Brian O'Neill Embracing His NFL Opportunity
Boom Times for Delaware City?
Farming The Future Inspiring initiatives by several forward-thinking nonprofits
AUGUST 2019 COMPLIMENTARY
Area Bars Scoring With Soccer Fans
Brandywine Valley 6th Annual
Experience the best of area upscale dining with prix-fixe menus
• Agave • Bardea Food & Drink • Brandywine Prime • Buckley’s Tavern • Columbus Inn • Domaine Hudson • Harry’s Savoy Grill • Hearth Kitchen
• La Fia Bistro • Market Kitchen & Bar • Piccolina Toscana • The Back Burner • The Green Room • Tonic Bar & Grille • V & M Bistro • Walter’s Steakhouse
• Krazy Kat’s
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Monika Lopez & Pat Hinton
Creative District’s Mural Squad
The Outspoken! Open Mic
Shipyard Summer Concerts
John Singletary’s Anahata
3rd Annual Celerybration
Riverfront Blues Festival
Best of Delaware
Pawpaw Folk Festival
Downtown Brew Fest
Delaware Burger Battle
Bellevue End of Summer Bash
August 1 & 15
August 3 & 4
Delaware Taco Festival 2 for specials August 17 & 18
August 6 & 7
August 27 & 28
2 INSIDE 2
Out & About Magazine Vol. 32 | No. 6
Published each month by TSN Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing & business address: 307 A Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
Publisher Gerald duPhily • firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Publications Jim Hunter Miller • email@example.com
Contributing Editor Bob Yearick • firstname.lastname@example.org Production Manager Matthew Loeb, Catalyst Visuals, LLC Creative Director Tyler Mitchell, Catalyst Visuals, LLC Contributing Designers David Hallberg, Catalyst Visuals, LLC Blair Lindley, Catalyst Visuals, LLC Contributing Writers Adriana Camacho-Church, Mack Caldwell, Cindy Cavett, Mark Fields, Pam George, Lauren Golt, Jordan Howell, Rob Kalesse, Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Dan Linehan, Dillon McLaughlin, Ken Mammarella, John Murray, Larry Nagengast, Kevin Noonan, Leeann Wallett
Contributing Photographers Jim Coarse, Justin Heyes and Joe del Tufo/Moonloop Photography, Butch Comegys, Lindsay duPhily, Anthony Santoro, Matt Urban Distribution David Hazardous Special Projects Sarah Green, Bev Zimmermann Interns Kaleigh Hanson, Nathan Hawk, Allanna Peck
7 War on Words 9 Learn 10 By The Numbers 11 FYI 12 Worth Recognizing 13 Revolutionary Connection 15 Stunt Man Anthony Mecca
44 Sips 45 Mispillion Brewery 49 A Toast to Craft Producers 52 Spirited
FOCUS 17 Farming The Future 22 Boom Times for Del. City? 27 Brian O’Neill’s NFL journey
EAT 31 Ubon’s Wit Milburn 36 Bites
WILMINGTON 37 On The Riverfront 40 In The City 42 Art Loop
FEATURES 17 The New Metrics of Farming
Inspiring initiatives by several forward-thinking area nonprofits.
63 Movie Reviews
By Ken Mammarella
LISTEN 53 Amillion Mayfield 57 5 Questions with Little Feat 59 Teretta Howard 60 Tuned In
PLAY 65 Soccer Bars 69 Snap Shots
Printed on recycled paper.
Cover: West End Neighborhood House’s Bright Spot Farms GROW Program: L-R: Emma Groman, Adrienne Grant, Bright Spot Farms GROW program director Sindhu Siva, Amir Watkins, Nicole Jones, Kea Mathis, Keivon Powell, Zeniah Holland, Marcellis Jones, Kaliyah Davenport-Chaney, Kai Davenport-Chaney, Jorden Smith, Emma Ford. Photo by Jim Coarse.
22 Boom Times At Last? Delaware City in midst of its biggest redevelopment in living memory. By Dan Linehan
27 All Grown Up The transition from Sallies to the NFL has been a joy ride for Brian O’Neill. By Bob Yearick
31 Fascinated By Flavor Wit Milburn fuses ethnic cuisine with spice and a whole lot of fun. By Pam George
65 Getting Their Kicks In increasing numbers, soccer fans are flocking to area sports bars. By Kevin Noonan
Editorial & advertising info: 302.655.6483 • Fax 302.654.0569 outandaboutnow.com • email@example.com AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
A writer/editor’s slightly snarky and relentless crusade to eliminate grammatical gaffes from our everyday communications
Compiled from the popular column in Out & About Magazine
THE WAR ON WORDS A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse
By Bob Yearick
Media Watch • In USA Today, Mick Cronin, new basketball coach at UCLA, said: “I caught an interview where coach Wooden said only the guy who immediately proceeded him (Gene Bartow) would have to deal with that [Wooden’s legacy].” Cronin meant succeeded, of course. • Tyrone Johnson, producer on the Mike Missanelli Show (97.5 The Fanatic): “We gave away less prizes today.” Like many people, he doesn’t seem to know that “fewer” should be used when referring to plurals. • From presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke in The New Yorker: “I almost could care less” (about where he stands on the political spectrum). The phrase is couldn’t care less. • Subhead in the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Burlco drug dealer sold the heroin that lead to a Marlton teen girl’s death.” The past tense of the verb lead is led. • Also in the Inky, Joe Douglas, former vice president of player personnel for the Eagles, said this about running back Donnel Pumphrey: “Lightening feet, great feet . . .” We’re sure Joe pronounced lightning correctly, but the writer added an e. • And apparently the editors of Entertainment Weekly don’t read “War.” The cover slug line for the Summer Preview Issue was “The Kids Are Alright.” As we know (Don’t we, dear readers?), all right is two words.
Prone, supine, prostrate All three words refer to body positioning, with slight differences. Prone generally means lying face down, supine means lying face up, and prostrate means stretched out lying flat, face down, often submissively. The words also have other uses: “Prone" can mean “having a tendency” and connotes vulnerability, while “supine” suggests a “willful inactivity or lethargy.”
Mixed Metaphors Metaphors are effective if used correctly, but they lose much of their power when mixed. Two examples: • In the National Geographic Channel’s The Hot Zone, one character speaks of another having “hitched herself to the wrong horse.” The correct term is “don’t hitch your horse to the wrong wagon.” • A talk show host on 97.5 The Fanatic said that a coach “should have fallen on his shield.” He meant “fallen on his sword” as an indication of guilt, or accepting blame. He was mixing that phrase with “come home with your shield or on it”—the admonition of Spartan mothers as their sons marched off to battle.
How Long, Oh Lord, How Long? (In which we feature the misuse of that most maligned punctuation mark, the apostrophe) A Coppertone ad contains this line: “You’re gonna’ love this.” No, we’re not. What possible purpose does the apostrophe serve here?
Literally of the Month Mike Wolfe, on American Pickers, excited about discovering a 1950s Austin Healy: “I’m literally in the stratosphere to have found this!” Courtesy of reader Larry Kirchner.
Sign at Metro Diner. “Reeses” is missing an apostrophe (Reese’s), and it’s “a la mode.”
Department of Redundancies Dept. On his radio show, Dan Patrick, one of our regulars, recently uttered the phrase “the general consensus.” Consensus means “a general agreement.” Could have been worse. He could have used the even wordier “general consensus of opinion.” Jim Jackson, sometime radio play-by-play guy and postgame host for the Phillies, recently used that old Yogi Berraism “déjà vu all over again.” Can we retire this tired redundancy? Déjà vu means “the feeling that one already had this experience,” so “all over again” is unnecessary. And finally, we give you the most redundant name in sports: The Los Angeles Angels, which translates to “the the angels angels.”
Of Pet Peeves In a Q&A in USA Today, Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors was asked: “How good of a golfer are you?” And we frequently hear the phrase “not that big of a deal.” The of in both those instances is unnecessary and demonstrates a lack of literary sophistication. As one of the writers at The Grammarphobia blog points out, “An extra word can be justified if it serves an emphatic or supportive purpose, as in ‘first time ever’ or ‘three different times.’ Adding of to ‘not that big a deal’ and ‘not that good a movie’ serves no emphatic or supportive purpose.”
Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords
Word of the Month
neologism Pronounced ne·ol·o·gism, it’s a noun meaning a new word, usage, or expression.
NEED A SPEAKER FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION? Contact me for a fun presentation on grammar: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buy The War on Words book at the Hockessin Book Shelf, on Amazon, or by calling Out & About at 655-6483.
THE LIGHT FANTASTICAL by Makeda Thomas Exhilarating modern dance performance that explores culture and identity through the lens of the fantastical Friday, August 16 | 8:00 p.m. $25 Members $30 Non-Members $20 Students Tickets and details at delart.org
2301 Kentmere Parkway | Wilmington, DE 19806 302.571.9590 | delart.org Stefan Falke Photography
B ROA DWAY C AL I BER | FR EE PAR KI NG | R I VER FR ONT DI NI NG
2019 / 2020 SEASON
SEPT 11 - 29
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DEC 4 - 29
FEB 12 - MAR 1
APR 15 - MAY 10
TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW! DELAWARETHEATRE.ORG / 302.594.1100 8 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com
WILMU WORKS FOR WORKING ADULTS Wilmington University gives life to students’ dreams by removing the barriers to their success
rom the stage at Wilmington University’s January 2019 commencement ceremonies, Annette Berry surveyed the audience of her fellow graduates and smiled. “As a mother, military wife, U.S. Navy reservist, full-time employee and volunteer recreational cheerleading coach, time was not on my side in my pursuit of higher learning,” she said. She was hardly alone in this challenge. “Many of us earned our degrees not in the traditional way, but our way, and by not allowing real life to put the brakes on advancing our educational opportunities and, ultimately, our careers,” she added. WilmU worked for Berry and her classmates, because WilmU works for working adults. It’s not just an advertising slogan—it’s the University’s mission. For more than 50 years, Wilmington University has brought higher education into reach for all students, especially those balancing career obligations, family priorities, and the other demands of real life. Here’s how.
WilmU is career-focused
With more than 150 degree and certificate programs designed and taught by instructors chosen for their real-world experience, WilmU’s Colleges of Arts & Science, Business, Education, Health Professions, Online & Experiential Learning, Social & Behavioral Sciences, and Technology support students’ academic and professional goals. As an institution, Wilmington University believes in the power of potential and seeks to make higher education available to all who are willing to do the work. As a result, the University’s open admissions policy allows enrollment in most of its accredited academic programs without the need to submit SAT or GRE scores.
WilmU is flexible and affordable
You don’t have to wait long to get started at WilmU. Classes start every eight weeks, and both their traditional semester-long courses and accelerated seven-week block courses hold evening and weekend classes to fit your schedule. You also never need to travel far. With multiple campuses throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and more than 130 programs
To bring your dreams into reach WilmU works.
offered 100% online, a WilmU education is conveniently close to home, wherever you live. And WilmU’s value is unparalleled. The most affordable institution of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic, WilmU was also named the fourth most affordable private, nonprofit university nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. As a result, students graduate with 60% less student debt, which maximizes the return on their educational investment. Additionally, extensive online options let students keep their day jobs—and their incomes—while earning their degrees at low tuition rates that are the same for both in-state and out-ofstate students.
WilmU is like you
WilmU works for working adults because WilmU’s student body is comprised of working adults. Most of its 20,000-plus students are over the age of 25, and 87% of WilmU students work full- or part-time. Wilmington University enrolls four times more transfer students than any other college in the region, and its credit for prior learning initiatives help students fast-track their degrees, and avoid spending tuition dollars on knowledge they already hold. Academic credit can also be awarded for students’ work experience, including trainings, certifications, and licenses.
“It was my choice to bypass the traditional education route,” Berry noted, as she addressed her fellow graduates in January. “But it was Wilmington University that eliminated every justifiable excuse that I could come up with to say, ‘It’s just not in the cards for me to get a degree.’ ” “Thank you, WilmU, for 'getting' it,” she said. “For understanding what goes on in the lives of people who have every intention of bettering themselves, just not the time or means to do so. Wilmington University gave us the opportunity to set a goal, and achieve it.” For your dream, WilmU works. Find out why at wilmu.edu/WilmUWorks.
Find out why at
wilmu.edu/WilmUWorks Jasmine G. Class of 2019 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
want to host the best summer party?
by the numbers A few facts about farming in the First State
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The number of farms in Delaware.
166,000 The number of acres of corn harvested in Delaware last year.
W BRIDAL SHOWERS
The number of acres of watermelon planted in Delaware last year.
W REHEARSAL DINNERS W BABY SHOWERS W BUSINESS LUNCH, DINNER,
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15,336,000 The total production value, in dollars, of wheat grown in Delaware last year. Photo Jim Coarse
6,500 Delawareâ€™s hog population as of last December. 10 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
7,056,000 The number of bushels of soybeans produced in the First State in 2018.
F.Y.I. Things worth knowing Compiled by Nathan Hawk
DEL. SHAKESPEARE RECEIVES $25,000
elaware Shakespeare has been selected by Arts Midwest, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, for a $25,000 grant to take part in the Shakespeare in American Communities: Juvenile Justice program. Having been one of the seven companies chosen to take part, Delaware Shakespeare, through a partnership with the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families will give six 10-session acting classes at four juvenile justice facilities: Cleveland White School, Ferris School for Boys, New Castle County Detention Center and the Stevenson House Detention Center, aiming to help the youth there identify universal themes in William Shakespeare’s Tempest and Romeo and Juliet and find parallels in their lives. This is the second grant given to Delaware Shakespeare by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2019. The first went to partially support the expenses of the Romeo and Juliet Community Tour. The program will run from Aug. 1 through July 31, 2020.
he Brandywine River Museum of Art (1 Hoffmans Mill Rd., Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania) will launch its PNC Arts Alive Series in tandem with its new exhibit, “N.C. Wyeth: New Perspectives.” These programs seek to explore the way in which stories are made, preserved and shared with the world, while also engaging guests in discussions, performances and artistic selfexpression. Guests will have the opportunity to converse with illustrators, writers, storytellers and scholars of the narrative arts from multifaceted backgrounds. Added to the children’s program will be illustrator-led art activities. For more information regarding the PNC Arts Alive Series, visit brandywine. org/museum.
WALK FOR HIV AWARENESS
IDS Walk Delaware will host its annual event, presented by Greenhill Pharmacy, at Dravo Plaza on the Wilmington Riverfront and Grove Park in Rehoboth Beach. Coinciding with International Peace Day on Saturday, Sept. 21, this walk aims to advance HIV awareness, reduce the stigma of those living with HIV and endorse HIV community health in the First State. T-shirts will be given to those who raise $30 or more, and all proceeds will support multiple Delaware AIDS service organizations. Pets on leashes are welcome. For more information and to register, go to aidwalkdelaware.org.
THE PRODUCERS AT LONGWOOD
he Brandywiners will perform Mel Brooks’ Tony-Award-winning musical, The Producers at Longwood Gardens Open Air Theater (1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania). This comedic musical, directed by Paul Goodman, is a stage adaptation of the 1967 film of the same name. The Brandywiners’ production has some adult humor that may not be appropriate for young children. Performances are Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 1-3, at 8 p.m. Each ticket includes admission to Longwood Gardens for the day and can be purchased by phone at (800) 338-6965, or online at brandywiners.org.
ROLLING LUXURY AT HAGLEY
he historic Hagley Museum and Library (200 Hagley Creek Rd.) will host its 24th annual car show on Sunday, Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. With “Rolling Elegance Luxury Automobiles” as this year’s theme, more than 500 cars from the early 1900s to 1994 will be on display. They will include such manufacturers as Rolls Royce, Cadillac, Bentley and Lincoln. There also will be vehicle parades, a vintage jukebox showcase, video simulators, pedal car racing and a festival food court. Advance tickets are offered at discounted prices. Tickets bought at the show are $10 for adults, $5 for children and free for museum members and children age 5 & under. For more information, visit hagley.org.
BARNES & NOBLE MOVES DOWN THE PIKE
longtime neighbor of the Concord Mall, Barnes & Noble has moved down the pike to the Concord Square Shopping Center (4209 Concord Pike). This sleeker store features an open and contemporary design so that customers can see the entire store as they enter, providing a more spacious feel. Barnes & Noble is launching prototypes stores like this because operating costs are less than the former bulky stores. The new Concord Pike location also features a 700-square-foot event space for book signings and other events, as well as a Starbucks café with a clean, modern design. Visit Barnes & Noble Store Locator for details, events and activities at this location.
