WALTER Magazine - September 2017

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SEPTEMBER 2017

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WALTER turns 5


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FEATURES

VOL 6, ISSUE 1 SEPTEMBER 2017

104 94 THROUGH THE LENS Wallscapes photographs by Geoff Wood and Gibson Wood 68 RALEIGHITES Riding Raleigh’s rails by Henry Gargan photographs by Chris Seward 75 WALTER PROFILE The Gregg Museum debuts by Liza Roberts photographs by Keith Isaacs 84 AT THE TABLE Royale: Moore Square’s French bistro by Dean McCord photographs by Keith Isaacs 94

84 STYLE Wonder Woman by Jesma Reynolds photographs by Tim Lytvinenko 104 STORY OF A HOUSE At home with Betsy Anderson by Jesma Reynolds photographs by Catherine Nguyen 110 On the cover: illustration by Preston Montague

10 | WALTER

GIGS The Last Male Standing by Jessie Ammons photographs by Madeline Gray 116


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DEPARTMENTS

116

121 54

62

101

Our Town The Usual: Model Railroad Club Game Plan: Elena Ashburn Shop Local: Red and White Shop Off Duty: Triangle Glides by Jessie Ammons photographs by Travis Long and Christer Berg

121

Givers PAVE Southeast Raleigh Charter School by Hampton Williams Hofer

130

End note Paperhand Puppet magic by Jessie Ammons

Our Town Spotlight Blind Pig Supper club for Project CATCH by Jessie Ammons photographs by Juli Leonard

In Every Issue

Drink Tazza Kitchen’s crafty cocktails by Jessie Ammons photographs by Madeline Gray

12 | WALTER

14

Letter from the Editor

18

Contributors

20

Your Feedback

22

The Mosh

24

Raleigh Now

38

Triangle Now

125

The Whirl

62

101


Discover our Difference.

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EDITOR’S LETTER

Beauty, Artistry, Tradition

919-489-8362 PERSIANCARPET.COM 5634 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. Durham, NC Corner I-40 and 15-501

This month, WALTER is five years old. In September 2012, our first issue proudly sported a cover story about the golfer Webb Simpson (pictured below). The Raleigh native had just won the U.S. Open, and the spirit of excitement and potential he embodied matched our own enthusiasm for the opportunity we had to tell great stories about this remarkable place. Since then, our enthusiasm has only grown. So has our opportunity. Because great stories, like this city that fosters them, are booming. This month, we’ve got stories about people and projects large and small, matters weighty and enchanting. Some are about forces that will change our city for years to come (Riding Raleigh’s Rails Into the Future, pg. 75), and others are about what makes it beautiful right now (Wallscapes, pg. 68). We’ve got a piece about Raleigh’s newest museum, the beautiful Gregg at N.C. State (Art and the Future, pg. 84), and one about an organization that does vital work on behalf of our community’s homeless children (CATCHing On, pg. 62). We tell the stories of everyday Triangleites with fascinating hobbies and professions: a local filmmaker producing a documentary about nearly extinct African rhinos, model train enthusiasts, flower farmers, motorcycle lovers. We have what I believe to be an extraordinary style story by Jesma Reynolds, inspired by Wonder Woman the movie and wonderful women we all know and admire. Shot in striking locations around town, and featuring a strong and beautiful woman wearing clothes from local retailers, the piece celebrates the city and its spirit at once. This diversity of content is nothing new; it’s something we strive to achieve every month. We also try to keep things unpredictable. Our fifth anniversary cover was envisioned in just that spirit. It features a botanical illustration of WALTER’s first initial, created for us by the artist Preston Montague. He’ll also include it in his Codex Carolinum alphabet series, which features native North Carolinian plants and animals (see story, pg. 24). We believe it’s a fitting commemoration. Like WALTER, the illustration celebrates the best of our region, and does it with pride, subtlety, and originality. Like WALTER, it takes a fresh look at something in our own backyard, spotlights its beauty and distinctiveness, and challenges us to take a closer look. As we celebrate five years and look to the future, WALTER’s mission has never been clearer. Thank you – readers, advertisers, and the city as a whole – for supporting us, challenging us, and giving us such terrific material!

Liza Roberts Editor & General Manager


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VOLUME VI, ISSUE I

TRUNK SHOW

LIZA ROBERTS Editor & General Manager

FRIDAY & SATURDAY SEPT 29TH AND 30TH

Creative Director JESMA REYNOLDS

STYLES AVAILABLE IN SLIM, NARROW, AND MEDIUM WIDTHS

Assistant Editor JESSIE AMMONS Community Manager KATHERINE POOLE Contributing Writers HENRY GARGAN, HAMPTON WILLIAMS HOFER DEAN MCCORD

10 AM – 6PM NORTH HILLS 919.821.1556

Contributing Photographers CHRISTER BERG, MADELINE GRAY, KEITH ISAACS, JULI LEONARD, TIM LYTVINENKO, TRAVIS LONG, CATHERINE NGUYEN, CHRIS SEWARD, GEOFF WOOD, GIBSON WOOD Contributing Illustrator PRESTON MONTAGUE

Managing Director, Magazines and Events DENISE WALKER

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SEPTEMBER 2017 Walter is available by paid subscriptions for $10 a year in the United States, as well as select rack and retail locations throughout the Triangle. For customer service inquiries, please email us at customerservice@waltermagazine.com 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 Liza.Roberts@Waltermagazine.com 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.



CONTRIBUTORS

SEPTEMBER 2017

TIM LYTVINENKO / P H O T O G R A P H E R The visual artist believes in oreo milkshakes, choosing adventure, and creating from within. Alongside photographing, Lytvinenko creates large-scale photography-based artwork in his studio at Anchorlight. In this issue, he captured the stunning Wonder Woman-themed Style feature. “Photographing (model) Elena felt like photographing the real Wonder Woman. Even wobbling on a log over Falls Lake, you felt the same power and confidence as when she was dancing through the revolving door in a shiny silver dress.”

Photo by Surya

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MADELINE GRAY / PHOTOGRAPHER After studying photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art and at Ohio University in the School of Visual Communication, the lifestyle photographer landed in the Triangle. “I’m happiest when I’m listening to people share their stories and then getting to document their unique experiences,” she says. In this issue, she captured many subjects, including the illustrator of the cover image, Preston Montague. “He suggested a beautifully idyllic spot on the Eno River … and then he didn’t mind getting his feet wet or immersing himself in the natural surroundings, which made the shoot really fun.”


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YOUR FEEDBACK

@ WALTERMAGAZINE That’s smokin hot! –Beth Collier @vancollier (July/August, p. 52) But don’t confuse your coffee and your night crawlers! –Melanie Bartol Jones @melaniebartoljones (July/August, p. 56) My grandmother and great aunt were raised in the Catholic orphanage that was on the site of the Cathedral many years ago. So happy they’ve chosen to name it The Holy Name of Jesus after the chapel in the orphanage. My great aunt is thrilled, and I know my grandmother would be happy, too. Thanks for the articles! –Andrea Hodgin Osborne @andreahodginosborne (July/August, p. 62) fannyslater finishes off her velvety beet hummus recipe for @WalterMagazine! –Andrew Sherman @AndrewSherman_ (July/August, p. 76) Love Bhavana and Walter! –Marjorie Hodges @marjorie.hodges (July/August, p. 84) Thank you @WalterMagazine for the thoughtful article on resident artist Murphy Ayala! –Anchorlight @_anchorlight_ (July/August, p. 92) The place to go if you REALLY don’t want electricity. –Randy Blew @randyblew (July/August, p. 108) Fantastic Article from @WalterMagazine w/ @LibbyLRichards. Since ‘84 you’ve helped us send 11,600 kids to camp! #skc –Triangle Community Foundation @TriComFdn (July/August, p. 115)

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Family Series

SEPTEMBER 14–OCTOBER 1, 2017 Fletcher Opera Theater

DECEMBER 15-24, 2017 Raleigh Memorial Auditorium

MAY 17-20, 2018 Raleigh Memorial Auditorium

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MOSH THE

“I love September, especially when we’re in it.” – Willie Stargell

MUM’S THE WORD Mid-September’s the time to break out the mums! Experts say it’s best to wait until nighttime temps begin to drop before picking up your fall doorstep beauties. The State Farmers Market is always a good bet; so are Logan’s One Stop Garden Shop, Homewood Nursery, Fairview Garden Center, Norwood Road Garden, and many others.

STAY SAFE College students back on campus can find safety and strength in numbers with a new app developed by UNC-Chapel Hill junior Nina Barnett. After a few years of development and beta testing, Grooop is now live and free to download in the Apple app store. Using location-tracking technology, Grooop lets users create groups of friends and post current whereabouts and “safety statuses.” The idea is to provide an extra sense of security for walks home from the library at hours where students might feel uneasy, but not quite threatened enough to call the police. getgrooop.com

Why not... Make your kid go ommm at Little Guru yoga on Glenwood Avenue… grab a beer on the way to or from the airport at Dailypint, started by two Hollywood visual effects veterans... pretend it’s still summer and kick back with a book in a Raleighmade Sluice hammock...buy some homebrew slime from a local preteen...Try the chili chocolate cake with matcha ice cream at brand-new Mofu Shoppe in City Market...Meet Mike Lupica, the award-winning sportswriter with fans of every age at Quail Ridge Books Sept. 16...

GENEROUS VIRGO If your birthday falls between Aug. 23 and Sept. 22, you’re a Virgo: exacting, methodical, and generous. Giving makes you particularly joyful. In the spirit of your birthday, why not take that altruistic spirit on the road? Among the many one-day volunteer opportunties in the area this month is a two-fer: Raleigh Rescue Mission is seeking volunteers to accompany residents eager to walk in the Gail Parkins Memorial Ovarian Cancer Walk Sept. 16. Raleigh Rescue Mission and the Gail Perkins organization would both benefit. raleighrescue.org

22 | WALTER

Say farewell to summer with a funfilled glamp-out: REI is putting together an overnight at Falls Lake Sept. 23 that’ll keep everyone entertained. You bring your own camping gear and favorite trail dinner; REI reserves the campsite at Shinleaf Campground, offers kayaking and paddleboard tours and wilderness survival skills workshops, and lays out a s’mores bar to the tune of live fiddle and guitar music. Sunday morning, REI staffers prepare breakfast and coffee to cap off the weekend. Sept. 23 - 24, 12 noon - 12 noon; $60 non-members, $50 members; rei.com/events/rei-campout-at-falls-lake/ wake-forest/181984

GAME TIME Yes, your tailgating recipes are the best ever. Nobody smokes/roasts/ chills/shakes ’em like you do. But if you’re short on time, and the gang’s all here, the Tailgate Guys would be delighted to take that problem off your hands – at Kenan Stadium, anyway. They’ll reserve your spot, put up a tent, set up a table and chairs, and yes: They’ll cook, pour...and hopefully remind you to head to your seats at gametime. tailgateguys.com

Thinkstock (MUMS’S); courtesy Gooop (SAFE); Thinkstock (SHOES, YOGA, FOOTBALL,); N&O file photo (GLAMPING)

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Spot RALEIGH

COVER ARTIST Botanical illustrator Preston Montague

B

otanical illustrator Preston Montague was already considering which native North Carolina plants he might include in his drawing of the letter W for his Codex Carolinum alphabet series when Walter called, asking if he would consider drawing the letter W for the cover of our fifth anniversary issue. “It’s a coincidence that WALTER magazine came along at exactly the right time,” he said one recent evening from his home in Durham,

24 | WALTER

where he spends his weekdays designing landscapes at Lift Environmental Design, and his mornings, evenings, weekends, and vacations teaching and studying and depicting the nature around him. For the alphabet series he began four years ago (15 painstakingly created letters down; 11 to go), Montague chooses native or naturalized plants of North Carolina that have traditionally been used for food or medicine to shape what he describes as “didactic” drawings that employ

Madeline Gray

LIght


RALEIGH now “art and storytelling to explore relationships between the state’s plants, animals, and people for the purpose of encouraging natural science literacy.” It’s a literal description, but one that fails to note the delicate beauty of his drawings, the whimsy of his sensibility, or the symbiotic insects, birds, and animals that turn each letter of his alphabet into an object of enchantment. In an artful tangle of his M’s maple leaves, for instance, lies a stealthy, translucent jade moth; an entire nest of hummingbirds – and a honeybee – make a magical home in his Rhododendron-woven R; a happy toad sits plumply above a nest of ants under his Trillium-shaped T. These creatures were not originally part of his alphabet plan, he says. “This was supposed to be a strict botanical project. But every time I do one of these botanical letters, I have a visitation. So every time, I include an animal I’ve been visited by” while sketching en plein air at a “gorgeous spot” in the Nantahala National Forest where he finds his subjects. “It’s my Notre Dame, it’s my mecca, it’s the place I take pilgrimages to, on Wolf Creek, in a temperate rain forest. It’s one of the places I consider to be magic.” Originally, Montague says, he considered using water lilies to make his W, because he wanted to use an aquatic plant. “But in my heart, I wanted it to be witch hazel. Not only is it beautiful and bizarre, but it’s a plant we all have access to in our grocery store. Also, when contacted by WALTER, I had another serendipitous experience: I had my first encounter with

a baby owl in a witch hazel plant.” He even saw that there were W-shaped designs in the owl’s feathers. “So: witch hazel and the baby owl.” The biggest challenge with W, he noted, was making it back-lit. He wants his letters to begin in morning and end at night, so W had to capture waning light. The result is beautiful, but Montague is equally committed to the larger purpose of educating with his works. Using art and storytelling to teach natural science is a calling, he says: “Getting folks in the 21st century excited about nature” is important to him, especially “visual learners like me who feel left behind, or left out.” It’s a goal Montague never could have imagined when he graduated from UNC-Greensboro with a degree in painting; it’s nothing he thought he’d be working on when he put painting aside to study landscape architecture at N.C. State. But there was a moment long ago, one he remembers in technicolor, that might have foretold his future focus: It was a summer day on his grandparents’ Ashe County farm; he was merely 3. He waded out into Little Horse Creek and flipped a brown rock. “Underneath was a red salamander. It exploded my concept of reality. It was terrifying to the both of us. There’s a metaphor there, with lifting the rock up, and revealing another world, and another creature, that has stuck with me. And I think I am still chasing that feeling.” –Liza Roberts

