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Last Minute Holiday Gifts, Gets & Getaways



Last Minute Holiday Gifts, Gets & Getaways

As much as holiday shopping is a thrill-filled function, it can also overwhelm amid the glut of retail marketing messages asserting deals, steals and grand gifting opportunities galore. With so much to choose from, here’s a short list of a few tried-and-true gifts, gets and getaways that are well-suited for a holiday spending spree.

***** GADGETS *****

Funcl Earbuds (

Funcl is a hardware startup devoted to making true wireless headphones accessible to everyone with price points starting at $19. The company recently launched two models: the Funcl W1 and Funcl AI. The Funcl W1 feature touch buttons on the headphones, which let you control the music and easily answer or reject calls. The Funcl W1 boasts integrated, sophisticated audio engineering to support AAC and provide good sound quality and bass performance for both calls and music. Designed by the company’s award-winning industrial design team, these earbuds also have a unique design for a comfortable fit and attractive aesthetic. Qualcomm chip powered, Funcl’s other model, the AI, provides Hi-Fi sound quality and extremely low latency. Also power friendly, a single charge provides six hours of battery life and, with three extra charges from the case, total battery life is a full 24 hours.  Ranked with a waterproof level of IPX5, Funcl AI is well-suited for use during workouts and exercising, whether at the gym or outdoors. A free Funcl AI App also makes the AI voice assistant feature easier and more intuitive to access.

Anova Precision Cooker Nano (

The Anova Precision Cooker Nano is an appliance innovation allowing you to cook delicious, restaurant-quality meals in the comfort of your own home. Paired with the Anova App, which features the world’s largest collection of sous vide recipes, this device makes it easy to cook, control and keep track of your recipe from your mobile phone. Simply choose a recipe, press start, and the Nano does the rest. Used by professional chefs for decades, sous vide is a simple and approachable technique that eliminates overcooked, dried out food and ensures edge-to-edge perfection every time. Whether it’s steak, chicken, fish, vegetables, or even crème brûlée, with the Anova Precision Cooker Nano anyone can cook like a pro!

***** STYLE *****

Lamo Footwear (

Lamo is a Southern California-based company known for creating comfortable, high quality sheepskin boots, slippers and moccasins for men, women and children. Lamo footwear is extremely high quality, offered at a value price. With a SoCal fashion-forward feel, Lamo’s stylish and comfortable footwear ensures you’ll walk in style, whether you’re traversing snowy peaks, snagging a few rays at the beach, or even cozying up at home. For at-home coziness I particularly love the Ladies Scuff design, which features a luxurious 100% Australian sheepskin lining for $80. Or choose the ultra-affordable premium faux fur option for just $40—the western print is super cute!

Wallet Buckle (

Buckle up for a truly unique gift idea that fuses belts and wallets into one super stylish, extremely efficient wearable. As seen on ABC’s Shark Tank, Wallet Buckle changes the way men and women carry valuable credit cards and cash while out and about. This clever creation keeps these essentials secure and on hand in the most stylish, fun, convenient belt buckle that combines fashion with function. Wallet Buckle stores up to four credit cards and ID’s, so it’s a great way to keep these itmes accessible and prevent them from getting lost or stolen.

***** SELF-CARE *****

Eterno Red LED Light Device (

Beauty gifts are a burgeoning category and here’s a fantastic idea in kind: The Eterno Device—a four-week face lift you can use at home instead of those creams and masks that just don’t work.  This brand new, time-saving device is clinically-proven to use NASA’s red and infrared LED Light Therapy, the most innovative, age-defying technology on the planet. Its patented glass head is powerful and gentle, and and the device effectively reduces wrinkles, softens fine lines, increases collagen and elastin production, lifts and tightens skin, and improves complexion through its technology. Eterno is a must-have for anyone who wants a fresh glow achieved in the comfort of their own home.

Shiseido Beauty (

If there’s one company who knows cosmetics and self-care, it’s Shiseido. From the many fabulous things they offer, there are a few standouts this season that I particularly like. First is their ModernMatte Powder Lipstick Expressive Deluxe Mini Set—a limited-edition wardrobe of five mini ModernMatte Powder Lipsticks. They’re all housed in a deluxe acrylic container for the holidays, and the outer package features festive RIBBONESIA art. The shades range from soft neutrals to bold berries to festive reds, ensuring there’s something for every occasion.  This creamy, non-drying formula transforms into a weightless powder and wraps lips in a velvety, matte pigment. Now what gal wouldn’t love that? Also from Shiseido is the Ult-Immune Power-Infusing Concentrate. This is Shiseido’s best-selling serum, actually having relaunched in a stronger formula powered by Imu-Generation Technology. It has anti-oxidant rich reishi mushroom and iris root extracts that strengthen skin, restore firmness and defend against daily damage. It’s made to produce fast results, with skin growing 28 percent stronger in just one week.


