AC Milan boss Giampaolo: Players must give their lives for the shirt, not for meby Carlos Volcano21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan boss Marco Giampaolo is not seeking excuses for their start of the season.Giampaolo’s job is on the line facing Genoa this weekend.He said, “After four defeats in six games it is normal that everything is black. Even in this case we must have balance, I don’t think it’s time to make definitive judgments. “I know that the team has a lot of room for improvement, especially from the mental point of view, learning to do certain things in a certain way.”The players have to give their lives for the shirt, not for me. The team believed and believes in my ideas. “You have to be strong in defeats, you have to suffer and be attentive to details.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Twitter/@derekjstevensCollege basketball fans will tell you to never bet against Tom Izzo in March. One Las Vegas casino owner, Derek Stevens, placed a $20,000 bet on Michigan State to win the title back after the team’s 79-78 overtime loss to Notre Dame on December 3. The 5-3 Spartans were at 50-1 to win it all at the time, giving Stevens a potential payout of $1 million.I’ll be @theDlasvegas #LONGBAR to #SpartyOn THX @GoldenNuggetLV & @Gollumlv for giving me the shot @darrenrovell pic.twitter.com/GjK1ueQfin— Derek Stevens (@DerekJStevens) March 31, 2015In an article by ESPN’s Darren Rovell, sportsbook director Tony Miller admits that this is a big risk for the casino.…Miller accepted Stevens’ $20,000 bet, never thinking he’d be sweating the possibility that the Spartans could pull it off. “In my nine years at this sportsbook, I never accepted a bet that could result in us paying $1 million,” Miller said. “The most I’ve ever seen won here was a $100,000 parlay.”…Miller and Stevens have become good friends over the years, which makes the fact that the Spartans have two games to win it all a bit awkward.“This would be a massive loss for us,” Miller said. “I see days where we lose $10,000 to $30,000, but nothing close to $1 million.”Michigan State is a five point underdog against Duke on Saturday, and would play either Kentucky or Wisconsin for the title on Monday night. Stevens still has a long way to go to cash in, but it is definitely impressive that his bet is still alive.[ESPN]
Story Highlights Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says that while Jamaica will open its first regulated casino in 2020, the island is not slated to become a casino destination.“The fact is that casinos are not a requirement for Jamaica’s growth, but within the context of the integrated development model, casino gaming is a driver for exponential growth. We do not see Jamaica ever becoming known as a casino destination, but rather a destination in which casino gaming is available,” he said.He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Hospitality Industry and Casino Operator’s Guide to Managing US Liability Issues from the Caribbean’ held at Sandals Montego Bay on Friday (December 7).Mr. Bartlett said that Jamaica has shied away from gaming as a structured path of the tourism experience for a number of reasons.“One of which has been the experiences that we have looked at in other places and we have seen some of the attendant negatives, and we question very much whether or not we would be able, ourselves, to manage and be able to deal with the negative impact of it,” he pointed out.He noted that while there were also religious considerations, a decision was made to explore the area, “because it does provide a lucrative element of the tourism product and it has the potential to drive growth to a level that would put Jamaica where it ought to be in terms of the level required to generate additional gross domestic product (GDP).”Minister Bartlett said that as a tourism product, casino gaming is expected to contribute two per cent of GDP to the economy.He said the initial thought was that three million stopover visitors and earnings of US$3 billion would be spurred on by casino gaming. However, those figures have already been exceeded, as 4.3 million visitors arrived on the island last year without the lure of a casino.“Casinos should represent no more than 20 per cent of the value of the experience that is offered as the integrated development arrangement,” he said.With the consideration that three casino gaming licences will be granted, the Minister outlined that construction of at least 1,000 rooms and US$1 billion in investment have been laid down as minimum for a casino licence.Florida attorney-at-law Bruce Liebman, who is a partner at Kaufman Dolovic and Voluck, said that casinos present “great opportunity” for the island if presented in an integrated format, which includes entertainment, condominiums, and shopping, along with golf courses.“Get (casinos) on the ocean with your beautiful beaches and you will be ahead of Florida (in terms of casino profitability), and I believe that is a beautiful opportunity,” he said.The seminar was hosted by Kaufman Dolovic and Voluck in collaboration with Montego Bay-based law offices of Clayton Morgan and Company.Mr. Liebman and associate attorney, Michel Morgan, made presentations on how to deal with hotel and casino legal liability matters. “The fact is that casinos are not a requirement for Jamaica’s growth, but within the context of the integrated development model, casino gaming is a driver for exponential growth. We do not see Jamaica ever becoming known as a casino destination, but rather a destination in which casino gaming is available,” he said. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says that while Jamaica will open its first regulated casino in 2020, the island is not slated to become a casino destination. He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Hospitality Industry and Casino Operator’s Guide to Managing US Liability Issues from the Caribbean’ held at Sandals Montego Bay on Friday (December 7).
