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DIA OND M

AWARDS

50

WINNERS!

IN FOOD, FUN, PEOPLE, STYLE, SHOPPING & MORE!

J A N U A RY/FEBRUARY

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2011

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a note FROM THE

PUBLISHER

Happy New Year! I usually associate the months of January and February with the following adjectives: cold, dull, rainy and boring. It’s the dead time between the spectacular holiday season and the heavenly arrival of spring. So choosing articles for this particular issue can be challenging. But I am excited to say, “Not this issue!” This issue of Midtown is all about relationships! The relationship we have with our spouse or significant other, the relationship we have with our friends and even the relationships we have with strangers. It seems like around this time every year we take stock of what’s really important and what we want to do better in the coming year. Some people call it making New Year’s resolutions. I personally don’t believe in resolutions! These lofty goals aren’t about having fun or enjoying the good things in our life; they’re more about depriving ourself of something we enjoy or doing projects we simply don’t want to do. No wonder we give up two weeks into the New Year! This year commit to having more fun; commit to your relationship! Many studies show that the secret to a healthy marriage or relationship is time – having fun with the person you love. So Midtown challenges you to commit to a date night once a month. Check out “Ditch Dinner and A Movie” (page 26) for Midtown’s top ten date night ideas. Friends are important too. But sometimes friendships drain you more than they sustain you. Read “Friendship – How to Know When to Let It Go” (page 60). This issue also unveils the winners of the 3rd annual Midtown Magazine Diamond Awards. Thousands of you voted! You let us know your favorites (p.26), and we share the winners here. Let us know what you think of this issue of Midtown Magazine. We love hearing about what you enjoy and what you’d like to see more of. In short, your opinions matter.

Gina Pearce Stephens

Publisher/Partner Midtown, Cary Living, Pinehurst & Southern Weddings gstephens@midtownmag.com

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january/februa ry publisher/partner

gina stephens

advertising sales

gina stephens myra gammon

creative director graphic design

contributing writers

photography

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travis aptt heath hilliker jennifer casey christa gala kate turgeon dan bain illyse lane jenni hart page leggett april maness kristy stevenson darcy brennan-huante fiquet bailey carter & laura dalton josh gruder david sendall dr. jeff roberts dr. robert lacin, MC, FAANS april maness photography jennifer robertson photography

subscription inquiries call 919.782.4710 or visit midtownmag.com

Printed on 100% Recycled Paper

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. 4818 Six Forks Road, Suite 204 Raleigh, NC 27609 Phone 919.782.4710, Fax 919.782.4763 www.midtownmag.com 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 U.S. equal opportunity law.

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contents j anuary/february

2011

features 24 DiTch DiNNer aND moVie

want a better marriage? Check out Midtown’s top ten date Night Countdown.

36 WhaT DoeS YoUr aDDreSS SaY aBoUT YoU?

why do you live where you live? local Realtors give the inside scoop.

40 frieNDShiP: hoW To KNoW WheN To LeT iT Go

there comes a time in our adult life when we realize we’re not going to be friends with everyone we meet...

46 BehiND The SceNeS of miDToWN faShioN

we’ve caught up with the owners, who shared their fashion philoso phy. And what we learned it that there is something for everyone. take a peek…

62 UNcommoN coUrTeSY

70 refreSh YoUr home

we asked local shops and decorators for ideas on accessories that will make you fall in love with every room again.

86 GraND cameLLiaS

winter’s here, but not every plant is dormant. Join Midtown Magazine for a look at these beloved plants. Plus, test your know-how and find a local camellia show.

94 PicTUreS of reTiremeNT A day in the life with local retirees.

98 acroSS The STaTe

history and oddities Unique to the State of North Carolina.

112 PracTicaL meDicaL aDVice from a reaL Dr. mom duke Raleigh hospital’s dr. heidi Schecodnic offers no-nonsense tips for staying well through the winter.

does it seem that lately, we’re more intolerant of each other?

30 GaTher ‘roUND

Midtown unveils this year’s diamond Award winners; did your favorites make the list?

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contents january/february

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departments 60 bain’s beat 66 outrageously beautiful orchids 68 calendar 78 midtown reviews 82 beauty 84 dr. roberts 102 talk of the town Midtown meets Downtown 104 they’ve been working on the railroad 106 feeling brunchy? 110 ballet school basics 116 healthy you

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chef mario

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Want a better marriage? Check out Midtown’s Top Ten Date Night Countdown. New experiences trump the old standbys. Hey, we have science to back us up. By Christa Gala

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SIP AWAY: We might be a long way from Napa Valley, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the inside scoop on spirits. The Big Boss Brewing Company on Wicker Drive in Raleigh offers free tours the second Saturday of every month at 2pm. Or make the short jaunt to Morrisville for touring and tasting at Chatham Hill Winery; tickets are just $7 each and you’ll get the story behind each award-winning glass. Visit bigbossbrewing.com and chathamhillwine.com.

Say what you want about marriage, but listen to this: More people in our country marry for love than for any other reason, including companionship, financial stability and the desire for children. In fact, 93 percent of Americans think marrying for love is the best reason to get married, followed by companionship (81 percent). Financial stability came in last place at 31 percent, according to a study released in 2010 by the Pew Research Center with economic data from the US Census Bureau. That means we’re still marrying people who complement us, people we have fun with. That’s good news! But there’s a fly in the ointment. Regardless of how well-matched we are, marriage takes a lot of work. According to researchers, when we first meet a person – and for the first few years in a relationship – things are new and exciting. It’s not just speculation, but science. That “new love” period activates the brain’s reward system, releasing

feel-good chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. Over time, though, those chemicals level out as we settle into our marriages and develop feelings of long-term attachment. Fast forward a few more years, and many marriages grow stale, with each spouse leading separate lives. Sometimes, when the kids are gone, spouses find they don’t even enjoy being together anymore. This disconnection and incompatibility can lead to divorce. The solution, say experts, is to recreate the chemical surges of early courtship by dating once a week. We know, we know. That sounds like a lot. Aim for once a month. Oh, wait. There’s a condition. To inject novelty into your relationship, and get those feel-good chemicals boiling again, you have to ditch your old standbys for a while. This year, make a resolution to try some new things with your spouse or partner. No pressure; just see what happens.

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PAINT EACH OTHER: Pack some adult beverages and head over to Wine and Design on Bickett Boulevard in Five Points East. Get ready to laugh, though. This isn’t serious portrait painting. “You sit across from each other, and the artist instructs you how to paint each other in a Picasso style,” says Emmy Preiss, co-owner of the business that opened in May 2010. Meaning: you get to paint your partner however you see fit, whether with lopsided eyes or a big bosom. “There’s lots of laughter,” says Preiss. Class is $35 per person; covers all materials and instruction. Visit wineanddesignnc.com.

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ROCKWELL REVIEW: Speaking of art, what was Norman Rockwell thinking when he painted all of those homey pictures? Turns out, Rockwell’s childhood wasn’t anything like his work. In January, the NC Museum of Art presents American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell. The event includes cocktails, a three-course seated dinner and a curator tour of the Rockwell exhibition. Cost: $85/members; $110/nonmembers. Visit ncartmuseum.org/exhibitions/norman_rockwell.

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SOLVE A MURDER: Since spring 2009, Redrum Raleigh, a mystery dinner show, has performed in local restaurants. Enjoy dinner while solving a whodunit with your partner. In 2011, Redrum will be performing at Hibernian, Solas, The Mint and Tir Na Nog. Tickets are $20 each (not including the meal). Each venue has its own prices for drinks and food. Visit redrumraleigh.com for 2011 performance dates.

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BUNDLE UP: Seriously, when was the last time you went ice skating? Grab your honey’s hand and get moving! December 4th launched The AT&T Raleigh Winterfest in downtown’s City Plaza, complete with a natural-ice rink and live entertainment. Admission to the rink is $8 per person. Winterfest will also offer sledding January 9th and 16th from noon to 4pm. Winterfest runs for two months; activities take place at the southern end of the 400 block of Fayetteville Street. Visit raleighwinterfest.com.

Now Open!

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LAUGH! So many comedy greats have passed through the halls of Charlie Goodnight’s, including Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno and Robin Williams. As a result, this Morgan Street staple has a track record of booking quickly-rising comics. Dinner is served upstairs at The Grille at Goodnight’s or downstairs in the Old Bar. Seating is first-come first-served unless you have a dinner reservation. Ticket prices vary, goodnightscomedy.com.

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ROLL WITH IT, BABY: Brand new in North Hills, Sparians Bowling Boutique & Bistro is not your typical bowling alley. Even if you’re not a big bowler, how can you not love the glow-in-the-dark balls and shoes? Gigantic projection screen televisions feature HD content, including movies, sports and music videos. All twelve lanes are outfitted with leather couches, granite coffee tables and your very own lane server. When you need a breather, head to the upscale Bistro or the outdoor seating area, the latter with lush palm trees and planters illuminated blue at night. Check it out at sparians.com.

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HIT THE GYM: Get warmed up playing a little racquetball or even striding next to one another on the treadmill, pump a little iron, and then rest your tired muscles in the club jacuzzi afterward. You’ll have time to talk and reconnect; plus the exercise releases those feel-good chemicals we were talking about earlier. You’re spending time together and doing something you need to do anyway: double bonus! If the gym’s not your thing, consider an evening hike with flashlights.

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1

BE A KID AGAIN! We know you have grown-up responsibilities. Luckily, it’s hard to be too serious when you’re playing skee-ball or trying to side-swipe your partner in a go-kart. Frankie’s Fun Park in Raleigh also offers laser tag, a fun house, batting cages and minigolf. Admission is free, and activities range from $3 to $8; money is loaded on a “pay-as-you-go” debit card. Why should the kids have all the fun? Note: Food here is of the snack-bar fare, so eat before or after you go. Visit frankiesfunpark.com.

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CUT A RUG: Have you two danced since the wedding? Consider taking lessons to learn the rumba, foxtrot or salsa at any of a number of Raleigh dance studios. Or check out the recently reopened Longbranch, Raleigh’s largest dance club, with 40,000 square feet and three separate dance floors featuring country, disco and Top 40. The cover charge is $8. Live bands play Friday nights. Visit longbranchraleigh.com.

GIVE IT A TRY So that’s our top ten. We had other ideas too: couples massages, cooking classes, sporting events. The activity itself doesn’t matter as much as what you put into it. Each date night, prepare yourself with both an open mind and heart. And see what happens.

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The Cupcake Shoppe

Readers raved about the lemon zinger, carrot cake and Cookie Monster cupcakes available at this cute bakery on Glenwood Avenue.

Midtown Grille (formerly Midtown &Bar 115) Sophisticated without being too fancy, Chef Scott James prepares a wide variety of contemporary food perfect for a networking lunch.

BEST PLACE TO SATISFY A SWEET TOOTH

BEST SPOT FOR A POWER LUNCH

Flying Saucer

Readers loved the Saucer’s Trivia Bowl and Pint Nite (for $3), but the variety of unique brews available really sealed the deal. BEST PLACE TO GRAB A BEER

Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern

Voters swooned over the gourmet meals at the Dodd-Hinsdale House, a grand Victorian with 14-foot ceilings and expansive windows, located in a quaint historic area on Hillsborough Street.

2011

BEST PLACE FOR A ROMANTIC DINNER

Mura

Mouth-watering sushi rolls and Kobe beef easily convinced voters to ditch dinner and order out.    BEST TAKE OUT

VIVACE

Comfortable seating, wide umbrellas, a central fountain and lush landscaping made Vivace a winner yet again this year.  BEST POSH PATIO DINING

Cafe Tiramisu

Diamond Awards By Christa Gala

Gather ‘round… Here, Midtown Magazine reveals this year’s Diamond Award Winners. These are the best places to eat, read, grab a beer, indulge a sweet tooth, buy gifts, watch the game, get your bling on and more—at least according to Midtown readers. You voted, and we counted.

Friendly smiles and prompt refills made diners feel cared for at this North Raleigh eatery. BEST WAIT STAFF

Starbucks at The Lassiter

From Tazo® Teas to Grande Lattes, something here will wake you up.

The results are in...

BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR CAFFEINE FIX

Whether prime rib, filet or NY Strip, readers loved the melt-in-your-mouth quality of every cut. BEST STEAK

With more than 25,000 bottles of wine stored in the cellar and 1,700 selections, this renowned Raleigh restaurant is routinely recognized for having one of the Top 100 wine lists in the world.  WINNING WINE LIST

Sullivan’s Steakhouse

Known for its creative cocktails and handshaken martinis, two to try are the Long Island Tea Martini and the Blueberry Lemon Drop. MOST UNIQUE COCKTAIL

Panera Bread

You love the sandwiches and bakery treats, but the convenience and ample seating was what made it the best place to work away from the office. BEST SPOT FOR WI-FI

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Angus Barn

Bruegger’s Bagels (North Hills)

Grab a handful of peanuts for the kids while you wait for cookedto-order burgers and fries.

Kicking back with a kettleboiled bagel and a fresh copy of Midtown is your favorite way to get the local scoop.

MOST KID-FRIENDLY DINING

BEST PLACE TO READ MIDTOWN MAGAZINE

North Hills Beach Music Series

Solas

Shag to your heart’s content during the warmer months at The Commons at North Hills, where you’ll find live beach music from 6 to 9pm most Thursdays.

There’s just something about that rooftop bar in downtown Raleigh that makes you want to get up and dance. 

BEST PLACE FOR LIVE MUSIC

BEST GUYS/GIRLS OUTING

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Tobacco Road Sports Cafe

Modern Enhancement Salon & Spa

Readers loved the wall-to-wall televisions at Tobacco Road, but raved too about the food, especially the Happy Hour Menu Monday through Friday.

Whether for weddings or class reunions, readers went here to go the extra mile with hair and eyelash extensions.

BEST PLACE TO WATCH THE BIG GAME

BEST PLACE TO SPLURGE

Tyler House

Raleigh Times

Opt for one of 50 Belgian beers offered, then settle back and enjoy photographs and news stories from the now defunct paper of the same name. The restaurant is housed in the newspaper’s original building, circa 1906. BEST PLACE TO WIND DOWN AFTER WORK

GOLD’S GYM

Readers loved the classes, equipment and staff that works hard to keep them in shape.

Charlotte’s (costume)

Bailey’s (real)

Maybe it’s because owner Jennifer Huggard makes frequent buying trips to New York, but readers said they could always find something unique to pull together a great outfit. BEST PLACE FOR FINISHING TOUCH TO AN OUTFIT

Readers love the vast selection of silver and fun colorful jewelry at Charlotte’s and opted for Bailey’s when it came time to purchase authentic bling.

Kristen’s Shoe Boutique

BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR “BLING” (REAL OR COSTUME)

(tie)

Vermillion

BEST PLACE TO SWEAT

Amra’s

Topsail Beach

Located in the Warehouse District, readers liked the 1930s jazz ambience as well as the live entertainment and quality cigars.

Readers loved the small-town feel of Topsail Beach (located at the Southern end of Topsail Island), which doesn’t allow high-rise building and has just 500 year-round residents.

BEST LATE-NIGHT SPOT

BEST PLACE TO GO OUTSIDE OF MIDTOWN OR ON A WEEKEND GETAWAY

Marbles

Keep the kids busy for hours with life-sized games, dress-up clothes, a pirate ship, hands-on exhibits and more. BEST WAY TO ENTERTAIN THE KIDS ON A RAINY DAY

The English Garden

Readers loved Kristen’s in Cary for its monthly girls’ nights and designer selection; an equal number cast votes for Vermillion in North Hills for great shoes, clothes and jewelry.

Unique designs, fresh flowers and friendly staff.

BEST PLACE TO BUY FLOWERS

BEST SHOES

The Elaine Miller Collection

Lee’s Tailor

Miller has decades of experience discovering, and sometimes remaking, vintage pieces.

When you love your outfit, but not the fit.

BEST PLACE TO BUY ESTATE JEWELRY

BEST ALTERATIONS

Diamonds Direct Crabtree

FOR PICKING OUT THE “BIG” DIAMOND, YOU PREFERRED DEALING DIRECTLY.

BEST PLACE TO BUY HOTTEST “IT” JEWELRY

tHe mint

THE ANTIQUE BANK VAULT HARDWARE LEAVES A GOOD IMPRESSION; READERS ALSO LOVED THE FINE DINING MENU, GLASS ETCHINGS AND OPULENT DÉCOR.

gena chandler

With a steady stream of trunk shows and fab designers, this boutique has everything from Nation tees to fur jackets from Adrienne Landau.

BEST PLACE TO IMPRESS A DATE

BEST PLACE TO FIND UNIQUE BRANDS OF CLOTHING

REGAL NORTH HILLS STADIUM 14

Jolly’s Jewlers

Comfy seats, fresh popcorn, cleanliness and friendly staff made this theater a favorite. BEST PLACE TO SEE A SHOW OR FLICK

The perfect place for custom work on an heirloom piece, blending old and new designs.

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BEST PLACE TO BUY HIM/HER A GIFT

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Glo De Vie

The Physicians and RNs got high marks as did the Botox™, Juvederm™ and a host of other age-defying treatments. BEST PLACE TO DE-AGE

DS Parada (TIE)

Lux Salon Spa

Teas, mineral water, steam room, soft robes, massages and pedicures; what more do you need?

Readers raved about the staff at both salons, heaping praise for extensive consultations and a gorgeous final result.

BEST OVERALL PAMPERING

FAVORITE PLACE FOR A BLOW-OUT

Skin Sense

Shelley Lake Walk your four-legged friend around this 53-acre lake and enjoy the scenery, water fountains and clean restrooms.  BEST PLACE TO WALK THE DOG

Salon Blu Bring in a photo or a good description of what you want, and your stylist will likely nail it, according to readers. BEST PLACE TO GET A NEW COIFFE

Oaks at Fallon Brand-new homes in an old-style walkable neighborhood, close to historic Five Points and downtown Raleigh. BEST ADDRESS (TO LIVE)

North

Hills

From little kids to corporate executives, readers loved finding a seat and watching the world go by. FAVORITE PEOPLE-WATCHING SPOT

SPCA

BEST PLACE TO DONATE YOUR TIME

Fresh flowers, cool colors and water features make waiting here a pleasure.

