SAN DIEGO, CA – MARCH 18: Head coach Bob Huggins of the West Virginia Mountaineers reacts as they take on the Marshall Thundering Herd in the first half during the second round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Viejas Arena on March 18, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)TCU nearly landed a massive win in Morgantown against the No. 18 West Virginia Mountaineers, a game that would have given some legitimacy to TCU’s impressive early season record. Instead, the Horned Frogs will travel back to Fort Worth with a brutal loss. With under a second left in overtime, and his team up 85-84, TCU’s Kyan Anderson fouled West Virginia reserve guard Jevon Carter. Carter hit two clutch free throws to give West Virginia the late go-ahead lead. West Virginia goes to 16-3 with the win. The Mountaineers are definitely a factor in a very tough Big 12 this season.
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – SEPTEMBER 3: View of a Michigan Wolverines football helmet before their game against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium on September 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)Apparently wide receiver Devin Funchess is not the only recent Michigan football player who can throw down. After seeing Funchess’ impressive dunk on Instagram on Sunday, quarterback Devin Gardner decided to make one of his own.Gardner’s dunks are definitely impressive, especially for someone who focuses on another sport, but we’ll have to award this impromptu Wolverine dunk contest to Funchess. That vertical leaping ability is sure to impress NFL scouts in the coming weeks during the combine and other draft preparation events.
Jamaica’s nomination file, dubbed ‘Reggae Music of Jamaica’, was submitted in March 2017. It is anticipated that the genre may be inscribed in 2018. Delegates attending include representatives from the cities of Hamamatsu, Japan; Katowice, Poland; Glasgow, Scotland; Amarante, Portugal; Adelaide, Australia; Hannover, Germany; Norrkopink, Sweden; and Daegu and Tongyeong, South Korea. Delegates from eight countries are in the island for the annual United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities of Music Subnetwork Meeting being held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston from February 16 to 18. Story Highlights Delegates from eight countries are in the island for the annual United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities of Music Subnetwork Meeting being held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston from February 16 to 18.The four-day meeting, which is being held in the Caribbean for the first time, aims to strengthen ties between designated Creative Cities of Music and serves as a platform for discussions on musical creativity.Delegates attending include representatives from the cities of Hamamatsu, Japan; Katowice, Poland; Glasgow, Scotland; Amarante, Portugal; Adelaide, Australia; Hannover, Germany; Norrkopink, Sweden; and Daegu and Tongyeong, South Korea.A key part of the discussions will centre on the Government’s submission of a nomination dossier to inscribe Reggae on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage for Humanity.Jamaica’s nomination file, dubbed ‘Reggae Music of Jamaica’, was submitted in March 2017. It is anticipated that the genre may be inscribed in 2018.The international protection instrument will ensure that the origins of Reggae and its derivatives are appropriately documented and safeguarded for present and future generations.In her remarks at the opening ceremony, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, expressed the hope that the discussions will yield positive outcomes.“I hope that the conversations and sharing that will arise during the course of the meetings will look at how cities that lack capacity in one area can be bolstered by other cities within the network that are able to provide support in technical areas of cultural mapping, cultural data gathering and cultural data analysis. I am sure that the music cities will find a model that can be replicated across your network of other creative cities,” she said.Meanwhile, Kingston’s Mayor, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, said the initiative is important for the development of Jamaica’s reputation as a Creative City of Music, a designation that was bestowed by the UNESCO in December 2015.“We have a competitive advantage as a city in the creative industries, and we have to use that advantage to the benefit of the city’s economy. We are committed to building the creative industries in order to build the economy of the city and the economy of our country,” he said.Director and Representative of the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office, Yuri Peshkov said the meeting is timely, coinciding with the annual Reggae Month celebrations in February, pointing out that “that gives us the opportunity to share experiences in the emerging and vibrant creative music sector”.
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?”
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.
A 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.
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.
