TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say DONE DEAL: Peterborough sign Brighton defender Ben Whiteby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePeterborough United have signed defenders Ben White and Daniel Lafferty on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion and Sheffield United respectively.Both players have joined the League One side until the end of the campaign.White, 21, spent last term on loan with Newport County and has featured for the Seagulls’ Under-21 side in 2018-19.Seagulls boss Chris Hughton said, “This move is one which allows Ben to play regular first-team football at a good level for his development. At this stage of his career it’s important that he continues to gain as much match experience as possible.“He’s someone who we’ve had around the first-team squad for the first half of the campaign, but with competition for places increased with the return of Dan Burn from Wigan, this gives him the chance to go out and play regular football at a level higher than he experienced last season.”
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
OTTAWA — Premier Doug Ford says mainstream journalists have become irrelevant because social media allows him to speak directly to Ontarians.The Ontario premier told a conference of conservative thinkers, strategists and politicians Saturday that journalists are “losing the battle” to inform people about the news.Speaking at the annual Manning Networking Conference, Ford accused journalists of being “far-left” and intent on distorting the messages of politicians.“I get along with them one-on-one, I really do,” Ford told the crowd.“I like them but it’s like the cheese slipped off the cracker with these guys and they just went far-left.”Ford said the spin put on political messages by mainstream media no longer matters.“But guess what? Now there’s social media so we’re circumventing the media through our social media.”During last year’s provincial election, he recounted how he “drove the media crazy” by going directly to voters through social media tools like Facebook and Youtube and Twitter.He boasted that his campaign website “Ford Nation Live” got 18 million hits — purportedly more than all the mainstream television news networks combined. And as premier, he said they’re continuing that approach through the Ontario News Now website.“They want to take what you said and clip and chop and twist it around but we went direct to the people. And they know they’re losing the battle,” Ford said.Attacking the media is a favourite ploy of U.S. President Donald Trump, but Ford insisted he’s no Trump.“People always say, ‘Oh, you’re like Trump.’ No, I’m Doug Ford. I’m not Donald Trump.”Still, Ford praised Trump’s policies, particularly slashing the corporate tax rate and reducing regulatory red tape that he said has spurred economic growth.“Down in the U.S., it’s absolutely booming and, just my opinion, when the U.S. is booming, Canada is booming,” he said.“You couldn’t ask for a better neighbour anywhere in the world than the United States of America.”Ford also reiterated his vow to fight tooth and nail against the federal Liberal government’s plan to impose a carbon tax in Ontario, starting next month. Ontario is one of four provinces that has refused to meet the federal threshold for putting a price on carbon so the federal government is imposing its own tax, the revenue from which is to be rebated directly back to residents in those provinces.Ontario, along with Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick, are fighting the tax in court.“The carbon tax is a tax with the word carbon in front of it and it does absolutely nothing for the environment, nothing at all,” Ford said, arguing that Ontario is being penalized even though it is “leading the country” in reducing carbon emissions.“Everything you do is going to cost more,” he predicted.Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
by Todd Cohenphotograph by Nick PironioWhen Daniel Wagner was 14, two teenage girls from his neighborhood in Port Huron, Mich., were killed in a car crash. The tragedy, and the lessons he learned from it, have shaped his life for more than four decades.About 20 miles from their destination, the girl behind the wheel “dropped a right front tire off the pavement, jerked the car back on the road, overcorrected, and got T-boned by a semi,” he says. “Both girls were killed instantly. I remember going to the funeral home for the visitation. Both caskets were closed because they couldn’t repair those girls, and there was just a picture of each of them on top of the caskets.”After the accident, Wagner’s father took him for a ride, “literally driving his car off the road and showing me how to bring it back on properly so that I never experienced something like that crash,” he says.Wagner estimates he has driven more than 1 million miles over the past 40 years and says he has “never put a dent or scratch on a single vehicle.” But he believes most people don’t know how to drive, and he is trying to do something about it.In 2010, Wagner founded Teen Driving Solutions School, a nonprofit that puts teens and their parents through a two-day course at the Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va., near Danville, north of Durham. Wagner, who is its president, has invested $150,000 of his own money in the school, which has trained more than 200 teens from the Carolinas and Virginia. Only one of them has been in an accident since taking the course.“You can drive if you understand your vehicle and its capabilities and limitations, and you’re focused on your driving and your own limitations,” says Wagner, a Willow Spring resident and Michigan native who will be 57 this month. “We want to forever remove driving as the No. 1 cause of death for teens,” Wagner says. “They’ve been set up to fail, and they’re continually failing. I want these kids to have the ability to come home alive.What’s wrong with the way teens learn to drive?Driver education does not teach them how to drive. It teaches them how to pass the license exam. It’s the parents’ responsibility to actually teach them how to drive, and most parents don’t know how to drive themselves. And we have these graduated driver licenses, which have kicked the can down the road. While these graduated licenses have reduced fatalities for 16- and 17-year-olds, statistics show that fatalities for 18- to 24-year-olds are on the rise. They’re disconnected from the vehicle they’re driving. Our entire driving philosophy in this country is that experience is the key to safe driving.Why did you start Teen Driving Solutions School?A few years ago, several nephews and nieces started to drive. Within just a few months of their having driver licenses, every one of those kids was involved in a crash.What did you do?I started researching. I found they’re not being taught anything compared to what I was taught. I started to write a book about how to drive, and about how today’s youth are set up to fail when it comes to driving.What is the best way to drive?There are two primary things that make a safe driver. One is the use of sound judgment for making good decisions. The second thing is understanding the vehicle you’re driving. You have a 3,500-pound machine that is subject to the laws of physics.How does your school teach driving?The school literally puts these two concepts together – mental skills with vehicle control skills – in pretty much real-world scenarios. Parents and kids are required to take the course together, and we put them in the cars at different times and in classes at different times. In the classroom, parents are learning communication skills – how to be more of a coach than a parent when they’re in the right-hand seat. On the track, parents are learning three things – how to correct the bad habits they’ve developed over the last 20 or 30 years; learning how to lead by example; and learning exactly what we’re teaching their child and why we teach it that way.How bad is the problem of teenage drivers?Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and cause more than 400,000 injuries to teens a year. In Wake County, from 2008 to 2011, we lost 35 teenagers.What mistakes do parents typically make in turning over the car keys to their teens?Probably the biggest one is they don’t set the rules, the guidelines, for these kids – where you can go, who can go with you, when are you to be home. The second biggest mistake is they’re allowing teens to drive when they’re not fully qualified for that responsibility. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm about five years ago did a survey on parents’ involvement with teen drivers. What they found was that parents who are fully and actively engaged in their teens’ driving ended up with teenagers who were 50 percent less likely to be in any type of crash, 50 percent less likely to drive without a seatbelt, and 71 percent less likely to drink and drive. Those to me are phenomenal statistics. They basically cut the risk in half just by being an involved parent.What are some common driving mistakes that lead to teen crashes?The biggest one is distractions that lead them to drive off the road. Looking at a cellphone, not paying attention. Texting is a huge problem. You’ve taken your mind off your driving, and you’ve taken your eyes off your driving. Those are two critical errors.When they drive off the road, they panic and try to jerk the car back on. That’s one of the leading causes of fatal crashes. They don’t understand how this car is going to react. By panicking and bringing the car back on too quickly, they lose control, and then they overcorrect, which turns the car the other way.Where were you educated?I never went to college. I’m a self-taught, self-trained mechanic. I attended trade school during high school. Then I opened up a repair shop in a Shell gas station. I did that about two years. My actual career, which started in 1980, is selling upholstery fabrics to the bus industry. I work for a textile mill, Holdsworth Fabrics, in Mirfield, England. My territory is the eastern half of North America – Mexico, the United States and Canada.You work full-time for your business and for the driving school?It takes up most of my waking hours. I’m also interim president for Calvin’s Paws, a cat rescue charity in Raleigh.What kind of car do you drive? Cadillac CTSV. It’s a four-door sports car. 556 horsepower. Stick. I prefer stick. It’s more fun to drive. You have to pay more attention to what you’re doing because you’re in charge of the gear changes. It keeps you more engaged in your driving. I wish everyone would drive a stick.What do you do for fun?Driving on track. I’m an instructor for high-performance driving events. Clubs where members can go out on the racetrack. You learn how to drive performance cars, street cars like mine.What are you reading?I spend hours a week researching driving issues on the web.What is your favorite driving movie?Gone in 60 Seconds.What inspires you?Seeing people achieve what they’re capable of achieving in life.What is your philosophy of life?Do your best at everything you do.
by Kaitlyn Goalenphotographs by Nick PironioFor most Southern cooks, field peas are as familiar and enduring a staple as their summertime harvest-mates, tomatoes. This year, however, an heirloom varietal of pea, thought to have vanished, will be grown within Raleigh city limits. And it all started with a dead woman’s fridge.Two years ago, Raleigh-based farmer Sean Barker traveled back to his native town in Mississippi to visit family. Amid catch-ups with relatives and reminiscing about old friends, Barker and his uncle struck up a conversation about Mama Hill, Barker’s grandmother who had passed away in 1999.Mama Hill had been an A-class gardener and a Southern cook of the highest order. In fact, Barker credits her for giving him the “agricultural bug” that grew into his profession. As he and his uncle sat on the porch, Barker recalled some of the crops he ate from Mama Hill’s garden as a child: okra, oversize summer squash, and a particularly delicious calico field pea unlike any he’d had before or since.Barker’s uncle paused. “You know,” he said, “when we were cleaning out the house after Mama Hill died, I moved her refrigerator to my house but never really went through it; I just plugged it into the wall in my garage and sort of forgot about it.”It prompted an immediate visit to the matriarch’s fridge, and an amazing discovery inside: Sitting on a shelf was a grocery bag full of seeds Mama Hill had saved. There were rice peas and lady peas, and a third bag of peas with a scrap of paper tucked into it: In Mama Hill’s script it read: “polecat pea, 1984.”To a farmer, this was the equivalent of winning the lottery. Here were the calico peas of Barker’s youth, forgotten until now. After his mother successfully grew a test crop last season, Barker decided to plant a plot of the heirloom at Raleigh City Farm, where he and his business partner, Corbett Marshall, grow produce under the name Kailyard Farm.If all goes according to plan, Mama Hill’s polecat peas will likely be harvested this month, along with about 20 other varietals Barker planted this season. Kailyard Farm sells its produce, including field peas, at the Raleigh City Farmer’s Market (Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. at City Market).Grab some, if you can, and rekindle your romance with one of the South’s shining summer stars. Clockwise starting from the red seeds, Harico Rouge, Calico Crowder, Lady Pea, and Vietnamese Black.Field Peas with Cornbread and Tomato VinaigretteWhen I asked Barker how Mama Hill cooked her peas, he told me that she had a few tricks, including adding just a touch of sugar. In an ode to that maneuver, this recipe pairs the peas with a barely sweet tomato vinaigrette and cornbread crumbles. Like panzanella, the classic Italian tomato-and-bread salad, this dish works best with day-old cornbread.Serves 4-62 slices smoky bacon, cut into ½-inch thick pieces½ cup diced onion1 clove garlic, smashed2 cups fresh field peasKosher salt and freshly ground black pepper2 beefsteak tomatoes, cored and sliced in half1 tablespoon sherry vinegar1 teaspoon fresh minced tarragon1 teaspoon fresh minced parsley½ cup extra-virgin olive oil6 ounces chevre, crumbled4 cups cornbread, broken up into 2- to 3-inch piecesIn a saucepan over medium heat, add the bacon. Cook until it begins to brown a bit and release fat, about five minutes. Add the onion, garlic and field peas and stir to coat. Add water until the field peas are covered by an inch. Bring to a simmer and cook until the peas are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the peas, discarding the cooking liquid and the garlic clove. Transfer the peas to a bowl and season with salt to taste.Over a large bowl, use a box grater to grate the flesh of the tomatoes (discard the tomato skin). Whisk in the vinegar, tarragon and parsley. Whisk in the oil in a slow steady stream until the mixture is fully emulsified. Add the field peas, corn bread and chevre, and toss to coat. Transfer to a platter and serve.
