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The Food++Community Issue Featuring//

+Cross Culture Communities +Homeless for the Holidays

Community through art// +Revitalized Artistry +Word of Mouth +Freeklife



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Around the Table 6 ............ Table Talk 9 ............ Love Letters 12 .......... Curl Up Veg Out 15 .......... Gobble Squad 16 .......... Home Grown

17 .......... In a Pickle 18 .......... Wishy Washy 20 .......... A Vinyl Appetite 21 .......... Freaky Festivities 22 .......... Down and Derby

23 .......... Travel Tales 26 .......... Fall Markets 32 .......... Word Play 34 .......... Fair Weather Friends 35 .......... Media Matters 38 .......... Wood Grains

Cover & Contents Photos B y E r s ta F errya n to

Ampers and


Nov/Dec 2013


Edito�’� Note

Athenians are blessed with an active and supportive community that is vital to the charm of our small town, and particularly around the holidays, we enjoy feeling connected to the people around us. And what brings people together better than anything else? Food. Food makes first dates less awkward, gives old friends a reason to catch up, and brings people to events. Almost every culture and religion celebrates holiday seasons with special meals. So Ampersand envisioned this issue as a chance to sit around the dinner table with the Athens community. With every family dinner, there are topics explored that we prefer to avoid (pg. 6), but memories are made regardless (pg. 8). Still, you may be safer sticking with your friends for your holiday get-togethers (pg. 15), so we’re giving you recipes to prepare your favorite winter produce that’s sure to impress even the foodiest of your picky friends (pg. 12); don’t forget to swing by the fall farmers market first (pg. 26). Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about the community hubs of Athens—the coffee shops (pg. 9). Unfortunately, eating carbs and drinking cappuccinos aren’t the only things people do from November until February, so take a trip with some friends (pg. 23), hang out with one of the coolest girl packs around town (pg. 22), or feed your soul with some spoken word (pg. 32). In any case, Athens is definitely a wonderful place to be when the leaves start to turn, and it [finally] starts to get cold. So as much as many of us would like to hibernate for the next four months, don’t forget there’s a thriving community waiting for you. How are you engaging with the Athens community this month? Instagram a picture and tag @ampersand_uga, and the winner of our voting competition will get a prize. Connect with us @ampersand_uga or for online exclusive content.

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nov/deC 2013


Contributing Writers Sarah Bennett Kate Devlin Grace Donnelly Kate Douds Lori Keong Lauren Loudermilk Stephen Mays Sapna Mistry Christina Montford Diondra Powers Claire Ruhlin Stephanie Talmadge Meredith Thornhill Elizabeth Vogan Kylie Woodall Kalyn Wilson Gina Yu Fashion Team Ersta Ferryanto Surina Harjani Maria Kouninska Meredith Thornhill Photographers Ersta Ferryanto Penn Hansa Kristyn Nucci Ben Rouse Randy Schafer Nick Seymour Emily Schoone Design Team Hannah Fabian Bailey Michelle Caudill JG Ginsberg Sarah Jon Abi Lambert Mandy Le Brittani Roberts Maddie Shae Carson Shadwell Mary Sommerville Killian Wyatt




ADVERTISING student Ad Manager Josie Brucker Account Manager Zach Jones Will White Promotions Director Allie Amato Ad Assistant Laurel Holland student PR Manager Stephanie Pham Marketing Coordinators Leah Curl Debbie Feldman Danny Jacob Meghan McLynn Alexander Peterson Ali Rezvan Dennis Scullin Elizabeth Stowell Kelly Taylor Liliana Torres Kristina Wade social Director Sapna Mistry


Creative Director Dan Roth Creative Assistants Christine Byun Victoria Nikolich Bennett Travers General Manager Natalie McClure Editorial Advisor Ed Morales Asst. Editorial Advisor Erin France Office Manager Ashley Oldham Distribution Manager Will Sanchez


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Managing Editor Lori Keong Creative Editor Gina Yu senior Editor Kate Devlin Design Editor Hannah Fabian Bailey Asst. Design Editor JG Ginsberg Photo Editor Kristyn Nucci Online Editor Grace Donnelly Food Editor Kylie Woodall Music Editor Will Guerin Fashion Editors Meredith Thornhill Maria Kouninska Copy Editor Stephen Mays


en sci ces

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Stephanie Talmadge



th e wo rl d iS wAiting





t y o f g e o rgi a

260 W. Clayton St. Athens, GA 30601 706.548.8030

located at



nov/deC 2013


Around the Table BY CHRIsTInA MOnTFORD

Dinner is one of the only times where everyone takes a break from their busy schedules to sit down and enjoy good food and company. Family dinners are where problems get solved, tears are dried and buttons fly off of pants from deep belly laughs — they’re about healing.

So what happens when you go off to college? Should you settle into dinners for one for the rest of the foreseeable future? Family dinners can still take place in college. It just takes a little more work and a looser interpretation of the word family. Tiffani Martin, a fourth-year student at the University of Georgia, ensures that her friends keep up their tradition of Sunday dinners. “Growing up, we had huge family dinners,” Martin says. “I have a huge family of cooks, and it’s kind of a big deal. I used to hate when my Ma had dinners when I was younger because I didn’t want all of those people in my house, but as I got older, I saw family dinner for the beauty that it was.” Martin recalls that any problem could be solved with a simple discussion and some delicious smells. She wanted to recreate that feeling when she moved to Athens. “We could have all the problems in the world, but on Sunday when family got together, none of that mattered,” Martin says. “We had each other. I could hate my uncle on Friday, but come Sunday, none of that mattered.” Everyone can benefit from the comforting effects of family dinners in college. Even without growing up with them as a tradition, now is as good a time as any to start incorporating group meals into a weekly routine. Family dinners were not the norm in exercise and sport science major Taylor Jackson’s house, but after experiencing a few in college, she sees the benefit. “Family dinners are a good chance to sit back, relax and spend time with friends,” Jackson says. “I’m glad I’ve taken the time for them.” Whether it’s a big circle of friends or just a dinner for two, make an effort to eat together on occasion. When good food and good people come together, there’s not telling what could happen.

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Keeping Conversation Friendly BY DIOnDRA POWERs With the holiday season fast approaching, so is that awkward annual family gathering. We know you love your family, but sometimes their dinnertime conversation oversteps boundaries, and unearths topics you would prefer remain unexplored. Here are some responses to get you off the hook. They ask: Shouldn’t you be married by now?

You say: If you’re worried about getting grandbabies, I’m sure *nudge sibling* can help with that.

They ask: Do you have a job yet?

You say: No, but I’m also not dealing drugs, so there’s that.

They ask: Still have a good GPA?

You say: Why yes, you could say my grade point is about average. (get it???)

They say: You seem to be enjoying those dining halls!

You say: Well, I’m trying this new diet called self-acceptance. It’s pretty cool.


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nov/deC 2013


Best Wishes & Dishes BY GInA yU

Whether it’s an intimate gathering of friends or a full-on family reunion, the holidays have a way of uncovering familiar memories and traditions. Two Athenian mainstays find that the winter season evokes nostalgic dishes and flavors. “In my family, we usually have my grandmother’s oyster stew.” Chef Daniel [of Mama’s Boy] cooks Thanksgiving for the restaurant and then for his whole family. He makes the best dressing in the universe. It’s his grandmother’s cornbread dressing. He says he can’t make it as good as hers.” — Cooper Hudson, Co-owner of Mama’s Boy “My family has an annual Christmas party, and every year my mom makes a delicious spiced cider — spiked with Tuaca for the adults. We call this drink “Hot Apple Pies”, even though it tastes nothing like a hot apple pie. Regardless of the name,

the smell of cloves, cinnamon & allspice throughout the house

makes it impossible not to get into the holiday spirit. I’ve carried on the tradition and now make it for my own Christmas parties. It is drinks like these that inspire some of my more unusual popsicle flavors.”

