Chicagoans with cult followings

They're not on the paparazzi's radar, but these Chicagoans have inspired a cult following online.
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Brian Warling, 42Day job Commercial photographerClaim to fame Remodeled his home to be eco-friendly and grumbled the whole way through-giving readers of his blog at urbangreenproject.com a realistic resource should they make the same decision. Big break Warling gave a tour of his house to a group of 40 visiting architects on a green architecture jaunt through Chicago.Haters Environmentalists have accused him of not being green enough because his house isn�t LEED certified. Warling says he�s being as green as he can be on a minimal budget.Rub shoulders at Greenmaker (2500 N Pulaski Rd, 773-384-7500), a retailer of environmentally friendly building materials
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Yoko Homo (a.k.a. Kyle Leuck), 24Day job Musician-promoter Claim to fame Leuck�s pretty face is ubiquitous on all those nightlife photography websites, like everyoneisfamous.com, that you secretly troll at work. His singular style (those suspenders!) and boyish charm have shot him into the limelight. �There is the mentality that all press is good press,� he says. �If people are talking about you, whether it is good or bad, at least they care enough to talk about you.� Big break Realized he was a �big fish� when someone snapped a photo of him hanging with Brit rapper Lady Sovereign and plastered it on the �berhip party photo site thecobrasnake.com.Haters �No one is jealous of me,� Leuck says. �I don�t like having enemies.�Rub shoulders at Funky Buddha (728 W Grand Ave, 312-666-1695) on Tuesdays or in Bridgeport catching random art-rock bands
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Meagan Francis, 30Day job WriterClaim to fame Blogging from the trenches of motherhood, Francis dishes out the dirty truth about familial meltdowns on svmomblog.typepad.com/chicago_moms. �I get blog insecurity sometimes,� she says. �You start to feel like a loser if people don�t know who you are.� Big break �Someone told me something I posted had changed their point of view and I was like, Wow, this is a big responsibility. Before that moment, blogging was just the thing I did while I ate breakfast.� Haters Anonymous posters react negatively to her more controversial topics, such as a critical look at the Waldorf school system. Rub shoulders at PTA meetings
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Monica Dimperio, 25Day job Marketing coordinator Claim to fame Dimperio documents our fashion highs and lows at bars, nightclubs or on the street, never hesitating to tell us just what she thought of that neon �thing� we called a dress on her blog, TheMidWasteland.blogspot.com/. �The reaction has been out of control,� Dimperio says. People have e-mailed her pleading for personal style advice and recommendations on vintage clothing shops.Big break Fashion CEOs picked her brain for trend predictions. Haters Fashion victims whom Dimperio blasts on her website avoid eye contact with her.Rub shoulders at Debonair Social Club (1575 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-227-7990) or any dive bar in Wicker Park
By Maude Standish |
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Chicago may not have a walk of fame, but the Internet is helping us cultivate a new crop of homegrown stars. Microcelebrities—online personalities with a hyperniche fan base—are popping up all around town. They don’t have as many fans or foes as Brit or Brad, but these otherwise normal folks do have devotees—from a few dozen to a few hundred—who track their every move. Some host tell-all blogs, while others merely grace the digital arena in photos of them tossing back vodka tonics. We caught up with a couple of these busy microcelebs just long enough to bask in a glimmer of their stardom.

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