WALTER Magazine - April 2019

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APRIL 2019



Behind The Green Chair Project



5839 Capital Blvd. Raleigh, NC 27616 (919) 877 - 1800

1013 Southpoint Autopark Blvd. Durham, NC 27713 (919) 433 - 8800







SUMMERTIME’S CALLING ME I remember this past winter I told myself to settle down And I seriously tried to do just that Now here I am with everything So beautiful and green And I don’t believe I told myself what I mean Maybe someday soon I can feel this way year round But it’s summertime... And summertime is calling me! -The Catalinas



Volume VII, Issue 7 APRIL 2019

Bob Karp (RUNNING CLUB); Smith Hardy (GOLFER)





QUENCH: Short Walk Wines Downtown’s new bottle shop


GIGS: Elena Caron Local mother embroiders her story


GIGS: Akshay Batia Teen phenom headed to PGA

SAVOR: Locals Oyster Bar Shuckin’ at Transfer Co.


NOTED: The Art of Collecting Larry Wheeler on the game

50 54

SHOP: Beauty Ethics Natural skincare products


THE USUAL: Oak City Recovery Run Club An exercise group with purpose

60 62


SHOP: Retro Modern Furnishings Vintage and new finds LOCALS: At the Airport Ramp agent Omar Rezk


Letter from WALTER



20 Your Feedback 22 Happening Now 117 The Whirl 130 End Note

On the cover: Chef Sean Fowler and his wife Lizzy, photograph by Juli Leonard



Specializing in


renovations, ADDITIONS, and historic home preservation.


76 12 | WALTER

76 7

Behind The Green Chair Project A community comes together to help families in need by Hampton Williams Hofer photography by Gus Samarco

86 8

Home Grown Chef Sean Fowler’s al fresco feast by Catherine Currin photography by Juli Leonard

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Leading the Way Meet Wake Tech’s new president by Ilina Ewen photography by Eamon Queeney

100 Classic Eclectic A soft modern Midtown home by Jesma Reynolds photography by Catherine Nguyen 106 Waste Not Inside a Raleigh recycling center by Ayn-Monique Klahre photography by Joshua Steadman


Joshua Steadman (RECYCLING); Getty Images (CHAIR); Eamon Queeney (RALLS)


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X Yourself



On the tour of our local materials recycling facility with Creative Director Laura Wall.


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Beauty, Artistry & Tradition FOR OVER 40 YEARS


hen April rolls in, you’ll find me decluttering the house in advance of a massive spring-cleaning session. This year, there shouldn’t be too much to purge: like many, I got swept up in the Marie Kondo frenzy back in January when her Netflix series came out and tidied my house like crazy, racking up bags of donations. Just as that was going on, we connected with the folks at The Green Chair Project for a tour of their expanded facility. I knew of the organization as a place to donate gentlyused furniture, but I was floored when I learned about the scope of community involvement they harness to help families in need—I hope that reading their story (page 76) leaves you feeling amazed and engaged, too. On that note: Our tour of our local “murf” (page 106) was driven by pure curiosity—what happens to our recyclables after we throw them in the bin?—but we were totally awed by the machines and manpower that sort our castoffs into reclaimable materials. We were also impressed by Chef Sean Fowler’s feast that he throws at his family farm, using mostly food he

grows himself (page 86). We’re happy to introduce you to Dr. Scott Ralls, the impressive and affable new president of Wake Technical Community College, under whose leadership the school will upgrade campuses and grow to serve thousands of additional students (page 94). Amid these larger efforts, we’re happy we can also showcase smaller ways our locals are sparking joy. Among them: A furniture store with retro appeal (page 60), embroidered art rooted in history (page 48), an amateur golfer on the cusp of going pro (page 50), the newest outpost for Locals Seafood (page 66) and a running club with a higher purpose (page 58). Plus, NCMA’s Director Emeritus Larry Wheeler tells us how we can all be players in the art market (page 74). If you like what you see, subscribe! Your support helps us bring you the stories behind the community that you love.

Ayn-Monique Klahre Editor

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APRIL 2019


Advertising Sales Manager JULIE NICKENS


Senior Account Executive & Operations CRISTINA HURLEY WALTER Events KAIT GORMAN Advertising Coordinator ROBIN KENNEDY Circulation JERRY RITTER, BRIAN HINTON Advertising Design and Production DEBBIE PARKS

Published 10 times a year by The News & Observer Publishing Co. A McClatchy Company WALTER is available by paid subscriptions for $20 a year in the United States, as well as select rack and advertiser locations throughout the Triangle. Subscribe online at For customer service inquiries, please email us at or call 919-836-5613. Address all correspondence to: WALTER Magazine, 421 Fayetteville St., Suite 104 Raleigh, NC 27601 WALTER does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Please contact Ayn-Monique Klahre at for freelance guidelines. © The News & Observer. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the copyright owner.

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APRIL 2019



P HOTO G R A P HE R A former newspaper staffer and Northern transplant, Queeney is an independent photojournalist based in Raleigh. Between assignments, you can usually find him hanging out with his dog Sully. “Last month I had the opportunity to tour Wake Tech’s Perry Health Sciences Campus with the incoming president Dr. Scott Ralls. Watching Dr. Ralls’ ease with students, professors and administrators, it struck me that the community college will be in good hands moving forward. Also, who knew that dental assistants had so much fun?!”

Giglio covers sports for The News & Observer and first started working at the paper in 1995. He lives in Garner with his wife and two sons.“In 25 years of interviewing athletes of all ages, I can honestly say I haven’t talked with many who are wired like Akshay Bhatia. There is a determination and focus there that goes well beyond his 17 years. I don’t know if he will make it as golf’s next great phenom. but I know it won’t be for a lack of effort.”

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P HOTO G R A P HE R In January, Karp left New Jersey after a 30-year career to relocate to Cary with his wife. “Photographing The Green Chair Project brought many memories of my work in New Jersey, and the inspiring people whose stories I love to tell. I visited Johnnie Thomas, a client of Green Chair at his home to photograph him. Johnnie is also photographer and after our shoot, we talked for almost an hour about photography and family. I’ve been amazed at the kindness of the people I’ve met down South, giving you the feeling that you’ve know them your whole life. I love my new home and look forward to telling many wonderful stories of the people of Raleigh.”

Ewen has over 25 years of writing and marketing communications experience. Ewen is also a public speaker who presents on issues like education, advocacy, global health and finding and using your voice. She’s a doting mom to sons Carter and Neal, an Audrey Hepburn fan and a devourer of all things foodand travel-related. Ewen wrote this month’s profile on Wake Tech’s new president Dr. Scott Ralls. “Wake Tech is a gem in our community, and Dr. Ralls will help it shine even brighter. I had no idea what an impressive powerhouse we have in all corners of our county. Dr. Ralls is a bright, energetic leader with equal parts charisma and drive, and I’m confident he will be both a powerful and empowering leader.”

Courtesy contributors (GIGLIO, KARP, EWEN, QUEENEY)

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YOUR FEEDBACK @waltermagazine We love seeing our community enjoying WALTER! Tag us in a photo of your issue of the magazine and we might just give you a shoutout!

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Autumn Cobeland’s painting is featured as our March cover. She depicts the Raleigh greenways, and we visited her downtown studio in Artspace to learn more.





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N.C. ARTISTS EXHIBIT Local artists take over CAM Raleigh


or over 40 years, the Raleigh Fine Arts Society has sponsored The North Carolina Artists Exhibition, the largest annual all-media juried exhibition in the state. This year, CAM Raleigh will host the celebration of North Carolina creativity, the first time it will be held in a museum. Artists from 26 N.C. towns and cities will showcase everything from clay sculptures to pencil drawings in the


diverse and captivating collection. “Far from working in traditional methods, the artists included here often interrogate their chosen medium, testing the trompe-l’oeil limits of fired ceramics, for instance, or innovating in quilt patterning and coloration,” says Chad Alligood, an independent art curator who’s serving as the exhibition’s juror. The artists work in varied mediums (oil paint, linen, card stock; even hand-carved

Tuscany marble) and an even wider array of subjects. While North Carolina’s diverse landscape is a clear inspiration for many artists, Alligood says that others engage with popular culture or abstraction. “You' ll also see three-dimensional, sculptural works that occupy space in dynamic and beautiful ways, with surprising, skillfully manipulated materials.” One featured artist is celebrated painter Damian Stamer, a Durham


Clockwise from left: Irisol Gonzalez Almendro; Peter Oakley Sine Plate; Joseph Bounds Echo Eye; Damian Stamer After Lange 22; Edward Baxter When Cotton was King-And Labor was Free

native whose work is strongly rooted in the Southern landscape of his youth. Another is Eric Serritella, whose sculptures have been exhibited, awarded and collected on five continents. Among the dozens of juried artists are graduates from North Carolina universities and winners of prestigious creative fellowships, like Peter Oakley, a traditional stone sculptor in Banner Elk

who uses materials like marble, jade and calcite. Irisol Gonzalez, from Charlotte, uses color, repetition and layers in her mixed-media body of work, exploring the sentiments and physical experience of being an immigrant brown woman, living without a determined cultural identity. “As I perused the wildly diverse slate of artwork from practitioners all over North Carolina, I sometimes had

to pause,” Alligood says. “An artwork would be so beautifully composed, or its materials so skillfully manipulated or its story so plainly compelling, that the only proper response was to stop and take it in.” —Hampton Williams Hofer

March 10 - June 9; free; CAM Community Reception, March 10, 6:30 - 8 p.m. APRIL 2019 | 23

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all month BEST OF N.C. AT GALLERY C State of the art: Gallery C is hosting its annual Best of North Carolina 2019 art exhibition of historical art through May 14. Owner and art historian Charlene Newsome has curated a collection of landmark pieces by noted North Carolina artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, including Sarah Blakeslee, Herb Jackson, Francis Speight, George Kachergis and Elsie Dinsmore Popkin. See website for gallery hours; free; 540 Blount St.;










Plum delightful! Quail Ridge Books welcomes best-selling food writer Ruth Reichl April 3. Reichl will be dishing on Save Me the Plums, her new memoir about her time as editor in chief of Gourmet magazine during its heyday. Reichl helmed Gourmet for ten years and previously served as the restaurant critic for both The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. She has authored numerous books that deliciously recall her life in food, including Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me With Apples and Garlic and Sapphires. Super-foodies can reserve a seat and a spot in the priority signing line by pre-purchasing a book. 7 p.m.; free; 4209-100 Lassiter Mill Road;

Courtesy Gallery C. (Old Salem Leinback Garden by Elsie Popkin); Fiona Aboud (REICHL)


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Teach your children well by taking them to An Intimate Evening of Songs and Stories with Graham Nash, presented by the Cat’s Cradle at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts April 3. Nash is a true legend: He’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice—with the Hollies and Crosby, Stills & Nash—and he’s a two-time inductee into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Board the Marrakesh Express for a trip back with this prolific artist whose music helped define a generation. Flower children take note: VIP tickets are available, but limited. 7:30 p.m.; from $55; 2 East South St.;

Amy Grantham


AP Photo/NASA (SPACE); Getty Images (TOSCA)



