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Archive for the ‘events’ Category

Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

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.

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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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LaShonda Matlock, NBC Chicago Street Team

Jay-Z may be performing at the United Center but the after-party is definitely at The Shrine!

Hennessy Black & Rich Paul Presents  THE BLACKOUT Thursday March 18th, at The Shrine (2109 South Wabash).  Celebrities expected to attend THE BLACKOUT including LeBron James will be Jay – Z, Trey Songz, Young Jeezy, Michael Jordan, Memphis Bleek, Shaquille O’Neal, Donte Whitner (Buffalo Bills), Ted Ginn Jr. (Miami Dolphins), Jerry Azumah, Hustle Simmons, Mark Anderson, Fred Carter (Minnesota Vikings), Devin Hester and WGCI’s Leon Rogers.

This is don’t miss party people so come and enjoy The Blackout!

The Blackout Teaser from MCM on Vimeo.

March 18th
The Shrine
2109 South Wabash
9pm-2am

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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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Eric Smith, NBC5Chicago Street Team

On Location at  The Shrine with Soul Songstress Aniba Hotep.

Who is Aniba Hotep-please explain for the world to know.

I am a Messenger of Peace-the person who sees the happy ending to the path of life.  Consider me a combination my unique life’s experience and applied knowledge-from mentors who have gone before me.  Living through these experiences-this is who I am.  Where it all began was in my hometown, performing in talent shows and composing my own music in an academic honors programs, which lead to a chance to perform at the famed Apollo theater as a young child.

Aniba Hotep

How do you define your style…is it Soul Music or is it R&B?

My style is absolutely Soul Music.  Originally from small town in Virginia, my musical roots were being established in the Church from age 11.  My sound is influenced by my religious upbringing-infused with the blues.  Listening to me perform-you can hear Southern based Soul a kind of Soul Blues-akin to many of the greats like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Johnny Taylor, Al Green and Billie Holiday.

When I first heard you play you reminded me of some of the great disco classics from the days of Salsoul Records.  How do you feel about disco and house music?

Where I’m from-house is GoGo music.  And when I first moved here-I fell in love with the older stuff like First Choice and Loleatta Holloway-and you can hear some of these songs incorporated in my live sets.  However, I would not have labeled what I heard and listened to at that time as house music.

How does fashion play a role in your music?

Fashion is very much intertwined with my music.  When first arriving in Chicago-I started first expressing myself on the poetry scene and then transitioned into the music.  Even then, I wanted to leave a mark in all facets of this are.  When people see a show they deserve a visual-and fashion would never not be a factor.

What do you enjoy most about your art and performing?

Aniba Hotep-Live

I enjoy the songwriting aspect of my art.  I write most of my material and music.  Building a song that people appreciate-pleases me.  Once an audience is engaged in my art-that’s when I am most comfortable and closer to finding a love for the stage.

What about the city of Chicago influences you?

I became an adult in the city of Chicago.  It has always influenced me musically.  Before arriving I was always in record stores listening to and looking for records from Chaka Khan, Ramsey Lewis and Booker-T-the Chicago taste in music was similar to what I was listening to and what I like to give in my shows.

What’s in store for your fans in 2010?

I plan to continue with the“All Souled Out” concert series-we already have a growing fan base.  The next time you can come to see me play will be at The Morseland-Friday, February 26 at 9pm. We plan to perform at the upcoming Chicago Soul Music Festival and will look to book an overseas tour.

Come on out an see the most soulful band out of Chicago since Earth, Wind and Fire-Aniba Hotep and The Sol Collective!

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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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Hungry Z, NBCChicago Street Team 


Most home cooks have a signature dish. You know that dish you make when you want to impress family, friends, or even that special someone. This dish is so good; everyone tells you it should be on a menu somewhere! What if you got that chance? Does your dish have what it takes?

The folks at Carlucci’s in Downers Grove had an open call out for people to submit their best pasta dishes with a chance to be featured on their menu. With nearly 50 entries submitted, executive Chef Kevin Provenzano whittled them down to six finalists. Dishes were scored on taste, appearance, originality, and difficulty to prepare.

