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features

p.18 BNOTE TENDER THE p.58SOUTHERN CURRENCY ENCOURAGES #SHOPLOCAL

HOT, SPIKED DRINKS

UNWIND

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FARM FRESH PREPARED MEAL DELIVERY

p.44 NEW ORLEANS THE RHYTHM OF A COMMUNITY

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Dr. Paul Burt, OD and Dr. Melissa Wood, OD

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C CHARACTER ...inspiring small town living

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BN1 BNOTE TENDER Currency That Encourages #ShopLocal Te x t b y A n g e l a My e r s

The term complementary currency may not immediately ring a bell or trigger an idea of what it means. What about airline miles? Frequent flyer miles are a form of complementary currency. The airline industry initially created the frequent flyer programs as a marketing gimmick to create loyalty. Originally, airline miles were accumulated solely by flying on a specific airline and could only be exchanged for a ticket on that airline. Now, there are more than fourteen trillion airlines miles issued by the global airline alliances. Airline miles are accumulated through each alliance’s ecosystem and can be used for more than airline tickets. Frequent flyer miles are used for car rentals, phone services, hotels, and products

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BALTIMORE ORIOLE


ONE B NOTE SERIES

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offered through special airline programs. Miles are earned through flight, credit card purchases, dining at associated restaurants, and other program incentives. The frequent flyer marketplace has changed, but the objective is the same - to create customer loyalty and to mobilize unused resources. Similarly, Disney created its own complementary currency for use within its corporate ecosystem. You may have spotted or purchased Disney dollars on a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or aboard one of the Disney cruise ships. The paper bills feature Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Dumbo, and Disney landmarks.

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Introduced in 1987, this complementary currency is tender, or a form of payment, in Disney theme parks, cruise ships, and the Disney Store. You could exchange your US currency for Disney dollars to purchase goods and services within the Disney community. The bills were often kept as souvenirs, but could also be exchanged back into US currency. While the bills were discontinued in May 2016, the idea of a currency for a specific community purpose is not solely limited to the imaginary world.


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FREDERICK DOUGLASS


THE BALTIMORE BNOTE In the real world, complementary currency is a way to galvanize a community to help stimulate a local economy. The BNote, Baltimore’s local currency, was created by Baltimore Green Currency Association, a non-profit program run by Fusion Partnerships, Inc. The goal is to strengthen local businesses, encourage a local supply chain, create jobs, and build a resilient community in Baltimore. The development of the currency came on the heels of the 2008 economic collapse. When the BNote launched in 2011, Jeff Dickens, then the association’s Executive Director indicated that the bills were created to help protect Baltimore from future national economic struggles. The first release of the bills was available in 1 and 5 denominations and accepted at 40 local businesses. Success was found in building a local supply chain. A resident purchases a meal at a local restaurant like Liam Flynn’s Ale House. The ale house could then use the BNotes to purchase produce from Real Food Farm. Then, the farmer could use them for services like ComproTax. Cycling the tender around the community builds depth and the ability for these small business to stay open and serve the community. The original BNote community created incentives to help foster the growth of the currency. Liam Flynn’s Ale House offered their

$3 Natty Boh for 2BN ($2). The association offers a 10 percent exchange rate, which means that for every ten US Dollars exchanged the resident receives 11BN. In the spring of 2016, the Baltimore Green Currency Association launched its second series and added 10 and 20 BNote denominations. With more than $40,000 in circulation, residents can pay for nearly everything in BNotes from attorneys to waste removal and local produce to pet care. The bills themselves celebrate Baltimore’s icons. The 1BN features Frederick Douglass, an African-American social reformer, statesman, and author of “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” on the front and a Baltimore Oriole bird on the back. Edgar Allan Poe, an American writer best known for his poem “The Raven” is on the front of the 5BN and a common raven on the back. The newly launched denominations feature women. Bea Gaddy, who passed away in 2001 was known locally as Mother Teresa of Baltimore, graces the front of the 10BN and a Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly on the back. The 20BN features Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson, a civil rights activist and organizer of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP on the front and a Maryland Blue Crab on the back.