Nicole Wilder/Bravoby Mimi MontgomeryAfter serving as executive chef at The Umstead’s Herons restaurant, Scott Crawford opened Standard Foods last fall with business partner John Holmes. The space is a hybrid restaurant, grocery, and butcher shop, featuring a variety of ingredients and goods from local purveyors and growers. Crawford places an emphasis on clean simplicity when it comes to his menu, incorporating healthy ingredients into Southern-inspired cuisine.Now the three-time James Beard award semifinalist’s creations will reach a much wider audience: Crawford will be a contestant on the new Bravo culinary competition series Recipe for Deception, which premiered last month. The show pits four chefs against one other in three elimination rounds where each is challenged to create a dish showcasing one main ingredient. The catch? The chefs have no idea what that main ingredient is. Each competitor is allowed to ask another three yes-or-no questions to determine the secret addition, but two of the answers will be truthful and one a lie.It’s a culinary twist on the old Two Truths and a Lie game, and Crawford will appear on the February 11 episode. Following the broadcast, he’ll offer the mystery dish he created on the show at Standard Foods throughout the month. Of course, since he’s bringing his creation home to Raleigh, he’ll put his own local spin on it: Ingredients will be sourced from North Carolina and most will be available in the grocery section of his business. No lie.Catch Crawford on Bravo’s Recipe for Deception February 11 at 10 p.m. Visit Standard Foods at 205 E. Franklin St.; standard-foods.com
by Tracy Davisphotographs by Nick PironioRaleigh artist Clark Hipolito is a man in constant motion, a quality he shares with much of the art he makes. His reputation was built with murals and commercial interior design – art that stays where you put it – but his interests have led him to fill a unique niche on canvases that move: surfboards, skateboards, and guitars.“His artwork is absolutely amazing,” says master luthier Jay Lichty, who won Garden & Gun magazine’s 2010 top “Made in the South” award for his handcrafted guitars and ukuleles. One of Lichty’s ukuleles, painted by Hipolito, hangs on the wall of his dining room. “I treat this one more like art. It’s just too pretty to keep in a case. And honestly,” he pauses midsentence, examining the instrument, “I’m still not sure how he pulls them off. Is this gold leaf? It’s gorgeous.”A Connecticut native, Hipolito, 45, first found his inspiration in the Atlantic Ocean. During a 2003 trip to Charleston, where he was creating custom interiors and murals, Hipolito headed out to Folly Beach, noticed that the waves were great, and decided to rent a surfboard. He ended up with a decrepit old board and bought it on impulse. “If a board could have rust, this one would have.” He cleaned it up, painted it with a faux wood finish, “put art on it, and then rode it.” The board got attention. Soon Hipolito was painting boards for other surfers, and next thing he knew, he had a 15-board show in downtown Wilmington. Surfboards eventually led to instruments.Serendipity also played a role early on. After graduating from Seton Hall with degrees in business and design, Hipolito worked as an on-air graphics designer at MTV Networks in New York. He saw murals being painted and thought, “I want that. So, I started being an artist.” In 1994, he founded The Art Company, Inc., which he still runs, to create custom art. At about the same time, Hipolito moved South. Stints in Atlanta (“meh”) and Charleston (“liked but didn’t love”) failed to win him over, so a friend suggested he check out the Raleigh-Durham area. His introduction to the Triangle was a walk down Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Everything clicked. “I loved it. Lots to do, pretty people, everyone’s friendly, good cost of living. All the basics. I thought, give it a year.”Hipolito decided on Raleigh, setting up in a warehouse on Yonkers Road where, surrounded by purveyors of lumber, lighting, and plumbing, he figured he could draw on the area’s innate grit and build-it vibe to turn the place into a SoHo artist’s loft. “Nope,” he says. “Completely didn’t work.” But a mural he painted there caught the eye of a couple shopping for tile and led to his first real job in Raleigh: a mural in their Italian restaurant, Casalinga Ristorante, at the time a popular spot on Capital Boulevard. The mural job snowballed into a collaboration to revamp the entire restaurant, and ultimately paved the way for fruitful connections with area builders.That ability to spark connection is another of Hipolito’s talents. Quick to smile, quick to make friends, quick to say yes, he’s not a “mull it over” kind of guy. That translates to an aptitude for “connecting the dots,” as he puts it, with the dots being people, ideas, and projects.From the start, both his clients and his art have been diverse. Early mixed-media commissions came from the Carolina Hurricanes and Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, and his paintings have appeared in TV series like Dawson’s Creek and Sex and the City. His art reflects influences as diverse as Roy Lichtenstein’s blending of text and image and the classical forms of Michelangelo. His work is also as likely to be on the ceiling or floor as it is to adorn a wall.So it was only natural that Hipolito – and his art – would go off-road.Things That Go When he first started painting surfboards, “I had no idea how to price them,” Hipolito says. For lack of a better plan, he created a silent auction with bid sheets at his first show. It created buzz from the start – it didn’t hurt that there were film crews in town – and prices shot up. The boards sold out the first night. “I thought, ‘I need to stick to this!’ It was killer.”Surfboards led to skateboards, and then came the leap to guitars. That’s no surprise to anyone who knows Hipolito, an avid music fan. Guitars are “an intimate canvas,” he says. “You can focus.” He paints them on commission and in live settings, including at the Bonnaroo music festival and at Raleigh nonprofit Band Together’s annual Main Event.The 2010 Band Together show, with headliner Michael Franti, made for an especially serendipitous connection. “I’m painting live while Franti does his thing,” he says, “and after the show Franti tells me that he loves it. Then he says, ‘Got a minute?’” Franti showed Hipolito his favorite acoustic guitar and asked him to paint it, but there was a catch: It was the only acoustic Franti had with him on tour, and he needed it in Asheville, ready to play, less than 48 hours later. “If you can do it,” said Franti, “take it.”