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The Devil Strip JULY 2015 • VOL 1 • ISSUE #9 • THEDEVILSTRIP.COM

? s k e e g t o n e w e r A : Q




e r u t l u C & t r A , ic s u M Akron


A K RO N A RT M U S EU M T H RO U G H OCTO B E R 25, 2015

Photographs from the Collection

Upper: Barbara Probst, Exposure #106: N.Y.C., Broome & Crosby Streets, 04.17.13, 2:29 p.m., 2013 Lower L-R: Walker Evans, Southeast, 1936; Richard Misrach, Flooded House Foundation, Salton Sea, 1984 (printed 2001); Helen Levitt, New York, c. 1940 (printed later); Joel Meyerowitz, Porch, 1981. All works Collection of the Akron Art Museum. One South High | Akron, OH 44308 | 330.376.9185 |

in this issue

The Devil Strip lture

Akron Music, Art & Cu

“I just picked up a copy of The Devil Strip …and gosh, this paper is amazing. …I’ve enjoyed reading it from front to back and back to front. Thank you kindly for supplying us with this particular paper.” — Helen H.


(330) 842-6606

General Info:



ONLINE: Website:


Twitter: @akrondevilstrip

Instagram: @thedevilstrip _______________________________________

Publisher >> Chris Horne //

Art Director >> Alesa Upholzer

Illustration and Design >> Bronlynn Thurman, Chris Grady, Jacob Luther

Photographers >> Svetla Morrison, Paul Hoffman, Bronlynn Thurman, Ilenia Pezzaniti, Shane Wynn

Contributing Writers >> Ben Arrington, Holly Brown, Jenny Conn, Jessica Conti, Susan Covey, Madison Cummins, Katelyn Gainer, M. Sophie Hamad, Noor Hindi, Katie Jackson, Jecca, Chris Kessinger, Isaac Kelley, Greg Milo, Eric Morris, Christopher Morrison, Brittany Nader, Ilenia Pezzaniti, Scott Piepho, Audrey Quinn, Roger Riddle, Sarah Stubbs, Bronlynn Thurman, Katie Wheeler, Joanna Wilson

Interns >> Madison Cummins, Sarah Stubbs, Audrey Quinn _______________________________________ The Devil Strip is published bi-monthly by Random Family, LLC. Akron Distribution: The Devil Strip is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. Copyright: The entire contents ofThe Devil Strip are copyright 2015 by Random Family, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above.


This was going to be the “International Akron” issue, one I’ve anticipated since first talking to Global Village Festival director Helena Larios at the Waterloo. I sat wowed, alongside United Way’s Beth Boggins, who arranged our meeting, while Helena unveiled a vision for Akron as a city that embraces its international community so its members can be fully participating citizens. Even before we started the first issue, I was eager to dig into this vision, Akron’s history as a city of immigrants and a glimpse of our future together. But that’s a big job and it wasn’t coming along quickly enough to do the topic justice. So, with just a few days to spare—and while I was preparing a trip out of town—I turned to the amazing people who really make The Devil Strip happen, our writers and photographers, and asked them to turn this into a fun, quirky issue focused on our local geek-culture and its many manifestations. They pulled together, grabbing assignments and pitching new ideas, then quickly turning them around. A handful even helped edit the copy.

that I say I don’t think they know the extent of their impact. The first night I was in Detroit, something clicked for me. I heard Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen tell the assembled civic innovators that Jack Knight, whose empire of newspapers started in Akron, was not about building a newspaper but about building community. Since then, I’ve been appropriating that line. See, I’ve never gotten excited about building a brand or an audience for The Devil Strip. I didn’t pitch Unbox Akron because I was interested in “growing a member base” for it. We can talk about demographics and psychographics—what

but want to be part of its growth. Here’s something else: We can redefine the word Akronite so it means more than just someone with a certain address. I think the title of Akronite has to be earned by being involved, engaged and passionate about the city. You don’t have to go crazy, but you must do your part. And at the heart of every issue is a shared hope that we can help connect the pockets of people who make this city unique to form a tribe of tribes. That tribe of tribes is evident, writ small, in the large number of people who have written something, taken photos, delivered copies of the paper, sold ads and pitched ideas. They come from all over Akron. Some are young, just college students—Towny Toons is drawn by a local 15-yearold—and a couple are retired, or on their way. We have professionals from office environments and others who struck out on their own. They come from a variety of backgrounds, too, and have a cornucopia

This was taken at our first editorial meeting and I was shocked then how many people had shown up. They just keep coming. (Photo courtesy of Svetla Morrison)

Keep in mind, these folks all have other jobs. They have families and friends. They’re involved in community organizations and contribute to our arts and culture in other ways. It isn’t easy to be one of the 40-some-odd people who’ve shared their talents with you through this paper. And to make this issue happen, they really went above and beyond. Thing is, I don’t think a single one of them feels that way. Sometimes they act like I’m doing them a favor. (Weirdos.) So, it’s with some certainty

gets measured gets managed, right?—but if you aren’t more interested in building community than numbers then you aren’t going to be interested in what we’re doing. Which is okay. You do your thing and we’ll do ours. I’m comfortable with the fact tens of thousands of people don’t know we exist (yet). If they’re likely to enjoy what we’re doing, they’ll find us. (Like Helen, who left me a glowing voicemail that’s kept me smiling for days.) We are small on purpose because this is not a magazine for everyone. The Devil Strip is for people who love Akron, people who not only want to see it grow

of interests. Of those who hail from Akron, some boomeranged back and others never left. Our resident aliens come from Massachusetts, Texas and Michigan—Svetla Morrison is from Bulgaria. They are Akronites the way I’ve come to think of the word. In fact, they’ve done the most to set the standard for what it means to me. And every single one of them is a geek. You can tell ‘em I said that too. After you buy ‘em a drink.

Thank y’all, Chris

ABOUT THE COVER The photo on the cover of this issue was originally taken in 1978 by Cleveland-based rock photographer Janet Macoska in front of Mac’s Chili Dogs in downtown Akron. She took a short stroll with the members of Devo during a break from filming a video for their cover of “Satisfaction” at the Akron Civic Theatre. This photograph came to mind when Paul Nagel, who owns Nagel Advertising, which promotes the Civic, was thinking about ways to promote the theatre’s history of hosting music legends. The idea only got bigger from there. With Janet’s cooperation, Civic director Howard Parr’s support and funding by the AkronSummit County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Nagel and crew are having the photo transferred to metal panels that will span 20 feet by 20 feet, meaning the members of Devo will be “life-size,” standing about 6-feet tall. This “beautification project” will be unveiled on August 15 at noon with Devo founding member Jerry Casale on hand during a special event at the Akron Civic Theatre. At 6:30 pm on Thursday, August 20, Jane Macoska will discuss Devo and her career shooting rock n’ roll during a talk at the Akron Art Museum.

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the agenda


News n’ stuff, in case you missed it

Today’s Tom Sawyer gets high on you…

he gets by on you

When former Akron mayor Tom Sawyer withdrew from the upcoming mayoral race, he told the Akron Beacon Journal “…it came down to the fact that my presence complicated the race and I really didn’t clarify any problems.” But, complicated for whom? In theory, his presence complicated things by splitting the vote between himself and Dan Horrigan (and to a lesser extent, Frank Comunale), which would make it easier for Mike Williams to become mayor. No matter his reasons for dropping out, Sawyer’s absence, in effect, makes this a race between Horrigan and Williams. Meanwhile, despite efforts by local Democratic leaders to convince Jim Jeffries to dropout , the Ward 4 race remains the same. Jeffries, who lost in 2007 by 102 votes to the late John Jeffers in a race for Hudson’s Ward 4 seat, will face off in the primary against Eufrancia Lash and the incumbent Russ Neal, who lost his effort to become council president after the Moneypenny “thing.” Should be an interesting summer.

YBPC KICKBALL TOURNEY RESCHEDULED This weird, wet summer rained on kickball enthusiasts' parade June 27, causing organizers to reschedule the 6th annual 4th of July Charity Kickball Tournament, hosted by the Young Black Professionals Coalition and DJ Mr. King. The good news is that the event, which raises money for the “I Know I Can” Back-To-School Drive (Sunday, August 23), will now take place Saturday, July 11 on the Erie Island baseball fields. Team registration costs $120, which is only $10 a head if you carry the 12-player max—so do it! Check-in begins at 8 am. The tourney kicks off (pun intended) at 9 am. For more information or to make a donation for the school supply drive, contact Steve King at 330-701-8327 or Eric Fletcher at 614-668-2225, or send an email to about this or other future community and networking YBPC events.

Child Guidance & Family Solutions, who host Food Truck Fridays and the Growing Up Akron event, have just launched a photo contest that concludes July 22. To participate, just snap a photo of what Akron means to you and then hashtag it #growingupakron when you post it to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. (You can check out examples


Now, on every Friday through the end of August, you can ride the METRO buses for free on line-service routes. We’re not talking about the premium services though, like METRO SCAT, Northcoast Express or Call-A-Bus, but still. Normally, you pay $1.25 to ride—or drop $2.50 for a one-day pass. METRO sees free fare Fridays as an opportunity to give back to their current riders, but if you’ve been on the fence about using public transportation, here’s your chance to try it. You know, like they do in the big cities where people prefer not to drive.

AT PLAY, THE AKRON ZOO WAY THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT… If you’ve noticed a lack of litter, illegal signs and graffiti around town, you’re not alone. Keep Akron Beautiful released the results of their Community Appearance Survey, using a tool designed by Keep America Beautiful. On a scale from 1 (hardly anything) to 4 (lots of bad stuff), Akron rated at a 1.14 for litter, 1.27 for illegal signs placed on public land, and 1.07 for graffiti. With the city’s overall litter score dropping from last year’s 1.3, all ten of the city’s wards scored below a 2 for litter, but Ward 1 was the best. Graffiti ticked up slightly from 1.06 and illegal signs up from 1.08. By land use, Akron’s educational and recreational areas were the most litter-free. So good job, Akron.

Maybe the only thing the Akron Zoo doesn’t have right now are primates, but that’s changed (kinda) now that they’ve opened up Nature’s Play, a playground where kids get to “monkey around,” imitating primates in the wild. Set between the Tiger and Red Panda exhibits, the area features natural tree stump stepping stones, a rope walk, a rope climb, a rope web, a nest and a fire hose hammock. This playground is free once you’ve paid for admission. You can learn more about Nature’s Play and the Akron Zoo, which is open from 10 am to 5 pm, at or by calling 330-375-2550.

THE OL’ CHICAGO SURPRISE Our friend Jessica Morris, who shared her excellent photos of early Black Keys performances at the Lime Spider and in Kent in our second issue, got engaged in one of the coolest ways possible. At a concert in the Windy City, Kurt Anshutz, her soonto-be-future fiancé, colluded with The Hold Steady to surprise Jessica from the stage where he could pop the question. His voice a-quivering, Kurt asked her to do him the honor of letting him become her husband. (She said yes.) Congrats, y’all!

‘The Wild Ones’ opening reception Friday, July 10 at 5pm

‘Chinese Girls Don’t Swear’ Thursday, July 23

Summit Artspace (FREE) 140 E Market St, Akron Be the first to see the newest installation in Summit Artspace’s gallery, plus meet the artists and see their contemporary works exploring rebellion and its impact on America culture.

Akron Civic Theatre Lucy Wang is M.I.T. (that’s “Made in Taiwan”), but she is no cheap import. Raised on Midwestern beef and corn (Akron!), she does her best to follow the unwritten Asian American handbook and achieve the American Dream. Chinese Girls Don’t Swear is a comedic and searing look at how one Chinese American woman uses her wits to defy, exceed and redefine expectations. This is a cabaret and seating is limited. Ticket are $15/ each and on sale now at the Akron Civic Theatre Box Office, by calling 330-253-2488 or online at

Craft Cocktails at the Market: Gin Saturday, July 11



of this on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook if you’re curious.) Take a shot of yourself or an iconic location, some of the city’s famed food, one of our cool events or anything else, as long as it captures how you feel about Akron. (This means, it can be a photo you took before the contest started, too. Just don’t steal someone else’s work.) Prizes include reservations for two to Growing Up Akron on August 14 at Thirsty Dog Brewery, a $25 Mustard Seed Market gift card and Sunday brunch for two at the Montrose location, and a $25 Nuevo gift card. Visit for details about the event, or by finding them at childguidancefamilysolutions

Howe Meadow ($20) 4040 Riverview Rd, Peninsula Every foodie knows that the perfect cocktail can make or break a meal, and savory cocktails are an often overlooked way to beat the heat. Learn how to integrate your favorite vegetables, pickles, eggs, and herbs into cocktails perfect for the patio. Class will be held outdoors beneath the shade trees at Howe Meadow, beside the farmers' market.

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Exhibition: ‘Build It’ Opens on Thursday, July 16 Akron Art Museum “Architects and construction workers toil over building blocks daily, but building blocks are also classic, timeless toys,” says Akron Art Museum’s Director of Education, Alison Caplan. “With “Build It,” we want to give visitors the spark to explore building up, tearing down and creating variations of buildings and structures from their imaginations.” This new interactive exhibition features works from the museum collection that provide a glimpse into how artists envision buildings and the world around them while providing inspiration to visitors who get to play, er, “engage in creative construction with different types of building blocks – oversized, odd-shaped, magnetic, and more.” Runs through September 13.