— Melissa Fontaine, Owner of Hip Pops

Hand-Rolled Empanadas Delicious Homemade Soup Hand-Cut Fire-Grilled Steaks Topped w/ Mama Elena’s Chimmichurri Sauce

$10 buckets of domestic bottle beers and $.75 oysters...

Vegetarian & Vegan Dishes

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A bottle of chef selected wine, an appetizer, two surf & turf dinners and dessert.

Unique, Delicious HouseMade Cupcakes - Different Flavors Each Week!

Delivery available through

Where do I even begin? The fact that I nestle in the hearth of Two Story Coffee, an unholy amount of times each week, may presume that I would be the best person to profess my love for this establishment, but maybe it would make me the worst. How would I count the days that I drove down the gravel lot of this coffeehouse in search for quiet solace and caffeinated concentration? Or the conversations of both light-heartedness and depth, fragrant with roasted aromas and frothed with expertly steamed milk? How would I describe the warm faces that populate this establishment — the baristas strapped in suspenders and energized by the beauty of their craft and the intimate community of coffee-drinkers? How would I condense the wisdom of the weathered wooden desk on the second floor, brimming with notes of inspiration and human vulnerability?

How would I express how naturally this establishment exists in the subtle vibrancy of the Five Points neighborhood? How could I possibly put into words the gratitude I have for this coffeehouse? For being an escape from the pace of the outside world? For sheltering me in times of pressure and struggle? For providing a foundation to build relationships both deep and fleeting? No, I could never. As much as I hope that I will never have to say a forever goodbye to this safe haven, I hope as much that I will never be compelled to define how I feel about it. Two Story Coffeehouse to me, is a Two Story Coffee home. With latte love and cappuccino kisses,

Ampers and


Nov/Dec 2013


As I write this, I’m sitting along the gorgeous polished oak bar at Hendershot’s in the Bottleworks. There’s a soft, soothingly rhythmic song on the PA, chosen by young Connor, one of this morning’s two baristas. The other barista is Seth Hendershot himself. Four of us are at the bar, and a dozen or more are scattered among the tables, the tech-friendly counters and the upholstered “living room” areas of the Shot. I see five folks outside at the patio tables on this beautiful October morning. I’m halfway through my second mug of “78,” the Shot’s dark roast. My friend is enjoying a mug of “45,” the medium roast. Throughout the morning, folks have been ordering the more exotic mochas and lattes and the Jittery Joe’s pastries, including my favorite, the pain au chocolat. The morning vibe here is very much a reflection of Seth’s personality — laid-back and friendly. It’s not an exaggeration to describe the Shot as the “Cheers” of Athens. But coffee and mornings are only about a third of the Hendershot’s experience. I love to be here in the afternoons as well. It’s chill. Folks are studying or reading or talking quietly. The baristas are still serving coffee drinks, but glasses of beer and wine are also making an appearance. And Chef Ivey is in the kitchen making delicious hot sandwiches and other items from his lunch menu.

320 E. Clayton St. (706) 353-0334

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My favorite is the pulled pork sandwich. With evening, the Shot transforms again, becoming one of our town’s best music venues. Last night Ike Stubblefield played here. Man, can that guy swing on his Hammond B3 organ! And songstress Mary Sigalas, who is standing next to me right now, will take the stage Sunday evening to perform jazz and pop standards. The Shot has music almost every night! I haven’t the space to mention all the things I love about the Shot. Drop by and pull up a chair, and I’ll bend your ear over coffee.

Photos By KRIsTyn nUCCI

At the downtown Jittery Joe’s, every morning smells of caffeinated promise. There’s so much you’re going to accomplish once that cup of coffee is in your little hands. Everything seems possible, even squeezing two laptops on those small round tables. In the afternoon there’s the whiff of people refueling to grind their way through the afternoon. The nights, though, are the best. There are the lights, the busy sidewalks and the sweet smell of desperate students Where do I even begin? staring at overpriced textbooks, cramming for a test they should’ve studied The fact for a week ago. that I nestle in the hearth of Two StoryIt’sCoff an in the morning. God I love that smell. likeee,napalm unholy of times each week, While amount an archipelago of coff ee shops dots the Athens seascape, presume thatJittery I would the At the Learning Center, I’m such a I’mmay an unapologetic Joe’sbefan. best person mycoff love for regular they oftto enprofess start my ee before I can order it. As it says on my this establishment, but, maybe it website, the cleverly named a decaffeinated life is not would make me the worst. worth living. Howa special would fondness I count for the the days I have downtown Jittery Joe’s with its scuffed that Ifloors, drovethedown the gravel wooden tables squeezed together. Coffee shops are among the of this coffstudents eehouse mix in search fewlotplaces where with non-students (also known as human for quiet and of caff einated bent over books next to a university beings). You’llsolace find a table students concentration? vice president plotting the next tuition hike next to a townie checking out the conversations of fails: both at lighthisOr tattoos next to, it never least one scruffy guy with a dog, usually heartedness andfront depth, positioned near the doorfragrant as he nurses the same cup for hours at a time. with roasted frothed Joe’s – University administrators Everyone passes aromas through and the downtown steamed milk? in with suits,expertly wide-eyed freshmen in flip-flops and that guy with the dog. HowJoe’s, would I of describe the serves as a third place. A first place Jittery like a lot coffee shops, warm faces that populate this Third places are those community is the home, a second place is work. establishment — mix thefreely, baristas anchors where people like a dog park or Ramsey. I admit there’s in as we suspenders and our screened smartphone god, and lessstrapped mixing now sit and worship energized of oftheir that’s too Ththe e coffbeauty ee shops 1700s England drew people together to craft the andissues the intimate community discuss of the day, nurturing concepts you may have heard of, like of coff ee-drinkers? public opinion, like democracy. How I condense the you’d get out of this essay without Hey, I’m awould professor. Did you think wisdom of the weathered wooden learning something? desk on the second flwas oor,like brimming If more of America our Athens coffee shops, this country would notes inspiration and be with in much betterofshape. human vulnerability?

As Athenians, we’re blessed with almost too many options when it comes to settling on the coffee spot that’s just right. We’ve all encountered the quintessential Goldilocks syndrome of too-small tables, poorly mixed playlists and overpriced lattés. So when you find that place it makes that hot mess of searching worthwhile. I honestly couldn’t tell you about the first time I went to Walker’s. But I can (without fear of hyperbole) say that other than the college radio station (WUOG90.5FM), it’s where I spent most of my college career. For me, Walker’s has the magical combination of raised, spacious tables, solid coffee selections and a soundtrack that is suspiciously in tune with what I want to hear. On damp winter mornings I sought refuge in the high backed booths with (probably too many) toasty Americanos. In the spring I rejoiced alongside my fellow coffee shop campers when the street facing garage door was raised. I’ve used it as an excuse to “study” with friends late at night or to skip early morning classes to be more productive (or to revive myself with copious amounts of coffee). Those surprisingly cozy cubbies have played host to countless group study dates, first dates and solo blogging sessions. In between four years worth of iced coffee and hot toddies, I made some of the best memories. Maybe I didn’t realize quite how special it was at the time, but, after graduation, I realize now more than ever that Walker’s was my place. Through fitful WiFi, nail-biting midterms and woefully large assignments, I could always snag a booth. So thank you for the late-night caffeine fix, the post-class happy hours and the early morning pickme-ups. When I leave Athens, I sure am going to miss you Walker’s.

