Archive for December, 2007

The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

What better way to ring in the new year than with a super, American, happy, fun, good time jam band?

From the band: “The Super American Happy Fun Good-Time Band are a bunch of cool dudes who like to have fun and perform music. The band plays a wide variety of musical styles that are intended to stimulate ones feet into a dance like motion. TSAHFGTJB is noted for having different sets of music each performance which range from rock, funk, bluegrass, disco, fusion, latin, jazz, and electronica.

They started off as an an experiment in improvisation for local jam musicians. Every week they would put together a different lineup and see how the jams would change from show to show. As of 2007 a solid lineup had formed and now try to play outside of their weekly gig.”

Next Chicago show: Jan 11, Double Door

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Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Let’s see. The dollar is in the crapper, the housing market is in a slump, developers are experiencing entire building foreclosures and ex military folks are having a difficult time finding a job.

Happy New Year to you, too.

In the zany world of economic ups and downs, a recent Chicago Sun-Times article about a Lakeview condo association’s legal win put a smile on my face. In a nutshell, the iconic high rise at 330 W. Diversey didn’t like the idea of St. Joseph Hospital expanding into their turf. The Association sued the hospital along with our fine city of Chicago and won.

I used to live at 2909 N. Sheridan and know exactly what the dwellers of Commonwealth Plaza are talking about. The office expansion and the increased traffic this would bring spells bad news for the neighbors. That stretch of Surf is so tiny – I can only imagine the new congestion. Yack.

It took over a year to overturn the City Council’s vote for development plans, but that’s OK. Congrats to the Commonwealth Plaza Condo Association for sticking together and seeing this issue to the end. Here’s a former neighbor passing over a high five from the South Loop!


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Erik SorensenErik Sorensen (Video)

Company of Thieves hit the ground running in 2007 and haven’t stopped since. And while few things in 2008 can be predicted with certainty, this act’s success is a safe bet.

I caught up with the guys (and girl) after their most recent performance, and it seems the weather isn’t the only thing that’s changed since the last time you saw them. Brad Sawicki (bass) and Jim Ratke (drums) are the newest additions to the lineup, and former Wax On Radio member, Scott Heatherly has assumed permanent keyboard duty, as opposed to select appearances from Ryan Gray. Fresh off a group of East Coast performances, including the Yahoo! Billboard Live! showcase in New York City, the band returned to Chicago for it’s biggest hometown gig to date with the new lineup, which served an even larger purpose.

Joining Company of Thieves on the Metro bill were: Skybox, The Young Sea and Sars Flannery: All of them playing for Illinois based chairties. The Tolbert Refugee Assistance Foundation as well as the Dave Eggers 826CHI Organization (dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills) both benefited directly from the elaborate performance.

C.O.T. Vocalist Genevieve Schatz recently collaborated on a track with Kevin Prchal (The Young Sea), Adam Krier (Lucky Boys Confusion, American Taxi),Ryan O’Neil (Sleeping at Last), Mikey Russell (Wax on Radio), and Dan Monahan (Last Fast Action). The song can be purchased at www.myspace.com/theyoungsea. All proceeds go to the Bryan House charity.

A special thanks to Daniel Shaughnessy (dshaughnessy47@gmail.com) for filming/editing the event and interview.

For donations and information on the 826CHI and Bryan House charities, visit:
http://www.826chi.org/ andhttp://www.bryanhouse.org/

Info and showdates:

Click here for a previous review on Company of Thieves.

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Rikki Greenberg, NBC5 Street Team

Over the years I have accumulated beauty tips and tricks from various educational sources. I’ve tried putting vinegar in my hair to make my deep chocolate hue more intense (did not work, smelled awful) and spreading a delightful mixture of yogurt and oatmeal on my face for a radiant glow (sort of worked, smelled pretty good actually) but the results have been less than stellar.

So I am here to tell you some tips of my own that I have developed throughout the years and don’t leave you smelling funky or people asking “What do you have on your face?”

1) Healthy Roots
In order to have shiny, bouncy hair, you have to start at the roots. Before you go to bed, take about two drops of olive oil and massage them into your scalp. This tip works best at night because you have more time for the oil to sink in. Voila! Shiny, happy hair at a discounted price.

2) Strong Nails
Cursed with a habit of biting my nails that never seems to stop, I began meticulously applying lotion to each nail. I was amazed at the result and couldn’t stop staring at my glossy, thick nails. The great thing about this tip is that you can do it anywhere, anytime and with any lotion. Although it has not cured my habit entirely, I am much less tempted to bite my gorgeous, non-stumpy nails!

