Part of Riverside’s Main Street to close for ‘Chow Alley’ plan

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Part of Riverside’s Main Street to close for ‘Chow Alley’ plan

Despite concerns about disappearing parking spaces, the block between 10th and 11th streets will shut as the city plans for ‘Chow Alley.’

Riverside’s Main Street pedestrian mall will add the block south of City Hall possibly as soon as this summer, a move that could make room for a year-round outdoor dining area and more attractions during the holiday Festival of Lights.

Changes will include replacing the asphalt with colored pavement that matches the rest of the mall and adding decorative seating with umbrellas. The project is being designed, and construction is expected to start this summer – when the block would close to car traffic – and wrap up in October, Public Works Director Kris Martinez said Wednesday, March 29.After hearing a handful of objections from people concerned about the loss of parking, the potential impact on nearby businesses and the expectation that alcohol would be served at future eateries, the City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to extend the mall between 10th and 11th streets.

Officials have said they are working on agreements to replace street and handicapped parking that will be lost and provide some extra spaces. Security would be provided when the dining area is in use.

Through traffic would still be allowed on 10th and 11th streets.

The Chow Alley project, which includes food vendors, goes hand in hand with the street closure, but officials made clear that the council will decide on that in a separate vote that City Councilman Mike Gardner said could come in May.

The barriers that will block the street to cars will be removable, so they could be taken down for an annual charity hot rod show and the various parades that use the street.

The newest portion of the mall may also host the popular ice skating rink during the Festival of Lights, but the council delayed until April 11 a decision on where to put the rink for 2017. Gardner said the extra time will allow the city to confer with organizers of the annual Chanukah Festival, which uses the same area for its event each December.

Warning Orange County: Inland Empire catching up in livability!

 

Warning Orange County: Inland Empire catching up in livability!

Is the Inland Empire shedding its cheap-living image and getting ready to compete with its coastal brethren in terms of livability?

Gallup’s annual “well-being” rankings for the nation’s metropolitan areas are out and there’s a shrinking gap in the perception of lifestyle quality between Los Angeles and Orange counties and the Inland Empire.

L.A.-O.C. came in 53rd out of 189 metros this year – sandwiched in the rankings between Houston and Charlotte. That’s not bad company, but it’s down from No. 40 a year ago.

The Inland Empire came in at 73rd, between Nashville and Boise. What’s more noteworthy is the new ranking is up from 93rd for the previous year.

So, the perception gap between Southern California’s coastal counties and the Inland neighbors – 53 ranking spots for 2015 –has been sliced by more than half to 20 in 2016.

Why do blue states rank better than red in livability?

Gallup’s livability ranking is more touchy-feely than other quality-of-city scorecards. This “well-being index” is based on the firm’s constant polling of American adults’ feelings on five regional attributes: the sense of daily purpose; the social climate; financial opportunities; community pride; and local health.

I like this poll’s logic as its results have a discerning eye for what’s good and bad about California living.

In 2016, California had seven metros in the top 25 – Santa Cruz (third); San Luis Obispo (seventh); Santa Barbara (12th); Santa Rosa (17th); Salinas (19th); San Diego (22nd); and Visalia (25th) – and three in the bottom 25 – Chico (183rd); Bakersfield (172nd) and Stockton (166th).

It’s worth a moment to see what Gallup’s measurement of well-being says about gap between L.A.-O.C. and the Inland Empire.

On this national scale, both regions have relatively good rankings for a local sense of purpose and roughly equal mid-range scores for financial considerations.

L.A.-O.C.’s No. 18 ranking for healthy lifestyle may have beaten the Inland Empire, but a 43rd place finish is very respectable. Conversely, both regions scored poorly for sense of community.

The most noteworthy gap was in terms of social qualities that Gallup defined as “having supportive relationships and love in your life.” L.A.-O.C. won this ranking battle easily, 73rd to 134th. Perhaps the Inland Empire suffering from being a place where people move but consequently have fewer family ties.

The Inland Empire used to be just about cheap housing and a tough commute toward coastal jobs centers. With Riverside and San Bernardino now growing their own employment base, Gallup results show the livability gap is decidedly narrowing.

Perhaps some day soon, the “909” will be an equal brand.

Here’s The Best Bakery In Every State, According To Yelp

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Is there anything better in life than a good dessert? I think not. Seriously — pastries and sweets are amazing, and we all need them in our lives.