Arts, Culture & Entertainment

‘A Thing Downtown’ is a thing you don’t want to miss

FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby

You see that big outdoor amphitheater downtown? Yeah, that cool lookin’ thing by the main branch of the library. “They” should use that more, right? We agree. Well good news: That’s what “they” thought too—“They” being Free Akron Outdoor Movies, an all-volunteer citizen group, and the good folks at Coffee Pot Café. At 4 pm on Saturday, July 25, you’ll get to enjoy music, crafts, art and food. And, of course, a free movie—“Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure,” which screens at 8:30 pm. Food provided by Coffee Pot and Stray Dog Cart. The Copper Pennies provide the tunes while Crafty Mart provides the crafty vendors. It’s a great way to cap a day at the library’s annual Geekfest, which will dominate the day’s earlier hours. For more info, visit Free Akron Outdoor Movies’ Facebook page.

The 2015 Race Week for the All-American Soap Box Derby will take place from Sunday, July 19 to Saturday, July 25. Dating back to 1934, the world championship has been held in Akron since 1935. Participants can compete in three different divisions: Stock, Super Stock and Masters. The final competition for the world champion takes place on Saturday. New additions to racing events this year include the Subway Challenge and a Build and Battle Competition featuring three parent teams.

A Thing Downtown | Saturday, July 25 Akron Main Library (outside)


by Audrey Quinn

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: MONDAY: Parade of Champions in Downtown Akron, Opening Ceremonies at Lock 3 TUESDAY – THURSDAY: SUBWAY Challenge, DQ Rally Challenge at Derby Downs (free to the public) THURSDAY: Topside Show and Open Hill – all of the Champ cars will be on display; ride down the track for $20; various concessions, games, and activities FRIDAY: National Super Kids Classic SATURDAY: 78th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby – Opening Ceremonies, World Championship race, Mayor’s Cup, Awards Show at Akron Civic Theatre

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Arts, Culture & Entertainment


ARTS IN THE LAND OF PLENTY Arts LIFT transforms 100-year-old building into an awe-inspiring canvas by Katelyn Gainer Driving down West Market towards Highland Square, you might notice a burst of color in the West Hill neighborhood. A newly completed mural now adorns the wall of the 100-year-old building that houses Land of Plenty and West Hill Hardware. The building’s makeover comes courtesy of Arts LIFT, the University of Akron’s award-winning summer arts apprenticeship program, offered by the Myers School of Art. The mural is the program’s ninth—and its largest public art project. Founded in 2002 by Elisa Gargarella, with financial support from the Lola K. Isroff Arts Assistance Endowed Fun, Arts LIFT puts students to work alongside professional artists while participating in collaborations that engage the community, assist underserved populations and invigorate local culture and economy. For this project, 10 public high school students— recommended by their art teachers and selected by UA faculty and staff—collaborated with UA art education students, who signed up for a community-based arts course connected to Arts LIFT, to design, draw and paint the mural. The experience is valuable for them all.

“Students gain leadership skills, team-building skills, art skills that they could not learn in a traditional classroom; the opportunity to work in professional, state of the art studios; chances to work with college students—get a feel for what it is like to go to art school—become part of an artist network; make new friends; have chances to engage with the press; and ultimately to be a part of a lasting community, public art project,” Gargarella says. She guided the project with professional street artist Steve Ehret and Land of Plenty owner Kristi Wall, who is an artist too. “I chose Land of Plenty this year because I knew it was a local small business whose owner was doing some cool things—like hosting art parties, and art openings, having student and professional artist exhibitions, having dance parties and garage sales and other groovy gigs—all while going pretty much under the radar. I wanted to bring more attention to the shop, which has some indiscreet signing, and also recognize it as pinnacle building that exists as a nice bridge between downtown Akron and Highland Square,” Gargarella says. “Thinking I could help marry some art districts, Land Of Plenty seemed the like perfect location for a piece of public art.”

e r u t l u Arts & C

s g n i t s i Event L


Jim Tews 8pm at Funny Stop Comedy Club ($6) 1757 State Rd, Cuyahoga Falls Comedian and writer Jim Tews had an eventful 2014. He made his stand-up television debut on Last Comic Standing and was featured in an episode of Louie. Tews also created the HBO Labs' web series The Opener and recently directed a feature length documentary about Cleveland's independent comedy scene called Make Fun. Don’t miss his debut at Funny Stop Comedy Club, performing through July 11.


LockBottom Blues - The Rhythm Syndicate 7pm at Lock 4 (FREE) Behind the Akron Civic Theatre Head to Lock 4 every Wednesday evening through Sept 2 for some of Akron’s best jazz! The LockBottom Blues & Jazz Club is "down under" off of Bowery Street, adjacent to Lock 3. The rushing water of the Ohio-Erie Canal creates multiple waterfalls, which, with the historic brick facades of some of the oldest buildings in the city, give the space a distinctly urban feel.

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She says others helped support the project too. Dominic Falcione of Rubber City Fab Metalworks designed all the fixtures and metalwork for the project. Valco Equipment loaned them a 35-foot scissor lift. Sherwin Williams provided supplies. Arts LIFT will unveil the completed mural during a free public celebration July 9, 7-9 pm at Land of Plenty, 339 W Market St., featuring local favorites Shivering Timbers and Tall Tales, followed by DJ Jay Soiree. Hollyhock Catering will provide refreshments.


Italian-American Festival July 9-11 at Downtown Akron (FREE) Voted the best festival in the Akron Beacon Journal for more than 5 years running, the Italian-American Festival is not to be missed! Enjoy fantastic Italian food, wedding soup tasting, nightly entertainment, fireworks on Saturday night, and more! Dinner in the Valley: Blueberry Abundance 6pm at Greenfield Berry Farm ($40 member; $45 nonmembers) 2485 Major Rd, Peninsula Head to the Greenfield Berry Farm for a wonderful meal while dining in a rustic barn. Farmers Daniel and Michelle will graciously welcome you to their farm for an evening of wine and great food. The first date for this already sold out, so don’t miss this second chance! SCARED SILLY 6:30pm at North Hill Library (FREE) 183 E Cuyahoga Falls Ave, Akron Wandering Aesthetics present SCARED SILLY, an interactive, family-friendly version of spooky

stories collected by Benjamin Rexroad and Kyle Jozsa during their thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Using interactive songs, stories and games, Kyle creates a campfire-like atmosphere anywhere. He will involve the audience throughout the performance, asking them to sing, play and generally participate as he guides their Appalachian journey.


The Wild Ones Opening Reception 5pm at Summit Artspace (FREE) 140 E Market St, Akron Be the first to see the newest installation in Summit Artspace’s gallery, plus meet the artists and see their contemporary works exploring rebellion and its impact on America culture.


Arts, Culture & Entertainment 8x10 TheatreFest 8pm at Weathervane Playhouse ($10) 1301 Weathervane Lane, Akron Weathervane Playhouse celebrates the art of the short-format play with the fifth annual 8x10 TheatreFest — eight plays, 10 minutes each! Audience members will vote for their favorites, with first place winning a $350 cash prize. If you can’t make Friday’s performance, don’t worry; you can catch them on Saturday at 8pm or Sunday at 2:30pm as well. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 11:15pm at The Nightlight Cinema ($8.50) 30 N High St, Akron Enjoy this classic horror movie on the big screen… right before bedtime. Also playing Saturday at 11:15pm.


Andrea Rose Teodosio Memorial 5K, Walk and Kids Run 8am at Lock 3 ($25; Kids Fun Run is free) 200 S Main St, Akron This flat, scenic run through downtown Akron and into the Towpath Trail is perfect for all ages, and benefits the Andrea Rose Teodosio Memorial Foundation, which assists the underprivileged and elderly, addresses environmental issues and promotes community service and education. Canoe Down the Canal 8am at Richard Howe House ($30 members; $40 nonmembers) 47 W Exchange St, Akron Explore the natural, historical and recreational resources along the Ohio & Erie Canal in this oneof-a-kind canoeing experience! Participants in Canoe Adventure will receive a guided interpretive tour of the Ohio & Erie Canal from Nesmith Lake to downtown Akron, followed by a picnic lunch at the Richard Howe House. Music in the Valley Folk & Wine Festival July 11-12 at Hale Farm & Village (free for members; $10 nonmembers) 2686 Oak Hill Rd, Bath Enjoy local musicians playing their banjos, guitars, and fiddles while you tour the grounds sample wines from Ohio based wineries, including Maize Valley, Myrddin Winery, Grape and Grainery, and the Winery at Spring Hill. All regular museum exhibits and demonstrations will be open during the festival as well! Craft Cocktails at the Market: Gin 10:30am at Howe Meadow ($20) 4040 Riverview Rd, Peninsula Every foodie knows that the perfect cocktail can


make or break a meal, and savory cocktails are an often overlooked way to beat the heat. Learn how to integrate your favorite vegetables, pickles, eggs, and herbs into cocktails perfect for the patio. Class will be held outdoors beneath the shade trees at Howe Meadow, beside the farmers' market.


Vintage Base Ball Akron Cup 10at at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens (included with regular admission, $19) 714 N Portage Path, Akron Eight clubs compete in this vintage base ball tournament. While considerably different from today’s baseball (no safety equipment is used, for example), modern spectators will still recognize today’s game and enjoy its true sportsmanship and friendly competition. Guests are encouraged to bring chair or blankets and a picnic, but no alcohol is allowed.


Mark Anthony 8pm at Funny Stop Comedy Club ($5) 1757 State Rd, Cuyahoga Falls Mark Anthony grew up in Cleveland and gets his material from life, being overweight, being married, growing up in the inner-city, and listening to rock and roll. Mark's mixed bag of sources makes for a refreshingly different, very funny show. He’s considered to be "too on the edge" for Jay Leno, but "not dirty enough" for Def Jam.


Brew at the Zoo: Christmas in July 6pm at Akron Zoo ($25 member, $31 nonmember) 500 Edgewood Ave, Akron Enjoy Christmas Ales from some of the area’s best breweries as you stroll around the zoo! Tastings are included and full size beers are available for purchase.


Preserving Your Bounty 6:30pm at Old Trail School ($30) 2315 Ira Rd, Bath Farmer and home canning enthusiast Heather Walters will take the mystery out of food preservation. She’ll demonstrates two different recipes and give you the tools to apply the techniques to countless others. She will also discuss other preservation methods and planning tips for what to do when your CSA gives you 10 lbs of kale. It's time to free those mason jars from the crafting pages of Pinterest and return them to their original, intended use! (continued on page 8)

................ {Game On} Coffee Pot Café caffeinates geeks and gamers by Ben Arrington This isn’t your dim, beatnik-wannabe coffee house. Founded partly on the principle that coffee should be delicious, simple, and affordable, the Coffee Pot Café stands as S. High Street’s local greenhouse. The horticulture-dressed floorto-ceiling windows are a people-watcher’s heaven as they take up the entire storefront. The Coffee Pot Café opened in the spring of 2014 as an offshoot of the Stew Pot Kitchen right up the road. About a year later, the manager of the Coffee Pot brought in some board games and created an event.

implication of a room made mostly of windows: there’s a world outside of your own. DiDomenico started the Game Night not only because it’s fun, but also “to get people off their devices for one night. Too often people go out and don’t engage in conversation anymore.” Just like a good meal, coffee, and the “Star Wars” prequels, board games are a great equalizer. Two people can become best friends or mortal enemies over a game of Settlers of Catan, but rarely would either walk away feeling like time was wasted.

Manager David DiDomenico is the sharptongued nerd behind the Coffee Pot’s monthly Game Nights. If you’re into graphic novels and “Star Trek,” you two will have something to talk about. If not, there’s plenty to learn about fish or plant life from a man who built an ecosystem in a coffee shop after mere months of research in the library next door.

The Coffee Pot Café’s Game Nights often coincide with the Downtown Akron Artwalks on the first Saturday of each month.

The Café’s board game collection — much of which is from DiDomenico’s own personal collection — is about eclectic as the man himself. You can play family classics like Monopoly, Mouse Trap, and Taboo, or more strategic games like Forbidden Island and Pandemic. Of course, DiDomenico recommends exploring the enigmatically titled Alhambra or Carcassonne “if you’re interested in ditching the dice.” When it comes to family fun, it only makes sense to trust a man with an affinity for German tile games. Guests are encouraged to bring games with them as well. The philosophy behind an event like the Coffee Pot’s Game Night almost matches the aesthetic

“We have about 20 different artists on display, and we’re always looking for more,” says DiDomenico. The Game Nights have also featured live music. In particular, local band Anchor the Moon played an acoustic set at the very first Game Night in April. On Game Nights, Stray Dog Cart serves their hotdogs and coffee out of the Coffee Pot Café. The next Game Night will be August 1 from 5 pm to midnight. The Coffee Pot is located in the southwest corner of the Akron-Summit County Public Library downtown and is open Monday-Thursday 8 am to 5 pm, and Friday 9 am – 4 pm. If crowds aren’t your thing, you can play any of the Coffee Pot’s games any time it’s open. Ask DiDomenico about Tsuro or the mustache game.


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Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Huzzah for the Akron Black Stockings! Vintage baseball takes over Stan Hywet by Katie Wheeler

Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd… wait… did they even HAVE Cracker Jacks in 1863?

So take your friends out to the OLD ball game and support your team, Akron. Just be sure to bring your own Cracker Jacks.

