Isaiah Grass Holiday Music and Giving Back

Chicago’s  Isaiah Grass is an American Singer & Song Writer who is quickly gaining recognition as “the one to watch” as his fan base and music career continues to grow both locally, nationally, and overseas.

His interest in music began at childhood. At the age of 7 he started singing in his church choir, where it didn’t take long to be noticed by his unusual powerful vocal range and from that moment on he began to sing at charity events, school assemblies, talent competitions and many other venues.

Graduating from a performing arts academy, Isaiah was then scouted by modeling agencies in NYC, who encouraged him to pursue a career in the fashion industry. In 2010, Isaiah was scouted by LEDOM MODEL in Chicago, who signed Isaiah to their agency, and in return launched his music career to the public in 2011.

His debut single, “I’m a Freak”, was released worldwide on 01/11/11, becoming an internet hit with nearly 100,000 views in less than a month. Due to the phenomenal acceptance Isaiah received since the launching of his career as a singer, he released his debut album titled “Expect The Unexpected” on 12.12.12. This album contains 13 songs written by Isaiah, full of pop, dance, and acoustic songs which helped introduce his music to a wide range of diverse listeners demographically located around the world

Isaiah is currently ranked No.1 on the Chicago Reverbnation Pop Charts, and has over 300K followers combined on his social media (Twitter, Instagram, FB) and 2 million views on his YouTube channel.

If you haven’t gotten a copy of his CD “Christmas with You” get it TODAY!  He is  donating part of the proceeds to The Salvation Army.  Remember, this is A Christmas Song To Celebrate The Spirit of Giving. Get it at: shop.isaiahgrass.com

 

Follow him on Facebook!

 

111 Cool Places in Chicago

When ever I travel anywhere,  I see a  few of the big tourist  things  but then  I ask  around, talk to locals,  about  what they like  to do.  So I love books like this!

111 Places in Chicago That You Must Not Miss (111 Places in …. That You Must Not Miss)

    • The ultimate insider’s guide to Chicago, fully illustrated with 111 full-page color photographs!

Features interesting and unusual places not found in traditional travel guides!

This book is great  for locals and tourists!

Chicago. City of the Big Shoulders. What started off as a small fur-trading settlement is today a bustling metropolis. Once considered the “hog butcher of the world, stacker of wheat, player with railroads and the nation’s freight handler”, Chicago’s colorful past remains hidden in the nooks and crannies of this wonderful windy city.

Adventures await, from the glamorous to the gritty. Sip dirty martinis in an elegant, underground, 1920’s bank vault. Paddle a kayak down the infamous Bubbly Creek of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. While away an afternoon in a salt cave, or smoke a classic cigar in the oldest family-run tobacco shop in the U.S. Snorkel a 32-acre, limestone sheet shoal, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the Midwest. Dine outdoors in a 23rd floor Beaux-Arts cupola overlooking the Chicago River.

Whether you’re an out-of-towner or a diehard Chicago dweller who thinks you’ve seen it all, these 111 hidden places are waiting for you to discover them.

Author: Amy Bizzarri

Amy Bizzarri is a freelance writer specializing in family fun and travel, a Chicago public schools world language teacher, and an avid reader. She lives with her two kids – a tween boy and a toddler girl – in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. Follow Amy and her adventures in Chicago and beyond on her personal blog, AmyWrites312.com.

Cirque du Soleil CRYSTAL – Ice Show

Cirque du Soleil Fuses Excitement, Breathtaking Artistry and

Unique Creativity with Ice in     Crystal – A Breakthrough Ice Experience

 

Opening in Chicago on Thursday, November 16, 2017- 4 Days ONLY!

 

Chicago (October 4, 2017) – Cirque du Soleil is thrilled to venture into uncharted territory with its brand-new creation, Crystal by Cirque du Soleil, exploring the artistic attributes of ice for the very first time. Specifically created for arenas, the state-of-the-art production will create a fresh innovative experience, pushing the boundaries once again by combining outstanding skating and sliding, remarkable aesthetics and acrobatic feats that defy the imagination. Crystal will perform at the Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates, IL in six performances only, November 16-19, 2017. Tickets for Crystal start at $30.00.

