WALTER Magazine - March 2017

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MARCH 2017 $4.95

THE OFFICE Raleigh’s coworking spaces BUILDING TOGETHER

A house to benefit



LOUIS CHERRY makes his mark






ARE ALL AROUND US. The new North Carolina Heart & Vascular Hospital in Raleigh opens in March. There are many reasons to build an advanced heart and vascular hospital. More specialists can work together using the latest technology and research to give patients who were out of options new hope. And to bring the very latest in wellness and treatment to one place. But the best reasons are too many to count.

Learn all we can offer you in Raleigh, including collaboration with UNC Medical Center, at

© 2017 UNC REX Healthcare

Member of UNC Health Care

D e s i g n i n g a n d B u i l d i n g t h e We l c o m e H o m e s i n c e 1 9 8 4



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70 RALEIGHITES The office: Raleigh’s coworking spaces by Jessie Ammons photographs by Keith Isaacs

WALTER PROFILE Louis Cherry makes his mark by J. Michael Welton photographs by Lissa Gotwals



THROUGH THE LENS Big O’s River Retreat by Julie Williams Dixon

AT THE TABLE Smoke signal: Whiskey Kitchen by Jessie Ammons photographs by Keith Isaacs


94 STORY OF A HOUSE DJF builds for Boys & Girls Clubs by Liza Roberts


ARTIST’S SPOTLIGHT Looking at death, seeing life by Ippy Patterson


86 On the cover: Architect Louis Cherry Photograph by Lissa Gotwals


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59 94 50




Our Town The Usual: Stonewall Sports league Shop Local: Burke Brothers Hardware Game Plan: Junior Master Gardeners On Duty: Jubala Coffee cart by Jessie Ammons photographs by Travis Long Our Town Spotlight Google Fiber Space in Raleigh by Liza Roberts Drink Red Line Beer and Wine by Jessie Ammons photographs by Elizabeth Galecke Unoaked New seasons by Mimi Montgomery


100 112


Givers Burning Coal Theatre’s Anne Bullard by Settle Monroe photograph by Elizabeth Galecke *Ů*(9.438 Necessary discourse by Christopher Edmonston photograph by Robert Willett


The Whirl Parties and fundraisers


End note Bluebird Hill

In Every Issue 14

Letter from the Editor




Your Feedback


The Mosh


Raleigh Now


Triangle Now

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Jason Botts, coordinator of the Wake County Junior Master Gardeners, leads a tour of the JC Raulston Arboretum during a monthly Junior Master Gardeners gathering, a Wake County 4-H program for ages 4 - 18.

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hen people like a place, it’s usually because of the way it makes them feel. Maybe it makes them feel at home, or it makes them feel free. Maybe it gives them hope, reassures them, or excites their imagination. Maybe its beauty brings them peace. We tell a lot of stories in these pages about what makes people love Raleigh. A good deal comes down to the way our city makes them feel, and the life they can lead here as a result. “I grew up in a place that really had a true sense of place,” says Raleigh native Tift Merritt (Spotlight, pg. 28). “It was a very singular feel. That was and that has always been palpable to me.” The many local entrepreneurs who work in shared office spaces (Raleighites, pg. 62) could say the same of the environments they’ve created together, where they’ve allowed themselves to be inspired by colleagues and competitors alike. The people who dine in or live in one of the restaurants or houses designed by Louis Cherry (WALTER profile, pg. 86) feel, perhaps subconsciously, in harmony with their surroundings, which call attention not to themselves but to the natural world and a place’s purpose. The diners and drinkers who flock to Whiskey Kitchen (At the table, pg. 94) are invigorated by that place’s energetic flow, while the fishermen of the Roanoke River (Through the lens, pg. 70) find peace in those waters. Artists like Ippy Patterson (Artist’s spotlight, pg. 104) also find inspiration in the natural world, even the one within us, and are changed as a result. Wherever you look around here, you can find what you seek. From the cheery, contemporary inclusivity of the Stonewall Sports league (The Usual, pg. 50 ) to the 81-year-old charms of Burke Brothers Hardware (Shop Local, pg. 52), to a garden through the eyes of a fascinated child (Game Plan, pg. 54, and above) Raleigh looks – and feels – like a lot of different things to a lot of different people. WALTER’s proud to celebrate them all.

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Liza Roberts Editor & General Manager

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Administration CINDY HINKLE Published 10 times a year by The News & Observer Publishing Co. A McClatchy Company, 215 S. McDowell St., Raleigh NC 27601

MARCH 2017 Walter is distributed without charge to select Wake County households and available by paid subscriptions at $24.99 a year in the United States, as well as for purchase at Quail Ridge Books and other retail locations. For customer service inquiries, please email us at or call 919-836-5661. Address all correspondence to Walter Magazine, 215 S. McDowell St., Raleigh NC 27601. Walter does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Please contact editor and general manager Liza Roberts at for freelance guidelines. © The News & Observer. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the copyright owner.






top: Ansel Adams, Half Dome, Merced River, Winter, Yosemite National Park, California, circa 1938, gelatin-silver print, 14¾ × 19¼ in., Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding, Calif.; Image courtesy Collection Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona, © 2015 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust bot tom: Giovanni Bellini, Allegory of Melancholy (detail), circa 1488–1500, oil on panel, 13⅜ × 8⅝ in., Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice, Italy

Tickets now on sale for the North Carolina Museum of Art’s annual festival of art and flowers! Art in Bloom features floral arrangements inspired by the Museum’s permanent collection and created by renowned floral designers.



Ansel Adams: Masterworks is organized by the Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding, California. Exhibition tour management by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, California. PRESENTED BY SUPPORTING SPONSORS First Citizens Bank QuintilesIMS PARTICIPATING SPONSOR CEI MEDIA SUPPORT WTVD-TV ABC-11 Glory of Venice: Renaissance Paintings 1470–1520 is organized by the Denver Art Museum in collaboration with the North Carolina Museum of Art. It is presented with generous support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Robert Lehman Foundation, and The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities. In Raleigh generous support is provided by the Ron and Jeanette Doggett Endowment. SUPPORTING SPONSORS QuintilesIMS VIETRI MEDIA SUPPORT WTVD-TV ABC-11

botanical couture with special guest Françoise Weeks

Both exhibitions are made possible, in part, by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions. Research for these exhibitions was made possible by Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.

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Dixon says the part of her brain and psyche that is drawn to the visual aspects of a story is sometimes at odds with the part that needs to focus on the words. In this month’s Through the Lens, WALTER readers get a glimpse of both her writing and photography. “I stumbled upon Big O’s River Retreat while working on an educational film about the Roanoke River in 2013. It’s part cook shack, part hunting club. I was incredibly moved by the camaraderie I witnessed among the men. In addition to hunting and fishing together for many decades, they also cook dinner for each other twice a month. I’m grateful they were willing to let me behind the scenes at one of their springtime fish frys.”


IPPY PATTERSON / W R I T E R , I L L U S T R AT O R Patterson illustrated Tony Avent’s Just One Plant column in WALTER for several years, illustrated The New York Times garden column long ago, made tens of thousands of tiny ink and large charcoal marks in between, and is becoming increasingly attracted to abstraction. In the meantime, she’s still trying to get started writing the words to her own book, Boogeyman Memoirs. Her unforeseen experience in the Duke Anatomy Lab was transformative and inspired this month’s Reflections piece. She lives in Hillsborough with her husband, Neil, who at age 83 has begun to draw.



Welton is architecture critic for The News & Observer and editor and publisher of He is also the author of Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand (Routledge: 2015). This month, he profiled architect Louis Cherry. “What I learned about Louis Cherry as I researched his profile is that while he studied English Literature at Duke in the 1970s, he was also painting. Frustrated that there was no visual arts program there, he transferred in his senior year to East Carolina University for a BFA in printmaking and photography. That meant seven years of undergraduate work before he attended N.C. State’s College of Design – which gave him, as an architect, a rare and deep grounding in literature and the arts. It shows in his work.”

Isaacs, a Raleigh native, recently returned to his roots after a four-year hiatus in Barcelona, and is enjoying rediscovering home. In this issue, he captured coworking spaces for Raleighites and Whiskey Kitchen for At the Table. He calls them both “stories that really showcase the growth and revitalization of Raleigh.” Getting to know “so many of the creatives, thinkers, and doers in the coworking spaces who are fueling the transformation of the city was inspiring,” he says. “Whiskey Kitchen, on the other hand, has brought so much life to a pivotal location for downtown…Like many of the coworking spaces, the restaurant is a great example of adaptive-reuse, which I think is key in preserving and developing the character of Raleigh.”

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@JrLeagueRaleigh Cannot wait! Two years of planning by volunteers culminates in a wonderful celebration! #ncib –@KathrynEWest (Dec./Jan., p. 101 and Feb., p. 118) Happy New Year and thank you for publishing a great magazine! –@Ralgreengables We enjoyed reading about our friends @skillpoprdu. –@LoadingDockRal (Dec./Jan., p. 52) Rainy Sunday evening perfection, (reading) @WalterMagazine. –@amyberos

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$1,525,000.00 Neat story and funny timing! I was actually looking up at (a crane) this morning and wondered what it was like to sit up in that thing all day. –Ashely Clark (Dec./Jan., p. 110) Thanks to @WalterMagazine for Burke (Oconaluftee) Koonce’s moving piece on the Ocracoke Tribe. “It was, in essence, love.” -@YMCATriangle (Feb., p. 112) SAU has been featured by @WalterMagazine in commemoration of our 150th Anniversary! #FalconPride #SAU150 -@SAU_News (Feb., p. 74)

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MOSH “May the blessing of light be on you –light without and light within. May the blessed sunlight shine on you and warm your heart till it glows like a great peat fire.” –Celtic blessing

Why not... Fresh flowers on March 20, the first day of mic night...labyrinthguided meditation...a pedicure at Paintbase...local bands and local beers at the


GO ON NOW Stir up an Irish coffee: 1 cup hot brewed coffee 1 ½ ounce Irish whiskey 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon whipped cream 1 dash ground nutmeg Stir coffee, whiskey, and brown sugar together until sugar is melted. Top with whipped cream and nutmeg.

PISCES PICKS If your birthday falls between Feb. 19 and March 20, you’re a pisces. These fish signs are fluid and easygoing, often characterized by compassion, artistic and musical flair, and intuition. Indulge your zodiac locally: A daylong all-levels watercolor class at Pullen Arts Center March 25 focuses on color. You’ll do a color harmony exercise and learn to mix the right palette: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; $80; 919-996-6126 or Listen to live jazz over a few small plates at Humble Pie every Wednesday beginning at 8:30 p.m. Or, the N.C. Symphony presents Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 on March 11: 8 p.m.; $25; Pisces are said to prefer lilacs and sea greens – you can drink your hues with a honey-lavender latte from Devolve Moto on Glenwood Avenue. Embrace your inner sea sign with Wild Zephyr, a roll-on scent made by Person Street boutique Edge of Urge that has notes of salty ocean air.


The 2017 North Carolina wildflower of the year has been announced. Drumroll please: Joe-Pye weed took this year’s honors. The N.C. Botanical Garden, which chooses the annual bloom, will gladly mail you seeds for this hollow-stemmed perennial member of the sunflower family that “comes into full glory with dramatic clouds of large domed flower heads composed of many tiny nectar-rich, mauve-pink flowers.” For seeds, send a stamped, self-addressed business envelope to: Attn: NCWFOY 2017, North Carolina Botanical Garden, UNC Chapel Hill, CB 3375, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3375.

SPRING FORWARD Put a spring in your step at 2 a.m. on March 12, when clocks move forward an hour, and the calendar moves one step closer to summer.

Pour House...plant rose bushes...a glass of wine at newly-opened Vidrio...a dose of nature at the Annie Louise Wilkerson Nature Preserve...Parkside salad bowls... Lucette Grace soup for lunch...subscribe to Walter this month before free deliveries come to an end...walk the 2-mile loop around Shelley Lake…Go out like a lamb...

SHAMROCK A young, three-leaved sprig of clover, symbolic of Ireland. Saint Patrick, the country’s patron saint, is said to have used it as a living metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity, the “three-in-one.”

STROKE Triangle Rowing Club, the competitive rowing club for middle schoolers and high schoolers, gets back in the water at Lake Wheeler this month. The club, which is open to newcomers, is getting ready for its spring regatta series, starting with the James River Sprints in the first week of April.

Jun Zhang (GO ON); File photo News & Observer (JOE PYE); Csepei Aliz (SPRING); Geoff Wood (STROKE); (WHY NOT); Pashabo/Thinkstock (SHAMROCK)


THE AIR-KING A tribute to the golden age of aviation in the 1930s, featuring a prominent minute scale for navigational time-readings. It doesn’t just tell time. It tells history.



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VIEWS Arrive at NCMA


hen N.C. Museum of Art curator of European art David Steel and his colleague Lyle Humphrey began work on the extraordinary Glory of Venice: Renaissance Paintings 1470–1520 exhibit secured by NCMA director Larry Wheeler, they knew the art was spectacular. Major altarpieces, private secular and devotional paintings, and portraits – including 20 masterpieces on loan from Venice’s Gallerie dell’Accademia and several from North American institutions, including the NCMA – are remarkable to behold. Together, they represent the South’s first exhibition of paintings from the hub of Renaissance art in a key period of cultural growth for the city.


Steel and Humphrey wanted to tell that broader story, putting the art in the context of Venice’s emergence as a robust center of intellectualism and trade, with flush capital sources and a booming entrepreneurial climate that enabled the new technology of printing to flourish. As printed books and typography turned Venice into a center of printing, Steel and Humphrey say, painting followed. “You can’t show Venetian Renaissance painting and not show the development of printing,” Humphrey says. Steel agrees: “It’s the means by which humanism spread.” Printing made knowledge of the ancient world, myths, philosophy, and the works of greats like Ovid and Dante accessible as well as portable. “This is what people were talking about,” Steel says. “This became the subject matter of art.” And so the show will display leaves of ancient books that inspired Renaissance painters alongside the paintings themselves. “We fleshed out the culture that produced the paintings,” Steel says. Humphrey says the harmony makes for a greater whole: “I love the dialogue between paintings and books.” But the incandescent art necessarily steals the show: “The paintings are still really the stars,” Steel says. –L.R.

March 4 - June 18; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesdays - Sundays except 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Fridays; $18, $12 ages 7 - 18, free for ages 6 and under; 2110 Blue Ridge Road;


Vittore Carpaccio, The Flight into Egypt, circa 1505–15, oil on panel, 28 3/8 x 43 3/4 in., National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Andrew W. Mellon Collection, Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington


Sheri Hager t y, Allen Ta te & DJF Builders bring to you

A Designer Showcase Home benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Wake County

Illustration by Margot DeBarmore

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Join us on the evening of March 23 to be one of the first to tour the home and honor the Boys & Girls Club!

