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Archive for June, 2009

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

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyday was Friday?  Well supposedly the tropical island of Eivissa evokes the type of energy where every night out seems like a Friday night celebration.  Eivissa, the Catalan name for Ibiza, is known for its summer club parties that attract a ton of tourists and a lot of publicity.  It’s no wonder why the owners of the new tapas restaurant Eivissa are attempting to bring that same type of energy to Old Town.  The concept sounds cool, but can the new kid on the block pull it off?  Maybe for partying, but not so much for the cuisine.

Eivissa Cocktails

Eivissa Cocktails

The best thing about Eivissa are their “Islas Baleares” cocktails and “Chupitos” (infused shots).  Their standard red sangria is infused with vanilla beans and Ceylon cinnamon for a warm, spicy taste.   But after the alcoholic beverages nothing else is memorable, except for their Pinxtos, a unique mixture of morsels on toasted bread.  The “Salpicon Aioli”, consisting of different seafood was the winner in this category.  Their classical tapas are just average and be sure to order more cocktails to help wash down the  dry “Croquetas De Jamon”.  The “Carnes-Meats” section featured a duck and asparagus dish.  My advice is to take the asparagus and leave the duck.  The dessert menu featured a tart, rice pudding, and a chocolate churro, but I was too disappointed with the service to move on to the next  course.  Oh, did I mention service?  Two words sum up the service.  Not good.  The communication or lack there of with the server was frustrating.  There was no explanation of the menu and dishes were slower than normal to arrive at the table, despite a sparse lunch crowd.  The restaurant is nicely designed, but a return visit is necessary to determine the vibe.  Eivissa is not a first choice for tapas, but their fabulous drinks may have the Old Town folks sipping libations on their patio throughout the summer.

Eivissa is located at 1531 N. Wells St.  Log onto www.eivissachicago.com for more information.  Check out www.efete.net for more restaurant reviews and an inside look into Chicago’s newest and hottest restaurants.

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Glenn Murray, NBC Chicago Street Team

Ken Burroughs is determined to bring “real music” back to Chicago one night at a time. He is the creator of the Hot Mic Night at the House of Blues which features local acts performing with a full band at the  Back Porch Restaurant. The event debuts tonight at 8PM and a second installment is scheduled for July 13th. The House of Blues Is Located at 329 North Dearborn.

Local Musicians perform looking for a chance at being featured on the House of Blues big stage possibly opening for national acts. Poets and bands alike vie for the title of the hottest act. Not at all an amateur, night but more a night of outstanding talent, polished vocals and much more as each act covers familiar new tunes as well as the classics. Hot Mic Night will also feature a few of the best spoken word artists the city has to offer. Tonight the featured band will be Aniba Hotep & the Sol Collective. Throw in the great food at the HOB restaurant and Hot Mic Night is definitely the most fun you can have on a Monday night in Chicago.

Hot Mic Night at The House of Blues
329 North Dearborn
Monday June 29th
8PM
Admission Is Free

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

Did the Chicago Bulls send a message to incumbent starting power forward Tyrus Thomas Thursday night by drafting two power forwards? By using both of their first round draft picks on prospects who play the four, the Chicago front office seems to be telling us one of two things. Either a.) Coach Vinny Del Negro, GM Gar Forman and company are unhappy with Thomas (who desperately needs to develop a post move) and are attempting to motivate him, or b.) Ty is being aggressively shopped to other GMs in the league. Maybe we’ll learn more once NBA free agency starts on July 1, when more transactions are like to start happening around the association.

But we can worry about that later, for now let’s focus on who the Bulls did pick up with the 16th and 26th overall picks.


Wake Forest, Forward, James Johnson

In college, Johnson was able to muscle weaker defenders down low while also using his ability to drive and finish. His range from deep leaves plenty of room for improvement, but he did develop a more consistent mid-range game as a sophomore. “We love his versatility he can play the four, he can play the three, he can play inside, he can play outside, at his size 6’8” 250 he can put the ball on the floor, he can rebound and put it out in transition. He’s a very big passer for a big guy,” Forman said to the media present at the Berto Center.

USC, Forward, Taj Gibson

Gibson is already 23 years old and should be able to contribute off the bench right away. He will likely make a living as a professional thanks to his rebounding and shot-blocking ability. 6’10” with a 7’2” wingspan, Gibson had the second longest reach of anyone in this draft. (Only the 7’3” Hasheem Thabeet was longer) “His wingspan was amazing, he’s long, he can block shots in the lane and he has a developing inside-outside game,” Forman said of Gibson on draft night.