Baseball was not always as we know it today. In fact, baseball didn’t even used to be one word. Back in the 1860’s, just after the Civil War, “base ball” was played for the fun of it. No multi-million dollar contracts or endorsement deals, no steroid scandals. Hell, there weren’t even baselines or gloves. Guys got together and played a gentleman’s game for the sake of camaraderie and exercise, and occasionally to hand one of their teammates an embarrassing nickname.

For more information on the team and tournament, or to become a Black Stocking yourself, visit their website: or like them on Facebook.

If you’ve ever been to Stan Hywet Hall, you know what it feels like to be transported back in time. Imagine being there while a vintage base ball game was going on in the lawn. The Akron Black Stockings, member of the Vintage Base Ball Association, have called Stan Hywet “home field” since 1995. Most of the teams in the VBBA partner with a historical site or society for their home field. For example, the Mansfield Independents play at Mansfield Prison. I’m not sure if that’s a home field advantage or not. For a Black Stocking, the day starts by prepping the field for the game. Actually, backup, the day starts by putting on a uniform that is modeled after the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. The uniforms are hot and heavy, but part of acting the part is LOOKING the part, so on with the ruffly shirt and dress pants! Along with looking the part, you better know your terminology. Batters are called strikers, pitchers are called hurlers, outs are called hands and runs are called aces.

(continued from page 7)


Clueless 11:15pm at The Nightlight Cinema ($8.50) 30 N High St, Akron “Do you prefer ‘fashion victim’ or ‘ensembly challenged’?” Also playing Saturday night at 11:15pm.


The Akron Black Stockings Courtesy of Stan Hywet

The diamond is set up using a very precise strategy—as Scott Hamblin describes it, “Find the most shade for the benches and go from there.” Once home plate is established, a team member paces out 30 steps towards first, then second and finally third. There are no baselines, no pitcher’s mound, and apparently no actual measuring. Oh, one other thing that vintage base ball doesn’t use—gloves. That’s right, if you want to catch a line drive on this team, you use your hands, or your body, which ever you decide will hurt less. The looseness of the field set up is not because the Black Stockings don’t care about the rules. Back when base ball started, the distance of the diamond didn’t matter nearly as much as the sportsmanship that you showed your fellow players. When the other team arrives, players shake hands and catch up on how the team is


Pickin’ and Pickin’ Every Saturday through August 1 2pm at Greenfield Berry Farm 2485 Major Rd, Peninsula Enjoy live music as you pick your own naturally grown blueberries at one of the communitysupported farms in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park! Point of No Return Improv 7:30pm at Quirk Cultural Center ($5) 1201 Grant St, Cuyahoga Falls PNR performs short-form improvisational comedy. They ask for a suggestion from the audience and then invent a scene that is somehow inspired by that suggestion - it’s comedy at your direction, and whatever happens, it’s sure to be hilarious!

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doing, the umpire explains the rules and the team captains thank the “cranks” for coming to support. (“Cranks” are fans, by the way.) After that, every player on the roster introduces themselves out loud. This has to be entertaining, as every single player has a nickname that they announce along with their name. If you want to be thoroughly amused, check out the Black Stockings roster and try to figure out how each nickname was earned. If you’re curious about seeing “America’s favorite past time” get back to its roots, the Black Stockings will be hosting the Akron Cup on July 12 at Stan Hywet Hall. There will be eight teams from the Vintage Base Ball Association attending, and six hours of good, old-fashioned baseball. There’s no prize for winning, and nothing at risk when you lose—except a whole lot of bragging rights.


African American Festival 11am at Lock 3 (FREE until 4pm; $10 after) 200 S Main St, Akron Created out of the Civil Rights Movement, don’t miss the 35th annual African American Festival in downtown Akron - the second oldest cultural festival in Ohio! Featuring local artists, food vendors, and live music. This year’s headliner, performing at 8pm, is WAR, a musical crossover band which fused elements of rock, funk, jazz, Latin, rhythm and blues, and reggae.


FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby Parade and Opening Ceremonies 12pm at Lock 3 (FREE) 200 S Main St, Akron

Vintage Base Ball Tournament July 12 at Stan Hywet 9 am to 4 pm Don't miss this great opportunity to see how vintage base ball is played on the grounds of one of Akron's historic crown jewels.

Kick off the 78th annual FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby Race Week in downtown Akron! Derby champions from around the world earn a trip to Akron to compete in the World Championship at Derby Downs, but first they’re welcomed with a parade in their honor, followed by the Opening Ceremonies. Food vendors, entertainment, music, and merchandise round out this exciting kick-off celebration! Glendale Cemetery Trolley Tour 7pm at Lock 3 ($10) 200 S Main St, Akron Join the Summit County Historical Society on a trolley tour of Glendale Cemetery, one of Akron’s most interesting historical places. Glendale is the resting place of notable Akronites such as Frank Seiberling and John Buchtel, and features a picturesque landscape and a variety of architectural styles.


Arts & Entertainment

Since 2010, Hazel Tree Interiors

has been providing awardwinning interior design services and custom picture framing, as well as connecting community to the finest and funkiest Northeast Ohio-made furniture, art, lighting, and accessories via our gallery space and network.

Hours Tuesday-Friday 11-5:30 Saturday: 11-3

Life in Red Lipstick An Akron icon that offers a peek into our past by Natalie Ulm

I’ve been visiting Stagecoach Antiques since I was in middle school. I used to love sitting around after the school day, sifting through antique jewelry and old postcards. To this day, I love spending afternoons searching for fashion inspiration in 1940s glamour magazines and amateur snapshots from that era. Recently, I got to sit down with Leo, the original owner of the store and find out more about this Akron gem’s history. Leo says he first started selling antiques out of his parents’ dining room in 1943. He’d always been interested in antiques, particularly glass and old postcards, so he created a business opportunity for himself. When his collection outgrew his parents’ dining room, Leo moved his business to their basement. After graduating high school and joining the military, Leo opened his first store in a now torndown building on West Market Street, where Tangier is located. In the early ‘50s, the rubber industry was still booming, and downtown Akron was flourishing. During these years, there was a strip of West Market filled with antique stores. People travelled from all over the country to sight-see in Akron.


“We all did well,” he says. “There was heavy traffic thanks to the rubber workers.”

poster from Mae West’s 1937 film “Every Day’s a Holiday.”

Leo’s children—and later, grandchildren—worked at Stagecoach Antiques in their high school years and continued to throughout their lives. In 2003, Leo’s daughter, Eileen, took full-time ownership of the store. She and Leo both have extensive knowledge about the history of antiques. The store is an incredible collection of home décor, literature, costume jewelry, glassware and much more. I love visiting the store because I never know what treasures I’ll find. The other day I found an original

Leo’s store has been located at 449 West Market for over 30 years—what sets Stagecoach apart from the rest? “I’ve always been a drawing card,” he says. “We have a very diverse collection.” Stagecoach Antiques is open Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm. You can learn more about the store by visiting Stagecoach-Antiques. com where all of their social media links are listed.

1 4 3 We s t M a r ke t S t . A k r o n , 4 4 3 0 3

out and about

Double Dragon (Dream Team)

Pretty in pink on the Portage Lakes by Katie Wheeler

I got to ride a pink dragon yesterday. Okay, okay… a pink dragon BOAT. I went out to Craftsman’s Park in the Portage Lakes, home of the Dragon Dream Team, to learn about their organization and their upcoming dragon boat festival. Ranging in age from 20 to 70, every team member has survived breast cancer and now comes together three times a week to push their mental and physical fitness, while forming a bond with other cancer survivors. Their first boat was donated by a plastic surgeon from Akron, Dr. Douglas Wagner, and they now have around 70 survivors on their roster from all over northeast Ohio. When I got there, the first thing I noticed was how much pink I was NOT wearing. Everyone I passed had a pink shirt on that complemented a huge pink ribbon that has been placed in the rocks in front of their dock. The boats are pink, the paddles are pink, the life vests are pink, and there I was— in yellow. The fact that I stood out like a sore thumb was immediately overshadowed by the welcoming atmosphere that this group conveys. They were SO welcoming, in fact, that I quickly found myself equipped with a paddle and a life vest, and seated in the middle of one of their boats for practice. They told me not to worry, that they had yet to flip a boat, and then ran me through a few of their drills and "race starts." I had learned the Dream Team’s history through talking to its members, but sitting there in the


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middle of 20 women who had battled a disease that not everyone beats is where I truly learned the connection of the boat, and the water and the support system that I was surrounded by. Watching them work together to move 2500 pounds of boat and passenger through the water was one of the most inspiring things I have seen. Team member Marilyn Purdy summed it up best for me, “Not all of us are athletes, but we are all important to the team. We are all survivors.” Though Dream Team members have all been through the same ordeal, the talk at practice was not all about cancer. In fact, I didn’t hear cancer mentioned once. Instead I heard about all the positive ways this group is giving back to the community. They run an outreach program called Boatloads of Hope that works with local hospitals and treatment centers to give women going through cancer treatment a pink scarf and a note of hope. They also volunteer and support at races and fundraisers, and even bring along their dragon boat sometimes. These women believe very strongly in helping and encouraging others battling breast cancer, because they have all been there themselves.

Their own fundraising comes through a spring gala and a dragon boat festival that the team hosts. This year the third annual Portage Lakes Dragon Boat Festival will be held on July 11 at the Portage Lakes State Park. Boats are provided, so all you need is a team! The boats hold up to 20 paddlers, along with a drummer, and anyone can put together a team and participate. Last year the festival attracted 29 teams and over 700 paddlers. Even if you don’t have a team, this all day event is worth coming out to see! The Dragon Dream Team represents the word team in every way. They lift each other up through the treatment and trauma of breast cancer, they come together in the off season to keep the camaraderie that they build up over the summer, and they push each other past expectations in their races. They’re also pretty bad ass. I was only in that boat for the warm-up, and I was sweating like I just finished a run at Hampton Hills. After spending some time in the water with these ladies, it isn’t hard to see that strength defines them; cancer does not. Get yourself a team and come on out, Akron. Dragons are waiting for you on the lake! For more information on joining the Dragon Dream Team, or on the Dragon Boat Festival, please visit:


Hike and Picnic

Gorging on Homemade Sushi at The Gorge Metro Park

by M. Sophie Hamad I’m a bit of a food geek. I read labels. I question ingredients. I get excited about trying new-to-me cuisines. I have practiced different eating habits and researched different diet/lifestyles since my teen years. For my senior project at Sierra Mountain Independent High School, I gave a presentation on macrobiotics, and for the visual aid, I rolled sushi in front of the senior project panel. I got an A. But more importantly, I’ve never forgotten how to roll sushi. That being said, it’s somewhat time-consuming, and it’s a commitment. You have to make sushi rice ahead of time (which includes rinsing 5-6 times and draining for 30-60 minutes), season it while hot, and let it cool to body temperature before rolling. Meanwhile, you have to prepare all your fillings. Then the rolling itself is tedious, especially if you are out of practice like I am. It’s worth it, though, because homemade sushi is so delicious. Plus—you can pick your own fillings. Yay! You can get as wild and crazy as you want, or as boring and typical as you need. Now, my husband and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary, but we’ve been together for five years. In those five years, I’ve never made him sushi. I know—I’m terrible. So, for Father’s Day, I decided to make E.J. some homemade sushi. I purchased most of the ingredients at Hana Asian Market in Merriman Valley. Not only do they have excellent prices on nori sheets, wasabi, pickled ginger, sushi rice, mirin, and rice vinegar, but they also have fresh produce and sushi grade fish, chopsticks and bamboo sushi-rolling mats. It was amazing, and I made a ton of it (a dozen or


Mary Campbell Cave (above) Pudding Rock (left) Campbell Cave. Once we got to the cave, without any turns, I realized we had been travelling the upper section of the trail. Still, we missed the shortcut from this direction, and kept going up the trail, starting down the primitive trail section. Luckily, since we realized our mistake, we turned left down the easy bypass before the most difficult section of the trail. On our return leg of the loop, we got some great views of waterfalls, including the epic falls over the dam. We also got a great workout going down the steps to the lookout point, and then back up to the trail. so rolls), so there were leftovers for our hike the next day. In our picnic cooler the next morning, E.J., the kids, and I had a tasty variety. There were tuna avocado rolls and two different veggie rolls: one was cucumber, carrot, avocado; the other was egg, asparagus, yam, and umeboshi (pickled plum paste). We even packed little containers with soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi. We went straight to the picnic tables before our hike, because our sushi willpower is negligible. There is a group of picnic tables at the Gorge, at the trailhead West of the Cuyahoga (not the Highbridge trailhead), right near the parking lot under the shade of some trees. We set up and demolished the sushi in about 15 minutes. Then we dropped the cooler back off in the car, and started out on our hike. E.J. and I had both been to the Gorge, but neither of us had been far enough down the trails to

see Mary Campbell Cave. I had briefly looked at the map online, but didn’t double-check the trail map once we got to the park. Oops. Let this be a reminder: always double-check the trail map! Instead of starting out on the lower trailhead, which begins with a wheelchair-accessible quartermile, we started at the top. It didn’t make much difference, since it is a loop, but I kept expecting to turn right, when we were supposed to be looking to the left for our turn-offs. Essentially, we did the 1.8-mile hike backwards. The first mistake was turning up a path with a sign marked “Albemarle Ave.” Don’t do this. It was littered with broken glass, and the steps were broken, and it only leads up to the street. It was kind of terrifying. So we walked back down the shady trail and got back to the Gorge trail. As we hiked on, I kept looking to the right for the shortcut up to Mary

The hike was just what we were looking for: challenging with beautiful scenery. We will definitely return to hang out at the fishing dock and to catch some more beautiful views of the falls.

