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Archive for the ‘Chicago’ Category

Erik Sorensen, NBC5 Street Team

It will be a somber St. Patrick’s Day for those of us slowly coming to terms with the absence of our beloved South Side Irish Parade. On March 25th of 2009, the South Side St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee announced that the event would be cancelled, indefinitely. The decision was welcomed by some, but widely regarded as the end of a cherished era by most.

For many, the parade was as much a staple for their neighborhood as any event; so much so, that it grew in popularity every year and eventually became too large to manage. Or so the explanation goes.

South Side Irish Parade Route

While there were many legitimate factors that influenced the cancellation, (namely public intoxication, trampled property, unruly behavior) none represent what gave the parade its heart and soul: the families. It was about gathering to celebrate our Irish heritage, but you always got the sense there was more to it than that. Droves of families and friends poured faithfully each year into Western Avenue like a green human river; walking distances from as short as their front lawns to neighborhoods miles away.

Some of my earliest and fondest memories can be attributed to that parade. I watched it with my family and relatives as a child; marched in it as a boy scout; attended it with dear friends as a teenager; played in it as part of the Marist High School Marching Band and returned to it as a spectator, and an adult. It was an event to share with your children, and your children’s children. A gathering of proud people surrounded by the buildings and streets they love. It was the celebration of the neighborhoods the event represented, and the stores you rode your bike to as a kid. It was the South Side Irish Parade, and it was ours.

(Replacing the event will be the South Side Irish Parade Family Fest, held on Saturday, March 13th, hosted by the Beverly Arts Center. The daylong festival features family-friendly activities including: bag pipers, an Irish soda bread contest, a small children’s parade, dancers, a best dressed “Irish dog” contest and an array of Irish-themed arts.)

TICKETS
Admission (from 11am-4pm): $10 Adults,
$7 Seniors, Free for children under 12
Admission (after 4pm): All tickets $25

http://www.beverlyartcenter.org

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by April Lawson

What if Ebony could have twittered 15 years ago?   This would have been  a Herculean innovation for the home of now defunct WJPC Radio and it’s 8-track tape machines. If you want a great read about an iconic publisher set right here in your own backyard, then this weekend you gotta get Living The Ebony Life: E-Mails from the Plantation by Zondra Hughes. The book signing will be at Azizi Books in Matteson, this Saturday March 13th from 2p.m. to 4p.m.

Zondra Hughes worked as an associate editor for Ebony from 1999 to 2006, and as she illustrates in her latest work, sometimes your dream job can become your worst nightmare. Living The Ebony Life: E-Mails from the Plantation is the compelling insider’s tell-all of life at the No. 1 magazine in Black America.

“New media didn’t derail Ebony magazine,” Zondra says, “bad management did.” In EBONY LIFE, she provides the context for the magazine’s recent woes with a shocking paper trail that exposes the work conditions under a few rogue overseers, collectively referred to as ‘The Man.’

Ms. Hughes made her literary debut on the outrageous and over-the-top Wendy Williams smash hit, Ritz Harper Goes to Hollywood! (Pocket Books/Karen Hunter Publishing). She is currently the editor of N’Digo, and a featured blogger for both The Huffington Post and ChicagoNow. For more information visit www.livingtheebonylife.com.

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Baseball season in the Chi doesn’t start for another 27 days, 4 hours and 21 minutes so you have absolutely no excuse for not attending this dazzling event brought to you by the Chicago Lions Rugby Super League.

The Chicago Lions RSL team will be opening their season with a spectacular display of elite rugby competition by taking on their cross-town rival, the Chicago Griffins, at Hope Field (2431 W. Roosevelt Rd. Chicago, IL) on March 20th at 1 PM.

 The Chicago Hope Academy, the Lions community partner in Lions for Hope, will start the day with a high school match against DeKalb HS @ 10:30 AM. The Lions RSL B side will follow the A side match @ 3PM. The 3 games will be followed by a post-match party on the Lions field. In addition to high level rugby, USA Eagles (USA Rugby’s National Team) Head Coach Eddie O’Sullivan, will be present to scout for the national team and available for meet-and-greet throughout the day.

