Out & About Magazine February 2018

Page 1

Volunteering Made Easy

Transformative Power of the Wilmington Land Bank

Zumba with Mike Little






02_Cover.indd 1

1/25/18 4:20 PM

02_Start.indd 23

1/25/18 2:40 PM

02_Inside.indd 3

1/25/18 1:55 PM

A great meal needs to go beyond flavor – it needs to be something you can feel good about eating. Ted’s has always offered healthier choices, like our Farmhouse Salad, made with premium ingredients, sourced from local farmers.

ACROSS FROM CHRISTIANA MALL Christiana Fashion Center | 3194 Fashion Center Boulevard • Newark, DE 19702 | 302.366.1601 HOURS: SUN - THURS: 11AM - 10PM | FRI - SAT: 11AM - 11PM | HAPPY HOUR: MON - FRI: 4PM - 6:30PM (BAR & PATIO ONLY)


02_Inside.indd 2


7827 Teds Montana Grill Out and About Magazine

Trim: 8” X 10.5”

1/25/18 1:55 PM

02_Inside.indd 1

1/25/18 1:58 PM

Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes

TAO: Drum Heart

SAT | FEB 17 | 8PM | $32-$39

WED | FEB 21 | 8PM | $33-$39

We’re “Having a Party!”

Japanese drumming showcased in visually-stunning concert

Andrew Bird FRI | FEB 23 | 8PM | $43-$51

Internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, whistler and songwriter


©2017 Moose Enterprise (INT) Pty Ltd.

The Drifters, The Platters, and Cornell Gunter’s The Coasters

Shopkins Live! Shop It Up!

FRI | FEB 23 | 8PM | $36-$43

SUN | FEB 25 | 6:30PM | $45-$105

The hits keep coming with three legendary Rock & Roll groups

Your kids’ favorite characters live on stage!

Liberty Comedy Presents Fabulously Funny Females

THUR | MAR 8 | 8PM | $31 Ladies of laughter don’t hold back in riotous night of comedy


The Dixie Dregs THUR | MAR 8 | 8PM | $51-$59 Steve Morse and the original lineup reunited after 40 years

One Night In Memphis: Presley, Perkins, Lewis, and Cash

Five For Fighting with String Quartet

FRI | MAR 9 | 8PM | $34-$40

SAT | MAR 10 | 8PM | $33-$38

Presley, Perkins, Lewis, and Cash in one rocking concert tribute

Piano-centric pop singer-songwriter charms with emotionally rich lyrics


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

Follow us on: This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Arden Concert Gild, The Green Willow, Brandywine Friends Endowment of Oldtime Music, Latino Community Council are valued partners for many performances in the 2017-18 season. for theand Arts.the The Division promotesAdvisory Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

All tickets subject to box office service charges. Artists, dates, times and programs are subject to change. 4 FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Inside.indd 4

1/25/18 1:56 PM




Out & About Magazine Vol. 30 | No. 12

Published each month by TSN Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing & business address: 307 A Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 Publisher Gerald duPhily • jduphily@tsnpub.com Director of Publications Jim Hunter Miller • jmiller@tsnpub.com Contributing Editor Bob Yearick • ryearick@comcast.net Senior Editor & Media Manager Krista Connor • kconnor@tsnpub.com Creative Director & Production Manager Matthew Loeb, Catalyst Visuals, LLC. matt@catvis.biz Graphic Designer Tyler Mitchell, Catalyst Visuals, LLC. tyler@catvis.biz Contributing Designer Ryan Alexander, Catalyst Visuals, LLC Contributing Writers Adriana Camacho-Church, Mark Fields, Pam George, Rob Kalesse, Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Dan Linehan, Mike Little, Dillon McLaughlin, John Murray, Kevin Francis, Larry Nagengast, Kevin Noonan, Scott Pruden, Leeann Wallett

Contributing Photographers Jim Coarse and Joe del Tufo/Moonloop Photography, Tim Hawk, Anthony Santoro, Matt Urban Special Projects Sarah Green, David Hallberg, John Holton Interns Mathew Brown-Watson





7 From the Publisher 9 The War on Words 11 F.Y.I. 12 Worth Recognizing 13 Worth Trying 14 Winter Instagram Challenge 15 What Readers Are Saying 17 Banking on Change

46 On The Riverfront



17 Banking on Change

51 Artstuff! 53 Film Reviews 57 Movies on Tap


59 Shine A Light 61 5 Questions with Josh 10 From Dishwasher to Doctor David Barrett 64 Tuned In



22 50 Ways Delaware Gives Back 67 Paul Ogden’s Odyssey 27 Volunteering Made Easy 70 Sips 31 Rewards of Helping Others



37 Double Spiral Chocolate 43 Table for Two 45 Bites

71 Zumba with Mike Little

Starting with 100 properties priced from $2,000 to $5,000, the Wilmington Land Bank is hoping to transform blocks, even neighborhoods, that have seen better days. By Larry Nagengast

22 50 Ways Delaware Gives Back For our second annual Optimism Issue, the staff of Out & About put together a list of 50 ways the people, organizations, and the government of Delaware give back.

27 Volunteering Made Easy The state Office of Volunteerism plays matchmaker for worthy causes and Delawareans who want to donate their time. By Larry Nagengast

On the cover: The annual Shine A Light On The Queen concert generates thousands of dollars in donations each year to The Light Up The Queen Foundation and to preserving arts education for children in the community. Photo by Joe del Tufo

Editorial & advertising info: 302.655.6483 • Fax 302.654.0569 outandaboutnow.com • contact@tsnpub.com

31 Rewards of Helping Others Research—and anecdotal evidence— demonstrate that volunteering helps the volunteer too. By Adriana Camacho-Church


02_Inside.indd 5


1/25/18 4:06 PM


eclipse bistro

m a i n st r e et

n e wa r


k , de






PlatinumDiningGroup.com 6 FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Start.indd 28

1/25/18 11:26 AM


From The Publisher


elcome to our annual Optimism Issue. Tell me you comments he made about minorities during the election. don’t need a dose of good news right about now — I know the response I was expecting; instead, this is even if you are an Eagles fan. what he said (and I paraphrase): “I think it’s a good thing. For Well, here you go. Inside, veteran O&A contributor Larry him to be elected after all the things he’s said just shows how Nagengast spotlights the Office of Volunteerism, an undermuch racism is still tolerated. I think him being president is publicized state agency that connects those who want to help going to expose a lot of things that need to be exposed.” with those who need it. Throughout 2018, as part of our 30th And we worry about explaining the world to our kids? anniversary celebration, Out & About will be partnering with Perhaps we should consider asking the kids to explain the this office to share compelling stories of volunteerism as well as world to us. volunteer opportunities you can pursue. There are many. Partisan mulishness may dominate the news outlets, but In addition, the it’s the fresh perspective O&A staff has compiled Partisan mulishness may dominate the news of millennials that is my an inspiring list entitled cause for optimism. My outlets, but it's the fresh perspective of “50 Ways Delaware kids, their friends, and Gives Back.” Trust me, every young millennials that is my cause for optimism. virtually we reached 50 easily. person I meet accepts the world for the And finally, contributor complexion it is today, not what it was in the good ol’ days. Adriana Camacho-Church provides scientific and anecdotal They didn’t grow up in Ozzie and Harriet America. And evidence of why volunteering isn’t just beneficial at face value, they’re not fettered by tired racial or sexual it also helps the volunteer. stereotypes. Furthermore, if we’re really being honest, the Good stuff. Hope you enjoy. But to be honest, I needed this issue. It’s not the easiest of times to be rosy about the future good ol’ days weren’t all that good, especially if you were with all this ranting about walls, shit holes and deportation. Not in the minority. to mention the daily revelations about sexual abuse. In the good ol’ days, I was using a typewriter, Silver lining? Maybe revealing the worst about ourselves making calls from a phone booth, getting up every time helps us become better. I wanted to change the channel. Times change. Which reminds me of a television interview of a young Attitudes should keep step. As a 60-year-old white guy black teen living in Detroit that I watched last November. I’m who sent his first tweet a week ago after encouragement guessing he was about 14, and the interviewer asked how he felt from his 22-year-old daughter, I’m optimistic they will. about Trump being elected, despite the numerous disparaging — Jerry duPhily





02_Start.indd 9


1/25/18 1:29 PM

Delaware College of Art and Design Continuing Education Explore your creativity! Brush up on the basics! Diversify your resume! Register now for spring sessions at: www.dcad.edu >community programs >continuing education

Art and design classes and workshops in:



02_Start.indd 8

1/25/18 4:17 PM


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 • Sarah Todd, in the sports section of The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Dario Saric (of the 76ers) is as blue-collar of a player as they come.” The mistake is ubiquitous, but of is totally unnecessary in this and similar phrases. • Here’s the start of a caption that appeared in a recent Sunday News Journal: “The homeless stay warm inside Sunday Breakfast Mission, who wants to inform the public of the eminent danger to the homeless by issuing an excessive cold alert. . .” It went on in this clunky fashion, but we will only point out that the Sunday Breakfast Mission should be referred to as which, and the danger was imminent (about to happen), not eminent (important, famous). • Vin Scully, legendary Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster, as reported by the Associated Press: “Dick Enberg (who passed away in December) will never be emulated.” Sadly, the venerable Scully misspoke. Many will no doubt emulate (imitate) the also legendary broadcaster Enberg, but he perhaps will never be equaled, the word we assume Scully meant to use. • Madison Avenue has rarely demonstrated respect for good grammar. Latest proof, as reported by reader Brenda Boyd: In a TV ad for Sensodyne Toothpaste, the speaker tells the viewer “how effective it works.” That would be effectively; or, better, “how effective it is.” • Philadelphia radio and TV media were disappointed in the Eagles’ defense during the Giants game, claiming it needed “sureing up.” The term is shoring up, and it refers to a shore, which is a supporting post or beam; a prop or strut. • A panelist on MSNBC’s Morning Joe said that “Trump is incredibly beholding to certain right-wing influences.” As noted previously in this space, the word is beholden. • According to reader Janet Strobert, the November issue of American Way, the American Airlines magazine, contained an article about Kelsea Ballerini that included this sentence: “Ballerini found her footing as a singer-songwriter and earned an early career boost from Taylor Swift, who sung her praises on Twitter on 2015.” The past tense of sing is sang, Janet notes. • And commentators all over TV and radio continue to utter the double is: “The point is is that . . .”

By Bob Yearick

Signs of the Apocalypse • Reader Katherine Ward, a writer and editor, recently learned that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary now accepts “sunk” as the past tense of “sink.” Her reaction: “My heart sank. We're sunk!” • Corporate-speak is getting way out of hand. Case in point: An email recently sent to a banker friend contained this phrase: “If the action is dependent on technology to solution it . . .” Really? Solve doesn’t work here? Department of Redundancies Dept. • In a News Journal story about teachers who created a YouTube video, the caption read: “It’s a positive affirmation for educators.” As opposed to a negative affirmation? • Reader Joan Burke sends us this caption from the online edition of The Newark Post: “Smoothie bowls, like these ones, are sold at Viva Bowls.” Ones is totally unnecessary here, and it’s also a provincialism that should never appear in a publication, online or otherwise. • And finally, that banker friend mentioned above notes that “required deadline” is common usage in his office.

Hard to Believe, Harry Dept. (In honor of the late Richie Ashburn, Phillies announcer, who would utter those words to his broadcast partner, the late Harry Kalas, whenever he witnessed something incredibly stupid.) Headline in The Inquirer: “Woman burned after setting herself a blaze.” First of all, duh! And second, ablaze is one word. Just Sayin’ Pearl Harbor Day (Dec. 7) reminded us of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous (and prophetic) quote: “A date which will live in infamy.” We admire, respect and honor FDR, but grammarians would agree that he should have said “that will live in infamy.” And we leave you with these reminders: • Nuclear: It’s pronounced nook-lear, not nook-u-lar. • The abbreviation i.e. means “that is,” not “for example.” The abbreviation for that is e.g.


Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords Contact me for a fun PowerPoint presentation

Word of the Month

breviloquence Pronounced bri-VIL-uh-kwens, it’s a noun meaning speaking briefly and concisely.

on grammar: ryearick@comcast.net.

Seen a good (bad) one lately? Send your candidates to ryearick@comcast.net

Buy The War on Words at the Hockessin Book Shelf, on Amazon, or by calling Out & About at 655-6483.

02_Start.indd 3

1/25/18 9:37 AM



Anything is possible through dreaming big and working hard


t was 1990 when Jahangir Kabir and his sister came to America from Bangladesh to join their nine brothers, all of them seeking, he says, “a better life.” For 19-year-old Jahangir, that life began as a cook and dishwasher at a White Castle in Elmhurst, New York. It was the best job he could find because he didn’t know a word of English. “But you don’t have to know English to cook a hamburger,” says Kabir. He began picking up the language from TV and his nieces and nephews, and then took some ESL courses. From there, it has been a steady climb up the academic ladder, as well as the ladder of life. Twenty-eight years later, Kabir is an award-winning hospitality and restaurant management professional, educator and community activist. He has stayed with White Castle, and is a district manager for the hamburger chain in the boroughs of Queens and Manhattan, with 300 employees and $20 million in sales. Kabir and his family have always valued education, and in 2001 he earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Monroe College in Queens. Four years later, he had an MBA from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn. After a respite from the books, he decided to go for his doctorate, and this time he ventured outside the friendly confines of New York City—three hours outside, to be exact—to Wilmington University’s College of Business. “I did a tremendous amount of research before I chose Wilmington University,” Kabir says. He says he was attracted by the affordable tuition, which was far below the cost of New York City schools, as well as the faculty and staff.

“When I visited Wilmington and met them, I decided this is the place that I wanted to be,” he says. “I saw that they really cared about the students.” So in September of 2013, he began 29 months of making the six-hour round trip between New York and Delaware every other Saturday. “I couldn’t afford to stay overnight,” he notes. His dissertation was a customer satisfaction study that encompassed more than 1,000 responses. He says the study demonstrated that customers’ primary concern is order accuracy. “When you order Chicken McNuggets,” he says, “you don’t want a Big Mac.” In 2016, Kabir received his Doctor of Business Administration degree. He now works to train the next generation of hospitality management professionals in his new role as adjunct professor at the Culinary Institute of New York at his alma mater, Monroe College. He’s also active in his community, serving as an officer for the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the U. S. and as the parliamentarian at the Community Board-5 in Brooklyn. His family obviously thinks very highly of WilmU, because his wife, Farida, is now an online student at the University, majoring in information systems. And WilmU thinks highly of Kabir and all individuals who seek to transform their lives through hard work and higher education. For affordable tuition, respected academics, and a focus on the adult learner, look to WilmU. For more information, go to wilmu.edu.

Graduate Studies Fair March 6

Apply for FREE at this event.

Learn how you can advance your career on your time and budget. wilmu.edu/GradFair 10 FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Start.indd 30

1/25/18 12:18 PM




he Ministry of Caring is celebrating four decades of philanthropic service in the state with the release of the book 40 Years of Hope & Charity: Serving the Poor with Respect & Dignity. Written by robin brown, longtime reporter for the Wilmington News Journal, the book traces the growth of the Ministry from a single eight-bed shelter into a comprehensive network of services that have become fundamental to the state’s less fortunate. Brown brings great insight to the book, thanks to her 40-year career at the News Journal. The 266-page hardcover sells for $30 with pickup at the Ministry office at 115 E. 14th St., Wilmington, or $35 with postal delivery. Order it by credit card at ministryofcaring.org. You can also order it from Amazon, although that will yield fewer proceeds to the Ministry of Caring.



EDxWilmingtonED Conference will be held on Friday, Feb. 9, at the Hotel du Pont. With a theme of Education Possible, talks will explore the impact that education has on young minds as well as areas in need of improvement. Among the 20 scheduled speakers at the all-day event are educators, students, parents and politicians. Dr. Howard Fuller will be the special guest speaker at lunch. He is a Distinguished Professor of Education and director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University. Tickets will be available soon at tedxwilmington.com.



he Wilmington Library will host two exciting events this month. The first is Meet Bobby Rydell Book Talk & Signing on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. Bobby Rydell is an American music legend who has enjoyed a career spanning six decades. Rydell, a native of Philadelphia, will talk about the book, Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol on The Rocks: A Tale of Second Chances, and how his career has made an impact on the pop culture of America. Registration is requested at wilmington.lib.de.us. The second event features the library’s annual Chocolate Festival, appropriately set for Valentine’s Day— Wednesday, Feb. 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be chocolate tastings, contests, raffles and more. For more information on these events and others, visit the website at wilmington.lib.de.us.



arkitecture, Delaware's premier event for dogs, cats and those who love them, is set for Saturday, March 24, at Deerfield in Newark. The fourth annual event features doghouses, cat condos, and pet friendly furniture in a jury-judged design competition. Prizes will be awarded and each entry will be sold to the highest bidder. Proceeds from the auctioned entries will go to Faithful Friends Animal Society, a shelter for animals in New Castle County. Guests will vote for their favorite entry, and the winner will receive the coveted People's Chews Award. Tickets can be ordered at the website: barkitecturede.org. The $100 price includes the open bar (beer, wine, soda), light fare and seating for the Live Auction and Pet Fashion Show. The event has sold out the previous four years. Those interested in entering the competition can find the rules on the website. Entry fee is $40 for students or individuals and $75 for businesses or teams. Only a limited number of entries will be accepted for each of the three categories, so register ASAP.



rom Thursday, Feb. 1, through Saturday, Feb. 3, the Chadds Ford Historical Society will host the 10th annual plein air art event, Paint Out Chadds Ford. Artists from the Mid-Atlantic region will be painting outdoors around the Chadds Ford area as well as at the Barns Brinton House, John Chads House and along Brandywine Creek. The event celebrates local artists and a time when early America illustrators and painters were inspired by the beauty of our region, painting outdoors en plein air. There also will be a special art exhibition hosted by the Chadds Ford Historical Society at the Society’s Barn Visitors Center, from 6 to 8 p.m. People are invited to a reception with the artists and a wet paint sale. Those attending the reception can view and purchase the works that were completed during The Paint Out Chadds Ford event as well as other art featuring the Brandywine Valley. A portion of the proceeds from each painting sold will help support the Chadds Ford Historical Society. Admission will be $15 per person ($10 for Chadds Ford Historical Society members), and will include light refreshments. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website—chaddsfordhistory.org. Tickets will also be available in advance or on the night of the reception at the Barn Visitor Center, 1736 Creek Rd. FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Start.indd 5


1/25/18 12:18 PM



Photo Anthony Santoro

Community Members Who Go Above & Beyond

The Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate team in Claymont that helps Shawn Moran (second from right) deliver Meals On Wheels to seniors. From left, they are: Sandy Schultz, Carolyn Carter, Cheryl Dolan, Phyllis Wilson, Jim Brock, Lynn Scharl, Terry Ryan, Nannette Swadey, Irene Durkan, Cindy Allen, Robin Moran, Kim Donahue, Shawn Moran, Tim Carter.