Ian Somerhalder teamed up with Best Friends Animal Society’s Strut Your Mutt event in Lafayette on September 22.Ian Somerhalder and friend at the Strut Your Mutt eventCredit/Copyright: Jonathan Bachman/Invision for Best Friends Animal Society/AP ImagesThe event raised funds for local animal welfare groups and Best Friends, as well as awareness of the Best Friends No More Homeless Pets initiative.Ian Somerhalder Takes Part In Strut Your Mutt eventCredit/Copyright: Jonathan Bachman/Invision for Best Friends Animal Society/AP ImagesBest Friends Animal Society is a national nonprofit organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More Homeless Pets. Their leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from their Kanab, Utah, headquarters, the country’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. This work is made possible by the personal and financial support of a grassroots network of supporters and community partners across the nation.Ian Somerhalder Struts His MuttCredit/Copyright: Jonathan Bachman/Invision for Best Friends Animal Society/AP ImagesBest Friends started Strut Your Mutt as a fundraising event 17 years ago in Salt Lake City. Three years ago, they introduced Strut Your Mutt events to New York and Los Angeles and changed their fundraising model so that Strut Your Mutt would help local animal rescue groups raise critical funds to continue their life saving work. This year, Strut Your Mutt is being held in nine cities across the country and includes a virtual Strut Across America, with the goal of raising $1 million for rescue organizations nationwide.Money raised from Strut Your Mutt helps Best Friends and participating rescue groups – all part of their No More Homeless Pets Network – support adoption and public spay/neuter programs that impact and save the lives of animals in shelters.For more information on Best Friends, including their Sanctuary and the work they are doing around the country, visit bestfriends.org.
Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) – D’Addario XL 10/46 strings used during Tracker Tour 2015. Jonny Buckland (Coldplay) – 5 (only) x Acoustic Guitar strings, used on the track Violet Hill from the Viva La Vida album. Coldplay were recently awarded Best British Group at the Brit Awards and received the ‘Godlike Genius Award’ at the NME Awards. Anthony Jackson – 1 set Half & Half bass. Guitarists are donating used strings from their guitars which will then be made into very cool bracelets and auctioned off to raise funds for the St. Thomas’ Lupus Trust.The auctions will take place on a specific date and will run for ten days.These are one off bracelets handcrafted to your specific size. If you would like to learn more about A&D Guitar String Bracelets you can visit their website here.Once the strings have been paid for you will be asked for measurements for the bracelet to be made to fit you. Once the bracelet has been made it will be sent to you along with authentication saying who actually donated the strings.The first ‘Strings for lupus Auction’ will take place on eBay on 14th March 2016 The following guitar strings will be auctioned on that date: Keith Richards (the Rolling Stones) – Heavily used acoustic strings, used in recording studios in London Dec 2015 on forthcoming Rolling Stones album. Copy of letter from agent authenticating strings. Squeeze – Set of electric strings. Chris Difford used on the controversial Andrew Marr show January 2016. Tony Visconti – 1 full set electric guitar strings used on the Holy Holy Tour 2015. Tony was also the producer of David Bowie.Upcoming auctions will feature strings from Paul McCartney, Brian May, Paul Rodgers, and many more.The auction will go live here on Monday, March 14.
Heirloom Fried Rabbit(Note: Must prepare 24 hours in advance)5 rabbit legs1 quart buttermilk1 tablespoon chopped garlic1 tablespoon chili powder1 tablespoon dried thyme2 quarts all-purpose flour1/2 cup Texas Pete hot sauceSalt and pepperMarinate rabbit legs in buttermilk with the garlic, ½ tablespoon of the chili powder, and thyme for 24 hours.Dredge rabbit in flour that has been seasoned with thyme, remaining ½ tablespoon chili powder, salt, and pepper. Fry rabbit until golden brown and remove from oil.Toss rabbit with Texas Pete and enjoy!Soup from chef Van Nolintha of Bida Manda in RaleighPork Belly SoupSoup Broth:1 cup shallot, finely chopped1 cup garlic, finely chopped1 pound ground pork1 1/2 gallons pork stock or water10 lime leaves, finely chopped3 tablespoons sugarSalt to taste3 eggs1 to 2 cans coconut milk1 cup peanuts, crushed1 small can red curry paste1/2 cup vegetable oil2 limes, in sectionsVegetables:3 cups purple cabbage, julienned1 cup cilantro, chopped1 cup mint leaves1/2 cup green onion, choppedNoodles:2 bags rice noodlesMake soup broth:In a big pot over medium heat, combine oil, red curry paste, shallot, and garlic. Stir a few minutes, until shallot and garlic turn golden at the edges. Add ground pork and stir until pork is fully cooked. Add pork stock, sugar, salt, coconut milk, and lime leaves, and cook until boiled. When the broth is fully boiled, whisk in eggs slowly. Add peanuts.Taste the soup: add more sugar, salt, or coconut milk if needed.Prepare noodles:Soak rice noodles in cold water bath for 2 hours, or in warm water bath for 45 minutes (noodles tend to break easily when soaked in warm water).Assemble the bowl:Boil a big pot of hot water. Cook pre-soaked noodles in boiled water for 4 minutes, only enough for one soup bowl at a time.Drain noodles and place in a large serving bowl. Add broth, cabbage, cilantro, mint, and green onion.Serve with chopsticks and lime sections.Bill Smith’s Tomato SandwichesMakes 10 sandwiches1 loaf of your favorite white sandwich bread (see text)2 or 3 large ripe, red summer tomatoesMayonnaise (see text)SaltThis recipe is not as simple as it seems at first glance. All sorts of things come into play. I am always in favor of newness and innovation, but there are times when well enough should be left alone. This may be one such case. First of all, it’s really better to buy cheap, house-brand, grocery store, sliced