THE US SPACE PROGRAM Houston, we have lift off for Standing on the Shoulders of Apollo: The US Space Program—Past, Present, Future at the North Carolina Museum of History. Special guest speaker Gerald Griffin (seen above giving a thumb's up), an American aeronautical engineer and former NASA official, will offer his firsthand account of putting a man on the moon. Griffin will also share his inside perspective on topics such as the lunar landing program, its key players and the future of space exploration. 7 p.m.; $5 - $10; 5 East Edenton St.; ncmuseumofhistory

5& 7 TOSCA

The North Carolina Opera presents Tosca April 5 and 7 at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. This fully-staged production will showcase all of Giacomo Puccini’s diva drama set in 19th Century Rome. Joseph Rescigno conducts the North Carolina Opera Orchestra and chorus. Opera neophytes take note: The score for Tosca will be sung in its original Italian, with projected English translations, and has a running time of 2 hours 45 minutes, including two intermissions. 7:30 p.m.; from $23; 2 E. South St.;

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Winners of the 2018 competition

TRASHION SHOW A stylish way to rethink waste


North Hills Adjacent to Renaissance Hotel 919-788-4200 Raleigh, North Carolina

ould you be willing to strut the runway in a dress made from soda can tabs, scrap yarn and strings of cassette tape? College student Celine Borthayre (far right) did, last year, when she won the grand prize for the college category of the City of Raleigh’s Trashion Design Competition. She designed the dress herself, interlocking the tabs into a fish scale-inspired bodice, crocheting the yarn into puffy sleeves and working the magnetic tape into hundreds of pom-poms for a skirt. Borthayre was part of the unique fashion show for the City of Raleigh’s Environmental Awards, an event 12 years in the running that celebrates and educates around environmental awareness. Most of the awards the city doles out are more serious—recognizing local leaders in categories including like land conservation, waste reduction, urban agriculture and environmental leadership—but Trashion Show might be the most trend-forward. “We wanted a cool way to get college- and high school-age kids involved and thinking about what we’re throwing away,” says Amanda Astor, community relations specialist for the City of Raleigh’s Solid Waste Services department, who says that especially in a city with strong fashion and textiles programs at our local colleges, it seemed like a great fit. Borthayre found the experience both challenging and meaningful: “I enjoyed using unconventional materials to manifest my ideas, giving ordinary objects new purpose and beauty. It was also refreshing to cut back, at least on a small scale, on the waste commonly associated with the textile and fashion industry.” The show brings out the creativity in everyone. “There are really no rules, it just has to be something the participant can wear, that’s made out of something that would be hard to dispose of,” says Astor. Past participants have made entries from items as varied as bike tires, duct tape, soda tabs and melted milk cartons. If you’re interested in seeing this year’s inventive designs, the Environmental Awards will be held April 4 at 6:30 at Historic Market Hall at City Market. A reception will follow for attendees to mee the participants and learn more about City projects. —Ayn-Monique Klahre

David Blount


Brian Lowe (KISS); courtesy Dreamville Festival (DREAMVILLE)






They may continue to party every day, but they will no longer rock and roll all night. Kiss these legendary performers goodbye when their End of the World Tour stops in at PNC Arena April 6. Parking lot opens at 5 p.m. for Raleigh rock city. (Parking fees apply.) 7:30 p.m.; from $118; 1400 Edwards Mill Road; events/detail/kiss

Rapper and Fayetteville native J. Cole dreams big and doesn't let a little thing like a hurricane get in his way. The Dreamville Festival comes to fruition at Dorthea Dix Park April 6 (rescheduled from September 2018). The festival is a first for Dix Park and both the City and Cole hope to make it an annual tradition for Raleighites and hip-hop fans alike. Cole has carefully selected a mix of marquis headliners and up-and-comers alike for the all-day event. Dreamers should check out the website for festival dos and don'ts. The message is clear: good vibes only. (For a roundup of other festivals in the area this month, see page 40) See website for hours, information and tickets;

Join us for

Saturday, May 4 @ 7 p.m. North Ridge Country Club Featuring

The Embers with Craig Woolard


*Includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, live & silent auctions & more.

Tickets $100* $35 of which is tax deductible


DUDES FOR DAMES Dude cooks like a lady… Celebrate community and food at the third annual Dudes for Dames Dinner April 7 at Lavender Oaks Farm in Chapel Hill. The dames in question are the North Carolina Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a philanthropic organization of women who are leaders in the fields of food and hospitality. The dinner is a fundraiser for NC-K12 Culinary Institute and No Kid Hungry in memory of Karen Barker. The dudes doing the bartending and cooking include Sean Umstead (Kingfisher), Sam McGann (The Blue Point), Sean Fowler (Mandolin) and Bill Smith and Justin Burdett (Crook’s Corner). The event includes a raffle with prizes like two VIP tickets to TerraVita’s 10th Anniversary Fall Fête, a day at the Seasonal School of Culinary Arts and a night at the Dunhill Hotel in Charlotte. 4 - 7 p.m.; $95; 3833 Millard Whitley Road, Chapel Hill; Cameron Village 435 Daniels Street Raleigh, NC 27605 919.366.6902


ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO Duke Performances and The Carolina Theatre of Durham present Angélique Kidjo Remain in Light. Considered the queen of African music, Kidjo is a Beninese singer-songwriter whose musical influences include Afropop, rumba, jazz and gospel, but it is her adoration of a particular rock album that has her singing a new tune: Many years ago, Kidjo fell in love with the Talking Head’s Afrobeatinspired album Remain in Light. In 2018, she recorded her own version, deeply layered with African musical elements. Like the most famous track on the album, this performance is once in a lifetime. 8 p.m.; from $35; 123 Vivian St., Durham;

Getty Images (DUDES); courtesy Duke Performance (KIDJO)

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Courtesy The Price is Right Live (PRICE); courtesy Carolina Balet (MONET)



THE PRICE IS RIGHT LIVE Come on down! The Price is Right LIVE! is at the Durham Performing Arts Center April 11. This traveling version of TV’s longest-running game show gives local fans an opportunity to spin the Big Wheel. See the website to find out how to become a contestant and for the complete rules, regulations and eligibility requirements. Make a bid without going over and experience this fabulous showcase. 7 p.m.; $31; 123 Vivian St., Durham;


MONET IMPRESSIONS The Carolina Ballet presents Monet Impressions April 11-14 at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Inspired by the work of Impressionist artist Claude Monet, the ballet paints a picture of the artist’s life and his most famous garden paintings in two acts: choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Picnic on the Grass and artistic director Robert Weiss’s The Gardens of Giverny, all set to the music of Chausson, Debussy and Poulenc. See website for show dates and times; from $39; 2 E. South St.; carolina

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Getty Images (CAT); Drew Wilson (OCEAN)

Celebrate this special pet project: SAFE Haven for Cats is hosting its 15th annual Tuxedo Cat Ball April 12 at North Ridge Country Club. SAFE Haven for Cats is a no-kill shelter, a low or no-cost clinic and a food pantry that has placed over 10,000 cats into permanent homes. Enjoy dinner, drinks and a lively auction and help keep this worthy cause purring along. 7 p.m. - 12 a.m.; $100; 6612 Falls of Neuse Road;



12-13 LA MER


Cruise toward the North Carolina Symphony April 12-13 at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts for two evenings of music inspired by the ocean, including The Oceanides by Sibelius, Poème by Chausson, D'un Matin de Printemps by Boulanger, Four Sea Interludes by Britten and La Mer by Debussy. For a full immersion, imagery of our state’s own seascapes and waterfalls (provided by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences) will be projected on a large screen. Dive in early, enjoy a cocktail and meet the artists in Swalin Lobby at 7 p.m., including featured artist violinist Brian Reagin. 8 p.m.; from $18; 2 E. South St.;


GODSPELL Prepare ye the way for Theatre in the Park’s production of Godspell. The hit musical from the 1970’s retells parables from the Bible through dance and music by composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin). The songs, many of which feature lyrics from traditional hymns, are what keep audiences coming for more divine inspiration. Day by day, this show will cast its spell. See website for showtimes and tickets;


FLOR DE TOLOACHE ¡Baila! N.C. State LIVE presents Flor De Toloache, an all-female mariachi band that's bringing an edgy new sound to traditional Mexican music, April 13 at the Talley Student Union. The 2017 Latin Grammy Award winners hail from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Australia, Colombia, Germany, Italy and the United States. Their diverse backgrounds infuse the music with strains of salsa, pop, hip-hop, soul and Latin jazz. 8 p.m.; from $28; 2610 Cates Ave.;




ADULT EGG HUNT Get egged on at the Dix Park Spring Fling Adult Egg Hunt April 13 at Flower Field. Emphasis on adult—this over-21 field day event celebrates the inner, not actual, kid. There will be inflatables, lawn games and the hunt for more than 15,000 eggs filled with age-appropriate surprises. Food trucks will be on hand for fueling the fun— bring a water bottle, picnic blanket and your own lawn games. 3-7 p.m.; free (registration is required); 2105 Umstead Dr.; keyword search: spring fling adult egg hunt


FESTIVAL OF LEGENDS Unleash your inner spirit animal at the The 8th Annual Festival of Legends April 13-14 at Optimist Farm in Apex. Mermaids, elves, knights, centaurs and wizards of all ages are welcome at this celebration of the mythic arts and magical realms of the imagination. Stroll the artist’s market, take in a joust, try your hand at swordplay and be dazzled by acrobats and musicians, all while quaffing locally made mead or cider. See website for festival details and times; from $12.50; 2908 Optimist Farm Road, Apex;

David Edward Byrd (GODSPELL); courtesy Flor De Toloache (FLOR); Getty Images (EGG, KNIGHT)

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N.C. State’s annual design showcase


fter nearly two decades of runway shows, Art2Wear is starting a new trend: radical inclusivity. The annual student-run showcase for N.C. State’s College of Design has always walked innovative designs down the runway, but this year’s show will add new aspects to the tradition. “There was no jury for this show. Any student that wants to participate can,” says Precious Lovell, Art2Wear’s faculty advisor, who said that the change lends for a wide variety of experience and talent. “Some students are creating well over five pieces in their collection, while others are creating the minimum of three.” With fewer limitations comes more variation. “A lot of things we teach in the fiber department will now be utilized in their collections,” says Lovell, who expects to see additions in the form of fabrics, including ones that are hand-dyed or laser-etched by students. Another radical initiative: sustainability. Lovell says she was met with hesitation when she first introduced the concept into the studio course she teaches, but the students have come to embrace practices like upcycling and longevity. “These students


have incorporated the concept in very different ways; they’ve found a way to share their voice within the sustainability project,” says Lovell. For example, many students have included garments made with ‘zero-waste patterns’ in their collections. “Zero-waste means that you take a piece of fabric and not one millimeter of that fabric is wasted. 100 percent of that material, whatever the size, is used for that garment,” says Lovell. “It takes some really interesting manipulation.” Student Director Clara May says that she has loved watching the showcase evolve since her freshman year. “It’s a special opportunity that we as design school students have to show our community how immensely creative and innovative we are.” Aly Khalifa, N.C. State’s Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence, says Art2Wear is heading in a different direction, while maintaining the event’s long-standing traditions. “We want to make a statement about people, the planet and the economy. It’s more than just style, it’s about every element of the design process.” —Catherine Currin

Courtesy N.C. State College of Design

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Art2Wear is April 26 at the Talley Student Union on N.C. State‘s Main Campus. Throughout April, there will be special events and exhibitions. For tickets and more information, visit design.