Angela Salamancaco-owner, CentroAt home, Angela Salamanca’s eating habits are all about healthy, fresh ingredients. In warmer months, she’s a regular at the downtown farmers market, supplementing with stops at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and International Foods. Her dedication to fresh produce informs her pared-down cooking approach. “I keep things simple because my time is limited and fresh quality ingredients don’t need much to be amazing.”When she’s cooking for her two daughters, Sara and Ana, breakfast is mandatory, and ranges from a fresh fruit smoothie to hot chocolate with cheese and arepas, or Colombian corn cakes. But when Salamanca has guests over, she reverts to a favorite dish from her childhood: ajiaco. This traditional chicken-and-potato stew from Colombia is all about the garnishes; guests can doctor their bowls with sour cream, capers and aji, a cilantro-based sauce.“I consider myself a cook rather than a chef,” says Salamanca. “I was never trained in the kitchen, but my love of food and comfort led me to this career – and I’m still grateful every day to be cooking.”Angela’s Black Bean Salad1 can black beans, drained and rinsed2 cups of roasted yellow corn (or frozen corn, sautéed with 1 tablespoon coconut oil)½ avocado, diced¼ cup thinly sliced red onionOlive oilCider vinegarKosher saltFresh ground Szechuan pepperIn a large bowl, add the beans, corn, avocado and onion. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently and taste; adjust the seasoning by adding more oil, vinegar, salt or pepper as desired.Charlotte Coman and Sunny Gerhartchefs, AC RestaurantsWhen both members of the household are chefs within AshleyChristensen’s AC Restaurants empire, the propensity for delicious food – and full schedules – is high. In reality, Poole’s Diner sous chef Charlotte Coman and Joule Coffee chef Sunny Gerhart don’t do much cooking at home. “When we get off late after cooking all day, the last thing we want to do is cook more,” Coman admits. “There’s a lot of pizza delivered to our house.”The infrequency only makes the home-cooked meal more special. “We make a project out of it,” Coman says. “We’ll spend a whole day making something, often different forms of ethnic food.” These monthly cooking projects are a way to learn about cuisines that the couple is less familiar with – most recently Greek, Mexican and Thai, generally with the help of different cookbooks.On most days, the kitchen is stocked with a few limited essentials: coffee and fixings for sandwiches. “I’ve perfected the art of the late-night sandwich,” says Charlotte.Charlotte’s Mediterranean Salad4 cups cooked barley, warm2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled1 bunch (about 8) radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced1 small cucumber, thinly sliced2 tablespoons chopped dill½ red onion, diced2 tablespoons chopped mintRed wine vinaigrette made with olive oilLemon juiceSalt and freshly ground black pepper to tasteIn a large bowl, combine the barley, feta, radishes, celery, cucumber, dill, onion and mint. Dress with vinaigrette and lemon juice, a tablespoon at a time, tasting as you go to achieve desired flavor. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve alongside hummus.Coleen Speakschef and owner, Posh Nosh Catering“These days, my cooking is completely dictated by my kids,” admits Coleen Speaks, professional caterer. “It’s really a complete gamble.” While she doesn’t relish packing lunches each morning, adjusting to her children’s ever-changing palates has led to some surprising and delicious discoveries.Most recently, it’s Indian food. “Both of my kids – even the picky one – really like Indian flavors, so I’ve been doing a lot of shopping at the Patel Brothers market” in Cary. Speaks has been experimenting with classic Indian dishes, from butter chicken to green beans with coconut, to change up the home rotation. She always makes more than enough, in anticipation of unexpected guests. “I have a habit of inviting anyone I meet over for dinner; we always have drop-in guests.”If dinner is a time for experimentation, weekend breakfasts in the Speaks household hew closer to tradition. “We always start with some sort of baked thing, like muffins; while they’re baking we’ll make another dish, usually eggs of some kind.”Since she cooks at home quite frequently, Speaks keeps her refrigerator full, relying on a heavy collection of condiments. “I make a point to shop for home whenever I’m shopping for work; I try to kill two birds with one stone,” she says. Frozen chicken stock is a constant, too, and Speaks keeps homemade and store-bought versions on hand to make quick soups and stews.Coleen’s New Orleans BBQ Shrimp1 tablespoon olive oilSmall shallot, minced4 cloves garlic, minced3 – 4 bay leaves1 teaspoon cayenne (more or less to taste)A couple dashes hot sauce2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce1 medium lemon, zested, juiced, and halves flattened and julienned1 cup dry white wine5 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes2 pounds large shrimp, still in their shells (heads on is best)1 handful parsley, choppedSalt and pepper to taste1 baguette of crusty breadSaute shallot, garlic, bay leaves, and cayenne in olive oil over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add Worcestershire, hot sauce, lemon zest, juice, julienned lemon rind, and white wine. Cook until reduced by half. Reduce heat to low and stir in butter. Add shrimp and cook, stirring often, until shrimp just turn pink. Stir in parsley and adjust seasoning. Serve straight from the pan with bread to sop up the sauce. Remember to put a bowl on the table for the shrimp shells.Vansana Nolinthaowner, Bida MandaBida Manda, downtown Raleigh’s hugely popular Laotian restaurant,recently celebrated its first birthday. Co-owner Vansana Nolintha still spends most of his days within the restaurant’s walls. As a result, he only cooks at home for himself a few nights a week. But that hasn’t prevented him from creating certain ritual around his cooking routine.It starts with rice: “I’m really particular about my rice and how it’s cooked, so I always use a rice cooker. I make a big batch at once, and leave it on the ‘warm’ setting all day. There is always warm rice at my house,” he says. There’s also always garlic, ginger, Thai chiles, lots of fresh vegetables, and hot sauce that Van has his relatives ship from Laos.But Van’s favorite dish to make at home, noodle soup, requires a bit more time. On his days off, generally Sundays, Van will make a three-pound batch of rice-flour noodles from scratch. “It’s very labor intensive, so I only get to do it once a week,” he says. When going to all of that trouble, Van invites a few friends over for dinner, filling bowls high with his noodles, broth and plenty of fresh herbs from his garden.The rest of the week, he admits to indulging a late-night eating habit: “I generally don’t get home before midnight, so I eat really late, around 1 a.m. Often my meal is made up of leftovers and a glass of wine,” he says.Van’s Pork Larb1 tablespoon vegetable oil1 pound ground porkSalt¼ cup chopped garlic¼ cup chopped fresh Thai chile¼ cup chopped lemongrass stalks¼ cup kaffir lime leaf (the hourglass-shaped leaves of the kaffir lime tree are available at specialty stores like Grand Asia Market at 1253 Buck Jones Rd. in Raleigh)¼ cup chopped galangal (similar to ginger, and available at specialty stores like Grand Asia Market)1/3 cup chopped cilantro1/3 cup mint leaves1/3 cup chopped scallion, white and green parts3 to 4 tablespoons fish sauce1/3 cup fresh lime juiceLettuce leaves, for servingJasmine or sticky rice, for servingIn a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil, ground pork and a pinch of salt. Cook the pork, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon, until it is well browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the juices and transfer the pork to a medium bowl. Let cool to room temperature.When the pork has cooled, add the garlic, chile, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, galangal, cilantro, mint, scallion, fish sauce and lime juice. Toss gently, and taste for seasoning.Serve the larb inside lettuce leaves or over rice. by Kaitlyn Goalenphotographs by Geoff WoodWhen it comes to cooking, even the most passionate and enthusiastic home cooks fall victim to overcooked steaks, school lunch ennui, spilled bottles of olive oil, and an embarrassing reliance on the delivery guy.In these moments of weakness, it’s hard to imagine our favorite chefs and restaurateurs ever having to endure such cooking tedium. Rather, we picture them and their home kitchens as culinary oases, free of blunders and full of delicious dinners.Just consider the fictional paradise for a moment: a gargantuan set of perfectly polished French copper pots; a sink that has never seen a dirty dish; weekday breakfasts of eggs Benedict and afternoon snacks of mile-high soufflés. Their kids never turn up their noses at a school lunch packed with asparagus gribiche or homemade headcheese. And that distinct aroma of burnt food never dares perfume the air.Before such fantasies lead you to throw up your arms and walk away from your cooking aspirations forever, read on. Five Raleigh restaurant professionals invited us to explore their kitchens and cooking habits, and in doing so, breached the gap between their reality and our fantasy. It turns out, even the most successful cook is subject to dirty dishes, and their home cooking routines are all the better for it.Walter Royalexecutive chef, Angus BarnThe sheer volume of food prepared in the kitchen of the Angus Barn is something epic. And the man overseeing it all is Walter Royal, who has been at the helm of the restaurant’s menu for nearly two decades. After dishing up scores of steaks and sides each night, Royal still has energy to cook for himself and his 87-year-old neighbor, Harold, when he’s back at home.Post-shift, he opts for a tuna sandwich, but if he’s preparing dinner on a free night, Royal sticks to his favorite comfort food dishes, like roast chicken or a pot of grits. “I always keep eggs and bacon in my refrigerator, and grits in my pantry,” he reports. His garden supplies fresh herbs and tomatoes in the summer, and he rounds out his sundries at King’s Red & White in Durham and the State Farmers Market.One of Royal’s favorite dishes to cook at home is a classic macaroni and cheese, for which he uses a blend of cheddar and Gruyere. Royal rounds out the meal with greens from his garden.Walter’s Macaroni & CheeseSalt2 pounds elbow macaroni1 pound white sharp cheddar, shredded1 pound regular cheddar, shredded½ cup shredded Gruyere6 tablespoons unsalted butter4 tablespoons all-purpose flour2 cups heavy cream1 cup half & half1 cup milkGrated nutmeg1 teaspoon chopped garlicPinch dried basilDirections:Fill a large saucepan full of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the cheddars and Gruyere together, and reserve.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the flour and stir constantly until the mixture thickens and turns a very light brown, about four minutes. Add the heavy cream, half & half, milk and a pinch of nutmeg and keep stirring until the mixture thickens into a velvety sauce. Add ¾ of the reserved cheese, the garlic and basil, and stir until the cheese has fully melted.In a large bowl, mix the cheese sauce with the macaroni until the noodles are well coated. Transfer the mixture to a buttered ceramic baking dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the surface. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until gooey and melty.
