Corporators under Thane police radar

first_imgThe Thane Police’s probe into extortion accused Iqbal Kaskar’s alleged links with political figures has identified at least three corporators from Thane, who are now under the police scanner. Officer said that the number is likely to increase over the next few day.Dawood’s name usedExtortion Iqbal, the younger brother of wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, was arrested late on Monday night for allegedly extorting a Thane-based builder by using Dawood’s name. Two others, Mumtaz Sheikh and Israr Ali Sayed, were also arrested for aiding Iqbal in the racket.last_img read more

Sharapova comeback, teen’s dream run end at US Open

first_imgRoad Warriors sink Batang Pier “The emotions were high when it was 5-2,” she said. “I wanted to close it so much.”‘Unbelievable’ for StephensSpanish 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta advanced to his second Grand Slam quarter-final with a 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/3) victory over Shapovalov.The Canadian would have been the youngest Slam quarter-finalist since Michael Chang at the 1990 French Open, youngest US Open quarter-finalist since Andre Agassi in 1988 and first US Open qualifier in the last eight since Gilles Muller in 2008.“The biggest lesson is that I’m able to compete with these guys,” Shapovalov said. “I still think I have a lot of work to do.”Stephens, who was a 2013 Australian Open semi-finalist, missed 11 months with a foot injury that required surgery in January and returned only at Wimbledon, but has won 12 of her past 14 matches for her deepest US Open run in six tries.“I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better comeback,” Stephens said. “Making it to the quarter-finals here is unbelievable.”Wimbledon and Australian Open runner-up Venus Williams, the US ninth seed seeking her eighth Grand Slam title and third US Open crown, was to meet Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro for a quarter-final spot.Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, the third seed from Spain and leader in a fight for world number one, also was to face Czech 13th seed Petra Kvitova later.‘I just play perfect’Carreno Busta, the first player in Grand Slam history to face four qualifiers, has not dropped a set at the tournament.In a draw half assured of producing a first-time Slam finalist, he has a Tuesday quarter-final against either French 16th seed Lucas Pouille or Argentine 29th seed Diego Schwartzman. UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Sharapova, whose five Grand Slam titles include the 2006 US Open, made 51 unforced errors to only 14 by Sevastova, whose 21 winners were half the 30-year-old Russian star’s total at Arthur Ashe Stadium.“She played unbelievable throughout the first and second set and I just kept fighting, running for every ball,” Sevastova said. “The third set could have gone either way.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSevastova matched her best Slam run from last year’s US Open while 146th-ranked Sharapova served notice her game remains formidable, having defeated second-ranked Simona Halep in her dramatic opener on the New York hardcourts.Sharapova tested positive for the banned blood booster meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open and only returned from her suspension in April. She was snubbed for a French Open wildcard, missed Wimbledon with a thigh injury but received a wildcard for the US Open despite only one hardcourt tuneup match due to a left forearm injury.Sharapova blasted a backhand down-the-line winner to break for a 3-1 edge. Sevastova broke back in the seventh game but Sharapova broke again in the last, taking the first set after 27 minutes with a forehand crosscourt winner.But Sharapova hit a forehand wide to surrender a break to put the Latvian ahead 2-1 in the second set and Sevastova held from there, aided by Sharapova’s 16-2 edge in unforced errors in the set.Sharapova double faulted to hand Sevastova a break to open the final set and the Latvian broke again at love for a 3-0 lead.Sharapova then had a blistered right middle finger taped by a trainer and immediately broke back and held. But Sevastova held at love, broke again and took the match on a service winner.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Carreno Busta won his third career ATP title in May on Estoril clay then reached his first Slam quarter-final at the French Open, where he retired against Rafael Nadal with an abdominal injury that kept him out of Wimbledon.Shapovalov’s bid collapsed thanks to going 3-of-13 on break points and making 55 unforced errors against 54 winners, Carreno Busta with 25 winners against 29 unforced errors.“At the beginning I was a little bit discouraged, maybe nervous,” Carreno Busta said. “In the tie-breaks I just played perfect. It was an amazing victory for me.”Later men’s matches pitted South African 28th seed Kevin Anderson against Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi and German 23rd seed Mischa Zverev against US 17th seed Sam Querrey. CBB LATEST STORIEScenter_img SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Maria Sharapova of Russia (left) waves to the crowd after her women’s singles fourth round match loss to Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia (inset) on Day Seven of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3, 2017. AFPNEW YORK, United States — Maria Sharapova’s Grand Slam comeback after a 15-month doping ban ended in defeat Sunday at the US Open, as did the dream run of Canadian 18-year-old Denis Shapovalov.Latvian 16th seed Anastasija Sevastova rallied to eliminate former world number one Sharapova 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 and book a quarter-final berth against American Sloane Stephens, who ousted Germany’s Julia Goerges 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games View commentslast_img read more

GasLog Takes Delivery of New LNG Carrier

first_imgGreece-based owner and operator of LNG carriers GasLog Ltd has expanded its fleet with its latest newbuilding, the Gaslog Genoa.The company took delivery of the new liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier from South Korea’a shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries on March 29.The Bermuda-flagged carrier with XDF propulsion was named at the shipyard a few days earlier, on March 27.Featuring a length of 293 meters and a beam of 45.8 meters, Gaslog Genoa has a capacity of 174,000 cbm.The unit is part of an order placed with the shipbuilder in May 2014. At the time, GasLog ordered two vessels, and secured two additional priced options from Samsung.Earlier in March, GasLog expanded its orderbook with a new 180,000 cubic meter Flex Plus vessel with XDF propulsion from Samsung Heavy Industries.The newbuild, Hull No. 2274, is scheduled to be handed over in the second quarter of 2020 and is currently unchartered. The deal also includes options for additional vessels.Image Courtesy: GasLoglast_img read more

WilsonRaybould will have uphill climb as independent expert says

first_imgVANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Jody Wilson-Raybould’s political career has taken another turn. The former Attorney General for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals has announced she will seek re-election this year as an independent candidate.However, one expert believes it’s going to be an uphill climb.Hamish Telford is the Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of the Fraser Valley. He says Wilson-Raybould has name recognition and she’s in the right riding for her brand of politics, but it’s still going to be a tough race as an Independent.“They are generally not successful in part because they don’t have a party machine to help them identify the vote and get the vote out, knock on doors, and do all of the things parties do to get their candidates elected,” says Telford.However, he notes when independents have been successful, it’s because they have name recognition and Wilson-Raybould has become a household name following the SNC-Lavalin affair.But why did she decide to run as an independent and not join the Greens or the NDP?Telford says it might have something to do with Jane Philpott, Wilson-Raybould’s close friend, who has also announced she’s running as an independent.“My sense is that Jane Philpott did not stand much chance of re-winning her riding as an NDP or a Green,” says Telford. “Both of those parties were in single digits in the last election. So if they are going to work together, that would lead Jody Wilson-Raybould to also run as an Independent.”Overall, Telford is a bit surprised by her decision. He thought WIlson-Raybould and Philpott were going to leave federal politics altogether.“I thought under the circumstances they would both conclude that their political and professional objectives could be better realized outside of Parliament, outside of electoral politics, in some other capacity.”The upcoming federal election takes place in October.last_img read more

Lays records hockey emotions

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Advertisement The campaign also includes 15- and 30-second TV spots (below) where NHL fans are shown watching a game alongside Burns, who poses with the brand’s specially packaged chip bags. PepsiCo’s Lay’s is looking to tap its hockey-loving audience, encouraging fans to interact with hockey stars through facial recognition technology.On Monday, the brand launched “Show Your Emotions,” a campaign that includes an online activation where users can interact with San Jose Sharks defenceman Brent Burns and Vegas Golden Knights’ goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.Starting at 12 pm Eastern, fans can visit the company’s website, where they will be invited to record a range of expressions (with the site detecting them through facial recognition tech) based on hockey-related prompts, such as how they would react if their team made the playoffs. The expressions will then drive pre-recorded video responses, in real-time, from Burns and Fleury. Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