Delivering meals and smiles for nearly three decades


uring his 29 years as a volunteer for Meals On Wheels Delaware, Shawn Moran has not only delivered nutritious lunch-time meals to homebound seniors, he’s also made life a bit more pleasant for them. “My smile may be the only one they see all day or all week,” says the 63-year-old Wilmington resident. The people who rely on volunteers like Moran are seniors who want to remain in their own homes but are alone or disabled without anyone to prepare food for them or are unable to prepare a meal for themselves. He is one of 800 on a rotation schedule who cover 65 delivery routes each weekday for City Fare, one of five meal delivery programs run by Meals On Wheels Delaware (MOWD). Last year, City Fare, which is based at St. Anthony’s Center in Wilmington, delivered about 300,000 meals throughout Wilmington and New Castle County. Statewide, the five programs delivered a total of 727,418 meals to 4,093 seniors ages 60 and over in 2016. Moran’s employer, Patterson Schwartz Real Estate in Claymont, is part of a group of businesses that assist MOWD by allowing employees extra time during lunch breaks to deliver meals. Fourteen employees at his office participate in the program, although Moran has delivered meals longer than any of them. One week a month he and his coworkers take turns delivering the meals. Moran usually goes on Mondays and takes any other day available during that week. He normally delivers to 12-22 seniors. “I love doing it,” he says. “I have no intention of stopping. It makes me feel good to be able to help.”

Moran first stops at the Claymont Senior Center to pick up coolers containing hot meals of fish or beef, fruit, veggies, milk and dessert. Then he heads to the communities of Bellefonte and Claymont, where he’s delivered meals since 1988. Sometimes a visit turns out to be more than dropping off a meal. Moran has called 911 on two occasions, once when he found a woman at the bottom of the stairs with a broken leg, and another time when he discovered a woman with a compound fracture of her foot. He also checks simple things such as the heat or air conditioning. On a cold winter day, he bought a bag of salt and sprinkled it on a walkway at the home of a senior he delivered to. She thanked him with cookies. “Volunteers are the heart of each (meal delivery) program,” says Anne Love, executive director of MOWD. “The nutritious meal, friendly volunteer visit and safety checks help our seniors cope with three of the biggest threats of aging: hunger, isolation, and loss of independence.” More volunteers are desperately needed to deliver meals, especially in the Claymont and New Castle area, says Erica Porter Brown, project director for City Fare. “We are short each day about 15 routes.” For Moran, volunteering is part of his life and something he looks forward to. “It’s an immediate impact that I don’t want to miss.” — Adriana Camacho-Church


02_Start.indd 18

1/25/18 12:59 PM

Worth Trying Suggestions from our staff, contributors and readers

Acai of Relief!

London Fog at Drip Café

Although I'm new to the acai bowl experience, I couldn't be more excited about a new "superfood" juice bar now open in our area. Located in the Shops of Limestone Hills, Raw Essential offers local, organic, cold-pressed juices, superfood bowls and fresh smoothies. The products are not only fresh and delicious, but make you feel amazing! rawessential.com.

Traditional Earl Grey Tea is frothily reinvented at Drip Café in Hockessin in the form of a steaming mug of London Fog. The hot beverage incorporates milk and Drip Café’s vanilla syrup into the tea. While I’m not typically a fan of sweet drinks, this tasty concoction has won me over and I can’t wait to go back. (Which is probably when I’ll order the caramel apple pancakes O&A Graphic Designer Tyler Mitchell is always raving about!)

— Matthew Loeb, Creative Director & Production Manager — Krista Connor, Senior Editor & Media Manager

The Valley Spirit Never Dies – MEGA

Exodus Escape Rooms

From rescued and refurbished parts of the band, The House, the Delaware five-piece called MEGA delivers an adventurous sense of introspection on its debut, The Valley Spirit Never Dies. Kicking off with the energetic, pop-friendly “Winnie Cooper,” MEGA whisks listeners away on a road trip that offers a surprising variety of soundscapes. The journey features midnight escapes (“Oh No!”), cultural diversions (“Tetris”) and rearview-mirror regrets (“I Don’t Want to Get Married”). Postcard highlights include “The Chromaticy,” a psychedelic lullaby lifted by lush vocal arrangements, and the humble finale, “The Cardinal,” a lovely folky ditty seemingly custom-fit for a future Wes Anderson film. Catch MEGA during their Record Release Party on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 1984 with Arrows, Canyon and Worth. More at Mega.Bandcamp.com.

Exodus Escape Rooms, with locations in Wilmington, Newark and Rehoboth Beach, is among Delaware’s leading escape room providers. Escape rooms require a group of people to solve a mystery within a limited timeframe in order to successfully escape the room they are locked in. It’s immensely immersive as you search for clues that are based on an intriguing theme within a room that’s packed with surprises. My wife and I visited the Marsh Road location of Exodus recently and the experience was a collaborative struggle that we talked about for hours afterward. We were tasked with finding a serial killer, which is just one of the many themes Exodus employs to keep you fully engaged for an hour or more. For details, visit axxiomescaperooms.com. — Mathew Brown-Watson, Intern

— Jim Miller, Director of Publications

Have something you think is worth trying? Send your suggestion to Jim at jmiller@tsnpub.com.

02_Start.indd 7

1/26/18 11:14 AM



Photo Krista Connor

Cold, gray and bleak: It’s winter, so that means we’re all hibernating on the couch re-watching The Office on Netflix, right? Not quite. In keeping with the theme of our Optimism Issue and championing the good things happening in Delaware, in partnership with Delaware Nature Society (DNS) we’re challenging the amateur and pro photographers among our readers to get outside and capture the beauty of the state in winter. Wildlife, winter walks, snowstorms, backyard scenes, landscapes or the frozen bay—just whip out the trusty smartphone or an actual camera and start capturing the natural wonders The First State has to offer in winter. Then, from Feb 1-19, share your best shots with the hashtags #OandAwinter and #delnature for a chance to be featured on @outandaboutmagazine’s Instagram. Winning photos will appear in our 30th Anniversary March issue, plus one DNS household membership will be awarded, along with gift cards to Iron Hill and Penn Cinema movie tickets. We’re looking for originality, high resolution photo quality, and most important, a photograph that conveys why this spot or this scene is special. The contest is sponsored by Delaware Nature Society. One note: Out & About contributors are not eligible.


02_Start.indd 12

1/25/18 12:14 PM


WHAT READERS ARE SAYING About Our Worth Trying Issue Here, we recommended some of our favorite things (By O&A staff and contributors, January) About Leeann Wallett’s Worth Trying: Taste Artisanal Market Honey I purchased some of these products at the holiday arts festival at the DE Art Museum and have been enjoying them. I'm glad to see that I will be able to find them at the Independence Mall. — Paula Gatos About Kevin Noonan’s Worth Trying: George’s Restaurant George’s has straight up the very best sausage, egg, and cheese on white toast that I have ever had in my life. I assume their other things are good also, but I wouldn't know because I order that every single time (with the exception of one time that I tried the turkey sausage, and it was amazing also—which is very high praise for turkey sausage). — Ross Logan About Dan Linehan’s Worth Trying: Trap Pond State Park It’s so beautiful! My husband and I canoed there one summer. So much fun! — Bridget Dimaano About Larry Nagengast’s Worth Trying: Route 9 Library and Innovation Center The place is a contemporary Taj Mahal of media resources. — Paul Wishengrad


-$13 plates at the bar -4 big screen TV’s -Catering pickup & drop off options by Taste Catering

qÁ æ Ľ ğ į Ĝĥ æ à ı æ FPØ íʼn ğĥį ğÃæÖį:ĉ qÃPØĥ ĻĮāāįŊÃıÁį)

FPØ æıÃæ Ĝĥį PŎ 4 Course Dinner Menu with featured wine pairings

$60 per person

About Worth Recognizing: Isabel Hendrixson This woman cares for people in their final moments (By Adriana Camacho-Church, January) Thank you for the wonderful write up on my volunteerism. You certainly captured my thoughts. I still feel honored and humbled for Christiana Care and the Mayor's Office to have bestowed such an award to me. I shall cherish this honor now and for the many more years (I hope) volunteering for the Christiana Care community. — Isabel Hendrixson

HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY? SEND US A MESSAGE! contact@tsnpub.com • OutAndAboutNow.com

Save Your Seat! =íĽğįí į!ıPØŎ 3/22 Wine Dinner $65 per person


2216 Pennsylvania Ave Wilmington, DE 19806 www.ColumbusInn.net


02_Start.indd 10


1/25/18 9:48 AM

EIGHTH BLACKBIRD Photography by Saverio Truglia

A remarkable band of American contemporary musicians MARCH 10 | 8 PM


2301 Kentmere Pkwy | Wilmington, DE | 302.571.9590


THE FUTURE OF MAKING IS YOURS TO CREATE. Dream it, learn it, make it. NextFab is a collaborative makerspace that provides access to the tools, technology, & classes you need to turn ideas into reality.

Delaware 503 N. Tatnall Street in Wilmington


Take a tour


@NextFabStudio @NextFab_DE


02_Start.indd 24

1/25/18 9:50 AM


BANKING ON CHANGE A house at 925 N. Lombard St., one of the residential units to be marketed by the land bank.

Starting with 100 properties priced from $2,000 to $5,000, the Wilmington Land Bank is hoping to transform blocks, even neighborhoods, that have seen better days By Larry Nagengast Photos by Jim Coarse


ore than 40 years ago, Wilmington stepped forward as a national leader in creating initiatives to decrease the number of tax-delinquent properties in urban areas. In 1973, Mayor Thomas C. Maloney and City Council established an urban homesteading program that awarded properties to qualified buyers who pledged to fix them up and make them their homes. The price: one dollar. At the start, the program proved so popular that a lottery was held in 1974 to choose the winners of the first available houses. A DuPont Co. attorney, Daniel S. Frawley, was the first name selected. He chose and rehabbed a home at 801 W. 10th St., triggering a revival of the now popular Trinity Vicinity neighborhood. Frawley went on to become a member of the Wilmington Board of Education, a member of City Council and, finally, the city’s mayor from 1985 to 1993. (Frawley died of a heart attack during a basketball game in 1994 at the age of 50.) Over time, the homesteading program fell by the wayside, and the problem of blighted and tax-delinquent properties

endured. Currently there are about 1,400 vacant and blighted parcels in Wilmington. So the city has turned to a new mechanism, the Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank, to take on the challenge of transforming blocks, and even neighborhoods, that have fallen on hard times. As the new year began, the land bank had assembled an inventory of about 100 properties and was getting ready to offer them to interested buyers, most likely by the end of January. The purchase price will be more than the single dollar that Dan Frawley and the other early homesteaders paid, “but it will be relatively low,” on the order of $2,000 to $5,000, says Christian Willauer, the land bank’s executive director. But the expectation, Willauer says, is that the buyers will have to spend $100,000 or so to make the properties habitable. “They’re definitely fixer-uppers,” she says. “They’re not move-in ready. Many will need new electric, new heat, new plumbing.” ►


02_Start.indd 13


1/25/18 10:10 AM

START BANKING ON CHANGE continued from previous page

Land Bank Executive Director Christian Willauer stands in front of 509 Concord Ave., another of the units to be offered.


Land banks got their start in the United States in 1971, in St. Louis. As with Wilmington’s original homesteading program, they were seen as a way to combat the blight that developed as urban industries collapsed and city residents fled to the suburbs. Interest in land banks revived about a decade ago with the real estate market collapse and the foreclosure crisis that followed. There are now about 200 land banks nationwide. Interest in a land bank for Wilmington began developing about five years ago. Then, in 2015, the General Assembly passed a law authorizing local governments to create land banks, and the Wilmington City Council did that later in the year. It took most of 2016 for the land bank to organize a board of directors, secure its nonprofit status, write bylaws and take care of related legal issues. Last February, it hired Willauer, who had been the head of Cornerstone West, the economic development arm of the West End Neighborhood House, as its executive director. The organization’s only employee, she spent most of last year pulling the organizational pieces together—raising money, securing insurance, developing a system for managing properties, and figuring out a process for finding good owners for rundown properties. The land bank is getting started with about $3 million in seed money, which will be used primarily to buy and manage properties. The city put up $1.5 million and the state kicked in $645,000 from its Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund. Then Barclaycard US stepped forward with a $1 million grant—“more than we’ve ever given before,” according to Joceyln Stewart, the bank’s community reinvestment officer and a member of the land bank’s board of governors. The city and Barclaycard contributions have a shared purpose, but they were made for different reasons. “The city has not supported this function very well,” Mayor Mike Purzycki says, referring to its oversight of blighted properties. He thinks the land bank can do it better. “You’re taking a responsibility away from agencies that have multiple tasks and giving it to an agency that has one focus: redevelopment and conveying properties to developers,” he says. City Council President Hanifa Shabazz says she expects the land bank to “work in concert with the city to convert vacant, abandoned and blighted properties and lots to stimulate economic development and neighborhood revitalization.”

While Purzycki looks back and sees ineffectiveness, Stewart looks forward with a hopeful eye. “We believe this can make a difference—citywide,” she says. “There are a lot of us here who really believe in Wilmington, who love this city and will rally behind it.”

Three types of programs

The land bank’s current holdings, Willauer says, are a mix of structures and vacant land, most of them transferred from the city’s stock of abandoned properties. By the end of 2018, she expects the inventory to grow to about 300 parcels and anticipates it will stabilize near that level, with the land bank selling off about as many properties as it acquires on a year-toyear basis. Willauer says the land bank, as it gets up and running, will have three types of programs: homesteading, urban gardening and side lots. In the homesteading component, rundown structures will be sold to qualified buyers who commit to rehabilitating the properties within one year of acquisition. As of mid-December, the details of the homesteading system were still being worked out. Basic rules will likely include requirements that buyers can’t owe the city any money for back taxes or delinquent utility bills and that they will have to meet rehab specifications within a year or risk having to turn the property back to the land bank. “There will be some clawback provisions to hold the buyer accountable,” Willauer says. What is for certain is that prospective buyers would receive a set of specifications from the land bank, detailing improvements that would have to be made to the property. They could then share those specifications with contractors and financial institutions to determine how much the work would cost and how much financing they could secure. Interested parties would then submit their plans to the land bank board, and those who submit the most complete proposals would be awarded the properties, Willauer says. The homes, mostly traditional row homes, vary in size, but most have two to four bedrooms. They tend to be in neighborhoods that don’t get a lot of activity in the local residential real estate market. “They need a more targeted approach to get back into use,” Willauer says.


02_Start.indd 14

1/25/18 9:54 AM

While she often uses $100,000 as a ballpark figure for rehabilitation costs, the actual price will depend on the buyer’s taste and needs, because the condition of the homes will give purchasers plenty of leeway on things like designing and equipping the kitchen, baths and laundry areas. One of the goals of the homesteading effort is to provide housing opportunities to renters and to those who lost their homes during the foreclosure crisis, Willauer says. To help achieve that objective, the land bank plans to assist buyers by work with agencies like the Delaware State Housing Authority on financing packages and Habitat for Humanity for first-time homeowner counseling. “We’re not looking for gentrification,” Stewart says. “We’re interested in growing wealth.” A variation of the land bank’s homesteading initiative involves partnering with organizations like Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County. Habitat likes to secure packages of adjoining properties so it can transform entire blocks, and the land bank, by acquiring foreclosed properties through the city and purchasing nearby properties on its own, can make that happen. Recently, Habitat transferred ownership of a property it owns on East 22nd Street to the land bank, which already owns an adjacent property. For now, the land bank is maintaining both parcels. When Habitat is ready to begin its construction project, the land bank will transfer ownership of both parcels to Habitat.

Warm up by one of our six fireplaces!

Urban agriculture

Similarly, in West Center City, an area that Purzycki and Shabazz have targeted for revitalization, Willauer expects the bank to become involved in assembling adjoining parcels into a contiguous package for redevelopment. When Willauer speaks of “urban gardening,” she offers a range of possibilities for vacant lots or parcels that contain structures for which demolition is the best option. In some situations, residents of a block or a neighborhood association might want to acquire a lot that could be transformed into a community garden or a pocket park. Rather than sell such properties, the land bank would consider lease arrangements with community groups, she says. “Side lots,” smaller properties held by the land bank that are adjacent to owner-occupied homes, might not be suitable for redevelopment but they could make attractive additions to the footprint of the homeowner’s property, Willauer says. The land bank will work with homeowners on how to annex these side lots to their properties. “Our overall goal is to get all these properties back into use,” she says. The urban gardening and side lots programs were launched in early January. Regulations and forms to apply for acquiring properties are posted on the land bank’s website, wilmingtonlandbank.org. “Our work should be consistent with neighborhood plans, and will require greater coordination,” she says. “If a community sees open space as a priority, or if it sees increased home ownership as an objective, we want to work with neighborhood organizations and civic associations to make sure we’re fulfilling the goals and the vision that residents have for their neighborhoods.” By promoting home ownership and working closely with civic groups, the land bank should promote community development and help create safer neighborhoods, Willauer says. ►

Make Your Reservations Today!