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ART SMART Iconic photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams’ Museum Set, a selection of 48 photographs that he considered representative of his best work, is still on exhibition at the N.C. Museum of Art (and will be until May 7). The collection inspired the museum to organize its first-ever public online course, a look at Adams’ photography through a contemporary lens. NCMA has offered online courses to students and teachers for the past five years. This self-paced public version has rolling enrollment through May 7, and includes interviews with photographers including Burk Uzzle and NCMA staff including chief curator Linda Dougherty. While the knowledge gleaned supplements the exhibition well, the course can stand alone for anyone interested in photography. $35;

all month GET INVOLVED If you prefer a bit of elbow grease in your volunteer endeavors, consider signing up for a shift with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County. The nonprofit provides safe, accessible housing built by community volunteers, construction professionals, and future homeowners. There are currently houses under construction at four different sites throughout Raleigh – from a single house to a series of homes along one street. You can sign up for a full or half day of work, and don’t be surprised if you want to continue to return until the house is completed. No construction experience is required, just a willingness to roll up your sleeves and dive in. Full workdays are 8:15 a.m. - 4 p.m., and half-day shifts are available; days vary by site but are typically Wednesday - Sunday;

LET’S LUNCH! Royale, the new French-American bistro on Moore Square, is now open for lunch, including low-alcohol “day drinks” like champagne spritzers. For a quicker option, downtown bakery Lucettegrace has a small but trusty savory lunch menu, including soup and a classic ham-andcheese sandwich. OR BRUNCH? With the closing of Ashley Christensen’s Joule, her Poole’s Diner is expected to resume its longbeloved Sunday brunch. Standard Foods has also introduced a Sunday brunch menu. SHOUT-OUT Gaurav “G” Patel, president and founder of Eschelon Experiences hospitality group, is the N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association’s 2017 Restaurateur of the Year. Among Eschelon’s eateries are Mura at North Hills, Bare Bones downtown, and The Haymaker cocktail bar.

Karen Swain (SCIENCE)


James Alinder, Ansel Adams, 1984, 20 1/2 x 19 3/8 in., Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding, Calif. courtesy North Carolina Museum of Art (ART); courtesy Habitat Wake (INVOLVED);

all month



SCIENCE TRIVIA You can put your encyclopedic knowledge to the test at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences’ monthly science trivia nights. Meet at the Daily Planet Cafe on March 2 for questions ranging from science facts and scientific discoveries to current news and pop culture. Bragging rights are the main award, but sometimes other prizes are involved. 8:30 p.m.; free; 11 W. Jones St.;

This moment.


Brought to you by a retirement well planned.

3, 10, 17, 24 FLASHBACK FRIDAYS For a cultural immersion, check out the N.C. Museum of Art’s weekly winter film screenings. The museum calls this season’s eclectic global lineup “piquantly peripatetic.” Indeed, this month’s Friday evening shows are ’50s western Shane on March 3; two Mexican melodramas, The Kneeling Goddess on March 17 and The Other One on March 24; and, on March 10, silent film Stark Love with live accompaniment. You can make a night of it by eating dinner at Iris Restaurant beforehand. 8 p.m.; $7; SECU auditorium in the East Building, 2110 Blue Ridge Road;

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MERRIT “Quoted”

Folksy-bluesy country-rock singer and Raleighite Tift Merritt’s latest album, Stitch of the World, was released in January by Hillsborough-based label Yep Roc Records. Learn more at


Alexandra Valenti


n a perfectly straightforward level, I write a lot about North Carolina because it’s my home. Any time I’m writing about relationships with home and grounding, I’m writing about North Carolina. “I grew up in Raleigh, near downtown – I grew up in a place that really had a true sense of place. It was a very singular feel. That was and that has always been palpable to me. It’s been something that I’ve tried very much to give to my work: I want my work to feel like a particular world that you’re stepping into, a particular place and time steeped in a feel of its own. I think I want my work to feel that way because I’ve experienced it firsthand, here in Raleigh.”

3 URBAN FORMATION Brooklyn-based artist Leonardo Drew collected found, donated, and scavenged city debris to create a multidimensional mural on display at CAM March 3 - June 4. The 12-by-99-foot work dynamically explores the energy behind North Carolina’s hurricanes, with Matthew’s devastation last year particularly in mind. You can attend a ticketed opening reception March 9, or stop by the museum any time this month to see the installation. 6 - 9 p.m. opening reception, 11 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays - Fridays, 12 noon 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; $5; 409 W. Martin St.;

Maki Kawakita (URBAN); courtesy Frogtown Farm (COMMUNITY)


4 COMMUNITY GROWING Whether you’re an educator, an activist, a parent, or a home gardener, you might enjoy the Dig In afternoon at Marbles Kids Museum March 4. Raleigh nonprofit Advocates for Health in Action has put together a day of workshops and seminars exploring urban agriculture, community gardens, and edible gardens in schools and child care settings. The keynote speaker is Soyini Guyton, co-founder of food justice urban farm Frogtown Farm in St. Paul, Minn. 8:15 a.m. - 2 p.m.; $25; 201 E. Hargett St.;







Jill Knight, The News & Observer



MINDED I Dixie Deer Classic

t’s hard to miss the Dixie Deer Classic: One of the State Fairgrounds’ largest annual events brings more than 20,000 folks to town the first weekend of March. This year’s show March 3 - 5 marks the 50th anniversary of the Wake County Wildlife Club, the local conservation nonprofit behind the event. “It’s a phenomenon that’s built on itself,” says club member Jim Hudson. The Dixie Deer Classic is the 100-member Wildlife Club’s only fundraiser. Begun 37 years ago to showcase local deer hunting in a time when hunters often left the state to seek prizewinning bucks, Hudson says just a few hundred people attended that first show. Those numbers have since multiplied by 100, and


the scope now encompasses environmental stewardship education and kids’ outdoor activities, too. These include biennial “wildlife careers days” led by outdoors writers, park rangers, and environmental scientists that middle and high-schoolers can attend for academic credit. There’s a family-friendly scavenger hunt and exhibitors galore – and there’s also still an area for hunters to bring buck mounts and racks to be scored. While the Classic’s roots are local, word has spread. “People come in from all over creation,” Hudson says, to reconvene annually. The atmosphere is familiar and convivial, much like a family reunion. “It’s very festive.” –Jessie Ammons General admission for the weekend is $12, and kids ages 12 and under are free; on Friday, youth, seniors, military, and women can buy a day pass for $6;


courtesy State Live (STORIES); Curtis Brown Photography (MODERN); Armes Photography (CROWD); T.Payne (PADDY’S DAY)

4 STORIES BROUGHT TO LIFE Add some spunk to your family’s Saturday at a kids’ musical revue March 4. N.C. State Live hosts a touring theater troupe that will bring seven whimsical stories to life, including Teacher From the Black Lagoon, Grumpy Bird, and The Grasshopper and the Ant. The show is most appropriate for children in Kindergarten through fourth grade, but it’s sure to be delightful to spectators of every age. 3 p.m.; $12; Stewart Theatre at Talley Student Union, 2610 Cates Ave.;

9-19 MODERN TWIST The Bard gets an update during Theatre Raleigh’s presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream March 9 - 19. In just 50 minutes, the play will feature all of Shakespeare’s original central characters and some of the original text, freshened up and given a contemporary interpretation. This version is lively and includes singing, dancing, and crowd interaction suitable for theatre-goers young and old. Thursday - Sunday 6 p.m., 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; $15; Kennedy Theatre, 2 E. South St.;

11 9-26 CROWD FAVORITE Back by popular demand, the Carolina Ballet performs Vivaldi’s Four Seasons March 9 - 26. Robert Weiss’s ode to the eternal cycles of nature sold out in 2014 and was such a hit that audiences have been requesting it ever since. The returning recital this month features dynamic choreography and vivid staging. 8 p.m. March 9, 10, 11, 18, 25, and 2 p.m. March 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26; $30 - 70; Fletcher Opera Theater, 2 E. South St.;

ST. PADDY’S DAY Feeling festive? Then don green and head downtown for the annual Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade, held on March 11, the Saturday before the holiday. Local musicians and performers make their way through the streets downtown, and when the parade is over, the Wearin’ O’ the Green festival begins. The festival celebrates Celtic culture with Irish food, beer, and Celtic-inspired jewelry. Kids can stroll through Leprechaun Lane for arts-and-crafts and other activities, and live music and dance will be on the “Shamrock ’n Roll” stage throughout the afternoon. 10 a.m. parade, festival until 7 p.m.; free; City Plaza, 400 Fayetteville St.;

MARCH 2017 | 31




picked Hargett Street for its proximity to Marbles Kids Museum, her family’s favorite part of downtown. “Our mission is to bring children’s books to life through interactive experiences with the creative process of storytelling,” Brenner says. Along with bookclubs and reading nooks, Read With Me plans to showcase rotating exhibits of featured illustrators and offer illustration classes. Bolstered by crowdfunding support from an Indiegogo campaign, the store will open for April’s First Friday. “I hope that our shop will become a place of friendship and collaboration for those who love kid-lit. Or a place to unwind after playing at Marbles or enjoying a brilliant downtown festival. Downtown Raleigh is a vibrant place to visit and do business and we’re very excited to be able to add something meaningful for families.” –J.A.

ALL ABOUT IT A children’s bookstore opens downtown


here’s a new kid on the block downtown: Read With Me, a children’s bookstore and art shop, is set to open early next month. The store is the brainchild of owner Christine Brenner, who says her “aha” moment came from a charming local bookstore experience a few years ago on a family vacation. “I remember sitting on the floor with my son and reading through the picture books. We bought our books and went outside to read them. I knew right then that I was going to open a children’s bookstore.” Brenner


If the books we read “reveal our hopes and dreams,” as restaurateur Vansana Nolintha believes, then the 5,000 books he’s collecting from local residents to fill shelves at his latest venue just might showcase Raleigh’s collective mindscape. Nolintha is asking Raleighites to consider donating one or more books they love to the library he’s putting together at Bhavana, the dim sum restaurant / brewery / flower shop / bookstore (slash library) that he’s opening with his sister Vanvisa Nolintha and friend Patrick Woodson next door to the Nolinthas’ Bida Manda on Moore Square. “It is our hope that this library reflects our community’s diverse and colorful story,” Nolintha says. He invites anyone interested to mail or drop off books (used books are encouraged) during the month of March at Bhavana, 218 S. Blount St. “We’d love to know more about why the book is meaningful to you,” he says. “We are grateful to be a part of this community and can’t wait to share its stories.”

courtesy Christine Brenner (READ)


Charles Sykes (COME AWAY); The Cooper Company (VEREEN)



17, 18

Norah Jones has won 9 Grammys for her soulful, jazzinfused solo music. She performs at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts March 14. The set will include early popular numbers such as Come Away With Me and Feels Like Home, and also songs from her latest album Day Breaks Now, including covers of Duke Ellington and Neil Young. 8 p.m.; $51 - 66; 2 E. South St.;

BEN VEREEN Tony Award-winning actor Ben Vereen will perform alongside the N.C. Symphony March 17 and 18. With singing and dancing also in his repertoire, Vereen’s show weaves together stories about his life, humor, and Broadway show tunes, all with the accompaniment of the symphony. 8 p.m.; $30 - 95; 2 E. South St.;

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18, 19 COMI-CON

Comic book lovers will enjoy Raleigh’s annual Comicon (comic convention) March 18 and 19. Many fans dress as their favorite characters to attend exhibits, panels, workshops, and vendor booths about all things comic book. There are toys and collectibles for sale, and meet-and-greets with local comic book creators. The event always draws massive crowds, which is why this year it’s coming for two days. 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday; $30 weekend pass, $20 Saturday only, $15 Sunday only; Raleigh Convention Center, 500 S. Salisbury St.;

19 ICONIC RACE Runners have likely long known about the Tobacco Road marathon and half-marathon on March 19, but if you’re looking for a last-minute challenge, you can register until the day before. The course spans the American Tobacco Trail through Cary and Raleigh, and its relatively flat and rural route makes it a popular Boston Marathon qualifying race. If you’re not racing, make a note to steer clear of the greenways near the American Tobacco Trail that morning – unless you want to be cheering from the sidelines. 7 a.m.; $100 half-marathon, $110 marathon until March 9, then $110 half-marathon and $120 marathon; 111 Brooks Park Lane, Cary;

Alex Boerner (COMI); Takaaki Iwabu (ICONIC)

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Nicole Alvarez




A historic house makes a move


his month, Matt Tomasulo and his wife Nicole Alvarez have big plans for the historic house they bought downtown. After cleaving it off its foundation and moving it down Lenoir Street, up Wilmington, right on Davie, right on Bloodworth, and settling it in a vacant lot shaded by a beautiful pecan tree, the couple is getting the 1,200-square-


foot house ready for a new life. As soon as a 2,500-square-foot addition designed by Alvarez is complete, the circa 1880 house will open as Guest House, an 8-room boutique hotel. “What Raleigh doesn’t have is a small, cool, design-forward hotel,” says Tomasulo, an urban designer. “This model is getting a lot of momentum in other cities.” He and Alvarez have stayed in several for research – from Asheville to Nashville to Austin – and plan to emulate the best of those with a dose of Oak City hospitality. “We want to represent what we love about Raleigh, and really put it on a platter,” Tomasulo says. Possibilities include Videri chocolates, Bhavana beer, flowers from Wylde, folding bikes, “gorgeous maps,” and other Raleigh-made elements to liven up “cozy contemporary” interiors influenced by Scandinavian design. “We want to be a portal to Raleigh,” Tomasulo says. –L.R.

�pring to winston-salem

Spring to Winston-Salem for a getaway experience that includes beautiful gardens and landscapes, art, history, and visitor tours at Reynolda House Museum of American Art and Old Salem Museums & Gardens. spring highlights

packages include:

Reynolda House Museum of American Art Through June 4 Before the telegraph, Morse dazzled as a painter. His long-hidden masterpiece comes to North Carolina in Samuel F.B. Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre and the Art of Invention.

Two adult admission passes to Reynolda House Museum of American Art and Old Salem Museums & Gardens One or two night accommodations at select hotel partners; additional amenities vary by location

Old Salem Museums & Gardens April 15 – Easter Festival Egg dyeing, music, and more.

