NORTHWEST FLORIDA – COLA 2 COLA®
THE HOME & GARDEN ISSUE
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In this issue:
Feature Christening a Home: Maison de VIE Comes to Life 28 Home and Garden Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights 75 In Surf We Trust: A Nautical Seaside Home Sets Sail 80 Echoes from the Past: Haunted Houses of Pensacola 152 Building a Furniture Empire: Traditional Comfort Meets Modern Appeal 179 An Eye for Design 196
Giving Back Empower a Girl; Change the World 131 Studio b. 135 The New Face of Feminism 144 Through the Lens Rediscovering Crow: The Cuban Influence on the Passion of Tommy Crow 18 Get Healthy A Force of Nature: Dancing under the Midnight Sun with Jenifer 162
The Art of Life Rediscovering a Local Treasure 112 A Womanâ€™s Mane: Beauty Is in the Eye of Fekkai 122
Voyager A Grand Tour of Central Europe 102 Kimchi and Common Ground 202
Couture Artistic Expression Is Always in Style: An Experience from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 92 Resort Wear Preview 2014: From Miami Runways to 30-A 116
Form and Function Thinking Inside the Box: The Only Complete and Comprehensive Sudoku Solution 187
Arts and Entertainment Country on the Coast: Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam 139 Seaside Is Seeing Red: Wine Festival Returns to 30-A 172 V IE Z INE .C OM | 11
TasTe The modern side of mexican cuisine
Primary Targeted Audiences
Sip the finest margarita Taste guacamole made fresh at your table Savor fresh seafood and steaks with authentic sauces
e are thrilled you have picked up a copy of VIE and hope you
enjoy reading about the people and places of our coveted region,
COLA 2 COLA®—Pensacola to Apalachicola. We live in a great place where life is good! We have a passion for our area and the people and businesses found here, and we hope that you will share in our excitement. VIE can be found locally at Tourist Development Council centers, Chamber of Commerce locations, Sundog Books in Seaside, Florida, boutiques, restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts, and special events. VIE’s distribution has branched out to the following airports: Baltimore/Washington International, Houston Hobby, Memphis International, Nashville International, Orlando International, and Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International. In addition to these high-profile locations, VIE is also being added to the shelves of some of the country’s top-selling bookstores, newsstands, and supermarkets, giving our advertisers potential access to millions of people.
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VIE is a registered trademark. All contents herein are Copyright © 2008–2013 Cornerstone Marketing and Advertising, Incorporated (The Publisher). All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without written permission from The Publisher. VIE is a lifestyle magazine and is published at least five times annually on a bimonthly schedule. The opinions herein are not necessarily those of The Publisher. The Publisher and its advertisers will not be held responsible for any errors found in this publication. The Publisher is not liable for the accuracy of statements made by its advertisers. Ads that appear in this publication are not intended as offers where prohibited by state law. The Publisher is not responsible for photography or artwork submitted by freelance or outside contributors. The Publisher reserves the right to publish any letter addressed to the editor or The Publisher. VIE is a paid publication. Subscription rates: Digital magazine (iPad only) – One-year $11.99; Two-year $17.99 / Printed magazine – One-year $23.95; Two-year $34.95 (U.S. Only – price includes free access to digital magazine versions for iPad). Subscriptions can be purchased online at www.VIEZINE.com.
On the Cover:
VIE Creative Team:
Just as The Great Gatsby captured the culture of the Roaring Twenties, VIEâ€™s 2013 Home and Garden Issue cover shoot reflected the timeless class and elegance of the era. Cover girl Lauren Spring looks stunning in a classic black one-piece (from Anthropologie) and a fringe of pearls as she reclines in the Maison de VIE pool.
Lisa Burwell Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerald Burwell Editor-in-Chief email@example.com
Bob Brown VP of Creative Services firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Jane Kirby Account Executive email@example.com
Jordan Staggs Assistant Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
James Ryan Account Executive email@example.com
Tracey Thomas Graphic Designer firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Sajowitz Account Executive email@example.com
Troy Ruprecht Graphic Designer firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Hunter Special Assignment Writer email@example.com
Bill Weckel Web/Project Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Margaret Stevenson Copy Editor
Benjamin Rosenau Video Producer email@example.com Tim Dutrow Videographer firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon Quinlan Distribution Coordinator Shannon Stock Contributing Designer Chris Elliot Contributing Designer
The poolâ€™s intricate underwater mosaic of Sicis tiles from Italy was chosen for our first Home of Inspired Ideas by Suzy Accola of Q Tile in Grayton Beach, Florida. Photographer Romona Robbins went above and beyond to capture the beauty of both the home and the models, while makeup artist Natasha Vaughan and hairstylist Brooke Miller transported Daisy Buchanan into the twenty-first century.
VIE Contributors: Contributing Writers: Susan Benton Sallie W. Boyles Heather Carroll Laurie Crowley Kim Duke-Layden Charles Lantz (Sudoku Sam)
Stephanie Morris-Crow Tori Phelps Meredith Snow Mandy Yourick
114 Logan Lane, Suite 4 | Grayton Beach, FL 32459 w w w.t h e i de a b o u t iqu e
Jean Allsopp Michael Buckner Mike Coppola Tommy Crow Colleen Duffley Kim Duke-Layden Jack Gardner Frazer Harrison Greg Riegler Romona Robbins Mandy Yourick Goode Green Photography Marla and Shane Photographers
Contact us at email@example.com
V IE Z INE .C OM | 13
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Lisa with her father, John Ryan, in Letterfrack, Ireland, in the summer of 2012
was not the only road warrior to hit the highways and byways this summer, as is evident from the record numbers of travelers who explored and vacationed stateside by automobile this year. The trek to my hometown of Duxbury, Massachusetts, to see friends and family was a high priority, and whirlwind jaunts to Nantucket, Rhode Island, NYC, and Washington, D.C., were just a few of our GPS waypoints along the way. It was a jam-packed trip with a primary focus: spending time with my father, who was widowed two years ago after losing his loving wife of fifty-two years. Dad would soon be saying farewell to his home of forty-one years. Too big to live in alone now that all six children are grown and have families of their own, it was being sold—yet another loss of the way things used to be. The house seemed to have held him since my mother’s passing—almost comforting him as if she were still there. There were so many memories that flooded my being during my waking hours. Looking through boxes and boxes of family pictures. Taking walks around the neighborhood—a ritual started during my childhood, where problems were solved and stories were told and then retold. The empty chairs around the dining room table—where my family used to celebrate
14 | S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 013
By Lisa Burwell life, argue, love, and discuss politics, religion, and a myriad of other topics—was a sobering sight. The walk down memory lane was bittersweet, but the sweet memories of my home and childhood will last my lifetime, and how they bring me joy and gratitude is a priceless treasure. In this issue, we pay homage to the importance of creating a home in which your family will feel the love, safety, and sanctity of their abode. The love and care given to the selection of paintings, furniture, wall color, tile, and light fixtures can make a home comfortable and beautiful, but it’s the life lived in the house that makes it a home. The memories of a home will live forever. We have some amazing homes featured in our third annual Home & Garden issue, so dig in: Maison de VIE—a home of inspired ideas in WaterColor, Florida—is officially unveiled to the public within these pages. Maison de VIE, which played host and backdrop to our Gatsby-inspired fashion shoot, is a creative collaboration between trailblazing builders, architects, interior designers, and lighting and tile specialists. On display are a
custom pool, couture rugs, unique bedding and fabrics, and so much more. We hope you enjoy seeing the excellent work of so many artists and tradespeople from our area, and we hope you will support them when you begin your next home project. Appropriately named, In Surf We Trust is a magnificent home with a regal presence along the promenade of Seaside Avenue in Seaside, Florida. As described by the pen of Susan Benton, it is a Nantucket-inspired home of precise details, masterfully crafted and planned for a family that knows how to enjoy life at the beach in the most elegant of surroundings. As we bid adieu to summer and turn our sights to cooler temperatures, home and garden projects, and a get-back-to-school (and work!) regimen, I fondly welcome you, Fall! And Dad, thanks for giving your family a great home with beautiful memories! To Life, —Lisa
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The gentle Gulf breeze whispers...
You exhale a long satisfied sigh...
You want this feeling to last forever. ÂŠ2013 Artesano Hotels. All rights reserved.
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Rediscovering Crow The Cuban Influence on the Passion of Tommy Crow
By Stephanie Morris-Crow • Photograph y by Tomm y Crow
ur March 2013 trip to Cuba was booked, and it was one of those strange coincidences in life that led to photographer Tommy Crow’s exciting recent project. The Pearl, a boutique luxury hotel in Rosemary Beach, Florida, was set to open this summer and feature, of all things, a Cuban-themed restaurant. And, since we were already going, they asked if maybe some of our trip photographs would work for the hotel. This collaboration has led to one of the most intensive and creative six months of Tommy’s life. Our trip to Cuba inspired an entire new art series, but it also changed our whole perspective on everything we’d ever heard about Cuba. It began on a Monday afternoon as our filled-to-capacity Delta charter plane touched down on a worn asphalt runway surrounded by grassy fields. Earlier, during the hour-long flight from Miami to Havana, a passenger asked the flight attendant what she thought about Cuba. “Oh, they don’t let us off the plane,” she replied. It’s not the Cuban officials who keep US flight crews from disembarking, but rather
the United States government—a clear example of the uneasy relationship between our country and the closest socialist government to our shores. Citizens of the United States are legally allowed to travel to Cuba, but only on licensed trips involving cultural, educational, or humanitarian exchanges. These trips are made possible through a handful of tour operators granted “people-to-people” licenses by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Through one of these tour operators, Tommy and I arranged our recent trip. The Havana airport is small, with polished white tile floors and high ceilings. Passing through the customs portals, our documents were inspected by polite young women clad in militaristic olive-green uniforms: short-sleeved tops paired with tight-fitting skirts or long pants and sensible, flat-soled black shoes. It all seemed to be exactly what you’d expect to see in an airport of a communist country—until I noticed their legs. In contrast to the stark and
efficient uniforms, each woman wore black patterned stockings. Each pair was different: some designs had flowers woven in, some had spiderweb patterns, and others had shooting stars. With our entry all approved, we passed through with no problems. Pablo, our Cuban tour guide, greeted us in the baggage claim area. Wearing a straw fedora, he was tall with toast-brown skin and a thin, wiry body that was constantly moving. A former college history professor, Pablo is highly educated and fluent in several languages, and, according to our US-based tour company representative, he is reputed to be the best tour guide in all of Cuba. Like almost everything in Cuba, tourism is managed by an official government office—in this case, it’s the Ministry of Tourism. In many ways, Pablo acts as an ambassador for Cuba. He had just returned from Switzerland as part of a consortium on Cuban trade and political relations. Virtually every working-age Cuban is barred from travel outside of Cuba, while Pablo is allowed to leave the country as he wishes—a special privilege V IE Z INE .C OM | 19
On any given day of the week, Cuban lovers can be seen walking hand in hand along the esplanade or sitting on the wall gazing at the ocean waves. afforded to him as a government employee. Shaking hands with people, pointing, and smiling, he gently herded the forty members of our tour group single file out the door. The bus was comfortably plush and air-conditioned. Pablo positioned himself at the front of the bus with microphone in hand. As we slowly eased out of the small parking lot, he began: “As a socialist society, we don’t really allow advertising, such as you do in the States as a capitalist society. All billboards that you will see, they are government slogans and propaganda.” Looking out the bus windows, it was impossible to see anything but roadside billboards. Views of adjacent fields and plantain groves were mostly blocked by panels of smiling cartoon characters and slogans. Translated, they say such things as “Long Live the Revolution,” “Thank you, Che, for Socialism,” or just simply “Thank you, Che!” Che Guevara, Pablo told us, is the national hero and idolized symbol for Cuban communism. He is so firmly entrenched in Cuban nationalism, it is impossible to separate “El Che” the man from the Cuban socialist dream of promise. Before our hotel check-in, the tour bus had one absolutely nonnegotiable, government-mandated stop—Revolution Square in Havana. The main focal point of the square is the José Martí Memorial, an enormous tower standing at three hundred fifty-eight feet. Looming across the vast square, it faces a pair of government office buildings supporting a gigantic mural of Che Guevara. The real purpose of this stop, it seemed to me, was for a quiet show of power—a subtle reminder of who’s really in charge here. The square, Pablo told us, is home to all major political rallies in Cuba. From an elevated podium, leaders including Fidel Castro, his brother Raúl, and 20 | S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 013
other notables (such as Pope Benedict during a visit in 2012) have addressed the people. Attendance of political rallies is mandatory for Cuban citizens. “Sometimes this is a problem,” said Pablo, “for, when [Fidel] Castro would give a speech, he talked for hours, just on and on and on.” Our mandatory thirty minutes at the square ended and we boarded the bus to our hotel, the Spanishowned, five-star Meliá Cohiba. Upon entering the lobby, I was at once enthralled by the beautiful polished stone floors, the dark wood-paneled walls, the elegant artwork, the grand piano, and the faintest wisps of cigar smoke perfuming the air. None of the poverty or political backwardness that we Americans ascribe to Cuba was apparent. After helping Tommy bring our bags into the hotel room, I scurried back toward the door. “Hey! Where are you going?” Tommy called after me. I assumed he was perturbed by my willingness to toss the bags and go. But in reality, he was very concerned with the fact that we were in a communist country. I had fewer concerns; after all, Canadians have been vacationing in Cuba for the past fifty years. I was sure we would be fine. “I’m going to have my very first Cuba libre—in actual Cuba—so hurry up,” I called back. Downstairs, I sat at the round lobby bar, enjoying its polished brass, dark wood, and view of the blue ocean through floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel faces the Malecón, a four-mile-long seawall and roadway that hugs the rocky Havana shoreline. On any given day of the week, Cuban lovers can be seen walking hand in hand along the esplanade or sitting on the wall gazing at the ocean waves. For over a century, it has been popular with locals, both young and old, for daily socializing and relaxing. That day,
clear but windy, the waves crashed against the seawall, sending white splashes of foam forty feet into the air. I watched the 1950s-era cars, painted bright candy colors, cruise up and down the highway. These cars, amazingly still driving around and privately owned, are employed as taxis. “Cuba,” Pablo told us, “has the best mechanics in the world.” I asked the bartender about rum varieties; she suggested the local brand, Havana Club Rum. It has good quality and smoothness, and, as it became apparent throughout our stay, Havana Club Rum is the rum of choice offered by every bar and restaurant that caters to tourists—which is virtually all of them. Havana Club Rum is actually a private company in which the Cuban government has a 50 percent stake. Even with the government’s involvement, it’s still great rum and it beats the pants off Bacardi. As for my Cuba libre? Its murky historical origins notwithstanding, everyone agrees this cocktail was first mixed in Cuba. The ingredients are simple: white rum, Coca-Cola, and a squeeze of lime. Even with the US embargo and restrictions on US companies selling, supplying, or bartering anything to Cuba, my drink was mixed with real Coca-Cola. I inspected the soda can: this particular can of soda was produced and distributed via Mexico. Tommy joined me, asking, “Well, does a Cuba libre taste better in Cuba?” Yes, I replied. In fact, I decided to have one more. That night, we heard our first cannon boom from the city’s historical fort, Castillo de San Carlos de la Cabaña, or simply La Cabaña. A nightly ritual, it announces the onset of evening at nine. La Cabaña, the third largest fortress complex in the Americas, now serves as a historical park and houses several public museums. By the time the cannon booms, the
Malecón has already filled with teenagers, families, and lovers, all strolling along the seaside beneath a velvety, starlit sky. Romance is a huge theme in Havana. Besides the local lovers embracing and kissing at any hour of the day on the Malecón, love for sale is also a long-standing— and legal—tradition in Cuba. But, as Pablo later elaborated, pimping is not legal. I thought this was a rather interesting distinction. After all, no matter your moral viewpoint on prostitution, the fact that male and female prostitutes are legally allowed to ply their trade yet keep all their earnings—not having to pay a pimp or a madam a generous cut and not paying government taxes—is rather revolutionary. As far as Cuba’s poverty is concerned, those in power are continuously working to develop a new, stronger economy. After the USSR fell and Moscow stopped subsidies in the early 1990s, the island plunged into
crisis. To combat the financial emergency, Cuba’s government threw open her shores and began heavily marketing to the tourist trade. The money, thankfully, began to flow in. Pablo told us that the government’s eventual plan is to develop Cuba into a biomedical manufacturing center like Singapore. Pablo admitted that he quit teaching college for the financial benefits of working in the tourism industry. With the tips he collects from tours, he has been able to afford his own private home and comfortable lifestyle. His official salary is around twenty dollars per month, but with tips, he makes that many times over. And, as Pablo later elaborated, any money earned by a Cuban citizen via the tourist trade, including tips, fully belong to the citizen—no taxes whatsoever. Even with such poverty, the crime rate in Cuba is very low. Once, while touring historical downtown Havana with the group, I became separated and was
lost for several hours. I wandered alone through the side streets and alleyways toting one of Tommy’s huge and obviously very expensive cameras. If ever there was a golden opportunity for someone to mug me, that probably would’ve been the time. But everyone in the busy street responded to me in a friendly manner, politely going about their own business. Danny, the private tour guide that we hired later in the week, explained the reason for the low crime. “It’s because you never know who is watching,” he said, with a gesture that implied possible hidden cameras. He told us there were still plain-clothed government officials among the population, keeping tabs on everyone. Clearly, Castro had learned a thing or two from the former KGB. Late on Wednesday evening, Tommy arranged to go out with Danny. They were going to search for a very specific shot to photograph: a beautiful woman dancing—a real spirited and fiery cubanita. Sadly, I
wasn’t going with them. I was one of five from our tour group to come down with a horrible upper respiratory virus and was sick in bed. I weakly wished Tommy luck and stayed in the hotel room, watching government propaganda on TV. Unfortunately for Tommy, nightclubs would not allow photographers, or at least not ones with professional cameras. “Prostitutes,” he was told. “No pictures.” Tommy returned to the hotel in an hour or so, disappointed. Danny later elaborated that the “hottest” bars and dance clubs were full of prostitutes, male and female. They did not allow photographs of themselves or their clients. Tommy did tell me that, from the outside, you wouldn’t have been able to tell the places apart from any hot dance club or bar in Los Angeles or New York. The following day, during a bus tour, his camera finger clicking away, Tommy kept repeating, “There’s
not enough time. We need to come back soon. There’s so much that I’m not getting.” Tommy’s interest in photography and Cuba are interwoven through the influences of two fathers. His passion for photography sprang from his birth father, Major Thomas P. Ingrassia. Ingrassia was a jet pilot in the US Air Force and a photography enthusiast. Tommy’s first interest in Havana came from stories about the beautiful scenery and architecture as told by his adoptive father, Alva Crow. Alva, before marrying Tommy’s mother, would routinely hop on a plane and go from South Georgia to Havana for long weekends of carousing with his buddies. Back in the early fifties, this kind of junket was much like today’s weekend getaway to Vegas. Our tour bus was now driving past a stately memorial park, flanked on both sides by foreign embassies, including North Korea’s. “Don’t forget,” Pablo lectured, “it’s the victors who write the history books. Here in
Cuba, the Bay of Pigs invasion was a huge victory for us, for the Revolution. From our point of view, we had defeated the United States in battle.” During the invasion, Cuban pilots retained total control of the air. Their decisive victory was aided, in great part, by flying the technologically advanced T-33 jet. These jets, American-produced by Lockheed, were leftovers from Cuban dictator Batista’s then US-friendly Cuban Air Force. But commandeered by Castro’s rebels and flown by trained Cuban pilots loyal to the Revolution, they proved to be more powerful than the US B-26s. One year after the Bay of Pigs, Major Ingrassia was training in the same aircraft that was the key to Cuba’s victory. Flying over Arizona, the engine of the T-33 failed. Tragically, he did not survive the landing. Tommy, my husband, was only five years old at the time. Years later, after his mother remarried, his new, adoptive father, Crow, enjoyed regaling
Based on the Cuban example, happiness or joy of life isn’t a result of having wealth. It’s an appreciation for whatever you have and the love that’s available to you. Tommy and his sisters with stories of Havana’s excitement and beauty. Tommy’s first photographs were taken with Major Ingrassia’s old camera. “It took me forever to figure out f-stops and apertures,” he says fondly. He continued taking photos throughout high school, after which he planned to follow in his birth father’s footsteps and become a jet pilot. To his great disappointment, flight school requirements included perfect vision. Having had glasses since the age of seven, Tommy was forced to reexamine his future path. He decided to attend college at the University of Georgia, his adoptive father’s alma mater. Now, when I see his “double wing” logo adorning studio T-shirts and various objects related to his photography business, I’m reminded of the facts. The logo is a near replica of his birth father’s pilot wings, topped with his adopted father’s (now Tommy’s) surname. His two identities are merged in this image. When asked about the connection and whether it was intentional, Tommy becomes contemplative. “You know, sometimes the things that you create, you’re not aware of why you create them, you just keep going until it feels right.” It’s strange, really, how Cuba has intertwined with the facts of his life—even before he was commissioned for The Pearl’s artwork. On our last day in Havana, Danny drove us to a farmers’ market located far off the main drag in an old art deco warehouse. It was not a tourist attraction; it was simply the Cuban version of a grocery store. Freshly butchered meat was laid out on scrubbed wooden tables. Carrots were piled high; some of the dirt from which they were pulled was
still clinging to them. They even had flowers for sale, single blooms or bouquets. Surprisingly, for an open-air market, there were no unpleasant odors or swarming flies. In Havana, even amid the poverty, the friendly smiles from the locals were genuine. One of Danny’s friends passed by; he was carrying a turtle and nodded a friendly hello. “It’s like his dog,” Danny explained. Based on the Cuban example, happiness or joy of life isn’t a result of having wealth. It’s an appreciation for whatever you have and the love that’s available to you. Cubans lack access to products that we Americans take for granted—clothing, electronics, and simple building materials like concrete—yet they take extreme pride in their homeland and personal belongings. While lost and wandering the side streets in Old Havana, I saw men and women, private citizens, wiping windows, adding a new layer of paint to the crumbling walls of their buildings, sweeping streets and sidewalks spotlessly clean. Everyone’s colorful clothing, though a bit worn, was in good repair. I saw almost no one in rags or dressed with sloppy attention to their appearance. I say “almost” because we did meet a couple of ragged and dirty elderly men: winos by the looks of them. Tommy asked to take their photos and after smiling for a few snaps, Tommy gave them five pesos. They smiled, jumped up, and excitedly ran away down the sidewalk. Danny asked how much Tommy gave them, and when told, he nearly choked. “Those two are going to be drunk for a month off of that!”
bucket list. Full of educated citizens, the way in which Cuba develops her economic strength in the future may well have an impact on our own country. Pablo and Danny both expressed the Cuban perspective in this way: “Our governments don’t get along, but we like Americans just fine.” I feel exactly the same way about Cuba and I hope our two governments will eventually find political friendship in order for more people to have life-changing experiences there as Tommy and I did.
