Archive for November, 2007

Shreyas Shah, NBC5 Street Team

Party peoples, check out our party this Saturday, everything’s free with RSVP!

A free party. Free food. Free drinks. Free gift bags. Free manicures. Yes, this is the season of giving. Good for Party and The Silver Room inaugurates M.O., our in-the-know newsletter for all things fashion in Chicago. M.O is a definitive guide of what to wear, and where to get it guide to fashion trends, local boutiques, designer shops, thrift/discount stores and fashion events in Chicago. Join us as we celebrate the launch of M.O. at The Silver Room with music, food, and of course, hot girls wearing cool clothes. Rahaan, Jay Cee, Leonard Part Sixx and Silver Room owner Eric Williams DJ.

Saturday, December 1st
The Silver Room
1442 N. Milwaukee Avenue
RSVP to: rsvp.goodforparty.com

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

“I’d rather be a lamppost in Chicago than a millionaire in any other city.” William A. Hulbert

I have been up to my ears in music lately. With all the studio recordings, interviews at the House of Blues, and numerous shows I’ve seen I’m beginning to feel like a bona fide groupie. The guys from Lucid Ground probably think they’ll have to get a restraining order on me – including their studio recording at Chicago Acoustic Underground I’ve seen them five times in the last two months. And I’m seeing them again tonight. They, along with another TLT featured band Abstract Giants, are competing in the Bodog Battle of the Bands.

One of my recent recordings was with Maura Lally & The Pickin’ Bubs. This bluegrass band met years ago at Old Town School of Folk Music, and I bet they’ll be at the 50th Anniversary Party on Saturday, along with several other talented alumni.

There’s a lot more to do in Chicago than just hear live music. Now that Thanksgiving is past the holiday season is in full swing – Casino Swing, that is. The 16th annual black-tie optional gala lets you pony up for numerous children’s charities. Speaking of ponies, there’s a new betting parlor in town. Stretch Run Sporting Club & Grille not only provides kobe burgers, prime beef, and wings, it also lets you lay your money down on televised horse races. Prefer to wager your money at the table? Ante up at Aces UP! Celebrity Poker Tournament.

I’ll bet you’re getting tired of all those gambling references, and I know when to fold ’em. It’s now that time of year when holiday parties take over. The Hardrock Hotel is hosting the Peppermint Holiday Party, Eshe Day Spa is providing free mini-treatments for its party, and Pops for Champagne is putting on a candlelight concert.

If, like me, the idea of shopping the weekend after Thanksgiving is akin to being surrounded by thousands of Gollums all clutching their selections and hissing “precious”, it’s not too late to get some early shopping in. Stop by “Jingle.Mingle.Shop.” in Lincoln Park Zoo’s Cafe Brauer for gifts created by local artists. Be sure to stop by Sugar Bliss’s booth and try Teresa Ging’s cupcakes (chocolate peppermint and vanilla eggnog – need I say more?).

This weekend is also the grand reopening of Spertus Museum. Besides unveiling the gorgeous new architecture, the opening reception and the open house help bring Judaism to life.

As always, there’s much much more going on. Check out the events calendar for more, and have a great weekend!


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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

OK, if you haven’t figured it out from my blog postings, I like to save a buck or two. I prefer the term “thrifty” as opposed to “cheap,” but in an expensive city like Chicago, you can go broke pretty quickly if you don’t watch your wallet. Hence the new “Cheap Date” series our bloggers will occassionally be contributing to on this page.

Let’s start in my hood, the South Loop. A new Sam’s Wines & Spirits recently opened on the the northeast corner of Wabash and Roosevelt. The 16,000 square foot store is a welcome addition to an up-and-coming neighborhood still starving for a bigger retail presence. But this is more than just a place to buy booze. A wine cafe is located inside the store! You can buy any bottle of wine in the store, and for a measly $1 corkage fee, they’ll provide you with the stemware to drink it at stools set up along the windows and bar, or you can settle in on the comfy leather couch and chairs. There’s also tables set up with regular chairs and a chess set that I may take advantage of next time.

