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DE AGAZ M E PULS

AFRICAN FEATURE: FATIMA’S CAFE BHAJIA

INE

ER CEMB

2019

MERRY CHRISTMAS

JEWISH FEATURE: DAN BERGER’S LATKES

GUATAMALAN FEATURE: LUIS TOJ'S TACOS

R E S TA U R A N T S & R E S I D E N T S S H A R E T H E I R C U LT U R A L T R A D I T I O N S


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PULSE MAGAZINE: DECEMBER 2019 COVER STORY

FOOD + DRINK Dining Review:

28

ENTERTAINMENT

Hot & Now

29

Hip Hop Nutcracker

14

New Around the Woo:

30

Central Scene

15

Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase

16

Pulse Brew:

32

Home for the Holidays

10

NowStreaming: 18 Mika/Korn/Idina Menzel

Game On:

Holiday Gift Guide

10

19 20

Entertainment Listings

22

Luxe List:

24

Out and About:

26

420 in the 508:

27

14

Making Green

Gifts for the Beer Lovers in Your Life!

SPORTS + FITNESS Fining Balance:

35

Home Workouts Perfect for the Holidays

36

ART + CULTURE

LIFESTYLE

Home for the Holidays Easier Said than Done?

Wan Wang

Finding the Joy

Pulse Shots

5 Giftable Tech Finds For Gadgeteers

Russo’s

Holiday Happenings in the Woo

38

STYLE + BEAUTY Rejuvenate Yourself with 40 Aesthetic Treatments Style Savvy:

3 Beauty Trends for the Party Season

41

Paul Giorgio, Publisher pgiorgio@pagioinc.com Sloane Perron, Editor sperron@pagioinc.com Carl Marzolini, Art Director cmarzolini@pagioinc.com Matt McNickles, Events & Marketing mmcnickles@pagioinc.com David Simone, Vice President, Sales dsimone@pagioinc.com Chris Reddy, Sales chrisreddy515@gmail.com George Andrew Fotheringham, Jason Savio, Alexandra Rodriguez, Jennifer Russo, Michael Wood, Merilee Kern, Giuliano D’Orazio, Elliot Mercier, FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA: TWITTER @WORCESTERPULSE • INSTAGRAM @WORCESTERPULSE • FACEBOOK.COM/THEPULSEMAGAZINE Bernie Whitmore, Paul Giorgio, Ryan Cashman, Rachel Shuster, and April Goddard Writers PULSE Magazine is produced 12 times a year by Pagio Inc., 88 Winter St., Worcester, MA 01604. (508) 756-5006. Copyright 2019 All rights reserved. Pagio, Inc. does

READ PULSE ONLINE: THEPULSEMAG.COM

not hold itself responsible for statements made by any contributor. Statements or opinions expressed in Pulse reflect the views of the author(s) and not the official policy of the Pagio, Inc., unless so stated. Although all advertising material is expected to conform to ethical standards, acceptance does not imply endorsement by Pagio, Inc. unless so stated. Material printed in Pulse is covered by copyright. No copyright is claimed to any work of the U.S. government. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written permission. For information on permissions, reprints and other services, contact Pagio, Inc. Also by Pagio Inc.: Worcester Medicine, Vitality Magazine, Thepulsemag.com, Thevitalitymag.com, & TasteWorcester.com

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R

URA E STA

NTS

E MERRY SHAR S T DEN RESI &CHRISTMAS

article by: george andrew fotheringham 10 D e c e mb e r 20 1 9

U LT U C R I THE

RAL

IT TRAD

IONS

During the holiday season, traditional foods become a prominent piece in every family gathering. In the melting pot of America, every culture enjoys their own meals and traditions, but what’s always the same is being in the company of people who love us. Pulse Magazine will take you through some of the most mouthwatering collection of recipes and most festive traditions as we explore different cultures in the city. From Latin America, to Africa and Europe, local residents share how they celebrate the holiday season.


TOM’S DELI’S STUFFED CABBAGE Ingredients: Ground beef Ground pork Rice Cabbage Leaves Tomato Sauce

Directions: 1. Cook the meat and rice. Mix together and season to taste. 2. Steam cabbage leaves; place meat and rice filling inside cabbage leaves and roll them closed. 3. Repeat until filling is gone. 4. Pour tomato sauce over cabbage rolls and bake at 400 degrees for 2 hours.

POLISH

TOM'S DELI'S STUFFED CABBAGE The Polish celebration of Wigilia is an interesting holiday with deep traditions that have been practiced long since its inception. Darek Gago is the current owner of Tom’s Deli on Milbury Street and is a first generation Polish American. Gago spoke of all the amazing foods that are commonly seen at a Polish holiday celebration. “Cabbage with mushrooms; perrogis with potato, cheese, sauerkraut, and mushrooms, or just plain; different baked smoked or fried fish; red beet soup; Polish salad; those are the main meals”, Gago said. The dinner does not begin until everyone has received and broken a square of a wafer, which represents the host, and then each guest wishes everyone a happy, successful and healthy year. Traditionally, the absence of meat at the Wagilia dinner is representative of an old abstinence from meat by fasting, which is why the lunch during the next day is a regular Christmas Day meal that includes meat. Gago said the inclusion of an extra seat at the table is for an uninvited guest. Gago said, “Say there’s 10 people coming to dinner, you put ten seats and you put an extra seat in case someone would show up at your house uninvited”, someone who might be without food or family of their own. Nowadays it seems ridiculous for someone to show up at our door without at least sending a text, but traditions like these that think outside of our own lives and of people in need are always important. Tom’s International Deli is located at 52 Millbury St. and is open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

GUATEMALAN LUIS TOJ’S TACOS

Unlike a standard Christmas dinner, a full-fledged party at Luis Toj’s house is a regular and much more exciting occasion. Toj is a first generation American who works in the city and lives in the area. His extensive family are natives of Guatemala. His holiday dinner is usually celebrated on New Year’s Eve and takes a full day’s preparation to feed the 25-30 family members and friends that will be attending. Toj’s mother wakes up at 5 a.m. to start cooking and continues until 2 p.m. Her sisters arrive to help her out and from there it takes until nearly 6 p.m. to prepare the rest of the food as the guests start showing up. Meanwhile Toj says, “All the men are sitting around watching football and drinking Coronas”. Once everyone sits down to eat, the meal continues well into the night, and generally ends around midnight. In a long list of foods that usually line the table, some of Toj’s favorites are tamales, chuchitos (smaller tamales with more meat), chicken tinga enchilada, mole (a red spicy sauce that you put on rice and drench the chicken in), tacos and horchata (a milky drink). Toj says, “my family will find any excuse to throw a party”. Christmas Eve dinner is pretty much like any of Toj’s other family events as guests are surrounded by food, flavor, and family.

LUIS TOJ’S TACOS Ingredients: or hard shells Your choice of soft Ground Beef ion Powder Chili Powder and On Cheese Lettuce Sour Cream Guacamole Tomato Salsa Directions: . tomato and set aside 1. Chop lettuce and the ef in a skillet, season 2. Brown ground be er and onion powder. meat with chili powd heat and set aside. 3. Remove beef from ft shell and place the 4. Take a hard or so ground beef inside. ts. remaining ingredien 5. Top tacos with the

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FATIMA’S CAFE BHAJIA

AFRICAN

FATIMA’S CAFE BHAJIA

You might wonder how ninety-degree weather can get you in the holiday spirit, but it doesn’t take a New England winter with snow to bring friends and family together. Omar Issa, part owner of Fatima’s Cafe with his wife, explained his holiday experience as a Somali born in Kenya. “There is no head of the table”, Issa said, “most of the people sit down on the floor cross their legs and start eating”. Once everyone is seated the meal will start with appetizers of dates, samosa, sautéed meat with samolia anchero, vitumbua, rice, and bajai. Everyone will also pick up a cup of chai tea with cinnamon that Issa says is a must. This delicious drink along with foods like bajai has been adopted from Indian cuisine. During the main course you will probably see; lamb, goat, rice pilaf, chapati beef, and chicken-fried or sautéed. Around amazing food, the holiday meal is a time to come together as a family. “I wish we shared like that all the time”, Issa said, “Everybody’s humanities come out.” It is similarly a time to show respect to your elders, a tradition sometimes lost in a constantly evolving world. A holiday dinner might be held any day of the holiday season and every family changes what they want to put on the table, but the unity of family and friends stays the same. Fatima’s Cafe offers a taste of Africa without the travel and is located at 43 West Boylston St., Worcester.

Ingredients:

Gram flour (Also known as chickpea flour or besan) Baking soda Onions Potatoes Salt Pepper Chopped Coriander Tumeric Chili Powder Oil Water

Directions:

1. Mix spices and flour with warm water. 2. Heat oil in pan. 3. Coat potatoes and onions in flour mixture. 4. Deep fry until golden brown.

SCOTTISH

BARBARA FOTHERINGHAM’S STEAK PIE

LEBANESE

FOOD FROM ED HYDER'S Lebanese food is typically characterized by fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and seafood. The meal, while not characterized by a variety of traditions, gets its life from the congregation of family. “There is always a traditional Lebanese touch on all the foods that are cooked”, Miriam Hyder, of Hyder’s Mediterranean Market told me of her large family get togethers. A typical Christmas dinner for Hyder’s family will involve twenty people or more, including aunts, uncles and cousins. When asked what her favorite part of their holiday meal was, Hyder said, “Just being together with family and enjoying some laughs and quality time”. There are a lot of finger foods such as baba ghanouj, fresh tabula, hummus, and grape leaves. The dinner customarily features lots of lamb and maybe some cow tongues, and the main course starts off with Kabobs. It is a time characterized more by personal relations than by traditions. A time when anyone invited into your home is treated like family, a time for stories, food, and good times that everyone looks forward to in the holiday season. Ed Hyder’s Mediterranean Marketplace is located at 408 Pleasant St. and has been proudly serving Worcester residents since 1975.

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I couldn’t put together a list like this without talking to my mom about some of her own holiday dinners from growing up in Scotland. She told me that while most Americans might be more familiar and wearier of the traditional Scottish dish of haggis, which was popularized by the poet Robert Burns, a real Scottish Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a homemade steak pie. Don’t be misled though, haggis is an extremely popular Scottish dish that you will find in most Scottish family parties, along with some bagpipe instrumentals and their accompanying singalongs. My family has adjusted to a more American Christmas dinner since we moved to the States 20 years ago. However, my dad still prepares a steak pie while myself, my mom and my sister dig into the variety of Cadbury chocolates that my relatives send over. Hopefully one day I’ll get to celebrate a Christmas Holiday with my relatives back in Scotland. One Scottish tradition is to sit around the table and pull apart some Christmas crackers, a paper tube that two people pull either end of and hope to be holding the prize when it splits in two with a crack. We then don the paper crowns or mustaches that are kept inside and dig in. “Afterwards”, my mom says, “we would all sit around the tele and listen to the Queen’s Speech”, though nowadays our tradition is to play A Christmas Story on repeat all day.

BARBARA FOTHERINGHAM’S STEAK PIE Ingredients: Puff Pastry(or premade pie crust) Thinly Cut Steak Seasoned Flour Water Sheep’s Kidney

Directions: 1. Cut steak in neat strips and dip in seasoned flour.

2. Wrap a piece of kidney and suet in each strip of meat. 3. Fill pie dish and add water; roll out pastry one size larger than pie dish; cut off a strip and cover pie with remaining pastry; trim and mark with knife; make whole in center and decorate with pastry; brush with beaten egg . 4. Bake in hot oven until meat is cooked. Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.


