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It All Started at the Green Room

How Does Delaware Stack Up With Recycling?

Adventure Story Contest Winners

HOPE

for the

Holidays Creative Ways of Keeping the Spirit Alive

NOVEMBER 2020 COMPLIMENTARY


吀栀攀 漀渀氀礀 琀栀椀渀最 礀漀甀 猀栀漀甀氀搀 愀搀搀  琀漀 礀漀甀爀 瀀氀愀琀攀 琀栀椀猀 栀漀氀椀搀愀礀 猀攀愀猀漀渀  椀猀 愀 猀攀挀漀渀搀 栀攀氀瀀椀渀最⸀ 吀栀攀 栀漀氀椀搀愀礀猀 搀漀渀밂琀 渀攀攀搀 琀漀  戀攀 猀琀爀攀猀猀昀甀氀 眀栀攀渀 匀栀漀瀀刀椀琀攀  椀猀 栀攀爀攀 琀漀 挀愀琀攀爀 愀氀氀 漀昀 礀漀甀爀  栀漀氀椀搀愀礀 挀攀氀攀戀爀愀琀椀漀渀猀℀  栀漀氀椀搀 嘀椀猀椀琀 匀栀漀瀀刀椀琀攀⸀挀漀洀⼀挀愀琀攀爀椀渀最 漀爀 瘀椀猀椀琀 礀漀甀爀 氀漀挀愀氀 猀琀漀爀攀 昀漀爀 洀漀爀攀 椀渀昀漀爀洀愀琀椀漀渀⸀  䠀愀瘀攀 愀 猀愀昀攀 愀渀搀 栀愀瀀瀀礀 吀栀愀渀欀猀最椀瘀椀渀最⸀

2 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


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2 INSIDE 2

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Out & About Magazine Vol. 33 | No. 9

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

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Director of Publications Jim Hunter Miller • jmiller@tsnpub.com Contributing Editor Bob Yearick • ryearick@comcast.net Creative Director & Production Manager Matthew Loeb, Catalyst Visuals, LLC Digital Services Director Michael O’Brian Contributing Designers Allanna Peck, Catalyst Visuals, LLC,

19 START

DRINK

7 War on Words

33 Experts Suggest Wines for Thanksgiving

8 FYI 10 Adventure Story Winners 13 Worth Recognizing

PLAY

14 A Zest for the Zoo

35 Game Over, Man

17 Recycling in Delaware

FOCUS Contributing Writers Danielle Bouchat-Friedman Adriana Camacho-Church, Cindy Cavett, David Ferguson, Mark Fields, Pam George, Lauren Golt, Jordan Howell, Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Dillon McLaughlin, Ken Mammarella, Matt Morrissette, John Murray, Larry Nagengast, Kevin Noonan, Leeann Wallett

Contributing Photographers Jim Coarse, Hank Davis, Justin Heyes and Joe del Tufo/Moonloop Photography, Butch Comegys, Lindsay duPhily, Matthew Loeb, Matt Urban Special Projects Bev Zimmermann

14 A Zest for the Zoo New Executive Director Mark Shafer has high hopes for Brandywine Zoo

LISTEN

By Bob Yearick

39 Analog Turns 10

19 Hope for the Holidays

EAT

17 Clean Effort

WILMINGTON 42 In The City

As we celebrate America Recycles Day, how does Delaware stack up By Jerry duPhily

44 On The Riverfront

26 Dining Dynasty

FEATURES

19 Hope for the Holidays Creative ideas for keeping the spirit alive during a pandemic

On the cover: The holiday light display at Longwood Gardens is truly one of a kind. Cover photo by Hank Davis, courtesy of Longwood Gardens.

Out & About staff

26 Dining Dynasty The Green Room begat a bevy of celebrated Delaware chefs By Pam George

35 Game Over, Man

OutandAboutNow.com

The pandemic proved too much for the nightclub 1984, but it was a helluva ride By Matt Morrissette

Printed on recycled paper.

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

NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

5


WILMINGTON ALLIANCE is

bringing informal entrepreneurs into the formal economy and providing them with the resources to grow their businesses.

One of the pathways to prosperity is entrepreneurship. However, like many other aspects of social and economic opportunities, the starting point is not equal for Black and Brown entrepreneurs. In June, Technical.ly launched a 12-week series of case studies, commissioned by Wilmington Alliance, aiming at truth telling about what it is like to be an entrepreneur of color in Wilmington. The final report titled Seeking Equity: Black and Brown Entrepreneurship in Wilmington, DE will be released later this year. Wilmington Alliance did not wait for the report to act. In September, the City of Wilmington, Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation and Wilmington Alliance announced that Wilmington, DE is joining the National League of Cities (NLC) City Innovation Ecosystem program (CIE). In partnership with and support from Schmidt Futures and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the CIE program asks city leaders to commit to creating the right policies, programs, and practices to ensure their communities can thrive in the global, innovation-driven economy. NLC helps participating cities reach their goals by providing technical assistance, seed funding, and peer learning.

Wilmington Alliance believes that everyone should have equal footing on which to start a business. Our commitment is to continue to forge local and national partnerships to provide OPPORTUNITY (a level playing field and less red tape), KNOWLEDGE (the know-how to start a business), FUNDING (equal access to the right kind of capital everywhere) and SUPPORT (the ability for all to take risks). Our commitment to Wilmington is to help create a shared vision of economic prosperity. Our commitment to Wilmington means sharing this vision for local stakeholders to rally around. Our commitment to Wilmington also means clarifying the needs for connection to the right information, resources, and partners. Our commitment to Wilmington also means helping to put our city on the map nationally.

Wilmington, our commitment is to you. - Wilmington Alliance

Putting Wilmington on the Map!

We are so proud to know, work along, partner with and share in our city’s story! And, we are even more excited to announce, that together with the City of Wilmington, Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation and in partnership with and support from Schmidt Futures and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Wilmington, DE is joining the

National League of Cities City Innovation Ecosystem program!

Continue to learn more about the progress of our work, follow @WilmingtonAlliance. Chattanooga, TN

Philadelphia, PA

6 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

Rexburg, ID

Selected List of NLC CIE commitment cities.

Rochester, NY

Wilmington, DE

Kansas City, MO


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A writer/editor’s slightly snarky and relentless crusade to eliminate grammatical gaffes from our everyday communications

Compiled from the popular column in Out & About Magazine

THE WAR ON WORDS A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse

Media Watch Sports of All Sorts

• Bob Nightengale, national columnist for USA TODAY: “We’ve saw teams playing home games in visiting cities . . .” Hard to believe he misused this simple construction. The past participl­e­­­—seen—is the correct choice. • Meanwhile, Bobby Nightengale, Bob’s son and baseball writer for the Cincinnati Inquirer, committed this atrocity: “He urged (Reds Manager David) Bell to swing again. Bell winded his arm up and blasted the gong.” Wrong verb, wrong placement of up, and wordy. Bell simply wound up and blasted the gong. The Wilmington News Journal’s sports pages have gifted us with this two-fer: • “. . . Walter Connor, chairman of the DIAA’s officials committee, expressed concern that the return of sports amid the pandemic has exasperated the issue.” The writer meant exacerbated. Exasperated means to be frustrated or incensed. • And a story about the State Board of Education voting on whether to have fall sports reported that “the process was overly excruciating.” A pain worse than death? Other sports page miscues: • Tom Moore, of the Bucks County Courier Times: “It’s important for him (LeBron James) to have enough cache with the young stars for them to respect him.” What Tom meant was cachet­—prestige, respect. Cache is a hoard or supply of something. • Marc Narducci, in the Philadelphia Inquirer: “But, all of the sudden, his redshirt junior year was over.” The expression is “all of a sudden.” It’s a mystery to me why so many people get this wrong. • Also in the Inky, EJ Smith fell into the old less/fewer trap: “[Trevor Williams’] absence in practice is still noteworthy since it will mean less reps with the Eagles’ starting unit . . .” Reps is a plural, EJ, so you should’ve written fewer. Non-sports gaffes included these: • Ellen Gray, in the Inky: “An adaptation of Ta-Nehisis Coates’ bestselling book and the 2018 Apollo Theater production that sprung from it . . .” That’s sprang, Ellen! • Josh Peter, USA TODAY: “James T. Butts Jr., the mayor of this city (Inglewood, Calif.), has basked in triumph but expressed displeasure

By Bob Yearick

as an historic moment approaches.” Josh apparently forgot the rule about using a or an: The sound of a word’s first letter determines which to use. If the word starts with a vowel sound, use “an.” If it starts with a consonant sound (like “historic”), use “a.” • Headline on NBC Nightly News: “70 Out of 100 Biggest Cities Are Lead by Democrats.” The The Corner Room in State College, Pa., past tense of lead is led. inserted an errant • Reader Joan Burke says CBS Ch. 3 in Philly apostrophe in this sign. committed this headline error: “Homeless have been ordered to vacate the premise by 9 a.m.” Premises—a house or building, together with its land and outbuildings—is the correct word here. Premise is a previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion. • Another reader reports that Barack Obama, in a post asking people to be active citizens, wrote this: “. . . to embrace your own responsibility as citizens, to make sure that the basic tenants of democracy endure . . .” Demonstrating once again that even the best and brightest of us commit this common mistake. The word is tenets. • Keeping it politically balanced, we have this older item from President Trump: “I feel badly about Steve Bannon (being indicted).” One feels bad. Feeling badly implies that your sense of touch is not quite right. Again, common.

Pandemic Pandemonium • A reader received an email relative to COVID-19 that said the content was “a bit technical but you could get the jest of it.” That would be gist. A jest is a joke or prank. • Meanwhile, a nurse posted this on the Nextdoor Facebook page: “The testing has stopped for everyone unless you are sympathetic.” Pretty sure she meant symptomatic. Perhaps autocorrect reared its ugly head here.

Department of Redundancies Dept. Peter MacArthur on WDEL: “One of the oldest and most historic homes in Hockessin leaves its mark on history.” Definitely one for the history books.

Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords

Word of the Month

Pangloss Pronounced pan-gloss, it’s a noun meaning a person who is optimistic regardless of the circumstances

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

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


START START HISTORICAL SOCIETY DIRECTOR AWARDED COVETED BOOK PRIZE

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F.Y.I. Things worth knowing

DCH GARDEN CONTEST WINNERS

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ON-DEMAND LEARNING AT MT. CUBA CENTER

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t. Cuba Center in Wilmington is offering a series of online classes that bring knowledge and know-how skills to you at a time of your convenience. The classes are open to anyone and include The Best Native Plants for Containers, Get The Dirt on Soil and Instant Butterfly Garden. Each class is approximately 90 minutes and costs $15. Visit MtCubaCenter.org

Bhe Delaware Center for Horticulture in Wilmington received 64 entries for its first Virtual Garden Contest. This year’s contest included submissions for flower gardens, vegetable gardens and container/ kitchen gardens. Barb Rosen was the winner of the Flower Gardens category followed by Eric and Jason Hoover and Jane Brooks. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church won first place in the Vegetable Gardens followed by John & Shannon Narvaez and Gail Hermenau. “As an organization with a mission to inspire individuals and communities through the power of plants, we knew how important gardening and being outdoors would be this spring and summer for people to stay active and remain grounded,” said Vikram Krishnamurthy, DCH Executive Director. To view all the entries, visit TheDCH.org

elaware Historical Society Executive Director David W. Young has been awarded the Philip S. Klein Book Prize by the Pennsylvania Association for The Battles of Germantown: Effective Public History in America. The Klein Prize is awarded to the best book on a topic that illuminates the history of Pennsylvania. Klein was a former president of the Pennsylvania Historical Association. The book includes important connections Pennsylvania had with Delaware, including during the American Revolutionary War and the Underground Railroad. The book is available through Temple University Press at TuPress. temple.edu

Delaware Historical Society in Downtown Wilmington.

