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.”
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – SEPTEMBER 3: View of a Michigan Wolverines football helmet before their game against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium on September 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)Apparently wide receiver Devin Funchess is not the only recent Michigan football player who can throw down. After seeing Funchess’ impressive dunk on Instagram on Sunday, quarterback Devin Gardner decided to make one of his own.Gardner’s dunks are definitely impressive, especially for someone who focuses on another sport, but we’ll have to award this impromptu Wolverine dunk contest to Funchess. That vertical leaping ability is sure to impress NFL scouts in the coming weeks during the combine and other draft preparation events.
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 Kevin Barrett, cocktail director at Foundationphotograph by Nick PironioA few months back, when spring and summer were meeting, I took a trip to Central America to visit my friend Lazlo and climb some volcanoes.He would prefer I not mention which country. He has high demands for anonymity. We’ve known each other a while. Lazlo’s gotten me into and out of more trouble then I’ll ever admit, and he had been pestering me to come see him in Guatemala — whoops! Oh, well, he’s already relocated.Lazlo and I met up in Guatemala City, because that’s where my plane landed. It’s a mostly charmless city with few redeeming qualities. But at the time – with the promise of travel and adventure in front of me – it held a certain allure.After salutations, we checked into a hotel and went about the town eating and drinking and catching up. Lazlo’s not much for the phone, and I’m not much for heartfelt emails, so we had a lot to catch up on. We ended up at the hotel balcony drinking Gallo beer and Ron Zacapa rum into the wee hours.Our original plan to scale several volcanoes got sidetracked immediately because the rainy season started early. Lazlo’s alternative plan seemed reasonable to me at the time: After we spent the night in the capital city, we would do something epic. We decided we weren’t just going to get drunk together in yet another country. Or maybe he let me think we decided that.First thing the next morning, we caught a chicken bus to Antigua. Yes, a chicken bus, just like on TV, but with an elaborate paint job, and without the animals. The driver whipped around skinny mountain roads while another guy hung out the door yelling, “Antigua, Antigua, Antigua…”After a few days in Antigua, we took a 12-person shuttle van – basically an express chicken bus – to San Pedro and got a room at a hostel. One of the many endearing things about Guatemala, besides the people, the food, the culture, the climate, and the volcanoes – is the hammocks. They’re everywhere, and it just feels right.We bounced around San Pedro for a few wet nights, drank Ron Botran rum, and smoked Guatemalan cigarettes. I told Lazlo that this might not be the best way to prepare for our epic feat.“It’s part of your training,” he told me.From there, we chicken bussed it to Quetzaltenango, or Xela, 7,500 feet above sea level and Lazlo’s home base. This is where we were going to do something epic.That turned out to be hiking to Lake Chicabal in the crater of Chicabal volcano. It’s a sacred place to Mam Mayans, surrounded by ceremonial altars. It’s also 9,000 feet above sea level.Lazlo has a good set of lungs, a long gait, and doesn’t sweat much. I have a hard time keeping up with him on a flat surface at sea level. The steady, gradual climb destroyed my will. Every once in a while, Lazlo would look back and say, “You doing all right?”Around every corner I suspected we would reach the top. I was disappointed many, many times. None so much as when I dragged my feet past a woman of 80 who wasn’t breaking a sweat.When we reached the top, I let him know his training regimen wasn’t working for me.“Doesn’t it, though?” he said.I asked him how he climbed so steadily.“It’s the way down that gets you,” he said. “Bad on your knees.”I couldn’t believe him. The way down was going to be cake. Maybe I’d be ahead of him on the way down. That was my gift, going downhill. I was going to excel at that.I didn’t. Lazlo was ahead of me the whole way down.The next day, we made the awful decision to climb Santa Maria, 12,250 feet above sea level. Three and a half hours into the climb, when my hands and feet started tingling, I finally asked how much further. I was pretty sure my body was sending all my blood away from my limbs and to my organs to try to keep me alive a bit longer, thus the tingling. I was drowning in the clouds.The last stretch was done on my hands and knees. The incline was so steep even Lazlo had to get his hands dirty. The moment it was over, and we had reached the top, and I was sure there was no more climbing, I wondered why I’d done this to myself. Maybe I did it so I could write a story about it. When I finally saw where we were, above the cloud line, I knew. How many people got to see this?The climb down went a bit faster, but left the soles of my feet bruised and my left big toe swollen and bleeding. I wanted to tell Lazlo that he was right – the climb down really does get you – but he was too far ahead to hear. Lazlo’s ClimbThis drink commemorates Guatemala and all of Central America, not to mention Lazlo’s epic climb of the Santa Maria volcano. This is a drink you can easily make at home during an Indian summer in Raleigh. I recommend using crushed ice.2 ounces Ron Zacapa rum1 ounce pineapple or mango juice½ ounce fresh lime juice½ ounce OJ5 to 7 dashes Peychaud’s bitters or½ ounce grenadineMix all ingredients, except bitters, in a shaking tin and dry shake (no ice). Pour mixture over crushed ice into a tall Collins or swizzle/pilsner glass. Top with Peychaud’s bitters or ½ ounce float of grenadine for a sweeter October.