May 20 – Spring Festival and Pottery Fair on the Square Celebrate spring at this annual festival. Pottery Fair featuring more than 3o area potters.





courtresy Raleigh Fine Arts Society



North Carolina Artists Exhibition


umbers and art may make an unlikely pairing. But in this case, the numbers bear repeating. Beginning March 12, a juried art show featuring 72 pieces from 61 North Carolina artists will be exhibited at the Duke Center for Performing Arts. Sponsored by the Raleigh Fine Arts Society, the show is in its 38th consecutive year. It’s part of the nonprofit group’s effort to promote the visual, literary, and performing arts, as it


has for the past 51 years. This year’s juror, Michael Rooks, the Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the High Museum in Atlanta, reviewed 607 pieces by 353 artists from 105 cities and towns across the state before making his final selections. Following a lecture at 4 p.m. on March 12, Rooks will present five awards: a grand prize, three juror’s choice awards, and a student artist award. A reception will follow in the center’s Betty Ray McCain Gallery. The exhibition runs until April 27. The sum total? “It’s the largest juried exhibition in North Carolina. It is truly statewide,” says this year’s chair Ann Dunn. –Jesma Reynolds


19 The News & Observer files (STEVIE); Maki Kawakita (ENTRY); Harry Lynch (PLAY)

STEVIE NICKS Her voice is unmistakable, and you can hear it live when Stevie Nicks comes to the PNC Arena March 19. While she’ll sing a few familiar Fleetwood Mac tunes, most of Nicks’ performance will focus on her solo albums. The evening’s guest opener is British-American classic rock band The Pretenders. Rock on. 7 p.m.; $45 - $146; 1400 Edwards Mill Road;

25 23 ENTRY POINT If you’ve always been curious about classical music but don’t know much about it, a concert at CAM March 23 will make it accessible and engaging. Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival, an outreach program at the East Carolina University School of Music that brings international musicians to venues statewide, will host a “chamber music dressed down” night. Four musicians will play a traditional classical set, but take plenty of breaks for discussion and insight. Attendance is kept purposefully small so that you can meet and chat with the musicians afterward. 7:30 p.m.; $30; 409 W. Martin St.;

PLAY OUTSIDE As the weather begins to warm, William B. Umstead State Park is ramping up its outdoor programming. One fun event this month is a “wood games” session March 25. You can join a ranger for an hour-and-a-half of games designed to immerse you in the forest. The program is designed for ages 6 and up; grown-ups are encouraged to participate alongside children. 2 p.m.; free; 8801 Glenwood Ave.; register by calling the visitor center at 919571-4170,

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Karen Malinofski


ART IN BLOOM Flower power


he third annual Art in Bloom festival of art and flowers returns late this month. Mark your calendar for March 30 - April 2, when the museum’s West Building bursts to life with floral arrangements inspired by pieces in the permanent collection. There are dozens of workshops, master classes, presentations, and family activities throughout the weekend, plus a NCMA Museum Store trunk show. This year’s


special guest is Françoise Weeks, who specializes in textural woodlands and botanical haute couture pieces. She’ll lead presentations about her two areas of expertise, as well as a master class and luncheon on creating botanical couture headpieces. This busy, beautiful weekend passes by in a hurry, so make arrangements – pun intended – now. –J.A. General admission is $18, and events throughout are ticketed individually. For the full schedule, visit

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ACKLAND The museum receives it largest donor gift to date, including drawings by Rembrandt, while the store gallery hosts a Raleigh photographer’s show this month.


he Ackland Art Museum at UNC-Chapel Hill recently received its largest gift ever. Alumnus Sheldon Peck and his wife, Leena, donated a gift estimated at $25 million to the university-owned museum in January: 134 masterworks, most from 17th century Europe, including seven works by Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn; plus an $8 million endowment to create and support a new position at the museum.


The endowment will fund a curator to oversee the Peck Collection and other related European and American art. The gift makes UNC-Chapel Hill the first public university art museum in the U.S. to own a collection of drawings by Rembrandt, and only the second university art museum, public or private, to do so. The Pecks said they hope the collection will inspire museum visitors to appreciate the Dutch master’s celebration of beauty in the everyday. Meanwhile, Raleigh photographer Elizabeth Galecke has been appreciating everyday beauty through her latest project, Eyes Wide Open. Last year, Galecke began going for a walk in nature every day to document something – anything – inspiring. She posted her finds to Instagram with the hashtag #eyeswideopen, as a way to invite others to join in. The result is a collection of emotive vistas, often at familiar local spots including Shelley Lake and Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve. The Ackland Museum Store’s “Tiny Gallery” will host an exhibition of a collection of photos from the project, opening March 10. Galecke says she hopes to “promote being more aware of our surroundings and slowing down a bit, and just to show that there still are beautiful sights around us every day even when things in the world and in our lives are more difficult.” –J.A.

Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch, 1606 -1669: Study of a West African Woman, c. 1633-1635; pen in dark brown ink; 2-1/8 x 2 in. Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Peck Collection. Elizabeth Galecke (Trees)



Nina Chanel Abney, Untitled (Yo 123), 2015. Unique ultrachrome pigmented print, spray paint, and acrylic on canvas, 56 × 56 inches (142.24 × 142.24 cm). Private collection. Courtesy of Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York, New York. © Nina Chanel Abney.-courtesy the Nasher Museum (ACTIVISM); Judy Dove (LITTLE BIRD)

all month

ART ACTIVISM Artist Nina Chanel Abney’s paintings are bold, colorful, and graphic, and they’re meant to spark dialogue. The 34-year-old Chicago native has garnered acclaim in the past year for her work to creatively cultivate the Black Lives Matter movement. Her work made its North Carolina debut at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University last month, and the exhibit continues throughout March. If you don’t make it to Durham this month, the show remains on display until July 16. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesdays - Saturdays except 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Thursdays, and 12 noon - 5 p.m. Sundays; $5; 650 Alexander Ave., Durham;

4, 18

A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME With the upcoming 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering WWI (April 6), Raleigh Little Theatre has been touring a student production of Soar! The Hero Pigeons of WWI. Based on historical events, the brief play recounts the story of an American battalion trapped by the Germans in the French Argonne Forest in 1918. The unit was saved by a carrier pigeon who survived gunshots to successfully deliver a message asking for help. Targeted toward younger audiences, the story is whimsically told from the pigeon’s point of view. 3 p.m.; free; March 4 show: Eva Perry Regional Library, 2100 Shepherds Vineyard Drive, Apex, March 18 show: Halle Cultural Arts Center, 237 N. Salem St., Apex;


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HOOP -LA March Madness


arch Madness is coming, and it extends beyond the NCAA men’s college basketball finals this month. No matter what your level of basketball fandom, there’s a faceoff or two you’ll want to mark on your calendar. Here’s the game plan:


MARCH 11 High School Championships Budding stars statewide get a taste of the NCAA at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) men’s and women’s basketball championships March 11. Final teams play at both the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill and Reynolds Coliseum at N.C. State throughout the day; game times are 12 noon, 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. nchsaa. org/sports/basketball MARCH 16 - APRIL 3 Men’s College Championship The frenzy of matches that

inspired the phrase March Madness, the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball championship, begins with first-round games March 16 and 17. The “elite eight” remaining teams finish out the month March 25 and 26; the “final four” play April 1; and the national championship game is in Phoenix, Ariz. April 3. MARCH 17 - APRIL 2 Women’s College Championship Female basketball athletes vie for the top almost simultaneously with the men’s teams: First- and secondround games in the competi-

tion for the NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball championship occur March 17 - 20. The “final four” play March 31; and the national championship game is in Dallas, Texas April 2. womens-final-four MARCH 25 Harlem Globetrotters Less faceoff than entertainment, the Harlem Globetrotters bring their tricks to PNC Arena March 25. These players incorporate theatrical antics and funny moves to put on a basketball-themed show, and stick around for autographs and high fives afterward.

rogkov (FUN); Sebastien Bozon (MODERN)



4, 18 FUN ‘N’ GAMES


In need of a little weekend morning diversion? Apex residents – or anyone in the area – can attend Super Fun Saturday in the town’s cultural arts center. Held twice a month, local volunteers man arts-and-crafts stations for children ages 4 - 12. No registration is required, so you can make a day-of decision to attend. 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; free; 237 N. Salem St., Apex;

Singer Valerie June puts a distinct spin on bluesy folk and Americana with her gravelly voice and Memphis drawl: Think Corinne Bailey Rae meets Etta James. Her concerts are usually peppered with plenty of dialogue as well. See her this month March 7 at the Carolina Theatre in Durham. 8 p.m.; $27.50 in advance, $30 day of show; 309 W. Morgan St., Durham;





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LUXE THREADS Community leader Brenda Gibson is getting ready to open Marta’s, a desinger clothing boutique in North Hills. Gibson says the store will focus on personal consultation and clothes that work for women of all sizes and ages. martasofraleigh. com TAKING ROOT Longtime grassroots artist space Lump is officially re-opened as a community-supported nonprofit. The gallery’s exhibits are thought-provoking and edgy.



ational Kite Flying Month is April, and in anticipation, Carrboro hosts its annual kite fly March 26. The afternoon invites revelers to bring their own kite for a 2-hour revolving mass flying session, and there are a few extra kites on hand if you don’t have one of your own. You can get involved by volunteering to help the Town of Carrboro staff the event – a cheerful and low-key volunteer opportunity.

1 - 3 p.m.; free; Hank Anderson Park, 400 N.C. 54 West, Carrboro;


HAPPY HEART The gleaming new Heart and Vascular Hospital at Rex opens March 6, after 28 months of construction. TOUCH OF GREY Find hand screen-printed, dyed, painted, and collaged textiles, from pillows to fabric by the yard, at Grey Goods Studio. The online shop launched earlier this year and is founded by an N.C. State grad. greygoodsstudio. com

Jill Knight, The News & Observer (SOARING)


courtesy The Cary Theatre (CROONING); courtesy Forest Moon Theater(ANNE)


10-19 10 CROONING CONTEXT At a country music concert in Cary on March 10, you’ll hear the stories behind the songs. Julianne Ankley and Gary Hannan will be at The Cary Theater to perform a contemporary country set. Ankley is a singer-songwriter acclaimed in her native Detroit, and Hannan is the songwriter behind many of the songs of Blake Shelton, Montgomery Gentry, Craig Morgan, and more. They’ll perform both duets and individual numbers. 8 p.m.; $10 - 25; 122 E. Chatham St., Cary;

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES A hub of arts and culture in Wake Forest is the newly finished Renaissance Centre, a former shopping center renovated to become a performing arts venue and community center. This month, you can attend a local production of Anne of Green Gables March 10 - 19. The familiar play is about an orphanage mix-up that results in a rural couple bringing home a son rather than a daughter, and all that ensues as a girl on a farm and in a small town. Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m.; $15; 405 S. Brooks St., Wake Forest;

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hen a dozen of the nation’s top high school jazz bands convene and compete in Savannah, Ga. later this month, the Philharmonic Association’s Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble will be among them. The Savannah Music Festival’s annual Swing Central Jazz high school band competition and workshop weekend March 29 - 31 is an opportunity for some of the Triangle’s best young musicians to learn from, work with, and perform for professional players and composers, says director Gregg Gelb. “Working with these students is such an energy boost,”


Gelb says, “and they sound so good playing together. They play with a lot of feeling.” This will be the TYJE’s first trip, and one Gelb says the group is well-equipped for. Last May, the ensemble placed second in the Essentially Ellington national competition at Lincoln Center. In Savannah, the group will perform four arrangements – three required, and one of their choosing – in a series of competition rounds against eleven other bands from across the nation. When not practicing or performing, the 25 students will attend workshops and see the city. Regardless of the outcome, Gelb says the experience will be formative. “These are humble students. Behind their humbleness, they are trying to be the best players anywhere. This is an important step for their futures in music.” –J.A.


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courtesy Food Scene (EAT); courtesy Carolina Theatre (VIOLIN); Michael Salemi: Confluence (FLUID)

EAT AND DRINK Arrive hungry to the Bull City Food and Beer Experience on March 12. The fifth annual festival brings samples from 35 Durham restaurants and 35 North Carolina breweries to DPAC, with various local musicians and performers providing entertainment throughout the day. A portion of proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, which works toward a healthy water ecosystem in the creek running through North Durham. 4 - 8 p.m.; $80; 123 Vivian St., Durham;

23 CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE There are two distinct cultures represented through music on the evening of March 23 in Durham. You can hear groovy instrumental mash-ups by Black Violin, an innovative hip-hop-meets-classical (yes, you read that right) duo, at the Carolina Theatre. Or, head back in time to Ireland with the Celtic Women, who will perform traditional Irish arrangements at DPAC. 8 p.m. Black Violin and 7 p.m. Celtic Women; Black Violin tickets start at $29 and Celtic Women tickets start at $43; 309 W. Morgan St. and 123 Vivian St., Durham; and

27 FLUID INSPIRATION Throughout this year, the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts will spotlight featured artists at each of its rotating exhibits. To kick off the series, jeweler Arianna Bara, painter Eduardo Lapetina, and woodworker Michael Salemi contribute to Let the River Answer. The exhibition begins March 27 and displays diverse work from the three artists, all inspired by the river. Make a destination out of Hillsborough’s Last Friday Art Walk March 31, when the gallery will hold an opening reception (and many nearby restaurants have dinner and drink specials, too). 6 - 9 p.m. opening reception, then 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Mondays - Thursdays, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 12 noon - 4 p.m. Sundays; free; 121 N. Churton St., Hillsborough;

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From left: Jonathan Melton, Wes Scercy, Max Fitch, Britt Ellis, Richard Flenory, Will Brackett, and Paul Cash.

