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Archive for September, 2009

Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team So far, the eyes have it, as the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes look a cut or two above the rest of the Big Ten, so if you’re an Ohio State or Iowa fan, watching the game with your alumni groups at the sports bar this fall has been, and should continue to be a lot of fun. Of course, Chicago is filled with alumni of all the Big Ten schools, so read on to see where I ranked yours. Unfortunately, the two home teams, Northwestern and Illinois are pretty far down the list.

1. Ohio State (3-1, 1-0)

Buckeyes post back-to-back shutouts for first time since 1996, and are starting to look like the best team in the conference. Again. Eventually making this year…well, yet another OSU conference title would really suck for ratings. Because it would be BORRRRRRRRRRING!  Where are the 2000 Purdue Boilermakers, 1995 Northwestern Wildcats, and 2001 Illini when you need them?

2. Iowa (4-0, 1-0)

Meet senior linebacker Pat Angerer, could there be a better name for a linebacker? Angerer racked up a game-high 14 tackles and two turnovers to help the Iowa defense limit Penn State to only 10 points. Angerer recorded his first interception of the season and rambled 38 yards to set up the Hawkeyes’ second touchdown of the quart. Later he forced a fumble that was recovered by the Hawkeyes at the 18-yard line.

To read the rest of the power rankings click here

See more of Paul M. Banks’ sports-writing at the site he founded The Sports Bank, NBA analysis at  Walter Football.com and his “Patrick Kane Chronicles” at Buffalo Sports Daily

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

The Chicago Horror Film Festival runs this weekend (9/25-9/27), prepping you for all the gory, slutty fun of the Halloween season with such features as a horror fashion show, “I Want to Hear You Scream” and “Zombie Pinup” contests, and of course, some deliciously disgusting horror films. Hosted by Mr. Willy and his beautiful minions, the festival promises to make good on its promise for “babes…blood…booze”.

300_Oktoberfest_logo_2006

But wait, you say, it’s not even October yet! St. Alphonsus’ famed Oktoberfest has got that covered. Their traditional celebration continues the heritage of the original German immigrants who founded St. Alphonus in 1882, updated with top local bands, activities for kids, and beer, beer, beer.

If that sounds a little too traditional for you, there’s always the No Pants Party at Crobar on Saturday… which is exactly what it sounds like. No pants (or skirts!) allowed. Attending in your  undies gets you in for free, no cover all night long.

NudeHippoNBC5

Email me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com with your favorite under-discovered events, and check out my reports with Nude Hippo  at NudeHippo.com and NBCChicago.com

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Fayth a.k.a. Relaxocat, NBC Chicago Street Team

Fans of Chicago’s “chamber pop collective”, Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, are shocked and saddened by the news that the band was involved in a serious car accident in Indiana on September 24th while on their way from Chicago to Cincinnati. The accident was caused by a blown tire that sent the van rolling and finally landing upside down on a median. The band recently celebrated their newly released CD, “…and the horse you rode in on” on Bloodshot Records and performed live at the label’s 15th anniversary celebration at Hideout’s block party on September 12th.

In a statement from the record label, Alison Hinderliter, Jay Santana, and Ethan Adelsman were released from the hospital with minor injuries. Elia Einhorn and Mary Ralph remain hospitalized with more severe injuries, but are expected to be released or transferred to a nearby hospital soon. Band member, Mark Yoshizumi, is in serious condition and was airlifted to Christ Memorial Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL with serious head, neck, and back injuries.

Aside from the terrible accident that has caused pain and injury to the band members, there is now a good deal of financial damage as well. Their van was totaled and all of their equipment was destroyed. Bloodshot Records has established a PayPal account on behalf of SYGC where fans and friends can donate to help get the band back on their feet. If you would like to help:

1. Sign in to PayPal and send donation to tsygc@bloodshotrecords.com
2. Send this email link to friends/contacts: Donate and Help SYGC
3. Click on the button in this news story: Updated News On SYGC

Bloodshot Records will continue to update the bands recovery progress and any news which you can find by clicking “news story” the link above.

In the meantime, we all wish the band a speedy recovery and send our best thoughts to them during this difficult time.

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[Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team

On a recent visit to the House of Blues Foundation Room, I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere the venue has created for its guests and members. The private area incorporates an eclectic, multicultural vibe and offers a series of intimate rooms outfitted with inviting sofas and 300-year old antiquities which include a hand carved Rosewood bar from the Raj’s palace in India.