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BNOTE COMMUNITY As a complementary currency, the BNote is backed by a fund of US Dollars held by Fusion Partnerships at a local bank in the Baltimore community of Hampden. Community members can use one of the seven merchant-run cambio money exchanges around Baltimore to trade in their US Dollars for BNotes. Some of the small business owners involved with the program offer their employees an option to receive a part of their paycheck in BNotes, while others offer them as bonuses. This helps encourage their employees to shop locally. BNotes can be converted back into US Dollars at any cambio at the reverse exchange rate. The program also allows users to trade in worn BNotes for new ones. The 40,000 BNotes in circulation are helping the money made in Baltimore stay in Baltimore. Small business owners view the currency as a beneficial marketing tool and a way to stand out among the national stores. Small businesses have small marketing budgets, therefore signing up to accept BNotes is a way for the owners to put their business in front of a targeted audience. The residents that use the BNotes are invested in the community and seek ways to spend their BNotes. BNotes are not a nationally recognized legal tender, therefore

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they will never be accepted by a national retailer and will never leave the community it supports. LOCAL DOLLARS, LOCAL COMMUNITY Local dollars is not a new concept. They have existed in many forms throughout the centuries and were commonplace prior to the creation of the US Dollar. The rise of a local currency often rises during difficult economic stresses. The modern use skyrocketed after the 2001 market destabilization and the 2008 economic collapse as a way for communities to stabilize their local economy. Communities were suffering from social isolation, unemployment, and foreclosures. The US Dollar is a loanbased currency that relies on the federal government and the banks to maintain its value and stability. When the power of use and value is returned to the people, an entire community fosters its growth. Rather than hoarding currency and seeking bargain-basement deals, the currency continuously flows in free enterprise building a stable ecosystem of capitalism and commerce. The value of legal tender, the US Dollar, changes every day and is valued based on the trading of the $2 trillion in foreign exchange markets. According to Bernard Lietaer, economist, and author of “The Future of Money,” in these exchange markets only 2%


BN5

EDGAR ALLAN POE

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COMMON RAVEN

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of the transactions are reflective of real goods and services. The remaining 98% is speculative. “The Future of Money” was published in January 2001, before the 9/11 attacks, before the War on Terror, and before the housing and financial crisis. The book predicted that the emergencies of the old Industrial Age money system would cause a global money meltdown and a global depression if precautions were not taken.

Simultaneously, locally owned businesses tend to close. When the small businesses fail, it puts pressure on municipal services, which in turn forces the costs of those services like water, sewer, and road maintenance to rise.

Today, there are about 2,000 local communities around the globe issuing their own currency that is independent of the national money system. The form of the currency varies from physical printed money to mutual fund databases and ATM cards.

A community predominantly built with relocated workers without roots or stake in a community, compounded by fewer people joining local organizations creates a society with residents that are not invested in the area or its history. This breakdown may open opportunities for more national chains and fewer locally owned businesses. Which in turn, further destabilizes a small community.

LOCAL DOLLARS, LOCAL GOVERNMENT While the majority of current complementary currency are in their infancy, there is a lot of growth and benefit from creating a local dollar. A complementary currency not only increases local jobs, but it can also create a valuable tax base to improve municipal services and promote local economic development.

New ideas are needed to connect residents and join them together as networks of community members. Complementary currency empowers the people to hire locally and buy local goods and services. A local dollar used for local payments like municipal services fills the barrier gap to stimulating the growth of the currency.

Local and state governments work to stimulate local economies by pursuing tax-breaks for large companies to move to their area. These companies bring money, jobs, and growth to a community. However, the stability of a corporate move undermines the longterm economic security of the communities. Large businesses often send a majority of their profits outside the local economy.

Keeping the dollars earned in the community preserves and restores the social nature of business and trade; benefiting the entire community, not just the banks and high-powered executives.

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B BACKYARD ...inspiring small town communities

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FARM FRESH PREPARED MEAL DELIVERY Te x t b y L o u i s e T h o m p s o n

Americans love pre-packaged, ready to eat, and fast food. Yet, the tradition of farming is helping Americans learn about eating and appreciating local food again. Farmers markets and farm to table restaurants have increased in popularity over the last decade. The natural next step is now taking hold - farm to home. People are rediscovering the nutritional benefits of eating in-season and as fresh as possible. Texas is leading the way with local companies combining the convenience of pre-packaged food with the nutrition of home cooking. Texas is a natural nucleus for the trend to emerge as it has the tech-driven city of Austin, the commerce-driven city of Dallas, and the country’s second most farmland. The state is also experiencing the nationwide trend of losing prime farmland to vast development. The modern world is constantly being redefined through the disruption of industries by tech companies who can organize and streamline a system. Airbnb has no hotels. Uber has no taxis. Blue Apron has no restaurants. Placing focus back on where your food comes from leads to the stories of local families and traditions.

