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January, 2012 |

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There’s more to Indy than the Super Bowl

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Even without the added attraction of the Super Bowl, Indianapolis still has a thriving nightlife. iReporter Timothy Poole captured this view of the full moon over Indianapolis.

The Canal and White River State Park are home to some of the city’s best museums and attractions.

Mass Ave is home to live theater and art galleries.

The 1917 Carousel was brought to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in 1970.

The Rhythm! Discovery Center has more than 150 instruments to play.






(CNN) — Why Indianapolis?

Super Bowl visitors will enjoy the fabulous Super Bowl parties and the very best of this Midwestern city’s arts, music and food festivals tailored specially for this sports-filled week.

And when the Super Bowl party-goers leave and the confetti has been cleaned up, the locals will return to enjoying their city. Whether you’re traveling to Indianapolis for the Super Bowl or taking a trip later, here’s where the locals have fun — and where they recommend you go, too.

A music scene that covers all the bases

Indianapolis has some world-class music talent that music writer Ryan Williams is always eager to share with out-of-towners. Williams focuses his music blog on the Fountain Square neighborhood but loves music all over the city.

Dolphins make their Super Bowl pick

Carlos Diaz rides Super Bowl zip line

Handcrafting footballs for the big game

Check and for band schedules and times. Williams’ favorite venues include:

The Melody Inn is Indy’s version of CBGBs with a line-up that heavily favors punk and louder sounds, except for more roots and country material on Friday evenings. Radio Radio is a smoke-free space that puts together an eclectic blend of indie rock, rockabilly and touring artists.

The Vogue hosts dance nights most nights, but larger touring acts make their way through here as well (and those shows are usually smoke-free as well). Locals Only really does welcome everyone to their line-up of local rock, blues and hip-hop. Jazz fans can choose the small club feel of the Chatterbox or the larger dinner/show feel of the Jazz Kitchen. The latter choice also features RB, soul and hip-hop.

Local, sustainable food with a kick

Although the Midwest has a reputation for meatloaf and casseroles, there’s a burgeoning food scene in Indianapolis. When Brad and Nancy Royal opened City Café downtown in 2000, residents didn’t focus much on local, independent restaurants. And their downtown neighborhood pretty much closed up after work. So they decided to offer breakfast and lunch with a sustainable bent at their 15-table restaurant and skip dinner so they could focus on family life at night.

Over a decade later, their restaurant is part of a growing independent restaurant and arts scene downtown, where artists are making their mark and chefs are using local and sustainable food in their menus. Even in winter, Chef Brad Royal’s special always features local ingredients. And don’t worry if there’s a wait. Nancy Royal, who runs the front of the house, promises the tables turn quickly. The restaurant will serve dinner during the Super Bowl week, so call for special hours.

Indianapolis is home to some great Greek food. To get some of the best Greek food in the country, longtime residents often recommend Santorini Greek Kitchen in Fountain Square. To get off the beaten path, turn to for its recommendations. (It also has a Super Bowl week guide.)

For dessert, head to the Flying Cupcake Bakery on Mass Ave with at least 12 choices daily (and extended hours and specials for Super Bowl weekend). Try its ugly but delicious Red Velvet Elvis cupcake, with extra added chocolate chips turning the cupcake into a brownie-cake. There will also be cupcakes for each Super Bowl team and a special “snack food” cupcake made of pretzel crust, chocolate cake, peanut butter cream cheese filling and topped with icing and chocolate covered pretzel bits.

To step back in time, head to the L.S. Ayres Tea Room at the Indiana State Museum, which recreates the historic Tea Room (open 1906-1990). A proper lunch is served Monday through Saturday and high tea is served on Sunday. Reservations are required on Sunday and are recommended the rest of the week.

For the history buff, and the shopper

Art history and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Herron-Morton Place historic district, which is named for two institutions: Camp Morton, a Civil War prison camp, and the John Herron Art Institute.

After soaking up some history, head to Minx to delve into store owner Jennifer Mentzer’s collection of mostly vintage clothing, purses and other accessories — including some designer pieces.

“My mission is to encourage people to care about what they wear and maybe try something different,” says Mentzer, who opened her most recent shop in August. “We do have a few modern things, but they are highly curated.”

For children, or people who act like children

Often rated one of the best children’s museums in the country, locals say the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, with a Dale Chihuly blown-glass permanent sculpture and working carousel, is not to be missed.