Tommy’s new Cuban photography series is now hanging throughout The Pearl’s lobby and restaurant in Rosemary Beach, Florida. Art pieces from his earlier series are in corridors and guest rooms. Beauty, composition, and depth of perspective, all informed by his three decades as an advertising photographer, are evident. In the photographs are many of the people we met, their spirits and joyfulness beaming through in every image. However, you won’t see images of Pablo or Danny. In fact, those aren’t even their real names. I’m not sure of the Cuban government’s reactions to even slight criticisms by their citizens, so just in case, their identities will remain secret.
Cuba, a beautiful island with a complex history, has certainly been one of the most interesting and intriguing places I’ve ever visited. Full of beauty, mystery, and charm, it should find a home on anyone’s
V IE Z INE .C OM | 25
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CH R IST EN I NG A HOM E M a ison de V I E Com es t o L i f e By Laurie Crowley • Photography By Sheila Goode
The literary classic The GreaT GaTsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is back in vogue, thanks to the recent movie remake starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The conspicuous consumption and glamour of the 1920s are depicted throughout the movie, and due to the film’s influence, the style of the era is back in a big way. Everything was bigger for America’s nouveau riche and blue bloods alike in the Roaring Twenties, from the homes and cars to the lavish parties complete with big bands. On a balmy summer evening in June, Maison de VIE––VIE Magazine’s first Home of Inspired Ideas––gave a nod to this decadent era and celebrated the home’s grand opening in style. The tone for the private, intimate gathering was set by a vintage Rolls-Royce gracefully parked in front of the home, courtesy of John Finch, owner of Sunshine Shuttle and Limousine. Guests were encouraged to wear attire inspired by the 1920s, and somehow the sweltering air seemed to lift and a sultry vibe descended as the allure of the decade took over. The Gatsby Summer Soirée elegantly showcased the home during an evening of revelry, with white flowers, crystal vases, champagne fountains, and delectable passed hors d’oeuvres—a perfect tribute to christen the home.
“This party was the cat’s pajamas.”
VIE, Coastal Elements Construction, and Q Tile teamed up with a host of talented interior designers,
28 | S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 013
artists, home and garden companies, and world-class lighting experts to create Maison de VIE, a one-of-akind home in WaterColor, Florida. After months of anticipation, Maison de VIE––the “house of life”–– was ready to open its doors, igniting emotions and fueling passions for all things Gatsby. Tuxedo-clad waitstaff served an inspired menu prepared specifically for the event by Roux30a, and music by Sinfonia orchestra members re-created the ambience of a forgotten time as they serenaded partygoers. Maestro Demetrius Fuller expertly chose music to be played on all three floors of the home. The subtle sounds of a string duo greeted guests on the front porch while smooth jazz from pianist Sean Dietrich echoed from the third floor. The highlight of the evening was a jazz ensemble, the Jim Ward Trio, featuring vocalist Bobbie Storm, a perennial favorite in Charleston, South Carolina, and now WaterColor. Other notable musicians in the group
photo by bill weckel
30 | S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 013
included bassist Steve Gilmore, who has played with Tony Bennett, Kurt Elling, and Dizzy Gillespie and has been featured on more than one hundred fifty jazz recordings; Juilliard graduate Bob Maksymkow on horn, who has played with Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, Sammy Kaye, and Glenn Miller; and Jim Ward himself, who has performed guitar and vocals with Blood, Sweat and Tears, Stephen Stills, George Benson, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Dave Brubeck, to name a few.
“Our artists are the bee’s knees.” Exclusively for Maison de VIE, many prominent area artists donated valuable and one-of-a-kind pieces to be displayed in the home for the Gatsby Summer Soirée. Local artists Justin Gaffrey, Allison Wickey, Ginger Leigh, Mary Hong, and Steve Wagner displayed select pieces. Other featured artists included Dana Harris of Memphis and Cheryl Maeder, whose work has been recognized around the globe. Maeder’s pieces, focusing on sand, water, and sky, reflect the beautiful landscape surrounding the WaterColor community.
“The three-story grand staircase serves as the backbone of the home,” notes Massey. “It reaches out and elegantly wraps the courtyard gallery while linking and supporting the second and third levels, and it really is a visually stunning feature.”
“I want to know you moved and breathed in the same world with me.” Guests were encouraged to explore every nook and cranny of this Tammy Massey–designed home. “The three-story grand staircase serves as the backbone of the home,” notes Massey. “It reaches out and elegantly wraps the courtyard gallery while linking and supporting the second and third levels, and it really is a visually stunning feature.” Every item on display in the home was selected by dedicated vendors with the intent of inspiring a creative project in the visitors’ own homes. From the copper lanterns from Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights to the Italian tile chosen specifically for the kitchen, bathroom, or pool by Suzy Accola of Q Tile in Grayton Beach, Florida, no detail of the home was overlooked. Functionality and impeccable taste created a fusion of elegance and style throughout Maison de VIE. With four local schools assigned as beneficiaries of the event, the Gatsby Summer Soirée featured a charity raffle of a beautiful Mazza pearl necklace donated by Destin Jewelers and Sinfonia season passes graciously supplied by Demetrius Fuller. Maison de VIE is proud to be a community-inspired home, and the money collected from party guests was donated to Seaside Neighborhood School, South Walton High School, Ohana Institute, and Emerald Coast Middle School. VIE, Q Tile, and Coastal Elements were proud to contribute an additional $4,000 to these deserving schools.
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“You always look so cool.” Maison de VIE played backdrop to our cover shoot feature, which began at 4:00 a.m. the morning after the Gatsby Summer Soirée. As hair and makeup designers, models, photographers, and florists arrived, the excitement and buzz from the night before continued. Flowers were repositioned and made fresh as models were dressed in designer gowns supplied by BHLDN and Beachfolly. Poolside models wore bathing suits by Anthropologie, re-creating the effortless elegance of the 1920s. Jewelry from BHLDN and Destin Jewelers adorned the graceful décolletages of our Daisy Buchanan–inspired models, and Brooks Brothers supplied the men’s styles, bringing Jay Gatsby, Tom Buchanan, and Nick Carraway to life. VIE has produced a documentary that records the construction of Maison de VIE from conception to fruition. This film is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look of all that goes into getting a project of this magnitude off the ground. A myriad of aspects must come together throughout the process, but with cooperation and a shared goal, the team was able to make this happen in an incredibly short time. This was a first for VIE and, as with any new undertaking, we were continually amazed at the can-do attitude of everyone involved. We would like to say to every planner, designer, and sponsor of this exciting endeavor, “Good job, old sport!”
He talked a lot about the past and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. —F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
For more information, please visit VIEZINE.com, QTile.com, or CoastalElements30a.com. 32 | S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 013
photo by troy ruprecht
photo by bill weckel
photo by bill weckel
PRESENTING SPONSORS: Q Tile, Coastal Elements Construction, and VIE Magazine • PLATINUM SPONSOR: Southern Theatres, LLC • GOLD SPONSOR: Cox Pools • REALTOR SPONSOR: Karen Wagner • CREATIVE COLLABORATIVE SPONSORS: 30A Design Group • 30A Interiors • Alpha Closets • Artistic Tile • Bay Breeze Patio • Beau Interiors • Benjamin Moore & Co. • Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights • Clay • Destin Jewelers • Drape98 Express • Eden Design Group • Electric Cart Company • Emerald Coast Fabrication • Ferguson • Fireclay Tile • Frank’s Cash & Carry • GM Appliance: Sub-Zero & Wolf • Ganeaux Designs • Hancock Bank Construction Team • Horton Land Works • Island Stone • Lighting Etc. • Mattress Now • Nest 30A • New View Windows & Doors • Oasis Rug and Home • Peacock Pavers • Pizitz Home & Cottage • Risa’s Interiors • Rolen Studio – Residential Design • Sicis • Sugar Beach Interiors • Summer House Lifestyle • T. Massey Architecture • Wet Dog FEATURED ARTISTS: Teresa Cline • Bonnie Fuchs • Justin Gaffrey • Dana Harris • Mary Hong • Scott Kerr • Ginger Leigh • Cheryl Maeder • Shelley Minchew Sarah Otts • Patti Schlotterlein • Steve Wagner • Jane Whaley • Allison Wickey
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“A craftsman at heart, I ascribe to the philosophy of taking pride in each and every project that I design.” Gerald F. Burwell A r c h i t e c t
Furniture • Rugs • Lighting Art • Accessories • Gifts • Garden BurwellAssociates
32 E. Co. Hw y 30A, gr ayton beach, FL 32459 w w w.BeauHomeInter iors.com | 850.534.070 0
114 Logan Lane, Suite 4. Grayton Beach, Florida 32459 P. 850.231.6377 F. 850.231.6375 E. firstname.lastname@example.org BurwellAssociates.com
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Lic number AR-0017641
j e w e l ry
17-2 UPTOWN GRAYTON CIRCLE, SANTA ROSA BEACH, FL 32459 • 850.213.0000 • Q-TILE.COM
A GLIMPSE INTO MAISON DE VIE
sim p ly b eautiful
36 Uptown Grayton Circle, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459 • 850.231.0133 • Summerhouselifestyle.com
F E AT U RI N G
Necklace graciously donated to Maison de VIE fundraiser courtesy of Lisa Peters and Steve Mazza
A Jewelry & Accessory Boutique w w w. D e s t i n J e w e l e r s . c o m | 8 5 0 . 8 3 7 . 8 8 2 2 Located on the corner of Highway 98 and Holiday Road, Miramar Beach, Florida
MAISON DE VIE THE HOUSE OF LIFE UNVEILED
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Welcome to the Maison de VIE Lookbook. A creative collaboration has been under way for nearly a year, and the fruits of that labor are unveiled in the following pages. Take a stroll and savor the elegant home of inspirational ideas envisioned by Scott Kurfirst and Jim Accola of Coastal Elements Construction and Suzy Accola of Q Tile. The home was beautifully brought to life by the architect of record, Tammy Massey Architecture and Interior Design, along with landscape architect Chad Horton of Destin-based Horton Land Works. The principals at Coastal Elements describe the home’s personality as “coastal elegance,” and we couldn’t agree more! This lookbook is a photographic essay on the architecture and interior design of Maison de VIE; included is a Gatsby-inspired fashion spread with the home as backdrop. We wish to pay homage to the many talented people whose collaborative efforts have given life to Maison de VIE. For a virtual tour of the home and exclusive interviews with its creators, visit www.viezine. com/vietv.
Photography by Romona Robbins Hair by Brooke Miller Makeup by Natasha Vaughan Clothing by BHLDN, Anthropologie, Beachfolly, and Girl On A Vine Jewelry by Destin Jewelers
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ADIRONDACK CHAIRS COURTESY OF BAY BREEZE PATIO WINDOWS BY NEW VIEW WINDOWS & DOORS LANDSCAPING BY HORTON LAND WORKS AND PEACOCK PAVERS
photo by sheila goode
photo by sheila goode
ROLLS-ROYCE COURTESY OF SUNSHINE SHUTTLE & LIMOUSINE MODEL: CHRISTINE TARPEY
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INTERIOR DESIGN BY PIZITZ HOME & COTTAGE NEW VIEW WINDOWS & DOORS CATERING AND FLORAL DESIGN BY ROUX 30A WINDOW TREATMENTS FROM DRAPE98 EXPRESS SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL CHANDELIER BY Q LIGHTING
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MODELS L–R: BEAU VERMILLION, CONNOR FLANAGAN, JARED KANE, CAROLINE WATTS, LAUREN SPRING, SASHA CHURINOV, JORDAN STAGGS SUITS BY BROOKS BROTHERS CAROLINE’S AND LAUREN’S DRESSES BY BHLDN JEWELRY FROM DESTIN JEWELERS
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KITCHEN & DINING ROOM
INTERIOR DESIGN BY PIZITZ HOME & COTTAGE CABINET DESIGN CONSULTING BY ROLEN STUDIO – RESIDENTIAL DESIGN COUNTERTOPS BY EMERALD COAST FABRICATION FRESH HERB ARRANGEMENT BY CLAY WATERJET-CUT THASSOS MARBLE BACKSPLASH BY SICIS, AVAILABLE AT Q TILE
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CUSTOM AMAZONITE AND CZECH CRYSTAL CHANDELIER BY Q LIGHTING PECKY CYPRESS WOOD CEILING MONOCOAT FUMED WHITE OAK FLOORING SUB-ZERO AND WOLF APPLIANCES FROM GM APPLIANCE PLUMBING FIXTURES FROM FERGUSON
photo by sheila goode
TURQUOISE LEATHER CHAIR FROM OASIS RUG & HOME CURREY & CO. CHANDELIER FROM LIGHTING ETC. (DINING ROOM) FLORAL DESIGN BY ROUX 30A
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Monochromatic LOOKS GOOD ONYOU
HALLWAY INTERIOR DESIGN BY PIZITZ HOME & COTTAGE LIGHTING BY CURREY & CO. COURTESY OF SUMMER HOUSE LIFESTYLE HURD FRENCH DOORS FROM NEW VIEW WINDOWS & DOORS
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MIRROR COURTESY OF SUMMER HOUSE LIFESTYLE SICIS NEOGLASS MOSAIC TILE BY Q TILE
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INTERIOR DESIGN BY 30A DESIGN GROUP FABRICS, DRAPERIES, LINENS, HEADBOARD, AND CHAIR BY DURALEE FINE FURNITURE
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FAUX FUR BED STOOLS FROM BEAU INTERIORS MEN’S CLOTHING BY BROOKS BROTHERS
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SECOND-FLOOR LANDING INTERIOR DESIGN BY SUGAR BEACH INTERIORS CONSOLE TABLE BY CENTURY ORIGINAL KOI FISH PAINTING
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Nothing Say THERE’S
DRESS AND CRYSTAL CUFF BY BHLDN NECKLACE FROM DESTIN JEWELERS SUIT BY BROOKS BROTHERS THIRD-FLOOR LANDING INTERIOR DESIGN BY OASIS RUG & HOME
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INTERIOR DESIGN BY SUMMER HOUSE LIFESTYLE MIRRORED BED BY AMY HOWARD HOME CUSTOM BEDDING BY COTTON + QUILL
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CUSTOM INTAGLIO PRINTS BY TIBERIAN DESIGN BATHROOM ARTWORK BY GINGER LEIGH ARTISTIC TILE BY Q TILE
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INTERIOR DESIGN BY BEAU INTERIORS DRESS BY BHLDN SUIT BY BROOKS BROTHERS
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E legant AN
LIGHTING BY WORLDS AWAY COURTESY OF SUMMER HOUSE LIFESTYLE ARTWORK BY JANE WHALEY, EXCLUSIVELY AT BEAU INTERIORS
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On the Wall TILE, TILE
WET DOG SHOWER TILE BY Q TILE ISLAND STONE LEVEL PEBBLE FLOORING BY Q TILE VANITY LIGHTING BY LIGHTING ETC. MIRROR FROM PIZITZ HOME & COTTAGE
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BEDROOM INTERIOR DESIGN BY BEAU INTERIORS
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ABOVE: SECOND-FLOOR BUNK NICHE INTERIOR DESIGN BY EDEN DESIGN GROUP HANDMADE FABRICS BY KEVIN O’BRIEN RIGHT: THIRD-FLOOR BUNKS BY 30A INTERIORS WITH LINENS BY FLORIDA LINEN OF PANAMA CITY BEACH
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Kids JUST FOR
THIRD-FLOOR TEEN RETREAT INTERIOR DESIGN BY OASIS RUG & HOME MUSIC ROOM BY JONATHAN MITCHELL OF OHANA RECORDS
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INTERIOR DESIGN BY OASIS RUG & HOME CHANDELIER BY RISA’S INTERIORS FIRECLAY TILE IN BATHROOM BY Q TILE THIRD-FLOOR BATHROOM INTERIOR DESIGN BY NEST 30A
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Retreat A TEEN
HAND-LOOMED TOWELS BY NEST 30A “HIDDEN TRUTHS” ARTWORK BY SHELLEY MINCHEW CUSTOM TABLE BY JONESY WORKS SENEGALESE FAIR TRADE HANDMADE BASKETS FROM NEST 30A
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GUEST HOUSE INTERIOR DESIGN BY RISA’S INTERIORS
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“Savor The Season” 4th Annual
Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased at www.SavorTheSeason2013.org
Wine Tasting, Silent & Live Auction featuring the cuisine of local chefs from Panama City to Destin. Some of which are... Chef Dan Vargo
Chef Steve Withall Chef David Cunningham
Experience a gallery where you are the artist.
Where you can see, touch, and feel your home the way you want it, right now. All the latest appliances. Gorgeous sinks and faucets. Brilliant lighting. Plus, the product expertise that makes it
Chef Kevin Korman
Chef Michael Guerra
Chef Chris Mongogna
easy to turn your vision into reality.
Chef Ruston Johnson Chef Heyward McKenzie Chef Chris Holbrook
Chef Heidi McAnulla
FERGUSON.COM Pensacola 8813 Grow Dr Ellyson Industrial Park (850) 484-8202
Destin 136 N Geronimo St (850) 269-1993
©2013 Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.
COVER GIRL: LAUREN SPRING POOL BY COX POOLS POOL TILE BY SICIS, AVAILABLE AT Q TILE OUTDOOR POTTED PLANTS BY CLAY
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M AISON DE VIE A Hom e of I nspi r e d I de a s SPONSORS PR ESEN T I NG SPONSORS
Q Tile Coastal Elements Construction VIE Magazine P L AT I N U M S P O N S O R
Southern Theatres G OLD SPONSOR
Cox Pools R E A LT O R S P O N S O R
Karen Wagner C R E AT I V E C O L L A B O R AT I V E S P O N S O R S
30A Design Group 30A Interiors • Alpha Closets • Artistic Tile • Bay Breeze Patio • Beau Interiors • Benjamin •
Moore & Co. • Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights • Clay • Destin Jewelers • Drape98 Express • Eden Design Group • Electric Cart Company • Emerald Coast Fabrication • Ferguson • Fireclay Tile • Frank’s Cash & Carry • GM Appliance: Sub-Zero & Wolf • Ganeaux Designs • Hancock Bank Construction Team • Horton Land Works • Island Stone • Lighting Etc. • Mattress Now • Nest 30A • New View Windows & Doors • Oasis Rug and Home • Peacock Pavers • Pizitz Home & Cottage • Risa’s Interiors • Rolen Studio – Residential Design • Sicis • Sugar Beach Interiors • Summer House Lifestyle • T. Massey Architecture • Wet Dog F E AT U R E D A RT I S T S
Teresa Cline • Bonnie Fuchs • Justin Gaffrey • Dana Harris • Ginger Leigh • Cheryl Maeder • Shelley Minchew •
Sarah Otts • Patti Schlotterlein • Steve Wagner • Featured •
Beau InterIors: Mary Hong • Scott Kerr
Jane Whaley • Allison Wickey
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Crisp and Clean IN ORANGE AND BLUE
OUTDOOR SEATING AREA DESIGN BY SUMMER HOUSE LIFESTYLE FURNITURE BY GLOSTER FIRE COFFEE TABLE BY SEASONAL LIVING
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DRESS FROM BEACHFOLLY IN WATERCOLOR CROSSING PERENNIALS DRAPERIES FROM DRAPE98 EXPRESS
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KIMONO FROM GIRL ON A VINE JEWELRY FROM DESTIN JEWELERS BATHING SUIT FROM ANTHROPOLOGIE
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OUTDOOR SEATING AREA DESIGN BY SUMMER HOUSE LIFESTYLE POOL BY COX POOLS POOL TILE BY SICIS, AVAILABLE AT Q TILE PERENNIALS DRAPERIES FROM DRAPE98 EXPRESS OUTDOOR FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES AVAILABLE AT SUMMER HOUSE LIFESTYLE
FURNITURE BY GLOSTER STAINLESS STEEL ORBS AND LANTERNS BY ROOST FIRE COFFEE TABLE BY SEASONAL LIVING
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C H A L L E N G IN G T H E S T A T U S Q U O F O R 3 0 Y E AR S E X P E R I E N C E T H E D I F F E R E N CE
. PASSION FOR
NEW CONSTRUCTION AND GULF FRONT BANK OWNED OPPORTUNITIES
BEGIN YOUR SEARCH HERE ~ LAFLORIDA.COM ~ 850.231.7896 DESTIN ~ SOUTH WALTON ~ 30A
FIND US ON
Bring home a little bit of Earth 4808 East Scenic Hwy 30A, Seagrove Beach, FL, 32459 phone: 850.231.2150 | fax: 850.231.2050 | info@Clay30A.com w w w. C l a y 3 0 A . c o m
GAS & ELECTRIC LIGHTS By Sallie W. Boyles Photography courtesy of Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights
Few people today could imagine living in a city that faded into the shadows upon nightfall; however, until about two centuries ago, only candles and oil lamps brightened the world’s darkest hours. A major breakthrough in lighting occurred in 1792, when William Murdoch lit his home in Cornwall, England, with coal gas, and his innovation helped London become the first city ever to use gas for public street lighting. Energizing the night, London’s gas lanterns were soon all the rage in cities and towns across the globe—at least until Thomas Edison developed a commercially viable electric lightbulb. Gas lanterns might have disappeared altogether, but thanks to companies like New Orleans–based Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights, the oldest and largest manufacturer of handmade, open-flame copper lanterns in the United States, they are still produced for an eclectic market in all fifty states and abroad. Some buyers want to preserve the historic integrity of a period structure; others are simply drawn to the flickering flame encased in glass. No matter what first attracts architects, designers, and curious consumers to gas lights, a captivating history awaits them.
