Archive for May, 2008

Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Watch the weekly “Word On The Street” segment on 24/7 Chicago: Secrets of the City,” at 12:05 a.m., immediately following Saturday Night Live on NBC5.

Stretch Run Sports Club & Grille

For this week’s “Word On The Street” segment, we hit Stretch Run Sports Club & Grille, an off track betting facility in River North.

Stretch Run will no doubt be the place to be next Saturday, when Big Brown tries to complete the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes. In short, this place is a guy’s dream. TVs, TVs and more TVs, all playing sports from all over the world. Plus food. And beer.

Click here for my previous blog on Stretch Run and click here to visit their Web site.

Blues Festival

The 25th Annual Chicago Blues Festival will be held June 5-8 in Grant Park. The weather hasn’t exactly felt like it, but for me, the Blues Festival signifies the start of summer.

Chicago is known as one of the iconic cities in the birth of this unique American art form, and the Blues Festival serves as an opportunity for flex our musical muscles.

Click here for the lineup and more information.

Streets Of Chicago Hair and Fashion Show

For the fourth consecutive year, the “Streets of Chicago” Hair and Fashion Show will be held to benefit a local charity. The team behind Sine Qua Non Salon are behind the looks at the fashion show, which will also showcase local fashion designers.

Project Runways “Steven Rosengard” will also be on hand as a special guest designer.

If you want to go, you have to act quickly. The event will be held at the Victor Hotel on Sunday, and starts with a 6:30-7:30pm complimentary cocktail hour, followed by the fashion show which includes a multi-media presentation and live DJ.

Video Segment:

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

I’m not much of a girly-girl. Shopping is torture. I’m up front and center at metal and rock concerts. I’ve gotten a manicure and pedicure three times in the last six years; I love Star Wars and Star Trek and really, any sci fi, and just cannot get into Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy. I drink whiskey and beer and dirty martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives and I hate pink.

But when it comes to Sex And The City, I am unabashedly, unapologetically in touch with my feminine side. Like Cara, my friends and I also made the Sunday rounds. We’d make pitchers of cosmos and chat away until the new episode started and then we would all shut up. Not a sound came out of us until it was over except for laughs, gasps, and a few sobs.

What is it about this show that resonates with so many women? For me it was never about the fashion (see the shopping comment). It was the first show whose female characters spoke to me and for me. As a 30-something single woman who refuses to settle just to be in a relationship I could relate to Carrie. As a person who abhors the limitations of gender-based roles yet recognizes the power of sex and sensuality, Samantha. As a mother who’s also focused on her career, Miranda, and as an optimist and a romantic, Charlotte. While each character has distinct personality traits, they’re also complex. There are many other pieces of myself that these women seem to capture eloquently, and every woman I know can find a bit of herself in them.

So, this afternoon a few of my friends and I are getting together. We’re getting all dolled up in dresses and high heels. I’m putting aside my aversion to pink and to sweet cocktails and drinking cosmos. We’ll see the movie and laugh and cry and drink more cosmos afterward as we relive it to the chagrin of any surrounding males (although if they’re smart they’ll listen to Jon. Men, this is a unique opportunity to get inside the head of a woman).

And then I’m heading to Reggie’s Rock Club to see a kick-ass band, drink beer and most likely have a shot of Jameson’s. I can only be a girly-girl for so long.

Type The Local Tourist into the Search bar in the upper right hand corner of the page to see my reviews, bands of the week, trivia questions, upcoming events, and more or just click here. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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Jon Ibrahim, NBC5 Street Team

With the Sex and the City Juggernaut sweeping the nation I’ve noticed a lot of media writers and columnist, mostly men, defending the male position that they shouldn’t be pressured by their wives / girlfriends to go see the movie with them. At the same time they blast these same women for being dismayed if their man doesn’t want to go. I have a problem with that.

Guys, take it from me, there is nothing wrong with liking SATC. In fact, men can learn endless volumes about women from SATC. You see, Hollywood is dominated by male writers. SATC is different in that the majority of the writers for that show are female. Writers always inject a little of themselves in what they write so we’d be foolish to believe that these female writers didn’t write a little truth about what women really want, need, and experience in the four female characters. It’s the epidome of life imitating art.

The bottom line is don’t be insecure. Seeing a chick flick doesn’t mean you’re not a man. Be mature and grow a pair. There’s no downside to attending with your girl. She’ll be happy you cared enough to go with her and if you have half a brain you might even learn something.