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nov/deC 2013


BY KyLIE WOODALL Now is the perfect time to transition from juicy peaches and shucked corn to hearty root vegetables, vibrant citrus fruits and gorgeous leafy greens. Don’t let the colder weather stop you from eating fresh, seasonal produce. With an abundance of vitamins and minerals, these fruits and vegetables can help keep your skin bright and energy up, ready to tackle any long day in class or night on the town. Cooking seasonally can help you enjoy tastier, betterfor-you and more budget-friendly fare. Here are a few recipes to help you reap the benefits of the fall and winter harvest

Rosemary Citrus Roasted Winter Vegetables Brussel sprouts and beets tend to get a bad rap, being either loved or despised. Embrace the earthy sweetness of beets and crispy deliciousness of brussel sprouts in this roasted vegetable medley with a rosemary citrus touch. Heat oven to 425 F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Peel, trim and cut brussel sprouts, beets, carrots parsnips, garlic and onion 1/2 inch cubes or slices. Place vegetables on baking sheet. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Gently toss vegetables, coating evenly. (If you do not want the beets to “stain” the other vegetables, keep them to one side of the pan). Roast vegetables for 20 minutes. Toss vegetables. Roast for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together remaining salt and olive oil with a chopped rosemary, citrus juice and zest. Move vegetables to serving dish, drizzle with vinaigrette and mix in optional ingredients if desired.

start to finish: 55 minutes (15 minutes prep) serving: 6-8 1/2 pound brussel sprouts, halved 2 medium beets 3 medium carrots 2 large parsnips 1 yellow onion 1 garlic clove, minced 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped 1 orange or lemon, juiced and zested Optional Additions: 1/4 cup slivered almonds 1/4 cup feta cheese

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Arugula and Pear Grilled Cheese start to finish: 15 minutes servings: 2 4 slices whole wheat, seedy bread 1 pear, sliced 6 slices brie, thinly sliced 2 handfuls baby arugula 2 teaspoons whole-grain dijon mustard 1 tablespoon fig jam

Salted butter or olive oil

The sweetness of pear coupled with the zest of arugula makes this version of an all-American comfort food go from just “ooey-gooey” to mouthwateringly good.

Ripe for the picking, orange vegetables and fruits like clementines, pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potatoes are high in betacarotene, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants. These nutrients promote collagen formation and healthy joints as well as reduce your blood pressure and risk for certain types of cancer. Leafy greens like arugula, kale and brussel sprouts contain fiber, calcium, folate, vitamin C and beta-carotene which work together to promote the health of your digestive, cardiovascular and immune systems. Fruits and vegetables of other hues, like gorgeous red-violet beets, cannot be beaten when it comes to eradicating harmful free-radicals and supporting the health of your tissues and organs.

Lay 2 slices of bread open faced and pile with pear slices, thin slices of brie and arugula. Smear remaining two slices with mustard and fig jam. Coat outside slices of sandwiches with butter. In a large skillet over low-medium heat, heat sandwich until brie begins to melt and bottom becomes golden. Flip sandwich and cook until bottom is golden as well. Serve immediately.

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nov/deC 2013


Start to finish: 45 minutes

Servings: 6-8 Pumpkin Fries: 1 sugar pumpkin 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 egg whites 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

Baked Pumpkin Fries with Raspberry Mustard Sauce

1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice Raspberry Mustard: 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam 2 tablespoons dijon mustard 2 teaspoons whole-grain dijon mustard

With witches brewing, turkeys in the oven and Santa making his list, the colder months beckon the return of one of America’s most beloved fruits — the pumpkin. Like other recipes which use your traditional Idaho or sweet potato, these baked pumpkin fries only require peeling, a quick slice and pop in the oven. An additional egg wash provides extra crispiness and a touch of protein. Paired with a delicious raspberry mustard sauce, these fries are definitely more treat than trick when it comes to taste. Heat oven to 450 F. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil and olive oil. Peel pumpkin, remove seeds and destring. Cut pumpkin into fry-thick slices. In a large bowl, froth egg whites. Add sea salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice into frothed egg whites. Toss pumpkin slices in seasoned egg whites, coating them evenly. Place egg-washed slices on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, flip fries, then cook an additional 10 minutes. Sprinke with extra salt and pepper to taste. Raspberry Mustard: In a small bowl, mix jam and mustards together until smooth. Serve with fries.

Start to finish: 45 minutes Servings: 10 2 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crusts Non-stick cooking oil spray 1 (12-ounce) can of sweet potatoes 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened 2 eggs 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 cups mini marshmallows

Mini Sweet Potato Pies What better way to enjoy sweet potato pie than in a mini version? Perfect for feeding a crowd with little mess, these will be a hit at any shindig. Heat oven to 350 F. Spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking oil spray. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough and cut into 10, 4-inch round circles. Place circles into greased muffin tin and press to make the bottom of the pie crust. Shape to fit tin. In a food processor or with a handmixer, blend together sweet potatoes, cream cheese, eggs, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar until smooth. Fill each pie crust muffin with sweet potato mixture until 2/3 full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until edges of pie are golden brown and sweet potato filling appears to have a seal. Remove from oven and top each pie with mini marshmallows. Turn oven to broil. Place pies into oven for a maximum of 30 seconds, or until marshmallows are toasted. Remove from oven, let stand for 15 minutes, remove pies from pan and serve.

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BY: DIONDRA POWERS Over the course of the years at University of Georgia, a student meets new neighbors, acquaintances and friends. During the holidays especially, these folks become a second family. Before bidding this second family adieu, get together a full spread of food and celebrate a pre-Thanksgiving. This little ‘Friendsgiving’ gathering can include everyone from that kid who pulls all-nighters with you before tests to the friend you can count on to have weekly coffee dates with. Getting all of your friends in one place to enjoy each other’s company can be a great way to relax and catch up before the break. Jaclyn Kuwik, a graduate assistant wit the UGA Center for Leadership and Service (CLS),

attended Florida State University for her undergraduate career and is now attending graduate school at UGA. It was during her junior year that she experienced her first Friendsgiving. This celebration included her “roommates, some neighbors plus a few other friends,” Kuwik says. “My friends and I got together the weekend before Thanksgiving and met on campus, and we had a little celebration,” Kuwik says. “And we did that the following year. That was my undergrad experience.” For Kuwik and her friends, planning the food didn’t take much time at all. “Every one that I’ve done has been potluck style,” Kuwik says. “Every time I’ve done it, we’ve had like a Facebook sign-up or a Google doc so that people don’t bring the same things.” Kuwik recommends “being inclusive of everyone’s diet” and not forgetting the vegans and vegetarians in the group. Katie Johnston, a senior coordinator with the CLS, uses Google docs for her Friendsgiving celebrations as a way to incorporate different foods. “We wanted people to be able to bring something that represented their family and their tradition that may not be in what my thinking is in terms of what Thanksgiving dinner looks like,” she says. “When I hosted it, I would do the turkey and maybe some of the main things, and then let people bring their other things.”

Having a staple recipe doesn’t hurt either. It can grow into a Thanksgiving tradition that guests or hosts alike can look forward to year after year. Kuwik has a yam recipe that she ended up making two years in a row. Johnston likes to make mashed potatoes and another favorite recipe: “My grandmother taught me when I was very young to make yeast rolls from scratch,” she says. “That’s a staple I will often make since I like to make them from scratch, and that’s something that’s being lost in the world.” During any Friendsgiving celebration, enjoy the company. For Johnston, Friendsgiving is a time for relaxation. “I think it’s really just being with friends and family,” she says. “Especially in grad school, not everyone could go home or different things. We’d have all 30 to 40 of us together, and it would be kind of a time to relax and not worry about school, not worry about jobs, just a time to relax.” Kuwik also appreciates the time spent with good friends. After the meal, “we all went around and said what we were thankful for with each other because we use each other so much as support throughout the year,” she says. “That was really great, having time to talk about that.” Find a favorite Thanksgiving recipe or buy a can of cranberry sauce and invite your second family over for dinner! Happy Friendsgiving!

Ampers and


Nov/Dec 2013



1 pint butterbeans/lima beans, cooked 1 pint butter peas, cooked 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1 tablespoon tahini 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 lemons, juiced salt to taste 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Local & Home.Made BY sTEPHEn MAys

If fresh beans aren’t available, fresh frozen beans from Jefferson, Ga. are also acceptable. In a food processor or blender, puree butterbeans, butter peas, cumin, tahini, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Puree until smooth. Transfer hummus to a serving bowl. Stir in parsley.(Recipe from owner and chef of home.made catering Mimi Maumus.) “I chose this recipe because I think it’s something people will actually do,” Maumus says. Though she usually cites her pickled okra recipe, the butterbean hummus recipe stays true to Maumus’s culinary style — taking simple, southern cuisine and tweaking it with a new flair.

