Make Thanksgiving Easy
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November 9, 2022
Form follows function in these 8 clever remodeling ideas

We love a project that inspires people through intelligent design and finely detailed craftsmanship! From hidden surprises behind cabinets to low-maintenance bathrooms and a kitchen design that encourages conversation, this home is a showcase of clever remodeling ideas! See how form follows function in this complete home remodeling... Read more.
One of the holiday side options on Bubba's Thanksgiving menu is their deviled eggs, topped with crispy bacon. Order a dozen for $15, then pick up your ready-to-go table contribution the night before for a stress-free holiday.

Get Help for Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Writer: Karla Walsh

Be honest: When was the last time everyone around your Thanksgiving table was really able to enjoy the day from start to finish? At least one or two family members often spend most of the day (and sometimes the week prior), slicing, dicing, roasting, mashing, baking and more. All of that means a lot less time to count our blessings and enjoy our company.

To make it an easier and more stress-free experience, a handful of restaurants are stepping up so we can outsource morning brunch, a side dish or two, or even the full feast.

Fully catered: Catering By Cyd
Dig into what veteran caterer Cyd Koehn describes as a “tried-and-true Thanksgiving feast.” Designed to accommodate any size of party—and in true Koehn form, sure to leave you with plenty of leftovers—the menu includes salad, garlic knots, roast turkey breast with gravy, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie with fresh vanilla-bean cream. This entire spread can be yours for just $35 per person for pickup at Catering by Cyd; add $50 per order for home delivery. Order via Catering by Cyd's online shop.

Semi-homemade: Bubba
If your family has a beloved turkey recipe and swears by a couple of Grandma’s best sides, whip them up, then fill in the gaps with some Southern flair. Bubba is offering pre-orders for sides, desserts (I have my eye on the pumpkin bread pudding), and cocktails. Peek at the menu on Facebook, then order by calling 515.257.4744 before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22. Pick up runs Wednesday, Nov. 23, from 12 to 4 p.m.

Brunch: Creme
Start the holiday morning or fuel up for Black Friday shopping in style by pre-ordering a batch of Sammy Mila’s brand-new milk bread cinnamon rolls. Available in six- or 12-packs, cooked or take-and-bake style, just add a fruit salad and skillet of scrambled eggs and you’re set. Order online by Saturday, Nov. 19, for pickup Tuesday or Wednesday before the big day.

Dine-in carnivore-style: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Available on Thanksgiving day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., this steakhouse’s three-course menu starts with your choice of salad or lobster bisque, includes three classic sides to share, and ends with your choice of pumpkin-cranberry cheesecake or caramel-drizzled carrot cake. The price per person is based on your choice of entree: roast turkey and gravy ($65), 8-ounce filet mignon ($68) or 20-ounce bone-in rib-eye ($78). See the full adult and kids’ menu here. Book a reservation on the West Des Moines Fleming's website.

Dine-in with more diet-diverse options: Mulberry Street Tavern
Prefer dining downtown—or sharing the holiday with plant-based eaters? Consider Mulberry Street Tavern, the restaurant in the Surety Hotel. Chef Rateb Aburas is offering a $55 prix fixe ($35 for kids) three-course menu with shareable sides (potatoes, chili-glazed broccolini, andouille and mushroom stuffing, rolls) on Wednesday through Friday. Start with a winter squash and Brussels sprouts salad, slice into turkey breast roulade or smoked cauliflower with maple-carrot puree, and end on a sweet note with pumpkin tart (vegan variation offered). Book a reservation on OpenTable.
Attendees at last year's lighting celebration admire the works of art strung up on several businesses. Click the image to see the full video featuring last year's highlights.


Dogtown Winter Lights Display Party

For the second year, Invest DSM and neighborhood partners will decorate storefronts in the Drake neighborhood with an immersive, state-of-the-art lighting system for the holiday season. This year’s installation will add even more lights, expanding an extra block to the west toward the Drake University campus, to brighten up streets and attract more foot traffic to businesses during the dark winter months.

Dogtown Lights will begin with a lighting block party on University Avenue at 6 p.m. Saturday, organized by the Des Moines Music Coalition. Local businesses will provide specials for attendees, and there will be live entertainment and warm refreshments to celebrate the kickoff. The party includes a performance from Leradee and the Positives and a live DJ after the light display is revealed.

Follow @dogtownlights on Instagram to see photos and videos of the display.


