Archive for October, 2011
It’s so easy to fall into a routine with your clothes, but there is a way to change up your style without buying a whole new wardrobe.
Layering items in new ways can keep your look fresh and on trend.
One new way to layer is camis on top. The proper execution of this style would be a fitted base piece in a muted color under a relaxed fitting, bright colored top. BCBG recently showed this trend on their Fall runway. (pic)
*Things to watch out for — do not try a pattern or bold color for your base piece, it’s too distracting.
Don’t pack away your Spring/Summer jacket yet! Short sleeved jackets are used as laying tools this Fall. For this trend, same rules apply as the cami.
We’ve all seen corsets worn solo or under other pieces, so putting them on top seems like a fun way to style them. And let’s be honest, Fergie and Lady Gaga can work a corset in the grocery store, but in middle America it’s not as acceptable.
When styling your corset on top, think of it like a vest. Little to no rules apply to this trend, you can mix colors and patterns easily. My suggestion would be to look for a short-waisted corset, as this will give you a great hourglass shape instead of making your torso look long. A great base for this look could be a bohemian style top with exaggerated arms or a flowy tunic.
During Spring 2011 runways, we saw designers test new layering looks — see Chanel and Proenza Schouler pics to the right.
As these pieces were met with high praise, I’m guessing we’ll see much more for Spring 2012.
Despite a yoyo in tempature, fall is upon us Quincy residents — as proven by the availability of Pumpkin Spice Lattes from our local baristas!
Beyond the beautiful foliage, sweet treats and bonfires, the entrance to Fall is a great time to celebrate fashion’s newest trends. Below are five versatile items every women needs to be a trendsetter this season:
1. Colored Pant - For Fall 2011, color did not end in Summer collections. All premier denim labels have introduced color to their fall and winter lines and it doesnt necessarily need to be traditional fall colors. Bright reds, metalic golds, sunburst yellows and rosy purples made their way onto several labels. To keep warm, burst out of our denim bubble and throw on a crushed velour or corduroy pant — both are popular trends. Corduroy is good if you’re looking for a more casual look and the velour tends to be more formal. Pair your colored denims with neutral tops or relaxed patterns to keep the look simple.
2. Cuff Bracelet – This accessory needs to be in your jewelry box, because it goes with virtually every look and transfers into each season. For a chic look, try a wide (4-5″) gold or copper cuff and go plain on the embellishments. Bold designs look best on thinner cuffs (1.5-3″), and for these I like to mix all kinds of materials like leather, any metal or studs. For an edgier look, wear multiple cuffs on one arm, the mix of designs is usually a pleasant surprise.
3. Maxi Skirt - In recent history, this trend was reserved for warm weather, but this season my new love is the winter maxi. If a full-length skirt is intimidating, take baby steps with a below the knee A-line cut, reminiscent of Doris Day classic style. You can keep this look as sweet as Doris by matching a silk printed top or fitted cardigan. These maxis do not need to be ultra femme, as a major trend is to rough up outfits with masculine accents. An easy way to do this is by pairing the skirt with a leather bomber and mid-calf boots. On full-length maxis, avoid a solid color on top, as this will make you look cut in half. Patterns or fun prints like polka dots look great over the maxis, also two-toned layerables or tops with color blocking are at their height in popularity. It’s important to show definition at the waist so you don’t loose your figure in all the fabric, which is easier to do with high-waisted maxis. A simple fix to adding definition to low rise skirts, can be adding a belt over your top. Any way you go, this style is adorable.
4. Mesh and Burnouts – This season, designers are showing an easy way to have both full coverage and endless sex appeal. A sophisticated look incorporates mesh across the shoulder blades or neckline of a top, but we are seeing full burnout tops where your choice of layering pieces determines the tone of the outfit. Middle America will see this most commonly in tops, cardigans and dresses, but couture designers sent several full-length mesh skirts down the runway in their fall collections. If you are layering tanks underneath, choose the one that closest resembles your skin tone for a chic look. If your style is more bohemian, bring in contrasting colors in your layers. This trend will carry well into spring 2012 and bring more like fabrics with it, such as bemberg on looser, flowing tops.
