The WC Press Heart Issue - February 2017

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“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” –Maya Angelou

PUBLISHER Dan Mathers ADVERTISING MANAGER Nick Vecchio GRAPHIC DESIGNER Nazarena Luzzi Castro COPY EDITOR Jon Roth CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jesse Piersol Kate Chadwick STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Sabina Sister Andrew Hutchins

COLUMNISTS Becca Boyd Jamie Jones Diane LeBold Andrea Mason DJ Romeo Dr Geoff Winkley Published By... Mathers Productions 12 E Barnard Street West Chester, PA 19382 610-344-3463 The WC Press is a monthly magazine distributed free of charge to more than 250 businesses. For a free digital subscription, visit For more information about specific distribution locations, visit


Noting 13 25 31 41 45 49 53

Our no-nonsense table of contents

THE HEART OF THE MATTER Exploring local sources for cardiac care OWNER OF THE MONTH Karen Cavin of The 5 Senses offers gift-giving advice TEN TIPS FOR INCREASING INTIMACY Advice on life and love in a relationship BARTENDER OF THE MONTH We talk to Abby Block behind the bar at Saloon 151 PEOPLE OF WEST CHESTER ON LOVE An exploratory photo essay on the streets of the borough THE LOOK Malena’s Vintage Boutique proves fashion is cyclical PHOTO HUNT Can you spot the five differences in these two photos?



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from the


Dan Mathers shares some personal insight about this month’s theme

The human heart is as much an emblem as a vital organ—and it has been for millennia. Although the origins of the symbol are unclear, the image itself can be traced back to the cave drawings of Cro-Magnon hunters in Europe, nearly 12,000 years ago. This is not a uniquely European phenomenon—many world religions consider it the representation of truth, conscience or moral courage. In both Islamic and Judeo-Christian thought, it was long considered the emblem of the temple of God. For Hindus it represented the divine center. It has portrayed the essence of Buddha and the Taoist center of understanding. In the Hebrew Bible, the word lev, meaning heart, never refers to anything literally physical; lev is a noun embodying the inner life of feeling and thought. Even modern Roman Catholics will be familiar with the concept of the Sacred Heart, representative of Jesus’ redeeming love. Ancient cultures of vastly different origins attributed the heart with crucial, intangible functions. Greek philosophers like Hippocrates and Aristotle made the connection between the heart and blood, but Aristotle also postulated that the heart was responsible for thought and emotion, mostly ignoring the importance of the brain. The heart was also a powerful symbol to the Ancient Egyptians, evidenced by its prominent use throughout their language. Words like “happy” translate into modern English as “long of heart” and the word “estranged” is understood as “truncated of heart.” It was so central to their morality that they believed a person’s heart was weighed to grant entrance to the afterlife—a heart that weighed too much was consumed by a lion-hippo-croc demon, and the soul’s journey toward immortality was terminated. Today, the physiological heart is fully understood, but the symbol is as relevant as ever, so in this issue, we’re placing equal emphasis on both aspects. Kate Chadwick’s piece about cardiac care, starting on page 13, touches on a subject that impacts us all and gives suggestions on how to maintain heart health. Sabina Sister again took to the streets, this time asking West Chester residents what love meant to them, and her photo essay can be found on page 45. We also asked for the help of The West Chester Therapy Group, and their article outlining ten simple steps to improve the intimacy in your relationship is an important tool for anyone with a partner (and serves as a great guide for those seeking one, too). You can consult these tips on page 31. It’s impossible to separate the symbol of the heart from the organ, an important motif that serves as an enduring reminder of our interconnectedness. Whether you think of it as the soul itself or just the engine that keeps us vital, every heartbeat should remind us, not just of life itself, but of the humanity within each of us. —





Near and Far

Jamie Jones of Whirlaway Travel explores some travel options abroad and highlights their local counterparts

For as long as we have been together, my husband and I have never gone out to dinner on Valentine’s Day. We exchanged cards and novelty gifts our first year together (because it was something we believed we needed to do, rather than something we really wanted to do). In discussion, we both agreed that the holiday is mostly a ploy to line Hallmark’s pockets and give hope to singletons that love is still possible… or maybe just rub in the loneliness. In lieu of professing our love one time in February with a card and some flowers, we seek out our favorite spots in the borough throughout the year, taking time to rekindle the flame whenever we can. We stumbled upon dinner at Roots Café last year in my last-minute attempt to put together a special evening for our anniversary. Having frequented this haunt for breakfast and lunch a few times over the past couple years, I assumed that dinner would be more of an afterthought to this daytime café. With expectations low, we started our evening there and it was one of the most memorable meals we have had out in our eight years together. Locally sourced cuisine, delicious cocktails and a laidback ambiance that fit our personality to a T—it was the perfect fit. We savored a chef’s tasting menu on the back patio surrounded by a garden of haphazardly planted succulents and flowers, creeping vines, and if—I recall correctly—fairies fluttering about. Roots Café is magical and delicious. When we travel together, which unfortunately is not as frequent as many might imagine, we do the very same thing—make it a point to find the perfect meal. On a recent trip to Hawaii we stayed at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, a stunning beachfront resort designed by Laurence S. Rockefeller. If we wanted to we could have stayed on the resort for 5 days and been completely content, but being the explorative souls that we are, we opted to find our spot on the Big Island. Just a few miles up the road, in the tiny town of Hawi, with an hour to spare before our Flumin’ Ditch kayak excursion, we found Local Dish, a 14-seat culinary gem touting the freshest locally sourced food imaginable. With avocado and fruit trees growing out back, the owner, a New Hampshire native transplanted to the Big Island, makes everything from scratch. Over the course of five days we scoured the island from Kona to Hilo via the Saddle Road, north to Waipio Bay and back to the Eastern shore through Waimea and up the Kohala Mountain Road. We saw varying landscapes that blew our minds, homesteads we daydreamed of retiring to, and surreal lava fields that seemed to transport us to another planet. We snorkeled off the back of a catamaran, soared over an active lava flow in an open-door helicopter, and hiked to thundering waterfalls in the rain. But, no matter the excursion, every time we went out we found ourselves back at Local Dish, if just for a beer, some poke, and a moment of comfort and familiarity amid the excitement of life. —