STICK-AMIS Hands-Free Phone Stickers (

STICK-AMIS are nifty phone stickers that allow complete hands-free usage of any type of phone or tablet without the need for special case sizes or bulky contraptions. It’s ideal for the perfect selfie or group shot…often on the first click! Patent pending, STICK-AMIS is a super-handy phone accessory that instantly solves the problem of having to fumble with your phone while taking selfies, group photos, watching videos or even video conferencing. In addition, STICK-AMIS doubles as an instant stand and can eliminate the need for oft cumbersome accessories like pop-sockets, selfie-sticks and tripods! Use STICK-AMIS to also avoid awkward angles, shadows and limited range of your phone or tablet camera.

Shhhtop Door Dampener (

For the home improvement and child safety-minded is Shhhtop, which is better than conventional door dampers and stoppers for ensuring doors don’t slam shut–even when other doors and windows are open to let in fresh air. Beyond the annoyance and stress from slamming doors, they’re also a safety hazard to children, the elderly and pets. Shhhtop installs easily with no drilling or damage to door components. It’s also discreet and invisible once installed.

***** TRAVEL *****

Holidays at Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa (

Whether as a holiday getaway for yourself or an experiential gift for another, the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa is a splendid desert home-away-from-home for the holidays courtesy of a range of events and activities inspired by holiday storybooks and tales. This December, there are some super special offerings at this Palm Springs-area destination, including: a giant walk-in snow globe for family photo ops; kids’ craft classes with Nutcracker, Grinch and other themes; nightly free holiday movies; a gingerbread house decorating contest; oversized storybook characters; an Elf-on-the-Shelf hunt; desert Santa in flip-flops; as well as holiday tree-lighting and entertainment. Then there’s the ultimate New Year’s Eve Glow-in-the-Dark family dance party, which is a huge hit with kids. Their Storybook Holiday package includes $50 per night resort credit as well as milk cookies and a children’s holiday storybook upon check-in.

Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel (

Another fabulous holiday or travel gift is Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel, the only hotel on Beverly Hills’ iconic Rodeo Drive. A blend of modern style, relaxed Southern California spirit and the elegance of Beverly Hills, this boutique hotel features inspired spaces from famed designer Vicente Wolf and genuine hospitality from a dedicated staff. Revel in unmatched access to world-class shopping, dining and entertainment, and exclusive Luxe Club amenities. Like a home-away-from-home, the Luxe Club benefits include delicious breakfasts, light lunches, evening tastings with happy hour house wines and cocktails to ensure every craving and necessity is met. The hotel also features complimentary bicycle rentals, a 2nd floor outdoor mezzanine and rooftop that provides incredible 360-degree views of the Los Angeles hills and skyline. The rooftop also has a Fitness Center and hosts “Cinema Under the Stars” events on the weekend. Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel is a premier choice for an immersive Beverly Hills holiday.


As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern is an internationally-regarded consumer product trends expert and hospitality industry voice of authority—a travel, dining, leisure and lifestyle expert who spotlights noteworthy marketplace innovations, change makers, movers and shakers. She reports on exemplary travel destinations and experiences, extraordinary events and newsworthy products and services across all categories. Reach her online at, on Twitter at, on Facebook at and on Instagram at

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided at no cost or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***

More: Latest TOP 10 Christmas Songs Of All Time – Best Holiday Music

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Rockies Mailbag: Why doesn’t Colorado starter Jon Gray pitch deeper into games?



Rockies Mailbag: Why doesn’t Colorado starter Jon Gray pitch deeper into games?

Denver Post sports writer Patrick Saunders with the latest installment of his Rockies Mailbag.

Pose a Rockies — or MLB — related question for the Rockies Mailbag.

Patrick, I have noticed that most Colorado starters begin looking into the dugout for help in the fifth inning. It just seems that way every time I watch a start from Jon Gray. He says he wants to be a 200-plus inning guy. To get there he needs to go deeper into games. Do you see him being that kind of guy? And will the Rox really offer him a ton of cash?
— Al, Denver

Al, perhaps Gray and some of the other pitchers look to the dugout because they are a bit gunshy about getting taken out of the game. I don’t think they are looking for help. The Rockies’ starting pitchers would much rather remain in the game.

I think Gray is the same way, although he’s had a few injuries this season that required input from the training staff. Perhaps that’s what you have seen.

But I agree with you that Gray needs to work deeper into games to become the workhorse starter he says he wants to be. I do think the Rockies should pursue re-signing Gray because he’s proven he can win at Coors Field. That’s a big factor and it makes him more valuable to Colorado than to other teams.

I don’t know for sure what Gray and his agent will ask for in terms of money and the length of a deal. I’m guessing that Gray will want five years at about $10 million a year. The Rockies will counter with a three-year deal. So the two sides might compromise with four years and $32 million with a lot of incentives. That’s my estimate.

German Marquez received a five-year, $43 million contract extension in 2019. It was a very team-friendly deal, in my opinion. Marquez, of course, is a better pitcher than Gray.

What happened to Yonathan Daza? I thought he was playing pretty well in center field.
— Bill, Denver

Bill, I don’t know if you are aware of it, but Daza missed time from Aug. 17 until Sept. 9 because of a lacerated thumb that he suffered in an accident at home. The cut required stitches and kept him out of action.