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“LANTERNS WE MADE SIXTY YEARS AGO ARE STILL BURNING IN THE FRENCH QUARTER TODAY.”
- Drew Bevolo
The company’s story begins with Andrew Bevolo, who founded the business in 1945. Born near Lake Como in Italy, he immigrated to the United States alone at thirteen years old with a third-grade education. His natural dexterity earned him a job with Ford Motor Company, and the metalworking skills he acquired there led him to work for Igor Sikorsky, who developed the world’s first helicopter to go into full-scale production in 1942. When World War II began, Andrew moved his new family from Connecticut, where Sikorsky was based, to New Orleans, where he was hired by Higgins Industries, which manufactured the “Higgins boat” that General Dwight Eisenhower credited with winning the war. By helping build aircraft and boats, Andrew mastered the skill of riveting metal together and the art of precision. “In 1945, the war was over,” says Drew Bevolo, current CEO of the company his late grandfather started. “Eighty percent of New Orleans was working for Higgins, but peace meant they had to take their skills to other jobs.” Andrew initially opened Bevolo Metal Crafts. Operating with a motto of “We Metal in Everything,” he accepted intricate projects, including plating, polishing, and repairing chandeliers. At the time, many people acquired relics as souvenirs from war-torn cities, and one customer presented Andrew with a broken London streetlight to restore. “He couldn’t repair the lantern by soldering it,” says Drew. “If you put a torch on old copper, it will evaporate. Riveting it back together was Grandpa’s historic contribution to gas lighting.” The riveting technique produced a more permanent joint than solder and laid the groundwork for Andrew Bevolo to manufacture gas lanterns. His trademark French Quarter copper lantern, a collaboration between Andrew and renowned architect A. Hays Town, was Bevolo’s first important project. “Lanterns we made sixty years ago are still burning in the French Quarter today.” Drew proudly names many prominent buildings that are graced by Bevolo lanterns (the Cabildo, where the Louisiana Purchase transfer took place, and Thomas Jefferson’s former home are two of many), but he admits not fully appreciating what his grandfather established until later in life. As a boy, Drew enjoyed being with Andrew Sr. but did not like going to the “dirty old French Quarter” to sweep Bevolo’s floors or clean its bathrooms. The only lure was the view spanning the French Quarter to the Mississippi River from the top of the company’s three-story building. “My grandfather would take me on a ride up the old freight elevator,” says Drew, who grew up in a one-story home. “Anything above sea level was exciting.” Urged by his parents to pursue an education and a “professional career,” Drew stayed in Baton Rouge after college and enjoyed success as a stockbroker until twenty-two years ago, when his Uncle Jimmy—who was running Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights alone—called for help. Drew returned to the family business and has not looked back since. “My uncle was a craftsman with a good reputation,” says Drew, “but he couldn’t find qualified craftsmen to replace the ones who were retiring. He was running out of brochures and even contemplated selling the business.”
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Drew accepted Uncle Jimmy’s salary offer of one hundred dollars a week to learn everything about being a coppersmith from the ground up. “I got rid of my suits and dry cleaning bill, and he gave me the priceless gifts of patience and knowledge,” Drew says. “I made lights from scratch, cutting copper on foot shears from World War II.” But Drew went beyond following in his elders’ footsteps. Along with building Bevolo’s portfolio to over five hundred designs—many of which are collaborative works named in honor of prominent architects and places—Drew regularly consults with engineers to improve the operation of his lanterns. “I challenge myself each year to make improvements, sparing no expense,” he says. “We are the Coke of our industry. We’ve had the most efficient lights for years, with recent improvements to make them even more efficient.” Drew further contends that his copper gas lantern is “the greenest light on the planet because of the sustainability and efficiency of operation. We use only smelted copper mined in the United States.” With no soldering involved, Bevolo uses a cold production process. The product line’s eco-friendliness also applies to consumption and waste. In contrast to a CFL bulb that lasts only a few years and contains environmentally harmful components upon disposal, a lantern can function for over a century on clean natural gas. Drew’s efforts also entail educating people on the benefits of gas lighting. He was recently invited to Canada, where he enlightened utility executives who understood natural gas as a commodity, but not as a consumer good. “Not one of the natural gas executives, in an audience of two hundred, had natural gas lights on their homes,” Drew reveals, “and only a few knew what gas lights were.” He introduced the group to “the jewelry of the gas world.”
“...THE GREENEST LIGHT ON THE PLANET BECAUSE OF THE SUSTAINABILITY AND EFFICIENCY OF OPERATION. WE USE ONLY SMELTED COPPER MINED IN THE UNITED STATES.”
- Drew Bevolo
In Drew’s basic terminology, Bevolo gas lanterns are “simply a pilot light with a fancy cover.” Arguably, Bevolo’s batwing flame is more elegant than a furnace’s pilot light, but both constantly remain on and ready. “You wouldn’t turn your gas lanterns on and off twice a day,” says Drew, explaining that doing so would only save one dollar on the monthly utility bill; the cost to keep gas porch lanterns burning is about five to seven dollars per month on average. Bevolo is also certified for interior gas lights, which create mystique and elegance in spaces like the bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta hotel. Electricity, of course, prevails, and over the years Drew has expanded the brand to include electric chandeliers and other interior lights, some handmade by Bevolo and others are antique and vintage pieces from around the world. “We do not sell faux anything or concern ourselves with seasonal trends,” Drew explains. Even Bevolo’s new portable Governor pool house lantern, which accommodates anything from candles to decorative items, such as Christmas ornaments and pine cones or corks and seashells, is made with the same standards as the traditional lanterns.
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C O A S TA L E L E M E N T S C O N S T R U C T I O N E X Q U I S I T E H O M E B U I L D E R S + R E N O VAT I O N S
A GLIMPSE INTO MAISON DE VIE
Check out our latest home for sale and currently under construction at Watercolor with an estimated completion date of Spring/Summer 2014. For more information, contact Coastal Elements. 27-2 UPTOWN GRAYTON CIRCLE • GRAYTON BEACH, FL 32459 850.518.1010 • COASTALELEMENTS30A.COM LICENSE # CBC1259186
Bevolo gas lights can be seen in any of the company’s retail locations in New Orleans’ famous French Quarter and in Mandeville, Louisiana. However, Drew says the right way to choose a lantern for one’s home is to submit architectural plans or photographs to Bevolo for their professional yet complimentary recommendations on styles, number of fixtures, and size. Most orders ship within two to three weeks. “If they purchased online or from catalogs, customers would see five hundred lights,” Drew contends. “Everyone from the architect to the designer would have opinions. We want only one opinion: the house’s opinion. We do an interpretation based upon whether the house should have lights or not. Some people think they need two lights by every door, but one might be appropriate.” Drew further emphasizes that lighting should not be a last-minute decision based on what is left in the budget. “You wouldn’t buy a Versace outfit and then go to Walmart for your jewelry. It’s a lifetime fixture, so you want the right light.” Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights follows the same philosophy with its personnel. “We’re careful to hire people who want to be invested in our company,” says Drew. Most employees begin with no background in metalworking, so Bevolo devotes about two years to training. It is a mutual commitment that also applies to some fourth-generation Bevolos, such as Drew’s eldest son, Chris. On the subject of bestowing knowledge upon future generations, Drew is also excited to pass along the rich history of lighting through his newly opened Bevolo Lighting Museum, which features coppersmiths visitors can watch as their lights are actually being made. Located in a charming historic building on Royal Street in New Orleans, the museum offers ongoing demonstrations of coppersmiths making actual Bevolo lanterns. For added interest, a hand-painted mural depicts the history of light’s impact on civilization. “We have an exhibit dedicated to the effect of lights on Mardi Gras,” Drew says. Coincidentally, New Orleans hosted the first electrical parade in 1893, sponsored by Thomas Edison. Participants wore hats with lightbulbs connected to a snaking chord attached to a generator! As Drew imparts it, the history is illuminating in itself—no flashy embellishments necessary.
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A Nautical Seaside Home Sets Sail By Susan Benton Photography by Romona Robbins
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ARCHITECTURE: Bill Curtis, Curtis & Windham Architects HOME BUILDER: Warren Laurent, O.B. Laurent Construction, Inc. INTERIOR DESIGN: Kyle Palmer, Houston 3 Bedrooms 3.5 Bathrooms 4,500 Square Feet
love for the Emerald Coast drew Forrest and Willie Harrell, a Houston couple, to vacation in Seaside, Florida, more than twenty-five years ago. As the family grew with the addition of three children, they continued their traditional visits—diaper bags and beach gear in tow. As each year passed, they rented a different Seaside cottage, where their children learned to ride bikes for the first time, made friends attending Seaside Camp, and learned to surf with the help of local Ryan DeVore of Camp RYNO—all while embracing the New Urbanist community around them. “I think we rented every home in Seaside!” Willie says.
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“We always knew we wanted a second home close to Seaside, and we brought our Houston architect, Bill Curtis, to the area to look at a site that we were thinking of purchasing on a nearby lake. He pointed out that if our love was surfing and the Seaside community, then that was what we should pursue. It was the best advice we could have gotten.” The couple sought out realtor Jacky Barker of Seaside Community Realty, who helped them acquire a premier lot on Seaside Avenue, in the heart of the neighborhood. Award-winning Curtis and Windham Architects took to the drawing board, building on the rich history already in place as they created a home specific to the needs of the Harrells, the town of Seaside, and the property. Forrest and Willie approved O.B. Laurent to take on the construction. “With curved wood walls and so many details, we knew the nature of the design was challenging,” Willie says. “We were building for a lifetime, not running a race, and we felt confident Warren and his team could handle the job.” The inspiration for the interior design came from Willie’s summer travels to Nantucket with her mother. Though she is no longer with them, the family honors her memory with a daisy etched on the entry gate. A graphic artist designed the family crest with the words “In Surf We Trust” emblazoned upon it, and a craftsman in Nantucket carved the piece to be showcased on the exterior of the home. The crest is used throughout the home and is etched on china, glassware, and napkins, as well as printed on bicycle seats and T-shirts
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interior design Firm And Art gAllery
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coveted by the children’s local and international friends. The lighting fixtures, eclectic nautical clocks, and decorative items are from the Lockhart Collection on Nantucket Island and all adhere strictly to the home’s color scheme of navy blue and white. One highlight of the home is the impressive plated wooden bar with a captain’s log for guests to sign. Designed after a vintage Chris-Craft boat, the bar is complete with antique stern lights. With the flip of a switch, the lights are on, the bar is open, and everyone can order from the creative “Captain’s Favorites” bar menu, where the drinks, such as “Sodapop” and “Ponyboy,” are named after family members and pets. Another exceptional space is the curved powder room, where a local artist painted a replica of Nantucket’s famous directional sign. “We took the theme ‘five o’clock somewhere’ and used fives at different points near and dear to our hearts—from the Jigger Inn in St. Andrews, Scotland, to Modica Market,” Willie says.
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The main house boasts two king bedrooms and a loft; the guesthouse offers additional sleeping space overlooking the home’s swimming pool, which is the perfect place to cool off after a day at the beach. Willie says, “Our children have grown up in Seaside, and we have fallen in love with the community even more since we built this home. We are really looking forward to spending our first Christmas here.” No doubt the brainstorming has already begun on nautical wrapping paper, ribbon, ornaments, and tree trimmings. Whether walking around Central Square, relaxing by the pool, or watching the children play on the beach, one thing is certain: the Harrells and their home embody the New Urbanist spirit of Seaside, and their family motto could not be more appropriate.
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Artistic Expression Is Always In
A N E X P E R I E N C E F R O M M E R C E D E S - B E N Z FA S H IO N W E E K By Jordan Staggs
The bass pumped from unseen speakers, and the crowd took a collective anticipatory breath. Across the brightly lit aisle from me sat some of the cast of AMC’s new television series Freakshow, which features the lives of some of Venice Beach’s most adored, well, freaks, such as the tallest man in America and “Creature,” one of the most pierced and tattooed people on earth. Beside them sat Takeshi Yamada, the taxidermy master from AMC’s Immortalized, holding his prized creation and accessory, a rabbit/duck/seal “monster” named Seara. But even Yamada’s perversely amusing version of a lapdog couldn’t hold my gaze when the first look of CZAR by Cesar Galindo’s Fall 2013 presentation appeared on the runway. The next fifteen minutes went by in a blur, but by the end of the show I was already in love with this fall’s new fashions. While VIE has enjoyed a tradition of attending Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week events in New York City for the past six years running, this February was my first Big Apple adventure as part of the team. There’s something about that city that always makes me feel like I’m coming home. I grew up as a country
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bumpkin in northern Alabama, and even though I enjoyed fishing and floating in the creek, going to the state fair every fall, and sitting on the porch shelling peas from my Granny’s garden, it’s when I’m walking through urban jungles, especially New York, that I feel I’m in my natural habitat. And from the moment we entered the city for Fashion Week, I could tell there was going to be an even bigger buzz there than during my previous visits. We checked into the Gramercy Park Hotel in Midtown, whose sleek marble lobby was nothing compared to the rooftop terrace restaurant and the original Warhols upstairs. We spent our first night in the city recovering from the flight, planning our week ahead, and hoping we wouldn’t be snowed in the whole time. This was silly because, as I learned, even when Winter Storm Nemo drops several feet of snow and ice on the city, it’s back to business as usual the next day. Cabs still ran, people traipsed across slick sidewalks, and Fashion Week proved to us that, as they say, the show must go on. You’d better believe it did.
Lagerfeld, de la Renta. And what they did, what they created
greater than art because was
you live your life in it. â€“ nigel,
the devil wears prada
CHRISTIAN SIRIANO Photo courtesy of Christian Siriano
A live band, Wild Cub, cranked it up
Somewhere in the world of labels and trends, people have forgotten the fact that fashion is about expression. What you wear can reflect who you are, what you do, or even something as simple as how you’re feeling that day. My own style has changed multiple times over the years, sometimes reflecting what’s “hot” and sometimes not. Along the way, I learned that fashion is not about the looks people give you or what they think when you walk by; it’s about how you feel in your own skin—and how you feel in what covers it. And I have to say, wearing a cheetah-print KUT jacket and Liverpool jeans while sitting in the third row at Nautica’s first-ever appearance at Lincoln Center for Fashion Week, watching some of the most gorgeous men I’ve ever seen stalk down the runway, I felt comfortable, like I belonged there just as much as someone in Chanel or Ralph Lauren couture.
and the Rebecca Minkoff presentation took off. Models in a mix
futuristic silhouettes and comfy textures... of
Photographers and video crews waited outside Lincoln Center, snapping candids and halting anyone whose outfit was deemed blog worthy. Inside, members of the press, fashion gurus, buyers, bloggers, and celebrities alike milled around the central hub of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, visiting the kiosks of sponsors such as Maybelline, Style.com, and Aveda. But the real action was in the tents, where the fashion industry’s top designers showcased their looks for the next season. The lights dimmed as the paparazzi retreated from taking shots of Anna Wintour and found their spots at the end of the runway instead. A live band, Wild Cub, cranked it up, and the Rebecca Minkoff presentation took off. Models in a mixture of futuristic silhouettes and comfy textures that made me seriously excited for fall began striding along the U-shaped runway, around two rows of VIPs seated in the middle. It hit me. This wasn’t just a celebrity-studded event to market another multibillion-dollar industry. It was a mecca, a destination for artists of all types to become inspired, to be excited for the future, and to connect with others who were doing the same thing. All of us—the magazine editors watching from the front row, the band performing, the designers, the photographers, the hair and makeup teams, and even the models—were there to share an artistic experience and to draw our own conclusions from it. Because that’s what art does; it makes people think differently, and not everyone will think the same thing about a piece of art, just as not everyone will want to wear the same thing next season.
NAUTICA BLACK SAIL COLLECTION Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
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REBECCA MINKOFF Photos by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
Leather, velvet, brocade, and chevron patterns in black and gold set the tone for the whole show.
CHRISTIAN SIRIANO Photo courtesy of Christian Siriano
Photo by Michael Buckner / WireImage
A shining example of fashion as art came in the work of designer Christian Siriano, whom VIE has followed throughout his journey to becoming a fashion icon since his debut at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in 2009, after he won the reality competition series Project Runway. We journeyed—freezing, thanks to Nemo—to the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan for his Fall 2013 presentation at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, one of the few official off-site venues for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The wait outside in the blistering wind was well worth it; being in a new setting gave me preshow butterflies
as I walked past Model Karlie Kloss – Photo by Mike Coppola / Getty Images celebs giving interviews in the dimly lit studio. Red crushed velvet curtains hung at the edge of the room, with three stunning crystal-andgold chandeliers hanging just in front of them. This was a testament to Siriano’s vision, making it clear to us that he wanted to do his own thing by presenting his art in a setting of his choosing, evoking a different feeling than that of a sterile Lincoln Center runway. From the very first black-on-black, Russian-inspired look, I was ready to wear this collection all fall and winter long. Leather, velvet, brocade, and chevron patterns in black and gold set the tone for the whole show, whose inspiration came from the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, according to Siriano. The last look, an awe-inspiring sheer gown covered in strategically placed gold sequins and crystals, certainly made a statement as the model wearing it led the rest of her flock out for the final walk. After the show, we stopped to snap a photo with young actresses Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) and Isabelle Fuhrman (The Hunger Games) before heading back out into the cold for the next show, Alexandre Herchcovitch, at the famed Milk Studios just down the street.
es VIE’s Jordan Staggs and Meghan Ryan with actress Isabelle Fuhrman and Shailene Woodley
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CHRISTIAN SIRIANO Photo courtesy of Christian Siriano
Siriano’s show kept reminding me throughout the rest of the trip that designers are artists, and Fashion Week is about experiencing art and sharing it with others— like Ryan, the photographer and blogger from San Francisco whom I met while in line for Rebecca Minkoff ’s show; or Blaire, the New Yorker and Fashion Institute student who also designs and sells her own handbags. We were all there to experience something at Lincoln Center, in the city, and even in the airport and taxis along the way. (Let’s just say we had an interesting ride from JFK to the Gramercy.) Art comes in all forms, and sometimes you don’t even notice it’s there— but someone will. This fact was driven home for me throughout the week in everything from the Warhols in our hotel to the incredible performance of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof we witnessed on Broadway. Life is about having experiences, artistic or otherwise, and sharing them with others. For me, places like New York City bring awareness of these experiences to the surface, and I can’t wait to share what I learn from my next adventure there.
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Sweeping vista of the City of a Hundred Spires from atop Prague Castle
A GR AND TOUR
Central europe Story and photography by Kim Duke-Layden
Centuries ago, young aristocratic Englishmen romped about Western Europe for months at a time, seeking to broaden their horizons in the disciplines of language, architecture, music, culture, geography, art, and history. More often than not, these powder-wigged playboys also sought inspiration through more frivolous pursuits. In August 2011, I embarked on a twenty-first-century version of the Grand Tour, but instead of Paris, Venice, and Rome, I visited Prague (Prahg), Krakow (KRACK-ow), and Budapest (Boo-da-PESHT). My adaptation obviously differs from the original treks, but I daresay my delightful discoveries and enriching experiences were every bit as remarkable. Join me for an illuminating journey through Central Europe, including a peek behind the former Iron Curtain—passport and powdered wig not required! My Grand Tour was supposed to end, rather than begin, in the Paris of Central Europe, but since it was my first visit to Budapest, I opted for a brief “prestay” before joining my group in Austria. Hungary is surrounded by Slavs: (in clockwise order) Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria; yet unlike its neighbors, Hungary hails from Magyars, Asian descendants, whose language differs greatly from others in Europe.
Budapest is the country’s largest and most populous city. The famed Blue Danube cuts a liquescent swath between hilly Buda and flat Pest, and the iconic Chain Bridge, with its marble lion sentinels, links this sprawling metropolis. The sky transitioned from blue to bronze as we landed at Budapest’s Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD). Unfortunately, my husband, John, was only traveling with me vicariously; he had started a new position with Lockheed at Eglin Air Force Base, and duty called. After retrieving my bags, I was whisked towards downtown Budapest by a red-checkered Főtaxi. My cab stopped outside an apartment building tucked within Pest’s historic Jewish ghetto. On the top floor was the tiny BudaBaB (www.budabab.com), run by hospitable American expats, Ryan and Ron. Several blocks away, I dined at touristy Kulacs Étterem (kulacs.arteries.hu) while being serenaded by strolling gypsies.
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are concealed in alleyways behind For the next two days, I crissnondescript entrances. Visit Szimpla crossed Hungary’s capital at night, when it’s most bewitching, umpteen times with Fruji, a and when Indie films are screened delightful twenty-four-year-old and live bands perform under twintour guide from BudaBike Tours kling lights. (www.budabike.com). We saw Budapest’s massive Parliament The following morning, drizzle Building and expansive Heroes’ streamed down the windows as my Square, which reflect Hungary’s silver bullet whizzed silently along past prestige as coruler of the tracks eastward toward Vienna. the vast Austro-Hungarian There, I would be joining my Grand Empire. Outside the House of Tour of Central Europe, which Terror museum, which depicts I booked with Intrepid (www. Hungary’s nightmarish occupaintrepidtravel.com), an Australiantions by both the Nazis and the Vienna’s iconic 220-foot-high Riesenrad (Ferris wheel) at Prater amusement park based and budget-friendly outfitSoviets, I was astonished to see a ter. The fully guided two-week trip is ranked as one of Intrepid’s most popular piece of the impenetrable Iron Curtain. Had the climate been cooler, we would adventures, providing a perfect balance of cities, countryside, culture, and have dipped into Budapest’s famous thermal baths; instead, we explored scenic outdoor activities. City Park and Margaret Island, whose fountain danced to symphonic overtures. Budapest bursts with local flavor. At the Great Market Hall, stalls brimmed with pungent pickled vegetables, spicy paprika (peppers), and lángos (savory fried dough slathered with sour cream, cheese, and garlic). On the banks of the Danube, we picnicked on fish and pickles from nearby fry shacks, and then sipped Hungarian wine (bor) at a tiny cellar near Castle Hill. For a funky finale, we decompressed at Szimpla Kert (Simple Courtyard) (www. szimpla.hu) a “ruin bar” hideaway within the old Jewish ghetto’s maze. Typically, the ruin bars are trendy watering holes with Fred Sanford–like furnishings that emerge in open-air courtyards of abandoned Communist-era apartments and Entrance to Schindler’s Factory, now a museum in Krakow’s historic Kazimierz ghetto
Caption to go here later. Right: Caption to go here later.
