Archive for January, 2009

Shlomi Rabi, NBC5 Street Team

One of my favorite things about the city of Chicago is, as many of you might have guessed, the weather. Now, before you all make frantic conference calls plotting my death (hint: I’m fatally allergic to flannel shirts and Mel Gibson), I strongly urge you to sit down, take a deep breath, cough, blow your nose, pop a Tylenol, drink some yerba matta tea, lay down, and let me explain. While the current weather has reduced many of us, like me, to hapless, miserable lumps of DNA with a running spigot for a nose (before that I was just hapless and miserable), it has also given us an excuse to appreciate indoors happenings that much more, and if anything, allowed us to get that much pickier about the four walls within which we’d rather spend our time.

That said, you would be hard-pressed to find anything better than world-renowned Bat-Sheva Dance Company performance at the Auditorium Theatre on February 7th and 8th. The company will be making a stop in Chicago for the first time in 35 years, making this a truly memorable occasion. The lovechild of dance icon Martha Graham and Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild, the company will be performing “Deca-Dance”, as choreographed by international superstar Ohad Naharin. Or, of course, you could simply stay in, put on your finest lumberjack attire, and watch “Mad Max”. I’m just sayin.

Special discount ONLY for NBC Chicago Readers: When you go to ticketmaster, be sure to type in “OHAD” in the special promotions field, and you will get a $10 discount (and who doesn’t love those!) off of tickets in levels 2 and 4. See you then!


To learn more about on Shlomi’s take on the latest happenings in Chicago click here.

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candace-small2Candace Jordan, NBC Chicago Street Team

On Thursday, February 26th, join the Junior Board of
Heartland ART AGAINST AIDS at the River East Art Center, 435 E. Illinois St.  They will have a reception and silent auction from 6- 10 PM and a live auction at 8 PM.  One of the 2009 honorary co-chairs is my friend

Art Against Aids

 Aaron Baker who is the curator for Playboy’s corporate art collection. (If you ever get a chance to view the Playboy art collection with him as a tour guide, don’t miss it!) Princess Kasune Zulu, a human rights activist, is the other honorary co-chair.  The auction will feature unique art works from across the country and there will be gourmet food, cocktails and music.  To preview some of the artwork that will be offered or to purchase tickets online, please visit www.artagainstaidschicago.com Tickets start at $125.

Katherine Chez, Executive Director Linda O’Keefe, and me, Candace Jordan

Katherine Chez, Executive Director Linda O’Keefe, and me, Candace Jordan

Common Thread’s World Festival and mark your calendars to save this date—Monday, March 23rd! The Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, will be transformed into a gourmand’s feast as chefs from all over the world strut their stuff at this uber popular event!   Gail Simmons from Food & Wine and Bravo’s Top Chef will serve as honorary chair and mistress of ceremonies.  The event co-chairs are Mayari Pritzker, Katherine Chez and me!

World Festival celebrates food and how it teaches us about the world around us.  Guests will experience culinary and cultural traditions practiced all around the globe.  VIPS will enjoy a pre-party at the MCA celebrating Latin flavors and the Bambi Airstream Trailer after party will be at the James Hotel featuring a surprise musical guest.  A silent and live auction will be available to guests to purchase one-of-a-kind items.  One of the top live auction prizes will be a custom designed Airstream Bambi trailer.  And get this! It will be designed by Michael S. Smith —the Obama’s White House decorator!!!  Michael is a 44 year-old Californian who has designed for Steven Spielberg, Cindy Crawford, Evelyn Rothschild, Rupert and Michelle Pfieffer to name a few. General admission is $250 per person and VIP tickets are $500 per person.  Sponsorships range from $3500 to $50,000.  For more information on this event, please contact Kristin Weiss, Kristin@commonthreads.org or call (312) 752-2692.  Again, if you have an auction item idea, please let Kristin know.  There is still time to donate an item and make a difference.  Hope you can join me, be inspired, have fun AND help the children!  For complete event info, click on http://www.commonthreads.org/events/eventList.aspx

