Midtown Magazine

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d o w n t o w n

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n o r t h

r a l e i g h


winners! l i f e s t y l e


Venues Wedding Stories Alternative

Lisa & Brian



and more!

21st century


j an ua ry / f e b r u a ry

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a note FROM the publisher Publisher/Editor Sioux Watson Advertising Sales Sioux Watson | Julie Shaw | Charis Painter Creative Director Travis Aptt Graphic Design Jennifer Heinser | Lori Lay

Sioux watson Publisher/Editor

Your opinions matter to us. Let us know what you think of this issue of Midtown Magazine. Please email sioux@midtownmag.com with your comments.

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Distribution Manager Jeff Prince Midtown Magazine 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. Midtown Magazine 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. Midtown Magazine will not knowingly accept any real estate advertising in violation of US equal opportunity law.

10 top

for the summer of


the most spectacular










perfect lunch


it’s that time of year




J U LY / A U G U S T

M A R C H / A P R I L

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tailgating tips • apps • recipes


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the what’s with new craze?


YouR CoMFoRt ZoNe


guiDe to VALeNtiNe’S DAY J A N U A RY / f e b R U A RY


Adding ContemporAry touChes to your trAditionAl home

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iphone VERSUS droid S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R

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Photography Davies Photography | Adam Wamsley Photograhy Sean Junqueira Photography


about people in our community. Young Makers will highlight one person creating art or product they hope to earn a full-time living from; Sunday Suppers focuses on how a local chef spends his Sunday night off, and what they might cook in their own kitchen for friends and family. Our annual Diamond Awards celebrate local businesses that excel in our community; our readers vote online and we share the top vote-getters – check out our list and write-ups. We present our first Raleigh Guide to 21st Century Weddings, a fun and playful look at what’s new in weddings. We interview some local newlyweds and hear first-hand their stories, and call upon local wedding professionals to tell us their thoughts on recent trends. Mix it up this year on Valentine’s Day and take yourself to the theater! Whether it’s a ticket for one or two, local talent on the stage presents plenty of fun and romance that’s bound to make you fall in love with live stage acting again. Here’s to a fabulous 2015 to all,


Recently I tossed a box of software from the office closet, and emblazed in large letters on the front was the statement “Y2K Compatible!” What a huge nuisance and waste of time Y2K preparation became! Companies spent months and hundreds of hours to avoid disaster as computers rolled over to 2000 – and nothing happened. Was that major concern really 15 years ago? The ending of 2014 thankfully came with no such technological worries. The calendar has turned over again and it’s time to take just ten minutes to transfer important recurring dates from 2014, such as birthdays, on our fresh new paper 2015 calendars. January marks the cycle of starting afresh and setting personal goals for the year, such as saving more money, getting fit and eating healthier. No January is complete without contemplating joining a gym, devising a new exercise routine, consulting a doctor on ways to be a better you, or at the very least reading about your options in our pages. Here at Midtown we’ve set a few goals for our magazine, too; in each issue we want to give our readers more local stories from more local voices than ever before. We’ve added some new writers to complement the existing ones, and added more regular features

Contributing Writers Christa Gala | Kate Turgeon Watson Dan Bain | Jenni Hart | Page Leggett Kurt Dusterberg | Dave Droschak Elie Rossetti-Serraino | Anna Churchill Karlie Justus Marlowe | Adam Sobsey Adam Wamsley | Julie Johnson | Paul Savery Paul M. Stone | Corbie Hill

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Subscriptions 6 print issues (1 year) only $20 Available online via paypal ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 4818 Six Forks Road, Suite 204 Raleigh, NC 27609 Phone 919.782.4710, Fax 919.782.4763 www.midtownmag.com

contents j a n uary/ february


features 61 2015 diamond awards

The best of what the Raleigh area has to offer. Midtown Magazine asked you, our readers, to name names. You did. The best in dining, what’s around town, shopping and services, as well as beauty and fitness.

98 What’s your excuse?

Nearly half of Americans make one or more New Year’s resolutions. Let’s take a closer look.

Relief for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Winter Wellness 102 110

Living Large

Sauropod dinosaurs are front and center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science.

118 In the Middle

Stronger Together symposium is designed to help women navigate the health challenges of middle age.


21st century wedding guide

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contents january/ february


departments 22 on the scene 32 Midtown reviews 40 ask elie 42 bain’s beat 46 beauty style 48 on trend 50 pack your bags 52 raising the bar 54 suds & spirits 56 sunday supper 58 young makers 96 calendar 104 COMPLETE THE ROOM 126 midtown downtown 136 healthy you 143 midtown mingles 146 looking back


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d o w n t o w n

a n d


n o r t h

r a l e i g h

diAmond AwArd

winners! l i f e s t y l e


Venues weddinG stories AlternAtiVe

lisA & BriAn


special thanks to Tara Beddingfield of Adoring Photography and Events for our cover photo


And more!

21st century


january /f e b r uary


The scene



At-home hot chocolate Videri’s Sipping Chocolate

A Lot of Chocolate Raleigh’s hot cocoa

By Kate Turgeon Watson / Photography By Sean Junqueira Hot chocolate is a no-brainer during the cold days of winter. Really. Everybody’s drinking it. Just try finding mini marshmallows at the grocery the day before a wintry mix. For the times when you aren’t snowed in and making it yourself, Raleigh has plenty to offer in the way of prepared-foryou, gourmet hot chocolate. Let’s meet a couple mugs now.

Sola Coffee

They start with a handmade sauce containing Dutchprocessed cocoa, sugar and just enough oil to mix well. Why Dutch chocolate? It’s a little darker so the color is more vibrant, explains Sola’s Lyle Sacco. The next step is to steam whole milk from Homeland Creamery (Julian, North Carolina.) Similar to a latte, the bubbles get going and – when it’s ready – are stirred by hand into the chocolate sauce just a bit at a time. The perfect complement to hot chocolate has to be Sola’s hot minis, which are cinnamon doughnuts made in house at this North Raleigh coffee shop. Looking to ramp up your hot chocolate? Sola’s peppermint mocha is its hot chocolate with two shots of espresso and peppermint oil.

Videri Chocolate Factory

Choices, choices. At Videri the menu includes a three-ounce 22 | midtownmag.com

1. Heat 10 oz. milk (or milk substitute) in a small pot over medium heat. 2. Once milk is steaming, stir in 4 Tbsp sipping chocolate mix (which is made from organic roasted cocoa nibs, organic cane sugar and organic cocoa butter).

pour of sipping chocolate, which is its 70 percent chocolate melted down 3. Stir until thoroughly with added cream. Don’t mixed. be surprised if you think that won’t be enough and 4. Serve warm. Makes change your mind after about 2-3 servings. enjoying the richness of it. Other chocolate Pro tips: Add more sipping choices: traditional hot chocolate mix for thicker chocolate, frozen hot consistency. (Add more chocolate, mochas made milk, less mix for a more with Stumptown Coffee traditional hot chocolate.) and even a chocolate tea. For the ultimate sipping Stroll into the downtown chocolate experience, use factory with its vintage feel heavy cream. and you may see patrons ordering a “hot shot,” which is sipping chocolate (or traditional) made with Vesta hot dry sauce. “The chocolate is made here and we use it for every step,” explains owner Starr Sink. Looking for a chocolate to enjoy with a cup of traditional hot chocolate? “The truffles,” she suggests. “Maybe a caramel or a butter cream.”

E. Eugene Bain III, M.D. ebain@baindermatology.com

7200 Creedmoor Road Suite 104 Raleigh, NC 27613 919.518.0999 F 919.518.0939


b aind erm a tology.com

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The scene



All-In-One and One-For-All Ohm Portable Speaker & Wireless Charging Dock By Dan Bain Maria Morrill was disappointed in the options she found when researching portable speakers, so she followed the age-old advice – “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Morrill pitched an idea to Quirky.com, a website where would-be inventors can submit their concepts for evaluation, manufacture and ultimate sale. Her device, Ohm, combines a portable Bluetooth® speaker with an inductive charging dock. The dock is large enough to hold the speaker and a portable device such as a smartphone or MP3 player. As long as the device is Qi-enabled, it will charge wirelessly from the dock, along with the speaker. Once charged, the speaker promises six to eight hours of continuous playback – take it with you, drop it on the charging dock when you get home, and let it recharge for the next trip. It has a Bluetooth range up to 30 feet, further enhancing its portability. Available in white or black plastic and silicone, Ohm will look good on your nightstand, entertainment center or desk – and can double as a speakerphone. For those non-wireless situations, it also has a highoutput USB port, and includes a 3.5mm audio cable and a USB-to-microUSB cable. The device is available for $169.99 at quirky.com – just search “ohm.” 24 | midtownmag.com

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The scene



Clockwise from top left: Lizzie Rope Bib Necklace, $38/Furbish Studio; estate cuff, $3,795/ Bailey’s; estate bracelet, $4,750/Bailey’s; Georgiana Cuff, $165/Hyla DeWitt Jewelry; Brazilian Agates Cuff, $68/Furbish Studio.

Left to Right: Rosie ring, $200/Edge of Urge; Red Cluster Stud, $38/Zass Design; Fleur Pearl, $56/Hyla DeWitt Jewelry; Two Tone Arrow in Bunting necklace, $45/Metamorphosis Metals; yellow diamond ring, $464,000/Bailey’s; Onyx X Studs, $65/Hyla DeWitt Jewelry; Vineyard Oval Ring, $68/Moon & Lola; Brockton necklace, $48/Moon & Lola; sapphire, $65,000/Bailey’s; estate ram’s head ring, $3,495/ Bailey’s; estate brooch, $1,895/Bailey’s; Blue cameo, $995/Bailey’s; round diamond ring, $129,500/ Bailey’s; Large Bug Drop Earring, $95/Furbish Studio. All chocolate from Videri Chocolate Shop.

Sweet Spot

Candy-Colored Gems for Valentine’s Day and Beyond By Karlie Justus Marlowe / Photography By David Davies This Valentine’s Day, think outside the chocolate box. Cupid’s quiver is full of arrows of the sterling silver, 14-karat or rose gold variety – and while the god of love and desire is more of a minimalist when it comes to accessorizing, there are many Raleigh-based jewelry designers and boutiques that stock a range of styles for the perfect stack. Hyla DeWitt’s fresh line of native, nature-inspired statement pieces is a good starting point for unique structural pieces. The Raleigh designer combines ropes, agate gemstones and delicate spikes with of-the-moment brass accents, which can be found online and locally at gena chandler. “With my jewelry,” said DeWitt, “you can wear the same little black dress over and over with different pieces.” Just because the color of love happens to be red, don’t shy away from the full spectrum. “Color is a big statement for spring – we’re seeing lots of topaz, amethyst and emerald,” said Stefanie Hinojosa, general manager of Bailey’s Jewelry. 26 | midtownmag.com

Classic brands David Yurman and John Hardy stock these saturated statement pieces, while Ippolita’s delicate bracelets are dotted with bright hits of color meant to be layered. More casual tassels and statement pieces like pairs of gold cuffs will carry through the summer and fall as well. And while gifting jewelry can be intimidating, start with an inventory of the recipient’s current jewelry collection for an idea of styles and existing gaps – or scroll through Pinterest, a virtual treasure trove of clues. Shop for unique pieces like vintage costume jewelry or estate pieces from Bailey’s new estate jewelry store, where every piece has a story and won’t have a single twin in the Triangle. But most of all, keep it personal – whether you’re single, attached or simply stocking up for the spring season. “A gift of jewelry is usually a gift of the heart,” said Moon & Lola’s Kelly Shatat, the artist behind Oprah’s favorite monogrammed jewelry. “Choosing a piece that brings her happiness is as important as choosing a piece that complements her existing jewels and lifestyle.”

The scene



Emily Beasley’s art shows emotion and vulnerability.

Head Shot

Charcoal portraits that look like photographs; Emily Beasley loves faces. By Christa Gala Emily Beasley was all set to go to nursing school at the University of Kentucky after graduating high school, but she changed her mind at the last minute. “I just decided I wanted to do art, ultimately, rather than something I wasn’t really passionate about for the rest of my life,” says Beasley, 19, who just finished up her first year at The Art Institute of Chicago and decided to take one semester off, cooling her heels in Raleigh through the summer. Why Raleigh? “I’ve been to the Raleigh area before just visiting, and I really liked it,” says Beasley, originally from South Carolina. “I didn’t want to move all the way back home for my semester off, but I wanted to be a little bit closer than up in Chicago and take a break from the polar vortex of their winter.” Beasley might be taking a break from school, but she’s immersed in art; her charcoal portraits show emotion and vulnerability – something that’s typically hard to capture when drawing the human face. “A lot of them are really sentimental to me; one of them is of my art teacher, who really got me into charcoal in the first place. I put my whole 28 | midtownmag.com

heart into it because I love the people that I’m doing it for or that I’m doing it of. It also makes me feel vulnerable through my work and really shows myself to the people viewing my work; it’s really cathartic for me in that way.” She’s worked in other mediums, but likes charcoal the best. “It shows the contrast really well. It can be very forgiving, but also very stern in a way,” she says. “My work tends to focus on raw human emotion and connection, and I feel like charcoal is the best way for me to get that across.” Beasley take photographs of her subject first and spends a good bit of time studying them. “My process has always been just finding the kinks and evening them out, and really paying attention to shapes and values,” she says. And no matter where she is, she’s always practicing. “I’m never really without a sketchbook in hand. I’m constantly drawing; some sketches turn into full-blown works and others remain sketches.” Beasley sells portraits through her Pinterest store and has also tried posting her work on Craigslist. A 16"x20" charcoal portrait costs $200. While in Raleigh, Beasley is also putting her teaching skills to the test, working with kids in preschool through second grade at Wild at Art Studio in Five Points. “My ultimate hope would be to be an independent artist. I’m just kind of feeling it out for right now.” View Beasley’s work at pinterest.com/ ebeasleyartwork/my-artwork.

The scene



Local athlete Faizal Hamdoon wrestled at Broughton High School but is now trying a new challenge most take for granted – running.

A Special Stride Overcoming Obstacles By David Droschak We were all hit up for donations during the holidays. It’s part of the tradition of giving. As we head into 2015 there is one more “ask” that may be worth taking a look at. It surrounds the story of Faizal Hamdoon, a junior at North Carolina Central University, who is trying to qualify for the Paralympics and raise money to get to the competition in Brazil in 2016.

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The 24-year-old is not close to his goal of $10,000, but it’s not the first time, or likely the last time Hamdoon will have to overcome a major obstacle. The fact that he is on the track, running and training for such an accomplishment, defies the odds after being born with a rare birth defect and bone deformity condition called Melorheostosis. Only 400 cases are known to exist around the world. Hamdoon, who lives with his younger brother and mother near Crabtree Valley Mall (where he works two jobs to support the family), moved to America to escape the civil strife of Sri Lanka, has undergone 14 surgeries, two amputations (the last above his right knee), and faced deportation when his father suddenly passed away in 2008. Hamdoon has spent most of his life on crutches, and didn’t learn how to run until four years ago after receiving a grant from the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Prior, Hamdoon wrestled at Broughton High School in Raleigh and was an accomplished swimmer, but he chose another athletic path at age 18 – sprints. “I wanted to run but I was very scared. I never had any experience, never had two feet underneath myself,” he said, explaining that he first trained at a camp in Pensacola, Florida, before returning to the Triangle. “When I got back to Raleigh I would pick out landmarks in the neighborhood and I would run there. Then the next day I would run to the next tree after that, and I just kept running.” Fast forward to today. Hamdoon trains at NC Central under the watchful eye of sprint, coach T.J. Walker, hoping to make the Eagles team next season and qualify for the 100- and 200-meters. His best time is 13.5 seconds. He needs to run 13.3 in order to compete in the big time. “I must say when other athletes see me on the track it makes them push harder,” Hamdoon said. “God created me for a reason, so if I can at least inspire one person a day, I love it. It brings me joy because I’ve seen it in person.” To read more about Hamdoon’s story, visit www.gofundme.com/9x68ps.




Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen Rated: PG-13 Opens: 1/9/2015 Plot: An ex-government operative is accused of a ruthless murder he never committed. As he is tracked and pursued, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) brings out his particular set of skills to find the true killer and clear his name.

fifty Shades of Grey Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Druran Rated: Not Yet Rated Opens: 2/13/2015 Plot: Literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, and encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too – but on his own terms. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family – Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires. *Opening dates and ratings are subject to change.

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Starring: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum Rated: PG-13 Opens: 2/6/2015 Plot: Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her.


Starring: Antonio Banderas, Tom Kenny Rated: Not Yet Rated Opens: 2/6/2015 Plot: SpongeBob goes on a super heroic quest to discover a stolen recipe that takes him to our dimension, our world, where he and his friends tangle with a real pirate.


Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro Rated: R Opens: 2/27/2015 Plot: A veteran grifter and con artist takes a young, attractive woman under his wing as an apprentice in this crime comedy, but things get complicated when they become romantically involved.



FIRST KISS (Kid Rock) Release Date: 02/24/2015 First Kiss was produced entirely by Kid Rock (save for two songs co-produced by Dan Huff) and recorded in his Michigan studio. The album was created right after Kid Rock wrapped his $20 Best Night Ever Tour. A new single is coming in early 2015. What will it sound like? Kid Rock’s camp isn’t giving anything away: “First Kiss signals the continued evolution of one of music’s most versatile performers,” reads a press release. “But we’re not going to tell you what it sounds like – we just couldn’t do it justice and we’re confident the music will speak for itself.”

American Beauty/American Psycho (Fall Out Boy) Release Date: 01/20/2015 Fall Out Boy began writing American Beauty/American Psycho (sixth studio album) in the summer of 2014 while still promoting their previous release Save Rock and Roll. The band stated that the album will have a “new sound”. then continued to say, “Some people will love it, some people will hate it. The four of us like it a lot, so we’re happy”.

Reflection (Fifth Harmony) Release Date: 01/27/2015 After finishing in third place on the second season of The X Factor, Fifth Harmony announced they would be releasing a full-length album in the fall of 2014 (now delayed until January 27th, 2015). The group said that the album is less pop and has a more mature sound than the previously released Better Together.

F.E.A.R. (Papa Roach) Release Date: 01/27/2015 Singer Jacoby Shaddix described F.E.A.R. as “probably the most positive record we’ve written,” adding, “There’s obviously been an element of hope within the despair of the music that we write, and I think that that’s always key, and that’s very important to what we do, is to always have that element of hope, and that’s laced throughout the record.” *Release dates are subject to change.

