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thread magazine deep winter | 2012 issue #4


our eat.drink.vote issue




lynguistic civilians tommy goldman

EATBTV el cortijo bluebird pistou shanty

winter brew review

shred photo showcase art.poetry thread magazine | deep winter 10% of proceeds from this issue go to Special Olympics VT 2012 | threadvt.com

During the colonial era, hard cider was the most popular alcoholic beverage in america. The average family in the late 1700’s had seven children.


threadvt.com facebook.com/threadvt @threadvt Issue #4 Deep Winter | 2012

PUBLISHER/EDITOR Ben Sarle editor@threadvt.com COPY EDITORS David Scherr Courtney Butler CONTRIBUTING WRITERS John Flanagan Jenny Mudarri Patrick Law Kara Brown Ben Aleshire Trevien Stanger CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Selena Salfen Elliot Dodge deBruyn Frances Cannon Nissa Kaupilla Oliver Parini Mark Smith Christopher Lisle Damir Alisa Jenny Jacobson DESIGN CONTRIBUTORS Britt Boyd

On the Cover

Special Thanks to: Broke in Burlington, Sailor Jerry Rum, Signal Kitchen, Miro Weinberger, Jaafar Rizvi, Jessica Nordhaus, Mike Kanarick, Nate Formalarie, I MAKE MUSIC judges, Wind Ridge, Christy Mitchell, S.P.A.C.E. Gallery, Aaron Stein

Miro Weinberger Democratic Candidate for Mayor Photograph by Ben Sarle 3

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com

Welcome to Thread Magazine | Issue #4

Hopefully as you are reading this, there are several feet of snow on the ground outside, you’ve just sharpened your edges for the mountain tomorrow, and you are sipping on a cold, silver can of Heady-Topper [see page 48]. Originally this was going to be our ‘eat. drink.shred’ edition, but sadly, during the creation of this issue, we’ve experienced a somewhat snowless, mild winter. That, and there is a heated race happening to determine the next Mayor of Burlington. Even though Thread is is still young, and our circulation is a humble 5,000, this mayoral race truly matters, and we felt it our responsibility as local media to give a com-

plete feature on the candidate we feel will absolutely do the best job running our beloved city, Democratic Candidate Miro Weinberger. Our twenty-something / young professional demographic will be extremely influential in determining the winner of this election, and the future of Burlington. On another note, if you are reading this issue on an empty stomach, be prepared to feel the irresistable urge to head downtown to try one of the remarkable new restaurants featured in this issue. From fish tacos & fresh margaritas to locally raised beef burgers & microbrews, we are lucky to live in btv.

Former Burlingtonian, Gogol Bordello’s Eugene Hutz, may have put it best when he was here in November singing atop the fountain in City Hall Park at midnight, “This is your town.” You have a voice. You have a vote. Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Thank you, we are proud to present issue #4, our ‘deep winter’ edition… Thank you, Ben Sarle | Publisher/Editor & The Thread Magazine Crew look: threadvt.com like: facebook.com/threadvt follow: @threadvt 4

Interested in contributing, pitching, or advertising? We would love to hear from you! info@threadvt.com | editor@threadvt.com

“Wing� Silkscreen Print Frances Cannon | honeyhogart.posterous.com

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com

contents thread magazine | issue #4 | deep winter 2012

el cortijo

16 brew review bluebird tavern




the lynguistic civilians



stnetnoc one by the lake

44 shred photo winners miro

26 20 tommy goldman


thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com

Trapeze Now the others leave the stage – twin ropes descend with the bar she leaps onto while he watches, tears at his hair, as she hangs there languorous, out of reach, while he paces underneath until she seizes him, for a brief moment we see the talons she has seized him in & he hangs there powerless until he climbs her like a ladder but she has already taken him in the beak of her legs. Together they show us the act of love swinging back & forth in the dim auditorium like a pendulum. This is what we want. This is what we paid for: to see ourselves in flight, glittering like gold, spending ourselves without a net below to catch us. Ben Aleshire

“Untitled.� Gouache on Cold Press Cotton Vellum Nissa Kauppila | nissakauppila.com thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com

b lu eb ird tav e r n Text Patrick Law


Photos Selena Salfen & Ben Sarle

Design Britt Boyd

86 St. Paul Street


From the outside, the Bluebird Tavern on St. Paul Street is inconspicuous. The brick facade and dark awnings blend in well with the surrounding buildings. There’s a small sign out front, which may be one of the few indications that the Green Room is gone and a new restaurant has arrived in its place. For Bluebird owner, Sue Bette, the move was an opportunity to introduce a more urban iteration of the restaurant she opened on Riverside Drive three year ago. After finding success on the outskirts of Burlington, her decision to move downtown says something, but from the sidewalk on St. Paul Street, it’s difficult to decipher the statement. You have to go inside, and you do so by walking up the concrete steps and opening the door into a tiny breezeway. To the left is the host station and beyond that is the bar. It was 5:30 on a Wednesday when I arrived to meet editor Ben Sarle at the bar. Journalists are not supposed to accept free food when reviewing a restaurant, but fortunately, I’m not a journalist. I am, however, broke and the opportunity to sample food at such a serious restaurant was too good to pass up. I pulled up a stool and the bartender convinced me to order the Mansfield, a blend of mushroom gin, balsam fir vodka and something called St. Germain. The gin, which is brown, gets made with Shitake, Porcini, and Oyster mushrooms. As well as every one’s favorite woodland chick, Hen of the Wood. In a normal size tumbler, the bartender poured this

Above:The ‘Mansfield’; mushroom gin, balsam fir vodka and St. Germain. Left: Hot oysters; seaweed aioli, trout roe, maple sugar. photos // Ben Sarle

concoction over a single, giant ice cube. From what the bartender said, and through my own experience drinking it, I gathered that the Mansfield was meant to evoke the experience of a wet, cold night, something we’ll all be familiar with by the end of this winter. Imagine sitting on a mountain, while the clouds move over head. The only shelter is the branch of a balsam fir and with the ground newly watered, the smell of humus makes your stomach growl. When the bartender returned, she asked if I liked it. “A lot of industry people and chefs order the Mansfield, “ she said. When I asked about her favorite drink, she described the Hunter’s, a mix of cherry brandy and Tullemore Dew whiskey. It also comes with a cherry pickled in something sweet and delicious. She handed me a glass with one of the syrupy orbs, which was the same red as her lipstick.

From what the bartender said, and through my own experience drinking it, I gathered that the Mansfield was meant to evoke the experience of a wet, cold night something we’ll all be familiar with by the end of this winter.

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com

The first dish to arrive was the oysters, which came on a small plate covered in salt and other granular edibles. Staring up from the white sand were four oysters that had been cooked, then crowned with a daub of seaweed aioli and trout roe. The aioli offered a bit of creamy comfort before introducing my taste buds to the oysters, which had a subtle briny flavor. The trout roe was sweet and popped like a grape in my mouth. Even before the move, oysters played an important role on the Bluebird menu. After the move, Bette has introduced a section of the menu dedicated specifically to cold seafood. For a place like Bluebird, seafood can be difficult to source if one wants to remain true to their mission of local, seasonal and sustainable. I wanted to know Bette’s strategy for confronting this challenge, so a few days later, I emailed her my question. She wrote back, “All of our seafood is fresh (never frozen) and is fished in a sustainable manner, with a focus on species from the North Atlantic.” Bette also wrote that that Bluebird buys its fish from Earth & Sea, a fish purveyor out of Manchester, VT, who buy their fish from the docks in Boston. When I googled Earth & Sea, nothing came up, which meant I had to believe Bette when she wrote, “when we look to source products that aren’t available locally, we expand our reach to the New England region (and sometimes beyond).” The next dish to come out was the spaghetti, which was described in the menu as “peas, ham, and cream.” That’s all it said. Such sparse descriptions probably encourage conversation between server and patron, which I’m all about, but I also like words on the page. The spaghetti was creamy and salty and sweet like a pea. The pasta is made in house, with an Italian pasta maker, which the bartender kept pointing out. The next dish was Head Lettuce, which sounds like slang for good weed. But at Bluebird, it’s a salad composed of two wedges of iceberg lettuce, topped with creamy herb dressing and flecks of bacon. From far away, it looked like two snow-covered peaks, with slices of egg floating on a frozen lake below. In my mouth, the salad was light and fresh, a welcome respite from the pungent oysters and thick spaghetti. At that point, Bette came over to say hello. She was about to leave and was very tired, having just returned from Central Texas, where she was conducting research for her next restaurant. “I ate a lot of brisket,” she said.