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.
photo courtesy North Carolina State Archivesby Ernest DollarThis season, as you’re making your list and checking it twice, our area retailers would be grateful if you remember to “shop local.” That didn’t used to be a matter of choice. Local was the only option, and in Raleigh, it was often a colorful one. Ernest Dollar, director of the City of Raleigh Museum, found this fascinating photo of one of Fayetteville Street’s early sellers of wine, oysters, cigars, and groceries.Bananas and other fruits hang in the windows of Antonio Leo Dughi’s store at 235 Fayetteville Street, around 1900.Dughi stands in front of his store with his son, John (far right), and a young Dughi child. Customers and store clerks stand to the left, as does as an oyster wagon pulled by horse named Nancy. The ice cream wagon on the right was pulled by horse named John.Dughi and his wife were forerunners of the great wave of Italian immigration to the United States in the late 19th century. Dughi arrived in 1875 and eventually settled in Raleigh, where he established a store in a cramped downtown building.Dughi’s wagons helped his store become wildly popular by delivering fresh seafood, produce, ice creams, and novelty items to families across Raleigh. The Junaluska sign on top of the building refers to a wine company by that name.
After 21 years as Dean of the College of Design at N.C. State University, Marvin Malecha retires this month and will become president and chief academic officer at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego, Calif. It seemed fitting in this interview with Walter to have the design visionary sketch his responses.What do you look like?A flash of white hairAgainst a black imageDefined by the geometry of eyewearFueled by an open spirit?But what does it matter?Do you have an alter ego?Yes and no. It is a circus.FriendsMentorsRole modelsComposed into an idealized aspiration.My alter ego has wings.Which building in Raleigh do you most admire?A building is a marker of life. It is architecture by its relationship to life. The vanishing tobacco barns are genuine. The Fadum House has a simple reality. The memory of the Catalano House haunts us. Dorton Arena reminds us of our better spirit, and the Hunt Library transforms our understanding.What’s your favorite thing to eat?In my personal quiet spaceA rich Italian red – Brunello and a bold cheeseWith my joyA soft black licorice with my granddaughterSo it depends …What are you afraid of?FEARTo restrict my curiosityTo cup my wingsThe authority of those who would seize my independenceCYNICISMTo drain me of my energyDriving color from my mindWhat’s on your feet?A message, a dialogue of Van Gogh,Heidegger, and Charlie Chaplin …Cole Hahn high tops todayMephisto for comfort yesterdayAsics from my son for exerciseMy identity!What is your favorite season?The season I am alive in! I am moved by the quiet of a snowfall and the crackle of the first steps in it. Who cannot be astounded by the brilliance of the color of a youthful spring? The lustiness of summer speaks for itself. But the beautiful subtlety of fall … the mature spectrum of color … the instigation … the demand for reflection – makes it my favorite.What’s on your mind?The past near and farToday … NOW!The transition to the future.Satisfaction for what has beenImpatience to be betterPossibilitiesColor!
Nick Pironioby Fanny SlaterOnce upon a basket of cornbread, I made a decision that would forever change the course of my life. I slouched into the cozy, familiar booth at Margaux’s Restaurant and asked my family: “What about some kind of tangerine chicken?”My mom looked up from her Caesar, puzzled. It was now three days before the finale of Rachael Ray’s Great American Cookbook Competition. I was one of two remaining contestants, and we had been sent home and given one week to choose our final recipe. For some bizarre reason, I couldn’t let go of tangerine chicken. I had never even made tangerine chicken before in my life. This was clearly the moment when I began grasping for anything. Anything at all. In this case: tangerine chicken.After winning Rachael Ray’s Great American Cookbook Competition, Slater appeared on the show. Here, she is shown with Jacques Pépin and Rachael Ray. Slater’s book will be available March 1.My boyfriend Tony slid the shiny basket of still-warm cornbread under my nose. I peeled apart a crumbly, golden square and swiped it through a ramekin of whipped butter. I looked up at my dad – whose expression was solemn (unusual for someone who wears cartoon rotisserie chicken socks). “Why don’t you end where you began?” he suggested.I thought back to the first recipe I’d submitted for the competition: “The Tin Foil Surprise.” It was my spin on our family’s favorite to-go English muffin breakfast sandwich. My updated version featured creamy taleggio cheese and floral, homemade orange lavender fig jam. I stuffed the fluffy cornbread into my mouth and grinned. “If the rest of my life is riding on an English muffin,” I declared, “I think everything is going to be okay.”Many of my richest memories have taken place over a basket of Margaux’s cornbread. I grew up with a dad who prepared top-notch homemade meals on a near-nightly basis, so naturally, my family’s restaurant expectations have always been high. But it’s never been pretentious, complicated cuisine we’re after – just good food made with soul. And butter, of course.Margaux’s opened its North Raleigh doors in 1992 and instantly became our second kitchen. It was where we boogied for my sister Sarah’s post-Bat Mitzvah brunch (and for mine four years later). It was where my parents celebrated birthdays and anniversaries. It was where we even broke our cardinal ritual of a homestyle Thanksgiving to unapologetically surrender to the sinful buffet one memorable year. And it was Margaux’s where we took “Macho Man” Randy Savage to dinner. No, seriously. But that’s another story.Apple; treeIn 1975, my mom founded the nationally-acclaimed bakery business Rachel’s Brownies. In the beginning stages of her eventual business partnership with my dad, she would tenaciously re-wrap the brownies he’d dutifully tried to wrap to meet her impeccable standards. For her, each chocolate morsel was a work of art. My dad, while not a whiz-bang brownie-wrapper like my mom, was a highly-experienced marketing guru and self-taught kitchen wizard. He kept a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking on his nightstand. When I was four, he scooted a chair up to the stove and handed me a spatula. In first grade, he came into my class at Ravenscroft and taught us all how to braid and bake homemade challah. That’s pretty much all I remember from first grade. Needless to say, I grew up on good eats, and it was only a matter of time before I took the cooking into my own hands.As a Ravenscroft first-grader, Slater performs a cooking demonstration with her father.My last year at Peace College (now William Peace University), I was assigned a final writing project to fulfill my English major. Sitting in my advisor’s office, I talked in circles until I somehow convinced him to allow me to intern at my favorite Raleigh restaurant and write about it. Several weeks later, I found myself standing in that esteemed kitchen, looking out onto the dining room where I had spent many meals enjoying cornbread, peppered duck, and delicate profiteroles. In Margaux’s kitchen, I felt as though I had been granted entrance to a mystical universe where few elite members were allowed. I silently bowed my head at the crab cakes.A few years later, right around the time I turned 25 and moved to California, the restaurant movement in the Triangle began to erupt. When I came home to visit, I thought I’d be eager to dive into the trendy new hot spots. But it turned out it was familiar flavors I craved. Between my dad’s sublimely-seared scallops and Margaux’s expertly-wrapped shrimp summer rolls, I was happy. After all, I had a short window of time at home and only so many pairs of stretchy pants in my suitcase.I eventually returned to the East Coast (downtown Wilmington to be exact), where I got close enough to sample the exquisite fare of Raleigh’s most gifted chefs. This is how Ashley Christensen became my best imaginary friend. As Julie Powell, of Julie & Julia, once said, “I have this fantasy that she comes for dinner and I show her my new lemon zester. We become very close.”Slater prepares a root vegetable frittata in her Wilmington home kitchen. “I always have eggs and veggies and cheese on hand,” she says. Maybe it’s because Ashley’s food is full of imagination – but also reminds me of home – that I daydream of this citrus-inspired friendship. Because at the root of it all, I am still influenced by the flavors that have stuck with me all of this time. The anecdotes and recipes you’ll find in my cookbook,Orange, Lavender & Figs: Deliciously Different Recipes from a Passionate Eater, are modern tributes to the food moments that have shaped my life. Case in point: to honor Margaux’s succulent, butter-slathered cornbread – which has provided me with countless memories – I crafted these honey cornmeal pancakes with vanilla bean-fig butter. But first, back to the beginning… I decided to submit “The Tin Foil Surprise” as my final recipe for Rachael’s competition. I think you can guess how it all turned out. I knew that if I stayed true to myself, my love for nostalgia, and my whimsical spirit, I couldn’t lose. After all, coming from a family who relentlessly encouraged my silliness and my love of cooking, it’s no surprise I come up with eclectic, playful food. Can you blame me? Because, well, with a name like Fanny – it’s pretty hard to fit into the crowd.But I’m okay with that.