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HOME DELIVERY MEAL-KITS Blue Apron is the most recognizable meal-kit delivery company whose service includes a weekly delivery to your door with the precise fresh ingredients customers need to make meals at home. Included in each delivery are pre-measured ingredients like fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, and spices, along with an enclosed recipe. A Consumer Reports survey found, “practically every person on our user panel said they liked being able to explore different flavors.” The majority of the people also said that they go to the same restaurants and make the same meals at home. The thrill of continuously receiving new ideas for home cooked meals clearly has a large market, which is solidified by the evidence of each company’s growth and the rapid growth of competitors. “Some consumers, especially Gen Xers and baby boomers, are driven to use the kits to escape a cuisine comfort zone,” according to Michael Joseph, founder and chief executive of Green Chef. Food is kept fresh by regionalizing deliveries. Blue Apron has three distribution facilities in Jersey City, San Francisco, and Dallas. Jane Westfield, a working mom, said, “I went for the discount on Blue Apron and the first try was great. This could be the answer to less food waste, clueless grocery shopping, and eating junk.” Blue Apron purchases crops from small and medium-sized farms, which according to the U.S. Department

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of Agriculture make up 96% of American farms. The company works directly with the farmers before the season, so they will know exactly what will be available for the recipes. Like a CSA, farmers are able to focus on their company as their product is pre-sold and no marketing or selling at Farmers Markets is needed. The arrangement does put the farmers under intense pressure to deliver. “They want more consistency [than other partners]. They want produce to look good and they want things at a certain time,” Fina Johnson, the farm manager and chief planter at Garden Harvests, a small family farm in South Texas told Forbes. A friend of Westfield’s argued a subscription to Blue Apron was much more wasteful than shopping at the grocery store. But, to Westfield, her lack of knowledge and recipes for a variety of spices and ingredients means she usually ends up throwing it away. No matter how hard she tries to use them, “I’m a working mom. At the end of the day, I want my son to eat healthy and I want to turn my brain off. Blue Apron gives me variety, the ability to not have to plan a menu and the confidence my son had a balanced meal.” Each company is working towards reducing the packaging waste each kit creates to match their food waste elimination goals. Some people are capable of long game meal planning by making scrambled eggs with the creme fraiche they bought for that meal last week. Yet, many of us are not as inventive or at home for enough meals.


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FARMHOUSE DELIVERY When I began researching how CSAs are developing their own delivery models for this article, I discovered Urban Acres Farmstead in Dallas. I found that their website forwarded to Farmhouse Delivery. Farmhouse Delivery, acquired Urban Acres Farmstead in Dallas, Texas and Austin-based Greenling Organic Delivery, in February 2016. Farmhouse Delivery serves customers in the Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth, San Antonio, and Houston areas. “To our knowledge, it’s the first and only 100% locally sourced meal kit delivery service in the country,” Amanda Cowan, Vice President of Marketing for Farmhouse Delivery. Farmhouse Delivery provides a platform for people to discover local farmers and easily sign-up for weekly deliveries and onetime bushel deliveries. The company differs from the larger meal-kit companies by also offering meat bushels by local ranchers and prepared meals made from the season’s ingredients directly from farmers. Making fresh and healthy meals affordable and convenient is a work in progress for us all. Farmhouse Delivery is continuously building their archive of recipes to give constant inspiration to their customers. Currently, there are 1,000’s available on their website. CSA is Community Supported Agriculture. It means that the

farmers spend the off-season marketing their planned harvest before working sixteen hour days in the fields. Pre-ordering from local farmers’ harvests allow the farmers to have a cash flow during production and serve their customers. The customers of CSA receive their food directly from the farm, the point when the food is fresh, flavorful, and vitamin packed. The variety of foods also introduces new recipe ideas, visits to the farms, and educating children on the benefits of choosing fresh foods versus overly-processed fast foods. The CSA business model connects customers directly with farmers to pre-purchase crops to guarantee fresh, in-season food for the customer as well as sales and revenue for the farmer. Farmhouse Delivery does not require its customers to pay upfront like a CSA and operates somewhere between a CSA and a meal-kit delivery company. The basic membership, the Bushel, delivers fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers. They also offer add-on options for delivery like dairy, pastureraised meats, all-natural pantry supplies, and a curated selection of hand-crafted, prepared foods. Elizabeth Wilson owned her own restaurant for years and loved creating recipes for locally grown foods. Elizabeth teamed up with Stephanie Scherzer, an urban farmer in Austin, to found Farmhouse. The company began to showcase all of the organic food that was available in their area. Three years into the venture,