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Wallflower (Diana Krall) Release Date: 02/23/2015 Wallflower is Krall’s first studio effort since 2012’s Glad Rag Doll, produced by T Bone Burnett, which debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and at No. 1 on the Jazz Albums chart. Produced by David Foster, Wallflower is a collection of songs from the late 60s to present day that inspired Krall in her early years. It includes Krall’s take on such classics as The Eagles’ Desperado, The Mamas & The Papas’ California Dreamin, Elton John’s Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word and Harry Nilsson’s Everybody’s Talkin’.



BY michael t. gallo, Wine Manager – Total Wine & More

Chappellet Cabernet Napa Signature


94 Beverage Dynamics

Louis Bouillot Rose

Rondel GOLD Brut Cava

A to Z Pinot Noir


91 Beverage Dynamics


Wine & Spirits

Wine Spectator

best served in:

Int’l Wine Cellar

De Margerie Grand Cru Brut

Napa, California

Champagne, France

Burgundy, France


Boasts very good intensity, with ripe, penetrating acidity framing and enlivening the flavors of currant, pepper, herbs and tobacco leaf. The broad tannins are dusty but not dry and the finish displays good length and a light touch. Intense, Chocolate, Cedar, Full-bodied

Simply gorgeous! A crisp, clean blend of 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay from the famed Bouzy region. Pale gold in color, with a nose of red fruit, followed by a lively palate filled with pin-point bubbles that caress the palate into a long, refreshing finish.

A sophisticated rosé made using the Champagne method from Pinot Noir grapes. Pale rose in color with a medium body and fine bubbles. The bouquet and palate feature cherry and strawberry notes with a dry, creamy finish. Superb with salmon, shrimp and lobster.

An elegant new package from our best-selling sparkling producer. More fruity than dry, this “extreme brut” is filled with soft peach and nut flavors, their fragrance lifted by white pepper and floral tones of white lilies. Briny and fresh, the flavors last. Crisp, Peach, Fruity, Light-bodied





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Sleek and tightly packed, with delicate layers of cherry, tobacco and cocoa flavors mingling against refined tannins, persisting pleasantly on the light-stepping finish. Elegant, Raspberry, Spice, Cassis, Medium-bodied




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For all your answers on things fashion, style and trends

photography © getzstudios.com

Costumista & Wardrobe Style arbiter

My mother gave me an old French beret that belonged to my grandmother – is it okay to use it?


I know it is Winter and the “after Labor Day “ rule may apply to accessories, but I’m having hard time letting go of my Michael Kors off-white big tote for this cold season.

You are asking an “after Labor Day” rule rebel. I even feel comfortable wearing white jeans in New York during winter with boots, because is the “thing” now and on-trend – but I would not carry a white tote during typical winter weather. For us fashionistas in North Carolina, winter is milder and unpredictable – we wear flipflops on a warm Saturday and snow boots on the following Monday. I would suggest carrying your white leather tote on any nice day of North Carolina weather and to any warmer place South of it, but use a more wintery (maybe in dark leather) bag when traveling north to a city with cold winter elements.

As warmer days approach I never know how to dress appropriately. How do I layer?

Sanda, sent via Facebook

Debora, sent via Facebook

Only a few of my berets survived the “closet clean-up” over the past few years. I have one in real Peruvian Alpaca wool from Paris and several more in camel, charcoal and grey that I’ve purchased over the years. Why did I keep them? A traditional beret is a staple for period costuming of the 30s and 40s, and later for its revival of the 70s like a pillbox hat would belong to the 50s. You’ll never know when something vintage that is easy to wear (unlike a pillbox hat) will be brought back on fashion runways by designers proposing retro chic. As a matter of fact, for this winter they are all over the magazines in winter white and black. The plus of wearing a beret? Tiny or wide, they look good on any face shape, with any hair length and with or without glasses.

In a traditional “four season” climate, the wardrobe transition from cold to warm weather requires mastering the layering of three indispensable pieces of clothing:

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Cat, Raleigh

1. The Lightweight Chiffon Wool Scarf It is lighter that a pashmina or a traditional knitted scarf. Made of a very sheer chiffon-like wool, it usually

FollowElie Instagram.com/EliePhotoStylist Facebook.com/ArbiterElieGantiarum Twitter.com/EliePhotoStyle Vine: Elie Rossetti Serraino Blog: ArbiterEliegantiarum.typepad.com Submit your question info@eliephotostylist.com

comes in a shawl size that can be used as such on a dress. It adapts well either with a light jacket or a more heavy coat. 2. The Cotton Peacoat It is an unlined cotton three-quarter length raincoat. The style looks like a peacoat jacket, but it has the same fabric weight of a trenchcoat. For a colder morning you can layer it with a formal jacket underneath or a quilted vest, depending on the temperature of the day. If it rains but gets warmer as the day progresses I just remove the jacket and use it directly on a cloth shirt or a cotton three-quarter sleeved jersey. 3. The Unlined All-Season Jacket The quintessential middle season piece to wear under the raincoat or by itself. Choose it in cotton jersey or light wool. It is best for it to be totally unlined or quarter lined, meaning only the shoulders or the sleeves are lined. Can be used for an office outfit on a simple top, or as outerwear.

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bain’s beat

Silly Love Songs Speaking the Languish of Love

G by Dan bain, Silent Mover, danbain07@gmail.com

uys, let’s admit it – we have difficulty expressing our feelings. We try to compliment a woman, but out comes an insult. Or worse – a threat. But don’t feel bad; even the best among us, famous for wooing with words, have had their share of verbal failures. Check out these questionable lyrics from what should have been love songs… The Beach Boys God Only Knows One of the best ever written, this truly is a wonderful love song, expressing how awful this man’s life would be without having this woman in it – a beautiful, romantic sentiment. Why, then, oh why, did they ruin it with the initial line? This timeless classic

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starts out, “I may not always love you.” Pretty much negates anything else he’s about to say, doesn’t it? Jackson 5 I Want You Back “When I had you to myself, I didn’t want you around. Those pretty faces always made you stand out in a crowd. But someone picked you from the bunch; one glance was all it took. Now it’s much too late for me to take a second look. Oh! Baby, give me one more chance!” Sorry, but no. You don’t deserve one more chance. Not only did you not want her around, you pretty much called her ugly – how else would pretty faces make her stand out? And if

you really cared for her, you wouldn’t compare her to produce in a grocery store; the new guy didn’t pick her from a bunch, he fell for her – like you should have. Good try, though. The pleading, the admitting you were wrong – you almost had our sympathy, until you let your arrogance show again: “Oh darlin’, I was blind to let you go.” Dude. If you were trying to admit you were wrong, you should have left it at that. Let’s review, shall we? You didn’t let her go, she left you. And you don’t deserve what your song title claims you want. Pure Prairie League Amie “I can see why you think you belong to me. I never tried to make you think Or let you see one thing for yourself. But now you’re off with someone else and I’m alone. You see, I thought that I might keep you for my own.” Awww! You thought you might keep Amie, and continue to treat her like a mindless possession? Only she wised up and left you? Pitiful. And much like the Jackson 5’s jealous rant, you’re not content with simply admitting wrongdoing. Instead, you have to add the backhanded compliment: “I think I could stay with you. / For a while, maybe longer if I do…I keep fallin’ in and out of love with you.” Run, Amie. And don’t look back. Bruce Springsteen: As the working class poet, the Boss earned two entries: Thunder Road A tender salute to lost youth, and a man making a desperate last stand to reclaim it with the woman he’s loved from afar. It starts out strong, with him showing up at her house to sweep her off her feet. “Don’t run back inside, Darlin’. You know just what I’m here for. So you’re scared and you’re thinking That maybe we ain’t that young anymore. Show a little faith; there’s magic in the night…” Aww. He’s doing well, isn’t he? Saying all the right words so far? Too bad he didn’t stop, instead of continuing with this blunder: “You ain’t a beauty, but hey, you’re alright.” But hey, just in case she’s bothered by her lack of good looks, he tries to reassure her: “Yeah, and that’s alright with me.” Big of him, isn’t it? I hope she ran back inside and slammed the screen door again. Then bolted it shut. Hungry Heart “Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack. I went out for a ride, and I never went back.” One of the most touching songs ever written from the standpoint of a deadbeat dad. midtownmag.com | 43

The Beatles Run For Your Life A kickin’ melody, with lyrics pointing to the absolute desperation this man would feel if his love left him. Unfortunately, the title is literal; she would need to escape from him if she wanted to live: “I’d rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man. You’d better keep your head, little girl, or you won’t know where I am. You’d better run for your life if you can, little girl. Hide your head in the sand, little girl. Catch you with another man, that’s the end, little girl.” It took one verse to turn from a love song into an absolutely chilling portrait of the ultimate abusive relationship. Rodgers & Hart My Funny Valentine “Your looks are laughable – Unphotographable.” Do I really need to provide any commentary here? The Turtles Elenore “Elenore, gee, I think you’re swell, And you really do me well. You’re my pride and joy, etcetera.” Etcetera? This guy can’t even be bothered to come up with the right words! Next…. U2 With or Without You “I can’t live with or without you.” If you can’t live with her, then you don’t get to. 44 | midtownmag.com

REM The One I Love “This one goes out to the one I left behind – A simple prop, to occupy my time.” Just wow. Props for honesty, though. Meatloaf Two out of Three Ain’t Bad “I want you. I need you. But there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you. Now, don’t be sad, ‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad.” Yes, Meatloaf, yes it is bad. Eric Clapton Wonderful Tonight A man drags his trophy wife to a party, and feels validated by her looks. She should leave him at the Crossroads. Billy Joel Always a Woman This little ditty paints a hateful picture of women as conniving, hurtful, fickle, lying, cruel thieves who’ll “carelessly cut you and laugh while you’re bleeding.” Pure misogyny, set to a pretty piano riff.

So never mind the singing, boys. Even the best among us, turn woos into woes; apparently, words fail us. This Valentine’s Day, if you really want to move her heart, you should avoid moving your mouth. midtownmag.com| 45

beautystyle by anna churchill, synergy spa & Aesthetics, >> feelsynergy.com



A fresh start. A new beginning. Take the time in the new year, for a new you! January is the perfect time to commence a beauty overhaul. Now get ready to ring in 2015 by improving your mind, body, and overall wellness.

Baby Foot

Avène Cold Cream Lip Balm Prepare your lips for Valentine’s Day! This rich formula immediately relieves dry, flaky, chapped lips with its emollient barrier. Immediately softens lips as it heals, restores and protects. Clinically proven to remain pucker proof for eight hours. >>

$14, aveneusa.com

Renew yourself from head to toe! Baby Foot’s exclusive combination of 17 types of natural extracts exfoliate and moisturize at the same time. This gentle fruit acid peel will leave your feet reborn just like a baby’s foot! >>


$25, babyfootusa.com

Want to shed those post-holiday pounds? Chill out! CoolSculpting’s unique technology uses controlled cooling to freeze and eliminate unwanted fat cells without surgery or downtime. FDA-cleared, safe and effective, results are lasting and undeniable. >>

for pricing and area providers visit coolsculpting.com

Art Of Tea Sip your way to better health in 2015! These delicious teas come in a variety of flavors sure to please even the most discerning tea connoisseur. Tea boosts exercise endurance and is full of antioxidants and very hydrating to the body. Choose either a black or green tea to get the best benefit per cup! >>

Wellness Tea Sampler, $25, artoftea.com

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Teamine Eye Complex Say bye-bye to your holiday partying ways, or at least the evidence! Teamine Eye Complex advanced technology visibly diminishes dark under-eye circles and smooths, firms and brightens while reducing the look of fines lines and wrinkles. >>

$70, revisionskincare.com

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on trend photograph © adam wamsley

A foundation of signature pieces are Brooke’s key to her signature sleek style.

Style Statements By adam wamsley


ith the advent of Pinterest and an endless amount of style blogs, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of the latest trends and varying opinions. Rather than refining themes from past fashion weeks, we thought it valuable to seek advice from a local tastemaker found right here in North Carolina. Brooke Holland, owner of the web-based consignment boutique shopbhook and the director of operations at Mark Christopher Salon in Raleigh, stood out with her sleek Alexander Wang inspired aesthetic. Stopping by her flat downtown, we delved into how she has created her bold personal style. Whether she’s frequenting a local shop, on a Parisian trip abroad, or simply browsing online, Brooke says she constantly keeps watch for unique 48 | midtownmag.com

pieces that grab her attention. “At this point in my life, I’ve finally learned to save my money.” She explains, “Instead of buying six cheaper variations, I save up for one high-quality item although it may be more expensive.” By doing this, she creates a small collection of high-caliber staples that can be restyled with varying affordable pieces to create a broad and versatile wardrobe. “Your staple items are what define your personal style,” says Brooke. Today hers is a gold bunny ring, black leather jacket, and a pair of SuperRetroFuture sunglasses. When asked what she considers to be a key element to personal style, she stated, “It’s all about feeling confident,” and further emphasized the importance of feeling your best when leaving the house in the morning as well as what you wear when going to sleep each night. “You should dress for you, not anyone else.”

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pack yourbags

The Future is Here C

ruising is no longer the old fashioned entertainment seen on your Aunt Ethel’s favorite show, The Love Boat. The cruising industry has evolved at a rapid rate over the last 20 years with many signature moments and industry firsts. There are hundreds of new destinations and styles of ships that have been added to the already dizzying options in the cruise world. There literally is something for everyone, whether you are new to cruising or are a sailing aficionado. Many special treats await, making cruising an ideal vacation choice. Perhaps the most monumental leap (that may throw your Aunt Ethel in a tizzy but get most everyone else off their seats) is the introduction of The Quantum of the Seas, from Royal Caribbean International, the inventors of WOW. This latest breakthrough is all about giving guests entertainment and interactive options never before witnessed on a ship, and in some cases a first-of-a-kind experience not found anywhere else in the world. When given an opportunity to be one of the first guests on The Quantum of the Seas prior to its first full sailing, I jumped at the chance and went for 10

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days in November. The amount of hype surrounding this new ship was right on – it is described as part cruise ship, part spaceship – a ship you have to experience to have a true understanding of how cutting-edge and satisfying a trip can be. I will do my best to describe the highlights and the sense of awe, wonderment and subtle delights that await those that embark on this great ship. Before I even boarded the Quantum I was impressed; upon check in, instead of the normal line and paperwork I simply handed them my passport and boarding pass. A swipe of my passport on an interactive tablet was all it took to check me in – and I hadn’t even reached the terminal yet. Entering the vessel shortly thereafter, I was hit by the grandeur and high-tech feel that is consistent throughout the whole ship. It feels like a stroll through an upscale city neighborhood with tall buildings, colorful art, intimate cafes, shops, and taverns. And then there are the robots. Yes, robotic bartenders at the Bionic Bar. The bartender did not talk or smile, but he (she?) made a mean cocktail. No chit-chat with this mixologist, but combine one part Tom Cruise’s skills in the movie Cocktail with two parts of the futuristic

technology that was the backdrop in Oblivion and you get the idea. Two robots behind the bar can handle several hundred drink options, and once you match IDs with your interactive wristband they’ll even slide your drink down the bar to you. The entertainment options are just as mind boggling. Historically entertainment on the mega ships offer a great variety, but occasionally the quality and brevity leave you underwhelmed. Not so on the Quantum – a full twohour production of Mama Mia awaited us on our first night. The gentleman next to me said he was just in New York and saw Mama Mia on Broadway, and this version was better and didn’t cost $200. In the panoramic 270 degree multipurpose room we saw a production called Starwater, which gave the most glorious views of the ocean on interactive screens wider than IMAX and cost a whopping $27 million. Additional moving screens are part of the stage, and combined with music, live singing, dance and imagery make for a world class production unlike anything I’ve ever seen; Part Cirque, part Busby Berkely, part MTV and part Broadway. One of the beauties of the Quantum is that there is something for all ages. Adults and older children can experience the sky diving simulator, Ripcord by Fly; kids of all ages can enjoy the North Star, a video and audio experience bringing viewers close to the skies and the ocean, and the first bumper cars at sea. Other signature items available on this and many Royal Caribbean ships include the Flo Rider surfing simulator, trapeze, ropes course and climbing wall. The evolution of cruising and vacation travel continues to fast forward at an accelerated speed as Royal Caribbean continues to impress – and the Quantum is clearly the next big thing, at least until the other inventive cruise lines up the ante. Cruising has joined the modern tech age and can satisfy even the most spoiled traveler, young and old – even your Aunt Ethel.

by Paul M. Stone, Expedia CruiseShipCenters

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raising thebar




My little brother was caught shoplifting. He’s a good kid but made a dumb decision. Will this haunt him for the rest of his life? Melanie, Raleigh Hopefully not. If this is your brother’s first offense, he will qualify for a first offender’s program. This usually consists of community service hours, fines, and staying out of trouble for a year. If he completes this with no issues, the case will be dismissed and is able to be expunged from his record. ~ Steven Saad

Will my brother need to mention his expunged charge on his college application next year? Melanie, Raleigh No. Treat expunged cases as if they never happened. That is the purpose of an expungement and the reason we generally only get one for a lifetime. Admissions offices understand this procedure; they do not expect applicants to include these charges in their disclosures. ~ Steven Saad Can my friends and I be fired for things we write on Facebook about our bosses? John, Cary Yes. Most employees can be fired for any reason that isn’t related to a protected status, such as race or sex. Trashing your boss on social media could be a career ender. The National Labor Relations Board takes the position that some postings on Facebook and other social media can be protected, but only if they relate to common working conditions affecting 52 | midtownmag.com

Have a question? Let us hear it: raisingthebar@midtownmag.com

more than just the person who posted them. So, if you and your friends use social media just to vent your personal feelings, you do so at your own peril. ~ Paul Derrick My company won’t let me take my two weeks of vacation all at once. Can they do that? Anna, Raleigh Yes. Unless you have a contract that says otherwise, your employer has the right to decide how much vacation you can take at one time. Your absence for two consecutive weeks could be a hardship on business operations, particularly during a busy period. Your employer cannot completely deny you vacation time that you have earned, but you should make your request as far in advance as possible and understand


Steven Saad

Criminal Defense

that your willingness to be flexible and a “team player” will score some points for you in the long run. ~ Paul Derrick Are there laws about making video tutorials for software applications, like Microsoft Excel? Derek, Raleigh Generally, there aren’t laws prohibiting you from making such tutorials. And when you create a video tutorial, you will have copyright interests immediately upon creation of the work; you can register it with a copyright office for certain benefits. One thing to be careful about is not using the software’s trademarks (i.e. Microsoft or Excel) when advertising your services or products. ~ Rupen Fofaria

Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP | www.cshlaw.com

Paul Derrick

Employment Law

Rupen Fofaria

Intellectual Property

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.

suds& spirits

Valentine’s Day Brews By julie johnson


f you haven’t discovered the romantic potential of beer, a delightful surprise awaits. In time for Valentine’s Day, North Carolina’s craft brewers are preparing oneoff specialties that are lush, spicy, floral or sensual – a far cry from the pale, fizzy beverage we all know. The darkest of the ale styles, stout, is often described as having flavors of chocolate or coffee; not surprisingly, some brewers have taken such observations literally, boosting those notes with the addition of the real thing. Durham’s Ponysaurus Brewing Co. created Videri Chocolate Stout with chocolate nibs added at the end of fermentation, giving the beer a character similar to a bar of fine dark chocolate, with a

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dry, not sweet, finish. Available in the brewery’s distinctive paper-wrapped bottles, and sporting an alcohol content of 7.2%, this is a sipping beer for two. If you’re in Wilmington for Valentine’s Day, catch the tapping of another special-release stout. Sinful Stout is in the sweet stout tradition, with an addition of cold-brewed coffee for a smoothness that hides its 6% strength. You can take a growler to go, or sit at the bar and drink in the atmosphere of this historic downtown spot. Big Boss in Raleigh is also infatuated with chocolateinfused dark beers, but instead of stout, their Big Operator is based on a Belgian black ale. Medium-roast cacao nibs from local roasters Escazu and a late addition of raspberry purée create a “raspberry cordial” of a beer. Available from late January, Big Operator is not only a good match for Valentine chocolates, but also pairs well with roast meats. Romance can have its lighter side, of course, and so can romantic beer. Carolina Belle, from Beer Army Combat Brewing in Trenton, is a wheat ale sweetened with local honey, and balanced with tartness from hibiscus flowers, which also give the beer a pinkish cast. With a gentle alcohol content of 4.6%, Belle is a festive companion for a light seafood dinner – oysters, perhaps? Finally, if your love life is complicated, a little bitterness may be in order – for your beer, not for you. For Valentine’s, Raleigh Brewing Company will release a small batch of No Love Lost India Pale Lager: strong at 7%, and bitter in the manner of an India pale ale…but mellowed, like an old love recalled, by lager-style conditioning.