“I went back to my house and got to work that night.” says Hipolito. Several hours later, his girlfriend drove Hipolito – borderline delirious from lack of sleep and a head full of lacquer fumes – to Asheville. He delivered it to a delighted Franti, and more projects came his way, all via word of mouth, including two guitars for members of Journey and an electric bass for the bassist of the rock band Umphrey’s McGee. “I have huge gratitude,” says Hipolito. “I get to see someone amazing playing my guitar on stage. And when those artists say good things about my art? It’s the ultimate gratification.”That appreciation for the talents of other artists – “the makers,” he says – fostered his collaboration with guitar maker Lichty, and with East Coast Surfing Hall of Famer and renowned surfboard shaper Will Allison, who approaches boards as functional sculpture. Their 2011 Birds of a Feather show, featuring Hipolito’s art on Lichty’s instruments and Allison’s surfboards, was held at Deluxe in Wilmington. It brought together everything Hipolito loves.“Those guys are masters,” says Hipolito. “There was a symbiosis, as well as a generational thing – these three compatible arts coming together.”For his part, Lichty met Hipolito when his client Mike Gossin of the band Gloriana commissioned a Lichty guitar, and wanted Hipolito’s art on it. Lichty wasn’t sure that was such a good idea. “The top of a guitar is the main tone producing part of it,” he explains, “so any art has to be absolutely thin, with no depth. Put too much paint on there, it’ll mess up the sound.”But he was willing to try. After Lichty built Gossin’s instrument, Hipolito came to his Tryon workshop to paint it. “He got there about 7 p.m.,” Lichty says. “I eventually went to bed, and when I got up at seven or eight the next morning, he was just finishing up,” recalls Lichty. “Then he heads back to Raleigh. He’s got some energy.” The two later met in Wilmington to deliver the instrument to Gossin, who loved how it looked and how it sounded. Says Lichty, “The consensus was, this was such a cool thing. Let’s do a project together.” The result includes the ukelele he now admires on his dining room wall.How he does itHipolito works in all mediums, but acrylics are his favorite. “You can do anything with them. They dry fast; they’re compatible with any surface.” And they take well to being sealed, which is especially important for art that has a job to do. Surfboards need resin; guitars need lacquer. “I’ve seen oils dissolve under a clear coat,” he says. “Not cool.”Because much of his art is made in public or commercial spaces, he doesn’t get many stretches of alone time with room for his thoughts to wander. So the solo all-nighter has become his favorite time to paint and create. “I’ll start something at maybe 11 or 12, and stay with it till 4 or 5,” he says. “Then sleep! And then head out for on-site stuff.”He works in his studio and at his home, both in Five Points, and also in a space above Wine On Main in Clayton, which he co-owns with Temple Phipps. He likes that the wine shop has become a meeting house of sorts for diverse groups in the community, and he has immersed himself in the city, chairing veterans’ memorial and public sculpture trail projects there. “Clayton. I love it. That main street is Glenwood South twenty years ago,” he says. “Just you watch!”Over on present-day Glenwood South, Hipolito’s newest work is at Devolve, a motorcycle and outdoor lifestyle shop. His surfboards are for sale, his murals are on the walls, and his passions are represented: art, travel, and bikes. Hipolito got his first motorcycle as a kid. He and his father chanced upon a bike in a random shop, and decided it was meant to be. “It fit in the trunk,” he says with a grin. “I can still see it. A Suzuki JR50.”If there’s a downside to living in-the-moment as emphatically as Hipolito does, it’s that there aren’t as many chances as he’d like to savor the moments as they come. There’s too much he wants to do.The top of that list: work with the band Widespread Panic. And, he adds, “I’d kind of like to do a hotel. Something in downtown Raleigh. A cool hotel.” Unlike Hipolito, a hotel just might hold still.
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
by Mimi Montgomeryillustrations by Addie McElweeIn the interest of journalistic transparency, I’ll start this article off with a disclaimer: My knowledge of the flora and fauna that populate our local environment is slim. It can be narrowed down to a few identifiers – grass, leaves, a few varieties of common trees, and the occasional pine cone. It’s not enough to say I don’t have a green thumb. I am more akin to a creature without any sort of digital appendages at all, perhaps a sea cucumber, or a snail. I once bought a succulent, forgot where I put it, then found it three months later on the back of a shelf gasping in a pool of dehydrated, hungover misery like a college kid back from Cancun. If the horticultural world had a form of child protective services, it would have been sent knocking on my front door. So when I went to Raleigh City Farm to take a “foraging tour” with the Piedmont Picnic Project in March, I was, needless to say, completely out of my element. Headed by co-founders Elizabeth Weichel and Amanda Matson, the Project focuses on urban sustainability and increasing awareness about food history, teaching practices like gardening, foraging, preserving, and fermenting. Its aim is to provide Raleighites with simple ways to eat locally and sustainably. Raleigh City Farm, which also aims to increase accessibility and local awareness, was a fitting spot to embark on our trek. You don’t have to live on a rural farm to know where your food comes from, both groups point out, or to learn the history behind it. They believe anybody can and should be an active participant in finding and growing local, healthy foods. Clearly, I was a prime candidate for this “anybody” demographic. Other than the time I ate all the leaves off one of my mother’s house plants (at the tender age of six), my foraging experience has been contained to the produce aisle of Trader Joe’s. I’m definitely more of a Lucille Ball than a Bear Grylls, but I laced up my walking shoes, packed my pockets with enough nasal spray for an antihistamine overdose, and was ready to go. I was joined on