What life changes would I have to make in order to have BBQ research as part of my job description?

Above: The Bluebird Double Burger; aged cheddar, pickles, onions. Left: Vermont cheese board with house made crackers and accompaniments. photos // Selena Salfen

What life changes would I have to make in order to have BBQ research as part of my job description? Bette told us what she has in mind for the new BBQ restaurant she plans to open on Riverside Drive, where Bluebird use to live. I was trying to concentrate, but I couldn’t stop thinking of the life changes I would have to make in order to have BBQ research as part of my job description. “It will be fun and easy going,” Bette said, “we’re doing our research because we want it to feel good.” Then I heard her say the word roadhouse and thought of Patrick Swazey (RIP). Riverside Drive seems well suited for a BBQ joint, but it worked just as well for Bluebird Tavern, while it was there. But as Bluebird was getting its legs and drawing a crowd

to the outskirts of Burlington, the downtown restaurant scene continued to evolve as well. There are now more high-quality restaurants featuring local food and seasonal menus. Not many people can afford them, but it’s good to know they’re out there. Restaurants have also become more diverse as try to keep up with the expanding palates of Burlingtonites. The call was put out for decent Mexican food and now there’s a taqueria on every God damn corner. “It’s exciting where the food scene is going,” Bette said, “and I hope it continues to grow. All that’s important to us is that we continue to challenge ourselves and evolve.” After a few more questions, Bette left the restaurant wrapped in a long wool coat, thinking of BBQ, I hope. After she left, a server brought over a

golden brown pie exhaling tangles of hot air and moisture, which smelled of winter roots, beef, pickles and butter crust. The first bite was delicious, but I was confused, so I started asking myself questions. How can something be both sweet and savory? Would it be possible for me to crawl inside the pie? Or should I just lay my head upon its soft pillow crust? I took a few more bites and soon the Beef Pie was gone. A pause in the meal gave me the chance to meet the women to our left. Ashley Moore is a dental hygienist in South Burlington and Katelyn Ziegler is the Director of Education at the Shelburne Museum. They had just finished sharing poutine and mussels. I asked about

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com


“It’s exciting where the food scene is going, and I hope it continues to grow. All that’s important to us is that we continue to challenge ourselves and evolve.” Sue Bette, Owner

their meal, but Moore started talking about the wine. “Having cotes du rhone on the menu? Well done,” she said, “people should be drinking fucking French wine.” When asked if they went to the Green Room when it was open, Ziegler said she never had. Moore, on the other hand, had been on multiple occasions. She lamented its loss, but offered this consolation, “People who loved the Green Room will see this space reinvented. They will see the true potential of the space.” The bartender came over to clear our plates and she mentioned that Chef Michael Clauss was making blood sausage in the back. It was on the menu for the next night, but he wanted to offer us a sneak preview. Bluebird’s version of blood sausage uses pork, pork blood and bread. It’s served with Yukon potato puree, chunks of butter apple, and thick brown gravy. When Clauss brought the dish out, Moore and Ziegler were talking about backcountry skiing, but I couldn’t take my mind off the giant toboggan on my plate. Blutworst, boudin noir, morcilla, blood sausage. This dish is found on two continents, in numerous countries and across countless food sheds. The ingredients vary according to place and numerous culinary traditions have offered a version. There are ecological, ethical and cultural considerations to make, but at the time, I thought about the fact that I was about to eat blood. Supposedly, blood sausage tastes best when the blood is fresh, which is why it’s often one of the first dishes served after a slaughter. Also, the blood must be spread evenly, so as to avoid clots. When combined with other ingredients, the sausage takes on a distinctive dark color. The bartender came over and caught me staring at the plate, slightly dumbfounded. She

asked if I wanted some red wine with my dish. “Is that the way to do it?” I asked. “I would,” she said, and it felt good having someone look out for me. I cut into the sausage, which had the color and texture of devil’s food cake, fluffier than I expected. But it was still dense enough that I started dropping things. First my napkin, then my pen. My vision became clouded from the gravy and mushroom gin. I thought I saw the server with dark, shoulder length hair locking eyes with me, but maybe she was just curious at the sight of two guys sharing a sausage.

I excused myself by mentioning the bathroom, but really I needed to step away for a second. Plus I had not seen the dining room yet. Beyond the kitchen, along the back wall, rows of mason jars displayed the bounty of past harvests. The deep colors reflected light like a stained glass window. Well-worn wooden tables picked up the reflection, casting a glow on the faces gathered around each table. Soundproofing had been installed to limit noise coming from the bar. From the kitchen, you can see both sections. “The open kitchen was an opportunity for

photos // Selena Salfen

us. Inside, the space offered a lot flexibility,” Bette said. Of course, the location has its appeal as well and Bette had been eyeing a downtown move for awhile. When this space went to auction, she made her bid. Being downtown allows Bluebird to open for brunch and lunch. As they continue to develop their small plate menu and seafood offerings, Bette hopes the restaurant will become popular with professionals looking for a place to bring clients or have meetings over lunch. At night, she hopes to attract the sort of

young professionals and discerning amateurs that drink beer in the basement of the Farmhouse. Instead of artisan brew, Bluebird will feature handcrafted cocktails. Of the beers that are offered at Bluebird, many come in cans, like Heady Topper from The Alchemist, which emerged from the flood having captured some of Irene’s juju, which they put in this can. After exploring the dining room, I returned to the bar, where one of the servers had delivered our dessert, a Rum Baba. The cake was split in half and bridged by a dollop of frosting. The bartender brought over a small glass of Ice

Cider, made by Eden Ice Cider in West Charleston, Vermont. The baba was airy and with each bite, crumbs fell to the floor, where the black and white tiles disbursed in every direction. This pattern can be found in basements and hallways as well, but it always makes me think of kitchens first. And that’s how I think of Bluebird too, as a kitchen first. Whatever Bluebird tries to say, now that they’re downtown, will likely echo through the bar and reflect the new urban vibe. The statement, however, will originate from behind the range, just as it did when Bluebird was on Riverside Drive. As long as the restaurant stays true to values rooted in sustainability, while continuing to craft innovative fare, downtown will welcome them with open arms and hungry stomachs.

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com


Text Kara Brown


Photos Ben Sarle

Design Britt Boyd

189 Bank Street


As we left El Cortijo on New Year’s Eve, I asked the owner Jed Davis what he wanted to achieve in the community with this new restaurant venture. With mock seriousness, he slammed his fist down on the bar and said, “We’re going to change the world!” Though that’s a pretty tall order for a taqueria, he’s at the very least going to change the food scene in Burlington.

What Flatbread did for pizza, and the Farmhouse did for pub food, El Cortijo (whose name literally means ‘farmhouse’) is posed to do for Mexican food. Like these other establishments, El Cortijo is committed to local food and fresh ingredients, and as our editor Mr. Sarle states: “Everything they do changes the paradigm.” As I walk down Bank Street on a rainy night, the familiar Sadie Katz sign is gone, replaced with one bursting with color. Our table of four walked in at 6pm, and the place was packed and inviting. With their interior design, they have managed to keep a diner feel, using the old Sadie Katz booths and bar, but adding a cantina splash with warm lighting and

south-of-the-border colors. Attention to detail really sets the atmosphere, especially with lights from Conant Metal & Light that incorporate old cans of beans and chiles, to hand-painted toilets featuring vines and flowers. (I never thought that I would get giddy about a toilet.) Our server Emma was affable and helpful, and the entire wait staff seemed enthused and excited to be a part of this new venture. Though there is limited seating, they use the small space to the best of its capacity, while also banking on a steady takeout business with a to-go menu that proclaims, “Always taco time!”, offering 12 packs and 30 racks of tacos to go. Even the in-house

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com

Above: The metallic exterior of El Cortijo with a bustling crowd inside.

Even the in-house menu asks you not to ‘freak out’ if they are really busy. You can even order your takeout online. The menu is simple and designed to make the meal your own—going for chips and salsa with dips and appetizers, or loading up on tacos. There are even some dessert offerings, but I don’t know how anyone will ever have room. The menu has brunch options not offered at the time of our visit, but they look amazing and will enthusiastically be scarfed down one late morning. My one qualm with the starters is that you have to pay for chips and salsa, and it is not bot-

tomless (though our waitress said they were toying with the idea of cheap refills). However, I understand with the size and feel of the place that they might not want campers, but rather to encourage people looking for drinks and snacks at the beginning or end of the evening, or people out for a full-on dinner. There are not enough tables to lounge, though the bar beckons one to sit for a spell, nursing beers and slowly ordering tacos. We started with chips and salsas and guacamole, soon followed by platters of tacos. The salsa verde was citrusy and fresh, and the chips robust and crunchy.

