Out & About Magazine - December 2019

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Giving Warmth for the Holidays

Area Art Groups Show Spirit of Season

Finding New Life for Food Waste GREATER WILMINGTON

Heart for the Holidays Inspiring initiatives and local gifts worth giving


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FREE ? Who gives away FREE gift cards? We do, ‘cause we love you. If you buy five $100 cards? Then you get five FREE $50 cards. Math!

Newark, DE Kennett Square, PA Jennersville, PA Hockessin, DE

Wilmington, DE Middletown, DE





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11/14/19 10:01 AM

–– A not-for-profit arts organization ––


DECEMBER 13-15 The Playhouse on Rodney Square

“TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!” – New York Post


JANUARY 18-19 The Playhouse on Rodney Square

Irish Christmas in America WED | DEC 11 | 8PM | $26-$31


Featuring Irish music, song, and dance in an engaging performance

Eric Mintel’s A Charlie Brown Christmas FRI | DEC 13 | 8PM | $27

Acclaimed jazz quartet celebrates the music of Vince Guaraldi


General Stanley McChrystal SAT | JAN 25 | 7PM | $30-$60 Retired four-star general shares his unique leadership perspective


TheGrandWilmington.org | 302.652.5577 | 302.888.0200 818 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19801

This program 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.

All tickets subject to box office service charges. Artists, dates, times and programs are subject to change.



“Tipsy” takes on a whole new meaning when you drink and drive. And after you’re busted, you’ll get a suspended driver’s license, pay thousands of dollars in fines and receive possible jail time. A DUI will always cost you. It’s not worth it. Don’t let a DUI redefine you. Find a safe ride home.



15 27

Out & About Magazine Vol. 32 | No. 10

Published each month by TSN Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing & business address: 307 A Street, Wilmington, DE 19801

Publisher Gerald duPhily • jduphily@tsnpub.com


Director of Publications Jim Hunter Miller • jmiller@tsnpub.com Contributing Editor Bob Yearick • ryearick@comcast.net 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



7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15

43 47 50 51

War on Words By The Numbers FYI Worth Recognizing Innovation Worth Trying Learn DelTech’s Mark Brainard

Evolution Brewery Holiday Cheer Ideas Sips Spirited

WATCH 53 Holiday Treats 59 Movie Reviews



20 Gifts Worth Giving 23 Giving Holiday Warmth

63 Hotbed 67 Hoochie Coochi



27 Repurposing Food Waste 32 Bites

70 Snap Shots Halloween Costume Ball

WILMINGTON 35 On The Riverfront 38 In The City 40 Art Loop

FEATURES 15 The Student-President Alumnus Mark Brainard leads Delaware Tech by example. By Ken Mammarella

20 Gifts Worth Giving Unique ideas from the O&A crew that support local merchants. O&A Staff & Contributors

23 Giving Holiday Warmth Area organizations welcome your help in providing basic winter needs. By Lauren Golt

27 New Life for Food Waste Reduce, reuse and recycle are bywords for many in the food business. By Pam George

43 Renaissance Men Cover illustration by Matthew Loeb

The founders of Evolution Brewery have been a godsend to Salisbury.

Printed on recycled paper.

By Kevin Noonan

Editorial & advertising info: 302.655.6483 • Fax 302.654.0569 outandaboutnow.com • contact@tsnpub.com DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


WHAT IS BEAUTY TO YOU? Posing Beauty in African American Culture Exhibition on view October 19, 2019 – January 26, 2020 Posing Beauty in African American Culture is curated by Deborah Willis and organized by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions, Pasadena, California. This exhibition is sponsored by M&T Bank and made possible in Delaware by the Johannes R. and Betty P. Krahmer American Art Exhibition Fund, WSFS, and Delmarva. Additional support is provided, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. Image: Susan Taylor, as Model, c. 1970s. Ken Ramsay (1935–2008). Gelatin silver print, 19 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches. Courtesy of Susan Taylor. © Ken Ramsay Foundation.

2301 Kentmere Parkway | Wilmington, DE 302.571.9590 | delart.org



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

And the Winners(?) Are . . . Our contest in the November issue was apparently daunting —we received no perfect entries. Readers were asked to identify the sentences or phrases in the column that were correct. Originally, there were three: 1. As a businessman, he took a conservative tack. (“Tack” in this case meaning “a course or method of action.”) 2. It’s about grammar, dummy. 3. The new teacher, whom I met today, is from the South. But after much discussion with family members and another editor, we added these three: 4. I’m not in a position to do that. 5. It’s a beautiful wall mural. 6. And, reluctantly, I liked her words and the way she talked. Among those wrongly identified as correct were: • The policeman diffused the tense situation. It’s “defuse (resolve, calm, neutralize) the situation.” Diffuse means to disperse, spread or disseminate. • Last year, Northwestern sunk to 5-7. The past tense of sink is sank. Sunk is the past participle. If you disagree, or would like further explanation, send me a note. As for the tie-breaker sentence—I got on my bicycle, taking my lunch to school, built in the 1960s—there were several variations. Some people seemed to think “built in the 1960s” referred to the bicycle, but the phrase pretty clearly refers to “school.” We got a few acceptable rewrites, including this creative one from one of our winners, Luann Haney, of Wilmington: I grabbed my lunch, hopped on my bicycle and sped to my 1960s-era school that featured a Sputnik-like sculpture in the lobby. The other winner was Albert Xing, of Newark. They will receive gift cards to local establishments. Congratulations to our winners, and thanks to all who entered. And study up, another contest may be coming soon! Department of Redundancies Dept. Peter MacArthur, on WDEL: “Congressman Cummings died at the age of 68 years old.”

By Bob Yearick

Media Watch • Reader Bill Kaye reports that NFL announcer Thom Brennaman, on Fox's America's Game of the Week, said that “(Quarterback) Teddy Bridgewater could be sitting on a chaise longue,” because of the time his offensive line gave him to throw. Brennaman pronounced the name of the piece of furniture this way: chase lounge. Were he not a professional announcer, he could be forgiven for that pronunciation, because most Americans say it (and probably spell it) that way. The pros, however, should know that it’s pronounced shaze long. In a follow-up email, Bill said: “In a remarkable coincidence... I am re-watching season 2 of Downton Abbey and just minutes ago, two different people pronounced it correctly.” Ah, those English—ever the protectors of the mother tongue. • Mike Missanelli, on 97.5 The Fanatic: “Alls you have to do is . . .” I didn’t catch the rest of the sentence because I was floored by this red-neckism from a Penn State graduate. Alls is not a word. All would have been acceptable. • A reader came across a review of Barack and Joe: The Making of an Extraordinary Partnership that contained this: “. . . hardly the symbol of the Teutonic change that Obama hoped would mark his place in the history books.” That would be tectonic change. Tectonic refers to the plates that make up the Earth’s crust. Teutonic refers to Germanic-speaking peoples. Literally of the Month A correspondent on CBS This Morning (sorry, I missed his name) claimed that “Tiger Woods literally made history” with his 82nd PGA Tour victory at the Zozo Championship in Japan. That tied Sam Snead’s 54-year-old record for the most victories on the tour, so a) Tiger didn’t really make history, and b) literally is totally superfluous here—as usual. Just Wondering . . . Why do people say, “I have six pair of pants (socks, shoes, gloves, etc.)”? Six (and any number above one) is plural, so why don’t we say pairs?

Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords

Word of the Month

risible Pronounced rizabl, it’s an adjective meaning causing laughter; laughable, absurd, comical.

NEED A SPEAKER FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION? Contact me for a fun presentation on grammar: ryearick@comcast.net.

The War on Words paperback makes a perfect stocking stuffer. It’s chock full of grammar insight—collected columns from 2007 to 2011. Get it at the Hockessin Book Shelf or by calling Out & About at 655-6483.


by the numbers A few facts about holiday giving

4– 8 PM


Now Accepting Dinner Reservations Special A La Carte Menu Festive Entrées

party INN the NEW

25 144.5 The number, in thousands, of Red Kettles set up in cities and towns across the U.S. from November to Christmas Eve.


Book Your January Party Now… …To Receive A $75 Gift Card • For Parties Of 20+ Booked By 12/19/19



The number, in millions, of families who receive food, shelter, clothes and gifts from the Salvation Army each holiday season.

The pounds, in millions, of food distributed by the Food Bank of Delaware.

Special NYE Dinner $ 75 per person 5pm - 10pm Open Bar Packages Available 10pm – 2020!

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The amount, in millions, of dollars, raised in 2018 by the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign.

367 70 The number of registered food pantries in Delaware.

The number, in thousands, of dollars donated in 2018 to Delmarva Power for the Good Neighbor Energy Fund.


F.Y.I. Things worth knowing



he magic of the holiday season returns to the Brandywine River Museum of Art during Brandywine Christmas, Nov. 29 through Jan. 5. This spectacular holiday experience for all ages includes a gallery filled with an expansive model train display; an exhibition featuring a selection of three beloved fairy tales and their evolution through time and different cultures; towering trees decorated with whimsical critter ornaments; and a wide selection of holiday events and programs for the whole family. For details, go to brandywine.org/museum.



he Newark Arts Alliance, in the Market East Plaza, is sponsoring two events, one ongoing. The Gingerbread Bash is set for Saturday, Dec. 7, from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $50 in advance, $55 at the door. The evening includes dinner, wine and beer, music by Ellen Lebowitz and Tom Palmer, and the first-ever Gingerbread House competition and silent auction. $600 in cash prizes are being awarded in three Gingerbread House categories: Traditional, Non-Traditional and “Pet House.” A perennial favorite, the Holiday Art Market began Nov. 26 and is continuing through Jan. 3. Original fine art and crafts by 15 local artists and artisans are on sale, with 20 percent of purchases benefiting the Arts Alliance. For information on both events, go to newarkartsalliance.org or call 266-7266.



ou’ll be seeing volunteers ringing bells next to the Salvation Army Red Kettles at malls, supermarkets and on the streets of Delaware cities from now until Christmas Eve. The campaign is The Salvation Army’s biggest fundraiser, bringing in nearly $450,000 in 2018. This year’s goal is $500,000. The money helps to fund Salvation Army programs and services throughout the year.



he Junior League of Wilmington will host its fifth annual Women’s Leadership Summit on Saturday, Feb. 22, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, 4727 Concord Pike. Attendees from the tri-state area and beyond are invited to invest in themselves by building leadership development skills. The event will host a diverse array of empowering speakers, including keynote speaker Dr. Brandi Baldwin (CEO, Millennial Ventures), who will share her views on this year’s theme, “Together We Rise!.” Early bird tickets are available through Dec. 15. Find out more on Facebook: @WomenLeadDE.



ew Light Theatre will present William Shakespeare’s Othello from Jan. 29 through Feb. 2 at the Delaware Historical Society on Market Street in Wilmington. Shakespeare’s sweeping tragedy of passion and poison finds new light in this minimal, fast-paced production as one of the Bard's greatest romances crosses paths with one of his greatest villains. Tickets range from $15-$20 on newlighttheatre.com. New Light Theatre’s mission is to use each production to raise awareness and support for thematically connected charitable organizations that bring light to the darkness of the world. In accordance with this mission, Othello partners with the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a local nonprofit working to stop domestic violence, promote equality in relationships, and alter the social conditions that allow violence and abuse to occur.



interthur Museum, Garden & Library will ring in the new year as the featured venue for the Season 24 broadcast premiere of Antiques Roadshow. Three one-hour episodes were produced from the Roadshow event held at Winterthur this past June. Viewers can tune in to WHYY in Philadelphia and public television channels across the country to see the exciting finds and learn more about Winterthur on Jan. 6, 13, and 20.



he Delaware Sports Commission has released the full schedule and participating teams for the annual 2019 Slam Dunk to the Beach basketball tournament. The 18 elite squads will hit the hardwood at Cape Henlopen High School for the three-day event from Friday to Sunday, Dec. 27-29. “We feel this year may be the best since the revival of Slam Dunk to the Beach in 2014,” says Dr. Matthew Robinson, chairman of the Sports Commission. “Seeing Duke and North Carolina as destinations for some of the players says it all.” For tickets, go to slamdunktothebeach.com. New for 2019, group tickets are available by calling 672–6832.



loha from Hawaii, where the Annual Delaware Day Celebration on Maui will take place on Sunday, Dec. 8, starting at 2 p.m. at Beach Bums BBQ & Grill, 300 Maalaea Rd. The event is open to all visiting First Staters, who are asked to wear an article of clothing from Delaware (and bring Tastykakes). Look for the State of Delaware flag and the banner that says, “Aloha from the 50th State to the 1st State.” For more information, contact First State Coordinator Adele Rugg at 808-879-9964 or adeleonmaui@yahoo.com.



he Delaware Coalition for Open Government’s annual meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 4, will feature Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings, who will discuss Criminal Justice Reform and Department of Justice priorities for 2020. The meeting at Widener University Delaware Law School, Room #119, is free and begins at 6:30 p.m. with a social gathering and light refreshments. The speech will begin at 7:05 p.m. and will be followed by a Q&A. For more information, call 368-1823 or email delcogdata@aol.com. DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM




WORTH RECOGNIZING Community Members Who Go Above & Beyond



No Contracts, ever.


Join today at www.ymcade.org. Financial assistance is available. Offer valid at all YMCA of Delaware locations December 15, 2019 - January 31, 2020.


hat Aman Singh saw during his childhood travels in India and last year in Iquitos, Peru, have motivated him to make a difference in people’s lives. “Growing up, my family and I would travel to India to visit our extended family. It was there that I first saw a lack of access to quality healthcare,” says the 18-year-old Hockessin resident. “As a child, it would hurt me to see kids my age on the street unable to bathe, without access to clean clothing, and malnourished. These experiences made me want to spark change within my own community.” At age 7, he began volunteering at Global Youth H.E.L.P. Aman Singh (Health, Education, Leadership Program), a non-profit in Newark that aims to improve lives by training young people to take action and become leaders in their communities. In ninth grade, Singh took charge of two of the agency’s projects—the distribution of hygiene packages and backpacks filled with school supplies. Sadhana Pasricha, co-founder of Global Youth H.E.L.P, says that in addition to Singh’s busy academic coursework at the Charter School of Wilmington, he takes the lead role in executing, budgeting, fundraising, purchasing, recruiting and training volunteers for these projects. For his efforts, Singh in May received a Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Award. To pursue his interest in healthcare, last year Singh went on a two-week medical mission to Peru through a program offered by Johns Hopkins University. In poverty-ridden areas, doctors from Michigan and Pennsylvania, along with medical students, set up makeshift clinics to provide free medical services. Singh took patients’ vital signs and helped translate for doctors and patients—he speaks fluent Spanish, Hindi and English. In the past three years, through Global Youth H.E.L.P, Singh and Tower Hill student Krish Malhotra, 16, have donated more than 300 packages of toothbrushes, wash clothes, combs, soap, shampoo, and other hygiene products during the holidays to homeless shelters. “These packages help us tremendously because otherwise we would have to purchase these items ourselves, and our budget is as slim as it can possibly be without compromising the quality of our services,” says Robyn Beck-Gott, executive director of Sojourners’ Place in Wilmington, which provides shelter and services to homeless adults. Besides helping with cleanliness, the packages make residents feel they have something of their own “because when they come to us they come to us broken,” stripped of material goods and safety nets, says Beck-Gott. These simple items give them a sense of place, security and respect. “There are many things we cannot control in our lives,” says Singh. “However, we have the ability to control the way we care for ourselves and our habits. Things like oral hygiene prevent bacteria from growing and causing illness. Ensuring proper hygiene is the first step to success and opportunities in the workplace or elsewhere.” Singh and Malhotra also have given away more than 500 backpacks filled with pencils, crayons, notebooks and other school supplies to Wilmington organizations such as the YWCA Home-Life Management Center, Reeds Refuge Center and Faith Victory Christian Center. Annually, Singh spends about $200 for hygiene donations and $800 for backpack donations. He and Malhotra shop at such places as Staples, Five Below, and Walgreens. Singh says serving others gives him the opportunity to put his passions into action and grow as a person. “I have been very fortunate to live a privileged lifestyle, and being able to serve and help those in need is one of [my] greatest passions,” he says. “My parents instilled in me the value of serving others. It (volunteering) makes me appreciate all of the opportunities I have been given.” Not surprisingly, Singh plans to pursue a degree in healthcare. For more information on Global Youth H.E.L.P., go to @globalyouthhelp, facebook.com/ gyhelp and globalyouthhelp.org — Adriana Camacho-Church