WEST STREET ART FEST DEBUTS
n the last day of Peace Week Delaware—Sunday, Sept. 22— the inaugural West Street Art Festival will be held by The Delaware Contemporary. This arty extravaganza will feature Spaceboy, Monet Le’Mon, spoken word, musical entertainment, food trucks, workshops, the Pacem in Terris Peace Week Art exhibition, interactive games, a ticketed obstacle course and slide, and various other activities. Having partnered with the Delaware Children’s Museum and iCreate, Delaware Contemporary hopes to provide fun and creative amusement for all who attend, regardless of their age. And it’s free! For additional information, visit decontemporary.org/west-street-art-festival.
MISPILLION WORKS FOR THE BIRDS
he beaches of southern Delaware are known for their variety of wildlife. In an effort to protect these creatures, Mispillion River Brewery in cooperation with Delaware Ornithological Society raised money at this year’s Bird-A-Thon in early May, with the goal of buying the last private property in the Mispillion Harbor Reserve to secure the entire tract’s preservation for the migrating shorebirds, in particular the endangered Red Knot. On Saturday, Aug. 24, Misspillion River Brewery will launch its new Red IPA featuring the Red Knot, painted by Milton resident and wildlife artist Richard Clifton. The brewery hopes to reintroduce the Red IPA next year to coincide with the spring migrations. AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Community Members Who Go Above & Beyond
JUDY TAGGART: Advocating for Delaware’s Libraries
SPEND YOUR SUMMER AT THE YMCA Hundreds of classes, personalized fitness plans, child care, saunas, pools and more included in your membership! www.ymcade.org Financial assistance is available.
— Adriana Camacho-Church 12 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Photo Robert Taggart
hen Judy Taggart was 10 years old, she volunteered to collect coats for the needy and to pass out tags at voting polls with the words “I voted.” More than six decades later, Taggart is still volunteering. “I get so much out of it,” says the 77-year-old Newark resident. “It enriches your life through meeting so many interesting individuals and knowing you are assisting individuals and the community.” Taggart, who retired in 2008 as director of the Girl Judy Taggart Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Council, received the 2013 Woman of the Year Award from the University of Delaware Women’s Club, the 2018 Jefferson Award for community services, and the 2019 Distinguished Service Citation Award from the Delaware Library Association. Taggart volunteers at Newark Meals on Wheels, New Castle County League of Women Voters and the Newark Senior Center. But most of her volunteer hours are devoted to libraries. For the past 16 years, she has been an advocate of libraries at the local, county and state levels. She promotes libraries at community events, she advises county and state representatives on library needs, and requests library funding for the resources, programs and services library users get for free. Taggart is president of the Friends of the Newark Free Library Board, a Friends of Delaware Libraries board member and was appointed to the New Castle County Library Advisory Board and the State Council on Libraries in 2016. “Judy is a very motivated person with excellent communication skills and personal knowledge that makes her a powerful advocate for libraries,” says Kay Bowes, president of Friends of Delaware Libraries. “She understands the importance of libraries in our communities. We are extremely grateful for her service and work.” Taggart is one of about 2,500 volunteers who are members of library groups. “Our goal is to improve the lives of the people of Delaware,” she says. “Elected officials hear about roads and potholes, but not about libraries.” Taggart, who has a masters of science in Human Resource Management, was a teacher and later a school principal in Missouri in the 1960s. She says her love of libraries was instilled by her mother, who loved to read. “When she became blind in her 70s, she depended heavily on books on tape, as they were called then,” says Taggart. About 10 years ago, Friends of Newark Free Library contributed $10,000 to make e-books available in public libraries statewide. And each year the Friends group raises approximately $15,000 through fundraisers, donations and memorial gifts to assist Newark Free Library. Funds cover such things as kids’ computers, video equipment, high quality cultural and music programs, and supplies for the Summer Reading Program. Cristian Tlatenchi, 10, has participated in the Summer Reading program since he was 5. The Newark resident says he likes the program because libraries give books to kids as gifts. “I get excited when I get to choose my own book,” he says. Taggart says people recognize libraries are evolving to give people of all ages and economic status opportunities to improve their lives. In addition to the traditional services, libraries now offer job and small business assistance, career and test prep online courses and computer classes, as well as coding for kids, social worker assistance and volunteer fairs for teens. For more information about public libraries in New Castle County and throughout the state, visit nccde.org/libraries and lib.de.us, or go to Facebook at facebook.com/ncclibraries.
Photo courtesy of Brandywine Village
Brandywine Village resident and artist Michael Prosceno says the mural project emphasizes the historical value of the area and depicts “the different people who fought for American independence.”
CONNECTING WILMINGTON TO AMERICAN REVOLUTION Ceremony set for Old Brandywine Village It’s hard to imagine an army of more than 4,000 French soldiers, 2,000 horses and 300 wagons marching down Market Street in Wilmington, but that is exactly what happened in early September 1781. Led by General Rochambeau, the army traveled along the King’s Highway (U.S. Rt. 13) down to Yorktown, Virginia, for what would be a victory in the Battle of Yorktown. On their way back, that same army left its cavalry behind in Wilmington to guard Philadelphia. That presence lasted until 1783. Old Brandywine Village’s Peg Tigue believes this event connects Wilmington to Revolutionary War history that stretches across the Mid-Atlantic. “As part of the National Park Service's W3R National historic Trail, Brandywine Village, which is geographically centered along the trail, is a natural respite for tourists journeying from Rhode Island to Yorktown,” she says. “I think many people living in Delaware don’t know about this and don’t realize how big a piece of history this is.” Two markers and an on-going project will celebrate this unique piece of Wilmington history. The first is a new Delaware Historical Marker that will be placed in Brandywine Mills Plaza (1800 N. Market St.). It will include a plaque that will have a description of the historical event. The second is the start of the Road to Yorktown Historic Preservation and Revitalization Mural Project, a series of murals of historical events and people placed in public places to increase awareness and helped beautify the streets. Lastly, there will be an official Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route trail sign that will match others along the route. The W3R Delaware and the Brandywine Village Partners will hold an unveiling ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 22, at 6 p.m., in the Brandywine Village Plaza. They will debut the new plaque, present the mural project, and announce the trail marker. “Our combined goal is to someday make the Brandywine Village area a [Revolutionary] War visitors’ hub,” says Tigue. “It is not only close to city historical sites but also Hagley Museum and the Brandywine Battlefield.” It is also another way of bringing attention to Wilmington’s rich history. — Kaleigh Hanson AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Historic Odessa Brewfest Historic Historic HistoricOdessa Odessa OdessaBrewfest Brewfest Brewfest All Proceeds Benefit Historic Odessa Foundation All All All Proceeds Proceeds Proceeds Benefit Benefit Benefit Historic Historic Historic Odessa Odessa Odessa Foundation Foundation Foundation
Saturday, September 7, 2019 Saturday, Saturday, Saturday,September September September7,7,7,2019 2019 2019 202 Main Street I Odessa, DE 202 202 202 Main Main Main Street Street Street Odessa, DE DE DE I IOdessa, I Odessa,
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The Fall Guy Anthony Mecca has gone from bartending at the Logan House and Northbeach to a career as a stuntman Mecca says his friends in Delaware are "super-supportive" and have helped affirm his career choice.
By Ken Mammarella
wo seminal events took Anthony Mecca down a winding path to a career as a stuntman. The first Ah-hah! moment occurred soon after he graduated from college and, during a job interview, was shown a cubicle—“a gray square in a maze of gray squares”—where he would be working. His distaste for that workplace environment led him to bartending, where the second incident occurred: he was fired. And while these events propelled him into stunt work, he credits much of his continued success to a network of Delaware friends. “The job is so exciting. I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” says Mecca, a 1998 graduate of Salesianum, where he played football and lacrosse. “But I miss the people in Delaware a lot. I have friendships that I will treasure the rest of my life. They are the most loyal fans, super-supportive. I don’t know many other people who have that sort of network. It has really helped me along the way.” Mecca grew up behind Longwood Gardens and earned a degree in computer information systems from James Madison University, where he played rugby. After the aforementioned gray
cubicle interview prompted him to change careers, he worked at Kelly’s Logan House in Wilmington, first as a bouncer (he’s 6-2 and 200 pounds) then moving up to bartender. In the summers, he bartended at Northbeach in Dewey Beach. “I was fired for taking a mixed shot [during a work shift] at the Logan House,” he says, “but in a way it was a good thing.” Losing that job gave him a push to move to New York in September 2012 and pursue stunt work as a career. (He lived full-time in Delaware from 2006 to 2012 and worked at Northbeach until 2016.) He credits management at both Logan House and Northbeach for encouraging him to pursue his dream of falling down for a living. “My first managers at Logan House, Rob Mayer and Rich Nofi, were always telling me to go for it and take off anytime I needed to,” says Mecca, “as did my managers at Northbeach, John Snow and Jim Cassidy. They were the best. Still to this day they stay in touch, asking how I’m doing. Since the first job I had, I’ve had people reaching out telling me they’ve seen me on TV/in the theater—saying how cool it is and how excited they were to see it.” ►
AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
THE FALL GUY continued from previous page
Annapolis, then Invincible
His stunt career began as a part-time gig in 2005 when a neighbor in West Chester, Pennsylvania, who Mecca performing one of the many falls he has executed since 2005. worked at a Philadelphia casting agency, tipped him off to what became a month of featured background work in the James Franco movie, Annapolis. He met the film’s stunt coordinator, who hired him as a boxer for the movie. A bit later, he heard an announcement on Philadelphia radio station Q102 asking for extras for Invincible, and that led to another month of work, this time as a football player. (Invincible is the story of Vince Papale, who, at 30, participated in open tryouts and played three years for the Eagles). “I had a lot fun,” Mecca recalls of his early stunt work. “But I was in this limbo wondering what to do, and I needed a sign. My phone rang while I was saying this, and it was a casting agent, and I took that as a sign.” He didn’t get that job, but he did get the desire to take classes in acting and stunts in Media, Pennsylvania, and in Philadelphia, but mostly in New York. He quickly discovered the dangers of stunt work. In 2009, he was cast in the “Life Hurts” (cue foreshadowing music) campaign for Dickies Apparel. While portraying a carpenter falling through the floor, he says, “on the third take, a hammer on the tool belt came loose and broke three ribs. There were 14 more takes. Really gnarly. But it didn’t faze me.” Instead, he was inspired to learn more about stunt work (“falls, first and foremost”) and has shown off his skills in many movies and TV series—“being hit by cars, lit on fire, more fights than I can count and being killed more than 100 times,” including once, thanks to trick camera work, shooting himself. “In a word, he’s thorough,” says stuntman Manny Siverio, who’s hired Mecca many times. “Anthony is a good guy. Likable, knowledgeable and tough as nails. A trusted ally that I could rely on. Tenacious, smart and witty. He works hard and listens well.”
Bumps and Broken Bones
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Mecca says the toughest stunts include “fire burns, car hits and high falls past 30 feet.” Aside from those broken ribs, he’s also had a broken nose, bumps, bruises and, from twisting his body so much, “some issues with my spine; kind of a bummer.” To stay in shape, he favors cardio, bicycling, tumbling, jiu jitsu, and Krav Maga, an Israeli self-defense and fitness system. Keeping on top of specialized stunt skills has led to work as a stunt rigger and coordinator. Mecca’s IMDb credits include 84 for stunts, 24 for acting and one for appearing as himself (in a documentary on New York City’s stunt industry), but he says the count is far higher, considering, for example, that all 21 episodes of Happy! (a streaming series adapted from a graphic novel) that he worked on are called one credit. Mecca tries to watch those films and TV shows, all shot in and around New York, because he says it’s the best way to self-critique. But it’s not easy for his Delaware friends to spot his work because of the way stunts are often filmed—at a distance, from the back, costumed to look like a featured performer or in heavy makeup. Financially, it’s better to be anonymous. He says being filmed close up doing a stunt is called “getting burned” for a TV series, because the casting director wants new faces for future episodes. The easiest way to see his work is his YouTube channel. In his most popular video, “Falling for My Baby,” he uses a stunt fall—from a 20-foot boulder in Manhattan’s Central Park—to propose to longtime girlfriend Shannon Kausch. She laughed—and accepted. But not all of his stunts are so merry for her. “Him being lit on fire kind of freaks me out,” she says, but she’s used to him randomly practicing his karate chops and other fighting moves on her. Then there was the time she saw him perform a stunt for the Starz series Power. He is hit by a car, flies into the air and lands on the street. “The director called cut, and he’s not moving,” Kausch remembers. “It was the most awful moment, and I asked a production assistant what’s going on. The EMTs ran over. It turns out he just hadn’t heard the director, and didn’t want to ruin the shot. It’s the first and last time I’ll be on set.”
Photo provided by Anthony Mecca
THE NEW METRICS OF FARMING
Several forward-thinking nonprofits are looking past their harvest to nurture the soil and train young people By Ken Mammarella Photos by Jim Coarse
he traditional measure of farming success is the quality and quantity of the harvest, and, ultimately, revenue. But thatâ€™s not the case for several forward-thinking Delaware nonprofits. The Delaware Nature Society, the Food Bank of Delaware, the Colonial School District and West End Neighborhood House have more important reasons to farm than just growing crops, such as nurturing the soil and training and transforming young people. These are their stories. â–ş
AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
FOCUS THE NEW METRICS OF FARMING continued from previous page
Cows at Coverdale Farm Preserve, where regenerative agriculture is being practiced.
DELAWARE NATURE SOCIETY’S COVERDALE FARM PRESERVE
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The Delaware Nature Society (DNS) has an ambitious, five-year, $2.3 million plan to re-envision its Coverdale Farm Preserve from the ground up—starting with the ground. “Most people don’t think about the soil,” says Michele Wales, Coverdale’s manager. “Yet we cannot live without it.” Regenerative agriculture focuses on rebuilding the complex web of life underground that’s been disturbed by heavy-handed modern practices. “We’re taking the best of the past and pairing it with the science of today,” says Wales. “It’s up to us to modify our practices to be in balance with nature.” The concept also “aims to capture carbon in soil and aboveground biomass, reversing current global trends of atmospheric accumulation,” a DNS white paper says. “At the same time, it offers increased yields, resilience to climate instability and higher health and vitality for farming communities.” The first phase involves six cows, 13 sheep, 100 turkeys and 200 chickens. The animals go through small pastures in succession—cows, then sheep, then poultry—grazing on different plants, depositing manure and lightly disturbing the land, which gets 40 to 60 days to recover. About 80 of Coverdale’s 377 acres near Greenville are targeted for rotational grazing, which also helps reduce issues with parasites and insects. “Our livestock become our farm’s co-managers, as mowers and fertilizers,” Wales says. The concept is on display in the henhouse area. A patch under a 16-by-24 foot floorless henhouse on wheels is full of active chickens, while the patch they were just in is downright bedraggled. The patch before that looks a bit better, and the one they were eating from last week is even more vibrant, and so on. “You can taste the difference between stuff grown in good soil and not,” says Joanne McGeoch, deputy director for DNS, which is backing up changes in the soil with baseline assessments of more than 40 microclimates and testing of a dozen soil components by Cornell University. (That flavor imparted by the soil and the microclimates is known to wine lovers as terroir.) In the forests beyond the pastures, DNS is also experimenting with oyster and shiitake mushrooms. Coverdale’s core 20 acres—a living classroom for thousands of children each year – is also being rethought. “Education was the driver, and now we’re establishing a production farm,” says McGeoch. That includes beef and lamb production and wholesale markets, atop the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) garden and the farm’s own market. “This is a business plan, not just a high-ideal goal,” she adds—although there is a highminded goal to showcase environmentally friendly and economically sound practices that can be adapted by other farms. Heavy equipment and deep tilling have been dropped from the seven-acre CSA garden in favor of intensive organic practices (nutrient management, water conservation, crop rotation) and using greenhouses and other structures to increase yields and lengthen growing seasons.
