As we come closer to those holiday tidings known as Christmas and New Year's and also getting to watch the majesty of the first snow of the year, now is as good a time as ever to slow down. This is my reasoning for forgoing my usual hectic ritual of coaxing and harassing potential profileés. Ah, who am I kidding? I'm still nursing off my evening with my fellow CN bloggers at the ChicagoNow Holiday Blathering Party (Check me out in picture 126 flexing my golden vocals) Seriously though, in an effort to not burn myself out, I decided to go on a short hiatus while I take a rest and allow you some quality time with food...I mean family. But this post is my attempt to meet you halfway. I notice though I, Shavon "Vonnie" Coleman, am the main contributor to this urban lifestyle themed blog I don't feel like I put a lot of myself into it. This is not purposely, I'm just dedicated to giving you reviews of some the best under highlighted spots in the city while hopefully giving you a giggle or two. So I decided to make myself an honorary "explorer" of sorts. And also give you some of my favorite things about Chicago and some of the outings I've seen about town.
Location: Southside. Originally near the Auburn Gresham area but have since moved to the southwest suburbs near Bridgeview. I consider myself a diehard southsider with a more well-rounded perspective.
Favorite Hangout: Indoors: My friend Phillip Tucker's apartment in the Chatham
Out and About: Lately I've really been into the strip of Division Street bars between Ukrainian Village and Wicker Park. The Boundary has become my go-to place for a relaxing drink and a good meal.
Interests: Anime! I am a big manga and anime fan with aspirations of being a gamer. Yes, this girl likes her high heels as well as the Hyrulian hero from Legend of Zelda. I also love music of all different sorts from Madonna to Motown, New Wave to No Doubt.
Favorite Chicago Experience: My favorite Chicago experience is more metaphoric. I love Chicago's sizzling summers. I love the feeling of driving down Lake Shore Drive with all the windows down. Walking around Downtown, being separate but apart of the crowd. And I definitely love that the view of the
Willis Sears Tower (That's the name I grew up with dammit!) looks great from any part of the surrounding areas.
Worst Chicago Experience: As much as I love this city there's a lot that displeases me. I hate the crime that has overrun our city. I hate the secret "unwritten rules" about certain areas of the city that we never outwardly address. And traffic. Traffic is the worst.
What kind of explorer are you? I'm a "hodgepodge" explorer. I'm a freak of nature, in life and interests. I take pride and am blessed in the fact that I have several things swaying me on any given day. I always compare the city to a Reese's because there's no one way to see Chicago and I love the sort of "periods" I go through in my citywide interests. One day it's the clean and tailored in the theater district then it's urban chic in Hyde Park and West Loop industrial realness the next.
Why did you start Explorer of the Month? I started EOM in order to give the interesting people that I come across a chance to share their story. These are people that we can directly relate to. The people we pass on the street. The people we sit next to on the train. All of the people featured have a certain insight on the city that I feel people need to know.
What's been your favorite Explorer of the Month moment so far? It's hard to pick because I've loved all my outings so far but I've got to say my favorite outing was with October's Own, Lauren Valenta at DMK Burger Bar. I really enjoyed the food as well as the fast paced atmosphere. Not to mention the drinks were amazing and the company was great.
It's a Friday night in the city, you are likely.....? I'd love to tell you I constantly live this Sex and the City-esque life full of martinis and club openings but I have a regular life during the week and Friday is usually my time to catch up on rest. So I'll probably grab a bottle of wine, pop in my favorite tv series Golden Girls in the dvd player, and fall asleep to the musings of Bea Arthur.
What's one thing/experience in Chicago that you'd like to share with the masses? Chicago's Nightlife! Since I took my first steps down the famous strip known as Rush Street, I've always thought that Chicago's bars and clubs should be shared. Forget Jersey Shore! Lake Shore is more like it. I know it may seem silly but I've always had an aspiration for MTV's cameras to follow some of Chicago's finest down the cluttered streets into the wild and cheap drinkeries of our city.
Remember 4-Star Explorer will be on a short break but we'll be back on January 7th! Send us your emails on who you'd like to be featured in the new year! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.