For a louder experience, try a hidden gem downtown: the Rhythm! Discovery Center, a hands-on project of the Percussive Arts Society. Get ready for some volume — the center has more than 150 instruments for children and adults to play as well as interactive learning exhibits.

To buy some unusual gifts for your child (no Disney or Barbies here), head to Mass Avenue Toys, where children, their parents and people acting like children can play with a carefully selected collection of European and other toys. Then head to the nearby Flying Cupcake Bakery (see more information in the food section above).

For the wanderer

Indianapolis has become friendly to people who like to walk and wander, as long as you’re ready for temperatures ranging in the 40s during the day and the 30s at night. Bustling walkable areas include the Broadripple District’s nightlife and shops, Mass Ave’s galleries and theater and the music scene in Fountain Square.

The Canal and White River State Park, which has lovely walking paths, also features the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and the Indiana State Museum. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay’s collection at the state museum houses some of Irsay’s NFL collection, Jack Kerouac’s original manuscript for “On the Road” and musical instruments from Grateful Dead founder Jerry Garcia and others.

If you’re from Indianapolis or live there now, what’s your favorite restaurant, art gallery, independent store or place to hear music? Share your recommendations in the comments section below.

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Bad News Keeps Sticking to Non-Stick Pans

A few weeks ago, I had dinner with my college friend Jim. He asked me if I felt that our exposure to toxics and hazards was any worse now than when we were children. After all, we grew up with lead in paint and gasoline and with mercury in thermometers. We didn’t know better. We didn’t even have to wear seatbelts.

Jim had a point — we certainly have come a long way in lowering our exposure to certain toxic substances, especially now that we understand the harm they can cause. But in some ways we’re still rolling around in the back seat of the station wagon. Today, all sorts of everyday objects expose us to a host of chemicals, and the effects these chemicals have on our health are only slowly coming to light.

A report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last week, links perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) to impaired immune responses in children, suggesting that exposed children could be much more vulnerable to diseases. This isn’t the first time scientists have raised concerns about PFCs — it’s just the latest addition to a pile of evidence that has been mounting over the last decade.

PFCs are a family of chemicals found just about everywhere — in non-stick pans, microwave popcorn bags, stain-resistant furniture, rain gear, ski waxes, household electronics, and grease-resistant food packaging (like waxy-coated pizza boxes and hamburger wrappers). Well-known brands, such as Teflon and Stainmaster, produce PFCs for their products. Nearby plants where PFCs are manufactured, the chemicals have even shown up in the drinking water. PFCs are so pervasive and so persistent that 98 percent of Americans carry them in their bodies, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

PFCs enter our bodies in many ways. We wash them down with water; we chew them up with the grease of our pizza slices; we breathe them in with the fumes from waxing skis and the vapors from microwave popcorn bags. Chances for PFC exposure occur throughout the day, and with each meeting, the chemicals’ levels within our bodies rise.

Studies have linked one member of the PFC family called PFOA, which is commonly used in non-stick cookware, to reduced fertility and thyroid problems. The EPA, in a 2005 draft report, called it a likely human carcinogen. According to a 2009 study, women with high levels of another PFC chemical, named PFOS, reported taking longer to get pregnant. In 2002, 3M voluntarily removed PFOS and PFOA from its products.

Chemical innovation in this country far outpaces the regulations that are meant to keep us safe. The EPA has slowly started to enforce some restrictions on PFCs, but they have stopped well short of banning the chemicals, as some environmental groups have asked. I urge you to try to help the next generation have less exposure to toxins by supporting the Safe Chemicals Act for stronger regulation of the chemicals used in consumer products.

You can also help reduce your exposure to PFCs at home with these steps:

  • If you love popcorn, pop it the old-fashioned way in a kettle or invest in an air-popper.
  • Buy rainwear without PFCs.
  • Use cast iron, stainless steel, or glass cookware, and avoid pans with non-stick coatings (see Outfitting the Green Kitchen: Pots and Pans for product recommendations).
  • Avoid buying or treating furniture and carpets with applied stain and water repellents.
  • A granular activated carbon (GAC) filter, which a plumber can install in your home, will remove much of the PFCs from drinking water. The GAC filter combined with a reverse osmosis filter at your tap will completely remove PFCs.
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JBF’s Lifetime Achievement Award Goes to Wolfgang Puck


New York, NY (January 30, 2012) – The James Beard Foundation announced today that Wolfgang Puck, a multiple James Beard Award–winning chef and restaurateur acclaimed for his contributions to the culinary industry, has been named the recipient of the 2012 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Each year, this award is bestowed upon someone whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America. Wolfgang Puck will be honored at this year’s James Beard Foundation Awards, the nation’s most prestigious recognition program honoring professionals in the food and beverage industries, on Monday, May 7, 2012 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.

