Hispanic heart disease deaths highest in mostly-Latino communities

(Reuters Health) – Hispanics in the U.S. have lower rates of death from heart disease overall than non-Hispanic whites, except in communities where Hispanics make up most of the population, a recent study finds.

Overall, counties with higher Hispanic populations also face more economic disadvantages, a lack of access to quality healthcare, and language barriers, researchers report in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“I think that these neighborhood-specific factors largely explain the disparity,” said lead study author Dr. Fatima Rodriguez of Stanford University in California in an email.

As the proportion of Hispanic residents in a community rose, so did their risk for heart disease deaths. But ethnic community makeup wasn’t related to cardiovascular death rates for non-Hispanic white residents, the researchers found.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 715 counties across the U.S. and looked at death records for 382,416 Hispanics and 4,386,624 non-Hispanic whites. Overall, Hispanics had lower death rates from heart disease than non-Hispanic whites: 189 per 100,000 population compared with 245 per 100,000.

But compared to Hispanics in counties with the lowest proportion of Hispanics in the population, Hispanics in counties with the most Hispanic residents had higher death rates from heart disease: 215 per 100,000 people versus with 134 per 100,000.

Compared to white people and individuals from some other racial and ethnic groups, Hispanics living in the U.S. also experience a disproportionate burden of cardiovascular disease risk factors including obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, previous research has found.

Hispanics in predominantly Hispanic counties had a greater risk of dying from conditions like heart attacks and strokes even after accounting for socioeconomic factors and health factors that could independently make fatalities from cardiovascular disease more likely.

Hispanics are one of the largest and fastest-growing ethnic groups in the U.S. and will likely account for 28 percent of the population by 2060, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In the study, counties with higher proportions of Hispanic residents were more likely to be lower-income, with more families lacking education and living below the poverty line.

Counties with larger Hispanic populations also more uninsured individuals, fewer primary care physicians, and more residents with limited English proficiency. These more predominantly Hispanic counties were also more likely to be rural.

Most of the counties in the study with the greatest proportion of Hispanic residents were in the Southwestern U.S., South Florida, and in a few regions in the Northeast.

The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how the proportion of Hispanic residents in a community might directly impact health outcomes or death rates for Hispanic individuals. Another limitation is that researchers used county-level data as a proxy for neighborhood composition, and it’s possible that neighborhoods shaped health in ways the study could not measure, the authors note.

“Given the residential racial/ethnic segregation across communities in the U.S. and the fact that localities with a higher share of Hispanics/Latinos also tend to have higher rates of uninsurance and poor quality healthcare, people living in these communities are more likely to experience barriers, including affordability and geographic access, in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease,” said Dima Qato, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago who wasn’t involved in the study.

“We need to do more in these communities to better ensure they have better access to insurance, primary healthcare services, and essential medicines specifically for cardiovascular care,” Qato said by email.

SOURCE: bit.ly/2OyHOzv Journal of the American Heart Association, online September 19, 2018.

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The Legs Workout To Build Bigger Legs Fast

This six-move legs session will hit your quads, hamstrings and glutes hard, as well as your entire core, to provide the direct stimulus need to pack on lean muscle to your lower body. It’s comprised of two tough straight sets then four more exercises paired into two supersets – and because it gets your heart rate up, there’s a big fat-burning benefit too. Simply do the moves in order, sticking to the sets, reps and rest periods detailed, then have yourself a nice little sit-down.

How to do the workout

This six-move session is made up of two straight sets and two supersets. Do move 1, sticking to the sets, reps and rest shown, then do all reps of move 2. After resting, do moves 3A and 3B as a superset, and the same again for 4A and 4B, to shock your legs into growing bigger and stronger.

Warm up thoroughly, starting with some gentle lower-body mobility movements and dynamic stretching. Then do some light deadlift sets, interspersed with more mobility work in the rest periods between warm-up sets. Gradually increase the weight of each warm-up set while reducing the reps until the next increase is your work weight.

