A Promising West Side Story
Night to Remember on the Riverfront
PEOPLE TO THE RESCUE
DECEMBER 2020 | COMPLIMENTARY
Dallas Shawâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Creative Magic
Inspiring stories from an unforgettable year
䨀漀礀⸀ 䰀漀瘀攀⸀ 倀攀愀挀攀⸀ 䬀攀渀渀礀 䘀愀洀椀氀礀 匀栀漀瀀刀椀琀攀猀 眀椀猀栀 攀瘀攀爀礀漀渀攀 愀 栀攀愀氀琀栀礀 愀渀搀 栀愀瀀瀀礀 栀漀氀椀搀愀礀 猀攀愀猀漀渀⸀ 吀栀愀渀欀 礀漀甀 琀漀 漀甀爀 愀洀愀稀椀渀最 琀攀愀洀 漀昀 攀猀猀攀渀琀椀愀氀 眀漀爀欀攀爀猀 昀漀爀 礀漀甀爀 猀攀爀瘀椀挀攀 愀渀搀 挀漀洀洀椀琀洀攀渀琀 琀漀 琀栀攀 猀攀 挀漀洀洀甀渀椀琀礀 琀栀爀漀甀最栀漀甀琀 ㈀ ㈀ ⸀
2 DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
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BUILDING A CAREER PIPELINE FOR OUR TEENS IS CRITICAL THE BUCCINI/POLLIN GROUP & JPMORGAN CHASE ARE PROUD TO PARTNER WITH THE WAREHOUSE IN 2021 TO LAUNCH A WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOCUSED ON THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY, SERVING UP TO 25 TEENS EVERY QUARTER!
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4 DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
2 INSIDE 2
Out & About Magazine Vol. 33 | No. 10
Published each month by TSN Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing & business address: 307 A Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
Publisher Gerald duPhily • email@example.com
Director of Publications Jim Hunter Miller • firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Editor Bob Yearick • email@example.com Creative Director & Production Manager Matthew Loeb, Catalyst Visuals, LLC Digital Services Director Michael O’Brian Contributing Designers Allanna Peck, Catalyst Visuals, LLC,
33 Tasty Surprises
7 War on Words
from 2SP Brewing 36 Sparkling Suggestions
8 FYI 9 Worth Recognizing
12 A Night to Remember
39 In Defense of Silverado
19 West Side on the Grow
Contributing Writers Danielle Bouchat-Friedman Adriana Camacho-Church, Cindy Cavett, David Ferguson, Mark Fields, Pam George, Lauren Golt, Jordan Howell, Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Dillon McLaughlin, Ken Mammarella, Matt Morrissette, John Murray, Larry Nagengast, Kevin Noonan, Leeann Wallett
Contributing Photographers Jim Coarse, Justin Heyes and Joe del Tufo/Moonloop Photography, Butch Comegys, Lindsay duPhily, Matthew Loeb, Matt Urban Special Projects Bev Zimmermann
12 A Night to Remember
11 From the Publisher 15 Dallas Shaw’s Grand Design
26 People to the Rescue
The announcement of Biden’s victory was a memorable evening for our City By Jim Miller
15 Grand Design
41 Hoochie Coochi
WILMINGTON 42 In The City 44 On The Riverfront
Dallas Shaw making a creative imprint on Downtown Wilmington By Lauren Golt
19 Strength In Numbers West Side continues to ‘grow together’
On the cover: Images from some of the memorable moments and people who inspired us in an unforgettable year. Design by Matthew Loeb. Photos courtesy of Butch Comegys, Joe del Tufo, Hakuna Hospitality, Sasha Aber.
By Larry Nagengast
26 People to the Rescue Inspiring stories from an unforgettable year By Adriana Camacho-Church, Ken Mammarella, Matt Morrissette, Leeann Wallett, Bob Yearick
33 Tasty Surprises
Inspiration and experimentation fuel 2SP Brewing Company By Jim Miller
Printed on recycled paper.
Editorial & advertising info: 302.655.6483 • Fax 302.654.0569 outandaboutnow.com • firstname.lastname@example.org
DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Learning to Lead: Which degree matches your career goalsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the MBA or the MSM?
ilmington University's Master of Business Administration offers a career-focused, experience-driven degree that fits your schedule as well as your budget. But the MBA isn't the only path to leadership excellence. The Master of Science in Management also delivers the skills you'll need to rise in your field. "Students come to WilmU's College of Business because they're looking to advance their careers," says Dr. Kenneth Morlino, MBA program chair. "The master's degree they choose to pursue depends on where they're aiming to be."
Where is your ambition leading you? WilmU's MBA or MSM can help you get there.
Both degree programs are available 100% online, for education at your convenience. Both can be completed in one or two academic years and for less than $20,000. WilmU's small class sizes allow individual access to and attention from your instructors, working professionals who bring a world of business experience into the classroom. And both programs' cutting-edge coursework, endorsed by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, enables students to immediately put the lessons they're learning to work on the job. What makes the MBA and the MSM unique educational experiences, however, is their differing approaches to the leadership experience. The quantitative MBA focuses on the financial and analytical aspects of business with emphasis on strategy, managerial accounting, marketing, and organizational behavior. The MSM's qualitative approach prepares skilled leaders and change agents through an emphasis on strategic thinking and artful communication. Candidates learn to successfully manage diverse teams while nurturing creativity and harnessing new technologies. While entry into the MBA program requires the prior completion of accounting, economics, finance, and mathematics courses, the MSM has no prerequisite requirements. "The difference between the two master's degrees is meant to convey the range of opportunity in our leadership learning," says Dr. Sheryl Scanlon, who chairs the MSM program. "We follow through
on that opportunity with a choice of concentrations, which allow students to customize their degrees to their specific areas of interest." WilmU's 13 MBA and 11 MSM degree concentrations include the following:
Business Technology Management
Human Resource Management
Management Information Systems
Health Care Administration
Human Resource Management
Management Information Systems
Organizational Leadership Sustainability "As an MBA graduate of Wilmington University, I am very proud of the programs we offer," says Dr. Kathy Kennedy-Ratajack, dean of the College of Business. "I have had the opportunity to use the skills that I learned in the program to help me grow both professionally and personally. Now and in the future, our focus is on ensuring that we're meeting the career needs of our students, and the businesses that employ them." Accessible. Affordable. Adaptable. WilmU's MBA and MSM degrees work for working adults. For more information or to apply, please visit the College of Business online at wilmu.edu/Business.
Prepare for your next career move. WilmU works. Find out how at wilmu.edu â&#x20AC;˘ Next classes start January 11 6 DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
A writer/editor’s slightly snarky and relentless crusade to eliminate grammatical gaffes from our everyday communications
Compiled from the popular column in Out & About Magazine
THE WAR ON WORDS A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse
Media Watch Sports of All Sorts
• Reader/writer Larry Nagengast submits this from a Sarah Gamard election advance on Delaware Online: “And while Witzke has reigned in hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash, Coons sits on millions.” The correct phrase is “reined in.” Reign means to rule as a king or queen. Larry also notes that the subhead directly under that paragraph delivered one of our perennials: “Democrats hone in on remaining Republicans in New Castle County.” To repeat: You home in on something. To hone is to sharpen • A Philadelphia Inquirer story co-bylined by Marc Narducci and Keith Pompey included this: “. . . [Dan] Burke didn’t exactly talk about the Sixers in complementary terms during a television interview.” That should be complimentary. Complementary means matching or supporting. • Like many sports writers, USA TODAY’s Dan Wolken insists on adding the unnecessary of to this phrase: “He (Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence) might throw just as good of a ball as Ohio State’s Justin Fields.” • In an interview with policemen, NBC’s Kate Snow uttered this: “Between the five of you, you have [didn’t catch the number] years of experience in law enforcement.” When more than two people or things are involved, the correct preposition is among. • A reader gives us yet another nugget from Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY sports columnist: “The Tampa Bay Rays could care less what anyone thinks of them.” The correct phase, as we’ve mentioned several times, is “couldn’t care less.” • Reader Larry Kerchner caught the governor of Nebraska mixing his metaphors: “Republicans are looking down the barrel of a blue tsunami.” • Rick Jensen, on his eponymous talk show on WDEL, was speaking about his party (Libertarian) when he used the phrase “not beholding to.” The word is “beholden,” which means being under obligation for a favor or gift. Beholding means seeing or observing. • Martin Frank, in The Wilmington News Journal: “So it’s kind of ironic that the Eagles and Steelers have sort of switched philosophies with regards to running backs.” No need for the s at the end of regard. Similarly, writers often add an unnecessary s to anyway, toward, downward, upward, and other words that I can’t think of right now.
By Bob Yearick
• From TheWeek.com: “The President’s family appeared to flaunt local ordinances while attending the presidential debate on Tuesday.” The correct word here is flout—to ignore, defy, disobey (they weren’t wearing masks). Flaunt means to display or exhibit. • An NPR announcer stated that a plaque honoring Woodrow Wilson at Princeton University will be “changed to one honoring a Black alumni.” It will honor a Black alumnus. Alumni is plural. Common mistake.
Literally of the Month: A reader submits this New York Post gaffe: “The Friars Club has suspended all operations because of a flood that has literally turned the East 55th St. clubhouse into the Titanic.” Look out for icebergs, Friars!
Department of Redundancies Dept. • Stephen King has been praised for his story-telling, not so much for his stylistic perfection. So there was this from his short fiction piece, In Slide Inn Road, in Esquire: “Billy returns back to his game.” • From a story in The Inquirer: “[West Chester University] also announced it would not be competing in any sports competitions for the rest of the academic year. . . West Chester is believed to be the first area college to cancel all sports competition for the full academic year due to COVID-19.” So, all games are cancelled. Got it.
So: Sew or Sow? In all the political back-and-forth on Facebook, I came across this inaccuracy: “You reap what you sew” (a warning from several right-wingers about the Biden administration). Sewing involves needles and threads. Sowing is the act of planting seed by scattering it on the earth. So it’s “reap what you sow.”
Department of ‘HUH?’ From a radio ad for an organization called Help Heal Veterans: “At a time in history when kindness is a virtue . . .” Just wondering: at what time in history was kindness not a virtue? That said, it seems to be a fine organization. More here: healvets.org.
Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords
Word of the Month
trumpery Pronounced TRUHM-puh-ree, it’s a noun meaning something showy but worthless; nonsense or rubbish, or deceit, fraud, trickery.
NEED A SPEAKER FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION? Contact me for a fun presentation on grammar: email@example.com.
Buy The War on Words book at the Hockessin Book Shelf or by calling Out & About at 655-6483.