Photo courtesy of Aman Singh

A Veteran Volunteer at 18



DELAWARE Delaware Prosperity Partnership promotes Delaware as a premier location for companies to locate and expand and supports local entrepreneurs and innovators. We are shining a light on the leaders who make our communities a better place to live, work and play. Growing up, what did you want to do? Nemser: I had no idea that I would be doing this. From a very young age, I liked school, ideas, problem solving, and variety. I try new things that are interesting, opportunities where I can jump in the deep end, learn a lot, and have substantial impact. I started as an economist, became a consultant working in healthcare and on the practice of consulting. I have found amazing similarities in unexpected places. For example, between helping McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, pursue diversity goals and [helping] Compact Membrane Systems (CMS) develop a new customer base in petrochemicals. Who knew? My path has been a journey of learning and growth. I am guided by questions: Where is a worthy problem? What can I learn? How am I uniquely positioned to solve it? Will I love working on it? What will I leave behind? When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing in Delaware? Nemser: I travel a lot and spend time with my family, so I use the Delaware Valley as a jumping off point for lots of cool things near and far. We recently went to Shenandoah National Park and Monticello, which I put in the “near.” My kids are angling for an Alaska vacation, which would definitely be “far.” What makes you passionate about Delaware? Nemser: The people are amazing—helpful, smart, inspiring, genuine, modest and real. When I came to this role, it was the first time I was back in Wilmington in decades and I didn’t have a network in the chemical or industrial sectors. I am very grateful for the warm welcome I received and the ongoing support of the community. I never stop marveling at how much Delawareans love their state. Compared to other places, it’s a significant contrast. I never feel that anyone is out to “win” the cocktail party or event. It’s very refreshing. My family connection to Delaware actually goes way back. My great grandfather came to Delaware in the 1930s as a chemist and a lawyer to work in DuPont’s new patent division. Family legend claims that he worked directly with Wallace Carothers writing the original Nylon patent. If you weren’t doing the job you are doing, what would you be doing today? Nemser: I would probably be doing something else that I think is ambitious and takes some gumption to try. I would be terrible at keeping trains running on time or making something 1.75 percent faster or better. I am pretty sure I would not be doing that.

Erica Nemser

CEO of Compact Membrane Systems, Inc., an advanced materials company in Newport. What’s your advice for others pursuing transformational career goals? Nemser: Don’t allow others to impose their limitations onto you. On taking the leap—sometimes, you just need to jump and have the confidence in yourself that you will land. People will tell you that you are committing career suicide. They are wrong. It will just take some patience and fortitude. In those moments, I remind myself that there are more exciting, fascinating and transformational things that one can do than will fit into one lifetime. So it’s not worth wasting an extra second convincing yourself why second best will be OK. Worst case, in trying something new, you will learn and have a good story. And most career decisions are not one-way doors. Don’t believe in the arrival fallacy–that an unsatisfying career choice will make you happy if you just reach the next level. It won’t. That said, do think about a multi-step path. You may want or need some form of apprenticeship or trial as a midway step to where you are going. And recognize that you may have to forgo valuable things in the near term—income, network, prestige, identity—in order to move into a new role. Be ready for that. What’s a book you recommend or the latest book you read? Nemser: The intersection of personal growth and business is best captured by Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up (Jerry Colonna). It’s superb. What attribute has been key to your current success? Nemser: Natural curiosity and an insatiable appetite to learn from others who are at the peak of their game in whatever domain that is —and the relentless search for how I can incorporate those lessons into my life. I think it’s like vacuuming up lived experiences.

Have a suggestion for our spotlight? Email us at innovate@choosedelaware.com

www.choosedelaware.com DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM



Worth Trying

Suggestions from our staff and contributors Stewart’s Brewing Co.

Next year, Stewart’s will celebrate its 25th anniversary. That’s quite a milestone for any business, but it’s especially noteworthy in the local beer industry, where there are 10 times as many options as there were when Stewart’s opened in 1995. The point is, as New Castle County’s first brewpub, the enterprise in Bear has to be doing something right to be still pouring beer nearly two-and-a-half decades in. In interviewing many area brewers over the past year, it’s been interesting to hear how highly many of them speak about Stewart’s and the role the brewpub has played as one of the local pioneers in the field. Personally, I think their Irish Red Ale is the best red ale around. Winter beer lovers should check out the release of their Destroyer Imperial Stout and Rye-BarrelAged Winter Warmer this month. — Jim Miller, Director of Publications

Dip into Torbert Social's Menu

This is a new downtown hot spot that offers creative concoctions and inventive nosh. One of my menu faves is the Duo Dips—a board of fire-roasted vegetable and garlic herb feta dips, accompanied by crispy artisan breads and seasonal vegetables. It's a fancy but satisfying snack that complements the vibe of this new joint, and it's a perfect choice when meeting my vegetarian pals. — Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Contributing Writer

Three Fairy Tales at Brandywine River Museum Cinderella & Co.: Three Fairy Tales Reimagined is an exhibit of illustrations from three classic fairy tales—Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and The Three Little Pigs. The curator of the exhibit, H. Nichols B. Clark, has focused on the broad array of imagery rather than the text of the stories, with the work of nineteenth and twentieth-century artists with their own interpretations. More orthodox images will be juxtaposed with unconventional ones from artists around the world. The show ends Jan. 5. While you’re there, check out the annual Brandywine Christmas with the region’s greatest model train display, also through Jan. 5. — Bev Zimmermann, Special Projects 12 DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


GOING BACK TO SCHOOL THIS YEAR? Take a step toward your educational goals with a certificate from Wilmington University


oes your New Year's resolution include going back to school? Wilmington University's certificate programs are an affordable, accessible option for expanding your education. Certificates can benefit your career at any stage of your professional life. They'll build your resumé and even a degree. Plus, WilmU makes it easy to apply, enroll, and attend classes. Is this the year you keep your resolution? Here are 10 reasons why WilmU's certificate programs can help you reach your educational goals. 1. Choose your path. WilmU currently offers certificates in more than 70 subject areas to match your career path and academic interests, from small business management and health information technology to special education and graphic design. Many can be completed in as little as one year, and many can be completed entirely online. 2. Find career opportunities. WilmU's certificate programs offer convenient, focused education for working learners. Whether you're looking to advance in an evolving field, re-enter the workplace, or explore the possibility of a career change, certificates provide a manageable option for upgrading their skill sets or acquiring additional training. 3. Add value to a degree … For bachelor's and master's degree students, career-oriented certificates in specialized subjects allow them to customize their degrees and stand out in a competitive job market. Since many certificates include courses required by related degree programs, students can often earn them without adding time or expense to their studies. 4. … or build a degree from a certificate. WilmU's Dual-Credit Certificate program enables students to apply the same credit hours they've earned through a certificate toward a bachelor's or master's degree in a related subject, if they choose to continue their education. This "stackable education" option is available in all of WilmU's colleges.

Make education your new resolution. WilmU works in 2020.

5. Accelerate an advanced degree. Certain certificates, when earned in conjunction with a bachelor's degree, can even accelerate master's degree studies. In the College of Technology, for instance, a student who fulfills a bachelor's degree's elective requirements with the courses that make up the Technology Project Management certificate can reduce the courseload, and the cost, for a Master of Science in Information Systems Technology. 6. Earn some exposure. Even high school graduates can benefit from WilmU's certificate programs. Those who aren't yet ready to commit to a degree program, but recognize the value of gaining career-oriented skills upon entering the workforce may find our Dual-Credit Certificates useful stepping stones to employment or college degrees. 7. Learn from experience. The courses that constitute WilmU's certificate programs are taught by the same instructors who teach the University's degree programs, experienced professionals and active practitioners who bring real-world lessons and cutting-edge insights to the classroom. 8. Learn close to home. With classrooms throughout Delaware and South Jersey, and many certificates available entirely online, WilmU makes it possible for you to attend the classes you need wherever you are. 9. Study on your schedule. Daytime, evening and weekend classes, as well as semester, block and modular schedules offer you the flexibility to pursue your studies on your schedule. Classes begin every eight weeks, allowing you to choose from six start times per year for most academic programs. WilmU's spring semester opens on January 13! 10. Apply today! WilmU doesn't require standardized test scores, such as the SAT, ACT or GRE, for enrollment. Its open admissions policy is one of the many ways that WilmU makes education accessible to all learners. Visit wilmu.edu/certificates for more information on how WilmU can work for you or to apply now. WilmU's Most Popular Certificate Programs College of Business • Human Resource Management • Training and Staff Development • Entrepreneurship/Small Business Management College of Education • Special Education: K-12 Teachers of Students with Disabilities • Special Education: Autism/Severe Intellectual Disabilities • Special Education: Early Childhood Exceptional Children

College of Health Professions • Health Information Technology • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner • Family Nurse Practitioner College of Social and Behavioral Science • Child Advocacy Studies • Trauma-Informed Approaches • Criminal Justice College of Technology • Digital Evidence Discovery • Digital Evidence Investigation • Graphic Design

Nadia G. Class of 2019

Find out why at wilmu.edu/Start2020 DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


Delaware center for horticulture’s

Holiday Bazaar

Dec. 6 • 5 - 9 pm Dec. 7 • 10 am - 4 pm For more information, visit www.thedch.org

• Locally-sourced wreaths, swags + centerpieces • Gifts from artists + craft vendors • Gift wrapping station • Courtyard fire pit • Hot apple cider, beer + wine • Bake sale table • Photos with Santa on Saturday!!

1810 North Dupont Street | Wilmington, DE 19806 | thedch.org

sleepover? DID SOMEONE SAY

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A colleague says Brainard “has a laser focus on student success, graduation rates and retention.”

The Student-President Delaware Tech alumnus Mark Brainard provides strong leadership for the state’s community college By Ken Mammarella Photos by Jim Coarse


ark Brainard recalls being “pretty hooked from Day 1” during his time as a student at Delaware Technical Community College. “The classroom came alive,” he says. And now, as president, he wants to grow that enthusiasm. “I have tried to envision what I valued and what I found frustrating,” the 1981 graduate says in an interview in his simply decorated office at the Stanton campus, a mile from where he grew up and where he earned an associate of applied science in criminal justice. “He has a laser focus on student success, graduation rates and retention,” says Jerry McNesby, a friend since they worked at the Delaware Department of Transportation in the 1990s and now the college’s vice president of Finance. Brainard “is disciplined as an administrator and as a runner,” says McNesby, a fellow runner.

“He’s the first to give someone else credit,” McNesby says, adding that he’s also “the one who can push the ball over the goal line” and “clearly a visionary.” One example of his leadership came in 2010 with an effort to reduce the college’s carbon footprint by 20 percent by 2020. It’s already down 27 percent, McNesby says. Brainard, a 61-year-old Delaware native and 1976 graduate of John Dickinson High School, is the first in his family to attend college. His father was a mail carrier, his mother a homemaker and later a part-time General Assembly employee. “He never forgets where he came from and how he got there,” says Rich Heffron, a friend since the mid-1980s and later a colleague at the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce. ► DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


START THE STUDENT-PRESIDENT continued from previous page

Brainard grew up a mile from Delaware Tech's Stanton campus.




Brainard and wife Charlotte instilled in their kids an interest in higher education and public service: daughter Bridget is a deputy attorney general, and son Mark Jr. is assistant to Newark’s city manager. “They knew what they wanted, and I stayed out of the way,” Brainard says of his children’s educational and career paths, and that’s a philosophy he also uses as Delaware Tech’s president. “I’m not short of opinions, but 99 percent of the time if a vice president disagrees, I go with them,” he says. He describes his nine direct reports at the vice presidential level as “servant leaders.” By that, he means they care most about what they can give to the organization. To a large degree, Brainard has been a servant leader as well throughout his career in public service. “He’s loyal to the organization and to people,” Heffron says. “Mark and I talk about that all the time.” After Delaware Tech, Brainard earned a Bachelor of Arts in behavioral science from Wilmington University in 1983 and, while working for the state, a juris doctorate from Widener University in 1994. He came back to Delaware Tech in 1995 as an assistant vice president and then moved to the chamber as executive vice president. Brainard returned to state government in 2002 as Gov. Ruth Ann Minner’s chief of staff. “I had worked for the governor when she served in both the House of Representatives and the state Senate when I held staff positions in the General Assembly,” he says. “In 2002, when I was executive vice president at the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, the governor was midway through her first term and decided to make some changes and restructure her staff, creating a chief of staff. She contacted me and offered me the position, and I was honored to serve until her last year in office, 2008.” One of his big accomplishments in that job, McNesby says, was building a consensus in 2005 to create the Student Excellence Equals Degree program, which covers full tuition for certain Delaware high school graduates to get an associate degree. Today, about 10 percent of Delaware Tech students get SEED scholarships.


“I was asked at a couple of points in my career to consider running for office,” Brainard says, “but the timing was never right and, at the time, I was serving in positions that were both personally and professionally gratifying, so whatever interest I might have had quickly passed.” He returned to the college in 2008 as an assistant campus director. He became president in 2014. “Mark is a guy who solves problems. He understands change. Change is constant,” Heffron says. “He listens and always wants to know what the other person believes. He understands compromise.” “Mark has a compassion for people and gets along well with a wide range of people,” says Alan Lavallee, who, as Criminal Justice Department chair when Brainard was a student, was his advisor and instructor in multiple courses. “His whole demeanor is different than your average Joe.”


His approach is simple: be pleasant, listen to all the constituencies (“He has his finger on the pulse of the workforce in Delaware,” McNesby says) and get buy-in. In his rare times away from his presidential duties, Brainard says he maintains his slim physique by being outside, often as a runner, after having given up hockey following various injuries. “Depending on my work schedule, I try to get in around 20 miles a week, with a bike ride or other types of workouts during the week.” He also competes in about 10 races a year. “This year started off with the Delaware Tech Chocolate Lovers 5K in February and will end with the Rehoboth half-marathon in December,” he says. “I always try to do the three Delaware Tech 5Ks as well as other long-time favorites like the Annapolis 10, the Bottle & Cork and the PNC Thanksgiving morning event.”


Indoors, he enjoys reading about history. On LinkedIn, he follows two Microsoft leaders (Bill Gates and Satya Nadella) and two experts in emotional intelligence testing and training (Travis Bradberry and Daniel Goleman). Brainard continues to take personal enrichment courses at Delaware Tech, including recent classes in conversational Italian and tai chi. And what did this self-described Type A personality learn in the latter? “Slow down. Breathe.” As president, Brainard answers to what he calls “Delaware’s CEO”: the governor. The college “is in lockstep” with Gov. John Carney’s top goals of economic development, jobs and education, he says. The college’s mission thus is clear: produce a “high-quality workforce for local business and industry.” The more than 120

programs leading to associate degrees, diplomas or certificates must lead to real jobs. And sometimes real jobs lead to programs, as when ChristianaCare (the state’s largest employer) decided it needed people trained in health information management. Delaware Tech created a program, one of 31 in its health and science cluster, by far the college’s most popular cluster in terms of enrollment. All of these courses—at college sites, online, at work and just for fun—mean a fourth of the state’s population has taken courses at Delaware Tech, officials estimate. Of its students, 96 percent are Delawareans, and 87 percent of its graduates work in Delaware.


