Artful Living Magazine | Winter 2016

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WINTER 2016

artfullivingmagazine.com

| Winter 2016

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J.D. POWER’S HIGHEST IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION WITH DEALER SERVICE AMONG LUXURY BRANDS DISTINCTIVELY JAGUAR The all-new XF model is an exceptional combination of refinement, dynamics, and design. Its new aluminum body and platform redesign create a more connected, sporty drive. Lease an exceptional 2016 Jaguar XF AWD with no money down for $599 per month. 36-month lease, 10,000 miles per year, with only tax and license due at signing. Offer may end without notice.

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L U X U R Y. E X T E N D E D . There is capability, and there is Land Rover capability. There is luxury, and there is expansive, finely appointed luxury. In both instances, the latter can clearly be found in the Range Rover Long Wheelbase, an icon setting a new standard of comfort and elegance.

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WINTER 2016

feature

PHOTOGRAPHY BY BOB DALY

113 travel artfully: Cuba Our tribute to the desirable destination.


An SUV with the heart and soul of a sports car. The all-new 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Now available at Feldmann Imports

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| Winter 2016

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WINTER 2016

contents live artfully 33 what to

know, collect, read

culture 46 auction

The art and life of A. Alfred Taubman.

51 nice ride

Morrie’s Luxury Auto unveils its top picks.

38

46

59 guide

compass 70 escape

Welcome to Italy’s final frontier.

78 spa

Utterly alluring world-class spas.

84 souvenir

Vintage travel posters are equal parts inspiration and commemoration.

88 destination

At Tortuga Bay, luxury knows no limits.

95 tour The greatest cities the artful way.

78

PHOTOGRAPHY BY 2ND TRUTH // PROVIDED BY SOTHEBY’S AUCTION HOUSE

What to buy now.


KW I AT D I A MO N D R I N G S


||

WINTER 2016

contents PHOTOGRAPHY BY SCOTT AMUNDSON // Š NO.STYLE PRODUCTIONS

home 166 IMS discoveries

The latest and greatest from International Market Square.

170 interiors

One designer imbues a condo with old-world elegance.

174 design

A Lake Minnetonka home offers the perfect backdrop for making memories.

adventure 198 the North

When the snow flies, the North thrives.

207 trek

Relishing the journey along the Inca Trail.

174

210 athlete

Daredevil snowmobiler Levi LaVallee is the king of winter.

intel 216 scandal

A look back at Minnesota’s most spectacular trial.

224 essay

Done wrong, air travel can be downright pleasurable.

210

198 recurring

180

property gallery

228

back page


A Boy’s Acne Saved His Father’s Life! Top Doctor Making a Difference Board certified dermatologist Charles E. Crutchfield III, M.D., was treating 17-year-old Owen Claugherty’s skin when he noticed a funny looking mole on the arm of Owen’s dad. As a normal teenager, Owen was struggling with acne. So Steven Claugherty took his son into Dr. Crutchfield’s dermatology office for treatment. “As I was leaving the exam room, just out of the corner of my eye, I saw the father’s arm,” Dr. Crutchfield said. “He was putting a magazine back in the rack on the wall, and as he put his arm up, I briefly saw a dark spot.” Steven says he’s just lucky he made a bad choice of clothes on that visit to the doctor. “I happened to wear a short-sleeved shirt on a winter day,” he said. “I walked out of the room, and a little voice inside said, ‘You’d better go look at that mole on his arm.’ I thought to myself, ‘it’s really busy today, we are running behind schedule, and after all, it wasn’t even his appointment. I’ll make a note on the chart to look at it during his next Appointment,” Dr. Crutchfield said. “I started walking down the hall, and that little voice got louder: ‘Hey, I told you, go back in there and check it out.’” Steven said he hadn’t even noticed the changes in the mole on his arm, but Dr. Crutchfield couldn’t let it rest. Dr. Crutchfield re-entered the exam room and recommended he check out the spot. “Thanks, but I’m going back to work,’” Owen’s father said. Dr. Crutchfield gently but firmly stressed the importance of looking at the suspicious mole, so Owen

insisted his dad let Dr. Crutchfield examine it. As it turns out, Dr. Crutchfield performed a biopsy on it that very day. “Low and behold, a couple days later I got a call from the dermatopathologist, and she said, ‘It’s a thin melanoma. You caught it early. He is very lucky.’” Dr. Crutchfield explained. Melanoma makes up 90 percent of skin cancer deaths. Claugherty’s was caught so early, he just needed a minor excision and a few stitches. And it was all thanks to a few pimples. “He came in for his son’s acne and it ended up saving his life,” Dr. Crutchfield said. Steven Claugherty is feeling much better, but now he is checking his skin monthly for changing moles, employing sun protective techniques for himself and his family, and having a general medical exam yearly. He also plans to have Dr. Crutchfield check his skin on a regular basis.

PREVENT SKIN CANCER BY BEING “SUNSMART” Always apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sunburn protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater to all exposed skin 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every one to two hours, more if either actively perspiring or swimming. Use sun protective clothing whenever possible. (Coolibar. com has great sun-protective clothing.) Dr. Crutchfield is the author of a children’s book on sun protection, Little Charles Hits a Home Run for Sun Safety, available on Amazon.com. Dr. Crutchfield advises patients if they notice a mole changing in any way, size, color, shape or elevation, or if a spot bleeds and does not heal on its own in 3 weeks, they should bring it to the attention of their doctor. The rule is: “See Spot, See Spot Change, See a Dermatologist”. To see a complimentary video, visit www.AcneSavesLife.com.

Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD, is a graduate of the Mayo Clinic Medical School and a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Dr. Crutchfield is an annual selection in the “Top Doctors” issue of Mpls. St. Paul magazine. He is also the only dermatologist to have been selected as a “Best Doctor for Women” by Minnesota Monthly magazine since the inception of the survey. Dr. Crutchfield has been selected as one of the “Best Doctors in America,” an honor awarded to only 4% of all practicing physicians. Dr. Crutchfield is the co-author of a children’s book on sun protection and dermatology textbook. He is a member of the HETIC AΩA National Medical Honor Society, an expert consultant for WebMD and CNN, and a recipient of the T S AE Karis Humanitarian Award from the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. L OF APPROVA L SEA

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from the publisher ||

Great Expectations W elcome to our annual travel issue, my favorite issue of the year. I am thrilled to announce our feature covering one of my favorite places on earth: Cuba. Cuba is a gorgeous wreck of an island. Your smartphone will not work, and there is very limited Internet connectivity. The best part about this lack of technology is that it forces you to be in the moment. Part of the magic of Cuba is that it feels like stepping back into the 1950s. It harks back to the glory days of travel, when trips abroad were exceptional experiences and people dressed up to fly, socialized with fellow passengers and celebrated the journey. Another standout story in this issue is “Up in the Air” by Alyssa Ford, a remarkable tale about how a couple of talented swindlers created a fake flight company, shaking down some prominent people and shocking Northern sensibilities. And don’t miss the first-person account of hiking Peru’s Inca Trail from former Minnesota first lady Mary Pawlenty. She and her family embarked on their first camping adventure in the Andes, of all places. These days, I travel both high and low. On airplanes, I upgrade to first class whenever I can swing it. On the other end of the spectrum, I sometimes take Greyhound regionally so I can be productive. On the first-class side of the equation, I am embarrassed to admit that I get irritated when the service is subpar. When traveling on the low end, however, I am easily pleased by a spotless hotel room, a comfortable bed and a good cup of coffee in the morning. It just shows how our expectations about travel can affect both our emotions and our experiences. One thing I know for sure: I feel privileged and thankful to go on any trip.

Cheers,

Frank Roffers Publisher + Editor-in-Chief Artful Living



What is your dream destination? publisher + editor-in-chief Frank Roffers

AUSTRALIA

managing editor SEYCHELLES

Hayley Dulin

executive editor Kate Nelson

EASTER ISLAND

creative director PRAGUE

Mollie Windmiller

assistant art directors Mandy Ebert, Lacey Murray

copy editor Micki Sievwright

business manager Kailee Marten

ICELAND

marketing director BAGAN, MYANMAR

Emma Cutler

style + product coordinator Jill Roffers

intern Bridgette McGlynn

contributors writers: Alex Bellus, Annie D’Souza, Robert Droddy, Alyssa Ford, Amber Gibson, Marguerite Happe, Elizabeth Foy Larsen, Wendy Lubovich, Linda Mack, David Mahoney, Rudy Maxa, Mary Pawlenty, Chris Plantan, Anne Roderique-Jones, John Rosengren, Gina Samarotto photographer: 2nd Truth

advertising sales Contact Frank Roffers at 952-237-1100 or froffers@artfullivingmagazine.com.

subscriber services Contact Kailee Marten at kmarten@artfullivingmagazine.com. Artful Living is published by Roffers Group, LLC, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted without permission. Roffers Group, LLC cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. If your property is listed with a real-estate broker, please disregard; it is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other real-estate brokers. Lake Sotheby’s International Realty Office is independently owned and operated. R, TM and SM are licensed trademarks to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, Inc. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. is owned and operated by NRT Incorporated. Artful Living is committed to preserving the environment and demonstrates this by printing efficiently and sustainably. In consideration of environmental impact, Artful Living is 100-percent recyclable.


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contributors || What’s your top travel tip? Our contributors share.

John Rosengren

“I’ve traveled widely on five continents. My tip: pack light.”

Mary Pawlenty

“After the planning is over and the trip has begun, stay present. Take as many photos with your mind as you do with your camera.”

Rudy Maxa

“When you find good airfare, buy it. Don’t spend days or even hours talking about it with family, friends and colleagues.”

Anne Roderique-Jones

“Don’t fight jet lag. Some of my best experiences have been waking at dawn.”

David Mahoney

“It’s hard to go wrong traveling anywhere in September. The summer crowds are gone, and the weather is usually glorious.”

Alyssa Ford

“Buy digital travel guides; they’re searchable and up-to-date.”


Interior design, fine home furnishings and beautiful men’s apparel. Experience for yourself the classic and the contemporary, brought artfully together.

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on the cover ||

On the Cover

Artful Living Online

The cover of our winter 2016 issue is an artful homage to the alluring island nation of Cuba. Created by bohemian-chic designer Justina Blakeney, this #botanicalsonblush image evokes the tropical, breezy environs of the Caribbean. She works from her Los Angeles “jungalow,” which she says is wild like the jungle but cozy and homey like a bungalow — a description most fitting of Cuba if ever we heard one.

Visit the Artful Living website and view previous issues of Artful Living on your tablet, smartphone or computer. Check out our latest advertisers and learn more about the magazine.

ArtfulLivingMagazine.com | ArtfulLivingMagazine.com/Blog

Connect with Us Distribution Artful Living is mailed to a select group of homes and businesses in the North. It also is distributed through a number of key marketing partners, including Delta Sky Club, Galleria and International Market Square. You can find Artful Living exclusively for sale on newsstands at Kowalski’s Markets and Barnes & Noble.

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LIVE ARTFULLY 34 KNOW

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live artfully || know

Lost and Found The Unclaimed Baggage Center rehomes misplaced luggage. | BY MARGUERITE HAPPE

I

f you’ve ever been the poor soul caught reenacting Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” at baggage claim, you know the dread that pools in your stomach when your fellow passengers have walked away, leaving you forlorn and luggage-less. Although only about half of 1 percent of checked bags never make it to the carousel, enough luggage is misplaced in the mystifying labyrinth of airport underbellies to provide a healthy supply for Unclaimed Baggage Center. Situated in Scottsboro, Alabama, the company purchases the contents of the luggage from airlines to sell in its massive warehouse. After arriving by the tractor-trailer load, clothes,

34 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North

jewelry, electronics and more are cleaned, sorted, priced and placed on the showroom floor. Browsing the store is no mundane shopping experience: Moose antlers, a full Scottish kilt, 50 vacuum-packed frogs, someone’s unidentifiable ashes and a Versace gown straight off the runway are just some of the items that have appeared at Unclaimed Baggage Center’s doorstep. You’re as likely to find the queen’s tiara as you are Aunt Myrtle’s chartreuse sweater — but part of the charm is the thrill of the hunt. And if you happen to be missing dozens of vacuum-packed frogs, you now have a safe guess as to where they ended up.


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live artfully || collect

Precious Moments Mementos tell the stories of our travels. | BY CHRIS PLANTAN

I

38 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North

PHOTOGRAPHY BY 2ND TRUTH

f travels are among our most cherished experiences in life, our keepsakes from these journeys are just as important. These mementos, whether collected or given, evoke a special memory like no other. However, we live in an age when we can document our adventures — our every activity, in fact — on a variety of platforms. We effectively can produce a virtual recreation of our travels to share with our friends and family with the click of a button. Why then do we gather these mementos, these gifts, these objects? As Carlos Mota writes in his book A Touch Of Style, “I have a lot of things from my travels and pieces that friends have given me as gifts from all over the world. It’s things that tell a story.” It’s the story that catches us and keeps us. No one wants to hear about your day at the office. But show them a treasure and share with them your experiences. These memories aren’t just fun; they’re unforgettable. I hold dear my museum passes, train tickets, small statuaries and impulse buys that put a smile on my face every time I see them. If you are a sentimental traveler, you can keep your memories alive in your home in any number of creative ways. Among my favorites: Collect clear acrylic boxes and trays to lay out collections. Intersperse pieces within your décor, creating interest that only tension can provide. Start a gallery wall, a work in progress that allows you to add as go. And most importantly, enjoy.


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live artfully || read

At Your Service A travel tome taps the expertise of top concierges. | BY KATE NELSON

40 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North

surroundings.” Indeed, it is the expertise of concierges from luxe hotels and resorts across the globe that serves as the foundation for Certified Indigenous. The tome presents pages upon pages of enticing, exclusive itineraries, each broken down into morning, afternoon and evening activities and excursions. A series of quick interviews with the well-traveled acts as a delightful diversion throughout. Featuring incredible imagery of points of interest — from Boston’s historic North End to the rice fields of Indonesia to Spain’s Seville Cathedral — Certified Indigenous is sure to inspire some incredible journeys. And take it from us: Attempting to resist the wanderlust is an act in futility.

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t the top of every globetrotter’s wish list is insider intel into their destinations of choice that help one steer clear of tourist traps and instead enjoy a truly authentic, enriching experience. Certified Indigenous: Exceptional Itineraries for the Global Explorer offers just that: insight into how locals eat, shop, play and the like in locales across the world. “Observing a world-class concierge is akin to watching a performance artist,” reads the book’s introduction. “As consummate catalysts, curators and guides, they share the inherent adventures, traditions and customs that comprise the essence of their


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culture || auction

46 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North


Renaissance Man The art and life of A. Alfred Taubman. |

BY WENDY LUBOVICH

PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY SOTHEBY’S AUCTION HOUSE

I

t is perhaps the ultimate “only in America” story: the rise of a boy from simple beginnings in Pontiac, Michigan, to the highest echelons of the business elite. Add to it one of the greatest collections of art in private hands — along with a brief stint in a Minnesota prison — and you have the story of A. Alfred Taubman, the self-made man with the steely might. The billionaire philanthropist died last April at the age of 91, having left his mark on everything from retail to root beer. Taubman changed the way Americans shop, establishing some of the most upscale retail centers in the country. He owned real estate and department stores and even purchased the A&W Root Beer chain. But it was his association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house that thrust him into the public sphere. To fend off a hostile takeover, Taubman assembled a group of investors to purchase the centuries-old institution in 1983. As chairman, he used his retail know-how to make the business of buying art more accessible. He introduced celebrity-driven sales, such as the auctioning of the jewels of the Duchess of Windsor in 1987 and the treasures of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1996. In 2001, he was convicted in a price-fixing scandal involving rival auction house Christie’s. He maintained his innocence to the end but served a 10-month sentence at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester. His life story recently came full circle, when the very auction house he once ran started selling off his world-class art collection in an unprecedented series of dedicated sales with some 500 works on offer. Taubman loved art as much as he loved business and owned everything from Raphael to Degas, Rothko to Picasso. The spectacular collection is valued at more than $500 million and spans from antiquity to contemporary art. Taubman described the art he owned as his “very close friends.” And despite his public life, little was known about the masterpieces hanging in his homes. “He kept his collection quiet,” says Sotheby’s executive C. Hugh Hildesley. “It wasn’t for show.” It is at long last on show for all the auction world to see — a final artistic chapter in a most colorful life.

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culture || nice ride

Nice Ride Morrie’s Luxury Auto unveils its top picks. | BY ALEX BELLUS

2017 Bentley Bentayga

The forthcoming Bentayga is the first SUV Bentley has built. And in doing so, the British manufacturer has created a 600-horsepower beast that can make even the harshest off-road terrain feel satin-smooth. Its W12 engine, borrowed from the Continental GT, makes the model the fastest and most powerful SUV on the market. Inside, typical Bentley opulence abounds. The leather-cloaked cabin provides a luxurious oasis and is almost infinitely customizable, with seven wood veneers and 15 shades of leather to line everything from the dash to the 22-way adjustable, massaging seats to the foldout rear tailgate bench.

artfullivingmagazine.com artfullivingmagazine.com| |Winter Winter2016 2016 51 51


culture || nice ride

2016 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4

Maserati’s flagship sedan, the “QP” offers stylish Italian design, sporty driving dynamics and a unique ownership experience that sets it apart from the crowd. The Quattroporte comes standard with a 410-horsepower, twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6, which in Q4 trim sends power to all four wheels for supreme traction and all-weather performance. The silky-smooth, eight-speed automatic transmission ensures you get the most of the engine’s exuberance. Add on a set of snow tires, and the auto makes short work of nearly any snowstorm, getting you to your destination in style.

2016 Aston Martin Rapide S

What do you get when you take an exotic-sounding 6.0-liter V12 and shove it under the hood of an exotic-looking four-door? Aston Martin set out to find out and came up with the Rapide S, a 200-plus-MPH super sedan that is jaw-droppingly gorgeous from every angle. But calling it a sedan is truly a disservice; it’s more of a four-door sports car. It’s like a moving sculpture that just so happens to have rear seats to haul the kids or your bounty from a day out shopping. Plus it’s full of theater drama and surprising utility simply not available in any sports car out there. 52 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North



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Our Vision..

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was to create a home where architecture is distilled to its very essence.

Modern design should appear effortless. The minimal frames and expansive areas of glass in the award-winning VistaLuxe® Collection were the perfect fit for our project. Using this innovative product line allowed us to achieve a purity of form and a seamless connection between interior and exterior spaces.

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Our extensive showroom and knowledgeable staff will help you select the right Kolbe products for your home.