Members can enjoy a secluded space with intimate enclaves in the Divinity, Buddha and Ganesh rooms. The ceiling of the Ganesh room is comprised of the actual door leading to the Raj’s private prayer room while hand-carved, 18th century wall coverings adorn the interior.

the Foundation Dining Room is decorated in 19th century French carved mahogany, Oriental carpets and treasures from the Anheuser-Busch mansion. A contemporary American menu encompasses influences from the American south and Pacific Rim.

The ten-person private table sits in a luxurious dining room embellished with mahogany walls, velvet curtains and intricate artwork.

The foundation room members get access to special events like the upcoming Taste of Tuscany where members enjoy wine, olives, bread, cheese and antipasto. We will also also be highlighting liqueurs from Silvio Meletti. Events like this are frequently provided to its members.

For more infromation about the House Of Blues Foundation Room
Phone :312-923–7050
concierge.foundationroom.chicago@hob.com

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]Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team

Comedian Tony Sculfield’s nickname is “da one man riot” tonight he brings that riot back to Bronzeville Comedy Club Jokes & Notes and he brings along some friends. Tony Sculfield’s Variety Show features comedy, spoken word, musicians, and vocalists. The radio personality, who is co host of the WGCI (107.5)morning radio show “The Morning Riot”. The show is guaranteed to be funny, entertaining, and knowing Tony’s comedy, totally out of left field. If you’re having a rough week and are in need of a good laugh along with some great entertainment. Check this show out tonight.

Tony Sculfield’s Variety Show
Jokes & Notes Comedy Club
4641 South King Drive
Chicago
http://www.jokesandnotes.com

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team It was the biggest, and most unfortunate, news to hit the Chicago Blackhawks in weeks.

“Adam Burish went into the boards on Sunday night in Minnesota and injured his right knee. When a player like him leaves the ice it is always concerning and unfortunately he suffered an ACL tear. He will undergo a reconstruction as soon as possible and we anticipate a complete recovery. His return will take approximately six months,” reads a statement from Chicago Blackhawks Head Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry.

“I went into the boards goofy. It was one of those goofy plays, I was helpless,” said Burish to a very large crowd of reporters after the team’s practice on Tuesday. Fellow forward Patrick Kane, certainly no stranger to recent heightened publicity, spoke about his fallen teammate:

“Obviously, I know if I was looking forward to the year and something like that happened to me, I’d be devastated, so I’m sure he feels the same way. I talked to him a little bit, it’s tough for him. I’m sure he’s pissed off, and it’s just a bad break, hopefully he can get back as soon as he can.”

Last season’s deep playoff run, coupled with the star power of young goal-scorers such as Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp etc. helped the Blackhawks lead the National Hockey League in average attendance (22,247) per game. In order to duplicate that success at the box office this season, it would help to have their army of high-scoring forwards at full strength.

“They’ll be fine. That’s the least of my worries. It’s such a good and deep team. For training camp, I’m sure if you ask the coaches, they don’t even know who to put in the lineup, there’s so many guys, that won’t be an issue on this team.” Burish is the team’s best enforcer, and according to Chicago Magazine, the city’s 26th most eligible bachelor. Click here to read what he said about hockey groupies at the Fan Convention in July.

And it’s Burish’s sense of humor that keeps the mood light and positive in the locker room. “He’s very good for the locker room, he’s the disc jockey for one, He likes to joke around. Myself personally I really enjoy that, so he’s going to be missed around the locker room more than anything,”

Kane said in describing what Burish’s effect on team chemistry. Kaner also articulated what the team will miss from Burish on-the-ice. “He sacrifices his body for everyone on the team and you can see that when he’s blocking shots, penalty killing, taking hits to make plays, that’s just the way he plays and when you play like that, you’re bound to get hurt sometimes. He’s a great player for us, a key part of the organization and the team, and the fans love him too.”

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

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Michael Buble has sold 22,000,000 albums (so far) worldwide. His singing voice is impeccable.  His songs capture romance, heartache, love and every other emotion that goes along with any relationship you’ve ever been in. His song “Everything” is a very popular first-dance song at weddings. And his live performances are unreal. No wonder he’s got millions of fans worldwide chomping at the bit, anticipating the release of his third album “Crazy Love”. The album was initially supposed to be released on October 13, but due to fan demand the album will now be released 4 days prior (October 9). You can pre-order it now.

I had the priveledge of being the very first radio personality in the USA to speak to Michael Buble as he begins his mass promo for his new album.  An even bigger honor was having him serenade me…I still have the goosebumps!