“You go from having teammates to having friends and then you go from having friends to having family.” –Richard Flenory, community outreach director of Stonewall Sports League and avid kickball player


PRING CONJURES A FRIENDLY GAME OF KICKBALL FOR Richard Flenory and his fellow Stonewall Sports league participants. “You hear people, teammates calling out, screaming – the clapping, the cheering. Dogs. People hugging each other because they haven’t seen each

other.” One of Flenory’s first activities after moving to Raleigh in March 2014 was to attend the kickball game of a few friends. He was struck by the family-like atmosphere at first. “Then I found out it’s an LGBT league,” knew it was the right fit, and signed up. “The league’s original intent was to give the LGBT community a safe environment to be athletic and play sports in,” he says, adding that all are welcome regardless of sexual orientation. “We have people of all sexualities, religions, and ethnicities.” Open-minded camaraderie is precisely what founder

Jonathan Melton says he hoped to accomplish by starting the Raleigh recreational sports league in 2013 (inspired by his friends’ original chapter in DC). It started as a few teams playing weekly kickball games; today Stonewall encompasses more than 1,000 members on kickball, dodgeball, volleyball, bowling, and flag football teams. Weekly games end in a shared meal or happy hour, and teams also volunteer together at organizations like Habitat for Humanity or Note in the Pocket. “The diversity of our service projects reflects the same diversity we have in our league,” says Flenory. Melton says the crowd favorite remains kickball, which opens registration this month and plays April - June. “We call kickball our gateway sport. It’s something most people are familiar with from when they were a kid. It’s not intimidating. It’s a welcoming environment.” –J.A.


photograph by TRAVIS LONG

OUR Town


“When you walk in … if we don’t know you, we get to know you.” –Jeff Hastings, co-owner of Burke Brothers Hardware


EAR THE STATE FAIRGROUNDS ON HILLSBOROUGH Street, Burke Brothers Hardware stands out for its neon “established in 1936” sign and hammer door pulls. “There’s only a handful of this type of store left in North Carolina,” says co-owner Jeff

Hastings. As its neon sign attests, the store opened more than eighty years ago, first as a food market and, since the ’50s, as the hardware store it is today. Paul Burke started the operation with his brother Paul; over generations, sons, brothers-in-law, and, just last year, a trusted friend (but non-family-member) became involved. Today, Paul Burke’s son Henry Burke, son-in-law Jim Garriss, and hardware professional Jeff Hastings run the business. “A hardware store is kind of like your family physician,” Garriss says. “The family physician is a general practitioner for

whatever ails you. We’re the practitioner for your home. You come in with a problem, we try to get you a cure.” Among packed rows of screws, nails, tape, and tools is an old-school hardware store touch: a popcorn machine. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, fresh popcorn is free for the taking. “On the occasional day the machine is down, you see people’s faces just drop,” Garriss says with a chuckle. “They know when it’s popcorn day and they look forward to it. That’s what it’s about: to build relationships and to build memories.” “It’s just another personal element,” Hastings says. “We hope people think of us as an extension of their home, as their hardware home. Our goal is to get you everything you need. When you leave here, you shouldn’t have to make any extra trips.” –J.A.


photograph by TRAVIS LONG

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Here, the alumni stick around to serve up some seriously good eats. There’s comfort food waiting around every corner. And a well-crafted burger can reign supreme. Extend your stay and discover a new side of the South in Chapel Hill and Orange County. —————•—————




OUR Town


“In March we finally start getting more daylight. We’ll be planning our spring planting and getting outside more.” –Jason Botts, coordinator of the Wake County Junior Master Gardeners


T’S 6:30 P.M. ON A THURSDAY EVENING AT JC RAULSTON Arboretum. Elementary school students are perfecting their botanical sketches; middle schoolers are learning which seeds might grow best in the Southeast this spring; and high schoolers are gathered in a yurt on the back of the property, blending up pesto and talking vegetable gardens. They’re all here for the monthly Junior Master Gardeners gathering, a Wake County 4-H program for ages 4 - 18. “Each of the leaders has designed their program around their target group – high schoolers love to eat – but it’s always tied back to horticulture,” says Jason Botts, the overall coordinator. Master Gardeners are adult graduates of a fairly extensive garden science certification program that emphasizes volunteer-

ing; this junior version is much less intensive. Any interested child is welcome to sign up online, and there’s a nominal voluntary donation. In adolescence, Botts says, there are no brown or green thumbs, only curious minds. “Kids love to dig in the dirt. We’re helping them learn about it.” This is the first year the fifty-something JMGs have met at the arboretum (they were previously in the Wake County Cooperative Extension office) and the new venue has inspired them all. “Being here is like we’ve died and gone to heaven, because we’re surrounded by everything at work. The kids have really been having fun with it. It’s awesome. The sky’s the limit.” Or, rather, the ground. –J.A.

photograph by TRAVIS LONG





OPEN HOUSE DATES: March 25-26, April 1-2, April 8-9 Located in Downtown Raleigh – at the corner of E. Hargett and S. Bloodworth Streets – a community of nineteen rowhomes designed for the resident desiring the advantages of a downtown lifestyle coupled with the grace of historic living. An exceptional interpretation of urban living filled with fresh ideas from Raleigh’s leading designers. Works of art on display from the artists of Artspace – Landscaping ideas from Bland Landscaping. BENEFITTING THE SOUTHEAST RALEIGH YMCA Be the first to visit the home at a Benefit Preview Party, March 24th For information and ticket sales please visit:


OUR Town


“I don’t look at it as an additional revenue stream as much as I look at it as an engaging tool for the community. That’s just as important.” –Andrew Cash, owner, Jubala Coffee


UBALA COFFEE OWNER ANDREW CASH HAD A PIE-IN-THEsky dream for an extension of his coffee shop: “If you could cut a piece of our bar, put it on wheels, and move it out, you could get the same coffee experience from this cart as you can in the shop.” But in the busy early days of 2011, that dream took a back seat to building his new business. The stars aligned later that year when Jubala won a contest sponsored by a then-brand-new mobile credit card processing company, Square: “It was $10,000 to go toward our business.” Cash knew what that money could do. He worked with friend and architect Matt Griffith at In Situ Studio to design a mobile coffee cart that left no amenity behind: a state-of-theart custom-made espresso machine from Seattle atop a handmade steel countertop and a frame by Arrowhead studio, and

cabinets by Dopko Cabinetry. The final product weighs 2,000 pounds, scoots around on wheels, and lives in a special enclosed trailer in Cash’s garage. Jubala uses it for events from nonprofit benefits to weddings. Now, Jubala – which opened a second location on Hillsborough Street in 2016 – can not only go on the road, it can give the stores’ baristas a chance to focus on what they do best, Cash says. Operations director Kevin Stone, often on tap for the cart (and pictured above), can vouch for that. “In the shop, there’s so much going on – not only do you serve customers but you restock fridges, clean. With the cart, everything’s already set up and ready to go. You just keep your space clean and other than that, your entire job is to engage everybody that comes up. –J.A. photograph by TRAVIS LONG


THEN and NOW Google Fiber Space

58 | WALTER color photographs by David Williams; historic photo courtesy Billy Warden


One of the world’s most transformative companies has found its Triangle home in a historic former train depot on Glenwood South.


N A SUNNY DAY IN FEBRUARY, DOWNTOWN RAleighites gathered in a sleek, renovated former industrial space of the sort the tech world favors in any modern city. With a massive mural by Victor Knight III shouting “Raleigh” from an exposed brick wall and Jubala coffee on offer, there was no mistaking which modern city it was. But even those who know Raleigh well might not have recognized the refined and light-filled space as the former site of the long-loved 518 West Italian Cafe, which closed its Tuscaninspired doors two years ago after 18 years in business. Today, that restaurant – which helped ignite the Glenwood South entertainment district – is a fond memory for many. Also a memory is the building’s original iteration as a freight depot for the Norfolk Southern railway. In the place of that railway’s freight cars or the restaurant’s chalkboard menus now are contemporary furniture, pinpoint lighting, and flat screens.

It’s become Google Fiber’s Raleigh Fiber Space, a retail office for the company’s high-speed internet service that plans to moonlight as a community gathering spot. It kicked off its new life as the latter with a Black History Month and First Friday celebration of Knight’s mural and other works, plus music by 9th Wonder. Other free events planned as of press time include a coding class for kids, a workshop for small businesses, and a family game night. Raleigh is one of a handful of U.S. cities where Google has similar “fiber spaces.” The company aims to put them in historic buildings when possible, in locations that represent “hubs of local culture” that are “significant and meaningful to local communities,” says Google designer David del Villar Fernandez. –L.R. For more information on Google’s new fiber space and its community events, visit

MARCH 2017 | 59

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WORK FLOW This page: A piece of the Berlin Wall stands in the atrium of The Frontier in Research Triangle Park. Opposite: Loading Dock Raleigh, one of the newer coworking spaces, is housed in the former distribution facility for A&P Grocery and offers its members showers, an outdoor patio, and a full-service kitchen.


Coworking spaces take hold in Raleigh


THE WAY WE WORK IS CHANGING. “IT’S ABOUT SO MUCH MORE THAN THE PHYSICAL SPACE,” says Jason Widen, entrepreneur and co-founder of HQ Raleigh downtown. Widen helped launch HQ in 2012 as a place to provide support, programming, and work space for startups. “We think of it as community building.” Since the dawn of the Information Age in the ’70s ushered in digitally stored and exchanged knowledge, the notion of what makes an office has shifted. Nowadays, it can mean that the people who work in the same space don’t necessarily work for the same company, or even do the same thing. Like many innovations, it began in Silicon Valley, Calif., where a shared-workspace concept first emerged about a decade ago. Dubbed “coworking,” these offices allowed small teams and independent workers from different companies to rent desk and office spaces and work side-by-side, ideally learning from, helping, and inspiring one another. MARCH 2017 | 63

Today, coworking is a familiar setup championed by tech entrepreneurs, creative freelancers, and millenials. Thanks to Raleigh’s university and startup cultures, coworking has taken hold here, although the people behind many Raleigh coworking spaces squirm at the cut-and-dried label. “We’ve built a place that has everything you need to get your work done and to get it done well, period,” says Carter Ellis, community manager at Loading Dock, one of the city’s newest cowork spaces. They range from offices with sweeping downtown views to scrappy makeshift conference rooms; from entrepreneur-focused to design-driven; from intimate settings for a few to giants that accommodate 200-plus members. What these places have in common is the goal of cultivating productive work. Here’s what that looks like in Raleigh.

‘High-impact, high-growth’ “When we opened our doors, it was an experiment,” says HQ director Liz Tracy. After the annual entrepreneurship-focused Innovate Raleigh summit in 2012, “we heard the community of entrepreneurs say, ‘We need a physical place to gather,’” Tracy says. Founded by a team of successful local thinkers – Widen, Christopher Gergen, Brooks Bell, and Jesse Lipson – HQ immediately focused on “high-impact, high-growth startups.” Today there are just over 130 members, and Widen says the space has been at capacity and with a wait-list since day one. When you rent a desk or office by the month, you also get “fireside chats” with authors and entrepreneurs, workshops, and regular networking events. In the five years since its start, HQ has earned a B-Corp certification and built partnerships with the N.C. State Entrepreneurship Clinic, which hosts weekly evening classes at HQ, and Citrix and Red Hat, which teamed together to develop an accelerator program with HQ. To make room for the future, HQ expanded its warehouse district space into an adjacent building on Harrington Street. At press time, construction was finishing on a 25,000-square-foot space on the lot nextdoor to the HQ headquarters; this spring, 64 | WALTER

‘MORE THAN A PHYSICAL SPACE’ At HQ Raleigh, the focus is on “high-impact, highgrowth startups.” It has earned B-Corp certification and built partnerships with the N.C. State Entrepreneurial Clinic, Citrix, and Red Hat.

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STUDIO ATMOSPHERE The Assembly caters to design professionals and encourages creative collaboration. Wylde, a flower business, has a storefront at the entrance.

it will begin revamping the top five floors of the Capital Club building downtown into event and classroom space. “We’ve begun to think about how to have an impact on the entrepreneurial community not just in Raleigh, but in the Southeast,” Widen says.

Frystock says The Frontier gets 100-200 daily workers in the free space, and now has 200 members upstairs. There are almost-daily fitness classes, regular happy hours, and weekly food truck rodeos. “It’s a community hub,” Pittman says, “that has coworking in it.”

‘Anyone with an idea, a goal, or a dream’ Another player on the coworking scene is The Frontier, in the heart of RTP with a public-university-library vibe. The only space without a membership fee, The Frontier developed from a desire to freshen up RTP. “Ten years ago, the park was a stale, suburban business park,” says RTP Foundation member Michael Pittman. “There wasn’t much of a community. There was no sense of place. We knew that we needed to change in order to remain relevant.” In June 2015, the bottom floor of a former IBM building opened to the public with a new look: open layout, hanging planters, and free WiFi. “Anyone with an idea, a goal, or a dream” is free to set up shop for a few hours, for the day, or consistently. Pittman says the demographic is diverse – mothers re-entering the workforce alongside millennial coders. The free coworking opportunity was an immediate success, and in the last year The Frontier has expanded to include two floors of office space for rent. Main-floor access remains free, and there are conference rooms available for a nominal charge. Events manager Amanda 66 | WALTER

‘The decentralized workforce’ Tucked into a building on Fayetteville Street downtown, Nest Raleigh offers a funky loft atmosphere for its 125 tech-minded members. Started by Sean Maroni, who founded Betabox, a local modular technology lab, and chief design officer Michael Hobgood, the space has “that transient entrepreneurial community and feel,” Hobgood says. Opened in fall 2016, Nest’s common area has hanging hammock chairs; Hobgood, an architect by training, made the conference tables himself; and local beer and coffee are always available. Many Nest members are remote workers for larger companies, some based across the country: Hobgood calls them the “decentralized workforce.” These companies “aren’t sure if they’re going to put down roots in Raleigh,” Hobgood says, so they’ll fund a few staffers at a Nest space in the meantime. Members are treated like family: Rates scale to fit tenants, work-trade opportunities are available, and Hobgood is “vigilant” about thoughtful, thrifty design.

NESTLED DOWNTOWN Tech-minded Nest Raleigh has a number of members who work remotely for larger companies.

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POLISHED, PROFESSIONAL National coworking company Industrious recently opened a local branch in City Plaza. The setup emphasizes hospitality, with fresh fruit and organic granola bars always available.

‘Polished, professional home’ Industrious is the City Plaza outpost of a national coworking provider. Opened in January, it’s swanky and hospitality-focused, with a constant supply of Lucettegrace pastries, Counter Culture coffee, fresh fruit, and organic snack bars. There are 50 companies with 200 workers who share paper shredders, noise-eliminating phone rooms, reading nooks, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking downtown, and nursing mothers’ rooms. “The Triangle is one of the quickest growing entrepreneurial communities out there. We wanted to get in early in Raleigh,” says president and co-founder Justin Stewart, who is based in Chicago. He says Industrious is “a polished, professional home in the heart of downtown.”

‘The context’ A creative take on coworking can be found at Loading Dock Raleigh, a renovated warehouse on Whitaker Mill Road that opened in summer 2016. Founded by Murphy’s Naturals and operated by the company’s team, it’s a shared workspace in the truest sense, born of the B-Corp’s wish to open up its own office space. “This is a place for anyone to get out of the house and get work done, and a community to work with,” says Murphy’s employee-cum-Loading Dock community manager Carter Ellis. 68 | WALTER

The 100-odd members, who pay rent to join, include makers, nonprofit workers, freelancers, and remote professionals. The community culture is informal, including poker nights and pizza dinners to benefit charity, cookie-baking brainstorming gatherings, and other community-generated get-togethers. “We provide the context for interaction and community, and then we want the members to own it.” Up next is a shared “messy warehouse” operation next-door, geared toward companies, such as Murphy’s, that have order fulfillment and packaging needs, or makers who need storage and bare-bones space.

‘Sincere humbleness’ A self-described “no-frills” version of coworking happens at Bldg Co., an airy shared building off of Boylan Avenue. Once the studio of architect Frank Harmon, it became the headquarters for composting pick-up organization CompostNow in late 2012. Realizing they had more space – and more rent – than they wanted, CompostNow co-founders Justin Senkbeil and Dominique Bischof spread the word to share the office. “We’re more like roommates,” Senkbeil says of the members, which have ranged in number from 12 to 20. Bischof handles the very basic maintenance and logistics, and otherwise it’s “the roommate standard:” if you wash a dish, clean it; if you need a printer, bring it.

NO FRILLS Once architect Frank Harmon’s studio, Bldg Co. is now home base for an inventive crew of community builders.