In addition to antique glass, Louise uses different metallic parts: coasters from a chair, irons from a fireplace, old chandelier bases. She buys her pieces from all over – eBay, auctions, antique malls. Sometimes clients give her a piece that they would like refurbished. Raleigh interior decorator Susan Tollefsen had a client with an old family chandelier that was pretty but tired. With Louise’s finesse, it became a new, more interesting chandelier, but lost none of its history.Gaskill has never marketed herself and relies solely on word-of-mouth advertising. She sells only to designers and to a few retail shops in Raleigh, including La Maison in North Hills. Her client roster covers the entire country – from Chicago to Florida, Charleston to Raleigh – and she plans to showcase her 70 new lighting designs to decorators at the High Point Market October 17-22.“Louise designs unique fixtures that can combine lots of different time periods together between the traditional, transitional, and modern,” says Tula Summerford of Raleigh’s Design by Tula. “Her pieces work for any style house.”Where to Find Louise Gaskill’s Work:Louise Gaskill By appointment only:2023 Progress Court, RaleighLouisegaskill.comSusan Tollefsen Interiors2025 Progress Court, RaleighSusantinteriors.comLa Maison4209 Lassiter Mill Rd., Suite 132 RaleighLamaisonraleigh.comDesign by TulaDesignbytula.com by Katherine Connorphotographs by Catherine NguyenAsk Raleigh’s Louise Gaskill the secret to her artistry in lighting design, and you won’t get far. “Oh, I don’t know how I do it, I just sort of taught myself and I learn as I go,” she says humbly, with a smile. It’s hard to believe that such a masterful creator – her handmade, one-of-a-kind fixtures are sought after by interior designers and clients all over the country – could deny her skill, but that’s another of Gaskill’s gifts: making it all seem simple.To call her a lighting designer is to tell half the story. She’s also an alchemist, creating of-the-moment lamps, sconces, and chandeliers out of antique glass, seashells, found fragments, and metal fixtures. When she talks about her designs, her silver-blue eyes radiate.Louise Gaskill in her studio, filled with her collection of vintage glass, metal components, and found fragments.“I cannot say enough good things about Louise,” says prominent Chicago interior designer Julia Buckingham. “We have the same design aesthetic, which I describe as vintage antique with a modern vibe. She’s highly creative with her vision and yet she makes it seem so simple, so effortless.”Originally from New Bern, Gaskill graduated from Meredith with a history degree and launched a career in software sales in Raleigh. She fell into lamp design after creating a few pieces for herself, then kept it up as a hobby.She says her love of history has always fueled her work. “Perhaps that’s something that ties all of this together: the history and the stories of the glass and the different pieces of lamps. I love the story behind old pieces,” she says. There were no artists in her family, no crafts passed down through the generations. Instead she taught herself to design new fixtures by deconstructing lamps she wanted to work with, then reconstructing them and learning as she went.At one point, Gaskill considered creating larger pieces of furniture, but sage advice from her husband,Robert Sheldon, convinced her to stick with lighting: “Don’t ever buy anything that you can’t pick up yourself,” he said. Though her pieces remained manageable, her workshop quickly overtook the garage and storage shed where her husband once tinkered with cars. After 14 years, she still picks up every piece herself. And in the process, Gaskill has become a revered artist within a niche industry – a niche industry with big competitors.“That really is probably the hardest part of this whole enterprise, that I’m all by myself in this field, and I’m competing against large corporate companies with big budgets and mass forms of production. My pieces are works of art and can take up to one to two weeks to complete, but this is an heirloom and something that will stay in your family for generations to come.”A piece of Murano glass is the starting point and inspiration for a new chandelier.The fun partIt all starts with the hunt, and that’s “the fun part.” Gaskill says there’s nothing better than finding a great piece of antique glass – some come from other lamps, fixtures, or vases. Glass dictates the piece: Every lamp, chandelier, or sconce has some piece of glass in it. It’s her inspiration and her signature touch.Her workshop is filled with it: cobalt blue cylinders, bulbous German bases, Italian teardrops. And there’s more: a pile of gold kitchen sifters found at an antique fair will eventually make their way into the base of a lamp. A wall is filled with various pendants and knickknacks that will make a piece uniquely hers.Gaskill starts with the frame, or the base of a piece, adds a lamp pipe down the center, and then starts stacking things together, seeing what works and taking it apart again until it “fits.” This is where her joy comes: in the unexpected merging of components.
A scene from The Happiest Millionaire. Courtesy Walt Disney Studios.by Cameron HowardThe red Netflix envelope arrived in my mailbox on Duke’s East Campus, and I opened it back in my dorm room, which still bore the signs of recent, frenzied moving-in. The DVD was The Happiest Millionaire, a 1967 Disney musical starring Fred MacMurray as Anthony Drexel Biddle, the Philadelphia scion of a banking fortune. He’s an eccentric but very “happy millionaire” who runs a Bible and boxing school out of the stable, keeps alligators in the conservatory, and adores his eldest daughter Cordelia, played by Lesley Ann Warren.It’s a fun film marked by that peculiarly joyful but slightly sideways quality of Disney’s family films from that era, and it’s interesting to watch legends like MacMurray and Greer Garson, who plays Biddle’s wife, still dominating the screen decades after their careers began.As I sat there in my clunky wooden chair and matching desk in my tiny room, the experience took a surreal turn when Cordelia’s suitor, a young man by the name of Angier Buchanan Duke, and his mother, Sarah, entered the picture. Yes, those Dukes! Angier Duke was Benjamin Duke’s son and Washington Duke’s grandson, and he really did marry Cordelia Drexel Biddle. (In an odd turn of events, one of Cordelia’s brothers married Angier’s sister Mary, who was Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans’ mother, hence the various arrangements of Biddle/Duke names scattered around campus.)A scene from The Happiest Millionaire. Courtesy Walt Disney Studios.I thus had the strange experience of watching a (highly) fictionalized film based on the Duke family on Duke University’s campus in a dorm room three minutes away from the Biddle Music Building. To make it even weirder, I had visited the Sarah P. Duke Gardens just that afternoon. I hadn’t intended to start my college career with a classic movie about the Duke family, but it could not have been a more perfect choice.After all, I’d been a Duke fan years before I became a student. I was one of those toddlers decked out in Duke gear babbling cheers and flinging pom-poms at what I felt was “my” stadium long before I understood why. My love for old Hollywood goes back just as far; I grew up watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Bringing Up Baby instead of Full House and Saved by the Bell, and have adored classic movies for as long as I can remember.And I’m still utterly enthralled. It’s the glamour, the cleverness, the glorious style, and the subtlety (often due to a production code that kept things “clean”). It’s the virtuosic dancing, the rapid-fire dialogue, the amazing almost-but-not-quite British accents, the gorgeous costumes intended to astound, and that red lipstick that somehow never smudges. And it’s the stars, those idols of a nostalgic glamour preserved on glossy strips of celluloid. I love it all: the dreamlike musicals, timeless dramas, unsettling noirs, topsy-turvy screwballs, and tear-jerking melodramas – and how each one, whether it’s included in the canon or not, holds its own secrets and its own seedy and marvelous history.Sometimes films from the Golden Age can seem like slower, tamer, even painfully old-fashioned versions of today’s movies. But classic film is an art form with its own conventions, techniques, and aesthetics. The films are deceptively dense; each frame is packed with layer upon layer of choices, innovations, deliberate decisions, and miraculous mistakes that contribute to the fantastic shadows flashing by at 24 frames per second.But if the art of the films doesn’t grab you, the history might. Just like any artifact of a past age, these films are veritable time capsules inadvertently exposed to light. Old movies reproduce a certain moment in time, often without meaning to, though of course the “reality” they present is usually more beautiful, simpler, and far less chaotic than the real world has ever been.Courtesy Walt Disney Studios.It’s a cliché to bemoan “they don’t make ’em the way they used to!” but it’s entirely true. Hollywood functioned very differently then: The studios owned most of the theaters, almost everything was filmed on enormous backlots, and everyone, from the biggest stars to the carpenters and electricians, were under contract to a particular studio. The “dream factories” churned out movies from the teens to the fifties, and only began to crumble after the Supreme Court declared the massive studios in violation of anti-trust laws in 1948. It was this unbridled power that made classic Hollywood so extraordinary.Take Esther Williams. She was a national champion swimmer who was a favorite for the Olympics, but her life took an improbable turn when the 1940 Games were cancelled. MGM scouts were looking for an answer to Fox’s ice-skating sensation Sonja Henie, and decided a shapely swimmer would be just the thing. Williams was offered a contract (most actors had seven-year contracts with the studios) and MGM poured money into creating the “swimming musical,” building a massive pool complex inside a 32,000-square-foot soundstage, and turning a pretty nineteen-year-old into a glamorous movie star who captivated millions of moviegoers. For almost ten years, Williams topped the box office with her bright, sparkling movies featuring massive water extravaganzas that inspired the modern sport of synchronized swimming. The story of MGM’s mermaid verges on the absurd, but it could only have happened in the studio era during Hollywood’s Golden Age.Fortunately, these movies are undergoing something of a renaissance today. The DVD market, Turner Classic Movies, and companies like Netflix and ClassicFlix have made classic films available again. And theaters like Raleigh’s The Colony and The Cinema, Inc. and Durham’s Carolina Theatre turn screenings into events and recapture the magic of seeing these movies in their rightful place.As for me, I will always remember watching The Happiest Millionaire in my dorm room at Duke. I think of it every time I encounter the names Angier Duke or Biddle, and I smile at that weird, magical moment when Duke and classic Hollywood collided.
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!
Jillian Clarkby Mimi MontgomeryAs the city of Raleigh grows ever-faster, so does its number of visitors. One thing that hasn’t kept pace is the number of hotel rooms. A recent report commissioned by the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance says that the city needs more rooms to keep pace with demand.The new Aloft Raleigh, which opened this past October, is one of five new hotels expected to open by 2018. Geared towards the hyper-connected global traveler, the Starwoods Hotels-owned Aloft is a testament to Raleigh’s growing clout as a business hub. On Hillsborough Street across from the N.C. State bell tower, a healthy walk from downtown, the stylish 135-room hotel features tech-forward innovation and art, and holds events targeted to the young entrepreneurial crowd.The spirit of Raleigh is alive in two Thomas Sayre works – one an outdoor sculpture (shown above), the other an indoor installation incorporating clay from the North Carolina piedmont. The hotel’s collection also features pieces from nearby Roundabout Art Collective. The local food scene is represented by homegrown favorites like Gonza Tacos y Tequila and Jubala coffee shop; Videri chocolate is also a perk for guests. The WXYZ bar, which features an open-balcony view of Hillsborough Street and the downtown skyline, showcases Raleigh tunes with the hotel’s Live at Aloft Hotels music series. Guests who want to check the city out can borrow bikes.Aloft is betting big on the growth of the Triangle. A branch opened in Chapel Hill a few years ago, another in downtown Durham last fall, and a third is set to open near Brier Creek in the spring.2100 Hillsborough St.; starwoodhotels.com/alofthotels