Field peas

first_imgby Kaitlyn Goalenphotographs by Nick PironioFor most Southern cooks, field peas are as familiar and enduring a staple as their summertime harvest-mates, tomatoes. This year, however, an heirloom varietal of pea, thought to have vanished, will be grown within Raleigh city limits. And it all started with a dead woman’s fridge.Two years ago, Raleigh-based farmer Sean Barker traveled back to his native town in Mississippi to visit family. Amid catch-ups with relatives and reminiscing about old friends, Barker and his uncle struck up a conversation about Mama Hill, Barker’s grandmother who had passed away in 1999.Mama Hill had been an A-class gardener and a Southern cook of the highest order. In fact, Barker credits her for giving him the “agricultural bug” that grew into his profession. As he and his uncle sat on the porch, Barker recalled some of the crops he ate from Mama Hill’s garden as a child: okra, oversize summer squash, and a particularly delicious calico field pea unlike any he’d had before or since.Barker’s uncle paused. “You know,” he said, “when we were cleaning out the house after Mama Hill died, I moved her refrigerator to my house but never really went through it; I just plugged it into the wall in my garage and sort of forgot about it.”It prompted an immediate visit to the matriarch’s fridge, and an amazing discovery inside: Sitting on a shelf was a grocery bag full of seeds Mama Hill had saved. There were rice peas and lady peas, and a third bag of peas with a scrap of paper tucked into it: In Mama Hill’s script it read: “polecat pea, 1984.”To a farmer, this was the equivalent of winning the lottery. Here were the calico peas of Barker’s youth, forgotten until now. After his mother successfully grew a test crop last season, Barker decided to plant a plot of the heirloom at Raleigh City Farm, where he and his business partner, Corbett Marshall, grow produce under the name Kailyard Farm.If all goes according to plan, Mama Hill’s polecat peas will likely be harvested this month, along with about 20 other varietals Barker planted this season. Kailyard Farm sells its produce, including field peas, at the Raleigh City Farmer’s Market (Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. at City Market).Grab some, if you can, and rekindle your romance with one of the South’s shining summer stars. Clockwise starting from the red seeds, Harico Rouge, Calico Crowder, Lady Pea, and Vietnamese Black.Field Peas with Cornbread and Tomato VinaigretteWhen I asked Barker how Mama Hill cooked her peas, he told me that she had a few tricks, including adding just a touch of sugar. In an ode to that maneuver, this recipe pairs the peas with a barely sweet tomato vinaigrette and cornbread crumbles. Like panzanella, the classic Italian tomato-and-bread salad, this dish works best with day-old cornbread.Serves 4-62 slices smoky bacon, cut into ½-inch thick pieces½ cup diced onion1 clove garlic, smashed2 cups fresh field peasKosher salt and freshly ground black pepper2 beefsteak tomatoes, cored and sliced in half1 tablespoon sherry vinegar1 teaspoon fresh minced tarragon1 teaspoon fresh minced parsley½ cup extra-virgin olive oil6 ounces chevre, crumbled4 cups cornbread, broken up into 2- to 3-inch piecesIn a saucepan over medium heat, add the bacon. Cook until it begins to brown a bit and release fat, about five minutes. Add the onion, garlic and field peas and stir to coat. Add water until the field peas are covered by an inch. Bring to a simmer and cook until the peas are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the peas, discarding the cooking liquid and the garlic clove. Transfer the peas to a bowl and season with salt to taste.Over a large bowl, use a box grater to grate the flesh of the tomatoes (discard the tomato skin). Whisk in the vinegar, tarragon and parsley. Whisk in the oil in a slow steady stream until the mixture is fully emulsified. Add the field peas, corn bread and chevre, and toss to coat. Transfer to a platter and serve.last_img read more

Winter squash

first_imgby Kaitlyn Goalenphotographs by Jillian ClarkFolks, we’ve turned pumpkins into the Miley Cyrus of autumn eating. Once upon a time, pumpkins were cherished totems of the season, embraced with fervor by children in costumes. And while vestiges of that innocence still exist, popping up each Halloween like a Hannah Montana rerun, it’s been all but swallowed up by a new image: “pumpkin spice.” Like Miley’s wagging tongue, pumpkin spice follows us from latte to doughnut to beer. The flavor is ubiquitous and over-the-top, and tastes nothing like the ingredient for which it’s named. And that’s the shame of it, because actual pumpkins and their winter squash ilk (all part of the Cucurbitaceae family), should be the centerpiece of your cooking this month. No need to wait until Thanksgiving: make a pumpkin pie this weekend (and give it a twist by using coconut milk instead of the stalwart evaporated milk, or by throwing sorghum into the filling instead of granulated sugar). Swap out the butternut squash in your favorite soup recipe for an heirloom like red kuri squash or Jarrahdale pumpkin.Or do as I do: Let the natural vessel-like nature of pumpkins and squash work to your advantage by stuffing them full of your favorite things and roasting them whole. I like to mix stale bread with whatever is left in my fridge (the ends of a cheese plate, for example, or the last of a package of bacon), stuff the mixture into a pumpkin (or, for individual portions, acorn squash), top the mixture with cream, and bake until the squash is tender and practically melting into a cheesy, molten center.My comparison ends here: Miley, under all the pageantry and gyrating, has a killer voice. Pumpkin spice, likewise, harkens back to a vegetable worth honoring. Let’s get back to the source.Stuffed Acorn SquashServes 4This recipe is very much a template that can be customized to your taste. Swap the cheese (blue cheese would be delicious), swap spinach for kale, or bacon for sausage. You could even swap the bread for partially cooked rice; it’ll resemble a gorgeous risotto after being roasted.2 small pumpkins or 4 acorn squashSea salt and freshly ground black pepper2 tablespoons olive oil1 shallot, minced4 garlic cloves, minced8 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced3 sprigs fresh thyme2 cups cubed day-old bread (such as sourdough or country loaf)1 ounce sharp cheddar, cut into small cubes1 ounce Gruyere, cut into small cubes1 ounce Fontina, cut into small cubes3 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces and cooked until crispy (optional)1 cup spinach leaves, torn into bite-size pieces (optional)½ cup heavy creamPreheat the oven to 350°.Using a sharp knife, make a circular cut around the stems of each acorn squash (as if you were carving the top of a jack-o’-lantern). Remove the tops, and use a spoon to hollow out the squash, discarding the seeds and stringy fibers. Season the insides of the squash with salt and pepper, and set the squash inside a 13-by-9-inch rimmed baking pan.In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. When it shimmers, add the shallot and garlic. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes, and add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms have shrunk in size and are cooked through, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.In a large bowl, combine the bread, cheese, bacon (if using), spinach (if using), and reserved mushrooms. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon the bread mixture into the squash cavities, pressing down gently to pack. Divide the cream between the four squash, pouring it slowly into the cavity, then replace the squash tops.Bake for 90 minutes to 2 hours, until the squash is tender when pierced with a knife. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.last_img read more