Art2Wear is the culmination of months of work. Designer Leeza Regensburger takes a walk down the runway with her models and her line, Moth.by Liza Robertsphotographs by Robert WillettWith the wave of a visionary wand one night in April, ambitious students at N.C. State’s College of Design transformed Talley Student Union into a glamorous showcase for their manifold design talent. The event, in its 15th year and known as Art2Wear, was the culmination of a year of intense work by a team of nine designers chosen by a jury. These students spent months creating, sewing, knitting, and refining capsule clothing collections that ranged from stylish contemporary eveningwear to cutting-edge sportswear and flights of creative fancy. The theme: “The virtue of obsession.” “You can feel the energy,” says designer Justin LeBlanc, the show’s faculty advisor and chief cheerleader, as he watched a dress rehearsal. “This year is probably the best I’ve seen so far.”Olivia Brown models a piece from designer Bailey Knight’s line, MycoLogic.Art2Wear faculty advisor Justin LeBlanc rallies the troops.Designer Kathleen Davis adjusts her creation on model Ryan Burt. The fashion on display was the event’s obvious highlight, but the show’s success also relied on a fleet of accomplished students who directed, produced, promoted, choreographed, photographed, fundraised, and modeled. They made films to spotlight the individual designers and to open the show. The highly produced event they created was a fitting forum for a range of fashion designs as unique as their creators. Designer Bailey Knight took her “obsession and romance for the earth and the magic it produces” and her love of Henry David Thoreau to craft an homage to mushrooms with a fanciful collection she called MycoLogic. Backstage, surrounded by friends modeling her creations, she pointed out the inspiration behind a ripply, mustard-hued coat: a Chicken of the Woods mushroom. A white cape with a blue pleated interior was an Indigo Milk.Designer Meaghan Shea takes a walk down the runway with her models and her line, Tetra, in a dress rehearsal.Model Emory Cooley is made up by Isabella Zazareei before modeling Angele Gray’s Vert collection. A few feet away and a world apart stood Leeza Regensburger, whose collection, Moth, included hip sportswear: plushy pastels, crop-tops, pom-pom-drawstring hoodies, fleece gym shorts. Meant to evoke “a moth to a flame,” Regensburger says she imagined the woman wearing her clothes as an insomniac running out in the middle of the night to grab something to eat from a corner store. Young, thrown together, unfussed, but stylish. In another realm was Angele Gray’s Vert, which took its cue from “Paris during the rise of Formalism and Modern Art.” This translated to a restrained palette – mostly black and white – and a focus on line, composition, and texture. The result was a series of body-skimming dresses and ensembles that would be at home in any elegant setting.More fitting for an urban walk to the gym were the creations of former soccer player Grace Hallman, who based her collection, Mia, on “the obsession of being an athlete.” She dressed her fit and confident models in laser-cut, close-to-the-body synthetics that put a futuristic spin on the athleisure trend.Designer Bailey Knight prepares a piece in her MycoLogic line.Sketches for Gena Lambrecht’s line, Gold.her inspiration. Her collection, Kingdom, which also included designs for men, included carefree silhouettes with a childlike aspect, including fabrics like pique and tulle, embroidery, and knitwear.Tanna Aljoe, center, is one of several models showing Grace Hallman’s line, Mia.For her part, Quinan Dalton took her own childhood home and “the obsessive sense of nostalgia many tend to feel when they think of their past” as her inspiration. Her collection, Kingdom, which also included designs for men, included carefree silhouettes with a childlike aspect, including fabrics like pique and tulle, embroidery, and knitwear. Gena Lambrecht’s collection, Gold, was all grown up. The glittery metal “has motivated some of history’s greatest conquests and caused the downfall of entire civilizations,” she says. Her ensembles, shown to the tune of Gold Digger by Kanye West and Jamie Foxx, comprised a series of strutting, gold-hued looks, including a showstopping waterfall-pleated tulle gown. Dionysian Contagion by Kathleen Davis was unique: a creative explosion of recycled plastics, gas masks, and light, meant to evoke the powerful effect live music can have. She described it as: “Movement. Silhouettes. Illumination. Color. Music. Your entire soul shifts. The infection spreads, until you awaken anew.”Wearable paper creations by first-year students at the Design School open the show.Angele Gray’s designs for her collection, Vert.Designer Bailey Knight’s line, MycoLogic, celebrates her obsession with the earth with an homage to mushrooms.Indeed, inspiration for these makers came from very different places. Susan Stephens, with her 1919 collection, honored her own great-grandmother, who was born in that year, and the tradition of crochet she passed down through the generations. Stephens’ large-scale, knitted pieces were architectural and striking, paired with tailored pieces made of printed fabric Stephens created herself. Meaghan Shea also printed her own fabrics, and used “a single print, color scheme, and endless iterations” to inform her refined and carefully tailored clothes. Each piece spoke to the others through geometry and shifts in color. Together, these nine designers and their fellow students who put on the show showed “what the College of Design has to offer,” says LeBlanc. Art2Wear, he says, is “more than a fashion show … it showcases the talents of our students and their ability to transform their vision and dreams into reality.”Sketches for Quinan Dalton’s line, Kingdom.Designer Susan Stephens’ 1919 line features large-scale hand knits and custom-printed fabrics.Patrons including Linda Dallas and Susan Woodson applaud.
Green Tomato-Mozzarella AranciniThese are best eaten hot, straight from the fryer. After all, I’ve never been one for patience.1½ cups Arborio riceKosher salt4 green tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters2 tablespoons unsalted butter2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided1 cup whole milk1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano1 teaspoon chopped oregano2 garlic cloves, finely minced3 eggs, divided12 ounces whole milk mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes2 cups fresh breadcrumbsCanola oil, for fryingIn a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups salted water to a boil. Add the rice, lower to a simmer, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the rice and spread on a baking sheet in an even layer to cool. Place the tomato quarters and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse until chopped, but not completely pureed. Transfer the tomatoes to a fine-mesh sieve to drain; let drain for at least 20 minutes. Then, press down on the tomato mixture to drain any more excess juices. Meanwhile, make the roux: In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add 2 tablespoons flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to turn golden in color. Whisk in the milk, whisking until completely smooth. Cook, whisking, until the sauce begins to bubble gently (it will be quite thick). Remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine the rice, sauce, reserved green tomatoes, Parmigiano, oregano, garlic, 1 egg, and 2 teaspoons salt. Mix well. To form the mixture into balls, place about 2 tablespoons of the rice batter in the palm of your hand and flatten into an even layer. Place 1 cube of the mozzarella in the center, then cup the rice batter around the cheese so that it’s completely covered and mold it into a golf-ball size round. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining batter and cheese. (You should have about 24 balls.) Place the remaining 2 cups flour in a shallow dish and season with 1 teaspoon salt. Beat the remaining 2 eggs in another shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon salt. Working one at a time, roll a rice ball in the flour, shaking off any excess, then roll it in the egg, letting any excess drip off. Finally, roll it in the breadcrumbs, making sure to get an even crust. Set the ball on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining rice batter. (You can make the balls up to this point and freeze them. Place them on a baking sheet in an even layer in the freezer for 1 hour, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Do not thaw when ready to fry; just increase the frying time by 3 minutes or so.) In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat 3 inches of oil until it reaches 330 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Add the rice balls in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pan, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, flipping the balls with tongs throughout, until they are deep golden brown on all sides. Transfer the rice balls to a paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Serve hot. by Kaitlyn Goalenphotographs by Jillian ClarkThey say patience is a virtue, but it’s never been one that I can claim. Nowhere is my shortcoming more apparent than in the kitchen. I’m always going to be one of those cooks that paces in front of the stove while something is cooking, daring to take a peek before it’s done. I’m always going to dread the wait between spring and summer, when the weather is warm but my favorite produce is still unripe on the vine. Thankfully, it’s become something of a trend to cook with unripe, or “green” produce. It might seem like a head-scratcher: What, from a culinary perspective, would make unripe fruit attractive? It turns out that its tart flavor, when harnessed intentionally, can be a delicious boon to a cook. Unripe ingredients also have less moisture, which is ideal for things like pies or pickles. Unripe strawberries are a good example: They make excellent pickles, a fact which well-known chefs across the country have taken advantage of. Of course here in the South, we’ve been ahead of the game as far as cooking with unripe fruit goes. Green tomatoes have long been a staple, even an icon, of Southern cuisine. While I can’t be sure, I like to think that fried green tomatoes are a holdover from our agrarian roots, a farmer’s way to use the tomatoes that fell from his vines too early. I like fried green tomatoes as much as the next person, but green tomatoes have endless potential that deserves to be explored beyond that familiar dish. Green tomato pies are another old-school use for the fruit, and I’ve also experimented with green tomatoes as a base of a green gazpacho, capitalizing on their tart vegetal flavor. But I’m particularly enamored with using them to stud Sicilian-style arancini, a type of cheesy, deep-fried rice ball that makes an amazing snack. It capitalizes on the green tomatoes’ adeptness for being fried, and pairs it with plenty of gooey mozzarella.