Michael S. Smith

Michael S. Smith


Our own Brian Atwood has tapped long-time supermodel, Christie Bally CampaignTurlington, for his first ad campaign for Bally.  The pics were taken by Mario Sorrenti poolside in Miami Beach.  They will debut in the February magazines and will also feature the hot Spanish male model, Oriol Elcacho.  Jonathan Ryan, creative director for “A Perfect Event”, just did birthday flowers for Oprah that took 10 hours to create and used over 3,000 orchids.  Did I say this was for ONE arrangement?  Happy 54th birthday O!  (January 28th)

That’s the scoop for now!  Check out my website for more information….. www.CandidCandace.com

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC5 Street Team Before budding Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose came to the NBA, he owned Chicago prep courts during his career at Simeon. Along the way, he befriended St. Joseph product and current Illinois sophomore Demetri McCamey,  who leads the #19 Illini in scoring. McCamey a.k.a. “Cames” is also fifth in the Big Ten in assists at 5.0 apg. In Big Ten games only, McCamey leads the Big Ten in assists (6.0 apg) and assist/turnover ratio (4.0). Earlier this season, Illini Head Coach Bruce Weber gave McCamey a Sports Illustrated article about the work habits and development of Rose, the 2008 #1 overall NBA Draft pick. demetri

“It talked about how he matured and some of the things he does before games and I took it to heart. It helped,” McCamey said. Cames mentioned how happy he was to see his friend Rose and how hard he wants to work being a “student of the game” to try and reach the league just like the Bulls’ point guard.

“That’s what all the great ones do, that’s how you get better- what Derrick said in the interview. The coaches gave him cards of what defense they play. They’re doing it in the pros and you gotta do it in college {in order} to get to the pros, so you just gotta keep working,” McCamey said.

Cames still has a LONG way to go to reach the NBA “Rose” garden: his shot selection is sometimes suspect, his work ethic needs improvement and his defense can often be non-existent. However, he’s also the Illini player with the most athleticism and star potential. bulls_rose_300

“If you study him over the course of time, he has very good games and a tendency not to be real consistent, this goes back way to high school and AAU and that’s where he’s got to mature. He has the big one and then average, average. He needs to be more consistent if we’re going to be a very good team because he can do things that other people can’t do,” Coach Weber said.

If Demetri matures into a consistent player, the Illini could make a deep tournament run in March and Derrick Rose could possibly see another Windy City friend in the NBA.

See more of Paul M. Banks’ work at the NBC Street Team, the Washington Times and The Sports Bank

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JenChicago, NBC5 Street Team

Volunteers and supporters of President Obama got all dolled up and gathered at McCormick Place on Tuesday evening, January 20th, to celebrate the inauguration of our 44th president! Go Obama!

PS: Fellow Street Teamer, Reggie Brown, does an awesome Obama impression in the video!

Check out more celebratory videos at JenChicago.com!
Become a Facebook fan!

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Shlomi Rabi, NBC5 Street Team

With the recent softening of stringent borders defining race, political affiliations, and gender characteristics, the clever (and overly optimistic) folks at Uggs thought it was time that their boots made their way over to the men’s shoe department. What’s the word we’re looking for here? Hmmm… how about “no”? That will do–no. While there is much to be said for men embracing their soft, cuddly side, wrapping your feet in a mangled teddy bear will hardly do the trick. It seems that the marketers at Uggs thought that like skinny jeans, form-fitting button-downs, and shorter jackets, their lovechild, with its only-a-mother-could-love appearance, could jump on the gender-bender bandwagon. Not gonna happen.


To learn more about Shlomi’s take on what’s a definite “yes” click here.

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Joy DiNaro, NBC Chicago Street Team

A lot of single women don’t believe men are interested in taking care of them, but the guys at The Fifty/50 (2047 W. Division) are going all out for their female patrons with a Valentine’s Day party.

The “All the Single Ladies” party will be held Feb. 14 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Click here to read the rest of this story on nbcchicago.com.

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Shlomi Rabi, NBC5 Street Team

The other day I was in a particularly profound and introspective mood, which got me thinking about the truly important things in life: finding one’s true voice, figuring out the meaning of happiness, and trying to imagine what Ellen would look like if she got a red perm, or, perhaps, a short, spritely Jewfro. With each sip of my Chicagotini (vodka, crushed ice, organic snow flakes, giant ice cubes and natural hail), I could feel myself getting smarter. It was not until Andy came home, turned off the strobe lights, opened a window to let out the smoke, and demanded that I “put on some normal clothes”, that I got off cloud nine and realized that one of the most truly important things in life is finding someone who’ll take you just the way you are.

