Wow. I can’t believe it’s been literally decades that I’ve known John Schenk and often hosted charity concerts that he’s put together for his Rainbow Foundation. From UFO’s Pete Way to Jim Peterik to Randy Jackson to Dennis DeYoung to Shooting Star to Kevin Chalfant to Rik Emmett…the list goes on and on. His many charity shows benefited sick children and their families. Their stories were tragic yet somehow these events were so fun! His giving spirit always impressed me, and his ability to put on a great rock concert that helped so many heartbreaking situations really amazes me.
This Saturday, May 13 it’s time to celebrate two decades of concerts/charity events…by having another concert! Swing by The Penny Road Pub to catch a great show from Firehouse and UFO’s Paul Chapman while celebrating 20 years of The Rainbow Foundation helping children and families in crisis.
Ticket’s are only $13 in advance (get them through ticketweb) or $16 at the door.
JenChicago, NBC Chicago Street Team Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Or even better, WATCH all about it! The weekend starts early with a performance and celebration this Thursday at The Joynt. Cellist Ian Maksin will be performing, with special guests, songs from his new CD, Solo Flight. The night is also the launch of the newly released CD, so expect plenty of celebrating to go along with the unique and soulful music of Ian Maskin. No cover. Doors at 8.
Want a little taste? Watch below as I host a “Gimme 5!” interview with “The Cello Man”, himself!
Every year we make resolutions that we can’t or don’t keep. We set ourselves up for failure by setting unrealistic goals or by not establishing a plan of action to reach those goals. When we fall off the wagon we say – I’ll start again on Monday or on the first or, the infamous, “tomorrow.” Well, keep in mind that the “tomorrow” that we talked about yesterday is now TODAY – so let’s get 2010 off to a good start with a few tips for maintaining your resolutions and solutions for common resolutions!
Put your resolutions in writing. Nothing beats the accountability you’ll feel when you re-read the promises you’ve made to yourself. Post them on your computer as a screen saver or on sticky notes on your computer, desk phone, bulletin board, dashboard or all of the above! Let them serve as ever-present reminders of your goals.
Develop an action plan. What are the steps to reach your goals? Plot those steps on your calendar, setting reminders and breaking your resolution into manageable chunks so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by your ultimate objective.
Chart your progress. For those long term goals, be sure to monitor your progress. Give yourself a pat on the back (or massage, purse, Wii game or a lite beer!) for those first five pounds, five new customers or five stacks of unopened bills that you’ve finally gone through!
Be realistic. Be sure that your goals are set high enough that you really have something strive for, but not so high that they are unattainable. Stretch yourself – your mind, body and spirit!
Yesterday, Tomorrow was Today! If you fall off the wagon or get a little off your path, “now” is always a good time to self-correct! You don’t have to wait until tomorrow, or think Monday morning is a magical start date. Acknowledge the slip, determine the reason (if you can), adjust your game plan (if necessary), dust yourself off, forgive yourself and make it happen, baby!
Now that we’ve got a game plan in order, here are a few common resolutions and some things To-Do in connection with them!
Get Physically Active! Getting fit isn’t just about going to the health club. Here are some other ways that you can meet your fitness goals.
The Mature H.O.T. Women’s Program liberates the spirit of the dancer to reign free in every cosmopolitan woman. This workshop is designed to strengthen the body, challenge the mind and nurture the soul through the synergy of modern, ballet and jazz techniques. Classes begin on January 18th and are offered on Monday evenings in the Loop and Wednesday evenings at the South Shore Cultural Center. Check out photos from the first workshop series!
Sno Gophers – While skiing may not be practical for an everyday fitness routine, it is great exercise! Sno Gophers is an African-American ski club and each year it plans a number of regional and national ski trips. The regional trips include day trips and overnight trips and each trip includes generous amounts of camaraderie amongst ski enthusiasts and rookies! You don’t have to break a leg or go for broke to take part in this exhilarating winter sport!
The Chicago Park District is offering you an opportunity to “Break a Sweat, Not the Bank!” Continuing through Sunday, January 10, 2010, work out for free at all Chicago Park District Fitness Centers. Even after the 10th, you’ll find that the CPD has ϋber reasonable rates and there’s probably a fitness center really close to where you live and/or work!
Start My Own Business! Whether there’s an idea that you’ve dreamed of pursuing for years, or you’ve dabbled at something without giving it your full commitment, there are low cost options available to assist you in making your dream a reality!
