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Archive for the ‘Word On The Street’ Category

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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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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Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team

Your best bets for affordability and fun for New Year’s Eve have everything to do with your own personal style. From the big blow outs to the smaller more intimate events there is certainly something for everyone. Here is a sampling of the some of the options:

The Critic’s Choice: Chicago Scene Party at the Drake

Voted 3rd best NYE party in the country by AOL City Guide. Chicago Scene in association with Lonnie Rodriguez and Vince Anzalone of Genuine Entertainment will host a massive party at the Drake Hotel.

Special Guest performance by Your Villain My Hero Chicago’s hottest top 40 Cover Band. DJ Jernell Geronimo (Y-Bar, CRESCENDO) with Miro on Drums will be performing in the Grand Ballroom.
DJ JEM (Lumen, Cuvee) and Marty Kane are the newest DJ/Drummer Duo to hit the scene will be performing in the VIP French Room.

The Drake Hotel
140 E. Walton Place,
Chicago, IL

For Tickets and More Information
www.genuinechicago.com

    The Hard Core Party  Choice: NYE Soiree 2010

New Year’s Eve Soiree 2010 at the Westin Sponsored by KISS 103.5 FM
The Westin Hotel (909 North Michigan Ave) will provide not only a great New Year’s Eve party with all the requisite amenities: Top Shelf Open Bar All Night, a variety of hors d’oeuvres, specialized martinis, champagne all night, chocolates, celebrity djs, midnight confetti storm and so much more.. not to mention 3 nights of celebration. Purchase a ticket to the celebration and get free admission to the pre party Dec. 30th at Soundbar and the post party Jan 1 at Crobar.
www.chicagonye.com

The Elegant Choice: Pops For Champagne

Pops For Champagne  (601 North State)  will feature an open bar food and party favors and a special performance in their downstairs jazz club by the Ava Logan Quartet.

www.popsforchampange.com

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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

Let’s face it. The typical a la carte fashion show in the Windy city is really more club promotion/publicity stunt to get folks drinking at some of the most notable swanky digs.  The models aren’t real and the fashion is barely believable.  The only thing you can count on is the buzz from the alcohol. That is just what I expected Sunday night at Cubby Bear for the Bryan K. Osburn Collection of Holiday evening wear.  But I must say wholeheartedly that I was pleasantly shocked. What the audience got was high-end couture worn by professional runway models at the most surprising venue.

Brian K. Osburn & Models

Osburne presented evening gowns with clean classic lines and party dresses with bold distinctive prints. He is far from a neophyte, having studied with Vera Wang, and being featured in French Vogue.

Songstress, Diana Ross

This man of the ‘cloth’ has styled a roster of Hollywood divas including the Grand Dame Diana Ross, actress Lynne Whitfield and singer Natalie Cole. More than a rising star, Bryan K. Osburn is perched firmly atop the fashion food chain. Not half bad when you’re a block away from the beer guzzling bleachers of Wrigley Field.

Kim Kardashian look-alike, Model Annie Mendez in a bold flower print gown

Dream Team Stylists, Cindy, Sue, Lillian & Linda

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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



I don’t think it’s a stretch to call Aniba Hotep and the Sol Collective One of the best independent bands in the country. I mean all one has to do is take a listen to their mix of Jazz, Neo Soul and classic R & B . The tight arrangements , the out of this world horn sections and the ability to shift from smooth soul ensemble to rockin “jam” band in the blink of an eye.
At a recent performance they received comparisons to groups across every era of Soul Music (I’ve heard the Emotions, Badu, Kindred, Earth Wind and Fire) . It’s difficult to define a band with such vibrant personality, so why try? Rest assured that a performance from this band just keeps you wanting more.

The band returns to Hyde Park’s famous Checkerboard Lounge (5201 South Harper) for the second installment of its concert series “All Souled Out” this Saturday, doors open at 7PM, advance tickets are $20 ($25 at the door) Come see for yourself what all the fuss is about…

For tickets and more information visit www.anibahotep.com

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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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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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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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DWD signNBC5meby April Lawson

They say green is the new black, but what the devil is a Nutrition Stylist? Debra Ward is a River North designer with a unique holistic approach to style. Her company DWD doesn’t just design clothing, but also bodies from the inside out. While some designers ensconce their clients in layers of diaphanous fabrics, DWD believes as within so without -viewing the person as a complete being. After 25 years in the business, Ward has evolved from her role as Wardrobe Consultant to Nutritional Stylist and now offers Nutritional Coaching in addition to chic urban style.