DORIS TURPIN’S WEDDING COOKIES Ingredients:

ITALIAN

DORIS TURPIN’S WEDDING COOKIES

Softened Butter Granulated Sugar Anise Seeds, Crushed Water Vanilla Extract Flour Chopped Walnuts Powdered Sugar

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 2. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium for 30 seconds. 3. Add sugar and anise seeds and beat until combined. 4. Beat in water, vanilla, and flour. 5. Mix walnuts in with a wooden spoon. 6. Shape dough into one-inch balls and place one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. 7. Bake 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned. 8. Transfer to wire rack and let cool. 9. Gently shake cooled cookies in plastic bag filled with powdered sugar to coat the cookies.

JEWISH

DAN BERGER’S LATKES

The celebration of Hanukkah is observed over eight days and nights and will begin this year on December 22nd and end on December 30th. Dan Berger, 35, a resident of Leominster, is excited to begin sharing more of his culture with his children. “It’s nice to get out and away from all the red and green lights around”, Berger said. “I get to show my kids the blue and silver decorations and I can tell them how it makes them unique,” he added. Though he did mention with a laugh that he does not think his kids care what they are doing as long as they are getting gifts. According to Berger, food is not as important on Hanukkah as it would be on a holiday like Passover, when families gather for a big meal and cook a brisket. “We mostly eat finger foods for Hanukkah because we get together at night to light the menorah”, Berger said, “but on Christmas Eve my family has always ordered Chinese food. Partly because there’s nothing else open, but it’s become a tradition”. The finger foods will usually include fried items like Latkes, which are fried potato pancakes and fried chicken. Foods are fried on Hanukkah as a representation of the flask of oil which kept the Temple’s Menorah lit for eight days straight. Other important traditions include the lighting and blessing of the menorah, the giving of Hanukkah gelt and spinning the dreidel. It’s also a chance to get together with family, enjoy good times and exchange gifts.

An Italian Christmas is a celebration of tradition, family and fine food made from scratch. Doris Turpin of East Brookfield describes her annual tradition on Christmas Eve. The evening begins by getting dressed up, attending Christmas Eve mass. Afterwards, the family gathers at the table for a home cooked extravaganza! The Christmas Eve dinner consists of homemade ravioli, fresh meatballs, garlic bread and marinara sauce that has been slow cooked for hours. “The house looks plentiful and pretty and the food tastes damn good,” Turpin said. The night’s festivities continue with opening Christmas gifts underneath the tree,reading Twas the Night Before Christmas in front of the fireplace and playing card games all night. For Turpin, the food is the heart of any celebration. Her recipes have a history as they have been passed down from relatives and friends throughout the generations and are kept in a treasured but well-worn cookbook. “I swear the Italians, only give other Italians their recipes,” she jokes. While her holiday meal is the culmination of hard work and love, it is her Italian cookies that steal the show. Italian Wedding Cookies, Venetian Rainbow Cookies, Biscotti, Anise Cookies and more are made by the dozens. After baking them, they are beautifully wrapped and given as gifts to family, friends and even strangers that need a little holiday cheer. When asked what her favorite part of the holidays was, Turpin answered, “Family, getting together. I love it. I love cooking the cookies, decorating them, I love it all!”

DAN BERGER’S LATKES Ingredients: Shredded Potatoes Minced Onion Corn Starch Directions: and oes, minced onion, 1.Mix shredded potat . corn starch in a bowl d re out of the bowl an xtu mi of 2. Take scoops . nd size of your ha mold into a cake the side 2-3 minutes on each 3. Fry in canola oil, 4. Add Kosher salt.

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thumbtack vectors: freepik.com images: coutryflags, pexels, pixabay, flickr

The holidays come and go faster than we expect leaving behind just memories and full bellies. However you choose to spend your holiday season, there is always room for a new tradition or even just a dish that you are unfamiliar with. Spice up your table with new flavors and new topics for conversation, even if it’s about your disastrous attempt at making latkes-! Where we are isn’t as important as who we’re with; at tables, on the floor or even around the tv can be the perfect setting for friends and family to spread good time and good cheer. So set the table, put out an extra setting, share some traditions and turn on your favorite holiday special, while we stuff food in our bellies and love in our hearts.


ENTERTAINMENT

TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, 2007

THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER Freitas, is a professional dancer in underground freestyle and commercial industry scenes in Los Angeles. Her work can be seen on a AT&T commercial and she also There is no better way to spend this holiday season than with a festive mash-up for appeared as a soloist on The Ellen Show for Justin Timberlake. the entire family. You have the opportunity to see The Hip Hop Nutcracker perform at the Hanover Theater on December 29. The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a contemporary With its new twist, the show goes on a dream adventure battling a gang of mice, dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music. The unique and joyful event is visiting the land of sweets and learning the lessons of the holiday season. The Hip performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and Hop Nutcracker, “Is the story of the struggles of a family, which can appeal to older MC Kurtis Blow, one of the hip hop’s founding fathers. This re-imagined and re- generations. It has magical moments and playfulness which appeals to the younger mixed version of the classic and dynamic performance of The Hip Hop Nutcracker will generations and it ends with love triumphing over all which appeals to everyone,” take us on a journey that celebrates love, community and the magic of the holiday Freitas said. She believes the show is for any and every audience. season. With it’s innovative digital graffiti and visuals, this show transforms the landscape of The Hip Hop Nutcracker is directed, choreographed German composer, music critic, and artist, Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann. The and co-created by Lucille Lortel and Bessie award beloved story turns from traditional 19th Century Germany to the vibrant, diverse nominated Jennifer Weber. Weber who has cho- sights and sounds of contemporary New York City. The cast, who rehearses for two reographed, Disney’s Zombies 2 releasing on the weeks prior to the opening show, alters its choreography to fit each year’s cast. Disney Channel in 2020 and &Juliet a new musical featuring the songs of pop songwriter, Max Martin “We are all truly a family. Everyone works so well together and having Kurtis be believes,“The Nutcracker is more than just a ballet, a part of the show is truly special! We couldn’t have The Hip Hop Nutcracker without it is a piece of American pop culture. I was inspired having one of the founding fathers of Hip Hop,” Freitas said. by the music, the narrative, and the opportunity to The Hip-Hop legend Kurtis Blow, was the first rapper to be signed by a major lawork on something on such a large scale.” bel, Mercury in 1979. The American rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer has When asked about what inspired Weber to create a Hip Hop interpretation of a released ten albums in eleven years. With Blow’s first single “Christmas Rappin” he ballet classic Weber said, “I have been working for a few years on re-imagining the sold over 400,000 copies, becoming an annual classic and the first successful Christnarratives of various ballets into the language of Hip Hop. I had created a version mas rap song. Being the special guest MC for The Hip-Hop Nutcracker, Blow opens the of Stravinsky’s The Firebird and also Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. In the same way that theater show, rapping. directors often reimagine Shakespeare, I wanted to reimagine the classic ballets and The Hip Hop Nutcracker is touring annually across the U.S and premiering on PBS this translate them into the world of hip hop.” Fall. Hitting the road this holiday season for 28 cities in the U.S. Tickets are ranging Randi Freitas, the associate director, choreographer and principal performer of from $42.50 through $62.50 depending on seat location. the show, spoke about the upcoming show. The performance is referred to as a “ whole new twist on an old classic” and the audience will be able to experience joy. For more information visit: According to Freitas, “We use the original music but we have brought the storyline to modern time and we use hip hop dance as our way of telling the story! They can thehanovertheatre.org/hiphopnutcracker. also expect people spinning and flying through the air.” ALEXANDRA RODRIGUEZ

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THE

CENTRAL

SCENE

Events happening in Central Mass. ALEXANDRA RODRIGUEZ

2019 Boston Pops Holiday Tour

Join the Boston Pops and conductor Keith Lockhart for their sparkling and beloved Holiday Pops concert. Capturing the magic of the Christmas season and the winter charms of New England, the Boston Pops will perform their signature “Sleigh Ride,” as well as other holiday classics and new arrangements of seasonal favorites. They are joined by the Metropolitan Chorale, known as one of Metro Boston’s premier choral ensembles. Santa Claus himself will make a guest appearance during the concert’s finale, followed by the traditional Boston Pops Holiday sing-along to bring this special performance to a close. Starting at 8:00 p.m., Dec. 6;

The Hanover Theater; $59-$129; thehanovertheatre.org.

The Shrewsbury Street Santa Pub Crawl Returns!

Join us for drinks, food, and fun at your favorite Shrewsbury Street bars and restaurants. Tickets include munchies at each location, one beer ticket (valid at a single specified location), and an event t-shirt. A portion of each ticket sale will be donated to the Friendly House. Starting 2:30 p.m., Dec. 14; Various locations on

Shrewsbury Street; $25; santapubcrawl.org

Preservation Worcester’s Holiday Stroll

Have you ever passed by a grand house and wondered what it looks like on the inside? Then PW’s Holiday Stroll is for you! Tour an eclectic selection of Worcester’s finest homes decorated for the holidays. The Preservation Worcester Holiday Stroll is a seasonal favorite. Don’t miss this once a year opportunity to view exceptional architecture and design of Worcester’s gracious homes. The Holiday Stroll provides a wonderful kick-off to the holiday season. Enjoy fine architecture, good company, and support Preservation Worcester while you visit some of Worcester’s architectural hidden gems. All proceeds support Preservation Worcester’s advocacy, education and action. Starting at 12:00 p.m., Dec. 8; Preservation

Worcester; $25-$30; preservationworcester.org.

Holiday Nature Crafts Open House

Come to the visitor center to view our tree decorated with imaginative ornaments handcrafted from natural materials, and then join us in the Program Room to make your own. Volunteers will guide you through the process of creating several ornaments, or create your own design. Holiday goodies and music provided.

Starting at 1:00 p.m., Dec. 14; Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center; $3-$8; massaudubon.org.

PJ Masks Live!

PJ Masks Live! is back with an all-new, super-heroic, musical show, featuring the heroic trio from your favorite series, “The PJ Masks,” leaping, flipping and climbing, live on stage. Watch Catboy, Owlette and Gekko, along with their new friend PJ Robot, as they try to save the day from the sneaky villains, Romeo, Night Ninja and Luna Girl. Fluttering Feathers! Leaping Lizards! What a CAT-tastrophe! Don’t sleep through it. Watch the PJ Masks save the day, complete with your favorite music and brand new songs you’ve never heard before. Starting at 6:30 p.m., Dec. 4; The Hanover The-

atre; $29-$49; thehanovertheatre.org photo:thehanovertheatre.org

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NOW STREAMING

IDINA MENZEL/CHRISTMAS: A SEASON OF LOVE MIKA/MY NAME IS MICHAEL HOLBROOK KORN/THE NOTHING

MIKE WOOD

JASON SAVIO

He may not be known stateside like he is across the pond, but Mika is worth a listen for anyone who considers pop their jam. His fifth studio album is like a whimsical musing on how things could be, should be or might be—if his idea of the world came to be. It’s a beautiful, lyrical journey that only grows on you with repeat listens. We suggest digesting the album as a whole—its eponymous title is the story of Mika’s (full name Michael Holbrook Penniman, Jr.) life—the warts, heartbreak, joy, loss and love, and all the messiness that comes along with the journey.

