Archive for January, 2008

Shlomi Rabi NBC5 Street Team

It’s winter, which means that now you can combine two of your favorite things: eating lunch and watching the sunset, into one. Oh, and how could I forget leaving all your amazing pairs of shoes perched on the polished marble shelves in the left wing of your mansion, since from now on you will be alternating between “winter boots” and “snow boots”, or in laymen terms “sheer ugliness” and “girl, please.” No more letting your comb-over billow in the light breeze like the feathered wing of a chubby Venetian pigeon, since your head must be covered by a knitted concoction that’s “30% wool 70% polyester” and I say “100% depressing.” No more holding wet t-shirt contests al fresco on Sunday nights, it’s all indoors now. And no more egging cars made before 2006, since you now need the eggs to make another bucket of eggnog.

Slideshow: Scarlet Grand Opening

But who cares?!?!?! Because if there is one thing that Chicago is great at during the winter it’s sprouting new venues that put the “In” in Winter, starting with my favorite new place in the world-Scarlet Bar. The sexy new location in Chicago’s very own (and very happening) Boystown, is everything this neighborhood had been needing. Occupying the beloved (yet somewhat antiquated- sorry fellas!) The Gentry at 3320 N. Halsted St., Scarlet combines chic, sleek and need I say it- Hot into one. The mixed crowd of homosapiens (male, female and lovers of) completes the chic decor of stained glass window (very
church-esque, apropos given that some will be spending the night on their hands and knees, make of this what you will), caramel smooth hardwood floors and exposed red bricks. Oh, and the drinks? *sigh*… very, very good. Just ask Marcus “Big Chief” Riley who got us into this great lounge on this Friday night. So c’mon, don’t be shy, forget your fear of frostbite (and ugly hats), and come get all the heat that you’ll need to get you through this winter.

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Janelle Rominski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

I attended the “Pepsi Stuff” Launch Party at the Enclave in Chicago last Thursday. It was a great time and was hosted by Chicago’s very own, Jim Belushi. There were special appearances by Chicago Bears players Devin Hester and Tommie Harris along with Nick Swisher of the White Sox.

Belushi proudly supports Pepsi and states they have been “very, very good to my family”. His father opened up a restaurant in Logan Square in the late 50’s and Pepsi gave him free signage and good deals. Belushi’s late brother, John, was an avid Pepsi drinker and Pepsi also sponsors one of Belushi’s concert events. On top of that, Pepsi is sponsoring an anniversary party for the Blues Brothers later in the year.

Slideshow: Pepsi Stuff Launch Party

Pepsi Stuff launches this Sunday during the Super Bowl. Pepsi is partnering with Amazon.com on a program where consumers can download the most DRM-free MP3 music. Consumers “bank” points collected from over four billion specially marked Pepsi packaged products. When points are collected they can be turned in at PepsiStuff.com and redeemed at Amazon MP3.

Amazon MP3 offers the world’s largest collection of DRM-free MP3 music. There are over 3.25 million songs from over 270,000 artists on Amazon MP3. Five points earned through Pepsi Stuff equals one MP3 song from the huge collection of music from tens of thousands of different music labels.

The good news is the music downloaded from Amazon MP3 can be played on virtually any digital portable device, organized in any music management application or burned to a CD.

Justin Timberlake will star in a Pepsi Stuff commercial set to air during the Super Bowl. The “Magnetic Attraction” commercial will be a stunt-filled extravaganza showing how every sip of Pepsi gets you closer to the music and the “stuff” you want.

This is Pepsi’s biggest promotion ever and it all premieres on the Super Bowl.

As far as Super Bowl winner predictions, Tommie Harris favors the Giants and Devin Hester picks the Patriots.

Janelle’s Previous Blogs:

A Holiday Happening
Waukegan Welcomes Sweet Tomatoes
Twice The Tool
Lupara’s Pity Video To Debut On MTV
The Metal Of Marazene
Kama Sutra Comes To Chicago
Delicious Monkey Dish
Vince Neil Rocks Austin’s in Libertyville

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

“I think that’s how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York said, ‘Gee, I’m enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn’t cold enough. Let’s go west.’” Richard Jeni

If you’re the type of person who thinks the Polar Plunge is a refreshing dip in the lake, and/or you’ll do anything for a fr*ee lunch, you’re in luck. This Saturday South Water Kitchen is having its annual Groundhog Day luncheon. If you’re thick-skinned enough to dine outside you get to eat for free! Then you can visit the Chicago Cultural Center to thaw out. It’s been designated the “hot spot” for the Museum of Modern Ice across the street in Millennium Park.