“There is no other property in the state where every significant environmental issue Delawareans collectively face— from clean water, healthy food access, carbon sequestration, to open space protection—can be addressed to result in significant, tangible, positive impacts,” the society writes. “As a model farm and ecosystem, our visitors, partners and program participants will be immersed in the opportunity to see that even the small choices they make can be part of lasting change that results in vital natural resources conservation.” Coverdale Farm Preserve, 543 Way Road, Greenville, is open for tours and purchases 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
FOOD BANK OF DELAWARE’S CORTEVA FARM
When the Food Bank of Delaware in 2018 moved to Glasgow, its plans included the creation of a farm. Four acres have been cleared of debris and overgrown plants, with cover crops sown to rejuvenate the soil for future plantings. Meanwhile, buildings have been installed and better soil supplied to grow tomatoes, peppers, greens, and other crops. “We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to train people,” says spokeswoman Kim Turner. A Farm and Agriculture Skills Training program starts this fall, following programs in culinary arts (2002) and warehouse operations (2018). “Not just hands-on skills, but life skills, too,” Turner says. Corteva Farm produce is featured in the food bank’s CSA shares, in the food it supplies to area restaurants, in the food bank’s new cafe and at its farm stand. The stand, 22 Lake Dr., is open 3-7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
COLONIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT’S LEASE AT PENN FARM
William Penn High School has what Farm to School Manager Toby Hagerott calls “a great classroom space” just beyond the school’s track: a lease on seven acres of the Historic Penn Farm in New Castle. “It’s run like a business, as a specialized market farm,” Hagerott says, and while acknowledging that the state doesn’t collect numbers, “Penn Farm I would say with great confidence is the largest school farm in the state, and I would venture to say in the Mid-Atlantic region.” About 300 of the school’s 2,000 students each year “see and learn right on the farm,” he says—in obvious classes like plant, animal and environmental science, plus art and history (but not business—yet). The farm is run sustainably, with “rotating crops and trying to be as organic as possible,” Hagerott says. Two exceptions: fertilizer is used in the irrigation system, and heat-treated spent mushroom compost is delivered to add organic matter to the soil. The 107-acre Penn Farm has been a tenant farm for centuries. “The mission of the Historic Penn Farm is to uphold the original purpose of the land and intent for its use through building sustainable farming initiatives, providing a community space, integrating agricultural best practices and inspiring people toward healthy eating,” writes Delaware Greenways, its 22nd tenant. The district lease, which began in 2003, covers four acres for vegetables, a seasonally wet acre for native creatures and pollinators, an acre for hay, 3/4 of an acre for a new fruit orchard (apples, apricots, figs, nectarines, and plums) and 1/4 acre of raised beds to teach children as young as third grade. Last year’s harvest was 20,000 pounds, and Hagerott hopes the harvest hits 25,000 pounds this year. About half is sold through its CSA program, and most of the rest is served to students. ►
farm TO fork September 21, 2019
Join us at Coverdale Farm Preserve for a beautiful evening of al fresco dining, inspired by land and sea. DelNature.org/Events
AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
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THE NEW METRICS OF FARMING continued from previous page
September 15, 2019
Zeniah Holland participates in the GROW program at Bright Spot Farms.
Students do most of the work, in class or in paid positions during the summer break. Such jobs are an attractive asset for the district, in which every school qualifies for the federal Community Eligibility Provision, where districts of high poverty can offer breakfast and lunch at no cost. The farm has received $200,000 in Farm to School grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, plus a $45,000 Delaware Specialty Crop block grant, $25,000 in seed donations and more than $12,000 in other corporate and government grants. Products from the farm are sold 3-7 p.m. Wednesdays at the Route 9 Farmers Market, 3022 New Castle Ave., and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays at Wheelys Farmstand Café, 791 Frenchtown Road, New Castle.
WEST END NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE’S BRIGHT SPOT FARMS
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“I’m here to better myself and overcome a bumpy past,” Joshua Wright says of the GROW program at Bright Spot Farms, an initiative of Wilmington’s West End Neighborhood House. And when he’s working, he says, “I’ll donate money back to it. I’ll be a patron, for sure!” Through GROW, participants age 16 to 24 outside the traditional school system learn about agriculture and horticulture, earning nationally recognized certifications, while also learning typical office software and job-hunting skills. After GROW, at $10 an hour, they move into paid internships. Bright Spot uses all capital letters for the name to emphasize “the spirit of personal and professional growth that is the goal of that program,” says program Director Sindhu Siva. West End in 2014 began farming two acres on the back of the Delaware State Hospital Herman Holloway Campus near New Castle. The complex includes two greenhouses, two tunnels (with plants under plastic roofing) and a workstation with two washing machines converted into salad spinners. Led by a staff of four full-time women, participants in GROW and the Young Farmers Crew (a paid immersive summer program for ages 14-18) get dirty-hands-on training on the land and classroom training in hard and soft skills like public speaking. “It’s opened my eyes to new stuff,” says participant Elijah Warren. “Positive things, like learning to talk to people.” Bright Spot in 2018 was awarded almost $200,000 in grants, primarily from the Longwood and Citi foundations, says Siva. It generated another $60,000 in sales and earned $30,000 to $40,000 in landscaping contracts. Bright Spot grows 15 to 20 vegetables and 10 to 15 herbs each year. It also nurtures and sells bedding plants in the spring and poinsettias for the holidays. Customers who receive government food assistance get a 50 percent discount through Bright Spot’s NeighborCare program, which in 2018 represented more $3,000 worth of produce. “Our youth are all involved in sales and thus get to connect the products they grow with the customers in their own communities,” Siva says. In the summer, Bright Spot sells produce 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Mondays at the Herman Holloway Campus outside Humanity’s Kitchen Cafe, 1901 N. du Pont Highway, New Castle; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays at the Downtown Farmers Market at Rodney Square; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays at the Chase Bank lot, 2nd and North King streets; 4-7 p.m. Thursdays at the Westside Farmers Market at Cool Spring Park; and 2-6 p.m. Fridays at the Carousel Park Farmers Market on Limestone Road.
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Since its 2016 start, Wilmington Green Box has become a growing oasis in the city’s food deserts. Such deserts—where fresh produce is not easily available—cover almost two-thirds of Wilmington. “We’re cultivating the culture of wellness,” says Jason Aviles, co-founder of the nonprofit, which is also working to provide positive influences, training and jobs for at-risk Wilmington teens. Wilmington Green Box started with $850 from Buccini/ Pollin Group, which was used to transform an icebox into a kiosk to sell wholesome products. Its first crowd-funding effort in 2018 generated $17,000, matched with $15,000 from Capital One. That funding and increasing sales allow it to pay its teen employees $9 to $10 an hour (an average of $225 a week) and to give Aviles a small, part-time salary. What’s more, sales have led to plans for a year-round juice bar and vegan outlet, which Aviles—a vegan for seven years – expects to open this year at 400 N. Market St. The Green Box Kitchen will sell “grab-and-go healthy goods,” such as cold-pressed juices, smoothies, grain and açaí bowls, ice pops, salads and produce. Until then, the juices can be ordered online at squareup.com/store/wilmingtongreenbox/ and can be picked up 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays at its outdoor kiosk, 420 N. Market. St. Of course, impromptu orders are taken at the kiosk as well. The three juices (Sunrise, Sweet Beets and Incredible Hulk) feature one to two pounds of produce reduced to eight ounces of intensely flavored nutrition. “No preservatives, concentrates, extra sugar or water,” says Aviles, who devoted a month or two to developing the recipes. “They’re approachable and taste good.” The juices cost $5 downtown and $4 from teens selling from bikes in needy neighborhoods. Wilmington Green Box also hosts demonstrations and workshops. “Through access and education, people can connect the dots” that healthy eating is approachable and doesn’t cost a lot, Aviles says, echoing the nonprofit’s logo of a grid of 16 dots.
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BOOM TIMES AT LAST? Founded on unrealized ambitions, Delaware City is in the midst of its biggest redevelopment in living memory By Dan Linehan Photos by Butch Comegys
The Delaware City Marina is a focal point of the quaint, historic town. 22 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
elaware City’s auspicious name is a window into the aspirations of its founders, who hoped their small town would be a rival to Philadelphia. Their lofty ambitions were grounded in geography and economics. The town was founded in 1826 at the entrance to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, which opened three years later. Sitting aside the canal and serving as gatekeeper for the goods passing between Baltimore and Philadelphia, Delaware City held the potential to become a major trade hub. Man plans and God laughs, as the old Yiddish proverb goes. Early competition from the railroads limited canal traffic, and its shallow, narrow, lock-and-dam entrance was soon inadequate for larger ships. By 1927, the main canal had been dredged and its entrance at the Delaware River moved two miles south, to Reedy Point. The city has long since shed its big-time dreams and eased into an identity as a sleepy yet vibrant small town. In the 1950s, it had a small college, a hardware store, pharmacy, an elementary and secondary school, three grocery stores and four gas stations. Most were gone by the 1990s, though the city’s population continued to hover around 1,700. Today, Delaware City is in the midst of its biggest redevelopment in living memory. The 325-acre Fort DuPont site, annexed by the city in 2016 after a 287-to-150 vote referendum, could add hundreds of new residents and give the city an economic boost. The second annual music festival, Fortify (see accompanying story), is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 10, and is in part an effort to publicize the redevelopment. Fourteen homes are being built this summer, but the biggest impact may be yet to come. Jeffrey Randol, executive director of the Fort DuPont Redevelopment and Preservation Corporation, said in June that he’s received offers to build the following: a 300unit apartment complex; commercial and retail space; a 425-site campground, and a hotel and conference center. All of these projects are expected to be underway within 12 months, Randol says. Total construction spending is estimated at $211 million over seven years, peaking next year and in 2021. Delaware City’s motto—“Historic Past, Bright Future”—reflects a preoccupation with history while hinting at an unslaked thirst for greatness. It’s been like that here for some time, according to a 1938 Delaware guidebook that was part of a series funded by the Depression-era Works Progress Administration. Unlike other cities that withered with the loss of shipping trade, “Delaware City is different,” according to “Delaware: A Guide to the First State.” The guide claims that “there is always, going on in the vicinity, or planned for the future, some large undertaking that may restore prosperity.” In the mid-19th century, that undertaking took the form of a massive peach boom—a local “peach king” had more than 110,000 trees—that helped popularize the fruit nationwide. A major blight ended the boom in the late 1880s. Sturgeon and their eggs, caviar, soon replaced the peach as the next economic boomlet. But pollution and overfishing cratered the industry. According to a 1908 article in Popular Science Monthly, Delaware City prepared more than a keg a day of caviar in 1895. By 1901, it produced only six the entire year. Dealing the city yet another blow was the postwar closure of forts Delaware and DuPont, which eliminated much of the regular foot traffic. But the city soldiered on. And today, it continues to inject a little bit of “Slower Lower” into New Castle County.
Clinton Street, with one stoplight, is the city's main drag.
A BRIEF TOUR
The Delaware City Refinery would not be most residents’ choice for a tour’s first stop, but the facility dominates the horizon and visitors drive past it along Delaware Route 9 to enter the city from the north. Built on 5,000 acres and opened in 1956, the refinery now employs about 570 people. It processes crude oil into fuel and is one of the largest refineries on the East Coast. Though it once regularly belched noxious odors, the refinery today has little impact on the daily lives of residents and is undeservedly tied to the town’s reputation, says Jill Snow, a lifelong resident and chair of the town’s Planning Commission. Take Route 9 into town and you’ll soon hit the only stoplight, at Clinton Street, the main drag, named for the sixth governor of New York. Take a left onto Clinton and you’ll find a hodgepodge of 19th century and modern architecture. Cars are parked along the street because in the core of this old city there are few driveways. Economic stagnation after the closing of the canal in the 1920s prevented the development that might otherwise have led to the city’s modernization. It’s a common phenomenon, more famously on display in Old New Castle, that’s often referred to as “preservation by neglect.” “The abruptness of Delaware City’s decline contributed to the preservation of its historic buildings and to the historic integrity of the town,” according to a city website. Citywide, about a third of the homes were built in 1939 or earlier, according to census data, compared to just 11 percent of homes in New Castle County as a whole. That charm and history captured the attention of Kimberly Davis, a realtor who plans to open an office in Delaware City in early August under the name Innovations Realty. “I was in Delaware City one day and it just struck a chord, that this is where your new home is going to be,” she says, adding that the town’s growth in recent decades demonstrates its potential. “It’s a little town that’s off the beaten path,” says Davis. “The revitalization that’s happening is just amazing.” Perhaps the town’s most popular outdoor recreation amenity is a trail beginning at the Delaware River and running along the branch canal. At the edge of town, it turns into the 12-mile Michael N. Castle Trail, which was completed in 2017 and spans the width of the peninsula. It’s ideal for running, walking or biking. Bird-watching is another popular activity, especially at Fort Delaware State Park. In fact, in 2013, the American Birding Association moved its headquarters to the Central Hotel. Built in 1830, the hotel is on the branch canal. ► FEBRUARY AUGUST 2018 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
FOCUS BOOM TIMES AT LAST? continued from previous page
Visitors often go to the Delaware City Hotel to eat at one of the town's busiest spots, Crabby Dick's.
There are two dining options: the family-run, traditional Kathy's Crab House and the livelier Crabby Dick’s, often the town’s busiest spot, especially on a summer weekend. There is a slate of community events and parades, but the biggest annual event is Delaware City Day, a celebration that was held on July 20 this year. Many of Delaware City’s homes are affordably priced. As of 2017, its median home value was $188,700, about 31 percent cheaper than the county as a whole. I moved here in 2016 in part because it was one of the few places where my wife and I could find an affordable home. Jill Snow prefers to think of Delaware City as a mixture of different types of people. “I always describe it as a slice of the (American) pie,” she says, meaning that it contains a little bit of everything. The visitor may also have the sense of being surrounded by water. Delaware City is technically an island. There is the Delaware River, of course, and the old canal, navigable by small craft to where it meets the new canal near Reedy Point. And most of the city’s western and northern edges are bounded by marsh. Much of the city is located in the federal government’s 100-year floodplain, meaning it has at least a 1 percent chance to flood each year. The city has been flooded several times, sometimes from hurricane-induced high tides. The river once flowed four blocks down Clinton Street to lap at the curb across the street from Snow’s house. The city has taken several steps to protect itself from the Delaware River. Last year, it installed a large permanent pump in a flood-prone downtown area. More substantially, the city built a downtown floodwall system in the early ‘00s that hasn’t been breached since. Snow says she and most residents feel well protected from the water, though she hedges that bet by buying flood insurance. But for a place that looks backward as often as Delaware City, no tour is complete without a look into the past.
A CONNECTION TO THE PAST
The town treasures its history. One of the outlets for that enthusiasm occurs at the storied fire hall each Wednesday, when a small cadre of old men sit in plush chairs in the garage and reminisce. One of them, Herb Bright, traces his family all the way back to the 1820s, when one of his ancestors came to the budding town as a tinsmith. He likely would have sold belt buckles, harnesses and other wares to the men who dug Delaware City’s branch canal by hand. These men paint an idyllic picture of the small town in the 1950s. As a boy, lifelong resident Mike Cook experienced the community’s tight-knit atmosphere every time he stayed out late playing. “Someone would call your parents and by the time you’d got home, someone in your family would be waiting,” he says.
24 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Jeffrey Randol, executive director of the Fort DuPont Redevelopment and Preservation Corporation, is hoping that an additional 20 or so new homes will be built next year.
The town’s history also is written in the two nearby forts, DuPont and Delaware, both built strategically overlooking the Delaware River. A ferry emblazoned with “Take Me to 1864” transports visitors to the island Fort Delaware, where re-enactors provide a glimpse into the martial and domestic life of the time. The city’s military history is linked to what may be its most tragic moment. In 1944, two brothers, ages 10 and 11, were killed in the explosion of a fragmentation rifle grenade they’d used as a toy. Townspeople immediately combed the city in search of similar explosives, and found about a dozen. Reliving Delaware City’s history is a popular pastime here. But there’s the “Bright Future” part of its slogan, too, and few topics are more discussed than the Fort DuPont project.
A NEW HOPE?
