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Desiree, NBC Chicago Street Team

By now you’ve probably met your Holiday party quota and sent your wish list to Santa, but have you fulfilled someone else’s wish list this season yet? On Friday December 18th, from 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM, My Own Two Hands will host a Holiday Mixer and Toy Drive at Lumen Lounge (839 W. Fulton, in West Loop). The event will benefit the Children’s Memorial Hospital and also marks My Own Two Hands’ last benefit of the year. Thanksgiving was a huge success, as volunteers donated turkeys and fixings to Chicago’s Southside community; a merrier turn-out is expected Friday night, as it’s the charity’s last blowout of 2009!

My Own Two Hands encourages you to bring one UNWRAPPED gift and kindly asks you to check out the Wish List for toys from the hospital  (they need unwrapped toys from the top three categories the most). Please bring your friends and family and come early; the open bar is from 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM and the DJ will host a full house.

For the latest event updates, including their January and February 2010 volunteer events, join the organization’s facebook page. What’s that? You can’t make it this year? Lucky for you this chip-in site sends your toys straight to the hospital!


Janelle Rominski, NBC Chicago Street Team

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

With Guy Laliberté, Founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil

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

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

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

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

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

With Kleetus, Guy Fieri's friend and sous chef

With Kleetus, Guy Fieri's friend and sous chef

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

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

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

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

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

Want more Rominski reads? Read more right HERE!

Blagica, NBC Chicago Street Team

I’ve heard about this place in the local trade pubs for years – I didn’t think it would actually happen. Oh, but it did. Sebastien Bensidoun’s Chicago French Market opened last week and I spent my Saturday soaking in all of the vendors.

Take a little journey with me, would you?

A short trip on the Green line from the South Loop and the Clinton stop came in a flash. Michael and I walked the short half block to 131 N. Clinton and my heart started to thump. I miss the outdoor markets of Paris and couldn’t wait to see what was in store at the Market. I had a limited amount of time because my 34 week pregnant belly wouldn’t tolerate hours of standing.

The Market is one big ‘circle’, with vendors lining your walking path. From vegetables, flowers, cheese, meats, fish, crepes, breads, wines, soaps, handmade clothes and even Asian cuisine, the Chicago French Market has what you need to plan your weekly meals. We loaded up on fresh veggies and fruits at the fraction of grocery store prices. If you need a break, there are plenty of places to sit, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee.

The crepe line was busy for the duration of our visit . No surprise – who doesn’t like a good banana/nutella crepe?

What impressed me the most was Sebastien Bensidoun, the gentleman whose family’s been creating markets in Paris and the States for years. He and his family were there for the weekend opening and didn’t hold back in getting their hands dirty. They were emptying trash, cleaning up tables and ensuring that the patrons had a nice experience at their market. I had the good fortune in meeting Sebastien and thanked him for creating a mini Paris for me in Chicago.

After picking up some flowers and saying hello to a few of the vendors we know, we were off. Another short Green line ride and I was home again – beginning my shopping list for next week’s French Market journey.

See you at the Market ! Oh, and hands off that loaf of bread, that one’s mine!:)

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!

Desiree, NBC Chicago Street Team

Whole Foods is still accepting applications for the “Deserving Dinners” Sweepstakes’ Christmas dinner. There’s still time to nominate your deserving family in any of the Midwest’s 32 Whole Foods locations or online. Follow the link for more details. Good luck and happy holidays!

by April Lawson

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

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

Brothers Brian & Marco Lopez

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

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

Cubby Couture

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

Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team




Before I can sit down and take one bite of Turkey, I’m thinking about New Year’s Eve? Yes, even before the first snow falls and I start cursing my decision to live in such a cold city, the number of invitations to New Year’s Eve Celebrations flooding my inbox has doubled from this time last year. There are already at least 20 different NYE celebrations in the city and suburbs that are advertising heavily to obtain your hard earned disposable income. So as a gift to you, I want to provide info on one of the more intriguing options.

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 Enclave and the post party (if you have anything left to go out after 2 full party nights ) January 1st at Crobar. The party is the official New Year’s Celebration of KISS 103.5 tickets start at $125 with hotel rooms available for $169 per night. For more information visit

Lindsay_small_2Lindsay Saewitz, NBC Chicago Street Team

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team




Art After Dark and its founder Derrick Lane have been hosting some very interesting events in the last few months. I had the chance to attend a great martini education and tasting event in September and this Saturday, they along with heritage link brands will host a very intriguing blindfolded wine tasting at Three Peas Art Lounge 75 E. 16th Street. The event is from 6-8 PM.
a href=”https://nbc5streetteam.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/aadc-aobwinetasting.jpg”&gt;<

Subtitled “Eyes Wide Shut” attendees learn to distinguish between 5 different wines in a special blind tasting. Extras for this event include catered appetizers, gift bags and prize giveaways.