McNesby says Brainard has led Delaware Tech ahead of trends, such as helping high schoolers develop career pathways and establishing sites for customized training in Bridgeville, Middletown and New Castle. Another lesson Brainard learned as a student was the importance of persistence, as he noted in his Message From the President in the summer issue of the college magazine. “Hard work is closely linked” to persistence, he elaborates in the interview. “You can’t be persistent and lazy.” Persistence is at last paying off on what he calls the college’s main threat: aging infrastructure. State legislation created the school in 1966, and classes began in 1967 in a Georgetown building that was once a high school. Campuses in Dover, Stanton and Wilmington followed in the early 1970s. In 2006, Brainard says, the college identified $40 million in deferred maintenance, a figure that grew to almost $100 million by the time state legislators agreed in May on a funding plan. ►


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START THE STUDENT-PRESIDENT continued from previous page


“With over $400 million in assets, industry standards call for an annual investment of $12 million to maintain quality, safety and value,” a college webpage says. But “the college has averaged just $4.9 million over the past 14 years to address deferred maintenance costs.” The college gets 42 percent of its budget from the state and relies upon the state’s annual Bond Bill for such capital expenditures, Brainard says. This year’s bill allocates $10 million a year for five years “to issue bonds to finance the cost of major and minor capital improvements, deferred maintenance and the acquisition of related equipment and educational technology.”


In 2020, Delaware Tech kicks off its next round of accreditation, a multiyear process where colleges “document what you do and do what you say you do.” At the end of the last accreditation, Brainard recalls being told “you have a culture of assessment. We plan to hold ourselves accountable.” Assessment intensifies in a new initiative called Achieving the Dream, a network of 277 community colleges in 44 states using data to improve student success. “It’s a great opportunity to take a hard look at ourselves and help us focus on our processes, access data in a more meaningful way and use it to make us better,” he says. After a year of research, the college in June developed a plan to improve course formats, communication to students and other elements. Another achievement: centralizing the staff—moving from separate operations at each campus for development, facilities, human resources, marketing, public safety and technology—into “a seamless organization” with unified teams. When asked to recall how he envisioned his career from his younger days, Brainard says he didn’t know what the future would hold. Lavallee had a more specific achievement in mind: “I always thought he would be governor. Little did I know that someday he would be my boss.” And McNesby is more poetic: “He’s always the kingmaker. Never knew he’d be king.”


Photo courtesy of Aman Singh


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Local Gifts

Worth Giving Looking to support the Delaware economy while shopping for holiday gifts? Here are suggestions from staff and contributors that will lead you to area merchants and organizations.

SHISH INTERIORS I’m a huge advocate of the “one for you, one for me” policy during the holidays (hello, self-care!), which is why I love to shop in Centreville. The walkable community is lined with boutiques, but I always pop into Shish Interiors. Owner Sally Hunsinger recently moved her petite shop (formerly located next to Locale BBQ Post) to Centreville and now has more square footage, which means more goodies. Think colorful cutlery, hand-poured beeswax candles, handmade pottery and so much more. She also offers interior design services to help those who are decoratingchallenged. 5714 Kennett Pike, Centreville; 540-9843, shishinteriors.com. — Danielle Bouchat-Friedman, Contributing Writer

OOH LA LA My other go-to in Centreville is Ooh La La—The Makeup Studio, located just steps above the Centreville Café. There, owner Tonia Marisa can give you and your loved ones the gift of perfect brows for under $40. She also has an amazing selection of jewelry, makeup and skincare products. 5800 Kennett Pike, Centreville; 6229425, facebook.com/Oohlalathemakeupstudio/. — Danielle Bouchat-Friedman, Contributing Writer

It offers everything for the person who likes horses and especially likes riding them. And they stress that “beginners are our specialty.” So, if you’re giftsearching for an aspiring Olympic equestrian or just a wanna-be cowboy, Cloverleaf Stables has riding lessons on both English and Western saddles and there are trail rides for all skill levels. Cloverleaf Stables also hosts parties, pony rides and hayrides, and it has riding camps that run from June to September. Cloverleaf Stables is located at 140 Beaver Valley Rd. in Chadds Ford, Pa. Call 484-841-6230 or go to cloverleaf-stables. com for more information or to order gift certificates. — Kevin Noonan, Contributing Writer

DOVER AIR MOBILITY COMMAND MUSEUM STORE I learned about the museum attached to Dover Air Force Base when I was helping out with a program the Air Force was hosting, but I didn't actually get myself to the Air Mobility Command Museum until this year. A trip there is a worthy present for any Delawarean interested in history, the Air Force, or a combination of the two, and admission's free. While you're there, make sure you check out the museum store. It's packed with memorabilia, art, clothes, and souvenirs, some of them specific to Dover and Delaware, others taking a broader look at the Air Force and national history. — Dillon McLaughlin, Contributing Writer

SASSY BEE This new Bellefonte startup, selling mostly honey-based personal care items, is a family affair. It’s the idea of Stephanie Grant, with input from husband Damien (beard products), daughter Hailey (lip oils), dog Thor (puppy products) and sons Logan and Aiden (helpers). Three years ago, Grant decided to become a beekeeper (“I’d rather live with memories than regrets”) and maintains two hives with about 80,000 bees. She also lives with a “very intense swelling, itching and pain” when she’s stung by a bee. But she perseveres with candles, soaps, bath bombs and face gels with biodegradable glitter. Many products feature honey (a natural humectant that reduces the loss of moisture) and often botanicals from her yard, such as sage, lavender and dandelion. Best sellers include honey lip balms for $5 and flower-infused lip oils for $7; her average price is probably $6. Sassy Bee can be reached at beesassyhoney@gmail.com and facebook.com/sassybeehoney. Products are also sold at Lamb’s Loft II in Claymont. — Ken Mammarella, Contributing Writer




Have a loved one who travels often and needs airport shuttle service on a regular basis? How about someone who doesn't travel enough? Either way, Delaware Express has you covered. Head over to DelExpress. com for a gift card that can be used for all of their transportation services. You can choose from a variety of destinations for business and leisure travel.

This is a joint submission with my wife because she loves Rocker's soaps and skincare products. Specifically, the activated charcoal, clay, and herb facial soap bar for her skincare regimen. I love Rocker's hemp products, especially the full spectrum CBD-infused raw honey for its therapeutic benefits. And we both love the Happy essential oil spray, because it's a natural air freshener, and leaves any space smelling great. Owner Rachel Binkley makes all her products locally, and they can be found on her website, or find a list of locations where you can buy locally. Rockersoaps.com.

— Matt Loeb, Production Manager

— Tyler Mitchell, Creative Director

THE WAR ON WORDS Perfectly sized to stuff in a stocking, this paperback is chockablock with language insights (he said modestly). A collection of “The War on Words” columns from 2007 (the column’s debut year) to 2011, it contains such grammar nerd insights as the most misused word and the most misused punctuation mark. A mere $10. Contact Out & About at 6556483 or get it at the Hockessin Book Shelf. — Bob Yearick, Contributing Editor and Columnist

CLASSES AT MT. CUBA CENTER While offering a variety of nature-related classes yearround, Mt. Cuba Center is hosting several interesting and affordable single-session programs like “Edible Native Plants for Every Garden” in January ($20) and “Gin & Junipers” in March ($39). If there is a special outdoors-lover in your life who’s looking for something more ongoing, the center also offers multi-session certificate programs such as “Native Plants of Spring,” which cost $135 to $275. — Jim Miller, Director of Publications

WorKS KENNETT SQUARE Struggling to come up with unique gift ideas? Look no further than WorKS Kennett Square, 432 S. Walnut St. This collaborative space houses almost 20 local vendors, some of whom rotate out to make space for new vendors. You will find some items from artisans, designers and craftsmen that you won't find elsewhere. Knock out your list here with ceramics, textiles, jewelry, leather goods, potted plants, and apothecary goods, as well as some great vintage finds -- all reasonably priced. Best of all, you will be supporting small, local vendors. WorKS is open Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit workskennettsquare.com. — Blair Lindley, Contributing Designer

OLGA GANOUDIS JEWELRY I love supporting local artisans, and Olga Ganoudis is one of my absolute favorites. She designs and handmakes the most beautiful, one-of-a-kind, statement-making jewelry. Each piece is a work of art. You can visit Olga's studio on North Scott Street in Trolley Square to shop and watch her bring her designs to life. — Lauren Golt, Contributing Writer

Y NOT? You can’t guarantee a clean bill of health with a gift membership to the YMCA, but it’s a darn good start. A membership to any of the area Ys is a treat, but I’m particular to Downtown Wilmington’s Central YMCA, where I’ve been a member for three decades. Though the facility has been serving the community in a variety of capacities (childcare, housing, youth outreach) since 1929, the fitness center is state-of-the-art, offering 90-plus high-end workout machines in an invigorating setting accented by a giant glass wall that overlooks 12th Street. What I enjoy most about the Central Y, however, is its egalitarian feel. One day you’ll be working out next to a U.S. Senator, the next day you’ll be sweating it out with your UPS driver. No better feeling than working out in a facility that does good work. — Jerry duPhily, Publisher





This Milton business was named 25 years ago because the flavorful ingredients came from the backyard of Krista Scudlark. But today, with about 100 varieties, she has to supplement the harvest of her fruit trees, grapevines and berry patches with purchases from nearby farmers—and the occasional pineapple. Most varieties retail for $7 a half-pint, and her most popular is a traditional (“my grandmother made it”) beach plum jelly. New this year are eight “boozy” versions featuring wine and Dogfish Head rum. She calls herself “the queen of soft spreads,” thanks to all the winners in her last appearance at the Delaware State Fair (as a pro, she can no longer compete). Daughter Renah, who works at Dogfish Head, is “the jelly princess,” and husband Joe is “the jelly widower,” for tolerating her “more than full-time job” for nine months of the year. Her small-batch jams, jellies, preserves, chutneys, marmalades and mustards are available from backyardjamsandjellies.com and three dozen retailers statewide.

LOCAL GIFTS WORTH GIVING continued from previous page

— Ken Mammarella, Contributing Writer

DOGFISH HEAD CHICORY STOUT COFFEE You drink the beer, but have you tried the coffee? My husband and I cannot get enough of Dogfish Head's Chicory Stout Coffee. It's slightly woody, a little nutty, and very smooth. So good you'll want more than one cup. The special blend is only available at the Dogfish Inn in Lewes. You can grab a bag (or three) in the lobby and the staff will grind it to your liking. — Lauren Golt, Contributing Writer


FINE FOOD MAKES A FABULOUS GIFT This holiday, surprise everyone on your list with something special from Janssen’s Market. From unique cheeses and gourmet fare to delicious bakery treats, we have something for everyone!


The Delaware History Museum on Market Street in Wilmington is a great source of information and local pride, especially since the recent renovation. The store attached to the museum now carries a wide array of Delaware and Mid-Atlantic themed souvenirs, including clothing, kitchenware and toys. Perhaps most notable, though, are the books. Finding actual published material on Delaware has always been a bit of a challenge, but the museum store has both fiction and nonfiction. Topics run the gamut from general interest down to specific neighborhoods and people in the state. — Dillon McLaughlin, Contributing Writer

CANDLELIGHT DINNER THEATRE This Ardentown treasure, a former barn, has been churning out theatrical productions for more than 75 years. Shows for 2020 are Cabaret (Jan. 18Feb. 23), the murder mystery Something’s Afoot (March 14-May 26), the Neil Simon comedy Rumors (May 16-June 21), Sweet Charity (July 11-Aug. 12), Tony-winning musical Memphis (Sept. 12-Oct. 25) and Scrooge (Nov. 14-Dec. 20). The buffet menu is diverse, with meat, seafood and vegetarian options, and play-themed cocktails and a wine list are also available. Tickets run from $31.50 to $66 and gift cards range from $20 to $500. And you get to see the actors up close and personal, since they double as wait staff during dinner. Candlelight Dinner Theatre is located at 2208 Millers Rd. in Ardentown. For more information, call 475-2313 or go to candlelighttheatredelaware.com. — Kevin Noonan, Contributing Writer



Giving Holiday Warmth With clothing, shelter and more, countless local organizations join in the spirit of the season, and they welcome your participation

A child rings the Salvation Army Red Kettle bell. The Red Kettle is perhaps the most visible and well-known holiday tradition. Photo courtesy of The Salvation Army

By Lauren Golt


he holiday season is time to give thanks for what we have and give back to our friends, neighbors, and communities. Local churches, shelters, businesses, and offices join in this tradition by hosting annual holiday drives to contribute toys, funds and clothing and more to those in need. The following list is just a small portion of the endeavors and initiatives in the area that aim to care for community members during the winter season. Contact these organizations to find out ways you can help. Division of State Service Centers features the Adopt-A-Family program, where sponsors anonymously donate gift certificates to children, head-of-households, and seniors living in poverty. The certificates go toward purchasing holiday gifts for the family. To participate, call New Castle County Adopt-A-Family at 792-9538 or Kent/Sussex County Adopt-A-Family at 424-7260. The Salvation Army Angel Tree is a nationwide program that can be found locally at Christiana Mall and Concord Mall through Dec. 14 (except Thanksgiving and Sundays). Shoppers pick a name of a child and are given that child’s wish list from which the donor picks a gift, which is then given to that child or children to open on Christmas morning. If you want to make a monetary

donation to the Salvation Army, the Red Kettle Campaign is perhaps the most visible and well-known holiday tradition. It runs locally now through Dec. 24 (excluding Sundays). You can find volunteers ringing bells and collecting donations outside supermarkets, at malls and on street corners. Many churches and other organizations also sponsor Angel Tree programs. Check with your local house of worship to see if it is a participant. Marine Toys for Tots in Wilmington donates new toys to local agencies and non-profit organizations who then deliver the toys to families in need by Christmas Day. The campaign runs through Dec. 20. For those interested in volunteering, hosting an event, or becoming a toy drop-off site, contact Toys for Tots Coordinator Sgt. Levandoski at Wilmingtont4t@usmc.mil. Toys for Tots believes in playing an active role in the development of our nation’s future and contributing to a better community through its children.

DROP OFF YOUR COAT AT A WINTER CLOTHING DRIVE Coat Drives and Winter Clothing Drives are among the more popular ways to help families and children in need. Schools, churches, grocery stores, banks and organizations hold Coat Drives. Coats, sweaters, mittens, gloves, hats and more are donated by individuals and then given to less fortunate members of our community. ► DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM




GIVING HOLIDAY WARMTH continued from previous page


Photo Joe del Tufo


Childcare is one of the many services provided by the Ministry of Caring and its founder, Brother Ronald.

Community Powered Federal Credit Union is taking part in the One Warm Coat initiative again this year. A representative says they will accept warm winter coats at each of their branches (except MLK Boulevard). You will find a donation box when you walk through the front door. Bring your donation to one of the following branches: Bear, 1758 Pulaski Hwy; Newark, 401 Eagle Run Rd.; Wilmington, 1815 Newport Gap Pike; and New Castle, 4 Quigley Blvd. One Warm Coat also gives members of the community opportunities to hold a coat drive, for those interested in starting their own initiative. The Clothing Bank of Delaware, through Friendship House, collects and distributes donated clothing to individuals and families while creating volunteer opportunities for organizations, businesses and individuals. Donations of clothing, bedding, linens and leather goods will be accepted at The Clothing Bank of Delaware, 1603 Jessup St., Suite 3, Wilmington, from Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Ministry of Caring is once again collecting gently used coats, hats, gloves, and scarves in adult and children sizes through Operation Overcoat. Local businesses collect clothing and the Ministry of Caring then distributes them to homeless people and others in need. To make a donation or set up a collection point, such as your workplace, call 652-5523 or email mail@ministryofcaring.org.