“The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes passion, inspiration and a commitment to doing good work that goes beyond any individual’s contribution,” said Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation. “This year, as we celebrate 25 years of the James Beard Foundation, I’m honored to commemorate Wolfgang Puck’s remarkable achievements in our industry. He cooked the first guest-chef dinner at the James Beard House in 1987 and has won multiple Beard Awards. He is the only person to win Outstanding Chef twice,” Ungaro explained, “Wolfgang has not only demonstrated to the industry his incredible talent but he has helped shape the industry by revolutionizing how American chefs think about food. What sets Wolfgang apart, however, is that his creativity takes him beyond our industry’s walls. As a former Humanitarian Award recipient, he has shown that the culinary industry can improve the lives of others and benefit society as a whole. Wolfgang has a long history with the Foundation,” Ungaro concluded, “and we look forward to following his achievements in our industry and beyond for years to come.”

Wolfgang Puck said, “Receiving the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award is a tremendous honor. It was a pleasure to be the first chef to cook at the Beard House and my relationship with the Foundation has been one I’ve cherished ever since.” Wolfgang concluded, “To be recognized by such a prestigious organization with this esteemed award could not have been possible without the talented individuals that I’ve had the pleasure to work with, mentor, and befriend in my 30 years, including James. I take great honor in accepting an award that represents a lifetime of accomplishment for the work I take great pride in doing each and every day.”

A native of Austria, Wolfgang Puck has been a culinary icon for more than 30 years. For many, his name evokes Hollywood glamour. The celebrity he gained from his restaurant, Spago, which opened in 1982, escalated him from fame to stardom. It was at Spago that Wolfgang pioneered many restaurant concepts now taken for granted: the “open kitchen;” cooking with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients; and the notion that “fine” dining need not be stuffy and formal. Wolfgang’s accomplishments continued to multiply, as he became the first name-brand chef to open a restaurant in Las Vegas, Spago in The Forum Shops at Caesars, blazing a trail for other chefs and restaurateurs to follow. Five more Vegas restaurants followed at various locations, all to critical acclaim. Today, Wolfgang has 20 fine dining restaurants including Spagos in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Maui, and Beaver Creek, Colorado; Chinois on Main; his ultra-elegant modern Chinese restaurant WP24, which opened in 2010 in The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles, and his latest historic partnership with the Hotel Bel-Air where he now oversees the food and beverage program for the entire property; and additional establishments in Singapore, London, Detroit, Dallas, Atlantic City, and Washington, D.C. Adding to his ever-growing empire, the critically acclaimed steakhouse CUT debuted in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in 2006, and has since spawned four locations. Then there are the multiple locations of the fast-casual Wolfgang Puck Express and Wolfgang Puck Bistro. Five million fresh and frozen Wolfgang Puck pizzas are sold each year; twenty-six varieties of Wolfgang Puck canned soup are licensed to Campbell’s; and Wolfgang Puck–branded cookware, small appliances, kitchen accessories, and tableware are sold on HSN.

In addition to his appearances as a regular contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America, hosting an Emmy Award–winning Food Network series, “Wolfgang Puck,” in the early 2000s, and authoring six cookbooks, Wolfgang has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards. In 1991, Wolfgang Puck became the first James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef honoree and to date he is still the only person to be awarded that honor twice. (A winner is not eligible for five years after receiving the award.) He has received the Foundation’s Outstanding Restaurant Award for his landmark Hollywood eatery, Spago, and has collected some of the Foundation’s most notable honors such as an induction into the Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, which is given to those who have contributed in a substantial way to America’s constantly evolving culinary scene; and the Humanitarian Award, which is given to an individual or organization whose work in the realm of food has improved the lives of others and benefited society at large. Wolfgang has also been an honoree at the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs Champagne® party in the Hamptons, has received a total of five Restaurant and Chef awards, and served as a James Beard Foundation Awards Host in 2010. This represents a lifetime of achievement from a man whose motto is, “Do what you love. Work hard. Be patient. And, with a little luck, you could succeed.”