F.Y.I. Things worth knowing
PGA TOUR COMES TO WILMINGTON The PGA TOUR will be coming to Delaware for the first time in 2022. Though no official date has been announced, the TOUR’s BMW Championship is scheduled to be held in late August 2022 at Wilmington Country Club’s South Course. Estimates suggest the event could have a $30 million positive economic impact on Delaware. “We’re thrilled to be taking the BMW Championship to Wilmington Country Club, one of the finest clubs anywhere in the U.S,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA Senior Vice President of Tournaments. “The South Course has everything you look for in a traditional championship layout. It will present a strategic test for the world’s best players and a perfect venue for fans and PGA TOUR partners.”
NEW HOME FOR GARRISON’S CYCLERY
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8 DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Garrison’s Cyclery, one of Delaware’s most popular bike shops, is moving from its location on Route 52 in Centreville to the historic Garrett Snuff Mill in Yorklyn (near Dew Point Brewing). The new location (2864 Creek Road) will double Garrison’s current size from 2,400 to 4,800 square feet and be operational by early December. Garrison’s Cyclery is entering its 13th year as an independent bike shop and was founded by current owner/operator Rob Garrison, who got started in the cycling business in 1993, working as a mechanic at Bike Line (Route 202, Wilm.). Garrison says the new shop will have two floors. The ground level will be dedicated to service pits, sales and merchandise. The 1,500-square-foot, second-floor space is dedicated to merchandise. “You’ll be able to immerse yourself in brand aisles…hats, T-shirts, helmets, kits, jackets…” said Garrison. “People want brand merchandise, and we’re going to offer as much of it as we can get.” For more, visit GarrisonsCyclery.com
HOLIDAY ART MARKET IN NEWARK The Newark Arts Alliance (276 E. Main St., Suite 102, Newark.), now in its 27th year, has once again filled its main studio with a collection of artisans offering everything from scarves to paintings to jewelry. The six-week Holiday Art Market ends Jan. 2 and offers lots of shopping opportunity for those seeking unique gifts. Guests are limited to six at one time and everyone must wear a mask. Additional personal shopping times are available for $10 per 20-minute interval. For more, visit NewarkArtsAlliance.org.
NEW APPROACH FOR WINTER FESTIVAL The Delaware Art Museum’s annual Winter Festival set for Sat., Dec. 12 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) will be an al fresco event this year. Guests can shop from regional artisans and local fine food and beverage purveyors and listen to festive music performed by traveling carolers. “We are aiming for a more vintage holiday market feel than just pop-up shopping,” said DAM Director of Operations Heather Morrissey. The event is free for members; $5 for non-members. To comply with social distancing guidelines, capacity is limited and reserved tickets are required. Rain date is Dec. 13. Visit DelArt.org.
❑ Revision #2 ❑ Revision #3
STOP THE VIOLENCE PRAYER CHAIN FOUNDATION
proof, we will run the ad as shown. Today Media cannot be mistakes, and advertiser will be responsible for payment in
Ad may appear smaller than actual size and is not indicative of color. Design is p duplicated or reproduced prior to newsstand sale. Liability: All advertisements and published by the Publisher upon representation that the agency and advertis contents and subject matter thereof. The agency and advertiser assume liability f against the Publisher.
WORTH RECOGNIZING Community Members Who Go Above & Beyond
By Adriana Camacho-Church
e better not fight or Pastor Guy will make us hug,” says one youngster to another. If avoiding a hug leads to peace, Margaret Guy (back right) and crew at Luther Margaret Guy, 69, is all for it. Towers in Wilmington. Photo by Bishop Doris Redding Guy is the founder and executive director of Stop the Violence Prayer Chain Foundation. Founded in 2014, the nonprofit aims to stop the cycles of violence in underprivileged communities by teaching youngsters age 4-14 to help others, to learn the value of an education, and to gain confidence by exploring sites outside their communities and challenging themselves. When children succeed our communities also thrive, says Guy. “The community benefits because the children are learning how to grow up to be educated, productive citizens. They will be an asset to the community, not a burden.” Since its inception, the foundation has helped more than 200 youngsters by offering educational and social services. Throughout the year, the kids assist with food and clothing drives, visit senior centers, and make regular trips to Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. Currently, there are 32 children in the organization. To raise money for their annual bus trips, the kids hold car washes as well as conduct raffles and sell baked goods. Their travels include Niagara Falls in Canada, the 9/11 Memorial, and the First Ladies National Historic Site in Canton, Ohio. “It (the foundation) helped me gain confidence and maturity,” says Louise Jones, 22. Although shy as a youngster, Jones participated in A Child’s Point of View. In the TV show, created by the foundation, the kids interview community leaders, including politicians. The show runs on Comcast Channel 190 and on YouTube. The program is currently conducted on Facebook Live. To reinforce its message of ending the cycles of violence, every Sunday Guy holds a peaceful march and prayer in the inner city. Last spring, the nonprofit received the Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Award. However, it was also forced to shut its doors on N. Church Street due to a funding shortfall caused by COVID-19. The organization could no longer pay its rent. “I will not give up on these children,” says Guy. “We lost our community center due to job loss and our main [supporting] businesses closing down. We are looking for another program space, but do not have the funds for it right now.” Currently the group meets in the building they used to rent. “We are in partnership with the new tenant, Holistic Elevation, LLC,” says Guy. Despite the hardship, Guy and six other adult foundation volunteers continue to give away food and clothing as well as provide Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. The reopening of some of their business partners along with donations make the giveaways possible. At Christmas, the foundation usually feeds dinner to 30-40 families. This year, however, instead of setting up tables and serving the meal, the kids will help deliver donated boxes of food and help sort donated toys. Last year, the group gave away more than 570 toys. “It's such a blessing to be able to continue to help others when you are struggling to stay afloat yourself,” says Guy. Last spring, the nonprofit received a $2,500 grant from the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund. It used the money to buy food, cleaning supplies, masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer for the children and families. Foundation partners include Janssen's Market, Wawa, Walmart, R.C. Fabricators, Inc., KFC, HVAC Corporation, ShopRite, The Kenny Family Foundation, The Journey Church in Newark, as well as local corner stores and people in the communities. — For more information visit prayerchainfoundation.org or find them on Facebook.
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DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
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From The Publisher
K, so being the publisher of an punches. They also reminded us how illuminating it entertainment magazine isn’t the best can be to truly listen. position to be in entering a pandemic. Ah, In August, we discussed the upcoming elections the acuity of hindsight. and revisited moments in history that underscore On the other hand, being a storyteller during a the fact that every vote counts. And during the past pandemic is a unique opportunity. Over the past nine three months, we’ve shared the stories of inspiring months, we’ve been able to report on how the worst people in our community such as Larry Morris, of times can bring out the best in people. Being able Eunice LaFate, Andre Harris, Jeremy Moore, to share those stories is a privilege. Jonathan Whitney... Stories such as the front-line healthcare workers Out & About has been around for more than three at ChristianaCare whom we profiled in April. Or the decades now. There is no shortage of these stories. grocery store workers at ShopRite whom we wrote In fact, we have a few more for you in this issue. In about in May. While uncertainty swirled regarding our Worth Recognizing column, Adriana Camachoeven the slightest interpersonal contact, these Church spotlights Margaret Guy and the efforts of workers put aside health risks to soothe and serve a her Stop the Violence Prayer Chain Foundation. frightened public. Also, Larry Nagengast details the inspiring team In June, restaurants effort taking place on were our focus. As Wilmington’s West Side. the virus was dealing Finally, in our People to As the virus was dealing a staggering blow to the Rescue feature on their businesses, many page 26, we highlight a staggering blow to their local eateries chose to 10 local people doing focus on others. So, they businesses, many local eateries inspiring things to donated food, prepared move our community chose to focus on others. meals, and delivered forward. encouraging words There will be many along with lunch and dinner to hospital staff unable lessons learned from our experiences in 2020. to leave their posts. Let’s hope this is one: Leadership doesn’t always After the death of George Floyd and the unrest come from the top. Often, it’s best exemplified by that ensued, we turned over our July issue to the efforts of our neighbors— just ordinary people, respected voices from our Black community. This doing extraordinary things. — Jerry duPhily insightful collection of guest editors pulled no
DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Youngsters celebrate from the car rooftop. At right, President-elect Joe Biden and First Lady-elect Jill Biden acknowledge old friends. Photos by Joe del Tufo
to Remember A first-hand account of the celebration heard around the world and the thoughts that followed By Jim Miller
Keri Will-del Tufo poses with the giant American flag. At right, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris greets an enthusiastic crowd of tailgaters. Photos by Joe del Tufo 12 DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
The light display over Wilmington's Riverfront tells the story. Photos by Joe del Tufo
n the Middle of It All” has been Wilmington’s motto for nearly a decade and never did it feel more accurate than it did during last month’s election frenzy. Thrust into the world spotlight, our little Wilmington instantly transformed into the center of the media universe, its gravitational pull growing stronger with the arrival of each news team. Then, during the celebration of Biden’s win that Saturday night, it was suddenly like New Year’s Eve with our Riverfront standing in for Times Square. Well-known landmarks like the Chase Center and Frawley Stadium looked nearly unrecognizable—yet majestic— bathed in colors of red, white, blue and patterns of stars and stripes. Millions of dollars could not have bought Wilmington better exposure. However, as proud as I felt to be a Delawarean, the thing that stuck with me days later was a sentiment Biden shared. It’s an idea he’s expressed a hundred times before, but that night it seemed perfect for the moment. “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric,” he said, “lower the temperature, see each other again. Listen to each other again. And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They are Americans.” All the flag-waving and the fireworks certainly felt patriotic that night, but nothing felt more unifying to me than that message. Not even close.
It’s not an earth-shaking revelation to say America is suffering from relationship issues. The notion of “critical thinking” has given way to thoughtless criticism. Our “social media” has turned ruthlessly anti-social. And the art of people “respectfully disagreeing” has morphed into people mutually agreeing to disrespect one another as nastily as they can. We are not, as President George Bush would say, a “kinder, gentler nation” at the moment. Rather, we’ve gone full-on Grinch. Probably even worse. When Biden talks about not treating our political opponents as enemies, a local can’t help but guess if that’s a lesson he learned following “The Delaware Way.” For decades that philosophy of cooperation and understanding between the political parties worked wonders for the First State. In fact, longtime political insiders have told me it was, in many ways, the secret to our success. Yet, in recent years, that ideal has been seemingly abandoned even here. Some of my fellow Democrats might be concerned that I’m saying this, but I’m not looking for a Kumbaya-meets-HandsAcross-America moment. I’m simply hoping for a change of tone, the return of more civility to modern civilization. A new President might help change that. But no President should be tasked with the charge entirely. Like the elections themselves, it should be up to us as individuals.
