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9/19/2014
FALLelujah! FALLelujah! Admit it. You’re singing the song in your head right now. How can you not? Monday marks the official start of autumn and I, for one, am ready. Fall is my favorite time of year. Brightly colored leaves, crisp morning air and hot apple cider usher in the season. But to me, nothing marks the transition from summer to fall more than changing out the... More
9/17/2014
At Gotta Groove Records in Cleveland, six record presses huff, puff and press out up to 70,000 vinyl records a month. With U.S. vinyl record sales at their highest level in more than 20 years, it’s easy to see why owner Vince Slusarz is enthusiastic about his niche business. Vinyl buyers want to “own their music,” Vince says. “We live in an ephemeral world with constant... More
9/15/2014
You could easily while away an afternoon picking through sun-warmed cobbled rocks along Minnesota’s North Shore while debating the better blue: the crisp hues of the September sky or the deep sapphire of Lake Superior? No season shorts travelers on stunning scenery in this area, but it’s hard not to favor fall with its golden birch leaves and cool nights. Here are our picks... More
9/12/2014
When it comes to barbecue, passions run as hot as smoldering hickory. Stop three strangers on the street and ask them what's the best barbecue, and you’re likely to get three different answers. Brisket, pulled pork or burnt ends. Sauce that’s sweet, smoky or spicy. Meat slow smoked over applewood, topped with coleslaw, paired with fries…... More
9/10/2014
A few months ago, I read about a primo balsamic vinegar produced in Nebraska. Of course, I know you can find artisanal or craft anything being brewed, distilled, baked or canned just about anywhere, but this raised even my eyebrows. Good balsamic (heck, even cheap balsamic) is a product so strongly associated with Italy. So of course, I had to order a bottle to try for myself. George Paul... More
9/8/2014
travail (verb): to toil or exert oneself It started with a line. The group of 50 people snaking outside the front door of Travail Kitchen and Amusements at 4:45 p.m. was the first sign this unassuming strip mall spot on the north side of Minneapolis is something special. At 5, the doors opened, chefs cheered and thumping African tribal music kicked ... More
9/5/2014
Wisconsin's landscape bursts into a fiery palette come fall. And the best way to enjoy it, I've discovered, is by hiking the state's 1,100-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT), which gets you into the heart of blazing forests and prairielands. But hiking all day, no matter how enjoyable, deserves a reward—like relaxing afterward in an indulgent inn. Try one of... More
9/3/2014
In the last full month of summer, Instagram photographers captured the bright colors of the season in Midwest fields, flowers, sunsets and lakes. Here are our five most-liked Instagram photos for August: #1: Lavender Hill Farms in Boyne City, Michigan, by @wanderingz (http://instagram.com/p/rX2oxyGzZ8/). "I just can't get enough of this place,” she wrote. “I... More
8/29/2014
Chicago may be the Midwest’s largest city, but enjoying it doesn’t have cost big bucks. Here are our top picks for saving time and money, including free museums, guided tours and outdoor activities. 1) Chicago Cultural Center The world’s largest Louis Comfort Tiffany dome, composed of 30,000 stained-glass pieces, crowns the neoclassical 1897 Chicago... More
8/27/2014
With miles of bike trails, a spacious arboretum and sparkling downtown lakes, Madison is regularly recognized as a great place for those who enjoy being active. Luckily for me, I live in the area. Luckily for you, that means I can share my favorite ways to actively explore this beautiful capital city. 1) Recreational bike trails Bring your own bike or rent one at one of the... More