1 Deadlift

Sets 5 Reps 8 Rest 60sec

Why It’s the classic big lift for all-over muscle

How Stand tall with the barbell in front of you, then squat down and grasp it with an overhand grip. Keeping your chest up and core braced, press down through your heels to stand up. Push your hips forwards at the top, then lower.

2 Leg press

Sets 5 Reps 8 Rest 60sec

Why Work your quads and hamstrings hard and safely

How Sit in the machine positioned correctly according to the instructions. Place your feet lower and closer together to work your quads more, or higher and wider to hit your hamstrings and glutes more directly. Bend your knees to bring them towards your chest, then press back to the start.

Superset 1

This first superset will hit your hamstrings and quads hard. Because these two major muscles will be thoroughly warmed up from the first two straight sets, try to go as heavy as you can while maintaining correct form and completing all the reps. Go slow on the eccentric part of the move, where you return to the start, to work your muscles even harder.

3A Seated hamstring curl

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 30sec

Why It isolates the backs of your thighs to fatigue more muscle fibres

How Position yourself correctly with your legs straight and the padded bar against your lower leg. Squeeze your hamstrings to bring your heels towards you, then return to the start.

3B Seated leg extension

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 60sec

Why It isolates your quads so you can go heavy

How Position yourself correctly with your knees bent and the padded bar against your shins. Raise your feet to straighten your legs, then squeeze your quads at the top. Lower back to the start position slowly to increase the tension on the target muscles.

Superset 2

This final superset comprises two high-rep moves to target and fatigue as many muscle fibres as possible so you end the session with your heart rate soaring. If you struggle to hit the rep target, lift lighter or finish each set with bodyweight reps.

4A Dumbbell lunge

Sets 3 Reps 8 each side Rest 30sec

Why This works all your lower leg muscles as well as your abs and lower back

How Stand tall, holding a dumbbell in each hand. With your chest up and core braced, take a big step forwards with your left leg and lunge down until both knees are bent at 90°. Push off your front foot to return to the start, then repeat with your right leg. Alternate your leading leg with each rep.

4B Dumbbell squat

Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 60sec

Why It targets your glutes and abs as well as your quads and hams

How Stand tall, holding a dumbbell in each hand. With your chest up and core braced, bend at your hips and knees to squat down as deep as you can without rounding your back. Push down through your heels to stand back up and return to the start position.

Photography: Glen Burrows; Model: Olly Foster

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How To Master The Fiendishly Difficult Pistol Squat

It is testament to the squat’s effectiveness that there are so many widely practised variations of the exercise. Of all those variations, the pistol squat stands out as the toughest unweighted squat exercise, testing your strength, stability and mobility to the max.

If you’re not already an accomplished single-leg or split squatter, then it’s best to start with those exercises rather than go straight into a full pistol squat. Along with building up your leg strength it’s worth working on your hip and ankle mobility before you try the full pistol squat, because no matter how powerful your legs are, you won’t be able to adopt the pistol position without flexibility in those areas.

Sporty types in particular will benefit from adding the pistol squat to their fitness routine, assuming the sport involved requires a lot of running (darts players don’t really need to bother). Working on one leg in this way mimics the movement of running and will both increase your power and help make you more resistant to injuries.

How To Do A Pistol Squat

Stand on one leg with the other held straight out in front of you. Slowly lower into a deep squat, keeping the airborne leg straight. In the bottom position of the exercise the hamstring on your standing leg should be touching your calf, with the other leg extended parallel to the ground. Once you’ve reached the pistol position, pause for a second, and then push back up by driving through your heel. What you do with your arms during the exercise is up to you, but it’s wise to hold them out in front of you to help you balance when you are new to the exercise. Once you become a pistol master you can keep your arms against your chest or even hold a weight of some kind.

If you find you’re toppling over every time you try a pistol squat or that you can’t get sufficiently deep, try holding a suspension trainer or an anchored resistance band while doing the exercise. This will help with your balance on the way down and assist with pushing back up from the pistol position.

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The best thing about ex Bachelor Matty J’s body, according to Matty J

Describe Matty J in three words. Our response? Hubba, hubba, hubba.

We’re sorry, but can we all just take a minute of silence to appreciate this materpiece?