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| Winter 2016

55


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culture || guide

The Guide

What to buy now. | PRODUCED BY EMMA CUTLER AND HAYLEY DULIN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY 2ND TRUTH

FUTAGAMI LHADA BRASS STATIONERY TRAY, The Foundry Home Goods, thefoundryhomegoods.com, $52 | CLÉ DE PEAU BEAUTÉ CONCEALER, Cos Bar, cosbar.com, $70 | CLÉ DE PEAU BEAUTÉ INTENSIVE EYE CONTOUR CREAM, Cos Bar, $250 | AESOP RESURRECTION AROMATIQUE HAND BALM, Martin Patrick 3, martinpatrick3.com, $27 | NATURAL DEMI BUFF KNIT MINK TUBE SCARF, L.A. Rockler Fur Company, rocklerfur.com, $695 | SISLEY PARIS PHYTO-ROUGE HYDRATING LONG LASTING LIPSTICK IN BAROQUE RED, Cos Bar, $57 | TOM FORD NAIL LACQUER IN BORDEAUX LUST, Cos Bar, $52 | YVES SAINT LAURENT TOUCHE ÉCLAT RADIANT TOUCH, Cos Bar, $42 | FRAGRANCE WARDROBE FOR HER, La Petite Parfumerie, lapetiteparfumerie.com, $195 | MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN GLOBE TROTTER TRAVEL SPRAY CASE, La Petite Parfumerie, $105 | MEMO PAD, The Foundry Home Goods, $8 | RETRO 51 TORNADO FOUNTAIN PEN, Martin Patrick 3, $55 | ORIBE DRY TEXTURIZING SPRAY, Cos Bar, $22 | MARY RAYMOND THISTLEHEAD 14K-GOLD STERLING GEMSTONE BRACELETS, Merilou Boutique, merilouboutique.com, $300 each | TESS+TRICIA FAWN ACCENT BRACELET, Merilou Boutique, $45

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| Winter 2016

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culture || guide

CLARE V. SANDRINE TOTE, Merilou Boutique, $478 CIRE TRUDON ERNESTO CANDLE, La Petite Parfumerie, $105 KNIT POM HAT, Merilou Boutique, $66

60 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North


BLUE CLAW CO. GROVES DOPP KIT, Martin Patrick 3, $160 RETRO 51 TORNADO FOUNTAIN PEN, Martin Patrick 3, $55 WORLD TRAVEL JOURNAL, Martin Patrick 3, $60 MARVIS TOOTHPASTE, Martin Patrick 3, $7.50 AESOP ROSEHIP SEED LIP CREAM, Martin Patrick 3, $15 TORTOISE WIDE-TOOTH DRESSING COMB, Martin Patrick 3, $13 CARRY ON COCKTAIL KIT, Martin Patrick 3, $24 TORTOISE FOLDING COMB, Martin Patrick 3, $8

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| Winter 2016

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culture || guide

SALT OPTICS FRANCINE SUNGLASSES, InVision Distinctive Eyewear, invision-optical.com, $415 FARIBAULT WOOLEN MILL CO. ANNANDALE HERRINGBONE WOOL SCARF, Merilou Boutique, $90 NATIVE SAGE BUNDLE, The Foundry Home Goods, $6 LAURA MERCIER LIP GLACÉ IN BARE NAKED, Cos Bar, $25 CLARE V. FOLDOVER CLUTCH, Grethen House, grethenhouse.com, $235 SALT OPTICS ANJELICA SUNGLASSES, InVision Distinctive Eyewear, $415 NATURAL SILVER BLUE MINK WITH WHITE STRIPES, L.A. Rockler Fur Company, $4,750

62 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North


Dare to dinner party again.

Few things in life arecan better thanto a great new restaurant. Except Sure a good book be hard put down. But an expertly maybe dinner at home. With yourimpossible closest friends. And Especially some great designed interior can be nearly to ignore. wine. Theyou decision is especially easy when you surround yourself after partner with the professionals of LiLu Interiors. with an interior that invites yourredesign, guests torenovation, sit and stayor awhile. Together we’ll make your next new At leastconstruction until after you’ve served that amazing tiramisu torte. project something to talk about. This is what makes LiLu Interiors different by design.

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It’s your day.You deserve the best. The Minneapolis Club offers a five-star blend of fine cuisine, impeccable service, historical space and luxurious downtown lodging. mplsclub.org| 612.334.0218 | ashleyw@mplsclub.org P h o t o c r e d i t s : 1 . L I Z B A N F I E L D, 2 . E R I N J O H N S O N P H OTO G R A P H Y, 3 . , 4 . & a b o v e p h o t o b y B E C C A D I L L E Y P H OTO G R A P H Y

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ALL THAT GLITTERS IN THE GOLD COAST Whether you’ve got business, pleasure, or even a little indulgence on the brain, Thompson Chicago wants you to feel right at home. Relax or rebel. Dream, scheme, and take names. Get inspired by what’s new while enjoying the comforts of the familiar. Hang your hat, unknot your tie, and take in your surroundings at this luxury hotel.

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COMPASS 78 SPA

84 SOUVENIR

88 DESTINATION

95 TOUR

PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY THE THINKING TRAVELLER

70 ESCAPE

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compass || escape

Finding Puglia Welcome to Italy’s final frontier. |

70 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North

and rows of perfectly planted trees. I looked out on them, unaware and unappreciative, as I made my way south from the Brindisi airport to Masseria Cisterna Rossa. Situated in Ruffano, the spectacular villa is part of the Thinking Traveller’s impressive portfolio of luxury rental properties. An afternoon massage helped ease my jet lag, at which point I asked my host:

What kind of trees are those? Olive, he replied with a smile. I looked out on the groves surrounding us, this time in awe. As it turns out, Puglia is home to some 60 million olive trees, many of them so ancient that they enjoy government protection. The region where the Adriatic meets the Ionian produces nearly 40 percent of the country’s olive oil.

PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY THE THINKING TRAVELLER

P

uglia is a world away from the rest of Italy. With its rocky, flat terrain and its abundant cacti, it doesn’t look like Italy. And with its arid, salty environs, it certainly doesn’t feel like Italy. But the country’s southeasternmost region, as I came to find, may be Italy in its truest form. The rough, red earth is broken into rows

BY KATE NELSON


If You Go Getting There Puglia’s two main airports, Bari and Brindisi, are easily accessed from larger Italian cities and other European destinations via Alitalia. Bari services the northern half of the region, while Brindisi is ideal for visiting the south.

When to Go The region experiences some 300 sunny days a year. May through September is the most popular time to visit, as the sea warms and the beaches come alive during the summer season.

Where to Stay The Thinking Traveller (thethinkingtraveller.com) offers impeccable luxury rentals catering to a wide range of travelers seeking a variety of accommodations, amenities and experiences.

Getting Around Puglia is made up of many towns and villages stretched across the countryside, requiring a rental car or driver. Employing a local who knows the best routes is the best bet.

What to Expect Time slows down in this Italian oasis. There truly is something for everyone, from peaceful beaches to historical sites to world-class cuisine and beyond.

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compass || escape

The setting fades into the background, however, when compared to the masseria itself — a beautifully restored fortified farmhouse. Inside, the expansive living spaces serve as a makeshift gallery for a magnificent art collection. An alfresco dining area offers a view of the expansive grounds, from the organic vegetable garden to the seductive pool, which simply begs to be occupied. But the pièce de résistance, no doubt, is the rooftop terrace, providing panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside that confirm this fact: This is Italy at its finest. Dinner that evening set the tone for the meals ahead: a delightful excess of splendid cheeses, fresh vegetables, handmade pasta, delicate fish and rich desserts. And, oh, the wine. We lingered late into the night, sitting under the stars, talking, laughing and carrying on. When at last I made my way to my room, satiated and sleepy, I collapsed into bed for the best night’s sleep of my life.

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| Magazine of the North

In the days that followed, I lounged at a nearby beach, tucked away and sparsely populated. I gorged myself with fresh burrata, lobster straight from the sea and taralli — those addictive ring-shaped snacks that are synonymous with Puglia. I tried my hand at making orecchiette (with some success, might I add). I strolled the streets of Gallipoli, the seaside city whose old town center sits on a tiny island, completely surrounded by 14th century defensive walls. I marveled at the iconic trulli dotting the countryside; the conical structures, many of them still occupied, date as far back as the 16th century. And I came to understand why this place is the perfect refuge for natives escaping the tourist hot spots that become so overrun during high season. Why they have long held this one so close to the vest. And why I certainly will be returning. Long live Puglia.


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This winter, go where the indoors are as great as the outdoors. At Bluefin Bay, vacations are never out of season. Indoors, discover award-winning amenities such as in-suite wood fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. Outdoor excitement includes easy access to Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort and miles of groomed trails for skiing and snowshoeing. You can’t get any closer to the breathtaking beauty of Lake Superior than Bluefin Bay. To learn more about renting or owning at Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior, call 1-800-BLUEFIN (258-3346) or visit www.bluefinbay.com.


Getting to know you and what you care most about — planning for college, taking care of an elder family member, passing a legacy to future generations, buying a second home — is so important. Once we understand your priorities, together, we can help you pursue the goals you’ve set for yourself and your family. Call to learn more today.

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Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, a registered broker-dealer and Member SIPC, and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”). Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A., and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of BofA Corp. Are Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value Investment products: Are Not FDIC Insured © 2015 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. | ARXD7RYW | AD-11-15-0272 | 471089PM-0615 | 11/2015 Abitare F15.pdf 1 9/2/2015 11:21:41 AM

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compass || spa

Well Healed These world-class spas are deliciously decadent and utterly alluring. | BY GINA SAMAROTTO

Cheval Blanc Spa, Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France St. Barthélemy, French West Indies Cheval Blanc Spa marks the house of Guerlain’s first foray into the Caribbean. An elegant sanctuary devoted to balance, relaxation and beauty, it is a sybaritic addition to a destination synonymous with luxury. Featuring bespoke massages, facials and body treatments created by Guerlain — many of them exclusive to Cheval Blanc — guests can experience the sensorial magic in the comfort of a well-appointed treatment room or in the sultry decadence of the spa’s pavilion, an open-air temple of tranquility tucked within a lush, tropical garden.

78 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North


Onda Spa, Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Guanacaste, Costa Rica Perched in the verdant forest canopy high above the beaches, Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort’s Onda Spa is somewhat akin to a wildly exotic jungle treehouse. The secluded location, breathtaking views and cool breezes make this spa one of Costa Rica’s most noteworthy destinations. With its distinctive menu featuring treatments and ministrations designed to showcase local ingredients, Onda quenches guests’ thirst for wellness with customized services employing everything from beach sand to pulverized pinto beans.

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compass || spa

The Spa, Royal Mansour Marrakech, Morocco Paying homage to light, purity and stillness from within a breathtaking arabesque paradise, the Spa at the Royal Mansour has melded ancient ritual with modern luxury. The elaborate hammam treatment is simply sigh-inducing. This session of pure indulgence involves steaming, scrubbing, stretching and shampooing before finally being anointed with a single drop of fragrant oil then swaddled in a plush, heated robe. It concludes with a visit to the stunning relaxation room, where canopied daybeds await and silver trays laden with dates, honey and mint tea are proffered.

80 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North


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compass || souvenir

Great Walls Vintage travel posters are equal parts inspiration and commemoration.

84 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North


3 1 L u x u r y C o n d o m i n i u m s N o w Av a i l a b l e . 9 2 R o o m B o u t i q u e H o t e l . R e s t a u r a n t. S p a . S h o p s . D o w n t o w n Wa y z a t a . S p r i n g & S u m m e r 2 0 1 7.

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compass || destination

Passport to Paradise At Tortuga Bay, luxury knows no limits. | BY KATE NELSON

88 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North


PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY PUNTACANA RESORT & CLUB

T

he luxe experience that is Tortuga Bay begins the minute your plane touches down at the Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana International Airport. Upon stepping onto the tarmac, you are scooped up on a golf cart to be whisked through the customs process. Soon you are on your way to the posh property to get settled into one of 13 beautiful beachfront villas designed by Oscar de la Renta. Want to explore? Hop on your private golf cart or enjoy a leisurely bike ride. Forget your favorite tunic? Swing by the first resort boutique of the late, great Dominican-born de la Renta. Need anything? Simply ring up your personal villa manager (available around the clock, of course) on the provided cell phone. Not that you will want for anything. The country’s only AAA Five-Diamond hotel features airy, sumptuously appointed suites that evoke the laidback, leisurely character of the Caribbean. Each has its own terrace or balcony, a well-stocked kitchenette, and a coral-stone bathroom complete with a whirlpool tub. Most look out onto the pristine, private beach and the crystal-clear waters beyond. Bamboo, Tortuga’s AAA Four-Diamond restaurant, serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner poolside, as well as its oh-so-indulgent afternoon high-tea service. If you’d prefer, you certainly can enjoy the Mediterranean-inspired cuisine in your suite or out on the beach. Just wave the little white flag tucked into the sand by your beach chair and one of the attendants — standing nearby by not too nearby — will ensure your every need is met. Guests can enjoy all the offerings of the 15,000-acre Puntacana Resort & Club, also home to a Westin and Four Points by Sheraton. Standouts among the six on-site eateries are the seafood-focused La Yola, perched out over the sea, and the Grill, situated at La Cana Golf & Beach Club. The resort features 45 holes of championship golf on courses designed by P.B. Dye and Tom Fazio. Water sports include fishing, kiteboarding, catamaran sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving among the remains of sunken ships. Tennis pro Felix de los Santos will help you hone your backhand at the Oscar de la Renta Tennis Center. Afterward, you can make your way to the Six Senses Spa for total tranquility. Of chief importance are preserving and protecting the area’s natural environs, which is why the resort in 1994 created its Puntacana Ecological Foundation. Some of the nonprofit’s efforts include restoring coral along the coastline, reintroducing the critically endangered Ridgway’s Hawk, and supporting sustainable agriculture with its vegetable and fruit-tree gardens. Not to be missed is the 1,500-acre Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve, a network of trails that lead to 12 lush freshwater lagoons. Parting with Tortuga Bay is such sweet sorrow, of course, but the luxury doesn’t end when you leave the property. Upon arriving at the airport, you once again will be whisked through an expedited check-in process then escorted to a private lounge, replete with complimentary snacks and cocktails, to wait for your departing flight. The perfect ending to your stay in paradise.

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collage || tour

Tour Experience the world’s greatest cities the Artful Living way.

EAT. SHOP. STAY. DO. SEE. VISIT.

sponsored by

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compass || tour

TOUR

NEW YORK

STAY

GRANDEUR REDUX A downtown beauty shines.

|

BY WENDY LUBOVICH

The Beekman, 5 Beekman St., New York 855-523-3562 // thebeekman.com

Gilded Age glamour and contemporary chic combine in the new Beekman hotel in the Financial District. The brick and terra cotta building was one of New York's first skyscrapers in 1883, but it was quickly overshadowed by taller structures. Today, its restored, nine-story atrium, topped with a pyramid-shaped skylight, serves as the opulent centerpiece for the reimagined space. Operated by Thompson Hotels and opening in early 2016, the hotel will feature 287 guest rooms, including 45 suites and two signature penthouses overlooking One World Trade Center and City Hall Park. The interior spaces will be designed by Martin Brudnizki, known for his lived-in luxurious aesthetic. An adjoining building will house the Beekman Residences, a newly constructed luxury condominium tower. Two of New York’s culinary heavy hitters take on food and beverage for the property. Celebrity restaurateur and chef Tom Colicchio will open a dining space and offer room service to residents. Keith McNally of Balthazar fame will establish his own eatery.

96 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North


TOUR

NEW YORK

SHOP

LA DOLCE VITA Domenico Vacca creates the ultimate Italian experience.

|

BY WENDY LUBOVICH

Domenico Vacca, 15 W. 55th St., New York domenicovaccaclub.com

EAT

BAGEL BROUHAHA SoHo gets soft and chewy.

|

BY WENDY LUBOVICH

Sadelle’s, 463 W. Broadway, New York 212-776-4926 // sadelles.com Much to the chagrin of the standard New York deli, West Broadway bakery and restaurant Sadelle’s had the chutzpah to make the humble bagel a star. Brought to us by Major Food Group (the team behind such culinary hits as Carbone and Parm), it’s a sort of French bistro with a Jewish flair. Melissa Weller, former baker at Per Se and Roberta’s, has obsessively perfected the basic bagel. She works in the glassed-in bakery in the center of the dining room, where the chewy treats are boiled then baked. Fresh out of the oven, the piping-hot delights are stacked onto long wooden dowels and ceremoniously carried out to the front of the house by workers exclaiming “Hot bagels!” The cashiers and fish slicers echo the call in a charming verbal dance. Just as dramatic are the grand towers dotting the dining-room tables. Sadelle’s take on the typical multi-tiered seafood platter? Sable, salmon and whitefish piled high, with fresh bagels on the side. The eatery’s full menu includes such offerings as salmon Benedict, cheese blintzes and the classic egg sandwich. Add a raspberry walnut rugelach or some glistening chocolate babka, and you’ve got yourself a posh nosh.

Domenico Vacca, the Italian clothier who designed suits for Entourage character Ari Gold, brings his high glamour to a new concept in Midtown. The 8,000-square-foot flagship store is part of a 12-story luxury space, slated for a spring opening, that will include a cafe, barbershop, beauty salon, members-only club and lavish residences. “I have always wanted to express my creativity and sense of style in other lifestyle concepts,” says Vacca. “This building is a mecca of extravagance and comfort.” Designed to be both a storefront and a destination, the space will draw in people to connect, shop and relax. The retail store will sell both men’s and women’s clothing as well as accessories and housewares. The DV Café aims to serve the best espresso outside Italy. And the in-house barbershop and salon will offer an intimate, Italian-style grooming concept. But perhaps the ultimate insider’s hangout is the DV Club, exclusively for members. The generous lounge and rooftop terrace will come with an open bar, light food and exceptional hospitality. As Vacca explains, “I want the DV Club to be a place where members feel as if they are in my home.”

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TOUR

LOS ANGELES

SHOP

CAVIAR DREAMS A food emporium offers fare for every taste.

|

BY AMBER GIBSON

Petrossian, 321 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood 310-271-6300 // petrossian.com

Delicacies ranging from the world’s best caviar to cheese to foie gras will lure every food lover into Petrossian. Pair a 125-gram caviar tin of your choice with one of 53 bottles of Champagne — perhaps the 2000 Cristal Brut Rosé will interest you. Two Champagne flutes and mother-of-pearl spoons are included, plus Petrossian will ship anywhere in the country. General Manager Christopher Klapp acts as a concierge for guests, helping find the perfect pairing. “I particularly like crisp, dry Champagnes that balance out the natural oils and fats in caviar,” he says. “Typically, I try to stay away from strong, bolder, aged Champagnes. The delicate flavors of the sea imparted through caviar can be lost if the pairing does not let the caviar shine on its own.” If roe isn’t your indulgence of choice, there are gourmet coffees and teas to enjoy with buttery cookies and pastries. Carnivores will savor the fresh pâtés and foie gras alongside charcuterie and artisanal cheeses. There’s even a specialty chocolate collection, made by Valrhona exclusively for Petrossian, that includes a white-chocolate caviar bar.

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TOUR

LOS ANGELES

EAT

SOUTH OF THE BORDER Cuba meets Mexico at a casual Malibu eatery.

|

BY HAYLEY DULIN

Café Habana, 3939 Cross Creek Road, Malibu 310-317-0300 // habana-malibu.com Looking for a hip spot with a lively atmosphere and solid menu? Head down the Pacific Coast Highway and stop at Malibu’s Café Habana. Tucked back in the Malibu Lumberyard, the area’s premier shopping district, the eatery is the California outpost of its East Coast brethren. Flanked by luxury and specialty stores, the exterior is inviting, featuring palms and teakwood. Inside is a casual dining area with high-top tables, sleek booths and a bullet-riddled bar salvaged from Deadwood, South Dakota. The adjoining outdoor space is intimate yet casual, with candles, strewn lights and a foliage wall providing privacy. Café Habana’s menu includes a variety of Cuban and Mexican specialties. Starters range from roasted plantains and shrimp ceviche to the must-try grilled corn: on the cob and sprinkled with cotija cheese, a dash of chili powder and freshly squeezed lime juice. Entrées include the legendary Cuban sandwiches, ropa vieja, tacos and enchiladas. Wednesday is karaoke night — the liveliest evening of the week, with plenty of celebrity sightings. Otherwise, the vibe is beach-casual, creating a great place to sit back, relax and enjoy a margarita.

