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Allen Maniscalco

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Allen Maniscalco, 32
Photojournalist/T-shirt designer
Lives in: West Loop
Backstory: Throughout the workweek, Maniscalco shoots for CBS 2 News, documenting stories around Chicago and beyond. In his spare time, Maniscalco runs a T-shirt company, Bada-bling Chicago, and many of Maniscalco’s designs (like a recent rendering of the city’s flag) have a Chicago theme. “Chicago is one of my favorite subjects,” he says. “I try to be a good ambassador for this city.” Maniscalco was born in Lincoln Park and raised in Lake View. He attended St. Ignatius College Prep and studied communication arts at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
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What is your necessary extravagance?
Italian leather jackets and shoes.

Favorite TV show?

Favorite magazine?
National Geographic.

Favorite Web site?

What CD is in heavy rotation right now?
“True Democracy” by Steel Pulse.

Item of clothing you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing?
A tuxedo T-shirt.

Item of clothing you can’t throw away?
A T-shirt I got when I was 14. I bought it at the old Wax Trax and it was the first T-shirt I bought with my own money. It has an Ethiopian flag with the Lion of Judah on the front and, on the back, I wrote out the lyrics for [Bob Marley’s] “Redemption Song” in my messy 14-year-old handwriting.

How do you order your steak?
Medium well.

What’s your drink?
Ketel One vodka and tonic.

Use two words to describe yourself in high school.
“Annoying teenager.”

When it comes to dates, what’s your secret weapon?
Chocolate. My mom told me that all women love chocolate, and I think that’s true.

What song would you sing if you were forced to do karaoke?
“Waiting in Vain” by Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Neither. For me, it’s either Power 92 or WGCI.

Deep dish or thin crust?
Thin crust.

Describe your exercise routine.
When I get to the gym, I do 35 to 45 minutes of cardio on an elliptical machine, light weights, and some sit-ups. Otherwise, I ride my bike to work when it’s warm and I carry heavy equipment at work.

Favorite time of day?
2 p.m., because you still have some day left and the rest of the evening to look forward to.

Morning person or night owl?
Night owl.

How much do you tip?
20 percent.

Favorite bar in Chicago?
Darkroom and Subterranean.

I own too many . . .
Video games.

What color is your bathroom?
Yellow, blue, and a greenish-grayish color.

Bad habit you wish you could break?
Eating out too much.

Ever been skinny-dipping?


I could not date someone who . . .
Isn’t career minded.

Cubs or White Sox?
Cubs for pleasure, Sox for baseball.

My idea of a perfect vacation is . . .
Three months traveling around the world.

What’s on your nightstand right now?
A crucifix from Mexico, a wooden lion someone carved for me in Jamaica, two candles my mom gave to me, and a box of assorted jewelry and watches.

Last movie you LOVED?
Hustle & Flow.

Favorite meal?
My mom’s baked mostaccioli.

If you could have dinner with three living people, who would they be?
Dave Chappelle, Salma Hayek, and Fidel Castro.

What’s a fun fact about you?
I have great night vision.

Guilty pleasure?
America’s Next Top Model.

How much was your last haircut?
$20, and it looks like it.

At which store would you max out your credit card?
The Puma Store.

I can’t stand people who . . .
Don’t use turn signals or drive selfishly, mostly because I spend a lot of time in the car for work.

What do you do when you’re bored?
Think about what I’m supposed to be doing.

If money were no object, I’d go back to school and become . . .
An archaeologist, because I’ve always been fascinated by artifacts and I’d love to be one of the first people to see something that’s, potentially, thousands of years old.

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