A PHOTOGRAPHIC SALUTE TO ESSENTIAL WORKERS

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he Delaware Art Museum will present a celebration of essential workers throughout Wilmington with a photography exhibition opening November 11 in the Museum’s Orientation Hallway. Essential Workers Photography Campaign, created by Operation Technician Iz Balleto and Teaching Artist and Curator in Residence JaQuanne LeRoy, shows the faces and voices of the many people who have kept the Wilmington community going since the start of the current health crisis. It will combine portraits with personal stories of working on the front lines, exploring what essential work entails and honoring those individuals who continue to dedicate their lives to their work every day. “What’s essential to a community is different than the definition of first responders,” said Balleto, who lost a cousin to COVID-19. “I wanted to highlight the people out here in Wilmington, the heroes in our community, who are more than just doctors and nurses. There are people who take care of children and the elderly; people who make sure we have food, from the bodega to the grocery to the bakery—they all matter. This is a love and a sacrifice.” “Corner store bodegas represented an area of essential work that stood out for me,” said LeRoy, who curated the exhibit and selected photographer Luna Visions to shoot the subjects. “Growing up in Wilmington, the bodega was a staple, meeting your immediate needs 8 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

without having to go to a grocery store. “Understanding most of those are small businesses run by families and the risk they undertook to be open for the One of the Wilmington small businesses highlighted in the Delaware Art Museum's new exhibition. Photo by Luna Visions community, I thought that was very special and was happy to see as a part of this campaign. Those decisions where you might have to groom someone else to step up and be more involved when elderly people are at risk changes that family dynamic.” “So many people have supported us in 2020, ensuring that our needs are met and our families remain healthy and cared for,” said Molly Giordano, Interim Executive Director for DAM. “We believe art is an essential resource, and by utilizing the arts, we connect and celebrate our community.” The exhibition is set to open on Veterans Day (Nov. 11). DAM is open every Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with hours extended to 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Visit DelArt.org.


The Holidays are Sweeter at Hagley!

Holidays at Hagley

December 4, 2020, through January 3, 2021 Enjoy the “Hometown Heroes” gingerbread houses, see Santa and Mrs. Claus, and visit Santa’s Workshop Selfie Station!

NEW BOOK HIGHLIGHTS DELAWARE MUSTS

HAGLEY.ORG/HOLIDAYS

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he husband-and-wife writing team of Dan Shortlidge and Rachel Kipp have co-authored a 192-page paperback titled 100 Things to Do in Delaware Before You Die. Published by Reedy Press, the book serves as a handbook to discovering “diamonds in the Diamond State,” from the warm ocean beaches to bucolic farm country, complete with family-friendly listings and must-do itineraries. Shortlidge and Kipp are former reporters for The News Journal , have lived or worked in all three Delaware counties, and have called the state home for 40 years. The book retails for $19.95 and is available at area bookstores

DRIVE-IN CINEMA AT BELLEVUE PARK

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Ihe Grand’s drive-in movies at Bellevue State Park in North Wilmington will wrap up this month with a pair of shows. Hairspray, based on the Tony Award-winning musical, will be featured on Friday, Nov. 13, at 7pm. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory will be shown on Sat., Nov. 14 at 7pm. Cost is $15$60 per car, depending on the number of occupants. Children underww 12 are free. For tickets visit TheGrandWilmington.org

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hanks to all who entered Out & About Magazine’s Adventure Story Contest presented by REI and Delaware State Parks. In this age of Twitter and Instagram, taking the time to compose a short story is a commendable endeavor. Furthermore, receiving entries from several youngsters was especially encouraging. Writing is a life skill, and good writing must be applauded at every opportunity. For us, Jill Althouse-Wood’s Strange Adventures was the best of the entries and you can judge for yourself by reading her full story on the adjacent pages. For her efforts, Althouse-Wood wins a Kingdom 6 Tent from REI as well as a $50 gift card to Shop Rite for supplies and a $50 gift card to Ted’s Montana Grill to celebrate. Excerpts from our second- and third-place winners are below, as well as excerpts from stories of two youngsters we judged worthy of honorable mention. You can read the full stories at OutAndAbout.now.com

2nd Place: Beer Quest

3rd Place: Mount Washington

by Paul Parmelee

by Helene Laprade

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ow many states can you set foot in within a 24-hour span? Taking it a step further, we discussed maybe grabbing a beer in each state. Going over the atlas in our minds we discovered that if we did it in two phases, thanks to how clustered the northeastern states of this great nation are, we could possibly hit 13 states plus Washington DC.

Honorable Mention: Adventures of Derby by Prakrit Vaish (age 9)

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s he is going through the sticky and swampy water he found a snake, a big one! He ran like a rabbit to grab him. As he was running he got to a dead end. Derby was frightened, the snake attacked but then somebody or something grabbed the snake and saved Derby.

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ventually, it began to get darker and we still had a ways to go. When planning out the timing of the trip, my dad had thought we would have a four-mile hike up and a four-mile hike back down, and there would be plenty of daylight for that. He hadn’t considered that our hike down would be twice as long.

Honorable Mention: The Secret Tree by Lillie Hawkins (age 13)

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he only thing left to do was jump in himself, which is exactly what Tristan did. Tristan continued to fall, for about what seemed like an hour, when he finally landed on a pile of old bird feathers. Raveira called out to him from the other side of a bridge, which looked more like three boards of wood tied together by pieces of old spaghetti. Raveira shouted that it was safe to cross, but Tristan was skeptical. He finally chose to cross. Right at the fourth board of the bridge, he stepped and the wood cracked into two pieces and his foot fell through.


G E N A

1st Place:

R T S

ADVENTURES By Jill Althouse-Wood

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y husband parked the car, and I opened my passenger side car door, assessing the jumble of tree roots that had buckled the curb of the West Philadelphia sidewalk. I’d be able to navigate the obstacle now, but I was in flip flops. What would happen when we returned to the car after a few beers? I didn’t normally drink beer at 10:30 AM on a Sunday morning, but these were extenuating circumstances. Mark and I were in flux. We were between houses having sold our Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, house and not having yet moved into our new home in the artist colony of Arden, Delaware. In the two-month interim, we, along with our teenage children, were bunking with Mark’s parents. Though the forced co-habitation was going smoothly, with three weeks until our move to Delaware, Mark and I were getting restless. We scoured fliers and magazines for possible field trips to give everybody a little breathing room. That sounds more magnanimous than it was. The truth was that we needed a jailbreak from our lives, and coincidently, Philly Beer Week was in full swing. Mark had just joined Untappd. For those unfamiliar, Untappd is the app to track and rate beers. The more you drink and rate, the more badges you get. Badges like All-American, Social Drinker, I believe in IPA! It’s Pokémon Cards for grown men. That year, there were 611 events for Philly Beer Week. We had chosen one for our getaway, a Russian River Valley event happening at Local 44 in Philadelphia. Our holy grail? An IPA called Pliny the Elder which had been at the top of our list of beers to try for some time. Not wanting to risk the keg kicking before we got there, we aimed to get in line at Local 44 at least a half-hour before their 11 AM opening. We were not the only ones. When we had driven past, we saw that a line had already formed outside the bar. This is why I didn’t ask Mark to repark the car when I saw the tree roots. We needed to get in that line. As we were speed walking toward Local 44, we mentally started counting the people in line. At the same time, we both said, “Is that…?” And we both trailed off before completing our thoughts, trying to be sure we weren’t seeing a mirage. But sure enough, the two people standing at the end of the line were Joe and David, people we knew. Let me back up. The reason we were moving to Arden, DE, was because Mark had

a new job. While his new job was closer to Philadelphia, Arden was closer to that job than our previous digs. We had chosen to move to Arden over closer burbs because we had been going to Arden’s annual outdoor Shakespeare plays for a few years, and I, being an artist, had fallen in love with the idea of living in an intentional artist community. That said, we knew exactly four people who lived in Arden— our realtor, Cynthia, and her husband, David, who had hosted us for our Shakespeare jaunts, and Joe and Keri, the couple from whom we were buying our house. Two of those four people were currently standing in line outside of Local 44. We really liked David and Joe and hoped we would be socializing with them and their wives in the future, but Mark and I had made a pact that when we moved to Delaware, we were not going to be clingy hangerson. We would seek out new friends and not burden the only four people we knew to hang out with us just because we didn’t know anybody else. But we had not planned this meeting in Philadelphia, could not have coordinated to arrive in line precisely behind them if we had tried. We were here, at this exact moment, stalking beer, not people. We approached with careful optimism. ► NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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STRANGE ADVENTURES

David and Joe turned when we hopped in line behind them, and from the looks on their faces, we could tell that their surprise at seeing us was a positive one. They were here for the Pliny also. They introduced us to Larry, their friend who was with them on their beer pilgrimage. As if the moment were not serendipitous enough, we learned that Larry, another Arden resident (make that 5 people we knew!), worked in IT, like Mark, had a wife who was an artist, like me, and had two children who were close in age to our two. In addition to meeting Larry, we chatted with others in line, mostly men, about…what else?…beer. Many of those waiting with us were there for the sours from Russian River Brewing Company. We breathed sighs of relief. More Pliny for us! At last, the doors to Local 44 opened, and as luck would have it on this day of planetary alignment, our new little group snagged the last five seats at the bar. I was glad for the seat. The small room was quickly filling to standing-room-only capacity. Beer nirvana ensued. We scored our Pliny the Elder as well as Blind Pig IPA, which we all rated higher than Pliny, and at the suggestions of the others at the bar, we opened ourselves up to the world of sours. Mark unlocked the Groupie badge on Untappd. When the check came, we were undercharged, of course. It was just how our day was going. The bartenders were so busy, we couldn’t get anyone’s attention to argue the bill, so we over tipped. We had padded our stomachs with poutine, but when we went stepped from the bar out into the June sunshine, we were all feeling the effects of the alcohol. Though a number of the holy grail beers had already kicked, the line still ran down the block. We looked from the line to each other. Nobody in our group seemed particularly anxious to relinquish our morning’s string of good luck to those poor saps. Larry had gone to college at Drexel and had worked in West Philly. He knew the neighborhood. He said there was a noteworthy, abandoned building nearby that had been converted into an art installation. He had always been curious about the interior of this particular building and currently, it was on the Hidden City Philadelphia Tour. Did we want to take a walk and check it out? It seemed only wise to walk off our beers before getting into the car back to Lancaster County, Mark’s parents, and our kids. And after drinking several high-end, craft beers, we were nothing, if not wise. Larry made it sound like the building in question was around the corner. It was not, and I was in flip flops. Around the time I was getting blisters on my feet, I started to doubt the beer-soaked wisdom of following a guy we just met for the first time in a bar all over Philadelphia (or so it seemed). Did this dude really know where he was going? The only landmarks he pointed out along the way were the kind that were pulled from the news—and not in a fluffy, human- interest kind of story. More like “POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS” variety. When we finally arrived at the Hawthorne Building in the Powelton neighborhood, I was a little taken aback by the ruinous state of it, and at the same time, intrigued by the obvious grandeur of the old building. My fear and curiosity were a heady combination. Larry talked the ticket taker into admitting us for the reduced price of $5 since we didn’t want to tour all the sites on Hidden Philadelphia. Then, he waved us in. I don’t know what I was expecting when I walked inside. It was an art installation like no other. The artist group Rabid Hands Art Collective had transformed the space into the fictive Society of Pythagoras (think lots of triangles) using only materials found on the site. It was part temple, part secret society. Moving through a labyrinth of rooms with their lit pyramids, intentionally unbalanced tablescapes, and peculiar confessionals, I felt as though I should be wearing robes and whispering 12 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