SEPTEMBER 2017 | 25


2-3 Fayetteville Street comes alive Labor Day weekend for The AfricanAmerican Cultural Festival of Raleigh and Wake County. Now in its seventh year, the festival celebrates the heritage of African-Americans in our state through art, music, food, and community. An art gallery walk showcases artists’ paintings, jewelry, sculptures, and mixed media works. A vendor marketplace brims with clothing, accessories, natural skin care products, and home goods. A family village offers performers, storytellers, dance troupes, and drum circles. And, let’s not forget about the food: The festival promises to satisfy any craving, whether it be “grilled, steamed, smoked, baked, fried, fruity, or frozen.” Saturday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. - 10 p.m.; free admission; Fayetteville Street from Martin Street to City Plaza; aacfestival.org

W NEWALK

FRIDAYS 5-8 PM | 9.29 | 10.27 Samples available at participating businesses with $10 donation. BENEFITING:

2

POP ED SPONSORED BY:

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran conquered the pop music world earlier this year by becoming the first artist ever to have two singles simultaneously debut in the Billboard Hot 100 top 10. The mop-topped Englishman will launch his own British invasion of the PNC Arena Sept. 2, giving local teenage girls something to scream about. Parking lots open at 5 p.m. for pre-show festivity (parking fees apply). 7:30 p.m.; $35.50 - $85; 1400 Edwards Mill Road; thepncarena.com/events

News & Observer file photo (FESTIVAL); Susan Pfannmuller (POP)

AFRICAN-AMERICAN FESTIVAL


courtesy NCMA (FEED); courtesy Carolina Hurricanes (RUN)

SEPTEMBER

8

10

RUN WITH A CANE

FEED YOUR HEAD North Carolina artist Andrea Donnelly’s hand-woven textiles are currently on view in her exhibition We’ve Met Before at NCMA. The artist will offer a lunch and lecture program Sept. 8, when she will discuss her unique process of merging photography, inks, and weaving to create textiles she describes as “a mental landscape, quietly inhabited.” 11 a.m., register before Sept.5; $25 members, $30 non-members; 2110 Blue Ridge Road; ncartmuseum.org

The family-friendly, fifth annual Canes 5K takes the PNC Arena by storm Sept. 10. The event includes a 5K race, 100 and 200-yard dashes for kids, inflatables, and appearances by Carolina Hurricanes team members, staff, and Stormy. Registered participants receive great swag: a ticket voucher for a pre-selected Canes game, a post-race breakfast, raffle tickets, and a T-shirt. All proceeds benefit the Carolina Hurricanes Kids ’N Community Foundation that provides funding for education and children’s charitable organizations. 9 a.m; see website for individual event pricing, registration required; hurricanes.ice.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=90248

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SPOTLIGHT

HOP TO IT Hopscotch Music Festival returns

T

he chance to hop, skip, or dive into this month’s live music season arrives with Hopscotch Music Festival’s eighth iteration Sept. 7 - 10. The annual jam-packed roster was founded to introduce music lovers to eclectic genres and bands. Today, the tunes are still diverse, but the names have gotten more familiar, and the weekend has become a must for many local alternative and rock fans. This year’s headliners include folk singer Angel Olsen, rapper Big Boi, synthpop band Future Islands, and soul singer (and Beyonce’s sister) Solange. Hopscotch isn’t the sort of event you buy a single ticket to: The lineup is intentionally crammed full of

28 | WALTER

performances – more than 120 in a dozen venues – to encourage bopping around downtown, checking in on concerts and happening upon others in the process. Along with the headliners, there’s always a solid representation from the local music scene. For instance, you can hear Raleigh electronica band BODYKIT and Durham indie rockers Mount Moriah, as well as musicians from Wilmington, Greensboro, and Asheville. For pre-festival jams, there’s also a Hopscotch 2017 playlist available to stream for free on Spotify. Rock on. –J.A. Weekend-long general admission passes start at $199; for day ticket pricing and VIP options, hopscotchmusicfest.com

Bryan Regan

RALEIGH now


The Sweet Sound of Good Times By preserving and promoting traditional music, PineCone executive director William Lewis is helping create a city soundtrack unlike any other. From the modern masters of Wide Open Bluegrass to the emerging artists of Hopscotch, Raleigh music festivals reveal a lot about a city with roots and branches. With the most live music in the state, Raleigh’s sound is diverse and vibrant, reasons it is now heralded as one of the best music scenes in the country. Take a listen and sing along in Raleigh, N.C. Learn more at visitRaleigh.com/listen


SPOTLIGHT

T CULTURAL IMMERSION NCMA’s Threads of Africa celebrates new gallery

he North Carolina Museum of Art’s substantial and impressive African art collection is getting a fresh spotlight with a centerstage display and new gallery in the musem’s East building. A focal point is the space’s newest addition, an intricate 30-by-18-foot chalk wall drawing by Nigerianborn artist Victor Ekpuk. Ekpuk created the drawing, which will remain in place until June 2018, on site over the course of many weeks. The new gallery will open Sept. 23 with Threads of Africa, a free afternoon-long celebration of the many cultures represented by the gallery’s works. Throughout the day, curators will offer tours of the gallery, and visitors will be encouraged to create their own art inspired by the collection, including adding a layer to a

communal tapestry on a floor-toceiling loom. Acclaimed Durham artist Maya Freelon Asante will also be on hand, creating her own collaborative art project inspired by the gallery and the day. Meanwhile, the Museum Park will continue the celebration with music and dance performances, drum-making workshops, food, and other African cultural activities. The day will conclude with a free concert by Grammy Award-winning Angélique Kidjo. Kidjo cites her West African heritage, Latin American culture, and American R&B as inspiration for her funk-jazz music. Art, music, crafts, food; awardwinning artists and singers – it’s hard to find a reason not to stop by. –J.A. 12 noon festival, 6:45 concert; free, but ticket registration required for concert; ncartmuseum.org/calendar

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RALEIGH now


SEPTEMBER

11 News & Observer file photo (SERVICE)

DAY OF SERVICE Join forces with fellow citizens for the 9/11 Day of Service at Red Hat Amphitheater. This hands-on event, sponsored by Activate Good and the City of Raleigh, commemorates one of the darkest days in our nation’s history with an opportunity to make a positive difference in our community. Participate in numerous family-friendly service projects stationed around the venue, hear from area leaders, and enjoy refreshment and entertainment provided by the Americana rock band Porch Light Apothecary and singer Jason Adamo. The event is free, but attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to stock the Urban Ministries of Wake County food pantry. Gather with family, friends, or a service group to honor the day with great acts of kindness. 6 - 8:30 p.m.; free; 500 S. McDowell St; eventbrite.com/e/911-day-ofservice-2017-evening-commemoration-service-projects-tickets-35242089037

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RALEIGH now

SPOTLIGHT

Horowitz and his team were determined to offer more. They bought limited quantities of seafood, sold them until they ran out, and changed the menu to reflect seasonal produce. It worked: they soon had regulars, many of whom have now become “die-hard Margauxnians who eat here three to six nights a week.” The restaurant really hit its stride, Horowitz says, around the year 2000, when the current chef and coowner, Andrew Pettifer, joined the team. Pettifer’s European background added global nuances found on the restaurant’s menu today – meatballs topped with chopped peanuts in coconut curry broth, for instance, or tuna cucumber rolls with sriracha – in addition to the more predictable seafood pasta, fried calamari with bacon buttermilk ranch, and steak and duck entrees. Horowitz says the Triangle’s growth has motivated the restaurant’s innovation, too. “We felt Brier Creek start to bubble, and North Hills start to bubble, and then the downtown scene start to explode. It’s kept us on our toes. We never rest on our laurels; we never get complacent. We are still trying to push the envelope.” It’s all grounded by Margaux’s dependably unpretentious atmosphere, where the dress code is described on its website as: “as long as you are comfortable, then so are we.” While there will be no formal anniversary celebration, Horowitz says it’s been a significant year. “We hope to celebrate another 25 years of what I like to call glorious gastronomy. … Our staff, our regulars, our occasional customers, we’ve all become one big happy family. It’s incredible.” –J.A.

‘GLORIOUS GASTRONOMY’ Margaux’s Restaurant celebrates 25th anniversary

“W

e wanted to do incredible food with incredible service, and we’ve tried to do that during every single shift for 25 years.” As Margaux’s co-owner Steve Horowitz reflects on his North Raleigh restaurant’s quarter-century anniversary, he says the ideas that he and his brother-in-law Richard Hege started out with in 1992 are the same ones that keep the place thriving today. When they moved from New York to North Raleigh in search of a warmweather home, they knew the location would be a recipe for success, with access to ingredients that were “fresh as fresh can be. Our theme is pasture and farm and sea to table, but it was that before that was ever a thing.” It was before a lot of things. When Margaux’s opened on Creedmoor Road, the thoroughfare had just expanded to four lanes. The Raleigh population was 232,000 – about half today’s size. Locally owned restaurants with fresh food were limited.

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courtesy Margaux’s Restaurant

Co-owner Steve Horowitz and co-owner/chef Andrew Pettifer at their Margaux’s Restaurant.


SEPTEMBER

is proud to welcome

THE SHERI HAGERTY GROUP

14-17

News & Observer file photo (SPARK)

IT ONLY TAKES A SPARK SPARKcon has been igniting the creative community in the Triangle since 2006. This four-day multidisciplinary art and design festival Sept. 14 - 17 downtown is the brainchild of the Visual Art Exchange, a nonprofit creativity incubator. Selfdescribed as a “creative potluck,” the festival gathers artists, designers, and creators “to intentionally connect, educate and empower.” Past SPARK events have included glow zumba, interactive game display, on-demand poetry, circus acts, and pop-up theater performances. Everyone, including kids, are invited to engage. “If it’s weird,” festival organizers say, “it belongs at SPARKcon.” See website for full schedule; free; 309 W. Martin St.; sparkcon.com

919.862.6258 sheri.hagerty@hodgekittrellsir.com 3200 Wake Forest Road, Suite 130 | Raleigh, NC 27609 hodgekittrellsir.com Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated.


SPOTLIGHT

courtesy Ray Price Harley Davidson

RALEIGH now

BIKEFEST Motorcycle fans converge

R

aleigh is going whole hog for the 13th annual Ray Price Capital City Bikefest. For three days, downtown revs up for the region’s largest motorcycle rally and celebration of bikes, bikers and the camaraderie that binds them. Sponsored by Ray Price Harley Davidson, Bikefest is the culmination of the Price family’s 30 year dedication to motorsports. Late patriarch and Johnston County native Ray Price is a bonafide legend of motorcycle drag racing. He was inducted to the American Motorcycle Association Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame, and remained active with his nationally recognized racing team right up until his death in 2015. His widow, Jean Price, continues his legacy of showmanship by overseeing all the fest’s details.

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Bikefest welcomes gearheads and newbies of all ages – events are free and family-friendly. Highlights include the expo bike show in the Raleigh Convention Center with trophies and bragging rights awarded for best in show, people’s choice, and best paint job. Fayetteville Street amps up Friday night for the Parade of Lights, a ride showcasing the flashiest in motorcycle lighting. And when it is time to break from bikes, visitors can stroll the Rumble in Raleigh vintage car show, make a mark at Tatoofest, or just enjoy live music from one of three stages. New to Bikefest this year is the Wall of Death, a thrilling, live-action stunt show featuring a professional motorcycle daredevil performing gravity-defying tricks along the vertical wall of a 30-foot-diameter wooden cylinder. And if that inspires the need to put the pedal to the metal, give the Mechanical Motorcycle a go. It’s like the bull, but it’s a hog. Bikefest also goes full-throttle when it comes to giving back. All proceeds and donations go to the U.S. Veterans Corps (USVC) and the United Service Organizations (USO). Ride or ride-along, but if you venture downtown, take ear plugs. –Katherine Poole You can see the full schedule at capitalcitybikefest.com.