The great sex talk doesn’t end with the blog!  Every week myself and Dr. Paul Dobransky, my psychiatrist partner-in-crime, record our street smart-yet-clinical podcast “The Fireman and the Shrink”.  Check out our thoughts on the SATC here:

Full Audio Version:

Video Teaser:

And don’t forget to check out my blog, “Sex 911: Confessions of a Serial Dater,” at www.nbc5.com/bettersex.


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Shreyas Shah, NBC5 Street Team

This party has so much entertainment, I had to let everyone know. Join Funky Couture for a very special evening of dining, cocktails and fashion, May 30th for the Sex and the City Movie Premiere Party. 7:00 – 9:00 The night starts off at Fleming’s, Chicago’s hottest new downtown restaurant destination. You will be treated to a VIP Reception complete with Champagne and a drink menu full of your Sex and the City favorite’s. Small tasting plates of Fleming’s delicious menu will also be featured so make sure to bring your appetite. 9:00 – 2:00 The party continues at the chic West Loop Lounge, Victor Hotel for a complimentary “Cosmo and Flirtini” tasting and a Sex and the City character look-a-like contest. After that, they pack the runway with hip fashion’s by some of Chicago’s top boutiques followed by xexy NYC house sounds pumping all night long by Funky Couture, Dalton K. Finney and James Lauer! Gift bags full of suprises for all! You can purchase tickets on www.going.com/sexcity. For more info, call 773.510.4615 or e-mail info@funkycouture.net.

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Fayth (aka Relaxocat), NBC5 Street Team
Happy Friday everyone! I know a lot of gals are headed out to Sex And The City parties, but there’s no way I’m going to miss Firewater at the Empty Bottle. And the guys are going along too, so we’ll just wait for SATC on DVD or take a pass altogether.

Front man Tod A, formerly of Cop Shoot Cop, is back on the road, but this time he’s touring with Firewater. “Back on the road” could mean a lot of things when you’re talking about Tod A. Prior to the fall release of the album The Golden Hour on local label, Bloodshot Records, Tod was adventuring around the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent for 3 years. Armed with a mic and laptop, he picked up an amazing amount music from around the globe. Don’t just take my word for it, check out the YouTube video about it or read the press release from earlier this month.

What’s the new music like? A great, big, diverse sound – a little Balkan, a little Eastern, a little punk, and completely rockin’. His vocals have been compared to Tom Waits and some say Tod A continues where Joe Strummer left off. But to me it’s like someone melodically growling in your ears and it sounds so good that you’re not even aware that you’re being insulted.

Seriously, you must see Firewater at the Empty Bottle tonight. If you check the band’s MySpace page you’ll see that there’s a gigantic list of band members, so I spoke to Heather over at Bloodshot because I wasn’t sure how many band members would be on stage tonight. She let me know that the band has been touring with six members from around the world and the U.S. If you went to SXSW, you might have seen them there.

So, while the girls may be out celebrating SATC with Cosmos, the guys will be celebrating the arrival of Firewater at Empty Bottle! Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

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Cara CarriveauCara “Cara’s Basement” Carriveau, NBC5 Street Team

I could have gone to the preview of Sex In The City a few nights ago but my Mommy duties came first. Today, though, my son was in daycare and my daughter was in school – so off to the theatre I went for a noon showing. It’s been a while since I’ve gone to a movie by myself and I’m wondering why I don’t do it more often. I’m the type that likes to NOT talk at all (and of course don’t want to be talked to) during a film, anyway, so why do I need someone I know next to me? Besides, it’s much easier to find a good seat for one.

There were actually several solo women at this showing – likely, fellow mothers with kids in school. And to my surprise a few solo men were in the audience. I was surprised to see any men at all.Sex In The City

Like so many other women, I spent many Sunday nights throwing SATC get-togethers (lots of wine!) w/girlfriends. Actually it was usually with one (ex) girlfriend in particular who I used to hang out with – she always reminded me of Samantha (and I of course was more than a bit like Carrie). So most of the time during the SATC movie I kept thinking about my (ex) girlfiend and wondered if her life had turned out like Samantha’s had – I won’t spoil the movie for you, but let’s just say that I was a bit surprised by Samantha’s story line. But it did make logical sense and even seemed likely to have happened to my (ex) girlfriend.