STAY

BEVERLY HILLS GLAM Travel back in time to South California’s golden age.

|

BY AMBER GIBSON

Montage Beverly Hills, 225 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills 310-860-7800 // montagehotels.com/beverlyhills

A tribute to vintage Hollywood, the glamorous Montage Beverly Hills exudes Mediterranean elegance, with colonnades, hand-painted ceilings and mosaic tile work. The 201 guest rooms, including 55 suites and 20 private residences, are ideally located for a shopping spree at the iconic Golden Triangle — a scene straight out of Pretty Woman. There’s classical music playing underwater at the rooftop pool, and turndown service includes house-made truffles. Pamper yourself at the Spa Montage with a classic European facial or a massage before dining at Scott Conant’s James Beard–nominated Scarpetta, followed by a nightcap of Macallan’s rarest whiskeys at £10 upstairs. Or enjoy a night in, sipping Champagne while soaking in your marble bathtub. The Rooftop Grill’s new vegan menu includes fresh-pressed juices, blueberry flaxseed pancakes, and an açaí bowl with crunchy almond butter and buckwheat groats. There’s simply no better way to start your day than noshing here while gazing out on the Hollywood Hills.

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TOUR

CHICAGO EAT

DIG IN Feast on the best Cubano in the country.

|

BY FRANK ROFFERS

River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle St., Chicago 312-822-0100 // riverroastchicago.com The River North waterfront is the setting for this contemporary American tavern, known for serving up some of the best chicken in the Windy City. In addition to its choice poultry, River Roast was recently spotlighted for its Cuban sandwich, which was named the best in America by the editors of Restaurant Hospitality magazine. Originating as a sandwich called a mixto, a true Cubano consists of ham, mojo roast pork, salami, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard pressed between Cuban bread. River Roast chef John Hogan’s take was originally designed as a staff meal to make use of leftover roast pork. It eventually found its way onto the eatery’s menu and is now the best Cubano outside Havana.

SHOP

LOOKING DAPPER Personal styling for the Everyman.

|

BY AMBER GIBSON

BOGA, 133 N. Jefferson St., Chicago 312-801-8662 // boga.com

“The BOGA man is urbane, uncompromising, charitable, humble, stylish and kind,” says founder and CEO Jeffrey Burkard. His goal? To make getting dressed easy for these ambitious men. “Our approach addresses the demands of juggling long hours at the office with an active social life,” he notes. The latest collection features 191 pieces, from luxe wool vests and blazers to belts and casual tees, providing a smooth transition from day to night. Patterns and clothing are designed in Chicago using cotton, leather and wool sourced from the finest mills in Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. This season, BOGA debuts pocket squares in 28 patterns, a calf and buffalo leather boot, and even a denim dress shirt. Although some may be skeptical, Burkard insists that every man can pull one off: “It’s the perfect shade of light blue that works well with a broad range of navy and gray suits and blazers,” he explains. Most of BOGA’s customers opt to stop by the West Loop headquarters and showroom rather than ordering online. They sip whiskey cocktails and browse while a trained stylist tailors a wardrobe, finding the perfect fit and style. Perhaps shopping isn’t so bad after all.

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TOUR

CHICAGO STAY

PURE LUXE The Talbott Hotel revives vintage elegance.

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BY FRANK ROFFERS

The Talbott Hotel, 20 E. Delaware Place, Chicago 312-944-4970 // talbotthotel.com

The European-style Talbott Hotel features 149 guest rooms and a lobby reminiscent of an English manor house. Situated in a prime Gold Coast locale, it was originally constructed in 1927 as a luxury apartment building. This explains why the accommodations are so spacious when compared to other inns of its era. All rooms feature Frette linens and top-of-the-line technology thanks to a cutting-edge partnership with Google. The property appeals to both business and leisure travelers, plus it’s dog-friendly. Frequent guests rave that customer service here is exceptional, and rightly so.

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TOUR

THE NORTH

STAY

BIKER CHIC Luxury gets rugged at a Milwaukee inn.

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BY AMBER GIBSON

The Iron Horse Hotel, 500 W. Florida St., Milwaukee 414-374-4766 // theironhorsehotel.com

“Would you like a glass of our welcome cocktail?” asks the friendly blonde behind the front desk. “We’re not sure what’s in it.” The pink jungle juice is a fitting welcome to this industrial-chic property, the Ace Hotel of the North. There’s a vintage Harley-Davidson across the lobby from a weathered American flag. Thick timber beams, wrought iron and exposed brick create a rugged look that belies the five-star service and amenities. There’s a Lincoln courtesy car on hand to whisk you to dinner, but you can also rent a motorcycle. Animal-print carpet in the hallways (an homage to President Teddy Roosevelt) leads to one of 100 spacious, loft-style guest rooms, where you might find a handwritten note or a welcome platter of local cheeses. The energetic crowd at patio bar The Yard is equal parts visitors and locals in the summer. Come winter, guests migrate to Smyth to enjoy its roomy leather booths, blacksmith décor and hearty comfort food served in skillets. The roasted garlic panisse and the kale, lentil and charred cauliflower medley are just as satisfying as the lamb merguez and the veal porterhouse.

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TOUR

THE NORTH EAT

STARSTRUCK Chef Tory Miller puts Madison on the map.

|

BY AMBER GIBSON

L’Etoile, 1 S. Pinckney St., No. 107, Madison, Wisconsin 608-251-0500 // letoile-restaurant.com

As its name implies, L’Etoile is a superstar in Madison, Wisconsin, helmed by the city’s most celebrated chef. If you’re in town for just one night, dining at this Capitol Square institution is a must. Prepare for a decadent seven-course meal with several extra nibbles thrown in. Food here isn’t classically French, although there’s foie gras and excellent vin. Instead, Chef Tory Miller takes his cues from what’s available at the farmers’ market just steps away, where he arrives at 6 a.m. to strike deals. A list of purveyors appears on the back of the menu, emphasizing that it takes a village to produce each meal. Each dish is a delicate balance between sweet and savory. Tender artichokes and cauliflower are flavored with both ground cherries and black olives. Creamy risotto is infused with sweet corn and studded with bacon. Local pork pairs with kimchi and cantaloupe. Since snagging a James Beard Award in 2012, Miller has expanded his Madison empire, with pan-Asian Sujeo, Spanish tapas bar Estrellón and the casual Graze. While you won’t go wrong at any of them, L’Etoile reigns supreme.

SHOP

KING OF CRAFT Forage Modern Workshop highlights North design.

|

BY ANNIE D’SOUZA

Forage Modern Workshop, 4023 E. Lake St., Minneapolis 612-886-3603 // foragemodernworkshop.com

Contemporary sensibilities meet Northern craftsmanship at Forage Modern Workshop, a Minneapolis hub for stylish homes and the people who reside in them. With a carefully curated array of home goods, accessories and gifts from as far as Scotland and as near as a block or two, the common thread that pulls together these wares is good design — the kind of design that strikes that rare balance between practicality and beauty. Each of the treasures at Forage tells a story, and local makers are regular characters in these tales. The heirloom-quality throws are courtesy of the iconic Faribault Woolen Mill Co. Coincidentally, the 150-year-old mill is but a 20-minute drive from Eastvold Furniture in Northfield, where woodworker Matt Eastvold gives a nod to mid-century style and his Scandinavian roots with his showstopping creations. Accessories on offer include stunning leather goods from up-and-coming handbag designer Danielle Sakry, who managed to build a global luxury brand from her home in St. Cloud. And cheeky art prints by Minneapolis illustrator Kate Worum highlight the shop’s sense of whimsy.

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compass || tour

TOUR

MEXICO CITY SHOP

COMMON SENSE A concept store brings together the good things in life.

|

BY FRANK ROFFERS

Common People, Emilio Castelar 149, Miguel Hidalgo, Polanco, 11560 Ciudad de México +52 55 5281 0800 // commonpeople.com.mx

Located in a magnificent 1940s Colonial mansion right in the heart of the posh Polanco neighborhood, Common People was born in 2010. Conceived by Monika Biringer and Max Feldman, it’s a concept store whose main goal is to present the latest in fashion, music, design, art, technology and gastronomy in its four-story space. Walking up the grand spiral staircase and into the shop’s various rooms, you’ll find wares from edgy international brands as well as lesser-known Mexican designers.

EAT

SPANISH INQUISITION A breakthrough eatery playfully presents the country’s flavors.

|

BY FRANK ROFFERS

J by José Andrés, Calle Campos Elíseos 252, Miguel Hidalgo, Polanco, 11560 Ciudad de México +52 55 9138 1818 // wmexicocity.com/jbyjoseandres

J by José Andrés marks the international debut of ThinkFoodGroup and the first eatery by Chef Andrés at W Hotels. The unique culinary concept offers a new approach to Spanish cuisine, with daring dishes that tantalize the senses. Entrées range from Fermín jamón Ibérico de bellota (hand-carved, dry-cured ham from the legendary free-range, acorn-fed, black-footed
Ibérico pigs of Spain) to mérou en papillote con pisto manchego (grouper cooked in parchment paper with zucchini, peppers, eggplant, onion and tomato). The result? A brilliant collision of Spanish and Mexican flavors.

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TOUR

MEXICO CITY

STAY

MASQUERADING IN MEXICO CITY The W gets infused with new energy.

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BY FRANK ROFFERS

W Mexico City, Calle Campos Elíseos 252, Miguel Hidalgo, Polanco, 11560 Ciudad de México +52 55 9138 1800 // wmexicocity.com

W Mexico City has been transformed into the city’s most energetic hotel thanks to a multimillion-dollar renovation. Situated in the swank Polanco neighborhood, the 237-room hotel sits at the epicenter of the best galleries, shopping, dining and nightlife. Guest rooms have been refreshed with a crisp vibe, including a “masquerade” personality spearheaded by New York–based designer Anurag Nema of Nemaworkshop. Art installations center around infinity mirrors that reveal Oaxacan alebrije animal sculptures when exposed to LED lights. All the modern conveniences are available, including a “jack pack” — with every power outlet and adapter that can be thought of — hidden away within a spacious work desk. The Away Spa and Fitness Center features a temazcal, an adobe-domed sweat lodge. An attendant pours a detoxifying tea over hot stones, and the temperature soars to 140 degrees. This treatment effectively kills pathogens and causes the nervous system to release acetylcholine, providing such benefits as increased mental acuity and heightened memory retention. The hotel manages to be informal, flashy, modern and chic all at the same time. The dedicated staff aims to accommodate every traveler’s need. In one of the greatest cultural destinations in the world, W Mexico City stands out in a crowd of luxury options.

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WINTER 2016

CUBA

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||

CUBA

contents live artfully 113 what to

discover, drink, eat

culture

122 philanthropy

The Cowles Center hosts a Havana-flavored fete.

123 music

Inside the Minnesota Orchestra’s historic trip.

136

128 insider’s guide

How to spend one week in Cuba.

136 what I love now The Cuba edition.

intel 142 interview

Jesse Ventura on Cuba, Castro and why he still won’t fly.

152 profile

How Tony Oliva rose from humble roots to become a baseball legend.

155 experience

What I know about Tony-O.

158 essay

My Cuban misadventure.

128

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MALIA EVERETTE // OLIVIA CRUTCHFIELD // ROBIN THOM / INSIGHTCUBA

compass

113


live artfully || discover

VIVA CUBA A life in pictures. | PHOTOGRAPHY BY BLACK TOMATO, OLIVIA CRUTCHFIELD, HAYLEY DULIN, STACY GREENE AND ROBIN THOM / INSIGHTCUBA

artfullivingmagazine.com | Winter 2016 2016 113 113 artfullivingmagazine.com | Winter


live artfully || discover

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| Magazine of the North


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live artfully || discover

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live artfully || drink

The Mighty Mojito Enjoying Cuba one sip at a time. | BY HAYLEY DULIN

I

t’s fitting that my first stop in Havana was at Partagas, one of Cuba’s premier cigar factories, followed by lunch at La Bodeguita del Medio. Its specialty? Mojitos. Opened in 1942 and frequented by the likes of Salvador Allende, Ernest Hemingway and Nat King Cole, the traditional Cuban restaurant lays claim to the birthplace of the classic cocktail. The menu is heavy on plantains, beans, rice and pulled pork — served alongside, of course, the famous mojito. The atmosphere is lively, with roaming musicians serenading tables and bright blue walls lined with signatures and framed photos of celebrities and customers. After listening to another rendition of “Guantanamera” and enjoying perhaps one too many mojitos, I had a newfound appreciation for the Cuban way of life: a lot of laughter and pure joy. I knew I was ready to embrace everything Cuba had to offer, one mojito at a time.

A Classic Cuban Mojito Makes 1 drink

8 to 10 fresh mint leaves ½ lime, cut in 4 wedges 2 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste 1 cup ice cubes 1½ ounces Havana Club rum ½ cup club soda 1 jalapeño, sliced (optional)

118 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North

PHOTOGRAPHY BY 2ND TRUTH

In a highball glass, combine mint and juice of 1 lime wedge. Use a muddler to crush. Add sugar and juice of 2 lime wedges. Muddle again. Fill glass with ice. Pour over rum and top with club soda. Add jalapeño. Stir and add sugar to taste. Garnish with remaining lime wedge. Enjoy!


live artfully || eat

In Good Taste The best Cuban cuisine across the North. | BY HAYLEY DULIN

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-combination of Spanish, African, Caribbean and even Chinese influences, Cuban cuisine is a unique flavor experience that goes far beyond the namesake sandwich. If you have a longing for fried plantains and ropa vieja but a trip to the Caribbean island isn’t in the foreseeable future, the North’s best Cuban fare should satisfy.

Cubanitas

Milwaukee getbianchini.com

Cubanitas marks the first and only entirely Cuban restaurant in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. Offerings include a variety of traditional dishes made with fresh, simple ingredients. Not to be missed is the Cubano sandwich, comprising roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. If you’re thirsty, the barkeeps make a mean mojito.

The Lost Cuban

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 319-362-2627

This eatery serves up true Cuban cuisine passed down in owner Jess Streit’s family recipes. The menu is an array of rice, beans and Cuban bread, which is the key component to crafting a truly authentic sandwich. The space is filled with rhythmic music, and the décor is simple and relaxed, with paintings of vintage American cars and pops of vibrant colors on the walls. Stop by for a quick empanada or stay for a full Cuban meal.

Victor’s 1959 Café Minneapolis victors1959cafe.com

Victor’s is a little piece of Cuba situated in South Minneapolis. The atmosphere is quaint and quirky, evoking true Cuban charm. The menu offers all the staples, from rice and beans to beef and potatoes. Order the yuca frita drizzled with mole sauce and your choice of three dipping sauces. Take note: Victor’s serves only wine and beer, so don’t plan on sipping rum alongside your ceviche.

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R i c k D e n m a n 612.889.6980 artfullivingmagazine.com

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culture || philanthropy

Channeling Cuba The Cowles Center hosts a Havana-flavored fete. | BY ROBERT DRODDY

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he streets of Minneapolis were akin to those in Old Havana last fall when the Cowles Center hosted its Gotta Dance! Gala and Havana Nights! after party. Guests donned their best Cuban-inspired attire, sipped Hemingway daiquiris and feasted on authentic cuisine at the Loews Minneapolis Hotel, helping raise $330,000 for the Cowles Center’s award-winning Arts in Education programs.

122 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North


culture || music

Making Music

PHOTOGRAPHY BY TRAVIS ANDERSON

Inside the Minnesota Orchestra’s historic trip. | BY LINDA MACK

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culture || music

I

t was midnight in Havana, and the trumpet was blaring, the clarinet wailing. The Orquesta Aragón, successor to the famed Buena Vista Social Club, was jamming at the Habana Café. But the musicians weren’t Cubans. They were Minnesotans. Specifically, Minnesota Orchestra conductor Osmo Vänskä and members of his band, which had just finished playing two historic concerts — the first in Cuba by an American orchestra since President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced a softening of relations back in 2014. Through the cigar smoke and pulsing lights wafted a powerful message: It’s a new era for Cuba. And the 100 Minnesota Orchestra musicians carried it proudly during the four-day trip, mentoring students, sharing mojitos and trading licks with the Cubans playing their handmade instruments on Havana’s famed Malecón. My husband, Warren, chairs the orchestra board of directors, so I was lucky enough to be one of the 26 supporters who flew to Cuba directly from Minneapolis (another historic first), along with the musicians, 20 staff and 14 members of the press. Also on the Delta Airbus A330 were 65 tour trunks holding four tons of musical instruments and equipment plus an acoustical shell on loan from Champlin Park High School to enhance the sound of the 1970s Teatro Nacional de Cuba. “Why the Minnesota Orchestra? What compelled you to take this historic step?” a reporter asked Vänskä at a crowded press conference for Cubadisco, the two-week music festival that the orchestra headlined. “There’s a race on,” he said. “We were the lucky ones.”

The Race for Cuba Soon after Obama’s announcement, orchestra president Kevin Smith asked offhandedly, “Why don’t we go to Cuba?” And so ensued a full-court press to be the first American orchestra to do so. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra announced that it would be first, with the New York Philharmonic and others scrambling as well. Smith tapped Classical Movements, the tour company that arranges the orchestra’s travel and has taken musical groups to Cuba. While others planned for September, Minnesota aimed for the May music festival. The orchestra arrived in Havana with a historic connection: Its first international tour was to the island nation. Cuban Ministry of Culture officials wondered: Would the orchestra play the same all-Beethoven program as it did back in 1929? But of course. The deal was sealed. Two days later, emissaries from the Chicago Symphony arrived, only to learn they wouldn’t be the first. Their mistake? Waiting until they had raised the money for the trip. “We said yes then had 48 hours to raise the money,” Smith recalls. “Fortunately, Glen Nelson and Marilyn Carlson Nelson readily agreed to support it.”

124 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North


The International Almost-Incident Friday, Smith stayed at the theater after the rehearsal with the young Cuban musicians. Something was afoot. In a collaborative gesture, that evening’s concert would feature famous Cuban pianist Frank Fernández as well as the Coro Nacional de Cuba in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. The pianist insisted on sharing the conductor’s dressing room, the only one in the bare-bones theater. Vänskä had refused, and Fernández threatened he wouldn’t play. When the orchestra took the stage, they were prepared for the worst; a backup plan of Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” sat on their music stands in case Fernández delivered on his promise. But after a moment of hesitation, he took a bow and sat down at the piano.

The Chord Heard ’Round the World The dinner before the Saturday night concert was poolside, and I was enjoying my conversation with contrabassoonist Norbert Nielubowski when Michael Pelton, Vänskä’s assistant, whispered something to Warren. The conductor wanted us to stop by his dressing room before the concert. When we arrived at the hall, we were ushered through the backdoor to a large, soggy room. “Be careful of the wet floor,” Vänskä said. “The facilities are overflowing — again.” He needed Warren’s advice: He wanted to play both national anthems but needed assurance it was the right thing to do. The idea had been kicked around throughout planning. The feedback from the Ministry of Culture had been positive, save for one naysayer. Classical Movements wanted it to happen but had to maintain deniability so it could continue its work in Cuba if the idea backfired. Warren said he would take any flack. We walked backstage, watching the musicians get ready for the final concert, then found our seats. When Vänskä came out on stage, he unexpectedly turned to face the audience and motioned for us all to stand. The musicians launched into the Cuban national anthem. The Cubans sang and wept. When the piece was over, we all clapped. Then the snare drum rolled, and the orchestra launched into the U.S. national anthem. We sang, the Cubans stood, and after the song’s final words rang out, everyone — Americans and Cubans alike — applauded heartily. Warren looked up toward the balcony, where Cuban Minister of Culture Rafael Bernal Alemany was seated. He was shaking hands with those around him. “You are taking a part of Cuba back with you,” said one of our guides as he bid us goodbye. “You will make Minnesota warmer. Thank you for making this dream possible. Don’t wait 80 years to come back.”

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compass || insider’s guide

Destination Cuba How to spend one week on the red-hot island. | BY FRANK ROFFERS

W

ith its faded beauty and history intact, Cuba fuses a unique blend of Caribbean and Latin. It leaves you shocked, perplexed, confounded and with a feeling of sensory overload. The largest island in the Caribbean offers stunning architecture, wide-open spaces, picturesque mountain villages and pristine stretches of beautiful coastline. The country presents a heady mix of music, arts, gastronomy and stunning natural beauty.

