Archive for August, 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.

As summer starts to wind down, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to jump on one of the many boats that daily work their way up and down the Chicago River for this week’s segment. The good folks at Wendella Boats (www.wendellaboats.com) were good enough to let us jump on a Water Taxi for a wonderful-looking backdrop of the city. Wendella runs a variety of boat tours, including the popular Architecture Tour, various sightseeing tours, private charters, wine tasting tours and summer fireworks cruises. Get it all in now before it starts getting a little uncomfortable out there.

Last year, one of my favorite outings was the Windy City Wine Festival — so nice, I’ll have to do it twice. It all goes down Sept. 5-6 at Daley Bicentennial Plaza at 337 E. Randolph St. Tickets are $25 and $10 for “designated driver” tickets. Binny’s provides the suds, and if I remember correctly from last year, I actually learned a little something when I was out there, as the pourers hipped me to some great new varieties of champagne.

Two food and music festivals to point out next weekend with an international flair. Check out the Ukrainian Village Fest Friday through Sunday. It takes place at the Saints Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church in West Town, 2245 W. Superior St. And the 8th Annual German-American Festival will be held in Lincoln Square on Saturday and Sunday, and it’s absolutely free. 4700 N. Lincoln Ave. is where it all goes down.

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Cara Carriveau, NBC5 Street Team

Oprah is taping her season premiere at Millennium Park in downtown Chicago this Wednesday.  There was a post about it earlier but I wanted to make sure you knew that you couldn’t simply show up on Wednesday – if you want to get in, you need to come to Millennium Park TODAY (Saturday, August 30th) at 12pm for reservation information. Audience Coordinators will be located on the East side of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion along Columbus Drive just behind the McDonald’s Cycle Center.  Click HERE for all the details!

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Street Team Party Recap

Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

There’s a couple of party recaps listed below this (thanks Natalia, Hungry Z), so I’m not going to rehash. But I will say it was a blast seeing everyone come together to meet in person. In a digital world where we often conduct virtual relationships that don’t create the need to actually meet face-to-face, it was important that we all put some real faces to the names. And to all of our readers who came out, thanks to you!

Special big-ups to Jbar for hosting the event and Sarah Vargo and Renae Placinski of Maven PR for setting it up. Till next time y’all!

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Theresa Carter, NBC5 Street Team

It seems that once a person has achieved celebrity status, especially when that person is a chef, almost invariably someone wants to take ’em down. Not so with Rick Bayless. Owner of Frontera Grill and Topolobambo, he also is the author of several cookbooks and host of “Mexico – One Plate At A Time.” The man seems to be universally loved and, if the Chefs Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony was any indication, for good reason.

Palmer House Hilton BallroomThe Chicago Culinary Museum and Chefs Hall of Fame hosted an elaborate evening for the popular restaurateur/chef/author/TV star at the The Palmer House Hilton. Local culinary schools set up tasting stations around the room, and the city’s culinary elite and their supporters tried everything from pulled pork to foie gras.

This was the third year of the award. The first chef to be inducted was, of course, Charlie Trotter, and the second was Heaven On Seven’s Jimmy Bannos. Everyone who came to the podium to honor Bayless was so incredibly complimentary it was almost over the top. Trotter, Naha‘s Carrie Nahabedian, 12-time James Beard award winner Steve Dolinsky, Food Industry News VP Cary Miller, Chicago Culinary Museum President and Co-Founder John Castro – everyone praised Bayless and his wife Deann so much I felt like we were in in the presence of royalty! Musician Jose Cornier even wrote a song for Bayless called “One Plate At A Time.”

Yet when Bayless came to the microphone, his passion for his craft and his devotion to his wife and his conviction in the importance of his work was as obvious and genuine as a child’s love for his dog. This celebrated, praised, and frankly, revered man was just so darn glad to be able to do what he loves in a city he adores.

“Chicago’s the greatest food city in America,” he said. And when he said “It’s a beautiful time to be alive. It’s a beautiful time to be here in Chicago,” you knew he meant every word.

I, too, am now a certified member of the Rick Bayless fan club. I thank you, Mr.  Bayless, for your humbleness and for your consistent effort to bring a country’s culture to Chicago and to the world through food. Thank you for exhibiting such pure joy at being honored for simply doing what you love. Congratulations – you deserve it.

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank  On Friday afternoon, Bears cornerback Charles Tillman spoke candidly at Children’s Memorial Hospital. The topic was the three trying months that he just spent watching his infant daughter, Tiana, battle a critical heart condition. “I heard that when life hands you disasters, and tragedy and bad things, it also hands you a gift of energy,” Tillman said at the beginning of his time at the podium. Tillman spent most of his summer days and nights at the hospital, forcing him to miss portions of both the off-season program and training camp. However, he did play in all four exhibition games.

In May, Tiana was diagnosed with a form of cardiomyopathy, a heart enlarging and weakening condition. A transplant was required, but until another heart was available a unique and cutting-edge device called the Berlin Heart was implanted in Tiana.

“We knew the Berlin Heart would extend the patient’s life significantly, and in this case, it also strengthened the child for transplantation,” says Jeffrey G. Gossett, MD, attending physician for the Division of Cardiology. Tiana is the first patient in Illinois to undergo this procedure. The Berlin Heart is widespread in Europe, but has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The Bears defensive back is very thankful for the procedures performed by the Children’s Memorial team. “I’m so grateful for what they did; they did a very noble thing,” Tillman said. Tiana underwent a heart transplant last month and was released from the hospital on Monday. Today, she’s at home recovering and the prognosis is very good. “She’s smiling and kicking and cooing, all that stuff 6 month olds are supposed to do,” Charles said.

A few years ago, Tillman started the Cornerstone Foundation aiming to help chronically ill children. On this afternoon he spoke about his organization raising more awareness about organ donation and another area of great significance to him. “Basically my foundation is headed in a new direction, and we’re going to be there to provide cardiomyopathy research,” Tillman said.

To learn more about becoming an organ donor go to DonateLifeIllinos.org.

For the full detailed version of this story click here.

For more Chicago sports discussion go here

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Blagica, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Listen up gang, here is YOUR chance to not only go to an Oprah show, but see hundreds of Olympians – all in one place!

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Until next time..

Natalia Avilez, NBC5 Street Team

Thanks to all you that were able to come out last night to our official Street Team party — all 135 of you that is. Although I got there 2 hours late, missing out on the open bar, and my phone was blowing up with texts of “where are you,” I finally made it! It was nice to finally meet many of my fellow Street Teamers, like the Fireman Jon IbrahamThe Local Tourist, Chasity Chaos, Shlomi, Relaxocat (thanks for the bunny ears), singer-songwriter Natalie, and others that I would have liked to have had more time to speak with. It was nice to get some feedback on many of my stories, it was a big ego boost!

Next time, I will definately get there early enough to mingle with the rest of you and meet with more of you. Thanks again to Marcus Riley and Jbar General Manager, Jimmy Koklas, for taking the time to speak with me and giving me the head count of the nights event. For those of you that were not able to make it, I will see you next time!

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