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they expanded to Houston. Elizabeth and Stephanie took on the marketing component for the dozens of family-run farms that used their program. Stephanie continued her two-acre farm and Elizabeth began adding recipes to each delivery. "It's not the cooking that's daunting," explained Elizabeth. "It's the planning and the shopping and the inspiration." Each of Elizabeth’s recipes are designed to have the meal on the table within 30 minutes. Farmhouse Delivery also balances the pricing for each bushel. “The farmers set their own prices. So, we can balance pricey things from one farm -- like some really extraordinary snow peas -- with less expensive items," she added.

FROZEN PIZZA THE HARD WAY Bola Pizza calls their pizzas, “Frozen Pizza the Hard Way.” Christian and Jamie Bowers were food bloggers who regularly hosted Tuesday night pizza parties. They had always dreamed of making a living from making pizza. One day they purchased a wood-fired oven from Italy, mounted it on a custom trailer and quit their jobs. Bola Pizza was born and named in honor of their dog who also serves as the official crust taste tester.

Farmhouse Delivery hosts potlucks, cooking classes, and happy hours for eaters and farmers alike to mingle and get to know each other. Jan, a member, said, “I ate the little red tomato upon unloading my box, with just a sprinkle of sea salt and a smear of olive oil. I'd forgotten what tomatoes are supposed to taste like.”

Each pizza dough is made through a three-day, cold fermentation process that they say, “yields a crispy, yet chewy crust.” All of their pizzas are also made with organic crushed tomato sauce, hormone-free cheeses, and the highest quality mostly local ingredients.

EATING DEEP Eating locally and planning meals around what is available from our local farmers is difficult for the average person. If it wasn’t, meal-kit delivery services wouldn’t exist. We wouldn’t keep the fast food and casual dining restaurants in business either.

They offer five of their frozen pizzas through the Farmhouse Delivery service. The Truffle Daisy pizza looks amazing. It’s a twist on the classic Margherita pizza. Instead of basil, it is covered with black truffle oil.

Farmhouse Delivery makes buying local foods easy, and then

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they make it even easier by offering locally made prepared foods available for delivery. The prepared foods are produced by local companies that source locally. This local supply chain means that even the frozen pizza in the freezer could be made with ingredients from the area.

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LOCAL MAC & CHEESE DellaCasa Pasta was founded by Luisa, a mother who wanted


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to serve the best foods to her family. She says, “more often than not, the best I could find at the supermarket was foods filled with ingredients I can not even pronounce. I do not want my kids putting them in their mouths.” She did research in order to find foods that she could cook for her children. She found that nearly everything was overly processed and packed with artificial ingredients, preservatives, chemicals, and hormones. At the end of her research, she believed that the root cause of our health problems are the food that we eat. Louisa started making fresh pasta and sharing it with her friends. She says that her pasta developed a following and a business started to develop. DellaCasa Pasta sells more than ten types of pasta through Farmhouse Delivery and several pasta sauces, too. I love a great mac and cheese because it’s a dish that can be enjoyed by more than children. DellaCasa’s Macaroni and Cheese uses traditional techniques and all natural ingredients to make fresh egg macaroni and extra ridges help the cheddar béchamel sauce stick to the noodles. LOCAL MAY NOT BE EASY… AT FIRST On September 22, 1960, United States Senator John F. Kennedy took the stage at the National Plowing Contest in Sioux Falls,

South Dakota. The future President aptly stated, “For the farmer is the only man in our economy who has to buy everything he buys at retail - sell everything he sells at wholesale - and pay the freight both ways.” If we want to protect our food supply, we need to invest in our supply chain. We need to help the farmers each season and balance the economy that John F. Kennedy spoke about; for our community and for our farmers. Develop a relationship with the farmers who grow your food and learn more about how food is grown. If you don’t have a local CSA, start a discussion with your neighbors and friends about offering to buy a share from a local farmer. You can only change the world through defiance. The greatest defiance is wholly sticking to who you are and holding the same expectations of others. Expectations will lead to tradition and ultimately change. At the end of the day, what you put in your mouth and your child’s mouth determines their health in the coming decades. Food is the cornerstone of life.