At left, the Febus family came down from Rockaway, NJ. At right, Pam Brice (right) and daughter Alexa of Wilmington. Photos by Lindsay duPhily DECEMBER 2020
NOW IN YORKLYN 2864 Creek Road, Yorklyn, DE • GarrisonsCyclery.com • 302.384.6827
14 DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Blitzen could be just the first example of Dallas Shawâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s creative imprint on Wilmington
By Lauren Golt Photo by Joe del Tufo
ast year at this time, Blitzen was the talk of the town. The downtown pop-up Christmas bar not only gave Wilmingtonians a novel place to mingle during the holidays, it showcased the creative genius of Dallas Shaw. With Blitzen currently performing an encore at 220 W. 9th Street this holiday (a much-expanded footprint opened Nov. 11 to better adhere to COVID-19 regulations), Out & About felt readers would want to know more about the innovative mastermind behind this unique city nightspot. â&#x2013;ş DECEMBER 2020
The holidays will be a little different this year, but we are here to help our customers!
GRAND DESIGN continued from previous page
We Are Cleaning & Restocking Every Day!
KRESTON WINE & SPIRITS
Celebrating 88 Years
A Fine Selection of Wine, Spirits & Beers
Dallas Shaw's illustrations and creative touch make Blitzen a step above your average pop-up Christmas bar. Photo by Joe del Tufo
From Disney to Delaware
Curbside Pick-up & Online Ordering Available MIDDLETOWN 448 E. Main Street Middletown, DE 19709 Tel: (302) 376-6123
WILMINGTON 904 Concord Avenue Wilmington, DE 19802 Tel: (302) 652-3792
KRESTONWINES.COM 16 DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Born in Scranton, Pa., Shaw discovered her love of art early. By second grade, not only was she drawing well, but her work had a unique style. “In school, the teacher asked us to draw a horse and I ended up drawing a carousel with animals from all angles,” she says. Seeing their daughter’s artistic talent, Shaw’s parents enrolled her in art classes that she continued through high school before majoring in Illustration at Marywood University in Scranton. While some college students spend their summers at the beach or waiting tables, Shaw spent the time at Walt Disney World. Her mentor in high school was Disney’s head animator and suggested Shaw apply to the internship program. She was accepted and spent two summers working in a variety of roles at the global attraction. After graduation, Shaw was offered a full-time position as an animator with the Disney Design Group. Her job was drawing characters for guests who came on the animation tour. Five years later, as the animation landscape shifted from 2D to 3D, Shaw decided it was time for something new. “Over the years, I was really inspired by visuals in the fashion industry,” Shaw says. “I just used the talent and skills I had and started sketching. I used to make my mom fashion magazines when I was young. Even though I was always sketching fashion, I was set on Disney, so I didn’t share it or really think about it as a career. “I was travelling to New York City to meet and work with clients so often that it made sense to move back to the Northeast. That's how I ended up in Delaware,” says Shaw, who has lived in
Wilmington since 2006. “Lots of locals have been following me on Instagram, but I’m always traveling, so people didn’t really know my home base was in Delaware. Blitzen opened people’s eyes to the fact that I was here.”
Creating a Foundation
Long before social media platforms became the world’s goto for connection, Shaw was looking for inventive and creative ways to market her artwork. She started contacting art directors and public relations representatives of companies she was interested in. “I researched how to make press kits,” says Shaw. “I sent prints of my artwork in the mail and by email and then realized they probably weren’t being opened. So, I designed hard-copy press kits in boxes so people would be forced to see the work before throwing it out.” DKNY was the first company to respond. In 2009, their SVP of global communications, Aliza Licht, loved the press kit and hired Shaw to design the avatar for the DKNY PR Girl Twitter account. Licht passed Shaw’s name along within the industry, and in year one, Shaw took on styling and illustration projects for Oscar de la Renta, Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, and Estée Lauder. “Each brand asked for something different, a variety of creative projects across the board,” she says. “One day I was sketching Oscar de la Renta dresses for Fashion Week invitations and the next I was creating Estée Lauder storyboarding for an online commercial.”
Social Media Takeover
As social media platforms became more popular, so did Shaw’s overall style. People were taking notice of her fashion choices, so once the photo-based platform Instagram started, the draw of Shaw’s aesthetic naturally progressed. Within a year, Shaw was an accidental influencer. “Instagram blew up and changed my job,” she says. “I started working with companies as an influencer, but on the design side. I would work as an ambassador for brands, but put my own spin on it, such as including illustrations in photos for Fresh, Glossybox, Oscar de la Renta, Joie, Jack Rogers, and Paige. Then I started working with BareMinerals and Maybelline. Brands would ask, ‘What do you like about our line? What do you want to promote?’ They left it up to me to figure out how to get creative.” Shaw would get work even while traveling. She would post an interesting photograph while on vacation or a shot of her sketching a hotel, and brands took notice. The work leads were very organic; Shaw was simply posting pictures that represented who she was. “Hotels would ask me to visit and come up with creative ideas to promote their brands,” she says. “For example, at the Four Seasons Orlando, I designed artwork for menus, keys, and products in the gift shop that featured my art. I’d sit with their PR team, go to the hotel, get to know the area, and figure out how best to visually tell the story of the neighborhood from the visual marketing side of things.” Instagram isn’t Shaw’s only successful platform. Pinterest, an image-and-content-sharing service, asked Shaw to test out their site before it was even available. “I was not paid to do it and I’m not sure how they found me,” she says. “I was part of a core group who started making boards, as
not only a focus group but also to start spreading the word when we figured out how creatives used the platform.”
After years of constant travel while working with brands, Shaw wanted to stay closer to home. “My dad passed away unexpectedly last year,” she says, “and I wanted to be home as much as possible to be close to my mom.” As luck would have it, Shaw’s friend Robert Herrera, founder of The Mill, a co-working space in Downtown Wilmington, was looking for holiday fundraising ideas for Theater N, where he serves as a board member. I said, “I want to open a Christmas popup somewhere in Delaware. Are you in?” says Shaw. Shaw's idea was well received by Herrera and, with additional help from Robert Snowberger and Dan Sheridan (owners of Forty Acres Hospitality: Stitch House Brewery, Faire Café and Locale BBQ Post). Shaw served as designer for Blitzen, the popup bar that takes you into the home of Santa’s last reindeer. Last year, after operating for just under two months, Blitzen raised money for Theater N and several other organizations such as Red Clay School District, Motorcycle Santa, Urban Bike Project, and Mascots for a Cure. “I had been to a bunch of pop-ups before that were done poorly and I wanted to do one better visually,” she says. “There was storytelling behind it—people were invited into Blitzen’s home. I wanted an atmosphere that people would come back to. The success of the pop-up proved that people in Wilmington are looking for the same beautiful concepts that people are looking for in New York City and Los Angeles. “My team trusted me 100% with Blitzen and I got to show the city what I am capable of. The great response makes me so excited to do more locally!” ►
GRAND DESIGN continued from previous page
After the success of Blitzen, Herrera, Snowberger, and Steven Weathers invited Shaw to join their development company, 9SDC, as creative director. 9SDC, which stands for 9th Street Development Company, is currently working on two additional projects in Downtown Wilmington: redesigning Faire Café and rebranding Girard Craft and Cork. “Our goal is to combine our skills to create a development, hospitality, and now storytelling/creative design company that takes on unique, inspiring, and challenging projects for the ultimate goal of helping to bring some life and fun back to our city,” says Snowberger. Snowberger and Sheridan, the owners of Faire Café, felt the market needed a refresh, so Shaw was asked to take over the design. “I want the space to be a lot of things at once: coffee shop, lunch spot, workspace with a liquor license,” she says. “Come for cocktails, come for a mid-work meeting. Bring your clients. I’m redesigning what people think of when people hear coffee shop.” Shaw promises that the next time you step foot inside Faire Café, you’ll be walking into an experience, not simply a coffee shop. One can expect a mix of natural textures, tiles, rattan lights, interior florals that will change with the seasons, a custom-made communal table, front-window workspace, lots of wicker, bamboo and wood, and a distinct black exterior. “I used to travel all the time, and I would travel alone, so when I leave the hotel I’m looking for coffee shops nearby,” she said. “I’ve been to cool places, but also ones that are uncomfortable. I’m redesigning Faire to be a comfortable [with] a lovely mixed vibe. If you want to come in the morning to work and have a bloody mary, go for it! It will be a lot of things to the community.” Faire’s reopening depends on COVID restrictions. “We won’t open until it’s safe for everyone to come in and get the full experience,” she says. Girard Craft and Cork will return as a one-stop shop for wine, cards, gifts, and more. It’s opening, too, is uncertain due to COVID restrictions. “We are going to try to still push for the Girard reopening [this month], but as with Faire, we won't open until it's safe for everyone to come in and enjoy the complete ambiance of the space.” Shaw is excited the owners of these Wilmington spaces trust her to do what she loves. And if their reception is anything like Blitzen’s, good things are in store. “If I can bring anything to Wilmington, it’s to create places and spaces I want to take my friends to,” says Shaw. “I live here and I want more of that, so if I have to be the one to design it, I’ll happily do it. I think we have the opportunity to create a really great energy downtown and I want to help it grow by designing spaces that encourage diversity and good vibes all around.”
18 DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Strength In Numbers West Side continues to ‘Grow Together’
ight years into the implementation of a 10year revitalization plan, a community of 13,000 Wilmingtonians is living up to the plan’s name: West Side Grows Together. Everything hasn’t always gone exactly according to plan, but that’s to be expected. What’s important is that the community is moving forward. The revitalization area—bordered by Interstate 95 on the east, Pennsylvania Avenue on the north, the CSX railroad tracks on the west and Lancaster Avenue on the south—encompasses five distinct neighborhoods: Cool Spring, Tilton Park, Hilltop, Little Italy and The Flats. Unified by a steering committee comprised largely of residents and business owners, communities that once struggled to do things on their own have found their strength in numbers.