by Mimi Montgomeryillustrations by Addie McElweeIn the interest of journalistic transparency, I’ll start this article off with a disclaimer: My knowledge of the flora and fauna that populate our local environment is slim. It can be narrowed down to a few identifiers – grass, leaves, a few varieties of common trees, and the occasional pine cone. It’s not enough to say I don’t have a green thumb. I am more akin to a creature without any sort of digital appendages at all, perhaps a sea cucumber, or a snail. I once bought a succulent, forgot where I put it, then found it three months later on the back of a shelf gasping in a pool of dehydrated, hungover misery like a college kid back from Cancun. If the horticultural world had a form of child protective services, it would have been sent knocking on my front door. So when I went to Raleigh City Farm to take a “foraging tour” with the Piedmont Picnic Project in March, I was, needless to say, completely out of my element. Headed by co-founders Elizabeth Weichel and Amanda Matson, the Project focuses on urban sustainability and increasing awareness about food history, teaching practices like gardening, foraging, preserving, and fermenting. Its aim is to provide Raleighites with simple ways to eat locally and sustainably. Raleigh City Farm, which also aims to increase accessibility and local awareness, was a fitting spot to embark on our trek. You don’t have to live on a rural farm to know where your food comes from, both groups point out, or to learn the history behind it. They believe anybody can and should be an active participant in finding and growing local, healthy foods. Clearly, I was a prime candidate for this “anybody” demographic. Other than the time I ate all the leaves off one of my mother’s house plants (at the tender age of six), my foraging experience has been contained to the produce aisle of Trader Joe’s. I’m definitely more of a Lucille Ball than a Bear Grylls, but I laced up my walking shoes, packed my pockets with enough nasal spray for an antihistamine overdose, and was ready to go. I was joined on the trek by Adrian Fisher, an urban agriculturist from Raleigh’s sister city of Hull, UK and hosted by the Raleigh Sister Cities group; Douglas Johnston, a Sister Cities representative; a crew of Meredith College Kenyan exchange students; Rebekah Beck, general manager of Raleigh City Farm; and a sprinkling of other intrepid foragers. We stood around until someone called out, “Let’s go Cro-Magnon!,” and off we went, heeding the bugle cry into the downtown wilds. Our merry gang of hunter-gatherers first stopped at a patch of grass between the curb and sidewalk outside the parking lot of Yellow Dog Bread Co. and Edge of Urge. What to me looked like a furry patch of weeds under a power line was in fact a gathering of henbit, Matson told us. A member of the mint family, henbit has a square stem with an almost-Elizabethan collar of purple flowers. It’s a common snack for chickens, hence the name. You’ve probably seen smatterings of these across your front yard, but I bet you don’t consume them raw, cooked, or boiled into a tea. Who knew an unassuming patch of sidewalk weeds could yield something with such potential? Clearly, those outside our tribe had no idea, either: Drivers beeped their horns at us as if we had the phrase “Honk if you love foraging!” taped to our backs, although they were probably just baffled to see us congregated animatedly around the base of an electrical pole like wild boars in hiking clothes snuffling for truffles. We plucked some of these newly discovered greens and continued on our way. Our next stop was the front yard of a beautiful historic home on Mordecai Street. Those were no measly weeds in the front yard, we quickly learned, but actually clumps of chickweed. It’s good to sauté or toss raw in salads, and it gets its name because – you guessed it – chickens like it, too. Naturally, we grabbed a few handfuls. Now you’re probably wondering if this was all on the up-and-up. Matson was quick to let us know that it’s always wise to ask before foraging a plant from someone’s private property. Apparently, foraging without permission can be considered theft, and some public spaces won’t even allow it. I could only imagine the conversations that would ensue if I had to tell my lawyer that I wasn’t being ticketed for speeding or an expired license this time – I was an agricultural outlaw, nabbed for smuggling leafy goods from a neighbor’s yard. Luckily for us, we managed to avoid any run-ins with the fuzz. We continued down the street to the historic Mordecai House, where we wandered through the vegetable garden in the back of the home and stopped to admire a clump of hoary bittercress growing along the picket fence. Apart from sounding like the name of a medieval disease or a potion ingredient from Harry Potter, hoary bittercress is a member of the mustard family and can be consumed cooked or raw for an added peppery taste to dishes. Its tiny white flowers are edible, as well. We added several handfuls to our growing cornucopia. Down the hill from the Mordecai House we mosied into Mordecai Spring Park, a grassy clearing full of foraging potential. I was beginning to look at lawns and strips of grass with a different set of eyes – as not just overgrowth idly passed-by, but as all-you-can-eat buffets in a wild-grown food court, ripe for the plucking. With our newfound perspective, the park became a veritable Whole Foods salad bar. We scooped up wild onions; chestnut pods; purple deadnettle (which can be used in salads and boiled as a tea); ground ivy (used as a spice and sometimes as a substitute for hops in breweries); and cleavers, those fuzzy leaves that stick to your clothes – and, it turns out, have seeds that can be ground into a substitute for coffee. Our baskets full of leafy plunder, we headed back to base camp at Raleigh City Farm. We’d worked up an appetite on our urban safari, and we were ready to dig in. Weichel and Matson had prepared snacks made with ingredients they’d found on their own local foraging expeditions, many of which consisted of the same types of plants we had just encountered. So we loaded our plates with a wild salad; honey wheat bread with jellies made from kudzu, muscadines, honeysuckle, and black locust; green pesto with field garlic, black walnuts, hoary bittercress, and purple deadnettle; and shortbread cookies with ground ivy. The spread was topped off with kombucha made of persimmons and rosehip, and a tea of ground ivy, henbit, dandelion flower, and wild shiso seeds. It was wildly delicious. Now that I can proudly add “foraging veteran” to the short list of accolades next to my name, I have a greater appreciation for the sustainability movement that’s happening here in Raleigh, especially in the downtown area. It truly is a simple matter of increasing awareness and knowledge about the topic – once you know what to look for and where to look for it, you find yourself seeing opportunities for fresh, local food wherever you go. Plus, if we are ever submerged into a post-apocalyptic dystopia, we foragers won’t be stuck eating canned beans and Twinkies like the rest of you. Actually, if it comes to that, you can hang with me – I know where we can find a mean patch of hoary bittercress.Piedmont Picnic Project: piedmontpicnic.comRaleigh City Farm: 800 N. Blount St.; raleighcityfarm.com
Courtesy Jumping Rocksby Mimi MontgomeryA weekend trip to the mountains is one way to escape the swelter. The Swag bed-and-breakfast is a secluded, luxuriously rustic boutique getaway in Waynesville, cozied right up to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Four of North Carolina’s six highest mountain ranges – the Great Smokies, the Plott Balsams, the Richland Balsams, and the Black Mountains – are visible from the Swag. The inn has a network of trails for rambling and exploring, and offers guided hikes, too. There’s plenty to do indoors, as well – the lodge has a sauna, massage therapy room, racquetball court, and extensive library. It’s also an easy drive to Asheville or the Blue Ridge Parkway.The best part? The food. The Swag is all-inclusive, which is particularly great when you’re excited to dig in: The award-winning restaurant puts on a daily breakfast buffet and dinners with seasonally-inspired menus featuring fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs from its gardens. The kitchen will pack a picnic lunch for you every day, and often hosts outdoor barbecues, too.Courtesy Jumping RocksThe Swag only has 14 guest rooms, so it pays to make reservations well ahead of time. You won’t want to miss out on these digs – the perfect blend of refined and rustic, many of the rooms have wood-burning fireplaces and private balconies overlooking the mountains, and some even have outdoor soaking tubs and showers.The Swag opened for its 35th season last month, and will stay open through November 26. Check it out this summer, and you may develop a sudden interest in foliage this fall.2300 Swag Road, Waynesville; theswag.comCourtesy Jumping Rocks
courtesy Thinkstockby Mimi MontgomeryI’ve never had the best luck with cars. I actually consider mysself a good driver, but I seem to be a walking, breathing manifestation of an automotive Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will surely come barrelling toward me and usually in an extremely public setting. On my driving record we have: three failed driving tests; uprooted mailboxes; fender benders; countless keys locked behind closed car doors; an incident with a flying bug and an air conditioner (don’t ask); numerous expired registration tickets; several middle fingers administered by portly, aggressive older men who could clearly use a hug; confrontations with neighbor’s trash cans; dislodged door handles; and a brief run-in with a boulder that I still maintain was not my fault (it was a very ill-placed boulder).Considering my colorful automotive past, I was a little intrigued when I took my car into the shop to be repaired for a week (yes, you don’t have to ask – another fender bender). What would it be like to commute without a car in a city like Raleigh? I’ve often thought that the parameters of inside-the-beltline Raleigh were just small enough to be pretty conducive to getting around car-less. Sure, you may not want to walk everywhere, but most places are within a decent bike-ride’s distance, and they’ve already got all the painted bike lanes and sidewalks set up for you. It’s clearly a city that wants to be bike-friendly, so why aren’t there more Raleighites who travel by two wheels or two feet?It seems that most distances that people drive here are stretches that big-city dwellers would stoically walk or bike in a heartbeat. When I lived in Manhattan for a summer, I would walk 30 minutes to work every day in the kind of sun-beating heat that leaves you praying for a solar eclipse. I frequently showed up to work looking like I had just ended an eight-month sojourn in the Amazonian wilderness: I would stumble in everyday loaded down like an urban sherpa with my gym and work bags, sweating like a nervous pig in a steam room, and grimy head-to-toe with city sludge.It was either that or take the subway, which during that time of year was basically like submerging one’s self into the subterranean molten lava of the Earth’s core. In fact, I would have rather licked the concrete sidewalk in Times Square than spoon the subway passenger standing in front of me in that overcrowded, overheated catacomb. But the thing is, I couldn’t really complain. I was hardly alone in this endeavor; everyone did it. No one thought twice about a half-hour’s walk in the middle of summer to wherever you were going.Part of that has to do with practicality, yes – it’s extremely expensive to keep a car in a large city, much less grab a taxi everywhere. But I also think Manhattanites all know something that I didn’t fully realize until that summer: There’s a certain paradoxical stillness to commuting outdoors in a city, to finding yourself perfectly aware of and in contact with your surroundings. Traveling unencumbered from a car, I was forced to actively participate in the world around me, to see the Hare Krishnas chanting in Union Square, the Middle Eastern man selling bananas out of a cart on my corner, the woman who put fresh flowers out every morning in front of the local bodega. These were the talismans of my morning walks, my own personal New York souvenirs, the bits of life that ingrained themselves into my own existence – steadily, slowly – like water-worn grooves on a rock.At the risk of sounding like Thoreau on a Transcendentalist ramble, I will confess this: I am an American consumer through-and-through. I have the carbon footprint of a diesel 18-wheeler – there’s nothing better than hopping into my fuel-eating Jeep SUV, turning on the air conditioner full blast, drinking out of a plastic water bottle I probably won’t recycle, and emitting some serious greenhouse gases as I easily cruise to my next destination and the ozone layer slowly withers away above me. Of course I feel a bit guilty about this, but it’s the kind of guilt I feel when I don’t floss for a few days or purposefully “forget” to set the trash cans out before the garbage trucks come – a certain apathetic cringe and knowledge that I could do better, while ultimately allowing sloth convenience to reign.So, when my most recent car misadventure forced me to revert to my ancestral state as a weary bi-ped traveler, I got strangely excited. This would be kind of fun, I thought, my mind racing: There I’d be, biking to work on a beautiful spring day on a cute beach cruiser with an adorable little basket, wearing some sort of chic ensemble like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. As you’ve probably already guessed, that’s not how it panned out. Since I don’t own a bike of my own, I borrowed my roommate’s, who is a small, lithe girl about four inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter than I am. When I hopped on her bike, it groaned like an old Grand Canyon pack donkey resigned to the fact that it had to take another obese person on a trail ride. The bike sagged to the ground and my knees were practically up to my ears as I took off, low-rider style, down my street.I tried to practice some Zen mindfulness as I cruised down Brooks Avenue onto Hillsborough Street, doing my best to take in the spring morning and the sights around me. Look – there was a beautiful collection of spring flowers, and some pretty birds perched in that tree, and was that an early morning dew I felt softly misting my face? No – that was sweat. A massive quantity of sweat, spurting from my pores like a ruptured water pipe.As I cruised by the N.C. State belltower, the cars beside me slowed down to get a good look at the girl in the highly-bike-inappropriate summer sandals wobbling on a bike clearly made for an undersized toddler. It became apparent that even though there are lanes specifically denoted for bike riders on Hillsborough, the majority of Raleigh drivers are still confused and frustrated by bike riders. Many cars veered too close into my lane or just lurked slowly behind me, unsure of what to do. Honestly, the way some people stared, you’d think I’d decided to ride a unicycle topless through morning traffic.One of the good things about this commute, though, was that I gained some major street cred with the Raleigh hipsters. As I got closer to downtown, they began springing up like mushrooms in the grass after a rainstorm, easily identified by their rolled-up jeans, purposefully nerdy glasses, canvas NPR tote bags, sustainably sourced coffee cups, and Bernie 2016 campaign stickers. As I passed by on my eco-friendly steed, they gave me a cool, vaguely visible nod as if to say, “Right on, man. You’re one of us,” before whooshing off toward whichever local start-up or alternative coffee shop lay on the distant horizon. If they had seen me in my Jeep, they probably would have given me a withering glance and mentally condemned me for driving something not fueled by hemp-seed oil or recycled kombucha.My embrace by the hipster subculture aside, by the time I got to work, my knees were aching like a geriatric and I looked like I had just emerged from a swamp, with enough perspiration covering me for three grown men combined. And I still had to bike home at the end of the day!Was it worth it? Yes and no. Raleigh is definitely a bike-able city, although I wouldn’t necessarily call it bike-friendly. Sure, you can get around where you want to on a bike if need be, and there are a good number of painted bike lanes and sidewalks for your use, but I would say bike transportation is nowhere near an expected or accepted norm.But maybe it should be – ridiculousness follows me like an ever-persistent shadow, sure, but there was a stretch of time on my commute where things seemed to fall into place (however briefly). As I rode past the North Carolina Democratic Party building, that old, white house sitting full of history and charm, and down along the various shops and businesses that line Hillsborough Street, I had that feeling of shimmering, full joy that comes from knowing you’re exactly where you need to be when you need to be. We live in a great city, full of life, vibrancy, new things, and kind, interesting people, and getting to see it from a new perspective reminded me of that all over again.Outside of a car, you simply catch things you wouldn’t otherwise. For better or worse (for my own well-being and that of the city of Raleigh), I’m sure I have some more bike rides ahead of me. If you happen to pass me on the open road, give me a honk – I’ll be the grown adult with training wheels and a padded crash suit.
Nick Donaldsonby Liza RobertsHundreds of art and garden lovers came from all over the Triangle to Frances Alvarino Norwood’s lush North Raleigh gardens for her 21st and final Larkspur Party June 4 and 5. Garden lovers will still have a chance to see her flowery showplace, she says, on Aug. 7 and Sept. 4, but without the art that has drawn huge crowds to her residential neighborhood.The Larkspur party was created by Alvarino Norwoood to showcase the work of fellow artists to the public. It began as a free, three-artist show in her front yard in 1995; this year featured 38 artists across her expanded three acres of flower and vegetable beds. The blooming sanctuary is itself a work of art, and a reflection of her other profession: gardener. “At some point,” she says, “we had to decide if we wanted more artists or more garden beds, and the garden beds won.” Still, she says, it’s been a good run, “an opportunity to share my mother’s love of gardening, and has allowed me to get to know some incredible artists and meet many other enthusiast gardeners.” Longtime fans thronged for one last hurrah. Tucked between Alvarino Norwood’s massive hydrangea, delicate poppies, and airy Queen Anne’s Lace were paintings, pots, wind chimes, and sculptures. Botanical illustrations by Preston Montague and silver jewelry by Dan Dye were standouts. In the larkspur itself stood Alvarino Norwood’s own elegant, elongated figurative ceramic sculptures, which sold out within the first hour. The Alvarino Norwood family will open their garden to the public without charge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 7 and Sept. 24.
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.
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
Carr McLamb, left, and Henry Neese coach youth basketball at Halifax Community Centerby Settle Monroephotographs by Robert WillettAround these parts, basketball is serious business. As November arrives, a charged wave of excitement runs through our state that lasts through March Madness. Tides shift as alliances are formed and enemy lines are drawn. Weeknights are spent glued to the television, and mornings are spent perusing the sports page to learn late game results. It is no secret that North Carolinians, particularly Raleighites, feel great pride for their hoops. But basketball pride is not limited to highly publicized teams or games. Walk into any of one of Raleigh’s public gymnasiums during the season and take a quick look at the boisterous fans, the demonstrative referees, and the enthusiastic players diving for loose balls: It is immediately clear that passion for the sport starts young. Each year the City of Raleigh, through its Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources department, registers hundreds of boys and girls eager to play on one of the league’s numerous basketball teams. Each team is led by a pair of volunteer coaches. This season, two of these coaches, Carr McLamb and Henry Neese, will embark on their 10th year coaching boys’ basketball (ages 13-15) for the league. The longtime friends met in 2001 when Neese played for McLamb, then a student at N.C. State in his first year of coaching. Years later, in 2007, they ran into each other at a N.C. State football game and agreed to return to the court, this time to coach together. McLamb took the helm as the head coach, and Neese served as the assistant. It was the beginning of what has become a City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources coaching establishment. For McLamb and Neese, coaching middle school boys is about more than teaching basketball skills. Both men well understand their positions as positive role models for their players. At the first practice of the season, McLamb and Neese explain their three guiding principles: One, have fun; two, improve as an individual; three, improve as a team. They also work tirelessly to instill in their players a sense of accountability and responsibility, insisting that each player show up on time prepared for practices and games. If a player has to miss a practice or game, he must call in advance to let them know. Coach McLamb is unwavering: “We want to hear from the players, not their parents, if they have to miss. They all have cell phones. So they have no excuses. We expect for each player to come to practice ready to give it all he’s got. Our team depends on it.” While basketball is serious business, for McLamb and Neese, having fun is the main priority. McLamb says, “We’ve had teams that have won championships, and we’ve had teams that really struggled. But we have never had a team that didn’t have fun.” Kirkland Caison, now a student at UNC-Chapel Hill, knows this well. Caison played for McLamb and Neese for two years in middle school and still keeps in touch with them today. “The real impact they have had is off the court,” Caison says. “Whether it be college applications or job inquiries, I have come to them many times seeking advice. They are great older brother figures, able to share honestly about their life experiences and offer suggestions to different problems I have dealt with.” At the same time, McLamb and Neese make no bones about it – they want to win basketball games, and they are strategic in their efforts. They spend nights in the gym watching other teams play to develop scouting reports. They have mastered the art of the pre-season draft. And they can recite statistics and figures from every team they’ve coached. With two practices and a game each week, coaching is a major commitment for these two Raleigh lawyers. When asked how many hours a week they spend on coaching, Neese laughs, “That depends. If you count all of the conversations we have during the week about the team, it really adds up.” McLamb and Neese both point to George Deloache, their former coach at the Jaycee Center, as their coaching inspiration. McLamb explains, “Most of what we do, we learned from George. We run the same sets he taught us as young players. He was such an important figure for us during our youth. We hope to be the same for our players.” Deloache, a longtime City of Raleigh coach and a legend in his own right, understands the deep impact that coaches can have on their players. “Middle-school-aged guys in particular are still trying to figure everything out,” he says. “For example, where does being competitive cross the line into bad sportsmanship? So, they are looking for role models.” So far, McLamb and Neese have won one city league championship, been the regular season champions twice, and made four semifinal appearances. And this coaching duo has no plans of hanging up its whistles anytime soon. “We’re not married. We don’t have kids. We have time to do it. And we love it. For the foreseeable future, we’ll be coaching.”
courtesy Paderewski Festivalby Mimi MontgomeryIgnacy Jan Paderewski was a man of many roles – pianist and composer, politician and patriot, spokesman and humanitarian. This month, his life and accomplishments will be celebrated in Raleigh at the third annual Paderewski Festival Nov. 5 – 13.“Few musicians have been accorded such fame and honor,” says Mark Fountain, the festival’s president and treasurer. A renowned classical pianist and the Prime Minister of Poland, Paderewski was an avid supporter of Polish independence post-World War I. His music, charisma, and popularity around the world sparked conversations about diplomacy, the expansion of the arts, and the intersection between the two.His ties extended to Raleigh as well. Paderewski performed in the Triangle on several occasions, including in Raleigh in 1917 and 1923 at the Raleigh Municipal Auditorium (no longer in existence), and at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in 1939. He performed in Durham, too, appearing at Duke University’s Page Auditorium in 1931. In addition, Raleighite Mary Lee McMillan was Paderewski’s wife’s secretary in New York during World War I. When the Paderewskis moved to Poland to organize war-time relief efforts, McMillan moved to Raleigh, where Paderewski sent her an inscribed piano. Today that piano, which Fountain purchased directly from the McMillan family, resides in his Raleigh home.Paderewski’s ties extended all the way to Raleigh. He performed at the Raleigh Municipal Auditorium (no longer in existence) in 1917 and 1923.In 2016, Paderewski returns to the area once more in spirit with the week-long festival honoring his music and his life. “We now enter the third year with four pianists, some young, some mature, all accomplished,” says Fountain.On Nov. 5, St. Mary’s School hosts prizewinning Ukrainian pianist Artem Yasynskyy. French concert pianist Jean Dubé will play at the N.C. Museum of History Nov. 6. The N.C. Museum of Art on Nov. 12 will feature Greek-Venezuelan pianist Alexia Mouza, who participated in the Chopin Competition in Warsaw last year; on Nov. 13, the museum will host Polish pianist Janusz Olejniczak, a renowned Chopin interpreter who also appears on the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning film The Pianist, showing at The Cary Theater Nov. 11.Nov. 5-13; locations and times vary; paderewski-festival.org
Noel Weston, owner of Lakeview Daylily Farm in Garner, NCIN FULL BLOOMLakeview Daylily Farmby Jessie Ammonsphotographs by Geoff WoodNoel Weston knows plants. As the first-ever horticulturalist for the City of Raleigh, he spent three decades managing park blooms, roadside annuals, and the trees and grasses of other public spaces. After all of those years, one flower stood out for him: daylilies. Weston says the plant’s low maintenance and reliably bright annual blooms make for a crowd-pleaser. “They’re easy and people love them,” he says. “That’s good enough for me.” At Weston’s Lakeview Daylily Farm in Garner, a sea of 1,100 daylily varieties blooms across five acres, and most of them are for sale. There are traditional smooth-edged flowers in golden hues, and then there are varieties with names like little fat cat, bursting loose, white predator, and exotic flag. Weston’s favorite is called Connie can’t have it. Some have ruffled petals, others have colors as vibrant and varied as a palette of paint. Weston has been collecting cultivars for decades, he says, gathered from various gardening group meetings, visits to publc and private gardens, and the Raleigh Hemerocallis (daylily) Club. The daylily club’s president, Wanda Quinn, and her husband, Ray, operated a commercial garden for many years that helped jump-start Weston’s collection. But now, Lakeview Daylily Farm’s wide variety hails “from all over.” Although Weston sells between 5,000 and 7,000 plants a year, he’s not too concerned with the numbers. “I loved my job” as horticulturalist, he says, and this is his way to love retirement. “People who don’t work when they retire don’t last long.” A love of gardening also inspires the other 15 acres at Lakeview (which adjoins Weston Farms, where daughter Erin Weston grows magnolias for her luxury wreath and tablescape business). In addition to daylilies, Noel Weston also has a few koi ponds; some banana, apple, and pear trees; a recently planted okra plot; and some blueberry bushes – for the moment. He’s also dabbling in raising guppies, but he’s not ready to sell them. Yet.Noel Weston, owner of Lakeview Daylily Farm in Garner, NC For the most part, Weston maintains Lakeview himself. During the peak blooming season of June to August, he’ll hire a few people to help out. Then it’s back to the patient rhythm of strolling the grounds, keeping a close eye on each plant, season to season. With the weathered visage of one who has spent more of his years outside than in, and a cache of naturalist witticisms – “Daylilies: also known as deer candy” – it’s clear that Weston’s retirement has legs. Open during bloom season Fridays – Sundays 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., or by appointment; 1000 Benson Road, Garner; weston-farms.com/daylilies
“The boxes support local food makers, and they’re a chance to practice gratitude. The sentiments that come with gifts are inspiring.”–Cathleen Cueto, co-owner N.C. Madeby Jessie Ammonsphotograph by Madeline GrayNicole makes amazing pies. She’s the friend who always brings something extra delicious to parties.” Cathleen Cueto moved to Durham from Brooklyn, New York City in 2014 and says she still remembers the first time she met her friend and now business partner Nicole Bogas. “Amazing food is memorable.” It turned out to be especially true for the duo, who today work together to curate gourmet food gift boxes at N.C. Made. Bogas first founded the company as a side business in 2014 while also working in digital advertising. “I was so excited about the food in our area, and inspired by how many of them had beautiful product design.” She wanted to share her favorites with friends and clients across the country, so she decided to do it herself. “We hang our hat on things that are typically North Carolina,” Bogas says. N.C. Made’s first boxes remain among its most popular: the N.C. Barbecue themed package includes barbecue sauce, hushpuppy mix, and a N.C. BBQ map; the N.C. Beer one includes a beer-and-bacon barbecue sauce, spiced apple beer jam, and gaelic ale mustard. There are snack boxes, customizable corporate gifts, and wedding welcome boxes. As business grew, Bogas brought Cueto on board. Winter is an especially sweet time of year at N.C. Made. “We can’t send any boxes with chocolate in the warmer months,” Cueto says, because it melts in the mail. The holidays mean the return of boxes with cocoa candy: in particular, city-themed boxes. If you want to send an Oak City box to a loved one, inside will be Slingshot Coffee Company cascara tea, Crude shrub syrup, Benny T’s Vesta dry hot sauce, a note card letterpressed by One and Only Paper, and a bar of Videri chocolate. No matter the theme choice, every box comes with a handwritten note. Sometimes, Bogas and Cueto use the front and back of note cards to transcribe customers’ thoughts. “Even if they’re really long, we write it out,” Bogas says. After all, a personal touch combined with amazing food is bound to be remembered. “Those are the aspects we get excited about.”ncmade.net
Dwane PowellPeter HoffmanZang ToiJillian ClarkWonder WomenRaleigh’s own buzzworthy wonder woman, and style inspired by the filmAlice Hinman’s bee city Peter HoffmanWonderful WomanTim LytvinenkoIn the fieldThis scenic fox hunt is an annual traditionGeoff Wood A close-up of the Sir Walter Raleigh upcycled mosaic by Denise Hughes featured on the May 2017 cover. Photograph by Christer Berg Saint Augustine’s UniversityChristopher T. Martin At home Two Stories of a House shattered our social media records for most-liked postsKelly ShatatCatherine NguyenCharlotte Smith Catherine Nguyen A tip of the hat to 10 standout stories from 2017 … Local milestonesA Raleigh university at 150, and opening the doors of the state’s largest cathedral Holy Name of Jesus Cathedralrenderings by O’Brien & Keane Architecture At the tableMeet the folks behind now-world-renowned Brewery BhavanaKeith IsaacsAt the studioRaleigh’s hometown cartooning hero, and a visit from a celebrated fashion designer
“If you love it, it works. Everything in my house I have chosen because it has sung to me.” –Emily Cochran, founder, Emily & Coby Catherine Currinphotographs by Madeline GrayEmily Cochran knew she’d found her passion when her vintage repertoire surpassed the storage unit. “I kept outgrowing, from the storage unit to shared retail spaces, and eventually opened my own shop.” After four years of casual collecting, in 2016 Cochran opened Emily & Co. in Glenwood South. There, Cochran’s selection of wares reflects her statewide travels and her own personal style. “My house is a big melting pot of colors and textures and styles. I love classic with a fun twist.”During her early years of collecting, Cochran would update a chair’s upholstery or lacquer a table. But today at Emily & Co, she’s leaving most pieces untouched. “I find things that are beautiful as they are.” The vintage emporium reflects both old and new, from an antique bamboo mirror to luxe candles and newly tufted throw pillows.In Emily & Co’s inaugural year, Cochran invited customers to join her on on two “picking” trips, sifting through antiques in Burlington and Fayetteville. The trips have become a tradition, and now is the time to get in on the April 28 journey. These outings have a spirit of adventure: Cochran doesn’t reveal the destination until the morning-of. “We’ll go no more than two hours outside of Raleigh,” Cochran says. What is predictable is the agenda: “A delicious lunch and my insider tips on vintage shopping, where to go and what to look for.”