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' SHOP, EAT, and DISCOVER . . . LOCAL EVENTS

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THE R H Y T H M . . . OF A COMMUNITY

NEW ORLEANS Te x t b y S h e r r y A n d e r s o n

New Orleans draws thoughts of Mardi Gras, PoBoys, and Gumbo. The birthplace of jazz music and home to significant contributors to all genres of popular American music from rock’n’roll to soul to rap. The city’s musical heritage and influence runs deep, yet locally retains its own unique flavor of latin flare, brass bands, funk, and rhythm and blues. As much as the sounds and smells of New Orleans dominate the mind, the modern story of New Orleans begins with Hurricane Katrina. The storm changed the city in many ways. People were lost, people were displaced, landmarks swept away. The people from New Orleans are passionate about their food, their music, and their resilient community.

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The summer of 2005 brought one of the most devastating natural disasters in American history to the shores of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina. You may remember the news stories of people stranded and broken levees flooding the city, but for the New Orleanians who lost their homes and were displaced around the country, it is a tale of the struggle to return to their city and rebuild.

infrastructure still needed to be rebuilt. Music lent its comfort and raised the spirits of those left to rebuild.

Music is the core of New Orlean’s culture. The sounds of jazz sweep the streets of the Big Easy at everyday events. The hurricane washed away several of the drums, trumpets, and saxophones, but not the music in the hearts of the people. Local and national musical artists held fundraising events to help rebuild the city both physically and musically.

In front of a crowd at Gallier Hall, a historic building on St. Charles Avenue near Lafayette Square down the street from the French Quarter, Connick began, “I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know that I’ve ever said this. I couldn’t find my dad. He wasn’t answering the phone.” He immediately flew to New Orleans and eventually reached his father.

In New Orleans when the media found the next major story, the government removed their support and evacuees returned to neighborhoods and homes that were still gone and the

Once he knew his father was safe, Connick went to the Convention Center to visit the people that were left stranded. He was compelled to help and began brainstorming with fellow

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Several local musicians broke out their instruments. Harry Connick, Jr., a NOLA (New Orleans, LA) native known for his swinging jazz sound, was the most famous musician to lend his hat. However, it took ten years for Connick to share his story.


New Orleanian and friend Branford Marsalis. MUSICIANS' VILLAGE Connick said he shared the idea for Musicians' Village with his dad, “I called my dad and said, ‘Dad, we need to rebuild New Orleans.’ And my dad said, ‘You are so stupid.” While his dad was not an easy sell. The people of New Orleans craved their music. The musicians announced their partnership with Habitat for Humanity International and New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity four months after the hurricane. By the following month, the group purchased eight acres of surplus property in the Upper 9th Ward, an area flooded when multiple levees in the area broke during the storm and where the majority of the city’s musicians lived. The single-family homes were to house artists who helped define

the city’s culture and shaped the sounds of the musical world. 70,000 volunteers, sponsors, donors, and low-income families helped build more than 80 homes. The first three homes were finished in June 2006. FREDY OMAR Fredy Omar moved to New Orleans during the 1990s and was one of the first three homeowners to move into the village. He started his band, Fredy Omar con su Banda, in 1997 and has won multiple “Best Latin Band” awards from OffBeat, Gambit, and was named TOP ACT in NEW ORLEANS by Independent Music Award. Every week he participates in Latin dance lessons prior to each gig at Cafe Brasil and the Blue Nile. His band has a standing gig every Friday night at Balcony Music Club on Frenchmen Street, which is the connection to his local nickname, “Latin King of Frenchmen Street.”