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Kansas City Star file photo (SYMPHONY); courtesy Grammercy Pictures (DUDE)

The N.C. Symphony will cast a spell over the Duke Energy Center Sept. 15 - 17 with a performance of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone© in concert. Audiences will transmogrify into the wizarding world of the film shown in high-definition on a giant screen while the orchestra performs John Williams’ fantastic score. It’s sure to conjure a bewitching evening for muggles of all ages. Sept. 15 and 16 7:30 p.m., Sept. 17 2 p.m.; $45 - 86, tickets may be purchased at the door one hour prior to concert start time; ncsymphony.org

NOV 14-19, 2017

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MARCH 13-18, 2018*

APRIL 17-22, 2018*

MAY 4-20, 2018

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16 HEY DUDE ART The fifth annual “The Dude Abides” party happens Sept. 16 at the Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., Theater in the Museum Park, man. This year’s celebration of the cult classic film The Big Lebowski includes a special performance by Texas singer-songwriter Jimmie Dale “Smokey” Gilmore. Gilmore makes an unforgettable cameo in the film and will take part in a brief Q&A before the screening. Dress the part and saunter over to sip white russians and enjoy food truck fare. Doors open at 6 p.m., Gilmore takes the stage at 7 p.m., and the movie starts at 9 p.m. It’s a great party; although, as the Dude would say, “Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.” $10 members, $15 non-members; 2110 Blue Ridge Road; ncartmuseum.org/calendar

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DUCKS IN A ROW The Carolina Ballet opens its 20th anniversary season with the premiere of The Ugly Duckling at the Fletcher Opera Theater Sept. 14. Renowned guest choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett transforms the beloved Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale into a whimsical ballet to delight audiences of all ages. See website for showtimes and tickets; 2 E. South St.; carolinaballet.com

THAT REALLY BUGS ME Do you feel your skin crawling? It must be time for BugFest! Join the thousands of visitors who skitter over to the Museum of Natural Sciences each year to experience a jam-packed day of special exhibits and activities Sept. 16. The theme this year is dragonflies. Highlights include Cafe Insecta, serving exotic dishes featuring creepy crawlers as the main ingredient; an evening “insectival” starring moths, fireflies, and katydids; a beekeeping workshop; and a stump-the-experts station (bring in that weird insect found climbing the bedroom wall). Totally bug out! 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.; free; 11 W. Jones St.; bugfest.org

17

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SEPTEMBER

OUT OF THIS WORLD ON A ROLL One of downtown’s longestablished eateries is back in the spotlight. Sushi bar and restaurant Sono has a new chef and a new look. Hyun-Woo Kim is serving up innovative omakase. Japanese for I’ll leave it up to you, Chef Kim prepares a tasting menu based on the preferences of each diner. Douzo meshiagare (enjoy your meal)! 319 Fayetteville St.; sonoraleigh.com

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20 HIP HOPPORTUNITY Hip-hop legends. Grammy winners. Good friends. Soulful singer Lauryn Hill and anthemic rapper Nas co-headline a show at the Red Hat Amphitheater Sept. 20. The popular recording stars will be joined by reggae artist Chronixx for an evening of powerhouse vocals, stirring beats, and greatest hits. 6 p.m.; tickets from $71, VIP packages available from $199; 500 S. McDowell St.; redhatamphitheater. com/event/ms-lauryn-hill-nas-8789

Pascal Bernier (HIP); courtesy Piedmont Picnic Project (ROOT)

INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR Take a day trip to Greece or Latin America. Cruise down to the N.C. State Fairgrounds for the Raleigh Greek Festival. With a marketplace, taverna, live music, dancing, and cooking demos, it’s all Greek to us! Sept. 8-10; raleighgreekfestival.com Travel downtown to el Fayetteville St. for La Fiesta del Pueblo 2017. Celebrate Latino music, art, food, and culture. Sept. 24; elpueblo. org

28 17 GET TO THE ROOT The Piedmont Picnic Project is a Raleigh nonprofit dedicated to preserving historic food practices and teaching food history. On Sept. 28, you can meet at Raleigh City Farm for the Know Your Roots: Fall into Winter gardening workshop. Stretching the harvest into all four seasons yields the best results from the garden. Learn practices for autumn planting through lessons gleaned from World War II victory gardens – a time in history when food was in short supply. Lessons include: what to plant in fall, how to plant fall bulb crops like garlic, and how to use tunnels to protect a winter garden. Eat as local as it gets all year long. 6 - 7:30 p.m.; $5 pre-registered, $10 day of event; 800 N. Blount St.; piedmontpicnic.com/classes

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LIght

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COLD MOUNTAIN N.C. Opera brings the acclaimed story to life with music

“S

oon after Cold Mountain was published, a real opera fan I know said, ‘There’s something operatic about this story,’” said the author Charles Frazier, speaking to WALTER over the phone one recent morning. This month, Frazier is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Cold Mountain, his bestselling, National Book Award-winning novel. Also celebrating: the N.C. Opera, which has adapted the novel and will perform it on stage Sept. 28 - Oct. 1 at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill. Frazier says the production represents a

38 | WALTER

significant homecoming: “I’m so pleased that this all worked out,” he says, “for it to be on stage in North Carolina, where the whole book takes place.” Momentarily putting aside work on his next novel to discuss the production, Frazier considered his friend’s “operatic”


La Maison Home Boutique observation. “I didn’t at all know what he meant,” Frazier said. “And I don’t know that I do now. He was seeing something that seemed compatible with opera in the story.” Librettist Gene Scheer and composer Jennifer Higdon knew what Frazier’s friend meant; they saw the same “something” about seven years ago, when they first began creating an opera based on the novel. Cold Mountain follows a wounded soldier along a treacherous and emotional journey from the battlefields of the Civil War back home to the love of his life in Cold Mountain, North Carolina. Frazier wasn’t directly involved in the opera’s production, but he made himself available to its creators and was inspired, he says, by their vision. He says they helped him glimpse how his story was compatible with opera. “I learned something about telling a story…I’ve known a lot of artists over the years, and Jennifer Higdon is one of the purest artists.” Frazier says the opera rises to “the base challenge of how to squeeze a fairly lengthy novel into about two hours of performance.” Stage director Keturah Stickann was part of the team that initially conceived of the show and produced its world premiere in Santa Fe in 2014. She was also part of its subsequent tour, and worked closely with librettist Scheer throughout the process. She says Cold Mountain the opera captures Cold Mountain the novel through carefully selected, intensely portrayed scenes. (The opera is also inspired by visual elements of Academy Award-winning Cold Mountain the film, starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, and Renee Zellweger.) “This is quite a complicated show on a lot of fronts,” Stickann says. “It’s about finding distillation, about finding the moments that are most important to storytelling. And still giving the essence of Charles Frazier’s story, while having a piece that moves and doesn’t meander.” Stickann will direct the N.C. Opera production this month. She says the complexity of the story is what makes for a good opera, along with its universal themes. “On the one hand, it’s an incredible love story. … On the other hand, it’s a story about war, and it will appeal to those interested in the historical aspect. It is so varied and layered. The beautiful thing about Cold Mountain is that there is something in there that everybody will be able to either relate to or find interesting.” That includes its author, who highly recommends the opera. “I felt like I learned something about my own book from watching it.” –J.A.

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Opera: Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 1, 2 p.m.; $25 - 99; Memorial Hall, 114 E. Cameron Ave., Chapel Hill; ncopera.org Charles Frazier will read from Cold Mountain at Quail Ridge Books Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.

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SPOTLIGHT

Pot by Ben Owen III, photo courtesy Lindsey Lambert

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THE ART OF THE STATE Leading local artists support pottery auction

C

lay is “the most powerful metaphor we have for human life,” says noted botanical artist Ippy Patterson. “Life began with clay.” When she holds a piece of earthenware, she says, she feels “oneness with our planet.” Such reverence made it an easy decision for the Hillsborough artist to agree to chair the N.C. Pottery Center’s annual fundraising auction Sept. 9. Her belief in the Center and the role it plays

40 | WALTER


in supporting art, artists, and the state as a whole makes her a proud ambassador: “This place is really important.” Like many supporters of the Center – which occupies a beautiful Frank Harmon-designed building in Seagrove, and acts as a welcome center for the area and its potters – Patterson is also a huge fan of its board president and chief cheerleader, the revered potter Mark Hewitt. “He’s the powerhouse and the star.” Hewitt would rather talk about the Pottery Center and its event than about himself. He hopes the auction will raise at least $70,000 to support the only statewide facility in the nation devoted to pottery. “We do a lot of good for the entire pottery community,” he says, including “potters, collectors, historians, and enthusiasts.” Hewitt plans to donate a large pot to the auc-

tion, as he does every year, though he hadn’t chosen one by press time. There was still a firing on the schedule before the auction, and he wanted to make sure his best work was included. “As an institution representing the state, I give generously, and very willingly,” he says. He says he is grateful to Leland Little auction house in Hillsborough for hosting the auction, and looking forward to a festive evening with gourmet food and wine, thanks to the “very hard work of the auction committee.” Top restaurants including Hillsborough’s Panciuto, Acme in Carrboro, and Juju and Watts Grocery of Durham will provide the menu. But the main event, Hewitt says, will be the pots, sold in a silent and live auction. “I hope people in the Triangle will come out to support the art of the state.” –L.R.

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SPOTLIGHT

Y BOOGIE WOOGIE

Dancing in the street in downtown Apex

ou can bust a move at the Apex Music Festival this month. “What began as a jazz festival has evolved to have more of an upbeat ‘night on the town’ atmosphere,” says festival manager and director Angela Slater. The annual fundraiser for the Apex Downtown Business Association has grown from the friendly, jazz-focused bar crawl that debuted in 2011 to become a full-blown street festival, heavy on both party bands and beer gardens. Slater says the festival’s original intent was to add a so-

phisticated, adult counterpoint to the town’s family programming. Apexians supported it in droves, and organizers expect some 20,000 attendees Sept. 16. Musical acts reflect a little bit of everything and tend toward danceable brass, jazz, and funk music. About half of the lineup is local, including the annual grand finale by Apex variety band Peak City Sound. “It’s the perfect way to end the night,” Slater says. But the whole day is a groovy one: “There’s usually a little brass, a little swagger, a little funk, and lots of fun.” –J.A.

3 p.m. - 12 midnight; $10 general admission; apexmusicfest.com

Prepare to Soar! Maybe you are an athlete or a scholar. Perhaps you love music or peering into a microscope. Maybe you’d just prefer to spend time quietly reading. Whoever you are, there’s a place for you here. At Ravenscroft, we value the individuality of each student as we foster an environment of understanding and cooperation. Come take your place with us!

Join us! Call to schedule a visit: 919.848.6470 7409 Falls of Neuse Road Raleigh, NC 27615 919.847.0900 why.ravenscroft.org

courtesy Apex Music Festival

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SEPTEMBER

courtesy Outdoor Expeditions (FISH); courtesy Ton Up NC (RUMBLEc

all month

GO FISH Whether you are a die-hard angler or don’t know the difference between a creel and a reel, consider exploring one the Triangle’s many lakes with a professional fishing guide. Outdoor Expeditions USA offers guided freshwater fishing trips on Shearon Harris, Jordan Lake, and Falls Lake. Using topography and the seasonal patterns of fish, these guides know all the best spots and tips to ensure the best catch of the day. Book 3-hour to half-day charters, family trips, and even get bass tournament experience. A valid N.C. fishing license is required and may be obtained through the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. See website to schedule; rates vary depending on the time of year; outdoorexpeditionsusa.com

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1-2 READY TO RUMBLE The Bull City Rumble revs up downtown Durham over Labor Day weekend. Hosted by Ton Up NC, a nonprofit group of vintage bike enthusiasts, this world-renowned motorcycle and scooter rally draws thousands of fans to roll in and ride hot. The Rumble kicks off Friday night with a party at the Green Room on Broad Street. Saturday is all easy riding with a juried vintage motorcycle, scooter, and cafe racer show. Bikes are judged in categories based on make and age with high marks given for individual personality and craftsmanship. The bike show awards ceremony is capped off by a charity raffle and after-party at Social on West Main Street. Start your engines! See website for full schedule; free; Brightleaf District, 905 W. Main St., Durham; tonup.bigcartel.com/bull-city-rumble

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MELODIC MOSAIC

UNCG brings its multifaceted orchestral concert to Raleigh

T

he University of North Carolina at Greensboro is celebrating its 125th anniversary, and as part of a year-long effort to commemorate the milestone, it’s taking Collage, an ever-popular annual musical concert, on the road for the first time. The free concert will take place in Raleigh at Meymandi Concert Hall Sept. 16. “Collage is, well, a collage: of the different schools of music that we have at UNCG,” says Hana Zevgolis, a Raleigh native and rising senior voice major at UNC Greensboro. Zevgolis will perform alongside some 300 of her peers in what she calls “a showcase of what our college is about.” Students and faculty members from every department of UNCG’s College of Visual and Performing Arts – including music, dance, and voice – combine talents for a dynamic, rapid-fire show that occurs without breaks. A choir performance will take place under the colored spotlight in one area, and then, the moment it finishes, a jazz ensemble will pick up

in another. Then African drums will echo from the back. Then an opera aria from the front. Then a classical string number from an opposite corner. “It’s really immersive, and it runs continuously, seamlessly, without pause in between each very short performance,” says the concert’s co-director, Kevin Geraldi, who is also the school’s director of orchestral activities. “Collage is an incredibly unique concert experience.” For Zevgolis, it’s a chance to share her hard work and talents with her hometown. “Greensboro is only about an hour away, but growing up … I never heard much about it. I’m glad people will get to see a little bit more of UNCG.” Geraldi says the concert is free to the public as a way for the university to give back to the community, as it plans to do throughout its quasquicentennial year. “We want to gift the performance to the community as a way of representing UNCG in Raleigh … It’s a sampler of all the different musical possibilities.” –J.A.