the trek by Adrian Fisher, an urban agriculturist from Raleigh’s sister city of Hull, UK and hosted by the Raleigh Sister Cities group; Douglas Johnston, a Sister Cities representative; a crew of Meredith College Kenyan exchange students; Rebekah Beck, general manager of Raleigh City Farm; and a sprinkling of other intrepid foragers. We stood around until someone called out, “Let’s go Cro-Magnon!,” and off we went, heeding the bugle cry into the downtown wilds. Our merry gang of hunter-gatherers first stopped at a patch of grass between the curb and sidewalk outside the parking lot of Yellow Dog Bread Co. and Edge of Urge. What to me looked like a furry patch of weeds under a power line was in fact a gathering of henbit, Matson told us. A member of the mint family, henbit has a square stem with an almost-Elizabethan collar of purple flowers. It’s a common snack for chickens, hence the name. You’ve probably seen smatterings of these across your front yard, but I bet you don’t consume them raw, cooked, or boiled into a tea. Who knew an unassuming patch of sidewalk weeds could yield something with such potential? Clearly, those outside our tribe had no idea, either: Drivers beeped their horns at us as if we had the phrase “Honk if you love foraging!” taped to our backs, although they were probably just baffled to see us congregated animatedly around the base of an electrical pole like wild boars in hiking clothes snuffling for truffles. We plucked some of these newly discovered greens and continued on our way. Our next stop was the front yard of a beautiful historic home on Mordecai Street. Those were no measly weeds in the front yard, we quickly learned, but actually clumps of chickweed. It’s good to sauté or toss raw in salads, and it gets its name because – you guessed it – chickens like it, too. Naturally, we grabbed a few handfuls. Now you’re probably wondering if this was all on the up-and-up. Matson was quick to let us know that it’s always wise to ask before foraging a plant from someone’s private property. Apparently, foraging without permission can be considered theft, and some public spaces won’t even allow it. I could only imagine the conversations that would ensue if I had to tell my lawyer that I wasn’t being ticketed for speeding or an expired license this time – I was an agricultural outlaw, nabbed for smuggling leafy goods from a neighbor’s yard. Luckily for us, we managed to avoid any run-ins with the fuzz. We continued down the street to the historic Mordecai House, where we wandered through the vegetable garden in the back of the home and stopped to admire a clump of hoary bittercress growing along the picket fence. Apart from sounding like the name of a medieval disease or a potion ingredient from Harry Potter, hoary bittercress is a member of the mustard family and can be consumed cooked or raw for an added peppery taste to dishes. Its tiny white flowers are edible, as well. We added several handfuls to our growing cornucopia. Down the hill from the Mordecai House we mosied into Mordecai Spring Park, a grassy clearing full of foraging potential. I was beginning to look at lawns and strips of grass with a different set of eyes – as not just overgrowth idly passed-by, but as all-you-can-eat buffets in a wild-grown food court, ripe for the plucking. With our newfound perspective, the park became a veritable Whole Foods salad bar. We scooped up wild onions; chestnut pods; purple deadnettle (which can be used in salads and boiled as a tea); ground ivy (used as a spice and sometimes as a substitute for hops in breweries); and cleavers, those fuzzy leaves that stick to your clothes – and, it turns out, have seeds that can be ground into a substitute for coffee. Our baskets full of leafy plunder, we headed back to base camp at Raleigh City Farm. We’d worked up an appetite on our urban safari, and we were ready to dig in. Weichel and Matson had prepared snacks made with ingredients they’d found on their own local foraging expeditions, many of which consisted of the same types of plants we had just encountered. So we loaded our plates with a wild salad; honey wheat bread with jellies made from kudzu, muscadines, honeysuckle, and black locust; green pesto with field garlic, black walnuts, hoary bittercress, and purple deadnettle; and shortbread cookies with ground ivy. The spread was topped off with kombucha made of persimmons and rosehip, and a tea of ground ivy, henbit, dandelion flower, and wild shiso seeds. It was wildly delicious. Now that I can proudly add “foraging veteran” to the short list of accolades next to my name, I have a greater appreciation for the sustainability movement that’s happening here in Raleigh, especially in the downtown area. It truly is a simple matter of increasing awareness and knowledge about the topic – once you know what to look for and where to look for it, you find yourself seeing opportunities for fresh, local food wherever you go. Plus, if we are ever submerged into a post-apocalyptic dystopia, we foragers won’t be stuck eating canned beans and Twinkies like the rest of you. Actually, if it comes to that, you can hang with me – I know where we can find a mean patch of hoary bittercress.Piedmont Picnic Project: piedmontpicnic.comRaleigh City Farm: 800 N. Blount St.; raleighcityfarm.com
Travel Style Tryon Palace
Sam McDonald, Matt Thomas, Billy Warden, and Jeff Holshouser of The Floating Children, photo by Jonathan Drakeby Billy WardenNot even the makers of Viagra have pitched the restorative powers of their product as insistently as proponents of rock ’n’ roll.From Bruce Springsteen to Joey Ramone to Pink, billions of decibels have gone into claiming for the music the mantle of all-purpose elixir, mender of broken hearts, guardian of the faithful’s most delirious dreams.Truth? Hokum? This summer, I got my chance to find out.On the evening of April 20, while playing catch-up with another blown tax deadline, an email arrived from the organizers of the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation. Would my old band reunite for the foundation’s annual August fundraising extravaganza at the Triangle’s venerated mecca of indie rock, The Cat’s Cradle?The tax sheets melted away along with the political argument in the kitchen. The email swept me back to the riotous late-’80s heyday of The Connells, The Pressure Boys, The Veldt, Three Hits, and my baby, The Floating Children.Of course, a reunion was out of the question. Completely impractical. What with family obligations