First love Classic films

first_imgA scene from The Happiest Millionaire. Courtesy Walt Disney Studios.by Cameron HowardThe red Netflix envelope arrived in my mailbox on Duke’s East Campus, and I opened it back in my dorm room, which still bore the signs of recent, frenzied moving-in. The DVD was The Happiest Millionaire, a 1967 Disney musical starring Fred MacMurray as Anthony Drexel Biddle, the Philadelphia scion of a banking fortune. He’s an eccentric but very “happy millionaire” who runs a Bible and boxing school out of the stable, keeps alligators in the conservatory, and adores his eldest daughter Cordelia, played by Lesley Ann Warren.It’s a fun film marked by that peculiarly joyful but slightly sideways quality of Disney’s family films from that era, and it’s interesting to watch legends like MacMurray and Greer Garson, who plays Biddle’s wife, still dominating the screen decades after their careers began.As I sat there in my clunky wooden chair and matching desk in my tiny room, the experience took a surreal turn when Cordelia’s suitor, a young man by the name of Angier Buchanan Duke, and his mother, Sarah, entered the picture. Yes, those Dukes! Angier Duke was Benjamin Duke’s son and Washington Duke’s grandson, and he really did marry Cordelia Drexel Biddle. (In an odd turn of events, one of Cordelia’s brothers married Angier’s sister Mary, who was Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans’ mother, hence the various arrangements of Biddle/Duke names scattered around campus.)A scene from The Happiest Millionaire. Courtesy Walt Disney Studios.I thus had the strange experience of watching a (highly) fictionalized film based on the Duke family on Duke University’s campus in a dorm room three minutes away from the Biddle Music Building. To make it even weirder, I had visited the Sarah P. Duke Gardens just that afternoon. I hadn’t intended to start my college career with a classic movie about the Duke family, but it could not have been a more perfect choice.After all, I’d been a Duke fan years before I became a student. I was one of those toddlers decked out in Duke gear babbling cheers and flinging pom-poms at what I felt was “my” stadium long before I understood why. My love for old Hollywood goes back just as far; I grew up watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Bringing Up Baby instead of Full House and Saved by the Bell, and have adored classic movies for as long as I can remember.And I’m still utterly enthralled. It’s the glamour, the cleverness, the glorious style, and the subtlety (often due to a production code that kept things “clean”). It’s the virtuosic dancing, the rapid-fire dialogue, the amazing almost-but-not-quite British accents, the gorgeous costumes intended to astound, and that red lipstick that somehow never smudges. And it’s the stars, those idols of a nostalgic glamour preserved on glossy strips of celluloid. I love it all: the dreamlike musicals, timeless dramas, unsettling noirs, topsy-turvy screwballs, and tear-jerking melodramas – and how each one, whether it’s included in the canon or not, holds its own secrets and its own seedy and marvelous history.Sometimes films from the Golden Age can seem like slower, tamer, even painfully old-fashioned versions of today’s movies. But classic film is an art form with its own conventions, techniques, and aesthetics. The films are deceptively dense; each frame is packed with layer upon layer of choices, innovations, deliberate decisions, and miraculous mistakes that contribute to the fantastic shadows flashing by at 24 frames per second.But if the art of the films doesn’t grab you, the history might. Just like any artifact of a past age, these films are veritable time capsules inadvertently exposed to light. Old movies reproduce a certain moment in time, often without meaning to, though of course the “reality” they present is usually more beautiful, simpler, and far less chaotic than the real world has ever been.Courtesy Walt Disney Studios.It’s a cliché to bemoan “they don’t make ’em the way they used to!” but it’s entirely true. Hollywood functioned very differently then: The studios owned most of the theaters, almost everything was filmed on enormous backlots, and everyone, from the biggest stars to the carpenters and electricians, were under contract to a particular studio. The “dream factories” churned out movies from the teens to the fifties, and only began to crumble after the Supreme Court declared the massive studios in violation of anti-trust laws in 1948. It was this unbridled power that made classic Hollywood so extraordinary.Take Esther Williams. She was a national champion swimmer who was a favorite for the Olympics, but her life took an improbable turn when the 1940 Games were cancelled. MGM scouts were looking for an answer to Fox’s ice-skating sensation Sonja Henie, and decided a shapely swimmer would be just the thing. Williams was offered a contract (most actors had seven-year contracts with the studios) and MGM poured money into creating the “swimming musical,” building a massive pool complex inside a 32,000-square-foot soundstage, and turning a pretty nineteen-year-old into a glamorous movie star who captivated millions of moviegoers. For almost ten years, Williams topped the box office with her bright, sparkling movies featuring massive water extravaganzas that inspired the modern sport of synchronized swimming. The story of MGM’s mermaid verges on the absurd, but it could only have happened in the studio era during Hollywood’s Golden Age.Fortunately, these movies are undergoing something of a renaissance today. The DVD market, Turner Classic Movies, and companies like Netflix and ClassicFlix have made classic films available again. And theaters like Raleigh’s The Colony and The Cinema, Inc. and Durham’s Carolina Theatre turn screenings into events and recapture the magic of seeing these movies in their rightful place.As for me, I will always remember watching The Happiest Millionaire in my dorm room at Duke. I think of it every time I encounter the names Angier Duke or Biddle, and I smile at that weird, magical moment when Duke and classic Hollywood collided.last_img read more

A world apart

first_imgEmerson, a tiger, came from a roadside zoo in Missouri. It was shut down due to safety concerns after a volunteer went to the hospital with a bite wound supposedly from a dog, but actually from one of the zoo’s tigers.text and photographs by Nick PironioTucked away just off NC-64, between the town of Pittsboro and Jordan Lake, lies Carolina Tiger Rescue. To visit this 55-acre refuge for rescued lions, tigers, and other wildcats is to enter a surreal foreign land. More than 40 neglected or abused wildcats have found safety in this vast sanctuary, just down the road from the farms and churches that dot the otherwise-familiar North Carolina landscape. With their growls and roars, territory-marking scents, and majestic beauty, the place sounds, smells, and looks like a world apart.The entrance to Carolina Tiger Rescue.Carolina Tiger Rescue was founded in the 1970s as a research institute by UNC geneticist Dr. Michael Bleyman. His task was to breed keystone species (those that perform a crucial role in the life of a particular ecosystem) as a way to protect the population of those animals until their home habitats could support them once more. As time went on, the organization decided the need to breed wildcats was less important than the need to rescue abused and neglected wildcats.Roman, a lion, prowls about. He came to North Carolina from a rescue in Ohio that shut down due to lack of funding.How does a lion or tiger wind up in North Carolina and need rescuing to begin with? There’s an online market for these big cats, which are bred (often excessively inbred, resulting in deformities) to be sold for a profit. It’s made worse by the lack of state regulation on the ownership of a non-native species. Some counties in the state including Wake, Durham, Orange, and Chatham counties have made it illegal to possess these animals, but it’s usually only when these animals happen to be found – often in the wake of their owners’ brush with another law – that they are taken into custody.A note that was attached to Elvis, a serval, or medium-sized cat, when his owners left him at the rescue. The note documented his care, which Carolina Tiger Rescue realized was inaccurate based on the animal’s actual health.As I photographed the wildcats, many hobbled around in pain from arthritis caused by years of abuse. Some were declawed by their owners, or locked in small cages for long periods of time. Once-mighty creatures, they now live out their days riddled with aches and pains. Spending time with them – which I did several times over the course of the last few months – was both a humbling and disheartening experience. It’s no wonder the rescue, which employs 17 people, has a list of approximately 160 volunteers to help them care for these beautiful animals.Fenimore, a tiger, gives a big yawn. He was rescued from the same Missouri zoo that Emerson came from.But it’s not all sadness there. Many of the wildcats are still playful and energetic, despite their circumstances. Some even played a game of “hide-and-seek” with me as I tried to photograph them through the mesh of their spacious cages. Once, when I turned my back, a tiger named Madonna playfully pounced on the cage wall behind me.Madonna, a tiger, eyes the photographer from behind a tree.Still, they’re dangerous, and never in direct contact with any humans. And only half of the wildcats at the rescue are on view for what the organization calls “The Show,” which is what visitors see when they take a tour of the refuge. Those with anxiety or aggressive tendencies are kept out of view, and spend their time alone being cared for by the staff.After emerging from her hiding spot, Madonna reclines in her rescue’s habitat.Safety cages are scattered throughout the complex, and are used to protect people in emergency situations or any time a wildcat is moved.Elvis, a serval, in a contemplative pose.Tarzan, a lion, reigned over the first floor of a hotel in Mexico until he was one year old. When he became too large for that task, he was locked in a cage in front of the hotel that was 3-feet tall, 3-feet wide, and 6-feet long. He spent two years there, and now cannot stand up or fully extend his legs.Tarzan curls up for a late-afternoon snooze.Star, a cougar, gazes through a fence. Star came from a roadside zoo in Mississippi that was shut down due to numerous violations of animal welfare and human safety.Aria, a tiger, was a privately-owned pet in South Carolina for 10 years. She became sick, and her owner’s neighbors called authorities, who contacted the rescue. She was found to have a pancreatic deficiency that required a specifc diet. The family eventually gave her to the rescue so she could receive better care.The memorial gardens at the resuce, where each brick bears the name of a wildcat that has died.A well-loved toy.last_img read more