To your bigger point, I agree that he was playing excellent defense in center field. He’s got speed and terrific instincts on flyballs and line drives. He also has a strong arm.

He’s currently slashing .285/.331/.363. After a hot start — he hit .327 and made 24 starts in June — he slumped badly in July (.103) and August (.179). He had a lot of empty at-bats and he hit the wall quickly. The slump, the injury, plus inconsistent playing time, have really hurt him.

Plus, the Rockies would like their outfielders to have more power. Daza only has two homers and a .694 OPS. Lately, the Rockies have gone with their hot hands in the outfield: Connor Joe (before his injury), Garrett Hampson and Raimel Tapia. Plus, the Rockies want to see what they have in Sam Hilliard.

What is Bud Black’s record as a Rockies’ manager? What is Dick Monfort’s record as an owner? Why are they both still around?
— Lars Jobson, Durango

Lars, how is Durango? I have not been there in a couple of years. Southwest Colorado is my favorite place in the world. But I digress.

I sense the sarcasm in your question.

As I write this, Black’s record as the Rockies manager is 342-349. He’s the only manager in franchise history to lead the team to back-to-back playoff appearances (2017-18).

Monfort — along with his brother, Charlie — has been the primary owner since 2005. So, Monfort’s record is 2007-2232 (entering Wednesday’s game). His Rockies have been to the playoffs five times and the World Series once. They have never won a National League West title.

Monfort is still around because he owns the team and he and his brother helped bail the franchise out of financial trouble way back at the team’s inception. I know you want me to say that the Rockies’ lack of success means Monfort should sell the team. It doesn’t matter, that’s not happening.

After this season, Black has one year left on his contract. He’s still the manager because he’s a good communicator, knows the game, has the respect of his players and is a good ambassador for the franchise. He can only work with the tools he’s given and since 2018, the Rockies have not built a competitive team. That’s not his fault.

Hi Patrick, love your coverage. What happened with the vaunted team speed that was talked about entering the season? We’re right around the league average in stolen bases. I would’ve liked to have seen Bud Black give more green lights to the baserunners this year.
— Miles, Parker

Miles, that’s a good and fair question. It seems like every spring the Rockies talk about stealing a bunch of bases. But the reality is that until they started hitting better recently, especially on the road, they weren’t getting on base enough. And it’s on the road where the steals could help them the most.

Colorado’s .315 on-base percentage ranks 17th in the majors. Some of the players they hoped would lead the team on the bases have had down seasons and/or injuries. That list includes Trevor Story, Garrett Hampson, Raimel Tapia and Sam Hilliard. Story, for example, has a .326 on-base percentage, a drop from his career mark of .340.

As for getting the green light, Colorado’s best base stealers already have a green light, at least most of the time. I wish I had a more complete answer for you. I’ll have to ask Bud Black about this topic. You just gave me a story idea.

Patrick, what is going on with Ian Desmond? It just seems like the Rox are going to decline his option and he is going to retire with free money. I feel like Monfort and Company should pick his option up and force him to come back, and then retire so they don’t have to pay his buyout. The guy has been a bust in Colorado, and no one wants a guy who hasn’t seen live pitching in two seasons.
— Todd, Kersey

Todd, Desmond, who was just named the Rockies’ representative for the Roberto Clemente Award, is not going to return to the Rockies. It would make no sense to pick up his $15 million option for 2022 and then “force him to retire.” Desmond is not going to return just for the money. By sitting out this season, he lost $8 million. He’s a proud and ethical man. Desmond, now 35, will likely retire and pick up his $2 million buy out.

Pose a Rockies — or MLB — related question for the Rockies Mailbag.

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‘Godfather’ behind ‘Varsity Blues’ college admissions scandal said he could get one parent’s child into Harvard for $1.2M



‘Godfather’ behind ‘Varsity Blues’ college admissions scandal said he could get one parent’s child into Harvard for $1.2M

The “godfather” behind the “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal told one parent who wanted to bribe his daughters’ way into Harvard that it would take about $1.2 million, but it would have its perks.

In a recording of one of William “Rick” Singer’s phone calls with former Staples and Gap Inc. executive John Wilson, Wilson responded, “Jesus.”

But Singer said, “The great thing about going to Harvard is once I get you in, you can do whatever you want. They don’t care.”

Wilson and former casino executive Gamal Abdelaziz are on trial on charges they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to help get their kids into the University of Southern California by falsely presenting them as athletic recruits. Wilson also is accused of paying more than $1 million to buy his twin daughters’ ways into Harvard and Stanford.

On Wednesday, the third day of testimony in the trial in federal court in Boston, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Frank showed jurors multiple emails between Singer, parents, and others, including one from March 2018 to Abdelaziz, thanking him for his “generous donation” of $300,000 to Singer’s Key Worldwide Foundation, adding the money would benefit disadvantaged youngsters.