“Coffee, kitchen, desk, inspiration provided,” Senkbeil says. “But who handles the mail when it comes in? Whoever’s closest to the door.” Over time, members and the CompostNow team have added a conference room and two phone booths, and there’s a common area where all are free to hold meetings. “It’s not like we’re trying to be something or not trying to be something,” Senkbeil says, adding that he’s overcome an initial shyness about the workplace. “When we bring in clients and corporate executives, they’re really responsive. People appreciate the sincere humbleness of this space.”

share a dozen simple white desks and a custom-made ping-pong-conference-table hybrid. All of the members are broadly design-related, and include brand managers, calligraphers, and photographers. “We’re sitting at the intersection of business and design, and the people here are, too,” Bitter says. Members work independently, but there’s a “shared platform” approach, the founders say. “We want to elevate individuals to work together on larger projects,” Gajownik says. All furniture at The Assembly is on wheels so that the room can shift for events and meetings. “Somebody might come in, pitch an idea, and others will overhear. Here, they’ll

jump in and collaborate,” Reyes says. With shared work as the internal camaraderie-builder, Neptune says community involvement is a key part of The Assembly. “We want to actively seek to engage with the community. We see in Raleigh, right now, an opportunity to shape – what it looks like, what it feels like. What kind of place do we want Raleigh to be?”

‘The intersection of business and design’ The Assembly downtown represents another evolution of coworking. “We wanted that studio atmosphere from design school, a dedicated space that’s both creative and professional,” says graphic and brand designer Joshua Gajownik, who graduated from N.C. State College of Design. There, he met designer Gino Reyes, and the two partnered with Reyes’ wife and floral designer Nikelle Orellana-Reyes, brand strategist Mary Ann Bitter, and event director and DJ Nick Neptune to open a space inspired by design school studios. The Assembly opened in September 2016 and “is somewhere between an art studio and a highly polished suite,” Gajownik says. Orellana-Reyes’ floral business, Wylde, bookends the space with a small storefront entrance and a curtained-off portion in the back where she arranges flowers; in between, 25 members

TEAMWORK HQ Raleigh hosts classes in partnership with the N.C. State Entrepreneurship Clinic.

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From 2010 through 2014, Raleigh photographer Julie Williams Dixon traveled east to gather material for educational films being produced by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences about American shad restoration and the Roanoke River. One of the films, We Are the River, has toured the state in classrooms and public forums.

SPRINGTIME ON THE ROANOKE RIVER IS A FISHERman’s paradise. First come the hickory shad, sometimes as early as mid January. As the days stretch out and the water warms, large numbers of fish move upstream to spawn, and fishermen migrate like patient pilgrims back to the ancient river’s banks. In February, you might find yourself alone at your favorite fishing hole, but by March when the rockfish get steady, so do the lines at the public boat ramps. By April, you won’t be the only one dropping anchor at Devil’s Gut, or Speller’s Ditch, even if you do know how to navigate your boat in the dark grey of pre-dawn using only the old trees as guideposts. Cabins and lean-tos crouch nonchalantly amid the cypress trees, though these hunting and fishing clubs are less numerous now than in days gone by. I didn’t grow up in this world. I can’t claim to know about shad darts, or how to tie a fly to catch a striped bass, but what I can declare is that I’ve encountered a kind of serenity among the fishermen here that I have rarely found for myself. It was a great pleasure to gather stories about the people and places along this crooked ribbon that snakes through the old north state. There are many to be told. For now, join me for a glimpse into Big O’s River Retreat.

text and photographs by JULIE WILLIAMS DIXON

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If the word “retreat” brings to mind a spa or glamorous surroundings, let go of preconceived notions, because Big O’s River Retreat is not swanky or shiny, and you’re more likely to get offered an old can of red wrigglers than a cup of Red Zinger. There’s a mischievous peace shining from the eyes under bills of well-worn caps. But Big O’s is also oozing with contentment. The river and woods offer sanctuary. Waders and camouflage jackets slip on meditatively.


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On the second and fourth Thursday of the month – every month, all year long – one of the members is in charge of planning the menu. Cooking duties are shared among members and loyal guests. In spring, fresh fish is on the menu, but the meals also range from chicken pastry, to deer or wild turkey, to a traditional North Carolina pig pickin’, downeast style. “Immediately after they ask the blessing, it’s just an uproar,” says member Billy Spruill. “But the minute their plates are full and they sit down, it’s absolute silence. Not a sound nowhere.” The group welcomes friends and family, and sometimes the crowd swells depending on the time of year and what’s on the menu. “You don’t know how many people are going to come sometimes until the day of the meal,” member Jimmy Spruill says. “We have some families close. They’re people that need food. Low income people.”

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There’s been scant turnover in the original 14 members who formed what would become Big O’s more than two decades ago. At the time photographer Julie Wiliams Dixon met them, at least one original member was too ill to attend, and sadly, one of the younger members passed away unexpectedly in 2014. Two more, including a WWII veteran, have passed since then. Many are well into their 70s, and a few are in their 80s. As one member put it, “this group has a way of living a long time, and there’s speculation it might have something to do with the regular fishing.”

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of a house


COMMUNITY PARTNERS From left: Daniel Pietrzak of the Boys & Girls Club, publicist Mary Beth De Loache, realtor Sheri Hagerty, builder Dennis Fitzgerald, designer Chrissy Gupton, and Boys & Girls Clubs board chair Julian Williamson


together A community contributes,

Boys & Girls Clubs benefits

FEBRUARY MARCH 2017 | 79 97




The elegant brick house in Raleigh’s Country Club Hills rose quickly over the last several months. From initial concept to fully furnished showcase, the construction of the 6,000 square-foot, $1,999,900 residence on Granville Drive relied, as most high-end homes do, on an army of professionals. But this time, those professionals aren’t profiting from their work. They’re donating it. Led by DJF Builders, which built the home, a group including the home designer, the realtor, and 18 individual interior designers have come together to benefit a nonprofit they believe in: Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County. Together, the group expects to donate more than $300,000 to the cause. “We wish we could do more,” says Dennis Fitzgerald, who had had visited similar charitable show homes along the East Coast with DJF designer Chrissy Gupton, and wanted to bring one to Raleigh. DJF Builders will contribute all proceeds from the sale of the home. “We couldn’t think of a worthier organization to benefit.” The designer, Carter Skinner, also donated his work; the realtor, Sheri


DJF Builders Designer Show House, benefitting The Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County 3019 Granville Drive, Raleigh, 27609

Thursday, March 23 Opening night preview party with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails Hosted by the Triangle Scout Guide To benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County 6 - 10 p.m. Tickets, $100 at

Friday, March 24th Speaker series with design community influencers Sponsored by Charlotte-based Brandshop 9 a.m. - 12 noon Tickets at

March 25 - April 9 House is open for general admission Wednesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday 12 noon - 5 p.m. Tickets, $15 in advance at; $20 at the door


Clockwise from top: Renderings from Madcap Cottage, which has designed the house’s spacious family room to evoke the island of Mustique with “a spirited dose of tropic-luxe temepered with continental chic.” The master bedroom as captured in a mood board by Betsy Anderson, who was inspired by springtime to create a “calming and harmonious master bedroom suite” with “fresh, clear vibrant hues of blues and glossy white.” A mood board from Leigh Jones, who designed a bedroom and bathroom to reflect a “clean, classic, with elements of contemporary” aesthetic. She says she was inspired by handloomed linens and contemporary art to mix textures and materials. Anne Wagoner’s treillage-wrapped garden rooom celebrates the courtyard it overlooks by bringing the outside in. Painted floors, a skirted center table, and a custom iron, gold leaf, and crystal chandelier create “a sanctuary designed for connecting with nature in a luxurious setting.” For the game room, Patrick Casey of Green Front chose “majestic hues of hunting coat red, regal navy, alabaster, and midnight” to evoke a “traditional English past” with a “sophisticated and whimsical approach to Americana.”

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Hagerty of Allen Tate Realtors, is donating her entire commission; the interior designers (each of whom is designing a room) have contributed a fee and 10 percent of any sale of their design work. More than 30 other sponsors have contributed fabric, cabinetry, roofing, lighting, furniture, and more. Adding to the charitable donation will be the sale of tickets to an opening night preview party on March 23, when the results of the collaboration will be on display. The house will also be open for ticketed tours Wednesday to Sunday in the two weeks to follow, when as many as 10,000 people are expected to visit. The show home’s contribution will be a major boon to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County, says board chair Julian Williamson. The nonprofit will use the funds to boost the organization’s programs, he says, and to “position the Clubs for the next decade of service.” Boys & Girls Clubs currently serves 5,000 Wake County kids between 6 and 18 with after-school and summer programs including sports leagues, academic success programs, and character and citizenship programs. Williamson says nonprofits like Boys & Girls Clubs need to get creative with fundraising in order to keep up with the needs of a growing population and a changing philanthropic landscape. “The more and more we talked about (the show house), we decided it was the right thing to do.” The timing was ideal: This year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Realtor Hagerty, who at press time was talking to a handful



Opposite page: The Warehouse (top) combined several North Carolina-made elements for a bedroom with a tortoiseshell chandelier, navy walls, a velvet upholstered headboard, and velvettrimmed bedding. A powder room by Lisa Mende (bottom) was inspired by our state, with colors that reflect the coast, the foothills, and cotton fields. Custom lighting is by Raleigh’s Louise Gaskill; wallpaper is by Charlotte’s Jill Seale. This page, clockwise from top: The breakfast room by Martha Schneider of La Maison is glamorous, but also designed for “practical everyday use.” The focal points are a blush pink chandelier, gold console, and lamps. MA Allen combined plum walls, marigold curtains, art by Alexis Walter of New Orleans, a Regency-style table, and white cheetah pony hair chairs for library that can serve as a study or intimate living room. A colorful sitting room rendering from Tula Summerford, who created “a modern luxe office for the lady of the house, where modern meets vintage.”

of interested buyers for the house, says that when DJF asked her to partner on the project, she jumped at the chance. “We started thinking about what Boys & Girls does for the youth in our community,” she says. “We want to give back.” Potential buyers of the house do too, she says. They’re excited to think that their purchase will contribute to the community. “The buyer ends up being a partner,” says Fitzgerald. The buyer also gets the opportunity to live in a custom-built house with floods of daylight from ample windows and French doors, an open floorplan, four bedrooms, a cedar shake roof, and formal gardens designed by Raleigh’s Frank Liggett. “The inspiration was a New Orleans carriage style house,” says house designer Skinner. Designing it, he says, was “a wonderful opportunity to work with everybody on such a worthwhile project.”

SHOW HOUSE CONTRIBUTING INTERIOR DESIGNERS Alison Crawford Roane Anne Wagoner Betsy Anderson Chrissy Gupton, DJF Builders Colorful Concepts, Sally Williams Danny Taylor The Gilded Acorn Green Front Interiors and Rugs, Patrick Casey Katherine Connell

La Maison, Martha Schneider Leigh Jones Lisa Mende MA Allen Interiors Madcap Cottage MFANO Southern Studio The Warehouse Tula Summerford

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Duke Health and WakeMed are joining forces; combining the renowned innovation of Duke with the heart care passion and expertise of WakeMed to provide greater value and more options for high quality heart care in Wake County. That’s the power of collaboration.

WALTER profile


and LIGHT Architect Louis Cherry makes his mark



photographs by LISSA GOTWALS


TALK TO ANYONE WHO KNOWS ARCHITECT LOUIS CHERRY’S WORK, AND one adjective inevitably slips into the conversation: Comfortable. It’s a hallmark of his finely tuned interiors, his mastery of scale and proportion, and his relentless search for connections between inside and out. “I rely on the space and the way light moves through it,” the 63-year-old Greenville native says. “It’s actually very intuitive.”

INTUITIVE MINIMALIST Louis Cherry on a second-floor porch of The Phil Morrison House, a modern home in rural Orange County he describes as “perfectly imperfect.”

It’s well thought out, too. Cherry’s been designing buildings – homes, schools, churches, and libraries – since he graduated from N.C. State’s College of Design in 1983. If there’s any doubt about his ability to put people at ease, a trip to his 2005 masterwork in aluminum, glass, and maple at the Cameron Village Library is in order. It’s a hushed and lightfilled affair – an instructive exploration of what can be achieved with attention to detail and selective use of materials. “It’s like cooking, where each ingredient has a place in the dish,” he says. “The same is true of architecture – it’s a careful curation of materials to create a simple, elegant solution.” Diners in Raleigh have been experiencing the quiet beauty of his buildings for years now, perhaps without knowing it. Since 1992, Cherry has designed a dozen restaurants here, starting with a pair of fast-food outlets. “When I first started my practice in 1992 and was desperate for work, I designed two Miami Subs restaurants,” he says. “They were formula-driven for design – but I learned the technical side of kitchens, service flow, and processes for approvals.” Of the 12 restaurants he’s designed, he has co-owned one. His Enoteca Vin (Wine Repository) – a bistro conceived in 1997 and opened in 1999 – instantly earned a reputation that surpassed its Alvar Aalto furnishings, its gray-stained hardwood floors, and its black, glass-edged bar. It also launched the careers of Andrea Reusing, now owner-chef of Lantern in Chapel Hill and the Durham Hotel restaurant in Durham, and Ashley Christensen, owner-chef of Poole’s Diner, Beasley’s, Chuck’s, Bridge Club, and Death and Taxes in Raleigh. “He gets it – the flow and function of a restaurant,” says Scott Crawford, owner-chef of Crawford and Son in Raleigh. “How many architects are there out there who’ve owned a restaurant?” Enoteca Vin may not have survived the Great Recession of 2009, but its reputation lives on. “It was the most comfortable, elegant, and informal place possible,” says Raleigh architect Frank Harmon. “That building came from his heart – he’s always been interested in good food, wine, art, and conversation. He used to give cooking classes to his staff.” At 2015’s Death & Taxes, created inside a historic 1920s building on Hargett Street in downtown Raleigh, Cherry looked back to early 20th-century Austrian architects Adolf Loos and Adolf Wagner. Its marble tabletops and bentwood chairs recall Vienna in the 1920s – a subtle architectural reference to the era of the structure’s origins. “It creates some sympathy between an old building and a modern feel,” he says. More recently, Cherry worked with Crawford on his new restaurant on Person Street in downtown Raleigh. Crawford and Son has transformed the space formerly occupied by PieBird, taking it from casual to elegant in a rapid four months. Its guiding principle, like most of Cherry’s work, is minimalism. “The first conversation we had was: Let’s make a list of all the trendy things we’ve seen over the last five years, and not do any of those,” Crawford says. “The second was: Let’s explore all the great things that are in the space already – what can we use and MARCH 2017 | 87

how can we use them? And the third was: Let’s do it on a reasonable budget.” The results are impressive. Floors are dark-stained concrete, with steel and patterned glass tile at the entrance, and a walnut slab for a front door. Tabletops are black soapstone streaked in light gray, and walls are the original brick, exposed. Cherry added acoustical panels along the black-leather banquettes so that guests can hear themselves speak. Vertical-ribboned patterns in the leather upholstery, he says, refer to the muscle cars of the ’70s. Esoteric as that sounds, it was a feature he knew Crawford and every guest would appreciate. “The question was how to create a space where the food is the star, so it’s a rich, deep environment where the food sparkles,” he says. “The lighting is orchestrated to light the plates – and it’s a warm and comfortable environment.”