Tickets are only $15 but are going fast! To purchase a ticket visit www.artafterdarkchicago.com

Desiree, NBC Chicago Street Team

Come support Movember and Me! On Thursday, November 19th, from 8 pm – 2 am, Basil Leaf Café will host a Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction to raise money for the Movember Foundation. Donations raised will go toward the campaign’s two outstanding beneficiary partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Like the beneficiaries, the auction block will include some of Chicago’s outstanding bachelor and bachelorettes, featuring moi. We’ll come complete with a “date package” for donors to bid on and the highest bidders will win a “date” which will commence that evening, in a VIP area at the venue.

Please come out to support the cause, as November is men’s health month (and to support me; I need some friends to ante up the bid so I don’t look stupid on the auction block).  Donations from the evening fund research to find treatments and cures for the Prostate Cancer Foundation and fund the LiveStrong Young Adult Alliance program, which aims to raise survival rates and life quality for young adults with cancer.

Additional event information:

Facebook Page

Hosts: Sean Tehrani, Jason Crites, and Chad Manuel.

This event is 21+ and casual cocktail attire is recommend!

The cost for the event is $20 and includes one raffle ticketappetizers, Van Gogh Vodka and Lucid Absinthe.

Event sponsored by Basil Leaf Cafe, Van Gogh Vodka, Lucid Absinthe and U.S.Foodservice.

Official after party at BullandBear, where all auction attendees receive a free drink.


Ben Soldinger, NBC Chicago Street Team

This weekend will have my two favorite blues bands co-hosting Kingston Mines both Friday and Saturday night! Vance ‘Guitar’ Kelly and the Backstreet Blues Band will be headlining while Linsey Alexander will be playing acoustic sets. This is a classic line up, folks! Lincoln Park will be hot this weekend!

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

Janelle Rominski, NBC Chicago Street Team

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

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

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

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

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

Their musical talent and acting abilities work very well together.

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

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

For more information visit www.MillionDollarQuartetLive.com

Want more Rominski reads? Read more right HERE!

Good Karma

Hungry Z, NBCChicago Street Team

Karma is the cosmic principle according to which someone is rewarded or punished according to that person’s deeds. It can also be a distinctive aura, atmosphere, or feeling. So when you step inside Karma, you instantly get greeted by an elegant almost Zen like atmosphere. The dining room is separated by a tranquil pond complete with a gentle waterfall and cool salt cone replicas.

Now that we’ve established good karma in the dining room, let’s see if we are rewarded or punished with the menu. Start your good vibes with a couple of solid appetizers. Crisp chicken spring rolls are loaded with chunks of chicken and served with honey mustard. A must try are the Shiitake mushroom pot stickers, which are meaty, tasty, pockets of deliciousness.karmapotstickers

Hold on! What’s the rush? It’s not time for the entrées yet, not when the star of the meal is on next. The Vietnamese coconut shrimp soup is a dish worth the trip to Mundelein alone! This velvety soup has large pieces of shrimp swimming in a slightly sweet /spicy broth that is meant to be experienced and not merely consumed. Would it be wrong to lick the bowl?

For some, nothing gives them more pleasure than biting into a tender juicy steak. And while simple is often enough, sometimes a little pizzazz is in order. The macadamia and blue cheese crusted filet is for the person who loves the tenderness of a filet, but wants a more robust flavor. Creamy and sharp blue cheese is complimented by the crunch of the toasted macadamias, to help turn this mellow piece of meat into a sassy rock star! If something more traditional is up your alley, then opt for the orange peel chicken. Large strips of tempura chicken are covered in a yuzu orange glaze that helps this dish go beyond your average orange chicken.karmasteak

A meal feels incomplete without dessert and this is the last leg of your dining experience. For chocoholics, the chocolate Moelleux cake is a rich soufflé accented with minted cream and a red currant coulis. The fresh ginger crème Brule offers sweet ginger custard and of course some fresh berries.

Dinner for two with wine should run right around $100, which is actually reasonable for an upscale dinner and a pinch of good karma. Overall, Karma offers a harmonious blend of tranquil atmosphere, creative dishes, and fair prices. It appears the cosmos are listening.

