Cary Living Magazine

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The new age of shopping

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gems of Apex

ad e t s m U


+Spring Arts A

il the Tr4a6 p a ge


march | april 2015


a n o t e from the

Publisher/EDITOR Sioux Watson


o matter your age, familiar rituals are said to make us humans happy; we each have individualized regular and comforting ways to amuse ourselves when we have free time. But it is easy to get in a rut and just do the same things over and over again, without infusing new adventures and new places and mixing with new people. For many, finding pastimes that do not include our beloved electronic gadgets while sitting on the sofa can be elusive. As we wend our way out of the winter months and into the spring ones, it is time to stretch our imagination and find new things to do and places to explore. Cary Living Magazine can help you get started with a whole issue full of ideas to get you out of the house and into the great outdoors, as well as some entertaining indoor spaces. Start out by discovering some gems in downtown Apex– a couple of small eateries and other unique places you may have passed by dozens of times but never stopped and poked your nose into. When was the last time you saw live music? We’ve got ideas

from classical to rock in our Spring Arts Preview, including many topnotch ideas for arts and culture in both Cary and the greater Wake County area. Buy your tickets now and get some nighttime events on your spring calendar. Umstead Park is an outdoor adventure waiting to be explored by you and your tribe. Walk, run or bike as far as you want, and if you go all the way to the end you will find a new way to get to the NC Museum of Art! Perhaps women’s competitive roller derby is more your cup of tea? It’s a spectator sport (leave your skates at home) with a rowdy twist, and it’s suitable to take the kids or grandma to. For those of you who have never been, may we suggest a road trip to the Sandhills for either a steeplechase or antique car show? Take a picnic or eat out at one of the many fine restaurants in the area, leave time for shopping in the many charming one-of-akind shops and be sure to pick up a copy of our sister publication, Pinehurst Magazine! We’ve got a plan for each of you for a beach getaway to the Crystal Coast– a short couple of hours from the Triangle, and nice to visit any time of year. No more excuses, it’s nearly spring and time to get out of the house!

Sioux Sioux Watson Publisher/Editor

Your opinions matter to us. Let us know what you think of this issue of Cary Living. Please email with your comments.

Advertising Sales Charis Painter | Julie Shaw | Sioux Watson Michelle Palladino Creative Director Travis Aptt Graphic Design Jennifer Heinser | Lori Lay Contributing Writers Christa Gala | Kate Turgeon Watson Dan Bain | Jenni Hart | Page Leggett Kurt Dusterberg | Dave Droschak Corbie Hill | Adam Wamsley | Julie Johnson Paul Savery Photographers Davies Photography | Rob Kinnan Photography Jennifer Robertson Photograhy

Cary Living is published six times annually. Any reproduction in part or in whole of any part of this publication is prohibited without the express written consent of the publisher. Cary Living is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photography or art. Unsolicited material is welcome and is considered intended for publication. Such material will become the property of the magazine and will be subject to editing. Material will be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. Cary Living will not knowingly accept any real estate advertising in violation of U.S. equal opportunity law.

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M A R Ch | A PR I L 2015



24 The Crystal Coast North Carolina’s southern Outer Banks has everything you need, from Emerald Isle to Cape Lookout.

50 hitting close to home These girls mean business – the Triangle is home to its own league of roller girls.

32 spring arts preview Get a sneak peak at the array of Western Wake artistic expression in dance, theater, music and visual art.

54 real estate special Buying or selling a home? De-stress with these tips, and get a head start on the hunt for your Realtor.

40 Hidden Gems Wander off the beaten path and you may wind up at one of these little gems. Shhh, our secret, right?

60 stoneybrook steeplechase Get out your fancy hat. This is a Sandhills tradition dating back to the 40s, and still going strong.

50 departments 08 | Raising the Bar 10 | sport Scene 12 | Suds & spirits 14 | SUNDAY SUPPER 16 | technology Scene 18 | Wine Review 20 | Young Makers

46 into the wild, out of the wild Walk the Cary Greenway through Umstead State Park, and wind up at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

22 | On Trend 30 | calendar of events 62 | Complete the Room 64 | Financial Focus 66 | Healthy Living 72 | sightingS


The new age of shopping

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gems of Apex




Down A TripTrail the 46

+Spring Arts


special thanks to Matt williams photography for our cover photo


march | april 2015





If I quit my job or get fired, does my employer have to pay me within 24 hours? Lila, Raleigh No. In North Carolina, your employer is required to pay you no later than the next regular payday for the pay period in which you last worked. The employer may choose to pay you earlier than that, but it can wait until that payday if it wants to. ~ Paul Derrick

Some neighbors and I are upset about a new nightclub that has opened in the area. The music is loud and can be heard until 2am on the weekends. What can we do to stop this nuisance? Matthew, Raleigh If you can hear loud music while in your homes, this surely qualifies as a noise ordinance violation. Call the police on every occasion that you hear the music. If the noise proceeds, the police will eventually charge the nightclub with criminal charges. If an establishment is convicted of noise ordinance violations three or more times, their amplified music permit can be revoked by the city. ~ Steven Saad Does my child’s opinion matter in deciding custody? Sarah, Cary

custody matter. Children need to feel secure and loved by both parents in most cases, and should not be put in a position where they are asked to choose one parent over the other. Furthermore, the stress of litigation can be a lot for a child to handle. There are some circumstances, however, when a child needs to have his or her opinion heard, or when he or she is mature enough to make a decision about where he or she wants to live and why. In these limited situations, a judge may give weight to the child’s opinion. However, the judge will ultimately decide what is in the child’s best interests, and that may or may not reflect what the child actually wants. ~ Emily Goodman


Do I have to pay employees in my small business time and a half for work done on holidays or weekends? Kristin, Apex No. The law requires only that you pay them at least minimum wage or whatever rate you promised to pay them, whichever is greater, for the first 40 hours of any workweek, regardless of the days on which that work happened to be done. Time and a half must be paid only for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek unless the employee meets the criteria for one of the recognized exemptions. L ~ Paul Derrick


Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP |

That depends on the judge hearing your case. Many times, judges feel it is best not to involve children in a Steven Saad

Criminal Defense

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Paul Derrick

Employment Law

Emily Goodman Family Law

This content has been prepared for general information purposes only. This information is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. The information provided cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel by a licensed attorney in your state. | 9

sportscene Some say it’s a reach that the Carolina Hurricanes are close to putting a winning team on the ice, as players like Jeff Skinner have yet to taste playoff hockey.

The struggles can be traced to a few cold, hard facts.

• The signing of “cornerstone” players Eric

Staal and Cam Ward to lucrative long-term, no-trade contracts, in retrospect, was not wise. Both players would not be considered superstars, yet are paid as such for their respective positions. Case in point: Staal failed to make the Canadian Olympic team in the prime of his career and Ward has been injury prone and statistically at the tail end of a list of his goaltending contemporaries.

• The firing of coach Peter Laviolette less

Where To Go From Here? carolina hurricanes miss playoffs for sixth straight season // By David Droschak

ONE CAN ARGUE THAT NO PROFESSIONAL FRANCHISE IN SPORTS history has failed to capitalize on a major championship like the Carolina Hurricanes. Next season will be the 10th anniversary of the Stanley Cup team. Maybe the Caniac fan base can “celebrate” that accomplishment since they’ve had little else to cheer about over the last decade. After an 0-6-2 start for a team that many predicted would finish last in the entire league anyway, the probability of the Hurricanes making the playoffs never rose above 20 percent, attendance plummeted at times to Greensboro Coliseum levels, and for a sixth straight campaign the club packed up the sticks, pads and pucks by mid-April. Carolina has qualified for the postseason just once (and they had to rally to do that in 2009) since stunning the hockey world, bringing one of sport’s most coveted trophies to the Tar Heel state in June 2006. What has gone so wrong on the ice at the PNC Arena since then? Perplexed fans, once loyal to a fault, have stopped tailgating in masses, put their car flags in the trunk and mothballed their jerseys, wanting to know if and when the franchise will field a winning team again. 10 |

than two and a half seasons after winning the Cup was confusing at best, and shortsighted at worst. Since leaving the Canes, Laviolette has taken the Philadelphia Flyers to the Cup finals and energized a Nashville franchise in the rugged Western Conference.

• A playoff drought has translated into an

inability for the club to land any big-name free agents of note. The one scorer the Canes did sign in the last five years is a player – Alexander Semin – who hasn’t lived up to his billing. After one successful shortened season here, Carolina gave the Russian winger a long-term deal, but heading into mid-February Semin had just two goals … and hasn’t participated in media functions in three seasons.

• A lack of talent development in the minor league system is alarming. The team’s promising young players – Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk and Elias Lindholm – mostly received “on-the-job” training in the NHL and logged little developmental time in the minors. The rest of the once top prospects – Zach Boychuk, Drayson Bowman, Zac Dalpe, Brian Dumoulin, Jon Matsumoto, Jerome Samson, Jeremy Welsh, Bobby Sanguinetti and Bryan Rodney – are no longer in the organization or have not panned out. Hall of Famer Ron Francis now holds the key to the car as the team’s general manager. Many believe it’s time to map out a different direction for a franchise that’s seemingly lost since reaching the pinnacle of the sport a decade ago. L



Bock Beers for Spring // By julie johnson

It used to be whispered that German brewers made their bock beers from the gunk left in the tanks after spring cleaning. Happily, that scurrilous theory has fallen from favor; it kept otherwise rational folk away from the marvelous beverage that is bock. Bock beers are strong, malt-accented lagers: rich, sweet springtime treats brewed in winter to see us through the last of the year’s chill. Once limited to imported beers and a few dubious domestic varieties, authentic bocks are now produced by American brewers, including some that appear as seasonal specials from North Carolina’s brewers. Seventeen years ago, Carolina Brewing Company in Holly Springs selected the maibock style, a golden sub-style of bock, as a springtime offering. Co-owner Joe Zonin explains “One of the main reasons we started brewing this is because so few local breweries were making lagers.” Carolina Spring Bock is pale straw in color, and lush and toffee-ish in flavor. At 6.5% alcohol, this is a great beer for the table, and a treat with grilled meats. It will be released on March 1; with luck, it will still be on draft at the brewery for the opening of CBC’s new taproom in May. Olde Mecklenburg in Charlotte, a brewery founded on a commitment to authentic German-style beers, also favors the maibock style for their Fruh Bock released on February 27th. According to Ryan Self, director of sales with OMB, “Fruh Bock for us is a true ‘transitional seasonal.’ It’s about finding a beer that can handle Charlotte late winter/early spring, when the temperature could be anywhere from 25 to 65.”