“We provide a nutritional plan based on fashion desires so you get an ideal body to go with the style. You get Little Black Dress meals, and DWD InsideWrapped Sweater Jabari Glynnissoups to maintain that body. It’s smart, sexy and healthy.” Says Debra.

You get the complete package:  whole mind, whole food and whole body. DWD is Located at 501 N. Wells near Illinois.

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NBC5me
Spa EM side 2by April LawsonSpa EM Front

If you are accustomed to the factory assembly line get ‘em in and crank ‘em out philosophy of the average manicure joint then you are in for a treat at Spa Emilia on 21 West Elm. After 21 years they have developed a reputation for the best manicures and pedicures in Chicago bar-none. On any given day you may find yourself seated next to some of the city’s most successful and savvy businesswomen. Anyone from Christy Hefner to our nations current Social Secretary, Desiree Rogers to the founder of the original White party. Even HARPO Studio’s books a weekly spa day with them.

Partners Grace Sniezynski and Elizabeth Gilewicz are endearing and committed to providing unparalled customer service. You will be greeted at the door with a cup of organic herbal tea whose bright fresh green color is surreal.  (Even the premium tea leaves are a customized mix by wellness gurus DWD and cannot be store bought.)  “We want customers to have a lovely, pampering experience … an escape from their stressful lives. So every manicure and pedicure includes a fabulous massage to relax them and improve blood circulation,” says Grace. “Our staff is mostly European. The difference is more extensive training than the usual one year in the U.S. To protect our business, we are very selective about who we hire. They must take pride in what they do.” Spa Emilia is a Gold coast neighborhood jewel that no woman should miss.

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]Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team

Authors and Artists Chicago celebrates its 6th year with a 3 event 12 hour day this Saturday. The event features independent writers, artists, and music acts at 3 different locations around the Chicagoland area.

Saturday from noon to 5 Azizi Books at Lincoln Mall in Matteson hosts a book signing featuring workshops on self publishing and how to write your first book. Featured author will be mystery writer Sylvia Hubbard, who founded the writer support group the Motown Writers Network and has held conferences on writing, self publishing and blogging. (For more information visit www.azizibooks.com ). Admission is free.

From 6 – 9PM the events moves back into the city for “Art Across Cultures” at Murphy Hill Gallery 3333 West Arthington 3rd Floor of the Homan Square Building. The super gallery will host over 20 artisans and also will host the featured authors for a book signing. Admission is free www.murphyhillgallery.com

Tonight at 9 Ai Japanese Restaurant will host “Unplugged” featuring performances by top independent acts Spike Rebel, Aniba Hotep and Paulette “Passion” Stinson. Admission is $25. As part of this event 2 lucky attendees will win 6 day cruise vacations in a special drawing.

For more information on the events visit www.authorsandartistslive.com

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[Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team

On a recent visit to the House of Blues Foundation Room, I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere the venue has created for its guests and members. The private area incorporates an eclectic, multicultural vibe and offers a series of intimate rooms outfitted with inviting sofas and 300-year old antiquities which include a hand carved Rosewood bar from the Raj's palace in India.

Members can enjoy a secluded space with intimate enclaves in the Divinity, Buddha and Ganesh rooms. The ceiling of the Ganesh room is comprised of the actual door leading to the Raj’s private prayer room while hand-carved, 18th century wall coverings adorn the interior.

the Foundation Dining Room is decorated in 19th century French carved mahogany, Oriental carpets and treasures from the Anheuser-Busch mansion. A contemporary American menu encompasses influences from the American south and Pacific Rim.

The ten-person private table sits in a luxurious dining room embellished with mahogany walls, velvet curtains and intricate artwork.

The foundation room members get access to special events like the upcoming Taste of Tuscany where members enjoy wine, olives, bread, cheese and antipasto. We will also also be highlighting liqueurs from Silvio Meletti. Events like this are frequently provided to its members.

For more infromation about the House Of Blues Foundation Room
Phone :312-923–7050
concierge.foundationroom.chicago@hob.com

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]Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team

Comedian Tony Sculfield’s nickname is “da one man riot” tonight he brings that riot back to Bronzeville Comedy Club Jokes & Notes and he brings along some friends. Tony Sculfield’s Variety Show features comedy, spoken word, musicians, and vocalists. The radio personality, who is co host of the WGCI (107.5)morning radio show “The Morning Riot”. The show is guaranteed to be funny, entertaining, and knowing Tony’s comedy, totally out of left field. If you’re having a rough week and are in need of a good laugh along with some great entertainment. Check this show out tonight.