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JAY PHAROAH All hail the pharaoh of comedy! Goodnights Comedy Club presents Jay Pharoah April 18-20. Pharaoh is an actor, stand-up comedian and impressionist who spent six seasons on Saturday Night Live sending up cultural icons like Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Kanye West and President Barack Obama. His new show White Famous airs on Showtime. No laughing matter: the show is for 18 and up and there is a two-item minimum in the showroom. Make dinner reservations at the club’s Factory Restaurant beforehand and have a good night. See website for show dates and times; $25; 861 W. Morgan St.;


ART IN THE GARDEN Color your world and feed your soul. Art in the Garden hosted by the Irregardless Café returns to The Well Fed Community Garden April 27. Spend the afternoon in a plein-air guided watercolor class with artist Annelies M. Gentile followed by a farm-to-table vegetarian lunch. No experience is needed—just a desire to connect with nature. A watercolor kit and lap board will be provided, but feel fee free to bring your own art supplies, canvas, easel, camera or iPad (for digital painting) if you prefer. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.; $38 (registration is required); 1321 Athens Dr.;



JOHN CUSACK Rom-com’s favorite quirky leading man is raising his boombox for Raleigh. Experience serendipity at A Live Conversation with John Cusack following a screening of High Fidelity at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts April 20. After the film, Cusack will say anything during the forum about his life and career in the arts. Super fans take note: a limited number of VIP seats are available and include a postshow photo op with Cusack. 7:30 p.m.; from $40; 2 East South St.;


MASTER CHORALE The North Carolina Master Chorale presents Rachmaninoff’s Vespers (The All Night Vigil) April 27 at the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral. Chant-based melodies are woven into this a cappella choral composition—arguably Sergei Rachmaninoff’s finest achievement. The Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral will provide a fitting backdrop for the Master Chorale’s inspired performance. 8 p.m.; from $17.50; 715 Nazareth St.;

Jon Premosch/Buzzfeed (PHAROAH); courtesy Touchstone Pictures (CUSACK), Getty Images (ART); Chuck Liddy (CATHEDRAL)




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FEST QUEST ’Tis the season for outdoor celebration! From bacon and brews to bikers and baby goats, Triangle festivals celebrate all the weird and wonderful our state has to offer.

EAT & DRINK Taste buds will be pickled tink sampling distinctly Carolina flavors. April 6 Beer & Bacon Fest April 13 2019 North Carolina Pickle Festival April 13 Mid-Town Square Spring Festival April 19-28 HerbFest April 20 The North Carolina ‘Cuegrass Festival 40 | WALTER



Film buff? Gearhead? Audiophile? Green thumb? Enthusiasts of all stripes can indulge their pet passions.

Get outside and jam with the fam. Did we mention baby goats?

April 4 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival April 6 Raulston Blooms! A Garden Festival for All Ages April 13 Bull City Bike Rally April 25-28 Moogfest April 26-27 Brewgaloo

April 9 and 21 Baby Goat Festival at Prodigal Farm April 20 Children’s Day Festival of Cary April 27 Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival —Katherine Poole

Courtesy Brewgaloo (CROWD); Getty Images (GOAT)





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A sunset puppy party is not quite as exciting as Rainbow Kitten Surprise, who will be rocking Red Hat Amphitheater April 27. The genre-defying band from Boone is quickly making a name for itself on the festival circuit (Shaky Knees, Hangout, Sasquatch and Austin City Limits). Let their latest album How to: Friend, Love, Freefall be your concert guide. 8 p.m.; from $29.50; 500 S. McDowell St.;

courtesy Rainbow Kitten Surprise

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HAYES BARTON | DREWRY HILLS | COUNTRY CLUB HILLS WHITE OAK ROAD | LAKESTONE | COLEY FOREST ART IN THE GARDEN Join Raleigh Little Theatre April 27 at the Raleigh Rose Garden for food trucks, live music and visual art. Want to exhibit at the event? Artist applications are due April 20.

IMAGINATION BALL Be a kid for an evening at Marbles Kids Museum’s annual fundrasier April 27. There will be food and drink, wine roulette plus a silent and live auction. Every dollar raised at the event will support programming at the museum on Hargett Street. For tickets and more information, visit

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For that special occasion

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Our In honor of Earth Day April 22, we’ve compiled fun facts and activities to help you celebrate our planet right here in Raleigh.




GET OUTSIDE There are 10 National Park Service Units in N.C. with over 19 million park visitors annually. Locations include the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout and the Guilford Courthouse. The Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Department alone manages more than 200 parks and 9,000 acres of parkland.

In 2017, Raleigh was named a Bee City USA for its efforts to protect and enhance the habitat of the pollinators that contribute over $20 billion to the value of US crops. A few favorite bee plants: clover, sunflowers and our signature oak trees.

In March, the City of Raleigh launched its much-anticipated bike share program, which will grow to include 300 bikes and 30 docking stations downtown and beyond for riders to use, all aiming to reduce car traffic and emissions. Visit for information about fees and stations near you.

MIND YOUR BINS One materials recovery facility that serves Wake County processes up to 550 tons of recyclable material every day. Head to page 106 to get an inside look.


CLOSE THE LOOP The city is working toward a new system to treat wastewater: through anaerobic digesters. The process creates methane, which can be converted into renewable natural gas to fuel city buses.

The City of Raleigh has partnered with Simple Recycling to gather clothing, shoes and accessories that are too worn to donate to keep them out of the landfill. For home furnishings, consider The Green Chair Project (learn more on page 76).

COVER SOME GROUND Explore the area along the Capital Area Greenway system, more than 100 miles of paved and unpaved trails, many along protected stream corridors. Go online at for a map.

Information courtesy Compost Now, Bee City USA, Bee Downtown, National Park Service, City of Raleigh


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Happy & Hale, Raleigh Raw and The Pharmacy Cafe on Person Street are just a few local restaurants that compost their disposable plates, cups and cutlery in addition to their food waste.

markwkirby | |


D e s i g n i n g a n d B u i l d i n g t h e We l c o m e H o m e s i n c e 198 4


From left to right: Designed For Joy co-founders Kristen Sydow and Cary Heise

FLOWER POWER An immigrant and mother shares her positive energy through embroidery by ADDIE LADNER


nside an embroidery hoop, a woman shaped like a Matryoshka nesting doll is brought to life through brightly colored threads; florals and leaves that grow from minuscule beads sewn into groups; a patterned fabric serves as her stylish little top. She sits among many others, each a personality of its own, wrought in stitches and knots in a multitude of colors. The cheerful hues belie an aura of solemnity: Elena Caron’s talent found its origin from a rough childhood in her native Ukraine, the hoop art a bridge between the past and present. She learned the craft from her grandparents, who took her in, along with her sister, when their mother left them at a young 48 | WALTER

photography by S.P. MURRAY

age. Her grandparents passed away soon after, leaving her impoverished father to care for the children. He was so poor that some months they’re eat only apples and bread (he was often paid in produce) and she had a single pair of socks that she’d wash and dry on her grandfather’s radiator, mending them when they’d rip. Despite the hardship, she persevered. “My grandfather was a horticulturist and taught me to work hard at what you love,” says Caron. She found respite in the natural world, on long walks with her father in the woods and flower identification lessons from her grandfather. “I like looking at different patterns of the moss, the ferns and the movement. It helps me

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think and process,” she says. In her late teens, Caron served as a translator for a mission group in the Ukraine and met a woman who would become a mother figure to her. At age 21, she moved to the United States to be with her adoptive parents and attend graduate school. “To me, a family isn’t about blood or documents, it’s a commitment,” Caron says. Years later, she became a wife to husband Mark, adopted her oldest daughter Sophie, now 21, then added daughters Emma, 9, and Vera, 7, to their family. Today, their life is centered around the seemingly ordinary family bustle she never would have believed possible: juggling work, school drop-offs, tantrums and road trips; living in a cozy home filled with with houseplants and antiques. “To me, it’s like a castle,” Caron says. “I have a rich life now.” On her journey, Caron discovered the artist within herself as a way to generate extra income for her family, comparing herself to her favorite artist and inspiration, Frida Kahlo: “Frida Kahlo was able to create and express herself through pain and difficulty,” she says. “Embroidery was a new mountain to climb.” So now, in between balancing motherhood and other side jobs, Caron tells her story through vibrant, intricate mixed-media embroidered hoop art. She takes time to put thread to needle, needle to canvas; she can create one finished piece in under an hour. “I want this to be a happy place for me and for positive energy to go with these pieces,” Caron says. In many ways, Caron’s life of creating art and raising a family are not at all what she expected. Caron attributes therapy and becoming a Christian for paving a new life for herself. “At one point in my life, I didn’t think I’d make it past twenty years old,” she says. And so her art has come to mirror her character: delicate, yet bold; approachable but intimate. When she sells her pieces, Caron feels she’s giving away a part of herself, a message of positivity and perseverance. “The biggest part of life is connecting to another human.” You can find Elena Caron’s embroidery work locally at ArtSpace or online in her Etsy shop.

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Akshay Bhatia at the Country Club at Wakefield Plantation

GOLF WHIZ High schooler Akshay Bhatia is on the road to the pros by JOE GIGLIO


photography by SMITH HARDY

e’s only 17, but the list of Akshay Bhatia’s accomplishments on the golf course is already impossibly long. The precocious phenom from the town of Wake Forest has won a handful of junior tournaments and made the junior Ryder Cup and junior Presidents Cup teams. There is, however, one thing Bhatia can't do: wear contact lenses. “I can’t put them in,” Bhatia said. So Akshay, who’s just “Shay” to his family and friends, wears distinctive darkrimmed eyeglasses instead. The “Buddy Holly meets Tiger Woods” kind of look makes Bhatia unmistakably recognizable on the golf course, even beyond his obvious skill for the game. The lefthander looks taller than his 6-foot frame because he 50 | WALTER

is so slim (he only clocks in at 129 pounds). Despite his size, he has power off the tee and the unwavering confidence of a bank thief with his putter. Bhatia recently won his first national amateur tournament at the Jones Cup Invitational in Sea Island, Georgia. He’s already racked up several junior tournament titles, including Junior PGA championship in 2017 (with a record score) and again in 2018. He is the top-ranked boys’ junior golfer in the world and has plans to turn professional once he turns 18. Unlike Woods, and most of the other top American players on the PGA Tour, Bhatia will skip college altogether. He has a plan and he’s ready, he says. “I’m playing really well right now and I feel like it’s the natural progression from the junior ranks to go

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pro,” Bhatia said. Bhatia, who has been homeschooled since eighth grade, has a full golf schedule this spring and summer. The U.S. Amateur Championship is in Pinehurst this August. A win there would guarantee Bhatia a spot in The Masters the following April. “That’s huge,” he says of the chance to play the top amateur tournament at the famous Pinehurst No. 2 course. “I know that course pretty well. A win there would be awesome.” A youth tournament in Pinehurst is actually how Bhatia’s family ended up moving to North Carolina. His parents, Sonny and Renu, met in Northridge, California, and introduced golf to their kids at an early age. Akshay Bhatia and his sister, Rhea, who is four years older, were playing in a tournament in Pinehurst in 2009. On the drive back to RDU Airport from Pinehurst, his dad had an idea. “I just thought, wouldn’t it be great to come back and live here?” he said. The parents found a house in Wake Forest and moved here in 2011. “It

just felt right,” Sonny Bhatia said. His talented son was born in California but he says he considers North Carolina home. “I’m 100 percent North Carolina. I’ve got the ‘y’all’ down and everything.” And he’s got golf down, too. It was shortly after the family got here that Akshay Bhatia had an important question for his dad. “I can still remember it, he woke me up in the middle of the night,” Sonny Bhatia said. “He said, ‘Dad, how do I become the best player in the world?’” The short answer: practice. He told his son that to be the best, you have to be the first one on the course and the last one to leave. “And that’s exactly what he does,” Sonny Bhatia said. “He practices and works on his game non-stop, absolutely non-stop.” With that work ethic, Akshay Bhatia has already cleared several golf milestones on the junior and amateur level, and he’s driven to accomplish even more at the pro level. “His goal is not just to be a PGA player,” his dad says. “He wants to be the number one player in the world.”