Hana Asian Market: Indian Rock Centre Shopping Center 1390 N Portage Path, Akron, OH 44313 // Writer M. Sophie Hamad already wants more homemade sushi.

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the dish

Trust Us… Crave ’s Beer Dinners

Dinners,” said Shoffstall. The dinners occur on the last Monday of the month. To prepare, Shoffstall and owner/head chef Aaron Hervey talk with the brewmaster of the chosen brewery, and the creativity begins. “For Beer Dinners, it’s experimentation time with 50 ready and willing participants,” Shoffstall said. “We’re fortunate to have a really talented group of chefs, from top down.” The Crave team enjoys trying new foods and flavors. As Hervey put it, “‘We get to really be like, ‘just trust us.’”

By Greg Milo

Take the May 19 beer dinner menu for instance. Shoffstall and Hervey paired the Black Box Cloud Nine Belgian Whit with a crepe sushi roll loaded with trout, scallop, lobster, avocado, kaffir, and lime ginger aioli. Crave welcomed me to observe the May 19 Beer Dinner. When I arrived, Shoffstall introduced me to the Black Box Brewing team, who seemed equally excited about the evening.

Beer is good by itself. But can we have a little fun with it? Can we make an experience out of it? That’s the idea behind Crave’s monthly Beer Dinners. As general manager Jason Shoffstall put it, “Beer plus food equals fun.”

I didn’t disagree. For two years, Crave has hosted Beer Dinners, pairing a variety of excellent brews with a delicious array of courses, their own creations. “What better way to cross local food and brew than holding Beer

As I talked with Black Box owner Jerome Welliver, I noticed a man across the room waving me over. It was my Uncle Tom. I made my way to his table and friends and sat at an empty spot, complete with a lonely beer. “We’ve come to all of them,” regular Ralph Giffels informed me. Shoffstall leaned into the table to welcome the guests and have a laugh. “People have fun when



are you? 1. Joss Whedon, the man behind “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer,” “Firefly” and “Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog,” also wrote for which comic book series from 2004 to 2008? A) Detective Comics B) Astonishing X-Men C) The Amazing Spider-Man D) Cerebus the Aardvark 2. What was the registry number for the original Star Trek USS Enterprise? A) NCC-1701 B) NCC-1701-D C) NCC-74656 D) NX-74205

Answers of Page 22 >> 12

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they come in here, because we’re having fun,” Hervey said to me before the event, and it’s true. In between jokes, glasses of Three Day Weekend Session IPA were placed in front of us. My friends encouraged me to indulge. I refused their offering (not really) and took a sip and then another. Delicious. Each dish was beautifully arranged, whether it was the duck confit or skirt steak. Wonderful aromas of sage, honey, olives, and bacon helped peak the appetite. Midway through my third beer, a Belgian Tripel Cherry, I figured I had completed my research. I walked up to Shoffstall and confessed, “I couldn’t resist drinking a few beers.” He waved it off with a smile and thanked me for doing the story. Before the event was over, Hervey and Shoffstall already had a list of reservations for the next dinner.

Crave Beer Dinners 57 E. Market St., Akron 330.253.1234 Enjoy a five- to six-course dinner paired with a specific brew each last Monday of the month while a representative from the brewery explain the pairing. The next takes place July 27 with Summit Brewing. Tickets start at $50 per person.

A short quiz to determine your suitability for attendance at Geekfest 2015 by Roger Riddle

Give yourself one (1) point for each correct answer.

3. In the original Dragon Ball series, what happened to Goku when he saw the full moon? A) His tail fell off B) He went super saiyan C) He turned into giant ape D) He is transported to Korin Tower 4. Which Toy Story voice actor makes a brief appearance in The Empire Strikes Back? A) Tim Allen B) Jim Varney C) Annie Potts D) John Ratzenberger 5. Which British novelist wrote episodes for the Doctor Who television series? A) Neil Gaiman B) J.K. Rowling C) Ian McEwan D) Douglas Adams


geeked out

How to channel your

inner nerd for Geekfest

by Sarah Stubbs

The superfans in Akron who would otherwise feel at home at Comic Con won’t have to pay big bucks or travel to big cities in order to get their geek on this summer. They can get their fan fix July 25 at Geekfest 2015, the Akron-Summit County Library’s free and family-friendly 3rd annual mini-comicon. Never been to a geekfest or practiced cosplay? Don’t worry. We have you covered. To help you own your character and tap your obsession to its fullest, here are a few pro tips from self-professed geek (and Devil Strip contributor) Bronlynn Thurman and Geekfest coordinator Sarah Rosenberger. 1. ALL FANDOMS REALLY ARE WELCOME. Comicons can be dominated by science-fiction or fantasy-focused geeks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rock your favorite video game character or obscure book character. Whatever your passion, you should celebrate it right alongside the superheroes and anime addicts. 2. WHEN IT COMES TO “GOING ALL-OUT,” ORIGINALITY ALWAYS COUNTS MOST. Fans don’t commonly buy a pricey costume. Instead, they typically build theirs from scratch. Last year, the second place winner of the costume contest used real animal bones in her costume (all humanely acquired, her neighbor was a taxidermist). There was an Optimist Prime costume made entirely of foam and another fan built a humongous dragon costume out of duct tape – she couldn’t fit through doors. Pat Catan’s and Jo-Ann’s aren’t the only places to get materials, so get creative! 3. YOU CAN COSPLAY WITHOUT SPENDING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS (OR OPT OUT ALTOGETHER). Bronlynn says, “Some people come in just T-shirts with their favorite characters on them and some people go all out.” You don’t have to participate in the costume contest while you’re there, either. You can support those who have the resources and time to invest in awesome costumes by cheering your fellow geeks on as they walk across the stage embodying their characters. Plus, there’s other stuff going on besides the contest, like taking in a live-action “Doctor Who” performance or expert panels, or game and DIY activities.

about how well-versed you are in your specific geekworld. Geeks who really do know their stuff will be eager to tell you all about it and will be excited that you’re celebrating with them. 5. DON’T MISS OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPAND YOUR MIND. If you’re curious about turning your obsession into hobby—or even a career—take advantage of the learning opportunities that will be offered all day. At 12:30 pm, there will be a “So You’ve Created a Comic Book. What’s Next?” session put on by children’s book illustrator Damion Kendrick and at 2 pm, there is a “Cosplay for Beginners” panel. 6. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALONE. If you’re nervous about stepping out in the spotlight by yourself in your costume, grab a group of friends and dress up together. Or cosplay with the whole family. Over the last two years, families have dressed up like Transformers. Groups of friends have gone dressed as Bronies, which isn’t the name of Bronlynn’s groupies but rather what you call adult male fans of “My Little Pony.”

daunting gauntlet (aka - winners of the contest) will receive trophies sponsored by Akron Comicon as well as gift cards for use at local businesses. Though the little geeks (preschool – 5th grade) will not be competing against one another, they will be marching across the stage parade-style to show off their costumes. 8. MAKE TIME TO MAKE FRIENDS. After spending time with Bronlynn and Sarah, I know you don’t have to be a geek to have a good time at Geekfest. The joy of people-watching at a mini-con like this should be entertainment enough, as should the celebration of Akron’s creativity (and finding out your neighbor is way into Doctor Who). But there’s another reason to go: To make friends. While organizers have planned several events to keep you busy throughout Geekfest, Sarah says their big focus is about helping Akronites “socialize with people who are passionate.” That’s the best part of

anything like this so set aside some time to meet new people. They may even introduce you to a fandom that totally changes you—or at least gives you some ideas for next year’s costume.

Geekfest 2015

Akron-Summit County Library's mini-comicon

Saturday, July 25 noon to 4 pm Main Library 60 S. High St. Akron

Though it’s natural to get nervous the first time you try something new, both Bronlynn and Sarah agree that the environment at Geekfest is extremely supportive. Everyone cheers for one another as they improv across stage. 7. GEEK SOLO OR GEEK GROUP, THE BIG COSTUME CONTEST ACCOMMODATES ALL Participants enter the costume contest alone or with a group, and then are divided into two groups: teens and adults. Contestants must fill out a paper indicating which character they’ve dressed up as, why this character and what makes the character unique or special. Two emcees will host the big stage, introducing each respective geek in character as she grabs the spotlight, throwing a few improv moves into the mix. Then the real test begins. The judges—previous winners and veteran geeks—will ask a question to gauge how well that geek knows her character. Those who survive this

4. DON’T TRY TO BE SOMEBODY YOU AREN’T (BESIDES YOUR CHARACTER, OF COURSE). You don’t have to impress other Star Trek fans with a plethora of Star Trek references, quotes, and history. Be honest


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Basement Nostalgia Finding your treasure and long, lost youth at StuffGenie Emporium by Greg Milo

What this PlaCe neeDs is healthy fooD for eVeryone. United Way is a champion for healthy food for all in Summit County. We believe that nutritious food should be available to everyone, regardless of income. So we partner with many nonprofit organizations to promote equal access to healthy, high-quality food.

Join us at the table. Volunteer. If you have a passion for healthy food education, access and policy, connect with the United Way Volunteer Center to find ways to get involved with amazing programs and people in your community. Whether you have just one evening to help out a community garden, want to volunteer weekly at a farmers’ market or can spend some time in an office supporting a program, you can become a part of the solution.

Current volunteer opportunities: 1. Help with planting, weeding, watering and harvesting at an urban farm or community garden 2. Lend support to a weekly farmer’s market 3. Organize a healthy food drive 4. Deliver meals to seniors in their homes 5. Mentor kids on nutrition and exercise Many more projects are available! Contact the United Way Volunteer Center at or 330.643.5512 for a complete list of opportunities or search our online volunteer project database at Under ‘Take Action,’ click the Volunteer link, and then the link for food-related opportunities. Nonprofits – contact the Volunteer Center to add your project.

beCause Great thinGs haPPen When We liVe uniteD. United Way of Summit County uWsuMMit.orG

I’m staring at a shirt boasting characters from “Battlestar Galactica”—the original series cast with Lorne Greene. It’s distracting me from listening to my host, Jason Miller, owner of Barberton’s StuffGenie Emporium. It’s easy to get distracted here. Midway through Jason's answering one of my questions, I interrupt him to point out the game Battleship with those familiar looking ‘70s kids who seemed to be smiling on the box of every board game when I was a kid. Jason doesn’t mind my distraction. It’s what he lives for. “You can’t beat the Christmas morning fireworks,” Jason says, followed by a mouthed explosion sound effect. “It’s cool to see that elation.” StuffGenie celebrates that joy with three rooms of nostalgic fun, but Jason has more hidden away in the attic and basement. He calls it a disease, but it’s definitely a happy one, because I can’t wipe the smile off my face, and I can’t stop saying, “Whoa, I remember that.” From a young age, Jason caught the bug. He remembers his mother organizing a pirate scavenger hunt for his fifth birthday. He points to that as the moment of his love for finding treasures and selling them to those in search of treasures.

“It’s like a museum where you can buy stuff,” Jason says. “I love finding the stuff to put in the right people’s hands.” “It’s very diverse,” I say, referring to the geeky toys and the antique ware behind the glass. There’s E.T. dressed in a hoodie just under a photo of the Black Keys. And one of those great King Kong glasses you drank your milk from as a kid. There’s “Howard the Duck” comics next to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” A big wheel rides high above

the showroom, chic 50s glasses sparkle loud and, of course, the Evel Knievel motorcycle revs its magic. “My thought process was to have a family of four, even grandparents, walk out with something,” Jason says. It’s a lot like the entire Tuscarawas Avenue strip we’re walking—something for everyone. Jason describes each store, promoting what they have to offer. He’s psyched about the Barberton revitalization, and I totally see what he’s excited about when I walk the strip. These turn-of-thecentury buildings have more character than some people I know, and the stores inside respect that 100-year-old wealth. Jason opened StuffGenie about a year ago. It’s a nice complement to the other vintage shops in historic Barberton. Between 3rd and 6th Street, along Tuscarawas Avenue, you’ll find the boutique Alter’d Relics, the quaint Snowball Bookstore, the diner atmosphere of Uncle Sonny's Place, and the calm of Lake Anna down the block, not to mention, the Towpath Trail is linked to the downtown by way of the Magic Mile. When he’s not busy greeting customers in StuffGenie, Jason is organizing auctions or hosting the Saturday night, geeked-out radio show Altered Realm on He’s definitely involved in the community, and he appreciates that community. “StuffGenie Emporium would not be open without the help and support of my family and friends, especially Melissa, my driving force in life.” It takes a while to leave, but I finally tear myself away. I thank Jason and say good-bye to StuffGenie, but I know I’ll be back to that store in Barberton that looks so much like my basement in 1982.