But where do you find the best ones? We asked Yelp for the most popular bakeries in every state — which they measured using an algorithm that looked at the number of reviews plus the star rating for every bakery on Yelp.

So here are the 51 best spots in the US to get your share of sugar and pastries — straight from Yelp users who love pies, éclairs, and doughnuts just as much as you do.

1. The Moose Is Loose, Soldotna, Alaska

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“Yum, yum, yum. Sweet, gooey goodness. Apple fritters, pecan rolls, cream-filled maple donuts were favorites. Really good bread too. Try the Augustine either as a loaf or rolls.” —Yelper Nancy R.

“Walk in and that smell of fresh baked goods hits you like an amazing wall of sweetness and deliciousness. Great selection! Huge cookies. Great oatmeal raisin cookie just how I like ‘em, not too sweet but lots of oats and raisins.” —Yelper Katy F.

2. Pastry Art Bake Shoppe, Birmingham, Alabama

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“Is there a six-star option? My forever and always favorite bake shop. Every single thing they offer is to die for. The ‘baby bites’ are truly out of this world. If you haven’t tried them, get up and go now. Red velvet and caramel are my favorite!” —Yelper Hannah M.

3. Squarz, Tempe, Arizona

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“We shared a peach tartlet, caramelized croissant, and cinnamon roll croissant. The desserts were all amazing. The peach was light, delicate, with the perfect amount of sweetness. The caramelized croissant is a dessert we all oohed and ahhhed over with each single bite. It had crispy, flaky, caramelized crust with a perfect soft textured interior. It was really a lovely balance of textures and sweetness. The cinnamon roll croissants were fresh from the oven. Oh my. If I had room in my stomach I’d eat a ton of them!” —Yelper Karen W.

4. Golden Kolache Bakery, Fayetteville, Arkansas

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“Simply fantastic. You cannot go wrong with anything you get here. Just be sure to show up early before they run out of food.” —Yelper Jacob H.

“The BEST kolaches I’ve ever had. There was so many to choose from, so I got two of everything they had. Spent a good $40 but so very worth it. My favorites were the eggniter and the one with spinach and cream cheese.” —Yelper Nina K.

5. BJ Cinnamon, Folsom, California

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“Good vibes right when I walked in. The guy greeted me with a big happy smile. I had to try the cronuts and OMG out of this world delicious! I bought a dozen for my office and it came up to $20 but totally worth it. I’ll be back!” —Yelper Alex L.

“Excellent quality and fantastic customer service. I’ve been here a few times and each time the cinnamon rolls are fantastic, and no matter who is behind the counter they make you feel welcome and special.” —Yelper Jose L.

6. BluNozer Cafe, Denver, Colorado

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“I’d say try the quiche, or try the cake, or try the breakfast burrito, but instead, just TRY EVERYTHING! I’m only about a third of the way through the regular items, but haven’t had a miss yet.” —Yelper Peter M.

“Incredible. Never have I ever been to such a thoughtful, mindful, and intentional place. I was introduced to the whole family, and could both feel and taste the love that they put into this business.” —Yelper Beau A.

7. Brooklyn Baking, Waterbury, Connecticut

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“Let me just say the donut was absolutely heavenly, so light and fluffy like a decadent cloud in my mouth… Best donut I have ever had… Ever!” —Yelper Marisol M.

“Hands down the best bakery I have ever been to in CT!! Their donuts are to die for, light, doughy, crispy, fluffy, all at the same time. Their bread is just like the bread my Nonna would make when I was a kid. Give it a try, you wont regret it.” —Yelper Gina V.

8. Un Je Ne Sais Quoi, Washington, DC

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“I had their Paris-Brest the other day and it was incredible. They really have a way with pâte à choux (a VERY difficult dough to execute correctly) and the praline cream on the inside had the perfect amount of sweetness and richness.” —Yelper Alyssa B.

“Dear Lord,
Please let heaven be made of their cream puffs. That’s all.
Thanks” —Yelper Bhavi A.

9. Sweet Somethings, Wilmington, Delaware

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“I feel like Sweet Somethings whispered sweet nothings in my ear because this place knocked my socks off! I bought a chocolate caramel mousse cake and it was easily the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten.” —Yelper Mike F.

10. Sweet Delights, Miami, Florida

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“If you want to experience homemade at a whole new level, Sweet Delights is it. The pies are out of this world, and Miss Debbie is a testament of Miami’s entrepreneurial spirit. Have the guava and passion fruit pies!” —Yelper Alejandro G.