In fact, everything that I had at El Cortijo could be described as ‘fresh’: the whole menu was vibrant with colors and flavors, everything seeming to come straight from the kitchen expressly for you. The guacamole was simple, but chunky and lovely, like the avocado had just been split. The only lackluster offering of the evening was the salsa roja, which really didn’t taste like anything other than tomatoes. Both salsas and the guac were lacking in heat, but each table features two house-made hot sauces—one jalapeno, one verde—that you can add to any and everything to spice it up. For

the true heat-seekers it might be nice if they added a hot-hot sauce to the table, but they also have house-pickled jalapenos that you can add on—I almost made myself sick by eating so many of them. Among other starters offered are sopa de tortilla (soup) and a salad. The salad was refreshing, lavished with radishes, and a tangy citrus dressing, and the vegetarian sopa was surprisingly hearty and satisfying. One starter that I was dying to try but had no room left for was the papas fritas, or cheese fries. Our server raved about them, and I can imagine they are the perfect hangover prevention, or simply a welcoming

Above: Two of El Cortijo’s unbelievably fresh margaritas. photos // Ben Sarle

comfort food. Now to the tacos: on the veggie side, they offer a frijoles (beans) taco, a verduras (vegetable medley), and a camote, which features sweet potatoes, kale and pepitas. The frijoles was straightforward and tasty, though the verduras was lacking in oompf. The real standout was the camote which was an explosion of flavor— sweet and savory, the texture smooth and soft. I also can’t remember the last time I was so impressed with tortillas. Usually just a vehicle for filling, these housemade tortillas are chewy and crunchy at the same time, adding to, not detracting from the flavor

of each taco. My meat-eating companions tried a slew of other tacos on the menu, happily eating each one, even the lengua (beef tongue), despite trepidation. The standouts were the pescado (fish), chorizo (pork sausage), and the carne (beef). The tequilia-lime slaw on the pescado taco looked so appetizing that even as a long-time vegetarian I found it appealing. On the carne, the chimichurri seasoning stands out, and the chorizo taco was consumed so fast by our dear editor that no one else got to taste it. Among the three restaurants in this growing dynasty, El Cortijo

is also the only one with a full bar, and if you go to El Cortijo for nothing else, you must have a margarita. As my sister said, “They nailed it.” The classic margarita was flavorful and tangy— not a hint of cloying sweetness to it--while the fruit margaritas and the sangrita were complex—peppy and full, the tasting of freshly squeezed fruit. We also tried the red sangria, which was rich and sparkly, though not exactly what one wants on a cold winter night; however, I imagine on an 85 degree day I would be quaffing them. The draft and bottled beer menu is also respectable, including a specialty drink from Rookies

root beer. As a Southern girl, my one wish for a Mexican joint is what I had back in Georgia: endless chips and salsa accompanied by tall pitchers of Dos Equis. Even though no place in Burlington has quite achieved that yet, El Cortijo has come closest to providing the atmosphere and the flavor I desire from Mexican food, in fact surpassing it with freshness and innovation. Even after one visit, El Cortijo is at the top of my list for tacos, margaritas and good times.

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com



Fresh Expectations by John Flanagan photography by Ben Sarle


n the TV show Portlandia, Kyle MacLachlan plays the mayor of Portland, Oregon (“where young people go to retire”) as an enthusiastic and convivial presence who dashes around on his bicycle to answer the call of his city’s youth. While Burlington’s Democratic mayoral candidate, Miro Weinberger, may not play in a reggae band or “strengthen his core” on an exercise ball at his desk, the “fresh start” contender shares with the fictional mayor a passion to support his community’s twenty-somethings. Originally from Hartland, Vermont, Miro (pronounced as in The Island of Doctor Moreau) recognizes his state’s politicians as his main influences. He cites specifically Senator Patrick Leahy, with whom he interned for while at Yale, as well as Congressman Peter Welch. He notes that Paul Tough’s Whatever It Takes, a look into Geoffrey Canada’s quest to change Harlem for the better, was most inspirational early in his career. “I’m a student of American History,” Weinberger said regarding his decision to run for office. “The idea of playing a small role in the democratic process has always had its appeal to me.” A catcher for the Vermont thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com


“Bringing Miro’s skill set to the Mayor’s office would be tremendously positive change after the morass of the past six years. Unlike any other candidate in the race, Miro really could bring out Burlington at it’s best.” TED ADLER, OWNER OF UNION STREET MEDIA

Cardinals and an outdoors enthusiast, Weinberger said he made his final decision to run for office while hiking the Long Trail with a friend. “I think being in the outdoors is critical,” he said. “I try to do that when I make big decisions.” His outsider status and fresh perspective on the wounded Burlington economy led Weinberger to consider his bid in the first place. “I definitely reached a moment this year where I saw something had to be done,” he said. “Someone needed to step up who had a different kind of background and different kinds of skills than what we’ve had. The other people who were talking about running didn’t fit the bill, and I saw it was a time I could really make some kind of contribution to the city.” The 41-year-old businessman runs the Hartland Group, an affordable-housing nonprofit dedicated to “creating stimulating neighborhoods,” according to their website. Weinberger also serves as airport commissioner, a job in which he’s had “a firsthand view of the administration” and proved his dedication to innovation. “We were having some abuse of the parking system because people would come in and ‘lose their ticket,’” he said. “They would stay for weeks or even months, paying for only one day of parking. There’s now a license plate recognition system so you can’t get away with that when you go in.” Weinberger’s candidacy has thrived on his “fresh start” slogan since its inception, and it remains a core principle of his campaign. Thread spoke with the amiable Weinberger on a recent rain-soaked Wednesday at his Summit Street home, while campaign assistants bustled around the house. We found his living room walls adorned with family photos printed upon cloth, and a healthy panoply of houseplants

lining the floor. A quick glance at a CD shelf around a corner revealed a collection containing, among many others, Pete Seeger, Phish, and U2, though he says he’s also been a “long-time fan” of Colin Hay, Bobby McFerrin, and The Boss. Weinberger, who lives there with his wife and 5-year-old daughter, sat on his couch beside a folded pile of laundry and laid out why Thread’s general readership deserves his vote. “I’ve seen in my time too many people from your demographic come here excited about living in Burlington, and then have to fight to stay here,” he said. “A lot of people lose that fight. They’re unable to do it and need to move away. Job creation is critical to that.” Weinberger’s plans for office involve building upon the socially-responsible companies already in town. “We’ve got a great base to the creative economy here with companies like Dealer.com and Union Street Media, but it does need to be bigger,” he said. When asked for comment regarding Miro and business development, Ted Adler, owner of Union Street Media, said, “To be a successful developer, you need vision, determination and patience. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need focus, energy and capital. Miro is an entrepreneurial developer, which I define as someone who is building both his client’s projects and his business at the same time. Bringing Miro’s skill set to the Mayor’s office would be tremendously positive change after the morass of the past six years. Unlike any other candidate in the race, Miro really could bring out Burlington at it’s best.” Weinberger also recognizes a difficulty in attracting new Burlingtonians. Dealer.com, he says, identifies their biggest challenge for recruitment as the lack of businesses like them, which could offer jobs to the spouse of a far-flung new hire. “If someone is relocating from across the coun-

try, they have to be thinking, ‘What could happen if this job doesn’t work out? What if this project that I’m working on comes to an end? Is there going to be another job on the market available? Or will I have to tear up my roots again and relocate?’” Weinberger identified the Pine Street corridor as prime real estate to develop and attract more companies downtown. “Physically, there are more opportunities for more jobs, and we just have to work with the existing companies to get there.” If elected, Weinberger plans to use his own office as a resource for college students and recent graduates to jump-start their careers. “We are definitely going to create a mayoral internship program,” he said. Aside from interning with Senator Leahy, Weinberger also worked on the U.S. Senate re-election campaign of Pennsylvania Democrat Harris Wofford. Though unsuccessful, Weinberger recognizes the campaign offered him influential awareness into how interns bring vitality to politics. “The energy and perspective they can bring to the campaign and to the city I think is critical,” he said. “For some people we can create additional opportunities for them to get involved in the community, which could perhaps lead to further opportunities for them to stay in the city beyond graduation.” Part of Weinberger’s “fresh start” also includes connecting with Burlington’s citizens via social media. Already he’s seen the effect platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have had in bolstering his campaign’s success. “Social media certainly focuses on a Thread demographic,” he said. “But it’s not just you guys. I’m struck when I go door knocking and meet people who are able to recite to me details from my Facebook page.” “Creepy” Thread said.