Just as it did for the nearby island fort, history passed by Fort DuPont without a shot being fired in anger. The site limped on in the postwar years. Part of it became a state park in 1992 and the rest is dominated by a mix of state agencies. Jeffrey Randol first toured the site in June 2015 and says it was then like a “ghost town.” It’s not like that anymore; besides the seven homes being built this year, he’s planning another 20 or so next year. It’s hard to predict the impact of the redevelopment, but it could eventually increase the town’s population by 50 percent. Randol says he is careful to market Fort DuPont as being of a piece with, not separate from, Delaware City. Though many cities experience economic and social dividing lines—“the other side of the tracks,” as it’s sometimes called— Delaware City has largely avoided this phenomenon. The homes in Fort DuPont are more expensive than the typical Delaware City home. The condos are priced in the upper $300,000s, while the single-family homes are at $450,000 through the $600,000s. Initially, there were plans to link Fort DuPont to the rest of Delaware City with a pedestrian bridge over the branch canal. But it would be expensive—it would need to swing up or sideto-side to accommodate boat traffic—and the city would have to pay. There is no indication that it’s willing to do so, meaning pedestrians from downtown Delaware City would have to walk about three-fourths of a mile up the branch canal and cross it at Route 9. Snow, a longtime resident, likes the idea of resurrecting a former canal-crossing ferry, the Dolly Spanker. It’s impossible to predict whether this connection to Delaware City’s past will enliven its future. But, as shown in its residents’ embrace of small-town life and its buildings’ preservation by neglect, even stagnation has its fruits. And residential housing and commercial development are afoot. Stay tuned.
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ALL GROWN UP
The transition from Sallies receiver to Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman has been a joy ride for Brian O’Neill
As a rookie last season, Brian O'Neill started at right tackle for the Vikings. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings
By Bob Yearick
ive years ago, Brian O’Neill, a senior at Salesianum School, received only tepid interest from big-time football programs, despite his size (6-6, 235 pounds) and a three-year career as a standout defensive end and receiver that culminated with the Sals winning the State Championship. Oh, sure, schools like Colgate and James Madison came calling, but the only major power that recruited him was the University of Pittsburgh. Always eager to test himself against the best, O’Neill accepted the Panthers’ offer. The recruiting of high school football players is a game within the game that is largely based on the recruit’s potential. That was certainly the case with O’Neill, and those schools that failed to see his potential no doubt second-guessed themselves as he went on to a stellar college career and is now preparing for his second season as the Minnesota Vikings’ starting right tackle. O’Neill’s transformation from trim wideout to massive offensive lineman began at Pitt. Recruited as a tight end, he finished his freshman season at 255 pounds. Then, just after
classes ended, a spot opened at offensive tackle, and the coaches approached him about switching positions. “It was the perfect storm,” says O’Neill. “I was third-team tight end, and now I had a shot at first-team tackle.” But first he had to bulk up. So Pitt put him on a 6,500-calorie, five-meals-a-day diet. “They did all the planning,” he says. “They told me what to eat and when to eat. It was like a big project, but my job was pretty easy—eat what was on my plate. They told me if I did it right I’d have a good chance at starting.” The diet, coupled with heavy lifting in the weight room, had him tipping the scales at 290 pounds by the end of that summer. Before embarking on the transformation, he called his coach at Salesianum, Bill DiNardo, who has high praise for his former player. “Brian was a starter for three years, and he got better every game,” says DiNardo. “He was a great competitor, didn’t care who he was going against, what their reputation was. He was a great leader—captain of the team his senior year. And one of the most fun kids I ever coached.” ► AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
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Despite this lofty opinion of O’Neill, when the Sals head man heard that his former wide receiver was about to switch to interior offensive line, his first reaction was to laugh. “I tell this story all the time,” says DiNardo. “I thought Brian would have a great college career as a tight At Sallies, O'Neill played wideout, tight end and defensive end. He also was Delaware Basketball Player of the Year as a senior. end; he had the perfect body type for it. He was a total mismatch [for defensive backs] as a receiver. But he was not a good blocker because he didn’t like to block. So I told him, ‘You’re not a very good blocker, how are you going to play offensive line?’ But Brian can do anything he puts his mind to. Anything he puts his mind to, he’s lights-out.” O’Neill put his mind to blocking, and that fall he earned the starting right tackle job. The following two years he manned the more critical left tackle spot, starting 37 consecutive games, earning All-ACC third team honors in 2016 and a first team berth in 2017. He also caught two touchdown passes on tackle-eligible plays, which led to his receiving the Piesman Award, created in 2015 to honor a college lineman who runs, throws or catches the ball. “I’m so proud of how good he became,” says DiNardo. “I compare him to Lane Johnson (Eagles right tackle; an All-Pro in 2017), who started out as a quarterback at Oklahoma. There are a lot of similarities.” Like Johnson, who stands 6-6 and weighs 317, O’Neill is fast. He ran a 4.80 40-yard dash, best among all offensive linemen in the 2018 NFL Combine and the fastest time for a lineman since Johnson’s 4.75 in 2013. And by his junior year at Pitt, he had grown to 6-7 and 297 pounds. And he’s extremely athletic. He was named Delaware Basketball Player of the Year as a senior after leading Salesianum to the school’s first State Championship. (Donte DiVincenzo, now with the Milwaukee Bucks after starring at Villanova, was a junior on that team. DiVincenzo propelled the Sals to a second title the following year.)
Team, Not Individual Achievements
During a recent phone interview as he drove from Minnesota to Pittsburgh, O’Neill listed these and other team achievements, rather than individual honors, as his fondest memories from high school and college. “The football and basketball championships at Salesianum,” he says, “and a couple of big wins in college. In 2016, we beat Clemson by one point at Clemson, and it was their only loss. And we beat Penn State at their place when they were ranked No. 4 in the country in 2017.” His success at his new position helped O’Neill decide to leave school with a year of eligibility remaining and declare for the draft. “I love Pitt and the people there,” he says, “but given all the circumstances, it was a pretty easy decision. I had already graduated (with a degree in Finance), and I was drawing pretty good interest from NFL teams. I figured I would be picked somewhere in the first two rounds.” He was right. He went in the second round, the 62nd pick overall. O’Neill says he experienced relatively little hazing as a rookie in the Vikings camp, other than having to sing the Pitt fight song and make coffee and fetch water for the veterans. “It’s all fun,” he says. “We have a good room,” he says of the offensive line meetings. “We really push each other, and the older guys really help you and bring you along.” He says his “welcome to the NFL moment” occurred “every day for about the first three months,” courtesy mostly of the Vikes’ outstanding defensive end, Danielle Hunter. “He’s an All-Pro,” O’Neill says. “On Sundays, you don’t see any better than him, and he always goes hard. He helps me a lot.” O’Neill entered his rookie season as a backup tackle behind starters Riley Reiff and Rashod Hill. He made his first start in Week 6 at right tackle after Hill was moved to left tackle in place of an injured Reiff. O’Neill kept his starting role the rest of the season, even after Reiff returned.
Photo couresty of the O'Neill family
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings
m a r k e t
meetings • events • receptions
STEELERS FANS! His distaste for blocking a dim memory, O'Neill is now a solid 302-pound NFL tackle.
Asked if he misses catching passes, his answer is emphatic: “Absolutely not. If you run a route and the ball doesn’t come your way, you didn’t impact the play at all. On the O-line, you have to win every down. You’re held accountable on every play.” He says he currently weighs 302 and would prefer to be between 305 and 310 when the season starts next month. Even at that weight, the ex-high school wideout is not among the bigger offensive tackles in the league. But, he says, “I’m at a weight now that I think is the best version of me as an athlete. I don’t think being 320 would help me. Being as strong as I possibly can be, being able to move really well, having a good idea mentally of what’s going on, I think that combination is better than being a 320-pound mauler. And I’ll still hit people hard.” Offensive Line Coach Rick Dennison, new to the Vikings staff this season, agrees with that assessment. “[Brian’s] very athletic, and he played well [last season]. The knock, ‘Well, he’s too light, not strong enough, not stout enough,’ but he’s really proven that to be wrong. I think he’s done a great job.”
[Training camp] is fun. For a whole month you’re doing nothing but playing football and hanging out with the guys. —Brian O'Neill Athleticism runs in the O’Neill family. Brian’s father, Delaware Public Defender Brendan O’Neill, was a running back at Dartmouth, while his mother, Liz, swam at Northeastern. Older brother Eamon was a two-time Delaware Soccer Player of the Year at Sallies and went on to star at Northwestern. Sister Claire played hockey and lacrosse at Ursuline. His sister Lorraine has autism but loves to swim. His uncle, Delaware Gov. John Carney, was an AllIvy League quarterback and MVP at Dartmouth. O’Neill now calls Minnesota home, and says he loves the Vikings organization. “I can’t imagine being anywhere else.” He even claims to enjoy training camp. “It’s fun,” he says. “For a whole month you’re doing nothing but playing football and hanging out with the guys.” Indeed, in a kind of what’s-not-to-like? summing up, O’Neill says, “I am 23 years old and I get to play football for a living and meet some unbelievable people through the whole process. Every 9-year-old playing peewee football dreams of this. I hope I can play for as long as my body lasts.”
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Restaurateur Wit Milburn remains affable despite having a lot on his plate. "He always puts other people first, says his wife and business partner, Jody. Photo Butch Comegys
FASCINATED BY FLAVOR Wit ‘Thai Guy’ Milburn fuses ethnic cuisine with spice and a whole lot of fun By Pam George
n 1987, when Kamphon Milburn opened Jeenwong Thai Cuisine in Booths Corner Farmers Market, most area diners were unfamiliar with her home country’s cuisine. As a result, she also offered Chinese dishes. Fast forward to 2019. Kamphon, Milburn’s restaurant, now located in the Riverfront Market in Wilmington, is on the cutting edge. Southeast Asian flavors, including Thai, continually rank among food writers' top trends. Now the next generation is making its mark. Today, Kamphon’s son, Norrawit “Wit” Milburn, has a restaurant in Booths Corner Farmers Market. He also owns a popular food truck, and he manages Ubon Thai Kitchen & Bar, the full-service restaurant that his parents, Kamphon and Norris “Buddy” Milburn, opened on the Riverfront.
As if that isn’t enough, Wit Milburn is a founder of Rolling Revolution, an association for mobile and food truck vendors. “Wit has been an instrumental player over the years in ‘moving’ the food truck movement forward in Delaware,” says Greg Vogeley, owner of Drip Café, who had a food truck called the Brunch Box. “He has a charismatic personality, and he’s always willing to help someone out when needed.” Milburn’s wife and partner, Jody, would agree. “He always puts other people first,” she says. “He’s such a caring person.” Quick to smile, Milburn maintains his affability despite having a lot on his plate. “He’s a perfectionist and proud—rightly so—of his product,” says family friend Rick Betz, owner of Fat Rick’s BBQ Catering. ► AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
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FASCINATED BY FLAVOR continued from previous page
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The self-professed “Thai Guy” was born in Cleveland but raised in North Wilmington. His parents met in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, where Buddy was stationed with the Air Force. They wed in 1975. In addition to Wit, they had another son, Narrinchai—“Chai” for short. Following his discharge, Buddy, a Delaware native, worked for DuPont, first in plant manufacturing and then corporate human resources. Milburn was just 8 when, like his brother, he started helping his mother at the Booths Corner restaurant, which was open two days a week. “I bused tables and took orders,” he says. In 2000, the restaurant moved to the Riverfront Market. Milburn helped out between classes at Delaware Technical Community College, where he studied business and marketing. While working in mortgage sales for ING Direct, he continued to help his mother and also put his black belt in jujitsu to good use as a bartender/doorman at Bank Shots. After earning his bachelor’s degree from Wilmington University in 2006, he moved to Mexico to work as a bodyguard. A year later, he was back in Delaware taking cooking lessons from his mother. His dad, meanwhile, taught him about restaurant bookkeeping.
Baptism by Fire
When Milburn’s parents decided to open Ubon Thai Kitchen & Bar, they sent him to Thailand to learn from his uncle, who would be the restaurant’s chef. Unfortunately, his uncle passed away a week before the restaurant opened. The job fell to Milburn, and he hit the ground running. Ubon, which opened in 2010, originally had about 90 seats. The kitchen did not “shy away from fiery heat,” wrote News Journal writer Patricia Talorico in 2011. “If it’s tears that you want while eating, they aren’t afraid to deliver them.” She praised the Thai Guy sticky wings. Although Milburn was the chef, Ubon was his father’s vision. Buddy, who’d retired from DuPont the year that Ubon the restaurant opened, was a jazz enthusiast who wanted to showcase live music and upscale cuisine, Milburn says. By 2013, Milburn was itching to get out on his own. “We were on different paths,” he says.
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Milburn in front of his Kapow food truck with his kimchi tacos and kapow roll.
He was full of ideas. In part, credit wife Jody, whom he married in 2013. The couple met when she called on Jeenwong Thai Cuisine to sell advertising. She’d recently moved from California and was craving Southeast Asian food. “I got some food to go, and I really enjoyed it, so I kept going back for the food,” she recalls. “And he never bought any advertising!” But on a personal level, he was sold. He invited her to the Best of Delaware party and offered to pick her up. “We became best friends for six months, and then he asked me to be his girlfriend,” she says. The couple dreamed of opening a restaurant but lacked the funds. Jody had lived in California, where food trucks were popular. Why not start small? Demonstrating their social media savviness, they raised money for a used vehicle through a crowdfunding platform. Kapow hit the road in March 2014. The truck’s menu offers far more than Thai dishes. Heavily influenced by Hawaiian flavors, the Milburns were among the first in the area to offer rice bowls, including the Huli-Huli bowl, a blend of teriyaki chicken, bell peppers, onions and pineapple topped with sesame seeds and cilantro. Jody is of Korean descent, and their tacos include a version with kimchi, a Korean dish with salted, fermented vegetables. Wit handled the food while Jody worked the food truck’s window. (She also manages social media.) Kapow soon became a familiar sight at festivals. “He’s definitely a go-getter and has established a good brand and following over the years,” says Leigh Ann Tona, owner of the I Don’t Give a Fork food truck. In the nascent days of the food truck business in Delaware, Tona and Milburn realized the benefit of strength in numbers. Milburn is a co-founder of Rolling Revolution, an association for food truck owners and mobile vendors that addresses their concerns. Operating a food truck is not easy. Owners need a place to park it when it’s not in use, as well as a place for prep. To solve both issues, Milburn in 2015 began renting space in the Booths Corner Farmers Market for Kapow Kitchen. The farmers market restaurant not only has a commercial facility that’s up to code, but it also has an expansive parking lot. He now has a second vehicle for the Philly market, which is friendly toward food trucks. Kapow and Kapow Kitchen feature several of the same dishes, but the eatery lets Milburn flex his culinary muscles. The greatly expanded menu includes appetizers, rice and noodle dishes, bowl and soups. ►
Run the Mill Trail 5K Fri, Sep 13, 5 – 9 pm Abbott’s Mill Nature Center Race the trails, craft brews, food & live music
Harvest Moon Festival Sat, Oct 5, 10 am – 5 pm Coverdale Farm Preserve Kids activities, food, live music & more
10 Year Anniversary Celebration & 5K Sun, Oct 13, 9 am – 2 pm DuPont Environmental Education Center 5K at 9am. Food, music, canoeing & more
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EAT FASCINATED BY FLAVOR continued from previous page
While opening two restaurant businesses and starting an association, the Milburns experienced significant life changes. In April 2017, Milburn’s brother, Chai, died of colon cancer at age 41. Buddy died from From the Ubon menu: honey chicken with broccoli. complications of a stroke in December 2018. But there also were joyful occasions, like the birth of Jody and Wit’s son, Joseph Chai (“J.C.”), in January 2018. With his father’s death, Wit Milburn stepped up to manage Ubon and put his own spin on it. “I didn’t want to try to do what my dad did and not do it right,” he says. He has freshened the décor by adding modern touches, including soothing neutral gray tones and woods. “It’s more relaxing,” he says. Over the years, the restaurant has expanded to accommodate 145 seats, including the popular patio. He plans to up that number to 155 by increasing outdoor seating. “Summer down there is fantastic,” he says of the Riverfront location. He’s also updating Ubon’s menu, which he originally crafted using family recipes. “My food has evolved so much,” he says. “I wanted to bring what I know works. I’m about creative food and pulling together different ethnicities and come up with something awesome. There are a lot of different flavors, but it’s simple. It tastes so good.” He’s big on spice. “If you’re coming to a Thai place, there should be a kick. It’s worked well at Kapow Kitchen.” Happy hour items at Ubon may include his food truck favorites, such as Thai sriracha tater tots with cheese and crab, sriracha Buffalo shrimp or Korean tacos. Some longtime Ubon customers aren’t thrilled with the changes, he acknowledges. However, with 27 employees among the three businesses that he’s overseeing, it’s essential to attract new customers and keep them coming back. He’s playing with vegan options to appeal to younger audiences. While Jody works full-time for ADP Payroll, she is still involved in the family businesses. “We work extremely well together,” she says. “Wit is such a good listener and has an open mind.” To say the least, they’re busy. When the Milburns are not working, they emphasize family time, he says. They recently took their son to a Thai festival to experience the culture. “I want him to know about his background because it creates who you are in the future,” Wit says. “You should be proud of your heritage, especially if you have more than one.” You can rest assured, however, that even in his downtime, Milburn is coming up with new ideas for his restaurants. “Nothing is ever perfect,” he says. “I’m always pursuing how to make something better.”