I remember always thinking that 30 minutes was never enough when SATC was on HBO. And this movie still didn’t seem long enough even though it’s a whopping 2.5 hours — just goes to show if you love SATC you won’t feel it’s a long movie. It was just enough for closure on some things and just enough to satisfy the long wait for the movie to arrive. Frankly, they could bring back the series to TV and I’d be ecstatic. As far as I’m concerned SATC was absolutely one of the greatest shows of all time. And not all great TV shows would make a great movie – I loved Friends and Seinfeld, but have no desire to see them on the big screen. SATC is a different animal. So funny and so true. I saw so much of me in each of the ladies’ storylines in this movie. I laughed, I cried. And when it was over I went shopping. Yep, the perfect girly day even if I was by myself!

Type my name in the search bar or click HERE to see/hear more of my posts including interviews with Alanis Morissette, The Bravery, Lovehammers, Triumph’s Rik Emmett, Matthew Santos, Shooting Star, Mike Tafoya comedian Lee Camp & more.

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Shlomi Rabi NBC5 Street Team

Okay, so let’s look at the evidence: long blond hair extensions, bitchin’ heels, fabulous couture and hordes of gorgeous men. No, my little soldiers of glamour, I am not talking about the SATC premiere that people will not stop blabbing about (and by “people” I mean hot, stunning people endowed with fierceness and shockingly good taste, so please, don’t aim that spiky heel at me). Rather, I am talking about the latest scandal to involve yet another closeted governor. *Sigh*… they never learn, do they? Now, before you all hurl your freshwater pearls at me, let me state that for the record I have no idea who that governor is, but if the past few years are anything to go by, he’s out there, he’s a gorgeous mess, and he’s partying with a tranny.

Okay, so since we do not know who the scandalous governor is I suggest we discuss–oh well, what the heck –the SATC Premiere! So, while this is a truly remarkable event for a squillion women worldwide, let us not forget all the loyal homosexymen who have been worshipping the show from its first episode, when Carrie had sex like a man, something many of the aforementioned homosexymen could relate to (ahem). Anyhoobie, from the sizzling men, to the bedazzled shoes, and to the deluge of cosmos, we’ve been there with Carrie (and Samantha, we have definitely been there with Samantha, lots of times). We, too, have learned our lessons through the iconic show (did I just say “iconic”? Holy Cher! Damn, did I just “Holy Cher”? What the Fierce? “Fierce”?!?! I can’t control it!) and all of its fabulous characters. And perhaps, most of all (pulls out Hermes handkerchief, pure silk, anchor & rope motif, vintage, very rare), we too, (sniff, sniff) have learned that the most important thing in life, (sniff), is finding a guy who goes by the name “Big.” Just ask your average governor.

To learn more about Shlomi’s personal (and only acceptable) take on life, love and chicago, visit him here.

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Rikki Greenberg, NBC5 Street Team

The Sex and the City movie comes out this Friday!!

And you know who I feel really bad for?

The poor, defenseless boyfriends who have to go with their girlfriends to see this movie. Even just the thought of sitting in a cramped movie theatre with 5,000 other woman on opening night makes me cringe and I am a female.

Personally, I would never bring my boyfriend to see this movie. It’s like bringing me to go see Saw IV. It’s not my type of movie and I would last about two seconds before springing out of my seat and heading for the nearest exit. I’d imagine this is how guys feel when they hear Carrie blab about her fabulous pair of strappy, silver Manolo Blahniks.

You might as well bring him shopping with you, try on 50 pairs of jeans and ask him if you look fat. For every pair of jeans you try on. And from every angle in a three-way mirror. It equals out to about the same torture as bringing him to this movie. Extreme, yes, but the point is still made.

So ladies, do your boyfriend a favor and do not ask him to go with you to this movie. It’s not fun and it’s just plain cruel. If you’re going to bring him, than the least you can do is return the favor. Watch baseball. Challenge him to a game of beer pong. Or just don’t ever mention the words “Sex and the City” again.

Trust me, your boyfriends will appreciate the gesture.


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Chasity Chaos, NBC5 Street Team Video

As most of you know, two of Chicago’s most illuminating rappers graced the city with their presence last week when they rolled through with their critically acclaimed ‘Glow In The Dark’ tour.

Kanye West aka “the Louis Vuitton Don” and Lupe Fiasco aka “Hip Hop’s Whiz Kid,” radiated the stage at the United Center along with N-E-R-D and Rihanna during the Glow in the Dark show… or so I heard. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the show. Tickets were sold out before I could “Kick, Push” and go buy some. My hookups at the label didn’t even have any extra tickets lying around! But fortunately, I found a way to finagle my way backstage with a camera crew to sit down with Mr. Fiasco himself to ask him a few questions that have been lingering in my mind.