At home Cherry choreographs his residential work with equal care. On a 60-acre nature preserve on the outskirts of Chapel Hill, he recently completed a 3,000-square-foot home that is an ode to transparency and light. It’s an organized grid of interconnected volumes that explode to exquisite views of the landscape through nine-feet-tall sheets of glass almost eight feet wide. “It’s quite dramatic,” Cherry says. “It was critical that the glass go all the way to the ceiling and all the way to the floor so that those planes go all the way out.” It’s a building that’s defined less by a formal program written by client and architect, and more by external vistas and incom88 | WALTER

FLOW AND FUNCTION ing light. Each room reveals Above left: Cherry in his studio with itself and its surroundings in his three architectural designers, Jesse a thoughtfully managed, cu- White, Bhavneet Birdi, and Alison Croop. mulative way, as though the The firm is working on a public library project in Annapolis, Md. Above right: building were following a viCherry and chef Scott Crawford at Crawsual script. ford and Son. Opposite: A view from the That’s appropriate. His landing of Cherry’s personal residence. client here is Phil Morrison, a New York-based director of television commercials and the 2005 film Junebug, for which actor Amy Adams earned an Oscar nomination. And the house is based on a design that Cherry had already developed for Andrea Reusing. “He did my friend’s place, and I liked it, and I said: ‘Him!’” Morrison says. The two have been working together on the project for five years, trying at first to save an existing deck house on site – one that faced southwest to a creek 150 feet away and 40 feet down. When they found that scheme unworkable, they took the building down, preserving its fireplace and chimney for a patio, and rebuilt on its footprint. Their materials of choice were concrete and cedar stained black. “It’s perfectly imperfect,” Cherry says. “He’s really very interested in creating rather raw expressions of materials – unadorned and unpolished.” The result is an up-to-date take on modern architecture, using traditional materials in new and comforting ways – like the reclaimed heart pine floors, hand-scraped eight times and lightly stained. Even the concrete – usually perceived as a cold material – gives off a certain warmth. “I sent pictures to a friend who knew

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nothing about this house, and she wrote back: ‘Cozy brutalism!’” Morrison says. Cherry’s own 2013 home was the subject of a three-year controversy when a neighbor publicly questioned its appropriateness for Raleigh’s traditional Oakwood neighborhood. An updated version of the Craftsman style prevalent throughout the community, the house – along with Cherry and his wife, Marsha Gordon – became embroiled in a nationally publicized legal battle that led them to the state Supreme Court. In August 2016, that body refused the neighbor’s petition to hear the case, and the issue was put to rest. As the controversy dragged out, construction on the home was shut down for six months, which gave Cherry time to think through its interior. A cabinetmaker for most of his life, he saw an opportunity to make this house his own in a very personal way. That meant designing and shaping trim, built-ins, cabinets, pieces of furniture, and wood for the staircase. “He’s a wonderful craftsman, which in many ways is a disappearing species – the builder/ architect,” says Harmon. At the heart of his home is an open, 24-by-32-foot space for cooking, dining, and entertaining. At its entry, he envisioned a Above: Marsha Gordon and Louis Cherry prep for a pizza dinner party in their home while listening to Tift Merritt’s new album. Opposite: This cantilevered, tree-houselike space at The Phil Morrison House contains the client’s bedroom.


massive cabinet that would serve as sculpture, storage, and space divider, all at once. Even for Cherry, it was a stretch – a push from cabinetmaking to fine furniture design and construction. “In Prague, I saw a house by Adolf Loos – it used luxurious materials in a minimalist way,” he says. “I was thinking about our house at the time – it was in construction then – and I wanted to do one jewel in one box.” His cabinet is sizeable – eight feet tall, eight feet long, and 42 inches wide, composed of dark walnut veneer on furniture-grade plywood. The veneer is rip-cut, all of it from the same tree, with the grain sequentially running together. “It had to be planned down to a 32nd of an inch, and with that wood if you make a mistake, you won’t have a sequential panel,” he says. Sure enough, he made no mistakes, and the cabinet – he likens it to the monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey – seems flawles. Like the film, it’s the product of a fertile and creative mind. “He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever known, as well as one of the most articulate,” Harmon says. Cherry will tell you, though, that his highest aim is to make his clients comfortable. “I believe that the essence of what makes us feel good is the shape of a space and how it’s lit,” he says. “I don’t have a formula or a set of rules, but I do believe in Le Corbusier – that everything is based on the human scale.” And that, most architects will readily acknowledge, is the holy grail of fine design.

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2004 YONKERS RD., RALEIGH, NC 27604 | (919) 754-9754 | GREENFRONT.COM


Belle Boggs Please join us for a very special luncheon with the award-winning author of one of Oprah’s top 10 books of 2016 at the UMSTEAD HOTEL & SPA 100 Woodland Pond Drive, Cary A perfect Mother’s Day present and a lovely afternoon with fellow book lovers. Enjoy a luxurious lunch and conversation with one of the region’s most acclaimed contemporary authors

Sunday, May 7th 12:30 p.m. Three course luncheon with wine pairings $75 per person Space is limited. Tickets are available to purchase at

at the



photographs by KEITH ISAACS


SIGNAL THE IDEA BEGAN, AS MANY DO, OVER TWO STIFF DRINKS. “MY PARTNER, Mike Thor, and I were at one of the best whiskey bars in town, Foundation,” says Jeff Mickel, co-founder of downtown’s Whiskey Kitchen. Both men have backgrounds in the local restaurant scene, and had been “toying around” with the idea of opening their own place. “As we were having a whiskey that night we thought, ‘Let’s open a whiskey joint.’ And then we did.” Whiskey Kitchen opened in August 2016, just a few years after those aforementioned cocktails, and it’s more than a joint, boasting a sophisticated food menu to match its well-stocked bar. Mickel says creating a restaurant-bar hybrid was a given, a way to enhance both the food and the drinks. MARCH 2017 | 95

There are gussied up Southern favorites – buttermilk biscuits studded with pork cracklin’s, boiled peanuts, dirty rice – and also modern American dishes ranging from a hearty grain bowl with farro and grilled vegetables to a lamb burger (the overwhelming crowd favorite, Mickel says). The common denominator is intentional: smoke. Biscuits are topped with a dollop of smoked cream, the grain bowl’s yogurt dressing is infused with roasted piquillo peppers, desserts include charred fruit toppings. “We view smoke as a technique or an element instead of just, say, smoking a pig,” says chef Jonathan Botta. “We’re smoking creams, we’re smoking oils, we’re adding that depth to every part of the menu.” And pairing it with the restaurant’s namesake spirit. “Smoke is the flavor profile that goes well with whiskey,” says Botta. All kinds of it: The restaurant has more than 100 whiskeys, bourbons, and scotches ready to pour. Botta has led the culinary side of Whiskey Kitchen since its start, after co-founder and chef Mike Thor was sidelined in November 2015 by a severe spinal cord injury from a motorcycle accident that delayed the restaurant’s opening and has necessitated Thor’s extended rehabilitation in Atlanta. In Thor’s absence – and with his collaboration – Botta has created a creative but classic Southern menu. “In general, Southern food and bourbon go hand-in-hand,” Botta says. “Barbecue and bourbon. We’ve had that correlation, we don’t have to try too hard to improve upon it.” Clearly, the combination works. Whiskey Kitchen’s funky-industrial open-layout space is nearly always packed, from suited colleagues snacking on smoked fish dip and beers on a weekday afternoon to groups lingering over Old Fashioneds till the wee weekend hours. “We wanted to have a whiskey bar that also has world-class food,” Mickel says, pausing to take a good look around. “I think we’ve achieved that.”


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its full body stands up to with this smoky, pickled dip, while its dark fruit sweetness also subtly complements the dip.

BEET SALAD WITH SMOKED BLUE CHEESE AND HAZELNUTS Serves 6-8 6 medium to large braised beets (recipe below), cooked and cut 1 1/2 cup red wine maple vinaigrette (recipe below) 1 pound local greens 1 cup of roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Red wine maple vinaigrette: Add all ingredients except shallots and oil to a blender or bowl. Whisk or blend until well combined. Slowly add oil, while whisking or blending, until combined and emulsified. In separate bowl, add shallots and dressing mixture and combine. Refrigerate until serving. Mickel recommends pairing Bernheim Original wheat whiskey; its winter wheat mashbill leads to a delicate flavor that’s perfect alongside this light salad.


1 cup of smoked blue cheese, or your favorite blue cheese For braised beets:

SMOKED FISH DIP Serves 8-10 4 cups smoked fish, picked and flaked 1/4 cup Duke's mayo 1 tablespoon spicy mustard 1/4 cup sour cream 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon dill, chopped 1/4 cup pickled shallots (recipe below), chopped

1/4 cup blended oil 1 tablespoon salt 2 teaspoons pepper 6 bay leaves

6 medium to large red or golden beets

1 bag large marshmallows (or make your own, recipe below)

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 pound pecan butter (recipe below)

1 tablespoon peppercorns 4 cloves garlic, smashed 1/4 cup canola or olive oil

1 tablespoon smoked sea salt (optional)

2 tablespoons kosher salt

For pecan butter:

1 tablespoon fennel seed

1/2 pound butter, softened

3 bay leaves

1/4 cup maple syrup

For red wine maple vinaigrette:

1/4 cup chopped pecans 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon maple syrup

For marshmallows:

For pickled shallots:

1 teaspoon spicy mustard

2 ounces granulated sugar

1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots

Juice of 1 lemon

10 ounces corn syrup

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

3/4 cup canola or neutral oil

4 ounces room temperature water

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon shallot, finely minced

5 gelatin sheets

Mix beets, greens, and desired amount of dressing together (or serve dressing on side). Transfer to salad bowl or portion onto plates. Garnish with toasted hazelnuts and blue cheese.

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons salt 2 pieces star anise 1 teaspoon coriander seed 1 teaspoon whole black pepper Toss the smoked fish and chopped pickled shallots together until well combined. Whisk together mayo, mustard, sour cream, heavy cream, dill, salt, and pepper. Fold in the fish mixture. Once the dip is combined, place in jars to serve and garnish with remaining pickled shallots, a sprig of dill, and a dash of olive oil (optional). Serve with bagel chips, crackers, or toasted bread. Pickled Shallots: Combine all ingredients except shallots in pot and bring to boil. Pour hot pickling liquid over shallots. Let stand for at least 30 minutes. Mickel recommends pairing Woodford Reserve Double Oaked bourbon;

1/2 cup cornstarch Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes in salt, pepper, and oil. Wrap sweet potatoes individual-

ly in foil, placing one bay leaf with each potato. Place in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until fork tender. Cut open potatoes and add desired amount of pecan butter. Place back in oven for 2-5 minutes more, or until butter is just melted. Take potatoes out of oven and place marshmallow on top of the butter. At this point, if you have a home kitchen torch, you can toast the marshmallow with it. If not, place in oven with broiler on high for a few minutes until toasted. Serve on plate or in foil. Garnish with a dash of smoked sea salt. Pecan butter: Whip butter, syrup, and salt for 7-8 minutes until it doubles in volume. Add chopped pecans and mix just to incorporate. Pour onto parchment or wax paper, roll into cylinder shape, and chill overnight, or use the pecan butter at room temperature. Marshmallows: Put water and gelatin in the bowl of electric mixer and let bloom (dissolving gelatin). In a saucepan, combine corn syrup and sugar. Stir together, and bring to a boil until it reaches 230 degrees, using a candy thermometer. When the sugar reaches 230, pour at a steady stream into mixer. When all the sugar is added, finish whipping on high speed for 8 minutes (this helps the mixture double in size and slowly cool down enough to be warm to the touch). Mix powdered sugar and cornstarch together. Coat a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick spray, then a generous sprinkling of the sugar-cornstarch mixture. Pour marshmallow mixture into pan and even out. Once even, put the remaining powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture on top evenly (this helps avoid sticking). Let set for 4 hours or overnight. Once set, pop out the mallow onto a board and cut into desired shapes. Mickel recommends pairing Ardbeg Corryvreckan single malt scotch; the scotch's deep peaty, peppery notes balance the yams' candied sweetness.

Braised Beets: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut beet tops off of beets, leaving one inch of stem connected. Combine whole beets and remaining ingredients in an oven-safe pot (the beets should be snug in the pot). Add water just to cover beets. Cover pot with lid or foil. Cook in oven for two hours, or until beets are cooked through and fork tender. When beets are cooked, strain off the braising liquid and discard. Remove beets and let cool. After beets have cooled down to touch, take a kitchen towel (beware that beets will stain, so use an old towel) and rub beets with it to take off skin. Cut beets into 8 pieces each and set aside.

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“IT’S A LOT TO TAKE IN, I KNOW. WE HAVE A TON TO OFFER ON TAP,” says Heather Ward, co-owner of Red Line Beer and Wine. Behind her, a ceiling-to-bartop chalkboard lists 24 current draft beer offerings (plus more scribbled in the margins), half of them local. That’s a lot for a cozy spot off of Hillsborough Street. “It’s an odd amount for a craft bottle shop, but for us it made sense. There are so many to choose from – why not just have so many to choose from?”

Alongside the dozens of taps are a robust wine selection, and plenty more brews in cans and bottles. To make the most of their offerings, Ward and co-owner Alex Selwaeh like to shake things up. “We do mixology beer,” Ward says, as Selwaeh begins pouring samples. He likes to combine certain hop flavor profiles in IPAs: “If something is very bitter, I mix it to balance it out,” he explains. The duo also likes to get creative. One memorable concoction came together last summer, when Red Line had on draft a hoppy brew loaded with the heat of habanero peppers called Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin IPA. Ward decided to cut some photographs by ELIZABETH GALECKE

100 | WALTER

of the spice by topping it with a canned pineapple ale. “It might sound strange at first, but think about when you top spicy marinated meat with grilled pineapple. That fruity complement to the spice, this is a beer version.” It was such a hit that the shop now carries the Habanero Sculpin in bottles year-round so they can offer the “piñanero.” This month, inspired by the Irish Guinness-based black-andtan, Ward and Selwaeh devised their own version, combining caramely Devils Backbone Vienna lager with a topper of Southern Tier’s Creme Brulee imperial stout. It’s malty and nutty and vanilla-y, and not unlike drinking a beery milkshake. “We do like to experiment,” Ward says. For those who want to experiment at home, Red Line delivers to the entire greater Triangle area. “People still don’t believe it,” Ward says, grinning. “There’s no catch. We wanted to bring delivery to this area.” You can order bottles of wine, growlers of beer, and mix-and-match six-packs; Ward and Selwaeh will create a surprise six-pack for you, too, and there are also cigars and snacks. Since Red Line’s opening last April, delivery orders have steadily increased. Ward says there’s a symbiotic relationship between the store and delivery: Regulars often order at home for events, and new customers will come in after googling for an alcohol delivery service in Raleigh. “We have an amazing neighborhood behind us,” Ward says. “We have a really well-balanced clientele: grad students, older college kids, professionals, professors, members of the church across the street, people from the neighborhood. We’re dog friendly, we have games. They all know each other by now.”