It’s not a fre*e lunch, but Chicago Originals Restaurant Week is certainly inexpensive. Some of Chicago’s best independently owned restaurants are offering two or three course prix fixe menus for $20.08 now through Sunday. Later in the month is the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau-sponsored Chicago Restaurant Week, with 3-course lunches and dinners.

This Friday stop by the David Leonardis Gallery for the monthly artists’ reception. If you read his reports, then you know David’s an entertaining guy, but more importantly he’s passionate about art. Stop by, have a cocktail, meet the artists, and hopefully find that piece you just have to have.

I often highlight benefits for local nonprofits, so I’m pleased to announce a new networking group specifically for nonprofits and those interested in becoming involved. Networking For A Cause is having its first event Thursday night at the Kerryman. There’s no fee but attendance is limited so be sure to register. I’ll be there!

Have a great weekend!


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Chicago Detail

LaShonda Matlock, NBC5 Street Team

On Friday, why not shop for early spring fashions to a beat? Urban Outfitters on State St. will have DJ Kid Color spinning on the turntables while you get into fashion groove thang. This is one of the first live music events at this Urban Outfitters location and a premiere for the DJ. Official Site: http://www.thetreehouseparty.com/ Fri. Feb. 1st (3PM) at Urban Outfitters 20 S. State St. , Chicago, IL

Yet another reality show taping. Still, there are those of you out there who might be interested in this: a behind-the-scenes-of-the-fashion-industry reality show. They’re coming to Chicago to tape on February 2nd. The CW network apparently is launching some sort of show that blends elements of America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway. They are looking for stylists, publicity people, and anyone who works in the fashion business side. My sources tell me you may be working at the “Holy Grail of fashion” Vogue as an assistant for Anna Wintour. They are holding a Chicago casting call on Saturday, so for details email carrieinfashioncasting@gmail.com. There is also info at cwtv.com.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

Chicago Daily News buildingSam Zell, who recently purchased Tribune Company, has his headquarters in the former Chicago Daily News building. If you’ve taken an architectural riverboat tour, or visited Union Station, you’ll recognize it. It’s the art deco building with the large formal plaza facing the river. Zell wants to put a high rise there.

Because of its history, the media mogul could get a tax break for restoring the landmark building instead of crowding the open space. Who was the famed architectural team that designed Two North Riverside Plaza?

Just Grapes logoEmail your answer to trivia@thelocaltourist.com for a chance to win four (4) $25 Tasting Station gift cards from Just Grapes. Bring 3 of your friends and choose from 24 different wines – try one or try them all!

Congratulations to Eric Peterson for knowing that in 1861 Mayor John Wentworth fired sixty patrolmen, three sergeants, three lieutenants, and one captain on his exit, and the city was without a police force for 12 hours. He and a guest each get to enjoy a 5-course tasting menu (Mon – Wed) at 676 Restaurant in the Omni Hotel.

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Revolver Reloads

MaureenVana, NBC5 Street Team

Fans braved the blistering temperatures last Thursday night to see Velvet Revolver’s first 2008 Chicago performance at The Riviera Theatre. The show was slated for a 7:30p.m. start with no opening band to get things warmed up. True to Revolver form, the band took the stage fashionable late at around 8:30. The crowd was restless and even began to boo as the clock ticked away, but when the announcer called out in his gristly smoke laden voice “and now the guys that put the punk in punctuality, from Hollywood, Velvet Revolver” the venue was singing a different tune.

The group played song after song with little chit chat in between making up for the late start. Scott Weiland finally addressed the crowd after ten songs in to check and see how everyone was doing. Of course, everyone was doing just fine as they cheered and sang along to favorite Velvet Revolver, G N’ R, and Stone Temple Pilot tunes. The set strayed little from their previous visits last September and May, but the guys were on the money and made for an enjoyable performance even if this was your second or third time around.