by Liza Robertsphotographs by Nick PironioWilliam Ivey Long, the prolific, multiple-Tony Award-winning costume designer, has drama – and Raleigh – in his blood, and in every single one of his earliest memories.“I grew up in the stage left dressing room,” Long says as he gestures around a tiny, WPA-built stone structure that still stands at Raleigh Little Theatre’s outdoor amphitheater. He’s not speaking metaphorically: The dressing room is where he lived until age 3 with his father, a technical director, and mother, an actress who wore many play-making hats. “People would change clothes in our house, and put on costumes … You would open the door, and you’d be on the stage.”Doors – and stages – have a way of opening up for Long. On Broadway and London’s West End, he has showcased his talent for almost 40 years. He has 15 Tony nominations and six Tony Awards, and has designed costumes for more than 70 Broadway productions. He has received the Art Institute of Chicago’s “Legend of Fashion” award and was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. He has the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the City of Raleigh Medal of Arts Award, and the North Carolina Award in Fine Arts. Costumes for the likes of the Metropolitan Opera, Mick Jagger, the New York City Ballet, and Siegfried and Roy round out his resume.William Ivey Long fits Robin Givens for Roxie Hart; photo courtesy of Alessandra PetlinVanessa Redgrave wears a Long-designed costume as Queen Elizabeth I in The Lost Colony; photo courtesy of Aaron TrotmanBut despite his starry spot in the Broadway pantheon, manifested by his current role as head of the American Theatre Wing (the organization that runs the Tony Awards), Long remains resolutely North Carolinian, a natty Southern gentleman with gracious manners, good humor, and stories to tell. He’s as likely to digress about his large extended family (and their furniture) as he is to talk about his life of glamour. And he has remained loyal to the theaters here that launched him: This summer will be his 45th working on The Lost Colony play in Manteo.Growing up in the South has informed “every one of my sensibilities,” Long says. “How I was raised, telling stories, being in North Carolina, which is, I think, a very diverse culture … the abundance of educated, cultivated people … Revering the word, growing up in a family where the play is the thing …”Long’s words meander happily as he recalls his early influences: old Western movies; the Raleigh Rose Garden; the Long ancestors who were members of the first class at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1795; the actor Andy Griffith; Long’s great-grandmother’s sister; The Lost Colony costume designer Irene Smart Rains; the playwright Wendy Wasserstein; his parents.“I’ve always been interested in the making of theater, because of being right here.” He takes in the dressing room with a glance. “The business of our family was always play-making.”Destined, not designedConsidered by critics a nimble designer whose work marries storytelling and glamour – together with an unmistakably sexy jolt that “hovers between taste and travesty,” as famed New York magazine theater critic John Simon put it – Long is also considered technically ingenious, with a specialty in “transformations,” costumes that seamlessly turn a scullery maid into a princess, for instance, or a greasy car mechanic into a rock star.The Frogs, Dress Rehearsal, Lincoln Center Theater, June 19, 2004, Credit Photo ©Paul Kolnik, NYC 212.362.7778Costumes and sketches for The FrogsLong’s crimson feather ballgown that morphed into a living Christmas tree in La Cage aux Folles; @CarolRosegg“I love transformations,” he says. “I love transforming people.” At the same time, he says, his main goal is always to help tell the story. “I like to think that I’m an honest and true designer who supports the material.” Michael Feingold, theater critic for the Village Voice, agrees. Long deploys “a kind of secret, supplemental playwriting,” he wrote, “done not to compete with the script being performed, but to enhance it … William is one of the master dramatists of our day.”Long’s ethereal, transformational costumes for Cinderella, which won him the 2013 Tony; his over-the-top looks for Hairspray, which won in 2003; and his canny creations in last year’s On the Twentieth Century, which nabbed a nomination, showcase a portion of his talent.“His costumes look more than designed – they seem destined,” says critic Simon.Destined, not designed might be an apt description of Long’s career as well. He never set out to design costumes, he says; never gave them much thought at all. His interests were more varied. He took himself to William & Mary for college, for instance, because he loved the campus architecture and wanted to study art history. Then he took himself to Yale School of Drama because he wanted to be a set designer. He moved himself to the Chelsea Hotel in New York because he wanted to work for the couturier Charles James, who lived there. (It took Long six months to get James’s attention; in the meantime, neighbors like Andy Warhol “superstar” Viva and a punk-rocker called “Neon Leon” kept things interesting.) Long only became a Broadway costume designer, he says, after a friend from Yale was hired as the set designer for The Inspector General in 1978 and recommended Long to do the costumes. One production led to another, and “it slipped up on me,” he says. “It wasn’t conscious. It was so omnipresent that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.” Long had become a costume designer.That was 38 years ago. “I am much more focused now and fierce – fearsome – in my approach than I was then,” he says. “I was young and naïve.” His first Tony, for Nine, focused his mind and gave him bigger dreams. “It didn’t just overnight change my life, but it did inside.”Of a pieceWherever his profession takes him, Long is never far from home. It’s not only on his itinerary year-round, it’s also readily in his thoughts, forming his frame of reference. Home and theater were and are of a piece.Long works on the set of Grease: Live; David Korins“The front hall of our big house in Rock Hill was always a scene dock,” he recalls. (His father, William Ivey Long Sr., was founder of the theater department, stage director, and professor at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.) “And the big dining room table, which I finally restored, my grandfather’s dining room table from Baltimore, it was always the cutting table during shows. I think twice in my life, my father did The Heiress. Well, the entire house was emptied on to that stage. It’s set in 1840, so all of the portraits, all of the furniture … routinely, pieces of furniture would go missing and be on stage.”Long as a young man, preparing a prop; courtesy William Ivey LongTrim in the navy Brooks Brothers suit and polished loafers that serve as his uniform, curly hair askew, it’s not hard to picture Long as a younger man; his bearing and energy alone take decades off of his almost-69 years. “If you don’t look in a mirror,” he says, “you don’t know how old you are. I stand in front of mirrors all the day long for the fitting process, and I do not look.”He always wears a rep tie, he says, and almost always one with a blue stripe. For someone in his line of work, this conservative lack of ostentation is striking. It suits him to be as polite in his clothes as he is in his manner, even as it adds an extra wink to his conspiratorial smiles.The stage left dressing room at Raleigh Little Theatre where Long lived with his parents, Mary Wood Long and William Ivey LongVanity Fair zeroed in on this ineffably put-together quality last year when it put him on its international best-dressed list. Alongside the likes of Prince Harry in a top hat and Eddie Redmayne in Gucci plaid, Long appeared in his Brooks Brothers suit and shoes, accessorized only with a grin and glinting eyeglasses. But he’s nonplussed by all of that; doesn’t bring it up unless asked, and then changes the subject.Long with his parents, Mary Wood Long and William Ivey Long; courtesy William Ivey LongAsk him what does excite him most these days, and he might tip over his chair with glee. “I’m charting new courses,” he says, with several projects in the works, including costumes for the new weekly television variety show by Lorne Michaels, Maya & Marty. It’s not Long’s first foray into live TV, for which his background in theater is well-suited. He also designed costumes for Grease: Live, as well as the TV version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for the Fox network.“All three things are different. Now I can say I design for stage, screen, and television.”New things excite him most, he says, and always have. “When I was in the 8th grade,” he recalls, “in Mrs. White’s biology class, she asked: ‘Why does a bug go from one side of the leaf to the other? It’s in search of the heat.’ And I knew then and there in the 8th grade that that was my path in life. I was going to be in search of the heat. That’s how I choose my course. That’s how I choose my friends. That’s how I do everything. I’m a bug on a leaf in search of the heat.”Early yearsJust like that 8th grade revelation, much of what fires Long’s imagination got to him early. Summers spent in Manteo, working with his family to help put on The Lost Colony, where his father was technical director, were an important early experience, not only for the time he had on stage beginning at 8 in the role of a child colonist, or for his time soaking up the work of the costume shop (the Elizabethan ruff he made for his dog out of a scrap of pillowcase when he was 4 is hard to forget), but for the late-night movies he’d watch once the family got home from the evening Lost Colony performance at around 11 p.m.William Ivey Long with his hero, former N.C. Governor Jim Hunt“The black-and-white late movies on the Norfolk station were Hollywood musicals, Hollywood Greta Garbo films. That began my fascination with glamour … and influenced my sense of shape, and style, and proportion.”Long and Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane take a selfie in front of the plaque commemorating his childhood years at Raleigh Little TheatreDuring the winter, he’d watch Picture for a Sunday Afternoon: “Our family did not watch football.” He credits his great-uncle in Waynesville for taking him to the movies on Saturdays, where they saw Gene Autry and Tom Mix Westerns. “It was high style in the Old West. And it’s a next step to Gary Cooper in Morocco. The most glamorous, handsome, stylish American in the history of America. Gary Cooper and Marlene Dietrich in Morocco: If you want to mess up a child, have them watch that late at night.”And give him a homeplace out of a fairy tale. Long leans almost entirely off of his chair as he describes his first three years living in the dressing room where he sits. The one-room building is almost impossible to imagine as a home – but in Long’s memory, it’s fully that. “There were two mahogany Chippendale chairs and a tilt-top table,” he says, “even in this little manger.” Red draperies: “brocade, or velvet. I remember red. I don’t remember bathing, or going to the bathroom, or cooking, or eating … but I remember playing on that stage.”He also remembers playing in the Raleigh Rose Garden (“I thought everyone had one”); remembers “sitting on a bench in the dark” and watching a “strange man pulling my mother’s hair.” Turns out she was onstage just outside their tiny home, acting in Death of a Salesman.At the dedication, guests enjoy a cool refuge inside the diminutive cottage.On that same stage on a sultry evening in mid-May, dozens of notable Raleighites gathered to honor Long. Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane introduced him as “one of our prominent native sons” and unveiled a plaque on the house to commemorate his childhood years in the place.“My oh my, not everybody gets to see their tombstone!” Long exclaimed. Governor Jim Hunt (“my hero,” Long calls him) and his wife Carolyn came to pay tribute, as did former News & Observer publisher Frank Daniels Jr. and his wife Julia, along with dozens of other art patrons and theater lovers. Long greeted them all with kisses and hugs, taking in their congratulations with humble humor.“The lesson to take home for your children and grandchildren,” he told the crowd, “is be careful where you grow up!”
DFS’s ten-week job acquisition class, Going Places Network, is designed to help clients like Flanagan tackle these obstacles. During its skills assessment class, Flanagan learned her personal and professional strengths. “I am adaptable,” she says now. “I am an eager learner. And I like to be a resource of information for other people.” The program taught her how to capitalize on these strengths during job interviews and when crafting cover letters. She says she has also found hope in the friendships she’s made through the program. “We carpool and lean on each other. It is encouraging to see the women in our group find employment.” Beth Briggs, executive director for Dress for Success Triangle, believes that the Going Places Network is one of Dress for Success Triangle’s most effective client services. “About 75 percent of women who go through GPN get jobs within three months,” she says. “That is a high percentage. It is a confidence-builder and a skill-builder. It teaches the women what it takes to get a job in this world and what is expected by corporations.”Transformative experience When Flanagan first met with an image coach for her suit fitting, she was taken aback by the amount of care and attention she received. Although she has bought and worn business suits in the past, she says the Dress for Success Triangle boutique experience is like nothing she’d known before. After more than a year looking for a job to support her two sons, she says she felt power when she saw herself in the mirror with a pair of high heels and a tailored suit. “It is transformative. It is a completely different experience for those of us who are not used to that kind of care. The image coach is more than a personal shopper. She listens to what I like and what I want. It is very empowering.” Briggs nods. She sees the same thing time and time again with the women who come through her organization’s doors. “This is all part of our mission to support unemployed and underemployed women and to help them find economic security. A lot of what we do is about building a woman’s confidence, dignity, and respect. It is easy to feel powerless when you’ve been out of the job market for some time. It is just so hard. We want to help a woman feel good about herself.” Once a woman finds a job, Dress for Success Triangle continues to support her, providing employment retention training and continued professional development. She also becomes part of the organization’s Professional Women’s Group, a network with mentors and leaders who help women navigate the workplace. They support each other as they tackle new routines and company culture and work-life balance. Briggs says Dress for Success Triangle is also committed to equipping its women to become strong leaders in their workplaces and communities. This results in a strong network between employers and Dress for Success Triangle.“We have a lot of corporate donors,” Briggs says, “and in addition to supporting us financially, we ask them to hire the women who come from Dress for Success. They flag our women. It lifts them out of the enormous crowd of applicants.” And while corporations, foundations, inventory sales, and private donors offer the financial means to support the organization’s $1 million annual budget, it relies on a team of more than 365 dedicated volunteers to run effectively. They donate and sort clothes, provide style and career coaching, job training, networking, and employment retention support. Many of these volunteers are women, some of whom have gone through the programs themselves. Flanagan admits that the road to landing a job has felt long, overwhelming, and frustrating. But she credits Dress for Success Triangle (and a healthy dose of pure grit) with keeping her plowing ahead – now with strong interviewing skills, an impressive resume, and a sharp professional suit. Most importantly, she carries with her a renewed sense of empowerment. trianglenc.dressforsuccess.org Dress for Success Triangle deliversby Settle Monroe | photography by Lissa GotwalsStepping through the double doors of Dress for Success Triangle feels like entering a high-end boutique, not a nonprofit. Dresses and suits, many adorned with new tags and labels like Coach and Ralph Lauren, hang on racks. Italian leather shoes line the walls; modern jewelry fills a glass case. Women strut in and out of dressing rooms to oohs and ahhs of personal styling consultants. Their confidence is clear as they see themselves in the mirror for the first time in a sharp suit or a well-fitting dress. And while the clients at Dress for Success may choose from a variety of beautiful clothes, they are all here looking for the same thing: employment and economic security. Yeshimabet Flanagan is one of the 10,000 clients who has benefited from the powerful work of Dress for Success Triangle. The organization not only dresses women to enter—or re-enter—the workplace, it trains them for it, too. Flanagan turned to the organization about a year ago for help. Like many of the women who walk through its doors, she came eager to re-enter the workplace after years of staying home to raise her children, and was referred to the agency by one of more than 150 nonprofits that refer women who are ready to find employment. When Flanagan moved to New York City from Jamaica in 1998 at 16, leaving seven siblings and nearly all of her family behind, she was quickly able to secure a job as a file clerk at an insurance company. Highly-motivated and personable, she worked her way up to earning a comfortable salary, even by New York City standards. In 2008, Flanagan moved to Raleigh and left the workforce in order to be at home with her sons. For a year now, she has been looking for a job. But despite her years climbing the corporate ladder to become an insurance broker, the large gap on her resume and her lack of a college degree have made it difficult to secure meaningful employment. Dress for Success Triangle has been the engine of perseverance for Flanagan in the face of numerous rejections and unreturned phone calls. “Transitioning back to the workplace is really hard,” Flanagan says. “Hearing ‘no’ again and again can be frustrating and disempowering. I’ve always been able to secure jobs by word-of-mouth. I have never had to pound the pavement. But Dress for Success is helping me navigate this new, current world of job searching.” And a new world it is. Unlike her first foray into the workplace, resumes are now submitted online. Computer programs search for specific key words in the resumes and reject those without them. Automated systems respond to job inquiries and cover letters. The result: The modern job search can be discouraging, impersonal, and isolating.