Jonathan Davis delivers one of the best lyrics of Korn song ever when he sings, “God is making of me/He’s laughing up there, I can see,” over demented carousel-ride riff in “Idiosyncrasy,” off band’s new album The Nothing.

any fun the the

Those words of paranoia and pain might sound like nothing new to the hardened Korn fan, but on The Nothing they come from a different place as Davis sorts through his complex feelings over the death of his wife.

The Nothing is one of Korn’s darkest records, from the heavy and unforgiving guitars to the deeply personal lyrical content. “Cold” features a pre-chorus that is the tightest and meanest bit the Bakersfield boys have put on tape and also comes complete with old-school Korn vibes courtesy of Fieldy’s bass.

“H@rd3r” lives up to its name with a glass-shattering crescendo. The heart and soul of The Nothing is Davis. He battles his sorrow over his wife’s passing on “Can You Hear Me” when he sings, “It walks with me, it takes its time/It sinks its teeth in one at a time.” He seems to come to terms with his grief on the second to last song “This Loss,” singing, “This is plain to see/Been holding on too long to this tragedy/And it’s time to be free,” but his doubt lingers on the final song, “Surrender to Failure”. He says “I’ve failed” over and over again to close out the album.

The Nothing is everything you could ask for in a Korn album. It’s unsettling and headbanging with a trace of honest tears - and it’s the band’s best work since their hallmark album Follow the Leader. For more information visit: kornofficial.com.

JENNIFER RUSSO I thought I might get on the wintery bandwagon and review a Christmas album and lucky for me…Idina Menzel’s new one just hit iTunes recently. Idina, who is well known for her roles as Elphaba in the musical Wicked, for which she won a Tony Award, and as the voice of Elsa in Disney’s Frozen, showcases her impressive range and ability to belt out across many genres by singing some of the season’s favorite feel good songs. I was happy to hear that she didn’t really stray from the traditional sound in some well-loved songs like “Sleigh Ride”, “We Need a Little Christmas” and “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, but was equally as pleased to hear twists throughout the album like the super jazzy version of “I Got My Love To Keep Me Warm”.

Rather than jumping through tracks as we so often do in this age of iTunes and Spotify, take it all in, because like all the best albums, there’s a story being told, and skipping songs just means you’ve opted for the Cliffs Notes. There are gorgeous, intimate ballads backed by piano, bass-rich club thumpers and a fair share of disco-inspired pop with synth undertones—something for everyone—and the varying musical embellishments make for a fun, colorful and irreverent listening party.

Then there were some songs I had never heard before, including “A Hand for Mrs. Claus”, with Ariana Grande, encouraging people to celebrate the woman behind the man in the red suit, who clearly keeps the show running. And I absolutely loved the “We Wish You the Merriest”, a song that reunites Menzel with Josh Gad (who voiced Olaf, the snowman in Frozen) for a fun, fast, feel-good song that can’t help but put you in a great mood.

Album opener “Tiny Love” offers up Mika with tinges of Freddie Mercury and Elton John, where showmanship and flamboyance are meet face-to-face with buoyancy and balladry and sheer happiness. Through the thirteen tracks, Mika isn’t afraid to turn the microscope on himself and explore darker depths, like in the ballad “I Went To Hell Last Night”. Self-discovery is clearly the mission on Michael Holbrook and Mika hits all the different emotions because, well, isn’t that life? It’s not all rainbows and bunny rabbits. Sometimes shit hits the fan, too. He’s singing his truth, and as default, universal truth.

There are also medley combinations of songs that are done exceptionally well. Her version of “O Holy Night”, one of my favorite holiday songs and an extremely difficult one to sing, is combined with “Ave Maria”. It is absolutely beautiful. And “Winter Wonderland” is combined with “Baby, Please Come Home” (a song which I fell in love with when Tia Mowry sang it some years ago in the movie The Mistle-Tones ) and it makes you want to surround yourself with bright lights and shop for presents.

For more information, please visit mikasounds.com.

For those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, she didn’t leave you out of this album. A cute recording of her son Walker singing a Hanukkah song and a song in Spanish called “Ocho Kandelikas (8 Little Candles)” also grace the album. There is also a solo rendition of “Seasons of Love”, from the musical Rent, which made her famous.

For more information please visit: idinamenzel.com. 16 D e c emb er 20 19


HOLIDAY GAME BUYER'S GUIDE JASON SAVIO When it comes to shopping for games it can be daunting, especially during the holidays when the market is flooded with new releases all trying to get you to hand over your hard-earned cash. There are always the staple titles that are released annually, as well as a new title or two that could be worth the jump. What are the games you should keep an eye out for this holiday season? Here is a list of holiday gifts that would be perfect for the video gamer in your life.

LUIGI’S MANSION 3

It almost wouldn’t feel right if there wasn’t some sort of Mario-themed game on the shelves this time of year. This time around it’s the green hat-wearing sidekick Luigi who is getting the spotlight in Luigi’s Mansion 3. This is a continuation of the haunted house adventures that began for Luigi in 2001 on the GameCube system. This time around on Nintendo Switch, you have your pick of different multiplayer options, including 8-player or two-player co-op. In the latter, one person gets to play as Gooigi, Luigi’s green goo helper. It’s family friendly, even if it deals with ghosts and people made of goo.

JEDI FALLEN ORDER

Speaking of games that fit the season, Jedi Fallen Order will be available just in time for the inevitable hoopla over “The Rise of Skywaker” film. Jedi Fallen Order, however, doesn’t take place during the same time period as the new films. In fact, it takes place much earlier in the Star Wars timeline between Episodes III and IV, exploring a stretch of years that see the Empire in full power and hunting the remaining Jedi after Order 66. Jedi Fallen Order introduces new Jedi padawan Cal Kestis as he tries to revive the Jedi Order while avoiding the Empire’s Inquisitors. This third-person Star Wars game shows lots of promise and will be a sure winner for any fan of the movies, animated shows or comics.

DEATH STRANDING

Shaking up the gaming landscape is this new sci-fi, end-of-the-world extravaganza directed by Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima. Supernatural forces have mankind on the brink of extinction and it’s looking pretty bleak. Okay, so you say you’ve had enough of end-of-the-world shenanigans? Well, this time around you’ll be playing as a familiar face: Norman Reedus. That’s right, the Walking Dead star has lent his likeness—and his voice—to Death Stranding main character Sam Bridges, making this a unique and interesting pick.

CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE

The Call of Duty series continues with this sixteenth installment in the franchise. Advertised as having the “largest technical leap” in the game’s history, according to the game’s website, Modern Warfare will still likely be more of the same. But, if you have someone on your list who enjoys these games, they’ll likely want to play this one too.

DOOM 64

The classic demon-shooting fever dream that is 1997’s DOOM 64 will be getting re-released on Nintendo Switch in honor of the games’ 25th anniversary. This is the perfect gift for old-school gamers or those who want a history lesson on why DOOM is regarded as one of the best shooter games of all time. t h epu ls emag.com

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ENTERTAINMENT

Christmas VACATION WITH CHEVY CHASE

JASON SAVIO

CHEVY CHASE KNOWS HOW TO BE FASHIONABLY LATE. Calling from his home in upstate New York a few minutes past our scheduled interview time, the comedy icon sounds genuinely concerned. “We’re a little late, aren’t we?” he says. “You want to call me back when you’re ready?” Assured that everything is good and asked if he is ready on his end, he deadpans, “Yeah. I’m naked, but that’s fine.” And that’s Chevy Chase, the 76-year-old comedian still doing what he does best, delivering his patented brand of dry, witty humor that helped make films like 1989’s “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” into a classic. The holiday season has become synonymous with Chase thanks to his starring role as bumbling family man Clark Griswold in the over-the-top yet heartfelt “Christmas Vacation.” It just wouldn’t feel like Christmastime without seeing Clark and his family getting chased in their home by a crazed squirrel, or watching his reaction when he cuts into an overcooked turkey.

“Lorne (Michaels) made the deal with me that I could come and be the head writer, which he really wanted, but performing wasn’t questionable until there was a tryout among all of us,” Chase says. “I did a tryout of something like the newsman and, before I knew it, I was doing Weekend Update and stuff like that.” Chase would stay on as a member of the SNL cast for only one season before making the jump to movies— the first SNL cast member to ever do so—but he looks back fondly at his time on the television show.

“OH MY GOSH, THAT’S A LONG TIME AGO, BUT I REMEMBER SO MUCH WHEN IT’S TOLD TO ME,” HE SAYS. “THE WHOLE DAMN YEAR WAS GREAT. FOR ME IT WAS ‘OH MY GOD, I’M FAMOUS’ KIND OF A THING AND ‘I LOVE DOING THIS, GOD I HOPE WE CAN CONTINUE.’ IT WAS GREAT.”

“It was like working with a brick” Chase jokes when asked what it was like to share the screen with Rodney Dangerfield in “Caddyshack.” “One of the dumbest guys I’ve ever known, but I loved him. In fact, we got to be pretty good friends. It was really Ted (Knight)’s movie in my opinion, Ted and Billy (Murray). So, you know, you just keep moving along and getting better.”

“I think it’s reminiscent of what people’s families really are like during Christmas and, even given the eccentricities of the cat burning up and the squirrel landing on my back, basically it’s sort of the way it is,” Chase says about “Christmas Vacation”’s enduring appeal. “The right cast and cousin Eddie (laughs). I think it just makes for a fun ride.”

It continued to get better for Chase three years later when he starred in the first National Lampoon’s “Vacation” movie, introducing audiences to the one and only Clark Griswold. There have been four theatrical sequels to date since then, with “Christmas Vacation” being the third overall in the series.

But Chase wasn’t originally intended to be part of the performing cast.

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It also turns out that the Griswold house was the same house on the Warner Bros. lot used in “Lethal Weapon.” While filming the “Christmas Vacation” scene when he’s decorating his house with lights and falls into the bushes, Chase actually landed on a forgotten toilet left behind by the prop people from “Lethal Weapon,” a “nice reminder from Mel Gibson and Danny Glover,” he says. He also broke a pinky finger when Clark decides to punch the reindeer decorations after the lights don’t work.

Chase’s movie career got off to a quick start shortly after his SNL departure, with 1978’s “Foul Play” and “Caddyshack” in 1980, in which he co-starred with a cast of other talented comedians.

Chase recently stopped by the Hanover Theatre on November 20, for a 30th anniversary screening of “Christmas Vacation” and audience Q&A. He’ll be back in Lynn at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium on March 29 to screen another film from the “Vacation” series.

Chase’s ride of course really started over ten years prior to “Christmas Vacation” when he was cast as part of the original Saturday Night Live lineup alongside other soon-to-be household names, John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Dan Aykroyd. Known collectively as the Not Ready for Prime Time Players, the cast of SNL’s debut season in 1975-1976 set the standard for those who followed.

Gracious and generous with his time, Chase continues to talk for over twenty minutes about his career during our interview. “Three Amigos” with co-stars Martin Short and Steve Martin is a favorite of his (“Oh my god I love that movie. Those are my two close friends. We had a blast.”) as is “Fletch,” calling it his “best experience” because of the freedom director Michael Ritchie gave him to improvise (“Without a doubt because it really was me and just given the opportunity to wing it.”).

Besides a run at the Oval Office (“I’m considering the presidency”) Chase is game for more Griswold hijinks, saying he’d be up for bringing the character back to the big screen after his last appearance in 2015’s “Vacation.” “Sure! I love that character,” he says. “It’s a lot of fun. On the other hand, I also did different characters in my life I must say, and they’re all fun to me. I just love making the pictures, guiding them through, and changing lines and all the stuff that you might not expect.”