continued from previous page in some ancient tongue. Joe, a professional photographer, whipped out his iPhone and, though he was devoid of his usual high-tech gear, managed to capture the spirit of the installation in a way I didn’t think possible with any camera let alone one from a phone. My artist self was entranced. I felt like I was having an out-ofbody experience. Where was I? How had I left my in-law’s house this morning to get a beer and ended up here, inside a work of art in the belly of a derelict building? It was Indiana Jones meets Alice and Wonderland. Or something like that. Inspired, I started to question how I could incorporate what I had seen into future works of art. Could I employ found objects? Attempt triangular composition? I didn’t know the answers to those questions, but after seeing that exhibit I knew two truths: We were moving to the right community, and we would be able to make friends. After we exited the exhibit, it took us a while to put words to what we just experienced. A familiar buzz broke the silence. In Cinderella fashion, Joe’s iPhone transformed from an artist’s tool to document otherworldly mysteries back into a line that tethered him to the real-life grind. His wife, in an urgency brought about by unanswered texts, was now calling Joe to ask him where he was. Unbeknownst to us, he was supposed to be home moving boxes of belongings to the shed at their new house. Emptying their old house so our family could move into it in a few weeks’ time. We couldn’t let him go home to work without one last beer. We popped by City Tap House to see if they still had any of the lineup left over from their Firestone Walker Beer event the night before. As it had been all day, luck was on our side. The final toast of the day was not an ending, but a beginning. Mark and I, these three men, along with their wives and a core group of neighbors would, once we moved to Arden, form a middle-aged adventuring group, dubbed Strange Adventures. (Strange being both Larry’s last name and an apt description for our forays.) Most Sunday mornings of the last seven years, we have gathered in a parking lot to caravan to parks and destinations in New Castle County, the Brandywine Valley, Philadelphia, and beyond. We have walked designated trails all over the state of Delaware earning actual badges for our efforts. Take that, Untappd. We have also gone offtrail to some decidedly unmapped areas. Let’s just say Hawthorne Hall wasn’t the last abandoned building we have been inside. We’ve scaled the ropes course at Lums Pond and negotiated a network of tunnels under Philadelphia. We’ve hiked beaches, forded streams, climbed rocks, and explored caves. Once a month, we do an urban hike in Philly or Wilmington that ends (not begins) with a pub brunch. We are all-weather hikers, for the most part. On snow days we have been known to hike from Arden to Two Stones Pub, and then, in a satisfying role-reversal, call our kids to come pick us up. I’ve turned in my flip-flops and bought my first pair of hiking boots. I am currently on my fourth pair, to give some indication of the miles we have traversed. Beyond the physical terrain, we’ve inspired each other in our art and careers, helped mourn deaths, celebrated achievements, and scouted open restrooms during COVID. It’s been part group therapy, part church, part depravity, and the best way to become acclimated to our new county and state. Pliny the Elder has said, “From the end spring new beginnings.” And it’s true. To be continued...


START

WORTH RECOGNIZING

JEREMY MOORE:

Community Members Who Go Above & Beyond

Come Check Out What’s New Downtown...

Army veteran teaches students life lessons through fitness By Adriana Camacho-Church

A

—More Than Fitness partners include Ed Mulvihill, owner of Peco’s Liquor Store, and Gia O’Keefe, owner of Diamond State Fitness. You can find More Than Fitness on Facebook or email coachmoore@morethan.fitness.

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little practice often goes a long way. Just ask Jeremy Moore, a veteran from the 82nd Airborne Division. Eight years ago, at age 24, he fell into a dry well nearly 60-feet deep during night patrol in Afghanistan. While recovering from his injuries, simply walking the perimeter of his small Wilmington backyard was a triumph. The night he fell down the well, his helmet knocked Jeremy Moore him unconscious. When he woke, his buddies used a rope to pull him out. “It took me 45 minutes to climb out, but it felt like four and a half hours,” he says. Full of adrenaline and unaware, Moore had suffered serious injuries to his head, back, and legs yet he continued his mission. When he returned to the barracks he was in pain and lost his ability to walk. It took Moore (also known as Coach Moore) six years to “rebuild” himself. He had to learn to walk again while battling depression and self-doubt. “When I got out of the army I was in a very dark place,” Moore says. “I was in pain all the time. I was physically, mentally, and spiritually broken. I went from being at the top of my game to living in my parent’s house, needing the help of a cane and a service dog to get around.” Moore received several awards from the U.S. Army, including a Combat Action Badge and an Army Commendation Medal. “The army taught me to take risks and not to be afraid to challenge my himself.” Today, he is the co-founder and executive director of More Than Fitness. In its third year, the purpose of the nonprofit is not only to teach high school students self-confidence and trust through physical fitness, but also help them manage negative emotions and mental stress by practicing mindfulness and meditation. “We don’t lift weights to be good lifters, we don’t meditate to be good meditators,” says Moore. “We practice these things to grow, to learn how to be strong, how to fail and recover, and how to reflect. Just because they (students) didn’t deploy to Afghanistan doesn’t mean they don’t have mental hurdles to jump.” Moore has helped more than 100 area youths—from students to school athletes—who simply want to try out his program. He and More Than Fitness co-founder Stacey Richardson rely on fundraisers and donations to keep the program free. The money pays for space rented at Diamond State Fitness in Wilmington. Jalia Lawrence, 18, a Mount Pleasant High School graduate and the first African American female to be part of Widener University’s softball team this fall, says that because of Moore she now can clean lift more than her body weight of 135 pounds and deadlift 205-pounds. She can also better manage her emotions and reactions. “Instead of dwelling on the grade I got and giving up or doubting myself, I think about how I can do better next time,” says Lawrence. “I think about coming back to my breath.” An alumnus of Mount Pleasant High School, Moore’s idea for the nonprofit developed while working out at the school’s gym to recover from his injuries. Mount Pleasant athletic coaches Randy Holmes and Dionie Lum served as mentors. Eventually, Moore started lifting weights with the students, getting to know them, and giving them fitness tips. They in turn began to listen to the guy with the cane, impressed by his story and recovery. “Working out with these kids gave me an opportunity to serve again,” he says. “It gave me something bigger than myself to work for.”

dorcea.com • (302) 691-7447 1314 Washington St • Wilm DE

NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

13


A ZEST

FOR THE ZOO Mark Shafer, new executive director of the Delaware Zoological Society, faces the challenges of operating—and expanding—facilities during a pandemic By Bob Yearick

M

ark Shafer is no stranger to hard work. Maybe that’s why it proved difficult for him to embrace retirement. Shafer made his bones during more than a decade in the high-pressure world of New York advertising agencies, where the seven-day work week was not uncommon. At one agency, Chiat/Day, he quickly learned the company maxim: “If you don’t work Saturday, don’t bother coming in on Sunday.” Says Shafer: “The typical day was 10 a.m. to 8 or 9, which is why it was known as Chiat Day and Night.”

He was young and single then, so he didn’t mind the long hours, and he had a passion for his work as an account manager. “Then I got engaged,” he says, “and decided I wanted to get outside New York and raise a family.” Which brought the native of Greenwich, Conn., to Wilmington in 1993 to help expand MBNA’s in-house advertising agency. Shafer says he was “blown away” by the Charles Cawley-led banking behemoth and its Chiat/Day-like culture of dedicated workers who put in long hours. He and his wife, Celia, settled in Greenville, and raised three children. Both accomplished tennis players, they joined the Greenville Country Club, where Shafer has twice captained a team that competed in the United States Tennis Association’s National Championships. In 2011, he was among the 3,000 employees laid off by MBNA/ Bank of America, and he quickly moved on to other advertising/ 14 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

marketing positions, the last being director of marketing for the Risk Management Association, a Philadelphia-based, not-for-profit member association. He left RMA last fall and tried semi-retirement. But it didn’t take. “I had some consulting irons in fire,” he says, “and I played a lot of tennis. But it got boring.” Then, early this year, he was recruited to the board of the Delaware Zoological Society (DZS) by Board President Arlene Reppa, a friend from his MBNA days. DZS runs the business side of Wilmington’s Brandywine Zoo, which includes fundraising, memberships, admissions, marketing, advertising, website, Zootique, and snack bar. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control is responsible for the care and management of the zoo’s land and animals.


Mark Shafer, a former ad executive, has learned a lot about animals since being appointed the Zoo’s executive director in May. Photos courtesy of Brandywine Zoo.

Shafer was in the process of being vetted for the board when Mike Allen, the executive director of DZS, announced he was leaving to join the Queens Zoo in New York City. The job was posted on several sites, and Shafer saw it and applied. He was chosen from what Reppa calls “an amazing amount of applications,” and took over as interim executive director in May. “Mark has done an outstanding job,” says Reppa, “coming in at a really awkward time, when we were not functioning normally, with COVID having hit us. He had to jump in and learn a lot in a short time from the previous director.” UNDERSTANDING THE CUSTOMER Shafer, who earned a degree in Marketing from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from Arizona State University, admits that his C.V. didn’t exactly indicate an extensive knowledge of animals. But wildlife expertise is not really a requirement of the job. “I know a lot about marketing and advertising,” he says, adding that there is not a lot of difference between corporate marketing and marketing for a non-profit—both focus on understanding the customer. He has dropped the “interim” from his title, meanwhile making a deep dive into all things zoo-related. His main challenge has been raising money during a pandemic. “We met our Annual Fund goal of $35,000 in June,” he says, explaining that the fund helps with general operations, principally offsetting the cost of seasonal and permanent staff. “Now we’re challenging ourselves to do $50,000. We are just barely south of $40,000. We won’t reach 50K, but it’s something we need to shoot for.” The pandemic closed the zoo from March until June 11, resulting in, Shafer says, a 45 percent drop in revenues from beginning-of-the-year projection. “Fortunately,” he says, “we’ve been able to do some cost containment without any personnel reduction, and we don’t anticipate having to furlough or lay off staff.” Shafer says federal money, including a Coronavirus Small Business Administration Loan, and some no-interest loans from the state have been key to helping the 115-year-old zoo survive. Despite the pandemic, work is continuing on “Our Zoo ReImagined”—a multi-year, multi-phase, $30 million Master Plan aimed at improved animal welfare and guest experiences, species of conservation concern, and more mixed-species exhibits. DNREC has already committed an initial $5 million toward the first two Phases. Now, in support of the plan, the DZS has embarked on a three-year, $5 million capital campaign to initiate and complete Phase 3, which will feature a South American Wetlands Habitat with Chilean flamingos and an improved entryway, creating greater visibility and accessibility. ► NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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A ZEST FOR THE ZOO continued from previous page The completed Phase 1 brought a new condor viewing area, an improved honey bee display, and new animal habitats. Phase 2, now underway, features a Madagascar Habitat, as well as a Quarantine Building. Scheduled to open this fall, the Madagascar Habitat is perhaps the crown jewel thus far of Our Zoo Re-imagined. A professional rockwork company has created an artificial mudbank retaining wall with a recirculating pool and waterfall. The exhibit will have multiple levels for the animals and multiple viewing areas for the visitor. The animals that will call this new space home include black-and-white ruffed, ringtailed, and crowned lemurs, radiated tortoises, and guinea fowl.