white bread. Resist the temptation to upgrade to the artisanal. Then there is the mayonnaise. People fight over mayonnaise brands here, just as they do over barbecue or basketball. Both the users of Hellmann’s and the users of Duke’s regard the other with disbelief. Neither can contain their derision of the users of Miracle Whip. Use what your grandmother used.You should be able to get at least four fairly thick slices from each tomato. Commercial sliced white bread generally has 20 slices per loaf. Spread mayonnaise thickly on two slices of bread. Place a slice of tomato on one of the slices of prepared bread. Sprinkle with salt. Top with the other slice of bread. Slice the sandwich in two, diagonally. Repeat until you have used up all of the bread.These sandwiches are better if they sit awhile before serving. Many people claim that they are best if eaten while you are leaning over the sink, because if they have been made right, they are very messy. Bill Smith, the Crook’s Corner chef famous for bringing Southern cooking to a national audience with his cuisine and his writing, is the author of several acclaimed cookbooks, including Seasoned in the South. He has twice been a finalist for the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast, and has helped earn a James Beard America’s Classics award for Crook’s. photographs by Jim McGuireIt was a hot July morning in Raleigh when strategist Nation Hahn, nonprofit executive Alexis Trost, and restaurant owners Van Nolintha, Angela Salamanca, and Matt Kelly packed their cars for a weekend adventure. The friends, united by a love of food and community, were headed to the mountains of Ashe County to cook, eat, and raise money for a cause close to their hearts: the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation.As the group made their way to the blueberry farm where they’d spend three days, they talked about the people they’d meet there: their mutual friend Eliza Olander, who’d put the wheels in motion when she and her friend Jackie Locklear became high bidders for a foodie mountain weekend to support the foundation at a Triangle Wine Experience auction; the revered Crook’s Corner chef Bill Smith; the two Raleighites who own the farm, Johnny Burleson and Walter Clark; and 10 other friends. “Jamie believed in the power of good food and strong cocktails to bring people together to party with a purpose,” says Hahn, whose late wife Jamie inspired the creation of a foundation that nurtures leaders to work on issues like poverty, hunger, and public education. Ashe County Weekend Itinerary FridayThe group arrived and unpacked as chef Clark Barlowe of Heirloom Restaurant in Charlotte chopped tomatoes and chorizo.7 p.m.: Clark pulled out the tapas: clams, oysters, heirloom fried rabbit, and more for people to munch on as Matt Kelly of Mateo Bar de Tapas in Durham made paella over an open fire. Wine from Eliza Olander’s collection rounded out the meal.SaturdayThe group was slow to wake up on Saturday, but accelerated their pace when they smelled the pork belly soup being made in the farmhouse kitchen by Van Nolintha of Bida Manda.12:00 p.m.: Soup was served in the blueberry shed.Afternoon: The group whiled away a lazy afternoon around the farm.5:30 p.m.: Sonny Wong, bartender at Lantern Restaurant in Chapel Hill, mixed cocktails with bourbon and blueberries in a historic millhouse on the property.8 p.m.: Chefs Bill Smith of Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill and Angela Salamanca of Centro in Raleigh made dinner. It began with a stack of Smith’s classic tomato sandwiches. They followed with seafood gazpacho, tamales, and, finally, roasted pork shoulder. For dessert, the duo made bread pudding with bread from the local farmers’ market and blueberries and apples picked from the farm.SundayBrunch: Salamanaca and Nolintha made brunch with the leftovers. Pork went into breakfast casserole; scrambled eggs were put together with peppers and arugula; and freshly picked berries made for flavorful french toast.Angela Salamanca serves up tamalesBill Smith and Angela Salamanca at work in the kitchenJohn Cooper, Angela Salamanca, Bill Smith, Vansana NolinthaPatrick Woodson, Nation HahnEliza Olander, Alexis Trost Seasonal cocktail from bartender Sarah Vickery of Chapel Hill’s Lantern RestaurantWalk Right In10-15 blueberries, muddled1/2 ounce simple syrup1/2 ounce lemon juice2 ounces bourbonCombine all ingredients and stir. Serve over rocks.Small plates from chef Clark Barlowe of Charlotte’s Heirloom restaurantChilled Clams Casino20 clams1 link fresh chorizo, diced2 shallots, minced2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped1 cup Champagne vinegar1 cup blended oil (a combination typically of olive, canola, and other cooking oils)1 teaspoon Dijon mustardSautée chorizo slowly over medium heat until fat is rendered. Soak minced shallots and chopped thyme in Champagne vinegar for 20 minutes. Add Dijon mustard to vinegar mixture and slowly drizzle in blended oil, stirring as you go to emulsify. Add chopped chorizo and its rendered fat to the vinaigrette.Shuck the clams, top with chorizo vinaigrette, and enjoy. The farm that would host them was well-suited to a weekend of purposeful partying. Its 1880 farmhouse has been painstakingly refurbished by Burleson and Clark, who bought the place in 2003 after a memorable day picking berries there a few years earlier. “We felt an instant connection” on that fateful afternoon, Clark says. The two learned the farm was an Ashe County landmark, a spot where folks had come to pick apples and blueberries for generations. “We were stewards,” Clark says, “of a very special place.”In its current, beautifully restored state, it is still that. Old Orchard Creek Farm, as they call it, continues as a working blueberry farm and “a place where visitors find solace,” Clark says. And so it made sense to them to donate the haven to the foundation for the weekend. “What better way to celebrate and support the foundation than with a weekend of fine food and drink prepared by some of North Carolina’s best chefs from local products, including lots of blueberries?”