Valentine’s Day Wednesday, Feb. 14th

Don’t Forget About Our Fantastic Brunch! $4 Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar

Check Out Our Sister Restaurant in Wilmington on Union Street! American Gastropub offering the Best Happy Hour in Wilmington & Brunch Every Sat & Sun 10am-2pm

302.376.0600 109 Main Street, Odessa, DE 19730 Mon: 11:30am-9pm • Tues - Thurs: 11:30am-10pm Fri-Sat:11:30am-11pm • Sun: 10am-9pm

www.cantwells-tavern.com FEBRUARY AUGUST 2018 2017 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Start.indd 15

21 19

1/25/18 9:57 AM

START 302.655.8600 | 1412 N. Dupont St. Wilmington ToscanaToGo.com




80 / couple

available wednesday


20 sunday



PiccolinaToscana.com 302.654.8001 | 1412 N. Dupont St. Wilmington

Other benefits

In addition, the land bank offers the potential for other benefits. According to John Rago, Purzycki’s deputy chief of staff, the bank is assuming functions formerly handled by two city departments, Real Estate and Housing and Licensing and Inspections. Real Estate and Housing would manage properties actually owned by the city, while L&I would enforce code violations on vacant and substandard properties and bill owners for any necessary maintenance or stabilization work. Under the new arrangement, the two city agencies will be better able to focus on their core functions, Rago says. Although the city is not receiving payment for properties it transfers to the land bank, the city expects to save money because the bank will now be responsible for maintaining these parcels, Rago says. The land bank will not be directly involved in foreclosure proceedings, Willauer says. As in the past, L&I officers will work with the city’s Law Department to identify properties that should be taken to a sheriff’s sale, a process that takes about six months, Rago says. Properties that attract no interest from buyers at a sheriff’s sale will be transferred to the land bank. As the land bank begins selling properties, it could stimulate small businesses, especially those in the home improvement sector. For example, if the land bank succeeds in turning over the roughly 100 properties it holds now by the end of 2018, using Willauer’s estimate of $100,000 in improvements per property, that equates to pumping roughly $10 million into the local economy—to builders, architects, plumbers, electricians, painters and retailers of building supplies and appliances. In one respect, the land bank is already paying off. Integrity Construction, a subsidiary of Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, has contracted with the land bank to board up and maintain vacant properties until they are sold. Omar Faust, Integrity’s manager, says he is using payments from the land bank to train city residents in basic construction skills, hopefully to prepare them to secure better jobs later on. In the 1970s, when Dan Frawley took the lead in Tom Maloney’s urban homesteading movement, the goal was to begin a transformation of blighted neighborhoods. It took some time, but Trinity Vicinity eventually became one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods. At the time, some critics contended that the revitalization created the sort of gentrification that Stewart and Willauer hope to avoid this time around, but the overall impact of the homesteading initiative was positive. Working with a different model, Willauer hopes to replicate that positive outcome in areas of the city where the traditional buy-andsell cycle of the real estate business has been breaking down. “For buyers, these homes will be a major investment,” she says. “But we want to make sure that the homes are renovated to a standard that benefits the neighbors around them, and results in an overall improvement to the community.” BANKING ON CHANGE continued from previous page

The Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank has identified the first six residential units to be marketed. They are located at 802 and 925 Lombard St., 2506 Thatcher St., 509 Concord Ave., 1215 B St. and 1125 E. 25th St. Details on these properties and procedures for acquiring them will be available on the land bank’s website, wilmingtonlandbank.org.


02_Start.indd 16

1/25/18 10:39 AM


02_Start.indd 17


1/25/18 10:01 AM



Delaware is not only The First State, it may be—pound for pound, so to speak—the best state. To prove that point, for this second annual Optimism Issue the staff of Out & About put together a list of 50 ways the people, the organizations, and even the government of Delaware give back. And we’re convinced it’s only a partial list, so if you have some suggestions, feel free to drop us an email or contact us on Facebook. In the meantime, count your blessings. Here are 50 of them:







The Delaware Charity Challenge provides fundraising opportunities through 5K races and other athletic events in which teams vie for prize money for the charity they represent. The Challenge has helped teams collectively raise more than $150,000 for nonprofits and charities since its inception in 2015.

Now in its 12th year, University of Delaware’s dance marathon charity event, UDance, is the school’s largest student-run philanthropy and has raised more than $7.15 million dollars for the Andrew McDonough B+ (Be Positive) Foundation, which supports medical research and financial assistance for families of children with cancer nationwide. With roots tracing back to the 1830s, the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Wilmington provides critical direct care and human services to more than 100,000 individuals and families in need, regardless of their religious affiliation.


The "We've Got You Covered" campaign, sponsored by Wilmington’s Greenhill Pharmacy, each year provides blankets to those in need. This winter, some 3,700 new blankets were distributed.

Since 1972, St. Patrick’s Center has provided Wilmington's East Side with emergency food, meals, respite for the homeless, clothing, transportation, and recreational activities. The Center nourishes 1,500 families each month with help from a team of staff and volunteers. The Sunday Breakfast Mission has been providing Delawareans in need with meals, shelter, and even basic medical services since 1983. This past Christmas, the Mission held a special toy store shopping event in Wilmington for families in need, and parents of more than 400 children were able to pick out toys, books and games from 2,000 gifts that were donated by the community. The Ministry of Caring has provided the homeless and working poor with meaningful care and services since 1976. On Sunday, April 29, at Harry’s Ballroom, 2020 Naamans Rd., the Ministry will host the Emmanuel Dining Room Auction, which will help to feed the 180,000 visitors annually at its three sites located in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Wilmington and New Castle. To register to attend the auction, purchase Grand Raffle tickets, or purchase a sponsorship, call Cindy Gamble at 516-1069.


02_Focus.indd 18

1/25/18 3:39 PM


The Delaware Community Foundation plays a vital role in the philanthropic scene in Delaware, allocating funds to many organizations. Last year, the foundation awarded $253,152 to 18 organizations.


The annual Dancing with the Delaware Stars event, now in its eighth year, took place at the Dover Downs Hotel on Jan. 27. This event benefits both Mom’s House of Wilmington, which provides free child care for single parents attending either high school or college, and the Boys & Girls Club of Delaware, which offers affordable before- and after-school care for kids from kindergarten through high school. Last year’s event generated a landmark amount of almost $200,000, which was split evenly between the two organizations.


Dewey bartender Kacey O’Brian started “Donation Tuesday,” a weekly event at Woody’s Bar & Grill in Dewey Beach, last May. One hundred percent of the tips go to a local charity in addition to money earned from raffling local artwork. O’Brien was inspired by the special donation event held at Woody’s for the family of fallen Delaware State Police Cpl. Stephen Ballard.


Millville Pet Stop provides owners the opportunity to have a photograph taken of their pet on “Santa Paw’s” lap at Christmas time for a $10 fee. Proceeds from the annual event help several local charities that focus on animal welfare.


The Ronald McDonald House provides a safe, affordable “home-away-fromhome” for families of children who are undergoing serious medical treatment. Along with the house, there are Ronald McDonald family rooms in pediatric units in three Delaware hospitals.


John Walsh, of Lewes, last November received the AARP Andrus Award for his volunteer work on behalf of senior Delawareans. Walsh has spent his retirement helping the elderly as an AARP advocacy volunteer and has been effective in moving legislation on various issues, including manufactured housing, caregiving, transportation, and other issues senior Delawareans face.


The Plantation Lakes community of Millsboro last year raised $4,700 for local breast cancer programs and services and donated it to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, which since 1991 has been at the forefront in addressing issues women of Delaware face regarding breast cancer.


Priya Jayakumar, a ninth grader from Bear, started Charity Crossing two years ago with her family. This winter, Charity Crossing provided socks for those in need. Priya raised awareness about this issue by having Feb. 14 recognized as “Socks for the Homeless” day in Delaware.


Middletown’s Kevin Schatz has made volunteering the main objective of his local brewery, aptly named Volunteer Brewing Company. The staff and customers are engaged in volunteer opportunities, with the goal of improving their town and maintaining the small town feel so many associate with Middletown.


The annual Best of Delaware party, set for Aug. 2 at the Chase Center on the Riverfront, will raise funds for worthy local causes while at the same time celebrating people, places, services and restaurants that have received the esteemed Best of Delaware award. Order tickets at delawaretoday.com for $60, or purchase them at the door for $75.





The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, with the help of more than 90 volunteers, went to work this past December, planting 12,000 trees on 12 acres of land at the Perry Tract of the Angola Neck Preserve. This latest effort completes the four-year project to convert 36 acres to forested land. For 14 years, Bob Reese has been running the annual “Feed the Troops” event. Last year, Reese, along with dozens of volunteers, Dover Motorsports, and the 512th Airlift Wing, hosted the annual holiday dinner in Hangar 792 for dayshift and nightshift personnel at Dover Air Force Base.

Southern Delaware’s nonprofit organization Next Gen last year held a Chow Down for Charity Dinner that raised some $12,000 for three youth organizations dealing with addiction prevention, active addiction treatment and reentry into society. Competing for a cause, and not just a trophy, is the slogan of the Cheer for Charity event that is coming to Newark on March 18. This regional competition for young cheerleaders got its start in Delaware in 2006, and since then it has raised more than $310,000 for the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.


02_Focus.indd 19


1/25/18 1:36 PM


Founded in 1946, the United Way of Delaware (UWDE) has a mission of advancing the common good by focusing on the strategic areas of early education, college, career readiness, and financial stability. This past year the UWDE exceeded its $1.2 million year-end goal by raising more than $1.4 million.


Operation Warm is a program run by Wilmington Firefighters Association Local 1590. They work with the community to raise money to purchase new, American-made coats for children in need. They not only help local children, but also contribute to saving jobs and supporting American businesses.


Through a federal grant, the Delaware Forest Service offers up to $40,000 each year to communities throughout the state for tree planting, tree care, and tree management. The program is dedicated to enhancing Delaware’s community forests, which play a critical role in our quality of life. More at delawaretrees.com.


The IN Wilmington Campaign co-hosts an annual "INtheSpirit" holiday party with co-working space The Mill. Last year, 10 local restaurants and breweries, more than 20 area artists and musicians, and 250 community members joined in to help 32 needy Wilmington children/families and to highlight arts talent in Wilmington. Overall, the event provided 104 presents, gift cards and financial contributions totaling more than $1,000 for families in need.


C.E.R.T.S., Inc. was founded to support young adults with multiple severe disabilities through an active, movement-oriented day program. In addition to its physical and occupational therapies, it offers art therapy, through Art Therapy Express, whose therapists provide hands-on sessions and use specialty molded tools made by University of Delaware students in the Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Department. The students created arm splints and rollers to provide maximum support and promote independent art expression. For more information, visit arttherapyexpress.wordpress.com.

30 31

In 2017, Delaware Wild Lands (DWL) planted 21,000 trees in the Great Cypress Swamp in Frankford. Since 2011, as part of DWL’s sustainable forest management program, 194,000 trees have been planted and 160 acres have been added to the swamp.


Delaware Nature Society, dedicated to protecting and enhancing natural biodiversity and environmental education, manages more than 1,850 acres of land in Delaware and southeast Pennsylvania and protects more than 100,000 acres. Plus, volunteers contribute 20,000 hours of work annually.


Mélomanie—known for musical “provocative pairings”— also pairs with charities to expand community experiences and to provide for those in need. For the past two years, Mélomanie has contributed two-week music classes to middle and high school students of UrbanPromise. To benefit the Sunday Breakfast Mission and Friendship House, the ensemble invited audience members to contribute gloves and hats for residents in exchange for free admission to a winter concert.


The Delaware State Employee Art Exhibition is an annual free event designed to give artists at all skill levels a unique opportunity to exhibit their creative work and to compete for cash prizes. All participants are current employees of the State of Delaware, or immediate family members. This year’s exhibition will be at Delaware State University Art Center/Gallery, Dover, from Feb. 26-March 19. The awards ceremony and reception will be on Sunday, March 18, from 1-3 p.m. For more information, visit arts. delaware.gov.


Jonathan W. Whitney joined the Delaware Art Museum last July in a newly created position to foster and grow community engagement in and around the Museum. His role is to produce Connected, a free program series that features events produced by and for the community. Past events included art therapy with people affected by cancer, and a special program called “Portraits of Wilmington,” where artists drew more than 40 portraits of Wilmingtonians from all walks of life. For more information, visit delart.org.

Delaware has approximately 506 miles of public trails and multi-use pathways, thanks to state and county initiatives.


Over the years, Delaware Wild Lands has done wetlands restoration work in all three counties. The latest project at Milford Neck in Kent County is known as “Deadwoods” because saltwater killed a distinctive stand of old trees there. However, DWL’s restoration work expanded freshwater wetlands and made these 12 acres more resistant to future saltwater intrusion.


The Red Clay Valley Scenic Byway is in the process of becoming a National Wildlife Federation Certified Habitat Community. The Byway comprises 28 secondary roads within the Red Clay Creek watershed and is the first in the U.S. to be based on the watershed model. If you own a home, business, or other land within the Byway, then making your land a Certified Wildlife Habitat will help achieve this goal.


Last summer, Gordons Pond Trail in Cape Henlopen State Park saw 700 visitors per day on weekends and 500 on weekdays. Combined with other area trails, the Gordons Pond Trail figures prominently in the evolving 15-mile regional trail system between Lewes and Rehoboth. Last fall, the trail became a prime location for birders, too, according to DNREC and Delaware State Parks.


Construction is underway on the Assawoman Canal Trail in Ocean View. When finished, the one-mile long trail will link Route 26, Central Avenue and Elliott Avenue in Ocean View, providing new recreational trail opportunities for biking and walking. More important, the trail is part of a regional trail, pathway and sidewalk network linking ocean-area roads.


02_Focus.indd 20

1/25/18 3:59 PM





There are currently 111,400 food insecure Delawareans, a number volunteers, contributions and the Food Bank has helped lower over the past few years. The Food Bank is currently serving 4,201 meals each week through its After-School Meal Program for kids. In 2017, it distributed 7.7 million pounds of food throughout the state—an increase of 604,000 pounds. Delaware restaurateurs, in collaboration with the Delaware Restaurant Association, are helping to develop the culinary leaders of tomorrow through the Delaware ProStart Program (a culinary and management education initiative for high school students). The program is largely funded through grants, donations and sponsorships. Currently, 18 high schools in the state are participating.


The Delaware restaurants and foodservice companies currently provide 49,200 jobs in Delaware, accounting for 11 percent of the employment in the state. Ninety percent of these businesses engage in some type of charitable activity, resulting in tens of millions of dollars pumped back into the local community.

Some 800 volunteers serve on a rotation schedule on 65 delivery routes each day for City Fare, one of five meal delivery programs run by Meals On Wheels Delaware (MOWD). Last year, City Fare delivered about 300,000 meals throughout Wilmington and New Castle County. Statewide, MOWD delivered 727,418 meals to 4,093 seniors ages 60 and over in 2016. Dogfish Head Brewery annually donates an estimated $500,000 to more than 200 groups through financial sponsorships, donated beer, the Dogfish Dash and other special events. Its tasting room and tour team will give away their tips from 2017 (in excess of $50,000) to more than a dozen non-profits.


The state continues to give back to its citizenry through its Greenways Program. When construction wraps up in a few months on the Wilmington-New Castle Greenway (aka the Markell Trail), Delaware will gain a remarkable new asset: a flat, paved, and nearly uninterrupted non-motorized seven-mile route between the Wilmington Riverfront and downtown New Castle.


Since 2012, and including figures for the current show, more than 100 musicians will have put more than 8,500 hours into rehearsals for the Shine A Light series of concerts. These soldout shows have helped raise a net profit of more than $500,000 for the Light Up The Queen Foundation, a local non-profit focusing on community-building through programs in arts, music, education, workforce development and mentoring.


The revamped Slam Dunk to the Beach debuted four years ago and has grown ever since, becoming one of the state’s premier sporting events. Says Dr. Matt Robinson, chairman of the Delaware Sports Commission. “Sports is an important and expanding segment of the tourism industry in Delaware. Since 2009 the events DSC has worked with have generated more than $60 million in economic impact.”


The Wilmington Grand Prix has been named to USA Cycling’s national calendar for the 11th straight year and will bring an international cycling field to Downtown Wilmington May 18-20. The event has generated more than $3.5 million since 2012.


Through dozens of concerts since 2006, hundreds of area musicians and administrative volunteers have donated their time to the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance, an environmental group focused mainly on local water quality and quantity. Eight years of DeadFest concerts combined with the Jam on the Brandywine series (2006-2016) have help raise more than $275,000 toward the alliance’s restoration and conservation efforts.


The Buccini/Pollin Group is scheduled to build a 140,000-square-foot, 2,500-seat multipurpose sports complex and youth training center near U.S. 13 and Garasches Lane on the east side of the Christina River. The facility, to be called the 76ers Fieldhouse, will be home for the 87ers basketball team, a 76ers minor league affiliate, and will provide athletic training opportunities to the area's underserved youth.


On Jan. 20, for the second year in a row, the Beau Biden Foundation partnered with the Delaware 87’ers for a night of basketball, safety, and fun at the Bob Carpenter Center as the Sevens took on the Erie BayHawks. The Sevens showed their support for the Foundation and the protection of children by wearing Beau Biden Foundation jerseys. Some 500 kids got a Beau Biden Foundation basketball, and the Foundation received a portion of ticket sales.


Volunteers from Harvey, Hanna & Associates and dozens of area breweries—in partnership with Penn Cinema— helped raise more than $45,000 for local non-profits last year as a result of the monthly Movies On Tap series, which pairs regional craft beers with classic movies. For more details on Movies On Tap, see the article on page 57.


Christiana Care Health System and WXPN continue to partner with area musicians to bring WXPN’s Musicians On Call program to patients at Christiana Care’s Wilmington Hospital, which is coordinated locally through Christiana Care’s Volunteer Services. Since 2014, area artists have brought the power of music to more than 6,100 patients, family members and hospital staff members. FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Focus.indd 21


1/25/18 3:45 PM

April 16-21 Mark Your Calendar Now


A Week of Prix-Fixe Dining at Wilmington’s Premier Restaurants

LUNCH: 2 courses $15 | DINNER: 3 courses $35

CityRestaurantWeek.com CRW_Full_Feb2018.indd 1

1/25/2018 4:25:01 PM


volunteering made easy The state Office of Volunteerism plays matchmaker for worthy causes and Delawareans who want to donate their time

Katie Keegan serves lunch at the Emmanuel Dining Room. Photo Don Blake

By Larry Nagengast


hen it comes to charitable contributions, many people find that a gift of their time is more meaningful and can have a greater impact on their communities than a cash contribution. In the coming months, Out & About will profile some of these volunteers, along with the programs in which they serve. The series is being developed in cooperation with the state Office of Volunteerism, which is the subject of our first installment.

As the New Castle County coordinator in the state Office of Volunteerism, Clare Garrison has learned that little things—like a cookie—can mean a lot. That was brought home to her not long ago when she participated in the annual “Bake the Night Away” event at Delcastle Technical High School. Now in its 10th year, the Christmas holiday event brings together culinary arts students and adults from the community to bake dozens of cookies, package them and deliver them to police stations around New Castle County. It’s a small gesture, a way of thanking the men and women whose duty is to keep us safe. As one baking and packaging session wrapped up, a Delcastle student turned to Garrison and said, “You know, I never realized that a cookie could mean so much.” That’s just one example of why Garrison takes pride in her work at the New Castle County office on Du Pont Highway. During her 20 years there, the Newark resident has handled a variety of duties in an operation whose focus is matchmaking— helping people who want to help find a program or an organization that’s looking for helpers.

