Greensboro / Winston-Salem / High Point Dec. 14 - 20, 2017 triad-city-beat.com
I’M GOING TO MISS THE GARAGE...
M/WBE blues PAGE 10
Sweet Home Alabama PAGE 2 Eric’s last supper PAGE 18
VICTORIA VICTORIA SAYS GOODBYE TO A CULTURAL INSTITUTION. The 2017 Local Gift Guide on Page 11
EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK December 14 - 20, 2017
The sun shines on Alabama
NO NEWS IS
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On Tuesday night in Alabama, the resistance reared its head. I really thought Roy Moore, the ridiculous cowboy pedophile, was by Brian Clarey going to pull off this special Senate election. After a draconian voter ID law designed specifically to keep black voters from the polls — among his other charms, Moore is a stone-cold racist — and chatter on Twitter about a purge of black folks from the voter rolls, I thought the fix was in. Plus, I’ve been to Alabama. It’s jacked. This is not New Jersey, where a Democrat governor was elected in November, or even Virginia, where another wave of Democrats swept into office this year. This is Alabama, in perpetual battle against Mississippi and Louisiana for the bottom slot in every state ranking from education to income to healthcare. But it’s also seen sweeping demographic changes, economic shifts and real political fault lines develop between rural and urban districts. Sound familiar? North Carolina is not Alabama, either — though in recent years our state has been adopting many of the policies that
got ’Bama to where it is now. And a single special election does not a movement make. One senator can’t change decades of backwards momentum in a quarter-turn of the election cycle. I know that. The voter breakdown at this early stage is disturbing: According to a Washington Post exit poll, white people went for Moore 68-30, with 2 percent opting for a write-in candidate. Moore took 91 percent of the self-described Republicans in the state, and 57 percent of white college graduates. Write-ins took 1.7 percent of the total, almost 23,000 votes, which would have been enough to swing the election to Moore, who lost by just 1.5 points. Make no mistake: This guy came dangerously close to becoming a US senator. If it weren’t for a solid black vote that went 96 percent for Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, this day would look very different. Black Alabamians comprised a third of these voters, enough to carry the day even against the waves of concerted voter suppression. So this week, the sun is shining on the red soil of Alabama, a state that’s been electing guys like Moore for generations without much fuss or hassle. If resistance can be effective there, it can work anywhere.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Put the people first, and the economic development will follow. Put the downtown parking garages first, and all’s you have is trickle-down economics. — Dave Dalton, in the News, page 8
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December 14 - 20, 2017
CITY LIFE Dec. 14 - 17 by Lauren Barber
Card making @ Scuppernong Books (GSO), 5 p.m.
Revolution on the Half Shell @ Revolution Mill (GSO), 6 p.m.
A Christmas Carol: The Musical @ High Point Theatre (HP), 7:30 p.m.
The Guilford County Association of Educators hosts a community conversation about unfunded class-size reduction mandates. Attendees are invited to create holiday cards to encourage state legislators to respond to the needs of public schools. Find the event on Facebook.
I Don’t Do Boxes launch party @ Elsewhere Museum (GSO), 6 p.m.
High Point Theatre presents a musical interpretation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel concerning selfishness, mortality and redemption. The musical runs through Dec. 17, but this performance offers American Sign Language interpretation. Learn more at hpct.net.
Roast marshmallows with the family around the fire pit or focus on enjoying all-you-can-shuck oysters, charcuterie, beer and wine during a party with a purpose. All proceeds benefit the North Carolina Coastal Federation, a nonprofit that protects and restores the coast. Find the event on Facebook.
‘Stranger Things’ party @ Tate’s Craft Cocktails (W-S), 8 p.m.
Shot in the Triad
It’s A Wonderful Life @ Arts Council Theatre (W-S),
Finish the second season before hopping into costume for this Snow Ball-themed Christmas party. Be sure to brush up on your Running Man for a very ’80s evening. Find the event on Facebook.
Celebrate the unveiling of I Don’t Do Boxes: #OUTlaws, the fifth installment of an independent magazine focused on queer experiences in the Southeast and curated by queer youth in Greensboro. Learn more at goelsewhere. org.
7:30 p.m. The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem stages this holiday classic in the form of a live radio broadcast, complete with Foley artists who use everyday objects to supplement sound effects. Catch the performance through Sunday. Find the event on Facebook.
Holiday Give Back @ Little Brother Brewing (GSO), 10 a.m.
Ugly sweater party @ Brown Truck Brewing (HP), 7 p.m.
Celtic Christmas @ Muddy Creek Café (W-S), 2 p.m.
Dee Dee Bridgewater @ Reynolds Auditorium (W-S), 7:30 p.m.
Musical duo CandelFirth bring traditional Celtic music to the Camel City. Randel Candelaria and Susie Firth Cooper play fiddle, mandolin, harp, flute and more for a relaxing Sunday afternoon. Find the event on Facebook. Potluck & Naloxone kit-making @ Green Street Church (W-S), 5 p.m.
Whether you don a tacky sweater or evening formal wear, a portion of your wine or beer order will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank during this all-day event. Attendees are asked to bring a donation for Toys for Tots or offer a cash contribution before partaking in contests for prizes. Learn more at littlebrotherbrew.com. Renowned jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater performs with her jazz trio and the Piedmont Wind Symphony. This holiday concert features jazz standards like “Prelude to a Kiss” and “Come Sunday” as well as popular holiday music. Learn more at piedmontwindsymphony.com.
‘White Christmas’ sing-a-long @ Aperture Cinema (W-S), 1:30 p.m.
Not much of a caroler but love to sing? Get into the Christmas spirit with a sing-along version of “White Christmas.” Aperture will provide a lyric book in addition to a variety of refreshments. Learn more at aperturecinema. com.
The Freestyle Funny Comedy Show @ the Comedy Zone (GSO), 6 p.m.