By Larry Nagengast Photos by Butch Comegys
“It’s an amazing team,” says Sarah Lester, whose role as president and CEO of the Cornerstone West Community Development Corporation, the economic development arm of the West End Neighborhood House, puts her at the center of the area’s redevelopment projects. The initiatives on the West Side take many forms: strengthening businesses on Lincoln and Union streets, the area’s primary commercial corridor; enhancing Fourth Street, a primary artery into downtown Wilmington; beautifying neighborhoods and improving parks and improving the housing stock in order to retain current residents and attract newcomers. ►
Contributing artists at the Our Community Grows Together mural located on the 6th Street bridge. From l-r: Kameron Rozier, Melissa Benbow, Francesco Iacono, Alim Smith, and Vanity Constance.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS continued from previous page
Meeting Overlooked Needs
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Improvements being managed directly by West End and Cornerstone West are currently getting a boost from a $4 million capital campaign. About $3 million has already been raised from more than 40 corporate and philanthropic supporters; the public phase of the campaign was launched in mid-November at a groundbreaking ceremony for a housing initiative to serve young men and women aging out of the state’s foster care programs. Half of the $4 million is earmarked for the housing program. Another $1.8 million will be used for safety improvements at West End facilities and the remaining $200,000 will be used at Bright Spot Farm, West End’s youth training and communitysupported agriculture program. The housing project, called Life Lines III, includes a pair of townhouses—a one-bedroom and a three-bedroom— at the corner of Seventh and Douglas Street, tucked in between two community landmarks, St. Francis Hospital and St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. The onebedroom unit will meet ADA standards, making it suitable for someone who is hard of hearing or not ambulatory, and the three-bedroom townhouse is expected to accommodate members of the LGBTQ community, says Stacy Shamburger, Life Lines director. Other pieces of the project include rehabbing two houses on Eighth Street and five on DuPont Street and transforming the former Green Gate Pub, in the 1700 block of West Eighth Street, into a drop-in resource center and office for the program. The old pub will have a coffee-bar feel on the ground floor, and a conference room to use for meetings and training sessions. “We don’t want it to feel like a shelter,” Shamburger says. The new construction and rehab, costing $2 million overall, will give Life Lines 10 more beds, bringing its capacity to 33, Shamburger says. The work is expected to be completed in about nine months. Since its creation 20 years ago, Life Lines has served more than 700 young men and women, providing not only housing but also counseling, education and work-readiness services like resumé and interview preparation, and even providing clothing suitable for wearing to job interviews.
The state’s foster care program serves clients until they turn 18, but they are often not ready to live independently at that age, Shamburger says. Many participants in Life Lines stay until they are 21, and a few until they are 23, and there’s some in-and-out movement as well. “When you’re 18 or 19 and go out on your own, sometimes you’re not as ready as you think you are,” she says. The adjustment to independent living can be even more difficult for those who have lived in multiple foster homes, or who have lived in group homes in other states or spent time in detention centers, she says. “Some of them haven’t been taught how to open a bank account, or go grocery shopping, or learn what healthy relationships look like.” Another often overlooked group, adults with disabilities, are the intended beneficiaries of another initiative, Solomon’s Court, on the southwest corner of Fourth and Rodney streets. The residential/commercial project that was the dream of the late Rev. Lottie Lee-Davis, pastor of the Be Ready Jesus Is Coming Church across the street. Lee-Davis was killed in an auto accident in September and her brother, Wayne DeShields, has taken over shepherding the project on behalf of the Be Ready Community Development Corporation. Solomon’s Court will be built in two phases, with the first phase starting by the end of the year and the second in late 2021 or early 2022, DeShields says. The first phase will include 4,600 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and six affordable rental units upstairs. Through a partnership with United Cerebral Palsy, those units will be rented to adults with disabilities, he says. Another 12 rental units are planned for the project’s second phase. DeShields says he is looking for “tenants who will have an impact in the community” for Sarah Lester at the groundbreaking of Life Lines III. the commercial space. Desirable businesses would include a daycare center and doctors’ and dentists’ offices, he says. The budget for the entire project is about $6 million, DeShields says, with funding being provided through several banks, state agencies, the Longwood Foundation and other donors. Across Rodney Street from Solomon’s Court is a small park that the late pastor was instrumental in creating during an earlier stage of the West Side Grows revitalization. Once a magnet for drug dealing and prostitution, the park’s playground and benches offer youngsters a place to unwind while parents can watch and relax. By the time Solomon’s Court is complete, the Latin American Community Center hopes to break ground for a 3½-story childcare center at the corner of Fourth and Van Buren streets. LACC President and CEO Maria Matos says the $7.8 million project will be able accommodate up to 78 children, create 30 new jobs and feature a rooftop playground. “We want to be open by 2023,” Matos says. Meanwhile, another significant housing redevelopment continues to advance—the revitalization of The Flats by the Woodlawn Trustees. Work has been completed on the third phase of the affordable housing project and those 77 units should be occupied by the end of the year, according to Donna Gooden, Woodlawn vice president. Woodlawn has received authorization from the Delaware State Housing Authority for low-income tax credits essential to financing the 52 units in the fourth phase, so construction is likely to begin in the spring, she said. Reconstruction of The Flats, a century-old blue-collar community created by Quaker philanthropist-and-mill-owner William Poole Bancroft, is at its midpoint, with 221 units now complete. The rebuilt community, straddling Bancroft Parkway between Fourth and 10th streets, will have 450 housing units, 284 in three-story apartment buildings and the remainder in row homes with private entrances. The pandemic did not slow the work because Gov. John Carney labeled construction as an essential industry, Gooden said, and the rebuild is still on track for completion in 2026. ►
TIMELY SUPPORT Wilmington Strong Fund provides much-needed grants
or a business, a thousand dollars might not be much, but sometimes it’s just enough to get by. That’s the thinking behind the Wilmington Strong Fund, a pandemic relief initiative established through a partnership between Cornerstone West Community Development Corporation, the redevelopment engine of the city’s West Side, and the citywide Wilmington Alliance. As of early November, 117 small businesses in Wilmington, most of them minority-owned, have received $1,000 grants from the fund-—a little something to help them pay vendors, make rent or mortgage payments or keep a worker on the payroll while they await processing of their applications for other loans and grants. The project got its start in the spring on Wilmington’s West Side, when Capital One bank put up $5,000 to match $5,500 raised by Cornerstone West to provide $500 grants to 101 businesses in the area. The Wilmington Alliance saw how the program was working and reached out to Cornerstone West to discuss how to replicate the effort. Barclay’s Bank then connected with Wilmington Alliance and committed to a $100,000 grant if the program could be implemented citywide. Through early November, Wilmington Strong has awarded 117 $1,000 grants, according to Gabrielle Lantieri, Cornerstone West’s economic development manager, who is managing the program. “$1,000 isn’t going to save a business. On average they say they need $10,000 to stay open,” Lantieri says. “It’s been a lifesaver,” says artist Eunice LaFate, who used the money for advertising and a rent payment for her gallery on Market Street. The application process was easy and moved faster than the other loan and grant programs she approached. “It’s important to distribute the funds where the needs are greatest,” says LaFate, who worked in banking before becoming a fulltime artist. “We were sick before,” LaFate says, referring to small businesses, “but the pandemic put us on life support.” — Larry Nagengast DECEMBER 2020
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Parks And Mural
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS continued from previous page
While improving housing quality is important, building a strong community takes more than bricks and mortar. Creating the park at Fourth and Rodney and improving Father Tucker Park, next to St. Anthony’s, provided fresh outlets for kids and brought more adults together, Lester said. “They’re an important piece of healthy communities, especially with COVID-19,” she said, adding that more park improvements are in the works. Next up are Cool Springs park, which gets heavy use by students from the nearby Lewis Elementary School, followed by improvements to Tilton Park, a few blocks away, bordered by Seventh, Franklin, Eighth and Broom streets. Residents have participated in redesigns for both parks, Lester says. Work at Cool Springs will begin in early 2021; there is no starting date for Tilton Park. In addition to the parks, “this is also an amazing time for public art,” Lester says, pointing to one recently completed project and two smaller ones about ready to start. Following up on a 2019 mural painted on the Seventh Street bridge over I-95, a team of five artists worked through October to paint another mural on the Sixth Street overpass. The lettering on the mural, “Our Community Grows Together” reflects not only the spirit of the West Side but also a sense of unity with the West Center City neighborhood on the east side of the interstate, Lester said. The images on the mural—lots of flowers as well as children jumping rope, engaging in sports, reading books and using their laptops—project warmth and youthful vibrance, says Vanity Constance, the artist who coordinated the effort. Constance and the other artists—Melissa Benbow, Kameron Rozier, Torian Croxton and Alin Smith—met weekly with neighborhood residents to brainstorm ideas. “We had to listen to everybody… and keep the focus on the youth,” she says. The two smaller murals will be painted on the sides of buildings, Lester says. One will be on the east side of the park at Fourth and Rodney and will include recognition of the Rev. Lottie LeeDavis. The other, with the theme “Our Community, Our Roots,” will be near the corner of Second and Scott streets and will call attention to “the multicultural nature of the West Side,” she says. ►
I AM DANCE I AM
Ashley S.K. Johnson Pieces of a Dream
All new inWilmDE.com coming soon. Life Lines director Stacy Shamburger.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS continued from previous page
Seeing The Light
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In an effort to improve safety near Judy Johnson Park, at Third and DuPont streets, West Side Grows has partnered with a Dover-based nonprofit, the Help Initiative, that is building a reputation statewide for its campaign to install LED lighting fixtures in low-income communities. West Side Grows explored the idea after learning that installations at more than 400 homes in a targeted area had resulted in reduced incidences of crime in Milford. Starting in the fall of 2019, Help Initiative has installed more than 900 LED lights at residences on the West Side, according to Harold Stafford, the organization’s director of government operations. The typical package, which costs about $100, includes two fixtures‚—for the front and back of each home—equipped with a sensor that turns the lights on after dark as well as a “switch guard” that locks the light switch in the on position so it is always in use, Stafford says. “We ask residents to keep the switches on, to tell their neighbors about the program, to call police if they see suspicious activity and to attend a workshop on energy efficiency,” Stafford says. The workshops, he says, helps residents learn about other Help Initiative energy conservation services, like replacing aerators on kitchen and bath faucets, installing energy-efficient showerheads and setting water heaters to the proper temperature. “We’ve started to work with the Wilmington Police to collect crime data, so we can show what a difference it makes,” Stafford says. Even more lighting may be on the horizon. “We’re raising funds to do more,” Lester says. “We want to make it as bright as possible.”
Better Blocks and Dining Out
Some of the most visible recent changes on the West Side have occurred along Union and Lincoln streets, and on Fourth Street as well, with financing through the state’s Neighborhood Building Blocks program helping
At the groundbreaking of Life Lines III. To date, the prgram has served more than 700.
Building Blocks program helping businesses improve their facades and install security cameras. The “Better Block” initiative, coordinated by West Side Grows, then led to a change in configuration for parking and sidewalks on Union Street. The changes, completed about two years ago, eliminated one lane of through traffic and added back-in diagonal parking and a bicycle lane on the east side of the roadway. The reconfiguration has made Union Street a little less of a speedway and, until October, made possible an expansion of outdoor dining, especially on Wednesday evenings, providing a boost to restaurants and cafes struggling through the pandemic. “With COVID, we had to shift gears, pivot and adapt quickly,” says Gabrielle Lantieri, Cornerstone West’s economic development manager. The change has given her less time to work with individual businesses and has limited opportunities for special events like an art loop and vegan week that drew hundreds of visitors to the area last year. Now she’s trying to “layer our services,” developing ideas that benefit brick-and-mortar businesses, entrepreneurs and the community alike. One recent example: a harvest-themed event with entrepreneurs setting up tables at curbside while restaurants served their guests outdoors. On a related front, West Side Grows has played a key role in coordinating Heroes and Restaurants, a project that solicits donations that pays for meals prepared by area restaurants, primarily on the West Side, and delivered to first responders and others on the front lines of the pandemic. Through late October, nearly $45,000 had been raised, with 26 restaurants providing more than 2,600 meals to essential workers. Even so, some residents and businesses still want more changes, especially on Union Street. “The goal is to make Union more of a main street. There’s still too much roadway,” Lester says. A consultant has been hired “to do a deep dive within the next six months,” and hopefully deliver a plan for “a more permanent design” that could be executed over a two- to three-year span, she says. “It’s challenging,” Lester says, “but we’ve made progress in a lot of ways.”