Raleigh’s Greenway System encompassing 63 miles and 300 acres; baby, you were born to run.

BEST RELAXATION/WAITING ROOM

BEST PLACE TO GO IN YOUR RUNNING SHOES

Bluewater Spa

Animals win hands down in this vote; furry friends claim the most of our free time. 

Brooke & Birdie Interior Design Hands down a Midtown favorite. Readers overwhelmingly agree with this design team’s style that a home should say “sit and stay a while”. People’s Choice Winner (Write-in Campaign)

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Specializing in corective color, but at dsparada, you won’t need correct color.

Hours Tuesday-Friday 10am-8pm Saturday 10am-5pm

dsparada.com

North Ridge Business Park 6520-100 Falls of Neuse Rd. North Raleigh

790.1707

As Featured In...

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By Christa Gala

When tallying votes for our Diamond Award Winners, great customer service is nearly always mentioned. Why is that? Customers are able to forgive gaffes as long as the company listens and takes steps to fix the mistake.

822

Customers will tell

people about a good experience and

Most consumers describe “great customer service” as “being listened to” and “feeling appreciated.” The product matters too, of course, but the interaction in delivering that product is just as important.

Market research shows that

70% of our buying experiences are based on how we feel we’re being treated.

people about a bad experience.

NINETY PERCENT

of consumers won’t go back to an establishment that disappointed them the first time.

65% The most successful companies take customer service very seriously. They should. A typical company gets of its business from returning customers.

LESSON LEARNED The customer may not always be right, but he should feel like he is.

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Plugging in… We love Wi-Fi. It’s great to be able to plug in while we’re out and about, checking emails and googling ‘til our brains are full. But are we good Wi-Fi users? Below, a little Wi-Fi etiquette: Don’t be a mooch: Free Wi-Fi! You know it’s not really free, right? Someone is paying for it, so don’t park your keister for hours without buying anything. Seriously. A cup of coffee, a scone…you gotta eat anyway, right?

Leave the office at home: If you’re toting extraneous hardware such as speakers, an external mic or monitor, you just need to go on to the office.

No hogging bandwidth: Don’t download enormous files while sharing a network; it slows down everybody.

   Clean up: Baristas aren’t maids. Throw away your trash, wipe crumbs off the table, push in your chair, and make sure you have your belongings before you leave. The next time you come, you’ll be on the receiving end of a big, warm welcome. Promise.

Space is a premium: Don’t commandeer a giant table. Take the smallest table available or offer to share a bigger table. Put your files and computer bag on the floor, not on extra chairs that can be used by other patrons.

No chatty Cathies: Turn off your phone or take calls outside. No one wants to hear about your appointment. Really.

Here’s a tip: Tip! By throwing a buck or two in the tip jar now and then, you foster goodwill and acknowledge you’re using valuable space. You might get your coffee quicker too.

Charge in: People used to clamor for a window seat; now everyone wants an outlet. Arrive with a fully-charged machine.

?

where do i get free

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Starbucks

Bruegger’s Cafe & Espresso Bar

Starbucks

ds Parada Color Salon

Panera Bread

Sparians Bowling Boutique

(at the Commons)

(Lassiter Mill Road)

Renaissance HOTEL (Raleigh North Hills Hotel, Midtown)

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WHAT DOES YOUR

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Let’s have a little fun. Could your address possibly reveal something about you? It’s definitely possible. Midtown talked to a variety of local realtors and asked who buys where, why and for how much – typically. We say “typically” because we don’t want you to take this too seriously. We know people of all ages and professions live everywhere in our fair city; that’s what makes Raleigh so wonderful. So this isn’t about stereotyping, just an inside peek at what Realtors notice that we might not. By christa gala

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FIVE POINTS

Average sales price: $371,250 • Average price per square foot: $220-$230

“The average Five Points buyer doesn’t mind paying a premium price for walkable, established neighborhoods, authenticity, character of architecture, convenience to downtown, arts, entertainment and locally-owned retail shops and restaurants,” says Amy Butler, broker

with Fonville Morisey Realty’s insidethe-beltline office. Popular home styles in Five Points include 1920s, 1930s and 1940s Craftsman bungalows with front porches, but many have undergone major facelifts. They may look small from the outside, but additions

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often spill out behind these homes or rise above the original structures, complete with modern amenities and finishes. If you live in Five Points, you might love the idea of a picturesque homestead from the past, laced with affluence, modernity and Southern flair.

NEW BERN AVE.

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When it comes to condo living, buyers love the buildings with amenities, says Amanda B.H. Williams, Realtor with Prudential York Simpson Underwood. “Many have swimming pools and fitness centers. Most of my buyers love the garages so they can just park and walk the area.” You’ll find lots of singles and couples in Glenwood South – of all ages. “With the price range being what it is, they’re not all that young usually.” If you live in Glenwood South, you’re probably grateful for its nofuss lifestyle. You’re not into fixeruppers, frankly. Home is just your landing pad. You enjoy the vibrancy and hustle of city living.

OAKWOOD/MORDECAI

Average sales price for Oakwood: $297,960 • Average price per square foot: $170 Average sales price for Mordecai: $268, 656 • Average price per square foot: $170

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“I get a lot of buyers interested in architecture and interior design,” says Williams. “I’ve had a number of customers in those fields or related fields who’ve bought in these areas.” Williams points out that Mordecai is very charming and its homes are smaller, so it’s a bit cheaper to purchase

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a home there. In Oakwood, homes are grander. Many of Raleigh’s past elite have lived in Oakwood. The entire area is steeped in history. Says Van Fletcher, broker/owner of Van Fletcher Residential Realty: “There’s a sense of place, walkability, location and a love for historic character.”

Adds Williams: “I think buyers here like the energy downtown, and many enjoy being a part of the revitalization that’s been going on, although it’s slowed a little.” If you live in Oakwood or Mordecai, history is important to you, as is being a part of it.midtownmag.com| xx

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sales price: $644,769* OLDE RALEIGH Average Average price per square foot: $153 This area of Raleigh is typically defined as the 10 or so neighborhoods surrounding Duraleigh and Edwards Mill Roads, and prices start at $200,000. Olde Raleigh is named after a prominent subdivision of the same name. Just a stone’s throw from Rex Hospital, RTP, the RBC Center and I-40, this part of Raleigh is often a top choice for highearning business executives. Although

condos and older homes are available, many homes are quite large and grand in style. Crabtree Valley Mall and the NC Museum of Art are also close in proximity, providing a unique variety for shopping and dining. If you live in Olde Raleigh, it’s likely location is important and you’re well-connected to work and cultural opportunities.

*Averages from Olde Raleigh subdivision.

OAKS AT FALLON

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Average sales price: $725,000 Average price per square foot: $220

NORTH RALEIGH

Average sales price: $270,000 Average price per square foot: $115

5 Buyers love the in-town location (near Fallon Park and Five Points), the new construction and the fact that there’s architectural diversity in home styles, says Fletcher. “Styles range from Colonial to Tudor to Farmhouse to Georgian; essentially, any style you’d find in historic neighborhoods in Raleigh.” Homeowners association fees include the pool, playground, “pocket parks,” and (get this!) lawn maintenance, the latter of which appeals to today’s busy buyers. If you live in The Oaks at Fallon Park, you probably like the best of both old and new. The walkability of the neighborhood and its location is similar to Raleigh’s older neighborhoods, while the new construction offers style, technology and minimal fixing up. *Midtown Magazine’s 2010 Diamond Award Winner for Best Place to Live

Butler says her typical buyer in North Raleigh is willing to drive a little further for more square footage. Buyers also get larger lots, two-car garages and loads of privacy. “They may sacrifice the uniqueness and authenticity of an older home, but they are willing to do so for more modern finishes and technology.”  If you live in North Raleigh, you might appreciate a little breathing

room for your animals and kids. Although shopping and dining options are plentiful, getting out often isn’t as important as staying in.

BRIER CREEK

Average sales price: $335,000 • Average price per square foot: $135 Brier Creek is a newly developed area of Raleigh, located on 2,000 acres just inside I-540 and Highway 70. The area is known for offering a wide variety of new homes as well as the option of a great golf and country club experience. “Buyers are typically looking for more square footage, new construction, convenience to the airport, RTP, golf, amenities and national retailers,” says Butler. Brier Creek Commons encompasses many big-box retailers, including Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods and PetSmart, as well as brand new schools, built especially for Brier Creek hom-

eowners. Most of the homes in Brier Creek are built in the traditional and transitional styles. If you live in Brier Creek, you might like being the first to explore uncharted territory – as long as everything you need is close by.

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MIDTOWN Average home prices: Varies, between 230,000 and 300,000 For decades a Raleigh favorite, North Hills received a major overhaul and facelift in 2003. Nicole Bullard, a Broker with Remax United, says buyers love the location, tem minutes to downtown, Glenwood South and lots of shopping. “Of course, let’s not forget North Hills. One detail of Midtown that buyers enjoy is the greenway, a great trail inside and outside the beltline that takes you out of the hustle and bustle.” Buyers also like being able to walk to shops, restaurants, the gym, grocery, movie theater and offices. North Hills manage-

ment provides ice skating in the winter, beach music festivals in the summer and kids’ activities year-round. Many homes date back to the 50s, 60s and 70s, says Bullard, and have been remodeled or torn down and replaced with new construction. The area also offers a wide range of homes – from condominiums to single family homes.   If you live in Midtown, you might enjoy the proximity of good private and public schools and the ability to live, work and play all in one place.

WAKEFIELD Average sales price: $305,694 • Average price per square foot: $101.10 Williams says many of her Wakefield buyers love the wide open spaces of Wakefield, not to mention being able to get a lot of house for the money. “It’s less expensive per square foot as you move out,” says Williams. Then again, some buyers choose Wakefield for location. “For certain jobs, the access is better

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up there,” Williams continues. “And there are nice country clubs.” Many neighborhoods have multiple pools and kids activities, walking trails and fishing. It’s fashioned after resort living. Williams says Wakefield is often attractive to many relocation buyers. If you live in Wakefield, you might like a lot of room and a lot of extras.

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Friendship HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO LET IT GO IT BEGAN WITH ONE PHRASE, NEARLY A DECADE AGO. “THE TOXIC FRIEND”. SINCE THEN, IT’S EVOLVED TO INCLUDE THE WORDS “FRENEMIES” AND “A POISON PAL”. WHICH MADE US WONDER, WHAT’S GOING ON WITH WOMEN TODAY? AND HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO LET A FRIENDSHIP GO? BY ILLYSE LANE

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t

There comes a time in our adult life when we realize we’re not going to be friends with everyone we meet. Instead, we have the luxury of choosing our friends. But with that luxury comes an expectation that the people we call our friends will treat us nicely and in return, we’ll do the same. But sometimes we don’t play nice. One woman can’t forget how one day, her close friend just stopped talking to her. Another recalls how she discovered a friend from school had been gossiping about her. Yet another remembers waiting around for the phone call about the sure-thing weekend away that never came. And still another feels badly about an unprovoked, nasty comment she made to her friend in a restaurant many years ago. If you’re reading this, thinking that I’m talking about you, I can promise you I’m not. These women gave me permission to share their memories. But if, for a split second, you thought that it could have been you, you get the point. We’ve all been there. WHy WE stay It’s difficult to believe that smart, intelligent women – women who hold demanding jobs, raise children, manage budgets, juggle schedules and make tough decisions – would have trouble with toxic friendships. Yet it can be hard to recognize when it’s time to walk away from a relationship that is emotionally draining, makes us feel bad about ourselves or act in ways that do not make us proud. “Women are socially developed to pay great attention to relationships, to be a peacemaker, to want to work it out and resolve issues,” says Dr. Ann Waring of Millbrook Psychological Associates. Instead, it may be easier to stay in a friendship that is not working, trying without success to make the relationship better. This effort

Five Signs It May Be Time Friendship can be complicated. There are bad days and rough patches. But how do you know when the relationship is toxic? Here are a five signs that your relationship may be unhealthy:

• The friend is always unhappy, demanding or angry. • The friend is a bad influence or pressures you. • The friend puts you down, competes or makes • •

you feel bad. The friendship is full of jealousy, selfishness, negativity or judgment. Most importantly, you don’t enjoy being around your friend.

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can take both an emotional and physical toll, making us feel as though we’re in high school again. And honestly, who wants to go back there? Expectations & Acceptance When it comes to toxic relationships, the dynamics are not simple. There could be a pattern of unhealthy behavior that has gone on for years, whether we’re the ones dishing it out or taking it. Before we decide to either walk away or confront the toxic friend, Dr. Waring suggests evaluating our expectations when it comes to friendship, reminding us that throughout life, we’ll have different levels of friendship that will meet our varying needs. “Women can be very sensitive to the fact that relationships change,” says Dr Waring. “It’s important to recognize that friendships evolve.” Unlike a toxic relationship, we can often put our fingers on exactly what caused the demise of a healthy friendship, feeding our need for acceptance. There is usually a set of natural circumstances that help us move on. For example, when we’re starting our careers, we may not have as much time to socialize, so we drift apart from our college friends. We may have gotten married and started a family, shifting our priorities. We could have relocated to a new city, making it more difficult to keep in touch. Maybe we’re maturing and our value system is changing. Or we’ve had a life changing experience, such as a divorce, and our social group has been altered. With a toxic relationship, natural circumstances don’t apply. Instead, it seems that we are slowly exposed to another side of the person we thought we knew so well. We may begin to question the chemistry, but allow the friendship to continue on – complete with poor behavior such as neediness and selfishness – and we feel obligated to participate, perhaps until we realize what is really going on. “It took a major incident for me to finally wake up and accept this relationship for what it was, even though my family had warned me,” said one Midtown mother still struggling to get past her hurt feelings over the end of a friendship. 42 | midtownmag.com

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Letting Go & Getting Closure Once we accept that our situation is unhealthy, it can be hard to decide what to do next. “You need to ask yourself why this relationship is important and is it worth discussing?” says Dr. Waring. “This includes considering your priorities and values and then determining if this is the kind of mutually rewarding, nurturing relationship you want.” Deciding to let go isn’t easy. “Even though I knew I was doing the right thing, I still went through a mourning process over the loss of the friendship,” says another Midtown woman. “I had invested a lot of time and I had tried to make it work.” While she did not feel the need to confront her friend and get closure, many women feel compelled to have one last talk to clear the air. And while in theory, getting closure can give you all the answers you need to move on, there are no guarantees you’ll get it. “Certainly it’s not unreasonable to try and get things addressed if it’s a relationship you’ve had for a long time, but if you don’t get

Have Friends, Be Healthy Plan that girls’ night out and spend some more time on the telephone. Believe it or not, there are physical benefits to having friends! • When women are with their friends, they release a certain hormone that helps them reduce stress. • Socializing with friends can have as positive an impact on health as quitting smoking, exercising or eating right. • Women who had a close friend were more likely to survive the death of a spouse without any new physical impairments or permanent loss of vitality. • A ten-year study of older people with a large circle of friends were 22% less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends. • The more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged, and the more likely they were to be leading a joyful life.

anywhere, it’s not unreasonable to let go,” says Dr. Waring. She also encourages us to examine our role in the relationship and consider if this is the type of friendship we typically have. It could be a unique situation, but if we’ve had experiences with the same issues, it may be worth further self exploration. It Only Takes One One of the best ways to get over a toxic relationship is to surround yourself with a few good, true friends. And it’s quality over quantity, as even one friend can have a significant impact on your well-being. So how do you recognize a true friendship? “In many ways, a good friendship is like a marriage, comfortable and flexible,” reminds Dr. Waring. “It should nurture you emotionally like food nurtures you physically.” It’s also being able to communicate honestly and openly. It’s supporting each other through life-changing experiences and adversity. It’s helping each other feel good and accepting each other as-is, flaws included. It’s being able to forgive and apologize. And most importantly, it’s recognizing that if we have a true friend, we’re pretty lucky.

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wine dine

valentine AND

with your

recipes BY chef mario copy BY darcy brennan-huante Photography BY april maness photography

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Seared Scallops

Seared Encrusted Beef Carpaccio

with Sherried Sweet Pea Puree, Yellow Cream and Tomato Confit ‘Hearts’

with Tangy Balsamic

Serves 2

Ingredients 1 Tbsp ground coriander 1 Tbsp ground fennel seed 1 tsp granulated garlic 1 tsp black pepper 1 to 1 1/2 fillet beef tenderloin 2 handfuls of your favorite baby greens *Balsamic vinaigrette dressing Chili oil or hot sesame seed oil 1 radish, sliced thin Capers, drained Red and yellow peppers, diced 1 baguette, sliced

Ingredients 12 oz large dry scallops 1 Tbsp butter 2 tsp olive oil Salt & pepper 1 Tbsp shallots, diced 1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed 1/4 cup sherry 1/2 cup heavy cream Directions Remove the small side muscle from the scallop. Rinse with cold water and pat dry. Add the butter and oil to a 12" sauté pan over high heat. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, add the scallops and sear 60-90 seconds per side until golden. Remove scallops from pan and set aside on paper towels to drain. Add the diced shallots and sauté for approx. 1 minute. Add the peas and toss to warm them. Deglaze your pan with the sherry and reduce by half. Add the cream and let it gently bubble for a minute or two. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place pea mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. To Serve Paint the plate with pea puree, place your scallops on the plate and serve. Tomato Confit “Hearts” Ingredients 4 roma tomatoes Salt and pepper 3/4 cup olive oil Directions Cut tomato into quarters, then slice out the seeds. Place tomatoes in a small, deep pan (deep enough to immerse the tomato), season with salt and pepper, pour the olive oil over the tomatoes and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-30 minutes or until the oil is slightly bubbling. Let tomato cool in the oil. Remove the skin and slice into strips for the garnish. Vibrant Yellow Cream Ingredients 1/2 cup sour cream 1/4 tsp turmeric Salt & pepper 1 Tbsp lemon juice Directions Mix together well and add as a colorpopping garnish.