Head to the Comedy Zone for a night of improv, stand-up and participatory games. Brian “B-Daht” McLaughlin, host of the 102 Jamz “3 Live Crew” Morning Show, takes the stage with fellow comedians Anthony “Chico” Bean and Darren “Big Baby” Brand of “Wild ‘N Out,” and DeMar “OsamaBinDrankin” Rankin. Learn more at theffcs.com.
Wander through a festive sea of more than 70 handmade venders, including many local entrepreneurs, makers and artists. Take a break from the fanfare in the coloring room or grab some food from one (or two!) of several food trucks. Krankies Coffee, Chad’s Chai and Hoots Beer will be on site. Find the event on Facebook.
Bring your choice of dish and share in a potluck with Twin City Harm Reduction Collective. After the meal, help create opioid overdose reversal kits. Find the event on Facebook.
Shot in the Triad
Krankies Craft Fair @ Biotech Place (W-S), noon
Does your ugly sweater have what it takes to win one of three gift certificates? Find out while washing down food from Bandito Burrito food truck with your beer of choice. Davis Tucker performs live. Find the event on Facebook.
December 14 - 20, 2017
Playing Dec. 15-20
Krispy Kreme restructuring
TV CLUB presents The Walking Dead
by Jordan Green
9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17 FREE ADMISSION WITH DRINK PURCHASE!
Playing Decmber 14-16
Corporate-speak is the Orwellian practice of taking a setback and refashioning it into something that seems like advancement. It’s never an outright lie, but rather a clever ordering of discrete facts that are all true in and of themselves in order to create an impres-
The Idiot Box Presents
Friday Night Stand Up!
8:30 PM Friday, Dec. 15th Tickets $10
Board Game Night FEATURING ALL NEW GAMES! 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15th More than 100 BOARD GAMES -- FREE TO PLAY! Totally Rad Trivia! $3 buy in! Winners get CASH! 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19th Drink n’ Draw Join a community of artists! 6-11 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20th Beer! Wine! Amazing Coffee! 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro geeksboro.com •
OTHER SHOWS Thursday Night: Open Mic 8:30 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 14th $5 Tickets! Friday Night Open Mic 10:00 p.m. Fri., Dec. 15th $10 Tickets! Family Friendly Improv 4 p.m. Sat., Dec. 16th $6 Tickets! Saturday Night Improv 8:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 16th $10 tickets! Discount tickets available @ Ibcomedy.yapsody.com
2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro idiotboxers.com • 336-274-2699
--OTHER EVENTS & SCREENINGS--
Shot in the Triad
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sion that’s misleading. Usually, the bad news is subsumed — or sugarcoated, to use a term that’s a little too on the nose — under a gloss of emotional manipulation. For example, Krispy Kreme’s blunt announcement last week that 90 people in Winston-Salem will lose their jobs came swaddled in the gauzy promise that the corporation is on a “journey” to “transform into a global company that delivers joy around the world to every guest in every community shop” and a pledge “to create the most awesome doughnut experience imaginable.” The careful ordering of facts casts a spell to create the intended impression of a local company committed to its hometown while it pursues global ambitions to deliver shared prosperity to its employees. But breaking apart the facts and reassembling them in their logical sequence reveals the fundamental conceit in the company statement: “We will maintain our global headquarters in Winston-Salem.” Basic logic dictates that it can’t be true that a company Krispy Kreme’s blunt announcethat is shedding employees locally ment last week that 90 people in while “transform[ing] into a global Winston-Salem will lose their jobs company” is retaining its headquarters in the location where it’s eliminating came swaddled in a gauzy, sugarpositions. The more significant inforcoated promise. mation appears to be housed in the informally phrased admission that the company is “creating new work spaces that reflect our ambition, which will include new offices in Charlotte and London in 2018.” The apparent shift is corroborated by statements from anonymous sources who have told the Winston-Salem Journal “that senior management, marketing, training, construction and design headquarters employees would be among those moving to Charlotte or being hired there.” What’s left is an illusion of Winston-Salem as Krispy Kreme’s headquarters; a quaint Southern city with a Moravian heritage would seem to be an essential part of the brand for a company founded in 1937. But the reality is surely a global corporation based for all intents and purposes in Charlotte and London, with back-office support functions like finance, IT and equipment maintenance in Winston-Salem.
Twin City Hive by Lauren Barber
Large 1-topping pizza
99 Good through 9/27/17 $ Monday – Thursday
Order online at pizzerialitaliano.net
every Tuesday, all day
219 S Elm Street, Greensboro • 336-274-4810
WE ! DELIVER
The Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship... Culture Shot in the Triad
When I lived near the old Brookstown Inn on the south side of Winston-Salem’s downtown, Twin City Hive had my back and I never forgot. As it turns out, they have the back of the community, too. Owners Joey Burdette and his husband Terry Miller — who recently served as grand marshals of Winston’s Pride Parade — uncompromisingly promote other small, locally owned business. Their coffee menu features six North Carolina roasters and high-quality products like tobacco-scented candles and clay ceramics from more than 20 local vendors, stacked in cabinet shelves under the glow of a pollen-yellow beehive chandelier. The coffeeshop somehow strikes a balance between contemporary and rustic décor, and offers two distinct spaces to study, de-stress and socialize. Ample natural light filters into the room leading to the patio area. It brings to mind a certain brand of Instagram-friendly, minimalist coffeeshops popping up across the country with clean lines and a motley of succulents. Across from the counter, a homier space offers seating for every need: burnt-orange couches, padded chairs near a gas fireplace and a larger table best for studying. Ten ethereal and differently-shaped Edison bulbs float overhead, and if you pay close attention you’ll find a few candles flickering and a rack of blankets in a corner. It’s aggressively pleasant. The space even offers a closed-door conference room with seating for 12 and an HDMI hook-up, but if you’re just passing through, your dog is welcome to join you in line. The Hive’s well-trained baristas are consistent and friendly even when facing a long line of customers — something no one in the service industry really owes anyone. A handful of triple-layer cakes and pastries, many made in-house, rest under glass. The prices are reasonable and the muffins aren’t sugar trips that will leave you crashing. Other than trusty supply of bagels from Bagel Station, there aren’t many savory options, though. If your central goal is a something more substantial, I’d send you to Atelier on Trade Street or Camino on Fourth Street, where I suggest a scone or slice of quiche. On that note, I want to be clear: I’m not endorsing Twin City Hive above and beyond all coffee joints in the Triad. What I’m saying is it’s the type of place with a “pay-it-forward” corkboard filled with sweet notes from other patrons who want to make your day a little better. A place relatively untouched by Winston-Salem’s insular circle of hip twenty- and thirtysomethings who can dominate the social atmosphere of other cafés and bars. A place where the owners remember little details about your life. I’m saying it’s worth a trip south of downtown to find a place that welcomes you as you are.