Sunny skies greeted me at modern Hotel Mozart (www.hotelmozart-vienna.at/ en) situated in Vienna’s outskirts. While checking in, I met Mirek, our thirtyeight-year-old Intrepid guide, who is from the Czech Republic. A little later, I met Heather (my first roommate), who is a nurse; Heather’s friend and colleague, Alysia; and Alysia’s mother, Kris, who is a psychologist—all were from Australia’s capital, Canberra. At orientation, I met my other traveling companions: Adriana, a social worker originally from Mexico; Eiko, a doctor from Japan; Katy, a life coach from England; Rachel, a Qantas flight attendant from Queensland, Australia; plus two
Locals and visitors alike flock to Budapest’s ginormous Great Market Hall couples: Arja, a health services administrator and Randy, an engineer/consultant also from Queensland; and Marg and Frank, two globetrotting retirees from New Zealand. During our briefing, Mirek distributed language cheat sheets for each country we would visit: Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary. Except for Austria, which is part of Western Europe, all are old school—they aren’t yet members of the European Union (EU) and each has its own currency. The tradeoff results in less convenience, but significantly lower prices. After breakfast, the U-Bahn zipped us into Vienna’s imperial historic center. Mirek, who is as passionate about history as he is Czech beer, waltzed us through centuries of royal Hapsburg rule. We followed in the footsteps of Vienna’s famed musical greats: Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms. Our tour climaxed on a high note with a bird’s-eye view of the former Austrian Empire from atop the 115-year-old giant Ferris wheel at the Prater, a Viennese version of Six Flags. That afternoon several of us took a guided bike tour (www.pedalpower.at) and ventured beyond Vienna’s compact Ringstrasse, which is lined with imperial museums and Viennese coffee houses. Farther afield, we explored whimsical Hundertwasser Village (www.kalke-village.at) with its quirky, eclectic architecture, artsy shops, and Toilet of Modern Art, then pedaled along the Danube lined with cruise boats. We returned to the heart of Old Town for an evening under the stars. The classic comic opera Don Pasquale played on a five-story-high screen hung from the Old
Rathaus (town hall). Irresistible aromas wafted through the air from food booths serving Austrian specialties, like Wiener schnitzel and Paul Bunyan–sized skillets of Kaiserschmarr’n (strips of fluffy caramelized pancakes) with fresh blueberries and vanilla sauce. The next morning, we took a train to Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava (brah-teeSLAH-vah), which is nestled on the Danube between Vienna and Budapest. These days, Bratislava’s meandering Old Town has a playful, lighthearted vibe: cobbled streets with lampposts and baskets of trailing flowers, boutiques, and lively cafés. Fountains, fifty in all, cascade throughout this City of Fountains, and whimsical peeking statues appear everywhere—from around corners and even from a manhole! From the top of Bratislava’s medieval castle, panoramas extend over charming red-tiled rooftops and across the Danube, where the Soviet-era New Bridge, with its UFO design, looks oddly out of place. Before returning to Vienna, we ate a traditional Slovak lunch of sausages and homemade gnocchi-like Knödels washed down with thirst-quenching Kozel pivo (beer). On day four, we bid auf Weidersehen to Vienna and drove several hours north through the lush Czech countryside to cute-as-a-button Český Krumlov (Chess-kee Krooum-loff ), whose fairy-tale appeal extends well beyond its ancient frescoed buildings and idyllic locale on the U-bend of the Vltava River. Creaky Hotel Na Louži (www.nalouzi.cz), snuggled in a quiet nook near the main square, oozes old-world charm and was the most atmospheric place we stayed. V IE Z INE .C OM | 105
Downstairs in Na Louži’s cozy hospoda (pub), garlicky, grilled trout and hometown Eggenberg beer on tap hit the spot. From Český Krumlov’s hilly outskirts, we mounted mountain bikes (www.ckvltava.cz) for a wild ride through southern Bohemia’s untamed wilderness. Afterward, we explored Český Krumlov’s cobblestoned nooks and crannies. Shop windows, adorned with decorative metal and chock-full of handcrafted collectibles, were almost as enticing as the mouthwatering trdelníks—crisp, flaky pastry wrapped around trdels (cylinders) and baked over coals, then rolled in cinnamon sugar. My Bohemian rhapsody continued into the evening. Our local guide, effervescent Ollie, led us on a tour of Český Krumlov’s colorful history, which included a protective spirit named Petra who watches over Krumlov Castle. Ollie said Český Krumlov was a beautiful place to be raised, but as a child she always sensed a palpable tenseness and unspoken fear among the adults. Not until she was grown did she learn that her hometown had been under Communist occupation. Following a picture-perfect sunset, we ate dinner at ye olde Krčma U dwau Maryí (Tavern of the Two Marys – www.2marie.cz), whose historic Bohemian menu features surprisingly delicious medieval peasant fare: millet cakes, potatoes, buckwheat, root vegetables, cabbage, ham, and rabbit. After several rounds of mead (warm spiced wine) and nightcaps, some of us peasants finally crawled into bed. From Český Krumlov, we continued northward to supersized Prague. After forty years of Communist oppression, the Czech Republic’s capital has recently emerged as one of Europe’s must-see cities. Befittingly, Prague means “threshold” in Czech, and for many travelers, Prague is their gateway to Central Europe.
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Top: Český Krumlov’s fairy-tale castle is a bewitching beacon at night Above: Kris, Rachel, and Kim—“Girls Gone Wild” Southern Bohemian-style near Český Krumlov
Besides throngs of summer backpackers, lively “Praha” (as the Czechs call it) has a youthful, year-round population of 1.2 million people. After settling in our apartments, Mirek led us on a broad sweep of Prague’s historic epicenter. Gazing up at the well-preserved structures that surround Old Town Square, it is evident why Prague is called the City of a Hundred Spires. We walked across the iconic, pedestrian-only Charles Bridge, whose broad lanes held dozens of artisans selling inexpensive handcrafted accessories and art. Flowing underneath, the Vtlava River was ten times faster and wider than its trickle at Český Krumlov. Perched atop the hill on the opposite bank is the world’s largest hrad (castle). After circling Prague’s Little Quarter with its shady parks, tranquil canals, and graffiticovered (John) Lennon Wall, we had three days to explore Prague at our leisure. With all the sights and endless activities that Prague has to offer, I barely scratched the surface. Besides bonding with my new roommates—Katy, Rachel, Adriana, and Eiko—my Prague highlights were visiting the fascinating Museum of Communism (www. muzeumkomunismu.cz/en), Prague Castle (www.hrad.cz/en) with its stunning panoramas, and the Jewish Quarter’s museum (www.jewishmuseum.cz). Plus, Prague’s shopping and nightlife could not be beat! It was a gorgeous Sunday morning as we followed Mirek, like a line of baby ducks with rolling suitcases, to the train station. By lunchtime, we arrived in Teplice nad Metují (Tepleet-sa nad Met-oo-yee), nestled in the Czech Republic’s intoxicating northeastern countryside. At the Adršpach-Teplice Rocks national nature reserve (www.teplickeskaly. com), we stretched our legs—and necks—while admiring waterfalls and soaring sandstone formations. Afterward, cozy Penzión Severka (www.penzion-severka.cz) offered an enchanting overnight respite.
The rainy drive to Krakow was unusually quiet and somber. Upon arriving at one of Krakow’s historic gems, Hotel Polonia (www.hotel-polonia.com.pl), both the clouds and our spirits had lifted. Poland’s former capital has been described as the country’s most charming city, likened to Boston, and pegged “the next Prague.” Krakow is best known as hometown to the late Pope John Paul II, where he is immortalized with rock-star popularity. Across from Hotel Polonia is the Planty, a lovely park that encircles Krakow’s Old Town and whose ancient stone wall hints to its former existence as a medieval moat. The pulse of Old Town is Grand Square (Rynek Glowny), which regularly buzzes with lively cafés, horse-drawn carriages, camera-clicking tourists, and a watchman bugling at the top of every hour! Straddling sprawling Rynek Glowny is the fourteenth-century Sukiennice “Cloth Hall” where shop stalls brim with reasonably priced leather goods, amber jewelry, chess sets, and wood carvings. Outside the colossal Renaissance building, vendors host daily markets enticing shoppers with more Polish specialties: colorful pottery, homespun lace, wrought-iron wares, novelty-shaped fried cheeses, and irresistible pierogies, ravioli-like dumplings with assorted fillings, like spinach, cheese, sausage, and sauerkraut.
Charming buildings and horse-drawn carriages in Krakow’s Grand Square
Shop windows, adorned with decorative metal and chockfull of handcrafted collectibles, were almost as enticing as the mouthwatering trdelníks—crisp, flaky pastry wrapped around trdels (cylinders) and baked over coals, then rolled in cinnamon sugar.
The morning air felt crisp as we piled into two vans and headed to Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum (www.auschwitz.org) in Oświęcim, Poland, for a heart-wrenching guided tour of the Nazi’s largest and most heinous concentration camp. A staggering 1.1 million people, mostly Jewish men, women, children, and infants from as far away as Scandinavia and Greece, were tortured and murdered here.
With Krakow Bike Tours, (www. krakowbiketour.com), we took a behind-the-scenes look at Krakow’s roller-coaster past. In the less-thanpristine Kazimierz Jewish Ghetto, we visited the small museum at Schindler’s Factory, where Steven Spielberg filmed Schindler’s List. During a break in Krakow’s serene countryside, our guide, who was a passionate history buff and Tampa expat, shared intriguing tidbits about Oskar Schindler and factual events that differed somewhat from Hollywood’s depiction.
The morning sun warmed my cheeks while I sipped cappuccino and watched the Grand Square slowly awaken. With remaining zloty (swutty) to burn, I loaded up on last-minute souvenirs, and then dashed to catch our afternoon bus to Slovakia. I was psyched about getting high in the Tatras—the highest range within the Carpathians— that sweep across the Polish-Slovakian border. From the bus stop in tiny Tatranská Lomnica, we sloshed our way to bucolic Penzión Encián (www.encian.eu), where we arrived looking like drowned rats. As the saying goes, “When it rains, they pour,” so our night quickly evolved into a rollicking Slovakian Grand time!
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into Budapest. We checked into the King’s Hotel (www.kingshotel.hu), which coincidentally, was located in the same old Jewish ghetto neighborhood where my epic adventure had begun. After Mirek’s final hoorah city tour, we reconvened for a farewell dinner at a traditional Hungarian restaurant in downtown Budapest.
A wineshop window in Český Krumlov trimmed with whimsical wrought iron The next morning, I was in hiker’s heaven as we trekked the beautiful Tatry backcountry. At the rustic mountain hut Zámkovského Chata (www.Zamka.sk), we watched huge kegs delivered on foot by Herculean hikers. After zigzagging along undulating alpine ridges that were punctuated with jagged, chalky peaks, Adriana and I decided to run down the mountain rather than ride the gondola back to the village. Despite sprinting in hiking boots and getting caught in a raging downpour, our exhilarating finish was ten minutes earlier than our comrades’ arrival. Wa-HOOOOO! Sunlight streamed through my window as I repacked for our final leg of the tour. The afternoon blurred by as we drove across the Polish and Hungarian borders
Our boisterous laughter reverberated off the worn walls as we reminisced, celebrated, and posed for photos like dear friends who had known each other for decades rather than weeks. While Central Europe’s sights and cities far exceeded my expectations, what made my Grand Tour truly grand were my extraordinary new friends with whom I had the great fortune of traveling and the many wonderful acquaintances that I met along the way. From them I gleaned inspiration, enlightenment, and priceless memories that will last a lifetime. Life is a journey; why not make yours a Grand Tour!
Kim Duke-Layden is an international adventurer whose motto is, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my Bucket List!” She lives at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, Florida, with her husband, John, and in between adventures, she’s a commercial real estate advisor and a travel consultant. She may be contacted by e-mail at Kim@travelplanners.net.
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REDISCOVERING LOCAL TREASURE Parents and grandparents are rediscovering the Childhood Treasures of their youth for a new generation. By Heather Carroll • Photography by Greg Riegler
In 2011, at the peak of the holiday season, Lynn Morris began getting calls from all over the country. “Are you the lady who does the Childhood Treasures?” “I can’t believe I found you! I’ve been searching online for years…” “Can I order ornaments for my children? I had one when I was young…” Childhood Treasures are personalized ornaments, mugs, plates, and bowls made from pure white porcelain, crafted using the same delicate processes found in fine china production. The pint-sized pieces are microwave and dishwasher safe and completely nontoxic. Today, the family business is run by Abby DeSa, Lynn’s youngest daughter, but it is still a labor of love to create treasures that will last a lifetime. It takes two to three days to complete an order, as each letter of the child’s name is applied by hand before the pieces are kiln fired at 1300 degrees in a garage that Abby says is “hotter than the dickens.” “I’m very particular,” Abby explains. “If it’s not perfect, I redo it because I know how special these pieces are to people.”
Before Childhood Treasures, there was Lynn’s handcrafted decorative alphabet, which featured a delightfully quirky cast of characters including people, animals, common objects, and even places. “I have sort of a cockeyed brain,” Lynn recalls. “When I would visualize a letter, I would see something really specific. Like the letter ‘D’ made me think of the dentist, so my ‘D’ was a big grinning mouth turned up on its side.” Her alphabet was a big hit with her friends, and in 1981 she started Childhood Treasures with the help of a high school friend. This, however, ended when she later sold the business to her brother. As she explains, “Running a business and teaching full-time with two young children and a third on the way … something had to give.” Decades later, Lynn bought Childhood Treasures back only to have it sidelined again by Hurricane Ivan. Occasionally, she would still receive calls, like the one from a father who had bought ornaments for his two oldest children, but his youngest, Erin, had missed out. “I told him I’d see what I could do,” says Lynn. When the flurry of calls started a couple of years later, Lynn decided it was time to pass her “labor of love” on to her daughter Abby, who began the process of reopening the business and filling orders. It turned out there was another Lynn Morris in Colorado who posted the contact information for
opposite page, top left:
by far, the most popular item is the holiday ornament, but plans are under way to expand the business into placemats, a memory game, children’s books and more. opposite page, top right:
the original alphabet can be viewed on the company’s website, www.childhoodtreasures.net. abby and lynn have created a new, all-animal alphabet that can be viewed on the company’s facebook page. visitors can also enter a contest to win a childhood treasure.
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“I’m very particular. If it’s not perfect, I redo it because I know how special these pieces are to people.”
childhood treasures founder lynn morris, left, with daughter abby desa, right, who now runs the family business.
Childhood Treasures online. “I was so pleased the day I called that man to tell him, ‘Erin is getting her ornament!’” Lynn remembers. “After the holidays, he called back to say, ‘You made our entire Christmas! Erin was so excited. She felt like she’d finally gotten to the big leagues.’”
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That’s what Lynn and Abby like most about the business: hearing from people, such as new parents who still have their Childhood Treasures and want place settings for their children, or repeat customers who order more ornaments for their grandchildren. “When I was teaching,” Lynn says, “I would make a treasure for each of my students. Even now, I hear from people who still have their ornaments. It’s become a holiday tradition for many families.” One of Abby’s favorite stories is about a woman who had bought ornaments for her three sons twenty years ago. Her youngest son, Nicholas, who was mentally disabled, was distraught because his original ornament had broken. “Getting a Childhood Treasure is a very empowering and exciting time,” Abby relates. “When you put a child’s name on something, it becomes a part of them in a way that other gifts just don’t. I understood immediately why it was so important to get Nicholas a new ornament.” More than thirty years ago, Lynn Morris wanted to give her children something that she had created especially for them, something they would treasure for their whole lives. A generation later, customers are lining up to buy handmade personalized Childhood Treasures from Abby because they want the same for their children and grandchildren.
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RE SORT WEA R PRE VI E W 2 0 1 4
FROM MIAMI RUNWAYS TO 30-A l*space strap back bikini top in peacock. pearls by la vie est belle in seaside, florida.
By Jordan Staggs Photography by Marla and Shane Photographers
AS THE WORLD’S TOP FASHION DESIGNERS PREPARED TO SHOW OFF THEIR SPRING 2014 COLLECTIONS AT THE MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD THIS FALL, THE WORLD OF SWIMWEAR WAS ALREADY WAY AHEAD OF THEM, PREPPING BIKINIS, SUPER-HIGH STILETTOS, AND FLOWING FABRICS FOR THE RUNWAYS OF MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK SWIM IN MIAMI. THE EVENT TOOK PLACE JULY 18–22 THIS YEAR WITH SWIMWEAR CONNOISSEURS FROM AROUND THE WORLD FLOCKING TO FLORIDA FOR THE EXCITEMENT. VICTORIA VON HOENE AND AMANDA CHEADLE OF OPHELIA SWIMWEAR—WHICH HAS TWO LOCATIONS (GRAYTON BEACH AND SEACREST BEACH) ALONG SCENIC HIGHWAY 30-A IN NORTHWEST FLORIDA AND AN EXTENSIVE ONLINE BOUTIQUE—HAVE ATTENDED MBFW SWIM FOR SEVERAL YEARS, AND ARE EXCITED TO FEATURE SOME OF THE TOP STYLES FOR 2014 IN THEIR SHOPS. “Every year it’s an exciting experience because there are new emerging designers, new trends, and new things to see on the runway!” Amanda gushes. “This year, Tori Praver branched off and exhibited at a new trade show called Cabana Show, which had a really casual, tropical island vibe. We loved seeing Tori Praver—her resort collection had so many good pieces in cool neutrals, desert tones, and rich turquoise, with macramé detailing that looked sophisticated and chic yet Bohemian in spirit.” Another favorite was designer of the year Mara Hoffman, whose shows are always some of the most raved about. “For 2014, Mara debuted a lot of bright colors, Indian-inspired prints, classically shaped one-pieces, and some long-sleeved rash guards that we love,” says Amanda. “They would be ideal for the stand-up paddleboarding market in our area.” Next year’s swimwear trends also include tops and bottoms with more coverage, including crop tops, scuba-inspired styles, underwire cup corsets, and sportier, athletic-inspired tops with a seamless, sexy fit. “Designers have gotten really creative with swimwear, offering suits with better fits and a wider range of options, and we are excited to bring some of these trends to the ladies of 30-A! We will continue carrying new styles from our top-selling brands like L*Space, Zinke, Mara Hoffman, Vitamin A, ViX, and Karla Colletto, as well as some new designers, such as Made by Dawn.” Ophelia Swimwear teamed up with V Seagrove restaurant on 30-A to present some of the top fashions in bathing suits and beachwear during their second Bellinis and Bikinis event August 15, 2013. “We held our first-ever Bellinis and Bikinis in May—a mix of happy hour cocktails and an outdoor sunset fashion
mara hoffman photo by frazer harrison/getty images
local 30-a beauties modeling styles from ophelia swimwear at the store’s second bellinis and bikinis event at v seagrove restaurant.
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l*space strap back top and monique bottom in peacock. pearls by la vie est belle.
l*space stella macrame top and estella bottom in shell. pearls by la vie est belle. scarf by theodora & callum.
“THE FIRST EVENT WAS A SUCCESS, AND EVERYONE HAD SUCH A GREAT TIME THAT WE DECIDED TO HAVE A BELLINIS AND BIKINIS PART II TO SHOWCASE SOME OF OUR NEW SUITS FROM THE 2014 ZINKE, L*SPACE, AND WILDFOX SWIMWEAR COLLECTIONS.”
show featuring some of our best suits for summer,” Amanda recalls. “The first event was a success, and everyone had such a great time that we decided to have a Bellinis and Bikinis Part II to showcase some of our new suits from the 2014 Zinke, L*Space, and Wildfox swimwear collections. All of our models were local 30-A girls who did a great job rocking the runway wearing glitter, Wendy Mignot pearls, fishtail braids, and versatile scarves by Theodora and Callum. Everyone loved the fit of our L*Space ‘Strap Back Tops’—particularly the reversible styles, which come in pastel sorbet colors and are perfect for late summer. The sparkling bellinis were also a huge hit!”