by Tina Haver Currinphotographs by Keith IsaacsThe zigzag of Capital Boulevard as it wends its way into downtown is often crowded, sometimes bumpy, and never particularly pleasant. But if you exit to the right just as Capital becomes Dawson Street, you enter a different world. There, behind brick walls and large wooden gates, is a retreat of swaying palm trees, crystal blue reflecting waters, and tufts of sweet jasmine curling their way up toward a terra cotta-tiled roof. It’s completely removed from the hustle and bustle of Raleigh’s main artery, and everyone is invited. But this oasis didn’t appear by magic. It’s the result of the vision, patience, and significant investment of one Raleigh man.“The whole design concept is that you are in somebody’s house,” says Samad Hachby, the owner of the pools and palms. He operates his Moroccan-influenced restaurant, Babylon, in the ground floor of the historic mill that anchors the space. “If you go to a house in Morocco, you have an interior courtyard for maximum light. You have water, you have food, you have booze, and it’s beautiful. But this place was a dump with no parking lot.”The courtyard has all the elements of a house in Morocco according to owner Samad Hachby – water, food, and drink – and anchors the historic Melrose Knitting Mill.Hachby, 44, left Casablanca for a stint aboard a cruise ship before relocating to North Carolina to attend N.C. State in 1998. He first noticed the 116-year-old brick Melrose Knitting Mill in 2004, before he opened Mosaic, a wine lounge perched on the corner of Jones Street and Glenwood Avenue. The knitting mill’s landlord, Abdul G. Zalal – or, as his friends call him, A.G. – was holding the building for a prospective tenant who wanted to turn it into a gym.“I kept walking by, and nothing was happening,” Hachby says. “So, one day (in 2009), I walked in and I said, ‘A.G., I am going to do this project.’ He said ‘OK,’ and we shook hands.”The mill had sat empty for years, and Hachby spent the next two and a half years making it restaurant-ready. That involved significant interior renovations, including replacing ancient wiring and plumbing. Hachby also made several trips to Casablanca to find the fittings he needed to create the place he envisioned.“I wanted a classic palatial ceiling that you’d find in Europe, southern Spain, or Morocco,” Hachby says, craning his neck to admire the handiwork. His dark hair and the faint beard are the same color as the espresso he sips to ward off an afternoon slump.“I went to Casablanca to find artisans who do work in Malaysia and Dubai. Forty men worked for two months on the tiles. They sent each piece separately – without instructions, of course.”Owner Samad Hachby.Signature dishes reflect Babylon’s unique atmosphere.By the summer of 2011 he was ready to open Babylon’s doors. It has since become a popular and cozy cavern for dining on braised lamb tagine or crispy margherita pizza. For four years, Hachby himself was at the helm of the kitchen. His goal was to create a menu to reflect the restaurant’s unique atmosphere, with Moroccan classics like hearty harira soup made from lentils and chickpeas, couscous topped with meats and vegetables, and tasting plates overflowing with hummus, eggplant, and marinated olives. Last year, Chef Jean Paul Fontaine stepped in as executive chef. He developed the menu for Babylon’s new outdoor kitchen and a satellite kitchen in a recently renovated upstairs event space.With plush, high-backed seating, a well-appointed bar and roughly hewn exposed beams, Babylon’s main room provides a rustic retreat. An adjacent room often used for parties features high ceilings with classic Moorish tiles and chandeliers that sparkle in the midday sunlight, while in a tucked-away library room, beams from the original factory hold cookbooks and magazines. Four hundred square feet of beige travertine marble cover the floors, blending with the brick walls.Hachby and his team had to lay each piece on the floor, like a jigsaw puzzle, and then mount the tiles on the ceiling one at a time from the center, radiating out. Hachby points to sections of brick where his crew – or previous crews before him – began construction, only to realize that continuing would compromise the structure or historical integrity of the mill. The building’s walls tell a story of half-starts in holes and patches.The interior of Babylon is exotic and dramatic.One floor above the tiled ceiling, the restoration of a massive events space, which hosted the Raleigh Food and Wine Festival in May, is finally complete. Hachby installed a second kitchen with direct access to the space, so his staff doesn’t have to clamber up and down the stairs from Babylon with piles of dirty dishes. Gorgeous rounded windows bathe exposed brick and wood in warm, natural light. Adjacent to the events space, a new tenant in Furbish Studio brings even more style to the historic mill.Textile roots Though the Melrose is now one of Raleigh’s loveliest treasures, it has been a long time in the making. The groundbreaking for the textile mill occurred in June of 1900, and the building was completed by October. The mill officially began manufacturing men’s wool and cotton underwear on January 28, 1901. Three years later, 85 employees – many of whom lived in small wooden homes around the property – were turning out 1,800 pieces of underwear a day.That same year, the Pullen Park Pool – the city’s first – brought an increased interest in swimming to the community, so bathing suits were added to the Melrose repertoire. The City of Raleigh ordered five dozen suits from the factory, which patrons could rent for five cents per visit.But the operations of the Melrose were short-lived. The knitting mill shut its doors in 1930, one year after the stock market crash that halted nearly all construction and commerce in downtown Raleigh. By the 1960s, two roofing companies were based at the property. In 1969, Abdul Zalal, a young recent immigrant from Afghanistan, came looking for a job.“I arrived and I asked, where is the office?” Zalal says today, gesturing to where one of Babylon’s massive wooden gates now hangs. With white hair and a white mustache, he exudes the same kind of rugged stateliness as the historic building he would later purchase. “It was a roofing company with 35 employees, but I went to the wrong one,” he recalls. “They still hired me, and I worked for $3 an hour.”A decade later, on June 8, 1979, he bought the crumbling Melrose Knitting Mill for $60,000. It was a good investment – the building is now worth about $1.7 million.Zalal’s first move was unsurprising: He installed a new roof to save the historic mill from further deterioration, then boarded up the windows. For years, it stood mostly vacant save for a collection of auto parts – you can still see the faint paint outline of the “Motorparts Warehouse” sign on the front of the building – and the parking lot was a pocked landscape.But in 2010, with the help and vision of Hachby, revitalization of the Melrose began in earnest. Zalal removed the old buildings that obscured the front of the mill, andinstalled 200 truckloads of dirt to level and pour the parking surface. With tenants Babylon and the housewares store Furbish, plus the second-story events space now complete, the Melrose Knitting Mill now buzzes with shoppers, diners, drinkers, and brides. “For 68 years, this building was vacant except for A.G.’s workshop and a stash for roofing cranes,” Hachby says, tracing his fingers along one of the mill’s solid wooden beams. “Now, there’s so much going on. It’s not vanilla. The building tells its story.”For Hachby, imbuing the historic mill with new vitality is a source of pride, and he keeps a collection of photographs from the State Archives close at hand. There are black and white snapshots of downtown Raleigh from the 1960s, the cobble of steel roofers’ buildings obscuring the beautiful brick facade, and even a photo from the early 1900s where the street is covered in mule-drawn carriages, the Melrose towering beyond a paving company that’s little more than a wooden construct with several smoking chimneys.With the renovations complete, Hachby is now turning his attention to travel and writing a cookbook centered on Moroccan wines. Even so, he’s committed to constantly improving his restaurant and the historic space.“You have to do things beautiful. It costs a lot of money, and a lot of people don’t want to invest in their businesses,” Hachby says. “But this is what drives the name Babylon. You had this crazy, macabre looking place, with this beautiful building rising up. Like Babel. It’s Babylon.”309 N. Dawson St.; babylonraleigh.comShekshoukaSamad’s favorite recipe: Shekshouka, a classic egg dish with spicy tomatoes and peppers. This is a one-skillet recipe of eggs baked in a tomato-red pepper sauce and onions spiced with cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Make the sauce first – it comes together fairly quickly on top of the stove – then gently crack each of the eggs into the pan, nestling them into the sauce. The pan is moved into the oven to finish.3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced1 teaspoon ground cumin1 teaspoon sweet paprika⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste2 pints San Marzano tomatoes withjuices, coarsely chopped¾ teaspoon salt (to taste)¼ teaspoon black pepper (to taste)6 large organic eggsChopped cilantro, for servingHarissa for servingHeat oven to 375 degrees.Heat oil in a large skillet or tagine over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika, and cayenne, and cook 1 minute. Pour in tomatoes and season with the salt and the pepper; simmer until tomatoes have reduced.Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet or the tagine to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with harissa.Serves 4. Total time: 1 hour.Lamb shank tagine6 small frenched lamb shanks (5 to 6 pounds total)3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 largeonions)3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger1 ½ teaspoons chili powder1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin½ teaspoon ground cardamom1 (4-inch) cinnamon stick1 large can diced San Marzano tomatoes2 cups unsalted chicken stockA pinch of saffronPreheat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a very large (12-to-13-inch) pot or tagine.Preseason the lamb shanks, then add to the pot and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat until translucent and almost caramelized. Add the garlic, ginger, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon so that the spices release their oils and merge with the onions. Add the tomatoes and their liquid. They will deglaze any stock you have in the pot. Put back the lamb shanks in the pot and cover with the stock. Cook for 90 minutes. Remove from the heat and let rest.Serve over couscous, risotto, or seasonal roasted potatoes.Serves 6.