JEENWONG THAI CUISINE 3 S. Orange St., Riverfront Market Wilmington | 655-5140 KAPOW FOOD TRUCK 635-0041 kapowtruck.com
34 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
KAPOW KITCHEN 1362 Naamans Creek Rd., Booths Corner Farmers Market, Garnet Valley, PA 484-480-8442 | kapowkitchen.com UBON THAI KITCHEN & BAR 936 Justison St., Wilmington 656-1706 | ubonthaicuisine.com
Phot Butch Comegys
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BITES Tasty things worth knowing
Compiled by Kaleigh Hanson
WINE SPECTATOR UNCORKS DELAWARE WINNERS
ince 1981, Wine Spectator has recognized dining destinations around the world for their unique and extensive wine selections. This year, several Delaware restaurants have been given the award of excellence, including Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar (30904 Coastal Hwy., Bethany), Caffé Gelato (90 E. Main St., Newark), and Cuvée Ray Wine Bar and Restaurant (236 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth). In addition, the Best Award of Excellence was given to Domaine Hudson (1314 N. Washington St., Wilmington) for its large selection of diverse wines and complementary menu. For more information about the awards and restaurants, visit restaurants.winespectator.com.
DELAWARE’S BEST ON DISPLAY
elaware Today Magazine celebrates the state’s people, restaurants and services as it presents the Best of Delaware Party on Thursday, Aug. 8, at the Chase Center on the Riverfront (815 Justison St.). Each participant is a winner of a Best of Delaware award and will be offering food, drinks and music. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets start at $65. For more information, visit centerontheriverfront.com.
LOBSTER TUESDAYS AT HARRY’S
t’s the last month of Harry’s Savoy Grill’s summer Lobster Tuesday deal. Through Tuesday, Aug. 27, try Harry’s fresh, Maineimported 1.5-pound whole lobsters for only $32.99. This year, Harry’s has enjoyed a total of six Best of Delaware awards, including Best Restaurant in North Wilmington and Best Date Night. For more information, visit harryshospitalitygroup.com. 36 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
BURGER BATTLE SET FOR ROCKFORD PARK
or its eighth annual iteration on Saturday, Aug. 24, the Delaware Burger Battle will take place at a new location—Rockford Tower in Rockford Park. Guests can sample and vote on their favorite burgers from local chefs and restaurants while supporting the Food Bank of Delaware and Delaware Prostart, a program that teaches high school students culinary and foodmanagement skills. Adult tickets are $50 with less expensive designated driver and kids tickets available. For a list of participating restaurants, visit deburgerbattle.com.
STELLAR LINEUP FOR RESTAURANT WEEK
eventeen of the area's premier restaurants will be part of the sixth annual Brandywine Valley Restaurant Week set for Sept. 9-14. This year's lineup features Chester County hot spots Agave, Brandywine Prime and Hearth Kitchen. Wilmington area's participants include: Bardea Food & Drink, Buckley's Tavern, Columbus Inn, Domaine Hudson, Harry's Savoy Grill, Krazy Kat's, La Fia Bistro, Market Kitchen & Bar, Piccolina Toscana, The Back Burner, The Green Room, Tonic Bar & Grille, V&M Bistro and Walter's Steakhouse. Each restaurant will be preparing special menus that offer a threecourse dinner for $35. Those that serve lunch will feature a two-course menu for $15. Visit brandywinetaste.com
FOOD AND BEER IN THE GARDENS
t. Cuba Center Botanical Gardens (3120 Barley Mill Rd., Hockessin) presents Twilight on the Terrace on Friday, Aug. 16, from 5 to 8 p.m. The event will feature Uncle John’s BBQ, Zaikka, Bellefonte Brewing, lawn games and live music by Sin City Band. For more information, visit mtcubacenter.org.
Cruise The Christina
Thursday Night Happy Hour Cruises 5:30-7:00 Friday-Saturday Christina River Sightseeing Tours 2:00-3:30 | 4:00-5:30 | 6:00-7:30 Friday-Saturday Christina Nights Tours 8:00-9:30 Adults: $24 | Children 15 & Under: $12 | Seniors 62+: $20
WilmWaterAttractions.com Departs from Riverfrontâ€™s Public Dock, located directly behind Iron Hill Brewery on Justison Street.
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1. Amtrak Station 2. Opera Delaware Studios 3. Wilmington Youth Rowing Assn., WYRA.ORG 4. Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park 5. Residences at Christina Landing 6. Bank’s Seafood Kitchen & Raw Bar / Riverfront Market, BANKSSEAFOODKITCHEN.COM 7. Delaware Theatre Co., DELAWARETHEATRE.ORG 8. Docklands Riverfront, DOCKLANDSRIVERFRONT.COM 9. Cosi at the Barclays Crescent Building, GETCOSI.COM 10. Hare Pavilion/Riverwalk 11. AAA Mid-Atlantic Travel Center, AAAMIDATLANTIC.COM 12. The Delaware Contemporary, DECONTEMPORARY.ORG
13. Justison Landing, Currie Hair, Skin & Nails, CURRIEDAYSPA.COM Veritas Wine & Spirits, VERITASWINESHOP.COM Starbucks on the Riverfront Riverfront Pets, RIVERFRONTPETS.COM 14. Del Pez Mexican Gastropub, DELPEZMEXICANPUB.COM Goju Training Center, GOJUROBICS.COM 15. Delaware Children’s Museum, DELAWARECHILDRENSMUSEUM.ORG Riverwalk Mini Golf, RIVERWALKMINIGOLF.COM 16. Joe’s Crab Shack, JOESCRABSHACK.COM 17. Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, IRONHILLBREWERY.COM 18. Public Docks 19. Big Fish Grill, BIGFISHRIVERFRONT.COM
E R WA L K
MINI G LF
and Riverwalk Bike Rentals
Visit RiverfrontWilm.com for info on events happening at the Riverfront! Photo by Joe del Tufo 20. Frawley Stadium, BLUEROCKS.COM Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame 21. Chase Center on the Riverfront, CENTERONTHERIVERFRONT.COM 22. Dravo Plaza & Dock 23. Shipyard Center Planet Fitness, PLANETFITNESS.COM 24. Timothy’s Restaurant, TIMOTHYSONTHERIVERFRONT.COM Molly’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, MOLLYSICECREAM.COM Ubon Thai Restaurant 25. Wilmington Rowing Center, WILMINGTONROWING.ORG 26. Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge/ DuPont Environmental Education Center, DUPONTEEC.ORG 27 Riverfront Commuter Lot, RIVERFRONTWILM.COM/PARKING
28. Penn Cinema Riverfront IMAX, PENNCINEMARIVERFRONT.COM 29. CrossFit Riverfront, CFRIVERFRONT.COM 30. The Residences at Harlan Flats, HARLANFLATS.THERESIDENCES.NET 31. Altitude Trampoline Park, ALTITUDEWILMINGTON.COM 32. The Westin Wilmington, WESTINWILMINGTON.COM River Rock Kitchen, RIVERROCKKITCHEN.COM 33. Delaware Humane Association, DEHUMANE.ORG 34. Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard / Fort Christina Park, KALMARNYCKEL.ORG 35. Jack A. Markell Bike Trail 36. Constitution Yards Beer Garden, CONSTITUTIONYARDS.COM 37. 76ers Fieldhouse, BLUECOATS.GLEAGUE.NBA.COM
Mayor Purzycki, Public Works Commissioner Kelly Williams and Delmarva Power Region President Gary Stockbridge hold a new LED light prior to its installation at 7th and North Monroe streets.
WILMINGTON, DELMARVA COLLABORATE ON LED STREET LIGHT PROJECT
n July, Mayor Mike Purzycki and Delmarva Power Region President Gary Stockbridge announced a joint demonstration project – ConnectWilmington – that will see new LED street lights and smart sensors installed in parts of Wilmington to begin making the City brighter, safer, cleaner and technologically advanced. Delmarva Power, at the City’s request, will fund and manage the initial project by converting 215 existing street lights to LED and activating 50 smart sensors and various smart city technologies. This is Phase One of the Purzycki Administration’s plan to convert all 7,050 street lights in the City to LED lighting, thus opening the door to smart, sustainable technology throughout the City. The demonstration project is occurring in West Center City and along stretches of Washington St., Baynard Blvd. and N. Market St. near Brandywine Village. “Wilmington’s becoming a smarter City and we are preparing for what promises to be an exciting and challenging future dominated by ever-expanding technology and the collection and use of data,” said the Mayor. “LED lighting will give the entire City a new look and feel and will add to our improving public safety efforts, but I believe it can also make us a more cost-efficient and fiscally responsible City that serves citizens better and makes the City better overall.”
40 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
CITY HALL GOES TO THE DOGS… AND CATS!
he City and the Brandywine Valley SPCA co-hosted a FREE rabies shot clinic in Freedom Plaza on N. French St. next to the City/County Building on July 13. Dogs received rabies and distemper shots while cats were given the FVRCP vaccination. More than 150 pets were served during the three-hour event. The BVSPCA also offered pet food assistance to attendees. “Wilmington cares about animals and their owners, so we were very happy to host this FREE clinic,” said Mayor Purzycki. “The Brandywine Valley SPCA is doing tremendous work regarding pet care, adoption and education, and I urge everyone to continue supporting their efforts.”
A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO OUT & ABOUT MAGAZINE
NEWS YOU CAN USE! SPECIAL EVENTS PERMIT
Having a block party or other special event this summer? You can apply for permits online here: bit.ly/WilmDEEventsPermit
MAYOR PURZYCKI AWARDS OVER $31,000 IN COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS TO WILMINGTON HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS
ayor Purzycki awarded more than $31,000 in college scholarships to 18 high school seniors from Wilmington last month during a ceremony at the Redding City County Building. “Our great responsibility is to level the playing field so everybody has the opportunity to go out and take advantage of their talents without having any undue impediments,” said Mayor Purzycki. “This is a small gesture to be able to help you – parents and kids – along the way on this important endeavor in your lives.” The Mayor congratulated the students and their parents, saying the young men and women selected for scholarships this year represent a crosssection of the best and brightest students in Wilmington. Each student received an award of $1,760 to help cover the cost of his or her college education. To be eligible for a Mayoral Scholarship, seniors had to be a City resident, have a 2.5 GPA or better, and demonstrate leadership and a commitment to community service. Awardees also submitted an essay and other references.
Looking for general job information and resources? Visit www.wilmingtonde.gov/ government/employment to learn about education and training, labor laws and regulations, how to apply for government jobs, as well as other employment-related information.
Looking for a community organization or civic association in your area? Visit: bit.ly/ WilmDECivicAssoc
MARK YOUR CALENDAR AUG 2
WILMINGTON ART LOOP
AFRICAN AND CARIBBEAN HERITAGE FESTIVAL (DELAWARE ART MUSEUM)
AUG 3-4 RIVERFRONT BLUES FESTIVAL (TUBMAN-GARRETT PARK)
CHEMOURS AWARDS FUTURE OF CHEMISTRY SCHOLARSHIPS TO SIX YOUNG WOMEN
or the second straight year, The Chemours Co. awarded Future of Chemistry scholarships to promising high school seniors who have committed to studying a STEM program at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) this fall. Mayor Purzycki, who participated in the awards ceremony last month, congratulated the six very accomplished young women who accepted scholarships totaling $165,000 from Chemours: Nia Anderson, Kayla Bell-Davis, Jazmine Harrison, Simone Josey, Larae Christie, and Jalynn Sampson. The Mayor also thanked Chemours—in particular CEO Mark Vergnano, Susan Kelliher and Mark Newman—for giving back to the community by investing in the future of our bright and talented young people. The scholarship program is an outgrowth of the Mayor’s HBCU Week, launched in 2017 to support and promote HBCUs. The third annual HBCU Week will take place September 15-21, 2019. A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO OUT & ABOUT MAGAZINE
AUG 10 DOWNTOWN BREWFEST (CHELSEA TAVERN) AUG 17 DELAWARE TACO FESTIVAL (TUBMAN-GARRETT PARK) AUG 24 DELAWARE BURGER BATTLE (ROCKFORD TOWER) AUG AUGUST QUARTERLY 24-25 FESTIVAL (TUBMAN-GARRETT PARK) For more meetings and events in the month of August, visit: www.wilmingtonde.gov.
AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
August 2 5pm Start Complimentary Shuttle Service returns in September Most exhibitions listed here continue through this month
A program of the Mayorâ€™s Office of Cultural Affairs
The Delaware Contemporary
2nd & LOMA
Ernest & Scott Taproom
SPIDER MOTHER, Draper Experiment by Clay Dunklin
Fa City of Wilmington Louis L. Redding Gallery 800 N. French Street 576-2100 • wilmingtonde.gov Artist: Seonglan Kim Boyce
mily Found n atio
ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: “When It’s Done: The Making of a Chef” book signing and tasting with author and chef Gretchen Hanson, an award-winning chef and restaurateur from the former Hobos Restaurant and Bar.
Drag queens, lady celebrities and hangers-on from Andy Warhol’s New York are reimagined as an anonymous femme militia in these altered photographs printed on silk georgette from a collection of Warhol’s polaroids taken between the 1950s and 1980s.
YOU CAN’T MAKE IT WITHOUT EVER EVEN TRYING, University of Delaware Curatorial Fellow Solo Exhibition by Kate Testa
AMPHIBIAN RELATIONSHIPS, By artist No. 223
Chris White Gallery 701 N. Shipley Street 601-1160 • chriswhitegallery.com Artist: Warhol’s Army, Lydia Moyer
The Delaware Contemporary 200 South Madison St. 656-6466 • decontemporary.org Artists: artist No. 223, Kate Testa, Clay Dunklin
now using her art talent to bridge the gap between corporate and culture. Telling stories of love, learning and life with her art. Come see this amazing expression of the soul of the artist.
a su le s ta i n a b
6 - 8 | SABA Art-Making: Drawing and Printmaking
This exhibition features minimalist abstract paintings by The Delaware Contemporary studio artist.
Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery 820 N. French St. 577-8278 • arts.delaware.gov Artist: The Realistic Colors of Art Transit, Geraldo Gonzalez
2nd & LOMA 211 N. Market Street 655-0124 • 2ndandloma.com Artist: Cosms: faces and places by Liz and iris A multimedium macro/micro view of other worlds! Liz and iris are a free form visual and performance art duo that flit betwixt and between mediums and subjects Academy for Peace 203 N. Market Street 384-0156 Artist: Wanda Campbell New artist Wanda Campbell has burst on the scene in vibrant colors! Wanda is a former corporate professional who is
The Delaware Division of the Arts is pleased to present a selection of new work by 2019 Individual Artist Fellowship recipient Geraldo Gonzalez. Ernest & Scott Taproom 902 N. Market Street 384-8113 • ernestandscott.com Artist: Anthonio Rojas Mexican handcrafts and folk art is a complex collection of items made with various materials and intended for utilitarian, decorative or other purposes. Some of the items produced by hand in this country include ceramics, wall hangings, vases, furniture, textiles and much more.