GIVE THE GIFT OF A WARM HOME Heating a home during the cold months can be costly, especially when winter temperatures drop quickly and for long periods. Some local companies are covering needy families’ heating bills as well as the cost of maintenance on their heating systems through generous initiatives. With Delmarva Power’s Gift of Energy (available in Delaware and Maryland), you can make a payment toward a friend or family member’s energy bill. Your Gift of Energy will appear on a future bill as a credit to the recipient's account. In addition, Delmarva’s Good Neighbor Energy Fund (also available in Maryland and Delaware) partners with the Salvation Army to offer energy assistance to low-income customers. Delmarva will match $1 for every $3 donated, up to $70,000, which will go to helping families with their energy bills. To make a donation, contact Delmarva Power online at delmarva.com or make a payment in person at one of their locations: New Castle Regional Office, Rt. 273 & Eagle Run Rd., Newark; Wilmington, 630 Martin Luther King Blvd.; Millsboro, 700 E. Dupont Hwy. 24 DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

Each year, Horizon Services of Delaware holds its annual Warm the Heart initiative where it repairs or replaces a damaged heating system, free of charge, for a local low-income family or a family with financial difficulties. This heartwarming, employee-founded endeavor has kept 128 families warm since 2005. For more information, call 200-4266 or, to nominate an applicant, complete the entry form at warmtheheart.org. G. Fedale Roofing and Siding awards local homeowners in need with a new roof via its Roofs From the Heart Foundation. Check out the company’s Facebook page (facebook.com/ FedaleRoof/) for the latest information regarding this endeavor.

LOCAL SHELTERS OFFER WARMTH DURING COLD WEATHER Delaware homeless shelters are opening their doors to welcome those without a place to go during Code Purple evenings. Code Purple is the movement the State of Delaware initiated to help those who are homeless to find a safe and warm place to spend the night indoors when the temperature and wind chill drops below 32 degrees F.

November 23, 2019, through January 1, 2020 See “Christmas Trees: Past and Present,” enjoy a twilight tour, and marvel at the gingerbread house contest entries.


200 HAGLEY CREEK ROAD, WILMINGTON, DE 19807 • (302) 658-2400

Friendship House in Newark remains open during Code Purple nights. Participating Code Purple sanctuaries in Newark vary and registration is necessary to enter. To register, visit 69 E. Main St. In Wilmington, the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew opens its doors during Code Purple evenings from 4 to 8:30 and reopens at 6 the following morning. Guests in need can arrive at 719 N. Shipley St., at the corner of 8th and Shipley. The Salvation Army in Wilmington provides overnight emergency housing on Code Purple nights for up to 80 people. When weather conditions are met, Code Purple signs will be posted at the entrances. Male guests enter through the main entrance at 400 N. Orange St., and female guests enter through the entrance at 104 West 5th St. For emergency housing information, call 472-0750.

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Sister Janet Mary, left, Sister Cecilia, and collection driver Jeffrey Phillips, from the Little Sisters Of The Poor Jeanne Jugan Residence, in Newark, load up shopping carts of donated food from Janssen's Market in Greenville. Photo Butch Comegys

Finding New Life for Food Waste Reduce, reuse and recycle are the bywords for many local food industry businesses By Pam George


An estimated 40 to 50 percent of the food waste in landfills comes from consumers, while 50 to 60 percent comes from businesses, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And decaying food gives off methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. But food waste—items that are tossed because they’re past their prime or unwanted—can affect a business owner’s wallet as well as the environment. Up to 10 percent of food in a restaurant—some $25 billion a year—is thrown in the garbage before it reaches the table. When there are so many people facing food insecurity, tossing dayold bread or slightly wilted lettuce also has moral implications.

The EPA is looking to cut food waste in half by 2030. To that end, the agency has started the food recovery challenge (FRC) to encourage organizations to practice sustainable foodmanagement. Many area businesses, however, already have policies and procedures in place. “Brands are going beyond reduce, reuse, recycle, and moving into upcycle recycle—breathing new life into food waste by finding new uses for byproducts that otherwise have been thrown away,” says Marie Gorman, account planner for Quench, a full-service marketing agency specializing in food and beverage marketing and trends. ► DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


EAT FINDING NEW LIFE FOR FOOD WASTE continued from previous page

Planning Ahead

Holiday sk ating at the skating club of wilmington

Avoiding waste starts with efficient ordering. Technology can help. Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen invested in a system that tracks sales to help chefs create their shopping list. “Knowing how many cheesesteak eggrolls we sold on the past six Mondays helps our team figure out how many to prepare for this Monday,” explains co-owner Lee Mikles. At El Diablo Burritos, cooks avoid waste by making hot foods in small batches. The goal: Avoid leftovers. “We have relatively little food waste,” says owner Dean Vilone. It also helps to use proteins in multiple dishes. Dan Sheridan, who has several restaurants, including Local BBQ and Stitch House Brewery in Wilmington, has become adept at crossutilizing ingredients. A protein such as short ribs, for instance, might appear in several selections. Leftovers and excess aren’t the only causes of waste. The chefs in Platinum Dining Group’s six restaurants are encouraged to get it right the first time. “We train our cooks daily to avoid ‘mistakes,’” says owner Carl Georigi. If you give the customer a shrimp taco when she wanted chicken, that’s waste. Professional chefs also plan to use everything they can in any way they can. That fish cake on the special menu today? It was likely made with the trimmings from last night’s fish special. The soup du jour? It’s made with excess produce and proteins. Melissa Ferraro, owner of Sonora at the David Finney Inn in New Castle, uses onion peels and herb stems to make stock, while fish heads and lobster shells are ingredients for fish stock at George & Sons in Hockessin. In Lewes, baker Keith Irwin of Old World Bread uses day-old products for bread pudding.

When the sales of prepared foods took off, we realized we were onto something... We still use up just about everything that comes in the door here. — Karen Igou, owner, HoneyBee Seasonal Kitchen & Market

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The Skating Club of Wilmington 1301 Carruthers Lane Wilmington, DE 19803 302 656 5005 skatewilm.com


At Janssen’s Market in Greenville, customers tend to shy away from two lonely chicken breasts or a single fish fillet in the case. Rather than waste it, the chefs in the market’s kitchen make value meals, which are kept in the freezer cases for a quick dinner. Markets that serve meals have an advantage. HoneyBee Seasonal Kitchen & Market in Trolley Square began offering prepared foods as a way to use produce that was nearing the end of its shelf life. “When the sales of prepared foods took off, we realized we were onto something,” says owner Karen Igou. “We still use up just about everything that comes in the door here.” She might need to wait a little longer these days. Heirloom tomatoes—which are delicious yet hardly picture-perfect—have increased the public’s acceptance of “ugly fruit and vegetables.” So much so, in fact, that Misfits Market made a business model out of offering them to customers by mail. The less-than-perfect-looking produce is priced up to 40 percent off the prettier products in supermarkets. Traditionally, these ugly and irregular items were tossed, although they taste fine.


Casapulla’s Photo Butch Comegys

Steak & Sub Shop

“Home of the Classic Italian Sub” Offering:

SUBS & STEAKS About two times a week, Little Sisters of the Poor pick up leftover bakery items and other goods from Janssen's.

Filling a Need

When the ingredients or products can’t be reused, then the EPA’s recommendations include feeding the hungry. Since Janssen’s Market was founded in 1952, the business has had a relationship with the Little Sisters of the Poor, says Paula Janssen. About two times a week, the charity comes to pick up leftover bakery items and other goods. The Kenny family’s ShopRite stores also give to Little Sisters, as well as to the Ministry of Caring and the Food Bank of Delaware. However, if a nonprofit requests something special—such as dayold bread for a fundraiser—the stores do their best to accommodate them, says Melissa Kenny, who manages the marketing and sustainability initiatives for ShopRite’s six stores. Every Thursday for the past five years, Platinum Dining Group has made lunch for about 150 people at the Empowerment Center in Newark, which helps feed the homeless and those in need. “We plan for these lunches by using whatever we have a lot of in raw ingredients and prepare a freshly cooked hot meal,” Georigi says. “These meals are not leftovers. Rather, they make smart use of excess ingredients.”



(302) 994-5934

Down on the Farm and on the Water

If you can’t feed people, why not animals? Brewpubs and breweries have long offered spent grains to the makers of cow and poultry feed. The new Thompson Island Brewing Co. in Rehoboth Beach, for instance, entered into an agreement with an area farmer, who picks up the grain. Herr’s Snacks in Nottingham, Pa., also supports local bovines. For more than 30 years, Herr’s has raised cattle on a 1,000-acre farm near its headquarters. With the help of nutritionists, the company created feed using potato peels, overbaked pretzels, and potato chips that didn’t make the cut for packaging. The “Steer Party Mix” feeds the cows and helps Herr’s reduce and reuse food waste. Cows aren’t the only animals that benefit. Kenny knows of supermarkets in New Jersey that provide scraps to pig farmers. In Bethany Beach, Patsy’s Restaurant gives its scraps to a manager who has chickens. In return, she supplies the kitchen with fresh eggs. Some of Janssen’s customers have rabbits, and the store will gladly hand over the leafy ends of carrots and beets to them. Janssen’s coffee grounds, meanwhile, go to area farms for composting. The grounds are only part of the compost that HoneyBee saves for one enthusiast. He stops by weekly with 5-gallon buckets to pick up scraps, eggshells, and clean paper waste. He’s in good company. Chef Jason Barrowcliff of Brandywine Prime Seafood & Chops at the Chadds Ford Inn has a small farm on his property. Scraps go into his home composter, and many of his lovingly grown vegetables wind up on customers’ plates. ► DECEMBER AUGUST 2019 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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EAT Quality Price Service

Since 1934



302.994.4467 | 4723 Kirkwood Hwy. Midway Plaza


Big Fish Restaurant Group


FINDING NEW LIFE FOR FOOD WASTE continued from previous page

Food waste can also help aquaculture. In partnership with area restaurants and The Nature Conservancy, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays uses bags of recycled oyster shells for restoration projects throughout the watershed. The shells are the best material on which to create oyster reefs because they are a habitat for small bottom-dwelling organisms, such as grass shrimp, which support commercially valuable crabs and fish. Rehoboth Beach-based SoDel Concepts, which sells oysters on the half shell in many of its 12 restaurants, participates in the program, as does George & Sons and its sister business, Delaware Oyster Co. “It helps rebuild our shoreline,” says George Esterling IV.

Saving Dollars, Making Sense

Finding new life for waste also comes with a cost advantage. A supermarket’s trash-removal fee is determined by weight. The more trash, the higher the bill. Waste by its nature already means lost dollars. Paying for its removal only increases the expense. ShopRite has found several vendors to ease the burden. The meat and seafood departments save the bones and trimmings in special cans that Valley Proteins removes at no cost to ShopRite. The company uses them to make highprotein feed. Kenny heard that the feed is used to feed Delmarva chickens. “It makes me feel good that it goes out but comes back to Delaware,” she says. All six stores have composters for organic material, such as flowers, produce, and some formerly hot foods. Each location generates about three tons a month. The soybean oil used for frying also goes into a machine and is recycled. “We don’t waste any of it,” Kenny says. It makes her happy to take steps to save the planet. For those who are less environmentally minded, she points out that “there are financial benefits from reducing waste the right way.”

Give the Gift of Food These pantries need stocking during the holiday season By Pam George


etween parties, office treats, and family feasts, it’s easy to over-indulge during the holidays. But, unfortunately, in this season of abundance, many Delawareans don’t have enough to eat. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 37.2 million Americans—including 11.2 million children—are hungry. In Delaware, there are 117,320 residents facing food insecurity—up from 114,370 in 2018, reports the Food Bank of Delaware. The rate for children is 17 percent. Donating food is one way to address the problem. However, charitable organizations often have different rules when it comes to what they will and will not accept. Here is a list of charities that accept food donations and what they require. Their needs may change, so call to confirm.

Food Bank of Delaware

From its two warehouses, the Food Bank distributes some 8.6 million pounds of food to 536 programs focused on relieving hunger, such as food pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency shelters. The Food Bank accepts perishable foods, including fruit and frozen meat, and nonperishable items. Note: The food must be in a labeled, sealed package. The organization will take prepared food if it’s made in a kitchen that’s regularly inspected by the health department. Buffet items, however, are not accepted, nor are foods that were prepared in a home kitchen for a party. It also does not take candy, lollipops, canned or bottled soda, chocolate bars or pieces, gum and soft candy (such as marshmallows), caramels, taffy, licorice, or gummy items. At this time of year, the typical holiday fare is welcome – e.g., frozen turkeys, canned peas and green beans, gravy, and instant mashed potatoes. Most of the year, urgently needed foods include peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, shelf-stable milk, and hot and cold cereals. Newark Branch 222 Lake Dr., Newark | 292-1305 Milford Branch 1040 Mattlind Way, Milford | 424-3301 fbd.org/donate

Kennett Area Community Service

The organization’s Food Cupboard accepts donations during regular office hours. In general, the cupboard needs canned fruits and vegetables, bagged fresh fruit and vegetables, canned proteins or dried beans, grains—such as rice—and single-serve food items. 136 W. Cedar St., Kennett Square, Pa. 610-925-3556 | kacsonline.net/donate-now

Ministry of Caring

In 2018, the Ministry of Caring served 161,627 meals at its three Emmanuel Dining Room locations. This year, the program is serving up to 600 people a day. The charity relies on donations of all kinds. Even a casserole or a lasagna can be carved into pieces for guests to take home. (The dining room does not serve dinner.) Hot dogs and hamburgers come in handy if the demand for a meal exceeds the original supply. The Ministry of Caring was instrumental in the creation of the law that exempts food donators from liability. Any person, business, or institution making a good faith donation of prepared or leftover perishable food shall not be liable if the food appears fit for human consumption at the time it’s donated to a charity serving free meals to the needy public. The primary need is for family-sized containers of vegetables, stew, pasta, spaghetti sauce, fruit, cereal and beans. Large sizes of foods such as stuffing and instant mashed potatoes are particularly welcome during the holidays. Contact Maureene “ReeNee” LaFate, program director Emmanuel Dining Room 121 N. Jackson St., Wilmington 652-3228 | Ministryofcaring.org

Sunday Breakfast Mission

The holidays are a busy time for the SBM. On Thanksgiving, volunteers serve more than 700 and prepare food boxes for 1,700 families. On Christmas morning, they provide breakfast with all the trimmings for guests and residents. On any given evening, up to 200 come for the community meal. Overnight guests get breakfast before they leave. In addition to daily meals, up to 70 families can call once a month to request food for their homes. SBM’s annual food drive runs until the end of the year. WSFS Bank locations are accepting canned and boxed goods, including cereal, vegetables, pasta, peanut butter and jelly, soup, tuna and instant potatoes. (Check the expiration date and discard any expired items.) Or, you can drop off food to the Sunday Breakfast Mission. 110 N. Poplar St., Wilmington 652-8314 x 114 | Sundaybreakfastmission.org DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM



Make a Bad Fashion Statement!


