MAY 17, 2016

Part of the fun of Market Day is the element of surprise, discovering something wonderful while you're looking for something else. Don't miss that opportunity Saturday.
Some 70 artisans and other vendors of cool stuff will be waiting for you this Saturday, May 21, when Market Day returns to Capital Square

Now in its eighth year, Market Day is a fun, free pop-up sale featuring creative Iowans presenting their finest wares. It seems like you can find a bit of everything, maybe even more than everything, from fashions to note cards, ceramics to woodwork. For a list of vendors and photos of their work, click here. The mix is different every time Market Day pops up. We always enjoy seeing all the people, products and passions that this event brings together. It really is fun.  

And as the organizers like to say, it gives shoppers an opportunity "to meet their makers." Grab that opportunity between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday in the Capital Square atrium. Combine this with the nearby farmers market on Court Avenue, then add a lunch someplace fun downtown, and you have yourself a pretty great Saturday--with plenty of time left for those springtime lawn and garden projects.  
Garden sheds can be indispensible if you have a yard. Besides being great for storage, a nicely designed shed can add charm to your outdoor space!... 
Staff prepare for a busy day at +39, the newest addition to Locust Street's eatery row.

By Wini Moranville   

What struck me most about my inaugural visit to downtown's +39, which recently opened, was the airy, bright and surprisingly elegant ambiance. Many of today's trendiest restaurants--especially those in Western Gateway's "21st-Century Restaurant Row"--have a similar spaciousness, though sometimes marked by that sparse urban-industrial feel that's energetic yet commonplace.

What about +39 felt so different? Certainly, the unclothed tables and metal chairs stuck to trendy slate-and-black colors. Yet the room's molded columns and wood-trimmed walls, painted wedding-cake white, mixed a certain Edwardian grandeur into the postmodern edginess. The unmistakably modern chandelier--a massive white sphere of tangled aluminum wire dotted with fairy light--commands the room.
Adding a certain Euro-allure was Alessandro Andreoni, the stylish Italian-born co-owner, who circulated the room and graciously indulged our attempts at speaking Italian. Andreoni opened the original +39 in Ames in 2013. (The name is the international dialing code for calls to Italy.)  
The menu encompasses back-to-basics Italian dishes: pizza, pasta, grilled and roasted entrees, plus a few American standbys (burgers, Caesar salad). Thinking I would dine light, I ordered the chickpea salad with grilled shrimp, arugula, artichokes and feta. The salad proved fresh and bright, but the portion was surprisingly massive in that generous Italian-grandmother way. My dining companion enjoyed a plate of assorted cheeses, cured meats and olives. The stars of that platter included a sweet and mild Gorgonzola cheese and the mortadella, Italy's luscious, fat-studded cured meat. We took one-third of the generous platter home.
Find +39 at 1430 Locust St.; 515-421-4500;

Wini Moranville covers food and dining for dsm. Follow her at All Things Food - DSM Wini Moranville.  
For you fans of Green Death, and you know who you are, the band will perform at Wooly's Saturday, May 28, at 10 p.m. during the Gross Domestic Product music festival.
Happy 10th anniversary to Gross Domestic Product, the vibrant spring music festival returning May 28 with 20 acts on stages scattered around Des Moines' East Village.

Headliners this year include local metal group Green Death and the hip-hop collective Media Fresh. Iowa artists are the hallmark of GDP, as the fest is known. It helps introduce young, new artists as well as established groups. Produced by the nonprofit Greater Des Moines Music Coalition, GDP has featured more than 100 acts since 2006. Details on this year's performers and schedule are available here.
GDP's two main stages will be at Wooly's (a favorite of ours, at 504 E. Locust St.), and the Blazing Saddle (416 E. Fifth St.). Fun afternoon pop-up shows will be spread among Plain Talk Books, Raygun, Tacopocalypse, Ichi Bike and Preservation.

All-access passes are $15 ($20 on the 28th at Wooly's box office). Our best tip: If you're buying tickets to this summer's 80/35 Music Festival, you can add GDP for just $5 more. Get them online through Midwestix.
The oval Blue Room in the White House has maintained its color scheme through many revivals, including during the Kennedy, Nixon and Clinton administrations. 
Two Iowa authors will give readers the inside story behind their new non-fiction books this month at Beaverdale Books.
First up, this evening (Tuesday, May 17) at 6:30 p.m., Patrick Phillips-Schrock will discuss a little-known campaign to redecorate the White House during the Nixon administration, undoing Jacqueline Kennedy's celebrated decor. His new book on the subject is "White House Art and Antiques from the Nixon Era."
With the acquisition of valuable art and antiques, and with the help of an aggressive curator and a talented designer, Pat Nixon quietly erased Camelot and introduced the more academic look that endures today in the mansion's public state rooms. Phillips-Schrock, author of the previously well-received "The White House: An Illustrated Architectural History," will share stories from the Nixon era.
Sunday, May 22, ecologist Cornelia Mutel will discuss the scientific discoveries behind "A Sugar Creek Chronical," her book on the magnitude and urgency of changes in Earth's climate. Beaverdale Books describes Mutel's work as "an artful weaving together of the science behind rising temperatures, tumultuous weather events and a lifetime devoted to the natural world." Mutel's work is both scientific and personal, weaving her own experience into the story.
A senior science writer at the University of Iowa, Mutel has written several prior books, including three on aspects of Iowa nature.
Swapping out pillows gives any room a change of character, especially with sunny and cheery patterns like these.
You can easily change the seasons in your home by sprinkling botanical motifs, bursts of color and patterns. That's the focus of this story in the current issue of dsm magazine, a tale called "Set for Spring." The products are local, and the effect can brighten your mood as well as your rooms.
Insect Infestations & Disease Control Update With the Iowa spring underway, our team of ISA Certified Arborists has been hard at work treating trees for various insect and disease concerns. Read on for our top tips and reminders for the 2016 season. ... Read More

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