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Amy Creyer's Street Savvy Style

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Photo by Andrew Nawrocki

Fashionable people astound me. Whereas others roll out of bed and into the perfect skinny jeans/plaid shirt/mussed cardigan/Converse combo, when assembling an outfit, I apply the sort of concentration normally associated with defusing a bomb, and still wind up realizing hours into my day that what seemed fresh and daring in my early morning mirror actually makes me look like I was styled by an Olson twin and K.D. Lang, each drunk and angry. Plus I almost always forget to brush my hair.

Amy Creyer faces none of these problems. Currently a DePaul graduate student studying the role of public policy in the fashion and apparel industries, Creyer eats sleeps and breathes fashion. As the owner of chicagostreetstyle.com, a website dedicated to providing high quality street style photographs, Creyer captures Chicago’s most fashionable perambulators. A self-taught photographer, Creyer’s influence is two-fold. Not only does she showcase cresting styles, but by virtue of what she chooses to photograph, she also shapes trends.

Our Town First off, what are you wearing right now?
Amy Creyer My Proenza Schouler for J. Brand paint-splattered jeans, Erin Gordon for Sarca bracelets, a Graham & Spencer top, my black leather Chucks, and a Giorgio Brato leather jacket.

OT You grew up in Greenwich. Style-wise, how is NYC different than Chicago?
AC In New York, people are very concerned with wearing the right brands or the hottest designers. You see a lot of clothing straight off the runway. I love to photograph and wear designer clothing, but I find the authenticity in Chicago far more interesting. There is an organic and authentic development of personal style in Chicago that I think is directly related to the absence of a strongly entrenched fashion establishment.

OT Describe your website’s genesis.
AC I was the little girl who always wore dresses to run around the playground. My website is the culmination of my lifelong love of fashion and decade long obsession with street style. Every aspect of being a street style photographer, from stopping random people on the street to using social media to connect with my followers, came naturally to me.

OT How do you choose and reel in potential subjects?
AC I constantly scan my surroundings for anything unusual; perhaps a woman's unique hairstyle or the way a man tied his scarf. Sometimes there's skepticism, but I always cut through with my charm. As the art form becomes more popular, individuals are excited about getting stopped for a photo, and I am definitely seeing stronger style on the streets as a result.

OT Do you shoot daily?
AC [Initially] I had too many experiences where, grocery shopping or running errands, I saw someone I would have loved to photograph. Now, I'm always armed with my Olympus PEN and prepared to capture a subject to share with my readers.

OT You study the role of social media in fashion marketing. What role do bloggers play?
AC Bloggers are essentially innovators and trendsetters, early adopters in marketing terminology. These people hold considerable influence over their networks, and social media has dramatically increased that sphere of influence. Before the rise of blogging a trendsetter like Tavi Gevinson would have been limited to influencing people in her local community, but with the Internet she can set trends across the world. Her sway in the fashion industry stems from her authenticity as a consumer, which is extremely valuable to a brand. I'm really interested in how brands build relationships with bloggers and the role of authenticity in those partnerships.

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Mayer Hawthorne & The County
7:30 p.m. at Subterranean; $17
With his confident onstage demeanor and smooth velvety voice, Andrew Cohen (aka Mayer Hawthorne), has quickly become one of Stones Throw’s most popular artists. Since his first performance in Chicago at the darkroom, Cohen has done a good job embracing the character of Hawthorne, which initially started out as a tongue-in-cheek way to impress close friends. His last performance at North Coast Music Festival was particularly impressive as he displayed a knack for controlling a large-scale crowd without compromising his laidback MO. At this point in his career it seems like fans are ready for Cohen to take things up a notch, and his performance at Sub-T will be a perfect place for him to do so. (J. Min)

Traces
2:30 and 8 p.m. at Broadway Playhouse; $33-$97
"Traces" features several boys and one girl performing acrobatic feats in a grungy faux loft while wearing pinstripe pants and white shirts, as if this is just what they do after they're done being paralegals. Watch out for the male pas-de-deux, which combines sweaty badassery with the kind of homo-eroticism that even straight people can enjoy.