 

Crystal, the show’s main character, sets out on an exhilarating quest to fulfill her destiny as she dives into a world of her own imagination. She soars through this surreal world at high speed to become what she was always destined to be: confident, freed, empowered.

 

Crystal is about looking at things from fresh angles, peeking through the veneer of everyday life, reframing one’s daily reality to see what one might have missed. Sometimes the only way to appreciate things is to look at them sideways. Discovering one’s individuality and uniqueness requires venturing out on thin ice.

 

Show Schedule: November 16 – 19, 2017

  • Thursday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 18 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 19 at 1 p.m.and 5 p.m.

 

Crystal is Cirque du Soleil’s 42nd original production since 1984. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 180 million spectators in more than 450 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has over 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from 50 different countries.

 

Forsythe Technology is the Official Sponsor of Crystal in the United States

 

Tickets                      cirquedusoleil.com/crystal.

 

Social Media          Facebook:           facebook.com/CrystalbyCirqueduSoleil

                                    Twitter:                @Cirque, #CRYSTAL

Instagram:          @cirquedusoleil, #CRYSTAL

 

Video                        https://youtu.be/HXHyPLXEYB4

SOFA Art and Design November 2-5, 2017

 

The Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair in Chicago is the premier gallery-presented art fair dedicated to three-dimensional art and design. On par with Art Basel and TEFAF Maastricht, SOFA is produced by Urban Expositions, a Clarion Events company.

Critically acclaimed and continuously running since 1994, what distinguishes SOFA from other top art events is its focus on three-dimensional artworks that cross the boundaries of fine art, decorative art and design. SOFA is noted for its exceptional presentation, with an elite selection of international dealers presenting for sale one-of-a-kind masterworks in handsome, custom-designed gallery exhibits.

SOFA is held annually in the fall at Chicago’s major destination, Navy Pier, with an average of 80 dealers and 35,000 people attending. Sales at the fair are estimated at 15-20 million dollars per show.

With a strong educational emphasis, SOFA CHICAGO includes an acclaimed lecture series and special exhibits exploring the artworks on view and surveying new trends in the art world. A VIP program includes exclusive events tailored to high-profile gallery clients and collector/museum groups.

SOFA has evolved into a dynamic international marketplace and community – a confluence of perspectives where art, design and people intersect.   BUY TICKETS ONLINE!

Antonio Estrada Lakeview Businessman Passes

Chicago lost a great business man recently, Antonio Estrada, founder of  El Mariachi and Revolucion restaurants.

1996. On a quiet section of North Broadway in Chicago, Antonio Estrada opened a cozy, 10-table Mexican restaurant he called El Mariachi. It was, he admits, a risk: the area, several blocks from Wrigley Field in East Lakeview, was then a not-so-nice section of the city.

“The neighborhood wasn’t yet gentrified…three years after I opened, they found dead bodies in a nearby hotel!” Estrada once told me.

Mexican food is a staple in most communities today. But back in 1996, the cuisine was in its infancy in the United States—even in a food-savvy town like Chicago. At first,  customers didn’t really comprehend what El Mariachi’s concept—fresh, authentic Mexican food that went beyond tacos and burritos—was all about.

Times have certainly changed—and so has the Estrada family’s business, now comprised of three restaurants under the Mariachi Hospitality Group banner.

Anchored by the flagship El Mariachi Restaurant, still in the original small storefront, the enterprise also includes El Mariachi Tequila Bar & Grill and Revolución Mexican Steakhouse—all within a five-block stretch of North Broadway populated by restaurants, bars, boutiques and upscale grocery stores.

 

A native of San Juan Jalisco, near Guadalajara, Antonio Estrada emigrated to the U.S. in 1969. Then just 15 years old, with no restaurant experience under his belt, he landed a part-time job as a bus boy, and then server, at Chicago’s M&M Club. He moved on to the Hilton Hotel, where he was a member of the dining room staff for 20 years. Then, he decided, it was time to venture out on his own with El Mariachi.