Heart OF THE Matter






On August 10, 2007, my mother got into her car in Hatboro, Pennsylvania and headed south to Cape May, New Jersey to spend the weekend with me and my new baby. She never arrived. She suffered a massive heart attack behind the wheel on the Garden State Parkway and was pronounced dead on arrival at Cape Regional Medical Center. Although they managed to jump start her heart with defibrillator paddles and immediately transported her to Cooper Hospital in Camden, she never regained consciousness, and was removed from life support one week later. My mom never smoked a cigarette in her life, and did not abuse alcohol or use drugs. One doesn’t have to be a health nut to know that those three things are among the most significant contributing factors to heart disease—overt, active catalysts known to compromise cardiac health. She was, however, overweight, did not exercise regularly, suffered from high blood pressure as well as undiagnosed diabetes, and had not had a physical examination in decades. And these things, too, are contributing factors to heart disease—they’re simply passive, the things that we don’t do to prevent cardiac illness. And in matters of health—particularly in matters of cardiac health—what we don’t do can be just as important as what we do. It’s likely that you or someone you know has been similarly affected by cardiovascular disease, given that it is, according to the most recent American Heart Association statistics, the leading cause of death in the United States (as well as globally). In 2013—the year most recently cited by the AHA site—nearly 801,000 people in the U.S. died from heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular illnesses, accounting

for about one in every three deaths. In fact, according to the site, cardiovascular disease claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined, with someone dying specifically of heart disease in the U.S. approximately every 84 seconds.

The most common type of heart attack occurs when one or more of the heart’s arteries become blocked. This happens most often due to plaque buildup, known as atherosclerosis. The plaque can rupture, which forms a clot, causing blood flow to the heart to be mostly, or in some cases completely blocked. A less common cause of heart attack is a severe spasm to a coronary artery, and these spasms can occur in arteries that are not necessarily affected by atherosclerosis. The spasms can be related to such things as emotional stress/pain, smoking, exposure to extremely cold temperatures, or taking drugs such as cocaine.









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The AHA has tips on its site, called Life’s Simple 7. These steps were created with an eye towards getting people to make even modest improvements in their cardiac health, and fairly inexpensively. The Simple 7 are: manage blood

The American Heart Association offers a list of tips they call Life’s Simple 7: 1. Manage Blood Pressure 2. Control Cholesterol 3. Reduce Blood Sugar 4. Get Active 5. Eat Better 6. Lose Weight 7. Stop Smoking

pressure, control cholesterol, reduce blood sugar, get active, eat better, lose weight, and stop smoking. We spoke with Dr. William Clay Warnick, a cardiologist with Chester County Hospital about just how important prevention is when it comes to cardiovascular disease. His answer, in a word: fundamental. “Prevention, as it relates to cardiovascular disease, is paramount, and is centered towards avoiding injury or—better stated—inflammation of the blood vessel,” Dr. Warnick told us. “By focusing on one's blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood lipids, we reduce inflammation to the vascular wall. This maintains vascular reactivity and reduces the formation of the end product of the inflammatory process, which is the atherosclerotic plaque.” The “Simple 7” tips make even more sense in light of the typical patients Dr. Warnick treats in his practice. “The average cardiac patient that I see is predominantly sedentary, is around 20 pounds over their ideal body weight, has

