Archive for June, 2008

Liz Holland, NBC5 Street Team

On Sunday I grabbed my cowboy hat and rainbow colored fan in honor of the Gay Pride Parade. In my opinion, this is one of the best events of the summer. I have lived in Lakeview (aka Boystown) for the past three years and haven’t missed the festivities yet.

Every year the parade seems to get better and better. This year, there were over 250 entries ranging from various politicians, local organizations, corporate sponsors, and a massive crowd (over 450,000 in attendance) that came out to show their support. People were practically hanging from the rafters on Halsted Street.

This is the kind of event you can expect to see anything and everything. Free expression and people from all walks of life. Expect scantily clothed almost naked dancers, elaborate costumes, impersonators, pride advocates, and well – a lot of fabulosity. There was even a remarkable Tina Turner and boy did she rock the house! But the most impressive thing to see is the energy of the crowd. Drinks flowing, people really get into it! Overall, the Gay Pride Parade is always a merry celebration. Check out more pics from this year’s event here.

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Ben Soldinger, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Yes, that is a title to one of the All-Time Great Rock songs by the band, Night Ranger! Some people may know them better as the band that sang ‘Sister Christian’. You can see this Classic Rock Band twice this week live in person and also live on WGN tv Wednesday morning between 7:00 to 8:30ish. Night Ranger is on tour to support their brand new high octane studio recording, ‘Hole In The Sun’ which is being released. . . today! On Wednesday, you can see them at Frontier Days in Arlington Heights . On Friday the 4th, you’ll be able to Rock In America on America’s birthday with the boys at (get this…) The Great Lakes Naval Base in Glenview.! Is there anything that will feel more Patriotic?

Night Ranger 2008 is:

Jack Blades – Lead Vocals and Bass
Kelly Keagy – Lead Vocals and Drums
Brad Gillis – Lead Guitar and Vocals
Joel Hoekstra – Lead Guitar
and last but certainly not least . . .
Christian Cullen – Keyboards and Vocals

Check out the new cd, see Night Ranger on WGN, and catch a show!

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Blagica Bottigliero, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

To: President Todd Stroger & Commissioner Larry Suffredin
From: Confused Chicago Resident


Dear Mr. Stroger,

Thank you for making the Cook County sales tax, effective tomorrow July 1, the highest in the country. I understand our budget needs some tweaking, however, will this tax jump truly be the answer?

With our hotel rooms at capacity and able to demand top dollar (which I know is good for the city’s tourism budget…which enables me to enjoy free concerts in Grant Park), will tourists really want to shop on our Magnificent Mile when the sales tax hike ain’t so Magnificent?

I also have a question for Commissioner Larry Suffredin, who was the swing vote on this hike in the final minutes before the midnight deadline. Mr. Suffredin, what gives? You were a strong opponent against Mr. Stroger and his hikes for some time, but you decided to change your vote after Mr. Stroger promised to privatize control of the county medical system.

So, NOW we have a new system of outsiders controlling the hospitals, in hopes of better controls, yet you decide to vote in favor of a higher sales tax – before you even know if such private controls will even work?

Mr. Stroger (you may want to update your blog, by the way) and Mr. Suffredin,  you just made the jobs of hard working city evangelists at the Department of Tourism, World Business Chicago and the Chicago Chamber of Commerce work even HARDER to convince people to come to Chicago to Work, Live and Play. You know why? Because all of that just got even MORE expensive. Congrats.

Let me know if you’d like me to pick you up with my iGo car when I visit Lake, DuPage or Will county for some Saturday shopping. I wouldn’t mind spending about 3.75% less on big ticket items, how ’bout you? 

I hope you like Michael Jackson – I do my best to reach his high ‘SHAMON!’ pitches when I drive. 


Confused and Disappointed in the South Loop

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Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team

Several weeks ago I posted a blog with a reader’s question about men’s summer fashion. I really am working on an answer to that question but clients, Michelle Obama on “The View”, the European men’s Spring 09 collections and interviews with USA Today and Women’s Wear Daily are all conspiring against me in answering that question.

(Besides, I’m concerned that Hungry Z might eat my blog entry.)

So until I get to answering the specific question I was asked, I thought I’d give you a couple of links that you might find helpful in figuring out how to look cool. As I mentioned, the major European designers just showed their collections for Spring 09. These shows always coincide with the 50-60% off sales here in the good ol’ USA on this season’s merchandise.

One of my favorite games to play is to look at what will be in for spring and summer next year and then use that as a guide when I’m sorting through the sale merchandise now. That way I can buy next year’s look now and at a deep discount to boot.

Below you will find a link to my pick for the best/most influential men’s collection from 1) Milan and 2) Paris as well a link to 3) The Sartorialist’s picks of the best dressed men who were attending the shows. Personally, I always find those pictures to be a real treat. Click on each link below for a slideshow.

From Milan, Neil Barrett for Spring 09

From Paris, Lanvin for Spring 09

The Sartorialist

For the Sartorialist, you will need to scroll down on the right hand side, as the pictures run vertically. You can also click on pictrues and dates other than the one I picked for you.