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TRUE BEAUTY Locally-made skincare line keeps it clean by KATHERINE POOLE photography by S.P. MURRAY


ulie Hafer has always been serious about skincare. As a child, she would ride her bike to the drugstore at Cameron Village and scour the beauty aisles for the latest lotions and potions. In middle school, she saved her allowance for trips to the makeup counter at Crabtree Valley Mall. “Are you here to play?” she remembers a sales associate asking. “No,” she replied. “I’m here to buy.” Her obsession with beauty products continued through college, where she worked on a license in cosmetology while earning a degree in French from UNC Chapel Hill. During that time, she helped


a steady stream of friends with skincare and makeup—but the one person she couldn’t help was herself. Her skin was perpetually irritated, and it seemed that the more she spent on high-end products, the worse it became. “I didn’t want to leave the house because I hated my face so much,” says Hafer. Finally, through research and consumer reviews, she realized that her skin was sensitive to the fragrances and harsh additives in the brands she was using. It turned out, expensive did not mean better. She felt duped. “That sense of betrayal is really what made me want to go into this business, because I wanted to do things different-

ly,” she says. Hafer launched the business Beauty Ethics in 2002, quickly growing from a rented booth at a salon in Five Points to a studio in Cameron Village. She also grew a loyal base of clients by offering aesthetic services that used affordable, fragrance-free, non-irritating skincare products from Paula’s Choice. She had it down to a science, but realized that many of her clients had a hard time sticking to the multi-product beauty routines she prescribed, and that they (like her younger self) were still enticed by the allure of luxury lines. That dichotomy—that they knew what was good for their skin, but wouldn’t do it—frustrated

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and fascinated her. So in 2011, Hafer returned to school to get a masters in psychology from North Carolina State University. As she learned what motivated human behavior in class, she realized that she could use that knowledge to create her own line of pure, easy-to-use and customizable beauty products. “I just wanted people to love their skin.” In 2012, Hafer teamed up with a chemist to formulate dyeand fragrance-free products that are made with the most pure active ingredients she could find. She formed focus groups for testing, and surveyed clients to learn what they wanted in a product. She selected a logo that was clean and gender neutral to appeal to both women and men, and gave the products easy-to-remember names. The products are sold in luxe glass bottles, which not only “look beautiful on the bathroom counter, but are also eco-friendly.” The line of skincare and makeup is made in-house at her studio off Whitaker Mill Road, where she moved the business in 2018. Her products like Glycolic Glow, Spot Solver, Pore Perfector and Smoothing Solution are made in small batches, handpoured and labeled by a small group of friends and clients that work with her. Hafer keeps her prices reasonable, and allows products to be returned for a full refund and the glass bottles to be refilled. The goal: “Base everything on science and be mindful of the environment. Make sure people aren’t wasting their money if they’re not getting the results they desire,” she says. “That’s beauty ethics.” Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.; Services by appointment only; 2005 Progress Ct.;

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From left to right: Matthew Smith, Justin Garrity and Matthew Elliott

ROAD TO RECOVERY Run club offers a safe space to share by CATHERINE CURRIN photography by BOB KARP


att Elliott and Justin Garrity love to run—and not just for fitness. They found that spending time outside, exercising, with like-minded friends, was proving to be a way to work through their struggles and successes in recovery from addition. That realization led the two to found the Oak City Recovery Run Club (OCRRC), a twice-a-week running


club that fosters a diverse community through exercise. “I read an article in Runner’s World about running impacting the homeless community and people in recovery, and I thought, ‘Why doesn’t this exist in Raleigh?’” says Garrity, who found that most of the city’s social running clubs met at a brewery or a pub. The OCRRC held its first meeting in early 2017, and since then, they’ve had over 300 people participate. The idea was

to create a safe space combining exercise and recovery support, where anyone is welcome to join. “Speed, pace, distance… none of it really matters,” says Garrity. “Running is an easy way for people to connect. We’re trying to decrease the stigma around people with addiction,” says club leader Matthew Smith. The club works closely with the residents at Healing Transitions, where Elliott and Garrity first met, but the group

is not affiliated with or exclusive to those in the organization. “The club is open to whoever wants a positive space to come run. It’s about integrating the recovery community with the running community,” says Garrity. Beyond helping those in recovery or emerging from homelessness, the OCRRC has become a way to share their journey with friends and family, even if they’re not sober. “It’s an avenue to introduce people to this side of my life,” says Smith. “It’s something I can do that is recovery-related where I can also share my external interests.” Local business Runologie has been a key player in the club’s success: The Hillsborough Street shop donates running gear to club participants, many of whom could not afford it on their own, and helps with fundraising for things like registration fees for members to participate in local races (last year, donations to the club fueled 28 runners in the Krispy Kreme Challenge). Alex Warren, co-founder of Runologie, says it was a perfect fit to partner with and support the club. “Justin asked if he could hang a sign in our shop to get people out to his Tuesday night runs, and we realized that we could do a lot more than just hang up a sign,” says Warren. Runologie also offers ‘earnaways,’ prizes such as shoes or a water bottle, for those who have completed tasks like attending

a certain number of clubs or winning a race. “Runologie believes in community first, that’s something we share with the club,” Warren says. “Running has the ability to bring people together and boost the spirit, and the participants of the OCRRC embody this to the fullest.” Smith leads the club’s Saturday morning meet-ups with a spiritual reading, plus an opportunity to share experiences before the group gets moving. “People then talk amongst themselves and open up while they run,” says Smith. In just two years, Garrity and Elliott have seen the club initiate real change in people’s lives. “I enjoy running with the guys who are new to recovery, it reminds me of how I was,” Garrity says. “We see drastic change—one runner lost over 50 pounds in about six months! It’s an outward sign of how much running impacted his recovery and his physical self in general.” Elliott says his involvement in the club allows him to continue to work through his recovery, while also giving back to the community. “Everyone is dealing with something, and it looks different to everyone. During these runs, those experiences come out.” OCRRC meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Healing Transitions and Saturdays at 8 a.m. at Lake Johnson. Visit for more information.

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Retro Modern founder Kelly Wohlgenant in her Hargett Street store.

NEW VINTAGE Retro Modern offers a mix of refurbished and handmade goods with a Mid-century twist by AYN-MONIQUE KLAHRE


n a busy stretch of Dawson Street, just off the the northwest corner of Nash Square, is the peppy storefront for Retro Modern Furnishings. It fits right in to the rest of the the building— the marigold-and-cobalt Hue apartments—and inside you’ll find a mix of goods: refurbished vintage finds, local accessories and upholstered pieces with a bent towards Mid-century modern style. The brand kicked off five years ago, when founder Kelly Wohlgenant decided to turn a passion for refurbishing furniture into a full-time job. Wohlgenant has a background in 60 | WALTER

photography by EAMON QUEENEY industrial design, but had been working as a social scientist and policy analyst for many years. “I really missed design work, and fortunately my husband had a stable job. So we had a conversation about it and I started doing this full-time.” The company started small: Wohlgenant would scour thrift stores and flea markets for Mid-century pieces, then rehab them herself at home. She’d sell her wares on Etsy and in popup markets, and over time, more and more people were asking for a storefront to browse her goods. She began with a tiny studio on Saint Mary’s Street, then applied to a grant program for downtown retail shops three years ago, which allowed

her to open up the store. Now, she has two employees and a nearby warehouse, home to her woodworking shop and even more vintage pieces. Inside the Retro Modern store, you’ll find a mix of old and new, with an eye towards supporting other local makers.

“Most of our stuff is handmade, and we strive to consider where everything’s coming from,” says Wohlgenant. That being said, she’s aware that “design enthusiasts have all different budgets,” so she tries to keep things affordable. Her clientele is a diverse mix, from college grads to nostalgic baby boomers furnishing their homes for downsized downtown living. “Many people remember growing up with this style and want to go back to it,” she says, noting that North Carolina has the third-largest concentration of Mid-century Modern architecture in the United States. Retro Modern showcases a mix of pieces from local artists on its walls and participates in First Fridays. Recently, Wohlgenant started designing her own pieces: a low TV stand with an acrylic front (“You can actually use a remote!”), a table with hairpins legs that come in a slew of colors, shelves supported by cut-leather straps and a slim, slatted bench. Each piece is completely customizable, and still fits into the Mid-century aesthetic that launched her business even as she does more of her own construction. “The plan is to keep designing different pieces. I have about a hundred things in my head!” 300 W. Hargett St., Suite 24; Open 12-6 p.m. on Monday, Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday; Visit for more information.





919 . 8 3 2 . 3 4 61 | R E L I A B L E J E W E L R Y . C O M


I work here part-time as a ramp agent. Basically I take care of people’s bags: I put them on the plane, take them off and make sure every bag is accounted for. I do it for the flight benefits—it’s a sweet gig if you’re looking to travel on a low budget!” –Omar Rezk of Hillsborough, N.C. photograph by BOB KARP

MORE IN THIS SERIES: Meet the folks we encountered at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on 62 | WALTER

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Stop in or stay a while at a new downtown wine shop by CATHERINE CURRIN


photography by TAYLOR MCDONALD

f you’re moving too fast, you might miss it: Just past the bus station on Martin Street is the unassuming entrance to Short Walk Wines, a bottle shop and ten-seater bar. Formerly the home of Lumina Clothing Co. and Ramble Supply Co., owners Cindy and Lewis Sheats always loved the space, and opened it up as a wine shop in June of 2018. They wanted a place in downtown Raleigh that was convenient for those in walking distance to stop by for a glass, and carry anything from a bottle to a case of wine home with them. “We live here and felt like this was missing.” To be clear: They’re businesspeople at the core, and wine aficionados, not sommeliers (“We just knew we liked to drink it!”). It was through Lewis Sheats’ job as the executive director of the entrepreneurship clinic at N.C. State’s Poole College of Management that he met the integral third part of their team, manager Halsey Merritt. She came from local retailer Wine Authorities, and helped the couple develop a wine selection that is diverse in both price and taste. “I fell in love with it, I


love teaching people about wine and helping them learn what they’re putting on their table,” says Merritt. Inside, the atmosphere is inviting and unintimidating, a place to get a glass of wine after work or pick up a unique bottle on your way to a dinner party. Merritt says they intentionally carry wines that you might not find anywhere else in the area, ones that have a story behind them. The majority of the inventory rotates frequently to keep things fresh, but they have a few mainstays for consistency. “We try to keep things interesting, but we want people to find something they like every time they come back,” says Merritt. To make any wine novice feel welcome, Short Walk has introduced monthly wine classes, covering a broad range of topics beginning with Introduction to Wine, followed by more specific and detailed classes. The shop also hosts complimentary wine tastings twice a week featuring wines from a particular region or that pair well with a certain food, and Merritt is always happy to make suggestions and offer a taste of whatever

Above: Manager Halsey Merrit; at left: Co-owner Cindy Sheats

they’re pouring that day. Beyond being a bottle shop, the team invites anyone to come and stay a while: Plug in and connect to Wi-Fi while sipping on wine, beer or cider, bring a friend for a Scrabble matchup or peruse an old edition of Wine Spectator. And if you’re feeling generous, Short Walk has recently added a display board for ‘random acts of wineness,’ a pay-it-forward-withwine concept: Patrons can purchase a glass or bottle of wine in advance for specific scenarios, like the next teacher who walks in or someone having a bad day. Cindy Sheats says the idea came from a group of ladies who purchased a glass of wine for a young mother in the shop. “She was so overwhelmed by the small act of kindness, we thought, ‘that’s something simple we can do for others.’” Short Walk provides a friendly hideout in the midst of downtown, a refuge after a busy day with a really delicious wine selection. 123 E. Martin St.; Monday-Thursday 12 p.m.—8 p.m., FridaySaturday 12 p.m.—9 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.—6 p.m.; For information on classes and special events, visit


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Executive Chef Eric Montagne of Locals Oyster Bar. he warehouse.

