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Guilty Pleasures 3

Nom de Goon

Members of the Mob are nothing to laugh at. These people can be stone-cold killers, and they ought not to be romanticized. But does any outfit come up with nicknames as good as the Outfit? Joey “Doves” Aiuppa, John “Jake the Barber” Factor, Tony “The Ant” Spilotro—the lyricism evidences a suppressed creativity hard to find in, say, the sporting or political world. “The Big Hurt” for the White Sox’ Frank Thomas is passable, but the Cubs, with “Rem” for Mike Remlinger and “Walk” for Todd Walker, are the epitome of lazy. Among local pols, there is no one like Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna or “Bathhouse John” Coughlin anymore. So it’s up to the Mob to give us monikers like Sam “Golf Bag” Hunt, John “Haircuts” Campanelli, and Willie “Potatoes” Daddano.

Under Wraps

Though I work in the fashion biz, I regularly schlep large packages and drive a truck—which means my posterior is usually clad in jeans. Yet I am always secretly in touch with my feminine side, wearing colorful lingerie beneath my workaday garb: matching Bamboo prints from Underthings (804 W. Webster Ave.; 773-472-9291); Cosabella’s seasonal offerings from Isabella Fine Lingerie (1101 W. Webster Ave.; 773-281-2352); Hanky Panky thongs—in all 32 colors—from Trousseau (3543 N. Southport Ave.; 773-472-2727). Raizy (1944 N. Damen Ave.; 773-227-2221) kits me out in camis and chemises, and Samantha Chicago (64 E. Walton St.; 312-951-5383) carries a wide range of Petit Bateau tanks. Sexy? Absolutely. Just ask my husband, who’s in on my secret.


Chris Guillen
Faux Supreme: A Diana Ross impersonator woos the crowd at Kit Kat Lounge

Where the Boys Are

After a streak of nights in the hetero bars, my girlfriends and I head over to Boystown (roughly Halsted Street from Belmont Avenue to Irving Park Road). There we croon Blondie songs during karaoke at Roscoe’s (3356 N. Halsted; 773-281-3355), blow kisses to the female impersonators at the Kit Kat Lounge (3700 N. Halsted; 773-525-1111), and sip wine at X/O (3441 N. Halsted; 773-348-9696). Finally, we elbow our way onto the dance floor at Hydrate (3458 N. Halsted; 773-975-9244) and writhe uninhibited among the wild, shirtless boys.



Pocket Money

The last pair I bought cost $185. Jeans: the quintessential American garment that 19th-century gold miners wore for function, not fashion. My latest beauties (from Diesel) don’t offer much more than the Gap’s $40 version, save a great rear view and some distinctive stitching. But it’s that back-pocket stitching that instantly signals status—and like so many others, I have fallen prey to its must-have allure. Now the new Barneys New York Co-op (2209 N. Halsted St.; 773-248-0426) has raised the stakes even higher. It tempts with the straight-leg Rogans at $228 a pair, tantalizes with the new $265 Stitch’s, and positively seduces with a pair of True Religions—though even I can’t defend paying $359 for a pair of pockets. Or can I?


There’s the Rub

I always work through lunch. Always. But on that particular Thursday, I had other plans—a secret rendezvous with a stranger. What had gotten into me? I didn’t wait for an answer, just put on my dark glasses and escaped. A few blocks from work, I doffed my clothes, showered, and slipped into a fresh cotton robe and slippers. A lovely woman called my name, and I followed her down a winding hallway to a candlelit room where soft music played. I undressed, and then she began to . . . exfoliate me. She started with a pineapple-papaya body scrub, followed by hot moist towels to remove the grit, and a silky lotion to finish me off. It left me radiant, relaxed, refreshed, and fragrant—all of which made it mighty difficult to slip back into the office unnoticed. Spa Space (161 N. Canal St.; 312-466-9585) offers an array of scrubs, rubs, wraps, massages, facials, nail treatments, and the like for women and men. The full-service juice bar is always open, and there is a special spa food menu available Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and after 5 p.m. Book your lunchtime getaway in advance, as spaces fill quickly.


TRIBUNE photo by Bill Hogan

Radio Daze

Yes, I could listen to NPR and be an informed citizen, but going to work in the morning is hard enough without hearing the latest Iraq casualty figures. Which is usually when I find myself tuning in to Q101 for Mancow Muller’s Morning Madhouse. A little of the morning announcer’s adolescent humor goes a long way, but Mancow’s parade of freak-show guests, nostalgic celebrity worship (who am I to deny the metaphysical importance of William Shatner?), and manic outbursts provide comic relief during a stressful morning—even if I do feel embarrassed for laughing at his jokes. (Mancow’s Morning Madhouse airs Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 10 a.m. at 101.1 FM.)


Dark Victory

I have most of the standard vices, and always considered myself lucky that chocolate was not among them. Until now. With chocolate in the news as a miraculous antioxidant, it seemed time to cast off my mild aversion to the sweet. shelled out $6 for a Red Fire Bar from Vosges Haut-Chocolat—three and a third ounces of dark chocolate seasoned with Mexican spices, including ancho and chipotle chilies. Following the wrapper’s instructions to the letter, I broke off a stamp-size piece with every intention of letting it melt slowly on my tongue. Moment of epiphany. The dark chocolate was dense, its texture enhanced by coarse grains of cinnamon, and the pleasant heat of the chilies mingled with the musky sweetness of the cacao. It took me just 15 seconds or so to savor the piece; I could have prolonged the pleasure, but why bother? After all, it was a big bar, and I was eager to sample more. Now a confirmed two-bars-a-week girl, I find that my pants are a little snug, but what a small price to pay. (The Red Fire Bar is available at Whole Foods, Trotter’s To Go, Intelligentsia, and all Vosges outlets; www.vosgeschocolate.com.)

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