5. Rider Boot – Worried this was a one season trend, some avoided buying the rider boot — however this is an item that has some serious stamina. I strongly recommend having this boot in your closet, because it’s only gotten more versatile with the season. Not only was it used in 2011 fall over leggings or jeans, we’re seeing it worn over bare legs with shorts, skirts and dresses. A trend I am so excited about, pairs over-the-knee boot socks with the rider boot. My favorite outfit choice for this adorable style can be worn with distressed jean shorts and a slouchy cardigan. That bare space on the thigh is small enough to keep you from being cold but looks uber sexy!
Circa Survive is a Philadelphia-based indie emo rock band that formed in 2004. Their third full-studio release is titled “Blue Sky Noise.” While it was released more than a year ago, it is still worth singing praises.
I first learned of Circa Survive through a friend of a friend on a MySpace page back in 2005. I sampled some of their songs on their webpage and was amazed. Late that summer I bought tickets to one of their shows and was blown away by their performance.
Their debut album, “Juturna” was released on April 9, 2005, by Equal Vision Records, and received mostly positive reviews. Their second album, “On Letting Go,” was released on May 29, 2007, and reaped widespread critical acclaim. Their third album, “Blue Sky Noise,” was released on April 20, 2010 on Atlantic Records and has received huge critical acclaim and mainstream success.
Circa Survive is characterized by dual lead guitarists, powerhouse offbeat drumming and an unusually high pitched soprano-like vox of frontman Anthony Green. Their interesting use of rhythm — like lead guitar riffs, frequent chord structure changes, vocal style and enigmatic lyrics — make them a truly amazing ensemble. This style has progressed and developed through the years since their first release and is acknowledged in the lyrics of their opening song “100 Steps.”
Two songs are particularly notable and are a change in the usual pattern of their sometimes mysterious lyrical meanings that Alternative Press once referred to, noting “hazy lyricism and reckless introspection were prerequisites for legitimacy and timelessness.”
“I Felt Free” is an introspective change in the usual style of their songs which brings reference to a breakup in a supposed lie to get rid of the girl by her telling something that turns her off. It’s unclear what that something is.
“Glass Arrows” more than likely refers to someone that has ended up in an unlikely state of depression or alcoholism and defers to staying out of the public for a long period. The repetitive use of the lyric “Disappeared from public places — how long has it been?” gives emphasis to wasted time spent in a supposed introverted state as a result. Then again, that hazy lyricism is what makes the group interesting.
To summarize, “Blue Sky Noise, ” and Circa Survive for that matter, are somewhat reminiscent of the progressive rock era when deep conscious-based thought was blended into the music that was created. For some who are turned off by the drug-infused sound of Pink Floyd and ELP, this is a fresh new approach by an alternative rock band that has a much more straightforward, mainstream feel to it.
This Saturday night is Comedy Night at Spirit Knob Winery.
Reservations are required for the 8 p.m. show. The cost is $20 per ticket for three comedians. Call (217) 964-2678 to reserve your seats.
The comedians are:
• Uncle Larry Reeb as seen on Showtime, Bob and Tom, BBO, NBC, Comedy Central and Las Vegas shows.
• Christine Stedman, who was voted Funniest Mom in America, and is a regular in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
• The Fryman (Emil Fry). A former Marine, he’s performed three military comedy tours overseas. He can be heard regularly on Sirrius and XM radio.
This coming weekend is a big one for Quincy. There’s the Quincy Preserves home tour, the Tin Dusters antique car show event and an open house for the Washington Theater. More information is available at HQBD and tickets for the home tour will be available there as well.
• On Friday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tin Duster registration is at the Holiday Inn, 4821 Oak from and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Historic Quincy Business District, 128 N. Fifth St.
• The 36th annual Behind Closed Doors Tour is the name for the fall walking home tour that Quincy Preserves organizes each year. The architectural styles featured are of the Queen Anne, Bungalow, Neoclassical Revival, Prairie and vernacular Gothic Revival styles. The tour is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15 and tickets are$8 in advance and $10 at the door. Quincy Preserves encourages owners of historically and architecturally significant buildings to restore and maintain them to their original condition.
• The Washington Theater Rehabilitation Commission has been very busy with two Saturday cleanups in the last month with the help of dozens of volunteers, including coordinated efforts with volunteers from the Big Dam Race. Ongoing efforts to save and restore the theater have included a rehabilitated sign and entry doors installation with the assistance of a HUD grant in 2009. The theater itself will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and information will be available if you are interested in joining the effort.