LOCAL PEARL A seafood wholesaler opens its first restaurant inside Transfer Co. Food Hall by JASON FRYE


n the wall, a school of mullet swims toward the Carolina coast, the silhouette of barrier islands and the undulating line of mainland stark against the aqua sea. Where I’m standing would be just 66 | WALTER

photography by TAYLOR MCDONALD

beyond the western edge of the map, at the newly-opened Locals Oyster Bar in Raleigh’s Transfer Co. Food Hall, which has slowly been rolling out new vendors. And I’m ready for seafood. Standing in line to order, I’m tempted by the classic fare flying out of the

kitchen—shrimp po’boys, fish and chips, ceviche—but it’s the constant motion of the shuckers that has me mesmerized: Working in near-silence, they grab shell after shell: In less time than it’ll take to read this sentence, they’ll study one for for the briefest of

From left to right: Fried oyster poutine; Bottarga French fries.

moments, insert the tip of a shucking knife into the hinge, twist a wrist and drop a perfectly shucked oyster onto a bed of pebbled ice. Locals Oyster Bar is the first foray into restaurants from the lauded fish wholesaler Locals Seafood, which will continue that part of its business as usual, including selling its oysters to some of the area's finest restaurants and keeping up its fish market locations at farmers markets. The Locals Seafood team partnered with Person Street Bar to launch this new outpost with a full menu of wine, cocktails and local craft beer to go with that mouthwatering slate of seafood, plus a fish counter with whole fish, primal cuts and prepared food. This new venture turned out to be a natural extension of what they were

doing. “When we got involved with the Transfer project, we started with a fish market, then added an oyster bar, then

“We wanted a spot that would channel the authentic, salty coast,” —Sarah Grace Smith, marketing manager, Locals Oyster Bar it just got bigger and bigger,” says marketing manager Sarah Grace Smith. As it evolved, the feel of the space

coalesced. “We wanted a spot that would channel the authentic, salty coast,” says Smith. "This is meant to be a spot to kick back, relax and hang out.” An adjacent dining room will also be opening with an entirely different look, feel and menu. “It’s a great outpost for Locals Seafood!” says Brian Habeeb, general manager of Locals Oyster Bar. “We hope the fish counter will inspire customers to pick up some fresh fish, go home and make something delicious.” Habeeb feels that “with seafood this fresh coming through the market and the kitchen, it would be a natural fit.” Working with more than two dozen oyster farms, fishmongers and fishermen along the coast, Locals Oyster Bar offers the sort of outstanding seafood that gives Montagne culinary gooseAPRIL 2019 | 67

bumps. “I grew up in Miami and spent a lot of time fishing in the Keys, and I couldn’t be happier with our selection of fish,” he says. The chef and his team are constantly experimenting and improvising, both as a way to reduce waste and to keep the menu fresh. “The last time I was there, they had fish bones, fish bellies and fish guts everywhere, and were emulsifying them for the charcuterie plate—I’m not sure that’ll make it to the menu,” laughs Smith. One week Montagne made a patty from striped mullet fat and tuna bloodline (a part that’s usually thrown away) that tasted “just like” an all-beef hamburger; another he created a “fish chop” from an unusual cut. Even the Bottarga Green Goddess dressing that dresses the wedge salad (recipe p. 70) originated as a way to reduce waste: “We use a bunch of fresh herbs and are constantly producing stems, so we modified our ranch recipe to include them,” says Montagne. Already, some of their more inventive offerings, including Oyster Poutine (fries smothered in oyster gravy and fried oysters) and Bottarga Fries (topped with shaved salt-cured roe), are finding a welcome home in Transfer Co. Alongside the simpler fare like raw oysters and clams, the near-perfect shrimp roll and specials like a roasted fish, they’ve put together the perfect mix of ocean-born eats to pick over on a date or with a table full of friends. And we’re happy to partake in the bounty.

500 E. Davie St.; visit for hours and more information.

Bartender Travis MacDougall; at right: Oysters on the half shell and an oyster tasting guide from the Locals team.


2019 EVENTS April 7 WINi An afternoon at the Umstead Hotel and Spa to inspire young women in our community

May 18 A Day with Vivian Howard Bring your appetite to Kinston to dine and explore with the acclaimed chef and restaurateur

June 2 Book Club with Lee Smith & Samia Serageldin These celebrated writers will share stories from their new collection of essays, Mothers & Strangers, with special guests Jill McCorkle and Randall Kenan

September 20 WINnovation Our fifth annual celebration of women and innovation in the Triangle

For more information, please visit

Green Goddess dressing on the wedge salad

GREEN GODDESS DRESSING Ingredients: 1 cup sour cream 3 /4 cup Duke’s Mayo 1 cup buttermilk 2 lemons (zest one & juice one) 1 ounce chives 2 ounces dill stems 2 ounces parsley stems 1 /2 teaspoon black pepper 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 /2 cup bottarga (can be substituted with 1 1/2 tablespoon of fish sauce) Place all herbs and buttermilk into a blender and process until smooth. Mix all other ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pour herb and buttermilk mixture into your mixing bowl and fold into your dressing.

A Bunny for Every Basket At left: Executive chef and general manager of Saint Jacques, Serge Falcoz-Vigne; above: Country pâté with mustard and pickled vegetables.







21 ST 10 AM -2 PM !


The ART off COLLECTING NCMA’s Director Emeritus Larry Wheeler shares how anyone can get a taste for the art market by honing the eye through local galleries and film photograph by EAMON QUEENEY


he global art market—one of the largest unregulated sectors of the international economy, valued at more than $64 billion—consists, in short, of the buying and selling of art. Galleries, art auctions, art fairs and private dealers are all part of the equation. That includes the gallerists of the Triangle, who showcase the important and emerging artists of our region. This is a topic of great interest to me. As the Director of the NCMA for over 24 years and now its Director Emeritus, I’ve watched closely the vicissitudes of the art market during this era, since shifting values obviously influenced what the museum could afford to add to its collections. Equally breathtaking to watch has been the emergence of a collecting class in the Raleigh region, folks who are active in the art market on an international level. I often travel with these


friends to art fairs in New York, Miami and Los Angeles, where the leading gallerists welcome them warmly. The North Carolina art scene is being noticed. These collectors buy significant art according to their tastes. They live with it, enjoy it and in nearly every case promise it to NCMA or other museums in our area. Art collecting by individuals is key to growing significant art museums. The great thing about all of this is that anyone can be an art collector! Access to the world of art buying is not exclusive. Anyone can drop in on art galleries anywhere in the world, just to look around. Anyone can attend an art fair in any major city, New York and Miami included. There is always the possibility of bringing irresistible art into one’s life. Going to a hub like New York, however, is not essential to enjoy collecting. We have a rich art scene right here in the artists, galleries and museums of the Tri-

angle. And there’s no doubt that they all need your love and support. The first step to access is by opening your heart and mind to looking. That curiosity will lead you to look broadly and to seek advice. Our art museums, mostly free, regularly show the artists of our region amidst their international counterparts. The curatorial context that they provide is valuable in developing a critical perspective on the artists among us. As a next step, why not meet a few artists? One good way is to attend openings of their exhibitions at local galleries and museums; you’ll find that artists are generally delighted to talk about their work. Most artists open their studios to the public on frequent occasions or nearly always on request, and gallerists are usually happy to facilitate these connections. And there are some very cool artist studios around us. Treat yourself to some new friends.

the stratosphere. The film explores the important issue of fairness to artists in the resale of their work at auction and raises the question of price as the measure of real value. The film has made the rounds locally with showings at NCMA, including a discussion with Director Valerie Hillings, and at the 2018 Full Frame Festival in Durham. The Square is a brilliant 2017 film by the Swedish director Ruben Ostlund which can be dialed up on Amazon Prime. Set in Stockholm, the film portrays in amusing and alarming ways the underlying hypocrisy, hysteria and preciousness of art world behavior, in art museums in particular. The focus of the film is on the debut and promotion of an art installation, The Square, which invites personal interaction and reflection. The eccentricities of art professionals and patrons are put on parade as they reckon with big social issues such as economic

Just beware: Looking can lead to buying, and then you’re in the game. Collecting is an exciting process… Just beware: Looking can lead to buying, and then you’re in the game. Collecting is an exciting process. Not only does it train and liberate the eye to make more critical choices, but it connects you to a community of folks who share your enthusiasm. Take advantage of the resources available to you as you build your collecting confidence. Other collectors, museum curators and directors, the gallerists and the artists themselves are all willing guides. Art comes in all shapes and prices, so start by collecting what works with your taste and your budget. Three recent films, all excellent, explore the reality, excess and craziness of the culture of contemporary art. I encourage you to see all of them. The Price of Everything, a documentary film produced by HBO, takes a close look at art auctions and the much-publicized sales of recent years that have driven contemporary art prices, some through

disparity, immigration and race. The often-familiar behaviors are both disturbing and entertaining. The most recent film of the three is Velvet Buzzsaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, which had its premiere at Sundance Film Festival in January (you can now watch it on Netflix). It is a little bit supernatural, a good bit horror and a whole lot of fun as it takes a clever look at the world of contemporary art collecting and the gallery and art fair scene. The strangest and most frightening things happen to people when they collect the wrong art… The art world is big in many ways: It’s undergirded by a huge economy fueled by thousands of galleries and points of sale, and more artists are being exposed to the public than ever before. But it’s also a world driven by millions of individual discoveries and decisions. Why not add your voice to the process that’s shaping our cultural history?