("( m ") m ")% RED LINE BLACK-AND-TAN


Devils Backbone Vienna lager

Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin india pale ale

Southern Tier Creme Brulee imperial stout

Rivertowne Hala Kahiki pineapple ale

Fill a pint glass halfway with lager, pouring it vigorously so that a slight head forms. Using a black and tan spoon (or tablespoon), pour stout over spoon slowly, with the goal of keeping the beers separated in glass.

Fill a pint glass halfway with Habanero Sculpin. Top with Hala Kahiki to taste, or until glass is full.

10 Horne St.;

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SO – IT’S SPRING, THE START OF A NEW SEASON, ONCE-DORMANT LIFE NOW re-germinating in earnest, blinding calves emerging from shorts with startling enthusiasm. Whether you be flora or human, it’s hard not to to be joyful while wiggling in the sun after a long winter. And a long winter it was. No matter your beliefs, creeds, or inclinations, 2016 was a bit of a doozy – even if you didn’t own a Samsung Galaxy. Hurricane Matthew, the Panthers’ Super Bowl performance, that never-ending construction on Hillsborough Street – the year was not without its struggles. And I didn’t even mention politics, or that my grocery store stopped selling my favorite flavor of LaCroix. When times get tough, it makes me glad to be a part of our little corner of the South. Raleigh is a blend of the best of the old and new guard – Southern in its heritage, manners, and love of families and lore; outward-looking in its progression, tolerance, and innovation. Plus, people are, for the most part, just genuinely kind. It’s comforting to know that people will be polite to you even when things are tough. At the very least, they’ll

102 | WALTER

Eyecandy Images/Thinkstock


give you the courtesy of waiting until the door closes behind you before they start talking smack. It took me a while to remember this. When I originally moved back to North Carolina, I arrived in Raleigh and was baffled – why were all these people smiling and waving at me? I had no idea who they were. Did I have something on my face? Had I forgotten to wear pants again? Then I remembered: Oh, right, that whole “polite” thing. It wasn’t long before I fell back into the routine of smiling and throwing out a genuine “How are you?” to anything I came across in my path – businessmen on the streets, moms pushing carts in the grocery stores, particularly friendly dogs, lampposts that appeared vaguely human in the dark. I remembered how to have mini-conversations with people everywhere I went. (However, I have to admit, there are times when good, old-fashioned social isolation has its appeal: When you’re waiting to have your oil changed, you’re not exactly looking for a debrief on another customer’s non-threatening medical conditions. Some things are best left to the imagination.) It really is astounding the lengths some of our neighbors will go to in the name of friendliness. On one wintery, caffeine-depleted afternoon, I was headed back to the office via Capital Boulevard and in desperate need of coffee. I pulled over to a small coffee truck on the side of the road, one I had passed multiple times but never really noticed. I grabbed my wallet, zipped up my coat, and got out of my car to walk to order at the window. I was immediately greeted not by a display of fresh scones or a list of ethically sourced local coffees, but by a woman undressed from the waist up. I stood for a moment, shocked. I somehow managed to spit out an order without making an embarrassed, adolescent joke. As I waited for my coffee, I realized that all the women in the truck were about as clothed as a group of newborns.

This seemed like a serious liability to me when handling steaming hot coffee, but I suppose one must live life on the edge (or in vague violation of state health codes). Other than the nudity thing, they appeared to run a tight ship: They were all exceedingly friendly and sweet, offering me skim milk or Stevia for my drink, and for the price, it was a pretty OK cup of coffee. I haven’t checked the Yelp reviews, but I imagine there have to be some pretty, ahem, enthusiastic ones. I walked back out to my car, coffee in hand, blushing and giggling to myself like a 12-year-old boy. As I prepared to leave, I heard someone yelling behind my car, and I looked in my rearview mirror. There, rushing down the side of fourlane packed Capital Boulevard traffic, one of the women was running toward me. And no, she hadn’t deigned to cover anything up. Now, I really don’t consider myself a prude; nudity has never been a real

would forever be set higher thanks to her. I mean, the checkout lady at Harris Teeter was always exceedingly kind, but had she run through freezing temperatures halfclothed for me? This is an extreme example, but an important one. Without advocating for her sartorial decisions, this woman showed what it means to go out of your way to benefit someone else – to make their day, no matter how eccentric or graphic your contributions may be. I write this from a coffee shop in Washington, D.C., where I recently moved to attend graduate school. There’s been a lot of turmoil in this city recently, but there’s been a lot of decency and kindness, too. Despite what you see on the news, I’ve seen people hold each other a little closer, slow down a little longer, go a little out of their way to help someone else. It reminds me a lot of home, of North Carolina, of Raleigh. Of meeting someone in the grocery store and quickly becoming fast friends. Of the kind auto mechanic who unlocked my car for free because he recognized me from around town. Of the sweet woman down the street who let me pick flowers from her front yard, just because she knew I liked daffodils. I miss these things about Raleigh, but I’m comforted by the familiarity of what I see here in Washington. Times can be tough, are tough, but we are all human. None of us are without our faults, our flaws, our prejudices – such things are inherent. But that doesn’t have to impact our love for one another. I, for one, aim to keep chattering away Raleigh-like to everyone I pass. To try to be a little more kind, a little less quick to judge, to listen to my neighbors. To shed whatever bias or judgments or clothing necessary to make someone else’s day. Because really, it’s true what they say – it’s not the half-naked baristas that matter, but the quality of the coffee served inside.

I, for one, aim to keep chattering away Raleigh-like to everyone I pass. To try to be a little more kind, a little less quick to judge, to listen to my neighbors. hang-up for me, and I’m a firm believer that women can do whatever they please with their bodies. But in this moment, the spirit of my Southern grandmother possessed me: All I wanted to do was hand this girl a thick cardigan and feed her something warming and caloric. I mean, it was cold outside! Some body parts that should never be introduced to sub-30degree temperatures. She knocked on my window, and in a combination of dread and fascination, I rolled it down. They didn’t get very many female customers, she explained to me. (No way.) They’d loved having a girl stop by, and she wanted to give me a stack of gift cards so that I’d become a regular. And then, in an instant, I felt terrible for my previous judgments. No matter the temperature or her lack of clothing, I had to hand it to her – she had a serious dedication to customer service. My bar

MARCH 2017 | 103

ARTIST’S spotlight

Skull, Ippy Patterson

104 | WALTER


death, SEEING



AT 63, HAVING BEEN PREOCCUPIED WITH DEATH AS LONG AS I COULD REMEMber, squeamish, and having never taught anything in my life, I was asked whether I could help run a drawing group in the Duke University anatomy lab, where all first-year medical students learn human anatomy through dissection of cadavers. A second-year Duke medical student, Emma Fixsen, had initiated a pilot project that would offer first-year medical students the chance to draw what they were learning in anatomy class: the muscles, veins, arteries, organs, and 206 bones of the human body. Emma had an undergraduate degree in art from UNC-Chapel Hill and a passion for drawing. Dr. Frank Neelon, a member of the Duke medical faculty (whose son is married to my cousin), had suggested I might be able to help her run the class. I have been an artist most of my life, but my subjects have primarily been plants and animals – alive. I met with Emma and her friend Winston Liu, also a second-year med student. I confessed to them that as a mother I had put Band-Aids on my children while looking the other way, that I

MARCH 2017 | 105

Lung, Morgan Simons

knew nothing about human anatomy, nothing about teaching. Perhaps if I could enlist a close friend, Jane Holding, a sculptor who had studied anatomy, who builds figures from the bones outward, then maybe. Jane said yes. Before committing, I thought I should first test whether I could manage looking at a cadaver. The dread I felt going toward my first visit to the lab was almost overwhelming, a darkness trickling through the pages of the calendar as the date drew near. Emma and I had coffee and reviewed ideas: how to structure the sessions, how many students would be our limit, what sorts of exercises would be useful, what art supplies we’d need, and so on. All of this seemed doable while contemplating the beauty of coffee in a bowl, the energy of this young person talking to me, the morning air, pastries on racks, buses gliding by in the plate-glass window. Life and the living. •

First visit to the anatomy lab From the café, the two of us went to the hospital basement, the lab with its code-locked door. Inside were dazzling overhead lights and three galleries of steel gurneys, each supporting blue plastic zippered bags – the embalmed bodies of men and women who had conscientiously offered their remains to science: a grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, daughter, son. Emma put on a lab coat and gloves, gave me gloves, unzipped a bag, removed ribs as easily as one would take a lid off of a casserole or the top off a carved pumpkin, and then proceeded to show me a lung, a heart, a liver, lifting each organ, already surgically detached, then gently returned it to its proper place. She made comments on the care of an incision or the condition of an organ and generally celebrated the near miracle of how the body works. After this first visit I went home, curled up in bed and fell into a trance-like sleep, awaking to an image of Emma, this energetic, lithe, red-haired woman with patterned socks who ran marathons that required, now and then, lifting boulders out of the way; a fellow artist, who, with almost no free time, between shifts in the delivery room and emergency room, was putting together a curriculum she believed would be invaluable to medical students. Emma was the last living person I had seen before descending into the underworld. I reached for my cell 106 | WALTER

Hand , Lauren Sweet

phone and googled her. There she was, 28 years old, co-author of papers published in Nature and Cell, and also, at one time, a DJ. • I was especially concerned about the absence of desk space in the lab. At NYU, the Art and Anatomy workshop (which had impressed Emma when she interviewed there) takes place in a room that adjoins the university’s anatomy lab. People from all departments of the medical school sit at long tables, their sketch pads and drawing pencils, brushes and pastels in easy reach. Artists may or may not choose to sit right next to a cadaver. Here at the Duke lab, just inches away from a dead foot or head, we would be improvising with drawing boards on stools in front of us or on our laps, our little bags of tools tucked somewhere on a ledge or a gurney. I contacted Laura Ferguson, creator and teacher of the course at NYU, for advice. She was generous, quick to return an email, open to a phone conversation. I studied her work online – anatomical art at its most beautiful. Her drawings reveal her own inner body as if she were transparent, the shape of her flesh, the scoliosis of her spine, the lines of her blood. In a short video about her called How To Draw a Human Heart, she invites the audience to view a cadaver. The skin falls away like a jacket slipping off shoulders. Here were the insides of a woman dead but still graceful. The real person, I suddenly thought: We are looking at the real person. Here was my mission then, should I decide to accept it: the opportunity to see the Truth. •

Second visit to the anatomy lab Winston Liu, working alongside Emma as the copilot of this endeavor, set a heart on a tray and the three of us perched on swivel chairs. A film, as if of cold fat, coated many of the surfaces and lamps. Chilly here; I was glad Emma had told me to wear closed shoes and warm clothes. Emma and Winston fell into quiet, parallel concentration. These were the first drawings of Emma’s I had seen. MARCH 2017 | 107

Scapula, Felix Jin

Looking at them filled me with an intense joy. They were, in a word: ecstatic. Winston, who claimed he could not draw, poured forth a clean, fluid line, the line I had seen when I asked him to sign his name. His heart, made with just a few continuous marks, swept me into its form. Ripping sheet after sheet of newsprint, I made countless starts, waiting for my own heart to stop racing. In the parking lot at the end of the day, I realized I had left my handbag in the bathroom locker at anatomy lab and had to call Emma for help. •

A last rehearsal This time my friend Jane Holding, the sculptor, came with us. She was immediately at home and at ease in this setting. (Jane spent three years in graduate school at Cambridge studying the late middle ages, and can prepare any number of animals to serve a feast for a crowd.) Winston Liu unzipped a bag. I was shocked. A robust man seemed to come forward much the way a person might stand in the doorway of his house. So much personality in the large legs, assertive chest, head and hands still wrapped in cloth. Winston, peering down and marveling at this man’s insides, said “What would you draw, Ippy?” I could feel myself disintegrate, become useless. Looking out at this brown, chaotic, wet landscape – was there anything here I could draw? What was drawing anyway? Nothing, I said, I could draw nothing. Jane opened her pad of paper, leaned against the wall, took a piece of charcoal and began to sketch the thorax. Was this, cumulatively, a life? I felt I was looking through a portal into outer space. For every inside there is another inside. We are air. 108 | WALTER

Vertebrae , Jasmine McNeill

• During the weeks before our class started I thought about what drawing has meant to me over the course of my life, however uncomfortable I was feeling about the anatomy lab. In many ways, drawing has made my life. I have sat down at my desk time and again and rejoiced in the simple pleasure of closely observing the bark of a tree, the leaves on a plant, the contours of a shell. I have drawn while dealing with experiences difficult to accept, my father unconscious and intubated, my mother as she was dying. But how could I presume to teach these students anything? In one of her emails Laura suggested that my love of drawing would allow me to be a teacher. I wondered. • The 15 students who attended the workshop were chosen by lottery. 50 had applied out of a class of 100. They received no additional credit for this workshop. Our sessions, 4 in all, lasted roughly 4 hours each. Each session had a focus: bones, organs, hands, “live” model. Each session, before venturing to the anatomy lab in the early evening, we’d sit down for dinner together at a conference table in the Trent Center on campus. There was an opening discussion prompted by Emma or Winston: How do you feel about your body? We then got out paper and tools and did various exercises, mostly designed to answer questions I heard one or another of them pose earlier: “How do you make something come forward?” “How do you draw a hole?” Next, we took a short walk from the Trent Center to the hospital to draw from “life.” As we entered the lab, often accompanied by pediatric oncologist and writer Ray Barfield, there was no need to direct anyone to a particular subject. After an entire day spent studying the cadaver in an academic setting, they enthusiastically returned to look at the body in a different way. Their interest was keen. Some drew from their “own” cadavers – the ones they were assigned to study in groups of six or so. They sat together or alone, not in the least inconvenienced by the absence of proper worktables, with oversized clipboards balanced on their knees, eyes straight ahead. They were focused within minutes. From the first moment I saw MARCH 2017 | 109

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the students’ marks on paper, I was enraptured. These were spellbinding times for me. There were moments, while I was putting copies of their work on the wall, when I would catch myself suddenly wondering what was wrong – you could hear a pin drop – was it the eeriness of the anatomy lab? No, it was the beautiful sound I first heard in the fall of 1971 in Nature Lab at Rhode Island School of Design: the silence of a group of people entirely absorbed in their drawings. I found myself wondering: Are medical students actually artists? Most of them had not drawn since third or fourth grade, yet their drawings were powerful, beautiful, full of feeling. You hear the phrase that learning to draw is learning to “see.” I have no sense that I taught these students anything. But I have every confidence in their ability to draw. They taught me that human beings are meant to draw. Yes, we discussed a few points in our short time together; we talked about shapes, edges, angles, negative space, light, darkness. Every line we see in the world around us is nuanced with relevant information. Observing these lines with your eye shifts you into the present moment. Tracing those lines with your pencil is an even deeper pleasure. I felt a spontaneous kinship, a love for these students. How open they were, giving their all to this experience. You can see it in the work they made. I hope they continue to draw, if not now, sometime in the future. I would like to be the voice that (someday when they sit down for a rare moment of relaxation) tells them to pick up a pencil and paper and draw their own foot. And their voices are part of my life now. These days, when there is a scene in a film that involves surgery, or looking into someone’s flesh, I don’t cover my eyes; I have taken to looking and am interested. The last thing I saw during our final session was a brain. Floating in a basin of formaldehyde, its spinal cord attached, nerve endings spraying out like so many vital copper wires, Emma turned it so that I could see the structures from below and the images that came to my mind were the stamens of Magnolia grandiflora, the stars on a winter night over the Outer Banks. Duke ‘s Anatomical Gifts program holds a private memorial service at Duke Chapel each spring to honor donors and their families.



