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Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

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

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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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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Eric Smith, NBC5Chicago Street Team

In the fourth year of installment, Fashion Focus Chicago once again lit up the runway with the latest couture fashions this past weekend at Millennium Park. A gathering of the City’s upscale fashionistas and industry insiders, this was a collection of creative intellectuals on the scene-to push the envelope of Chicago’s fashion industry. A call to all in the know that although we are in the Midwest-far away from the East and West coasts, the Windy City is here-determined to make an imprint in the marketplace, and we will do so with our own sense of style and flair.

Chicagos Hot Couture

Fashion in Focus

Within minutes of arriving I was graced with the presence of Melissa Gamble- Chairwoman of the Mayor’s Fashion Council, Jason Felger-Executive Vice President of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, Alice Berry-Chicago Native-designer and Fashion Council member and the one and only Mayor Daley who launched the Council and subsequently Fashion Focus Chicago to establish the city as a fashion destination.

Most impressive was the fact that these collections debuted the next rising stars of top students from Chicago’s fashion design schools: Columbia College Chicago, The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago, Academy Chicago and the School of the Art Institute Chicago.

ChicagoRisingStar

Dress Code 2009

From the looks presented on the runway this evening, the goal of establishing a fashion mecca here is well in sight! To learn more and score event tickets visit
Fashion Focus Chicago.

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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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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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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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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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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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stephanie_small1Stephanie S. Green, NBC Chicago Street Team

 

This Labor Day Weekend, the African Festival of the Arts celebrates its 20th Anniversary at Washington Park!  It is always a favorite and highly-anticipated way to end the summer and this year will be no exception!  Enjoy vendors with a variety of fabulous merchandise:  art, photography, clothing, accessories, body products, jewelry and so much more; delicious food; and, fantastic musical acts, including The Ohio Players, Booker T. Jones, Ahmad Jamal, George Clinton and many more national and local artists, fashion shows and dance.  Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and spend the whole day with plenty to keep you occupied and plenty of room to spread out, relax and regroup, and then continue to check out the vendors in the African Marketplace! 

Theres Something for All Ages!

There's Something for All Ages!

And don’t forget about the Pavilions where you will find activities to suit every taste!  At the Children’s Pavilion youth of all ages can learn and enjoy games, music, dance, storytelling, theater, arts and crafts all day long! Contributors include: Hyde Park Arts Center, the Field Museum and other family-focused institutions that offer fun, educational and interactive programs. Many social service agencies will be represented in the pavilion to provide answers to family, parental and children’s questions.

The ICE Theaters Film Pavilion presents daily screenings of short and full-length films that interpret the culture and experiences of peoples living in all parts of the African Diaspora.  They’ll also feature a showcase of films produced mainly by black filmmakers from around the world, including a section of works produced for and/or by black youth. Enjoy free popcorn, get free movie posters and learn more about Black World Cinema, an independent film series available only at your neighborhood ICE Theaters.

Ohio Players & George Clinton, too!

Ohio Players & George Clinton, too!

The Festival is world renowned for its assembly of artists from around the Diaspora featuring original paintings, sculptures limited editions, prints, photographs, and ceramics. This year, the Fine Arts Pavilion will include artists such as Stacey Brown (festival artist of the year), Emerson Williams, Uwa Hunwick, Bayo Iribhogbe, Frank Frasier, Melvin King, Rondell, Nii-Oti, Akosuah Bandele, Marvin Sims, Ousmane Gueye, Dana Easter, Dimali, Isodor Howard, Samuel Akainyah, and Dayo Layoe.

Visit the AFA Pavilion Page for more on the Chrysler Financial Pavilion, Author and Book Pavilion, Meet the Artists Media Tent, The Drum Village, Spirituality Pavilion, Health and Wellness Village, Cyberspace Pavilion, Quilting Pavilion and the HipHop Stage and Pavilion!  Visit the Festival Schedule Page for the full entertainment schedule, created by Soleil’s To-Dos and featuring the wonderful, interactive calendar features that you’ve grown to rely on!