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Fruh Bock is a deep golden color, firm and malty in flavor. Long conditioning befitting a lager gives it roundness, which also threatens to obscure the 6% strength. The doppelbock style, created by monks in 17th century Munich, gained a following as “liquid bread” that gave nourishment (and pleasure) during the Lenten fast. Paul Phillipon, founder of the Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery in Farmville, echoes the monks’ purposes when he describes Duck-Rabbator Doppelbock as so full of malt and grain that “it’s like a whole loaf of bread in every glass. Is it a beverage or is it a meal?” The brewery is tagged “the dark beer specialist”: accordingly, this doppelbock is colored a “rich mahogany.” At a serious 8.5% alcohol, Rabbator commands respect – or perhaps reverence – and appears in early May. L

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From 44 Street to Academy Street


Cary’s NYC chef’s locally-sourced restaurant // By sioux watson | Photography by JEnnifer Robertson

Two short years ago Brian Fitzgerald moved to Cary to buy and transform a former Cary Czechoslovakian restaurant, and today his thriving French influenced bistro is near the heart of downtown. Before moving here he had spent his entire life in New York City. Coming from a large family (Brian has five siblings), the children were always in the kitchen helping prepare meals for up to 20 extended family members, and he has early fond memories witnessing family and friends enjoying amazing and satisfying home-cooked meals. Older brother Dennis attended the Culinary Institute of Arts, and Brian followed in his footsteps a few years afterwards. “Right after finishing the CIA I had my externship with The River Café, and worked with David Burke. It was a perfect stepping stone into the world of American French cooking.” He also worked at Maxim’s, where French cuisine ruled.

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Brian Fitzgerald, chef & owner of Academy Street Bistro

More recently, before his move to North Carolina, Brian spent five years as executive sous chef at the Harvard Club in Manhattan, the most exclusive executive club in the city (his brother Dennis is executive chef at the smaller yet exclusive Metropolitan Club). The large-scale dining experience there served 11,500 midtown corporate members; it had two kitchens and 45 cooks, serving 1,000 people a day breakfast, lunch and dinner. Academy Street Bistro‘s menu is new American/ contemporary American, however Brian learned a lot from Burke’s style of cooking, and still follows much of that training, which incorporates using only fresh and quality ingredients. “It’s all about flavor– then height and texture when presenting a dish. We start at the middle of a plate and build out from there. In most plates we start with a carbohydrate, add a protein, then

vegetables and a highly flavored sauce.” While finding fresh ingredients in New York was never an issue, Brian didn’t like the fact that he couldn’t meet and talk with the farmers that grew the produce and meats he purchased, and realized he would never be able to do this as a chef in New York City. Another brother, Kevin, had lived in Cary for a couple of decades, and together they scouted the town for potential restaurant locations so Brian could chase a personal goal of owning his own restaurant, a dream he felt he could only achieve by leaving the city due to the expense. These days the restaurant is a family business--his brother Kevin is the only other investor, and his sister-

in-law Marylynn is the general manager and financial accountant for the business. Brian is hands-on, 24-7 as he makes his home in the apartment upstairs, thus he is the opening and closing manager every day. Academy Street Bistro is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, and brunch on Sundays. Best of all, he walks 100 yards to the Cary dowtown Farmers’ Market, where he regularly gives cooking demonstrations a few times a year. Sundays find him cooking with extended family, his brother and sister-in-law and nephews and nieces Kevin Jr, Kyle, Kristen and Karly– and Uncle Brian often helps prepare a dish such as coq au vin with the whole crew, just like he did when he was a child growing up in NYC.

BRAISED CHICKEN ACADEMY STREET Bistro 200 S. Academy St. | Cary.

WITH RED WINE, BACON, MUSHROOMS & FRESH HERBS INGREDIENTS 12 pieces 1 bottle 2 sprigs 2 sprigs 1 2 pieces 1 1 1 4 1lb 2 Tbsp 4 cups ½ bunch

chicken legs and thighs, separated red wine (Burgundy or pinot noir) thyme rosemary bay leaf thick-cut bacon, diced medium onion, diced medium carrot, diced rib of celery, diced cloves of garlic, cut in half crimini mushrooms, quartered tomato paste chicken stock parsley, chopped salt and pepper

directions 1. 2. 3.

Marinate the chicken in red wine with the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and garlic for at least 12-24 hours. Pat dry the chicken with paper towels and then season with salt and pepper. Sauté the chicken in a heavy-bottomed pot or a deep skillet in canola oil or vegetable oil; sauté the

4. 5. 6. 7.

chicken, until brown on all sides and remove from the pot In the same pot, add the diced onion, carrots, celery, bacon and mushrooms, scraping the bottom of the pot. Brown well, stir occasionally. Add the chicken back into the pot with the reserved red wine, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, garlic and bay leaf. Simmer slowly for about 15 minutes in red wine then add chicken stock. Making sure chicken is covered with broth, simmer slowly for about 40 minutes; cover pot, stirring occasionally. After 40 minutes, chicken should be tender; season to taste with salt and pepper.

To plate: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Place 3 or 4 pieces of chicken on a plate; spoon sauce over chicken with some of the garnish on each plate (onions, carrots, celery, bacon, mushrooms) . Serve over your favorite side dish of mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, steamed potatoes or buttered noodles. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top. Garnish with baby carrots, pearl onions and fresh thyme/ rosemary if desired. L

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Think Thin, See Smart ThinOptics make technology readable again // By dan bain

LOW-TECH MEETS HIGH-TECH THIS MONTH, WITH an update on a technology that’s at least 750 years old – eyeglasses. As we demand more portability from our smart devices, we have to sacrifice readability. The smaller the screen, the tougher the reading. Now, after two and a half years, hundreds of prototypes, thousands of test subjects, and millions of investment dollars, comes a long-needed smartphone accessory called ThinOptics. These glasses are thin and light, eschewing normal eyeglasses’ earpieces for special nose pads that allow the user to clamp them directly onto his/her nose. Their bridge is made of a strong, flexible titanium alloy that keeps them in place and stays comfortable while doing so. Thinner than a nickel, they slip into a non-obtrusive storage pod on the back of the phone case when not in use. The lenses are made of shatterproof glass, so they hold up despite their thin stature. ThinOptics come in black and clear, with a choice of +1.5, +2.0, or +2.5 reading strength. The glasses plus a custom phone case and attached storage pod are $38.95, the glasses with a universal storage pod are $24.95, and the glasses alone are $19.95. Visit www. for more information or to order. L


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winereview Finca Nueva RiojaReserva

Armani Prosecco

Tyrell’s Old Winery Shiraz

Bougrier ‘V’ Vouvray

Tesoro della Regina Chianti Classico Riserva

90 International Wine Cellar

Rioja, Spain

Veneto, Italy


Touraine, France

Tuscany, Italy

Smoke-accented aromas of redcurrant, cherry and tobacco. Enters bright and racy and fills out in the midpalate to offer sweet cherry and red fruit preserve flavors. Finishes on a gently tannic note, with very good energy and lingering sweetness.

Nice and delicate sweetness, with hints of white fruit. There is elegance and finesse in the nose, paired with persistence in the mouth. The pleasant acidity is compensated by a nice sweetness.

This wine is deep red in color with a bright purple rim. The nose displays aromas of ripe plums, chocolate and vanilla essence. Sweet Shiraz fruit and spicy white pepper are evident on the palate which is supported by firm tannins, along with good length and complexity.

Bottled by Jean Claude Bougrier at his Loire Estate, this Vouvray is mediumbodied. Rich flavors of cream and hazelnut contribute to the slight sweetness that is balanced by acidity. Excellent with Fontina Cheeses & Fruit.

An estate-bottled classic that is lovely and harmonious. Medium-bodied, with loads of spicy fruit and good cherry flavors and a silky smooth finish. Pair this Chianti Classico with all grilled or roasted meats and hearty pastas.






// By Tim Stroupe, wine manager total wine & more, Crossroads Shopping Center 18 |






SALTBOX VILLAGE 1259-A Kildaire Farm Rd. | Cary, NC 27511 MONDAY - SATURDAY, 10AM - 6PM CLOSED SUNDAY (919) 238-1156 (866) 287-7896 No Appointment Necessary!

Licensed. Bonded. Insured. Local. BBB Accredited. | 19


Taking “Action” This Young Maker hopes to change society through film and social media. // By christa gala

LAST SUMMER, COLLEGE STUDENT AND ASPIRING filmmaker Ilayda Yigit found herself in Cary without her good camera equipment. But she had an iPhone – and enough pluck to use it. The Sister Cities Association of Cary, formed to foster relations with small towns in other countries, invited residents to submit original films that would illustrate its purpose. The best news: no entry fees. “I figured I’d give it a shot since there wasn’t really a risk,” says Yigit, 21, a sophomore at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. “So I gathered up my friends, bought some paintbrushes for the props, and shot it in three days, I edited it in an hour or two, and it turned out great.” Yigit’s pluck paid off. Her movie, meetcute, won first place, $500 and a private screening on September 11th at The Cary in downtown Cary. SHAPING FOREIGN RELATIONS – EVEN IN A SMALL TOWN The title of her film is actually a cinema term that describes a situation in which characters meet in an unusual way that sets the story in motion. “My video begins with people going about their lives 20 |

separately until they all begin walking to a certain area of the woods. There, a blank canvas lies, ready for them to add their own dab of paint to it. The canvas represents the one place they can all come together and create something: social media. The collaboration of their marks on the canvas form a work of art. The finished painting is the South African symbol of change encompassed by flames. This symbolizes the change they have made that has caught fire and will only grow with more contribution.” Joanie Conwell, the chair of the Citizen Diplomacy Committee for 2014, which sponsored the contest, and a member of the Sister Cities Association in Cary, said the judges looked for entries that not only showed creativity and technical merit, but that spoke to the theme of building cross-cultural ties. “Meetcute stood out in all three categories,” says Conwell. “Borrowing the film concept of ‘meet-cute’ and applying it to a scene in which people from diverse backgrounds come together to complete a creative project, Ilayda’s film adds a little creative zest to its depiction of people building cultural bridges, while at the same time pointing to the essence of citizen diplomacy and cross-cultural exchange– that every day people have the right, even the responsibility, to help shape foreign relations one handshake at a time.”