See Photos From Velvet Revolver

The evening included tracks “Do It For The Kids”, “Superhuman”, “Fall To Pieces”, “She’s Mine”, and “The Last Fight” which was complete with a signature wailing blues solo from Slash. The group played STP favorites “Vasoline”, “Interstate Love Song” as well as “Patience”, “It’s so Easy”, and “Mr. Brownstone” from G N’ R. Although the crowd seemed confused when the band left the stage and failed to cheer them back for an encore, the group reemerged for another four songs. The encore included a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”, a balcony scaling Weiland, and a triumphant end with “Slither”

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

When you see Diana Rein in person, don’t let her diminutive size fool you. This lady’s voice packs a punch. Reminiscent of Susan Tedeschi and Sheryl Crow with a bit of KT Tunstall thrown in, she’s soulful, bluesy, and warm.

Diana ReinThis week’s featured song is the first one she wrote, but it’s certainly no amateurish effort. For more songs and a taste of the woman behind the music, listen to her podcast with Michael Teach and Chicago Acoustic Underground.

Diana has a residency on Wednesdays at Suite Lounge and Thursdays at Cortland’s Garage. I recently saw her at Cortland with Michael and she captivated the room. (FYI: If you’re hungry, ask the bartender for a menu from Jane’s next door – superb!) For a really exciting show mark February 15 on your calendars. She’ll be playing at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn with Anthony Gomes, a spectacular blues artist from Nashville.

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

I’m usually not home on Saturday night, but after about what seems like two straight weeks of frigid weather, I’ve completely lost the desire to even comtemplate running the streets of Chicago. I’m in full hibernation mode. Tonight I’ll watch the 10 p.m. news and blog it. With the aid of TIVO of course. I ain’t that efficient.

9:58 p.m.: Mmmmm… Heinekin.

10 p.m.: The new HD is looking real good.
Anna Davlantes
is stunning under normal circumstances, but HD is real good to her. Especially with that red jacket. Moving on.

Obama spanked Hillary in the South Carolina primary today. I’ve been more than a little disturbed at the nasty tone this campaign has taken. On “Real Time With Bill Maher” Friday, Maher said that it’s good that the Democrats are learning to fight dirty, because it’ll be nothing compared to what the Republicans will start slinging at them after the primaries. Kind of like what Mitt Romney alluded to when he said that he “can’t imagine Bill Clinton left with nothing to do in the White House.” Ouch.

10:01 p.m.: Looks like it’s cold in South Carolina as well. Carol Marin has a scarf on.

They’re breaking down the election results under racial and gender lines to see why Obama won. No women — black or white — cared for Hillary in South Carolina. Heck, they didn’t even vote for one of their own, John Edwards. When’s he gonna drop out?

10:03 p.m.: According to Carol, the Chicago Tribune and Caroline Kennedy are endorsing Obama. Bill Daley, Obama’s campaign co-chair, says Obama needs to keep that underdog attitude.

How would you like to be Carol Marin? As if it isn’t enough to be a living legend, in her spare time she saves people. All in a day’s work I guess.

10:04 p.m.: Republicans. Florida. Bye Rudy.

10:05 p.m.: Rob Stafford also looks good in HD. I say that in the most manly sort of way, of course. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Yes, Lauren Jiggets, HD is definitely your friend too.

The frozen body found in a canal at 34 and Kedzie was not Lisa Stebic or Stacy Peterson. I almost forgot about Lisa Stebic. Stories start to run together after awhile. Speaking of which, 5 minutes into the newscast and not one Drew Peterson story? Then again, it’s Saturday night — he must be on a date.

Click here to continue read the rest on Ben’s Breakfast Blog.

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Damaris Woodbury, NBC5 Street Team

Even though the weather was at -14 degrees and the wind was numbing my forehead (even with a hat and hoodie on), I made my way to the House of Blues to see Wyclef Jean perform.

I went in not knowing anything about Wyclef except that he is Haitain and a former member of the Fugees. I left the show in awe of how talented this man is as a musician, singer, entertainer, and seeker of new talent.

Wyclef’s opening act, Estelle, appeared on stage to warm up the crowd. If you don’t know her yet, you soon will. She will be one of the most of exciting breakthrough talents of 2008. Her new album is set for release in February 2008. She’s the first artist signed by John Legend, to his new Homeschool Records label. Check out her myspace page, myspace.com/estelleonline, for a sample of some of the songs off her new album.