Marshall Krenshaw
8 p.m. at SPACE; $17-$20
The makers of 1987's "La Bamba" were careful to get the music right in their film bio of Ritchie Valens, with Los Lobos supplying the playing for the title character and Marshall Crenshaw doing a spot-on take on Buddy Holly. Nearly 25 years later, Crenshaw remains one of the preeminent purveyors of buoyant, old-school pop with hooks that bury themselves in your head and wry wordplay. Talented local singer-songwriter Phil Angotti opens. (Mike Clark)

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Sam Friend
7:30 p.m. at Mayne Stage; $10
Florida-bred singer/songwriter Sam Friend schooled himself in jazz at the University of Miami before hitting the indie-rock yellow brick road from Seattle to Brooklyn and back to cut sophomore effort Lady Madly. The effort laces Friend's Shins-y vocals and frantic improvisational education with bits of strings, horns and wide-hooked guitars aimed at all things pop, with sweet-sad numbers with names like "Mister Huggins" and "Smile for the Camera." (Gavin Paul)

Ghostbox
8:30 p.m. at Apollo Studio Theater; $12-$20
Supernatural, psychological or just plain strange? This new one-act, which looks like the Orpheus myth filtered through “The Ring,” splices video with live actors, telling the story of a woman using a transistor radio to search for her dead husband.

Tecmo Bowl Championships
7 p.m. at Finn McCool’s; free
Go old school with the championships of this month-long competition to see who has the best Nintendo football skills. The winner gets a trip to the 2011 college football national championship game. Our Town tip: Play with the Raiders. Bo Jackson is a beast!

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A couple of football specials to pass along, in case you’re looking for somewhere to watch the game tonight:

Longtime radio personality-turned podcaster Steve Dahl takes his show on the road to Trader Vic’s for Aloha Monday Nights. He’ll be hanging out with everyone at the Gold Coast bar offers up $3 domestic and import bottles, $5 Bear Bombs and a $12 Pigskin buffet.

Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap is running a season-long “coin toss” special. Each table will get a chance to flip a special Melnick’s coin to win prizes like food specials and discounts. You can also get half price Rogue bottles all night long.

Looking for more? Find plenty of NFL game-day specials here.

hallogallo-450.jpg Hallogallo 2010 9 p.m. at Lincoln Hall; $20 Krautrock founding father Michael Rother has rallied Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, Tall Firs’ Aaron Mullan and the Secret Machine’s Ben Curtis to jam the ambient glory days of Rother’s immediate step outside of Kraftwerk. Neu! opened the floodgate to experimental guitar sounds and all of the new noises we so adore today. Chicago’s garage rock set, Disappears, gets the privilege of opening. Rick Shapiro 9 p.m. at Schubas; $12-$14 The New York City funnyman headlines a night of comedy presented by Laugh It Up, Kid. Local funnymen Junior Stopka and Drew Michael join Jersey’s Prescott Tolk to help get the crowd warmed up. Hot Mikado 1:30 p.m. at Drury Lane; $31 Take the afternoon off and check out David Bell's smokin’ hot adaptation of "The Swing Mikado," a 1938 African-American version of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. Go ahead, you’ve earned it.

3 Things To Do Today

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Tatsu Aoki, Mwata Bowden, Justin Dillard, Ed Wilkerson
6 p.m. at Museum of Contemporary Art; free
The MCA presents Tuesdays on the Terrace, presented by Macy's. This week, the quartet performs a tribute to legendary saxophonist Fred Anderson, who passed away in June.

Movies in the Park
Dusk; free
Get on down the road (er, Lake Shore Drive) to see “The Wiz” at South Shore Cultural Center; or indulge the youngsters with a screening of “Monsters vs. Aliens” at Erie Park (630 N. Kingsbury).

Unsane, Today is the Day, Keelhaul
9:30 p.m. at Empty Bottle; $12
New York hard rockers Unsane have been making noise for going on two decades now. They join up with metalhead quartet Keelhaul and Today is the Day for what can only be described as a very loud show … in a good way. (21+)

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Gold Coast Art Fair
Friday-Sunday in Grant Park; free
The 53rd annual art fair attracts 450 artists and nearly 350,000 visitors. This year it moves to a new location in Grant Park, just across from the Art Institute.

Love's Labour's Lost
Through Sunday at Oak Park Festival Theatre; $10-$20
Oak Park Festival Theatre had a critical hit with its season opener, a sorrowful, starlit take on "Of Mice and Men." Its second show of the season is more typical outdoor summer fare, a Shakespearean comedy that's billed, alarmingly, as a bardic version of "Sex in the City." That warning aside, this should be a deft, enjoyable picnic of a show.