A CRAFTY WAY TO GET HER POINT ACROSS This wasn’t Yigit’s first film. She interned at the Cary Youth Video Project and participated in two film festivals when she was a freshman at UNC-Wilmington. (She later transferred to the School of the Arts in Winston-Salem.) “I’ve loved films since I was a little girl. It came from my dad,” she says. “We would sit and watch all these films, and I just saw that there was so much there in the art that was really getting through to the audience. “I could see that it was the one form of art that literally every person watches,” she continues. “There are people who don’t go to the opera; there are people who don’t go see dances, but everybody has seen a film. It’s just the easiest way to get through to people. You can say, ‘This is how to be a good person,’ and they don’t even know they’re becoming a good person; they’re just watching a film. That really appealed to me.” Yigit is currently working on two films at school, producing one drama and directing a comedy, all on a $500 budget. “It’s incredible,” she says. “You’re surrounded by people just as talented as you, if not more, and are there to do the same thing as you. We just help each other.” FEEDING THE FIRE Could Yigit’s name be in the rolling credits of future film or television? “A lot of people who are from our school go to work on TV shows like The Walking Dead in Atlanta because it’s pretty close,” she says. But she’s aiming for LA or anywhere that might offer the best opportunity to tell stories and bring about change through film and social media – the latter of which she thinks is a big catalyst for people her age. “I’m excited to see what will come of the growing use of these new and simple tools that allow every member of the world to be a diplomat. I’m proud to be a part of the generation that feeds the fire of change.” L


Find meetcute on YouTube at | 21


Dare to be Bold // story and photography By ADAM WAMSLEY

WITH THE ONSET OF SPRING, AND SUMMER right around the corner, it’s time to pack up your heavy sweaters and dig out the skirts and shorts. This is also a perfect opportunity to take a few minutes and reflect on what you own and refine your wardrobe. A little bit of maintenance now can go a long way when you’re scrambling to find the right outfit before running out the door. But, once you’ve nixed all of the worn-out tops, scuffed shoes, and those ever present few items that never get picked from the lineup – what next? I met with Raleighbased artist Emily Brooks to ask her opinion. After studying textile design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and spending some years in New York City working for brands such as Marimekko, United Colors of Benetton and Martha Stewart, Emily found her way back to Raleigh where she now spends her time creating out of her studio space located at the Litmus Gallery downtown. As an artist, it’s not hard to imagine that color and pattern play heavily into her wardrobe. Pulling inspiration from vintage items, ’20s fashion and pictures of her great grandmother, she blends classic cuts with modern prints and color to define a style of her own. 22 |

“When building or refining a wardrobe, it’s important to work within color palettes that you look good in and stick with clothes that fit,” says Emily, otherwise they’ll just wind up collecting dust in your closet. “Start with pieces that work with your body type, play off your skin tones, and accentuate your hair or eye color.” Doing this will help to establish a cohesive and familiar framework to pull from each day. She finds accessible brands that fit her style, like Madewell and Anthropologie, to pull her core pieces from, and then looks to local boutiques, such as Dogwood Collective, for more unique prints, patterns and jewelry. In the end, “Style is an expression of your personality, and what you wear is an extension of who you are,” explains Emily, who sits surrounded by her colorful washes of paintings, inspirations, and pigment-filled palettes that so appropriately mesh with her outfit. So when in doubt, she says, “Go with colors you love, and don’t be afraid to be bold.” L


North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks

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Š Stephen Beaudet


Here in the middle of North Carolina we have the best of both worlds for weekend getaways; in a car it is three hours east to the beaches and west to the mountains. Eastward the shoreline is divided into three segments: The Outer Banks from Virginia to Cape Lookout spans about half, The Crystal Coast in the middle, and the southeast coast running from The Brunswick Islands to Sunset Beach bordering South Carolina. For most North Carolinians a spring or summer beach break beckons each year, and in this issue we take a closer look at the middle portion of North Carolina’s beaches. | 25

The 85 miles of gleaming beaches only begin to tell the story of North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. The authentic “coastal experience” features waters of crystalline purity bordering sandy, sparkling beaches, allowing adventure-seekers to let their imaginations run free. It is both a place and state of mind; a departure from the ordinary and an arrival at the extraordinary. From its history steeped in pirate legends and ghostly encounters, to exotic wild horses that have roamed the same shores for centuries, the Crystal Coast today continues to reflect Southern tradition and charm. This favored Atlantic beach destination of generations represents one of the only remaining natural barrier island systems in the world. The islands are strung together along the southern Outer Banks– 56 miles of which are in the protected Cape Lookout National Seashore. With beaches that course east and west, visitors can admire the dazzling bright sunrise to greet the day, and end it with a spectacular late evening North Carolina sunset. Mother Nature must have spent a little more time on the Crystal Coast, giving the frothy blue waters that caress its shores an indescribable clarity often compared to the waters of the Caribbean. Also attributed to Mother Nature’s kindness, the Crystal Coast is one of two places on the Eastern Seaboard where the Gulf Stream tickles the coastline, bringing clear, warm waters that are perfect for active saltwater adventures. Unlike other beach destinations, the Crystal Coast is not lined with concession

stands or admission ticket offices. Natural and un-commercialized are two of the most cherished attributes of the destination. Some of the “gems” of the Crystal Coast include Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Emerald Isle and Morehead City, each one as distinct and beloved as the next.


Atlantic Beach is home to wide pearlescent beaches and plenty of sunshine. Part of the Bogue Banks, Atlantic Beach is the oldest of five resort towns. Visitors can choose from a range of accommodations to suit all budgets and lifestyles, from a sevenbedroom Victorian mansion to a “no frills” beach bungalow. Fort Macon State Park, the site of a historic Civil War skirmish (and more than a few tales of ghostly encounters with uniformed soldiers), is located at the tip of the island and is part of the Civil War Trail (


Beaufort (pronounced BOW-Fort, as in bow tie) boasts more than 300 years of historical legacy to capture the hearts of all who visit. It was recently named “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Travel magazine, as well as one of “America’s Favorite Beach Towns” by Travel + Leisure. Offering beach days and haunted nights against the backdrop of

© Stephen Beaudet

© Stephen Beaudet

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© Scott Taylor Photography

© Stephen Beaudet

many Nicholas Sparks novels and movies, Beaufort transports visitors and residents to a time long forgotten, with deep roots entrenched in both history and adventure. The air contains the same ancient salty-sweet ocean scents that have wafted over the coast for centuries. It is not uncommon while dining at a waterfront café to see wild horses roaming freely on Carrot Island, just across the waters of Taylor’s Creek. The salty-sweet ocean scents wafting over the coast evoke the town’s swashbuckling pirate tales, romantic mysteries, ingrained maritime heritage and wartime triumphs and tragedies. The air of Beaufort is alive with memories of the past, from spectral tours through the Old Burying Grounds and leisurely strolls among the preserved buildings at Beaufort Historic Site, to a gentle ferry ride to the seashore to view historic Cape Lookout Lighthouse and get a firsthand look at the treasures excavated from Blackbeard’s infamous flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge (which still rests in its watery grave just three miles off its sandy shores). | 27

For a sneak peak into the historic luxury of “America’s Coolest Small Town,” head downtown and experience Hungry Town Bike Tours, where groups can hop on retro-chic bikes and pedal their way on unique guided tours.


Pine Knoll Shores was once owned by America’s own royal family, the descendants of Theodore Roosevelt, and is known as a peaceful residential community with an eco-friendly focus. The area was designed with minimal disturbance to the native maritime forest and sand dunes, and is one the state’s most environmentally sensitive towns. Explore the North Carolina Aquarium, where more than 3,000 specimens of North Carolina’s most colorful aquatic life reside, making it the largest saltwater aquarium in the state.


Emerald Isle is built on the most prominent of the banks on the Crystal Coast. Named for the lush greenery that covers much of the area, Emerald Isle is located at the western end of the Bogue Banks. Of all the housing available at this destination, the most popular is its astounding collection of oceanfront cottages and estates.

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© Scott Taylor Photography

Sitting right on the sand, these accommodations offer visitors the chance to wake up each morning and take in the spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Sound. Ranging from cozy beach cottages to majestic villas, these homes, used primarily as vacation rentals, offer no shortage of quiet but luxurious amenities included in your stay. Prospective guests can contact one of the area’s several realty agencies and reserve a seaside mansion or one bedroom condo by the week or month for family reunions, wedding weekends, birthday celebrations, or even just a family vacation.


Morehead City sits along sparkling clear water with rows of charter fishing boats gently bobbing like fishing lures, waiting to usher passengers to their first “big catch.” Known for the most diverse fishing on the coast, Morehead City is home to the annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, where fisherman from all over the world compete for the top honor, while supporting local charities that have received more than $2,300,000 in donations from the tournament in the past 15 years. For dinner that is equal parts exquisite and eclectic, head to Morehead City’s Circa 81 and try Chef Clarke Merrell’s menu of tapas, like a bowl of his Covington Sweet Potato Bisque with goat cheese

© Brad Styron

© Stephen Beaudet

marshmallow, crispy potato, candied walnut and extra virgin olive oil vinaigrette. Nestled along the downtown strip of Morehead City is a narrow, rustic building that houses Arendell Room, a craft cocktail bar that might be at home in any major city.


Cape Lookout is a place reminiscent of times past where wild horses roam freely on deserted beaches. With its famed lighthouse, the island offers escapists a 56-mile stretch of undeveloped, shimmering beaches accessible only by boat. Sea oat-laced sand dunes and miles of large unbroken conch shells seem to have been resting there for centuries. In harmony with the natural scenery are fisherman patiently waiting and watching, like shore birds looking for their next meal to spring out of the frothy blue waters. Along with a wide range of experiential activities, the Crystal Coast offers a variety of accommodations to suit every lifestyle and budget, from mammoth beach mansions (known locally as “sandcastles”) and quaint B&Bs to seaside cottages and comfortable condos, as well as campgrounds and cabins. For more information on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, check out the tourism board’s website: L

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Reno Collier Goodnights Comedy Club March 5-7 861 West Morgan Street | Raleigh 919.828.LAFF (5233)

College Costs How Much? West Regional Library March 10 | 3-4pm 4000 Louis Stephens Drive | Cary 919.377.0509

Joe Machi Goodnights Comedy Club March 19-21 861 West Morgan Street | Raleigh 919.828.LAFF (5233)

Glimpse of Spring Local Color Gallery March 6 | 6-9pm 311 West Martin Street | Raleigh 919.819.5995

Mystery Book Discussion West Regional Library March 11 | 10:30-11:30am 4000 Louis Stephens Drive | Cary 919.377.0509

School of Rock Grand Opening Cary School of Rock March 7 | 10am-2:30pm 1311 NW Maynard Road | Cary 919.439.6086

Let’s Talk Sci-Fi & Fantasy West Regional Library March 12 | 7-8pm 4000 Louis Stephens Drive | Cary 919.377.0509

GRACE Christian School Showcase Night GRACE Elementary School March 20 | 6pm 801 Buck Jones Road | Raleigh 919.783.6618

Carol Stein’s Vegetable Gardening The Garden Hut March 7 | 11am 1004 Old Honeycutt Road | Fuquay-Varina 919.552.0590

Wine Tasting with the Winemaker from Patricia Green Cellars Academy Street Bistro March 12 | 6pm 200 South Academy Street | Cary 919.463.8500

Garden Party Ivy Cottge Collections March 7 | 10am-6pm 2017 Northwest Cary Parkway | Morrisville 919.462.3434 French Wine Dinner Academy Street Bistro March 8 | 5:30pm 200 South Academy Street | Cary 919.377.0509 for reservations