SETTLING IN Shafer seems to have quickly settled into his new job. He credits his predecessor, Allen, for being especially helpful. “This guy is fabulous,” says Shafer. “He remains a resource for me, and he built a remarkably strong team. People that work here have an unbelievable passion for this organization.” He also cites the board of directors, saying “they have really stepped up” in this time of crisis. And, of course, he’s learning plenty about animals. Some of that education is the result of Brandywine’s membership in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which requires a rigorous accreditation process every five years. AZA membership means that Brandywine has access to animals from around the world that never otherwise would be seen in Delaware. Membership also has enabled the zoo to acquire many rescue animals, including: An eagle with a broken wing found on the ground in the wild after a severe storm, and another found on the ground and unable to fly because it had a belly full of lead fishing weights. It developed heart problems from the lead and can’t fly more than a couple of wingbeats. A Florida bobcat, “Squeakers,” brought to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans as a wild rescued cub and transferred to Brandywine. A serval, a wild cat native to Africa, that was an illegal pet spotted roaming the streets of Newark a few years back. The SPCA caught her and brought her to Brandywine. “Sandy,” the Sandhill Crane, who was hatched in the wild and came to the zoo through a wildlife rehabilitator. He was found in Maine, separated from his flock. Due to his need for ongoing medical attention and his young age, it was not possible for Sandy to be reunited with his flock, which had long since migrated. “Candace,” the capybara that was confiscated by Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife from a private home. Capybara, sometimes called the world’s largest rodent, can grow to more than 100 pounds.

• • • •

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16 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

In total, there are 23 rescued animals and nine from other AZA zoos now at the Brandywine Zoo. In late August, while giving a visitor a tour of the grounds on the banks of the Brandywine, Shafer briefly donned his marketing cap to note that in this time of virtual get-togethers you can invite one of the zoo’s animals to your Zoom meeting for just $50. “Beastly Guests” info is available at brandywinezoo.org/zootoyou/#beastly-guests. He also touts the Virtual Birthday Party for youngsters. Information on the $30 and $50 packages is available by emailing birthdays@ brandywinezoo.org. His failed attempt at retirement behind him, the tall, slender ex-ad executive is obviously enjoying his new gig. “I wanted to do something different, perhaps work with kids,” says the father of three. “And I feel like I am working with kids, at least indirectly. I was out here yesterday, and the place was teeming with young families. This place is fun. I love it!” The Brandywine Zoo is open every day from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. until at least December. Visitors age 5 and above must wear masks. For more information, go to brandywinezoo.org or call 571-7747.



CLEAN EFFORT

“What’s important to understand continued from previous page is that locally nothing changed in terms of collection,” said Parkowski. “The residential rate [of recycling] hasn’t gone down, it’s the commercial rate. But because we calculate the rate of recycling by combining the residential and commercial, it caused our overall rate to go down (eg: in 2019 the residential recycling rate was 45%; commercial 32%). Parkowski says the numbers are beginning to rebound because of more domestic waste repurposing as well as countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia stepping in to fill the gap left by China.

Turning Education Into Behavior

What’s ironic about the difficulty in raising the numbers is that recycling awareness is at an all-time high. Several recent national surveys report that more than 90% of Americans support recycling. And more than 70% say it should be a priority. In other words, like many things, Americans are talking a better game than we play. Then there is educating people on the proper way to recycle. “We need to improve on contamination (things put in recycling that shouldn’t be),” says Parkowski. “That’s the focus of our education process now.” According to Parkowski, Delaware reduced its contamination rate from 18% to 15% through a combination of education and an aggressive marketing campaign. Now the contamination rate is creeping back to 18%. For one, the marketing campaign ended. Secondly, says Parkowski, “we think COVID may be moving the needle the wrong way. People are at home more, they’re generating more trash [at home], and when they run out of room in their [recycling] bins, trash can get mixed in with recyclables.” COVID also impacted one of DSWA’s primary tools for education, school field trips to its Environmental Education Building (1101 Lambsons Lane, New Castle). Prior to the pandemic, DSWA would host thousands of kids, providing classroom instruction as well as an actual conveyer belt in which kids could stand and sort. “It’s very hands on,” said Parkowski. “The strategy is to teach the kids the proper way to recycle, then they can go home and educate their parents.” In lieu of field trips, DSWA is providing online tools for teachers to share in their classes. And overall, despite the challenges brought on by COVID, China’s National Sword Policy, and grabbing the attention of an overloaded populace, Parkowski is proud of the residential recycling progress Delaware has made. “Delaware is probably one of the best residential recycling states in the country,” he said. “We’re certainly in the top three. Because of the Universal Recycling Law (enacted in 2011), everyone has access to singlestream. Delaware is one of the only states that can claim this.”

Youngsters get a hands-on recycling experience working the conveyer belt at DWSA's Environmental Education Building. Photo by Sarah Culler. 18 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


FOCUS The colorful dancing fountains of Longwood Gardens. Photo by Daniel Traub

Hope For The Holidays Creative Ways of Keeping the Spirit Alive

T

his will be a very different holiday season for most. The number of those travelling to be with family will be reduced. Gatherings for Thanksgiving and Christmas will be limited. And, for many, committing the usual financial resources for celebrations will require serious deliberation. ‘Tis the season during COVID-19. Fortunately, we live in an area that offers an abundance of unique options to keep the holiday spirit alive—all while adhering to the current safety protocols. Following are a few suggestions from the Out & About team.

AN ILLUMINATING EXPERIENCE

This world-class horticulture center is a draw any time of year, but this holiday season the ability to experience Longwood Garden’s elaborate outdoor light display will be in especially high demand. A Longwood Christmas kicks off Nov. 20 and continues through Jan. 10. Outdoors, more than a half-million lights will be used to decorate Longwood’s 100 trees and special displays. Special features include dancing lights that simulate the fountain jets in the Main Fountain Garden, mimicking the iconic illuminated fountain performances. The towering trees bordering the Large Lake are the backdrop for an illuminated light show set to holiday music classics. In the Meadow Garden, you can stroll through a 140-ft tunnel of light in the winter

landscape and discover a grove of glowing orbs that pulse and change color. The Wildlife Tree is bedecked with hundreds of handmade ornaments and the 25-foot tall Gardener’s Tree is lit with warm white and blue accents adorned with sugar cones and gourds. There is also Longwood’s outdoor model train display and three giant fire pits to enjoy on chilly nights. That’s just outside. Longwood’s approach to holiday horticulture will be on full display throughout its four-acre Conservatory with thousands of poinsettias, amaryllis, fragrant paperwhites, and other seasonal crops. Membership and/or tickets are required. Visit LongwoodGardens.org ► NOVEMBER 2020

| OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

19


WINE & SPIRITS

CRAZY, ONE OF A KIND, ONE-OFF HAND-SELECTED BARREL BY KRESTON WINE & SPIRITS

HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS continued from previous page

Hagley Museum is hosting a gingerbread house contest with hometown heroes as the theme. Participants are encouraged to create their own gingerbread house in celebration of essential personnel on the front lines or someone they feel has been a hero during these challenging times. Acclaimed pastry Chef Michele Mitchell will provide creative inspiration by designing a gingerbread house that will be on display in Hagley’s Millwright Shop. Prizes of a $100 Amazon gift card and Hagley membership are up for grabs in three categories: Adult/Families, Youth, and Facebook People’s Choice. Entries will be on display from December 4 through January 3, 2021. For registration details visit Hagley.org

Photo courtesy Hagley Museum & Library

KRESTON

GINGERBREAD HEROES

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

KRESTONWINES.COM 20 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

CAMPING OUT FOR COATS

The Delaware KIDS Fund and Harvey, Hanna & Associates is full speed ahead with its annual challenge-based fundraising campaign designed to provide coats for students at select schools ahead of the winter season. Operation: Warm Newport—Delaware KIDS Fund Camping out For Coats has operated since 2017 and delivered more than 6,000 coats to 6,000 local children at 12 different area schools experiencing high poverty rates. Operation Warm is a non-profit coat manufacturer. To help accelerate monetary donations and strengthen awareness for local children in need, several members from the community traditionally camp out overnight in the middle of Newport. This year the annual campout will be hosted remotely in a safe and socially distant format to help meet current CDC guidelines regarding live events. Those interested in camping out for coats are encouraged to camp out from their own back yard on Friday, November 13. “Camping outside for a night represents a communitywide commitment to warming up local children in need, inspiring confidence, boosting self-esteem, and improving peer acceptance,” said Ryan Kennedy, Executive Director of The Delaware KIDS Fund. All coats (brand new) will be purchased through Operation Warm and delivered to local elementary schools through a participating sponsor coat delivery parade. Schools will be announced this month. Online donations are accepted at www. degives.org/fundraisers/operation-warm-newport-2020. Checks may be made payable to: The Delaware KIDS Fund and mailed to 405 E. Marsh Lane, Suite 1, Newport, DE 19804. Camp registration is at www.campingforcoats.com


Photo courtesy Hagley Museum & Library

DINING DOWNTOWN FOR DEALS

Here’s a way to enjoy some of the city’s best cuisine and get credit back towards your holiday shopping spree. Downtown Visions has launched its Dine Downtown Deal to encourage patrons to keep supporting their favorite eateries downtown—and reward Le Cavalier at the Green Room. Photo by Neal Santos them for it. Dine in or take out at any of the eligible eateries five times (until 12/31) and receive a gift card in the amount of 20% of the total meals purchased (before tip) to the downtown business of your choice. For details visit the Initiatives page at DowntownWilmingtonDE.com.

magnolia leaves with native evergreen boughs, creating a festive, long-lasting wreath to enhance your home’s holiday spirit (“Wassail & Wreath Making,” Thursday, December 3). Or learn to make bayberry candles, elegant winter containers, and natural holiday arrangements. For registration details visit MtCubaCenter.org. ►

HOLIDAY CLASSES AT MT. CUBA CENTER

In addition to its wide range of nature-study courses, Mt. Cuba Center offers several holiday-themed classes to help brighten the season. Create a nature-inspired floral arrangement to serve as the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table this year (“Thankgiving Table Centerpiece,” November 21). Enjoy a glass of wassail (spiced cider punch) as you combine