Location

510 E. Route 83

Mundelein, IL

Nuevo Novo

Lindsay_small_2Lindsay Saewitz, NBC Chicago Street Team

Following recent hotel bar openings like the Roof at the Wit and Elate at Hotel Felix comes Bar Novo, the newly-renovated lobby bar inside the Renaissance Hotel.

Bar Novo adds a sophisticated yet romantic option to the Chicago happy hour scene with its red carpets, Bar Novo 2dim red lighting, and draping red curtains. The sides of the bar are made up of small dining sections surrounded by cushy chairs and plush lounges, while the main bar area is filled with two long, communal tables- perfect for meeting some new friends.

In addition to the people-watching, you can also spy on the chefs cooking up delicious small plates such as flat breads and Kobe beef sliders at the interactive chef’s station. To wash down your snack, try one of the fresh, hand-crafted cocktails on the menu like the Basil Tangerine Gimlet with Finlandia Tangerine, lime, and basil.

Already a popular favorite of nearby professionals (apparently the folks from Leo Burnett make a daily appearance), Bar Novo manages to combine a club energy with a relaxed vibe to make one new subtle scene.

Bar Novo
Bar Novo
1 W. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
312-372-7200
http://www.barnovo.com

Desiree, NBC Chicago Street Team

When the Whole Foods Mecca in the Midwest opened in Chicago’s Lincoln Park in May—it’s the third largest store in the world after Kensington, England and Austin, Texas— even Mayor Daley was outside with a speech to pull the community together. And inside, the “Chicago Eats” section celebrated Windy City staples: Taylor Street Italian, Pilsen Taqueria, Wicker Park Subs and more. This holiday season the Whole Foods community is reaching out to us again, along with market locations across the Midwest, to host “Deserving Dinners.”Holiday09_turkey-in-pan

The sweepstakes, which includes thirty-two participating stores from Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Toronto, Missouri, Nebraska, and Indiana, invites people to nominate deserving families from their community to receive a complimentary holiday dinner for four. Two rounds of entries will allow people to nominate their chosen family for Thanksgiving or for Christmas, featuring a holiday feast with all the fixings: 10-12 pound turkey, harvest salad, maple-roasted autumn squash soup, country mashed potatoes, traditional herb stuffing, green beans with roasted shallots and fresh herbs, roasted cinnamon dusted butternut squash, fresh cranberry sage compote, turkey gravy and traditional dinner rolls. Yum!DSC00710

How do you nominate a deserving family? While entry forms with the rules and regulations are available at in-store kiosks in all Midwest Whole Foods Market locations, you can easily logon to your local store’s website at wholefoodsmarket.com (all entries will be made online anyway; no paper entry forms). But you better hurry if you want to get an entry in for the upcoming holiday. The Thanksgiving sweepstakes is accepting entries until November 13, with Whole Foods announcing the winners from Nov. 16-19. The Christmas sweepstakes will accept entries from Dec. 1-11, with Whole Foods announcing the winners from Dec. 14-18.

Sorry competition junkies; you cannot nominate yourselves. But, perhaps your nominee will win and invite you over for leftovers!

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.

Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team

 

 

Get ready for an unforgettable evening tonight with author Gary Vaynerchuk here in Chicago to bring the Thunder to our fine city. Gary will be talking about his new book Crush It http://www.crushitbook.com. Starting at 7PM at the Doubletree Hotel Magnificent Mile  300 E. Ohio Street. The evening includes wine, great food, and then top it off with deliciously decadent dessert from Swirlz Cupcakes. Attendess also go home with their very own copy of Crush It. That’s not all great prize giveaways include a Cruise for two, Gourmet Coffee Basket, Spa Package, Flip-Cams, Some fabulous Hustle gear and DVDS from Chalene Johnson and Powder Blue Productions and tunes supplied by Okyne Media.
Gary Vaynerchuk
Sponsors for tonight’s Bash Include: Kelly Olexa, RealPlayer SP, Lynfred Winery, Terlato Wines, Just Grapes , Mashable, Doubletree Hotels, Squarespace, Pipeline Media Relations, 220 Communications, Bottega del Vino Crystal, Kerrygold Cheese, Chicago Photo Shop, Swirlz Cupcakes , Poudre Coffee, and more.

Donations will also be accepted for “Warm Babies”, a charity to help newborn babies through Kids Hope United.

For more information and to purchase tickets go to

http://chicagocrushit.eventbrite.com/?ref=esfb

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:

JenChicago, NBC Chicago Street Team

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

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

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

The Joynt

650 N Dearborn St (@Erie)

312.573.2233