BITES Tasty things worth knowing

Compiled by Bev Zimmermann presents

U gly




Friday Night Dec 13 • 8pm


ewark Deli and Bagel has opened a Wilmington location in the Riverfront Market at 3 S. Orange St. in the space formerly occupied by Effoc’s. The Newark location is well known for bagels and should help fill the breakfast void at the Market. Riverfront Market hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.



he Chicken Spot is the latest venture by Veritas Wine & Craft Beer and Ciro Food & Drink owner Venu Gaddamidi. Completely renovated and updated with an all-glass exterior, it’s located at the former Benjamin’s, 204 W. 10th St., across from the Nemours Building in downtown Wilmington. There is a counter with limited seating and the owners expect mostly take-out business. The menu includes salads with chicken, chicken bowls, chicken fried rice, chicken & waffles, chicken & biscuits and chicken pot pies. Side dishes feature comfort food such as mac & cheese, baked beans, candied sweet potato mash and more. Hours are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visit chickenspotde.com for the entire menu.


he culinary school at the University of Delaware has two student-operated restaurants within the Trabant Center at 17 W. Main St. Vita Nova offers elegant five-course dining Wednesday-Friday during fall and spring semesters, and an award-winning lunch buffet Monday-Friday. The more casual Bistro Room offers a threecourse theater menu—convenient if you are going to the movie theater there—a small plate menu, custom cocktails and extensive wine selection. Visit lerner.udel. edu/centers for more information.

he age of the Jetsons is finally arriving at the restaurant level with Robot Captain Crabs, Cajun Seafood and Bar in Newark. You are greeted by hostesses Shirley or Calli, with big smiles and a screen with the menu above their round heads. There are two food runners named Dexter and Sheldon who resemble Roombas with a stack of shelves for the food in a circular head shape, complete with eyeballs so they can see where they’re going. The menu features fried and boiled seafood, brought to the table by robots and put in front of diners by human servers. This unique restaurant, at 1130 Capitol Trail near Red Mill Road, is open Monday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 9 p.m. Visit the website to see the staff and menu at robotcaptaincrabs.com.

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302.478.3939 | 3100 Naamans road | MexicanPost.com | facebook.com/Mex.Post DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


r ee h cwithin

Unleash the

December 2019 • #inWilm

Riverfront Rink

DTC: A Christmas Carol

Taste of the Holidays

Merry Night at the Museum

Twilight Tours at Hagley

Beauty & the Beast

The Illusionists

CTC: Passing Strange

Breakfast with Santa December 14 & 15

Rainbow Chorale: Deck the Halls December 14

FSBT: The Nutcracker

Discovery Days at DMNH

New Year’s Eve #inWilm

Open Daily

December 13-29

December 4-29

December 13-15

the Basil Restaurant Carols in Color 2 for specials December 15

December 6

December 13-21

December 7

December 11-26


INtheSpirit Holiday Party December 20

December 21 & 22

December 27-30


December 31

Now Open Daily!

NOW OPEN! riverfrontrink.com

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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





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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 Drop Squad Kitchen 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, DELAWAREHUMANE.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




s we immerse ourselves in another busy holiday season, it’s worthwhile to pause and take stock of where we are as a City. It’s been said that a good way to measure the health of a city is to look at how it treats its children. If we continue to build a City in which our children succeed, then all of us have a better chance at success. Much of my focus as Mayor has been to improve the lives of our youngest residents and by extension, their families. Over the past three years, to that end, we have: • Launched and supported neighborhood stabilization efforts to make our communities safer and stronger, such as the West Center City project, the Purpose Built Community initiative in Riverside, the Equitable Wilmington Initiative, the 9th St. Neighborhood Revitalization Project and various housing improvements on the East Side. • Started the Beautiful City initiative to rid the city streets where our children walk and play of unsightly trash and debris. • Partnered with the County and the State to combat lead hazards in City properties. • Reduced the number of shootings and other crimes to levels not seen in many years while launching projects such as the Group Violence Intervention (GVI) effort to further reduce violence while adding needed social services to help people change their lives. • Provided hundreds of young people with employment opportunities and internships through our Youth Career Development Program and the Wilmington Youth Environmental Corps.

Mayor Purzycki at last years’ annual Wilmington Christmas Parade.


• Improved and preserved parks, playgrounds, athletic facilities, and open spaces across the City, including a comprehensive $2.4 M renovation of Eden Park, a partnership with Salesianum School to rebuild and expand the former Baynard Stadium complex, and a complete interior and exterior renovation of the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center.



Mayor Purzycki with high school student scholarship recipients

• Awarded more than $90,000 in academic scholarships through the Mayor’s Office to help nearly 60 City high school seniors pay for college, and through our annual HBCU Week have helped about 2,000 students get accepted to college while securing almost $4 M in scholarships. • Partnered with Simon Eye Associates and VSP Global Eyes of Hope to offer FREE eye exams and eyeglasses to eligible children, addressing a problem that, left uncorrected, can affect school performance and lead to other sight or health issues later in life. • Initiated Play Streets during summer months, sent children to the 76ers Youth Basketball Camp while launching the Mayor’s Pro Football Camp, supported the “Light’s On After School” program, sent over 30 young people to attend Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” Book Tour in Philadelphia, and supported Wilmington Little League, the Girl Scouts, Urban Bike Project, Junior Entrepreneurs in Training ( JET), the Tocqueville Legacy Library, Emma’s Art Kits, and the 100 Men Reading Program, among others.

HOLIDAY PARKING REGULATIONS IN EFFECT IN DOWNTOWN AND RIVERFRONT BUSINESS DISTRICTS THROUGH DEC. 31ST Mayor Purzycki and Finance Director Brett Taylor remind motorists that the City’s holiday season parking meter policy is in effect now through Tues., Dec. 31, 2019. During this period, from Noon to 6 p.m. each weekday, the City won’t require payment at meters in the Downtown Business District (bounded by 2nd St. to 12th St., and by French St. to Washington St.) and in the Riverfront Business District. Official holidays like Christmas Day (Dec. 25) remain FREE all day. A 2-hr. limit will remain in effect, however. During the holiday season, all other applicable parking regulations will be strictly enforced.






(BENNETT ST.), 10 A.M.

As Mayor, I will continue to look for innovative ways to improve the well-being of Wilmington’s children and youth, and in so doing create a strong, healthy City for everyone. Meanwhile, have a safe and happy holiday!


DEC 25

Mayor attends the dedication of Father Tucker Park on the City’s Westside.




For more meetings and events in the month of December, visit: www.wilmingtonde.gov.







presented by



December 6 5pm Start Complimentary Shuttle Service Most exhibitions listed here continue through this month


A program of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs

Blue Streak Gallery at Piccolina Toscana

Blue Streak Gallery

baby grand gallery

Bellefonte Arts

Arden’s Buzz Ware Village Center

Delaware Center for Horticulture

Station Gallery


The Delaware Contemporary

RIVERFRONT The Delaware Contemporary 200 South Madison Street 656-6466 • decontemporary.org Artists: Annual Taste of the Holidays & Contemporary Craft Show DOWNTOWN Chris White Gallery 701 N. Shipley Street 428-1650 • chriswhitecdc.org Artist: The Black Market by Dominique J. Gaines Colourworks 1902 Superfine Lane (Race St.) 428-0222 • colourworks.com Artist: Impressions: Stones, Scenes, and Celebrations of San Miguel by Alan Evantash Delaware History Museum 504 N. Market Street 655-7161 • dehistory.org Artist: Winter Scenes by Stephanie Silverman & Candlelight concert by Mélomanie Gallery 919 Market 919 N. Market Street 540-8007 Artist: Tracey Landmann Grace United Methodist Church 900 N. Washington Street 887-6254 • iamthevillage.org Artist: “The Art of Waiting: Christmas Edition” community artists exhibit The Grand Opera House 818 N. Market Street 658-7897 • thegrandwilmington.org Grand Gallery Artist: Never the Same Circus by Lauren E. Peters

The Grand Opera House baby grand gallery Artists: Best of Show: The Wilmington International Exhibition of Photography

Blue Streak Gallery Off-Site at Piccolina Toscana 1412 N. Dupont Street Artist: Judy Jarvis Paintings by Judy Jarvis

Mezzanine Gallery 820 N. French Street 577-8278 • arts.delaware.gov Artist: Curiosity and Flux, Shawn Faust

Delaware Center for Horticulture 1810 N. Dupont Street 658-6262 • thedch.org Artist: Pathways by Gina Bosworth

MKT Place Gallery 200 W. 9th Street 438-6545 Artist: Birds of a Feather Flock Together by Hannibal Lee Poppycock Tattoo 115 W. 8th Street 543-7973 • poppycocktattoo.com Artist: 10th Anniversary Black Light Spooktacular Group Art Show Spaceboy Clothing 706 N. Market Street 225-9781• spaceboyclothing.com Artist: Market Street Swap University of Delaware Downtown Center 13 E. 8th Street 571-5239 • aap.udel. edu/wilmington/ ud-downtown-center Artists: UD AAP Creative Showcase WEST END & WEST SIDE Blue Streak Gallery 1721 Delaware Avenue 429-0506 Artists: Annual Jewelry Show Featuring designs by Cara Noland, Maxine Rosenthal, Susan Schulz, Karen Venezky, “Little Gems” by Ruth Ansel. Maggi DeBaecke, Susan Myers, Anne Oldach, Bill Spiker and Paula Rubin-Wexler.

Howard Pyle Studio 1305 N. Franklin Street 656-7397 • howardpylestudio.org Artist: Howard Pyle’s Window by Kathy Rusk Tower Hill School Founder’s Gallery 2813 W. 17th Street 575-0550 Artist: Kirby Smith BEYOND THE CITY Station Gallery 3999 Kennett Pike 654-8638 • stationgallery.net Artists: Art Works for the Holidays COCA Pop-Up Gallery 3829 Kennett Pike, Powder Mill Square, 218-4411 Artists: Kathy Ruck, Mark Barnes, Shirley Rigby and Catherine Bosk Bellefonte Arts 803C Brandywine Blvd. 762-4278 • bellefontearts.com Artist: Holiday Art-Group Show Bellefonte Vintage 901 Brandywine Blvd. 762-7878 • bellefontevintage.com Artist: Santa & Friends by Robert Porter Arden’s Buzz Ware Village Ctr 2119 The Highway, Arden 981-4811 • ardenbuzz.com Artists: Special Holiday Artisan Loop

Next Art Loop Wilmington: January 10, 2020


302.482.3333 • ChelseaTavern.com 821 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19801



New Year’s eve Market st. Bash! Tuesday, 12/31


Champagne Brunch – 10am to 3pm $ 25 includes starter, entrée, dessert and glass of champagne! Full lunch menu also available.

NYE Pre Fixe Menu – 4pm to 9pm $ 45 includes starter, salad, entrée, dessert & 1 glass of champagne (OR) craft beer!

Ala Carte Dinner Menu – 4pm to 9pm Grab a bite before heading out to your New Year’s Eve celebration!

Lite Fare & Dessert Menus – 9pm to 1am Complimentary Champagne toast and party favors at Midnight!



9pm to 1am $ 65/person (all-inclusive) • 4 hour Open Bar • Complimentary Midnight Champagne Toast • 2 hour Heavy Hors d’Oeuvres 9pm - 11pm • 2 hour Mini Dessert Bar 11pm - 1am • Balloon Prize Drop at Midnight • Guest D.J. Dance Party ALL Night long! 55/person Pre-Sale Tickets 50/person GROUP Pre-Sale Tix 6+ $ 25/person Designated Drivers $ $

Not valid with any other offer, discount or promo

302.384.8113 • ErnestAndScott.com 902 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19801 42 DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

Special Discounted Room Rates 1 Block away at the Doubletree Hotel if you mention either restaurant when reserving!


Brothers Tommy (left) and John Knorr opened their brewery 10 years ago. Photo courtesy of Evolution Craft Brewery Co.

RENAISSANCE MEN Tommy and John Knorr and their Evolution Craft Brewery have contributed to the resurgence of Salisbury By Kevin Noonan


ommy and John Knorr knew they were facing long odds in a small town. The two brothers grew up in Baltimore and Tommy went to college in Utah, but when they decided to open their own craft brewery they settled on, of all places, Salisbury, Md. That was back in 2009, and now their fledgling empire includes several restaurants and their pride and joy, Evolution Craft Brewery Co. Located in the heart of Salisbury in an old ice plant, it has established itself as one of the best craft breweries in the region. “When you open your own business, you never really know how things will work out,” Tommy Knorr says. “We had high hopes, of course, but we were also realistic and we knew it could be a struggle. But we were doing what we loved to do and doing it where we wanted to be, that’s what mattered the most. And then we ended up having some success pretty quickly and now we’re rolling along pretty well. It’s been an exciting ride.”

And a profitable one. When the brothers opened Evolution Craft Brewery a decade ago, they produced 1,280 barrels of beer, and now the annual total is 18,000-19,000 barrels. The Knorrs created Southern Boys Concepts as an umbrella for their businesses. They got their start back in 1996, when they purchased the Red Roost Crab House in Whitehaven, Md., not far from the Wicomico River. From there they expanded, and now their restaurants in Maryland include Boonies in Tyaskin, Sobos and Bull Lips in Salisbury, and Birroteca in two locations, Baltimore and Bel Air. As for the brothers’ beers, their Delmarva Pure Pilsner won Best in Show at the 2018 Maryland Craft Beer Competition, and that same year readers of The Baltimore Sun ranked EVO’s Lot No. 3 IPA as a semi-finalist in its March Madness-style online voting tournament to determine Maryland’s best beer. ► DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM



Photo courtesy of Evolution Craft Brewery Co.

RENAISSANCE MEN continued from previous page

Located in the heart of Salisbury, the brewery includes a restaurant (Public House) and tasting room.

Other trademark brews include Primal Pale Ale, Exile Red Ale, Lucky 7 Porter, Rise Up Stout and various seasonal and limited release brews. For their full selection and other information, log onto evolutioncraftbrewing.com. Recently, Tommy Knorr, 47, who lives with his girlfriend and two dogs, took time for a telephone interview with Out & About. O&A: How did you get started in the restaurant-brewery business? Knorr: After college I started working at Phillips Seafood Restaurant in Baltimore as a manager and two things happened—I learned the business and realized I really liked the business, so I decided it was time to start out on my own. And I had brewed beer in college as a home brewer and I always drank good craft beer. So, it seemed like a natural marriage to combine the two. O&A: What was the first step you took after you made the decision to go into business for yourself? Knorr: The first thing you have to do is decide where you want to be and then to find the right place. After we moved to Maryland, my brother found the Red Roost Crab House in Salisbury and we bought it in 1996. That was really the foundation for everything else that followed. O&A: You went to college out West and you’re from and initially worked in a big city, Baltimore. How did you end up in a small town in Wicomico County? Knorr: We spent two years in Annapolis and then visited the Eastern Shore and just loved it and decided that this is where we wanted to live. Obviously, that decision did not have a huge upside from a sales-volume standpoint. If we had opened in Baltimore, we probably would have sold a lot more beer, but we love the Eastern Shore and the Delmarva Peninsula and the slower pace of life down here. We were willing to take that risk, we were willing to sacrifice, to live the life we wanted to live. And, in the end, we still sell a lot of beer. O&A: When you first started, the zoning laws in Salisbury prevented you from opening your brewery there. What did you do then, and how did that problem eventually get resolved? Knorr: We still wanted to be in the area, so we opened a small brewery right across the border in Delaware, in Delmar. Eventually, we outgrew the facility, and by that time they had passed new laws and Salisbury was happy to have us and we’ve had a great relationship with the city ever since. O&A: You started small, but you also had some immediate success and your brand grew from there. How did you manage that in such a competitive beer market? Knorr: We pounded the pavement and we had a really good liquid to sell—basically, we got out of it what we put into it. We hired good people and produced a good product. We were about quality, not quantity, and we still are. We just preached that and were able to get out of the gate pretty quickly. It was really word of mouth that made us successful. We don’t do a lot of advertising or marketing and we rely on people telling other people about us and, so far, that approach has worked pretty well. 44 DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

O&A: How do you balance increasing your business without growing too much, too quickly and losing that quality? Knorr: That’s something we struggle with. If you’re making too many beers and that affects the beers you’ve been making for years, then you’re doing something wrong. You really have to have a balance with that and that’s something we discuss all the time. We want to branch out and grow, but we also want to stay loyal to the brands that have been successful for us and the brands that we know people like.

Check Out Our Craft Beers!