Advance registration required; vpa.uncg.edu/collage

44 | WALTER

courtesy UNCG

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courtesy Duke Performances (BEASTS); Thinkstock (HEADBANGERS)

SEPTEMBER

7 HEADBANGERS BALL Theatre Raleigh hopes you can’t fight the feeling for the musical Rock of Ages. This raucous tribute to 1980s classic rock debuts in a haze of Aqua Net at Koka Booth Amphitheatre Sept. 7 and marks a noteworthy collaboration between Raleighites. Theatre Raleigh’s producing artistic director Lauren Kennedy Brady and Koka Booth’s general manager Liz McDonald met as children in local theater, and went on to successful careers before returning home to bring their passion for performance to the Triangle. The women spare no spandex in this high octane show for those about to rock. 8 p.m.; $10 front row “Student Rush” day-of show with valid student ID, $22.50 - $35 general public; 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary; boothamphitheatre.com/event/9258

8-9 BEAUTY AND THE BEASTS Duke Performances launches its new season with a special music event, Beasts of the Southern Wild, featuring Wordless Music, the N.C. Symphony, and Lost Bayou Ramblers. The film Beasts of the Southern Wild is a wildly imaginative fairy tale and action adventure set in the Louisiana bayou with an equally evocative score written by Dan Romer and the film’s director Benh Zeitlin. For two nights Sept. 8 and 9, 25 musicians from the N.C. Symphony will play the score live as the movie is screened at the Reynolds Industries Theater on Duke’s campus. Joining the symphony will be the Lost Bayou Ramblers, who are featured on the film’s soundtrack. 8 p.m.; $10 Duke students, $20 ages 30 and under, $32 - $38 general public; 125 Science Drive, Durham; dukeperformances.duke.edu/events

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9 FOR WHAT ALES YOU Good suds and no duds. The Holly Springs Beericana craft beer and music fest Sept. 9 boasts some of the finest craft brews in the country, many hailing from the Old North State. You can sample them all at the festival, including great music and food truck fare. Included with your admission ticket is a tasting glass for two-ounce pours from more than 70 breweries on site. (Reduced admission tickets for non-beer drinking patrons are available too.) Parking for the event is free with plenty of cabs available for those who over-taste. What to bring: a valid photo ID, blanket or chair, bottled water, and an empty bag to fill with all the swag you can collect. Food, coolers, children, and pets are best left at home. See website for full listing of breweries and bands. 12 noon - 6 p.m.; $45, $15 music only; 2401 Grigsby Ave., Holly Springs; beericana.com

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THE HUNT IS AFOOT The eighth annual Cary Scavenger Hunt gets underway Sept. 16. The hunt is a day-long, city-wide event pitting teams of two to four people against one another in the ultimate battle for hometown bragging rights and trophies. Contestants are given a book of clues to test their knowledge of Cary in the categories of food, businesses, history, parks, art, and more. Local celebrity judges score teams and award cash prizes, but the real win is the adventure found in your own community. 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.; $10.50 per person for family or adult teams, $90 per corporate team; Page-Walker Arts and History Center, 119 Ambassador Loop, Cary; caryscavengerhunt.com

courtesy Beericana (ALES); courtesy the Cary Citizen (HUNT)

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SPOTLIGHT

BEST FESTS This is the month for festivals, all with great eats. Go ahead and loosen your belt a notch. NC Hotsauce Contest Sept. 9; Oxford nchotsaucecontest.com

H

GET OUT Take a Child Outside Week

eading outside for a breath of fresh air is rarely a bad idea. Taking a young person along with you: even better. This month, you can join the national movement to explore nature with kids during Take a Child Outside Week Sept. 24 - 30. The program, called TACO, motivates local museums and other organizations to create outdoor adventures that appeal to kids. Among the options in Raleigh are a family fishing night at Lake Johnson Sept. 25; a Terrific Turtles song and game session with live creatures for preschoolers Sept. 26 - 28; a family campout at Durant Nature Preserve Sept. 29; and a track and scat identifying class at Lake Wheeler Sept. 30 (that’s sure to be a 7-to12-year-old crowd favorite). Happy playing! –J.A. takeachildoutside.org

Hog Day Sept. 15-16; Hillsborough hogday.org Interational Food Fest Sept. 16; Wendell thefoodfestival.com Dragon Boat Festival Sept. 23; Cary boothamphitheatre.com Jerkfest Sept. 23; Durham caribsplash.org/jerkfest East Meets West Sept. 23; Morrisville eastmeetswestmorrisville. org

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courtesy davidgray.com (HARMONY); courtesy Duke Perfomances (FANDANGO)

SEPTEMBER

24 TWO PART HARMONY Bluegrass legend Alison Krauss and folk-rock mainstay David Gray will share the stage at Koka Booth Amphitheatre Sept. 2. If this seems like an unlikely pairing, you’re right: Both artists are stepping into new spotlights. Krauss’ new album Windy City marks a departure from her bluegrass roots as she covers songs from a variety of eras and genres. And the title alone of Gray’s new album, Mutineers, hints that he’s navigating a different sound. See these luminaries in a new light for an evening of rediscovery. 7 p.m.; $49.50 - $75; 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary; boothamphitheatre.com/events

24 DO THE FANDANGO Modern flamenco master Vicente Amigo is coming Sept. 24 for a rare U.S. engagement in the Duke Performances series. Jazz musician and composer Pat Metheny calls him “the greatest guitarist alive,” and the extensive list of accolades amassed over his three decade career back that up. While Amigo’s dazzling style and consummate showmanship will be the main attraction, he will be accompanied by his expert quintet, a professional singer, and a flamenco dancer. Bolero, rumba, tango, and fandango the night away. 7 p.m., $10 Duke Students, $20 ages 30 and under; $30 - $45 general public; 125 Science Drive, Durham; dukeperformances.duke.edu/events


SPOTLIGHT

FLOWER POWER

A flower farmers’ market thrives in Durham

A

crop of local farmers is looking for new ways to grow, and believes that farming flowers is the way to do it. “We want to put flowers on the radar,” says Kelly Morrison of Color Fields farm in Hurdle Mills. Morrison is one of the founding farmers of

50 | WALTER

Casey Toth

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Piedmont Wholesale Flowers, a new co-op that hosts a flowers-only wholesale market Thursday mornings near downtown Durham. “People spend thousands of dollars with florists. That is so much money that can be put into local farms.” This is Morrison’s brainchild, inspired by similar markets in Seattle. She says she and her ten fellow member-partners believe the Triangle’s locavore scene can support such a specific focus. “It’s a pretty progressive community for local food. Local flowers are next.”


Be well addressed... Since Piedmont Wholesale’s soft opening in March, six or seven of the co-op’s farmers have been setting up shop weekly at 8 a.m., bringing industrial-sized buckets overflowing with blooms, vines, and greenery. About a dozen regular customers typically arrive during the two-hour session. Florists from Wilmington and Fayetteville and buyers for Pine State Flowers in Durham and Wylde in Raleigh are among them. A dozen wholesale regulars is good, Morrison says. “These people are consistent, they’re buying for their business every week, and they’re buying in bulk. They don’t just buy one bouquet.” Focusing on wholesale customers

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‘It’s a pretty progressive community for local food. Local flowers are next.’ serves Piedmont Wholesale’s mission to grow demand for local agriculture, Morrison says. The market isn’t open to the public because “we want flower shops here to sell our local flowers. If we were open to the public, we’d be doing that. We don’t want to compete with our customers.” But Piedmont does hope to work with its wholesale customers to host public events in the future, Morrison says. These might include arranging workshops, or “flower bars,” or flowercrown-making. It sounds fun and pretty, and it is. Still, Morrison says there’s an underlying educational goal. Most people know butternut squash is a chillyweather treat, but they want hydrangeas year-round. “There’s a seasonality to flowers. The more we can get people to appreciate all of the different types all year long – to look forward to that – the more we can convince farmers to grow more flowers,” she says. “The demand can be there.” –J.A. The market will host a public “brunch and bouquets” fundraiser Sept. 10 from 1 - 3 p.m. at its Durham location: 902 N. Mangum St. You can buy tickets and learn more at piedmontwholesaleflowers.com.

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THE USUAL

OUR

photograph by CHRISTER BERG

“There are so many facets of model railroading: There’s scenery and color and paint and electronics and computers…” –John Ragan, president, Neuse River Valley Model Railroad Club

M

any mornings of the week find Mebane resident John Ragan driving about an hour to downtown Raleigh. It’s not work that beckons, it’s play: The president of the Neuse River Valley Model Railroad Club (NRVMRC) has weekly breakfasts with fellow club members; he has six model railroad layouts in the clubhouse on Old Louisburg Road to maintain; he has an extensive library to keep organized. “I remember getting a train set at age 12, but that’s just my first recollection. My love of trains has definitely been longer than that. There were always trains in the house.” In the Raleigh model railroad club, Ragan has found comrades. The community, along with the club’s other perks, make the drive more than worth it, Ragan says. “We are the only model railroad club in Wake County that has a clubhouse,” he says. It’s open to the public three days a week and open to club members daily. There, they have the space to put together layouts using donated or member-loaned model railroad pieces and trains: “Layouts are never finished. You’re always working

on them.” There are many different scales of model railroads, each assigned a letter. Z-scale, for instance, is what Ragan calls a “suitcase scale,” because it can be laid out within or atop a suitcase or coffee table. O-scale “is what you would envision around the Christmas tree,” and the list goes on. NRVMRC has models in three scales (O, H-O, and N), which Ragan says sets it apart in this area. So does its library of most model railroader magazines “from inception to the current issue. And we have over 200 volumes of hardback model railroad books.” Regular outings to other model train clubs in the state and the transportation museums in Spencer, N.C. and Roanoke, Va., plus an annual club-organized model railroad show and sale at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in November round out the NRVMRC’s busy schedule. It’s all “great fun for train lovers,” Ragan says, whether they’re longtime modelers like he is, or curious novices. “The club would never grow if we didn’t have us in all skill levels. We’re always learning.” –J.A. nrvclub.net

photograph by CHRISTER BERG

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OUR Town

GAME PLAN

“If you don’t know where you’re going or why you’re doing the work, then you won’t make any sort of transformational change.” –Elena Ashburn, principal, Broughton High School

A

s the Wake County Public School System begins its academic year this month, Broughton High School is kicking off work on a 10-year strategic plan. The undertaking is significant. “If we’re serious about doing the work and we’re serious about doing it well, that takes time and it takes a lot of input,” says the school’s new leader, principal Elena Ashburn. Ashburn assumed her role last February, after her predecessor moved to a position at Athens Drive High School. Arriving in the middle of the school year gave her the time to meet one-onone with all 175 school employees and with every single student in small groups. By June, Ashburn says the feedback she gathered inspired this long-range planning. Ashburn says her motivation to think ahead comes from the Triangle’s “excellent” public school system itself. She also comes to the job with the perspective that only significant experience and a passion for teaching can provide. After a Teach for America job brought the Virginia native to Durham in 2007, she earned a master’s in school administration from UNC-Chapel

Hill, become assistant principal of Fuquay-Varina High School, and then principal of Easter Garner Middle School. Along with her current Broughton principalship, she’s currently a doctoral candidate in the educational leadership program at UNC-Chapel Hill. “I just loved it, and I still do” she says of both the area and the profession, which she describes as a calling. “I believe that teaching is the most important job in a school building. Your lens is just much wider in the principalship: You have multiple priorities running at the same time.” One of those priorities is to encourage the staff to create a passionate team. “It’s very easy in our jobs to get bogged down in things that, one, we can’t change; or, two, things that didn’t go the way we think they fundamentally should,” Ashburn says. “Let’s talk about all the amazing things that are in our ability to change and effect. When you’re trying to continuously improve, it helps people remember their ‘why.’ I truly believe people arrive at this school building every day wanting to do the best thing by kids.” –J.A. photograph by TRAVIS LONG

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Since 1976


OUR Town

SHOP LOCAL

“There’s a whole bunch of folks who like N.C. State.” –Mario Ciardella, owner, Red and White Shop

M

ario Ciardella’s priorities aren’t black and white; they’re red and white. “We try to have the largest selection of N.C. State merchandise out there,” he says. That’s been Ciardella’s goal since he worked in the wholesale collegiate business as a manufacturer’s representative to dozens of regional schools and athletics programs. As an N.C. State graduate, he never hid his allegiance: “I wished I could sell only my N.C. State stuff.” Finally, at the urging of his late close friend Cindy Sears, who was director of trademark licensing at N.C. State, he helped open Red and White Shop. At first, it was in a temporary spot in Crabtree Valley Mall. The store moved to its current location at Ridgewood Shopping Center in 2008, and Ciardella became the sole owner in 2012. What differentiates the shop from the N.C. State bookstore is its selection and its customer base,

Ciardella says. “We’re alumni-driven.” They come for tailgating and gameday equipment, including chairs, tents, and seat cushions, as well as sportswear and children’s items. Ciardella carries tailored ladies’ wear and golf shirts with a wide array of logos in addition to the classic blocky S. Three of his four full-time staff members are alumni, and all of his part-time employees are current students. “We are the only (N.C. State) store that is locally owned by an N.C. State graduate,” he says. Ciardella’s only complaint is that he now has to miss many home sports games to work in the shop: “It still hurts me a little every time.” Recently, Red and White Shop doubled its square footage and inventory, and Ciardella says the store’s getting excited for fall’s football season. “We have a tent out and a whole tailgate experience set up. People can come in, sit in chairs, and try them out.” –J.A. redandwhiteshop.com

photograph by TRAVIS LONG

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OUR Town

OFF DUTY

from left: Mimi Raub, Winn Decker, Evan Davis, Baxter Knight

“People experience Raleigh in a different way.” –Baxter Knight, Segway tour guide, Triangle Glides

R

ecently retired Mimi Raub spends most of her days soaking up fresh air, meeting new people, and “cruising around” downtown Raleigh – on a Segway. Raub is one of four staffers at locally owned Triangle Glides, which runs daily tours of the city on the two-wheeled automatic scooters. “It’s so much fun,” she says. Raub has been leading tours for about five years. She began when still working full-time as a psychotherapist, and her colleagues also hold day jobs: at the N.C. Department of Agriculture, in the N.C. General Assembly, and as a Ph.D. student at N.C. State. What they have in common is a love of history, people, and the city; they all say the Segways are a happy means to an end. “This is a blend of my experiences and interests,” says N.C. Department of Agriculture employee Evan Davis. “In my opinion, it’s much better than other ‘normal’ second job options.” Both Davis and Knight are North Carolina natives who enjoy the chance to “share the state’s history and culture,” Davis

says. Some tours stick to downtown’s city center or Historic Oakwood, others cover broader territory. Triangle Glides also offers a “Raleigh’s darkest secrets” tour focused on some of the city’s lesser-known spooky historical scandals and events. The trips last one to two hours, and range in size from a small handful of participants to about a dozen. “There’s not an average guest,” Knight says, “but there are archetypes.” These include folks in town for business or a conference, leisure travelers, and Triangle locals. Each guide leads differently, because the basic script allows for personal flair. “You add your own information to make it reflect your personality and your knowledge,” Davis says. Davis once led a group of 70th birthday party revelers; Raub once led a bachelorette party. Repeat local customers are not uncommon. After all, the novelty of the transportation doesn’t wear off. “It’s kind of cool to take a Segway around downtown,” Knight says. “You can never forget that fact of the matter.” –J.A. photograph by CHRISTER BERG

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AUGUST 18 - NOVEMBER 19, 2017

Tickets at reynoldahouse.org/livingmodern

Reynolda House Museum of American Art Winston-Salem North Carolina

GEOR GIA O’KEEFFE

LIVING MODERN

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern is organized by the Brooklyn Museum, with guest curator Wanda M. Corn, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor Emerita in Art History, Stanford University, and made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts. Reynolda House Museum of American Art is grateful for the generous support of the exhibition from Presenting Sponsors Hanesbrands, and PNC and Hawthorn, PNC Family Wealth. Special thanks to Major Sponsors The Cathleen & Ray McKinney Exhibition Fund, Nancy and Ed Pleasants, and Mona and Wallace Wu. ®

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864–1946). Georgia O’Keeffe, circa 1920–22. Gelatin silver print, 4½ x 3½ in. (11.4 x 9 cm). Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation, 2003.01.006. © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum


OUR Town

SPOTLIGHT

photographs by JULI LEONARD

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CATCHing on Supporting vital work for homeless children

“T

here are misconceptions about what homelessness is,” says Traci Farmer, a local artist and hairdresser who serves on the board of the nonprofit Project CATCH. The group – Community Action Targeting Children who are Homeless – is a Wake County project of the Salvation Army. The group works with homeless children and raises needed awareness and understanding of the problem in our area. Farmer and others are doing that with fundraisers and creative events, including a pop-up dinner in July and an upcoming art exhibit.