After Estelle warmed up the crowd, Wyclef appeared sitting at a grand, black piano wearing a masquerade ball mask freestyling on everything from Chicago to politics to Bush to Immigrants to Haiti…he is by far the best Freestyler I have ever heard…anybody going into battle with him will surely lose. He took off the mask and everyone just went WILD!!! His energy got the crowd jumping, putting their lighters up, phones up, hands up, Haitain flags up, blunts up…you name it! Crowd was extremely diverse, a testament to how transcultural Wyclef has become after collaborating with so many different kinds of artists such as Shakira, Estelle, etc. His music covers Rap, Hip Hop, Reggae, Folk. He sang in French, Haitain creole, and Spanish.

He sang Fugee classics (without the Fireman jacket:)), and hits from his newest album, “Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs Of An Immigrant.” He went from the piano, to the electric guitar, to the congas…he just picked up an instument and started playing.

Now that I’m part of NBC5’s Street Team, I look forward to sharing my Chi-town experiences with you all.

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The Frantic

The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

The Frantic is a pop/punk rock band from the south side of Chicago. They’ve played on the Warped Tour and Q101’s Twisted. They were selected as a breakout band by Blender Magazine. They’re heading out on a multi-state tour that will take them as far north as Albany, NY, and as far south as Tallahassee, FL. They’ll even be in Austin during the SXSW Festival in March.

And they’re a bunch of teenagers.

Reggie's I sat down briefly with Kyle Dee (lead vocals & guitar), Brett Harwell (drums), and brothers Ian Farnesi (guitar) and Chris Farnesi (bass) before their set at Reggie’s. The “backstage” area of this new live music venue in the South Loop is accessed by a spiral staircase so tightly looped that only skinny musicians can traverse its coils with any level of comfort. Two small sitting areas connected by a narrow catwalk flank the stage, and a chain link fence keeps its residents from tumbling over the edge. Of course, that also means it’s really, really loud. We sat tightly grouped – Chris & Ian even sat on the floor – and chatted about their lives as rock stars.

In the world of rock and roll teenage bands are de riguer. Ones that have achieved the level of success these guys have met aren’t so common. Although one look at the contact information on their MySpace page might have you thinking they have handlers out the wazoo, don’t suffer from the illusion that they’re a boy band manufactured by labels and producers and pushy parents. This is their dream.

Chris has already graduated from high school, but the rest would be in their senior year. Now they’re basically being “home-schooled” and will get their G.E.D.’s. “This is our career,” Kyle said.

As far as a social life goes, they don’t really have one, Brett said. Ian, so soft-spoken it was hard to hear him, said he’s got “a small social circle” that he keeps in touch with. That makes sense, considering the number of years they’ve been at this. “We’ve been playing together as The Frantic since 8th grade,” Kyle said.

Having decided at a very young age what they wanted to be when they grew up, I asked if they had any advice for other bands. They said to be persistent and consistent, and don’t rush into it. Chris’s response? “Work your b*#~* off.”

I didn’t ask if they felt like they’d lost out on their youth, but they did volunteer that they’ve become a lot more mature. Much younger than most, they learned that when you want something, you have to believe in yourself and “don’t let people tell you no.”

The FranticThey took that confidence to the stage, where they’re performers as well as musicians. Chris is the cool guy with the wild, tightly curled hair and the button down, untucked shirt. Brett, the rebel, whips his long hair around in a manner as choreographed as his drumming. Ian is cute and impish and smiles at the girls while wearing a Misfits t-shirt showcasing the Grim Reaper. Kyle is the lead singer with the hoodie up over his head, throwing water on the crowd, yelling at them to move up to the stage and shouting call and responses with words that I don’t say in front of MY mother.

The mom in me wants to wash out their mouths with soap. The fan in me wants to sing along.

I get the feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more about The Frantic. In today’s music world there may be grumbling about labels and radio play and publicists and the like, but it all comes down to the music and the passion, the drive and frankly, how entertaining they are. These guys have an OK Go appeal with solid musical influences like The Ramones. They seem to have their heads on straight and are using the “machine” for what it is – a way to get their music out there and to let them live their dream.