O&A: Craft brewing and breweries have exploded in recent years. How do you stay competitive in today’s market, when it seems like there are thousands of craft beers from which to choose? Knorr: That’s a real challenge because you want to stay relevant and, at the same time, not move away from what made you successful in the first place. If you take your foot off the gas for one minute you can be left behind. In the end, it comes down to quality and knowing your market and that’s what we’ve stayed focused on. O&A: How did you come up with the name “Evolution Brewery”? Knorr: We went through a million names, trying to come up with something that really related to the particular beers we were brewing. We wanted something that showed that we were making good, solid beers and were also willing to take chances with new brands without sacrificing the quality we wanted. Basically, we wanted to evolve and constantly grow and improve, and from that we came up with Evolution. O&A: You’re in business with your brother, and history shows that family businesses often end up badly, for the business and the family. How have you two managed to deal with that? Knorr: Well, obviously, like in any family, we’re going to bicker over certain things, and we’ve had some strong disagreements at times, because we both have strong personalities and opinions. But for the most part we’ve maintained a good balance, because he brings a different perspective to the business than I do, and that’s a good thing. And we’ve always put the quality of the product ahead of everything, and at the end of the day we’re usually on the same page. O&A: After a rocky start in Salisbury, your brewery and restaurant have been a big part in the rejuvenation of the downtown area. What kind of impact do you think your business has had on the city? Knorr: I think we’ve had a big impact on a general renaissance, and we’re very proud of that. And we’re proud that we built our brewery in a part of town that wasn’t doing so great and is now thriving. Every city needs something cool to attract younger people and help attract new businesses. Perdue is obviously a huge employer around here, and if someone is considering working for Perdue and he takes his wife downtown to see what it’s like, they want to have a thriving restaurant and social scene. It’s part of what makes a city a desirable place to live, and even though we’re not the only reason that has happened in Salisbury, we’re proud that we’ve been a big part of it. O&A: Where do you see your business 10 years from now? Knorr: I hope we’re doing the same thing and making the same core beers that are still relevant, and at the same time creating new beers that make people happy. And I hope we have the same staff and everybody is growing personally and professionally. Basically, I’m hoping for more of the same.

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Vino and Bubbly for the Holidays Wine and champagne recommendations for gifts or for yourself By John Murray


efore offering a few holiday suggestions, a brief word about the Sonoma Kincaid fires that occurred in October. Some of you know I was evacuated from Coffey Park in Santa Rosa in the fires that burned in October of 2017. Known as the Tubbs Lane fire, it caused significant loss of life. It was fortunate no lives were lost in this year’s fire. The other good news is the wine industry is alive and well in Sonoma, despite the fires. Homes, outbuildings and two wineries were destroyed. But all is well and prospects are good. The early word from my winemaker friends is that this year’s vintage will be outstanding. Now, with the Christmas season here, it’s time to talk about gifts and bubbles to enhance the celebration. Here are some recommendations for gift-giving wines. FROG’S LEAP WINERY, Rutherford, Calif. Longtime friend and owner of Frog’s Leap, John Williams, has been farming and making wine for 40 years. The vineyards are organically grown and dry-farmed, using biodynamic practices that are maintained through the planting of cover crops, which lure insects that help produce good fruit. 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon $59.99: Flavors of black fruit with hints of mocha create a wine of classic Cab flavors. 2018 Sauvignon Blanc $24.99: Stone fruit, crisp and bright, this wine is an outstanding example of old-world style using new-world fruit.

SHAFER VINEYARDS, Stags Leap District, Napa, Calif. The late John Shafer planted Cabernet Sauvignon in small hillside vineyard blocks in 1973. Doug Shafer and winemaker Elias Fernandez have created one of the true esoteric wineries in Napa. Collectors from around the world seek out these wines. 2015 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon $299.99: This is rich, opulent and full of spicy dark currants and hints of bright cherries. Baking spices, black licorice and a touch of cedar help integrate both tannins and flavor. ►


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• Extra Brut 0-6 g/l • Brut 0-12 g/l • Extra Dry, Extra Sec, Extra Seco 12-17 g/l • Dry, Sec, Seco 17-32 g/l • Demi-Sec, Semi Seco 32-50 g/l • Doux, Sweet, Dulce 50+ g/l

IRON HORSE VINEYARDS, Sonoma County, Calif. This winery might have the best views in Sonoma County. Iron Horse produces only from estate-grown fruit in Green Valley AVA of the Russian River Valley. The wines are bright, elegant and delicate. They are known for their Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and sparkling wines. The bubbles are amazing. Iron Horse Brut X 2014 $49.99 Rich, creamy and extremely dry, this wine is delicate and very elegant. The finish is very satisfying and balanced with small bubbles, resembling French Champagne. A classic sparkler made in Sonoma. Iron Horse Ocean Reserve Blanc de Blancs 2013 $49.99 This is a limited-edition sparkling wine. Iron Horse donates $4 per bottle to the National Geographic Ocean Initiative. Proceeds go toward establishing marine protected areas around the globe. It is a very wellmade sparkling wine with rich textures.

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs Non-Vintage, Sonoma, Calif. $18.99 Hand-harvested grapes of Pinot Noir give this wine rich, creamy flavors of citrus and cola. Its salmon color is achieved through 24 hours of contact with the grape skins. It is always a favorite for us because it was poured at our daughter’s wedding. A to Z Wineworks Bubbles Rosé, Willamette Valley, Ore. $15.99 A blush pink hue invites you to taste the flavor of strawberry, raspberry, peach and apricot combined with subtle hints of white flowers. Good acidity gives this sparkler a delightful, clean and crisp finish. Treveri Cellars Gewürztraminer Sparkling Demi-Sec, Yakima Valley, Wash. $16.99 This bubbly offers a combination of exotic fruit aromas and spice, which directs this wine to rich flavors. Hints of spice enlighten your taste buds with a slight fruity off-dry finish. Soter Vineyards Mineral Springs Brut Rosé, Willamette Valley, Ore. $ 69.99 Mineral Springs Ranch is a 40-acre area planted on a 240-acre biodynamic farm. Ancient soils and temperate climate with respectful farming practices result in expressive and layered, flavorful wines. This great sparkler is enjoyed by my family every New Year’s Eve.

Imported wine buyer and manager Joe Buchter (CWS, CSP, WSET II) recommends these two wines: Domaine Karanika 2017 Brut Cuvée Spéciale, Greece $32.99 This is a non-champagne for your favorite Olympian, and I mean that in the most classic way possible. Karanika is located in northwestern Greece at more than 2,000 feet above sea level, where they make sparkling wine to rival entry-level Champagne and Cremant. They use the same production methods but with the indigenous grapes of Xinomavro and Assyrtiko. This is a perfect wine for any Champagne enthusiast with a taste for the exotic. Lini Oreste 910 Lambrusco Secco, Italy $15.99 Don’t be intimidated by the idea of a dry, fizzy red wine. It’s good, I swear. Italy has a fine tradition of fizzy Rosso served with hard cheeses and cured fatty meats. Contrary to the Riunite of old, Lini’s Lambrusco is dry and should be served chilled. Fresh strawberries and pomegranate refresh your palate alongside even the heaviest of holiday meals. Wishing all the happiest and safest holidays. John Murray is proprietor of State Line Liquors.

We offer an extensive variety of private barrels exclusive to our store. We have traveled across the country, from California to Kentucky, to get hands-on experience in choosing our private selections.

Monday-Wednesday 9am-8pm • Thursday-Saturday 9am-9pm • NEW Sunday Holiday Hours 11am-6pm 4025 Kennett Pike Wilmington Delaware 19807

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Here's what's pouring



rooked Hammock, the popular Lewes-based brewery and restaurant, opened a sister location in midNovember at 316 Auto Park Dr. in Middletown. The venue is Middletown’s first brew pub and is the latest venture by Rehoboth Beachbased La Vida Hospitality Group, which also owns Big Chill Beach Club, La Vida Catering and Taco Reho. Crooked Hammock will feature 7,000 square feet of indoor space and a 15,000-square-foot backyard area with games, fire pits and assorted hammocks. Its production brewhouse is twice the size of the Lewes location and will produce a variety of beers specific to the Middletown location as well as Crooked Hammock year-rounders such as Mootzy’s Treasure (American IPA), Shoobie (Belgian blonde ale), Backyard Brown Ale (English ale) and Wai Ola (California-style coconut ale). Visit CrookedHammockBrewery.com.



agunitas, the California-based craft brewery, has joined the non-alcohol movement with the introduction of HOP…Hoppy Refresher. This IPA-inspired sparkling beverage is zero-alcohol, zero carbohydrates and zero-calorie and made “using everything we know about hops,” says Lagunitas. HOP is available now throughout Delaware.



over-based Fordham & Dominion Brewing is featuring Winter Chills, a limited-release ale with sweet aroma and caramel malt taste. “This copper-colored dry ale leaves a lasting impression, just like a winter chill,” reads the brewery’s tasting description. Winter Chills (7.5 percent ABV) is available in Delaware while supplies last.




ron Hill Restaurant & Brewery, on Wilmington’s Riverfront, is hosting a 12 Days of Christmas Beer Dinner on Thursday, Dec. 5 (6:30 p. m). This holiday beer dinner will feature “the flavors of Christmas” in a 12-course feast. The menu is a collaboration between Iron Hill Executive Chef Joseph Pryor, Executive Sous Chef Richard Creamer and Head Brewer Moriah Guise. A different Iron Hill beer will be featured with each of the dozen courses. Tickets are $100 per person. For reservations, call 472-2739.



altimore-based Heavy Seas Beer has released the second beer in its Joose Cannon series, Froot Joose IPA. A twist on the brewery’s flagship IPA, Loose Cannon, Joose Cannon (7.25 percent ABV) is its hazier, juicier counterpart. The brew utilizes Citra, Galaxy and Enigma hops for tropical juiciness inspired by the flavors of fruit punch.



n the heels of Crooked Hammock’s expansion into Middletown, First State Brewing Co. is planning to open an 11,000-square-foot brewery, taproom and kitchen in the Levels Business Park off U.S. 301 in west Middletown. FSBC plans to produce five year-round beer brands (APA, IPA, Belgian-style blonde, Belgian-style tripel and a Belgian-style saison) along with ciders. The kitchen will feature light fare such as pretzels, paninis, flatbreads and charcuterie. For more, visit FirstStateBrewing.com.



n a tight race, bottled beer was preferred by 52% of people who voted in the Can v. Bottle "Vote Your Conscience" campaign during Wilmington Beer Week 2019. There were a few write-in ballots for growlers, which is no surprise given the amount of breweries in this area. Three random winners were chosen by those who correctly predicted the majority choice by completing a ballot at a WBW venue. The winners are: Meg James, Alexis Colón and Vince Jones.


Spirited Our recommendation from an area pro Holiday Party Catering! • Fresh Holiday Hams, Turkeys & Porkettes • Variety of Store-Made Sausages • Authentic Meatball Trays • Imported Italian Cheeses • Aged T-Bone & Rib-Eye

PaPa’s Food Market Mon-Fri: 8am-6pm; Sat: 8am-5pm

1910 W. 6th Street, Wilmington, DE 19805 302 656 8886 From Becca Rawheiser, senior server and bartender at Home Grown Cafe.

STATE OF PEARIL Ingredients: • 1.5 oz. Stateside vodka • 1.5 oz. pear nectar • .5 oz. Domaine de Canton • .5 oz. agave nectar (French ginger liqueur) • 1/2 lime, squeezed • 1 sage leaf Directions: 1. Combine all ingredients. 2. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. 3. Garnish with a sage leaf. I enjoy working with pear nectar because it gives off a subtle yet bright flavor. Stateside vodka comes right out of Philly and is gluten-free (They give great tours of their distillery too). With this cocktail, you taste the sweetness of the pear, but the ginger liqueur and sage bring a subtle/delicate warmth. This is a great transition from the summer months into the cooler weather of fall and winter, hopefully showing people that vodka is a great spirit no matter the time of year.


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by Charles Dickens a new adaptation by Patrick Barlow directed by Brendon Fox

DELAWARETHEATRE.ORG / 302.594.1100 / EXPERIENCE DTC 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

1920 OA - CAROL half page ad.indd 1

11/15/19 9:50 AM




Among the Wilmington Drama League's holiday performances was an adaptation of A Christmas Story. Photo John McCafferty

Holiday Treats Yule love the menu of upcoming shows and exhibits offered by area arts groups By Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald

Historical Holidays YULETIDE AT WINTERTHUR Now through the New Year | Winterthur Museum & Gardens This estate-wide holiday showcase embraces the season in a magnificent tour of Henry Francis du Pont’s mansion with breathtaking trees, dazzling room displays, a magical dollhouse and the opportunity to shop, dine and create your own memories. Events include yuletide tours from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. that are free to Winterthur members and $22 for nonmembers. Reservations are strongly recommended. Also on the December menu is Yuletide Jazz & Wine, hosted Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m.; a live performance of A Christmas Carol (Wednesday, Dec. 11, 1 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 12, 1 and 6 p.m.); and Yuletide Brunch with Santa on Dec. 14, 15 & 22, with seatings 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For details, visit winterthur.org/yuletide.

HOLIDAYS AT HAGLEY Now through Jan. 1 | Hagley Museum Experience the du Pont ancestral home, Eleutherian Mills, decorated for the holidays and the Christmas Trees: Past and Present exhibition, celebrating the history of Christmas trees in America. This month, Hagley also revisits its annual Gingerbread House Competition, where entries are displayed in the Visitor Center and guests can vote for their favorite. Santa makes a stop at Hagley on Saturday, Dec. 7, with photo ops at his onsite workshop at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Hagley also hosts Twilight Tours of the museum throughout the month (Dec. 11, 12, 18, 19 & 26). For details, visit hagley.org. ►




HOLIDAY TREATS continued from previous page

NEW YEAR'S EVE at The Kennett Flash 88.5 WXPN Welcomes






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Powered by the Performing Arts


Longwood Gardens offers many holiday programs.

A LONGWOOD CHRISTMAS Now–Jan. 5 | Longwood Gardens Longwood’s spectacular holiday season includes not only its dazzling outdoor wonderland of half a million lights, but also its Garden Railway miniature model train rolling through a landscaped setting; strolling musicians; and Christmas programs from noted area choirs and instrumental ensembles, not to mention regular organ sing-alongs led by regional musicians. And you can complement your festive respite at one of the grounds’ cozy fire pits or savor holiday snacks and spirits at the Café or Beer Garden. Tour tickets are timed, so be sure to schedule in advance. For details, visit longwoodgardens.org. HOLIDAY PROGRAMS AT BRANDYWINE RIVER MUSEUM Through December | The Brandywine River Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, Pa. The Brandywine River Museum hosts two holiday events on Thursday, Dec. 5: a Holiday Critter Sale and the Polar Express Read-Aloud Pajama Night, where children are invited to wear their pajamas and delight in the tale of The Polar Express while enjoying hot chocolate and cookies. On Wednesday, Dec. 11, is the annual Children’s Christmas Party, a Brandywine tradition of nearly four decades. There, children can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and revel in holiday entertainment and characters, face painting, trees adorned with “critter” ornaments and Cookie Land! For details, visit brandywine.org/events.

