ben Soldinger, NBC5 Street Team (video)

I had the fortunate opportunity to see an exclusive screening of the new Sean Penn directed move, Into The Wild (which opened up yesterday), a week ago at the San Rafael theater in northern California. The San Rafael Theater is an eight million dollar refurbished theater that was originally constructed in 1918 – incredibly cool venue! George Lucas and Sean Penn live within walking distance and the Lucas family is a large contributor towards the refurbishing. The only thing the San Rafael theater plays is independent films. It takes nothing to be a member of ‘The California Film Institute’ and you can be invited to events like this as well. Chicago should have something like the San Rafael Theater. Send a comment letting me know where to find such a cinema experience in town.

The movie is worth a viewing especially if you are into cinematography, acting, and deep thought provoking life circumstances. I was impressed with Mr. Penn’s efforts in directing….the guy is actually over the top talented in this field! He even got his buddy Eddie Vedder to score an original soundtrack (how ’bout that for a nice touch!). After the screening, there was a Q & A session with Sean Penn and the leading actor, Emile Hirsch – who looks like a young Leonardo DiCaprio, and like DiCaprio, is an actor’s actor. Sean Penn looked fit and had an intense presence about himself which made for an exciting atmosphere.

Afterwards there was a first class party with the actors across the street at a restaurant. Other notables in the crowd cocktailing was Lars Ulrich from Metallica and Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains. I did have my chance to meet the notorious Sean Penn. I ended up saying to him that I understand it took him eleven years to get the rights from the family to create this true story film and my question was what was it about this story that had him keep up such tremendous passion over all these years. My answer was, “It’s in the move” – thanks Sean!! Young Mr. Hirsch is very talented, charming, humble in person, and will be seen in the upcoming Speed Racer movie.

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

Read Full Post »

Chasity Johnson, NBC5 Street Team, Video

I am so not a lesbian, but I’m totally head over heels in love with a couple of women, one of them being Ms. Erykah Badu. I love Badu because she is one of the few female performers that remains true to themselves in the midst of the consumer driven agenda of mainstream music (sorry, my inner activist hopped out). She is eclectic, creative and for lack of a better word weird… but in a good way.

I have seen Ms. Badu perform on several different occasions and every time, I feel like I am watching a whole new person. Her most recent display of creativity in Chicago took place during the Heineken Red Star Soul concert, which was held at Crobar. The Heineken Red Star Soul series is an innovative music experience like no other. It features some of today’s hottest R&B and soul music ARTISTS (not just entertainers, but real artists).

Before I get into the details of this performance, let me give you give you a rundown of her last show in the “Windy City.”The last time she was in the Chi, she performed for the Miller Genuine Draft’s concert series, The Craft.

While I was in the audience at a jam-packed Park West, the lights began to dim and the music began to softly play. The audience began to scream and cheer with anticipation. After a while when the stage remained unchanged, the audience fell silent. Soon after, a short and petite figure strutted onto the stage by executing robot like movements. The figure, noticeably female, was draped in a sea of purple crocheted scarves. Her whole head was covered except for her eyes. As soon as everybody in the audience caught a good glimpse of ‘the hazel eyes that’ll hypnotize,’ they began to go wild. Badu proceeded to walk over to a mixer and manipulated it to make intergalactic sounds that only aliens could understand. As the show continued, she began to shed her purple scarves, slowly but surely, until she revealed her low cut hair and a stream of henna that consumed one of her arms. She then proceeded to give one of the simplest, yet most energetic performances I have ever seen in my life!

Now, let’s fast forward to last week, the Heineken Red Star Soul series. The event was hot! Live music and my favorite… free booze. The opening acts of the evening included the sultry Teedra Moses and the soulful Chrisette Michelle, who both rocked it out.

When it was time for Ms. Badu to come out I was kinda antsy. I was wondering who she would be today. In the middle of my contemplation a slim woman with a mushroom haircut and huge 80s glasses, wearing a t-shirt tucked into a high-waist skirt and sporting an oversized gator pursed stepped on the stage. Everybody was snickering and whispering “Who the hell is that?” I too wondered who this woman was for a second, until I got a good glimpse at her hazel eyes. It was Erykah!

She proceeded to sail through her new songs while channeling the attitude and the demeanor of a fly 70s secretary. She even gave the fellas a treat when she ‘got low with it’ and ‘dropped it like it was hot.’ Her show was extremely soulful and for lack of a better word, great.