P h o t o B y EMILy sCHOOnE

Seven customers sit inside home.made catering, located at 1072 Baxter St., enjoying the tail end of a lunch rush on a bright Friday afternoon. Old, rectangular wooden tables fill the space, surrounded by various chairs and wall decorations. Photographs of the restaurant’s dishes hang on the walls with antique cooking utensils and chalkboard menus, giving the room a casual atmosphere. Even down to the silverware used by the customers, no two forks are alike. Mimi Maumus, chef and owner of home.made, emerges from the kitchen in her chef ’s whites. Standing behind the counter, she helms the Athenian, all-from-scratch restaurant. “I always liked and cared about food,” Maumus says. “It was a fun family time for me growing up.” Her father cooked on the weekends, during what she called his playtime. Maumus described her father as experimental and says he would always allow for help in the kitchen, something she enjoyed. “And my grandmother was a great cook,” Maumus says, noting that some of the recipes used in the restaurant are her grandmother’s. Throughout college, Maumus worked in restaurants. It wasn’t until her senior year, however, that she realized the possibility of culinary school. After finishing school, Maumus says she worked for a short time utilizing her psychology and sociology degrees but ultimately began to miss the kitchen. So she went back. “I worked for years in restaurants,” Maumus says. “They were always from scratch places, little independent places.” These small, hands-on settings gave Maumus her base in culinary knowledge, teaching her the basics of doughs and sauces. After moving to Athens, Maumus, who loved eating at local restaurant 5 & 10 and had read about its chef, Hugh Acheson, felt that she could relate to his story. Maumus approached Acheson with the thought that he could be her personal “culinary school.” She was hired. “It was then [at 5 & 10] that I knew that if I wanted to do this

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professionally, I wanted to know as much as I could and I wanted to do things properly. I wanted to know technique. I wanted to know ingredients,” Maumus says. Jumping completely into the business of home.made, she says, was like a “trust fall” with herself. “Trusting that I was going to be able to pay my bills and get the work done and just all of that was the hardest part,” she says. Hailing from New Orleans, Maumus, like her food, has a distinct spice. Maumus incorporates a subtle, relaxed heat that accents other flavors in her dishes, just like her managerial style augments instead of overpowering her employees. “She is amazing,” Lauren Williamson, an employee at home.made, says. “I’ve never had a boss that is as relaxed but still… what’s the word… professional. She gets it done, but she doesn’t ever get angry at you.” Owning her own restaurant doesn’t mean Maumus has stopped learning, though. The aspect of home.made that allows the chef to “explore” her curiosities in the culinary world is home.made’s monthly supper club. Another baby step along the way, Maumus created supper club so that she could take a break from the set menus that catering demanded and flex her culinary muscle. “I think, at my core, I love learning,” Maumus says. “Supper club is a way for me to be curious and explore really deep into my curiosities and feel like I’ve figured something out.” What now stands as a burgeoning business has been in the works for nearly a decade. Maumus worked on the catering aspect of home. made while also working at 5 & 10, utilizing her Friday nights off of work to lead her own business. “I knew what I wanted to get to but I didn’t know how to get there,” she says. “It was just these little baby steps, and then here I am. Which is crazy,” Maumus laughs.

P h o t o B y RAnDy sCHAFER

Jars of various pickled foods: okra, snap beans, green tomatoes, carrots and jalapenos lined Angie Tillman’s front porch. When Angie started Phickles Pickles with her husband, Phin, in 2009, customers were encouraged to collect their orders and leave payment in a cigar box. The small-batch pickle company officially launched after Angie created a Facebook page for the pickles Phin had been making for years. Orders streamed in, some requesting six jars at once. In 2010, the company moved its headquarters out of the Tillmans’ home and relocated to a certified kitchen. Phickles Pickles are now sold in restaurants and shops all across the Southeast. Although customers rarely swing by the Tillmans’ porch for pickle pickups anymore, the Tillmans still maintain the communal focus that defined their front-porch days. Big-name grocers like Kroger or Target will leave shoppers in search of Phickles Pickles empty-handed. The jarred pickled foods are only sold in locally-owned stores and restaurants around Athens, such as the Daily Groceries Co-op or Healthy Gourmet. This “locals-only” policy extends to their out-of-state vendors as well. Meeting and connecting with individual store owners allows the

BY CLAIRE RUHLIn Tillmans to feel connected with once-unfamiliar towns. Angie and Phin make personal trips to cities like Charleston, S.C. and Chapel Hill, N.C. where they introduce Phickles and themselves to local business owners. “I’m a firm believer [in] the grass is greenest where you water it,” Angie says. “Every town we go to we end up feeling like we live there and we know everybody. And that’s what I am trying to do. It’s hard, but I’m trying to connect everywhere we go.” With Phickles Pickles expanding to other states, Angie and Phin have been working for the pickle company full time, and free time is scarce. Phin drives into Atlanta every day to pick up produce, and they take turns selling Phickles at the Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market and the Grant Park Farmer’s Market on the weekends. Appearing at Taste of Atlanta and in Garden and Gun magazine, their list of vendors — and new friends — is growing. “Everything’s exciting to me,” Angie says, breaking into a wide smile. “A lot of times I think people think it’s just pickles. It’s your sweet spot. I’m using the way we make our money to do what I love.”

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Athens has done it again. The small town provides a tucked away destination for musicians to enjoy while they aren’t on tour. Ernest Greene, more likely known by his pseudonym Washed Out, is one of the most recent additions to call Athens home. Nathan Kerce, one of the music directors for the University of Georgia’s student-run radio station, WUOG-FM, is proud to have grown up in a town that is home to “brilliant musical minds.” He says, “Ernest Greene is definitely another addition to the long list of genius musicians who have lived here.” Greene is an alumni of UGA, so as a student he witnessed how Athens manifested and embraced musicians, thanks to the artistic vibe and creative energy of the town. In October 2012, after wrapping up his first album Within and Without’s tour, Greene made the move from Atlanta to Athens, residing past the Georgia State Botanical Garden of Georgia off Milledge Avenue. Like writers who travel to the French countryside to escape writer’s block, Greene escaped to the rural farmlands of Athens-Clarke County to become inspired and tapped into the unfolding of the entire creative process. Although he was on the road and performing in different cities until the November of 2012, he says, “I had a lot of ideas, a lot of focus” for how he wanted to tackle the future — Paracosm. Yet the ultimate catalyst to seal the deal on his ideas was Athens. “It’s really beautiful around the house, lots of flowers,” Greene says. “And that ended up being a big inspiration on the songs, I think. I’m trying to soundtrack that idea in some way.” The artist envisioned this inspiration from Athens in one word: paracosm. According to Greene’s set designer, Madeline Moore, para-

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cosm means “a prolonged fantasy world invented by children.” His surrounding landscape not only influences the natural, whimsical flow that tracks such as “Weightless,” “Great Escape” or “Falling Back” elicit, but the album artwork itself captures the beauty of vivid, vibrant flowers that Greene and his wife encounter at home. “I thought of it as sort of a daydream space and what would the music sound like for a daydream?” He says. Kerce expresses his draw toward Paracosm, recognizing this “daydream space” that the musician speaks of. “I think Ernest Greene is particularly talented at creating an environment with his music,” Kerce says. “I feel really cheesy using the word ‘soundscape,’ but that’s what it is. He’s using sound to create a landscape that feels very real and often very relaxing for the listener.” Greene shared that his album’s overall themes, some of which he sourced from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, lent to Paracosm’s summer release and set design for his tour. Moore wanted to create an environment with her stage pieces that projected the idea of living in a dreamworld. “I feel that there is a world in which Ernest creates this fantastical music and for once, on this Paracosm tour, we gather a glimpse of what that world looks like on the inside,” Moore says. This tour appropriately concluded in Athens on Sept. 24, at the Georgia Theatre, one of Green’s favorite venues to perform. Moore elaborated, explaining that Georgia Theatre was the “mother” venue because this was where Washed Out initially rehearsed and set up. The tour would come full circle once Greene returned to his base in late September. “It’s always good getting home,” Greene says.