With interruptions from Chris Brown and Pharrell Williams, along with Fiasco’s occasional departure to tell his crew and N-E-R-D to quiet down while we were talking, this was a Q&A that I’ll never forget.

Check it out for yourself.

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

New Yorkers aren’t the only ones who got turned away at the ”Sex and the City” premiere this week. The poor AMC employees this Tuesday looked like they wished they were wearing riot gear as they made a grim series of announcements to the mob of women: “At a certain point, the theatre will be filled! Not everyone will get in!”…”The line will be stopping soon! The theatre is almost filled!”…”Ok, the theatre is filled! Write your email on the back of your ticket!”… and my favorite, the plaintive, “It’s not AMC! It’s not AMC! We had NO control over issuing the tickets!”

At least the waiting in line was good for people-watching. I was hoping for at least a few entertaining Carrie dress-up wannabes, but no such luck. I have to say that as lovely as we Chicago ladies are, I certainly didn’t feel as glamorous as any of the SATC gals in my corduroys, struggling to devour a sandwich in time to enter the theatre (an epic sandwich battle is much more “30 Rock” than “Sex in the City”, anyway). In the end, my sandwich saga was for naught…no SATC for me! Oh well. The fact that I was denied just makes the need to see it all the greater. (Much like my irrational desire to get into the new exclusive club, the Lifebook Lounge. Apparently, you can only be admitted if you register for a personal development workshop by Lifebook. These members, according to their website, are among “the mysteriously uplifted”. Huh.)

Anyway, I’d imagine some people are tired of the SATC hype already.  “Sex and the City” is a bit like segways or golfing: you either get it, and you LOVE it; or, you just find it annoying. If you’re in the latter group… yes, there are other activities for you to do this weekend besides seeing the movie repeatedly, followed by a pathetic attempt to drink cosmopolitans AND walk in high heels (hey, it’s a tricky combination!)

For instance, surely everyone loves tap dancing, right? Of course you do! Come marvel at the tappers (tapmen? tap-people?) and celebrate National Tap Day at the Old Town School on May 31st. Then grab some München at Mayfest, this summer’s German festival at Lincoln Square. Not be confused with the similarly celebrated beer-drinking, brat-toting fest following the Von Stuben parade, Mayfest is summer’s partytime for German pride. Round out your multiculturalism by checking out the Chicago Turkish Festival at Daley Plaza, which features everything from baklava to carpet weaving to something called Mevlana’s Whirling Dervishes.

For your artistic and somewhat thirsty side, visit the newly-unveiled “Wall of Cups” at Lillstreet Art Center and Gallery in Ravenswood. The 40 completely functional ceramic mugs, which are created by artists from across the nation, are all for sale. Then feed that science-y side of your brain by visiting the Networld exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. The exhibit claims to take you inside the internet (presumably, minus the porn.)

End your weekend by relaxing at River North’s Scoozi with your pooch – dine outside with your dog, and even treat her to a special puppy meal off the canine menu.  Did you know that they make a special doggy chicken risotto?? Wow. Or, if you are pet-free, just take advantage of the free hot dogs at Full Shilling Public House in Wrigleyville during Cubs home games. Apparently, though, you have to wait for the “dancing hot dog man” to come by…ominous or awesome?? You decide.

If you’ve got suggestions on what I’ve missed for this weekend, write me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com. Be sure to type “Lodewyck” into the Search bar in the upper right hand corner to see my previous blogs and to watch my segments with Nude Hippo.

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Liz Holland, NBC5 Street Team

It’s finally here. Sex and the City– all 2 hours and 20 minutes available for your viewing pleasure this Friday.

I remember when I could go from dorm room to dorm room, only to hear SATC on infinite repeat. Admittedly, I was not sold from the beginning, but you can’t deny the dynamics between the cast and the hilarity of the situations that transpire.

Whether it’s Carrie’s fashion, Samantha’s unapologetic sexcapades, proper Charlotte and her quest for love, or quirky Miranda and her trails of motherhood, we ladies can somehow relate.

Above all else, I am going to see the movie this weekend because of the CLOTHES! Ohh The FASHION! Better than Devil Wears Prada, I will gush about the amazing clothes I can only aspire to wear. The cast has already been making the rounds in high end eye candy at the London and New York premieres.

Patricia Field, SATC’s award winning stylist and fashion designer, has outfitted the movie stars with six seasons of stunning dresses, boots, stilettos, handbags, hats, coats, and accessories. After all, Elle Magazine did dub SATC,

“the biggest thing in fashion since the invention of pants”.

