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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Erik Sorensen, NBC5 Street Team

So this is what it’s come down to, has it?

Taking the least respectable portion of a demographic and giving them a platform on which to embarrass themselves and everyone they represent? So has been, and continues to be the ongoing trend in reality television. Normally, you’d breathe a sigh of disapproval, change the channel and feel sorry for the city or culture that has just been misrepresented. This time is different, though. This time it’s personal.

According to www.oconnorcasting.tv, O’Connor Casting has begun searching for White Sox fans who live on Chicago’s South Side, who dislike the Cubs, and who (wait for it….)  resemble a  “”Jersey Shore” type of reality star.”   The casting call goes on to describe its criteria: ARE YOU THE NEXT “Jersey Shore” TYPE OF REALITY STAR? Do you live on Chicago’s Southside? Are you the GUY or GIRL who is awesome in oh so many ways? Are you sexy, crazy, fun, outgoing, outrageous, love to make things exciting, always up for an adventure, and a HUGE SOX fan who thinks the CUBS suck? If so, then we want you, your friends, your total awesomeness. CONTACT US NOW!”  View the entire casting call here: http://oconnorcasting.tv/castingboard/index.php?q=node/6

In other words — unless I’m mistaken — an excuse to manufacture a Chicago version of what has become one of the most socially protested, insulting, grotesque displays of human behavior in recent television history.  Already, I can hear the collective sounds of Chicagoans (myself included) hurling their lunches into their laps. White Sox fans and South Siders don’t deserve to be represented by the lowest common denominator of individual. We are one city, despite the connotation a show like this would suggest.

While the website does not disclose when, where or on how grand a scale the reality show will air, one thing is certain: whether you’re a Cubs fan, or White Sox fan, or don’t care for sports altogether – this is bad for Chicago. Period.

There is no benefit in plucking the most abominable members of any fan base, culture or city and parading them around as if they were the majority. “Jersey Shore” became a television phenomenon for all the wrong reasons. Its success came at the the expense of many who never asked to be associated with the stereotypes the show has created. And yet, it seems companies are tripping over themselves to clone and serve up the next batch of culturally destructive, two-dimensional, well…… “Hiney Birds,” as “HawkHarrelson might describe them.

Shame on any Chicago-based company that so willingly offers up its own people to be used as embarrassing pawns in the name of a reality television show. The Windy City deserves better.


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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team Last season, the Chicago Bulls experienced a dramatically positive growth spurt. A team that actually lost at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the early part of the season grew together and gelled enough to qualify for the postseason. And in those playoffs, they gave the defending World Champion Boston Celtics all they could handle in a physical seven-game series that featured more overtime sessions than any other series in NBA history. It was probably the most exciting playoff series that the professional hardwood has ever seen, but a first round exit is still a first round exit, so 2008-09 was not exactly the most memorable season in Bulls history. But after building some positive momentum last season, what will the Bulls do with it now?

Their sophomore Head Coach Vinny Del Negro is as good a clue as any. Here are some of the highlights of what he’s told the media this preseason

About taking it to the next level…

“The 2nd half of last year I think we started to come into our own a little bit, kind of me feeling the guys out, them feeling me out how we’re gonna play. Now there’s a familiarity…now we just have to improve, you have to put the work in on the practice court and hopefully execute in games.”

On how little you can read into the Bulls 5-2 preseason record…

“Every time you’re keeping score, you always want to win, but sometimes there’s a lot of young players out there and that usually dictates some mistakes and the flow of the game can get changed a little bit when you’re trying to conserve some guys’ minutes, so the rotations aren’t down and that throws guys into different positions sometimes.”

On Tyrus Thomas, and his convalescence…

“He needs to get back in shape, he’s been out a little bit, and get the flow back offensively, defensively, be our shot blocker back there, and make open 15 footers. If he runs the court with his athleticism and gets after it defensively, it’ll give us a big boost. He knows what he needs to do, he just needs to go out and do it consistently.”

