Tis the season for ugly sweater parties, eggnog infused cocktails, and getting naughty with Santa or Mrs. Clause; your choice! Although I do tend to steer on the nice side, (fingers crossed, hehe), I've been painting the town red and green in honor of the holidays.
After many big girl rants about my love of food and everything delish, someone finally got the memo! I was selected as a specialsagent ambassador for the new website specialsagent.com, which features exclusive food and drink deals on all your favorite bars and restaurants. As a specialsagent ambassador, I get to check out some great restaurants in the city. The Irish Oak, 3511 N. Clark St. in Wrigleyville invited me and a couple of friends for dinner. If you're into sports, this is a great, energetic bar to get down and dirty with some no-fuss comfort food. No matter where I'm at, I'm notorious for ordering a hamburger. So of course, I ordered the classic big onion burger for my entrée with traditional barbeque chicken wings as my appetizer. I know I know…bad breathe, but I wasn't going out afterwards and we're all welcomed to splurge at least once or twice a day. No kidding, I swear I was full until the next afternoon; a real challenge considering I'm eating for two, myself and the big girl that lives inside me! The Irish Oak offers event space for private parties and a slew of plasma screen TVs if you want to catch the game. Even if you're not into sports, for all you Boystown dwellers, The Irish Oak is just a hop, skip and a jump from the Halsted street nightlife.
BMF Media threw a much-anticipated party with live acts including Lupe Fiasco, Team Bayside High, and Makeshift Prodigy at the Whiskey Lounge at the W Lakeshore. I knew this party would be crazy fun because BMF Media is the same company who put on the private music lounge parties for the artists and music industry crowd during lollapalooza; an equally fun time! Guests enjoyed complimentary vitamin water cocktails to the backdrop of some pretty awesome live acts. I met a few members of the opening act Makeshift Prodigy before the group went on to perform. I learned that the group has performed at other local hot spots such as LaSalle Power Company, the Hard Rock Hotel, and Enclave and are in talks with Atlantic Records on a deal. Well- deserved seeing that when the group went on, fans surrounded the stage with their cameras and phones. My only regret is that I couldn't stay longer for Lupe Fiasco's performance; I had cut out early to report on another event that evening.
So, I think I met the incredible Hulk. Well maybe not the green giant himself, but I did meet Mike Ruiz of Logo's hit show The A-listers New York. So I have to admit that The A-listers New York is my guilty pleasure, but…well….it's just so damn entertaining. Ruiz flew into our city for a meet and greet at Spin Nightclub, 800 West Belmont Ave. The celebrity photographer is as charming and personal as he is on the show. It was great to learn that Ruiz chose to do the show to draw attention to some of his favorite LGBT organizations such as GLAAD and the Trevor Project. The show has received some backlash about the representation of gay men in the media. Even though it's absolutely absurd to expect six gay men to represent the gay community, it's refreshing to see someone on TV, especially a reality show, who is themselves and down-to-earth. Ruiz also expressed that he's very comfortable with his role as a public figure in the gay community and that he was able to do the show because he's grown a lot over the years. Personally, I think Ruiz makes a great public figure; accomplished, hot, family-orientated, hot, socially active, hot, approachable, and hot. Did I mention hot?
Speaking of celebrity photographers, my friend Steve Starr invited me to his authorama event at Karyn's On Green in the West Loop, 130 S. Green St. The event featured eight authors, including Starr himself, from different genres each greeting guests and talking about their book. The authors and selected books included Continuum by Marlys A. Beider, A Black Tie Affair by Sherrill Bodine, The Best Christmas Decorations in Chicagoland by Mary Edsey, Look of Love by Jill Egizzi, The Good Karma Divorce by Michele Lowrance, ETA: Estimated Time of Arrest by Delphine Pontvieux, Life is One Big To-Do List: A Woman's Life after 40, and of course STARRLIGHT, Glamorous Latin Movie Stars of Early Hollywood. When not mingling with the authors, guests could enjoy glasses of reds or whites with some of Karyn's tasty menu choices of light appetizers; a real treat seeing that Karyn Calabrese has been crowned the queen of raw food and partly responsible for the raw food movement in the city. I also got a chance to have an in-depth talk with one of the authors. Delphine Pontvieux explained that her first book ETA: Estimated Time of Arrest is a thriller set in the south of France about terrorist plots, false allegations, a fugitive on the run, and a budding romance We both agreed that if her book is made into a movie, then James Franko should play the lead character; I'll be the first with my movie ticket! I can't wait to read her book! Delphine is from Versailles, but was born in Paris. So, it was nice to talk about Paris and how much I butchered her beautiful language when I went there. All photos from the Authorama event are courtesy of Steve Starr.
Have a happy holiday, and remember it's always better to receive then give…oh wait…