Aly Khalifa, owner and director of innovation, at Lyf Shoes at Designbox in RaleighTrailblazing shoe designerby Tina Haver Currinphotographs by Travis LongLast year at SPARKcon, downtown Raleigh’s annual festival of innovation and creativity, Aly and Beth Khalifa, local designers and entrepreneurs, had to apply to participate. The couple had that in common with 30 other hopeful applicants, but none of those folks also had “SPARKcon co-founders” on their resumes.“We weren’t sure we would get in,” Khalifa says, with a hearty laugh. “SPARKcon is all open-source and run by the people who organize it, so I had no say whatsoever.”Which is how the couple designed it in 2006, when they began the festival to celebrate Raleigh’s fashion week. After the first five hectic, successful years of running it – inventing and designing all the while – the pair relinquished management to the Visual Art Exchange, but not before expanding SPARKcon far beyond fashion to encompass film and technology, food and music, art and commerce. These days, the once-modest event transforms downtown Raleigh into a weekend-long hive of creative expression, with a pop-up bazaar, runway show with a sprawling City Plaza catwalk, improv comedians, and chalk art that stretches for as far as the eye can see.Aly Khalifa, owner and director of innovation, left, and Mingyn Lin, product designer and developer, work at Designbox in RaleighMaterials and patterns for Lyf shoesMeanwhile, the Khalifas are fully focused on launching Lyf, their own 3-D printed, custom-made, eco-shoe company in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Their status as festival founders gave them no free ride into the event’s Wear What You Are fashion show. But the couple needn’t have worried. Lyf was selected to become the first footwear company to debut in the Triangle’s largest annual fashion exhibition, which has emerged as a showcase for the area’s best up-and-coming jewelry, clothing, and accessories. Alumni include Raleigh Denim Workshop, Holly Aiken, and Lumina Clothing, putting Lyf in good company.Finding himself on the other side of the planning equation for the first time, Khalifa had to ask himself new quesions: What would Lyf’s models look like? How should they represent themselves as a company? “It was the first time we got to present the real package,” he says, “and it was great for us. It made us confront the brand.”That was nearly a year ago. This year, as the 11th annual festival gears up for its run from September 15 through 18, Lyf is poised for larger-scale production.Designbox beginningsIt all began at Designbox, the Khalifas’ creative incubator that, until this year, was located in the Warehouse District. Since 2003, Designbox has supported local startups with a collaborative workspace and small retail store. These days, Designbox rests atop Cafe Helios, and it’s where the Khalifas refine their newest endeavor: a line of custom 3-D-printed shoes.“For more than a decade we’ve had a 3-D printer working for clients. It’s amazing what we paid for the first one, and what a pain it was compared to new technology, which has become a lot simpler,” Khalifa says. “For the shoes, we’re using a lot of 3-D printing to do sustainable footwear.”That original ZPrinter allowed the team to go from design to prototype in three days. The team at Lyf now has five printers, and hopes to add seven more in the coming year. They’ve taken to naming the printers to quickly diagnose their quirks and variations (“Beethoven” is a particularly loud printer; “Mad Jack” is “rock solid.”)A 3-D printer prints Lyf shoe components at DesignboxFor now, the printers stack on top of each other, and if all goes to plan, the entire operation will eventually be mobile, like a food truck for shoes. Customers will get fitted in a standard pair of kicks, and then add their own customized art or design to the cotton canvas or leather. The shoes will then be assembled and ready for pickup in an hour. It’s a unique approach – but nothing new for the innovative couple.“In many ways, we talk about Lyf like we talk about SPARKcon,” says Khalifa. “If we put SPARKcon into a pair of shoes, what would that look like? Sensitivity to the environment, trying to stimulate the local economy, celebrating creativity, being a good product with good craft, all those principles are now in Lyf shoes.”One of the most intriguing prospects of Lyf is that sizes can be created and assembled without mass production, which means that someone with unusally sized feet, or feet of different sizes – one a size bigger than the other, for instance – could order a pair of Lyfs to fit them exactly. Khalifa estimates he has over 4,000 different size files available, and the number is growing.Finding a new wayThe impetus to design footwear evolved naturally for Khalifa, who worked at Performance Bicycle after earning dual engineering and product design degrees from N.C. State University. When he began designing footwear for cycling, Khalifa became “the guy who always had to be on the factory floor.” He didn’t expect an unintended side effect from his visits: an immediate, splitting headache from the toxic chemicals used in shoe manufacturing.Operations manager Joey Fralin preps 3-D printersKhalifa lays out the components of a Lyf shoeThe traditional system is inherently broken, he says: “We’re moving our footwear production with a level of ignorance, from the U.S. to Mexico to Taiwan to China to Vietnam to Burma. Each time, after one generation, people have a hard time recruiting because the toxic chemicals in shoe production can cause birth defects,” Khalifa says. “But that’s just one part of it. There are also 50 materials in an average pair of shoes.” That makes disassembling and recycling shoes nearly impossible, he says, because the cost of processing such a complex product is so high.Khalifa began to think about ways to do things differently.At Lyf, each of the shoe’s components are made of a single-source material, and the shoes are intentionally designed to come apart. Lyf also offers a 15 percent discount to customers who return their shoes after they’ve been worn. That results in a 15 percent return from its own supply chain, too, due to their materials’ infinitely recyclable nature. Khalifa points out the system is called a circular economy, where products are intentionally designed from the beginning with their entire lifecycle in mind.A Lyf shoe prototype made of 3-D printed components and recycled airplane seat material“By taking the material back, (manufacturers) don’t have to return all the way to petroleum or to the cottonseed, so it’s a really good deal for everyone,” Khalifa explains. “The trick is, the designer has to attach value after that first use. But, I think if you wouldn’t take it back, you shouldn’t put it out there. We’re designing so that when you buy a pair of Lyf shoes, the world gets better.”
Shelby Vanhoy of Pretty in the Pines. Photo courtesy of Shelby VanhoyThe Triangle’s fashion bloggersby Mimi MontgomeryIn The Age of the Smartphone, where social media and viral hits reign supreme, blogging has evolved from a solo, diary-like activity into a lucrative field that allows tech-savvy entrepreneurs to create their own online communities-slash-marketplaces, right from their own homes. Here in the Triangle, style bloggers in particular have a growing toehold. A primarily female-dominated pool, these locals are showcasing their own takes on the fashion, beauty, decor, health, and lifestyle worlds, and contributing to the innovative spirit of the Triangle. This is “a place that just naturally fosters creativity,” says Molly Stillman, Still Being Molly blogger and founder of the Triangle Fashion, Beauty, Food, and Lifestyle Bloggers group (TriFABB), a community of 160 bloggers begun in 2012. The many startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs’ groups that pepper RTP and downtown Raleigh and Durham make for fertile ground, she says. The Triangle is also a place where female blogging entrepreneurs forge friendships and encourage each other. “It’s a really supportive community where a lot of people want to collaborate together, because when you win, I win,” says Meghan Grant of Holly Springs, the blogger behind I’m Fixin’ To and co-founder of the Raleigh Blog Society. “It’s good for both of us.”Meghan Grant of I’m Fixin’ To (both photos above) tries to keep her posts real and fun. “I don’t take myself seriously.” Em Grey Photography With reaches near and far, these women are redefining what it means to be an entrepreneur in the 21st century. Their work may come with a steep learning curve and many late nights, but bringing a dose of style to the Triangle is what they love – and increasingly, it’s a real business, too.Not just a hobby Many of these local bloggers started their sites as sideline hobbies or creative outlets. Working in corporate jobs, they wanted an open space to share their stylish ideas and their writing. “When I was growing up, I used to change outfits like, three times a day, and I always used to have to put on a party dress,” says Angela Keeley-White of Raleigh, who works full-time for a financial planning and investment company and started her style blog Head to Toe Chic in 2011. So she decided to turn that passion into a side gig, writing posts filled with outfit inspirations, style tips, and eye-catching photography. When Raleighite Shelby Vanhoy was rejected from dental school, she took a hard look at her passions and felt the need for more creativity in her life. “I was thinking, ‘Is this really what I want to do?’” she says. “I’ve always had an interest in photography, travel, style…” So in 2014, she bought a camera and starting her blog Pretty in the Pines, which led to her current job managing marketing for Bailey’s Fine Jewelry.Amy Loochtan of Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins says blogging is a “legit career.” Photo courtesy of Amy Loochton Keeley-White and Vanhoy are not alone. What started as an outside hobby for many of these women has quickly become a second career. When they leave full- and part-time jobs at the end of the day, they head home to another one, where they create editorial calendars, schedule and write posts, organize photo shoots, edit photo batches, monitor site traffic, respond to readers, and negotiate brand campaigns and sponsored posts. Angela Keeley-White of Head to Toe Chic; Em Grey Photography “It comes across as so glamorous,” says Chapel Hill’s Lauren Steele of LC Steele. She’s talking about the stylish photography spreads and Instagram posts bloggers are known for. But for the Mississippi native who balances her blog with her job at a legal consulting business, it’s hard work, too. “You don’t see 90 percent of the time it took,” she says. “It is way more time-consuming than people give it credit for.” It’s her job, she says, to make it look easy.Angela Keeley-White’s Head to Toe Chic was mentioned in InStyle magazine. Vanhoy agrees: “It’s like a 12-hour day, every day.” But it pays off: The popularity of these blogs is a testament to the consumer demand for the women’s content. “So far, it’s really been worth it,” she says. “The people you meet, the community you grow, the opportunities you get – it correlates with how hard you’re working.” Brave new world For a successful style blogger, business opportunities can be vast. With the advent of content monetization platforms such as LIKEtoKNOW.it, bloggers can share their outfit details via Instagram, where followers who have “liked” their post will receive an email complete with links to purchase each pictured item. For each piece purchased from a LIKEtoKNOW.it email, the blogger receives a commission. Global companies have picked up on the wide reach of these digital influencers, as well. “As brands begin to trust the influence of bloggers and see the results, social media is becoming much more monetizable for the influencers,” says Jamie Meares, blogger behind the popular i suwannee and founder of Furbish Studio. “It’s created this Wild West effect on blogging – now you can actually make a business out of sharing the things that you love.” Triangle style bloggers are doing just that, negotiating paid contracts with brands to create sponsored product posts. These women have worked with national corporations such as Coca-Cola, J. Jill, Shopbop, Whole Foods, Anthropologie, Henri Bendel, Toyota, Target, Anne Taylor, and Rent the Runway, to name a few, as well as local companies like Cameron Village and The Fearrington House Inn. Using their social clout as an advertising platform makes sense: Each of these women have followers by the many-thousands. “People now understand the value of bringing eyeballs to the page,” says Steele. “I’ve