Just Chillin

Just Chillin'

But wait – there’s more To-Do!!!  That’s right – be sure to visit the “All Chill Zone” at the Soleil’s To-Dos booth.  (You’ll find the booth number and location at www.so-LAZE.com, on the Facebook Page, through our Twitter Feed or by calling (773) 268 To-Do (8636).)  We’ll be stone cold chillin’ and giving you the perfect spot to catch up with friends, sit and eat, slap a few cards, wax poetic and groove to the beats – including live music!  Yes, thanks to Sam Martin, the Idea Doctor, you can expect some special guests to stop through and grace us with some mini-performances.  BYOChair, or cop a squat in one of ours, if available, and chill for a while!  We’ll also be doing some special giveaways including theater; concert tickets; dinners; and, for one lucky woman, a one-hour photo shoot with Lee Bey Photography!

So, whatever your plans this weekend, be sure to make a visit to the African Festival of the Arts!  The Festival runs from Friday through Monday, from 10am-10pm.  General Daily Admission, $10 in advance; $15 at the gate; Seniors and Children (Under 12 – over 65), $5; Daily Family Pass (2 adults and 4 children under 12), $30; Adult (4-day) Weekend Pass, $30.

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Three long days of great music and fun at Lollapalooza along with 2 nights of latenight Lollapalooza parties absolutely wore me out.  It literally took me three days to recover.

WTMX's Cara Carriveau & The Local Tourist's Theresa Carter

WTMX's Cara Carriveau & The Local Tourist's Theresa Carter

The latenight parties were insane.  And I do mean that in a good way.  My party buddy all day and night all weekend was Theresa Carter from The Local Tourist.  On Friday night we hit the exclusive Rock the Vote Late Night after-party in the Music Lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago.  In fact, Lindsay Lohan was spotted there with her sister Ali so you know it was a major blow-out.  The Virgins among other artists performed and I don’t think we ever stopped dancing until at least 3am.

We went back to the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago the next night for an even more exclusive party and an even crazier, later nite.  Thank goodness for the unlimited supply of redbull.

Oh yeah, we also caught some great acts at Lollapalooza last weekend.  Even chatted with some artists.  Here’s a few conversations you can check out…I’ll have more soon:

The Airborn Toxic Event with Cara CarriveauThe Airborne Toxic Event

Brandon Flowers of The Killers and Cara CarriveauBrandon Flowers of The Killers:

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Eric Smith, NBC Chicago Street Team

On location at the Millennium Hotel, Thursday August 6.

So what brings you to the Windy City?
What brings me to the city is that I’m promoting my new album called “Imperial Blaze”…comes out August 18th.

I see you’ve sold over 10 millions records. Let’s talk about that journey and how you got started from there to Imperial Blaze.

In Stores August 18th.

In Stores August 18th.

For sure…my career started with me just lovin’ music. A friend of mine got into music at the end of high school and it came to pass that I got introduced to studios and people started to like the voice and like the flow. Like the first thing was being on a big stage in Jamaica called “Sting” back in 1998, it featured people like Busta Rhymes from the hip hop world. After that I was able to do a song with DMX who was one of the biggest artists in Jamaica at that time. Then there was a song called “Here Comes The Boom” from the movie “Belly” that Hype Williams produced and what not. And then the song “Deport Dem” really got big in New York City and got a lot of play.

And then about a year after that in 2001 my second album was coming out “Dutty Rock” was comin’ out. The song called “Gimme the Light” got a very big spread. Since I’ve had a couple of songs rank as high as #1 on the Billboard Charts such as “Get Busy”, “Temperature”, a song featuring myself and Beyonce which is a song called “Baby Boy”. A song with Keyshia Cole went to #3 on the BillBoard charts, a song called “Like Glue” went to #7…”I’m still in Love” featuring Sasha went to number 12. So we have a lot of repertoire coming up to this day, man. And those are all different steps, help me to pave the way to be sittin’ here in front of you, ya know what I mean…tellin’ my story of what’s up next in Imperial Blaze.

Now I got started producing festivals with Super Cat. The first time I heard you I was like, “That’s Super Cat!” And they were like…no, no that’s Sean Paul.
The Superdor, Superdor he’s still the Super. Cause you know, he’s my pops in the business! He helped pave the way…I got to give respect to him.