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Despite immense success at WUOG, the student-run radio station at the University of Georgia, and the culinary success Akeeme Martin has found through hosting potlucks, Martin is constantly humbled. “I’ve never considered myself to be, like, this huge DJ or anything like that,” he says. “I’m just a simple guy that does a three-hour radio show.” Next year will mark Martin’s ten-year anniversary with WUOG and sevenyear benchmark as the host of the Halft ime Hip Hop Show, which is internationally syndicated. On his computer, Martin pulls up his “Culinary Delights” album on Facebook, which holds an impressive 195 pictures: it’s a spread with everything from an XXL Philly cheesesteak with mushrooms, onions, peppers, crispy fried onions, four cheeses and French onion Worcestershire sauce to a French vanilla and caramel sweet potato pie with a graham cracker crust. In another tab, he’s searching for a song by his favorite new artist and personal friend, Hannah Washington, on YouTube. This is Martin’s happy medium— sandwiched between music and food.

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He started cooking in high school as a way to bring his family together around Christmas time, then began making the occasional treats for friends and WUOG events. Two years ago, Martin threw a birthday dinner for himself that turned into a recurring potluck for friends and WUOG-ers. Gabriella Andino, a new face to WUOG whom Martin met over the summer, says Martin singlehandedly buys, cooks and hosts the potlucks himself, making it more of a “come-over-and-let-me-feed-you type of deal.” Weaving his way from the topic of food to music, music to food and back again, Martin talks about his halft ime show’s three series and how artists are mixing genres, like a chef mixes eggs and sugar in a homemade cake. “That’s what makes me enjoy hip-hop — really, music in general,” he says. “They’re not following a formula.” By the end of Martin’s last potluck, there were 40 to 50 people in attendance and little food remaining. Martin invited incoming students to the potluck to help build a rapport between current and new staffers before work at the

station officially started. “It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time here, or you’ve been here for more than a decade. You matter,” Martin says. “You’re just as much a significant part of this organization as I am. That’s the reason why that whole potluck was, to me, the most successful one thus far — not just because all the food was gone, but the new staffers actually felt that they were a part of something.” Martin thrives on this inclusivity. Andino says Martin has the biggest heart out of anyone she’s ever met. He once made a pan of his infamous macaroni and cheese the day after a potluck to give to a staffer who had missed out on it the night before. “The mac ’n’ cheese!” Jessica Wolf, WUOG staffer and WUOG public affairs director, says when asked about Martin’s potlucks. “He’s got my back when it comes to mac ’n’ cheese.” Martin is working on a secondary music degree which will translate into a restaurant/ entertainment venue, merging his two passions as well as fostering the community he already provides to WUOG-ers. “Everyone loves to listen to music,” Martin says matterof-factly. “Everyone likes to eat.”

Don’t Freek Out:


It’s a Friday night: you’re not feeling the downtown scene, you aren’t involved in Greek life but you still want to hear good music and meet new people. So where do you go? Freeklife was the answer for Drew Kirby, a third-year mass media arts major at the University of Georgia. “I used to visit my brother and go to frat parties, but it wasn’t my thing,” he says. “I didn’t see why we couldn’t have big parties with great bands and like-minded people.” In just over a year, what began as an 80-person house show transformed into a series of underground events. The most recent 11-band music festival at New Earth Music Hall (called Freekfest) attracted over 400 attendees. With bands such as Dana Swimmer, New Wives, Nurture, Futo and famed North Carolina band Bombadil as performers of past lineups, there is no question as to why these events draw such a crowd. As a local catalyst of Dana Swimmer’s success, Freeklife continues to

feature up-and-coming bands as well as signed artists. “I don’t want to watch the same thing four times,” Kirby says. “I definitely don’t try to choose any specific sound; it’s just if I like it.” While the name “Freeklife” may imply a certain crowd, don’t be fooled. “I love going to the parties, because not only do I get to hangout and dance and be silly with all my friends, but I also get to meet new people and hear awesome music,” says avid Freeklife-goer Kristin Karsh, a third-year UGA photography student. Freeklife showcases two or three house parties per semester and plans to continue hosting large events. “We love putting on the events, but we’re students too. The next big Freekfest will be in January, at New Earth. Hopefully the best yet,” Kirby says. No matter a person’s style or taste, Freeklife is a phenomenon sweeping Athens. Karsh sums it up best, saying, “It’s bringing back the laid back, house show type of environment that is welcome to everyone and doesn’t have an age limit or an attitude. It is just come as you are, boogie and have fun.”





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P h o t o B y RAnDy sCHAFER

On a rainy Wednesday evening, about 25 women gather on the well-worn track inside Skate Around USA on Cherokee Road, some clad in brightly colored leggings and all equipped with knee-pads, elbow-pads, helmets and roller skates. They are the Classic City Rollergirls, Athens’s own roller derby team and members of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. The team is a diverse mixture: UGA undergrads in their teens and early twenties skate alongside young professionals and tenacious mothers approaching middle age. The Rollergirls compete in a league with other WFTDA teams from the Atlanta area as well as other cities throughout the Southeast, and though the girls refer to one another primarily by derby identities rather than given names, their relationships reach far beyond the track. “It becomes your core group of friends. If you had friends before derby, you won’t see them much anymore,” says Lolli-MaeHamm, the team’s vice president of media. “Once you get into [roller derby] you have 30 new friends and you see each other a lot.” When they aren’t busy blocking, jamming or being the meanest things on eight wheels, the players spend a lot of time together at fundraising and charity events the team organizes. The team functions as a nonprofit with each skater performing some role in running the business. “We’re a bunch of women who already have full-time jobs running a business together and playing a sport at the same time,” AmyTville, aka Stevie Willcox, a microbiologist and president of Classic City Rollergirls Inc., says, “We try to keep things as democratic as possible, which can be difficult... We have to have a committee to manage conflict with this many alpha females.” For many of the skaters, joining roller derby brought their strength and confidence to the surface. “I like having friends who are strong women,” says Katillac Coupe Devill, aka Katherine English, a pediatric nurse and amateur filmmaker who chose her derby name because her grandmother drove a Cadillac, “They aren’t very pretty, but I wouldn’t want to get hit by one...” The girls may jokingly repeat the mantra “Roller derby will save your soul,” but they can seriously attest that it’s much more than just a hobby. Roller derby allows each of the women to grow personally, as well as develop lasting friendships. Each new skater receives a “big sister,” a veteran player who mentors her rookie, and many of the girls have a “derby wife,” a sort of roller derby “soulmate” who may be from their own team or another in the league. Kadillac says, “I have some friends that will hang out over at their houses and do crafts. We’re into a little art and making earrings and modge-podging things. We really like glitter.”

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“These girls taught me how to knit,” says Slamchop, aka Beth Emery, stylist and owner of Shenanigans Salon who is currently recovering from an injury. The Rollergirls are proactive in establishing new teams, occasionally sending their own veteran skaters to help train the rookie players. In this way, they are able to empower others through derby and simultaneously generate fresh competition. This creates sisterhood even among competitors. Parties are often thrown after bouts (the derby term for the contest between two teams) and attended by members of the home team as well as the visitors. “Our after parties are some of the best, away and home,” says Leche Gaga, aka Stephanie Jordan, who joined the Rollergirls after her two daughters got involved with roller derby in Atlanta. “Even though we just beat the hell out of each other we still like to go hang out and have fun, get to know each other.” The Classic City Rollergirls have their next home bout in February and hold roller derby bootcamps twice a year for interested potential skaters. The Rollergirls openly warn that derby will take over your life, though for many it seems that the hours lost are more than compensated for by the experiences and friendships gained.