Old Havana

Saturday

Living History

Check into Hotel Nacional, a bastion of luxury located in Havana’s Vedado neighborhood. Dating back to 1930, this elegant

128 Artful Living

establishment recalls another era. Adorning the walls are vintage images of famous regulars, including Winston Churchill, Marlene Dietrich and Frank Sinatra. The Vista al Golfo bar is an excellent place to grab a mojito or Cuba libre while taking in the Havana vibe. Just off the bar is a small museum focused on the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. During the conflict, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara set up their headquarters here.

| Magazine of the North

Habana Vieja is a step back in time, with its colorful Spanish architecture, weathered buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, colonial plazas and historic cathedrals. Couples walk the sweeping ocean-side Malecón, with its picture-perfect view of El Morro castle across the bay.


PHOTOGRAPHY BY BLACK TOMATO

Channeling Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway’s two favorite watering holes, El Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio, are near each other in Old Havana. A small plaque hanging in El Floridita offers this quote from the famous author: “My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita.” Papa still holds the record at the latter for drinking 16 daiquiris with no sugar and double shots of rum.

Best Chicken in Town

El Aljibe is a traditional Cuban paladar in the Miramar neighborhood and is known for the most delicious creole-roasted poultry in Havana. The same family has been operating this institution since the 1940s, and it’s an authentic rustic dining experience. For $15, you get all the chicken, rice, black beans and French fries you can eat. Surprisingly, El Aljibe has one of the most outstanding wine cellars in town.

Sequins and Feathers

The most venerable show in Havana, the Tropicana cabaret is a Vegas-style, open-air spectacular that has been performing continually since 1939. Voluptuous and scantily clad showgirls descend from palm

trees to dance Latin salsa under bright lights. The club is located at Villa Mina, a six-acre estate with lush tropical gardens. Ask your hotel concierge to arrange a prime seat as some have restricted views.

Sunday

Fore

Built in 1953, the Havana Golf Club (formerly the Rovers Athletic Club) is one of only two courses on the island. It is both a time capsule and a paradox. Flagsticks are fashioned from bamboo poles and red flags. The bar, Hole 19, features vintage photos of Castro playing the course in combat boots and military fatigues. Club rental is available; some are classic, meaning actually from the 1950s.

Tobacco Temple

Cuban cigars are known to be some of the best in the world. Entering through the wide doorway of the Partagas factory, you are hit with the earthy, intoxicating smell of unlit cigar tobacco. It is now the site of one of the finest cigar shops in Havana.

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Primo Paladar

Monday

Located on the second level of a magnificently decayed, early 20th century palace, La Guarida is a massively popular restaurant serving some of the best food in Havana. Don’t let the entrance fool you; after you walk up the broken marble stairs, a romantic dining room is revealed. Reservations are a must.

Shake It Up

Take a short cab ride to Fábrica de Arte Cubano for a quirky mix of nightclub and art gallery, all situated in a former cooking-oil factory. When you arrive, the doorman hands you a ration card, which bartenders mark each time you order a drink. You settle up your bill on your way out at the end of the night. The building has two floors that transition between music, photography, fashion, dance, film and theater. Fábrica opens for three-month stretches then closes for a few weeks so the space can be reimagined.

Old Man and the Sea

There’s no better place for top-notch deep-sea fishing than the Gulf Stream off Cuba’s northern coast. Head to Club Nautico Internacional at the Marina Hemingway seven miles west of Havana. For $120, an experienced captain and first mate will take you out for four hours of fishing marlin, sailfish and tarpon with the city skyline as the backdrop.

Sushi Speakeasy

The best sushi joint in Cuba is on the way back into Havana. The hard-to-find Santy Pescador looks and feels like a speakeasy shack in a small village at the end of a dusty street on a backwater inlet. The menu changes daily, and reservations are necessary.

Everyman’s Tropicana

Casa de la Música is a mainstay for outstanding salsa music. Housed in a beautiful old mansion, this nightclub features a vibrant, non-touristy

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ambiance for people of all ages. It can be crowded and smoky, as this is where the locals go to party. The experience is like a local Tropicana show, only with better people watching.

of virgin beach to build a four-story manse and private golf course, dubbing it Xanadu. It was expropriated during the revolution, and the estate now operates as a luxury six-room inn, carefully restored in the style, design and décor of the 1930s.

Tuesday

Beach Bound, 57 Bel Air Style

Almendrones, as Cubans call them, are 1950s Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevys and Fords still on the road thanks to the genius of Cuban mechanics. Some two hours east of Havana sits Varadero. Technically Americans are not allowed to go to this beach; however, many tour operators offer at least a day trip. The turquoise water and white-sand beaches are among the most beautiful in Cuba and the most pristine in the Caribbean.

Live Like a du Pont

Located in the beachfront area of Varadero is the exclusive estate of French-American millionaire Irénée du Pont. In 1927, he retired at age 49 from his chemical empire and bought a peninsula with five miles

Drink Like a du Pont

On the top floor of Mansion Xanadu is Bar Mirador Casa Blanca, the finest bar in Varadero. Featuring long views and remarkable sunsets, it’s best reached by the tiny, steep staircase. Ask for Guzeman.

Wednesday

Wide Open Spaces

The countryside of Cuba feels like the Wild West. The 162-mile drive from Varadero to Trinidad is like riding on a narrow roller coaster while sharing the rails with oversize trucks. Flat tires are common, and with very few road signs, it’s easy to get lost.

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Colonial Trinidad

Trinidad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most perfectly preserved colonial city in Cuba. The architecture is defined by multicolored, pastel-hued buildings with rust-red roofs. Take a walking tour with a local guide to learn the town’s history. Trinidad makes Havana feel like Manhattan. Multigenerational families live under the same roof and seem to spill out onto cobblestone streets.

Welcome to Paradise

On the edge of Trinidad sits one of its oldest houses: the unique Finca Kenia. Enter through the tall wooden doors off an insignificant street into an unexpected world. Give in to the soothing sense of calm and let time fall away at this charming bed and breakfast.

Thursday

A Private Pied-à-Terre

Upon your return to Havana, check into Penthouse Ydalgo, a luxury residence juxtaposing the art deco style of 1950 with today’s modern

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conveniences. Outdoor terraces provide unmatched views of the city and the sea. VIP service comes standard, complete with airport pickup, salsa lessons, drivers, translators, laundry and massage.

Revolutionary Photographer

Seeing the studio of Roberto Salas is a must. In 1957, he caught the attention of Castro, who was in New York raising money for the revolution. At just 16 years old, the photographer had an iconic image of the Statue of Liberty draped in a Cuban flag published in LIFE. In 1959, upon the political leader’s urging, Salas began serving as a photographer for the Cuban government newspaper, Revolución. For nearly 50 years, he has lived on the Carribean island and taken exclusive photos documenting the stories of the nation, including some never-before-seen images of Castro. By appointment only.

House Hunting International

Only since 2011 have Cubans been allowed to buy and sell real estate. Today, there is a gold rush for investment property, with many foreigners becoming silent partners. But buyer beware: Until the


embargo is lifted, a U.S. citizen investing in Cuban property is subject to criminal penalties under the Trading with the Enemy Act. The process is very informal, and some of the best properties remain pocket listings between private agents and the government. Homes start at $20,000. Right now, you can buy a small flat in Havana for less than $100,000 or a luxury penthouse apartment in an architecturally significant building with sweeping views for $1.2 million.

Friday

Tobacco Land

The rolling green hills of Pinar del Río province are worth a day trip. At the center of Cuba’s tobacco industry is Viñales, the perfect place to witness growers and harvesters at work. Oxen are used in place of tractors to plow the fields. See the famous drying houses while a farmer demonstrates how to roll a cigar.

Saturday

Homage to Hemingway

Finca Vigía, Ernest Hemingway’s home, sits in a modest village some 10 miles east of Havana. Visitors can peer through the windows to get a look at a 1950s time capsule. This is where the author penned two of his most celebrated novels, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. No trip to Finca Vigía is complete without stopping for a cocktail at Hemingway’s third favorite hangout, La Terraza.

Last Call

Cuban musicians are known for crafting some of the best jazz in the world. And La Zorra y el Cuervo is one of the top places to hear it live in Havana. There is not a bad seat in the house.

If You Go

Getting There: U.S. citizens can legally visit Cuba under one of 12 broad categories of purposeful travel. Your best bet is to go with the pros. Our top picks? Altruvistas (altruvistas.com) creates custom travel programs built on the pillars of experiential education, philanthropy and social responsibility. Black Tomato (blacktomato.com) is known for creating unique travel itineraries with exclusive experiences. InsightCuba (insightcuba.com) is a nonprofit specializing in people-to-people travel to Cuba. When to Go: Peak tourist season runs from mid-December to mid-March and all of July and August. Cuba has a hot, tropical climate with an average temperature of 75 degrees. The winter is considered the dry season, when the mercury can drop as low as 60 degrees. The wet season occurs from May to October, when strong rainstorms come down hard and fast. The summer months are scorching hot. What to Bring Back: Americans can now bring back up to $400 worth of souvenirs, including $100 worth of cigars. What is Yet to Come: The Federal Aviation Administration is reportedly in talks with Cuban authorities to allow American carriers to offer regularly scheduled commercial flights. Currently, there are only three ports of entry: Miami; Tampa, Florida; and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Travel to Cuba via cruise ships is next; several lines have announced intentions to sail to Havana. Cuba has a shortage of high-end hotels, an issue that will become even more dire as more Americans visit. Airbnb started offering service on the island last spring and now has more than 3,000 homes there.

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compass || what I love now

What I Love Now The Cuba edition. |

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BY HAYLEY DULIN


“ANY VISITOR TO CUBA HAS TO EXPERIENCE THE MUSIC AND DANCE, WHICH IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE SOCIETAL FABRIC.”

WHO: Tom

Popper, president of InsightCuba

Experience worth the trip: Any visitor to Cuba has to experience the music and dance, which is an essential part of the societal fabric. Even if you don’t dance, pay a visit to Casa de la Música, El Turquino, or La Zorra y el Cuervo for live jazz — or just walk around Old Havana and find your own favorite spot.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBIN THOM / INSIGHTCUBA

Travel must-haves: There are four must-haves when taking a trip to Cuba: Bring plenty of cash, pack your best walking shoes, stock up on your favorite sundries and make sure you have lots of flexibility.

Where you stay: Stay at the Meliá Cohiba in the Vedado neighborhood in Havana. It’s located on the famous Malecón, the five-mile seaside boulevard that rims the city.

Go-to restaurant: One of my favorite places to eat is La Paella, located on the first floor of the Hostal Valencia. How Cuba has changed you: My first trip to Cuba made me quickly realize how different the country was from my lifelong perceptions. What stood out the most was how open and friendly Cubans were toward Americans and how incredibly resourceful and ingenious Cubans are with what little they have.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID PABLO COHN

“THE CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE SPIRIT OF THE PEOPLE IS SOMETHING THAT CONSTANTLY INSPIRES ME.”

WHO: Malia

Everette, founder and CEO of Altruvistas

Top tip: Bring way more cash than you think you will need! Cuba is a cash economy. Where you stay: Mi Casa in Old Havana. Go-to restaurant: The culinary arts are really taking off as more and more Cubans open their own restaurants. I enjoy bringing groups to San Cristóbal to see the walls full of historical pieces. For places that inspire, I like to support La Moneda Cubana and Atelier. Favorite place to grab a drink: There are a couple places where I constantly find myself: the expansive patio of Hotel Nacional, looking out at the ocean and the life along the Malecón; and the bar at La Torre, with its panoramic city views. How Cuba has changed you: The creative and innovative spirit of the people is something that constantly inspires me. It is no accident that those 1950s cars still run, that Cuba has so many doctors in service around the world or that it has pioneered an organic agricultural revolution.

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PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY BLACK TOMATO

“YOU NEED TO RECORD WHO: Tom

Marchant, cofounder of Black Tomato

Travel must-haves: A notebook to keep track of small details and inspirational moments you experience along your journey that you might otherwise forget. It sounds simple, but sometimes I find just taking a photo doesn’t do a place justice. You need to record how it makes you feel in that moment, especially in such a vibrant and bustling city like Havana.

HOW IT MAKES YOU FEEL IN THAT MOMENT, ESPECIALLY IN SUCH A VIBRANT AND BUSTLING CITY LIKE HAVANA.”

Go-to restaurant: 304 O’Reilly, a new tapas bar just off bustling Obispo Street. It’s a place to be seen for Cubans and in-the-know expats. Favorite place to grab a drink: La Zorra y el Cuervo for late-night jazz and perfectly made cocktails. Where you stay: I recommend staying in small penthouses within Havana, such as Penthouse Ydalgo.

How Cuba has changed you: It’s opened my eyes to new subcultures and artistic movements that have emerged as a bi-product of revolution, which makes Cuba that much more fascinating.

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intel || interview

Body Talk Jesse Ventura on Cuba, Castro and why he still won’t fly. | BY RUDY MAXA

S

ince Artful Living last sat down for a long chat with Jesse Ventura four years ago, he’s made headlines for filing and winning a defamation suit against the author and publisher of American Sniper, the book in which the late Chris Kyle claimed he’d decked the Body during a bar fight for saying Navy SEALS “deserve to lose a few.” His Internet show featuring great conspiracies, Off The Grid, is going strong. He still doesn’t fly commercially to protest what he considers illegal searches by airport security personnel. And as we learned when we met with him most recently, the oft-quoted, always-outspoken Ventura has lots to say about the thawing of U.S.-Cuba relations.

Let’s talk about Mexico. Mexico is an adventure. I got out of office, I taught at Harvard in ’04, and when I was done at Harvard, I felt I was young enough and [in good enough] financial shape at my age that the window of opportunity for adventure was closing.

Had you spent a lot of time in Mexico prior to that? No. I vacationed there twice right after I got out of office and the year I left Harvard. And it was the year after Harvard that I found my home down there. And that was why I went down there. I rented a car and put, like, 1,800 kilometers on it in about 10 days. I always wanted to retire to the ocean, and at first I wanted Hawaii. And then the Baja came up, and I found the Baja more attractive because, No. 1, it’s far less expensive than Hawaii, and, No. 2, it gives you double option, which I’m happy for.

Double option? I can drive there, which is what I do. So when I ceased flying, it had no bearing on going to Mexico, because I’d been driving it six years anyway. I’ve driven the Baja four or five times, up and down the entire length of it.

I’m way off the grid. I’m an hour from pavement and an hour from electricity. My house is solar. The sun generates my electricity — the sun of which I worship today. I follow the teachings of George Carlin. He was an atheist who worshipped the sun. He said, I worship the sun, because the sun brings me everything I need. It brings me heat, it grows my food, it brings me light. And you know what it does most of all? (I’m paraphrasing him.) Every morning it comes up, and I can see it. That gives it great credibility, that it exists.

How many months do you s

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY 2ND TRUTH

And how off the grid are you?


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Let’s talk about travel. In 2011, a lawsuit you filed contesting the right of the government to make passengers submit to a body scanner or physical pat-down was dismissed by a federal judge. You said you wouldn’t fly commercially. Still true? Yes. I will not go somewhere that treats me like a criminal. And in the airports of the United States of America today — I can’t answer for anyone but myself — I am treated like a criminal.

So you’re driving everywhere? Driving, taking the train.

Will you fly in private planes? Sure. You’re not checked private. But private is very expensive. But this is a constitutional issue. I sued under the Fourth Amendment, and a federal judge says she doesn’t have jurisdiction? Who does, then? No one. So what should that tell you? At airports, you are not protected by the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. You’re on your own. You have no place to get redress, no place to seek relief if they abuse you. You have to just take it. And it begs the bigger question: Why is it the government’s job to provide security for the airlines when they’re a private-sector business? Why shouldn’t they provide their own security?

They don’t want to spend the money, and some airports are city- or state-owned. So are football stadiums. When you go to Timberwolves games, does the government provide security? No — it’s private. How come the airlines get a pass? If the airlines did their own security, then I could have a relationship with Delta Air Lines and they’d know Gov. Jesse Ventura poses no threat when he shows his passport. He’s flown for millions of miles. He’s a former mayor, a former governor, an honorably discharged U.S. veteran. Did you know when John Boehner was speaker of the House, he wasn’t subjected to searches at airports?

No. How is he any more patriotic that me? I spent six years with the Underwater Demolition SEAL Team, the most elite unit in the U.S. Navy. John Boehner spent seven weeks at boot camp and got a medical discharge. Six years to seven weeks, and yet they consider him more patriotic that me.

You must be feeling pretty good about establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba. I feel tremendous about it. I went down there in ’02 at the end of my term as governor, and I realized long before that, but it

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reassured me when I got there that the United States of America was being the bad guy.

You went down as part of a medical — It was a medical and agriculture trade trip.

What made you believe then that the regime was benign enough that we should have diplomatic relations with Cuba? Because they never did anything to us. What has Cuba ever done to us? Yet we have practiced terrorism — and I use the world “terrorism” — against them for decades. I got thrown off Fox News for saying that. I said, “Why is everyone in the United States so astounded that the terrorists would attack us when we’ve been practicing terrorism for 50 years?” And the guy at Fox got all indignant with me and said, “Well, how can you say that — give me an example of the U.S. practicing terrorism.” I said, “Cuba. We’ve burned their cane fields, we’ve attempted to destroy their economy, we’ve blown up ships in their harbor, we’ve attempted to assassinate their president on multiple occasions. Those are not acts of terrorism? If they were done to us, we’d call it terrorism.” And are you familiar with this character Orlando Bosch? Familiarize yourself with him. Because he blew up a Cuban jetliner with 73 innocent civilians onboard, and George Bush Sr. pardoned him. He walked free. Is that not terrorism — blowing up a plane? Seems to me we should know that’s an act of terrorism, and he did it long before 9/11 occurred.

Let me play devil’s advocate. I read some of your interviews, and you did not seem to acknowledge that Castro, or at least his regime, has tortured prisoners. So have we, so we’re no better. Yes, Castro made a mistake. Or at least that’s what they tell us — that he tortured people. But let’s remember something: Castro led a revolution. And unless you’re walking in his shoes, if there’s anyone who commits treason during a revolution, you can be sure that’s the death penalty. You’re talking about a situation where loyalty is of the utmost. Who are we to point a finger at torture after Abu Ghraib, after Guantanamo? We even keep our tortured persons right in Cuba. And what right do we have to have a base in Cuba?

We have a treaty with — All right, Hugo Chávez — he had lots of money. How would we feel if he bought up 500 acres in the Palm Springs desert and moved his army into there? Would we allow it? Hell no. So where do we get off having bases in all these foreign countries when we would never allow another military to have a base in our country? Who made us the policeman of the world?


“HE HAD THE MOST UNIQUE HANDSHAKE. HE KIND OF WINDS UP WITH IT AND THRUSTS IT DOWN. AND HE LOOKED ME IN THE EYE AND HE SAID, ‘YOU ARE A MAN OF GREAT COURAGE.’”

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GTMO should be closed immediately. In fact, Obama took away one of the things I would have done if I became president, which is opening up relations with Cuba. But I would take it one step further: I’d personally call Fidel and tell him, Within one year, you’ll get GTMO back. It’s your country, it’s your land. I don’t give a damn about some treaty of 100 years ago or 200 years ago or whatever it was.

Sure.