Marlon Wayans Goodnights Comedy Club March 12-14 861 West Morgan Street | Raleigh 919.828.LAFF (5233) Cary Ballet: Coppelia Cary Arts Center March 13 | 7pm March 14 | 2 pm & 7pm 101 Dry Avenue | Cary Sneak Peak at New Books West Regional Library March 16 | 3-4pm 4000 Louis Stephens Drive | Cary 919.377.0509 Backyard Birds West Regional Library March 16 | 6:30-7:30pm 4000 Louis Stephens Drive | Cary 919.377.0509

Novel Readers Evening Book Discussion West Regional Library March 23 | 7-8pm 4000 Louis Stephens Drive | Cary 919.377.0509 Preserving America’s Memories: Film, TV & Sound at the Library of Congress The Cary Theater March 23 | 7:30pm 122 East Chatham Street | Cary 919.460.4963 The Elements of Writing West Regional Library March 25 | 6:30-8pm 4000 Louis Stephens Drive | Cary 919.377.0509 Steve Byrne Goodnights Comedy Club March 26-28 861 West Morgan Street | Raleigh 919.828.LAFF (5233) North Carolina History Tea West Regional Library March 27 | 10:30am-12pm 4000 Louis Stephens Drive | Cary 919.377.0509 Collage Creations Workshop Waverly Artists Group March 29 | 1pm-6:30pm 302 Colonades Way #209 | Cary

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Get Outdoors in North Carolina West Regional Library March 30 | 6:30-7:30pm 4000 Louis Stephens Drive | Cary 919.377.0509 Nikki Glaser Goodnights Comedy Club April 2-4 861 West Morgan Street | Raleigh 919.828.LAFF (5233) 64th Stonybrook Steeplechase Carolina Horse Park April 4 2814 Montrose Road | Raeford, NC 910.875.4310 Western Wake Farmers’ Market 7th Season Carpenter Village Marketplace April 4 | 8am-12pm 101 Gathering Park Circle | Cary Rory Scovel Goodnights Comedy Club April 9-11 861 West Morgan Street | Raleigh 919.828.LAFF (5233)



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Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue 2015 Golden Gala Prestonwood Country Club April 10 | 7-10pm 300 Prestonwood Parkway | Cary 919.363.1863 A Drag Queen Prom Koka Booth Ampitheatre April 10 | 7pm 8003 Regency Parkway | Cary 919.462.2025 An Evening at the Speak Easy Casino Night and Auction Raleigh Country Club April 11 | 7-11pm 400 Donald Ross Drive | Raleigh 919.363.1863 YogaFest NC McKimmon Center April 11 | 7:30am-5pm 1101 Gorman Street | Raleigh 919.522.2646 Bruce Bruce Goodnights Comedy Club April 16-19 861 West Morgan Street | Raleigh 919.828.LAFF (5233) 4th Annual En Plein Air Paint-Off Downtown Fuquay-Varina April 17-18 | 3-7pm Fuquay-Varina | Downtown Districts Great Grapes! Food & Wine Festival Koka Booth Amphitheatre April 18 | 11am-7pm 8003 Regency Parkway | Cary 919.462.2025 Free Outdoor Yoga Class Bond Park Community Center April 18 | 9-10am 801 High House Road | Cary |

Chatham Street Chowdown Food Truck Rally West Chatham Street | Downtown Cary April 19 | 12-4:30pm Mitch Fatel Goodnights Comedy Club April 23-25 861 West Morgan Street | Raleigh 919.828.LAFF (5233) Free Outdoor Yoga Class Bond Park Community Center April 24 | Time: TBD 801 High House Road | Cary | Fairy Garden Class The Garden Hut April 25 | 11am 1004 Old Honeycutt Road | Fuquay-Varina 919.552.0590 LOCAL at Waverly Place Season Kickoff Throughout Waverly Place April 25 | 9am-1pm Corner of Tryon & Kildaire Farm Roads | Cary Color Theory, Schemes and Strategies Workshop at WAG Waverly Artist Group April 25 | 9am-1pm 302 Colonades Way #209 | Cary Carly Aquilino Goodnights Comedy Club April 30-May 2 861 West Morgan Street | Raleigh 919.828.LAFF (5233)

Send us... Community events you would like published in the calendar can be emailed to | 39

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It may have been a mild winter– aside from that one week in February – but we’re always grateful for the arrival of spring, with its lengthening days, emerging flowers, and of course, March Madness. In Cary, Koka Booth whets the appetite for a summer of music with two tasty festivals, while the Cary Arts Center continues with a slate of music, theater and dance events. While the options in Western Wake are enticing, there’s even more on offer down the road in the state capital. The major arts performance groups hit the business ends of their seasons, with exciting shows from the North Carolina Symphony, North Carolina Opera and the Carolina Ballet. And in the museums, CAM Raleigh features an important show while the North Carolina Museum of Art unveils a new show designed to highlight the glorious symbol of emerging spring: flowers.

by david fellerath

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Master Composers: Music for Dance photograph © black horse

in cary, the cary ballet

Company and 3D Jazz Project present an evening called Coppelia and a Taste of Broadway. In three performances March 13th-14th, the artists will explore variations on the popular 19th-century themes of dancing dolls and automatons. ($12-$15; Fifteen years after its founding, the robust presence and artistic discipline of the Robert Weiss-led Carolina Ballet continues to impress. Two big shows dominate the company’s season this spring. The first, Master Composers: Music for Dance, is a new production choreographed by Weiss and Zalman Raffael that runs March 5th-22nd in A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater. It will feature dances set to classics by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Stravinsky and others, according to marketing manager Elizabeth Parker, who tells us the program “will trace the evolution of dance from the Middle Ages to the 20th century through the music of these composers.” The following month, April 16th-19th, the company moves over to Memorial Auditorium (and

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Carolina Ballet’s Master Composers: Music for Dance runs March 5th-22nd at A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater. (below) Carolina Ballet’s Swan Lake runs April 16th-19th at Memorial Auditorium.

swaN LAKE photograph © russ howe

later, DPAC) to make room for the big dog. Or the black swan. Yes, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake runs April 16th-19th in Raleigh, with live accompaniment by Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle. Kudos to the Ballet for its tagline: “Love conquers all. Except evil sorcery.” (Both shows $37.11-$88.88; Over at NC State’s Titmus Theatre, dance students give their spring concert April 16th-17th. (ree; | 33



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(left) Sleater-Kinney. (above) The Celtic Tenors.

whether you’re from Cary or somewhere else in the Triangle (or beyond), springtime is the cue for fans of indie music to make sure they’ve bought their Hopscotch wristbands. Who’s playing? We don’t know, but we’re positive the three-day and VIP wristbands, priced at $135 and $205 respectively, will be worth their weight in sweat stains and spilled beer. The festival, which was purchased by Travis Janovich, founder of the Morrisvillle-based online ticket seller eTix, will run September 10th-12th. Go on, get your wristband at We’ll be right here. Okay, done? At the Cary Arts Center, there are a number of live music options. For example, if you’re looking for a way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day without threatening your liver – or your reputation when the photos end up on Facebook then consider spending time with The Celtic Tenors on March 20th. Okay, that’s three days after St. Paddy’s, but you’ll still be in the mood for auld Éire, no? ($22-$26; The Cary Arts Center is hosting a couple of other music events in March, including Mr. Blue Shoes, a kid-friendly musician who appears as part of the Marvelous Music Family

Series, which plays March 7th at 3 pm. ($8; Children are also part of the fun on March 27th, when the Cary Town Band plays with young performers in its “Play With the Band” show. (Free) Things are slow at Koka Booth Amphitheatre this spring, but foodies should consider two events. First, there’s the Beer and Bacon Festival, which is sure to be utterly decadent, on March 28th. Then, on April 18th there’s the popular Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival. What kind of food? Does it matter? We’re talking wine, people. (B&B: $25-$69; Grapes: VIP passes $49; in raleigh, There’s live music every night of the week, and there are several exceptional offerings for every taste. For those of a certain age – say between 28 and 48 – there are few bands more important and generation-defining than SleaterKinney, the trio that emerged from the grunge scene of the early-1990s Pacific Northwest. Formed by Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker, SleaterKinney’s self-titled debut appeared in 1995. Initially pigeonholed as another riot grrrl act in the mold of Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney proved to have more staying power, releasing one strong album after another built on smart songs and serious

Tycho opens. ($25-$35;

(above) Get a head start on Red Hat Amphitheater’s outdoor music with alt-J on April 3rd.

chops. After the band went on hiatus in 2005, Brownstein achieved a measure of celebrity as a writer and actor, with Fred Armisen, in the celebrated hipster-spoof TV series Portlandia. In January, the trio re-emerged with a new album, No Cities to Love, that was received with uniform critical hosannas. “Their songs guide us through the restless process of figuring out who we are... They charge our consciousness, occupy space in our relationships, symbolize what we want to become,” raved a writer for Pitchfork. On Wednesday, April 22nd, Sleater-Kinney will perform at The Ritz, and if their sizzling performance of “Surface Envy” on Conan in January is any indication, they’ve not lost a step. ($25, before onerous Ticketmaster surcharges; If Sleater-Kinney haS somehow come to the precipice of being a legacy act, there are numerous enticing shows by up-and-comers. We’re especially intrigued by the Young Fathers, a combo from Edinburgh that defies description. Or almost defies it. The Guardian gave it a shot, calling Young Fathers a “Liberian/Nigerian/Scottish psychedelic hip-hop electro boy band.” After listening to Dead, the group’s intoxicating 2014 release, we can only say that that’s about the beginning of it. Young Fathers plays Kings Barcade Tuesday, April 14th. (Advance tickets $12, door, $15; Season tickets for Live Nation’s outdoor concerts at Red Hat Amphitheater don’t go on sale until May 1st, but you can get a head start on your tan on Friday, April 3rd, with the prog-indie noodlings of alt-J. This English act recorded a song for the hit film Silver Linings Playbook and will be touring in support of its late 2014 release This Is All Yours, which received mostly strong reviews.