Not to sound cliche, but I am most excited about getting a closer look at the flamboyant veil and princess style wedding dress by Vivienne Westwood. The New York Post reports that Carrie’s custom made dress costs upwards of $18,000 and her “Extreme Gladiator Platform” shoes by Christian Dior cost $770 plus $100 for added Swarovski crystals. Delish.

Back to Chicago, grab your favorite pair of shoes and plan on drinking some stiff Cosmos at the Victor Hotel for a Premier Party and Fashion Show, this Friday at 7 pm. For $35 you can attend a reception complete with gift bags, Champagne, Martinis (of course), and bites from Fleming’s Steakhouse. Cheers ladies!

Victor Hotel

311 N. Sangamon



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Fayth (aka Relaxocat), NBC5 Street Team

Grant ParkMany of you have heard by now that the Children’s Museum is attempting to move into Grant Park at a leased land rate of $1 per year for the next 99 years. The museum is planned at over 100,000 square feet on tax-payer owned land, and admission will be charged to enter the museum. Grant Park has been protected from privatization by the “Burnham Plan” for over 172 years and is owned by the City. Hence, it is tax-payer owned land. If this plan goes through, you have paid to let a private organization have the land virtually rent-free.

I spent my childhood here in Chicago. In the time between then and now I’ve spent a lot of time in other major metropolitan cities and lived in Los Angeles most of my life until moving here and calling Chicago home for over a decade. It is important to appreciate here what most major cities do not have – beautiful parks in an urban area. I hope all of you appreciate what we have, and if you oppose the privatization of part of Grant Park, please visit www.savegrantpark.org where you can sign the petition opposing the move or find out other ways in which you can help preserve Grant Park.

The proposed plan was approved by the Planning Commission earlier in the month, but the plan still needs Zoning approval before it can be fully executed. This is currently scheduled for review at the City Council meeting to be held on June 5, 2008. It should be noted that should the plan be approved, the City is going to be sued based on the aforementioned privatization of public, protected land. This will mean more tax dollars spent to protect what is already protected. For more info you can visit my blog, Relaxocat Says.

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

I wish I could say that I share the breathless excitement many of my female brethren are feeling for the release of the Sex In The City movie, but I’m more than willing to wait for the DVD release — or the HBO release for that matter. In fact, I’ve purposely refrained from even talking about it, and thankfully, my lady friend hasn’t even raised a peep about wanting to go and see it.

I mean, I understand what the fuss is all about, and what SATC meant in terms of female empowerment and all that good stuff. I even enjoyed the first few seasons when the show was still under the radar, but like most programs that gain superstar status, I felt the quality suffered under the increased glare and scrutiny (Seinfeld??). Plus, it’s hard to create significant character development in a 30-minute sitcom, where the characters are typically one-dimensional at best. But don’t let me rain on the parade, not that my perspective will, ladies. Drink your Cosmos (the worst fad to come out of that show), and have fun!

Better yet, It gives the perfect opportunity to talk about sex, which I do on a weekly basis while co-hosting Dr. Berman’s Better Sex Podcast with renowkned Chicago sexpert Dr. Laura Berman. It’s a no-holds-barred look at a subject that many people are embarassed to talk about — but judging by the high numbers we receive — aren’t afraid to listen to. It’s a place where a conversation about “Mr. Big” might mean something very different than the character on SATC.

We tried something new this week, videotaping our audio podcast taping, and creating a teaser video. The idea is to make it viral so it can spread. This week we tackled viewer questions, and of course, if you have any sex and relationships questions, email bettersex@nbc5.com, or use the form on this page. Of course, you’ll remain anonymous.

For now, here’s to better sex — because you deserve it.

Click here to subsribe to Dr. Berman’s Better Sex Podcast.

Full Audio Version:

Video Teaser:

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

“I give you Chicago. It is not London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from snout to tail.” H. L. Mencken

I hope you’ll forgive me for getting this out a day later than usual. The short work week pushes things back a day and makes everything a little off-kilter. It may be Thursday, but it feels like Wednesday.

Anyway, here’s the scoop on the upcoming weekend. Even though it’s been a bit chilly, summer activities are in full force. For example, both Room 21 and Brasserie Jo are celebrating patio season. Gospel Fest is the first official downtown summer festival and it’s this weekend in Millennium Park. There are also a few neighborhood festivals.

In case you missed last Sunday’s Bike The Drive, you can still take over Chicago’s streets this Friday. Although the roads aren’t technically shut down, the monthly Critical Mass does stop traffic as hundreds of people cycle through the city. This weekend the north side will see waves of walkers as volunteers walk over 40 miles for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. On Sunday runners will race through Lincoln Park in the Run For The Zoo, a run or walk that benefits the zoo.