At the dinner, Farmer recalled a moment, about two years ago, when she faced her own misconceptions about homelessness and became motivated to do something about it. During the busy back-and-forth of dropping her children off at sports practices and running errands, she’d noticed a “village in the woods,” she said. There were tents and tarps – no actual structures – but she had a hunch people were sleeping there. Curiosity eventually got the best of Farmer, so she went in broad daylight to check it out. “There weren’t signs of drugs or alcohol. There were Fisher-Price toys and clearly children had been there. These people had created a home.” Meeting homeless families wherever they are, villages in the woods included, is at the core of Project CATCH, says co-founder and clinical child psychologist Sarah Sabornie. “Our goal is to really end the cycle of poverty. Our two full-time profession-

SEPTEMBER 2017 | 63


OUR Town

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SPOTLIGHT


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als meet kids in shelters, at (their) friends’ houses, in motels, in cars” to provide behavioral and emotional support; then they educate and equip children’s families for and about future needs. The project’s hyperfocused child-centric approach is distinct, Sabornie says. “We’re all hands on deck.” To garner support, the nonprofit meets Raleighites in all kinds of places. In July, 85 gathered at HQ Raleigh, a coworking space by day, for a thoughtful six-course dinner presented by The Blind Pig. The Asheville-based nonprofit teams with regional chefs to put together thematic suppers that raise money for a local cause. The July dinner was inspired by Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea; each course was inspired by a line in the novel and featured sustainable North Carolina seafood. Blind Pig husband-and-wife team Mike and Darlene Moore had already developed the dinner’s theme when Sabornie reached out about partnering. The timing was kismet: What better beneficiary for a sustainable seafood meal, they decided, than an organization called

There are 5,000 homeless children in Wake County. That’s one per classroom. Project CATCH? As guests seated themselves and poured the drinks they’d brought with them, Project CATCH board members, including Farmer and Sabornie, mingled with purpose. “It’s all about connections tonight,” Sabornie said. “If we meet just one new person willing to help, then this evening was worth it.” Eight years since inception, Project CATCH is determined to keep spreading the word and expanding its work. “There are 5,000 homeless children in Wake County. That’s one per classroom,” Sabornie says. She says the more work coordinator Jennifer Tisdale and outreach case manager Taylor Ward do, the more need they discover. “We need another full-time child case manager. We need to raise $100,000 by the end of September.” Events like The Blind Pig supper club are an important start. Next up: Farmer’s art exhibition, slated for next year. She hopes the show will continue to expand preconceptions of how it looks to spread awareness. Project CATCH’s work is endless, but the team is tireless. “We know we can raise awareness,” Farmer says. “How often are your heartstrings pulled, and then you get busy and life goes on and all of the sudden it’s days or weeks later? We want to do more. We want to continue to provide ways for people to act and to support.” –Jessie Ammons


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THROUGH THE

Wallscapes photographs by GEOFF WOOD AND GIBSON WOOD

“B

uildings come in a few colors: brown, blue, and clear. Adding another layer of color is what, I think, art does,” says Jedidiah Gant of the Raleigh Murals Project. A media strategist by day with a background in architecture, Gant launched a trend a few years ago by “noticing blank walls in the city that I thought could use art on them. I started using the hashtag #PutAMuralHere.” The hashtag took off, and soon Gant teamed with his friend and fellow media strategist JT Moore to found the nonprofit Raleigh Murals Project in 2014. The project connects building owners with artists to make murals happen. “There was public art in Raleigh, but there was a gap and an opportunity to put color on walls. There’s something about the wall of a building. The architect in me believes that materials are beautiful, but there are some walls that seem to be asking for that layer of color.” So far, the mural project has helped bring about 35 installations to fruition, Gant says. Photographer Geoff Wood and his 9-year-old daughter Gibson, a budding lenswoman herself, captured a selection of them, plus a few other independent and recognizable Raleigh facades. –J.A.

New kid on the block:This recent piece by Scott Nurkin is an unexpected fiery palette just a few blocks from Glenwood South.

68 | WALTER


SEPTEMBER 2017 | 69


THROUGH THE LENS

Clockwise from above: The captivating side of Bruegger’s Bagels in Ridgewood Shopping Center was painted by well-known artist Dalek in 2015 in celebration of the “shop small” movement to support local small businesses; North Hills’ latest public art, Raleigh Rug, is a carpet-scape painted on the sidewalk. “Making art accessible and hands-on is always a goal,” say Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn, the Baltimore-based duo who created the work.; Two murals at Shaw University are “split into concepts of past, present, and future,” says artist Scott Nurkin. The one seen here “is meant to reflect the direction in which Shaw is headed, specifically inspired by the themes of ‘technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation.’”; Victor Knight III’s rendition of the beloved sandwich on the wall of Subconscious on Hillsborough Street; In the ’60s, N.C. State aimed to manage graffiti on campus by designating a part of campus where students could have free reign. The Free Expression Tunnel remains today, connecting the two halves of central campus split by a railroad track with a densely layered collage of street art, graffiti, and messages.

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THROUGH THE LENS

THE ROW

Clockwise from top left: On the back wall of Trophy Brewing’s original location on Morgan Street, a black-and-white mural by artist Kevin Lyons was a Raleigh Murals Project collaboration with shoe company Vans and teen anti-smoking awareness organization Truth. “Our goal was to do an anti-smoking mural in the heart of old tobacco country,” Lyons says.; Artist Dare Coulter stands in front of her mural commissioned by the American Civil Liberties Union on Salisbury Street. It is the latest Raleigh Murals Project collaboration, completed at the end of June; Artie Barksdale’s retro-cool work on Amedeo’s restaurant; An Eames chair painted on an interior wall leading to Alfred Williams & Company, but visible to passersby. Artist Ryan Cummings says “The idea was to create a close-up portrait of the chair on a white background, almost a silhouette, to emphasize the beautiful shape and form of the chair … crop the image of a classic piece of design so that its beauty speaks for itself.”

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Raleighites

SEPTEMBER 2017 | 75


by HENRY GARGAN

A

T RALEIGH’S AMTRAK STATION, YOU can buy a ticket from a man behind a counter. When you round the corner to the luggage bay, the same man will greet you and take your bag. Earlier, you could have spied him out in front, spraying the weeds sprouting through cracks in the parking lot pavement. Once the last train leaves, he’ll be the one taking out the trash and cleaning the bathrooms. This man is no lowly lackey – he’s the station’s lead ticket agent. The head honcho. His name is Gregg Shanno, and he finds himself almost 20 years into a career with Amtrak, still handling baggage like he did on his first day on the job, which was six days past his 19th birthday. Don’t worry. He’s still having a great time.

photographs by CHRIS SEWARD 76 | WALTER


STATIONED HERE Opposite, top: Liz Gray of Raleigh takes a selfie with members of her son’s Boy Scout troop as they prepare to go to Washington D.C. to see the national monuments and attractions. This page, top: Lead ticket agent Gregg Shanno directs customers at the Raleigh Amtrak station. Most days, eight trains come and go through the sation.

SEPTEMBER 2017 | 77


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historic photos NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

In upstate New York, where Shanno got his start, a small army of people ran the station, handling the daily herd of commuters traveling down the Hudson River toward the city as they have done for some 150 years. At the Raleigh station, just two people are on duty on any given day to manage the local trickle of passengers. The station’s humble trappings can be explained, in part, by geography and history. Unlike train stations in many Northeastern cities, Raleigh’s was built after the country had already fallen in love with the automobile, and six years before President Dwight Eisenhower announced the Interstate Highway System. Even so, trains have long delivered commercial goods to and from our capital city. But they didn’t – and don’t – move nearly as many people around. Seaboard Station, off Peace Street, is the most visible reminder of our local freight railways’ bygone vitality. Today, the station is home to Logan’s Garden Shop, where rows of perennials stand in the place of railway cars. Other signs of busier times can be found: A lonely turntable sits off Johnson Street, bereft of the roundhouse and locomotives it once served. Even the trains that do work today in Raleigh are largely invisible. Two major freight haulers, CSX and Norfolk Southern, have facilities tucked away on either side of Capital Boulevard north of downtown. This is changing, though, and quickly. In January, a very visible, $88 million train station will open at the corner of West and West Martin streets in the Warehouse District – the new Raleigh Union Station. And just last November, Wake County residents voted to fund a $2.3 billion transit plan that aims (among other things) to provide commuter train service from Garner through the new station and on to Cary to Durham within 10 years. The new station aims to drive traffic as well as serve as a symbol that the city is betting on rail. “I think that everyone realizes the existing facility (in Raleigh) is probably not the best we could do in regards to providing passenger convenience and comfort,” says David Eatman, Raleigh’s transit administrator. “But we also want to have an attractive front door for rail passengers entering the city.” Shanno will get a new office, and he’ll gratefully hand off bathroom cleaning, garbage duty, and other maintenance to the city. “I can’t wait,” Shanno says. “This roof leaks, and there are constant plumbing and electrical problems.” More significant will be the impact on the city as a whole. With a showplace of a new station, rail will have the chance to become something other than the loud, traffic-halting inconvenience most Raleighites experience it as today. It could be a symbol of the city’s future. Mayor Nancy McFarlane says the city’s bet on trains is meant to be both reactive and proactive. “We have to acknowledge that this area is growing exponentially,” she said. “We just can’t have twice as many cars on the roads.


BETTING ON RAIL Opposite page from top: Old Union Depot in Raleigh, 1927; New Seaboard Station, downtown Raleigh, 1942 (The News & Observer photo). This page from top: Construction progresses on the Grand Hall inside the new Union Station, slated to open January 2018. The exterior of the new Raleigh Union Station as seen from the platform of the existing Amtrak station.

SEPTEMBER 2017 | 79


NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

We just can’t.” But she also said that once more rail options are available, they’ll undoubtedly encourage people to move around, acting as much a carrot as the crush of beltline traffic has been a stick. Union Station’s two new daily round-trip trains between Raleigh and Charlotte will accommodate – and encourage – increased demand.

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Trains came to Raleigh in the early 1830s on wooden tracks, in the vicinity of what is now Fayetteville Street. Builders used this experimental railroad to carry rock from nearby quarries to the site of the new Capitol building. “In the south, you had slaves building the railroad, and even slaves shoveling coal into the fire,” says Josh Trower, a program manager with the City of Raleigh Museum. In 1840, the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad fired up, the first to offer commercial service in Raleigh. The line moved people and freight between Raleigh and Halifax County, where it connected with railroads running north to Virginia and beyond. Three days of celebrations and the firing of cannons heralded the trains’ arrival. 1896 saw the opening of Raleigh’s original Union Station, a name shared by stations in cities around the country for the confluence of tracks owned by multiple rail companies. An economy prospered around the steam engines that served the city in the early 20th century. They facilitated the Great Migration, the scores of African-Americans who passed through and left from Raleigh to northern cities during the heart of the last century. As elsewhere, though, the Great Depression forced cuts in Raleigh’s service, effectively isolating many communities in North Carolina’s rural east. Then, beginning in the late 1940s, diesel trains arrived, leading to the depletion of the specialized and once-mammoth workforce needed to run steam locomotives. Trains remained popular, but this was the beginning of the end for a railway industry that had grown only more prosperous for more than a century. Freight rail companies swooped in behind the aban-


doned passenger lines, buying up and leasing their tracks. A period of deregulation allowed them to merge and profit more freely, for a time. But the flexibility of truck transport, as well as the country’s decreasing reliance upon coal – once the chief cargo (and fuel) of trains headed through Raleigh to power plants in eastern North Carolina – dented that industry as well. Those trains switched to diesel later than others, Trower says, to stay on good terms with their biggest customers.

