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Jeff Corder or "Quarter" (nicknamed because of his sound-alike last name) is a Chicagoland food, improv, and live music fan who's always out wherever there's great pizza, plenty of laughs, and a good (or bad) band playing. Corder "grew-up" (…questionable) 28 Metra stops from Michigan & Randolph in the Southside paradise known as Blue Island. He graduated Dwight D. Eisenhower HS as "Most Likely To Be Unlikely" and attended Illinois State University…before they asked him to "please leave." When not on the air, Jeff can be found volunteering for local charities, playing with his Mom's parrots, or learning the art of power-napping.
When I was a little girl in Little Rock, Arkansas I used to stay up late with my favorite Christmas present - a transistor radio. I would tune in WLS AM, broadcasting from the exciting big city of Chicago, and when I heard Yvonne Daniels on the air I thought “YES! THAT’S what I want to do”. Dreams do come true because years later I ended up hosting the same show on WNUA that Yvonne Daniels hosted at one time. After college and some time touring with a band, playing keyboards and singing, I landed my first radio job in Little Rock. I then moved on to stations in Detroit and Chicago before doing mornings on WNUA. First solo then partnering with Jazz Great Ramsey Lewis. I joined Lite FM three years ago.
I live in the Northwest Suburbs with my hubby (the most patient man in the world) and my two sons. They’re used to Mom’s early morning hours and indulge my cooking obsession. They’ll try anything…once! Partially by necessity, I love to run. I’m not too speedy but better at endurance. This year will be my third Chicago Marathon. I do yoga to de-stress and tennis just to make my friends feel good about winning. I live for Family, Friends, Food and Music (maybe in that order). I love live music especially outside in the summer - From the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra to Ravinia to catching my friends’ bands playing in the local clubs. Looking at my Facebook page it seems like all I do is post about live shows and restaurants!
I really do feel like I am the luckiest person in the world to be able to do what I love – helping people wake up and get going in the best city in the world. Yes Karen… Life is Good!
photo credit: flickr
Caroling at 'The Bean'
Millienium Park, North Michigan Avenue and East Randolph Street, Chicago
Fridays, November 23 to December 21, 2012
This newer tradition is only going into its seventh year, but it is quickly becoming one of Chicago's favorites. Its official title is "Caroling at Cloud Gate," but as Chicago native Drew Carlson puts it, "It's called Caroling at the Bean! No one goes by Cloud Gate, and some residents probably don't even know what it refers to." This tradition was started by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and has established itself as a must-attend Christmas activity in Chicago. You can become part of this Chicago tradition every Friday beginning November 23 and ending December 21, 2012. Caroling begins at 6 p.m. at "the bean" and lasts for about 50 minutes. You can listen or join in the singing.
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light
57th Street and Lakeshore Drive, Chicago
November 16, 2012, to January 6, 2013
Over the last 71 years, the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) has put on one of the most heartwarming Christmas shows. In 1942, the tradition was born when the MSI put up a single tree in honor of the allies of World War II. Over the years, it has morphed into a phenomenal show of lights, concerts, and a 45-foot Grand Tree. This massive tree is adorned with 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments and takes center stage in the rotunda. Surrounding this beautiful Christmas tree are 40 smaller trees that have been decorated by volunteers. Each tree embodies a different culture's tradition, which helps residents learn more about their communities and neighbors. If that doesn't sound amazing enough, then you can enjoy some of the sprinkling snow that falls occasionally or catch a concert by a school choir on the weekdays. For the weekends, ethnic groups provide song and dance.
Macy's Holiday Displays
111 N. State St., Chicago
One of the most storied Chicago traditions began at Marshall Field's in the 1870s. Marshall Field's was the first store to ever spread the love of Christmas through display. From that moment, Chicagoans and tourists came each year to see what the store had created for its holiday displays. They also set up a 45-foot Grand Tree in the Walnut Room that is decorated with 25,000 lights and 1,200 themed ornaments. While they are losing some popularity among locals since Macy's bought Marshall Field's out in 2005 and changed the name of the store, the holiday displays are still an iconic Chicago tradition.
Lincoln Park Zoo Lights
2001 N. Clark St., Chicago
November 23, 2012, to January 6, 2013
This Chicago tradition is one that I take my family to every year. For almost 20 years, the Lincoln Park Zoo has amazed residents and captivated tourists. The zoo decorates every tree with lights and sets up large holiday-themed displays. They also have a few pathways that are formed into tunnels of lights.
Beware, it does get packed, and parking is tough. The lights kick off on November 23, 2012, and run every weekend until December 26, 2012, when they will stay on every night until January 6, 2013.
Janoa Taylor is a freelance writer with a background in business and finance. She offers a unique local perspective gained from years as a Chicago resident.
Join Karen Williams this Saturday at Zoo Lights from 5-7p. CLICK HERE for more info.