Another email, from Leslie Wilson to Singer, said her children “would love your counseling about essays.” Singer later replied in an email to Wilson that he had taken “the liberty of completing (one) essay.”

Not long after John and Leslie Wilson paid Singer to get their son into USC, he wrote to former water polo coach Jovan Vavic that he was resigning from the team because he had had three concussions and wanted to concentrate on his academics.

Recordings of conversations between Singer and Donna Heinel, the former senior associate athletic director at USC, discussed “structuring” some donations, which FBI Special Agent Keith Brown told jurors meant breaking them into smaller amounts to evade taxes.

Under cross-examination by one of Abdelaziz’s attorneys, Brian Kelly, FBI Special Agent Keith Brown said he had not read all of the emails about Abdelaziz’s children.

“You didn’t pick all the emails that we saw here,” Kelly said. “The government cherry-picked them.”

Singer, who began cooperating with investigators in 2018 and secretly recorded his phone calls with the parents, was expected to be a key witness for the government. But prosecutors told jurors on Monday they will not call him to the stand.

The trial is expected to last several weeks. Defense lawyers have claimed that the parents were duped by Singer and led to believe that their payments were legitimate donations.

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Albany husband and wife charged with Social Security fraud



Albany husband and wife charged with Social Security fraud

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The U.S. Department of Justice says Denise Mitchell, 57, and John Mitchell, 61, of Albany, were arraigned Wednesday and charged with Social Security fraud. The federal indictment charged them with knowingly concealing Denise Mitchell’s work history and making a false statement in order to deceive the Social Security Administration (SSA) into paying disability benefits to her when she was not entitled to them.

The indictment alleges that from at least June 2015 until June 2017, Denise Mitchell and her husband John Mitchell, who acted as her representative payee, knowingly failed to disclose that she was working in order to deceive SSA into continuing to pay disability benefits.

The indictment also alleges that on June 8, 2017, she knowingly made a false statement in a form filed with the SSA regarding her work activity between August 2012 and June 2017.

The Mitchell’s could be sentenced to up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three years. 

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Boston-area coronavirus wastewater tracker: Descent could be ‘earliest sign’ of region heading in right direction



Boston-area coronavirus wastewater tracker: Descent could be ‘earliest sign’ of region heading in right direction

The Boston-area coronavirus wastewater tracker has been a roller coaster this summer amid the delta variant, but local infectious disease experts hope a recent descent in the COVID-19 tracker is the beginning of a sustained downward trend.

The south of Boston virus samples have plummeted by more than 50% in the last couple of weeks, while the north of Boston COVID sewage samples have dropped by close to 40%.

“My prediction has been we’re going to be in a downward trend, but I don’t know exactly when that will be,” said Todd Ellerin, director of infectious diseases at South Shore Health. “This could be the earliest sign that we’ll be heading in the right direction.”

The COVID wastewater levels indicate future virus cases in the community.

The wastewater tracker has been fluctuating quite often during the last two months, noted Davidson Hamer, a Boston University specialist in infectious diseases.

“Maybe this is the beginning of a downward trend, which would be fantastic, but it’s too early to tell,” he said.

Massachusetts has had a spike of coronavirus cases amid the more highly contagious delta variant, but cases appear to be plateauing during the last few weeks. Breakthrough infections went down last week for the first time in months.

“To ensure the wastewater levels decrease, we need to increase the community level of full vaccination,” Ellerin said.

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Troy restaurants overcoming pandemic hurdles during restaurant week



Troy restaurants overcoming pandemic hurdles during restaurant week

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As patrons venture out for Troy Restaurant Week, businesses are asking customers to be a little patient as staff continue to deal with some of the impacts of the pandemic including a truck driver shortage.

“I just went to the grocery store to pick up some product because our driver was delayed by a day,” said Slidin’ Dirty Owner Tim Taney.

Before they even open up on Wednesday, Taney had to make a stop at the grocery store because his delivery was late twice this week.

Throughout the pandemic, Taney said delays in food drop offs have become frequent.

“It has a pretty big impact on us. And I know that our distributors are really seeing a shortage with drivers. And they’re also seeing issues with the manufacturers. So, it’s really just a chain reaction,” Taney said.  

As Troy Restaurant Week gets into high gear, owners like Taney and Executive Director of Troy’s Downtown Business Improvement District Geoff Brault are asking patrons for a little patience.

“Service businesses, they make up the fabric of downtown Troy. They literally give flavor to the downtown,” Brault said.  

Brault said the struggles of the pandemic aren’t over for restaurants. He said the businesses are still in need of support.  

“Right now is the most important time to support the vital businesses in downtown troy,” Brault said.  

While restaurants work through their challenges, Taney said that won’t stop them from putting on a great restaurant week for customers.  

“I think everyone in Troy taking part in this restaurant week is going to have something worth coming out for,” Taney said.

Restaurant week runs from Monday September 13 to Sunday September 19. A list of participating restaurants can be found here.

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Michelle Wu, Annissa Essaibi-George ready for general election battle



Battenfeld: Is Boston ready to become another Cambridge?