 The Chicago Lions rugby match against the Griffins on March 20th has all the makings of a great day for the Lions and all of our supporters. Rugby is growing rapidly in popularity, especially with the recent release of Invictus and the addition of rugby 7s to the 2016 Olympics, and this is our opportunity to display rugby in its preeminent form to the people of Chicago. Together with the unique partnership of the Chicago Hope Academy, and the introduction of rugby to high school students, it will be memorable sporting event.

 For more information about this event, please visit the website at www.chicagolions.com or contact Chicago Lions RFC President Keith Brown at 312.952.1028. If you have any questions or seek more information about the Lions for Hope partnership, please contact Chicago Hope Academy President Bob Muzikowski at 312.781.2139 or visit their website www.chicagohopeacademy.com.

Hope to see you there!

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Erik Sorensen, NBC5 Street Team

So this is what it’s come down to, has it?

Taking the least respectable portion of a demographic and giving them a platform on which to embarrass themselves and everyone they represent? So has been, and continues to be the ongoing trend in reality television. Normally, you’d breathe a sigh of disapproval, change the channel and feel sorry for the city or culture that has just been misrepresented. This time is different, though. This time it’s personal.

According to www.oconnorcasting.tv, O’Connor Casting has begun searching for White Sox fans who live on Chicago’s South Side, who dislike the Cubs, and who (wait for it….)  resemble a  “”Jersey Shore” type of reality star.”   The casting call goes on to describe its criteria: ARE YOU THE NEXT “Jersey Shore” TYPE OF REALITY STAR? Do you live on Chicago’s Southside? Are you the GUY or GIRL who is awesome in oh so many ways? Are you sexy, crazy, fun, outgoing, outrageous, love to make things exciting, always up for an adventure, and a HUGE SOX fan who thinks the CUBS suck? If so, then we want you, your friends, your total awesomeness. CONTACT US NOW!”  View the entire casting call here: http://oconnorcasting.tv/castingboard/index.php?q=node/6

In other words — unless I’m mistaken — an excuse to manufacture a Chicago version of what has become one of the most socially protested, insulting, grotesque displays of human behavior in recent television history.  Already, I can hear the collective sounds of Chicagoans (myself included) hurling their lunches into their laps. White Sox fans and South Siders don’t deserve to be represented by the lowest common denominator of individual. We are one city, despite the connotation a show like this would suggest.

While the website does not disclose when, where or on how grand a scale the reality show will air, one thing is certain: whether you’re a Cubs fan, or White Sox fan, or don’t care for sports altogether – this is bad for Chicago. Period.

There is no benefit in plucking the most abominable members of any fan base, culture or city and parading them around as if they were the majority. “Jersey Shore” became a television phenomenon for all the wrong reasons. Its success came at the the expense of many who never asked to be associated with the stereotypes the show has created. And yet, it seems companies are tripping over themselves to clone and serve up the next batch of culturally destructive, two-dimensional, well…… “Hiney Birds,” as “HawkHarrelson might describe them.

Shame on any Chicago-based company that so willingly offers up its own people to be used as embarrassing pawns in the name of a reality television show. The Windy City deserves better.


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Eric Smith, NBC5Chicago Street Team

 On location at Binny’s Beverage Depot with Bianca Berger of TY KU-a premium Asian Wine and Spirits Company.

How did you become State Manager for TY KU?

Bianca Berger(c) TY KU-State Manager

Well, I have worked in the Adult Beverage Industry for over 7 years here in the Chicago area.  About a year ago I was approached by representatives of the brand and then came on board to use my expertise to help launch the beverage in Illinois.  It has been a lot of fun working for this new company and breaking it in this market.  TY KU has given us the freedom and flexibility to try new things in order to build the brand.

What are the most popular types of TY KU in this market?

TY KU LIQUEUR is the most popular type selling in the Chicago area.  It comes in a very uniquely shaped bottle with a bright green citrus tasting liquor inside-that people like.  TY KU LIQUEUR is made up of super fruits found only in Asia-including a combination of mangosteen and gogi berri-natural ingredients packed high in antioxidants and vitamins.

How does the brand differentiate itself?

The New Skin of TY KU

Currently, there is no clear leader in Asian Spirits in this market and this is where we’ve found our niche.  In addition, we are bringing to market a healthier alternative to most adult beverages due to the natural super fruit ingredients.   The TY KU LIQUEUR is packaged in a unique bottle that lights up at the bottom and this is another great selling point.  And our TY KU SAKE is poised for huge growth with it’s unique flavor-offering the same health benefits as wine.