“I had to learn to cook—but that was pretty easy for me,” Antonio recalls. The formula was fairly simple: he made recipes; the ones he liked became part of the menu.

Antonio built a reputation for serving authentic Mexican dishes including but not limited to tacos—offerings like carne asada suiza and grilled chicken breast dressed in mole poblano—all presented in a warm, intimate setting where high-quality ingredients and friendly, personal service proved a formula for success.

That formula is at the heart of all  Mariachi Hospitality Group operates today.

His sons Jorge (Tony) and Adrian, who were raised in Lakeview and grew up in the business, are key figures in the family enterprise.  “How long have I worked in the restaurants? All my life,” Tony laughs. “I was 11 when I was officially added to the schedule.” – and the brothers have been working in the business ever since!

Antonio Estrada was a hard working  man and his businesses have made a great impact in Lakeview. He always made time to spend with his family.  He always had a smile on his face whenever I saw him! His  favorite quote was, “Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life it’s about what you INSPIRE others to do.”

He will be greatly missed.

Thanks to writer Kathleen Furore. Her full article can be seen here.

* When El Maricahi Tequila Bar & Restaurant opened in 2004, the painters put an image of Antonio in the ceiling, by the bar, shining down thru the clouds. Next time you stop by, have a Margarita  and  Salute this awesome man!

Chicago Food Marathon October 8th

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park.

As the  Chicago Marathon weaves its way through 29 diverse neighborhoods, participants and spectators experience the history, culture, renowned architecture and vibrant spirit that make Chicago great. –  I  HOWEVER  WILL NOT BE THERE!  I hate  big  crowds!

Instead,  I will be in East Lakeview  at  Revolucion Mexican Steakhouse  for  Brunch!

Join Us for a $24     Bottomless Mimosas Brunch   8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

 

Their superb Mimosa Brunch is enjoyed by both individuals and family groups.  Bottomless Mimosa Brunch includes unlimited Mimosas and an entree from their brunch menu. They have an extensive Brunch menu which includes chilaquiles, skillets, omelettes and lots of Mexican favorites.  All Breakfast items are made to order and freshly prepared.

 

Revolucion, also in the neighborhood,  is simply perfect for any occasion.

So bring over all  of the runners after an exhausting  run for mimosas & brunch.

 

Walk-ins are welcomed, reservations are appreciated.

773-661-9893

To Reserve Click Here 

 

***AFTER  BRUNCH –  head  over to the  West Town Food Truck  Social.  It’s  going to be a gorgeous afternoon  weather  wise.  What better way to eat and drink all day.

Noble & Chicago Avenue
Held in conjunction with the West Town Art Walk, this food fest brings together some of the city’s finest culinary vehicular traffic including 5411 Empanadas, Happy Lobster, Jerk, and Pierogi Wagon.
Cost: $20 for six-truck sampler ticket

***MORE  FOOD  AND  DEMOS –  Taste  Talks Chicago –  till  10pm.  Various locations

Chef talks and cooking demonstrations, plus a “fam-to-table” dinner at Fulton Market Kitchen, plus an outdoor cookout at Palmer Square, plus cool opening and closing parties equal your weekend done right.
Cost: $49-$299

Mexican Folk Art and Holiday Sales!

SHOPPING!