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Today’s traffic Today, the city is served by three rail lines, all owned by freight companies and shared by Amtrak. Norfolk Southern’s goes roughly north-south, and CSX’s goes roughly east-west. A third, shortline railroad called the Carolina Coastal goes southeast to Selma, where trains switch and start heading north up a line that roughly parallels I-95. Most of what comes through Raleigh these days keeps going. It isn’t unloaded here. An exception is the grain carried to the Cargill plant off South Blount Street. At Raleigh Station, about 40 or 50 people buy Amtrak tickets each morning to destinations like Charlotte, Richmond, and Greensboro. Most days, eight trains come and go. In January, when the station moves down the tracks a quarter mile, that number will jump to 10, and might grow further in coming years. During the school year, about a third of the travelers that pass through the station are college students taking weekend trips back home to Charlotte or Greensboro, Shanno says. Another third are regular commuters. And the rest tend to be people on some sort of adventure or vacation. Many of those are older folks, he said, who have lost their taste for driving and traffic. On a recent Tuesday morning, Anne Pace of Richmond and her mother, Polly Cochrane of Raleigh, waited at the station for the 10:25 a.m. train to take Pace back home. They take turns riding the Carolinian three hours in between Raleigh and Richmond to visit each other. Cochrane had come to the station to see her daughter off. “She’s 81, and she’s been riding the train for 20-something years,” Pace said of her mother. “I don’t like her driving. Even

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though she’s a great driver, people are inattentive, they’re using their cell phones. This is so much easier.”

The future So what convinced Raleigh’s leaders that the future lies with rail, that Shanno’s low, white station building, quaint as it is, isn’t enough? They might have looked to cities like Denver, which in recent years renovated its own Union Station. The gorgeous building is clad in marble and is nearly always heaving with passengers on their way to somewhere or locals on their way to nowhere in particular. It’s become the centerpiece of a thriving downtown district called LoDo that you’d once have been advised to avoid. “I always think about if I go into an airport, and it’s not that great, I automatically think that it’s not that great of a place,” says Paul Worley, who recently retired from running the state Department of Transportation’s rail division. “I think this station has an opportunity to say a lot about Raleigh.” Already, the area immediately surrounding the station site is seeing interest from builders and companies encouraged by the public buy-in that an $88 million investment suggests. “We have a whole generation, millennials, that has decided they’re not into cars all that much,” Worley says. “They like public transportation and want to live in city centers and be able to ride on reliable trains.”

Expanding capacity to meet that latent demand is difficult because of the scope of rail lines that were abandoned during the deregulatory period and the freight mergers that followed in the wake of the Staggers Rail Act, in 1980. “Once you lose a right-of-way, it’s gone forever,” Worley says. “As we got around into the late ’80s, we realized we had to start trying to preserve rail corridors.” North Carolina helped secure the right of way for a direct route to Richmond, Worley says, waiting, hoping, that $4 billion might saunter by and offer itself to engineers. “What has to happen is we have to open up our minds to private investment, but there’s a resistance to that,” he says. “We want control of our state assets, but at the same time, we don’t want to pay for things.” Raleigh’s investment in Union Station is a start. It’s meant to be a landmark, as well as a technical improvement upon its predecessor. “I think the third piece of it is about equity,” says Mayor McFarlane. “It’s getting more expensive to live in this area, and to be able to not have a car, or not have a second car, removes a great deal of cost. Affordable housing is not just about the cost of your house – it’s the cost of getting where you need to be.” Still, the mere sight of a train remains a novelty for most people in Raleigh. But more people on trains here – even more people seeing, thinking, and talking about trains here – could make rail projects an easier sell, advocates say, the next time elected officials have to decide whether to spend on roads or rails.


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WALTER profile

photographs by KEITH ISAACS 84 | WALTER


ART and the FUTURE The new Gregg Museum celebrates both by LIZA ROBERTS

WHEN N.C. STATE OPENED THE DOORS OF ITS NEW GREGG MUSEUM OF Art & Design last month, the university unveiled a prominent landmark and an important new era for the visual arts on campus in a single stroke. The museum provides “an opportunity to not only celebrate the arts and design at N.C. State,” says chancellor Randy Woodson, who helped spearhead its development, “but to welcome the community onto our campus in a new way.” Newly elegant, among other things. The Gregg’s picturesque home – a stone’sthrow from the N.C. State bell tower on Hillsborough Street – is a combination of the historic former chancellor’s residence and a just-completed, architecturally significant addition. Together they provide a sleek but understated showcase for the university’s encyclopedic collection of art and artifacts. SEPTEMBER 2017 | 85


ALL ARE WELCOME “Having another venue that is open to

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the public brings the public closer to N.C. State,” says chancellor Randy Woodson. Above, director Roger Manley welcomes donors Chip and Lyn Andrews and Bing Sizemore to the just-completed Gregg.


“There are too many art museums where the art plays second fiddle to the building,” says Gregg director Roger Manley. “We wanted the art to be the focus here.” There’s a lot of it to focus on. The museum’s massive collection – which the university began to accumulate in the late ’40s, grew in the ’60s, first cataloged in the ’70s, created a home for at the Talley Student Union in the ’90s, and has kept in storage for the last few years – encompasses more than 35,000 objects. They range widely, and include textiles, Native American art, North Carolina pottery, Japanese prints, photography, and one of the state’s largest collections of outsider art. Some of it was acquired for educational purposes, some was donated, other objects were acquired to better represent the art of the state and region. A newly complete 330page catalog was years in the making, and the first main exhibit in the museum’s new building takes the form of a broad, eclectic overview. Also kicking things off, in a smaller gallery in the back of the new building, is an exhibit of paintings by the abstract artist Herb Jackson, which Manley says is Jackson’s first dedicated museum show in his own hometown. Stunningly lit on dark walls, the exhibit electrifies Jackson’s works, dramatically showcasing their color and energy. Also on view for the launch is a show of Native American art that fills the walls of the residence’s ground floor.

museum firmament, reflecting the determination of Woodson, Manley, a fleet of supporters, and the Gregg development team. None of it came together quickly. Manley and his colleagues spent years raising money and navigating roadblocks – some of them literal – before the 90-year-old, Hobart Upjohn-designed, 8,000 square-foot house could be fully renovated, and before its state-ofthe-art, LEED-certified, 15,200 square-foot addition was ready to go. All of it took time and money they hadn’t expected to spend. But through it all, Manley says, the Gregg’s supporters and the community at large rallied. “The story of the Gregg has been that people want to help,” he says. That help came in the form of 400 donors, who contributed to the $10 million price tag, and success required the university’s perseverance. Manley and the construction team found themselves forced to maneuver around unmapped trolley tracks and wooden Civil War-era sewage pipes that blocked the course of the museum’s planned water line; they had to import excavators from the mountains to dig up a 20-foot-wide seam of granite that stood in the way of a new foundation; they had to take fiber-optic cables on an unexpectedly meandering underground detour, up the road and around the roundabout, just to get to campus. Somehow, they had to also keep the neighbors happy.

Dedicated team

Flattering companion

It’s an impressive debut for the latest addition to Raleigh’s

Above ground, leading architects Perkins + Will focused on the SEPTEMBER 2017 | 87


SPARKING CREATIVITY

purpose of their project and its symbiosis with the neighborhood, the landscape, and the existing chancellor’s residence. The resulting building has the good manners to flatter its century-older companion instead of outshine it. “There were two driving inspirations” for the addition, says

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Ken Luker, design principal for the proj- Lyn and Chip Andrews and Mark ect at Perkins + Will. “One was the chanTulbert, N.C. State director of arts marketing, admire the cellor’s residence, and the second was the Gregg’s exhibit of Herb Jackson Gregg collection itself. The museum was paintings, above. “I wanted (the an opportunity to bring together these exhibit) to look like a chapel with stained glass windows,” says two amazing assets, and give a new home director Roger Manley, left. to both of them.” One sunny August morning before the grand opening, donors Lyn and Chip Andrews toured the new Gregg for the first time. “It’s incredible,” Lyn Andrews said, taking it in. “It’s kind of emotional to see it, to have this space.” She and her husband have been active supporters of the arts at N.C. State since the ’80s, when a push to create a museum first gathered steam, led in part by Chip Andrews, now an N.C. State trustee. He ultimately credits Woodson for making the new Gregg come to life. “You can have a vision, but you have to have someone who makes it work,” he said. “Without Randy, it wouldn’t have happened.” Bing Sizemore, another donor seeing the Gregg for the first time, predicted that its impact on the life of the campus would be significant: “I think you could consider this the entrance to the school now.” The new gateway features a “collection of gallery spaces that flow seamlessly, like patchwork on a quilt,” Luker says. The material


SEPTEMBER 2017 | 89


chosen for the building’s exterior – a warm, indigenous eastern red cedar – was considered “appropriate for a residential-scale building,” Luker says, and “something you might imagine might be crafted the way the artists crafted the objects in the Gregg collection.” Meantime, the former chancellor’s residence informed the new building’s horizontal lines, which are designed to echo its brick coursing and “horizontal quality.” Until recently, many Raleighites had never seen, much less admired, this former residence or its handsome lines, because it was hidden, as Manley jokes, “like Sleeping Beauty’s castle” behind “a Great Wall of China made of greenery.” Indeed, the Georgian mansion was for many years eclipsed by tall hedges, invisible to even its neighbors directly across Hillsborough Street. Today, its grounds are clear, magnolia-shaded, and ready to impress. Still, “it was very important not to try to mimic the chancellor’s residence,” Perkins + Will’s Luker says. “We wanted it to be different, but we wanted it to be harmonious.” The new building’s modest profile – which belies its roomy interior – is also in harmony with the neighborhood, which includes houses, churches, and the burgeoning arts plaza comprised of Pullen Arts Center (getting ready for its own multi-million-dollar makeover) and the busy Theatre in the Park.

Sparking ideas For director Roger Manley, the museum’s opening represents a finish line he’s worked hard to reach, as well as a beginning. For years, the Gregg’s director has been focused on making the museum a reality. Today, he has the Gregg to run, shows to curate, program-

ming to plan, and new communities to foster. With such a massive collection at his disposal, it would seem he’d have no shortage of art to rotate through his new space; still, he’s eager to collaborate with other museums and universities to create exhibits he can’t on his own. The result will not be “art for art’s sake,” he says. “I really think that art needs to do something. It needs to be about something. I’ve really had it with art that’s not about anything other than itself.” His main audience, Manley, says, will be the students; the art he chooses to exhibit will have to “do something” for them. He describes his mission in a sentence: “The Gregg: Where objects spark ideas.” He expands: “You don’t come home from the Louvre and say, well, they can paint, so can I. Instead, you might want to throw away your brushes, if anything. But I want people to go away from here thinking: That’s a cool idea, I want to try that.” A photographer himself and a renowned scholar of outsider art, Manley has a particular affinity for art that is “about problem-solving: art that is utilitarian first, and art secondarily.” That fusion of art, education, inspiration, and purpose has a particularly fitting home at N.C. State. “We have been at the forefront of design since the College of Design was opened in the ’40s,” Woodson says. “And companies like Apple have pointed out the critical role design plays in new technology. This museum has given us an opportunity to not only celebrate the arts at N.C. State, but do it in a way that’s really relevant to our history in science and technology.”


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AT THE table

ROYALE

flush

MOORE SQUARE’S FRENCH BISTRO photographs by KEITH ISAACS

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TRIFECTA by DEAN MCCORD

A

Royale owners Will Jeffers, Jeff Seizer, and Jesse Bardyn

IT SOUNDS LIKE A PITCH FOR A NEW SITCOM: THREE RELATIVE STRANGERS go to work at a brand new restaurant. After a couple of weeks, the owner decides he doesn’t want to be in the restaurant business after all. He gives the employees this line: “I’d like to sell you the restaurant (and another space), but here’s the thing. You have one day to decide.” Fact is sometimes stranger than fiction, and that’s exactly how Royale, the Moore Square French-American bistro that opened last November and now ranks as one of Raleigh’s hottest restaurants, came to be.

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Will Jeffers, Jesse Bardyn, and Jeff Seizer, the three co-workers at Moore Square’s short-lived Cafe Lucarne who suddenly found themselves business partners, didn’t waste time coming up with a plan. “We didn’t have anyone bankrolling us,” Seizer recalls. “We barely knew each other,” Jeffers adds, “but we weren’t about to walk away.” Jeffers, who had already had success as a partner in Raleigh’s popular restaurant Stanbury, envisioned a French bistro, but one with a lighter, more playful touch. Seizer, a veteran of upscale restaurants in New York including Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe, was all in. So was Bardyn, former head baker at Asheville’s City Bakery. They brainstormed: “How do we take something really old-school and make it fun?” Seizer recalls. “Take classic dishes like duck a l’orange or beef Wellington, dishes that have been lost, and reinvent them and make them fun again? How do we make French food but make it our own?” They figured it out quickly, and word spread just as fast. The menu they created is classic, but with a twist. It offers tra-

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ditional French bistro offerings like steak frites and moules frites (including all-you-can-eat mussels on Tuesdays), alongside less-predictable items like fried duck wings “a l’orange” with a sauce that’s been kicked up with sriracha. You can order a burger, but it’s prepared sous vide (vacuum-sealed and cooked in a heated water bath), finished on a flattop, served on a locally baked English muffin, topped with Gruyere, and accompanied with Royale sauce, a black pepper steak sauce perfect for dipping. Bardyn’s desserts might sound simple, but he has secrets up his sleeve. Two different puddings are available, along with tarts, profiteroles, and a hot fudge sundae that becomes extraordinary with the richest, most incredible vanilla ice cream around and toppings of sprinkles and potato chips. The News & Observer’s Greg Cox called the sundae “the perfect mix of tradition and surprise to put the finishing touches to a happy meal at Royale.” Cox’s 3 ½ star rating, plus four and five star ratings on Zagat, Yelp, and Tripadvisor have kept the place humming. In addition to the cuisine, diners also credit Royale’s warm setting,


which is particularly welcoming when the sun is pouring into the bank of windows along the building’s west side.