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Jackie Craig, co-founder and CEO of The Green Chair Project


How a community works together to help families in need make a house a home

Behind The


Tiffany Lyons spent last Christmas in a small hotel room with her four young children. There was nowhere to cook a meal or set up a Christmas tree. The family was fleeing crisis, waiting for an affordable apartment. Luckily, one soon became available… but Lyons didn’t have any belongings. The apartment was empty when they moved in, bare floors and walls: a shelter, but not a home. That’s when a social worker from her son’s elementary school referred her to The Green Chair Project, the only full-furnishings provider in Wake County for families in need. APRIL 2019 | 77

Green Chair offers everything from sofas to spoons, and they do it through a curated shopping experience where clients pay a small fee to shop for all of the items they need to fill a household. It’s a hand up, rather than a hand out. When Lyons arrived at Green Chair, she was floored by the fact that she had options. “When you hit that front door, all you see is smiles,” she says. “I was testing chairs to see how comfortable they were, and they just kept on saying, take your time. They didn’t rush me.” Lyons picked out tables, dressers, pots, linens, throw pillows and even decorative candles. “My kids had never had beds before, so when they got home that day and saw those beds, that moment… that was our Christmas.” Jackie Craig, co-founder and CEO, started The Green Chair Project eight years ago when she realized that Raleigh lacked a conduit between those who have stuff and those who need it. She and fellow co-founder Beth Smoot began col78 | WALTER

lecting gently used household items and storing them in a closet at their church for redistribution. Today, more than 12,000 people have donated to Green Chair. The organization thrives on a massive community effort fueled by donations and volun-

“My kids had never had beds before, so when they got home that day and saw those beds, that moment… that was our Christmas.” —Tiffany Lyons teers. “We have nothing to give if people don’t give us furniture,” Craig says. “And we have no people to serve if the agencies we partner with don’t bring us clients.” The end result of Green Chair’s work is

that a once-homeless family can sit down for dinner at a table set with plates and linens they selected themselves. It’s a child that will perform better in school, too, because instead of fighting for a corner of the couch, she’s sleeping in a bed of her own. Behind those happy scenes is a collection of all the time, talent, money, passion and selflessness one community can muster—an effort that carried The Green Chair Project from a toaster and a lamp in a church closet to a 32,000-square-foot building on Capital Boulevard.

Space to serve more This year, Green Chair will serve its 10,000th client, giving families emerging from homelessness, crisis or disaster a chance to walk through their front doors and be home for good. In May, The Green Chair Project itself will have a new home, when they reveal an extensive expansion and renovation of their building that will enable them to meet the high demand

from their referral partners, the more than 60 organizations like Interact, The Hope Center and Healing Transitions that send clients their way. The new building features expanded showroom and warehouse space, a volunteer center, ADA-compliant entrances and a new retail space—but the best part of it all is the way that they’ve been able to expand and improve at minimal cost. The Green Chair Project is used to giving, and now a grateful community has rallied to give to them: Architects, contractors and designers are working together to provide Green Chair with a space to grow and thrive for years to come. Just after Christmas last year, Sarah Troutman, vice president of the interiors group at HagerSmith Design PA, stopped by Green Chair to drop off a personal donation. Jackie Craig was in the lobby. “Jackie mentioned that they had just purchased their building and were hoping to renovate it,” Troutman recalls. “I told

her that we would donate our design services—interiors, architectural and landscape architecture. From there began what turned into quite an overhaul of the building.” In celebration of its 40th anniversary, HagerSmith had been looking for a community project in which every one of their employees could participate; the design of the new building would be free. And Troutman and her team didn’t stop there: she went on to enlist BNK Engineers, who donated their time and services for plumbing, mechanical and electrical design. In addition to drawings for a three-phase renovation, HagerSmith composed graphics and renderings to be used for Green Chair’s capital campaign. They helped with bidding and securing a general contractor, Riley Lewis, for all the work. And the good deeds burgeoned from there, as Troutman and her colleagues used their industry connections to procure donated or discounted materials

F From lleft: f FFurnishings i hi iin the h showroom h off The Green Chair Project; Volunteer Melanie Crockett carries two lamps chosen by a client; Tiffany Lyons, a client of The Green Chair Project, in her Raleigh apartment in front of the couch she chose at The Green Chair Project.

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Program coordinator Chelsea Ralston and volunteer Melanie Crockett take shopping carts of furnishings to the warehouse.

every step of the way—carpet, tile, toilets—all of it saving Green Chair’s funds, allowing them to stretch the bounds of their service. Troutman says of the whole process: “As designers, we put infinite value on the quality of physical space, and Green Chair’s mission is to take the basic necessity of four walls and a roof and turn it into a home with dignity. I can’t think of a mission more worthy.” Green Chair bought their current building after years of renting gradually more space within it. Previously, it was occupied by regional office furniture dealer Alfred Williams & Company, whose owner, Blount Williams, an early proponent of Craig and her mission, helped sell the building to Green Chair at a significant discount to the appraised value. Craig says, “When we were first starting Green Chair, Blount said to me, ‘If you’re ever going to need a building, we’re about to move downtown,’ and I thought yeah right! We were in a closet!” says Craig. “But sure 80 | WALTER

enough, fast-forward a year, and I called him and said ‘We need a building.’” It was perfect, already complete with a loading dock, warehouse, and showroom. “What a legacy to Alfred Williams & Company as a furniture business,” Craig says, “That now their old building allows so much good to come from furniture.”

It takes a village At every turn of Green Chair’s story is an example of selfless giving, and there are infinite ways to give, without hauling out an old sofa. Over 1,000 volunteers have helped Green Chair in one way or another, from school principals and social workers to students at N.C. State’s Poole College of Management, who studied data to project how many children in Wake County need beds. The number is a staggering at more than 5,000 and growing. Green Chair aims to reduce that number by half over the next three years. Corporate volunteers from all over the

community—places like Cisco and Wells Fargo—have brought their staffers to Green Chair for the day to sort silverware and assemble tables. There are woodworkers and loyal groups of volunteers who come in like it’s their job to dust, fold, sew and repair. The remodeled building will feature a permanent retail shop manned by volunteers from The Junior League of Raleigh whose proceeds go back to the company. And anyone can shop at Green Chair’s fundraiser sales, which include contributions from local retailers and unique finds curated from a small percentage of the furnishings donations. The new showroom was designed by students at the N.C. State School of Design who, as part of the Design it Forward program to help local nonprofits, were challenged to create a space that enabled a better shopping experience for clients. Kim Shirley, chair of Green Chair’s board, donated her interior design skills in helping with decisions around paint, carpet

Chairman of the Board of Directors Kim Shirley at The Green Chair Project, who donated interior design services to the expanded building.

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“Everyone should be able to experience the comforts of home. The Green Chair Project helps families do just that, and they do it with such grace.” —Anna Applegate, local decorator


and trim in the new building. Local decorator Anna Applegate got involved by making over a chair to be auctioned off at Green Chair’s annual “Chairity” event to benefit the organization. She refurbished an English rolled-arm chair with fresh fabrics in blues and reds, one of several that brought in essential funds to keep Green Chair moving forward. Applegate, like so many others, has pride in what the organization does for this community: “Everyone should be able to experience the comforts of home,” she says. “The Green Chair Project helps families do just that, and they do it with such grace.” The need for a full-furnishings provider is ever-growing. “Within days of Hurricane Florence hitting, we started getting calls from the Governor’s office, Red Cross, Catholic Charities, calling saying, ‘We need your help,’” says Craig. One phone call came from furniture distributor Rooms To Go. “They said, ‘You’re the closest furnishing assistance provider to the coast, so may we please send you

truckloads of furniture to help those people?’ I couldn’t believe it,” Craig recalls. Right after that, the High Point Furniture Market sent truckloads off samples, mattresses, bed linens and small appliancess in from corporations who wanted to assist in the wake ke of the hurricane’s destruc-tion. “So here we are, this conduit between so many people reaching out to help lp and those who need it,” says Craig. And while all sorts of donations show up in the back loading dock at The Green Chair Project, many find intimate connections with their new owners. Several years ago, someone dropped of a couch covered in a bold butterfly print. It was so unique that staffers worried whether anyone would choose it. Then a string of tornadoes

From above: Kim Westerman of CASA, a local housing nonprofit, helps choose wall art with a client; Johnnie Thomas, a client of The Green Chair Project, in his Raleigh apartment.

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This page: Roland Maurer, project manager for Riley-Lewis General Contractors, Inc. and Green Chair Executive Director Jackie Craig

tore through Raleigh, intensifying the demand for furnishings for families who had lost everything. One woman stopped to touch that butterfly couch during her shopping appointment at Green Chair. “She said butterflies were her symbol of hope. She knew that was her couch,” says Craig. Another family dropped off their grandmother’s old rocking chair, which wasn’t being used but was still full of sentiment and hard for them to part with. Soon after, it went to a young mother who had just had a baby and needed a place to rock him to sleep.The first client Green Chair ever served got a glass kitchen table that came from a woman who had lost her daughter. “The recipient looked at me and said she had always dreamed of a glass kitchen table, and never believed she’d have one,” says Craig. Each piece of furniture is a stitch, sewing together this community through the productive reuse of items that carry tender stories from one owner to the next. 84 | WALTER

Growing impact Fifteen families a week come to The Green Chair Project to shop. That’s fifteen entire households (of dining tables, couches, kitchenware and more) to be filled every single week. A buy-in rate for shopping is determined based on need, but the average client pays around $200 and leaves with around $3,000 in value. The inventory at Green Chair is fluid, it often goes fast, and they always need more. The company is green in both name and philosophy, as some 1,300 tons of materials have been diverted from landfills, finding new purpose in new homes. And it’s a project because The Green Chair Project doesn’t make its own furniture— the community comes together to allow this program work. Thanks to one of Green Chair’s partners, Families Together—a nonprofit that finds temporary shelter for homeless families with children in Wake and surrounding counties—one Raleigh mother and

her child found an affordable place to live after they had lost their apartment due to a rent increase. They were eating their meals on the floor of their new home, taking turns sitting in the only chair they had. The mother had searched flea markets and thrift stores to find furniture to accommodate her child, who has special needs requiring certain types of furniture pieces and fabrics. At Green Chair, she was able to hand-select pieces from a wide variety of options, and there was no moving fee to get them to her. She and her child now eat meals at a table, now sit together on a sofa to read or watch TV. “For clients that have lost their housing and most of their belongings, getting a new start with furniture, linens, appliances and the like from The Green Chair Project makes all the difference,” says Lisa Rowe, executive director at Families Together. At Green Chair, construction on the building hasn’t slowed their work, because clients are always in need. Liz McLean,

community engagement coordinator at Green Chair, says, “It’s important to us that the public knows we are open during this process, that they see the potential and want to be a part of what that means for our community.” McLean has led after-hours tours around the building, and often pops into the construction zones during the day in her lime green hard hat, giving social media followers a glimpse behind the scenes. Of the renovation, Craig says, “The whole reason we’re doing this is to grow our impact in the community. It’s not just about a bigger building. We have to scale everything, so we need more donations to serve more families.” At the core of everything the organization does is dignity: Green Chair doesn’t just say, here’s your free couch, they enable a person to choose. “Every day I get to see families select items that have been gently loved by people in our community. Knowing what colors you like and what you’re drawn to, or what feels comfort-

able… there’s no socioeconomicc threshold on that,” McLean says. s. Johnnie Thomas’ apartmentt in Raleigh is a source of refuge, a place that is full because of The Green Chair Project. “Being homeless is a trauma,” he says, “seeking help is another trauma, and receiving that help can be the most traumatic of all. But Green Chair didn’t make me feel like a beggar or a bother—they allowed me to keep my dignity intact.” He says that the generosity of The Green Chair Project changed ed his life, inspiring him to be substance-free, free, and to learn how to live in service to others. “Green Chair is important in getting people new possessions,” says Thomas, “but the thing that makes them such a value is the way they can make someone who was broken and ashamed feel whole and proud.”