I’ve met her five times and every time I do, I feel like I am meeting a brand new person and this time was no different. The first time I met her, she was wearing an oversized afro and Rasta colors; the second time; she was sporting hip-length micro-braids and a Greek inspired dress; the third time she was sporting an intergalactic Muslim look; and now, she doing the secretary thing and she made it hot!

This woman deserves much props. She’s been out 10 years and she constantly finds a way to reinvent herself without selling her soul. I can’t wait to see her again to find out who she’s gonna be next.

Read Full Post »

Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

It’s getting a little difficult to keep up with all the new club openings in the city. Every weekend there seems to be something new.

Well, another new club — with a familiar feel and name — will soon be in the mix. The plans have finally been released for the re-opening of Le Passage (937 N. Rush), a staple of Gold Coast nightlife. The ownership of the club recently changed hands from Rockit Ranch Productions to Three Headed Productions.

The opening — and rebranding — is scheduled for early November. It will now be called “Le Passage Discotheque and The Drawing Room at Le Passage, a culinary cocktail lounge,” according to a press release.

The folks over at All Terrain — led by fellow Street Teamer Brook Jay — is the lead partner on the redesign and re-branding of the space.

According to Brook, the new spot will evoke “the spirit of a traditional drawing room where people share their lives and friendships over sumptuous small plate food, classic cocktails, set in an intoxicating environment of modern, organic luxury.”

A new door on Rush Street will lead patrons down to the Drawing Room, a 55-seat lounge. The cobblestone alley that leads to the entrance you’re probably used to is still there, and will lead to the Discotheque portion.

Three Headed Productions also own Chicago nightspots Cans Bar and Canteen, Evil Olive, Salud Tequila Lounge and Junior’s Sports Lounge as well as bars in Milwaukee and Charlotte.

To stay up to date on the official opening, sign up for the email newletter at www.lepassage.com.

Read Full Post »

Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

I’m Laura in the NUDE HIPPO Newsroom with these top stories!

I WANNA DANCE! Admit it: you too secretly daydream about being discovered to shake it in a JLo music video, like in a real-world Will & Grace fantasy come true. Well, now’s your chance – at least, if can prove it to celebrity dance choreographer Shane Sparks.

Here’s the deal: if you think you’re the best dancer they can find in the U.S. (or if you just want to have fun trying), check out the Show Us Your Moves Contest TONIGHT, September 20th at Spy Bar. The nationwide search is sponsored by Secret Deodorant (because I guess if you’re not working up a sweat, you’re not doing it right.) Ladies, the audition time is 1:00-3:00, but you’d better have your act together, because you only have 30 seconds to show off to one of six Jennifer Lopez songs. The judges will pick six finalists from clubs throughout the U.S. to compete for the grand prize. If you can’t get off work (of it’s just too embarrassing and/or confusing to ask your boss for the afternoon off so you can wait in line to dance for thirty seconds in honor of JLo and deodorant), you can just party at the Secret Hot Spot after-party that night.

If you missed the Celtic fest last weekend, you can still get your Celtic fix at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra this Saturday. As part of The 25th Anniversary Celebration of The Bagpipes and Drums of the Emerald Society, Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Symphony Center will feature performances including Irish songstress Catherine O’Connell, Mullane Irish Dancers, and the Bagpipes & Drums of the Emerald Society themselves. This concert is also for a good cause, as it honors the Society’s 25 years of dedication to Police Officers and Firefighters killed in the line of duty since 1982. So, it’s a great event all-around. In fact, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s involvement in this honorable event may begin to make up for the countless hours of nightmares visited upon children due to that superfreaky ad campaign – you know, the one where innocent audience members transform partially into musical instruments, apparently as a result of attending the symphony ? (“Mommy, I don’t want to go to the Tchaikovsky concert! My head will turn into a TUBA!”) Seriously, those ads are messed up.

Realistically, though, this weekend is almost entirely about the beginning of fall (as the weather has helpfully reminded us this week.) And truthfully, fall is really about two things: 1) candy and 2) beer. And you just can’t start honoring these two essential elements of autumn too early! And in preparing for full-out Oktoberfest, anything fall-related will do. The 20th Annual Lincoln Square Apple Fest is a perfect example. You can start as early as 8am for a day of fresh fruits and veggies and cider, cooking classes, tastings, and music. If you’re still feeling competitive after your humiliating dance-off defeat (sorry), you can try your hand at baking in the pie competition, or at eating, in the evening’s spectacular pie-eating contest. Have you ever SEEN a pie-eating contest?? Trust me – once you will, you won’t ever forget it.