On Monday, March 19, 2012, the Foundation will announce the final nominees for all Award categories during a press brunch at The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nominations will also be announced live via the Foundation’s Twitter page at On Friday, May 4, 2012, the James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast Journalism Awards Dinner, an exclusive event honoring the nation’s top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists, will take place at Gotham Hall in New York City.

On Monday, May 7, 2012, the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception will take place at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. During the event, which is open to the public, awards for the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design and Graphics categories will be handed out, along with special achievement awards including Humanitarian of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Who’s Who, and the America’s Classics award honorees. During the Gala Reception immediately following, top culinary talents from across the country will serve dishes that reflect this year’s Awards theme, “25 Years of Food at its Best,” a nod to the James Beard Foundation’s 25th Anniversary. Tickets to the May 7th Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception will go on sale on March 19th and can be purchased at or through the Awards Box Office at 212.925.0054.

The 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards are presented with support by the following partners: Premier Sponsors: All-Clad Metalcrafters, Lenox Tableware and Gifts, Mercedes-Benz; Supporting Sponsors: The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Jade Range LLC, Lavazza, Southern Wine Spirits of New York, Stella Artois®; Gala Reception Sponsors: Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water, Ecolab, Pernod Ricard USA, Rums of Puerto Rico, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water; and with additional support from Chefwear and St. Giles Hotel.

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“These special dishes and cups are not only helpful for children and adults with disabilities, but also for any babies and toddlers just learning to eat and drink independently.”

Elberton, GA (PRWEB) January 31, 2012, an online e-commerce company that sells rehabilitation and medical supplies, has joined forces with Freedom Dinnerware, a company specializing in the manufacture of adaptive tableware, to help bring these products to a larger consumer base. Designed to inspire independence in eating and drinking, Freedom Dinnerware has created dishes and cups for adults and children who, for a variety of reasons, suffer with uncontrolled movement and disabilities that restrict the hand movement necessary for eating and drinking independently. This adaptive tableware is perfect for folks with hand tremors, paralysis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Alzheimer’s, muscular dystrophy, stroke, autism and arthritis.

Freedom Dinnerware is very different from other adaptive tableware on the market in that it really, truly stays in place. Their patented non-skid, no-spill suction pad base attaches to a flat surface when you press down on it, and will not move if you bump or hit it. The dishes simply screw into this base, like putting a lid on a jar, until it is securely tight. Additional features such as the extended rims, built-in dividers and special scoop angles make this the most popular adaptive tableware available today. They also have special cup holders available; some, like the dishware, attach to the vacuum base, while others are intended for use in wheelchairs and will actually fold down to get through doorways and tighter spaces. Strong arms hold the cup firmly in place, but gently release the cup when an individual wants to have it. All of the Freedom Dinnerware dishes and cups are microwavable, except for the vacuum bases.

Rehabmart hopes to bring more awareness to the disabled and handicapped communities about this adaptive tableware by offering these products on their website. “We are proud to carry the Freedom Dinnerware products for our customers,” said Hulet Smith, Founder and CEO of Rehabmart. “These special dishes and cups are not only helpful for children and adults with disabilities, but also for any babies and toddlers just learning to eat and drink independently.” Any parent who has seen their young child purposely or accidentally fling their food plate, bowl or cup across the room can also certainly appreciate the value of adaptive tableware!


As Occupational Therapists, the founders of Rehabmart have the breadth of knowledge and experience necessary to match the needs of its customers with the very latest innovative products in the field of medical supplies and rehabilitation equipment. As parents of special needs children, they have a personal interest in finding the best products to improve the lives of those who are disabled and medically challenged. is committed to provide superior customer service, competitive pricing and exceptional product offerings.



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Home accents can have a sunny disposition even in winter months

A Senegalese woven basket, great for storing stuff at the front door or in the family room, comes in an unexpected yellow graphic at West Elm.

If you’re interested in trying paint, remember that yellows look more intense on the wall than most other colors. Acid yellow is great in textiles or accent pieces, but on walls it can jangle the nerves. Consider the light in a yellow room, both natural and artificial: Pale yellows in north-facing rooms can look peaked, yet soothe a sunny space. An intense, saturated yellow can overwhelm a windowless or south facing room, but make a small powder room or entry look like a jewel box.