Courtesy of Needlepoint.comNeedlepoint Retreatby Jessie AmmonsSerious stitchers will convene in the mountains this month for Elizabeth Bradley Home’s annual needlepoint retreat October 2-4 at Asheville’s Grove Park Inn. Attendees will dive in to two full days of instruction on a seasonal needlepoint kit design. With breaks for wine and cheese, coffee and cookies, open stitching, and a Kirk & Bradley and Elizabeth Bradley Home trunk show – brands known for the botanical pillows seen at local shops like Furbish Studio – the getaway’s organizers sure know their audience.They ought to. Needlepoint.Com is well known to avid needlepointers as the parent company of both Elizabeth Bradley Home and Kirk & Bradley. Its website is also a top place to find needlepoint canvases, kits, and threads. Even dedicated stitchers, though, may not realize the operation is based in Raleigh on Hillsborough Street, and that its retail store has a far broader selection than its website.Courtesy of Needlepoint.comThe store often offers classes and welcomes beginners, but the annual fall retreat tends to attract serious hobbyists. While transportation and accommodations are not included, a discounted rate at the Grove Park is available. There’s also an optional upgrade to attend classes with Joan Lohr, an artist and popular needlepoint canvas designer. The whole shebang is a luxurious spin on a familiar pastime. The 2015 Needlepoint Retreat is $980, and the Grove Park Inn rate begins at $299 per night. For more information and to see what other local, beginner-friendly events are offered, visit needlepoint.com.
Firestarter (R)Friday, Feb. 13Featured speaker: Jennifer Bunch, photo double for Drew Barrymore Ricky Bobby’s No. 26 Wonder Bread race car from the 2006 movie Talladega Nights: TheBallad of Ricky Bobby. The 2006 Chevrolet, currently on view in the museum lobby, is on loan from International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala., and from Shell Oil.In August 2012, North Carolina Museum of History curator and film buff Katie Edwards had an idea. She knew that major movies and TV shows are often filmed in the Tar Heel State. “We’d all heard about Bull Durham, The Hunger Games, Dawson’s Creek, and others,” she says. But she knew there were many, many more, and suspected that the history of filmmaking here could make for an interesting exhibit.The film clips, stories, history, and memorabilia she and her team uncovered amazed them all. Covering 3,000 films over the last 100 years, their work took two and a half years to complete and resulted in Starring North Carolina!, which opened Nov. 15 and runs until Sept. 6.The show charts the state’s emergence as one of the nation’s top film and television production locations – from silent pictures shot in western North Carolina in the early 1900s, to the birth of Wilimington as a movie-making hub in the ’80s, and on to recent blockbusters like Iron Man 3 and the successful Sleepy Hollow series.There are three main reasons why moviemakers flock here, Edwards and her colleague Camille Hunt say. The first is geography. With mountains, beaches, and everything in between, there’s no terrain we don’t have. The second is talent. As in any other industry, good work attracts it, and North Carolina is now home to thousands of professional crew members who make these productions happen. One of the many places they ply their trade is Wilmington’s EUE/Screen Gems Studios, the largest film studio outside California. The third is economics. North Carolina remains a far less expensive place to make movies than the West coast or many other places.Movie lovers won’t be surprised to see Bull Durham featured in the show – Kevin Costner’s bomber jacket is on display. But you might not know that 1986 cult classic Blue Velvet was primarily shot in Wilmington. The museum has not only Isabella Rossellini’s blue velvet robe but also the “severed ear” that figured prominently in the film. Other highlights include Ricky Bobby’s No. 26 Wonder Bread race car from 2006’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; a costume worn by Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games; several items from Dawson’s Creek; and Daniel Day-Lewis’s fringed suede get-up from Last of the Mohicans.The exhibit will play host to the inaugural Longleaf Film Festival, which will feature narrative and documentary movies, on May 2, 2015. The museum will also run a monthly film series on the second Friday of each month in coordination with the exhibit. (See box below.)Starring North Carolina! Film SeriesIron Man 3 (PG-13)Friday, Dec. 12Featured speaker: Bryan Simmons, memorabilia collector. Dirty Dancing (PG-13)Friday, March 13Featured speaker: Dr. Marsha Gordon, associate professor, film studies, N.C. State Brainstorm (PG)Friday, Jan. 9, 2015Featured speaker: Ira David Wood III, actor, author, singer, director, playwright(see story, following page.) All films begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in the museum’s shop. For a complete list of films through Sept. 2015, go to NCMOH-starring.com.