The Chicago Urban League offers a Business Boot Camp that will guide you through a number of critical areas, including writing your business plan, financing your business, marketing and much more. The 16-week series begins on January 12th and you can either register for the entire series for $200 or drop-in on the classes that interest you for $20-25.
Since 1986, the Women’s Business and Development Center has helped prospective and established women business owners achieve economic independence through entrepreneurship. From workshops and seminars to business coaching and financial assistance, they will help guide you to business and economic success. Here, too, you will find reasonable prices and programming that addresses some specific issues faced by female entrepreneurs.
SCORE Chicago is another excellent resource for new businesses. SCORE Chicago provides free business counseling, management consulting, and low cost workshops. They advise on how to get a business loan and offer other resources like templates for a business plan. SCORE counselors can help the entrepreneur start a business or a small business owner grow and prosper. The organization has more than 25 locations in the Chicago area.
Travel! If the travel bug’s gotcha, there are some real cool opportunities to take part in a variety of travel adventures!
The University of Chicago’s Graham School of General Studies offers, among other fantastic opportunities, a variety of “travel study” programs. Through the Graham School, you can visit any number of exotic locations in small groups designed to ensure that you get the most out of the experience. Lectures, discussions and exploration will provide you with a thoroughly enriching cultural experience!
Black Girl Travel creates extraordinary travel opportunities for extraordinary women! The tours are designed from scratch by Black Women for Black Women. Coming up in 2010: Italy, the French Riviera, Spain, Egypt and more!
Sankofa Odyssey is another cool way to make your way around the world – by sea! Their trips include travel from luxurious yachts to “bareboat chartering” (where everyone participates in sailing, cooking, cleaning and partying!). In July, Sankofa journeys to St. Martin, St. Barts, Anguilla and the Leeward Islands!
Find Love! If the club, bar and party scene didn’t do it for ya in 2009, try something new in 2010! Explore some of Chicago’s art exhibit openings this year or attend art lectures. If music is your thing, take advantage of some of the world music series or the lunchbreaks at the Chicago Cultural Center. Winter is a great time to take in some Chicago theater! Plan your attendance around opening night or on nights with a post-performance discussion or reception. The point is that by regularly participating in specific cultural events that interest you, you are bound to start regularly coming across people with similar interests. Soleil’s To-Dos can help, because we have the most comprehensive listing of culturally diverse Chicago events! Take advantage of our search options by viewing only those categories of events that interest you.
Whatever you decide To-Do, make it a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
Have you ever gone to a restaurant with your buddies and wished you could just order a bunch of appetizers instead of an entrée? Maybe you just landed a date with that hottie from the gym and thought, “Man I wish she would share what’s on her plate.” Here’s where a tapas restaurant can really come in handy. Simply put, tapas are small plates of food that are meant to be shared over a drink. Those looking for that 32oz porterhouse should look elsewhere, like the cardiologist!
While many tapas restaurants focus on cuisine from Spain, Mezé offers a more international menu. Located in the West Loop, this spot exudes a cool vibe. Local art adorns the walls while the exotic music offers a cool mix of international sounds. All this means nothing without good food, so pour the sangria and let our world wide journey begin!
We start in Asia with the vegetarian Thai rolls. Served cold, the crisp carrotts and cucumbers are wrapped in rice paper and served with a dynamite sweet chili sauce. Hop on a plane to the Carribbean and chill out with the bright citrusy flavor of ceviche. They’re served with organic chips, so you can tell your beer buddies they’re nachos! Grilled talapia is the star of the addictive fish tacos served with an delicious carrot slaw.
After your buddies have finished their tacos and “nachos”, a stop in America will leave them licking their fingers from the barbecued chicken winglettes. Tender lollipops of chicken are served with a warm barbeque sauce that is sure to be a favorite. Our final stop is in the Mediterranean, so feel free to relax and stay a while. Say goodnight to the guys and hello to that hottie who agreed to meet you here. Pour some of the smooth house made sangria and you my friend are Joe Cool.
The colorful Boursin stuffed peppadew wows with creamy garlic infused goat cheese stuffed inside pickled sweet peppers. Butter knife tender peppercorn beef and gorgonzola is sure to make your taste buds explode with joy while satisfying your carnal need for red meat. To finish our journey we need to enjoy the grilled baby lamb chops. This super tender meat is topped with a roasted red pepper puree and is thankfully devoid of the mint jelly that many restaurants offer.
