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December 9, 2014
We took this Instagram photo at the new Matilda Muse in the East Village. See more of our photos @dsmmagazine.

On the Scene: East Village      

 By Belle Du Chene

Some of us at dsm have been known to shop. A lot. So we like to stay in the know about the retail happenings in Greater Des Moines. Earlier this fall, we covered the opening of Nordstrom Rack in West Des Moines as well as Pink Print Co. in the East Village. Recently, we've found even more ways the East Village is on the move. These changes caught our attention for our holiday shopping this year:
  • Dornink has expanded into men's fashion by creating a mini shop within its shop under the name "B.vander." The menswear line includes everything from casual wear and comfortable basics to men's suits, both off the rack and by order. Owner Sarah Dornink named the shop after her grandfather, Berend VanderWoude. You can see some of the new offerings on the B.Vander Facebook page. 
  • Last week marked the 10-year anniversary for Aimee, an eclectic boutique that offers a limited number of each garment and a consistently changing array of European looks for women. Owner Amy Hassebrock has now opened a sister shop, Matilda Muse, to carry the same trend at lower prices (nothing in the store costs more than $58). Matilda Muse is located at 350 E. Locust St., about one block from Aimee. Find out more at www.matildamuse.com or check out its Facebook page. 
  • After nine years at 400 E. Locust St, Accenti women's boutique has moved one block east to 311 E. Fifth St. The old space will now be leased by the expanding Salon Spa W

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The decorations at Raccoon River Brewing Co.  get guests in the holiday spirit.   

Deck the (Dining) Halls    

By Wini Moranville   
 
Many longtime Des Moines residents fondly remember annual holiday visits to Younkers Tea Room to take in a lunch amid the majestic Christmas tree towering above the grand Edwardian room. With the Tea Room long gone, I looked for other restaurants that deck the halls in festive fashion. Few venues do it up quite like the Tea Room did, but these spots certainly make merry this season:

 

Centro always has wonderfully unexpected, high-and-mighty arrangements that command the room. This year's are all about the natural beauty of pine cones, wood and pussy willows, all in the modern-playful hand of floral designer Saley Nong.  

 

Down the street, the entrance of Django sparkles with an inviting Christmas tree, while window decorations and swaths of evergreen festoon the dining room. Next door at Raccoon River Brewing Co., fairy lights, swags and a supersize Christmas tree get revelers in the holiday spirit.

 

Tursi's Latin King is also famous for dressing it up at the holidays, with three Christmas trees outside, four inside, and the yearly nativity scene on the indoor veranda. Longtime Latin King fans might even notice a new polish to the seasonal décor. "We took all our old things out to the Kenilworth House, (and) they put all new stuff on them," says owner Bob Tursi. Now there's an idea!

fyi: Mark Your Calendar

  • Scrooge is in for an unforgettable night as three ghosts teach him about the true meaning of Christmas in Repertory Theater of Iowa's (RTI) presentation of "A Christmas Carol" at Des Moines Social Club's Kum & Go Theater. The Charles Dickens classic will be performed at various times and dates Dec. 12-21. Find the details here and purchase tickets here or call 244-2771. Tickets cost $25-$30 for adults, $22 for seniors and $15 for students.  
  • The Christmas spirit comes through each note of the Des Moines Choral Society's annual "Christmas With the Choral Society" concert. Inspiring arrangements and seasonal favorites will fill St. Ambrose Cathedral (607 High St.) at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13. Tickets cost $20 for general seating, $25 for preferred seating and $10 for children and students. You can purchase them here
  • Ballet Des Moines will perform Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker"  Dec. 11-14 at Hoyt Sherman Place (1501 Woodland Ave.). The ballet's resident professional company will take the stage with more than 300 student dancers ages 5-18 from Central Iowa for the classic holiday performance. Find out showtimes and get tickets ($23-$69) here. Tickets also are available at the Hoyt Sherman Place box office. 
  • Civic Music Association will present the Grammy-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra Dec. 13 at Drake University's Sheslow Auditorium. The 13-piece band will bring a upbeat vibe to Des Moines for its "Salsa Navidad" concert. Parranderos Latin Combo and Salsa Des Moines will host a dance party at the Turner Jazz Center at a free party after the concert. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. with a pre-concert talk at 6:45 by Ryan Mullin of Parranderos Latin Combo. Tickets are $18-$48 and can be purchased here or by calling 280-4020.

P.S. Celebrate Iowa's Culture

By Belle Du Chene 

Hollywood producer Normal Lear to be recognized at this year's Celebrate Iowa Gala.  
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) will showcase the state's art, history and culture at the third annual Celebrate Iowa Gala Dec. 12 at the State of Iowa Historical Building (600 E. Locust St.). This year's event will recognize television writer and Hollywood producer Norman Lear ("All in the Family," "The Jeffersons") in honor of the 45th anniversary of "Cold Turkey," which Lear directed, co-produced and co-wrote. The movie was filmed in Greenfield, Winterset and Des Moines and starred Dick Van Dyke.

The 500 or so expected guests also can enjoy an Iowa-themed menu with food and cocktails from across the state, plus entertainment by 45 RPM Quartet, Jive for Five, Bob Dorr and The Blue Band, and The Revival Center Church. 
 
Tickets cost $100; young professionals pay $75. VIP tickets are $500. Purchase them here
Proceeds with benefit the State Historical Society of Iowa and the State Historical Museum of Iowa. For more information, visit www.culturalaffairs.org/gala, email HistoricalGala@iowa.gov, or call 281-8352. 

Get ready for the gala by viewing a video of the 2013 event here.  

Belle Du Chene is senior editor of dsm magazine.

Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the dining scene for dsm magazine. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville and catch her food segment on Fridays at 6:40 a.m. on KCWI-23's "Great Day" morning show.

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