David Wilmoth, 47, is a Lucas Enterprises-certified Darth Vader and a huge fan of the film series.photographs by Christer BergRaleighites have not been immune to the fervor surrounding the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the latest chapter in the galactic saga. With a temporary studio set up at the Marbles IMAX Theatre, intrepid photographer Christer Berg captured fans of all ages as they waited in line for the film’s premiere. He discovered the force is strong in the City of Oaks.Brothers Jacob Bosecker, 10, and Joshua Bosecker, 12, dressed as an Ewok and a Padawan, or young Jedi.Stan Mallard, 27, paid tribute to Yoda with his eared hat. He began watching Star Wars when he was three years old. “My dad raised me on Star Wars,” he says.Stephanie Smith, 29, transformed into a Christmas Princess Leia. She first saw Star Wars when she was 8 and now her boyfriend, Stan Mallard (above), has re-introduced the films to her.Deirdre Lewis, 21, who dressed as Princess Leia, has been a Star Wars fan “since four or five years old, watching it constantly on TV.” This was her first time seeing a Star Wars movie in a theater.Lloyd Wilmoth, 9, cloaked himself as Luke Skywalker, complete with light saber. Appropriately, his father, David Wilmoth, is Darth Vader (above).A fan for as long as he can remember, Gage Ward, 21, donned a Boba Fett hoodie.Imperial Staff Officer Katrina Andrews, 36, has been a big fan since she was a child.
Jillian Clarkby Mimi MontgomeryAs the city of Raleigh grows ever-faster, so does its number of visitors. One thing that hasn’t kept pace is the number of hotel rooms. A recent report commissioned by the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance says that the city needs more rooms to keep pace with demand.The new Aloft Raleigh, which opened this past October, is one of five new hotels expected to open by 2018. Geared towards the hyper-connected global traveler, the Starwoods Hotels-owned Aloft is a testament to Raleigh’s growing clout as a business hub. On Hillsborough Street across from the N.C. State bell tower, a healthy walk from downtown, the stylish 135-room hotel features tech-forward innovation and art, and holds events targeted to the young entrepreneurial crowd.The spirit of Raleigh is alive in two Thomas Sayre works – one an outdoor sculpture (shown above), the other an indoor installation incorporating clay from the North Carolina piedmont. The hotel’s collection also features pieces from nearby Roundabout Art Collective. The local food scene is represented by homegrown favorites like Gonza Tacos y Tequila and Jubala coffee shop; Videri chocolate is also a perk for guests. The WXYZ bar, which features an open-balcony view of Hillsborough Street and the downtown skyline, showcases Raleigh tunes with the hotel’s Live at Aloft Hotels music series. Guests who want to check the city out can borrow bikes.Aloft is betting big on the growth of the Triangle. A branch opened in Chapel Hill a few years ago, another in downtown Durham last fall, and a third is set to open near Brier Creek in the spring.2100 Hillsborough St.; starwoodhotels.com/alofthotels
Courtesy Jumping Rocksby Mimi MontgomeryA weekend trip to the mountains is one way to escape the swelter. The Swag bed-and-breakfast is a secluded, luxuriously rustic boutique getaway in Waynesville, cozied right up to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Four of North Carolina’s six highest mountain ranges – the Great Smokies, the Plott Balsams, the Richland Balsams, and the Black Mountains – are visible from the Swag. The inn has a network of trails for rambling and exploring, and offers guided hikes, too. There’s plenty to do indoors, as well – the lodge has a sauna, massage therapy room, racquetball court, and extensive library. It’s also an easy drive to Asheville or the Blue Ridge Parkway.The best part? The food. The Swag is all-inclusive, which is particularly great when you’re excited to dig in: The award-winning restaurant puts on a daily breakfast buffet and dinners with seasonally-inspired menus featuring fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs from its gardens. The kitchen will pack a picnic lunch for you every day, and often hosts outdoor barbecues, too.Courtesy Jumping RocksThe Swag only has 14 guest rooms, so it pays to make reservations well ahead of time. You won’t want to miss out on these digs – the perfect blend of refined and rustic, many of the rooms have wood-burning fireplaces and private balconies overlooking the mountains, and some even have outdoor soaking tubs and showers.The Swag opened for its 35th season last month, and will stay open through November 26. Check it out this summer, and you may develop a sudden interest in foliage this fall.2300 Swag Road, Waynesville; theswag.comCourtesy Jumping Rocks
“Now that October cranks up, it’s a lot of travel and writing in the hunting season, for sure.”–Eddie Nickens, outdoors journalist and authorby Mimi Montgomeryphotograph by Travis LongEddie Nickens is an outdoorsman, award-winning author, journalist, on-camera host, and native North Carolinian. Now a Raleighite, he hails from High Point and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and English. After some time as “a street urchin on Franklin Street,” Nickens took a job as senior editor at Spectator magazine; soon after, he transitioned to freelance work and has been, “as my father-in-law would say, ‘gainfully unemployed ever since.’” Nickens started out writing for the likes of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Smithsonian, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Audubon, and National Wildlife. When Field & Stream magazine asked Nickens to write long-form outdoor journalism pieces, he knew he’d found his niche: Bigger assignments had him travelling across the