I hope you all find this useful and that it keeps you, um, hungry (for more men’s fashion tips to come).


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Rikki Greenberg, NBC5 Street Team  

Well it looks like my pep talk worked.

The Chicago White Sox came back from a less than stellar performance last weekend (with some thanks going to my words of wisdom) to sweep the Chicago Cubs in the last three games of the interleague series. It was like the White Sox woke up, realized what was going on and finally decided to play like a first place team.

Although there were so many great plays during the first of three games at U.S. Cellular Field resulting in a 10-3 Sox victory, the one that stood out to me was first baseman Nick Swisher’s grand slam in the bottom of the third. How about that?! And who could forgot Sox pitching coach Don Cooper pulling a hamstring on his way into the dugout after being thrown out of the game for arguing a call. It hasn’t been proven but I think it’s moments like these that can really bring a team together.

The second game showed more great baseball by the Sox. Right fielder Jermaine Dye had another outstanding play with a two-run homer at the bottom of the first to tie up the game 2-2. Third baseman Joe Crede looked like his former gold glove self when he made a diving grab during the third inning, robbing Cubs catcher Geovany Soto of potential runs. The final score ended in a 6-5 victory for the White Sox.

My favorite play in the third game, besides the fight between Cubs manager Lou Piniella and first base umpire Chad Fairchild (Good to see you still have some spunk left in ya Lou), was the two-run homer by designated hitter Jim Thome. I definitely can be held responsible for this one because I had a strong feeling that Thome was going to get a home run. The final game of the inter league series ended in a 6-1 victory and three-game sweep by the Sox.

Now I could go on and on about the Sox sweep, Thome’s current career record of 522 home runs and the Sox current standing of first place in the American League Central with a 1 1/2 game lead over the Twins, but I figure I might as well stop while I’m ahead.

Did I mention the Sox sweep over the Cubs? Oh, revenge is sweet!

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Back in the days when I was a TV reporter, we used to joke about some of the people we’d meet in the field who were obviously oblivious as to how TV technology worked. After the requisite explanation of what the story was about, we’d be about to begin our interview when the subject would say something along the lines of, “Wait a minute, are we live right now?” No satellite truck or a news van with an antenna mast in sight, yet this person believed we actually could have been live at that moment.

The funny thing is, those folks were actually on to something. What seemed impossible at the time, is now surprisingly easy, thanks to the technology made possible by Internet. On Friday, we documented Hungry Z’s quest to eat 65 Taste portions at the Taste of Chicago, and we streamed several hours of roving live coverage on this Web site with nothing more than an laptop connected to the Internet via a broadband card and a firewire cord connected to a video camera. Skype has become a popular way to make free Internet voice and video calls, and we used that technology to send the video feed back to the station, which we then fed through the Web site.

I know I get a little excited about this geeky tech stuff, but it’s things like this that represent a sea change in the media world — how information is gathered and disseminated to the audience at large. You may have already noticed the blurry Internet-style video on cable outlets like CNN and MSNBC.

Check out a video piece I put together this weekend that documents Hungry Z’s journey from the 5:45 a.m. news to the 6 p.m. news 12 hours later.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

I’ve been wanting to feature Honeyglass since I first heard them back in October. CJ’s voice is compelling in a way that’s reminiscent of Amy Lee from Evanescence and the band not only accompanies her but complements and enhances.

HoneyglassFrom the band: “Honeyglass is a new name for a seasoned Chicago band. Originally known as Rust, founding members CJ, Brian and Brian played clubs around Chicago including Joe’s on Weed Street and The Elbo Room, opening for Blue October. After showcasing at Mobfest and garnering some attention from Richard Milne on WXRT’s local anesthetic, Rust was poised for some indie label attention. The band’s momentum came to a dead stop when original guitarist Josh Carey left the band. After months of auditioning guitarists, a close friend introduced Daniel to the band. He was a perfect fit and Rust geared up with a renewed enthusiasm. However, the excitement was short lived when drummer Brian was informed that he would be transferred out of state for eighteen months. Determined not to lose a member who was as much a brother as he was the band’s drummer, they awaited his return. The time apart was a productive break and the band is back with all new material and a new name, Honeyglass. “Through The Honeyglass”, the band’s first full length CD, is packed with an eclectic blend of songs. From the infectious guitars and pop hooks of Sugar Rush, to the delicate acoustic driven Have A Good Night, Honeyglass has crafted an album that takes you across genres. The album begins with Riddles, which showcases the band’s hard rock influence, while Walking On Water is reminiscent of early U2. CJ’s sultry vocals are as powerful as they are pretty and her melodies keep singing long after the music stops. Dan and Brian also inject engaging melodies throughout the album from the smooth bass line of Behind The Wheel to the captivating guitars on Where Did The Light Go and Cold Rain. Tying everything together is savy percussion that is always a perfect compliment to the song. The band writes with a purpose as CJ’s lyrics are as insightful as they are passionate.”

Their next Chicagoland show is at Northbeach on August 1.

Honeyglass – Behind The Wheel

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, upcoming events, and more or just click here. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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