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Joey Burdette (left) and Terry Miller own Twin City Hive.
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December 14 - 20, 2017 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles
City officials defend parking decks during contentious meeting by Jordan Green The owners of Cone Denim Entertainment Center argue that a parking lease on property acquired by the city of Greensboro for a major downtown redevelopment project creates a liability that could force the city to pay out millions in damages. But the city attorney says the parking lease was automatically terminated with the sale, and is recommending that city council authorize a condemnation proceeding.
Greensboro City Attorney Tom Carruthers said he’s not accustomed to conducting legal negotiations in public, but if that’s the way club owner Rocco Scarfone wants it, then so be it. Along with Mayor Nancy Vaughan and City Manager Jim Westmoreland, Carruthers fielded angry questions from a crowd at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum on Tuesday evening. The event was billed as an information session for residents to look at plans and chat with staff, but they demanded an audience with city council and the city manager. Mostly members of the progressive group Democracy Greensboro, the primary objection of those who showed up for the meeting was that the city’s plans to build two $28 million downtown parking decks amounts to a “sweepstakes” bonanza for local developers. But the revelation that the city paid $1.2 million for property for one of the decks that is encumbered with an easement gave them a new arrow for their quiver. “If we will put the people first — the people, 20 percent of whom are living in poverty, 20 percent who are a few paychecks away from foreclosure — if we put the people first, they will lift up downtown,” said Dave Dalton of Democracy Greensboro. “They will lift up districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Put the people first, and the economic development will follow. Put the downtown parking garages first, and all’s you have is trickledown economics.” Then Dalton asked officials how the city is going to cover the cost of buying out Cone Denim Entertainment Center, Scarfone’s live music venue. Scarfone contends through his lawyer Amiel Rossabi that the city-owned parking deck will make it impossible for touring acts
to load in at the back of the club, and the project will effectively put him out of business. “We will acquire the easement for fairmarket value by condemnation should council direct us to do that,” Carruthers said. “That is perfectly permitted under the law for enterprises when we are moving forward in the public interest. And in this case, in my opinion, we are.” Carruthers wanted to set one thing straight. When the city purchased the parking lot behind Cone Denim on June 28, staff was well aware that it came with an easement. The 8.5-foot wide easement makes a beeline from Cone Denim’s back door across the footprint of the future parking garage to Davie Street. “It’s very common for cities to acquire easements and eliminate easements,” he told the audience at the civil rights museum. Rossabi has warned that if city council proceeds with a scheduled vote on Dec. 19 to appropriate $28 million to build the parking deck, Scarfone and co-owner Jeff Furr will go to court to try to get a restraining order. Rossabi hinted in a Dec. 7 email to Carruthers, Vaughan and Westmoreland that the process could be costly. “To summarize: a) the real estate, alone, is worth $3.2 million (expert testimony of [former mayor Robbie Perkins); plus b) an additional $500,000-$700,000 in [furniture, fixtures and other equipment]; plus c) the lost business income that we anticipate from the proposed Westin development,” Rossabi wrote. “Obviously, we have not had time to retain an expert witness with respect to the lost business income, but we are in the process of gathering such information. Moreover, under existing law, if you begin construction and our injunction is not successful (which we believe it will be), our damages are not the loss of the easement, alone. Instead, our damages are the loss of the entire venue because the use of the easement is inextricably intertwined with the operation of the facility.” Cone Denim contends that its ability to operate its business depends on tour-
Mayor Nancy Vaughan responds to questions, alongside City Manager Jim Westmoreland.
ing acts being able to maneuver tour buses, sometimes with trailers in tow, to the back of the venue. The city has offered to create an 18-foot wide alley that empties onto East Market Street for Cone Denim and other businesses that front onto South Elm Street. Considering that the alley will be one-way, a tour bus would need to be backed into the space from East Market Street — a maneuver Scarfone and his associates say is not viable for the typical driver. Carruthers said the city has offered to make numerous accommodations, and he disputes Rossabi’s assertion that the new parking deck will put Cone Denim out of business. One, he said the city has offered to designate a berth in the new parking deck for tour buses and trailers, with a lift so that crew can easily transport gear into the club. He acknowledged that during construction touring acts will have to use the proposed alley, but Carruthers said notwithstanding Cone Denim’s argument otherwise, the city’s engineers have determined that tour buses can maneuver in and out. Cone Denim has also raised concerns about fire access. A Dec. 7 report commissioned by Rossabi’s law firm said the International Fire Code requires
fire trucks to get within 150 feet of the venue. Carruthers said the city has committed to ensure that Cone Denim remains in compliance by running a socalled “dry line” that would allow a fire truck to pipe in water from one of the adjacent streets. Cone Denim has also argued that the city’s plan would compromise the safety of its patrons and staff. The venue has a capacity of 850 and Rossabi raised the specter of an emergency evacuation in tandem with the Limelight nightclub two doors down, with panicking patrons stampeding past the parked tour bus. “The extra time that we spend now is nothing compared with the horror, trauma and potential loss of life that may be experienced during a fire at CDEC or any of the adjacent buildings and the ensuing panic caused by ‘tight’ conditions in the alleyway that the new Westin development and Davie Street parking deck will create,” Rossabi wrote. Carruthers said the city is concerned about safety, too, adding that there will be an “exit discharge path” from Cone Denim to February One Place that’s wide enough to accommodate foot traffic. Carruthers said Cone Denim’s ease-
rium, Matheny chimed in. “I agree,” he said.
Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles
Hard news at no cost to you, and no matter the cost to us.
Michael Roberto of Democracy Greensboro assails a plan to invest millions of dollars for downtown redevelopment.
ence,” Vaughan said. “And the need for parking increases every day.” Standing in the back of the audito-
TRUTH IS POWER
ment on the property purchased by the city and a shared parking agreement between the venue and the previous owner have been conflated in the negotiations. While the easement provides access, the parking agreement allows tour buses to be stationed behind the venue during concerts. Rossabi wrote in a letter recently released to city council members that “the principals behind the purchase… failed to inform city council about Cone Denim’s rights to use the back-parking lot (something easily learned through a simple title search) and how the parking deck would affect and irreparably harm Cone Denim and the landlord.” Rossabi has also said that Cone Denim recently extended the shared parking agreement through late 2019. Carruthers disputed the notion that the shared parking agreement imposes any kind of hidden liability on the city’s newly acquired parking lot. While the city is offering $45,000 to buy out the easement, Carruthers is essentially saying tough luck on the parking agreement. “Cone Denim’s tenant [the business] had a lease to use the parking lot,” Carruthers said. “The parking lot lease terminates if the property is sold or redeveloped.” The investors behind the planned Westin hotel that will use the parking deck included two of the same principals — businessman Randall Kaplan and lawyer George House — behind a proposed deal that fell through in 2013 because council members balked at a request for incentives for a lesser amount than the $28 million cost of the parking deck on the agenda for Dec. 19. Zack Matheny, then a member of city council and now president of booster organization Downtown Greensboro Inc., was one of the most vocal opponents of the previous deal. At the end of Mayor Vaughan’s public forum in the auditorium at the civil rights museum, a man in the audience asked a pointed question. “In 2013, the ask was $7.1 million for a parking deck,” he said. “Now, it’s $28 million. Back then, in 2013 [you’re] on record saying that you’re opposed to it. And now you’re for it, and the tax is even more to the taxpayer. My question is what helped change your mind?” “One, we’re gonna own it and get all the revenue, which is the biggest differ-
December 14 - 20, 2017 Up Front News Opinion Culture
Winston-Salem City Council members are discussing the possibility of commissioning a disparity study to address the city’s woeful level of contracting with minority- and women-owned businesses. The city of Winston-Salem spent $7.9 million with minority owned firms in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, up from $6.3 million the previous year, according data presented to city council on Tuesday by the city’s Office of Business Inclusion and Advancement. That’s only 3.3 percent of the $236.3 million spent in total by the city — a miniscule amount considering that nonwhites make up 43.3 percent of the city’s population. Women-owned businesses don’t fare much better, accounting for $12.6 million in city spending, or 5.3 percent, while women account for 53.1 percent of the population. “From my mind, as an AfricanAmerican minority woman, we don’t like to think about [how] there are groups being left out of the economic prosperity of America,” said Councilwoman DD Adams, who represents the North Ward. “But that is the way it’s been; it’s been that way for a long time.” Adams expressed frustration that the city claims there are no qualified minority- and women-owned businesses in many contracting areas. “We’ll go on the outside and we’ll allow others to bid outside of North Carolina for some of these contracts,” she said. “Minorities are minorities just like white people are white people. Why can’t we go on the outside and give a minority an opportunity to be a part of this, because ultimately they might hire some of our folk in the city and allow them to be trained and developed.” The M/WBE Citizens Advisory Committee voted 7-1 in its November meeting to recommend that the city of Winston-Salem commission a dispar-
John Davenport, a former member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board, owns an engineering firm that handles government contracting.
ity study — a tool Greensboro and other North Carolina cities have used to uncover evidence of discrimination in contracting, to gauge how many minority- and women-owned firms are qualified to handle different categories of contracting, and to identify and overcome barriers to participation. Adams made a strong case for undertaking the study, which could cost anywhere from $275,000 to $350,000, according to staff. She argued that the city’s willingness to look at its contracting practices is a test of its commitment to combat poverty — a priority identified by Mayor Allen Joines. “We gotta up our game, people,” Adams said. “If we’re gonna talk about the poverty initiative or the thought force or closing the gap, this is one of the main
places we can start at closing the gap.” Adams reminded her colleagues that they passed up an opportunity to do a disparity study three or four years ago. Adams said she wanted to make a motion to commission a disparity study, but Councilman Derwin Montgomery told her the item was only for informational purposes. City Manager Lee Garrity indicated staff would put the item on the agenda for the next finance committee meeting. Councilman John Larson, who represents the South Ward, offered qualified support for the idea. “I do think the timing is maybe right to get a new baseline in this city to understand — not just to create another study to put on the shelf — we need some baselines and data to figure out
what is reasonable for us to do and what is not, what we can move quickly on and what may take longer,” he said. Emma Allen, a State Farm insurance agent who chairs the M/WBE Citizens Advisory Committee, urged city council to take the plunge. “There is a cost of doing the study certainly, but there’s also a cost of not doing the study,” she said. “So for people like me, for example, who moved here, we’re looking at cities that are invested in making sure we have a fair chance at success here. For boomers especially, we’re no longer corporate folks; we’re looking for retirement. We’re looking for places we’re likely to thrive with small businesses.”