Above: Miro Weinberger, an avid outdoors enthusiast, on the summit of Camel’s Hump. photo courtesy of Miro Weinberger. Below: Miro Weinberger hitting it out of the park. photo courtesy of Shayne Lynn.

“It’s remarkable,” corrected Weinberger. Social media-based specifics in utero for the mayor’s office include offering live streaming of neighborhood-planning meetings for those who can’t attend, keeping a public calendar online, and maintaining a constantly-updated Facebook page and Twitter feed. “I don’t think I’ll ever be Cory Booker,” Weinberger said, regarding the Tweet-happy mayor of Newark, “but I will Tweet regularly about my public agenda.” The Weinberger administration also plans to offer “SeeClickFix” technology. “If you were on the bike path and a new pothole had developed, you could take a photo of it and have an app where you send it to the city. It automatically gets routed to the right department,” he said. “And then you’d be able to track progress of that complaint until it gets resolved.” Weinberger said the service could apply to code violations and “a number of physical world areas where that would help.” Also on the docket for his innovative approach to the mayor’s office is to mimic Montreal and other cities by installing parking kiosks. “In these northern climates,” he

said, “we can have weeks when you lose a lot of revenue from your parking meters because they’re plowed in. With a kiosk, it’s much easier to keep that cleared, and it’s easier for people to pay, rather than having to root around for change.” Weinberger also expressed interest in helping the CCTA push to install intelligent systems on their buses to help cut down the bothersome gap between projected wait times and actual wait times, via a smartphone app. He stressed these proposed advances wouldn’t happen without his election. “I’ve got to be in the mayor’s office to tackle them,” he said. Burlington’s strenuous housing issue manifests as another founding agenda for the Miro campaign. Weinberger wants to sustain the downtown’s youthful presence, and draws frequently upon his Hartland Group experience as a key asset supporting his ability to do so. “I think someone in the 20 or 30-something demographic wants to actually live in Burlington,” he said. “They don’t want to be out in Colchester – they want to walk to Church Street, to the downtown, and there are very few housing options right now for the people in that group. The only options now are extremely expensive.” Weinberger

says he’s also committed to “not changing the character that drew so many of us here and that so many of us love. I think jobs and affordability are at the heart of keeping Burlington a place that that demographic can stay in.” Weinberger emerged as victor of the Democratic caucus after tying Progressive-leaning Democrat and State Senator Tim Ashe in the first round of voting. Each candidate received 540 votes on November 13th, when early Democratic mayoral hopefuls Jason Lorber and Bram Kranichfeld both fell out of the race. The Miro team’s December 11th win came after receiving 655 votes to Ashe’s 533, according to the Burlington Free Press. “The month-long period between Democratic caucus votes granted Weinberger…time to cultivate fence-sitters thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com

– and to solidify a loyal leaning Democratic base that seemed increasingly inclined to endorse him over a rival espousing ‘fusion’ with city Progressives,” the Free Press reported. Weinberger says he welcomed Ashe, who now supports the Miro campaign, when he entered the race as a Democratic candidate rather than a Progressive. “If he had run as a Progressive and skipped the Democratic caucus so that we would have had a strong Progressive candidate and a strong Democratic candidate,” Weinberger said, “I think that would have been a recipe for electing Kurt Wright.” Initially, few political differences seemed to separate Weinberger and Mr. Wright, a city councilor and state legislator who is the uncontested Republican candidate for mayor. After a January 5th debate at Champlain College, the Free Press reported that few “substantial differences emerged between Weinberger and Wright regarding waterfront and downtown planning (it needs to move faster), Burlington Telecom (private financing and not taxpayers should rehabilitate the utility) and balancing the city’s social and business needs (an important discussion).” As the March 6th election approaches, however, Weinberger ensures that voters know how Miro and Wright administrations would differ, focusing specifically on values, experience, and yes, of course, a fresh start too. “When he’s in Montpelier,” Weinberger said of Wright, “he has consistently voted against environmental issues. I think those values matter.” Weinberger points to his history with Senator Leahy and Governor Shumlin as proof he’s worked consistently to sustain Vermont’s environmental health. “I think that having someone who comes to the office with an environmental lens and a strong environmental background will impact the decisions that the next mayor makes,” he said. Weinberger said that while he respects Wright’s “important experience” as a city councilor and a state representative, he insists his own background of making business-minded decisions at the Hartland Group and as Burlington’s airport commissioner gives him the necessary clout above Wright to manage the city’s finances. “I think my background of actually having managed significant amounts of money is a real distinction in our backgrounds,” he said; “one that suits me better for what the mayor’s job actually is.” The “fresh start” leitmotif gained considerable leverage from Weinberger’s recent claim, not yet made public before going to press that Wright voted with the Kiss administration on the financial issues Burl-

ington residents say led the city to its current economic woe. “He made 474 votes on the financial issues,” Weinberger said of Wright’s tenure on the Board of Finance from 20072009, a time when Wright also considered himself “Burlington’s de-facto mayor.” “He voted with the Kiss administration 473 times. I don’t think that’s the fresh start people are looking for,” Weinberger said, adding that he “finds it interesting” to hear candidates borrow from his own campaign rhetoric to support themselves. Along with his “been through the fires” approach, Wright wrote recently in a Free Press article that the city needs “a mayor that can breathe a breath of fresh air into City Hall.” When this issue of Thread went to print, the Progressive party had yet to decide on running a candidate. Progressive mayor Bob Kiss announced in November he would not seek a third term. Wanda Hines, an Independent, is a Burlington community organizer and longtime Old North End resident now running against Weinberger and Wright. According to Andy Bromage, Shay Totten’s replacement at writing the “Fair Game” political column for Seven Days, Hines has said, “I do not perceive myself as the underdog at all,” though the January 16th column also quotes the newest candidate as ambivalent regarding her plans for office: “I really don’t want to get into specific things I want to do.” While Hines’s entrance into the race introduced a new hurdle for the Miro campaign, in that it could persuade Weinbergerleaning Progressive voters to go for Hines, the Democrat outlined his agenda for earning the support of the Progressive Party. “I am working hard to make sure people know my entire professional career has involved affordable housing issues and trying to create jobs for low-income and working-class families.” He’s also kept an open ear for Old North Residents by inviting them to speak with him at “open coffee” sessions, a supplement to his social media-based communication. The meetings, which began at the Bagel Café in the New North End, have only confirmed his suspicion that the entire city has become united in supporting a drastic change: “It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to local business people, property owners, heads of our social service organizations, union leaders, people in the South End, people in the North End. I have not found any significant group that doesn’t agree with the notion that we need a fresh start,” he said. Burlington hasn’t voted a Democratic mayor into office since Independent Bernie Sanders defeated six-term Democrat George Paquette by a mere 12 votes in 1981. While Hines and Wright present formidable obstacles to the Miro campaign, Weinberger

has garnered the support of both former Mayor Peter Clavelle and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. Clavelle, a former Progressive, was Burlington’s longest-serving mayor, and Dean, after completing his terms as governor, ran for president in 2004. “While I initially had not intended to endorse in this race,” Dean said in an open letter to the Democratic caucus, “I have concluded that we really do need a “Fresh Start,”and I have decided to publicly support Miro Weinberger.” The support of bigwig VT politicos could help voters read the close race within the context of former revered leaders, and Weinberger’s youthful approach to campaigning has aligned him to make good on his slogan’s promise. “My belief about running for this office, which in some ways is consistent with how I think the job should be run, is that we need to do a lot of different things and we need to do them all well,” he said. Before the election, he plans to continue sustaining the energy of his campaign through the help of his swarming team of assistants, and to continue debating Kurt Wright and Wanda Hines. There had been two debates before Thread went to print, with another ten scheduled. Weinberger and his opponents also write weekly responses to questions posed by the Free Press on issues, such as how to engage the public, and identifying the major malfunction with the present mayor’s office. In addition, Weinberger plans to continue his fervent doorknocking enterprise. “It’s a real privilege to be able to get to do this and have so many people supporting the effort,” he said, adding that his wife and daughter have been “very supportive,” and are “engaged and enjoying it, too.” Already having offered Thread time allotted elsewhere, Weinberger ate his lunch standing up before dashing off to his next event. The would-be mayor agreed to a photo shoot before he left, and posed staring, grinning and confident, off into the hallways of his house. The camera’s shutter blinked. “I’m just starting to get used to this,” he said.