Directions In a bowl, mix together coriander, fennel, garlic and salt & pepper. Place beef in spice mixture and coat on all sides. Heat a sauté pan over high heat and add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan after it is hot. Add the beef and sear on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove beef from pan, let rest for 5 minutes and then place in freezer for about 20 minutes to stiffen. Slice beef super thin and lay slices on a plate in a circle. Place greens in the center, drizzle balsamic vinaigrette dressing over greens and beef and then drizzle outer rim with chili oil. Sprinkle plate with radish, capers, diced peppers and then serve with baguette slices!

LOGON

TO

www.midtownmag.com

for the balsamic vinaigrette recipe!

Dreamy Chocolate Fudge Pudding Ingredients: 1/4 cup corn starch 1/2 cup sugar Pinch of salt 3 cups whole milk 6 oz chocolate chips 1 tsp vanilla Directions In a pot, mix corn starch, sugar and salt. Whisk in milk and then place on the stove over medium heat. Use a whisk to gently stir the milk mixture until thick and just starting to bubble. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips and vanilla using a whisk and mix until smooth. Spoon or pipe pudding into dishes. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. To get extra fancy, do layers of pudding and whipped cream, finishing with a dollop of whipped cream. Garnish with a berry or two if desired! midtownmag.com| 45

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behind the scenes of

midtown FASHION By illyse lane Photography by Jennifer Robertson

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Maybe you’ve gazed into their shop windows. Maybe you’ve longed for their clothing and accessories. Perhaps you’ve admired their own personal sense of style. But you’ve been too shy or too busy to walk in. Well, Midtown Magazine is here to help. We’ve gone behind the scenes of some of your favorite boutiques. We’ve caught up with the owners, who shared their fashion philosophy, and learned how it plays a role in helping them choose all of those fabulous clothes and accessories. And what we learned is that there is something for everyone. Take a peek…

Anna & Alice: McKenzie Keenan Amash & Carri Lawson Fashion Philosophy: These two young women are all about wearing pieces that make them feel both confident and stylish, while making sure their own personal style shines through. On any given day, you’re likely to find McKenzie Keenan Amash and Carri Lawson in their favorite jeans paired with the modern heel, finished off with an incredible top, making a subtle yet on-trend fashion statement. “Our philosophy is the same. However, we do have different tastes and interpretations of what that means,” says Lawson. Store Style: Their different interpretations of style add a unique quality to the store, broadening their buying and allowing them to have options for every person who walks through the door. While you’ll find a constantly growing stock of both basic and trendy denim, Amash and Lawson seek out tops that blend of causal, comfort and glamour to an everyday outfit, such as fur vests, slinky frocks and dolman sleeved tops. Lines You’ll Find: Sarah Jessica Parker, Capote and Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, as well as Halston Heritage, a revival line that holds true the original vision in the 1970s. Their favorite accessory of the moment? Halston Heritage handbag. Must Haves: Both Amash and Lawson recommend investing in at least one pair of dark jeans that can be dressed up or down to suit any occasion. Additionally, a basic black cocktail dress is a must, being able to take on a new look at a moment’s notice just by accessorizing. Advice: “The best way to incorporate a trend into your own personal style is to start with one fabulous piece,” says Amash. “Pair that with a basic piece of your own that you feel great in.” This keeps you from losing your unique style and prevents you from taking the trend too far. midtownmag.com| xx

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Certain Things at North Hills: Jill Harris Peters Fashion Philosophy: Jill Harris Peters describes her style as simple and basic, with comfortable yet trendy choices that she knows will get a lot of use. Most days, you’ll find her in a pair of jeans with a stylish top. To finish her look or update her wardrobe, she’ll add a fabulous shoe and accessorize with a necklace or scarf. Store Style: Peters wants her customers to feel updated and fashionable but still be comfortable, not only wearing the clothing they purchase but also loving the pieces they bring home. She looks for items that can go from season to season, so customers can build on their current wardrobe. When it comes to trends, Peters brings in clothing that is appropriate to the women who shop there, taking into account their lifestyle, which includes finding as many machine washable pieces as possible.  Lines You’ll Find: CJ by Cookie Johnson, for women who want high-end, fashion forward denim but a fit for their figure. Michael Stars T’s, for women of all sizes and ages. Andria Lieu, a line with a variety of prints and colors that travels well. Must Haves: Peters recommends every women having at least one good pair of jeans. She suggests making sure you find the one that looks best on your own figure, which may not necessarily be the most popular silhouette on the market. Additionally, a classic black pant is a staple that you’ll always use.   Advice: “Not every trend or look is good on everyone,” says Peters. “It’s valuable to shop in a store that will carry those trendy items but also have enough diversity to give you that simple, classic look. “ 48 | midtownmag.com

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C.T. Weekends: Dennis Mayfield and Kristi Hipple Fashion Philosophy: Kristi Hipple gravitates toward simple styles that have that little something, such as a distinctive twist in the fabric or added texture that takes her look up a notch. She is committed to the lines the shop carries and wears them exclusively, appreciating their individual flavor. And while you’re most likely to find her wearing black, she’ll add color through accessories. Store Style: The fashion philosophy at C.T. Weekends is quite simple. It’s all about the fit. “If the clothes do not fit, the style, fabric, color, trend and cost does not matter,” says Dennis Mayfield. This philosophy is at the foundation of every buying decision, as Mayfield and Hipple focus on finding the right clothes that will fit real women, curves and all. And when it comes to style, they’ve discovered many European lines that have given them a unique opportunity to showcase different fashions. Lines You’ll Find: Aventures des Toiles, a contemporary line from France. Cecile Hue, primarily for dresses and coats. Didier Parakian, featuring dresses and coats in beautiful, feminine fabrics. Babette, a collection from the San Francisco area that features a contemporary flair. Must Haves: Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, the best fitting jeans out there according to both Mayfield and Hipple. Their jegging models have a fabulous fit without the designer price. In addition, a woman can’t go wrong having black pants in numerous styles, a great white blouse, a black pencil skirt, and that perfect little black dress. Advice: “Clothes on a hanger seldom appear as they do on,” says Hipple. For this reason, C.T. Weekends works hard at coaxing its clients to try everything on. Remember, you’ll never know until you see how it fits. midtownmag.com| 49

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Charlotte’s: Charlotte Harris & Stephanie Harris Fashion Philosophy: This motherdaughter team has a style sense that’s hard to beat. Both stick to classic looks with a touch of trend, but do it in an age-appropriate way. For Stephanie, simple clothing is taken up a notch with accessories, such as a statement necklace or oversized tote. Inspired by Jackie O and Princess Grace, Charlotte sticks to classic brands such as Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Chanel and St. John, adding a splash through scarves, necklaces, shoes or a fabulous handbag. Store Style: The ladies’ fashion philosophy carries over into the store, where the ideal blend of classic and trendy meet, especially when it comes to accessories. With a stock of pearls, sterling silver, hoops, and diamonds, it’s easy to find timeless pieces. But these classics get a makeover as new lengths or the addition of pendants make these items seasonal must-haves. When worn with the fabulous fitting, feminine lines of Elizabeth McKay, a collection that spans generations, your look will be complete.

Lines You’ll Find: Michele Watches, a mix between fine and fashion jewelry, with the face sold separate from the band, allowing customers to design their watch and then change it with the season and trends. Elizabeth McKay, and Kenneth J. Lane, affordable, simple, classic jewelry. Must Haves: Right now, custom monogram jewelry is the rage, with celebrities such as Lauren Conrad and Giuliana Rancic all sporting the popular cutout necklace of metal available in different sizes

and on different length chains, as well as designer Chan Luu’s sought-after leather wrap bracelet. Advice: “The most important thing about being trendy is to not overdo any one fashion trend,” says Stephanie. If you are unsure, don’t be afraid to ask for help. “Be open to new ideas with the way you dress,” suggest Charlotte. “Go into a store you love and ask the sales people for help, they can point out how you can play with your look.”

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CoolSweats: Barbara Bishop Fashion Philosophy: For Barbara Bishop, a big part of looking good is feeling comfortable in clothes that fit well. She does this by finding clothing that fits correctly and feels good against her skin, while not being afraid to embrace a trend through one unique item such as a piece of jewelry, a pair of boots, a new style jacket or scarf. Store Style: First, don’t let the name fool you. While you’ll find a selection of yoga wear as well as clothing you can kick back in, CoolSweats is based on Bishop’s experience living in southern California, which blends comfort and chic. “Our customer is someone who loves to relax in style, whether it’s going to the beach, traveling to the mountains or just hanging around,” says Bishop. Lines You’ll Find: Hard Tail, catering to a younger, more hip customer. California-based Mod-O-Doc and True Grit are exclusive to CoolSweats. Ninety percent of the garments are 100% cotton, which gives the clothing its beautiful soft feel. The pieces are then garment dyed, which provides the ever-changing luscious color palette. Must Have: Beyond Yoga bottoms, the most flattering pant available in regular and long lengths that look good on anyone. Advice: “Being in style isn’t so much an age-appropriate look, but a certain attitude that combines comfort with a chic approach,” says Bishop. “Women should wear clothing that keeps up with the times.”

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gena chandler: Gena Faigenbaum Combs Chandler Woodall Norman Fashion Philosophy: Most days, you’ll find Gena Faigenbaum Combs and Chandler Woodall Norman dressed in a pair of great jeans, a fabulous tee shirt and that one special piece that highlights their personal sense of style, such as a fur vest, sequined blouse or leather jacket. They’re committed to sharing their keen style sense with other women, assuring them that it is possible to get dressed, feel good about yourself, and make it happen effortlessly. “We love to offer clothing that you can throw on but feel together when wearing,” says Combs. Store Style: Retail therapy is at the foundation of gena chandler. Blending styles from all the country’s major style centers – New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Dallas – the ladies make sure they have what you want. “We believe in every piece we buy; we spend hours talking about every single purchase,” says Combs. “Our promise is that we want you to leave the dressing room with many different options and make sure you love what you’re taking home.” Jeans are the starting point at the store, available in nearly every color and fabric, and can be used as a staple for almost any outfit. Lines You’ll Find: While the ladies pride themselves on finding new designers to keep the mix of merchandise both fun and stylish, they also have their tried and true favorites such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Rebecca Taylor, Nation and Adrienne Landau. Must Haves: J Brand jeans, which can fit all shapes and sizes. If you’re unsure, a fit specialist comes in once a year. Rachel Pally, whose dresses can take you from day to night, again and again. Combs and Woodall are such fans that Rachel Pally visits the store annually. Advice: “Your wardrobe doesn’t have to be huge, it just has to be special and make you feel good,” says Woodall Norman. “Accomplish this by investing in key pieces that you love.” 52 | midtownmag.com

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Hayley’s Boutique: Hayley Cushman Fashion Philosophy: If you stop into Hayley’s Boutique, you’re likely to find Hayley Cushman in a fantastic dress with a great pair of boots. “It takes just as much time to put on a sundress as it takes to put on a jeans and a tee shirt,” says Cushman. She’s a fan of casual comfort, which means fabrics that are both easy and comfortable to wear but yet make you look as though you’ve spent some time putting it together. Store Style: The shopping experience at Hayley’s is like walking into your girlfriend’s closet, where you’ll find a mix of styles, shapes and colors, with accessories to add the glam factor to any outfit, making a tremendous difference in your look. “I’m never going to send you out the door without looking your best,” says Cushman. She looks for pieces that can be considered investments, with customers getting at least three seasons of wear, whether it be a dress layered with a jacket or thrown on over leggings in the cooler months. Lines You’ll Find: She carries a diverse number of lines, looking primarily for well – made, good quality clothes that are different than what shoppers typically see. “I may not be as mainstream as you would expect,” says Cushman, which is a positive for her loyal shoppers who love the funky aspect she brings to her shop. Must Haves: You can’t go wrong with a great pair of leggings, boots and a dress. “This takes your look up a notch but appears effortless,” says Cushman. Advice: Know your body type and know what looks good on you, including color. “If you look good in white, there’s no reason you can’t wear it in the winter by mixing it into your wardrobe with the right shade and fabric,” says Cushman. Also, remember that it doesn’t have to take a lot of extra effort to be dressed. “Being dressed, even slightly overdressed, makes you feel better,” she says. midtownmag.com| 53

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2010 –

coloring • cuts • makeup straightening & conditioning nails • waxing

Kristen’s Shoe boutique: Kristen Greczyn Fashion philosophy: Kristen Greczyn strives for comfort with a combination of classic and edge. And while what she ends up wearing depends on her mood, she’s most likely to be spotted in a pair of jeans with a fashionable top and jacket. When it comes to shoes, she’ll mix it up, gravitating toward a flat boot or great pair of flats, adding some pop to her more classic look. Store Style: Catering to a range of women, Greczyn carries a selection of shoes and accessories that appeal to all. And throughout her generous selection you’ll find shoes at all prices points that can give you a comfortable fit and a stylish look. Line You’ll Find: Sam Edelman, known for its classic look and slightly higher heel. Corso Como, classic stylish shoes known for comfort. Diego di Lucca, also known for comfort and a mix of traditional and hip – think leopard print. Must Haves: If you’re interested in adding an original shoe to your wardrobe, consider Olivia Rose Tal. Each handmade shoe is a one-of-akind, with beautiful fabrics and embellishments. Not only are the shoes unique, they are comfortable and adored by women of all ages.

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Advice: “Every woman should have shoes that compliment her lifestyle,� says Greczyn. “Be comfortable and buy what you like, but don’t be afraid to try on something different.�

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Love In Bloom: Ele Wells Fashion Philosophy: For Ele Wells, clothing has served as a creative outlet. “I like to be pretty and feminine one day, and slightly edgy the next. I like incorporating trends, but tend to go with what works for me,” says Wells.  She’s also a fan of the unexpected, such as putting something dressy with something casual to give an outfit a boost. And most importantly, she loves it when she finds an item that can be worn both out at night and in a more casual setting. Store Style: Recognizing that pregnant women still want to look stylish but don’t want to purchase an entirely new wardrobe of maternity pieces, Wells carries clothing that allow women to feel great when getting dressed while still being able to express their individuality. She looks for pieces that women can wear in a variety of ways to a number of events.   Line You’ll Find: Maternal America, with beautiful and quality garments that mimic current trends, including fantastic denim. Olian, with amazing prints. Fierce Mamas, a mix of edgy and feminine. Jules & Jim, with stunning colors and fabrics. Must Haves: A changing body can be hard to work with. Start with finding a color that brightens you and then look for pieces that offer both comfort and style. There are evening gowns that feel like nightgowns and denim that looks hip and trendy but has hidden stretch. Advice: “Keeping an open mind to silhouettes you’ve never tried is really important. You haven’t always had this body to dress,” says Wells. She encourages women to break out of their typical mold and not to be afraid to experiment.  

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Monkee’s of Raleigh: Kristi Koren Fashion Philosophy: Kristi Koren’s philosophy is simple. Balance any trend with staying true to yourself. This means not following a trend just because everyone else is wearing it but instead, make it your own in a way that looks good on you. Her top five favorites looks for now? Chunky knit sweaters, leather jackets, tailored tuxedo jackets, thigh high boots and faux fur vests. Store Style: Koren offers diverse, wearable, chic styles that will work at every age, with clothing that allows women to show style, but in an effortless, not-like-you-tried-too-hard kind of way. “We start with the first piece and then add to it until it becomes a fashion statement that works for you,” says Koren, keeping the overall look in mind. This means considering not only the dress, but also the size of the heel, the layering pieces that add texture and dimension, and even the way you’ll be styling your hair. Must Haves: Classic pieces, such as an oversized handbag, a crisp white shirt, a leather jacket, nude pumps, a tailored trench coat, a metallic clutch, and a little black dress. No women of any age should be without these basics. Lines You’ll Find: Tory Burch, known for trendsetting shoes and handbags, in both chic and sophisticated designs. Tibi, for beautiful printed, fashion-forward silk dresses. Joie & Vince, two go-to designers for everyday, casual, uncomplicated looks. Advice: “Recognize the difference between staying on trend and being trendy,” says Koren. She recommends investing in exceptionally wellmade, classic pieces that you’ll wear over and over, and staying on trend through smaller pieces that you don’t have to spend a lot for, making it easy to change your look. One great way to accomplish this is through accessories, such as a watch, bangles or a necklace. xx | midtownmag.com

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Tyler House: Jennifer Huggard Fashion Philosophy: For Jennifer Huggard, fashion is about your lifestyle and your body type, considering what fits you well and what doesn’t. She’s most happy in uncomplicated, comfortable, yet put-together pieces with clean lines. And while she prefers neutral colors, she’ll add color through accessories and layering pieces, depending on her mood. Store Style: Understanding the difference between staying modern and being too traditional is at the foundation of Huggard’s shop, as she looks for clothing that will keep her customers up-to-date without committing some of the fashion mistakes we sometimes make when trying to keep up with a trend. Her goal is for each customer to have the perfect blend of trend and classic, which is usually accomplished by keeping clothing simple and flattering while adding punches through modern accessories. “I find that my customers love color, clean lines, beautiful fabric and really value the workmanship of a product,” says Huggard. “The ultimate compliment is when someone says, ‘Gosh, she always looks great, and I wonder where she shops.’” Lines You’ll Find: Quality and changing variety based on what her customers are wearing, but you’re sure to find both Christopher Blue and Beija-Flor jeans. Both are flattering, scalloped waist jeans fitting lower in the front, higher in the back. Must Haves: Huggard believes that every customer should have her own style and her goal is to help each customer find it. Must haves will be based on a combination of lifestyle and need. Most shoppers want to make sure that they have the right top with the right bottom and all the right accessories, including the belt and the scarf, so they can extend each piece’s longevity and wear each item in different ways. Advice: Every woman needs to measure how comfortable she is in her clothing. If you are confident in the way you are put together, you will look great and feel good. “You have to be the ultimate decision maker in what works and what doesn’t,” says Huggard. midtownmag.com| xx

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Varsity Men’s Wear: Harry Pollock Fashion Philosophy: Harry Pollock began working at the shop in 1969, eventually becoming the exclusive buyer and owner. His personal style is reflected in the merchandise he carries – a mix of timeless, quality pieces. “I likes the business, I love working with people, and I’m now serving the third generation of my customers,” say Pollock. “It’s a real vote of confidence and very rewarding when someone feels good.” Store Style: Pollock’s ideas on fashion come with his 40 years of experience, as he strives to carry traditional clothing that will not go out of style before you have the chance to get your value out of it. His focus is to sell the finest traditional, domestic products that are reasonably affordable. He specializes in a natural shoulder, considered to be a true gentlemen’s garment. Lines You’ll Find: Brands that are sure things, such as Hickey Freeman, Freeman and Sons, and Allen Edmonds. Must Have: For the professional man just starting his wardrobe, Pollock recommend beginning with a dark suit – either navy, black, charcoal or grey. Then, build around that with shirts, ties and sports coats. After you have the basics, it’s safe to start expanding with lighter shades such as browns or khakis. Advice: “You only get one chance to make a first impression,” says Pollock. “If you have a question of how to dress going into a business meeting, overdress for the first meeting. If you look better, you’ll earn their respect.” 58 | midtownmag.com

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Vermillion: Ashley Harris Fashion Philosophy: Depending on her mood, you may find Ashley Harris in a Lela Rose dress with a sweater, belt and pony ankle boots. Or if it’s a cold, wet day, she may be in her rain boots, MIH jeans and Rag and Bone blouse. For Harris, fashion is fun. “It’s finding something that makes you feel good. It’s finding a piece that even if it is a stretch for you, it makes you cherish it and love it,” says Harris. Store Style: At Vermillion, it’s all about showcasing beautiful clothing from designers that Harris believes in, while making sure their clothing is a good fit for her customers. This includes blending classic pieces with more trendy options at a variety of price points. “Women today don’t wear just one designer head to toe, they mix it up,” says Harris. “They may throw in a $30 tee shirt with a more costly item.” She’s noticed that women are also very interested in sprucing up their casual wardrobe through stylish items that are age appropriate and make them feel good, using accessories to accomplish the look of the season. Lines You’ll Find: Rag and Bone for casual looks at a good price point. Lela Rose and Zac Posen. Balenciaga, a French design house since the 1930s that has an amazing sense of tradition blended with a great fashion-forward sense. Must Haves: Investing in classic pieces, such as a blazer, and spending less on trends is a good rule of thumb. However, Harris encourages us to embrace a trend if we believe in it. “It’s a gamble with a trend, but if you love it, it’s great to go for it,” says Harris. Advice: Go out of your comfort zone. “We all have our own personal style, but it’s also nice to have something that is like nothing you’ve ever bought before, something that is different that you end up loving,” says Harris. And finally, don’t be afraid to walk into the store and ask for help. That’s what she’s there for. midtownmag.com| 59

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bain’s beat

CELEBRATED CINEMATIC SMOOCHES BY DAN BAIN

H

ollywood has long held real people to impossible standards, starting and ending with the love story. Everyone has their favorite, but they never hold up to close inspection – especially the inevitable embrace. Are these ever realistic? Most of them do more to quell the notion of romance than to uphold it. They’re not so much kisses as disses. Let’s take a closer look at some… First, a warning – there be spoilers ahead. Next, a consideration – why do we even watch on-screen kisses? When Brokeback Mountain first hit the public consciousness, the frequent criticism was something like, “I don’t want to watch two men kiss!” To which I could only think, Does that mean you want to watch a man and woman kiss? If so, what does that say about you? Regardless of gender, there’s something voyeuristic about a movie kiss; it’s that whole publicdisplay-of-affection syndrome. The audience ought to feel as if they’re intruding. To really rank, a kiss should make its viewers squirm a little in their seats. Take the wedding night

kiss in Braveheart – that one could almost qualify as softcore pornography. Then there’s From Here to Eternity. That kiss is iconic; I bet as soon as I mentioned it, you could picture Kerr and Lancaster in the surf. But in retrospect, it’s a letdown. Karen Holmes and Sergeant Warden bicker about their secret date and almost call it off until Karen says, “On the other hand, I’ve got a bathing suit under my dress…” and Warden replies, “Me too!” Apart from the strange notion that Burt Lancaster is wearing a dress, this is hardly memorable, especially as the movie cuts to another scene. When it comes back to them, they’re already kissing on the sand. After two seconds, she jumps up and runs away. Kissed and dismissed – no suspense, no build-up, no passion. It’s as if the writers knew the scene would become an icon regardless, so they just phoned it in. The kiss in It’s a Wonderful Life also begins with a quarrel, as George tries to act uninterested despite having come a-courtin’ at the Hatch residence. Mrs. Hatch – who

will soon become the worst mother-in-law ever – yells downstairs to ask what George is doing there and Mary attempts to stir things up by replying, “He’s making violent love to me, Mother!” Excuse me? Isn’t this a family film? No wonder her would-be suitor loses his cool and storms out… But George returns for his hat just as Mary’s alleged fiancé Sam calls and asks to talk to both of them about a ground-floor business deal in plastics. George goes manic, first tenderly smelling Mary’s hair as they share a receiver, then practically shaking her to pieces as she drops the phone and he growls, “I don’t want any plastics and I don’t want any ground floors and I don’t want to get married ever to anyone, you understand that?” Then he hugs her remorsefully and breathes, “Oh, Mary!” as they share several sloppy-but-sincere kisses. The next scene is their wedding – apparently, the natural follow-up to confusion, anger and guilt. Casablanca is well-remembered for the kiss between Bogart and Bergman. It’s

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considered a standard, even though it occurs only after Ilsa pulls a gun on Rick. When he tells her to shoot, she admits that she still loves him. Yet at the end, she wastes no time leaving him again: “You’re getting on that –” “Okay, see ya!” “ – plane?” A kiss is just a kiss, indeed. Another standard is Gone with the Wind, but every time Rhett kisses Scarlett, one of them is angry or disgusted. He’s an abusive thug who barely hides his double meaning when he says things like, “You need kissing badly” or “This is what you were meant for.” Probably the most infamous kiss is at the bottom of the grand staircase, with Scarlett in her red dress. Rhett forcefully grabs her, kisses her against her wishes and tells her, “This is one night you’re not turning me out” before carrying her up to their bedroom. He might as well fling her over his shoulder like a caveman; this is clearly a case of marital rape. But the producers didn’t care; they cut to a shot of Scarlett grinning and humming the next morning, in one of the most egregious cases of “she really wanted it” justification ever. Sorry, but no means no, Captain Butler. Sometimes a kiss is a warning, as in The Godfather: Part II. After Michael discovers Fredo has betrayed him, he can barely contain his rage as he grips Fredo’s neck in both hands, plants one on him and says, “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!” He then shakes Fredo’s head so hard it nearly snaps off. Translation: Count on kissing the world good-bye, Fredo. Don’t go fishing any time soon. Other times, a good kiss happens only due to the threat of impending death. This was the case with Han Solo and Princess Leia in The Empire Strikes Back. About to be frozen in carbonite – a process that even the Force couldn’t reveal for sure wouldn’t kill him – Han leans forward to kiss Leia. Hands bound, he can’t even hold her; all he can use is his mouth, and does he ever. This is probably the most passionate kiss in cinematic history, but Han has to go and ruin it after the guards separate them. Just as they’re about to lower him into the freezing chamber, Leia desperately confesses, “I love you!” His decidedly non-committal response? “I know.” From kiss to dis in nothing flat. Another dis is the kiss between Elizabeth Swann and Jack Sparrow at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. She kisses him as a distraction, then shackles him to the mast as a sacrifice to the Kraken. Ouch. He manages to get loose, but not before the monster is upon him. The last we see of Jack, he’s charging into the Kraken’s gaping maw – just before the movie hits us with the ol’ cliffhanger ending. The true dis, then, is toward the audience. One of my favorite disses wasn’t from a kiss at all, but the more platonic declaration of love near the end of The Wizard of Oz. About to leave Oz, Dorothy is saying good-bye to her heroic helpers when she tells the Scarecrow, “I think I’m going to miss you most of all.” This is very touching and meaningful, until you remember the other two are standing RIGHT THERE. For Pete’s sake, the Tinman has just told her that because it’s breaking, he now knows he has a heart – so she proves she doesn’t. Other famous movie kisses leave too many lingering questions. How does Spider-Man not get rain up his nose when Mary Jane pulls down his mask for that upside-down kiss? How does William Wallace not swallow, spill or transfer the queen’s elixir that she’s just poured in his mouth? And why is she willing to kiss him with some nameless narcotic on his lips? I know people who won’t kiss someone who’s been eating peanut butter, let alone pharmaceuticals. So maybe this Valentine’s Day, we’ll stay at home and read poetry rather than looking for love on the silver screen. Besides, every time I go to the movies nowadays, I end Dan Bain, Movie Lover up kissing a lot of money good-bye. mail@danbain.net midtownmag.com| 61

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DOES IT SEEM THAT LATELY, WE’RE MORE INTOLERANT OF EACH OTHER?

BY ILLYSE LANE

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You know, the not-so-subtle sighs and facial expressions when we’re stuck in a long line. The frustration we experience when we’re slowly backing out of our parking spot, only to hit the brakes as a car rounds the corner and instead of slowing down to let us finish, it zips around us, swerve and all? How about when we approach the door to a shop the same time another person approaches? We take the lead and open it, allowing her to walk through first. But as she passes she says nothing, tempting us to say, “You’re welcome” loud enough for her to hear. Or we’re behind a slow driver, ap-

proaching a yellow light. At the last second, we jump in the right lane, accelerate and drive through the intersection in the nick of time, passing a not-so-nice look to the slower driver. If you’re thinking that we seem to be getting more impatient and disrespectful, you’re not alone. A recent survey found that 69% of Americans think we’re becoming ruder and less civilized toward each other. So what’s going on? the Bl ame Game It’s easy to play the blame game, attributing this lack of civil-

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ity to a combination of pop culture, social media and stress. It appears these factors together may have unknowingly created a concoction that has given us excuses to forego common courtesy. It makes sense. Channels abound with reality television shows that highlight outlandish behavior. Popular dramas teach us to handle problems through aggression or glamorize impolite actions or controversial situations using beautiful people. Politicians, businessmen and stars get even more attention for poor behavior and the news seems to be crowded with bizarre stories highlighting ill-mannered actions. midtownmag.com| xx

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But does all this really have an impact on us being less courteous to each other? The answer is yes. “The most potent variable in persuasion is exposure,” says Dr. Jack Huber, professor of psychology at Meredith College. “While it’s not a conscious decision to model behavior after what we see on television, in the movies or in the news, the fact is we’re constantly being persuaded to solve problems in an incorrect, impersonal and aggressive manner.” And when you consider that a child graduating from high school today has spent more time watching television than he has spent in the classroom, it is safe to say that generations are growing up learning to behave this way. Our Impersonal Lives In addition to meeting most of our communication needs through technology, ranging from email to an automated voice on the other end of a telephone call, our busy schedules don’t allow us to slow down and get to know each other outside of our professional relationships. This leads us to view each other by the role we fill, instead of the people we are. What does that mean in terms of how we treat each other? “It has been scientifically demonstrated that when you know someone’s name, you are less likely to be aggressive yourself, or aggressive toward that person,” says Dr. Huber. So What Should We Do? Let’s be realistic. The exposure isn’t going away, as we’re not turning off the television; it’s our entertainment. We love having instant accessibility to each other, so we’re not putting down our Blackberries or stepping away from our computers. And we’re not cutting back our schedules; we’re sort of committed to running all day. So what xx | midtownmag.com

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can we do in our own little world to be more courteous and respectful? We can take responsibility for our own behavior and try to use encouragement when we interact with others. Now this doesn’t mean pampering someone with endless, positive messages. Instead, it’s stopping the discouragement of each other with phrases such as ‘What’s wrong with you?’ or ‘Why are you doing that?’. “Rude behavior stems from discouragement, but encouragement makes good things happen,” says Dr. Huber. “Just putting forth the effort to speak nicely to each other can break down hostility, because when you’re doing something positive, you’re making connections and working toward a common goal.” This sounds easy enough in theory, especially if we’re parents trying to set an example for our children. But what about those grown-ups who are impatient, angry or just not courteous? If you are interacting with someone that you are not personally connected with, first, realize that it’s not directed toward you. That person who cuts you off or doesn’t let you merge is not plotting against you; he’s actually not seeing you at all. He’s just seeing a car. In that type of situation, it actually may be kinder of you not to point out the rude behavior, and instead, be nice. Pay It Forward There’s a expression Dr. Huber likes: Taking care of others means we’re taking care of ourselves and taking care of ourselves means we’re taking care of others. So whether you call it paying it forward, going that extra mile or just using common courtesy, challenge yourself to do one kind thing a day. Use someone’s name when you address him. Slow down and let someone pass you. And if someone forgets to utter a thank you, make sure you tell him to have a wonderful day. Simply put, we’re better when we’re vested in others. And while the way we live doesn’t always encourage us to have personal connections, we can still seek out ways to encourage each other.

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ATLANTIC AVENUE ORCHID AND GARDEN

orchids OUTRAGEOUSLY BEAUTIFUL

If you’ve gazed at the beautiful orchid in your neighbors home thinking I could never…it’s too fragile, too expensive, I would kill it! Think again. “Orchids are beautiful but more hearty than most people realize,” says Millie Lee of Millie’s Orchids at Atlantic Avenue Orchid & Garden. In fact she says the biggest mistake people make with an orchid is simple, overwatering! We asked Millie to answer a few questions about purchasing and caring for orchids.

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Midtown Magazine: If overwatering an orchid is the easiest way to kill it, how often and how much should you water it? Millie Lee: I recommend only watering your orchid once a week. Ideally I like to submerge the orchids roots into water for 10 seconds. If you are unable to submerge the plant then use a turkey baster to insert 1 ounce of water to the roots of the plant. If your orchid is planted in moss then you should water every two weeks. MM: What should kind of temperature and lighting does an orchid need to be healthy?

ML: I always say if you are comfortable in a room then your orchid will be comfortable. As far as lighting if you are able to sit in a room and read with the natural light your orchid will be fine.

you to look at the roots. A healthy orchid will have bright green roots. Also look at a plant that has several buds that are unopened, this means your orchid is fresh and hasn’t been sitting on the shelf very long.

MM: How long can you expect an orchid to last?

MM: Is there a time of year that is better to buy an orchid?

ML: Generally speaking if you’ve purchased a healthy orchid it should last 3-5 months.

ML: Yes, the Phalenophosis orchid is at its peak from December to February. You can get these orchids year-round, but peak season is from December to February.

MM: How can you be sure you are buying a healthy orchid? ML: Look for orchids that are in clear containers, this will enable

Hopefully the next time you are admiring a beautiful orchid it will be in your own home!

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calendar

&

january february 2011 new yeArs dAy January 1 reczone leArn-To-skATe clAsses January 4 | 5:30-6:30pm | 754-0441, ext. 21 | www.reczone.net firsT fridAy AT mArBles January 7 | Open until 8pm | www.marbleskidsmuseum.com firsT fridAys kids cAmP January 7 | 5:30-8:30pm | www.marbleskidsmuseum.com sPAriAns grAnd oPening AT norTh hills January 7 | www.sparians.com music mAkers – The mozArT exPerience January 8 | 10am-3pm | www.marbleskidsmuseum.com reczone leArn To skATe clAsses January 8 | 1:15-2:15pm | 754-0441, ext. 21 | www.reczone.net

science solvers guesT sTAr – sPAce rocks! January 9 | 1-3pm | www.marbleskidsmuseum.com

TArgeT $2 TuesdAy nighT January 18 | 5-8pm | www.marbleskidsmuseum.com

ArT-rAgeous! guesT sTAr January 15 | 1-3pm | www.marbleskidsmuseum.com

mAry wilson of The suPremes January 21-22 | 8pm | 919.733.2750 | www.ncsymphony.org

gnc AT norTh hills senior weekend January 15-16

fAmily fiT series – kArATe kids January 22 | 2-4pm | www.marbleskidsmuseum.com

cooking clAss souTh of frAnce informATionAl meeTing January 18 | 4:30-6:30pm | 919.862.2770 | January 12 | 4:30pm | RSVP requested | www.saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com 919.862.2770 | www.saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com fAmily fun nighT – ArTs on! January 20 | 5:30-8pm | www.marbleskidsmuseum.com orchesTrA showcAse: wAgner And elgAr $20 on The 20Th January 13-15 | 8pm | 919.733.2750 | January 20 | www.shoplocalraleigh.org www.ncsymphony.org

mArTin luTher king, jr holidAy January 17 mArTin luTher king, jr dAy January 17 | 9-5pm | www.marbleskidsmuseum.com

shen yun Performing ArTs January 22 | 2 & 7:30pm | www.shenyunperformingarts.org 2011 u.s. figure skATing nATionAl chAmPionshiPs January 22-30 | Greensboro Coliseum Complex gAdgeTs & gizmos January 23 | 1-3pm | www.marbleskidsmuseum.com “Provence” wine dinner January 25 | 6:30pm | 919.862.2770 | www.saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com slAvic drAmA January 27-29 | 8pm | 919.733.2750 | www.ncsymphony.org hoorAy for BAlleT – The ugly duckling January 29 | 10am-2pm | www.marbleskidsmuseum.com ArTisT demo wiTh jAson cArdenAs January 29 | 1-5pm | www.artsource-raleigh.com

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American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell January 1-30 | 919.715.5923 | www.ncartmuseum.org/tickets Fins and Feathers: Original Children’s Book Illustrations from The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art January 1-30 | 919.715.5923 | www.ncartmuseum.org/tickets groundhog Day February 2 Triangle Wine Experience Dinner February 3 | 919.862.2770 | www.saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com Gallery A Opening Reception for Katherine Fabrizio February 3 | 7-9pm | 919.546.9011 Triangle Wine Experience February 3-5 | 919.845.8880 | www.trianglewineexperience.org Dance in music February 4 | 12pm | 919.733.2750 | www.ncsymphony.org the real thing February 4-5, 10-12, 18-19 | 7:30pm | 919.831.6936 | www.theatreinthepark.com 14th annual “A Winter’s Tale” CHArity Gala Benefiting methodist home for children February 5 | www.mhfc.org/awt

the real thing February 6, 13, 20 | 3pm | 919.831.6936 | www.theatreinthepark.com

artist demo with Andy braitman January 29 | 1-5pm | www.artsource-raleigh.com

a festive anniversary: 10 years at meymandi February 11-12 | 8pm | 919.733.2750 | www.ncsymphony.org

$20 on the 20th February 20 | www.shoplocalraleigh.org

Valentine’s food drive by north raleigh ministries February 12-18 The Producers February 12-20 | 919.831.6941 | www.nctheatre.com Valentine’s Day February 14 Valentine’s at saint jacques February 14 | Reservations required | 919.862.2770 | www.saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com

President’s Day February 21 Cooking Class February 23 | 4:30-6:30pm | 919.862.2770 | www.saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com orchestra showcase: copland and rachmaninoff February 25-26 | 8pm | 919.733.2750 | www.ncsymphony.org oscar night® america 2011 February 27 | 7pm | 919.831.6936 | www.theatreinthepark.com Have an important event? We would love to hear about it. Please send the details of your calendar events to: gstephens@midtownmag.com.

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RE-

If your room looks empty after removing the Christmas tree, consider replacing it with a large palm tree. Brooke & Birdie Interior Design

FRESH your home The holidays are over! Your tree is in recycling and all of the sparkle you added for the holidays is now tucked into boxes and safely stored away until next year. But your home doesn’t look right. What’s wrong? You were satisfied with the look of every room before the holidays, but now…it looks plain – even dull. During the holidays, every room has the perfect finishing touch. So now that those touches are tucked away, maybe it’s time to add new touches by refreshing your accessories! We asked local shops and decorators for ideas on accessories that will make you fall in love with every room again.

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Add a little sparkle with serving pieces by Julia Night. Condiment bowls $22, tray $65. Available at Quintessentials

Tangerine round placemats by Chilewich. $14 each. Available at Beyond Blue Interiors

H Pretty kitty and boxer needlepoint pillow. $90/$40. Available at Affordable Chic Shops

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You can create a new centerpiece by using a large bowl adding decorative balls and greenery. This creates a look that will transition into spring. Brooke & Birdie Interior Design

Brighten your breakfast table with Sferra linen napkins. (4) $111. Available at Quintessentials

Decorative glass bowl by Julia Night. $64. Available at Quintessentials

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(Baker – Bill Sofield Collection) Palanquin lacquered tray with hand drawn linear motif, bronze. Stand with grooved natural rock crystal handles. $767. Available at Rodolfo Gonzales

(Baker – Laura Kirar Collection) Sakka vase: Raku ceramic in jade glaze and floral pattern. $588. Available at Rodolfo Gonzales

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You can collect the corks from New Year’s bubbly and use it as a terrarium or as a decorative piece. Small bubble terrarium by Roast. $110. Available at Beyond Blue Interiors

(10/200 by Jairo Lernus) Lady in black bronze limited edition. $1852. Available at Rodolfo Gonzales

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New placemats by Sferra refresh any table. (4) $81. Available at Quintessentials

A new lamp will brighten the look of your favorite room. $197.50. Available at Affordable Chic Shops

Silver juniper forest trees. Large $32, medium $28, small $20. Available at Beyond Blue Interiors

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Nothing makes a statement more than adding art to a room. Oil on board paintings from Europe. $75 each. Available at Affordable Chic Shops

Add a splash of color to your bedroom or living room with decorative pillows. Hayes pillow $170, Abbey pilliow $160. Available at Quintessentials

Lovely barware by Julia Night. Bottle opener $40, cork screw $45, hors d’oeuvre picks $79. Available at Quintessentials

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midtown

reviews

Best Brews for a warmer winter

beer

Brewed by: Great Divide Brewing Company, Colorado, US Style: American Double / Imperial Stout 9.50% ABV

Tasting notes: Strong aroma of espresso with hints of chocolate and citric hops. Price: $9.99/22oz Btl

In the middle of winter, dark malty full-bodied beers really come into their own. Some of them are almost a meal unto themselves. We asked David Sendall of Total Wine & More to share 5 great microbrews to sample this winter. BY DAVID SENDALL, Assistant Manager – Total Wine & More

Brewed by: Smuttynose Brewing Company, New Hampshire, US Style: Dubbel 5.10% ABV

Brewed by: Bell’s Brewery, Michigan, US

Best paired with: Roasted meats, cheeses, and some desserts such as chocolate

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout 7.50% ABV

Tasting notes: Coffee, roasty malts, dark cherry and sweet chocolate Price: $14.99/six-pack

Price: $9.99/six-pack

did You Know? The first beer cans were produced in 1935.

Brewed by: Samuel Smith Old Brewery, United Kingdom Style: Winter Warmer 6.00% ABV

Best paired with: Roast goose, rack of lamb, candied yams, fresh pears and apples, Serve in crystal tumblers

or traditional Yorkshire nonik pint glasses. Price: $8.99/four-pack

Brewed by: Bison Brewing Company, California, US Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer 6.80% ABV Tasting notes: Smells malty and strong. Moderate notes of cinnamon and subtle notes of chocolate and Ginger. Price: $6.99/four-pack

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midtown

reviews

apps

there’s an app for that... This winter, try using your smartphone for something other than dialing. Whether you’re looking to keep yourself occupied with an addicting game or need to find movie times, we’ve got some great ones for ya! Groupon • Free

Groupon features unbeatable deals each day on the best stuff to do in cities across the US. With the iPhone app you can buy deals, access your purchased Groupons, find the ones that are nearby, and redeem them electronically. Never print another Groupon! wine snob • $1.99

angry birds • $.99

Dish out revenge on the green pigs who stole the Birds’ eggs. Angry Birds features hours of gameplay, challenging physics-based castle demolition, and lots of replay value. Each of the 195 levels requires logic, skill, and brute force to crush the enemy. fandango • Free

Quickly and easily search, find and log the wines you drink along with tasting notes, price, vintage, varietal, location…etc. Wine Snob will also help you understand Wine and Food pairings, terminology and more!

Get movie times and theater listings with the touch of a finger. Watch crisp, full screen movie trailers. Read fan ratings and movie reviews. Buy tickets fast and drama-free. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s showtime!

logmein • $29.99

iHandy Level (one of the 5 tools in iHandy Carpenter toolkit) is the most beautiful and accurate level you can get in hand. Unlike some other levels in app store, this one is fully functional with calibration capability.

ihandy level • Free

Directly control your Mac or PC, all your programs and all your files – like that important presentation for your boss or that application that only exists on your work computer – with a simple touch. LogMeIn Ignition for iPhone and iPad lets you remotely access one or more computers anywhere, anytime. So you never have to worry about leaving anything behind.

aroundme • Free

AroundMe quickly identifies your position and allows you to choose the nearest Bank, Bar, Gas Station, Hospital, Hotel, Movie Theatre, Restaurant, Supermarket, Theatre and Taxi. For every listing you can see its location on a Map, view the route from where you are or even email the information to a friend.

sportacular • Free

Fast, personalized and easy access to live scores and information on your favorite teams, players, and leagues. Customize your alerts and get instant reminders via push notification for specific events, like game start, scoring plays, red-zone or close game situations. It’s the latest news from Yahoo! Sports plus much more.

dragon dictation • Free

An easy-to-use voice recognition application that allows you to convert your speech to text or email messages. In fact, it’s up to five times faster than typing on the keyboard. So when you’re on-the-go, stop typing and start speaking – from short text messages to longer email messages, and anything in between. midtownmag.com| 79

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midtown

reviews

movies

no dilemma here...

The weather outside is frigtful, but the silver screen is so delightful. We’ve scoured the upcoming releases and come up with some great picks for January and February. We hope you enjoy! Barney’s Version Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike Rated: R Opens: 1/14/2011 Plot: A man leads a reckless life highlighted by three marriages, two children and being a “person of interest” in the mysterious disappearance of his bosom buddy.

Just Go With It Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman Rated: Not yet rated Opens: 2/11/2011 Plot: A prominent plastic surgeon meets the woman of his dreams only to find their future thrown into jeopardy when his playboy past comes back to haunt him.

Gnomeo and Juliet Starring: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt and Michael Caine Rated: G Opens: 2/11/2011 Plot: The greatest love story ever told, starring…garden gnomes? An animated adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tale set in the world of tacky garden gnomes.

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son Starring: Martin Lawrence, Brandon T. Jackson Rated: PG-13 Opens: 2/18/2011 Plot: Lawrence’s crossdressing alter ego is back! This time Big Momma is heading to an all-girls school with his nephew, Trent in order to hunt down a murderer.

THE DILEMMA Starring: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Winona Ryder Rated: R Opens: 1/14/2011 Plot: Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard switches gears from religious conspiracies to relationship woes with this comedy about a man (Vince Vaughn) who wrestles with the decision to tell his best friend (Kevin James) that his wife (Winona Ryder) is cheating. Channing Tatum, Jennifer Connelly, and Queen Latifah co-star in a romantic comedy penned by Allan Loeb (21, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps). 80 | midtownmag.com

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midtown

reviews

music

she’s growing up... Are you looking for the best new music releases of 2011? Well you’ve come to the right place. We’ve narrowed down our winter selection to five – make sure you check them out! The King is Dead (The Decemberists) Release Date: 1/18/2011 A much aniticipated follow-up to their 2009 album ‘The Hazards of Love.’ The album is set to have Peter Buck of R.E.M. (an inspiration on some of the album’s material) appearing on three of the tracks.

Rolling Blackouts (The Go! Team) Release Date: 2/1/2011 It’s been nearly three and a half years since their last album, but this February The Go! Team returns with Rolling Blackouts. If you like dance-driven hip-hop, then be sure to check it out.

21 (Adele) Release Date: 2/22/2011 Best New Artist Grammy winner Adele unveils ‘21’ on February 22nd. The album’s sound is described classic and contemporary roots and country music. In explaining the title choice, she states that it reflects the growth she has experienced in the last two years.

Live at Stubb’s Vol II (Matisyahu) Release Date: 2/1/2011 With three critically acclaimed studio albums to his name (including a #1Billboard Reggae Album), Grammy-nominated Matisyahu has decided to return to where it all began – Stubb’s in Austin, TX.

Planet Pit (Pitbull) Release Date: 2/22/2011 The Miami, reggae-tinged rapper jumps back in the studio to record Planet Pit, his fifth album. And if lead single “Hey Baby” is any indication, expect plenty of dance hall anthems across this record. midtownmag.com| 81

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So many women enter my store daily in search of “the perfect lipstick”. With so many options available, it is no wonder there is so much confusion when it comes to choosing lipstick. Use this guide to help find the shade that is right for you.

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skin... 1 For medium skin: Rose tones and mauves are perfect picks for medium or olive complexions. Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color in “Rose Petal”. Available at Bobbi Brown counters, $22 2 For cool skin: If your skin is cool with pink undertones try blue or pink based reds. Paula Dorf Lipsicle in “Renoir”. Available at Luxe Beauty Boutique, $19 3 For warm skin: A brown or orange based red will typically look best. Dior “Rouge Dior” Lip Color in “Blazing Red”. Available at Sephora, $30 4 For fair skin: Don’t overwhelm your fair skin with dark lipstick, instead choose light, cool toned pinks or light peach shades. Paula Dorf Lipstick in “Prelude”. Available at Luxe Beauty Boutique, $21

lips... 5 For Full lips: My first instinct is to shout “lucky you”! That being said, most of us want what we don’t have so if you really can’t learn to love your full lips downplay them with matte formulas. Avoid gloss since they only make lips look fuller. Mac Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in “Honey Love”. Available at Mac counters, $14.50 6 For thin lips: Everyone can’t be born with full lips. If you aren’t blessed with an Angelina-like pout, stick to shiny formulas & avoid dark shades. Laura Mercier Lip Glace in “Meringue”. Available at Sephora, $22 midtownmag.com| 83

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When 1,000 Friends is Not Enough By Dr. Jeff Roberts, TRInity Baptist Church

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recently heard a young woman comment that she had over 1,000 friends on Facebook but was still lonely. Her statement is a commentary on our conflicting views of relationships. Technology has simultaneously isolated us and created communities. We can spend hours alone in our room with our laptops “friending” one another and “chatting” with acquaintances and even strangers. As odd as it seems, technology has revealed our great desire to live in community and have relationships. Science has continued to remind us of the importance of healthy relationships. Some studies have suggested that healthy relationships are as important as exercise. Statistics reveal that healthy relationships such as marriage can prolong life, decrease stress and create emotional stability. Marriage is not the only way to benefit from relationships. Strong relationships with friends and family have this benefit as well. Adults who feel useful and loved by family and friends tend to suffer less chronic disease and mortality rates. Those who practice faith are not surprised by the benefits of relationships. The assertion of Christianity is we are created by a God who exists in relationship and that we were created for relationship. Genesis records God’s conclusion that “it is not good for man to live alone.” The great commandments of the Old and New Testaments are concerned with our relationship with God and with others. The Ten Commandments are divided into five commands concerning our relationship with God and five concerning our relationship with others. The prophet Micah asks, “What

does God require of you? To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.” Jesus would say the greatest commandment is to “love God with all your heart, mind and soul and the second greatest commandment is to love others as yourself.” All of these commands and passages teach us the importance of a relationship with God and others. What are the qualities of a healthy relationship? Our relationship with God is our model for other relationships. In a healthy relationship, there is the recognition of self worth and the worth of the other. After all, we must first love self before we can love others as self. However, a healthy relationship is not self-centered. In a healthy relationship, no one demands they be the center, but there is joy in the mutual giving and submission. A healthy relationship is always creating and growing. Just as God chose to create and involve us in relationship, we must continue to grow our relationships and not allow them to become static and then toxic. As we search for relationships, let us remember that a healthy relationship begins with our decision to be loving, giving, and caring. When Jesus chose a word to call those who would follow him he chose the word friend. Jesus also reminded us that the greatest act of love is to lay down one’s life for a friend. I must admit I am now questioning the term friend in regards to Facebook. Just how many of the 1,000 people on the young woman’s Facebook page are really “friends”. We all could use more “friends”. Not ones that simply confirm a request, but ones who love, give and care. We all need friends like that. We all need to be that kind of friend.

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a string of success By josh gruder

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s we count down the final days of 2010, we take the time to reflect on another successful year at Scott-Free. Along with its camp partners and a generous community of private and commercial donors, Scott-Free has provided the opportunity to attend summer camp to over 125 at-risk children in North Carolina. Since its inception in 2008, Scott-Free has had the pleasure of helping two outstanding young musicians, Carter and Wyatt Coleman. Carter and Wyatt, who had an appreciation and love of music instilled in them at an early age, told me ever since they were two years old they begged their mother for violin lessons. When Wyatt and Carter were four, their mother Lin signed them up for the well-known Suzuki Program at Meredith College. They credit the program and their instructor Margaret Garris for piquing and further developing their interest in the violin at such a young age. The brothers currently study under Dovid Friedlander, the current Associate Concertmaster of the North Carolina Symphony. Wyatt recently told me, “We love Dovid. He’s brought our talent to the next level and we connect in a very special way”. Carter is a member of the North Carolina Symphony Young All Stars Orchestra, Mallarme Youth Chamber Orchestra and the Triangle Youth Philharmonic, in which he serves as the Concertmaster. Wyatt is also a member of the Young All Stars and Mallarme Youth Chamber Orchestras, as well as the second violinist of the Turismo Quartet. Remarkably, you can find Wyatt and Carter many weekends, not on stage at the Memorial Auditorium or the RBC Center (where they both have performed), but bedside at Rex Hospital or Sunrise Assisted Living performing for the residents. To bring joy or comfort to others through their passion and talent is the driving force behind Carter and Wyatt giving back to the community. During the summers of 2008 and 2009, Scott-Free, with the help of private donors, sent Wyatt and Carter to the Green Mountain Music Festival in Burlington, Vermont. On their first extended time away from home and their parents, the home-schooled Carter and Wyatt were inspired by the exposure to other musicians and teachers with similar

passions and aspirations. Wyatt told me “Before my two summers at GMMF, I felt my skills were becoming stagnant. During my time there, I discovered talents I never knew I had, and was able to explore the violin at a new level”. Recognizing their extraordinary effort and growth, Scott-Free sent Wyatt and Carter to The International Music Academy (IMAP) in Pilsen, Czech Republic in 2010. It was the first time both ScottFree and the Coleman twins experienced summer camp outside the US. The IMAP consisted of a four-week intensive program for talented young musicians from around the world. Carter and Wyatt found the collaborative environment of musicians and world-renowned instructors with different cultural backgrounds and influences extremely nurturing. With aspirations of professional performance violin, Carter is pursuing several conservatories around the country to further develop his skills after high school. Although his appreciation and love for music is still strong, Wyatt, who credits the last two years of his life as eyeopening experiences both musically and otherwise, will study violin as a music major in college; however, he plans on challenging his abilities and letting his curiosity guide him to new horizons. Most importantly, both of these exceptional young men have had an opportunity to grow and mature – the goal of Scott-Free.

Scott Free

Free Scott In loving memory of Scott Gruder midtownmag.com| 85

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PHOTOS COMPLIMENTS OF THE TIDEWATER CAMELLIA CLUB

GRAND

CAMELLIAS Southern Treasures that Brighten Winter BY KATE TURGEON

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It’s winter in Midtown and odds are good that there’s a newcomer wondering how on earth those “roses” are blooming. “Those aren’t roses,” says Lou Bryant with a knowing chuckle. As a longtime member of the Triangle Camellia Society, Bryant has heard stories of how people new to the Southeast are sometimes duped by camellias with their colorful blooms, rose-shaped flowers and glossy green leaves. Call it camellia confusion, if you will. But one thing that’s clear is that these plants are treasures. They thrive in the climate, and Southern gardeners can’t get enough of the thousands of camellia varieties. For Bryant, they’re so beautiful she just can’t name her favorite variety. She says her preference is the one she’s looking at or the one that’s blooming in her yard. “I just like the many different forms a camellia takes,” says Bryant. “They’re beautiful…the pink, red and variegated [multicolored]. And the perfect white flower is a sight to behold.”

ONE SHOW, HUNDREDS OF BLOOMS Looking for an opportunity to talk with experts, see beautiful camellia blooms and spot those varieties that are hard to find? If you moved into a new home and would like someone to identify the type of camellia in your yard, or if you’d like to enter a bloom of your own to be judged, a camellia show could be the spot for you. Check out these upcoming shows in North Carolina. 1.29.11 Where: Wilmington, Arab Shrine Club Building Hosted by: Tidewater Camellia Club

3.5.11, 3.6.11 Where: Fayetteville, Methodist University Hosted by: Fayetteville Camellia Club

2.19.11 Where: Pinehurst, Pinehurst Village Hosted by: Sandhills Camellia Society

3.12.11 Where: Raleigh, J.C. Raulston Arboretum Hosted by: Triangle Camellia Society

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Improving Your Health From the Inside Out. Since their introduction to the United States more than 200 years ago, camellias have garnered a following of gardeners devoted to their growth and care. In Raleigh, the J.C. Raulston Arboretum offers a winter garden where camellias are featured for their color and fragrance. And in nearby Fayetteville, a camellia garden is nestled inside the 79-acre Cape Fear Botanical Garden. MANY USES A camellia plant can easily grace a home’s landscape on its own or when grouped with other plants as part of a hedge. And they can be cut and brought indoors for arrangements as well, although they must be arranged

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919.870.1311 Robert Harper, MD Boris Cvetkovski, MD 2011 Falls Valley Drive | Suite 106 Raleigh, North Carolina conveniently located off 540 & Falls of Neuse Rd.

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properly since blooms can be somewhat heavy. For this reason, camellias are often displayed in shallow bowls of water. Some enthusiasts wax camellias, a process where the bloom is dipped in a paraffin wax, mineral oil and ice water mixture to make it last longer and to give the bloom an attractive shine. But not all camellias are simply pretty faces. Did you know that camellias (specifically the small, white sinensis variety) are also grown for tea? In fact, South Carolina is home to the Charleston Tea Plantation, where conditions are optimal for growing camellias to produce both black and green tea. THE FUTURE Beyond simply being appreciated, camellias are also a source of pursuit for serious gardeners. “Everybody’s looking for the elusive yellow camellia,” explains Bryant. Other serious endeavors include growing uncommon varieties in greenhouses, as well as using gibberellic acid to “gib” the camellia into blooming six weeks sooner than its typical plant cycle would create. Hybrid camellias are becoming more popular, and some hybrids can withstand colder conditions. But no matter where the future takes camellias, the beloved plants are rooted in Southern history. While many plants and flowers are dormant during the winter months, camellias come through with their breathtaking color. As long as the winter’s not too harsh, many parts of North Carolina will have camellias from fall to spring. “It can be iffy…and Mother Nature controls it,” says Bryant, who treasures a photo of one of her camellias dusted with new-fallen, white snow. Now there’s a bright spot in a chilly winter!

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1) TRUE. And they were first grown in New England greenhouses. 2) TRUE. Technically it is a tree, although most gardeners don’t let them get that big, says Lou Bryant. 3) FALSE. Camellias can thrive in pots, as long as they’re repotted every two to three years. 4) FALSE. To avoid burning the leaves, don’t use fertilizer when temperatures are higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 5) TRUE. This gives plenty of time for new growth to emerge and harden off before fall, says Bryant. 6) TRUE. The American Camellia Society says it’s a good way to keep scale away. 7) FALSE. It dries and can become too hard when wet. Instead, use two to four inches of pine straw, bark or other organic matter. 8) TRUE. It also helps to eliminate weeds. 9) TRUE. However, if cared for the right way, camellias may be set out any time. 9. Generally, camellias are planted in late fall to early spring. 8. Mulching the surface of the soil makes it cooler and better at holding moisture. 7. Using peat moss as mulch is good for camellias. 6. Removing inside branches is a good way to reduce the accumulation of pests. 5. In North Carolina, major pruning should take place after the camellias have bloomed. 4. Because they’re so hardy, camellias may be fertilized at any time. 3. Camellias cannot thrive in pots. They’re strictly in-theground plants. 2. Camellias are trees. 1. Camellias originated in Asia; plants were brought to America in 1797.

Test your Camellia Quotient with Midtown Magazine’s True or False. How much do you know about these Southern treasures?

True OR ? e s l a F


NCMOM brings dental care to the needy By dan bain

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NCMOM sets up clinics with as many as 80 full chairs at a time (above, left), but offers individualized care at each station (above).

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The North Carolina Dental Society is on a mission. In fact, they’re on about 12 a year, providing free dental services to as many under-served North Carolinians as possible via the North Carolina Missions of Mercy (NCMOM) program. “They don’t have dental insurance, Medicaid or discretionary income as an avenue to get their dental work done,” explains Dr. Bill Blaylock, director of NCMOM. “The access-to-care problem in North Carolina is tremendous; there are thousands of people out there who have nowhere else to turn. There’s a large segment of our population who need and deserve our help.”

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That help comes in the form of up to 80 mobile dental units and accompanying volunteers. The organization travels to various towns across the state and sets up temporary clinics with the help of lay volunteers, providing qualified care with the help of volunteer dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants. The monthly clinics are available for two days at a time – first-come, first-served – and offer cleanings, fillings and extractions to as many patients as the doctors can see during that time. NCMOM has seen more than 28,000 patients since its 2003 inception, providing care worth about $10 million. Yet it’s not enough. “We could literally do one clinic every weekend and still not help everyone in the state who needs it,” Blaylock laments. “The clinics are very, very expensive to put on…we’re continually searching for ways of raising money to put our clinics on.” That’s why the North Carolina Academy of General Dentistry and Triangle Area Dental Services are helping to host and promote the second annual “Roll the Dice for NCMOM” Casino Night. The fundraiser will take place February 11th from 7-11pm at the Raleigh Convention Center; tickets are available for $50 at www.tadsonline.org. Tax-deductible donations may also be mailed to: North Carolina Dental Health Fund, 1600 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513. (Please write “NCMOM” on the memo line.) Volunteers are welcomed and encouraged to register at www.ncdental.org; they can be lay persons or dental 92 | midtownmag.com

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Patients often line up overnight, desperate to receive dental care they can’t otherwise afford.

professionals – like those from Renaissance Dental in Raleigh or Willis Family Dentistry in Cary. Dr. Anita Jones Wells of Renaissance says it’s moving to see how profoundly grateful the patients are to receive the care they’ve needed, but couldn’t afford. “The number of hugs we received was amazing; that’s the biggest part of it,” she says. “People will drive for hours to get to these clinics. I remember a husband and wife who drove on their anniversary and arrived at 4am to ensure that they had proper dental care; that was their anniversary present to each other.” According to Jordan Carpenter, a dental assistant with Renaissance, numerous practices end up adopting a family to provide additional care after a clinic ends. Renaissance adopts one each year at Christmas and provides dentistry services to them throughout the following year. Blaylock says the payoff is worth it. “It’s a wonderful mission to help these people get out of pain,” he says. “We turn tears of pain into tears of joy.” midtownmag.com| 93

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Remember that old adage about life: the only thing that stays the same is that everything changes? It keeps proving itself to be true. Just ask people in their 70s, 80s and beyond. It’s often easy to acknowledge that situations change, and that needs are different. But the decisions, those can be more difficult to make. “For many families, the subject of moving comes out of the blue,” says Martha Grove Hipskind, a Raleigh gerontologist. “A fall, a broken hip and suddenly life as they know it is never the same.” It can be overwhelming, she says, when a hospital team tells a senior citizen that he cannot go home. That’s why it’s so important for families to make choices before they have to. “I recommend that

everyone takes an active interest in understanding the continuum of care options when they are not needed. This places you in the driver’s seat,” adds Hipskind, who holds a master of science in public health and currently serves as Kane Realty’s director of senior living. The good news, she says, is that there’s a broad range of options for senior living and home care, and that families willing to see what is out there will often be surprised and rewarded for doing so. If you’re wondering what’s “out there,” join Midtown Magazine for a glimpse into the lives of some local senior citizens. Find out why they moved and why they made the choice to stay in their chosen communities.

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Lloyd Millstein, 79 Community: Magnolia Glen Status: Living Independently

Good luck finding an open spot on Lloyd Millstein’s calendar. He volunteers at least twice a week, walks about two miles a day and does occasional consulting work. His e-book reader is full of stories, and his passport is full of stamps from nations as far away as the Czech Republic. Keeping busy is important to this Brooklyn, New York native. And Magnolia Glen, he says, suits his lifestyle. “There’s always something going on here…every hour of every day,” says Millstein, a scientist who worked for Burroughs Wellcome and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “They had someone last month who did an improvisation on Thomas Edison and it was great…he was dressed like him and told about his inventions. And some of the musical programs are very good.” He recently talked with Midtown about his lifestyle and what an average day in his community of Magnolia Glen may hold. 8am Coffee and breakfast with the fellas. “That’s what keeps me here more than anything,” he says of the friendships. 8:30am Exercise. Millstein walks a couple miles around Magnolia Glen, or to a nearby shopping center. When there’s time, he occasionally heads down the community fitness room. 10am Volunteer work at Rex Hospital or Triangle Radio Reading Service, where he reads to the blind. 10:30am On some non-volunteer days, Lloyd enjoys the Scholar Series at Magnolia Glen, where a NC State University history professor presents films and leads discussion on topics such as the Civil War. Noon It’s a small mid-day meal for Millstein, who says he’s not a big lunch eater. 1pm Reading time. It’s not uncommon for Millstein to have a few books going on the same day, switching from book to book. “It’s a habit I picked up in college,” he says. “Always reading something…I had to read history, math, chemistry and biology; it’s no different now.” 5:30pm Dinner with friends in the dining room at Magnolia Glen, where they may happen to sit at a table near two drawings Millstein lent to Magnolia Glen. In fact, several residents have either painted artwork for the walls of the dining room, or lent items from their personal collections. The result is a warm dining space that feels like home. 7pm Playing catch up. Staying in touch with friends and family members is important to Millstein, whose wife Joan died in 2008. The evening time is reserved for making phone calls and sending e-mails. From his orderly three-bedroom cottage, he may also take time for television with an episode of NCIS, 60 Minutes or a program on CNN. midtownmag.com| xx

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Bob Cook, 83 Betty Cook, 82 Community: Springmoor Status: Living Independently

It was time to go. A leaky pipe under the kitchen sink, a broken garage door and a yard with 50 rose bushes, 30 camellia plants and too many azaleas to count was starting to be too much for Bob Cook and his wife Betty. The allure of a suburban fourbedroom home faded, and left a wish for an easier lifestyle in its place. They packed up her Kitchen Aid mixer and his tools, and found their new home at Springmoor Retirement Community on Sawmill Road, just a few miles from their former home in Brookhaven. And after ten years, they say they haven’t regretted the choice. “The decision to move to Springmoor when we did was the best decision we ever made, other than marrying each other,” laughs Betty, who retired from a career in education and child development. Bob agrees, adding that life at Springmoor allows him to keep up with hobbies he likes such as computer classes and woodworking, while allowing him to let go of former tasks like cleaning gutters and tending to a lawn. Like many retirees, it’s hard for Bob and Betty to pin down exact details of a “day in the life” because every day is different and they don’t keep a strict schedule. However, they recently invited Midtown to their home to discuss what an average day may bring. 7:30am Bob takes Sammy, the couple’s Japanese chin dog, for a walk; Betty sleeps in. 9am Breakfast in their two-bedroom apartment: biscotti for Betty and cereal for Bob while they read the paper. 10am Meetings. The Cooks belong to about nine committees, which means there are plenty of appointments to discuss events at Springmoor. Noon Lunch in the dining room or at home. 1pm The early riser gets his rest. “All men and little boys need a nap,” insists Bob, who retired from a career as an agriculture professor. After lunch, Betty may be found organizing drawers, cleaning closets, reading or sewing. 2pm Bob ventures to the community woodworking shop, wearing what he calls his “grungies,” or work clothes. He’s known for his handmade wooden bowls and other items. 5pm Dinner: The Cooks meet friends in the dining room or enjoy a meal at home. One thing’s for sure: there are desserts involved. In fact, the couple has a hard time picking a favorite dessert or meal. “I like everything, that’s the trouble,” laughs Betty. “I could gain too much weight eating their soups.” 7pm They may take a class or watch live entertainment, such as a resident-run program by the Shaky Bells, a hand bell group that’s popular among residents. 9pm Reading, computer games, e-mail or television programs such as Undercover Boss, Dirty Jobs and History channel shows. 11:30pm Bob goes to sleep after watching the news. 12:30am Betty goes to sleep after reading a book. If she needs to start a new book, there are plenty with large print at Springmoor’s honor-system lending library that’s open 24 hours a day, which is good for a night owl! 96 | midtownmag.com

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Future Resident Community: The Cardinal at North Hills

Because The Cardinal is in a developmental stage, there aren’t any residents to spend a day with yet. However, Martha Grove Hipskind, Kane Realty’s director of senior living, has some ideas of how a resident may spend a day at The Cardinal at North Hills. (Hipskind says she anticipates a 2012 opening.) “The design of this community within a community shifts traditional thinking about independence, and marries devotion to wellness and living life to the fullest,” says Hipskind.

Morning: Breakfast at The Cardinal’s Corner Marketplace. Resident gathers with friends for coffee and lounging by the fireplace, or reads magazines and newspapers that are provided. She checks e-mail using the community-wide wireless Internet network (Wi-Fi). Then it’s time for exercise: water aerobics at the on-site Duke Center for Living. Like any resident, she has errands, too. That means a one-block walk to Harris Teeter for a birthday card and a few groceries. Lunchtime: The grandchildren arrive for a visit. Time to hold hands (grandmother loves those little hands!) and cross the street to a nearby restaurant (the kids love grandmother and Chick-fil-A). And what’s lunch without a movie afterward? Following the show, the children’s mother meets everyone at Starbucks on the Commons, where grown-ups chat while kids run off some energy.

Cardinal Model Residence showing open kitchen design.

Late afternoon: Back to The Cardinal clubhouse where the resident meets up with her husband. The couple joins friends in the tavern for a cocktail, followed by dinner in the veranda dining room. After the meal, the couple heads upstairs to the ballroom for a presentation by a team from Duke University. It helps to be in the know!

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© mUSeUm oF liFe anD Science

“This is where the Lost Colony got lost, where the wild Wanderoo once wandered, and where giant sand geysers once sprouted. UFOs seem drawn here like bees to nectar, along with oddball inventors, flimflammers, moonshiners, street preachers, eccentric artists, imperial wizards, and interstate smugglers. [The Carolinas] are the home of giant topiary cats, haunted sheriff’s offices, the Moog Synthesizer, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and the Gatling gun.”

~ Roger Manley

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(left) The newly restored bronto overlooks Durham’s original Dinosaur Trail.

ACROSS THE STATE History and Oddities Unique to the State of North Carolina By kristy stevenson

Everyone knows at least the bare bones about the mysterious Lost Colony that disappeared from Roanoke Island in the late 1500s, has heard tale of the so-called Devil’s Tramping Ground in southwestern Chatham County, or seen the giant copper acorn that resides in Raleigh’s Moore Square and literally drops in to downtown each New Year’s Eve. Roadside oddities like the Durham brontosaurus (recently vandalized on the Life and Science Museum’s old Dinosaur Trail), giant milk cartons outside dairy plants in Burlington and Goldsboro, and High Point’s enormous chest of drawers positioned in the heart of the world’s largest furniture market are more of the eclectic items specific to North Carolina and part of the larger picture that makes our area unique. Weird Carolinas: Your Travel Guide to the Carolinas’ Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets – picked up locally at Affordable Chic but available through most booksellers – draws you into its web of urban legends and odd locales through its eerie cover art. Conceived as a spinoff of sorts from the Moran and Sceurman best seller Weird U.S., this tome was compiled by former North Carolina and South Carolina resident Roger Manley, who spent years collecting unusual tales known only to the locals. With section headings like “Fabled People and Places,” and “Unexplained and Unnatural,” to “Roads Less Traveled,” and “Carolina Ghosts,” the book is packed with stories and photos derived from NC counties from the mountains to the coast. How well do you know our state? midtownmag.com midtownmag.com| | xx 33

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Brown Mountain Lights As a long even-crested granite ridge only 2600 feet in height and covered in trees that match the surrounding terrain at the foothills of the Blue Ridge, Brown Mountain is pretty ordinary – except for the peculiar lights, that is. On many clear fall evenings with no moon, you can see brightly glowing balls of light that seem to linger close to the ridge, then lift upward and waver in the air for a few seconds before vanishing. Cherokee legend says that they are the glow of hovering spirits searching for lost loved ones. The lights can be photographed, and the curious can even hike up to their presumed point of origin. People have witnessed this anomaly for centuries, yet to this day, no one can explain it. The US Geological Survey of 1913 declared that the lights were a mirage reflecting the illumination of locomotives down in the Catawba Valley. But when a flood washed out all railroad bridges in that area but the lights remained, that theory was deflated. Similar arguments asserting that they are simply the reflection of streetlights from nearby towns cannot explain how their appearance predated both the founding of the towns and the invention of the light bulb.

the restaurant sits a machine that with the turn of a crank moves pulleys that drive four mounted boots into your backside. A disclaimer warns against standing facing the revolving boots (yikes!) and absolves the Barn in complaints from anyone who does not like the way they were kicked.

Giving Yourself the Boot Have you ever said in frustration, “I could just kick myself ”? Well, here’s your opportunity. Although the original ‘kick in the pants’ was located about 10 miles outside of New Bern, patrons of Raleigh’s Angus Barn can partake via a replica designed to give you a swift kick to the posterior. In the parking lot behind

Famed Bridges A country stretch of road between Rocky Mount and Leggett, NC is known as Seven Bridges Road. Not to be confused with the Eagles song of the same name, this isolated passage through the Old South is said to be particularly creepy when driven at night. So is it an optical illusion or just too much moonshine when visitors

© kaltazar at deviantart.com The haunted Pisgah Bridge – you may want to duck as you go through.

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who drive the road from one end to the other cross seven bridges on the way in, but only six on the way back out? At least none of those bridges are covered, as they have a nefarious history of their own. With two covered bridges left in existence in the state of NC (Bunker Hill near Claremont and Pisgah Covered Bridge south of Asheboro), both are known for apparitions of dangling bodies. Back in the 19th century, hundreds of bridges across the state were covered to keep the heavy wooden beams of their trusses from rotting. The rafters inside such bridges were popular places for hangings – hence the hauntings. The Seven Springs In the little town of Seven Springs dwells an old spa where people came to enjoy the health benefits of seven distinct water sources. Each source poured forth from the ground with a different taste, mineral composition and healthful property. In the late 19th century, Seven Springs was well known for its ability to cure a host of illnesses while adding a zest and energy to everyday life. Visitors traveled up the Neuse River by steamboat and would stay in a hotel that still stands, although it has fallen into disrepair. After years of neglect and flooding from Hurricane Floyd, the spa and much of the town have been washed out. Sadly, the channels that drained the springs remain clogged and today the springs are still flooded, with their waters mixing freely. Return to the L and of Oz Set atop Beech Mountain near Banner Elk, the Land of Oz theme

Autumn at Oz brings families back to the mountain where it all started.

© emeraldmtn.com

park has offered visitors their own chance to follow the yellow brick road since 1970. One of the visionaries behind Tweetsie Railroad (yet another NC treasure) helped conceive this place for children to enjoy in an area dominated by adult ski slopes. You could experience Dorothy’s farm, the Emerald City, an Oz museum and all your favorite characters in full regalia. The park closed in 1980, but those who visited as children today bring their own families back to the mountain on the first weekend of October for a nostalgic annual Autumn at Oz party that draws thousands. For more great reading on tales exclusive to our state, check out North Carolina Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff by Jon Elliston and Kent Priestley, or North Carolina Trivia: Weird, Wacky, and Wild by John V. Wood and Lisa Wojna. If online attractions and oddities are more your speed, you can also visit roadsideamerica.com and sort listings by state. Happy Trails!

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TALK TOWN OF THE

NEW BOWLING BOUTIQUE IN NORTH HILLS

C.T. Weekends

BEST WISHES! Fiquet Bailey, owner of Luxe and columnist for Midtown, married Cary, NC resident Robert Darden Swain III on October 16th! Fiquet writes the Midtown beauty column in each issue (p.82). Join us in wishing them many years of happiness!

Stop by and visit our friends Dennis & Kristi at C.T. Weekends. They’ve just opened a brand new location in Cameron Village! Their beautiful new store is at 437 Daniels Street!

© LISHA MYERS PHOTOGRAPHY

If you are looking for fun, Sparians is the place to be! The new bowling boutique offers great food and atmosphere along with state-of-the-art bowling.

THE RALEIGH ROUNDUP Hundreds of couples donned their cowboy boots in November for The Raleigh Roundup. This one-night-event raised over $300,000 in the battle against cancer!

RALEIGH SPRING HOME SHOW On February 18th-20th, the Raleigh Convention Center will hold the Spring Home Show. The event is designed for homeowners in all stages of remodeling, landscaping and decorating their homes. The event will include hundreds of exhibits with merchandise, sample interior and exterior vignettes, and product demonstrations. Be sure to check it out!

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coming up in the next

Spring Fashion

From dresses to handbags and everything in-between we’ll show you the must have looks for Midtown men and women this spring. Beautiful Bathrooms

Does your loo need a new look? From the downstairs powder room to the master bath, local designers share their secrets for creating beautiful bathrooms. Sensational Spas

There are more spas than ever before and their menu of services is extensive – how do you choose the right spa and the right treatment for yourself? We take you inside the area’s best spas and share our favorites. Real Estate Rebounds

Whether you are in the market to buy or sell a home, things are looking up! Midtown realtors show us some of the best homes on the market and tell us why it’s the right time to buy. Farm Fresh

The warmth of spring is just around the corner and along with it comes trips to the farmer’s market. We’ll share tips from farmers on picking the best fruits and veggies plus share great recipes. Across the State

Hole in the Wall Restaurants. We take you across the state for a savory glimpse of North Carolina’s best hole in the wall restaurants.

Plus lots more…

Wine Review | Chef Mario Bain’s Beat | Calendar of Events Talk of the Town | Healthy You Midtown Mingles | and much more! midtownmag.com| xx

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downtown

They’ve Been Working On The Railroad Actually, they’ve been working on high-speed rail, commuter rail and light rail. So what does this mean for our city? By illyse lane

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et’s face it. We’re a city of cars. A city that marvels when the addition of a right turn lane alleviates a back-up that seems a mile long. We’re still basking in the glow of sitting through only one light cycle at the Wake Forest/I-440 intersection instead of the 20 minutes from years past. And I’ve been witness to many conversations that begin with “Before I-540, it took me twice as long to get...”. We’re a growing city. Both state and county projections estimate that Wake, Durham and Orange counties are expected to add 800,000 residents over the next 25 years. And while the traffic predictions vary depending on who’s crunching the numbers, all in all, it isn’t pretty. We’ll be challenged to handle the growth. So what’s the plan? While the word “rail” and “train” have been tossed around as transportation options for our city, be warned. “There are actually three different types of rail

technologies being discussed, falling under two different umbrellas,” says Jim Belt of the Downtown Living Advocates. “It can be confusing.” Triangle Transit Regional Rail: The Vision Right now, there’s a vision. A vision with light rails zipping alongside of cars taking you across town, where you’ll shop, go to lunch and meet up with friends. A vision where you’ll hop on the train from Raleigh to RTP, cutting your commute time. A vision where you’ll catch a train to Chapel Hill or Durham to take in a basketball game. This vision for both light rail and commuter trains fall under the Triangle Regional Transit Program, an all-inclusive state program that will serve residents in Wake, Durham and Orange By Christa Gala counties. This program is designed to integrate a public transport network (think buses, trains, and cars) into an urban setting, with a new downtown,

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multi-modal transit station called Union Station – not far from Raleigh’s original Union Station, a passenger train station originally constructed in 1890 but torn down in 1942 – serving as a rail station and a bus platform for all transportation. Commuter vs. Light So what’s the difference between the two rails? Commuter rail is slower than high speed but faster than light, stopping every few miles. Think the railroads outside of Chicago or New York taking commuters to work during the morning and evening rush hour. It can also utilize existing freight lines, making it a less expensive endeavor, since our city already has the freight tracks available. Light rail is an electric rail that will stop more frequently and can operate in its own dedicated lane in streets with mixed traffic or along the side of the road like a more traditional railroad. Light rail tracks would have to be built, making it a more expensive project, but the benefit is the implementation of an environmentally friendly, flexible method of transportation. “If you take a look at other cities

that have implemented light rail, such as Denver and Portland, it’s been fantastic in terms of helping downtown expand,” says Belt. “Additionally, light rail can pick up people by the hundreds, creating a huge transit opportunity.” What’s Next? While this project still needs to be funded, a few decisions have been made, such as identifying corridors or areas that would serve as potential routes. Based on input and studies, a first phase decision has been made to have a corridor come through North Raleigh around Triangle Town Center, head into downtown to Union Station, and then travel out to northwest Cary. The next decision will determine what kind of trains should be used (and it doesn’t have to be one or the other, it could be a combination of both) as well as determining where the trains would stop. The complete plan will be presented to the public this year and will include ideas for rail stations and an expanded bus network. The public will decide whether or not they support the plan through a referendum, scheduled for November.

The Southeast High Speed Rail Project You may have heard rumblings about the Southeast High Speed Rail Project late last year, when downtown residents took the spotlight sharing suggestions for the potential route this rail will travel. “Since the proposed high speed rail route will travel on existing freight lines, it will impact various downtown neighborhoods. It made sense for downtown residents to get involved,” says Belt. So what exactly is the Southeast High Speed Rail? It’s multistate project based on a federal program to rebuild the country’s infrastructure, with a route designated to run between Richmond and Raleigh, and on to Charlotte. The train will pass through downtown into the proposed Union Station. “The public had the opportunity to comment on the route and now, how the rail will enter and travel through the city is in the hands of the NCDOT,” says Belt. Why Should We Care? Outside of downtown, it seems that residents have not had quite as much to

say or have been as in the know about either rail system. Belt attributes this to the fact that most downtown residents are more interested in alternative modes of transportation, as many have come downtown to get away from cars. “They are excited about the opportunities and possibilities that the Triangle Transit proposal brings,” says Belt. This alternative-focused mindset is one that residents throughout the area will have to consider when deciding how they feel about the Triangle Transit proposal. For those of us who rely on cars for getting around, it’s important to keep in mind what the future may bring in terms of commute time and environmental implications. Even if the plans are far from being functional, the decisions being made now will affect us. “If the city plans now, by the time we need it, it will be ready, potentially pulling traffic off the roads while making our city and the surrounding areas much easier to navigate.” says Belt. So while they may be working on the railroad, we’ll have to decide if we’ll want to catch the train. midtownmag.com| midtownmag.com|101 xx

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downtown

Feeling Brunchy? Downtown: Where brunch eats are found By kate turgeon

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here’s no nice way to write this. So, here it goes: the promise of Sunday brunch gets my family to church on time. But I can’t point the finger at them for loving the incentive. I’m guilty, too. Toward the end of the service, I’m thinking about “together time,” complete with a meal that I don’t have to prepare or clean up. Luckily, the downtown area lends itself nicely to a brunch scene that’s worth checking out. With close proximity to numerous places of worship, theaters, museums and shopping, downtown restaurants can be a perfect spot for a weekend meal before a matinee, exhibit or even before your much-needed nap. Join Midtown Magazine for a look at the atmosphere and food inside some of Raleigh’s favorite brunch spots. The Oxford Sundays 10am-3pm For diners who are hungry or simply looking for a little taste of many flavors, a gastropub may

be the order of the day. Think: The Oxford on scenic Fayetteville Street. The restaurant’s Sunday brunch is a buffet complete with stations for custom omelets, pancakes and waffles. “There are tons of mix-in options,” says The Oxford’s Tara Zechini. “So our guests can have anything from chocolate chip pancakes to a feta and spinach omelet.” And, really, who doesn’t love the sizzle and aroma of a Belgian waffle baking? Beyond the stations (which include a prime rib carving station), the restaurant serves up heaping bowls of green salad, fruit plates, desserts and unique menu items such as shepherd’s pie. It’s all about choosing what you like inside this British-inspired eatery. And children may select their brunch favorites at a special rate. (The buffet is free for children five and younger, with a paying adult; it’s $7.50 for six- to ten-year-olds.) By Christa Gala Now that the holiday rush is over, January brings downtime. Brunch at The Oxford followed by a short walk to Winterfest for outdoor

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clockwise from left Peach Melba Trifle Housemade Cinnamon roll crumbles covered with macerated peaches and raspberries. Topped with fresh whipped cream and garnished with mint. HUEVOS RANCHEROS Two sunny side eggs served on corn tortillas with refried black beans, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo and guacamole. Breakfast Burrito Scrambled eggs, bacon, cheddar cheese, salsa, sour cream. Pulled Pork Hash Pan roasted pulled pork shoulder tossed with potatoes, red onions and bell peppers. Topped with two poached eggs and green chili hollandaise.

ice-skating? Sounds like the making of a wonderful Sunday afternoon. Irregardless CafÉ Saturdays 9am-3pm Sundays 10am-2pm Arthur Gordon knows what his restaurant’s calling card is. And after 35 years in the business, he can explain it in a heartbeat. “It’s like you’re coming home instead of going out to eat…no freezer, nothing pre-processed…and the staying power is from taking dishes from around the world and adapting them to the Raleigh palate,” says Gordon. Examples of this food fusion: Leos, an egg-and-salmon dish served with a toasted bagel and apple sauce, which is a nod to his father’s upbringing in New York’s Lower East Side; and cheese blintzes (crepes filled with orange zest and fresh farmer’s cheese) like his Russian-born grandmother used to make. Other tasty favorites include banana walnut pancakes, eggs Benedict with crab

cake, shrimp and grits and the Cape Charles omelet with back fin crabmeat and sea scallops in a light béchamel sauce. It’s important to Gordon that patrons have an easy experience, so each meal comes with fresh squeezed orange juice and choice of coffee, iced tea or milk. (Children’s portions are also available.) There’s a certain calm inside Irregardless Café. It may come from the live guitar music at brunch, morning sunlight pouring in the front windows of the building on West Morgan Street or the owner’s simple “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” attitude. Humble Pie Sundays 11am-2pm Situated downtown on South Harrington Street, Humble Pie is known for its comfortable atmosphere and delectable eats. For more than 20 years, it has served up brunch from its warehouse-style restaurant where colorful

paper lanterns dot the tall ceilings and the outdoor patio can seat up to 60 people when the weather’s right. Patrons love the complimentary, premeal biscuits, which are made from scratch and served hot with flour dusting across the top and a crunchy texture on the bottom. The younger set will delight in the pancakes and French toast with strawberries. (Kids’ portions are available for about $5.) And when it comes to a Southern favorite – shrimp and grits – Humble Pie does not disappoint, with the entrée’s flavorful broth and creamy grits. Egg dishes, such as the popular huevos rancheros and classic steak and eggs, don’t disappoint either. Forget cold eggs, Humble Pie diners can see the steam flying off of the food. The old standby beverages – juices and coffee – are available. And Humble Pie also serves up a delicious Bloody Mary, as well as peach-flavored Bellinis, says owner Joe Farmer, who recommends reservations. midtownmag.com| 107

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NOFO at the Pig Café Saturday & Sunday, 10am-3pm It’s a little difficult even for owner Jean Martin to describe her restaurant. Located in Raleigh’s Five Points area, NOFO at the Pig is many things, from colorful and upbeat to quirky and unpretentious. More than a restaurant, it’s an experience. NOFO is housed inside a renovated Piggly Wiggly building, which holds the cafe as well as a food market and gift shop, where activity is constant with trunk shows, author appearances and tastings. All that action can be a good thing since it’s not uncommon to wait for a table during the popular brunch hours. Celebrated brunch entrees include eggs Benedict, the Ashe County omelet (made with country ham, sharp cheddar and Granny Smith apples), shrimp and grits (which are served over cheese grits), pulled pork hash (think: green chili hollandaise sauce) and big bear scramble. For those who like a sweet breakfast, the French toast is a must-try. NOFO delights with its famous Bloody Mary, which is made from the café’s own mix and served with dilly bean, says Martin. Hibernian Sundays 11am-2:30pm If you happen to drive through Glenwood South on a Sunday afternoon, there’s no mistaking the hustle and bustle spilling out of Hibernian, a comfortable Irish pub that serves up a Sunday brunch buffet. On a cold day, Hibernian has the warmth patrons are looking for, and it comes from the atmosphere as well as the comfort foods. On a warm day, diners may sit outside near flower-filled hanging baskets and enjoy the traditional fare. Patrons rave about the shepherd’s pie, which is loaded with potatoes, carrots, other veggies, meat and melted cheese. Also tops are the array of desserts, fruit, corned beef, potato dishes and famous maple syrup bacon. It’s worth a trip just for the melt-in-your-mouth bacon and brunch drink specials. 108 | midtownmag.com

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Shen Yun Performing Arts is coming to Downtown

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hen Yun’s one-of-a-kind orchestra, with its all-original compositions, blends East and West like no other. It is a presentation of traditional Chinese culture as it once was: a study in grace, wisdom, and the virtues distilled from the five millennia of Chinese civilization. Every year, Shen Yun unveils an entirely new lineup of dances, songs, and musical scores. At the core of the performances is classical Chinese dance with China’s numerous ethnic and folk dance styles rounding out the evening.  In a collection of short pieces, audiences travel from the Himalayas to tropical lake-filled regions; from the legends of the culture’s creation over 5,000 years ago through to the story of Falun Dafa in China today; from the highest heavens down to the dusty plateaus of the Middle Kingdom. Animated backdrops transport the audience to another world. Projected behind the dancers, the hi-tech images lift the stage and set it amidst blossoming landscapes, deep forests, Mongolian prairies, or celestial paradises. One of the features that strike audiences most is Shen Yun’s colorful costumes. Hundreds of gorgeous, hand-made garments span China’s dynasties, regions, and ethnic groups. “I wish I could wear that!” is a common reaction. Even leading fashion designers leave the show excited with new inspiration. For more information on Shen Yun performances visit www.shenyunperformingarts.org.

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downtown

Ballet School Basics

Ballet is a fun way to get your child moving while learning fundamental skills. But before you enroll your child in ballet class, make sure you’ve done your homework. By illyse lane

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t may be hard to believe that you should evaluate potential ballet schools with the same level of attention you’d devote to finding a good preschool or elementary school for your child. Yet, it makes sense. Ballet is an art form that when performed, is full of grace and beauty. But consider that in order to execute those flawless moves, excellent flexibility, balance, endurance and strength is required. Ballet involves repetitive, athletic movements that utilize all major muscle groups, even at the earliest levels. “Muscle memory is what ballet training is all about, so early training sets the foundation for future success,” says Mary LeGere of The Raleigh School of Ballet. And success is defined differently for every child. While some children may have aspirations of dancing professionally, others may dance through childhood as a hobby. Regardless of the path, it’s important for

your child to be enrolled in a program that understands the importance of using the body correctly, including teaching proper alignment and being aware of the risks that come from overusing certain muscles at such a young age, which can lead to injuries. “If you start correctly, you lay a foundation that will foster a healthy body and healthy attitude, enabling you to dance longer,” says LeGere. So how do you make sure your child will learn the basics, be able to progress and still have fun? In addition to asking for referrals, take the initiative to do a little research. “The program you choose for your child should have trained instructors that use a curriculum,” says Susan Galdy, also of The Raleigh School of Ballet. “There should be a path for development and each child should have individual goals.” Additionally, you want to find out how long the school has been in existence as

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well as its focus. A school that offers many different types of dance may not have the same quality of training as a school that focuses on just one style. Take the time to observe classes at various levels, where you’ll not only get a chance to see the progression of students, but also what kind of student-teacher ratio is in place, with students being attentive and interested. Most importantly, keep in mind that being successful at ballet will require your child to develop an inner discipline, just as she would if she were playing soccer, learning piano or practicing taekwondo. A good school will promote that development with the right combination of encouragement and expectation. “ When it comes to ballet, parents can sometimes be intimidated and mistakenly label a “serious” school as a school that lacks fun, praise by teachers or creative expression, “ says LeGere. “It’s actually quite the opposite.” Instead, it’s likely that a more “serious” school may be stealing a page from one of the parenting books you may have read years ago, which reminds us that children thrive when they have the benefit of a routine, with clearly defined expectations. This type of structure makes it easier for children to please, which is ultimately what they want to do. And in return, the children should receive plenty of support and positive reinforcement from their instructors, making it a pleasant experience for all. “Children will learn, feel comfortable and have fun in an environment that is both structured and nurturing,” says Galdy. As with all extracurricular activities, there’s a dollar and time commitment attached to ballet class. And even if you’re not envisioning a future full of toe shoes and tutus, it makes sense to get your child started off on the right foot. So take the time to do your homework, and ensure that your child can dance for as long as she wants to.

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Pr a c t i c a l M e d i c a l Ad v i c e Fr o m a R e a l

Dr. Mom D u k e R a l e i g h H o s p i ta l’ s Dr. Heidi Schecodnic offers no-nonsense t i p s f o r s tay i n g w e l l through the winter By page leggett

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Heidi Schecodnic, MD is more than an internist. She’s a mom to two young daughters. So, she’s learned a few things – from medical school and motherhood – about staying well in the winter. Her fi rst piece of advice: Get a fl u shot. “I recommend a fl u shot for nearly everyone,” she said. “But, there are people in certain high-risk groups who should defi nitely get one.” Those groups include: • Pregnant women • Children between the ages of six months and fi ve years • People over the age of 50 • Anyone with a chronic health condition, such as cancer or diabetes • Anyone living in a nursing home • People, such as teachers and health care workers, who work with the general public

She’s heard reluctance from some of her patients. There’s a common misconception that the fl u shot can cause the fl u or fl u-like symptoms. “I tell my patients, ‘It’s not a live virus. You’re not going to get the fl u from the shot.’” do your parT And, getting the fl u shot is actually the humanitarian thing to do. If people don’t want to do it for themselves, they should do it for their family, friends and colleagues. “The more people who get the fl u shot, the milder the fl u season will be,” said Dr. Schecodnic. Flu vaccines change each year, depending on what researchers at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) think will be the three most common strands. “Since there are literally thousands of strands of fl u, the vaccine will not protect you from all of them,” said Dr. Schecodnic. “But, if you get the vaccine and then get a strand [of fl u] that wasn’t in it, your case of the fl u is still going to be less severe than it otherwise would have been.” Last year’s H1N1 variety of the fl u seemingly came out of nowhere. “It had been under the radar, so the outbreak was big,” Dr. Schecodnic said. The CDC was not prepared for the signifi cant outbreak we had in the United States. This year, H1N1 is in the vaccine. Doctor’s offi ces and pharmacies begin getting the vaccine in North Carolina every September. Dr. Schecodnic recommends getting the vaccine in the fall, but she says January is still not too late. “Flu peaks in our area in January and February,” she said. “And, it takes about two weeks from the time you get the shot to fully build up your immunity. She emphasizes the importance of getting a fl u shot by saying, “The fl u is serious. It’s easy to forget that people die from the fl u every year.” So, the fl u is serious, but what about that other common winter plague – the common cold? midtownmag.com midtownmag.com| | xx 33

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“You’ve got to treat the symptoms,” Dr. Schecodnic said. “Over-the-counter medications are available for a runny nose, scratchy throat, coughing and sneezing.” But, she does caution that over-the-counter decongestants shouldn’t be used for more than three or four days in a row, as they can dry you out too much. She explains in plain terms what happens when you have cold. “You’re overproducing mucous. When you catch a cold, it gets thick. You’ve got to stay hydrated so you can keep the mucous thin. The thicker the mucous, the worse you feel.” The power to stay healthy is in your hands Dr. Schecodnic’s second tip for winter wellness is even easier to do than getting a flu shot. It’s washing your hands. “Good hand-washing technique is so important,” she said. “If you’re in a restaurant, wash your hands before you eat. You’ve probably touched doorknobs, and you’ve touched the menu. I get grossed out when I see people in restaurants handling a menu and not washing their hands or using an anti-bacterial before eating.” There are other things you can do that are just as easy. “If you cough or sneeze, do it into your elbow,” she advises. Other commonsense precautions Dr. Schecodnic recommends: “Drink water. Stay hydrated. Eat healthy. Get plenty of sleep.” Dr. Schecodnic said there may even be something to the time-tested, mom-approved chicken soup prescription. “Some research suggests that chicken soup actually works. The concept certainly does. “A warm soup is going to open your nasal passages and make you feel better for a time.” Certainly, people should stay home from work, and children should stay home from school. How can you tell if you have the flu or just a cold? Pretty easily, according to Dr. Schecodnic. “With a cold, you won’t have swollen glands or a fever,” she said. “If you have a fever, it’s probably the flu. If you have severe sinus pain, it’s more than a cold.” A cold can linger for up to two weeks, but a cold doesn’t ever turn into the flu. If you’re in doubt, Dr. Schecodnic advises people to err on the side of caution and see a doctor. Let’s get physical “Keep moving!” That’s another piece of advice from Dr. Schecodnic. She knows it’s not always easy to exercise when the temperatures plummets. The Ohio native laughs about what she considers to be Raleigh’s mild winters. She and her family enjoy the outdoors all winter long. People with an aversion to cold are not off the hook, though. “If you have the financial means to join and go to a gym, do it,” she said. “But, there are plenty of other options.” “You can walk at the mall,” she said. “If you have cable TV, there are three or four stations with yoga, Pilates and aerobics you can do at home. You can take up martial arts – tae kwon do, karate – or go to dance classes. That’s a fun way to exercise.”

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“My family has so much fun playing Wii tennis and bowling. That’s great exercise,” she said. But, special equipment isn’t required. Dr. Schecodnic said, “Do 20 to 50 jumping jacks at a time. Do squats and push-ups. Work up to three sets of 10 and then three sets of 20.” Anyone who’s ever had trouble sticking to an exercise regime will be glad to hear the mundane things the doctor says count as a workout. “Walk up and down steps. Clean your house. That counts as exercise,” she said. As you’re taking care of your body, you can’t ignore your body’s largest organ – your skin. Cold weather can do a number on it. The colder outdoor temperatures are drying, but so is indoor heating. Dr. Schecodnic has advice for combating the one-two punch of freezing temperatures outside and drying heat inside. “Lower your heat, if you can. Put on a sweatshirt. Consider using a vaporizer to get some humidity into your home,” she said. “Use warm – not hot – water when you take a bath, shower or wash your face,” she said. “Moisturize, especially when you get out of the shower. And, look at the ingredients on your lotion. If the first ingredient listed is water, that lotion is going to dry you out. I like the Aveeno products because they’re made with oatmeal.” “And, don’t forget to use lip balm and to exfoliate, if you’re dry.” Beware of caffeine; it dehydrates the skin. Dr. Schecodnic cautions patients to have no more than two 8-ounce servings a day. So, go easy on the hot cocoa. Remember that drinking six to eight glasses of water is just as important this time of year as it is in the summer. Some seasonal medical issues are more serious than dry skin. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a very real diagnosis. “Some cases are quite severe,” said Dr. Schecodnic. “There are people who just withdraw from life. We say to those people, ‘Come see us. Let us help.’” “There is nothing to prevent SAD, so we have to treat it. We can prescribe antidepressants that can help, and there are herbal remedies for patients who prefer those. Light therapy can also help,” she said. “It’s important to keep your body on a natural circadian rhythm. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. If you suffer from SAD, sleeping late can make you feel worse.” The same advice applies to SAD patients as to the rest of the population. “Keep exercising; it really does boost your mood,” Dr. Schecodnic said. “Yoga, meditation and massage are also good options.” Dr. Schecodnic’s message is simple. “Get a flu shot, wash your hands and don’t hibernate,” she summarized. Your best defense during cold and flu season is really just common sense. “Dr. Schecodnic is a physician at Duke Primary Care Creedmoor Road. To make an appointment or to learn more about Duke Primary Care locations near you, visit dukehealth.org or call 1-888-ASK-DUKE.”

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healthy you

the joy

OF SEX

(Joy? Did someone say joy?) BY caRteR & LauRa DaLton, GNC AT NORTH HILLS

Ever look up at dinner, only to notice your partner’s loving gaze and think, “Oh, god, he’s got that look on his face. Not tonight. Please. How can I get out of it tonight?” Sound familiar? If so, you are not alone. In fact, after having a good “girl talk” around the topic of sex, I’m convinced you’re the majority versus the minority. Here’s what a few women had to say: “I would have no problem being interested in sex…as long as it included an island, no kids and a beverage served in a coconut.” “It’s hard to think of being intimate after a day of kissing, hugging, holding and loving on my children. By day’s end, all I can think about is my side of the bed.” “I feel disconnected from my husband. Work. Kids. He’ll roll over and want to make love, and I just can’t do it when we haven’t been getting along.” “I cannot stand seeing me naked, let alone him seeing me! I feel like he’s going to look at me and wish he could turn back the clock.” “Sex is like working out – I

dread the thought of having to do it, but once it starts, I enjoy it and can’t understand why I don’t do it more often.” “After I turned 50 – kids out of the house – more time, more opportunity. Guess what? Hot flashes keep me up and sex is just plain painful. Physically painful. This is what I’ve been waiting for?” Yes – we are definitely more complicated than men when it comes to intimacy. These women all love their spouses, and don’t love the fact that they feel this way. So what makes us categorize it on the “chore” list? Take into consideration that the following factors can all have a significant effect on our ability to enjoy sex: stress: Life definitely gets in the way of our sex life. Juggling careers, kids, husbands, housework, aging parents and more leaves us with little time and little sleep. Fatigue saps sex drive. And housework in a teddy – perhaps on desperate housewives, but really not practical.

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Relationship issues: Yes, we are emotional creatures, so simmering arguments, poor communication or betrayal of trust can all kill your desire. Poor body image: It’s hard to feel sexy if your self-esteem suffers from poor body image. Lack of exercise and proper nutrition: Eating on the go, we often don’t get what we need as far as nutrition. Suddenly, it’s the end of the day and we’ve pushed off another day of exercise. Perfect. Now I feel tired AND fat, adding fuel to your poor body image. Hormonal changes: Menopause and pregnancy can have a significant effect on sex, both physically and emotionally. Getting your sex life back When intense relationship issues, medications (including birth control pills) and/or serious emotional problems are barriers to your sex life, working with your doctor or therapist is probably the best first step. For those of us who simply find they can’t “turn their brain off” long enough to think about how fun sex can be, or who want to naturally boost energy and desire a bit, there are some options worth trying. Horny goat weed (Epimedium) & Gingko Biloba: Orgasms make you feel calmer, kinder, closer and most of all – SEXY! Reduced blood flow to the clitoris can be a prime reason behind low libido in women; these two popular herbs increase blood flow to the genitals. Increased blood flow to the clitoris not only enhances your sex drive, but also makes you enjoy intense sensations. You may not fit into a size six anymore, but after your first orgasm, you won’t care. Maca: Maca, a root found at high altitudes in Peru, can have powerful effects on desire and orgasms. Black Cohosh: Estrogen levels drop during the transition to menopause, which can cause a double whammy – decreased interest in sex and dryer vaginal tissues, resulting in painful or uncomfortable sex. Many women find balancing hormones during menopause or postpregnancy can help bring libido back. Black cohosh has estrogen-like properties, and can increase blood flow to the pelvis, which increases arousal and response to sexual stimulation. More blood flow means more lubrication, and that’s good for sex. DHEA: A natural hormone that is converted to male and female sex hormones in the body. Not only do estrogen levels drop in menopause, testosterone levels can drop as well, and testosterone is important for sex drive in women as well as men. Talk with your doctor about the benefits of supplementing 10mg-25mg per day. ArginMax: Richard P. Brown, MD, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, and Hilda Hutcherson, clinical professor of OB/GYN at Columbia, both suggest using a preparation called ArginMax. ArginMax combines vitamins with the amino acid L-arginine, as well as the herbs ginseng, gingko and damiana. In one study using ArginMax, sexual desire, satisfaction and orgasm improved in 25 of 34 women given the preparation. In addition, two other clinical studies found that ArginMax improved sexual function in menopausal and other women with low sexual desire. One other motivator that can be the easiest thing to do but one we neglect most often is to get moving! Regular aerobic exercise and strength training can increase your stamina, improve your body image, elevate your mood, balance your hormones and enhance your libido. And did I mention how calm, kind and sexy you feel afterwards? We always recommend speaking with your doctor before beginning any new program or supplement. midtownmag.com| 117

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healthy you

sick...

and tired

The holiday season is a distant memory and you’re still standing. At least for the moment. For there’s no denying that pain in your throat and stuffy nose that seems to settling in. Or that achy, chill filled feeling hinting that you may be coming down with something. But what? The flu can strike as early as October, with cases increasing in January and peaking in February. And the common cold is just that - so common that you’re likely to catch one during the cold winter months. So how can you tell which one is ailing you? Truth be told, it can be difficult to determine. Both are respiratory illnesses, both are caused by viruses and both have similar symptoms. But paying close attention to those symptoms can help you get on the path to treatment.

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The Common Cold There are several viruses that can cause a cold, so symptoms, severity and duration will vary. Symptoms: Runny nose, headaches, sneezing, sore throat and sometimes, a low grade fever. How Long Will It Last? Usually one week, but sometimes up to two weeks. Doctor’s Visit: Not necessary Treatment: There are several over the counter medications, such as decongestants, pain killers and cough medications that can help treat the common cold. Be patient, as a cold can take a while to run its course, as well as drinking lots of fluids and trying some of your tried and true, home remedies. Prevention: There is no vaccine for the common cold. Instead, take a Vitamin C supplement, wash your hands frequently and avoid exposure to people with colds and overcrowded areas.

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Compassion, baCk pain and spine surgery BY DR. ROBERT LACIN, MC, FAANS | RALEIGH NEUROSURGICAL CLINIC

Back pain, especially in the lower back, affects at least 80 percent of Americans at some point in their lives. It has been estimated that the cost for treatment of back pain is more than $26 billion each year. For such a common problem, however, treating back pain can be complex. Medications, physical therapy, chiropractic services, injections and surgery are just some of the treatments available today for back pain. If surgery didn’t relieve the pain, doctors sometimes told (and sometimes still do!) patients the pain was all in their head. We know now the success rate of fusion surgery for low back pain without a pinched nerve and near normal MRIs (showing typical degenerative changes) is, at most, 30 percent. Conversely, the success rate of back surgery for pinched nerves and other obvious abnormalities found on MRIs is extremely high, often dramatic. When physicians make a proper diagnosis and truly understand the reason behind the pain, the resolution is fairly straightforward. The problem is that in close to 80 percent of low back pain cases, doctors simply don’t know what structure in the back is causing the pain. In the absence of a clear diagnosis, many treatments are bound to fail. The best approach to back pain is what we call “multi-modal,� which is to try a combination of therapies such as exercise, medication, relaxation techniques and behavioral modification under the guidance of an empathetic and compassionate physician. Most physicians believe in exhausting the least invasive therapies before moving to the next step. We perform many back surgeries, including fusions, however, we’re conservative with recommending surgery and like most doctors do so only when we have a high degree of confidence in the success rate of the procedure. Research and methods to treat back pain are constantly evolving I tell anyone with back pain to consider consulting a doctor to explore all their options.

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AFFORDABLE CHIC OPEN HOUSE

Affordable Chic Shops held their open house on November 20th. Guests enjoyed a book signing and refreshments as they shopped throughout the store.

ANNA & ALICE TRUNK SHOW

On November 11th, Anna & Alice, located in the Lafayette Village shopping center, held a Sylvia Benson Trunk Show. Guests enjoyed shopping the latest trends in jewlery design.

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HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE AT REVIVAL ANTIQUES

Revival Antiques held their Holiday Open House on Sunday, November 14th. Guests enjoyed live music and refreshments as they shopped for beautiful antiques.



VERMILLION HOLDS TRUNK SHOW The Vintage Jewelry Trunk Show was held on December 2nd. Fashion maven and vintage jewelry connoisseur, Ellen Carey, brought pieces from Carole Tanenbaum’s personal vintage jewelry collection. Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres as they shopped.



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MODERN ENHANCEMENT GRAND OPENING

Modern Enhancement held their grand opening celebration on November 13th. Guests enjoyed music, food and entertainment as they browsed the beautiful salon.

MOTHER’S MORNING OUT

Quintessentials held the event, “Mother’s Morning Out”, at their new location at The Alexan at North Hills. This event marked the beginnign of their grand opening celebration. Guests enjoyed tea, coffee, pastries and 20% off everything tabletop.

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C.T. WEKENDS OPENS NEW LOCATION

DIAMONDS DIRECT CRABTREE HOLDS CHARITY BENEFIT

C.T. Weekends continues to bring a touch of European style to Raleigh at their new location in Cameron Village. Stop by for the latest trends in fashion and accessories.

On Thursday, December 2nd, Diamonds Direct Crabtree held an event to benefit WakeMed Patients. Guests enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres as they shopped fine jewelry collections. To finish the evening, one lucky guest won a 0.75 carat diamond in the champagne diamond drop.

GENA CHANDLER HOLDS TRUNK SHOW

MAGNOLIA GLEN HOLDS FALL FESTIVAL

gena chandler held a Tibi Trunk Show on November 11th. Guests shopped the latest trends in fashion by Tibi designer, Amy Smilcoic.

Magnolia Glen celebrated with a Fall Festival on October 28th. Guests and residents enjoyed live music and entertainment as well as food, games and much more!

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Midtown Magazine