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JASI Sake & Friendship event (Friday, 6-9 p.m.): Japan America Society of Iowa (JASI) will host a sake-tasting event at Allora Cafe, located in Krause Gateway Center downtown. Iowa's Sister State in Japan, the Yamanashi prefecture, has donated a case of sake made in Yamanashi to share with JASI members and other guests. Pre-register for a ticket here.

Wu Fei & Abigail Washburn (Friday, 7:30 p.m.): Presented by the Civic Music Association, Grammy-winning banjoist Abigail Washburn and guzheng player Wu Fei will perform a concert at Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University. The duo will blend English and Mandarin, and American and Chinese folk songs in their performance. Get tickets here.

Winter Farmers Market (Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.): Head to Court Avenue for the first winter farmers market of the season. There will be 100 vendors to peruse, selling seasonal produce, meats, cheeses, locally made goods and other products.

Wine & Clay event (Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.): The Des Moines Arts Festival will host the first Wine & Clay event at the Valley Junction Activity Center to celebrate earth arts and local makers. Artists will sell work in pottery, figures, tiles, tableware, fiber, jewelry and wood. Wine tastings and flights from Gateway Market will be available for purchase, as well as bites at the appetizer station. Purchase tickets and see the schedule of events here.

Winter Games: The Brenton Skating Plaza will open for the season Nov. 18. Located on the Principal Riverwalk along the Des Moines River, the rink will be open seven days a week for public skating. There will be walk-up admission if space allows, but registering for a spot in advance is recommended to skip the line. Don’t know how to skate? Free skating clinics will be held throughout the season for any newbie needing some guidance. Click here to see the full skating schedule, purchase tickets and register for skate clinics.
Vendor market: The Surety Hotel will host 35 vendors hand-picked by Yana Muhammad and Billy Weathers Nov. 17 starting at 6 p.m. “Holiday Market on Mulberry” will feature artists and boutique retailers from across the metro, from Ingersoll and Valley Junction to the East Village, all in one convenient place. Admission is free, but register for a ticket on their website.
New vintage store: Adding to Des Moines’ growing the list of quirky shops to check out, Divine Times Vintage is now open at 521 Euclid Ave. The space is owned by Jerrica Yasumura, an avid vintage collector and curator of all things '70s. Along with her collection, the shop also houses goods from other vintage sellers in the area, Blooming Chaology and Jive Finds. Yasumura also plans to host “guest vendors” on a rotating basis. Store hours are Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday noon-4 p.m. Check out the current shop offerings on Instagram.
Art exhibit reception: A new exhibit examining race and power struggles throughout Iowa’s history will open Nov. 10 at Anderson Gallery on the Drake University campus. It will feature 12 artworks accompanied by rare historical artifacts. There will be a reception to celebrate the opening beginning at 5 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Classic rock: The Eagles are stopping at Wells Fargo Arena Nov. 17 as part of their “Hotel California” tour. Tickets are still available; click here for details.
This 2020 work shows a combination of three pieces that are digitally overlaid and projected over the artist’s body. The blend of images includes an oil painting atop the Braille found on the Americans With Disabilities Act, a 3D wall tile, and the words “feel, heard, love, seen.” Photo: Janae Gray.


An Accessible Art Experience

Writer: Lisa Rossi

When Jill Wells is painting a mural, she can be up to 70 feet in the air. There’s traffic moving below her. It’s loud.

And then “things just go quiet and become really peaceful,” says Wells, a multimedia artist and muralist as well as a mentor to underserved artists. “You kind of forget you’re not touching the ground. You are in the air.”

Wells’ artwork is represented in permanent collections around the state, including at the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families and Disability Rights Iowa in Des Moines, and Public Space One and the University of Iowa in Iowa City. To date, she’s created eight large-scale public works. Best known for her colorful narrative paintings, her work investigates “race, history, stereotypes, accessibility and human experiences,” according to her website.

Executing a mural is “extremely physically labor-intensive,” she says, an endeavor that expands her “mental and physical limits.” And lately, Wells, 41, is pushing the limits of the senses, delving into a new future of public art that will incorporate universal, multisensory design, so that anyone, regardless of ability, can experience her creations. That means art that could be moveable for different heights and abilities, has auditory descriptions, and is accessible via touch.

“She is paving a new direction for public art,” says Daniel Van Sant, director of disability policy at the Harkin Institute, where Wells is a fellow. “The hope is all art is inclusive and universally designed.”
Read more about her accessible exhibit in this dsm article.
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