Let’s talk about “So Fine” which is the rockin’ new single out now. Talk about that single and when you know a song is hot and going to blow up.

Well I mean…I try and put feeling into my songs, to my artwork. Feeling is what artwork is about…I think it is about that feeling deep down in your and soul channeling it and bringing it to the rest of world. In “So Fine”, I loved the melody, I loved the chords that was being played in the riddim, so it just took off from there… it’s a club banger cause da riddim is so hot.

So you got any upcoming shows in Chicago?
I’m gonna be here tonight and tomorrow night, so I’m probably just going to go into to clubs and sing and DJ a couple verses, couple line to let people know what’s up. However you can stay in touch with me on allseanpaul.com. It got blogs about reggae and dancehall. It’s got what I been doing lately on it, shows. It’s got a tour schedule dat should be printed up, probably by November this year. People can order my album out August 18th or pre-order it to. Also, like every now and then there’s competitions that run on the site. Like I had an “Ultimate Fan” competition running for about 3 to 4 weeks now, which just ended like this week. So I designed two chains…white gold and diamonds then I gave it to two of my favorite fans who won. Things like that gone happening every now and then on the site.

And one last thing…Sean Paul is it Henriques…? You have a Latin back ground…?
So I got a lot of different blood in me from Black, Portuguese, White from England and Chinese. My father’s family has Portuguese and Black blood. My Chinese and England bloodline comes from my mother’s family.

Well you know, me and my peeps are considering putting together another festival “Metropolatino” and you know we are interested in having you headline to get that moving.

For sure I got that blood there so let’s do it…you can’t keep me out!

Download the audio to hear the entire the Sean Paul “Imperial Blaze” interview!

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Hungry Z, NBCChicago Street Team

In 1885 at the Buffalo Fair in Hamburg, New York, brothers Frank and Charles Menches ran out of sausage for their regular sandwich. When a local butcher couldn’t serve up replacement sausage, the brothers instead accepted ground beef and thus the hamburger was born. Today the hamburger is the most popular sandwich in America.

Led by executive chef Sean O’Brien, the folks at Timothy O’Tooles have come up with seven specialty burgers for their upcoming Burger Fest. While most folks will sample one at a time, teenagers and those who still have teenage appetites can attempt to try them all! From traditional to slightly exotic, there is a burger for everyone at Burger Fest.

Photo by Nicole V.

Photo by Nicole V.

So let’s break down each one of these ½ lb beauties and their unique characteristics. Leading off is the Buffalo Burger, topped with traditional mild buffalo sauce and creamy melted bleu cheese. Chef O’Brien is from Kansas City, so it’s only fitting that he created the Kansas City BBQ Burger. Similar to pulled pork, this burger is topped with sweet barbeque sauce, sweet coleslaw, and some cheddar cheese for good measure. Mouth watering yet?

Feeling a little fancy? The Bistro Burger features sweet caramelized onions, creamy brie cheese, and smoky bacon. Surfer dude’s will enjoy the Big Kahuna Burgers slice of pineapple and sweet teriyaki glaze, it’s like a splash of sunshine in you mouth. Traditionalists will find comfort in the All American Burger, with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and special sauce (sound familiar?).

Photo by Nicole V.

Photo by Nicole V.

Better loosen your belt because there’s more! The Gourmet Burger is the perfect burger for those wanting to end a bad date early. Creamy Boursin cheese, roasted red peppers, Dijon aioli, and enough roasted garlic to send your date packing! How about something a bit exotic? The Bahn-Mi Burger is topped with a Korean/Vietnamese slaw that includes cucumbers and red onions and then topped with wasabi aioli for a little kick!

Photo by Nicole V.

Photo by Nicole V.

Burger Fest is running from August 1st – 8th, and is available at the Gurnee location only. Burgers run about $9-10 for each of these special editions. So grab your loose sweat pants, your old teenage appetite, and check out Burger Fest fore some truly memorable burgers. Fore more info check out www.timothyotooles.com.