You can also purchase a cheese plate for $12 – $18. Me and a couple of my fellow SoLo Street Teamers checked it out over the weekend and had a great time. Not a bad outing for $30! Sam’s plans to open a rooftop deck in the spring, which will make things even more interesting.

As for the romance factor in suggesting a liquor store as the destination for a potential date — I’ll leave those tactful details up to you. But there’s something to be said for spending $12 for a bottle of wine that would cost at least three times as much in a lounge or restaurant. Now THAT’S sexy.

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LeeAnn Trotter, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

When you get tired of shopping for gifts and toasting the holidays at countless parties, why not chill out and enjoy some entertainment? There are tons of shows and or activities from which to choose….so why don’t you let me help you whittle down your choices?

A Christmas Carol @ Goodman Theatre
Although it’s a tad long (well over 2 hours), you will enjoy this timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, a bitter old man who finally discovers the true meaning of Christmas.
Sun Times Theatre Critic Hedy Weiss highly recommends it.
The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones also recommends it.
“A Christmas Carol” runs through December 29th.


The Nutcracker @ Steppenwolf Theatre
This is always a family favorite, although this House Theatre production is not particularly child friendly (for those under 8). Here’s what Steppenwolf has posted on it’s website.

“The House’s completely re-imagined version of The Nutcracker isn’t the dusty old ballet you remember. It weaves together riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, beautiful song, spellbinding spectacle, and a thrilling eight piece string orchestra to tell a darkly moving story of magic and mystery that you never knew existed. From the creative team behind the recent Chicago hits The Sparrow and The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz, The Nutcracker is a fresh and startling take on a Christmas classic that’s perfect for adults and kids to enjoy together.”


Black Nativity: A Gospel Song Play @ Goodman Theatre
This Congo Square Theater version of the classic nativity story centers on the African American experience, only this year, they’ve added an African storyline to tie into what’s happening in Darfur. I had the opportunity to meet and hear some of the performers…they are wonderful!!


Caroling @ Cloud Gate
This is a great end-of-the-week after work activity. At 6pm every Friday until Christmas, you can hear various groups singing holiday songs under Cloud Gate (better known as The Bean) in Millennium Park. And….you are welcome to join in!!

Here’s a rundown:
November 30thChicago Gay Men’s Chorus
December 7thBella Voce
December 14thChicago Mass Choir (gospel)
December 21st- Chicago Children’s Choir


Zoolights @ Lincoln Park Zoo
This is an amazing event…and so picturesque!!!! The animal houses are aglow with holiday lights, and new this year: 20 foot snow globes featuring characters from popular holiday films. There is also ice sculpture, and of course Santa!!
It’s 5pm – 9pm every Friday through Sunday, and starting December 14th, it’s open every day through the end of the year.

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Riot Riot

MaureenVana, NBC5 Street Team

Riot Fest took over the Congress Theatre in Chicago November 17th and 18th for it’s third year running. For ’07 the fest returned to its original 2 day format with headliners Naked Raygun on Saturday and Bad Brains to close out the event Sunday evening. The concert revved up around 2pm each afternoon filling the day with non stop music until late into the evening hours.

Throughout the day fans came and went staying only for their favorites or acts that have not performed in Chicago for awhile. Overall the attendance seemed thinner then last year’s, swelling to it’s peak for Stiff Little Fingers and Bad Brains. Although the crowd was smaller, the intensity was alive with pits, surfing, and even an attempt to breach the stage.

See Pictures From Riot Fest

The fest brought something for everyone to stop in for by providing over twenty punk rock bands whose hometowns range from Chicago to Ireland. Whether you came for one day, one band, or hung around for twenty, Riot Fest is always worth stopping in the Congress and staying awhile.

Saturday November 17th Line up
Naked Raygun
Stiff Little Fingers
The Queers
Lower Class Brats
The Methadones
Shot Baker
Heart Attacks
The Copyrights

Sunday November 18th Line Up
Bad Brains
The Casualties
Dillinger Four
The Bollweevils
Youth Brigade
Zero to Sixty
Flatfoot 56
Deal’s Gone Bad
The Frantic

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Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

As I mentioned earlier today, I had the proud moment of paying my tax bill. Let’s face it – whether you get married and buy a condo/townhouse with your man or buy a home on your own, you’ll need to know where to go in the city of Chicago and how to get there.