If that’s wearing you out, there are many activities that focus on food and booze to keep you occupied. You can try Johnnie Walker AND get 20% a pair of Cole Haan shoes tonight (Happy Father’s Day!), or you can get schooled in beer at Sam’s Beer 101. Learn about the cuisine offered by some of Chicago’s best cooks at the 16th Annual Great Chefs Tasting Party, then get educated on the perfect picnic wine at Pastoral.

Friday new River North spot The Joynt will be jumpin’ with the Prelude to Highsight’s Midsummer Eve of the Eve. Drink and eat to your heart’s content while learning about Windy City Social’s upcoming events and Highsight’s mission to provide scholarships to privates schools for disadvantaged high school students.

Have a great weekend!


Type The Local Tourist into the Search bar in the upper right hand corner of the page to see my reviews, bands of the week, trivia questions, upcoming events, and more or just click here. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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The Sports Bank, NBC5 Street Team

When our hometown Bulls defied the odds (probability was a mere 1.7%) and snagged the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft lottery, a debate began immediately. Should they take Kansas State’s Michael Beasley, a power forward who averaged 26.5 points and an NCAA-leading 12.5 rebounds during his “one and done” college career? Or pick Derrick Rose, the excessively athletic playmaker from Memphis?  Check out any local publication and you’ll see that all the polls are heavily slanted (usually about 67%-33%) towards picking Rose. I find this fascinating because our home team currently has a guard surplus and a severe lack of frontcourt scoring. Taking Beasley over Rose makes utterly perfect sense, yet most casual fans and my fellow sports geeks voice their desire for the opposite. Why you may ask? Derrick Rose is a hometown hero. He owned the courts of the Chicago Public League while attending Simeon high school, a hoops factory that produced stars like Nick Anderson, Deon Thomas and Calvin Brock. Rose has electrifying quickness that even a video game couldn’t exaggerate. Bringing this franchise player back to ‘the Chi’ brings excitement back to a franchise filled with negative emotion.

Like Poison told us in the 80s, “Every Rose has its Thorn,” and in this case the thorn (a glut of guards) is the Bulls current roster. If the Bulls draft Rose they should (MUST actually) trade away some of their extra guards for a proven low-post scorer. In the league’s “Bull Market” Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Larry Hughes and forward Tyrus Thomas are the most dealable commodities. The player they would need to shop most is Hinrich, the current starting point guard and a serviceable player who regressed somewhat this past season. However, he’s an excellent defender and a decent passer who would still be regarded as an upgrade at the one position for many teams. To look at some possible deals and how they would build a lineup around Rose go here.

From a marketing perspective, a #1 overall pick playing pro ball in his hometown is HUGE! It hasn’t happened in my lifetime, and the closest we’ve seen is Akron, Ohio native LeBron James playing for Cleveland.  You’ve seen what he’s done for branding the Cavaliers. Here, a similar situation is possible.

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Megan Bowers, NBC5 Street Team

On a chilly Tuesday evening, the clouds parted when a couple of lovely ladies blessed me with an extra ticket to the advanced screening of the Sex And The City movie. AHHH!!! After the initial freak-out in excitement, I headed over to the AMC Theatre on Illinois to witness, first-hand, the phenomena. The line wrapped the length of the lobby THREE TIMES! (see photo)

Once inside, the “pink” carpet live at the New York City premiere. I’ll be the first to judge when I say the clothes on the carpet were less than flattering. While the costume designer, Patricia Fields, acted less than sober as she stumbled all over the carpet and confused an Academy Award (Oscar) for Oscar De La Renta, but no bother, I had a movie to see.

 And what a movie it was. In the words of Stephen Colbert, “I laughed, I cried, I lost 15 pounds.” It was the icing on the cake to a TV show that meant so much to so many women. In my opinion, the two-hour and fifteen minute film, gave you just the right amount of Sex. However, there won’t be any spoilers in this blog. Will Carrie and Mr. Big have their happily-ever-after? Well, that’s for me to know and you to find out for yourself on Friday!

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

For the past couple of years, I’ve done a weekly health podcast with Dr. Sandy Goldberg. She’s one of the most vivacious and engaging people I know, and the time we put into our segments are much more fun than actual work.

Dr. Sandy is a breast cancer survivor, and in 2002 she launched A Silver Lining Foundation, an organization that provides underinsured and uninsured individuals with information concerning cancer resources, treatment and support services.