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com



CHRISTOPHER LISLE christopherlisle.com Skier: LJ Strenio South Burlington, Vermont 1/800 f/8.0 ISO 800 55mm focal length

Rider: Pat O’Neil 1/125 f/4.5 ISO 400 24mm focal length One strobe camera right at full power One strobe camera left



Rider: Josh LaPine 1/80 f/4.5 ISO 400 23mm focal length Two wireless strobes at camera left. These shots were taken one night in Burlington, VT on the waterfront, north of Downtown. I brought two friends/riders with me and we built up a jump in no time as the sun was beginning to set. As soon as the sun dipped behind the mountains of New York, we began sessioning the jump. The first shot came in the middle of the session. The second was the last shot I got before the sun dipped too far to give me good, natural fill light.


thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com


OLIVER PARINI oliverparini.com

The late afternoon light peaks through the trees while boot packing just outside of Bozeman, Montana. 1/320 f/5.6 ISO 400 25mm focal length

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com



Late night rail shredding. 1/60 f/2.8 14mm focal length


1/60 f/2.8 11mm focal length

The Lighthouse

by Trevien Stanger I have seen the Lighthouse in the triptych photographs above the urinal many times.

The waves four stories high caught crashing by some photographer who’d taken a pee that day, too. Flushing, I mind-glimpse Ocean and return to my beer– glistening.  Late-night The Daily Planet Burlington, VT

the chirp heard around the world illustration w/ vintage music and atlas pages by jenny jacobson | jennyjacobson.com

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com


LYNGUISTIC CIVILIANS words // jenny mudarri images // ben sarle


ermont has many claims to fame – Phish, Ben & Jerry’s, maple syrup, hip hop....hip hop? Let’s not kid ourselves, hip hop has never been our musical niche, but that’s all about to change. Enter stage right: The Lynguistic Civilians. This supergroup is putting Burlington, Vermont on the map with their innovative, energetic hip hop. In the past year they’ve been named Best Vermont Hip Hop and Best Vermont Unsigned Band by Seven Days and were crowned 2011’s I Make Music champions. In the first-ever Burlington-based I Make Music competition, the Lynguisitic Civilians triumphed against some of the greatest in local music, including K-Spitz, Y-DNA, Memaranda [who’s local hit ‘lil VTeezy’ is now on iTunes], and Princithread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com

pal Dean, winning a contract to record a demo or mastering time at Signal Kitchen. The Lynguistic Civilians took command of the stage in a way that couldn’t be ignored, glowing among a sea of flashing lights. The crowd showed an overwhelming amount of love and support for these talented musicians as they rocked Metronome into the night with their catchy beats and mesmerizing hooks. Just last year, The Lynguistic Civilians dropped their first EP titled “A Hard Act to Follow” – which happens to be extremely apropos. Their style has been referred to as a hip hop hybrid of sorts, mixing funk and soul to create a sound that is all their own. The group’s influences are far less obscure – from an intro track in the air of Jurassic 5 to a “Dead Wrong” Notorious B.I.G. reference. It’s clear that a classic hip hop upbringing has played an


imperative role in shaping the band’s own identity. When I met with The Lynguistic Civilians at Burlington’s best kept secret, The S.P.A.C.E. Gallery, a gigantic studio collective for artists, it was snowing and the wind speed was considerably higher than I had ever remembered it being – a true Vermont winter day. I decided to temporarily escape the harsh elements and find shelter in the endless aisles of slightly used, slightly unusable treasures in the holy grail of used “stuff,” otherwise known as Recycle North. I flipped through some pages of a musty sci-fi book, picked up what looked like a glass deer ornament, and nearly bought a pocket-sized address book before I checked my watch and realized it was time to get down to business.

Naturally, I did some research

before speaking with these critically acclaimed hip hoppin’ Burlingtonians. I knew there were seven of them in total – five emcees, a DJ, and a drummer – and let’s just say I wasn’t sure what to expect. After navigating a daunting maze of endless hallways strewn with art of all varieties, I found myself in room with twenty-foot ceilings that was mostly bare – save for a few awkwardly positioned high schoolesque lockers and a black panel adorned with hand-whittled wooden magnets – and, of course, The Lynguistic Civilians. There was endless chatter among the members: jokes about the night before, talk of plans for the evening, and even casual threats to punch one another in the face. The Lynguistic Civilians do not condone violence, of course, but they certainly encourage and enforce rough-housing and name-calling among themselves, and

“...not only are we a family, but we progress ...we’ve already made the right steps to better ourselves from the last show. We’re always learning and growing as a group. I think you need to have that in this industry if you’re going to survive.” -DJ BP / Lynguistic Civilians

what happily-functioning family doesn’t? It was like watching the most ideal family reunion unfold, except there were no intoxicated relatives or fifth-cousins’ cousins. How was I going to temporarily sneak my way into this sacred bond for even just ten minutes? It didn’t seem possible. One by one, the members took a brief hiatus from their brotherly exchanges to introduce themselves. “It’s nice to meet you!” they said, and, “Thanks so much for doing this, we really appreciate it!” With gentle handshakes, welcoming smiles, and the most pleasantly sincere “nice-to-meet-yous” I had ever heard, I had successfully become acquainted with The Lynguistic Civilians. They continued to joke around, make fun of one another, and throw confetti in each others’ faces (they jumped at the chance to participate in what turned out to be more of a pie-in-the-face confetti toss). It became clear that, by day, they are average Joes working downtown and in the food service industry. By night, they are spitting carefully crafted verses at Metronome and hitting the stage with artists like Killah Priest, Lyrics Born, and Lil’ Kim. The Lynguistic Civilians are humble folk leading normal lives, and they write relatable lyrics about their everyday lives as members of the Burlington community. One of their most obvious skills, besides their honest approach to songwriting, is their ability to get a crowd, any crowd, moving and grooving. LC, one of the five emcees, can’t go unnoticed. She holds her own as the one and only female emcee in the male-majority group, and she brings such an infectious energy to their live performances that one can’t help but want to go home and try to emulate her rap verses in front of a mirror – when no one’s home of course. “We even get old people jive’in,”

LC said with a chuckle and smile from ear to ear. “We’ve done some pretty ridiculous shows.” Mike “Philly” Fulton, an emcee from the City of Brotherly Love, sat behind LC in the corner next to some drawings that looked miniature in comparison to his sizeable presence. When I asked the group how The Lynguisitic Civilians formed, he spoke up without the slightest hesitation. “We have so many different ideas that we mesh together as one. The crew was originally five, then it went to six, then it went to seven...as far as a collective and what we do material wise, everybody has their own input.” The group’s members are from all around – from Colorado to Connecticut – but they all found a home in Burlington and have a passion for rapping about what goes on here on day-to-day basis. They even recorded a video for their song “Paint It Red” that features shots of the crew hanging out beside the iconic whale tails on Interstate 89 as well as on our very own beloved Church Street. Aside from expanding their already diverse array of multi-media outlets, The Lynguistic Civilians have also recently expanded their family with the addition of a new member, Indievigil. Indievigil is a talented drummer who has studied at Berkeley and has been playing drums since he was ten years old. He adds an invaluable element to the group that will only further propel them into the limelight. “We’re so grateful,” LC said regarding the addition. Part of what makes The Lynguistic Civilians such a dynamic and progressive group is their forward-thinking mindset. They aren’t afraid to stir the pot a little and try something new by adding a drummer, a move that might cause some groups to hesitate. On the contrary, the new addition

worked entirely in their favor – Indievigil’s talent for drumming rounded out their sound and made them even more dynamic and smooth-flowing as a group. When it comes to laying down tracks, one can only imagine how difficult it is to find a mutually agreed-upon practice time. There are seven people involved, which means seven different sets of obligations, double-shifts, and home lives. T-Noonz, emcee and a NYC native, shed some light on the group’s scheduling strategy and explained their somewhat unorthodox agenda. “Our hours are all over the place, we really have to put time into finding a window – right now the window is 12 o’clock on Tuesday nights.” That’s right, 12 midnight to 3 a.m. to be exact. I’d by lying, though, if I said that The Lynguisitic Civilians are unaccustomed to the late-night lifestyle most musicians have grown to love. The night before our interview they played for the Cider Awards show at the Bellows Falls Opera House, where they won the title Best Vermont Hip Hop Artist. T-Noonz recalled seeing “...a silhouette of Walshie in a top-hat.” Walshie Steeze, an energetic emcee with a love for adrenaline, rode around the gallery on a child-sized green tricycle that just so happened to match his shoes, nearly taking down a white backdrop from the photo shoot in the process. “I actually had a top hat video camera – the ‘Steeze’ cam – but the battery died,” Walshie said as he steered the wheel frantically like a ten-year old playing video games. The members’ vibrant personalities and unique experiences add to the mix of their dynamic verses and songwriting capabilities. There’s no shortage of clever quips and anecdotes in their tracks on “A Hard Act to Follow,” and the same holds thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com