Last time I blogged I was ranting and Raving about the Hannibal film fest.
This past week I traveled to Evanston for a conference and then made my way to Naperville. The annual Illinois planning conference was there and I had to take advantage of that as well as check out what was going on locally.
Evanston is a walkable, old historic suburb that has a lot of transit-oriented development. It’s definitely a college town and very pedestrian-friendly.
There’s a restaurant there called the Prairie Moon that is known for their sandwiches. It’s a festive and fun place located right behind the elevated purple line so you can enjoy a nice dinner with the ambience of trains coming in and out every seven minutes or so. The server recommended the fish tacos but I wasn’t about to pay $15 for them. I got the shrimp po-boy, which was seasoned with blackening spices and loaded onto a bed of lettuce and tomatoes.
The next day I was off to Chicago, where I have wanted to stop by Jim’s hot dog stand for years. Jim’s is at the southwest corner of Union and James Rochford Streets. They have been serving their original hot dogs for more than 70 years. I got a Jim’s original, which is just a hot dog and mustard loaded with their unique grilled onions. Not too bad for a few bucks.
I then took the Metra into Naperville. There I spent a few days checking out the scenery. There’s a restaurant there called Portillo’s which features Chicago dogs and Italian beef. It also has a drive-thru and serves beer. Think: the Olive Garden meets Wendy’s meets bar Louie. I had to check it out. Although I should’ve been the strong-willed person, the counter girl talked me into getting the Italian beef sandwich which was OK, although I’m not a huge fan of Italian beef. Total bill was around $7 including a pop (OK soda for you natives). Good salesmanship on the counter person’s part.
The next day I had breakfast at the Egg Harbor Cafe. After my stomach growled through the half hour wait, my friends and I were seated. I enjoyed the poached eggs and turkey sausage with a side of fruit. Most meals are served with an English muffin and if you order coffee, it’s served in a thermos that you keep at the table. They serve eggs Benedict in a multitude of ways as they do their scramblers. Quite possibly the best breakfast place I have ever eaten in.
That day was also the day of the fall festival held in Wheaton at the Cantigny Park. There, you can enjoy a cup of hot cider or hot chocolate from Bertie’s Coffee Cafe. This event features: arts and crafts show, hayrides, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making, inflatables, music by the Salt Creek Boys, candy dive, face painting, lots of vendors and a barnyard petting zoo.
Dinner in Naperville has lots of Chicago style choices: Giordano’s, Lou Malnatti’s and Rosebud’s all have locations in Naperville.
The best part of Saturday night: There’s an acoustic band that visited from Carol Stream called the Antique Years. They are a quintet of late-teenage musicians that play guitar and harmonize like true professionals. The drummer plays a simple cardboard box. They stood under a pavilion and sang for an hour or more. The crowd had grown to more than 40 people as these young men and woman bravely played and sang a totally acoustic performance of covers and originals. Although I have not successfully been able to get a hold of them for an interview, they are truly remarkable and can be found on Facebook.
Sunday was my finale: Dick Tracey’s 80th birthday walk held on the riverfront plaza in Naperville and there is a 2-ton bronze sculpture commemorating him. See, Dick Locher was the artist who took over sketching Tracey when original cartoonist Chester Gould retired in 1977. Locher is from Naperville and recently retired. To celebrate, townfolks hosted a tribute along the water in front of the sculpture. Locher spoke for just a few minutes about his 30-plus years as the Pulitzer-prized winning artist who drew Dick Tracey for the Chicago Tribune. The tribute was followed by a speech from the mayor, a presentation of a framed collage of sketches in Luger’s honor and a birthday party at the nearby Naper Settlement. Also featured were yellow plastic Fedoras for all, different assorted confectionary treats as well as many classic Studebakers.
In short, Naperville is a downsized version of Chicago with fun stuff to do if you don’t mind the smaller-town appeal, packed with great restaurants a riverwalk and recreational attractions. Evanston is a vibrant college town with a strong historic feel, great shopping and dining and an ideal spot for the transit commuter.
This past weekend, I went to the Hannibal film festival. I know I would typically be writing about music, but I have a special affinity for film, too.
Anyhow, one of the guys on from Quincy’s Big Dam Film Festival committee asked me if I wanted a free ticket and I said “yes.” Well, he ended up flaking out on me, and there I was, stranded without a ticket. So, I thought, “I’m gonna go anyway!”