Keeping the music alive

first_imgThe Powell GT chorus rehearses before its performance in Meymandi Concert Hall on April 5. The fourth-and fifth-graders had practiced for months, coming in to rehearse at 8 a.m. before their school day began.Raleigh Fine Art Society’s Choral Celebrationby Mimi Montgomeryphotographs by Jillian ClarkIt’s a Tuesday evening in April, and Meymandi Concert Hall is packed. In a few short minutes, Powell GT elementary school’s chorus will take the stage, and the kids are shushing each other as they wait in the wings for their cue. Their fourth- and fifth-grade faces are bathed in the blue light of backstage bulbs as they whisper last-minute notes and bits of advice to each other under the din of the audience outside and the sounds of the accompanists warming up. They’ve been counting down the months to this night. Their moment is finally here. On the other side of the curtain, it’s not the usual symphony crowd anticipating a night of classical music – it’s kids like them, all of whom will also have their own chance to perform. This is the first night of an annual two-night Raleigh Fine Arts Society Choral Celebration, bringing Wake County elementary school choruses to the capital city’s finest stage to perform for their parents, friends, and the public. The kids are all dressed in their best, some in white button-downs and dress pants, and others in black dresses and bows. As the audience goes quiet, the Powell students fidget anxiously and giggle; at the last minute, their teacher, Terri Gervais, confiscates phones from two of them. The kids stand up straight. It’s time to go on. “I’m so ready,” Damarian King, 11, mouths, a grin on his face.Leaving a legacy Powell is one of dozens of schools that have participated over the last 17 years in this annual concert, held each spring. Created in 1999 by RFAS founding member Martha Zaytoun, the event added music to the group’s lineup of programs designed to promote literature and the visual arts. The event rose in prominence in 2001 when it moved to Meymandi, and so many schools wanted to participate that RFAS had to add an extra evening to accommodate them all. Its popularity has only grown. This year’s Celebration included a record 16 schools and nearly 1,000 children singing. From the beginning, the event has showcased fourth- and fifth-grade choruses from Wake County schools, and has aimed to help improve their music as well as showcase it. The choruses are reviewed by an adjudicator, who provides notes and comments ahead of the performance, in which each school performs two songs individually and sings three all together. Because young children’s voices have their own special quality, working with them is different than conducting teenagers or adults, and requires experienced conductors trained in elementary music. The Celebration’s advisors (Ann LeGarde, Kenya Snider, and Ann Goldfinch) are all former or current teachers certified to teach music to children; they help structure the flow of the performance and help each participating school’s conductor select music that will showcase their children’s voices in the best way. This year, RFAS also assigned a choral clinician to each school who attended two rehearsals, and not only worked with the children on their selected music pieces, but provided feedback to their teachers, too. In addition, RFAS invited all of the schools’ choral teachers to a workshop with Dr. Frances Page, a professor of music at Meredith College and the conductor of the Capital City Girls Choir. Teachers filled out professional development forms before and after their school’s performances, as well, to chart their own growth and reflect on their students’ improvements. “This is something else we can do where we’re giving back,” says Dena Silver, chair of the Choral Celebration. “This is something where kids learn, where teachers learn. So, over time, you’re building on all that.” Silver says that’s important, because lower school choirs are at risk. “A lot of teachers and school administrators don’t feel that they’re necessary. So, we felt we needed to continue to improve the profile of those schools and elementary choral programs, and if we did that, they would maybe have a longer life.” Celebration advisor and Farmington Woods teacher Ann LeGarde says it’s working. “They gain so much confidence from that opportunity. When you finally see them on stage and hear them … their faces are lit up by the beautiful lights and they’re so excited and so proud of themselves,” she says. “It’s definitely a memory that lasts a lifetime. It’s just beautiful. It’s really beautiful.”The chorus stands at attention during one of their early morning practices.Going the extra distance Of the 16 schools participating in the Choral Celebration, Powell is one of four newcomers. A Raleigh magnet school, it is a diverse, arts-based elementary school near the Oakwood area focused on play and ingenuity. The children in its fourth- and fifth-grade chorus love to perform and go to great lengths to do so, arriving at 8 a.m. to rehearse before the school day begins. One March morning, some are sleepy, dragging their backpacks into the colorful room, but most seem excited. There’s a palpable buzz in the air – today their RFAS-assigned choral clinician, Anne Mormon-Smith, is there to listen to the group rehearse the two pieces they’ll sing in the Celebration. It’s clear that Gervais, Powell’s general music and chorus teacher, has set expectations for her students: They perch on the edge of their seats with rail-straight backs. In Gervais’ book, learning the correct way to carry a note or breathe from their stomachs is just as important as learning professionalism, responsibility, and cooperation. The group prepares to launch into a version of their favorite song, The Moon. “What is the feeling in The Moon?” Gervais calls out to her class. “Calm!” one child shouts out. “Soothing,” says another. “It makes me feel inspired and hopeful,” pipes up a voice from the back. She implores the group to use that imagery to infuse the piece with emotion. Gervais employs a variety of techniques to communicate what could be complicated musical terms to a group of elementary schoolers. She asks the kids to “color” the music with their voices to create emotion and movement in the music, and uses visuals like pulling an imaginary ribbon through the air to have them carry out a note and build a crescendo. “The kids that are coming really, really love to sing,” says Gervais. “They just have a natural ability.”Clinician Anne Mormon-Smith works with the children. After a rousing rendition of their second song, the classic Simple Gifts, and some helpful feedback from Smith, it’s time for the first class of the day. Everyone’s in a good mood after a morning of singing. Fourth-grader Elexis Creech, 10, says she can’t wait to perform at Meymandi. Her brother has seen the auditorium, and “he said that it was humongous and that it’s pretty. So, I’m really excited.” And more than a little ready to belt out the tunes. “I honestly think I was born to be in the spotlight,” she adds. That zest for performing runs through the group. Timmy Richardson, a 10-year-old fifth-grader, says he’s “just a little bit nervous,” but that he loves “to be in front of an audience.” The excitement is well-earned, Gervais says. The kids have taken it seriously, and it’s going to pay off. It’s an important lesson in working diligently towards achieving a goal. “It is hard work,” she says. “I tell them all the time – it’s hard work,  but it’s fun. That’s what everything worthwhile is.”Teacher Terri Gervais conducts. Gervais knows all about that. “She’s gone above and beyond,” says Curtis Brower, Powell’s principal; he credits the chorus’ success to Gervais’ dedication, offering early rehearsals and ensuring that students who want to participate will be able to do so. Interest in what she’s doing has been so high she’s recently added a third-grade chorus, too, and many of her students have gone on to audition for outside groups like the Raleigh Boychoir. When she told her students they were headed to Meymandi April 5, they couldn’t contain themselves. “They were jumping up and down,” she says. It’s a first-time experience for many of the children in her group. The opportunity to perform in a real auditorium on a professional stage with excellent acoustics is a rare one. “This is a blending of backgrounds of kids,” says Gervais.  “Some kids have probably gone to see things at the theater itself or the concert hall … (but) a lot of the other kids were never exposed to that. … So this is really a big thing for them to be able to sing on that stage.”Choral teacher Terri Gervais conducts the Powell GT chorus as they perform on the stage at Meymandi Concert Hall.Keep singing On performance night, it all comes together. The kids beam as all 500 of them come together to sing the last communal song of the evening, Stars, a piece commissioned by RFAS to honor Zaytoun. The sound of so many earnest voices rising up and into the ceiling of the auditorium is the pinnacle of an already memorable evening, and the students rush out to meet their waiting parents with grins on their faces. Teachers hand out cookies and hugs, and the kids high-five each other. They did it. It’s RFAS’ hope that many of the participants will continue singing long after this evening and help to preserve this celebration of music in Wake County. As everyone begins to leave, many of the students keep carrying the tunes even as they exit Meymandi with their families, humming the familiar melodies as they go their opposite directions into the night. Some are headed off to middle school next year; some have another year in thechorus. But one thing’s pretty clear:  They will all keep singing.Scanning the music.last_img read more