The finalists each brought a guest to help judge each others dish. What they didn’t know was that Chef Pravenzano, Joe Carlucci, Suburban Life Publications assistant managing editor Jonathan Schuler, and yours truly were on hand as guest judges.

The finalists and their dishes were:

  • Dan Peloza — linguini misto
  • Colleen O’Leary — rigatoni with portabello bolognese
  • Joan Cerny-Cimaglia — tuna rotini pasta
  • Karen Price — crab bisque ricotta shells
  • James Griseto — rigatoni carbonara
  • Karen Whalen — farfalle with sausage

Coming in third were Karen Whalen’s savory farfalle & sausage. The runner up was Karen Price’s rich and creamy crab bisque riccotta shells. And the grand champion was Dan Peloza’s shrimp and sun dried tomato linguini misto.

Dan’s winnings include his dish being featured on the Carlucci menu for a month, a $200 gift card to the restaurant, and one night stay at the Doubletree. I want to thank the folks at Carlucci’s for asking me to be a guest judge and I would like to offer my congratulations to all the finalists for filling my belly with you terrific pasta creations!

Carlucci Restaurant is at 1801 Butterfield Road in Downers Grove, (630) 512-0990, www.carluccirestaurant.com

 Read more from Hungry Z at HungryZ.com

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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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Hungry Z, NBCChicago Street Team

January is “National Soup Month”, a holiday celebrated annually in the United States. Although this is an American holiday; soups from around the world are celebrated. By definition, soup is a liquid food that is made by combining ingredients, such as meat, vegetables or beans in stock or hot water, until the flavor is extracted. Before there was soup, there was broth, which people used to pour over a piece of bread in a bowl. That bread was known as sop, and from sop came the word soup.

Now that we’ve had our history lesson, let’s talk about how you can celebrate here in your own backyard. City dwellers and suburbanites are both in luck! Chances are no matter what neighborhood or suburban city you live in, there’s a restaurant nearby waiting to warm you up. And with our fine Chicago winter being as cold as can be, doesn’t a nice warm bowl of soup sound good right about now?

Bookbinder and clam chowder at Hugo's

I embarked on my own “Soup Day” adventure recently in suburban Naperville. To make me yearn for soup, I decided to forgo the valet and park a couple of blocks from my first stop and walk through the cold. First stop was Hugo’s Frog bar to help warm my bones. Hugo’s is owned by Gibson’s, which means it’s bold, loud, and plenty of fun. First soup offered was the creamy New England clam chowder that boasted a generous helping of tender clams. Soup of the day was the chicken and rice and was very close to what your mother might have made. My favorite though was the Bookbinder soup. A rich and hearty vegetable and seafood soup that had just a little heat added to help warm your mouth and your soul.

To get that need for soup again, a one mile walk to Meson Sabika was in order. Unlike Hugo’s, the quiet dining room feels like your in someone’s home. In a way you are since this restaurant was converted from a residence to a restaurant some time ago. Three unique soups were available and a sample of them all was in order. The first was the “Sop de Alubias Negras”, a black been soup with chorizo that had a nice smoky flavor. My personal favorite was the “Caldo Gallego”, a hearty white bean soup that had pieces of bacon and Serrano ham throughout. The soup of the day was a cream of mussel soup that was blended velvety smooth and had the flavor of the mussels right on the forefront.

Caldo Gallego at Meson Sabika

Whether your craving cream of chicken or cream of mussels, January is definitely the time to exercise your love for soups. And if you don’t listen to me, listen to your mother, because she’s probably told you eat more soup since you can remember. Below is a list of participating restaurants.