Meet Mexico’s finest folk artists and watch live art demonstrations at the 12th Annual Folk Art Festival. Artists will come from all corners of Mexico, each with his or her own unique techniques, subject matters, and mediums. However, they all share the same passion for Mexico’s rich folk art traditions.
Folk Art Festival:
October 13 – October 22, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Sugar Skull Demonstrations:
September 22nd – November 4th, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Featured Folk Artists
  • Miguel & Daniel Paredes, Ceramic Day of the Dead Figures from Puebla
  • Jacobo Ángeles Ojeda, Wood Carving from San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca
  • Audias & Mariana Roldán, Amate Paintings from Xalitla, Guerrero
  • Pedro Montaño Lorenzo, Weaving (Oxaca)
  • Alejandra Nuñez Guevara, Talavera Pottery from Puebla
  • Pascuala Vázquez, Back Strap Loom Weaving, Zinacantán, Chiapas
  • Mondragón Family, Sugar Skulls from Toluca, Estado de México
Friday, October 13 – October 22, 2017 – 10:00am – 4:00pm
Mercado Navideño- Christmas Market
Start your holiday shopping off at the National Museum of Mexican Art’s Mercado Navideño!
Friday, November 24th through Sunday, November 26th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
From Christmas ornaments and nativity scenes to t-shirts and jewelry, there will be something for everyone at the holiday market. Don’t forget, members of the National Museum of Mexican Art receive a 30% discount on all merchandise during the mercado. Not a member yet? Sign up now, or when you come to the Mercado.

Benihana is Back in Downtown Chicago

BENIHANA is back in downtown Chicago! Bigger and better than ever  inside  the John Hancock building, 875 North Michigan Avenue.

Benihana, the nation’s leading operator of Japanese-inspired Teppanyaki and Sushi Restaurants, is excited to announce the opening of its newest Benihana Restaurant August 23, on the Concourse level at the foot of the John Hancock Center at 875 North Michigan Avenue (across from the landmark Water Tower)

To celebrate this grand opening, Benihana will donate 10 percent of first-day revenues to nearby Lurie Children’s Hospital and will host patients and their families prior to the opening

“We are thrilled to return to historic downtown Chicago after 10 years,” said Benihana Chief Executive Officer and President Tom Baldwin. “At Benihana, we pride ourselves on ‘Creating Great Guest Memories’ and providing our guests with delicious food, warm and friendly service, and an atmosphere for every occasion and celebration. Our Benihana Restaurant will be a wonderful addition to Chicago, a city truly known for its incredible food scene. Downtown Chicago is the perfect spot for visitors and residents alike to enjoy the Benihana experience.”

Guests can enjoy the iconic Benihana dining experience at any one of 22 Teppanyaki tables. The restaurant also features a contemporary sushi bar, three private dining rooms, an inviting cocktail lounge and outdoor patio seating where guests can indulge in fresh sushi options and vibrant cocktails while enjoying the lively atmosphere of the Magnificent Mile. Additionally, guests can enjoy Benihana at home, the office or a special event with our To Go Menu.

Benihana is proud to welcome Chicago’s newest staff members to their family.

Starting August 23, the restaurant will be open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Sunday 10 p.m.). Happy Hour is Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Reservations are available online at Benihana.com or by calling (312) 780-3110.

Guests can enjoy the iconic Benihana dining experience at any one of 22 Teppanyaki tables. The restaurant also features a contemporary sushi bar, three private dining rooms, an inviting cocktail lounge and outdoor patio seating where guests can indulge in fresh sushi options and vibrant cocktails while enjoying the lively atmosphere of the Magnificent Mile. Additionally, guests can enjoy Benihana at home, the office or a special event with our To Go Menu.

Benihana is proud to welcome Chicago’s newest staff members to their family.

Starting August 23, the restaurant will be open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Sunday 10 p.m.). Happy Hour is Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Reservations are available online at Benihana.com or by calling (312) 780-3110.

Guests can enjoy the iconic Benihana dining experience at any one of 22 Teppanyaki tables. The restaurant also features a contemporary sushi bar, three private dining rooms, an inviting cocktail lounge and outdoor patio seating where guests can indulge in fresh sushi options and vibrant cocktails while enjoying the lively atmosphere of the Magnificent Mile. Additionally, guests can enjoy Benihana at home, the office or a special event with our To Go Menu.

 

Benihana is proud to welcome Chicago’s newest staff members to their family.

 

Starting August 23, the restaurant will be open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Sunday 10 p.m.). Happy Hour is Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Reservations are available online at Benihana.com or by calling (312) 780-3110.