“Great service. Delicious, wonderful… that pie left me speechless. I love key lime pie and I can tell you that this place has best I have ever had.” —Yelper Robert P.

11. Georgia French Bakery & Cafe, Duluth, Georgia

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“I’ve been coming here for several years now. My favorite pastry has to be the Eclairs, they remind me of my childhood in France.” —Yelper Tom L.

“I find the Butter Croissant here to be the quintessential croissant with its soft, flaky, and buttery layers. The Chocolate Eclair is outstanding with a cool, chocolaty icing and an airy, creamy, custardy filling. The Blueberry Danish is amazing! The frosted swirl has a velvety soft center that almost melts in your mouth. This is probably my favorite of the pastries I’ve tried so far. The Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie is superb. It is soft, chewy, and absolutely heavenly.” —Yelper Daniel B.

12. Maui Sugar Shop Bakery, Lahaina, Hawaii

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“Accidentally stumbled upon this gem and so glad we did. Such a cute bakery and the owner Zane was a delight to meet. He recommended us the Lilikoi chocolate cupcake and it was HEAVENLY.” —Yelper Lara D.

“Amazing, homemade, gluten-free delights! Lucky for me I live in the other side of the island, I’d have a serious addiction otherwise.” —Yelper Aisha M.

13. Stanley Baking, Stanley, Idaho

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“Fresh ingredients, good food, and beautiful views make Stanley a must stop if you’re in the Redfish area. The bakery is a great place to enjoy baked goods and coffee or a full lunch.” —Yelper Tony Y.

“Wow! What a stop! I got here early before our river trip, hoping to snag some fresh breakfast. Everything was so fantastic. The cinnamon roll was absolutely decadent.” —Yelper Christin J.

14. Lawrence Deans, Wilmette, Illinois

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“They have a nice display of cupcakes, cookies, and even muffins! At the recommendation of the staff, I decided on a salted caramel cupcake. It is everything one looks for in a cupcake. Sweet, a little salty, incredibly moist, and GIGANTIC. More gigantic than most cupcakes I’ve had which makes me so happy.” —Yelper Alison Y.

15. Amelia’s Bread, Indianapolis, Indiana

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“The highest quality bread and pastries in greater Indianapolis, hands down. Fresh-baked loaves, cookies, croissants all day, every day. Their oatmeal cookies are some of the best cookies I’ve ever had! The croissants are next-level, not too greasy and always the right ratio of crunchy/chewy.” —Yelper David M.

“From their decadent, super-chocolaty buckwheat cookies to the amazing fresh focaccia, this place doesn’t disappoint. Take it from an Italian girl, this place knows bread!” —Yelper Simona S.

16. The Cafe, Ames, Iowa

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“The pastries are amazing! I had a berry sort of ‘twist’ which had a rich berry flavor with a light pastry dough, sprinkled with the perfect splash of sugar crystals.” —Yelper Cheryl N.

“The Cafe serves the best bread pudding, tarts, and cakes, especially carrot cake, in town. My favorite is the blackberry sour cream bread pudding.” —Yelper
Jennifer A.

17. The Upper Crust Pie Bakery, Overland Park, Kansas

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“This place is delicious! I’m no pie fanatic, but with their PERFECT crust and delicious flavors, I was sold!” —Yelper Meghan M.

“Sooooooooooooo good. I had the chocolate chess pie and I would travel hours just to come back and have that pie! Honestly the best pie I have ever had in my life and I’ve had a lot of pies!” —Yelper Gemma M.

18. Nord’s Bakery, Louisville, Kentucky

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“Amazing! Nord’s lives up to the hype! You can find the BEST apple fritter here.” —Yelper Verna U.

“Upon entering I was taken back to my childhood. An aroma of fresh-baked goodness greeted me as I opened the door. We were greeted with a warm smile and welcomed. We ordered a dozen to go and four to dine in. The maple bacon doughnut was possibly the best doughnut I’ve ever had. The dough was very light and airy. The maple frosting and bacon complemented each other tremendously.” —Yelper Todd P.

19. Breads on Oak Cafe & Bakery, New Orleans, Louisiana

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“Our favorite bakery! Everything here is delicious. They use fresh organic ingredients. Great place to drink coffee or even wine with some pastries. They also have sandwiches and a variety of treats.” —Yelper Sarah M.

“The king cake was AMAZING! We plan to return to buy a whole one to take home with us.” —Yelper Mindi V.