Listen to our conversation in Cara’s Connection at the WTMX website:

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candace-small2Candace Jordan, NBC Chicago Street Team

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in NY was so exciting last week!  It seemed like everywhere you looked you saw a familiar NY Housewives LuAnn de Lesseps (the Countess) and Kelly Bensimonface!  At the Pamella Roland show we saw Lisa Rinna in a hot red dress with a great haircut, Nicky Hilton who didn’t want to sit next to anyone who wasn’t famous, Nigel Barker (the hot judge/photographer on America’s Next Top Model) and the quirky runway coach from ANTM J. Alexander.  I was told Toni Braxton, Amanda Bynes and Paris Hilton were there (I didn’t see them) and that Courtney Love showed up for the Narciso Rodriguez show in a very sorry state.  Also at the Roland show were the NY Housewives With supermodel Ubah HassanBethany Frankel, the Countess (LuAnn de Lesseps) and Kelly Bensimon.

Earlier in the day, I had been invited by my new friend, Alex McCord (another of the NY Housewives) to a great show by her friend Walter Baker.  He had supermodel, Ubah Hassan, open his show and she was AMAZING!

This same Pamella Roland Show will be brought to Chicago Friday Nicky Hilton night for the Joffrey Ballet’s Couture & Cocktails and tickets are still available!  We will have Giuliana and Bill Rancic doing some hosting duties as well as many other surprises!  Come dance with the Joffrey dancers to the sounds of international jet set (and gorgeous) DJ, Donna D’Cruz!  Tickets are $250 for a Patron tickets and $500 for a VIP ticket (which includes runway seating, awesome goody bag, butler service and admission to the celeb filled VIP pre-party in Lockwood Restaurant starting at 6:30 PM!  If you can’t come early, don’t miss the After-Party from 9- Midnight –tickets are $250.  Hope to see you there!!  (312) 386-8921 http://www.joffrey.orgLisa RinnaNigel Barker from America’s Next Top Model

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At last night’s televised portion of the Emmys, Ricky Gervais made the hilariously irreverent confession: “This is the greatest awards ceremony in the world, there’s no doubt about that. Definitely, definitely no doubt about that. The thing about the Oscars and the Golden Globes is they’ve got film stars there, with their jawlines and chiseled looks, making me feel bad. But in this room – I’m not being funny – I’m probably above average. Here, Steve Carell is considered handsome.”

Much the same logic could be used to describe what is usually wrong with the women’s fashion at the Emmys. Since the  Emmys lack the star power, prestige  and, most importantly, the audience of the Golden Globes and The Oscars, it’s rare that actresses bring their A fashion game because it is even rarer that  the top design houses  loan out their A rate dresses. This means that if an actress is not careful, in that room–I’m not being funny–the Housewives of Atlanta would rate above average.

And so it was last nite.  Jennifer Carpenter, Kara DioGuardi, Sandra Oh, Holly Hunter, Sigourney Weaver, Drew Barrymore and Christina Applegate brought it. That’s because they would look spot on even at a more prestigious event.

On the other hand, stars like Vanessa Williams, Debra Messing, Marcia Gay Harden,  Julia Louis Dreyfus, Jessica Lange and Glenn Close didn’t. That’s because they looked like “make under” versions of the OC housewives. Their dresses, and most of the dresses period, were so safe and boring that you could easily find them hanging on the rack of a high end department store.

Tina Fey and Toni Colette have always been two outsize talents who have been in desperate need of a good stylist. Ms Fey, it seems, finally found one. Ms Colette, it seems, found the Rachel Zoe School for the Newly Emaciated and Fakebaked.  January Jones, Kristin Chenoweth (a very deserving winner for “Pushing Daisies”)  and Leighton Meester used overzealous stylists. Kim Kardashian used an overzealous pimp.

And then there was the worst offender of the evening, Heidi Klum, with her TMI maternity frock. Good god, the only way for her to have been  more inappropriately dressed was to have  arrived in a hospital gown with Seal telegraphing the number of centimeters she was dilated.

The best dressed men were  Tracy Morgan (surprisingly so), Steve Carell (reliably so), Ricky Gervais (eclectically so), Justin Timberlake (youthfully so), and Simon Baker (hot damn so). Jon Cryer was by far the worst dressed, perhaps because he dressed as his character on “Two and a Half Men.”

For a photo gallery and a slightly different perspective than the one expressed here, click here.

TheBestDressedList.com

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Eric Smith, NBC Chicago Street Team

On location at the Studio L’amour, West Loop. There is nothing better than an original, and Michelle L’amour is just that-dancer, choreographer, business woman, teacher, promoter and most of all Queen of Tease!

How did you become Michelle L’Amour?
My background training was in Classical Dance. But I didn’t get a chance to do Burlesque until after college when I was asked to choreograph and perform a Burlesque show. I didn’t really know what it was at the time but I said yes because I wanted to dance and perform. Then I heard the music and was completely hooked and knew that this is what I was meant to be doing.