TRiPS in ThE

WIntertIMe BY KALyn WILsOn


Colder temperatures tend to create homebodies out of even the most worldly travelers, but winter weather can provide the perfect backdrop for a number of outdoor adventures, as well as the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with friends and family. To make the most out of a winter trip, it is best to get out of the lukewarm environment of the South. Avia Meadows, a second-year pre-journalism student at the University of Georgia, for instance, takes a ski trip with her family every year to different places around the US, alternating between locations in the Northeast and West Coast like West Virginia and northern California. “There’s always some interesting story that comes out of our trips,” Meadows says. “It’s just a great time to spend with the family.” The Outdoor Recreation Program of UGA’s Ramsey Student Center is a group that specializes in planning outdoor excursions for students every month of the year. Lancy Haynie, assistant director of the ORP, shares that every December the group schedules a snow skiing trip to Steamboat, Colo., in conjunction with students from Georgia State University. With trips like these, staying warm and adequately fueled can become integral tasks that can take a toll on the overall trip experience. Haynie notes, after a weekend of backpacking in the North Georgia rain,

that with all of the ORP’s trips, because participants are placed outside of their comfort zones, they must learn to depend on one another and bond. Haynie says, however, that there are ways to skillfully beat the discomfort of an outdoor trip: wearing non-cotton clothing and packing on the calories are two such ways. “You actually want to eat things that are very high in calories... so you’ll have enough energy to keep going.” For those who simply cannot endure the winter weather, traveling to warmer places and partaking in traditional spring and summer travel activities is a great alternative. Second-year UGA student Robin Rubiks and her family take a trip to her grandparents’ lake house in Alabama every year for Christmas. “The rest of my extended family meets us there... and we all stay in, play games, watch movies and open presents,” Rubiks says. “Wanting to stay in and stay away from the cold leaves the family sharing more than just limited space; we share unlimited laughs and love!” Fortunately, whether or not someone chooses to bear the cold or opt for as much warmth as possible, group trips foster a sense of togetherness that’s irreplaceable. “Whether positive or negative,” Hanie says, “the experience is always going to draw people together.”

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Stranger Than Fiction BY KATE DEVLIN

Godzilla is just an illiterate muppet!” says Alex Johns, an English professor at the University of North Georgia, reading a line from one of his original poems. His toddler son, Joseph, cries out from the front row, seated on a couch between two other poets. It’s half past eight on the first Wednesday of the month and The Globe’s upper room is full of laughter, applause and the unusual group of friends that calls themselves Athens Word of Mouth. David Noah takes the stage shortly after, and members of the audience begin to simultaneously cry out, “IT’S HIS FIRST TIME!” Noah has been listening to members of Word of Mouth perform for the past year, and tonight, he’s decided to try his own hand at poetry. There are pens in mouths and marbled notebooks in hands, and the night is nothing if not magical. Nights like these began because of a woman named Aralee Strange. Strange was a poet, playwright and filmmaker who was well-known in the literary communities of both New York City and Cincinnati, Ohio. After moving to Athens in 2007, Strange decided that the town was severely lacking in a poetry presence and so, in December of 2009, Word of Mouth was born. “She decided you do it once a month, you pick a day, you don’t change that day, you set up a mic and the poets will come. And they did,” says Ciera Durden, a junior at the University of Georgia. And they’ve been coming ever since. Strange, it seems, was as striking as the lightning bolt tattooed across her cheek. “She was the type of person who walks into a room and the temperature changes. She was so powerful. But still, she was a force and she was a person,” Durden says, who first met Strange during her freshman year. The group was devastated when Strange passed away in her sleep this past June at the age of 69. Word of Mouth’s main webpage is plastered with poem after poem, all dedicated to Strange, and most performed at her memorial reading this past summer. The last line of a poem by Jay Morris reads, “Thank you Aralee/For being so Strange/When we all felt/A little too normal.” Such a loss, however, may have created a sense of togetherness and purpose that wasn’t there before. “Her passing has definitely changed things. But at the same time, I think... I cling more to it because it’s so important,” Durden says. “It’s important for the community, but it’s also important to

continue this because she created it.” The concept of Word of Mouth is simple — sit down, shut up and mouth off. Whereas other open mic nights thrive on critique and competition, Word of Mouth functions more like an open forum. It’s grounded only in the encouragement of the art form and of each other. “It’s much more of a community and an occasion,” Johns says. “Like a family reunion where every single one of your relatives is a writer,” Durden chimes in. Performances are not strictly limited to spoken word, however. Durden explains that Word of Mouth attracts poets of all kinds, including one that regularly performs haikus and another that sent Strange his poetry from jail. The poets themselves are just as diverse and dynamic as the performances they give. Describing the participants, Johns says, “You’ve got different races, wide gaps in age, different sexual orientations, all these people gathered in one space who actually really like each other and admire each other and appreciate each other as artists and really want to be around each other.” He adds, “It’s very unusual.” It’s such a collage of creative spirits that the group of people sharing their art with one another may actually resemble a piece of art in themselves. Poets banter among one another between readings and tend to call out during any performance they find particularly moving. It’s almost like sitting in church and hearing members of the congregation shout, “Amen!” during the sermon. And for some, it is a sanctuary. Michelle Castleberry, one of the regulars, refers to Word of Mouth as her “home church.” When Castleberry takes the stage, she announces her upcoming book release party and everyone applauds. Castleberry is releasing a book of her poems entitled Dissecting the Angel and Other Poems — most of which were performed for the first time on Word of Mouth’s stage. “I found a much longed-for community, the place where I feel I can truly worship, and our strange congregation has definitely mourned and celebrated together,” she says. Although the monthly meetings are now simply routine for most, the time spent together still comes as an escape from the mundane. Johns, who has only missed one Wednesday night in the past

“Thank you, Aralee, for being so strange, when we all felt, a little too normal.”

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three years, says, “Whatever else is going on, at least there will be a few hours where I can be around people that I like, and I can enjoy interesting, creative, engaging, artistic stuff while I’m doing it.” He adds, “That’s reason enough.” Word of Mouth welcomes new poets every month, regardless of writing skill or performance expertise. There are no criteria to sign up and no critique afterwards, but newcomers should be warned that this is not a typical open mic night. Castleberry dedicated her book to Aralee Strange and Word of Mouth as the place where she found her heart and her home. “That’s the best way to explain it,” she says. Word of Mouth is truly unlike anything else, and there’s a benevolent force to thank for that.

P h o t o b y PENN HANSA

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The pursuit to seize the original and discover the unexpected is where the hunt for handmade items begins. In a world of increasing mass production, it becomes more difficult to acquire personal treasures. However, there are still those inspired by authentic crafts, genuine artwork and rare vintage findings who know art is not lost and continue to keep the chase alive. This interest in the eclectic has fueled a movement that empowers many to discover hidden art and keep handmade traditions an important part of everyday culture. Artist and entrepreneur Serra Ferguson has done just this. She spent time traveling the country vending her personally designed clothing and crafts along with selling vintage items online and in her store. “Part of the handmade movement is realizing that it is an art, and before it caught fire a couple of years ago, it was becoming a lost art,” Ferguson says. “People were losing sight of the value... I certainly believe in the people who are making things with their own two hands.” With this belief in fellow artists and desire to keep the art alive, she created the Indie South Fair. The Indie South Fair is a gathering of artisans from around the Athens area along with some that travel from as far as Chicago, Ill. and Seattle, Ore. On Dec. 7 and 8, as well as the first weekend in May, they display their crafts on Chase Street near the Boulevard Historic District.