20. Standard Baking, Portland, Maine

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“I love love love this bakery. Sweet treats and breads are both amazing. Their brownies are gooey perfection. Aside from flying to France, their croissants are the best you can get.” —Yelper Hannah S.

“Best bread that I have ever had. Everything about it is absolutely wonderful. Perfect texture, great break-ability, and good crust.” —Yelper Kendell C.

21. JennyCakes Bakery, Kensington, Maryland

Photo by JennyCakes Bakery via Yelp

“The Classic Chocolate cake is unbelievable. This place is the real deal and prices are very reasonable.” —Yelper David B.

“What a wonderful hidden treasure in Old Town Kensington! I’ve ordered a couple of their Red Velvet cakes and been blown away by how good they taste… literally the best cake I’ve ever tasted.” —Yelper Merlyn R.

22. Clear Flour Bread, Brookline, Massachusetts

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“Best bakery shop I’ve tried in Boston! Their almond biscuit and lemon tart are awesome. Try their oatmeal cookie as well: fresh and tasty.” —Yelper Fang J.

“Croissant perfection! That is all I can say. My husband brought four home this morning (don’t judge) and I was in heaven.” —Yelper Jillian S.

23. Sweetwater’s Donut Mill, Kalamazoo, Michigan

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“There are so many different donuts ranging from plain cake to blueberry cheesecake stuffed. We got a dozen mixed donuts and they were so good, I would definitely recommend getting the apple pie filled! The donuts were fresh, fluffy, and delicious.” —Yelper Jessie L.

24. Patisserie 46, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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“The presentation of the desserts is exquisite and the quality and taste are excellent. I lived in France and the pastries and bread here are as heavenly as the boulangeries and patisseries over there.” —Yelper Pamela M.

“Patisserie 46 is a diamond in the rough. Located in the unassuming neighborhood of Kingsfield, this French bakery serves pastries suitable for royalty. I got a lemon Goldilock, a perfect dome of lemon mousse and lime cream on a bed of shortbread, loosely wrapped by white chocolate. It was exceptional.” —Yelper Dennis L.

25. Nathaniel Reid Bakery, Saint Louis, Missouri

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“Wow, world-class creations by Nathaniel Reid! The baked goodies are top notch, similar to what you’ll find NYC or LA.” —Yelper Paolo O.

“The almond croissant is the best thing I have had in my entire life. I’m not joking, guys. The baked goods are obviously the star of the show, but don’t pass up the sandwiches. Prosciutto, roast beef, Italian—all amazing.” —Yelper Nick S.

26. Le Bakery, Biloxi, Mississippi

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“Excellent pastries, we went with a coconut yucca pie, a lemon cream cheese turnover and a chocolate cream cheese turnover… Omg sooo good! Everything was just excellent.” —Yelper Velon S.

“Love this place! Great bread, good bubble tea, and fantastic desserts! The people are nice, go early because what they have out is what they have available.” —Yelper Nicole B.

27. Woodside Bakery, West Yellowstone, Montana

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“You know how when you get in a new relationship you can’t stop thinking about that person? I feel that way about Woodside Bakery and their cinnamon rolls. Oh. My. Word. The huckleberry turnover was also fantastic with its golden bottom and flaky crust.” – Yelper Daniel E.

28. Culprit Cafe & Bakery, Omaha, Nebraska

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“If you’re looking for good pastries, they make them fresh daily. The frosted cake donut was UNFORGETTABLE: fluffy, moist, and ever so subtly seasoned with cinnamon. I got another one to go.” —Yelper Sara V.

“Excellent pastries and the donuts are to die for. The Boston cream had a pleasantly bready dough and was packed full of cream. It was fresh and delicious and the semi-sweet chocolate frosting perfectly topped off the delicate flavors of the donut. I inhaled it.” —Yelper Conrad S.

29. Salted Malted Bakery & Creamery, North Las Vegas, Nevada

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“The cannoli! The white chocolate-dipped shell makes them so yummy and the filling is heavenly: It’s so smooth and creamy. Top with some pistachios and OMG, yummy! The cookies are also amazing.” —Yelper Dawn G.

“OMG this place is unbelievable. The drive was so worth it (40 minutes). I’m hoping they open more locations because I would literally come here every day. My favorites were the churro cookie, the Oreo cookie, the maple bacon cookie, and the peanut butter cookie.” —Yelper Jennifer Z.