watched social media become so much more integrated in everything. If you have 200,000 followers, you can look at a company and say, ‘Hey, I can basically fill a football stadium for you. How much is that worth?’”Lauren Steele of LC Steele balances her blog with her job at a legal consulting business. Photo by Anna Goodson Apparently a lot. “It’s a legit career,” says Durham-based Amy Loochtan of Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins. “People are flabbergasted by that … Some people think blogging is just taking some pictures of your outfit, putting them online; but it is so much more than that.” Of course, with the meteoric rise of outlets like Instagram and Snapchat, content is moving more toward the social media side, and anyone with an iPhone can try to become a blogger. That can put pressure on longtime bloggers to keep content fresh and readership levels up. After all, that’s where the money is – brands want to work with sites that consistently post original material and reach the widest demographic possible. “Now you have to be out there on all social media channels and keep up with the latest trends,” says Keeley-White. There’s also a fine line between the virtual and actual worlds, especially when personal style is the focus of a business. After a while, life can seem like just a series of potential Instagram posts. “That’s one of the biggest things that bloggers struggle with – missing out on life because of social media,” says Loochtan. “It’s a hard balance to know when to unplug.” Along with separating the personal from private, local style bloggers say they work hard to strike the right chord between stylish escapism and relatability. Because most have longtime readers who feel a virtual kinship to them, they want to maintain those relationships with the relatable voice of an old girlfriend. So in addition to the glamour, local bloggers are also careful to include affordable fashion and DIY projects that appeal to the everyday woman. “I try to be real with my readers,” says Grant. “The style posts are really pretty and they do really well, (but) if you’re behind the scenes with me on a shoot, I don’t take myself seriously … For me, it is really fun.” Bringing it home While these women may work with global companies and have followers across the world, they’re committed to using their brands to promote North Carolina, too. Keeping it local is just part of their spin on things: Many stage photo shoots at local spots like the Boylan Bridge, American Tobacco Campus, and the Leslie-Alford-Mims house; they showcase pieces from local boutiques and clothing lines; they partner with nearby restaurants and businesses; and they provide travel guides to N.C. destinations.Shelby Vanhoy of Pretty in the Pines says the 12-hour days are worth it. “The people you meet, the community you grow, the opportunities you get – it correlates with how hard you’re working.” Photo courtesy of Shelby Vanhoy Vanhoy recently partnered with the Outer Banks for a sponsored, weeklong trip along the coast, documenting her vacation on social media and her blog, and Grant started a blog travel series on eastern North Carolina, focusing on places to eat, shop, and visit while passing through. “People get stuck in the bubble of the Triangle,” she says. “It’s sad to see towns that were thriving when I was little become ghost towns.” It’s her way of using her online presence to benefit the local places she loves. Like her peers, Grant has come to realize that a significant online presence can be a powerful tool, both in terms of business opportunities and simply creating a brand that people love. “Life can be complicated and it can be so cluttered,” says Steele. “I just like to keep things as simple, classic, and elegant as I possibly can.” It’s a lot of work to make things look so good, but it’s worth it, says Loochtan. “You make time for what you love.”FALL PICKS“Big sweaters and ponchos layered over a thin turtleneck, booties, and changing up accessories and shoes for fall colors.” –Shelby Vanhoy, Pretty in the Pines“(It’s) cowboy boots, riding boots, lots of dresses and skirts. I would not be caught dead in a T-shirt and jeans at a football game. That is where you step out and you show up.” –Meghan Grant, I’m Fixin’ To “(I’m) all about layering with blazers and military jackets. And of course, ankle boots. And fun scarves … a bunch of light layers.” –Angela Keeley-White, Head to Toe Chic“Leather jackets, over-the knee-boots, and blanket scarves … (they’re) an affordable and chic way to make a statement with an outfit, plus they are really warm.”-Lauren Steele, LC Steele“A good bootie, black blazer, (and a) really great pair of jeans. If you feel good in it, you’re going to look good.” –Amy Loochtan, Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper play to a large crowd early afternoon on the City Plaza Stage Friday, October 3, 2014, during IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass. photograph by Juli Leonardby William LewisThe grass is bluer here in the Triangle. The International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual World of Bluegrass festival returns to Raleigh for the fourth time Sept. 27 – Oct. 1. It’s the who’s-who event in the banjo-pickin’ world, with live concerts, conferences and workshops, plus the IBMA awards show. William Lewis is the executive director of PineCone and the producer of Wide Open Bluegrass, the festival’s music extravaganza that closes out the week in downtown Raleigh. Below, he shares some thoughts on how to best enjoy the music he loves.PineCone works year-round planning Wide Open Bluegrass with IBMA and our Raleigh partners at the Convention Center and Visitors Bureau. So, you can imagine our concern last fall when Hurricane Joaquin caused us to scrap those plans and start over – moving the entire festival indoors in a period of a few days. Although we are all very proud of the results, and now know that it can be done, we hope to never have to do it again. Bluegrass festivals are best enjoyed under blue skies.Wide Open Bluegrass holds a special place in the hearts and minds of many in our city. While the event’s attendance and economic impact are impressive, I’m always overwhelmed by the pervasive and profound sense of community pride. For an entire week, the world joins us in celebrating one of North Carolina’s homegrown traditions – bluegrass music. And our folks turn out in droves to support it. Not only are they taking time to enjoy the music, dance, art, and food, but they are also going out of their way to welcome visitors to our city and our state. Raleigh’s hospitality ranks very high for attendees, according to post-event surveys.The Piedmont Regulators play on the steps of the Fayetteville Street Post Office during the Wide Open Bluegrass festival on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh, N.C. Saturday October 4, 2014.After hosting one of the world’s largest indoor bluegrass hurricane parties last year, we are excited to return Wide Open Bluegrass to Fayetteville Street and to the Red Hat Amphitheater in 2016. The amphitheater will feature performances by a wide range of bluegrass all-stars, including Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, the Del McCoury Band, and Steep Canyon Rangers, among others. As always, we are planning lots of unique collaborations and special guests to preserve the event’s “must see” status. I’m particularly excited about the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band celebrating its 50th anniversary in Raleigh, and the rare performance by the Soggy Bottom Boys – famous for the soundtrack of the blockbuster film O Brother, Where Art Thou? And the perennial favorites the Kruger Brothers return to the festival, this time joined by a 14-piece orchestra to perform an original piece written by Jens Kruger.It is a win-win for those purchasing tickets to Red Hat Amphitheater, because they are guaranteed world-class entertainment while also supporting a very important cause. A portion of proceeds from amphitheater ticket sales go to the IBMA-operated Bluegrass Trust Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to individuals in the bluegrass music community in times of emergency need.As for the free StreetFest portion of Wide Open, we are expanding the footprint of the event south of City Plaza toward the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The wildly popular Dance Tent Stage will now be located there, along with the N.C. Whole Hog Barbecue Championship, a food truck rodeo, junior Appalachian musicians’ showcase, arts and food vendors, kids’ games, and other fun activities. This area has lots of trees for shade and open space with grass for picnic blankets.Each year we try to tweak the event to make it a bit better than the last. We hope everyone will join us for what is sure to be another wide open bluegrass experience.For a full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit ibma.org.
WINnovation speakers: Maura Horton, Cindy Whitehead, Isa Watson, Jamie Meares, and Tashni-Ann Dubroy.by Mimi Montgomeryphotographs by Joseph RaffertyAn enthusiastic group of 210 Triangle area women (and three men) gathered at the Umstead Hotel and Spa Sept. 9 for Walter’s second-annual WINnovation event, sponsored by Bank of America and the Umstead. Celebrating women and entrepreneurism in the Triangle, the sold-out luncheon featured TED-talk-inspired “WIN” talks by five local female innovators: Cindy Whitehead, co-founder of Sprout Pharmaceuticals and founder and CEO of The Pink Ceiling; Tashni-Ann Dubroy, president of Shaw University and co-owner of Tea and Honey Blends; Maura Horton, founder of MagnaReady; Isa Watson, founder and CEO of Envested; and Jamie Meares, blogger and founder and creative director of Furbish Studio.“Don’t run from the word no. This is where mere innovation is born.”–Maura Horton, founder of MagnaReadyEach woman shared stories from her own entrepreneurial journey, covering everything from resilience to ingenuity; how to overcome boundaries; the importance of confidence; and how to lean into change and move past failure.Isa Watson, founder and CEO of Envested, speaks to the audience.Cindy Whitehead, co-founder of Sprout and CEO of the Pink Ceiling, gives her WIN talk.“There’s always something significant that you’ve achieved time and time again when the odds were stacked against you – when you’re looking to do something bold, I think it’s really important to just block out all the noise.”–Isa Watson, founder and CEO of EnvestedBekay King, Shaw University studentKelly GuessFollowing the talks, the group gathered together on the stage to answer questions from the audience. Then, guests separated into groups to participate in breakout conversations focused on how to execute ideas, how to leverage local resources, how to return to work after a career break, and how to work entrepreneurially in any setting. These discussions were led by Gab Smith, executive director of CAM Raleigh, Teresa Monteiro, founder and CEO of Her Leap, Jenny Hwa, executive director of Innovate Raleigh, and Robin Costello, corporate relations director of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.Bank of America executive Kathryn Black“You can’t be your biggest hater. There are tons of people in the world to do that for you. You’ve got to be your biggest promoter … be sure you maintain a level of confidence that will take you beyond the stars.”–Tashni-Ann Dubroy, president of Shaw University and co-owner of Tea and Honey BlendsEntrepreneur Andrea HoytBreakout session moderator Teresa Monteiro“(Be) daring enough to not be afraid of change, and to not even give the word failure any meaning to you. I dare you to fail – try it.” –Jamie Meares, blogger and founderand creative director of Furbish StudioDonna Preiss, founder and CEO of The Preiss Co.Holly HammerThroughout the day, a networking area sponsored by e51 and HQ Raleigh allowed attendees to create connections and exchange ideas, propelling the power of WINnovation beyond the day itself. This forward momentum was further evidenced in an invitation from Gab Smith for all attendees to reconvene in six months at CAM. A cocktail hour closed the day. Guests mingled with new contacts and the event speakers, reflecting the camaraderie and community spirit that makes Triangle entrepreneurship flourish.Speakers Maura Horton, Cindy Whitehead, Isa Watson, Jamie Meares, and Tashni-Ann Dubroy during the Q&A session.“Put the women at the center of any conversation, walk a mile in their shoes, and you can make pretty remarkable change.”–Cindy Whitehead, co-founder of Sprout Pharmaceuticalsand founder and CEO of The Pink Ceiling
“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