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Jim Grillo, NBC5 Street Team

I met with and interviewed Chicago radio personality, Cara Carriveau. I have to say, this is a GREAT interview if you are interested in a “behind the scenes” look at a Chicago media personality and her rise to the top. The following interview (which all you have to do is press play and it will play without anything to download) is a real down to earth conversation with an engaging, genuine Michigan gal whose radio voice led her to Chicago radio. Cara can be heard on the MIX 101.9 FM on the weekends and on

Cara’s Basement on the internet. You can also hear Cara as you enter the Rosemont Theater as she does the voiceover for the theater. Hear Cara talk about “rocker” experiences and interviews, how to get in radio, her experiences at Rock 103.5, The Loop 97.9, working with Eric and Kathy at 101.9 The Mix and how humble and genuine radio personalities really are!

Click play to listen to “Behind the MIC” with Cara Carriveau.

Enjoy and stay warm!

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Kaylee King, NBC5 Street Team

It’s week five of everyone’s favorite dance competition and these dancers are getting hot. This weekend’s ChiTown DanceOFF venues are:

Tonight! 9 p.m.
JD Muggs
437 S. Addison Rd.
Addison, IL

Saturday, 10 p.m.
Serenity Lounge
334 Georgetown Square
Wood Dale, IL

Every week, at different venues, dancers (like you) are invited to shake what they’ve got for a chance to win $100 cash per night, or a grand prize of $1,000 cash. The contest is 11 weeks long and each night 10 dancers will compete to advance to the week 11 final showdown.

You only have 60 seconds to strut your stuff though, so you may want to practice in front of your mirror a bit, or freestyle it, whatever you’re feeling!

And, don’t forget to
click here to vote for your favorite dancer!

Check out these highlights from week five!

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LeeAnn Trotter, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

From Rambo to Untraceable, The Beatles to folk and dog sledding to High School Musical on Ice, this weekend has a ton of things to keep you warm on these cold winter days.

Have fun!

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Rikki Greenberg, NBC5 Street Team

I’ve finally been introduced to the man of my dreams.

He’s brash, painfully honest, completely unaware of anybody but himself and is the CEO of a major, billion dollar corporation. We haven’t met personally but I was able to be introduced to this brilliant, love-to-hate-me character in the hysterical book, Options: The Secret life of Steve Jobs by Daniel Lyons.

This book is based on a pseudo form of the real CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs. The main character, fake Steve Jobs, tries to balance it all while dealing with a major company complication that could possibly put him in jail or get him killed.

As much as I wanted to hate this character, I couldn’t help but love him. Throughout the book, he tries to strike a balance between his Buddhist values and his “throw you under the bus if it will save my butt” personality. According to the fake Steve Jobs, he fears no competition or extra validation because “Dude, I invented the friggin iPod. Have you heard of it?”

I really enjoyed Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs because it was a nice departure from the usual books I read, where the main character’s biggest problem is that her best friend is jealous of her because she’s good-looking.

Luckily, I have the fake Steve Jobs to enlighten me with bigger problems than that.

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Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)
My dad watches the Fox news channel now and then. To keep up with him, I try to watch what he watches and listen to similar radio stations. A balanced news outlook is very important. I caught a clip from John Gibson’s radio show and almost fell off my chair.

Listen here.

How utterly disrespectful. Heath Ledger graced our city last summer when he filmed Batman. I saw him in front of a restaurant once and he was really pleasant (I think it was Webster Grille?) Out of respect for Heath, I decided to make a call to New York.

Anyhoo, I just left a voicemail for the folks at Fox HQ in NYC. Gibson needs to be suspended.
Contact info if you want to voice your concern:

Ms. Irena Briganti
Vice President of Public Relations
FOX News Channel
1211 Avenue Of The Americas
Lowr C1
New York, NY 10036
Direct Phone : *212-301-3608
Outlet Fax : *212-382-1411
Outlet Phone : 212-301-3000
Email: irena.briganti@foxnews.com
Contact by: E-mail

Ms. Suzanne Scott
Vice President, Programming
FOX News Channel
1211 Avenue Of The Americas
Lowr C1
New York, NY 10036
Direct Phone : *212-301-8558
Outlet Fax : *212-382-1411
Outlet Phone : 212-301-3000
Email: suzanne.scott@foxnews.com



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Shreyas Shah, NBC5 Street Team

Party Peoples, TOMORROW NIGHT will go down in Chicago nightlife infamy as we bring you a night of burlesque, adult starlets, and Chicago’s finest DJs. This party is nothing short of an erotic carnival, loaded with titillating entertainment and sensual delights:

We’ve got 2007 AVN Female Performer of the Year, Hillary Scott, as our guest host… Michelle L’Amour and her girls will be in the house for a extra-special burlesque performance… The girls of Secret Skin Pictures will mix and mingle with the crowd… Stoptime 341 of DJ Tiesto fame will be doing live erotic video mixing all night… Hip-hop porn freaks The Champagne Brothers will be performing live… DJs Shifty Johnson and Lady D will keeping the music right with strictly dirty, sexy house music…

AND, you’ll get complimentary admission to the official after-party, location TBA at the party.