Shot in the Triad
City considers disparity study to close gap in minority contracting by Jordan Green
A story about the school-to-prison pipeline in the Nov. 30 issue of Triad City Beat mischaracterized the disparity between African-American and white students in juvenile schoolbased complaints. To be more accurate, the story should have said that juvenile complaints are seven times more likely to affect black students than white students in WinstonSalem/Forsyth County Schools and other school systems across the state.
There’s money in them thar parking decks
A man, his best friend and poop
Byrus & Jordan
Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles
every time I get up to go to the bathroom to make sure he doesn’t miss any excitement. In truth, much of our bonding occurs around his bathroom ministrations. And let me tell you, there wouldn’t be much depth to our relationship if it didn’t involve some sacrifice. His bowel movements are, shall we say, irregular. My commitment is that I’ll afford him the opportunity to find a fresh patch of ground before bedtime and first thing in the morning. One time he squandered his chance when I threw on a sweatshirt and took him out back yard at 11:30 p.m. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when I apprehended his whimpering at the backdoor some hours later. Emerging from a fitful slumber, I picked up my phone from the window sill to find out the time — 4:30 a.m. No way am I getting out of bed for this dog. Accordingly, there was a gift waiting for me in the morning. To his credit, it was in the mudroom next to the backdoor, where it was easy to clean up. I put my own needs aside for this guy, taking him out in the morning before I even get my coffee. Typically, we take a short walk down the driveway and cross the street to an expanse of mowed right-of-way on the shoulder of Wendover Avenue so he can find his spot. This morning our timing was completely off again, and after 15 minutes, it was clear No. 2 wasn’t happening, so we came back in. I fed him and hopped in the shower. Mid-rinse I heard his frantic barking at the backdoor. Going outside dripping wet and completely naked with the temperature just above freezing wasn’t really an option. Predictably, his deposit was waiting for me at the backdoor when I dried off and got dressed. At least he’s intentional. He’s a good dog.
I knew for sure that I was middle aged a couple days ago when I realized that I was subconsciously combing my hair over the two recessions at the top frontal corners of my skull. Maybe I should be honest by Jordan Green though: Middle age is more a state of mind than a set of physiological markers. I’m not making any of the lame claims about being a “cool dad” or “40 is new 30” anymore. The surest sign of my psychological shift into middle age is that I recently broke down and got a dog. I had dogs growing up in Kentucky — Hamlet, a stray who was always running away when I was a toddler; Star, a hyper-active Australian Shepherd whose death by car reduced me to tears; and Rio, a Chihuahua-border collie mix who survived long beyond the time I left home. But I never really considered myself a dog person or an animal lover. And for the first 25 years of my adulthood, I resisted the call to take in a canine companion because I didn’t want to be tied down if a job opportunity sprang up on the other side of the country. But I’ve been taking note of some things recently, including observations that people who are kind to animals are likely to show the same regard for humans. At the North Carolina Oath Keepers Summit this past spring, a chill dude with an assault rifle slung over his shoulder and knit cap remarked on his beefy Alaskan Malamute: “He’s good at reading souls.” As my friend John G. recently put it, “People with dogs are happier.” What finally tipped me over though was a conclusion my wife and I arrived at together that our 4-year-old daughter would benefit from having a dog around. At least to date she remains an only child, and she could use the company. We figured it would help her develop empathy. Encountering dogs at the park, she was both fascinated and freaked out, so helping her develop a comfort level with animals seemed like an obvious move. We’d talked about getting her a dog for Christmas, but our fate was sealed when my wife took our daughter to the Guilford County Animal Shelter and discovered this serene old mensch — well, he’s 5 years old, but a heartworm condition that’s slowed him down gives him a dignity beyond his years. He was calm, and my daughter took to him immediately. She named him Byrus, likely a mispronunciation of his previous moniker Buyo. The connection was so immediate and obvious that it would have been cruel not to take him home. My daughter loves Byrus, eagerly calling his name every time he trundles to the door to greet her when she comes home from school. He’s a great companion to me too, dutifully laying at my feet while I work at my laptop at the end of the dining-room table, and then leaping to his feet
There’s a lot more to the Cone Denim Entertainment Center saga in downtown Greensboro than parking, though that is indeed at the center of the controversy. At issue is a backdoor easement that allows bands playing at venue to park their buses and load their equipment into the club. The easement runs along property the city recently purchased to build a parking deck, primarily to serve a planned hotel coming to what is now the Elm Street Center. Club owner Rocco Scarfone and his lawyer Amiel Rossabi contend that “the use of the easement is inextricably intertwined with the operation of the facility,” according to an email Rossabi sent to Mayor Nancy Vaughan — who, incidentally, is also a client of his. The city has offered $45,000 for the easement, and City Attorney Tom has suggested simply condemning the space if this offer is not accepted, absorbing it into the city project. Rossabi’s “inextricably intertwined” argument doesn’t hold water: There are plenty of downtown music clubs in this country that don’t have backdoor easements and still manage to stay in business. It kind of sucks on the street though — and after the hotel is up and running, Elm Street traffic will become even more ridiculous than it is now. More disturbing is seeing the city flex its muscle against a locally owned business, as detached from the local music scene as CDEC, known for cover bands, nostalgia acts and third-tier touring groups, seems to be. And the easement, which is nothing more than a stretch of asphalt that connects the back of the club to Market Street through a parking lot, becomes incredibly valuable when taken in context. That part of downtown Greensboro becomes important when you consider that it borders a gigantic, six-acre parcel of property — the News & Record campus — that went up for sale in September, opening up enormous possibilities for the district. Piece it together with the parking deck and hotel project, the various players on the fringes of the development. And don’t forget the Tanger Center — although frankly, someone must have forgotten about it because it doesn’t look like there has been any real progress on that lot in months. Now we’re talking well north of $100 million in investment concentrated on a very small area, every inch of which will increase exponentially in value fairly quickly — including Scarfone’s easement. So it’s as good a time as any for a legitimate businessman to wet his beak.