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Fredy was born in Honduras where from the age of eight he worked with in his grandfather’s bakery before and after school. He would listen to the radio while mixing dough and dream of becoming a singer. Even though his family was not supportive of his dreams, he pushed on. During high school, he recorded two singles that were played on the local radio station. Fredy was selected to record a song for a national contest. The song won and became the theme song for the television show Campionsimos. Impressed by his success, Fredy’s family agreed for him to formalize his musical education at Tegucigalpa’s National School of Music where he earned a scholarship. By his early twenty’s, Fredy was touring regularly and was given an opportunity to perform at a festival in New Orleans. The city’s musical diversity and unfamiliar styles intrigued him and he decided to adopt the city as his new home. He performed

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with several bands before creating Fredy Omar con su Banda after a showcase at a local music conference. Musicians' Village helped Fredy stay in New Orleans where he continues to play on Frenchmen Street as well as local festivals like the French Quarter Festival and Jazz Fest. LIVING HISTORY Five elderly-friendly New Orleans-style duplexes were built for master musicians. The rental units were added to provide a resource and for younger village residents. The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, simply known as the Center, was named in honor of the New Orleans native and legendary jazz pianist. The 17,000 square-foot music facility includes a 170-seat performance space, recording facilities, computer center, listening library, classrooms, and community gathering spaces. The duplexes coupled with the Center also support the surrounding communities.


The Center’s ground-breaking ceremony in 2007 was more than a few men in suits with shovels. The event was celebrated with music featuring Connick, Branford and Ellis Marsalis, and several of the residents from the Village. As the homes filled, musicians began to gather on the porches and jam into the night. FINDING A WAY HOME Aaron Wilkinson, Chris Mulé, Sam Price, and Garland Paul knew of each other from the New Orleans music scene. When they found themselves 2200 miles away and living in San Francisco after the storm, they began performing weekly at the famous Boom Boom Room. The line-up named themselves Honey Island Swamp Band and released the award-winning debut Wishing Well. Wishing Well won Best Blues Album of 2009 by OffBeat

Magazine and was named Best Emerging Artist of 2009 and Best Roots Rock Artist of 2010. As the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approached, the men felt compelled to write about their displacement and return to the city channeled through blues and soulful style. Their album Demolition Day has been compared to legendary Blue-Roots-Rock artists like Little Feat and The Band and The Allman Brothers. The album was recorded at Parlor Studio in New Orleans and produced by Luther Dickinson, the leader of the North Mississippi Allstars and former Black Crowes guitarist. “We had a very tight window to record,” Wilkinson recalled about recording the album, “and really pack a lot of emotion into each take.” The band decided to record on two-inch tape to create an old-school, authentic analog sound. The song “Head High Water Blues” reflects specifically on the band members’ Hurricane Katrina experience over the past ten

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years. A lot of New Orleans has been rebuilt, but there is a lot that never will be rebuilt. The song is about the emotional scars that can never be completely erased or fixed. The album embraces the sounds of NOLA and they invited several local musicians to make guest appearances. Ivan Neville, the son of Aaron Neville and famous in his own right, plays keyboard and Tab Benoit who formed Voice of the Wetlands (an organization promoting awareness of coastal wetlands preservation) joins in on pedal steel. When the band is not touring the country, they can be found at one of the numerous local festivals and events. This past spring they performed at YLC Wednesday at the Square. AT THE SQUARE New Orleans’ Young Leadership Council (YLC) is the oldest, independent young professional organization in the country.

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The YLC recruits young professionals to New Orleans to make a positive impact on the quality of life in the area. The organization has more than 1,500 member-volunteers and is led by a 25-member board of directors and four staff members. There are more than fourteen projects underway from the Collect Admissions Project to Volunteer in the Arts (VITA), which promotes volunteer opportunities for cultural events throughout the city. VITA works with several events in the area like the French Quarter Festival and the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience. The Young Leadership Council’s annual fundraiser is YLC Wednesday at the Square, a 12-week free concert series held across from Gallier Hall in Lafayette Square. This is a popular local event that gives a stage to up-and-coming local bands, showcases local foods, and raises money for the YLC.


Local bands from a wide variety of styles, including rock, funk, jazz, and swamp pop play from 5:00pm until 7:30pm. Some of New Orleans’ most famous brass bands also perform. The community is invited to bring chairs and blankets, but to save room at the front of the stage for dancing. The square is lined with food booths and concessions offering local specialties. All food and beverages are purchased with tickets that benefit The Young Leadership Council. FIND THE HEARTBEAT Every city and community has a heartbeat. Love for your town should run deeper than its problems. A community should not wait for a disaster to band together through commonality to build a sustainable community.

to each other or conversing on their porch, while musicians jam somewhere nearby. The city lives on through the people’s love of their culture and music. Support your own culture by supporting local charities. These volunteers give their time to make the area better for everyone. Take every opportunity to watch local bands perform. Local music is the rhythm of the community.