true for their copious amounts of yet-tobe-recorded material. As for plans for the future, The Lynguistic Civilians are currently mastering some of their material at Signal Kitchen as part of their I Make Music award. Monty Burns, emcee and The Lynguistic Civilian’s main producer, has a lot in mind for the group and their progression. He comfortably reclined in a black suede chair, looking composed, collected, and comfortable – the voice of reason in the group, no doubt. “One thing we want to do this year is push out new music. We come up with new music, but recording it – having the time and money – it’s just not there. It’s what we want to focus on this year.” I have no doubt that they’ll accomplish their goal in the coming year – the group is dedicated and focused, and more importantly, they love what they do. DJ BP, aka “Beat Punisher” or “Boss Player,” is the brains behind the

beats. He’s one of the more recent additions to the group, and holds down the fort with some of the most befitting samples around. DJ BP sat coolly perched on a few steps that led to yet another room in the gallery, this one with a jar of severed-doll heads sitting menacingly on a countertop. When asked if anyone had anything else to say, DJ BP chimed in with a heartfelt homage to The Lynguistic Civilians. “One thing I love about this group is that not only are we a family, but we progress. I’ve noticed even just from a few months ago, we’ve already made the right steps to better ourselves from the last show. We’re always learning and growing as a group. I think you need to have that in this industry if you’re going to survive.” Survival is not something The Lynguistic Civilians need to worry about. With strong fan bases in Boston and Burlington, and connections being made at


every show, they’re sure to keep playing for years to come. They’ve got show after show booked until early April and are only adding to their already epic repertoire of performances. They’ll be playing at Nectar’s, Brick House Dover in New Hampshire, The Pub in Stowe, The Reservoir in Waterbury, as well as many other locations. The Lynguistic Civilians are entertainment at its best and a hip hop sensation with a flare for fun. Mike “Philly” Fulton puts it best, “It’s real hip hop, no ghost-writing and none of that. It’s all authentic.” To watch videos, stream music, or buy merchandise, head over to: thelynguisticcivilians.com


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thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com


tommy goldman’s green blues by john flanagan photography by ben sarle


f succeeding in nothing else, the quintessentially American phenomenon known as the battle of the bands has at least instilled some of the most terrifically awkward band names in the universe. From my own hazy days of high school in the early aughts, I can recall some gems: Noisy Monster Cage, Five Pounds Lighter, thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com

and Sofa King Awesome have all graced the backs of many a forgotten t-shirt; and a quick Google search has led me to discover the Bay Area’s own Matchless Overthrow, The Thirst Busters, and Fish For Spliffs. While Burlington’s version of combat rock may not offer a bill chock-full of equally cumbersome titles, certainly the music sounds far, far better. This magazine, Broke In Burlington, and rumrunners Sailor Jerry sponsored the I Make Music battle of the bands in late December of last year. The event, which overtook Nectar’s and Metronome for an evening, ended in a black out; the power for a few Main Street blocks cut out abruptly during Stowe’s jabroni-rock outfit Spit Jack’s set. Regardless of the evening’s marquee of highly-regarded bands, including Rough Francis, Parmaga, the Zach duPont Band, and Hello Shark, the competition was won by a completely unknown, though not undeserving, senior English major from UVM. A few weeks following the competition, this magazine’s editor, Mr. Ben Sarle, and I, trudged through the freezing chop suey of snow and ice to meet and photograph Mr. Goldman at the S.P.A.C.E. gallery on Pine Street. Goldman wasn’t there yet when we arrived, so Ben and I idled the interim with artist Aaron Stein. Stein, who’s known for his “automobilia art,” had been busy building a chair refurbished with the interior leather from a Volvo. “Oh, and you guys will recognize these things!” he said, pointing to a pair of objects I’d never seen before. They were two recently-acquired Pyramat video game chairs outfitted with speakers within. Stein plugged his phone into the musical chairs and offered both Ben and I a seat. “I’m gonna gut them and put the speakers into a couch I’m working on,” said Stein, who is tabled to be the featured artist at Frog Hollow in August. Goldman arrived shortly after, with guitar in tow. He took off his jacket and opened the case. “It’s a Gretsch,” he said. “A present I gave myself for my 18th birthday.” Ben had set up a photo backdrop, but wanted to get some location shots as well. Stein suggested we use his studio. Buried behind recent projects, he revealed the dismembered front of a Mercury Montego he had salvaged from Rathe’s (or Ratty’s, more colloquially) junkyard in Colchester. He had installed a chrome flamingo for the hood ornament. “It’s eyes light up, but the battery’s dead,” he said. The four 40

of us cleared the studio out and Goldman sat down against the Mercury’s fender. “I should have worn matching socks,” he said, his long legs sticking out to the middle of the room. He plucked a few bluesy chords and sang out, “She walks jus’ like her daddy’s got oil wells in ‘is backyard,” a line picked from Sonny Boy Williamson’s rendition of Lightnin’ Hopkins’s “Katie Mae.” Goldman told me he’s “been battling with a bunch of different influences.” Asked to name a few, he rattled off his heroes: “Otis Redding, Taj Mahal, the Stanley Brothers,” he said, then amended his list to include more recent musicians. “The Avett Brothers are unbelievable, and Gillian Welch is someone I admire very, very much.” He paused and played a few more chords. “I like songs that tell stories,” he added. Goldman writes most of the music he performs, though his SoundCloud website offers a unique cover of the Meat Puppet’s “Lake of Fire,” sung in his sometimes gruff, but strong and phlegmatic voice, which can bend to sound like either a grizzled David Gray or a sober Townes Van Zandt. While Ben moved Goldman into another room for the backdrop photos, we discussed his prize for winning the I Make Music battle, which is studio time at Signal Kitchen. “I want to exploit it as much a possible without being a pain in the ass,” he said. Goldman plans to record five rock/blues-based songs, four originals, with one Otis Redding cover. He had been using GarageBand and a Yamaha interface for his previous recordings at home. The studio time will offer Goldman leverage in a music scene already led by some of his competitors in the recent battle, many of whom have recorded projects either finished or underway. The upcoming EP should also allow him the clout upon which to book himself around town, whereas lately he’s been breezing through Burlington’s open mic circuit. The tenderfoot musician seemed excited about his recent exposure. “This is the first time I’ve done anything like all of this,” he said as Ben directed him in the photo shoot. His large frame dominated the screen and he assumed a stoic glance towards the camera. “You really won over the girls at the competition,” Ben said to Goldman. “I saw them all melting away when you were on stage.” The modest Goldman grinned but made no comment. The melting ladies en masse had indeed

helped launch his victory, as Thread and Broke In Burlington determined the winner by weighing both votes from the judges and texts from the audience. “Just try to look like you’re waiting for a bus,” Ben said. Goldman held his guitar near his legs and looked off beyond me. “This is awesome,” he said. “Super simple. That’s how I like to keep it.” Regarding the future, Goldman remains unsure about his plans following graduation, though in the meantime, he’s looking for a band. “It’s not my preference to play music by myself,” he said. At the end of the session, Ben suggested Goldman try a pose without his cardigan on. He flung the sweater aside to reveal a very bright and new-looking flannel shirt. “Is that a Burton shirt?” Ben asked. “Yeah,” Goldman said. “It fits me for once. Usually they make shit for fucking tiny people.” Ben encouraged Goldman to relax and act natural, while the bright flashes burst a sharp glow upon his straight-faced demeanor. “Should I just be a cool guy?” he asked Ben. “Yes,” Ben said. “Just be a cool guy.” Most likely, the young talent will carve out a comfortable niche for himself in the ever-expanding community of musicians that Burlington has become known for. Alone, he’s proven himself a worthy contender, but with a band, the scene might be in store for something pleasantly unexpected. Goldman and I helped Ben pack the photo gear back into his car and said our goodbyes. As I drove away I saw him stomping down Pine Street through the accumulated slush, clutching his guitar and striding with confidence against the snow.


‘Alone, he’s proven himself a worthy contender, but with a band, the scene might be in store for something pleasantly unexpected...’