And a great place to find that special someone is Flirting For Disaster at Hydrate, on Thursday, February 5th. The event benefits the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago , which has been hosting a series of the Flirting events throughout the city since 2001. Advance tickets are $20 and will buy you delicious hors d’oeuvres by HB Home Bistro and Halsted’s, performance by the beautiful divas of Kit Kat , a leather fashion show by Shel-Don, and oh yeah–a room full of potentials! All proceeds from the event will go to facilitating response to disasters in the Chicagoland area, which should be enough reason to get anyone to put on their finest, look their cutest, and start getting their flirt on.


To learn more about Shlomi’s take on the greatest city in the world click here.

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JenChicago, NBC5 Street Team GO Green Management and Maven hosted their business networking event on Wednesday January 21st at Martini Park. Metamorphosis is Go Green’s first event of the year, celebrating change and new life in 2009!

There were many sponsor booths like T-mobile, Green Exchange, MeGoGreen, and Prairie Organic Vodka. The event consisted of networking, a hosted reception, raffle and even a dance performance!

Check out more life-loving video at JenChicago.com!
Join the JenChicago fan page on Facebook!

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Joy DiNaro, NBC Chicago Street Team

Waukegan is taking big hair back and all the hairspray that comes with it.

Hairspray the musical will be on stage at the Genesee Theatre (203 North Genesee Street) on March 19 at 7:30 p.m. for one performance.

Click here to read the rest of this story on nbcchicago.com.

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Marcus Riley, NBC Chicago Street Team

If you’re going to watch the Oscars next month, why not do it with one of the foremost authorities on movies?

OK, we can’t guarantee you any one-on-one time with Richard Roeper, but the renowkned movie critic will be hosting Hub 51’s Oscars party on Feb. 22.

Read the rest of this post on nbcchicago.com.

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Theresa Carter, The Local Tourist, NBC Chicago Street Team

If you’re single around this time of year it’s easy to feel a little left out. Everywhere you look it’s couples this, love that.

I’m a single lady, and I say that couples shouldn’t have all the fun. So I’ve teamed up with Kit Kat Lounge for a fun event that doesn’t require a partner.

Stupid Cupid!

As the Kit Kat Divas perform, we’ll be enjoying appetizers like lobster spring rolls and coconut crab cakes. Kit Kat’s mixologist Kami Cantrell will be showing us how to make some of their signature martinis, including the brand new, made specially for this event, The Local Tourist! (For those in-the-know it’s a TLTini.)

Anti-Valentine’s Day movies will be playing in the background, like “The Break Up“, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall“, “War of the Roses“…not that we’re bitter or anything…

So, all you single people out there, join me on February 12 for some great food, some spectacular martinis, and a thoroughly entertaining evening. And since it’s two days before V-Day, who knows what will happen…

Stupid Cupid
Feb 12, 7 to 9:30pm, $35
Register today
Kit Cat Lounge, 3700 N Halsted

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

Shopping at the 900 Shops on Michigan Ave. can work up quite an appetite.  Although I’m not a big shopper, I am a frequent guest there mainly because of my better half.  Even though my window shopping is limited,  I tend to venture to the 6th floor to check out Oak Tree, my favorite restaurant in the building.

Click here to read the full post on nbcchicago.com.

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank The Super Bowl is America’s unofficial national holiday. It’s the pinnacle for experiencing football, our nation’s most-watched and best loved sport and the holiday where the most consuming is done all across the USA. And don’t forget the commercials- this is when Madison Avenue’s best and most creative bring their A game, so you can’t miss it! And the best way to experience all that the Super Bowl is will happen at…

“Super Party” At Stardust: The Best Big Game Party in Chicagoland – Sponsored by Stardust and 220 Communications — Sunday, February 01, 2009 at 4:00 PM (CT). Stardust is located at 1211A Butterfield Rd – Downers Grove, IL 60515.

Fellow NBC 5 Street-teamer Glenn Murraychicagocardinals83 invited me to MC the event where I’ll be handing out prizes to a few lucky winning party attendees! I’ll also be giving away a few The Sports Bank.net t-shirts, which are blue and orange to match your Chicago Bears (and University of Illinois) gear. And this year’s NFL Championship features the Arizona Cardinals, who were Chicago’s second NFL team up until 1960…so there’s plenty of local flavor!

