Archive for April, 2009

Erik Sorensen, NBC5 Street Team

Chicago’s punk-pop hybrid outfit THE FRANTIC will strip down their high-energy, anthemic songs for special acoustic performances in Hot Topic stores on an exclusive tour throughout the Midwest launching April 2. Beyond in-store performances at each date, the band will also meet-and-greet fans while giving away CD copies of their latest effort AUDIO & MURDER to the first 100 people at every event.


This special ‘Hot Topic Maul Tour’ celebrates THE FRANTIC’s year of success in support of AUDIO & MURDER and offers fans a chance to interact with the band in an intimate setting. The dates will take the band through their extended hometowns in the Midwest including most Hot Topic stores in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana that have helped to propel them to the national stage.

We are very excited to be part of this tour and to again have the chance to play for our awesome fans in the areas where we have grown so fond of performing,” says The Frantic front man Kyle Dee. “We look forward to literally sitting down with our fans and playing our music in a more intimate way and talking about what the songs mean to us. Our fans are very special to us and this is a great opportunity to get to know them on a more personal level. Maybe we’ll even do some shopping together!

For details and tour dates, visit: www.TheFrantic.com , www.MySpace.com/TheFrantic

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Free Water Taxi

Theresa Carter, The Local Tourist, NBC Chicago Street Team

For once, getting around downtown Chicago is cheap. From May 1 through May 15 Shoreline is offering free trips on their commuter service between Michigan Avenue and Union Station. On weekdays from 7 to 9:30am, and again from 4 to 6:30pm, you can avoid stoplights, honking horns, weaving cabs, and rubber-necked pedestrians and instead travel in the relative serenity of a water taxi for free. Even when the price goes back to normal, at $2 one way or $3 round-trip, this is still a very affordable way to go for commuters. They also offer service to Navy Pier and the Museum Campus daily and rates vary depending on how far you want to go.

Wendella is the other water taxi service. They’ll take you down to Chinatown for a mere $4, and they have an all-day pass for $6.

Click here to see a map of where the Water Taxis stop.

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Itika Oldwine, NBC Chicago Street Team
One of my fave Chicago haunts is the Drake Hotel on the Magnificent Mile.   I fell in love with the place when I began to frequent their Afternoon Tea at the Palm Court.  During my last visit I noticed that the Palm Court has been remodeled and given a super swanky makeover.  According to Special Events Manager Shaun Rajah, it has been more than 20 years since the room received a makeover of this caliber!

The Palm Court

The Palm Court

During this particular visit I got a chance to check out the remodeled Drake, and also experience their featured event called Catwalk Fridays. Every Friday, for one month each season (think Spring, Summer and Fall), Shaun invites local designers to showcase their designs in the Palm Court while guests sip tea (or in my case champagne) and models mingle throughout.  On this particular Friday, local luxury handbag designer Christopher Augmon was featured.  Christopher is a handsome and very talented guy who has created a beautiful collection of bags for men and women.  My favorite piece from his collection is a bag made with our 44th president in mind.  It’s crafted out of blue and red leather and has the number 44 stitched in the canvas.  His collection is inspired by “multiple cultural influences and the essence of nature.”  I especially like that he designs bags for men and women.  There’s nothing like a great man-bag!

Christopher Augmon Carry-All

Christopher Augmon Carry-All

The models strutting their stuff were dressed in designs by Marena Marena, and were all students of the Joan Marie School of Modeling right here in Chicago. Also, a portion of the proceeds from Catwalk Fridays goes to the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois.  I was quite impressed with this new addition to tea and must say that Catwalk Fridays is definitely a fun and fashionable twist to Afternoon Tea at The Drake.

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Daisy of Love

Rikki Greenberg, NBC5 Street Team

My alter ego Daisy from the Rock of Love 2 finally…FINALLY…has her own show.

The sometimes absent minded fiery blond tattooed niece of boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya has gotten over her washed up prince and is ready to find new love on Daisy of Love.

The VH1 soon-to-be mega hit features 20 extremely eligible bachelors with really crazy hair and equally nutty personalities to match. You thought the romantic contestants from I Love New York and both Rock of Love shows were interesting? Leave it up to my girl Daisy to redefine dating reality television with these original (and somewhat scary) cast members.