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“A big part of Indie South is community. We always have live bands, kids’ activities, and the whole thing is free,” Ferguson says, emphasizing that customers don’t need to buy anything to enjoy the experience. She continues, “You make friends there; the vendors talk, and they spend the whole day together... Part of the reason I do it year after year is I really feel like it fosters community.” Those attending the fair feel this sense of connection and get to witness the talent of the town. Sanni Baumgaertner, owner of Community, a vintage clothing store in Athens, proudly states, “I always enjoy going to see such a great variety of local art and artisan products, plus great food!” As a proponent of the craft movement she sees that Indie South Fair is a great way to expose the strong abilities of inspired artists. “We have so much creative talent here, and people are looking more and more to buy products that are handmade, that have a story, a meaning,” Baumgaertner says. Ferguson has continued to invest her efforts into the fair knowing that it’s a great way to support local and regional artists as well as connect with the Athens creative crowd. Caty Cowsert, an art student at the University of Georgia, saw the fair for the first time last year in 2012. “I was driving back to my apartment one day and noticed everything set up, so I went to check it out. I’m excited to go again this year and look for holiday gifts,” Cowsert says, expressing great interest in the ceramic pieces in particular. The Indie South Fair provides a canvas for artistic expression and continues to flourish with the ever-expanding creative movement. The chase for noteworthy creations begins with a desire for handmade items and comes together in a medley of artists, students, travelers and locals visiting personalized tents on Chase Street twice a year.

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Harmonizing Athens BY sTEPHAnIE TALMADGE

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“I think Athens, for a long time, has been cornered off from the world, which has been great in a lot of ways,” says Kai Riedl, a musically-oriented Athenian who founded Slingshot Festival. “But,” he continues, “I think those times are done.” This fall, Riedl has begun working on a new project — an online magazine which will bear the same name as the festival. Frustrated by the majority of print periodicals already in Athens, he believes media “have a responsibility to the community, even if it’s not pretty sometimes, even if it’s a critique of the community.” He sees the publication market as a bit oppressive even, trying to maintain the idea that, “Oh, everything’s cool,” but in reality, Athens may not be doing a “good enough job.” Since “the community sees what’s possible through its expressions, you set the horizon for what’s possible for people in town, and people tend to think below what the potential is,” Riedl says. While Athens’s quarantine-like seclusion constitutes much of its charm and has been productive for art in the past, Riedl believes the lack of national and international coverage contributes to setting the bar too low. “When you juxtapose local and national news, when you put your ideas next to things that are really out there, it inspires you to kick it up a notch. It gives you fresh ideas,” he says. “So that’s what I’ve tried to do with [Slingshot],” both the festival and the online magazine. Slingshot festival, which debuted in Athens in March 2013, aims to attract more national and international musicians and artists, while also highlighting locals and emphasizing electronic arts and technology. Although it was conceptualized as a stopover point for those attending South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, Slingshot quickly became its own entity. In addition to being a musician and an innovator, Riedl is a graduate student at the University of Georgia and a professor in the music school, which is how he met Slingshot’s co-founder, Eric Marty. “Kai was a Ph.D. student in my interactive arts class, and he came to me and said, ‘I have an idea for this festival,’” Marty says, and the rest is history. Now, Riedl says, “I’m teaching this class, music in Athens, and I realized there wasn’t really a resource for [my students] to interact with what’s happening in Athens music on a daily basis. It’s time for that kind of interaction.” The online magazine is Riedl’s pet project, while he and Marty work on the festival together. Users will be able to directly upload content by using hashtags on Instagram during shows, while traveling or when coming across something noteworthy. Slingshot will be “a place for information,

“a place for information, possibility and play— a space where you can see weird shit that may be off your radar,” possibility and play — a space where you can see weird shit that may be off your radar,” Riedl says, “in an online medium that activates community and real-timeness.” Because of the available technology like Instagram, “there’s a whole new way to cover live performance” through photo documentaries, Riedl says. By “creating new ways of talking about music and exposing music, we can create new opportunities for people,” Riedl says, which is important because artists need all the opportunities for exposure they can get. “At the end of the day, people that are making stuff have to figure out a way to make a living. I think seeing what’s out there and seeing the possibilities may inspire that a little bit.” “There’s still an air of fresh possibility here. You can do whatever the hell you want,” he says. Among other things, Riedl wants the Slingshot brand to harmonize the voices of UGA and Athens. To do so, Riedl and Marty work with multiple organizations on campus, like the Wilson Center for Arts and Humanities. Director of the center and professor, Nicholas Allen says Slingshot is “a great bridge between the university and, not just the local community, but the international community of artists.” Allen continues, “Athens is unique, but it’s not enough for us to just keep telling ourselves that Athens is so special. [Slingshot] shows people what can be done here, and I think that has great value.” For Riedl, the ultimate goal is “to make Athens a national intersection for creative entrepreneurship,” increasing creative and economic investment here. “And rock out,” Riedl playfully adds.







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Photos By KrIstyn nUCCI

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enior marketing major Chris White calmly leans against a polished desk, his light grey T-shirt melding with the muted colors of the woodwork at his elbow. In another environment, this image might eventually appear as the glossy centerfold of a design magazine: a serious-looking gentleman in a minimalistic setting. But in this instance, it’s a portrait—as James Joyce might say—of the artist as a young man. White, the creative mind behind his furniture design brand Revitalized Artistry, created this desk by hand from the bones of a battered midcentury-modern piece of furniture. It’s a specialized type of ghost-whispering that’s far more complex than the instructions provided with an Ikea purchase. In the solitude of his blank studio space, White first removes any damage to the interior. It’s a meticulous sanding process. “If you sand just a millimeter too much, you can ruin the underlying woodworking,” he says. The reconstruction process requires applying the right amount of varnish and selective touches of paint. White has dabbled in pinks and blues before, but prefers the contrast that a clean stroke of—you guessed it—white offers. “It just pops,” he says. The process is a choice of patterns and shapes with wood cutouts and inlays. White’s pieces—sold through Etsy—will travel to clients in San Francisco, Miami, New York, Dallas and Los Angeles, among other places. If you’re lucky, a local deliv-

ery may even come with a personal visit from White himself. As someone from the Apple Inc. generation, White noted that he is naturally drawn to design that is “elegant, easy to understand and well made.” However, it is difficult to say that the modern world is kind to artists like him, who are not mass producing quality products, but crafting them from scratch. Fueled by White’s desire to create his own furniture when he moved out of the University of Georgia’s on-campus dorms, Revitalized Artistry’s origins began with a dilapidated midcentury-modern piece that White discovered and knew he wanted to refinish. Finding “the perfect pieces” is the most difficult part of the process, White reveals, saying, “I only go for the best quality, with clean, simple lines.” He locates furniture to refurbish at stores all along the East Coast, even going so far as areas of New England and New York. His favorite local haunts include places like Highland Row Antiques in Atlanta’s Five Points district and vintage stores like downtown’s Agora Co-op, where a savvy shopper might spot midcenturymodern furniture like a Charles Eames piece or the stark black leather lines of a Wassily chair. Airee Hong, Agora’s owner, says that Athens has a distinct community because it’s a college town. The student market, she says, may not recognize the value of a historical art piece, but she likes to educate her customers and especially appreciates when artists like White take an older piece and revamp it. She calls this process “giv[ing] it some love.” True artisans in the millennial crowd are

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fairly uncommon, and in the college set, when school and part-time jobs are the status quo, it sounds like a dream to say that your art is being snatched up by national clients for hundreds of dollars apiece. White’s roommate Logan Porter, a senior designer major, marveled at how “Chris has set up and grown this business from the ground up,” and says that White’s pieces “never disappoint.” Though White turned to woodworking as a way of making money after an unsuccessful part-time job search, his love for the art of woodworking began at an early age. He inherited an appreciation for architecture and furniture making from his father, with whom he would work on projects like remodeling the kitchen or constructing an addition to their home. “I hate getting sentimental,” White says, laughing,

but notes that the process of refinishing furniture with his father helped the two of them to bond. Though his father exposed him to a variety of design aesthetics, White says he was drawn to midcentury pieces in particular because of his “love for simplicity in beauty.” His most inspiring muses hail from the ’50s and ’60s, an era of Warhols, minimalism and clean contrast in art. He counts interior designer Corbusier and architect Frank Lloyd Wright among the visionaries that shape his work. White says that he’s still learning and evolving, but that his true abilities will create his future line of custom-made furniture. White will team up with local woodworker Brent Wood to build custom pieces based on his past body of midcentury inspired designs.