Green tomatoes Better unripe

first_imgGreen Tomato-Mozzarella AranciniThese are best eaten hot, straight from the fryer. After all, I’ve never been one for patience.1½ cups Arborio riceKosher salt4 green tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters2 tablespoons unsalted butter2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided1 cup whole milk1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano1 teaspoon chopped oregano2 garlic cloves, finely minced3 eggs, divided12 ounces whole milk mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes2 cups fresh breadcrumbsCanola oil, for fryingIn a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups salted water to a boil. Add the rice, lower to a simmer, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the rice and spread on a baking sheet in an even layer to cool. Place the tomato quarters and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse until chopped, but not completely pureed. Transfer the tomatoes to a fine-mesh sieve to drain; let drain for at least 20 minutes. Then, press down on the tomato mixture to drain any more excess juices. Meanwhile, make the roux: In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add 2 tablespoons flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to turn golden in color. Whisk in the milk, whisking until completely smooth. Cook, whisking, until the sauce begins to bubble gently (it will be quite thick). Remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine the rice, sauce, reserved green tomatoes, Parmigiano, oregano, garlic, 1 egg, and 2 teaspoons salt. Mix well. To form the mixture into balls, place about 2 tablespoons of the rice batter in the palm of your hand and flatten into an even layer. Place 1 cube of the mozzarella in the center, then cup the rice batter around the cheese so that it’s completely covered and mold it into a golf-ball size round. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining batter and cheese. (You should have about 24 balls.) Place the remaining 2 cups flour in a shallow dish and season with 1 teaspoon salt. Beat the remaining 2 eggs in another shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon salt. Working one at a time, roll a rice ball in the flour, shaking off any excess, then roll it in the egg, letting any excess drip off. Finally, roll it in the breadcrumbs, making sure to get an even crust. Set the ball on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining rice batter. (You can make the balls up to this point and freeze them. Place them on a baking sheet in an even layer in the freezer for 1 hour, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Do not thaw when ready to fry; just increase the frying time by 3 minutes or so.) In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat 3 inches of oil until it reaches 330 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Add the rice balls in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pan, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, flipping the balls with tongs throughout, until they are deep golden brown on all sides. Transfer the rice balls to a paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Serve hot. by Kaitlyn Goalenphotographs by Jillian ClarkThey say patience is a virtue, but it’s never been one that I can claim. Nowhere is my shortcoming more apparent than in the kitchen. I’m always going to be one of those cooks that paces in front of the stove while something is cooking, daring to take a peek before it’s done. I’m always going to dread the wait between spring and summer, when the weather is warm but my favorite produce is still unripe on the vine. Thankfully, it’s become something of a trend to cook with unripe, or “green” produce. It might seem like a head-scratcher: What, from a culinary perspective, would make unripe fruit attractive? It turns out that its tart flavor, when harnessed intentionally, can be a delicious boon to a cook. Unripe ingredients also have less moisture, which is ideal for things like pies or pickles. Unripe strawberries are a good example: They make excellent pickles, a fact which well-known chefs across the country have taken advantage of. Of course here in the South, we’ve been ahead of the game as far as cooking with unripe fruit goes. Green tomatoes have long been a staple, even an icon, of Southern cuisine. While I can’t be sure, I like to think that fried green tomatoes are a holdover from our agrarian roots, a farmer’s way to use the tomatoes that fell from his vines too early. I like fried green tomatoes as much as the next person, but green tomatoes have endless potential that deserves to be explored beyond that familiar dish. Green tomato pies are another old-school use for the fruit, and I’ve also experimented with green tomatoes as a base of a green gazpacho, capitalizing on their tart vegetal flavor. But I’m particularly enamored with using them to stud Sicilian-style arancini, a type of cheesy, deep-fried rice ball that makes an amazing snack. It capitalizes on the green tomatoes’ adeptness for being fried, and pairs it with plenty of gooey mozzarella.last_img read more