Snazzy Seasonal Shopping ANNUAL HOLIDAY CRAFT SHOW & TASTE OF THE HOLIDAYS Friday, Dec. 6, 5-9 p.m. | The Delaware Contemporary As part of Art Loop Wilmington, get into the spirit with the Holiday Craft Show, a jolly shopping experience dedicated to showcasing contemporary works of emerging and established artists. The lobby of The Contemporary will overflow with handmade products and unique gifts perfect for the holidays. Simultaneously, you can drink in the spirits of the season with Taste of the Holidays, which offers $1 samples of craft beer, wine, champagne and more. For details, visit decontemporary.org. WINTER ARTS FESTIVAL & HOLIDAY MUSIC Dec. 13-20 | Delaware Art Museum The Art Museum launches its yuletide season with a series of merry events. Starting with the free Winter Arts Festival on Friday, Dec. 13, from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., patrons can browse handmade gifts and enjoy live seasonal music from local student choirs. Next, the Cartoon Christmas Trio performs twice—once on Sunday, Dec. 15, with special guests the Wilmington Children’s Chorus and again on Saturday, Dec. 21, with the Tatnall Lower School Children’s Choir. Tickets for the Trio’s performances are $10 or free for children age 6 and under; available at delart.org. INTHESPIRIT: A HOLIDAY PARTY FOR WILMINGTON FAMILIES IN NEED Friday, Dec. 20, 6-10 p.m. | The Mill IN Wilmington and The Mill Space are teaming up again to help Wilmington families IN need. Join community leaders, organizations, volunteers and residents for hors d’oeuvres, drinks, live music and The Mill Market, featuring local artists with perfect last-minute holiday gifts. As always, the party is free to enjoy as long as guests bring an item for the holiday family drive (suggested value of $10 or more). No time to get a gift? A minimum donation of $10 gets you in the door. For details, visit inwilmde.com.

Photo courtesy of Longwood Gardens / Daniel Traub



Family Holiday Fun HOLIDAY SING! Sunday, Dec. 8, 3 p.m. | The Music School of Delaware, Wilmington Branch This free sing-along—hosted by jolly, fun-loving Music School faculty and friends—is the 29th annual celebration of the season filled with instruments, songs and fun. For children ages 1½ and up, and families. HOLIDAY GALA CONCERT Sunday, Dec. 15, 4 p.m. | St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Wilmington The Music School of Delaware’s choral and instrumental ensembles join forces for this performance, led by conductors Joanne Ward and Marty Lassman. The Delaware Women’s Chorus, the Cantabile Women’s Chorus, Small Wonder Jazz Singers, #Hashtag Jazz and Adult Cello Choir, as well as Midnight Clear faculty rock band collaborate on numerous holiday favorites. Admission is one non-perishable food item for St. Stephen’s Food Pantry. FAMILY OPERA: THE HIDING TREE Saturday, Dec. 7, 10:30 a.m. | OperaDelaware Presented by Peabody Opera Outreach and composed by Edward Barnes, The Hiding Tree is loosely based on an ancient Micronesian folktale. A hungry monster crawls out of the sea, intent on gobbling up the inhabitants of a small island. Two brave sisters escape its clutches and, through the power of love, work together to defeat it. Similar in theme to Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel, this story teaches children about solving problems for the greater good, that strength is not just physical, and love survives everything. The production encourages audience participation and is a wonderful introduction to opera. Tickets are $6 for children age 12 & under and $12 for adults; available at operade.org.

Dazzling Holiday Dance

Photo courtesy of Eleone Dance Theatre

CHRISTINA CULTURAL ARTS CENTER & ELEONE DANCE THEATRE PRESENT CAROLS IN COLOR Sunday, Dec. 15, 4 p.m. | The Grand Opera House The holiday season wouldn’t be the same without this Wilmington tradition. The story of Christ's birth according to the Gospel of St. Matthew is retold through exuberant dance, stunning contemporary music and powerful narration, all performed by the soul-stirring Eleone Dance Theatre and vocalists from the Mid-Atlantic region. The performance is supported by primary sponsor AARP. Tickets are $25-$37; available at thegrandwilmington.org. ►

A performance of Carols in Color.




THE NUTCRACKER: FIRST STATE BALLET THEATRE HOLIDAY TREATS Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 21 & 22 continued from previous page | The Grand Opera House This season marks the 127th anniversary of this cherished production with First State Ballet. You can experience the magical journey through the land of sweets with a lavish performance on the main stage of The Grand Opera House; running Dec. 21 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Dec. 22, 1 & 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $19.99-$52; available at thegrandwilmington.org. THE NUTCRACKER: WILMINGTON BALLET ACADEMY OF THE DANCE Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7& 8 | The Playhouse on Rodney Square Wilmington's original Nutcracker ballet is back for its 53rd consecutive year at the historic Playhouse. Guest stars for this production include New York City Ballet’s Unity Phelan and Russell Janzen, and the dazzling Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, who join Wilmington Ballet’s dancers, live orchestra and chorus for four magical performances—Dec. 7, 2 & 7 p.m., Dec. 8, 12:30 & 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $12-$45; available at thegrandwilmington.org.

Titlating Theatrics for the Holiday (& more!) A CHRISTMAS CAROL Dec. 4-29 | Delaware Theatre Company The Charles Dickens classic gets a bold new adapation from Patrick Barlow and director Brendon Fox. Gather around to see Ebenezer Scrooge at it again in this fresh take on a holiday staple. Using nothing more than props, physicality, and the power of imagination, five actors bring Dickens’ most beloved characters to life for you. Don’t be left out in the cold for this timeless tale with a twist. Tickets are $29-$54; available at DelawareTheatre.org.




Valid January 1 - March 31, 2020

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CITY THEATER COMPANY PRESENTS PASSING STRANGE Dec. 13-21 | The Black Box City Theater Company blasts through Wilmington this month with Passing Strange, the powerful rock musical by Stew that tells the coming-of-age story of a young black musician's search for “The Real”—meaning and purpose through the creation of his art. The score is pure rock from a blistering five-piece band, music directed by Joe Trainor. A dynamic five-person ensemble, guided by "Narrator" and directed by Jeff Hunsicker, plays multiple roles. Tickets are $20-40; available at city-theater.org.

City Theater Company's Passing Strange. 56 DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Dec. 13-29 | Wilmington Drama League This month, “be their guest” at WDL’s grand presentation of Beauty and the Beast. Come sing along with the memorable songs, be wowed by the costumes, and discover all the magical characters that make this a true family favorite. Also, check out WDL’s website for information about “Brunch with Belle!” Tickets are $12-$20; available at wilmingtondramaleague.org. CHRISTMAS BY CANDLELIGHT Now through Dec. 22 | The Candlelight Theatre, Arden Running now through Dec. 22, it’s Christmas by Candlelight— a rollicking showcase of favorite songs of the season performed by audience-favorite Candlelight performers. Due to popular demand, they’ve added two brunch matinees on Saturday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 14. For the brunch, doors open at 11 a.m. and the show will begin at 1 p.m. Tickets run $33-$63; available at candlelighttheatredelaware.com. HOLIDAYS AT THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE & THE PLAYHOUSE ON RODNEY SQUARE Varying dates The Grand and The Playhouse have a festive lineup to help you ring in the holidays. Kicking it off is the 35th anniversary tour of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas (two shows Sunday, Dec. 1)— America’s favorite holiday tradition. Don’t miss the social event of the season when “Godmother of Soul” Patti LaBelle headlines The Grand's 43rd Annual Grand Gala (Saturday, Dec. 7), followed by the Ultimate After Party at the Hotel du Pont. Celtic music fans will

want to grab tickets to Irish Christmas in America (Wednesday, Dec. 11) and enjoy an evening of seasonal Irish music and dance. Eric Mintel and his jazz quartet return to the baby grand for a night of music by Vince Guaraldi from everyone’s favorite TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas (Friday, Dec. 13), also featuring the Choir School of Delaware. And perhaps the best way to experience the magic of the holidays is with the mind-blowing spectacular The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays (Dec. 13-15) at The Playhouse, showcasing the talents of incredible magicians. Tickets for these shows are available at TheGrandWilmington.org or 800.37.GRAND.

Magnificent Music for the Holidays (& more!) HOLIDAY MUSIC FROM MARKET STREET MUSIC Dec. 5-12 | First & Central Presbyterian Church Market Street Music’s free Thursday Noontime Concerts offer two Christmas-themed programs. The Cartoon Christmas Trio arrives Thursday, Dec. 5, to jazz up audiences with music from A Charlie Brown Christmas and other holiday cartoons. Center City Chorale sings A Mostly American Christmas Thursday, Dec. 12, showcasing music mainly from the United States. On Saturday, Dec. 7, the stirring Mastersingers of Wilmington present Carols of the Southwest featuring carols and lullabies of Conrad Susa, based on those sung in Latin America. Tickets for the Mastersingers are $25 ($30 at the door) or $10 for students; available at marketstreetmusicde.org. ►

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MÉLOMANIE WINTER CONCERT BY CANDLELIGHT Friday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m. | Delaware Historical Society As part of Art Loop Wilmington, the “provocative pairings” ensemble welcomes guest composer and guitarist Christopher Braddock, who will perform his original piece, Pluck, as well as other seasonal works, all in the soft glow of a candlelit Old Town Hall. Tickets are $10-$15 (youth to age 15 admitted free); available at melomanie.org. BRANDYWINE BAROQUE — A THOUSAND TIMES WELCOME! Dec. 6-8 | The Barn at Flintwoods Delaware’s premier early music ensemble enlivens the holidays with works by Telemann, Vivaldi & Mathias Monn in a weekend of performances at the cozy Barn at Flintwoods and in Rehoboth Beach. The concert roster features artists Laura Heimes, soprano; Eileen Grycky, flute; Martin Davids, violin; Edwin Huizinga, violin; Kathleen Leidig, violin; Amy Leonard, viola; John Mark Rozendaal and Donna Fournier, cellos; Peter Ferretti, double bass, and Karen Flint, harpsichord. Tickets $10-$30; available at brandywinebaroque.org. DICKINSON THEATRE ORGAN SOCIETY HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR Saturday, Dec. 7, 7:00 p.m. | Dickinson Theatre, John Dickinson High School This free holiday performance features organists John Baratta, Carl Black, Kyra McKillip and Dale Martin in collaboration with regional instrumental and choral ensembles such as the Longwood Performing Arts Group, The Professional Brass & String Quartet, Delaware State University Steel Orchestra, Northern Delaware Oratorio Society, Dickinson Middle School Singers, Sanford School Choral Department and Newark Charter High School Concert Choir. There’s even an old-fashioned sing-along.

Christmastime Choristers DECK THE HALLS — RAINBOW CHORALE'S 20TH ANNIVERSARY Saturday Dec. 14, 7 p.m. | Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew & Matthew The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware (RCD) invites you to a double celebration — the holiday and its 20th anniversary—with magical musical performances. The first is in Wilmington on Saturday, Dec. 14 (the second in Rehoboth Beach on Sunday, Dec. 15). The programs blend Christmas classics, new twists on old favorites, and modern takes on the season— from a Pink Christmas and the Twelve Days of Regifted Christmas to a round of Bidi Bom and the Solstice Song. No matter how you celebrate, RCD wishes you Seasons of Love. Tickets are $20 in advance ($25 at the door), youth ages 3-18, $5, children under age 3 admitted free; available at therainbowchorale.org. UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE HOLIDAY MUSIC Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 & 7 | Newark First Presbyterian Church & Mitchell Hall UD Music celebrates the holidays with two beloved annual concerts. First up is Carols by Candlelight on Friday, Dec. 6, at Newark First Presbyterian Church on Main Street in Newark, where guests will enjoy sacred choral music along with traditional songs of the season. The combined UD Choirs deliver more holiday music in the popular Choral Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Mitchell Hall on the UD campus. Advance tickets are available through the CFA Box Office by calling 831-2204. For more details, visit music.udel.edu. MORE INFO:

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WILMINGTON CHILDREN’S CHORUS ANNUAL HOLIDAY CONCERTS Friday and Saturday, Dec. 20 & 21 | First & Central Presbyterian Church Members of the Wilmington Children’s Chorus Performing Choirs celebrate the season with Baroque classics and jazz arrangements of holiday favorites. The choir is joined by Founding Artistic Director David Christopher, on organ and piano. Friday evening’s performance will feature members of the Neighborhood Choirs, a collaborative program between OperaDelaware and the Wilmington Children’s Chorus that provides music education to youth in after-school programs. Tickets are $10-$25; available at eventbrite.com.


Knives Out


STARS µµµµµ

Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Don Johnson and Jamie Lee Curtis are among the stars of Knives Out. Photo Claire Folger / Lionsgate

KNIVES OUT: SHARP Campy comedy in whodunit genre has a star-studded cast By Mark Fields


n his brief but notable career as a film writer-director, Rian Johnson’s signature has been taking familiar genres and styles and upping the ante in some clever way. Brick (2005) re-imagined the tropes of film noir by setting the action in high school. Looper (2012) slammed together time-travelling sci-fi and gangster movies. Even his take on the Stars Wars universe in The Last Jedi (2017) felt both reverential and somehow fresh. In Knives Out, Johnson’s offbeat approach takes the wellworn rhythm of the parlor whodunit and ramps it up with an all-star cast giving eccentric, intentionally overblown

performances and a sly script with abundant droll comedy. It is not a solemn exercise in intrigue like the recent Murder on the Orient Express, nor a frenetic parody like Clue. Instead, it is a genuine suspense film, but one where everyone has his or her tongue resolutely in cheek. The setting is a familiar one for fans of the genre: the stately if a tad peculiar home of a highly successful mystery writer, Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). After the patriarch’s shocking suicide, the family has gathered in part to share their grief but more to collect their share of the lucrative estate. ►



WATCH KNIVES OUT: SHARP continued from previous page

Of course, the family includes all of the requisite archetypes: Linda, the bitter, resolute eldest daughter (Jamie Lee Curtis); Walt (Michael Shannon), the underachieving son; Joni, the needy daughter-inlaw (Toni Collette); and Ransom, the dashing but dissipated grandson (Chris Evans). Throw in a few more colorful relatives and hangers-on, plus a couple of devoted, maybe too devoted staff, and you have the perfect mix of family dysfunction with all the knives out. Humorously, Johnson makes his intentionally clichéd title (and theme) quite literal by installing a chair made mostly of knives in the center of the house’s parlor. Into this den of familial vipers comes Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), an enigmatic private detective, with the local police in tow. The presumed suicide is now being re-investigated as a murder. In his marblemouthed Southern drawl, Blanc suspects “fawwwl play.” The rest of the film—with a full buffet of felonious motives and reliably numerous red herrings—plays out in delightfully campy style with the talented cast clearly having a great time and bringing the audience along gleefully. The actors are uniformly excellent in their ratcheted-up performances. I particularly enjoyed Evans (who was so upstanding as Captain America) as the irreverent grandson, and Collette as the twitchy Joni. Daniel Craig, who jumpstarted the 007 franchise with his blunt, grim portrayal of Bond, has recently broken away from that signature role with some surprisingly comic and American characters. Craig was amusing as an enterprising ex-con explosives expert in Logan Lucky, and he delights again here as Blanc. Johnson’s intent in this movie is not profound; he aspires only to entertain. But he achieves that exceedingly well. Knives Out is a refreshing and amusing twist, delivering equal measures of thrills and laughs. Coming in December: The Banker, drama with Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, and Nia Long, Dec. 6; Uncut Gems, Adam Sandler in a rare serious role, Dec. 13; the end of an era with the final Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Dec. 18; Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron star in Bombshell, a drama exploring the fall of Fox News’ Roger Ailes, Dec. 20; and Director Greta Gerwig’s update of Little Women, Dec. 25. 60 DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


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Jake Wipf (left) and Jonathan Diehl jamming at The Starboard in Dewey Beach. Photo Brett Long