About Benihana

Benihana Inc. is the nation’s leading operator of Japanese-inspired Teppanyaki and Sushi restaurants with more than 100 nationwide Benihana, Haru Sushi, RA Sushi and Samurai restaurants.

Additionally, 10 franchised Benihana restaurants are operating throughout the United States, Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Day of the Dead Chicago Events 2017

The National Museum of Mexican Art unveils this years Day of the Dead exhibit!
The Day of the Dead is one of the most stunning and important living traditions in Mexico, classified in 2003 by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The Mexican community north of the US/Mexico border conserves and participates in the traditions of Day of the Dead by gathering in cultural spaces such as the Museum to honor and remember loved ones no longer present. Fine art and folk art are integrated into this exhibition to bring to life a Mexican celebration that bridges borders. This year more than 100 artists are represented in the exhibition via 10 ofrendas, The Xoloitzcuintle Project, folk art, and fine art pieces. This exhibition is curated by Dolores Mercado.
The exhibition will continue through December 10, 2017.
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Day of the Dead: Xicágo
Join the National Museum of Mexican Art for the annual Dí­a de los Muertos Xicágo celebration on Sunday, October 29th from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Bring your friends and loved ones to celebrate Día de los Muertos as we transform the Museum and surrounding area into a beautiful work of art. To commemorate this special day, guests will enjoy face painting, art activities, ofrenda (altar) demonstrations, live musical performances, and Pan de Muerto (traditional Day of the Dead Bread). This year we are thrilled to be joined by Fernando Sic (Rimiyoho), who will create live animations projected on the Museum’s exterior.
Additionally, families and individuals are invited to participate by creating their own ofrenda (Day of the Dead altar) or sharing a photograph of a departed loved one as part of the large illuminated ofrenda. Read more about the event and how you can contribute.

Día de los Muertos: Love Never Dies Masquerade
The National Museum of Mexican Art’s Auxiliary Board cordially invites you to join us for a special celebration that honors life and the spirits of los muertos.
Save the Date!
Saturday, November 4th, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the National Museum of Mexican Art

Enjoy a spectacular fall event complete with live musical and DJ entertainment, delicious culinary treats, and cocktails, all in support of the Museum’s programs.

More details to come! But early birds can purchase tickets now and take advantage of discounted pricing.

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National Museum of Mexican Art
Museum Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Admission is FREE every day!

Tony N Tina Still Going Strong!

Presented by the original New York producers, in conjunction with Chicago Theater Works, one of Chicago’s longest running, smash hit shows, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, has officially announced that they are extending their performances indefinitely, due to popular demand, and are officially “here to stay”! Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding played an incredible 16 years in Chicago, and, during that time, entertained more than one million audience members of all ages.

“It’s back, and it’s a blast!” raves the Chicago Tribune. This new production of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, “a guaranteed good time” according to the Chicago Reader, is presented by the original New York producers, in conjunction with Chicago Theater Works.  Its previous run was one of Chicago’s longest-running, smash hit shows.

Directed by Paul Stroili, a cast member in the original Chicago production, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is a hilariously interactive production that is guaranteed to make guests feel like they are truly friends and family of the bride and groom.

The evening starts with the wedding at Resurrection Church, 3309 North Seminary Ave. immediately following the ceremony, guests are invited to Vinnie Black’s Coliseum (Chicago Theater Works), 1113 W. Belmont Ave, for a flashback 80’s reception.  From the wedding ceremony to the high-energy reception, guests will have the opportunity to celebrate alongside this larger-than-life couple and the large cast of 23 of Tony n’ Tina’s closest family and friends.

Tickets are $75 for the two-part event, which includes the ceremony and reception, featuring an Italian-style buffet dinner, dancing to 80’s hits and a champagne toast. Tickets for premium seating closest to the stage and dance floor are $85.  Additionally for 2017, a new opportunity is available to sit in the VIP section with members of the family for $99 per ticket. Discounts are available for groups of 16 or more by visiting GroupTix.net or by calling 773.327.3778. Seating is limited at each show so make your plans now.  For more information or to purchase tickets visit http://tonylovestina.com/.