Food & Cultures

The People of Jim Reed was a lawyer and CPA who, through serendipity, found himself owning and running an inn in the form of a castle in Hocking Hill, along with his wife Pam. Recently, they've opened The Malted Meeple, a boardgame cafe in Hudson. I recently met him at a gaming event and found his and his wife's story to be a fascinating one. Isaac Kelley: A lot of people are surprised to discover that there is a castle in Ohio. Jim Reed: The castle was built and opened in 1995. It is a 21-room, 50-acre bed and breakfast with a pub. When we came to own the castle, not a lot of people knew about it. The previous owner had wanted to keep it very secluded and private. He didn't want a lot of people to know about it. We've gone the other route. IK: How did you come to own a castle? JR: My wife and I had visited Ravenwood Castle when it was new and we fell in love with the place. We probably visited it eight more times over the next six years. We stopped going once we had kids. Years later, my daughter at the time was in the fourth grade and had a project to study an Ohio county. We told her about Hocking County, and that there was a castle there that we used to visit. She didn't believe us, so we Googled it up and discovered that the castle was for sale. One thing led to another and now we own it. It started out as a side business as I continued to work at my law firm, but one year after we bought it, I quit my job to do Ravenwood full time, which was slightly terrifying.


IK: I can imagine. JR: It changed me quite a bit. I've always been the behind the scenes guy. Frankly, I'm not an extrovert or a people person, which is odd in a person who has ended up working in hospitality. Our first night, we had a full house. We walked in, took the keys, and twenty minutes later we literally had fifty people drop into our lap. I ran over and started tending the bar, I didn't even know how to charge people for beer, we were that new to it. I just started chatting with people while my wife went upstairs to take care of some things. Later, Pam came down for a bit and she just looked at me with a strange look on her face. She came back down about half an hour later and had the same look on her face. She did this three or four times throughout the night, and eventually after the last person had left the bar, she came down and just looked at me and said “who the hell are you?” That was just not the husband she knew. IK: Ravenwood had been around for seventeen years when you took it over. What changes did you make? JR: We, along with the original innkeeper, decided we needed to put a little more boardgaming in there, because it was something that we care about. That really resonated with people, what really caused

us to take off. We believe pretty strongly that there is a need and a benefit to getting away from technology and just having social interaction with people. That's our mission at both Ravenwood and at The Meeple. IK: Let's talk about the Meeple. A few years after taking over Ravenwood, you have opened The Malted Meeple, a boardgame cafe. What exactly does that entail? JR: At The Meeple, a lot of people come in and say, “Okay, so you're a boardgame store, right?” Well, no ... “So you're a bar, right?” No we're not that either. We're a hospitality business. We're in the business of creating a good time and selling that experience. We do sell board games, we do sell snacks, and we do serve beer, but those aren't what we're in the business of selling. IK: Have you had trouble explaining that concept? JR: Most people have picked up on it. When you come into the Meeple to play a game, we're charging you a table fee, which is basically a cover charge. That gives you access to an entire library of games. You do have some people who say, “I'm not going to pay a fee. I can play a game at home.” That's correct. We're not the cheapest place to play games. That's not what we're about. We're about providing a comfortable experience for playing games in a comfortable environment. We're going to be serving you a drink or a milkshake, and teaching you to play a game, and introducing you to other games. That's what you're paying that table fee for. Explained that way, we haven't had a hard time getting people to understand the concept.

on stage

Blood, Sweat and Fears with

The Living Deads by Brittany Nader

Picture this: You’re a musician about to get into the thick of a long tour, living and traveling in a sweltering RV as the city burns in flames all around you. Your guitar player decides to quit the band at 3 am, and you’ve still got shows to play. What do you do?




“A great place downtown to grab a bite before a ballgame, or a show at the Civic. I had the BBQ chicken tacos and the wife had the fish tacos, and both were excellent. These are not your typical neighborhood Mexican food flavors, so if you are looking for cheese-smothered, soggy tortillas filled with ground meat, this is not the place for you. Everything seems fresh and prepared with care. ...I am looking forward to heading back to try the Chorizo burrito!” – Jeff W.

54 East Mill St. Akron 44308 (330) 762-8000 Hours: M-Th 11-10, F 11-11, Sat 3-11

If you’re The Living Deads, the answer is simple: You grab a burlap sack and kidnap a passerby to take his place. If this sounds like the plot of a devious horror film, you’re on the right track. Akron-born Randee McKnight and his partner in crime Symphony Tidwell attract attention wherever they go, like colorful villains in a B-movie—or a spookier, kookier Bonnie and Clyde.

Though Tidwell comes from a musical family – both her mother’s mother and aunt trained in upright bass – she never considered picking it up and playing with a touring band until Randee suggested it. Her fine arts education and work as a special effects makeup artist undoubtedly gave her a creative edge, and learning bass came naturally. “I started out learning old country

bass lines, then I tried to think “Akron has a outside the box,” Tidwell heavy punk tradition, says. “Travel sounded intriguing, but I didn’t with musicians like Lux think being a touring musician was actually Interior, Dead Boys and Devo,” a life option.” McKnight says. “We wanted to McKnight’s rockabilly background, coupled combine all our influences with Tidwell’s unique style, served as the and really do something foundation for The Living Deads’ new sound. McKnight different.” had been playing music since

With McKnight and Tidwell toting drums and upright bass, respectively, across the globe in that infamous RV, the duo has recruited local musicians like Shane Vain and Steven R. Trent to join the ride in their ghoulish caravan. McKnight began this adventure 20 years ago when he moved away from Ohio and filtered in and out of various bands before joining Hillbilly Hellcats in the 2000s. It was during a tour with this outfit that he met Tidwell, and together the pair headed to Denver to begin their own adventure.

age 15, and meeting various musicians along his travels has inspired and influenced his work. Blending thrash metal, blues and even mambo-meets-calypso beats, the pair became devoted to pushing the envelope. McKnight says his hometown has had a big impact on their punksoaked, psychobilly aesthetic. “Akron has a heavy punk tradition, with musicians like Lux Interior, Dead Boys and Devo,” McKnight (continued on page 22)


Music & Culture

Bluelight's self-titled debut

an excellent addition to Akron's musical landscape. by Roger Riddle Bluelight’s debut effort is an ode to city life and all that comes with it. Their songs explore love, loss, frustration, transportation and the people all around us, as well as ourselves. Set against a backdrop of urban sounds, there’s no doubt composer Philip Anderson's time in Brooklyn helped to shape the soundscape that gives texture to the album. Vehicles, trains, conversations and street sounds seep in around the edges of songs, giving the EP a cinematic quality.


Keyboardist and vocalist Anderson, drummer Holbrook Riles III, bassist Matthew DeRubertis, hiphop vocalist Big Jul Green and saxophonist Chris Coles all attended the jazz program at University of Akron before spreading out across the country. Anderson found his way to Brooklyn, where he currently resides. He and the rest of Bluelight returned to Akron in January of this year to write and record their first release.

While Bluelight should be considered a jazz band, their style is reminiscent of the mid to late 90's acid jazz sound, woven with R&B and hip-hop vocals, and an arrangement that highlights their skillful musicianship. Listeners familiar with groups like the Brand New Heavies or Groove Collective, or more modern groups like Jazzanova, Cinematic Orchestra and Zero 7, will welcome “Bluelight.” “Bluelight” is meant to be listened to as a complete album. In this digital age, too often albums seem designed to be a collection of singles; any song can be downloaded and stand on its own. However, the production on “Bluelight” leads you from one song into the next, assuring that the best listening experience is in its intended order, and from beginning to end. Songs are well-written and layered with meaning. A particularly clever moment occurs with the track

BLUELIGHT CD RELEASE PARTY Thursday, July 9 at 8 pm None Too Fragile Theatre at Pub Bricco ($10) 1841 Merriman Rd, Akron This super collection of Akron area talent features UA jazz program grads who represent some of our favorite local acts—The Admirables, Ahi-Nama, Axon Neuron and Moustache Yourself—so we knew we were in for a good listen when we hit play on that advance copy of Bluelight’s debut EP. (See the full review on page 17.) Operating under Phil Anderson’s aural vision, Matthew DeRubertis, Holbrook Riles III, Big Jul Green and Chris Coles have crafted something special, blending jazz, modern R&B and hip-hop for a sound that’s both mellow and energetic in their ode to city life.


“Departure,” which follows “Trains.” While the titles work well together, the fast-paced, minimalist “Departure,” with rapid-fire rap lyrics from Big Jul, almost seems out of place on the EP. The quick snap drumming from Riles seems frantic and the sparse notes from Anderson's keyboard lends an unsettling feeling. You get the feeling that the person in the song is running to catch the train. But a deeper listen reveals Big Jul's lyrics are an ode to John Coltrane. His quick lyrical delivery could be emulating a solo from the famous saxophonist. That’s when you realize this song is a disguised nod to Coltrane's “Chasin' the Trane.”

The “Bluelight” EP is a very tasteful listen, perfect for a lazy day spent staring out of the window on a rainy day. A genuinely good addition to your music collection, one that’s particularly sweet because it was made in Akron.

The 8-minute “Mirrors” provides another beautiful moment on the EP. Anderson's vocals are hypnotic and his keyboard playing dances around a shining performance from Coles and his saxophone. This song of introspection leads the listener to turn within, while the song crescendos around them.

Bluelight celebrates the release of their EP with a midwest tour kick-off performance. Doors open at 8 pm. You can learn more about Bluelight at


Saturday, July 11 at 5 pm Jilly’s Music Room (FREE) 111 N Main St, Akron Get On Up throws a big party each and every time they play out. Anyone who's been out to see their show can attest to the dance floor's allure when they’re getting’ funky.


CD Launch Party Thursday, July 9 at 8 pm None Too Fragile Theatre at Pub Bricco ($10) 1841 Merriman Rd, Akron

SONS OF MIDORI, ANCHOR THE MOON, GLADWELL AND THE STILL IFFYS The Empire Concert Club & Bar Saturday July 18 at This eclectic four-band bill is headlined by Sons of Midori, a four-piece rock outfit who’ve been playing together in some way, shape, form or fashion since 1997. They’re joined by Anchor the Moon, who I unanimously voted the Band Most Likely to Feature a Tophat, as well as Gladwell and the Still Iffys.

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Music & Culture


Time Traveler:

A home for Akron music geeks .

by Brittany Nader

From the moment we press play, we begin the

capture a specific moment, era or season. Opened

and noted musical acts spanning the decades.

journey into a sensory labyrinth. Sounds buzz

in 1980 in various locations by Scott Shepard, the

Both the decorations and merchandise serve as a

and weave patterns that conjure vivid images

store truly is a time machine drifting through the

meandering timeline, guiding us through the years,

With trendy big-name stores cashing in on the vinyl

and emotions. Music has the ability to resurrect

area looking for a place to land. Shepard’s shop

as music has the power to do so often.

record renaissance, finding music these days is as

history and reignite memories once buried deep

currently sits cozily on 118 West Market St., a dark

within the neurons of the mind. The experience

treasure trove of media that is comparable to dad’s

Last December, Shepard packed up much of of his

downside is the price markup and questionable

of submerging ourselves into song is like traveling

basement or a garage sale full of lost gems once

collection from the expansive shop he owned and

quality – not to mention the lack of face time

through time. Each melody acts as a soundtrack to

adored by a teenager alone in her bedroom.

operated in Cuyahoga Falls. Certainly larger and

with a knowledgeable purveyor of aural treasures.

easy as a tap of a button or click of a mouse. The

fuller than the store’s current location, it drew in loyal Time Traveler is the real deal, sharing those sonic

a different decade, holding a special kind of power that allows us to relive another time and place.

It doesn’t fit into the oft-repeated stereotype of

customers and music lovers far and wide. You could

wonders that speak to people and connect them

Some of us spend our lives as passionate collectors

the snobby record store, and that is largely due to

spend hours sifting through the nostalgic posters

so effortlessly. There is joy for many in digging for

and promotional materials for sale, not to mention

that special album that casts a spell on their senses.

of music, and finding the perfect location along our Shepard’s relatable charm and genuine passion for voyage for picking up that coveted vinyl record or

the music both in the shop and floating through

the thousands of classic and rare records filling the

A buried memory, or perhaps of fragment of

disc is a key part of the entire experience.

the airwaves. More often than not, you’ll catch

store to the brim. Though cozier, Time Traveler’s

youth, can be heard as soon as the needle drops.

Shepard behind the counter, greeting customers

collection still calls to the masses. It’s the place to

Through time and location changes, Time Traveler

Enter the Time Traveler, the answer to the

with a warm, sincere welcome, proud of his

go for essential records under $10, and if you’re

will always be the essential place for Akronites to

wayfaring music lover’s prayers, a treasure trove of

collection and eager to share it with locals and

still unable to find that must-have piece of music,

wax poetic on a favorite band or scoop up that rare

albums, movies and memorabilia that individually

visitors. Lining the walls are photos of the owner

................................... Shepard is more than happy to order it for you.

record missing from their collection.

Music & COncerts WEDNESDAY, JULY 8 Music in the Meadow: Sammy DeLeon Latin Jazz Orchestra 5:30pm at Howe Meadow (FREE) 4040 Riverview Rd, Peninsula Grab a blanket and a picnic dinner and bring your family to hear FREE music in your national park! This jazz ensemble combines traditional salsa rhythms with a more aggressive and progressive style. Their music will delight lovers of salsa, merengue, mambo, latin jazz, and more.

Hank & Cupcakes with Frigid Touch, DIVAN8R, and Bobby Bubonic & The Plague 7pm at Empire Concert Club ($10) 1305 E Tallmadge Ave, Akron Named for Charles “Hand” Bukowski and one of his lovers, “Cupcakes”, this Brooklyn-based


duo (by way of Tel Aviv and Melbourne) play infectious electro pop with simmering sexuality and an irresistible dance pulse. Frigid Touch combines glitch and glitz, casting the lyrical spotlight on the role technology plays in shaping us psychologically... Plus, you can dance to it.


