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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