“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be a volunteer,” says Tara Wiggins, program officer for AmeriCorps, the national service program that operates in Delaware through the Office of Volunteerism. Young or merely young in spirit, skilled or simply eager, volunteers can find ways to help just about anywhere in the state— and with good reason. Delaware’s nonprofit organizations have been squeezed from all directions. A state revenue shortfall last year resulted in a 20 percent cut in grant-in-aid funding to nonprofits, not to mention other reductions in contracted services these agencies provide to the state. The shrinkage of big businesses and the departure of headquarters operations have trimmed corporate philanthropy. And the recent changes in federal tax laws are expected to reduce the number of Delawareans who itemize deductions, leaving nonprofits fearful that individuals won’t give, or will give less, if they can’t write off the contribution on their taxes. In this environment, it’s increasingly important for Delawareans to do what they can to help nonprofit organizations meet their critical needs. ► FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Focus.indd 15


1/25/18 2:28 PM


Photo Don Blake

VOLUNTEERING MADE EASY continued from previous page

Venessa Lundy works on one of the Habitat for Humanity houses on 11th Street in Wilmington.

easy-to-use website

LET US CATER TO YOU. From dinner parties to office get-togethers to weddings, let Janssen’s make your event special. We offer full-service catering, event planning, party rentals, floral arrangements, and more. Contact our catering director today at (302) 654-9941 x3.


That’s where the state Office of Volunteerism comes in. With a staff of 21 people—divided almost equally between New Castle County and the Dover office—the agency performs yeoman’s work, work that has been made much easier in recent years through development of an easy-to-use interactive website, VolunteerDelaware.org and the Volunteer Delaware page on Facebook. Years ago, Garrison says, people interested in volunteering would call the office, answer questions from the staff about their interests and then have to wait a week or so while a staffer checked a database for suitable opportunities. “By the time we got back to them, many of them had moved on” and found other things to do with their time, she says. Now, finding a volunteer match is just a few clicks away. Would you like to help a child learn to read? Deliver meals to the elderly? Clean up a park? Guide tours at a museum? Opportunities like these—and hundreds more—are easy to find at VolunteerDelaware.org. Organizations seeking volunteer help need only log on to the site, create an account, and fill out a form. Once the office verifies that the organization is a legitimate nonprofit, it can start posting its volunteer needs on the site, says Deborah Tokarski, the state’s volunteer services administrator for marketing. As of mid-January, there were 885 organizations using the site and more than 4,200 volunteer opportunities posted, Wiggins says. “And we’re looking for more agencies to use our service,” she adds. Prospective volunteers can browse the website to search for opportunities. Plugging in a keyword, like “reading” or “museum,” can simplify the search. Entering the days you’re available and your ZIP Code can narrow opportunities to those that fit your schedule and are easily accessible. Once you identify opportunities you like, you will have to create an account on the site so the agencies can be notified of your interest. Prospective volunteers who aren’t tech savvy, or who don’t have access to a computer, may call the Office of Volunteerism to ask about opportunities. In New Castle County, call Garrison at 255-9899. Organizations seeking volunteers have varying requirements, Garrison says. Some of the details are described on links from the website, and others you’ll find out about when the organization contacts you. For example, some organizations look for volunteers with specific skills, while others require participation in a few hours of training or orientation before you can start serving. In recent years, Wiggins says, there have been changes in how organizations seek out volunteers. “We suggest that they seek out skilled volunteers and use them for purposes that match their skills,” she says. “If you can recruit an accountant, do you want to have them stuffing envelopes?” It is often preferable, she says, “to ask what this person can do for you, rather than to have canned opportunities.”


02_Focus.indd 16

1/25/18 3:40 PM

Photo courtesty of the State Office of Volunteerism


GO EAGLES!!! Celebrating 60 Years!

Casapulla’s SUB SHOP Ananya Singh, a volunteer with Global Youth H.E.L.P. Inc., winner of the 2017 Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards in the Community Service Category.

flexible scheduling

Volunteering doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and the office encourages organizations to tailor their opportunities to the availability of the people who are eager to help. “We encourage agencies to be flexible,” Tokarski says. “Some people want to go to Florida in the winter, or to the beach in the summer, or they want something they can do at their convenience, for one day a week, or two days a week, or even from their homes.” The Office of Volunteerism also provides a gateway to a pair of programs aimed primarily at the state’s 50-plus demographic. One of them, aptly named Volunteer Delaware 50+, places volunteers in that age group with agencies that agree to keep track of the hours volunteers put in. Participants qualify for recognition events and other awards based on hours and years of service. About 200 agencies are linked to the 50+ program, which had nearly 1,500 active volunteers last year. The other, Foster Grandparents, places individuals 55 and older with limited incomes in assignments supporting young children at daycare centers, Head Start programs, schools and youth and family service centers for 15 to 40 hours a week. Participants receive a non-taxable hourly stipend, monthly training, an annual physical exam and other benefits. Last year, Foster Grandparents attracted 184 volunteers statewide, who served more than 192,000 hours and assisted more than 1,100 children. AmeriCorps volunteers, who typically serve in a volunteer capacity for a year or more, clean parks and trails or participate in financial literacy, housing and job training programs. AmeriCorps volunteers may receive a housing allowance and limited health benefits, plus a student loan deferment, and, upon completion of their term, a cash award that can be used to pay for education expenses, including student loans. Last year, Delaware had 138 AmeriCorps volunteers. In addition, the office administers the Delaware Volunteer Credit program, which enables high school students to earn one credit toward graduation by devoting 90 hours to community service during the school year. While volunteers get involved because of their desire to support their communities, their service warrants public recognition, Tokarski says, and it is provided through the annual Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Awards and Youth Volunteer Awards. Last year, the programs recognized 14 individuals, 13 groups and three others for lifetime achievement as well as 13 youths and five youth groups. Volunteering, Tokarski and Garrison say, can benefit participants as well as the agencies they serve. It can be a step toward a new career or a rewarding activity in retirement, an opportunity to meet new people, make friends or broaden horizons. And, like the high school student Garrison enjoys talking about, it’s a way to do something little that has a way of making a big impact.

“Home of the Classic Italian Sub” 3rd Generation Owned & Operated!

HEAT & EAT Our Party Trays & Lunch-Meat Trays Are GREAT For Family Reunions, Parties & Special Events



(302) 994-5934










Where every day is

Complimentarybathwithyour first boarding stay.Expires2/28/18

Daycare•Boarding •Spa

Dogtopia Elsmere www.Dogtopia.com/Elsmere|(302)998-7877


02_Focus.indd 17


1/26/18 10:31 AM

! S D R I B


02_Eat.indd 18

1/26/18 11:03 AM


The Rewards Of Helping Others Research—and anecdotal evidence—demonstrate that volunteering helps the volunteer too


eople who volunteer their time say they get as much out of their work as the people, or in some cases, the animals, they serve. Take Jim McVoy, for instance. McVoy, 71, of Coatesville, Pa., has volunteered with Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc. in Newark, for 12 years. Last April, he had an experience that is not untypical of his service there. He received a call about an injured duck hiding under a bush in front of a house. When McVoy went to the house, he was surprised to find that the people who called were former students of his from West Chester University, where he had been a music professor. After a joyous greeting, he examined the bird. “The injury looked so bad I didn’t think there was any way the bird could be saved,” he says. “It had a major wound on its side that was consistent with an animal bite.” McVoy, who performs basic medical procedures on injured birds, took the Gadwall, a type of duck, to the clinic, which last year treated more than 3,000 ill, injured and orphaned birds. There, the wound was surgically closed and sutured and the duck was given

antibiotics and pain medication. The only thing left for the staff to do was hope for the best. Much to their surprise, the duck began to recover and thrive. Tri-State fed it and made sure it got some exercise (swimming) until it was deemed ready for release. Six weeks later, the Gadwall flew across a lake in the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Pennsylvania. Jim McVoy The experience was just one of many that confirmed to McVoy that he made the right move when he retired from West Chester in 2006. “I sometimes wonder what my retirement might be like if I weren’t doing this,” he says. “I would say that volunteering has definitely made me healthier and happier.” ► FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Focus.indd 3

Photo Ben McVoy

By Adriana Camacho-Church


1/25/18 10:11 AM

THE REWARDS OF HELPING OTHERS continued from previous page

30 DAYS for


gets you UNLIMITED CLASSES and GYM ACCESS ALL MONTH! *must sign up by 2/28/18

2518 West 4th St. Wilmington, DE

JOIN TODAY: (302) 658-5077 BalanceFitnessTraining.com

Studies support that thought. Volunteering is not only linked with better mental and physical health, but volunteers are happier than non-volunteers. And the more you volunteer, apparently, the happier you are. Compared with people who never volunteer, the odds of being “very happy” rose 7 percent among those who volunteer monthly and 12 percent for people who volunteer every two to four weeks, researchers say. Delawareans are no slouches when it comes to giving their time to worthy causes. Based on 2015 data from the Corporation for National and Community Services, 25.9 percent of Delaware residents volunteer, ranking the state 28th among the 50 states and Washington, DC. Sometimes, both animals and people are involved in the volunteer effort. PAWS for People, for instance, is a pet therapy non-profit in Newark. Denise Lopes, of Wilmington, has been volunteering there for four years, partnering with Roger, a 12-year-old golden retriever, to visit local extended care facilities and other sites to offer companionship and comfort. On one of their outings, Lopes, 59, was struck by how simple it was to bring joy to people who were suffering. She and Roger were visiting residents at a “memory care” section of an area assisted-living facility, where they were directed to a large room with a TV. About 15 residents, some in wheelchairs, sat around the Denise Lopes perimeter of the room. Roger went to a senior, who greeted him with hugs. Then, his tail wagging, the dog walked from person to person, greeting everyone in the room. The residents petted and hugged him, and some recalled pets from long ago. “I could see the joy in their eyes and in their smiles,” says Lopes, an associate teacher at Wilmington Friends School. By the time Roger had completed the circuit, he had to walk back to the first resident and do another round of greetings because they forgot that he had already acknowledged them. “It was humbling because for us it (visiting) was such an easy thing to do, yet it was something important because it brought them joy,” says Lopes. “In that moment they were smiling, in that moment they were comforted, in that moment they forgot where they were, in that moment they had peace. I can’t imagine not doing this.”

Good for the Soul Matthew Bowe, 28, feels the same way. “It (volunteering) feeds one’s soul in a way material things never could,” says the Newark resident. A financial advisor at Alvini & Associates, P.A., in Wilmington, Bowe is one of 12 volunteers on the Ministry of Caring Millennial Committee. The committee raises funds to benefit childcare programs run by the Ministry, which provides services for those living in poverty in Wilmington. As a fundraiser, Bowe has learned that, regardless of how long and hard you organize and prepare for Matthew Bowe an event, problems are bound to occur, and it’s up to volunteers to overcome them and accomplish the goal. The Ministry’s all-you-can-eat crab fest, for instance, has run into challenges the last two years. In 2016, after almost a year of coordinating, organizing, and lots of pizza at monthly meetings, Bowe and the committee were confident they were ready for their first fundraiser. Everything was in place for the four-hour event at the Cavaliers Country Club in Newark. Twenty bushels of crabs, beer, liquor, wine, and two bands were ready. The games—Russian horseshoes, cornhole, Kan Jam and beer pong—were set up, as was the photo booth. Photo Authority Media Group


Health Benefits

Photo Lynn Porro



02_Focus.indd 4

1/26/18 8:37 AM

Then someone noticed that something was missing: paper towels—a small but necessary item at an all-youcan-eat crab fest where 200 people were expected. Luckily, a caterer had enough napkins for the folks who showed up. Last year, the committee experienced another mishap: a water valve, needed to steam crabs, broke two hours before the doors were to open. A quick run to a local store and an installation took care of the problem. Both events were successful. In 2016 the crab fest raised more than $7,000, and last year the total was more than $10,000. “What we learned from the experience was that things happen, and it’s how you react that sets you apart,” says Bowe. The volunteer experience has enriched his life and that of others. “We feel a deeper connection with each other, those we help and our surroundings knowing we are putting forward our time and effort to help others and to make our community a better place without asking anything in return,” he says.

Up and Moving Judy David, 50, of Newark, has also discovered what social science researchers have long known. “Volunteering does make me happier,” she says, “especially tangible acts where you can see the benefits of your actions.” Judy David For David, volunteering has another benefit. “I’m inclined to be too sedentary for my own good,” she says. “Volunteering gets me up and about and moving, instead of sitting on the couch and watching TV and snacking.” David’s motivation comes from the impact she’s making. An assistant custodian at the University of Delaware, she is one of several volunteers at Network Delaware, an advocacy group that helped push a resolution last December making the city of Newark a safe community for immigrants. The resolution declared Newark a “welcoming city” to everyone, regardless of immigration status. ►

Hear these dynamic speakers discuss their passion for their careers:

Susan Stroman will discuss her Broadway successes and bring video reels of her work and Sarah McBride will discuss her fight for LGBTQ civil rights and the motivation for her new book. A portion of the evening will allow for audience Q&A.

Susan Stroman

Broadway Director and Five-time Tony Award Winner

Sarah McBride

LGBTQ Human Rights Activist and Author

February 28 April 25 For more information on the speakers, visit artofconversations.org. The series is a collaboration of the Delaware Theatre Company and the Cab Calloway School Fund.

Tickets Available at cabcalloway.ticketleap.com



*Plus Enrollment Fee

[ KirkwoodFitness.com ] NORTH WILMINGTON 1800 Naamans Road, Wilmington, DE


02_Focus.indd 5


1/25/18 4:04 PM

JOIN TODAY! www.ymcade.org

Something For Everyone.

SAVE 20% off your membership fee each month when you join with friends, or when you are referred by a current Y member!




02_Focus.indd 6

1/25/18 3:28 PM


For Jerika Diaz, 29, volunteering brings a healthy balance to her life. THE REWARDS OF An assistant manager at DT Bank HELPING OTHERS in Wilmington, Diaz, for the past continued from page 33 seven years, has volunteered for the bank’s financial literacy program, teaching students in grades K-12. She also volunteers for ASPIRA, a non-profit organization that helps Latino students move beyond a high school education to college. “Volunteering gives me a sense of satisfaction,” says Diaz. “It truly makes me happy to know that I’m giving back. Every time I volunteer I am reminded as to why I do what I do and that is to change, transform, and ignite life into those who will Jerika Diaz allow me to.” Hamid Hazartouz, 56, spends much of his spare time cleaning up the Washington Heights neighborhood of Wilmington. “It helps me to surround myself with beauty,” says Hazartouz. “Cleaning a neighborhood maximizes that beauty and feeling for me. I feel I’m an artist creating something that’s beautiful.” For the past seven years, on Tuesday afternoons, the avid gardener and his friend, Stanley Hamid Hazartouz Sharp, arm themselves with grocery plastic bags and trash pickers to tackle soda cans, cigarette packs and other debris from the streets. The two volunteer in the neighborhood association’s clean- up and beautification committee. Hazartouz, an Iranian native and credit analyst at JPMorgan Chase in Wilmington, bought his first home in the neighborhood. He says volunteering gives him renewed motivation and creativity, making him—you guessed it—happier.

WAYS TO VOLUNTEER In Delaware there are numerous volunteer opportunities. Here are a few resources: • VolunteerMatch: volunteermatch.org • Volunteer Delaware: volunteerdelaware.org • Delaware State Parks: destateparks.com/volunteers • Volunteer Delaware 50+: volunteerdelaware.org • Ronald McDonald House of Delaware: rmhde.org • Summer High School Volunteer Program/Nemours: nemours.org • New Castle County: nccde.org • Literacy Delaware: literacydelaware.org FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Focus.indd 7


1/25/18 4:07 PM





#IHBRISINGSUN ironhillbrewery.com


02_Eat.indd 2

1/26/18 10:05 AM


Stuart and Mhairi Craig with some of the 500 chocolate bars they produce each month. Photo Krista Connor

OF CHOCOLATE BARS AND CACAO FARMERS Working out of their Arden home, Stuart and Mhairi Craig are the founders and sole employees of Double Spiral Chocolate and the state’s first bean-to-bar chocolate makers. Here’s why you should pay $3.75 for one of their bars. By Krista Connor


he source of one of Delaware’s most palatable secrets is hidden away in a second-floor room of the Arden home of Mhairi Craig, a registered nurse, and her biochemist husband Stuart. Walk past the glowing fireplace and tidy kitchen, then climb the stairs to the spare room above the garage, and you’ll find a small-scale chocolate-making process that floods the space with the warm and slightly pungent scent of cacao. The Craigs are the first bean-to-bar chocolate makers in Delaware, leaders of what has the potential to be a trend not unlike the thirdwave coffee movement that developed over the past 30 years. Statistics show that in the last 10-15 years, bean-to-bar chocolate makers have increased from just a handful to more than 200 in the United States.

For now, the couple rules the local industry with Double Spiral Chocolate, a part-time project that distributes to local small businesses Newark Natural Foods, Delaware Local Food Exchange, Drip Café and Little Goat Coffee Roasting. Double Spiral goes through 35 pounds of chocolate a month, making 500 bars. The potential for larger success is certainly there, but the couple, juggling busy jobs, are determined to keep it a two-person, part-time gig—right now, anyway. And that’s partially because they’re not in it for the money. They just about break even (their chocolate bars could arguably be priced higher than $3.75, and they’re known to donate boxes of chocolate). Mainly, they want to provide healthy snacks while supporting ethical cacao farming (more on that later). ► FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Eat.indd 3


1/25/18 2:29 PM


Bachetti’s Famous

Valentine’s Dinner

EAT OF CHOCOLATE BARS AND CACAO FARMERS continued from previous page

Photo Krista Connor

You don’t need to go out to get a homemade meal! Try our famous, made from scratch Valentine’s Dinner

Lobster Bisque • Two Large Crab Stuffed Mushrooms • Steamed Asparagus Limone Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes • Chocolate Truffle Torte for Dessert

For the main course, choose from these two entrees: Petite Filet Mignon (5oz) stuffed with our famous crab imperial and served with Hollandaise sauce.

Boneless chicken breast (8oz) with Prosciutto and smoked provolone with tomato concasse.

Only $21.99 per person, reserve yours today!

Order by Sat. 2/10. Available for pick-up 2/12 through 2/14

302.994.4467 | 4723 Kirkwood Hwy. Midway Plaza


Most Double Spiral chocolate is made with two ingredients: unrefined sugar and cacao.

Originally from Scotland, the Craigs met as grad students in Edinburgh, married in 1984, moved to the U.S., and ended up here on the northern cusp of Delaware two-and-a-half years ago. Mhairi works at the Endoscopy Center of Delaware in Newark, and Stuart is director of regulatory and scientific affairs at DuPont Nutrition and Health. Before moving here, Mhairi had begun experimenting with homemade chocolate as part of a personal interest in the relationship between diet and health. Meanwhile, in 2016, Stuart worked on a project examining unrefined sugar. He wondered—can chocolate be made with the stuff? “I had only seen it with white sugar,” he says. “I’ve worked with chocolate in the past with Nabisco, so I knew enough to know that I couldn’t think of a reason why you couldn’t, but there must be a reason ’cause nobody does.” In fact, it had been done. Stuart’s research unearthed an entire movement called bean-to-bar, comprising makers dedicated to sourcing organic, sustainable cacao (which is the fermented seed chocolate comes from). The function of a bean-to-bar maker is to start with the cacao bean and from there, roast, grind and smooth the chocolate, all from scratch. The Craigs tried it, using willing friends as guinea pigs. They launched Double Spiral Chocolate just before the move to Arden. (A double spiral is an ancient Celtic symbol representing how two opposite components can find balance.) Their reputation preceded them, and before they even moved in they were known in the tight-knit arts community as “the chocolate people,” which still makes them laugh. Of their part-time pursuit, Stuart says: “It’s something interesting to do.”


