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Mingle with new people or meet friends; it's all part of the fun at a dsm unveiling event like this one for our January issue, where we found Kristin Gredys, Perry Thompson and Chad Taylor.


The unveiling party for the March/April issue of dsm magazine is today (Tuesday, March 3). Our hosts are the crew at Royal Flooring, who are eager for you to see their new location, 11801 Hickman Road in Urbandale. (Note the address, if you navigate by GPS; it's so new that some online searches still seize on Royal Flooring's former location.) We'll be there from 5 to 7 p.m., with brief remarks and distribution of the new issue at 6 p.m. Stop in anytime and join us for refreshments and a look at flooring products and so much more, including cabinets, countertops, appliances and window treatments.
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Dan dan noodles, one of the popular noodle dishes available at Harbinger.


By Wini Moranville

While Harbinger chef Joe Tripp’s Asian/Southeast Asian-inspired small plates are already greatly admired by the food cognoscenti, his rice and noodle bowls and banh mi sandwiches are still a relatively well-kept secret. They’re only served on Sundays, and until just last month, they were only served until 3 p.m. (the restaurant was closed Sunday nights).

Now, Harbinger’s doors stay open and the full-meal bowls are available Sunday evenings until 9 p.m.; these include Tripp’s takes on dan dan noodles (Sichuan-style pork and noodles), shrimp pad thai, tom yum moo (a rice-noodle soup with roasted pork belly), oyakodon (a chicken thigh/scrambled egg bowl with rice) and a Japanese chicken katsu curry (with rice). A Vietnamese banh mi sandwich is also on the menu.

On a recent visit, two of us ordered the tom yum moo and a banh mi, splitting each for an utterly satisfying soup-and-sandwich experience. It’s rare, I feel, for dishes to explode with so much flavor without being mostly about heat. Tripp later told me that tom yum is "one of those dishes that everyone makes slightly different." His is patterned after a version he found in Chiang Mai, Thailand, that was loaded with peanut and lime in a clear pork soup.

Fresh bread is key to a banh mi sandwich, and Tripp says they get their rolls every Sunday from the bakery of the amazing C Fresh Market in Des Moines. The house-made sausage on the sandwich is, according to Tripp, a Vietnamese-style lemongrass sausage known as nem nuong; the sandwich is mounded with house chile jam, pickles, fresh herbs and seasoned fish sauce.

I’m always looking for a way to ease out of the weekend in a happy, laid-back way, and I could see making a habit out of Sunday nights at Harbinger.

Harbinger is at 2724 Ingersol Ave.; 515-244-1314;

Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.
Tiffany Johnson, producing artistic director at Pyramid Theatre Company, will direct both of the company's shows this season.


Brimming with her usual enthusiasm, Tiffany Johnson, producing artistic director of Pyramid Theatre Company, stopped by our office last week to fill us in on the company’s upcoming season. As Pyramid has done in previous years, it will present one classic and one contemporary play that depict different aspects of the African American experience.

"Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters’ First 100 years," adapted from the best-selling memoir, tells the true story of centenarians Bessie and Sadie Delaney as the sisters reminisce about the challenges and joys of their lives. The women, whose father was born into slavery, experienced or witnessed many of the 20th century’s most dramatic events, such as the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance and the civil rights era. They also both earned advanced college degrees and achieved professional prominence, unusual for black women of the time.

The two actors will address the audience, welcoming everyone to their home as they serve tea. "We wanted to create an atmosphere that’s inclusive," notes Johnson, who is directing the show. "Having Our Say," which the Chicago Tribune called "the best-ever dramatization of oral history," runs June 12-21 at Stoner Theater in the Des Moines Civic Center.

Then on Aug. 7, Pyramid will open "Fairview," which won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury. The widely acclaimed, provocative show explores black life—and white perceptions of it. It opens with a middle-class black family preparing a birthday dinner for Grandma, a seemingly typical situation that gets increasingly surreal as the family becomes the subject of commentary by unseen white voices. The show also involves breaking the "invisible fourth wall" between actors and audience, says Johnson, who will direct the show. "Fairview" runs through Aug. 17 at Stoner.