globe, and the adventures have “been quite steady and quite crazy ever since,” he says. Nickens is now Field & Stream editor-at-large and a contributing editor at Audubon. He has a monthly Our State column, frequently contributes to Garden & Gun, has written two books, and hosted and co-produced the television programs Heroes of Conservation and Total Outdoorsman Challenge. The outdoors beat has taken him to places like Alaska and Canada for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing adventures; in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, he’s covered bird conservation, sustainability, and eco-tourism. “I’m not sitting at a business office or a convention center somewhere,” Nickens says. “Most of these assignments are pretty off the beaten track, if even on the track at all.” This fall, he’s got plenty of pheasant, dove, and duck hunting trips planned, but also looks forward to sticking close to home. He cites Halifax County and Morehead City as favorite local spots, and loves bringing along his black lab, Minnie Pearl, as a hunting companion. His family makes the cut, too: His wife, son, and daughter all love the outdoors. “One of the wonderful things about my job is that it’s evolved into an avenue to spend time with my children,” he says. “That’s been a real blessing.”Catch Eddie Nickens as the featured author at Walter’s latest Book Club event, Tales of the Wild, on Oct. 13; $55 for one ticket, $100 for two; waltermagazine.com
Diana and Dan Saklad“Our goal in creating this business was to create a local community of cooks.”–Dan Saklad, owner and co-founder of Whisk kitchen storeby Jessie Ammonsphotograph by Jillian ClarkDan Saklad is admittedly not a shopper. “I’ve never really spent time in retail stores,” says the owner of Whisk, a retail kitchenware store in Cary. Nonetheless, when he and his wife Diana moved to Cary 11 years ago – a place he says they picked after Googling “best places to live” – they wanted to launch a business rooted in something they cared deeply about. “Cooking is what we’ve always done,” Saklad says. “I’ve cooked every day of my life since I was 5 years old, and Diana has done the same. It’s always been a passion of ours.” In 2013, the couple translated that love to Whisk, a kitchen emporium with a strong emphasis on cooking classes. Saklad says the experience has been less like a foray into retail and more like an investment in community. “We’re a very different experience.” It’s one focused on doing, they hope, with shopping a happy side effect. “We have 35 to 40 cooking classes here every month, taught by 42 chefs from 15 different countries.” Classes range from themed recipes for beginners, a la “a night in Paris” and “Bollywood, an authentic Indian feast,” to in-depth technical classes like knife skills and master-level sushi-making. Wall-to-wall racks of kitchen gadgets and cooking accessories complement the skills being taught and supply specialty items for gourmands of all kinds. “Part of the experience is the personalities we hire,” Saklad says. Rather than look for employees with retail experience, they look for employees who are “engaging and fun, the types of people you’d like to hang out with on a weekend at a party.” The employees’ attitude is contagious: “It’s amazing how the community has embraced us,” Saklad says. Despite receiving offers to franchise and expand, the Saklads say they’re not interested. “The beauty of it is having one location. There’s a certain magic to that.” And this time of year, full of celebratory meals and gatherings, is especially meaningful to the Whisk team. “We love cooking and we love people who love cooking. We’re completely happy being here in Cary doing our thing. This is a place for people who share our same passion for cooking and entertaining.”whiskcarolina.com
One of the world’s most transformative companies has found its Triangle home in a historic former train depot on Glenwood South.by Liza Robertsphotographs by David Williams On a sunny day in February, downtown Raleighites gathered in a sleek, renovated former industrial space of the sort the tech world favors in any modern city. With a massive mural by Victor Knight III shouting “Raleigh” from an exposed brick wall and Jubala coffee on offer, there was no mistaking which modern city it was.But even those who know Raleigh well might not have recognized the refined and light-filled space as the former site of the long-loved 518 West Italian Cafe, which closed its Tuscan-inspired doors two years ago after 18 years in business.Today, that restaurant – which helped ignite the Glenwood South entertainment district – is a fond memory for many. Also a memory is the building’s original iteration as a freight depot for the Norfolk Southern railway.historic photo courtesy Billy WardenIn the place of that railway’s freight cars or the restaurant’s chalkboard menus now are contemporary furniture, pinpoint lighting, and flat screens.It’s become Google Fiber’s Raleigh Fiber Space, a retail office for the company’s high-speed internet service that plans to moonlight as a community gathering spot. It kicked off its new life as the latter with a Black History Month and First Friday celebration of Knight’s mural and other works, plus music by 9th Wonder. Other free events planned as of press time include a coding class for kids, a workshop for small businesses, and a family game night.Raleigh is one of a handful of U.S. cities where Google has similar “fiber spaces.” The company aims to put them in historic buildings when possible, in locations that represent “hubs of local culture” that are “significant and meaningful to local communities,” says Google designer David del Villar Fernandez.For more information on Google’s new fiber space and its community events, visit fiber.google.com/cities/triangle/events.