30. La Maison Navarre, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

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“La Maison Navarre should be a mandatory stop for anyone visiting downtown Portsmouth, assuming you like outstanding desserts. We were blown away by the incredible quality of the desserts we had.” —Yelper Darren J.

“The macarons are amazing! I also got some chocolate croissants and they were delicious.” —Yelper Shannon D.

31. Palazzone 1960, Wayne, New Jersey

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“The pastry selection is unreal and you can’t go wrong with any of them. The Napoleons, cannoli, rainbow cookies, and Italian horns are my favorites.” —Yelper Cindy C.

“Great food, everything is fresh. The pastries and coffees are amazing and the service is outstanding.” —Yelper Debbie B.

32. Trifecta Coffee Company, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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“”They have scones, coffee cakes, muffins and quiche on a daily basis. The food is outstanding and the coffee is some of the best I’ve had.” —Yelper AJ R.

“Today I bought a white chocolate cranberry scone and it was perfect, not bready or chewy like so many other scones, but rich, crisp, and crumbly just like it should be. I highly recommend checking out this little gem of a coffee shop.” —Yelper Jennifer D.

33. Aux Merveilleux de Fred, New York, New York

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“A little tiny shop tucked away in the East Village. I got the meringues which were absolutely mind blowing. Each flavor was delicious in its own unique way. The other pastries also looked very good.” —Yelper Jessica Z.

“Oh my god. For every dessert person, this place is the definition of heaven.” —Yelper Shushu C.

34. Daily Donuts, Graham, North Carolina

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“These donuts were amazing! I love the fact that you pick your round donut and they fill it according to your preference of filling!” —Yelper K T.

“This place has the BEST donuts! Every time we come to town to visit my parents this a mandatory stop. My boyfriend is in love with their maple bacon, I am a traditionalist and like the chocolate frosted with sprinkles.” —Yelper Laura D.

35. Nichole’s Fine Pastry, Fargo, North Dakota

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“There is one place to get fancy desserts in Fargo, and that’s Nicole’s! Everything looks so pretty. They have such a variety of desserts including tarts, mousse, cakes, cookies, chocolates, muffins…the list goes on and on. Everything I’ve tried has been delicious, but I’d have to say the sea salt caramel chocolate tart is my favorite item. Everyone in Fargo must try Nicole’s at least once. My heart is so happy every time I’m there.” —Yelper Nisa T.

36. Pistacia Vera, Columbus, Ohio

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“Great baked goods that were all very fresh. I ordered the almond croissant and apple butter, caramel pecan and cranberry orange macarons plus a cup coffee. The croissant was very crispy and fresh with plenty of almond flavoring. Macarons were each very flavorful and unique. The cranberry orange stood out the most. The tartness of the cranberry and orange meshed very well with the sweetness of the macaron.” —Yelper Jeffrey K.

37. Pie Junkie, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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“Pie Junkie is hands-down the best place for a piece of pie in our fair city. My go-to is a slice of the Peanut Butter Chocolate with a small coffee. This slice is perfection: a creamy peanut butter mousse and chocolate ganache blended together on top of a graham cracker crust. Every bite is absolutely decadent and delicious.” —Yelper Shay B.

“Heaven by the slice. Believe the hype. Every concoction they come up with is awesome. Walk in the amazingly whimsical shop and just soak it all in.” —Yelper Caitlin C.

38. Sea Level Bakery + Coffee, Cannon Beach, Oregon

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“All of the baked goods are amazing, particularly the dinner bread and sticky buns.” —Yelper Paul B.

“Might need six stars for this place. Can’t say enough good things about this bakery and the wonderful humans who run it. Coffee is top notch! Food and baked goods are second to none. All handmade in the shop. Wow.” —Yelper Luke T.

39. The Sweet Life Bakeshop, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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“I never thought I would ever write a review just about pudding, but here I am. The Sweet Life Bakeshop has AMAZING pudding, and I don’t even like pudding. I got the ‘Magic’ pudding, which was a combination of vanilla, caramel, peanuts, and chocolate, and I was completely blown away. It was sweet, delicious, and basically everything I wanted in a dessert.” —Yelper Ivy L.

“The best banana pudding I’ve ever had. The consistency was perfect in my opinion, and the flavor was fantastic.” —Yelper Wil T.

40. Pastiche, Providence, Rhode Island

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“Charming, quiet, dessert bliss — and a fireplace. We sat down next to the fireplace and were greeted promptly. We ate the fruit tart. It was great. The crust was a perfect texture and the filling was divine, sweet yet light. The fruit was perfectly ripe and amazingly fresh.” —Yelper Danny V.