While “Christmas Vacation” has become a staple on cable television each holiday season and a beloved film watched by many, Chase isn’t necessarily one to seek out his own movies. So, what does he watch instead to get into the holiday spirit? Without missing a beat, Chase gives his answer.

“I WATCH ‘JAWS,’” HE SAYS. After the joke, there’s a brief pause before he concedes a more honest follow up, giving props to another well-intentioned onscreen family man in George Bailey. “Hey,” Chase says, “’It’s a Wonderful Life’ is probably the best.’”


PULSE SHOTS PHOTOS BY JUSTIN PERRY

COMPASS TAVERN - WORCESTER

MEXICALI - WORCESTER

THE MILL - WEST BOYLSTON

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"Feel the beat of the city."


THE PINT - WORCESTER

PURGATORY BEER CO. - WHITINSVILLE

QUINN'S - WORCESTER

FLYING RHINO - WORCESTER

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ENTERTAINMENT & NIGHTLIFE 435 Bar & Grill 435 Lancaster St., Leominster Dec 6: Dave Harrington Dec 13: Dave Malouin Dec 20: Jay Graham Dec 21: Fred Ellsworth Dec 27: Chris Terp Dec 31: Lizzy Marquis American Graffiti 113 Summer St., Lunenburg 978-345-1010 Art’s Diner 541 W. Boylston St., Worc. 774-530-6120 B-Man’s 140 Tavern 348 Redemption Rock Trail, Sterling 978-422-9763 140pub.com Dec 29: Riff-Raff The Banner Bar & Grille 112 Green St., Worc. 508-755-0879 thebannerbar.com Barbers Crossing (North) 175 Leominster Road, Sterling 978-422-8438 barberscrossingrestaurant.com Friday: Bill McCarthy Beatnik's 433 Park Ave., Worc. 508-926-8877 beatniksbeyou.com Tuesday: Dizzy Pirate Standup Comedy show! Thursday: Center Stage Karaoke Thursday: Throw Back Thursdays 90's Theme Dec 7: Bang A Uey Dec 13: Auntie Trainwreck Dec 14: Darshia Dec 20: New England Density Beer Garden Pavilion 64 Franklin St., Worc. 774-530-9000 beergardenma.com Billy’s Pub 81 Clinton St., Shrewsbury 508-425-3353 Black Sheep Tavern 261 Leominster Road, Sterling 978-422-8484 Friday: Live Music Saturday: Live Music Blueprint New American Bar & Grill 9 Village Square, Westminster 978-668-5580 Dec 5: Jacqueline Burns Dec 6: Scott Babineau Dec 7: Middlemen Dec 12: Chris Reddy Acoustic Loops from Hell Dec 13: Eavesdrop Dec 14: Bridgestreet Dec 19: Lizzy Marquis Dec 20: Rita Tolman

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Dec 21: MB Padfield Dec 26: Fred Ellsworth Dec 27: Brian Chaffee Dec 27: Lost Artifacts Boardroom 139 Water St., Worc. 508-757-6259 boardroomwoo.com

Dec 14: Alter Ego Dec 20: Sean Ryan Dec 21: DJ Runaway Dec 27: The Steve & Steve Duo Dec 28: The Big Guns

Dec 13: Boombox Dec 14: Decades by Dezyne Dec 21: Cactus Dec 27: Gypsy Cowboys Dec 28: Ed Sullivans

Electric Haze 26 Millbury St, Worc. 508-799-0629

Happy Jack’s 785 North Main St., Leominster 978-466-3433 Dec 7: Sean Fullerton at Happy Jack's

Boulder Cafe 880 Main St., Fitchburg 978-345-0008

Fiddlers’ Green Pub & Restaurant 19 Temple St., Worc, 508-792-3700

Breakaway Billiards 104 Sterling St., Clinton 978-365-6105 Dec 7: AD/HD – ACDC Tribute Band Dec 21: Wicked Daughter – STP and Pearl Jam Tribute Band

Firefly's/Dante’s 350 E. Main St., Marlborough 508-357-8883 fireflysbbq.com Dec 6: George McCann Band Dec 7: Usual Suspects Dec 13: Eclipse Dec 14: Sudden Odd Behaviour Dec 20: 9Teen Dec 21: Hot Acoustics Dec 27: Decks and Drums Dec 28: Confounded Bridge Dec 31: New Year's Eve with Stomping Melvin

Bull Run Restaurant 215 Great Road, Shirley 978-425-4311, 877-536-7190 bullrunrestaurant.com Cedar Box Lounge 15 Hamilton St., Worc. 508-373-2314 Chuck’s Steak House and Margarita Grill 10 Prospect St., Auburn 508-832-2553 chucks.com Dec 6: Blues House Between Dec 7: Pete Towler Dec 13: Johnny Vincent Dec 14: Gracie Day Dec 20: Tequila Bonfire Dec 21: Liam Coleman Dec 27: Drunken Uncles Dec 28: Rick Hamel Civic Kitchen & Drink 121 West Main St., Westborough 508-329-5179 /www.civickitchenanddrink.com Classic's Pub 285 Central St., Leominster 978-537-7750 classicspub.net Columbia Tavern 28 Manning Ave., Leominster 978-751-8962 Compass Tavern 90 Harding St., Worc. 508-304-6044 thecompasstavern.com Thursday: DJs Friday: DJs Saturday: DJs Dec 13: Rick Hamel Dec 20: Jonny Taylor Dec 31: New Year's Eve Party Dark Rose Saloon 274 Shrewsbury St., Worc. 508-926-8780 Dec 7: Kevin Williams Trio Dec 13: Booty & the Jett Dec 20: Macy & Gerrits Dec 21: Blueswitch Blues Band Dec 28: The HouseTones Days End Tavern 287 Main St., Oxford 508-987-1006 Dec 6: My Better Half Dec 7: Whiskey Boulevard Dec 13: Fender Road

Forty’s 1030 Central St., Leominster 978-534-7026 Funky Murphy's Bar & Grill 305 Shrewsbury St., Worc. 508-753-2995 funkymurphys.com Gardner Ale House 74 Parker St., Gardner 978-669-0122 gardnerale.com Thursday: Big Music Nights & Audio Wasabi Friday: Live Music Saturday: Live Music Monday: Blue Mondays - Live Blues! Sunday: Jazz Brunch The GazBar Sports Grill 1045 Central St., Leominster thegazbar.com Dec 5: Ashlie Dawn Dec 6: Hana Khan Dec 7: Lizzy Marquis Dec 12: Jae Mannion Dec 13: Hitchcock Blondes Dec 14: Randy McGravey Dec 19: The Maniac Loves You Dec 20: Lizzy Marquis Dec 21: Rick Hamel Dec 28: Amanda Cote Greater Good Imperial Brewing Co. 55 Millbrook St., Worcester ggimperials.com Greendale's Pub 404 W. Boylston St., Worc. 508-853-1350 greendalespub.com Dec 6: Riff-Raff plays Greendale's Pub Dec 27: Auntie Trainwreck's Final Show of 2019! Halligan's Bar and Function Hall 889 Southbridge St., Auburn 508-832-6793 halligansbar.com Tuesday: Beginners Line Dance Lessons with Ken Hoyt Thursday: Mike G & Vi Duo Dec 6: Dock 10 Dec 7: Tequila Bonfire

Hotel Vernon 1 Millbury St., Worc. Indian Ranch 200 Gore Road, Webster 508-943-3871 indianranch.com Legends Airport Rd., Fitchburg 978-342-6500 www.facebook.com/centericebar Dec 6: Fred Ellsworth Dec 13: Jacqueline Burns Dec 18: Amanda Cote Leitrim's Pub 265 Park Ave., Worc. 508-798-2447 leitrimspub.com The Local Tavern 680 Main St., Holden 508-829-3008 Dec 21: Riff-Raff Loft 266 Bar & Lounge 266 Park Ave., Worc. 508-796-5177 loft266.com Tuesday: Karaoke Tuesdays Wednesday: Music Bingo Thursday: DJ X Kaliber Thursday: Trivia Friday: DJ Joe T Friday: DJ Joe T Saturday: DJ Joe T Saturday: DJ Joe T at Loft, Saturday at Dec 7: Jay Graham Performs Dec 7: DJ Juice Performs Dec 13: DJ Cardona Dec 14: Dave O'Brien Marty's Pub 225 Canterbury St., Worc. 508-754-0033 martyspub.com MB Lounge 40 Grafton St., Worc. 508-799-4521 mblounge.com Wednesday: Karaoke with Mikey Mic's Medusa Brewing Company 111 Main St., Hudson 978-310-1933 medusabrewing.com Meze Estiatorio 116 Shrewsbury St., Worc. 508-556-4242 mezeestiatorio.com Michael’s Cigar Bar 1 Exchange Place, Worc. 508-459-9035 michaelscigar.com Dec 4: Dezi Garcia Dec 5: The Royal Furs Dec 6: Munk Duane & Souljacker Dec 7: Hit the Bus Dec 8: The Royal Furs @worcesterpulse


Dec 12: Graham Mosely Brown Dec 13: Blue Light Bandits Dec 14: Peter Masa & The Real Cool Cats Dec 15: Mike Melendez Dec 18: Dezi Garcia Dec 19: Jim Devlin Dec 20: Radio Honey Dec 21: The Combination Dec 22: Blue Light Bandits Dec 26: Chris Reddy Acoustic Loops from Hell Dec 27: Doctor Robert Dec 28: Stubby Phillips & The Flatheads Dec 29: The Royal Furs The Mill 185 185 W. Boylston St., W. Boylston 774-261-8585 themill185.com Dec 5: Jonny Taylor Dec 6: Jodee & Brian Dec 7: Bill McCarthy Dec 12: Night Train Dec 13: Jay Graham Dec 14: Annie Brobst Trio Dec 19: Molly Jane Dec 20: Chris Reddy Acoustic Loops from Hell Dec 21: Sarah Carcia Dec 26: Joe Macey Dec 28: Katie O'Brien Mill City Pub 19 Airport Rd., Fitchburg 978-342-2134 Dec 6: Darren Bessette Dec 7: The Verge Dec 13: Sean Daley Dec 14: Rock It Dec 20: Jesse Develis Dec 21: Jah Spirit Dec 27: Jae Manion Dec 28: Phineas Gage Dec 31: New Year's Party with DJ Mill Street BBQ Company 242 Mill Street Worcester, MA 508-762-9990 The Monument Tap 13 Central St., Leominster 978-798-4653 monumenttap.com Dec 7: Dave Gordon Dec 12: 15th Annual Toys for Tots Party Dec 19: Chris Reddy Acoustic Loops from Hell Moonshiners 105 Water St., Worc. www.facebook.com/pg/moonshinerscountrybarworcester Thursday: Throwback Thursdays – DJs Friday: Live Music Saturday: Live Music Dec 6: Saving Abel The Muse 536 Main St., Worc. 508-756-6873 Nick's Bar and Restaurant 124 Millbury St., Worc. 508-753-4030 Olde Post Office Pub 1 Ray St., N. Grafton 508-839-6106

