One Perfect Night in Chicago

It started out as a lot of our evenings do, with too many parties booked on the same night, but these were for friends (not for work) and we were committed to going out.  Chuck had even washed the car so we were locked, loaded and ready for fun!

The first party was on the Southwest side, a section of town I’d never visited. The drive there was absolutely breathtaking and will be etched in my memory for some time. The sky looked like something straight out of a Van Gogh painting, filled with color, light and shadows. The sunset kept changing the sky with eye-popping beauty and it was hard to stop shooting Iphone photos.

We finally arrived at Justice Anne Burke and Alderman Ed Burke’s lovely home. I particularly loved seeing our flags, U.S. and city of Chicago, flapping furiously and fabulously in the wind high atop a very tall flagpole that you could see from blocks away. The dynamic couple had hosted a book party for the daughter, Yvette Klobuchar, of long-time friends (and noted couturier) Mira Horoszowski and her war hero husband Bogdan (Mosquito) Horoszowski.

Everyone was there and, before Yvette was introduced, the Alderman, an accomplished pianist, played a lively rendition of the wedding march before she was introduced along with her first book, “Brides Unveiled.”  Anne spoke loving words about Yvette, her family and her book which is the story of a young designer (inspired by Yvette’s life) and her desire to meet the amusing demands of her bridal shop clientele while longing for a fairytale wedding of her very own (which she has achieved with her handsome husband Lou).

Yvette read an amusing excerpt from her book and then we all enjoyed mixing, mingling and delicious food from Inspired Catering (Karen Stefani’s awesome company).

Next stop, Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue, for a “Woman on the Move Kick-Off Party” chaired by Dusty Stemer. The April 14 event will benefit the National MS Society and honor Neiman’s GM, Wendy Krimins.  We had a spirited conversation about the ongoing FX series about OJ Simpson’s trial. I learned that Johnny Cochran had told OJ to stop taking his arthritis medication so his hands would swell before trying on the gloves.

The Swissotel was our next stop for friend Derrick Taylor’s (Taylor & Co.) awesome WedBash. This annual networking event is for all involved in the wedding business, from caterers to event planners to wedding gown designers and more.  “Brides” posed on the Red Carpet with attendees as cameras flashed. Inside, it was a dazzling display of design, decor and culinary delights. Sky-high wedding cakes were on display with sugar flowers that looked so real, you leaned in to smell them. Dancing to Beat Mix Music and an appearance by Aurora “Joan Rivers” Sexton put the party over the top.

On our way to dinner, we stopped in at The Palm Restaurant inside the hotel. There we saw our caricatures still on the wall from the time the restaurant opened.  I barely recognized myself with dark hair but it was fun to return to the scene of the “crime.”  I had met Chuck at the original Palm on E. Lake Shore Drive in 1989 so this spot will always hold a special place in my heart. GM Steven Farrahi couldn’t have been sweeter and is the perfect host at this delicious dining mecca.

We had a taste for oysters, so Shaw’s was our choice for dinner. While a talented rhythm and blues band played we enjoyed Naked Cowboy oysters from Long Island, wine and beer.

When we returned home, I was on sensory overload. Chicago never ceases to thrill and amaze me. Where in the world could you have a night like this–filled with friends, music and so many sights, sounds and tastes you’ve never experienced before?

The Windy City is my Land of Oz and I hope I never lose my ruby slippers.

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