Join us as we celebrate local destinations around the Triangle!

Sunday, April 9th

at Fearrington Village 2-5pm Come out for an afternoon and enjoy all that Fearrington has to offer! Complimentary hors d’oeuvres - local brews - live music. Exclusive pop-up events across the village and special offers at all shops. $25 for adults; free for children

RALEIGH’S Life & Soul




ANNE BULLARD, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF directors at Burning Coal Theatre Company, has always been an avid supporter of the performing arts. Although her onstage career was limited to a brief stint of middle school stardom, the retired copyeditor has maintained a deep appreciation for and commitment to local arts. It’s what brought she and her husband Matt Bullard to their first Burning Coal show, Tartuffe, in 2002.


BULLARD As Burning Coal Theatre Company turns 20, board chair Anne Bullard forges community ties.

It made an impact. Bullard says she was immediately taken by the quality and thought-provoking nature of the performance, which was unlike anything she had ever experienced. Bullard found herself pondering the play for weeks afterward. She soon bought season tickets and became part of the theater’s behind-the-scenes efforts. Anne quickly made a difference, says artistic director Jerome Davis. “In order for a theater to adequately serve its community, it has to understand that community, its history, its needs,” he says. “Anne has been like a historian, a tour guide, and a wonderful host as we have worked to understand this community more thoroughly.” Born and raised in Durham, Bullard has lived in North Carolina all of her life. She put down roots in Raleigh after moving here in 1983, through her work originally as a political reporter for four North Carolina newspapers (Wilmington Star News, The Dispatch, The Lenoir News-Topic, and Hendersonville Times-News). Deep ties to the area not only help fuel her interest in Burning Coal, they also contribute to the theater’s historical and educational outreach programs. “Burning Coal is more than just a theater,” Bullard says. “We have always been dedicated to building connection and community.” Founded in 1997 as a traveling company, Burning photograph by ELIZABETH GALECKE

112 | WALTER

GIVERS Coal moved in 2008 to the auditorium of the Murphey School on Polk Street, which was Raleigh’s first public school to be desegregated in September 1960. This year, as the company turns 20, Burning Coal says it continues its mission to deliver quality acting, compelling stories, and relevant themes that aim to build bridges and foster community. Productions range from familiar titles like To Kill a Mockingbird and Twelfth Night to new productions by local playwrights. 1960, written by former Piedmont Poet Laureate Ian Finley and directed by Burning Coal’s artistic director, Jerome Davis, explored the Raleigh city school board’s vote to desegregate Raleigh public schools. The play was performed in the auditorium of the very school where that desegregation began. The company puts a big emphasis on education. It holds an annual KidsWrite! contest, open to aspiring middle school and high school playwrights, and puts on traveling school performances and camps and classes throughout the year. Lobby lectures following performances provide additional historical and cultural context for the plays, and “Talk Backs” allow audience members to discuss subjects and themes presented in the theater. Bullard believes it’s as important for Burning Coal to spark community conversations as it is to present excellent productions. “Especially in these divisive times, we need arts and theater,” she says. “Theater offers space for people to come together to share an experience … This is how community and connections form.” This month, Burning Coal celebrates its 20th anniversary with a party they’re calling a “Knockout Gala” on March 18. The gala’s name refers to the company’s corresponding production of The Royale, which tells the story of Jack Johnson, who became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion in 1908. Other plays in the 2017 - 2018 series include Peter Pan, Dark Side (based on Pink Floyd’s music), The Normal Heart (about the AIDS crisis) and Amadeus.

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The statue of Zebulon Vance on the State Capitol grounds gets a dusting of snow during a winter storm in January.




HERE IN RALEIGH, THE STATUE OF ZEBULON VANCE ON THE OLD STATE Capitol grounds sounds a timely admonition from the 19th century: “The subjection of every passion and prejudice to the cooler sway of judgment and reason, when the common welfare is concerned, is the first victory to be won.” I read these words and sigh. Prejudice and passion run amok in our nation at the expense of cooler judgment and important and necessary compromise. In 2017, dissent has been labeled as betrayal. Fam-

114 | WALTER

photograph by ROBERT WILLETT

ilies allow political arguments to rip their seams apart. Elected leaders have become so entrenched in arguments that the democratic process is locked down. Like a gear which will no longer turn, we have forgotten that there is a gulf of difference between argument and debate. We have lost touch with the high art of discourse. Writing back in 1998, the linguist Deborah Tannen predicted that ours was becoming an argument culture. She was right. So right that many years from now historians will look upon our age and call it the age of discord. Discord and discourse may sound alike, but they are polar opposites. One divides. The other unites. One shatters alliances and friendships. The other builds allies and forges relationships. Discourse and dialog are among the building blocks of civil society, the rule of law, and democracy itself. As our culture divides itself into ever growing and intensifying tribes (left, right, progressive, conservative), the first casualty is discourse. Argument, snark, and lashing out are the vox populi of the 21st century. We see the anger and the vitriol on

HB2. He said that the grand mess of the state of our politics was the direct result of our failure to listen to each other.

Listening to others is a requirement of all forms of dialog. Let us ask ourselves about the last time we had a meaningful conversation with someone different than us? By meaningful, I mean to ask whether or not we are as willing to listen as we are anxious to express our own values and points of view? A failure to easily remember a time of authentic discourse is indicative of the health of our communities. By any measure, we are unhealthy and left wondering just how much more illness the unhealthy patient can take. We erroneously see dialog and compromise as signs of weakness. All the while the wisdom of the ages, from the ancient philosophers to the great faith traditions of the world, teach us an opposing lesson. They teach us that we are stronger when we listen in consideration of other valid perspectives. In 2017, we ignore the ancients at our own peril. It is time we remember that a commitment to authentic dialog and trans-

Rethinking how we regard our opponents is no longer optional. It is required. our social media feeds and on our news programs. Our situation is detrimental to peaceable living and a death sentence to debate. All of us, from our most powerful leaders to the inspired young adults taking to the streets to express their protest, must take a pause from the accelerating decline of discourse in which we raise our fists and voices to make sure that “our” rightness is confirmed through proving “their” wrongness. When proving the wrongness of others – through shouting, shaming, and insults – becomes the object of our energies, the best we can do is make enemies of the very people with whom we must work to find solutions for society’s most vexing challenges. We all share the destinies of our communities together. We must live with those with whom we debated long after the critical decisions have been made and policies have been enacted. If our sole approach towards those with whom we disagree is zero-sum, with a winner-take-all and scorched-earth strategy, all we are left with once the votes have been counted is ash and soot. Last year, Gov. Jim Martin warned North Carolina of as much in the wake of the painful, confusing, and costly fight over

forming discourse does not mean that we abandon the urgency of our convictions. The great debates of our time are great debates because the stakes are very high. Real people and real lives hang in the balance. So the urgency that we feel, no matter our particular tribes or leanings, is well founded. Dialog and discourse require that we bring our personal convictions to our conversations. We must bring our values to our debates. But dialog and discourse also require we make space in those same conversations to honestly consider the convictions of others. Such is the making of the way out from the dead-end of intractable argument. Call it a GPS re-routing in order to save our age. Rethinking how we regard our opponents is no longer optional. It is required. We will remain lost without doing so. For history will not only judge us by the particulars of our convictions, but she will also judge us by how we conducted ourselves while debating those same convictions. Those of us committed to discourse over discord will be accused of being “Pollyanna.” We will be told the arguments are too entrenched. We will be scolded that we don’t understand the issues at stake. We will be told that considering multiple points of view across the divides is a betrayal to our particular tribes.

MARCH 2017 | 115


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We will be reminded that we are expected to dance with the ones that brought us along. If we surrender to such reasoning we will become the puppets of fear: the fear that we might lose; or “they” might win; or that we will be forced to compromise our precious ideals. Throughout human history, our worst moments have occurred because of the surrender to fear. We make our worst decisions when we are afraid. Instead of fear, what if we offered an honest commitment to listening as much as speaking? What if we dedicated ourselves to reading, listening, and watching media beyond the single point of view thought-silos where we usually read, listen, and watch? What if we energized our moral and emotional cores to resist knee-jerk rushes to judgment? What if we strived for patience with our most ardent opponents? Such actions are an acts of resistance to discord. They are acts of resistance which do not require an abandonment of our core convictions and sacred hopes. In order to participate in solutions, we must be at the table with all who are effected by the solutions we crave. To borrow a line from Hamilton, we have to be in the room where it happens. Harsh, shout-filled, argumentative speech rarely, if ever, opens any doors. In order to express our most ardent hopes, we must first get through the door. F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that the mark of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind and retain the ability to function. Our dialog is broken and dysfunctional. Discord between the opposing ideas has won the day. As history unfolds, why not unjam the deadlock through some overdue listening and necessary discourse?

Christopher Edmonston is the pastor of White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh.

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Nancy Yoash, Denise Morrison, Vivian Colbert, Heath White, Denise McDuffie

THE UMSTEAD’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY The Umstead Hotel and Spa celebrated its tenth anniversary with a reception Jan. 26. Highlights included music by Sidecar Social Club; hors d’oeuvres by James Beard Award semifinalist Steven Greene; and floral designs by Steve Taras of Watered Garden Florist.

Ginny Corbett Photography

Rebecca McCabe and John McCabe

Floral designer Steve Taras



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PETER MILLAR BENEFIT In advance of the N.C. State - UNCChapel Hill men’s college basketball game at PNC Arena on Feb. 15, the Wolfpack Club and Rams Club held a Feb. 10 fundraiser at the Peter Millar store at North Hills to benefit Project ALS and Team Chris Combs for ALS research. Fifty percent of proceeds benefitted the nonprofits.

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REBEL DINNER The Blind Pig Supper Club, a group that puts on meals with limited seating in locations that are undisclosed until just before dinnertime, hosted a dinner at HQ Raleigh Jan. 28. The night was a tribute to David Bowie and featured a six-course tasting menu from chefs Steve Goff of Raleigh, Dean Neff of Wilmington, John May of Durham, and Mike Moore of the supper club. Steve Goff, Dean Neff, Mike Moore


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WHITE GOLD DINNER CAM Raleigh hosted a dinner in honor of Thomas Sayre and his White Gold exhibit Jan. 29. Chef Scott Crawford prepared a meal that was served in Sayre’s studio.

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Jessica Crawford

Patrick Woodson, Aubrey Woodson

Dress designer CJ Bostrom, First Lady Kristin Cooper BENEFACTORS AND GOLD QUILL SOCIETY DINNER The N.C. Museum of History Associates, in partnership with the Smithsonian, held its annual dinner for donors Feb. 2 at the N.C. Museum of History. First Lady Kristin Cooper unveiled her inaugural gown and Gov. Roy Cooper’s tuxedo as part of a longstanding tradition between First Families and the museum. The tuxedo and dress will remain on view as part of the museum’s Discover Your Governors exhibition.

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Michelle Hile, Jodi Schwartz, Emily Hill, Susan Garrity, Ann Cabell THE DAISY CHAIN To celebrate the launch of The Daisy Chain, a new women’s affinity group for Girl Scout supporters, the group hosted a reception at More Kitchen and Bar Jan. 19. Guests heard remarks from Martha Webb, trustee of The Frank K. Webb Charitable Trust, the leading donor for the Girl Scout mobile program vehicle. Laura Ridgeway, Scottie Bryan, Martha Webb, Tam Richert, Elaine Loyack

Laura Thomas

Barbara Schliebe, Cheryl Burns, Manju Karkare, Melissa Reed

Cara Galati / f8 Studios

Terrence Holt and Torry Holt with fellow celebrity athletes and the Washington Redskins cheerleaders

Rebecca Quinn-Wolf won the Big Game Dress competition

Eric Curran, Val Curran

PLAYOFF PARTY The Holt Brothers Foundation, founded by former N.C. State football players Torry and Terrence Holt, held its annual fundraising playoff and tailgate party Jan. 22. Proceeds benefited the foundation, which works to support children who have a parent with cancer. The Shaw University Band performed, and Holt Brothers, Inc., UNC Rex Healthcare, Stewart, PNC, and Clean Design pitched in to raise $5,000 for new uniforms for the band.


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DOGWOOD TEA The Dogwood chapter of the National Charity League held its annual mother-daughter tea on Jan. 22. More than 200 mothers and daughters attended the gathering in Smedes Hall at Saint Mary’s School. The local chapter of the mother-daughter philanthropic organization donates several thousand volunteer hours a year to area nonprofits that include the Salvation Army, StepUp Ministries, and The Green Chair Project.

courtesy Kelly Mcchesney

Amanda Barr LUMP GALLERY RE-OPENING Flanders Gallery merged resources with long-running alternative art space Lump to create a nonprofit project and exhibition space. Lump re-opened in January, kicking off a “month of spectacle” to celebrate the reinvigorated space.

Bill Bald Beignets

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Jaclyn Bowie, UNCG Art Truck

Ginger Wagg performance

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The WALTER Scribo .

The answers to the following clues are in this issue. Happy reading!





3. These types of office spaces are taking off in Raleigh


4. The subjects of Ippy Patterson’s drawing group at Duke

6. The mega tech company making a home in Glenwood South


7. Stonewall Sports says this is the friendly “gateway sport” 8. This Raleigh architect is known for minimalist, comfortable designs 10. The NCAA men’s college basketball championship season




1. Whiskey Kitchen’s favorite flavor 2. Proceeds from a special DJF Builders house will go to this nonprofit

5. Big O’s River Retreat is situated along this river


9. This city was a hub of Renaissance painting, and the theme of a new NCMA exhibit






APRIL 2017 Buzzing Beehives thrive downtown

A field guide High Point hijinks

How They Decorated P. Gaye Tapp’s new book

Major talent Meet Belle Boggs

421 N. BOYLAN AVENUE, RALEIGH | 919-717-2674 | GILDEDBRIDAL.COM Image by Live View Studios




HIS HILLSIDE, JUST OVER AN HOUR WEST OF RALEIGH, WILL SOON belong to the winner of an essay contest. Bluebird Hill Farm owner and operator Norma Burns says she’s ready to retire to an urban Raleigh lifestyle, and when she does, she’ll give her organic farm to the couple who writes the most compelling 200-word essay about “why we want to own and operate Bluebird Hill Farm.” Burns says her “gift of good land” is a nod to writer and environmentalist Wendell Berry.

130 | WALTER

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