Benjamin Moore’s Vellum, Yellow Topaz and Bumble Bee are all warm, versatile shades. If you’re looking for a little exuberance, take a look at Rain Slicker and Sunny Saturday from Mythic Paint. Even the names sound upbeat.


Sourcebook: – Senegalese woven basket, $99; – Wildon Home Rawlins wire accent table, $69.99; EK Living TC4 yellow coffee table, $1,940; Rachael Ray cookware, $139.99; Rizzy Home pillows sets of 2, $68 and up; Thomas Paul Flock rug, $196 and up; Kreme California Birds Collection wallpaper roll, $195; – Zest margarita pitcher and glass $22.95, $8.95; Citrus dots mug, $5.95; DeLonghi Kmix toaster, coffee maker, $99.95, $129.95; Chloe chair, $999; Georgie lamp, $329; – Yield coffee table, $449; Hitch marigold stool, $169; Liquid yellow-lined bowl, $49.95.

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Chicago Getaway: My Kind Of Town!

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Written by

Patrick Evans



CHICAGO – Whenever I’m asked for a weekend getaway recommendation, Chicago always comes to mind. Relatively easy to get to, the Windy City offers most of the big city appeal of New York City without the hassle.

Since time is always much too short, we stay downtown. Virtually all of the top attractions are within walking distance or a short cab ride.

Chicago is well known for its beautiful skyline and there’s a fabulous new face on the cityscape. The stunning Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago is the latest entry to the city’s vibrant hotel scene. And this also gives us a glimpse of what to expect when the Radisson Blu Aqua opens at Mall Of America in 2013.

Ideally located near Michigan Avenue, Millenium Park and Navy Pier, The Radisson Blu Aqua marks the North American debut of the Minneapolis based Carlson Company’s Radisson Blu Brand.

Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Jeanne Gang, the Aqua Tower, with its sexy wavy design, was recently proclaimed “Skyscraper of the Year” by Emporius, the international building database. It is the largest skyscraper designed by a female architect in the world.

Blu is clearly the new black.

The hotel’s equally exciting interior blends perfectly to showcase Filini, the contemporary Italian restaurant and bar which serves up a myriad of fresh flavors.

Chi-Town offers foodies unlimited choices. A few favorites of mine include Coco Pazzo with superb Tuscan inspired dishes. For south of the border fare, check out Mercadito with a tequila menu that rivals most wine lists…a perfect compliment to the delicious tacos, guacamole and salsa choices.

A great joint for breakfast is Tempo at the corner of State Street (that great street!) and Chestnut. Hearty skillets as big as my head will take care of hunger pangs well into the afternoon.

For those of you flying into either Midway or O’Hare, reserving a private sedan in advance is only a fraction more expensive than a cab… not to mention much more convenient, and of course luxurious! My recommendation is Chicago Private Car service at (773) 594-9021… ask for Car 11 driven by Herman.

Chicago’s Magnificent Mile is surely what comes to mind when thinking of the phrase “shop till you drop.” All of the big names are here as well as some of the smaller boutique-type stores. Shoppers won’t leave disappointed, but bring a few credit cards because you’ll need them.

One of the great things about visiting Chicago is a feeling that each time I go there, there is always something new to discover… on its skyline, or otherwise.  

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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Ellis Furniture introduces Brompton Natural Oak kitchen

The collection is the latest addition to the Brompton kitchen line which already comprises Birch, Oak, American Walnut, Washed Oak and Driftwood finish options. The new kitchen sports a sleek and modern look featuring a smooth and glittery finish, a glass splashback in shades of orange, and Inspire Gloss Black units. It comprises solid doors, supplied on the Ellis Furniture 18mm glued and dowelled rigid cabinet with spacious and deep soft close drawer boxes from Blum.

The kitchen is equipped with sleek CDA appliances, a postformed worktop made of Welsh slate, and bar handles in chrome finish. It offers choices of several cabinet styles and sizes to meet individual tastes. The new Brompton Natural Oak can also be custom-tailored in a host of drawer and cupboard sizes with various storage solutions, accessories, splashbacks, worktop finishes and handles. The kitchen is ideal to be used with vibrant tones such as tangerine tango to create a contemporary setting. It can also be used with neutral hues for creating a relaxing feel.

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