3) Glowing Skin
After consuming 2-3 cups of green or white tea with various added ingredients every day, I noticed a significant difference in my skin. The real trick to this tip is that after I drank the tea, I rubbed the tea bag all over my face and did not rinse it off. As weird as this may sound, it really does work and pretty soon, I was getting compliments from the shampoo lady at my salon. True story!

4) Smooth legs
As a woman blessed with thick, coarse hair, I have exhausted every option to get smooth legs. At the urgency of my roommate, who applied lotion every day and never had to shave a day in her life, I began to do the same thing. Pretty soon, I became a woman obsessed (shocker) and applied Vaseline Intensive Care Total Moisture Dry Skin Lotion almost every day. The lotion made shaving a breeze and kept my unruly hair at bay. I no longer looked like I got into a viscous fight with my razor!

I promise you these tips do work and you will love the results as much as I do. Now you don’t have to spend a fortune on gloss treatments, skin care products or cuticle creams because the same results can be found in your very own kitchen or bathroom!

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.” Daniel Burnham, 1910

Where, oh where, did 2007 go? It feels like it disappeared, until I look back at all the changes and improvements The Local Tourist has gone through. I hope you, also, have had similar successes and plan for more in 2008!

If you’re having a hard time letting go, or are really really excited about the new year, you’ve got two nights to celebrate instead of just one. It seems that December 30th is the new New Year’s Eve. In addition to the annual Eve of the Eve at Union Station, there’s also an event at the Santa Fe Center and a cruise on Lake Michigan. If you haven’t yet made your plans for New Year’s Eve, there’s still time. Check out the parties or make reservations for dinner on TLT’s NYE Guide. You can also have your champagne a little early at Binny’s champagne tasting this evening, or take a champagne cruise complete with a four-course dinner this weekend.

Get a jump start on your resolutions this weekend at the Holiday Sports Fest. There’s no admission to the huge indoor gym set up in McCormick Place, and there are interactive zones and tournaments. There’s also a Critical Mass ride tomorrow night. For the uninitiated, this is a huge, traffic-stopping bike ride through the city streets of Chicago. For motorists there’s no way to plot out an evasive route, so if you plan on driving just be prepared to be swarmed by hundreds of cyclists. I got caught in a one a couple of months ago and the enthusiasm is so infectious I couldn’t help but smile and stick my hand out my window for all the waiting high-fives.

I’m off to reflect on the last year and plan the next. Have a great weekend and a Happy New Year!


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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Big ups to all the people who came through North Beach on Friday night for the official kickoff of the ChiTown DanceOFF. Despite the holiday season, a nice-sized crowd came out to check the festivities at North Beach in Downer’s Grove.

It didn’t take long to find 10 people to sign up for the contest. Check out the dancers and vote for your favorite at www.nbc5.com/danceoff.

Slideshow: DanceOff Kickoff Party

Each weekly winner will receive a $100 prize, and after 11 weeks, a $1,000 grand prize will given to the ultimate winner. Then it starts all over again.

Be sure to check out the schedule at www.nbc5.com/danceoff to see which club we’ll be hitting next, and thanks to our partners at ChiTown After Dark for putting it together.

It’s time to get your groove on!

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A Very Good EnGAGEment

Shlomi Rabi NBC5 Street Team

Put yourself in my shoes: I wake up one morning, the furniture around is vandalized, the paintings are shredded, the cats are missing, the windows are broken, the fridge door is left open to reveal a decapitated horse’s head, dead fish are lined in a pentagram, and the red inscription on the wall reads “You’re Next Bitch!” I leap out of bed, a million thoughts ricocheting in my head, panicking, covered in cold sweat I run around the house screaming: “Oh No! This can’t be!!! I couldn’t have missed Project Runway last night!!!” Only to remember soon thereafter it was a recap episode. *Sigh*… That was a close one. I’m ready to brush my teeth and start my day.

The day only got better, if you can believe it, and if for no other reason then because I got to go to Dirk Flanigan’s The Gage at night. It was Shahron’s birthday and I promised him I’d take him to the best new venue in town. Hot damn, did I deliver. The ambience was sophisticated and relaxed (think Tim Gunn meets Stacy London), the menu was as varied as Michael Kors’ plethora of mystique tan shades, and the wine was as delicious as Rami Kashou. Shahron and I shared the mussels (chosen as the Best in Town by every publication in town) which left us wishing we could marry them. Shahron then had The Gage burger, wishing he could divorce the mussels and wed the beef instead (no pun intended.) I had the seared Hawaiian tuna, which had me wishing I could practice polygamy and marry both my mussels and fish. The dessert was nothing short of amazing and could not be topped. I was ready to go home, gently shove aside the smashed disco ball, and go to bed.

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