The sun sets behind Chester County Hospital. The hospital is a crucial part of our community, and it can trace its roots all the way back to 1892. a fasting blood sugar of 100-120, and a blood cholesterol of 220,” he said. “Their systolic [or ‘upper number’] blood pressure is 145, and they have chief complaints of fatigue and being exposed to significant amounts of stress at work and/or at home.” We wondered if treatment, up to and including surgery, is the only answer, or whether heart disease can be, in effect, reversed? “Treatment of the atherosclerotic plaque is focused on reducing the progression of the atherosclerotic process. So, if by ‘heart disease reversal’ you are referring to coronary atherosclerotic vascular disease, then the answer is yes,” Dr. Warnick told us. “But we shouldn’t necessarily focus on the quan-





titative reduction of a coronary blockage—for example, a 40% to 30% decrease in plaque—but rather the qualitative changes of a plaque. When there is good blood pressure, blood sugar and the blood lipids are controlled, plaques are smoother, less ulcerated, and less likely to rupture, thus reducing the risk of a blood clot forming and adhering to the plaque.” To put this in layman’s terms, treatment focuses on the progression of existing plaque; at the same time, with the implementation of self-care by the patient, it can also become a “quality over quantity” issue in relation to that plaque. Chester County Hospital has been performing open-heart surgery since 2001. Last April, the hospital introduced its Heart Valve Evaluation Center. It boasts a new ultramodern cardiac catheterization laboratory, which uses diagnostic imaging to view the arteries and chambers of the heart, and to treat any abnormalities. “Our Cath Lab 3 went through a six-month renovation and reopened in December,” said Barbara Curtis of the Marketing Department at Chester County Hospital, which is now part of Penn Medicine. “It is the third catheterization lab that has been renovated at the hospital in the past three years, and it has stateof-the-art technology that has greatly expanded our vascular and electrophysiology services. It's a great benefit for residents of Chester County, because we can offer many more Penn Heart and Vascular services right here in West Chester.” Indeed, when we asked Dr. Warnick whether there were any new advances in cardiac care that he was The average particularly enthused cardiac patient about, it that I see is was in this predominantly area of treatment. sedentary “I’m ex-

Patients are actually pretty good about knowing when they need to be in the ER. -Dr. Geoff Winkley cited about new catheter-based techniques and their ability to treat valvular heart disease [in which one or more of the four valves of the heart are compromised] and complex arrhythmias [a condition under which the heart beats irregularly, or with an abnormal rhythm],” he said. “These are minimally invasive techniques that are able to treat aortic and mitral valve disease in those patients who are too high-risk from a surgical point of view. Arrhythmia cath-

For anything short of an emergency, consider an urgent care facility. Local options, like Doctor’s Best Immediate Medical Care, have diagnostic tools—including an EKG to assess chest pain and X-ray to assess pain from musculoskeletal issues—to help you figure out the source of your discomfort. eter-based techniques assist the general cardiologist in managing and reducing the risk of congestive heart failure.” So, what should you do if you feel like you’re experiencing symptoms of cardiac distress? We asked Dr. Geoff Winkley over at Doctor’s Best Immediate Medical Care about whether cardiac issues are something they regularly see at his practice. “Patients actually are pretty good about knowing when they need to





Chester County Hospital It’s nice to know that when treatment is necessary, it’s close at hand here in West Chester. be in the ER and not in the Urgent Care,” he told us. “We see patients who are concerned that their symptoms might be heart related several times each week. Most of these patients are young and without any of the risk factors that lead to heart disease.” In some cases, a patient may present with chest pains that aren’t actually related to a heart attack at all. Dr. Winkley said that these symptoms can be attributed to any number of other ailments. “It can turn out to be things like anxiety or panic disorder-related symptoms, or musculoskeletal pain,” he said. “And less commonly, gastroesophageal reflux symptoms.”

The heart is a very resiliant muscle—it really is.

That is not to say that some patients at Doctor’s Best are not affected by heart disease, particularly given that it is such a pervasive health issue for the general populace. “Roughly, less than 5-10% of our patients have heart disease as a chronic medical problem, and we rarely take care of patients whose presenting problem has anything to do with heart disease,” Dr. Winkley said. “We see people who are actually having a heart attack only very rarely.” In which case, of course “The patient is given an aspirin and the 911 system is activated immediately to transport the patient to nearest ER.” There’s a quote from one of my favorite films, Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters, which goes: “The heart is a very, very resilient little muscle—it really is.” In the context of that particular scene in the film, the character is speaking of the heart in the romantic sense, how even when we’ve loved and lost, we can (usually!) bounce back emotionally. But in matters of the heart in the physical sense, proactive steps can and should be taken to protect that little muscle. It’s also nice to know, though, that when state-of-the-art treatment is necessary, it’s close at hand here in West Chester.

BY THE NUMBERS: 18 cardiologists 2 cardiac surgeons 45 non-invasive staff members 8 echo sonographers 20 invasive staff members 6 admin support 3 nurse navigators 6 cardiac surgical team 4,250 cardiovascular

patients that required an overnight stay and/or had a procedure in the cardiac catheterization lab. from July 2015 through June 2016

5% amount increase from

prior year. This statistic excludes routine testing, such as echocardiograms, ekgs and other procedures, cardiac rehab patients, and patients who were evaluated in the emergency department and were sent home.