02_Eat.indd 4

1/25/18 10:31 AM

Photo Krista Connor

Stuart Craig, a biochemist, checks on texture and taste during the chocolate-making process.

His nonchalant tone belies the impact of the product—one-ounce chocolate bars that delight the palate while evincing memories of some childhood fiction or dream—not to mention the passion with which he and his wife pursue a pure and ethical production process.


Most Double Spiral chocolate is made with two ingredients: cacao beans and unrefined cane sugar. For flavored bars, a third ingredient is added. This could be whole food, freeze-dried fruits like raspberry and ginger, or mint leaves, or even coffee from Newark’s Little Goat Coffee Roasting Co. From cacao bean to chocolate bar, the complex process takes about three days to make a batch, which equals approximately 100 bars. The Craigs’ sunlit chocolate room acts as both a sterile science lab—not an unwanted dab or drip of chocolate to be seen —and minimalist bakery kitchen, where silky-smooth, finished bars wait on trays to be wrapped. Each batch goes through the same process: Cacao beans are sorted and the selected ones are poured into a small roaster to develop flavor. Then, to separate the now-nibs from the husk, they’re cracked and winnowed (meaning the shell is blown away). Next, the nibs are ground and refined in a melangeur—a bowl that crushes the nibs between granite stones to produce a warm liquid. Unrefined sugar is added, and the process continues for eight hours. Flavor development continues overnight through a process called conching, then the chocolate can either be aged (for several months), a third ingredient could be added, or the chocolate can be tempered (Tempering is a precise temperature profile with a lot of physical chemistry involved—it produces the desirable beta-crystal form of cocoa butter). This leads to the characteristic melt-in-your-mouth chocolate bar shine and snap. Finally, the bars are molded and wrapped with labels printed from the Craigs’ home printer. Wrappers are made from recycled sugar cane. Being a self-trained, small-scale producer of a product that is yet to trend means the market may not have what you need. But the Craigs are resourceful. For example, a hair dryer was originally used to blow the shells away from nibs. Now they’ve graduated to the winnower attached to a Shop-Vac. And the roaster? It’s a repurposed rotisserie chicken oven. “It’s very much a labor of love,” says Stuart. “Some days it’s labor, some days it’s love.” ► FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Eat.indd 5


1/26/18 10:40 AM


State Line Liquors

OF CHOCOLATE BARS AND CACAO FARMERS continued from previous page

Family owned & operated Since 1937 — 4 Generations!


Stocking over 3000 different beers • Singles, packs & cases Special Events and Tastings Visit us on the web for details

Gourmet Food & Cheeses

RANKED #3 Best Beer Retailer in the USA ratebeer.com

Offering the areas largest variety of seasonal beers.


GROWLER BAR 35 TAPS! 1610 ELKTON RD, Route 279 . ELKTON, MD OUTSIDE MD. (800) 446-WINE, IN MARYLAND (410) 398-3838

Open 7 days a week

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Us! Designed Around Fresh, Local and Seasonal Ingredients.

The process would be a lot easier—and cheaper—if they added extra cocoa butter or other ingredients. “But we want to stick with these simple things,” he says, “or add that third interesting flavor.” Double Spiral bars are one ounce for a reason—that’s the daily recommended amount of chocolate. And science suggests you’d need at least 70 percent cacao to have all the health benefits associated with it, which is why Double Spiral’s cacao percentage only goes up from there. That sets them apart from many major chocolate companies, who use as little as 10 percent cacao, with the rest of the ingredients dominated by sugar and fat.

February 10th or 14th Reservations required

Open for Lunch: 11am Tuesday-Saturday Open for Brunch: 10:30am on Sundays

Available for Meetings & Corporate Events! 423 Baltimore Pike | Chadds Ford, PA 19317 | 610.388.7700 | thegablesatchaddsford.com

When you pay $3.75 for a Double Spiral Chocolate bar, you’re getting more than a flavorful, healthy snack. Here’s why: The Craigs have traveled to a handful of the farms their chocolate is sourced from, including some in Belize, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Up next is Guatemala. The trips reveal a side of the chocolate world that consumers never see, and demonstrate why sustainablyproduced chocolate is linked to the survival of farmers and rain forests. It all starts in the jungle. Pods housing cacao seeds grow on trees found in rainy, tropical areas. They’re often grown on large farms where people are overworked and underpaid. But like others in the bean-to-bar movement, Double Spiral sources its beans ethically. Their supplier, Uncommon Cacao, links small holder farmers to the specialty cacao industry and ensures transparency and a good profit for the farmer. “The supply chain is very transparent,” says Mhairi. “As opposed to big companies.” One huge issue masked by big-company supply chains is child labor. That’s because many farmers only average $1 a day working with major supply chains, so they must send their children to work. Leaders in the chocolate industry—think big players like Nestlé and Hershey’s—have been grappling with the problem for almost two decades, particularly in countries in West Africa. A 2015 U.S. Department of Labor-funded report shows that 2.1 million children were


02_Eat.indd 6

1/26/18 11:15 AM

Photo courtesy of Double Spiral Chocolate

VALENTINE'Sday special



available 2/14 to 2/18

The Craigs source their cacao from farms like this one in Dominican Republic.

engaged in objectionable labor practices in cacao farming in Ivory Coast and Ghana alone. Feeling the heat of public outcry, some chocolate corporations have vowed to be 100 percent sustainable by 2020 and 2030, but progress is slow. Sustainable companies, of course, forbid child labor. And in addition to providing good wages to farmers and workers, these ethical producers contribute to job growth. Haiti, for example, faces mass amounts of unemployment. Cacao farming is one way to overcome these obstacles and create jobs. “But it’s not just us,” says Mhairi. “We need people to like it and buy the chocolate—to say, ‘From my disposable income I’m willing to pay for this because it will help support farmers and save the rain forest.’” The difference bean-to-bar chocolate can make is huge when it comes to tropical deforestation. The logic is simple: Growers grow what they know will sell. If a farmer can grow a crop and support his or her family, then he or she will be less likely to cut down trees—i.e. clear the rain forest, which is a big problem, especially in Haiti—to plant another crop more likely to sell. The risk that certain strains of cacao will become extinct is currently high as development encroaches or more conventional strains are primarily cultivated. So, bean-to-bar producers also have to focus on maintaining the genetic diversity of the beans they purchase. “An economic model that encourages the maintenance of the rain forest to produce a profitable crop becomes, just by itself, a much more sustainable way of thinking about how we buy our food,” says Mhairi. On top of everything else, farmers have to grapple with corruption. Once Uncommon Cacao got involved in Haiti, the business partnered with Produits Des Iles SA (PISA), a cacao processor and exporter that offers farmers double what lowpaying middlemen, or brokers, give. (Today, PISA works with an association of 1,489 smallholder farmers; 476 of them are female). However, used to buying cacao for a rock bottom price, the previous brokers began threatening and intimidating farmers. They broke into one farmer’s home while he was at church, says Mhairi. “All this is going on in the background and we don’t know about it,” says Mhairi. “Look how many people had to be involved just to get to the container ship: the growing, harvesting, fermentation, drying, putting beans in sacks, loading the sacks into trucks in 90-degree heat. Then there’s the warehouse over here, and our whole process making the chocolate. And at the end of that, some people may think: ‘I don’t want to spend $3 for a chocolate bar,’” she says. “But look at everything that happened to get it to the store.” Says Stuart: “It really comes down to consumers understanding and demanding where their chocolate comes from, and that’s part of the chocolate journey.”

hors d'oeuvres: • charcuterie & cheese board • roasted prawns • salmon gravlax • chicken satay entrées: • 6oz surf & turf • chateaubriand • duo mussels • grilled pork chop

302.777.2040 | tonicBarGrille.com | 111 West 11th st. LIVE MUSIC THURSDAYS, FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS


LIVE MUSIC! featuring songs performed by bands playing at the big event and special guest bartenders! $

5 raffle for a pair of VIP tickets!


7 P M - 10 P M


02_Eat.indd 7


1/26/18 8:41 AM

sunday celebration menu

30 Years | 3-Course | $30 Caesar Salad or New England Clam Chowder, 10oz. Chef’s Cut Prime Rib, Crème Brûlée *Dine-in only, no substitutions | Every Sunday, 3-9PM, holidays excluded

302.475.3000 • WWW.HARRYS-SAVOY.COM • #HHGROUPIE University and Whist Club’s

2nd Annual International Women’s Day LUNCHEON Thursday, March 8, 2018 11:00AM-1:00PM

Honoring Lieutenant Governor, Bethany Hall-Long $50 per person | Table of 10 - $400

Reserved Seating 302-658-5125 805 N. Broom Street, Wilmington, DE, 19806 42 FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Eat.indd 8

1/25/18 10:43 AM

r o F e l b Ta o w T EAT

Date spots worth trying Seared Berkshire Porkbelly paired with "Folk Machine," a 2015 Charbono, Suisun Valley wine, at Domaine Hudson. Photo Jim Coarse

The House of William & Merry Hummingbird to Mars It’s rare, but when my wife and I do sneak out for a childless dinner, we like to go somewhere with a unique menu and ambiance. Owned and operated by a husband and wife team, this Hockessin restaurant boasts exquisite cuisine featuring fresh local ingredients and dishes that you won't find elsewhere. williamandmerry.com. — Matt Loeb, Creative Director & Production Manager

Chef Tan For many, the dinner date has perhaps become a bit stale. The standard “sit down, order and eat” dining experience borders on the formulaic—and boring. For those willing to deviate from the ordinary, try Chef Tan’s hot pot experience. Chef Tan is a Newark restaurant specializing in authentic Chinese cuisine, which includes the hot pot, a culinary adventure becoming trendy in the U.S. It’s a communal style of eating, requiring the dating partners to cook a variety of chosen ingredients in a specially spiced broth. You can select from several starting broths that range from mild to spicy, as well as an array of vegetables, meats and seafood to cook in the broth. The flavors are as rewarding as the overall experience, which serves to push both parties out of their comfort zones, and it requires cooperation. Your cell phone will be quickly forgotten, and your attention fixated on the fun task at hand, using chopsticks to continually add and remove ingredients from the broth. At Chef Tan, the hot pot entrée is only $29.99. Learn more about the menu at cheftan.com. — Mathew Brown-Watson, Intern

This clandestine speakeasy-themed bar is located above Catherine Rooney’s in Trolley Square, accessible from 16th Street. But as any Prohibition-era watering hole should be, it’s easy to miss if you’re not looking. Press the outside intercom, venture up the narrow stairway and enter a dimly-lit Gatsbyian universe of jazz and cocktails. The intimate, period-specific bar typically features around 10 seasonal cocktails. Beer and wine are available, too, as well as food from the restaurant downstairs. Live music Thursdays-Saturdays, starting at 8:30 p.m., features some of the area’s best artists, including regular performing duo Bruce & Sam. catherinerooneys.com/hummingbird. — Krista Connor, Senior Editor & Media Manager

Domaine Hudson In terms of quality of cuisine, service and intimacy, there are few places in Wilmington that can compete with Domaine Hudson. It exudes feelings of quaint comforts and tradition, yet it’s far from staid or stuffy. The restaurant, at 1314 N. Washington St., boasts an extensive wine list and a selection of Prohibition-era cocktails like the Sazerac and Ginger Side Car. But ultimately, it’s the menu that steals the show, with each shared plate and entrée created like a delicious work of art. The focus on details is first-rate. While Domaine Hudson is the ideal place to celebrate Valentine’s Day, it also features “Date Night” every Thursday, with an enticing and affordable special: three courses and a bottle of wine for just $95 a couple. Get more info at domainehudson.com. — Jim Miller, Director of Publications FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Eat.indd 9


1/25/18 10:36 AM

SLOW ROASTED PRIME RIB SPECIAL Every Thursday $18.99 • Friday & Saturday $22.99 after 5pm

Check Out Our Sister Restaurant in Wilmington on Union Street - Offering the Best Happy Hour in Wilmington & Brunch Every Sat & Sun 10am-2pm MONDAYS


½ Price Appetizers All Day

½ Price Burgers All Day

$1.50 Domestic Drafts after 7pm


All You Can Eat Wings $12.99 after 5pm

$1 Off Craft Draft Beers 7pm-Close

108 Peoples Plaza (Corner of Rtes. 40 & 896) | Newark, DE | 302-834-6661 8 Polly Drummond Shopping Center | Newark, DE | 302-738-7814 800 North State Street | Dover, DE | 302-674-0144


All You Can Eat Shrimp $12.99 after 5pm Prime Rib $18.99 after 5pm


Prime Rib $22.99 after 5pm

$3 Taylor’s Grog 7pm-close



$1 Off Craft Bottles Beef and Beer $9.99 All Day Steak Night $13.99 Prime Rib $22.99 after 5pm

Be our friend on Facebook!



MONDAYS: HALF-PRICE Margaritas 6pm-Close


We have Margaritas

On Tap!

Join Delaware’s Friendliest Staff for

$2 Tacos at the Bar $10 Casa Nobles Reposado


Featuring Our Chorizo Hash Burger, Churro Pancakes, Mimosas & More!


3-Course Special Only $45/Couple

WATCH THE BIG GAME HERE ON FEB. 4th! $8 Miller Lite Pitchers • $3 Drinks ½ Price Wings & Nachos

Your Choice of Appetizer, Entrée, and Dessert Available Wed. 2/14, Fri. 2/16, & Sat. 2/17

We DO Take Reservations!

302.478.3939 | 3100 Naamans road | MexicanPost.com | facebook.com/Mex.Post 44 FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Eat.indd 12

1/25/18 10:45 AM


BITES Tasty things worth knowing



y late 2018, Wilmington’s downtown will be enhanced by a 12,000-squarefoot food hall housing eight chefdriven kitchens that will feature not just mid-Atlantic culinary dishes but a variety of cuisine from around the world. The food hall will be known as DE.CO (an abbreviation for “Delaware Collective”) and will be the first of its kind in the state. The project was born out of a collaboration between developers The Buccini/Pollin Group and Seawall Development, who are hoping to capitalize on what has been a successful trend of food halls emerging in major cities. They believe the project will play a major role in the continued revitalization of Wilmington’s downtown area. DE.CO will be located in the DuPont Building at 10th and Orange streets. In addition to the new food hall, the $150 million in renovations will include retail shops and artisan boutiques. The developers are hoping the project will make the building a major community hub. The DE.CO food hall is currently accepting applications. Interested chefs should contact Peter DiPrinzio at peter@seawalldevelopment.com.


ack in 2014, Evan Lutz learned that 40 percent of edible food is wasted, while 20 percent of the population faces food insecurity. This prompted Lutz to “rescue” fresh produce that supermarkets would normally dispose of and deliver it directly to consumers at a reduced price. He called the new venture Hungry Harvest. In 2016 Lutz’s idea grabbed the attention of ABC’s Shark Tank, which offered Lutz the chance to pitch his idea for potential shark investment. The Hungry Harvest creator was successful in persuading one shark, Robert Herjavec, to invest $100,000 for 10 percent of his business. In January, Hungry Harvest deliveries became available in Delaware. For just $15, you can get the “mini harvest” box, consisting of a variety of fresh, superficially rejected (“ugly”) produce, meaning the produce may be smallerthan-average or irregular in shape. To order your “mini harvest” box or view other products, visit hungryharvest.net, and use code LAUNCHDE to save $5 on your first delivery.



he Longwood Foundation has given the Delaware Food Bank $1.5 million toward the organization’s Creating a Bold Future Capital Campaign. The Food Bank acquired an 80,000-square-foot lot in July of 2016 with the goal of building a new facility to serve the community. The new facility, at 222 Lake Dr., Newark, will enable the Food Bank to operate more efficiently, grow foods on a 3.5-acre farm, train more people, feed more people, and increase educational/outreach workspaces. The Longwood Foundation’s $1.5 million gift brings the total raised for the project to $9 million, just $1 million shy of the project’s $10 million construction budget. For more information on how to help the Food Bank in this endeavor, or participate in other programs, or simply to donate, visit the website at fbd.org.




ity Restaurant Week 2018 is just around the corner—April 16-21. Celebrating Wilmington’s premier restaurant destinations, the week of prixfixe dining includes two-course lunches for $15 and three-course dinners for $35. For updates and more information, visit cityrestaurantweek.com.



new health-conscious eatery opened last month on Main Street in Newark. Playa Bowls U Del brings to town the acai bowl trend, which has gained acclaim as a “superfruit.” The superfruit distinction comes from the South American ingredients of acai berries and pitaya, both of which are heralded by some as having an array of health benefits. The superfruit ingredients are blended with additional fruits and coconut milk or almond milk to form a thick smoothie consistency for the base of the bowl. Next come more fruits, granola and nut butters. New Jersey shore natives and ardent surfers Rob Giuliani and Abby Taylor are the Founders of Playa Bowls, getting the idea from the many surfing trips they had taken to a variety of destinations where the acai bowl is served. Since the first shop opened in Belmar, N.J., the two have seen great success with the enterprise, growing to 25 stores and three food trucks. To learn more about Playa Bowls U Del, visit the Facebook page. FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Eat.indd 13


1/25/18 10:47 AM




25 3



1 4 6 7



10 14

11 13 9


1. Amtrak Station 2. Opera Delaware Studios/City Theater Co. 3. Wilmington Youth Rowing Assn., WYRA.ORG 4. Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park 5. Residences at Christina Landing 6. Harry’s Seafood Grill / Riverfront Market, HARRYS-SAVOY.COM 7. Delaware Theatre Co., DELAWARETHEATRE.ORG 8. FireStone Roasting House, FIRESTONERIVERFRONT.COM 9. Cosi at the Barclays Crescent Building, GETCOSI.COM 10. Hare Pavilion/Riverwalk 11. AAA Mid-Atlantic Travel Center, AAAMIDATLANTIC.COM 12. The Delaware Contemporary, DECONTEMPORARY.ORG