Speaking of fine entertainment, never underestimate those little community festivals — this weekend it’s the Ravenswood Bank Fall Festival in Lincoln Square, the Irish Oktoberfest at Lizzie McNeils, and even St. Helen’s Festival 2007, held to benefit St. Helen Church and School in the Ukranian Village. Maybe you’re not with me on this one, but I appreciate the campy and unique once-a-year festival fun of drinking beer at fests like this, instead of at the typical bar. (Plus, watching some poor guy who got roped into manning the funnel cake tent actually TRY to make funnel cake is hilarious.)

If, however, you’re just not feeling the crunchy outdoorsy vibe, get ready for your weekend with Shecky’s Girls Night Out at Chicago Union Station, TONIGHT, Sept 20. Featuring shopping, freebies, glamour, shopping, cocktails, and more shopping, Shecky’s has tons of vendors, with all the fashion you can possibly absorb from 5-10pm in between Midori cocktails. General admission tickets are only $10, which is of course, is fabulous.

So, whatever you do, enjoy your weekend and plan wisely – it’ll be Monday again before you know it. Why do you live in big city Chicago, anyway, huh? Get out there and do some stuff!

E-mail me at NudeHippo@nbc5.com and let me know about any upcoming events and be sure to watch some of the fune locations and events that NUDE HIPPO has covered at NBC5.com/nudehippo

Read Full Post »

Shreyas Shah, NBC5 Street Team

Party Peoples, I got a fabulous fashion show going on Thursday at Victor Hotel. Be there, I highly recommend it

Golden Brown & Delicious
A Fashion Exhibition

A fashion show featuring strictly golden brown models. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Legendary international DJs playing the best of pan-tropical music. Effen drink specials all night. And all for only $5 admission when you RSVP. Its Very Good for Party.

Yes, summer is officially ending in a couple of days, and we are paying respect to our favorite season by bring the heat GFP style. Let’s all give summer a kiss goodbye and get ready for Chicago Fashion Week with a fashion exhibition celebrating all things golden brown & delicious, including but not limited to: tan lines, sunsets, perfectly baked buns and funnel cake…

Pan-tropical music provided by Scott Zacharias (Soft Curls, Detroit) & Mike “Agent X” Clark (Beatdown Sounds, Detroit)

Runway Show begins at 10pm

Effen Vodka drink specials all night:

cocktails $5
martinis $7
bottle service $150

Thursday, Sept. 20th 9pm – 2am Victor Hotel | 311 N. Sangamon | Chicago

RSVP to our rsvp page at rsvp.goodforparty.com for reduced admission of $5.

Read Full Post »

Amanda Hunt, NBC5 Street Team

September 13th was my twenty—- birthday (you didn’t think I was tellin’… did you). This year, I decided to make it a long weekend celebration, starting with the Thursday night Heineken Red Star Soul Concert. This event had a strong lady line up: the beautiful Deemi and sexy Teedra Moses opened followed by an extremely confident Chrisette Michelle. I was impressed with Teedra’s stage presence and clarity of voice yet the ultimate gift was seeing Erykah Badu reunite with the mic. Her return has been in much anticipation, seeing how hundreds were turned away due to full Crobar capacity. And even though no one was quite ready for her style of hair or eye wear, she carried herself with such charisma and swagger, you could not look away. Not to mention her range is still mad crazy, she sounded awesome.

Friday night Virgos ran the spot at The Republic. My girlfriend, Ellyse and I got dolled up and danced the night away in VIP. Everyone came through including Chicago Bears Lance Briggs (he is just as fine in person). What more could a birthday girl ask for? Only the best big sister in the world could answer that….

Not only did big sister- Deborah Brown- hook me up with Badu entrance, she then showed me how to get down, formal style at the Green Tie Ball. This gala was so grand, you almost forgot it was a Chicago Gateway Green charity event. “And there was dancing and gambling and food for you to eat, and just when the beat stopped, somebody turned around and hollered ‘play the funky music’…..” Okay, I got a bit carried away.

Sunday was a trip to Old Town where I tasted the best Falafel sandwich at Old Jerusalem, fell for the most chic winter coat at Uri Boutique, and was charmed by wine master, Krunch at Galleria Liqueurs. Krunch introduced me to an extraordinary alternate to Riesling- Gruner Veltiner. It’s light, crisp and holds a hint of apple. Perfect for Pinky’s lady’s only summer end soiree in my honor. Lots of wine, delicious food and no men made for no drama.