33 CLUB 

1419 N. Wells  St. | Chicago, IL 60610 | 312.664.1419 | www.33clubchicago.com

CARNIVALE

702 W Fulton St | Chicago, IL 60661| 312.850.5005 | www.carnivalechicago.com

 CHENS CHINESE AND SUSHI

3506 N. Clark St. | Chicago, IL 60657 | 773.549.9100 | www.chenschicago.com

KOI 624 Davis Street | Evanston, IL 60201 | 847.866.6969 | www.koievanston.com

 DAWALI MEDITERRANEAN KITCHEN

4911 N. Kedzie Avenue | Chicago, IL 60625 | 777.267.4200

 GIBSONS BAR & STEAKHOUSE

1029 North Rush St. | Chicago, IL 60611| 312.266.8999 | www.gibsonssteakhouse.com 

5464 North River Rd. | Rosemont, IL 60018 | 847.928.9900 | www.gibsonssteakhouse.com

 HUGO’S FROG BAR & FISH HOUSE

1024 North Rush St. | Chicago, IL 60611| 312.640.0999 | www.hugosfrogbar.com 

 ITALIASIA

Holiday Inn Mart Plaza | 15th Floor | 350 W. Mart Center Drive | Chicago, IL 60654 | 312.529.1157 | www.martplaza.com

 KDK RESTAURANTS: GIOCO, MARCHÉ, OPERA, RED LIGHT

GIOCO | 1312 S Wabash Ave | Chicago, IL 60605 | 312.939.3870  | www.gioco-chicago.com

MARCHÉ | 833 West Randolph Street | Chicago, IL 60607 | 312.226.8399  | www.marche-chicago.com

OPERA | 1301 S Wabash Avenue | Chicago, IL 60605 | 312.461.0161 | www.opera-chicago.com

RED LIGHT | 820 W. Randolph | Chicago, IL 60607 | 312.733.8880 | www.redlight-chicago.com

 LA MADIA

59 W Grand Ave | Chicago, IL 60654 | 312.329.0400 | www.dinelamadia.com

 LUXBAR

18 E. Bellevue Place | Chicago, IL 60611| 312.642.3400 | www.luxbar.com 

 MESON SABIKA
1025 Aurora Avenue | Naperville, IL 60540 | 630.983.3000 |www.mesonsabika.com

STRETCH RUN SPORTING CLUB & GRILLE

544 N LaSalle | Chicago, IL 60610 | 312.644.4477 | www.stretchrunchicago.com

 SUSHI TAIYO

58 E Ontario St | Chicago, IL 60611 | 312.440.1717 | www.taiyochicago.com

 TAPAS VALENCIA

1530 South State Street | Chicago, IL 60605 | 312.842.4444 | www.tapasvalencia.com

TRADER VIC’S

1030 N. State St. | Chicago, IL 60610 | 312.642.6500 | www.tradervicschicago.com

 SUBURBAN EVENTS

 CARLUCCI  RESTAURANT

1801 Butterfield Road | Downer’s Grove, IL 60515 | 630.512.0990 | www.carluccirestaurant.com

 DUKE’S ALEHOUSE AND KITCHEN

110 N Main Street | Crystal Lake, IL 60014 | 815.356.9980 | www.thedukeabides.com

 DURTY NELLIE’S

180 N. Smith Street | Palatine, IL | 847.358-9150 | www.durtynellies.com

 HUGO’S FROG BAR & FISH HOUSE – NAPERVILLE

55 S. Main St. | Naperville, IL 60540 | 630.548.3764 | www.hugosfrogbar.com 

 PINSTRIPES
1150 Willow Rd | Northbrook, IL 60062 | 847.480.2323 | www.pinstripes.com
100 West Higgins Rd | South Barrington, IL 60010 | 847.844.9300 | www.pinstripes.com

 THE LUCKY MONK

105 Hollywood Blvd | South Barrington, IL 60610| 847. 898.0500| www.theluckymonk.com

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stephanie_small1Stephanie S. Green, NBC Chicago Street Team

 

Yesterday, Tomorrow was Today . . .

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!

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Lady Gaga will invade Chicago next weekend, but now it’s at a new location. Turns out the production of her show just won’t work at the Chicago Theatre so now her shows on January 8-10 will happen at The Rosemont Theatre.Lady Gaga

Here’s the kicker: if you were fortunate enough to land tickets to any of her sold out Chicago Theatre shows those tickets are not automatically good for the The Rosemont Theatre. YOU MUST TAKE ACTION TO KEEP YOUR TICKETS VALID….AND YOU ONLY HAVE 48 HOURS TO DO SO, beginning at 5pm today!

