a bit about Eric
What do you do and why do you do it?
I attempt to make the world a better place by creating companies that solve problems and I write books that educate and motivate. I look at antiquated industries, mostly in the music, entertainment and retail industries and create new experiences and solutions. I do it because I hate inefficiencies and I love improving situations. Making people's life better and getting paid to be creative is something I don't take for granted and am grateful for every moment.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?
For one month I was a host at a restaurant. It was the first time I did something I wasn't passionate about. It was a good lesson that I'll never forget. I made a promise to myself to only work on things that I'd happily do for free.
Were you born and raised in Chicago? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to Chicago?
I was born and raised in the heart of Chicago. I've had the opportunity to live in many cities and countries over the years and there's no city I enjoy more than my hometown. It's a very diverse, yet segregated city. The one positive of that is that cultures have stayed intact and therefore different neighborhoods in the city can be as unique an experience as traveling to a different country. There are places where you wont find any english menus, but they all have pictures of the food you can point to.
What’s your current hood in Chicago and what’s the best/worst thing about it?
I live in Fulton Market. Both the best and worst thing about it is all of the rapid development. From Google, to Soho House, the best new spots to eat on restaurant row and all the great new bars, there's construction on every corner. I love having more places to explore but now that McDonalds is building their new headquarters down the block, my property tax has doubled :(
What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?
Music is truly the soundtrack of my every living moment. And just as my scenery and mood changes, so too does the music I listen to. Different styles for different times of the day and different artists at different stages in my life. I'm all about the story of a song and how I emotionally connect with it. My career took off working with indie artists so my passion will always be in trying to hear the newest artists first, and attempting to stay connected to what's new in my city. But if I have to actually answer the question, Hip-Hop wins.
Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
There are some boutique gems when it comes to shopping in Chicago. For the everyday stunting I'd recommended RSVP Gallery, Notre Shop or DTS, but when it's really time to turn up the cocktail party, black tie event or stunt on the groom, I get everything custom made at The Gentleman's Cooperative. From shirts, blazers, pants all the way to completely designing my own shoes, this is my favorite place to gear up.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Umm, this is Chicago. There are real places that if you go, you'll be caught dead..
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Full-blown picnics. There are so many incredible places to post up for the day and enjoy the sun and nature. The North Ave. beach is one of my favorites, but grilling out in Montrose Park is something I've made a point of doing every year since I was a baby. There's endless neighborhoods that offer "movie in the park" nights but setting up for an evening of live music at the Pritzker Pavilion is something I wish I did more often.
Where do you go in Chicago for a casual night out?
The great thing about Chicago nightlife is, in the same blocks, you can choose a low key dive-bar, live music or step it up a notch for a special restaurant or mixology lounge. Just walking down the streets of Fulton Market you have endless choice for all of the above. On a casual night out, my fiancee and I just start walking around our neighborhood and when we get 'inspired' by a place, we'll give it a try.
Where would you go in Chicago to celebrate some freaking good news?
Any rooftop bar will do.
What’s your choice of transportation in Chicago and why?
Walking or biking. The public transportation is great but Chicagoans are so pent up during the frigid winter, that on a nice day, I much prefer to walk. Most things aren't too far to walk or bike to but our busses and subway system is a great option.
What are the Chicago spots tourists should run from screaming?
Wrigleyville. Unless you're there for a Cubs game. But get in and out quickly!
Tomorrow’s your last day in Chicago. How do you spend it?
BBQ'ing at my parents.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
Tulum, Mexico. It's the perfect blend of old school island vibes, no nonsense, amazing food and overall great energy. I've gone twice a year for the past 6 years to experience energy cleansing with shamans, spiritual healing and rituals, jungle hiking, beach lounging and fly fishing. The past few years bigger hotels and fancy restaurants have been moving in, but you can still find the places with just a few huts on the beach and seafood pulled right out of the ocean, while you watch.