Monday evening, in the continued spirit of peace and harmony, my gal Manuela and I enjoyed a performance by Indian violinist, composer, and conductor- L. Subramaniam at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion . This Grammy-nominee has appeared on more than 150 recordings and Hollywood film scores and was the perfect ending to a perfectly well-rounded celebration. Honestly, birthdays are the only time it is socially acceptable to celebrate your own existence….. make it count!

Read Full Post »

Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

(caveat: yes, I adore the White Sox, but am all about rooting for the Cubs break that curse…

  • Would you like to spend a Sunday on a Rooftop watching the Cubs?
  • Would you like to hang out with some of most interesting folks in Chicago?
  • Would you like to meet 2nd Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti?
  • How about being greeted by yours truly at the door? I know a few good jokes and perhaps I’ll show you my soft shoe act.

In all seriousness, I’d like to personally invite all of you Chicagoans to join me, the host committee and Alderman Bob Fioretti on Sunday, September 23. We’ll be at the Rooftop at the Firehouse for the Cubs v Pirates game. This is the LAST home game of the season AND the Cubbies are in first place. Come on out. Ticket information is below…

Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates

Rooftop by the Firehouse
1050 West Waveland Avenue

Sunday, September 23, 2007
Rooftop opens at 12:50 p.m.
First Pitch at 1:20 p.m.

Single: $150 (1 ticket)
Double: $300 (2 tickets)

Triple: $1,000 (5 tickets)
Home Run: $2,000 (10 tickets) Grand Slam: $5,000 (25 tickets)
-purchases the Triple Sponsorship Level will have their name printed on the Sponsor Section in the Fioretti Newsletter-
Tickets must be purchased by September 20, 2007

Please RSVP to Luis at 773.936.7586 or aldermanfioretti@gmail.com

Read Full Post »

Rikki Greenberg, NBC5 Street Team

I can not tell you how much money I have spent on books over the years.

Every time I return my books,I prepare myself for the $2.00 I’ll get back.

Depending on how many classes your taking and what school you go to, books can run you anywhere from $400-$600, if not more.

So you figure you spend all this money, your going to get it back right? Um no…your not…you’ll be lucky if you get a dollar back and you should be happy with that.

What I don’t understand is how can books depreciate from $112 to nothing in a matter of a few months??? Are they selling me a bad book and just not telling me about it? Are they using rare and expensive materials that can only be used at the beginning of the year and somehow become useless by mid-December?

I go to return my books, thinking maybe this will be the semester where I’ll get enough money back to buy a sandwich, and the lady kills my mood by saying, “We’re getting a new edition in so the teacher won’t be using this book anymore.”

Great…thanks…maybe there’s a cracker on the street I can eat instead.

Sometimes it’s more worth it to me to keep the stupid thing then to try and sell it back…I never opened it but maybe in the future, when I’m cleaning my house I’ll need to crack open my History book and find out a better way to vacuum the carpet.

What they should do is sell me the price that I’m going to get back. So if your going to give me 50 cents back at the end of the semester…why didn’t I pay that in the beginning?

Why did the publisher make it all fancy and wrap it in plastic wrap with “New Edition” in bright, red letters on the left-hand corner?

Why not just throw it in a paper bag with pages missing and call it a day? That’s what I should of gotten in the beginning or else why am I spending all this money on a fancy book that I’m not going to need by the end of the term?

Inquiring minds want to know…or else I’m moving into the book business!!

Read Full Post »

Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

1. Eva Langoria
2. Heidi Klum
3. Felicity Huffman
4. Venessa Williams
5. Ali Lardner

1. Seal
2. Patrick Dempsey
3. Steven Colbert

Seal and Heidi Klum

Crayola bright! White was so last season and black looked shockingly wrong and draining.

Katherine Heigl
Marcia Cross

Katherine, if you’re going to wear a white dress, make
sure it doesn’t look like a wedding gown. Marcia, if
you’re going to do great hair, makeup and jewelry,
shouldn’t they complement the dress and shouldn’t the
dress flatter your hips? Just a thought…..


And now for the WORST

1. Teri Hatcher. A mess from head to toe.
2. Ellen Degeneres. She said the tux was Gucci but the look was Dana Buchman–at Filene’s Basement.
3. Hellen Mirren. Did the top half of her dress go through a paper shreder?
4. Glenn Close. Bloomingdle’s INC? Has it come to this, Glenn?
5. America Ferrera. She looks great–for a 50 year old woman.