Dine Downtown Deal GET REWARDED WHEN YOU SUPPORT DOWNTOWN WILMINGTON EATERIES

DINE IN OR TAKE OUT

TEXT A PICTURE OF YOUR RECEIPTS

RECEIVE A GIFT CARD UP TO $100

5 times between October 1, 2020 & December 31, 2020

along with your name, dining location and date to 302-502-6003

to the Downtown Wilmington business of your choice to use in 2021

SCAN CODE TO LEARN MORE

NOVEMBER 2020

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21


LIGHT SHOW AT THE RIVERFRONT

Photo courtesy of The Grand

The Grand continues to adjust to COVID-19 with creative programming. Its latest endeavor is a partnership with the Riverfront Development Corporation to present the Winter in Wilmington Drive-Thru Holiday Show. The concept comes on the heels of The Grand’s successful drivein concerts and movies. The Holiday Show will open on Black Friday (Nov. 27) and continue through Jan. 3. Guests will drive through a trail illuminated with thousands of lights and enjoy animated installations and interactive music. “The lights have to be out in our three theaters for the time being as we continue to weather the challenges of the coronavirus,” said The Grand Executive Director Mark Fields. “We see this light show as a way that The Grand can still be a bright light for the entire community,” “When we made the difficult decision to postpone the Riverfront ice rink for the 2020 season, it was important for us to bring in another family-friendly holiday activity that was safe for all” said RDC Executive Director Megan McGlinchey. “That’s why we are thrilled to partner with The Grand on this exciting project. The Winter in Wilmington Light Show will provide area families with a fun holiday activity that brings many to the Riverfront while ensuring the safety of our guests.” Tickets are now on sale for $25 per car and available at www.TheGrandWilmington.org. Pre-purchased admission is required.

HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS continued from previous page

OUTDOORS AT THE ORCHARD

Milburn Orchards is a great way to experience the spirit of the season safely. With outdoor group options such as Nighttime Bonfires, BarnYard Parties or couple retreats to their Big BackYard and petting zoo, Milburn offers safe seasonal open-air attractions. Seasonal farm-to-table goodies are available inside Milburn's Farm Market and Bake Shoppe and you can pre-purchase for curbside pickup if you choose. Reservations are required for most attractions and because of COVID-19 procedures can quickly change. Call (410) 398-1349 for latest updates or visit MilburnOrchards.com

TREE TRADITION

Since 1970, Schmidt’s Christmas Tree Farm has attracted families from around the Greater Wilmington area to find their perfect tree. This magical experience comes complete with live reindeer, tractor rides and a large play area for the kids. There’s

Thanksgiving Dinner Package · · · · · · ·

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20-22 LB. CARVED TURKEY STUFFING OLD FASHIONED GRAVY WHIPPED POTATOES GRILLED ASPARAGUS PUMPKIN PIE DINNER ROLLS

Stay tuned for our family & corporate holiday packages 'Tis the season 22 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

Need a space for an upcoming wedding or celebration? Call (302) 777-2040 for more details!


Photo courtesy of The Grand

also a gift shop with holiday decorations. With more than 30 acres of trees, you'll have plenty of options. They officially open for the season on November 27. For location, hours and details visit Schmidtstreefarm.com.

MAKING MACAROONS

Acclaimed pastry chef Michele Mitchell returns to Tonic after teaching a successful "Halloween Cookie Class" last month. This time it's her "Christmas Class" (December 5) where participants will learn to make macaroons while enjoying complimentary holiday cocktails. Many readers may remember we wrote about Mitchell's new pastry business, Michele Mitchell's Pastry Designs, when she left the Hotel du Pont after nearly 20 years. You can read more about Mitchell’s macaroons and her history at the Hotel du Pont in our Dining Dynasty feature on page 26. For more on her Christmas Class, visit TonicSNS.com.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Preparing the Thanksgiving feast is a tall order. And while some thoroughly enjoy the kitchen time, many find it stressful and a hindrance to sharing quality time with guests—even if that guest count is down this year. Having your holiday meal catered, whether it be Thanksgiving or Christmas, is an appetizing alternative. Here are a few options: Deerfield (Newark) is offering take-home Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings and each package comes ready

to cook and serve (with detailed instructions) for four guests. To accommodate larger parties, families may choose two or more packages and/or add some additional portions of their most popular items. Orders must be placed by 5 p.m. on Friday, November 20. For Deerfield's full menu and to place an order, visit DeerfieldGolfClub.com/ThanksgivingTakeHome. Delaware Park’s At the Rail is featuring a Thanksgiving To Go menu prepared by chefs at its White Clay Country Club. Orders will be taken until Nov. 21 at 5 p.m.. Visit DelawarePark. com/dining. Maison X Le Cav (Wilmington) is the latest innovation from the Hotel du Pont’s Le Cavalier at The Green Room. The name translates as “home by Le Cav” and Maison X is making its debut with Thanksgiving meals. The menu features a Thanksgiving package sold in increments of two with choices of mains, sides and, of course, dessert. The at-home menu will also feature a la carte options sized to feed four to six per order, plus the option of adding on fresh bread and a jar of Duke's Mayo to keep the celebrations going with leftover sandwiches the next day. Guests can place orders through 11/18 on www. lecavalierde.com. Janssen’s Market (Greenville) is a popular choice for catered holidays meals, so don’t delay in making your reservation. The family-operated market offers complete holiday packages featuring tenderloin, turkey or ham for two people, six-eight, and 10-12. You can also order just a course, from appetizer to vegetables to store-made desserts.Visit JanssensMarket.com. ►

NOVEMBER 2020

| OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

23


State Line Liquors Family owned & operated Since 1933 — 4 Generations!

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HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS continued from previous page

YULETIDE AT WINTERTHUR One of the Brandywine Valley’s most spectacular holiday traditions has more to offer than in years past—the biggest addition being “Yuletide in Lights,” a magical outdoor Christmas show featuring 3D images, video, lights and sound with the Winterthur house serving as a background (December 1-12). Other Yuletide events and activities include the “Christmas Tree Tram,” a holidaythemed hayride (Every Sunday during Yuletide except December 6); “S’mores Around the Fire”(Every weekend during Yuletide, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.) and “Yuletide Jazz” (Wednesday nights in December, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.). All that plus icesculpting, choir performances. house tours and more. More information available at Winterthur.org.

A TWIST ON A GREENVILLE TRADITION The annual Holiday Open House has been a 10-year tradition for the shops at Greenville Crossing. This year, Ellie Boutique, The Enchanted Owl, Houppette and Wilmington Country Store are including local artisans (bakers, florists, pop-up makers) for a special celebration on Thursday, Nov. 19 (11 a.m.-7 p.m.) to emphasize the need to support small local businesses. Instead of offering their normal hors d’oeuvres spread, the shops will treat guests to complimentary pre-wrapped baked goods. Each shop will also be giving away unique floral arrangements as well as offering special pricing and giveaways throughout the day. For more visit any of these websites: houppette. com, wilmingtoncountrystore.com or ellieboutique.com.

24 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


NOVEMBER 2020

| OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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FOCUS

The Green Room, circa 1965. Photo courtesy Delaware Historical Society.

Le Cavalier at The Green Room. 2020. Photo courtesy Le Cavalier.


A Dining

Dynasty The Green Room begat a bevy of celebrated Delaware chefs By Pam George

N

ot so long ago, no holiday season was complete without brunch in the Green Room—the epitome of fine dining— in the Hotel du Pont. Sharing a seasonal meal under the 2,500-pound chandeliers was a tradition for generations of Delawareans. Today, The Buccini/Pollin Group owns the landmark hotel, and Le Cavalier at the Green Room, a modern brasserie, opened in September in the Green Room’s space. Brunch is available on weekends. But the whisper of The Green remains. There are traces of the cuisine and the impeccable service in restaurants throughout the Brandywine Valley. And for a very good reason: Many of the hotel’s former chefs are now restaurant owners. Consider Tom Hannum, the executive chef and an owner of Buckley’s Tavern; Dan Butler, owner of Piccolina Toscana; David Leo Banks of Banks’ Seafood Kitchen & Raw Bar; Bill Hoffman of The House of William & Merry; and Dan Sheridan, who owns Stitch House Brewery and Locale BBQ Post. “That kitchen has turned out many of the greats in our state,” says alum Robbie Jester, who’s appeared on the TV shows Guy’s Grocery Games and Beat Bobby Flay. ► NOVEMBER 2020

| OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 27


A DINING DYNASTY continued from previous page

Photo by Lindsay duPhily

BUILT TO ENDURE

A 12-story tribute to Italian Renaissance architecture, the Hotel du Pont was built by the DuPont Co. to provide clients and visiting executives with upscale accommodations akin to those in Europe. It opened to great fanfare in 1913. Rumor has it that Helena Springer Green—wife of John Raskob, the DuPont Co.’s secretary-treasurer—inspired the main dining room’s name. In the press, it is referred to as “the green room” as early as 1914. Others say that title was coined in the 1940s when the ceiling and rug were green. From the start, diners admired the colossal chandeliers, fumed oak paneling and coffered ceiling. In 1965, the dining room received an overhaul that included the addition of 18th-century antiques and reproductions. In 1975, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that The Green Room had one of the “largest and best kitchens around.” It was “the culinary center of the universe in Delaware,” maintains Tom Hannum, who started working at the hotel after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978. “It was the only place in Delaware for fine dining and for serving French cuisine.”

O&A File Photo

THE OLD GUARD

The European sensibility extended to the kitchen, which had a clear hierarchy and layers of job titles. Many managers were from Europe. When Hannum joined the hotel as a line cook, Hubert Winkler was the executive chef. “He was a typical Type A Austrian chef,” Hannum recalls. “If you didn’t do it right, you heard about it. ‘Do what you were shown, exactly how you were shown and reproduce it that way every time.’ The expectation was to be the best.” Dan Butler, who started his culinary career in the dish room, agrees. Winkler, who had worked in Switzerland before coming to Wilmington in 1973, had a practiced “side-eye.” When he saw something he didn’t like, it was as though an invisible hook came out of his eye to prod you back in line, Butler recalls. Winkler wowed a young Patrick D’Amico with his expensive food orders. Foie gras and unique cuts of meat were “mind-blowing at the time,” says D’Amico, who came on board in 1986. Thirty years later, Bill Hoffman would gaze open-mouthed at mounds of truffles and $25,000 worth of caviar flown in for a wedding. Not all the mentors were male. Maria “Mania” Rusak struck terror into the hearts of young cooks like David Leo Banks, who joined the hotel pantry in 1978. Nicknamed “Sparky” by Chef Hayden Byrd, the energetic Banks initially ran between the production areas: central prep, bakeshop, butcher shop, commissary and storeroom. When Banks moved to the breakfast line, he worked under the East German, who was “super competent and ‘strong-like-bull,’” Butler says. Both Winkler and Rusak were demanding. “They instilled in me the strict discipline of the craft and the speed required to do it fast and, most of all, correct,” Banks says. To be sure, if you were a “good cook” at the hotel, you were fast, Butler notes. “If you were a bad cook, you were slow. It was all about speed.”