Tony Sculfield’s Variety Show
Jokes & Notes Comedy Club
4641 South King Drive
Chicago
http://www.jokesandnotes.com

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Eric Smith, NBC Chicago Street Team

On location at the Studio L’amour, West Loop. There is nothing better than an original, and Michelle L’amour is just that-dancer, choreographer, business woman, teacher, promoter and most of all Queen of Tease!

How did you become Michelle L’Amour?
My background training was in Classical Dance. But I didn’t get a chance to do Burlesque until after college when I was asked to choreograph and perform a Burlesque show. I didn’t really know what it was at the time but I said yes because I wanted to dance and perform. Then I heard the music and was completely hooked and knew that this is what I was meant to be doing.

So when you say you heard the music can you elaborate on that?
The music is the classic dirty jazz, bump and grind style music…it’s really great…great drums, horns…

Michelle L'amour

Michelle L'amour

What makes you different than most women in and outside of the business?
Well, one of my goals was to draw attention to the Chicago Burlesque scene and what I was doing here. I really wanted to pull attention to this city because I love this city and I think it’s great and deserves the attention. My first step in doing that was winning the Ms. Exotic World title in 2005, which is like the World Series of Burlesque. And then I did America’s Got Talent the first season so that definitely drew attention here. But I had also been teaching, because this was one of my goals, to educate the people in the city about Burlesque what it was and what it can be today. I’ve been teaching Burlesque for about 4 years now and have since opened my own dance school Studio L’Amour which has been open for about a year.

For those of us who don’t know can you describe what Burlesque is?
Burlesque is all about the tease. Exaggerating your femininity, showcasing the curves and really playing up the fact that you are a woman.

So would you define what you do more as art or entertainment?
I think art can be entertainment. And I think I do both.

How did you take something like this(Burlesque) and do it in Chicago visa vis New York or LA?
I really think that teaching women helped break the ice a bit. If you can get women on your side you are in good shape, we are harder to please. Women learn in class what it takes to do Burlesque, that it is not as easy as it looks and it is my job to make it look easy. So when they come to class using muscles they didn’t know they had, and let things jiggle that they didn’t think they were supposed to let jiggle one gains a large amount of appreciation for the art form. It’s something fun you can bring your boyfriend to-it brings sexuality in a great light.

Well enough read…to hear the entire interview click to download now.

Stay tuned for upcoming events at Studio L’Amour including:

StripTease Classes/Dr. Sketchys-Figure Drawing Class/LipShtick

Naked Girls Reading/Sex Body Fashion Show/The Tassel and Twirl Workshop

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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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NBC5meThe vision came initially in 1996 to husband and wife team Donzell & Aliza Starks. They just wanted to bring cinematic entertainment to inner city neighborhoods.  In November 1997, the Starks fulfilled  that dream and made history by bringing Hollywood back to the ‘hood in Chicago. Through a joint venture with one of the largest movie exhibitors, this dynamic duo of an investment banker and a marketing expert, accomplished what few thought possible – the revival of movie theaters in inner city communities on the south and west sides of Chicago.
 The project included the construction of three state-of-the-art complexes – ICE Chatham 14, ICE 62nd & Western 10, and ICE Lawndale 10. The Starks financed this $39 million project and all three multiplex theaters opened to the public on November 24, 1997.
Today,  twelve years later, ICE Theaters still brings moviegoers big screen motion picture entertainment right into urban neighborhood communities. And the goal of ICE Theaters remains the same – to symbolize the glamour of Hollywood, incorporate the latest technologies, offer superior customer service and add pride to each community it serves.

In keeping with the mission of the founders, Deon Taylor, a native of Gary Indiana chose the ICE Chatham Theater to host the world premiere of his suspense thriller “Dead Tone.” And to the moviegoers and my surprise, Hollywood actually showed up in full regalia on the red carpet, just arms length away from Jewel, Harold’s Chicken and Starbucks!  Onlookers snapped away on their cell phones as Cherie Johnson, Brian Hooks, Antwon Tanner and Deon Taylor made their way into the theater joined by special guests NBA star Bobby Jackson, and NFL stars Ray Crockett and Blaine Bishop.