Despite the smiles and big hug that Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi-George shared Wednesday in the city council chambers after their success in the mayoral preliminary, both have wasted no time in staking out their theses for why they’re the better choice to become Boston’s next mayor.

Wu and Essaibi-George made history on Tuesday night as voters advanced the two female at-large city councilors to the Nov. 2 general election.

It took until around 10 a.m. Wednesday for the city to post the results of all 255 precincts, but — despite brief kerfuffles among internet dwellers watching candidates’ names shuffle around as different parts of the city registered their votes — the final tally settled on what the campaigns’ organizations all knew just a few hours after polls closed last night.

Wu led the pack with 33.4%, followed by Essaibi-George’s 22.5% out of 107,592 votes counted. City Councilor Andrea Campbell was third with 19.7%, just ahead of Acting Mayor Kim Janey’s 19.5%. Former city economic development director John Barros drew 3.2% of the vote.

Asked why the count took so long, the city said, “Due to ballots received on Election Day via U.S. mail and ballot drop boxes, the Election Department had to cross-check those ballots with precinct voter lists from each polling location to ensure voters did not vote twice.”

Wu and Essaibi-George will face off in the Nov. 2 general, and the winner will be the first woman and the first person of color to be elected mayor of Boston.

The pair of veteran city councilors gave each other a hug right before Wednesday’s council meeting in front of snapping cameras. They exchanged some kind words, and complimented each other’s smarts and work ethic to reporters. But this race isn’t going to be all smiles.

As the progressive Wu declared victory on Tuesday night, she took aim at “status quo” policies. She repeated those themes in a press conference outside City Hall on Wednesday morning, that while some have thought her ideas too “pie in the sky,” she “knocked those down one by one.”

Essaibi-George, speaking to cheering supporters around midnight, went after a couple of Wu’s big-picture goals, saying that the mayor isn’t about to make the MBTA free or implement rent control.

Essaibi-George, a relative moderate and ally of former Mayor Martin Walsh, said, “Too often the conversation centers around those sorts of abstract ideas” rather than real-world solutions.

A big part of the new phase of the campaign is going to be appealing to Black voters. None of the three Black candidates in the mayor’s race — Campbell, Janey and Barros — advanced, to the disappointment of many.

Political strategist Jacquetta van Zandt said this means that the bulk of the Black vote is “up for grabs” — but that it shouldn’t be treated like a monolith, as Black voters of varying generations and different socioeconomic strata cast their ballots differently.

“Who now will be able to garner the coveted black vote?” becomes the big question, she said. “The message of ‘you are heard and you are seen and we are going to work together’ is how it will have to be.”

Eldin Villafane, a Boston-based political communications consultant, said the candidates will pivot to trying to pitch voters of color why their plan will be the ones that help them.

He also added that, across the board, people vote for people they feel they can trust with power — “Who’s going to be our city boss, and who’s going to have a firm grip on the city amidst a lot of change.”

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Malcolm Yards is the food hall we’ve all been waiting for



Malcolm Yards is the food hall we’ve all been waiting for

Just when it seemed like the food hall concept was played out, like this market couldn’t possibly take another — and also still in the midst of a pandemic — The Market at Malcolm Yards opened.

But I’m here to tell you that the shiny new facility, built within the ruins of the historic Harris Machinery Co., is an absolute game-changer. The variety and quality of vendors is unmatched and there’s tons of seating, indoors and out. There are proper cocktails — some matched to the flavors of individual vendors — or a beer and wine wall for easy self-service. On top of that, the atmosphere is really, really cool.

Even payment here is slick and modern — you swipe a credit card and they give you a card to pay. You can use it at any vendor, and you get just one bill at the end. Brilliant.

If I were to complain about anything, it would be the temporary issue of unpaved parking lots, which turn into a muddy mess in the rain and are a little hard to navigate. But there’s more development going on in the area, and the permanent solution — likely a ramp — will take some time to figure out. Meanwhile, it’s always a good idea to hop on the light rail or hire a rideshare, especially if you’re going to be drinking.

Really, though, Malcolm Yards, which is smack dab on the border of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and just blocks from Surly Brewing and the new O’Shaughnessy Distilling, is the perfect place to meet a friend, or a group of them, and linger over some amazing food. Bring your friend with a special diet — there are tons of gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options.

Because it’s only been open for about a month, Community Outreach and Events Manager Molly Hermann said events are just starting to get traction there, but the market has two spaces that can be rented for meetings, parties, weddings and more. Many meeting organizers are simply giving their guests cards to use at the market, so they can choose their own meals, but catering is also available.

The market will also host pre- and post-game celebrations for Gophers sports. Hermann said they’ll open a few hours early on game days and some vendors will offer brunch items. They’ll have beer in cans outside, too, for a tailgating feel.

Here’s my guide to the vendors in the market, with a short description and some recommended dishes from each. Honestly, every morsel of food I’ve eaten here has been good, and some of it downright spectacular.

Be warned, though, it’s not a secret. The place has been busy to packed every time I’ve visited. Lunch is a better option if you’re crowd-averse.