Tickets to both productions will be available starting March 17 through Des Moines Performing Arts.  Christine Riccelli
They're off to see the wizard—and other notables at Ballet Des Moines' Emerald City Ball this Friday.


You don't have to follow a yellow brick road to visit Oz this weekend; try Hickman Road instead, or any route that leads to Willis Lexus, 2131 N.W. 100th St. That's where Ballet Des Moines is hosting the Emerald City Ball at 7 p.m. Friday, March 6.

It's this year's version of the ballet company's annual gala, described as "an evening of whimsy and wonder," which will include a preview of the ballet's production of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," opening April 11 at the Des Moines Civic Center. Friday's gala supports the dance company and helps bring world-class dance to stages and schools throughout Greater Des Moines. And it's an opportunity to kick off your ruby slippers and dance the night away to the music of Final Mix. Admission is $125. Tickets and more information are available here.
Spanning film, TV and science, CiLive! speaker Geoffrey Notkin is shown while hunting meteorites along the Iowa River.


Over the past decade, DMACC’s ciLive! has earned some of the boldest checkmarks on our annual calendar.
Always engaging and often inspiring, it’s a five-day series of presentations by lively, innovative speakers who challenge us to imagine possibilities beyond our day-to-day lives. This year, ciLive! runs March 9-13 at the West Campus of Des Moines Area Community College, 5959 Grand Ave. in West Des Moines. The programs are also video-streamed so you can watch from office or home.

Originally called CiWeek, the series has taken us into space with astronauts and brought us closer to literary, theatrical and tech giants. This year should be no exception, with the theme the Art of Imagination.
Among this year’s featured speakers are:
  • Marten Larsson, visual effects supervisor for Marvel Studios.
  • Ruth Carter, Oscar-winning costume designer for the film "Black Panther."
  • Ken Schmidt, marketing guru in the comeback of Harley Davidson.
  • Geoffrey Notkin, host of Discovery’s series "Meteor Men."

Admission is free. Click here for full details about next week's series.
Gladys Knight will highlight grand opening events in June for the newly expanded Hoyt Sherman Place.


Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, March 6, at Hoyt Sherman Place for a June 17 concert featuring seven-time Grammy winner and a legend on pop, gospel and R&B charts, Gladys Knight. The concert will mark the grand opening of Hoyt Sherman's new 9,000-square-foot, $4.5 million Center for Artists and Education, described in dsmWeekly here, following a preview tour.
Clayton Lord from Americans for the Arts will be the keynote speaker at a Tomorrow Plan program Friday.


The Tomorrow Plan speaker series Friday at noon will focus on how the arts can strengthen communities in a program featuring Clayton Lord, vice president of strategic impact for Americans for the Arts. His noon talk will follow a review of local arts initiatives at 11:45 a.m. at the State Historical Building. 

"Foundations, government agencies and private donors want community impact, but they can be skeptical that the arts areand always have beeninstrumental in community cohesion and transformation," Lord contends. "We need to compel their embrace of a different narrative."

"The arts are an essential element in any community. They boost a community's quality of life and help define its sense of identity in ways that help that place thrive," said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, which oversees the Iowa Arts Council and helps organize the Tomorrow Plan series.

Free, online registration is encouraged. Preordered sack lunches from Cafe Baratta’s are available for $10. For more information, click here.
The Next Chapter is the young adult group of the Library Foundation, which funds 87% of the library's free programming.


Scavenger hunters, the downtown library has a challenge for your team of two to four. The Des Moines Public Library Foundation and its young adult arm—called the Next Chapter—invite you to prove your scavengerous skills this Friday, March 6, at 6 p.m. (until about 7:30 p.m.) in the main library.

Participation is $20 per team; register online here. Each team member receives a drink ticket redeemable at nearby Americana after the hunt. Proceeds help the foundation fund the library's programming costs.

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