A guy with long multicolored hair who makes dolphin noises and speaks incoherently? The dude from I Love New York  and I Love Money who just can’t seem to get off the VH1 reality bandwagon? Hopefully Daisy realizes these lovestruck romeos aren’t the right guys for her. That goes for the platinum haired Swedish triplets too.

As a sucker for really bad reality television, I will be watching every Sunday as Daisy tries to find a suitable love interest that can keep up with her budding pop star lifestyle.

Here’s to Daisy of Love 2!

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candace-small2Candace Jordan, NBC Chicago Street Team

The premier of the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry Tuesday night was beyond my wildest expectations.   I must say, I consider myself one of the biggest Harry Potter fans on the planet and this show blew me away.  In a 10,000 square-foot exhibit spaceHarry Potter you can see over 200 artifacts from all of the Harry Potter films and some things you just couldn’t imagine…..like being able to sit in one of Hagrid’s over-sized chairs inside his hut, viewing a life size Buckbeak and centaur up close and personal, throwing quaffle balls into the Quidditch rings, the flying Ford Anglia “borrowed” by Ron and Harry, seeing the TriwizHarry Potter Fansard Cup and Harry’s wand and glasses, props and artifacts from the Yule Ball, walking into the Great Hall and seeing for yourself those magical candles hanging from the ceiling, being sorted by the Sorting Hat (I was in Gryffindor) and even the Hogwart’s Express!!  The Museum of Science and Industry beat out 40 other institutions vying for the honor of being the first to present this extraordinary collection of Harry Potter memorabilia.  It opens on Thursday, April 30th, and runs through September 27th.    Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for children age 3-11.   Prepare to be SORTED!  🙂

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Glenn Murray, NBC Chicago Street Team

I remember watching Spike Lee’s classic “MO BETTER BLUES” and being pulled in not just by the movie but its lush Jazz soundtrack.
A big reason that soundtrack is still on my playlist today was the song “Harlem Blues” sung masterfully by one of the stars of the movie Cynda Williams.

Cynda began a professional life of acting and singing after relocating to New York from her native Chicago. Her debut in MO’ BETTER BLUES was a critical and commercial success. Blessed with a role that also required singing, “Harlem Blues” went #1 on the R&B charts. That film opened the door to her next performance in Carl Franklin’s ONE FALSE MOVE – the true icebreaker for Cynda’s career. This break out independent film appeared on many Best Film lists and Cynda was nominated for the coveted Spirit Award.

Cynda has since appeared in numerous films including: Stewart Wade’s TRU LOVED, John Nolte’s BEAUTIFUL LOSER, Salvador Litvak’s WHEN DO WE EAT, Billy Wirth’s MACARTHUR PARK, P.J. Castellante’s RELAX…IT’S JUST SEX, Darin Scott’s CAUGHT UP and Wesley Strick’s THE TIE THAT BINDS. She has also performed memorable quality television roles including: BET’s HIDDEN BLESSINGS, LIFETIME’S THE COURAGE TO LOVE, HBO’s DOROTHY DANDRIDGE, Oprah Winfrey’s ABC miniseries, THE WEDDING and PBS’ TALES OF THE CITY.
Cynda also sings and acts on stage. She most recently appeared in THE TALENTED TENTH, LANGSTON IS MY MAN, HOPE RUNS ETERNAL, TWILIGHT IN LOS ANGELES, 1992 and WHERE’S PAPA RAY’S MONEY?.

Writing screenplays, musicals and plays have also been a part of Cynda’s creative endeavors. She is looking to bring that area of her career to life in the near future

Cynda presently resides in Chicago with her producer husband Roderick Plummer and Sophia Gabrielle, their daughter. Cynda continues to sing and accept quality roles in film, television and theatre.

Cynda will be the special guest host at the kick off of the Late Night Music Series this Saturday May 2nd at Ai Restaurant and Sushi Lounge 358 West Ontario. The event starts at 11:00

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team

The Blackhawks have ruled Canada like Prime Minister Stephen Harper this season, compiling a 15-5 record (including playoffs) versus Canadian teams this season.

But this round’s matchup against the Vancouver Canucks will provide a much bigger challenge than Calgary in the first round. Chicago and Vancouver split the four game regular-season series with each team winning a game at home and away.

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

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