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PEOPLE TO THE RESCUE
espite the darkness created by COVID-19, there have been many points of light. Following are 10 inspiring stories of people—our neighbors—who are making our community better. There will be no awards dinner for these 10 individuals. No ceremony honoring their contributions. Out & About was simply inspired by their efforts. And we felt you would be, too.
Photo by Shakira Hunt
When the pandemic shut down everything in Delaware earlier this year, Nataki Oliver, owner and gallerist of the Sold Firm, didn't sit idle. Not only did Oliver launch a powerful art exhibition, she turned her gallery into a voter registration site. The Sold Firm, located on Eighth and Tatnall streets in Wilmington, is an art gallery that exhibits modern and contemporary artists who tackle diverse subjects. When the pandemic canceled one of the gallery's upcoming major events, Oliver went back to the drawing board. What she envisioned was a way to celebrate artwork created by Black artists during a time of societal upheaval and quarantine. The exhibit, “Pendulum Swing,” featured
15 artists, most of whom live or are from Wilmington, and “took [the artist’s] creative outpouring and the inequities the Black community faces daily and put it on paper, on wood and other mediums,” says Oliver. As part of the opening reception, Oliver sold merchandise. She then used a portion of the proceeds to provide private art lessons for Black youngsters taught by famed local artist James Wyatt. She also bought the kids take-home art kits. As the 2020 election neared, Oliver converted her gallery into a voter registration site. The move was partially in response to a first-hand experience she had in 2019, when a computer glitch at the Department of Motor Vehicles accidentally changed her voter registration status to “no party” during the license renewal process. She knew without party affiliation unknowing would-be voters wouldn’t be able to vote in the primaries. “I didn’t want anyone to go through what I went through [with the Department of Elections] to be able to vote,” she says. So, with help from a member of the Democratic Party, Oliver set up a pop-up voter registration site in her gallery for a week. “We set up every single day at 6 a.m. with signs and balloons,” she says. On the final day, someone brought in an 83-year-old gentleman to register him to vote. “He had never voted in his life,” says Oliver. “He felt this vote was that important that he needed to register.” —Leeann Wallett
Nataki Oliver (2nd from right) at opening of The Sold Firm.
26 DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Jay Macklin isn’t called a community doer for nothing. For the past 20 years, she has helped thousands of people through Stop the Violence Coalition, Inc. (STVC). The Coalition, which was founded in reaction to the shooting deaths of two people killed in a Wilmington barbershop, will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. It strives to prevent violence by creating community programs, including parenting classes, mentoring, and financial literacy. Macklin creates programs and services for STVC, which has served more than 200,000 people in the tri-state area over the years. In 2017, Macklin founded Academy for Peace (AFP) in response to the “violent deaths of two teens in and near one of our local schools,” she says. The Academy operates under the umbrella of STVC and promotes peace in neighborhoods and schools by offering youths and families educational workshops that focus on diversity, conflict resolution and meditation. In response to George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police in May, Macklin and Wilmington folk artist Eunice LaFate organized a Black Lives Matter art exhibit for young artists. And as part of Delaware Peace Week in October, the duo conducted an arts program for 12 youngsters from the Claymont Boys and Girls Club. “All lives matter when Black lives matter,” read a slogan on a T-Shirt designed by one student participant. Then when COVID-19 struck and began stripping away jobs, Macklin created a five-week Zoom series: “Help! I Can't Stop Thinking About Money During COVID-19.” The program provided pointers to 25 participants on everything from budgeting, saving and credit repair, to stress relief tips through exercise and relaxation. A grant from Trauma Matters Delaware sponsored the program. Economic empowerment is an ongoing goal of the Academy. Macklin says she does what she does because “all people deserve to live a healthy, productive life. If I am blessed with gifts, skills and talents that can ease the pain and suffering of humanity, then it is my duty to serve.” —Adriana Camacho-Church
Photo by Butch Comegys
Photo courtesy Chris Locke
Sean Locke’ life was on a constant upward trajectory: Homecoming King as well as basketball and baseball star at St. Mark’s High School; captain of the University of Delaware basketball team; played in the 2014 NCAA tournament; dozens of friends; a great job with the Buccini-Pollin Group in Wilmington. But beneath this textbook existence he Chris Locke waged a years-long battle with anxiety and depression, and on July 18, 2018, just weeks shy of his 24th birthday, Sean killed himself. Four thousand people came to the viewing. “He was a great kid, a ton of friends, never gave me an ounce of trouble,” says his father, Chris, a lawyer with Lang Development Group in Newark. “I talked to him every single day—about everything—and he never said a word [about suffering from depression].” After his son’s death, Locke came to understand that depression is a secret kept by many in our society. “It’s a disease like heart disease or cancer, but depression can paralyze a person, and keep them from getting help. And in Sean’s case, he was an athlete, and athletes are taught to push through pain, show no weakness.” Chris Locke, his family and friends have taken action to ensure that Sean’s death will not be in vain. Their efforts have resulted in SL24: Unlocke The Light Foundation, which has raised several thousand dollars—and, more recently, Sean’s House, at 136 W. Main St. in Newark, where he lived while attending UD. Calling it “a safe haven” for anyone age 14 to 24 dealing with mental health challenges, Locke says, “You can drop in 24 hours a day, grab a cookie and a soda, or a book from the library, and talk to one of the people there. All free of charge.” The house is staffed by a supervisor, 18 UD students trained in peer support, three on-call doctoral students, a chief psychologist, and volunteers. Meanwhile, Chris Locke and other members of the SL24 foundation have spoken to 9,000 high school students about mental health and suicide prevention. “We opened the house on Oct. 1 and during the first 22 days, over 175 kids dropped in,” Locke says. “We saved three kids already who were suicidal.” For more: unlockethelight.com. —Bob Yearick
Jay Macklin founded the Academy for Peace in 2017. DECEMBER 2020
Creativity and compassion have been key in how A.J. Schall has combatted COVID-19. As Delaware Emergency Management Agency director and the governor’s homeland security advisor, Schall began meeting on COVID-19 on Jan. 28. Then he began doing. “This is the most critical A.J. Schall time of our life since World War II,” he said, and “we’ve been very creative in some of our solutions.” That creativity includes joining other states on supply chains (he’s bought 19 million pieces of personal protective equipment and ordered super-cold refrigerators to handle sensitive vaccines under development), blocking off floors of hotels to quarantine people (and arranging for laundry services) and reaching out to the public in different ways (like this interview). As for compassion, he cites the Southwest Airlines mantra he prominently displayed in DEMA’s Smyrna headquarters: “There’s no formula except compassion.”
SANJAY MALIK Sanjay Malik is juggling the top two jobs at the Food Bank of Delaware while the nonprofit is juggling to handle what’s trending to be twice the demand. Malik, the chief financial officer, was named interim CEO after Patricia Beebe resigned in April. He doesn’t track his hours in running an organization with a $32 million budget, 50 full-timers, five part-timers and volunteer help that adds up to 24 full-timers. “What needs to be done, I do, and I have a great leadership team,” he said, adding that he doesn’t want to become CEO permanently.
Photo by Kim Turner
Photo courtesy State of Delaware
Sanjay Malik in the Food Bank of Delaware warehouse.