Abang Yoli

Korean Fried Chicken from Abang Yoli at The Market at Malcolm Yards. (Jess Fleming / Pioneer Press)

Chef Jamie Yoo is bringing flavors from his native Korea, melded with other Asian cuisine, to the market, but his professional cheffing background is mostly in French kitchens, including those of Gavin Kaysen. It’s great to see him proudly display his heritage here, with some of the best Korean fried chicken I’ve tried. I love that the chicken is served with the sauce on the side, so that the perfect crunch is not lost. The half-head of cauliflower, doused in a tasty chili crisp, is a worthy side or main if you’re meat-free.

Recommended dishes: Korean Fried Chicken ($12 for a two-piece); Cauliflower ($12 for a half head)


1631790788 399 Malcolm Yards is the food hall weve all been waiting
Benjamin Bacon from Advellum at The Market at Malcolm Yards. (Jess Fleming / Pioneer Press)

Although this is a “vegetable eatery,” chef Michael Shaughnessy wants you to know that eating vegetables is about way more than just salads. Indeed, I did not try a single salad off his menu, which also includes some meat, but I did have the best veggie burger I’ve ever eaten, some ridiculously good avocado toast, mung bean pancakes that made me sigh with happiness and a tomato burrata salad that let in-season heirloom tomatoes (there’s nothing better) sing. Shaughnessy’s chef credentials include executive chef runs at the fabulous Young Joni and California-cuisine darling Mill Valley Kitchen.

The Wild Boomer Burger, a mix of wild mushrooms, nutty wild rice and umami-rich miso, is crisped perfectly and served on a pillowy, sesame-seeded bun with a garlicky vegan aioli and pickled onions and chiles to wake everything up. They have a gluten-free bun available, too, and it’s quite good.

The Benjamin Bacon starts with those crispy, flavor-packed mung bean pancakes and ups the ante with some tender, perfectly rendered, maple-soy-glazed pork belly, a killer kimchi and a deeply savory, spicy gochujang aioli. Since it is plated in a set of three pancakes, it’s also highly shareable.

Recommended dishes: Wild Boomer Burger ($15); Benjamin Bacon ($15); Ave Avocado Toast ($13); Tommy Tomato ($12)

Bagu Sushi

1631790788 214 Malcolm Yards is the food hall weve all been waiting
Tataki from Bagu Sushi at The Market at Malcolm Yards. (Jess Fleming / Pioneer Press)

I don’t consider myself much of an expert on sushi, but I do know that this long-standing sushi outfit (they have a standalone bricks-and-mortar in South Minneapolis) knows its stuff. Fresh fish awaits you in made-to-order rolls, sashimi and fresh-fish appetizers. If you haven’t had fresh wasabi, they offer it, and it’s worth ordering some sushi just to try the herbaceous root in its purest form.

Recommended dishes: Tataki ($13); any rolls with fresh wasabi, which is an extra $5

Bebe Zito

1631790789 426 Malcolm Yards is the food hall weve all been waiting
The Burger from Bebe Zito at The Market at Malcolm Yards. (Jess Fleming / Pioneer Press)

One of the buzziest burgers in a burger-obsessed town and super-creative ice cream are the focus of this stand, which, predictably, always has a line.

Well-known pastry chef (and the opening ice cream chef at Milkjam) Ben Spangler and his now-wife, Gabriella Grant, started Bebe with a standalone spot in Uptown that quickly became known for its delicious, creative ice cream flavors and long lines, especially on the weekends when they serve the burger. Happily for us, the burger is available whenever Malcolm Yards is open.

The burger is of the smashed variety and its claim to fame is bacon in the grind, which gives it a slightly smoky flavor and very luscious texture. It’s good. Very good. Line worthy.

But the ice cream, with its impossibly creamy bases (please note they do have plenty of vegan versions as well) and bright, creative flavors like Vanilla MSG and Gochujang Brownie, is also stellar. Honestly, the Pistachio w/Almond, which sports pistachios imported from Italy and marzipan, might be my favorite of the genre, and I always try the pistachio ice cream.

Recommended dishes: Pistachio w/Almond ice cream ($4.95 for a scoop); Burger ($6.95)

Boxcar Bar

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The Argentine Sour from Boxcar Bar at The Market at Malcolm Yards. (Jess Fleming / Pioneer Press)

Bartending legend Nick Kosevich developed the cocktails here, and made one that matches the flavor profile of each vendor. I only got the chance to try a few, but as expected, they are top-notch. There are also more conventional drinks available — a friend who always craves bloody Marys ordered one and said it was great.

Recommended drinks: Argentine Sour (goes with Del Sur Empanadas; $12); Snap Pea Collins (goes with Advellum; $12)

Del Sur Empanadas

1631790789 988 Malcolm Yards is the food hall weve all been waiting
A variety of empanadas from Del Sur Empanadas at The Market at Malcolm Yards. (Jess Fleming / Pioneer Press)

Long one of my favorite food trucks, Del Sur opened a bricks-and-mortar eatery in Minnetonka in 2018. It’s kind of a haul for even the best empanadas, so I couldn’t be more thrilled that they have a stall at Malcolm Yards. Flaky, golden crusts are filled with ingredients ranging from the expected (chorizo or sweet beef) to the unexpected (caprese or sweet corn). And every one I’ve tried has been great.