If you have Lady Gaga tickets here’s what you need to do: return your Chicago Theatre tickets for a full refund at your point of purchase – then you will be given the information on an exclusive presale for The Rosemont Theatre shows at that time.  So, in essence, you have to buy your tickets all over again.  But rest assured, ticket holders for the Chicago Theatre show(s) are guaranteed the same amount of tickets to the Rosemont Theatre show(s) on the same night they bought originally. This guarantee is only valid during the 48 hour presale time.

Confused? For any ticket holder questions, go to www.ticketmaster.com or call ticketmaster customer service at 800-653-8000.

All of this is good news if you didn’t score Lady Gaga tickets the first time around. Since The Rosemont Theatre is a bigger venue that means more tickets will go on sale this Monday morning, January 4, at 10am via www.ticketmaster.com or at any ticketmaster outlet. Get more information HERE.  And…even better…you can win FREE tickets for Lady Gaga next week with Eric & Kathy on 101.9 The MIX!

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Janelle Rominski, NBC Chicago Street Team

Chicago is an amazing city for many shows to shine. Whether it is a pre-Broadway production, post-Broadway tour or a one night only concert – this city has many wonderful options to choose from.

With Guy Laliberté, Founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel: A New Twist on Vaudeville is previewing at the Chicago Theatre until January 3, 2010 before it embarks on a new journey to Broadway in early February. The show has mixed reviews. It’s heavy on comedy and choreography, blending slapstick with tap and hip-hop dance forms. The show’s plot revolves around a producer named Schmelky who is trying to put together a variety show. This production is very different than other Cirque du Soleil shows. There aren’t as many aerialists, contortionists, etc. Come in with an open mind.

Another show that’s set to appear on Broadway is The Addams Family Musical, currently playing at the Ford Center/Oriental Theatre until January 10, 2010. Veteran actors Nathan Lane (Gomez) and Bebe Neuwirth (Morticia) star in this unique musical. The Addams Family musical takes place as Wednesday Addams is older and the show’s two hot topics were love and sex. Lane was amazing portraying Gomez and Neuwirth did a decent job as Morticia.

With Zachary James who plays Lurch and Kevin Chamberlin who plays Uncle Fester in The Addams Family Musical

In an interview, The Addams Family musical actors Zachary James (Lurch) and Kevin Chamberlin (Uncle Fester) noted the show has been cut down 30-minutes from the original time. It will be interesting to see what the show is like once it graces the Broadway stage.

The New Mel Brooks Musical, Young Frankenstein, just wrapped up their tour in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre last night. The production began on Broadway where 484 shows were performed. The musical features Desperate Housewives guest actor, Roger Bart, as Dr. Frankenstein. The actors in Young Frankenstein were brilliant and notable songs included “Puttin’ On The Ritz”, “Transylvania Mania” and “He Vas My Boyfriend”.

With Kleetus, Guy Fieri's friend and sous chef

With Kleetus, Guy Fieri's friend and sous chef

The Guy Fieri Road Show stopped for an evening of fun at the Rosemont Theatre. Fieri is known for hosting Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. He says the show “is food, rock n’ roll and everything they won’t let me do on TV!”

The opener for Fieri was Australian native and World Champion Flair Bartender, Hayden “Woody” Wood. Wood was dancing, clapping and twirling bottles during his presentation. He made apple spice martinis, pear margaritas and eggnog.

Once Fieri took the stage, he got the audience dancing to good ol’ rock music. A DJ was supplying all the tunes while Fieri shared his cooking stories, Thanksgiving turkey mishaps and answering questions from the crowd. Fieri also had a karaoke contest and pulled members of the audience up on stage to sing for prizes.

Coming soon to Chicago theatres near you are the following shows: In The Heights (which opens tomorrow), The 101 Dalmations Musical, Mama Mia!, Annie, Dreamgirls, Billy Elliot The Musical and more!

For ticket information, visit www.Ticketmaster.com or www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

Want more Rominski reads? Read more right HERE!

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Eric Smith, NBC5 Street Team

On location at Eve’s Parlor in Humboldt Park.

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.

Eve's Parlor

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!