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Feels Like Home Chris Hill, Executive Chef at Faire Restaurant now calls North Carolina home By Sioux watson


hile in high school, young Chris went to work washing dishes in Marquette’s North Michigan University cafeteria in the Upper Peninsula to earn money to buy a car of his own. One day he was offered a prep job, and he became hooked on kitchen work. The son of an American father and a Vietnamese mother, Chris grew up in a two-cuisine household with boisterous gatherings at mealtime. After college one spring Chris and two buddies bought a van and hit the road for a Southern climes and adventures, ending up in Carolina Beach, North Carolina. After a land-locked life, a surfing habit quickly developed and he worked evenings in restaurants in order to surf by day. He met his wife Amy there and they moved to the Triangle where work was more plentiful, and Chris could work in higher-end restaurants. He landed at the highly regarded Fox & Hound, where he was introduced to French cuisine and began to learn about using local ingredients. A stint in Oregon at a Mt. Hood ski resort introduced him to volume food prep and running a really large kitchen, then five years in Asheville at The Grove Park Inn moved his expertise toward excellence in fine 56 | midtownmag.com

dining and staffing for a high-end dining room. A move back to the Triangle in 2007 allowed him to become executive chef at the MacGregor Downs Country Club restaurant in Cary, then at Raleigh’s restaurant The Oxford. When Faire opened in October 2014, he was promoted by the owners of The Oxford, Eschelon Group, to be the executive chef. Now Sundays are his day to be at home and spend time with wife Amy, a local photographer with her own company (627 Photography, specializing in family portraiture) and young daughters Fiona (5) and Lucy (3). Sunday mornings Chris likes to figure out what to cook that evening, and both girls love helping organize the evening meal with their dad before setting off with their parents for outdoor family adventures such as Pullen Park, museums, or one of the many fine public parks in Cary, where they reside. We asked Chris for a recipe of something he might serve on a Sunday evening at home to his family, and he gave us this recipe for Leek, Mushroom and Chicken Pie. We think comfort food doesn’t get any better than this! Chris also gives us his recommendation for our next Sunday Supper Chef – look for his choice next issue.

Leek, Mushroom and Chicken Pie Ingredients 10 oz all-purpose flour 1 lb hormone-free chicken breast diced 2 leeks, cut in half moons ½ white onion, fine diced 2 thyme springs, cleaned and chopped ½ lb cremini mushrooms, small diced 2 oz dry sherry 1 qt poultry stock ½ cup heavy whipping cream 4 oz freshly grated gruyere cheese Pie Dough 2 ½ cups 1 tsp 8 oz (weight)

all-purpose flour sea salt unsalted butter cut into ½" cubes

Egg Wash 2 oz (fluid) 2 oz (fluid)

whipped eggs water

Pie Dough Directions Mix flour and sea salt in food processor. Add softened butter and pulse until course meal forms. Drizzle water slowly into dough while pulsing processor just until a ball forms. Divide dough into two equal parts and chill for two hours. Roll each portion of dough into 10" circles. Blind bake one portion in 9" pie tin and set aside. Filling Directions Dredge the cubed chicken in seasoned flour and shake off excess. Sautee leeks, white onion, thyme and mushrooms in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add floured chicken breasts to the pot. Sear chicken on all sides, on medium heat. Turn heat to high and deglaze pot with dry sherry; reduce to 1/2. Add poultry stock and reduce to 1/4. Reduce heat, add heavy cream and simmer until filling thickens. Salt and pepper to taste. Place filling in blind baked pie shell and evenly sprinkle gruyere cheese. Top with the other portion of dough. Egg wash and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until top crust is crispy and cooked throughly.

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Artist, Designer, Luminary Jenn Hales in the Studio by Jenni Hart


t is no accident that Jenn Hales’ paintings are at once playful and profound. Richly pigmented sherbet colors wash over critters and characters with dreamy, saucer-like eyes. This is art that initially feels like child’s play. It’s the closer look, or perhaps Hales’ own explanation, that reveals these scenes as the thought-provoking pieces they are. In Whale Cities, Hales explores a favorite theme. Against a hazy celadon sky, three whales cavort through the air, bearing on their backs the onerous weight of city skyscrapers. “Sustainability and the environment are issues I think about a lot,” she says. “In this painting, I wanted to show human and animal habitats colliding.” The theme repeats in Park, where a cuddly sloth reaches to deposit coins into a parking meter for the privilege of residing on a tiny parcel of unspoiled earth.

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photograph © Lisa Stewart

young makers

(top to bottom) Whale Cities, Hales in the studio, Park.

Hales says she increasingly feels the pull to create art that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but purposeful as well. She tackles hefty issues, including global warming, sustainability and gender equality, but in a way that is disarmingly easy to digest. “I try not to be dark about the topics I care about,” she says. “I want to bring in whimsy and hope. I believe the message is that even when there are scary things in the world, we can still find beauty there.” In The Handmaiden, which Hales produced for Raleigh’s Handmade Market, she began by asking how she could create a piece that felt empowering, especially to young women. “I wanted her to be a superhero and feature tools commonly associated with crafts and domestic pursuits,” she says. The result is a plucky young heroine with access to the hammer, yarn, scissors and glue needed to conquer tedium and make her own way in the world. Inspired By Artists And Advocates Hales’ influences include American artist and illustrator N.C. Wyeth, known for his Treasure Island illustrations; and Caldecott Medal-winning children’s book artist Chris Van Allsburg, illustrator of Jumanji and The Polar Express. Caledonia Dance Curry, a street artist who goes by the name Swoon, has also inspired Hales with her commitment to activism. “It’s a direction I intend to explore even more in the future,” Hales says. “It’s exciting to think that something I paint can raise awareness about an issue like protecting animal habitats or producing goods from local sources.” During her industrial design program at the University of Cincinnati, from which she graduated in 2009, Hales worked in several internships, where one of the most important lessons was figuring out what she didn’t want to do. “Acquiring skills and experience is always valuable, but it taught me to focus on areas I realized would be a better fit for me,” she says. One internship was with Columbia Sportswear, where Hales worked in shoe design. She also interned at a product development firm and at a sustainable farm. The work she feels most impacted her evolution as an artist, however, was the summer she spent at international toy giant, Hasbro. Seasoned toy designers in the PlayDoh and Playskool product lines coached Hales on the intricacies of the all-important eyes in toy design. “It’s crucial for getting that childlike quality,” she says. “The technical shading techniques that give depth and life to the eyes are skills I’ve used ever since.” Art Finds A Home A native of Apex and graduate of Raleigh Charter High School, Hales returned to Raleigh from Cincinnati in 2009 and went to work as a welder in the exhibits department at SAS. She enjoyed the work, and it was time she spent discerning her next career move. She midtownmag.com | 59

The Handmaiden by Jenn Hales.

considered product design, but being committed to local sourcing and production, she was concerned about her ability to actually manufacture a product in the Triangle. In October 2010 she opened Patina by Jenn Hales, a space in City Market where she began in earnest to breathe life into the fanciful creatures and adventurous souls that tell such compelling and hopeful tales. From her new space at 1115 West Lenoir Street, and as a member of the freshly minted SlowBoil Collective, Hales intends to continue her art and activism. She feels thoroughly supported by the Raleigh arts community, and she credits the Office of Raleigh Arts and the Visual Art Exchange with cultivating an environment where artists can thrive. “Raleigh has full-time artists supporting themselves solely through their art, and that’s a good gauge for how committed a city is to supporting its artists,” she says. Hales’ advice to other young makers? “Making art and selling it are two different skills, but don’t be discouraged,” she says. “There are classes and workshops to help you learn how to market and sell your art.” Hales recommends the Visual Art Exchange as an indispensable resource for both fledgling and established artists. You can learn more about Hales and see more of her work by visiting www.jennhales.com.

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The Diamond Awards are here. And the 2015 list reveals the best of what the Raleigh area has to offer. Midtown Magazine asked you, our readers, to name names. You did. What follows is the best in dining, what’s around town, shopping and services, as well as beauty and fitness.

let’s see who’s shining... By Kate Turgeon Watson

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dining best breakfast/brunch

Another Broken Egg Café and Brigs Restaurant (tie) Savory or sweet. It’s hard to decide what to have for breakfast and it’s equally difficult for readers to decide one winner in this category. Your choices: Another Broken Egg Café in North Hills (yum biscuit beignets and cinnamon roll French toast) and Brigs in North Raleigh (yum benedicts and omelets). best power lunch spot

another broken egg café

best bbq


The Pit

Leave the office. Whether you’re with co-workers or clients, this Raleigh restaurant impresses. Lunch means antipasti such as formaggio and carne or calamari fritti with spicy tomato aioli. Favorite lunch entrees: fig and prosciutto pizza, grilled chicken panini, grilled salmon and risotto with scallops, sweet onion pancetta and lentil vinaigrette.

What’s not to love about a restaurant that has “Mr. Barbecue” at the helm? Bob Garner, who is dubbed the minister of barbecue culture, is part of the team at The Pit known for serving up the area’s best and most authentic whole-hog, pit barbeque. best pizza

Lilly’s Pizza Fresh and local, this is readers’ pick for pizza. Lilly’s is located in the historic Five Points neighborhood, and serves up create-your-own pies as well as specialties like the Five Point pizza, Aristocrat (with homemade cream of pesto) and Mr. Green Jeans vegetarian pizza. best outdoor dining

Vivace When the weather is temperate, Vivace is the perfect spot for a delicious, alfresco meal. The outdoor patio is tops for patrons of the Italian restaurant located at the Lassiter. Enjoy a peach bellini before dinner and top off the experience with a lemon tartaletta with its toasted meringue, prickly pear marmellata and limoncello syrup. best brewery

Big Boss Brewing Company

best place for a romantic dinner

Second Empire Second Empire is your favorite destination for a lovely meal. It has everything from a downtown location complete with city lights to history that dates back to 1879. The restaurant offers three formal dining rooms where couples may find selections such as citrus grilled Latin spice swordfish or desserts like pineapple upsidedown carrot cake. 62 | midtownmag.com

This Raleigh brewing company started in 2006. The first line of its mission is simple: “We brew real beer.” For you, this real beer is really good. Big Boss serves year-round favorites such as Angry Angel, a German-style ale, Hell’s Belle and Bad Penny dark brown ale.

best wait staff

Angus Barn From dinner in the main dining room to an appetizer and martini in the Wild Turkey Lounge, servers offer the hospitality and attention to detail that patrons love. It’s why you singled out the legendary Raleigh restaurant as having the best wait staff. best wine list

Angus Barn At the Angus Barn, there’s a wine for each penchant and occasion. The cellar features an extensive collection of wines (to the tune of an 80-page list with maps), including rare and vintage wines. Unsure of what may be best? Ask a certified sommelier for his or her opinion. best place to get your caffeine fix

Jubala Coffee This North Raleigh coffee house is your preferred spot for caffeine. And why not? Its coffee is handcrafted and prepared one cup at a time. Espresso, macchiato, cappuccino, latte and mocha: it’s all good.

photograph by Sean Junqueira

best food truck

American Meltdown It’s official. Midtown wants to know where it’s parked. This food truck is sought after for its gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Try the pigs and figs, a sandwich with black mission figs, goat cheese and a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar on sourdough bread. most kid-friendly dining

Mellow Mushroom What’s groovy is when kids enjoy the meal, too. And – according to you – the environment is most excellent for them at Raleigh’s Mellow Mushroom. For the kiddos: French bread pizza, pretzel dippers or meatball-and-mozzarella stacks. Quick, somebody pass the Parmesan cheese! best place to satify a sweet tooth

Gigi’s Cupcakes How much yum fits into one paper baking cup? Yeah. No way to count. Here’s what we could quantify: votes for best place to satisfy a sweet tooth. At Gigi’s flavors from birthday surprise to triple chocolate torte make it a readers’ pick. best place to impress a date

Second Empire Readers impress at Second Empire, a downtown favorite with a three-dining-room restaurant and a more casual tavern downstairs. Impress your date with history (the house was originally built for a mayor), dinner (panroasted jumbo lump crabcake) and an après-dinner stroll at the Capitol and Fayetteville Street.

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around the town best live music venue

Red Hat Amphitheater The lineups don’t lie. Big names from Mumford & Sons to David Gray have performed at this downtown venue, which seats 5,000. With the Cree Shimmer Wall nearby and downtown’s nightlife nearby for after the show, it’s easy to know why this is your pick. best live theater venue

Durham Performing Arts Center Beloved for its red carpet, doormen in top hats and worldclass shows, DPAC is readers’ fave for live theater. On the calendar for 2015: Wicked, Motown the Musical and Stomp. best place to entertain the kids

Marbles Kids Museum Beloved favorites and changing exhibits keep this museum familiar and fresh for kiddos and their parents. From Moneypalooza to the Splash! Lighthouse, Marbles is all about leaning through play.

photograph © NC Museum of Art

best museum

North Carolina Museum of Art The gardens, park, natural light and Rodin court are part of why this is readers’ favorite. The museum’s Iris restaurant, summer concerts, movies, and programs for groups from children to senior citizens add to its appeal. best place to have a girls night out

Kings Bowl of North Hills Drink specials in a Midtown location? Sounds like a ladies’ night out everyone can make. Kings was a readers’ pick for its bowling and table games. best place to watch the big game

Yard House Rivalries, clutch players and kickoffs have been known to draw friends to the table and the big-screen television. And the Yard House, with its modern feel and extensive menu, is the spot to watch the action. Who doesn’t love ACC basketball and a firecracker wings appetizer? best place to wind down after work

The Raleigh Times A long day calls for a short trip to the Raleigh Times. Here’s what you love: walls covered with old press clippings from the bar’s namesake newspaper, Belgian beers and fried pickles with house-made ranch dressing. Best golf course

North Ridge Country Club It’s a golfer’s paradise: two 18-hole courses, 400 acres of terrain close to the city center and a 10,000-square foot putting green. North Ridge also has a junior golf program, private instruction and annual club events, such as Swing Into Spring.

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Best weekend getaway

Best store for vintage or antiques

The Umstead Hotel & Spa

Hunt & Gather, Glenwood Ave

An Umstead weekend means breathtaking views, poolside conversation, original art, a walk around the pond, brunch at Herons and, perhaps, a spa experience. The Umstead is a luxurious retreat that’s a gem to Midtown readers.

Readers love the thrill of the hunt at this Raleigh favorite. It’s a mecca for furniture, décor, lighting, silver, china and other must-haves. Plus, it’s just plain fun to check out the new arrivals.

Best place to donate your time

Friendliest customer service


Renaissance Dental Center

What’s not to love about helping a homeless pet? Volunteers contribute at adoption, fundraising and promotional events. They also do laundry, collect pet food, transport items and clean crates. Some helpers are part of the foster care network, which saved more than 3,000 pets last year.

It’s business as usual for the ladies of Renaissance Dental Center, who are quite familiar with this honor. Doctors Abernethy, Wells and Sonner’s practice set the standard for friendliest customer service throughout the Triangle.

Shopping/Retail/Services Best auto repair shop

Tao Auto Everybody likes an expert, right? Readers vote Tao Auto, which services Honda, Toyota, Lexus and Acura, as their pick. From oil changes (every 3,000 miles or three months, they say) to transmission belts (check your manual), Tao Auto has been in the biz for more than 25 years. Best chiropractor

Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic For headaches, neck pain, lower back pain, spinal stiffness and soreness, tingling and numbness, Atlas is your pick for top healer. Its team aims for health and wellness, and says it’s all about creating a positive, compassionate environment.

Best place to find unique clothing

Liles Clothing Studio It’s a good fit, according to readers who love Liles for its unique clothing. Think: men’s custom suits, sportswear, ties and even handmade shoes. “Off the peg” selections, such as designer jeans, complement the custom wardrobe pieces. Best consignment clothing store

dress The best consignment stores make you feel good about shopping consignment and saving on items by top designers. dress is one of these stores. With stellar clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories, it’s your pick for best consignment store.

Best wine/beer store

Total Wine & More Totally. Total Wine is a one-stop shop for brews, vino and accessories from cocktail shakers to humorous paper napkins. You love the tastings, special events and employees ready to fill you in so you may fill up your glass. Cheers. Best local pet store

Phydeaux and Woof Gang Bakery (tie) Just like picking the cutest puppy, it was too hard to choose. These two pet stores: Phydeaux, a pet supply store offering more than 30,000 products, and Woof Gang Bakery, known for its gourmet dog treats and grooming, were readers’ two choices. Best shoe store Best place to spruce up your home

Furbish Studio Think: comfy pillows trimmed in the Greek key symbol, spotted dinner napkins and trinket trays fit for a fashionable queen. That’s just a sampler of what Furbish offers to bring more life to your living space.