Photo by Butch Comegys

RIDING THE WAVE

28 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

Working your way up the ladder had special meaning for Butler, who began his career on the hot end of a dishwasher conveyor belt. Workers there got a face full of steam and a handful of blistering plates. “If you’re good, you get to be the guy loading the dishwasher,” he says. “If you’re really good, you get to do silverware.” It was a banner day when he started working in the pantry. Because Hannum quietly strived to exceed expectations—not just meet them—he quickly moved up the ranks. By 1994, he was overseeing the hotel’s entire kitchen operation. Banks returned to the hotel after graduating from the Culinary Institute of


SWEET SOMETHINGS

Photo courtesy Tom Hannum

No high-end meal at the hotel was complete without dessert. The hotel had long employed pastry chefs, but a female had never managed the bakery. That changed on June 1, 1988, when General Manager Jacques Amblard hired Michele Mitchell on her birthday. At the time, the bakeshop had three men for every female employee. That was also true in the kitchen, except for the cold foods area, where Italian women worked under males. Mitchell was the only female manager. “Keep up the great work!” Amblard told her each morning. Along with supervising the hotel’s pastry, Mitchell oversaw the baked goods for the DuPont Country Club. Hannum helped her navigate DuPont’s corporate waters. “He displayed a great loyalty and feeling for the history of the property,” she recalls. When the Historic Hotels of America asked the hotel to participate in a James Beard House dinner, Hannum suggested that Mitchell go to New York. He would be her sous. “No other chef I know would have done that,” she says. “It is such an honor to cook at the James Beard House. I was so humbled that he gave Pictured at left (top to bottom): Michele Mitchell, David Leo Banks, Dan Butler. At right (top to bottom): Robbie Jester, Robert Lhulier, Tom Hannum (far left) with fellow chefs during Hotel du Pont America Week in Japan (July, 1981).

Photo courtesy Robbie Jester O&A File Photo

America—where he and Butler were roommates. From Banks’ nostalgic point of view, the height of The Green Room “swagger” was in the mid-1970s to late ‘80s. Indeed, the chefs had bragging rights. In 1981, Hannum took part in an international exchange with the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, where he cooked for two weeks. In the 1980s, the hotel offered 10-course tasting menus with wine pairings long before chefs in New York or Chicago had started them, Hannum maintains. Up to 100 diners at a time attended the hotel’s gourmet dinners. Every Thursday, Butler and his colleagues began opening oysters at 2 p.m. for that night’s seafood buffet. “It was mind-boggling,” he says of the volume. No one complained. They knew there were other ambitious cooks eagers to prove themselves; the kitchen was highly competitive. “It was bustling,” says D’Amico. “We had both dining rooms open—the Green Room and the Brandywine Room—and banquets. The Brandywine Room was open after the show at The Playhouse, and we’d do 120 covers after the show. It was nonstop.” The front of the house was equally hectic. Robert Lhulier became a server in 1988 on a dare. He’d previously worked at Air Transport Command in New Castle, where his peroxide hair offended his manager. “He said a place like the Green Room would never hire me,” recalls Lhulier, now a chef with his own business. “And so, I quit and applied—not before deciding I wanted that job more than anything.” He wanted it so much that he decided to return to his natural hair color. The banquet staff revered and feared Berndt Mayer, the hotel’s director of banquets. Lhulier, then 22, paid careful attention to the plaque on maître d’ Ed Barba’s desk that read: “Listen.” “You can learn an awful lot when you’re young if you shut up and listen every once in a while,” Lhulier says. A year after starting, he became a captain, a job that required tableside service, says Roger Surpin, who held the position in 2006 after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America. “We would do tableside Caesar salads, chateaubriand and seafood Christina (shrimp, scallop and crab cooked in lobster sauce and flambéed with Pernod). It was a lot of fun.”


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30 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

A DINING DYNASTY continued from previous page

Mitchell and Hannum were on hand when another wave of promising chefs joined the team. These culinary whiz kids insist that they helped create a new heyday for the Green Room, which was closing in on 100. After opening Positano and Eclipse Bistro, D’Amico returned to the hotel as the executive sous chef. “I had the best crew that I’ve ever had in my life,” says D’Amico, now the executive chef of Chattanooga-based Vision Hospitality Group. “No one could match us at that time.” The team included Bill Hoffman, Dan Sheridan, Andy Feeley, now executive sous chef at Lincoln Financial Field, and Robbie Jester, now the culinary director and multiunit manager for High 5 Hospitality, owner of the Stone Balloon, Buffalo Wild Wings, Limestone BBQ, and Eggspectation. “It was the most intimidated I’ve felt walking into a kitchen to work,” says Jester, hired in 2005 to be a senior line cook and as a “floater” between stations. “The level of intensity, history and emerging talent was infectious to be around.” D’Amico was the poster child for the intensity it takes to be exceptional, Jester says. Sheridan would agree. “He’s a unique character, to say the least, with a huge heart. He shared his knowledge with me, and I was still pretty green,” says Sheridan, who started in 2007. “Working with that crew is by far the most beneficial stretch of work I’ve ever had personally.” Hoffman was a teacher as well as a cook, says Jester, who learned from Hoffman that “you have to educate and elevate those around you.” From Hannum, Jester learned the value of classical technique. It was not unusual for D’Amico to take the menus away from up to eight tables of trusting diners to create a tasting menu. “We were freestyling,” he says. They mixed and matched dishes. “Billy may have started it off with the first table but ended at the second.” In Hoffman’s opinion, the crew was pushing the boundaries at a breakthrough time in culinary technique. “We wanted to put our stamp on [the hotel’s cuisine] while still keeping all our accolades,” he says.

FINDING FAME

Hoffman’s favorite memory was when he cooked for actress Julie Andrews, who had a production at The Playhouse. The Mary Poppins star came in at 11 p.m. with a group. The Green Room had closed, but D’Amico and Hoffman quickly opened the kitchen for them. “That was my hero: Mary Poppins,” Hoffman says. “We cooked until 2 a.m. I had to pinch myself.” The chefs later cooked for Andrews’ 90th birthday. Given the proximity of The Playhouse—which was also the DuPont Theatre for a time—it was common to see celebrities. Dignitaries also stayed in the hotel when they were in town. Mitchell remembers one late night in the bakeshop when Amblard asked her to follow him. She watched as a Secret Service man walked out of an elevator, followed by President George H.W. Bush. “As the president was shaking my hand, Jacques introduced me as the ‘lady in charge of those macaroon cookies you liked so much,’” she says. Bush replied: “Well, this is now the favorite person I’ve met tonight.” Mitchell was thrilled. Mitchell left the hotel in 2018 to start her own business; Hannum retired in 2011 and opened Buckley’s Tavern with partners. When the hotel went up for sale, the partners tried to buy it. “We wanted to get the hotel back to what it used to be,” Hannum says. “But alas, we were the second-place bidder twice.” Although it took the Green Room longer than most longtime restaurants to morph into Le Cavalier, things eventually change. But the old grande dame did not entirely give up the ghost. “As long as that building stands, so will the memories of the Green Room,” Lhulier maintains. And for those who worked there, the restaurant will have a lasting effect. Says Jester, “My time there taught me to be a lifetime scholar of this business and all of its parts.”


A Proud Tradition Continues

T

DEERFIELD’S

Thanksgiving Dinner TO TAKE HOME

Photo by Neal Santos

yler Akin, chef-partner of Le Cavalier at the Green Room, continues the Hotel du Pont tradition of showcasing local culinary talent. A native of Wilmington, Akin spent most of his childhood in the kitchen admiring his Southern grandmother as she made perfect knife cuts and prepared abundant family meals. His mother, who worked as a special education teacher, also made a point to keep this tradition alive at home and cooked nightly. Originally enrolled in law school, Akin changed direction to pursue his passion for food and hospitality, enrolling at L’Academie de Cuisine in Washington, DC. In 2010 Akin began cooking at Michelin-starred Komi under chef-owner Johnny Monis, who became an inspirational figure in Akin's career. He helped Monis open Little Serow in 2011, which debuted to mass critical acclaim and was awarded a coveted spot on Bon Appétit’s top ten “Best New Restaurants in America.” In 2012, Akin relocated to Philadelphia to accept a position at Zahav under multi-James Beard Foundation award-winning chef and restaurateur, Michael Solomonov. Akin quickly found a mentor in Solomonov, rising in the ranks at Zahav and becoming a Sous Chef before deciding to venture out on his own in 2014. Akin’s first restaurant was Stock in Philly’s Fishtown section. The restaurant made Philadelphia Magazine's “Best Restaurants in Philadelphia” lists for five consecutive years. In 2016 he opened Res Ipsa Café, also to critical acclaim. Akin opened a second location for Stock in 2017, this one in Philly’s Rittenhouse neighborhood. Le Cavalier at the Green Room brings Akin back to the city where his love of food first started. It also enables play a leading role in the next chapter of Hotel du Pont culinary history.

CELEBRATE AT HOME WITH FAMILY AND LET DEERFIELD HANDLE THE FOOD! Each package comes ready to cook and serve (with detailed instructions) for four guests.

$179.99 (FOUR GUESTS)

MENU MIXED GREENS SALAD WITH GRAPE TOMATOES , CUCUMBER, CROUTONS

& BALSAMIC VINAIGRET TE (4 SERVINGS)

BUTTERNUT SQUASH BISQUE (1 QT) ROASTED SLICED TURKEY BREAST (4–5LB PORTION) T R A D I T I O N A L B R E A D S T U F F I N G (9” X 12” PAN) SEASONAL SUCCOTASH (1 QT) BROCCOLI FLAN (4 SERVINGS) MASHED POTATOES (1 QT) ROASTED SWEET POTATOES (1 QT) TURKEY GRAVY (1 QT) HOUSEMADE CRANBERRY CHUTNEY (1 QT) APPLE PIE (9”) PUMPKIN PIE (9”)

To accommodate larger parties, you may choose two or more packages and/or add some additional portions of our most popular items if so desired. Packages must be ordered online at

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Deerf ieldGolfClub.com @deerfieldde #deerfieldde

—Out & About

NOVEMBER 2020

| OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 31


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32 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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DRINK

Tasteful Suggestions

Who doesn’t want to make a good impression with their Thanksgiving wine selections, whether you’re hosting or bringing bottles as a guest? To assist in your decision, following are a few options from area experts to consider. FRANK PAGLIARO

Owner/Wine Buyer, Franks Wine Beer & Spirits (Wilm.) With Appetizers: "Care (pronounced Car A because they’re bougie like that) 2019 Grenache Blanc. From Spain, the winemaker added a touch of Chardonnay to fatten it up a bit. Features lots of white peach and bright green apple. It’s the best $15 bottle of white here on North Union Street." With Turkey Dinner: "Three Sticks 2018 Sonoma Pinot Noir ($50). Made by winemaker Bob Cabral, he’s a good friend of Fred here at the shop, so we like to throw him a little love. It’s a big juicy Pinot with tons of black cherry, cinnamon and vanilla from the oak. Love this wine, even at $50… but show us this issue of Out & About and we’ll hook you up with 20% off!" With Dessert: "Van Zellers & Co Tawny Porto (under $20). Chill this beauty down 30 minutes before you pull the pumpkin pie out. It’s a ridiculously perfect marriage of flavors, textures and balance. You’ll thank me later…and so will your wallet."