So when you say you heard the music can you elaborate on that?
The music is the classic dirty jazz, bump and grind style music…it’s really great…great drums, horns…

Michelle L'amour

Michelle L'amour

What makes you different than most women in and outside of the business?
Well, one of my goals was to draw attention to the Chicago Burlesque scene and what I was doing here. I really wanted to pull attention to this city because I love this city and I think it’s great and deserves the attention. My first step in doing that was winning the Ms. Exotic World title in 2005, which is like the World Series of Burlesque. And then I did America’s Got Talent the first season so that definitely drew attention here. But I had also been teaching, because this was one of my goals, to educate the people in the city about Burlesque what it was and what it can be today. I’ve been teaching Burlesque for about 4 years now and have since opened my own dance school Studio L’Amour which has been open for about a year.

For those of us who don’t know can you describe what Burlesque is?
Burlesque is all about the tease. Exaggerating your femininity, showcasing the curves and really playing up the fact that you are a woman.

So would you define what you do more as art or entertainment?
I think art can be entertainment. And I think I do both.

How did you take something like this(Burlesque) and do it in Chicago visa vis New York or LA?
I really think that teaching women helped break the ice a bit. If you can get women on your side you are in good shape, we are harder to please. Women learn in class what it takes to do Burlesque, that it is not as easy as it looks and it is my job to make it look easy. So when they come to class using muscles they didn’t know they had, and let things jiggle that they didn’t think they were supposed to let jiggle one gains a large amount of appreciation for the art form. It’s something fun you can bring your boyfriend to-it brings sexuality in a great light.

Well enough read…to hear the entire interview click to download now.

Stay tuned for upcoming events at Studio L’Amour including:

StripTease Classes/Dr. Sketchys-Figure Drawing Class/LipShtick

Naked Girls Reading/Sex Body Fashion Show/The Tassel and Twirl Workshop

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

On Wednesday at the United Center, in conjunction with LifeSource, Chicagoland’s Blood Center, the Blackhawks organization held a very successful blood and bone marrow drive. The turnout was good, especially when considering the fact it was held on a workday morning. Lifesource officials said over the phone that 94 new units of blood were donated, with 47 new people entered into the bone marrow registry. A volunteer on-site told me that about half were donating for the first time.

Those who donated also got to take in a Blackhawks practice at the United Center; with training camp running concurrently with the drive. The need for blood and bone marrow is a cause that hits close to home with Blackhawks General Manage Stan Bowman.
“My wife Sue and I feel that it’s our responsibility to educate others on the ease of joining the National Bone Marrow Registry and donating blood,” the Hawks GM said. Bowman was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in February 2007 at the age of 33 before having a reoccurrence of the disease 10 months later. He underwent a stem-cell transplant, which required doctors to take blood from his bone marrow and separate the cells, before replenishing the blood. Since that treatment, Bowman has been cancer free.

blackhawks

“I realize how fragile life is and am fortunate to be in remission, but I certainly don’t take it for granted,” Bowman added. “There are a great deal of people fighting cancer and other illnesses each day that so desperately need a bone marrow transplant or blood transfusion. I would like to encourage our passionate and supportive Blackhawks fans to participate in this great event,” Bowman stated before the drive. He was also on hand for the event, and his wife donated blood. Towards the end of the drive, he appeared on the UC Jumbotron to thank those attended.

This reporter registered to donate, but was rejected due to a prior condition. Bowman and I share more than just a keen interest in hockey. Like Stan, I have fought and conquered Hodgkin’s disease- twice. And in a remarkable instance of coincidence, I received my own stem cell transplant, 6 years to the exact date of Bowman’s. Since 2003 I have been in remission, and living a life healthy enough that I was even able to swim in the Triathlon last month. I wholeheartedly agree with Bowman’s statements and I am very pleased his organization held this event.

For more information, or to give blood and/or bone marrow in the future please visit lifesource.org or click here.

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

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Desiree, NBC Chicago Street Team
Listen up all you recessionistas and recessionistos: Pipeline B2B announces its Fourth Quarter Launch Event! On October 1, 2009 from 6PM – 8PM, small businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers and contractors are invited to the swank Three Peas Art Lounge in Chicago’s South Loop. The fun networking event, which will include like-minded and talented peers with diverse backgrounds, is intended to accelerate business opportunities through meaningful exchange.422011247

So come on out and get motivated with your 2009 goals! The event includes targeted strategic partners and leads, as well as Pipeline B2B’s Founders, Patrick Smith and Barbara Maldonado. Their network-savvy career experiences and social media practices have helped them jumpstart their own successful projects, inspiring the evening’s event. “At the end of the day,” Barbara says, “It’s about making a deal.”