William Ivey Long In search of the heat

first_imgby Liza Robertsphotographs by Nick PironioWilliam Ivey Long, the prolific, multiple-Tony Award-winning costume designer, has drama – and Raleigh – in his blood, and in every single one of his earliest memories.“I grew up in the stage left dressing room,” Long says as he gestures around a tiny, WPA-built stone structure that still stands at Raleigh Little Theatre’s outdoor amphitheater. He’s not speaking metaphorically: The dressing room  is where he lived until age 3 with his father, a technical director, and mother, an actress who wore many play-making hats. “People would change clothes in our house, and put on costumes … You would open the door, and you’d be on the stage.”Doors – and stages – have a way of opening up for Long. On Broadway and London’s West End, he has showcased his talent for almost 40 years. He has 15 Tony nominations and six Tony Awards, and has designed costumes for more than 70 Broadway productions. He has received the Art Institute of Chicago’s “Legend of Fashion” award and was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. He has the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the City of Raleigh Medal of Arts Award, and the North Carolina Award in Fine Arts. Costumes for the likes of the Metropolitan Opera, Mick Jagger, the New York City Ballet, and Siegfried and Roy round out his resume.William Ivey Long fits Robin Givens for Roxie Hart; photo courtesy of Alessandra PetlinVanessa Redgrave wears a Long-designed costume as Queen Elizabeth I in The Lost Colony; photo courtesy of Aaron TrotmanBut despite his starry spot in the Broadway pantheon, manifested by his current role as head of the American Theatre Wing (the organization that runs the Tony Awards), Long remains resolutely North Carolinian, a natty Southern gentleman with gracious manners, good humor, and stories to tell. He’s as likely to digress about his large extended family (and their furniture) as he is to talk about his life of glamour. And he has remained loyal to the theaters here that launched him: This summer will be his 45th working on The Lost Colony play in Manteo.Growing up in the South has informed “every one of my sensibilities,” Long says. “How I was raised, telling stories, being in North Carolina, which is, I think, a very diverse culture … the abundance of educated, cultivated people … Revering the word, growing up in a family where the play is the thing …”Long’s words meander happily as he recalls his early influences: old Western movies; the Raleigh Rose Garden; the Long ancestors who were members of the first class at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1795; the actor Andy Griffith; Long’s great-grandmother’s sister; The Lost Colony costume designer Irene Smart Rains; the playwright Wendy Wasserstein; his parents.“I’ve always been interested in the making of theater, because of being right here.” He takes in the dressing room with a glance. “The business of our family was always play-making.”Destined, not designedConsidered by critics a nimble designer whose work marries  storytelling and glamour – together with an unmistakably sexy jolt that “hovers between taste and travesty,” as famed New York magazine theater critic John Simon put it – Long is also considered technically ingenious, with a specialty in “transformations,” costumes that seamlessly turn a scullery maid into a princess, for instance, or a greasy car mechanic into a rock star.The Frogs, Dress Rehearsal, Lincoln Center Theater, June 19, 2004, Credit Photo ©Paul Kolnik, NYC 212.362.7778Costumes and sketches for The FrogsLong’s crimson feather ballgown that morphed into a living Christmas tree in La Cage aux Folles; @CarolRosegg“I love transformations,” he says. “I love transforming people.” At the same time, he says, his main goal is always to help tell the story. “I like to think that I’m an honest and true designer who supports the material.” Michael Feingold, theater critic for the Village Voice, agrees. Long deploys “a kind of secret, supplemental playwriting,” he wrote, “done not to compete with the script being performed, but to enhance it … William is one of the master dramatists of our day.”Long’s ethereal, transformational costumes for Cinderella, which won him the 2013 Tony; his over-the-top looks for Hairspray, which won in 2003; and his canny creations in last year’s On the Twentieth Century, which nabbed a nomination, showcase a portion of his talent.“His costumes look more than designed – they seem destined,” says critic Simon.Destined, not designed might be an apt description of Long’s career as well. He never set out to design costumes, he says; never gave them much thought at all. His interests were more varied. He took himself to William & Mary for college, for instance, because he loved the campus architecture and wanted to study art history. Then he took himself to Yale School of Drama because he wanted to be a set designer. He moved himself to the Chelsea Hotel in New York because he wanted to work for the couturier Charles James, who lived there. (It took Long six months to get James’s attention; in the meantime, neighbors like Andy Warhol “superstar” Viva and a punk-rocker called “Neon Leon” kept things interesting.) Long only became a Broadway costume designer, he says, after a friend from Yale was hired as the set designer for The Inspector General in 1978 and recommended Long to do the costumes. One production led to another, and “it slipped up on me,” he says. “It wasn’t conscious. It was so omnipresent that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.” Long had become a costume designer.That was 38 years ago. “I am much more focused now and fierce – fearsome – in my approach than I was then,” he says. “I was young and naïve.” His first Tony, for Nine, focused his mind and gave him bigger dreams. “It didn’t just overnight change my life, but it did inside.”Of a pieceWherever his profession takes him, Long is never far from home. It’s not only on his itinerary year-round, it’s also readily in his thoughts, forming his frame of reference. Home and theater were and are of a piece.Long works on the set of Grease: Live; David Korins“The front hall of our big house in Rock Hill was always a scene dock,” he recalls. (His father, William Ivey Long Sr., was founder of the theater department, stage director, and professor at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.) “And the big dining room table, which I finally restored, my grandfather’s dining room table from Baltimore, it was always the cutting table during shows. I think twice in my life, my father did The Heiress. Well, the entire house was emptied on to that stage. It’s set in 1840, so all of the portraits, all of the furniture … routinely, pieces of furniture would go missing and be on stage.”Long as a young man, preparing a prop; courtesy William Ivey LongTrim in the navy Brooks Brothers suit and polished loafers that serve as his uniform, curly hair askew, it’s not hard to picture Long as a younger man; his bearing and energy alone take decades off of his almost-69 years. “If you don’t look in a mirror,” he says, “you don’t know how old you are. I stand in front of mirrors all the day long for the fitting process, and I do not look.”He always wears a rep tie, he says, and almost always one with a blue stripe. For someone in his line of work, this conservative lack of ostentation is striking. It suits him to be as polite in his clothes as he is in his manner, even as it adds an extra wink to his conspiratorial smiles.The stage left dressing room at Raleigh Little Theatre where Long lived with his parents, Mary Wood Long and William Ivey LongVanity Fair zeroed in on this ineffably put-together quality last year when it put him on its international best-dressed list. Alongside the likes of Prince Harry in a top hat and Eddie Redmayne in Gucci plaid, Long appeared in his Brooks Brothers suit and shoes, accessorized only with a grin and glinting eyeglasses. But he’s nonplussed by all of that; doesn’t bring it up unless asked, and then changes the subject.Long with his parents, Mary Wood Long and William Ivey Long; courtesy William Ivey LongAsk him what does excite him most these days, and he might tip over his chair with glee. “I’m charting new courses,” he says, with several projects in the works, including costumes for the new weekly television variety show by Lorne Michaels, Maya & Marty. It’s not Long’s first foray into live TV, for which his background in theater is well-suited. He also designed costumes for Grease: Live, as well as the TV version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for the Fox network.“All three things are different. Now I can say I design for stage, screen, and television.”New things excite him most, he says, and always have. “When I was in the 8th grade,” he recalls, “in Mrs. White’s biology class, she asked: ‘Why does a bug go from one side of the leaf to the other? It’s in search of the heat.’ And I knew then and there in the 8th grade that that was my path in life. I was going to be in search of the heat. That’s how I choose my course. That’s how I choose my friends. That’s how I do everything. I’m a bug on a leaf in search of the heat.”Early yearsJust like that 8th grade revelation, much of what fires Long’s imagination got to him early. Summers spent in Manteo, working with his family to help put on The Lost Colony, where his father was technical director, were an important early experience, not only for the time he had on stage beginning at 8 in the role of a child colonist, or for his time soaking up the work of the costume shop (the Elizabethan ruff he made for his dog out of a scrap of pillowcase when he was 4 is hard to forget), but for the late-night movies he’d watch once the family got home from the evening Lost Colony performance at around 11 p.m.William Ivey Long with his hero, former N.C. Governor Jim Hunt“The black-and-white late movies on the Norfolk station were Hollywood musicals, Hollywood Greta Garbo films. That began my fascination with glamour … and influenced my sense of shape, and style, and proportion.”Long and Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane take a selfie in front of the plaque commemorating his childhood years at Raleigh Little TheatreDuring the winter, he’d watch Picture for a Sunday Afternoon: “Our family did not watch football.” He credits his great-uncle in Waynesville for taking him to the movies on Saturdays, where they saw Gene Autry and Tom Mix Westerns. “It was high style in the Old West. And it’s a next step to Gary Cooper in Morocco. The most glamorous, handsome, stylish American in the history of America. Gary Cooper and Marlene Dietrich in Morocco: If you want to mess up a child, have them watch that late at night.”And give him a homeplace out of a fairy tale. Long leans almost entirely off of his chair as he describes his first three years living in the dressing room where he sits. The one-room building is almost impossible to imagine as a home – but in Long’s memory, it’s fully that. “There were two mahogany Chippendale chairs and a tilt-top table,” he says, “even in this little manger.” Red draperies: “brocade, or velvet. I remember red. I don’t remember bathing, or going to the bathroom, or cooking, or eating … but I remember playing on that stage.”He also remembers playing in the Raleigh Rose Garden (“I thought everyone had one”); remembers “sitting on a bench in the dark” and watching a “strange man pulling my mother’s hair.” Turns out she was onstage just outside their tiny home, acting in Death of a Salesman.At the dedication, guests enjoy a cool refuge inside the diminutive cottage.On that same stage on a sultry evening in mid-May, dozens of notable Raleighites gathered to honor Long. Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane introduced him as “one of our prominent native sons” and unveiled a plaque on the house to commemorate his childhood years in the place.“My oh my, not everybody gets to see their tombstone!” Long exclaimed. Governor Jim Hunt (“my hero,” Long calls him) and his wife Carolyn came to pay tribute, as did former News & Observer publisher Frank Daniels Jr. and his wife Julia, along with dozens of other art patrons and theater lovers. Long greeted them all with kisses and hugs, taking in their congratulations with humble humor.“The lesson to take home for your children and grandchildren,” he told the crowd, “is be careful where you grow up!”last_img read more

Above it all Roofs with a view

first_imgThe pool at SkyHouse sits 23 stories above street level, making it the tallest all-residential building in Raleigh.by Jesma Reynoldsphotographs by Tim LytvinenkoIt’s a vertical world we live in, and Raleigh is going up. Young professionals and empty nesters are migrating downtown to live, work, and play, fueling demand for stylish residential projects that are reshaping our city skyline. Luxury projects like The Residences at Quorum, West at North, and SkyHouse offer owners the opportunity to live above it all in high-altitude dwellings with access to private rooftop pools and gardens. Other stalwarts like City Club Raleigh and the columnar Holiday Inn offer communal gathering spots for taking in the ever-changing views. Photographer Tim Lytvinenko takes us into this world of rarefied spaces, providing a bird’s-eye perspective of our city. Citrix employees enjoy a game of miniature golf on the rooftop course that can also be used for bocce, one of the perks offered by the tech company.Another Citrix bonus is the yoga studio, also on the roof, with aerial views of downtown.Tall glass buildings mean lots of glass to clean. Here, a window washer scales the face of the PNC building, the tallest skyscaper in Raleigh at 538 feet.Through the glass bubble chandelier of City Club Raleigh, a view looking east.A reflection of the chandelier in the Sky Ballroom of the City Club appears to hover over the city.The Hudson, converted from the old Belk deparment store on Fayetteville Street, has a roof terrace for its residents.The Raleigh skyline lights up as evening falls on the city.Spectators, seen reflected in glass, gather on the roof of SkyHouse to view Fourth of July fireworks.A Holiday Inn patron enjoys views from the 19th-floor bar and restaurant at the top of the iconic rotunda.At West at North condominiums on Glenwood South, residents take in a sunset by the rooftop pool.Humid summer nights bring evening electric storms to the city.A crowd gathers for happy hour beneath the 11-foot chandelier in the Sky Ballroom at City Club Raleigh. Located on the 30th floor of the Wells Fargo Capitol Center, the former Cardinal Club merged with the Capital City Club in 2014 and underwent a $3 million renovation.Downtown seen from the green-roof terrace at The Residences at Quorum Center. The 15-story building was completed in 2006 as one of the first mixed-use (residential and commercial) projects downtown.A young resident looks for fireworks on Fourth of July from the SkyHouse rooftop.Reflections create an illusory effect on the cityscape.Photographer Tim Lytvinenko captures his reflection from a balcony at SkyHouse.Downtown appears on the horizon as seen from the top of the CapTrust building at North Hills.last_img read more

