Archive for March, 2008

Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love to talk politics. Which doesn’t exactly endear me to a lot of people. I know, I know, politics, like religion, is one of those topics you should never discuss in polite company. And in the midst of such a divisive political season, I’ve personally witnessed some heated confrontations that probably weren’t appropriate for the setting we were in. To that, I say, a little personal discomfort is worth the all important process of thoroughly discussing issues that affect each of our daily lives.

We just launched a new blog on NBC5.com that is a great resource for enhancing that political discourse. Steve Rhodes (pictured, right), the founder of the popular Beachwood Reporter blog and Web site,  is now writing an NBC blog entitled Division Street. The name is an homage to the Studs Turkel book about the divisions in American politics, as well as a metaphoric nod to the real Chicago street that encompasses many of the diverse neighborhoods that define our community.  

Steve posts several times a day on the blog, and tries to spur discussion on important local, state and national issues.

Check out my interview with Steve discussing his new blog.  

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Blagica S. Bottigliero, NBC5 Street Team (Video) Hi Gang. Didya know that I got married to a Street Teamer? Yup. The NBC5 Baseball Blog is about to hit the blog waves and yours truly is married to a die hard White Sox fan, Michael. Here is one of our wedding shots, care of Kitty Maer Photography, Columbus, Ohio. See you around town and yes, I will be wearing a Tigers hat.Going back to my roots on that one…loooong story:).thankyou21.jpg 

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Last year I met with an eager group of individuals looking to start a new show all about Chicago. During that time, their vision evolved from a Web-based show to a TV show. There’s no shortage of people out there who think they have a great idea for a program, but the realities involved in actually getting a show onto a major network is daunting, and often have more to do with the business end of things than the actual content. We won’t even get into ratings.

That’s why it will be great to witness the launch of “24-7 Chicago: Secrets of the City,” on Saturday. The show will air weekly at midnight, following Saturday Night Live on NBC5 Chicago.

The hosts, Catie Keogh and nightlife king Billy Dec will interview celebrities and local Chicagoans, and provide an inside look at their Chicago “secrets” — where they eat, what they do, what makes them tick. Reality TV personality Jamie Blyth, who was a contestant on “The Bachelorette,” will be a featured correspondent on the show.

“24-7 Chicago” first aired on NBC5 on New Year’s Eve, and has previously aired as webisodes on its Web site, www.247chicago.tv. Check it out and support some local Chicagoans!

Podcast With Host Catie Keogh

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

If the lights go off suddenly on Saturday night, don’t fret. Perhaps you’ve seen the clever ads on the bus stands or the logos in other places around the city promoting Earth Hour.

On March 29, from 8 to 9 p.m., the World Wildlife Fund is asking Chicago citizens, businesses and landmarks to switch off the lights in order to make a dramatic, symbolic statement.

It’s all part of WWF’s global campaign to show that everyday people and corporate citizens working together can make a difference in the fight against global climate change.

Many of Chicago’s most recognizable landmark buildings will be participating, including the Sears Tower, the John Hancock Center and Navy Pier. In all, we’re talking about more than 500 businesses in the area that have signed up to switch off.

Some restaurants are also getting into the act, like the Weather Mark Tavern, who’s offering an Earth Hour special that includes dinner served with a champagne toast at 8 p.m. when the kitchen will shut for the hour.

The InnBar at 162 E. Ohio Street will be hosting a “Lights-out” event featuring an “Eco-tini,” a specialty martini made with organic vodka and juices (pictured, left). They’re also offering organic beer and acoustic entertainment by candle-light in the redesigned lobby bar.

Click on the player below to hear a podcast interview I did this week with WWF spokeswoman Leslie Aun, who explains what Earth Hour is all about.

For more information about Earth Hour, log on to EarthHourUs.org visit the City of Chicago’s Earth Hour Web site, the NBC5 Going Green Page and click here for suburban Chicago events.

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Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Tea

Reckless Road combines stunning visuals, heartfelt text, and enhanced audio and video to become the ultimate scrapbook for the ultimate Guns N’ Roses fan. Photographer and long time friend of the band Marc Canter takes readers on a 348 page journey into the roots of one of the most explosive bands to grace the Sunset Strip. Through ticket stubs, candid photos, sketches, set lists, and much more Reckless grants an exclusive backstage pass to witness the birth of rock and roll success.

With this documentary readers are allowed to travel back in time with the author’s excerpts from his experiences with the band. His devoted friendship with Slash and genuine love to see the ones he cares about thrive offers a closeness no other book could. Elements such as Marc’s liner notes on who drew what graphic on a flyer, photographs from basement shows, and discussions of early band rivalries shows a human side to success that is both accessible and comforting.

Reckless Road has something to appeal to anyone with a love for Guns N’ Roses, a love for music, a love for photography, or just a love of a good documentary. The book also extends from the printed page with audio and video provided through http://www.enhancedbooks.com. Each edition comes with an exclusive pass code that allows the owner to access video and audio from shows, interviews, and other behind the scenes material. The book is priced at $29.95book.jpg and is also available in 5 limited edition covers for $39.95 at http://www.recklessroad.com. As both a Guns N’ Roses fan and concert photographer I can only pose one objection in saying; Where’s the hardcover?!