North Side Summerfest
Friday-Sunday at Lincoln and Irving Park; $5
This new fest (only in its fourth year) is all about the party, and you'll need to let off some steam after a grueling festival season. The music lineup includes all the festival staples, like Sixteen Candles (Friday), Too White Crew and Wedding Banned (Saturday) and Hairbangers Ball (Sunday).

Superstars of Burlesque
10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday at Music Box; $20
America's top teasers descend on the Music Box for a weekend of glitz, debuachery and highly creative pasties. This two-night-only event, organized by Michelle L'amour (the Chicagoland area's duchess of skin) is guaranteed to be a fancy affair. Why? Every single performer holds a world title from the Burlesque Hall of Fame.

Demitria Taylor, Rob Blaine
9 p.m. Sunday at B.L.U.E.S.
One of the Eddie Taylor prodigal spawn, daughter Demetria doesn't get the limelight her brothers enjoy. But that'll be a passing phase when people start to pick up on her Memphis Minnie meets Koko Taylor sass, which she's been slinging in spades from B.L.U.E.S. to the Chicago Blues Festival without the fam. Opening guitarist Rob Blaine, 29, has seen stints with both the late, great Little Milton and The Chicago R&B Kings, heartily recruited for his ability to keep in time while traversing through blues, soul and funk, albeit armed with his most lethal weapon: a bearish growl channeled in '70s roadhouse lore.

3 Things To Do Today

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History Pub Crawl
6:45 p.m. at Chicago History Museum; $20-$45
The monthly historic tour hits up the Gold Coast. Learn about the role the Chicago River and Lake Michigan have played in Chicago’s history, all while throwing back some cheap beers.

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure
8 p.m. at the side project; $10-$20
A Sherlock Holmes musical might seem illogical, but critics say it's a stroke of deductive genius. Stephen Dietz's snappy adaptation shows the famous sleuth falling in love and getting high, not to mention emotional enough to sing. Strong performances and smooth-as-clockwork staging make this caper an obvious (not to say elementary) choice for summer entertainment.

Soulja Boy
7 p.m. at Congress Theater; $25
Soulja headlines the Youngest N Charge tour, which features a gaggle of young hip-hop artists including JaBar and Sammie Young

3 Things To Do Today

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My Morning Jacket
7 p.m. at Charter One Pavilion; $46
Expect to see a return to the reverb-to-the-heavens Southern Kentucky soul for this quintet, which will kick it old school from Z (2005) and the more progressive Evil Urges (2008), and maybe a few new ones from an expected album in the next year or so.

Jason Adasiewicz
5:30 p.m. at Museum of Contemporary Art; free
See the jazz composer/percussionist at the Tuesdays on the Terrace series.

Rosh Hashana Boot Camp
6:30 p.m. at Spertus Institute; $18
Learn tricks of the Jewish cooking trade with Spertus kosher catering executive chef Laura Frankel.

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I’ve just about had it with street fests. Market Days sent me over the edge. If I ran a street fest we’d serve fruit cups and cucumber water. Who are these people who can deep throat an Italian sausage in the blazing sun?

And speaking of phallic stand-ins, who actually thinks it’s a good idea to bring a snake to a packed festival? Would you invite Death or Public Speaking? No, because just like Snakes, thousands fear them.

When I leave the house in summer I’m prepared to confront exes who’ve spent winter hibernating, road construction and drunken blonds in Cubs shirts and stilettos; but add snakes and humidity to the mix and agoraphobia’s looking better by the day.

Which brings me to refrigerators, specifically those dotting the Magnificent Mile. An ostensibly snake-less summer attraction, the contraptions, dubbed “Fine Art Fridges,” are part of an art exhibit sponsored by ComEd. Representing everything from architecture to the gulf oil spill, the exhibit features work of local artists like Lucy Slivinski, whose piece, “In the Land of Love, There is No Garbage” is located at 505 N. Michigan Ave. Other artists including Mike Helbing and Nicole Beck also contribute, offering a total of nine inventive iceboxes.

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Al Green
7:30 p.m. Saturday at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino; $45-$85
Although Reverend Al Green's voice has waned a bit over the years, his last solo album, Lay It Down, proved that he still has the pipes — and charisma — to capture a listener's heart. For his set at Horseshoe Casino you can expect him to explore some of those new ventures, but rest assured, no Al Green performance is complete without a stop through some of his classic Hi Records material.