28 DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
PEOPLE TO THE RESCUE “Disasters are always followed continued from previous page by dollar signs with lots of commas,” Schall said, “but money can only go so far. People have to heal on their own.” Healing for the pandemic includes physical well-being as well as rebuilding communities. “A sense of community drives my mission,” he said. That sense first showed up in high school in Illinois, when he volunteered at his county emergency management office. It continued in Delaware, where he has been a volunteer with the Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company since 1999, now serving as deputy chief. This winter, he joins the University of Delaware as an adjunct. Schall uses corporate skills honed at Bank of America, such as team building and project management, to lead DEMA’s staff of 45, with the capability of marshaling thousands. He’s starting an afteraction review to assess the COVID-19 response and “leave us better tomorrow than it was today.” “He is the type of person that knows you need help and offers before you even have to ask,” said Rob Coupe, Chief of Staff for the Delaware Department of Justice and Schall’s old boss. “He creates a culture of continuous improvement, sharing his vision to always make things better with everyone he has a chance to work with.” —Ken Mammarella
“To say he’s gone above and beyond is an understatement,” said Andy Larmore, Board Chair for Food Bank of Delaware. “More importantly, he keeps the team in a good mental place, especially important with all the stress we’re going through.” “He’s such a calm and level-headed individual, allowing others to step up and their energies to feed each other,” Larmore said. “They’ve rallied beyond measure to help a community in great need.” When the pandemic hit this spring, health restrictions grew and the economy flatlined. The food bank stopped its in-person culinary and logistics programs as well as its nutrition and financialliteracy training and diverted the staff to food distribution. Demand by the newly needy soared. In its last fiscal year, which ended in June, it distributed 8.6 million pounds of food. Yet in the latest six months, it distributed 9.6 million pounds. The Food Bank estimates the number of food-insecure in the state has grown from 121,850 before COVID-19 to 171,930 today. To handle the growth, Food Bank turned to Easterseals for drivers from its facilities in Newark (which doubled in size last year) and Milford. It set up monthly mobile pantries in each county, working with the National Guard to give out food boxes and the Delaware Department of Transportation to smooth traffic flow. Although some mobile pantries early on ran out of food after serving 2,000 households, staffers have learned to handle the demand. The Food Bank has sent trainers back to training, in a hybrid way, of course. “Sanjay is so proud of his team,” Larmore said, “and we couldn’t be more proud as well." —Ken Mammarella
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one,” Mother Teresa once said. Christian Miller and his friends Ethan Ferreira and Paul Pomeroy fed 91 this summer. Between July and August, the 17-year-old Archmere Academy seniors raised $3,055 through a Facebook fundraiser and collected a $1,000 worth of donated food. The Latin American Community Center (LACC) in Wilmington added the donation to a fund collection that feeds hundreds of Hispanic families left jobless due to COVID-19. According to the organization, $50 feeds a family for a week. The LACC’s programs and services address the needs of the Hispanic community in Wilmington. “I chose the LACC because I had seen on the news a statistic about the disproportionate effect that the pandemic had on the Hispanic community,” says Miller, who is of Puerto Rican descent. “To help feed families even if just for a few weeks felt like a duty I needed to rise to.” Every Sunday during the fundraiser, the students also collected food and money from neighbors. If neighbors couldn’t drop the items off at one of their homes, the students picked up the items themselves. Many Hispanics in Delaware work in restaurants, hotels, bars and manufacturing companies severely impacted by COVID-19. Based on an August report by the PEW Research Center, unemployment rates remain higher among Hispanic workers than U.S. workers overall. And due to the group’s occupations, many have a higher risk of exposure to the virus than other ethnic groups. Taking action made Miller feel he was part of a community effort to alleviate the affects of the disease. “It allowed me to direct my energy towards something productive in a time where I had begun to spend every day doing nothing, and it made me feel like I was doing something to combat COVID-19 by helping those the pandemic hit the hardest.” It also helped him meet and connect with his neighbors. “I’m admittedly not very well acquainted with many members of my neighborhood,” Miller says. “But despite this unfamiliarity many members of my community stepped up to support the effort. —Adriana Camacho-Church
Photo courtesy Christian Miller
Delawareans often describe the state as a revolving door. No matter how far or long one moves away, the strange gravitational pull of the “Small Wonder” brings you back. In the case of Chelsea Spyres, a Newark native and a 2014 UD graduate, Delaware called her back earlier than expected. Chelsea Spyres While attending graduate school at Wesley Seminary in Washington, D.C., a mutually perfect opportunity presented itself. So in January 2020, Spyres became Pastor of Community Engagement with Grace United Methodist Church and Co-Pastor of Riverfront Church, and a leader in the fight against hunger and homelessness in Wilmington. Community service is in Spyres’ blood. “I moved to Detroit for two years after U.D. in a Volunteer Corps with the United Methodist Church. While there, I worked at the NOAH Project (whose mission is to empower low-income and homeless Detroiters to achieve stability by serving as the first step on the journey to self-sufficiency), serving as a caseworker,” she says. From Detroit, she moved to the nation’s capital, working at a church in Bowie, Md. for three years while attending seminary school. Though intending to finish graduate school in D.C. and “figure it out from there,” she got the call to serve and she answered, moving to Wilmington and starting her new jobs just months before the COVID-19 crisis began. She got to work immediately. “Through the pandemic, one of our main responses has been around food. In April, we began daily food distribution, and through the city Parks and Recreation Department, we’ve distributed over 10,000 individual meals; and through the Food Bank of Delaware, 600 large food boxes through their mobile pantries,” Spyres says. “Food distribution is, for us, a way to meet a physical need while connecting with our neighbors through story-sharing and relationship-building.” When she has time, Spyres loves to explore the relativelynew-to-her city of Wilmington, go hiking and camping, and host friends for meals at her home. However, her primary focus is, as always, service. “My favorite days are when I’m out walking in the neighborhood or when someone comes for food and we get to talking. The story-sharing and the trust-building that happens is humbling and life-giving. Each time someone trusts me with part of their story, I give thanks and I’m amazed at the ways community forms.” Those interested in volunteering can email chelsea@ gracechurchum.org —Matt Morrissette
Photo courtesy Chelsea Spyres
Christian Miller is a senior at Archmere Academy. DECEMBER DECEMBER 2020 2020 || OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
If you’ve never met Rob Pfeiffer, it’s a safe bet you know of his deeds or you’ve seen him walking with divine purpose at all hours throughout the neighborhoods of his beloved Wilmington. You’ve probably had one of his incredible craft beers during his stints as head brewer at Twin Lakes Brewing Company and Smyrna’s Blue Rob Pfeiffer Earle Brewing, or at one of the myriad of Delaware breweries to which he has lent his decades of knowledge to as a consultant. He may have mixed sound at your band’s show, been the home inspector when your sister bought her first house, or even officiated the ceremony at your cousin’s wedding in his role as a minister of The Church of the Latter-Day Dude (really). Though the term is overused, Rob Pfeiffer is a Renaissance Man. But it’s his tireless work as the honorary Mayor of Tiltlandia, his nickname for the Tilton Park/Cool Spring community in which he resides, that has been a beacon of light
PEOPLE TO THE RESCUE and hope in these troubled times. continued from previous page The Mayor’s philosophy is as simple as it is beautiful. “My thing has always been to make sure my awesome friends and neighbors are OK,” Pfeiffer says. “I could look at the big-picture political scene, and I do, but I prefer to make sure the kids eat and are safe in my neighborhood.” Pfeiffer’s ethos is on full display in Tilton Park, which he and his fellow true believers have transformed into a safe and thriving community gathering place through years of effort and vigilance. As COVID-19 has hurt the most disadvantaged in his community the hardest, Pfeiffer has chosen to help rather than complain. “During the pandemic mess, we’ve been working with Harvest 2020, a program to get food to the people that need it the most. We gather excess produce from community gardens and get it to an accessible food distribution point,” he says. “I volunteer with the Food Bank to distribute food, but I also grab some from the pickup points to give to people around here who can use it, but can’t make it out to the distribution points.” As a resident of Cool Spring, and one lucky enough to call Pfeiffer a friend, I’m comforted just to know he’s out there spreading his special brand of laid-back positivity, guitar in one hand and beer in the other. In his own words: “I guess I was raised to help others, and I do what I can. It’s hippie stuff. That’s why I’m still poor!” —Matt Morrissette
JAQUANNE LEROY What began as a hobby became a full-time career for Wilmington-based artist JaQuanne LeRoy. "I never thought I could pursue art as a career," he says. His path included being an educator and studying advertising design. Today, he’s Teaching Artist and Curator in Residence for the Delaware Art Museum, Delaware College of Art and Design, and Chris White Gallery. LeRoy started painting as a coping mechanism, not from a specific event, but from what he calls his “quarter-life crisis.” “I didn't know what or where I wanted to be in life," he says. LeRoy's style is best described as abstract realism. His aesthetic came from a lesson he learned in one of his drawing classes. “[My professor] taught us that we should not erase our lines when sketching but restate them,” says LeRoy. This encouraged him to see potential in all his paintings and that it was OK to paint over lines that already existed. LeRoy’s two most recent works have centered around his relationship with God and coincided with the Black Lives Matter movement. His work depicts scriptures that are most meaningful to him, including Psalm 18: 16-17. This scripture is the namesake and inspiration for LeRoy’s mural on Ninth Street in Wilmington, which was a partnership with Flux Creative Consulting. The Scripture reads:
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
30 DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Photo by Joe del Tufo
Photo by Danielle Johnson
Jaquanne LeRoy at work in Downtown Wilmington.
LeRoy's other notable work was as the lead designer on the “Freedom and Justice” mural located at the King Street entrance to Wilmington’s Peter Spencer Plaza. The mural included symbols found in traditional African clothing and was “something that anyone could embrace and feel connected to.” At the Delaware Art Museum, LeRoy has partnered with the museum’s operation technician Iz Balleto to curate a new photography exhibit: Seeing Essential Workers Through a New Lens. The exhibit (on view through March 14, 2021) highlights the many people who have kept our communities going through this pandemic. —Leeann Wallett
headed by Kelly Hake that receives consulting fees, which she plows back into Great Dames. This year, the organization has held more than 20 events— most of them virtual, including a five-day September conference that drew participants from 12 countries in four continents. Kelly Hake emphasizes Sharon Kelly Hake that the programs— usually led by world-class speakers who charge no fee—are not of the “oh, that was interesting” variety. “We hold women accountable,” she says. “We expect them to go out the door and do something with the information or insight or inspiration. We’re all about taking action.” Says Board Member Maria Hess: “Sharon has guided and inspired many legacies. As the leader of Great Dames, she is compassionate, selfless, and insightful, and she works harder than anyone I know. Not many people truly lead by example like Sharon does.” For more on the organization, visit GreatDames.com —Bob Yearick
Photo by Joe del Tufo
When she set out to form Great Dames, Sharon Kelly Hake took inspiration from the film Field of Dreams. “It was kind of like, ‘create it, and they will come,’” she says. Kelly Hake knew the need was there for the nonprofit she had in mind, one that would provide services and opportunities for women and girls to enhance and encourage their personal and professional development. That insight came from 28 years of traveling the globe as a DuPont executive and talking to women leaders from many backgrounds about their leadership styles. “And a pattern emerged,” says Kelly Hake. “They felt undervalued and unheard, and every single one of them said, ‘this is so needed.’” In 2009, along with her daughters, Heather Cassey and Deirdre Hake, she founded Great Dames. And as she suspected, they came—first by the dozens, then by the hundreds, until today, more than 11,500 women worldwide have taken part in Great Dames programs. Now, backed by a board of directors (which includes men), Kelly Hake leads an organization that offers mentoring, personal branding workshops, and an inspirational speaker series. It also has provided financial and professional support to 600 women entrepreneurs and 275 nonprofits. Funding comes from fees for the programs, $95 annual dues paid by Great Dames Circle members, and a for-profit
Photo coutesy Sharke Kelly Hake
SHARON KELLY HAKE
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—This year’s collaboration with Wawa will see the return of last year’s Winter Reserve Coffee in the Bourbon BarrelAged Imperial Stout and the Rum Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout in 500-ml bottles. The new Holiday Reserve Coffee Stout will be sold in four-packs of 16 oz. cans.
Tasty Surprises Inspiration and experimentation fuels 2SP Brewing Company’s coffee stout collaboration with Wawa By Jim Miller
t’s Friday the 13th and surprises abound. Thankfully, none of the unfortunate kind. No broken mirrors; no black cats crossing the path; no maniacs in hockey masks popping out from behind a nearby tree. Nothing perilous is in sight. Instead, it’s a sunny November day in Aston, Pa.—one more in a splendid week that has seen temperatures reach up into the mid-70s. It's been a nice surprise. However, as I walk into 2SP Brewery’s tasting room—past people smiling and laughing together at spaced-out tables on the patio—little do I know that the week’s biggest surprise lay in store for me just beyond the front doors: a first taste of 2SP’s third-annual coffee stout, a collaboration the brewery has done with Wawa for the past three years.
A WINNING PHILOSOPHY
Waiting at a table in the tasting room is Mike Contreras, one of 2SP’s co-founders and director of sales and marketing. As I sit down at the table across from him, he summons the bartender and encourages me to try something I haven’t tried before. I go with the Slowdive, 2SP’s Citra-based seasonal New England IPA. As a fan of 2SP’s most popular beer—Up & Out, another hazy NEIPA—I find the Slowdive to be hearty, but still nimble. Only later do I learn it clocks in at 7.7% ABV. “A lot of what makes craft beer special is the experimentation and people being like, ‘Alright, I'm willing to spend a few extra bucks to try something new even if I might not like it.’” Contreras says. It’s not a surprising statement coming from Contreras, who flashes a wide Cheshire-cat grin when we toast moments later.