December 14 - 20, 2017 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles
CULTURE A food writer signals for the check by Eric Ginsburg
here’s a list in my phone with maybe two-dozen story ideas that I’ll never write. Some are new additions — recently opened restaurants, or names of people doing interesting things in the local food scene — but most of them have been there for a year or more. These old ideas that could run any time — “evergreens,” in industry parlance — are part of what separates a seasoned writer from the raw, undercooked talent of a beginner. Since we launched Triad City Beat almost four years ago, I’ve written more than 150 food stories, and around 125 Barstool columns, according to my rough estimate. From go, I quickly set out to dispel the myth that there’s no good international food in WinstonSalem, but it wasn’t until recently that I found my favorite tacos in the Camel City (at La Perlita). I injected plenty of myself, maybe too much on occasion, regularly writing in first person. I tried to provide a mix of news, profiles, deeper analysis of this food system and light-hearted restaurant reviews. But there are things I’d do differently in retrospect, especially after looking at the work of superior writers and food editors. I would’ve injected more voices and perspectives into this space instead of relying as heavily on my own. I would’ve taken you into the kitchen more. I would’ve spent less time on new restaurant openings and more on all the people and things that make our food system run. Maybe I’d cook more often, too. Lest I be too hard on myself, I should mention that I did all of it on my own dime — a startup this small, especially one that’s primarily owned by its editors, can’t afford reimbursements for expenses. There were some stories that I didn’t pursue due to cost, and that’s probably for the best. I always wanted this space to feel inclusive. In the words of our captain, Brian Clarey, I did what I could in the time that I had. I’d written about food before, but never on a weekly basis, and a weekly newspaper is a beast that constantly needs feeding. That’s where the list of evergreens came in, as I routinely found a restaurant closed unexpectedly on a Tuesday, had an interview canceled at
the last minute, or needed to pivot when news broke. The food and drink section never became my primary focus. Covering Greensboro news, editing copy, driving a delivery route and doing the hundreds of other things that go with launching a business ate up most of my time. During the last year, as a part-timer, being the managing editor needed to be my top priority. I would’ve loved for TCB to have a full food section with more elements. I know Brian feels the same. Maybe it’ll get there one day, and maybe I’ll write an occasional freelance piece for it, too. But for now, it’s curtains for me. I lasted longer as Triad City Beat’s food writer than most restaurants stay open. It’s time for me to challenge myself, and try something new. And while I’m not out of ideas, it’s hard not to feel like my time here has run its natural course, and that we need new blood. New eyes. Someone with different taste buds, different questions, different experiences. Whoever takes my seat at the table is welERIC GINSBURG The Thai peanut noodles at the now-defunct Xia in come to my list of evergreens — I already sent Winston-Salem. them to my editors — but I hope instead that they’ll catch their own lunch, and make this And then, of course, there’s booze. During my tenure writspace theirs. ing about food and drink at TCB, the local beer scene erupted I was only half joking when Villa del Mar closed and I said with the force of a volcano, and the lava is still flowing. Back this marked my time to depart, too. The former Mexican in 2014, we didn’t brag a single local distillery. restaurant on Greensboro’s rather imaginary “International I chronicled the arrival of Neapolitan pizza, raw cookie Restaurant Row” had been my favorite for the better part dough, an Instagram-ready shake shack and smoothie bowls. of a decade, well before this paper existed. It’s closure and I advocated for ramen and a Jewish deli. And more than anysubsequent reopening as a different concept signaled to me thing else I’ve written, Brian loves to reference my Barstool that while I may not have tried everything there is to eat in column about the only four liquids Malcolm Gladwell drinks. the Triad, I’m quickly becoming one of those people that talks But these days, I’m mostly thinking about what came beabout what was rather than what fore. I want the Thai peanut noodles could be or is when it comes to our at the now-defunct Xia, and I really coverage area. want a night out at the Honey Pot Eric Ginsburg’s entire catalog of That isn’t to say there aren’t plenty (both in Winston-Salem). I miss food writing is available online of things in the Triad food scene that Empanadas Borinquen food truck excite me. There’s a Sudanese resnear my office, and second only to at triad-city-beat.com/category/ taurant coming in Greensboro, a first Villa del Mar, I mourn the loss of the food. for the area. I’m eager to stop by Bar Korean-Mexican fusion at El Nuevo Piña for the Christmas iteration of (all in Greensboro). the downtown Winston-Salem bar’s Remember Josephine’s? Or Pane e menu. I have a High Point fish house Vino? on my to-do list that I still hope to hit even if I don’t write Some restaurants were open so briefly, I only managed about it. to try their food once, including Café Mirchi’s Pakistani and I’ve witnessed countless new places open, and tried many Indian cuisine, the vegan Jamaican creations at Jaribu or most more for the first time. I won’t deign to rank them, but it’s of the menu at Harlem Express. I long for the previous, smaller worth mentioning several by name. iteration of LaRue, and I’m nervous about finding a cocktail In Greensboro: Taaza Indian Bistro, Mi Casita, ZC Hawaiian as good as Mark Weddle’s now that Traveled Farmer is closing BBQ, Captain Chen’s Gourmet China, Freeman’s Grub & Pub, (somebody throw some money at him, please). Nazareth Bread Co. That’s why, if you like my food writing, you should be glad In Winston-Salem: Baht Mobile food truck, Quanto Basta, that I’m moving on. I’m jaded. I need to shake things up. OthSlappy’s Chicken, the Katharine, May Way Dumplings, Uncle erwise this space will go stale, and you’ll start to regard me Desi’s Jamaican. like the rotting greens stinking up the bottom drawer of your In High Point: Tasty Halal food truck, 98 Asian Bistro. fridge.