See more of Paul M. Banks’ work at the Washington Times, Walter Football.com and The Sports Bank

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Shlomi Rabi, NBC Chicago Street Team

The age-old adage “Behind Every Great Man Is a Great Woman” is just that—old. The key to success in any relationship, we now know, is support, regardless of whether the person behind us is wearing a pair of pants, a skirt or something by Marc Jacobs. Love is love; its origin should not matter, and the more—the merrier.

This is why Tel-Aviv’s show of love and support for Chicago’s LGBT community in the form of a beach-themed float is an empowering addition. The city that Time magazine has termed “the Mediterranean’s most unlikely capital of cool” becomes the first international city ever to publicly endorse Chicago’s LGBT community at the Gay Pride Parade.

Earlier this year, Tel Aviv was honored with the task of hosting next year’s International Gay Tourism Convention. By doing so, the city reinforces its status as one of the world’s most fun and easygoing gay capitals, alongside London, Rio, Berlin, New York and Amsterdam.

Helping Tel-Aviv spread the love for Chicago’s LGBT community is Club 1948, a local non-for-profit whose mission is to celebrate Israel’s arts and culture. Reflecting the organization’s emphasis on fun and diversity, twenty swimsuit-clad men and women, from different backgrounds and of different ages, will be dancing on the float to the live tunes of American, European and Israeli music.

In a time that gay marriage is a hot topic and opinions on gay rights are polarizing the country, it is nice to see that a foreign friend has got your back. This one never gets old.

To find out what else Shlomi does to live it up, click here.

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Cavorting on the Tel Aviv beach

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Hungry Z, NBC Chicago Street Team

The Taste of Chicago was born July 4th in 1980, and is now the second largest tourist attraction in Illinois. For 10 days, this free admission festival is the place to be, injecting the city with a spirit of hunger and attracting a few news stories along the way. To add some spectacle to all the gluttony, there will be live performances by Ne-Yo, Counting Crows, Wallflowers, Barenaked Ladies and more.

In the midst of these hard economic times, Taste will offer a better value than ever this year. Each restaurant will offer a choice of two Taste portions instead of one. The taste portions are smaller and cheaper sample versions of the regular-sized portions.

Fifty different vendors will be vying for a spot in your belly, but not all of them deserve it. Must-try items include B.J’s Mustard fried catfish, O’Brien’s Celtic corn, Original Rainbow cones, and Garrett’s caramel and cheese popcorn.

Visit NBCChicago.com for a full list of Hungry Z’s Taste hits and misses.

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC Chicago Street Team

Inspired by their love affair with their two favorite things–food and biking–Chicagoans Dimitra Tasiouras and Sharon Bautista founded Fork and the Road bike tours. Now they hope to pass on this perfect combination to you through this summer’s tours: Asian, Latin American, International BBQ, Vegetarian and “Unsung Chicago Classics” (teaser: Mexican street treats to “heroic sandwiches” to Greektown…hm). Hailed as an “eating adventure”, the tours are aimed at trying new foods in undiscovered places, while navigating the city powered by your own wheels (or rented, whatever). The total tour ranges from about 14-22 miles, reportedly at a fairly “leisurely” pace — which sounds like a good thing, given all the food that will be in your belly. From artisan cheeses and sustainable markets to Little Vietnam and”secret” Thailand cuisine, this is no typical Chicago deep-dish tour. Check them out at http://www.forkandtheroad.com.

NudeHippoNBC5Email me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com to report your favorite under-discovered Chicago events and check out my past blogs and entertainment reports with Nude Hippo at Nudehippo.tv and NBCchicago.com.


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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

People who hear me on the radio, listen to my podcasts or read my blogs are certainly aware of my passion for music.  But first and foremost I am a mother, and without a doubt the main focus of my life is my kids.   Not a day goes by where I don’t feel extremely thankful for their health and happiness. 

My heart breaks when I hear of families that have to deal with terminal health issues, especially those involving sick children.  I can’t imagine the pain of knowing your child is suffering and/or might not make it to their next birthday.  So, when I heard about a young toddler  “Lucy” (her name is an alias to protect her privacy) stricken with such a horrible disease I felt compelled to share her story. 

photo courtesy of Christie LaMountain

photo courtesy of Maura Gaskill

Lucy has a genetic disease called SCA7 (Spinocerebellar Ataxia 7) which will eventually shut down all her abilities to walk, see, talk, breathe, think, and pump blood to her heart thus killing her.   As if that isn’t heartwrenching enough – she is part of a large but very close foster family in Oak Park, and one of her brothers wrote a very touching story about her situation.

You can help Lucy and the 150,000 Americans and their families who suffer from the devastating effects of Ataxia. Your participation in the 2009 Laps For Lucy this Saturday morning will bring the world one step closer to a cure for Ataxia.  The race is at Oak Park River Forest High School Track (Lake Street and East Avenue, Oak Park, IL).  All Proceeds go to the National Ataxia Foundation.

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