Perfect timing It was the good bones of the space itself that made getting Royale off the ground relatively easy. It didn’t need a ton of work, and its bare brick walls and spartan furnishings offered a bit of Bohemian flavor, which appealed to the trio. Jeffers, for one, was itching to open its doors. Coming off the success he’s had with his brother and a couple of other friends at Stanbury restaurant on North Blount Street, he was ready for a new challenge. Jeffers had considered creating a wine bar/small plates place in Raleigh, but couldn’t find the right space or the right partners. Then he met Michael Hakan, owner of City Market, and saw an opportunity: Although Hakan wasn’t interested in a wine bar, he was looking for a partner to open a breakfast spot in City Market. Hakan told Jeffers that if he’d agree to the breakfast place (which became Cafe Lucarne), he’d give Jeffers the opportunity to create a wine bar or other project in a separate City Market property around the corner, where the restaurant Battistella’s had recently closed. Jeffers jumped on the deal, and called Bardyn to ask if he’d be the chef at the breakfast place. The two had met several

months earlier at a pop-up dinner and immediately hit it off. “My girlfriend was getting mad at me,” Jeffers recalled, “because I was spending more time talking to Jesse than I was to her.” The Asheville baker had recently moved to Raleigh to be closer to his wife’s family. He didn’t think twice: “Will had his foot in the door in a lot of places,” Bardyn recalls thinking, and he figured it would be a good opportunity to work with him. They quickly got Cafe Lucarne up and running, offering straightforward breakfast and lunch options in spare sur-

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roundings; meanwhile, Jeffers was considering his options at the Battistella’s space. That’s when Seizer, with his experience at top New York restaurants, entered the scene. He’d moved to the Triangle in 2016 (also so his wife could be closer to home), was planning to open his own small restaurant in Durham, and

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was looking for work in the meantime. “I walked into Lucarne and Jesse and Will were sitting at a table, and I said, ‘Let’s start working,’ and literally the next day Will was teaching me how to do drywall and tiling in Royale.” Seizer also started cooking at Lucarne, and quickly realized he’d found a kindred spirit in Jeffers: “I’m asking myself, ‘Who is this dude? He runs restaurants, he’s got a farm, I love this guy!’” It wasn’t long before he decided he’d rather cook in the place he was helping to build than start his own restaurant. “Will,” he told Jeffers, “I don’t want to do the thing in Durham. I want to stay here. Let me be the chef.” A year later, they’re all friends and business partners who take the long view. They decided early on to close Cafe Lucarne to better focus on Royale, and plan to open it again, perhaps as a bar; in the meantime, Jeffers is finishing up his MBA at UNC-Chapel Hill, and enjoying building the restaurant all together. “My favorite thing about cooking in Raleigh,” Seizer says, “is that it is the most inviting restaurant scene I’ve ever worked in. Everyone is supportive of each other. There’s a lot of love in this town between the chefs and owners.” And among the owners themselves.


2 cloves garlic

ROYALE GARLIC SOUP This is a soup that is rich, thick, and filled with garlic. A lot of garlic: One quart of it! The peeling of the garlic and the multiple rounds of blanching make this a labor-intensive recipe, but the effort is worth it.

1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth

1 quart peeled garlic

2 sprigs parsley, minced

2 cups canola oil

Salt and black pepper, to taste

1 quart whole milk

Wash mussels under cold water until very clean. Remove any stringy “beards” coming out of the shells.

3 cups dry white wine 1/4 pound (one stick) unsalted butter 2 sprigs of tarragon, leaves only

1 cup cream 2 sprigs thyme Salt and white pepper, to taste Split the garlic evenly into two pots. Cover the garlic in one pot with water and the garlic in the other pot with the canola oil. Bring the water and garlic pot to a boil. Strain out the water, keeping the garlic in the pot. Repeat 3 times to remove the strong flavor.

Remove thyme and blend with a stick blender until the mixture is very smooth. If too thick, add a bit more cream. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. CLASSIC MUSSELS (MOULES)

Heat the pot with the oil and garlic over medium-low heat until the garlic is golden brown and soft. Strain the oil from the garlic, keeping the garlic for the soup and the garlic-infused oil for another use. Combine both garlics in a pot with the milk, cream, and thyme. Bring to a light boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Mussels are a classic dish that are often served with French fries (or frites). This simple and classic preparation is great for any occasion, leaving a broth that is meant to be soaked up by lots of bread. 1 pound Prince Edward Island mussels 3 shallots 1 fresno chile, or any other hot pepper you like 1 bulb fennel

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Thinly slice all the vegetables In a large hot pan that can be covered, add a splash of vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter to the pan. Heat until butter is melted. Add all vegetables to the pan and cook until they are translucent. Add the cleaned mussels to the pan for 30 seconds. Add the white wine, and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and cover. Once mussels are all opened, add the remaining butter, the tarragon, and the parsley. Stir until butter is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grilled bread to soak up all the juices.



DRINK

CRAFTY, CASUAL Tazza Kitchen’s cocktails with personality by JESSIE AMMONS

T

azza Kitchen’s inviting atmosphere, with its exposed wood beams and lush planters, lures in Cameron Village shopppers. It’s the audible merry buzz, though, that encourages them to stay. “There are nights when we know almost everybody in here,” says manager Reggie McGee. “As people are walking out the door from their table, they’re stopping and talking to people at the bar.” Lead bartender Mara Sudol says that’s what infuses her cocktail menu: Much of her inspiration comes from “what’s going on with people here in the neighborhood,” she says. “There’s a community here. We’re a nice stopping point.” photographs by MADELINE GRAY

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The contemporary-casual eatery serves a low-key menu of wood-fired fare including pizza, tacos, and salads with an extensive wine and beer menu to match. But the cocktail menu alone makes Tazza worth a visit. “I try to use adventurous ingredients but keep it approachable,” Sudol says. “I love craft cocktails and I want other people to love craft cocktails. They shouldn’t be intimidated by the ingredient list.” Sudol keeps it approachable by relying on Tazza’s own kitchen to up the ante.“They smoke the salt, they help me out with the syrups,” she says. While she doesn’t fret over pairing flavors, “I feel like the cocktails really complement the food and vice versa.” Customers agree: McGee says cocktail sales match wine sales, and both top beer, which is atypical in casual restaurants. The Cameron Village outpost is one of six Tazza Kitchen locations across Virginia and the Carolinas, but McGee, who is one of the restaurant group’s original founders, says each is unique. There are menu mainstays and shared recipes, but individual flair – and cocktails – reflect particular locations. McGee says the Cameron Village restaurant’s balance between family-friendly and trendy comes from a bar-focused design. “We wanted the entire restaurant to feel the energy of the bar” without sitting there, or even ordering a drink, McGee says. No matter where you sit, “you hear laughing and ice cracking and the music from the bar area. You get the energy from it, but you can still be separated if you want.” Sudol rotates her cocktail menu at least seasonally, and more if inspiration strikes. She says her recipe for The Here & Now is a good late summer drink because it’s tart but fruity, both refreshing and herbal. And a reminder to relish the summer while it lasts. “I’ll never have a favorite cocktail,” she says, “but this is up there on my list.”

HONEYDEW MINT SHRUB

THE HERE & NOW

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¾ ounce fresh lime juice 1 ½ ounces honeydew mint shrub (recipe at right) ¼ ounce green chartreuse ½ ounce silver tequila (such as El Jimador) 1 ½ ounces gin (such as Beefeater) Sprig of mint, for garnish Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake. Strain into a glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

1 whole honeydew 1 cup mint leaves 4 cups white sugar 4 cups cold water 1 ½ cups white balsamic vinegar Remove the honeydew rind and cut fruit into small chunks. Puree the honeydew and mint in a food processor or blender, then pour into a pot. Add the water and sugar, and heat pot on stove over low heat. Remove from heat, strain with a fine mesh strainer, and add the vinegar.



STYLE

wonder woman 104 | WALTER


rful Taking a cue from this summer’s blockbuster movie Wonder Woman and its heroine, the Amazonian goddess Princess Diana, these fall looks are fierce, classic, and meant to inspire

wonder.

photographs by TIM LYTVINENKO creative direction by JESMA REYNOLDS model ELENA CARON

styling assistant MARY BETH PAULSON hair and makeup by EMMA BRITTON CARTER

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HEROINE WORSHIP Opposite: Balenciaga red silk goddess gown (vermillionstyle. com); Hyla DeWitt cuffs and necklace (hyladewitt.com); Givenchy aviators with stars (saksfifthavenue.com) Above: Vintage black and white Jovani ball gown (villaconsegna. com); Stuart Weitzman lamé NearlyNude sandal (saksfifthavenue.com) Right: Les Copains Loro Piana wool peacoat, Les Copains blue houndstooth pant, Les Copains cashmere cable turtleneck (all saksfifthavenue. com); Annette Görtz zebra jacket (martasofraleigh.com); Hyla DeWitt necklaces (hyladewitt.com); Fendi Hypnoshine sunglasses (saksfifthavenue.com)

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HEAR ME ROAR Above: 1980s sequin dress and vintage leather bomber jacket-vest with fox fur (Instagram @houseoflandor); Addison Weeks cuffs (addisonweeks.com); Hyla DeWitt earrings (hyladewitt.com); suede terra-cotta corset belt (anthropologie.com) Left: 1970s Guiliana Teso woven fox/leather coat (villaconsegna. com); Theory Cierra khaki dress (saksfifthavenue.com); Nili Lotan camouflage slip dress (vermillionstyle.com); Christian Louboutin Who Walks booties (saksfifthavenue.com); Hyla DeWitt earrings and necklace (hyladewitt.com) Right: Rachel Zoe Ballina dress (saksfifthavenue.com); Mignonne Gavigan Madeline beaded statement earrings (genachandler.com)

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STORY

of a house

Keep on the sunny side At home with designer Betsy Anderson

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by JESMA REYNOLDS photographs by CATHERINE NGUYEN

W “WHEREVER I LIVE, I CAN JUST make it work,” says interior designer Betsy Anderson. In her rental bungalow near North Hills, she did more than that: she elevated a fairly straightforward Cape Cod into a home with style and elegance. A few deceptively simple techniques serve as her guides. She decorates with neutral colors and accessorizes with antiques and flowers; she uses whatever she has; she constantly adapts and refines. “You don’t need a lot of stuff…just good stuff,” she says. Case in point: Anderson placed a set of four daffodil leather chairs by the late Greensboro, N.C. designer Otto Zenke (intended for a client who never claimed them) in her sunroom for an unexpected pop of color. A carefully edited arrangement of furniture and accessories allows each piece to be noticed in the room.

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COLOR STUDY Previous spread: Four Otto Zenke chairs in sunny yellow leather create ample seating in Betsy Anderson’s bright sunroom. Anderson’s parents bought the Hermann Dietrich floral fantasy painting above the sofa while on a trip to Rancho Santa Fe, California in the ’60s. This page, clockwise from top: The yellow and white theme continues in the living room, where emerald silk curtains add opulence. Anderson bought the large canvas In Yellow at an auction in New York. It was painted by Lorraine Perigord, wife of 60 Minutes news correspondent Mike Wallace. Right: In the foyer, most of the art on the wall was done by family members or close friends. The neoclassical mirror once hung in Anderson’s grandmother’s foyer. The antique console is Scandinavian. Anderson and her daughter, Katie O’Neal, enjoy time on the deck.

112 | WALTER


‘MAKE IT WORK’ Above: Anderson mixed old and new elements in the den, where her favorite books and family treasures are kept. Knotty pine paneling and exposed beams lend a rustic touch. Chocolate brown silk curtains and charcoal grey upholstered pieces ground the space, which is enlivened with touches of copper, brass, and gold leaf. Right: In the intimate dining room, blue china, silver, and crystal are set on a fine linen tablecloth. An antique weathervane provides an architectural focal point on the sideboard. A gilt picture frame turns a mirror into a work of art.

SEPTEMBER 2017 | 113


BLUE AND WHITE Touches of blue and and white are used throughout the house. In the breakfast room (above), a French writing desk holds a collection of antique blue and white porcelain and a bouquet of white tulips, which are one of Anderson’s favorite flowers. Blue and white china and glassware make for pretty accents throughout.

114 | WALTER


Anderson says she often looks to fashion for interior design inspiration, and cites Ralph Lauren as a great influence. “He’s a genius because he’s so timeless and classic. It’s similar to what I would do … where he might just have a tailored white suit and a gold cuff and tortoise shell sunglasses … that’s a house for me. A sofa, a pair of lamps, a pair of lampshades…” It’s an approach she and her daugher Katie O’Neal use when working with residential clients. “Working with Katie is so great because she see things in a fresh way,” says Anderson, herself a graduate of Parson’s School of Design and Smith College. She believes design is something “you inherently get … you don’t necessarily have to go to school for it,” and credits her mother

and grandmother for helping to hone her eye. Both were forward thinkers, Anderson says. Her mother liked architecture, and was always open to trying new things. Once, she imported 24 inch x 24 inch stone tiles from Italy to use for flooring at their house in Marblehead, Massachussetts, and then proceeded to paint them white. For her part, Anderson’s grandmother was an avid collector who insisted on using her finest things all the time. Both women had a lasting impact. “I think each generation – my grandmother, my mother, myself – we’ve refined the technique of design.” In hopes of continuing that legacy with her daughter Katie and beyond, Anderson is a passionate collector of art. “It is my passion. Someday it will hang in the homes of my children and their children.”


GIGS

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

PEOPLE PERSON

Above, filmmaker David Hambridge in his 1973 Airstream trailer where he edits his documentary. Opposite: A still from his film in works, The Last Male Standing.

A local filmmaker’s take on wildlife conservation

by JESSIE AMMONS

photographs by MADELINE GRAY

116 | WALTER


T

“THIS HAS BEEN AN EXTREMELY HUMAN EXPERIENCE,” SAYS FILMMAKER DAVID Hambridge. He’s sitting in a bustling coffee shop in downtown Raleigh on a recent afternoon, so absorbed in his laptop he seems a world away. A peek at the screen reveals that he actually is: Shadowed figures walk across the wide horizon of a wildlife conservancy in Kenya, drenched in the rosy hues of waning daylight. The scene is one from his “passion project” in the works, The Last Male Standing, a documentary about the last living male northern white rhinoceros in the world and the men who care for and protect him. “With this, I’m telling the truest story I can. I’ve tried to make this as honest and authentic as possible.” Hambridge is a Raleigh native who studied film at N.C. State and makes his living creating commercials for companies like Red Hat and Blue Cross Blue Shield NC. He says the documentary is a larger, humanitarian example of the story-driven work he’s built a career on. “I’ve been asked how in the world a guy from North Carolina, let alone Raleigh, gets a story like this,” he says. “I want to open up Raleigh and the local population to feel like they can have an impact and support African wildlife conservation.”