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New Orleans may have the issues of any major city, but the community makes it stand apart. To live or be in New Orleans, you get the sense of the small town feel with people saying hello

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THE SOUTHERN UNWIND HOT SPIKED DRINKS Te x t b y P a u l Wr i g h t

There is a rhythm and rhyme to unwinding from work. Meeting friends for post-work drinks, wrangling the little ones for a family meal, or swinging on the porch watching the sunset, our after work traditions are a part of our foundation. You can sense the intimacy and excitement of a new season. Enjoyable nights of cool air where a beer or glass of wine are not enough to fight off the chill and allow us to relax. In our search for the best spiked hot beverage, I corresponded with Chrissie Nelson, the blogger behind Charlotte’s Off The Eaten Path (offtheeatenpathblog.com).

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OFF THE EATEN PATH When she’s not meeting different and interesting people through her job as an attorney and assistant public defender in Mecklenburg County, she’s meeting them in her spare time eating, drinking, and blogging her way through Charlotte.

No matter your job, position, or career transitioning out of work-mode can be a tricky task for everyone. Give yourself a purpose or a foundation to transition out of the work day. Allowing yourself the opportunity to relax will aid your ability to sustain your life and career.

Chrissie started the blog more than two years ago, “I was new to Charlotte and I wanted to get out and explore.” Glancing at her “Where I’ve Eaten” in the Queen City, I think her claim to be fueled by pizza, sushi, a great burger or good steak, hot wings, Mexican food, donuts, cheese, red wine, and craft beer isn’t too far off.

Some days Chrissie will just turn on her DVR and have a glass of wine, but other days, “when I do have the energy, I love using blogging as an outlet from work. Writing is a great way for me to unwind, and I really love the community I have found through blogging. I love meeting up with my blogging friends for drinks and dinner and then writing about it.”

Her blog also gives her the opportunity to accomplish three things, unwind after work, write, and explore her adopted city, “I have always loved to write, so I wanted to chronicle my new adventures eating and drinking through my new city.”

I asked Chrissie to imagine herself sitting on a porch swing, enjoying the early evening air. The sun setting beyond the trees, the sky turning warm colors transitioning into darkness. The day’s, the week’s worries melting away. A blanket laying over your lap to ward off the chill in the air. A warm mug in your hand that you bring up to sip. What is in the mug?

Transitioning from public person to private person can be difficult for anyone. Grant yourself the opportunity to close the door and leave the work day behind. As a public defender, Chrissie says, “sometimes it’s hard to transition from my day job to blogging because sometimes I’m too tired from work to do anything except relax at home.”

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Her reply, “A warm, spiced cider.” And with that, I found the base for a few recipes to unwind after a day’s work.


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CAROLINIAN CROCK POT SPICED CIDER Before we can mix up a great drink, we’ll need to prepare the base. Swing by your local Farmer’s Market and pull out the trusty crock pot. Make enough for the week and store it in the fridge, so it is ready for you each evening. What You Need Crock pot, knife, cutting board, 12” x 12” cheesecloth, food-safe string, drink strainer, and sealable pitcher. Ingredients 5 Cups of Cold, Aerated Water 5 Local Apples 6 Cinnamon Sticks 1.5 Teaspoons of Whole Cloves 2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar 1 Orange Prep Time: 15 minutes Cut lemons into halves Juice lemons Remove the apples’ cores and dice the remains Place the cheesecloth flat on your counter Place 2 cinnamon sticks and cloves on your cheesecloth and tie into a spice bag with food-safe string Instructions Cook Time: 5 hours with a Crock Pot Pour cold, aerated water into your Crock Pot Add whole orange to Crock Pot (do not slice) Add apples, brown sugar, and spice bag to the Crock Pot Set the low heat setting for 5 hours After 5 hours, let cool so the cider can set Pour through strainer into a sealable pitcher Keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to use


