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The Future Mayor Answers Some Tough Red Carpet Questions

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Our man about town Jared Hatch quizzes Chicago's mayoral candidates on their shopping habits. Where does Rahm Emanuel shop for ties? Read on to find out.

Last week when we had the privilege of attending the Mayoral Forum on Community and Environmental Issues held at the Marriott on Michigan Ave in the heart of Ward 42, an enormous crowd was in downtown fashion from head to toe to see the candidates present their views. This crowd of active community members—Goldcoasters and SOAR members who know what big bucks look like—showed up to the forum to find out if the Mayoral Candidates know how to spend it (or know where cut spending).

Andy Shaw, aka in the twitterverse as @AndyShawBGA, a fellow blogger and reporter at was voluntarily moderating the forum, asking questions put together by a panel of community organizations. As the title of the forum suggests, the questions revolved around topics of the community and the environment.

Only after the forum was Racked allowed to approach the candidates to ask our very important question: Who are you wearing? and Where do you spend it?

Carol Moseley Braun, the ex-senator who still holds floor privileges: (Laughs) "Well, there's a lovely little shopping strip on 87th street off of Stony Island, and I like to shop there. Right now, I'm wearing St John. What can I tell you? It's the uniform."

Gery Chico, who was thrown off his game by this question, pauses for a minute only to open up his suit coat and reveal the label reading 'Oxford': "I go all over the place, I go up and down Michigan Ave, I go to Macy's. Sometimes I stop in the neighborhood, pick up a jacket, pick up a shirt. All over the place."

His assistant, Brooke, interjects: "Where were we recently? Andersonville? On tax day. No, we were in Logan Square and bought a few things on tax day.

"No, we were in Andersonville on tax day," Chico says.

"Yup and you went to the ice cream shop and that little trinkets shop," says Brooke.

"Yeah, you got to go all over the city," Chico says. "It depends what you're looking for—casual, dress, you know. We were in Bronzeville last week and picked up a few things too."

Standing nearby, we notice Gery's wife, Sunny (Penedo) Chico so we ask her where she likes to spend it and she rattles off a list of faves, but at the top of the roster was Arts and Artisans for having such a wide selection of hand crafted and locally sourced goods.

Miguel del Valle likes shopping at the PoPa (Portage Park) malls at Irving and Cicero, and the Harlem and Irving Plaza at where else? Harlem and Irving. We did a little leg work to find out what stores are in that plaza and we're happy to share with you that there is a Hot Topic and a Forever21 and a Men's Warehouse there. The Harlem/ Irving/ W Forest Preserve Ave is home to many other stores and is a great neighborhood, but probably not the best choice to tell fashionistas in Ward 42 that you like spending money in the neighborhoods west of Clark street. del Valle also quickly mentioned Bucktown, Wicker Park, and the Bricktown Shopping Center which is home to about 25 retail tenants including Dollar Tree and Las Islas Marias and a 45,000 sq ft Babies R Us.

Rahm Emanuel: Although Rahm declined the invitation to partake in the Mayoral Forum on Community and Environmental Issues, we caught up with him in December at Lee Allison Necktie Company on Webster in Lincoln Park. Rahm, mentioned shopping in the Southport corridor, West Lincoln Park, and although Rahm wasn't sporting a Lee Allison tie that night, said he owned a few.
· Office of the Mayor [City of Chicago]