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The Palladium 261 Main St., Worc. 508-797-9696 thepalladium.net Dec 3: Ski Mask The Slump God Dec 6: In Flames Dec 7: ISSUES - Beautiful Oblivion Dec 8: Manchester Orchestra Dec 15: Obituary Dec 28: Four Year Strong - Holiday Show Park Grill and Spirits 257 Park Ave., Worc. Partner's Pub 970 South St., Fitchburg 978-345-5051 partnerspub.com Sunday: Karaoke Wednesday: Karaoke Friday: Karaoke Saturday: Live Bands Patsie Dugan's 49 Millbury St., Worc. 508-755-4155 patsiedugans.com The Pint 58 Shrewsbury St., Worc. 508-414-1314 Point Breeze On the Lake 114 Point Breeze Road, Webster 508-943-0404 pointbreezeonwebsterlake.com Press Box 536 Lincoln St., Worc. 508-856-9255 Saturday: Karaoke Purgatory Beer Company 670 Linwood Ave, Whitinsville 508-596-2194 Quinn’s Irish Pub 715 W. Boylston St., Worc. 508-459-2025 quinnsirishpub.com Dec 4: Mary Kate Gentile Dec 5: Kevin Shields Dec 6: Adam Makes Noise Dec 7: FM Live Dec 11: Josh Briggs Dec 12: John Brazile Dec 13: Chad Clements Dec 14: Terry Brennan Dec 15: Sarah Carcia Dec 18: Chris Reddy Dec 19: Terry Brennan Dec 20: Ashley Jordan Dec 21: Graham Brown Dec 22: Lizzy Marquis Dec 26: John Brazile Dec 27: Kevin Shields Dec 28: Tim Pacific Dec 29: Sam James Ralph's Chadwick Square Diner 148 Grove St., Worc. 508-753-9543 ralphsrockdiner.com Rascals 70 James St., Worc. 508-757-6977 www.danceranchandsaloon.com Dec 7: Bon Jersey Bon Jovi Tribute Dec 21: Tony Soul Project Dec 28: Jake Ash Band

The Raven 258 Pleasant St., Worc. 508-304-8133 Wednesday: Open Mic/Open Jam Dec 7: Kingsmen, Eminent, Except Me, Citadel, Desponder, Creation From Crisis, Trigger The Fall Dec 14: Wormtown Ska Presents: A Happy Skalidays Can Drive Fest - For The Mustard Seed! River Styx Brewing 166 Boulder Dr., Fitchburg http:www.riverstyxbrewing.com Dec 5: Str82hades Trivia Dec 6: Keith Jacques Dec 13: Jesse Ljunggren Dec 20: Ryan Hood Dec 21: 77 Suspects Dec 27: The Hunters Bow Dec 28: Paul Rodriguez Band - Early New Year's Party Rock Bar 81 Water St., Worcester 774-243-7000 Wednesday: Karaoke Thursday: Sunset Strippers Dec 6: Whiskey Night Dec 7: Crossing Kelly Dec 8: Corey McClane Dec 13: Brett Brumby Dec 13: Rythym 44 Dec 14: Wicked Daughter Dec 15: Acoustic Horns Dec 20: A Night of Zepplin Dec 20: Getaway Rocks Dec 27: Abraxas Dec 28: On the Rocks Dec 29: War on Alexandria Rye & Thyme 14 Monument Square, Leominster 978-534-5900 ryeandthyme.com Dec 5: Jodee Frawlee Dec 6: Swipe Right Band Dec 8: Zack Slik Dec 12: Dan Cormier Dec 13: The Maniac Loves You Dec 14: Doctor Robert Dec 15: Promise Is Hope Dec 19: Amanda Cote Dec 20: The Royal Furs Dec 21: Beatles Night with Monica McNamara & Friends Dec 22: Lizzy Marquis Dec 26: Scott Babineau Dec 27: Hot Mess Dec 28: Trakdown Dec 29: Dwayne Haggins Singapore Restaurant 170 Whalon St., Fitchburg 978-345-0132 South Side Grille & Margarita Factory 242 W. Broadway, Gardner 978-632-1057 Dec 6: Dan Cormier Dec 7: Neon Alley Dec 13: Danny Leblanc Dec 14: Adult Xmas Party with The Flock Dec 20: Big Dave & The Captain Dec 21: Dirty Inferno Dec 27: Steve Tolley Dec 28: Alligators Spruce Street Tavern 68 Spruce St., Clinton 978-368-1255

The Sunset Tiki Bar 79 Powers Rd., Westford 978-692-5700 sunset-tiki.com The Tavern on Central 3 Central St., Ashburnham 978-827-1272 thetavernoncentral.com Dec 6: Mike Melendez Dec 7: The Ashboys Dec 13: Katie Louise Dec 14: Ken Macy Dec 20: Brian Dickens Dec 21: Tim & Lou Dec 27: Scott Babineau Dec 28: Amanda Cote Tryst Lounge 320 Main St., Fitchburg 978-400-7906 www.thetrystlounge.com Vibrations 109 Water St., Worc. www.facebook.com/pg/VibrationsNightclub Friday: Latin Nights Saturday: Saturday Night Dance Party Victory Bar & Cigar 56 Shrewsbury St., Worc. 508-756-4747 victorycigarbar.com Vincent's Bar 49 Suffolk St., Worc. 508-752-9439 Tuesday: Boogie Chillin' Tuesdays Wachusett Brew Yard 175 State Rd. E, Westminster 978-874-9965 http:www.wachusettbrewingcompany. com Dec 7: Dazed Till Dawn Dec 8: Fred Ellsworth Dec 13: Max Recoil Dec 14: Rattlesnake Alley Dec 20: Brian Chaffee & Melissa Gates Dec 21: Darren Bessette Band Whiskey Hookah Lounge 316 Main St., Worc. Whiskey on Water 97 Water St., Worc. 774-578-8829 Thursday: DJ Cuz'n Kev Friday: DJ Tec Threat Saturday: Rotating DJs Dec 14: Over the Bridge Dec 21: Jeff Rosen Band Dec 28: The Royal Furs Dec 31: New Year's Eve with Dock 10 White Eagle Polish Club 112 Green St., Worc. 774-245-1991 Thursday: Musical Bingo Friday: DJs Thursday: DJs William's Restaurant & Tavern 184 Pearson Blvd, Gardner 978-632-7794 Dec 6: William's Restaurant & Tavern's "A Night of Blues with Sean Fullerton"

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LUXE LIST: 5 GIFTABLE TECH FINDS FOR GADGETEERS MERILEE KERN Like untold millions of others, amid the rapidly approaching holiday you may be frantically trying to find that perfect gift for someone special but your mind is drawing a blank. This pressure is exponentially harder when shopping for that person who “has it all.” Keep calm and read on, as here are a few diverse techie gift ideas that, given easy online purchasing, can still swing the time crunch for the impending exchange.

VOCOPRO DJ SMART LIGHTSHOW Singers, home entertaining buffs and DJs alike will love the vivid lightshow displays released by the 5-in-1 Smart Lightshow by VocoPro. It pairs pre-programmed Water Wave and Moonflower effects together with UV, Strobe and Laser light effects just like professional shows, delivering all five lighting effects seamlessly and effortlessly. Even a smartphone speaker can trigger the lights! VocoPro’s new DJ Smart Lightshow is a great choice for parties and home entertainment enthusiasts for those who are ready to spice up their get-togethers. It’s also lightweight and portable so it’s also great for amping up those vacations. It also requires no additional DMX (Digital Multiplexing) used in theatrical lighting industry and it has a unique two-stage sound-activated control, each with nine sound sensitivity levels. This is important because the product’s beat-synchronized light show will work in various volume level environments. vocopro.com.

EXOBEAUTY HOME LASER HAIR REMOVAL This one’s for the ladies out there who’ve probably tried everything to get rid of that unwanted hair: waxing, plucking, shaving...you’ve probably tried it all! These methods are not only time consuming, but can often hurt! Oh, and maybe you tried a laser treatment at a clinic. But an average treatment costs about $235 for just one session so that can certainly add up for the multiple visits it’ll take to achieve your desired results. Instead, check out EXObeauty’s portable laser hair removal kit, which costs less than one of those sessions! Plus, it can provide almost unlimited sessions at the comfort and convenience of your own home. This at-home laser hair removal device uses clinically proven Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology that makes it safe and gentle on your skin. As well, there are five levels that you can adjust to find the best one for you. The company reports that users start seeing results within just 2-3 uses! So this season, say goodbye to the sharp razor, the messy wax and inconvenient office appointments and try EXObeauty’s Home Laser Hair Removal kit instead. exobeauty.com.

JURA D6 AUTOMATIC COFFEE MACHINE Offering a new twist on cappuccino, Jura’s D6 automatic coffee machine easily prepares coffee classics. With the plain text display and ergonomically optimized switch, operation is easy and intuitive. Programming and maintenance are also self-explanatory. A series of advanced innovations results in six specialty coffees prepared to professional barista standard, with the system topping off beverages like cappuccino with temptingly fine, light-as-air milk foam. Its AromaG2 grinder features a perfected cutting angle and preserves the full aroma of the beans when freshly grinding them to the ideal fineness. A Pulse Extraction Process optimizes the extraction time to bring out the full bouquet of the coffee aromas. It also uses CLEARYL water filters to supply perfect water quality for the best possible flavor. They also protect the coffee machine against limescale and remove substances that could impair flavor and aroma (such as heavy metals or chlorine) from the water. To make maximum use of the filter and its capacity, JURA developed the Intelligent Water System. The filter cartridge and coffee machine are wirelessly linked by RFID technology. The filter is detected automatically, so using the filter has never been easier or more reliable. To enhance the JURA experience, this marvelous machine can be used with JURA’s Smart Connect device (sold separately) with Bluetooth communication, making it compatible with JURA’s app: J.O.E. 2.0 (JURA Operating Experience). J.O.E. allows the user to easily operate the machine from a smartphone or tablet. shopjura.com.

ZIPPO HEATBANK 9S RECHARGEABLE HAND WARMER The approaching holidays are time to gather with family and friends and eat, drink and be merry–and as importantly, stay warm. Whether you’re out in the elements watching fall sports, taking hikes, walking the dog or other activities that’ll bring you into the brisk air—or plan to shop for that family member is who is never “warm enough”—The Zippo HeatBank 9s Rechargeable Hand Warmer is a fabulous find. It’s a great heat solution for any outdoor activities, cold-weather commutes or even chilly offices. It has a curved design allowing it to easily fit in and out of pockets, making it a travel companion that’s built to last. It delivers dependable, dual-sided warmth at the press of a button with the convenience of a power bank. You’ll get a run time of nine hours and enjoy six heat settings that deliver gentle warmth of up to 120°F/50°C. The unit is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and is capable of charging any USB-compatible device, including smartphones and tablets—a great bonus! Available in three colors, champagne, black, silver and rose gold, and it also comes with an adjustable lanyard so it can be worn around the neck. The HeatBank 9s rechargeable hand warmer keeps you warm from the office to the woods. zippo.com.

ISTORAGE DISKASHUR² ENCRYPTED HARD DRIVE I’m a huge fan of iStorage’s range of ultra-secure PIN authenticated hardware encrypted HDD/SSD and USB drives, which are the perfect solution to keep data secure and protected while you travel—and otherwise! The diskAshur² is the ultimate encrypted hard drive for storing precious data, such as family photos and videos of all of your fun fall festivities. Once you set your unique PIN code, everything it contains will be safe from prying eyes. They’re great for storing family and work documents without the fear of the data getting lost or stolen. iStorage’s diskAshur² solid state drives and its USB 3.1 the diskAshur² hard drive each feature Enhanced Dual Generating Encryption (EDGE) technology, making them THE most secure data storage drives available on the market. EDGE™ Security employs built-in physical protection mechanisms designed to defend against external tamper, bypass laser attacks and fault injections. In short, without the PIN, there’s no way in! Plus with the HDD available in capacity options from 500GB to 5TB, there will be plenty of space for all the family’s needs. With software free set up and operation, the diskAshur² HDD is platform/device independent, so it works across all operating systems including all versions of MS Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Chrome, Thin Clients, Zero Clients and embedded systems. In fact, the drives will work on any device with a USB port. amazon.com.