* Wanna see more burger pics? Check out http://www.hungryz.com/timothyotooles.html

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

Whether or not you’re a music junkie, the opportunity to see Grant Park transformed into a playground for party-goers is entertainment in itself. The third annual GALApalooza event is only one week away, giving guests an exclusive sneak preview of the Lollapalooza event grounds in a VIP fashion. NBC-galapush2

Outdoor lounge seating, cocktails and creative nibbles – you just might forget there’s actually a concert to watch. Lollapalooza artist Vampire Weekend and Chicago sensation Hey Champ will take the stage, in addition to performances by Park District Kids and DJ White Shadow.

Friends coming in to town for the music filled extravaganza? The James Hotel is offering a special overnight package on August 6 which includes two general admission tickets to GALApalooza, overnight accommodations in a king guestroom, and valet parking at The James. Rates start at $579. For more info or to book a room, visit www.jameshotels.com.

GALApalooza takes place on Thursday August 6th at 6 p.m. at the Petrillo Band Shell in Grant Park. Lounge experiences are available at the $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 level and single tickets are available for $150. For more information or to make reservations, call Alison Krzys, Director of Communications for Parkways Foundation at 312.742.4807 or visit www.parkways.org.

Since 2005, Lollapalooza and GALApalooza have raised over $4 million dollars for Parkways, which directly impacted Chicago’s neighborhood parks.

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Jeff_BarackaJeff Baraka, NBC Chicago Street Team

Tomorrow night (Thurs. 7/9, 8pm), Stonecutter Records (SCR) & Acoustic Chicago present a live music and visual arts showcase to support Chicago music & art, and build further awareness of the Green Star Movement (GSM). It’s all goin’ down at Lasalle Power Co., 500 N. LaSalle.

The concert will feature live performances by four of the best new musical talents in the city: Anna Soltys, Jen Porter, Whiskey Heartache and Taggart Transcontinental. Tickets are $8 at the door and $5 in advance from the SCR site. There’ll also be a raffle with proceeds going towards the current GSM project at Prescott Elementary School.

SCR4@LPC

Background:

Stonecutter Records is an independent record company, headed by Producer/Engineer Chris Steinmetz, who over the past 20 years has worked with such diverse artists as Kanye West, Ben Harper, Tori Amos, Jay Z, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains, Mavis Staples, Common, Kiss and Feist. Acoustic Chicago is the fruition of a vision to expose some of Chicago’s finest indie singers and songwriters to a wider audience.

The Green Star Movement is a Chicago-based, non-profit organization, which has recently gained national attention. GSM works to raise awareness of the important role of the environment in daily life, through the creative collaboration of media, art, community and nature.

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Hungry Z, NBC Chicago Street Team

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

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

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

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

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Jeff_BarackaJeff Baraka, NBC Chicago Street Team

“Yes, yes y’all!” This weekend, Chicago is the first stop for two major, national festivals featuring hometown hip-hop heroes:

First up, the Dew Tour, the first ever action sports tour (skateboarding/BMX/Motocross), now in its 5th season. It’s made up of 5 major events that take place in 5 different cities over the course of 5 months (June-Oct.). The Chicago event happens during the day in Grant Park, Friday (6/26) and Saturday (6/27), and features some of the top BMX athletes in the world.

lupedewThe Dew Tour Music Series concert takes place on that Friday at The Chicago Theatre (8pm). Lupe Fiasco is the headliner, Lady Sovereign is the opener, DJ Flipside (of B96) will be spinnin’ and yours truly is the host (yay!).

Also on Saturday (6/27), the 11-city Rock The Bells Festival rolls into town, so you may need to flip a coin or consult a psychic to decide which event to choose. It’s happening at The First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park.

RTBs is the nation’s premier hip-hop music & culture fest, featuring some of the biggestchalipic names in the game. Nas, The Roots, Busta Rhymes and Big Boi of OutKast are all on the bill. Common will represent for Chicago, as will Chali 2na, who rose to fame with LA acts Ozomatli and Jurassic 5, and is now embarking on a solo career. He’ll also rock the House Of Blues around 9pm.

