Archive for March, 2008

Jim Grillo, Hereschicago.com, NBC5 Street Team

The Heartland International Musical Tattoo, a unique blend of traditional Scottish, Irish and American music, dance, and pageantry, returns to the NIU Convocation Center in DeKalb, Ill. on Saturday and Sunday April 12-13, 2008. tattoo.jpg

From its roots in European military pageantry, the Heartland International Tattoo has evolved into a diverse musical and dance celebration of American and International culture. For 2008 the Tattoo will include a tribute to the heroic Northern Illinois University students, staff and community impacted by the February 14th tragedy on the NIU campus. In additional to its traditional bagpipe bands, brass bands and military units, adding to the international flavor, the colorful Boliviamanta Dance Ensemble will perform authentic folk dances from Bolivia. The program will conclude with a stirring presentation of the history of the American flag, leading to a tribute to the five branches of the United States Military and finally the traditional massed pipes and drums performing Scotland the Brave and Amazing Grace. In all more than 250 cast members from across the Midwest will participate in the 2008 Heartland International Tattoo.

The 2008 Heartland International Tattoo will include two performances, Saturday April 12 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday April 13 at 1:00 p.m.

Heartland Tattoo tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 866-448-7849, or online at http://www.ticketmaster.com. Group tickets and package information is available from FunME Events at 815-756-1263.


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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

The sun is out, the birds are chirping, and all is right with the world. OK, maybe that’s pushing it, but it’s amazing what SPRING will do to a Chicagoan’s attitude. Walking through Lincoln Park Zoo this afternoon it seemed as if everyone felt like school had just been let out Ape at Lincoln Park Zoofor summer vacation and they all wanted to monkey around. Indulge that urge by having breakfast with the apes this Saturday in the Regenstein Center for African Apes. Learn about the primates, and then bring out your inner Goodall while you observe them during their most active part of the day. You can also get in touch with Mother Nature by birdwatching on Northerly Island.

Put a little spring in your step with Hubbard Street Dance’s Spring Dance Series. If you prefer to do the dancing yourself, audition to be on the Dream Machine, Chicago’s Major League Lacrosse Team’s dancing team. If wine makes you feel like dancing, stop in at WineStyles. The new shop’s grand opening is Saturday, and TLT featured artist David Kav will be performing from 5 to 7. There’s another free wine tasting at Pastoral’s Loop location from 6:30 to 8:30. They’ll be serving organic and environmentally friendly wines.

The environment is the reason behind this Saturday’s “Earth Hour“. Cities around the world, including Chicago, will be shutting off their lights from 8 to 9pm in an effort to bring attention to the impact a bunch of individuals acting together can have on the environment. Should be pretty cool (and maybe kinda creepy) to see the city go black.

Remember when your parents used to give you a hard time for having all those posters on your wall? If only then you knew what you know now, you could tell them they would some day be collectors’ items. The International Vintage Poster Fair has posters from the 1890s to the 1980s at the Chicago Cultural Center all weekend. Maybe you’ll even find a poster from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. That night there’s also “Step Into Time: The White City” which aims to recreate a night out at the Chicago World’s Fair.

Finally, I’m a big believer that music has healing qualities, and Lovehammers will be doing their part to help the healing process by performing at March On Stage. The event benefits “Musicians On Call,” a non-profit group that brings musicians and their recordings to the patients in health care facilities.

Have a great weekend!


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Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Shoe Lovers Rejoice!


This Friday, March 28th, 9 am. Big Shoe Event.

Nordstrom Rack State Street.


Major (or as Posh says, ‘may-jah’) shoe sale. They are getting a bunch of shoes from their Nordstrom stores. Breathe, it’ll be ok…and I won’t tell your bosses if you don’t show up to work….

Hee Hee!

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

Five years ago this Sunday, construction crews ripped big X’s in the runway at Meigs Field. I remember it well because I had taken my son the previous October for a flight from the airport in a single engine plane. From 1994 until the airport’s unexpected closing, the Tuskegee Airmen and their Young Eagles offered free flights for kids to introduce them to flying. As Airplanes at Meigs FieldI heard of the police-guarded demolition in the middle of the night, I was grateful that my son had the opportunity to experience the intimate aerial tour of Lake Michigan, and saddened that he was one of the last.