Ann E. DeChant Downtown@Dusk 6:30pm at Akron Art Museum (FREE) 1 S High St, Akron Head to the Art Museum every Thursday for the Downtown@Dusk concert series! Enjoy free admission to the museum, and this week listen to Ann E. DeChant’s poignant, melodic country. Boy=Girl 7pm at Jilly’s Music Room (FREE) 111 N Main St, Akron This is a power duo! They may play sparse & intimate. They may rock it out. Either way you get penetrating harmonies and captivating playing. A mix of traditional and contemporary music, with an emphasis on originals.

Bluelight CD release party None Too Fragile Theatre at Pub Bricco, 8 pm ($10) 1841 Merriman Rd, Akron These musicians—UA grads Phil Anderson’s vision, Matthew DeRubertis, Holbrook Riles III, Big Jul Green and Chris Coles—represent a host of our favorite local acts so we figured Bluelight would be good, but they’ve crafted something special from their jazz, modern R&B and hip-hop influences.

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Curtis Taylor 8pm at BLU Jazz+ ($12) 47 E Market St, Akron Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Curtis Taylor’s lyrical and melodic improvisational style displays a level of maturity far beyond his counterparts. His unique blend of soulfulness, harmonic sensibilities and rhythm melt together for an unforgettable sound that directly connects with the soul of the listener.

FRIDAY, JULY 10 Dominick Farinacci 7pm at BLU Jazz+ ($20) 47 E Market St, Akron Dominick Farinacci has been recently credited the title Global Ambassador to Jazz at Lincoln Center by Wynton Marsalis, working to further integrate jazz into communities around the world, particularly the medical community. He works with the Cleveland Clinic both in Ohio and Abu Dhabi to bring music to those at the hospitals and foster discussions between doctors and their patients. Not to mention, of course, his phenomenal skills on the trumpet! Nils Lofgren 8pm at Hard Rock Live ($25) 10777 Northfield Rd, Northfield For much of his professional rock & roll career, Nils Lofgren has been known as the lead guitarist for Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band, and prior to that Lofgren was a member of Neil Young's backing band Crazy Horse. These associations have tended to dominate any mention of the guitarist's career, as any support for two legendary singer/ songwriters would. But take away Bruce and Neil from Lofgren's résumé and he has an impressive, (continued on page 20)


Music & Culture

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CHEAPEST gas prices at nearby stations TRAVEL planning tools including Drive Trips and Travel Guides A great way to spend some time, whether it’s a first date or a family day, is to be on your feet, interacting with a piece of history like a pinball machine. Personally, I credit the “Haunted House” machine for my ability to tolerate back-up cameras in cars. Do I tilt? Yeah, sometimes. But there is nothing like the sound and lights from a machine playing at your hands to make you feel like you own the night (or day).

With lights, mechanics, and computers—how do these machines keep going and going with different hands and action all around them? Marvin says he is self-taught, and from some quick calls around the area, that seems to be the rule. Take a little bit of computer electronic training, coupled with machining and electrical skills and fearless tinkering under the hood with steel ball bearings flying at you, and you have the working technician.

Marvin Ortscheid has taken his joy of pinball to a new height with his collection of machines that clang, flicker, and go bump in the night (and day), awaiting a weekly slate of players at the Stonehedge Family Entertainment Center in Akron. Marvin said the league is seeing new players who come in to play the “real thing” after years of playing computer games like “Virtual Pins” on Xbox. Marvin credits Fred Borden, owner of the Stonehenge location, for encouraging this venue within the busy family center, as well as his partners in the league, Tommy PinWizard and Jessie Carduner, for keeping the process running smoothly.

Stonehedge was selected to be one of the national launch locations for the latest and long awaited KISS pinball machine, featuring the singers’ voices and 3-D attachments. The launch happens Monday, July 20, giving you a great introduction to this old sport—or a new one, depending on your perspective.

Marvin owns and cares for the largest collection of public pinball machines in the area and hosts a league playing four games each Monday night at 7:15 pm, with the Summer League starting July 27. There are over 60 pinball players this summer. The informal mixed league swells to over 100 players in the winter. Participants, ages 8 to 70, range in skill level from novice to wizard, and come from all different lines of work. No matter what your skill level, new players are always welcome. The games are affordable, between 50 cents and 75 cents per play, and an evening’s league play lasts about an hour and a half.


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Gates open at 6 p.m. | Concerts start at 7 p.m.


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Stonehedge Center

Beatles Tribute with Roger Hoover and The Hurt

580 E Cuyahoga Falls Avenue, Akron

African-American Festival Sun. July 19

Open daily this summer from 9 am to 1 am

Hours 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Admission is free until 5 p.m.

Akron Metro Bus Line # 7: Lexington Avenue stop For more information, email Marvin at

Featuring Concert starts at 8 p.m. Admission $10 after 5 p.m.

JUL 8 JUL 15

The Rhythm Syndicate Skip Gibson and Finesse

Concerts start at 7 p.m. Lock 4 is located off of Bowery St., behind the Civic Theatre, next to Lock 3. Admission is free. Bring your lawn chair.

Tramonte Distributing Co.

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Music & Culture idiosyncratic cache in his own right. Don’t miss your chance to see this legendary guitarist in Northeast Ohio!

SATURDAY, JULY 11 Get On Up 5 pm at Jilly’s Music Room (FREE) 111 N Main St, Akron Get On Up throws a big party each and every time they play out. Anyone who's been out to see their show can attest to the dance floor's allure when they’re gettin funky.

Telamon 8 pm at The Empire Concert Club ($8 adv.) 1305 E Tallmadge Ave, Akron This local alt/indie rock band’s act melds The Gaslight Anthem and Rise Against while still offering their own original sound. They’ll take the stage with a special mystery guest who had to be flown in for rehearsal.

Late Night Jazz Jam with Theron Brown 11pm at BLU Jazz+ (FREE) 47 E Market St, Akron Akron-based jazz pianist and fan favorite, Theron Brown, is a frequent performer and jam session bandleader at BLU Jazz+. Bring your horn and join him for a special late night jam session, and enjoy the camaraderie of having a gathering place for the area’s finest professional jazz musicians (as well as the up-and-comers)!

SUNDAY, JULY 12 Music by Nature: Summer Winds 6:30pm at Happy Days Lodge ($20) 500 W Streetsboro Rd, Peninsula Embracing the warm sounds of the woodwind family, it’s a classic wind quintet in a beautiful summer setting. The concert features music that evokes scenes from nature, a hardy romantic work, and rustic country dances done in a jazzy style.

TUESDAY, JULY 14 Dorianne Denard & The Pickups 7:30pm at Nuevo Modern Mexican (FREE) 54 E Mill St, Akron Enjoy Nuevo’s beautiful patio and delicious modern Mexican cuisine while listening to Dorianne Denard & The Pickups, a vibrant jazz trio influenced by a variety of genres and featureing Dorianne’s breathtaking vocals.


Dan Wilson 7:30 pm at Pub Bricco (FREE) 1841 Merriman Rd, Akron Music has been an integral part of jazz guitarist Dan Wilson's life since his beginnings in gospel music and he’s been an integral part of Akron’s jazz since its recent resurgence. The Akron native researched Brazilian music in Rio De Janeiro for his Master’s thesis, has toured Russia and Germany, and played in the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Now you get to experience his world-class talent up close and personal in the None Too Fragile Theatre at Pub Bricco. Lock Bottom Blues & Jazz 7pm at Lock 4 (FREE) Behind the Akron Civic Theatre Every Wednesday through September 2 Lock 4 is an exciting space in Downtown Akron! The rushing water of the Ohio-Erie Canal creates multiple waterfalls, which, with the historic brick facades of some of the oldest buildings in the city, give the space a distinctly urban feel. The LockBottom Blues & Jazz Club is "down under" off of Bowery Street, adjacent to Lock 3.

Train, The Fray & Matt Nathanson 7pm at Blossom Music Center ($29.50) 1145 W Steels Corner Rd, Cuyahoga Falls Don’t miss this lineup of modern American rock stars! Pregame in the “Patcast Tailgate Tent,” featuring local DJs and giveaways and a chance to meet Pat Monahan himself, then enjoy The Fray’s piano-driven pop rock and Train’s long-running American rock. 311 7:30pm at Hard Rock Live ($49.50) 10777 Northfield Rd, Northfield 311 mix rock, rap, reggae and funk into their own unique sound, which has cultivated a huge following since they started playing together in 1990.

THURSDAY, JULY 16 University of Akron Summer Concert 7:30pm at Lock 3 (FREE) 200 S Main St, Akron Join The University of Akron Summer Community Symphonic Band as they present a tribute concert to the variety of cultures present in the Akron community. Listen for works representing Italian, Celtic, and German heritage along with many others, including the USA!

Treasure Trove

Gen X nostalgia finds a home at Back to the Arcade .

by Scott Piepho As we get older we continue to identify our youth by the video games we played—at least from my age cohort on. Space Invaders arrived in the area during my freshman year of high school. I lived and played through the dawn of the video arcade era. The games that set up the jokes in the movie Pixels—Pac Man, Centipede, Donkey Kong—generated the cathode ray wallpaper of my formative years. Chris Bailey, the owner and operator of Back to the Arcade in Uniontown defines his youth by a different era. In his video arcade, some of the wall decorations pay homage to the first generation games, but his stock concentrates on games


of the 1990s—tournament fighting games like Street Fighter and Tekken, side-scrolling beat-emups like Streets of Rage, racing games and some early first-person shooters like Ranger Mission. These were the games of his youth, the ones that defined his crew. Bailey started collecting gaming consoles about eight years ago until his collection got “out of hand.”

“I look at this as a venue,” explained Bailey, meaning that the admission price entitles a customer to all (or none) of what is inside. For kids playing or parents supervising, the cost is the same. In addition to 29 retro video games, the arcade features skee-ball, vintage and modern home consoles with flat screen TVs and Wi-Fi.

Bailey said that he tries to offer arcade nostalgia in a family-friendly form, both in atmosphere and cost. I was a little disappointed not to see any first “I couldn’t get into my kitchen, my garage. generation games, but Bailey says the kids raised Friends were mad at me because I had games at on the XBox have no patience for their relatively their houses.” limited graphics and game play. The night we visited, the room was packed with kids, but a He started putting his collection to use by placing number of the parents there—mostly dads from games in other businesses. Back to the Arcade Bailey’s era—were also clearly enjoying revisiting first opened in Norton, and has been in its present some favorite games from their past. location in Uniontown for about six months. “This is my take on the arcade from when I was a kid,” In his game collecting Bailey focuses particularly Bailey said. on motion games—the sort that offer experiences a user cannot get on a home system. For I visited recently with my 13-year-old daughter example, in Rail Chase—clearly one of Bailey’s and her friend. Five dollars buys entrance, prizes—the player races a speeding mine car including unlimited game play, for an hour. while seated on a compressor-driven bench that tilts and bucks with the onscreen action.

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Back to the Arcade also features a selection of vintage candies (which were sold out the night we visited, much to the disappointment of my younger charges) and offers food catered in by a Romeo’s Pizza shop located a few doors down. The room itself—narrow and deep, lined on both sides with games—is a little snug. Loud music blasts through a sound system, and occasionally competes with a DJing game and Dance Dance Revolution toward the back. Looking forward, Bailey hopes to host arcade machine tournaments that can stream on a networking site like Twitch. He also may ultimately open a “barcade” catering strictly to adult customers, offering games for free (or at least covered by drink prices.) Back to the Arcade offers both a trip back for those who remember the end of the arcade era and a different kind of gaming experience for their kids. Me, I’m still looking to get on a Gorf machine one last time.


Music & Culture Elan Trotman 8pm at BLU Jazz+ ($15) 47 E Market St, Akron Saxophonist Elan Trotman, quickly becoming one of jazz’s most thrilling and emotive performers, continues to stand out and push boundaries as a composer, performer, teacher and recording artist. Blending Caribbean rhythms from his roots with skillful horn textures, his playing is full of surprises.

SATURDAY, JULY 18 Larry Fuller Trio 7pm at BLU Jazz+ ($25) 47 E Market St, Akron Join us as we welcome the sensational world-class jazz pianist, Larry Fuller, back to his home state of Ohio for a swingin’ affair at BLU Jazz+! This will be a very special evening of top shelf jazz at its finest.