Killer Tacosby Katherine Poolephotograph courtesy Xoco RaleighDo you prefer your carne with a side of carnage? Check out Xoco Raleigh, where every day is Dia de los Muertos. Aztec for “little sister,” Xoco is the kooky kid sibling of North Raleigh’s favorite haunt Dos Taquitos. “Haunt” isn’t a bad word for Xoco, either – it seems that when the Mexican eatery opened in the Old Creamery building on Glenwood South, it had a few disgruntled former tenants to contend with. Maybe the restaurant folks shouldn’t have been surprised: After all, the building has a grim history, including damaging fires and multiple deaths, including a murder by a serial killer. Perhaps that explains why dishes fly off shelves, lights flicker on and off, and spectral voices whisper in the dark. But the Xoco staff is armed with good mojo, and happily embraces its status as otherworldly outpost. They have even gone so far as to invite a local ghost-busting firm known as ASAP (As Southern as Possible) Paranormal in to verify mysterious disturbances. Ain’t afraid of no ghosts? Then, steel your nerves with a margarita or two and order extra queso, because you never know who might be joining you for dinner.
GROWING UPMarbles Kids Museum plans its next decadeby Jessie Ammonsphotograph courtesy Marbles Kids MuseumMarbles Kids Museum celebrated its tenth anniversary this fall by planning for its next decade, purchasing a 16,000-square-foot building next door on Hargett Street. “Property downtown is not always readily available,” says vice president of development Emily Bruce. “We leapt at this wonderful opportunity.” Bruce says the purchase was an unexpected but welcome boost to the museum’s growth strategy. Its current location boasts 39,000 square feet of interactive exhibits designed to encourage play at every age, and they all come: Average annual attendance tops 500,000 visitors. “More space to play is the request we hear most often,” Bruce says, and it’s the staff’s number-one priority. “We know we cannot wait (to create more space), because today’s 4-year-old does not have 10 more years to wait. At Marbles, we move at the speed of childhood.” Today’s children will benefit immediately from more exhibit space and breathing room, because the museum will most likely move its administrative offices into the new building right away. So even though construction on the new building is likely three to five years down the road, visitors will see a difference quickly. “We are nimble, we are entrepreneurial, and we’re going to apply that same sort of creativity and spark to expansion as we have to developing the exhibits and programs that our community has come to love.”marbleskidsmuseum.org
“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.net
“If you love it, it works. Everything in my house I have chosen because it has sung to me.” –Emily Cochran, founder, Emily & Coby Catherine Currinphotographs by Madeline GrayEmily Cochran knew she’d found her passion when her vintage repertoire surpassed the storage unit. “I kept outgrowing, from the storage unit to shared retail spaces, and eventually opened my own shop.” After four years of casual collecting, in 2016 Cochran opened Emily & Co. in Glenwood South. There, Cochran’s selection of wares reflects her statewide travels and her own personal style. “My house is a big melting pot of colors and textures and styles. I love classic with a fun twist.”During her early years of collecting, Cochran would update a chair’s upholstery or lacquer a table. But today at Emily & Co, she’s leaving most pieces untouched. “I find things that are beautiful as they are.” The vintage emporium reflects both old and new, from an antique bamboo mirror to luxe candles and newly tufted throw pillows.In Emily & Co’s inaugural year, Cochran invited customers to join her on on two “picking” trips, sifting through antiques in Burlington and Fayetteville. The trips have become a tradition, and now is the time to get in on the April 28 journey. These outings have a spirit of adventure: Cochran doesn’t reveal the destination until the morning-of. “We’ll go no more than two hours outside of Raleigh,” Cochran says. What is predictable is the agenda: “A delicious lunch and my insider tips on vintage shopping, where to go and what to look for.”