Does TY KU have a target demographic?

No not really.  But we find that we are developing a customer base that is 21-30 looking to experience new flavors-willing to try something different.  And it is very popular among women.  (And this couldn’t be more true-new TY KU Fan-Alicia Tiffany stated, “Personally I liked the fruity sweet taste of the green one…the colors of the drink and the shape of the bottle really stood out.”)

What’s next for TY KU?

At the top of the year we introduced the new TY KU SOJU and have a major push behind this campaign.  And we have just launched the TY KU NINJAGETAWAY Sweepstakes because even Ninjas need a vacation! We are offering TY KU fans a chance to win a kick a$$ vacation to Paradise Island, Bahamas or Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The prize includes 4 days & 3 nights at the luxurious Riu Hotel & Resort, round trip airfare, spa treatments, water sports, beachwear, skincare products & much more! Enter daily to increase your chances of winning. Sweepstakes ends on April 30th, 2010

TY KU NinjaGetaway

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

The Fold will play at The Bottom Lounge in Chicago tomorrow (Friday, February 12) night.  They The Foldwill be also at the Apple Store in Michigan Avenue  on March 21, 2010.  Bring your iPhone and be part of their new video!  Hear more about that during my conversation with Dan Castady, lead singer of The Fold in Cara’s Basement.

Listen here:

The video they made for “Every Band In The U.S.A.” is amazing and is burning up on youtube:
Get more from The Fold here:

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

After a disappointing experience at the grand opening of the new restaurant Epic, in the downtown River North area of Chicago, I was a little hesitant to return for dinner.  The event that evening was far too crowded and a little unorganized that left me pondering the concept of the new hot spot.  I didn’t know whether they it was a club or a restaurant, so I decided to go back and check it out, after receiving a sincere message from their Maitre De.

Upon arrival, I again had the same thoughts.  Is this a club or a restaurant? But as soon as we were seated in the main dining area, the concept became very clear.  The downstairs bar area provides more of a lounge atmosphere with hip music, couches and hi top bar seating.   The upstairs space is where the feasting takes place.  The entire place is massive complete with four levels, including a rooftop terrace.  Epic’s design is simple and straightforward.  The architecture has a loft like appearance with elements of exposed brick, steel and concrete.  It didn’t wow me, but it got my attention.

Epic’s dinner menu is filled with beef, chicken, pork and fish entrées.  Seafood items plaster most of the appetizer section and they have a nice selection of salads and side dishes to choose from.  Since I’m a connoisseur of lamb shanks, I opted for the “Spiced Lamb Shank” entrée.   Our waiter assured me that their lamb shank would be right up there with the best that I’ve had.  Well, I wouldn’t necessarily give it those props, but it was definitely tender and succulent.  The combination of spices complemented the shank and the lamb jus was pungently flavorful without sweetness.  My dinner guests enjoyed the “Chilean Sea Bass” and “Salt Crusted Market Fish For Two” entrées.  The presentations for both dishes were done well.  The “Brussels Sprouts” side dish prepared with bacon, honey and chestnuts tempted my taste buds.  The sweet and savory combination helped me forget that I was eating brussels sprouts for a moment, but sprouts are sprouts.

Dinner was capped with dessert.  The “Chocolate” and “Pumpkin & White Chocolate” desserts were sampled.  The former consisted of flourless cake, mousse and hot fudge, and the latter was made with toasted white chocolate cake, roasted pumpkin ice cream and chestnut caramel.  Both desserts were solid, but didn’t have me licking the plate.  The service started off a little slow, but picked up as the dinner progressed.  The atmosphere was festive, which helped the cocktails to flow more readily, although, I wouldn’t recommend Epic for a quiet evening at dinner.  Expect to drop $50 per person on dinner before getting your keys back from the valet and be prepared to hang out for after dinner cocktails in the downstairs bar area.  Overall Epic’s cuisine was solid with a good atmosphere and decent service.  My final “Tru” rating is TTt.

   To view my “Tru” rating system for Epic visit www.efete.net/blog.html.
 

 

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