Tickets, which include beverages and appetizers, are only $30, with proceeds of the evening’s event benefiting the non-profit, Jobs for Youth. Please RSVP ahead of time, and log on to the Three Peas Art Lounge website for a taste of the venue. What better place to learn how to turn your goals into success, than in a gallery created by emerging artists “on the cusp” of a successful career themselves? See you there!

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Hungry Z, NBC5 Street Team

In West Virginia, at an elevation of 2300 feet above sea level, the Birch River begins its northwestern trek until it joins with the Elk River. Luckily Birch River Grill is located in Arlington Heights and is devoid of such Mountaineer delicacies as ground hog and squirrel. The décor employs plenty of birch wood and the busts of a few bucks to appease your inner hunter.

 Tempting choices abound all over the menu; luckily a good choice is easier than catching it yourself. Simple is often better, and a good simple appetizer to try is the crisp salt and pepper calamari. Accompanied by a horseradish marinara, these tasty rings of octopi are not the least bit chewy.birchsoup

 Sometimes you need a little something to warm your bones after kayaking down the river. Nestle up to a bowl of granny apple and onion soup. This twist on an old favorite adds a hint of sweetness to all the savory goodness that French onion soup already delivers. Those looking for something heartier should step up to a bowl of wild game chili. Loaded with bison, wild boar, and andouille sausage this is a chili for the man’s man.

 What goes better with all that meat, than more meat? The Yankee pot roast is loaded with slow cooked beef, braised carrots, Yukon gold potatoes, all swimming in a hearty red wine sauce. It’s like a warm hug on a cold West Virginian night. For those looking on the lighter side, the sun dried tomato and gorgonzola ravioli is a wise choice. Gone is the heavy marinara and in is a light tomato tarragon broth that adds flavor and not calories.birchcarrot

 The heck with calories! You’ve spent all day fishing, kayaking, and hunting so you deserve some dessert. Wild berry cheesecake is rich and filling, but the true star is Aunt Aggie’s carrot cake. Assembled like a Big Mac, this three layer beauty has cream cheese frosting between 3 layers of moist cake. It’s meant for two but I’m sure a few hearty soles will tackle it alone.

 With entrée prices ranging from $10 to $30, Birch River Grill can satisfy one’s hunger even on modest budgets. So whether you’re hunting for a buck or just looking for a good meal for you buck, Birch River has you covered.  

Location

75 W. Algonquin Rd

Arlington Heights, IL

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Natalia “Bat Girl” Avilez, NBC Chicago Street Team

If you were one of the many comic book fans who either missed out on, were disappointed in, or simply crave more Comic-Con; this is your chance.  On Saturday, September 19th, Chicagoans  are getting a second chance to indulge in Chicago’s finest Comic Book Convention — the Windy City Comicon(WCC) . Now in its second year in the running, Windy City has lined up a fantastic array of local comic book creators, artists, writers, and publishing companies for your viewing pleasure. But wait there’s more! Not only will you be able to  meet industry guests  but will also get a chance to  get great deals on comics, attend  panels, indulge in games and receive a gift pack.

“It’s organized by Chicagoans and many of the 85 creator guests are either hometown products or now call Chicago home,” co-promoter Christopher Neseman said.

Guests include  artists Jenny FrisonTim Seeley, Skottie Young,  Mike Norton and Sal Abbinanti. Publishing companies include: Moonstone, Olympian, Topshelf and Shortpants

“Chicago has one of the richest and most vibrant comic book communities in the country, and Windy City Comicon is a showcase of that,” Neseman said.

Challengers, Comics + Converstationwill be kicking off the event with the official Windy City Comicon preview party on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets for the show are $10 and can be purchased either at the door or on the WWC site. The Convention will be held at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, between the hours of 10 a.m.-6 p.m. WCC is offering the first 500 guests a gift pack, so be sure to arrive early.