As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist. As prolific consumer trends, lifestyle and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker, Merilee keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme. The best-of-the-best across all product, service and travel categories—as well as noteworthy marketplace change makers, movers and shakers—are spotlighted in her exclusive cross-media platform that reaches multimillions each month through several syndication channels: print and online publications as well as broadcast TV and terrestrial radio. Connect with her at www.TheLuxeList.com / Instagram www.Instagram.com/ LuxeListReviews / Twitter www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor / Facebook www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList / LinkedIN www.LinkedIn.com/in/MerileeKern.

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OUT & ABOUT

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS EASIER SAID THAN DONE?

GIULIANO D’ORAZIO As the 2019 holiday season sets in, warm gatherings bring time for reflection, families reuniting and setting intentions for the year ahead. For many of us, however, the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ is anything but. It’s no secret that the holidays bring up uncomfortable and often triggering feelings for some. From dealing with the heartbreak of lost loved ones, to even more common frustrations surrounding financial stress, travel and inclimate weather, the days between November and January can pack a punch. The holiday strain can be even more taxing on members of the LGBTQ community. How can we mitigate these stresses and triggers, and with solidarity, support ourselves and one another through emotionally sensitive times? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, LGBTQ individuals are three times more likely to experience mental health struggles — regardless of the season. Stigma, outright homophobic attacks, and more common micro-agressions are all contributing factors to this statistic. Compound this with the already-stressful, expectation-laden holiday climate, and many of us find ourselves feeling less than merry. One of the most difficult realities for so many queer people is the prospect of returning ‘home’ for the holidays. For some, their families may simply be ‘out of touch’ and ignorant to the reality of living life as a queer person in 2019. Whether or not the family is willing to be educated, bearing the burden of explanation can be anxiety producing, bringing more dread than excitement when it comes time to gather around the holiday feast. Dr. Logan Jones, who is a psychologist and head of NYC Therapy and Wellness, suggests creating an internal mantra of self-acceptance; something like: “I have the right to be me, I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, I have the right to distance myself from people and places that feel toxic.” I know that personally, developing these types of grounding techniques can be so helpful in weathering external triggers that are out of my control. Follow Dr. Jones on Instagram @drloganjones for more helpful strategies and inspiration. In more extreme but far too common cases, LGBTQ folks may be completely estranged from their families, and returning home is simply not an option. As painful as that reality is, many of us find healing through creating a chosen family. Creating new traditions with people who love and support you is vital. For those of us in the community who have the capacity, it’s important to actively create these spaces and invite others to share. If you find yourself struggling this holiday season, remember to put yourself first, and know that it’s okay to take breaks or distance yourself from toxic people and situations. Keep a strong support circle, and know who you can reach out to if you need help. Additionally, it can be tough to keep moving this time of year, but staying active is important. It may sound cliche, but exercise can really boost good brain chemistry and help reduce stress. Locally, organizations like LGBTQ Asylum Taskforce, AIDS Project Worcester, Love Your Labels and Safe Homes all have active social media accounts and various programming to help LGBTQ people through a variety of programming.

Giuliano D’Orazio (he/him pronouns) is a Worcester native, musician, music educator, active member of the local LGBTQ+ community, and a board member of Love Your Labels. Follow him on instagram @giuliano.music. 26 D e c e mb e r 20 1 9


420 IN THE 508: MAKING GREEN

ELLIOT MERCIER   Back before legalization of cannabis came into full effect, releasing the floodgates of would-be shopkeepers and green beaming enthusiasts, one of the most popular arguments for the legalization of cannabis involved one of the most common buzz phrases that your cookie-cutter politician would use: “boost the economy”. Since legal acquirement of marijuana and access to what’s considered a legitimate medical resource to many was something that a lot of people obviously wanted, the idea that all the sales and taxes imposed would help stimulate the economy was a novel idea. However, with the numbers reported during each quarter of the year, the rewards reaped from taxes alone have been considered disappointing. By June of this year, economists gathered that the government would be able to accumulate at least 70 million dollars in taxes but the total gathered by that time resembled only a third of that projection. This optimistic projection was likely made with ignorance to the fact that the amount of marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts was far too low. The amount of shops available was sparse, compounded by the distance they had from each other. This was ultimately a safe move though, because if shops were rushed out and the organizations giving out licenses were careless in their candidates, there could have been worse omissions and oversights than missed tax collection, such as improperly labeled products, consumer violations and zoning issues regarding how close the establishment would be to a public service building such as a school. For the overall year, tax projections were falling between 120 - 160 million dollars, and even with the up and coming shops in Massachusetts, it won’t be enough to meet that target. However, it’s not all bad news, the actual profits earned through cannabis sales, recreational and medicinal, has been fairly lucrative: by the first half of the year, recreational marijuana accumulated 140 million dollars and the monthly average has increased steadily by 6 million every month after May, leading to an estimated 540 million by the end of the year. So the government might not have lucked out on tax revenue but many businesses benefited from the normal business transactions. While 2019 wasn’t exactly a big year for economic growth, it was ultimately prime time for a lot of the businesses coming to and opening up in Worcester. The boost won’t be as immediate as everyone would ideally like but the amount of jobs that will open up throughout the industry are a fair and necessary bonus. The year has been full of ups and downs for marijuana consumers: while businesses have blossomed to make access to the green stuff much easier than it ever has, the laws and confusion surrounding the “legal” properties of it has still made delving into it a bit of a minefield. Welp, maybe we’ll get a bigger boost next year and the men in suits will see what can be improved, or perhaps they can make rash decisions and the eager will have to wait longer.  t h epu ls emag.com

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FOOD + DR I N K

DINING REVIEW

RUSSO ITALIAN RESTAURANT: WHERE FINE DINING AND FAMILY COME TOGETHER

BERNIE WHITMORE With some of the most handsome dining spaces in town, 65 Water Street has been the site of several different restaurants in the past couple decades. Half a flight down from street level, the rooms feel ancient with heavy wooden beams, rough stonework and plenty of brick. Russo Italian Restaurant has integrated so well and so quickly into this space that on my first visit they seemed like a perfect match. And, based on the ‘market’ display windows showcasing aging meats and cheeses and all their homemade pasta shapes, they also impress as authentically Italian. Before we could be seated, I felt my expectations soar. Then Sue, our server, greeted us and recited a tour through menu highlights. We were encouraged by her enthusiasm, the depth of the menu and her informed descriptions. All this food-talk was increasing my appetite; as if sensing that, she brought a basket of moist focaccia bread and bowl of herbed dipping oil. In selecting an appetizer, I noticed that at least half the offerings were not the standard fare you see at most restaurants. In addition to offerings such as Fried Calamari, they also have items such as Grilled Octopus and Stuffed Cherry Peppers. We decided to share another unusual offering: Fried Smelts. Ok, these fish don’t have the most appealing of names – I had to journey to the Baltics to ‘discover’ them – but they’re well-worth investigating. They look like overgrown sardines and are served whole; Russo’s gives them a thin coating of crumbly breading and deepfries them to light golden brown. The generous portion, at least a dozen, came stacked aside arugula leaves and a dish of warm lemon caper brown butter. The tart lemon and almost olivey flavor of the capers were a hugely successful match to the fragile flavor of the smelts. This was a totally unexpected delight and served to increase my entrée expectations. Eggplant Parm Pie, one of the entrées that Sue had mentioned, sounded too good to pass up. They layer soft eggplant slices with marinara and mozzarella cheese and encase them in a sheet of pasta dough. This is covered with more marinara and a showering of

grated parmesan cheese and baked. Baked till the outer cheesy edge is a luscious melty shell and the eggplant has become rich and tomatoey. Then they cut a wedge, about the dimensions of a huge chunk of chocolate cake and serve it over more of the marinara. First tasting: Russo’s marinara! Tangy-rich with a depth of tomato and herb flavors that can only be developed with time and care. But not over-processed; it still has some zesty acid character. And the eggplant: silky-soft and integrated into the rich tomatoey goodness. All these flavors baked into the jacket of soft pasta clad with that fusion of parmesan and marinara forming a chewy outer layer. I savored every bite. This called for a hearty red wine, a glass of Duca Minimo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Tasting of ripe summer berries, this ruby-red wine retained a freshness that wasn’t so bold as to bully the flavor of Russo’s tasty marinara. From the other end of Italian cuisine’s color-flavor spectrum, my companion went with a standard: Carbonara. Pancetta is typically used to provide a touch of smoky salt structure to this dish. But Russo’s chef uses guanciale, a close flavor match that comes from the jowl of the pig. If you’re not paying close attention you wouldn’t discern a difference. The main event of the dish was the eggs and cream with a generous dash of fresh pepper. All simmered together with Parmesiano Reggiano cheese and served over a plate of fresh spaghetti. The forkful I snagged was eggy and mild in flavor. Delicious. My friend would have appreciated the addition of more grated cheese. Can there ever be too much cheese? Having cleared our dishes, Sue returned with a dessert display. Their chocolate cake was tempting, but we chose Tiramisu. Russo’s pastry chef uses thin layers of sponge cake soaked with coffee syrup and the traditional creamy mascarpone filling. Its flavor reminded me of the spice cakes my mother used to make. For those of us who love Italian food, Russo’s is a welcome addition to the Worcester dining scene. They push the cuisine with creative gusto and innovation. In fact, on Sundays they push their regular menu aside and serve a traditional Italian family dinner. When was the last time you experienced that?

Russo Italian Restaurant 65 Water Street, Worcester Phone: (774) 243-1377 www.russoworcester.com


HOT & NOW What’s hot and happening now in the restaurant scene

PAUL GIORGIO

STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES. The Rose Room Café in Webster recently celebrated their one-year anniversary. It is owned by Bill & Jess Sabine and specializes in locally sourced food. It is open for breakfast and lunch during the week and open for dinner on Friday and Saturday.

TACKLE THIS. The Tackle Box Brewing Company in Marlborough, which is affiliated with Strange Brew, opened a taproom at 416 Boston Post Road, Marlborough in the middle of October. They produce about six beers and have a full entertainment schedule. IN OTHER BREWERY NEWS. Maynard craft beermaker Battle Road Brewing Co. has permanently closed, according to the business’ Facebook page. The brewery was formed in 2012 and opened its 15-barrel brewery in Maynard in 2017. The brew house featured food and musical entertainment in addition to housebrewed beer. The location is now listed as permanently closed on the company’s Facebook page. YOU CAN NEVER EAT TOO MANY COOKIES. December 20th, is the deadline for chefs to commit to Girl Scouts of Central & Western Massachusetts’ Fork It Over Girl Scout. This cookie culinary event will be held at Mechanics Hall, in Worcester on Thursday, March 12, 2020. To receive a formal invitation or to find out more, send a note to Jamie at jmahon@gscwm.org or call 413-224-4037. AU REVOIR. The much-heralded arrival of Cmondz from Framingham was short lived, as the Shrewsbury Street eatery has apparently closed. There is some confusion about their future. One posting on Facebook says they are closed and another said they will be closed until May 1, 2020. Was it overreach on their part as they attempted to do, breakfast, lunch and dinner while featuring five cuisines on their extensive menu? PUTTING LIPSTICK ON A PIG. Pigs in Flames located at 96 Franklin

Road,Fitchburg opened the end of September to rave reviews. Owned by Chef Liz Davis, she described her dishes as a combination of southern and Nigerian. Davis is a graduate of UMass Boston in Communications, but began working in the restaurant business at a young age.