Away From

Home BY sAPnA MIsTRy

Every holiday season as my friends get excited to go home for the holidays, I can’t help but wish that was the case for me. As an Indian, my holiday season happens around late October/early November with the celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights. Being in Athens, away from my mom’s good cooking or my grandparents’ well wishes, is really tough. But at the same time, I love Christmas, from the lights illuminating everything in sight to the little ones getting excited on Christmas morning to attemptedly see Santa Claus. I know I’m not the only college student that has this struggle of balancing a multicultural life.

home Away from home

According to USA Today, in November 2012, there were a total of 764, 495 exchange students enrolled in U.S. universities. However, many of these students at the University of Georgia have found their own ways of building community in order to balance separate cultures.

Breaking Language Barriers One of these exchange students is Daisuke Otani, a third-year business student from Yokohama, Japan. When he began his first semester, the biggest challenges for Otani were the language barrier and huge cultural divide. Noting that there were less challenges than he expected, Otani says, “One of the best things I have learned is communication.” Otani is the new vocal percussionist for the UGA Accidentals, an all-male a cappella group. His fellow a cappella brothers have worked to breech the cultural barrier by choosing songs he can understand and by teaching him the English way of discussing music. For freshman Isabella Jaramillo, leaving Barranquilla, Colombia was hard at first, but she found that overcoming the language barrier was the key to adjusting in her first year at UGA. “Since English is not my first language,” Jaramillo says, “it’s tricky sometimes to understand the Southern accent. I hope that overtime, I’ll learn to understand it better.” Isha Dabke, a linguistics, biology and Spanish triple major from Columbus, Ga., also noted that one hardship when communicating with Americans is that certain cultural terms are untranslatable. Dabke moved to the United States from Khopoli, Maharashtra in India when she was only four years old. To connect with other native speakers, though, Dabke says, “Knowing your mother tongue is important, especially in a different country.” One day of every week, she finds the time to celebrate her roots with a group of fellow Indian friends for a Bollywood night. She recalled once in particular when a friend brought pav bhaji, a traditional Indian dish made with cauliflower and the group watched Housefull, a 2010 Bollywood movie. AmPersAnd


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Building a Community through Campus Involvements Getting involved on campus can also help with keeping your roots close to your heart. The Indian Cultural Exchange, where Dabke acts as a freshman representative, allows the Indian-American student body of UGA to celebrate various holidays together and to bond with people of their own culture. These include ICE’s annual Diwali Dinner in October and India Night, a show held every February where university teams perform traditional dances to celebrate Indian culture. “College has introduced me to a whole new world of people that are so open to learning about other cultures,” Dabke says. “It’s refreshing for someone coming out of a smallish town like Columbus.” Just as Indians can attend ICE to immerse themselves in their culture, there are similar outlets for different nationalities. One of these is the Hispanic Student Association. “I like to attend Latino events because I get to speak Spanish,” Jaramillo says. One of the biggest events that is put on by HSA is Noche Latina, an event where students dress up in traditional hispanic clothing and spend the evening celebrating with their fellow classmates. “I can stick to my culture that way,” she says, “but I also get to live the American college experience, which has been great.” There’s no right way to go about achieving a sense of community, but at the end of the day, it is easier once you have connected with a family wherever you find yourself. After all, Athens is only our second home. P h o t o s B y nICK sEyMOUR



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BY KATE DOUDs onsidering the homeless community in Athens has nearly doubled in the past decade, it’s hard to imagine that anyone having lived here for more than a month hasn’t seen the effects of poverty in some capacity. Maybe you’ve even given the occasional handful of change in the hope that a hungry mouth would find something to satiate their hunger. According to the Georgia Statistics System website, Athens-Clarke County has a poverty rate of 34 percent, qualifying it as one of the poorest areas in the country in 2013. Though it’s unlikely that loose change will make a large impact on hunger and poverty in the local community — and while it certainly won’t solve the heart of the issue — Athens Area Homeless Shelter, located on Barber Street, has the potential to make a difference as one of the largest housing programs in the area. Although the agency started as an emergency shelter in the ’80s, which served by providing immediate and tangible support to the homeless, AAHS became a transitional housing program in the early 2000s. Unlike the short-term solutions provided by emergency shelters, like a temporary bed or plate of food, AAHS serves as a transitional home to six single mothers and 13 children. The staff and volunteers work to provide individual support and guidance on a sliding scale

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until families can be financially independent. Since August of 2012, the organization has provided over 40 families with permanent, sustainable housing solutions. Shea Post, the shelter’s executive director, is proud of the skill sets instilled in residents during the program. “We work to teach budgeting skills, discipline — basically any of the challenges they have faced that caused them to be homeless,” Post says. “The idea is that, by the end of the program, they will be entirely self-sufficient.” Individual case managers provide job counseling, training and referral as well as financial education. While a manager focuses on his or her main goal, exploring the multiple causes of poverty in order to teach lasting solutions to families, the physical shelter still functions to provide basic needs: housing, childcare and, above all, food. Because the residents consist of single mothers and children, the dinner service serves meals family-style. A grant provides money for round dinner tables around which families can eat their meals every night. To some of the kids’ dismay, however, they even do their own dishes as part of their daily chores. “It’s definitely a community atmosphere around here; by its nature, it has to be,” Post says. “We rely entirely on donations and volunteers.” Volunteers are comprised of student groups like Classic City Rollergirls,

local group the Congregational Communities of Israel and even some individuals as well. By planning meals a month in advance, the shelter attempts to avoid things like spaghetti seven days a week and gaps in the schedule. The shelter encourages volunteers to visit consistently in order to build relationships and to promote community interaction. In addition to volunteers, AAHS also accepts donations of cleaning supplies, toiletries and clothing for people who may not have the time to volunteer but still maintain a desire to help. “The biggest impact that we try to make on our volunteers is that they’re not here to stand behind a counter and serve food,” Katie Smith, AAHS director, says. “Many people think they’re coming into something like a soup kitchen, and we’re a lot more laid back, a lot more family oriented than that.” Although there are individual families that provide meals on a weekly or monthly basis, the lack of students over the summer months causes the shelter to budget funds toward food costs and pinch elsewhere. February is also a dry spell for volunteers who fulfill many roles at the shelter, including ones as babysitters, tutors, gardeners, trainers to teach skills such as first-aid and workers to provide outdoor cleanup. “I love seeing clients succeed and move out because they’re ready, not because they’re frustrated with living here,” Smith says. “I had a client call me today and tell me she had gotten a job, and those kind of high moments make up for the low ones.” Another high point for the shelter will occur in the fall of 2014. Athens Resource Center for the Homeless, a nonprofit collaboration between AAHS, Advantage Behavioral Health Services, AIDS Athens and Athens Nurses Clinic, plans to build a new facility which will accommodate the general needs of the homeless community. The new location will consist of two main features: a resource center

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and a transitional housing village containing 26 apartments for members of the Advantage Behavioral Health Services and the transitional housing program. The resource center will contain offices for AIDS Athens and the Athens Nurses Clinic as well as a homeless stay service center where individuals can do laundry, take showers and receive case management. AAHS also provides a JobTREC service program to help residents find employment. By combining transitional housing with an increased capacity of services and guidance, the new ARCH location will reflect the heart of AAHS’s goal to fix, not just pacify, issues with homelessness. “We want long term success,” Smith says, “and to provide our moms with the opportunities to build skills sets so they can be self-sufficient.”

The Athens Area Homeless Shelter facility

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Ampersand Magazine Nov/Dec 2013  

Ampersand Magazine - The Food & Community Issue featuring Cross Culture Communities, Homeless for the Holidays, Community through art, music...

Ampersand Magazine Nov/Dec 2013  

Ampersand Magazine - The Food & Community Issue featuring Cross Culture Communities, Homeless for the Holidays, Community through art, music...