January 24, 2008 - Chicago magazine was pleased to introduce its Chicagoans of the Year, a handful of people whose actions have changed life in the region for the better. The magazine celebrated their achievements at its annual Chicagoans of the Year luncheon on Thursday, January 24, 2008, at the Four Seasons Hotel. Recipients also received a $1,000 donation to the charities of their choice courtesy of the Chicago Tribune Foundation. Read more

Breakfast for Two at Sixteen
For the first 15 minutes or so, it was just the two of us, which meant that we were the most fascinating people in the room. The staff kind of hovered. Even though construction of the 92-floor building won’t be finished until summer of 2009, things looked pretty swanky from where we were sitting. Which just happened to be in the River Room, in cerulean blue chairs next to one of the 30-foot-high windows, with a very nice view of the Wrigley Building’s clock tower. It’s a striking space, full of beautiful swirly-grained African wood.

As soon as we sat down, our waiter asked if we wanted freshly squeezed orange juice. Sure. Skinny shooter glasses filled with yummy berry juice came as...

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I've often fantasized about starting my own concierge business. I know that sort of thing flies in cities like Vegas—maybe not so much in Chicago—so instead it's a service I offer free to friends, friends of friends, and, of course, friends of Last Girl Standing. Want to know what's going on today, tomorrow, and this weekend, dear nightlife enthusiasts? Keep reading and post your comments below. This is your forum, too.

Last week a loyal LGS reader and newly single friend who's been out of the nightlife loop for a while charged me with planning a night out for her and another friend, both in their 30s. She sent me this e-mail...

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List Price: $2.45 million
The Property: When the picturesque but obsolete Fort Sheridan military base on the Lake Michigan bluffs between Highland Park and Lake Forest was being converted to a residential neighborhood in the late 1990s, a key member of the redevelopment team, Richard Stein, called dibs on what must have seemed at the time like a questionable parcel. While some of his teammates snapped up handsome blufftop homes that had housed the base’s top officers, Stein took a long, squat building a few blocks from the lakefront...

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Age Enlightenment

Fred Ramos, a veteran chef who most recently ran the show at Room 21 (and Gioco, Printer’s Row, and Pili.Pili), has signed on with a large-scale steak house in the heart of River North. “It’s going to be a modern steak house—the new hip scene,” says Ramos, who will be competing with nearby beef palaces Keefer’s, Ruth’s Chris, Sullivan’s, and Harry Caray’s. The still-unnamed restaurant, owned by Chicago investors, will have homemade pastas, an ambitious rooftop deck, and its own dry-aging room. (Ramos has been hanging out in a couple of local restaurants to learn dry aging.) Expect a...

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With news that John Edwards will drop out of the presidential race today, we present this somewhat prophetic shot by Flickr user Mona T. Brooks (alias: mona, eh) at the YearlyKos convention in Chicago this past summer. Alone backstage, away from the bright lights and TV cameras, Edwards displays a look of pensive uncertainty.

The photo was to be part of our "Net Pix" feature in the February 2008 issue, but it got away from us...

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The Federal Reserve is widely expected to cut its rate again later today, but that doesn’t mean you should call your mortgage broker this afternoon in search of a lower payment. You should have called yesterday.

There is a widespread misconception that mortgage rates are directly connected to the Fed’s funds rate. In fact, the relationship is more along the lines of “Me and My Shadow”: the two tend to move approximately in step with one another, but neither one orders the other around.

“Mortgage bond markets meet every day, much more often than the Fed,” says Dan Green, a mortgage planner and loan officer at Mobium Mortgage here in Chicago and the author of themortgagereports.com. “Most of what the Fed is responding to has already been...

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Our condo in Fajardo, a town on the country's breathtaking northeastern coast, was lovely. We had a panoramic view of the ocean and palm trees—and our airy apartment had everything we needed. When the toilet became a little volatile one afternoon, Isaac decided to buy a plunger, and when he came home, he realized we already had one. Two plungers: now that's the lap of luxury.

I was left alone to babysit Lillian one day. We had masses of toys at our disposal, but for two hours, she was interested mainly in three things: a book called Huggy Buggy, a tin that once held a deck of Seinfeld playing cards, and my facial hair, all of which she endlessly studied and put in her mouth...

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Lovely and Amazing

Anyone who has walked away from a cosmetics counter wearing three layers of foundation and clown lips will appreciate the focus on natural beauty at Amazing Cosmetics (601 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville; 847-680-3917, amazingcosmetics.com). “Our philosophy is less is more,” says co-founder Lisa Thurman. The line, which has been successfully selling through Ulta, Sephora, and its Web site, opens a small storefront boutique in Libertyville on Feb 1st. The company was started in 2000 when Thurman and Sue Katz, who were friends and, at the time, stay-at-home moms, launched the line from their kitchen tables. The business grew largely through guerilla word-of-mouth marketing. The pair put the product into the hands of celebrity makeup artists, which led to celebrity devotees such as Naomi Watts and Cindy Crawford. The line also won spots in the makeup rooms of Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada. Sandy Incardona, the company’s sales and marketing guru, says, “This little company in Libertyville is making Hollywood gorgeous.” The line focuses on...

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Burlesque is nothing new to Chicago; the peekaboo-performance revival has been working its way through local venues for the last several years. What is new to town, though, is Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce, a troupe with home bases in Hollywood and Vegas that claims boldface names such as George Clooney among its patrons.

This past weekend marked the troupe's début Chicago run, Thursday through Saturday at the recently reopened Le Passage—an ideal venue, since the subterranean club boasts its own speakeasy vibe...

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