When I was in Cuba, Castro assigned me three of his personal bodyguards plus an interpreter, and I had my two guys from here, Ron and Tony. So I had this entourage everywhere I went. The last night in Cuba, as I did on all trade missions, be it China, Mexico or Germany, I like to go out on the town. I want to stay out as late as I can, get as tired as I can so I can get some sleep on the early flight the next morning. So my last night there, I turned to my three Cuban What was it about Fidel that so impressed you bodyguards and said, “Well, gentlemen, it’s my last night here. when you met him? It’s time for some fun. Show me Havana.” And they looked at me He looked me eye to eye. He had the most unique handshake. He puzzled and asked, “Where would you want to go?” And I said, kind of winds up with it and thrusts it down. I mean it was very “I don’t know; it’s your city.” unique. And he looked me in the eye and he said, “You are a man So they took me to the famous Tropicana. It’s a variety of great courage.” show, much like you’d get in Vegas. No nudity. They do have And I looked at him and called him Mr. President — because beautiful girls who come out and dance in their feathered he does have elections; it’s just that he’s the only candidate. native stuff. They have comedians, dinner. And as the night And I said, “Well, Mr. President, how can you say that — you went on, someone came over and whispered something to don’t know me.” And he said, “Because you defied your one of my Cuban president to come here.” And I kind bodyguards, who told of laughed and said, “You’ll find my bodyguard, who “I’D LOVE TO GO BACK, BUT I defy most everything.” And he told me, “The CIA has started laughing. ONLY IF CASTRO WOULD GIVE you under surveillance, and the Cubans want ME AN AUDIENCE AGAIN. THE It wasn’t clear how much to know if you want to ONLY THING I’D SAY TO HIM IS, lose them.” time you spent with him. And I thought, An hour. It was in this place where we ‘FIDEL, DID YOU THINK THE DAY How ironic. Here were having meetings, in a side room. WOULD COME WHERE I COULD I am in Cuba, and And I was debriefed by the CIA when the Cubans are I returned. COME TO SEE YOU FREELY?” volunteering to get Interesting side story. When 9/11 me away from the CIA happened, I called the same CIA guy so I won’t be under who was my connection [when I was surveillance. I said, “No, we’re not doing nothing wrong. Let governor]. I asked him what had happened and what I needed them watch as much as they want.” And then we continued with to know. A year later, I had a chance to talk with him again, and the night. We went to a second place, and maybe they did evade he said to me, “I found it very interesting that you were the only governor out of all 50 who bothered to call me after 9/11 to find them, because they did take a strange route. I don’t know. But getting back to the CIA debriefing, when they were all out what I knew.” done with me that day, they said, “Well, Governor, thank you, And I said, “Well, I’m the only governor who would have we appreciate your help and all your candid answers.” And I the knowledge to call you. I’m a former Navy SEAL, and said, “Are you done?” And they said, “Yup.” And I said, “Are I know the first thing you do is contact your intelligence you sure there’s nothing you want to tell me?” They said no, contacts to find out what you need to know. That’s trained so I said, “There’s something I want to tell you. I’ll leave this into us.” to your discretion; you take this where you think it needs to And so I’d had a relationship with him already. In fact, I go. Here’s my message: If you ever, ever put a tail on me again still carry his card. I figure it’s a good card to have, especially the way I’m treated now. And they asked the typical questions: and you do not tell me, you’re gonna find your tail floating in the river.” What did Castro’s health seem like, was he coherent, and this What do you think: Did that get to Cheney and Bush? Or and that. And I answered them all honestly. did it just make it to [CIA Director] Tenet? And would you like a behind-the-scenes story?

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Why do you think Bush didn’t want you to visit Cuba? Because they want you to believe the propaganda they put out on Cuba. I learned the Cuban people love the American people; they just despise our government. And I told the CIA, If you think there’s going to be a revolution, and the people are going to rise up and overthrow Castro, you’re holding your breath for nothing. I said, Those people are not going to let us win. They have too much pride; they love their country too much. And even the ones who don’t like Fidel aren’t going to do it, because that would look like the United States would control their destiny.

How did it come down that the president didn’t want you to visit Cuba? I just got a message that he wished I wouldn’t from the State Department. One guy made the statement that he hoped the governor and his entourage weren’t going down there to sample the sex trade. That was the State Department’s main man to the western hemisphere. I demanded a complete apology to me and everyone who went with me. When I returned, I had a press conference and said, “Well, I didn’t see any sex-trade industry when I was there, but perhaps next time we go we’ll bring him with us, because he obviously knows where it’s at.”

What would you say to folks, particularly in the Cuban community in Miami, about Obama’s opening up Cuba? I say to them, Relax. Wouldn’t you rather be able to go to Cuba freely? See your relatives, see the people who are there and open the country up? If the Cubans in southern Florida are under the illusion that they’re going to overthrow that government, well, it might happen in their great grandchildren’s lives, but they’re not going to be alive to see it. I’ll tell you how bad it is. When Katrina hit, Castro offered 100 doctors for free, and we turned him down. What an olive branch! Who knows more about hurricanes than Cuba? And they have the best medical talent of any country in that part of the world. We turned him down? I’d say we looked pretty bad there. And if that’s our foreign policy, we need to change it. Are you familiar with the Gallup poll earlier this year in which 3,000 people around the world were asked, “If you were to go to war against another country, who would that be?” Twenty-three percent said the United States. Second was Pakistan with 9, third was China with 6. I hang my head in shame as a veteran over that. I hang my head in shame that the rest of the world now looks at the U.S. as the military aggressor of the world.

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Will you go back to Cuba? Fidel invited me and my family to come back as his guests. I did talk to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and he just got back, and he said he had an audience with Fidel, and he said Fidel is 89 and smart as a whip. He said his children were there, and Castro spoke to them for an hour about the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, everything — educating Robert Kennedy’s kids about what went on in the turbulent sixties. And Robert told me, You should go back down. I said on my Internet show that I’d break my personal ban on flying to go to Cuba. But I want to be able to see Fidel because I think we became friends that day. When I was getting out of office here and I wasn’t seeking a second term, I got a message to go to the governor’s residence instead of my house. And I wanted to know why; it was Friday and I wanted to go home. And my chief of staff kind of whispered to me, “Cuba.” A guy showed up from the Swiss embassy, and he said, “Cuba understands you’re not seeking reelection, but Cuba wants a message delivered.” And I gotta think this was straight

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from Fidel. The message was, “Just remember, Governor: A friend of Cuba will always be a friend of Cuba’s.” I’d love to go back, but only if Castro would give me an audience again. Whether he would or not, I don’t know. But I’d like to sit down, and the only thing I’d say to him is, “Fidel, did you think the day would come where I could come to see you freely?” I’d love to deliver that message to him because to me, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara are heroes — they are not how we make them appear to be. I’ve read four books on Che, and he and Muhammad Ali are my heroes. Especially Che.

Because he’s a bad boy? No, because Che and I are very alike, because Che is a hero to the people. He may be a bad boy to the upper echelon, he may be a bad boy to the status quo, but here’s a man who believed in what he believed and had the conviction of what he did. When you see the documentary The Motorcycle Diaries, you understand how he developed his hatred for the United States while traveling through South America.


He saw indigenous people who lived on their land for hundreds of years get thrown off their land because a corporation — the United Fruit Company at that time — came in, paid off the government, threw the people off the land and offered these people pennies to work. They were almost like indentured slaves, and that’s where Che developed his hatred. And then we can transition to the great Major Gen. Smedley Butler, a two-time Medal of Honor winner and marine who wrote the book War Is a Racket. He served a hundred years ago in what they called the Banana Wars, and he said, “I didn’t serve the American people; I served the United Fruit Company.” Whenever they’d go into Central or South America, if they didn’t get cooperation, they’d send the marines in to get it. Sound familiar? Could you switch “fruit” to “oil?” Today, our military is serving major corporations, providing them what they need in terms of resources. Why do you think we hated Hugo Chávez so bad? Because he nationalized the oil in Venezuela. He said, Wait a minute; these are the natural resources of the people of Venezuela. Our government — we are fascists today. And I get in trouble when I say it, but what is fascism? Fascism is when corporate

takes over the government. And that’s what we now have here, because corporations can donate to our candidates. The corporations elect our president, not you.

How does your wife fit into the Jesse program? Is she cool with Mexico, cool with you having no cell phone and not flying? Absolutely. She married me 36 years ago. I was eccentric then, she knew what she was getting and she’s been along for the ride. And I think if you asked her, she wouldn’t regret one minute of it.

Do you look back and regret anything? Never.

Isn’t it tough to look back at 64 and not regret anything? No, because there’s nothing you can do about it. So why would you regret something you have no control over anymore? It’s water under the bridge.

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intel || profile

Play Ball How Tony Oliva rose from humble Cuban roots to become a Minnesota baseball legend. | BY JOHN ROSENGREN

M

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balls last, and after the covers had worn off, they would wrap them with tape. Oliva’s talents stood out. He could hit farther, throw harder and run faster than the others. Soon he was playing for the local team. Shortly thereafter, he was invited to play for a better team in the bigger town of Entronque de Herradura, five miles away. That led to a spot on the Los Palacios nine, another jump up in the level of competition, when he was 17. The talented youngster wasn’t thinking about playing Major League Baseball in the United States. His dream was to play professional baseball in Havana for his favorite team, the Cienfuegos Camaroneros. He worked to improve his natural talents. “I dedicated myself to play more, to practice to be good,” he says. “It’s like school; if you don’t study, you don’t get smarter.” That paid off. His Los Palacios teammate, Roberto Fernandez Tapanes, who had played minor league baseball in the United States, recommended him to Joe Cambria, the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins scout who had signed more than 400 Cuban players to contracts. Oliva impressed Cambria at a Havana tryout, and the Twins offered him a contract for $250 a month — more money than some Cuban families made in a year. That excited him, but he was unsure what his parents would think of their eldest son leaving the island. He asked Fernandez Tapanes to broach the idea with them. “They were happy,” says Oliva. “They said, ‘We want the best for our son.’” So in April 1961, the 22-year-old left home, figuring he would return after the season’s end. He and 21 other prospects got delayed for

PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVE HENKE

aybe you’ve seen him pitching Wiffle balls in a makeshift ballpark at the State Fair or talking to Twins players behind the batting cage at Target Field or at Tony O’s Cuban sandwich stand on the concourse. You may have bumped into him around town. If you’re lucky enough to be of a certain age, you saw him bat at Met Stadium, driving balls across the outfield with the powerful swing that tormented American League pitchers. Over the past half century, Tony Oliva has become a fixture of the Twin Cities community. The eight-time All-Star’s official title with the Twins these days is Minor League Hitting Instructor, but his unofficial role is team ambassador. Sitting in the Twins’ clubhouse before a game last summer, the 77-year-old, clad in a blue TC windbreaker, white baseball pants and black running shoes, reflected on the unlikely path from his humble Cuban roots to his rightful place as a Minnesota legend. Born July 20, 1938, the third of 10 children, Oliva grew up on a square-acre farm in the Pinar del Río province, where his family raised cows, pigs, chickens, oranges, mangoes, corn and tobacco. He milked cows, planted crops and developed a strong work ethic. The family of 12 lived in a three-bedroom house without electricity and plumbing. “It was crowded,” he recalls. “But you get used to it.” His father, a former baseball player, carved a diamond into their land and introduced his sons to the island nation’s favorite sport. They whittled bats from the branches of majagua trees. Sometimes their father returned from Havana with gloves and balls. They had to make those


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11 days in Mexico waiting for their visas. By the time Oliva got to the Twins’ rookie camp in Fernandina Beach, Florida, tryouts were nearly over. In the four remaining intra-squad games, he hit well but struggled in the field. The Twins simply did not have room for all the prospects, so they released him. Oliva had come to the United States to play baseball. He did not want to go home and admit failure. Worse, the Bay of Pigs fiasco had further complicated relations between his home country and his host country, making it all but impossible for him to return to Cuba. Cambria interceded on his behalf, and Oliva wound up with a rookie-league club in Wytheville, Virginia. There, he had to live in the colored section of town and walk three miles to and from the stadium. Such segregation was an indignity he hadn’t known in Cuba. He was embarrassed he didn’t know any English and afraid people would laugh at him if he tried. Someone wrote down “ham and eggs” and “fried chicken” for him, and for weeks that was what he ordered in the single restaurant that served blacks. He did well, batting .410 — the best average in all of organized baseball — but he missed his family. Mail was slow and unreliable. He communicated by the occasional telegram, which cost upward of $15. Because there was no phone on the family farm, he would make arrangements to call them at a public telephone in town, but sometimes the line for it was so long he couldn’t reach them. Unlike today, when teams teach Latin prospects English and assign mentors to school them in American ways, Oliva and his fellow Latin players had to learn to survive on their own: “Those days, they threw you in there and you had to pick it up,” he says. After two more years in the Twins’ minor-league system, Oliva earned a spot on the 1964 roster. He felt intimidated the first time he walked into the clubhouse and saw Harmon Killebrew, Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall and Camilo Pascual. “Coming from Cuba, coming from the country and getting to the Big Leagues, I didn’t know if I belonged,” he says. He quickly proved he did. In one of the most amazing debuts in MLB history, Oliva led the American League in runs scored, doubles, total bases, hits and batting average (.323). He was selected as an All-Star and named Rookie of the Year. By the time he arrived for spring training in 1965, he knew he belonged, even when he started the season slowly. “I had so much confidence that I knew I was going to finish on top,” he remembers. “I believed I could hit everybody and I could compete at this level.” He repeated as the American League batting champion, the first player in either league to start his career with two batting titles. He was an All-Star eight consecutive seasons and won another batting title in 1971 with a .337 average, the highest of his career. He quickly became a fan favorite. Oliva benefitted from the tutelage of his veteran Latin teammates: Pascual, Vic Power and Zoilo Versalles, who translated for him and taught him the nuances of American culture. His success made him miss his family back home even more. “When you succeed at something, you like to be able to share that with your family and friends,” he says, the sadness of five decades earlier still visible in his face. “I wasn’t able to do that.” A decade after leaving Cuba, he finally saw his mother and sister Felicia in Mexico, where he played winter ball during the 1971-1972 season. He was able to introduce them to his wife, Gordette, a South Dakota native he had met when she asked him for an autograph. Married in 1968, they had had the first two of their three children by that time. The following winter, his father and Felicia traveled to Mexico

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and returned with Oliva to the United States for five months. Those were joyful reunions. Later in 1972, he returned to Cuba for the first time in 11 years. He had left a young man and came home a seasoned baseball hero. More than 100 friends and family members gathered at the farm to greet him. “When I touched the ground, I felt like I was walking on the air,” he recalls. He went back again in 1981 and then in 1986. More recently, he has been able to travel home with greater ease and frequency. Though his salary in the days prior to free agency and during Calvin Griffith’s notorious penny-pinching ownership topped out at $105,000, Oliva sent money home whenever he could. Over the years, he bought eight homes for his parents and siblings. “To be able to play ball and get $250 a month and be able to help my family — that was a big deal,” he says. Strained relations between the United States and Cuba worked against Oliva’s brother Juan Carlos, who pitched 10 years for the Cuban national team. Oliva thinks his younger sibling had the talent to pitch in the major leagues, but he never got the chance. Knee injuries hampered Oliva throughout his career, and though the implementation of the designated hitter rule in 1973 extended his playing days, he never batted above .300 in a full season after winning his third batting title. Still, when he retired after the 1976 season, he had a .304 lifetime batting average. Would he do it all over again? No, says Oliva. Had he known he would not be able to return to Cuba and see his family for so long, he never would have signed with the Twins. He would have stayed and fulfilled his dream to play for the Cuban national team. “I did not know anything different,” he says. “I was happy. In those days, the best for me was right there.” But he is content with the way his life has played out and grateful for all that baseball has given him. “I want to say ‘thank you’ to the fans for being so nice to me,” he says. “I still hear from a lot of them. That’s the best thing — that they will never forget you.”


intel || experience

Home Turf What I know about Tony-O. | BY FRANK ROFFERS

L

ast May, I was watching the Twins smash the Oakland Athletics when I noticed baseball legend Tony Oliva across the way and worked up enough nerve to talk to him. Like a shy kid asking for an autograph, I managed to choke out, “Mr. Oliva, I just wanted to meet you and let you know I’m going to Cuba next week.” And that was it. He flashed his famous gold-toothed smile and patted the empty seat next to him. I sat, and he regaled me with wonderful stories about his career and life, never taking his eye off the action on the diamond. Then, toward the end of the game, he asked a question I wasn’t expecting: Would I be willing to bring some things to his family in Cuba? A week later, I was on my way to Pinar del Río province, on the far western tip of the island. On the seat next to me: a blue Twins duffel filled with new tennis shoes, baseballs, and several $100 bills wrapped in a tight rubber band. Though he never advertises it, this is quintessential Oliva. The eight-time All-Star lives modestly in a Twin Cities suburb and bought houses in Cuba for all his siblings. In Consolación del Sur, I was honored to meet Tony’s brother, Juan Carlos, his sister Adela, and Juan Carlos’ wife, Chirino. We had our language difficulties, but they were exceptionally warm and inviting. They showed me their new pond for raising fish. They had me try on a Pinar del Río baseball jersey. They fed me pulled pork and rice and beans, and handed out cold bottles of Cerveza Cristal. We took a little trip into town to see a museum with Tony’s picture on the wall. Being with Juan Carlos punctuated for me how much was lost during the strained years of the Cold War. He is massive, with hands three times the size of mine. A left-handed pitcher who dominated the Cuban national team for a decade, he never got the chance to play for the majors like his brother. Same thing for Tony’s younger brother, Reynaldo, said to be an inspiring right-handed hitter in his day. Baseball lost out, and families were separated for decades. When I showed Adela my copy of the new Tony Oliva autobiography by Thom Henninger, she started crying and kissed the cover, with its picture of Tony as a bright young prospect in the early 1960s. I realized this is how she must remember him. She was just 9 when a talent scout gave their parents $250 and her brother left home and didn’t visit for 11 years. Now that the frost of the Cold War is melting away, Tony goes to Cuba almost every year. But he still teared up when I showed him videos of his family, photos of his homeland and a gift from Juan Carlos: a fat bundle of hand-rolled Cuban cigars, tied with a black satin ribbon.

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intel || essay

MY CUBAN MISA D V E N T URE N I N E T E E N YE A R S A G O , I W E N T T O H AVA NA W I TH M Y B OYF R I E N D . I T WA S A PE R F E C T LY M A G I CA L T R I P. TH A T I S , U N T I L W E G O T CA U GH T. |

I

BY JILL ROFFERS, AS TOLD TO ALYSSA FORD

’m not a rule breaker. If anything, I’m a rule follower. Case in point: I’ve gotten a single speeding ticket in my whole life, and I paid it on time with a nearly ridiculous amount of contrition. And yet, on St. Patrick’s Day 1997, I was detained at the Memphis International Airport. I had my passport confiscated. I was accused of violating the Trading with the Enemy Act, a serious federal offense that can levy a fine of up to $250,000. But all that was later. First I had to fall in love. It started three months before. I get a phone call from this guy I had no recollection of meeting. He tells me he’s a friend of a friend and that he’s just moved back into the Twin Cities from Denver, and he was just wondering: Did I want to grab a drink sometime?