That’s where I come in :).

First, check out the following list. I took my tax bill and calculated the percentage of my total that went to various line items. I had a tax bill for my condo unit and another tax bill for my parking spot. That’s right. If you own a parking spot in the wonderful city of Chicago, you pay taxes on it. The percentages below are off by a few points because I didn’t add in my parking spot line items, but you’ll get the point.

What Your Cook County Taxes Go Towards
A Gals’ Guide to Getting How Chicago Works….

51% – Board of Education – to all you that want to go the private school route, look at how much you’ll be paying in taxes…that your kids may never use. Chicago does have some phenom public schools. You just need to research the heck out of them. I’m not even married yet and started a flowchart of school, neighborhoods and curriculum. I’m even going to schedule some elementary tours soon. Call me crazy, but if half of my tax bill goes to school, I’m going to do my darndest to make sure CEO Arne Duncan gives me some options.

5% – Water Reclamation
3% – Parks/Museum Aquarium Bond
7% – Parks
2% – School Finance Authority (um, what do they do exactly?)
4% – Community Colleges
1% – Library Fund
20% – City of Chicago…gotta pay to live here, right. I’d still like to see what this 20% goes towards exactly.
1% – Forest Preserve..
5% – Cook County
2.5% – Cook County Public Safety
2% – Cook County Health

Now, there is a big, massive building that takes up a block. This city hub houses our Mayor, along with City AND County services.Yep, you guessed it, the building is called The City Hall/County Building. You’ll need to know what side of the building you need to be on for various things you will need in Chicago. I’ve had many occasions of walking in and staring at the hallway in a confused sort of way, while city workers look at me and chuckle at me. I thought I’d break down the ins and outs of the building so you don’t have to deal with those awkward moments.

Though, I must say, I absolutely love strolling in that building and feeling the buzz of the city’s inner workings and wondering what Mayor Daley’s staff is cooking up.

118 N. Clark, entrance to the Cook County side(East)
Things you do here:

121 N. LaSalle, entrance to City Hall (West)
Things you do here:

  • Go to a city council meeting
  • Visit the Mayor on the 5th floor (well, you have to get thru security first)
  • Try to get a new condo built with approval from the zoning people
  • Say hello to all workers that work for the city

Lastly, a little known secret. Did you know that much of the city is connected with a sweet PedWay that goes underneath the City Hall/County building? Yep, when it’s cold outside, you can walk all the way to the condos at Lakeshore East! Check out the Google Chicago Underground Pedway Map here. Happy hunting!

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Treaty Of Paris

Erik SorensenErik Sorensen (Video)

224 years later, a new Treaty of Paris has been signed.
This time without the gunfire or funny wigs.

Freshly inked Chicago Rock Quintet, Treaty of Paris is the newest addition to the Airport Tapes and Records family. (Andrew McMahon’s imprint label.) And while the band’s name started off as a joke, the Idie Rock band is serious about turning heads.

It’s not easy to stand out in Chicago’s saturated music scene, but the guys are making headway thanks to a slew of successful hometown performances, a loyal fanbase and, oh yeah – good songwriting. After being well received at respected Chicago venues, i.e. Metro, Double Door, Schuba’s, etc., Treaty of Paris is looking to expand their reach. Something tells me they won’t have much trouble.

Forget smoke and mirrors, these guys have fun the old-fashioned way.
You need look no further than their live show or music videos
to understand why their easy to warm up to. The band’s modest and
passive-aggresive, comedic qualities are just as appealing as their

Their newly released debut album, “Sweet Dreams, Sucker“, showcases tracks such as “Waking Up The Dead“, “Roller Skates” and “Hello Nurse,” among others. The songs are impressively developed considering the band’s two-year lifespan, and equally as addictive.

Treaty Of Paris is currently out on a string of national tour dates, but returns to Illinois on Dec. 17th for a performance in Highland and again on Jan 5 at Chicago’s Metro. You might want to get tickets to this one.

224 years is a long time for a curtain call.

For tour dates and other info
visit: TreatyOfParisMusic.com
or MySpace.com/TreatyOfParis

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