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

 

The crisp fall air isn’t the only aroma your nose may pick up this week – especially in the Loop. If you happen to catch a whiff of beer, brats and kraut, follow the trail to the historic Berghoff  (17 W. Adams) Wednesday through Friday for their annual Oktober Fest. It’s hard to believe that this is the Berghoff’s 24th sausage and suds celebration  held on the Federal Plaza at Adams and Dearborn Streets. Considering the Berghoff has been serving up classic German food and their own private-label suds for generations, you know the food and drink won’t disappoint. NBC-Oktoberfest 2008 016

Admission to the Berghoff Oktoberfest is complimentary and includes musical entertainment to suit all tastes. Work off that brat by doing the “Hoky Poky” with Bavarian polka performances by the Johnny Wagner Band, or enjoy local favorites Maggie Speaks, Sixteen Candles and the Modern Day Romeos over the course of the three days. Always wanted to cook your own schnitzle? This year’s fest also marks the launch of The Berghoff Café Cookbook: Berghoff Family Recipes for Simple, Satisfying Food (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $24.99, September 2009) by Carlyn Berghoff, fourth generation restaurateur and Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group CEO, who will be signing copies during the fest. You’ll also have a chance to enter two raffles benefitting the Mercy Home For Boys and Girls. While a case of beer would make sense, how about the opportunity to win a 2010 Jaguar XF or a luxe trip to the Ritz in Cali?

For more information on the Berghoff Oktober Fest, including hours and entertainment schedule, click here. Post!

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A hat can say a lot about you.

In “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” when Jane Russell  is confronted by an angry wife  who insists she “means business,” Ms. Russell  dismisses her threat by retorting “Oh yea? Then why are you wearing that hat?”

Ouch. If you don’t want to suffer the same indignity then  get thee to a good milliner. And you can do just that if you check out “A First Look at Fall: A Hat Tea” presented by The Millinery Arts Alliance in the Lobby of the Peninsula Hotel  Friday, September 18 between 3:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Veronica Chin is blocking buttery felts. Carla Faso is crafting fedoras you’ll want to wear all season. Laura Hubka has just trimmed the pillbox of your dreams, and Lisa Farrell’s imagination is running wild with feather fascinators. Laura Whitlock is making the functional fabulous, and Loreta Corsetti is creating hats to die for.

You’ll have the opportunity to be among the first to see just what this cool wave of creativity has wrought as Milliners will have dozens of stylish chapeaux designed just for the season, and will be on hand throughout Tea to assist with fit and selection.

Stop by just to browse the collections, or enjoy tea service, which includes a petite soufflé, scones, finger sandwiches and delightful desserts served with your choice of marvelous tea for the cost of $36. Or enjoy tea with a glass of Henriot Souverain Brut champagne for $45.

TheBestDressedList.com

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

 

Life is full of firsts and while your first kiss may not be worth repeating, the first annual Common Threads World Cookout  taking place this Thursday will no doubt keep you coming back for more. Priced at $75 a ticket, the event was designed to be bit more fiscally approachable than the World Festival where tickets ran between $250-$500. Proceeds benefit Common Threads, which seeks to educate children on the importance of nutrition and physical well-being, and to foster an appreciation of cultural diversity through cooking. NBC-Fulton'sCommonThreads

Holding on to the last of the summer temps, the cookout will take place on Fulton’s on the River’s open-air veranda along the Chicago River and within their Riverfront Room. As with any Common Threads event, you can expect Chicago’s best culinary stars to be in attendance ready to feed you. Among those participating include Stephanie Izard, Top Chef Season 4; Paul Virant, Vie; Bill Kim, Urban Belly; Chris Pandel, The Bristol;  Rodelio Abilgot, Sunda; Radhika Desai, Top Chef Season 5; Gale Gand, TRU; James Gottwald, Rockit Bar & Grill; Giuseppe Tentori, Boka; Toni Roberts, C-House; Jonathan Fox, La Madia; Mark Mendez, Carnivale; Dominique Tougne, Bistro 110; Greg Biggers, Fulton’s on the River; Sarah Grueneberg, Cafe Spiaggia; Robert Andrea, Jake Melnick’s; Rick Gresh, David Burke’s Primehouse; and Suzanne Imaz and Martial Noguier, Café de Architectes.

While you can opt for the $75 general admission ticket, there are also a limited number of VIP Package tickets, which include a special VIP reception at 5:30 pm and an after party beginning at 9:30 pm at Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap (ending at Midnight) are also available for $150 per guest. Kicking off at 5:30 pm on Fulton On The River’s riverfront veranda, The Common Threads Associate Board hosts the VIP pre-party guests for an exclusive outdoor tasting (weather permitting) with Cafe Spiaggia Chef di Cucina Sarah Grueneberg. The VIP after-party commences at Jake Melnick’s (41 East Superior ) at 9:30 pm, featuring complimentary Stella Artois and Hoegaarden, as well as choice wines and specialty cocktails and yes, even more food, just in case you didn’t get your fill over at Fulton’s. 

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.commonthreads.org or call/email Jenny Pinto at 312-329-2501 x 207 or Jennifer@commonthreads.org.