Stop by Ophelia Swimwear or visit www.opheliaswimwear.com to shop some of the hottest summer and swim fashions from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
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Abacos Building on the corner of 393 & 30A PHOTOS BY NICK ZIMMERMAN
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THREE WOMEN. THREE FEKKAI SALONS. THREE BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCES. 1 anne hunter, writer:
It began with a hairbrush. A friend had given it to me, still in its original box. The outside read “Fekkai” in a beautiful italic font. I asked, “How do you pronounce that?” My friend said, “feh-kigh.” I felt the shape, texture, and form of the brush in my hand. It was a work of art. Sure, it was just a hairbrush, but it felt different from any other brush I had ever held. I knew that its creator was an artist. There is one thing that I know for certain: artists are heroes. They are the fearless soldiers who dive deep into the human soul and return to put the objects of this world together in such a way that, through them, we experience the radiance of those places we dare not go. It is the artists, evoking the feelings that connect us to our deeper selves, who help us along in the heroic journey of our own lives. It was the artist named Frédéric Fekkai who had created the hairbrush in my hand. Born and raised in Aix-en-Provence, France, to an Egyptian father and a Vietnamese mother, Frédéric became a hairstylist at a young age. He moved to Paris at twenty-one and rapidly rose through the beauty ranks, joining the roster of notable Parisian hairdressers. Now, seven salons in the United States—three in New York City’s SoHo, Upper East Side, and Fifth Avenue areas, and four more in Los Angeles, Dallas, Greenwich, and Palm Beach—all bear his name. I continued brushing my hair with Frédéric’s brush, and then I was introduced to his Shea Butter Conditioner and Tousled Wave spray. Before long, 122 | S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 013
I said goodbye to my other products and started using Fekkai’s luxury hair care line. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something about Fekkai just made me feel better. Frédéric’s creations were changing me, from the inside out—that’s what art does. I booked my first appointment at Fekkai’s Fifth Avenue salon inside the Henri Bendel building. It began with a blowout from Patrick, and I never looked back. I sat in his chair until the blowouts had turned to trims, and the trims to balayage highlights, and then, one day, I found myself twirling in the makeup chair. Fekkai became a sort of therapy for me. The stylists knew how to help me walk into a room and feel beautiful. When I moved to SoHo and stepped into the Fekkai salon there, looking for a quick bang trim with Creative Director Fabrice Gili, I was delighted to find that Frédéric Fekkai had brought downtown living up to a whole new level. I felt as if I was walking into a quiet inner courtyard, away from the city streets and into a chic sanctuary filled with decadent fabrics, rich woods, and splashes of colorful flowers. The gentle hum of hair dryers blended with music and left me feeling like a supermodel. It was the luxury and sophistication of uptown combined with the edge of Manhattan’s hottest neighborhoods. “I do not think it is beautiful to be ‘like’ something or someone. I think it is only beautiful to be who you are.” This is what Fabrice said when I told him that I would be writing for VIE this summer and
fekka i salon in soho , manh attan
wondered if maybe we should do something to my hair that would transform me into a more polished version of SoHo–beach chic—a version of me that my mother would be proud of. Hearing what he had to say, I felt butterflies—bang-trim butterflies. I had hoped that Fabrice would feel inspired, but he looked confused. He set his scissors aside, put his elbows on the counter, and knelt down to look me straight in the eyes. “I don’t understand this,” he said. He spoke slowly, articulately, with intention and French-ness, as if he knew that I didn’t know. “I do not believe that this is what makes a woman beautiful. I do not think it is beautiful to be ‘like’ something or someone. I think it is only beautiful to be who you are.”
fekkai salon in soho , manhattan
I was so enraptured, I couldn’t process his words until he had left me for another head of hair, but his sentence had already changed my life. Fabrice had given me permission to be me—to be Anne, as is.
fekkai salon on fifth avenue , manhat tan
fekka i salon on fifth avenu e , manh attan
2 lisa burwell, vie publisher:
The elevator doors opened on the fourth floor of Henri Bendel on Fifth Avenue, and I was greeted by a gorgeous modern lobby that overlooks the four-story, limestone-clad Renaissance Style grand atrium of the department store. My appointment with Co-Creative Director Stephane Andre for a haircut and Brooklyn Vilano for color at Fekkai’s flagship salon awaited me. When I walked in, Stephane surveyed my hair and clothes with laser-beam accuracy and asked a few questions about what I did and where I lived. He didn’t say much, but it was clear he was calculating what he thought was best for my hair texture, color, face, and lifestyle. It was a somewhat surreal experience, but it was exciting, too. He ran his fingers through my hair from every direction while analyzing its properties, and I realized that this was a master artisan—I was in very good hands. I relaxed and waited to see his creation without a thought of whether or not I would like my new look: I knew I would.
stephan e andre
As a young man growing up in Paris, Stephane Andre was focused on a career
in chemistry until he visited his uncle, who was a hairdresser in a suburb of the City of Light. There, Stephane discovered a passion for bringing out the beauty in every woman. Thirty years later, as I sat in his chair, it was clear to me that Stephane still has a passion for hair and beauty. While Fekkai colorist Brooklyn Vilano has his own look that’s hard to forget, it’s his color expertise that keeps clients coming back again and again. With extensive training in coloring techniques and brook lyn vilano over ten years of experience in the industry, Brooklyn loves choosing young, fresh color options for his clients based on the tones that best suit their face shape, skin tone, and lifestyle. The cut. The color. The confidence. The time. The experience! It was a pampering adventure with one goal in mind: to make me beautiful. And the end result? I love my hair!
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photo by bob brown photo by bob brow n
mered ith snow with stylis t pierre at fekkai salon in palm beach , florid a
3 m e r e d i t h s n o w, m u s i c t e a c h e r:
There is an epidemic of low self-esteem among women. We struggle with our appearances, worry about how others see us, and overanalyze our flaws to the point where we have pummeled and pounded any self-confidence into the depths of negative self-perception. My own self-regard resides within that shadow, so when I was encouraged to make an appointment at the Frédéric Fekkai salon that recently opened inside the beautiful Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, I immediately thought, “You don’t deserve such an indulgence; hair styling is reserved for beautiful people.”
My confidence took a beating the morning of my appointment. I delivered blow after blow as I worried about how my stylist would frown at what he saw. With apprehension, I crossed over the threshold into the salon, was welcomed with a radiant smile, and was introduced to my stylist, Pierre. He immediately began to assess my hair. After rolling the curls through his fingers, pulling, lifting, and twisting, his movements stilled and our eyes met. “What are you wishing to do?” he asked, his voice a song of a foreign tongue. Anxiety set in, and I began to stutter. Denigrating myself, I apologized for the condition of my hair. A long
list of downhearted thoughts unfurled as I explained how I usually cut my own hair, tossing my mane upside down and trimming the length with kitchen shears. Pierre patiently listened, without judgment, and when I finally confessed that I did not know what I wanted, he told me, “We can give this some shape. It will be beautiful.” Me? Beautiful? My impending self-doubt surfaced, but it was quickly whisked away as Adrianna swept me off to the side. “Bella,” she kept calling me, treating me like a princess as she washed my hair with luxurious bubbles and a subtle scalp massage. Her ministrations were punctuated with adoring whispers that became a mantra: “Bella, bella.”
I returned to Pierre and settled back in his chair, avoiding the reflection in the mirror as he began to shape my unruly locks. His focus and intensity were palpable. There were no words, only the snip and swish of his scissors as he hovered and spun around the chair. An occasional pause in the dance allowed him to step back, review, plan, and continue with his design. I became a sculpture, enhanced by his artistry. And when he removed the smock, unveiling my transformation, he smiled. It was a smile that bolstered my self-esteem, gave me confidence, and seemed to say, “See? This is you. Beautiful.” Pierre didn’t just style my hair; he transformed my self-perception. Frédéric Fekkai is not just a salon: it is a reminder that we are all more beautiful than we believe.
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Change The World emp ow er a g irl
By Anne Hunter
Photography by Colleen Duffley
When Gloria Steinem challenged Jane Stephens Comer to commit one outrageous act for justice, Jane obliged wholeheartedly.
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“I was attending Gloria’s seventy-fifth birthday party in 2009 when she issued a challenge for everyone in the room to commit one outrageous act in the cause of simple justice—something that would make the world a better place,” Jane says. “Three months later, seven women gathered in my living room to discuss what could be done to raise awareness of gender equity and the power of women to empower each other.” The result was GirlSpring, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Birmingham, Alabama, that focuses on the issues, activities, and concerns of girls and young women. Today, GirlSpring is two thousand women strong and building a template to go not global, but national. “I’m interested in what can be done in our country to improve the quality of life for women,” Jane explains. “It starts here, by empowering our girls to be strong so they can change the world.”
same job. That is the situation here in the United States, and that’s enough for me to take action on a national level.” On a national level, GirlSpring seeks activists who believe in its mission and who can facilitate fund-raising to support their empowerment programs. The second GirlSpring Walton County chapter gathering is slated for this fall, when the organization’s directors will be working with the local chapter and other regional activists to help raise funds and implement programs for girls in all walks of life. “It is a personal mission, not purely professional, that drives my passion to be a leader in an organization such as GirlSpring,” says Lauren Morgan, executive director of GirlSpring, Inc. “Having been born and raised in the Deep South, I am particularly attuned to the inequalities that women face every day, even many decades after gaining the right to vote and the feminist movements of the 1960s and 1970s. We still have a long way to go; however, it’s exciting to be on the cusp of another empowering movement for women, and one that is truly vital for our society. One of GirlSpring’s many strengths that I deeply admire is that it pays homage to the previous generation of women who helped to crack the glass ceiling while also supporting and nurturing the next generation. This support empowers young women to make informed decisions and to continue insisting on equality and justice for themselves.”
“I’m interested in what can be done in our country to improve the quality of life for women. It starts here, by empowering our girls to be strong so they can change the world.”
As one of four children born to Elton and Alys Stephens, Jane is also involved in planning one of the hottest New Urbanist beach communities in the country, Alys Beach, Florida. “My family bought property in Seagrove Beach in 1950 and built one of the first three vacation cottages there,” Jane reminisces. “My mother was the driving force behind the purchase of the beach property. She loved the sun and the beach, and was happiest spending her summers in Seagrove. Our house, just like all the other houses there, was built out of cinder blocks, was one level, and had no air conditioning. We grew up in our bare feet and slept with sand in our beds and wild pigs snorting their way through the garbage cans at night. We loved to swim with the big waves and swallowed tons of salt water. I can remember getting caught underneath huge waves and thinking I would never come up for air.”
The beaches of Walton County are still close to home, but for the past seven years, Jane has worked at the federal and state levels lobbying for positive policy changes that will defend women’s rights, safety, and well-being. “Two-thirds of America’s poor are female, and resources going directly to programs for women are a small percentage of philanthropic giving in the United States,” says Jane. “For every dollar that men are paid, a woman is paid seventy-eight cents to do the
Florida’s Gulf Coast is just beginning to ripple with the effects of GirlSpring, but Jane, mother to three children and grandmother to six, has always been an activist. Ask anyone at the Ms. Foundation, ArtPlay, or Women Moving Millions—Jane Comer can make a million dollars go far. In the past seven years, her goodwill has funded national reproductive health rights for women as well as child sexual abuse prevention. “The issues that affect women and children are historically considered ‘women’s issues,’” says Jane. “I believe it is a fundamental right for a woman to have complete control over her body. GirlSpring is actively addressing issues that affect women by educating our girls and making them strong.”
opposite page, clockwise from top left:
girlspring founder jane stephens comer at the 2010 gloria awards; fun and healthy lifestyle lessons during the first girlspring walton county gathering at studio b. in alys beach, florida;
transcendental meditation instructor prudence farrow bruns, phd, speaks on finding peace and happiness from within; jane comer works hard to empower girls of all ages so they can make the world a better place; christine tarpey speaks at caliza pool in alys beach; girls, mothers, and mentors attend the girlspring gathering at caliza pool.
pHoto BY gooDe greeN pHotograpHY
In 2009, Jane received the William M. and Virginia B. Spencer Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year Award for being the first woman in Alabama to donate one million dollars to the national Women Moving Millions campaign. Her generosity led to gifts totaling more than $175 million worldwide for programs such as The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham. She is a board member of The Women’s Fund and a member of the founder’s circle of donors who started the program’s endowment. Jane has also been a supporter of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, named in honor of her mother. In 2010, her gift of five million dollars created ArtPlay, an innovative cultural arts education program for children. That year, Jane received the Woman of Vision and Action Award from the Ms. Foundation at the annual Gloria Awards in New York City. There is no doubt that Jane Comer is an activist by all definitions of the term—and now, she’s asking you to become one by supporting programs such as GirlSpring.
pHoto BY gooDe greeN pHotograpHY
“Activists come in all shapes and sizes,” Jane says. “Whether it’s one dollar or one million dollars, or the donation of your time and resources, I believe it is through giving that you become active. I want to know that the corporations, individuals, and philanthropists involved in GirlSpring are actively committed, because that is how we will effect change. After all, this is not just about writing a check, it’s about empowering a girl, and that takes action.” V IE Z INE .C OM | 133
About GirlSpring Empowerment Programs
GirlSpring is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves all girls from the ages of nine to twenty. GirlSpring raises funds to support its programs through individual donations, grants, corporate sponsorships, fund-raising campaigns, online auctions, film forums, and in-kind donations.
Mission GirlSpring provides access to reliable information, inspiring events, and positive role models, so girls and young women are empowered to reach their full potential.
Vision Investing in girls and young women can reap huge benefits. By doing so, GirlSpring helps build better societies, better communities, better relationships, better family lives, better political systems, better businesses, and a better world.
GirlSpring provides the following programs: Mobile Website and Online Community – A secure online mobile website provides access to reliable information, relevant news, and social interaction in a safe environment, so girls and young women have independent resources to help them make sound choices and wise decisions. Gatherings – GirlSpring holds events with public speakers, films, and forums that feature messages of empowerment for girls and women.
ArtPlay is an innovative arts education program designed to foster the creative potential of children from all socioeconomic backgrounds. As an education and outreach initiative of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, ArtPlay endeavors to educate, inspire, and nurture creative growth and exposure to the arts by providing innovative arts education programming in a collaborative and holistic environment. ArtPlayASC.org
ArtPlay believes in ... Potential – All children deserve to reach their creative potential. Opportunity – Everyone benefits from being actively engaged and inspired by the arts and having an opportunity to express themselves creatively. Cultivation – An arts learning center should serve as a classroom, laboratory, greenhouse, incubator, and town hall for the entire community. Engagement – Involvement in creative endeavors encourages self-awareness, teaches discipline, and encourages communication between people of all backgrounds. Development – The arts are not a separate curriculum element but an essential component of the learning and development process in building a comprehensive educational foundation.
Mentoring Program – These include providing positive role models and giving girls and young women “Dream Days” with their one-on-one mentors.
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For twenty-five years, Colleen Duffley enjoyed a successful The future b.! career as a commercial and editorial photographer, takITY CRE ATIV ED TAIN “ CON ing photos of interesting “ people, gorgeous places, and beautiful things. Her photographs have appeared on the covers and pages of publications such as VIE, Traditional Home, Homes d and Gardens (UK), House inspire be urous. be creative. be advent www.st udiobth ebeach .com Beautiful, and Metropolitan Home, and in advertising for such major brands as Neiman Marcus and Volkswagen. But when Colleen moved to Scenic Highway 30-A several years ago, it was time for her to focus on her plan “b.” This plan became Studio b., a creative venue for the best of the best and for up-and-coming stars in the fields of art, photography, cuisine, music, fashion, film, and writing. In other words, Studio b., which opened in Alys Beach, Florida, in 2009, is a true playground for the imagination. Keen on sharing her relationships and experiences with others, Colleen approached several of her talented and well-known subjects, proposing to have them host workshops, lectures, and demonstrations at Studio b. Many of them were thrilled to jump aboard, and when the list of creative visionaries who collaborated began to grow, as Colleen puts it, “The ‘b. list’ became the new A-list.” One of many prolific collaborators to come through the studio is GirlSpring, Inc., a nonprofit organization focused on empowering young women and advocating women’s rights in the United States. Hosted by Lisa Burwell, publisher of VIE, the Walton County Chapter of GirlSpring held its first gathering at Studio b. in 2011. Colleen generously donated the space for a day of learning and inspiration for girls, their mothers, and local mentors from various backgrounds. The attendees enjoyed yoga taught by Krista Squires of Live Your Intuition. Prudence Farrow Bruns shared her story of growing up as the sister of one of Hollywood’s most celebrated actresses, Mia Farrow, and her path to finding inner peace through Transcendental Meditation. Jenifer Kuntz of Raw and Juicy Organic Juice Bar and Café in Seaside, Florida, gave a hands-on cooking demonstration, teaching the girls to make healthy lunches and smoothies with fresh organic foods. The second Walton County GirlSpring gathering is planned for fall 2013. Colleen shows no signs of slowing down, continuing the tradition of hosting interesting events at Studio b. Today, Colleen is on the road, traveling to places such as Miami, Pittsburgh, and Pensacola to host Studio b. events. With a growing permanent community in Walton, Bay, and Okaloosa Counties, Studio b. continues to engage visitors and locals, just as Colleen continues to photograph interesting people, places, and things throughout the world. She loves conjuring new ways to introduce her photography to Studio b. patrons and, likewise, to introduce the 30-A community to the unique artists, designers, filmmakers, writers, and other creative minds she meets while working both domestically and abroad.
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Another Broken Egg of America, Inc. moves corporate office to Grand Boulevard at Sandestin® Pictured ( left to right): Ron Green – Founder/President; Nick Binnings – VP of Brand Development; Merlin Allan – VP of Real Estate, Howard Group; Dana Hahn – Leasing Manager, Howard Group
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BY TORI PHELPS PHOTOGRAPHY BY GERALD BURWELL
On May 13, some of the most influential women in the United States gathered in New York City to fete a few of their own: women who, at the corporate or grassroots level, have made significant contributions to the feminist ideals of social, economic, and political justice. At the invitation of activist Jane Comer, VIE Publisher Lisa Burwell and VIE Special Assignment Writer Anne Hunter attended the Ms. Foundation’s Gloria Awards—an experience as powerful as it was eye-opening, and one that VIE is proud to share. As Beyoncé melodically queried: “Who runs the world? Girls!” Catchy. Inspirational, even. But is it true? From the bluest blue-collar job to the corner office, women still earn a fraction of what men do for the same work, and fewer than two dozen women hold the office of president or prime minister in a world that comprises nearly two hundred countries. It seems Beyoncé’s assertion may be a bit premature. Or is it? When Gloria Steinem, the baby-boomer generation’s most famous feminist, teamed with Marlo Thomas, Patricia Carbine, and Letty Cottin Pogrebin to launch the Ms. Foundation for Women four decades ago, discrimination and Mad Men–style attitudes were an everyday reality. The organization’s goal was to elevate women’s voices and create positive change—not an easy task in the face of opposition who liked the status quo, thank you very much. Nevertheless, the Ms. Foundation dug in, beginning with funding domestic abuse hotlines and rape crisis centers and investing in childcare centers so mothers could earn a living. It was one small step for woman, but one giant leap for womankind. Lest we forget, the Ms. Foundation was created in an era when women couldn’t get car loans, student loans, or credit cards in their names; when Native American women sometimes were forcibly sterilized; and when lesbians routinely lost custody of their children because of their sexual orientation. If you’re surprised that everything from domestic abuse services to credit cards weren’t available to women just forty years ago, thank the Ms. Foundation and its cause for putting such distance between us and … that. Today, girls are taught that they can do anything, that they can be anything. And fortunately, that’s largely true. This removal of barriers is what the Ms. Foundation has fought so hard for, and yet complacency is a real danger for women who have grown up without these obstacles. Are the younger generations as passionate about feminism as their foremothers? The answer may lie in the Ms. Foundation’s Twenty-Fifth Annual Gloria Awards. One of the most surprising threats to modern feminism comes from women who haven’t traditionally viewed themselves as feminists—mostly because they never had to. Burwell, whose three decades of
professional success includes founding and publishing her own magazine and branding company, admits to being late to the feminist party. “I never saw a person’s gender or skin color as an element of their success, or lack thereof, so it’s been hard for me to recognize that there are and were barriers,” she said. “But as I sat in the room that evening, I realized for the first time that this movement I was witnessing had actually helped me open doors and be accepted as a valued voice in the business arena from early on in my career.” Her takeaway—that, like it or not, she was free to live her dream, thanks to pioneers who had changed the workforce all those years ago—hit home for many audience members who hadn’t been on the front lines in the beginning.
A Salute to Women of Vision
This year’s Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision continued its tradition of honoring inspirational businesswomen, philanthropists, and nonprofit leaders—both established and emerging change makers who share the foundation’s mission of bettering women’s lives through hands-on activism and policy reform. Some of the honorees were well-known names: Eleanor Holmes Norton, a twelve-term Congresswoman for the District of Columbia renowned for her work on universal human and civil rights, and iconic fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, who lives out a global commitment to women-centered philanthropy and mentorship. It was clear that in these trailblazers, the fervor of the early feminist movement still burns
ms. foundation’s honorary founding mother marie c. wilson and founding mother gloria steinem
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“What I witnessed was the concept that to whom much is given, much is expected... And that may have been the most important message for me that evening.”
clockwise l-r: marlo thomas, diane von furstenberg, gloria steinem, and chef chris nirschel; designer tucker robbins with evette ríos from abc’s the chew; jane comer receives the woman of vision and action award from gloria steinem in
2010 ; marlo thomas delivers moving speech; vie publisher lisa burwell with husband and editor-in-chief gerald burwell;
gloria steinem and diane von furstenberg; vie special assignment writer anne hunter with interior designer sara bengur; ms. foundation’s twenty-fifth annual gloria awards banquet in the spectacular grand hall of cipriani 42nd street
Feminism in the Twenty-First Century
This year’s event was particularly meaningful, as it celebrated not only the twenty-fifth Gloria Awards, but also the fortieth anniversary of the Ms. Foundation. The 2014 event is already eagerly anticipated, with Gloria Steinem celebrating her eightieth birthday next year. Of course, the evening truly belonged to the honorees, whose deeds speak volumes about their courage, determination, and audacious vision. But it was impossible to overlook the magnetism of the woman who started it all.
gloria steinem tells of the struggle for rights from humble beginnings
brightly. “Our host, Jane Comer, was recognized as the Gloria Awards Woman of Vision and Action winner in 2010, and we were inspired and proud to share in her accolades and accomplishments,” added Burwell. Von Furstenberg, in fact, delivered a poignant speech, sharing a personal and family history characterized by unabashed optimism and astonishing persistence. She shared that her mother, who gave birth to von Furstenberg just eighteen months after being freed from a Nazi concentration camp, instilled in her daughter that failure wasn’t an option. Von Furstenberg internalized that message, not only as it related to her, but to others as well. When she married a prince, she declined the title of princess, opting instead to retain her own identity and use her growing influence to raise other women up. After all, failing them wasn’t an option. Other veteran women’s activists honored at the Gloria Awards included Melinda Wolfe, head of Professional Development at Bloomberg and a tireless advocate for corporate diversity, and Lauren Embrey, president and CEO of the Embrey Family Foundation and CEO of Embrey Interests, a human rights campaigner who produced a documentary on the commercial sexual exploitation of children in America. Then, there were the newcomers: fresh voices who have fearlessly joined the fight for equal economic opportunity, health-care access, and antiviolence measures. Their ranks included Saru Jayaraman, director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, who helped cofound Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United) after 9/11 to help displaced food workers. Now, as ROC-United codirector, she fosters its mission to improve wages and working conditions for the country’s ten million restaurant workers. Sunny Clifford, an indigenous Lakota woman from South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, is a young activist focused on protecting and expanding Native American women’s reproductive choices—most recently, by leading a campaign to improve access to emergency contraception for women dependent on Indian Health Services. “Each of them has charted a new course for their female comrades,” observed Anne Hunter of the honorees, “a path that Gloria Steinem had blazed before them.”