Favorite Quote: in the acknowledgement section Marc thanks his parents “for allowing me to use their station wagon to lug around Slash’s equipment in 1983 for late night rehearsing until 3 am”

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Everybody has their passion. I have a friend who’s so passionate about March Madness, that she took a couple days off last week to watch the games. And she has about 12 brackets going on various pools.

I enjoy college hoops, although I’m not exactly that hard-core. I will, however, be watching my West Virginia Mountaineers handle Xavier tonight in the Sweet 16. And I’ll be checking out the game at Stretch Run Sports Club & Grille in River North.

I first came across this spot to pick up a gift certificate they gladly offered to donate as a prize for our DanceOFF competition at the Healthy Living Expo a couple of weekends ago. A 12-year-old kid was the lucky recipient of a $75 gift certificate to a sports and betting bar. Nice move Marcus. At least his dad was happy.

The bar has more than 200 TV monitors spread over two floors, so there’s no chance you’ll miss the game. But it’s the off-track betting that makes this place different than your typical sports bar. The opportunity to wager on horse races across the country definitely makes that night out a tad bit more interesting. And if betting isn’t your thing, indulge in the food, which includes stapes such as steaks, Kobe beef sliders and other classic American food. Just make sure you don’t bet all your money before the bill arrives.

Stretch Run Sporting Club & Grille
544 N LaSalle

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

Ron Huberman, my hero! Just as you think CTA sagas can’t get any more odd, who but our very own Ron Huberman is spotted getting tough on emotionally-abusive hooligans.

Picture this: it’s 7:30 am and you are riding blearily along the red line towards another meaningless day of work. Some jerk starts hassling a woman about her outfit, telling her in no uncertain terms that her skirt will probably get her sexually assaulted. You stand transfixed, waiting to see the next move, thinking somebody will say something…no one seems to notice or care. What Now?! Enter CTA President, Ron Huberman. Frankly, I’m impressed enough that Huberman even rides the CTA. But according to a witness, this actually occurred: “No one did anything and then out of nowhere Huberman stands up and gives the guy a glare and says, ‘ You’re going to get off the train.’ ”

Wow. “You’re going to get off the train.” Awesome. The only part that could be better is if he said, “MY train”. (Personally, I would totally be up for a fare hike, if the extra funds went towards a costume/cape for Huberman. Also, then we couldn’t blame him for any poor decisions made regarding policy; he’s up late fighting rudeness and indecency on the CTA!)

Ok, Ok, actual stuff to do this weekend: A sweet combination of rock’n’roll, tattoos, and puppies beckon you to this weekend’s benefit for the Anti-Cruelty Society. Insight Studios tattoo parlor is generously celebrating its own 3 year anniversary by aiming to raise 3 thousand dollars in 3 days for the Anti-Cruelty Society (sensing a pattern of threes here?) Additionally, a rock concert at both the Double Door and the Cobra Lounge will feature local bands as part of the benefit. In the mood for a new tattoo (or three)? Take the plunge and do it now, as 100% of the parlor’s profits will be donated to the Society from Friday, March 28th through Sunday, March 31st.

Get your old junk and your creative self to Swap-O-Rama-Rama on March 29th. Here’s how it goes: meet at the AV-aerie with $20 and some of old clothes and materials, which go into a giant exchange pile. Professional designers and sewing machines are then on hand to reincarnate this old junk into funky goodness.

And of course I can’t leave out any event involving UFOs. I personally don’t recall the Tinley park sightings of 2006, but it’s clearly memorable enough to draw the director of the Illinois branch of the Mutual UFO Network. He claims that he has definitive proof that what happened that night wasn’t just “flares”. Don’t believe me? Go to the UFO Symposium in Tinley Park and judge for yourself this Saturday. Register at the Illinois Mutual UFO Network website.

What goes better with UFOs than commemorating the elusive chupacabra? An exhibit entitled, “Chupacabras! Artists Reinterpret the Myth” at the National Museum of Mexican Art certainly sounds like a unique way to spend an afternoon.

Aaaaand lastly, nothing says March like syrup. It’s the Chicago Park District’s Maple Syrup Festival! Here is where I could describe what the Maple Syrup Festival actually entails… but a little mystery in life is fun, isn’t it?

Last week: We met on Saturday in front of the Art Institute for a Pillow Fight of epic proportions. That’s right, March 22 was Global Pillow Fight Day. Not national, GLOBAL. These P-F’s meant business. Amy joined me and got a fabric-softener induced concussion. Just kidding, it was all fun and games at the Pillow Fight (what did you expect?) You can watch that now at NudeHippo.tv

Tell me your thoughts, opinions or complaints! E-mail me at NudeHippo@nbc5.com.

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