HEAVY IS THE CROWN. Crown Bakery shuts down Grafton Street store.

Worcester’s Crown Bakery has shut down its second location recently. The Grafton Street store was once home to Mrs. Mack’s bakery before being sold to Crown Bakery last year. A “For Lease” sign is in the window.

FIVE LOAVES HAS NEW OWNERS. The Spencer based bakery, Five

Loaves was recently purchased by the Lowell Family. The Café located at 13 Mechanic Street serves lunch and dinner and is BYOB. Alex Lowell and her mother own and operate the bakery and café.

ANZIO MOVES. Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizza has moved from its longtime Grafton location to a new one in Northborough. According to owner Todd Harrington, the restaurant needed to expand and a spot that once housed Hanto, an Asian Restaurant, became available. The expanded restaurant seats 160 and will have an outdoor patio.

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FOOD + DR I N K

NEW AROUND THE WOO

NEW AROUND THE WOO:

WAN WANG RACHEL SHUSTER Located at 401 Park Ave. in Worcester, Wan Wang is a new restaurant, focusing on traditional Chinese food, ramen noodles and authentic Szechuan cuisine. Now you may be thinking, ‘hm, that location sounds awfully familiar for a Chinese food restaurant…’ And you’d be right! The location is the former Ho Toy restaurant, one of the oldest Chinese food restaurants in Worcester. When the Wan Wang team learned Ho Toy was closing in 2018, they purchased the building and renovated it with a new look and concept. Wan Wang assistant manager, Pattie Xie says, “To most people, Ho Toy provided a lot of memories. We wanted the opportunity to make new memories with a new concept.” Xie and the rest of the Wan Wang team are no strangers to the restaurant industry. Wan Wang is a family-owned operation, with two other restaurants in their group – Kenichi on Shrewsbury St. and Sake Bomb on Park Ave. “We’ve been in the business for about 20 years. Kenny [Huang], also my brother-in-law, has been a kitchen

chef, sushi chef and is the owner of Wan Wang,” Xie says. So why open another Asian restaurant in Worcester? “We want to keep the tradition going,” Kenny Huang says. “We need a good, traditional Asian restaurant in Worcester. A lot of people go outside of the city, so we wanted to give the community something in the city.” What differentiates Wan Wang from other eateries is that the new concept will provide traditional food with a contemporary feel both on and off menu. “We kept some of the old décor from Ho Toy to preserve the history and memories of the restaurant, but did a lot of work to update it,” Xie says. “We added a lot of windows to let light in. We combined modern with traditional.” After taking about 19 months to open, much longer than expected because the location was old and needed a lot of work, Wan Wang opened its doors on October 20th. So as for the menu – well it’s got everything! It has all your favorites from starters like edamame, egg rolls, chicken fingers, crab rangoons, wonton soup and hot and sour soup, to main dish-

For more information, visit Wan Wang on Facebook. Cheers! 30 D e c emb er 20 19

es like beef with broccoli, sweet and sour chicken, lo mein, house friend rice, kung pao shrimp, and vegetarian options like general tso’s tofu and home style bean curd. Some chef specialties include steamed whole fish and Beijing duck. Wan Wang also has more contemporary takes on Asian food like spicy Szechuan style dishes and ramen with broth made from 24-hour preparation. Another special treat from the menu? Japanese hibachi style from the kitchen! Have your choice of seafood or meat broiled with teriyaki sauce and vegetables. This comes with miso soup, house salad with ginger dressing and a bowl of white rice. Prices can range from appetizers to main entrees, but you can expect to get delicious food for a great price regardless. Most dishes come in around $15 with the chef’s specialties coming in at the priciest, in the $30 range. Worth every penny if you ask me! Don’t feel like going out? Order online! Wan Wang makes online ordering super easy. For more information, visit www.wanwangrestaurant.com or call 508365-0068. You can also find them on social media!


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PULSE BREW GIFTS FOR THE BEER LOVERS IN YOUR LIFE!

RYAN CASHMAN Is there a beer lover in your family? Chances are the answer is yes. How many? In my family we have several. Obviously, there’s me. We’ve also got my wife, my mother, my brother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and, the big one, my father-in-law. As we wrap up, or begin, our holiday shopping, consider some of the following gifts for the beer lovers in your family. There are several types of beer appreciators, but for the sake of ease and space I’ll boil it down to the three I most often come across: Experimentalists, Scientists, and Drink Anythings. Experimentalists and Drink Anythings are similar in that they will drink whatever is put in front of them, though Experimentalists tend have a more diverse palate than their counterparts. These are the people who like independent brews, the places that test out flavors in strange new combinations. If you’ve gone drinking with an Experimentalist, you’ll know what they like. So a bottle or some cans from their favorite indie brewhouse would be a welcome gift. If you’re not exactly sure what their preferences are, fret not. Most package stores give you the option to create your own six-pack. This allows you to pick and choose some of the wackiest flavors in the fridge: nitro stouts, triple IPA’s, peanut butter porter, and etc. And what’s great about our Experimentalist friends is that they are completely willing to try something different, like beer jelly or coffee infused with hops. The Drink Anythings are similar in this regard, though I find they have their favorites. They may enjoy the occasional dive into the flavor pool, but they don’t tend to wade there for long. This makes them simultaneously easy and tricky to buy for. Easy because you tend to know their preference. Keary, my father-in-law, is a big IPA drinker. So, when buying for him, we tend towards the tried and true: Be Hoppy by Wormtown, Cactus by Tilted Barn, or Dirty Swan by Purgatory. This isn’t to say he won’t venture into more wacky territory, but for the most part he’s an IPA man. It gets tricky to buy for a Drink Anything when you feel like you’re repeating yourself. There are only so many IPAs, right? Wrong! There is never a shortage of IPAs to try, especially in this state. Still, if you feel like going for variety this year, perhaps a personalized pint glass or a cheeky bottle opener. These are simple enough to find online or at a local artisan shop. Now, we come to the Scientists. These are the guys who love the science of beer. The fermentation, the sugars, the molecular structure. Scientists are often Experimentalists gone wild. They love the alchemy. So, for the Scientist in your life, you have the easiest and most dangerous gift of all: a home brewing kit. Easy for the perfection of the gift giving. Dangerous for the fact that you will likely have unleashed a monster who will be trying to convince you to open a brewery with him.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


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FINDING BALANCE FINDING THE JOY JENNIFER RUSSO At a time of year when there seems to be cheer and goodwill in the air, many find it very easy to be joyful. There is just something about twinkling lights in the windows, holiday music playing everywhere you go, finding that perfect gift for your favorite aunt and looking forward to spending time with those we love. The bright colors and festivities are almost intoxicating.

cos 50¢ T&aThurs! . s Tue • ings!Games 50¢ W , Cs ox, Bs• Pats, S Pizza! ue) $4 Sm($6.99 Val PM rs. after 9 Sun.–Thu

For some people though, this is an extremely difficult time of year. It gets dark early. It gets cold. We may start to lack energy and sometimes we want nothing more than to hide under our warm blankets. Some may get a bad case of winter depression or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). For those who are not close with their family, perhaps have been through a breakup recently, or who may have recently lost someone, it’s not all merriment and positivity. In fact, there are people that absolutely dread this time of year. If you are one of the many people who feel this way, it’s important not to force yourself. Honor yourself for simply getting out of bed and taking on each day. Then, give yourself the challenge of finding the joy…any little bit of joy in anything during your day. I promise, it exists. Maybe it’s a baby laughing in a pure and innocent way. Maybe it’s your dog greeting you when you get home from work. Maybe it’s the sight of gleaming ice on branches. Maybe it’s a delicious cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Maybe it’s a song. Maybe it’s an item you scored on sale. Maybe that little bit of joy is simply giving that blanket a fresh wash, so it smells like a mountain spring. Whatever it might be, give it your full attention and recognize how much you appreciate it, even for a moment. The next day – wake up and find another little thing. Then do it again. You will get through this.

POSE OF THE MONTH: UPWARD FACING DOG Lay on your stomach, legs straight behind you on the ground and hands face down on the floor just in front of your shoulders. Now press up on your hands and into the tops of your feet on the mat, straightening your arms and stretching the back. Keep your shoulders away from your ears but draw your shoulder blades toward each other. This pose strengthens the arms and back, stretches the upper body and abs and promotes better breathing. It also stimulates the abdominal organs helping with digestion. Additionally, this is an excellent heart opener, which assists with combating depression and fatigue.

Christmas party Sat, Dec. 21

New Year’s Eve party Midnight Champagne Toast

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-example of the upward facing dog

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SPORTS & FITNESS

HOME WORKOUTS PERFECT FOR THE HOLIDAYS ALEXANDRA RODRIGUEZ The holiday season for most of us is one of the busiest time of the year. During this time of the year, most of our time is spent shopping, partying and spending quality time with family and friends. Therefore, managing time to do everything we really want to do might be impossible. Which is why we seem to push back our workout regimen in order to priortize everything else that needs to get done for the holiday season. Plus, missing out on the rich and sugary foods during this time of year is something quiet impossible. Which is why it’s important to squeeze in some workouts that are effective and ideal to do anytime during the day.

STRETCH IT!

Before you get into workout mode, it is very important to prep your body in order to prevent injury. Stretching keeps your muscles flexible, very important for maintaining range of motion in the joints while working out. Going with out stretching makes your muscles shorten and tight and doesn’t allow your body to use full range of motion.

WARM UP

As well as stretching, warm ups are very important before getting into the full workout. They gently prepare the body by gradually increasing the heart rate and circulation preventing a heart attack. Warm ups will also help loosen the joints and increase blood flow to the muscle. Some great at home warm ups include: marching, jump roping, hops on the spot, arm circles and jumping jacks.

standing start position. Repeat this workout 3 times with 8 to 12 reps on each leg, doing one leg at a time. Side Lunges target the inner thighs and glutes. Oblique Twist: For this workout your will need a towel. Sit on the floor and extend your arms and hold the towel taut between your hands. Lean back and raise your feet about a foot off the floor, keeping your core tight and knees bent. Pull the towel left and right aiming towards the floor, rotating your torso and shoulders. Repeat this workout 3 times with 20 reps, resting for 10 seconds. Oblique Twist will trigger your core area targeting your internal and external obliques. Squats: Standing with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out, place your feet shoulder-width. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help with balance. Sit back and down like sitting into a chair, keeping your head facing forward as the upper body bends forward a bit. As your sitting, lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with the knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels bringing yourself back to the starting position. Repeat this workout with 10 to 12 reps, with 10 seconds of rest, 3 times. Squats target the thighs and glutes. Wall Sit: Slowly slide your back down a wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Never allowing the knees to extend past the ankles and making sure the back is straight. The wall sit exercise is a real quad burner. It strengthen the quadriceps muscles, glutes and calves while building endurance. Hold the position for 20 to 60 seconds, resting 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise 3 times. Increasing your hold time by five seconds as you increase your strength.