1. Terry O’Quinn
2. Randy Jackson
3. Charlie Sheen
4. Thomas Hayden Church
5. Ryan Seacrest

1. Ellen Pompeo
Teri Hatcher
2. Sandra Oh
3. Kate Walsh
4. Chandra Wilson
5. Giulliana Rancic

Black. No one except Michelle Pfiffer looked good in

Slideshow: Emmys Red Carpet

The Best Dressed List

Read Full Post »

Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

A new show premiers in Chicago today – ‘In the Loop’. Transplanted from Orlando to Chicago, iVillage.com (NBC bought iVillage) is hoping the Chicago backdrop, coupled with three new hosts will bring new viewers to the show.

I head over to the NBC Studios today for the live taping and will let you know how things go. In the meantime, you can watch ‘In the Loop’ at 11 am cst.

Kim Coles is one of the co-hosts and I always thought she was hysterical on ‘In Living Color’. Ah, memories of wanting to be a Fly Girl with the rest of the dancers and walking around my house singing ‘Homey the Clown’…then there was ‘Man on Film’….I’m dying over here. 🙂

Chicago native, Bill Rancic, is also a co-host. He and his new bride, Giuliana Rancic, are definitely doing the long distance thing, with her hosting E! news from LA. Yowza.

Read Full Post »

LeeAnn Trotter, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

If you’re over the age of 30, you know who Lynda Carter is, and probably spent many a night watching Wonder Woman. Heck, even if you’re under the age of 30, you have to know who Wonder Woman is.

Before the term “Girl Power” was even coined, Wonder Woman was the perfect symbol of female empowerment.

Instead of shying away from the character that made her famous, Lynda Carter embraces it. She’s in Chicago at the Apollo Theater to perform a singing routine. Check her out Sept. 11 – 16 and call (773)935-6100 for ticket information.

So which Wonder Woman powers does Lynda Carter wish she still had? Check out the Web exclusive video below to find out.

Read Full Post »

Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

(9/12 Update: I learned Oprah opened her season in NYC in honor of the 9/11 victims…she’s covering that today)

I’m an Oprah fan. So I stayed up last night and watched the 11:05 pm airing of The Oprah Show.

I didn’t really mind that she opened her season in New York City, but I was disappointed by not just the format of the show, but the way she kept talking about how great New Yorkers are. Hey, in all respect, if she’s hosting a show there, she should give her audience praise, but I can’t help it. I felt slighted during the show. Oprah got her start in Chicago, why not open the season here? Then it made sense. David Letterman.

Oprah finally had Dave on her show, which was a great coup, but from a viewer standpoint, it was painful to watch. I already know about the Oprah Log Dave kept. I already saw the Superbowl spot Oprah and Dave filmed. These reels were used for ‘filler’ while Oprah and Dave chatted. I also know all about Dave’s heart surgery, along with him being an older father.

This was the SEASON opener of The Oprah Winfrey Show?

Next, Lisa Marie Presley sang a duet with her father, Elvis. How does this tie into the show about Dave? Lisa’s daughter, Riley, joined her mom on stage and chatted with Oprah. How does this even fit into the NYC theme?

Oprah, you plain rock, but at least Ellen shows off NYC and does things in NYC when she tapes her show from NYC. Having Dave on the show makes sense, but Lisa Marie and her daughter, too? I know most of your hour-long same format shows don’t exist as much as they used to, but if the producers can tie in the content, that’d be great.

Now come back home to the city that started your syndication career. We miss you.

Read Full Post »

Getting The Boot For Fall

Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Given that men’s pants are getting leaner and shorter
with no break, the boot is the most important shoe of
the season. The oxford lace up version is the most up
to date style. Cole Haan puts Nike Air technology in
it’s “Jackson ” boot, so it feels like you’re wearing
a sneaker.

*Lambertson Truex laceup oxford, $695 @ Neiman Marcus
*Dolce and Gabbana high polish brown “Beatles” boot,
$850, @ Barneys New York
*”Jackson” zip boot, $265, at Cole Hann


The flat heel boot:
Pointy toe stilleto boot move over. The best boot of
the season is the flat heeled “riding” boot. Not only
are they more comfortable and practical for everyday
wear, they also give you that “oh so understated
country club chic” look. My clients who bought this
style last year got rave reviews from friends and

Remember, a flat heel boot is the only boot you
should tuck your jeans into.The Max Mara boot is
absolute perfection for this look. And if you want a
simple way to update your look while running around
town with the kids, the flat boot is your best friend.