Get your tickets here!

These days we especially know that “cash rules everything around us” (as an MC…when I rock upon the mic I rock the mic right) and this upscale Super Bowl Buffett & drink package-for-MUCH-less-than-upscale-prices is about a great a deal as you will find in a sports crazy town like Chicago. All tickets will be $40 at the door, but you can save money by purchasing your tickets online to this event.

Click here for advance ticket packages starting at just $25. Can’t beat that!

Paul M. Banks is a contributor for The Washington Times and founder of the webzine The Sports Bank.net

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Joy DiNaro, NBC Chicago Street Team

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and the only thing standing between you and lip locking with your sweetie is bad breath.

 The Kiss-O-Meter is a heart shaped handheld device that indicates whether or not your breath is kiss-worthy.

Click here to read the rest of this story on nbcchicago.com.

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Marcus Riley, NBC Chicago Street Team

I’m not a big fan of watching any sort of game in a bar. Typically the seats are crap, you can’t really hear the announcers (which sometimes isn’t a bad thing), and the drinks can add up.

But I guess it’s not a bad thing to watch the game among a bunch of like-minded fans, or battle with the enemy. Not surprisingly, there’s a bunch of options if you want to watch the game outside the confines of your, or somebody else’s home. Here’s a few:

Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Team
(Please note this review may contains spoilers for tonight’s show and set list)

Any antics Metallica has gotten themselves into over the past few years were left at the loading dock last night.  Loyal followers, new fans, and those that believe they ceased to exist after …And Justice For All would be satiated.  With decades of experience and just shy of a small library of albums, how could it slip our minds that these guys can put on a show?

Click here to read the rest of this review and to view pictures from the concert.

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Blagica Bottigliero, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

It’s no surprise to any of you now – our current Governor made the media rounds today – ‘The Today Show”, “Good Morning America”, “The View” and “Larry King Live”.

As the impeachment trial began down in Springfield, Governor Blagojevich gave the following reason as to why he decided to take state issues on the road:  “I’m talking to Americans to let them know what’s happening in the Land of Lincoln”.  blago-on-gma

I have a message for the man whom I share  a name origin (“blago”) with: the Land of Lincoln is just fine. As a matter of fact, the Land of Lincoln is SO fantastic that our election representatives are holding a trial to impeach the man, a fellow elected official, who used damaging words, which included threatening something as vital as child health care.

Mr. Blagojevich,you had the chance to be in Springfield, representing yourself, the father you speak so highly of and the background that you state made you the man you are. Instead, you chose to flee and sit next to Joy Behar while she ruffled your hair and shared giggles on a morning TV show couch.

You, sir, are the farthest example of what the “Land of Lincoln” represents.  You may say that the foul and hurtful words you said were taken out of context, however, they were said.  The way you perceived me (a tax payer), your constituents and, in some cases, sick children, is a disgrace to this grand state and furthermore an embarrassment to your father.

You wanted a golden parachute? You got one – exiting your office on the glitz and glamour that is national television. Don’t hurt yourself when you land.

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Theresa Carter, The Local Tourist, NBC Chicago Street Team

Despite growing up in rural Indiana with a pond 200 yards from my front door, the first time I ice skated was when I was 15 and visiting family in Colorado. The second time was shortly after I moved to Chicago and visited the then-new Millennium Park Ice Skating Rink. The third time was Friday.

Every winter I think it’s a shame that I hadn’t gone the year before, and every year come April I realize I’ve missed it again, so when fellow street team-er & Mix DJ Cara Carriveau invited me to go skating with her I just had to accept.

Amazingly we escaped bruise-free, and here’s how you can enjoy one of Chicago’s fun winter activities with bum – and ego – intact.

  1. Get on the ice shortly before they’re going to resurface it. It’ll be all bumpy and craggy and you can’t do much more than shuffle along.
  2. Sit down and congratulate yourselves on circling the rink a couple of times without a) falling down and b) tripping one of those show-off skaters that’s at least 20 years younger.
  3. Watch the Olympia (not a Zamboni, I learned) bring the ice to a shiny, glass-smooth surface.
  4. Watch while those show-off skaters who are 20 years younger scuff up the ice enough that you don’t step on it and slide all the way to Michigan Avenue.
  5. Step back out into the rink and glide atop the smooth-but-not-slick surface until you can almost do a roller-rink style crossover at the turns.
  6. Quit while you’re ahead.