02_Wilm_Riverfront.indd 2

13. Justison Landing, Currie Hair, Skin & Nails, CURRIEDAYSPA.COM Veritas Wine & Spirits, VERITASWINESHOP.COM Starbucks on the Riverfront Riverfront Pets, RIVERFRONTPETS.COM 14. Del Pez Mexican Gastropub, DELPEZMEXICANPUB.COM Goju Training Center, GOJUROBICS.COM 15. Delaware Children’s Museum, DELAWARECHILDRENSMUSEUM.ORG Riverwalk Mini Golf, RIVERWALKMINIGOLF.COM 16. Joe’s Crab Shack, JOESCRABSHACK.COM 17. Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, IRONHILLBREWERY.COM 18. Public Docks

1/25/18 10:51 AM


22 17





23 21



31 29





Visit RiverfrontWilm.com for info on events happening at the Riverfront! 19. Big Fish Grill, BIGFISHRIVERFRONT.COM 20. Frawley Stadium, BLUEROCKS.COM Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame 21. Chase Center on the Riverfront, CENTERONTHERIVERFRONT.COM 22. Dravo Plaza & Dock 23. Shipyard Center Planet Fitness, PLANETFITNESS.COM 24. Timothy’s Restaurant, TIMOTHYSONTHERIVERFRONT.COM Molly’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, MOLLYSICECREAM.COM Ubon Thai Restaurant 25. Wilmington Rowing Center, WILMINGTONROWING.ORG 26. Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge/

02_Wilm_Riverfront.indd 3

DuPont Environmental Education Center, DUPONTEEC.ORG 27 Riverfront Commuter Lot, RIVERFRONTWILM.COM/PARKING 28. Penn Cinema Riverfront IMAX, PENNCINEMARIVERFRONT.COM 29. CrossFit Riverfront, CFRIVERFRONT.COM 30. The Residences at Harlan Flats, HARLANFLATS.THERESIDENCES.NET 31. Altitude Trampoline Park, ALTITUDEWILMINGTON.COM 32. The Westin Wilmington, WESTINWILMINGTON.COM River Rock Kitchen, RIVERROCKKITCHEN.COM 33. Delaware Humane Association, DEHUMANE.ORG 34. Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard/Fort Christina Park, KALMARNYCKEL.ORG Photo by Joe del Tufo

1/25/18 10:52 AM



MONDAY - THURSDAY 4PM - 9PM | FRIDAY 4PM - 10PM | SATURDAY 11AM - 10PM | SUNDAY 11AM - 9PM 2018 PRESIDENT’S DAY WEEKEND HOURS FRIDAY, FEB. 16TH 11AM - 10PM | SATURDAY, FEB. 17TH 11AM - 10PM SUNDAY, FEB. 18TH 11AM - 9PM | MONDAY, FEB. 19TH 11AM - 9PM hours subject to change based on weather |

check daily at riverfrontrink.com or on facebook at riverfront rink





HU RRY, D O N ’T MI SS O U T CLOSIN G SU N D A Y, MA R C H 4TH G5067_riverrink_out&about_ice rink_new images.indd 1 02_Wilm_Riverfront.indd 4

1/11/18 10:46 AM 1/25/18 10:53 AM

n a i c i s u m



within with

February 2018 • #inWilm

Eunice LaFate: Black History... Ginny Lockman (#UnleashWithin)

INdependent Musician

DCAD Student Exhibition

Spokey Speaky’s Bob Marley Bday February 3

Super Bowl Party

Nathan & The Zydeco Cha-Chas February 9

Victorine’s Valentine’s Day February 10

Wilmington Chocolate Festival February 14

Less Than Jake February 16

Love, Sex and the IRS

Andrew Bird

Science Expo

Shopkins Live! Shop It Up!

February 1-28

February 2

February 7-25


Basil Restaurant Blues Traveler 2 for specials February 22

Jea Street

February 22 - March 4

February 2 - March 23

February 23

February 24

February 4

February 25

inWilmDE.com 02_Wilm_Riverfront.indd 5

1/25/18 11:01 AM



S T A R R I N G :


FEBRUARY 7–25, 2018 TICKETS AS LOW AS $25! Group (10+) & student discounts available

Amidst the bustle of a crowded London train station, Georgie spots Alex, a much older man, and she plants a kiss on his neck. This electric encounter thrusts two strangers into a fascinating and life-changing game. Heisenberg brings to blazing, theatrical life the uncertain and often comical sparring match that is human connection. “QUIRKY, LOVELY, FUNNY AND POWERFUL” —Associated Press

200 WATER STREET / WILMINGTON, DE 19801 / 302.594.1100 / DELAWARETHEATRE.ORG This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com

17 OA - HB full page ad.indd 1 02_Watch.indd 8

12/20/17 11:43 AM 1/25/18 11:05 AM

Photo Tisa Della-Volpe


First State Ballet Theatre presents The Young Lady and the Hooligan as a double-bill with Paquita on Feb. 17 and 18 at the baby grand.

‘ARTSTUFF’ TO KEEP YOU WARM WITH EXCITEMENT Ballet, Music School open mic, and Bud Martin takes the stage for second time in 37 years By Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald


irst State Ballet Theatre heats up the baby grand stage this month as it presents a “double bill of dance” with Paquita and The Young Lady & The Hooligan. Paquita, a ballet by French composer Édouard Deldevez and Paris Opera Ballet Master Joseph Mazilier, premiered in Paris in 1846. It tells the story of a young girl abducted by gypsies as a child who is ultimately reunited with her noble family and finds love with a young French army officer. In 1881, dancer and choreographer Marius Petipa—considered one of the most influential ballet masters in history—produced a revival of the ballet in Russia, adding new pieces arranged and composed by Ludwig Minkus. The additions included the Paquita Grand Pas Classique, now known as one of the foundations of the traditional ballet repertory. The Paquita Grand Pas Classique blends Spanish flair with classical performance in an expressive and timeless masterpiece. First State Ballet last performed the work in May 2009. For this iteration of Paquita, its principal dancers are Rie Aoki, Leonid Goykhma and Zane Winders.

The Young Lady and The Hooligan is based on Vladimir Mayakovsky’s 1918 film about a criminal transformed by his love for a young teacher. The work was initially performed at the Leningrad Malii Opera Theater in 1962. The dynamic music conveying this melancholy lovers’ tale comes from composer Dmitri Shostakovich. The score was created from a number of Shostakovich’s existing works, arranged by his longtime musical colleague, Levon Atovmyan. Principal dancers are First State Ballet’s Mary Kate Reynolds as the Young Lady and Richy Romero as the Hooligan. Executive Director Kristina Kambalov notes that Artistic Director Pasha Kambalov chose the two pieces because they are completely different stylistically, emotionally and technically. “The Young Lady and the Hooligan has a great deal of emotion and drama, and Paquita is pure classicism,” she says. Dates for this double bill are Saturday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at tickets. thegrandwilmington.org. ►


02_Watch.indd 9


1/25/18 4:02 PM


Photo courtesy of The Music School of Delaware


2 0 1 8 MUSIKARMAGEDDON The Music School of Delaware offers monthly open mic nights for musicians and spoken-word artists at its Wilmington Branch.

Saturday, April 7 live @ the baby grand Local Singer/Songwriters will compete in a head-to-head contest to determine the area’s best talent


Prizes include Recording Session at Studio 825, an Out & About Article, and an Appearance on WSTW’s Hometown Heroes!

Sponsored by:


Beginning this month, The Music School of Delaware’s Open Mic Nights will become a regular event at its Wilmington Branch. The open community event now expands to the second Thursday of each month (Feb. 8, March 8, April 12 and May 10 at 7 p.m., with a 6:30 p.m. artist sign-up) and offers a revised staging setup. “In addition to regular dates, we’re also excited to offer a new format for these events,” says Chris Braddock, the Music School Studio Department head and Open Mic Night coordinator. “Our previous open mics were more like small concerts; this setup will be less formal, with club-style seating for musicians, their families and friends.” Braddock also notes that new sound equipment will be available for performers’ use, and food and drink will be available during the show. Also new this year: One act will be chosen from each open mic performance to participate in a “Best Of” concert in December. The Music School Open Mic Nights are open to soloists or groups ages 14 and up in all musical genres as well as spoken-word artists. For more information, call the Music School’s Wilmington Branch at 762–1132.


Another regional premiere hits the Delaware stage in playwright Simon Stephens’ Heisenberg, running Feb. 7-25 at Delaware Theatre Company (DTC). Stephens—also playwright of the celebrated The Curious Incident of the Dog in the NightTime—opened this play off-Broadway in 2015. It was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in 2017. The story opens in a bustling train station in London, as Georgie spies Alex, a much older man, and kisses him on the neck. The encounter plunges the two into a fascinating and life-changing game. The DTC production is directed by Matt Pfeiffer and stars Karen Peakes as Georgie (seen previously in DTC’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, The War of the Roses and The Explorers Club) and DTC Executive and Artistic Director Bud Martin as Alex. This show marks just the second time in 37 years that Martin will take the stage as an actor. “It’s a beautiful show about how two lonely, hurt people—very unlikely to ever get together—can find something astonishing when they give in to the unpredictability of their future,” Martin says of the production. “[This production] is a perfect role for Karen, whom I adore,” he says, “and they don’t often write these roles for older men. When else would I get the chance to play a part like this with someone like Karen?” Due to sexual situations and profanity, the show may be best suited for mature older teens and adults. Two show dates (Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 14 and 15) have already sold out. Tickets for the remaining dates are $15 for students and $25-60 for all other seating and are available at delawaretheatre.org.


The folks of Arden invite you to bring your beads, masks and a pair of comfy dancing shoes as Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-Chas take over the Gild Hall for a proper Mardi Gras music festival beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9. Band leader Nathan Williams hails from St. Martinsville, La., the heart of Creole country. He moved to Lafayette to pursue his dream of playing zydeco and was mentored by two of the greats—Clifton Chenier and Arden’s favorite son, Buckwheat Zydeco. Tickets are $25 and available at ardenconcerts.com. The Gild Hall dance floor will be wide open on Feb. 9; join in the fun and allons danser!


02_Watch.indd 10

1/25/18 4:37 PM


The Post


STARS µµµµµ

L-R: Tom Hanks (Ben Bradlee), David Cross (Howard Simons), John Rue (Gene Patterson), Bob Odenkirk (Ben Bagdikian), Jessie Mueller (Judith Martin), and Philip Casnoff (Chalmers Roberts) in The Post. Photo Niko Tavernise / Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

TWO OSCAR CONTENDERS: ONE VERBAL, ONE VISUAL The Post and The Shape of Water show diverse styles of Spielberg, del Toro By Mark Fields


hese are not great days for those in the media game. The reporting business has been racked by major setbacks: the take-over by profit-driven conglomerates; the trivialization of news from the 24/7 cable beast; the more recent disgraces of high-profile journalist-harassers; and most of all, the demeaning howl of “fake news” popularized by the sitting President. All that is distressing, even nauseating for those of us who value the importance of the media and view exceptional journalists as modern-day heroes. Well, director Steven Spielberg with his new film, The Post, has just the cure: a

taut, cerebral thriller about how The Washington Post broke the Pentagon Papers story and held the federal government accountable for its disinformation campaign about the true state of the Vietnam War. In 1971, The Post was not the revered national newspaper and journalistic exemplar that it is today. Rather, it was a family business in a smallish eastern city that just happened to be the national capital. D.C. socialite Katharine Graham had assumed the role of publisher upon the premature death of her husband, a position of authority and responsibility that was much more uncommon for a woman in those days. ►


02_Watch.indd 3


1/25/18 11:10 AM


Then, Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst, leaked a classified study that revealed decades of government deception about Vietnam to several newspapers, and The New York Times became the first to publish portions of what became known as the Pentagon Papers. When the Times was enjoined by the Nixon Administration, publisher Graham and her crusty, ambitious editor, Ben Bradlee, were faced with a perilous opportunity: defy the Nixon Administration to break a landmark news story but face repercussions that could include jail. Spielberg’s telling of this historic event, aided by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer’s rata-tat screenplay, contains all the ingredients one wants in a journalism thriller: compelling and eccentric characters, the ink-stained romance of a humming newsroom, a powerful political adversary, and the ever-present pressure of a deadline. And although the dramatic rhythms of this story feel familiar, they do so in a reassuring way, at least for those who see journalists as virtuous, albeit flawed heroes. One especially effective touch: Richard Nixon himself appears as a character, seen only from a distance through windows at the White House with voiceovers provided by his own surreptitious tape recordings. Spielberg turns to two other Hollywood titans to embody this project. Tom Hanks plays Bradlee with the requisite combination of brusqueness and charm. Meryl Streep is both flighty and flinty as Graham as she comes into her own both as a publisher and a leader. The two of them, who have never worked together on a film before, make their scenes crackle with intensity and gravitas. They are surrounded by a raft of accomplished supporting actors, including Bob Odenkirk, Jesse Plemons, Carrie Coon and Sarah Paulson. One can’t watch this film without being mindful of its cinematic forebear, All The President’s Men. After all, that story about Watergate also involves The Washington Post and editor Bradlee. Spielberg doesn’t shy away from the parallel. In fact, the denouement of this Pentagon Papers adventure wryly hints at the Watergate story coming just around the corner. As both a timely history lesson about the dangers of insular, autocratic government and as a lesson in bravura filmmaking, The Post proves itself to be more than newsworthy. 54 FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Watch.indd 4

1/26/18 8:45 AM

Photo Niko Tavernise / Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation


The Shape of Water


Nemours Building | 1007 N. Orange Street

February 2 - 4

STARS µµµµµ Sally Hawkins plays Elisa Esposito and Octavia Spencer plays Zelda Fuller.

THE SHAPE OF WATER If Spielberg is a verbal film stylist, then Guillermo del Toro is a comparable master of visual cinema, with an emphasis on the fantastic and bestial. His The Shape of Water delights the eyes and exhilarates the imagination. Set in a secret government research lab in Cold War-era Baltimore, The Shape of Water tells of an unlikely yet completely entrancing romance between a lonely, mute janitor and the non-human lab specimen whom she befriends…The Creature from the Black Lagoon meets Marty. I don’t want to reveal more of the story, so that viewers can be caught up in del Toro’s magical realism for themselves. But the film is beautifully shot and deftly directed, a dazzling palette of greens, blues, and teals that gradually introduces the occasional punch of red. Sally Hawkins captivates as janitor Elisa, and del Toro regular Doug Jones is both otherworldly and truly empathetic as the creature. Michael Shannon is enjoyably odious as the cruel lab security chief. Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins and Michael Stuhlbarg play Elisa’s friends and collaborators as fully formed characters within the framework of the movie. One needs a robust suspension of disbelief to buy into the premise of this offbeat love story, but for those willing to make the leap, The Shape of Water will be a provocative treat. Also opening in February: The 15:17 to Paris, retelling of the train hero story, Feb. 9; eagerly-awaited Marvel film focused on a black superhero, Black Panther, Feb. 16; Alex Garland’s supernatural thriller, Annihilation, and a mystery comedy about board gamers, Game Night, both on Feb. 23. Coming to Theatre N in February: The Final Year, a documentary about the end of Obama’s term as president, Feb. 2-4; the current crop of Oscar-nominated Short Films, Feb. 9-11; and I, Tonya, feature version of skater Tonya Harding’s life story. For specific dates and times, visit theatren.org.

The Final Year

In Between

Fri 8:15 | Sat 11am, 1:30, 7 | Sun 11:30am

Fri 2, 5:30 Sat 4:15 | Sun 2

Rocky Horror Picture Show Sat 11 pm

February 9 - 11

Documentaries 1 & 2 Docs 1 - Fri 12pm | Sat 7:30 | Sun 5 Docs 2 - Fri 3 | Sat 11am | Sun 8

Animated Live Action Fri 5:45 Sat 4 | Sun 11am

Fri 8:30 Sat 1 | Sun 2

February 16 - 18

I, Tonya

Molly’s Game

Fri 5:30 Sat 7:30 | Sun 12, 6:30

Fri 2, 8:30 Sat 12:30, 4 | Sun 3

February 21

Opera in Cinema: Rigoletto Wed 6pm

Rocky Horror Picture Show Sat 11 pm

February 23 - 25

Lady Bird

Loving Vincent

Fri 5:30, 8:30 Sat 1, 4 | Sun 12, 6

Fri 2 Sat 7:30 | Sun 3

For more information and tickets, visit



02_Watch.indd 5


1/25/18 11:12 AM


Recline ON THE

RIVERFRONT showtimes and tickets at

www.penncinema.com 56 FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Watch.indd 6

1/25/18 11:14 AM

Photo courtesy of Movies on Tap


Laura Wilburn, executive director for Urban Bike Project, accepts a donation check from Ryan Kennedy of Harvey & Hanna and Drew Sheaffer of Penn Cinema.

CLASSIC FILMS, BEER, CHARITIES Movies on Tap combines all three for a fun way to support good causes


n just two years, the monthly Movies on Tap event at Penn Cinema Riverfront has truly become a juggernaut of funfilled philanthropy. The movies are classic gems, the brews exemplary in craft and flavor, and the scope of the cause continues to grow. In April of 2016, Ryan Kennedy, marketing director for Harvey, Hanna & Associates, came up with the idea, which was to bring together local breweries and movie goers at a fun event aimed at raising funds for local charities. It has been an absolute success, with 99 percent of ticket proceeds from each showing being donated to that month’s charity. “To date, Movies on Tap has raised $58,000, which has benefited 22 charitable organizations,” says Kennedy, adding that the December showing was the most successful of the 22 events. “Urban Bike Project received $8,820 from their event with Dogfish Head and screening of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” Kennedy says. "We're so grateful for the generosity of Movies on Tap, Dogfish Head Brewery, and all of the enthusiastic moviegoers,” says Laura Wilburn, executive director of the Urban Bike Project. “The funding we received through Movies on Tap is huge for us. It's enough to cover a full year's costs for our Free Bike program. The program gives bikes, locks and lights to Wilmington residents who are in need of transportation to get to work or job interviews, grocery stores and other necessary services.”

Last year’s series raised nearly $45,000, according to Drew Sheaffer, director of Operations at Penn Cinema and coordinator of Movies on Tap. “That’s almost $10,000 above our original goal of $35,000,” he says. “Overall, we've heard overwhelmingly positive feedback from all of the featured breweries and nonprofits. The breweries have expressed how much they love the opportunity to connect with the local community in a fun, interactive and impactful way.” The breweries’ enthusiasm for the 21-and-older series, in which Out & About is also a partner, is reflected in the lineup of repeat participants, including Yards, Mispillion River Brewing and Dogfish Head Brewery. “It’s something different, which is what people want, and a great way to raise money and awareness,” Kennedy says. “It’s the easiest form of fundraising. If you pair a quality movie with quality beer and an inspirational mission—tickets will sell.” Sales figures confirm that assessment. The average crowd per event increased from 97 in 2016 to 175 last year. Donations are up as well. The average donation per event of $1,413 in 2016 more than doubled last year, to $3,500. This year’s goal is to raise more than $40,000. With tickets priced at just $20, which covers a flight of beer, unlimited popcorn and the movie, that goal should be attainable. For more information, check out the Movies on Tap Facebook page. —Mathew Brown-Watson FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Watch.indd 7


1/25/18 11:14 AM

10 new 55" 4k flat screens in time for the big game at ernest!!!