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by April Lawson

Looking for a mash up of art, fashion, toy’s and unique tee’s? Don’t miss the grand opening of the Black Market Caviar Designer Shoppe this Friday Dec. 4th from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 1945 W. Chicago Ave. There will be music by DJ Skyler, The lovely Black Market Caviar Agents (models), door prizes and 60 lucky guests will get the opportunity to screen print their very own exclusive Black Market Caviar t-shirt.

The brainchildren behind Black Market Caviar are brothers Brian Lopez and Marco Hafid Lopez from Humboldt Park. Collectively the duo’s dossier is impressive. They have designed everything from toys, shoes, and apparel while continuing to create fine art as well. Brian has painted murals and designed footwear for Shorty Capone Fashion Corp. based in Mumbai, India. While Marco Hafid, (Lopez)  is currently represented by Linda Warren Gallery in Chicago, and has worked with well-known designers like Ralph Lauren and Diane Von Furstenberg.

Brothers Brian & Marco Lopez

Much like the innovative spirit of Threadless, a Chicago based community-centered online apparel store run by skinnyCorp, Black Market Caviar continues to harness that same mash-up collaborative energy. “Black Market Caviar is a not just a store but a brand attitude that says we can stay stylish and artistic even in these economically trying times. It’s not about monetary wealth, but a wealth of the spirit, mind and body. It’s about choosing to live rich,” says owner, artist Marco Lopez. The shop offers chic clothing by new designers. Some labels carried are Trash and Luxury, Ryu, Idylle, Ends/Wealth, Plastic Party, Breathe On Apparel and Normal Watches.

Simultaneously, The Black Market Caviar Art Show will open at Rotofugi Designer Toy Store and Gallery, (next door to the store) The art show will be from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will run through the end of December.  To RSVP please e-mail RSVP@BlackMarketCaviar.com. For more information about the store visit www.BlackMarketCaviar.com

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Lindsay_small_2Lindsay Saewitz, NBC Chicago Street Team

It’s time to ditch the designer jeans and go vintage (i.e. grandma and grandpa era) for a day full of holiday drinking at GiveFoward’s 2nd Annual Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl!

This event brings together over 150 young professionals sporting the ugliest of ugly-wear, all for a good cause. Proceeds from the event will go to Streetwise, 2 Li’l Fishes, and The Night Ministry- three organizations working hard to prevent and aid Chicago’s homeless community.

Here’s the deets:
Date:
Saturday, December 5th
Start Time: 1:00 PM
Route: Starts at Redmond’s (3358 N. Sheffield) and continues south to Uncle Fatty’s hitting Sheffield’s, Trader Todd’s, and Mad River along with way
Cost: $15 online donation at www.uglysweaterpubcrawl.com gets you a wristband for $2-$3 drink specials; door tickets are $25

As if an excuse to dress up like fool and drink all day wasn’t enough, you can also win MONEY. That’s right- there’s $100 cash prize to the worst dressed (i.e. best dressed?) and door prizes for the first 100 at Redmond’s.

So get your sweatered-self to Redmond’s for a holly jolly time. Check out the Facebook page to find out more or RSVP.

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Eric Smith, NBC5 Street Team

On location at La Fonda Del Gusto in Wicker Park with Cesar Rolon.

Tell us about your background…how did you get to where you are?

My professional background started in Radio and TV where I worked as a PR Executive for radio stations covering a great portion of the Chicago market.  I also have served as Executive Director of the Little Village Chamber of Commerce-revitalizing it’s commercial business district and the Puerto Rican Chamber of  Commerce which ultimately led to me working to establish the Hispanic Woman’s Business Conference.

Cesar, Eric and James

What motivates you?

I absolutely love what I do.  I am a workaholic. I come from a family of 5  originally from Puerto Rico and history ignites my fire.  I feel a sense of obligation to payback and return the favor of those who came before me.

What inspired you to create Latino Fashion Week Chicago?

Years ago, while attending the parade of sculptures along Michigan Avenue produced by the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, I discovered they didn’t have one figure created by a Latino.  Then visiting stores along the Mag Mile I asked if anyone carried a Latino designer to find there were none.  This became my motivation to create a platform for and to promote Latin fashion designers.  As a result,

Sonya Galaviz

I have helped launch the careers of several prominent Latino fashionistas including designers James De Colon and Sonya Galaviz and Sin Cosmetic’s Hernan Rivera.