Decked out in an elegant ensemble that she accessorized with her beloved cowgirl boots, Steinem radiated a heady combination of humility, strength, beauty, and grace. Knowing that she had influenced every woman in the room—and that the group actually represented a small fraction of the people touched by her work—was the very definition of awesome. In her four-decade-plus journey toward changing the American landscape, she has fought for the everywoman, though the guest list revealed that her cowarriors include many notable names as well. Along with Diane von Furstenberg and Marlo Thomas, Olympia Dukakis was in attendance. Whether the women had marquee names, or were well known in only their corner of the world, the attendees had one thing in common: helping others within their sphere of influence. “What I witnessed was the mindset that to whom much is given, much is expected,” said Lisa Burwell. “And that may have been the most important message for me that evening—that these women tirelessly give back.” Perhaps nothing speaks to the respect engendered by Steinem and the movement she spearheaded as much as the fact that, while many of these luminaries have their own foundations, they choose to support the Ms. Foundation’s work. Von Furstenberg, whose family’s private foundation funds nonprofits in fields such as education, human rights, and health, presents her own DVF Awards to women whose work benefits their fellow woman. Yet she pledged $100,000 to the Ms. Foundation during the Gloria Awards. Marlo Thomas carries on her father’s devotion to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, for which she heads up annual fund-raising efforts totaling $100 million. Yet she, too, continues to invest in the Ms. Foundation. V IE Z INE .C OM | 147
“All of us were there to, in our way, support each other and draw inspiration from the ‘Glorias.’”
With all the time, money, and energy these women put into their own charities and individual projects, the feminist cause is what unites them. Why? Because many of them were there … before. Before the Ms. Foundation set out to systematically break down a culture of oppression that regarded women as afterthoughts and said girls were “less than.” Vigilance, from the old guard and the new, is essential in protecting the movement’s progress and fostering new gains. Which raises the question: Is the feminist movement in good hands with Generation Xers, Millennials, and even teenage Generation Zers, who must do the legwork to ensure its survival? After learning about just a few of these new guardians on a chilly May night in New York City, it is safe to say, they are more than up to the task. As Hunter related, “All of us were there to, in our way, support each other and draw inspiration from the ‘Glorias.’” And in her reflection lies the assurance that this cultural revolution is not in its death throes but, possibly, in its infancy. Perhaps redefined for today’s women, but most certainly with reverence to its roots, feminism is alive and well—and here to stay.
diane von furstenberg with vie publisher lisa burwell
Learn more about Jane Comer’s nonprofit organization, GirlSpring, by reading the article “Empower a Girl, Change the World” in this issue. You can find more information about Ms. Foundation for Women from their website www.forwomen.org.
Justin Gaffrey, Summer House Lifestyle & Beachy Beach present...
A silent art auction soirée featuring a rare selection of Justin Gaffrey originals.
Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 6:30-9:30PM Justin Gaffrey’s Blue Mountain Beach Gallery Hors D’oeuvres by Chef Duo Justin Gaffrey and Phil McDonald Beverages by Chan’s Wine World and Grayton Beer Company Event cost is $75 in advance/$100 at the door. 100% of the auction proceeds will benefit Food For Thought Outreach, a Walton-county based non-profit whose mission is to provide food and meals to local children in need.
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n the last decade or so, Savannah, St. Augustine, and New Orleans have each been called “America’s Most Haunted City.” The abundance of paranormal activity in these particular cities has been attributed to the ravages of wars, slavery, hurricanes, plagues, and famine. Pensacola also deserves, as I discovered last October, its rightful place among the South’s most spooktacular. The City of Five Flags not only has an equally creepy underbelly, but it is also mainland America’s oldest European settlement (1559). Read on—if you dare—about Pensacola’s tragic past and spine-tingling present.
Pensacola’s Naval Air Station is home to one of America’s most haunted lighthouses
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hen I was a kid, Night Gallery, The Twilight Zone, and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! were among my must-see TV shows. Maybe that explains why ghosts have always intrigued me. Or perhaps it is because, when I was a child, I actually lived in a haunted house! My family’s 1950s ranch-style brick house in Cedartown, Georgia, wasn’t your typical setting for a Stephen King novel, but after some strange occurrences, we presumed the nice, older man who had passed away there years before our moving in had never really left.
Tours. With four different itineraries from which to choose, you can stroll through downtown’s grave past, learning about Intendencia Street’s murderous mayhem, Seville Square’s cornucopia of spooks and specters, and South Palafox’s deadly bars and brothels (for adults only). Tours for 2013 will be held on October 18, 19, 25, and 26, running every thirty minutes between 6:00 and 8:30 p.m.; each lasts one hour. To purchase tickets ($10 for adults and $5 for children aged twelve and under), call 850-595-5985 or visit www.historicpensacola.org.
The bedroom of my sister, Mellie, was always the coldest room in our house. One night, while she was in bed, Mellie felt one side of her mattress suddenly sink down as if someone had sat upon it, yet no one was there! Terrified, she slept in my room for the next two weeks. My parents did not confess until after we had moved that it was actually Mellie’s room, not theirs, where the man had died. Furthermore, my father shared his flabbergasting account of once seeing a man’s face peering out our living room window as he drove up the driveway— and then it vanished!
The kickoff for the haunted history tours (Oct. 18) coincides once again with Pensacola’s Gallery Night (www.downtownpensacola.com), which converts downtown into a high-energy street party with an eclectic array of art and music and lots of local flavor, guaranteeing a frightfully fun Friday night!
October is an excellent time for eerie encounters along Northwest Florida’s “ghost coast.” I highly recommend taking the Pensacola Historical Society’s 23rd Annual Historic Haunted House Walking
For the past seven years, Wendi Davis, the membership and marketing coordinator for the Pensacola Historical Society, has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to audition and coordinate the dedicated volunteer guides who lead the Society’s tours; yet she is no stranger to things that go bump in the night. Last year her office relocated to the Children’s Museum, located at 115 E. Zaragoza Street, which was originally built in 1855 and once housed a saloon and the Pensacola Historical Museum. On occasion, she
would hear strange noises and elevator doors mysteriously opening and closing, but one night, around 11:00 p.m., Wendi was alone in the museum working on an exhibit, when an unfamiliar male voice whispered over her shoulder, “Wendi.” The hair on her neck stood up; needless to say, she quickly packed up and called it a night! Several of the tour guides have also had unnerving experiences. Beverly Stagg is a retired business educator and administrator from Pensacola’s George Stone Technical Center; she has led both the north and south Seville tours for the past fourteen years. One night in particular, Beverly’s tour group had quite a scare at the salmon-colored Kennedy House on S. Adams Street. When they arrived, the front porch was festively decorated with Halloween novelties, including a ghost decoration that dangled below a barely rotating ceiling fan. As Beverly stood with her back to the house, she was talking about the woman who had once lived there and died tragically when her husband pushed her down the staircase in a jealous rage. Seconds later, several screams erupted among her group as the ghost was suddenly sucked up into the ceiling fan, despite the eerily still night air. This wasn’t the first petrifying porch incident encountered by a guide at the Kennedy House. One night, a colleague of Beverly’s was about to lead her
OPPOSITE PAGE TOP: The new Children’s Museum may be more than “child’s play” at night. MIDDLE: The Kennedy House with its “high-spirited” porch BOTTOM: Old Christ Church located on the corner of S. Adams and E. Zarragossa Streets
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group onto the porch, when she heard a menacing male voice say, “Don’t bring those people on my porch!” Not only did she comply, but she also quit leading that particular tour and never set foot near the Kennedy House again. Last October, my husband, John, and I took the south Seville tour, which Beverly happened to lead. One of our first stops was the beautiful white wooden Old Christ Church, located at 405 S. Adams Street. Beverly said that, back in the early 1800s, three of the church’s rectors (ministers) had died— two from yellow fever, and the other from consumption—and were buried underneath the church. In 1988, the University of West Florida’s archaeology department conducted a dig to excavate the church’s graves, and, although the bones had been disturbed, three sets of remains matching the rectors’ descriptions were confirmed. Once the project had been completed, the rectors’ remains were placed in separate caskets and a funeral was held for their reinterment. During the funeral procession, one of the students who had worked on the excavation noticed something peculiar: walking in line were three men he had never seen before. They were dressed similarly, in long robes with long scarves, and carrying what appeared to be Bibles—and they were barefoot. The student was distracted for a few seconds; when he glanced back, the men had all vanished! He mentioned the strange men to several other attendees, and surprisingly, none recalled ever seeing them. After the ceremony, the student spoke with the church’s current rector about the bewildering incident and described in detail the three men and their attire. The rector said the men’s physical descriptions fit what he knew of the reinterred men, and their clothing was customary burial dress for rectors of that time, especially the bare feet. Possibly most fascinating, the student had no way of knowing this unique burial custom. Bizarre occurrences have also been reported at the rambling Lear-Rocheblave House, located around
P.A., has occupied the building since 1988. Scott Holland, a partner in the architecture firm, vividly recalls approaching the house once and seeing in one of the windows a distorted, elongated figure wearing period clothing. He also says that, upstairs, unexplained heavy footsteps and doors opening and closing have often been heard, primarily in the evenings when Thomas typically likes to play. Several years ago, a young architect who worked in the house would often arrive in the morning to discover all his drafting tools missing. Days later, the tools would mysteriously reappear. A clairvoyant, who accompanied Syfy’s Ghost Hunters crew, investigated the house and may have solved the mystery, saying that Thomas doesn’t like work. These days, Scott and fellow architect Philip Morgan say Thomas’s activity has calmed considerably. Maybe the 210-year-old bachelor has finally decided to settle down! Twenty years ago, when Sandra Espy’s daughter Eliza was six years old, something peculiar happened while she was playing in the storage room of her mom’s store, The Mole Hole, a circa-1780 house located at 425 E. Zaragoza. Eliza told her mom that she had a new playmate and described him as eight to ten years of age and wearing knee-length pants, a vest, and a flat hat. Sandra’s interest was rightfully piqued, since she knew her daughter had no knowledge of children’s clothing from the turn of the century. Although Eliza never saw her unusual playmate again, Sandra said that several other children who have visited the store have made comments about playing with a little boy. Marsha Nielsen, who has worked part-time for Sandra for the past twenty-five years, said one morning they came in and discovered their Christmas display was strewn about as if a child had played in it. Astonishingly, small handprints were visible in the artificial snow. Perhaps the Mole Hole’s prankster is the “Little Boy Lost,” who in the early 1900s lived a few blocks away at 433 E. Government Street. Sadly, one day he disobeyed his mother by swimming in the bay and drowned in some riptides. Although his house is now occupied
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PENSACOLA’S TALES FROM THE GRAVE STRETCH UP NORTH PALAFOX INTO THE CHILLING NORTH HILL DISTRICT, WHICH DATES BACK TO THE LATE 1800S.
by attorney Lisa Minshew, her paralegal, Theresa Williams, says the little boy is definitely still present in the house. In the past seven years that Theresa has worked there, she has often heard footsteps running up and down the stairs and doors slamming. If scolded, though, he’s been known to quiet down. A few years ago, while guide Betsy Woolley was talking about the little boy, pebbles mysteriously pelted the backs of the legs of those standing to the rear of the group. Those affected said it was as if a mischievous child was trying to get their attention.
Pensacola’s tales from the grave stretch up North Palafox into the chilling North Hill district, which dates back to the late 1800s. Ride there aboard the aptly named “Tram of Doom,” which operates as part of the Pensacola Historical Society’s haunted history tours and on the same dates and times as its walking tours. (Adult tickets are $16; kids aged twelve and under are $8.) Massage therapist Tamara Roberts has led North Hill’s tours for the past fourteen seasons and adores “her ghosts,” referring to them as old friends. One
of Tamara’s favorites is Fred, which is the name that a young family, who moved into 14 West Gadsden Street in the 1970s, gave to their unknown entity. Most likely, “Fred” was former homeowner Thomas Finch, who died in 1908 during a flu epidemic. As time passed, Fred became an endearing member of the family, which may explain why he did something shocking when a visiting aunt had long worn out her welcome. The couple suspects that Fred overheard them discussing the irritating situation, because that night the auntie awoke to a heavy, angry presence pinning her down to the bed. Her hellish ordeal
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The Gray House, considered one of Pensacola’s most haunted houses North Hill’s “British Invasion” House on La Rua Street “Fred’s House” in North Hill Turn-of-the-century Lear-Rocheblave House
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lasted until dawn, after which she immediately packed up and fled! Another spooky house that Tamara loves is 18 West La Rua Street, whose cheerful yellow facade belies a sometimes-tumultuous interior. Replaying like an old movie, a dozen or so British soldiers suit up and rush through the main part of the house as if they have been called to arms. The longtime homeowners, who ironically are British expats, speculate that at one time a wall from the nearby ruins of Ft. George extended up to their property, providing a plausible explanation as to why their gossamer soldiers are visible only from the knees up. The British may be forever coming, but it’s the officer who thinks he rules this La Rua Street roost. The homeowners fittingly call this apparition “the Officer” because he appears dressed in a riding cape and hat and has facial hair indicative of a soldier of rank from the Civil War era. “The Officer” also exerts serious attitude, often stomping through the house and glaring defiantly. One day, the neighbor’s gardener was planting flowers and had
an eerie feeling that he was being watched. When he looked over at his neighbor’s house, he saw “the Officer” peering from a window, intently scrutinizing his work. If you’re thinking Tamara’s tales sound far-fetched, think again. Unbeknownst to Tamara at the time, the homeowners of both these houses took her tour. They didn’t reveal their identities until after she had finished talking. In both instances, her surprise guests validated her stories as absolutely true. In fact, when the tram stopped in front of their house, the couple from La Rua Street added that they saw “the Officer’s” shadow in one of the windows. Pensacola’s haunting extends well beyond its downtown limits. Apparitions have long been sighted at Ft. Pickens on Pensacola Beach, where, throughout the Civil War, Union soldiers remained to fend off Confederate attacks. The lighthouse at Pensacola’s Naval Air Station is reputed to be one of America’s most haunted, according to the Travel Channel and Syfy’s Ghost Hunters (the Atlantic Paranormal Society). Up to eight spirits roam its creepy 1869
Keeper’s Quarters. The base courthouse was the officers’ club in 1924, and the rattling of poker chips is often heard at night; that pales, however, next to the yelling, door slamming, and terrorizing that occur in Quarters A, whose poltergeist remains furious that he has died of yellow fever. As we approach the season of ghosts and goose bumps, keep your eyes, ears, and mind open. Whether in historic Pensacola or in your own backyard, you never know when or where you, too, may experience something frighteningly freaky that boggles your mind. If you already have, please share your story with me at email@example.com.
A Force of
Nature Dancing Under the Midnight Sun with Jenifer by anne hunter photography by jack gardner
We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. – joseph campbell
Now a local pioneer on the last frontier of food, Georgia girl Jenifer Lee Kuntz, owner of Raw and Juicy Organic Juice Bar and Café and reinventor of the Seaside Farmers Market, followed a winding road to Seaside, Florida. I first met Jen in 2008 when I ordered a Green Goddess juice from her Airstream trailer in Seaside, but it wasn’t until we met up for a walk in Central Park in January 2010 that I really got to know her. It was the winter after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and my life and art galleries had disintegrated into the sludge of crude spewing from the Gulf of Mexico. I had rented an apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for four months to recover from my losses, wipe my tears, and work on my books. Jen was in the city to dance with a studio in SoHo while evaluating her life after the oil spill, spending time to heal and figure out her next step—she did not anticipate returning to the Gulf Coast. She was staying at a friend’s apartment on the Upper West Side, so we met in the middle: Central Park. I bundled up. It was one week after a blizzard had buried New York City. The snow was piled high and now melting into slush. It was cold, and my teeth chattered as we commiserated on the state of affairs back home. Our Gulf Coast beaches and
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quaint New Urbanist villages had suffered from the spill—and so had our psyches. I watched many of my friends close their shops, bandage their hearts, pack up, and leave town. Those who could hang on did so tightly. We had survived Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, but that was nature against man. Now we were fighting our way through a human oversight of cataclysmic proportions. Mother Earth was mad, and, indirectly, we were all responsible. Americans each consume petroleum products at a rate of three and a half gallons of oil and more than two hundred fifty cubic feet of natural gas per day. If you have ever driven a car, written with ink, thrown a football, caught a wave on a surfboard, watched a movie, or worn pantyhose, a motorcycle helmet, lipstick, or sunglasses, you are responsible.
The sky was cloudy that day in Central Park, and just as Jen and I were saying good-bye, we discovered another common ground: Alaska. We kept walking. Alaska’s economy is dominated by the oil, natural gas, and fishing industries. These resources abound across millions of acres of untouched land, which is why Alaska is called the Last Frontier. I was a sophomore at Texas A&M University when I became infatuated with the Land of the Midnight Sun and dropped out of school to drive the Al-Can (Alaska-Canadian) Highway to work, live, and play in the wild. I stayed there for five years to fly with the eagles, swim with the whales, run from the bears, and finish my degree.
“At night, I snuck out of my room to watch either the aurora borealis or David Letterman. I sat as close to the television as possible so that no one would wake, or I would stand in my pajamas, barefoot, staring at the sky for hours. It was so sneaky; I had left the house. I was silent, enthralled, mystified.” Which is what I began to feel as I listened to her story. How did she end up in Seaside, keeping all of us so healthy?
As we walked, Jen talked about Raw and Juicy and the Seaside Farmers Market as if they were her children. Would she, the Green Goddess of Mother Earth, and her offspring survive the latest blow? As things turned out, she did, and so did her seedlings. It was a victory not only for our community, but also for our country—especially now, as the next wave of farmer backlash against corporations has erupted, claiming that a patent to genetically modify crops is putting farms out of business. With growing populations and suburban sprawl, the demand for food sources continues to climb, opening the door for the food industry to harvest more from each unit of land, water, and energy. Where does that leave us?
Jenifer had moved to Alaska as a toddler and left as a teenager. As I rolled in, a cheechako (a newcomer, ignorant of Alaska’s rough terrain and wildlife), she was heading out, a seasoned sourdough (someone who has survived more than one harsh Alaskan winter). She didn’t run with the wolves, but she did have a pet coyote—named Coyote.
It’s the kind of conundrum that rivals the oil spill, and once again, Jen is working away, ever resourceful, staying ahead of the curve. Thanks to a handful of regional farmers, the towns along Scenic Highway 30-A are poised to step out of the massproduced food game and stay local, with Jen as the pioneer leading them down the path. “I want to help farmers get their food out of the fields and onto our tables,” she says. “In the end, it comes down to what the market demands. Raw and Juicy and the Seaside Farmers Market are here because our community demands good, wholesome food.”
“We moved to Fort Richardson near Anchorage, Alaska, when I was four years old,” Jen says. “Mom was divorced, and she and I moved to Eagle River when I was ten. Resourcefulness was born of my home life. The child of a single parent, I spent many hours alone, and so many of those were in nature. I would walk for hours through the breakup of ice, looking for a place to sled. With my five dogs, I would eventually find a place in the valley. Down I would go towards the river with the dogs chasing full bore behind me. We would carry on like this for hours until the sun began to set.”
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It was from her mother that Jen inherited her affinity for food preparation. “She was a good Jersey girl with a rich background in Polish food who had spent ten years in the South, where she cultivated serious skills with Southern cuisine. When we moved to Alaska, we literally lived off the land, fishing and hunting for everything we ate.” Being from an artistic family (her maternal grandfather made jewelry and practiced architecture, while her father’s father was a metalworker and used to make toys for the grandkids), Jenifer had always been good at working with her hands. “My family must have passed on their ingenuity to me, because it was no problem for me to walk into the kitchen and whip up a snack or a meal.
In 1989, at age fourteen, Jenifer moved from Alaska to Washington State, where she graduated from Olympic High School and went on to attend Northwest College of Art and Design in Poulsbo, Washington, before working a stint at Yellowstone National Park. In 1998, she graduated from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, with a bachelor of arts in performing arts. “Health and wellness has always been my interest,” Jen confesses. “When I was nineteen, I worked at a juice bar inside a natural health food store called Alfalfa’s in Fort Collins. I had been preparing foods with my mother since childhood, but that is where I started learning about macrobiotics and dove full on into the science of healthy eating.” For Jen, healthy eating also meant a healthy lifestyle. “One month after college graduation, I was introduced to yoga teacher Sri Louise, whom I credit with my love and understanding of yoga and responsibility to my community.” Another month later, Jen followed her then-boyfriend to San Diego as he pursued his
“When I was nineteen, I worked at a juice bar inside a natural health food store called Alfalfa’s in Fort Collins...that is where I started learning about macrobiotics and dove full on into the science of healthy eating.”