ERIC TUVERSON

Sales Manager, Moore Brothers Wine Company (Wilm.) With Appetizers: "Bele Casel Prosecco Extra Dry (17). An ideal accompaniment to mixed appetizers as it goes with many different flavors and textures in food." With Turkey Dinner: "Weingut Emrich-Schönleber’s ‘Lenz’ ($29). We suggest off-dry Riesling-based wines during dinner and this is one I’ve served forever at my table. If you want to serve a red, too, Domaine de Robert Fleurie ($21) is supple and elegant and matches well with roast turkey and the typical trimmings." With Dessert: "Gianne Doglia Moscato d’Asti ($18) or Giovanni Almondo Fossa della Rosa ($23). Both are light, refreshing sparkling wines from Piedmont, and they work with a variety of desserts." ►

NOVEMBER 2020

| OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

33


JOHN MURRAY

DRINK continued from previous page

Proprietor, State Line Liquors (Elkton, Md.)

"Thanksgiving is a celebration with family and friends. I have chosen these wines to enhance the festive nature and match your Thanksgiving feast. Enjoy and stay safe." Monte Volpe Vermentino ($18.99) The Greg Graziano family has been farming fruit for more than 100 years. The Vermintino is grown in the high elevation of Potter Valley Mendocino County California near the headwaters of the Russian River. Fermented sur lies and aged in French oak for three months. This wine has tropical fruit flavors with hints of peaches. It’s rich yet dry and complex. It will accompany anything at your holiday feast. North Valley Pinot Noir ($36.99) This Willamette Valley wine is produced at the Soter Mineral Springs Ranch. Hints of raspberries, blueberries, cherries and baking spices are very evident in both the smell and taste of this wine. This is a reflection of cool climate, soils and growing conditions. A perfect fit for your table. Iron Horse Brut Sparkling ($25.99) Where rustic meets elegance. Marmalade and baked apples meet hazelnuts and mandarine orange flavors with a finish of clean crisp, rich citrus fruit. A perfect beginning, middle and end to your feast.

PERFECT FOR YOUR FOOTBALL WEEKEND!

GO BIRDS!

Casapulla’s Steak & Sub Shop

“Home of the Classic Italian Sub” Offering:

SUBS & STEAKS BURGERS MEATBALLS SAUSAGES NAPOLETAN And MORE!

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34 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

LINDA COLLIER

Proprietor, Collier’s of Centreville Thienot Brut ($49.99) "My feeling in life is you need Champagne daily and most certainly for any holiday. It goes with all the flavors on the table. One I just started carrying is Thienot Brut. It is rich, nutty and powerful with a lively mousse, and flavors of apples, pear, quince amd mineral. It will easily hold up to all the flavors at your feast. And, let’s admit it, we all feel better when we have bubbles in our glass."

BILL GALBRAITH

Proprietor, The Wine & Spirit Co. of Greenville and Tim’s Liquors (Hockessin) Lapierre Raisins Gaulois 2019 ($21.99) Lapierre Morgon 2019 ($43.99) "When most people think of wines for Thanksgiving, they tend to think of Pinot Noir & Riesling. Here at The Wine & Spirit Co. of Greenville and Tim’s Liquors, we are huge fans of Beaujolais, more specifically wines from the famed producer Marcel Lapierre (organic) in the cru appellation of Morgon. Lapierre wines are versatile with a lot of different foods. The Lapierre Raisins Gaulois is playful, fruity and refreshing, as Marcel Lapierre said once: It's a wine you can drink in the shower. The 2019 Morgon is more serious, powerful with tons of fresh fruit and considered to be one of the greatest wines in all of Beaujolais."


P L AY

1984 at full tilt during the 2012 Halloween Loop. O&A file photo: Tony Kukulich Background illustration: Sean Flynn

Game Over, Man By Matt Morrissette

ike all great plans, it was foolhardy: Open a bar that has the familial warmth of television’s Cheers, the sticky-floored danger of CBGB, and the innocent nostalgia of your beloved childhood arcade. Overcome an increase in degree of difficulty by being a stranger in a town and state where connections reign supreme while also being a novice in a business with all the job security of being a drummer in Spinal Tap. And somehow thrive without the industry standards of food, liquor and sports. It should not have worked, but somehow it did. For nearly a decade, 1984 was the place where Wilmington’s introverts came to be extroverts and ground zero for a resurgence of local original rock and roll. I often think of the quote “I’d rather be lucky than good” (a phrase spoken by New York Yankees’ pitcher Lefty Gomez in the 1930s, which I’ve been falsely attributing to Van Halen ringleader David Lee Roth) when I ponder 1984’s unlikely ascension. Lucky I was. ►

NOVEMBER 2020

| OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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ZOLLIES KITCHEN AT

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ZOLLIES KITCHEN

& SPECIAL GAME DAY MENU

specializes in Southern

and Caribbean 340 S. Market StreetCuisine. | Wilmington www.celebrationsonmarket.com Celebrations on Market 302 654 2014 is a full service catering and event venue.

340 S. Market Street | Wilmington www.celebrationsonmarket.com 302 654 2014

36 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

GAME OVER, MAN I had a supportive spouse, Barbara Beachley, who was continued from previous page just as excited about the bar as I was, and the secret weapon of my childhood friend, Rob Pannell (you might know him as PAX from his unbeatable high scores), who contributed endless sweat and powerful game-fixing kung fu, not to mention the indefinite loan of his beloved cockpit Sinistar arcade game. A cascade of serendipitous events followed. I met Miranda Brewer on Twitter in my somewhat pitiful attempts to drum up interest in the bar on social media prior to its opening, and she became 1984’s first employee/bartender/booster, providing the bar with its original cast of regulars in her wonderful friends and family. Needing a helper with brawn and a trailer, I answered an ad on Craigslist and discovered beloved bartender and elite teller of tall tales, Josh Clark, in the wilds of Elkton, Maryland, and a bromance for the ages ensued. For the meager price of untold pints of Dogfish Head 60 Minute chased by the occasional Pabst Blue Ribbon, wild-haired local rocker Sean Flynn brought our walls to life with his cartoons-on-acid interpretations of heroes—both obvious and obscure—from the worlds of comic books, science fiction and fantasy films, classic console and arcade games, and rock martyrdom. His inspired art instantly added to the bar’s growing mystique. And seemingly out of the void, a hero materialized in Andrew Ratliff, the P.T. Barnum of karaoke hosts, whose magnetic personality and tremendous falsetto propelled our wildly epic Thursday nights. The Fates were kind and 1984 thrived, though modestly, for years. A forgotten piece of 1984 lore is that it initially had no live music and no stage. Despite being a passionate music geek, I was intimidated by the daunting task of proper execution of a music venue, both economically and practically. Though cool as Fonzie, arcade games are heavy, cumbersome and temperamental, making it hard to imagine a proper arcade and a legitimate rock show coexisting peacefully in the same limited space. But as in all things, necessity proved to be the mother of invention, and during an extended sophomore slump, we relied on the adage “build it and they will come.” Fueled by beer and pizza, we (or rather “they,” as in the surprisingly handy 1984 team as I unhandily provided world-class moral support) raised a corner stage whose durability belied its rapid assembly. Live music quickly became central to 1984’s identity, and the arena where we made the most enduring and personally satisfying contribution to the local community. At first, I only knew what I didn’t want to do musically, and sometimes that’s enough. It seemed redundant to build a stage and cobble together a semi-pro sound system only to have the usual suspects perform tepid acoustic versions of Matchbox 20 hits and classic rock covers as background music (though that stuff is not without its time and place). This coincided with it becoming increasingly apparent that the bar’s role in the social fabric of Wilmington was as an alternative to the typical, and that my true job was to counterprogram against the rather monotone options that the more popular watering holes in town offered. Drawing on my own background in the indie rock world of D.I.Y. venues and basement shows, I settled on the classic formula of three bands for five bucks, focusing primarily on local, original bands with a sprinkling of regional and national touring acts. Once word spread that your band could: play loud (and they did), get drunk for free (and they did), and, incredibly enough, actually get paid (even if your post-hardcore side project cleared the room), 1984 became the unofficial clubhouse of Wilmington’s music and arts scene. And our too-large-for-the-room square bar, served as its roundtable. As all sentient beings know, change is cruel, painful, sometimes completely necessary, and above all, inevitable. In my time in Delaware, I’ve been divorced, lived in seven places, gone from flush to broke and back again several times, and repeatedly considered fleeing the Small Wonder due to homesickness for my hometown of Richmond (Va.) and the moral exhaustion of the ephemeral highs and soul-crushing lows of the bar business. The bar shed its casts of regulars and bartenders several times over the years, always requiring new blood and shiny new skin, but that’s how things move forward and is simply the way of many things. These changes led to the adding of two partners to the mix in the bearded Mikes, Ceresini and Mahon, without whom the bar would have lasted half as


Childhood friends Rob Pannell (left) and Matt Morrissette created a lifetime of memories at 1984. Photo courtesy Matt Morrissette

long. Their common sense and fresh eyes were crucial and needed. A new crew of bartenders became just as beloved and familiar as the old in the forms of Southern gentleman and band ambassador, Dan Richmond, the short shorts-wearing Ryan Bartolo, and the indescribable man known as “Chupka.” However, there was no way to anticipate the length and severity of the nearly-biblical cruel twist of fate that was and sadly is COVID-19. After the most successful winter campaign in our history, we’d never felt better about the future of the little-barthat-could. We were planning excitedly and creatively for the spring and summer of 2020, with a Friday the 13th punkfest and an all-day stoner rock festival on the immediate horizon. Then, quite suddenly and completely unceremoniously, we were, in a word, done. I worked a solo shift on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day and never again. And rest assured, due diligence was done. All of the long, drunken meetings, hand-wringing, planning and replanning, attempts at obtaining government financial relief, and endless debates about the merits of crowdsourcing, happened. There simply was no path forward for us. But as always, there’s hope. This dark chapter will pass as they all do, and personally, there’s a certain excitement and freedom in the forced rebuilding and reinvention. The wounds are healing in no small part from the outpouring of love 1984 received from customers and bands alike when the news of our closure was announced. We’ve all been comforted by the knowledge that we made an undeniable and lasting contribution to the place we call home, facilitating the creation of indelible memories and lasting friendships while we made our own. I had some of the greatest nights of my life at 1984: the various Halloween tribute band nights that we called Rawktoberfest; 2019’s bar anniversary ‘90s party featuring our friends, MEGA, and seemingly all of the local music community; the Sunday afternoon Plow United reunion show; the list goes on forever. Thanks to all for the memories. And to all who have asked if it was worth it, the answer is a simple and emphatic: Hell, yes.

CURBSIDE SERVICE AVAILABLE! Call Ahead!

Mon-Sat 10am-10pm Sunday 12-6pm

l ca Lo rt o pp Su CK! BA IS ay id fr k uc food tr Businesses! wilmington 522 Philadelphia pike -

uors.com 302.764.0377 - pecosliq NOVEMBER 2020

| OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

37


INCLUDES: Private Auditorium Choice of Holiday Classic Admission, Popcorn + Beverage for up to 25 guests

ONLY

$2

50

BOOK NOW AT

penncinema.com/holidays

Is OPEN!