Design Dilemmas Andrea Mason of Perceptions Interiors is a professional interior designer who wants to help you upgrade your space

The dark days of winter are the best time to get crafty in the comfort of your own home! Instead of replacing old furniture, sometimes all that worn hutch or bench needs is a little TLC. Making small changes to something will help remind you of how amazing it is. One of my favorite furniture pieces in a home is the bookcase. Even in our world today, a world where everyone is turning to electronics for books, the bookcase is still relevant. Whether you display your collectibles here or frame family photos, it will never go out of style. Here are five simple and cost-effective ways to update and make your bookcase look new again. Refinish Shelves: Maybe the color is looking dull or it doesn’t seem to coordinate with the room anymore. Make that bookcase into the statement piece it once was or has the potential to be! Whether your piece is solid wood or laminate, it will need to be sanded first, primed, and then painted. To stain you will need to sand, stain, and lastly apply a varnish for extra protection. If you have a metal bookcase you can spray paint it. Color the Back: Wallpaper can add texture and depth to a space. Choose a fun wallpaper pattern that will enhance the room by adding more movement and interest. You can also paint the backing a color that will help tie the space together. The best thing about altering the back is it will make everything that is on the bookshelf pop! Accessorize: If you don’t feel like making big changes to the surface of the bookcase, then alter what you have on it. You can trade out whole collections, or maybe consider retrieving forgotten treasures you have been collecting from your travels. Mix textures, shapes, and sizes to create an eclectic look. Sometimes refreshing the accessories is all that you need to breathe new life into the bookcase. Utilize the Fronts: It’s easy to neglect the front of the bookcase. A great way to create an artsy and collected look is to hang art on the face of your bookshelf. Simply attach the art by placing a picture hanger on the front of a horizontal shelf or at a corner. This not only creates a whole new look for your bookcase, but it is a great way to showcase some of your favorite pieces of art. Add New Legs: This is a great DIY way to add height and change the style to give your bookcase a completely different look. You can purchase wood or metal legs and paint them, or you simply add a plinth base if you would rather that the legs didn’t show. You can get creative by choosing legs with detailed carving for a traditional look or a funky, high-gloss paint for a more modern vibe. The options are endless! Next time you are considering a new and improved bookcase, think of the potential in your existing one. Using the suggestions above you can transform your tired-looking bookcase into something new. —



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Karen Cavin of The 5 Senses offers gift-giving advice ahead of Valentine’s Day So, how is Valentine’s Day for retailers in West Chester? I like Valentine’s Day. It’s a nice holiday in the middle of the winter; it picks things up for a couple weeks. It’s good for me now, because I am the card store now. My whole back room is pretty much cards. I saw the need when Pages closed, then Penwick closed, and there was no place to buy cards except the Rite Aid, and that is unacceptable. Why is Rite Aid unacceptable? You just get stock kinda cards there. Mine are mostly all printed in the US, and I brought in many of the lines they used to have at

Pages. So, I have all occasion cards: goofy cards, pretty cards, glittery cards. I even have The New Yorker line, which definitely has its particular market. I’ve tried to get a balance of everything. Do you think it means more when someone buys a unique card? I do. And, despite having a much more original selection here, we charge the same price you’ll pay at Rite Aid, and sometimes even cheaper than Hallmark. You mentioned stores closing. What do you think could be done to boost local retail? The town needs more retail. I feel like every time a store closes, an eatery opens. A vital downtown needs a good mix to bring people to town and keep them here. I’ve seen good things coming in from the new Chestnut Square Apartments, and that’s helping. The demographics are here, but we need more retail. We need more art galleries, we need more people selling gifts. Speaking of gifts, what’re some good gift ideas? I have my Houston Lou spirit tiles. They’re always good gifts. Each one is handmade of melted, powdered glass, then they bake it on reclaimed copper.

They all have a saying, and who said it. People always come in and touch them and stand there and look at them— they’ve always seemed special. That’s a cool idea, but I think my goto is jewelry. We have some local jewelers, like Serena Kojimoto, who makes this beautiful, delicate, gemstone jewelry that’s been very popular. She doesn’t even have a website, so if you want to see it, you need to come into the store— you can’t buy it online. What do you think you can offer that online retailers can’t? You can’t smell a candle online. You can’t smell soaps. You can’t hear the sound of a wind chime or feel the texture of those Houston Lou tiles. You can’t really appreciate art. You seem a little… disappointed. Well, I sometimes have people come in who’ll explore, pick up a few things, then look up similar ideas online. The issue is that, if local retailers just become the showroom for the internet, these places will no longer exist, and you won’t have the opportunity to use your senses when making a purchase.