We’ve got a massive response and space is extremely limited, so RSVP now for guaranteed reduced admission before 11pm: rsvp.goodforparty.com

For table reservations, email us at: info@goodforparty.comhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif

Time Out magazine listed this party as a “Don’t Miss”. Metromix, Red Eye, and Going.com both have this as their top picks for Friday night. This promises to the first truly wild party of 2008. We hope to see all of you there!

For more info & pics go to:

The Victor Hotel
311 N. Sangamon
Friday, Jan. 25, 2008
10 – 2am

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Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)


There I was last nite. I made my way down the steps to the red line, paid my $2.00 fare, descended another flight of steps to the platform and waited in my usual spot.

That’s what I saw the legs.

There it was. A big billboard on the subway wall showing a gal wearing boy short underwear and heels. Nope, there isn’t an image of the girl’s face or upper body, for that matter. All you see are her legs.

What is this ad selling?

Img_0180_2 Condos.

Condos? Yes, condos. The new Burnham Pointe is being built in the South Loop and the marketing folks at Terrapin Properties are using a hot set of legs to make you want to live in their new construction condos.

Are you KIDDING me? Someone needs to hire a new marketing director. “SURPRISINGLY DOABLE!?” Disgusting. I’m calling Terrapin.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

“In some Chicago neighborhoods, looking for a parking space is not unlike panning for gold.” Gary Washburn

If this cold is getting you down, there are a few ways to lift your spirits. One is by imbibing spirits at the “Lose The Blues” Pub Crawl Tour. Lift another’s spirits at the “Signature Event“. This fundraiser for the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation can’t help but make you feel good.

Another way to get the warm, fuzzy feeling is by attending the UNConcert at Walter Payton College Prep. Why would you want to go see a high school choir, you ask? Well, because they’re one of five U.S. choral groups who’ve been selected to perform in the lead-up to the Summer Olympics in Beijing. They’re raising money so that all 42 students can make the trip to Asia.

You may not be able to go to China, so bring China to you at the Chinese New Year Spectacular this weekend. Dancers, vocalists, and musicians take you back to the Tang Dynasty, which ruled almost 1500 years ago! A little closer to home, the Yucatan Peninsula is also rife with history. Experience the culture of its cuisine as Chef Dudley Nieto teaches you how to make some of his Yucatan-inspired specialties.

If you really want to heat things up, burlesque will get your blood boiling. Vegas and Hollywood-style performing come to the Gold Coast with Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce. The revamped night spot Le Passage and its accompanying restaurant The Drawing Room aim for the feel of a speakeasy, and this show will help bring that to life.

On a separate note, the February issue of Chicago Magazine is highlighting the “171 Best Chicago Web Sites”. It’s a great list covering many aspects of Chicago’s online world. There are some of my favorites, and many I’ve never heard of that are definitely worth checking out. Unfortunately, The Local Tourist isn’t in there! In the story they invite readers to submit their own favorite Chicago sites. If TLT is one of them, please let them know by leaving a comment! I’ll be forever grateful. (If it’s not, let me know and I’ll do what I can do correct that!)

Have a great weekend!


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Irit SilvermanIrit Silverman NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Marc Jacobs and business partner Robert Duffy were in Chicago Friday night to celebrate the opening of the new Marc by Marc Jacobs store. But this party was far from a typical store opening. The venue was a two story lavishly decorated loft space in Bucktown. Attendees began the evening upstairs, where elegant round tables were pre-set for a three course meal. Irit Silverman's Community Slideshow - Image From iritAfter dinner, I had the honor of meeting Marc Jacobs, who is one of my biggest idols (it was definitely a check on the “bucket list” moment). He was just as gracious and amazing in person and the only man who can pull off blue hair with class and style.