1. PREPARING ORGANIC FLORIDA ORANGES FOR A RAW & JUICY TREAT 2. JENIFER PREPARES A MEAL FOR HER CUSTOMERS AT THE JUICE BAR IN SEASIDE. 3. THE RAW & JUICY AIRSTREAM TRAILER IS A FAVORITE AMONG LOCALS AND VISITORS. 4. A FORMER PROFESSIONAL DANCER, JENIFER STILL PRACTICES YOGA AND DANCE REGULARLY. 5. CHRISTIN GRUBER AND JENIFER MAKE UP THE BACKBONE OF THE RAW & JUICY TEAM. 6. JENIFER PEDALS—AND PEDDLES—FRESH ORGANIC PRODUCE FROM HER HOME TO THE JUICE BAR AND FARMERS MARKET. 7. JENIFER AND HER FIANCÉ, ARIX ZALACE, KNOW THAT A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE MEANS TAKING TIME TO RELAX. 8. IN HER SPARE TIME, JENIFER LOVES TO UNWIND AND READ IN HER CHARMING SEAGROVE COTTAGE. 9. ARIX AND JENIFER BELIEVE THAT STAYING HEALTHY MEANS STAYING HAPPY!
I went to work in the music industry to do capoeira (a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music) and continued to try to fill the dance shoes that, to this day, remain half full. I realize that everything in life is half full—except that which completely fills your glass. To find what truly fulfills you is a blessing.”
postdoctoral work at Scripps. “I should have gone straight to New York City—that’s where I wanted to live—but I was too scared.” She stayed in California and danced with Eveoke Dance Theatre, became a buyer for a vintage store called Flashbacks, and worked as a stage and house manager for a theatre called 6th At Penn before returning to Colorado to dance. “Five other women and I started MA Dance, a Boulder dance company that did evening-length performances and more. We created MADfest, a dance festival along the Front Range mountains, and taught company classes at studios in residence; it was also in Boulder that I started teaching yoga. Dance was very important to me during this time in my life. It channeled an intense amount of energy and challenged me in ways that could never be perfected. I had a drive and a passion to move—it was the primary vehicle to my self-realization. From the physical to the intellectual and the spiritual sides, an individual can be dissected through movement, which, for me, equaled introspection.”
In August 2002, Jen took time off to join her mother on a trip to Europe, but when her aunt fell ill, she flew to New Jersey to care for her. “I stayed on the East Coast until September 2003, when I returned to Boulder to coproduce the Exotica Erotica Ball for the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. The project ended around my thirtieth birthday, and I was on my way to New York City when I stopped in Fort Walton Beach to visit my mom—and stayed.” Jen landed a job at Restaurant 331 and enrolled in the Dragonfly Yoga Studies program in Fort Walton Beach under instructor Laura Tyree. But she was still itching for New York City. “I made a third attempt to move to the city, and then Hurricane Ivan hit, and here we go again … something kept pulling me back to this region, and I began to wonder if I was here to stay.
But when introspection and challenge turned to performance, Jen lost interest. “I never much cared for performing, but I loved the collaboration. When MA Dance took an extended break for the holidays,
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It took me five years to say yes to this area. I thought I knew what I wanted, where I wanted to be, where I could best serve myself. I had been brainwashed to believe that New York City was the be-all and end-all. It had the glam, the fame, the desolation, the dirt, the art. Whatever you wanted, you could find it there.” But instead, she found it in Northwest Florida: “I bought an Airstream trailer and opened Raw and Juicy.” The Raw and Juicy Airstream in Seaside is where you’ll find Jen most days, that is, when she isn’t in her Point Washington kitchen chopping vegetables, preparing kale, and pressing juices with her team of juice aficionados. The kitchen is command central for Raw and Juicy and was a crucial step in sustaining and building the business. “The kitchen gave us the opportunity to diversify our offerings, expand our menu, and open another location, and it allowed us to begin distributing our products to so many who vacation here who want a little raw and juicy of their own at home,” Jen says. You might also spot Jen whizzing through Eden State Park, riding her bike to the home office to put in a few hours on cleansing and healthy lifestyle education programs, or at community-building events, sneaking healthy snacks and dinners into the locals’ diets.
And don’t forget the Seaside Farmers Market, where Jen mills around every Saturday morning helping attendees stock up on a variety of regional offerings to take home, such as organic eggs and chicken, local pork, North Florida free-range beef, and local milk and honey. “It’s not our goal to be the biggest market in our area—just to be the best,” Jen says. “We offer the highest-quality products, which encompass everything from organic and/or sustainable practices among our farmers and organic ingredients from our prepared food vendors to environmentally friendly packaging. I want to help people build healthy eating
habits into their daily routine. It is entirely possible to live an energetic lifestyle that is sustainable and friendly to the environment.” We finally said good-bye in Central Park. The next time I saw Jen was on the corner of Highway 30-A in Seaside where she glanced up, smiled, and waved from her Airstream as I drove by. I wondered if anyone envisioned her as I did, running free through the Alaskan wilderness with her snow boots on and Coyote by her side, dancing beneath the midnight sun.
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Organic food eaters and fresh vegetable juice drinkers extol the power of juice, claiming that nature’s elixirs provide supple skin, clear complexions, weight loss, increased energy, and unlimited access to a secret fountain of youth. “Healthy eating is so simple,” says Christin Gruber of Raw and Juicy Organic Juice Bar and Café in Seaside, Florida. “I love to see the look on our customers’ faces when they realize that eating healthy can taste good, too. Our number one drink, the Pink Panther, is made with freshly pressed organic apple juice, strawberries, and bananas—and it changes people’s lives.” Juice bars are popping up across the country, and the organic lifestyle market is growing quickly as people become more health conscious, seeking to add organic foods and juices to their daily routines. In response, Raw and Juicy is expanding its apothecary of natural remedies east on 30-A, to a kiosk in Seacrest Beach. “We are putting a different face on healthy eating,” says Christin, who opened Raw and Juicy in 2008 with Jenifer Lee Kuntz. “I’ve been here since the beginning. My role is to keep things running so that Jen can better the business in other ways. I feel proud and overwhelmed; it’s an honor to watch it grow. People know who we are and know we have good food.” To see a menu of all the tasty healthy eating options at Raw and Juicy and for more tips on healthy living, visit www.rawandjuicylife.com.
To see a menu of all the tasty healthy eating options at Raw and Juicy and for more tips on healthy living, visit www.rawandjuicylife.com. 168 | S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 013
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SEASIDE IS SEEING
SEEING RED WINE FESTIVAL RETURNS TO 30A
By Sallie W. Boyles Photography courtesy of Seaside CDC
When the golden days of autumn arrive, the masses have a habit of flocking to the hills for vistas of leaves aflame with color. Those who detour to Northwest Florida, however, insist that fall is the best time to enjoy the jewels of the Emerald Coast, where laid-back days on the beach are exceptionally pleasant with warm sunshine and low humidity. Indeed, if seeking an idyllic Indian summer retreat, even the most discerning traveler cannot refuse top-tier accommodations nestled within a charming village by the sea. What could possibly make for a better getaway? The Merchants of Seaside in the New Urbanist community of Seaside, Florida, on Scenic Highway 30-A contemplated that question and artfully decided to add a splash of red—along with a dash of white and a little sparkle—to create what is now one of the region’s most anticipated events of the year. Celebrating its twenty-third anniversary in 2013, the Seeing Red Wine Festival, taking place from Thursday, October 31 to Sunday, November 3, compels connoisseurs and the curious alike to make their reservations well in advance for glorious tastings of wine and food, fabulous entertainment, exclusive retail buys, and enlightening encounters with wine and culinary experts. “The Seeing Red Wine Festival continues to be popular because wine aficionados and those simply with an interest in learning more can enjoy a long, relaxing weekend during one of the most beautiful seasons in Northwest Florida,” says Lori Leath Smith, director of public relations and marketing for Seaside Community Development Corp. The festival is, of course, about seeing red and features more than two hundred fifty red wines. Nonetheless, the celebration embraces all vino varieties from
around the world and invites winemakers to submit their entries to thirty different categories for judging. Sixteen local wine experts, divided into four separate panels, use their knowledge and keen senses to award gold, silver, and bronze medals in each category, along with Best of Show – Red and Best of Show – White. The à la carte menu of events officially kicks off on Thursday evening with the festival’s annual Fall Wine Dinner at Bud and Alley’s Restaurant, a longtime Seaside favorite. This year’s dinner spotlights guest vintner Jed Steele of Northern California’s Steele Wines. Allowing ample time either to relax or to dive into other activities, the itinerary resumes on Friday afternoon with a wine seminar, a brand-new facet of the festival hosted by wine expert Kevin Moran at Crush Wine Bar. “Over the years, we’ve found that attendees not only want to taste different types and varieties of wines, but also want to learn about wines from different regions,” Smith reveals. “The Crush wine seminar offers an educational component to the festival this year; hopes are that it will become a popular addition and a mainstay for years to come.” After sunset, Friday evening unfolds with the Al Fresco Reserve Wine Tasting at Seaside’s Ruskin Place Park, an elegant affair granting visitors exclusive access to rare wines paired with renowned Chef Jim Shirley’s delectable hors d’oeuvres. Shirley, chef and owner of the Great Southern Café in Seaside, has made extensive contributions to the culinary world, including founding the Society of Great Southern Chefs and serving as a food columnist for the Pensacola News Journal. The Pensacola native also authored the book Good Grits! Southern Boy Cooks.
While indulging their taste buds at Ruskin Place Park, epicureans can also satisfy their thirst for knowledge about terroir (the soil and climate conditions in which grapes are grown), viticulture (the cultivation of grapes), varietal composition, and food pairings. The Sean Dietrich Trio will set the tone for the event with original jazz compositions. Another option for Friday evening is the Taste of The Beach After Dark, also presented by Crush Wine Bar. This intimate four-course dinner pairs the chef ’s signature delicacies with the same wines highlighted earlier during the wine seminar. The celebration of wine and food resumes on Saturday with the Seeing Red Wine Festival Grand Tasting, popularly described as “the perfect afternoon.” Stationed along the streets of Seaside, wine aficionados pouring hundreds of red, white, and sparkling varieties will entice and educate festivalgoers. Paired with just the right edibles and live music, each vintage wine can be savored as intended. Roman Street, the headlining band to perform on the Seaside amphitheater stage, is one of the entertainment acts chosen to echo the festival’s spirit. Born and raised in nearby Mobile, Alabama, the group’s members describe their music as “new flamenco, smooth and not-so-smooth jazz,” coupled with their own interpretation of fusion style. With four live entertainment areas stationed throughout the festival, all can enjoy the celebration. Rather than hosting one central culinary pavilion, organizers invited Seaside restaurants—plus a hand-selected few from nearby communities—to participate in the Grand Tasting. Bud and Alley’s V IE Z INE .C OM | 173
Restaurant will also host notable local chefs on the Savor South Walton Culinary Demo Stage in the restaurant’s herb garden throughout the afternoon. During the Grand Tasting, a retail wine tent will provide an impressive selection of bottles, which festivalgoers and the public may purchase. T-shirts and art prints will also be available for sale throughout the Grand Tasting, and commemorative wine glasses are included in the ticket price. This year’s grand finale, the Celebration of Bubbles, is on Sunday. The joyful brunch at Great Southern Café introduces unforgettable pairings of sparkling wines from around the world and locally harvested foods prepared with a Southern flair.
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By the time the twenty-third Seeing Red Wine Festival concludes, all attendees will likely feel supremely satisfied. Besides returning home with choice wines, fascinating perspectives, and wonderful memories, individuals can also leave knowing that their participation has helped others in need. As a collaborative effort by the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce and Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF), the festival has a charitable component—Taste of The Beach—where prized vintners and renowned chefs contribute their talents for nonprofit fund-raising. The majority of proceeds from ticket sales will benefit local organizations that work to improve the physical, emotional, and educational lives of underprivileged and at-risk children in Northwest Florida. “Over the years, the festival has been continually successful, bringing in record numbers of folks to stay in Seaside and raising more than $125,000 for local charities,” says Smith. “We are looking to host roughly 1,700 people in Seaside for this year’s festival!”
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Readers can learn more about the particular charities served and purchase tickets to the Seeing Red Grand Tasting at www.tasteofthebeachfl.com/events. Details about free parking, shuttle buses to Seaside, and reservation information for other events are available from the festival’s website at www.seeingredwinefestival.com. Seaside accommodations, ranging from intimate bedand-breakfast rooms to family cottages, are offered with complimentary amenities (swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness centers, and more), and some include free wine festival tickets. For personal assistance with reservations, please call 866-976-7990.
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Building a Furniture Empire Traditional Comfort Meets Modern Appeal By Sallie W. Boyles •• Photography courtesy of SELVA
“Made in Italy” has signified to collectors for centuries that objects are not only beautiful but also impeccably crafted; however, Italian artistry is far too complicated to summarize in a few words on a label, even for products made today. Italian furniture makers replicate an array of styles, from the elaborate Baroque of the 1600s to the stark Rationalism of the 1920s, while continuing the tradition of innovation regarding both form and function. Delivering quality, variety, and taste, Italy is the world’s third-largest exporter of furniture. Among Italy’s most prominent high-end furniture manufacturers for home and hospitality is SELVA Spa/AG. After founding SELVA in 1968, Joseph “Peppi” Selva, who previously worked for another prestigious furniture and textiles company, aimed to build an international business. The company has since gained presence in more than fifty countries worldwide. With headquarters located in Bolzano, a city in northern Italy’s German-speaking province of South Tyrol, and its production facilities in Isola Rizza near Verona, the company’s core strengths stem from a cross-cultural blend of Italian artistry and German precision. Philipp Selva, Peppi’s son and the current president and CEO of the company, grew up in the family enterprise and strives to carry out Peppi’s original vision. “My father brought me on many of his business journeys,” says Philipp. “I saw many foreign countries while still in my young years.” Philipp officially entered the company in 1994 and was named president V IE Z INE .C OM | 179
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in 1998, and then he also took over SELVA’s German subsidiary in 2003. “In those years, my father fell ill, and I felt the responsibility to go on with what he created.” What Peppi Selva created had a great deal to do with where he sought to establish a presence, including the Russian market while Russia was still part of the Soviet Union. “SELVA was furnishing some of Moscow’s nicest hotels near Red Square—Hotel Metropol, the Savoy, and Hotel National—in the middle of the 1980s!” recounts Philipp. When the USSR officially dissolved, the company was ideally positioned to launch retail operations in Russia. “We were the first Italian company to open a shop in the very center of Moscow.” This and many other export successes landed SELVA a Marco Polo Award for first-time international business ventures in 1989. While those who embrace SELVA don’t all speak the same language or share the same aesthetic likings, certain hallmarks of the brand strike a universal chord. “Our DNA remains classical,” Philipp says, “but in the last ten years we have devel-
Remarkably, the company continues to make every piece by hand. oped more transitional and modern collections. They still take inspiration from past and glorious eras but are adapted to a modern lifestyle.” Styles are varied according to regional preferences. “Being in over fifty countries worldwide, we are faced with different tastes in terms of design, fabrics, and dimensions of furniture.” Collections displaying simpler lines, for instance, reflect the preference in Central Europe, while Russian and Middle Eastern clients are inspired by more majestic pieces with highly refined details. To accommodate this broad customer base, SELVA’s active product line is extensive. The company offers approximately 850 models with about twenty-five different finishes and 130 fabrics. Remarkably, the company continues to make every piece by hand. The Verona area is known as a hub of Italian craftsmanship, so SELVA can be selective in working with a number of small artisan companies that use traditional furniture-making techniques. “Each one specializes in a particular production process,” says Philipp. “Once production is completed, the furniture is moved to our establishment in Isola Rizza. Here, we go further with the tailored finishes of the surfaces and the installation of the hardware and glass doors.” The final stage entails precise packaging to ensure the furniture arrives at its destination in perfect condition. Before the first prototype is made, however, a complex design process transpires with numerous proofs, comparisons, market analyses, and trend discussions. “This is the most exciting part of our job,” says Philipp, “to give shape to our visions and inspirations!”
Occasionally, SELVA develops one-of-a-kind items for prestigious projects. “Many years ago, we customized a piece for the Kremlin,” Philipp reveals. Some models are also limited editions, such as a solitaire cabinet that was nominated as one of the Harrods Design Icons in 2008. Whether a SELVA cabinet, bed, table, or chair is deemed groundbreaking or simply good-looking, a distinguished designer has played a role in conceiving the piece. “We have been lucky to work with renowned and appreciated designers,” says Philipp, who makes a point of acknowledging his in-house designer, Tiziano Bistaffa, for maintaining the “SELVA spirit” in every new creation. Tiziano has led the company’s design and development office since 1984. “For that reason,” adds Philipp, “the products designed by him—the fruits of his passion and experience—embody the company’s history in a very special way.” SELVA further enjoys a long-standing relationship with renowned Italian architect and designer Lorenzo Bellini. “He has created several outstanding collections for SELVA, such as Downtown, Heritage J.S., and Vendôme, as well as some new items, which we presented at the international furniture fair in Milano and will display at the upcoming High Point (North Carolina) Market,” says Philipp. The V IE Z INE .C OM | 181
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Vendôme collection won Hotel&Design magazine’s H&D Award in April 2013. “Lorenzo designs expressive, top-quality furniture that is conceived for customers who are seeking something extraordinary and timeless. Like a passkey, his pieces can be effortlessly integrated into any context—in a modern loft or with antiques and vintage furniture.” The latest addition to SELVA’s design team, Peggy Norris, began working with the company in 2012. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, she initially assumed responsibility for redecorating SELVA’s High Point showroom for a relaunch of the brand. “Peggy was able to create a stunning new look most suited to the American market,” says Philipp. “This year, she designed five selected top-quality pieces of furniture with which she united delicate lightness and feminine lines, creating an interplay between fresh design and coziness. Peggy completely shares the SELVA philosophy: to please people with lasting beauty. Her pieces were very successful at the last international furniture fair in Milano, and I hope they seduce the American market.” A number of retailers in the United States carry SELVA’s collections, namely Robert Allen in New York, Las Vegas, and San Francisco; Unique Interiors in Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Furnitureland South in Jamestown, North Carolina; Design Resource Center in Florida; Noel Furniture, Inc. in Houston; and Flegel’s in San Francisco. SELVA’s website, www.
selva.com, offers more information to guide consumers and commercial clients. Philipp would also like to introduce stores in the United States that sell only SELVA furniture. The strategy has been successful in the Middle East, Far East, and Europe. “We believe in mono-brand stores,” says Philipp, “because the client can live the brand and the products more deeply.” Growth throughout the world remains important to SELVA, yet regardless of how much the company expands on the enterprise his father started forty-five years ago, Philipp still believes in preserving a close-knit culture with his company. “It still belongs to my family,” he says. “I also consider my company and employees a big family of sorts.” Peppi and his son have built a furniture empire, and as Philipp reflects upon SELVA’s milestones, he proudly mentions a street in Isola Rizza that the local government renamed for his father, who passed away in 2002. The street, Via Joseph Selva, honors Peppi’s many accomplishments at home and abroad. He was clearly a man with a zest for traveling the world, but also for enjoying the comforts of home—the ultimate lifestyle to inspire a global furniture brand.
SELVA RETAILERS IN THE U.S. New York Robert Allen – NYC 23rd and Fourth Baltimore Design Center Michael Donnelly Interiors New Jersey D & D Interiors Zaksons Fine Furniture Florida Coconut Grove Gallery & Interiors Designer Resource Center Floridian Furniture P & H Interiors
Texas Robert Allen – Dallas Noel Furniture Casa Antigua Illinois Morgan Richards Robert Allen – Chicago Washington, D.C. (coming soon) Nest 301
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Thinking Inside the Box The Only Complete and Comprehensive Sudoku Solution By Sudoku Sam
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We were going to spend ten days in St. Barts, so when we stopped by a pharmacy to pick up the essentials, I perused the newsstand for some interesting literature. A small Sudoku puzzle book caught my eye. “Why not?” I asked myself. After all, I know math. I even published a statistical theory article once. Not that I was really all that interested in solving puzzles—I had long since grown out of that—but it would be interesting to see how it worked. Furthermore, it was the spring of 2005, Sudoku was all the rage, and I wanted to see what it was all about. My interest, though, was in the actual solution process, not just the challenge of solving a puzzle. Besides, the cover proclaimed in French: Simple et Moyen (Easy and Moderate).
It took about a year to put together my basic system, and I knew there were still some missing parts. I posted my findings under the title Rational Sudoku to contrast it with the other solution strategy, which I now call the “Standard Strategy”—the basis of which is known as the “Possibility Matrix.” It is a process, for those lacking a solution, in which all possible solutions are marked in each vacant cell of the matrix by placing little marks representing the
Once we had settled in at our destination, I began my first Sudoku: Simple #1. Little did I imagine that it would captivate me and forever change my life. I struggled with that little puzzle for over a week. Each day, I returned to where I had left off, and each day my frustration grew—along with my determination. “I will solve this #*@% puzzle,” I kept telling myself. “I am bigger than this.” Finally . . . success! I had solved my first Sudoku. Still, it injured my scientific ego to think that it had taken so long, and although I had gained some insights into the process, I was still very far from understanding it. On to puzzle two—this time a Moyen. I was still working on it on the plane back to the States. My insights grew with each correct digit I placed in the matrix, but I was still far from putting it all together, and my patience was running thin. So, I went to the Internet and ordered three books on how to solve Sudoku. When they arrived, I tore into them like a hungry wolf. I didn’t really want to read them and see that someone else had figured this all out, but “Enough is enough,” I thought; I was about to throw in the towel. What I found in those three books both horrified and emboldened me. I had already formulated the rudiments of a solution strategy, and what I read offered no threat to my ideas or approach. On the contrary, I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to make the solution process even more complex! Trying to apply the books’ strategies to any given puzzle literally gave me a headache and generated massive confusion: trying to work through the logic of it was confounding. Therefore, I promised myself that I would not look at another Sudoku strategy book until I had worked through all my own thoughts on the matter. So, I started working on puzzles on WebSudoku.com and felt like I was making progress. But I was in disbelief at how fast other people were solving Sudoku on this site. I even inquired as to whether or not their time logs were real—and they were, according to the Web Sudoku folks. I plodded on.
missing digits. I refer to them as “digits” because they are not always numbers, and they could be replaced by letters, geometrical forms, baseball logos, etc. My grandchildren, in fact, used to solve simple Sudoku using SpongeBob SquarePants stickers. The point here: Sudoku has nothing to do with mathematics and everything to do with logic and reason. This was the appeal to me—logic and reason. Thus, what was the logic that formed the foundation of Sudoku, and how did one reason through the solution process?