Becca Boyd shares tips on life and cooking on her blog at


For all the lovers out there, consider breakfast in bed. A skillet quiche that combines meat, vegetables, eggs and cheese might require you to set the alarm, but the extra work won’t go unnoticed... of that I can assure you. Technically it’s the thought that counts, so if “toast” is in your repertoire, then with a simple flick of the spoon and about five minutes you can serve up something sweet to your sweet, good for at least a few extra snuggles. Skillet Quiche w/ Turkey Sausage, Spinach & Swiss serves 10-12 16 oz. turkey sausage breakfast links 2 tbsp. maple syrup 2 tbsp. butter, divided 2 c. chopped leeks (white and green parts only) 3 c. frozen shredded potatoes, with 1/2 tsp. salt 16 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry 16 eggs 1 1/2 c. shredded Swiss 1. . Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in top third. 2. Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray and cook sausage links until golden brown and cooked throughout. Set aside to cool, then roughly chop. Add maple syrup to bowl and toss to coat. 3. Add 1 tbsp. butter to pan and cook leeks over medium high heat until softened and fragrant – 3-5 minutes. Remove to small bowl and add second tbsp. of butter to pan. 4. Add potatoes and salt to pan. Stir occasionally, until golden brown. 5. Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. 6. Spread potatoes evenly in bottom of skillet and top with chopped sausage, leeks and spinach. 7. Pour egg mixture over top. If necessary, tilt pan to evenly spread. 8. Top with cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. 9. Let cool at least 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve. May be served warm or room temperature. Pear, Honey and Ricotta Breakfast Toast serves 2 2 slices hearty bread 1/2 c. ricotta cheese 1 tbsp. honey 1/2 tsp. cinnamon Pinch kosher salt 1 pear, ripe and sliced 1. Toast bread. 2. Mix cheese, honey, cinnamon and salt and spread mixture on toast. 3. Top with sliced pear and serve. —









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increasing intimacy in your

relationship helpful hints on life and love from The West Chester Therapy Group



think W

like a


hen we enter into a relationship, we often have trouble transitioning from an “I” or “Me” mentality to a team mentality. Couples that can take the ego out of conflict feel more connected and supported. Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy? Life throws many challenges our way, and one of the integral parts of being in a relationship is being able to deal with these problems together as a team. Even if—at first glance—the problem may seem germane to only one of you, it never is! try it out: Change the thought process you use. Instead

of thinking, “I’m not budging on this; I know I’m right,” try to reframe it as, “How can we come to a compromise?” or, “How can we work together on this?”



t all starts with you. In order to increase intimacy with a partner or person in your life, it is vital to work on increasing intimacy within yourself. Knowing yourself might include gaining insight into who you are, what made you who you are, and how that might affect you and your ability to be the best version of yourself. Without this knowledge, we may continue to take part in perpetuating patterns that are not working for us... and we might not even know it! It may sound corny, but it all starts and ends with you.

try it out: Get curious about yourself and your values. Here

are some questions to explore: What does “success” look like to me? If I were a fly on the wall of my own memorial service after having lived a full and “successful” life, what would that eulogy sound like? What have I accomplished and what roles have I filled?

SHARE your

fondness for your partner V

erbalize your fondness and admiration for your partner. Your partner is awesome, that’s why you’re choosing to be with them! Putting your partner in a positive light opens you up to feeling love for your partner and can warm you up to them. try it out: If you are out tonight, or even at work today,

brag about your partner. Extra points if you text your partner after and let them know you were bragging about them. You can also consciously try to conjure positive thoughts about your partner throughout your day to get more in that fondness and admiration habit.




e deliberate in the time you spend together. Binge watching Netflix doesn't exactly count as quality time if you're sitting on separate couches and splitting your attention between the TV and your phone. By deliberately carving out time for your relationship every week, you’ll begin to form a necessary habit of bonding with your partner.

try it out: Make a list of activities you and your partner

enjoy together or would like to try and be deliberate about implementing those activities. Begin to turn your Sunday scaries into a day of bonding and reconnecting.







hysically connect at least once a day, whether its holding hands, laying together, or a long meaningful hug! Physically connecting with your partner can make you feel more in tune with them and with yourself.

learn their



ove languages are the way that we speak and understand emotional love. We all have different love languages, developed through the ways in which we were shown love in our families. We generally give love the way we best receive it. The difficulty that arises with that, is that many of us do not share the same love language as our partner. Learning the way that our partner best receives love is an easy way to mitigate this miscommunication. try it out: Have both you and your partner take

the Love Language Quiz online at Discuss the results you both got and learn how to better communicate with each other on a daily basis. Try using your partner's love language and having them try and use yours!

try it out: Sit down with your partner side by side with

your bodies touching and your phones away, begin to outline words in your partner’s hand with your fingers and have them try and guess what you’re spelling out. If you don’t live with your partner or have the ability to see them daily, call them up or shoot them a text letting them know how you’d like to be sitting with them and snuggling right now!

FOCUS on the



t is hard enough to not compare ourselves to others, and it's especially difficult to not compare our relationships. That is awesome for Sally that her partner surprised her with flowers today, but that doesn't mean your partner deserves the cold shoulder because you're feeling green with envy.

try it out: When you feel yourself comparing, focus on the

good in your relationship and the ways that your partner does show up for you emotionally and physically. Using your knowledge of your partner’s love language, begin to think about the times in which your partner has shown you that they love you, and you may have missed it. If you are feeling a bit neglected, let your partner know in a kind, vulnerable way!