Juli LeonardLara O’Brien Muñoz is a principal dancer with Carolina Ballet, where she has been for 17 years, and owner of the ballet schools Tutu School Raleigh and Tutu School Cary. She is also a wife and the mother of 1-year-old son, Theo. “I love the intersection of softness and strength, delicacy and power, playfulness and determination,” Muñoz says. She’s eager to explore the intersection at WINi, pointing to inspiration from a friend and fellow dancer who said, “regarding the world of ballet, that the layers of tulle and sparkle that make up a tutu sit on top of a whole lot of muscle, substance, and strength. My journey as a ballerina has certainly allowed me a playground to explore my femininity and ‘girly-ness,’ however my success in such a career has been through sheer discipline, dedication, and determination. Holding these qualities together is something I’m really proud of in my life. It’s now something I’m exploring as it extends to balancing business ownership and motherhood, too. … My personal mission through Tutu School is to allow young children, many of whom are girls, the opportunity and freedom to explore their own imaginations and self-expression, find confidence in their bodies, and a voice through movement and music.”Tickets
‘Strictly fun and fellowship’ Every Sunday, you’ll find Williams at Hayes Barton Baptist Church. He taught Sunday school for 60 years and is a pillar of the community there. “Wesley is the consummate optimist. He sees the best in everyone. He loves Raleigh and has invested his life here,” says Dr. David Hailey, the church’s pastor. “Wesley has also been our ‘poet laureate’ at HBBC. He has graced us on numerous occasions with his poetry. I would love to have a church full of members like Wesley Williams.” Two decades into retirement, Williams stays busy having fun with the boys. He’s a longtime member of the Old Raleigh Boys, which meets annually in February at Carolina Country Club. “I wrote the original Old Raleigh Boys creed, and I give some remarks and read the creed at each meeting,” he says. Also at the Carolina Country Club, he meets the 50 other members of the Good Ol’ Boys Club monthly, as he has for the past 38 years. And then there’s The Wake County Chitlin Club. Perhaps Williams’ most unconventional membership is as director of the group founded by former North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture and then Governor Kerr Scott in 1948. The all-male club meets annually for chitlins (pig innards) at the Toot-N-Tell in Garner. “I’m head of the CIA, which is the Chitlin Intelligence Agency. It’s strictly fun and fellowship,” he says. As the oldest member of the club, Williams was even named most revered member in 2015 by Rufus Edmisten, former North Carolina Secretary of State and Attorney General.With his many accomplishments and almost a century certainly well-lived, one thing is clear – Williams loves Raleigh, and wants everyone he meets to love it too. His best piece of advice for Raleighites, both old and new? “Be very grateful that you’re here.” Pride in PlaceRaleigh’s longtime social orchestrator extraordinaireby Catherine Currinphotographs by Madeline GrayG. Wesley Williams spent much of his life in a house on Hargett Street, just a few blocks east from Moore Square. From that downtown Raleigh post, he has watched the city go up around him and endure many cultural seasons. At 97, his mind remains sharp, and Williams’s historical account is one brimming with firsthand experience. “I was born near Raleigh, and I’ve lived here for 97 years. I’ve seen it grow tremendously, and it’s just a wonderful city that’s going to keep on growing.” Williams has had a hand in Raleigh’s growth through some 70 years of service to the city, both in his career and through volunteer efforts. Nowadays, Williams has moved slightly northwest, off of Glen Eden Drive, and his time is spent in more social clubs than civic, but it’s all still rooted in an effusive passion for hometown. “I love Raleigh, I’m crazy about it. I’ve never been officially given the title, but many people refer to me as ‘Mr. Raleigh.’”Work-life balance Williams was born near the music pavilion at Walnut Creek, an area that back then was vast farmland. Facing financial hardships, the Williams family traded in their farm and settled on the edge – now in the midst – of downtown Raleigh. Williams entered the workforce at age 17: His first venture was founding the Young Business Men’s Club in 1937. He eventually moved on to the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association, where he was executive director for 50 years. There, Williams says he discovered fulfilling work. “It was not only a job, it was a great pleasure. I had an important part in helping to build Raleigh.” Before his retirement in 1990, Williams made strides in Raleigh’s development, including overseeing planning committees for downtown’s first parking decks and the evolution of Fayetteville Street. Meanwhile, he organized and directed 46 Raleigh Christmas parades, he says, and rode on the firetruck concluding each one. He recalls the busy five decades fondly. “I’m sure that nobody in Raleigh has participated in more groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings than I have.” Not only was he a pioneer for Raleigh’s infrastructure, Williams was instrumental in integrating restaurants during the civil rights movement. He says it’s what he’s most proud of. “One of the greatest things I’ve ever been able to do is to play a major role when we were having all the trouble with segregation.” He worked with the Merchants Association and North Carolina Sen. John Winters to integrate S&W Cafeteria, formerly on the corner of Fayetteville and Davie streets. The S&W decision effectively began a domino effect throughout the city. Ever seeking fulfilling work, Williams is also one of the most decorated members of Civitan International, he says. He served the Raleigh chapter in several capacities, from chaplain to district governor and then president. He was also vice president of the greater International club. His son, John Williams, says he’s received countless awards for his hard work with the group. For instance, with the club, he helped found Hilltop Home, a center near downtown assisting children with developmental and medical disabilities.