May 16, 2017
Really, how great is this? Impromptu concerts can break out anytime on the sidewalks of Des Moines.
There may be no single key to happiness, but 88 keys can get you there. That's the number on a standard piano keyboard, and it makes us very happy that 10 pianos will once again be stationed around town for the fourth year of City Sounds, the public piano project created by Kathryn Dickel and Larry James.

As before, the pianos will appear freshly painted in grand style by local artists. You can read more about the artists and their work here.

The program kicks off this Saturday, May 20, with a sequential series of free 30-minute performances by talented pianists, at each of these 10 piano sites. Performers include the NOLA Jazz Band, Christopher the Conquered and Jordan Mayland (pictured above at last year's season opener). Get the full lineup of performances here. The series starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m. An after-party follows at 8:30 p.m. at Peace Tree Brewing, 317 E. Court Ave. It features music by Dave Zollo &  Body Electric. For tickets ($10, 21 and older) and more information, click here.

Pianos will remain throughout the summer. Anyone is welcome to noodle around on the keys, play a little riff or launch into an impromptu performance. ("Chopsticks" never gets old.) Gather 'round. Sing along. Or if you don't have time to stop, just enjoy this sweet aspect of local life as you stroll past.  

Ahhh....imagine a summer dip in the backyard pool, surrounded by a babbling brook, a koi pond and lovely sculptured-filled landscaping. Our clients came to us asking for new decking and stairs leading to their pool and cabana area. We created a design that truly enhances this enchanting retreat.  ... 

The disco revival band Boogie Wonderland closes out a full day of musical diversity, food and beer at Cowles Commons.
Bands, brews and bites come to Cowles Commons this Friday, May 19, with an extended special-edition debut of  Commons Off the Clock , a daylong party with food trucks and bands at Cowles Commons from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. It's the first in a series presented by Des Moines Performing Arts and the Des Moines Radio Group on select Fridays extending into October.
Friday's music includes Christopher the Conquered, 11:30  a.m.- 1:30 p.m.; Brian Congdon ,  2 - 3:30 p.m.; Matt Haimovitz 4 - 4:30 p.m.; and Boogie Wonderland, 4:30 - 7:30 p.m.
The series will continue on select Fridays at its regular time, 4  - 7:30 p.m., with Abby Normal June 2, and a lineup of some legendary Iowa acts, including the Flying Marsupials June 23, and
Bob Dorr and the Blue Band Sept. 8. For the complete lineup of dates and performers, click here
The new event echoes the music and fun of decades past, when Seniom Sed started the weekend in style series, drawing hordes to Nollen Plaza. 

Stone patterns in design is a trend we can really get behind at by Design! Walk our floor and you'll see so many cool accent tables in stone or faux stone finishes. ...

by Design presents dsmDining

You get a taste of the Big Apple when you bite into one of the specialties at 5-Borough Bagels.
By Wini Moranville 
To say that I haven't had a really good bagel since I left New York City might be a bit harsh. Still, when a friend told me that the bagels she tried from 5-Borough Bagels took her straight back to her first true New York bagel experience, I had to head to the Clive eatery the first chance I got.
These bagels aren't simply like New York City bagels -- they are New York City bagels. They're par-baked in Long Island and shipped to Des Moines, where they're baked fresh every morning. They have a satisfyingly dense chew plus an unmistakable crusty appeal, which aficionados claim you can only get by using New York state water. Myth or not, these are great bagels.
Five specialty sandwiches -- each named for one of the city's borough's -- kick off the lunch menu. I tried the immensely satisfying Queens, with jalapeño cream cheese, ham, lettuce and a bonus of crispy fried onions.
Adding immensely to the experience: You'll find no 16-year-olds running this spot. The exceedingly personable owners, husband-and-wife team Toney and Sarah Chem, work the counter almost every day. He's from Pella, she's from New York state. They met while living in New York City, where he worked in hospitality and she in graphic design. Sarah's artistic skills explain their shop's cute interior, with its plastic plants in metal buckets atop blond-wood tables, a happy place for a casual bite.
5 Borough Bagels is at 13435 University Ave., Suite 300, Clive; 515-809-1807;

Wini Moranville covers food and dining for dsm . Follow her at All Things Food - DSM Wini Moranville. 
"City in the Sky" by John Leben, one of the artists to be featured in the exhibit "Recalling Place."
Selected work from 10 artists is included in "Recalling Place," opening with a reception this Friday, May 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Mars Cafe, 2318 University Ave.

The show is the first event in a program called DMAF Curated, billed as "a prequel" to this summer's Des Moines Arts Festival and offering a preview of festival artists. It is presented by Mars Cafe and Silent Rivers Design + Build. Silent Rivers' owner, Chaden Halfhill, is an enthusiastic supporter of the arts and personally curated this initial show.

"Recalling Place" will include work by artists Benjamin Frey, Kristen Greteman, Clifton Henri, John Leben, Igor Menaker, Larry Simon, Marina Terauds, Nha Vuu, Timothy White and R. Michael Wommack. The exhibit runs through June 21. Learn more about the show and RSVP to the reception by clicking here.
At this yeart's first Out to Lunch event Thursday, each meal comes with a free serving of Randy Burk and the Prisoners.
It's lunch with a side of entertainment as the Out to Lunch series returns downtown Thursday, May 18, with food trucks, other vendors and live music. Four Out to Lunch events are scheduled, each from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The lineup:
  • Thursday, May 18, on Walnut Street between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Street, with music by Randy Burk and the Prisoners.
  • Wednesday, May 31, along the west edge of Western Gateway Park. Music by David Zollo.
  • Thursday, June 15, on Walnut Street between Eighth and Ninth streets. Music: The Zachary Freedom.
  • Thursday, July 13, at Western Gateway Park on 13th Street between Locust Street and Grand Avenue. Band: North of Grand.
Out to Lunch is produced by the Downtown Community Alliance, which is part of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. The goal is to create a fun experience for those who live or work downtown, a chance to mix, meet and mingle with others in a vibrant setting. Food vendors at the first event Thursday will include Karam's Grill, Miss Molly's Jamaican Patty, 515 Pi, Say Cheese and Patton's. For more information, click here.
Actor Tom Milligan of the Amana Colonies becomes Grant Wood for audiences throughout the Midwest.
Actor Tom Milligan, a Des Moines native, portrays Iowa icon Grant Wood in a free one-man show this evening (Tuesday, May 16) at the Franklin Avenue Library. Milligan chats with the audience as if Wood himself were chatting with a neighbor. The show dispenses some myths and reveals the character of Iowa's most celebrated artist. Milligan, 65, has portrayed Grant Wood more than 2,500 times over almost 20 years. The presentation begins at 6:30 p.m., takes less than an hour, and will be followed by Milligan answering questions about the artist. 


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