pologizing for something you did can be really difficult, as it often requires partners to put their egos aside. Apologizing for something you have done or said to hurt your partner doesn’t imply intent to hurt your partner or that you are a bad person, it means that you value the relationship and your partner’s feelings. We often unintentionally hurt each other, and it can be helpful to apologize in order to repair any relationship breaks. try it out: Develope your own “I’m sorry.” Sometimes “I’m sorry” can sound like BS, especially when trust has been broken. Create your own “key phrase” in your relationship to use in times of stress and disconnect. We love this example from Sheri Meyers, Psy.D, and author of Chatting or Cheating: “I love you. You are the one I want. We matter. I am so sorry for the pain I caused you and us. It feels scary right now, but we'll get through this."



onnect every damn day. Life gets busy, and we’re often spread too thin, so sometimes our relationship falls down the priority list to make room for everything else. Date nights are great but can be few and far between. What happens daily matters much more than what happens once in awhile. try it out: Make sure to check in with your partner on

how their day was and share with them parts of yours. Extra points if you make intentional plans to do this in person and put the phones away while you chat!

fall in LOVE all over



o matter how long you have been with your partner, there is always more to learn. We encourage you to spend your Valentine’s Day answering the questions below with your partner (or even your dear friends) to get to know them all over again. Chocolates and presents are great, but they don't actually give you a deeper connection. So while you eat your treats, answer the questions with your partner and see what you learn!

try it out: Google "The 36 Questions that Lead to Love"

and you will find a New York Times article that contains the 36 questions. The questions are split up into 3 sections and they get increasingly more deep and vulnerable. The idea is that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness.





Suzanne Adams shares info on local food and the upcoming West Chester Food Co-op

There’s something for everyone at the Great West Chester Bake Off this year. The event, on Sunday February 12, is bigger and better for 2017 with categories for Food Coop member-owners, children, and infants, in addition to the traditional Food Co-op Board member competition. Think you’re a pretty good baker? Well, tune up your favorite recipe and get in the competition! And, if you just like to eat home-baked goods, this is a chance to sample the talent in West Chester and cast your vote for the best baker. The member-owner competition has both sweet and savory categories, with three prizes awarded in each. Expert judges will provide feedback to the home baker and everyone will have a chance to taste the entries. The Food Co-op’s Board will be preparing valentine-themed pastries for your delectation and the category winner will be chosen by popular vote. This is a whole-family event, so bring out your kids for the children’s competition (ages 3–12), which features cookie decorating. The smash cake event (infants 2 and under) is a chance to see just how much mess can be made of a cake—and a photographer will be on site to document the destruction. Prizes will be awarded to all child contestants, and the Food Co-op will provide supervision for the cookie decorating contestants, so parents can drop off their contestants and enjoy themselves, take photos, and sample all the food and drink. As with all Co-op events, local food producers and artisans will be part of the scene. There will be locally roasted coffee from Cave Bird, a “beyond Fair Trade” importer and roaster, and specially blended teas from Steep of Faith. Cave Bird buys beans directly from farmers, eliminating the importer, and thus can pay farmers prices that are better than Fair Trade. They buy much of their beans from Uganda, where village economies depend on the proceeds from coffee. Through its non-profit Cave Bird Cup of Life, 100% of retail net is returned to the villages to build clean water wells. Steep of Faith teas are produced from herbs grown on Jubilee Farm in East Coventry Township and feature the medicinal herb Holy Basil. Bulk products from both artisans will be available for purchase along with Food Co-op merchandise. You can also enjoy a glass of wine or some local beer, from selections chosen to pair with the baked goods. Some terrific goodies will be available in the Silent Auction, including desserts made to order, line-caught Alaskan salmon, and even a gift member-ownership in the Food Co-op. The event runs 2-5pm in the Parish Hall of Church of the Holy Trinity, 212 S. High Street in West Chester. Admission is $15 and kids 12 and under are free. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door. — To find out more about the event, buy advance tickets or to register for the competition (advance registration required), go to





Bartender of the


PHOTO Sabina Sister


We talk to Abby Block about Saloon 151 and her busy life outside of bartending. How long have you been bartending? How old am I? Six years, I guess. I started when I was 19. You got a bartending job at 19? Yup, at J.D. McGillicuddy’s in Drexel Hill. Ah, so you’re from Delco. What brought you to West Chester? I actually played softball at the university from 2010-11 and 2011-12. I transferred here after studying and playing my first two years at Shippensburg. Why’d you transfer? Shippensburg wasn’t really for me. It’s very out in the country. I needed a busier environment. West Chester seemed like a good option.