There’s two events this week that offer ways to help to help raise funds to fight this devastating disease. The Junior Board of A Silver Lining Foundation is hosting
the “Save the Girls” reception at Enoteca Piattini (934 W. Webster Ave.) on Thursday. The evening features a selection of Italian tastes,
including wine, beer and appetizers. Advance tickets are $25 and can be purchased at
www.asilverliningfoundation.org/tickets, with $30 admission at the door.

Flirty Girl Fitness is also getting into the act this week, holding a Pink Carpet Party on Thursday. This celebrity-studded event will be held at the Flirty Girl’s West Loop studio. Portions of the proceeds will also benefit a Silver Lining’s “Buy a Mom a Mammogram” program, among other organizations. Click here for more information.

And yes, guys, you’re also invited to go. Who knew fighting breast cancer could be so flirty and fun?

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What lured me to Brice Woodall and the Positrons was a flier posted on my friend’s Myspace page with a mystery face titled whereisbrice.com? After seeing the flier, and clicking on his Myspace page, I was amazed at the sounds that were coming out of my speakers and immediately wanted to know who Brice was.

Brice Woodall, an independent Chicago musician, incorporates an alternative, acoustic, and electronic sound to his music. The combination of his powerful vocals, acoustic guitar, electronic beats/ textures compare to Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Wilco, or U2. When I learned that AEMMP Records, their record label, was throwing a release party for their new album “Sine Wave Sea”at the Beat Kitchen, I knew I had to be there!

While I spoke with Brice that night, he passed out cds, and greeted some of his fans as Sequoia, another local Chicago band, performed as the opening act. As Brice and the Positrons performed a blend of acoustic, electronic, sweet and somber sounds, his voice resounded in my head, traveled through my body and entranced me with their instruments. I was so impressed that immediately after that nights performance, I had to upload both his cds, “Feathery Trigger” and” Sine Wave Sea” on my iPod.

If you’re looking to hear an original, new alternative, acoustic and electronic sound, you have to check out Brice Woodall and the Positrons, preferably live! Their next Chicago performance will be at Schubas on June 26, 2008 at 8 p.m. or their new album is available in digital download at whereisbrice.com

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Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Tea

Last week Mike Ness, front man of Social Distortion, played two dates showcasing his solo material at Park West in Chicago. Ness’ set primarily consisted of material off his 1999 release Cheating at Solitaire and was highlighted with a few cover songs including a stripped down version of Social D’s “Ball and Chain”. His encore included “If You Leave Before Me”, “I Fought the Law”, and a last minute addition of “Ring of Fire”.

See Photos From Tuesday’s ShowMike Ness

Ness’ warm presence and heartfelt commentary made the evening feel like a group of friends sharing a drink and some tunes, as opposed to a concert with a musical icon who has 30 years of rocking under his belt. His ability to maintain this accessibility is a quality that draws fans to sell out his concerts time and time again. Chicago’s double performance is a reminder of how wonderful it is when an artist shows they have more then one trick up their sleeve.

(Type “Maureen Vana” into the search bar at the top of this page to see my past concert photography and reviews)

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

I enjoy scoping out new bands, but I don’t possess the rabid musical craving of some of my friends, whom I would truly and proudly deem as music freaks. Come summer, though, it’s time to catch up on what I’ve missed. I always look to Lollapalooza as the chance to look up the bands that I’ve been meaning to check out. As Chicagoans, how lucky are we to get Lollapalooza? It’s an unendingly great deal and it’s always an incredible time. But massive and amazing as the Lolla line up is, it’s just the tip of the musical iceberg.

Take Lupen Crook, a UK musician who recently made the trek to New York City to crack open the US market. Lupen Crook and his band, the Murderbirds, are a small band that’s part of the “underground folk scene” in the UK, and were recently featured on the series Rehearsal Space. Since 2004, Lupen Crook has been a part of the underground folk scene growing out of London. Lupen joins with brothers Tom and Bob Langridge of the Murderbirds, to bring what the BBC calls “a rag-tag sonic assault” to the stage. Performing on a half-strung 12-string acoustic guitar and backed by a band playing everything from traditional instruments to hub-caps and beer kegs, Lupen Crook and the Murderbirds throw everything they’ve got at their fans, including the kitchen sink. Check them out at http://www.zoom-in.com/spotlights/rehearsal_space_lupen_crook_and_the_murderbirds

If you’ve got any fab up-and-coming bands for me to check out, write me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com. Be sure to type “Lodewyck” into the Search bar in the upper right hand corner to see my previous blogs, and to watch my segments with Nude Hippo.