and business responsibilities. Naturally, I replied: “Oh HELLZ YES.”Now, a quick word on how ill-advised this may have looked to an outsider. The Floating Children were not a stand-and-strum band. A writer of the era described us as “the New York Dolls run amok in Pee-Wee’s playhouse.” We were an anarchic, confetti-spewing mayhem machine.So as I lay in bed that night, troubling questions commingled with chronic back pain: “How could a middle-aged reunion NOT fall flat?” “If my wife leaves me in shame, which car will she take?” And, “how to make a reunion count for something beyond nostalgia?” The answer to the last question, counterintuitively, was to up the ante, heighten the risk. The next day’s proposition to the rest of The Floating Children included the reunion performance – plus, “how about we write new songs?”New tunes would mean stretching beyond old tricks. They would require creativity and commitment. They would be a more profound test: Did we still, somewhere inside, carry that spark of inspiration?The band didn’t balk. We went to work emailing lyrics and texting demos – me, Jeff Holshouser, Jody Maxwell, James Olin Oden, Steve Eisenstadt, and Larry Burlison in the Triangle; Sam McDonald and new guy Matt Thomas in Norfolk.Craggy reserves of creativitySure, everyone had jobs and workaday duties. But everyone also had craggy reserves of creativity to uncork. Two new tunes came together fast – and with considerably more melodic hooks than 25 years ago. I couldn’t vouch for each band member’s bodily fitness, but creatively we were in fine form.Soon, the rehearsals revealed our physical and emotional conditions. Physically, the eight of us looked to be a collective 90 pounds or so overweight – not exactly Olympian, but certainly respectable by middle-aged standards.Emotionally, we were a ragged parade of humanity straight out of a Bob Seger double album. Divorce, money woes, exhaustingly complicated bachelorhood, kid concerns – they were all in the mix. But none of it slowed us down. When we played, energy and optimism gushed.We recorded the new tunes in a daylong blizzard of missed notes, surging solos, profane pep talks, and tequila shots. Then came the show. Creating new music had limbered us up. We were rock ’n’ roll acrobats again. And when our original background singer and “dance diva,” Tracey Brown, entered the dressing room, confetti bucket in hand, we were beyond inspired.Backed by an overzealous fog machine operated by my first-pumping teenage son, The Floating Children ’16 put on what some longtime fans called our best show – period. And, by the grace of the rock gods, we picked up new fans. They included 17-year-old guest saxophone player Lee Sullivan, who noted approvingly, “Putting on weird clothes and playing freaky music. The Floating Children go hard.”Indeed, we did – and not just musically. There were ridiculous twirls and foolish shimmies and other moves that away from the adrenaline rush of the stage would land me in intensive care.I hugged each Floating Child at least 120 times that night. While every embrace was an expression of genuine affection, maybe I was also trying to get a firm hold of something more ethereal. The magic that generations of stars and nobodies had promised was real. I wasn’t 22 again; but nor was I the same harried businessman/dad I had been on the night the reunion offer arrived.As The Floating Children prepare to share those new tunes with the world via technologies that we couldn’t imagine a quarter century ago, I am – we are – back to square one. Hoping that a few folks out there get it and groove along. The gamble is electrifying. The secret, then, of rock ’n’ roll’s restorative power is simply, beautifully this: The risk is the reward. Billy Warden is the co-founder of the marketing agency, GBW Strategies, and an incorrigible song-and-dance man. The Floating Children’s new songs are available on Facebook, SoundCloud, and YouTube.
Paris Alexander, Second Sight; courtesy Raleigh Fine Arts Societyby Jesma ReynoldsNumbers and art may make an unlikely pairing. But in this case, the numbers bear repeating. Beginning March 12, the largest juried art exhibition in the state featuring 72 pieces from 61 North Carolina artists will be exhibited at the Duke Center for Performing Arts.Sponsored by the Raleigh Fine Arts Society, the show is in its 38th consecutive year. It’s part of the nonprofit group’s effort to promote the visual, literary, and performing arts, as it has for the past 51 years. This year’s juror, Michael Rooks, the Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the High Museum in Atlanta, reviewed 607 pieces by 353 artists from 105 cities and towns across the state before making his final selections.The large number of submissions reinforces the depth of talent in the region, says Rooks, who also also says that skill is the common denominator in the works. Rooks writes in the accompanying exhibition catalog, “being highly skilled is an essential artistic attribute and is critically important in facilitating an exchange with audience.”Following a lecture at 4 p.m. on March 12, Rooks will present five awards: a grand prize, three juror’s choice awards, and a student artist award. A reception will follow in the center’s Betty Ray McCain Gallery. The exhibition runs until April 27.raleighfinearts.org/NC-Artists-Exhibition
Exploris student Warren Gray delivers fresh kale to Ni Ni Myint, whose lack of access to healthy food inspired an award-winning project. Photograph by Sonja McKayby Settle MonroeA group of students and teachers from downtown Raleigh’s The Exploris School recently set out on a simple mission – to be the change they wanted to see in the world. They kept their focus local, and worked as a team to help Burmese refugees living in Raleigh. What they didn’t know was that their work here at home would gain them recognition on a world stage. The team of 18 fourth and fifth graders were participants in a global program called Design for Change that teaches children how to impact their communities for the better. They started by researching problems plaguing their community. When they learned of a nearby neighborhood with refugees in need of fresh produce, they knew they had found their cause. Their solution was so impressive, and so simple and replicable, that it was recognized as the top Design for Change project in the nation. Last December, three of the students on the Exploris team and four of their teachers traveled to Beijing, China to represent