Had you spent any time here before making the switch? A little. A lot of my friends in high school were older, and a few of my friends went to WCU. I visited them in high school. I chose not to come here right after high school because I wanted to get farther from home, but after two years I felt like I’d done that. WCU had a strong softball program, and it happened to fit. Were you bartending and playing softball? I’d bartend when I came back home from Shippensburg. When I transferred to WCU, I bartended while playing. Woah. Was it difficult to balance? In the beginning it was. Just because working Sunday night, then having class all day Monday, followed by practice… it took getting used to. Plus, at first I was commuting to and from Drexel Hill, so I switched to PJ Whelihan’s on 202. I felt the busy schedule was worth it because it gave me the financial freedom that I needed and a lot of kids my age didn’t have. How long were you at PJs? I was there from 2011 until Saloon 151 opened. Why make the switch? At PJ’s I was more of a server because it was a busy restaurant. I wanted to focus more on bar-

tending, and really wanted to be in town… plus—to tell the truth—I was making better money at Saloon. Wait. There was a point where you were working two jobs? For a while there I worked a couple shifts at Saloon, couple at PJs. I was lucky enough to get weekend shifts at Saloon, plus being in town is so much more fun. Saloon won out. Do you live in town? Right on Market. I lived in Delaware, then moved back into town in April, and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. What is it you like so much? I love that anytime I want to go out with friends, we don’t have to worry about rides—we can just walk. There are so many shops and restaurants, and there is so much to do. What nights are you working now? I work at Saloon Friday and Saturday nights. Friday nights we do Stella draft specials until midnight, and Saturdays are lager draft specials. We have DJs both nights. What do you do the rest of the week? I work in medical sales. I should’ve known you’d stay constantly busy. Yeah, but I like it that way!








Dr. Geoff Winkley is a board-certified emergency medicine physician who operates Doctor’s Best Immediate Medical Care

Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the US, but annual deaths have declined over the years due to significant medical advances in heart attack care and in preventative care. In our article last February, we recommended medical and lifestyle habits to reduce the risk of dying from heart disease. As a reminder, they included: (1) seeing and following the advice of a primary care physician; (2) not smoking and discouraging others from doing so; (3) managing underlying health conditions that lead to heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes; (4) make lifestyle changes to lose weight and exercise regularly. So, now that we’ve covered that important groundwork again, during American Heart Month this year, I’d like to discuss chest pain and the symptoms that may indicate a heart attack. There are many causes of chest pain other than heart problems. Most people who go to the ER with chest pain will not be diagnosed with a heart attack; instead they often have pain caused by musculoskeletal issues, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or physical effects induced by anxiety. The symptoms can be similar to heart pain, but there are some differences. How do you know if your chest pain is related to your heart? Researchers and doctors have spent entire careers trying to answer this question. Heart-related pain (known as angina) is more often a feeling of discomfort, and not just pain. Angina symptoms include discomfort such as pressure, squeezing, tightness or heaviness that is felt generally in the chest, shoulder, left arm, neck or upper back. The discomfort is often gradual at onset and lasting for at least several minutes, and can also make you feel out of breath, nauseous, sweaty, dizzy, fatigued and lightheaded. The discomfort is not usually pinpoint in location, or worsened by movement, touching the pain location or breathing deeply, nor does the pain feel sharp or stabbing. Women, the elderly and patients with certain medical problems, such as diabetes, are more prone to atypical symptoms. Check out The American Heart Association’s informative video that depicts the common symptoms women experience when having a heart attack by searching “Just a Little Heart Attack” on YouTube. If you have any of these symptoms and think you may be having a heart attack, go to the nearest emergency room. When caring for a patient having a heart attack, experts say “time is muscle,” meaning that the faster the heart attack is treated, the less likely there will be permanent damage to the heart muscle. If you have been having chest pain and are not sure why, seek evaluation from a doctor without delay—call your primary doctor, go to the ER or an urgent care. If you have a history of heart disease, follow the advice of your doctor or heart specialist. If your pain is severe, continuous, worsens with minimal activity, or your intuition tells you need care, call 911 to obtain immediate medical attention. —






We met at a mutual friend’s kickball game—a promising start. We had heard about each other; Greg was friends with my sister. We had the same friend group for four years, but we had never met because we were at different school districts. We both grew up around here. Now we’ve been together for nine years and married for two. We’re living our dreams.

He loves to bite everything.

Writing and reading books connects you with other peoples perspectives of love. Love can be a very positive force for change, but it can also be devastating when you lose it. In a rudimentary perspective, people say you get love and you lose love; it’s deeper than that. Love has taught me a lot about respect. It teaches you how to be unafraid and how to grow, even if it’s painful. It’s taught me that to know an entire person’s universe is a really powerful thing.

I’m so lucky, as a young business owner, to come to work every day and really love what I do, because a lot of people don’t. Since opening up The Brow Bar, I love the feedback we’re getting. I feel at home here, and I get to make people happy doing what I’m good at.

I’ve worked for Sabrina’s Bridal Boutique for 10 years. I love it because it’s always so happy, hearing other people’s love stories and how they met. The most rewarding thing is seeing the girls step back and say, “Wow I feel really good about myself.”

I love that my mom is really, really cute.

I’m a political scientist, but I teach political truth. With the current events lately, everyone thinks my job must be super interesting, but I don’t teach as if I have possession of some political truth. I’m committed to being a devil’s advocate, so I enjoy when students ask me what I think, as if it really has anything to do with the course material. My role is to get students to express their own views, sharpen them and help them find better reasons to believe in what they believe. I guess, to me, that doesn’t feel like a challenge—that’s the part I love.





I love the walkability of West Chester... especially since I can walk to Buddy’s for lunch.