EXERCISES

Split Jump: Stand with your left foot two to three feet in front of your right. Bend your knees to lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Jump up quickly, switching your legs midair so you land with your right foot in front; immediately lower into a split squat. This workout targets the glutes and leg muscles as well as provide cardiovascular benefits. Continue doing 3 sets of split squats for 20 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest. Plant Walk-Up: Get into a plank position with both arms straight on the floor. Lower yourself to your right elbow while keeping your left arm straight. Then lower your left elbow as well. Straighten your right arm and then your left. Repeat this process for 20 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest, 3 times. This work out will target your core, arms and shoulders. Side Lunge: Start with your feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward. Step out with your right foot as wide as possible. Bend your knee and push your hips back as you slide your right foot out to the side as far as you can. Powerfully, push yourself back to the full

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COOL DOWN

Congrats on completing a great workout! Now before going about your day, it is important to cool your body down. Cooling down after a workout is important to reduce heart and breathing rates. Preventing you from feeling lightheaded or dizzy. Stretching your body with a Wide Toe Touch, Quad Stretch, Side Bench Stretch or an Arm-Cross Shoulder Stretch for 30 seconds each, will help get your heart rate back down to normal.


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PHOTO: "WINTER WONDERLAND" TOWER HILL BOTANIC GARDEN

ART & CULTURE

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS

IN THE WOO GEORGE ANDREW FOTHERINGHAM A fantastic lineup of events is coming to Central Mass. this December! These interactive activities are sure to be full of fun and are perfect for adults and children alike. From Worcester to Sturbridge, Pulse Magazine is here to let you know where to find the brightest light shows and most festive holiday happenings this year!

TOWER HILL BOTANIC GARDEN The Tower Hill Botanic Garden, a beautiful location in Worcester will be hosting both day and nighttime events this December. With a general admission ticket, you can enjoy the indoor and outdoor holiday experience of the beautiful outdoor grounds and fun events. The real magic happens at night, when the gardens light up for a powerful experience. There will be thousands of lights along with some fun and festive events. Keep in mind, that you will need to purchase specialized tickets for the nighttime event which runs between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. If you’re more of a day person, Tower Hill will still be offering a Winter Wonderland experience including a chance to hike around the beautiful grounds. Although you might need to pack some snowshoes! They also have events perfect for families with children to enjoy such as scavenger hunts, the model train, discovery backpacks, hands on library activities and more. Tower Hill is located at 11 French Drive, Boylston, and

you can purchase your tickets and find more information on their website at https://www. towerhillbg.org/night-lights-2019/.

PRESERVATION WORCESTER HOLIDAY STROLL Preservation Worcester is a group that is dedicated to preserving the rich history of Worcester. According to their website their mission is, “To maintain for future generations the sites and structures which are significant to the culture, history and architecture of the city and to encourage excellence in future design.” An important job and a difficult one for anyone to undertake, especially in the face of rampant gentrification that many cities are going through right now. This December, the Holiday Stroll is your chance to see the interiors of some of the most interesting and elaborate houses around. Don’t miss your chance to soak up some history and exercise before the New England winter traps us indoors. The walk takes place on December 8th at 12 p.m. and is preceded by a pre-party that you can attend with a separate set of tickets. The pre-party takes place at the Lyman Gordon House

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and you will be able to enjoy some music, appetizers, and some festive drink. Just go easy on the drinks if you plan on making it to all the houses. Look forward to a sunny day of walking and hopefully not to heavy snowfall to kick off your holidays this year. You can find more information at the Preservation Worcester Facebook page.

OLD STURBRIDGE VILLAGE CHRISTMAS BY CANDLELIGHT Take a step back in time to appreciate the simpler joys of Christmas without of the pervading distractions of the modern world. The entirety of Old Sturbridge Village will be transformed this holiday season into a storybook vista. There are several events inspired by the works of Charles Dickens such as the ghost of Christmas Past enjoying his Christmas break in one of the Salem townhouses and a demonstration Christmas dinner like the one that is eaten by the Cratchit family in “A Christmas Carol”. Along with these great events you can enjoy the nightly tree lightings or listen to the sweet melodies of carolers. There is even a horse and buggy ride, but most important will be the transformation of Gallery Row into everyone's favorite Christmas Village. This year there will be an expanded model train display constructed by the Worcester Model Railroaders including some trains from the movie Joy. There will also be a giant “The Night Before Christmas” storybook for you to walk through before you finally get that chance to meet the elusive Santa and his handy elves. There’s much more to experience which you can all find on their website along with lodging and dining options, so don’t forget to buy your tickets now at https://www.osv.org/.

MENORAH LIGHTING IN NEWTON SQUARE This December, Central Mass Chabad will be hosting their annual Menorah lighting at Newton Square. This year’s lighting takes place on the first day of Hanukkah on December 22nd and will be free and open to all. Expect music and food such as loads of chocolate coins, hot latkes, doughnuts and hot drinks, and participation by local politicians. The annual lighting is the perfect opportunities for families to come together and observe the beginning of this holiday. The Menorah at Newton Square is located at 3 Newton Ave., Worcester and the lighting will take place at 4 p.m. each evening, except for Friday when it will begin at 3:15 p.m. and Saturday at 5:30 p.m.


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STYLE & BEAUTY

REJUVENATE YOURSELF WITH AESTHETIC TREATMENTS ALEXANDRA RODRIGUEZ Everyone wants to look good for the holidays and after the holidays too! With all the makeup, drinking, and restless days, your skin will feel clogged, irritated and dull. To prevent that from happening, here are some minimally invasive procedures that will have you looking beautiful and invigorated in no time.

FACIALS

If you think facials are pointless, think again! Facials are by far one of the most effective ways to reduce acne and rehydrate your skin. Not only that, but facials are one of your cheaper options for aesthetic treatments, they run from $50 to hundreds of dollars depending on location and facial type. The holiday season is the time where spas offer their seasonal facials. The importance of a facial is getting one that is right for your skin type. There are facials for a basic cleanup, acne reduction, aromatherapy facials, anti-aging facials and fruit facials to name a few. When visiting a spa, the esthetician will advise you what facial is right for you.

COOLSCULPTING

If you are trying to fit in that dress you bought months ago for your Christmas party or you simply want to get rid of that stubborn body fat after your holiday festivities, this procedure might be right for you. CoolSculpting permanently kills the fat cells in a targeted area with controlled cooling. Your body then flushes the dead fat cells naturally. This treatment ranges from $2,000 to $4,000 depending on the areas of concern and the number of treatments needed to see results. Don’t get alarmed by the price because each treatment is usually scheduled a few weeks apart plus the results will leave you amazed and going back for more.

LASER SKIN RESURFACING

Since we are currently in “laser season” what a better way to give your skin some care. Laser Skin Resurfacing is a proven way to reduce wrinkles, age spots and acne scars. Some laser treatments might require local anesthetic injections or topical numbing creams for the pain but are proven to give results. CO2 lasers, Erbium Lasers, Fractional laser and Pulse-dye lasers are just a few types of lasers that give your skin

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different results. These lasers all have different functions from treating fine lines to reducing redness. Laser Skin Resurfacing ranges in different prices depending on the laser treatment and the number of sessions needed.

MICRONEEDLING

Although microneedling is a cosmetic procedure, it is also a procedure you can do at home. Microneedling is a collagen induction therapy that uses fine needles to create hundreds of invisible puncture wounds in the top layer of the skin. It is a minimally invasive treatment that wont hurt your skin. If over done, it would create irritation in your skin. This aesthetic treatment is used to stimulate the growth of collagen and elastic giving your face a youthful looking skin for the upcoming holiday season.

MICRODERMABRASION

For those ladies looking to reduce skin tone and texture for a flawless makeup look or for removing unwanted texture from overuse of makeup. This minimally invasive procedure might be right for you. Microdermabrasion is used to improve the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, acne scars and other skin related concerns by using a special applicator to gently sand away the thick outer layer of the skin. A single procedure may range from $75 to $200 but it is worth your time and money if you’re looking for a procedure that won’t have recovery time.

CHEMICAL PEELS

This procedure might be ideal for after the holiday festivities are over because it requires some recovery time. You will have chunks of dead skin pealing off your skin that will be hard to cover up because after the peel, it is recommended not to use any makeup. Chemical peels use a chemical solution that peels off the skin, leaving the skin smother and less wrinkled. The skin might remain red and irritated for a few weeks but the end results will wow you. Some chemical peels are more severe than others, removing the epidermis and/or the dermis and require a few months to see the overall results. Therefore, this treatment might be ideal a few months before the holidays or right after the holidays.


STYLESAVVY: 3 BEAUTY TRENDS FOR THE PARTY SEASON

April Goddard Happy official holiday and party season to everyone! This month is full of excitement and fun and lots of great opportunities to get out dress up and have a great time. Now is the perfect time to go fourth and try that new trend or look that you have been debating for the last month-or two. Party season is a great time to go out with the old, and in with the new, eye-catching, creative, and all around fun! Not sure what, exactly, you’re looking for? See below to check out my top three trends for the season.

WHITE MANICURE: Who says white has to be exclusively for summer?

This long-discarded beauty rule can be seen through not just the Fall, but the Winter months. One of the best ways to sport this trend through the holiday season is by keeping it simple with a clean, milky white polish. This color looks great with a variety of nail shapes and lengths, and goes with any look due to its neutral, yet eye-catching tone. If you want to take this look up a notch, you can go with a reversed twist on the classic french manicure by asking for white cuticle striping, while keeping the rest of the nail either plain or pairing with a flesh-toned pink.

MERMAID EYES: This is a trend that was huge during fall fashion week, and that will be holding just as strong through the month of December. Whether it be for a holiday or New Year’s Eve party, the ‘Mermaid Eyeshadow’ look is a great way to make your look that much more festive. Typically, the look is done by placing an 80s-inspired blue hued shadow in the inner corners of the eye. This can really be done with any brightly colored shadow. Hint: A glittery shadow is my personal party favorite. SLICKED HAIR: This look is trendy, sophisticated, and-the easiest and most time-efficient hairstyle that you will ever do. It’s very simple: Start by brushing your hair into a moderate side part. Lightly spray with hairspray, and brush to slick down. Gather hair into a low pony, and secure with an elastic that matches your hair colour. Smooth any additional flyaways by first spraying a generous amount of hairspray in your hands, and then pressing the hair down. Be careful not to overdo the hairspray thoughtoo much can make your hair go from great to greasy-looking fast!

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“North America’s Most Unique Museum of American History, Armor and Rare Military Artifacts.”

568 Main Street, Hudson, MA Open Friday through Sunday www.american heritage museum.org 978.562.9182

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9 HARRISON ST. WORCESTER, MA 01604 ADULT-USE: MON - SAT 9AM - 10PM • SUN 10AM - 10PM MEDICAL: MON - SAT 9AM - 6:45PM • SUN 10AM - 6:45PM 774.243.1760 MA.GOODCHEM.ORG

Please Consume Responsibly. This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. For use only by adults 21 years of age or older. Keep out of the reach of children. This product has not been analyzed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuana use during pregnancy and breast-feeding may pose potential harms. It is against the law to drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product. KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. The impairment effects of edible marijuana may be delayed by two hours or more. In case of accidental ingestion, contact poison control hotline 1-800-222-1222 or 9-1-1. This product may be illegal outside of MA.

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Pulse Magazine: December 2019  

Pulse Magazine: December 2019  

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