What else have you done?

I created Chicago R.E.A.C.H.-Reaching Elderlies Across Chicagos Horizons-the only all inclusive adult care center for seniors 65 hrs and older.  The mission of the center is to serve those who are most devastated by life’s circumstances-we provide the necessities including covering medical prescriptions.

Currently, I am partnering with American Family Insurance and Ikea to create DreamRoomGiveaway-a 6month campaign accross 7 cities where the  5 most needy families in each city can apply to win $5000 in furniture for their own Dream Room.

So what’s next?

Runway Samba

2010 will be quite busy.  I’ve got Latino Fashion Week Chicago whose theme will be “The Passport”.  We are looking to establish Chicago’s first Cuban Music Festival.  And I’m contemplating a collaboration on the Festival Metropolatino on the grounds of Soldiers Field in July.

Looks like Mr. Colon will be quite busy in the new year-can’t wait to see what comes next so stay tuned!

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Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team

This Saturday the Legacy Initiative hopes to reverse a trend as it raises awareness of its mission with its first fundraiser this saturday 7PM at the Wine Consortium 110 East 23rd Street.

Our news media is inundated with stories of death and despair. There seems to be a self-inflicted endangerment to the lives of our youth. We are in a time of self-gratification and we have become short sighted in our decision-making.”This core issue led to the creation of the Legacy Initiative.

The mission of the Legacy Initiative is to assist in the establishment of an individual’s personal legacy of success, by making critical thinking their cornerstone. They establish a platform for making our students aware of programs, scholarships and opportunities that may not otherwise have been realized; provide a necessary pipeline of highly qualified candidates for educational, entrepreneurial and employment needs; and thus create a synergy between high school, college and technical schools, and various industries.

The non-profit organization whose solution will change the present self destructive course our underserved youth are travelling and are exposed to. That solution to the issue, is teaching them the habitual behavior of critical thinking.

 The donation to attend the event is $50 where the proceeds will help fund the organization’s ability to teach this essential, life altering behavior. Included in your donation will be a food provided by Lee’s catering. Dessert will be provided by Lizzie’s Confections. A hand-picked selection of fine wines will accompany the meal. A drawing for prizes including a grand prize cruise vacation for two.

Live music from Dudley Owens’ Jazz trio. A Spoken Word performance by Young Flame. Music throughout the night will be provided by the a special guest DJ I.N.C.

For more information on The Legacy Foundation, visit their web site at
www.tlionline.org

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Janelle Rominski, NBC Chicago Street Team

Chicago’s hit rock ‘n’ roll musical, Million Dollar Quartet celebrated its one-year anniversary this month.  Having rocked Chicago at the Apollo Theater for a year, this inspiring show has been extended through March 28, 2010.  In the springtime, Million Dollar Quartet is set to rock Broadway.

mdq_keyArt_horiz_copyMillion Dollar Quartet is inspired by an actual event that occurred on December 4, 1956, when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins came together at the Sun Records’ studio in Memphis.  Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll” discovered the four musicians and brought them together for the only time in their careers for one of the greatest rock jam sessions of all time.

You walk into the theater as if you’re in Sun Records’ studio where a drum set sits, an upright bass is rested on its side, a piano stands still, guitars are propped up ready to be strummed and four shiny, classic, chrome microphones lay resting on mic stands waiting for soulful vocals to be sung into them.

Picture 004The performers walk out and embrace the stage singing an unbelievable collection of featured songs including “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Who Do You Love”, “Great Balls of Fire” and many more hits.

The stars of the show have an uncanny resemblance to the star recording artists they’re portraying.

Their musical talent and acting abilities work very well together.

The production stars Eddie Clendening as Elvis Presley; Lance Guest as Johnny Cash; Levi Kreis as Jerry Lee Lewis and Rob Lyons as Carl Perkins.  Chicago’s very own Tim Decker plays the “Father of Rock ’n’ Roll” Sam Phillips, and Chicago-based actress Kelly Lamont plays Elvis’ girlfriend Dyanne.