DSW Rows and rows. That’s what we want to see when it’s time to shoe shop, right? It’s no wonder readers picked DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) as the best shoe store. With a rewards program, it’s the place to rack up on shoes for men, women, teens and children. midtownmag.com | 65

Best florist

Fallon’s Flowers Ever sit at the stoplight at Peace and St. Mary’s streets and let your eyes wander to the arrangements in Fallon’s window? We know. They’re beautiful. All that natural beauty, arranged by experts and delivered locally, is why it’s named best florist. Best place for new furniture

Green Front Furniture At Green Front there’s no need to couch the goal. It’s simple: a large selection of quality pieces at competitive prices. Located close to downtown on Yonkers Road, the furniture store is your pick for best place to find new furniture. Best place for previously-owned furniture

Seaboard Studio 123 As the owners explain, this is the spot for interesting finds, steals, heirlooms and staples. The furniture store (which also has art and lighting), is an eclectic mix of styles and time periods. And, now, it’s a 2015 Diamond Award winner, too.

Best place to buy a gift

Charlotte’s Inc Please take a gander at the sweet bow swaddle blanket, made from washable cotton cashmere. If that’s not a perfect, getthe-camera kind of baby gift, we’re not sure what is. You love Charlotte’s gifts, especially, because they can be personalized. From sunglasses and cuffs to key chains and butler trays, many gifts may be given with a name, monogram or initials. Best place to buy designer jewelry

Bailey’s Fine Jewelry Readers know where to go for the most fashionable bracelets, rings and necklaces. Bailey’s has the names they look for including Ippolita, Slane, David Yurman, John Hardy and Armenta. Best place to buy wedding rings

Diamonds Direct Crabtree Voters value Diamonds Direct Crabtree when it comes to wedding bands. The retailer believes in educating customers and offering a showroom that sparkles with on-site inventory. Best place for custom jewelry

Best place to splurge

Ora Designers/Fine Jewelers

Fink’s Jewelers

Sometimes the best things in a jewelry box were born from a customer’s original idea and an old piece of jewelry. At Ora, custom is what its gemologist and designer are known for.

This North Hills spot is your favorite place to splurge. From watches by designers such as Longines and Breitling to designer jewelry, there are plenty of reasons to indulge.

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BEauty & Fitness Best place to de-age

Best spa experience

Synergy Spa

Synergy Spa

For those looking to turn back the proverbial clock, Synergy is the spot. With its facials, peels, waxing and other services, this spa delivers results fit for the Diamonds list.

It’s all about the total experience, right? With relaxing spa packages (think: hot stone massage and aromatherapy) and a dedicated staff, Synergy has, well, the synergy you love.

Best place to get your smile on

Bufano & Bufano and Royal Oak Dental Group’s Office (tie) It’s a tie. And there’s plenty to smile about. Readers love Dr. Steven Baker’s office for its comfortable environment, professional staff and efficient appointments. And Bufano & Bufano is out to make your dental experience a friendly one. From teeth whitening and mouth guards to crowns and dental implants, these two Raleigh spots are your favorite. Who doesn’t love clean and healthy pearly whites? Go ahead; get your smile on!

Best relaxation/waiting room

Skin Sense Who wants to wait even one minute in a boring, standard waiting room? No need for that at Skin Sense, where clients may slip into a plush white robe, sit by a fireplace, put their feet up and sip some cucumber water while waiting for a therapist. It’s called a relaxation lounge. And – thank goodness – it’s a very real place.

Best place to get pampered

Parlor Blow Dry Bar How many buns and ponytails have gone up because you’re just not feeling the at-home blow dry and style? Yeah. Too many. Pampering is what it’s all about when hair professionals style (and sometimes braid) as you sip a complimentary cocktail. Best place to get a mani/pedi

Midtown Nail Spa We asked; readers answered. And the preferred spot for a manicure and pedicure is Midtown Nail Spa. The destination is an easy pick. The color, however, may be a challenge. Do you stick with an old favorite or try a new hue? Best salon for a haircut

Mark Christopher Salon Whether it’s time to maintain a beloved look or go for an all-new hairstyle, Mark Christopher Salon is the pick for our reader-voters. Why? Could be the modern, sleek setting, stellar stylists or professional products. Best salon for color

Von Kekel AVEDA Salon & Spa From subtle highlights to full-on color shifts, the experts here say hair color isn’t just about the shade. It’s also about dimension, movement and expression.

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Best yoga/pilates studio

Pulse Pilates Voters leave no doubt: Pulse is where they like to achieve those fitness and wellness goals. Classes include barre blast, beginner pilates, boot camp, cardio circuit and hour of power. Best health club/gym

O2 Fitness Your favorite gym has it all: group classes, member events, tips and personal training. Add in O2 rewards, where customers earn points for things like produce and massages by simply checking in, completing specific activities and even tweeting, and it’s no wonder you love it.

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wedding guide

21st century

It may come as no surprise that the website for Emily Post has weighed in on the subject of 21st Century Wedding Trends. Offering us truisms such as “personalized weddings is a trend that is here to stay� addresses the obvious, yet telling readers save-thedate cards need not match other wedding stationery themes, or anyone receiving them must also receive a wedding invitation, seems laughable. Our writers and staff have come up with what we hope is an informational and





whether a wedding is in your future or not!

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21st century


Let’s make a deal

By Christa Gala

Got Cash? The cost of the average wedding in North Carolina is more than $24,000, according to The Knot’s 2013 Real Weddings Study. On the bright side, be glad you’re not getting married in Manhattan, where weddings and receptions are topping out at more than $86,000. The truth is, everything costs something, and everybody has a budget. The good news is there are ways to cut costs without cutting corners, especially if you’re willing to put in a little work. Stationery and music Jen Robison, a Cary native who recently graduated from NC State as did her husband, Chris, got married in June of 2014. The couple quickly decided they wanted to invest the bulk of the budget in the food, venue, flowers and photography. “I would say we saved on music by using a DJ instead of a band and with the bar – by having only beer and wine, no liquor,” says Robison, who got married at Rose Hill Plantation in Nashville, North Carolina. Another cost-saver: doing the stationery herself.

Robison hand-wrote directional signage as well as table seating place cards for more than 100 people. Her future mother- and sister-in-law helped make it happen (a great way for new-family bonding). The effort in all three areas saved the families thousands of dollars. “This was a combined effort to both save costs and personalize,” says Robison. “I felt like it was a sure way to save and just would require a little more work from us. We designed and printed the wedding programs, signage at the reception tables, the savethe-dates and the name cards. We went out and bought card stock from a craft store and printed on Chris’ mom’s computer. Then I used stamps to dress them up a bit. “I won’t lie, it was a lot of work, and there were times when I just wanted to say ‘To hell with it,’ for sure. But considering how much money we saved doing it, and the feeling of doing it yourself and seeing them in all the wedding photos, made me feel really accomplished.” Veering from the traditional Theresa Dolan has been booking weddings at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center in downtown Cary since 1996. “We’re noticing a trend where bride and grooms are very budget conscious,” Dolan says. “They’re looking at booking weddings on weekdays. We can’t always accommodate that because of the classes and things that we have going on here but if we’re available, of course they can book it.”

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Mondays and Tuesdays are the most popular days. The Page-Walker in downtown Cary costs $100 per hour, with a minimum of six hours, for the first floor. There is no facility caterer; brides hire their own, which many like because it helps them cut costs. “That helps with a couple’s budget because if they want to do barbecue, they can do barbecue,” says Dolan. Other brides save thousands by doing their own flowers – buying them wholesale or even using wildflowers from local farmers’ markets. Dolan says couples use vintage wooden buckets, ribbon and even hanging glass vases to create beautiful displays. Robison says: “We spent quite a bit on flowers, and they were gorgeous, but if we could go back, that might be one thing I would cut back on – just because they can get so expensive and they don’t last. I’ve seen where people will make flowers from paper and other materials to save in that area.” The biggest budget-busters Double-check your guest list. This is where cutting can get painful. “I know, that is a hard and harsh reality, but if you really want to save and still go all out, it is the best way,” says certified master wedding planner Catherine Katz, owner of Cherished Celebrations. “Brunch weddings are also a great way to cut costs,” Katz adds. “Many couples decide to have



a late morning wedding and serve brunch items. It saves on food, length of reception and alcohol costs because, let’s face it, most people don’t want to drink a ton at noon.” And since she brought it up, let’s talk alcohol. There are ways to save money, but there’s one thing Katz says you shouldn’t do no matter what. “Never, ever, ever serve a cash bar,” says Katz, who plans 10 weddings a year and has been in business nearly a decade. “You would never charge guests who came to your home to have something to drink, so why would you do that at your wedding? “If you want alcohol and can’t afford a lot, pick one signature drink and work with your caterer to serve it,” Katz continues, suggesting a wine-based drink will go a long way. “If you would like more of a variety, pick one or two things and serve your guests during cocktail hour and the first part of dinner only – or cut it out entirely. Alcohol is usually a significant part of your food and beverage budget, and it’s so easy to trim.” PHOTOGRaPH


© CaROlyN SC

Make it your own By Christa Gala

If the advice “make your wedding your own” sounds counterintuitive, consider that not so long ago – just a decade or two – couples tying the knot did largely what they were supposed to do: marry in a church and celebrate with a sit-down dinner of rubbery banquet chicken. Garter removal, bouquet toss, shower of rice and off they went. Happily ever after. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But the advent of technology – and sites like Etsy and Pinterest – are giving brides and grooms both the inspiration and the courage to host ceremonies and receptions that reflect who they are individually and as a couple. In 2013, The Knot interviewed more than 13,000 recent bride and grooms across the US and found that personalized weddings are at their peak, leading to an uptick in more casual weddings, with 17 percent 72 | midtownmag.com

of respondents classifying their big day as casual, up from 12 percent in 2008. A genuinely good time Local wedding planner Catherine Katz says most of her brides and grooms want a special day that’s simply a lot of fun. “Couples today want to put their own stamp on something that should never be, but sometimes is, cookie cutter,” says Katz, certified master wedding planner and founder of Cherished Celebrations.

PHOTOGRaPH © sugarland

Katz helps clients orchestrate special touches. Some of her favorites: • Temporary tattoo stations: “The bride and groom created temporary tattoos of things that were important to them, named the tables these same things and let their guests collect and tattoo away.” Occasionally brides and grooms will use real tattoos in lieu of wedding bands.



• Keepsake signage: “The bride’s father created numerous arrows, and the bride and groom painted them with the locations and hometowns of their guests, asking them to sign the arrow with their town’s information.” After the wedding, the signage can be disassembled and used as wall décor – a great alternative to a traditional guestbook. • Custom cakes: Elegant and fun are both big buzz words with cakes. Katz says “ombre” cakes are still popular, confections made in varying shades of color, with the lightest colors in the top layers descending into the deepest, richest colors on the bottom layers. What to wear As the supervisor of a popular Triangle wedding venue, Kris Carmichael enjoys the constant stream of people she gets to watch at the Page-Walker Historic Arts Center. While the traditional white wedding dress is still popular, Carmichael says many brides wear colored sashes or a different colored dress altogether. It’s the same with the wedding party. At one of her favorite weddings, the bridesmaids wore different colors and styles of dress. Only one thing was the same: the cowboy boots. “One size fits all on the bridesmaids is not necessarily the thing anymore. What they wear on their feet is even kind of interesting,” she says. She’s seen Converse sneakers as well as Toms; the latter is a shoe company that donates part of its proceeds to philanthropic organizations, something Carmichael says often appeals to marrying millennials. Noshing From barbecue to sushi and everything in between, today’s wedding menus incorporate all kinds of food and drink. An increasing number of couples are offering signature cocktails at their receptions. According to The Knot survey, more than 20 percent of couples served specially created drinks, up from 12 percent in 2008. Food is more interactive, too, whether with carving stations, dessert bars or make-your-own goody bags – think candy and cookie stations. 74 | midtownmag.com


The Sweet Katrina Ryan, chef/ owner at Sugarland in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, notes that desserts, like all other elements of the modern wedding, are pretty much “anything goes.” “Most brides still choose a timeless white cake with some kind of lace or floral element, but more and more we’re doing non-traditional pastries and desserts. Mini dessert displays, with or without a gelato bar, are especially hot right now. We make pies, cheesecakes and cookies, along with traditional French and Italian pastries like éclairs, cannolis and macarons. Macarons are particularly popular as they come in virtually every color of the rainbow, and can match any theme. Cupcakes, popular for a while now, lend a fun, casual feel to a wedding. The most unique thing we offer for weddings is our portable gelato bar. Serving gelato in cups or mini sugar cones from Italy, it’s always a hit. Sometimes it’s in place of the cake, or at the rehearsal dinner, or as a late night after-dancing treat. Gelato and macarons also have the advantage of being naturally gluten free, so there is no compromise for brides who want that option.” A day to remember Linda Bennett, private events manager at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary, says she has seen the most varied weddings ever in 2014. “From chalkboards and Mason jars to very elegant, we’ve seen the full spectrum of details and decor at our weddings and receptions this year. MacGregor Downs is typically a gentile, rustic looking venue, but this past weekend it was completely transformed with silver, shiny and bling all over the property.” Couples have gotten further away from the predictable, traditional weddings of yesteryear and instead are bringing their unique personalities to their weddings and receptions, and staff and venues are catering to them. The mantra “do what you want” seems to reign these days, and it should. It’s your day. Make it one to remember.

Wedding planner misconceptions Midtown Magazine asked Amanda Scott from A Swanky Affair to dispel some common misconceptions about wedding planners. Only the rich hire wedding planners While the wealthy do hire wedding planners to design and coordinate weddings, there are huge benefits for anyone to hire a planner. Weddings can be a large financial investment and planners work on any budget, covering details from start to finish and avoiding costly mistakes. Planners understand how to get the most for your money and know what works and what does not work. For example, choosing a slightly more expensive linen and design allows you to cut costs on flowers. Planners save clients’ time, and when you are busy with grad school, busy careers or moving homes, planners can save hours and hours of legwork and make the planning a lot less stressful. Couples can plan the entire wedding themselves And they can. But like repairing your own car, investing your own money, or buying a house without a realtor, there are many pitfalls to avoid, including time and money wasters. A great wedding planner will guide couples in the right direction on decisions, saving lots of time and avoiding costly mistakes. A planner oversees the entire wedding While many clients do hire a planner for fullservice planning, most planners also offer custom packages to choose from desired options. For example, a couple might pick a photographer and the cake, and want help just on rentals, floral design and transportation. A planner will take over your wedding A wedding planner will not take over your wedding and tell you how it is supposed to be done – in fact, just the opposite. A planner puts together your vision and creates a one-of-a-kind event reflecting both your personalities and style, while taking all the stress away and allowing you to have fun!

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The perfect venue Midtown Magazine caught up with Lorin Laxton from Catering Works, and she offers up this advice: Planning a wedding and reception can be one of the most exciting and fulfilling aspects for a newly engaged couple. It is a balancing act of maintaining your desires and vision to coincide with your family’s and your checkbook. Reception costs consume the majority of a budget, so venue selection is paramount. Caterers/event planners consider three basic venue categories: 1. An all-inclusive venue such as a hotel or restaurant banquet room that provides chairs, tables, linens, food, beverage, wait staff service, and sometimes an on-site coordinator; décor and music may even be included 2. A non-inclusive venue such as a museum, historic home, art gallery or urban loft setting, which may provide some or none of those items 3. A tented event in your own backyard or other outdoor setting, where you essentially “build the venue itself”

catering works

Vision and style Guest count is a significant factor in choosing the venue. Fire code occupancy ratings are not the same as actual entertaining space. Headcount, food, beverages and entertainment with room to move around must be considered, and it’s advisable to see photos of prior events and space plan diagrams to ensure your preliminary guest count will fit. An all-inclusive venue has the added benefit of overnight accommodations, however the biggest drawbacks are set interior colors and the lack of variety in food and beverage options. Outdoor tented events are usually the most complex and the most expensive option, however the number of guests and the design potential are nearly unlimited. Non-inclusive venues incorporate the best of both worlds, allowing for more variety of food and beverage, unique and varied entertaining styles, and thematic design opportunity.

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Move it and they will come Three wedding venues originally located elsewhere are now in Wake County. Merrimon-Wynne 500 North Blount Street Formerly across the street from Peace College on N. Wilmington Street, the historic house was built in 1876 for Augustus S. Merrimon and his wife. Merrimon, who became Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court, died and the house passed into the Page family, then the Wynne family of Raleigh. The home was donated to Peace College in 1919 where it was used as a dormitory and also served as the college president’s home for 30 years from 1935-1965. The state acquired it and for 32 years it was used for offices. Moved to the corner of Blount and Polk streets in 2008, then purchased by Jodi Heyens Strenkowski in 2013, who then completed a historically accurate renovation. Updates included removing walls to create spaces compatible for events up to 200 people and modernizing a kitchen prep area for caterers. The landscaping of the one-acre grounds have also been completely redesigned and retooled. St Marks Chapel Mordecai Park Owned and rented by the City of Raleigh, this former Episcopal chapel seats 55 and holds 70. According to Wikipedia, it was originally built by slave carpenters in 1847 for a Chatham County plantation and moved to Siler City in

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1953 for another congregation. Since 1979 the chapel has been located on the grounds of the Mordecai House in downtown Raleigh, and along with the rest of the five-acre Mordecai plantation, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has many uses aside from weddings, including meetings, seminars and lectures. All Saint’s Chapel East Street Built in1875, the chapel was originally part of the Church of the Good Shepherd on Hillsborough Street in downtown Raleigh. A new one was built in the early 1900s to accommodate the growing congregation, and the small original chapel was moved around the corner to Morgan Street. A hundred years later, in 2005, the congregation wanted more parking space and planned to tear it down. Raleigh redeveloper Greg Hatem stepped in at the last minute to save the chapel, and moved the 70x40 foot structure half a mile east near historic Oakwood. By 2008 the chapel had been restored and the sanctuary looks as it did upon opening for its first service on Easter Sunday in 1875. Featuring wooden aisles, a gothic cross configuration flanked by five clerestory windows on either side of the five-bay nave, cathedral-like ceilings, stained-glass windows and pointed arches, All Saints is a Raleigh architectural treasure.

The ceremony By the Reverend Robin W. Renteria, a Unitarian Universalist minister who has been marrying couples for 20 years. As a minister and officiant, I believe the ceremony is the most important part of the wedding. Whether religious or secular, it is a transformational ritual. It unites a couple in their eyes and in the eyes of all they hold dear with a commitment to share all that is to come: joys and sorrows and pain and triumphs. Every aspect contributes to the power of that intention. Where it is held becomes a sacred space, and we imbue it with beliefs, values, traditions and cultures. The ritual transforms the space, and it becomes part of God, the Larger Life or whatever we define that to be. Because love transcends time and place, we fill the space and the moment with loving memories of family and friends who have passed on. This wholeness is the communion, the community of affection that will witness the couple into marriage. Nature, beauty, memories, music, color, joy: all make the time and place sacred and set the tone for the couple’s wedding and marriage. I have married couples on snowy winter days in the woods, with

only their dog and best friends; in Duke Chapel surrounded by expressions of the glory of God; around hospital beds honoring the preciousness of each moment; and in museums, country clubs, and goat barns where we were nibbled upon by friendly, curious goats. Each place was sacred. I ask each couple I marry, “What do you want to express in your wedding ceremony? What do you want people to know about your love for each other?” Sometimes couples tell me the ceremony is about their appreciation for families or friends, it’s about the uniqueness of their story of love and how it has shaped them, or what they’ve overcome to arrive at this day. When a couple explores these questions, their ceremony becomes an expression of who they are, their unique marriage of minds, hearts and souls. In marriage we promise to grow in love and understanding beyond ourselves, beyond what is easy or convenient. This is holy work. So each expression of love in the ceremony is sacred, as is each couple, part of the miracle of life on this small blue planet.

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Gowns Did you know there is a line of wedding dresses themed after Disney fairy tale movie princesses? Neither did we. These dresses represent designer gowns, offered locally to real-life Triangle brides, who will be princesses for the day at their own weddings in 2015.

Lela Rose – Versailles Silk and cotton deep v-neck gown with embroidered bodice. The Versailles gown by Lela Rose is designed with a traditional shape that is easy to wear for varying body types. Brides love the airiness of the silk and cotton fabric as well as the updated modern touches of the pockets and plunging neckline. alexia’s bridal boutiqe alexiasbridal.com

Mikaella Bridal Back detail has become more and more of a trend in bridal fashion. Mikaella Bridal has featured exquisite beading and interesting back detail in their 2015 collection. The gown featured is a Mikaella lace wedding dress. It is a strapless lace gown with a sweetheart beaded neckline and back. The trumpet silhouette is an increasingly popular silhouette. Brides love this dress not only for the fine lace, but because it has so much interest in the back. It is sleek, intriguing and romantic. Maggi Bridal maggibridal.com 80 | midtownmag.com

Bohemian Gown This style with the lace and ruffles has been exciting for women who are interested in a wedding that is like no other. They have chosen it to go with rustic and intimate weddings that showcase their unique individual style. Savvi Formalwear savviNC.com

Amy Kuschel – London Bella Rose and Primrose lace trumpet gown with elbow sleeve and bateau neckline. The London gown by designer Amy Kuschel features a trumpet shape with a classic lace pattern. Brides love the dress because illusion necklines are currently very popular, and this dress is the perfect combination of traditional with a touch of modern. Lana Addison Bridal lanaaddison.com

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Justin Alexander Gowns like this Venice lace mermaid with sweetheart neckline have been requested more and more. The most prominent feature of this gown is the “oyster� color underneath the ivory lace. A white wedding gown is no longer the only option in color. Brides can happily choose from colors like alabaster, gold, champagne, and even blush. Brides love this dress for the color option and rich, thick texture of the crochet lace. Maggi Bridal maggibridal.com

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Suzanne Neville Novello Stunning long-sleeved lace, silk organza and tulle gown with a fitted corset, button back and full skirt with train. Brides love this dress because it has the traditional element with the long sleeves and soft ball gown skirt. It has a sexy drop waist corset for an updated take on a classic. Traditions By Anna traditionsbyanna.com

Isabelle armstrong – Helena Silk shantung gown with dramatic crystal jeweled back detailing. The Helena gown by Isabelle Armstrong is clean and tailored in the front and features an illusion back with crystal detail. Brides love this style gown because they want to have a dramatic back, and this detail is very flattering. alexia’s bridal boutiqe alexiasbridal.com

Fancy and Sophisticated This gown gets a lot of attention for a number of reasons. Most notably, because it is blue (sea mist, according to the designer!). The fact that it was designed by designer-to-the-stars, David Tutera, is another reason brides love it! It offers a very chic and sophisticated silhouette with lace and beaded embellishments that are amazing. It is also surprising how affordable this gown is considering all of its exceptional elements. Savvi Formalwear savviNC.com

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Wedding story ingfield

PHOTOGRaPHs © Tara Bedd

Lisa & Brian By Carol Wills Lisa Bergbigler and Brian Friedhaber met in 2006 in their freshman geology class at West Virginia University, but began seriously dating in 2009. In 2011 they moved from Pennsylvania to Raleigh, when Brian accepted a position with the Carolina Hurricanes. Lisa, who is a nurse, works for Duke University Health System. In September of 2013 in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, the two were engaged. They spent the next 13 months tirelessly planning each and every detail of their wedding celebration. The ceremony and reception took place at The Stockroom at 230, which Lisa describes as “a hidden gem” tucked on busy downtown Fayetteville Street. It’s an old stockroom warehouse with exposed brick walls and creaky wood floors, the perfect setting for a wedding whose theme was “urban industrial elegance,” (Lisa’s very words). Her three bridesmaids wore plum-colored dresses, and Brian and his three groomsmen wore gray suits and plum ties, with a special plum bowtie for Brian. Their 84 | midtownmag.com

florist, MEWS Designs, provided coordinating flowers in shades of purple and green; Lisa’s bouquet also included special touches such as purple-centered white calla lilies. Her off-white wedding gown came from Bridal Mart in Burlington and needed only minor hemming, as if it was made for her. Rev. Robin Renteria’s reviews and website sold the couple on her services, including her marriage enrichment classes. Lisa and Brian give full credit to Renteria for making their ceremony memorable and meaningful, including incorporating a special reading entitled “How Falling In Love is Like Owning a Dog”, by Taylor Mali. That poem helped to bring a piece of their three-year-old Golden Retriever, named Max, to the ceremony. In-between the wedding ceremony and the reception, there was a cocktail hour for

guests, which included wine and beer served from the four corners of North Carolina. The couple and their wedding party took photos in the middle of Fayetteville and on Boylan Bridge, care of photographer Tara Beddingfield of Adoring Photography and Events in Wake Forest. The reception was catered by Catering by Design in Cary, and included such specialties as bacon-and-Goudastuffed chicken, Chianti-braised beef brisket and sun-dried tomato pesto pasta. When the couple took to the dance floor, they shared their first dance to Ella Fitzgerald’s


© shannon

“Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall In Love”, provided by Marcus Ward of Morse Entertainment. Edible Art of Raleigh provided a classic buttercream-covered threeflavored wedding cake topped with a small bouquet of flowers and a monogrammed “F” cake topper. Day-of coordinator Teresa Doring ensured that the entire event ran smoothly from start to finish. “Our reception was warm, comfortable, inviting and closeknit, like a party we would actually throw in our home,” Brian remembers. “We wouldn’t change a thing.” They honeymooned in Montego Bay, Jamaica.


Ian & Brad By Carol Wills I met Ian Palmquist and Brad Oaks at the Morning Times coffee shop in Raleigh two weeks after their November 15th wedding. Both of them live and work in Raleigh – in fact, that’s how they met. Brad was a Youth Board member of Equality North Carolina and Ian was the administrative assistant, his first job out of college. They had been next-door neighbors since 1999 but didn’t consider theirs a dating

relationship until June 7th, 2000 – a date they now celebrate as an anniversary along with their wedding anniversary. Ian and Brad had considered themselves a couple for 14 years, but only recently could even dream of being legally married in the state of North Carolina. Their wedding took place at the Grand Ballroom in the historic Capitol Club Building, with 120 guests in attendance, including midtownmag.com | 85

Brad’s 80-year-old grandmother and Ian’s grandmother, who had just turned 100 two days before the wedding. The Reverend Robin Renteria, who officiated at their ceremony, asked them to, “Stop a moment. Take a look around you. All your planning and preparation for this moment has come to fruition.” Ian says when they turned around to their guests, he and Brad both felt the love and support of friends and family. It was a moment they’ll never forget. Since the wedding had an autumn theme, Ian and Brad dressed in light gray suits with orange ties, and their groomsmen (their brothers were their best men) dressed in charcoal gray suits with yellow-orange ties. Brad’s niece and nephew served as flower girl and ring bearer. Their spiritual and legal ceremony ended with a nontraditional recessional: the old disco song “Haven’t You Heard?” which was a major song in the TV movie “Queer as Folk” and included the line, “looking for the perfect guy.” The reception, which was also held in the ballroom, included dinner and dancing. Their choice for their first dance as a married couple was “Book of Love” by Magnetic Fields. They carried the Southern theme into their menu choices, including North Carolina barbecue, chicken and dumplings and succotash, among other choices provided by caterer Donovan’s Dish. Kelley G’s Cupcakes created their wedding cake by stacking tiers of four different flavors of cupcakes, topped with a special large cupcake for the newlyweds. Their wedding photographs were taken by a friend, Shannon Myers, who is a fine art photographer. Eric Hodgden of All Around Raleigh DJ provided the reception music. Both Ian and Brad say they wouldn’t change a thing about their wedding. Their ceremony, celebrating not only their love but the fact that they could legally marry, incorporated many of the values that they care most about. Their wedding bands reflect their commitment to each other, and remind them of a day they’ll always remember with joy.

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© NaTHaN aBPla

Jesse & Dave


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By Kurt Dusterberg Dave Mai knew exactly how he wanted to propose. He bought a ring for his girlfriend, Jesse, and planned to pop the question during their vacation to the Redwood Forest in California. But when the ring wasn’t ready in time, he improvised. “So he decided to carve a ring for me out of hardwood,” Jesse Mai says. “He set up his tripod on a timer to take multiple shots. He managed to get the whole proposal with the hardwood ring on camera.” The story of Jesse and Dave started on the Internet. They met on eHarmony, a dating service. Dave was ready to let his subscription expire during the same month Jesse began her online search. She made the first move, and he proved to be the only man she approached. Jesse and Dave tied the knot on June 8th at the Oaks at Salem in Apex. Along with 100 guests at the outdoor ceremony, they enjoyed a “laid-back” Sunday afternoon, as she calls it. Jesse’s woman of honor challenged her to a hula-hooping contest during the reception. Rather than a wedding cake, the guests enjoyed cupcakes.

Jesse’s mother tailored her dress to make the lace look like leaves over one shoulder. Dave wore a dress shirt and a vest. “It was June,” says Jesse, her casual flair evident in her voice. “There was no need for a jacket.” Proper attire for the guests? “It was a garden party – a step up from a backyard barbecue,” Jesse says. The food was a notch better too, with a buffet catered from Irregardless Cafe in Raleigh. Jesse is a massage therapist who is working toward a degree in physical therapy, while Dave is a network security specialist. They will make their home in Raleigh.


Alternative trends Flowers How about eco-friendly suggestions including live potted flowering plants for tables, home-grown pesticide-free flowers to cut the day of the wedding, or fresh flowers purchased from your local farmer’s market or nursery?

Dresses A “greener” option is to buy a like-new (only used once!) gown from a specialty consignment shop. Some of these dresses on offer may have also been purchased and then never used, for one reason or another.

Officiants Have a friend get a “minister’s license” online and marry the couple. The process usually takes four to six weeks, so allow plenty of time.

Linens and Plating Why not raid local thrift stores for mix-and-match vintage china? Much of it has floral patterns to echo your flower arrangements, and it gives the table a pleasant sense of variety and fun.

Offbeat venues A wedding can happen anywhere! One local Triangle man got married last year while he was in an induced coma awaiting a heart transplant. The couple had been living together for some time, and his siblings decided it would simplify medical decisions if they got hitched. Told of his new status when he woke up, the fellow was happy, although a bit disappointed he’d missed the whole thing. Cakes Sarah Fitzpatrick, owner of The Cupcake Shoppe, explains the fascination with cupcakes at weddings: “Many modern brides want to offer guests a variety of unique and interesting flavors, and cupcakes give them the gorgeous display they are looking for with an opportunity to showcase their favorite flavors. In addition, we can customize a sweet topper cake for the couple to “cut” for their photos, to keep with tradition but allow more options for their guests.”

Rings Veteran tattoo artist Byron Wallace has designed tattoo wedding bands for the last 35 years, and acknowledges “ink rings” have become more popular in recent years. “Like most wedding things, the couple can’t figure out what they want,” said Wallace, the owner of Warlock’s Tattoo on Western Boulevard. “That’s where they need help with an artist to design something.” Most couples like to bond and get a tattoo ring designed identical to one another, like a Celtic knot, initials or a simple design. The cost is slightly different than jewelry. A tattoo ring normally runs just $50. The whole process takes about 15-20 minutes – a little longer than most wedding vows. Wallace’s last words: “Something like a dainty tattoo wedding band isn’t going to be that intimidating to the general public.”

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Resource guide Cakes/sweets Cupcake Shoppe 104 Glenwood avenue, Raleigh 919.821.4223 thecupcakeshopperaleigh.com Sugarland 2031 Cameron Street, Raleigh 919.835.2100 (also in Chapel Hill) sugarlandchapelhill.com Catering Catering Works 2319 Laurelbrook Street, Raleigh 919.828.5932 cateringworks.com event planning A Swanky Affair 919.477.7993 aswankyaffairnc.com Formal wear Savvi Formal Wear and Bridal Shop 6220 Glenwood Avenue #110, Raleigh 919.783.8911 savvincgowns.com

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Alexia’s Bridal 400 West North Street, Raleigh 919.829.5900 alexiasbridal.com Hair Mark Christopher Salon 509 West Whitaker Mill Road #115, Raleigh 919.239.4383 markchristopher.com Plum Hair Atelier 1028 Oberlin Road #228, Raleigh, 919.833.0107 plumhairatelier.com

Jewelry Diamonds Direct Crabtree 4401 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh 919.571.2881 diamonds-direct.com

Undergarments Bra Patch 1603 North Market Drive, Raleigh 919.876.8677 thebrapatch.com

Bailey’s Fine Jewelry 415 Daniels Street, Raleigh 919.829.7337 baileybox.com

venUes Marbles Kids Museum 201 East Hargett Street, Raleigh 919.834.4040 marbleskidsmuseum.org

Hamilton Hill 905 West Main Street, Durham 919.683.1474 hamiltonhilljewelry.com

Salon Blu Multiple locations www.salonbluhair.com

Ora Designers/Fine Jewelers 8490 Honeycutt Road, Raleigh 919.845.7733 orajewelers.com

Soapbox 1126 North Blount Street, Raleigh, 919.713.0017 soapboxraleigh.com

Reliable Jewelry 307 South Wilmington Street, Raleigh, 919.832.3461 reliablejewelry.com

Von Kekel Multiple locations vonkekelsalonspa.com

The Merrimon-Wynne House 500 North Blount Street, Raleigh 919.906.1026 merrimonwynne.com St. Mary’s School 900 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh 919.424.4000 sms.edu Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern 330 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh 919.829.3663 second-empire.com

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SURGEery p r o f e ssi o n als

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2015 Plastic Surgery Professionals

Plastic Surgery Professionals

Collins Plastic Surgery


ith over a decade of experience in the fields of general, reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Stewart Collins is excited to provide you with the best cosmetic surgical care in his state-of-the-art facility. Dr. Collins strives to give each patient an individualized experience with optimal outcomes while providing the most natural of results. His expert team of trusted professionals is here to help guide and support you through the journey of your consultation, surgery and post care. An industry expert, Dr. Collins has over 17 years of specialized training and holds surgical privileges at all four local area hospitals. Dr. Collins offers a full range of

facial and body cosmetic surgery options, and for your convenience all procedures can be performed in his private, first-class operating room. Collins Plastic Surgery is located in the American Institute of Healthcare and Fitness – an innovative healthcare delivery destination, which boasts an elite group of medical, health and fitness providers. Dr. Collins partners with Synergy Spa, Aesthetics and Wellness. Offering a combined approach, patients are supported throughout their process with a team of over 75 highly trained and educated professionals. Patients receive the very best in pre- and post-surgical care, ensuring optimal results with a customized, healing, and fulfilling experience.

8300 Health Park, Suite 205, Raleigh, NC 27615 919.510.5130 www.feelsynergy.com 90 | midtownmag.com

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Davis & Pyle Plastic Surgery


hen you call, email or walk in to Davis & Pyle Plastic Surgery or Skin Raleigh, your first impression should be that this is an uncommon place. That is because Dr. Glenn Davis, MD, FACS and Dr. Jeremy Pyle, MD, FACS have spent years building on three core concepts: Experience, Education and Excellence. Not just their experience as board-certified plastic surgeons, but your experience at their office, spa or surgery suite. Not just their desire to stay ahead of the curve with medical advancements, but to educate you with the knowledge to make the best decisions. This focus makes for an excellent team that gives excellent results to patients.

Whether you are considering breast augmentation, a tummy tuck, a mommy makeover or just smoother skin, our intention is the same: to provide you with an honest, low-pressure opportunity to understand your goals, your options and your expected outcome. Plastic Surgery is a concierge service. You should receive an exceptional experience. Anything less and you are not taking advantage of everything available to you. If you have considered cosmetic surgery, even if you have already had a consultation elsewhere, we encourage you to provide us the opportunity to show you what an exceptional experience really feels like at Davis & Pyle Plastic Surgery and Skin Raleigh.

2304 Wesvill Court, Suite 360, Raleigh, NC 27607 919.785.1220 www.dpraleigh.com midtownmag.com | 91

2015 Plastic Surgery Professionals

Plastic Surgery Professionals

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2015 Plastic Surgery Professionals

Plastic Surgery Professionals

Morea Plastic Surgery Center


he Morea Plastic Surgery Center is a full-service, accredited outpatient surgical center specializing in all areas of aesthetic surgery of the face, breast and body. Our goal is to provide highly personalized and professional care in a private setting. Dr. Christopher Morea established his North Raleigh plastic surgery practice in 2000. Since that time, Dr. Morea has performed thousands of successful procedures delivering beautiful, natural results to the most discriminating patients. With over 18 years of experience as a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Christopher Morea holds the highest credentials attainable as a plastic surgeon. He is a member of both the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He has been

recognized by the Consumers’ Research Council as one of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons. His meticulous attention to detail and focus on patient satisfaction are only two of the many reasons patients choose to place their trust in Dr. Morea to achieve their aesthetic surgical goals. Consults are performed personally by Dr. Morea. Our talented staff will schedule a time for you to discuss your surgical goals at length with Dr. Morea. You will be given the opportunity to browse our library containing thousands of before and after photos of previous patients. Dr. Morea and his highly trained, professional staff will guide you through every step of your cosmetic surgery experience. We are committed to providing all of our patients with the highest quality of care.

7700 Lead Mine Road, Raleigh, NC 27615 919.845.7880 www.drmoreaplasticsurgery.com 92 | midtownmag.com

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Raleigh Plastic Surgery


eed a Lift? No, we are not talking about Uber, but rather, a breast lift or Mastopexy. This procedure has increased in popularity with more women wishing to overcome the consequences of aging and childbearing, which can result in sagginess or drooping breasts. The medical term is “ptosis” and generally refers to the fall in position of the nipple below the natural bottom crease of the breast. In mild cases, breast augmentation alone may serve to “lift” the breast. But, with increasing severity, incisions to elevate the nipple position are necessary. A breast lift procedure is a surgery which leaves scars on the breasts. Ultimately, the scars are worth it as it will help shape the breast to

the perkier form that women desire. An implant is often recommended to restore the fullness in the upper aspect of the breast that is missing. The result is a lifted, full breast that defies evidence of childbirth and age. Our Mastopexy procedures are performed in our AAAHC accredited, on-site surgical center with Board Certified, MD anesthesiology. Dr. Rhett High and Dr. W. Glenn Lyle bring a combined 40 years of experience in providing the most beautiful, natural results in breast surgeries. Visit our website at www.raleighplasticsurgery.com to view before and after photos of Mastopexy procedures and learn more about the surgery and recovery time. Talk with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon at Raleigh Plastic Surgery Center to discuss your specific options.

1112 Dresser Court, Raleigh, NC 27609 919.872.2616 www.raleighplasticsurgery.com midtownmag.com | 93

2015 Plastic Surgery Professionals

Plastic Surgery Professionals

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2015 Plastic Surgery Professionals

Plastic Surgery Professionals

Specialists in Plastic Surgery, PA


pecialists in Plastic Surgery, PA is excited to be celebrating our 15th anniversary this year! Located in the heart of Raleigh, Specialists in Plastic Surgery, PA is a well-­recognized plastic and reconstructive surgery institution that provides excellent patient care in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. With a combined 75 years of surgical experience and five plastic surgeons, we offer a complete range of face, breast and body procedures. These procedures are designed to address all of your cosmetic concerns and help you make the subtle or not-­so-­subtle changes you desire. We also offer patients the latest in breast reconstruction techniques. This is an exciting time for Specialists in Plastic Surgery, PA as we are offering patients seeking body contouring procedures the new CoolSculpting® experience. This non-­invasive, no-­downtime body sculpting technology

is optimal for those pesky tummy and thigh bulges, and is also ideal for treating “love handles.” Our plastic surgeons perform a personalized body analysis and come up with a “treat to complete” plan customized to your concerns. The Museum Spa facility within our practice offers a wide selection of non-­surgical laser and other non-­laser treatments that specialize in anti-­aging technologies, skin volume restoration and wrinkle reduction. Our knowledgeable and caring staff will answer your questions and help you learn more about non-­surgical skin rejuvenation. We believe in a well-­balanced patient experience, whether it’s a surgical or non-­surgical option. We strive to create the restoration of the old you or the achievement of the new you by providing exceptional care and accomplishing excellent patient outcomes. Let us realize the results you want.

3633 Harden Road #200, Raleigh, NC 27607 919.785.0505 www.specialistsinplasticsurgery.com 94 | midtownmag.com

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Lambeth Plastic Surgery


ring in the New Year with a new you! We have the ability to predict post-operative results through 3D imaging – taking your consult to a whole new level! We began using VECTRA 3D imaging with prospective breast augmentation patients by entering in the patient’s 3D photo to various implant sizes. We can do the same with breast lifts, and it also works great for rhinoplasty, facelifts and tummy tucks. The process relieves the uncertainty regarding surgical results – improving communication between surgeon and patient. We provide a complete package for most plastic surgery needs, from aesthetic services and injectables to surgical procedures.

4201 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 103, Raleigh, NC 27607 919.782.1818 www.lambethplasticsurgery.com

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2015 Plastic Surgery Professionals

Plastic Surgery Professionals

calendar ofevents

January/February 2015

NC Merfest January 2-4 Triangle Aquatic Center 275 Convention Drive | Cary 919.274.7684 | www.ncmerfest.com The Bridal Show January 3-4 Jim Graham Building NC State Fairgrounds 1025 Blue Ridge Road | Raleigh foreverbridal.net Wicked The Musical January 7-25 Durham Performing Arts Center 123 Vivian Street | Durham 919.680.2787 | www.dpacnc.com ‘How to Read a House’ Lecture by Mitch Wilds January 8 | 7pm Joel Lane Museum House 160 S.Saint Mary’s Street | Raleigh 919.833.3431 | www.joellane.org Merrimon-Wynne Bridal Event January 10 Merrimon-Wynne 500 N. Blount Street | Raleigh 919.906.1026 | merrimonwynne.com PRESCHOOL PARENT INFO MORNINGS January 13, 16, 23, 30 | 9am February 3, 6, 10, 13 | 9am The Raleigh School 1141 Raleigh School Drive | Raleigh 919.828.5351 | smitchell@raleighschool.org k-5 PARENT INFO MORNINGS January 13 & 26 | 9:15am February 10 & 24 | 9:15am The Raleigh School 1141 Raleigh School Drive | Raleigh 919.546.0788 | smitchell@raleighschool.org St. David’s Admissions Open House January 15 | 7pm St. David’s Performing Arts Center 3400 White Oak Road | Raleigh 919.782.3331 | www.sdsw.org Venus In Fur January 16-February 1 Raleigh Little Theatre 301 Pogue Street | Raleigh 919.821.3111 | raleighlittletheatre.org 96 | midtownmag.com

Dixie Gun & Knife Classic January 17-18 Jim Graham Building NC State Fairgrounds 1025 Blue Ridge Road | Raleigh dixiegunandknifeshow.com Repticon Reptile & Exotic Animal Show January 17-18 Scott Building NC State Fairgrounds 1025 Blue Ridge Road | Raleigh www.repticon.com NC LGBT Wedding Expo January 18 | 12:30-3:30pm Solas | 419 Glenwood Avenue events@rainbowweddingnetwork.com or 828.645.8750 for more info Wine Dinner January 20 | 6:30pm Saint-Jacques French Cuisine 6112 Falls of Neuse Road | Raleigh 919.862.2770 | saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com Romeo & Juliet January 22-February 15 Burning Coal Theatre 224 Polk Street | Raleigh 919.834.4001 | burningcoal.org 4th Annual Raleigh Rare & Vintage Beer Tasting January 24 | 3-6pm 18 Seaboard Avenue | Raleigh www.raleighrarebeertasting.com Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase 2015 January 25 | 1-4pm The Carolina Inn 211 Pittsboro Street | Chapel Hill 800.962.8519 | www.carolinainn.com 2015 Triangle Restaurant Week January 26-February 1 Downtown Raleigh 540.664.9109 | trirestaurantweek.com Cooking Class January 27 | 4:30pm Saint-Jacques French Cuisine 6112 Falls of Neuse Road | Raleigh 919.862.2770 | saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY 101 January 27 | 10am-1pm Seminar Room 3801 Wake Forest Road | Raleigh 919.796.4730 | www.mindfuli.com Blue Man Group January 29-31 Raleigh Memorial Auditorium 2 E. South Street | Raleigh 919.996.8700 | dukeenergycenterraleigh.com Black & Brown Comedy Get Down Cedric ‘The Entertainer’, Mike Epps, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley, George Lopez & Charlie Murphy January 31 | 7pm PNC Arena 1400 Edwards Mill Road | Raleigh 919.861.2300 | thepncarena.com Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus February 4-8 PNC Arena 1400 Edwards Mill Road | Raleigh 919.861.2300 | thepncarena.com

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Triangle Wine Experience Dinner February 5 Saint-Jacques French Cuisine 6112 Falls of Neuse Road | Raleigh 919.862.2770 | saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com New Venue Grand Opening Exhibit February 6 Local Color Gallery 311 W. Martin Street | Raleigh 919.819.5995 | localcoloraleigh.com Diana Ross February 6 | 8pm Durham Performing Arts Center 123 Vivian Street | Durham 919.680.2787 | www.dpacnc.com Father-Daughter Dance Mother-Son Ball February 7 Hilton North Raleigh 3415 Wake Forest Road | Raleigh 919.438.9116 yourfamilyfirst.eventbrite.com The Wedding Affair At North Hills February 8 | 1-4pm Renaissance Raleigh Hotel Ballroom 4100 Main at North Hills Street | Raleigh 919.571.8773 northhillswedding.com

Raleigh Spring Home Show February 13-15 Raleigh Convention Center 500 S. Salisbury Street | Raleigh 919.996.8500 | www.raleighconvention.com crimson & cream scholarship gala February 14 | 7:30pm Sheraton Imperial 4700 Emperor Boulevard | Durham www.raleighalumnaedeltas.org Valentine’s Day Special Dinner February 14 Saint-Jacques French Cuisine 6112 Falls of Neuse Road | Raleigh 919.862.2770 | saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com

Billy Elliot February 10-15 Raleigh Memorial Auditorium 2 E. South Street | Raleigh 919.996.8700 dukeenergycenterraleigh.com

Science of Eats: Sweets February 12 | 6:30-9:30pm Museum of Life and Science 433 W Murray Avenue | Durham 919-220-5429 | lifeandscience.org

Charlie Wilson with Special Guests KEM and JOe February 18 | 6pm PNC Arena 1400 Edwards Mill Road | Raleigh 919.861.2300 | thepncarena.com Cooking Class February 24 | 4:30pm Saint-Jacques French Cuisine 6112 Falls of Neuse Road | Raleigh 919.862.2770 | saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com NC Opera: La Traviata February 27 | 9:30am North Carolina Opera 612 Wade Avenue | Raleigh 919.792.3850 | www.ncopera.org

St. David’s Group Tour & Info Session February 11 | 9:30am St. David’s Welcome Center 3400 White Oak Road | Raleigh 919.782.3331 | www.sdsw.org Tony Bennett February 11 | 7:30pm Durham Performing Arts Center 123 Vivian Street | Durham 919.680.2787 | www.dpacnc.com

Motown The Musical February 17-22 Durham Performing Arts Center 123 Vivian Street | Durham 919.680.2787 | www.dpacnc.com

Dixie Deer Classic January 27-March 1 NC State Fairgrounds 1025 Blue Ridge Road | Raleigh dixiedeerclassic.org

Mardi Gras Wine Dinner February 17 | 6:30pm Saint-Jacques French Cuisine 6112 Falls of Neuse Road | Raleigh 919.862.2770 | saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com

Have an important event? We would love to hear about it. Please send the details of your calendar events to: travis@midtownmag.com.

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your excuse? what’s

By Christa Gala

You might think New Year’s resolutions are a lot of bunk, but they’re so pervasive the University of Scranton actually conducted research about them, publishing it recently in the Journal of Clinical Psychology. Nearly half of Americans make one or more New Year’s resolutions, with the top slots going to “losing weight” and “staying fit.” So it’s no surprise that local fitness professionals consider the start of the year their “Black Friday.” It’s a madhouse. “There is a large portion of folks who have decided because it’s New Years and there are resolutions, it’s a great time to act on those resolutions,” says John Newbury, regional president with Fitness Connection, with five locations in the Triangle, including three in Raleigh, one in RTP and one in Cary. “A lot of folks have physical fitness top of mind, whether the goal is to lose weight or gain strength.”

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Why we quit There’s no question that being fit is good for you. Research shows you feel better, look better, sleep better, live longer and handle life’s curveballs with more ease. So, why do so many of us quit fitness just a few months in? At the six month mark, less than half of us are still at it, choosing the couch over the treadmill – or even the neighborhood sidewalk. The short answer is that we’re not having fun. But the real answer is more complicated: we’re intimidated, unsure, shy. We don’t know what we’re doing; it costs too much; it hurts; we don’t have time. We don’t know anybody. It’s boring. We aren’t seeing results, so why bother? Sound familiar? Friendly is good Elisa Buxbaum, owner of Pulse Pilates in Raleigh, takes each of these complaints seriously. Her classes have a maximum of six people. The small class size and personal instruction is reassuring. “We really focus on teaching the proper alignment and making sure everyone is doing the movements correctly, so no one is getting injured,” midtownmag.com | 99

Photography by Jenna Markiewicz

Exercises like this build core strength, which can help ease back pain and improve flexibility.

says Buxbaum. “Our studio is small so it’s become an intimate social setting as well. Students end up looking forward to coming to class because they know each other.” Pilates focuses on developing your core strength – those muscles deep in your abdomen and back. Buxbaum first learned about Pilates in the ‘90s when she was a dancer in New York City. Pilates can be modified for any age and is touted for improving chronic back pain, flexibility and strength. Pilates can be done on a mat or on machines; Buxbaum’s classes are mostly on machines. She admits the machines can be intimidating at first glance, which is why she offers a free consultation explaining how it all works. She has clients in their 70s; they keep coming back because they love the results. “The great thing about Pilates is that it’s not really one of those passing trends that come and go,” says Buxbaum. “Once you try it, you realize it’s a way of life. It makes you feel really good, and you’re going to see major results. We’ve had quite a few clients recently – it’s reshaped their whole bodies. When they start seeing the results, they don’t want to stop.” Mixing it up As human beings, we do things we want to do – things that are fun. If fitness isn’t fun, we’ll find something that is and do that instead. Newbury sees it as an opportunity for the industry. 100 | midtownmag.com


as well jump

Courtney Peck, the events manager for Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park in Raleigh, is lately getting a lot of requests for socks – and they’re not from kids. It’s the adults who want to jump with their kids or try out a SkyFitness class. Open now for about six months, Sky Zone also sponsors an adult trampoline dodgeball league. Here, adults don’t have to sit on the sidelines. Peck says one hour of jumping will burn 1,000 calories; 10 minutes is equivalent to running a mile. The trampoline helps with the effects of

“The health clubs need to take some ownership,” he says. “Do they have engaging programs; do they have programs that will help with consistency?” Fitness Connection offers a variety of classes to keep things interesting. Here’s a sampling of the most popular: • Fit 35: A 35-minute class that uses barbells, equipment and body weight exercises. • Pound: A cardio jam session that uses drumsticks for simulated drumming blended with cardio, Pilates and plyometrics. • Barre Fit: Think of the balance “barre” you’ve seen ballerinas use. This class combines ballet, yoga and Pilates. • Insanity: High intensity classes in 30- and 50- minute increments. • Boot camp: Military-inspired cardio and strength training. “It costs too much!” Staying fit is cheaper than it’s ever been. Buxbaum waives the requirement that new students take several private classes before they join a group class, typical at

check it out

gravity, so joints won’t take a pounding. It’s considered low-impact, says Peck. “All of our fitness classes are geared toward adults,” says Peck. “It’s perfect for people who don’t like to go to the gym. It’s more for someone looking for an exercisein-disguise kind of workout. It kind of brings you back to your childhood.” Weekday SkyFitness classes are $5, or $45 for a month of unlimited jumping. For more information or to try a weekend SkyFitness class for half off, visit www. skyzone.com/raleigh.

many Pilates studios, and instead fosters beginners in special classes. “When I first started, if I’d had to take private classes, I wouldn’t have been able to afford it, and I probably would have never gotten into the love of Pilates,” says Buxbaum. “We offer a lot of beginner classes – at least three to four times a week. It’s going to go nice and slow, and we’re going to teach them everything from the beginning.” Most clients purchase packages; a 10-class package is $225 and a 20-class package is $400. Affordability, Newbury says, is one of the tenets of Fitness Connection’s vision. “Our mission is enhancing lives by providing affordable and high-quality fitness,” he says. Membership rates are as low as $9.95 per month with no contract required, and a one-time flat fee as low as $29. Newbury hopes the rates encourage people to at least give it a shot. “If it’s not working out for you, you’re not out anything significant financially.”

Pulse Pilates: www.pulsepilates.net Fitness Connection: www.fitnessconnectionusa.com Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park: www.skyzone.com/raleigh midtownmag.com | 101

Winter Wellness Relief for Seasonal Affective Disorder By Jenni Hart

Are you especially tired, sad or irritable this time of year? Do you find yourself eating or sleeping more (or less) than usual? Have you lost interest in activities you once enjoyed? You may be like millions of Americans who have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, between four and six percent of Americans experience symptoms of SAD, a subset of depression made worse by changing seasons. The shorter, darker days of winter can trigger the onset of SAD, and northern climates see higher rates of the disorder, leading researchers and mental health professionals to suspect reduced sunlight as a likely cause. Paige Armstrong, a Raleigh psychotherapist and life coach, has treated many clients with depression and SAD. She says the signs of SAD can be subtle and often go unrecognized. “Too many people get used to feeling low, and they accept it as their new normal,” she says. “But if you go two to three weeks with more bad days than good, especially if you recognize a pattern of feeling this way every winter, you could be experiencing 102 | midtownmag.com

seasonal affective disorder.” Armstrong says it’s important to distinguish between major depression and SAD. She says people who have been diagnosed with major depression may require a combination of psychotherapy and prescription medication for the best possible results. For those who are functioning fairly well but feeling the milder symptoms associated with SAD, here are some proven strategies for restoring a sense of wellbeing: •

If you are already being treated for depression, continue with prescribed medication and see your psychiatrist or therapist regularly. Armstrong says apathy and hopelessness can undermine a person’s desire to seek help. The right treatment approach, however, can greatly alleviate symptoms.

Get connected with people you really like and trust. “When you’re feeling down, it can be tempting to hibernate at home and shut people out,” Armstrong says. “But it’s important not to isolate yourself completely.” Going to a party or

“Over time, people get used to feeling sad and tired and don’t even realize they could experience more fulfillment and peace in their lives.” ~Paige Armstrong, Life Enrichment Resources meeting friends at a noisy bar might require more energy than you can muster, but why not meet a good friend for coffee or dinner? •

Share your feelings with close friends and family, and actively seek their support. “So many people suffer silently and wait for the sadness to pass, but having others around you who are tuned in to what you’re going through can be really comforting,” says Armstrong. Some people also benefit from online depression support groups and local meet-ups.

Get moving. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, exercise can help fight the symptoms of depression, especially when combined with other treatments, including medication when needed. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym; a brisk walk or bike ride releases feel-good endorphins and helps reduce the stress hormone, cortisol. Walk with a friend for the added benefit of social interaction.

Count your blessings. “I know some people may cringe at that, because it sounds so cliché, but there is proof that positive thinking and personal affirmations, over time, have the power to change the neural pathways in our brains,” Armstrong says. One of the tenets of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, a scientifically validated therapeutic approach, is that people who begin to recognize irrational and dysfunctional thought patterns can eventually replace them with a more realistic view of themselves and the world. Armstrong stresses that this is not an overnight cure, but a process that takes time.

Practice self-care. Sufficient sleep, time for solitude and meditation, and adequate nutrition that includes supplemental Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids when indicated, are factors that impact general physical health and mental health alike. Armstrong calls this self-care, and she points to a favorite quote by actress and author Kaylan Pickford: “It took me a long time to learn that doing what nourished my spirit was not selfish, but essential.”

Try light therapy. Also called phototherapy, this solution is a simple, relatively inexpensive way to simulate summer sunlight. The mechanism behind light therapy isn’t fully understood, but the proof it works is irrefutable. Studies indicate that up to 80 percent of the people who regularly use specially designed light boxes for 30 minutes each morning report a significant improvement in their depression and SAD symptoms.

If you think you may be experiencing SAD, you shouldn’t feel you have to wait for summer to feel better. For more information, talk to your doctor or mental health professional. midtownmag.com | 103

Room complete the >>

>> Every

den or study needs a comfortable desk-height table, good natural lighting by day and lamps for evenings. The best dens should beckon you to retreat and relax in a favorite chair with your feet up.


Asian Canton Tea Caddy Lamp Magnificent blue and white chinoiserie tea caddy lamp with square white linen shade and Lucite base. Oriental warriors on horseback depicted on lamp. >> Hunt & Gather, Glenwood Ave, $475

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Berkeley Desk and Return

What study is complete without a desk? The Copeland solid cherry home office will add the finishing touch. Finely crafted in Vermont. >> Ambiente Modern Furniture, $2,533

Corridor Media Console

This striking corridor cabinet features louvered doors of solid walnut. >> Ambiente Modern Furniture, $2,199

French Gilt-Bronze and Tole Bouillotte Lamp Perfect for a desk or game table. From a New Orleans estate. >> DT&Co., $1,750

Rustic Table Clock

This rustic piece is essential to your study as you always need to know how long you have to relax! >> Affordable Chic Shops, $30

Burlap Pillow Wrap

Removable with a velcro backing. Personalize your den with a monogram of your choice. Wear it vertical or horizontal. >> Affordable Chic Shops, $20 + monograming

Antique Heriz

Hand-knotted in Northern Afghanistan using all hand-spun wool and natural dyes. Reminiscent of late nineteenth century rugs. Also unusual are its decorative colors and ivory background. 4' x 6' pictured (available in sizes 2' x 3' to 12' x 18' and runners). >> Robert Fritz Oriental Rugs, Inc at Hunt & Gather, Glenwood Ave, $1,875

Early 19th Century Sofa Table

This table will look gorgeous behind any sofa. Add a few lamps and an accessory or two and the look is complete. >> DT&Co., $975

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Depending on one’s perspective it’s either “almost here” or “looming.” The holiday has long been a source of both celebration and dread. Sounds a little like love, no? In any case, if you’re looking for a date night during this roses-and-chocolate time of year, local theater doesn’t disappoint. Many of the shows are beloved classics (Romeo and Juliet) and others, such as Love and Taxes, are new and locally-written, even. If you’re wondering which playbill to hold in the palm of your hand, join Midtown for a look at what’s happening on stage. 106 | midtownmag.com

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Burning Coal Theatre Dates: January 22nd-February 15th Venue: Murphey School Auditorium Number of seats: 140 Duration of show: 2 hours; intermission Number in the cast: 13 Tickets: $15-$25 Synopsis: Shakespeare’s timeless play about two young people discovering love and daring to defy their parents’ age-old blood feud is possibly the greatest love story ever told, and a political fable for our time. What to look for: All the actors playing the parent roles are doubling as the servants, friar and apothecary. This production highlights ensemble storytelling and the transformation of the actor. But as theater-goers know, that’s not anything new. In Shakespeare’s world there was also a strong emphasis on the actor, Emily Ranii, director, explains. Ranii, who played the role of Juliet when she was 14, says the fight choreography, or violence, will be done in a poetic way, which means it will be more dance-like and less about swords and other traditional signs of violence. (It also means the show is appropriate for those ages 10 and older, according to organizers.) One element that brings excitement to the show, she says, is youthful energy. “The person who is playing Juliet is in high school and is a stunning young actor,” Ranii says, adding that the youthfulness of the cast brings something dangerous and palpable to the play. Think: the band of brothers concept of friendship. “The idea is that this is a world in which children grow up too fast and they model the behavior of their parents and, in growing up too fast, they launch into a dangerous cycle, ultimately undoing themselves,” Ranii says. midtownmag.com | 107


Cary Players Dates: February 13th-February 22th Venue: Page-Walker Arts & History Center Number of seats: 120 (60 on each floor) Duration of show: 2 hours; intermission Number in the cast: 20-25 Tickets: $25 (includes dessert) Synopsis: A heartwarming look at love: the good (bits) and the not-sogood (bites), through music and laughter. Includes short plays: Awkward Silence, Blind Date With Mary, Here We Are, Love and Taxes, Sure Thing and Surprise. There’s also a scene from The Taming of the Shrew. What to look for: The performances on both floors will conclude on a positive note, and with a song. “It celebrates love in one way or another,” director Lyman Collins says. “You know, we’re all gonna fall in love and we’re all gonna get through it.” Sometimes the best ideas are driven by necessity, right? Ten years ago finding a venue in Cary was a bit of a challenge. And when Cary Players wanted to do a Valentine type of show, organizers discussed food, chocolate and the PageWalker Center, a building with three floors. An idea came to them: use the main and third floors for performance spaces 108 | midtownmag.com

and the middle floor as a space to enjoy dessert. “We had to come up with a show that could be done twice, and the audience would switch places at intermission and take advantage of this whole idea of Valentines and chocolate … and use the second floor for desserts at intermission,” director Lyman Collins explains, adding that each floor is cohesive. “When you’ve got a unique space, you come up with unique ways of presenting things.” Audience members who started the show on the third floor, would watch the other half of the show on the main floor, and vice versa. The concept was so beloved that it continued at PageWalker, even once the Cary Arts Center, with its 393-seat theater, opened in 2011. This year’s production, which includes songs and seven short plays or scenes, is following a “best of ” theme, and many of the selections were selected by online votes. “The audience is close to the actors, which is fun for the audience and the actors,” Collins says.

Photograph © Curtis Brown

Raleigh Little Theatre Dates: February 13-March 1 Venue: Cantey V. Sutton Theatre Number of seats: 300 Duration of show: 2.5 hours; intermission Number in the cast: 20 Tickets: $13-$22 Synopsis: Beatrice and Benedick disdain love and each other, which makes them a perfect match. If they can’t see how much they belong together, perhaps they can be tricked into it. Themes of honor, shame and politics collide in Shakespeare’s comedic look at how we love. What to look for: How often problems arise because people misinterpret what they see or hear. “This is where the title comes from, this notion that the major conflicts in the play come from misunderstandings that really amount to nothing.” Patrick Torres, director, says. In this Raleigh Little Theatre production, the text is all Shakespeare’s language, unaltered. Where they are having a bit of fun with things, however, is the setting: 1945. “That time period mirrors the world Shakespeare creates in the play, especially in terms of gender roles and social codes,” director Patrick Torres explains. Torres adds that he likes this particular play because it shows the complexity of love in both funny and tragic ways. The humor is there, he says, but the play also “communicates a warning about what happens when we forget to seek the truth from those we love first.” One final thing to love about this production: it’s manageable Shakespeare. “Many people believe Shakespeare is difficult to understand, and it certainly can be,” Torres says. “But Much Ado about Nothing is one of his most accessible plays, and we are working hard to make sure the play is crystal clear.” midtownmag.com| 109

all Photography © NC Museum of Natural Sciences


L A R G E i




Sauropod dinosaurs are front and center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences By Kurt Dusterberg


easy to understand why dinosaurs continually capture our imaginations. We marvel at the size of zoo animals like giraffes and elephants, but the sheer magnitude of dinosaurs leaves many of us in awe. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh is hoping science lovers will bring their curiosity to the World’s Largest Dinosaurs exhibition, which runs through April 12th. The exhibition focuses on the “super-sized” dinosaurs – the long-necked, long-tailed sauropods. Experts believed they may have reached lengths of 140 feet and roamed the Earth for nearly 150 million years. The centerpiece of the display is a life-size, 60foot Mamenchisaurus. The dinosaur appears to be breathing, and cutaways of its body show what the internal organs looked like. Remarkably, the neck of the Mamenchisaurus was roughly half its length, making him look all the more imposing.

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The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is presenting a series of presentations from its paleontologists and the curator of the exhibition. For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit naturalsciences.org. Dinosaurs of the Dawn: Giant New Discoveries Reveal a Lost Cretaceous Ecosystem Thursday, January 8th at 7pm. Dr. Lindsay Zanno, Director of the Paleontology & Geology Research Lab, NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Zanno reveals her team’s latest fossil finds and their struggle for survival at the dawn of the Late Cretaceous in North America.

(left) A visitor chisels away at a specimen in the dig pit table. (Above) A replica of a sauropod skull indicates its skull was no bigger than that of a horse.

“Their bones must have been light,” says Albert Ervin, the museum’s coordinator of special exhibitions and 3D movies. “And his head is no larger than a horse’s head.” There are also full-size replicas of the animal’s heart, windpipe and lungs, leaving us to imagine how the bodies of these creatures functioned. “So you wonder, how did they get so big?” Ervin says. “And how could they have possibly lived and breathed and reproduced and carried on life at such a massive scale?” The curators of the exhibition assembled a multi-disciplinary research team, studying animal nutrition, biomechanics and paleontology in order to make inferences about sauropod biology. One exhibit allows visitors to compare the dinosaur teeth with those of living animals. Another allows visitors to use a hand pump to learn how much pressure it would have taken to pump blood along the length of a 30-foot neck to the Mamenschisaurus’s head. “This exhibition represents a new era of dinosaur research that leverages recent advances in technology and the expertise of multiple scientific disciplines to understand how the largest animals to ever roam the earth actually lived,” says curator Mark Norell. “It demonstrates how our understanding of these enormous creatures continually evolves and changes in response to new science.” One of the more interesting displays is a giant crate of leaves and other plant life. In the course of one day, these herbivores consumed enough conifers and ferns to provide 100,000 calories, equal to 1,000 pounds of plant matter.

The World’s Largest Dinosaurs When They Were Tiny Thursday, February 5th at 7pm. Dr. Mary Schweitzer, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Schweitzer will explore reproductive habits and growth rate in some of the world’s largest dinosaurs.

“They didn’t chew their food,” Ervin explains. “All the teeth are peg-shaped. If you Lecture topic and title to be imagine two yard rakes, the job determined of its teeth was to grab onto the Thursday, February 19th at 7pm. tree or bush and rake the leaves Dr. Mark Norell, Chairman of the into its neck, and everything was Division of Paleontology, American digested in its huge stomachs.” Museum of Natural History. You might imagine a baby sauropod beginning life Searching for Triassic Age Animals in at a robust size, but a display Arizona and North Carolina suggests that a newborn emerges Thursday, March 5th at 7pm. from an egg that is smaller than a Vince Schneider, Curator of Paleontology, soccer ball. What happens from NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Learn there is hard to believe. about the Museum’s field research from “We think a hatchling the Triassic age sediments of Arizona would double its size in five and North Carolina. days,” Ervin says. “In two months, it would be 16 times as massive. It was an eating and growing machine.” In three decades, an adult sauropod reached its full size, weighing as much as 55 tons. The World’s Largest Dinosaurs exhibition features numerous additional artifacts, including 10 other sauropod specimens. Guests can touch the fossilized femur bone of a large Diplodocus, which is the size of a human adult. Visitors can even get an idea what it’s like to go on a dinosaur dig. A video shows Lindsay Zanno, the museum’s paleontology and geology research lab director, working with her team on the desolate landscape of Utah. An accompanying display shows the tools they used to expose and transport the specimens they discovered. Since kids and dinosaurs are a natural fit, the exhibit provides a handson experience. Little ones can put on safety goggles, grab a brush and pick, and practice in a dig-pit table, simulating a dig in a sandstone-rich area.

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Apartment Boom Offers Unprecedented Options By Jenni Hart


onstruction cranes and scaffolding are being dismantled throughout the streets of downtown Raleigh, revealing the completion, or nearcompletion, of hundreds of new apartment units. The opportunity for Raleigh residents to experience the vitality of an urban setting,

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with ample choices in square footage and amenities, has never been greater. Downtown Living Advocates co-founder Jim Belt has lived in downtown Raleigh for eight years, and he says the millennials and empty-nesters who are drawn here seem to understand the value of downtown living. “They realize this is a completely different lifestyle from what they would find in the

Photo from SkyHouse South in Atlanta. photograph by Daniel Henninger

rendering by Koncept Design Studios

SkyHouse Raleigh

suburbs,” he says. “They’re clearly receptive to a more modest amount of living space and paying downtown prices, because they know the experience will be unlike any other.” The features and amenities seen in the new apartment communities, walking access to retail, dining and entertainment, and the connections felt among neighbors combine to create what Belt sees as an ideal lifestyle for many. In Midtown meets Downtown, we look at three new apartment communities aspiring city-dwellers will want to consider.

SkyHouse Raleigh is a first for the city; a high-rise offering expansive views from the floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies found in each apartment. Residents will have access to a 24-hour fitness center, concierge service, a clubroom with billiards, and a rooftop saline pool. SkyHouse Raleigh, at the corner of Martin Street and Blount Street, will welcome its first residents in early March. Studios One Bedrooms Two Bedrooms Three Bedrooms

Starting at $1073 Starting at $1269 Starting at $1909 Starting at $2368

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The Devon Four25 Residents at The Devon Four25 will find it’s an easy walk to the restaurants, nightlife and shopping of Glenwood South. Street level retail, a private, gated parking deck, and a landscaped interior courtyard with saltwater pool are on the long list of amenities found with these modern, industrial apartments with clean lines and a true urban aesthetic. Just one block from Glenwood Avenue and a half-mile from Cameron Village, The Devon Four25 welcomed its first residents in mid-December. Studios One Bedrooms Two Bedrooms

927 West Morgan It isn’t too late to find a home at 927 West Morgan, although availability is limited. Apartments here have spacious kitchens, with generous granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and 42-inch wood cabinets, and residents enjoy convenient access to Glenwood South and Fayetteville Street. Two saltwater pools, courtyard areas with fresh herb gardens, two health clubs and free yoga classes make it easy to meet your neighbors, and frequent resident socials feature catered food and even live music.

One Bedrooms Two Bedrooms Three Bedrooms

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$1250-$1325 $1550-$1725 $2200

Starting at $1100s Starting at $1300s Starting at $1700s




Buzz in

RALEIGH BY Paul Savery

Bob King is an urban beekeeping pioneer. Twenty years ago he started up three beehives in the yard of his Coley Forest home in Raleigh. He was interested in keeping the bees for apiatherapy (bee sting therapy) to treat his sick wife, but he also appreciated the large quantities of honey the hives produced. He claims his neighbors were never aware that he kept bees. Bob is the owner of the ACE Hardware store in Seaboard Station and while he no

longer maintains beehives, he was delighted to respond to his customers’ recent requests for beekeeping equipment. He began stocking beekeeping supplies in November 2014. ACE offers a wooden 10-frame beehive for less than $190, as well as other items which provide a starter kit for the neophyte urban beekeeper. Why are a growing number of Raleigh residents eager to embrace beekeeping at home or at work? To midtownmag.com| 115

midtowndowntown answer this question, let us take a few steps back and start with the bees themselves. Bees are members of the genus Apis, but not all bees are honeybees. Not surprisingly, honeybees are primarily distinguished from other types of bees by the production and storage of honey and also the construction of nests from wax. William Shakespeare described honeybees as “singing masons building roofs of gold”. Honeybees can’t vote, but they must have been releasing a huge cloud of pheromones around the Legislative Building in 1973 when the NC General Assembly deliberated on the designation of the official state insect. The honeybee won the vote and is now the official insect of North Carolina. You can’t fault the General Assembly decision on this particular occasion, because the bee is probably the most precious insect in the world. Belgian author Maurice Maeterlinck wrote in his The Life of the Bee (1924) “No living creature, not even man, has achieved, in the center of his sphere, what the bee has achieved in her own…” While the honeybee is not a native species, it has been buzzing around North Carolina since the seventeenth century. The bee was brought to North America by settlers from Europe for bee products and to pollinate the crops. North Carolina led the United States in beeswax production and was a major honey producer throughout the nineteenth century. In North Carolina, on an annual basis the honeybee directly contributes millions of dollars to the economy through the production of honey and over $150 million through the pollination of crops. About 70% of our food source requires pollination, and bees have a disproportionately large effect on their environment. Honeybees are the most economically important pollinators in the world (bats and butterflies are among other important pollinators and are also in dramatic decline). Bees have not been prospering in North Carolina or anywhere else in the world since the late twentieth century. Bee colonies around the world began to mysteriously collapse with adult bees dying or disappearing. North Carolina was no exception. North Carolina beekeepers experienced a drop of almost 50 percent in the number of recorded hives between 1987 and 1992. This phenomenon was named “Colony Collapse Disorder”, thus honeybees are like the proverbial canary in the mineshaft setting off alarm bells. Their decline points to broader environmental degradation”, sadly almost all feral colonies of bees have disappeared. Colony Collapse Disorder is part of the current collapse in biodiversity that many biologists believe poses a grave threat to humanity. The good news is beekeeping has become a popular hobby – not only because people have become fascinated by the mysterious ways of these charming and eccentric creatures, but also because of the dire plight of the bee. A growing number of Raleigh 116 | midtownmag.com

residents are installing bee hives on their residential and commercial properties, and finding it is not very difficult or expensive to provide a sanctuary to bees at their homes or businesses. Beehives don’t take up much space – no more than the footprint of the hive itself, which varies, but is usually in the range of 18x 18inches. The American writer Elbert Hubbard said, “Every saint has a bee in his halo.” If you are looking for inspiration, there are many beekeepers with established beehives in Raleigh neighborhoods. Many beekeepers are rather secretive about where they locate their beehives, and there are no local requirements to register your hive. Consequently, those curious about checking out city beehives cannot obtain a map or inventory of hives to guide them in exploration. Instead, as you move around town, keep your eyes peeled for beehives tucked into yards and gardens. In Lions Park in East Raleigh, there are several houses with pairs of beehives, a few homes in Central/Midtown Raleigh with beehives and at least one home in historic Oakwood that possesses beehives. Our own Governor’s Mansion is leading the city by example in bee consciousness. In 2009, the grounds supervisor Gerald Adams installed two beehives on the north lawn of the mansion. Starting in 2010, an Annual Honey Harvest has been held at the Governor’s Mansion during the summer. (A few blocks up the street, the 102-acre historic Oakwood Cemetery has also installed two bee hives.) Raleigh’s annual Tour D’ Coop isn’t just about chickens anymore! The Tour organizers created a Hive Hike in 2014 to

showcase homes with active beehives for Tour visitors. The ten and a half contiguous acres of NC State University’s J.C. Raulston Arboretum host several beehives. For those of you who choose to take a serious interest in beekeeping, there is a wealth of local resources. NC State University has one of the country’s finest apiculture programs, where research is conducted to further our understanding of honeybee biology and to improve our ability to manage bees. One service is the ‘Beekeeper Education & Engagement System’ (BEES) that is a new online resource for beekeepers at all levels. The system is entirely internet-based and open to the public. There is also a ‘Queen and Disease Clinic’ that offers an invaluable service to beekeepers who need to test queen bee and bee colony health. For more information visit www.cals.ncsu.edu/entomology/apiculture/. Raleigh resident Ben Crawley has adopted the moniker “Mr. Buzz” for his work as a fulltime roving beekeeper, currently managing over 100 hives for owners in Raleigh and Wake County. He estimates around 12 hives are in the central Raleigh area. You may spot Ben driving around the city; he attracts admiring attention as he’ll often have a beehive sitting in the back of his pickup truck, and his license plate reads “Mr. Buzz”. Contact Ben at ben.mrbuzz@gmail.com. Sarah Myers first became interested in bees when she took an elective course at NC State on bees. She became hooked on bees on the first day of class, fascinated with their social organization and how they serve the interests of Homo sapiens. Her father, Al Pleasants, owns Piedmont Litho Printing on Hillsborough Street near NC State’s campus, and behind the

building they maintain several beehives. Father and daughter became certified beekeepers in 2009, and Sarah has subsequently advanced in her beekeeping credentials to achieve her current “Journeyman” status. In her day job, an apiarist for the North American Bee Center – located at Bayer CropScience in Research Triangle Park – Sarah is as busy as her bees. She also maintains beehives in central Raleigh, and you can chat with her about beekeeping at the Midtown Farmers Market in North Hills, where she sells her “Pleasant Bee” products. You can learn more about Al and Sarah’s bee products online at www.thepleasantbee.com. Sarah is also currently president of The Wake County Beekeepers Association, which is an excellent resource for discovering more about beekeeping. Contact Sarah at president@wakecountybeekeepers.org. If owning your own beehive is just too daunting, there are several opportunities to learn more about the fascinating world of bees. At the Museum of Natural Sciences, visitors can observe a working beehive at close quarters in the Discovery Room. The first-ever Honey Bee Day took place in August 2014 at the State Farmers Market, featuring presentations on bees, beekeeping, pollination and honey. The Annual NC State Fair, held at the Fairgrounds every October, for decades has featured The Bee and Honey Exhibit, where live bees are displayed in escape-proof observation hives. Anyone can contribute to the health of local bee colonies by taking quite small steps. Plant your garden with bee-friendly plants such as wildflowers. In addition, do not spray your garden and lawn with many of the well-known garden and lawn pesticides, which are toxic to pollinators. You can also help local beekeepers by buying pure local honey. Some large companies sell cheap, ultra-filtered honey cut with cheap sweeteners, which contain unauthorized antibiotics and pesticides. You are now equipped to be a bee champion with a responsibility to spread the word about how to help save the bees! midtownmag.com| 117


in the

Stronger Together symposium is designed to help

women navigate the health challenges of middle age By Page Leggett

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We are a culture obsessed with youth. Talking about aging – and the health challenges inherent in growing older – tends to make many of us uncomfortable. That doesn’t sit well with Kathy Kastan, the director of the Women’s Health and Advocacy Initiative at Duke Medicine. The tireless advocate for women’s health is in the thick of planning Duke’s biennial women’s health symposium. And if the theme, “Midlife Matters: Menopause, Sexuality and Women’s Health,” makes people do a double take, that’s just fine by Kastan. “These are topics our mothers didn’t talk about,” she says. The conference is planned for April 11th at the Midtown Hilton. The audience will be limited to 300 people, and Kastan expects a full house. Among the topics that will be covered are psychosocial and physical health concerns surrounding menopause, sexuality and pelvic floor disorders. But it’s about more than female sexual health; it’s about overall health. The conference is designed for women in or entering midlife. And how is “midlife” defined? You might be surprised. Kastan says most people assume 55 is midlife. “But that would mean the average life expectancy is 110,” she laughs. “And it’s not.” Midlife is roughly the time between ages 40 and 65. Kastan wants the event to be entertaining as well as informative. She and her team are offering free health screenings, art displays, educational breakout sessions and activities that will create an environment where women feel comfortable in learning about potentially uncomfortable topics. There’s even entertainment, including a performance by Rhythm & Blue, Duke University’s oldest coed a cappella group. Kastan calls the panel of experts she’s assembled “A-list.” One of them is Lauren Streicher, MD, a sexologist from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Streicher joins a host of experts from Duke and other top medical centers. The conference is actually two big events in one day. One is geared to healthcare providers and the other to a general population. Attendees from both events will come together for a seated lunch, which will feature New York Times bestselling author, Iris Krasnow, PhD., as the keynote speaker. She’ll discuss her latest book, Sex After: Women Share How Intimacy Changes as Life Changes. midtownmag.com| 119

Kathy kastan, director of the women’s health and advocacy initiative at duke medicine.

Krasnow’s latest book has received the same kind of critical and popular praise her earlier books have gotten. Bestselling author Erica Jong is a fan. “We think that sex is eternal, but in fact our ideas on sex do change with the decades,” she wrote. “Sex After is full of comforting information about these changes. [It’s] a book that will be read and reread with gratitude.” Still not equal Why are middle-aged women such an important demographic? For one thing, women between the ages of 44 and 65 are the largest demographic group in the United States. Middle-aged women are a force to be reckoned with. And, women are vastly underrepresented in clinical trials, Kastan says. In addition, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fails to enforce its own policy that new drug applicants include the submission of data by sex, age group and race/ ethnicity, Kastan says. As a result, women are frequently diagnosed – and even treated – with devices, drugs and procedures that are effective in men but have not been sufficiently studied or proven effective in women. Kastan wants to bring awareness to the disparity and begin to narrow the gap.

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She also wants to make it okay to talk about female sexuality. Some of the topics covered at the conference are potentially embarrassing for a woman to bring up – even with her partner or physician. Kastan hopes to open a dialogue that will allow women (and men) a new level of comfort in discussing intimacy. “Women need to know what questions to ask,” Kastan says. “This conference is one way to educate everyone on how to broach these sensitive topics.” To illustrate her point about how acceptable it is to talk about male sexual dysfunction, Kastan mentions the prevalence of TV and print ads for erectile dysfunction drugs. She says there are more than 40 FDA-approved drugs for male sexual dysfunction – and one for women. One woman at the forefront of developing a drug to treat female libido issues is Cindy Whitehead, president and COO of Sprout Pharmaceuticals. Sprout is one of the event sponsors, and Whitehead says she is “thrilled to be part of the change now taking place.” She expects her company’s new drug to be submitted for FDA approval next year. “Kathy is a pioneer,” says Whitehead. “This forum is the kind of open, public dialogue that will get us to solutions. There’s a national conversation going on now about female sexual health. One in 10 women are affected by low libido, so it’s a conversation that needs to happen.” Take charge And the message isn’t that the sky is falling. It’s one of empowerment. Alison Weidner, MD, associate professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University Medical Center, is one of two course directors for the forum. She says she hopes the biggest takeaway from the event will be that women realize midlife is a great opportunity to take charge of their own health. “These are not just gynecological issues,” she adds. “These issues impact women’s overall health. This forum allows women to learn what treatment options are out there and then pursue them privately. No one has to reveal anything at the conference. There won’t be any Scarlet As.” Dr. Weidner will lead one of the more personal breakout sessions. Her topic is “Breaking through the Embarrassment: Pelvic Floor Disorders.” If that’s not an issue that affects you, there are three other breakout sessions going on at the same time. They are “Menopause and Diabetes: Prevention and Management,” “Menopause Management” and “Creating a Midlife Health Plan.” It’s a day that Kastan says is all about “breaking down barriers, enhancing communication, building a sense of community and empowering women to be their own healthcare advocates.” Midlife isn’t the beginning of a slow march to the end. It’s an exciting new beginning – and one that women can embrace and even love. Visit drci.org/events/stronger-together-community-event to learn more. To register, call Nancy Albino at 919.401.1215. The registration fee, which includes lunch, is $35. midtownmag.com| 121

healthy you

Superhero Obsession Is it Causing a Boost in Plastic Surgery? by Dr. Jeremy Pyle, Davis & Pyle Plastic Surgery


he American audience has always adored its superheroes. From George Reeves’ Superman of the 1950s to the Wolverine and Thor of 2013, an adrenaline-pumping action flick with a central hero fighting the age-old battle of good and evil never fails to attract a wide crowd. But while superhero movies once aired at the rate of a handful per decade, several new live-action comic book-based films now come out each year, resulting in increasingly cutthroat competition among distributors seeking skyrocketing box office totals. Along with the popularity of superhero films comes an immense pressure to deliver the right type of hero. The central protagonist is still overwhelmingly male in the superhero genre, and he has to be just the right balance of realistic and larger-than-life. But the demands of the American public are

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continually shifting, making the struggle to keep up apparent not only in the film industry, but also in the field of cosmetic surgery. Shifting Male Body Ideals Adam West’s campy Batman of the 1960s could never compare to today’s large and small screen equivalent. While viewers were once content to watch West jump from scene to scene in only a basic costume that revealed his average-looking and not-very-toned body, we now have Christian Bale and Ben Affleck in elaborately detailed getups that exaggerate their already impressive biceps, abs and pectorals. Each generation’s Batman is more extreme than the last, making it mandatory to adopt an exhaustive regimen of physical training and dieting designed to transform actors’ bodies into the male comic book ideal: a final result that’s incredibly cut, without a speck of visible body fat. For many men, actors or not, diet and exercise simply can’t deliver superhero-level results. While women have long borne the brunt of the pressure to attain a certain look, modern men are now subject to the same impossible expectations of easily achieving and effortlessly maintaining perfect and idealistic proportions. The Turn to Cosmetic Procedures The rate of cosmetic surgery performed on men has increased 273 percent in the last 16 years, as mildmannered everymen are beginning to find a solution to their appearance concerns in cosmetic procedures. While diet and exercise are critical for achieving a superhero body, cosmetic procedures can take men the extra step toward fully meeting their goals – which is one reason why liposuction is the most common cosmetic surgery performed on men today. Liposuction slims away pockets of subcutaneous fat like the love handles, which are notoriously difficult to get rid of with diet and exercise alone. Additionally, male breast reduction and other body contouring procedures plus anti-aging med spa treatments like BOTOX® Cosmetic can all help men achieve a more realistic version of their personal ideal. Heroic Expectations Standing in direct comparison to superheroes, the unassuming average man also feels the need to deliver an impressive performance in order to stand out. Plastic surgery can help men feel confident in both their professional and private lives, attracting the right kind of attention from those who matter the most. While living daily life in the boardroom may be a far cry from the glamor of basing operations out of the Bat Cave, that’s no reason not to take care of yourself in heroic proportions. Whether hunched over in a cubicle or saving innocents after a quick costume change in a phone booth, the need to feel confident about the body you’re presenting to the world is universal. midtownmag.com| 123

healthy you Photography by Jenna Markiewicz

Pilates Standing the Test of Time by Elisa Buxbaum, Pulse Pilates

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any fitness trends come and go, but Pilates stands the test of time. Joseph Pilates opened his studio in New York City in 1925, and his methods were rapidly embraced likely due to the broad application of his style of personal training. Athletes, dancers, middle-aged women/men, seniors, teens, and people who need physical rehabilitation all find tremendous benefit in taking Pilates. Pilates conditions the entire body, from the neck to the feet and ankles. It keeps the core (front and back) strong, while it elongates and strengthens the body. Pilates is low impact, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility without causing injury.

Photography by Jenna Markiewicz

Moves can be done on the mat or on specialized equipment known as the Reformer, which has a bed-like frame with a flat platform (carriage) that rolls back and forth on wheels. The carriage is attached to a set of springs that have various levels of resistance. The Reformer has long straps that are pulled with the legs or hands, and specializes in developing the long, lean and tone bodies that are often associated with those that practice Pilates. A typical Pilates class is 55 minutes long and works the entire body, with a focus on core and breathing. Usually practitioners wear yoga pants or leggings and a workout top, and perform barefoot. Participants leave class feeling energized, refreshed and relaxed. Pilates has been a favorite workout for modern dancers and ballet performers across the nation, including our very own Carolina Ballet. Zalman Grinberg, resident choreographer for the Carolina Ballet says, “A Pilates workout is one of the things I look forward to most in a week. It is an intense workout surrounded by a calming energy. It gets me through the week with a positive attitude.” Rebecca Arce, DPT.COMT physical therapist for Carolina Ballet writes “Pilates has been essential to elevating the core stability and strength of the Carolina Ballet dancers. Personal attention and tactile cueing allow for necessary spinal alignment and safe movement integration.” Pilates offers invaluable benefits – both physical and mental. Few sports have universal appeal, but a great number of those who try Pilates will get hooked. If you are looking to experiment with a new kind of exercise in 2015, perhaps Pilates can be part of your New Year’s resolution for better fitness. midtownmag.com| 125

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Spring Fashion Our annual spring fashion shoot, featuring local models and clothing. Look for items from your favorite Raleigh independently owned and managed stores. One of the most popular issues of the year!

Summer Beach Planning A look at what the NC Crystal Coast has to offer for your spring, summer or fall vacation planning. Amenities, entertainment and why you and your family should book your holiday beach house or hotel sooner rather than later. The sooner you book, the more options you will have! Spring Arts Preview Why stay home? The weather is getting warmer and spring flowers are blooming...time to get out your schedule and plan to attend some of the many offerings Raleigh has on tap. Buy tickets online to most events with the greatest of ease – we’ll have much to share about what’s coming up!

Midtown Reviews | Bain’s Beat | Calendar of Events | Healthy You on the scene | Midtown Mingles | and much more!

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Affordable Chic Shops Holiday Open House

On December 5th-7th, Affordable Chic Shops held their annual Christmas Open House. Their fabulous customers were on hand to experience lots of food, fun and live music!

3rd annual ‘Day of Hope’

On October 10th Davis & Pyle Plastic Surgery held their 3rd annual ‘Day of Hope’ coinciding with national “Bra Day,” which stands for “Breast Reconstruction Awareness.” It’s a movement to educate breast cancer survivors about their reconstruction options – which are constantly evolving. Caitlyn Knute from ABC11 was there to cover the event and the emotional stories which came out of this special day. Money raised benefitted the Pretty in Pink Foundation of NC and the Angel Fund at Rex Hospital.

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Kings Cares Charity Event

On October 23rd, Kings Bowl of North Hills hosted the Kings Cares Grand Opening Charity Event, with all proceeds from the night benefitting six local charities, including the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, Junior League of Raleigh, Triangle Family Services, Wake Education Partnership, Archway Foundation and the Holt Brothers Foundation. In just a few hours, the event raised approximately $8,000.

holiday party at pulse pilates

Pulse Pilates celebrated the season with their third annual holiday party to honor all of their fantastic clients. Guests enjoyed lots of food, drinks and free raffles!

Photos © Bax Miller Photography © Chris Florio

SAFEchild Luncheon Couture for a Cause

Activate Good’s 6th Annual Couture for a Cause was attended by more than 500 guests. Eighteen designers paired with 18 nonprofits to create 36 looks inspired by their missions, creating an evening of fun, fashion-forward philanthropy! 128 | midtownmag.com

More than 500 guests attended the 2014 Believe in SAFEchild Luncheon, held at the Hilton North Raleigh Midtown on November 18th. It was a moving, inspirational event, with the program consisting of courageous stories of overcoming violent and abusive pasts from Board member Kelly Huffstetler, SAFEchild program graduates, and others working to end the cycle of child abuse.

midtownmingles Photography © 2014 f8 Photo

2014 WakeMed Foundation Appreciation Gala

The 2014 WakeMed Foundation Appreciation Gala was held on November 15th at the Raleigh Convention Center. More than 800 guests attended the event, which is held to thank those donors who have made a financial contribution of $1,350 or more. The evening included a special performance by the Broadway show RAIN – A Tribute to the Beatles.

smashburger grand opening happy 10th anniversary

Synergy celebrated their 10-year-anniversary in 2014 in true style, with their loyal clients and expert team! Clients received complimentary services throughout the night, and the bubbly flowed freely as everyone toasted to the feeling of Synergy!

On December 17th, Smashburger celebrated the grand opening of its first Raleigh location in the Shops at Falls Village. Flurries (generated by a snow machine) were falling as guests enjoyed a first-hand taste of the restaurant’s smashingly fresh food. The local franchise owners are also donating 10 percent of total proceeds from the first three days open to Communities In Schools of Wake County. midtownmag.com| 129


LOOKING words of

NECCO® Sweethearts Through the Years Sweethearts®, those ubiquitous Valentine’s Day candies by NECCO, have been creating shortworded conversations since 1902 – in their present form, anyway. They go even further back as large wedding trinkets. But in 1902, the company starting selling them as the Valentine’s Day candies we know today. NECCO has sold more than 250 billion of the little hearts – enough to reach from New York to Los Angeles and back, if placed end to end. That’s a lot of product to avoid sounding repetitive, particularly when limited to the current maximums of five characters on the top line and four on the bottom. Another challenge is changing vernacular – 112 years is a long time for a phrase to stay relevant. “MARRY ME” is a perennial favorite – often requested by would-be proposers – and as such, has stayed within the company’s repertoire. Other classics repeating from year to year include “KISS ME,” “BE MINE,” and “I’M YOURS,” among others. But quite a few have been retired when the phrases became outdated, including: MY SUCH EYES, HOT CHA, SAUCY BOY, TELL ME HOW, GROOVY, WHY NOT, HEP CAT, OH BOY, LET’S READ, and DIG ME. Each year, it’s possible to find about 80 different sayings – a mix of classics, previous years’ batches, and new ones. In the 1990s, an executive decided the company should introduce 10 new sayings each year – usually within a theme. At publication time, there was no word on the 2015 theme or phrases, but I’m sure millions of people are going to love them. Here are some of the annual additions we’ve seen.

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By dan bain

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