The former airstrip is now home to Northerly Island. The Charter One Pavilion concert venue attracts big-name acts with big-ticket prices, but the Chicago Park District continues to provide free events for kids and families.

Dragonfly MandarinTo win this week’s prize of two $25 certificates to Dragonfly Mandarin Chinese Restaurant, email when the airport officially opened to trivia@thelocaltourist.com by midnight on March 30.

Congratulations to Consuelo! She knew that the Chicago River was reversed in 1900 and she and a guest will be attending the Wine & Chocolate Tasting hosted by 220 Communications.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

A Birdsong ValentineYa’ just never know what kind of music is going to be featured on The Local Tourist. Last week, a singer/songwriter with quirky lyrics and folksy guitar. This week, a hard rock band with occasional screams and a need for earplugs.

I’ve known the lead singer/screamer of this rock band for awhile. I’d met Brian Bender as the sound guy at Elbo Room and only later learned that his band was A Birdsong Valentine. Upon finding that out I promptly punched him in the arm and told him that I’d been trying to feature them for a year now. He rubbed his arm, grinned sheepishly, and promised me a CD.

So here they are. Warning: this is hard rock. This particular song is one of their “lighter” ones, if that gives you any indication.

Their next Chicago show is March 29 at Elbo Room. After that they’ll be at Cubby Bear on April 11 and Reggies Rock Club on May 10.

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Blagica S. Bottigliero, NBC5 Street Team (Video) For those folks that live or are visiting Chicago and need a place to work, without the pressure of buying a coffee to use a restaurant’s Wi-Fi, check out The Thompson Center. 


Smack dab in the Loop, near trains and plenty of lunch spots, I’m sitting here right now doing some work after a meeting I just had.  Keep that in your ‘I could use some free wi-fi right about now’ back pocket…

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team / NudeHippo.tv

I love Chicago. I really do. Even despite disturbingly frigid weather, my temptations to succumb to acute road rage, and the crazy people screaming outside my window demanding that St. Patrick’s Day become a two-week-long, nationally sanctioned holiday…Yes, it’s still a mind-bogglingly cool place to live.

I don’t want to sound like a New Yorker here: “the people, the prices, the places are kind of totally obnoxious, but I Heart This City — it’s better than Yours! (Disclaimer: Not that I have anything against New Yorkers — other than a totally arbitrary semi-allegiance to the Boston Red Sox due to my husband’s Massachusetts upbringing…sorry.)

But let’s face it: Those New Yorkers and those LA-ians (or whatever you’d call them)…they think they’re better than us. Yes, they do! To them, we’re “fly-over country”, or some such nonsense. As if the fact that you live on the coast qualifies you for some special offer that us bumpkins can’t reach through our singular form of transportation, the old-time railroad system. I mean, we must communicate through tin cans on strings and beat our laundry down on rocks at the river!

Get real. Chicago is versatile, wild-crazy-fun, AND affordable. Plus, I live here and I have a blog so I can talk about it if I want to. I can use ridiculous phrases like “wild-crazy-fun”. I can even end my sentences with prepositions if I want to. Deal with it. (Or go write your own blog about it, I don’t care!)

Anyway, after much fanfare, here are just a few reasons why Chicago is cool this week:

What’s cooler than an emaciated model trying to carry a watering can?
! No, I didn’t just make that word up. It’s a runway show where the models wear fashion created from plants, leaves, flowers, and other water-able botanicals. The event is to honor Garfield Park Conservatory’s 100th anniversary this Friday, March 28. Don’t tell me that you’re not tempted to see how they hold a top made out of calla lilies together—at it’s best, it’s got to be fashion wonder; at its worst, it’s bound to be wardrobe malfunction heaven!

And when’s the last time you saw some really good burlesque?

The Flaming Dames, Chicago’s very own concept burlesque troupe, has been performing their new take on burlesque for five years now. Like NAFTA, nobody really knows what burlesque is all about (oh, just admit it). Experience it for yourself and see their new show, ‘Vegas Baby’, playing Friday nights beginning April 4th.

And lastly: Meet Saturday at 2 p.m. in front of the Art Institute for a Pillow Fight of epic proportions. That’s right, March 22 is Global Pillow Fight Day. Not national, GLOBAL. These P-F’s mean business. If you don’t believe me, prepare for a fabric-softener induced concussion. Just kidding, it’s all fun and games at the Pillow Fight (what did you expect?)

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

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