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

302.384.8113 • ErnestAndScott.com 902 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19801


Super sundaybash! Sunday, Feb. 4th, 4pm – 11pm

TWO venues TWO great specials! ALL 56 Taps JUST $3 per pour! ALL Appetizers ½ PRICED!

Reservations Recommended

2 great packages, 1 great price! check websites for the package that she’ll love best! 75 per couple! available february 12th – 17th limited seating packages include: 3 courses 2 glasses of bubbly $

302.384.8113 • ErnestAndScott.com 902 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19801

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


02_Listen.indd 6

1/25/18 11:18 AM


Local legend Joe Trainor has been one of the mainstays of the concert. Photo Joe del Tufo

Shine A Light Celebrates 1968 The usual powerhouse lineup will play the music of half a century ago in the annual concert to support the Light Up the Queen Foundation By Kevin Francis hen it comes to music, yesteryear can seem like yesterday, and that’s the feeling the annual Shine a Light concert will aim for by rolling back the clock to 1968 to create warm memories for those lucky enough to secure a ticket. Sponsored by the Light Up the Queen Foundation, the concert is set for Saturday, March 3, at The Queen in Wilmington. Tickets for the annual event have always sold out, but there’s still time to purchase general admission or the highly-sought-after VIP tickets, which include a Celebrity Chef menu executed by The CROP Foundation, open bar featuring Tito’s specialty cocktails and Twin Lakes craft beer, exclusive balcony seating, front pit access and more. This year’s concert will once again bring together an allstar lineup of scores of the most popular and revered musical performers in the Wilmington area. For many, 1968 was a year of turmoil, but from that chaos arose some of the best music of the 20th century, and it’s reflected in the set list for this year’s concert. “We have rock, country, jazz, blues, Top-40, and more,” says “Harmonica” Pete Cogan, a veteran of the concert series. “The magic of the show is that it takes everyone out of their own bands and puts you with other people you’ve never played with before. You get to meet other band members and their followers and that really opens up a lot of doors for you as a performer.”


“The Light Up The Queen Foundation began in 2008 with a single arts education program and has developed and diversified over the years,” says Tina Betz, the foundation’s executive director. “The concert is by far our biggest fundraiser, pulling in well over a half million dollars in its seven-year run. The money raised allows us to serve about 3,600 children and young adults a year—well over 10,000 in total—through our programs. And we are just picking up speed.” After tackling the Rolling Stones’ catalog for the first few years of the event, organizers decided to fete all styles of music of 1975 three years ago and followed that by celebrating 1976 and 1977 in subsequent years. This year, the decision was made to step back even farther, to 1968, in a salute to a golden year of music. John Cassidy, multi-instrumentalist for Kategory 5, likes the idea of celebrating 1968, but says slyly, “I hope we don’t go back to 1959 next year.” When horn player Alan Yandziak jokingly frets they might eventually run out of years and songs, Shine A Light Executive Committee member Tom Williams laughs and says, “Don’t worry, we still have a lot of quality songs from which to choose in coming years.” ►


02_Listen.indd 7


1/25/18 11:28 AM



SHINE A LIGHT CELEBRATES 1968 continued from previous page


Photo Joe del Tufo

Celebrating 85 Years Established in


Thank you for a great season!

DELAWARE’S OLDEST LIQUOR STORE FAMILY OWNED FOR FOUR GENERATIONS Large selection of Wine, Spirits, Beer, & Growlers MIDDLETOWN 448 E. Main Street Middletown, DE 19709 Tel: (302) 376-6123

WILMINGTON 904 Concord Avenue Wilmington, DE 19802 Tel: (302) 652-3792

Kat Pigliacampi, lead singer for Kategory 5, will rock out at this year’s show.

Guitarist Nick Bucci, regarded reverently by many area musicians, says that 1968 is right in his wheelhouse. “I had the opportunity to play on some Steely Dan songs during previous years’ shows,” he says, “but having a chance to emulate Jimi Hendrix [this year] is a challenge I’m looking forward to.” Bucci’s exalted standing in the musical community contrasts with Cole Petrillo, who will make his debut in the concert series this year. “I used to sneak into practices when my dad (Mike “Pops” Petrillo) would be rehearsing for past shows,” he says. “I hope to get to play on a song with him and also with Pat Kane (guitar),” who played his first Shine a Light show last year. This constant infusion of new performers helps keep the show fresh year after year. Singer Nihkee Bleu also made her debut last year and says her experience was “fun and awesome.” It reinforced in her that “people really love music from 40-50 years ago,” she says. “I spoke to people who could not make it to last year’s show and they were very disappointed. I wasn’t even born in the 1960s, but I think music from that era is more relevant today than it ever was.” Drummer John DiGiovanni, of Steal Your Peach, can relate. “This is my music, the music I grew up on. I was in high school in 1968.” He considers it an honor to be included, especially since a scheduling conflict prevented him from performing at last year’s show. Kat Pigliacampi, lead singer for Kategory 5, has her hair color (sort of) to thank for her first invitation to perform at the show, back when it featured The Rolling Stones’ music. “(Shine A Light Planning Committee member Rob Grant) called me up and said they needed another backup singer,” says Pagliacampi. “He told me they have a blonde, a redhead and needed a brunette, so that was how I first got involved.” She says that back then, “it was a lot more rogue, but still well organized.” Since The Stones don’t feature female lead singers, it was more “guy-oriented,” but she says she will miss the chance to do more disco and prog rock by not continuing on to 1978. Like everyone else, Pigliacampi is looking forward to this year’s show, citing “the spirit of unity. It’s all about the music.” While everyone involved tries to make each show better than the previous year, they also recognize the true focus of the event— the Light Up the Queen Foundation. Kathleen Ford, co-chair of the Shine A Light Committee, says, “The focus on arts education has resulted in even more—and larger—sponsors than ever this year, which allows us to serve more children than before.” With this year’s show offering an enhanced video production with some surprises, tickets are—as usual—going fast to this local musical event of the year. Check availability at LightUpTheQueen.Org/ShineALight.


02_Listen.indd 8

1/25/18 11:31 AM

Photo John Loreaux


Wailing: Barrett and The Wailers will be at The Queen on Feb. 8.




t’s hard to pinpoint another touring musician who has bigger shoes to fill right now than Josh David Barrett. For the past three years, Barrett has been singing lead vocals for The Wailers, the legendary reggae band that backed Bob Marley from 1974 until his untimely death in 1981, and whose mastery of laid-back island grooves helped sell more than 100 million recordings worldwide. It’s hardly lost on Barrett that, as a musician, he is in an extraordinarily esteemed and yet possibly precarious situation: performing with the world’s most recognized reggae band where once stood an artist that The New York Times suggested “may the most influential musician in the second half of the [20th] century” —the same artist who wrote all but one-half of a song on Exodus, a reggae masterpiece that Time Magazine declared “Best Album of the Century.” At the same time, it’s not like Barrett was simply a name randomly picked from a hat-full of possible Bob Marley

replacements. Sure, it helped that Barrett is a distant cousin of longtime Wailers bandleader Aston “Familyman” Barrett and that two previous additions to the band were descendants of original members. But of equal importance, Josh David Barrett already had made a name for himself as a multi-instrumentalist, recording and performing with other multi-talents such as Kanye, Stevie Wonder and Quincy Jones. “My musical journey has been a long and blessed one,” Barrett says. “I’m grateful to have all those experiences to add to this current one.” Barrett is looking forward to The Wailers’ new release on Feb. 6—Bob Marley’s birthday and just two days before the band’s much-anticipated performance at The Queen in Wilmington, a town Marley once called home. We spoke to Barrett by phone last month, and here is what he had to say—in his Jamaican accent—about his upbringing, his outlook with The Wailers, and his Rastafari faith. ►


02_Listen.indd 9

59 61

1/25/18 11:34 AM

@ 2PM




S U N D AY, F E B R U A RY 1 8 T H

QUIZZO with Dan Healy


PRESIDENTIAL COSTUME CONTEST ~living presidents & 1st ladies welcome~


Live Music!

Starting @ 8pm

Valentine’s Day Special Dinner Menu

Friday, Feb. 9 through Wednesday, Feb. 14 Geat food in a relaxing, comfortable environment...

Call For Reservations

6 1 8 N . U N I O N S T. • W I L M I N G T O N

THE Place to Watch the Big Game! Takeout packages available for Wings, Ribs & ‘Ready to Bake’ Nachos with all the fixings. 302.652.7737


O&A: You were really on your way before you joined The Wailers. As a competent and up-and-coming musician you played with artists like Common, Mary J. Blige, Q-Tip and Solange. Which musical experience was the most important to you before joining The Wailers? Barrett: I would have to say growing up and playing in church because I feel spiritual music is the essence of Rasta music as a brand of reggae. When one says reggae music, I want to think Rasta. It’s the spiritual “one love, one God, one aim, one destiny.” That is what we inspire and aspire to bring to the people. I think that is the most important part of my upbringing: that togetherness, that oneness, that making one sound giving glory to the Most High, Jah Rastafari. O&A: You make a direct connection between [your upbringing] and what you are doing now. What does that connection mean to you? What does singing in The Wailers mean to you? Barrett: Well, it means a lot because reggae music has three elements where we speak of as Rasta: word, song and power. The word is the message; the sound is the music; and the power is when we come together and sing and dance, as Bob Marley said, jammin’ in the name of the Lord. That is what I find most valuable, that unity, how it brings people together throughout the four corners of the world. Seeing how it inspires people and liberates people—to be a messenger of that is a joy. To me, that is the greatest job me could ever have. O&A: I know there are a lot of other reggae artists, and I’m not trying to diminish any of their roles. But Bob Marley is the king of reggae. How did you feel about trying to step into that role at first? Barrett: I hold a great deal of respect for the legacy of Bob Marley and The Wailers. For years I felt the best way I could express my appreciation was through music—my own music—with which I’d formed a band called Judah Tribe with [other musicians]. Through that, we were able to express our joys, our woes and our great appreciation for this great work, the great message, Rastafari. So it was a natural progression.


02_Listen.indd 10

1/25/18 3:55 PM

O&A: How do you see the music you are performing fitting in with what’s going on in our country and throughout the world? Barrett: As much as we love this music, this music and this struggle was born out of protest. While there is a joy to singing these songs, ina myself, I wish we didn’t have to sing these songs. But this message is still needed. Not all of it—some of it is more joyous. But when you sing “Them Belly Full” or “Heathen,” those are things we have to sing because we still see it prevalent on Earth. So the music is needed, and the message is needed. The world I don’t feel is balanced. And if we are not wise, we’ll end up going backwards. All of us must take it upon ourselves to be a living example, be a Bob Marley, wherever you are in your sphere, in your work. It’s gonna take that to win this struggle. O&A: Where would you like to see this go, playing with The Wailers? Do you have any long-term goals? Barrett: Wow... I have a dream that one day The Wailers will play in Ethiopia when the royal dynasty of Emperor Haile Selassie

Photo courtesy of The Wailers

Learning and understanding every day the magnitude of [Bob Marley] being the first one to do this great work, to make it reach where it did reach, is very important. And I understand, just a little bit, about the pressure that Bob Marley and the Wailers had to go through. I mean they were shot at for this music, for this struggle. And I understand not everybody love reggae music or love Rastas when you are out there saying “one love.” So we’re out there to encourage those who love justice and hate aggression and counteract all the works of evil that seek to divide humanity.

The Wailers are the world’s most recognized reggae band.

and Empress Menen is restored. That would be a glorious day, and I would love to be there as a participant in this great affair and blessing being that, for Rasta, Ethiopian history is crucial. We don’t want to convert anyone, but correct the abuse. We want to see that world power, that knowledge, that grace, restored in Ethiopia with we, the singers and players of instruments to celebrate this great occasion. Catch Josh David Barrett and The Wailers at The Queen on Thursday, Feb. 8, for what will surely be a memorable performance. For details, go to TheQueenWilmington.com.





Entertainment Schedule EVERY MONDAY: Showtime Trivia EVERY TUESDAY: Jefe & DJ Andrew Hugh

GET $5.00 OFF


Your Very 1st Order Over $20! Also, Get Our 50% Dine-In-Only Specials All For 25% OFF When Ordering Online!




2/2- Party Fowl 2/3- Jimmies 80’s Tribute 2/9-Hot Bed 2/10- Mimic 2/23- Engine Number 9 2/17-Eleanor and Roosevelts 2/24-Red Hotts

Check Out Our Sister Restaurant in Wilmington on Union Street

Offering the Best Happy Hour in Wilmington & Brunch every Sat & Sun 10am-2pm

MONDAYS ½ Price Appetizers ALL DAY!

TUESDAYS ½ Price Burgers ALL DAY! $4 Double LIT’s

WEDNESDAYS - MEXICAN NIGHT! ½ Price Nachos & Quesadillas ALL DAY! $3 Coronas & Margaritas • $2 Tacos $15.99 9oz NY Strip Steak All Day

302.369.9414 | 108 West Main Street, Newark | www.deerparktavern.com

THURSDAYS ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT Wings (5pm-Close) ½ Price Burgers (11:30am-3pm) • $3 Rail Drinks Be our friend on Facebook!


02_Listen.indd 11


1/25/18 3:56 PM

FEBRUARY MUSIC at Kelly’s Logan House Now featuring early shows from 7-10 p.m. every Friday night with original local music. #livemusicforearlybirds 2/02 – Gable Singer Songwriter Showcase Featuring: Kira Alejandro, Genesis Z, Ginger Coyle, and Orion Freeman 2/09 – Darnell Miller opening for Pristine Raeign 2/16 – Will Wood and the Tapeworms with the Joe Trainor Trio 2/23 – Blues and BBQ with the Tommy Froehlich Trio and Venom Blues

Look for these great bands upstairs!

FRIDAY, 2/02

Charrity and John Fazio trio - 10:30 p.m. Photo Elias Muhammad


The Relatives - 10 p.m.

FRIDAY, 2/09

Brixton Saint- 10:30 p.m.


The Way Outs - 10 p.m.

FRIDAY, 2/16

Click - 10:30 p.m.


Back to Blonde - 10 p.m.

FRIDAY, 2/23

Take Cover - 10:30 p.m.


Radio Halo - 10 p.m. 1701 Delaware Ave. Wilmington, DE 19806 (302) 652-9493

LOGANHOUSE.COM Bands and times subject to change.


TUNED IN Not-to-be-missed music news DEBUT ALBUM FOR PHIL YOUNG

Local mainstay artist Phil Young is releasing his debut album, The Road After Me, on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 1984 in Wilmington. The group he brought together to help record the album includes members of bands he’s been part of, including Mark Stallard, Rick Potts and Tim Gove. Combined, they have more than 20 years of performing together. Recorded by Brian McTear at Minor Street Recordings in Philadelphia (think Waxahatchee, Dr. Dog, Kurt Vile, and The War on Drugs), The Road After Me is a departure from the power trio attack that Young is used to with his band, The Cocks. The album is instead more evocative and atmospheric. The record release party will be opened by Mighty Joe Castro and the Gravamen. Go to philyoungsongs.com for more information.


Curb Records’ breakthrough artist Dylan Scott will bring his high-energy show and enigmatic vocals when Justin Moore’s Hell on a Highway Tour stops at the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center on Saturday, Feb. 3. Scott, who recently released his debut Christmas EP, Merry Christmas, just completed his most successful year to date. He closed out 2017 with the seventh most-played song on country radio, “My Girl,” which also was his first platinum certified No. 1 single. The chart-topper, in addition to Scott’s latest smash, “Hooked,” has helped make him the second most-played new country artist of the year. A Louisiana native with a lifelong passion for country music, Scott’s resonating drawl pairs with an old-soul songwriter persona. Prior to landing his record deal, he learned the basics of singing and playing guitar from his dad, a former guitar player for country group Freddy Fender and Freddy Hart. Scott entered the country music scene in 2013 with “Making This Boy Go Crazy,” the debut single from his self-titled EP. The Feb. 3 show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, which start at $29, can be purchased at dylanscottcountry.com.


02_Listen.indd 4

1/25/18 4:26 PM


The 12th Annual Hometown Heroes WSTW Homey Awards Ceremony is set for Sunday, March 4, at Arden Gild Hall. Performers and candidates will be announced prior to the show, at wstw.com. There are two rounds of voting: the first is by popular vote, in which the public votes for their favorite 2017 releases and musicians in the various Homey categories. The top five by popular vote in each category will be this year’s nominees. The Homey Panel, made up of past Homey winners and industry professionals, will then vote on the nominees to decide this year’s winners.


Celebrate Mardi Gras a few days early at Arden Gild Hall with Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas on Friday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. Warning: The music will be infectiously danceable. Over the last 30 years, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas have arguably proven themselves to be the premier zydeco band in the world. The musical genre, which evolved in southwest Louisiana from French Creole speakers, blends blues, rhythm and blues, and music indigenous to the Louisiana Creoles and the Native people of Louisiana. Bandleader Nathan Williams, Sr. is the recipient of the Clifton Chenier Lifetime Achievement Award. The band has won the Zydeco Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and also has earned Big Easy Awards for Best Zydeco Band. Williams hails from the heart of Creole country, St. Martinsville, La. He moved to Lafayette to pursue his dream of playing zydeco and was mentored by two of the greats— Chenier and Buckwheat Zydeco. The dance floor will be open for this show—and attendees are invited to wear Mardi Gras finery.


An alternative country-Southern rock band based in Athens, Ga., The Drive-By Truckers will make a stop at The Queen on Wednesday, March 28. Mike Cooley (lead vocals, guitar, banjo), Patterson Hood (lead vocals, guitar), Brad Morgan (drums), Jay Gonzalez (keys, guitar, accordion, backing vocals) and Matt Patton (bass guitar, backing vocals) released their 11th studio album—and their most recent one— American Band, in 2016. Doors open at 7:30 and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.


Andrew Bird is an internationallyrenowned multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, vocalist—and whistler—who picked up a violin for the first time at age 4 and has pursued a classical style, with influences of jazz, country blues and folk ever since, combining the sounds into his own brand of pop. He’ll perform at The Grand on Friday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m. Since beginning his recording career in 1997, the 44-year-old Bird has released 13 albums. He has recorded with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, appeared as “Dr. Stringz” on “Jack’s Big Music Show,” and headlined concerts at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and festivals worldwide. In recent years he performed as the Whistling Caruso in Disney’s The Muppets Movie, wrote the score for the FX series Baskets, and more. His newest album, Echolocations: River, came out last fall. The eight-track instrumental LP was recorded while Bird stood in the Los Angeles River underneath the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge. River is the second installment in his Echolocations series, which features destination-specific songs. His first Echolocations record, Canyon, was released in 2015. Tickets for the Grand show start at $43.