Spotlight Larkspur loveliness

first_imgNick Donaldsonby Liza RobertsHundreds of art and garden lovers came from all over the Triangle to Frances Alvarino Norwood’s lush North Raleigh gardens for her 21st and final Larkspur Party June 4 and 5. Garden lovers will still have a chance to see her flowery showplace, she says, on Aug. 7 and Sept. 4, but without the art that has drawn huge crowds to her residential neighborhood.The Larkspur party was created by Alvarino Norwoood to showcase the work of fellow artists to the public. It began  as a free, three-artist show in her front yard in 1995; this year featured 38 artists across her expanded three acres of flower and vegetable beds. The blooming sanctuary is itself a work of art, and a reflection of her other profession: gardener. “At some point,” she says, “we had to decide if we wanted more artists or more garden beds, and the garden beds won.” Still, she says, it’s been a good run, “an opportunity to share my mother’s love of gardening, and has allowed me to get to know some incredible artists and meet many other enthusiast gardeners.” Longtime fans thronged for one last hurrah. Tucked between Alvarino Norwood’s massive hydrangea, delicate poppies, and airy Queen Anne’s Lace were paintings, pots, wind chimes, and sculptures. Botanical illustrations by Preston Montague and silver jewelry by Dan Dye were standouts. In the larkspur itself stood Alvarino Norwood’s own elegant, elongated figurative ceramic sculptures, which sold out within the first hour. The Alvarino Norwood family will open their garden to the public without charge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 7 and Sept. 24.last_img read more

Spotlight Preservation Minded the Dixie Deer Classic

first_imgJill Knight, The News & Observerby Jessie AmmonsIt’s hard to miss the Dixie Deer Classic: One of the State Fairgrounds’ largest annual events brings more than 20,000 folks to town the first weekend of March. This year’s show March 3 – 5 marks the 50th anniversary of the Wake County Wildlife Club, the local conservation nonprofit behind the event. “It’s a phenomenon that’s built on itself,” says club member Jim Hudson.The Dixie Deer Classic is the 100-member Wildlife Club’s only fundraiser. Begun 37 years ago to showcase local deer hunting in a time when hunters often left the state to seek prizewinning bucks, Hudson says just a few hundred people attended that first show. Those numbers have since multiplied by 100, and the scope now encompasses environmental stewardship education and kids’ outdoor activities, too. These include biennial “wildlife careers days” led by outdoors writers, park rangers, and environmental scientists that middle and high-schoolers can attend for academic credit. There’s a family-friendly scavenger hunt and exhibitors galore – and there’s also still an area for hunters to bring buck mounts and racks to be scored.While the Classic’s roots are local, word has spread. “People come in from all over creation,” Hudson says, to reconvene annually. The atmosphere is familiar and convivial, much like a family reunion. “It’s very festive.”General admission for the weekend is $12, and kids ages 12 and under are free; on Friday, youth, seniors, military, and women can buy a day pass for $6; dixiedeerclassic.orglast_img read more

Story of a House Revival Living Tarboro

first_imgRevival Livingby Jesma Reynoldsphotographs by Catherine NguyenWhen Elizabeth Miller learned it was her turn to host Magazine Club last April, the pediatrician and mother of three realized her current living room furnishings – two small loveseats – might not accommodate the 20 ladies who comprise the membership of the venerable 100-year club in Tarboro. So she sent up an emergency flare to Eliza Stoecker and Louise Stowe in Raleigh. The sisters and Tarboro natives were already well acquainted with her gracious Greek Revival home, known as Cotton Valley. They’d long been friends with Miller’s husband Ken, who had grown up in the historic house and recently purchased it from his parents for his young and growing family. Fortuitously, Stoecker, Stowe, and business partner Christina Allen had recently expanded their services as owners of Fleur Boutique, a women’s designer clothing store in North Hills, to include interiors, so they were ready to jump in. For her part, Elizabeth was more than ready and willing to hand over entirely the task of redecorating. What began as work in one room quickly morphed into an entire house redo.After tackling the stately living room, where they added ethereal mint silk curtains strewn with birds, the Fleur trio moved to the family room, where they lacquered the walls in a deep peacock blue, a bold and modern approach. In the dining room, they hung wallpaper by Gracie, adding custom touches of peacock blue birds and birdcages to echo the family room walls. The light-filled kitchen was gutted and bedecked with custom cabinetry and oversized brass hardware. Fabrics throughout the rooms were chosen from Brunschwig & Fils, Schumacher, Zoffany, and Quadrille. Other punches of color – a zebra wallpaper in the powder room and pops of yellow on pillows – added a zing to gracious, important architecture. The overall effect is simultaneously timeless and vibrant. With three children ranging from 6 months to 7 years, that’s a good thing for the active two-doctor family who both practice in Rocky Mount. Elizabeth says her 15-minute commute home to the tranquility of Cotton Valley is transformative. Meanwhile, Ken, an orthodontist and onetime musician, enjoys caring for the extensive grounds, playing his guitar, and riding around in his golf cart with a glass of wine when he returns from work in the late afternoon, taking it all in, proving that you can indeed go home again.last_img read more

