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Archive for the ‘Gay’ Category

tom_kolovos_wordpressnewTom Kolovos, NBC Chicago Street Team

Chris Rock once joked that as a father you have  only two responsibilities: to keep your son from winding up on the (crack) pipe and your daughter from winding up on the (stripper) pole.

After last night , I would add a third:  keep your daughter  from winding up on Donald Trump‘s “Miss Universe Pageant.”


Slideshow: Miss Universe Competition


Billy Bush was the host of the festivities and his main function was to repeatedly remind us that contestants would be sporting some of the hottest bathing suits. Ever. OMG!

All buttoned up in an ill fitting tux, he kept promising us that “lots of skin” would be on display.

He wasn’t kidding. As the top 15 contestants changed into their suits, we were treated to a photo shoot of contestants in (perhaps the tackiest of) string bikinis. When Flo Rida came out to perform, bikini clad contestants who were not lucky enough to make it into the top 15 were lucky enough to be able  to sashay behind him, in the manner of what used to be disparagingly called “a video ho” on MTV.

After the contestants were winnowed down to the top 10, we were  finally treated to a synopsis of their inner life, whilst they stood there in….. string bikinis.

Billy’s pithy revelations were limited to their ages and  their hobbies, which were almost exclusively limited to  exercising, shopping and watching reality television. Really? At least in the  pre-feminist ‘ 70s, pageant organizers wanted us to know so much more about the contestants, including their measurements and favorite color (peach used to be the most common, as I recall).

It is difficult to walk away from the telecast last night without thinking that the “pageant” should be properly retitled Donald Trump Presents:  I’d Like to Hit That (When Melania Isn’t Watching).” The top 15 we were told were chosen by an (unnamed) panel of judges and by representatives from the “Donald Trump organization.”

When we were introduced to the judges who were actually going to pick the winner, I couldn’t help but wonder what qualification any of them had to pick the winner of, well, anything.

Some of the judges (both male and female) were downright creepy in that sex trafficking sort of way. And because, unlike the Miss America pageant, the Miss USA/Universe pageant has never  bothered with the pretense that it is a scholarship competition in which some (dubious) talent is involved, sex–sorry, skin– is all it can traffic in.

Oh, it turns out Miss Venezuela won the title, even though Miss Dominican Republic was by far the most stunning and beautifully dressed of all the contestants this year. She had to settle for runner up.

I, simply, better settle down.

tomkolovos.com, TheBestDressedLIst.com

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Shlomi Rabi, NBC Chicago Street Team

One of the greatest things about the Chicago LGBT community, as we all know, is the number of take-your-shirt-off-worthy events it churns out during the summer, the last major one of which is Market Days. However, not one to fall to complacency (or the temptation to start consuming carbs, of course), the LGBT community has put out one more Summer extravaganza for all to enjoy.

“Be The Change”, an event providing platform for LGBT and LGBT-friendly peeps to network, socialize, innovate and, yes, enjoy a drink or two will take place at Spin, on Saturday August 15th, from 6pm-10pm.

Put together by LGBT Change and Club 1948, two non-for-profit organizations promoting tolerance, love, and acceptance across all walks of life, the event will be kicked off by live DJ K, followed by a live power-swing band performance from Ever So Klever, a free drink (need we say more?), goodie bags (not a metaphor), nibbles (open to interpretation), but best of all–representation from additional Chicago-based non-for-profit organizations.

Cover charge will be $10, and all proceeds will go to local non-for-profits. With that much energy, flare and swing, you might find yourself having too much fun to notice that your shirt is long gone.

To find out what other mischief Shlomi has uncovered in Chicago, look no further.

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Shlomi Rabi, NBC Chicago Street Team

The age-old adage “Behind Every Great Man Is a Great Woman” is just that—old. The key to success in any relationship, we now know, is support, regardless of whether the person behind us is wearing a pair of pants, a skirt or something by Marc Jacobs. Love is love; its origin should not matter, and the more—the merrier.

This is why Tel-Aviv’s show of love and support for Chicago’s LGBT community in the form of a beach-themed float is an empowering addition. The city that Time magazine has termed “the Mediterranean’s most unlikely capital of cool” becomes the first international city ever to publicly endorse Chicago’s LGBT community at the Gay Pride Parade.

Earlier this year, Tel Aviv was honored with the task of hosting next year’s International Gay Tourism Convention. By doing so, the city reinforces its status as one of the world’s most fun and easygoing gay capitals, alongside London, Rio, Berlin, New York and Amsterdam.

Helping Tel-Aviv spread the love for Chicago’s LGBT community is Club 1948, a local non-for-profit whose mission is to celebrate Israel’s arts and culture. Reflecting the organization’s emphasis on fun and diversity, twenty swimsuit-clad men and women, from different backgrounds and of different ages, will be dancing on the float to the live tunes of American, European and Israeli music.

In a time that gay marriage is a hot topic and opinions on gay rights are polarizing the country, it is nice to see that a foreign friend has got your back. This one never gets old.

To find out what else Shlomi does to live it up, click here.