‘The backdrop’ Hambridge took his first trip to Africa in 2015 to create a film about poaching. He’d been approached by a producer who had seen Hambridge’s commercial work, and together they raised money, put together a film crew, and flew to Kenya. They learned about the five remaining northern white rhinos, a subspecies of the white rhino that had substantially shrunk in just a few decades, the result of illegal hunting largely spurred by ivory demand. During the film crew’s time in Kenya, one of the male northern white rhinos died, leaving only four: three females, all offspring of the one remaining male.

SEPTEMBER 2017 | 117


GIGS

Named Sudan, this 44-year-old “teetering rhino” represents the impending end of a subspecies, as white rhinos’ lifespan is typically around 40 years. From the start, Hambridge and his colleagues knew there was more to the story than the rhino named Sudan. “We were focused on the symbiotic relationship between this

118 | WALTER

MISSION-DRIVEN one living male northern Above: David Hambridge, right, white (rhino) that people discusses the documentary with his come to see every day, and colleague in the production, Jesse at left, in Hambridge’s the rhino caretakers, this Paddock, Airstream trailer. Left: Hambridge band of rangers,” Ham- video-chats with James Mwenda, bridge says. But he was who cares for Sudan the last survivespecially captivated by ing male northern white rhino. the rangers. Flying home to Raleigh from Kenya, reflecting on his time there, he says it wasn’t the conservation angle he mulled over, it was the rangers’ storyline. “I left feeling like I had formed a strong bond with those guys and I had to go back.” He took another trip to Kenya later in 2015, and by this time he’d amicably split with his original film crew, which stayed the course to create a film about “the ivory crisis” caused by poaching species including rhinos. Hambridge, instead, returned to his friends: James, Joseph, and Jacob, the three young men who work full-time to care for Sudan and, Hambridge says, represent the economy built around African wildlife. “If we take away these animals, then these people really don’t have much else to do.” Too often, he says, when someone loses a conservancy-related job they turn to violent or


illegal means to support their families, because they don’t believe they have another choice. The story of the rangers, Hambridge realized, was the story he wanted to tell on screen. “I’m falling in love with these people,” he says. “In making a documentary, you don’t expect that to happen. … That’s why I’m telling this in a very personal, intimate way.” So, while The Last Male Standing is about Sudan the northern white rhino, it’s also about the men who take care of him. Scenes juxtapose the militaristic guards by day, holding rifles to protect the rhino, and by night, making dinner with their wives and their children. “You can understand these people, fall in love with these people, hear their charm and their jokes. This rhino is the backdrop. He is the symbol of extinction.”

Friends forever The Last Male Standing is still in production, and though there’s no release date yet, Hambridge plans to screen it in Raleigh next month. “I feel a huge responsibility to get it done and get it done right.” Getting it done right, to Hambridge, means telling a story that goes beyond the headlines. Since Sudan became the last living northern white male rhino, he’s found fame: “On a daily basis there are celebrities from Bollywood going to see Sudan,” Hambridge says. “An actress from American Pie was there while

we were there one time. People come in and do the tours and want their picture taken.” One nonprofit even created a Tinder dating app account for the rhino to garner conservation donations. The San Diego Zoo has frozen northern white gene cells to explore in vitro fertilization to save the species. Meanwhile, Hambridge is dedicated to the story he sees in his friends. That, he says, is when the film will be finished; and that, he believes, is how it will affect change. “People will, I hope, want to do something when they realize that there are some really charming guys that take care of this rhino, they have really bubbly personalities. They really love these animals, and without (the animals), their existence would radically change.” To do that, he’s secured fiscal support from organizations including the Southern Documentary Fund in Durham, but he still needs more. He hopes to raise funds with his Raleigh screening. And he’s considering how to best wrap the film, most likely in time to release a festival cut this year. “There’s this voice in the back of my head: ‘Don’t let them down.’ It’s why I’m up really really late some nights. I feel very responsible for this story and about the last male standing.” Ultimately, Hambridge says he has faith that if he directs the film with integrity, the work will speak for itself. “If you have a good story and it’s done well, it will be seen. It will live on.”

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all photos courtesy Spencer Menzel

GIVERS

‘I WILL NOT

WASTE THIS DAY’ PAVE Southeast Raleigh Charter builds scholars, community

by HAMPTON WILLIAMS HOFER

E

VERY MORNING, EACH OF THE 230 CHILDREN AT PAVE, SOUTHEAST Raleigh’s first charter school, is greeted at the door with a handshake from the principal. Education is taken seriously here: students are called scholars, they wear neat uniforms, and they stick to a structured and rigorous academic curriculum. The classrooms at PAVE have names like University of Georgia and Wake Forest. “Many of our scholars don’t have a family member who has gone to college,” says PAVE founder and CEO Spencer Robertson, “so we make the idea accessible. College is always in the conversation.” The school, which was founded in 2015 and currently offers kindergarten through third grade, is comprised almost entirely of minority and low-income students, many of whom speak English as a second language. SEPTEMBER 2017 | 121


GIVERS

“Most charter schools serve a different, more affluent population,” says Robertson. “Charter schools are public, but many do not provide meals and transportation, limiting the students who can enroll.” PAVE offers bus service as well as two meals and a snack each day, free and reduced for those who qualify. When opening the school, the PAVE staff took its Southeast Raleigh outreach efforts seriously, speaking in daycares, going door-to-door, and making sure the families they hoped to serve knew that PAVE was an option. They kept the application process intentionally uncomplicated. This location of PAVE (an acronym for the school’s core values of Perseverance, Achievement, Vibrance, and Excellent Character) is the organization’s second charter; the first opened in Brooklyn, New York in 2008. “When we investigated replicating in N.C., my immediate thought was Durham,” says Robertson, a Duke grad who lives in Brooklyn with his wife and four children. “But at the time Durham had quite a number of charters, many targeting our same population, so Southeast Raleigh became compelling. Wake County public schools are excellent, one of best in state, but not all students are thriving there.” In Brooklyn and in Raleigh, the mission of PAVE looks the same: to offer an exceptional academic experience to some of the community’s most vulnerable children.

PAVE Southeast Raleigh plans to grow by one grade each year until it can offer kindergarten through eighth grade, preparing its scholars to head into Wake County high schools already on track to prosper at a four-year college. With smaller classes, learning assistance for students with special needs, and social work support, PAVE ensures that its scholars have everything they need to be successful when they leave. PAVE’s eight-hour school day is longer than most other local schools, and its academic year extends for an extra ten days. It does other things differently, too, like teaching math with a curriculum called Cognitively Guided Instruction, in which students take on the role of teacher and explain their problemsolving strategies to the rest of the class. “It’s amazing how students begin to understand and replicate the strategies of their peers in a matter of days or weeks,” says third-grade teacher Virginia McMillan. “It’s far more impactful than if a teacher were to say ‘This is the procedure and you have to show your work in this way.’” The idea is that instead of memorizing steps to get correct answers, students become critical thinkers. Reading gets a special focus as well. All students at PAVE gather for smallgroup and individualized reading instruction, allowing a level of attention that can create breakthroughs. Last year,


a student came to school without any comprehension of oneto-one correspondence with text, meaning he could not understand that the words on the page directly correlated to the words read aloud. He received small-group instruction targeted for his significant obstacle. “By June, that boy had made about two-and-a-half years of reading growth,” McMillan says. PAVE has found so much success in Southeast Raleigh since its opening two years ago that demand has soared: This year, there were more than three times as many applicants as spots available. Like all charter schools, PAVE is open to any child in North Carolina, and currently enrolls students from Knightdale, Garner, and North Raleigh. But the school remains committed to its neighborhood, where many of the school’s board members live and work. “We seek to serve the Southeast Raleigh community, to meet the needs of children in this area, and to be a strong partner with Wake County public schools,” says board president J.B. Buxton. PAVE’s students and parents are the school’s most enthusiastic advocates. “PAVE is the best,” says rising third grader Adrian Corona, “I like learning. Math is my favorite subject besides recess and PE.” Adrian’s mother, Annette Corona, says she and her husband chose PAVE for their two sons in part because of the success of the organization’s Brooklyn school. They stayed be-

Style & Quality

“Many of our scholars don’t have a family member who has gone to college, so we make the idea accessible.” cause of the community they have found there. “I trust the administration and see their commitment to our kids. We are in it together: the school, the network, and the families. We all want the school and our children to be competitive and succeed.” One tangible indicator of the community’s growth is in the school’s garden. Last year, scholars planted and nurtured basil, which they picked to make pesto. Nearby, a kindergarten class planted the watermelon seeds they’d counted for math practice after snack time. But the true character of the place is most evident on Friday mornings, when PAVE holds a community meeting that brings parents, faculty, staff, and students together. Every week, one child is given a golden brick symbolizing a core value of PAVE they have exhibited. “Seeing the parents come here and sit in the stands and sing their child’s class cheer,” says PAVE development officer Spencer Menzel, “It’s exciting.” The kids themselves get the most energized. “I will use my head, because I am intelligent!” the children chant together. Bobbing and stomping with emphasis, they go on: “I will NOT waste this day! I have too much to learn!”

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THE

VAE Prom

T

he Whirl is WALTER’s roundup of local happenings. From store openings to fundraisers, big galas, intimate gatherings, and everything in between, The Whirl has got it covered.

Submissions for upcoming issues are accepted on WALTER’s website at waltermagazine.com/submit-photos.

PAGE/PARTIES 126 VAE Prom 126 Spring Frolic 127 REALTORS Foundation Reunion 127 Summer Showcase 128 Cocktails in the Garden

SEPTEMBER 2017 | 125


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Angela Lombardi Pete Sack

Katie Markelz, Quint Chesney

VAE PROM Creativity incubator VAE had its first-ever prom fundraiser at the nonprofit’s downtown gallery June 24. The night reveled in all things archetypically prom: awkward portraits, local artist-designed boutonnieres and corsages, punch, and tacky decor. Among 120 guests, Mary Ann Baldwin and Erica Porter were named the prom court king and queen.

Jimmy Black, Audrey Black

Dorothea Bitler Marion Church

Duke Finley, Rose Finley

Carol Bilbro, Bob Bilbro

SPRING FROLIC

The North Carolina Museum of History Associates welcomed 300 guests to the Carolina Country Club for its 20th annual spring frolic April 29. The evening honored longtime supporter Marion Church. The frolic set fundraising records, benefiting the Associates’ travel grant program, which brings schoolchildren from across the state to the museum to better understand the present by learning about the past.

Dan Hacker amd Rachel Berbec (PROM); Eric Ble vins (FROLIC)

C. Drake MacNair


Doug Pitts (REALTORS); courtesy Diamonds Direct (SHOWCASE)

Johnny Morisey, Tommy Fonville, Diane Donnelly

The Diamonds Direct Crabtree staff with Jess Ekstrom

Brenda Carroll Kerry Celestini

REALTOR REUNION Two hundred members and guests of the REALTOR® Foundation of Wake County gathered at the Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS® Cary headquarters June 8 for a reunion. The nonprofit organization works to improve housing solutions in Wake County through volunteer efforts and fundraising. Megan Farrell, Samantha Kennedy Jess Ekstrom, Victoria Norena Joanna Diamond

Julia Boris, Sally Creech, Anne Scruggs, Jenny McLeod

DIAMONDS DIRECT SUMMER SHOWCASE Diamonds Direct donated headbands to children with cancer for every purchase made at a showcase sale July 21 - 23 that featured bridal and fine fashion jewelry. Diamonds Direct teamed up with Jess Ekstrom, founder of Headbands of Hope, for the event.

Jenn Nowalk, Zack Bacon, Ashley Wilson, Tom Smith

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Jeff Sullivan, Lisa Johnson

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Terry Noble, Ansley Cella

Leah Jane Barnwell, Wallace Williams, Katie Henry

Marie Gardner, Beth Strandberg

Caroline Abbott, Glenda Bowman, Geri Lail

COCKTAILS IN THE GARDEN Standard Foods held a cocktail party in the garden behind the restaurant May 31. The evening introduced women of the Triangle to the restaurant’s mission, which is to reintroduce people to regional food, farmers, and artisanal production methods. Over locally sourced appetizers and paired drinks, the 40 guests were encouraged to seek out and support those farmers and artisans.

Grow Photography

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MAKING MAGIC

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stone’s-throw from the Haw River in Saxapahaw sits a cavernous warehouse full of papier-mache masks as large as dining tables, massive fabric-draped figures, and vibrantly painted sewn props. The fantastical setting is home base for Paperhand Puppet Intervention, an Orange County theatre company. Throughout the year, the group uses ingredients including cardboard, bamboo, leftover house paints, and donated burlap sacks from nearby breweries to create giant puppets, masks, and creatures on stilts. Paperhand performs across the state throughout the year, but its annual summer pageant-play-extravaganza is the main attraction. The hourish-long performances usually celebrate nature, and always feature more than a dozen Paperhand volunteer performers and a live score. You can see them at the Forest Theatre in Chapel Hill Sept. 1 - 4, the N.C. Museum of Art Sept. 8 - 10, and in Greensboro later this month. –J.A. 6:20 p.m. pre-show and 7 p.m. show, on Sept. 3 there is a 3 p.m. matinee; suggested donation of $15 in Chapel Hill, tickets $17 at NCMA; paperhand.org

130 | WALTER

courtesy Lee Capps

End NOTE



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