When Theresa isn’t keeping her bum and ego bruise-free, she’s writing about all the fun things to do in Chicago on The Local Tourist.

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

It can be tempting to just hunker down and hibernate during Chicago’s cruel winter. But to avoid the inevitable cabin fever, how about a compromise — hit those places closest to home. You’ll be supporting your local businesses, while running (slightly) less of a risk of falling down by not covering as much frozen ground. In just my Lakeview ‘hood, there’s tons of options. Although the relaxing back patios are uninhabitable this time of year, Duke of Perth, El Nuevo Mexicano, and La Creperie are classic favorites.

Read the rest of this post on nbcchicago.com.

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Theresa Carter, The Local Tourist, NBC Chicago Street Team

“I like to go to Marshall Field’s in Chicago just to see how many things there are in the world that I do not want.”  Mother Mary Madeleva, My First Seventy Years, 1959

On Tuesday our new President put out a call for us all to be more fiscally responsible, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun! There are plenty of ways to enjoy Chicago without spending a fortune.

For example, you can still get into the Museum of Science & Industry for free through next week. Columbia College students can get $100 worth of textbooks, which may not be a whole lot of fun but will free up that money for something that is. Disco Biscuit fans can see them for free tomorrow at the Congress Theater. I’ve got 4 tickets to give away, so email me if you want to go.

Another way you can save money is with Groupon. Each day a different business offers a great deal, but it’s only available when a certain number of people participate. For example, today’s is a $20 massage, and they only need 20 people to take advantage of it. I think this is such a great way for you to save money AND to promote local businesses that their offers are going to be posted each day on TLT!

Foodies will be happy to know that Chicago Restaurant Week is coming up. Have lunch or dinner at Chicago’s top restaurants for a fraction of the price. TLT’s created an interactive map with participating locations. There are even more ways to save money on the Food and Drink Specials page.

Have a great weekend!


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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank

It’s the midpoint of the second year of the Rocky Wirtz regime, and overall the Chicago Blackhawks are sitting pretty. They’re tied for the third most points in the Western Conference, and this team of promising young stars heads to the NHL all-star break with three players (two of which are not yet legal drinking age) on the Western Conference starting line. And just last month, they achieved a franchise record winning streak.

In the called song “Roxanne,” Sting instructed her to “put on the red light,” which the Hawks have done this season — although not lately — thanks to a much-improved special teams unit. Although they’ve converted a miniscule 4 of their last 42 power play opportunities, they’re still tremendously improved on penalty kill and power play conversion percentage from 2007-08.

Click here to read the rest of this post on nbcchicago.com.

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Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Team

Hot Water Music has been dipping their toes in the pool over the past year after a former hiatus that eventually ended in the break up of the band. The group joined punkers Naked Raygun to bring in the new year earlier this month for two dates at The House of Blues. Chicago came out to show support for the band who provided inspiration, a little bit of hope, and countless moments to remember at The Fireside Bowl.

Read the rest of this story and view photos on nbcchicago.com.

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aprillawsonsmallApril Lawson, NBC Chicago Street Team

If you’re like me, sometimes the best way to get your revelry on is in a small intimate gathering, not with hordes of strangers in excessive temperatures. Somewhere safe, controlled and semi private. I found an inconspicuous storefront on 83rd Street with a couple dozen African American babyboomers chillin in front of a large flat screen watching history unfold.

It was a realty office turned makeshift store called Obama44 . Inside were colorful painted walls with an array of Obama paraphernalia from the usual t-shirts to unique items like coasters and handmade jewelry. Just 9 weeks ago real estate brokers Marvis Hardy and Ruby Davis were just ladies collecting memorabilia. How did they start selling it?

“I began making a lot of things, and when people started asking for them, we began taking orders from as far away as Texas. We realized we had a good thing going on here!”

Obama44 is located on 738 E. 83rd Street just a block west of Cottage Grove. They will be open for business until the end of February after which they hope to be exclusively online.

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