Contreras’ background comprises work with two other powerhouse breweries: Rogue and Dogfish Head. Like his associates at 2SP, the man bleeds beer. But what does come as a surprise is hearing that Contreras was a philosophy student in college. Later in the interview as I enjoy another Slowdive, Contreras will take a deep slowdive of another kind, reflecting on the perspectives of Hume, Kant, Leibniz, Freud, and, his personal favorite, Hegel. In retrospect, the philosophy degrees make sense. After all, Hegel once said that “nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” And if you ever have the pleasure of getting to know any of the members of the 2SP team, you likely have seen that passion in action. ► DECEMBER 2020
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TASTY SURPRISES Similarly, a simple philosophy continued from previous page serves as a core principle at 2SP, one which put its beer-loving audience first: affordable excellence. “Our head brewer, Bob [Barrar] is not just a nationally known brewer, he’s internationally recognized,” Contreras says. “Bob’s from Delaware County. He could be brewing anywhere. But he wants to stay in this region because he so identifies with it. He’s a working-class guy. “Bob wants to make beer that his buddies down the block can afford, but something that’s also a world-class beer.”
Barrar’s rise to fame in the brewing industry started during his 15 years at Iron Hill Brewery in Media, where Bob and his team stacked up 30 awards between the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. The clear winner among these was Barrar’s Russian Imperial Stout, which garnered 15 awards on its own. Shortly after Barrar helped launch 2SP Brewing in 2015, he returned to the Great American Beer Festival representing his new brewery, snagging three more gold medals (in 2016, 2017 and 2019) in the category he knew best with a stout now known simply as “The Russian.” “When we went to the Great American Brew Festival for [2SP’s] first time, I’d already worked for two internationally distributed breweries,” Contreras says. “I thought I’d be the one introducing Bob to all my friends in the industry. But we get there and Bob’s the one bringing everyone up to the table like, “Hey, buddy, what’s up?’ “I mean Garrett Oliver came to our table that first year—and Garrett Oliver wrote The Oxford Companion to Beer—and he says, ‘My last beer of the night has to be The Russian.’ So yeah, that’s what I mean.”
TEAMING UP WITH WAWA
So two years ago, when Contreras reached out to the people at Wawa with a wild idea to collaborate on a coffee stout, it fit neatly into Barrar’s wheelhouse. And Wawa loved it.
F U L L S C H E D U L E A N D T I C K E T S AT
“Their eyes kind of lit up and they said, ‘Yeah, that sounds great,’” Contreras recounts. “People think [Wawa] is a big company. But it's still family owned. And they've been awesome to work with. “We include their coffee guy, Michael McLaughlin, and he helps us sort out the recipe to make sure that all the notes that he wants to see in the coffee reflect in the beer.” 2SP founders (l-r) Michal Stiglitz, Bob Barrar and Mike After two years of brewing Conteras at their Aston brewery. Photo by Tim Hawk with Wawa’s Winter Reserve Coffee, 2SP will also feature a new Holiday Reserve Coffee Stout. “It’s got flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger and is a really aromatic fragrant, flavorful coffee,” Contreras says. We go back into the brewery to meet Barrar, a burly, bearded man who looks as if he may have constructed the 690-barrel system. Working on all engines, this system, Contreras says, could produce 12,000 barrels a year. How does Barrar feel now—five years after getting this system working smoothly and helping get 2SP off the ground? “There’s been a lot of twists and turns over the years,” Barrar says smiling. “But I feel great. It can be very exciting to create something like this. But it can also be terrifying. It’s pretty massive." “Thankfully, we have great guys in sales and in the front of the house. And we’re in a groove now.” As if on cue, Contreras arrives with a sample of the Holiday Reserve Coffee Stout, which at the time of this interview had not been released. I’m getting the privilege of being among the first to sample the stuff. The verdict: It’s surprisingly good. Which, considering the track record of 2SP, is no surprise at all.
penncinema.com/holidays DECEMBER 2020
There will be many small, subdued, at-home celebrations of the holidays this year. So, offset the socially-restricted reality by treating yourself to a special bottle of bubbles. You’ve earned it. Following are a few suggestions from area experts O&A values:
Champagne J. Lassalle
Angeline Templier is a woman to be admired. Even in 2020, female winemakers are still alarmingly uncommon. Not only is Angeline Templier among the top in her field, she also hails from a family who boasts her as their third-generation female winemaker. Although founded by her grandfather in 1942, she follows in the footsteps of her grandmother Olga and her mother Chantal who took over after her grandfather’s death in 1982. J. Lassalle Champagne is also a member of the esteemed “Club Tresors de Champagnes.” They are one of 28 growers, of the nearly 5,000 in Champagne, who are lucky enough to be a part of this historically acclaimed jury of experts. The members of the Club only release their specially bottled wines in tandem for vintages they unanimously declare “excellent.’” Here at the Wine & Spirit Company and Tim’s Liquors, we are huge fans of the elegant style of Angeline’s wines. We are currently carrying two of her house blends and two of her club bottlings. To us, these are some of our favorites to toast 2021.
J. Lassalle ‘Preference’ Brut NV, $49.00
Pale yellow and with a finely knit mousse, the bouquet is full
of fresh peaches, pears, white flowers, and subtle buttery notes. Finishes with lovely citrusy acidity.
J. Lassalle Special Club Brut 2012, $141.99
Dominated by minerality and freshness and underlined with a hint of herbal notes, apricot, and peach flavors. The pedigree is evident and it is truly a joy to sip. — Riley Quinn, Wine & Spirits Co. (Greenville)
Soter Mineral Springs Brut Rose, $64.99
Tony Soter consulted and made wines for years in Napa before moving back to Oregon. His Mineral Springs Ranch in Willamette Valley is certified organic and biodynamically farmed. Hints of fresh baked bread, roses and strawberries leads to flavors of rich summer berries. The finish is bright, fresh and clean for a lasting flavorful mouth feel. This is the best sparkling wine made in North America. — John Murray, Proprietor, State Line Liquors (Elkton, Md.)
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Domaine Bérêche et Fils Brut Reserve NV, $60
To steal a line from Tony the Tiger, in the pantheon of grower champagnes Domaine Bereche is “more than good—they’re grrreat!” A perennial favorite among New York City sommeliers, the Domaine’s Brut Reserve is comprised of equal parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Great Champagne is redolent of great architecture, a sublime vinous structure, forged and constructed by the amalgamation of vigneron, vine and environment. Bereche’s wines have always reminded me of Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright championed the idea of organic architecture, and all the human toil, ingenuity and engineering of the winery percolates in perfect harmony with nature in the glass. On the palate, the wine is sheer precision, as if fruit, mineral and light were held together by Fallingwater. — Dave Govatos, Owner, SWIGG Real Wine (Wilm.)
Schramsberg Blanc de Noir, $44.99
If I had to pick one bubbly here on North Union Street, my absolute favorite go-to is Schramsberg Blanc de Noir from Napa Valley. It’s a blend of 81% Pinot Noir and 9% Chardonnay and provides a perfect bead of bubbles from start to finish. It starts with baked apples and bread dough with a hint of ginger on the explosive bouquet. It follows with full-bodied, creamy texture on the palate and provides generous flavors of peach, strawberry and almonds. This pretty much blows away all the mass-produced Champagne from the big four (Moët, Clicquot, Mumm and Perrier Jouet) at $20 less per bottle. — Frank Pagliaro, Owner/Wine Buyer, Franks Wine Beer & Spirits (Wilm.)
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Beaumont Crayeres Brut Limited Edition Champagne, $39.99
It's 60% Pinot meunière, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir and 100% perfect with flavors of brioche, dried fruit and pear. A lovely New Year’s celebration of duck with a cherry glaze would bring out the Pinot meunière in the wine and certainly brighten up you table as you welcome in the New Year. — Linda Collier, Proprietor, Collier's of Centreville
Diebolt-Vallois Blanc des Blancs NV, $44
Our best-selling Champagne by far is Diebolt-Vallois Blanc des Blancs NV. This was the house pour at Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia and it has been on our shelves since Day One. (Moore Brothers Tasting Notes: "The color is a lovely pale gold, with a streaming bead of tiny precise bubbles. At first, the elegant nose suggests green apples and white flowers. On the palate, the wine is both creamy and firm, with a fine mineral structure, and a feathery, delicate mousse. The flavors evolve with more white floowers, green apples, caraway seeds, minerals, and lemon zest, and the long finish is carried by lively acidity and the velvety, persistent mousse.”) — Eric Tuverson, Sales Manager, Moore Brothers Wine Company (Wilm.)
Dibon Cava, $12.99
Like many other Cavas, Dibon is a champagne-style sparkler without the champagne price tag. Crisp, light, and bubbly with notes of apple, pear and white flower pedal. Balanced with mild acidity and minerality. Dibon is perfect to toast with friends, make mimosas, or bid 2020 a fond farewell. — Ed Mulvihill, Owner, Peco's Liquors (Wilm.)
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Great selection of...well... just about everything! —Yelp
Extensive Menu of Sparkling Wines Growler Bar with 35 Taps Gourmet Food & Cheeses
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In Defense of…Silverado By Mark Fields
hen the typical Western movie fan rattles off his or her list of all-time favorites, there are some titles that you are almost certain to see: Stagecoach; The Searchers; Shane; The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; The Good, the Bad and The Ugly. There is one additional title that belong with that group in my opinion, Lawrence Kasdan’s 1985 modern classic, Silverado. Derided by some critics as derivative and by others as overly dependent on Hollywood star power, Silverado has never gotten, in my humble opinion, the admiration that it deserves for delivering on all the experiences one wants from a welldone Western: a taut struggle between good and evil, familiar and appealing characters, beautiful albeit stark landscapes, and a rollicking score. Silverado centers around a quartet of unlikely but immensely appealing heroes. Scott Glenn, who has always embodied the definition of laconic, plays Emmett. Kevin Kline is the wry romantic Paden. A highly caffeinated Kevin Costner, is Emmett’s trouble-prone younger brother, Jake. And Danny Glover plays the stoic Mal. The central conflict of the film— which surprise, surprise, revolves around land disputes—pits these four off against the corrupt McKendrick family led by Ray Baker. But Silverado features a cavalcade of 1980s stars in supporting roles and even brief cameos: Jeff Goldblum, Linda Hunt, Brian Dennehy, John Cleese, Rosanna Arquette, and Jeff Fahey. Other minor roles are peopled by familiar character actors such as Joe Seneca, Brion James, James Gammon, and Sheb Wooley (you may not know their names but you’d recognize them).