From above: Green Chair’s new front lobby under construction; the lawn at Green Chair.

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grown Chef Sean Fowler returns to his roots at Mandolin Farm photography by JULI LEONARD written by CATHERINE CURRIN


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ean Fowler doesn’t cut corners when it comes to the food he serves. The chef-owner of upscale restaurant Mandolin, near Five Points on Fairview Road, is plating elevated Southern cuisine with fresh produce, some from his very own farm. He’s lived in Raleigh since he was a toddler, and now grows produce on almost an acre of land at his childhood home in north Raleigh. “My family always had a garden, so I kind of had that in my repertoire from the beginning,” he says. In 2013, Fowler launched Mandolin Farm on the same land, starting small and expanding over time. He laughs that he probably wouldn’t be considered a farmer by most, but he says that by trial and error, the farm yields over 20 percent of the restaurant’s annual produce. Fowler eventually purchased the house from his parents and the reason is twofold, he says. He wanted to share the upbringing he experienced with his three-year-old twin daughters, Grace and Clementine, as well as dig in to the restaurant’s farm initiative. “My wife, two daughters and I moved out there this year. I wanted to be a little more involved and expand what we’re doing. Every year it grows, and we’re expanding the scope with things like greenhouses.” Fowler believes that growing your own produce is beneficial from many angles. In some cases, it saves money. For example, Fowler says his favorite ingredient at Mandolin Farm is the espelette pepper. A French variety similar to cayenne, the peppers can run $40 per jar at a grocery, but he can grow dozens from seed at the farm for just a few dollars. The peppers harvested at the farm are made into hot sauces and ground pepper, which serve as seasoning in the restaurant throughout the year. Fowler says what they choose to grow is focused. “My goal by the end of this year is that all of our lettuces come from here. The vast majority of our tomatoes are coming from here. We are growing with the restaurant in mind.” The farm also lends to staff education and higher morale, Fowler says. “In most of the restaurants I’ve worked, there has been some sort of garden or farm component. I saw the value in it.” Fowler says that it’s crucial to have a healthy relationship with your ingredients. “People 88 | WALTER

genuinely want to know how their food is made and where it comes from.” He’s bridging that gap even further with his farm dinners, a ticketed event that happens quarterly at Mandolin Farm. “We’ve been increasingly detached from our food sources, and I see that pendulum swinging back,” he says. Fowler uses these dinners as a vehicle for storytelling, he

says. “It’s one thing to say ‘We got this ingredient from this particular farm,’ but it’s another thing to take them to that farm and have them taste food made from what’s grown there.” Join Sean Fowler at his next farm dinner April 18. For tickets and more information, visit

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SIP & SERVE Opposite page: Cocktails at Mandolin Farm’s October 2018 dinner; Sean Fowler and his wife Lizzy mingle with guests at the event. This page: Shucked oysters with mignonette and lemon zest, pickled shrimp and openfaced tomato sandwiches.

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AL FRESCO AFFAIR Guests sit down to an ultra-long table to enjoy last fall’s farm dinner, which chef Sean Fowler hosts quarterly at his working family farm in north Raleigh. At the dinner, he serves seasonal meals made largely from produce grown at the farm, and flower arrangements are made from whatever’s blooming in the garden.

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Meet Dr. Scott Ralls, Wake Tech’s new president by ILINA EWEN


photography by EAMON QUEENEY

ust call me Scott,” says Wake Tech’s new president. Beginning May 1, Dr. Scott Ralls will helm the largest community college in North Carolina, an institution that serves 74,000 students and contributes an estimated $3 billion dollars to the local economy. He succeeds longtime president Dr. Stephen Scott, who retired this spring, “a man whose shoes I’ll never fill, but on whose shoulders I hope to stand,” says Ralls. A native of North Carolina, Ralls’ life has spanned the state: He was born in Charlotte, spent his formative years in Waynesville, and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill. He spent many years working in state government before serving as president of Craven County Community College, and then of the North Carolina Community College system. “I may be one of the few people who’s been to all 100 counties in the state,” he says. For the last decade, he’s worked nearby—helming the Northern Virgin-

ia Community College (NoVA) system outside of Washington, D.C.—but his heart has been in Raleigh, where his wife and four children live. Finally, his weekly commute down I-95 will come to an end as Ralls returns to the city he calls home. The morning of our interview, we joined the Interim Dean of Health Sciences Barbara Coles for a tour of the Perry Health Sciences Campus, which offers 15 areas of study to train for the region’s growing healthcare needs. Inside the new Medical Lab Technology space, scrubs-clad students peeked into microscopes, leaned over X-rays and tended to a code-red mannequin patient in an emergency room simulation. Dr. Ralls hopped into the driver’s seat of the teaching ambulance, but resisted sounding the siren. As our tour concluded, Ralls exclaimed, “This is my favorite campus!”—then admitted he says this, only half in jest, at every one of the Wake Tech campuses he visits. As we walked, Ralls offered an outstretched hand to students and faculty APRIL 2019 | 95

alike. “Community college hallways are the most inspiring places,” he says. “This is where you encounter heroes.” As a former teacher himself—he taught statistics while at Craven County, rare for an administrator—he has a particular respect for the profession. He asks students one question over and over—“What should never change at Wake Tech?”—and often gets the same answer: the people. Here, students say, the faculty and staff are supportive and focused on community-building and inclusivity. Ralls assures them that he wants to open his tenure not as a force for change, but a thoughtful listener. Wake Tech’s Board of Trustees Chair Tom Looney said that Ralls stood out for to his knowledge of the region and its economic landscape and workforce training needs, plus his ability to work with elected officials on both sides of the aisle. “It was clear to the search committee that Scott Ralls was the right person to address the accelerating changes technology is making on all workforce disciplines,” says Looney. “His appointment will ensure Wake County has a workforce that will support continued economic expansion while delivering diversity and providing economic mobility to our students.” Ralls understands the nuances of higher education, especially as it relates to first generation college students, adult learners, second career students and ones with diverse learning needs. At NoVA, the nation’s second-largest community college, Ralls created a new Information and Technology Division and oversaw the construction of three new advanced training facilities. This experience aligns with upcoming projects at Wake Tech, thanks to the $349 million bond Wake County voters approved last

year: It will fund a high-tech, innovative training facility for first responders, as well as new buildings for Health Sciences, Automotive and Collision Repair, and other classrooms and labs. Among the qualities Ralls values most about the Wake Tech community is its diversity: the student body is almost 25 percent black, 12 percent Hispanic and 5 percent Asian, and represents more than 135 countries. Ralls says he’s proud of Wake Tech’s 2020-2024 strategic plan, which highlights equitable outcomes for students regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status, as evidence of its pledge to being a community where people from all backgrounds can learn and thrive. “I take pride in our inclusivity the way other schools take pride in their exclusivity,” he says. Ralls notes that North Carolina has a unique community college system that is well-supported and valued through its state and local funding. Wake Tech offers a wide array of services to meet students’ academic and personal needs, including a food pantry, travel abroad opportunities, volunteerism, athletics and a wellness center. As president, he says he plans to continue serving the “top 100 percent,” his quip to show that Wake Tech is for everyone. Looney agrees: “Ralls is a humble leader who will serve the community and have compassion for those who need a chance!” Ralls is keen on the idea of “new collar” workers who blend traditional and technical education rather than follow a college-to-career path. Wake Tech has an influx of adult learners who are changing careers and learning new skills, coupled with students who are concurrently learning technical trades and taking traditional core classes. One of Ralls’ areas of interest is expanding

“I take pride in our inclusivity the way other schools take pride in their exclusivity,” Ralls says. 96 | WALTER

Dr. Scott Ralls tours the Perry Health Sciences Campus, where students learn skills to meet our region’s healthcare needs.

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the early college high schools, where graduates complete their schooling with an associates degree and are ready to enter the workforce or continue on with higher education. Throughout his career, Ralls has focused on issues around college financing and customized workforce training programs to ensure that students graduate with gainful employment and little to no debt. Currently, about one quarter of Wake County high school graduates pass through the doors of one of Wake Tech’s six campuses, and a 2018 bond referendum will allow the school to improve infrastructure, expand and serve an additional 5,000 students by funding new classrooms, parking decks and buildings on five campuses. Already, Wake Tech’s culture sparks curiosity, challenges students, fosters collaboration and values diversity, all aligning with Ralls’ sensibilities. “Wake Tech is already a purveyor of hope, an engine of opportunity and a pathway to jobs,” says Ralls. “My number one goal as the new president is to do nothing to mess that up.”

“Wake Tech serves the top 100%,” says Dr. Scott Ralls. “We take every student and help them find a way to come through our door.” 98 | WALTER

A day with

VIVIAN HOWARD Join WALTER Magazine and spend the afternoon exploring Kinston and visiting with award-winning chef Vivian Howard.

Saturday, May 18 10:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Brunch at The Boiler Room 12:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Make biscuits with Vivian and Miss Lillie in the test kitchen Explore Kinston and tour Mother Earth Brewing Co. and Social House Vodka 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Private dinner at Chef & the Farmer



RHYTHM IN BLUES Velvet sofas top an Oushak rug, and the Moore & Giles leather fender bench around the hearth lends extra seating for entertaining. The two paintings are by Robert Long’s sister Katie Long Stevenson of Charleston, S.C.

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ECLECTIC A family friend helps newlyweds create a home of their own written and styled by JESMA REYNOLDS photographs by CATHERINE NGUYEN


When newlyweds Etta Buckman and Robert Long planned to move to North Carolina from New York City, they knew who to call: Beth and Chris Collier of design firm vanCollier, whose children Buckman babysat as a teen. She remembered their home as “interesting, artistic and timeless” and hoped that one day, when she had a home of her own, Collier would decorate it. After touring twelve houses in one day, they settled on a 1992 transitional house at the end of a lane in midtown, a quiet setting thet reminded Buckman of her small-town childhood riding bikes and visiting with neighbors. Dated interiors and a hodgepodge floor plan didn’t deter them; they saw potential for a open layout similar to the onefloor living they were accustomed to in Manhattan. Beth Collier encouraged them: “The house had good bones.” For the next year, the Colliers worked closely with APRIL 2019 | 101


Williams Realty & Building Company Inc. They gutted the inside, relocated walls and added a veranda to connect the outside in. Throughout, the Colliers chose surfaces that lend a modern feel without being severe. The designers also created custom furnishings for the home: linear sofas, cowhide club chairs, tables of sandy stone and hammered steel. Some pieces have made their way into vanCollier’s permanent line, including the “Lily” mirror in the foyer— oversize, concave, dipped in gold leaf— named for the couple’s Pomeranian. The Collier’s goal was for Buckman and Long to make the house their own. “They’re young. They have a passion for travel and we encourage them to find treasures along the way.” A graduate of culinary school, Buckman revels in hosting dinners and happily notes that with friends within walking distance they have a steady flow of visitors—and the open graciousness of the home invites them in. And so it seems, a youthful dream of making a home of one’s own has been realized. 102 | WALTER

In the kitchen, above, brass hardware glows against Calacatta Vena porcelain surfaces. The seating in the family room, below, is vanCollier. “We wanted as much of the furniture made in North Carolina as possible,” says Etta Buckman. The art is by New Orleans-based painter Mallory Page.