02_Listen.indd 5



1/26/18 8:56 AM

it st s


80 Years!

next to anthony’s pizza formerly famous mike’s



1st annual

EaglEs supEr Bparty owl GO BIRDS!

Sunday, February 4th Doors open at 4pm 13 HDTVs Delaware’s Eagles Headquarters. Free T-shirts first 25 people.

Enjoy these daily specials

4809 Limestone Rd, Wilmington, DE 19808 (next to Anthony’s Pizza)





s Mondays: 15% OFF Craft Beer 6-Pack $50 Tuesdays: 15% OFF Whiskeys over

ne Wednesdays: 15% OFF 750mls of Wi Thursdays: $2 OFF Growler Fills

Huge Selection Mix Your Own 6-Pack Friendly Staff



Fly Eagles Fly on the Road to Victory

wilmington 522 Philadelphia pike -

uors.com 302.764.0377 - pecosliq

• Dog Night On The Patio 5pm – 11 pm • Feb. 14th – ♥ Valentine’s Day Party ♥ Hosted by DJ Willie Wilmington 3 & $4


• Feb. 28th – Wednesday DJ Series

FRIDAYS • Feb. 9th – Nurses Night! • Feb. 16th – Big Murphs Birthday Party

THURSDAY LATIN NIGHT • Feb 8th – DJ Cris & DJ Ozkar • Feb 22nd – DJ Willie Wilmington


SATURDAY DJ SERIES • Feb. 3rd – Local Artist Night Hosted By Dom Draper • Feb. 10th – LGBT Night Hosted by Tina Alesi • Feb. 17th – Hands on Entertainment • Feb. 24th – Country Night Hosted by Common Courtesy

JOIN US FOR THE SUPER BOWL! Sunday, February 4th


4305 Kirkwood Hwy Wilmington, DE (Behind The Applebee's)


02_Drink.indd 2

1/25/18 11:54 AM


Paul Ogden at Rockford Tavern, the latest addition to his lineup of bars.

OGDEN’S ODYSSEY Wilmington’s ‘Famous’ tavern owner reflects on 35 years in the bar biz By Rob Kalesse Photos by Joe del Tufo


ccording to a July 2017 report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7.6 million American workers were holding down multiple jobs, up 2 percent from midway through 2016. The numbers vary between those with full-time gigs and one or two side jobs and those with two and three part-time jobs. Paul Ogden can beat those numbers handily. At 57 years of age, the Wilmington native currently runs eight bars, part of an incredible total of 33 establishments he’s owned or operated (or both) over nearly three-and-a-half decades. Some of New Castle County’s most popular bars (and most “Famous” taverns) have been successful under Ogden’s guiding hand, and that includes the recently opened Rockford Tavern, which Ogden reclaimed from the short-lived Halligan Bar. On a recent—and rare—night off, Ogden swigged a Miller Lite at his new establishment, which occupies a cozy spot on Lovering Avenue, and reflected on his affinity for bars. “I love being here like I love being at all my establishments over the years, because I get to see so many employees and customers that have really become my extended family. This is probably my favorite spot right now, but mostly because I live just up the street and usually make Rockford my home base.”

Rockford Tavern features a new bar design—the standard style, with 17 seats, as opposed to the awkward, multi-sided rendition of the past—as well as high-top tables made from reclaimed shuffleboard tables and better sightlines for the many TVs and new stage that can accommodate six-piece bands. For Ogden, it’s just another watering hole in his long line of establishments that stretches back to 1982. That was the year the Wilmington native began his journey in the bar biz, shortly after dropping out of the University of Delaware. Ogden first ran the Logan House for the Kelly family, and then opened his first solo project—aptly named Logan’s Run— on Maryland Avenue. He even used to bus people to and from both establishments, as a way to boost revenue and popularity. “From the moment I started running bars, I was in up to my ears,” Ogden says. “I did everything at the Logan House— managed, tended bar, cleaned toilets—and basically had the same role at Logan’s Run. But y’know, I loved every minute of it. It was just the right career path for me. When I look back at all the places I’ve run over the years, the good times everyone had just make me smile.” ► FEBRUARY MARCH 2018 2016 || OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Drink.indd 3

67 61

1/25/18 11:56 AM

DRINK OGDEN’S ODYSSEY continued from previous page



SHUTTLE 28th Annual

St. Paddy’s Loop!

SAT, MARCH 10 7PM Start

A Policeman’s Son

The son of a former Wilmington police officer—and fourth of five brothers — Ogden stayed close to his roots in the city, opening classic haunts like Legends and Bottlecaps, as well as his beloved Stuffed Shirts (currently the Washington Street Ale House). The last of those three holds the fondest of memories for him. “It’s hard to pick my favorite bar, but if I had to, I’d go with Stuffed Shirts,” says Ogden. “You just always got the sense in that place that everyone was friends, because it had such a great neighborhood vibe to it. Heck, I made some long-lasting friendships in that place, and have even attended weddings of some former employees.” One example: John “Howdy” Hudson, who was working the bar during a packed Halloween Loop back in 1991. It was on that night, while serving hundreds of locals, that one young girl, Georgia Shafer, stood out. She walked in without a costume, and Hudson called her out playfully, which led to conversation. Today, the two have been happily married for 22 years. “We poured more drinks in that place per square foot than any bar in Delaware —I’m certain of it,” says Hudson, who now lives in Siesta Key, Fla. “But she comes walking in with no costume on—she had just gotten back from Hawaii—and she’s absolutely stunning. I couldn’t help but strike up a quick chat with her—after I served her a free beer, I’m sure—and we met up the next night at Legends.” Hudson says his story is not unique. “I guarantee you we’re not the only couple that fell in love under Paul’s watch,” he says. “Stuffed Shirts was a blast, and Paul had a knack for repeating that type of fun atmosphere at all of his places. I’ll bet a lot of guys and gals met at his spots, and then got married down the line.”

Marketer Par Excellence

OutAndAboutNow.com 302.655.6483

Ogden sees himself as more of a marketer than a bar owner or operator, and in 2008, he had one of his better marketing ideas when he opened the first of his many “Famous” taverns—Famous Jack’s—on Naamans Road. Ogden’s hook to get folks in the door was spawned by the economic downturn and rising gas prices.


02_Drink.indd 4

1/25/18 2:39 PM

1709 Lovering Ave Wilmington (302) 655-3689 Gallucios-de.com

Your Place to SEE OUR BIRDS!

Party Trays Available for Your Super Bowl Parties!

Super Bowl Special

Eat-in or Take-out Large Cheese Pizza and One Pound of Wings ONLY $15

$3.50 23oz. Yuengling and Miller Lite Drafts

The Rockford Tavern, on Lovering Avenue, has become home base for Ogden, who lives just up the street.

“We actually started the $3 everything when I owned Bar 317 on 4th Street in Wilmington, and the tagline—‘Our pints are cheaper than gas’—worked pretty well,” says Ogden. “Once we started up the Famous franchise, we used it at every place and packed ‘em in. We’ve moved away from it a bit—now most beer is still $3, but wine, liquor and the good craft beers are $4. No matter what, they’re still some of the cheapest prices around.” The same prices apply at Rockford Tavern, despite it not being one of Ogden’s seven “Famous” taverns: Joe’s, Pat’s, Tom’s, Bob’s, John’s, Tim’s and Buck’s. Drew Rivas tends bar at Rockford a few nights a week and is also responsible for the architectural updates. Rivas, who’s been working for Ogden almost as long as Ogden has been in business, says his boss’s easygoing personality and willingness to listen are keys to his success. “You always know where you stand with Paul; he’s a real straight shooter and has some really simple rules to follow,” says Rivas. “He jokes that he’s been married to me longer than his own wife, and I guess it’s kinda true. But aside from being an honest businessman, he’s always willing to listen to the opinions of others, whether it’s employees or customers.” Ogden’s wife, Lisa, and son Jack, 14, aren’t interested in participating in his business endeavors, and that’s fine with all three. As Ogden puts it, “My wife is the smart one, and my son has already made it clear where he stands on taking over, saying, ‘Dad, I’m not built for this.’ He’ll probably wind up being an attorney, like his mom.” Ogden deflects credit for his long and still flourishing career. “I’ve said it time and again, but I’m really only successful because of my patrons and my employees,” he says. “They have always pointed me in the right direction and kept me on track.” Whether that track includes more taverns is yet to be determined, but either way, Paul Ogden has certainly made himself into one of Delaware’s most famous bar owners.

Order Your Heart-Shaped Pizza for Valentine’s Day!



Karaoke - Every Thursday 8pm-12am DJ Castro - Every Friday 8pm-12am Live Entertainment - Every Saturday


ChickysPizzaPub.com • (302) 660-8787 FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Drink.indd 5


1/25/18 3:57 PM





Here's what's pouring



ogfish Head Craft Brewery has a new president/COO, George Pastrana. (Sam Calagione isn't going anywhere.) Pastrana shares with Dogfish Head CEO and founder Sam Calagione a fundamental business philosophy that should make him a great fit for the local brewing company. Pastrana spent six years as chief marketing officer/vice president of Marketing & Innovation with ACH Food Companies. A self-professed “foodie,” he holds an MBA from Cornell University and a degree in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.



t's the End of the Wort as We Know It is the latest effort from the famed Dogfish Head Brewery—and it comes with a free Swiss army knife! This one-of-a-kind “survival beer” sprang from the question Sam Calagione, founder and CEO of Dogfish Head, uses as a conversation starter: What is your desert island beer? That prompted a brew day among friends, which resulted in the birth of It's the End of the Wort as We Know It. While not making any health claims about the brew, Dogfish Head points out that the beer contains 90 percent of the daily requirement of folic acid, and eight times more vitamin B complex than one of America’s leading light lagers. It’s the End of the Wort as We Know It became available in very limited quantities beginning Jan. 27. For more information, contact Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, 684-1000.



elaware’s up-and-coming Brimming Horn Meadery introduced two limited-release meads late last month. Brimming Horn is a Scandinavianstyle mead hall that features a tasting area where meads and ciders are on tap, and served in bottles, growlers and glasses. Brimming Horn Meadery has collaborated with the post-metal group Junius for its latest effort, a bourbon barrel mead. Brimming Horn contacted Junius vocalist Joseph Martinez at the end of the group’s East Coast tour to initiate the partnership. The meads made by Brimming Horn are complex, which mirrors the compositions created by Junius, and that symmetry gave birth to the new mead, Eternal Rituals, named after the group’s latest album, Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light. The new mead is made from North Dakota clover honey, a light floral with just a hint of spice. After the completion of the fermentation process, the mead was placed in bourbon barrels for more than three months. The barrels gave the mead subtle hints of caramel, vanilla, and a bit more spice. Mead maker Jon Talkington is an avid fan of Junius and thought the collaboration would appeal to what he calls the “refined mead drinker as well as the sophisticated bourbon aficionado.” Find out for yourself if this metal-meets-mead marriage is as good as it sounds. Eternal Rituals is available at the Brimming Horn tasting room in Milton, and is also available online at vinoshipper. com and brimminghornmeadery.com. Act fast: only 180 bottles were produced.

tate Representative Ron Gray, of Selbyville, is the primary sponsor of House Bill 284, which, if passed, would enable all on-premises licensees who sell a bottle of alcohol (other than beer) to place a cap on the bottle and allow patrons to take the remaining contents home with them. The bill addresses situations in which patrons are incentivized to finish a bottle of wine because it is currently illegal to package the wine with the rest of the leftovers. Gray believes this bill could reduce drunk driving, and ultimately make area highways safer. Delaware is one of the first states to have recognized this issue. The bill is currently assigned to the House Economic Development/ Banking/Insurance/Commerce Committee.



ron Hill Brewery has for the first time in its 21-year history decided to place a year-round emphasis on canned crafts, and it plans to release at least one new can each month in 2018. It started with the introduction of the 2018 winter lineup on Jan. 11 with the release of cult favorite Rising Sun, a single-hopped IPA with Japanese Sorachi Ace hops. Two more canned brews will be added to the winter lineup in February: Bedotter, a traditional Belgian-style golden ale, on Friday, Feb. 9, and Ore House, a golden IPA, on Thursday, Feb. 22. To learn more, visit ironhillbrewery.com.


02_Drink.indd 9

1/26/18 9:03 AM


Mike Little, far right, in his Zumba maiden voyage. Photo courtesy of Renee Gelber

ZUMBA: AGONIZING GOOD FUN Our intrepid reporter tries a 90-minute session of the dance-fitness craze and manages to survive—barely By Mike Little


et me start by saying that the last thing in the world I wanted to do was Zumba. You’ve heard of Zumba, right? The dance-fitness craze that started in the 1990s and took the world by storm? That’s now being practiced on a weekly basis by some 15 million people? But I never expected to be among their number for the simple reason that I don’t do dance. Sure, I possess a Bachelor of Arts degree in Square Dancing, earned by attending classes at the municipal building in my hometown of Littlestown, Pa. in 1975. But I was young and in love back then, and like many a besotted swain I was willing to make a complete fool of myself. Things are different now. I like to think I have acquired a modicum of self-respect. On the other hand, I’ll do anything for a paycheck. So that’s why, on the day before the day before Christmas, I made my reluctant way to the Delaware City Library for a Zumba “event” hosted by The Z Spot, LLC. Did I have qualms?

Yes. Mostly because I had done my research and discovered that Zumba incorporates a potpourri of frenetic dance styles— salsa, mambo, merengue, chachacha, and so on—designed to reduce you to a sweating, heaving wreck. And dancing myself to heart failure is not my idea of a good time. As I approached the library, I found myself cursing Alberto “Beto” “Power Pedal” Perez, the nefarious Colombian responsible for inventing Zumba. Some may call him a visionary. I say never trust a man with more than one nickname.


I could tell you all kinds of fascinating things about Zumba, but suffice it to say the word “Zumba” means nothing and was chosen arbitrarily, and that it has spread from Colombia to 180 countries. It seems you can Zumba almost anywhere except Iran, where the powers that be have declared it un-Islamic, which is perhaps the only advantage to living in Iran. ► FEBRUARY 2018 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

02_Play.indd 7


1/25/18 12:07 PM


I spoke with Renee Gelber, who has been running The Z Spot for almost six years. For the 37-year-old Gelber, Zumba has been a game changer. Thanks to the high-octane activity and healthy eating, she has lost almost 100 pounds. But she nearly passed on the initial opportunity to try Zumba because she didn’t want to pay the five bucks her fitness center charged for classes. Fortunately, she was offered a free class, and the rest is history. She became an instructor and started a thriving small business, and now, she told me, The Z Spot hosts three or four events a month across Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. She plans to expand to corporate events, weddings, and the like, and eventually hopes to go global. I also chatted with instructor Travis Algerin, who happens to be Gelber’s boyfriend. Zumba changed the 24-year-old Algerin’s life as well. A serious bodybuilder, he brushed off the recommendations of his mother—a Zumba instructor herself—to give Zumba a try until he suffered a hernia and had to find a new fitness outlet. He took to it immediately, and he says it transformed him from a shy, withdrawn young man who couldn’t look you in the eye to a person who exudes confidence. And thanks to Zumba, both Gelber and Algerin are beginning to see the world. Not long ago, Algerin traveled to Belgium, the United Kingdom and Spain to teach classes. The event I attended was held in an antiquated gymnasium/ auditorium in the building—a former elementary school—that now houses the library. It was the ideal setting for a 1950s sock hop, right down to the basketball hoops and the old stage. The latter—most likely the setting for many a grade-school theatrical—made the perfect platform for Algerin to perform his carefully choreographed routines. (He told me he tries to come up with two new ones per month.) Rotating disco lights swept the walls, floor and ceiling as the crowd—which had braved a rather savage rain—arrived. They were a radically diverse and very happy lot who seemed enthusiastic about the prospect of tossing themselves about. I spoke briefly to Joan Burke, a relative newbie and cancer survivor who discovered Zumba through her association with the Livestrong Foundation for people affected by cancer. She was an instant convert, she told me, and praised Zumba for being both high energy and loads of fun. “It doesn’t feel like you’re exercising,” she told me. “It feels like you’re dancing.”


And like seemingly everybody else in attendance, Burke had nothing but accolades for Algerin, who seems to have achieved superstar status on the regional Zumba circuit, thanks to his galvanizing on-stage theatrics and an ability to dance like a member of a first-rate boy band. I went up to him before the performance and said abjectly, “Please don’t kill me.” “No promises,” he replied. “No promises.” Algerin then took the auditorium’s stage, the music started, and within 15 minutes I was a gasping, sweat-soaked ruin. I fancy myself in good shape for a 59-year-old man; I lift weights and am no stranger to the old elliptical machine. But this was hardcore; you’re constantly dancing, moving your arms, racing to the left and right and backwards and forwards, and leaping up and down. Horrified, I realized that I was expected to do this for 90 minutes. But I seemed to be alone in my misery; everyone else loved it. While they sought the nearest water fountain, I looked about for a defibrillator, and soon found myself in the bathroom, panting and mopping sweat off my face.

Photo Sherri Bihl Sobocinski

ZUMBA: AGONIZING GOOD FUN continued from previous page

Our intrepid writer, mid-Zumba.

Back in the auditorium, Algerin was constantly pulling people from the crowd to dance with him on stage, and most of them had the skills to pay the bills. My pride injured by his inexplicable failure to choose me—after all, I have the aforementioned Bachelor of Arts in square dancing—I finally decided to bum-rush the stage. That proved to be an unmitigated disaster. Moments into my performance, people actually started pointing at me and laughing. My newfound dream of becoming the next big thing on the Zumba circuit was quickly crushed. Would I recommend Zumba to you, dear reader? Most certainly. The event’s participants varied in age from 6 to at least 70, and many didn’t look particularly fit. They were there to become fit, and they were having a great time doing it. And you don’t have to go full-tilt boogie the way I tried to do. Many of the dancers adopted their own less frenetic pace, thereby succeeding in burning calories while enjoying themselves. More than anything, Zumba is good fun. To quote my fiancée, who attended with me: “It’s like doing a line dance at a wedding for an hour-and-a-half.” The people of Iran don’t know what they’re missing. For information on upcoming events sponsored by The Z Spot, go to zspotevents.com.


02_Play.indd 8

1/25/18 12:10 PM


02_Play.indd 9

1/25/18 12:17 PM

02_Start.indd 32

1/25/18 2:20 PM