Okay, you can continue to stare (it’s alright, no one’s judging), but we also have to point out a quality of Matty J you can’t see, yet makes him a thousand times hotter: his personality.

When asked what his favourite body part is, we figured he’d have to pick from either his hardcore abs, his eyes, or maybe even his charming smile. But instead he said something completely unexpected…

“The thing I admire about myself the most is the fact that I’ve been given a body that loves to exercise,” the 31-year-old tells myBodyandSoul.

“As a kid I’d spend all my time with a football, on my bike or in the surf. I can’t image living a life where I’m not exercising regularly so I’m thankful that I’ve been given a body that’s capable of so many things.”

Okay, so you can be blessed with a body, but that six-pack surely doesn’t come naturally?

When it comes to his weekly exercise routine, everyone’s favourite (former, soz) Bachelor makes sure he gets active whenever he can, by popping into the gym at least three times, going for a long run, and hitting the surf.

He then fuels his body with a truckload of food – and we really mean truckload.

“I always start the day with a bowl of porridge followed by an extra strong flat white. I’ll have a sandwich at midday, followed by a second lunch (usually left over from the night before) at 3pm, and then dinner at around 7pm, which is usually chicken or fish with a massive side of vegetables.”

And his day of eating doesn’t stop there.

“I have a massive sweet tooth so there’s no better way to end the day than with a cup of tea and dark chocolate.” Yes, he is living proof that life’s all about balance.

On top of his healthy (and extremely large) day on a plate, he lives by three simple rules, which help lead his balanced lifestyle: drinking at least two litres of water a day, getting eight hours of shut-eye, and making sure he pays attention to what he throws in his stomach.

But taking care of his own health isn’t the only priority in life. Yes, his family and friends mean the world to him, but his kind heart extends far beyond his strong bod, and the perfect world social media has displayed.

Matty is a huge advocate for preventing habitat deconstruction, in particularly, the homes of Australia’s very own koalas.

“Sadly we’ve been cutting down trees at lightning speed, in turn isolating koalas. This has contributed to the dramatic decline on koala numbers and their health, and the threat is increasing rapidly.”

The heartbreaking fact he points out is that as you read this, “beautiful animals are dying.”

What he urges everyone to do is get on board The Body Shop’s World Bio Bridge Mission, which is dedicated to funding philanthropic initiatives. And for the first time ever, this year will see The Body Shop bring this mission home to Australia, where they’ll be planting approximately 12,000 koala food trees to reinstate the koala habitat across 30 hectares in Noosa – an area close to Matty’s heart.

“This project will help turn the tide against the loss of habitat in the area, which is recognised as a biosphere reserve. By connecting the two key areas of habitat, the project will help the threatened koala population to eventually thrive again.”

Ugh Matty J, you sure you don’t have anymore red roses you’d secretly like to hand out?

To help Matty J’s mission to stop habitat construction, head to The Body Shop and pick up a limited edition Hemp Hand Cream. For every tube purchased, donations will be made to fund the project.

For more celeb tips, these are Emily Skye’s 4 simple tips to your best summer bod. Plus, this is what the woman behind Beckham’s six-pack eats in a day.

Know someone who would find this interesting? Share this article with them!

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Letting sunlight in really can kill dark-loving bacteria, study shows

Opening the window shades in the morning may not only help the growth of indoor plants or get skin a little dose of vitamin D — it might also lower amounts of living bacteria that thrive in the dark.

An abundance of sunlight was significantly associated with lower amounts of a certain types of bacteria, a new study in the Journal of the Microbiome said.

The mix of bacteria that exists in a space or in a living being is called its microbiome. In dark rooms, about 12 percent of bacteria, on average, were able to reproduce, the researchers at the University of Oregon found. But in sunlight, only 6.8 percent thrived. That was down to 6.1 percent for bacteria exposed to UV light.

“When designing buildings, we should take into account and understand how the microbiome may be selected, based on the design,” Dr. Ashkaan Fahimipour, a post-doctoral researcher in biology and built environment at the University of Oregon said in an interview with ABC News. “This could actually have an impact on health.”

