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December 2008 Archives

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    5:15 p.m. Dec. 19----

    For most Americans, Tim Hortons coffee and donuts are forbidden pleasures.
    Like going to Cuba.
    You can't find too many Tim Hortons in the United States, although I hear there are some in the Detroit area. Regular Scratch Cribber Bob Roth always stops at one in South Portland, Maine.
    Tim Hortons coffee is smoother than Dunkin' Donuts (I don't drink Starbucks) and it is perfect for driving the boring Highway 401 between Windsor and Toronto, Ontario as I did earlier this summer.

    Insiders order the Tim Hortons "double-double." That's coffee with two creams and two sugars. There are many fine Tim Hortons shops to stop at along Highway 401........



3 p.m. Dec. 17----

Nadirah Shakoor's stint with the hip hop group Arrested Development came in handy for her current role as a vocalist in Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band.
His audience is in a perpetual state of arrested development.
Now, after 13 years on the road with Buffett, Shakoor has released her first solo CD. It is called "Nod to the Storyteller," (www.mailboatrecords.com) which of course features seven Buffett songs. I don't need to hear someone else cover "Margaritaville" so what hooked me was the non-Buffett material such as J.J. Cale's intense gospel-swamp composition "When This War Is Over."

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Buffett duets with Shakoor on "When This War Is Over" as a modern day Belafonte-Miriam Makeba.They are adroitly backed by Louisiana slide guitarist Sonny Landreth and his band. It is the record's highlight track and far too political to be heard at a Buffett concert.........

Jump in line to the extended copy 4 more....



Palmer House Spatactular

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1 p.m. Dec. 6----
Updated with Palmer House history 3:30 p.m. Dec. 8

Here you can check out whats new with the Palmer House and take a spin through a pretty cool photo gallery. See you in the lobby...

http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/hoekstra/1317828,TRA-News-Detours07.artic
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They redid the Palmer House.
Now can they redo me?
It was only fitting that the Palmer House's brand spanking new Spa Chakra is on the former 5th floor location of the Gaslight Club. The last time I was in this 10,000-square foot space was in 1985.
Jo Collins, the 1965 Playboy Playmate of the Year had been hired as manager of the Chicago Gaslight Club. The terminally Baroque Italian club opened in 1953 and closed in early 1987. It was a men's only joint filled with really friendly waitresses in skimpy flapper outfits. The Gaslight Club was regarded as the template for Hugh Hefner's Playboy Club. I spent much of that interview grilling Collins about her 1968 marriage to baseball casanova Bo Belinsky.
I have only visited one other spa in my lifetime...

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HEY, WHO'S THE PAPARAZZI? Its Sun-Times lensman
Scott Stewart snagging my rubdown from Spa Chakra
Massage Therapist Coredlia Williams

Dave Hoekstra

Dave Hoekstra has been a Chicago Sun-Times staff writer since 1985. His collection of Sun-Times travel columns, "Ticket To Everywhere," was published in 2000 by Lake Claremont Press. He was lead writer for "Farm Aid: Song for America" (Rodale Press, 2005) which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Willie Nelson inspired effort.
He won a 1987 Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick O-Type Award for Column Writing. Hoekstra wrote and co-proudced the WTTW-Channel 11 PBS special: "The Staple Singers and the Civil Rights Movement," nominated for a 2001-02 Chicago Emmy for a documentary program/cultural significance.
He lives in Chicago.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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