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I didn’t. I really didn’t. I mean, seriously, how random. But I’m the kind of girl who doesn’t want to offend anyone, even friends of friends who call on the phone. I’m almost irrationally nice that way. On the evening of the scheduled date, I called up one of my friends and complained about having to go. I told her, “You watch. I’ll be back home in an hour.” But I wasn’t back in an hour. I didn’t come home for more than three hours. Frank and I sat at the bar at Runyon’s, and we drank wine and talked, and the hours passed in a beat. I liked how intensely present he was, how carefully he listened. And I liked his flash, too: his white Saab convertible, his business card that said Vice President of Business Development. The next day, he went on a work trip to Puerto Rico and called me from


the island, which I found exciting and exotic. Things got intense very fast. He took me to see shows at the State Theatre. He booked us tables at romantic restaurants. He was flattering, too, but never in an ironic or self-conscious way. One night, he got pulled over for swerving and told the cop, with unblinking sincerity,

covered in tiny white porcelain tiles. The city was more than I imagined: the architecture, the ancient cars, the pastel colors on the buildings washed in Caribbean light. Frank was completely in his element. One afternoon, he took us to a little open-air cafe where a woman was crooning love songs as people drank Havana Club from tall glasses. Another night, we took dinner in a Cuban family’s wood-framed home, with a single bare bulb hanging from AS MUCH AS I’VE ALWAYS PRIDED MYSELF ON the ceiling. They served us beans and rice and plantains, and there was a MY FASTIDIOUS RULE FOLLOWING, THERE WAS picture of JFK on the wall. Frank wanted to know S O M E T H I N G E X C I T I N G A B O U T B E I N G S O M E W H E R E everything about the cigars, so we went on a self-devised cigar-making I WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE. tour to Romeo y Julieta, La Corona, and Partagas. He took us to a cabaret show at the Tropicana. We “Wouldn’t you swerve, too, if walked for miles. And I was you were sitting next to her?” completely in love — with We were on our third date the city, with Frank, with when he pushed a cocktail napkin all of it. across the table. “Write down And I’ll admit it: As where you want to go on our first much as I’ve always long weekend,” he said. I wrote prided myself on my down the usual sort of places: fastidious rule following, Chicago. Charleston. Napa. there was something Then he pushed his own exciting about being napkin across to me with a single somewhere I was not word: HAVANA. I looked up. supposed to be. Sure, it “Wait,” I said. “Isn’t that illegal?” was kind of illegal-lite, “Well, yeah, technically,” he like picking bluebonnets said. “But I’ve been there before.” in Texas or ripping off a And so, that was it. He made mattress tag or jaywalking all the arrangements through a across an empty street. Canadian travel agency. We flew But still — exciting. into Cancun from Minneapolis. When it was over, we From the moment we got on the were back in Mexico, and first plane, we were completely it was plain that we had punch-drunk for each other. We been on a very different giggled over the name of the nail kind of trip. Here was the polish on my freshly pedicured Cancun crowd, in their toes, My Auntie Drinks Chianti. I Carlos’n Charlie’s hats think the other passengers were and blistered sunburns, about to kill us. gringos who had spent From Cancun, we took a their days drinking wheezing Cubana turboprop. frozen margaritas out of The Freon blew so plentifully yard-long neon glasses. from the overhead vents that We were feeling pretty we could hardly see each other through the chilly fog. And smug, pretty sophisticated. That is, until we were firmly then we landed in Havana. Frank booked us a room at the asked to step out of the line at customs at the Memphis Hotel Nacional, a classic old place on the ocean built in airport. Then it was the Cancuners’ turn to look at us 1930 as a copycat of the Breakers Palm Beach. There was no and feel smug. They whispered together in their Señor TV, not even a little black-and-white set. The bathroom was Frog’s T-shirts.

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A customs official took us to a room with a stainless-steel table and started in on the questions. “Where did you travel to?” “Mexico,” said Frank. “Only Mexico?” asked the customs official. “Yes.” “Are you sure?” “Yes.” “Then you don’t mind if we go through your luggage?” “Be my guest.” The customs official gave Frank’s luggage a thorough working-over, but he didn’t find so much as a cigar stub. That’s when I started whimpering softly. Before the trip, Frank had told me not to bring back any souvenirs. “We’re only going to bring back our memories,” he had said. But then we were there, and it was so beautiful, and it wasn’t really all that illegal to be in Cuba, right? The customs official reached for my bag, and that’s when I put my face in my hands. And out came all my little souvenirs: the stationery from the Hotel Nacional, the Dunhill cigarettes in their metal tin, the Cuban gum.

THE CUSTOMS OFFICIAL REACHED FOR MY BAG, AND THAT’S WHEN I PUT MY FACE IN MY HANDS. The customs guy, in his hateful Memphis drawl, pulled out the bag of Cuban coffee I bought for my parents and shook it accusingly.

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“So you haven’t been in Cuba, huh?” he said. Then he took out a cartoonishly large pocketknife and slammed it into the heart of my Cuban coffee. The coffee beans scattered across the table, rattling angrily onto the floor. That was when I lost it — sobbing, shoulders shaking, the whole bit. The customs official kept on: “You’re in a whole heap of trouble,” he said. “Do you realize that you’ve violated the Trading with the Enemy Act? We’re going to have to contact the State Department, and we’re confiscating your passports.” They marched us to another sterile room with another stainless-steel table. Only this time, they locked the door. After making us sweat for three hours, an official came in and told us we could fly back to Minneapolis, but we would be hearing more about this and we wouldn’t be getting our passports back. We had to run to make the last flight. When we landed, Frank attempted a little levity. “Hey,” he said. “It’s still St. Patrick’s Day. Do you want to go get a drink?” I wasn’t having any of it. “I’m not Irish,” I replied. The next day, two men in suits arrived at Frank’s office and served him for violating the Trading with the Enemy Act. I got an intimidating packet, too, which laid out the fine I was expected to pay: $15,000. It might as well have been $500,000. Frank, in his usual way, started asking around. He got the name of a woman, Sandra Levinson, who ran the cultural exchange between the United States and Cuba. She directed us to the Center for Constitutional Rights in Washington, D.C., which took on our case pro bono, arguing that the very heart of the Trading with the Enemy Act kicks at the constitutional right to free travel. We stayed in limbo for 18 long months, until a plain manila envelope arrived in the mail one day with our passports inside. No return address, no official letter — just two passports, passive-aggressively shoved into an envelope. In a way, the Cuba experience was a good trial run for what life with Frank would be like: risk, adventure, top-shelf dinner-party stories. Being with Frank has helped me ease up on the rule following, but I still want my parents to see me as a good kid. Which is why, 19 years after the fact, I still haven’t told them that I almost got slapped with a felony for trading with the enemy. So Mom, Dad, if you’re reading this — well, just give me a call, OK?


“IN OR D E R T O W R I TE AB O U T LI F E F I R ST Y OU MU S T LI VE I T. ”

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBIN THOM / INSIGHTCUBA

– ERNEST HEMINGWAY

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Delft Touch 1

Porcelain-inspired finds from International Market Square. |

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PORCELAIN PURSUIT Printed cotton Macao fabric by Pierre Frey in bleu de chine, Holly Hunt, IMS Suite 234, 612-332-1900, hollyhunt.com, $390 per yard

2 CHINOISERIE CHIC Petersham dining chair by Fauld England, Francis King Ltd., IMS Suite 465, 612-604-0033, francisking.com, $2,083

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GREAT WALL Tea House Collection Cut Paper wallpaper by Thibaut, AJ Maison, IMS Suite 211, 612-339-1747, aj-maison.com, $44 per roll


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COLLECTOR’S CACHE Jardin Bleu fabric by Manuel Canovas in indigo, KDR Designer Showrooms, IMS Suite 408, 612-332-0402, kdrshowrooms.com, $292 per yard

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GO DUTCH Hand-painted scalloped sink basin and knob set in delft pattern by Sherle Wagner, Fantasia Showrooms, IMS Suite 102, 612-338-5811, fantasiatileandstone.com, $2,969 for sink, $3,356 for knob set

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Minneapolis Mediterranean Designer Billy Beson imbues a condo with old-world elegance. | BY MARGUERITE HAPPE

T

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college, the Bernardis transitioned from their Eden Prairie home to a condo at the Ivy Residences — the ideal blank canvas to create their dream home. Inspired by Luigi’s ancestral Italy, the Mediterranean concept challenged Beson and his team to craft a space that could house the Bernardis’ breathtaking artwork and antiquities without compromising contemporary detail or functionality. They knocked down walls to create an entirely open floor plan, incorporating former hallways into spacious rooms and organic architecture. The kitchen — inspired by a passion for cooking inherited from Nicole’s father, who studied at Switzerland’s Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne — perfectly embodies the delicate blend of old and new that characterizes much of

the residence. “The open floor plan exposes the drop-dead gorgeous space, so the kitchen had to fit that visually,” Beson explains. Elegant, black Cambria countertops are highlighted with gold metallic pieces that complement the high-gloss Macassar ebony cabinets from Peter Allen Co. Traditional pendants are eschewed in favor of sparkling LED chandeliers, and recessed lighting provides a warm glow in the evenings. When the project was finally revealed, Nicole burst into tears in each room during the walkthrough of their new home. “There’s no better payoff than pleasing someone in that way,” Beson muses. “It’s about hitting the nail on the head, showing people that they can live in a space they’re in love with every single day.”

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ADAN TORRES

ales of interior designer–client synergy certainly exist, but the symbiosis between designer Billy Beson and homeowners Luigi and Nicole Bernardi was unusual. “The team knew instinctively what we wanted, even from the first meeting,” recalls Nicole. “When we first met Billy, I was wearing a black dress with a distinctively colored cashmere sweater. We began laughing immediately: He had already begun picking fabrics for treatments in that exact color. It was uncanny.” “The joyous part of this project is that they were young parents who raised a family in the suburbs, and so they truly wanted to create this condo for themselves,” Beson explains. After sending their youngest child off to


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Simplify and Organize Your Financial Life Call Our Financial Care Concierge 952.593.1356 I have gained a much better understanding of my finances. Thanks to ARG, I am more confident in making decisions that impact my finances.

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495 Summit Avenue , Saint Paul 4 Bedroom, 5 Bath | $1,379,000 • • • • • •

6,948 Sq. Ft. Built In 1881 Historic Charm With Brand-New Modern Updates Beautiful Modern Kitchen; En Suite Baths Gorgeous Outdoor Spaces Fully Renovated Separate Rentable Carriage House

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1120 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis 4 Bedroom, 6 Bath | $3,500,000 • • • • • •

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6,196 Sq. Ft. Situated On A Picturesque 5.5 Acres Custom Built By Hendel Homes In 2011 Interior design by Martha O’Hara Interiors Finely Crafted With A Modern Twist Award Winning Orono School District

H O R N I G A N D R E G A N .C O M


home || design

All in the Family A Lake Minnetonka home offers the perfect backdrop for making memories. | BY ELIZABETH FOY LARSEN

W

hen Anne and Perry Schmidt built their dream house overlooking Lake Minnetonka’s Wayzata Bay, their top priority was creating the kind of comfortable, welcoming home where their three daughters and son would one day want to return with their own families. “When we began the process of designing this house, we thought about the size of our family and knew it would be a wonderful place to make memories,” says Anne, who with her husband leads the Minnesota chapter of Folds of Honor, a nonprofit providing scholarships to the spouses and children of military service members disabled or killed in action. To create the relaxed Hamptons-inspired ambiance they craved, the homeowners turned to Annie Graunke, an interior designer and partner with Studio M Interiors. From the start, she collaborated with architect Peter Eskuche of Eskuche Design on the details — including cabinetry, millwork and crown molding — that serve as the backbone of the home’s personality. “We were able to meet with the clients early in the process, which made it easier to accommodate their goals,” says Graunke. High on the wish list was capturing the magnificent vistas of Lake Minnetonka. The owners also wanted a first-floor master bedroom to allow for aging in place as well as a hearth room off the kitchen to accommodate large groups. “Entertaining became a larger component when we started the Minnesota chapter of Folds of Honor,” says Anne. “It has become a place where many are welcome and all feel at home.” Graunke started with a beautiful gray sofa Anne wanted to bring from their previous home. It became the anchor for the main floor’s palette of grays, creams, whites and splashes of yellow. To accommodate the family’s active lifestyle, the designer chose easy-to-maintain surfaces and employed Sunbrella fabrics on heavily used furnishings. While Graunke enjoyed every stage of the project, her favorite aspect was putting it all together while the Schmidts were on vacation. She and her colleagues sweated over every detail, from arranging furniture to hanging art to placing Perry’s golf-ball collection in a custom-built cabinet. The grand reveal was the stuff of reality-TV shows: “It was such an emotional day,” says the designer. “It really is their dream house.”

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY SCOTT AMUNDSON

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A sampling of what’s

I NSI DE I M S

International Market Square 275 Market Street, Suite 700 | Minneapolis, MN 55405 imsdesigncenter.com


INSI DE IMS Contract Flooring Final .pdf

8

11/13/15

10:06 AM

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CONTRACT FLOORING STOP BY & GET FLOORED

RENOVATIONS | NEW CONSTRUCTION | HISTORIC HOMES RLHSTUDIO.COM | 612.367.8215

International Market Square | Suite 436

ContractFlooringINC.com | 612-339-3236

partners4design

Gilbertson Photography

kitchen, bath creation and restoration partners4design.com 612.927.4444

International Market Square 275 Market Street, Suite 700 | Minneapolis, MN 55405 imsdesigncenter.com


A B C

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AIA Minnesota AIGA Minnesota AJ Maison American Society of Interior Designers, MN Chapter - ASID MN Amsum & Ash Andrea Home Architecture Minnesota Magazine Art Resources Gallery Aubry-Angelo, Ltd Aulik & Associates

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Bahir Custom Lighting and Decor Baker Furniture Banana Shull Interior Design Belle Design Build Benjamin Moore Billy Beson Company Blended Blue Bolier & Company Borgert Products, Inc. Brass Handle Bruce Kading Interior Design

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Cambria Carol Belz & Associates, Inc. Carol Chaffee Lighting Design Casual Contract, Inc. Ceramic Tileworks, Inc. Charles Ray & Associates Cheryl Kelsey Interior Design, Inc. Chester Hoffmann and Associates, Inc. Collection on 5 Contemporary Blind Design Contemporary Furnishings by Granby Contract Flooring & Furnishings CS media D’Amico Catering Deering & Associates, Ltd. Design By Lisa Designs by Martina Design Professionals, Inc. Diane Lumpkin Design DOM MINNEAPOLIS + VALCUCINE Doncaster Dreamstructure DesignBuild Edman Hill Interior Design Embellishments Design Studio Exosite

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Fabricut Fantasia Showrooms Farmers Insurance, Indred Alexander Agency, LLC Fiber-Seal of Minnesota, Inc. Fiddlehead Design Group Firm Ground Architects and Engineers, Inc. Foldcraft Co. Francis King Ltd. Francois & Co. FUSE

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Gayle Crummer Interior Design Gigi Olive Interiors, LLC Gruen Agency H.I. Gallery H.I. Mirrors H.J. Martinson Interiors Inc. Helen Fraser and Associates Hickory Chair Showroom at Rabbit Creek Hiro Fine Art Hoffsommer et Cie Holly Hunt HousingLink Hoyt Properties Inc. Hue Interiors Imagine That Kitchens + Baths IMS Management Offices Infinite Group Ltd Inspired By Design, LLC International Furnishings & Design Association (IFDA) Minnesota INTERSOURCE, Inc. InUnison Design ItalianHome-Bentavo J Korsbon Designs Jada Studios Jeanne Blenkush Design Jennifer Austin - McGrath/Fine House John Deering Theater Design, Inc. John Lassila & Associates, Ltd. Joy Robichaud & Associates JULIE DASHER RUGS Karen Keenan Interior Design KDR Designer Showrooms Kipling House Interiors KK Lewis Insurance Knobbery MSP LLC Kravet Kubes Law Office, PLLC L. Paulson Interior Design Lee Jofa Legacy Looms LiLu Interiors Inc. Loring Interiors Lucy Interior Design Mark Suess Market Square Bistro by D’Amico Market Street Dermatology Michal Crosby Interiors ASID Midwest Plant Works, Inc. MillerRossom Minnesota Tile & Stone Moai Technologies Muldowney Interiors Nancy Curry Interiors, Inc. National Association of the Remodeling Industry - MN Chapter

Natural Bed+Home/COCO-MAT Niosi Design North Star Kitchens

P Q R S

T U V W Z

International Market Square 275 Market Street, Suite 700 | Minneapolis, MN 55405 imsdesigncenter.com

Partners 4, Design Patty Isabella Paul Swindlehurst Interior Design, LLC Peloquin Design Peterson’s Entertainment Designs, Inc. PIECE Pindler PreciouStatus Quigley Architects Rauscher & Associates REMWHIRL Renae Keller Interior Design RLH Studio Robert Sidenberg, Inc. RRM Financial Services, Inc. dba FiOp Russell Herder Inc. Sawhill Custom Kitchens & Design, Inc. Scherping Westphal Schumacher Sean Moore Designs Shades on Lake Shadowfalls Design Group Shel-Bea’s Deli - General Store Shirley Bolduc Interior Design Southview Design St. Catherine University Interior Design Program Suzanne Goodwin & Associates, LLC Swan Architecture Tapis Decor The Sale Room @ IMS The Sale Room ANNEX Three North Agency Trendium Trestle Custom Homes TruScribe Twisted Elements, Inc. UBM Catersource Unique by Design, Ltd. Uson Design Solutions Visual Comfort and Company Gallery at Rabbit Creek VisualArts Ltd. Vujovich Design Build, Inc. W D Design Weinberg & Erickson LLC Winston Drafting Service Wisteria Design Studio, Ltd. Woven Arts Zachary Ltd. Zydeco Design


The Visual Comfort & Co. Gallery at Rabbit Creek International Market Square, Suite 366 | 612.584.4000 AUBREY TABLE LAMP BY AERIN

CUSTOM CRAFTSMANSHIP FOR MORE THAN 100 YEARS Featuring The MARIETTE HIMES GOMEZ Collection

THE HICKORY CHAIR SHOWROOM INTERNATIONAL MARKET SQUARE, SUITE 363 612-354-7102


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TH E

PROP ER T Y G ALL ER Y A selection of properties within Minnesota and Wisconsin presented by Lakes Sotheby’s International Realty

EDINA 3217L Galleria Lower level near Barnes & Noble

WAYZATA 202 Superior Boulevard The Promenade

VISIT lakessothebysrealty.com

Property offered by Smith + Roffers. See page 184.

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4628 BROWNDALE AVENUE, EDINA

Country Club Classic Exceptional Country Club home with gourmet kitchen, dark stained hardwoods, main-floor family room and renovated lower level. Walk to all the amenities at 50th & France. BEDROOMS: 4 BATHROOMS: 5 $1,195,000

SMITH + ROFFERS 952-237-1100 FRANK.ROFFERS @LAKESMN.COM

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1724 COLFAX AVENUE MINNEAPOLIS Rare newer home in Lowry Hill. Elevated property with stunning views of Thomas Lowry Park and the downtown Minneapolis skyline. Enjoy the third-floor rooftop terrace, first-class home theater and full master suite. A timeless Victorian-style home built with energy-efficient and green building techniques. LEED silver-certified home by U.S. Green Building Council. BEDROOMS: 4 BATHROOMS: 6 $2,650,000

ADAM FONDA 612-308-5008 ADAM.FONDA @LAKESMN.COM

18401 9TH AVENUE N. PLYMOUTH Just minutes to downtown Wayzata! Stunning, new-construction model rambler in private Rusten Wood on Hadley Lake features a thoughtful open layout highlighted by architectural elements, luxury finishes, impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail. Main-level living | Large entertainment spaces | 4,200 square feet | Barrel vault ceiling | Multiple decks and patios | Gourmet kitchen | Deeded lake access BEDROOMS: 4 BATHROOMS: 3.5 $1,545,000

MALLORY BUSACKER, BOHLAND TEAM 612-799-3157 MALLORY @BOHLANDDEVELOPMENT.COM

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6651 HORSESHOE CURVE, CHANHASSEN

Lotus Lake Contemporary Non-MLS Christian Dean窶電esigned home on Lotus Lake combining efficiency and simplicity. Large windows and soaring ceilings maximize the views from every room. A three-season porch with fireplace is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of the lake. A full walkout lower level was designed to enjoy lake life to the fullest. BEDROOMS: 4 BATHROOMS: 4 PRICE UPON REQUEST

Property video available at SmithandRoffers.com.