The Ruby Sunrise
7:30 p.m. through Sunday at Theater on the Lake; $17.50
In summertime, the good television is on stage. Rinne Froff's fantasia, about a female inventor and her sitcom-writing daughter, is a quick-witted story of girl genius and its casualties. The show, a remount of the Gift's immensely appealing 2009 production, plays at Theater on the Lake this weekend only. If you want to catch it, get off the couch.

Newberry Book Fair
Through Sunday at Newberry Library; free
From antiques to zoology, you'll find more than 100,000 books on every topic, most for less than $2. Get validated and you can park at 100 W. Chestnut or 100 E. Walton for $7 for up to eight hours.

Wicker Park Fest
Noon-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday at Milwaukee Avenue (between North and Wood); $5
Expect a primo lineup of live music, local cuisine and art in an eclectic neighborhood. Acts this year include emo-punk pioneers Cap'n Jazz, plus Holy F*ck, The Gaslamp Killer and Local H.

Lincoln Park Arts & Music Festival
Noon Saturday-Sunday on Racine (between Fullerton and Webster); $7
See work from nearly 100 artists at this newish (second year) street fest. There are also two stages of live music, featuring Virginia rockers the Pat McGee Band (Saturday) and Louisiana accordionist extraordinaire Buckwheat Zydeco (Sunday).

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Single City is a twice-weekly blog about the Chicago dating scene written by Sun-Times Media Wire reporter Sally Ho. Got a question? Email her!

There is something about a breathtaking view of a city skyline that screams romance.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris and The Empire State Building in New York City have always been linked to such glory and spectacle, but let's not forget the iconic choices here in Chicago.

RICH MAN: A day at the Willis (Sears) Tower is a sure-to-be-fantastic and refreshing "Tourist in your Own City" date that 1.3 million other people visit each year.

The Skydeck and view is obviously very cool, but don't forget the exhibits about our great city, high-tech telescopes, and summer concert series on the plaza – head over this Friday from noon-1:30 p.m. for music and dance by The Boilermaker Jazz Band.

Thirty bucks gets you in the express line to the tallest(?) building in the Western Hemisphere. It also provides you the opportunity to brag about the time you saw Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin from one spot. Cool.

POOR MAN: Enjoy a possibly even better view at the other tall dark building that is part of our pretty skyline known as the John Hancock building.

For the cost of a drink as little as $7.50 (non alcoholic) or a $12 cocktail, you can head up to The Signature Lounge on the 96th floor without an admission fee. You¹ll get great views of the beachfront, Lake Michigan, and the city and, most importantly, a tasty beverage.

3 Things To Do Today

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B-52s
8 p.m. at Ravinia; $27-$50
Rock your lobster off with the popular ‘80s band, which teams with the Dirtzy Dozen Brass Band for what shapes up to be a rather raucous show at Ravinia.

Beer and Brats Party
5-8 p.m. at Chicago Marriott Downtown; $10
Join famed brewers John and Jake Leinenkugel as they pair home-made sausages with their brews, including the extra-refreshing Summer Shandy.

Carnivale University: Tequila 101
6:30 p.m. at Carnivale; $25 (RSVP required)
Learn about the origins of tequila while sipping and sampling at the popular River West Latin American spot.

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Single City is a twice-weekly blog about the Chicago dating scene written by Sun-Times Media Wire reporter Sally Ho. Got a question? Email her!

Smoking, religion, parenting are all accepted, and obvious, deal breakers.

But if you are dating in the city, sometimes it's the quieter ones that hurt your budding romances first. In the spirit of finding the mildly bumpy but everlasting road to true love, keep these deal-breakers in mind for your next first date if you are hoping it will be the last.

Sweet Talk in the City

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Single City is a twice-weekly blog about the Chicago dating scene written by Sun-Times Media Wire reporter Sally Ho. Got a question? Email her!

Here is June's roundup of the 10 best, worst and most hilarious verbal exchanges I've been blessed to witness:

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Them Crooked Vultures
8 p.m. at Aragon Ballroom; $46.75
When this trio blew up the Metro last August with their secret Lolla midnight after-party, the only thing people had time to think about was how kick-ass the combined powers of John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl and Josh Homme could potentially be. Sadly, the marketing turned out to be more of a kick than the record that dropped later that winter; it was wily and full of knee-forward bombast, but by no means on par with the members' famed pasts (Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age). A new record is on the way, though, and the live show is sure to remain hair-raising.