“Everything that Pastiche makes is delicious, but one dessert keeps me coming back: the chocolate mousse cake. It is simply divine.” —Yelper Emmy M.

41. The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli, Columbia, South Carolina

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“Nothing looks like it’s from a can or box. If you want the best cinnamon roll of your life, go here.” —Yelper Cleo S.

“Oh. My. Lord. Visiting from Florida and the Lord met us here. Warm savory cinnamon roll with decadent toppings. This cute hidden gem was welcoming and had good energy.” —Yelper Claudia B.

42. Ch Patisserie, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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“The cakes look too good to eat! And they are even tastier than you can imagine. My favorite dessert had to be the carrot cake. So good! I ate one at the store and bought another one for home.” —Yelper Gigi N.

“So so so delicious. I had the chocolate dream (a cake with mousse and chocolate covering) and the coconut macarons. It was so decadent and totally worth the money.” —Yelper Rebecca G.

43. Sweet 16th Bakery, Nashville, Tennessee

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“Ellen and Dan run the best bakery. I live close by and stop in as often as possible. Everything I’ve tried has been amazing — favorites being the snickerdoodle cupcake and the cheese danish.” —Yelper Jesse C.

“Wonderful bakery! The people that run it are super and all the food is terrific! I’ve been visiting Nashville and was lucky to encounter a gem like this. If I move here I’ll be looking for a place nearby to become a regular. It’s that good!” —Yelper
Ted D.

44. Anonymous Artisan Bites and Coffee Bar, Sugar Land, Texas

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“We got the Lemon Pound Cake and Greek Nescafe Frappe, which were both really good! The cake was moist and had the perfect amount of lemon in it. Not too sour but just enough.” —Yelper Jodi L.

“All I can say is HOLY COW, this was delicious. This has to be one of the best desserts I’ve had in quite some time.” —Yelper Charles Y.

45. RubySnap, Salt Lake City, Utah

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“I am so happy I found this place. Seriously, the cookies here are amazing. There are so many kinds to choose from, it’s hard to decide. Luckily, you can try samples! And not just a little crumble of the cookie, a 1/4 piece of the full cookie. Our favorite was by far the Penelope, a peanut butter cookie dipped in chocolate. Such good complementary flavors. Surprisingly, our second favorite was the Mia, a sugar cookie with buttercream icing.” —Yelper Elizabeth E.

46. Rainbow Sweets, Marshfield, Vermont

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“For dessert we got the Johnny Depps, which are basically cream puffs coated in a crème brûlée sugar shell. Amazing is all I have to say!” —Yelper Jay E.

“Wow, what a gem we found while driving through Vermont. The desserts are the highlight and will keep you coming back for more.” —Yelper Donna M.

47. Layered Cake Patisserie, Leesburg, Virginia

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“The almond croissant is my absolute favorite, but the cookies, macaroons, donuts and other sweets are outstanding as well! One of the Saturday specials was a chocolate orange croissant donut. Sweet gracious, it was amazing!” —Yelper Lauren M.

“AMAZING — everything in the store is awesome! For me it’s a toss-up between the Coconut Macaroon or the Vanilla Bean Macaron, so I usually get both along with a great cup of fresh, locally sourced coffee.” —Yelper Bernie S.

48. Cederberg Tea House, Seattle, Washington

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“MUST ORDER the Malva pudding. It looks deceivingly plain, but is probably one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. It is amazingly moist, buttery, sweet (but not overly sweet) and addicting. You will not want to share.” —Yelper Ashley S.

“It was here that I fell in love with Red Rooibos tea… I absolutely adore this little tea house. I could’ve easily spent every day of my vacation in Seattle in and out of here. Super friendly staff, cute little lounge area with seating by a fireplace. Yummy African desserts and pastries.” —Yelper Malissa D.

49. Royalicious Bagel Bakery, Charles Town, West Virginia

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“The best bakery in the eastern panhandle. Their baked items are baked fresh on location. Always a great assortment of baked goodies, breads and doughnuts.” —Yelper Hello H.

“Great family-owned business. Very friendly and their goods are always fresh and beautifully displayed. This bakery is the real deal! I recommend the raspberry-filled cookies dipped in chocolate. Soo good!” —Yelper Mandi M.

50. Greenbush Bakery, Madison, Wisconsin

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“I recommend the caramel rabbi, sour cream, and Oreo donuts, but you can’t go wrong with any choice at Greenbush.” —Yelper Allison D.