Want some class on your night out? Well, if Diana Krall were any classier, she’d be a blackboard. In early February, the five-time Grammy winner released Wallflower, in which her cover choices ranged from the sunny pop of the 1960s (California Dreamin’) to the sunny pop of the 1980s (Don’t Dream It’s Over), with detours through 1970s softies like Jim Croce, the Carpenters, Gilbert O’Sullivan, the Eagles and, in the title track, Bob Dylan. On Friday, April 24th, Krall will be in Raleigh, backed by a fivepiece combo. The venue is the acoustically diverse Memorial Auditorium, so buy your tickets soon. ($55.52-$162.27; Lovers of opera and classical music have several calendar highlights this spring. The NC Opera rolls out one of the greatest, by the greatest, of the 18th century: Mozart’s Don Giovanni. First produced in 1787, Don Giovanni was a multicultural project even at the beginning: Taking a legendary Spanish character better known as Don Juan, an Austrian composer and a Venetian librettist (who would later die in America) conjured an Italian-language opera that premiered in Prague. Since then, this tale of a shameless cad who seduces and betrays his way through more than 1,000 females has never gone out of style. Running April 18th-26th, NC Opera’s production at A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater will be fully staged, with English surtitles. Met veteran J.C. Cha will play the lead. ($35.28$105.95;

the NC Symphony has several compelling programs this spring. On one mighty weekend, March 12th-14th, at Meymandi Concert Hall, longtime conductor Grant Llewellyn shares top billing with Beethoven in Grant Conducts Eroica. Also known as Beethoven’s Third Symphony, this 1804 composition was originally dedicated to Napoleon, so expect a grand meeting of Corsican, Austrian and Welsh influence. Among other NC Symphony offerings, guest conductor Michael Francis will oversee a program featuring Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, April 9th-11th at Meymandi. (Eroica: $26.43-$80.34; Symphonie Fantastique: $26.43-$91.01; From March 10th-12th, on the NC State campus, the music offerings of the spring Center Stage series culminate at Titmus Theatre with three performances by violin virtuoso and MacArthur “genius grant” recipient Regina Carter. Carter’s jazzy influence has been felt on recordings by such diverse artists as Cassandra Wilson, Wynton Marsalis, Dolly Parton, Lauryn Hill, Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige. ($32; Over at the NC Museum of Art, International Women’s Day is March 15th, and it’s honored with a concert by Fire Pink Trio. In a show called The Goddess in Every Woman, musical compositions by women are paired with works in the permanent collection, “to explore expressions of female power and divinity,” according to museum communications specialist Emily Kowalski. (Free; | 35

thea The PETER AND THE STARCATCHER company. Photo by Scott Suchman

although much of the Broadway touring action has relocated to Durham’s DPAC, Raleigh and Cary are blessed with a vibrant local theater scene. This spring, there are several enticing productions worthy of a spot on the theatergoer’s calendar. In Cary, our aspirations are hopeful for the “bends and snaps” of Legally Blonde, which Cary Players will mount for two weekends at the Cary Arts Center’s lovely performance space, April 24th-May 3rd. ($18-$20; In Raleigh, first on our list is Burning Coal’s Sunday in the Park With George, an effervescent musical finale to a main stage season that included Shakespeare and an ambitious staging of David Edgar’s The Iron Curtain Trilogy. Burning Coal’s Jerome Davis sounds positively giddy at the prospect of staging Stephen Sondheim’s 1984 musical imagining of the life of pointillist painter Georges Seurat as he worked on his masterpiece, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” Davis tells us that he’s particularly excited about the casting of area newcomer Natalie Reder as Dot, the mistress and model of the painter. Of Reder, a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati 36 |

(top) Natalie Reder, seen here in a Burning Coal production of Brigadoon, plays one of the leads in Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park With George. (bottom) Broadway Series South and NC Theatre present Peter and the Starcatcher March 10th-15th.


College– Conservatory of Music, Davis says, “She’s got a voice like a cannon. An angelic cannon, mind you, but a cannon!” Sunday in the Park runs four weekends, April 9th-May 3rd. ($15-$25; Not to be outdone, Theatre in the Park rolls out a regional premiere of comic playwright Paul Rudnick’s Regrets Only. This madcap romp traces the political awakening of a famous gay fashion designer as he navigates high-society mores with his close confidante and best friend, a Park Avenue socialite. Of the play’s 2006 premiere, New York Times critic Ben Brantley wrote, “Like Noël Coward, [Rudnick] makes a case for frivolity as an existential choice, for the necessity of laughter in transcending an often grim world.” No word yet on the casting, but the show runs three weekends, March 27th-April 12th. ($16-$22; Duke Energy’s Broadway Series South has only one musical this March and April, but it is the exceptionally promising Peter and the Starcatcher, a 2012 prequel to the Peter Pan story that opened in New York to rave reviews. Adapted from a novel co-written by humorist Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, this co-production by Broadway Series South and NC Theatre should impress children and adults alike with its aerial feats and accessible jokes. It runs one week only, March 10th-15th, at Memorial Auditorium. ($26.69-$90.74; Over at Titmus Theatre on the NC State campus, we’re intrigued by Teatro Hugo & Ines, a pair of Peruvian puppeteers famed for “memorable characters created with knees, feet, elbows, fingers, a few props, amazing dexterity, and delightful imagination,” according to publicity materials. They’ll perform four shows, April 10th12th. ($10-$34.76;



Party Boat (Arctic Wonderland series) Scratched chromogenic print, photospotting and acrylic inks, gouache and marker Courtesy of the Collection of Allen Thomas, Jr., Wilson, NC

the art offerings in Wake County are reliably fresh, engaging, and the main attraction of the popular First Friday series of gallery walks. On the museum side, there are no major shows opening this spring, but we urge a visit to CAM Raleigh in the warehouse district for a major mid-career retrospective of Sarah Anne Johnson, a show that opened in early February to wine-gripping throngs. In one of the most politically thoughtful shows in a major Raleigh institution in some time, Wonderland: Sarah Anne Johnson 2002-2014 engages with themes of indigenous people in the modern, environmentally degraded world. But that doesn’t tell the full story of her astonishing technical range and capacious vision. In the downstairs Independent Weekly Gallery, there’s “House on Fire,” a haunting series from 2009 inspired by her grandmother’s 38 |

visua art

unwitting victimization by CIAdirected psychiatric experiments. Upstairs on one wall, there is Arctic Wonderland, a series of photo-illustrations of the arctic wilderness, but Johnson has altered them with overlays of watercolors, to varying effects. One image features a schooner in the distance, near an iceberg; above it, she has painted something that looks like a starburst of a cloud, or an aurora borealis. But the payoff – and testimony to the artist’s range – comes in the next gallery, where she has constucted a room-sized model of the same image. According to Marjorie Hodges, director of the Contemporary Art Foundation, the latter piece is owned by Cirque du Soleil Montreal, which flew its own representative down to Raleigh to install the piece. The show remains on view until May 5th. (

Asleep in the Forest 2012 Multi media installation Courtesy of the Artist

(top) A signature image from Sarah Anne Johnson’s Arctic Wonderland series at CAM Raleigh. (bottom) Asleep in the Forest, 2012, a multimedia installation by Sarah Anne Johnson at CAM Raleigh.

Spring Road


Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art

Durham’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival photograph © Charlotte Claypoole


photograph © Alex Boerner

Art in Bloom runs four days in March at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

This spring, the North Carolina Museum of Art will be cycling three solo shows out of galleries: Jason Mitcham’s video installation, images from the Allen G. Thomas, Jr. Photo Collection and Line, Touch, Trace, a drawing exhibition of 13 North Carolina artists. But there are new things happening, too – first and foremost Art in Bloom. This, museum spokesperson Kowalski tells us, is NCMA’s inaugural festival of art and flowers, featuring “floral masterpieces inspired by the Museum’s permanent collection and created by world-class floral designers.” Running March 19th22nd, Art in Bloom is timed perfectly with the vernal equinox that marks the start of spring. It will feature master classes, demonstrations, lectures, family activities and other events. At the end of the month, there will be a free exhibition of modern and contemporary art from the private collection of Jim and Mary Patton, including works by such artists as Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Motherwell, Frank Stella and Wayne Thiebaud. ( As always, art lovers can hit the town on each month’s first Friday on March 6th and April 3rd, put on the clothes in which you want to be seen and visit Artspace, Lump Gallery, Lee Hansley Gallery, Flanders Gallery, Visual Art Exchange and more. For monthly details, visit ( L


Like the swallows of Capistrano, the world’s best documentary filmmakers in the world converge on downtown Durham each April for a weekend of powerful films and vibrant socializing. Past festivals have seen such stars as Martin Scorsese, Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock, while documentary stalwarts such as D.A. Pennebaker and Barbara Kopple are regular visitors. While some of Full Frame’s offerings go on to mainstream theatrical success, many other unforgettable films will find their only public screenings in one of the theaters in downtown Durham. At press time, programming director Sadie Tillery hadn’t completed the schedule of this year’s festival, but we have as much confidence in recommending this event as we do Hopscotch. The festival runs April 9th-12th. Passes are on sale, but hurry – the two cheapest options have already sold out. Individual tickets go on sale April 2nd. (







GEMS of Apex

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In 2013, Apex was voted the 9th Best Place to Live in America by Money Magazine, up five spots from its ranking in 2007. Playing a role in those rankings is an ever-growing and vibrant downtown listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as a variety of fantastic local shops, eateries, parks and family activities. Here, a few of the best-kept secrets that shouldn’t be secret at all.

Intro by Christa Gala


Fish Fry

By Kurt Dusterberg

At a fish fry restaurant, you may not think about eating healthy, but at Skipper’s Fish Fry and Market, you can indulge a variety of tastes. “It’s not just a fry house,” says general manager Michael Gorham. “We have healthy selections. That draws in a lot of people. We’ve added grilled and blackened mahimahi taco. It’s a big seller.” Skipper’s can grill or blacken most anything on the menu, and they cater to gluten-free diners as well. Longtime customers appreciate the large portions at Skipper’s. Fresh fish is brought in daily and is uniquely prepared. “The big thing in this business is each of our fish has its own breading and batter,” Gorham says. “It’s not just the same for everything.” Most fish platters (served with fries, homemade slaw and hush puppies) sell for less than $10. Make it an “onion platter” by substituting their popular onion rings. Got a taste for steamers? Skipper’s has oysters, clams and snow crab legs too. Skipper’s may be a couple hours from the ocean, but Gorham says the restaurant has its share of believers from the coast. “We get people from the beach who are visting, and they ask, ‘When are you going to bring one of these out to the beach?’”



By Christa Gala

Doodling Bug has been offering kitschy, hand-crafted items at the Raleigh Flea Market for years, but this past summer chose Apex as the place to make its retail debut. Find hairbows for a dollar, hand-painted furniture in bright colors, trendy signs, jewelry and knitted items– from headbands to scarves. It’s just one of many unique shops and restaurants to browse downtown.


blistered pig By Dave Droschak

Steve Adams jokes he can now ride a skateboard between jobs. He literally can. His second restaurant in downtown Apex – The Blistered Pig – is across the street and around the corner from Peak City Grill, which he founded a decade ago. The Blistered Pig is a neat name, in a neat location, with a neat concept and a neat logo – a large fork accented by a twisted pig’s tail. Opened on December 10, the ambiance of The Blistered Pig – in the rear of the historic Tobacco & Mule Exchange wooden building – | 41

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park fits the simplistic menu of mostly North Carolina barbeque, brisket and chicken. Originally Adams had expanded offerings, but was soon talked down by his chef and partner Franz Propst. “My idea was proven wrong rather quickly. We went back to his idea of keeping things very simple,” Adams said. “They were coming for the BBQ, the brisket and the chicken. I believe if you have good BBQ people will find you. Apex sort of needed its own BBQ place, and they have embraced it.” The Blistered Pig doesn’t sauce its Q. However, you’ll notice a green and red sauce on each table. One is jalapeno-based with a kick, aged 30 days by Propst; the other is a western North Carolina version. “It’s not as sweet, but it is not ‘puckeredup’ vinegar either. When I eat our BBQ I have both sauces,” Adams said. You can order meat here by the pound if you like, and all pork, beef and chicken are pasture-raised. The Blistered Pig is cozy, with 110 seats inside and an additional 50 on the rear patio, weather permitting. There is a large fireplace off to the right as you enter the restaurant, and a fire pit outside. “The inside fireplace was personal to me,” Adams said. “I wanted something that was big, beautiful and warm. It really adds to the atmosphere. There is something about a fireplace that never gets old.”

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By Christa Gala

We think a disgruntled Mother Nature had something to do with the “hidden gem” status of the Apex Nature Park. At 160 acres, it should be hard to miss, but the grand opening in early 2014 for Apex’s newest town park, on Evans Road, was rained out, followed by nearly two months of icy, inclement weather. A cooler summer invited residents to discover movie nights in the amphitheater, sand volleyball courts, soccer fields, lighted tennis courts, a playground, dog park, walking trails and picnic shelters. The piece de resistance is an 18-hole disc golf course, the first one in Apex, built deep into a forest of hardwoods, incorporating streams and handily crafted bridges. It’s surprisingly secluded, and a beautiful spot to log some family time and burn off a little energy. Whoops and hollers echo through the woods, as well as the jingle of the chains on the baskets as other players make their way through the course, but often you’ll feel like the only one there. Visit


academy By Dave Droschak

Technical training in sports – both physical and mental – seems to be moving faster than a 95 mph fastball these days. Case in point is K-Zone Academy off Investment Boulevard in Apex, where brain power is as important as bat speed when it comes to a cutting-edge baseball training facility. The concept is headed up by Dan Kopitzke, a former Division I player, whose business moniker is “Superior Baseball Athlete.” There are as many ropes, large “rubber bands” and medicine balls at K-Zone Academy as there are batting cages. Athletes from as young as 8 years old to professional players strive to improve their games and “beat their competition” at K-Zone with powerful training techniques and state-of-theart mental techniques. One tool Kopitzke has on hand is the HitTrax, the world’s first and only baseball simulator. The piece of equipment provides a combination of analytics and entertainment that has never before been available to indoor facilities. “We use it every day in our training,” Kopitzke said. “We use the feedback to help the player know how he is doing. Are you hitting line drives? Are you hitting ground balls? Are you pulling everything? How hard are you hitting the ball? It has all kind of calculations to determine whether it was a hit or an out.” On the mental side, Kopitzke utilizes a device called the V Flex, which helps batters determine if a pitch coming their way is a ball or a strike – and whether it’s worth swinging at or passing on. “We are getting past the eyes and getting into training the brain,” he said. “And we enforce that with the other activities | 43

we do. If you were to talk to Ted Williams, the greatest hitter of all time, his number one thing was to get a good pitch to hit. That’s where we start. Mechanics are important, building a good swing is important, but it is low on the totem pole for us; it’s getting the right pitch, being at the right place at the right time.” K-Zone Academy has monthly memberships for sale, or something called a SBA Flex Card, where credits can be applied to specific training sessions. There are also hitting leagues and much more. “What helps make us unique is we measure everything we do,” Kopitzke said. “So kids always know where they stand; there isn’t any guessing, no subjectivity to it. The measurements will tell them if they are moving in the right direction. Baseball is a game of statistics, so having all the numbers and the data is important.”

money into in an vitro fertilization process, Val broke the news to Dave that she was pregnant. “So we decided to chase our dream,” she said. “That’s kind of what we’re always been about, following our dreams and doing something that is exciting and different and seeing where it would go. It’s about the journey.” The wing sauce is sweet, with mild heat and a lot of complex flavors. The salsas are equally tasty, with an all-natural version hitting the shelves at Whole Foods Market in Cary. “I feel comfortable we do have a product that stands out, not just from a label standpoint, but for the taste,” Dave said. “We don’t call our customers ‘customers’; we call them fans because they keep coming back,” Val added. “We have people that email us and tell us they’re addicted to it, that they have to have it.” And the name? “Any time you have something that catches people’s attention, it’s a good thing,” Dave said. “Our worry was it might be a negative because people are thinking there is tequila in it … and a lot of people don’t drink alcohol. But it has turned into a fun name and a fun thing for folks to talk about … and a name they remember.”


dale’s By Dave Droschak

What’s in a name? Well, when referring to Tequila Dale’s wing sauce and salsas, it’s a bit complex. For starters, there is no alcohol in the ingredients. And there is no Dale either. That’s a combination of first names of Apex couple Dave and Val Creager, inventors of the product that guarantees to “Shake Up Your Food.” “We’re tequila fans first off, so when we’re in the kitchen cooking we’re usually sipping on tequila instead of a glass of wine or a beer,” the couple said. “That’s how that all got started.” Dave began bringing the wing sauce cooked on the couple’s stovetop to adult hockey tournaments, and the guys fell in love with it during tailgating parties. “They would put it on burgers, steaks, chips … anything,” he said. Still, bottling sauce was the furthest thing from the couple’s mind. They were toying with opening a restaurant and were also trying to have a baby. The night before putting 44 |

dallas famous chicken n’

biscuits By Kurt Dusterberg

As the name Dallas Famous Chicken n’ Biscuits would suggest, you shouldn’t compare it to a burger joint. “But we have good burgers,” says longtime owner Ray Hartlaub. “It’s as close to home cooking as you’re going to get these days. It’s not mass-produced food that’s all the same. It’s comfort food that is good for the soul, from meatloaf to collard greens to cornbread.” Dallas is open for breakfast and lunch. Stop in during the morning and you can enjoy a variety of Southern favorites such as biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, bacon, eggs and more. At lunch time, the old-time favorites keep coming. Where else can you find pork chops and country-style steak? Got a taste for beefaroni? You’re in luck.

The odds and ends that provide the decor are as diverse as the menu. Take a quick look around and you’ll spot a rooster-crossing sign, a framed portrait of Abraham Lincoln and a couple of old apothecary bottles. “I don’t know what to call it,” Hartlaub says. “It’s a mishmish of 30 years of junk on the walls that people have given us. We have pictures of people we don’t have a clue about hanging around here.”


apex By Christa Gala

Apex’s vibrant downtown is no secret, thankfully, but you’ll find a lot of special touches tucked here and there that go unnoticed but speak to the dedication of those living and working downtown. •

The Little Free Library: A quaintly crafted mini-house holds and “lends” books, relying on a community honor system. Take a book to read while you stop in at the coffee shop, and return it on your way out. Or keep it, and replace it with a few you’d like to share. Apex folk are honest; so far the little lending house is always full.

You’ll also find a big chalkboard with the invitation “Write on Me,” complete with chalk and an eraser. Go for it!

Don’t miss a piece of recent history at the Apex Service Memorial, commemorating those who lost their lives in the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. The steel cap on top of the marble pillar is an actual piece of the antenna from Tower 2 of the World Trade Center. It was donated by the wrecking company in charge of Ground Zero demolition. | 45

Into the Wild, Out of the Wild From a Cary greenway, a walk all the way from the leaves to the canvas.


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© Matt Williams Photography

“How to give all access to the masterpieces of art and nature is the problem of civilization.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson | 47

© Matt Williams Photography


Across from Godbold Park in Cary is the Black Creek Greenway trailhead. Leave your car here and shoulder your backpack provisioned with trail food, water and the handy, detailed map made by the folks at Great Outdoor Provision Company, which details the route you’re about to follow. Set out. The trail is paved and runs alongside the creek, just behind the backyards of houses. Bike it if you prefer. It’s a comforting sliver of nature, a tiny riparian world coursing right through the middle of a residential neighborhood. After two or three miles, the trail crosses Weston Parkway– and there, suddenly, on your left, is Lake Crabtree. The vista widens as you walk the lake’s perimeter. Our days need more vistas, like this one– more perspective. An enormous blue heron sweeps over the water and then swoops down for a fish. After a moment floating on the surface, the heron lifts off again, heavy and slow, pursued by excitable gulls, like a movie star trailing adorers. It lands on the bank and resumes standing sentinel. Past the lake, the trail crosses over I-40. Take a moment on the bridge to watch the traffic rush by below. Wait a minute or two, and a passenger jet will rise up over the freeway, completing the levels of travel: the cars racing beneath, the plane lifting off overhead, you suspended between them. You are between two worlds: the tranquil, bird-laden reservoir behind you, the rush of commerce below and flight above you— and just ahead of you, a great forested expanse. Soon after crossing the bridge, you enter Umstead Park. You’ve gone a little over four miles. As you ascend the multiuse Reedy Creek trail, you see a number of R.O.U.S. (Riders/ Runners Of Unusual Seriousness). At the crest is the RDU Airport overlook. It doesn’t seem to look over much, but take the little foot trail by the wood fence. As you walk it, you see the control tower in the distance, a few cargo jets, tiny as toys. Some frogs are peeping in a trailside marsh— but if you’re there at the right moment,

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their sounds are suddenly overwhelmed by the thrum of rotors. An enormous black helicopter rises up just beyond the plateau of vision and blasts over you in a deafening, heart-stopping roar. Resuming the walk, you come to a signpost for the Company Mill foot trail. You may want to turn left here and take its short half-moon detour up to Sycamore Creek, quiet and sylvan. Company Mill will lead you right back to your route about a mile further on. If you stay the course, you’ll pass the old Warren cemetery, a reminder that Umstead, between eras of wilderness, was a family’s home. By now you may have reached a state of walking meditation, like someone following your own footsteps, half aware, deep inside the hike. Perhaps it isn’t until you arrive at Reedy Creek Lake that you emerge from your rambling reverie. There’s a bench here. Take a rest. You’re more than halfway there. Your map tells you to stay on the trail all the way out of Umstead, but when you reach the junction with Loblolly Trail, if you’re on foot, take a left. As it works its way eastward out of the park, Loblolly rewards you with some of Umstead’s loveliest and least-traveled scenery. You pass a little pond, teeming with life; further on, in a marsh at the park boundary, another heron is calmly but alertly watching you. As you gaze back, a pileated woodpecker, startling in its size and bleating call, dashes overhead and then affixes itself to a tree, its big red head bobbing. Soon you come to a steep levee. The trail runs along its flank and gradually ascends at your left, but you won’t be able to resist climbing straight up the levee’s steep green height. Others have already beaten a narrow path, like a foot funicular. At the top of the levee, you come to yet another lake, another elevated view. You rejoin Loblolly trail. It runs below another neighborhood. Soon you reach Reedy Creek Road, to which the multi-use trail has given way while you were walking Loblolly. Across the road is Schenck Forest, a research preserve for

North Carolina State University. If you’re still feeling spry (you’ve walked ten miles), you can carry on through the forest a ways, although the trail will overshoot your preferred exit spot; you’ll have to double back east a short distance on the road that runs along Schenck’s southern boundary. Otherwise, keep on the paved walkway that parallels Reedy Creek Road. You pass a horse farm, and then Prairie Ridge Ecostation, a wildlife learning center run by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Nature is giving way again to civilization. You cross underneath Edwards Mill Road, past a North Carolina National Guard facility and the N.C. State textbook warehouse— and then Reedy Creek Road T’s off into Blue Ridge Road. You’re here– you’ve reached the North Carolina Museum of Art. You may want to stay on the greenway and pass among the museum’s outdoor installations: the giant whirligig; the series of rings, huge as loop-de-loops; Ledelle Moe’s colossal Collapse I, like a toppled ancient god. Enter the West Building. Admission is free. Head straight for the contemporary art section, past the Motherwells, the Kirchners, and take a much-needed seat on the bench before Alex Katz’s monumental, coolly transfixing Six Women. It’s nice to be in the company of these women after a walk in solitude. The painting is as big as a movie screen, and it looks like a still from a movie– a sort of psychological comedy, taut and mysterious, its characters alluring and complex; the cinematography and framing are intimate and precise and the color is strong, arresting. This is a painting you can lose yourself in. You may find it so transporting that it no longer matters how you’re going to get home. L

© yp films

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hitting Roller derby is fast, physical and very real – and the Carolina Rollergirls thrive on the competition. By KURT DUSTERBERG PHOTOgraphy by Joshua Craig

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Bethany Perguson is a speech therapist who works on a preschool assessment team. Her position calls for the gentle and patient type, which she is. At least some of the time. Outside of work, she’s got a mean streak. Thankfully, she has roller derby. “I’m a total sensory seeker,” Perguson says. “I love that crashing feeling, and there’s nowhere else in my life where I can get that. I like getting knocked down, I like knocking people down.” The Carolina Rollergirls is a sanctioned roller derby league made up of skaters from around the Triangle. In previous generations, roller derby was more of a show, with scripted bouts and theatrical elements. There is nothing staged about today’s derby. “That’s usually the typical reaction,” says veteran skater Leigh Salmon, a member of the Chapel Thrillers. “People think it’s fake. But we’ve been around for a while, so more people are picking up on it.” The Carolina Rollergirls formed in 2004 after one of Salmon’s friends saw roller derby played in Texas. Intrigued by the idea, they made flyers, recruited players and formed a league. Today, the Rollergirls have three “home” teams – Raleigh Ruckus, Chapel Thrillers and Durham Crash. Two travel teams, All-Stars and Bootleggers, play squads from other cities and states. Local matches draw a few hundred regulars, but the regional games at Raleigh’s Dorton Arena draw as many as 2,000 fans. There’s no money in it for the athletes. In fact, they pay to play. The Rollergirls take pride in the do-it-yourself nature of their sport. It’s no-frills, right down to their practice facility – an unoccupied warehouse at an auto repair shop. The game is played on a short track. Each team has five players with a designated scorer, called a jammer. The other players on both teams try to block the opposing jammer while helping their own to break free, playing offense and defense at the same time. The jammer scores points by breaking out to lap members of the other team. | 51

The Rollergirls work to block their opponent’s jammer, while trying to help their own slip through to score points.

If there is an obvious selling point to the game, it’s the physical contact. Most of the women thrive on it. But there’s also a nod to the sport’s past, as many players have intimidating or clever nicknames. Carol Welsh embodies both ideas. In derby, she’s known as Deathica Rabbit. At six feet tall, she’s not someone you want to mess with. “The hardest part about being tall is being able to get low properly,” says Welsh, a junior who is studying aerospace engineering at NC State. “If I can get low enough, I can hit someone in the legs, scoop them up and literally throw them off the track.” While most of the players go for the intimidating monikers, you get the occasional Princess America. That’s Pergerson’s handle. She wears red, white and blue right down to her skates, making her one of the more memorable skaters during her seven years in the game. “When I first started, it was all mean names and bad girls,” she says. “That just wasn’t really me. I wanted to find a way to stand out from that. There were no girls who were,

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Hey, I’m the sweet patriotic girl! I felt like I could embarrass somebody if I knocked them down, and they were like, ‘I just got knocked down by Princess America.’” Miki Rezentes, known as Miki Sixx on the track, is a mother of five. Like many of her teammates, she grew up playing sports like softball, volleyball and basketball. But as her playing days faded into the past, she realized that just staying active wasn’t enough. “Everyone needs to have a physical outlet, and I hate running on a treadmill,” says Sixx, an Apex resident. “I love being on a team.” Taking on a fast-paced, physical sport at age 40 may not be the norm, but Rezentes confronts the challenge head-on. “Even now sometimes I have to get past the mind game that goes on when you’re about to do something on your skates that scares you,” she says. “When you get older, you don’t push yourself that way. You forget how tough you can be until you’re pushing it all the time. “ The rough play leads to some bad outcomes. The knees take a beating with all

the skating, and breaking a fall is hard on the hands. But the bumps, bruises and surgeries are just temporary setbacks. There’s an adrenaline rush that goes along with owning your own raucous corner of the competitive sports world. “I’m very friendly, but when I get out there, there is this feeling that I have to do everything I can to help my team and to help my jammer,” says Salmon, whose derby name is Eva Lye. (Say it quickly a few times. It will come to you.) “I absolutely love the physical aspect of it. I love to hit and get hit. Whenever I get hit and I’m not looking, I always praise the girl,” she says, with a laugh. “‘What an amazing hit!’” L


The Carolina Rollergirls open their season at Dorton Arena on March 7th. For the complete schedule and tryout information, visit

Veteran skater Princess America salutes the crowd. | 53

MERRY-GO-ROUND A tale of one couple, two towns and a crazy real estate market


// By christa gala

Jim and Christy Straight have been smacked around by the Triangle’s tumultuous real estate market, experiencing both the highs and the lows of the past decade– not to their benefit. They’d like to get off the real estate crazy train and get back to Cary even though they just made the decision a few months ago to leave for Holly Springs. Their story starts in 2007, when they bought at the height of the market in Cary’s Coventry Woods subdivision, paying $389,000 for a 3,600-square-foot home on a culde-sac lot. They were happy there, but the house was dated; there were things they wanted to change, but they didn’t want to price themselves out of the neighborhood. THE FIRST AND SECOND TRIES So, in 2011 they tried to sell, sitting on the market for 15 long months. “We had a handful of showings, two different realtors and not one single bite,” says Christy Straight. They took it off the market, but decided to try again last summer, listing the home with Matt Peedin of Keller Williams Realty Cary for $380,000. “We put it on the market, and we got five showings the first day,” says Straight. From those showings came three offers. The Straights chose a cash offer of $382,000, even though one of the

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offers was higher at $390,000. “We chose the cash offer because we knew it wouldn’t appraise for the other offer,” says Straight. “Two other homes in our neighborhood sold, and they had to lower the offers because they didn’t appraise.” A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS The Straight’s scenario is indicative of a market that’s been on a roller coaster for close to a decade. In 2006 and 2007, home values inflated to extremely high levels, so high that they weren’t authentic, which lead to the “bubble,” as many call it, bursting. That burst, around 2008, basically bottomed out the market. Homes across the country foreclosed, and borrowing money became much harder to do. Home values plummeted and stayed flat for several years, with relatively few new home communities being built. What does that mean? Today, inventory is low, meaning there are fewer homes for sale, resulting in fewer days on the market. The Triangle Area Residential Realty report (TARR) showed combined inventory decreased by 12 percent in the last quarter of 2014 compared to the year before in the Apex, Cary and Morrisville real estate markets. Resale inventory (no new construction) decreased 19 percent in the same time period. The TARR is comprised of Triangle

Jim and Christy Straight enjoy Disneyworld with their family, taking a break from house-hunting until summer.

MLS stats as well as information from the Wake County Revenue Department and Wake County Planning Department. The report is produced by Stacey Anfindsen, owner of S.M.A. Publications in Apex. Average days on the market decreased from 101 to 90, and showings increased 17 percent from fourth quarter 2013. The average list price in these three areas is $435K, although the most common price range shown in the fourth quarter was between $300K and $350K. The most common subdivision for showings: Lochmere. A CHANGE OF MIND Ironically enough, that area of Cary is where the Straights are looking now. It turns out, their idea to move to Holly Springs wasn’t a great fit after all. The couple rented a nice apartment after selling their home and while waiting to build, but had a change of heart. It didn’t have anything to do with the town of Holly Springs or the nice new neighborhood in which to build. As with all things real estate, it was location. “We had been seven minutes from our kids’ school with traffic lights, and now we’re 35 minutes,” says Straight. “We’re in Cary at least twice a day, every day. We haven’t been on time anywhere we’ve gone since we moved. We started thinking, we just want to go back to where we came from. But now they’re on the buying end in a seller’s market, and it isn’t easy.“We look every single day at new listings that come up,” says Straight. “Every day. And the good ones are gone within 24 hours. We’ve looked at a couple of open houses, and you can tell why the ones out there are still out there. The lots are terrible. We left a cul-de-sac lot with a private backyard, and we are not finding that.”

NOT PICKY, BUT NOT DESPERATE The idea of new construction is now off the table because there is no new construction being offered in their preferred location. “We told our agent, ‘We’re willing to do interior work; we’re willing to go in and ‘remodel’. We’re willing to take a fixer-upper, but it has to have good bones and it has to be on the perfect lot, and I have yet to see that.” Peedin says that willingness to take on a project is more common these days than it used to be, due to that low inventory, but the Triangle isn’t a California market where a buy-at-all-costs attitude often prevails. “Buyers are somewhat forgiving over minor issues— things like countertops that haven’t been updated or carpet that needs to be replaced,” he says. “But the market’s not so hot that anything and everything is selling.” THE SEARCH CONTINUES The Straight’s lease isn’t up until the end of August. Until then, they’re looking on their own, but as the summer draws near, they’ll enlist Peedin’s help to get back to Cary. The Straights hope he can help them find a home in their location and within budget. “I get emails and phone calls every day from people all over the country that want to be here,” Peedin says. “That’s impressive. People come to school here and stay here; you’ve got investors who want to buy here. It will be interesting to see what happens moving forward with prices.” L

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© Chris Walt Photography

T By Corbie Hill

A Tradition Evolves

Triangle residents look for any excuse to head down to the Pinehurst/Southern Pines area, and it’s often for things other than golf. One of those events is North Carolina’s proud tradition of a homegrown steeplechase where attendees dress up, pull out the fancy silver and set up a swank picnic spread. Stonybrook Steeplechase is a Sandhills tradition dating to the 40s, when Irish rider Michael “Mickey” Walsh moved to Southern Pines and bought a stable. It’s evolved and moved – today it calls Raeford’s Carolina Horse Park home – though its survival hasn’t always been

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guaranteed. When events and logistics manager Abby Schlicht came on in late 2009 to plan the 2010 event, attendance had been flagging. “They had a pretty bad year as far as attendance – the year before it rained. It wasn’t great,” she says. Thinking memories were enough to bring people in, the park had stopped advertising, it didn’t work. “So I was brought in to bring it back.” Today, the Steeplechase is a mix of local tradition and new ideas. Sure, it retains the reunion feel it has for years – some perennially reserve the same tailgating spot and others

© Chris Walt Photography, Courtesy of Carolina Horse Park


© Chris Walt Photography, courtesy of Carolina Horse Park

run into old classmates here – yet elements of Stonybrook continue to evolve. Case in point: 2015 is the first year the Steeplechase is using – a more familiar website to concert-goers than horseracing fans – to sell tickets. “One of the things with Stoneybrooke is, we’re always looking at how we can make it better,” Schlicht says. “It’s not like it’s this simple formula where every time we run it it’s the exact same thing.” New this year, too, is Frontstretch Fest – a hipper, trendier event-within-an-event. With a jazz band, bourbon and local beer tastings, vendors and the separately-ticketed Frontstretch offers a party for young professionals. And then there’s the raison d’etre itself – the race, which many jockeys love because of the excellent turf at Carolina Horse Park. And though some racing experts attend, many come for the mix of equestrian tradition and social reunion. And Schlicht is glad she could help keep the Steeplechase going – 64 years and counting. “I look back to 2010 and where we were then and where we are now,” she says. “I’m amazed that in five years we’ve taken it as far as we have.” L


© Chris Walt Photography | 61

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Peace of Mind by LAURA LOWE, Director of Sales and Marketing, Glenaire

64 |

Seniors who make plans for future housing and future

healthcare needs are more likely to enjoy a financially

on the type of care you need, how long you need it,

secure retirement.

and where care is received. Long-term care expenses

continue to rise, and are not typically covered by

“Financial peace of mind” is the key goal for 82

Long-term care can be expensive depending

percent of people nearing retirement. Retirees with a

Medicare or private health insurance.

sound plan are in the enviable position of choosing

their futures, and they avoid the stress and anxiety

Continuing Care Retirement Community. People liv-

that is brought on by worrying about healthcare and

ing in CCRCs see their new homes as a “safety net of

living expenses. Additionally, they may have more

lifetime healthcare” and a safeguard against outliving

control over lifestyle decisions.

their financial resources. Almost every state licenses

One fine option for many seniors is buying into a

and monitors CCRCs to ensure their financial stability, and to protect those who live there.

For those considering a CCRC, it is important

to know whether a community offers financial assistance to individuals who have outlived their assets. For example, some CCRCs have never asked residents to leave simply because they have outlived their money.

Another big advantage to CCRCs is the tax

benefit. A percentage of the entry fee and the ongoing monthly fee may be deductible as a medical expense.

Residents see their CCRC entry fee as an

investment in their future. One couple that lives in a CCRC said, “When we sold our home, the equity was more than sufficient to cover the buy-in fee, most of which will be returned to our estate‌We determined that we spent about $10,000 less on daily living during our first year here than we had the last year we were in our house.â€?

Seniors who make plans for future housing and

healthcare needs are more likely to enjoy a finan-


cially secure retirement. L

A scientific study in 2003 found that seniors who live in CCRCs are more satisfied with their daily lives and are more likely to be happier and healthier than their contemporaries who remain in their own homes. Social and recreational programs offered at CCRCs provide seniors with opportunities to meet new friends. The study was published by the American Seniors Housing Association: Study of Independent Living Residents and the Communities in Which They Reside. In addition, the US Department of Health and Human Services released a research analysis paper that found residents living in CCRCs are healthier and live longer, and residents have less risk of disease and disability. | 65

h e a lt h y


Stress & Real Estate by Ann Marie Sochia, LPCA, CHT, NLP, MS Waves of Change

Buying? Selling? New home? Whether you’re the

the closing. Add to that market fluctuation – buyers

buyer, the seller or the real estate agent, the en-

suddenly find they can’t afford the house they were

tire process can be very stressful with a steep roller

approved for just last month. Agents on commission

coaster of emotions running all the time. As a real

cannot plan on a steady income, and sellers can’t go

estate agent you can sell a million dollar house and

forward with their own plans to move.

be flying high, and then have a dead period that lasts

for months. You could be sitting at an empty open

very house you fell in love with and are about to

house, working long, erratic hours and not making any

make an offer on can suddenly come off the market,

money; after all, most agents get paid only when the

be sold, have irreconcilable problems (foundation

property is sold; it’s called commission-only sales.

problems, mold, etc.), or the sellers can be unrealistic

in their selling price. Likewise, being a seller can also

It seems every real estate transaction is fraught

Being a buyer is not always a picnic either. The

with potholes and road blocks. Buyers can decide to

be difficult; if the buyer makes a very unrealistic offer

take their business elsewhere, sellers can take their

and refuses to listen to a counter offer, the market is

property off the market or list with another agent,

slow and your house has been listed for many months,

an agent can screw up the deal or buyers and sellers

or in order to sell your house you have to put a lot of

may not be able to reach an agreement on the terms

money or time into getting it ready to sell. Because of

of the sale and the whole deal blows up days before

this, it is difficult not to be exceptionally stressed and

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let your emotions run all over the place.

This is the time to get your work/life balanceso you

will be prepared to handle the stress of the situation. So what is a good work/life balance for real estate agents, buyers and sellers, and can you handle the stress?

RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Set realistic expectations – most properties don’t

sell in a couple of weeks, and it could take months

to find the right property for you.

2. Be prepared to wait until the right offer or property

comes along – build realistic time frames into

your planning.

3. Take time to spend with family and friends – real

time, without discussing your ongoing search for a

property, a buyer or a seller.

4. Manage your time, including taking time for breaks

and healthy meals. The world won’t end if a deal

falls through. Tomorrow a better one will come along.

5. Put the technology away so you can re-energize.

That’s right, turn off the cell phone and leave the

iPad or Android in the other room. If it’s that

important, they will call back or leave a message.

6. Hire someone to help– a house painter, plumber,

etc., so you have more free time.

7. Don’t stop your ordinary life just to focus on the

new possibility.

a. Take a walk

b. Exercise

c. Get a message

d. Get a good night’s sleep

e. Meditate

8. Talk to a therapist about how to slow down and

manage your stress. | 67


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support locally-owned, independent businesses | 69


do w nt o w n a p e x

support locally-owned, independent businesses

Easter Egg Hunt Apex Town Hall Campus

Saturday, March 28 10:00am

Just bring a basket!

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cary living

sightings Photo © Jason Fisher

Photo © Jason Fisher

Photo © Jason Fisher

Photos © Rob Kinnan Photography


January saw the grand opening of Cary’s new Duck Donuts in Wrenn Plaza. Owners Kelly and Brandon Trimyer already have four Outer Banks locations, Viriginia locations, and are are opening more in Virginia and now New Jersey. You can choose a coating first – peanut butter, strawberry, chocolate, lemon and more, then a topping – peanuts, coconut, even bacon! Wash it down with a fresh, hot cup of coffee.

All photos courtesy of Waverly Place

Snow Day at Waverly Place

On February 14th Waverly Place was transformed into a snowy winter wonderland thanks to sponsors Johnson Subaru of Cary, Red Hot & Blue and GreenPea Baby & Child, who also provided hot chocolate. Sledding and sweets were the highlight of the day for kids and adults alike.

Photos © Rob Kinnan Photography

V’s Barbershop grand opening

V’s Babershop celebrated their grand opening on December 6th, 2014. The day was filled with lots of entertainment, from a local barbershop quartet and a prize wheel with giveaways to discounts on traditional barbershop services and products. The Cary Chamber of Commerce later came out to welcome the new shop with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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MLK Day Stop Hunger Now Event

Following the MLK March, a group of over 175 individuals joined forces to package 10,600 meals for Stop Hunger Now. Students, parents, alums, grandparents and friends gathered to honor the spirit of Dr. King and the MLK Day of Service. Peter Ginsburg and the TRS Diversity Committee helped to make an awesome day, with so many others willing to help make a difference..

Want your Event featured In sightings? Contact us to have a photographer attend your event! • 919-782-4710

Guest Artist Program

Cary Gallery of Artists a new guest artist program, is featuring artists outside of its membership. Betty DiBartolomeo of Pinehurst kicked off the program on January 4th. A Chippewa Indian, Betty studied at the Detroit Institute of Art, and was Director of Corporate and Brand Identity for Kmart. Now retired, she has returned to fine art.

Leadership Cary visits the PNC Arena Leadership Cary is a dynamic group of individuals selected for a six-month program, where they learn more about their community and how to become better leaders within it. The cultural arts and entrainment session features Cary Visual Art, the PNC Arena and the Museum of Natural Sciences. In this photo the group is taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the PNC Arena, where they got a very special view of the Carolina Hurricanes locker room and bench.

Photos courtesy of Cary Chamber of Commerce

Health & MEdical Services Session

The Leadership Cary group’s Health & Medical services session in January was hosted by WakeMed Cary Hospital and Rex Healthcare. In this session, participants had a crash course on CPR at WakeMed, followed by a cholesterol screening, heard enthusiastic speakers talking about nutrition and wellness, and watched a demonstration of the DaVinci Robot. This program is sponsored by WakeMed Cary Hospital, MetLife, Duke Energy, Siemens Medical Solutions, and the Town of Cary.

Cloud b sleep seminar

GreenPea Baby & Child in Waverly Place was thrilled to host the Cloud B Sleep Seminar with sleep consultant Irene Gouge! Irene is the owner of Loving Lessons Pediatric Sleep Consulting and Educational Growth Center. She spent time with moms of children of all ages, addressing common sleep problems and giving them the tools they need to make sleepy time happier and easier. Participants received free gifts valued at over $80, including the coveted Sleep Sheep. This class will repeat throughout the year. | 73

next issue cary living

Planning for financial success Depending on where you are in life, financial planning may be on the fore of your mind or a nagging little afterthought. on the back burner. It is never too soon or too late to let a professional give you great advice on how to stop worrying and start planning your financial future.

kids in summertime Summertime is right around the corner, and kids of all ages want to know how they will wile away the steamy days of summer once SCHOOL’S OUT! We’ll give ideas for both indoor and outdoor adventures to help kids beat the heat while staying active and stimulated.

hidden gems cary Undiscovered places you should make an effort to trek over to and check out– whether you walk, sprint or bike! Cary has a rich history, and whether you’ve lived here for forever or just a short time, there is always something old or new to discover.

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