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Game still on at Atlantic City


My bet is that Atlantic City isn’t on the radar of football fans heading east to watch Wisconsin play Rutgers on Nov. 1.

Atlantic City, 100 miles south of New Jersey’s largest university, is quickly losing its reputation as a gaming mecca. Four of the city’s 12 casinos closed this year, and a fifth (Trump Taj Mahal) is expected to go down before November ends.

The Washington Post reports that Atlantic City’s casino revenue is one-half of what it was in 2006. The Baltimore Sun attributes the spiral to the opening of 40 casinos in neighboring states, a big change from when New Jersey legalized gambling in 1978.

Haunting New Orleans


One visit is enough for some places, but that’s not how I view New Orleans. The city has a flashy array of personalities, none boring.

If I could be anywhere in the country as this month ends, it would be The Big Easy, and the Oct. 26 Packer-Saints football game is just one reason why.

Dining out on the farm


Lots of chefs develop farm-to-table menus to showcase local ingredients, but these restaurants go one step further. Each is on a Wisconsin farm and open all year.

North Star Homestead Farms, 11077N Fullington Road, Hayward: A trio of women — Ann Berlage with daughters Laura and Kara — operate a cafe, market and creamery on a 1919 farm in Sawyer County and Chequamegon National Forest.

A Grand vacation


Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel — unusual because of its appearance, architecture, attitude and location — soon goes into hibernation for six months. The Michigan summer resort, a National Historic Landmark, is among the Midwest’s most precious getaways.

It’s among the pricier, too, but there are exceptions if you know how to time a visit. Schedule a weekday overnight this month, and the overnight rate could be quite affordable, as in $310 per room for up to four people (the Fall Bed and Breakfast Package). Breakfast goes far beyond cold cereal and pre-packaged muffins.

‘A’ is for agriculture and art


What, besides corn and cows, might you find in farm fields near Reedsburg next month?

A. A woodwind quintet and ballet dancers.

Outdoor sculptures add a fun element to autumn road trips


When fall colors hit their peak, we hit the road in search of the most brilliant blaze of hues. That part is expected.

What adds surprise to the awe of autumnal landscapes? Plan it right, and rural sculpture parks pop up amid the flaming oaks, maples, birches and sumacs.

Making art in the Northwoods


Outside are the tools and materials of a welder. Inside is the precarious pirouette of a dancer, the menacing glare of a warrior.

The unusual combination of what you see is as unexpected as the story of how Sara Balbin leaves her mark in the Northwoods, between Drummond and Cable in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Accordion pride


Once a month on a Tuesday night, the basement at Monroe’s Turner Hall fills.

Fans of all things Swiss devour Schublig sausages, potatoes with melted Raclette cheese, Hasli-filee pork medallions, cheese pie, fondue and more.

Kringle anyone?


In the world of pastry production, Danish kringle ranks among the most difficult and time-consuming of challenges. To do it right takes three days from start to finish.

That’s because of the number of times dough is rolled, folded with butter and set aside to rest. “The best quality kringle require patience,” notes a Food Network online recipe, for advanced bakers.

Rock on! Clear Lake, Iowa, remembers Buddy, Ritchie and The Big Bopper


The half-mile walk between northern Iowa cornfields leads to a pinwheel of copper Jell-O molds and, lower to the ground, stainless steel cutouts of a guitar and a pair of wings.

People who make this fence-line trek tend to leave a little something behind: loose change, notes, scarves, ribbons, flags, beads, needlepoint, necklaces, flowers.

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