Later that night (10pm), The Roots’ Questlove spins an afterparty at The Marmon Grand Loft, 2230 S. Michigan Ave (props to the homey Mark Fullaflava for puttin’ that together). With so much action-sports and hip-hop royalty in town, no tellin’ who might fall thru.

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Janelle Rominski, NBC Chicago Street Team

The Chicago Botanic Garden has many spectacular events happening all summer long to suit people of all ages.

The Garden, that is located in Glencoe, recently held a wine festival and have begun several special events. Those events include Hot Summer Nights, Music on the Esplanade, Garden Chef Series, Dancin’ Sprouts and more!

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Alma de Tango

Each Thursday from 6 pm – 8 pm, the Hot Summer Nights music series features live music and dancing to a specified genre of the evening. Dance instructors are available and will teach mini-lessons relating to the musical style of the night.

Last Thursday, Garden guests were treated to an Argentinian and Uruguayan musical performance by Alma de Tango.  Professional dancers were also on hand to teach the tango.  This evening the Garden hosted Hawaiian music and coming soon are nights filled with Cajun, Brazilian and Celtic music.

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Professional Dancers

Music on the Esplanade takes place Tuesdays from 6 pm – 8 pm where local musicians showcase genres of music including Big Band/Swing, Calypso, Blues and Jazz.

On Saturdays and Sundays, the Garden Chef Series are hosted by distinguished chefs from restaurants in and around Chicago.   These chefs prepare dishes made from garden fresh ingredients.

For the children, Dancin’ Sprouts takes place on select Wednesdays and offers musical entertainment for the little ones.

The Chicago Botanic Garden events are free to attend and regular parking fees apply to nonmembers.

For more great events and information, visit the Chicago Botanic Garden online at www.ChicagoBotanic.org.

Want more Rominski reads? Read more right HERE!

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Glenn Murray, NBC Chicago Street Team

While I sit here in Orlando (ready to go cheer for the Lakers to beat the Magic) my mind is actually on the busy weekend coming up in Chicago. So here are a few of my prime choices ranging from cultural, to culinary and even comical, for this coming weekend.

Friday, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli visits Allstate Arena to date, the international star has recorded over twenty pop and classical albums as well as seven complete operas. He has sold over 65 million albums worldwide. Tickets are still available at all Ticketmaster Outlets

Saturday, Studabaker Classic Cookieswill hold its official launch party. The event is free and open to the public The Launch event will be held at Kitchen Chicago located at 324 N. Leavitt from 7 to 10pm , enjoy lots of samples of their all natural cookies as well as an opportunity for more information. To find our more visit http://www.classiccookies.net

Also Saturday Night, visit Second City and catch “Rod Blagojevich Superstar,” Second City’s musical parody of the former Governor’s rise and fall. The improv company announced the real Gov will show up during the show to help announce the extension of the satirical spoof through Aug. 9. Blagojevich will also take part in the improv set that follows the show.
Tickets: http://www.secondcity.com

If you’re not too tired on Sunday, visit the Chicago Blues Fest and catch the finale at the Petrillo Music Shell featuring Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

That should fill up your dance card for this wonderful June weekend. I Can’t wait, I’ll be rooting my heart our at the Amway Arena tonight, but I’ll be on the first plane back to Chicago Friday morning…

See you this weekend.

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC Chicago Street Team

Experience the best of Turkey, brought to your own backyard (that is, if your backdoor is across from City Hall, on Washington Street between Clark and Dearborn). The Chicago Turkish Festival continues through this Saturday, followed by the ai Lounge‘s Turkish Festival “After-party“.

This FREE Festival, which runs 10a-6p, includes live performances every afternoon between 12-2p at the Daley Plaza stage (featuring fashion shows of Turkish couture and traditional garb, the Ottoman Military Marching Band, the aptly named “Whirling Dervishes”…). Sample everything from art to music to food at the Festival’s 40 booths, which feature a range of products and demonstrations — so you can watch silk carpet-weaving technique while munching on Orchid ice cream, taking home your own authentic souvenirs and travel info.