the United States and present the project to teams from 40 countries at the worldwide Be the Change conference. “We didn’t know we would get to go to China when we started helping the refugees,” says fifth-grade student Addie Furr. “But it is really cool that it worked out like it did. The best part was seeing how children all across the world were doing small things to make a difference.” The worldwide program is structured to guide students to address problems and devise solutions through four steps. The first encourages students to empathize with people facing a problem. The second step has them imagine what the problem’s solution could be; the third is to do something about it; and the fourth is to share that solution. Amanda Northrup, a fourth-and-fifth-grade teacher, spent weeks teaching her students how to conduct interviews during the first stage so they could better understand the people at hand and problems they face.When the students interviewed Ni Ni Myint, a 30-year-old wife, mother, and Burmese refugee, they came prepared with researched background information and honed interviewing skills. “We really wanted Ni Ni’s story to drive the students’ actions,” Northrup says. “In order for that to happen, we spent a lot of time teaching the students how to ask thoughtful and informative questions. We had a panel of three students lead the interview, and the rest of the team took notes and followed up with probing questions.” Northrup’s instruction paid off. Even with the language barrier, Myint says she immediately felt comfortable sharing her struggles and needs with the group. “The team was so nice,” Myint says. With her harrowing recent experience, that was vital. “My family was forced to leave my country because it was dangerous. We were very hungry in Burma. No one could help us there.” Since arriving in the U.S. four years ago, though, Myint told the students she’d been living with chronic stomach pains and gastrointestinal problems. She’s not alone. Many refugees suffer from similar health problems when their diet changes from freshly harvested, local produce to highly processed foods in the United States. The interviews left an impact on the students. Schuyler Pettibone, now a sixth-grader, says, “I always thought the problems the refugees faced took place when they were in their home countries, or on their way to the United States. After interviewing the refugees, I learned that they also face many problems once they arrive here.” After interviewing Myint and other refugees, the students moved to the “imagine” stage of the process by brainstorming creative ways to provide fresh food for Myint and other refugees. No idea was too crazy or too small. Northrup led the students through a winnowing phase to determine feasibility. Eventually, they settled on their project. They would gather fresh produce from local farms and deliver the produce to Myint and her neighbors, also refugees. After connecting with local farmers, the team spent an afternoon harvesting and bagging fresh kale. Fifth-grader Addie Furr says the experience was “awesome!” But actually delivering the fresh kale to Myint was her favorite part. “I will never forget the look on Ni Ni’s face when she opened the door and we were all there with fresh produce to help her feel better. That was just so cool.” The students presented their project at the 2016 Scaling STEM conference in Raleigh as part of the program’s final stage, in which they share the results of their work. It was here that Design for Change USA director Sanjli Gidwaney heard their presentation. “Sanjli especially appreciated that the team listened carefully to the needs of the community and developed a targeted plan to meet that need,” says Exploris teacher and Design for Change leader Sonja McKay. “It is a simple project that anyone can replicate. Any volunteer can do this in an afternoon or a day.” The global Design for Change leaders agreed with Gidwaney, naming Exploris’s work as the top project in the United States. Along with the award came the opportunity to attend the conference in Beijing. “It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says McKay. “The children were able to see how others across the world are taking simple steps to do good.” Clockwise from left: Leah Ruto, Sonja McKay, Schuyler Pettibone, Koren Morgan, Trevor Hatch, Annah Riedel, and Addie Furr in Beijing, China. Photograph by Sonja McKay.
Sarah YarboroughCo-founder and CEO, Raleigh DenimSarah Yarborough is the co-founder and CEO of Raleigh Denim. She and her husband, Victor Lytvinenko, started making jeans together when she was an undergraduate in 2007, working on her collection for N.C. State College of Design’s Art2Wear show. Today, Raleigh Denim sells jeans and other designs at prestigious stores like Barneys New York in 14 states; and Sarah and Victor are members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.“Some of the winningest ideas come from not winning,” Yarborough said recently, when asked to reflect on her company’s success. “The struggle or challenge behind the curtain – that is so very different,” she says, from the public’s perception of of what success looks like. It’s in those hidden struggles that breakthroughs emerge.Yarborough grew up in Raleigh and attended Saint Mary’s School before heading to New York City and NYU, where she studied art, English, and philosophy. She returned to Raleigh to continue her studies at N.C. State, where her love of design blossomed.Yarborough remembers well the moment when Barneys New York called to order the jeans she and Lytvinenko had been tinkering with. “I’d been making jeans for Victor to wear around, and for some friends,” she recalls, “and the morning news got wind of it. They did a 60-second segment at 6 a.m.” A Durham shoemaker saw the piece, told a buyer for Barneys about the couple and their work, and the phone rang. The New York store ordered 114 pairs of their jeans, and Raleigh Denim was launched.These days, demand regularly outstrips supply. “We’re beyond capacity,” Yarborough says. “We are about to turn away business. And we’re also looking at supplemental production.”About a year ago, the company’s growth had the couple reconsidering its organization and their individual roles. Now, Yarborough serves officially as CEO, while Lytvinenko focuses more on sales, growth, and brand ambassadorship. “That’s been really wonderful,” Yarborough says. “It makes me feel more invested and really proud of the company that we’re building.”