by Spencer KM Brown
News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles
risk.” “Free Labor” launches from the platform the band created with its debut LP, but pushes the envelope further. With rhythm sections holding down a classic gospel backbeat and dreamy synths and keyboards floating just above it, Elliott’s voice finds room to explore the dynamic subtleties of her vast range. The pop nature of the single is present, but separates itself from what could be considered “selling out,” while keeping production to a minimum, allowing for an organic, natural breath to pulse through each measure. The challenge of many musicians and bands to create something new and exciting remains a difficult and ambitious undertaking, and yet Elliott managed to throw the challenge off with a shrug, releasing her powerfully gorgeous debut album Coastal Beast in 2016. The 10 songs belong in the camp of indie pop, and yet almost effortlessly incorporate elements of gospel, R&B and folk. Elliott’s voice is controlled enough that it’s easy to forget that the album is her first effort at recorded music. Flowing naturally and with the grace of Eva Cassidy and the raw power of Roberta Flack, Elliott’s voice is able to glide in the melodies with a tight synchronicity that seems reserved only for music’s top professionals. ROBBIE BENNET Tori Elliott of Victoria Victoria performing at the Garage in 2016. Though there is clear homage to older artists, Victoria Victoria blends the Garage’s final show on New Year’s Eve, along with the the vintage with a fresh new look at Genuine, Tyler Nail and others. what popular music can be, and it is done so with a perfection“I was so bummed to hear of the Garage closing,” Elliott ist’s touch. said. “The Garage really feels like home to me. Tucker [Tharpe] “I use songwriting to process emotion,” Elliott said, “so did such an amazing job at making space for the bands that most of the time a song starts just by spontaneously singing came through there. Winston will definitely be missing an how I feel, without crafting the melody or lyrics. When I find important piece with the Garage closing.” something that resonates with me, I’ll sit down with it at my With an initial footing at the venue keyboard and trim away at the exthat thrust them into the music cess. Unless I have a deadline, I tend scene, it is only fitting for Victoria to take my time in finishing a song. I’ll For concert dates and to buy music, Victoria to accept the invitation to sit down with it multiple times, just visit victoriavictoriamusic.org. perform one last time on the Garage’s playing through it to process emostage. tion, until I feel it’s finished.” A talent so pure and raw that it’s worthy of comparisons to Victoria Victoria played its first show at the Garage in 2016 Lana Del Rey or Regina Spektor, Victoria Victoria is among the after booking the night with owner Tucker Tharpe. And now, finest acts in the Triad. with scores of shows under its belt and critical praise at its back, the band has come full circle with a spot on the bill for
ince the release of Victoria Victoria’s 2016 debut album Coastal Beast, it’s been difficult to imagine what the band’s followup record might sound like. With such palpably fresh talent, there is a notion that a second effort wouldn’t compare to the debut, that, as with many groups with stellar first records, this might be a band that had dried up its creative well. And yet, as subtly beautiful as Coastal Beast first appeared on the music scene, Victoria Victoria has come back even stronger after releasing a new single, “Free Labor.” The brainchild and creative workings of singer and songwriter Tori Elliott, Victoria Victoria began in Winston-Salem after Elliott relocated to the Camel City from Ohio in 2012 with Hannah Riggin, her friend and fellow band member. In the beginning it was just Elliott plucking out melodies on her keyboard, but she quickly gathered a band around her. “I was Victoria Victoria when I first started working on this,” Elliott said. “I needed a band to play with me live and it just so happened that my band ended up being my three best friends.” Despite the group’s humble beginnings, it was Elliott’s beautiful, powerfully emotional voice and layered melodies that garnered her immediate praise, something she credits to the Triad’s community of artists. Though her bandmates provide some creative input, the majority of songwriting has always belonged to Elliott. “In those first few years, my songwriting was heavily influenced by a few local bands, one of the most influential being Daniel Padgett of the Westward Movement,” Elliott said. “The community in Winston set a table for pressure-free songwriting for me. I feel the freedom to explore in my writing, and part of that is due to the support of the creative community here.” With new singles being released every few months, Victoria Victoria is set to release its sophomore album in 2018. “It’s a six-song record with interludes,” Elliott said. “The new project has more pop and R&B influences, but it’s not as formulaic as modern pop. The songs are super groovy but take a lot of
CULTURE Victoria Victoria bids the Garage farewell
December 14 - 20, 2017 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles
CULTURE A gathering of the nerds at Geeksboro by Lauren Barber
eeksboro hosted a family affair on Dec. 9, and everyone showed up: the younger brother anticipating his first play through “Breath of the Wild” and the eldest cousin who remembers Zelda’s earliest iterations; the cool aunt who’s cosplayed Princess Leia more than once; the grandparents who remember that kiss between Spock and Uhura; and the parents who drove them all. Under a canopy of icy blue and white holiday lights, nine members of the Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra offered something for everyone, performing jazz arrangements of nerdy classics ranging from the “Twin Peaks” theme to renowned anime series “Cowboy Bebop” in honor of Geeksboro’s fifth anniversary. Joe Scott, the coffeeshop’s co-owner and creative director, curated accompanying video cast behind the ensemble. As trumpeter Brandon Lee ran scales to the quiet rattle of Chrishawn Darby’s snare and the general dissonance of the others’ warm-up routines, just about everyone in the audience settled into nine rows of sold-out wooden chairs with small coffees and plastic cups of craft beer. Three-inch clone troopers looked on from one wall, standing beside at least seven well-loved editions of Monopoly and a slew of other figurines and haphazard board and puzzle games as the group opened with a commanding performance the Star Trek: Into Darkness theme song. Scott projected the film’s silver cityscapes, Lee punctuating rapid chase sequences with heightened urgency. The audience’s attention captured, the tone shifted toward light heartedness for most of the night. Within three stanzas of the Star Wars theme, laughter erupted and returned in waves as video sequences from the films cut back to the ever-approaching title name from the infamous opening. This, not to mention bassist Steve Haines’ endearing and unbridled glee throughout the piece. Many heads bopped. Without prompting, the room snapped along to “Twin Peaks”’ mischievous theme. Wally West, on saxophone, and Chad Eby, on clarinet, playfully leaned towards each other as they crooned toward crescendo. Even though most in the audience couldn’t clearly view his body, West tilted backward to let his sax roar above the crowd
Members of the Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra perform at Geeksboro on Dec. 9. (from left) Chad Eby, Brandon Lee, Chrishawn Darby, Cameron MacManus and Steve Hanes.