Throughout the performance, audience members were tapping their feet, rocking their bodies, shaking their heads and singing along to the tunes.  This musical journey to the past is a “must-see”!

For more information visit www.MillionDollarQuartetLive.com

Want more Rominski reads? Read more right HERE!

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Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team

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 info@220communications.com.

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Who knew just $35 could do so much?  That’s the incredibly affordable pricGavin Rossdalee 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:

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JenChicago, NBC Chicago Street Team

Joe Piscopo is flying in to Chicago this afternoon for meetings and promotion associated with his upcoming variety show, The Joynt After Dark.  Joe will host the show with comedian Don Novello, also known as Father Guido Sarducci and other guest hosts.  The guys have partnered up with long time friend and co-owner of The Joynt, Stan Wozniak to create the scripted-reality variety show, along with producers Jimmy “The Hat”, Ari Golan, Matt Gaven and Jen Knoedl.  The multi-talented Mr. Piscopo will host the show with audience and guests through music, song, skits, stand-up, interviews and whatever else pops up!  The show is set to shoot this month and the talent search for guests and audience has begun!

Come to audition or come for the party!  Tonight, Tuesday, November 3rd The Joynt will host open auditions downstairs in the Retro Room.  “Would-be” comics, magicians and other entertainment acts are encouraged to sign up for a time slot beginning at 8:30 in the Grand Bar.  In addition to searching for guest talent, The Joynt After Dark is auditioning for the casted audience.  Come tell the guys why they need YOUR energy in the room!  (Psst: I think they MAY be looking for enthusiasm!)

Auditions will be held from 9-11 pm.  First come, basis.  Tell your talented friends.

The Joynt

650 N Dearborn St (@Erie)

312.573.2233

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Eric Smith, NBC5Chicago Street Team

On location at TEAMiFIT Lifestyle Center-676 N. LaSalle Street-with Founder, President and Wellness Coach-Amy Leffel.

Speak a little bit about your background-life before TEAMiFIT and how all this happened?

I received my undergraduate degree at Indiana University in Exercise Physiology and Public Health.  I worked as a personal trainer and exercise specialist-teaching fitness classes at gyms across the city.  Then I went back to school to get my masters degree in Education, where I worked with kids from 1st grade all the way up to 8th.  While as a school teacher, I was also teaching fitness classes and working as a personal trainer on the side.  So I have about seven years working in fitness.  This has been my passion, so doing this doesn’t feel like work.

TEAMiFIT at Chicago Soul Music Festival

Amy Got Soul

The initial concept was exercise on location at different outdoor venues across the city.  What gave you the idea to get started that way?

I’ve had this vision a long time.  April through September every year we hold outside classes.  So you’ll have classes happening all around the city…Lincoln Park, West Loop, West Town, River North, Gold Coast, Lake View and South Loop.  We also take these classes to the beach.  And as the weather cools we bring this more of this action to our space here.

So what makes TEAMiFIT different?

TEAMiFIT Lifestyle Center

TurboKick

TEAMiFit is a one-stop shop promoting health and wellness!  You can come here and get fitness classes for adults and kids.  We have Strictly CORE, TurboKick, Zumba, Strength Boxing classes and more…we’ve got all kinds of flava flava-including Power Yoga and Power Pilates.  We’ve got specialized workshops like plyometric training focusing on high-intensity movements for high impact.  We also have small group personal training called ‘Armed and Dangerous’ for only six people, to work with a personal trainer at a discounted price.  And beginning in November we are going to have educational classes ‘Doing Life Together’, where our lifestyle coaches will educate based on personal experience using their expertise to focus on what our members want.  Topics will include like how to eat right when working out, how to balance life, how to spend smart over the holidays, educational self-massage, couples massage, etc.  The lifestyle coaches will be here to educate and build relationships with our clientele.  We’re basically doing life together.

TEAMiFIT

TEAMiFIT

Amy is definitely on the move in Chicago and wants to get your body moving.  For additional information and register for classes visit TEAMiFIT online and Facebook.  To hear the entire interview, download the audio casts below.

Part 1  Interview w/Amy ‘Body’

Part 2 Interview w/Amy ‘What You Waiting For?’

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