Irregardless …it’s Thanksgivingby Liza Robertsphotographs by Madeline GrayOn Thanksgiving Day, Arthur and Anya Gordon will be thankful for many things: For the biggest day of the year at their restaurant, Irregardless Café & Catering; for the longevity of their business, now celebrating its 42nd year; for the love of one another; and for their enduring faith.“Thanksgiving is a peak experience for our restaurant,” Arthur Gordon says. On Nov. 23, he will serve an extraordinary 1,400 meals – 700 seated and 700 carryout – to a growing stable of regulars who have come to rely on this Raleigh institution for their annual, quintessential American feast.One regular is well-known Raleigh artist Kyle Highsmith, whose devotion to Irregardless inspired a deal, proposed by Gordon: Highsmith and his wife eat for free at Irregardless once a week; once a year, Highsmith gives the Gordons a sizable, colorful landscape.“It’s turned into a wonderful friendship,” says Highsmith, who dines with his wife at Irregardless most Wednesdays and regularly celebrates birthdays and holidays with the Gordons. The restaurant “is just a very unique place to eat, for the food, for the atmosphere, and for a very special kind of charm.” Some of that charm comes from Highsmith’s art, which is as much a part of the Irregardless experience as the live music that plays there nightly.All of it – plus a menu steeped in a vegetarian tradition with allowances for the rest of us – has turned the 120-seat Irregardless dining room into a second home for many. Arthur Gordon rebuilt it in 1994 after it was gutted by fire, staunchly committed to the spot where he started in 1974. Still, he insists: “You can’t stand in one spot for 42 years.” He means it metaphorically. Change, he says, is the secret to his success.Originally a strict vegetarian restaurant, Irregardless has expanded its menu over the years to include fish, then poultry, then red meat; Gordon says 40 years ago he became the first restaurant in Raleigh to serve Sunday brunch; decades later, the devout Jew says his was one of the first local restaurants to stay open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Gordon has also doubled down on his once-unlikely location across the street from Central Prison, buying his building and a parking lot across the street outright. Like many of his gambles, his real estate investments have more than paid off as the city has grown and prospered around him.Likewise, Gordon’s Thanksgving menu – featuring new recipes every year – is a reliable but ever-changing standby, justifiably described as a Raleigh tradition.Walter sat down with the Gordons one recent afternoon to hear more about Thanksgiving at Irregardless: how it evolved; what it means; what it entails; and how to make it at home.Arthur and Anya Gordon: On ThanksgivingArthur: “You can’t come up with a formula and say this is it, this is what we’re going to do, and no questions asked … It always has to be open to interpretation. That willingness to change is what led to Thanksgiving … It used to be that Thanksgiving was a really slow week for the restaurant, because everyone was having Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, so we would close on Thursday, and then the day after Thanksgiving was slow, because everyone was having leftovers.“…The first time we were asked to do Thanksgiving was by the Triangle Vegetarian Society. They asked if we would be willing to do Thanksgiving for 200 vegetarians.”Anya (who married Arthur in 1998 and began working at the restaurant that year): “This was probably around 2000, 2001.”Arthur: “And you know, while they were here, the phone was ringing off the hook, so the next year, when they didn’t bring in 200 people…”Anya: “You’re telling an awfully (businesslike) side of the story! You want to tell how much we want to feed people!” They both laugh.Arthur: “But it always needs to have a bottom-line orientation.”Anya, smiling: “That’s why Arthur’s still in business.”Arthur: “That’s that desire to change … But the first few years (of serving Thanksgiving) were a little brutal, to say it mildly…”Anya: “It’s a learning curve.”Arthur: “That’s how you learn. By making your mistakes. And then fast-forward to now, we’re doing 700 people in the dining room, and then 700 people in takeaways, and we combine that with every meal we serve, we donate a dollar to Rise Against Hunger. It’s a win-win situation.”Faith as a guideArthur, who paid his employees their regular wages to volunteer at nonprofits including the InterFaith Food Shuttle for the 11 months it took to rebuild his restaurant after a devastating fire: “My heart’s delight is to walk the path of humility, to appreciate all of the blessings I have received, and to make the world a better place. To treat people the way you want to be treated. To be generous, to be abundant. Logic says to you: If I give it away, I’ll have less. But your heart tells you: If you give it away in the right way, the abundance of the blessing will come back to you tenfold. And you won’t be able to count the blessings that you receive. So that’s been the strategy of the restaurant.