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

This past weekend, the University of Illinois Fighting Illini got some measure of redemption from their week one DISASTER in St. Louis. The Illini responded from their 37-9 thrashing at the hands of Missouri to rout FCS opponent Illinois St. 45-17 in Champaign. Granted it was against a lower tier team predicted to finish near the bottom of their vastly inferior conference, but the Illini did without the services of arguably their three if not best, most important, players: QB Juice Williams, WR Arrelious Benn, and LB Martez Wilson. Williams, a Chicago native who’s been tutored by another Chicago product and star quarterback, Donovan McNabb contributed just one series before getting hurt. His injury is not supposed to be extremely serious and his return is key, for the Illini to have a legitimate leader.

Williams spoke about what he learned from working with McNabb. “Keep your head…a majority of quarterbacks know that when things start going on around them, people start talking, things start to tank. It’s just the quarterback mentality to let everything go and just stay focused and go from there,” Williams stated.

His top-flight receiver in a highly heralded corps is Arrelious “Rejus” Benn, a projected top ten pick in the NFL Draft. But his stock is falling because Rejus has been a total non-factor so far. The Illini receivers have been extremely hyped, and if Benn isn’t 100% healthy then other players like Jeff Cumberland, Jarred Fayson, and Tight End Michael Hoohoomanawananuii (have fun with trying to pronounce that) will need to step up big time. illinois

Illini Head Coach Ron Zook also needs to realize who his starting tailback is. It should be Daniel Dufrene, with Jason Ford as a capable back-up, not the other way around. They’ve battled some injuries as well this young season, so they fit right in with the rest of the team.

On the other side of the ball, it comes down to another well-recruited Chicago product, Martez Wilson, who moves over to Middle Linebacker, and needs to be the “quarterback” of the defense.

“The last two, actually the last three years, our Mike linebacker has led the Big Ten in tackles,” Zook said. “I don’t want to put the pressure on him that he’s not doing a good job if he doesn’t lead the Big Ten in tackles, but he’s a guy that a lot of things revolve around him, with our calls and so forth, and it’s going to be important that he has the kind of year that we think he can.” Wilson was also hurt and missed the last game. But Illinois won in impressive fashion, despite all the key missing pieces, which is a good sign. It’s also a good thing they have this week off- to get ready and healthy for mighty Ohio St. on September 26th.

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

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Eric Smith, NBC Chicago Street Team

Starting out as an invitation to a great party on Chicago’s hot music scene at the EnVent West Loop venue turned into an opportunity to take a closer look at the new KIA Soul vehicle and The Soul Collective.

The KIA Soul urban passenger vehicle was designed by Mike Torpey, who found inspiration for the vehicle while on assignment in Korea after watching a television show on wild boars. Believe it or not, the vehicle’s shape is derived from his sketch of a wild boar with a back pack, and as he states it is… “tough, rugged…with a cool stance and is ready to go places…”

The New KIA Soul

The New KIA Soul

After having test-driven the vehicle it is all that and then some. KIA Soul is a cool urban vehicle perfect for city living. Its design is sleek, tight and compact with out being too small, rugged in posture-yet smooth around the bends. Definitely holding it’s own against other similar vehicles in it’s class like the Honday Civic, Scion xD and Sukuki SX4, this vehicle will surely stand out with many options for personalization and with the upcoming signature releases-Denim Soul, Ignition Soul, Light-Up Soul and more.

KIA Soul defines “a new way to roll” by partnering with Collective members Janelle Monae, Jonas and Francois, Jeff Stape, Jeffery Kalmikoff and Major Nelson. As stated by Katherine Cima, Manager of Sponsorships and Promotion for KMA, “Soul is a state of mind. The Soul Collective members have their own unique style and personality, they don’t roll the way the rest of us do. And as part of this campaign, these tastemakers are articulating how they roll, with KIA Soul-connecting with Gen Y at their passion points which are music, fashion design and art.”

Stating further, “The Soul Collective 10 city tour events are a fun place for people to come mingle, hear great music and test drive KIA Soul. Taking place over the course of three days and culminating on the last day in each market, a free concert only for those who take a test drive.” And she was right on point, I had the opportunity to see Chicago’s own Moneypenny

Money Penny Headlines Opening Night

moneypenny

do her thing opening night, those in attendance were more than ready to mingle and I got tix to the closing ceremony with The Walkmen because I test drove the new KIA Soul!

For additional information and tour dates visit KIASoulCollective.com.

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 Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team  If you follow college football, you know by now that Illinois was pretty much the biggest disappointment coming out of the gate in week one. Of course, that’s another story for another post, they’ll get their shot at redemption tonight when they host Illinois State.

