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NORTH SHORE FOODIE

Highland Park native and 'Hubble Telescope Repairman' John Grunsfeld turns lens on the aims of the GPF Foundation mission P14

Get festive with these wine-poached pears and panna cotta P12 FOLLOW US:

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SIGNATURE SOIREES THROW A HOLIDAY PARTY TO REMEMBER WITH INSIDER TIPS FROM LOCAL DESIGN ICON, LAUREN ASHLEY ALLAN. FROM TABLESCAPES TO TREES TO CREATING THE ULTIMATE SIGNATURE COCKTAIL, ‘TIS THE SEASON TO DECK THE HALLS AND DAZZLE YOUR GUESTS. BY SHERRY THOMAS THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND

With much of last year’s holiday festivities toned down or canceled altogether because of the pandemic, 2021 is already shaping up to be a season to remember. However, local interior designer Lauren Ashley Allan says the key theme for 2021 is something we learned from the recent health crisis—focus on the things that make you happy. “It applies to all kinds of items in your home,” explains Allan, who recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of her eponymous firm, Lauren Ashley Allan Interior Design and Architecture Studio, which serves clients throughout the Chicago area, including the North Shore. “My two kids Cleo and Van make it more fun to celebrate holidays now, because you can bring them into holiday traditions young and take them through the design process with you.” Allan, whose design pedigree includes working as a Senior Designer for Kelly Wearstler and Creative Director for Nate Berkus, says 4-year-old Cleo and 18-month-old Van will be included in creating the family’s Christmas and New Year’s holiday décor as well. Drawing influences from vintage books and magazines from France and Italy, her signature take on modern glam is all about bringing in unexpected elements and accents you can’t find anywhere else. “A party is always in season. Come up with a concept such as mixed metals, be Continued on PG 8

Interior designer Lauren Ashley Allan and her daughter Chloe enjoy decorating for the holidays. PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY LAUREN ASHLEY ALLAN


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THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND


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INDEX

LIFESTYLE & ARTS 12 north shore

foodie

Wine-poached pears with panna cotta are an impressive addition to any holiday table

yuletidy?

ADVERTISING Jennifer Sturgeon

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Dustin O'Regan, Kemmie Ryan, Sherry Thomas

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Chris Geimer ADVERTISING COORDINATOR

14 sunday

FEELING

John Conatser FOUNDER & PUBLISHER

Bill McLean

DESIGN Linda Lewis PRODUCTION MANAGER GRAPHIC DESIGNER

breakfast

Explorer forever John Grunsfeld—the 'Hubble Telescope Repairman'— returns to hometown Highland Park to share his NASA memories and urge others to support the mission of the GPF Foundation

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

PHOTOGRAPHY AND ART Barry Blitt ILLUSTRATOR Monica Kass Rogers PHOTOGRAPHY Robin Subar PHOTOGRAPHY Cheyanne Lencioni ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

ALL ADVERTISING INQUIRY INFO SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO 847.370.6940 & JENNIFER@JWCMEDIA.COM FIND US ONLINE: DAILYNORTHSHORE.COM LIKE US ON FACEBOOK! © 2021 THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND A PUBLICATION OF JWC MEDIA 445 SHERIDAN RD., HIGHWOOD, IL 60040

MARIANI HOLIDAY SHOPPE AND TREE LOT NOW OPEN EVERY DAY THROUGH FRIDAY, DEC. 17 9AM - 5PM DAILY Your local source for trees, wreaths, garlands, holiday containers and more. Order ahead by phone: 847.234.2172 Pay by phone or in person. Curbside pickup available!

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SLIDING GLASS DOOR REPAIR

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NEWS SIGNATURE SOIREES

From PG 1

bold, and have fun!” she says. “Set up a home bar that guests will flock to. It should look festive and appetizing. Before you start, make sure you're pulling in tabletop and bar accessories from different sets. A mix of materials, like brass and ceramics, helps it look curated and rich, like you're using a fun group of things you've collected over the years. I like to bring in bigger pieces that are both functional well as decorative, such as a large organic bowl to hold ice and sodas.” Allan says holiday entertaining is also the perfect opportunity to put your own signature touch on décor. Rather than rushing out to buy new serving plates or bowls, open the china cabinet to see what’s already there that can be repurposed in a new way. “Conversation pieces make the bar more interesting,” she explains. “Introduce a select amount of glassware, leaving most out of site behind the bar, with only the frequently used and beautiful decanters up front. Bring in a beautiful tray to give height to different things or a raised tray as a platform for small plates and more accents. Plus, you can slide things under it for extra space.” Allan also likes to keep a “dialogue with the outdoors,” bringing in fall and winter