Slideshow: Marc Jacobs Opening

After dinner, the party moved downstairs where modern chic tables and chairs lined the color lit exposed brick walls. Once the crowd had settled in, Jane’s Addiction frontman and Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell took over the mic and turntables. The dance floor was packed and the party was a definite hit. By the end of the night, my heart was still beating a little faster from meeting my brief meeting with the fashion icon.
Irit Silverman's Community Slideshow - Image From irit
For anyone who is slightly less fashion obsessed, Marc Jacobs started his namesake line in the mid-1980s and in 1987 was the youngest designer to be awarded the The Council of Fashion Designers of America Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent. Long title, huge honor. He has served as Creative Director for Louis Vuitton since 1997. Marc Jacobs’ designs are known to be edgy and innovative as are his shows (which consistently draw the hottest A-List celebrities). Jacobs debuted his line Marc by Marc Jacobs in 2001 as a more affordable edgy chic ready to wear collection. Marc by Marc Jacobs was an instant hit and became a staple on the fashion scene for clothes, shoes, bags and accessories.

And that brings us back to his new store in Chicago- Marc by Marc Jacobs located at 1714 North Damon Avenue. I’ll definitely be there.

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Monica, NBC5 Street Team

When I was a young girl growing up in Bridgeport the streets ran rampant with “gang bangers” and “hillbillies” which, at the time, was just the way of life until my (then) best friend’s brother was killed just blocks from my home. (That’s when my parents decided that we would move it on up…)

Now that I’ve grown up, I realize that Bridgeport wasn’t normal; it was a breeding ground for hatred and racism. I guess that’s why it’s a little hard for me to grasp how, not more than 12 years later, my sketchy little Irish/Italian neighborhood has become “The community of the future”.

The title is a tongue-in-cheek reference coined by the people over at indie arts and culture rag, Lumpen Magazine, who also house their headquarters/art space, “The Co-Prosperity Sphere”, in said up-and-coming hood.

Last week, the space hosted Snowball, a fundraiser for Version, their annual spring arts fest. The event had everything you could ever want: live music, 80s karaoke and a wild spaceship ride in the basement (…the ride alone was worth the 7 dollar entry fee).

While I’m sure the lifelong residents aren’t really happy about the influx of coffee shops, condos and art kids, I think this is a really positive change for the neighborhood. I hope that other Chicagoans feel the same way or at least make an effort to see what a real “artsy” neighborhood should look like.

I will say that Bridgeport is probably the poor man’s Wicker Park (now), but like the kids said, albeit jokingly, it is truly going to be THE community of the future.

Here’s what you missed/have to look forward to…

Slideshow: Snowball Fundraiser

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LeeAnn Trotter, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

By now you know I love to shop….so I’m always on the lookout for bargains. How about a designer sample sale! Local faves Erin Gallagher, Lara Miller, and Melissa Serpico Kamhout. I’m told there will be discounts up to 75 percent off. Yippie !!!

When: Saturday (January 26th) 12-7pm
Where: Erin’s studio
1017 W. Lake Street

See you there!

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

Chicago has a reputation for political corruption and police brutality, and both have been in the forefront lately. There was a time when Chicago was entirely without a police force after the whole department was fired by an outgoing Mayor. When was this, and for how long?

676 Restaurant in the Omni HotelThis week’s prize is Two 5-course tasting menus at 676 Restaurant, Sun – Wed (Value $130).

Email your answer, and include your mailing address, to trivia@thelocaltourist.com by midnight on January 27.

Congratulations to Kelly Gorham, who knew that the Chicago Transit Authority was formed in 1947.

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This week’s band: Munroe

The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

MunroeI’ve had my “ear” on this band for awhile. Every now and then they’d leave a comment on my MySpace asking when I was going to feature them, and now Munroe is finally being showcased! Their personal approach to marketing has also garnered the attention of 95 WIIL Rock out of Milwaukee, and Q101 here in Chicago, among others, but it’s the intensity and quality of their music that got them named “Miller Lite’s Band To Bust Out” for January on the local station. As part of that promotion, they’ll be in Q101’s studios on January 31 for a live interview and will be performing in February (TBA).

Have a listen. Warning: if you’re at work, you may want to turn your speakers down! (I, however, am turning mine UP!)

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