NEW BEAUTY SERVICES NEW SPA MENUS NEW EXPRESS FACIAL MENU

4021D Kennett Pike Wilmington, DE 19807 www.houppette.com

Illustration : No Sir E and Pat Higgins

Please call 302-421-9036 to make your appointment.

Friday 11/27 8am-8pm • More than 100 Limited Edition Vinyl Records Titles!

First 100 customers get a FREE limited-run Rainbow Records poster! Customers that spend over $100 get a FREE limited-run Rainbow Records shirt (while supplies last)!

218 E Main St. Suite 114, Newark, DE • RainbowRecordsDE.com 38 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


LISTEN

TUNED IN

Not-to-be-missed music news

DOGFISH’S ANALOG-A-GO-GO CELEBRATES 10 YEARS You may have thought COVID would stop it, but no, it’s “all systems go” for Analog-A-Go-Go, the annual music-beer-art celebration that for a decade has been a signature event for Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Slated for Saturday, November 7, Analog-A-Go-Go will showcase a line-up of virtual content that includes a livestream performance from folk rockers Mt. Joy, a virtual vendor fair, and a slew of 11 draft-only and limited releases available at their Rehoboth brewpub and/or Milton brewery. “Who would’ve thought the 10th anniversary of Analog-A-Go-Go would be one of our most ‘digital’ events yet,” said Dogfish Head Founder & Brewer Sam Calagione. “I’m bummed we can’t get together in-person to celebrate this milestone occasion, but am really happy we can share some off-centered ales virtually while enjoying a whole slew of craft-centric goodness.” For more details, visit Dogfish.com.

CLIFFORD BROWN YEAR-ROUND

Prepare for more jazz. Cityfest Inc. has committed to streaming live jazz concerts every month (the program began in October). The move builds on the success of this summer’s Virtual Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, which for the first time moved the nationally known event online and drew a digital audience of 40,000 people from 88 countries. Clifford Brown Year-Round will showcase jazz musicians from all over the world each month leading up to the 34th Annual Clifford Brown Jazz festival in June 2021—the largest free jazz festival on the East Coast. In November, the featured event will be an album release concert by The Whitney Project, led by Jonathan Whitney and featuring works from his new album Life’s Dimensions. December’s event will celebrate the holidays with the Cartoon Christmas Trio and the Wilmington Children’s Chorus Wilmington. The concerts will be hosted by two Wilmington arts venues: The Delaware Contemporary and Christina Cultural Arts Center. “In a time of separation and uncertainty we still have the ability to connect through music,” says City of Wilmington Cultural Affairs Director Tina Betz. “It’s an incredible opportunity for all jazz-lovers and a boost for the local arts and music scene.” All concerts begin at 7 p.m. and will have a small number of in-person tickets available. In-person tickets are $25 and virtual viewing tickets are $10. Tickets are available at CityfestWilm.com.

TASTE THE RAINBOW ON BLACK FRIDAY

With a splash of colors and sounds, Rainbow Records continues its yearly tradition of offering hard-to-find music rarities and custom-made artwork on Black Friday, November 26, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Music fans can choose from more than 100 limited-edition vinyl titles by artists such as Alice in Chains, Beastie Boys, Chris Cornell, Jerry Garcia, George Harrison, Motorhead, and U2. In addition, the first 100 customers will receive a free limited-run Rainbow Records poster. Customers that spend more $100 get a free limited-run Rainbow Records shirt (while supplies last). More info at RainbowRecordsDE.com

WELLNESS SUPPORT AVAILABLE FOR MUSICIANS

It’s no secret that the live event business has been one of the hardest industries hit by COVID. Many musicians have had to cope with the stress and financial hardships that comes with being suddenly unemployed (or underemployed) for several months. The first resource of its kind, Backline Case Management seeks to connect music industry professionals and their families with a trusted network of mental health and wellness providers. It is a free service for artists, crew members, managers, promoters, agents, and family members. If you or someone you know needs assistance, more details are available at Backline.care. ►

NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

HAVE YOU HEARD OF SOMETHING?

39


LISTEN

Xtianstock rocked the outdoor amphitheater area of Dew Point Brewing Co., raising nearly 80% more funds that it had in previous years. It was the event’s first time at this location. The concert helps raise money for the Christian Salcedo Music Scholarship Fund, which provides music lessons and starter instruments to young students living in economically challenged communities. “This year our Xtianstock fundraising event rose to a new level of achievement,” says Sarah Koon, executive director of the Light Up The Queen Foundation, which administers the scholarship. “We’re thrilled with this success and grateful to Dew Point Brewing Co. for hosting our event. “We’re also appreciative of all the musicians and volunteers who made this event possible and community members who attended the event, bought tickets, and donated to this cause.” Musicians and bands performing were Lyric Drive, Ellen Salcedo & Friends, Butch Zito Band, Earl Anem, and Younger Than Charlie. For more info on the Christian Salcedo Music Scholarship go to LightUpTheQueen.org.

Photo: Earth Radio Facebook Page

EARTH RADIO LAUNCHES ORBITER

40 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

A Philly folk-rock band with local roots, Earth Radio released its second EP, Orbiter, in late October. According to drummer Daniel Lord, the EP showcases the band’s growth since its 2018 debut, We Build a Mountain. It sounds like the band took a big step. “[This] features a wide range of music, from hymn-like chanting to electrified rock & roll,” Lord says. “[It] takes the listener on a journey that encompasses Civil War-era marches, Summer-of-Love protest songs and smokey odes to the blues.” For more info on the band and the new EP, visit EarthRadioBand.com.

Artwork: Kevin McCabe

XTIANSTOCK CONCERT A SUCCESS AT DEW POINT


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THE CITY WILMINGTON FIRE DEPARTMENT NOW RECRUITING

M

ayor Mike Purzycki and Chief of Fire Michael Donohue remind residents that Wilmington is still seeking recruits to become City firefighters, and they urge potential candidates to fill out an application online today. Applications for the City’s 41st fire academy will be accepted until Mon., November 30, 2020 and are available at this link: www.wilmingtonde.gov/fireacademy “Being hired as a Wilmington firefighter is not easy,” said the Mayor, “but it’s an extremely rewarding form of public service. Chief Donohue and I know it takes a special individual to risk his or her life in service to the larger community and I have the highest regard for the men and women who do just that for Wilmington each and every day. These courageous first responders serve our City with dedication and distinction, and I can think of few careers that are more challenging and rewarding at the same time.”

WILMINGTON POLICE TO GET BODYCAMS

M

ayor Mike Purzycki and Police Chief Robert Tracy announced last month that the City’s police body-worn camera program will proceed to implementation thanks to the receipt of a $630,000 grant from the U.S. Dept. of Justice. Earlier in October, Wilmington City Council approved an Administration request for $400,000 to support additional police officer staff positions to manage the new program. “I extend my thanks and appreciation to City Council for its support and patience as we awaited word of the receipt of this much-needed grant,” the Mayor said. “Chief Tracy and his staff have done great work already to get this program operating as soon as possible. We said all along that we would have started this program with or without a federal grant because it’s that important. But it sure is good at a time of COVID-related dwindling revenue to receive this critical support from the Department of Justice and from our Congressional Delegation.”

42 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO OUT & ABOUT MAGAZINE


Photo credit Saquan Stimpson Par

CITYFEST, INC., LAUNCHES CLIFFORD BROWN YEAR ROUND

B

uilding on the success of last summer’s Virtual Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, which for the first time moved the nationally known event online and drew a digital audience of 40,000 people from 88 countries, Cityfest Inc., in October began streaming monthly live jazz concerts honoring the late Clifford Brown. Clifford Brown Year-Round will showcase jazz musicians from all over the world each month leading up to the 34th Annual Clifford Brown Jazz festival in June 2021--the largest FREE jazz festival on the East Coast. The featured event in November is an album release concert by The Whitney Project led by Jonathan Whitney with works from his new album “Life’s Dimensions.” All concerts begin at 7 p.m. and will have a small number of in-person tickets available. In-person tickets are $25 and virtual viewing tickets are $10. Tickets are available at www.cityfestwilm.org/events.

LEARNING PODS ASSIST STUDENTS WITH STUDIES

M

ayor Mike Purzycki, United Way of Delaware President and CEO Michelle Taylor, and Wilmington Community Advisory Council (WCAC) Chair Dr. Henry Smith announced in October that part of the City’s CARES Act funds is helping to fund 12 learning pods where some Wilmington students are staying engaged with their classes during this period of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. “With our City students unable to return to the classroom due to the virus, we’ve got to do all we can to keep them and their families engaged with their education so they don’t fall further behind, and one way to do that is to offer learning pods,” said the Mayor. “WCAC came to the City with this wonderful idea and we have allocated approximately $90,000 in CARES Act federal funding to support learning sites around the City.” Each location has staff assigned to assist students and local school districts have assigned para-professional staff as resources to some of the community agency sites. Parents seeking more information about Wilmington’s learning pods should call 2-1-1, then press 4. A list of City pod sites can also be found at: www. wilmingtonde.gov/Home/Components/News/News/5174/225

MARK YOUR CALENDAR Learning pod at Neighborhood House in Southbridge.

NOV. 3: Election Day (City Offices Closed) NOV. 11: Veterans Day (City Offices OPEN) NOV. 20: The Whitney Project virtual album release at CCAC NOV. 26-27: Thanksgiving Holiday (City Offices Closed) NOV. 30: WFD Fire Academy Application Deadline For more meetings and events in the month of November, visit https://www.wilmingtonde.gov/.

A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO OUT & ABOUT MAGAZINE

NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITY! During this difficult time, there are numerous options on the Riverfront to get out, enjoy nature, and dine from some of your favorite restaurants! The Riverfront is a perfect venue to enjoy the outdoors and walk our 1.75 mile Riverwalk along the beautiful Christina River! Additionally, the DuPont Environmental Education Center is now open to the public. DEEC’s nature trails, including the eight-mile Jack A. Markell Trail continues to be fully operational! Get out and enjoy some quality time in nature!

44 NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


EVENT RENTALS LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT VENUE FOR YOUR OUTDOOR WEDDING CEREMONY? Riverfront Wilmington has several options for a small, socially-distanced gathering all with a beautiful backdrop of the river!

DINING OPTIONS Riverfront Restaurants and the Riverfront Market are open for in-house indoor and outdoor dining Banks Seafood Kitchen & Raw Bar Big Fish Grill Ciro Food & Drink Cosi Del Pez Docklands Drop Squad Kitchen Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant Riverfront Bakery River Rock Kitchen Starbucks The Juice Joint

302-425-4890

events@riverfrontwilm.com

Timothy’s on the Riverfront Ubon Thai

NOVEMBER 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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THE GRAND’S WINTER IN WILMINGTON DRIVE-THRU LIGHT SHOW Every Thursday-Sunday Starting Black Friday November 27, 2020 Through January 3,2021 (Excluding Christmas Eve/Day and New Year’s Eve/Day)

5pm-9:30pm

THE OUTFIELD PARKING LOTS OF FRAWLEY STADIUM $25/car TICKETS:

TheGrandWilmington.org


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