Sunlight is a central component of architectural design, long considered a way to fight off the spread of pathogens. Exposure to light at specific wavelengths can inactivate many microorganisms and reduce microbial dust communities.

In this study, the researchers constructed eleven identical climate-control miniature rooms, mimicking real buildings, and added dust collected from residential homes. They then applied three different glazing treatment to each window so that either visible sunlight, UV light or no light would pass through the windows.

PHOTO: A woman cleans a window in an undated stock photo. STOCK/Getty Images
A woman cleans a window in an undated stock photo.

After 90 days, the research team collected dust from each tiny house and analyzed the abundance and viability of the bacteria. A very different, smaller community of bacteria existed with more light exposure.

Fahimipour says that just as certain weeds are more likely to grow on a front lawn than in a rainforest, the diversity of microorganisms is tremendously different in varied environments.

This study can help inform building designs in the future, to make sure there’s a mix in their microbiomes.

The study does not specify which bacteria may lead to negative health outcomes; the point is that light creates a wide and different type of microbiome, while decreasing certain type of bacteria observed in dark settings.

There were some limitations to the study, however. Differences in architectural and geographical features — the very things that can produce lower or higher amounts of light and may affect some of the results in different types of buildings — weren’t taken into account, since they used a standard design.

They also did not address the amount of available water, or how a more condensed environment can lead to some bacteria being pre-selected.

Old folk wisdom says that daylight disinfects, but what the study did not address was what other factors might be involved, and how this shift in dust microbiome could affect different settings like hospitals or nursing homes.

Of course, microorganisms are everywhere and most of the time, they pose no harm. But it is time to begin to understand how choices in building design can affect some bacteria — and how controlling for the growth of bacteria might improve health — whether that’s in the living room or the hospital room.

Dr. Tambetta Ojong is a family medicine resident at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.

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Spin-off of Biju’s Little Curry Shop added to growing Golden Triangle food hall lineup — The Know

The building that will house the new Broadway Market food hall. (Handout)

More chefs have been added to the forthcoming Golden Triangle food hall Broadway Market, and you may have heard of them.

Daniel Asher and Josh Dinar of Boulder’s River and Woods in Boulder and Biju Thomas of Denver’s Biju’s Little Curry Shop have joined the growing restaurant lineup at 950 Broadway.

Asher and Dinar will open Mother Tongue, a spot that will focus on a simple menu of five or six dishes featuring doner kebab, falafel and frites, according to a release.

And for Thomas? Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? 

Chef owner Biju Thomas applies the finishing touches as he prepares a beef curry bowl at Biju’s Little Curry Shop in Denver. (Cyrus McCrimmon, Denver Post file)

Thomas will open a spin-off of the popular Biju’s Little Curry Shop that will include updated takes on tikka masala, a vegan saag paneer, a spicy goat curry and seasonal curries, the release said. You’ll also be blowing those paychecks on curry bowl combinations, freshly made samosas and chapati.

The first tenant, Pizzeria Coperta from chef Paul C. Reilly, was announced in September. According to the release, there will be six other food concepts and possibly three small retail concepts. The project does not yet have an opening date.

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Arapahoe Basin plans new hiking, biking trails and via ferrata climbing

A skier makes their way down mid-mountain at the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area on May 20, 2015. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

With its 2018-19 winter season just days away, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s plans to reimagine its summer on-mountain recreational offerings recently took a giant jump into the future.

The White River National Forest announced on Tuesday that its Dillon Ranger District is now accepting comments on A-Basin’s plans for approximately 10 miles of new trails for hiking and mountain biking and two “via ferrata” zones — one beneath tree line at lower mountain terrain and one above tree line on upper mountain terrain.

A via ferrata — which is Italian for “iron path” — traditionally is a protected climbing route most often involving a steel cable that runs along the route and is periodically fixed to the bedrock, in this case A-Basin’s East Wall and a rock face within the ski area’s “Steep Gullies” terrain. The proposal doesn’t mention if those areas would be affected in the winter season. Climbers then typically scale the via ferrata by securing themselves to the cable, which limits the possibility of falling. Additional climbing aids are often provided as well, with a via ferrata kit.