Dead Tone Cast

“I couldn’t be more excited,” said director Deon Taylor. “This event brings Hollywood to Chicago and I look forward to sharing this high-energy film with the community, especially the area teens.”  In the tradition of Scream and When a Stranger Calls, Dead Tone is a horror slasher about a group of college coeds making a game out of murderous crank calls. Stars Rutger Hauer, (Blade Runner) Jud Tyler (Charlie Wilson’s War, That 70’s Show) and Antwon Tanner (One Tree Hill).

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Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video)

I recently got to talk to Vanessa Simmons ( of MTV’s “Run’s House”, “Daddy’s Girls”), Wesley Jonathan (“What I Like About You”, “Roll Bounce”) and producers La Monde Byrd and native Chicagoan, Mekita Faiye (who also plays one of the lead characters) about their hilarious new comedy “Speed-Dating: The Movie” which will be released in the coming months. Check out what they had to say…

DL: Tell us about the “SPEED-DATING” movie and the great ensemble cast you’ve put together…

MEKITA: Oh wow, “SPEED-DATING” will be the must-see movie of 2010! It’s about these three guys who come up with this scheme that involves speed dating to raise money for their club and to meet women. It’s kind of like “Wedding Crashers” and it takes you on a wonderful journey with a lot of laughs along the way. The cast includes Wesley Jonathan, Chico Benymon who many know from the show “Half & Half”, Leonard Robinson of MTV’s “Wild’n’Out”…we have Vanessa Simmons, of course, from “Run’s House”, Emmy award winner ChriPoster #4 of 9s ElliottHolly Robinson-Peete, Clint Howard (brother of Ron Howard) who was recently in “Night At The Museum 2”, rapper Chingy, Kelly Perrine…the list goes on and on.

DL: Where did you come up with the concept for the film?

LA MONDE: The writer and director Joseph Elmore originally came up with the idea and from there we took it, shaped it, developed it a bit and then the actors breathed life into it.

DL: Wesley, you play the lead character “TOO COOL” in this film and your career spans decades in film and television, what attracted you to this project?

WESLEY: I just read the script and it was funny to me. I originally wasn’t the first choice to play “Too Cool”, but time had passed and the project sort of came back around to me and I also found out that Chico and some my partners from the business were in it so that was an added plus because I like working with my friends.

DL: Vanessa, we got to see on the “Daddy’s Girls” show that you prepared for your role by going on an actual speed dating event. What was that experience like?

VANESSA: Oh man, I had a lot of fun! I like a lot of hands on experience to prepare for roles that I’m doing, so the fact that I got to go on an actual speed dating event for the first time was actually kind of fun, but weird at the same time because the guys thought they were going to go on a real date afterwards.

DL: The “TOO COOL” character was a bit of a ladies man/womanizer…were there any real life “players” you drew from to develop this character?

"Too Cool" (Wesley Jonathan) meets "Kiki" (Camille Mana) in "Speed-Dating"

"Too Cool" (Wesley Jonathan) meets "Kiki" (Camille Mana) in "Speed-Dating"

WESLEY: Nah, not really. I was able to play this guy pretty straightforward because he was just being cool. In films like “Roll Bounce” and other projects I’ve worked on, I’ve definitely borrowed from other characters. I did get to adlib and improv and be silly during the filming of some of the speed dating scenes.

DL: Vanessa, ironically your character ELIZABETH is the “church-going” girl who gets involved with the DOG character played by Chico Benymon. Everyone knows your real-life Dad is the legendary Rev. Run of Run D.M.C. , so do guys get intimidated by you having the “preacher’s kid” stigma?

VANESSA: Unfortunately, yes! I’m like, listen guys, if I love you and I like you and I’m bringing you home, my Dad’s gonna give you that benefit, I think, until I turn my back…so I’ve heard. I just usually have to prepare guys when they meet him, but he’s a Dad like any other Dad. As far as Elizabeth, I like the character a lot and can relate to her in a lot of ways because she’s the good girl and she’s not doing the crazy things the rest of the girls are doing.

DL: Mekita, you did double duty in this movie as Wesley’s love interest and producer for the movie. Were you nervous going into your first starring role and wearing hat as producer?

MEKITA: It’s funny you ask that. It was definitely a challenge and I look back on it amazed at how I got through it, but I owe that part to God.

DL: What’s next for everybody?