“Probably the best doughnuts I’ve ever had. Lots of flavor, perfectly moist, and they have a good variety. Staff is super friendly as well.” —Yelper Cassandra B.

51. Persephone Bakery, Jackson, Wyoming

persephonebakery / instagram.com

persephonebakery / instagram.com

“The outdoor seating area is absolutely lovely! I got a cinnamon brioche and a latte. The latte was great, but man that brioche! I wish I could eat it every day for the rest of my life, it was THAT good! I can’t even imagine how good the rest of their baked goods are.” —Yelper Katilin M.

“This place is a gem! The food is exceptional and the atmosphere is warm, inviting and comfortably eclectic.” —Yelper Katy B.

Los Angeles ranks as the top choice in the U.S. for international real estate investors

 

Los Angeles ranks as the top choice in the U.S. for international real estate investors

 

Neverland Ranch, now Sycamore Valley Ranch, is re-listed for $67 million

Neverland Ranch, now Sycamore Valley Ranch, is re-listed for $67 million

Michael Jackson‘s Neverland Ranch, now known as Sycamore Valley Ranch, has hit the market yet again.

This time, the 2,700-acre estate, located in California’s Santa Ynez Valley, has an asking price of $67 million — a significant drop from the $100 million price tag it had back in 2015.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, listing agent Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker said the original price allowed private equity firm Colony Capital, which entered into an ownership agreement with Jackson in 2008, “time to better determine the future of the ranch.”

“This quintessential California estate is now ready for the next chapter in its journey,” she said.

Michael Jackson’s ‘Neverland’ hits the market with a new name

Jackson, who died in 2009, purchased the ranch in 1987 for $19.5 million and lived here for 15 years, according to a 2015 report from the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper also reported that in 2008, after the King of Pop defaulted on a $24.5 million loan, Colony Capital bought the note for $23 million, formed a joint venture with the singer, and spent millions on upgrades with the intention of selling it.

According to the listing, which Rey’s office confirmed to ABC News was posted today, the 12,598 sq. ft. main residence features 16 bedrooms and 29 bathrooms. The property also boasts a lake, a pool house near a 14-foot deep lagoon-style pool, a movie theater, dance studio, barns, corrals and separate staff facilities.

Day or night? What’s the best time to go up Riverside’s Mount Rubidoux?

 

Day or night? What’s the best time to go up Riverside’s Mount Rubidoux?

With roughly nine months of data now available, parks officials are beginning to crunch the numbers.

Do you prefer hiking Riverside’s Mount Rubidoux when it’s buzzing with activity, or do you seek peaceful solitude on the mountaintop?

Either way, the city is starting to collect data that could help you plan your visit.

In June, counters were installed by the mountain’s two main entrances – at Ninth Street and at Glenwood Drive – to track how many people use the popular park and when.

With roughly nine months of data now available, parks officials are beginning to crunch the numbers. The counters don’t catch people who use one of several unofficial entrances, such as from Carlson Park on the mountain’s north side, but city Trails Coordinator Alisa Sramala said those hikers are a small fraction of total users.

From early June 2016 – the counters were turned on June 4 – through February, the busiest month was August, with 61,185 visitors, city figures show. December saw the fewest visitors, with 35,225 people trekking the mountain. Nearly 460,000 people visited the park from June through February.

Over the nine-month period, Saturdays were busiest, with an average of 1,978 visitors. Fridays were least popular, seeing an average of 1,340 people.

Also not surprisingly, hourly average counts showed visitors peaked from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekends and weekdays, with a weekday evening spike between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The data showed people in the park at all hours of the day, even though it’s supposed to be closed at night.

“I mainly like to come during the week because there’s less people,” said Brian Hadnot, 43, as he finished a hike on Wednesday, March 8. He makes the 10-minute drive from his Bloomington home about twice a week.

In summer, Hadnot visits the mountain in the evening to watch the sunset. He’s noticed how people interact corresponds to the time of day, he said.

“in the mornings … strangers will say hi and say good morning to you,” Hadnot said. “In the evenings they don’t say much to you.”

Other visitors say they don’t mind rubbing elbows with other hikers.

“Any day is a good day to come,” said Jamie Pack, a 36-year-old Moreno Valley resident. “I like it when it’s active.”

Her friend, 31-year-old Emily Kaufman of Riverside, said the attractions are a great view and exercise, ” and I can bring her,” referring to her Yorkie/poodle mix, Ruca.