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com


words // ben sarle photos // elliot dodge debruyn

42 40

This was the year they made it happen. Merely 8 months before opening Maji Chien found herself uttering “I think we can actually do this” to Max Mackinnon, sitting across the table at Jean Georges, one of Manhattan’s few restaurants to have earned the coveted three Michelin Stars. As Max noticed Maji fishing a small, rogue piece of crab shell out of her lunch of Peekytoe crab salad , he simply replied “Well, we will have to make sure that doesn’t happen at our restaurant.” Middlebury alumni Ms. Chien and Mr. Mackinnon are the co-owners of Pistou;located on the corner of Main and South Champlain Street it is one of Burlington’s newest additions to the changing culinary landscape of

downtown Burlington. Chien manages the front of the house operations, and Mackinnon takes charge in the kitchen as the head chef. Both being twenty five years of age they are the spring chickens of local restauranteurs, bringing a unique blend of food savviness and youthful zeal to the scene. When asked about the name Pistou, which refers to a sauce of French origin traditionally consisting of garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil, Mackinnon responded “we had gone through a lot of names and eventually came to this one, it’s something simple yet somewhat refined.” For anyone fortunate enough to be walking into Pistou during lunch or dinner, it is clear that the atmosphere and food live up to

its namesake. Upon entering it is difficult not to be struck by the clean structural lines and meticulously contemplated lighting which humbly beckons famished dinner-goers to take a seat and unwind, especially after Chien’s bubbly welcome and bright smile. With four rotating taps, an impressive wine list, and a menu that changes every day with almost all locally sourced ingredients, deciding on a meal could be the biggest challenge of the day. However, with Mackinnon and Chef George Lambertson working over the flames, any choice will be a celebration for the senses. “Maji and I were just down at Jericho Settlers Farm, we saw their chickens, their vegetables, even some piglets. They’re just great there”

“...we had gone through a lot of names and eventually came to this one, it’ s something simple yet somewhat refined.”-MAX MACKINNON, CO-OWNER OF PISTOU

Mackinnon explains. Their dedication to local farms and attention to detail behind the scenes becomes very apparent while digging into one of the popular dishes of the day, a Jericho Settlers Farm pork chop seared to the pinnacle of tenderness, accompanied with light and flavorful sweet potato puree and crunchy red cabbage that brings a perfect complimentary texture to the entire meal. “It’s the community of restaurants... and how supportive it is,” Chien explains when asked what her favorite aspects of starting a restaurant in Burlington have been. “For example we’ll tweet something about our lunch, and Bluebird will retweet it, Sue Bette [owner of Bluebird Tavern] will post something to us like ‘Wow, that sounds great!’ We are in direct competition for people to come in and eat lunch and yet she’s being so supportive and awe-

some.” It’s this kind of anecdote that seems perfectly tailored to the personality and talent of this dynamic pair. “The enthusiastic customers who come in and are excited about local food and where our produce comes from and new restaurants in general, it’s amazing to be a part of that” says Mackinnon. This is a significant reason these ambitious entrepreneurs are already enjoying a healthy buzz of business, even in the frozen winter months where less foot traffic crosses their path a few blocks from Church Street. The cuisine of Burlington has had a fairly high standard of excellence with a steady stream of expertly skilled chefs and innovative restaurant magnates flocking to the area, but Pistou, proudly occupying their cozy and modern corner of town, has without a doubt raised the bar and will be a staple of distinction for years to come.

plans for dinner tonight? Archie’s Grill 4109 Shelburne Rd Shelburne, VT 05482 802.985.4912 archiesgrill.com

Shanty on the Shore 181 Battery Street Burlington, VT 05401 802.864.0238 shantyontheshore.com

Pistou Restaurant 61 Main Street Burlington, VT 05401 802.540.1783 pistou-vt.com

Chef Leu’s House 5761 Shelburne Rd Shelburne, VT 05482 802.985.5258 chefleu.com

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com

One by the Lake Shanty on the Shore

words // john flanagan photos // ben sarle Herman Melville once encouraged his readers to “Drain down that bright tide at the foam beaded rim,” for, “Who sighs in him wise, when wine in him flare?” While Shanty on the Shore by the Burlington waterfront isn’t particularly known for its oenology or John Barleycorn, it remains a constant and pleasant place to, as the song goes, lie around and get a good buzz on. A table of two older couples overlooked the stormy harbor of the lake one recent Friday afternoon over a bottle of white on ice. Outside, the rain changed slowly into snow while the warm and quiet atmosphere within welcomed anyone seeking shelter from the storm or just some good fish tacos. Though winter, however inconsistent in its ways, doesn’t often bring seafood lovers by the bucket-full, the wood-lined dining rooms sat a healthy portion of eaters enjoying a casual lunch beneath an un-obtrusive soundtrack of songs by The Monkees, The Bee Gees, and The Jackson 5. With Burlington’s ever-bourgeoning onslaught of new restaurants, old favorites inevitably go unmentioned; but let not the Shanty

be forgot. “Some people prefer modern restaurants with wall mounted tanks filled with exotic fish,” their website says. “They expect Art Deco lighting and chairs made more for the sake of art, than comfort. Well,” it boasts, “we’re old fashioned.” Regardless of where you lie on the food/art spectrum, the history of the Shanty bolsters its ambience, which certainly does nothing to blast the casual diner away with arty rococo or campy sea-worn pastiche as one might expect. The Shanty’s structure dates back to 1894, according to Kim Gobeille, who has owned the restaurant with her husband Al since 1996. The couple also owns Breakwaters, Burlington Bay, and Northern Lights (the Lake Champlain cruise ship, not the head shop). The building once housed a sail maker’s shop, and later, an establishment called the Welcome Inn. “It was really more of a truck stop back when all of Battery Street was industrial,” Gobeille said. While the Shanty weathered no damage during last year’s flood, two of the Gobeille’s businesses, Breakwaters and Northern Lights, were affected severely. With the help of

their employees, however, Breakwaters was able to re-open by July 3rd, just in time for the fireworks over Lake Champlain. “It was so great to see these little high school girls putting up these huge walls and really re-building the entire restaurant,” Gobeille said. “They even had to go out in boats to fix a lot of what was damaged.” The couple also sustained the loss of their dock for their Northern Lights cruises. Mike Shea, who runs the Spirit of Ethan Allen cruises, stepped in to help. “He built a ramp off of his dock so we could both take turns loading and unloading,” Gobeille said. “He was really an unbelievable help.” Governor Peter Shumlin also paid a visit to the destroyed businesses on his tour surveying the damage caused by the pre-Irene disaster. The Shanty has been able to offer its consistency and quality, Gobeille said, because of her staff’s impressive longevity. General Manager Christian Chardain has been with the restaurant for nine years. Sean Perreault and Chris Kunkel, who run the kitchen, have worked there for almost equally as long. Keith Cookson oversees purchases and food quality,

and has been at the Shanty for ten years. The front of the house revolves around a returning cast of high school and college students. “It really works out well with the college schedule,” Gobeille said. “All of our staff comes back from school right when it starts to pick up.” Kelly, a server on the windswept Friday of our visit, was home for winter break from Boston University, where she’s completing her Master’s in Public Health. Kelly was one of the high school students the Gobeilles hired under their signature system. “I try to hire an employee from one of each of the high schools,” Gobeille said. “That way, we don’t get that cliquey sort of gossip. Though I probably shouldn’t say that,” she added. The Shanty draws its denizens from a mixture of sources. “We have a great local base,” Gobeille said, though she maintains that the Hilton has been “vital” in sending guests to her restaurants. While May through October continues to be their busiest season, the winter provides crowds of hungry skiers and snowboarders seeking fresh fish and a view of the lake. Obviously, this season has been rough on the Shanty. “We can tell when the ski areas aren’t getting snow,” Gobeille said. The couple has been accommodating for their lack of mountain-bound patronage by offering enticing monthly specials. Now in the midst of an oyster special, the restaurant will soon host a scallop special in February, and a clam special in March, weather permitting. All of the Shanty’s seafood is fresh. “We can get seafood delivered five to six days a week depending on the delivery service,” Gobeille said. The bulk of their fish comes from Boston, while their lobsters hail from Maine.

