Parkways Foundation Sixth Annual Garden Party

June 19, 2008 – Parkways Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the Chicago Park District, hosted the sixth annual Garden Party at Northerly Island. Over 650 attended the event which raised a record $300,000 for a new soccer field at McKinley Park. The theme of the afternoon was a tribute to the Century of Progress World’s Fair. Guests enjoyed a reception featuring young violinist from Sherwood Park in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, a performance by the GoGirlGo! dancers also from Sherwood Park and Chicago designer Maria Pinto added excitement to the reception with a fashion preview featuring 12 looks from her collection.

Breaking the Rules of Engagement

One thing I’ve learned since I started writing this blog back in December 2006: I’ve got to have a thick skin when it comes to readers’ comments. Among the most ominous posted last week: “I think you are rushing into everything,” and, my personal favorite, “Your marriage is going to fail.” Some of these declarations even made The Fiancé flinch. “Why would someone say that?” he asked me the other day.

The naysaying isn’t about to break up my engagement, but it did give me pause. It got me thinking…

Summer Lovin’ 2008

Benefit for Northwestern Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Board and the Prostate Gene Therapy Program

June 20, 2008 – Chicago magazine and the Auxiliary Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital co-hosted the 8th annual Summer Lovin’ event, celebrating Chicago magazine’s 20 most eligible singles at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Over 1,000 guests gathered to enjoy an evening full of fun and flirting complete with tasty hors d’oeuvres from 14 of the city’s hottest restaurants, an array of signature cocktails, a silent auction, a raffle for a trip to Hawaii, live music, a photo booth, a virtual reality race car stimulator from Lexus, dancing, and much more. All proceeds benefited the Prostate Cancer Gene Therapy Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
For more Summer Lovin’ pictures, check out http://www.evite.com/pages/promo/summerLovin.jsp
Photos by Randy Belice

From Haute Grills to Low-VOCs

I stopped by Vesta Chicago’s Fuego grill launch party last week and it was sizzling. What makes the Fuego grill so cool is that it doesn’t really look like one. Architects, designers, and friends of Vesta (a dealer of modern kitchen cabinetry and wardrobes) gathered around what looked like several industrial-style kitchen islands to collect their delicious burgers and fish tacos. The Fuego has no visible lid (it’s fully retractable), so there’s no physical barrier between the grill master and his/her friends. Teak and slate countertops surrounding the cooking surface allow you to set down your plates and drinks as if it were a bar. The grill also has tons of hidden storage (including a place to hide the gas tank), and for purists, a drawer containing an optional charcoal-grilling system.

Next, it was on to a soirée at the remodeled home and studio of the husband-wife architect team, Lisa and Ron Elkins, owners of the eco-friendly firm 2 Point Perspective. We checked out their cool new kitchen with its bamboo cabinets, recycled glass countertops, and energy-saving LED lighting (we will post photos as soon as we have them), and we marveled at the huge, gorgeous planks of rough reclaimed wood, freshly purchased from Horigan Urban Forest Products , that they had leaning against their living room wall next to a sign proclaiming: “Future dining table.” The nice people of Greenmaker, an eco-friendly remodeling supply store, were on hand raffling off gift certificates.

Claudia Skylar of Mastro & Skylar Architects, Colette Rodon-Hornof of Vesta Chicago, and Ann Clark of Nicholas Clark Architects

A Fuego grill in all its glory

Sale of the Week—An Evanston House Swap

List Price (Tudor): $2.975 million
Sale Price: $2.975 million
List Price (Brick): $1.295 million
Sale Price: $1.225 million
The Properties: The owners of these two homes swapped houses—even though it wasn’t an even trade. In fact, as you can see, one residence is worth more than twice the other…

So Long, Au Coin!

We were sad to hear that Mary Jeanne Reese is closing her fantastic Au Coin du Feu showroom so that she can concentrate on her Nymphenburg USA business. It’s a real loss for Chicago, but there’s a silver lining: if you’re in the market for fireplace surrounds, fireplace accessories, reclaimed fire brick and tile, hearthstone, flooring, or antique home and garden accessories, they’re discounted at 50 to 75 percent off retail to clear. You’ve got til July 31; call 312-850-2655 or email mj@acdf-fireplace.com for an appointment. Look for Reese to open her Nymphenburg showroom this fall; we’ll keep you posted.

 An iron fireback typical of Au coin du Feu’s inventory

Eames Stamps

I’ve already bought five sheets of these fab stamps (gave one sheet as a hostess gift, along with wine, last weekend). At first, I was stingy about using them on actual envelopes, then thought, hey, why shouldn’t the person who processes my car insurance bill get a little treat? Buy them at the Postal Store here.


Holding Out for a Hero

Take that, Dark Knight. Chicago Tap Theatre presents a superheroine with sass and mad tap-dance skills in The Hourglass and the Poisoned Pen. Co-created by CTT artistic director Mark Yonally and comic book artist Andrew Pepoy, whose work includes inking the likes of Batman and X-Men, the show blends opera and…

The Odd Couple

We’re in the beer. This summer has seen two new brewpubs pop up in the greater Chicago area, although they couldn’t be more different. Think town and country: One is stationed in an already established bar, smackdab in the midst of Drinktown Central (i.e. Wicker Park); the other is nestled in the idyllic Northwest Indiana enclave of Crown Point. The two brewmasters, however, share a pedigree that includes degrees from Chicago’s Siebel Institute, stints at Goose Island, and a boundless enthusiasm for beer. We talked to both…

The It List: This Week’s Nightlife Buzz

Like the Web itself, Last Girl Standing has evolved. I used to mix nightlife news with stories from the singles scene; now I pair nightlife coverage with reports from the road to the altar—and you can always read my monthly column, Nightspotting, in Chicago magazine. But since there’s some confusion as to the LGS schedule, here’s the scoop: On Mondays, I’ll be writing about my engagement; on Thursdays, tune in for dispatches from the nightlife front. I’m off for my wedding in September, but the party’s not over: In October, it’ll be all nightlife all the time. And if you’re looking for more info…