A good boot is an investment piece, so you should
expect to get 5-8 years of wear out of it. Keep that
in mind when you’re faced with the sticker shock
you’re bound to encounter with some of the best

The Tory Burch boots feature a flexsole which makes
them especially comfortable. The suede version with
gold zipper running up the back is a high style
winner. Clients who have bought this boot love it!

*Woven leather brown Max Mara boot, $750 @ Max Mara
*Sergio Rossi boot with buckle detail @ Neiman Marcus
*Tory Burch suede logo boot with zipper detail, $495@
Neiman Marcus
*”Stella” boot, $248 @ Banana Republic

The Bootie:
The short boot is perfect style to wear in place of
the pump. The 3 shown here are the best style in their
price range.

*Me Too patent leather bootie, $59.99 @ DSW
*Leather “Yelena” @ Cole Haan, $250. Better looking on
than those at twice or three times the price.
*Tapeet Vicini suede sculptural bootie, $525 @ Neiman
Marcus. This boot is stunningly good looking on!

The Athletic inspired boot:
This season you will see that shoe styles have taken
their cues from athletic shoes. this is true for boots
as, well. These two styles are takeoffs of the hiking

*Marc Jacobs platform lace-up, $850 @ Neiman Marcus
*Bolo distressed leather lace-up, $119 @ DSW

The Oxford inspired shoe boot:
This style is inpired by the menswear trend of the
season. It looks great with a suit or with tights and
a skirt. Again, it’s an alternative to the high heel

*Suede with patent heel “Naso,” $109 @ Nine West
*Two-tone suede by Marc Jacobs @ Neiman Marcus
*Fabric and patent leather Stuart Weitzman, $300 @
Neiman Marcus
*Patent leather with stacked heel by Bottega Veneta,
$840 @ Barneys New York

The round toe platform boot:
If you must buy a full boot with a high heel, make
sure it has a rounded toe and a platform. Fendi makes
the best one. $755 @ Neiman Marcus. It’s sleek and it
has a flexsole which means it’s ultracomfortable. Use
it as your guide when looking in your price range

Read Full Post »

Shreyas Shah, NBC5 Street Team

Party Peoples, if you really, really love classic dance music from the 70’s, 80’s, and on, check out my event this Thursday.

Good for Party presents:

Buttered Buns 2: Electric Boogaloo

In the world of rare vinyl, DJ’s Mike Cole and Mark Grusane own the store….literally. Everyone else is just shopping in it.

Their record store, Mr. Peabody’s, is the finest in Chicago, boasting a collection of rare vinyl that no one else in the city can touch. When your favorite international DJ’s come to play, Mr. Peabody’s is where they go to find obscure dancefloor vinyl no one else has. Everyone from Dimitri from Paris to Kool Herc has bought from Mr. Peabody’s.

Playing Sonotheque for the first time ever, Mike and Mark open their vaults for a very special night of classic dance music and sexy bullshit. This is a rare, special treat that you music fans do not want to miss. They pack more heat than an oven door, tastefully folding rare disco, soul, funk, into New Wave, house, hip-hop and boogie. Listening to them play records is like being on a time traveling Be prepared to dance…hard.

Please rsvp to rsvp.goodforparty.com. Early arrival is strongly suggested.
Thursday, Sept. 13th
9 – 2

Read Full Post »

LANZ: Remember The Name

Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

“What if there were no double standards and a woman were given the same respect as a man is???”…This question is profoundly posed on the song “What If” by an 18 year-old female newcomer in the rap game who’s out to get her respect in the male-dominated music industry with skills and talent…and she goes by the name of LANZ.

Although she has the good looks to go along with the talent, LANZ is an advocate of “truth music”…spitting lyrics filled with substance and style…opting to avoid taking the easy route of constant party and club joints or selling sex to move records.

Other artists are definitely taking notice of this New York phenom. The “Doggfather” himself, “Snoop D-O-Double Gizzee” personally handpicked the driven teen to join him on a recent national tour where she got to showcase her skills in front of tens of thousands. How many rookies in the game get to do that without even having a single on the radio or a video in rotation on BET & MTV???

Don’t just take my word for it, check out this interview I did with LANZ during her recent tour stop in Chicago. She talks about how she got her foot in the door and she even gives NBC5.com a little taste of what you can expect from her live show and upcoming album.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »