Belle Magazine December 2012
This Issue: The season's sparkling fashions, the truth behind bad boys, insider winter fun + more.
belle Season's Sparklers Artful Fashion to Be Seen In Women You Should Know: Holy Yang, Joan Davis, Treesa Gold and more Breaking Bad Boys What's the Attraction? Acupuncture for Health A Closer Look at Therapy Way to Go in RVA Insider Tips for Winter Fun DECEmbErâ€‰2012/january 2013 FrEE 3 4 6 7 8 2 5 11 1 10 9 1 Mountain Hardwear Men’s Ghost Whisperer Jacket $285.99; 2 The North Face Spectre Plaid Shirt $69.99; 3 Smartwool PhD Outdoor Medium Crew $23.95; 4 Mountain Hardwear Men’s Mesa Convertible Hiking Pant $79.99; 5 Oboz Sawtooth Low B-Dry $124.99; 6 Keen Sterling Mary Jane $89.99; 7 GSI Outdoors Java Press 30 oz. $32.99; 8 Pistil Designs Women’s Piazza Beanie Hat $29.99; 9 Horny Toad Women’s Heartfelt Long Sweater $167.99; 10 Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger $99.99; 11 Patagonia Women’s Better Sweater $139 FROM US TO YOU Spend $50 and get a free gift. Choose between a Blue Ridge 40th Anniversary pint glass or bandana or a CD of live tunes from the Festy Experience! short pump Towne Center West, Just west of Short Pump Town Center in front of Hilton Hotel, 804.360.0205 chesterfield Chesterfield Towne Center, Southside of Richmond, 804.794.2004 FIND US www.BRMS.com Santa’s not the only one who delivers gifts. To learn about our state-of-the-art birthing centers, helpful parenting classes ( 2WOMEN 2 2 9) BON SECOURS FOR and more, call 340-BABY or visit bonsecoursforwomen.com Bon Secours Richmond Health System BON SECOURS FOR WOMEN Bon Secours Richmond Health System Good Help to Those in Need® St. Mary’s Hospital | Memorial Regional Medical Center | St. Francis Medical Center SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT CinéBistro at Stony Point Gives You More Reasons to Stay In & Stay Warm this Winter December 1 The Met Opera Presents: La Clemenza di Tito 12:55p 3 Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker 7:30p Giants vs Redskins 8:30p 8 The Met Opera Presents: Un Ballo in Maschera 12:55p 10 Texans vs Patriots 8:30p 13 Midnight Premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 15 The Met Opera Presents: Aida 12:55p 17 Jets vs Titans 8:30p 19 La Clemenza di Tito (Encore) 6:30p 21 Premiere of This is 40 Premiere of Jack Reacher 23 Chargers vs Jets 8:30p 25 Premiere of Django Unchained Premiere of Les Miserables 31 New Years Eve 1920’s Gala For Ticket Purchases, Please Visit CobbCinebistro.com. Follow us on Facebook & Twitter for Regular Updates. GIFT CARD THE PERFECT GIFT! A Gift Cards Available for Purchase at Concierge or CobbCinebistro.com s colder weather moves in, CinéBistro at Stony Point Fashion Park is providing more ways to stay entertained indoors this winter. In addition to the great holiday blockbuster films coming out this season, the popular Metropolitan Opera series continues its successful run with five additional live performances running through the winter. Encores of each performance are also offered for those who are unable to make the live broadcast. Richmond football fans have discovered the thrill of viewing games on the big screen as attendance to the Monday Night broadcasts has continued to grow throughout the season. Upcoming match ups include Giants vs Redskins which is sure to be popular with the Richmond audience. In addition to the free broadcast, guests are able to enjoy continuous service throughout the game as well as food and drink specials. Complimentary seat reservations are available at the theatre Concierge Desk 1.5 hours before kickoff. The popular weekly wine event “Tuesday Tastings” reached the one-year anniversary mark in mid November and has continued to be a popular weekday draw. For $15, guests can enjoy chef-prepared hors d’oveurs, learn about wines from an expert vintner, and participate in wine trivia for a chance at free movie passes. CinéBistro will be celebrating the New Year by hosting Countdown to 2013: A 1920’s Gala! The party is open to the public and guests are encouraged to dress in their 1920’s best. Party perks include a complimentary midnight champagne toast, a balloon pop for great prizes, a costume contest and live feed of the NYC Times Square ball drop. Donate Unwrapped Toys 11/19 - 12/17 Gifts Valued at $15*+ Earn You a FREE Appetizer Card & Entry to Win Official Drop Site! Free Movies for a Year & a $250 Food Voucher! *Must Present Receipt. See Website for Details For Information Regarding Private Events: Events.Stonypoint@CobbCinebistro.com STONY POINT FASHION PARK 9200 Stony Point Pkwy, Richmond, VA 23235 | 804.864.0460 www.CobbCineBistro.com | 21 and over. Proper ID required. @CinebistroSP SCAN FOR A VIDEO TOUR /CinebistroStonyPoint december2012/january2013 belle Publisher: Lori Collier Waran Jason Roop Timberlake firstname.lastname@example.org Editor in Chief: email@example.com Editor: Deveron Art Director: On the cover: Vintage sequin snakeskin dress ($75) fur hat ($40) and black silk blouse as collar ($30), all at McCue Vintage; gunmetal ring ($68), at Pink. Photo by Scott Elmquist at Page Bond Gallery. Joel Smith Scott Elmquist Photography Editor: Fashion Editor: Lauren Healy Contributing Writers: Julie Geen Valley Haggard Elizabeth Jewett Hilary Langford Karen Newton Christine Stoddard Style & substance 7 14 31 Arts and Entertainment Copy Editor: G.W. Poindexter DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR: SALES manager: Ed Harrington Hannah Huber firstname.lastname@example.org publishing and new media development manager: Dana Elmquist email@example.com Marketing, Sponsorships & Events: Tonie Stevens firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Tree of retro delight. ... Joan Davis crusades for artists. ... Where to give or get a letter. ... Season the holiday well with spices. ... Go on an eco-safari. ... Meet a local e-tailer. ... Treesa Gold takes the Belle pop quiz. by Karen Newton way to go: Looking for something fun to do in RVA this season? Try these options on for size. by Karen Newton 13 Toni McCracken ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Jamie Haboush SALES ASSISTANT: Kimberly Hall ADVERTISING GRAPHIC ARTISTS: Fashion Cues 14 20 feature: Enter the party like a work Kira Jenkins, Chris Mason ADMINISTRATION/BUSINESS MANAGER: of art in these seasonal sparklers. by the Belle fashion team Chris Kwiatkowski business assistant: personalities profile: Holy Yang grows businesses with Jennifer Waldbauer Belle is published monthly and is free. One copy per person. Belle may be distributed by authorized distributors only. Style Weekly subscriptions are available for $49 (third class mail) and $99 (first class mail). Style Weekly, 1313 E. Main St., Suite 103, Richmond, Va. 23219, 804-358-0825; General fax 804-358-1079; News fax 804-358-9089; Classified phone 804-3582100; Classified fax 804-358-2163. www.styleweekly.com E-mail: email@example.com Copyright © by Style Weekly Inc. TM 2012 All rights reserved. determination. by Christine Stoddard Body & Soul 24 30 Fitness: Acupuncture may solve unexpected issues. by Julie Geen 24 Private parts: Why are some attracted to bad boys? by Julie Geen 27 27 and some top picks for a winter’s evening. by Julie Geen, Elizabeth Jewett and Hilary Langford. Agenda: Books to curl up with, music to dance to, First Person 34 Forget minimalism and load me up with more, or less. by Valley Haggard belle DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 5 | Get what you really want this season.. holiday sparkle for less new arrivals daily It s ’ ChicAgain! Upscale Consignment | New fun fashions arriving daily… Where Thrifty is the New Envy.© Sycamore Sq Shopping Ctr | 1225 Sycamore Square | Midlothian VA, 23113 | 804-897-CHIC (2442) | Mon–Fri 10–7 • Sat 10-6 • Sun 1–5 ItsChicAgain.com | Find Us On Facebook StylE &SubstancE Hot products, new ventures and local discoveries. by karen newton O, Tannenbaum Let’s face it, not everyone wants the trouble or expense of a live tree. It’s still nice to have a little holiday motif, and you can do it ’60s style with this miniature takeoff on the classic aluminum Christmas tree ($44.95) from Old World Accents, 3419 W. Cary St. Its selection of ornaments is varied, but these Chinese-made ones come with a sense of humor and maybe even a little irreverence. And after the season, you can just bend the branches up and store till next year, when you’ll find it ready to dazzle again. belle DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 7 | photo by scott Elmquist st y l e & s u b s ta n c e Product of Change It was an idea born of divorce. Cheryl Shanahan had worked all aspects of retail, exhibited her photographs locally and was looking for a new creative outlet after her marriage ended. She decided to use her photographs as the basis for cards, calendars and journals, and sell them online at her e-store, Lucky Ginger. “It was a creative foil to the demands of my full-time job in commercial construction,” she says. “With this I can let my creativity ooze out.” Using her photographs as a starting point, her e-store offers note cards, gift tags, paperweights and just about anything she can put her photos on. But her point of pride is that everything is made in the United States. “If I source everything here,” she says, “everything I do is helping another company here.” shopluckyginger.com. | 8 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 Seasoning’s Greetings West Indian nutmeg Even if you don’t bake all year long, you may get a hankering to apron up and make some Christmas cookies this time of year. For inspiration and supplies, walk the aisles of Penzeys Spices at 3400 W. Cary St. in Carytown to open jars and sniff your way into a festive mood. Everything comes in multiple sizes so you can buy just enough to try it in a recipe or stockpile a favorite. Pure vanilla extract comes in single- and double-strength for classics such as butter or sugar cookies. Natural high-fat cocoa powder is just the thing for making fudgy brownies, or the best hot cocoa. And if it all seems like too much work, how about a whole West Indian nutmeg, ideal for grating over eggnog? No apron required. photos by scott elmquist belle s t y l e & s u b sta n c e The Cure for New Year’s Eve Sure, sure, everyone knows the best way to prevent a hangover is to avoid overindulging in the first place. But come December when the holiday parties are endless and capped by New Year’s Eve blowouts, it’s difficult to be good all the time. If you have one too many, it’s best to start hydrating as quickly as possible. And if you need even more of a cure, consider some advice from the experts: Star-Lite bartender Ashley Hawkins may have had a hangover or two, but when she does, she knows what to do: “Four Ibuprofen with a huge glass of water, eat way too much at lunch with my girlfriends, an unhealthy dose of caffeine, and possibly a mimosa.” Possibly? Secco owner Julia Battaglini recommends letting your body make the call. “Gatorade till I don’t want to die, then chicken pho until I want to drink again. Usually five and three hours respectively.” No need to rush things. Kali Strain, bartender at Amuse, knows what to do when morning comes. “A hot meal and a cold beer, bitters and soda and jumping in the ocean or a cold shower.” Bartenders are brave. photo by scott elmquist photo by scott elmquist V Letter Perfect A gift for yourself or maybe a hint for the appropriate person: Choose your initial or pick the first letter of the word that best describes you. Perhaps a W for winsome or an M for magical. $40 at Quirk Gallery, 311 W. Broad St. Pop Quiz with treesa gold tion and preparing for it, I realized what a big deal it was that I hadn’t died. I had a 20 percent chance of living, so my accomplishment is living every day to the fullest. 4. Best part of being a musician? Playing the best music with the best people you’ve ever met. 5. Fill in the blank: I am happiest when: I’m playing music. 6. Play or movie? Play. But I usually don’t get to do either. 7. Cat or dog? Dogs! I have two and they’re awesome. 8. Beer or wine? Oh, wine, any day. 9. Dress or pants? A dress for me lately. 10. Favorite band? The Beatles. They’re too good not to say. 11. Best thing about Richmond? I love that you see people you know everywhere. I love that in the same city, you have trees and a legitimate city. I love that I can walk everywhere. 12. Guilty pleasure? None. Every pleasure I have is out in the open. iolinist Treesa Gold has played with the Richmond Symphony, is a member of local bands Goldrush and Long Arms, and has been overscheduled since she was 2 years old. She says she wouldn’t have it any other way. 1. What’s your job? Violin teacher and wanna-be rock star. 2. What do you do in your free time? I assume that’s a joke. 3. Biggest accomplishment in life? I was the keynote speaker at a cancer conven- belle DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 9 | Legalize Art Joan Davis has found a way to combine her legal talents with a love of art. She has an entertainment law practice in which she advises clients on aspects of intellectual property protection, such as copyright and trademark law. She works with “starving artists,” as she calls them, meaning visual artists, authors, musicians, photographers, dancers, models, tattooists and fashion designers. Davis developed a “coffee with an art lawyer” program four years ago, which grew out of a desire to give back to the artistic community. “These are people who may not have money to give to a lawyer but still need their rights protected,” she says. The works varies: She’s assisted with forming businesses, filing trademarks, filing copyrights, reviewing and drafting contracts. Artists can make an appointment for coffee on the third Monday of every month by emailing jdavis@ schroderfidlow.com. photo by scott elmquist st y l e & s u b s ta n c e photo by scott elmquist You Gotta Have Faith If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get back in touch with your faith, a wideranging website will set you on the right path. FaithinRichmond.com bills itself as, “All faith, all news, all the time” and offers much more than a way to find a place to worship in your neighborhood (although its listing of those is extensive). You’ll find places to shop for the holidays to benefit local groups, faith-based book clubs, information on family events, announcements of music and food festivals and volunteer opportunities. Think of it as a marriage between art, culture and design. Eco-Safari, an exhibition on display through mid-January at Micheal Sparks Design at 205 Hull St., shows off the creative handiwork of Virginia Commonwealth University graduate Grant Garmezy, photographer Jennifer Sisk and artist Mike Garaffa. Garmezy, an expert Richmond glass blower, has crafted an artistic alternative to natural animal horns and tusks, which are complemented by the paint graphics of Mike Garaffa. To this, Sisk adds large-format photographs capturing the tribesmen of Africa taken during her trips there. The dramatic display highlights the relationship among photography, glass, graphics and nature. “It gives the illusion and beauty of having something real without really having it,” Sparks says. “Plus it’s animal-friendly.” | 10 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 Hunting for Glass Horns Michael Sparks belle e Hall Tree BLACK, WHITE & Accepting nsignments onday thru day 10-4 PM. Shopping onday thru rday, 10-5 PM. Bling • Take left exit 190/I-195 S • Go 1.4 mi to exit 74A Downtown Expwy • Go 3.3 miles thru toll • Merge onto I-195 N • Take Cary/Floyd exit • Right at light onto N Thompson St • Right at next light into shopping center Special December g iN & pt iNg e c h s ac ot ie w r cl sor o N te e s N c wi ac Celebrating our 5th Year Anniversary 12 S. Thompson St. Richmond, VA 23221 (p) 804-358-9985 web: www.thehalltreerichmond.com Richmond, VA’s Consignment Institution for Men, Women, and Children. We The We d rang men Located in Please join Dr. Zinsser and ZinsserRichmond’s Plastic Carytown Surgery for our annual holiday event. Enjoyat Thompson hors d’oeuvres, refreshments, door prizes and and Cary Street. Just one visit and you’ll BE hooked. Cont Tree varie - Trul great specials all evening long! Grand Prize provided by Capri Jewelers and Zinsser Plastic Surgery TUESDAY December 4, 2012 • 5pm North - 8pm East • I-64 W to RIC • I-95 S to RIC RSVP at 804.474.9805 Som have The l Joan • Take exit 79 to I-195 S • Merge left via exit 186 to I-195 S/Powhite Pkwy • Go 2.2 mi to Cary/Grove exit • Left at light onto W Cary St. • Left at next light onto S Thompson St. • Left into shopping center Purchase a skin care gift card for a friend South of $100 West • I-95 N to or more and receive $50 to spend on yourself - RIC good • I-64 E to RIC • Take exit 74A to • Take exit 186/I-195S through the month of December. 50% off an Downtown Expwy Powhite Pkwy • Go 2.2 mi to Cary/Grove exit • Go 3.3 miles thru toll January Special • Left at light onto W Cary St. • Merge onto I-195 N IPL treatment, sun spots.exit • Take Cary/Floyd • Left at next lightgreat onto for treating • Right at light onto N S Thompson St. Thompson St • Left into shopping center • Right at next light into shopping center Celebra r rsa e v i n ting our 40th An The Element of Surprise... Clothing & Accessories for men, women & children Accepting consignments Mon thru Fri 10-4. Please call ahead to see if we are accepting clothes. Shopping Mon thru Sat 10-5. Every Day John W. Zinsser, M.D., F.A.C.S Blanche Luck, Master Aesthetician “Voted as one of the best bargains on Runway Fashion” by Richmond Magazine 1501 Maple Ave 101B, Richmond, Va 23226 zinsserplasticsurgery.com 804-358-9985 • thehalltreerichmond.com Located in Richmond’s Carytown at Thompson & Cary belle DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 11 | y Beat the Holiday Bulge! k . Slim Down for the Season! Before* “No Surgery, No Down Time” After* *Photos courtesy of Solta Medical Virginia’s leaders in non-invasive body sculpting. FRee ConSultAtion • (804) 290.0909 • www.DRSunDin.CoM Burton M. Sundin, MD & Reps B. Sundin, MD | 7611 Forest Ave, Suite 210, Richmond, VA 23229 | (804) 290.0909 • www.DrSundin.com movies | in-theatre dining | bar and lounge | corporate and private events RICHMOND’S BEST BET FOR HOLIDAY ENTERTAINMENT THE PERFECT GIFT! GIFT CARD Gift Cards are available for purchase online or at the theatre. BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY TODAY STONY POINT FASHION PARK 9200 Stony Point Parkway, Suite 101, Richmond, VA 23235 804.864.0460 | www.CobbCineBistro.com | 21 and over. Proper ID required. /CineBistroStonyPoint SCAN FOR A VIDEO TOUR @CineBistroSP | 12 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 belle Four winter outings taste good and feed the brain. sound decision The plan: Groove to psychedelic folk. Way to Go by Karen Newton a cuban spectacular The plan: Feel the Latin rhythms. peek behind the doors The plan: Imagine life in the Branch House. bring me a tenor The plan: Short-form opera. Where to go: The Camel on Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. for a triple bill that’ll knock your socks off. Oakland, Calif., band Electrician does electrofolk songs about social war and relationships; Cardinal Compass and rising local star Dave Watkins open — and you’ll have a hard time believing so much sound can come from one man. Where to go: The Virginia Center for Architecture on Dec. 9 at 2:30 p.m. for “Talk and Tour: the House that Pope Built.” That distinctive house at Monument and Davis was built by the wealthy Branch family. Now it’s used by the center, but this is your chance to see rooms rarely opened to the public. See where Branch hid his hooch during Prohibition. Look for the resident ghost. What to eat: 821 Cafe (825 W. Cary St.) has simple and satisfying favorites, like my beloved black bean nachos. Feeling adventurous? Try the peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwich for a one-of-a-kind taste, or go large with the Brent burger, a one-pound burger between two grilled cheeses. Where to go: University of Richmond’s Modlin Center on Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. for “From the Big Easy to the Big Apple: a Celebration of the Mambo.” This multimedia journey highlights the collision of Latin rhythms with American jazz and features the university’s jazz ensemble, musical guests and a dance contest. Remember, the secret is to chill on the first beat. What to eat: Catch brunch beforehand at Lunch (1213 Summit Ave.) where pig is king. Its house-made sausage is stellar and the biscuits would make Aunt Bea proud. If you don’t want an omelet, try the enormous sandwiches, such as the locomotive 231, a meatloaf lover’s dream. Where to go: The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on Jan. 4 from 6-8 p.m. for music at First Fridays with Capitol Opera Richmond. Richmond’s the fifth and latest city to be added to the Capitol Opera group, with the first being Sacramento, Calif., 20 years ago. Celebrate with Famous Arias and Duets by six or more company singers. With drink in hand, it’s an easy way to experience opera. What to eat: The Blue Goat (5710 Grove Ave.) is on the way to the University of Richmond and the place to enjoy rabbit pâté, braised goat and pork cheeks that should delight the mambogoing crowd. What to eat: Acacia (2601 W. Cary) is only a few blocks away. When it comes to reliably creative and wellexecuted food, few places top this Richmond mainstay. And the bar is always a lively place to spend a Friday evening. Photo by SCOTT ELMQUIST Photo by SCOTT ELMQUIST Photo by SCOTT ELMQUIST belle DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 13 | Fa s h i o n c u e s feature Art of the Party Girl Eclectic, festive and dramatic statements for the seasonâ€™s glitzy gatherings. Silver silk dress by Graham & Spencer ($403) at Pink; cluster necklace by Kay Adams ($595) and pearl necklaces ($30 each) at Anthill Antiques. | 14 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 ď Ź belle Fa s h i o n c u e s feature Fashion editor Lauren Healy PhotoGrapher Scott Elmquist Joel Smith Art director Model Kristina Welch, Model Mayhem Crissi York, master stylist, Salon Del Sol and Spa Jonye Cordova, JonyegirlFaces Hair Makeup Fashion Assistant Ashley Carruthers Page Bond Gallery, 1625 W. Main St., pagebondgallery.com; 3North Architects, Sanford Bond, AIA, lead architect. location Victorian black lace dress by Dolce Vita ($250) and white crystal hand necklace by Serpent & the Swan ($165) at Need Supply Co.; pearl necklaces as bracelets ($30 each) at Anthill Antiques; gunmetal beaded headband ($12) at Urban Outfitters; blue roses headband by Leslie Tuite ($25) at B-Sides Thrift Boutique; black open toe platform by Charles by Charles Davis ($138) at Champagne and Shoes. Susan Jamison painted “So Caught Up” in 2012. belle DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 15 | Fa s h i o n c u e s feature Black cutout dress by Reverse ($79) at Urban Outfitters; gold moon-rock bracelet ($38) and gold beaded bracelet ($75), both at Pink; gold chain cross-body purse by Whiting and Davis ($24) at the Hall Tree; gold skull earrings ($58) at Champagne and Shoes; sterling costume ring ($65) at Anthill Antiques; gold tip suede heel by Dolce Vita ($185) at Need Supply Co. | 16 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 ď Ź belle Fa s h i o n c u e s feature 1950s handmade wallpaper print dress ($68) blue topaz and 10-karat gold ring ($142), both at Halcyon Vintage; watch guts necklaces by Kay Adams ($155-$195) and vintage sterling menâ€™s lion head ring ($50) at Anthill Antiques. belle ď Ź DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 17 | Fa s h i o n c u e s feature Burnout velvet long sleeve dress by Dolce Vita ($52) at the Hall Tree; black mohair shrug handmade by Phyllis ($42) at Halcyon Vintage; vintage fishing-lure necklace by Janelle Pietrzak ($26) at All Roads Market; cross ring ($75) and party bracelet ($42) at Anthill Antiques; black lace headband ($12) at Urban Outfitters. | 18 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 ď Ź belle Fa s h i o n c u e s feature find it HErE Anthill Antiques 3439 W. Cary St. 254-2000 anthillantiques.com All Roads Market etsy.com/shop/AllRoadsMarket B-Sides Thrift Boutique 2925 W. Cary St. 355-3131 bsidesrva.tumblr.com Champagne and Shoes 3004-B W. Cary St. 261-0951 champagneandshoesva.com Halcyon Vintage 117 N. Robinson St. 358-1311 halcyonvintage.com The Hall Tree 12 S. Thompson St. 358-9985 thehalltreerichmond.com Lex’s of Carytown 3020 W. Cary St. 355-5425 lexsofcarytown.com McCue Vintage etsy.com/shop/McCuevintage Susan Jamison painted “Prick” in 2012. Need Supply Co. 3100 W. Cary St. 355-5880 needsupply.com Pink 3158 W. Cary St. 358-0884 pinkstore.com Saxon Short Pump Town Center 11800 W. Broad St. 285-3473 saxonshoes.com Urban Outfitters Short Pump Town Center 11805 W. Broad St. 364-5216 urbanoutfitters.com belle DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 19 | personalities profile Scene Changer The ambitious Holy Yang wasted no time in launching a Richmond business empire. I by Christine Stoddard magine starting three booming businesses, marrying a male model and giving birth to a baby boy — all by the time you’re 23. That’s the life of the young and accomplished ThaiAmerican Holy Yang (pronounced Holly.) “Instead of switching majors, I switch business ventures,” Yang jokes. Two years ago, Yang opened Made in Asia, an upscale Thai and pan-Asian restaurant in Chesterfield that brings urban cool to suburbia. The business holds benefit nights and concerts and has sponsored a Mrs. Virginia contestant. In 2011, Richmond Magazine named Made in Asia the area’s best new restaurant. At that point, the place | 20 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 had been open to the public for only a few months, but Yang didn’t miss a beat. Following Made in Asia’s success, Yang founded a marketing company, Yang Business Services, which designs branding and promotional strategies. Many of her clients are restaurants, especially ones that are recently established — such as Bobalicious, a Virginia chain specializing in frozen yogurt and bubble tea. Yang has another big idea: a bright, trendy restaurant downtown that delivers fast but healthy Japanese cuisine using environmentally friendly practices. “Think just one step up from Panera and Chipotle,” Yang says of the business concept. “Fast but not too fast, casual but not too casual.” This restaurant, A2, will offer gourmet Asian fusion food — including dishes that are meaty, vegan and gluten-free — in a relaxed and futuristic setting. A2 is under construction in the former Hunan Café at 1112 E. Main St. A wireless ordering system, sustainable menus, motion-sensor lights and a recycling program will promote A2’s “positive impact on the city,” Yang says. She likens the stylish, green-minded concept to something you would see in New York City or even Tokyo. “It will give [Richmonders] the experience they seek in other cities,” Yang says, “but it’s still tailored to the needs of Richmond.” A2 is scheduled to open in early 2013. Yang isn’t the wait-and-see type. She quit college at age 19 to start putting her business smarts into practice. The Detroit native moved to Richmond four years ago to help her sister-in-law, the owner of Asiana Bistro in Powhatan. After two months, Yang and her husband, Kevin Guo, fell in love with Richmond’s small-town-in-a-big-city feel. At that point, they decided to stay in Richmond and began planning their restaurant and business future. “You can’t teach how to become an entrepreneur,” Yang says. “You need the drive and passion for business and you just have to do it. I’ve been there painting my own walls and doing the elbow grease work.” photo by scott elmquist belle RESERVE YOUR SPACE NOW. Four iconic buildings are being turned into amazing apartments on Richmond’s cityside Canal Walk. The elegant Italianate, industrialedge Alume, intimate North Canal and airy White Byrd bring you city living at its best, with a walkable lifestyle on the edge of the business district, Shockoe Slip, and the James. Opening early 2013, The Locks’ luxury-level one- and two-bedroom homes will be loaded with amenities. Call 888-811-7622 or go to lifeatthelocks.com. Downtown Richmond’s Premier Waterfront Community On the Canal Walk 311 South 11th Street 888-811-7622 lifeatthelocks.com Managed by Fountainhead Properties. White logo Where SHOES Make You Bubbly! Call Today To Book Your Next “Girls Night Out” With Us! Gift Certificates Now Available. Free Parking Behind The Store. 3004-B West Cary St | Richmond, VA 23221 | (804)261-0951 | champagneandshoesva.com Tues-Sat 11am-7pm | Sunday 12-5pm | Monday closed belle DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 21 | G i f t G u i d e s p e c i a l a d v e rt i s i n g s e c t i o n 2. 1. 4. Merry & Bright 5. Belle’s Holiday Gift Guide 3. 6. 1. Send the gift that keeps giving all year long. Wag-In-The-Box is full of fun, new and innovative products for the pooch each month. Options for less than $20 per month, and a portion of each sale goes to a charitable cause you select for us. Wag in the Box | www.waginthebox.com 2. Patagonia Men’s and Women’s Better Sweater 1/4-Zip. Stay warm in style with Patagonia’s cozy and comfortable quarterzip pullover sweater that combines the aesthetic of wool with | 22 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 the easy care of polyester fleece. Blue Ridge Mountain Sports www.BRMS.com | Towne West Center 360.0250 | Chesterfield Towne Ceter 794.2004 3. One of a kind from Michou Jewelry. Rainbow pyrite & tourmaline in a sterling and gold vermeil setting. Only at Alchemists www.alchemistsbooksandfgifts.com | 320.9200 4. Give the gift of the perfect fit. Fiamour | www.fiamour.com 445.2435 5. Eye-catching gold bracelet with matching emerald ring. Great accessories for the holiday season! It’s Chic Again www.itschicagain.com | 897.2442 6. Eminence Gift Sets with a chance to WIN a 2 nights deluxe stay at the Waldorf Astoria Park City & the Golden Door Spa. Wild Plum Berry Set. Club West Med Spa www.clubwestmedspa.com | 897.5297 belle 1. G i f t G u i d e s p e c i a l a d v e rt i s i n g s e c t i o n 3. 2. 4. 5. 6. 1. Eat, Walk, Repeat! Real Richmond Food Tour gift certificates make it easy to dig in to Richmond! Good 1 year from purchase. Special events not included. Real Richmond www.realrichmondva.com | 840.5318 2. NeriumAD is an anti-aging break through. Correct multiple concerns with ONE product and it’s backed by clinical proof! 30-day money back guarantee. Available at www.kimmcfee.nerium.com | 385.0783 3. Be sure to make a statement with this chunky necklace this season. The Hall Tree | www.thehalltreerichmond.com 358.9985 4. Holiday hand knit wool dog sweater, Winter hat & scarf. These are the warmest sweaters made today. Sizes XXS-XXXL. Fido Park Avenue Dog Boutique www.fidoparkave.com | 360.8011 5. Stainless steel VCU timepiece from the “Tango” Collection by Raymond Weil. Available exclusively at Schwarzschild. Sterling and 18K Naga Dragon bracelet by John Hardy. Schwarschild www.schwarzschild.com | Short Pump 967.0800 Alverser 344.0150 | Carytown 355.2136 6. Stay warm this winter with these fashionable boots! Champagne and Shoes | www.champagneandshoesva.com 261.0951 belle DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 23 | b o dy & s o u l fitness DianE Lowry’s Tips for Cold and Flu SEason Bundle Up In traditional Chinese medicine, the lung is considered the most exterior organ and our first line of defense against pathogens. When the weather turns cold and windy, acupuncture points on the neck and upper back become especially vulnerable. Wearing a scarf protects these points and the health of your lungs. Acupressure on lung seven One of the most influential points for strengthening the lung organ is called lung seven. It promotes the descending function of the lung, making it a great choice for cough and nasal congestion. It also alleviates the headache and stiff neck commonly associated with colds and flus. To locate lung seven, begin by making a thumbs-up sign. From the depression at the base of your thumb (referred to as the anatomical snuffbox), slide your index finger up your arm approximately two finger-widths. Lung seven is where your finger falls into the depression between the two tendons. Apply firm, steady pressure for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat on both arms several times. Food as Medicine At the first sign of a cold, drink hot ginger tea. Boil 8 to 12 ounces of water. Add a 1-inch piece of peeled and grated ginger root. Simmer for 5 minutes. Strain, cool, and drink. If you can jump in the bed and cover up with blankets to induce a sweat, even better. If these tips came a little late and you are already suffering from a dry, nagging cough, you can still turn to your kitchen for relief. Try eating a steamed Asian pear with cinnamon and honey. The pear is cooling, benefits the lungs and throat, stops coughing and generates fluids. Keep Things Moving Traditional Chinese medicine says the lung’s paired organ is the large intestine. In much the same way that our lungs inhale what we need (oxygen) and exhale what we don’t (carbon dioxide), our digestive system should be on a regular schedule of receiving and letting go. That means eating nutritious foods every day and going to the bathroom every day. Seriously. Every single day. Proper digestion is vital to our immune system, and constipation is a sign that your body is holding onto toxins. Drink plenty of water. Eat foods that encourage healthy digestion – plenty of vegetables (roasted beets are great) and fermented foods such as vinegar, sauerkraut, kombucha and Greek yogurt. And don’t forget, move your body. Walk, dance, play – whatever gets you on your feet. I Point of Return Acupuncture gets the juices flowing. am a jagged stress ball when I come to licensed acupuncturist Diane Lowry. Snarled up in a loop of not sleeping, and struggling with an unusually busy schedule including a plane trip, a wedding, a welcome influx of work and a horrible virus, I am unable to rid myself of a lingering cough, exhaustion and sinus trouble. I could take a round of antibiotics and press on, but what I really want is to heal, unwind and find my balance again. I need my chi tweaked. Lowry, 38, began studying Chinese medicine and acupuncture in 2005. She started her own practice in 2009. A lifelong sufferer from migraines and fatigue, she began looking for the answers traditional medicine never gave her and studying natural healing on her own. After a car accident left her in pain, she tried acupuncture. “Nothing seemed to help,” she says. “I was miserable, laying on the couch every night after work. Acupuncture got me back on my feet again.” She left her career in advertising and delved into the world of chi, meridians and needles. Once I sit down with Lowry, we go through a thorough intake that gives her a picture of my overall health. She examines my tongue and feels the pulse in my wrist. “There are channels or meridians in the body,” she says. “You can think of them as little highways that carry the energy through the body. A lot of what we’re doing is trying to unblock any areas that have gotten stuck. We try to figure out where in the body things are out of balance and select points on that channel or meridian that can correct it.” Lying on the massage table, I relax as Lowry places needles in the back of my neck, down my spine, and on my legs and feet. I feel no pain, only a growing wave of complete, narcotic relaxation. My busy squirrel mind tries to go over its little lists and fuss with tasks undone, but by Julie Geen it falls into an abyss. A really lovely abyss. The needles trigger the body to release serotonin and endorphins. “A lot of times people ask if I am injecting something,” Lowry says. “People ask if there is something in the needle or on it. It’s hard to imagine that a tiny needle, the size of a human hair, can elicit that kind of feeling in your body naturally.” After she takes the needles out, Lowry does tui na, or Chinese bodywork, on my back, massaging me with a blend of eucalyptus essential oils to further help my sinus problem. I begin to feel like I might be a human being instead of a malfunctioning robot. My lungs no longer feel stuck together, and my sinuses begin draining a few hours after I leave the office. Best of all, I sleep deeply that night. Most of Lowry’s clients come for headaches and back pain. Stress and depression rank second, followed by fertility issues, colds and flu. She encourages people to come in at the onset of a virus, making her one of the only people around who would be glad to see you at this time. “You can use acupuncture as a preventative,” she says. “You can use it to shorten the duration of a cold and lessen the symptoms. And then if we add an herbal formula, even better. You might really start to feel some changes that day.” This month, Lowry travels to Canada to train in second chance facial rejuvenation. The technique uses the meridian systems of Chinese medicine with a microcurrent machine to firm the face and increase collagen production. “You might be coming in to get rid of a furrow,” she says, “ but you end up helping your stress and digestion, too.” For information about acupuncture and Diane Lowry, visit HealthFocusAcupuncture.com or call 467-1355. | 24 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 belle The Perfect “Happy Howliday” for dogs (and the people who love them) tmas ke Chris li l e e f nth odies very mo ox of go b e Make e is r p ur or. with a s red to your do e v li e d Visit styleweekly.com/store to purchase photo reprints, gifts, covers, and mounted articles, and instantly improve your water cooler cred and gain coveted cool points. www.waginthebox.com 4 or more premium pup products delivered to your door including a variety of treats, chews, toys and more | Options for less than $20/mos. | A portion of each sale goes to a charitable cause you select for us. (The HR Department coffee mug is roughly worth 2.72 gajillion cool points.) confusing rewards unusable miles 3 low Rates 3 No Annual Fee 3 No Fee Balance transfers 3 Reward Points For Purchases 3 Reward Points For Balance transfers *For a limited time, earn one reward point for each dollar transferred to a Call Federal Platinum card! Offer ends 12/31/12. impossible trips FluFF StuFF VS. A credit card without all the hyped-up “extras”. Many of the “big bank” credit cards ding you with fees you weren’t expecting, and offer reward programs that can be complex and confusing. Call Federal gives you what you want: a no-fee Platinum Visa® with a low rate, and rewards you actually want to earn. Visit the Call Federal branch location nearest you: Chesterfield – 3640 Call Federal Drive, Midlothian, 23112 hanover – 9397 Atlee Road, Mechanicsville, 23116 henriCo – 3660 Mayland Court, Richmond, 23233 riChmond – 4605 Commerce Road, Richmond, 23234 apply online now at www.callfcu.org or call 804-274-1200 Federally Insured by NCUA Membership Required. Go! belle DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 25 | Bir thd ays Want to have a FUN learning experience with your friends? Schedule an Art Party! Girls Night Out Corporate v ue st a r r i ng 9 be aut ifu l boys a n o d 95 Team Buil ding THOMAS W. HAMMOND DAVID WHITE Lighting Design Choreographer Set and Costume Design Classes in Mosaics, Je welr y, Painting and m ore! DENNIS CLARK TIM GILLHAM Musical Direction Production Directed by JOHN KNAPP NOvEMBER 14 – DEcEMBER 29 RIchMOND tRIANglE PlAyERS thEAtRE 1300 Altamont Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230 (804) 346-8113 www.rtriangle.org the 2012–2013 Season Is Supported In Part By Funding From Crossroads Art Center • 804-278-8950 2016 Staples Mill Rd, Richmond, VA 23230 www.crossroadsartcenter.com MEDIA SPONSORS: | 26 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 belle tr a u owers edding Sh Bridal/W ge o u s c ost u me s Adult Art Parties! Howard Crabtree’s RIchMOND tRIANglE PlAyERS presents The wa y, wondercfk u way to l spend yo holiday!ur T he ou ! t r a ge o u s m u sic a l r e b o dy & s o u l private parts His and Hurts T Why do I always fall for the bad boy? by julie geen he first bad boy I love is Jeff, a fellow kindergartner who skids across the linoleum floor on his knees. His pants are always torn. I talk about him to my mother all the time. She marvels at how impressed I am by the skidding. The first time I feel a full body bolt of longing, mysterious to me at the time, is when my secondgrade gym teacher lifts me up so I can grab the monkey bars. He later goes to prison for murder. My first kiss happens shortly before I turn 14, delivered by a boy on crutches after a drunken car wreck that killed two of his friends. He wrangles my skittish self expertly despite it all, irresistible with his punk hair and hard, amused eyes. “It’s like a plague I have lived with all my life,” my friend Vicki says of her love of bad boys. It’s not entirely uncommon; most women have at least one experience with a man she knows she should resist and does not. But for some of us, the attraction seems to be hard-wired. The boy I love in high school is so bad I recycle him years later when he gets out of prison for stealing a Corvette from a used car lot. He also unsuccessfully robbed a doughnut shop. “The gun wasn’t loaded,” he says. “And besides, I just drove the car.” His own mother wails when I tell her we’re dating again. “He’s no good,” she says. “He’s a sweet boy, but he’s no good.” I have to drag him past my police captain father’s big white car parked in the driveway when we go over to have dinner with my family. A true bad boy is brave. He steels himself and goes inside. We make it through dinner, my father employing the same cold courtesy he uses when he loads handcuffed people into the police car. I love going to work with my father. When I come home from college on weekends, he and I blaze through alleys at impossible speeds. I watch him arrest drug dealers and even a murder suspect. I stand rapt, knees shaking, against the wall of a building as my father draws his gun. Maybe the imprint of my sire, who comes home from work with finger-shaped bruises on his throat, conditions me to men who love risk. Only I choose the wrong side of the coin. My father starts running my boyfriends through the police computer. “Did you find him?” I ask. The answer is always yes. He says very little about what he finds, sometimes just one word. “Pot,” he snarls. “Did you know he used to wear stupid little blackframed glasses?” he asks once. But his standards are very low. He just makes sure they aren’t murderers. I believe his approach of standing by without much commentary while his daughter makes a series of dreadful but somewhat supervised mistakes pays off. The man I marry only looks like a bad boy when I meet him. For 15 years, every night after work he comes home and helps the children with homework and reaches for my hand at night. I was duped, thank God. If I need a fix, I can always watch an episode of “Lockup: Louisiana.” For a short time after college, I work at a thoroughbred farm. One day, a stallion comes to the fence, jet black, blowing air at me through distended nostrils. He allows no one to stroke his thick neck or rub his muzzle, and he has no use for me. For a split second he looks at me with his cold, wild eyes before he whirls and tears off across the field. His gaze sears me, that brief attention from a dangerous creature. If he had allowed me to untangle his forelock, if he had eaten from my hand, I would be the chosen one, the special girl who rode when others walked — the one who could have it all. belle DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 27 | Jingle Belle Market presented by Club West Med Spa Thursday, Nov. 29 3pm - 8pm Westwood Club 6200 West Club Lane Shop Richmondâ€™s most unique retailers, artisans, jewelry designers and craftsmen for one of a kind gifts. FREE to attend. Food and beverages available. Door prizes all night long. Register to attend and you will be entered into a drawing to win a family four pack to see the Richmond Balletâ€™s Nutcracker.* Register and find participating vendors at www.styleweekly.com/shopbelle. belle W Club Wes t med spa *Drawing details online Give the Gift of the Perfect Fit Add some ooh la la to your fa la la Celebrate the season at trend-setting retailers and restaurants with unique gifting, lively get-togethers, and festive holiday happenings. Nightly holiday light shows now through Jan. l Live holiday entertainment every Friday through Sunday Free Community Gift Wrap from Dec. l-24* to benefit * The Beauty in Being You. 3030 W Cary Street | 445-2435 fiamour.com Contribution to Establish an Eclectic/Trendy Restaurant at $75,000 Adjacent to Short Pump Town Center Receive * Towne Center West Visit ShopStonyPoint.com for details and restrictions. Please e-mail your business plan along with your work experience to: firstname.lastname@example.org Experts in residential, multi-family, commercial, and resort development and management 200 Towne Center West Blvd Ste 603 Richmond, VA 23233 804-364-1006 *Based on a fully executed lease on terms and credit satisfactory to landord in its solo and absolute discretion. The Breeden Company 9200 Stony Point Parkway, Richmond, VA 23235 804-560-SHOP belle ď Ź DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 29 | G IF T CA R D | 30 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 belle AGEnda Signs of Life A play that features more than a dozen diverse characters isn’t so unusual. A play in which one actress plays them all? That’s something. Henley Street Theatre’s take on the play originally made famous by Lily Tomlin, “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,” runs at Richmond CenterStage, 600 E. Grace St., Dec. 6-31. henleystreettheatre.org . — E.J. Just Looking When author Eliezer Sobel noticed his Alzheimer’s disease-afflicted mother still enjoyed looking at pictures in magazines and reading phrases, he wrote “Blue Sky, White Clouds: a Book for Memory-Challenged Adults” (Rainbow Ridge Books, $19.95). Beautifully photographed, everyday objects are accompanied by simple captions in large print, each a story in itself, no memory required. — J.G. Speaking of Lincoln At this point a Spielberg appearance in Richmond is almost routine. But the director, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and “Lincoln” screenwriter Tony Kushner will be back, discussing the art of bringing history to life on the big screen. If you’re lucky you’ll find a ticket to the Richmond Forum, set for Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. at the Landmark Theater, 6 N. Laurel St. Call 330-3993 or visit landmarktheater.net. — E.J. J ulie Geen, Elizabeth J ewett and H ilary Langford C o m piled by Sugar Therapy Perhaps the answer to your soul sickness is in the pages of “Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar” (Vintage, $14.95). Author and advice columnist Cheryl Strayed writes with poetic, gritty fierceness, showing that the way out often is more complex, loving and mysterious than the boxes in which we put ourselves. — J.G. In the Hips Colombia’s Bomba Estéreo specializes in hip-stirring grooves that draw on cumbia beats and sultry chill-wave sounds. Unlike the band’s previous album of club bangers, “Blow Up,” “Elegancia Tropical” (Polen Records) settles down a bit and finds vocalist Li Saumet showing off diverse stylings. One moment she plays the dreamy chanteuse, the next an emboldened scat spitter. While it often undulates like the stuff of hip, dimly lighted bars, this collection of songs shows tremendous growth and promise for a bright, fusion band. — H.L. Party Purchase If you like art, shopping and historical renovations, there’s no better place than Artisan Café’s winter edition and oneyear anniversary party at Dovetail Construction’s Emerald Barn, a renovated electric trolley shed at 1620 Brook Road. Enjoy the ambiance and browse local creations such as jewelry and art objects in this curated, multiart-form show Dec. 8 from 6-10 p.m. artisancafeva.com. — E.J. Wave Riders School of Seven