leaves and branches to add color and height to the bar. Even the smallest details like pretty, well-chosen bartender’s accessories can set the tone for a party that guests will be talking about into next year. “For instance, serve a small dish of olives, with vintage brass tableware and dish. Scale is important and if everything is big, nothing will shine on its own,” she adds. “When you're setting up, think about the flow of the guests. Arrange things so they can come, get their drink, their olive, a napkin, a straw—it should be seamless.” This carefully curated attention to detail has defined Allan’s own signature style over the last year as she has made her dream of opening her own firm come true. “I am so thankful for the incredible support and outreach by friends, family, vendors, contractors, and acquaintances. Our team and the community that we have built around the country on social media is so special—people who truly want to support a female founded business,” says Allan, who is currently working on renovations and high-end, new construction residential projects around the country from the Chicago area to Long Beach, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Florida, and Los Angeles. “It’s important for me to stop and remember to enjoy the journey as each day brings something new. I feel so fortunate to love my work and share that with the world. All you can do is work hard and hope you can make the world better through whatever it is you do.” She says this holiday season will be even more special for her and many others as we emerge from the pandemic. “I am so excited to be with friends and family again!” Follow Lauren Ashley Allan on Instagram at @lauren.ashley.allan.

TREE TIME WHEN IT COMES TO TRIMMING THE TREE, LAUREN ASHLEY ALLAN SAYS, “THE SKY’S THE LIMIT.” HERE ARE FIVE WAYS TO REINVENT THIS CHRISTMAS CLASSIC. 1. In lieu of color (skip the traditional red),

decorate with all winter whites—white sparkly lights, head to toe white garland, white flowers, and even the ornaments. Giving lots of textures and a fun vibe for any space. One year we even included an all-white peacock

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PRET A PARTY LOCAL ARCHITECT AND INTERIOR DESIGNER LAUREN ASHLEY ALLAN SHARES HER FAVORITE TIPS FOR PLANNING THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY SOIREE. LIGHT THE WAY: While it might initially get overlooked, lighting is an easy way to dramatically alters the vibe of any space. Used effectively, it evokes mood and sets the pace in terms of elegance and glamour. From candles to dimmer switches or a roaring fireplace, a warm glow adds an inviting allure to the mix. Everything and everyone (from appetizer pairings to the guests) looks better in great light. Try to avoid harsh down lighting that creates unwanted shadows. If you don’t have dimmers switches, you can switch out your light bulbs for a warmer, softer hue. Even adding touches of exterior lighting in the garden helps to extend the inside out and make your spaces feel connected to nature. Luxury is a perfectly lit party. SPICE IT UP: Mix and match tableware for a graphic feel. The soulful juxtapositions of metallic and winter whites is my go-to holiday palette. Pattern mixing captures a sense of easy elegance and infuses even the most refined setting with an effortlessly chic spirit, keeping the mood fun and spontaneous. This especially applies to fine china. If you don’t have enough of a particular place setting to accommodate the full guest list, break the rules! Mix and match family china patterns from your wedding or grandparents for a look that is meaningful, artful and eclectic. Use complementary colors and a hierarchy of scale and texture that is vibrant, yet harmonious. It can then be tied together with your linens and florals. My go-to floral is Phillips Flowers Hinsdale, they can do anything.

its own. Candles can bathe the environment in rich, soothing tones. Holiday aromas in wood, cinnamon or sage add a festive touch.

CONCEPT COCKTAILS: Ingredientfocused mixology. A cleverly named beverage cultivates a vibe that is thoughtful and special, such as: Fruits of Labor Margarita, Magic Hour Moscow Mule, or Harvest Moon Mojito from cocktailcourier.com. Choosing an easy, signature cocktail for the evening can simultaneously streamline the bar menu, add a collective holiday spirit and a whimsical welcome. Even with a full bar, cocktails pre-prepped and served upon arrival keep bar lines abbreviated while receiving guests in style. Colorful drink garnishes like flowers, fruit or mint add a pop of color. ARTFUL ACCESSORIES: Guests will remember the little things that make an event stand out. Elevated barware is one of my favorite places to splurge. It adds so much to the party experience and is fun for me to curate! It is all about the art of entertaining. From patterned straws to brass bottle stoppers, setting the scene with spirited accents and soulful accessories channels an unexpected, distinct voice. Add an extra special touch with personalized cocktail napkins that are cheeky and fun.