WESLEY: I’m in a new movie coming soon called “The Obama Effect” directed by Charles Dutton and another called “B-Girl” and I’m currently working on a new project “Four to the Floor” with Evan Ross.

Vanessa Simmons

Vanessa Simmons

VANESSA: As you know my sister [Angela] and I have the Pastry clothing line which is doing very well and we’re expanding right now and couldn’t be happier. “Daddy’s Girls” is in its second season and Vanessa’s making her way around Hollywood and has some upcoming projects on the horizon.

LA MONDE: Stay tuned for “SPEED-DATING” to be released soon. This film is testing well with men AND women in the preliminary screenings and I think we have an incredible project on our hands. I’ve got to give a quick thanks to Blacksingles.com and HurryDate.com as well!

To check out the trailer and find out more regarding “Speed-Dating: The Movie” you can go to www.speed-datingmovie.com

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Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video)

The Midwest continues to represent in a major way on the music tip this Summer! Here are a couple of new releases that recently dropped that you will definitely need in your collection:

In late 2007, Chicago’s own HotStylz dropped a hilarious and creative hip-hop anthem called “Lookin’ Boy” which was based on “The Dozens”, a hood tradition of good natured trash talking and two or more competitors trading witty insults. This song featured Atlanta rapper, Yung Joc, who also signed HotStylz to his Swagg Team Entertainment label and became an instant classic. Virtually, nothing was heard from the trio for almost two years…until now.Hotstylz-ADD-Front

Thanks to Swagg Team/Jive Records and UIC Radio’s own DJ Moondawg, Hotstylz’ Raydio G, Krayzee, and Meatball are back with a funny, yet innovative major mixtape release, “A.D.D. : The Mixtape”. In this day and age of rappers talking about money, cars, and clothes, Hotstylz brings a great deal of comic relief, realism, creativity, and originality to the game. On “A.D.D.” they pick-up right where “Lookin’ Boy” left off with catchy hooks and infectious club beats. Standout tracks include “Michael Phelps”, the “laugh out loud” “Auntie Booty”, “Go Dutch” and “Thik & Fye” which features fellow Chi-town MC, Twista. Of course, Hotstylz’ true comedic talents shine on the hilarious skits. Check out the “Dead Beat Dad” skit and you will probably have tears in your eyes from laughing so hard. You can download this mixtape for free at DJ Moondawg’s website at www.djmoondawg.com

Shadowkat Nightson came to bring the pain…and it’s called “The Hurt Game”. This impressive collaborative effort brings together some of the Midwest’s best with a majority of them hailing from the Indianapolis area. “Nightsons Presents: The Hurt Game” presents a hard-hitting, unflinching soundscape that also has a very organic feel to it with a diverse collection of MCs rockin’ over beats provided by the Nightsons camp.

nightsons

Shadowkat and his fellow Plugg City family, Chi-town’s own Rhymefest let you know what time it is right off the top with the sickening title track where “they ain’t playin’ no word games”. They keep the energy going with the pulsating “Breath Control” which features alpha.live and it’s pretty much a straight listen from start to finish from there. Check out “Money Bags”, “Full Blown”, and the head bobbing “Cold Case”. Don’t let this one pass you by! “Nightsons Presents: The Hurt Game” is now available at iTunes and Amazon.com. For more info or a preview of the album you can also go to www.nightsons.com

Last but not least, the anticipated debut release from Chi-town MC and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music affiliate, Really Doe “First Impressions”, dropped via Cartel Records. Ever since the MC showcased his unique rhyme flow on “We Major” on West’s multi-platinum “Late Registration” album alongside the legendary Nas, hip-hop heads have wanted to hear more and Really Doe delivers on his first effort.reallydoecoverWEB

“First Impressions” has a lot of soulful hip-hop on it courtesy of producer Griffin Guess. “Sew It Up”, “RPS (Rock, Paper, Scissors)”, and one of my personal favorites, the unapologetic “My City” are indicative of that. Another single to check for on “Impressions” is the first single, “Mesmerized” which features vocalist Danny Klein and has a slightly similar sound to Lupe Fiasco’s “Superstar”. Other standouts to peep are “Follow Me”, “Million Dollar” and Mr. West even shows up on “Plastic”. Really Doe has been grinding for a while on the hip-hop scene and it’s good to see the hard work finally paying off. Hit up iTunes or Best Buy and cop this one for the iPod. He makes a good “first impression”…really doe.

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