Recommended dishes: Any empanada, but especially the chorizo, sweet beef or mushroom), $3.75 apiece

Joey Meatballs

Malcolm Yards is the food hall weve all been waiting
Spaghetti and meatballs from Joey Meatballs in The Market at Malcolm Yards. (Jess Fleming / Pioneer Press)

Although you might be tempted to skip over this stall — build-your-own-pasta isn’t exactly groundbreaking stuff — I suggest you think again. The fresh, tender pasta is made in house, and the red sauce as bright and balanced as they come. Oh, and if you like meatballs, there’s a reason that word is in the name. They are huge, juicy and full of flavor. The portions here are generous, too.

Chef Joshua Hedquist has a great story, too. He fought his way from being a teen with a rap sheet to heading kitchens, and he believes in second chances so employs people, including felons, who need a second chance.

Recommended dishes: The Baller (spaghetti and two meatballs, $16.75)

Momo Dosa

1631790789 454 Malcolm Yards is the food hall weve all been waiting
The Keema Dosa at Momo Dosa at The Market at Malcolm Yards. (Jess Fleming / Pioneer Press)

If you’ve never had momo or dosa, you are in for a treat. Momo are Nepalese dumplings, and you can get them here filled with everything from mutton to vegetables. They are served with two mild chutneys — a mint and a tomato — so you can choose your own adventure.

Dosa are thin crepe-like wraps made from fermented lentils and rice. The wrap itself, nutty, crisp and a little chewy at once, is the star of the show, but the fillings here are so good that I can’t pick a favorite — I’m going with two. If you like meat, the Keema Dosa, filled with ground meat, red onion, parsley, zucchini, cheese and spices, is fantastic, but if you’re a vegetable lover, I can’t recommend the Masala Dosa, stuffed with curried potatoes, enough.

Recommended dishes: Chicken Momo ($11); Keema Dosa ($13); Masala Dosa ($11)

Sunday at the Market

1631790789 687 Malcolm Yards is the food hall weve all been waiting
Tamago egg salad sandwich from Sunday at the Market at The Market at Malcolm Yards. (Jess Fleming / Pioneer Press)

You might be tempted to overlook this oddball little stall, which serves charcuterie boards and Japanese-style sandwiches, but if you have never had Japanese egg salad, it’s definitely worth a try. The sandwiches are served on fluffy white bread with just enough green lettuce to give it visual appeal and a little crunch, and the egg salad itself is fluffy and creamy.

They also serve best-in-class Red Table meats and Alemar cheeses.

Recommended dishes: Tamago egg salad sandwich ($6.50)

Wrecktangle Pizza

1631790789 699 Malcolm Yards is the food hall weve all been waiting
The Shredder from Wrecktangle Pizza at The Market at Malcolm Yards (Jess Fleming / Pioneer Press)

Detroit-style pizza is trending, and Wrecktangle makes some of the best in the metro.

Deep-dish crust, crispy cheese on the edges and fresh, creative toppings combine to make a craveable pie. There’s everything from a breakfast pizza to one with blue cheese alfredo and spicy chicken to classics like pepperoni and sausage. I’m personally more of a classic gal, but I do like spicy. The Shredder, with pepperoni, pickled jalapenos and whipped honey infused with Cry Baby Craig’s hot sauce, is exactly my jam.

Recommended dishes: The Shredder ($20 for an 8 x 10 pizza, which is six slices)

The Market at Malcolm Yards

  • Where: 501 30th Ave. S.E., Minneapolis
  • Contact:
  • Prices: Most items $20 or below. Varies by vendor.
  • Good to know: Ample on-site parking, but also on light-rail line. Vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options aplenty.
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National Grid voltage conversion in the City of Cohoes



National Grid voltage conversion in the City of Cohoes

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On September 21, National Grid will be adjusting the voltage on transformers on both sides of Columbia Street, and Chestnut Street to Sunset Court, on Tuesday.

Residents in the area will be without power during the work period beginning at 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.

Traffic signals at the intersection of Columbia St. & Simmons Ave and Columbia St. & Masten Ave. will be without power during the work period.

Traffic control flaggers will be in place, National Grid said, to use alternate routes when possible with caution when traveling in the area, as delays are expected.

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  • Rainbow Read Run kicks off to benefit Ronald McDonald House
  • 9/19/2021: An unsettled stretch, but nicer days ahead

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Red Sox take big series win over Mariners, head home in ideal positioning for playoff chase



Red Sox take big series win over Mariners, head home in ideal positioning for playoff chase

With two weeks left in the heat of a playoff chase, every game certainly matters for the Red Sox. But there was something about how they finished this difficult road trip that might go a long way into determining if they play deeper into October.