SMITH + ROFFERS 612-867-5667 JACOB.SMITH @LAKESMN.COM

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9547 SKY LANE EDEN PRAIRIE Custom-built home with great care and detail by Swanson Homes. Designed with a Craftsman-style touch and perfect for entertaining. Walk out to the spacious, private backyard ideal for a pool. Enjoy trails and nature out your back door! BEDROOMS: 5 BATHROOMS: 5 $1,199,900

ROBERTS & DOWNING 952-270-5370 ROBIN.ROBERTS @LAKESMN.COM

16918 STRATUS COURT EDEN PRAIRIE Exquisite family home set in the beautiful, historic Big Woods offering indoor sport court, exercise room, billiards, full-service bar, three-season porch with fireplace, formal and informal dining, Jack-and-Jill bath, and junior suite. BEDROOMS: 5 BATHROOMS: 5 $1,398,000

ROBERTS & DOWNING 952-270-5370 ROBIN.ROBERTS @LAKESMN.COM

10315 RIVERVIEW ROAD EDEN PRAIRIE Magnificent estate property on the Minnesota River with 700 feet of frontage. This private, 19.5-acre lot with mature trees, meandering creek and restored prairie oak savannah is the perfect place to build your dream home. Amazing views and wildlife! $2,500,000

JIM SCHWARZ 612-251-7201 JIM.SCHWARZ @SOTHEBYSREALTY.COM

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10659 CAVALLO RIDGE EDEN PRAIRIE Beautiful to-be-built home from three-time Builder of the Year John Kraemer & Sons and architect Charlie & Co. in the gated community of Bellerieve, a small enclave of custom-built homes overlooking the Minnesota River Valley. Only three lots remain. BEDROOMS: 4 BATHROOMS: 5 $2,995,000

JIM SCHWARZ & SCOTT STABECK 612-251-7201 JIM.SCHWARZ @SOTHEBYSREALTY.COM

875 LAKE STREET N., #310 WAYZATA Regatta luxury condominium. Corner unit with southeast views. 2,170 finished square feet. Open floor plan. Upgraded appliances, custom cabinetry, two-sided stone fireplace. Large master bedroom with generously sized closet. Walkability to downtown Wayzata. BEDROOMS: 3 BATHROOMS: 3 $1,395,000

VIRGINIA ANTONY 763-258-9999 VIRGINIA.ANTONY @LAKESMN.COM

151 BIRCH LANE W. WAYZATA East Coast charm in this timeless classic located in Wayzata Highlands. Well-appointed. Gourmet eat-in kitchen. Upper level with spacious five bedrooms, four bathrooms and laundry room. Large, fenced-in yard with patio, deck and fire pit. Walkability to downtown Wayzata. BEDROOMS: 5 BATHROOMS: 5

$1,199,000

VIRGINIA ANTONY 763-258-9999 VIRGINIA.ANTONY @LAKESMN.COM

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649 FERNDALE ROAD W. WAYZATA Unparalleled private setting just a short walk to downtown Wayzata. Rare three-acre Ferndale estate surrounded by 42 acres of Nature Conservancy land. Classic 1940s New England Colonial five-bedroom main house with traditional details and 360-degree views. Additional two-bedroom guest house was fully remodeled in 2015, plus additional garage. Lake access. Choice of Orono or Wayzata schools. BEDROOMS: 5 BATHROOMS: 5 $2,099,000

DEBBIE MCNALLY GROUP 612-388-1790 DEBBIE.MCNALLY @LAKESMN.COM

387 ORONO ORCHARD ROAD S. ORONO Exceptionally private 16-acre executive estate set on rolling, park-like grounds with pond and mature, manicured trees. Adjacent to the Luce Line and Dakota Trail, and minutes to Wayzata, Wayzata Country Club and Minneapolis. The house was designed by Martha Yunker and built by Yerigan. Exterior features stone trim, vaulted ceilings flow through the interior, and beautiful red oak wood floors are featured throughout the home. BEDROOMS: 6 BATHROOMS: 7 $3,875,000

DEBBIE MCNALLY GROUP 612-388-1790 DEBBIE.MCNALLY @LAKESMN.COM

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2607 W. LAFAYETTE ROAD ORONO A rare opportunity to own an architecturally significant estate on 90 feet of the quiet western shore of Lafayette Bay. This mid-century modern home was designed by Minneapolis architect Martin D. Grady. Open spaces and walls of glass overlook the lake. BEDROOMS: 4 BATHROOMS: 3 $1,395,000

TOM MCGLYNN 612-751-2519 TOM.MCGLYNN @LAKESMN.COM

425 OLD CRYSTAL BAY ROAD ORONO Wonderful opportunity to own almost eight acres in prime Orono location. Centrally located and just one mile to school. Property could be subdivided with a preliminary plat showing three lots. Home is a charming updated farmhouse with a small barn. BEDROOMS: 3 BATHROOMS: 3 $899,900

BELLE DAVENPORT 952-240-9374 BELLE.DAVENPORT @LAKESMN.COM

1155 COVE CIRCLE MINNETRISTA Completed new construction with 180 feet of shoreline on Lake Minnetonka. Classic sophistication and attention to detail throughout. Quiet cul-de-sac location in Jennings Cove neighborhood. BEDROOMS: 4 BATHROOMS: 5 $1,550,000

ADAM FONDA 612-308-5008 ADAM.FONDA @LAKESMN.COM

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2530 FOX STREET ORONO With a mix of color and texture including wood, iron, marble, leather and stone, this home embodies the soul of French and Italian design. There is a balance of elegance and ease. It is sophisticated and gracious, yet relaxed and inviting. Come home to Fox Street and enjoy the countryside that is just 25 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and 10 minutes away from Wayzata, with its fine eateries and shops. BEDROOMS: 4 BATHROOMS: 5 PRICE UPON REQUEST

KATHLEEN FOWKE + RYAN WEBER 612-559-0974 KATHLEEN.FOWKE @LAKESMN.COM

2223 HARDWOOD COURT SW ROCHESTER This exquisite, all-brick home can be yours. Nestled among large trees and quietly placed on a cul-de-sac. As you enter this lovely home, you will be greeted by an enchanting staircase with spectacular attention to detail. Beautiful, handcrafted dentil molding is a fine point that should not be missed. The warmth of this home is felt throughout every room. Dramatic touches speak to the gracefulness. BEDROOMS: 4 BATHROOMS: 6 PRICE UPON REQUEST

KATHLEEN FOWKE + RYAN WEBER 612-559-0974 KATHLEEN.FOWKE @LAKESMN.COM

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205 GLENMONT ROAD TROY TOWNSHIP, WISCONSIN

Once in a Lifetime This is the one you dream about: the preeminent opportunity on the St. Croix River. This magnificent, gated estate sits on 27 private, wooded acres, with 443 feet of hard sand beach. Truly inspired open spaces capture panoramic views of the river and amazing sunsets. The construction is remarkable; the quality and attention to detail are world-class. Nothing was missed! Just 45 minutes to the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport, this outstanding property is perfect for a residence or retreat. Attached two-car garage and detached, heated, four-car garage are perfect for the car enthusiast. Sport court for tennis and basketball. BEDROOMS: 4 BATHROOMS: 6 $3,995,000

MIKE LYNCH 612-619-8227 MIKE.LYNCH @LAKESMN.COM

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At Tradition Capital Bank, we know you didn’t get to be where you are by letting someone else take the wheel. So with you in command, we’ll help you navigate all your financial complexities. We’re banking, refined.

TRADITIONCAPITALBANK.COM

MEMBER FDIC © 2015 TRADITION CAPITAL BANK. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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Advertisers Index 6Smith, 82 Abitare Design Studio, 75 Accounting Resource Group, 172 ALL Inc., 44 Ampersand Shops, 58 Amy E. Haglin Interior Design, 172 Art Resources Gallery, 76 Artful Living Digital, 195 Artful Living Events, 156–157 Artisan Home Tour, 206 Aulik & Associates, 227 Belle Design + Build, 37 Bluefin Bay, 74 BohLand Development, 85 Borgert, 169 Borton Volvo, 83 Bruce Kading Interior Design, 209 Calhoun Beach Club, 209 Charles Cudd DeNovo, 121 Charles R. Stinson Architecture + Design, 21 City Clubs, 77 Commercial Furniture Services, 222 Continental Diamond, 4–5 Cos Bar, 56 Crown Royal, 2–3 Crutchfield Dermatology, 19 David Heide Design Studio, 85 Delta, 112 Denali Homes, 205 Destiny Homes, 66 Douglas Flanders & Associates, 205 Earthscape Stoneworks, 168 Eminent Interior Design, 226 Erickson Outdoor Lighting, 87 Erotas Building Corporation, 76 Eskuche Design, 221 Executive Health Care, 42 Feldmann Imports, 15 Filament Lighting and Home, 213 Gabberts Design Studio and Fine Furniture, 43 Galleria, 6–7 Geoffrey Serdar, Lakes Sotheby’s International Realty, 110 Gianni’s Steakhouse, 50 Hagstrom Builder, 12–13 Heidi Libera, 150 Hendel Homes, 29 Hickory Chair, 179

Hornig & Associates, Lakes Sotheby’s International Realty, 173 IDC Automatic, 150 Indulge & Bloom, 111 International Market Square, 176–178 InVision Distinctive Eyewear, 164 Ispiri, 35 iWare, 90 Jaguar of Minneapolis, inside front cover, 1 James Hardie, 27 Janisch Realty, 109 JB Hudson Jewelers, 17 JLR Classics, 192 John Kraemer & Sons, inside back cover Juut Salonspa, 81 Kaskaid Hospitality, 53, 226 Kathleen Fowke, Lakes Sotheby’s International Realty, 126 KBI Design Studios, 57 KDR Designer Showrooms, 93 Keenan & Sveiven Landscape Architecture, 92 Kitchi Gammi Club, 213 Kolbe Windows, 55 Korta Katarina Winery, 214 Kowalski’s Markets, 161 L.A. Rockler Fur Company, 65 Land Rover of Minneapolis, inside front cover, 1 Lappin Lighting, 90 Lecy Bros. Homes & Remodeling, 135 Lexus of Maplewood & Wayzata, 39 LiLu Interiors, 63 Liquor Boy, 110 Luther Luxury, 108 Mark Parrish, Lakes Sotheby’s International Realty, 135 Mark Suess, 106 Martha O’Hara Interiors, 162 Martin Patrick 3, 25 Max’s, 42 Melly, 57 Merilou Boutique, 73 Merrill Lynch, 75 Mingle Showroom, 49 Minneapolis Club, 64 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 203 Minnetonka Travel, 73 Morrie’s, 30

Nancy Norling, DDS, 48 Nash Frame Design, 141 Niccum Docks, 204 Nor-Son, 32 Outdoor Excapes, 106 Paladin, 141 Parasole Restaurant Holdings, 41 Prestige Pools, 193 Prestige Wine & Spirits Group, 151 Private Jet Solutions, 91 R.F. Moeller, 36 Ramsey Engler Ltd., 86 Residential Technology Systems, 212 ReVamp! Salon Spa, 203 Roam Interiors, 28 Robert Foote Jeweler, 65 Sanctuary Salonspa, 109 Scheherazade Jewelers, 10–11 Shaughnessy Flooring, 86 Smith + Roffers, Lakes Sotheby’s International Realty, Cuba back cover Spectacle Shoppe, 120 Spell Estate, 50 Steele Fitness, 8–9 Stephanie’s, 67 Streeter & Associates, 23 Swan Architecture, 165 Talla Skogmo Interior Design, 92 The Love Architects, 134 Thompson Chicago, 68 TopShelf, Inc., 67 Total Luxury Limo, 126 Tradition Capital Bank, 191 Twist Interior Design, 164 Twisted Elements, 120 U.S. Bank, 94 Union Place, Home Entertainment & Design, 127 Urban Eatery, 203 Vinter Ball, 54 Visual Comfort & Co., 179 Vujovich Design Build, 223 Warners’ Stellian, 31 Watermark Title, 193 Wells Fargo Mortgage, 196 West Ridge Farms, 107 White Crane Construction, 169 Windmiller Distinctive Dentistry, 140 Wixon Jewelers, back cover Yardscapes, 54


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Trim size: 10 x 12 Print Ad Coated

ADVENTURE 198 THE NORTH

207 TREK

210 ATHLETE

PHOTOGRAPHY © NO.STYLE PRODUCTIONS

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adventure || the North

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Winter Wonders When the snow flies, the North thrives. | BY DAVID MAHONEY

The American Birkebeiner It started innocently enough. About five years ago, having recently taken up skate skiing, I thought it might be fun to enter the Prince Haakon 12K in Cable, Wisconsin. The race shares its start with the American Birkebeiner, the largest cross-country ski marathon in North America. That exhilarating hour of skiing turned out to be my first tiny taste of Birkie fever. The next year, I stepped up to the Kortelopet 23K. I made it through relatively intact, so I skied it again the following year. But I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to tackle the big Birkie’s dauntingly hilly course covering 30-plus miles. And when my brother, who had been skate skiing even less time than me, intimated that he, too, was tempted to go the distance, the die was cast. I’ve now skied the Birkie three years, each time vowing it would be my last. The first year, my wax was all wrong and I fumed as other skiers flew by me. The second year, I got stuck in traffic and started the race half an hour late. The third year, pre-race snowfall made for hill climbs churned into piles of mashed potatoes. And yet, there’s something about skiing through the cheering crowd thronging the home stretch of Hayward’s Main Street that salves the hours of pain. And after a beer or two, a sort of amnesia sets in, mingling with the euphoria of having survived the ordeal. You find yourself thinking, I bet I could do better next year. And before you know it, you’ve signed up for another punishing race. Now I can’t wait until February. Because this is going to be my breakout year. I just know it.

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adventure || the North Dogsledding at Wintergreen Lodge Paul Schurke knows a thing or two about dogsledding. He’s mushed his way to the North Pole six times, among other daunting feats of doggie derring-do. Guests at Wintergreen Lodge near Ely can gain the benefit of his considerable canine expertise without even knowing their gee from their haw. With the help of his wife, Susan, Paul has been leading rookies on dogsledding trips for 35 years. A typical four-night package starts with aspiring mushers arriving at the lodge on a Wednesday afternoon, perhaps having stopped to acquire the appropriate apparel at the Schurkes’ outdoor-clothing store. A meet-and-greet with the guides and dogs is followed by a family-style dinner. In the morning, guests get their sled legs during a training session, followed by lunch at the lodge and an afternoon sled outing. The next two days consist of full-day treks through the winter wilderness, with breaks for sightseeing and trailside campfire lunches. The program wraps on Sunday with a breakfast buffet and a graduation ceremony. While comfortable cabins, hearty meals and skilled guides all contribute to Wintergreen’s appeal, the working heart of the operation is its kennel of 65 Canadian Inuit dogs. Getting to know their distinct personalities may be just as rewarding as gliding through the snow behind them.

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Art Shanty Projects When it comes to dealing with the harsh realities of winter, Minnesotans are a resourceful bunch. Where others might see a bleak expanse of snow-covered ice, we see an opportunity. We haul ice-fishing shacks out to the middle of a frozen lake, where we take cold comfort in camaraderie punctuated by the occasional nibble. Of course, not all of us find the prospect of watching a hole in the ice all that enticing. But what if the shack were furnished with a four-poster bed, replete with resident monster underneath? Welcome to the Art Shanty Projects’ colony of on-ice installations. This literally cool idea came to fruition in 2005 on Plymouth’s Medicine Lake. The program moved to White Bear Lake in 2014, and after a year’s hiatus, it returns bigger and better this year, having received some hefty national grants. But be forewarned: Even folks who rarely cross the threshold of a museum might find themselves hooked on art after being lured into the 20-some interactive shanties.

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adventure || the North

Skiing at Mount Bohemia Ungroomed powder. Massive moguls. Hundreds of acres of expert terrain. Sounds like the makings of a great ski getaway, doesn’t it? And here’s the kicker: Taking full advantage of all this requires nothing more than steering your SUV to Mount Bohemia, near the tip of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Jutting far out into Lake Superior, the Keweenaw gets pummeled by an average of 200-plus inches of dry, lake-effect snow each winter. In other words, Mount Bohemia, rising some 900 feet above the lake, has no need for snowmaking equipment. Or groomers, for that matter. In fact, the experts-focused resort has only two chairlifts, and its base lodge is a connected cluster of yurts. But what it offers in spades are some of the most challenging, exhilarating runs found in the North. Adding to the area’s adventurous allure is the inauguration of the region’s first commercial snowmobile-skiing operation. Winter aficionados ride four miles to the summit of Voodoo Mountain, ski down the ridge’s north-facing slope then snowmobile back up to the top. Although you won’t find the glitz and glamour here of some resorts, Mount Bohemia offers something much rarer: a pure skiing experience that might just remind you why you fell in love with the sport in the first place.

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adventure || trek

The Climb Relishing the journey along the Inca Trail. | BY MARY PAWLENTY

T

he Sacred Valley sort of snuck up on me, with a remarkable abundance that exceeded my expectations. Not sure why, as I’d marveled at the farmers’ market in Cusco, Peru, easily five times the size of any I’d ever seen back home in Minnesota. So my view of the rich, black soil shouldn’t have surprised me. I was equally surprised to discover that just as I leaned my forehead on the bus window, I affirmatively decided it was time to stop thinking about (read: obsessing over) my list: eight carefully prepared pages of “must bring, must do” for our family of four that had never camped before but somehow decided the Andes and the Inca Trail were the place to start. We were en route to the trailhead, and I had purchased in Ollantaytambo that morning what I thought was probably unnecessary: a hand-carved walking stick. The night before had featured a terrific dinner at a world-class hotel, obviously designed for the faint of heart, those human chickens who planned to ride the train to Aguas Calientes and visit Machu Picchu in comfort. We’d chosen the road less traveled, which I discovered that morning was located somewhere between unnerving and mystifying. Our bus rolled into a dirt parking lot. What little we were permitted to bring was deposited onto a tarp. Our family’s

bags were tidy, waterproof tributes to the best REI had to offer. I was still annoyed that our 22-year-old daughter refused to mark her bag with her name, which is her nature. (OK, so it was bright yellow and impossible to miss. Still, it should have been marked with her name.) Then Tim and I crossed the bridge to the trail together, which in my mind was a big deal. Despite the fact that the journey had originated with him red-faced, pitching a fit during the last of our “normal” vacations (“We are not sitting on our butts by pools anymore! Our next family trip will have a purpose!”), he’d never warmed to the idea of hiking the Inca Trail. He’s not a camper. Plus he is not a fan of terrorists and was convinced the Shining Path would descend upon us. (This 1980s-bred Peruvian terrorist threat peaked in the 1990s but has since retreated to the Amazon jungle, which neither of us actually knew when I signed us up for the trek.) I, on the other hand, had no fears — that is, beyond forgetting something on the eight pages of my list. Whatever expectations either of us had, this exceeded them. The Inca Trail is not a “hike.” It is an epically beautiful, physically challenging climbing excursion up and down (but mostly up) the stone path leading to Machu Picchu. There are other trails. But this is the trail.