Via ferratas are traditionally found in the Alps, though Telluride has the most well-known example in Colorado. As for via ferratas at ski areas like A-Basin, there is currently one at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Read more about the via ferratas and trails at Summit Daily.

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Tamal Ray’s recipe for apple and blackberry cake | Food

For city dwellers, it can be hard to reconcile romantic ideas of autumn (a time of plenty, harvest festival) with the reality of ever shorter, darker days. This cake puts two ingredients to work that make the season worth celebrating: apples and blackberries. Paired with warming spices, they make the perfect treat to watch the leaves fall and rain patter past your window.

Apple and blackberry cake

Feel free to substitute the fresh blackberries used here for frozen, or even for other fruits such as currants or raspberries. All you really need is something small and sweetly tangy to cut through the sweetness of the sponge.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr
Serves 8

150g dried figs
2 apples (I use Pink Lady)
200g unsalted butter
175g dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
125g plain flour
75g wholemeal flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1½ tsp baking powder
150g blackberries
Cream or creme fraiche, to serve

Start by chopping up the figs and peeling and grating the apples. Set aside in a bowl. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.

Cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs until smooth and glossy. Stir in the flours, spices and baking powder followed by the figs, apples and blackberries.

Pour into an 23cm cake tin lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, by which point a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean with no batter.

Leave to cool a little, then serve warm with a little cream or creme fraiche.

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The Highway Code review is good news for cyclists but should just be the start | Environment

The announcement of a Highway Code review for walking and cycling is a forward step for active travel and road safety. It may not be the millions of pounds of investment needed, but it’s a start.

The Department for Transport (DfT) review will cover issues such as how to safely overtake cyclists, guidance on preventing car-dooring of cyclists, and giving pedestrians and cyclists the right of way at side roads.

The announcement follows a consultation earlier this year, whose responses were published on Thursday. It is part of a series of small but helpful cycle-friendly moves from the DfT including cargo bike subsidies, funding for Manchester’s ambitious cycling and walking plans, and support for police close passing operations and driver training.

Although the government does not go far enough in treating cycling and walking as a serious mode of mass transport, updating the rules that guide driver behaviour in this country, many of which are legal requirements, is a start.

Last year there were 18,321 cycling casualties, including 101 deaths, and 23,805 pedestrian casualties, including 470 deaths, on UK roads. 99% of pedestrian deaths involve a motorised vehicle.

Close passing is something many people who cycle on the UK’s roads regularly experience, and research shows near misses do put people off cycling. West Midlands Police, pioneers of the close pass initiative, found many drivers they pulled over had passed their driving test decades ago and were never taught how to safely overtake someone on a bike. Sometimes drivers failed to notice a cyclist even after passing within centimetres of the rider’s handlebars. At the moment, the Highway Code, which is, in theory, compulsory reading, says drivers should give cyclists as much room as they would a car, but to some drivers that may be just centimetres. West Midlands Police advocate giving cyclists 1.5m. Updating this part of the code will send a clearer message to drivers.

Dooring – opening a car door into the path of a cyclist – seriously injured 278 cyclists and killed five between 2011 and 2015. It’s already a criminal offence, punishable with a £1,000 fine, but updated guidance advocating the “Dutch reach” – using the opposite arm to open a car door – is welcome.

The review could also mean drivers would be told to give way to pedestrians and cyclists crossing at side roads, not just those already crossing the road, as at present. This would be especially helpful to those less able to run out of the way of fast turning vehicles.

All of the above issues are common sense, and in some cases already required by law, but a lack of awareness and cuts to roads policing mean they’re often ignored.

Over recent decades our streets have become dominated by the motor car, with the attitude increasingly being that anyone stepping on to or cycling on them without unwavering vigilance for hurtling traffic, no matter how badly piloted, does so at their own risk. The comments on some of the news stories about the review reinforce this theory in depressing volumes.

This attitude precipitates driving behaviour that scares people off cycling, and makes crossing the road far riskier than it needs to be, especially for the elderly or disabled. Modern thinking is starting to shift towards seeing our roads as public spaces for everyone, rather than just the minority rushing around in cars. The Highway Code could reflect this thinking and remind those with the greatest potential for harm of their responsibilities.