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Cavorting on the Tel Aviv beach

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Shlomi Rabi, NBC Chicago Street Team

In order to be anybody who’s anybody (or is it anybody who is somebody? somebody’s anybody? nobody’s everybody? who cares, you get the gist), a true Chicagoanista must comply with the memo to prove their commitment to style. The first requirement, of course, is spending at least half their salary on a pair of shoes. The second, naturally, is making sure to have their picture taken on at least one yacht/boat/rhapsody party at some point during the summer. And the last, obviously, is being seen walking into the swankiest place in town, Minibar.

Do not let the name fool you, though, since Minibar has more than tripled in size since it first opened over three years ago. The newest expansion to the venue entails an uber-sleek bar with a glass gallery overlooking another sexy, cavernous bar, accessible by a floating staircase. Giant LED screens cast a lush glow over a newly furbished velvet-rope lounge, replete with croc-skin ottomans and tables. And just to prove that every single angle was meticulously integrated into the design, the better-than-Sci-Fi ceiling will leave you gasping in awe.

Furthermore, co-owners Stu Zirin and John Dalton made sure that Minibar would not be just another pretty face. To keep things happening, Sunday nights will be themed-nights, Wednesday nights will have drink-for-single-penny hour, Thursdays will be reserved for extra special occasions, and Fridays will be hosted by the grand empresario of beats, DJ Shawn Edwards. With a drinks menu that covers the best of bubblies, cocktails and martinis, chances are you will want to stop by every other day as well.

We caught up with the one and only, Mr. Perez Hilton, who showed up on Friday night to scope out Chicago’s hottest venue. As predicted, the self-professed Queen of Media sprinkled nothing but the best superlatives on Minibar–and its stylin’ patrons. Looks like someone got the memo.

To learn more about where else Shlomi finds style in Chicago click here.

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With Perez Hilton

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With Nadine and Minibar co-owners John Dalton and Stu Zirin

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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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Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team
It was an event that captured the attention of the entire country. An image that many thought was the Virgin Mary — and other, a salt stain — appeared under the Fullerton Avenue overpass, prompting hundreds of people to visit the shrine for days on end.

The event provides the inspiration for Teatro Vista’s latest production, Our Lady of the Underpass. The play is currently on-stage at the Victory Gardens Greenhouse through March 29.

The play, written by Tanya Saracho, is a story about men and women from all walks of life who are brought together through the real-life event.
Click here to read the rest of this post on nbcchicago.com.

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Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video)
If you’re looking for great music and networking in a “chill-axed” atmosphere, you have to swing by “Groove Sessions” tonight at The Joynt (located at 640 N. Dearborn) in Downtown Chicago. This weekly event is hosted by Jessica Williams and Miisha McCullar of IGM Entertainment and features some of the hottest and most eclectic bands that range from Neo-Soul to Latin Jazz. This is definitely a sophisticated and sexy crowd, so make sure you bring your “swag” intact. Tonight’s guests will be treated to the soulful, Latin sounds of the Noguera Evolution Quartet. Doors open at 8pm and admission is complimentary until 10pm. There is a $10 cover after 10pm and the event goes until 2am. To get on the mailing list, make sure you hit up IGM at igmentertainment@yahoo.com.

Since the weather will be much warmer, there’s plenty to get into this weekend…On Friday, Chicago Bulls Superstar, Ben Gordon, will be hosting this month’s “First Fridays Chicago” for the “All Black Attire Affair” kindred2at Alahambra Palace (located at 1240 W. Randolph). This upscale event will also feature a special guest appearance by husband and wife R&B/Soul duo, Kindred. Meanwhile, the sounds will be pumped throughout the night on two luxurious levels by DJs: Timbuk 2, Mark Fullaflava, Maurice “Ice” Culpepper, and 33 1/3. The event runs from 9pm-2am.

CHICAGO HIP-HOP CLASSIC
In a city where many claim “doesn’t support it’s hometown artists”, the Chicago music community will unite on Saturday, March 7th at the Harold Washington Cultural Center (located at 4701 S. King Drive) for the Chicago Hip-Hop Classic. This celebration of Chicago’s local hip-hop scene will be comprised of a concert and music symposium where artists, music executives, and music lovers can come together for positive inspiration. Artists such as Pheave, Que B.I.L.L.A.H., Gemstones, Polie Da Great, Twone Gabz, Jak Frost and dance troupe Final Phaze will all be performing. Doors open at 6pm and the show starts at 7pm. Tickets for this all ages show can be purchased in advance for $10 at www.amusicexperience.com, or $15 at the door. The Chicago Hip-Hop Classic is presented by GO Sity Entertainment and Bo Beniz.

CHICAGO TAKES OFF

If you’re looking for something a little different and want to support a great cause, check out Chicago Takes Off, an annual burlesque revue-style show where Chicago’s Dance community struts their stuff in support of the TPAN (Test Positive Aware Network), a support group that empowers individuals living with HIV and AIDS and educates the community as a whole about HIV and HIV prevention. These colorful and flamboyant shows will take place this Saturday at the Park West (322 W. Armitage) at 7:30p and 10pm. Seats are limited and can be reserved at http://www.chicagotakesoff.org.

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