“… I can’t prove to you that God exists. I can’t prove it to anybody. But if the actions that I take are based on the idea that God exists, then I have to do what I think God would want me to do … Running a restaurant is nothing but hospitality.”Preparing the feastArthur: “To serve 1,400 Thanksgiving dinners, we roast 30 35-pound turkeys, and another 40 or 50 10-to-12-pound turkeys for takeout … in the restaurant, we take around 16 people every 15 minutes. It’s no surprise what people are going to order. Out of the 700 people, 400 are going to order turkey dinners. But we have everything else, we’ll have prime rib, we’ll have lobster manicotti, we’ll have fresh fish, we’ll have three or four vegetarian options, but for the most part, everyone wants turkey.”Anya: “You want to tell the story of how you make the turkey and how you keep it so moist and luscious?”Arthur: “You don’t cut it when it’s hot, and the other secret is you should brine the turkey … And a lot of people put it in a 300, 400 degree oven, which causes the outside of the turkey to dry out, waiting for the internal temperature to get up to 140 degrees. So you end up with dry white meat waiting for the dark meat to get there.“… I would highly suggest that the average person should really go out for Thanksgiving. It’s a really hard meal to cook, and there’s 100 ingredients in it, and you’re out of nutmeg. And you go to the grocery store, and it’s a 30-minute line to get nutmeg, which you don’t really need, but the recipe called for it.”Anya: “We have some of our regulars come, and some do the takeout, but we also get a whole new crowd in on Thanksgiving. It appeals to a different part of the community, to go out for Thanksgiving. It’s a very joyous event.”Arthur: “It feels like a big family. You’re just a member of a big family.”Thanksgiving dinner at Irregardless Café & Catering:Roast turkeySage stuffingGreen beansGravyRollsSweet and buttermilk mashed potatoesCranberry orange relishApple or pumpkin pieCaramel pumpkin pecan pieby Irregardless pastry chef Rondi GoodmanFilling:2 eggs1 15-ounce can pumpkin½ cup cream¾ cup brown sugar1 tablespoon flour½ teaspoon vanilla¼ teaspoon salt¼ teaspoon cinnamon¼ teaspoon nutmeg⅛ teaspoon clovesTopping:1 1/4 cup pecans½ cup brown sugar3 tablespoons melted butter¼ teaspoon saltPie Crust: Goodman prepares her own pie dough, but recommends that home cooks unfamiliar with pastry dough purchase a high-quality prepared pie crust from Fresh Market or Whole Foods, and bake it for 15 minutes.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Mix eggs, pumpkin, and cream in a mixer until combined.Add brown sugar, flour, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves into pumkin-egg-cream mixture; continue mixing until combined.Pour into prebaked pie shell. Bake 45 minutes. Meanwhile, combine topping ingredients in a bowl.After pie has baked 45 minutes, gently place topping mixture on top of pie; bake another 15 minutes.CranberryOrange Relish2 10-ounce cans whole cranberries4 peeled, de-seeded, diced naval oranges3 tablespoons grated gingerIn a saucepan, lightly saute grated ginger over medium heat. Add cranberries and diced oranges to pan and cook 15-20 minutes. Let cool, then puree cranberry mixture in a blender. Serve as a topping for stuffed acorn squash, roasted turkey, or any other dish you’d like. Stuffed Acorn Squash Squash:2 acorn squashes, cut in half, seeds removed4 teaspoons molasses½ cup cooked black beans1 cup uncooked quinoa; 1½ cup lightly salted water, boiled1 large sweet potato, roasted and diced1 avocado, slicedDressing: ½ cup fresh lemon juice1¼ cup olive oil2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon sugar2 cloves garlic minced (optional)Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Take de-seeded acorn squash halves, place on a pan, and put a teaspoon of molasses in the bottom of the squash cavity. Bake for 30 minutes, then take out of oven and allow to cool.Stir quinoa into the lightly salted boiling water. Bring water back to a boil, then cover pot and turn down heat to a low simmer for 10 minutes. Afterward, turn cooked quinoa out onto a pan to allow to cool and dry.Prepare dressing for quinoa filling: Blend all ingredients except olive oil. Slowly pour oil into the blended dressing ingredientsMix cooked quinoa, diced sweet potatoes, and black beans together. Pour dressing over mixture and toss. Fill acorn squash halves with tossed quinoa mixture. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees, and bake stuffed squashes for 30 minutes. Serve topped with avocado slices and optionalcranberry-orange relish. Serves 4
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
Dwane PowellPeter HoffmanZang ToiJillian ClarkWonder WomenRaleigh’s own buzzworthy wonder woman, and style inspired by the filmAlice Hinman’s bee city Peter HoffmanWonderful WomanTim LytvinenkoIn the fieldThis scenic fox hunt is an annual traditionGeoff Wood A close-up of the Sir Walter Raleigh upcycled mosaic by Denise Hughes featured on the May 2017 cover. Photograph by Christer Berg Saint Augustine’s UniversityChristopher T. Martin At home Two Stories of a House shattered our social media records for most-liked postsKelly ShatatCatherine NguyenCharlotte Smith Catherine Nguyen A tip of the hat to 10 standout stories from 2017 … Local milestonesA Raleigh university at 150, and opening the doors of the state’s largest cathedral Holy Name of Jesus Cathedralrenderings by O’Brien & Keane Architecture At the tableMeet the folks behind now-world-renowned Brewery BhavanaKeith IsaacsAt the studioRaleigh’s hometown cartooning hero, and a visit from a celebrated fashion designer
‘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.