Street Smart Chicago

411 Seven Days in Chicago: Old Style

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There is nothing too superstitious for Cubs fans. The ESPN Zone’s Brian Hanover knows the pain of being a suffering Cubs fan in the centennial year without a World Series win, so in an effort to raise hopes, he’s asking all of Chicagoland’s centenarians to gather their spirits, their fondest Cubs memories and their walkers for a “Brunch and Watch” party for the Cubs game on April 13. “Ideally I would love to see generations of Cubs fans show up,” Hanover says. “You could conceivably have five or six generations of fans here.” The 100-year-old fans and their families will receive a free brunch and a forum to share their frustrations and adorations for the team. Hanover is not quite sure what to expect as far as attendance but he is looking forward to bringing fans of all ages and designs for an afternoon of mutual team spirit. “Who knows—we might find the oldest living Cubs fan here,” he hopes.

411 Seven Days in Chicago: Go to Zell

City Life, News etc., Sports, Wrigleyville No Comments »

Almost everyone’s up in arms over Sam Zell’s recent comments about being open to selling the naming rights to Wrigley Field, including Lincoln Square Festa T-shirts’ owner Christopher Festa. The avid Cubs fan is fighting the name change and making some cash on the side with his “Keep it… Wrigley” T-shirt campaign, which launched from his shop last Friday. Festa has already sold a hundred shirts to Wrigley Field advocates like himself. “We just wanted to help people—the point of the shirt is that it’s not just a cool design and not just a cool slogan, it’s to help people show their loyalty and show their feelings,” Festa says. “I think this is really a special situation and if they leave it alone, it’ll make everyone more happy and prosperous in the long run…I think that the owners of the team—whoever they are now or in near future—are meddling with primeval forces that create the magic and aura of the Wrigley experience. They are alienating people on an emotional level for changing the name.”

The Turn of the Century: 100 reasons why the Cubs will not be 100-year losers

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By Tom Lynch

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Cubs’ last World Series title. Herewith, a hundred reasons why the streak ends here.

North Siders need mercy from Sox fans’ badgering
The team must win before Wrigley Field is renamed Viagra Park
Won’t be able to handle embarrassment of playing home games at The Cell without having won
Weak division, yet again
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In the Fuld: Outfielder Sam Fuld dives headfirst into the ivy

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By Selena Fragassi

Sam Fuld knows a thing or two about numbers. The Chicago Cubs prospect can probably still count the days that have passed since graduating with an economics degree from Stanford. It’s a unique experience that no doubt prepared him to weigh the balance of batting averages and fielding percentages; but in a different world, Fuld may have called his plays in front of a blackboard instead.
“I hate this question,” he jokes when I ask what other job he would be doing if baseball had struck out, “but I’m going to say a teacher… probably math.”
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Bear Barren: Scoping out the Bears at Adam Archuleta’s birthday party

Essays & Commentary, River North, Sports No Comments »

It certainly feels like a typical night at Y Bar on Ontario—young, clean-shaven twentysomethings gyrate their asses, throw napkins into the air, dance around gleaming bottles of Grey Goose. The partiers flirt aimlessly, armed with every kind of drink the bar has to offer, most of them unaware that the club is concealing a secret, and there’s only one clue: orange and navy-blue balloons filled with helium stacked across the ceiling. Little do the clubbers know that they are minutes away from being in the midst of a surprise 30th birthday party (one that was well publicized online) for the Chicago Bears’ strong safety, Adam Archuleta, organized by his Playboy Playmate girlfriend Jennifer Walcott.
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411 Seven Days in Chicago: Frame Games

Pride, Sports No Comments »

Chicago’s 2006 Gay Games may have happened over a year ago, but that doesn’t mean people are done reflecting on the event’s success. A recently published photo book, “Gay Games VII: Where the World Meets,” documents the seven-day event, from the rainbow-colored opening at Soldier Field (the shot of 11,600 athletes waving their light-sticks is depicted prominently on the cover) to the closing ceremonies at Wrigley Field. “We had some amazing professionals working for us,” says Tracy Baim, who wrote the accompanying text for the book. “They weren’t told where to take specific shot angles or positions or anything like that.” After 60,000 pictures were submitted, a mere 1,000 were selected, a process that Baim says was based on providing a well-rounded view of what took place. “What are trying to do is provide a balance of the cultural and the athletic…to show what the Gay Games were about and what it meant to Chicago.”

Who are the 100 Most Famous Chicagoans? Inside the enigmatic culture of celebrity

Essays & Commentary, Media, News etc., Politics, Sports 2 Comments »

By Brian Hieggelke

I found myself among the reporters on the red carpet at Macy’s Glamorama party this fall, watching as a march of B- and C-listers chatted up the fashion and lifestyle press who’d lined up to collect quippage for transmission to their audiences, while waiting for the night’s sole A-lister, the mega-wattage Beyonce Knowles, to make her last-minute arrival. At some point, I overheard someone exclaim in surprise, “Billy Dec is on the red carpet.”
By crossing the ropes to the other side of the red carpet, the nightclub impresario, “Bachelorette” employer and frequently photographed pal of David Schwimmer crossed the line, so to speak. I had the same reaction until I realized that, unlike many of those being paraded before us, I’d actually heard of him. The problem with Dec, it seems, is that he is one of ours—a Chicago celebrity.
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