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Blagica Bottigliero, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

I had the pleasure to attend last week’s National American Summit on Competitiveness. Chicago had the honor of hosting the annual event in our own backyard -The Fairmont.

Needless to say, the list of panelists was packed with heavy hitters that included everyone from Maria Bartiromo (she also televised her CNBC show live from the Summit), former and current heads of Boeing, IBM and Intel, the U.S. Secretary of Treasury, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the Governors of South Carolina and Arizona and Steve Chen. You guessed it – the same Steve Chen who Co-Founded YouTube. Didya know that Steve is a graduate of U of I? Oh, I almost forgot, Mayor Daley was there, too:)

The focus of the summit was to talk tough love and understand how America can be more competitive in this ever changing global economy. From helping immigrant PhDs stay in our companies to treating public education more like a businesses (bonus, incentives, pay hikes), the chats got heated at some point. I liked it.

One of the highlights for me? Listening to Mayor Daley’s luncheon speech. He managed to get the entire crowd going about the upcoming Olympic bid, but also showcased Chicago as the stellar city it is. I have to admit, I got a little teary eyed at the end of his speech. You can see my video highlights here.

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Rikki Greenberg, NBC5 Street Team

It’s in Wrigleyville. It’s in Lincoln Park. And now it’s in the suburbs.

John Barleycorn is Schaumburg’s newest addition to its growing array of nightclubs, bars and restaurants. This lively bar is bigger and better than its city siblings with two bars on the first floor and a three-flight staircase leading up to live band performances on the second floor. Not to mention cushy seating and more opportunities to guzzle down tasty beverages.

On Friday nights, John Barleycorn turns into a concert venue with live music from bands such as Dot Dot Dot, Modern Day Romeos, Trippin Billiesand many others. On Saturday nights, the second floor is thumping with hot dance tunes from such DJs as DJ Roonie G and DJ Spryte.

There is no cover to get into John Barleycorn, but there is a $10 charge to get on the second floor. The parking is somewhat generous, but like any other popular hotspot, it’s wise to arrive early in order to beat the rush.

If you’re sick of wasting gas or need a break from the city, John Barleycorn in Schaumburg is the perfect getaway. The crowd is hot, the place is packed and the drinks are strong enough to guarantee an unforgettable night.

See you there!

John Barleycorn

1100 American Lane

Schaumburg, IL  60173

(847) 619-5540


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Ben Soldinger, NBC5 Street Team (video)

The Cannes Film Festival is the most glamorous of all the festivals in all industries in the world. Based on The French Riviera in the South of France, the festival celebrates the art of all cinema but concentrates mostly on the independent film. Along with all the press conferences, screenings, business deals in ‘The Market’, The Cannes Festival has a competition of approximately fifteen films from around the world that is judged by a famous panel of cinema celebrities (Including my buddy, Sean Penn. See my blog on ‘Into The Wild’) based on cinematography, direction, a flowing story line, and acting. The grand prize is called the Palme D’Or award. I was in town strictly for the action, walking up the red carpet, and going to as many great parties as possible. I did have the lucky responsibility of representing my family-owned Cosentino Winery, of The Napa Valley on my side.

Slideshow: Cannes Film Festival

Ben Soldinger's Slideshows - Image From Ben Soldinger

The toughest ticket in town to get was the red carpet premiere of the new Indiana Jones movie, which I was successful in getting. Just being there at the event and seeing Harrison Ford, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg in the same theater, was very surreal and more exciting than the actual movie. Go see it. Harrison Ford does an amazing performance of reprising the role of the macho rugged tough guy adventure hero.

Highlights of some of the parties included being able to sip champagne and Cosentino wines in grand Villas, on yachts, and on the beach. One party had starlet Juliette Lewis spinning tunes and dancing the night away. I got to meet one of my Hollywood idols, Dennis Hopper, at a party where Mr. Hopper talked to an audience and was surprisingly revealing about his past demons involving substance abuse and overcoming them. Leave it to a movie star to bring out such emotion and inspiration in a speech that I’ll never forget. At some of the other parties, I ran into Jackie Chan, Christian Slater, Cate Blanchette (who is drop dead gorgeous), Spielberg, Lucas, and I was able to have Clint Eastwood to try a bottle of one of my prized wines.

It’s too bad that the celebration has to end, but at least I got to show the South of France how we like to party Stateside! And that is always with class, fashion, style, and a smile.

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