FESTIVE FRAGRANCE: Scent your

home with holiday cheer. Before an event, try choosing a single scent to place about your space in entryways, powder rooms, and gathering areas. I always start cooking before the guests arrive so that the house smells inviting. Stick to unscented candles around catering and bar set-ups to allow the food to shine on

for a whimsical touch!

2. Reinvent your version of the Christmas tree each year. If your tree is artificial, go with a real one this season. Also, you can have more than one tree and they can each be decorated differently with a different concept based on the room it is in, or different size such as a table tree. If you have kids or grandkids, one tree can be just for them … with all custom-made ornaments (also a fun project for the kids!). Try pasta garland, colorful pipecleaners, and paper cut-outs. 3. Go for a tree with a more natural vibe. In lieu of a traditional tree skirt, do a seagrass tree collar. Mix in all white lights, matte white, or down-to-earth colored ornaments

| SATURDAY NOVEMBER 27 | SUNDAY NOVEMBER 28 2021

instead of shiny, and top it with an unlacquered brass star. Mix and match fun neutral sand color gift papers or buy craft paper and paint your own using white painterly strokes.

4. Try an ultra-glam, jeweled tree that is dripping with crystal garland, sparkling ornaments, and dazzling colors for a luxe look all its own. Add unlacquered brass and mixed metal tone accents throughout the tree. 5. Embrace Chinoiserie chic. Use holiday classic ball ornaments but get them in only blue and white china patterns. It’s so much fun to give your tree a concept and go all in with it—be bold! Then you can even match your table décor to your tree, depending on the room the tree is in.

THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND


r e t n i W — of — r e d n o W Experience some of your

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Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides, Children’s Holiday Workshops, and Winter Musical Revues.

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SATURDAY NOVEMBER 27 | SUNDAY NOVEMBER 28 2021 |

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SATURDAY NOVEMBER 27 | SUNDAY NOVEMBER 28 2021 |

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LIFESTYLE & ARTS

NORTH SHORE FOODIE

PANNA COTTA WITH WINE-POACHED PEARS BY MONICA KASS ROGERS THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND

As far back as the 15th century, English cooks discovered that wine-poaching hard pears made them tender and tasty. One abbey had cooks “pare wardens (hard cooking pears), clean, seethe them in red wine till they be tender, then take them up and put them in a pot; put thereto wine of Crete or Vernage (Verona) … powder of sugar and powder of ginger and let them boil awhile and then serve forth.” Paired with delicate vanilla panna cotta puddings, and a syrup made by cooking down the spiced wine poaching liquid, poached pears make a delicious dessert. I love to make them for festive dinners, because you prepare the fruit, syrup, and panna cottas ahead of time. Assembly at service is simply drizzling the syrup over the panna cottas and adding a pretty slice (or slices) of the pear on top. You’ll make the panna cottas in individual ramekins with some of the sliced pear. I like to serve a few of the beautiful whole poached pears on their own plate.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MONICA KASS ROGERS

INGREDIENTS FOR THE WINE-POACHED PEARS

• 8 very firm small Bosc pears • 1 bottle cabernet wine • ½ cup water • 1 ¼ cups sugar • Zest from one fresh lemon • Juice from ½ fresh lemon • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken up • 1 Tbsp ginger nibs or powdered ginger • 2 star anise pods FOR THE PANNA COTTA

• 8, 7-to-8-ounce clear glass ramekins • 2 cups whole milk • 2 Tbsp gelatin granules • ½ cup sugar • 2 cups whipping cream • 2 tsp vanilla paste OR vanilla extract • ¼ tsp salt

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METHOD PREPARE PEARS

In an enameled stock pot over mediumlow heat, add burgundy wine, water, sugar, lemon juice, zest, and spices. Simmer while you pare the pears. Carefully peel one of the pears, leaving the stem intact. Slice a thin piece of pear off at the bottom, allowing the pear to stand upright without wobbling for pretty presentation later. Set peeled pear in the poaching liquid. Continue until all pears have been added to the pot. Cover pot. Simmer gently for 40 minutes. Carefully remove pears from pot and set into a large storage container. Pour the poaching liquids through a strainer (to remove zest and whole spice pieces) over the pears; cover the container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