After a tough beginning to the trip, the Red Sox ended it on an emphatic high note. A night after winning in dramatic fashion, they took a close game that looked destined for more drama and turned it into a rout. The Red Sox scored six runs in the top of the 10th to break the tie and poured it on for a 9-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners and a critical series win.

With winnable games ahead of them, a handful of off days and Chris Sale coming back this weekend, the Red Sox are in a great position with 14 games to go. After going 3-3 in their six-game trip against the White Sox and Mariners, they sit tied atop the wild-card standings heading into a three-game set with the last-place Baltimore Orioles.

“It’s a happy flight,” manager Alex Cora said. “Like I said before, not too many people thought the last homestand of the season was going to mean something. Now it means a lot. Hopefully it’s going to be fun Friday and the rest of the week and we can take care of business.”

The game was tied at 3 from the third inning on until the Sox broke it open in extras. The Red Sox had recorded just one hit — Jose Iglesias’ seventh-inning infield single — in six innings before the 10th, when they figured it out against the Mariners’ bullpen as singles from Alex Verdugo, Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez gave them a 5-3 lead.

Then, a familiar face was again at the center of clinching a Red Sox victory. Kyle Schwarber, a night after his three-run double sent them to a huge win, came up again Wednesday in a huge spot with one out and the bases loaded. He worked the count full before rifling a two-run single to right, which gave the Sox more than enough breathing room.

Two batters later, Christian Vazquez lofted a two-run double down the right-field line to put the icing on the cake before Martin Perez completed another big performance from the Red Sox’ bullpen to cap the win and their first series victory in Seattle since 2013.

“Hopefully this is the beginning of something great for us and we can get hot swinging the bats,” Cora said.

The Red Sox had an early 3-0 lead after Hunter Renfroe’s first-inning homer and a two-run second that included doubles from Bobby Dalbec and Iglesias. But the Mariners got it all back in the third. Renfroe was charged with his 13th error of the season on a throw to third that squirted by Rafael Devers to allow a run to score before Kyle Seager’s two-run, game-tying double.

Tanner Houck settled down to strike out the side in the fourth, but only lasted 4 1/3 innings as Cora pulled him before he could face the Mariners lineup a third time. The bullpen, though, had his back, tossing 5 2/3 innings and not allowing a run until it didn’t matter in the 10th.

“I have applauded our bullpen all year,” Houck said. “They have stepped up. They’ve done an incredible role. They are a significant part of this team and they’ve stepped up to every occasion that we’ve called upon them.”

With an eight-game homestand that includes three off days ahead of them, the Red Sox like where they’re at. Eleven of their final 14 games are against teams with a sub-.500 record, and they’ve lined it up to have Sale and Nathan Eovaldi pitch in as many games as they can. And they’re feeling good about themselves after splitting a six-game trip against two playoff-caliber teams.

“I think that gives us momentum,” Adam Ottavino said. “We’re going to have three series at home, a place we expect to win. We’re going to need to win a lot of those games, so hopefully the fans really bring it and we can bring it on the field.”

Cora similarly hopes they can ride this momentum back to Boston for a big final two weeks of the season.

“I think playing meaningful games at home, it means a lot,” Cora said. “I know last year was a tough one for the organization and for the fans. Obviously coming into the season, nobody expected this homestand to mean something for the playoff hunt. So we’re in this position. Like I said, Friday should be Chris (Sale), Friday night at Fenway, I’ve been saying all along. Hopefully it’s loud and it’s intense.

“We’ve got plenty of games at home, and we’re really good at home. We took care of business here. Just enjoy the families. Hopefully nothing happens off the field as far as like COVID and all that, and we’re ready to go on Friday.”

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USDA wants you to kill this bug on sight



USDA wants you to kill this bug on sight

(WWLP) — The Department of Agriculture is asking residents in New England and beyond to kill one specific bug on sight.

That bug is the spotted lanternfly. It’s a colorful, polka-dotted moth that is completely harmless to humans, but it leaves a secretion that is extremely deadly to trees and other plants. Now, it’s been less than 10 years since the lanternfly was first spotted near Pennsylvania, but since then, it has spread all across the northeast.

It’s one bug the USDA doesn’t want you to feel bad about killing.

Full-sized spotted lanternflies are large, gray bugs, about one inch long, with black spots and red underwings. Nymphs of the insect look black with white dots and older nymphs are red with black and white spots.

Where to spot a spotted lanternfly

Nymphs of SLF, from left to right, youngest to oldest (photo credit: Teá Kesting-Handly)

The bug can be found congregating on sides of buildings, in or on vehicles, or on plants they prefer to attack, including tree of heaven, grape, and walnut. They may attach themselves to goods being transported into the state from the following states:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

What to do if you find a spotted lanternfly

If you happen to come across a spotted lanternfly, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources both encourage taking a photo or collecting the specimen and reporting it online. Search the area for both adult insects as well.

Massachusetts has identified the insect in the state several times in the last few years but no evidence shows that they have become established in the state.

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