Bells (Vanguard Records) has lightened up a bit. Benjamin Curtis and Alejandra Deheza admit they had fun making their latest EP, “Put Your Sad Down.” Short and sweet, these five songs ooze with sticky bass lines and ethereal vocals without being entirely trip-hop or dated. Songs merge and offer the opportunity to get lost in a web of synth-laden, new wave and the occasional psychedelic trip. Trading heavy-handed, industrial chops for mysterious, sensual sounds proves a wise move. — H.L. belle DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 31 | belle resources. Custom Farm Tables Cornhole boards Chalk painTTm by annie sloan reTailer eclectic collection of jewelry, accessories clothing and DANGRANTHAM jewelry by 315 England Street | Ashland, VA 23005 BOUTIQUE West Broad Village | 2226 Old Brick Road Glen Allen, VA 23060 | (804) 360-2006 www.silverparrotboutique.com | Like Us On Facebook (804) 368-0184 thrillofthehuntva.com facebook.com/jagar.america 1301 W. Main St (804) 355 1532 11-7 M-F | 12-5 Sun 11884 Chester Village Drive Chester, VA 23831 • 804.717.5305 • Find us on Facebook! | 32 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 belle Photographer Michael Hulcher Limited Edition Signature Set, She donates $5 to Virginia Food Bank for each set sold. belle resources. From Bohemian to Classic styles, we have it all! Women With Breast CanCer invited to PartiCiPate in researCh study: This study will examine cognitive function in women with early stage breast cancer compared to women without breast cancer. Study participation requires 3 study visits over a 9 month period. Participants will receive $75 compensation for completing the study. In order to participate you must be 21 years of age or older, have a diagnosis of Stage I or II breast cancer, have undergone surgical treatment (biopsy, lumpectomy, or mastectomy), and be able to read and speak English. Where ShoeS Make You Bubbly! Call today to book your next “GIRLS NIGHT OUT” with us! Mention this ad and receive 10% off any purchase of $100 or more. 3004-B West Cary St | Richmond, VA 23221 | (804)261-0951 | Tues-Sat 11am-7pm | Sunday 12-5pm | Monday closed Contact: angela starkweather @ 804-828-7697 or email@example.com ZouZou’s Basement Paintings | Wedding Portraits | Handmade Paper Products f o l l i r h T t n u H e th e the Proud to b ist of ck o st l ca lo t by Chalk Pain an. lo S Annie Are you a STYLE WEEKLY Facebook friend? Sign up today and get the inside skinny. Connect at styleweekly.com. Get your message in front of people LIKE YOU! To advertise in Style Weekly, and reach almost 80,000 readers every week, call us at 804-358-2100. 315 England Street | Ashland, VA 23005 (804) 368-0184 | thrillofthehuntva.com Save the Drama for your llama, mama Be sure to check my website for my show schedule. www.zouzousbasement.com Susannah Raine-Haddad | Richmond, Virginia (804)928-6130 | firstname.lastname@example.org Mention this ad for 30% off one item Dec. 1-30. more to the story belle DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 | 33 | f i r st p e r s o n A Case of Gimmies A What’s in your sleigh this year? by Valley Haggard s we approach the time of year when my personality feels most divided, I’m half-inclined to shave my head, give away all my possessions and head for the hills, while half of me yearns to hand-paint candy canes and beg Mr. Claus to take me as his mistress. I don’t consider myself a material girl, but who am I kidding? “Gimme gimme gimme! Gimme some more,” is my heart’s true song. But it isn’t the stuff I crave so much as the frenzy. In my mind’s eye, December is a month of bingeing and gorging, stuffing it in and packing it on. In January comes atonement, fasting, pumping iron and making resolutions to need less of the stuff I spent the last month hoarding. How much can I do before I feel like I’m finally done? The answer — if I’m honest — is never, ever enough. So this year I hope to approach things a bit differently. I’ve abolished credit cards and booked writing retreats for two weekends leading up to the Big Bang instead of camping out at the mall trying to determine if this mug full of bath beads will really prove to my mother, step-mother or mother-in-law how much I love her. I’d like to wrap my mind around this bizarre concept of keeping it simple. | 34 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013 Despite an emphasis on quality time over quality stuff, most of my holiday memories from childhood blend into a montage of What I Got: the longed-for Rubik’s Cube, the surprising mix of a Ken doll, walkie-talkies and “Born in the USA,” the real gingerbread house under the tree that I loved too much to eat and let the cats pee on instead. Still, the year that stands out most vividly did not center on what I got or gave but where I was and who I was with. My traveling companion and I were, as usual, nearly broke and, as usual, had no idea where we’d spend the night. It seemed that all of the shops in Europe were closed for Christmas Eve, and by the time we found an open hostel we’d finished most of the crust of bread squirreled away at the bottom of our packs. The hostel concierge took pity on us, giving us directions to a soup kitchen free for travelers and the homeless. At the moment we were both. I expected the basement of a grungy YMCA, not the medieval banquet hall we stumbled into an hour later. Torches lined the walls; vats of potatoes, platters of meat and carafes of wine adorned the tables. Vaudeville singers danced on the stage and other homeless travelers danced all around. Unbeknownst to us, we’d discovered Christiania, a hippie squatter commune in central Copenhagen fashioned around an abandoned military barracks. Actual heaven couldn’t have been better. We danced and ate and sang and made merry, feeling the holiday spirit — and many other kinds of spirits too. The next day, with snow falling softly all around, we made a pilgrimage to see the Little Mermaid, beautiful and perfectly contained on her rock in Copenhagen Harbor. I wish our Christmas story ended there and not with getting kicked out of our hostel later that night or ending up on a subway with the Hungarian mafia on New Year’s Eve — but that’s another essay. I’m sure gifts were exchanged at some point, but I don’t recall a single one of them. Now, for better or worse, unlike the Little Mermaid, I don’t live on an island. I live with people who I want to cram full of as much happiness and stuff and cheer as possible — even if it means driving us all mad in the process. This year I’m hoping that giving myself the gifts of sanity and simplicity will be the gifts that keep on giving. belle Gifts for Your Entire List Happy Holidays! Chapter of Retail Merchants Association L IB BIE G ROVE Shop the Avenues A touch of class, a hint of chic, a smattering of the absolutely unique... Alverser Plaza/344-0150 â€˘ Cary Court/355-2136 www.schwarzschild.com