On improving the team’s much maligned defense…

“We have to find a way to get stops at key times, but also we need to rebound better defensively. Some times we’re getting key stops, but not getting that basketball, hopefully with a little more size the rebounding numbers will get better.”

The subject on everyone’s mind, the health of Derrick Rose…

“He needs to get back. It is a day-to-day thing. He’s been doing some running and he’s been on the bike. We may have him in shooting drills, but not full-contact drills…It is possible he will not be ready for the opener against San Antonio. I hope he practices tomorrow but it is really day-to-day.

Season tips off October 29th.

See more of Paul M. Banks’ sports-writing at:

-the site he founded The Sports Bank.net

-NBA analysis at Walter Football.com

-“Patrick Kane Chronicles” at Buffalo Sports Daily

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Lindsay_small_2Lindsay Saewitz, NBC Chicago Street Team

Old Towners rejoiced as Old Town Social opened to the public in late August, adding a much-needed casual yet sophisticated spot to Old Town’s roster of pubs, dive bars, and fratty hang-outs. But the locals weren’t the only ones excited…North Siders and Downtowners alike came together to welcome the new bar to the neighborhood.

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk in to Old Town Social is the unique decor, combining turn of the century style with IMG_4298modern day chic. The bar is filled with rich mahogany wooden structures, draping red curtains, bold chandeliers, and even a reading room complete with books and a fireplace. The main bar area lives up to the “Social” part of its name by featuring long, communal tables, but tucked away you’ll find a handful of intimate table-for-twos embedded into the wall. Venture to the back of the bar up a few steps where you’ll find more intimate booths and an additional cocktail area with its own bar. Not only will you get a drink quicker in this spot, but you’ll also be in the perfect position for some people watching.

Old Town Social’s menu is quite impressive, featuring upscale bar food and small plates from a former Blackbird sous chef. You will also not be disappointed with the drink selection, which includes an extensive list of craft beers and seasonal specialty cocktails.

The classiness may start to dwindle as you party into the wee hours and suddenly notice you’re back in an overcrowded bar with 90’s hip hop blaring over the speakers. But fast-forward a few weeks to when the novelty dies down and the bar has solidified its identity, and I think you will find that Old Town Social is just the new thing that Old Town has been waiting for.

IMG_4293Old Town Social
455 W. North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60610
312-266-2277
http://www.oldtownsocial.com

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If you weren’t able to make it to New York Fashion week this year, perhaps you can make it to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile on Saturday.

David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, the design duo behind the label Rag and Bone, will be making a personal appearance in Chicago, first on the 5th floor of Saks between noon and 2 pm and then at Intermix between 2 and 3:30pm.

This is the second visit by the lads to the Windy City in a year. Since they were last here at Hejfina in Bucktown, they have opened a second store in New York’s Soho neighborhood and both have become fathers for the second time.

It’s a testament to the speed with which this young label has ascended as a retail darling, and to the positive reviews for their  Spring 2010 show, that they  can swoop into town and, in a “who’s-your-daddy” show of force, land at both Saks and Intermix.

Fall 2009 collection

Fall 2009 collection

While the Fall collection was inspired by a trip to Japan and the movies because, as Wainwright confessed, “I’ve always wanted a samurai sword and I’ve always loved Star Wars,”  Rag and Bone’s strength is in what he describes as “our English, military-school heritage mixed with a utilitarian, made-in-America ethos.”

The focus of their appearances in Chicago will be to promote the women’s line but guys don’t let that intimidate you. The lads make, among other things, some of the most covetable vests and leather jackets you’re likely to see, so you should run accross to the men’s store at Saks and invest in your future (stylish self).

Saks Fifth Avenue is located at 700 North Michigan Avenue and Intermix is located at 40 East Delaware in Chicago. Intermix will be offering  15% off any purchase of Rag and Bone.