Indie Incubator Film Fest
7:30 p.m. at The Original Mother's; free
Once again, you'll enjoy two hours of independent short films from local filmmakers at this Gold Coast bar, with a dance party to follow the rest of the night. New to the festivities this year are the 'Eye-Con' Awards and the Image Union Awards.

Zepaltas Wine Tasting
6-8:30 p.m. at Bistro 110; $25
Winemaker Ryan Zepaltas comes to this restaurant just off the Magnificent Mile for a special event that includes unlimited tastings and paired appetizers and small plates. Featured wines include a 2007 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, a 2007 Rose of Pinot Noir, a 2006 Rosella's Vineyard, Santa Luci Highland Syrah and more.

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Afternoon Tea at the Drake Hotel.(photo: chicagoceli via Flickr)

Single City is a twice-weekly blog about the Chicago dating scene written by Sun-Times Media Wire reporter Sally Ho. Got a question? Email her!

Tea parties have taken on a new meaning, but once upon a time, it was a high-society affair meant to hold your stomach over until a later lavish dinner. Tea time is not sexy, per se, but it can be romantic for some and a sweet treat for all. Here's how to do it up like a real aristocrat -- or a lowly peasant.

RICH MAN: For this very Old World date, go to The Drake Hotel for Afternoon Tea. For $30 per person, you get sandwiches, pastries, fruit, bread and scones and your choice of super fancy tea in the beautifully elegant Tea Lobby. Go any day of the year between 1 and 5 p.m., with each tea time lasting an hour and a half. The "smart-casual" dress code gives you a good excuse to look extra sharp for your date and the harpist (yes, a harpist!) provides good background music. Non-tea drinkers will still be able to appreciate the atmosphere at the fanciest hotel in Chicago and the famed powder room, which was listed as finalist for America's Best Public Restroom Contest last year.

POOR MAN: Enjoy a different kind of caffeinated date this week at with a Starbucks Happy Hour. Through May 16, participating Starbucks are offering half-price Frappuccinos between 3 and 5 p.m. Note: I generally do not advise any first-date involving coupons, Groupons or 2-for-1's, but man what a deal!

Here are some recent Chicago restaurant (and bar) openings and closings.

OPEN:
Manee Thai -- The popular Thai spot rises from the ashes, returning to Avondale after a fire.
The Vault -- This "upperground lounge" above Vivo offers cocktails, personal pizzas and more in an old bank vault.
Blue Frog 22 -- Kick back and have some fun at this River North spinoff of the popular Blue Frog Bar & Grill that looks more like a basement rec room. Board games and karaoke rule this bar.
Sushi Para M -- The Sushi Para all-you-can-eat sushi empire moves into Bucktown with this new BYOB location on Milwaukee.
Deca Restaurant + Bar -- The Ritz-Carlton opened this new restaurant with brasserie-inspired cuisine.
Cloud 9 -- This Taiwanese "snow ice" spot in Lakeview serves what can be described as a mix between ice cream and shaved ice, with fresh fruit and fruit purees.

CLOSING:
Tizi Melloul -- You've only got another week to get Middle Eastern fare in a modern environment, as this River North staple closes May 15.

CLOSED:
Follia -- West Loop Italian spot had great food, but not enough crowds.
Bar Louie (Little Italy) -- Don't worry, there are plenty of other locations to visit in the area.
Paris Cafe -- The short-lived River North spot was replaced by the generically named Chicago Bar & Grill.

Check back here every week for more openings and closings, and be sure to check out Centerstage Chicago's lists of new restaurants and bars.

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Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just Opened: Aldino’s
Italian-themed restaurant and market focuses on local flavors.

Off the Beaten Path: Nicksons Eatery
Regional American fare in downtown La Grange.

Weekly Treat: Half-price wine tonight at 42n Latitude
Lincoln Square bar has cheap bottles of vino after 5 p.m.

Man We're Crazy About: The Purple Pig
Wine and cheese (and pork) for the Michigan Avenue tourist -- and foodie -- crowd.

For more Chicago bar and restaurant news, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

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This could be you on Saturday. (photo: Hop Cast)

Dark Lord Day
10 a.m. Saturday at Three Floyds Brewing; free
Even if you didn't snag one of the coveted "golden tickets," which give you the right to purchase bottles of the rare Dark Lord Imperial Stout, it's worth heading down to Munster, Ind., for this all-day party including tons of other awesome beers, live music and more.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Gold Coast category.

Garfield Ridge is the previous category.

Grand Boulevard is the next category.

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