The Juke Hounds 8pm at Jilly’s Music Room (FREE) FRIDAY, JULY 17 111 N Main St, Akron The Stumpy Basin Volunteers When the Juke Hounds start to play, it’s impossible 6:30pm at GAR Hall ($7) not to get up and start shaking along to the 1785 Main St, Peninsula rhythm. Their fast moving sets offer bluesy It’s always a good time when Peninsula’s hometown defiance -- swagger in the face of adversity -- and Bluegrass band takes the stage, kicking out your a pace that feels like an accelerating train moving favorite traditional Bluegrass tunes. Join us as we inexorably toward deliverance from our welcome you back to our favorite place to hear earthly burdens. music with a favorite local band. Empires, The Modern Electric, and Stiletto WONE’s Rock the Lock: Bruce in the USA 9pm at Musica ($10) 7pm at Lock 3 (FREE) 51 E Market St, Akron 200 S Main St, Akron Hailing from Chicago, Empires blends contemporary Every Friday throughout the summer, head to Lock pop stylings with time-honored songwriting and 3 for great tribute bands - this week, a tribute to romantic idioms, both musical and lyrical, to mask Bruce Springsteen! deeper and darker personal truths, while the Modern Electric goes in search of life that’s just like Brad Paisley, Justin Moore & Mickey Guyton the movies with their melodic cinematic pop. 7:30pm at Blossom Music Center ($31) 1145 W Steels Corner Rd, Cuyahoga Falls Brad Paisley is back on the road this summer on his WEDNESDAY, JULY 22 mammoth Crushin' It Tour, reaching 35 cities across Music in the Meadow: HeartBEAT Afrika North America! Joining him for his spectacular live 5:30pm at Howe Meadow (FREE) show will be outlaw of the country scene Justin 4040 Riverview Rd, Peninsula Moore & growing talent Mickey Guyton. Creating rhythms with everything from body parts to buckets, HeartBEAT Afrika performs a captivating

mixture of street percussion, traditional African drums, song, storytelling, theatre, and dance. Ahi-Nama 7:30pm at Nuevo Modern Mexican (FREE) 54 E Mill St, Akron Playing a fun and danceable mix of Latin Jazz, Salsa, and Timba music from Cuba and the Caribbean, Ahi-Nama is sure to enhance your Nuevo experience! Tommy Lehman Sextet 7:30 pm at Pub Bricco (FREE) Tommy on the trumpet with Lucas Kadish (guitar), Dan Pappalardo (bass), Dan Fernandez (drums) Nathan Paul-Davis (alto sax) and Nolan Plunkett (trombone). Doors open at 6:30 pm with full Pub Bricco food and drink menus served during the show.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: #AkronMusicScene Wednesday, August 5 Annabell’s This event is scheduled to occur every first Wednesday of the month at Annabell's with the noble goal of promoting and building up the local scene. It’s free if you’re 21 and up, but $5 if you’re 18-20. The July show featured Hunter Adam Edwards, Broken Mugs, Copali, The Scenic Route and John Patrick Halling, among several others. Plus, stand-up comic Sarah Jones Saddleton, vendors like Neighbors Apparel and the Sassy Dog food truck

Underhill’s Games … where an adult can be a kid by Katie Jackson

Playing Dungeons & Dragons is no longer something you only do in your parents’ basement. In fact, there's an entire population of tabletop gamers who get together locally to play it, and the best-of-the-best destination is located is right in your backyard. Underhill's Games, located in Cuyahoga Falls, is well known among gamers as THE place to congregate and pick up the latest strategic board game, as well as Magic: The Gathering cards. "There's a game for everyone," says Lee McLain, owner of Underhill's. A life-long gamer himself, McLain opened the store nine years ago and prides his business on carrying the largest selection of board games in Northeast Ohio. Game themes vary widely in subject as well. Anything from fantasy, history, railroads, zombies — even quilting — can be found. So-called "gateway" games, such as Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan, are where most new gamers get their start.


"They are quick play, easy to learn and can be taught in minutes," says McLain. Many of these games first gained popularity in Europe, where family and/or cooperative game play is an important part of the culture. Constructive thinking and interactive storytelling are prominent strategies in these "grown up" tabletop games, with most designed for two to four players, four players being the optimal play. Locally, many game players fall into the “DINKs” demographic, as McLain puts it: double income couple, no kids, secondary education and typically in their mid-to-late 20s. It is, perhaps, because of this demographic that he now sees more and more game manufacturers creating games specifically for two players. The back third of Underhill's Games is filled with tables for open play gaming. "We have a rack of games available for players to demo before they buy," McLain says. This

convenience is available and free during all business hours. Underhill's also hosts weekly game meet-ups and the occasional gaming tournament. Keith Leonard of Canton often makes the trip up to Underhill's for its game selection, as well as events. "I have always looked for reasons to get together with my friends. Sports, events, drinking, the excuse really did not matter,” Leonard says. “However, since I have been playing board games, the games are almost (almost) as equally important.” The next time you're looking for something different to try, stop into Underhill's and let your mind and imagination play. Underhill's Games is located at 1747 State Road in Cuyahoga Falls or online at Store hours are Monday through Saturday, noon - 9 pm and Sunday, noon - 7 pm.

Juniper Sage unabashed game board enthusiast by Katie Jackson KATIE JACKSON: What got you into board games? JUNIPER SAGE: Wanting to play something more interactive than the games I grew up with. A lot of the traditional board games do have a shelf life in that one can easily become too good at them just by learning the strategy that is required to 'win' quickly. I am no fun to play in Clue or Taboo because I have played them too often and I win too easily. KJ: When did you discover/start playing the more "sophisticated" game (vs. Monopoly, Sorry, etc.)? JS: About five years ago. It was a perfect storm of having Underhill's nearby, meeting people that could give me good game recommendations and wanting social gatherings that could occur every week and wouldn't be stale. KJ: What is your favorite game to play and why? JS: Well, I still love Scrabble actually because I can play it online with friends across the country. As far as the newer games are concerned, I like all of the Ticket to Ride games as they are easy to teach, great for any age, are still very social but also require a good strategy. KJ: How many games do you own? JS: About 20. Not many in the scheme of things but my friends actually purchase games as a group and they are stored at a central location. KJ: Where do you like to play? JS: At home or a home. Snacking is a big part of gaming, so somewhere snacks can be shared and crumbs don't matter. KJ: Is it more of a social event for you? Just for the love of games? Or both? JS: Both. When it is just my husband and I, it can be competitive because we are so perfectly matched for most games. Games are also incredibly social for me as we have a steady game night once a week with friends. And at work we stand around the water cooler and compare notes on games played and owned. I also participate in Extra Life ( at work because they have recently included board games. I'll be looking for people to play board games with me for parts of the 24 hours that first weekend in November.

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misc. (continued from page 16) says. “We wanted to combine all our influences and really do something different.” Now, The Living Deads are spreading their combination of loud, fast rhythms, raspy vocals and dark grooves all over the globe. The RV is where the magic happens, from recording albums to housing “kidnapped” musicians. The band’s DIY inclinations go beyond music as well, with their vehicle serving as inspiration for a film they have in the works. The duo likes to incorporate short movie clips into their live shows, creating a rich experience for audiences. The full-length feature will be a dark comedy with a heavy John Waters influence, and viewers can expect plenty of chills, thrills and kills. The plot centers on the musicians kidnapping and murdering a guitarist, then resurrecting him from the dead to play on stage. The movie will pull from their real, twisted experiences on the road and be given a blood bath. Before completing this project, McKnight and Tidwell will continue doing what they do best – touring in that trusty RV. The pair made a pit stop in the Buckeye State for Oddmall, Ohio Bike week and a show at Legends Sports Pub and Grille in Green this spring and summer but will head to Europe to tour in the fall. The Living Deads played several shows across the waters this year and want to get back while the iron is still hot. “The crowd [in Europe] just blows me away,” McKnight says. “There are no TVs in the venues, so people are just standing right in the band’s face. They’re very supportive of live music over there.”

sounds of their adventures and will feature Caribbean-style rhythms, showcasing the band’s penchant for blazing trails and figuratively burning down cities wherever they go. “We want to keep creating together, reinventing and pushing boundaries,” Tidwell says. Born, they say, of hate, hellfire and brimstone, The Living Deads will make their rounds across the globe with a burlap sack, a book of matches, a can of gas and a Louisville slugger. Akron guitarists beware — they just might come for you and take you on the ride of your life.

Check out musical hellfire that is The Living Deads at

Traveling abroad and dragging Akron-based musicians along with them has given The Living Deads new tales and tricks they plan to incorporate in upcoming recordings. Songs like “Taste The Blood” will draw inspiration from the sites and

(continued from page 12)



are you? ANSWERS: 1) B., 2) A., 3) C., 4) D., 5) Trick question! Both Neil Gaiman (A) and Douglas Adams (D) wrote episodes for “Doctor Who”— so if you knew that, two points for you. 0 points: You absolutely MUST go to Geekfest. There is no reason why, in this day and age, you have no geek knowledge. Go to Geekfest and learn some. 1 point: You should be ashamed of yourself. You have Netflix and Hulu subscriptions and you only


got one answer right? What are you doing with your time? Go to Geekfest and get up to speed. 2 points: If I could hold you after class for some extra tutoring I would. But since I can't, you should go to Geekfest and talk with as many attendees as you can. 3 points: Reject mediocrity! The friendly people at Geekfest will help get you over the hump. Be there when the doors open. 4 points: You probably have a set of Star Wars sheets that you have on your bed when you aren't expecting company. You will feel right at home at Geekfest. 5 points: You can't believe you missed one! Go to Geekfest immediately in full cosplay and redeem yourself. 6 points: These are your people! You are with your tribe. You probably read this after coming home from Geekfest. I don't even have to tell you to be there, you probably helped organize it (or you plan to help next year).

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film & Culture



Reviewing 2009’s ‘Mr. Nobody’ and downtown’s Crave by Chris Kessinger, the Film Freak

"Dope" is Dope

IN A TWEET: Belgian film director Jaco

Van Dormael makes his on-screen debut crafting a look at the elements of free choice and what comes from the decisions we make every step of the way. What it's really about: “Mr. Nobody” is one part passionate love story and another part inquisitive study about the big bang theory. Nemo Nobody (Jared Leto) stands on a station platform as a train is about to leave. Should he go with his mother (Natasha Little) or stay with his father (Rhys Ifans)? Infinite possibilities arise from this decision. As long as he doesn't choose, anything is possible. All of this is, however, a memory to Nemo's current life in 2092, where he's living as a 117-year-old test subject on an unknown planet. Nemo's study catches the curiosity of the quasi-immortal people living around him as they search for answers about Earth life before such scientific advancements in immortality became available. Why it's good: The story, which takes on such original concepts, is told from a teacher and student viewpoint. This is something that we as a viewer do not normally receive, but “Mr. Nobody” explains it's concepts with a creative charm, while giving us a look at a future that doesn't seem as far out as the eighty years it forecasts. The artistic touches in cinematography are breathtaking in beauty, with a piano driven score by Pierre Van Dormael (director's brother). Warm, colorful backgrounds offer visual complements to such a thought provoking script that never stopped enhancing intellectually. The film is loaded with so much great content that it demands more than one showing.

by Bronlynn Thurman

As a blerd, black nerd for those not hip to the lingo, I didn’t have many pop culture references that represented me growing up. I got good grades, spoke proper English, loved anime and manga, and listened to rock, punk, and old school hip-hop. Needless to say, I didn’t fit in. Rick Famuyiwa’s coming-of-age story, Dope, shows me and others like me that we are not alone. It’s the kind of movie that I wish I had growing up. It’s a funny, sarcastic and creative film that breaks the stereotype that black people are all one homogeneous group that only cares about drugs, violence, and “chillin’ with our homies in the hood.” dining for rich tastes at affordable prices. Offering a wide variety of menu selections featuring stylishly stacked meat dishes tenderly cut, as well as many vegetarian dishes sure to satisfy even the toughest crowds to please. Their gluten-free menu offers the widest range of healthy dishes that I have yet to see in the city. The drink menu will relax your senses, while infusing your mouth with a fruity originality to classic favorites. Everything from martinis—Key Lime and Creamsicle, to name a couple—to a delicious house made liquor that you won't find anywhere else- Crave has it all, so treat yourself to a night of savory eats in a museum-esque setting.

Local Craving: At the heart of Akron's art district, is a restaurant that offers a new and exciting look for hunger satisfaction. Crave Restaurant opened in 2005, and has been the prime cut in Akron


When they get into a bit of trouble, like being stuck with a backpack full of drugs, they find the most cunning, geeky way of working through their situation. At times the scenes seem a bit outlandish, but it works as a relatable dramedy with a message of staying true to yourself even when all the odds against you. The 90s soundtrack truly stands out with four original songs by Pharrell and actually played by the teen’s band, Awreeoh. All in all, “Dope” is dope.


Go into this one very hungry, because I have a three course meal that will send you singing to the heavens of tasteful nirvana. Start with the Steak How it'll surprise you: Free movement across Skewers dressed in a delicious Guinness garlic gaze time is a recurring theme of the film. The central and smoked Gouda fondue. The first bite will give character's name is Nemo, which spelled backwards you taste goosebumps before the main course. is “omen,” a foretelling of the future. Further, his For the main dish? Pork Tenderloin seasoned with main love interest is Anna and his daughter is Eve, bacon salt, chipotle whipped butternut squash, both of which are the same when read in reverse. and apple butter veal glace. The tenderloin is so It's also very refreshing to see a European touch on succulent in taste that you will not need a beverage a big budget ($47 million) sci-fi film in an American to enhance this meaty mecca of nourishing delight. dominated market. Van Dormael opens the viewer’s Desert is right around the corner with a chocolate eyes for self-reflection and makes the Nemo peanut butter brownie that is the sweet sayonara character relatable, despite a look into a world that to a night in one of Akron's finest establishments. is anything but. Art Among Symbolism: Nemo's three love interests—Anna, Elise and Jean—are all often dressed in colors related to their story with Nemo. Anna is dressed in red, which is commonly associated with love, Elise in blue, which represents depression, and Jean in yellow, the color of deceit.

Each of his main characters, Malcolm (Shamiek Moore), Jig (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey

Clemons) are complex and fully fleshed-out with interests that span the gamut. The most notable interests include 90s hip-hop, playing in a punk band, getting good grades, and the latest of technology.