GRAND ENTRANCE The foyer features a limestone floor and custom-designed iron stair railing, inspired by the one in Chloé’s flagship Paris store. The ginko leaf console table from the vanCollier collection was a wedding gift from the Colliers. The couple purchased the zebra hide rug while on a sojourn to Singita Lebonbo Lodge in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.

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MARBLE & STONE Clockwise from top: The Colliers used the same Calacatta Vena porcelain in the master bath as they did in the kitchen for a modern but inviting design; The transitional-style home sits at the end of a quiet lane and reminded homeowner Etta Buckman of her own childhood growing up in Washington, N.C.; In the powder room, Cole & Son Fornasetti wallpaper creates an atmospheric scene for the suspended Taj Mahal marble console sink; The Mid-century sconces are from France.

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READY TO RECLAIM Hundreds of tons of materials from Triangle household recycling bins flow through this MRF each day. The pile is loaded bit by bit onto a large conveyer belt to start the sorting process.

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Behind the scenes at our local materials recycling facility


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ere in the Triangle, it’s very easy to recycle: You open that big blue bin, toss in a plastic water bottle or soup can, and walk away feeling virtuous. But what happens after you roll your bin to the curb? Where does it go, and how does it get bundled back into the raw material that manufacturers can use to make new goods? WALTER set out to investigate. We connected with Mel Gilles, education and outreach specialist for the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, who arranged a tour of one of our local Material Recovery Facilities (insiders pronounce them “murfs”). This is the spot where all the contents of your single-stream recycling bin—aka your mixed-together plastics, glass metal cans and paper—go to be sorted and baled before they’re sold to manufacturers as raw material. On the approach: a giant, active warehouse buzzing with big rigs and seagulls. Inside: mounds of materials, neon green-clad staffers and a Rube Goldberg of machines that sort the goods. Ramps, magnets, blowers and spinners move the material through one conveyer belt after another to drill down into categories (cardboard, paper, clear plastic versus colored plastic, aluminum and more) then press like materials into giant cubes called bales. Along the way, the machines get an assist from human hands, a necessary extra step to weed out the items that we—whether as “wishful recyclers” or just plain lazy ones—toss in that can’t be recovered here (some items, like steel, electronics and textiles, can still be recycled through local Convenience Centers). If those get mixed in, the bales get contaminated; too much contamination, and no one will buy them. Among the items they find and eject: garden hoses, small appliances, wire hangers, food, dead animals, clamshells and gobs of plastic bags. We caught the MRF on a slow day—they often process between 500 to 550 tons of material per day. Around the holidays, the action ramps up as people consume and discard at higher rates (another problematic item: string lights, which can wrap around gears and seize up the equipment). Up to 20 percent of the load the MRF gets from household recycling bins is not recyclable here, and a single misplaced item (say, a lawnmower blade) can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage in an instant. “We have to remind people to put trash in the right bin, not the bin that makes you feel better,” says Gilles, who’s part of a team working on statewide guidelines to reduce confusion around recycling. In the meantime, Gilles challenges us all to reduce and reuse first, before putting something into the recycling bin. Back on-site, we found a dedicated staff, many of whom have been there for a decade or more, who truly feel like they’re making a difference in the community. And if there’s one message they want you to take away, it’s this: When in doubt, throw it out!

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A SINGLE LOAD Material arrives by the truckload, about 500 tons a day. Miguel Alducin, right, is one of the loader operators who will move it into the feed line.

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WORKING THE LINE Staffers weed out trash at several points in the process. They wear long Kevlar gloves to protect their arms from sharp objects. Plastic bags are the biggest problem in the pile: they get mixed in with the paper and clog up the machinery— recycle those at the grocery store instead.

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SORTING STATION The MRF uses magnets to attract steel and repel aluminum, and puffs of air to separate different kinds of plastics. The glass is broken into bits and sold as cullet; it will be sent to another facility where the different colors will be sorted by light. Once the materials are separated, they’ll be pressed into bales.

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READY FOR MARKET At the end of the process, the materials are stacked in bales, ready to be sold. Different manufacturers will buy the bales to make them into new products like paper, product packaging and plastic bottles.

LEARN MORE You can find more information on recycling in our area at

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THE WHIRL Heba Salama Photography

WALTER’s roundup of galas, gatherings, fundraisers and just-for-fun events around the Triangle.

119 The Methodist Home for Children’s A Winter’s Tale gala 122 Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Network event at Diamond’s Direct 125 North Carolina Theatre Season Party 127 Opening Night of THE HERD 128 CATCH Me at the Casino

The Whirl is now online! Visit Submissions for upcoming issues are accepted at WALTER’s website:

DeeJay Shelly performs at CATCH Me at the Casino

APRIL 2019 | 117

Raleigh’s Urban Chic Event Venue Weddings, Receptions, Corporate Parties and Meetings Located in trendy Five Points The Fairview is charming and sophisticated, featuring a covered terrace with skyline views, arched wood barrel ceilings and space to host intimate to 500+ events.

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Amy Edwards/New Image Studio

A WINTER’S TALE The Methodist Home for Children (MHC) held its annual gala at the Raleigh Convention Center February 2. Over 600 guests gathered to support the organization that provide safe, stable homes where children and teens can thrive and live to their full potential. A MHC home is where youth and family are equipped to succeed by building on strengths, nurturing hopes and goals and preparing all in their care to imagine and shape their own futures.

Richard Morrison, Belinda Morrison, Fred Hight, Sandra Hight, George Loveland, Robert Marley, Barbara Marley, Carol Wagoner, Rob Krieg

Marcus Green, Clarissa Green, Shannon Baker, Kilt Baker

Martha Walston

Sherene Min, John Min

Jennifer Willis, Andy Willis, Jim Holmes continued on p. 121

Lee Smith Samia Seregeldin Jill McCorkle Randall Kenan

Join WALTER as we listen to celebrated authors Lee Smith and Samia Serageldin discuss their latest work Mothers and Strangers, with special guests Jill McCorkle and Randall Kenan. This insightful collection of essays challenge stereotypes about mothers and expands our notions of motherhood in the South.

JUNE 2 AT 1:00 P.M. CHATHAM STATION CARY 110 North Walker St.


clockwise from top left: Diana Mattews (SMITH); Barbara Tyroler (SERAGELDIN); Tom Rankin (MCCORKLE); Sarah Boyd (KENAN)

Book Club

THE WHIRL continued from p. 119

Amy Edwards/New Image Studio

Katherine Cloninger, Cady Thomas, Julie Murphy, Wendy Kelly, Wendy Penfield, Isabel Villa-Garcia

Kate Shoffner, Heather Brown, Steve Pemberton, Jenny Ross, Jessica Euting

Patt Witt, Joy Clayton

Janie Jordan, Betsy Jordan

Jackson Cozort, Alex Cozort, Lisa Pace
















THE WHIRL DIAMOND’S DIRECT HOSTS THE RALEIGH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S YOUNG PROFESSIONALS NETWORK BUSINESS AFTER HOURS EVENT Diamonds Direct Crabtree hosted the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Network event Business After Hours February 12. Over 100 attendees filled the Raleigh showroom for a night of food, drinks, networking and diamonds! J. Alexander’s served guests an assortment of appetizers and desserts, and Stormy, the Carolina Hurricanes’ mascot, made a special appearance. Lucky winners left with raffle prizes, including dinner for two at J. Alexanders, Carolina Hurricanes tickets and a beautiful pair of Tacori earrings.

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Tessa Gore, Laura Gallardo, Joanna Diamond, Stormy, Barak Henis


Allister Cooper

Erika Teer


Raleigh Police Chief

Best-selling author of young adult novels



Executive Director CAM Raleigh

Founder and CEO 321 Coffee

SCHEDULE 11:00 a.m.

Mocktails & Mimosas Chat and mingle with fellow WINi attendees and panelists. 12:00 p.m.

Panel Talks & Lunch Hear from our panelists while enjoying a three-course meal. 1:30 p.m.

Workshop with District C Learn to problem solve and create real world solutions.

Haley Chase

Sarah Edwards, Jack Smollen


Allie Mullin Photography

NORTH CAROLINA THEATRE SEASON PARTY North Carolina Theatre welcomed new Producing Artistic Director Eric Woodall to the North Carolina Theatre family as well as celebrated its production of Mamma Mia! February 1 at The Laurelbrook. The event was hosted by Synergy Face & Body and Catering Works, and featured performances from the cast as well as from NC Theatre Conservatory students.

Eric Woodall

Briana Ellerby, Moses T. Alexander Greene, Theresa Ellerby

Michael Phillips, Chloe Calhoun, Briana Ellerby, Maggie Hall, Lily Salyer

Bill Roberts, Dave Churchill, Anna Churchill

Sai Graham, Dawn Downing

Lauren Kennedy, Gary Milner, Eric Woodall

THE WHIRL OPENING NIGHT OF THE HERD Honest Pint Theatre Co., a nonprofit theatre company in Raleigh, held their opening night party for their latest production, THE HERD. Guests enjoyed this beautiful show about family and the difficulties of raising a child with a profound disability. Honest Pint Theatre was established in 2013, and this mark’s the company’s 9th production.

Susannah Hough

Paul Newell, Lenore Field

Susannah Hough, David Henderson

Lormarev Jones, Susannah Hough

Jess Barbour, Lenore Field, Simon Kaplan, Susannah Hough, Paul Newell, Dan Wilson

Cyn MacGregor, Larry Evans

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Heba Salama Photography

CATCH ME AT THE CASINO Events by La Fete and Parlor Blow Dry Bar partnered with The MerrimonWynne House to celebrate and raise funds at CATCH Me at the Casino November 30, 2018. The Studio 54-themed event raised $100,000 for Project CATCH, an organization committed to ending the cycle of homelessness locally. CATCH stands for Community Action Targeting Children who are Homeless and is a collaborative case management model completely unique to Wake and Lee Counties. Working with 11 area homeless shelters and programs, the organization provides services and advocates for children experiencing homelessness.

Joy Guha, Traci Farmer, Sarah Sabornie, Jennifer Tisdale

Tiffany Smith, Allison Conley, Emily Cutts

Amy Yarbrough, Casey Harris, Sarah Sabornie

Blair Whaley, Paul Hodges

Jon Boling, Jill Sonner

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Kaila Anderson

Casey Harris, Catherine Langhart


MAY 2019

8411 Glenwood Ave., Ste. 107 Raleigh, NC 27612 919-783-7100

108 E. Chatham St. Cary, NC 27511 919-467-6341

1201-J Raleigh Rd. Chapel Hill, NC 27517 919-929-1590

4209 Lassiter Mill Rd., Ste. 130 Raleigh, NC 27609 919-600-6200

Mud Day Walnut Creek Wetland Center

Inside the Craft Trophy Brewing

Mother’s Day Essays on Motherhood


“Look up! Raising your eyes awakens the sense of the sacred through light—the Light of Christ—and verticality, evoking transcendence,”

Juli Leonard

says Rev. Monsignor David Brockman, V.G., rector of Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral. Completed in 2017, the Romanesque cathedral is the largest in the North Carolina and fifth-largest in the country (you can see its copper dome rising above the trees to the west downtown Raleigh). Inside, the “simple, noble” style is designed to appeal to parishioners and visitors alike. “We get many pilgrims, people from out of state or other churches, some who are just interested in architecture,” says Brockman, who encourages anyone to step inside. “We hope that in encountering the beauty of the building, they’ll think about the author of the beauty.”

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4401 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27612

(919) 571-2881



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