LaFate Gallery 227 N. Market St. 656-6786 • lafategallery.com Artist: Celebrating Jamaica’s 57th Independence Anniversary The Opening Reception will feature Bob Marley’s Reggae Music and Eunice LaFate will provide information on Jamaica’s rich Culture. She will sign lithographs of her Iconic painting, “Out Of Many One People” MKT Place Gallery 200 W. 9th Street 438-6545 Artist: “Capturing a Moment in Time” Sarah Baptist Sarah is an urban landscape oil painter, who enjoys plein air painting. She finds the juxtaposition of man and nature intriguing. The Urban Bike Project 1500 N. Walnut Street 300-4323 • urbanbikeproject.com Artist: Artivist D Marque Hall An “Artivist” uses his art to inspire social change and D. Marque Hall is using his art to fight for it. He worked with Mark Ellis (Tyler Grad), owner of Remark Glass in S. Philly @ the BOK Studios, to create a fighter made from old bike parts and other key items to inspire us to fight back against the pain and violence caused by dangerous drugs to ourselves, our families and our communities. WEST END V-Trap Kitchen & Lounge 607 N. Lincoln St 364-0474 • vtrapkitchen.com Artist: “In the Flesh” by Joshua Carter Chester, PA native Joshua Carter’s abstract style of painting developed out of a confused sense of identity. He turned to painting as an outlet of expressing his emotions. Food samples and specials for Art Loop attendees.
Next Art Loop Wilmington: September 6, 2019
Here's what's pouring Compiled by Nathan Hawk
A FESTIVAL FOR A KING
t noon on Saturday, Aug. 10, Chelsea Tavern (21 N. Market St.) will host the third annual Downtown Brewfest. More than 100 brews and 50 local breweries will be featured, accompanied by a home-brew competition, live music acts, DJs, food trucks and 11 area restaurants. All proceeds from the event will go to the Restore the King initiative headed by The Friends of Gambrinus, Inc. General Admission tickets are available at $40 with other options available, including VIP. There will be Lyft incentives as well. For more information, visit brewfestwilm.com
OKTOBERFEST AT UNIVERSITY AND WHIST
ktoberfest plans are underway at the newly renovated Carriage House at The Tilton Mansion, home to The University and Whist Club. Built in 1902 at 9th and Broom streets, the Carriage House will host seasonal beer garden events, including a day-long Oktoberfest (Tilton on Tap) celebration on Saturday, Oct 5. Tilton on Tap will be open to non-members. Visit Events at the Whist on Facebook for more information.
AUSTRALIAN-THEMED ALE FROM BELLEFONTE
he result of a close relationship between Bellefonte Brewing Co. and Lost Wonder Brewing Co., NEIPA Double Down Wonder ale is now available following a July 20 launch. This collaborative ale is brewed with Galaxy and Vic Secret hops, both of which are Australian, and sits at 8.4 percent ABV. Being still in its infancy, Lost Wonder Brewing has no location yet, but hopes that this joint enterprise will help lay a foundation for future endeavors, while increasing the brand’s reputation and recognition.
44 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
ilmington Brew Works (3129 Miller Rd.) will host a Beerthday Bacchanalia on Friday, Aug. 9, and Saturday, Aug. 10, celebrating its first anniversary. Live and DJ music will be playing on the patio and in the backyard, while food trucks cook, games are played and drinks are drunk. Fifty VIP tickets are available for $50 each night. They come with a special goblet, an exclusive celebration with the owners, and drinks otherwise not available. For more information, visit wilmingtonbrewworks.com.
DOGFISH GIVES US THE RASPBERRIES
niquely aged in red-and-white wine barrels for nine months, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s new edition to its wild beer program, In & Of Itself, will be on shelves this month. Smelling like sweet raspberry pie, this ruby red beer is brewed with more than two pounds of raspberries a gallon in addition to some Etrog and Buddha’s Hand. Bottled by hand, In & Of Itself can be found in hand-painted bottles throughout Delaware and Maryland.
RIDE, WALK AND SIP ON GROUNDS OF HAGLEY
ogfish Head Craft Brewery is the featured libation for Hagley Museum and Library's Bike & Hike & Brews held each Wednesday through Aug. 28 from 5-8 p.m. Guests can walk, jog or bike then enjoy Dogfish Head varieties on the Hagley grounds (200 Hagley Creek Road). Food is also available at Hagley's Belin House Café. If the dish is from the Belin House’s preorder menu, the order must be placed by Monday, so that it is ready by Wednesday. Ice cream also will be available, courtesy of Woodside Farm Creamery. Admission is free for Hagley members and those under 5, and $3 for everyone else. Honoring the late summer, canines can accompany their owners on the last Wednesday of August. For more information regarding the Bike & Hike & Brews, visit hagley.org.
MISPILLION’S MENAGERIE OF IMAGINATION For brewery co-founder and president Eric Williams, the recipe for success infuses quality with wild creativity and humor
Mispillion River Brewing's Eric Williams says that demand for their beer is high even amid a crowded marketplace.
By Jim Miller
Photos by Butch Comegys
would have never anticipated that I would have met so many dear friends in this room,” says Eric Williams as he looks around the tasting room at Mispillion River Brewing, a craft beer haven that’s been operating on the outskirts of Milford since November 2013. Williams is the co-founder, president, operating partner, and current sales rep for a brewery that’s famous for its top-selling IPAs—Reach Around and Not Today Satan. Mispillion has more than its share of off-the-wall humor, but here at the brewery, Williams’ crew are serious about one thing: making delicious, fun beer. It’s not hard to imagine this dichotomy as a reflection of their leader, who exhibits a Bugs Bunny-like sense of comic timing and awareness. Williams’ wit and whimsy comes in slight contrast to his physical demeanor. As he praises his staff, he beams through a long, gray, bifurcated beard, which gives him the appearance of a biker at Sturgis or a mountain man. Which, as it turns out, is appropriate. “I’ve always been an avid outdoorsman,” Williams says. “I [have] a degree in wildlife biology from the University of Montana. It was an amazing experience
being out there. We were all over those mountains. I worked for the National Forrest Service for a while. I got to study a lot of streams in that area, so I got to find all these really cool fishing spots.” Perhaps those wildlife experiences have something to do with Mispillion’s use of animals in its beer themes. Maybe they also have something to do with how Williams deals with the other types of “wildlife” in and out of the brewery—including the beer industry itself. “The market is really crowded right now with a lot of great breweries, which makes it difficult to sell beer,” he says. “Even just six years ago, if you put up a brewery, people would come to it. Now there’s a brewery everywhere. So you have to do more with marketing and advertising.” That said, Williams comes across as a man confident about Mispillion’s place in the ever-expanding frontiers of craft beer. Likewise, he speaks highly of his staff and with humble gratitude when it comes to Mispillion’s fans. “I love Delaware,” he says. Here’s what else he had to say about his brewery’s place in the First State, where it’s been and what’s just around the corner. ► AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
DRINK MISPILLION’S MENAGERIE OF IMAGINATION continued from previous page
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O&A: Mispillion has done a really good job of using humor as a marketing tool. It’s a distinctive element to what you do in your themes and designs. What can you say about that? Williams: The artwork on our cans is pretty awesome. Our artist, Tom Ryan, does an amazing job. He’s worked with us since winter of 2014. We know that people come to our tasting room to relax, forget about the rest of the world, have a beer or two, and talk with some friends. I think that’s the essence of craft brewing. Once you start to take yourself too seriously—in the business towards the public—I think you start to lose the allure. We use humor because, No. 1, we love laughing. And No. 2, we know that kind of stuff gets attention. We named a beer Reach Around. We laughed for half an hour when we came up with that name. And it was just out of a joke. So I think it’s important. There are serious sides to the business. But people don’t need to know that. They want to have a good time. They want to laugh. And if we can make that happen, we might gain another fan. O&A: Talk a bit about brewing a beer and then naming it. You’re going through a creative process there with lots of things to consider. Williams: Some names come really easy. With others we sit down and talk about it. Usually we try to do it in a relaxed situation. Or we’re already in a relaxed situation: It’s an afternoon, we’re having some beers together, and we’re like, “What are we gonna name this beer?” And people start throwing names out there. One name might start being the name, but will get shortened or get turned into something a little bit different. Lightning Bug IPA was pretty easy because we wanted to make a beer that basically told the Firefly concert promoters that we don’t have fireflies in Delaware, we have lightning bugs. Little Dictator is another because that’s just funny. That makes us laugh. [Ed: The Little Dictator Jalapeno Hefeweizen and Lightning Bug IPA are both currently available at the tasting room.] We do take a lot from pop culture and movies.
Wild animals and off-the-wall humor play large roles in Mispillion’s marketing.
O&A: You use a lot of Star Wars references. Williams: Nobody’s called us yet. We expect it. We did have the Olympics Committee’s lawyer send us a letter because we were doing the Beer Olympics a few years back. I called her, and she told me, “You can’t do that.” I said, “You can’t really copyright Olympics.” Then she said, “Our logo is on your Facebook page.” And I was like, “Oh, it is?” [laughs] We both started laughing. And then I told her we’d take it down. O&A: You also seem to utilize a lot of fairly exotic animals in your beer names. Williams: Pretty much everything’s got an animal. When we do a new beer, it’s like, “What animal are we going to put on it?” O&A: Like the sloth on the Reach Around. Williams: The sloth was the beginning. O&A: Space Otter. That’s a great beer, by the way. Williams: Thank you. That beer name started when Ryan Maloney, our brewmaster, was brewing beers for owners of the company. In honor of them. So, he knows one of my favorite styles—if not my favorite—is pale ale. So he brewed this pale ale, which he thought I would like. And I do. Then it came time to name it. We were sitting around a local bar and decided on the theme of “spirit animals.” Someone downloaded an app that asks you questions, and it pops out your spirit animal. So I do it, and it gives me a butterfly. I’m like, “No, no, no. We’re not putting a butterfly on my beer. It’s gotta have teeth.” Ryan says, “I know you. Let me do it.” So he ran it for me, and it gave him “otter.” And from there, we went with it. We said it came from “otter space.” That’s how that came about. Sometimes that is the process. O&A: So that’s your spirit beer. Williams: Yep. And it’s still out there. O&A: What new beers of yours should people keep an eye out for? Williams: The most interesting new beer that we have out right now is War Badger, which is a “sports Berliner.” Basically, it’s a fruit punch electrolyte-infused sour beer. It’s red. It’s delicious. It’s literally the dumbest idea that you could think of in the beer world. And I hated it. Now, I love it. Not because it sells, but because as soon as I tasted it, I was like, “OK, we’re onto something. That’s interesting.” It covers a lot of ground. It’s a craft sour, but the fruity drinkers will like it, too. ►
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DRINK MONDAY NIGHT Classic Rock with Anthony Gallucio 8:30-11:30pm
MISPILLION’S MENAGERIE OF IMAGINATION continued from previous page
TUESDAYS “Q’S” Day Open Mic 8-11pm WEDNESDAY NIGHT 1/2 Price Lg. Pizza 5-10pm
QUIZZO w/ Gador @ 8pm
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Monday- Friday 2pm-6pm $ 4 Craft Drafts • $ 5 App & Munchie Menu
Customer Adam Knechel, of Milford, enjoys a cold beer on a hot and humid afternoon next to Tammy Perlot, bartender and co-owner of Mispillion River Brewing.
O&A: We’re going into August. It’s hot out there. People aren’t going to want to drink a bunch of 7 percent beers after playing volleyball. Williams: Our 5 percent War Badger would be perfect for that. O&A: Explain the electrolyte thing. Williams: We’re taking a sports drink that has electrolytes in it and we infuse it as the beer is going from the fermenter to the bright tank, where we condition it. O&A: Do you find that it’s a challenge that you have the demand for certain well-known products—like Reach Around and Not Today Satan—but, at the same time, you want to create these new products and may be limited by resources? Williams: Yeah, there’s a lot of reasons why we could get delayed. It could be a shipping company not delivering something. Or we couldn’t move the beer through our fermenters fast enough. We can do a little more than 225 barrels every two weeks, but if we can’t get it through there [fast enough] and it’s selling, we can’t do the new beers. Our biggest challenge this year has been that the demand has been high. We’re trying to keep up. But that’s a good problem to have. O&A: Where is your market? Is it mostly in Delaware, or are you also in other states? Williams: The bulk of what we sell, we sell right here in Delaware. But we are also in Eastern Shore Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Ohio. There are all these interesting little pockets of craft beer enthusiasts. And they are so different from one another. Ohio is different from Delaware. The sour thing really hasn’t hit there. It’s hit here. Ohio is different from Philly. Wilmington is different from down here (Milford). O&A: In the next five years, where do you see Mispillion? Williams: I’ve been asked that question from the beginning. We definitely want to grow and get bigger. And we definitely would like to have a new facility that would allow us to have that growth. We’re kind of packed in here pretty tight. For me personally, I want it to go as far as [it can] as long as it’s still fun and it’s still profitable for our investors and profitable for our employees. We have a lot of great people here, and I want them to reap the benefits, too. It’s a tough business now. But it’s still extremely rewarding.
48 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
A TOAST TO LOCAL CRAFT PRODUCERS Delaware Beer, Wine & Spirits Festival celebrates its 10th year on August 24
elaware’s craft alcohol producers take center stage on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the 10th Annual Delaware Beer, Wine & Spirits Festival at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village in Dover. The 2:30-7:30 p.m. event is a Kent County tradition and is the only statewide festival that features the full roster of Delaware producers—from beer to wine to spirits to mead. “The Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village is a perfect setting for this event,” says event manager Julie Miro Wenger. “It’s located in the middle of the state, the activities take place in a wonderful late 19th-century village, and it reinforces the connection between Delaware farmers and craft alcohol producers.” This year’s event will again feature a VIP ticket ($79), which includes early access (2:30-4 p.m.), exclusive and unlimited tastings, premium free parking, catered lunch and a glass souvenir cup. General admission tickets are $50 and include unlimited tastings and a souvenir cup. Live music will be provided by bands representing various parts of the state, including Lyric Drive, Clifford Keith Band, and Blue Cat Blues. Other features include free parking, food trucks, mechanical bull riding, festival games and guided tours of the Agricultural Museum and Village. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit DEBeerWineSpirits.com.
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— O&A AUGUST MARCH 2019 2016 || OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Saturday, August 10, 2019 Saturday, August 10, 2019 Saturday,12August pm pm10, 2019 pm – 7pm 12 –7 7pm 12pm – For Tickets, For For Tickets, Tickets, More Details & Updates Visit: More Details & Updates More Details & Updates Visit: Visit:
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Spirited Our recommendation from an area pro
Celebrating 86 Years
Visit Our State-Of-Art Growler Station…
From Joe Renaud, Beverage Director at Homegrown
What I really like about this lavender mojito is that it is bright and refreshing, yet also floral. It’s a drink that I can sit on the front porch and really enjoy with minimal effort. Lavender is such a delicate flower but offers so many flavor profiles that are really fun for the summer, and combined with mint it’s a really great summer drink.
FILL. DRINK. REPEAT.
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KRE STONWINE S .CO M
Things you'll need: • 2 oz. White rum (I use Naked Turtle) • .5 oz. lime juice • .5 oz. lavender simple syrup (see below) • 6-10 mint leaves To make lavender simple syrup: • 2 oz. of lavender • .5 cup sugar • .5 cup water • Bring the water and sugar to a boil and add the lavender. Bring to medium heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until the water starts to thicken. • Remove from heat and cool. • Strain Make your Lavender Mojito • Place the mint leaves and your liquid ingredients into a shaker tin. • Muddle the mint delicately (too much muddling and you will create a grassy flavor profile)—you just want to get the oils from the mint out of the leaves. • Add ice and delicately shake. • Strain all the liquid into a new glass with fresh ice and top with soda water. Enjoy!