Even better would be for the government to invest in cycling infrastructure on a long-term, sustained and strategic basis, and for roads to be designed to actively discourage speeding. Planners should make room for protected cycling and walking routes to make them more attractive than driving.

Until the Treasury makes money available for active travel, instead of a misguided pursuit of ever greater motor traffic capacity – the very thing that’s killing us and choking our streets – the DfT is doing its best with what it has, and that’s a good start.

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Seasoned restaurant industry vet opens Alcove in the West End

You may recognize the name Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli, a Boston restaurant industry vet who has cut his chops at places like Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks, Craigie on Main, and Island Creek Oyster Bar. (You may also have heard of his uncle, James Beard Award-winner Chris Schlesinger, who owned East Coast Grill and The Blue Room in Cambridge, and The Back Eddy in Westport.) On Wednesday night, Schlesinger-Guidelli debuted his very first restaurant, Alcove, now open for dinner.

Located at Lovejoy Wharf near TD Garden, Alcove is a love letter of sorts to the Massachusetts farm coast with a menu that focuses heavily on seafood and vegetables.

“I think one of the things that’s so unique [about that region] is the meeting of land, field, and sea, in a way that a lot of farming communities don’t interact with in the same way,” Schlesinger-Guidelli said. “When you look across this country, most of our produce comes from large swaths of inland farming. There’s nothing wrong with that. But the opportunity to see fisherman also interact with produce and animals is special.”

Bigoli and duck ragu at Alcove. —Emily Kan

Chef Maxime Fanton has put together a dinner menu that includes dishes like pan-seared sea bream with golden quinoa, grilled swordfish with eggplant caponata, and a roasted half chicken with spinach. A raw bar is also available, as is charcuterie and cheese, snacks, and shareable small plates like Spanish octopus with marbled potatoes. Pastry chef Alexandra Artinian makes black sesame pot de creme, chocolate cassis tart, and olive oil semifreddo for a a sweet finish.

Beer, cider, and wines are all available, and with Schlesinger-Guidelli’s experience behind the bar at Eastern Standard, you can be sure that cocktails are a central focus on the drink menu. Craft concoctions (most around $11) include drinks like Squash the Julep with cognac, rum, honey, and spice.

“I really want people to feel comfortable in the restaurant,” Schlesinger-Guidelli said. “I want people to come in and have a beer and a burger for $20 on any random night, and celebrate an anniversary or a birthday or a promotion, and everything in between those experiences.”

A cheeseburger at Alcove. —Emily Kan

He believes that comfortable feel is reflected in the neighborhood, which has been going through a period of transition.

“I think in the same way that I’m talking about the food being an intersection of different elements, Lovejoy Wharf is, too,” he said. “It’s on the water, [right by] North Station, the Garden. … Really, this is an up-and-coming neighborhood that hasn’t traditionally been [given] attention by the restaurant community. It’s in a really unique spot at a unique time. Lovejoy Wharf has a certain coziness to it, a little less hustle bustle.”

Designed by architect William T. Ruhl, Alcove is a visual nod to the coast with gray and blue details, plus copper and steel accents. As a first-time restaurant owner, Schlesinger-Guidelli was surprised to find a great deal of enjoyment in the design process (dealing with the lease was not as fun, he said). It was all worth it: He’s been wanting to open his own restaurant for most of his life.

The bar at Alcove. —Emily Kan

“There’s always been a sort of romanticism to the business,” he said. “In my early 20s, I would have told you I would never do this. But … Craigie on Main was a real game changer for me. I think when I left Eastern Standard to go to Craigie on Main, I never looked back on this being one of the goals.”

Now that his goal has been achieved, patrons can eat dinner at Alcove seven days a week, with brunch and lunch launching later this year.

Alcove, 50 Lovejoy Wharf; Mondays–Thursdays from 5 p.m.–midnight, Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m.–1 a.m., and Sundays from 4:30 p.m.–midnight; alcoveboston.com


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