Prices average $6-7 per plate with only three over $10. Overall Mezé offers a cool vibe, wonderful diverse food, and killer sangria for a suprisingly reasonabe price.
On a recent evening, I was given a unique look into what I makes Chicago tick. And what makes Chicago tick is the unique personality of the artistic community that beats to their own drum. In this instance I had the opportunity to meet Chicago’s very own Angela Eve.
Angela Eve is a Headliner, Producer, Artist, Model and photographer. She is an accomplished multi-media and performance/dance artist-graduate of The Art Institute of Chicago with a degree in Fine Arts. She is a professionally trained actor and graduate of The Second City Conservatory. She has her own line of wearable art, toured with major music festivals including OzzFest and has established her own Twisted Tassel Burlesque Festival among quite a few noteworthy accomplishments.
It could be easy to see why she is a person of interest; as a driving force and icon on the Chicago art scene. But even more compelling is what is in her heart and the compassion she feels for others. Splitting her time between Chicago and New Orleans, Angela Eve-along with fellow artist Anastasios Ketsios-has been at the forefront of a fine art photo documentary project entitled, “Home, This Was”-a narrative involving the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the people and their daily lives. Together they examine and analyze this narrative through the lens of a camera for all to see and experience.
Even more close to her heart has been the recent diagnosis of her mother having breast cancer. While the debate rages on in Washington for Universal Health Care for all-in Angela Eve’s case it couldn’t be more obvious the importance of the matter. Her mother, who is far from wealthy, has insurance coverage…although no where near adequate to cover the whopping $15,000 deductible required for treatment.
It will be Angela Eve’s new mission to raise the money to help her mother in this time of need-the best way she knows how. As such she will be organizing her only Fall show/benefit-“Kinky Xmas” on Wednesday, December 9th at the Debonair Social Club with two performances at 10pm and the other at Midnite-admission is free. Ring in the holidays with a sense of purpose and have some fun while you’re at it!
Authenticity Preview Party: 4 Guys, 4 Girls and a Board Game
This Saturday at Dream (1750 North Clark) games will be played, disagreements will be had, the audience will roar and if you’re lucky you might walk away with a cruise vacation. No, Dream is not about to move to a talk show format. The lounge will host a preview party for the growing in popularity relationship board game Authenticity. “We had so much fun we decided to do it again” said game creator Sheila Brown. “But this time we wanted to give the audience an even more realistic look at the board game complete with conversations that follow”.
If you don’t know about the game (www.playauthenticity.com) it’s great for couples, (dating or married) to get to questions that you may not ask in general conversation. The topics range from Sex and Romance, Religion, Family, Finance, Life and Real Life Situations. There are also some fun twists in the game like the “Pick Your Pleasure” Section and every turn around the board requires you to plant a kiss on your partner (helpful if you may not provide the “right” answer for your partner). All in all the game is design to help the relationship win.
The brave souls joining me on the panel answering questions from the game include: Theresa Carter (Street Team and Thelocaltourist.com), Melinda Joseph (Raymi Productions), Derrick Lane (Art After Dark), Luke Jensen (Luke Jensen & Company Management and Consultations), Tish Murray (actress, model), Michael Hahn (beyondthegoodlife.com), Zondra Hughes (author and editor of N’Digo Magapaper). The event is hosted by Sarah Vargo of Maven. Doors open at 7PM with a pre event reception and the game panel begins at 7:30. Attendees who purchase a copy of the game that night are entered into a drawing for a 6 day cruise vacation for two. Admission to the event is free. For more information call 1-866-533-9884 or email email@example.com.
Who knew just $35 could do so much? That’s the incredibly affordable price of a ticket to Dare 2 Dream this Thursday at the House Of Blues. The most important aspect of this event is that a portion of the proceeds benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Illinois. But it’s going to be a great show, too – you’ll see Gavin Rossdale (formerly of Bush) with Lovehammers and Relief opening.
Dare 2 Dream starts early, 5pm…so skip out of work and help out a much-deserving cause while rocking on a Thursday evening in Chicago! Get ticket information HERE and listen to details about the concert here:
New Partnership! Nude Hippo has been a player in the Chicago media scene for more than 10 years. Now the brand and the personalities are an exclusive part of the NBC Chicago Street Team. Watch Nude Hippo videos on this blog and on the brand new nbcchicago.com Emmy Winners!