52 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
ONE IN A MILLION Enigmatic, Dover-based poet and rapper Amillion Mayfield talks Firefly, his new project 1na Tour, and his upcoming summer camp By Mack Caldwell
Amillion says he's “obsessed with greatness.” Photo courtesy of Amillion Mayfield
hen it comes to Amillion Mayfield, there’s a lot to unpack. It’s best to start simple. “What do you want people to know about you?” I ask him in a clip of our meeting that he posted to Instagram. “I just want them to know . . . Amillion is really me . . . it’s not the stage name. You know . . . it’s really who I am.” He sits in front of me, leaning forward in a patio chair. We’re at his mother’s house in Dover, his hometown, although he was born in Washington, D.C. It’s a newly built colonial with all the suburban fixings: glass-enclosed porch, beautiful front lawn, a deck. Amillion’s second car, a gray 2010 Chrysler 300, sits in the driveway. The backyard is filled with miniature artificial ducks, mysterious and charming, placed in long lines that wrap around trees and over logs. He’s wearing ripped jeans, a white T-shirt with a bedazzled skull surrounded by flowers, and a pink baseball cap with a gold finger pointed toward heaven, a reference to both God and himself. After all, his name, he says, means one in a million. What I thought was going to be an hour interview has turned into a day. “I’m obsessed with greatness,” he says, staring off into the distance. His assistant, Deanna Wright, who has been with Amillion since the beginning of his music career, stands behind me with a cellphone, recording as he continues. “I want to be a trillionaire. I want to be someone who you can attach to success…but the way I reached it is pure. I never sold my soul.”
SELLING A BRAND
But selling is exactly what Amillion wants to do. “Music is like the commercial, to get people to buy into your product and your movement, and your brand,” he says. He’s been rapping for the past six years, but attaches many titles to himself, all aimed at marketing his brand. “I’m gonna be a future mogul,” he says. “That’s how I see my brand evolving. It goes from Amillion The Poet to Amillion the Best-Selling Author, Amillion the International Hip-Hop Artist, and one day, Amillion the Mogul.” His words flow like a steady stream of clickbait. Amillion has probably made more local headlines than any non-politician. As he’ll tell anyone, he is a father first. His projects are laced with his 12-year-old daughter Aaliyah Adams-Mayfield, who appears in his music, videos, and social media. They’ve even co-written a book—Beauty Full (2014). In a video on her website, posted in June, she cartwheels into the frame. “Sorry I’ve been really inactive lately,” she says, before in one breath stating that just won both the U.S. Finals in Virginia with her cheer team SYA Extreme and also got first place in the Individual All-Around Competition for gymnastics with her team Gymstarz Gymnastics in Delaware. She caps it all off by spinning around and hinting at potential new merch. ►
AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
LISTEN ONE IN A MILLION continued from previous page
Amillion is equally as energized and prolific. At 34, he has played basketball overseas professionally, written a book of poetry, traveled to countless schools and prisons to carry out poetry workshops, and has performed on stages all over the world, from Amsterdam to the Dominican Republic. His latest project, 1na 1na Tour is an autobiographical collection of songs reminiscent of early 2000s R&B. Tour, released in June, is an autobiographical collection of songs reminiscent of early 2000s R&B. But if you held it against a wall, grabbed its arm, and mainlined it with DJ Khaled, it is an album littered with catchphrases and inspirational messages absent of nuance. The single “6pm in London,” for instance, slingshots us into the moments before a major gig abroad. Sample lyric: "It's about 5:55 / Top floor of The Park Plaza Hotel / Westminster London / 62 degrees." That’s not meant as a metaphor. He’s actually writing about the fact that from his hotel window he could literally see the line for his show wrapped around the block. “Rest In Poetry, Pt.3” is a one-minute spoken word tribute to Nipsey Hussle, a portrait of local violence and a pop culture thermometer. “While they was talking about 6ix9ine being a snitch, another body was being buried in a ditch.” In the music video, he stands on top of a train car as he says, “One hundred unsolved murders in Wilmington / Three thousand youth found homeless in the state / The fifth body just found in Silver Lake / Rhetorical question how many more will it take?” “I haven’t seen any kind of fiction coming out his mouth,” says Brent Ferguson, aka “Ferg,” production manager of Jet Phynx Films, a Wilmington creative agency that has worked with Amillion on various projects. Ferguson, 33, first met Amillion while working on the music video for Road to Firefly (also the name of an accompanying mini-documentary). Amillion was one of the acts scheduled to play the main stage at Firefly Music Festival 2017 in Dover. “We actually connected right out of the gate. He is a single father, I am a single father,” Ferguson tells me over the phone. Road to Firefly is jam-packed with shots of Amillion shooting hoops at the courts under I-95 near MLK Boulevard in Wilmington, footage from his concert, and an aerial view of him riding on a truck covered in LED video screens. Ferguson asked himself before the show, “What can I do in this Dover area to get people to the stage where Amillion is performing?” He remembered his friend had an LED billboard truck, so he gave him a call and throughout the festival campgrounds and the city the truck went, displaying a promo video for Amillion’s show. “It was definitely a sight to see,” says Ferguson.
FATHER AND DAUGHTER SHELVES
Amillion’s house is a short drive from his mom’s place, And it’s similar—large colonial, quiet, and suburban. A flat screen TV at the center of the living room plays the music video for his single Air It Out, which aired on MTV and VH1. Flanking the TV are two shelves: one dedicated to news articles about him and awards he has received, the other to his daughter’s gymnastics trophies. On the wall there is a key to the city of Dover, awarded to him in 2017. Every object in his house is there to support the persona he created with each article, interview, album, project, speech, book. Today, the place is empty of people except for Amillion, Wright, and me. But during Firefly, according to Ferguson, it was a full house, a crazy, wild, exciting moment in time. Things have seemed to settle for now, but it’s unlikely that Amillion will allow it to stay that way. For next summer he’s planning a one-week writing camp with four available weeks, an extension of his workshops, hosting up to 250 kids. 54 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Photo courtesy of Amillion Mayfield
ENERGETIC AND PROLIFIC
COLLEGES, HIGH SCHOOLS, LIBRARIES
His visit to Ferris School for Boys in Wilmington in 2016 was educational for him and his audience. “Their minds are somewhere else,” he says. “It makes you have to be so on point. You can’t cheat the process. If you’re fake and you’re not a great performer—or have a great message or whatever the case may be—they’re gonna get you up out of there.” Over the past five years, he says, he has hosted his workshops at more than 50 colleges, 15 high school districts, 10 libraries, and five adult and juvenile detention facilities, all of which are contracted. He has performed and given speeches more than 100 times at various schools, churches, and prisons. But he doesn’t stop there, he has a scholarship titled Amillion The Poet Scholarship, and his philanthropic work ranges from national Boys & Girls Club tours, food drives with Solid Rock Baptist Church and the Delicious Cravings Food Truck, to Duffy’s Hope Celebrity Basketball Charity Game, which takes place on Saturday, Aug. 3 at the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington. He wants to enable young creatives from all walks of life to be able to express themselves, and to set an example as someone who despite being from a small town still made it to the big stage. And he gets his message across. In a video from his visit to Ferris, a room full of young men point their fingers in the air and echo Amillion in chanting, “I am one in a million.” Outside, it looks like it’s about to rain. In his backyard is a trampoline. The neighborhood kids come by to jump on it. As I leave, one of them, riding by the house on his bike, waves to Amillion. We shake hands. “Do you think they’ll put this on the cover?” he asks. “I don’t know,” I tell him. “I’ll have to write it first.” He walks toward his door, looks out. “Let’s aim for the cover.”
Something For Everyone.
Stacks of his book P.I.M.P (Poetry In Motion Proceeds) sit next to the couch. He selfpublished it in 2011, and claims it sold more than 30,000 copies in the first three years, a jaw-dropping number, and a testament to his ability to promote pretty much anything. In the video for Air It Out he hands a homeless man a signed copy of the book, and he sells it at all his appearances at prisons and schools.
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56 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
5 QUESTIONS WITH
LITTLE FEAT’S PAUL BARRERE The guitarist and singer talks about the band’s 50th anniversary, lessons learned from listening to Miles Davis, and the new iteration of Funky Feat—which has a gig at Fortify Music Fest in Delaware City on Aug. 10 A Little Feat side-project, Funky Feat features (l-r) Fred Tackett, Gabe Ford, Paul Barrere and Kenny Gradney. Photo courtesy of Funky Feat
By Jim Miller
usic’s about a conversation,” says Little Feat guitarist and vocalist Paul Barrere. “You’re having a conversation with anyone who’s listening. And you want them to get a reaction from it.” On the phone from California, his voice sounds aged and sunbaked, his delivery relaxed, as if his thoughts and words are drifting in on a Pacific breeze. Soon the 71-year-old musician will be on the opposite coast, in our neck of the woods, playing the Fortify Music Fest on Saturday, Aug. 10, with a relatively new Little Feat side-project called Funky Feat. Joining Barrere in the project are Little Feat stalwarts Fred Tackett on guitar, Kenny Gradney on bass, and Gabe Ford on drums. “Funky Feat really just grew out of the fact that Fred and I had been touring as an acoustic duo,” Barrere says. “And we just thought it would be fun to bring in electric instruments, crank up and just have at it.” Being on the road is a welcome change for Barrere. Four years ago he was diagnosed with liver cancer. Although he was able to beat it, the fight meant giving up touring—and, really, playing music much at all—for a while. During the hiatus, other Little Feat members had to find other ways to keep busy. But that’s all changed now. Thankfully. “This is the first year [in a while] that Little Feat has toured with any consistency,” Barrere says. “This will be Little Feat’s 50th anniversary.”
His voice takes on a comedic, incredulous tone, as if he can’t believe his own words: “Fiftieth anniversary?” The remark prompts the question of how a band reaches such an impressive milepost. Barrere resists the opportunity to wax philosophic or resort to esoteric mumbo-jumbo. “It’s the music and it’s the players,” he says. “That’s why we do it. It’s pretty simple. The music is great; it’s interpretive; people can jam to it, y’know? [laughs]. O&A: I think the question that a lot of Little Feat fans will have is: What music can we expect to hear with this lineup of Funky Feat? Barrere: Well, we play a lot of Little Feat songs, obviously. But we kind of add a little more funk to it. There’s a little more interplay between Fred and myself—the two melodic instruments. Kenny and Gabe are holding it down underneath. It’s been going really good. Last year we did a little tour with Los Lobos. It’s just a lot of fun. We play a lot of songs that Little Feat doesn’t do. Which is cool. We’ll do “Clownin’” [from their 1991 release Shake Me Up]. We do a killer version of “Fat Man [in the Bathtub]” and “Keepin’ Up With the Joneses.” We do a couple of songs that The Band did: “Long Black Veil” and “The Weight.” I can guarantee you’re gonna have a good time. ► AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
O&A: Looking at the lineup with Funky Feat, you’ve been playing with Fred for a while and with Kenny since you both joined Little Feat in 1972. After all these years, after all those records and tours, are you still able to grow? Are you able to find new territories to explore? Barrere: Oh, yeah, absolutely. One thing about being a musician, to me, is that you’re always exploring, you’re always growing, you’re always enjoying playing the music. There’s a wealth of jazz combinations that Miles Davis put together. He would play “Kind of Blue” or “‘Round Paul Barrere of Little Feat and Funky Feat. Midnight,” and it would always be different. [He and his band mates] always had a different interpretation on it. So we kind of kept that same ideal with Little Feat. We’re not changing players all that much, but we’re changing how things get done. O&A: I remember identifying with Little Feat the first time—hearing “Skin It Back” on WMMR in Philadelphia—and wondering “What is this music?” My dad listened to country and jazz, and my mom was really into R&B, soul, and rock & roll. Little Feat sounded like all of that. I love bands like that—that explore lots of genres and defy categorization. But I wonder: Is that a double-edged sword? Barrere: It’s a big time double-edged sword in terms of being promoted. Back in the days when there were record companies, it was extremely hard for them to figure out which bin they would put us in, y’know? It’s like: “Do we put them in rock? Do we put them in hard rock? Is this a country band? No. Is it jazz? Well…” It’s pretty funny when I think about it. Because you’d think they would just promote you as what you are: a band with great songs. That’s why I think musicians love us so much. O&A: On that note, it sounds like you got a chance recently to play with some younger bands. Does that give you a sense of pride that there are younger musicians out there that kind of idolize you or at least look to you for guideposts on a road map? Barrere: Kind of like the grandfather that should be put away [laughs]. No, it’s very flattering, first and foremost. Last year when we did The Peach Music Festival [held annually at Montage Mountain Ski Resort in Scranton, Pennsylvania] with moe. and the Turkuaz horn section, we did Waiting for Columbus. And we had our three horns and Turkuaz’s three horns, so it was one big horn section. We kind of had a backstage rehearsal, and at one point, they said, “What do you guys do here?” And I said, “We improvise.” [laughs] “Follow me, boys, I’m going off a cliff!” O&A: I went to my collection of Little Feat records and dug up Time Loves A Hero. The album sleeve has these great photos of everyone in the band recording in the studio. There’s this photo of you with your Stratocaster, you’re turning up the volume on your amp, you’ve got a cigarette hanging out of your mouth and you look ready to rock. I wonder: If you could go back in time, what words of advice would you give that younger version of yourself? Barrere: Don’t destroy your body like I did. [laughs] It’s a known fact that drugs and alcohol have permeated a lot of rock & roll, a lot of music, period, through the last century. People drank and they’d make music. Or people smoked and they’d make music. It’s more of a question of: “How long do you want to stay on this planet and continue to make music?” If you do, you better take care of yourself [laughs gently]. I mean, that’s what I tell myself at this point. Paul Barrere and Funky Feat will perform at Fortify Music Fest in Delaware City on Saturday, Aug. 10. Tickets and more information are available at FortifyMusicFest.com. 58 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Photo courtesy of Funky Feat
5 QUESTIONS WITH LITTLE FEAT’S PAUL BARRERE continued from previous page
Healing Voices Photo Joe del Tufo
An Aug. 31 fundraiser will be held at The Queen for singer Terretta Howard, who was hit by a car in June
Terretta Howard during a past performance at the Ladybug Festival.
hings were looking up for Terretta Howard. The lead singer of local rock-soul group Terretta Storm had just signed a singlerelease deal with White Lion Audio and was anticipating the band’s upcoming EP, Take Me Home. But in a moment, everything changed. On June 14, while crossing the street near her home in Wilmington, Howard was hit by a car. After being revived twice on the scene, she was rushed to Christiana Hospital, where she’s been receiving ongoing medical care. “She is making progress,” says Kenneth Hawkes, her boyfriend and band manager. “She opens her eyes. The leg that is broken, she’s not moving that yet. Everything else, she’s trying to move. But she doesn’t stay conscious…. Her brain is rewiring itself.” As Howard heals, her family, friends, fans and fellow musicians have circled the wagons in support. On Saturday, Aug. 31, from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m., The Queen will host a fundraiser, Community United: A Benefit for Terretta, to help offset her medical costs. The event will feature live performances from Darnell Miller, Jay Street Jr., Sky King, Black Cat Habitat, Crafting, Richard Raw, and Ghetto Songbird. In addition, Howard’s bandmates will play a short set, with a special guest vocalist performing many of Howard’s songs. The event is free; however, organizers—which include Gable Music Ventures and Tri-State Underground—will be accepting donations at the door. The band’s EP also will be released that day, and all merchandise sales will go toward the cause as well. “All band and music stuff aside, we just want Terretta as a person to be whole again,” says Terretta Storm bassist Randy Waters.
A teacher in the Christina School District, Howard works with students with special needs. She has balanced that career with singing at night and performing with the band on weekends. The tragedy comes at a time when Terretta Storm has been making significant strides. The band was finding success in cities like New York and Boston while gaining more attention locally. In the May edition of Out & About, Mark Rogers, the host of WSTW’s Hometown Heroes, wrote that Howard is a “great vocalist, dynamic front-woman and a talented songwriter who has put together a fantastic band.” “I’ve always thought she was talented,” Hawkes says. “She’s one the best songwriters I’ve ever met. But for some reason people weren’t paying much attention locally. Terretta has always wanted to be appreciated locally. When that finally started to happen, I could see a different spark in her eye.” At press time, Howard’s insurance company, which covers employees of Christina School District, has denied coverage for her to be transferred to Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, which offers specialized brain injury treatments. “It’s imperative that she gets rehab,” Hawkes says. “She’s been recommended to go to this facility, because they feel she needs the help. The doctors have recommended her twice and they don’t understand why [she’s being denied coverage].” “She is in a dire situation,” he added. For event updates, check the Terretta Storm Facebook page and thequeenwilmington.com. — O&A AUGUST JUNE 2019 2017 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
AUGUST MUSIC at Kelly’s Logan House Look for these great bands upstairs!
FRIDAY, 8/02 Party Fowl - 10 p.m.
FRIDAY, 8/09 Cherry Crush - 10 p.m.