TheBestDressedList.com

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

The Chicago Horror Film Festival runs this weekend (9/25-9/27), prepping you for all the gory, slutty fun of the Halloween season with such features as a horror fashion show, “I Want to Hear You Scream” and “Zombie Pinup” contests, and of course, some deliciously disgusting horror films. Hosted by Mr. Willy and his beautiful minions, the festival promises to make good on its promise for “babes…blood…booze”.

300_Oktoberfest_logo_2006

But wait, you say, it’s not even October yet! St. Alphonsus’ famed Oktoberfest has got that covered. Their traditional celebration continues the heritage of the original German immigrants who founded St. Alphonus in 1882, updated with top local bands, activities for kids, and beer, beer, beer.

If that sounds a little too traditional for you, there’s always the No Pants Party at Crobar on Saturday… which is exactly what it sounds like. No pants (or skirts!) allowed. Attending in your  undies gets you in for free, no cover all night long.

NudeHippoNBC5

Email me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com with your favorite under-discovered events, and check out my reports with Nude Hippo  at NudeHippo.com and NBCChicago.com

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team

On Wednesday at the United Center, in conjunction with LifeSource, Chicagoland’s Blood Center, the Blackhawks organization held a very successful blood and bone marrow drive. The turnout was good, especially when considering the fact it was held on a workday morning. Lifesource officials said over the phone that 94 new units of blood were donated, with 47 new people entered into the bone marrow registry. A volunteer on-site told me that about half were donating for the first time.

Those who donated also got to take in a Blackhawks practice at the United Center; with training camp running concurrently with the drive. The need for blood and bone marrow is a cause that hits close to home with Blackhawks General Manage Stan Bowman.
“My wife Sue and I feel that it’s our responsibility to educate others on the ease of joining the National Bone Marrow Registry and donating blood,” the Hawks GM said. Bowman was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in February 2007 at the age of 33 before having a reoccurrence of the disease 10 months later. He underwent a stem-cell transplant, which required doctors to take blood from his bone marrow and separate the cells, before replenishing the blood. Since that treatment, Bowman has been cancer free.

blackhawks

“I realize how fragile life is and am fortunate to be in remission, but I certainly don’t take it for granted,” Bowman added. “There are a great deal of people fighting cancer and other illnesses each day that so desperately need a bone marrow transplant or blood transfusion. I would like to encourage our passionate and supportive Blackhawks fans to participate in this great event,” Bowman stated before the drive. He was also on hand for the event, and his wife donated blood. Towards the end of the drive, he appeared on the UC Jumbotron to thank those attended.

This reporter registered to donate, but was rejected due to a prior condition. Bowman and I share more than just a keen interest in hockey. Like Stan, I have fought and conquered Hodgkin’s disease- twice. And in a remarkable instance of coincidence, I received my own stem cell transplant, 6 years to the exact date of Bowman’s. Since 2003 I have been in remission, and living a life healthy enough that I was even able to swim in the Triathlon last month. I wholeheartedly agree with Bowman’s statements and I am very pleased his organization held this event.

For more information, or to give blood and/or bone marrow in the future please visit lifesource.org or click here.

See more of Paul M. Banks’ work at The Sports Bank, Washington Times, Walter Football.com

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

 

If you want a sneak peak of Old Town Social before its grand opening (Street Team Leader Marcus Riley reported on Old Town’s soft opening here), then you’ll get a shot this Thursday. The best part? You’ll be at a “Party for a Reason.” The evening of fun and philanthropy is hosted by GiveForward, a Chicago-based social venture committed to helping individuals and non-profits raise money for good causes. The “Party for a Reason” is a kick-off to supporters and runners of the Chicago Half Marathon taking place this weekend, where they’ll be “running for a reason” and raising money for various charities. Guests will enjoy appetizers and two hours of open bar including specialty cocktails, vodka drinks and beer. Looks like you may have to get a jumpstart on your weekend – but don’t feel guilty. Ticket poceeds will go to various charity partners of GiveForward.

Old Town Social

455 W. North Avenue

September 10th- 7pm-10pm

Tickets: $25. Available at www.party4aReason.com

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