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The views are soul-stirring. I’ve been to the Rockies and the Alps, but this is my new favorite place on earth. Each time I leaned on my now necessary, familiar and worth-every-Peruvian-sol walking stick and paused to look, the majesty of the landscape inspired me. Mark Adams in his Turn Right at Machu Picchu, a must-read for anyone visiting Peru, suggests that the Incas had not merely built a trail from point A to point B, but designed a route that was intended as a pilgrimage. For me, it was just such a journey — one of gratitude and awareness. At 54, I rediscovered the value of my health. I thanked God for all the doctors who’d harangued me into taking preventive asthma medication. I marveled at the energy and passion of my now young-adult daughters. I deeply appreciated Roni, our seasoned guide, for caring enough to point out a condor, a bird with spiritual significance. And I appreciated him in equal measure for ensuring we lightened our daypacks before day two, which was almost entirely uphill. During the four-day, three-night trek, any time I was able to catch my breath I spontaneously said things like, “I am in a James Bond movie!” and “I feel like Indiana Jones!” and “I can’t bear how beautiful this is! Do you see how beautiful this is?” Tim would nod, sometimes. Usually he was on the lookout for the ubiquitous Peruvian porters, so he could call out “Porter!” and we’d step aside

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on the trail, more out of respect than necessity. Had I not seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it. They, too, exceeded my expectations. Carrying our bags on their backs, along with enough camping gear for our group of 18, they were always well ahead of us, setting up lunch before we arrived. Afterward, they’d pack up the entire operation and hurry along the trail to ensure our campsite was set up and in ready condition, all with genuine smiles and a warm joy that spoke to a willingness to work hard. When we reached Machu Picchu, an incredible destination of its own, somehow it seemed almost beside the point. I’d arrived to realize it was the journey, not the destination, I’d most valued. The purpose of our trip was to support Smile Network and the children it serves. As I experienced the beautiful country, learned its rich history and came to value the selfless, hard work of its people, I felt more than ever a desire to give back — to give back to Peru some measure of what it had given me. Smile Network International is a nonprofit providing life-altering surgeries to children across the world. To fund its work, it conducts volunteer adventure travel experiences to such places as the Inca Trail in Peru, the Camino in Spain and the Roof of Africa on Mount Kilimanjaro. To learn more, visit smilenetwork.org.


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adventure || athlete

Thrill Seeker Daredevil snowmobiler Levi LaVallee is the king of winter. | BY KATE NELSON


PHOTOGRAPHY © LAVALLEE

M

innesota native Levi LaVallee has been called an adrenaline junkie. The man with balls-to-the-walls fearlessness. And the most versatile snowmobiler in X Games history. Like many kids across the North, LaVallee would join his family as they took to the trails around his hometown of Longville (where today he lives with his wife, Kristen, and young daughter, Liv). Before long, he was hooked. “I had never experienced the speed and the control that you have on a snowmobile,” says the 33-year-old athlete. “And to this day, I haven’t found anything that gives me that same kind of rush.” At age 10, he began competing in radar runs, races in which riders’ speed on a straight line is captured via radar. He gave cross-country racing a try before ultimate landing on snocross, his sport of choice. And like many kids across the North, LaVallee had aspirations of going pro. That dream came to fruition when he began making money from the sport at age 18. His big break? In 2002, when Polaris — one of his longtime sponsors — signed him to the factory-backed snocross team. Since then, he’s garnered more than his fair share of awards, including seven gold X Games medals, two silver and one bronze. He’s secured a slew of impressive sponsors, including Loctite, Mystik Lubricants and Red Bull. And he’s been named one of the 50 most influential people in action sports by ESPN. LaVallee became known for his daredevil stunts when he added freestyle to his repertoire. In 2009, he became the first person to attempt a double backflip on a snowmobile. (After soaring more than 60 feet in the air, he went long on the landing and was thrown from his sled upon impact.) In 2011, he set a world record for longest snowmobile jump at 361 feet and topped that in 2012, when he jumped 412 feet. He still holds that record today. Of course, such feats don’t come easily. LaVallee’s injuries are on par with his accolades. He’s blown out both knees, separated both shoulders, dislocated his wrist, fractured his pelvis and three vertebrae, suffered multiple collapsed lungs (both at once, at one point) and multiple concussions (“too many to remember”), and broken his heel, his tibia and multiple ribs. And then there’s the time he broke off a thumb throttle in his thigh. To the shock and dismay of the snocross world, LaVallee announced his retirement from the ISOC National series in 2014, though he still competes at select events, such as the Winter X Games and Red Bull Snow Boundaries. “I came to the conclusion that there were a lot of things I wanted to do with a snowmobile,” he says. “And a full national race schedule just wouldn’t allow me the time to attempt those ideas I have.” One such venture? Running Team LaVallee, which he started back in 2009 to mentor up-and-coming riders. Throughout the twist and turns of his career, one thing has remained the same: LaVallee’s enthusiasm for the sport — and the season. “The first day there is snow on the ground, I instantly go into ‘Christmas morning’ mode,” he says. “I love when it snows.”

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Season’s Greetings


INTEL 216 SCANDAL

224 ESSAY

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Up in the Air 216 Artful Living

| Magazine of the North


On the 30th anniversary of their spectacular trial, Artful Living takes a look back at swindlers Bill Rubin and Janet Karki. | BY ALYSSA FORD

I

t was the go-go eighties, and United States v. Rubin captured all the flavor of the decade. One of the defendants, 37-year-old Bill Rubin, drove a late-model Lamborghini and wore tinted aviator glasses and diamond signet rings. Another defendant, Janet Karki, was a 50-year-old frosted blonde with exquisitely painted nails. Their federal court case had it all: sex, money, intrigue. Two months into the trial, the recently divorced Rubin ran off to South Dakota to marry his manicurist. Karki was heartbroken; she and Rubin were having a steamy affair. The rest of the proceedings included not only the drama of mounting evidence but also the pained stares of a jilted lover. “It got pretty surreal,” remembers Dan Oberdorfer, who covered the spectacle for the Star Tribune. “At one point, the defense attorney straight-up dared the prosecutor to bring in a certain witness. I remember thinking, ‘What is going on with this trial?’” It started with a simple flight school owned by a group of former military pilots. Among them was Russell Lund Jr., the only son of grocery magnate Russell Lund Sr. “We thought the flight school was a great idea, but we just lost money and lost money,” says Ward Montgomery, one of the original investors. The school managed to stay afloat with regular cash infusions from Lund, but after nine years, it was still just limping along. “Russ kept us going, but he really didn’t have the business sense of a noodle,” Montgomery adds. Then, six years into the venture, Lund brought in a consultant who said he could turn it around. His name was Bill Rubin, and he boasted that he had rehabbed many businesses, from lumber distribution and taxis to pet food and prophylactics. The owners liked that he had been a pilot for United Airlines. Montgomery found Rubin so charming that he shrugged off his many eccentricities, like his constant cigar smoking and the way he wore his shirts partially unbuttoned to show off his gold chains and chest hair. Within two years, Rubin was running the flight school outright, and in 1976, he brought in his own numbers person, Janet Karki. She told the owners she was a Stanford-educated CPA who had previously done estate planning for wealthy widows. Montgomery thought she seemed kind of rough. “But I really didn’t think too much about it, because I was just happy we were finally going to pull the business out of the gutter,” he says. Rubin outlined his vision for the company: vast horizons far beyond a simple flight school. He was thinking aircraft sales, charter flights, package deals to tropical hot spots. Montgomery was so energized by the pitch that he remortgaged his house — the one he had paid off in full — to get in on the action. The newly renamed Flight Transportation Corporation opened on the stock market at $3.25 a share in November 1979, earning about $1 million. But that was only the start.

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By 1981, FTC had a new 67,000-square-foot headquarters with racquetball courts, a steam room, a swimming pool and a constantly ticking stock-market machine. With its new fleet of 44 planes, the company could rightfully claim to be the seventh largest charter outfit in the country. Rubin signed an exclusive deal with the West Indies island of Montserrat to develop and operate its only airport for 99 years and build a 221-acre resort, complete with condos, shops, a hotel, a golf course, a boardwalk and a yacht club. He worked out a $3.7-million deal with the Cayman Islands government to build 22 executive vacation homes and 200 condos. The company owned property in eight U.S. cities, with plans to build stopover hubs for refueling and maintenance. The numbers looked incredible. The company’s revenue rocketed from $3.1 million in 1979 to $71.2 million in 1982. During the nine months prior to March 31, 1982, earnings jumped 400 percent and sales 450 percent. Plus the company had rock-solid underwriting. When FTC went for its second stock offering in March 1981, worth $7.2 million, it did so with the backing of the esteemed Fifth Northwestern National Bank of Minneapolis. When the company went for another offering in March 1982, worth $6.5 million, it got endorsement from three major Wall Street firms: Laidlaw Adams & Peck; Alstead, Strangis & Dempsey; and Drexel Burnham Lambert. For outside accounting, it hired the well-known Denver firm Fox & Company. The business press was paying close attention to the rising star in Minnesota. For two years in a row, Inc. listed FTC as a top 100 fastest growing company. In its April Fool’s Day 1982 issue, Financial World published a glowing profile of the twosome at the top: “To date, nearly everything Rubin and Karki have touched has turned to gold,” it read. In the article, Rubin predicted the company would have half a billion in revenue by 1983. On June 3, 1982, FTC brought out a $25-million stock offer. On June 14, the underwriters at Moseley, Hallgarten, Estabrook & Weeden increased the company’s stock issue of 650,000 shares by 10 percent. That was four days before it all collapsed. On June 18, 1982, a suit of attorneys from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stormed the Taj Mahal — Rubin’s affectionate nickname for the company’s lavish Eden Prairie headquarters. Two hours later, FBI agents showed up and confiscated more than 60 boxes of documents. Inside, investigators found all the makings of a fake company, including an IBM Selectric typewriter along with a huge array of typewriter balls, handy for making documents appear as if they had been typed on different machines. They found piles of forged documents, including one from the Cayman Islands government declaring FTC the exclusive air charter company to the Caribbean archipelago. “They had a big white board, and they had written all of these phony flights on it, so if

a banker asked where a certain plane was, they could say, ‘Oh, it’s in New York right now,’” says Oberdorfer. Investigators found 24 separate bank accounts under Rubin and Karki’s control. The truth was, FTC didn’t really do any business. The numbers, the deals, the condos — it was all a mirage. In reality, Rubin and Karki used the money from the stock offerings to buy cars and jewelry. During the three-and-a-half year investigation, federal agents uncovered the truth about the duo. Rubin was never a pilot for United; he was the son of a button salesman and a college dropout. Karki, born Eva Lu Wagoner, came from a tough background in central Iowa. Her father was a part-time boxing coach and fight promoter who owned a bait shop. Her mother was a traumatized housewife who filed for divorce on the grounds of inhumane treatment. When she was 16, Eva Lu gave birth to a baby girl who was raised by her mother. Her brother spent five years in prison for assault with intent to commit rape. Before coming to Minnesota, she had been a bartender, not an accountant. Rubin and Karki’s charade might have gone on longer if not for Charles Aune, FTC’s chief pilot, who says the smell of rotten fish was all over the place. “Bill and Janet would come back from the Caymans in the middle of the night, and the next day, she would be wearing a big diamond ring on every finger,” he says. Aune was glad to see them go down, especially Karki: “Janet would blow her top all the time. One time, she threw a phone at me, and the only reason it didn’t hit me was because it was hooked into the wall.”

Rubin and Karki’s trial started November 4, 1985. They faced charges of fraud (totaling some $52 million), check kiting and inflating revenues. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger knew the pair would shock the Northern sensibilities of the jury, and he poked that nerve every chance he got. He detailed Rubin’s exotic car collection: his Porsche, five Corvettes, 1946 Rolls Royce and 20 others. He took the jury to see the Taj Mahal, including the upper-level suite with its sliding wall between Rubin’s office, Karki’s office and a bedroom. The luxe sanctum had a king-size bed with a mirror above it, plush beds for Karki’s poodles, a hidden bar, and “one of the best views in Hennepin County,” says Heffelfinger. Even though Rubin was married with three young sons, the pair made no secret of their fling: “We all knew they had a big bedroom that connected their offices,” says Aune. After tickling the prudish sensibilities of the jury, Heffelfinger went to work on the lies. He put United’s vice president of personnel on the stand to testify that Rubin had never worked for the airline. Rubin just shook his head and said the company must have lost his records. “The first person Bill Rubin deceived was himself,” says Heffelfinger. “He was one of those people who told lies so many times they became real in his own mind.” In their defense, Rubin and Karki said they weren’t schemers; in fact, they themselves were swindling victims. The defense argued that James Bodden, a major party leader in the Cayman Islands, had stolen

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$8 million from FTC accounts. “It was the white-collar version of the SODDI defense — some other dude did it,” says Minneapolis attorney John Lundquist, who worked on a related case. At first, Rubin and Karki were in solidarity. That is, until Rubin married his manicurist halfway through the trial. Then Karki wanted to bury him. “The prosecutor was willing to go easy on her if she just testified against Rubin, but she wouldn’t hear of it; she was absolutely in love with him,” says Joe Friedberg, Karki’s attorney. “Of course, after she found out about the marriage, she wanted to testify against him, but it was too late.” Friedberg openly taunted Heffelfinger in court. He posited to the jury: If Rubin and Karki were so wrong about Bodden, then why oh why didn’t the prosecution bring him in to testify? The exchange went on for weeks. Then, at the end of the trial, the courtroom’s double doors swung open to reveal James Bodden, dressed in an exquisite double-breasted gray suit. “It was unbelievable,” says Friedberg. “And then he answered all the questions in a crisp British accent, which instinctively sounds believable to Americans.” Bodden told the jury that he only vaguely remembered Rubin and Karki — when he had to have them “dispatched” from a reception at his home for being too inebriated. All told, the jury heard from an unbelievable 47 witnesses. “[The trial] went on and on,” says Ronald Gernandt, a farmer from Lonsdale who was the jury foreman. “One of the jurors got sick with a 100-plus-degree temperature, and she was lying on the floor. They recessed long enough to take her to the emergency room, and then they came back and put her right back in that juror’s chair.” After nine days of deliberation, the jury convicted Rubin and Karki on 12 and 11 counts of fraud, respectively. When they returned to court for sentencing after a break, Friedberg was stunned to see his client. “I hadn’t seen her for quite awhile, and she looked 20 years older, he says. “She was completely destroyed by Rubin getting married.” Rubin was sentenced to 35 years, a state record for white-collar crime until Tom Petters came along, and was sent to the federal prison in Sandstone. Karki got 25 years and was shipped off to the federal prison in Pleasanton, California. Coincidentally, one of her former underwriters, Michael Milken, joined her there in 1991. When Rubin and Karki went into free fall, they took three former employees with them and unleashed a firestorm of civil suits against

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the accountants, auditors and bankers who should have smelled a rat, but didn’t. “The FTC case was one of the first times that professional service providers really got hammered for the acts of their clients,” says Lundquist. “That’s not unusual today, but in the eighties, it really was.” More than 50 lawsuits were filed in connection with the FTC case. Drexel Burnham Lambert’s lawyers argued that Rubin had charmed their young banker, gotten him drunk, introduced him to some girls and taken him out on a yacht, thus unduly subverting due diligence. But it didn’t work. The firm settled for $5.2 million and was forced into bankruptcy in 1990. Fifth Northwestern National Bank lost a $4-million claim. The New York firm of Reavis & McGrath settled for $1.6 million, as did Moseley, Hallgarten, Estabrook & Weeden. Opperman & Paquin paid out $2.1 million. And Fox & Company shelled out $5.2 million. But the real lesson, says Oberdorfer, is the power of a slick exterior. “The amazing part about the FTC case is that they invented a company out of whole cloth,” he says. “With Bernie Madoff, there was a very complex maze of real and fake businesses that prosecutors are still teasing apart — same with Tom Petters. But Rubin and Karki built a business with a stack of glossy brochures. And they fooled a lot of smart people.”

Rubin got out of prison in 1995, nine years before his November 2004 death in West Palm Beach, Florida. But Friedberg isn’t buying it. “I wouldn’t doubt for a minute that he faked his death,” he says. “When [attorney] Ronnie [Meshbesher] told me he had died, I said, ‘You better check; that son of a bitch never told the truth about anything.’” Aune also believes that Rubin is out there somewhere. “More than once I heard him say, ‘Well, if it all goes bad, I can just die and show up somewhere else with a new name,’” he says. After serving nine years in prison, Karki moved to Washington. She died of cancer last summer. The one emblem of FTC that survives is the Taj Mahal at Flying Cloud Airport. Today, the building is owned by Minneapolis Community & Technical College and serves as a training center for future air-traffic controllers. All the luxe amenities were long ago ripped out — the pool, the indoor track, the chandeliers. The love nest is filled with beige cubicles. In the end, some $25 million was recovered for investors by freezing accounts and selling off company headquarters and a few planes. But at least half a million dollars in jewelry was never found.


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intel || essay

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An Ode to Aeroméxico Done wrong, air travel can be downright pleasurable. | BY ANNE RODERIQUE-JONES

A

irline travel is no longer a glamorous affair. It’s almost as if we’ve stopped longing for the days of white-gloved service and will settle for an on-time departure and a seatmate who hasn’t stuffed a tuna sandwich into their oversize carry-on. I was recently chatting with a group of road warriors about the lows of said air travel. One seasoned veteran mentioned taking to Twitter in an effort to air grievances with great success: a handful of miles here, a business-class upgrade there. It seems airlines can be more generous than we’ve been giving them credit for all this time. I travel often, both for work and pleasure, so it’s not surprising that I have had my share of flight delays and cancellations. I try to take them in stride. On my latest trip, I was flying home from Mexico City. To back up slightly, I have a dreadful track record with Mexican airlines. It’s more of a coincidence than anything. The last time my husband and I set out on a romantic vacation to Acapulco, the airline we were traveling with went out of business, mid-flight, just like that. When we touched down in our connecting city, we were told that our trusty airline was bankrupt and therefore we would not be able to catch our connecting flight. What could have been a disaster gave us extra time in bustling Mexico City, and we found our way to romance — eventually. But not all flights lose their business license while above the Pacific. Some just get off to a very crummy start. My favorite thing about flying internationally is the movie selections. At this point, we have to appreciate the little things, and I’m a sucker for a sappy chick flick while lounging back an extra two inches. Sure, I had loads of work to catch up on, but there were several Oscar contenders I still hadn’t seen, and this is really my only chance to indulge. Sometimes I’ll even have a glass of wine, and it’s almost relaxing. But on this particular flight, it was not happening. The entire A/V system was defunct, which meant no Internet, no radio and absolutely zero television. What in the world would we all do for the next seven hours? My only distraction was learning that the airline

had forgotten to make note of my vegetarian meal. (Side note: I’m about the furthest thing from a vegetarian, but I’d gone from Fort Worth, Texas, to Mexico City and was desperately in need of a meatox.) Normally, I’d shrug it off and dig into my pollo burrito, but the previous day’s conversation flashed through my mind. Twitter! That would show them. I can score loads of miles, perhaps even an upgrade, for my inability to settle into a few back episodes of Say Yes to the Dress. So I waited it out. Without Internet, I had plenty of time to craft a professional, somewhat venomous tweet that would equal modern-day social suing. And then something magical happened. The plane filled with voices. Initially, I was annoyed. These days, an airplane is supposed to be a cramped space of respite, a vehicle to take you from here to there (perhaps not always on time) that’s tight and congested, where you can cram your laptop on your knees and your headphones in your ears. It’s certainly not a place for socializing. But across the aisle, a row of three strangers philosophized on life. The women next to me, now newfound friends, sipped tequila and chatted softly in Spanish. I desperately wished I could join their conversation. The bar cart rolled back and forth down the aisle, plastic cups clinked to commonalities, and the next seven hours were spent in the moment. I like to think that a few lifelong connections were made on that trip. Maybe even a romance. It’s possible. Before the distraction of Angry Birds, iPads and fancy individual televisions, I met a guy from Israel on a flight from JFK to SFO. We did as people did back then and struck up a conversation. That turned into a decade of letter writing (which eventually dissipated). But the entire friendship never would have started had I been able to catch season five of Downton Abbey. Sadly, I didn’t make any lifelong friends this time around. But I learned to appreciate a little noise. For that, perhaps I’ll tweet a thank you to Aeroméxico for their defunct television service — and rethink popping in those headphones on my next flight.

artfullivingmagazine.com

| Winter 2016

225


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