“I will solve this #*@% puzzle,” I kept telling myself. “I am bigger than this.” It seemed so simple, but to understand how to solve a Sudoku, we need to understand what a Sudoku is. Nine cells (the smallest squares) comprise each box, each row, and each column (BRC—Box-RowColumn), and each of these must contain all the digits 1 through 9. This is the “prime directive” of Sudoku. The digits provided are called “givens” and can be thought of as clues to the final (ultimate) solution. The original Sudoku was published in Dell Penny Press puzzle books in 1979. Some clever sleuthing by Will Shortz determined that the author was a retired engineer named Howard Garns, who had taken a nine-by-nine Latin square and modified it by adding additional constraints. This puzzle was called Number Place; it was literally picked up in New York in 1986 by a Japanese puzzle mogul named Maki Kaji. Since there was no copyright, Nikoli Publishing began publishing the puzzles under the awkward moniker sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru, which means “only single numbers allowed”—from whence came the name Su Doku, which means, roughly, “one number” or “single place.” A retired jurist, Wayne Gould, discovered Sudoku while traveling in Asia. In 1999, after being rejected by the New York Times, he convinced the Times of London to publish the first “Sudoku” in English literature. The next year, the first Sudoku in the United States was published in the Boston Globe. The rest, as they say, is history. Sudoku is now the most popular puzzle in the world. It can be solved by any person of any culture, provided they understand or recognize Arabic numerals—thus, competition is open to peoples of all cultures, languages, races, and ethnicities. In fact, the winner of the first World Sudoku Championship, held in 2006, was a 31-yearold Czech woman named Jana Tylová. The Latin square came from a popular puzzle from the Middle Ages, the “magic square,” which had deep
religious significance. There is a four-by-four magic square engraved on La Sagrada Família Cathedral in Barcelona in which each row and column contains numbers that add up to thirty-three (the age of Christ when he was purportedly crucified). It is also incorporated into the emblem of the Statistical Society of Canada. In 1758, the great Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler worked out the general solution for magic squares. Because he used Latin symbols to illustrate his solution, Euler’s formulation became known as Latin squares, which are widely used today in science and engineering. In an NxN Latin square, there must be N distinct symbols, such as the digits 1 through 9, and each symbol must occur only once in each row and once in each column. Wei-Meng Lee first proposed the Possibility Matrix in his book, Programming Sudoku, as a last-resort method for discovering the ultimate solution of a Sudoku by computer. It was popularized by Peter Gordon, puzzle editor for Sterling Publishing Co., and Frank Longo, puzzler extraordinaire, in their book, Mensa Guide for Solving Sudoku. Gordon proposed a “new system of logic,” which he immodestly called Gordonian Logic, presumably to explain the Standard Strategy. However, the Sudoku Solution systematically unties that confusing Gordonian knot and replaces it with a true system of logic. In all fairness, you must first solve as many cells as possible before beginning to scratch your head and squirm in your seat while realizing that solutions for the remaining cells of the matrix have run out. You are stuck and know not which way to turn for the next solution. You wonder if this is a temporary “logjam” or a definitive “lockup?” This is when the Possibility Matrix is enacted, which I call the “bait and switch” moment, or, more pointedly, “the switch.” Parenthetically, there is also a little online industry that, for a nominal fee, will send you the Possibility Matrix if you send them your “locked up” matrix. You wouldn’t want to get it wrong!
The Sudoku Solution uses a unique nomenclature system in the designation of cells, both within the boxes and within the matrix as a whole. This system is in stark contrast to the rigidly Cartesian approach of the Standard Strategy. The boxes are labeled with uppercase letters A through I, as shown in Figure 2. Within each box, the cells are numbered from left to right and top to bottom—as one would read Latin or Arabic texts. Rows and columns are marked with the ordinal numerals 1 through 9 from top to bottom and from left to right, respectively. Note that, here, the digits 1 through 9 represent ordered arrays, whereas, when at play in the Sudoku matrix, they lose this characteristic. Every cell is uniquely located using a single letter and a single digit, with a focus on the boxes—the component that distinguishes Sudoku. In Figure 3, I have worked the previous Sudoku, Figure 1, to its major logjam. Readers should work through it as well and see if they obtain the same results. You can also visit our blog, www.viezine.com/vie, and view the post titled “Thinking Inside the Box” for a comparison of the Sudoku Solution and the Standard Strategy’s Possibility Matrix. The interested reader is invited to explore the technical details of how the two strategies differ. V IE Z INE .C OM | 189
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To sum everything up, one must ask, “Is there a best way to solve Sudoku?” There are worse ways to go than the Standard Strategy—such as the one based on roulette betting or the “sledgehammer” approach, which purports to solve Sudoku using Venn diagrams. So there must be a better strategy, and it is not the “bait and switch” act of the Standard Strategy, whose proponents do not understand the Sudoku matrix well enough to implement a cohesive plan of attack, making their solution more complex as the Sudoku becomes more difficult. Thank goodness for that, though, or I would not have had the pleasure and the sheer thrill of discovery in developing what I believe is the best way to solve Sudoku: the Sudoku Solution. Starting out with the Sudoku Solution will save you a lot of time, aggravation, confusion, and anxiety—as stated in the title of my starter’s book: Sudoku Sam’s Starting Out Right Strategy for Solving Sudoku. My strategy is presented in its entirety in a threevolume set, available for $19.99. To purchase, you can contact Sudoku Sam at email@example.com, go to Amazon.com, or visit Sundog Books in Seaside, Florida. Along with the above title, the collection includes Sudoku Sam’s No Notes Strategy for Solving Sudoku and Sudoku Sam’s Meta-Strategy for Solving Sudoku. I am currently bringing the three tomes together into my definitive book: The Only Complete and Comprehensive Sudoku Solution. Contact me at the above e-mail to sign up for Sudoku updates and prepublication offers. Meanwhile, buying the current set of Sudoku Sam’s guides will automatically get you the definitive book for free when it goes to press! Thinking inside the box, Sudoku Sam
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Eye for Design by anne hunter I first met her when she walked into my Rosemary Beach, Florida gallery. She came across as royal, like a head of state. With the calm of a queen, in a voice befitting a monarch, she boomed, “I need five paintings. I’ll take that one, that one, this one, and that one ... Can you deliver them today?” She ordered the paintings as if they were pastries in a French boulangerie, but these babies cost $10,000 a pop. I strapped the paintings onto my Jeep and drove down the street to the address she had given me. It was a beautiful Rosemary Beach home designed by Eric Watson. She said, “Put them over there. I’ll pay you tomorrow.” And she did. Who was this woman? Over the next five years, I watched, entranced, as Paige Schnell, this wonder woman of interior design, worked her magic up and down the carefully architected residences of our beautiful scenic towns of 30-A. I was hooked. Paige grew up in Opp, Alabama. Her mother was a teacher and her father a farmer. “We were always doing projects around the house, collecting antiques, looking for found objects,” she says. “I didn’t understand it at the time, but these were the roots that started my passion for design.” Paige left Opp at seventeen to attend the closest of the country’s top five architecture schools, Auburn University, where she studied interior design. “I just wandered into my field and then I realized how much I loved it.” In 1998, Paige graduated with a degree in interior architecture and a triple minor in art history, psychology, and sociology. Fascinating, I thought. Wonder woman is an archaeologist, a historian, and a designer all in one. She moved from Auburn to Atlanta with her daughter, Mallory, where she shared her talents with one of the country’s largest interior design firms, ASD (Associated Space Design), for the next seven years. “I’ve designed banks and law firms all over the country—Bank of America, Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan, Chase, Holland and Knight, you name it,” Paige says. After she met her husband, urban designer Mark Schnell, Paige was ready for a change in her lifestyle. “Mark and I packed up and moved to the beach on Mallory’s last day of sixth grade,” she V IE Z INE .C OM | 197
reminisces. “It was Memorial Day 2004. We never looked back.” They bought a house and Paige partnered with a Birmingham architecture firm, Dungan Nequette, to run an interior design store called Tracery Interiors in Rosemary Beach, Florida. “Tracery opened in December 2003 and I became a partner in 2004, then proprietor in 2005.”
“Their work showed that there are better ways to build communities than a sprawling mess of subdivisions and strip malls, and that really resonated for me.” Little did he know that he would come full circle from studying Seaside to living a short walk away from it. Mark left Northwestern University, which lacked a program in architecture and planning, for the University of Colorado at Boulder and a
career in urban design. After graduation, he worked on the renowned Stapleton project in Denver and then spent several years working for a large firm in D.C. and Atlanta, where he met Paige. “I couldn’t believe that Paige had visited the towns of 30-A throughout her life, after I had spent so much time studying them. It wasn’t long before we made 30-A our home.”
“People come back every year to see us at Tracery, whether we designed their home or not,” she comments. It’s no wonder, since Paige is the Indiana Jones of cool collections. “Going back to my childhood days in Opp, I’ve not stopped looking for exceptional objects. Our clients love the treasures we find and they want to take something back from Tracery every time they come down to the beach.” Indy Jones did say, “If you want to be a good archaeologist, you gotta get out of the library.” And there goes Paige, ever jet setting, scouring the country to recover important artifacts and put them in their proper place. She is like a careful excavator mining precious sites. “For the shop or a client’s home,” she says, “I am always looking for found objects to mix with our custom-designed pieces and antiques. I like to mix it all together until it becomes a collection. We don’t create the same thing every time. Each client is different and I create spaces for them that are special to them—that are only theirs. I like to really get to know my clients, to step inside their world and represent who they are through a collection of objects, upholsteries, furnishings, fabrics, and colors, setting art around them as a reflection of who they are.” Paige makes it sound so simple, but there is more to her process than meets the eye. It feels both spiritual and scholarly. Inside her store and the homes that Paige designs is something that you can’t pinpoint, something that leaves you wondering, “Where is this from? How does it all come together? How does she do it?” My take is that Paige Schnell is a curator for artifacts of the home; she is a collector, creating mini museum galleries for people to live in. Paige may be the public persona of the Schnell family, but she isn’t the only creator at work inside their Seagrove cottage. Her husband, Mark, became an urban designer partly because of the New Urbanist 30-A town of Seaside and other designs by Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. “A family friend sent me a newspaper clipping from the New York Times—this was pre-Internet—about the work of Duany and Plater-Zyberk,” says Mark. 198 | S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 013
top: 30-a creative duo mark and paige schnell. photo by sheila goode bottom: schnell cottage, paige and mark’s cozy, eclectic home in seagrove beach, florida. photo by jean allsopp
â€œI am always looking for found objects to mix with our custom-designed pieces and antiques. I like to mix it all together until it becomes a collection.â€?
top: photo by jean allsopp
main photo: bedroom designed by tracery interiors for the 2009 southern living idea house in port aransas, texas. photo by laurey w. glenn
bottom: photo by sheila goode
“Paige has worked with me on the interiors of three houses and on a restaurant at Cinnamon Shore...It’s really great to live, work, and play with such a talented woman and partner.”
photo by jean allsopp
You would think it stops there, but designing interiors and towns just wasn’t enough for the Schnells. In 2010, Mark and Paige created another legacy that our town will cherish for decades to come: the 30A Songwriters Festival. They essentially “designed” a festival from the ground up. “We started going to see songwriters in Nashville and Atlanta and really enjoyed their storytelling and sharing the reasons behind the songs. When you listen to a song on the radio, you might know it’s a great song, but you don’t know why it came about. We feel photo by sheila goode a kinship with songwriters, who are essentially the designers of songs, and we tried to create an event to showcase their talents.” One night we were sitting at the bar of Trattoria Borago and Jennifer Steele was beside us. We mentioned the idea to her. She had just started as director of the Cultural Arts Association, and she came back and said, “What if we produce the festival through the CAA?”
Their cottage, a former minister’s residence that was located in Point Washington, was moved a few miles down the road to Seagrove and renovated by the couple. It has been featured in Lynn Nesmith’s coffee-table book, 30A Style. After the move, Mark started his own one-person firm, Schnell Urban Design. “Urban design is typically practiced in a small wing of a large firm, where they use it to secure huge architecture or engineering projects. I wanted to try a boutique model where I could stay focused on great urbanism as the end goal.” Nine years later, Mark has now designed properties in six states and in the Bahamas. “When you work so early in the process, you draw a lot of concepts that never get built for various reasons, but the ones that do get built are sometimes big home runs. That happened with Cinnamon Shore.” Mark designed the key elements of this sixty-acre Gulf-front community in Port Aransas, Texas: the master plan, design code, several houses, a restaurant, and amenities such as parks, pools, and pavilions. He’s now designing two more towns near Cinnamon Shore that will form a string of walkable mixed-use communities reminiscent of those along Highway 30-A. “Paige has worked with me on the interiors of three houses and on a restaurant at Cinnamon Shore. She creates the color palettes for my communities. It’s really great to live, work, and play with such a talented woman and partner.” 200 | S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 013
The answer was yes, and the Cultural Arts Association inaugurated the first annual 30A Songwriters Festival in 2010. Mark and Paige were heavily involved in the creation and execution of the first festival and may be the festival founders, but they are quick to point out that the 30A Songwriters Festival could not have happened without the talented group of local stakeholders who helped to put Scenic Highway 30-A on the map as a cultural corridor for the arts. But wait—there’s more. Last summer, the Schnells opened a boutique beach store called Coast, located next to 723 Whiskey Bravo in Seagrove. “Mark designs most of the T-shirts and I curate the product mix and run the store,” Paige says. They have also both served on the board of the Seaside Repertory Theatre, where Mark organizes concerts and Paige helps create their beloved events, such as the Prom. I can’t help but wonder out loud, “Are they finished? What will they design for us next?” Paige was quick to answer: “I’ve just started a new fabric line.” And Mark? “I’d like to use my skills to help improve the place we call home. I want to guide and create a vision for the future of South Walton and the towns of 30-A.” We are ready and waiting.
Anna Kay Porch “This year, Tracery is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Anna Kay Porch is a talented designer who has grown right along with Tracery,” says Paige Schnell, owner. “I can spot talent and I knew she was good.” Anna Kay came to Tracery in 2005 to interview for a summer internship, and Paige hired her on the spot. “Our first project together was the Private Residence Club at Rosemary Beach, where we designed sixteen condos together. If you watched us working, you’d see that we don’t really talk; we just feel it, then create it,” says Anna Kay, who is involved in everything from selecting merchandise for Tracery to working with clients on drawings, designs, and installations. “We furnish homes but are also involved in the design and architecture plans, whether it’s a remodel or new construction. I’m involved from the first meeting to the installation. My favorite part of the process is seeing the client’s reaction to their new space.” anna kay porch with murphy, the tracery shop dog photo by sheila goode
Homes by Tracery Interiors Cathy Layton – Sarasota, Florida “We purchased a historic Mediterranean Revival home, truly an icon of architectural design. Our challenge was to engage a team that could make the interiors respectful of the historic features yet keep them comfortable and casual—the way we live. Those Tracery ladies nailed it!”
Staci and Derek Bakarich – Atlanta, Georgia “Tracery totally transformed our home into a unique space that suits us perfectly. When we purchased our beach house it was anything but ‘us.’ Now we are 100 percent in love with it. We couldn’t be happier with the Tracery team. We are excited about upcoming projects with them—they are truly talented!”
Jon and Ashley – Clemson, South Carolina “When we were looking for an interior designer for our home, we wanted to do something different, not like everything we had always seen and done. Tracery’s elegant-yet-eclectic style won us over. In the Clemson project—to use a baseball analogy—we were hoping for a double or triple at the presentation, but instead, A.K. and Paige hit a grand slam. Tracery definitely opened our eyes to a more modern yet still classy approach to design.”
COMMON GROUND Story and photography by Mandy Yourick Here I stand, waiting to purchase the box of raisins and underripe bananas clutched in my arms. The air is layered with smellsâ€”particularly fermented cabbage and red chili paste, which in the coming weeks is later identified to me as kimchi. My wallet is poised, ready for my transaction, and I glance again and again at the unfamiliar, brightly colored bills now lining its interior. The cashier asks something of the customer ahead of me. He replies quickly and with a smirk, and they laugh together. I notice that the cashier lightly rests her left hand on her right inner elbow as she gives the man his change and receipt. He takes them using both hands. The guidebook mentioned this in the customs section that I have now read nearly ten times. I wait, allowing the customer to collect his groceries before I stride forward.
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Enjoying the view on Seonyudo Island
Then, just as my first purchase is about to take place, a healthy woman somewhere between the ages of fifty and eighty begins unloading her basket of onions onto the grocery belt. They tumble noisily onto the scale, and I wonder if she saw me standing in line. Perhaps not, though as I am the only person with wavy brunette hair and blue eyes in a grocery store the size of a three-car garage, she must have. It’s okay, I tell myself. She’s your elder; you’re the visitor. This is her turf. She unhurriedly pays for her five pounds of onions and moves on. Another quick glance at the crisp, colorful bills in my wallet, and I’m ready. Then a man appears, struggling with a large sack of rice while gently tugging his small son away from the glossy magazines. The cashier distracts the little one as the man hoists the rice onto the grocery belt. His exchange begins. Seriously! What is it now? My patience evaporates. Another wave of jet-lag fatigue hits. My frustration rises. I consider returning the raisins and bananas to their shelves and walking out. Then, at last, it occurs to me: I’m not in line!
day after day—in many small and sometimes big ways—you’re stripped of what you “knew” and placed, wordless, at the threshold of understanding. The elderly woman holding a napkin in the air is not staring at you with suspicious eyes because she thinks that you’re an ambassador of all things Western. No, silly, you have snow in your hair and she thought it was bird droppings. The group of giggling teenage girls that are flocking closer and closer to your table are not gathering to sneer at your misuse of chopsticks, but because they genuinely want to know what you think about kimchi (the ubiquitous dish made from fermented cabbage and chili paste), toe socks, and Lady Gaga. The taxi driver who laughs boisterously at your American citizenship later asks shyly if you and President Obama are buddies because, according to him, “He’s a numba one!” There were also a number of things I didn’t know about food. Street-stall food will save your life more often than it will threaten it. You can, in fact, successfully eat noodles with round metal chopsticks and a spoon. You won’t fall ill just because you share a pot of soup with your entire dining party. Kimchi is like wine: better with age. Boiled silkworm and squid jerky do actually make good bar food. As my boss, Mr. Choi, would say, you should “drink the warm” when you have a sore throat, headache, hangover, or hangnail. All tea comes from the same tree. You can use it to make ice cream that will be both a lovely shade of green and delicious. True rice cakes are not a light, crispy snack: they are cylindrical, chewy, and very spicy. Coincidentally, they tend to be great for absorbing rice-based alcohol.
South Korea is roughly two-thirds the size of Florida, with a population of fifty million. Needless to say, space is limited. Things—cars, restaurant booths, pencils, cups, chairs, camping gear, shoes, serving sizes, bus seats—are noticeably smaller than in the vast United States. At times, people reach over each other to grab an apple of their choosing or sit shoulder to shoulder with a complete stranger on a two-hour bus ride to Seoul. As I learned, they also stand much closer to one another in line. In the U.S., we might equate this closeness with an invasion of personal space—something rude, something to be avoided. In South Korea, this closeness comes with a prevailing sense that everyone Koreans are also extremely proud to is family. Koreans tend to address be themselves—that is, to be Korean. people they don’t know with familWhen holidays rolled around, our ial titles, such as uncle, aunt, or little young students would proudly tell us sister, rather than the ma’am, miss, and which days they would have off from sir that are used here. This provides school and why. In our fractured an additional, nearly unified sense of English–Korean conversations, they social responsibility. If a child is seen ditional dance tra a ng mi for told me of epic battles waged two per acting inappropriately, any adult can— en ldr Korean school chi hundred years ago, or that it was and will—chastise the child, and, even time to make sweet rice cakes with better, the child will listen. An unblemtheir grandparents, or, the best yet, ished character is a treasured possession, that it was Children’s Day, a time to celebrate everyone’s youth. What struck me making the crime rate extremely low most was that these children genuinely knew the history and reasoning behind in Korea. Pickpockets are truly rare. Forgotten valuables are often returned to their their holidays beyond what they gleaned from decorations or commercials. They owners. You or a ten-year-old can safely walk home alone at night. also knew and fiercely supported Koreans with great accomplishments. One humbling Wednesday, I thought I’d impress them with a lesson about the first This barely scratches the surface of the lessons I learned during my fourteen Korean in space, a woman. Fired up with feminism and equality, I embarked on months living and teaching English in South Korea. my lesson only to find out that at the ripe old age of eight my students knew far more about Yi So-Yeon than I did. Also, nearly every Korean owns a Cleveland Cultural isolation is a strange and beautiful creature, one that feeds on all of your Indians hat (but I suspect the sales will shift to Cincinnati Reds caps now that perspectives, opinions, judgments, and, most of all, assumptions—particularly Shin-Soo Choo has been traded). the ones you didn’t know you held. Day after day, this exchange takes place, and 204 | S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 013
Bibimbap, one of Koreaâ€™s national dishes
This Photo: View from the top of Dobongsan mountain near Seoul Right: Classic temple architecture and adornments
This Photo: Korean currency. Above: Ginseng roots used in traditional Korean medicine.
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Yes, my huge impetus for moving abroad was to seek adventure, exoticism, and otherness. Yes, all of those things were there. Those things and kimchiâ€” my word, the kimchi. If I truly learned anything, it was not to get attached to your assumptions because you never know. Or, maybe, you never knew.
Born and raised among the brackish waters and twisted oaks of Point Washington, Mandy is a sixth-generation native to the Florida Panhandle. Despite deep roots in the South, she feels most at home with a backpack and a map and intends to continue indulging her wanderlust. To learn more about Mandy and her adventures, visit mandyourick.com.
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