HaHa Charade Chaplin the Kid - 10 p.m.
TUNED IN Not-to-be-missed music news Compiled by Kaleigh Hanson
TWO NIGHTS OF METHENY’S JAZZ
James Francies and Marcus Gilmore join jazz guitarist Pat Metheny on Tuesday, Aug. 27, and Wednesday, Aug. 28, for two nights of music and improvisation at The Baby Grand (818 N. Market St.) beginning at 8 p.m. Known for combining traditional jazz guitar with modern music technology, Metheny presents a unique take on jazz. For more information, visit thegrandwilmington.org.
Cadillac Riot - 10 p.m.
FRIDAY, 8/30 DJ - 10 p.m.
Now featuring acoustic shows on Wednesday and Thursday from 9 p.m.-12 a.m. and Sunday from 2-5 p.m. Thursday, 8/01 Victoria Watts
Sunday, 8/18 Sam Sieder
Sunday, 8/04 Maria and Christian
Wednesday, 8/21 Chorduroy
Wednesday, 8/07 Chorduroy
Thursday, 8/22 Tommy Cook duo
Thursday, 8/08 Eric Henkels
Sunday, 8/25 Sidepiece
Sunday, 8/11 Anthony Sophy
Wednesday, 8/28 Cherry Crush duo
Wednesday, 8/14 Cherry Crush duo
Thursday, 8/29 Christian Alexander
Thursday, 8/15 Alex Alderman
1701 Delaware Ave. Wilmington, DE 19806 (302) 652-9493
LOGANHOUSE.COM Bands and times subject to change.
60 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Hanson: celebrating 25 years.
HANSON, THE QUEEN HELP KIDS
The Queen, at 500 N. Market St., presents Hanson: The Help our Kids Concert on Thursday, Aug. 22. For their 25th anniversary, this Tulsa pop-rock band will perform music from their new album Middle of Everywhere-The Greatest Hits. Money raised will be donated to Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. This is an all-ages event. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. performance. For more information, visit thequeenwilmington.com.
RIVERFRONT GETS THE BLUES
Two stages will host 18 different acts at this year’s Riverfront Blues Festival, at Tubman-Garrett Park on the Wilmington Riverfront, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3 and 4. Acts include Roger Girke, The Phantom Blues Band, Walter Trout and Blues Reincarnation Project. The weekend of music will begin Saturday at 11 a.m. and will continue rain or shine through Sunday. Admission is free for children 12 and younger. For ticket information and more, visit riverfrontbluesfestde.com.
DEW POINT DOES REGGAE
Continuing its Summer Concert Series, Dew Point Brewing Co. (2878 Creek Rd., Yorklyn) presents Dew the Reggae Music Festival on Saturday, Aug. 17, beginning at noon. A diverse reggae lineup will perform, including Spooky Speaky, the Bullbuckers and more. “The community has totally bought into the Summer Concert Series,” says Dew Point founder John Hoffman. A variety of Dew Point beer styles will be served with food provided by food trucks. For more information, visit dewpointbrewing.com.
GET YOUR FIREFLY HOODIES
For those who missed the merchandise stands at the event, 2019 Firefly Music Festival’s official gear is now available online. Hats, T-shirts, hoodies and other collectibles are available in several colors and styles. For more information, visit fireflyfestival.com
SINNING FOR 45 YEARS
The Delaware Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s The Sin City Band will hold a free concert to celebrate 45 years on Wednesday, Aug. 7, at Anson B. Nixon Park, 405 N. Walnut St., Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Come for live music, dinner from Portabellos Restaurant and dessert from La Michoacana Homemade Ice Cream or Sweet Magnolia Bakery. This performance will end the concert series that has run every Wednesday in Kennett Square. Admission is free for all ages. Concert starts at 7 p.m. For more information, visit kennettflash.org
Follow the vibe.
— MARK YOUR CALENDAR — FREE COMMUNITY PROGRAMS SsAM DRUMMING CIRCLE No experience necessary— drums are provided.
—EVERY TUESDAY— 6-7PM
Special Capoeira night:
AUGUST 6 & AUGUST 20
OUTSPOKEN! Open Mic Nights Hosted by Christian Wills
AUGUST 1 & AUGUST 15 7-8PM FOLKY AVETTS WILL ROCK CARPENTER CENTER
The Avett Brothers will bring their folk-rock sounds to the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center (631 S. College Ave.) on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m. Started in Concord, North Carolina, by brothers Scott and Seth Avett, the band includes several other talented musicians as it tours the country. Tickets start at $49. Parking is $10 per vehicle. For more information, visit theavettbrothers.com.
WILMINGTON U. PARTNERS WITH MUSIC SCHOOL OF DELAWARE
The Music School of Delaware is now offering for-credit college level courses in two subjects. Whether you are a high school student looking for extra electives or already enrolled at Wilmington University, this opportunity will allow you to gain transfer credits toward your degree. Take a class in the Elements of Music or Introduction to Piano and receive instruction from The Music School of Delaware professors while enrolled at Wilmington University. For more information, visit themusicschoolofdelaware.org.
NEW! THIS SEASON Local vendors on-site during Farm Share pick-up! Get fresh baked goods and local honey while supporting small entrepreneurs! Farm Share Pick-up at The Rock Lot every other Thursday, brought to you by The Common Market.
THE ROCK LOT Located at 305 W. 8th St., Wilmington DE
@CreativeDistrictWilm | #BeCreativeInWilm Powered by WRC.
AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
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PENNCINEMA.COM 62 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
( NO RAIN DATES )
STARS µµµµµ Awkwafina, center, plays Billi, a Chinese-American woman, in The Farewell. Photo courtesy of A24 Films
PARTING IS SWEET SORROW The Farewell contrasts East-West culture surrounding death By Mark Fields
ast year’s hit rom-com, Crazy Rich Asians, conclusively demonstrated what was already obvious to everyone else in the world except Hollywood executives: well-made movies about non-white people and minority cultures can be both popular and lucrative. Consequently, cinemas are likely to be seeing more diverse stories with fresh perspectives featuring actors in a variety of colors and backgrounds. But just because the door is cracking open a touch wider, it does not mean that all these films will be revelatory. Case in point: The Farewell. Based on an actual lie (as proclaimed by the slogan on the poster), The Farewell tells the story of Billi, a Chinese-American woman caught between her two cultures when she learns that her beloved grandmother is dying of cancer. Typical of Asian tradition, the family decides to hide the diagnosis from Nai Nai, the grandmother, hoping to spare her the pain of her situation. They plan the elaborate ruse of a family wedding to provide an excuse to gather everyone back in China to see her one last time. Americanized Billi struggles with this decision, believing that
her grandmother should know. The film depicts this conflict, which is both internalized for Billi and also a source of tension with the rest of her family. Lulu Wang wrote and directed this comedy-drama, drawing from her own family experiences. And the film has been positioned as a showcase for rapper-turned-actress Awkwafina (Ocean’s Eight, Crazy Rich Asians). These two factors are both the creative impetus for the film and its greatest liabilities. It feels like Wang’s personal connection to the story has limited her ability to create a genuine narrative flow. Many scenes appeared to be included more because they happened in her own real life rather than to advance the plot with a compelling rhythm. Awkwafina, whose comic buoyancy helped overcome the familiar tropes of Crazy Rich Asians, displays the limitations of her acting gifts in this role. It certainly doesn’t help that the screenplay requires her to spend most of the movie in a morose funk. The combined result is this film, which, with this setting and characters, should have been insightful, but is instead rather predictable. ► AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Photo courtesy of A24 Films
PARTING IS SWEET SORROW continued from previous page
Billi and her beloved grandmother, Nai Nai.
The Farewell, nevertheless, has its virtues. The supporting cast, especially Tzi Ma as Billi’s similarly conflicted father, Diane Lin as her stern mother, and especially Shuzhen Zhou as the endearing Nai Nai, are all excellent in roles that are comfortingly familiar though distinctly Chinese. Director Wang well captures the poignancy of the family situation and thoughtfully sets it against a subtle backdrop of a rapidlychanging modern China. And I credit both the filmmakers and the studio for making this American film almost entirely in Chinese, with subtitles. In the end, however, The Farewell seems like a missed opportunity to make a truly memorable and groundbreaking film. It would have been more impactful if it were just better made. Opening in August: The Kitchen, period mob dramedy with Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss, Aug. 9; Amanda Seyfried and Milo Ventimiglia in the screen adaptation of the bestseller told from a dog’s perspective, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Aug. 9; Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, with Cate Blanchett as a wife and mother who struggles to rediscover herself, directed by Richard Linklater, Aug.16; and Aquarela, a hypnotic documentary focused on the power and beauty of water, Aug. 16. 64 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
GETTING THEIR KICKS
In increasing numbers, soccer fans are flocking to area sports bars to watch a game of what the rest of the world knows as football Soccer fans Bill Martin and Jessica Scarane, of Wilmington, enjoy a USA score during the World Cup while catching the game with fellow fans at Catherine Rooney’s.
By Kevin Noonan Photos by Butch Comegys
omehow, it just didn’t seem right—a standing-room-only crowd in an English pub, and just about everybody in it was rooting against England. Actually, the soccer fans who squeezed into Stoney’s British Pub on Concord Pike weren’t rooting against England as much as they were rooting for the other team, which, in this case, was the good ol’ USA. It was a semi-final match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup last month that drew fans to Stoney’s and several other pubs and bars in the Wilmington area. And even though this was a special event because it was a World Cup match, it’s not unusual for Stoney’s and other places in the area to have big crowds for big matches. More and more fans are flocking to bars to see soccer, which is becoming a spectator sport and not just a participatory sport in this country. Millions of American kids have played soccer over the years, many of them starting when they were four years old. But the most popular sport in the world never really caught on with the American public, and, more significantly, television viewers. Soccer fans had to get special cable stations or get up at 5 a.m. to watch a match on some obscure ESPN channel in order to get their fix. Slowly but surely, that has changed as more and better options are available for watching soccer. And, like football or basketball
or baseball fans, soccer lovers like to pop out to a bar that features their favorite sport on big-screen, high-definition TVs. Stoney’s, on Route 202 in Brandywine Hundred, is one of them. The owner, Mike Stone, is English and grew up loving the sport that he and most of the world call football. It was natural for him to feature soccer matches at his pub, and word soon spread that Stoney’s was a place to go to watch games. “Ever since I opened this place [in 2000] we’ve had good crowds for the football matches,” he says. “This was always a place they knew they could come to and see what they couldn’t see in other bars and pubs, and, more importantly, a place where they could see it with like-minded people. That’s really the key. And it’s just grown and gotten bigger every year.” Carl Angstadt of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, was one of the 80 or so people crammed into Stoney’s for the England-USA match, but it wasn’t just the allure of a World Cup semi-final that brought him to another state to watch soccer—he’s here all the time. “It’s the people,” says Angstadt, whose “Chelsea’’ jersey told the world which English Premier team is his favorite. “It used to be that just a few nuts like me would be in bars, searching for soccer and usually not finding much. To find a place like this and be in an atmosphere like this is just a lot of fun.” ► AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
PLAY GETTING THEIR KICKS continued from previous page
Women’s soccer fan Peter Borromeo, of Wilmington, cheers on the USA squad at Catherine Rooney’s.
Atmosphere is also a big selling point for Ace Haney, owner and operator of Throwbacks Sports Lounge in Hockessin, and Haney says soccer is pulling in the paying customers like never before. “I have 15 TVs and at least one always has soccer on,” he says. “And when the [women’s] World Cup is on, it draws more people than the Phillies. I’m very impressed with the passion and knowledge that these soccer fans have. They’re as serious about their sport as Eagles fans are, and that’s saying something.” Robbie Wright, a 29-year-old from Wilmington, has also been a soccer junkie his entire life and he likes to go to The Greene Turtle in Brandywine Hundred to watch matches. He remembers when soccer wasn’t nearly as popular as it is now, and he credits the successes of the women’s World Cup team as the main reason more Americans are paying attention to a game that the rest of the planet has embraced for decades. “The women’s team has made fans out of people who didn’t care about soccer before,” he says. “That’s a big key for the popularity of any sport. You can’t just have soccer players tuning in—you have to have the general sports fans, too. The women’s team has helped turn it into more of a mainstream sport in this country, and now people get together to watch games like they do for the NFL. And that makes the experience a lot more fun.” Another hot spot is Catherine Rooney’s, the Irish pub in Trolley Square in Wilmington. In fact, the website BuzzFeed recently listed the bar as “The Best Place to Watch World Cup Soccer in Delaware.” 66 AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
But, interestingly enough, the World Cup isn’t even the event that gets the most enthusiastic soccer response at Catherine Rooney’s. There is a rabid group of fans who religiously follow Liverpool, which finished second in the English Premier League last year to Manchester City and then won the Europe Champions League title. Those fanatics are gearing up for the new Premier League season, which starts on Aug. 9. “They have a huge following here,” says Sara Sifford, a manager at Catherine Rooney’s. “We’re more of a soccer bar than anything else, and when Liverpool plays, the people really get into it.” Sifford says all matches draw fans into her pub, including the women’s World Cup, the recent men’s CONCACAF Gold Cup and, yes, the made-in-America Major League Soccer and its local team, the Philadelphia Union. And she can always tell when a big match is on by the gear her customers are wearing and how early they arrive so they can get a good seat. “Soccer has gotten more popular over the years, as far as people coming in to watch on television,” Sifford says. “And it’s mostly a younger vibe. They’re regular customers and they chant and they sing and they drink their Guinness. It’s a great atmosphere and it seems like it’s getting bigger all of the time.” It’s not a surprise that ethnic bars and pubs draw soccer fans, since the sport is so popular in Europe and South America and is such a big part of those cultures. Among those bars is Rocco Italian Grill and Sports Bar on Union Street in Wilmington. “We always get big crowds in here for soccer matches and you see a lot of the same people rooting for their favorite teams,” says Rocco Hostess Lauren Davis. “They’re like a football crowd— they’re loud and they yell at the televisions. They never get out of hand or cause trouble, but they do get excited. You can tell how much it means to them.” You can also tell how much it means to soccer fans to have television viewing options they didn’t have in the not-too-distant past, and that doesn’t even include streaming devices and other media. Angstadt, sipping a beer at Stoney’s, says that has bonded soccer fans even more than they already were, especially the hard-core ones. “It’s like a fraternity, because we all love soccer so much and I love the fact that I have places to go to watch it, and watch it with people who are almost as crazy as I am,” he says with a smile. “It’s a great feeling to know that when it comes to appreciating soccer for the great game that it is, America is finally catching up to the rest of the world.” CATHERINE ROONEY’S 1616 Delaware Ave., Wilmington 654-9700; catherinerooneys.com. THE GREENE TURTLE 307 Rocky Run Parkway, Wilmington; 510-6166; thegreeneturtle.com THROWBACKS SPORTS LOUNGE 721 Ace Memorial Dr., Hockessin 635-7459; facebook.com/throwbacksde/ STONEY’S ENGLISH PUB 3007 Concord Pike, Wilmington 477-9740; stoneyspub.com ROCCO ITALIAN GRILL AND SPORTS BAR 701 N. Union St., Wilmington 384-6052; roccoitaliangrill.com AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Entertainment Schedule EVERY MONDAY: Showtime Trivia EVERY THURSDAY: DJ Willoughby EVERY FRIDAY: EDM DJ Dance Party
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Photos by Butch Comegys 1. Vocalist and drummer Jamison Ross performs during the opening night of
the 31st annual Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. 2. A jazz fan dances to the music of the Jamison Ross Band (Jacksonville, Fla.)
during Wilmington’s four-day Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. 3. Daryl Brooks, 56, of Wilmington, turns out for the Jazz Festival
dressed as “Gold Man.”
4. From L-R: Jamie Cross (Phila., Pa.), Heather VanDerbeck (Chester Springs, Pa.), Lisa Stottlemyer (Elkton, Md.) and Jennifer Rowe (Elkton, Md.) escape the heat inside Finn McCool’s during the 16th annual Newark Food & Brew Festival. 5. Lance Rowe (left) and James Stottlemyer,both of Elkton, Md., sample the complimentary gourmet root beer during the Food & Brew. 6. Greg Coumatos (left) with Kaitlin and Kevin Knox, all of Middletown, pace themselves during the Food & Brew. AUGUST 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
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