Treehouses

first_imgA Charlotte artist designed and built this hexagonal shaped house with a wrap around deck. The treehouse and the cypress tree it resided in were dismantled, loaded onto a flat-bed trailer and moved to the Corkum’s home in Raleigh as the land it stood on was planned for development.Happiness Among the Treesby Rebecca Guenardphotographs by Juli LeonardPerched out of reach, a treehouse evokes mystery, seclusion, a place apart where a child can dream up an adventure. It’s a castle on the hill, the Shire, an Ewok village. It’s Swiss Family Robinson.Before the ink was dry on the mortgage papers of our North Raleigh home, my family was discussing which tree on our two-acre property would support a treehouse. After six months of planning, drawing, and calculating, my husband looked up from the kitchen table, surrounded by graph paper covered in schematics, and said: “This is going to be a big project.” Everyone went quiet and my son gently pointed out the reality of his undertaking. “You are building a house,” he said. “Up in a tree.”Feeling apprehensive, I set out to find camaraderie with Raleigh’s treehouse people. It, too, was a bigger challenge than I expected. Despite its Oak City label, Raleigh’s building ordinances hinder the construction of treehouses. “Accessory structures” are limited to a certain height and distance from property lines, making treehouses unlikely to qualify, given the standard lot size. Even if you head out to where lots are more spacious, homeowners associations can crush your treehouse dreams.Eventually, I was able to find several examples of what is possible when grown-ups with power tools remember what it was like to be a kid. Occupying only a couple-hundred square feet of space, these houses in the trees are cozy enough to let you roll out just a few sleeping bags, and big enough to let your childhood imagination run wild.The Proud Pavilion Though the Vassallo-Soto family built their treehouse for their four kids, they admit adults love it too. Tara and her husband Vinney wanted to give their kids a place for sleepovers, where they could chill device-free. “We wanted to give the kids a house outside of the house,” says Tara Vassallo-Soto.Tara Vassallo-Soto hashed out a design with RB Landscaping in under an hour. The treehouse sits proud and inviting at the top of a rise in the backyard, tucked up into the lower limbs of a tall oak tree. The design is reminiscent of a pavilion, with only one full back wall and two knee-height side walls. The absence of a fourth wall provides a spacious feeling and unobstructed views across the neighborhood.Kids can lounge lazily in the colorful beanbag chairs dolloped throughout the space, or in the neon hammocks draped underneath. The colors pop off the natural wood structure, like stained-glass windows in a childhood sanctuary.A prominent feature inside the tree house is the oak tree which greets you immediately as you enter the space. Here, Matt Robinson’s daughter, Sydney Robinson, 12, greets him from the loft built around the tree.The Tree Hugger “We bought this house because of that tree,” says Matt Robinson. He is referring to a mammoth pin oak at the back of his property. Its trunk punctures the foundation and then exits through the roof of a treehouse-in-the-works that sits 14 feet off the ground.For as long as he can remember, Robinson wanted to build a treehouse. His apprenticeship came when he helped a friend clear the trees on a 40-acre property. They cut the logs into lumber and built a timber-framed home on the land. Robinson applied the skills he learned building that house to construct the treehouse for his family, a massive undertaking that required him to borrow scaffolding to build so high. “I never want to get up on that roof again,” Robinson says. “It was terrifying.” He calls the treehouse his “labor of love.”Robinson has worked on it for two years. He is happy to take his time; being among the trees, he says, relaxes him. Preferring a rustic look, he has used reclaimed wood and incorporated creative touches like a window across the back wall that is actually a French door on its side. A prominent feature inside the house is the oak tree itself, which greets a visitor immediately upon entering. Robinson is still working to finish details like a backlit rusted tin ceiling and a rolling ladder to access the house’s loft. He also plans to put in a writing desk, ostensibly so his girls can do their homework, but his wife imagines Robinson himself will claim it most of the time. “He is looking forward to having a spot where he can look out through the trees and write some poetry,” she says.The Woodlands Home With a heavy heart, Sherry Corkum accepted that twin 100-year old oak trees on her property, formerly the Lassiter Mill Farm, had to be cut down. One tree still had weather-greyed wooden slats nailed to the trunk that the Lassiter children had used decades earlier as a ladder to a long-gone treehouse. But the trees were rotted and posed a safety hazard. Corkum was expecting a baby, and the Corkums couldn’t risk an accident, so the trees were removed.Corkum didn’t have to mourn their absence for long. Two weeks later, her husband called from Charlotte where he was developing a property. A treehouse on the land where he was working had to be removed or destroyed before building could begin. The Corkums decided to make it their own. Months later, a flatbed trailer arrived at the Corkums’ home in Raleigh with their treehouse and what remained of the cypress tree it once lived in.The house is a special one. A Charlotte artist designed and built the hexagonal shaped house with a wraparound deck. The Corkums used the cypress tree it once hung in as pilings to support its substantial load-bearing beams, which also accommodate an exit slide on one side and a couple of hammocks on the other. Tree bark shingles on the roof and siding camouflage the whole house, while tiny birds’ nests hang in several corners. A lack of doors or windows encourage the scent of magnolias from a neighboring grove to fill a cozy interior decorated with furniture from a craftsman in Boone, North Carolina who fashions child-sized tables and chairs out of old twigs. There is a chalkboard on one wall and drums hang throughout. The Corkums hide small treasures here and there for young guests to discover.Sherry Corkum says her family has gotten hours of enjoyment out of the treehouse. It has been the centerpiece for her son’s birthday parties and the hangout spot for her teenaged niece. “We lost two oaks,” says Corkum. “But we gained so much more.”Brain Lowery built a live-in doll house among the trees in his Zebulon backyard for his daughters, Logan and Austyn Lowery. The tiny two-story structure is fairytale perfect, with green siding, white trim and a inviting front porch.The Doll HouseBrian Lowery intended to build a swing set. Instead he built a live-in dollhouse among his backyard trees. “We figured they would quickly outgrow a swing set,” says Lowery, since his daughters were eight and eleven when he embarked on the project. He wanted to give them a place that they could use well into their teen years.Lowery constructed the house himself, on a modest budget, with materials he purchased at the local home improvement store. He supplied the house with electricity so nightfall would not discourage the girls from playing outside. The tiny two-story structure has green siding, white trim, and an inviting front porch. The interior features tranquil purple walls, reading nooks, and a sleeping loft. It’s the ideal spot to foster some girl power.A year has passed and Lowery’s house is fairytale-perfect, but he isn’t shy about expressing his disappointment. He imagined his girls would be anxious to spend their private time in the house sharing giggles and secrets, but they haven’t shown much interest in it. He recently hung a television on one wall. “If no one is going to use it, I’ll turn it into a man-cave,” Lowery says, with a laugh.A wooden wheel is one of several details on the McCalls’ treehouse boat.The Fantasy-bound BoatIn a cluster of trees beside a European-style North Raleigh home sits a treehouse shaped like a boat. Its bow, supported by three loblolly pines, points through a sea of trees to be navigated on the way to adventure. Make-believe grandeur is easy to conjure in this simple setting. Perhaps Peter Pan is faring the Darling children home from Neverland, a peg-legged Ahab is manning a whaling ship, or SpongeBob is practicing his driving lessons.The homeowners, Roger and Terri McCall, considered taking down the treehouse when they bought their home. Their kids are grown and they didn’t imagine anyone using it. But they love the ocean, and decided to leave the treehouse in place as a seaside-style decoration.They underestimated the boat’s magnetism. It turns out the treehouse is beloved by all their pint-sized visitors – grandnieces and nephews and friends with kids. The original owner’s brother, a carpenter, built the precious port-dweller. Children enter from a trap door in the floor of the boat, leaving the boat’s structure uninterrupted when the door is closed. As you look out from the small, enclosed bridge, it’s easy to imagine you are sailing through the sky.“Sometimes it’s a pirate ship. Sometimes it’s a fishing boat,” says Roger McCall. “Mostly, it’s a pirate ship.”The McCalls now have a box of accessories to accompany the treehouse. They keep plenty of flags, swords, hooks, and dolls on hand to foster the popular pirate theme and delight in the hours of laughter and “Ahoy, matey!” that emanate from their trees.last_img read more

NC Made

first_img“The boxes support local food makers, and they’re a chance to practice gratitude. The sentiments that come with gifts are inspiring.”–Cathleen Cueto, co-owner N.C. Madeby Jessie Ammonsphotograph by Madeline GrayNicole makes amazing pies. She’s the friend who always brings something extra delicious to parties.” Cathleen Cueto moved to Durham from Brooklyn, New York City in 2014 and says she still remembers the first time she met her friend and now business partner Nicole Bogas. “Amazing food is memorable.” It turned out to be especially true for the duo, who today work together to curate gourmet food gift boxes at N.C. Made. Bogas first founded the company as a side business in 2014 while also working in digital advertising. “I was so excited about the food in our area, and inspired by how many of them had beautiful product design.” She wanted to share her favorites with friends and clients across the country, so she decided to do it herself. “We hang our hat on things that are typically North Carolina,” Bogas says. N.C. Made’s first boxes remain among its most popular: the N.C. Barbecue themed package includes barbecue sauce, hushpuppy mix, and a N.C. BBQ map; the N.C. Beer one includes a beer-and-bacon barbecue sauce, spiced apple beer jam, and gaelic ale mustard. There are snack boxes, customizable corporate gifts, and wedding welcome boxes. As business grew, Bogas brought Cueto on board. Winter is an especially sweet time of year at N.C. Made. “We can’t send any boxes with chocolate in the warmer months,” Cueto says, because it melts in the mail. The holidays mean the return of boxes with cocoa candy: in particular, city-themed boxes. If you want to send an Oak City box to a loved one, inside will be Slingshot Coffee Company cascara tea, Crude shrub syrup, Benny T’s Vesta dry hot sauce, a note card letterpressed by One and Only Paper, and a bar of Videri chocolate. No matter the theme choice, every box comes with a handwritten note. Sometimes, Bogas and Cueto use the front and back of note cards to transcribe customers’ thoughts. “Even if they’re really long, we write it out,” Bogas says. After all, a personal touch combined with amazing food is bound to be remembered. “Those are the aspects we get excited about.”ncmade.netlast_img read more