This montage, in particular, drove home the intergenerational throughout the night. The physicality of his performance aspect of the “geek” identifier. Though the video quality imrevealed a man comfortable with the type of public vulnerproved and the actors changed, the story and its soul endures. ability so magnetic, others can’t help but to be drawn in. After So, as much as the night felt like a party, the space made all jazz is supposed to feed off a room’s energy. It’s supposed ample room for sentimentality. Eby, a critically acclaimed to be fun. composer, unveiled a song he wrote for Scott titled “A Man Haines couldn’t shake joy from his face as he thumbed the Without Fear,” inspired by their favorite superhero, Daredevil. opening of “Cowboy Bebop”’s bombastic and playful theme, Eby extolled Scott as a fearless man himself, whose years-long “Tank!” Eric Willie kept the tempo rolling on the bongos as efforts fostered a welcoming space for action montages played between cuts the geeks of Greensboro to commune. from the spy film-inspired opening credits. Ultra-funky breakdowns fea“If a place like [Geeksboro] existed Learn more about Geeksboro at when I was in high school, I wouldn’t turing sax solos and ecstatic flurries of geeksboro.com and the Piedhave been watching “Twin Peaks” at sound from the whole ensemble broke mont Triad Jazz Orchestra at home alone,” Eby said. into a big-band finish that filled every When, earlier in the night, Eby cubic inch of the café. ptjazzorchestra.com. admitted to his limited exposure to Midway through the evening, the “Game of Thrones,” the audience reensemble deviated from the theme to showcase pianist and jazz vocalsponded with taunts but all in jest. Despite the sundry of subcultures within geekdom, Geeksist Ariel Pocock, who graced the house with a rendition of boro offered a seat to each and provided affirmation that that “Christmastime is Here” from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” video game you spent 130 hours with is worthy of elevation To liken her voice to velvet, honey or heaven would do her a through the “high art” of jazz, despite classmates’ eye rolls. A disservice. Throughout the rest of the largely upbeat show, place where teens could internalize the message that it’s cool though, her black baseball cap rocked side-to-side like the to care and learn to move with the music with the support of a group’s unofficial metronome. This was particularly the case during the ensemble’s take physical community. Last Saturday, a chosen family opened is arms a little wider on “Dr. Who,” which featured stellar solos from almost every musician, each an ode to an era of the decades-long series. and held on a little tighter.
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December 14 - 20, 2017 Shot in the Triad
SHOT IN THE TRIAD
Paintings by Devon McKnight.
PHOTO BY CAROLYN DE BERRY
”Bundle Up”--by wearing something warm. by Matt Jones
58 Play it ___ 60 Rounded roof 62 Nest egg letters 63 Hang in folds 65 Political upheaval 67 Fashion magazine since 1892 68 Java vessel 69 Persona non ___ 70 Food regimens 71 Wanna-___ 72 Art store purchase
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44 Apparel giant with a World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. 45 Kick drum sound 50 Demolished 52 Love so much 53 Grammatical things 55 Pockets in the bread aisle 56 Steamed 57 Birth-related 59 Bill listings 61 Just beat out 63 Streaming video predecessor 64 King, in Cannes 65 Little leopard 66 Time period split into periods
Down 1 Word knowledge, briefly 2 From the beginning, in Latin 3 “I don’t buy it” 4 Lincoln’s st. 5 Beginning from ©2017 Jonesin’ Crosswords (firstname.lastname@example.org) 6 Lake between two states 7 Quartz variety 28 Fun time 8 Iguana, for some 29 “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the ___” 9 ___ San Lucas 31 Egg-breaking sound 10 Take in or take on 33 Mongoose’s foe 11 Little barker 35 $100 bill, slangily 12 How-___ (instructional publications) 36 Sticking to the party line, like political speeches 13 Swelling reducer 37 Take the rap? 18 ___ Linda, Calif. (Nixon Library site) 38 Corn unit 22 E-mailed 39 Some birdhouse dwellers 24 Recap 40 Electroplating stuff 26 Move like a crab
Across 1 White of “Wheel” fame 6 Knock lightly 9 Prickly plants 14 Orchestra reeds 15 What tree rings indicate 16 Kind of committee 17 Headwear seen at a rodeo 19 Western capital that’s its state’s largest city 20 DuVernay who directed “Selma” 21 About 30.48 centimeters 22 Tenth grader, for short 23 Half of the Brady kids 25 “Home Again” star Witherspoon 27 Margarine containers 30 Laptop connection option 32 “Monsters, ___” (Pixar film) 34 Former UB40 lead singer Campbell 35 1969 Roberta Flack song with the lyric “The President, he’s got his war / Folks don’t know just what it’s for” 40 Cancel out 41 Sparks of “Queer As Folk” 42 Art store purchase 43 Corporate getaway of sorts 46 Suffix for social or graph 47 “___ and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” 48 Solo on screen 49 Office fixture 51 2016 Key and Peele movie 54 Quick drive
SPREADING JOY ONE PINT AT A TIME Culture Shot in the Triad
Monday Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz 7:30 Tuesday Appetuesdays: Free small bites to pair with your beer. Wednesday Live music with J Timber and Joel Henry with special guests 8:30
Thursday Joymongers Band aka Levon Zevon aka Average Height Band 8:30
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Friday, Saturday & Sunday BEER! joymongers.com | 336-763-5255 ©2017 Jonesin’ Crosswords (email@example.com)
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Published on Dec 14, 2017