More concerning for the Big Ten conference could be the unexpectedly impressive showing by “Directional Michigan,” who gave the conference numerous problems on Saturday. 15 point underdog Central Michigan upset Michigan State 29-27. (Usually, MSU screws up mid-to late season, and dominates in September. Guess they got started early this season)

Eastern Michigan, a 20 point dog to our hometown Northwestern Wildcats, took NU down to the final seconds before junior place-kicker Stefan Demos nailed a 49 yard field goal with 6 ticks left. And Western Michigan lost to Indiana by just four. Maybe it’s a good thing Northern Michigan is a D-II school in the GLIAC conference. And yes, I did have to look that up. And I’m not sure Southern Michigan University exists, but if they did, they’d likely be a thorn in the side of the Big Ten as well. Not that I’m advocating gambling or anything, but who actually ever picks a school that starts with a direction? Other local favorites in this city, Wisconsin and Ohio State, have looked shaky so far too.

There’s an old football saying claiming, “you improve the most as a team from week one to week two.” If true, it could be a long year for the Big Ten, and maybe a very productive year for the MAC (Mid-American Conference).

“To win a game they way that we did is worrisome across the board. We need to execute better in all aspects. It’s easy when you see the ball run the way it was today, to point the finger at the defensive line. But I’m not prepared to do that yet. I need to watch some video. It is disappointing. We should be better than that,” Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald said after the game. To their credit however, they were missing their top DB (CB Sherrick McMannis) and best DT (Adam Hahn). And their best overall player (DE Corey Wootton) may not even be 100% yet.

 

Another positive to take away is the fact that Northwestern posted its seventh straight victory versus a Mid-American Conference foe, and they avoided their traditional early season slip-up at the hands of a vastly less talented team. Beating EMU by 3 in ’09 is a lot better than losing at home to D-1 laughingstock Duke in ’07 or to D-1AA opponent New Hampshire in ’06. So, the program has shown some growth, at least in the month of September.

And please join in the conversation by commenting in my live college football blog here

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

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

 

Courtesy of inPLAY events

Courtesy of inPLAY events

 

Just because festivals are turning a bit more beer and sausage focused in honor of Oktober Fest, doesn’t mean wine lovers won’t find an activity to satisfy their love of the grape. The Windy City Wine Festival takes place in the Daley Bicentennial Plaza this Friday and Saturday, giving you an opportunity to sample from more than 250 wines from around the world.

Of course, to appreciate fine wine, you have to learn about it. Check the event website for the most updated event schedule, which includes cooking demonstrations and wine seminars from local chefs, event sponsors and visiting wineries. Grab a little sustenance from one of the food booths and listen to some local musical entertainment and you might just forget those post-summer blues.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Visit www.windycitywinefestival.com for more information.

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[Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team

Ai Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Lounge is celebrating its 2nd anniversary during both September and October. Which is a special treat if you are already a fan of the River North restaurant. A must stop if you love sushi. They are offering a special $15 course prix-fixe featuring Ai Sangria, and choices including Hamachi Carpaccio (yellowtail sashimi topped with ceviche sauce, cilantro, white sesame, dressed in a citrus ohba sauce). Or Bagna Cauda (shrimp & squid on a bed of mix greens seasoned with garlic, olive oil and anchov).Their signature Maki rolls and green tea ice cream for dessert. They even comp your valet parking during the two month celebration!

If you are as hungry as I am you’ll have to at least wait until Ai opens at noon today. They are located at 358 West Ontario.

Join us for the Kickoff Celebration Tonight: Ai Hosts Sushi Sake and “Sol” in its plush lounge. After dinner enjoy great music from Aniba Hotep & The Sol Collective, Spike Rebel and Paulette “Passion” Stinson admission to the lounge is free when you dine at the restaurant.

Ai Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Lounge
358 W. Ontario St., Chicago, IL 60654
www.aichicago.us

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

 

If you want a sneak peak of Old Town Social before its grand opening (Street Team Leader Marcus Riley reported on Old Town’s soft opening here), then you’ll get a shot this Thursday. The best part? You’ll be at a “Party for a Reason.” The evening of fun and philanthropy is hosted by GiveForward, a Chicago-based social venture committed to helping individuals and non-profits raise money for good causes. The “Party for a Reason” is a kick-off to supporters and runners of the Chicago Half Marathon taking place this weekend, where they’ll be “running for a reason” and raising money for various charities. Guests will enjoy appetizers and two hours of open bar including specialty cocktails, vodka drinks and beer. Looks like you may have to get a jumpstart on your weekend – but don’t feel guilty. Ticket poceeds will go to various charity partners of GiveForward.

Old Town Social

455 W. North Avenue

September 10th- 7pm-10pm

Tickets: $25. Available at www.party4aReason.com

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