The performances are, to a one, fully realized, but I especially liked Kevin Kline’s wistful Paden, a more subdued performance from an actor renowned for acting larger than life. Oscar winner Linda Hunt (most recently a cryptic fixture on NCIS: Los Angeles) plays the proprietor of Silverado’s favorite saloon. Her interchanges with Kline’s Paden form the emotional spine of the film. And (cowboy) hats off to Brian Dennehy as the smug villain Cobb. Filmed in beautifully scenic New Mexico, Silverado combines wonderfully evocative natural settings with an iconic rough-andtumble frontier town so familiar to devotees of the genre. And finally, there is Bruce Broughton’s soaring film score – full of brass and bluster. The score was nominated for an Academy Award (but lost to John Barry’s excellent Out of Africa). Director Lawrence Kasdan, better known for his domestic dramas and comedies such as The Big Chill, Grand Canyon, and The Accidental Tourist (and also a screenwriter for numerous episodes in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises), clearly understands the rhythms and tropes of classic Westerns. And he remembers his lessons from Indy and Luke about blending strong characters with the strong action set pieces. His witty, rat-a-tat script, co-written with his brother Mark, imbues these archetypal characters with personality and humor, and keeps the twisty plot moving to its inevitable showdown conclusion. Does Silverado explore new ground for the genre? No, but the film is an entertaining, deeply satisfying homage to vintage Westerns that fits the fan’s expectations like a well-broken-in Stetson (a black one with a pretty silver band). — In Defense of is a periodic essay that argues why certain subjects in pop culture are deserving of your respect DECEMBER 2020
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SEAFOOD & STEAK MEAL KIT (3 OPTIONS)
WATERSHED MOMENT Hoochi Coochi finally get their due with the release of their new EP By Jim Miller
enturing down novel sonic avenues with a new line-up of musicians, Hoochi Coochi was looking forward to releasing The Watershed, their most recent EP, shortly after their well-received performance at Philadelphia’s City Winery in March. Then, of course, the pandemic happened, and everything relating to schedules was suddenly up in the air. “We recorded this music over a two-year time period and had been so excited to release and tour in spring,” says Danielle Johnson, the band’s lead singer and co-founder. “Then we went through line-up changes, COVID and a slew of protests and riots all over the world and felt too drained to prepare a music release. “After getting our bearings together and spending some time reflecting, we’re excited to give our fans something to help them through this unpredictable and very touchand-go time.” True to her words, Johnson and company performed an EP-release show at The Queen on Friday, November 20, giving their audience a glimmer of light and hope for things in the future before an uncertain winter season. For Johnson, it was the perfect opportunity as she feels the live performances are the band’s strongest suit. “I don’t care what kind of genre of music you like, the amount of fun and sincerity we bring to any event or stage is undeniable,” Johnson says. “That’s always been our biggest compliment when we get off stage. The audience pulls from us and we pull from them. It’s one giant exchange of energy and has been our selling point since our conception in 2015.” On The Watershed, Hoochi Coochi worked with producers Brian McTear from Miner Street Studios and Ted Richardson from TedAudio to capture the mood of the band’s new rock and urban style. To purchase the EP and for more info go to hoochicoochi.net.
4– 8 PM
Now Accepting Dinner Reservations Special A La Carte Menu Festive Entrées
party INN the NEW
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Special NYE Dinner $ 75 per person 5pm - 10pm Includes Champagne Toast
302.571.1492 www.ColumbusInn.net 2216 Pennsylvania Ave. Wilmington, DE 19806
DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
HAVE YOU HEARD OF SOMETHING?
THE CITY WILMINGTON CELEBRATES HISTORIC ELECTION
ayor Purzycki—along with thousands of Wilmingtonians, Delawareans, and millions of other Americans—celebrates the election of Delaware’s own Joe Biden as President of the United States and Kamala Harris as Vice President. An edited version of the Mayor’s statement on the historic nature of the election, originally issued November 7, follows: “The eyes of the world are on President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris as history is made in Wilmington. Joe Biden is now preparing to assume the pinnacle of political leadership, and there is no one better prepared or more capable of taking on the awesome responsibility that comes with the office of President of the United States. In Delaware, just about everyone knows Joe, trusts him, and understands that he can unite our country and lead us through the difficult days ahead. Much of the country and the world also know Joe from his many years on the national and international stage. On behalf of the people of Wilmington, we wish Joe, Jill, Valerie, and the entire Biden family as well as Kamala Harris, Douglas Emhoff, and their family much happiness, strength, and achievement in leading our nation. Wilmington—and indeed all of Delaware—is beaming with pride. Joe and Kamala...have our respect and our support. Now more than ever, our nation and the world need your leadership and guidance.” Photo courtesy of Joe Del Tufo/Moonloop Photography
100TH WILMINGTON POLICE ACADEMY UNDERWAY
ayor Mike Purzycki and Chief of Police Robert J. Tracy are pleased to report that the 100th Wilmington Police Academy is now underway. On Mon., Nov. 16, the 21 recruits who completed the comprehensive application and selection process began the department’s rigorous training program to prepare them to protect and defend residents and businesses in Delaware’s largest city. These recruits were selected from among the 141 men and women who applied to join the WPD, and just over half of the new class is composed of minority recruits. The Mayor and Chief congratulate the recruits for completing the initial screening process and wish them well on their journey through the academy, which is expected to graduate in late spring/ early summer. The academy is being held to fill officer vacancies created largely through retirement and attrition. The department’s authorized strength is 319 officers.
42 DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
“While we are always working to recruit future police officers, our team has also been working to continue to increase the diversity of the department, and to attract a wide range of candidates with a variety of backgrounds,” said Inspector of Administration Charles Emory. “The WPD is steadily becoming more diverse, and our team is proud that the composition of this latest academy class will continue this trend.”
—To learn more about the WPD’s hiring process, and to contact a recruiter about future hiring processes, visit https://www. wilmingtonde.gov/government/public-safety/ wilmington-police-department/join-thewilmington-police-department.
A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO OUT & ABOUT MAGAZINE
Photo credit Saquan Stimpson Par
CLIFFORD BROWN YEAR-ROUND
ityfest Inc.’s monthly live jazz concert series honoring the late Clifford Brown, Clifford Brown Year-Round, continues on Friday, December 18 with the Cartoon Christmas Trio featuring the Wilmington Children’s Chorus at the Delaware Contemporary, 200 S. Madison St. The show begins at 7 p.m. Limited in-person tickets are available for $25 and virtual viewing tickets are $10. Tickets are available at https://buytickets.at/cityfest/442433.
NEWS YOU CAN USE! WILMINGTON 311 Wilmington 311 is the new phone and online service that residents and businesses can call to get connected with a customer service rep for assistance with reaching a City Dept., filing a service request, lodging a complaint, paying a bill, or requesting info. The 311 phone service is available from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mon.-Fri. During off hours, you can access the City’s 311 online page – www.WilmingtonDE.gov/311 – on the City website home page 24-7. No matter how you access the service, you’ll get a case number to track your issue to completion.
LEAF COLLECTION The Dept. of Public Works is again offering Citywide leaf collection through Thursday, Dec. 31. City sweeper or vacuum trucks will collect leaves from the street in designated areas. Residents must sweep all leaves into the street, next to the curb, for collection. The full collection schedule is here: www.WilmingtonDE.gov/leafcollection. Cartoon Christmas Trio and the Wilmington Children’s Chorus
MARK YOUR CALENDAR • DEC. 1: World AIDS Day • DEC. 18: Cartoon Christmas Trio featuring Wilm. Children’s Chorus (Del. Contemporary) • DEC. 25: Christmas Holiday (City Offices Closed) • DEC. 31: Citywide Leaf Collection Ends For more meetings and events in the month of December, visit https://www.wilmingtonde.gov/.
A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO OUT & ABOUT MAGAZINE
DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITY! During this difficult time, there are numerous options on the Riverfront to get out, enjoy nature, and dine from some of your favorite restaurants! The Riverfront is a perfect venue to enjoy the outdoors and walk our 1.75 mile Riverwalk along the beautiful Christina River! Additionally, the DuPont Environmental Education Center is now open to the public. DEECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nature trails, including the eight-mile Jack A. Markell Trail continues to be fully operational! Get out and enjoy some quality time in nature!
44 DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
EVENT RENTALS LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT VENUE FOR YOUR OUTDOOR WEDDING CEREMONY? Riverfront Wilmington has several options for a small, socially-distanced gathering all with a beautiful backdrop of the river!
DINING OPTIONS Riverfront Restaurants and the Riverfront Market are open for in-house indoor and outdoor dining Banks Seafood Kitchen & Raw Bar Big Fish Grill Ciro Food & Drink Cosi Del Pez Docklands Drop Squad Kitchen Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant Riverfront Bakery River Rock Kitchen Starbucks The Juice Joint
Timothyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on the Riverfront Ubon Thai
DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
The holiday season comes to life as you drive your car through the Winter in Wilmington Light Show on Wilmington’s Riverfront. Thousands of lights make up this dazzling show. Dash through this electric trail in your one-horse open sleigh as there is so much to see! Your family will love the animated installations, interactive music, and holiday cheer. Create a new family tradition this year with The Grand’s Winter in Wilmington Light Show!
Advanced online purchase strongly suggested to help make the event enjoyable for everyone. Select nights starting
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27 through
SUNDAY, JANUARY 3 LIVE on Wilmington’s Riverfront Commuter Lots
Pay by the carload at
SELLOUTS EXPECTED BUY EARLY!
*Event only for up to 12 passenger vehicles. Sorry, no motorhomes or high occupancy vehicles over 12 passengers.
Tickets at TheGrandWilmington.org or 302-652-5577
46 DECEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Thanks totoour 200 donors donorsfor forbeing being Thanks our40 40sponsors sponsors and and 200
##CO N IT YS T R ON G COMMU MMUN ITY STRONG Thanks to our 40 sponsors and 200 donors for being in
3 Schools 2020
• Squatch Creative
• James Street Tavern
• Tile Market of Delaware
• Delaware Business Times
• Vince & Cheryl Difonzo
• Cirillo Brothers
• Morgan Stanley
• The Wawa Foundation
• AWE Oil
• Security Instrument
• Joshua Novak
• M&T Bank
• Ally Jam Property Management
• First State Elevator
• Disabatino Construction
• DRIP Café
• Murray & Beth Dingwall
• Assurance Media
• Delaware Business Now
• Kids with Confidence
• Apex Engineering
• Rep. Kim Williams
• Architectural Alliance
• Buckley’s Auto Care
• Del One Federal Credit Union
• Friends of Fusion Foundation
• Environmental Alliance
• Marks Barbershop Elsmere
• Sam Smick
• Skinner and Spadola
• Sensible Energy Management
• Billy Pierce
• All County Garage
• C.S. Kidner Associates
• Jason Mullen
• Harvey, Hanna & Associates
• Priority Plus Federal Credit Union
# C OMMUN ITY STRONG
Since 2017—our community has worked together to raise enough money to purchase over 7,500 coats for 7,500 children at 15 different schools.
5L Kegs available in store.