They’re Hot! Playing music for a never-ending summer, Hotbed 'sitting in the barrel of a breaking wave' By Mack Caldwell


t’s about 9 a.m. on a Saturday in June. I spent the night on a couch in a house in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. The room is pitch black, but I can hear Jake Wipf, the lead singer of Hotbed, in the kitchen, opening cabinets. Then he walks into the living room and rips open the curtains. “Ah, f _ _ _!” he says, looking out of the window. He’s tall, with long brown hair, like a surfer version of James Dean. “They tagged the van,” he adds, matter-of-factly. Outside, on the street, Hotbed’s bright white tour van has been covered in green marker graffiti. “It’s OK, Kevin has stuff to remove it,” Wipf says, referring to keyboard player Kevin Kruelle. The band’s cat, Ava, an adorable gray-and-black-striped

tabby, tiptoes toward him. “Everyone always wants a cat,” Wipf says, squatting down to feed Ava. “But I’m the one who ends up taking care of her.” Drummer James Mckenney joins Wipf by the window. They discuss the van, and then the three of us head out for coffee. Hotbed moved to Philadelphia from Newark in early 2019. Around the corner from their house sits Kung Fu Necktie, a popular bar and venue. Across the street is The Boom Room, a recording studio. We pass by Johnny Brenda’s, where they will play with garage rock band RFA in October. Next comes a large mural tribute to Philadelphia-based musician Kurt Vile. Philly is a music city, and Hotbed has made a home in the heart of it. ► DECEMBER 2019 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM



Sandy Psych Rock

Released in April, Hotbed’s debut album, Florence, is a beachy banger, music made for sunsets, bonfires, listless days, and passing, simmering summer love. They describe it as “sandy psych rock” – songs stained by cigarettes coupled with live sets that can plunge into thrashing jam sessions. Which is fitting, since it was recorded in the summer of 2018 by Ryan Rolig, who has worked sound for reggae rock titans like Slightly Stoopid and Pepper. The album cover, a green and blue painting of a house, was made by their friend, Caleb Smith. With its jalousie windows and wood paneling, it resembles Kruelle’s house, a three-bedroom ranch on the “Forgotten Mile,” a quiet stretch of Coastal Highway between Rehoboth and Dewey. Florence was recorded on his porch. Hotbed began as four friends playing together during their undergraduate days at the University of Delaware. Jonathan Diehl and Mckenney have known each other since kindergarten. Diehl, who plays bass for Hotbed, first met Mckenney at Brandywine Elementary, but they didn’t become friends until they attended Alexis I. duPont High School, where both played bass drum in the marching band. At the same time, Mckenney and Wipf were on the swim team. While carpooling to and from practices and swim meets, Wipf would compliment Mckenney on his taste in music. Fast forward to their sophomore year at UD. Mckenney and Diehl ran into Wipf at a New Year’s Eve party. Wipf mentioned that he had seen them jamming on Instagram. A week later, Wipf came over to Diehl’s house. Soon, Wipf’s old roommate Kruelle started playing keyboard along with them. “We unintentionally became a band,” says Mckenney. They weren’t bent on playing live, or recording, but gradually practices became rehearsals. They wrote a few songs, and in the spring of 2016, they played their first show at Homegrown on Main Street in Newark. It was packed. Next came Newark’s Deer Park Tavern and then The Starboard in Dewey Beach, where their name would appear as a seemingly permanent fixture on the marquee. Not that it was necessary; in Dewey, everyone knew when Hotbed was playing. One of their first songs, “Db Lines,” off of their EP Undercovers (2017), is a reggae-tinged tribute to Dewey. “From Chesapeake to Collins Street let’s all unwind / and by the end of the night you’re gonna figure out what’s a real good time.” Filled with phaser pedal riffs and crashing keys, it’s a hair-let-downtequila-flushed night, an anthem for the salt-covered and carefree. THEY'RE HOT continued from previous page

Instagram for CR-Vs

Soon after my visit to Fishtown, I call Mckenney to learn more about the band, and catch him in the midst of pursuing his other passion—photographing Honda CR-Vs. “Wait, hold on,” he says. There’s a pause. “I’m looking at this really nice CR-V right now. I’m just gonna take a photo of it real quick.” Mckenney runs a popular Instagram account, @phillycrv, featuring 1998 to 2006 Honda CR-Vs with boxy frames and the iconic trunk-mounted spare tire. “It might be the best social media account on any platform,” wrote Adam Hermann in an article titled “This Instagram account documents very specific Honda CR-Vs around Philly” for Phillyvoice.com. Mckenney snaps a photo, then comes back on the phone. “This is a nice one,” he says. He tells me about its step-on rails and tinted windows, a car customized with care. In a later Instagram post on @phillycrv captioned “Here’s a few beauts from this week,” you can see it: a gray CR-V parked in front of an old red brick house on an unassuming street in his neighborhood. “It’s clean,” he declares. “It’s real clean.”


DECEMBER MUSIC at Kelly’s Logan House Look for these great bands upstairs!

FRIDAY, 12/06

Photo Brett Long

Cadillac Riot - 10 p.m. Hotbed: (L-R) Jonathan Diehl, James Mckenney, Jake Wipf, Kevin Kruelle.


Stereo Giants - 10 p.m. Although the account is now focused on Philadelphia, its origins lie in Delaware. Early posts showcase cars parked in Branmar Plaza, in the back lots of UD dorm complexes, and in the driveways of ramshackle beach houses. But just before moving into his new Philly residence, Mckenney’s own maroon 1998 CR-V was stolen, stripped, and left for dead. “I was just visiting,” he says. His roommates had moved in before him while he stayed in Delaware to finish up some classes at UD. He woke up one morning to go home, walked outside, and. . .“I was like, I swore I parked here.” He called every towing service. Then the police. “It took me 15 minutes to realize that…holy shit…my car was stolen.” An agonizing, empty week went by, without any new information. Suddenly his phone rang. It was a towing company in Cherry Hill. They had his car. “The person put little wheels on it. All of the windows were smashed in,” says Mckenney. He gave the towing company the deed. “I wanted nothing to do with it.” It made Mckenney question whether moving was the right decision. He talked to the police and reached out online. “People were just like, ‘Yeah, you just got really unlucky,’ which is what I wanted to hear.” He moved in a few days later.

Writing Nonstop

“You come here and you’re a tadpole in a pond, but it’s worked to our advantage so far—because we’ve been able to get into the music community,” Mckenney tells me. Since their album release, they have been writing nonstop. “We kind of want to be one of those bands that just puts out a lot of music,” he says. At the end of July, I went to see Hotbed play at The Starboard. It’s the kind of place where you drink a Corona Light, two margaritas, a shot here, a couple of shots there, and then hurl half-digested cheese fries onto a beautiful beach, an outpost for the sunburned and sloshed. On stage, Hotbed tears into a cover of “Pawn Shop” by Sublime. It’s warm out, at least for now. There are makeouts and mini mosh pits, but tonight all of the lights are on Hotbed, and they’re right at home. After their set, Mckenney, Wipf, Diehl, and friends all pile onto mattresses at Kruelle’s house, sleeping into sobriety, a band sitting in the barrel of a breaking wave. Find their music on Spotify. Visit them at hotbedband.com, facebook.com/HOTBEDMUSIC, or instagram.com/hotbedband.

FRIDAY, 12/13

Ugly for Christmas Party

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FRIDAY, 12/20

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FRIDAY, 12/27

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DOIN’ THE HOOCHI COOCHI Danielle Johnson is the creative powerhouse (music, podcasts, writing) that propels the bluesy funk band Hoochi Coochi (L-R) Fatz Hawkins, Danielle Johnson, Chelsea Grant and Mark Reed. Photo Joe del Tufo

By Mack Caldwell


was interviewed by Danielle Johnson, and I hate being interviewed. I’m absolutely terrified of it. I would rather take large, laborious gulps of the Christina River. But in order to write this article...I had to. We agreed on terms, Johnson and I—an interview for an interview. A quid pro quo, if you will. So, in a bout of panic-induced preparation, I binged on everything with her name on it. Johnson is an enigmatic performer and creative powerhouse. She has a lot of projects going, ranging from music to video interviews, podcasts, and writing. I started with an episode of Johnson’s YouTube show, Pints and Pals. In the episode, she is talking to local psych-rock artist Grace Vonderkuhn. I watch, my eyes glued to my laptop screen, trying to conjure what on earth she will ask me. They are in Johnson’s kitchen in her Wilmington home. The place is littered with ferns, paintings and instruments. Johnson is smiling and scrolling through her phone. “Look,” she says. Vonderkuhn peers over. In a slow upward pan, we see black boots, orange, hairy legs, and a big blue belly button marking the center of a sea of stomach. She’s showing Vonderkuhn (and all of us) Gritty—the Philadelphia Flyers mascot—arms outstretched, his eyes and

mouth wide open, looking at what we assume are rows and rows of cheering fans. “He’s butt naked!” Johnson says, pointing out the undeniable fact. Johnson, 28, is the lead singer of Hoochi Coochi, a bluesy funk band founded in Dover, where she used to live. The blues is a far cry from the music she started making when she was fresh out of Campus Community High School in 2009. Back then, she was in the hip hop group FlowCity with her cousin, who performed under the alias “Shorty Rock.” They had record deals brewing, big production shows with dance routines, music videos, showcase events in New York City, and a lot of pressure. This is in stark contrast to today, when the freewheeling, tambourine-rattling, off-the-cuff action that typifies a Hoochi Coochi performance rocks a bar until it closes. The group acquired its name after one such night in 2015. Full of cheap wine and high from extended jamming, Johnson and guitarist Fatz Hawkins began calling themselves—for no definable reason—Hoochi Coochi. Comprising Johnson, Hawkins, Chelsea Grant (drums) and Mark Reed (bass), Hoochi Coochi has two EPs: $3 Wine (2016) and Walkin' (2017). They are both wild, fuzzy records, redolent of a black Cadillac, a worn and faded leather jacket, and a winding road. ► DECEMBER JUNE 2019 2017 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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LISTEN DOIN' THE HOOCHI COOCHI continued from previous page


Photo Joe del Tufo









Johnson leads Hoochi Coochi in a performance at Arden's Shady Grove.

“Onto Something,” the second track on $3 Wine, is a love-soaked beginning. Light fingerplucking from a guitar opens the song, followed by keys, and a pounding bass drum as steady and as fragile as a heartbeat. “My baby’s gonna play the drums so I can dance,” Johnson sings, “Nothing can hold me like my baby’s hands.” Like a warm blanket, it’s soft, slow and kind. The video, one of their first, begins outside a bar. It’s dark, green. Hawkins is doubled over on a picnic table bench. You can see a red Toyota sedan in the background, a flowerpot converted into an outdoor ashtray sits to the right, next to the back entrance of the building. Johnson reaches for a bottle in Hawkins’ hand. “Give it to me!” Johnson says, grabbing it. He grumbles incoherently. She puts the bottle in his back pocket and helps him stand up. “You ready to do the show?” he slurs out. He sticks his arms behind him to hold her and she jumps on his back, thrusts her fist in the air, and yells, “Hoochi Coochi!”

Moving to Wilmington

Smyrna has been changing. What was once a small, mostly rural town, the kind of place with a restaurant that serves muskrat and where crisp mornings were accented by volleys of gunfire from not-so-far-off duck blinds, has become increasingly suburban. An improved Route 1 provided an easy commute to Wilmington and has in turn transformed lush soybean fields into housing developments loathed by some and lived in by many. Before moving to Dover, Johnson spent her adolescence in Smyrna, in the midst of this rapid development, watching first-hand as neighborhoods popped up and people from distant places moved in. That’s when she met Erin Silva, on a school bus to Smyrna High School. There weren’t many like Johnson—interested in the arts, charismatic, with an adventurous tinge, an avid rollerblader. She took two wheels off each of her skates so that she could do tricks on rails. She listened to Jimi Hendrix. Silva was from out of town, and brought with her tastes and interests similar to Johnson’s, sparking the first bonds of a lasting friendship, one that would eventually drive Johnson north. Silva fronts a popular Wilmington garage rock band called EyeBawl. (I’ve never lit a house on fire. Or flicked a cigarette onto something soaked in gasoline, but if I did, I’m sure every moment leading up to that incendiary climax would feel like an EyeBawl song). They are gritty and visceral. Four chords, heartbreak, and a baseball bat. After Silva moved to Wilmington, Johnson started going to her shows and hanging around music hot spots like 1984 and Oddity Bar. She says the opportunity for collaboration and to produce different kinds of work is primarily why she moved north. Since coming here last year she has gone full-force with various projects, including writing for events website InWilmington, shooting Pints and Pals, and recording a podcast called The Composure Exposure Podcast where she interviews area artists, musicians, and...um...me. But what lies ahead for Hoochi Coochi is still steeped in a moment from home. “All the love songs are about Chelsea,” Johnson tells me, referring to Chelsea Grant, her longtime partner and collaborator. And their new music is no exception. “The Party,” which has yet to be released, is a time jump nine years into the past to the moment Johnson and Grant first met.

Johnson grew up in a strict religious household, which, she says, became uncomfortable, so one day she decided to leave. “I felt guilty for a while,” she says. She began living on her own, working, and going out with old friends. On a spring night at a party in Felton she met Grant. “She was so cool, man,” Johnson says with a smile. “She had long pigtails. She was the only other black person at the party. She had these badass boots on.” It would be months before they would meet again, and Johnson finally got the courage to ask Grant out. They’ve been together since then—nine years.

Onto Something



Something For Everyone.

I meet Johnson at her house in Wilmington. It’s on a quiet street behind the Washington Street Ale House. Trees burst out of brick sidewalks. A couple is walking their dog. Down the road is the Brandywine River, and the waterfront is a bike ride away. She invites me inside. On the wall of the porch hangs a painting of a woodland scene, the paint faded by constant sunlight. She takes me on a tour of the house. The basement is packed with couches and guitars, a hangout and home base for Hoochi Coochi. She opens a back door, which provides easy access for loading and unloading gear. One night, a man wearing a bucket hat came down and sat outside their basement, listening to them practice, Johnson tells me. It’s the city, after all. Upstairs, Silva, who lives with Johnson and Grant, is sitting at the kitchen counter, the setting for Pints & Pals. She’s on her laptop, editing a design for EyeBawl. But today no episodes are being shot; instead, Johnson is interviewing me on The Composure Exposure Podcast. Which sucks, because I’d like to get drunk. We sit down at a table on the porch, not getting drunk. Johnson has a notebook filled with questions. She opens it briefly and then never again. We start talking and she hits “record” on her phone. We talk about the speed at which bears can run, Twitter, songwriting, and “Do you have any ummmm…..what’s your ideal lifestyle?” A conversation as variable and casual as any between two people who are beginning to know each other well. Throughout our interview, Grant stops in and so does a man wearing camouflage pants and carrying a box of new EyeBawl merch. Johnson tells me about a Hoochi Coochi show scheduled for that night, back home, in Smyrna. She seems excited.





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Photos 1-5, 13 by Fred Comegys; Photos 6-12, 14 by Butch Comegys

4. Tom Wolhar as Beetlejuice.

1. Ellen Salcedo and Phil McWatters planned for a monster night.

5. Steve Goldberg as the Cowardly Lion.

2. Alena Colon as Zero from Nightmare Before Christmas.

6. Regina Tyler strikes a pose in her clown costume.

3. Clayton Stacey and Betsy LeRoy outside The Queen.

7. Melissa McDaniels (left) as a voo-doo doctor and Morgan Harris as a scarecrow.




9. 11.






8. Carla Alessia as a possessed nun.

12. John Faye of The Caulfields prepares to leap into the crowd.

9. Azmir Watson as a police officer and Aniya Lambert as a cowgirl.

13. The Snap showed up colorfully creative and ready to play.

10. Sheri Sweigart showed up in her skeleton body suit.

14. Nothing like gliding across the dance floor on lighted wings.

11. John Barbieri puts on his best Gene Simmons face.



The Venues BLITZEN



Fri, Dec 13 • 8PM • $5 Cover Cover proceeds benefit Wilmington Children’s Chorus


Wear an Ugly Sweater and



OutAndAboutNow.com • 302.655.6483

FEB. 29, 2020

Shine a Light on “Delaware’s top musicians play the hits of 1980”

500 North Market Street Wilmington, DE

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