Dia Doce was the first place I visited after touring West Chester University, and I was determined, just determined, to work here. So I came in and got really familiar and asked for a job, and I’ve been here ever since. The idea of leaving this place has me completely heartbroken. I’ve grown very attached to working here though, the atmosphere, the people, but I have a job offer in Portland. It’ll be tough to leave here—I love this place—but change is good.

I don’t think I would use the word love when it comes to tattooing; it’s more an obsession. I’m coming up on 15 years in this chair. There are definitely days where it’s just a job but ultimately you have to remember what it is: you’re taking needles, poking someone with colorful inks and creating something permanent. You eat, sleep, breath it. It becomes something that totally encompasses you. Each day is different, each client is different, each piece is different.

Look at me, I’m 70. I’m a product of the ‘60s. I grew up in Key West, and the VA brought me here—gotta love them. I have great health insurance, which I love, too.

I’m really into the arts. I have a clothing line called Honor Society. I’ve been doing it on and off since high school. It’s because there wasn’t a lot of stuff out there that I wanted to wear, so I started making clothes and people really seemed to like it. It’s been rewarding making things for myself and for others. I love feeling like I can rely on myself for the things I need.

Traveling the world has shown me a new window of love: no matter where you go, there will always be people that want to show you love. I was in the navy from 2010-2014. It showed me the strength of distance and the strength you get from distance. It makes you learn what real love is, because you see who chooses to stay when things get tough. Like the people that wake up in the middle of the night just to talk to you. It teaches you an immense amount of gratitude.

I’ve owned the Mad Platter since 1976. I have thoroughly enjoyed those years, still do! I have a job that I love coming to every day. It’s all about the music. We’ve been able to watch the town grow and change. It’s funny: we get people coming back that used to come here as children, and now they’re 40 and they come back, and they can’t believe it’s still here. It’s comforting for people to see some things stay constant and familiar.

I volunteer at the Second Reading Book Store. It’s a good cause, but that’s kind of tangential. I really just love sitting here among the books. When I was in college and would go to the library, it was kind of depressing because I would think to myself, “There is no way I could read all these books.” I don’t have a Kindle or anything—I love how tactile holding a book is.





Everyone knows fashion is cyclical, so it’s no surprise everything at Malena’s Vintage Boutique is more fashionable than it’s ever been. PHOTO Lauren Schwarz

HAIR & MAKEUP Jes Combs STORY Jon Roth

If one thing’s certain in the fickle world of fashion, it’s that every look will cycle back into style eventually. Usually those trends operate on a 20year time frame (hence the current ‘90s craze), but those patterns move in wider arcs, too. Take the pleated black taffeta dress above. It may look like something out of the 1880s — the lace bodice, high neck, princess

sleeves and pleated skirt all feel deeply Victorian — but in fact it’s a product of the 1970s, another era when those same details were showing up on the runways and in the streets. A dress like this evokes a romantic fantasy of another time — a specialty at Malena’s Vintage Boutique, which stocks a trove of clothing and accessories spanning a century. It’s the per-

fect resource for those looking to undertake some fashionable time travel, where you can scan racks of one-of-akind pieces from every decade. This dress is priced at $225 (and the chaise lounge is available for rent from Modern Relic Rentals), and other pieces at Malena’s start at only $16. Stop by the store today to pick up your own piece of history.





February Playlist DJ Romeo curates a list of the tracks he expects to start earning a lot of air time this month The following is a list of songs that will take over the radio stations in the next few months. You’ll soon know them by heart and play them ‘til they’re tired. But, good news: you can download them first and look like the cool musical genius to all of your friends. | @DJRomeo24

The Chainsmokers – “Paris” Ed Sheeran – “Shape of You” Whethan ft. Flux Pavilion & MAX – “Savage” Alesso – “Take My Breath Away” Bruno Mars – “That’s What I Like” Lady Antebellum – “You Look Good” Honors – “Over” Marshmello ft. Wrabel – “Ritual” A R I Z O N A – “Oceans Away” J. Cole – “High For Hours” John Mayer – “Changing” Carneyval & Jackson Breit – “It Ain’t Love” The XX – “Hold On” Sigma ft. Birdy – “Find Me” Brothers Osborne – “It Ain’t My Fault” Little Mix – “Shout Out to My Ex” Lost Kings ft. Emily Warren – “Phone Down” Charli XCX ft. Lil Yachty – “After The Afterparty” Deorro – “Goin Up” Luke Bryan – “Fast” Shawn James – “Through the Valley” Krewella – “Team” Dyalla – “I, Romeo” Lupe Fiasco – “Made in the USA” Train – “Drink Up” Eden Prince – “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) Hudson Moore – Might as Well” Ryu – “I Did It to Myself” Hailee Steinfeld ft. Zedd – “Starving” The Weeknd – “Party Monster”





Everyone remembers flowers, and chocolates, and dinner reservations for Valentine’s Day, but don’t forget the importance of looking good when you take your other half out. Spot the five differences between these images from The Men’s Loft at Avante on High, then email your answer to for your chance to win a FREE MEN’S HAIRCUT.









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