Crave 57 East Market Street Akron, Ohio, 44308 // Chris Kessinger is the Film Freak. You can find more of

The ol' pub is still crankin' out cold beer and cocktails all summer. Grab a bottle of Sam Adams, just $2.50 each this month, and catch the Tribe on the tube. Or stop by during Porch Rokr for an authentic Highland Square experience. 816 W. MARKET STREET, AKRON

his film reviews at

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Akron History

Summer Reading:

Akron History’s History by Joanna Wilson

Looking for something new to read this summer? Perhaps a book that’s not exactly new but newto-you? I recommend finding a copy of The Akron Story penned by Sara Klippert in 1959, a fourth grade supplemental textbook published by the board of education. Hardbound copies of the book are floating around online and available at the Akron-Summit County Public Library. It’s become a cult favorite to those interested in local history and quaint mid-century children’s books.

Both illustrations – Book cover and Norka Wonki illustrations by Ethel Frost, scanned from Joanna Wilson’s personal copy of the book, whose copyright is held by the Akron Board of Education.

New/Native by Greg Milo

The structure of the storytelling in The Story of Akron is not only charming but clever. Twins Diana and David have recently moved to Akron and their new classroom lessons include an Akron history course taught by Miss Alexander. Their teacher shares fictional stories about Akron children living in various eras of our past, detailing what life was like for young people, for example as early settlers, along the Ohio canal, and during the Civil War. There are also profiles of outstanding Akron residents such as city founder General Simon Perkins, the oatmeal businessman Ferdinand Schumacher, and Dr. B.F. Goodrich, the first man


What are your favorite local cultural assets? The Akron Art Museum has changed in such incredible ways over the last 10 or 15 years. The new building is such a gem and the exhibitions over the last couple of years have featured exciting contemporary artists. The museum staff has worked hard to involve the community, too. On a more grass-roots level, I enjoy conversations and people one can encounter at places like Square Records, Angel Falls, Nervous Dog, Lockview and Mustard Seed. Walking into those places is a cultural immersion experience.

3. Name: Micah Kraus Age: 38 Hometown: Conneaut, Repurposed in Akron Neighborhood: West Akron Occupation: Archbishop Hoban High School Fine Arts Department Chair, Co-Owner Retread Akron

Why did you fall for Akron? Everything here is accessible. Anyone can start something new, impact a neighborhood, meet with a city official or have a conversation in the coffee shop line with the art museum director. It's a city with so much potential and good things are starting to snowball.


Where in Akron do you like to escape? Usually just a walk, run or bicycle ride around town. Akron looks completely different on foot or bicycle. There are amazing homes, quirky streets, Who do you wish was on more Akronites' hidden businesses and people with incredible radar? The local art scene, in all of its forms. stories – and I've found that I really only experience There are amazing fine artists, crafters, musicians, them when I'm outside of my car. actors and directors, and dancers that live and work in Akron. I would love to see Akron's art scene Why should everyone try your favorite become more vibrant and embraced by our city. restaurant? Do you like veggie chili? Do you




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to open a rubber factory in Akron. What’s shrewd about the narrative of The Story of Akron is that Diana, David, and the other students in the classroom ask questions and comment on the stories and profiles presented by Miss Alexander. So the discussion is kept relevant to children and the dry facts of the history lessons come alive through student oral reports, costumed presentations, and even a pretend TV news program/quiz show. The information in this textbook is presented in a smart and interactive way for the characters as well as its readers! Although the book was written more than fifty years ago, Akron’s past doesn’t change. I did catch a few obsolete references to locations including the intersection of Market Street and Howard Street-which was demolished in the 1970s. There’s also an example of our sexist past: the teacher says girls can’t race in the Soap Box Derby. Of course, Akron is no longer known as The Rubber Capital of the World either but it is fun to read about our city’s perspective on that title at its height. The simplified version of history is also a good overview for those

looking for a place to start to learn our city’s past. And, the 1950s illustration style adds a sense of nostalgia. My favorite parts include the fictional stories told by Miss Alexander including a mystery story about counterfeit money carried a stranger arriving in Akron on a canalboat. I also learned a couple things: U.S. President James Garfield worked on the towpath of the Ohio Canal as a child, and Akron’s Quaker Oats was a frontrunner in food packaging. I nearly dropped the book when I read that the students in Miss Alexander’s classroom (which also included a character named Joanna) played an alphabet game they called A is for Akron. I had no idea of this reference when I co-authored a local history/nostalgia book in 2014 entitled A is for Akron. Another favorite chapter in The Story of Akron is a club the students form called Norka Wonki where they can express their passion for local history. Can you figure out the meaning behind the name? Want to join Norka Wonki with me?

like feta? Do you like Greek pitza? Well, what are you waiting for?! Get over to Aladdin's in Highland Square and chow down. Start with a big ole plate of hummus and pita (with hot sauce) and then work your way into some chili or lentil soup, a pitza or wrap or salad. You really can't go wrong. And, if the weather cooperates, sit outside so that you can catch your friends as they stroll by. After dinner stop by Angel Falls for a coffee, homemade caramel and a palmier. Pretty perfect.


How do you think Akron will be different in five years? Akron will continue to slowly grow in the right direction. I hope that more neighborhoods can follow Highland Square's lead and invest in local businesses. Seeing the Square turn around during the last 10 years has been amazing. It has taken the courage and tenacity of the small businesses located there but it can happen other places, too. I would love to see downtown become more energized...and would be thrilled to see businesses or galleries in the storefronts next to Akron Civic. There is so much potential in those spaces. My hope is that we'll see more city-wide events like Better Block. That was such a positive, energizing weekend. It highlighted the cultural richness of our city and provided the opportunity for diverse people to show their talents and traditions. More of that, please!

CORRECTION: In our last issue, I failed to ensure we properly credited the Akron-Summit County Public Library and Summit County Historical Society for the use of their Burkhardt’s Beer images, despite writer Joanna Wilson reminding me to do so. My most sincere apologies to Leianne Heppner and Judy James, who do awesome and amazing things for Akron through their awesome and amazing organizations. Thank you for working with us! – Chris Horne


Your Turn / big idea

Why Akron needs a Brewery District (And I know where it should go) by Mark Schweitzer


ot everyone knows it, but Akron is home to several high-quality breweries, with national and regional reputations; one (Thirsty Dog) has already indicated that they need further room to grow. Separately, none of these operations are huge. They all include production facilities and Tasting Rooms, where customers gather to sample their products and enjoy food and entertainment. Currently, most of them are spread out all around the city. Every time I drive past the old Goodyear World Headquarters and factory, which is being redeveloped as the landmark East End project, I can't help but think what a natural location this would be for a Brewery District. Gathered together, these breweries could create a strong destination attraction—a Brewery District—that would enhance the marketability and appeal of the East End location, allowing these brewers to use their “strength of numbers” to pull visitors from many areas.

A while back, I spoke to Fred Karm, owner of nationally-recognized Hoppin’ Frog Brewery, and his initial response was that he might be interested in such a concept, and could see some advantages. Of course, it would have to make economic sense, and some incentives might be needed to make it happen, but he seemed to find the idea appealing. I have also spoken to our current mayor, and while he thinks it's a solid idea, the city has limited resources to get behind such a plan right now; what's more, we'll have a new mayor come next January, and it's hard to get anything going during an election year. Nevertheless, it's an idea worth pursuing and one that I feel the developer, Stuart Lichter's Industrial Realty Group, should take a hard look at.



There are TONS of space available at East End for brewing operations and tasting rooms; tens of thousands of square feet. Plenty of

parking, easy highway access (for out-of-town visitors). It’s a natural fit for these old buildings. Simply put, this location is high-visibility, and far superior to any place these breweries are currently located (outskirts of town, old, run-down neighborhood, etc.).

craft breweries to locate to Akron. The city could get in the game with other regional brewers who may want to expand their operations into the Midwest.



Existing and future Commercial/Office/Hotel development here – provides an additional customer base for these operations. (Goodyear, Hilton Garden Inn and major hospitals are already nearby.)


Easily accessible from The University of Akron, too—by bus or bike. Some cities who have similar districts even establish a “brewery shuttle” – low/no cost trolley service to district from popular destinations.


A successful brewery district would also be an advantage for attracting out-of-region

A district here offers a nice geographic balance to a popular area like Highland Square. While that area is certainly a natural for craft-beer loving hipsters, there’s really no room for new breweries there. East End is about the same distance from Downtown, easily accessible by public transportation, and long term, provides an additional working/living option for that demographic. Over the coming weeks and months, I'll be talking to more people about this—it seems like too good an idea to pass up. For more, visit

Hey, Daphne, what’s the BIG Idea with avian egg shells? (And what’s a… Jaswig?) by Katie Wheeler One of my favorite things about Akron right now is the spirit of innovation that is spreading like wildfire throughout the city. There are more and more people stepping up to not only voice their big ideas, but to also have the courage to try them out. Akron needs doers. We need guts. We need people who recognize a need, or a way to make people’s lives better, and not only ask the tough question of “How do we solve this problem?”—but to act to make their solution a reality. Daphne Fecheyr-Lippens, a fellow at the University of Akron, is a great example of a big thinker AND a doer in Akron. She grew up in Belgium in a family that worked primarily in the medical industry, and was pulled towards studying biotechnology because of that tradition. She quickly realized that biotech was too controlled for her, and the design she was learning went against nature instead of learning from it. Daphne was finishing her senior thesis when she heard Janine Benyus give a talk on the emerging field of biomimicry, and knew that it was the fit she had been looking for. Biomimicry is a revolutionary way of problemsolving, and it’s a frontier on which Akron is at the forefront. The goal is to create a more sustainable


way of solving human problems, by taking a look at how nature has been doing it for years, and mimicking it. Daphne is currently studying avian egg shells at the University of Akron to figure out how they reflect ultraviolet rays. By learning the mechanism that nature uses to protect birds developing in shells, she hopes to apply the same knowledge to create protection systems from solar radiation. While working in the lab, Daphne came across another challenge. She was working on a natureinspired PhD, but most of her time was being spent sitting behind a computer, and she started to develop back and neck pain. She and her boyfriend Mathias Ellegiers, an engineer, started looking into standing desks. After finding out how expensive they were, and how impractical a lot of them were,

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they decided to build their own. That got Daphne thinking, “Why do we sit to work in the first place?” She put in some research and decided that the habit of sitting was formed in the classroom as children. After further investigation, she and Mathias learned that having children use a standing desk also improves attention and learning, as well as burns more calories. They decided to dive deeper into these issues. That’s when their company, Jaswig, was born. Jaswig is less than a year old and is already gaining traction as a start-up company. It has three models of standing desks that can be used for any height allowing use by children as well as adults. Daphne, Mathias, and the rest of the Jaswig team are committed to helping children, but biomimicry has taught them to respect nature, so they are doing

it in a sustainable way. The desks are made from natural materials, and they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, reducing the need for fasteners and other materials. Talking to Daphne, you can’t help but be inspired to take a look at your surroundings and make a difference. She says one of her favorite things about this area is that “anyone can be an entrepreneur—you just have to open your eyes.” Seeing as how Jaswig is about to celebrate its first year and launch its own Kickstarter campaign, and considering how Daphne’s biomimicry research just earned her a speaking spot at TED Cleveland, I would say she would know of which she speaks. Daphne can be reached at: or you can follow her on Twitter @DaFecheyr For more information on Jaswig, visit their website or follow them on twitter @jaswighq



Something for Everyone. Eat. From small bites on the go to inspired culinary masterpieces, many of the city’s best dining options are right here on our block.

The Akron you’ve been waiting for has been here all along. Dine, shop, and be entertained at the crossroads of commerce, culture, & cuisine!

Drink. The Historic Arts District has it all: draft brews, small batch bourbons, bottled craft beers, signature cocktails, & more!

Be Merry.

Meet the Neighbors.

Retail shops, an indie movie theater, art museum, jewelry shops, & handcrafted art to put a smile on your face.

BLU Jazz+

Live Jazz • Fine Food • Spirits • Photo Gallery Featuring the best in regional, national, & international live jazz talent, Wed-Sat. Inspired fine dining, signature cocktails, craft beer, and more!



Wine Bar • Gathering Space • Acoustic Music Intimate space for events ranging from small gatherings to large soirees. Boasting a vast selection of reds, whites, and bubbles!




Live Music • Event Space • Bar Follow the sizzlin’ orange glow to the all-new vibrant bar layout and scorching sound & lighting systems. Special events include live rock/folk/alternative shows, open mic, karaoke, dance parties, & comedy.



Find your Way.


Urban Eats

Pop Art Cafe • Wraps, Paninis • Coffee Daily specials feature specialty wraps, paninis, flatbread pizzas, soups from scratch, coffee, espresso, pastries, & Mary Coyle ice cream! Mon-Fri, 9am-9pm.

Even more reasons to Visit (& Stay). • Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar • 3 Point Restaurant • Crave


Plenty o’ Parking. • Free parking in the deck attached to the Akron Public Library on High St. • Metered street parking (free after 6pm) • Valet Parking

• Rubber City Clothing • Nightlight Cinema • WE Gallery

The Devil Strip, Issue 9 - The Geekery  
The Devil Strip, Issue 9 - The Geekery  

Heading into the next Geekfest, we tasked ourselves with finding out more about what Akron geeks are like. Comic books and Manga, of course-...