MAKE IT A TODDY Prepare your immune system for the upcoming cold and flu season and Make It a Toddy. The Hot Toddy has been used as a natural remedy to ease aches and pains associated with the common cold for decades. Unlike chicken soup, the Hot Toddy’s whiskey helps fight infection. The alcohol works in combination with the tea, honey, lemon, and warm steam to dilate your blood vessels and open your airways. This makes it easier for your body to expel the infection causing microbes. The alcohol also helps your body unwind and sleep harder, which is what the doctor orders for the common cold. Instead of running for a bottle of Nyquil, mix up a batch of Make It a Toddy, a local twist to the traditional recipe. We’ve made this recipe with a local North Carolina whiskey and a South Carolina tea. Defiant Whisky (defiantwhisky.com) is an American Single Malt Whisky made in Bostic by Blue Ridge Distilling Company. 94 years after Prohibition, 13 companies were allowed to open to distil and sell gin, rum, vodka, apple brandy, honey liqueur, and whiskey. Tim Ferris, a former commercial diver, opened his distillery to make 4 ingredient whiskey: water from the Blue Ridge Mountains, yeast, two-row premium barley, and hand-

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selected American white oak aged and toasted in a proprietary process. American Classic Tea Pyramid Bags are made by Bigelow Tea (bigelowtea.com). Over 100 years ago, tea planters brought tea bushes to Charleston from China and India. The Charleston Tea Plantation restored the descendants of the tea bushes in the lush subtropical environment of the tea farm. Ingredients 2 oz Carolinian Crock Pot Spiced Cider 2 oz Defiant: American Single Malt Whisky 2 American Classic Tea Pyramid Bags 1 Lemon 2 Cinnamon Sticks Small Pot of Cold, Aerated Water Instructions Boil water and remove as soon as water begins to boil Steep the American Classic Tea Pyramid Bags for 3 minutes In a mug add a cinnamon stick Add Defiant: American Single Malt Whisky Add Carolinian Crock Pot Spiced Cider Add lemon juice to taste Pour in tea Decorate mug with lemon rind on the rim


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MAKE IT A BOURBON SIDECAR The Sidecar is a drink that is not mentioned often in pop-culture, however, it is on the Top 5 list of any good bartender. It is also a cocktail with a muddled and unverifiable history. It was created during World War I in London or in Paris… or maybe in New Orleans. One version of its creation sets its origin in 1920’s Paris at Harry’s New York Bar. The tale is of an American Army captain who would arrive in a friend’s motorcycle sidecar. In some versions, he drove the motorcycle with a sidecar. The bartender believing the captain arrived too early for such a hard drink… or at the request of the captain… added lemon juice and Cointreau to cut the alcohol of the Cognac. Perhaps it was invented prior to World War I, in 19th century New Orleans. In Dale Degroff ’s book “The Essential Cocktail” he says that the Sidecar was the term used for the leftover liquor poured into shot glasses. We’re putting a Southern spin on the Sidecar. Instead of cognac, we’ll use bourbon. Specifically, Lewis Redmond Bourbon (darkcornerdistillery.com) made by Dark Corner Distillery in Greenville, South Carolina. Dark Corner Distillery is a craft micro-distillery that produces small batches of whiskey, gin, absinthe, and moonshine. Lewis Redmond was a 19th-century outlaw, the moonshine Robin Hood. A fugitive who hid out in the Appalachian mountains. His reputation for high-quality moonshine was known throughout the land. He made home deliveries until a day in May 1876, when Deputy U.S. Marshall Alfred Duckworth

confronted him at gunpoint. A few years later, he was granted a pardon by President Chester A. Arthur in 1884. Ingredients 2.5 oz Carolinian Crock Pot Spiced Cider 2.5 oz Cold, Aerated Water 1.5 oz Lewis Redmond Bourbon 2.5 oz Cointreau or Grand Marnier 1 oz Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice 2 Thinly Sliced Apple Sugar Instructions Bring apple cider and water to boil, simmer for 20 minutes Pour apple cider into sugar-rimmed mug Add Lewis Redmond Bourbon Add Cointreau Add lemon juice Stir and garnish with an apple slice MAKE IT A QUICK SPIKE If you want a quick drink, no problem. We’ve all been there. Pour some Carolinian Crock Pot Spiced Cider into a mug. Warm it in the microwave for a few minutes and add a bit of rum. We recommend Queen Charlotte’s Reserve by Muddy River Distillery (muddyriverdistillery.com) in Belmont, North Carolina. The dark caramel color of the rum is directly derived from aging in virgin American white oak barrels. If Queen Charlotte’s Reserve is sold out, try Muddy River’s award-winning Silver Carolina Rum.

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The Mill Magazine Edition 7 No. 3 Work-able  
The Mill Magazine Edition 7 No. 3 Work-able  

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