Check out Chicago’s 7th annual Turkish Festival before they bring down the tents after close on May 30th. Booths are open until 6pm, and the after-party relocates to 358 W. Ontario til 3am, so load up on that Turkish coffee and celebrate the best of Turkey here in Chicago.

NudeHippoNBC5Email me with your favorite local events at llodewyck@nudehippo.com and check out my reports with Nude Hippo at NBCChicago.com and NudeHippo.tv.

 

 

 

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC Chicago Street Team

Be among the first to visit the return of the Randolph Street Market Festival in this weekend’s Grand Opening event. Featuring an eclectic array of vendors such as the Chicago Antique Market, Indie Designer Market, Fancy Food Market, Vinyl Swap Meet, and Global Good Bazaar, the market attracts shoppers hip to items both ultra-unique and fashion-savvy. Even Oprah’s getting into the action for the first time this year, bringing The Oprah Store’s specialty items into the mix.  Add to your antique collection, get an heirloom sized up by a professional appraiser, hit the bar for a bloody mary, and even make some extra cash yourself by bringing in your unwanted gold jewelery to be sold onsite.Randolph_St_purses

Courtesy trolleys will take you to the Festival from Water Tower Place at the top of the hour from 11am to 3pm (and cart you back with your loot every half hour 11:30 to 4:00). Check out the legendary extravangza for $10 general admission (which earns you a shopping refund voucher with your admisison), or “see for free” the final two hours of the market.

NudeHippoNBC5Email me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com and check out my reports with Nude Hippo at NBCChicago.com.

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Theresa Carter, The Local Tourist, NBC Chicago Street Team

June 6 and 7 the oldest juried art fair in the Midwest will take place in Hyde Park. Now in its 62nd year, the 57th Street Art Fair brings artists from around the country to this south side neighborhood.

It was begun in 1948 by local silversmith Mary Louise Womer. Her studio had become a gathering place for artists and she created the show in an attempt to showcase their work. She developed guidelines that ensured the integrity of the show, including the restriction that all work must be original. No prints or reproductions were allowed. It quickly gained in popularity not only among patrons but also the artists themselves, until there were more artists than space. Womer and the 57th Street Art Committee created a jury system in 1963 to assign the spaces. Judges, who were artists themselves or somehow involved in the arts community, viewed the potential artists’ work in a blinded review. Both the guidelines and the jury selection procedures are in place to this day.

Unusual for Chicago street festivals, this is an alcohol-free show. That, combined with several playgrounds, makes this art fair a family activity. The daughter of an artist, my summer weekends were spent sitting at my father’s booth. If my brother and I had known about this kid friendly show we would have pushed him to enter!

The 57th Street Art Fair’s website will soon let you browse the artists’ work ahead of time, either by medium or name. They also have driving and public transportation instructions.

June 6, 11am to 6pm
June 7, 10am to 5pm

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Theresa Carter, The Local Tourist, NBC Chicago Street Team

Today’s the day! I’m now 39 years old. I hope you didn’t get me a present, because all I really want is to raise $20,000 for pediatric cancer research. If you donate you could even win a spot for you and a guest on a special Gypsy Spirit cruise on June 7, or 4 tickets to take a Windy City Films Tour! Read more here

After you’ve made your donation, pop on over to Target’s pop-up store. They’ve taken over the former Freedom Museum space with a Bullseye Bazaar, offering a selection of their exlusive and affordable lines. Then cross the river and take one of the Chicago Architecture Foundation‘s river cruises. They’re fun and you get to learn about this fantastic city! Clean up the river Saturday with Chicago River Day. Sign up to spruce up one of several sites, then celebrate afterwards at the festival. Many of the sites are filled, but some are still open.

Go through the woods to the Green City Market (it actually is in a grove of trees). The sustainable market is back outside in Lincoln Park. While you’re being kind to Mother Earth, cycle over to Soldier Field for Climate Cycle day. You can ride your bike up and down the shores of Lake Michigan, then listen to live music and browse green companies.

You should always be kind to your mother, but Sunday in particular! Find a special spot to take mom on our Mother’s Day page.

Have a great weekend!

Theresa

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