MAKE PANNA COTTA

Add whole milk to a saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin granules over the milk. Allow to bloom for 5 minutes. Place pan on stove top over medium-low heat. Whisk milk until gelatin has dissolved for a scant 2 minutes. Quickly whisk in sugar and continue to heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Whisk in cream and vanilla paste. Divide liquid evenly between the 8 ramekins, pouring carefully so as not to slosh onto the sides of the glass. Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator overnight. MAKE SPICED WINE SYRUP

Pour 3 cups of the poaching liquid into

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a pot over medium high heat. Bring to a slow boil. Simmer until the liquid has reduced to syrup consistency. ASSEMBLE DESSERT

Spoon wine syrup over the top of each panna cotta to cover the surface. Slice through the circumference of several of the poached pears to make perfect rounds as shown in photo. Place one round on top of each syrup-topped panna cotta. Serve remaining pears sliced or whole at table, or reserve for future use. Note: If you like, you can add a spoonful of assorted diced fall fruits—apple and cape gooseberries are nice—to the top of each dessert.

THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND


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SATURDAY NOVEMBER 27 | SUNDAY NOVEMBER 28 2021 |

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S U N D AY B R E A K FA S T

SHUTTLE ROCK FORMER ASTRONAUT JOHN GRUNSFELD—VETERAN OF FIVE SHUTTLE MISSIONS AND KNOWN AS THE ‘HUBBLE TELESCOPE REPAIRMAN’—RETURNS TO HOMETOWN HIGHLAND PARK TO SPEAK AND LIFT SPIRITS AT THE GPF FOUNDATION ANNUAL EVENT. BY BILL MCLEAN ILLUSTRATION BY BARRY BLITT

Right around the time 90-year-old William Shatner was aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft for a suborbital spaceflight in midOctober, Highland Park High School graduate (Class of 1976) and former NASA astronaut John Grunsfeld—a huge Star Trek fan in his youth—was rooted on Planet Earth, serving as the keynote speaker in an outdoor tent at the GPF Foundation Annual event at Northmoor Country Club in Highland Park. Captain Kirk soared. The hearts of attendees listening to Dr. Grunsfeld on “An Evening of Exploration,” meanwhile, swelled—and ached. Dubbed the “Hubble Telescope Repairman,” Grunsfeld, 63, enthralled his audience at the fundraiser with vivid recollections of his 58-plus days in space (covering five space shuttle flights, from 1995-2009); revealed that the universe is 13.72 billion years old, thanks to the observations of the 26,500-pound telescope; and entertained repeatedly with his deadpan, self-deprecating sense of humor. But the man, whose academic background includes high-energy astrophysics, cosmic ray physics, and exoplanet studies, flew from Colorado to his former hometown to help complete a critical mission for the GPF Foundation. That quest: save lives by supporting education, appropriate treatment, and overall awareness of the dangers related to recreational use of street drugs. Gregory Paul Friedman, deeply interested in cosmology and a Lake Forest High School graduate, died a week after taking a seemingly adulterated dose of the drug Ecstasy (MDMA)/ Molly that was provided by a childhood friend at a California concert in 2017. He was 27. His parents, Lake Forest residents Nancy and Ross Friedman (also ’76 HPHS graduates), were urged by family and friends to create a foundation in Greg’s name in 2018. The GPF Foundation seeks to work toward a future where the public and the medical community have the knowledge needed to combat the risks of recreational drugs. “Handling adverse reactions to MDMA,” Ross Friedman says, “has been recognized as a blind spot in the medical community. The foundation’s mission is more critical than ever because of the dramatic increase in drug overdoses during the pandemic due to adulterated street drugs.” Grunsfeld and the Friedman couple have a mutual friend in none

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other than Lake Forest resident and former astronaut Captain James Lovell, 92, of Apollo 13 fame. Lovell helped the Friedmans contact Grunsfeld, who gladly accepted the invitation to speak at the Fourth GPF Foundation Annual Event, which raised $150,000 and was attended by 450 guests (in-person and virtually). Grunsfeld was 6, maybe 7, when he learned about NASA’s second human spaceflight program, Project Gemini. Starry-eyed and serious, he told his mother, Sally, one day, “I want to be an astronaut. “It’d be cool,” he added.

It was absolutely magical up there. I loved being in space. I loved being in a spacesuit. I remember taking the time to look back at Earth, admiring that spectacular view and my surroundings, and then feeling my heart rate drop. I was as relaxed as ever.