Scott and Anne Lively, Riverside residents who said they’re in their “senior years,” keep the mountain in their regular rotation of walking spots but don’t have a preferred day to visit.

“This is one of the most beautiful hiking places I’ve ever seen,” Anne Lively said.

Sramala, the trails coordinator, said the visitor counts didn’t hold many surprises – factors such as weather and school breaks can influence mountain traffic – but “I think the data’s going to end up being very useful for grant applications to justify dollars to spend on improvements and upkeep to the mountain.”

The next step is to check the accuracy of the counters, likely with volunteers from the Friends of Mount Rubidoux, she said.

VISITING HOURS

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1n7C8jbN6acRr_q7CZqNY2qxqF6ynZDKdUdgSK-zT100/pubchart?oid=922137288&format=interactive

Data from electronic counters at Riverside’s Mount Rubidoux shows the average number of visitors at each hour of the day for the past nine months. The park is closed at night, but it’s not locked and people still use it.

POPULAR PARK

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kYAAjUY4IoMqWKYx8v6L37QPtBiqfA7GHpvgj6Xrmmw/pubchart?oid=1012277126&format=interactive

WHICH DAY IS BEST?

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kpsai9ccLJIQ3JEjXaYjv_-Rwq_XlKXCuECMF5xqeQM/pubchart?oid=5268938&format=interactive

How Riverside man came to write ‘100 Things to Do in Riverside Before You Die’

~ what a cool and inspiring story of someone in our own backyard~

How Riverside man came to write ‘100 Things to Do in Riverside Before You Die

Larry Burns’ epiphany to follow his dreams came while working as the career center director at Cal State San Bernardino, helping students connect their education with their vocation.

While he found great satisfaction in the success of former students, Burns had long wanted to explore another path. It took the birth of his daughter to push him into pursuing a path in the literary arts.

“As someone returning to child-rearing in his mid-40s, I was emotionally conflicted,” says the 46-year old Riverside resident. “I did not want to get her through high school, only to look back and wonder if it was too late to live that literary life I dreamed about.”

Burns says that he worked up the courage to pitch a crazy idea to his wife. He explained to her that since they were having trouble figuring out what to do for child care, perhaps he should stay home.

“When she didn’t give me ‘that look’ or spontaneously go into labor, I pressed ahead,” he says.

Burns, who had also been teaching as an adjunct instructor for the University of Phoenix, added more classes, including at Riverside City College.

By the time he returned from paternity leave, he had implemented a strategy to support their new baby, as well as his new writing career.

As long as he can remember, Burns enjoyed telling stories. He drew inspiration from his parents’ reactions. Being able to make up something, but experience a real emotion still mesmerizes him.

“We live for such a short period of time,” he says. “There is so much to see and experience, a single life could not contain it. But with writing, I can create and then experience those worlds, those far-flung experiences.”

In 2015, Burns became part of the “52 Project,” part of the Riverside Art Museum’s Art Make program under the direction of Sue Mitchell. A self-directed, 52 week journaling program, it was designed to help busy people develop routines of capturing creative thoughts and being artful on a regular basis.

“The 52 Project brought together the arts, personal enrichment and community togetherness in a way that I respect and desire,” he says. “Once I saw how those could and should be connected, it fundamentally changed me. I could not help but see how all the communities that make up Riverside were interconnected and interdependent.”

The book that resulted is “100 Things to Do in Riverside Before You Die,” published by Reedy Press. It features restaurants, entertainment, events and out-of-the-way experiences.

“I wanted this to be more than just ‘Larry’s List,” he says. “I wanted it to be a community book; Riverside’s book.”

Burns has also written “Being Wendall,” which he says illustrates how family is not something you are born into, but rather something you create. His book, “Do Your Chores, Love Dad” is a collection of poetry and collage. Next, he will work on a short novel about a future economy based entirely on trash.

“I plan to print them on fast food bags and sell them as individual creative art projects,” he says, adding that is what he will be working on in the 2017 edition of the “52 Project.”

Burns says that now is the best time for a person to begin nurturing their own inner artist.

“I hope some people will read my work and be motivated to dust off that manuscript or half-finished watercolor and get to work doing the thing you are supposed to be doing with the time you have left, no matter wherever or whenever you are,” he says.

100 Things to Do in Riverside Before You Die” will be released in major retailers and bookstores on March 30. A book launch will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. March 25 at the Riverside Art Museum.