Meals at the Shanty begin with hot rolls and sweet tasting coleslaw. The large, though not overly prodigious, menu offers a tempting array of standard seafood fare along with unusual combinations. Their Mediterranean Shrimp Pasta ($10.99) includes delicious fried goat cheese upon a healthy bed of well-oiled linguini, fresh artichokes, capers, red onion, and bite-size Medium shrimp. While the garlic isn’t overwhelming, the flavors blend well, offering a warm, hearty, and fulfilling taste. Their fish taco dish ($9.99) puts forth two large, but not overly filling, tortillas packed with a generous portion of haddock, aioli, and fresh vegetables. The tacos are served alongside hand-cut fries. Advertised on the tables is the restaurant’s own “Shanty Ale,” an English brown ale brewed by Long Trail. Asked over lunch if she plans to

change anything about her waterfront businesses, Gobeille smiled and shook her head. “Four is enough.” And so, amidst the ambitions of younger entrepreneurs with artisanal stars in their eyes, the Shanty remains tucked away, cozy and serene in its steadfast nook by the lake. The owners even shy away from using social media to reach a new clientele. “We probably should,” Gobeille said, “but we’re not going to. It’s just not something we really want to do.” Instead, locals and tourists alike may trust that the Shanty’s warm rooms will remain a fine perch from which to watch snow fall into the lake and wonder over the next few inches we’re expected to get.

plans for dinner tonight? Archie’s Grill 4109 Shelburne Rd Shelburne, VT 05482 802.985.4912 archiesgrill.com

Shanty on the Shore 181 Battery Street Burlington, VT 05401 802.864.0238 shantyontheshore.com

Pistou Restaurant 61 Main Street Burlington, VT 05401 802.540.1783 pistou-vt.com

Chef Leu’s House 5761 Shelburne Rd Shelburne, VT 05482 802.985.5258 chefleu.com 45

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com

Our [mostly] Local [mostly]Winter Brew Review

Otter Creek Middlebury, VT

Woodchuck Hard Cider Middlebury, VT

Rock Art Morrisville, VT

Long Trail Bridgewater Corners, VT





A new addition to the local winter line up, this was the only seasonal red ale we sampled, and Otter Creek nailed it. Not only is it a refreshing change from the lineup of darker brews during the winter months, but it is such a versatile, well rounded beer without being boring. Simple, malty, similar style to a lot of amber microbrews, but then they threw in a handful of Centennial and Nugget hops to give it that extra something that will certainly make this a new winter staple.

We’ve all been there. You’re in the beer isle, had this, had that, then you see the row of cider. You’re curious, but you’re scared, ‘Is this really going to satisfy me after a day shredding the gnar?’ Yes. Let this be your turning point my friends. This is a substantially complex cider made from high quality French and American Oak, with a bite that will fulfill and refresh to the core. Less filling than beer, won’t leave you feeling like an actual woodchuck, and not too bitter or too sweet. Bullseye, why can’t they make this one year-round?

If you frequently find yourself enjoying smoked mozzarella, smoked salmon, smoking your turkey on Thanksgiving, and you can’t stop sniffing your clothes after a campfire... this is your beer. This smoked porter is a powerful pint made with grains smoked in beechwood, which made it just a little overbearing for a few of our tasters. It’s a beautifully constructed brew, with a woodsy, almost chocolatey aftertaste. Rock Art makes some of our handsdown favorite beers, however this one in particular may be somewhat of an acquired taste, so just be ready!

It’s a classic. But with Long Trail surrounded by such a vibrant landscape of creative beer innovation, ‘hibernator’ might just be the perfect namesake for this one. Introduced in 1995, this Scottish-style unfiltered ale is well rounded, easy to put down, and does accompany hearty winter grub quite well. But compared to some of the other brews, we weren’t blown away. Can we make a suggestion? Put your [unbelievably awesome] Brewmaster’s Coffee Stout in six’s and twelve’s and watch them fly off the shelves.

Dogfish Head Milton, Delaware

Magic Hat South Burlington, VT

Trout River Lyndonville, VT

Wolaver’s Organic Middlebury, VT





Dogfish is known for their skillfully crafted experimental seasonals. However, there is one that has remained a true standard of excellence, that will never let you down when you grab it from your local beer cave. Which is why we made the decision to feature the 60 minute IPA, Dogfish’s flagship. A true hop-head’s beer, earthy, and a little drier than many other comparable IPAs, but not too bitter at all. Rock on Dogfish, if you only you lived in Vermont...

Another all around good one, you’ll be howling for another. While there is no single defining characteristic like some of the other dark winter brews, this black lager from Magic Hat doesn’t try to be a stout and holds its own in this recently growing category. If you want the dark taste but light feel, this is your beer.

Part of Trout’s ‘Darkside Series’, we were unanimously slayed by this true imperial stout. Silky mouth-feel, wellbalanced, while still maintaining it’s aggressive character. This is a beer that needs to stay well stocked in the fridge for the season. Extra points for having the most bad-ass name & label by far (a hand drawn illustration of a dragon lancing a knight with it’s tail), and double bonus points for having zero information about the beer itself on any of the packaging (or the website for that matter).

If we had to choose two things we love most about winter in Vermont, it would likely be snow, and this beer. This was the absolute favorite of the Thread team’s brew review getting a unanimous 5 snowflakes. Ridiculously smooth, with a deep coffee flavor lent to this porter from beans of the Alta Gracia region of the Dominican Republic. Combined with barley and chocolate malts, this porter has the potential to not only elate any local craft beer [or coffee] appreciator, but may very well turn even the staunchest Bud Light drinker into a porter enthusiast. Hell yes Wolaver’s.

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com 47

Butternuts Beer & Ale Garrattsville, NY

The Alchemist Waterbury, VT

Rogue Newport, Oregon




Butternuts is a fairly recent addition to the shelves of Vermont, and at first glance, it is definitely the sketchball of the beer scene with wildly colorful packaging and names like ‘Porkslap Pale Ale’ and ‘Moo Thunder Stout’. This beer is no nonsense when it makes it’s way outside of the can. A real malty stout, on the lighter side of the spectrum that finishes with a very slightly burnt taste (in a good way), using lactose sugar in the brewing process. Paying tribute to Butternut’s brewery former life as a dairy farm, this weird little can is worth picking up.

As most of us know, Waterbury and The Alchemist Pub & Brewery were devastated by the floods in 2011, and owners Jennifer & John Kimmich were faced with the difficult decision of whether to reopen their famed spot. Although they made the decision amongst many challenging factors not to reopen, they displayed true alchemy when they started canning their most sought after flagship brew, HeadyTopper. This tall, silver can has exploded onto the Burlington beer scene, and is becoming available in new stores every day in 4 packs, as well as bars and restaurants that never thought they would be serving beer in cans. A Double IPA packed with hops who’s can reads ‘DRINK FROM THE CAN!’; this is a beer for beer lovers, this will leave anyone with an intense hankering for to crack open another.

A beer tasting wouldn’t be completely without at least one tribute to our beer loving cousins on the west coast. Rogue out of Oregon produces consistently amazing beers, and their Mogul Madness doesn’t disappoint. Only available in bombers, this strong winter ale sports a number of subtle flavors, mostly citrus and some nuttiness. Pretty cool bottle too.

Woodchuck Hard Cider Middlebury, VT

Fiddlehead Shelburne, VT



Woodchuck’s Farmhouse Select Original ’91 is a truly remarkable bottle of hard cider that deserves recognition. Not only is the taste unlike any hard cider you’ve ever had, but you are able to know that what you are drinking is made from a custom pressed weekly shipment of the apples from Champlain Orchards in Addison County. A tribute to Woodchuck’s roots in 1991 in a garage in Proctorsville, this bottle redefines what it means for a drink to be locally rooted; and this strong cider will give you one more reason to love living in Vermont.

Fiddlehead is a brand spankin’ new brewery located right on Shelburne Rd. in Shelburne across from the vineyards, started by the former head brewer at Magic Hat, Matt Cohen. Their two beers are quickly popping up in more bars and restaurants locally, but is only available in growlers from the brewery if you want to enjoy at home. They have an aggressively hopped IPA, and their amber is a solid concoction with a little more zest than your run-of-the-mill amber. The brewery itself is worth the ten minute drive out of Burlington too, with a lively atmosphere of tasting on weekends and attached to a new pizzeria, it’s safe to say Fiddlehead will be a Shelburne landmark for years to come..

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com


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uS Show ng your

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weekly prizes will be awarded! Deadline for submissions is April 1, 2012.


Go to www.keepvermontweird.com and click on “book” for more details.


thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com

threadmagazine issue #2 early fall 2011

thread magazine | deep winter 2012 | threadvt.com

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Thread Issue #4 | Deep Winter 2012  

Thread Magazine, Burlington's finest arts & culture magazine. 5,000 in print, available free of charge at the all the high traffic areas of...

Thread Issue #4 | Deep Winter 2012  

Thread Magazine, Burlington's finest arts & culture magazine. 5,000 in print, available free of charge at the all the high traffic areas of...

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