It was held at the end of the main commercial strip in the B&B Theater’s Main Street Cinema 8, 100 S. Main St.
I went Saturday afternoon, not Friday when the festival began. Starting at noon that day, at any given time, there were two theaters operating showing indie films from all over the world.
Admission was $5 for each segment, which included a short and medium film and a feature, taking running nearly two hours a segment. If you wanted to see additional segments you had to pay another 5 bucks, which I thought was excessive.
Two of the more notable films were “Virtual JFK” and “World of Art.” “Virtual JFK” is an editorial depiction of what the country and hence, the Vietnam conflict, would have been like had Kennedy not been assassinated. Very accurate from a technical perspective and very interesting conceptually.
The second was “World of Art,” an obscure representation about a man named Art who gets casts into the real life settings of the world’s most notable works of art in progress. Shot entirely in southeastern Michigan, Art meets the real Mona Lisa, Auguste Rodin’s the Thinker, and Van Gogh in his famous straw hat painting his self portrait, among others. The visual effects of this film were far beyond what one would deem as indie, from the costuming, the set designs down to people getting pulled into the art frames and cast into the scene from which they were created.
What made the festival special were the peripheral events. There was a screenwriting workshop and an actor’s workshop both offered by renowned playwright and screenwriter Ron Simonian for an extra $15 a piece, with all proceeds going toward the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum.
Thursday night featured an opening night cocktail party, and music by the Slasher Kings at the Hannibal Arts Council. Friday night featured a murder mystery cocktail party and Saturday and Sunday featured a Meet and Greet Brunch with members of the cast and crew from several of the films.
Although the turnout appeared to be small, it was a great time and great that the festival coordinators made an entire weekend out of it. I’ll plan on going next year, too!
Editor’s Note: We are pleased to introduce Steve Holowicki as the latest Local Q blogger. Steve moved to Quincy from Detroit in January 2011 to pursue a career in community development and historic preservation. He has reviewed more than 150 restaurants, and enjoys many types of music including jazz, indie and alternative. Read more about Steve here.
Hi, I’m Steve.
I moved here from the metro Detroit area in January. When I heard the Local Q was looking for bloggers, I jumped at the chance. See, I’ve been an amateur musicologist most of my life. At least, that’s what my friends back home tell me. I was the only kid in fifth grade that danced to disco records and carried an afro pick. I grew up listening to Elton John, Journey, Andy Gibb and Supertramp. Eventually, my musical tastes matured.
My first concert was the B-52s at the Masonic Temple in 1980. I have to admit, it was one of the best shows I ever saw — even to this day. I still have nearly all of the ticket stubs of concerts I have gone to through the years. The list includes Van Halen (pre-Sammy Hagar), Rick Springfield, Ministry, Goober and the Peas, New Order, Pixies, Psychedelic Furs, Supersuckers, the Ramones, Reverend Horton Heat, Bryan Ferry, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, STP’s, Juliana Hatfield, Nine Inch Nails, Catherine Wheel, Sisters of Mercy, Circa Survive (phenomenal live act), Santogold and Interpol — to name a few. I do mean “a few.” I even took my sister to see Debbie Gibson way back in the day. It’s hard to believe I’ve been going to shows for more than 30 years.
Moving forward. I have gone to about 200 concerts over the years, give or take a dozen … I guess. That’s in between working in a dozen restaurants, writing for a fanzine, teaching high school math and history for 10 years, and going back to grad school to pursue a career change.
So, here I am in Quincy, Ill., working in a regional planning office, pursuing my career in community development and historic preservation. I have to admit, if anyone had told me I was moving to Quincy 12 months ago I would’ve said, “Huh? Where’s that? Who’s that?”
I’ve spent the last 8 months discovering the area and what is has to offer, including the museums and wineries, volunteering, and catching some live music here and there. I’ve had a fun time exploring the region. My interests today range from ‘70s, ‘80s, classic alternative, ‘90s grunge, post modern, indie rock, rockabilly, oldies, Motown, vocal standards, jazz and bossa nova — so that’s what I’ll mainly be writing about. I also like to dabble in good cuisine and vintage anything so you might even find me writing about a restaurant or a car show here and there.
Drop me a note if you hear of anything fun going on. Hope to see you at a few shows soon!