The coolest-looking tennis backhand in the world belonged to Bjorn Borg in the 1970s. So Grunsfeld did all he could to develop such a two-fisted stroke when he wasn’t acing every science course at HPHS or devouring science fiction books. “Borg inspired me,” Grunsfeld recalls. “But guess what. It didn’t take me very long to realize that Borg hit his backhand better and faster than I did.” Grunsfeld, the grandson of Adler Planetarium architect Ernest Grunsfeld Jr., earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Physics at MIT before getting his doctorate in the same field of study at the University of Chicago in 1988. While walking in the big city as a graduate student in Chicago, he noticed a familiar face. She

John Grunsfeld

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recognized him, too. It was Carol Schiff (HPHS, Class of ’78), who competed for the Giants’ girls gymnastics team when Grunsfeld took photographs for the student newspaper. Grunsfeld clicked-clicked-clicked as Schiff performed on the balance beam at a meet and later asked her out. She turned him down. Grunsfeld asked her out again when he was at MIT. She turned him down again. They went on their first date—you know what they say about “the third time”—after that encounter in the city and later got married. How charming. John and Carol have two children. Grunsfeld joined NASA’s Astronaut Office in 1992, and found himself aboard Endeavour for his first space shuttle flight in 1995. During his fifth and final shuttle flight, aboard Atlantis in 2009, he successfully serviced and upgraded the Hubble Space Telescope, during which he was the lead spacewalker for Hubble servicing activities. As deputy director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, he managed the science program for the Hubble Space Telescope and the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope. In 2012 he was named associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and made television appearances to discuss the successful landing of the Mars Curiosity rover. Another title of his was NASA chief scientist. But nothing in Grunsfeld’s otherworldly career thrilled him more than the combined 58 hours, 30 minutes he spent during eight spacewalks. And, if you’re wondering if his nearly two months in space had suspended his aging process compared to Earth-locked people born on the same date (October 10) and year (1958), wonder no more. “I returned to Earth, after my last mission, about a millisecond younger,” says a grinning Grunsfeld, who probably did the computation in his head. “It was absolutely magical up there,” he adds. “I loved being in space. I loved being in a spacesuit. I remember taking the time to look back at Earth, admiring that spectacular view and my surroundings, and then feeling my heart rate drop. “I was as relaxed as ever.” Retired since 2016, Grunsfeld still ascends great heights—minus the assistance of a propulsion system. The pilot/mountaineer/cyclist/ sailor climbed Denali (also known as Mount McKinley, in Alaska), reaching the highest peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level. “I’ll never get tired of exploring,” he says. For more information about the GPF Foundation, visit gpffoundation.org. THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND


Happy Thanksgiving & Thank You to our families, clients, friends, and colleagues for a great 2021. We are grateful to be a part of this special community. C H I C AG O | N A P L E S | H I N S DA L E | L A K E FO R E ST | W I N N E T K A

Annie Royster Lenzke | Dawn McKenna | Katie Moor

E X P E R I E N C E T H E D AW N M C K E N N A G R O U P # 1 0 R E A L E S TAT E T E A M I N T H E N AT I O N A M O N G S T E V E R Y B R O K E R A G E *#10 Large Team by Volume in the Country ranked by RealTrends The Thousand, as advertised in The Wall Street Journal 2021.

8 4 7. 8 0 7. 3 6 6 0 W W W. D A W N M C K E N N A G R O U P. C O M | @ T H E D A W N M C K E N N A G R O U P Affiliated real estate agents are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2021 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. The Coldwell Banker System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. *Source: #10 Large Team by Volume in the Country ranked by RealTrends The Thousand, as advertised in The Wall Street Journal 2021.

THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 27 | SUNDAY NOVEMBER 28 2021 |

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DON’T FORGET TO SET YOUR SCALES BACK 10 POUNDS THIS MONTH

you’re welcome HAPPY THANKSGIVING TheotokosPanagia

TheotokosPanagia

CONNIE@CONNIEDORNAN.COM | 847.208.1397 TOP 1% IN STATE OF ILLINOIS BY REAL TRENDS 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015**

NAMED ONE OF CRAIN’S CHICAGO BUSINESS’ NOTABLE RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE BROKERS 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018*** **Top 1% in State of Illinois by Real Trends 2015-2021. This data is informational and cannot be guaranteed accurate. Data maintained by MRED LLC may not reflect all real estate activity in the market ***Awarded by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of their 2018-2021 Notable Residential.

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| SATURDAY NOVEMBER 27 | SUNDAY NOVEMBER 28 2021

THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND