50 reasons to LOVE the
weather, location, parks, museums, shopping, craft beer and more!
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D R A W A s! D N er O M A I D winn
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for the summer of
the most spectacular
AT NIGHT THE MUSEUM
THE NEW NIGHTLIFE
WORKING OUT AND STAYING FIT WITH FRIENDS
it’s that time of year
BOLD & COLORFUL SPRING IS HERE!
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M A R C H / A P R I L
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GRILLING, SK YDIVING, BEER, APPS, MUSIC, MOVIES & MORE!
the what’s with new craze?
YouR CoMFoRt ZoNe
guiDe to VALeNtiNe’S DAY J A N U A RY / f e b R U A RY
Adding ContemporAry touChes to your trAditionAl home
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THE spring MODERN MIDTOWN ST YLE MAN? FASHION WHO IS
iphone VERSUS droid S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R
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Distribution Manager Jeff Prince
out and more! Some perennial favorites made the cut, but others may surprise you! Special kudos go to our treasured Midtown advertisers, whose entries are marked with a red diamond. When you plan an exciting vacation getaway or a visit to a new restaurant, do you take to the Internet to find places with the best reviews? If so, you are not alone. Ninety percent of people surveyed have used online research to help them with purchasing decisions. On page 104, we look at the pros and cons of online reviews and offer tips for using them wisely. Finally, if you’re planning some wardrobe additions in the new year, turn to page 60 for a look at our favorite boutiques. We always love hearing from you, so please stay in touch and let us know what you like about Midtown and what you’d like to see in future issues. We hope your new year is off to a great start!
UT -O NG LL DI PU ED DE W UI G
We are so excited to bring you our first issue of 2014. Are you a New Year’s resolution type of person? Whether you’ve polished off your list or you scoff at the very idea, I think you’ll be inspired by our challenge to try something new in 2014. Turn to page 72 for ideas to break out of your routine and make time for adventure and self-discovery. Go ahead – scare yourself! Speaking of resolutions, we’ve heard from quite a few of you that spending less time on Facebook is tops on your list. Why do we find ourselves drawn to Facebook and other social media sites when the experience is often unsatisfying or even a bit depressing? Our article on page 90 looks at the highs and lows of our Facebook fascination. If you grew up in the Triangle area or are a long-time resident, you may take for granted all the region has to offer. We asked around, though, and found there’s a lot to love about this place we call home. Turn to page 82 for 25 reasons to love the Triangle. Be sure to check out our 6th Annual Diamond Awards on page 51, where we reveal our readers’ choices for the best places to eat, shop, enjoy a night
Photography Jennifer Robertson Photography Sean Junqueira Photography David Davies Photography
HAppy New Year!
Contributing Writers Christa Gala | Kate Turgeon | Dan Bain Illyse Lane | Jenni Hart | Page Leggett Carter & Laura Dalton | Kurt Dusterberg Dave Droschak | Elie Rossetti-Serraino Darcy Brennan-Huante | Elisa Buxbaum Ian Hoppes | Mike Taylor | Chris Allen Joshua Gruder
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2012, 2013, 2014 MIDTOWN DIAMOND AWARD
WINN R BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR SMILE ON
contents j a n uary/ february
features 51 2014 diamond awards
This is the sixth year you’ve weighed in on your favorites. Sample a few of these winners in 2014 if you can!
60 freshen up with fashion
It’s a new year. Are you reflecting and reinventing? We’ll help with the packaging of your new-found self.
72 scare yourself
This year, instead of vowing once again to (lose weight, eat better, yell less, etc.), commit to scaring yourself by trying new things. It might just make you happier.
94 Get in the Game
Triangle sports cocial club Involves thousands.
The Reviews Are In and 104 They’re…Fake? Have you ever chosen a restaurant
based solely on its online reviews? It’s important to approach them with a healthy bit of skepticism.
Gastrointestinal issues can range from the common to the complex. Duke Raleigh Hospital physicians can handle them all.
The Inside “Tract” 118
90 social media blues
Do you feel inferior after reading your friends’ posts? You’re not alone.
Thomas Sayre, Gyre, 1999, three ellipses of concrete, colored with iron oxide, reinforced with steel, and mottled with dirt residue from earth casting, H. 24 ft. 6 in. x W. 22 ft. x L. 150 ft. Gift of Artsplosure, City of Raleigh, and various donors. © 2009 Thomas H. Sayre; photo courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art; Karen Malinofski, photographer.
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50 reasons to Love the Triangle – Part 1
What do you love about the Triangle? See if your favorites made the cut in part one of our two-part series.
contents january/ february
departments 20 on the scene 30 Midtown reviews 40 ask elie 42 living well 44 DIY Workshop 46 financial focus 48 bainâ€™s beat 69 in style: red(s) 80 calendar 99 your home: pillows 113 midtown downtown 122 healthy you 134 midtown mingles 138 do this better
chef mario 18 | midtownmag.com
ON THE[SCENE] >>>TASTE
by Kate Turgeon
photography by sean junqueira
Relish a winter day Chili, in mugs and skillets Before the test kitchen, there was a simple cup of chili. It was made of tomatoes, beans, ground beef, onions and spices. And that heaping mug of chili was where’s-the-spoon good. It’s still good. And people still order it, with home-fried tortilla chips on the side. But it’s not the only chili on the menu at Relish Café on Creedmoor Road. When the chili meets the skillet, things start to get bubbly. For the chili skillet (pictured), the Relish folks start with a North Carolina-made sweet potato biscuit, which they cut in half and top with their signature chili and pepper jack cheese. They slide the skillet into a convection oven to melt the cheese. It’s served warm in the skillet with sliced jalapeno peppers and sour cream on the side. A second dish, known as chili mac, is a creamy, dreamy combination of macaroni and cheese and chili. It’s made with cavatappi pasta (the large, corkscrew type), which Relish owner Sharon May says holds onto the sauce well. It’s served with a side of tomatocucumber relish. “It’s comfort food,” says May. “And it’s warm comfort food.”
At-home chili “What I love about chili is it can be a blank canvas,” explains May, who adds corn and prefers thick, hearty chili to a runny, soup-like consistency. Here are some chili tips from the Relish kitchen where May creates recipes with Kim Berryman and kitchen manager Miguel Balderas: Mexican Incorporate pinto beans and Mexican spices such as cumin. And don’t forget the green chilies. Meatless Instead of beef or chicken, load your chili with a colorful bean medley. Try black, red and pinto beans. “You don’t have to have the meat for chili,” says May. “I’m fine without it. As long as it’s got beans and tomato sauce, you know it’s good.”
Need a chili recipe? Visit www.midtownmag.com 20 | midtownmag.com
Top it off Take a cue from Relish and serve it over something, such as cornbread, pasta or even rice. “Growing up we would make a pot of rice and a pot of chili,” says May. Or really go the distance and make a “Frito pie” (also known as “chili pie”) by loading chili onto corn chips.
ON THE[SCENE] >>>tech
by Dan Bain
photography © onlycoin.com
coin... CAN! Consolidate All your Cards into One In early November, a seven-member development team turned on a pre-order website to enact crowdfunding for its product, and hit its $50,000 goal in 40 minutes. They had already released a promotional video, which had been viewed more than 5.5 million times as of November 20th. The product – known only as “Coin” – is slated to ship this summer. So what is Coin? It’s described as “an all-in-one credit card” – a smartphone-linked device that allows consumers to use any of their credit, debit, gift or reward cards without actually carrying any. One would need only carry Coin, and at roughly 3.125” x 2.125” x 0.033”, it’s the same size as a typical credit card. To use Coin, a consumer would first scan their card information via a smartphone dongle attachment like the Square® Reader, or by simply taking a picture of the card. The device has a magnetic stripe like any other card, so once the accounts are loaded, the consumer can use it in any reader that accepts charge cards, using a button on the Coin device to select the account to which a purchase should be charged. It includes a small screen that displays up to eight synced accounts at a time, but can store an unlimited number of accounts for easy, on-the-go syncing of any cards above eight. The device, mobile app and related servers are encrypted with 128- and 256-bit security, and Coin will alert the owner via their smartphone if it potentially has been used fraudulently out of the owner’s sight (think
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restaurants) – indicating that someone has swiped it more than once, tried to change accounts, etc. The owner can also choose a default account and lock Coin to a specific account before allowing a merchant to take it out of sight. To address the issue of potential theft, Coin can be set to deactivate if it loses contact with its partnered smartphone for a designated amount of time. Additionally, the related app will notify an owner if they’ve left Coin behind, and give them the option of preventing subsequent deactivation. Coin is water-resistant, but not waterproof, which means it should be okay with minor spills but not a trip through the rinse cycle. Its app runs on iOS or Android, but is not yet available for Windows-based devices. Its battery is estimated to last two years, based on “typical usage” of 10-20 swipes per day and a few syncs per week on average. Once the battery dies, the device must be replaced. Its initial cost is $100, and you can order it at onlycoin.com. While you’re on that site, be sure to check out their frequently asked questions for a couple of chuckles.
ON THE[SCENE] >>>style
by Elie Rossetti-Serraino
Welcome to NC! Where dressing appropriately for the weather is a personal opinion There is a popular cartoon meme circulating on the Internet that reads: “Oh! You wear a winter coat on Tuesday and flip-flops on Friday? You must live in North Carolina!” It is a fact that North Carolinians are spoiled from erratic weather: you can be in sandals and short sleeves a week before Christmas or you can be sledding in the snow a week after Christmas. The swift changes in temperature are very common in this area and make North Carolinians the most seasonally confused population of the US. In the North winter is really cold, so it is natural that you wear a heavy jacket, and if you live in Florida you wear sandals and tank tops mostly year-round. In North Carolina, however, we are geographically set right in the middle and somehow we have a highly subjective opinion about the four seasons’ different attires, depending on where we grew up. 24 | midtownmag.com
Is not unusual on a January day in the low 50s to spot people in t-shirts and bermuda shorts, and since the fifties are a bit chilly for the Southern folks’ standard, I could make an educated guess that they are originally from Canada or upstate New York. And what is it with school-age kids in the Carolinas who loathe winter jackets? Many times during the winter months I walk (in puffy jacket, hat, gloves and scarf) to the bus stop with my kids (after I had to convince them to bundle up) and there is someone in summer attire. While I’m stomping my cold feet (in wool socks and boots, of course) my kids tell me, “You see Mom? We told you it wasn’t cold!” Meanwhile, to defend my choice of warm wardrobe, I end up showing them the weather app on my phone displaying a good low 30s or a freezing rain alert. When I help friends restore order to an out-of-control closet after we have
purged unworn and outdated clothing, the first thing I find necessary to do is to reorganize by summer wardrobe and cold-season wardrobe. Growing up in Milan where the season sartorial rules are traditionally very strict, winter and summer have their own specific wardrobes. When it is chilly there isn’t cross-usage of materials like wool pants, tweeds, cashmere and merino tops with summer linens, not even in the mid-season temperatures when it’s a bit warmer. Here in North Carolina I do occasionally wear a light cashmere jacket and flats with no socks on a Tuesday and a pair of snow boots on a Friday of the same week – but I never, ever mix cotton pants with a dressy wool jacket or wear a white cotton knitted top on a snowy day. After 10 years living in this beautiful state I eventually learned to divide my closet in three main sections: very hot, super cold and enjoyable North Carolina weather in-between!
ON THE[SCENE] >>>arts
by Christa Gala
Nelson Smith’s “Balancing Spheres” recently won the People’s Choice Award at the town of Clayton’s Downtown Sculpture Trail.
Heavy Metal Burning metal never looked so good Nelson R. Smith is a modest guy. It took a lot of prying and my best interview skills to find out his metal sculptures are displayed at Duke University Medical Center, GlaxoSmithKline and Dean’s Seafood Grill & Bar in Cary, among other local businesses and organizations. And at the very last minute, Smith let slip that his “Balancing Spheres” sculpture, currently displayed in downtown Clayton at the town’s first ever Downtown Sculpture Trail, was given a People’s Choice Award. In other words, his sculpture was the favorite – and more than 450 people voted. For nearly 40 years, Smith has drawn a paycheck as a conventional welder by day, logging nights and weekends for about half that time making sculptures and jewelry. “When I can transform metal into an object and make it have some kind of flow and movement, that’s what I really like to do,” says Smith, who works with stainless steel and copper as well as other metals. “I like to use as much recyclable material as I can and make something out of it that people like and that I know is going to last forever.” Smith’s tenure as a respected artist began easily enough. He started making things for his friends and his wife. Word spread, and Smith decided to try selling his art at a few local shows, which lead to commissions from large
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companies that wanted to display his pieces in waiting rooms, lobbies and the like. “When you go do some of these shows, like Artsplosure, you meet a lot of people,” says Smith, who lives in Rocky Mount. “All of the work I’ve gotten like that has come from somebody I met at a show.” That’s exactly how Smith’s sculpture “Fish in a Box” ended up at Dean’s Seafood Grill & Bar. The four sculptures took him a few months to make; they were installed in January of 2013. Smith’s pieces range in price from $10 for a simple pair of earrings to more than $5,000 for large sculptures. Smith keeps an open mind when he heads out to the workshop behind his house to burn metal. “Sometimes I just start working on something and see what happens,” he says. “Other times, I’ve got designs that I come up with in my head. I’m fascinated with the solar system and the universe. I do a lot of mobiles, and a lot of my mobiles come from that.” And if he doesn’t like what he creates? No pressure. “The good thing about working with metal is if I’m working on a piece, and I just don’t like the way it looks, I can cut it apart and start over.” To learn more about Nelson Smith’s work, visit etsy. com/shop/NelsonRSmith.
ON THE[SCENE] >>>sports
by Dave Droschak
photograph © Dave droschak
Carolina Hurricanes radio play-by-play man Chuck Kaiton recently called his 3,000th NHL game.
Kaiton’s Corner Carolina Hurricanes’ radio announcer logs 3,000 games Chuck Kaiton had the largest back yard in his Detroit neighborhood, so the kids would migrate there for some pickup hockey. Kaiton loved the game growing up in the Midwest, often mimicking his favorite announcers as he played with the puck. “I must have been nuts or something,” said Kaiton, the longtime voice of the Carolina Hurricanes/ Hartford Whalers franchise. “I just loved doing it.” Kaiton trumps most who are living their childhood dreams. He recently broadcast his 3,000th NHL game, placing him in some select company and reinforcing his passion for a sport that has its share of passionate fans.
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“I started when I was 26 and I will be 62 in January. We really don’t work … but don’t tell anybody,” he said with his famous chuckle. Like most announcers who log decades behind the microphone, Kaiton’s voice is undeniably recognizable to Carolina Hurricanes’ fans and many across the NHL. Much of his notoriety came from being heard across much of the eastern half of North America on Hartford’s WTIC for most of the team’s run in New England. Kaiton’s style never changed when the team moved to North Carolina for the 1997-98 season; however, he was indirectly instrumental in helping explain the game to many in the market
unfamiliar with the sport. “My philosophy always was to bring the fan up to our level of knowledge by educating them but not beating them over the head with mundane things,” he said. “For example, the first couple of preseason games when I talked about icing, every third or fourth time I would say, ‘As you know, a team can’t shoot the puck from their half of center untouched.’ You would try to economize to explain. Yeah, it was weird but I had to be aware of it coming here.” Once in Raleigh, Kaiton was privileged to announce the jersey retirement ceremonies of Ron Francis, Glen Wesley and Rod Brind’Amour, and the club’s first and only Stanley Cup title in 2006. “Chuck was there for my first game and there for my last game as a Hurricane, and a whole bunch inbetween,” Francis said. “His longevity has been amazing, but the quality of his work is even more impressive.” Kaiton is one of a few NHL play-by-play men who work alone, not having the luxury of a color analyst jumping in to offer a comment or two. And he notes that radio doesn’t provide an opportunity for instant relays. “You can’t say, ‘Cam Ward made two great saves.’ You have to tell them how he made the great saves,” Kaiton said. “That’s what I’m sensitive to when I do a game. “When I broadcast I picture somebody sitting next to me that has never seen a game before, or is a casual fan that loves the game but they don’t notice the little things that I try to provide,” he added. “And sometimes you have to piece together the flow so that a listener can picture it. That gets difficult if there isn’t a flow to a game. But that’s what keeps me going. I love the challenge to be able to describe a game that doesn’t have a lot of crispness. If it is slow you let your voice slow down. If it’s quicker, you try to transmit that with quickness of delivery. You have to be the eyes of somebody.”
The Nut Job
Starring: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Tika Sumpter Rated: PG-13 Opens: 1/17/2014 Plot: When a fast-talking guy joins his girlfriend’s brother – a hot-tempered cop – to patrol the streets of Atlanta, he gets entangled in the officer’s latest case. Now, in order to prove that he deserves his future bride, he must survive the most insane 24 hours of his life.
Starring: Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl Rated: PG Opens: 1/17/2014 Plot: Surly, a curmudgeon, independent squirrel is banished from his park and forced to survive in the city. Lucky for him, he stumbles on the one thing that may be able to save his life, and the rest of park community, as they gear up for winter – Maury’s Nut Store.
About Last Night
The Monuments Men
Starring: George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bill Murray Rated: Not Yet Rated Opens: 2/7/2014 Plot: Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men is an action drama focusing on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. With the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could seven museum directors, curators and art historians possibly hope to succeed? They find themselves risking their lives in a race against time to prevent the destruction of 1,000 years of culture and to protect and defend mankind’s greatest achievements.
Starring: Kevin Hart, Joy Bryant, Regina Hall Rated: Not Yet Rated Opens: 2/14/2014 Plot: A modern reimagining of the classic romantic comedy, this contemporary version closely follows new love for two couples as they journey from the bar to the bedroom and are eventually put to the test in the real world.
*Opening dates and ratings are subject to change.
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Starring: Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Anson Mount Rated: PG-13 Opens: 2/28/2014 Plot: In this action thriller, Liam Neeson stars as an air marshal confronted with a hostile force who plans to kill every passenger on a flight if the government doesn’t pay a hefty ransom.
High Hopes (Bruce Springsteen) Release Date: 1/14/2014 Bruce Springsteen’s 18th studio album, High Hopes, will be released on January 14th. The record is an eclectic combination of cover songs, new songs, and songs previously performed by Springsteen in some format. The album was produced by Ron Aniello, who also worked with Springsteen on his previous release, Wrecking Ball. Springsteen is accompanied on this release by the E Street Band, along with Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) who temporarily joined the band on the 2013 Australian tour to fill in for Steve Van Zandt.
Fading West (Switchfoot) Release Date: 1/14/2014 The album version of the recently released feature film will be released January 14th, but Switchfoot already has their first number one radio hit. The song, Love Alone Is Worth The Fight, charted for nine weeks before hitting the top spot on the Billboard Christian Hot AC/ CHR chart.
Mind Over Matter (Young the Giant) Release Date: 1/21/2014 One of 2014’s most anticipated rock albums will be released by Southern California rock band Young the Giant. Mind Over Matter, the second album from Young the Giant, will be relased on January 21st. The eclectic collection is produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck) and finds the quintet exploring a diverse set of sounds.
Croz (David Crosby) Release Date: 1/27/2014 Legendary singer-songwriter David Crosby will release Croz, his first solo album of studio material in 20 years, on January 27th. “I wanted to challenge myself,” he says. “Most guys my age would have done a covers record or duets on old material. I’m making it for me. I have this stuff that I need to get off my chest.” *Release dates are subject to change.
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Helios (The Fray) Release Date: 2/25/2014 The fourth album from The Fray will be released February 25th. Isaac Slade (piano, vocals) notes, “this record is all about running to the front lines of what we’ve done and pushing our borders even farther. Electronic instruments, drum samples, enormous backing vocals, opening up our writing to folks outside our camp.” Helios follows the band’s 2012 Scars & Stories, which garnered widespread praise.
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BY david eddleman, Wine Manager – Total Wine & More
Chimay Grande Reserve Blue
92 Beer Advocate
Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter Highland Brewing Company
Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA
Bell’s Expedition Stout
Uinta Brewing Company
best served in:
77 LIGHTEST to DARKEST
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Pours a burnt-orange to amber color. Aromas of citrusy hops and caramely malts. Delicious resiny hop character evokes citrusy, tropical notes and pine essences amidst a rich, bready, toasted malt backbone and touch of alcohol.
$6.99/22oz bottle 34 | midtownmag.com
Foothills Seeing Double IPA
Asheville, North Carolina
Salt Lake City, Utah
The color of this beer is dark and inviting. A rich and lively sweetness gives way to a drier finish. A peppery spiciness with thyme, hints of cedar and a touch of nutmeg are balanced by the characteristic yeastiness. BeerAdvocate’s #25 of 25 All-Time Top Beers 2008.
Pours a deep brown. Hints of chocolate from chocolate malt and midnight wheat, with mild noble hop aroma balancing roasty flavors and subtle fruit and spice notes of artisanroasted Dynamite Roasting Co. Fair Trade/Organic coffee.
Pours a very deep brown/black color. Aromas of pine, citrus, and earthy hops with undertones of bittersweet chocolate malts. Tastes of citrusy, piney hops with dark roasted malts, bitter coffee, caramel and chocolate.
GABF Gold Medal 2011. The Expedition Stout is the darkest of Bell’s beers. This stout contains double the malt and five times the hops of the Kalamazoo stout and is perfect for cellaring (aging), as its complex character will evolve over time. Seasonal release.
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BY david eddleman, Wine Manager â€“ Total Wine & More
Chateau du Retout Haut Medoc
foss marai prosecco extra dry
Amadieu Vinsobres Les Piallats
91 Wine Spectator
Gassier Viognier Les Piliers
90 Wine Spectator
best served in:
Almodi Terra Alta Petit Red
Terra Alta, Spain
Vin de Pays, France
Very ripe, fresh and lively, offering plum, cassis and black cherry compote notes mixed with lightly singed sandalwood and warm stone accents. Shows excellent cut on the finish, with the stony edge hanging on. A wine with character. Intense, Plum, Currant, Medium-bodied
Sparkling wine par excellence, the version that most exalts the typical characteristics of Prosecco (Glera) grapes. Intense and elegant aromas of acacia and apple. Its flavor is attractive for its perfectly harmonized freshness and residual sugar. Dry, Apple, Floral, Medium-bodied
Vivid and pure, with a gorgeous violet edge guiding the sleek core of linzer torte, blackberry pate de fruit and plum sauce. Then the floral edge checks back, while a graphite spine emerges steadily through the finish.
Intense bouquet of blackberry, blueberry and crushed violets that is fresh and very pure...palate is fullbodied and beautifully balanced with succulent dark cherry and black currant fruit, Chinese five-spice and a dash of white pepper towards the long finish. Intense, Blackberry, Spice, Full-bodied
This elegant, supple Viognier is filled with ripe tropical notes of banana, guava and flowers, showcasing the aromatics that Viognier is known for. The palate is lush and round, making this a perfect match for Wiener Schnitzel. Sustainably Farmed. Elegant, Banana, Tropical, Full-bodied
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38 | midtownmag.com
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For all your answers on things fashion, style and trends
Costumista & Wardrobe Style arbiter
My seven-year-old daughter insists on going to school with a tutu skirt we bought during the holidays. It is pink with sparkly applications. I’m not approving her wardrobe choice for once. Should I stand my ground and take it away from her? Mom of a young fashionista, Cary, NC
You are asking a costume designer if it is right to deny a young talent to express her creativity through a healthy dress-up! Of course I would let her! If I were a school principal I would mandate that anyone who would like to attend school with a tutu should pair it with a tiara! I would definitely set specific limits on skirt length and abiding school wardrobe policy. Anything else goes. In fact, I feel more strongly
on limiting short pants that are too short – at any age – even if allowed in school, than sequined items. When I used to volunteer in my kids’ elementary class I made sure I had the most shiny and sparkly fashion jewelry: my own boys would roll their eyes, but the girls loved it!
I’m about to have a Skype interview and hope to land a corporate job; is a jacket and tie required, even if I’m at home? John, Raleigh, NC There are three main reasons why my answer is yes: First, your interviewer is most likely to be at the office – so even in 40 | midtownmag.com
the technology era where you can be interviewed in the comfort of your home, it is an office interview. Second, even if your interviewer is not going to wear a jacket and tie because he is in a relaxed office environment, you need to show a bit of sartorial confidence – it always reads as a respectful touch, regardless of the level you are aspiring to be hired for. Third, like the camera always adds five pounds, Skype always adds a degree of shabbiness. The crispy shirt seen in person looks like a weekend wrinkled top on a Skype camera. A jacket and tie will always give you a polished, professional look.
FollowElie Instagram: EliePhotoStylist Facebook: ArbiterElieGantiarum Twitter: @EliePhotoStyle Vine: Elie Rossetti Serraino Blog: ArbiterEliegantiarum.typepad.com Submit your question email@example.com
I’m a busy stay-at-home mom of two little children. I have had very short hair happily for the past five years. Lately my husband is suggesting I let it grow. Besides the fact that I don’t know if it is going to look good on me, do you think it is okay for a spouse to ask you to change your appearance? Lauren, NC If my hubby asked me to alter something that would include surgery, the answer is no, that is not okay and I would seriously consider reassessing the relationship. That said, I don’t see a major issue with trying a different hairstyle. I do personally like medium to long hair as long as fits your lifestyle. You probably will need more care products to keep the hair healthy, and you’ll want a trusted hairstylist who can trim the in-between awkward lengths before reaching the desired look. In the end I would follow my grandmother’s advice: listen to many, follow who you want, but always only trust yourself.
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living well & QA
Carter & Laura Dalton GNC, North Hills
I, along with the rest of the world, am going back to my workout program, but I have ZERO energy. Is there anything I can take to help?
Answering all your questions about health, wellness, supplements and more!
So many people talk about doing a cleanse once the holidays are over. I, for one, usually start the new year feeling “toxic” from all I have indulged in. Are cleanses necessary and safe?
There are several options for energy, depending on what your needs are. Again, talking to someone at a store can really help, but most people will begin with a strong multivitamin (some have extra elements for energy and/or working out) and add on from there. If you’re looking for energy in the gym, one with nitric oxide and stimulants are VERY popular, such as C4, Siege and Cardio Cuts (contains CLA for added weight loss).
We sell SO many cleansers in January; people often feel cleansing will help kickstart their year! You need to figure out whether you are looking just for a good colon cleanse or a full body cleanse that also helps flush your liver (too much spiked eggnog!), kidneys, etc. The best way to figure that out is to talk with someone at the store you are looking to purchase it from so they may ask you questions about your goals as there are several factors at work sometimes. Some people will also choose to begin drinking green drinks, too, which help cleanse your blood naturally and have high ORAC values (think lots of veggies)!
How can I target my weight loss? It is so frustrating to try so hard to eat well and still look down and see this belly! The one supplement people have found successful – one that has been studied for the reduction of body fat mass in the abdominal and hip regions – is CLA. It is a fatty acid (flax and fish oils are fatty acids) derived from safflower oil.The studies done, though, were based on 12 weeks.That means THREE MONTHS of CONSISTENCY! This is probably the most difficult part to swallow, as many of us are good for up to a month and then we begin slacking. If you “kind of” take it, you may be disappointed! The good news is that there are NO stimulants, so you can stack it with fat burners for targeted weight loss, or just use it by itself. The studies used TONALIN CLA (some companies use cheaper versions which may/may not be as effective). Women took 3g-4g daily; men took 4g-6g. Make sure you are also fitting exercise into your week, Send us your questions! enough to get your heart rate up for 30 minutes. Using firstname.lastname@example.org weights will also help your body use more fat for fuel! /Live Well - Live Easy
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photography © stacy cathey
Flower Power By Christa Gala and Stacy Cathey
how your affection and appreciation with these unique flower lollipop valentines. We were surprised we already had what we needed to make these sweet treats. The best part: the kids helped. Step 1 Each flower requires four cupcake liners. Have fun when selecting your liners; you can do traditional red, white and pink or take it up a notch with animal print or foil liners. Take the first of your four liners and, using the hole punch, punch a hole on the seam, so that half of each hole is on each separate side of the liner. When you open the liner, you should see the complete hole. Step 2 For the other three liners, fold them in half, and punch your holes in the middle of the halves. Now, take a lollipop and push the stick through the folded halves, fluffing out the layers to surround the lollipop. Next, take your open layer (the first one with the hole in the center) and put it on last, pushing it up so it forms a flower base under the other three liner “petals.”
Step 3 To secure your valentine flower, use leftover green holiday ribbon (curl the ends with your scissors) or pipe cleaner, floral tape or green plastic wrap. Tie a double knot at the base of the lollipop stick. If you’re using a wide piece of ribbon, trim up the ribbon tails to look like leaves.
Step 4 Secure a paper heart to the flower as a “to and from” tag. You can also attach store-bought valentines, but the kids will enjoy making their own. Step 5 If you want to “plant” your flowers for creative teachers’ gifts, fit a basket, lightweight plastic container or clay pot with floral foam, and plant your lollipop flowers inside. If you choose clay pots, let the kids add their own special touches with paint, adding the recipient’s name, hearts and hugs and kisses. ‘Til next issue….xoxo
>> Have questions or suggestions? Email us at email@example.com.
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You’ll need: • 1 bag of Dum-Dums lollipops (or use the bigger Charms Blow Pops) • Cupcake liners • Hole punch • Green ribbon, pipe cleaner or something similar
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Leave Your Job, Leave Your Retirement Plan? by Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Mason & Clark Wealth Management of Wells Fargo Advisors
hen you leave a job – whether due to layoff or for any reason – you are often faced with a decision about your 401(k) or other retirement plans. Over time, you may be in the same position as many other employees who have accumulated substantial balances in these employer plans that are designed for tax-advantaged retirement savings. If so, you may find yourself having to make a decision about whether to keep your 401(k) funds with your former employer, roll them over to an IRA, or pay the taxes and cash out. For this reason, it is important that you understand
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the implications of each option. Some employers offer the opportunity to maintain your retirement account at your former company. On the other hand, by rolling over your funds to an IRA, you can maintain control, manage the funds any way you want, and remain subject to IRA rules alone rather than the limited investment selection – and perhaps restrictive distribution policies – of your former employer. Note, however, that while you are permitted to take loans from your 401(k) plan, this is not possible in an IRA. And depending on the investments used to fund the IRA, charges and expenses could
be higher or lower than those you would incur inside your 401(k) plan. At your direction, your employer can transfer your distribution directly to another qualified plan or to a rollover IRA. A rollover occurs when you withdraw cash or other assets from one eligible retirement plan and contribute all or part of it within 60 days to another eligible retirement plan. Under this option, you would direct your plan administrator to make a direct and tax-free transfer of funds from your former employer’s plan to a rollover IRA at a financial institution of your choice. That way, you maintain the tax-deferred status of your retirement account, consolidate all retirement accounts for easier management, and benefit from increased investment flexibility. When you roll over a retirement plan distribution, you generally don’t have to pay tax on it until later when you take cash withdrawals. By rolling over, your funds have the potential to continue to grow tax-deferred. Job changers should resist the temptation to spend down their retirement savings, whether they are moving to a new job or plan a hiatus from work. When you fail to roll over, you not only pay tax on the amount you receive, but you may,
if you are under age 59-½, be subject to an additional 10% penalty on the early distribution you receive. Sound financial planning dictates that you would draw on other funds first, leaving retirement plan spending as a last resort. If you are simply moving your IRA from one institution to another and you do not plan to use the funds, you should consider making an IRA transfer and not a rollover. This is a simple direct transfer from IRA to IRA between financial institutions to better manage and grow your retirement assets.
This article was written by Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Mason & Clark Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in Raleigh at 919-841-5343. Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE. Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. ©2013 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved. 0113-05906 [90385-v1] 2/13 e6616
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Anti-Social Networking AKA Putting Others in Their Placebook
H by Dan bain, social ‘worker, firstname.lastname@example.org
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ave you heard the good news? Facebook has brought people closer together than ever before! Have you heard the bad news? Facebook has brought people closer together than ever before… Own up, humanity; we were meant to be solitary creatures. We’re just not able to sustain that many “friends” – a word that’s a misnomer in the context of Facebook. I have people on my friend list whom I wouldn’t consider to be actual friends; heck, there are some I don’t even
like. But then, I’m not exactly discerning; I have friends whom I’ve never actually met. Not sure what that says about me – that I reek of desperation, maybe? Or maybe I’m just an attentionmonger. I write a column, I perform live improv, I self-published a book (have you bought yours yet?), and I’m generally the guy most colleagues avoid inviting to meetings – not if they want to accomplish anything, anyway. I can’t help myself. I have a pathological need to crack wise; I want to make people laugh. (No need to thank me.) But it could be worse – I could be the guy colleagues avoid because he argues all the time. There are plenty of those on Facebook, too, and they’re the reason I’ve called this meeting today – let’s talk about them. They’ve been around since before Facebook, having found their groove in the early days of the internet, when Mark Zuckerberg was still a kid, merely dreaming of one day being a bazillionaire. There were no social networks back then, but there were alleged visionaries who thought it would be a good idea to start something called “user forums.” As if those weren’t bad enough in giving a platform to the undeserving, someone else decided to further degrade the concept by allowing reader comments on news stories. I don’t know who thought that was a good idea, but I can’t help wondering how long it took before they regretted their decision. Probably as long as it took the first misanthrope to realize the concept gave them the luxury of making comments without actually having to stand behind them. Call it trolling or cyberbullying if you must; I call it cowardice. The bottom line is, most people will say things to other people online, that they would never dream of saying in person. (And in the handful of cases where someone would be willing to say those things in person, I don’t feel any better about what kind of person that makes them.) The problem is, each of us thinks everyone else wants to know our opinions. The truth is, they don’t. It took me a long while to realize that. I still have a compulsion to share, so I’ve
joined some groups where the members agree that it’s okay to post and refute their opinions. Sound ugly? It is. But at least it’s not on my page, clogging up other people’s news feeds. Even better, I’m not doing it on other people’s home pages, which is especially rude. This problem would go away in a moment if we could all agree to be nice. Too bad we can’t. Barring that, I’ve developed some guidelines that might help. First of all, when engaging in discourse and/or debate online, pretend you and your “opponent” are there in person. If that doesn’t encourage you to be nice, further pretend you’re in their home. This is especially helpful on Facebook, blogs, and similar sites, where in effect we are in someone else’s “safe place” when we make our comments. If you wouldn’t challenge someone else’s politics if they were hosting you at a cocktail party in their living room, then don’t do it on their home page or profile. And if you would do that in someone’s home, then please do polite society a favor by disabling your account and moving to a remote cabin in the woods. If you go to someone else’s page with the intent of engaging in an argument, there’s a good chance you have a problem. And if you approach an argument with the goal of verbally getting the better of your opponent rather than stating your case, you have a worse problem. It’s called being a jerk. I honestly don’t understand this compulsion, and I believe the Internet would be a better place if more people asked themselves why they’re there – then opted not to continue if the answer were “to be a jerk.” Seriously, when someone engages in an argument, they should ask themselves what their goal is. If it’s to change the other person’s mind, doesn’t it make sense to be nice? It’s the old catch-moreflies-with-honey philosophy. And if their goal is not to change the other person’s mind, then what’s the point in engaging in an argument? The answer is probably “to be a jerk”, but most people refuse to believe that about themselves. To that end, I have developed three mathematically derived laws that should help a potential jerk catch their jerkiness in time to correct it…
Bain’s First Law of Written Discourse: If you start a response with “Umm,” there’s an 85-percent chance you’re being a jerk. Let’s think about what the word means – it’s an example of a “verbal burp,” sometimes used to buy time while formulating a response, often used to express incredulity that the last thing someone else said could be so stupid. But in written discourse, verbal burps are impossible. On the internet, they are undeniably intentional, and if you take the time to fake one, you are intentionally trying to belittle your opponent. Umm, please don’t. Bain’s Second Law of Written Discourse: If you end a response with “LOL” when you haven’t just made a joke, there’s a 90-percent chance you’re being a jerk. It’s the equivalent of pointing at someone and laughing. It’s there to verbally express a scoff, and there’s only one person here who’s stupid enough to be scoffed at, LOL. Bain’s Third Law of Written Discourse: If you begin a rebuttal with “Last time I checked,” there’s a 95-percent chance you’re being a jerk. It’s not necessary, and last time I checked, it was just a smarmy way of saying, “You’re wrong.” Bain’s Corollary to the Three Laws of Written Discourse: If you combine any of the offenses described in the Three Laws, your odds of being a jerk increase exponentially. Consider the following exchange… Opponent 1: “The sky is green.” Opponent 2: “Umm, the last time I checked, green isn’t even on the list of possible colors that the sky could be, LOL.” See? Opponent 2 is most definitely being a jerk, and should be banned from the Internet immediately. But then, so should the rest of humanity. Especially me, because if you use the privilege of a regular column as an opportunity to proselytize about other people’s manners, there’s a 99-percent chance you’re being a jerk.
This is the sixth year you’ve weighed in on your favorites – from the best bbq to the best place to take a client to lunch. The winners receive a coveted “Diamond Award,” a virtual referral, a wordof-mouth recommendation. Some this year are repeat winners (keep up the good work!), and others are brand-new. But it’s all interesting and a great guide to find the perfect local business for whatever you need. Sample a few of these winners in 2014 if you can. We’re all about buying local; our businesses make Midtown a great place to call home. By Christa Gala midtownmag.com | 51
DINING ENTERTAINMENT SHOPPING BEAUTY & FITNESS
photograph © S.hughes Photography
This French-inspired menu from renowned chef Beth Littlejohn features crepes, quiche, soup, salad, sandwiches and eggs galore – from Benedict to Florentine. Top it off with fruit, scones, pancakes and, of course, French Toast.
Best spot for a power lunch
A minimalistic, edgy backdrop is the perfect place to discuss business – or dine out with friends. And Executive Chef Scott James creates new and innovative dishes every few weeks; you never know what you’ll find.
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Best place for a romantic dinner
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
For more than 100 years, the beauty and grace of the Dodd-Hinsdale house in downtown Raleigh separated the western corridor of Raleigh from the Capitol as a personal residence. Today, Second Empire – named for its architectural style, Second Empire Victorian – is a good bet for a romantic, candle-lit dinner featuring contemporary American cuisine. Best outdoor dining
“The outdoor seating is upscale and vibrant,” wrote one reader. This Italian eatery in the heart of Midtown also received high marks for its open kitchen concept and creativity with traditional Italian favorites.
best wait staff Best pizza
Located in Glenwood’s upscale Five Points district, readers loved being able to customize their pizzas at Lilly’s – from toppings and sauce to cheese and crust. Try a specialty pizza if you can’t decide: Dante’s Inferno and Hawaiian Punch sound delish.
Saint-Jacques French Cuisine
Scoring high marks with well-trained staff offering a perfect Parisian experience: “The service is stupendous, and the staff is perceptive and attentive,” said one reader.
The Pit Authentic Barbecue
Located in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District, The Pit’s reputation for whole-hog, pit-cooked pig reaches far outside North Carolina. Featured in Southern Living and Bon Appetit, even the critics have good things to say about this true Eastern-style barbecue. Our readers had just one tip: Make a reservation. photograph © Sean Junqueira
Best wine list
Mia Francesca Trattoria
Selection, selection, selection. By the glass or the bottle, consider Pinot Noir, Syrah, Malbec, Champagne, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and many more. Too many to list, in fact, but hey, it’s great having options. Most kid-friendly dining
Chick-fil-A North Hills
Moms and dads alike love the kid-friendly promotions and activities throughout the year, helpful staff, abundance of high chairs and the plastic placemats for kids. The yummy milkshakes and brownies, as well as the costumed cow, scored points too. Best place for your caffeine fix
Best cocktail menu
A newer Midtown restaurant, readers love the 40-seat bar serving craft beers, wine, sake, martinis and a few inspired creations, including the Caramel Covered Granny and the Cucumber Mint-ini. Pull up a chair.
Jubala Village Coffee
You loved the craft coffees in this upscale shop on Honeycutt Road, including its creative seasonal flavors. “It’s a top-notch execution of slow pour and espresso,” wrote one reader. photograph © Sean Junqueira
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Best place to satisfy a sweet tooth
The Cupcake Shoppe Bakery
Cupcakes baked from scratch and in small batches are the key ingredients to this bakery’s success. Every day, bakers prepare between 12 and 15 specialty cupcakes, including different flavors of the week. Reader recommendation: Vanilla Cake with Oreo Buttercream. Best wine/beer store
Total Wine & More
With more than 8,000 different wines from every wine-producing region in the world and a huge variety of craft beers, readers loved the variety and also the helpful staff. “They had a very rare wine I was looking for and were great about helping me find it,” wrote one reader.
Best music venue
Midtown Beach Music Series – North Hills
This is always a reader fave; now approaching its seventh season, Midtown’s Beach Music Series attracts people from all over the state. Beach music concerts on The Commons start in April and run through August. Look for the crowd. 54 | midtownmag.com
Best girl’s night out
Wine and Design
Brown-bag your own food and beverages with the girls while a professional artist guides you all through the process of creating your own canvas to take home; price averages about $30 per person. “I didn’t feel rushed, and had a blast with my girlfriends. I can’t wait to do another one,” said one reader. Best place to wind down after work
The Raleigh Times Bar
Housed in the building that used to employ The Raleigh Times’ writers and reporters, readers loved the history of the building, built in 1906, as well as relics from the newspaper itself, which employed several Raleigh notables, including Jesse Helms. Readers’ favorites: BBQ Nachos and the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich.
Best place to watch the big game
Gourmet burgers and craft beers were the perfect accessories for watching the big game here in Lafayette Village. Original artwork and outdoor patio and green space round out this neighborhood bar and grill.
Best way to entertain the kids
Marbles Kids Museum
Located on Hargett Street, parents loved the interactive nature of the exhibits – from life-size chess sets to a grocery store with produce and carts made just for little hands. The IMAX Theatre adds one more option if little legs get tired.
Best place to impress a date
Mura @ North Hills
This Japanese Fusion Restaurant in the heart of North Hills serves an excellent variety of rolls and Kobe beef dishes. Private dining areas with traditional sliding doors make it an exclusive dinner spot.
North Carolina Museum of Art
With so many exhibitions featured in the new wing as well as the Museum Park and sculpture walk, readers loved the variety and beauty of the museum off Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. The Porsche By Design exhibit is available for viewing until January 20th, 2014. Best late-night spot
The Oxford Gastropub
Live bands starting at 10pm until close draw in the late-night crowd, as does a wide variety of imported beer.
Best place to see a show or movie
Durham Performing Arts Center
This award-winning, state-of-the-art venue in downtown Durham hosts musicians, comedians and a great selection of Broadway plays. The 2014 schedule includes Jay Leno, The Wizard of Oz and the Carolina Ballet’s rendition of Romeo and Juliet. Best weekend getaway
Blockade Runner Beach Resort
Located on picturesque Wrightsville Beach, you can’t go wrong with oceanfront lodging, not to mention a variety of activities to keep the kids busy. Best park
Newly renovated, this historic Raleigh park features more than 66 acres of green space, rolling hills and picnic shelters; kids love the historic carousel, paddle boats and train. Check out the numbers: Pullen Park is the fifth oldest amusement park in the US and the 16th oldest in the world. And it’s right down the street. Admission is free; ride tickets are $1 each.
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Best place to spruce up your home
On-site designers help you choose from more than 350 fabrics and leathers for a look that’s fresh and sophisticated; immediate delivery completes the job. Best store for antiques
Hunt & Gather Fine Estate Furnishings
Whether a vintage lantern or stately clock, whimsical bedside table or traditional buffet, readers loved discovering one-of-a-kind items. Best dog park
Millbrook Exchange Dog Park
You loved the separate areas for small and large dogs and shelters to protect from the wind and sun. The park is free and open to the public. Favorite people-watching spot
Crabtree Valley Mall
Centrally located with a decades-old reputation for unique shopping, readers loved to take a break here and watch the crowds. Best place to donate your time
Habitat for Humanity
You loved giving a little sweat equity to provide safe and affordable homes for needy families; learning a new skill along the way earned bonus points. Best pet store
Woof Gang Bakery Raleigh
Your favorite Fido field trip. From organic pet treats to monogrammable collars in cool colors, you loved bringing your pooches here to let them pick their favorites.
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Friendliest customer service
Renaissance Dental Center Office
One reader wrote: “These ladies have redefined excellence, not just in dentistry, but in business, period.” A welcoming and helpful staff eases fears; massage chairs and complimentary tea and coffee are extra touches.
C.T. Weekends Retail
You liked that the staff took the time to get to know your personal style and taste, going the extra mile to bring you different sizes, colors and styles to try in the dressing room.”
Best place to find unique brands of clothing
Located in Ridgewood Shopping Center, dress’ new line “dress Luxe” intrigued readers – luxury couture clothing (with original tags!) for a fraction of the price. You never know “who” you’ll find, but we spotted Chanel, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton. Best consignment clothing store
ADORE Designer Resale Boutique
Shoes, accessories, clothing, bags; browse one of two locations in Cary and Raleigh. “I started shopping in this store when they opened, and I’m hooked. Most of the clothes that I get compliments on are clothes I’ve purchased here,” said one reader. Best shoe store
Main & Taylor
Exclusivity rules here with two “shop-in shops” for both Donald J. Pliner and Stuart Weitzman brands to ensure a full variety of both sizes and styles. Main & Taylor was especially flattered when Weitzman picked the Raleigh location as one of just two boutiques in the country to feature his “ribbon concept” shop.
Best place to get your “bling”
Diamonds Direct Crabtree
You loved the selection but also the service and guidance. “We had so many questions, and they really took the time to explain everything so we could find the perfect engagement set,” wrote one reader. Best place to buy a gift
Whether you need a gift for a birthday, graduation or bridesmaids, Charlotte’s carries a unique assortment of watches, purses, rings, boots, cuffs, glassware, passport covers, notecards and more, most with the option of personalization. Best florist
The English Garden
Prompt delivery and beautiful arrangements that are always fresh. “I would not use another florist,” wrote one reader. “Cydney and her team are excellent and pay close attention to detail.” Best fashion accessories
With two locations and price points well under $100, readers loved browsing for scarves, bags, jewelry and other accessories. Best place to buy estate jewelry
Elaine Miller Collection
Elaine Miller has a real knack for finding the unusually beautiful, scouring estates all over the country for memorable jewelry and accessories. midtownmag.com | 57
Best place to get your smile on
Baker Comprehensive Family Dentistry
Best place to buy the hottest “IT” jewelry
Bailey’s Fine Jewelry
You know you want that Bailey’s Box! Whether you’re after Pandora, Meche, Ippolita, Gucci or Michael Kors, whatever’s trending, you’ll find it here.
Readers liked the variety of services offered by Dr. Steve Baker – including whitening, implants, extractions and preventive care. Dr. Baker also works with pediatric patients. Best place to get pampered
Synergy Spa & Aesthetics
Whether you have an hour or an entire day, you’ll be in relaxation bliss at this urban retreat. “If the Carolina Ballet dancers trust them for body work, so can I,” wrote one voter.
Tie BlueWater Spa
Readers loved the relaxing environment and knowledgable staff: “Every single staff member is educated about treatment and product,” wrote one reader.
Best place to splurge
Ora Designers/Fine Jewelers
Readers loved working with Ora’s owner and lead designer Russell Brummitt to craft customized pieces. “Most recently, I had a wedding band designed and created by Russ to match a vintage engagement ring. The result was exactly what I was looking for – a perfect match at a fair price,” wrote one reader.
Best place to de-age
Glo De Vie Med Spa
Davis Plastic Surgery
Readers liked the dedication and patience of Dr. Davis and his staff, including a comprehensive “patient education” section to help make the best decision. 58 | midtownmag.com
Whether for spa or skincare treatments, readers really connected with experienced aestheticians, physicians and nurses working toward big changes or something subtle.
Best salon for a haircut
Mark Christopher Salon
With experienced stylists and an edgy, modern ambience, readers enjoyed getting a fresh new look or maintaining a look they already love. Best salon for color
Modern Enhancement Salon Day Spa
A few auburn highlights, maybe a little bright color if you’re feeling adventurous: you loved experimenting here. “I absolutely love going to this spa. Boutique, friendly, relaxing – such a treat,” wrote one fan.
Best spa experience
The Spa at Lafayette
Dr. Suji Park-Idler wanted to bring a little bit of California to Raleigh. The result is an oasis that combines medical spa with day spa. “It’s just so beautiful and peaceful, I didn’t want to leave,” said one reader.
Best relaxation/waiting room
Skin Sense, a day spa With comfortable chairs, custom fireplace and fresh cucumber and lemon for water and tea, you’ll relish burning a few minutes here to get ready for your treatment. Best yoga/pilates studio
A unique pilates studio that offers customized personal training and special sessions for beginners. Best health club/gym
“A great place to work out and get fit!” You enjoyed several types of yoga, weight programs, cardio and cycling and circuit classes. midtownmag.com | 59
F R E S H E N up with
f a sh i o n
Itâ€™s a new year. Are you reflecting and reinventing? Challenging yourself to be a more kind, more fit, more giving, more innovative, more balanced person? Let Midtown Magazine help with the packaging of your new-found self. By Illyse Lane
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No matter how you plan on improving yourself in 2014, one thing is for sure. You’ll want to face the world feeling confident with how you look. So who better to talk with than the chic boutique owners in the area? We asked them to share their fashion tips and fashion faves; the musthave classics and the trends you should try. With their guidance, freshening up your closet will go hand in hand with all your other new year’s resolutions.
ADORE Designer Resale Boutique The Vibe
If top-line brands such as Manolo Blahnik, St. John, Gucci, Chanel, Nanette Lepore, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, and Alice & Olivia make you swoon, it’s time to visit ADORE. “We cater to a varied clientele, even carrying men’s wear at the Raleigh store,” says owner Nancy Alinovi. “But our frequent customers are fashion savvy bargain hunters who come in regularly to see what new high-end things we get in, as we do get a great selection.”
Regardless of what you are wearing, Alinovi recommends holding a classic accessory. And nothing is as timeless as a Chanel handbag. “I cannot stress enough how great an investment a Chanel is, especially if you can get a used one at a great price,” says Alinovi. “Classic Chanel designs are a fabulous investment as their prices always go up, making it a great investment piece for a shopper as well as a huge home run for a consignor. Alinovi herself is on the lookout her dream Chanel bag – a medium-sized flap in tan.
Pair It With
To maximize your style impact, Alinovi recommends pairing your classic bag with an item that’s on trend. And for spring, it’s all about longer hemlines. “For a dressed-up look, I recommend a dress with a sleek silhouette that comes a few inches beneath the knee, preferably in a muted floral or an icy pastel. For a more casual look, fuller tealength skirts are a fresh new look,” says Alinovi. midtownmag.com | 61
C. T. Weekends The Vibe
At C. T. Weekends, it’s not about the latest, hottest trend. “We put our focus into fit and what’s looks good on our customers,” says owner Kristi Hipple. She and partner Dennis Mayfield have come to count on an inventory stocked with well-designed European brands not typically found in Raleigh that have a reputation for fitting fabulously, including Babette, Lisette and Didier Parakian.
For a woman looking to add fresh foundation pieces to her wardrobe, Hipple believes there’s no better starting point than at least one pair of Lisette pants. And while black is an ideal starting point, other classic colors such as navy and charcoal are also smart additions. With styles ranging from skinny to boot cut to capris, there’s a pant for everyone, and having various fits in your closets can create more versatility in your wardrobe. The key is knowing how to mix and match on top. “If you have a skinny pant, a longer top is the best option. If you have a fuller pant, pair it with a shorter top,” says Hipple.
Sometimes, what you think may not look good on you may end up being your best look. “Women are constantly pleasantly surprised when they try something on. They may determine an item is not for them, but they may also say, ‘I never knew I could do this,’” says Hipple.
Charlotte’s The Vibe
If it’s jewelry you want, Charlotte’s has got you covered, with selection that includes fine jewelry by Vahan, watches by Michele, statement pieces from Kate Spade and Kenneth Jay Lane, popular gold, silver or diamond sideways cross necklaces, and local designers such as mollybeads and Moon & Lola. Charlotte’s has also got you covered if you’re craving the Jackie O inspired designs of Elizabeth McKay or a cozy Captiva cashmere poncho. And once you’re dressed from head to toe in the latest, you can pick up a set of Matouk sheets to make your bedroom a haven, browse the finest in fine papers such as William Arthur, Crane and Dauphine Press, and choose your favorite candle by Nest and even a leather bag by Elaine Turner. “We have something for everyone, whether it’s fashion, gifts or accessories” says owner Stephanie Sneeden. “We are one-stop shopping at its best.” 62 | midtownmag.com
Worth it Now
“Michele watches are versatile and fashion forward. They are an affordable luxury watch that every fashionista must have,” says Sneeden. “The beauty of this line of watches is that the bands are interchangeable, which allows you to keep up with the most recent style changes.”
“A statement necklace is flattering because it sits close to your face and is always a great addition to a plain outfit,” says Sneeden. Go classic with a multi-strand pearl necklace or make it trendy and now with a bold Kenneth Jay Lane piece.
The CoolSweats philosophy is simple. You should never have to sacrifice comfort and quality for style. And with brands such as Mod-O-Doc, Beyond Yoga, Christopher Blue, True Grit, Ergo Candles and The Laundress, CoolSweats is the destination of choice for women who are not only searching for high quality, stylish apparel, but also for products that promote a better quality of life.
color is coming
It may be cool outside, but before you know it, spring will arrive. And with that comes color. “Prepare to see lots of expressive patterns in earthy, sun baked hues, cool ocean blues, opaque pastels and boldly clashing colors such as electric yellow and charcoal gray,” says the CoolSweats team.
make spring your own
The fashion world will tell you what to expect for the upcoming season. But for CoolSweats, what matters is taking those runway styles and wearing it on your own terms. “While the truly adventurous will wear short-shorts and midriff-baring crop tops, the more modest shopper can invest in patterned palazzo pants, athletic sweatpants with tuxedo striping and fringe shawls, and still be very much on trend,” says the CoolSweats team. “We can help you make your mark.”
CAMERON VILLAGE 437 DANIELS STREET 919.787.9073
Raleigh North Hills 919.782.0012 Village of Pinehurst 910.295.3905 | Wrightsville Beach 910.509.0273 A Mod-O-Doc Specialty Store | www.COOLSWEATS.net | email@example.com
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dress The Vibe
Catering to women of all ages with a combination of new clothing, boutique overstock and designer consignment, dress has established itself as the go-to shop for all wardrobe needs. “We carry new merchandise from the latest apparel markets at price points up to $110, Articles of Society denim which satisfies a fashionable, budget-conscious generation, designer resale from designers such as Milly, Haute Hippie, Tibi, Halston Heritage and haute couture from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Jenny Packham, Valentino, Christian Dior and many more,” says owner Pam Mullaney.
“A leather jacket is an investment piece that transcends time as a garment that is always in style,” recommends Mullaney. With styles ranging from crop to moto to the more classic look that hits at the hip or right below the waist, a leather jacket can be paired with denim for a day look or over your little black dress for evening.
If you’re planning on making a few spring additions, Mullaney recommends starting with the printed pant. “This is a way to add color, texture or bold patterns into your wardrobe. It’s perfect for work as a crop pant with a structured blouse or a casual Saturday as denim with design,” she says. Also a must? The nude shoe, easily paired with colors, neutrals or prints, and the statement necklace, which can add glam to any outfit.
Nora and Nicky’s Designer Resale The Vibe
Nora and Nicky’s has two locations in the Raleigh – one in downtown and one in North Raleigh. But regardless of the one you decide to visit, one thing’s for sure. You’ll find a selection of both hip and classic name brands including Tory Burch, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Trina Turk, Nanette Lepore, Gucci and Kate Spade sold at reasonable prices. “I fell in love with consignment because it’s a way for all women to have a wardrobe that they normally could never have; consignment makes it very affordable,” says owner Cathy Brooks. “And I know that every girl, including myself, loves a bargain.”
Building the Wardrobe
To pull your wardrobe together, Brooks recommends frequently shopping, adding investment pieces such as handbags, shoes and jackets when you find them. “An identifiable handbag, such as a Dior or Lilly, can be the first place to amp 64 | midtownmag.com
hayley’s boutique The Vibe
At Hayley’s, the tag line “dress like you mean it” is near and dear to owner Hayley Cushman’s heart. For she wants you to have a little fun with your clothing and not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone of basics hues such as tan, black and gray. With an inventory that includes Aryn K., Ark & Co, Veronica M, Gracia, CC Couture, Fumblin’ Foe, Max and Cleo and Judith March, it’s not hard find the ideal item that will add a the right bit of pop into your wardrobe.
“Having patterns and a little sparkle will stand out in your closet,” says Cushman. But even more important to Cushman is helping you see that those brightly colored or patterned pieces can completely change the way you feel about yourself. “When you put that item on, it should change your mood. You should be feeling great,” says Cushman.
make it work
If you think dresses are just for big events or date nights, it’s time to change your thinking. Dresses are actually more versatile than you think. “You can put a great patterned dress with some leggings, a scarf and knee-high boots for a more casual event, but then turn around and glam it up with a pair of gold heels and some fab accessories,” says Cushman.
up your style,” says Brooks. “Also, a pair of designer boots, especially this time of year, it a great investment. They go with everything.” And when it comes to a classic piece that nearly every woman can wear, Brooks suggests investing in a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress.
advice to live by
“We are size obsessed, and one of the biggest mistakes we make is saying that we only wear this size or that size. It can be defeating to a woman,” says Brooks. “Designer clothing is totally different.” And when you rule out a size, you may be ruling out a piece that, with the help of a good tailor, can make a big impact. midtownmag.com | 65
Whalebone URBAN Surf The Vibe
“Since my father opened our first location in Nags Head back in 1975, Whalebone Surf Shop has catered to not only beach and surf enthusiasts, but also anyone who loves unique year-round clothing and great customer service,” says Stevi Vaughn, manager and buyer for the North Hills shop. And at the North Hills shop, the tradition is carried on, where you’ll find shelves stocked with everything from boards to bikinis to boots.
ABOUT THOSE BOOTS
“It’s definitely not too late in the season to get a pair of boots. They are a transitional piece and will be in style come spring when worn with a cute dress,” says Vaughn. She recommends the stylish and versatile Reef High Desert boot. “Reef is typically thought of as just a flip -flop beach brand, but they have amazing year-round footwear,” says Vaughn.
Sure, it’s the beginning of the new year, and you may be reaching for your comfy jeans and heavy sweater. But Vaughn knows better than anyone that it’s never too early to take an inventory of your swimwear. “What if a spur-of-the-moment island vacation comes up?” says Vaughn. Shopping early also gives you a head start on building your beach wardrobe, allowing you to take advantage of the best selection, including the extremely popular L*Space swimwear line.
What Lies Beneath:
The Bra Patch If you want that new dress or top to look its best, it’s time to delve deep and go beyond that which is seen. We’re talking bras, ladies. Fact is, many women underestimate the impact the right bra can have on the way you look. “The right bra can make you look slimmer, it can prevent you from sagging down, and it can help to define your waistline,” says Ruth Dowdy, owner of The Bra Patch. “We have women that come in and are so excited see the difference in the way they look once they find the right bra, they dance around the shop.” So if you’re ready to clean out that undergarments drawer and start fresh, what should you invest in?
Your True Size Matters
“Everyone should know that there is no standard sizing in the bra industry,” says Dowdy. “As a specialty shop, we carry a huge inventory of all different ratios of band to cup sizes. We have bands from 28 all the way up to 56, and cups from AAA – N, in all combinations.” This means that if you’re not the usual 34, 36, or 38 ABC or D found in bigger department stores, you don’t have to despair.
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Build Your Wardrobe
Dowdy recommends beginning your collection with two basic nudes and a black, with at least one being a smooth t-shirt bra. Build on that by adding a racerback bra (ideal for those summertime shirts), a few pretty, special occasion “date night bras” and two sports bras.
Care for Them
Bras that are worn out will not do their job properly, giving you a sloppy look. So taking care of them should be a priority. “Invest in a lingerie wash and always line dry your bras,” recommends Dowdy. “Also, give a bra 24 hours between wearings so the elastic has a chance to bounce back.
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If you’re like us and love to get into the festive spirit of every holiday, there’s no better way to say Happy Valentine’s Day than by wearing the colors of the season: red and pink! Here, some of our favorite local boutiques give us ideas on how to make this Valentine’s Day red hot!
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1. Fable Hayley’s Boutique/$128
2. Lolo Bag Apricot Lane/$30
3. Louis Vuitton dress/$275
4. Sacha London Kristen’s Shoes/$148 5. Carmen Marc Valvo Nora & Nicky’s/$165 6. Roxy Whalebone Urban Surf/$28
7. Elaine Turner Charlotte’s/$275
8. BCBGMAXAZRIA Kristen’s Place/$198 9. Anarkh C.T. Weekends/$270
10. Stuart Weitzman ADORE/$75.99
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T h i s y e ar, i nst ead of vow in g on c e agai n to ( lose w eig ht, eat bet t er , y e ll le s s , e tc.), com m it to sc ar in g yo u rs e lf by t ryin g n e w t hin g s. It m igh t j u st m ake you happier .
SCARE y o u r s e l f by c h r i s ta g al a
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Haven’t you always wanted to do this? Or something like it? Would an image like this – especially seeing it in the flesh – stick with you forever? That’s the idea. In 2014, try something different. Research shows people who try a variety of new things dwell on the positive instead of the negative. And that’s a pretty cool way to live.
In January 2013, I decided that instead of trying to lose weight (which, frankly, is tiresome), I would try things I’ve never done before – to, as the saying goes, “feel the fear and do it anyway.” I didn’t know it then, but there are a lot of interesting things that go on psychologically in our brains when we try new things, whether we fail or succeed. And, in fact, our brains often convince us we shouldn’t be trying anything new, telling us instead to stay in our comfort zones because, hey, it’s safer. Brain sabotage Dr. Lisa C. Sacco, a licensed psychologist in the Triangle Center for Behavioral Health in Cary, explains: “Part of our brain is committed to scanning for and protecting us from perceived threats. This is very helpful when someone cuts you off on the highway or you have to take cover from a tornado.” But the brain does the same “protecting” when we consider trying something new that’s not an obvious physical threat, which can often highjack our thought processes, says Sacco. So if we embark on a new career opportunity, but we don’t know what to do every minute, our brain tells us that we’re incompetent and that it is an unsafe venture. Not true. But the brain, and its fearmongering, is powerful. I actually did try a new job this year, teaching a class at UNC-Chapel Hill, and it scared me to death. I figured it fit right in with my resolution to try new things and, besides, I had to try. For weeks I felt as though I would vomit before I entered the classroom to teach for two hours, twice a week. I came down with laryngitis and bronchitis (college kids are germ incubators) and had bouts of anxiety. Still, I forced myself to move forward, plagued with doubts. But, then, a funny thing happened. One day I found I was brimming with excitement to share the lesson I’d planned that day. Excitement! Was I starting to emerge from the other side of that big block of fear? After a little more time, I felt courageous, joyful and confident. Energized. Happy. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Was this why? It’s okay to fail There are two components to why people fear trying new things, says Dr. Sacco. The first is that we’re fearful we don’t have the skills or the preparation; that can be remedied. The second component, more difficult, is that we feel inadequate, or shameful, which inhibits us. So go ahead and wrap your mind around the fact that it’s okay to fail. Accept it. Make it your mantra. It will steal fear’s thunder,
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(top) My husband and i gearing up to shoot skeet one February afternoon in 2013. (bottom) Taking a shot. And...another miss! So what?
and you’ll have all sorts of fun. “Failure and success are more frequently intertwined than people realize,” says Dr. Sacco. “I don’t think a person is likely to be truly successful unless, and until, she or he is willing to risk mistakes, stumble and get back up.” My own efforts in 2013 were met with varying degrees of success. Back in February, my brother took me skeet-shooting for the first time. Although I enjoyed it, I found out I’m not a great shot. Fifty rounds, and I hit two. I’m severely mathimpaired, but I think that’s just a four percent accuracy rate. So I stunk. So what? It was a beautiful day and something fun for my husband and me to do with my brother and his wife. I’d do it again in a minute. I also joined a Bunco group where I didn’t know anyone, or the game itself, and that’s gone extremely well. I can enjoy an adult beverage, carry on a conversation and roll the dice – all at the same time – with only a little help from the other ladies. Now that’s my kind of game. Sometimes I forget my turn is over and keep rolling the dice, but that’s a small thing.
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When Habitat for Humanity asked for volunteers for one of its two “Women Build” projects in 2013, I signed up. I was horrible with the hammer, and I even smashed one of my fingers learning. But you know what? I did learn. And I was so stinking proud of myself. Push past the fear “Scaring ourselves by reaching beyond our comfort zone, courageously facing life’s challenges, and meeting opportunities is a good thing,” says Dr. Sacco. It gives us confidence in our ability to adapt to new situations for the other challenges we’ll face down the road – and you know they’ll be there. Besides, trying new things makes us feel happy after we’ve completed the task. antiques_mj.pdf 1 4/8/13 Time revival Magazine recently published a list of2:47 20 PM things
showing off My busted finger during the Habitat for Humanity “Women Build” project in Apex. No matter, the finger healed in a day and now I know how to drive a nail.
to consider when trying to achieve or maintain health and happiness. Number 13 on that list was “Try New Things.” In the article, psychologist Rich Walker of Winston-Salem State University said his research of more than 500 diaries and 30,000 “event memories” showed those who engage in a variety of activities are more likely to retain positive emotions and minimize negative ones compared with those who have fewer experiences. So if you try something new and like it, pick another new thing to try. Keep your experiment going and see what happens. ‘Lean In’ Samiha Khanna, 32, has lived her whole life trying new things. “I’m lucky that I’ve always had this lifelong desire to learn something new,” says Khanna, senior administrator of media and public relations at the Wake County Public School System. “If there’s something that has scared me or confused me or I didn’t understand, I’ve always wanted to do it or learn it or read a book about it so that I could know more.” Khanna’s been hot-air ballooning and rappelling, and she’s also climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia. She learned how to shoot three different kinds of guns (because guns scared her) and recently learned to swim laps. midtownmag.com | 75
Samiha Khanna and her mom on a hot-air balloon ride.
A co-worker’s son, a competitive swimmer, agreed to give Khanna a few lessons. “I got into a bathing suit in front of a 16-year old, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience,” Khanna laughs. “It was a very interesting experience to be taught to swim from someone who is literally half your age. He was an amazing instructor and really took me from the beginning of how do I position my head, how do I breathe, what do I do. It was awesome and exciting and humbling to be a student in that way.” After reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, Khanna started a group at work that meets every two weeks to talk about the principles in the book, one of which is trying new things and facing fears to gain confidence for leadership. Leanin.org provides Khanna with the tools to lead the sessions, which 14 co-workers attend. “Every time we meet we find we’re all waiting to chime in to the conversation,” she says. “There’s never enough time; we always have more we’d like to discuss and examine for our next meeting. It’s very rewarding. “More importantly, it’s changed the way I see my daily interactions and daily work,” Khanna continues. “I’m thinking more critically about my interactions – how to present information, how to work with other folks as a team and what things I may be doing or thinking that may even hold me back. That’s an idea that Sheryl Sandberg discusses a lot. What do we tell ourselves? What do we filter? What do we fear?” Indeed. 76 | midtownmag.com
looking a h e a d
So, will you try something new? In the spirit of helpful demonstration and to finish my own try-new-things pact of 2013, I discovered a few things I wanted to try and road-tested a few (below). I couldn’t do everything, so I’m pledging to do the others in 2014. I’ll keep you posted.
Your inner artist is calling
Wine and Design has several locations in Raleigh and Cary. For about $30, you’ll get an art lesson and leave with a finished canvas. Bring your own food and beverage as well as a few friends for what has to be both a fun and funny experience. Check out the calendar before you sign up to ensure you’re painting something you like. In most instances, everybody in the group paints the same thing. And if you do bring adult beverages, arrange for a ride home! www.wineanddesignus.com
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(Road-tested) The folks at TITLE Boxing Club in Cary were incredibly nice, and I have to say there was a definite “cool” factor in getting my hands all wrapped up before donning my official boxing gloves. I attended “Power Hour” with a friend, and it was a fantastic workout. Cardio and stretching in the warm-up and a good 30 minutes punching the bag before doing some core work and cool-down. Our instructor, Kevin, had a great sense of humor and encouraged me to focus my strength as I began to wear out. It was a great way to release the frustrations of daily life and so much more fun than my conventional “blah” workout. I loved the bells signaling when our punching rounds ended. Cue Rocky theme song. www.cary-renaissance.titleboxingclub.com
I like the idea of getting stronger and more capable. Jessica Bottesch, co-owner of Empower Personalized Fitness in Raleigh, helps her clients meet personal goals. One of her training principles revolves around getting people outside their comfort zones. “Our bodies adapt to what we do on a regular basis, and that can lead to a plateau effect where we see physiological change stall,” she said. “This is one of the number one reasons I like to push my clients to try something new – to awaken their neuromuscular system by throwing it a curve ball.” Bottesch makes it fun. “It’s like taking a new adventure together; they are the explorers, and I’m their guide.” becomepowerful.com 78 | midtownmag.com
Pilates on the Barre (road-tested)
Julie Smith at Barre-Up! in Raleigh, near NC State, was not only incredibly patient, she helped me modify exercises that might have been troublesome for my lower back. I can totally see how one ends up with a ballerina’s body doing these moves that strengthen and lengthen the legs, arms and core, and I was completely surprised by how good all the stretching felt to my neck and back from hours spent at a computer. The barre is utilized for both stabilization and range of motion. The class made me feel both fluid and powerful. barre-up.com
Small classes help
Pulse Pilates in Raleigh on Six Forks Road offers pilates and free one-on-one consultations and trials, says owner Elisa Buxbaum. Small classes minimize your risk of try-new-things anxiety. “Our studio has a maximum class size of only four people, so clients get a lot of one-onone attention and don’t feel embarrassed around a huge group,” says Buxbaum. “We offer a beginner class every day of the week, so if someone is new to pilates, they can be in a class with someone just like them.” pulsepilates.net midtownmag.com | 79
Brian Ulrich: Copia – Retail, Thrift, and Dark Stores, 2001–2011 Through January 5, 2014 North Carolina Museum of Art | Raleigh www.ncartmuseum.org Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed Through January 20 | North Carolina Museum of Art | www.ncartmuseum.org Reveal: Portraits by Carrie Levy Through January 26, 2014 North Carolina Museum of Art | Raleigh www.ncartmuseum.org Outsiders: Facing the Camera Through January 26, 2014 North Carolina Museum of Art | Raleigh www.ncartmuseum.org Masterworks from the Chrysler Museum Through February 7, 2014 North Carolina Museum of Art | Raleigh www.ncartmuseum.org WHAT THE DICKENS? TRIVIA IN THE LIBRARY January 2, 15, 16, 21, 26 | Times vary by location | Wake County Public Libraries www.wakegov.com/libraries Ladies Night at Stella & Dot with The Cupcake Shoppe January 3 | 6-9pm Art in the Evening January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 | 5:30-8:30pm North Carolina Museum of Art | Raleigh www.ncartmuseum.org
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Downtown Raleigh First Friday Art Walk January 3 & February 7 | 6-9pm www.godowntownraleigh.com NEW YEAR, NEW YOU: THERE’S A BOOK FOR THAT! January 6, 7, 14, 17, 30 | Times vary by location | Wake County Public Libraries www.wakegov.com/libraries Informational Meeting for the South of France Trip January 7 | 4:45pm Saint-Jacques French Cuisine www.saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com K-5 Information Mornings for Prospective Parents January 7, 14, 27 | 9:15-11am February 11, 24 | 9:15-11am The Raleigh School | RSVP at 919.546.0788 ext. 117 | www.raleighschool.org Paint & Sip Art Class January 9, 23 | 7-9pm February 6, 20 | 6:30-9pm Kidz Celebrate | 6801 Falls of Neuse Road Raleigh | www.kidzcelebrate.com NCMA Cinema: Car Crazy January 10, 17, 24, 31 | 8pm North Carolina Museum of Art | Raleigh www.ncartmuseum.org
JANUARY BOOK BITES: RECENT DEBUT FICTION January 10, 15, 17, 22, 29 | Times vary by location | Wake County Public Libraries www.wakegov.com/libraries PATTI LABELLE January 11 | Durham Performing Arts Center | www.DPACnc.com Special Documentary Film Screening: The Porsche Way January 11 | 2pm North Carolina Museum of Art | Raleigh www.ncartmuseum.org Family Fun Saturday January 11, 25 | 10pm North Carolina Museum of Art | Raleigh www.ncartmuseum.org Paint Along Art Class January 11, 25 & February 22 | 10am-12pm Kidz Celebrate | 6801 Falls of Neuse Road Raleigh | www.kidzcelebrate.com The Carolina Philharmonic presents a Brass Quintet January 12 | 4pm | The Village Chapel Pinehurst | 919.687.0287 www.carolinaphil.org FAVORITE AFRICAN AMERICAN AUTHORS TO VISIT LIBRARIES January 12, 16, 19 | Authors and times vary by location | Wake County Public Libraries www.wakegov.com/libraries
JANUARY FIND IT! READING TOOLS ON THE LIBRARY’S WEBSITE January 13, 14, 21 | Times vary by location | Wake County Public Libraries www.wakegov.com/libraries
Spa Party January 23 & February 20 | Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa | 6625 Falls of Neuse Road | www.handandstone.com
Informational Meeting for Normandy Trip January 16 | 4:45pm Saint-Jacques French Cuisine www.saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com
Girls on the Run Open House – InfoRMATION Session January 23 | 4:30-6:30pm Empower Personalized Fitness Raleigh 919.973.1243 www.becomepowerful.com/gotr
Guiding Lights participating in Health Fair January 16 | 11am-2pm | Atria Oakridge 10810 Durant Road | 919.371.2062 firstname.lastname@example.org
Smedes Parlor Concert Series: Harp and Flute from Around the World January 28 | 8pm | Saint Mary’s School Smedes Hall | www.sms.edu
Overnight and Visitation Day for prospective students January 16-17 | Saint Mary’s School www.sms.edu
Open House and Art Exhibit January 30 8:30-10am | Prospective Families 6:45-8pm | Prospective and Current Families 919.861.4635 | email@example.com
Free Buti Yoga Introductory Class January 17 | 5:30pm January 18 | 9:30am www.barre-up.com Preschool Information Sessions for Prospective Parents January 17, 24, 31 | 9-10:15 am February 7, 28 | 9-10:15 am January 14, 28 | 1-2:15 pm February 4, 11 | 1-2:15 pm The Raleigh School | RSVP at 919.828.5351 www.raleighschool.org Big Eastern Barista competition January 17-19 | Durham uscoffeechampionships.org Kidz Night Out January 18 & February 15 | 6-10pm Kidz Celebrate | 6801 Falls of Neuse Road Raleigh | www.kidzcelebrate.com Cooking Class January 21 & February 26 | 4:30pm Saint-Jacques French Cuisine www.saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com ONCE January 21-26 | Durham Performing Arts Center | www.DPACnc.com Wine Dinner January 22 | 6:30pm Saint-Jacques French Cuisine www.saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com
Pinehurst Pops: A Night on Broadway with Janine La Manna February 1 | 7pm | Robert E. Lee Auditorium | Pinecrest High School Southern Pines | 919.687.0287 www.carolinaphil.org
Valentines Special Prix Fixe dinner February 14 | Saint-Jacques French Cuisine www.saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com Blood Drive February 15 | 10am-2pm Habitat for Humanity of Wake County ReStore 2420 N. Raleigh Blvd. | www.WakeReStore.org The Wedding affair at north hills February 23 | 1-4pm Renaissance Raleigh Hotel Ballroom 4100 Main at North Hills Street www.northhillswedding.com The Wiz February 28 | 7pm & March 1 | 2pm Saint Mary’s School Theatre | Pittman Auditorium | Saint Mary’s School www.sms.edu
Have an important event? We would love to hear about it. Please send the details of your calendar events to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Divine Sister February 2 | Raleigh Little Theatre 301 Pogue Street | 919.821.3111 www.raleighlittletheatre.org Triangle Wine Experience Dinner February 6 | Saint-Jacques French Cuisine www.saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com Valentine’s Art Party February 8 | 11am-1pm Kidz Celebrate | 6801 Falls of Neuse Road Raleigh | www.kidzcelebrate.com Go Red Event February 8 | 1-3pm | Crabtree Valley Mall Promotional court | 919.787.2506 Les Misérables February 11-23 | Raleigh Memorial Auditorium | http://nctheatre.com Valentine’s Customer Appreciation party February 12 | 6-8pm | Healing Waters Spa & Cosmetic Clinics | 6813 Fayetteville Road, Suite 101 | Durham | 919.572.1710 www.healingwatersbeauty.com midtownmag.com | 81
12 THE HOSPITALITY
How many times have you heard someone whine, “There’s nothing to dooooo!” and just wanted to smack them? We have college students aplenty here, and where there are college students, there’s nightlife. Two standouts in particular:
I hesitate to call it “Southern Hospitality” because, even though we are undeniably in the South, where the twang makes a friendly “Hey!” sound ten times more enthusiastic, the Triangle is still a melting pot. With people coming from so many backgrounds and so many places, it could go one of two ways – natives could either resent or welcome transplants. How fortunate that they opt for the latter, welcoming the growth, the revenue and the people. There’s a prevailing attitude of “Welcome, friend!” that prevails in every store, restaurant or service center you could enter here. Try striking up a conversation about any random topic, with any random stranger, the next time you’re in line or on a bus in this area – you’ll like the result. Try that in a larger urban center, like New York City, and you probably won’t get the same warm-and-fuzzy.
Glenwood South. It’s trendy, hip, and recently revitalized by Raleigh. You can find galleries, shops, food from countless categories and ethnicities, and of course, bars. From dives to members-only, dance floors to karaoke, sports to comedy – if you don’t find what you’re looking for, it means you’re the one who doesn’t have a nightlife.
Franklin Street. Steeped in tradition, this lively stretch in Chapel Hill was named for one of our country’s founding fathers, and its name has become synonymous with nightlife. Home to some raucous victory celebrations for Tar Heel basketball fans, as well as an epic costume party with tens of thousands of revelers every Halloween, Franklin Street also houses some great live music venues and other bars.
And speaking of alcohol…
Greene’s; Raleigh Brewing Company; Sub Noir Brewing Company; Trophy Brewing Company; and White Street Brewing Company (Wake Forest).
big boss brewery
4 >> Raleigh. Two words: Big Boss. Find it, tour it, buy the beer. My faves are Bad Penny and Blanco Diablo. But if those don’t float your boat, you can always check out any of the other fine breweries here: Boylan Bridge Brewpub; Crank Arm; Deep River (Clayton); Double Barley (Wilson’s Mills); Gizmo Brew Works; Lonerider; Lynnwood Brewing Concern; Natty
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photograph © big boss brewery
North Carolina is home to 84 breweries and brewpubs, 27 of which are here in the Triangle. That’s more than enough to fill this article, if I were to give each of them its own spot on the list. Much as I’d like to do that, my editor had other ideas, so I had to settle for four spots – one for each major region of the Triangle, with its outlying areas:
TO love THE
photograph © Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau
Cary. Aviator Brewing Company (Fuquay-Varina); Carolina Brewing Company (Holly Springs); Hosanna Brewing Company (Fuquay-Varina); and White Rabbit (Angier).
Durham. Bull City Burger and Brewery; Fullsteam Brewery; Mystery Brewing Company (Hillsborough); and Triangle Brewing Company.
Chapel Hill. Bear Creek Brews (Bear Creek); Carolina Brewery; Carolina Brewery and Grill (Pittsboro); Starpoint Brewing (Carrboro); Steel String Brewery (Carrboro); and Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery.
It’s been nearl y a quarter of a century since I m oved to Raleigh as a fresh-faced co llege graduate , and apart from so me initial hom esickness, I haven ’t regretted it once. In fact, I love it here, as do many others of the nearly two m illion people who in habit the Tria ngle, the eight coun ties roughly in cluded in the area adjoining Ral eigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. We’ve even received public accolad es, as national rank ings and mag azine articles have consistently to ld the rest of the coun try that our re gion is a great place to live. I agree, and here are the fi rst 25 reasons (with 25 more to foll ow in our next issue) that I feel that way… By Dan Bain
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8 THE TRAFFIC
Do I hear a few scoffs out there? Don’t. Even. Start. I used to live in Northern Virginia, where I commuted into the suburbs of Washington, D.C. We might see accidents somewhat regularly, but rarely do we see problems outside of rush hour, when bad traffic is simply a fact of life in any urban center. And how often does road rage make the news here? Trust me – compared to the country’s larger metropolitan areas, Triangle traffic is a cakewalk. Our cities also have decent bus service, and one way or the other, you can pretty much get from one part of the Triangle to another with relatively little hassle. (Unless it rains.)
Which brings me to
Okay, let’s pretend for a moment that there isn’t a two-to three-week period in early spring when our cars, clothes, pets, and anything else that happens to make the mistake of standing still in the outside air for more than two seconds will get coated in that nasty yellow dust as a result. That’s the first stipulation. The second stipulation? We can eliminate any competing region if it doesn’t have at least three discernible seasons every year. We have to agree that, if the seasons change somewhere, then that place is going to see some extremes. Given that, yes, we have a few unbearably hot and humid days in the summer, but that’s the price we pay for milder winters. The cheapest way to escape the humidity would be to move further north, where you’ll trade it for some extreme winter weather. Remember the blizzards from the past few years? People as far south as Virginia were trapped by loads of snow. Remember what happened here? Nothing. Geographically, we are in the ideal location for decent temperatures and precipitation across the year, barring a move to San Diego.
Maybe late in this issue’s date cycle you’ll find yourself getting out of the car to head into a building, but you’ll catch that first sense of spring coming on, and you might even feel the call to find time to go enjoy the outdoors. Heed it. You can even bring this magazine with you, and maybe find a spot to sit down and enjoy the weather in a more sedentary manner. Nothing wrong with that. Why not head to a park? I suggest Anderson Point, on Raleigh’s east side. Some nice bench swings there, overlooking their bluebird meadow. Or Shelley Lake, where you also have the option
of visiting Sertoma Arts Center. Or, if you want to find some other fun activities while you’re there, try Pullen Park – it’s actually an amusement park, with a community center and arts center in tow. Want to do something active? Try one of the greenway trails – Raleigh’s Capital Area Greenway system has 28 of them, spanning more than 100 miles and boasting some amazing sites along the way. I recommend the 27-mile Neuse River Trail, with its two suspension bridges and excellent view of the falls at Milburnie Dam. In Durham, be sure to hit the amazing American Tobacco Trail and Bridge,
with its 22 miles set for extension into Chatham County this year. In Cary, check out Fred G. Bond Metro Park, with its lake, amphitheatre and ropes course. Any spot in the Triangle has easy access to Jordan Lake or Umstead Park. Want to get educated while you’re outside? Hit one of the many heritage parks in the area, with plenty of historic buildings and lessons to go with them. Or, if perchance the weather isn’t cooperating, take the kids to an indoor park; we have those, too. No matter where you are in the Triangle, you’re within five minutes of a park; go make use of your tax dollars at play!
photograph © jennifer robertson photography
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If you prefer to spend your dollars on more material pursuits, take heart – there’s no shortage of ways to do that here:
Chapel Hill and Durham. The Streets at Southpoint – the king daddy of all malls. I’m not one to get my shopping on, but even I have to admit this place is breathtaking in its expanse, its offerings and even its architecture. Some stores inside, others outside with the look of a planned community. Premier stores and restaurants in a cozy setting, capped by a 16-screen, stadiumseating cinema. Odds are good that if you can’t find it at Southpoint, you can’t find it.
12 Raleigh. Crabtree Valley Mall has been around forever, but they’ve done a good job keeping it up-to-date, in terms of looks and contents. It has the branding from way back, so traditionalists will probably prefer to go there, despite the sometimes-difficult ingress and egress. Triangle Town Center is newer, with easy access from I-540, but it’s a bit like Hotel California – sometimes it feels like you can never leave. There’s something about the parking lot exits that causes backups, but you have cool buildings to look at while you’re idling. For outdoor shopping, Raleigh also has the classy Cameron Village, the trendy new North Hills, the European-inspired Lafayette Village and the vast Brier Creek Commons. Cary. Also an oldie-but-goodie, Cary Towne Center has grown steadily over the years, expanding to add some outdoor shopping and dining without feeling too crowded on the inside. And they’ve added a Dave & Buster’s, which adds to the fun things to do in the Triangle. midtownmag.com | 85
photograph © jennifer robertson photography
THE ACADEMICS You can’t possibly mention the Triangle without thinking about your favorite university. Okay, maybe some people don’t have a favorite university, but around here, we worship at the altar of higher education. Could be the sports rivalries (see number 23) or it could be the way they bring diversity and feed professionals into our communities. Of the largest, three local universities define the very points of the triangle that is The Triangle:
North Carolina State University (Raleigh). Engineering and agriculture.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They specialize in making doctors and lawyers – an interesting mix if ever there was one.
Duke University (Durham). Gardens, architecture and laboratories.
Further to the educational aspect of the Triangle, there are plenty of places to go learn a little over the course of an afternoon – for kids and adults alike.
Raleigh. The NC Museum of Art is worth at least three to four visits a year, just to take in everything from its regular exhibits, to its touring exhibits, to its concerts and films, to its classrooms, to its impressive grounds – featuring larger-than-life sculptures along one of the aforementioned greenway trails. Sharing the pedestrian area that’s more or less an extension of Fayetteville Street Mall north of the State Capitol, the North Carolina Museum of History and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences present remarkable facades to passers-by, beckoning them to
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wander in and lose themselves among their dinosaurs and dioramas – but if you do lose yourself, you’ll find something bigger. And Marbles Kids Museum is all about fun – from its indoor pirate ship, to its splash zone, to its building room filled with plastic bricks and wooden sticks, to
its IMAX theatre, Marbles brings fun and learning to new heights. Durham. At the Museum of Life and Science, kids (and kids at heart) can touch a tornado, sit inside an authentic Apollo Space Capsule, study insects and spiders, walk a dinosaur
NC Museum of art
Ledelle Moe, Collapse I, 2000, concrete and steel, L. 30 x W. 12 x H. 9 ft. Courtesy of the artist. © 2009 Ledelle Moe; Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art; Christopher Ciccone, photographer
trail, dig for fossils, make music, build contraptions and more. Duke Lemur Center is a “living laboratory” affiliated with the university, created for the research of primate behavior. Housing 21 species on 80 wooded acres, the center offers tours of the habitat as well as workshops and seminars for children and adults. Chapel Hill. Also part of its nearby university, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is one of the oldest and largest planetariums in the U.S., and was once used to train NASA astronauts. Now it offers immersive “visual experience” shows with the digital projection system inside its 68-feet-wide full-dome planetarium, as well as interactive exhibits, classes and skywatching sessions. Its observatory boasts a 24-inch PerkinElmer reflecting telescope, operated by the university’s Physics and Astronomy Department.
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Wait, did I say doughnut choice is divisive around here? Don’t know what I was thinking, as the debate over barbecue style could possibly cause our state to split in two. It has actually had repercussions in our state legislature, with bills having been defeated because they were perceived as declaring one style over the other as the “official” state barbecue. Lexington Style, more common in the central and western parts of the state, uses ketchup in its sauce, and uses only pork shoulder. Eastern Style allows for no tomato in the sauce, and uses everything but the oink. You can find both in the Triangle, and there are plenty of places to determine your preference, but Eastern seems to be prevalent. The only real winners in this argument are people like me – big eaters. I’m willing to sacrifice my body for science, trying every style and restaurant until I’ve either decided or died of a heart attack.
20 Sometimes it seems there’s nothing more divisive around here than doughnut brand preference. I’ve never met a doughnut I didn’t like, but I have to cop to (no pun intended) my favorite. Even though I love Munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts, I’ll go out of my way to eat at Krispy Kreme. Lighter than air, their Original Glazed® is a treat sublime (especially when served hot), and their
seasonally based “featured doughnuts” are often fun designs, and always tasty. The “Hot Now” sign has become a cultural icon, and customers of all ages can be seen pressing their faces against the plate glass to watch the conveyor belts when they’re in action, moving, frying and topping the dough. We have stores in Chapel Hill and Raleigh, and as a bonus, the Raleigh store
is anchor for the annual Krispy Kreme Challenge – a five-mile footrace that raises funds for North Carolina Children’s Hospital and likely raises cholesterol for the participants. The challenge? To run from the NC State belltower to Krispy Kreme, eat a dozen doughnuts, and run back in less than an hour. This year’s Challenge will take place at 8:30am on February 8th.
23. THE SPORTS
Collegiate athletics is practically a religion around here, especially basketball. Remember those three universities at the Triangle’s tips? Their alumni and fans are fervored. March Madness reigns supreme in North Carolina, with four teams from the ACC being housed here. But if you prefer professional sports, we also have the Carolina Hurricanes playing hockey at PNC Arena, between Raleigh and Cary. Further west in the Triangle, the Durham Bulls play in a fun, rousing environment that only minor league baseball can provide.
24 You’re never far from anything here, whether you prefer mountains, beach, or someplace in between. We have two Interstates within the Triangle, running toward all four compass points. The closest beach is about two hours away, and the closest mountains are three. If you want to get away, you won’t have to go far.
Deny it if you must, I’ll only ignore you. This place just has a certain charismatic appeal to it. From the unassuming skyline of downtown Raleigh, to the eclectic murals of downtown Chapel Hill, to the dichotomy of the contemporary feel and retro look of Durham’s American Tobacco Historic District, this place is just … neat. If you don’t believe me, take in a night game at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, or Kenan Stadium at UNC. Drive through Raleigh’s Oakwood Historic District, and check out the look of the Victorian architecture. The list goes on – there’s something intangible about this place, but you can feel it, nonetheless. Our Triangle is a charming region, and now’s your chance to help me explain why…
THE STATE FAIR
The rides! The frieds! From amusements to food and everything in between, the North Carolina State Fair is an annual must-see for many North Carolinians during 10 days every October. It’s held at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, and draws attendees from every crevice of the Carolinas. It’s an eater’s delight, with more items being fried every year, and of course includes games, rides, agricultural competitions and displays, shows, and of course those fireworks. It can’t truly be fall until the fair has come to town, and everyone ought to go to it at least once in their lifetime, if not once a year.
What do you love about the Triangle? Send your suggestions to Dan Bain (email@example.com) by January 27th, and we’ll consider including them in Part 2 of the list, in our March/April issue!
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By Kurt Dusterberg
J.J. Johnson remembers exactly when she realized it was time to draw the line with Facebook. “It started when I was on vacation, and I was frustrated that I couldn’t post updates,” Johnson said. “I was like, what am I doing? I am in a tropical paradise in St. John, and this is what’s frustrating me right now? That’s not okay.” Right there, amid the beauty of the Virgin Islands, Johnson got her priorities straight. Facebook now takes a vacation of its own. “I take summers off because it just reminds me to live my life for myself and the people around me instead of for Facebook. I find I start thinking in terms of Facebook updates instead of just being in the moment.” Without question, Facebook and other social media sites allow us to stay at the forefront of the connected world. Your grade school classmates, college buddies and neighbors are now just one post away. On the surface, it sounds like a way to bring a big, busy world a little bit closer. But a recent University of Michigan study suggests that there might be a down side. Too much time on Facebook seemed to undermine the happiness of the people who participated. According to the study, two components of subjective well-being were affected: how people feel moment-to-moment and how satisfied they are with their lives. For all of us who have scrolled through our Facebook news feeds, it’s pretty obvious why our self-esteem can take a hit. It’s a continuous stream of everyone else’s high notes. Hey, we’re skiing in Colorado! Molly made the honor roll! Check out my party pics! All the reminders of your friends’ good fortune can produce some bad feelings.
“I have some clients who have these friends who seem to have wonderful lives,” says Rhonda Sutton, a licensed professional counselor in Raleigh. “They start comparing themselves to what they think the other person is experiencing. It can really cause signs of depression and sadness.” The solution seems pretty obvious: stop comparing and back off of social media a bit. But it’s easier said than done. These are your friends, after all. You want to know, but you don’t want to know – not if it’s going to leave you feeling inadequate.
Johnson found herself teetering on that tightrope not only during her tropical vacation, but in her professional life too. She writes youngadult fiction, so she has literary types among her Facebook friends. That can lead to letdowns during book awards season. “I can get in such a funk. Professionally it can be a downer,” Johnson admits. “Generally, I’m happy with my life, so I don’t feel like I don’t measure up, but I do feel left out sometimes and professionally I can get sucked into the comparisons.” So she deals with it the best way she knows how. When it feels like too much, she takes a break. “You’re inviting it into your home every time you check Facebook,” Johnson says. “So your home is not a private sanctuary, which I sometimes need it to be.” Ah, privacy. It wasn’t so long ago that people valued their personal time and space. Today, many of us don’t think twice about putting our personal business out there for public consumption.
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“There’s a real problem with boundaries,” Sutton says. “What does it say about us that we have to share everything online? I’m consistently amazed that people think this is safe information to share. “Who truly are the people we are close to and can trust? What do we share with the world? How much are we putting out there that is really true, and how much of it is, Look at me?” It’s that last part – the emphasis on the self – that makes many people feel second best. “You’re basically seeing other people’s highlight reels,” as Johnson puts it. “I think it makes you start to question the motivations of others,” she continues. “It’s not a good place to be coming from. You can never know what other people’s motivations are. Starting to wonder about them is a fruitless journey. What are you going to get from that whole speculative fiction in your head? Nothing. That’s just another thing to worry about when you’re lying in bed at night.”
So before your next post about your “absolutely most wonderful children” or your “last day cycling in Cambodia” (both taken wordfor-word from my news feed just today), consider your audience. “It’s okay to say, ‘Just wanted to share that Taylor had a good game last night.’” Sutton says. “But also be mindful of having a conversation with someone. Ask, how are your kids doing?” Of course, social media provides tremendous benefits too. Johnson uses Facebook for professional outreach, connecting her with her readers in a way that enriches both parties. But if Facebook and other sites bring you down, Sutton advises stepping away. Take a couple days off, or try to limit yourself to just 30 minutes a day. And stop comparing your kids to the academically-gifted neighbors and wondering why you’ve never taken a three-week European vacation. “We don’t always look to see what is going right in our lives,” Sutton says. “We do a lot of comparing to other people. The truth is, you never really know what someone else is going through. So we have these assumptions about other people’s lives, their success, their failures. We've got to work out what is best for ourselves as individuals and feel good about that.”
get in the
game Triangle Sports Social Club Involves Thousands BY DAVE DROSCHAK
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any of us remain closet jocks, wishing we could recapture the glory days when we “dominated” in kickball, dodgeball or just about any sport our teachers could invent to keep us active, busy and interacting with the other kids. No need to dream anymore about competing yourself as you watch Carolina Panthers or Carolina Hurricanes games from your favorite couch or local gym treadmill. You can easily get back into the game with some “unconventional” sports in the Triangle via TRI Sports, a sports social club that boasts more than 23,000 participants. “We see about 2,000 people a week participating in kickball,” said Tri Sports president Danny Lefebvre, a Detroit native who settled in the area more than a decade ago after going to graduate school at the University of North Carolina. “It is the most fun, the most social and it is that way because it is the least intimidating. Nobody played college varsity kickball. The excuse I hear most often of why people say they can’t play a certain sport is ‘Oh, I haven’t played that since grade school.’ Well, yes, that’s when we all played, so you are qualified, come on out. It is an extremely social sport. Most people are out here to just have a good time.” Tri Sports is part of a group of more than 50 such clubs across the country under the Sport & Social Industry Association umbrella, which has a main goal of helping the industry and its players grow through cooperative efforts – and keys on social interaction. There is a national convention each year to discuss new sports and innovative ways to involve adults in both unique and conventional sports. Tri Sports organizes sports and provides venues for dozens of unique sports in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill areas, including elementary school favorites kickball and dodgeball, as well as flag football, broomball, cornhole, skeeball and many others. “We are a reseller of fun, to simplify it,” Lefebvre said. “We buy all the raw ingredients of a good time, we make it into a nice cake and sell it to people. If you don’t like my cake maybe I have a tart or a custard coming down the line that is maybe more your speed.” Lefebvre faced a challenge right out of the gate. Tri Sports’ first games of ultimate Frisbee (which is no longer offered), beach volleyball and softball were scheduled for the second week of September, 2011. With the tragedy of 9-11 dominating the news, Lefebvre sat back and wondered midtownmag.com | 95
whether to cancel his planned activities or forge ahead. He chose the latter after just moving to Raleigh from Chapel Hill. “I found myself in a town where I didn’t know anybody; and the whole uncertainty of life as we know it and what it all means was being questioned,” he said. “It brought a lot of fear to me, as it did a lot of people. The big question was: ‘Do we cancel our sports league?’ They were scheduled for two days after 9-11. It was a great concern and we just decided that, well, I need to get out of the house to get back to some normalcy; maybe other people do, too. “We had 100 percent attendance that night of all our registered teams. Nobody missed, and right there it was validation of the concept. People need people and they will always need people, and an organization like ours provides a great vehicle for people to build a social support system and networking, to really plant roots. That’s the big thing. Really the best part of my job is when people move away to other big cities and can’t meet anybody after six months or a year and can’t plug in, can’t network, can’t build that support system, and they move back here and tell me one of the reasons is because of Tri Sports and how easy we made it for them to meet people.” All of the Tri Sports leagues are followed afterwards at a bar or restaurant where rounds are bought for the winning team of a beverage of their choice, and an appetizer for the losing teams. “In our kickball leagues we actually run games at the bar once they are done competing off the field,” Lefebvre said. “You see an opponent and you play against them and that’s fine, but you likely don’t get a chance to know them, to rub elbows and build a good bond with them. We invite them to the water after, and now with kickball we’re kind of forcing them to drink, so to speak. We are giving them great incentive to come out and be social, and that’s what it’s really about. We will award a Bar Sports Champion for the year, so the worst kickball team may win the bar sports because maybe that’s more their thing.” Lefebvre stresses that the 96 | midtownmag.com
over-21 organization is not a “singles” “get-to-know-ya” socials games after. The about Tri Sports group. However, he says Tri Sports private sector sports leagues like ourselves stopped counting at more than 200 marjust eat, breathe and sleep this stuff. We’re Most popular sport riages through the interaction of the going to be putting every ounce of effort Kickball social sports network. into the customer service aspect. Second most popular “Most of our participants are single, “Most people find out about us but we’re open to married couples,” he through word of mouth,” added Broomball said. “Single people in general have the Lefebvre. “It has been the purist form of The latest craze time and inclination and resources to get viral marketing that I can think of. People Cornhole out. People keep sending me emails saying, really, really spread the gospel about us and ‘Hey, we met in your club, thanks so much.’ I am thankful for that.” Most competitive We’re thrilled with that.” Who joins? “We’ll get a fresh batch Flag Football Participation in Tri Sports leagues of kids out of college every year because are a la carte, with no yearly or monthly eventually they need social connections, Top Niche Sports membership fees. For example, a 10-week again and we are a perfect replacement Lawn Olympics; league may cost anywhere between $45-$60 for those kind of avenues,” he said. “And Skeeball depending on the sport, and participation people who are young and single and just is year-round going from fields to gyms to moved here are mostly who we see, but Favorite bar sport: ice rinks, and back outdoors again when some people have been here for a while Flip Cup the weather participates. and just heard about us. We would love for New sports for 2014 Tri Sports offers more “unique” them to give us a try. Bubble Soccer; sports than local parks and recreation in “If we are successful that means we towns scattered across the Triangle, while are helping people find friends and a social Foot Golf adding a major social aspect. support system to the point where they “What we offer is so focused on the might not need us anymore, so we do need social aspect; parks and recreation departnew customers constantly. We hope people ments could never do that,” Levebvre said. “They won’t be come back as married couples. We’ve also had our fair inviting their leagues to a restaurant where they would be amount of people come back to us after divorces and want buying them a round of drinks. They are not organizing to get tied back into the social scene.”
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Unified North Hills Banners are a Colorful New Addition as Three Districts are United
OD RIV E LE
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isitors to Raleigh’s North Hills now have a colorful new way to maximize their shopping, dining and entertainment experience. Handsome, color-coded banners now adorn the elegant light posts throughout the Midtown Raleigh shopping destination, lending a strong sense of place to each of its three distinct sections. In the location bordered by Lassiter Mill Road to the north and Six Forks Road to the east, blue banners labeled “Main District” will welcome visitors to the area that features the oldest department store in Raleigh, JCPenney, which served as an anchor during the area’s dramatic rebirth over the past decade. The Main District is also home to a beautifully appointed hotel rich in amenities, a 14-screen movie theatre, a commons area for gathering and socializing, and an impressive array of dining and shopping destinations. Just to the north of Lassiter Mill Road is the area known as the “Lassiter District,” which is now easily identified by its rich pink banners. Flanked by Pamlico Drive to the west and Rowan Street to the north, The Lassiter District is home to additional retail and dining options, as well as residences. A quick stroll or drive to the east side of Six Forks Road, and you can head south into the “Park District,” a destination that features a grocery store and myriad dining, entertainment and residential offerings, as well as a planned park that is sure to be enjoyed by North Hills residents and visitors alike upon its completion. The Park District, bordered by State Street and Saint Albans Drive to the north and east, boasts cheerful green banners throughout. Patrice Bethea, North Hills Marketing Manager for Kane Realty Corporation, is excited by what the banners represent. “We’ve known for some time that North Hills visitors and residents would benefit by being able to identify the three distinct areas, especially with all the growth we’ve seen over the past few years,” she said. “The banners not only provide better way-finding, but they have given us an attractive way to unify the whole area.” The banners were installed in November and have been very well received by visitors as well as merchants, many of whom say they are happy to be able to provide better directions to their businesses. Bethea said all of the on-site directories now feature color-coding for the districts, enabling all who visit to quickly get their bearings and find exactly what they are looking for. On your next visit to North Hills, simply look up to get a glimpse of the area’s newest feature. It’s going to be a banner year at North Hills!
By Jenni Hart
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EX IT 8A EXIT
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e r A s w e … i e v r e ’ R y e e h h T T d n a In
? E K FA By Jenni Hart
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Have you ever chosen a restaurant based solely on its online reviews? According to an early 2013 survey conducted by Dimensional Research, nine out of 10 consumers say their buying decisions are influenced by online ratings and review sites. Because such sites are vulnerable to deceptive users, it’s important to approach them with a healthy bit of skepticism. Yelp, one of the most popular online directory and review sites, has admitted that up to a quarter of the reviews it receives may be fabricated. Yelp’s automated filter uses sophisticated algorithms to identify and delete fake reviews, but a company spokesman recently conceded that the system is not foolproof, and that some fake reviews still get posted, while some genuine reviews get filtered out mistakenly.
several years ago. One of his many responsibilities included monitoring the new restaurant’s online reputation and responding to posted complaints when possible. He quickly learned that some complaints were authentic but unreasonable, and that others were altogether fake. “When you pour your heart and soul into opening a new restaurant, and work 60-hour weeks just to finalize the menu and train your servers to provide the best possible experience, it kind of breaks your heart to read a bad review,” he says. Michael said he understands that criticism is sometimes warranted, but he grew concerned when he felt customers had exaggerated their complaints to the point of not being truthful.
What does this mean for consumers and business owners? For the average person visiting these sites hoping to find a good restaurant or hotel, online reviews may influence a single purchase. Although a disappointing dining experience isn’t ideal, it’s not catastrophic either. For a business owner, however, fake negative reviews can be unfair as well as financially crippling. Michael, a former manager at a Triangle restaurant, played a pivotal role in opening a new venue for his employer
Above all, Michael was disappointed when he learned that customers who complained online hadn’t approached their server or manager during their meal. “I would have done everything in my power to make it up to them,” he says. “No one I worked with would have wanted a customer to leave upset.” How many bad reviews can a restaurant receive before it starts to impact their bottom line? According to a recent report titled Fake It Till You Make It: Reputation, Competition, and Yelp Review Fraud, a midtownmag.com | 105
single additional star in a restaurant review can mean an added 10 percent in revenue. In the restaurant business, a 10 percent revenue variation is significant. If you are a small business or restaurant owner, you may be wondering what you can do to ensure your business is getting accurate and favorable reviews. While it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate fakes, it can help to flag a review you believe is suspicious or contact the site with your concerns. According to reputation advisers and public relations professionals, a more effective strategy is to focus on the “organic” method of curating a favorable reputation. This means focusing on providing the highest quality product or service and ensuring all employees are trained to exceed customers’ expectations.
Advice for Business Owners: •
Monitor your online reputation for areas that may need attention; think of a complaint as an opportunity to improve.
Bad customer service often inspires the worst reviews and ratings, so train employees on the importance of excellent customer service.
Actively engage customers and the community through social media to cultivate good will and positive perceptions.
Understand that ratings and reviews provide a snapshot of your business, but building a good reputation takes time and ongoing effort.
Be a good steward: devote time and a portion of your profits to an important cause; communicate your desire to be a caring, involved member of the local community.
Flag and report suspected fake reviews.
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The practice of fabricating information to influence a business’s reputation is called astroturfing, so named because it is the opposite of an authentic, or “grassroots” message generated by an objective source.
employee, whereas fake positive reviews are usually posted by the company, an agency acting on behalf of the company, or a family member or friend of the owner. Whether negative or positive, these reviews undermine the trust of the public, which is increasingly turning to crowd-sourced ratings and comments from sites like Yelp, Google Places, Yahoo Local and Angie’s List to guide their purchases. It is nearly impossible to know for sure if the review you’re reading is fake, but there are some tips to keep in mind.
Advice for Consumers: •
Beware of a review containing extreme language – either positive or negative.
Understand that 100 reviews of a business will provide a more accurate overall picture than five reviews. This is just a statistical reality.
Look for user profiles with an established history of reviews. A user whose history shows just a single review may indicate deception.
Look for specific details that you consider important, such as unique menu items or special offers. A negative review due to a limited wine selection shouldn’t influence you if you don’t drink wine, for example.
If the business is local, ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. Word of mouth can be a more trustworthy source than the Internet.
Finally, as a consumer, you should know that your own contributions to review sites can help improve both the reality and the perception of crowd-sourcing. When you take the time to submit an honest, detailed, constructive review of a business, you can lessen the impact of a fake review and help others make better, more informed decisions.
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Eat Your Heart Out!
Share the love with these fabulous and fun twists on lip 'smackin dishes that will make your heart go pitter patter. recipes chef mario copy darcy brennan-huante Photography april maness photography
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Chocolate Mousse Makes 10-12 servings Ingredients 1 cup chocolate chips [ Divide in two â€“ see notes* [ 4 cups heavy cream Âž cup sugar 2 tsp vanilla
3 egg whites 2 Tbsp sugar Directions 1. Heat 1 inch water in bottom half of a double boiler over medium low heat. 2. Place chocolate chips in top half of double boiler. Allow chocolate to melt slowly for about 5-10 minutes and keep them runny and ready to mix into the chocolate. 3. Place heavy cream in a well-chilled bowl and whisk until cream starts to thicken. [ 4. *Divide whipped cream in half. Half of this unsweetened whipped cream is for IN the mousse and the other sweetened half is for piping on top of the mousse. 5. Sprinkle sugar over one half of the cream; add vanilla. Continue to whisk until stiff peaks form and set aside for the top of the mousse. 6. Whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks appear. Set aside. For The Mousse 1. Add the melted chocolate to the unsweetened whipped cream and whisk QUICKLY, VIGOROUSLY and THROUGHLY! 2. Add the whipped egg whites to the mousse: fold gently until mixed. 3. Pipe mousse into tumbler cups. 4. Top with a pipe of the remaining whipped cream . For a fun garnish, melt some additional chocolate in a double boiler. Pipe it into the shape of hearts onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Freeze and break pieces off to top mousse.
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with Raspberry Chipotle Glaze Makes about 20 hearts Pastry Ingredients 8 oz cream cheese, softened ²⁄³ cup butter, softened 2 cups all-purpose flour 1½ tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt Pastry Directions 1. Beat together cream cheese & butter in a mixer. 2. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat well until dough comes together. 3. Wrap dough in plastic. Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm. Chorizo Filling Ingredients 1 lb Mexican chorizo sausage 1 medium onion, finely diced ¼ cup maza flour 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese chef mario_nd.pdf
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Raspberry Chipotle Sauce Ingredients 12 oz frozen raspberries 1 Tbsp chipotle puree ½ cup sugar Raspberry Chipotle Sauce Directions 1. Puree raspberry, chipotle and sugar together. 2. Strain to remove the seeds. 3. Serve the sauce on the side.
Chorizo Filling Directions 1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the chorizo and onions until the chorizo crumbles and the onion is cooked through, about 8 minutes. 2. Add maza flour and cook until it thickens. Let cool.
Assembly 1. Roll out the dough to about Âź" thickness in a rectangle shape. 2. Spread the chorizo filling over the dough and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. 3. Roll from both sides so they meet in the center. 4. Put dough on its side and pinch the bottom of the dough to form into a long heart shape. 5. Place in the freezer until firm, about one hour. 6. Slice into Â˝" slices (they should look like hearts now) and place on a foil-lined sheet pan. 7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
with Feta & Spinach Cheese Cake with Arugula Salad Serves 4 Ingredients 2 lbs salmon, cut into 6-inch strips (buy the salmon in a two-pound slab) 1 lb cream cheese, softened 1 egg 1 cup wilted spinach, chopped 1 cup feta cheese salt and pepper to taste 6 cups arugula tossed in an herb vinaigrette (See additional recipe) midtownmag.com | 111
Herb Directions 1. Spray a foil-lined sheet pan with cooking spray. 2. Place salmon strips into the shape of a heart. 3. Whip together the cream cheese and egg and fold in spinach and feta. 4. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Spoon cream cheese mixture into the heart shaped salmon. 6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes, or until cheese mixture is set and salmon is cooked through. 7. Toss arugula with Herb Vinaigrette and pile onto a plate, top with salmon heart and serve!
Vinaigrette Makes approximately 5 cups Ingredients 4 Tbsp rosemary 4 Tbsp oregano ½ cup basil puree 1 cup fresh parsley ½ cup shallots ½ cup sherry 5 Tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp salt 1 tsp pepper 4 Tbsp sugar 2 cups red wine vinegar 2 cups canola oil Directions
1. Place everything except
the canola oil into a blender; liquify for 2 minutes. 2. Pour canola oil in a steady, slow stream. 3. Use caution or the dressing will break or separate.
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Winterfest Wandering What to do when the temperatures drop By Kate Turgeon
abin fever: (noun) stress from confinement or isolation If the holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year,” as the carol suggests, then January has got to be the most “cabin fever” time of the year, right? The indoor-inspired frustration can grow with each falling degree on the thermometer. But downtown Raleigh has a wintry mix of sorts – museums, restaurants and an outdoor ice-skating rink that will leave you looking for your mittens. (Seriously. Don’t forget your gloves. Waterproof, preferably.) Situated at City Plaza on the southern end of Fayetteville Street, the Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest ice-skating rink is open until February 1st. Now in its fifth year of operation, the rink offers a real-ice, outdoor skating experience with the glow of city lights. In addition to regular skating sessions, there are several special events worth their de-icing salt. Friday evenings mean “Rock Around the Rink,” says Lacie Lindstaedt of
the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. Think: skating tunes played by a DJ from 8pm to 10pm Other special happenings are two-for-one priced skating on Tuesdays, says Lindstaedt, and date-and-skate Thursdays, where skaters receive a ride in a
If the ice-skating rink is your destination, why stop there alone? You’re already downtown and there are plenty of options for turning the skating experience into an all-day adventure. Here are some ideas for what to pair with your skating jaunt: For families, especially, sneak in a trip to Marbles Kids Museum before or after ice skating. “It’s a great way to wear kids out,” laughs Lindstaedt. midtownmag.com | 113
Catch a movie at the Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre at Marbles. From “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” to nature documentaries, there are many choices on the big screen. Plan an afternoon at the Nature Research Center, the new 80,000-square-foot wing of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. One bonus with this outing, it’s a free downtown attraction. Who’s hungry? Dinner choices are everywhere, says Lindstaedt. She suggests LaVolta restaurant at City Plaza. “If you’re sitting in the right spot, you can actually watch the skating rink,” she says. “And then go ice skating.” Jimmy V’s Osteria and Bar is just across the street from the skating rink. Situated at the bottom of the newly renovated Sheraton hotel, the restaurant offers an indoor dining room and an open-air patio complete with heaters and a fire pit. “It’s amazing how warm you are,” adds Lindstaedt. (Added bonus: According to its website, the restaurant donates a percentage of its revenue to the V Foundation.) The Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts isn’t just a pretty (scratch that, gorgeous!) face on the Fayetteville Street scene. January brings symphony performances, opera, kids shows (hello, Pinkalicious) and comedy shows.
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horse-drawn carriage. “Winterfest is a one-of-a-kind experience … a way to get families to come downtown and see what it has to offer,” says Lindstaedt, who suggests that skaters always skip the shorts in favor of pants, even if it’s an unseasonably warm day. Friends Kelley Carbery and Sarah Garcia of Sanford brought their children to the rink to ice skate and enjoy the downtown atmosphere. “We needed to get out of the house,” laughs Carbery while sitting on a bleacher, cradling a warm drink and watching her son, eight, and daughter, 11, skate. “I like downtown Raleigh. It’s one of my favorite things about living in this area. They always have fun, outside events … and it’s a nice-size city,” says Carbery, who is originally from St. Louis. “It’s not overwhelming. It’s easy to get around … and the restaurants and museums are great.”
Unfamiliar with downtown parking? Visit www.yourhere.com for a map and parking ideas. Hint: Always check the signs, but generally street parking is free on nights and weekends.
A Together Effort The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in downtown Raleigh By Kate Turgeon
r. Dumas Harshaw, Jr. knows the famous “I Have a Dream” speech by heart. “I love ‘I Have a Dream.’ Memorized it. Know it word by word,” says Harshaw, pastor at Raleigh’s First Baptist Church on Wilmington Street. But it’s not just the words he remembers. He recalls his father’s reaction to the speech that was delivered more than 50 years ago at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington. “I remember coming into the house and I remember my father, who doesn’t show a lot of emotion, sitting in front of a black-and-white television set listening to the live broadcast and sobbing in tears,” says Harshaw. “I thought ‘what in the world is going on?’ I’d never seen my dad show those kinds of emotions. At 12 years old, that was really a turning point for me.” Today Harshaw carries that memory. He says that the
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world has changed some, but Dr. King’s message is still relevant. It’s why he’s an active participant in some of downtown Raleigh’s most noted MLK day gatherings, including the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Memorial March. “The message is still about hope and peace. And all these are assertive. You look at Dr. King … it’s assertive. It’s not a passive kind of response, but assertively entering into dialogue and negotiation and team building, without violence.” In addition to the march, the MLK holiday brings a wreath laying ceremony, interfaith prayer breakfast and ecumenical observance downtown, all of which are organized by the Triangle Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee, which Harshaw chairs. While the events are all important, a special, additional component – service – has been introduced during the last few years. For many, the holiday has turned into an opportunity to
Did you know? First Baptist – Wilmington Street and First Baptist – Salisbury Street share a Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday tradition. For years the two churches have taken turns hosting the annual North Carolina State Employees Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance, which is held the Friday before MLK day. It’s similar to a worship service, with a performance by a choir of state employees and the presentation of the John R. Larkins Award, which is presented to a state government employee who is committed to equality for all and service to the citizens of North Carolina. “The two Baptist churches downtown that began as one family … it really makes sense that we would have something that Dr. King is connected to because he was Baptist,” says Dr. Christopher Chapman, pastor of First Baptist Church on Salisbury Street.
Happenings The Triangle Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee has a decades-long history of organizing events in and around downtown Raleigh. For more information, visit www.trianglemlk.com. Wreath Laying Ceremony January 17th • 6pm • MLK Memorial Gardens at MLK Boulevard and Rock Quarry Road in Raleigh Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast January 20th • 6am (Program at 7:15am) • Sheraton Imperial Hotel, RTP Memorial March January 20th • 11am • Departs from the State Capitol Building, Edenton Street side. (Note from organizers: participation from individuals, community leaders, churches and civic organizations is encouraged.) Ecumenical Observance January 20th • 12pm • Meymandi Hall, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, North Carolina Musical Performance featuring Earnest Pugh January 20th • 5:30pm • Meymandi Hall, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, North Carolina
volunteer and become active. Several downtown organizations host service events. The Alexander Family YMCA on Hillsborough Street hosts a service day for its members. Last year’s event drew 170 people and benefitted Stop Hunger Now. This year Alexander Y volunteers will assemble rice-andbeans packages for Urban Ministries, among additional efforts. Other organizations offer similar volunteer opportunities to commemorate the Dr. King holiday. The Catholic Diocese of Raleigh holds a day of service at Sacred Heart Cathedral downtown. Last year volunteers assembled bags of toiletries for the homeless and imprisoned. Melissa DuCharme attended and brought her (then) 10-year-old daughter, Emily. “I wanted to link to the memory of Martin Luther King with action. I wanted her to think about how we can not only remember him, but also do something to make the world a better place,” says DuCharme, who adds that she and Emily discussed blessings and how they often take simple things, such as soap and toothpaste, for granted. “If she runs out of soap, she just puts it on the grocery list and it ‘magically’ appears on her bathroom counter. I wanted her to realize that many people are less fortunate … and that she can do things to make their lives better.” Across the street from the Cathedral, the Shepard’s Table also welcomes volunteers on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Many event organizers say the day of service is a wonderful way to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. with action and that they hope the spirit of coming together and giving will continue throughout the year. “I think the service element is a welcome one. It’s so important for us to be about engagement and relationships of reconciliation … seeking to care for an America that is very diverse and learning how to civilly communicate with one another. We need that for the 21st century. We need that for North Carolina,” says Harshaw. midtownmag.com | 117
Dr. Jorge Obando is the medical director of the Advanced Digestive Care program at Duke Raleigh Hospital.
THE INSIDE Gastrointestinal issues can range from the common to the complex. Duke Raleigh Hospital physicians can handle them all. By Page Leggett
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any of us get the occasional case of heartburn after a big, spicy meal. And for the most part, that’s no more cause for concern than there would be with a stuffy nose. But if the discomfort persists, even a humble case of heartburn can be a sign of something serious. The physicians in Duke Raleigh Hospital’s Advanced Digestive Care Center see and treat everything from a worrisome case of heartburn to complex cancers of the digestive system. “The digestive care program at Duke Raleigh utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to treat complex problems,” Jorge Obando, MD, the program’s medical director and assistant professor of medicine at Duke University, says of the group’s diverse array of experts. Dr. Obando is quick to cite one of his favorite aspects of the program – and it has little to do with advanced diagnostic equipment or even medicine. He says what really sets the program apart is the personalized care given by the patient navigators, whose primary goal is to help guide each patient from an initial consultation to post-treatment follow-up care. It’s the human touch that makes patients feel honored, respected and at ease. Of course, the level of advanced technology matches the level of old-fashioned, personal service. “We can confidently say there is no case too complex for our digestive care program,” Dr. Obando says.
The “heart” of the matter
There’s also no case too simple. Heartburn, for instance. Heartburn can be caused by gastroesophogeal reflux disease, or GERD, for short. GERD is also commonly referred to as acid reflux. While the terms “heartburn” and “GERD” are often used interchangeably, heartburn is actually a symptom of GERD. Whatever you call it, the condition is the abnormal passage of stomach acid into the esophagus (also known as the swallowing tube) that results in a burning sensation behind the breastbone. The symptoms can be very similar to heart disease, although in GERD the heart is not affected. The first and most important step in evaluating a patient with heartburn is to exclude heart disease. According to Michael Feiler, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Duke and a gastroenterologist at Duke GI of Raleigh, that’s because “the symptoms can be quite similar and overlap with each other.” Reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter mechanism fails to keep acid where it belongs – in the stomach – and heartburn can be the result. In other cases, there are foods and habits that can lead to the uncomfortable feeling. Coffee, chocolate, nicotine and alcohol are some of the likely culprits. The condition can be exacerbated by overeating, eating too close to bedtime and eating spicy foods. Being overweight can also contribute. Dr. Feiler frequently treats patients with GERD. “Occasional GERD symptoms are common and often without serious consequence,” he says. “However, GERD can be complicated by the development of esophageal ulcers, narrowing of the esophagus – also known as stricture, respiratory symptoms – for example, laryngitis or a cough – Barrett’s esophagus (a change in the esophageal lining which increases the risk of esophageal cancer) and, midtownmag.com| 119
very rarely, cancer of the esophagus.” “Complications such as these are more common in patients with frequent, troublesome symptoms,” he advises. For the occasional GERD sufferer, over-the-counter remedies such as H2 blockers, like Ranitidine, and proton pump inhibitors, like Omeprazole, can be effective, Dr. Feiler says. But he cautions they should be used as directed and only for limited time periods. “If symptoms fail to respond to the medications, or if long-term use is needed, patients should see their physician to assure their use is appropriate and other conditions are not present.” Antacids, like calcium carbonate, are less effective for treating GERD, he says, and their use should be limited to occasional, mild symptoms. Dr. Feiler says it may be time to seek medical attention for heartburn/GERD if: • • • • • •
GERD is associated with chest pain, especially if there are risk factors for heart disease. GERD is associated with shortness of breath or cough. Symptoms don’t respond to OTC treatments. Patients have difficulty swallowing. Patients have unintentional weight loss, fever or any visible blood in the stool or black stool. Patients have had heartburn for a long time, even if they have been able to control it with medications.
Lifestyle modifications such as avoiding overeating, avoiding eating just before bedtime, elevating the head of the bed at night, limiting caffeine and alcohol intake and quitting smoking may be enough to control mild GERD symptoms. “In patients
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Michael feiler, md (left) ; jorge obando, md (right)
with more severe symptoms, dietary and lifestyle modifications are less likely to completely control the symptoms, but may be a useful adjunct to medical therapy,” Dr. Feiler says.
Patients who come to the center may need to undergo diagnostic tests – but only after a thorough consultation with a physician. When tests are needed, Duke Raleigh’s equipment is positively state-of-the-art. Physicians may order an endoscopy (a scope test to look at the lining of the esophagus and stomach) if complications of GERD are suspected – and to rule out other mimicking disorders. Endoscopy uses video technology to examine the digestive tract. Sometimes, advanced endoscopy may be called for. “Advanced endoscopy is a sub-subspecialty of gastroenterology, and it requires the physician to have more extensive and advanced training through a fellowship,” explains Dr. Obando. “Advanced endoscopy involves using the endoscope and additional tools to perform minimally invasive diagnostic and
therapeutic procedures, including ultrasound examination and biopsy of the GI tract and surrounding organs, bile duct stone extraction and placement of stents to help open a duct that has become too narrow.” Other GI conditions the center diagnoses and treats include hepatobiliary and pancreatic diseases involving the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas and colorectal diseases, including cancerous and noncancerous disorders. Noncancerous disorders may include diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rectal prolapse, chronic constipation or fecal incontinence and complications from hemorrhoids and rectal fistulas. The center is equipped to treat all stages of anal, rectal and colon cancers. If gastroenterologists diagnose cancer, Linda Farkas, MD and Ben Hopkins, MD, are the go-to surgeons. “If we discover cancer,” says Dr. Feiler, “we refer patients to our partners, who are top-notch oncological surgeons. Those surgeons are skilled in sphincter-sparing surgeries that allow patients to avoid permanent colostomies. Minimally invasive procedures are a mainstay of the practice. Dr. Farkas reports that 80 percent of all elective and emergency colon operations are done using minimally invasive techniques. Duke Raleigh’s colorectal team is highly trained to use the most innovative surgical technology to treat colorectal diseases. The procedures include laparoscopic and robotic surgery, sphincter-sparing surgery and transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEMS). Genetic cancer screening is another service the center offers. “We provide access to genetic counselors to help recognize and diagnose families who are at a higher risk for colorectal cancers,” says Dr. Farkas. With early
surveillance, cancer risks can be minimized. Dr. Farkas, who specializes in colorectal surgical oncology, is also interested in the early screening of patients who may be likely to develop colorectal cancer. “Screening is important, but it can’t be relied on exclusively,” she says. “If you have a first-degree relative with colorectal cancer, you should start getting screened earlier. Earlier may mean 40, but if the first-degree relative was young [at the time of diagnosis], high-risk screening may need to start as early as your twenties. If there is a family pattern of multiple cancers including colon, ovarian, uterine, gastric and sebaceous cyst cancers, ask your doctor about getting your first colonoscopy in your twenties.” “Most people diagnosed with colon cancer never exhibit any signs,” she says. “These signs include blood in the stool, abdominal pain, anemia and change in the shape or size of stool. But since many people can have colon cancer and feel their healthiest, screening is recommended even without signs, and the age you start is dependent on your family history and race.” From early screening to diagnosis to treatment, Duke Raleigh physicians and staff are trained to offer the highest level of care – no matter how complex the problem. But that care always begins with one simple act: Talking to the patient. “Our first steps in truly understanding a patient’s complex GI issues involve sitting down to get a full history of symptoms,” says Dr. Obando. “We pride ourselves on being thorough in the diagnostic evaluation of every patient.” Learn more about Duke Raleigh’s advanced digestive care program at dukeraleighhospital.org/adc, or reach a patient navigator at 855.278.7418.
5for you STEPS TO FINDING THE RIGHT
PLASTIC SURGEON BY Michael Law MD / Blue Water Spa
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EDUCATION and TRAINING The details of a surgeon’s education and training should be available on their website. Did the surgeon attended a top medical school and finish at the top of their class with honors? More importantly, at which medical center did the surgeon complete their surgical training and fellowship? Did they attend a top-tier university for their surgical training? The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties that certifies plastic surgeons. The minimum residency training required to be eligible for board certification in plastic surgery is five years. Some surgeons elect to pursue as many as ten years of residency and fellowship training to refine and maximize their surgical skills.
PHOTOS, PHOTOS and MORE PHOTOS Nothing communicates a cosmetic plastic surgeon’s aesthetic sensibility better than their patient photographs. Review as many ‘before and after’ photos as possible! If you don’t see results that appeal to you, or if there aren’t many photos to review, look elsewhere. A surgeon’s photographic technique may help to give you some idea of how much of a perfectionist they are. If ‘before’ and ‘after’ images are consistent in terms of posture, lighting, proportion, camera angle and cropping, take that as evidence that a surgeon is attentive to detail. If photographs are poorly executed and inconsistent, that may provide you some insight on how the practice operates.
SURGICAL FACILITY AND TEAM Only consider a physician who provides surgical care in an accredited facility. The Joint Commission (JCAHO, jointcommission.org) accredits hospitals and some office-based surgical facilities. Other accrediting bodies include AAAASF (aaaahs.org) or AAAHC (aaahc.org). It is your right as a patient to know who will be assisting your surgeon in the operating room. A top-notch OR team could include a board-certified anesthesiologist, certified surgical technicians, a first assistant, specialty trained preop/ intra-op/postop nursing staff (licensed RNs), and a certified, dedicated sterile processing technician.
DON’T GIVE IN TO PRESURE You should be comfortable with the person to whom you are entrusting not only your appearance but also your safety. Choose a physician who listens attentively, and who understands and appreciates your individual needs. Pressure from the doctor or staff to commit to scheduling surgery, discounts offered if you schedule by a certain date, or surgical financing plans that are pushed aggressively could all be red flags that should not be ignored. The emphasis during a consultation should be to inform you about the surgery and recovery. If the emphasis seems to be getting you to schedule surgery very quickly, take a step back and take your time.
PRIVACY PLEASE High-profile and discerning patients prefer a private first floor entrance. If privacy is important to you, make sure that it is possible to enter and leave the practice without getting stuck in a lobby, elevator or stairwell. Practices accustomed to treating high-profile patients have transportation and accommodation options that ensure patients’ privacy. midtownmag.com| 123
ater and red wine get all the glory, but a cup of tea can also offer remarkable health benefits. Teas may reduce the risk of heart attack, help prevent some cancers and help prevent cavities and kidney stones. When consumed daily, oolongs have been shown to drop blood sugar levels significantly, which can help prevent diabetes. This varietal may also aid in digestion and weight loss. And, white tea appears to kill bacteria and viruses in the body and inhibit the development of new fat cells. Japanese greens are a favorite at the tea shop because of their purity and vibrant nature. Since most Japanese teas are steamed, they give a certain taste characteristic that no other tea in the world can claim – buttery, sweet and with hints of brine. Each type of tea comes from the same plant, so you can expect similar health benefits from all. But they’re not identical. You can match your tea of choice to whatever ails you. The main categories, and the health benefits they can provide, are:
Sympathy by Tin Roof Teas
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White teas, harvested primarily in China, contain more antioxidants than any other tea. This tea helps in reducing cholesterol, decreasing blood pressure and improving the function of blood vessels, which may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. White tea is light and sweet and may have subtle flavors of steamed bok choy, cucumber, butternut squash and melons.
Green teas may reduce certain types of cancers such as breast, prostate, ovarian and endometrial. It may also lower total cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Chinese green teas are light and nutty and can have a hint of toasted walnuts. Japanese green teas have base notes of spinach and nori, with light lemony notes.
Oolong teas’ benefits may include weight management, healthy skin and bones and controlling of diabetes. Oolong tea flavors range from mild grassiness to buttery, floral notes.
Black tea consumption may reverse coronary heart disease and reduce cholesterol.
Rooibos is completely caffeine-free and has a high antioxidant level. It is purported to assist with nervous tension, allergies and digestive issues.
Many people have seasonal preferences in tea. White Chai and Sweet Cinnamon black tea are two favorites this time of year. Ginger and cinnamon are immune system boosters: Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and flu, and Chinese medicine uses cinnamon as a natural remedy for coughs and colds. If you’re looking to prevent a cold, there are a few ingredients to look for in your tea: •
Ginger may help relieve chest and nasal congestion and speed recovery from cold and flu.
Peppermint may help relieve congestion and encourage productive coughs. The oil in peppermint leaves may also have antiviral benefits.
Mate contains vitamin C, which may enhance immune system function. This tea contains caffeine, which may interfere with restful sleep.
Greek Mountain tea, also known as sideritis and ironwart, is most notably used to combat colds, respiratory problems and immune system deficiencies. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory and to reduce fever.
When you make tea part of a healthy lifestyle, you may stay healthier in the winter. The nurturing nature of tea is perfect for this season – and all year long.
treatable by carolina vascular
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veryone knows that varicose veins are unsightly, but for many, varicose veins are a source of daily discomfort that affect our ability to work, exercise and sleep. Up to 20 percent of people with varicose veins may develop debilitating skin changes secondary to these diseased veins. Normal veins are able to return blood back to the heart due to valves that only permit a one-way flow of blood. When these valves no longer function properly, blood backs up into the veins, which then become enlarged. Symptoms include dull pain, heaviness, tiredness, itching, burning, swelling and night cramps. Symptoms are typically worse by the end of the day. Restless legs at night are commonly due to varicose veins. Women are affected by symptomatic varicose veins at nearly twice the rate of men. Pregnancy is commonly associated
with the appearance of varicose veins, with each subsequent pregnancy more likely to result in varicose veins. Exercise, weight loss, leg elevation and use of compression hose may improve symptoms. Studies have shown, however, that over 90% of patients are either not made better or are made worse by compression hose. Definitive treatment is directed toward eliminating the abnormal veins. If you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms, or are just unhappy with the way your legs look, evaluation by a physician specializing in vein treatment is recommended. Before seeing a doctor be certain that they participate in your insurance network. Physicians that are not part of your insurance network may be able to offer their services, but will be far more costly. If you have questions regarding insurance coverage you can check with your insurance provider, your human resources department, or even a potential medical practice. Your initial exam should include an ultrasound of your legs, looking to find the location of abnormal valves. Once you have undergone an exam of your legs your physician should discuss available treatment options with you. As part of your initial evaluation either the physician or an assistant should discuss with you what is or is not covered by your specific insurance policy. As a general rule, if you are having daily symptoms and have veins that are over 3mm in size with an abnormal carolina vascular_nd.pdf 1 9/27/13 4:11 ultrasound, PM
you will be eligible for insurance coverage for treatment of your condition. However, some patients may have only very small veins (spider veins), but are symptomatic and have an abnormal ultrasound and thus are covered by their insurance. For that reason, an ultrasound should be part of almost every evaluation. Currently, the preferred treatment of larger veins involves a minimally invasive office-based procedure using either a laser or heat to close the vein. Using local anesthesia, a small catheter is placed inside the vein and pulses of laser energy or heat are used to seal the vein from the inside without the need for even an incision. Sclerotherapy is used to treat smaller veins and involves injecting a chemical into the vein. This chemical irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to shut down. Over time the body will reabsorb the injected vein. In some patients with larger varicose veins, a minimally invasive surgical procedure is used to remove the abnormal veins. This is known as a phlebectomy. All of these procedures are performed in an outpatient setting with minimal downtime. Before making any decisions about how best to treat your varicose veins be certain to ask about what treatment options are available, benefits of treatment, potential complications and costs. Feel free to ask your physician about their background, training and number of procedures they have performed. Remember, they are your legs and you have a choice. See an expert.
The Exercise For Everyone by Elisa Buxbaum, certified pilates teacher, Pulse Pilates
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eam sports aren’t for everyone. Crowded classes at the gym are not everyone’s cup of tea. But Pilates has great value for the masses. The practice can benefit anyone – athletes, kids, seniors – and those just looking to get fit. Pilates is even used to help people prevent or recover from injury. When practiced regularly, Pilates can improve physical and mental wellbeing, core strength, muscle tone, circulation, posture, balance and coordination. People hooked on Pilates often rave about their strong, flat core, toned buttocks and thighs, and long, lean muscles. I’ve been a devotee since the early 1990s when I was performing with a modern dance company in New York. The dancers and I used to head to the Pilates studio to work on our core strength and condition our overworked muscles. It was a great complement to my dance training, and it also helped increase my endurance by teaching me the proper way to breathe. Pilates is more than an exercise regime; it becomes a way of life. Pilates helps us control movement in all directions by strengthening the muscles of the core to support the spine. A good reformer class is all you need for full-body
strengthening and stretching, which creates long, lean muscles. (The “reformer,” invented by Joseph Pilates, has a bed-like frame with a flat platform called a carriage that rolls back and forth and is attached at one end by a set of springs. Pilates practitioners pull long straps with handles, using different levels of resistance, to move the carriage.) Even though my dancing career came to an end, my love for Pilates continues. I started my own Pilates studio in 2011 to encourage people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels to feel great about themselves and get a great workout. It is a judgment-free atmosphere where everyone works to his or her own potential. A typical Pilates class is 55 minutes long and works the entire body – but with a primary focus on the core and breath. Usually, practitioners wear yoga pants or leggings and a workout top or tee shirt. The workout is performed barefoot. You’ll leave class feeling energized, refreshed and relaxed. That’s all by design. Joseph Pilates, who invented the exercise, suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever as a boy. Because of his sickly childhood, he was committed to improving his fitness as an adult. He was a skier, diver, gymnast and boxer. In World War I, he helped bedridden patients regain strength and muscle control by adapting hospital beds with pulleys, straps and springs. He came to the United States from Germany in 1926 and opened his own studio, where he taught the exercises that would come to bear his name. He encouraged the use of the mind to control muscles and focused on postural muscles to support the spine. While Pilates doesn’t have to be strenuous, you can push yourself to ever higher levels. Classes vary in intensity, but a good sweat can always be had if that’s one of your goals. Pilates offers invaluable benefits – both physical and mental. Few sports have universal appeal. But in my experience, virtually everyone who tries Pilates gets hooked. midtownmag.com| 129
Technology Make Sense BY cii technology solutions
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hange is the only thing constant in the realm of technology. Every day the world gives us a new gadget, application, trend, or update to experience. It’s challenging to keep pace with technologies in times when they are constantly evolving. Some of the experts from Cii discuss what is currently trending, and how to keep your business technologically relevant. Make Way for Mobile By the end of 2013, there will be more hand-held devices than people on Earth. Is your business as mobile as your customer base? Today’s web browsing customers want to find your information quickly, without pinching a screen or scrolling all over the place. In one thumb click, clients should be able to see your business’ name, phone number, address and email. Internally, why not enable your employees to put their mobile devices to work? Mobile
apps streamline business processes, aid in remote data collection, and make information immediately available to your employees that would otherwise be locked behind a firewall. BYOD (Bring your own device) policies are becoming more and more commonplace, and companies should effectively utilize these resources. Ian Hoppes, Director of Application Development
Where is IT? In-house, out-of-house, a mixture of the two? Today’s businesses, with high-tech needs and limited budgets, are faced with tough decisions. Cloud technologies, open source, social media, BYOD and virtualization have decision makers re-thinking and retooling their technology options. It is difficult for internal managers to keep pace with the rising complexity of current technologies and the daily onslaught of new opportunities in the marketplace. Increasingly, businesses of all sizes are consulting with and outsourcing to managed IT service teams to stay up-to-date. Open access to experienced technology experts, regardless of the tech concern of the day, puts those companies at a strategic advantage. Mike Taylor, Director of IT
Smooth and Simple That’s how we’d all love to describe how our business runs, right? Unfortunately, technology is complex and rapidly evolving, leaving many areas where errors can occur, and little time to fix them. Customers demand realtime, around the clock responses – and with so many options available to them, if your company cannot deliver, another company will. To maintain a competitive edge, your employees need to be connected and able to conduct business anytime, anywhere. Cloud sharing, mobile apps, video meetings and virtualization make boundless conncection a reality, keeping life smooth and simple for all company stakeholders. Chris Allen, COO
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coming up in the next Great Getaways There are so many wonderful things to do in and around the great state of North Carolina and beyond! We’ll show you where to go. It’s never too early to plan that summer getaway, so get your map out and take notes.
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Spring Fashion Yes, it’s probably cold as you are reading this, but in our March/April issue it is time for our annual Spring Fashion shoot. Our favorite local boutiques show us what we must have for spring to look “hot”!
Realtors! It’s that time of year to get your home on the market before summer arrives! We will provide you the information you need and the realtors who can help.
50 Reasons – Part Two Don’t miss part two of the 50 Reasons why we love the Triangle. Our own Dan Bain has asked for reader input, so be sure to check out why you love it here!
Midtown Reviews | Bain’s Beat | Calendar of Events | Healthy You living well | on the scene | Midtown Mingles | and much more!
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To learn how you can help or donate to support Scott-Free’s mission, please visit www.scott-free.org.
Growing Together T
By Joshua Gruder
he 2013 summer camp season marked the sixth year of operations for The Scott-Free Scholarship Foundation. Since 2008, Scott-Free, a local 501(c) (3) in Raleigh has provided more than 275 summer camp and summer learning experiences to deserving at-risk youth. 2013 has been a year of significant growth and accomplishment for both Scott-Free and the youth it serves. Responding to an increasing need for its services, Scott-Free is laying the groundwork to extend the program’s reach and strengthen its effectiveness in the coming year. Scott-Free offers programs that enhance academic success and promote positive growth and development in children ages eight to 17 years old. Through community referrals and various outreach initiatives, at-risk children are
identified in an effort to provide enriching experiences that they would otherwise miss out on. Forty-eight percent of children in North Carolina reside in families with low socioeconomic status, many times facing prolonged exposure to toxic stress and adversity which can have lasting effects on children’s cognitive development and emotional maturity. Deteriorating employment opportunities and recent state legislation in North Carolina have only increased the pressure these families face. By offering new opportunities and cultivating existing talents, Scott-Free campers are gaining self-awareness and leadership skills that will help them at home, in their academic careers, and throughout their lives. Summer camp provides unique educational activities that cannot be obtained in the classroom, and parents of children who attend summer camp report that their children set higher goals, are more confident, more independent, and have higher self-esteem. These traits are proven to drive student success. The value of the organization’s mission has never been more evident than listening to a camper tell her story and the impact Scott-Free has had on her life, in front of a packed crowd at the Raleigh Convention Center. “I may not have money, but I do have time and I can dedicate that to helping others. These are habits that I will carry into adulthood because of Scott-Free.” Tina (name changed), a three-year Scott-Free camper who two years prior was painfully introverted after being the victim of repeated bullying at school, proudly showcased her growth and self-confidence. Over the last year, Scott-Free campers (and alumni) have been accepted into early college programs, graduated into a “counselors-in-training” at camp, and received college scholarships for talent and skills developed during Scott-Free summer camp experiences. The organization has made similar strides recently, from launching its Grant Writing Internship Program in conjunction with UNC Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health to being honored as the financial beneficiary of Raleigh’s inaugural World of Art Showcase in October. In 2014, the organization will focus significant efforts on program outreach and awareness, including a concentrated effort in North Carolina’s Latino communities. In a perfect world there would be no need for an external support system like Scott-Free. Unfortunately, the need exists; but with the continued support of a caring and capable community, the joys of the summer camp experience can be realized by more than just a privileged few. midtownmag.com| 133
John Hardy visits Fink’s Jewelers at North Hills
photography © Sandra Hughes Benton
On Thursday, November 21st Guy Bedarida, head designer for John Hardy, visited Fink’s Jewelers at North Hills. The John Hardy team brought an expanded selection of merchandise, including one-of-a-kind Cinta pieces made by Guy himself. The designer hand-engraved all John Hardy pieces purchased or brought in by customers that night.
Wine, Game and Cars at Midtown Grille
Midtown Grille hosted a dinner pulling together ‘Wine, Game and Cars’. Chef James prepared game food which included venison and quail. Five dishes were paired with Trefethen wines. The event was hosted by Rory Ingram of the Ingram Collection and Loren Trefethen. Restaurant manager, Max Trujillo, is taking the restaurant in a new direction.
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holiday home tour & party
The 13th Annual Holiday Home Tour & Party to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Wake County was held November 24th. Honorary Chairs Meredith Kittrell and Chris Wagner helped to raise more than $95,000 to support Habitat’s mission. The event features a tour of Habitat homes before returning to the Habitat ReStore in Raleigh for music and dinner from 42nd Street Oyster Bar.
Downtown comes to midtown
Midtown Art Consultants partnered with the Mahler Fine Art and Adam Cave Fine Art to present “Downtown Comes to Midtown”, a fundraising art show and sale for Alliance Medical Ministry on November 8th. All donators to Alliance Medical Ministry received a 10% discount on art. John Kane Realty provided matching funds for Alliance. Great art, great music, great crowd, great fun!
North Hills begins the Holiday Season North Hills kicked off the Christmas season on November 23rd. The day began with Ruth’s Chris’ Wine Race, Holiday Sip & Shop, and finished with the 9th Annual Tree Lighting Celebration. Fun for everyone, thousands of attendees enjoyed the vendor village, sledding slopes, crafts, train rides, holiday characters, Mrs. Claus, and Santa Claus as he lit the tree.
affordable chic open house
On Saturday, December 7th, Affordable Chic Shops had their annual Holiday Open House. The day was filled with good food, good music and even better customers. Many memories were shared while talking about the five years of Christmas celebrations at Affordable Chic Shops.
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Pet-a-Palooza at lafayette village
photography ÂŠ New Image Studio
On Saturday, November 9th, pet lovers celebrated Pet-A-Palooza at Lafayette Village. The pet-friendly village celebrated all day long with a fashion show, live music, food, fun and more! Pet lovers also got the chance to test their competitive side with a chili cook-off and cornhole tournament from Cornhol-Express.
Evening of hope for midtown
The 2013 Evening of Hope, organized by the Foundation of Hope, supports research and treatment of mental illness . The gala was held September 26th at The Pavilion at The Angus Barn. Guests enjoyed award winning actress and author Mariel Hemingwayâ€™s keynote speech and book signing, along with a five-course dinner prepared by iron chef Walter Royal. 136 | midtownmag.com
IF YOU LOVE MIDTOWN...
COME JOIN THE CONVERSATION!
doTHISbetter By dan bain
Christmas is over, folks, and we all have to face the unhappy task eventually; follow these steps to minimize the heartache:
Tree 2. Bottoms up! Start removing ornaments at the bottom of the tree, so you won’t knee them off as you reach for the topmost ones. Remove the lights one string at a time, and wind each one around your forearm, securing the middle with a rubber band or pipe cleaner to avoid tangles.
Valentine’s Day Plan a better
1. Clean up! This goes for you, your place, and your car. Buy a new shirt. Shave. Trim those nosehairs and nails. Break out the vacuum. She’ll notice, and it will mean a lot to her.
2. Get the restaurant details right. Make reservations well in advance, to ensure you get the right time. Avoid mainstream, busy, and/or loud places, and opt for something small and quiet, with romantic lighting. 3. Focus on her! Open doors for her, give her roses before you head out, and pay attention to her. Look into her eyes, and listen to what she says. Compliment her. Make sure she knows you care about her, and about her needs.
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3. Lay a big sheet on the floor. Empty the needles from the skirt and towels into the sheet. Sweep extras onto it, as well. Remove excess water from the stand with a turkey baster, then tip the tree onto the sheet, remove the stand, wrap the sheet around the tree, and have someone help you carry the bundle to the curb. Unroll and shake out the sheet, and come back in to a clean house!
1. Catch the needles. Replace the tree skirt with some loose towels or a sheet, to catch falling needles and cushion falling ornaments.
Trying to find that special someone before Valentine’s Day? If you’re looking online, you want your profile to stand out; use these marketing tips to combine copy and images that pop: 1. Watch your words. Avoid vague, meaningless phrases, like laid-back, easygoing, funny, cool, and awesome. Instead, paint a picture by comparing, not describing, yourself. You’re not funny, you have Dave Barry’s wit. You’re not smart, you’re part Neil Degrasse Tyson. 2. Tell stories instead of building lists.
Do you like riding a bike and watching college basketball, or did you compete in three 100k bike races last year, and do you annually DVR every game of the NCAA Tourney, so you can take off a day or two each week to watch them all?
4. Be careful with your photos. Make sure they’re in focus, and don’t have a mess (or ex-girlfriend) in the background. Match the photo to what you want – no party pics if you’re looking for a serious relationship, etc.
3. Tell the truth! On the flip-side, don’t overshare. It’s called “Too Much Information” for a reason.
5. Get a third party’s perspective. Ask a friend to look it over and help you punch it up a little.
Sources: mensfitness.com, goodhousekeeping.com, askmen.com