Yesterday, I found an old stash of Holiday magazines from the 50′s in the back of a vintage shop. I wasn’t surprised to see more than a dozen stories on the South and Southerners–the magazine’s expressed purpose was to convey the good life, after all–but I was surprised to see how the stories and pictures managed to capture the best of Dixie society in what was undeniably not her finest or most socially conscious hour. William Faulkner paints a verbal and photographic portrait of his Mississippi in the April 1954 issue and Ovid Williams Pierce shows the diversity of North Carolina’s mountain culture (February, 1957). Not only did James Street’s portrait of Atlanta (January 1951) make me crave a Coke like I haven’t in years, it made me want to restore the South’s signature drink to its full and proper name. He refers to it repeatedly as the South’s vin de pays (freetranslation.com tells me this means “country wine”); the least I can do is drop the slang and call it Coca-Cola.
Category Archives: north carolina
I love, love, love Lissy Rosemont’s old-tymey, soulful voice and cannot wait to see her and the Junior League Band play at Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. Lissy’s from Atlanta and her family runs the annual Fiddler’s Grove fiddler’s festival in Union Grove, North Carolina. Plus, she roomed with a good friend of mine in college so in my world, she’s about as famous as they get. Now, it seems like the rest of the country’s taking note of her talent, as well. The show starts around 6:30/7pm so come after work for happy hour and be home in time to watch whatever leftover shows you’ve got in the queue.
Kudos to Virginia-born writer, Belle Boggs, who is one of the Daily Beast’s featured Best New Writers today.
The Avett Brothers are playing Radio City on October 13. Tickets go on sale TODAY. Need a more instant form of music gratification? The Punch Brothers are playing in Billyburg tonight. (PB and Chris Thile, featured in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, will also be playing at the Blackberry Farm Festival this weekend, for anyone swanky–and lucky–enough to be in that neck of the woods.)
Meet Melissa Dixson, the ethical taxidermist. She’s a conservationist, relying on non-endangered animals harvested due to overpopulation, stillborn animals and animals harvested for meat whose hunters have donated the hides. She never uses fur from fur farms in any of her work. She doesn’t kill animals or stuff them for sport, but she does view taxidermy as a way to elevate nature into art. And she wonders, if art is a trophy, isn’t taxidermy therefore a trophy of sorts, but not in the negative sense with which we’ve all been conditioned to think of it? Dixson, who was born in Chapel Hill, is the thinking (wo)man’s taxidermist, exploring our relationship to life and to nature and questioning whether death, in all its inevitability, isn’t just one of the most beautiful art forms of all. If none of that interests you in the slightest, skip the animals and go straight to her blog. In addition to beautiful pictures and objets d’art, she also features interesting readings, like this article about the link between drinking beer and attracting mosquitoes. If you’re allergic to the long-nosed vampires like Dixson and I are, you’ll appreciate the insight.
The Carolina Chocolate Drops, an old-time, all-black string trio from Durham, will be playing at the Schomberg Center for Research in Harlem on May 1. These guys (and girl) are worth checking out for a number of reasons, but here are three really good ones: 1. They’re keeping the tradition of the African-American string band alive, and infusing it with new and fresh sounds (just listen to their beat-box cover of “Hit ‘Em Up Style” and you’ll know what I mean) ; 2. They share and swap instruments, which is cool when those instruments are guitars and drums but mind-blowing when they’re fiddles, claw-hammer banjos, kazoos and jugs; and 3. In this politically charged, “post-racial” world, they weren’t afraid to name their latest album “Genuine Negro Jig.” Continue reading
On Monday mornings, I have an Olsen Twins–esque craving for coffee. I need it and the bigger the cup the better. The only problem is that coffee can make me kah-razy, especially if it’s really strong and caffeinated. So when I found Counter Culture‘s Half Caf Blend at Dean & Deluca this weekend, I was over the moon. I love the North Carolina–based beanery and its commitment to sustainability, and I’m stoked that it’s been so well received in New York. After sampling my new brew this morning, I discovered I could guzzle as much as I wanted without any of the skin-crawling jitters I usually experience. That alone makes confronting a new week a little easier to manage.
Bunny Williams (a Virginia native) is famous for harboring mad, passionate love for the 18th-century New England manor house she and her husband John Rosselli spent decades rescuing and resuscitating. Fellow Southerner-by-way-of-New York Richard Jenrette (North Carolina), co-founder of the investment banking firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, probably understands exactly how she feels. In addition to Edgewater (pictured above), which he purchased from Gore Vidal in 1969 for $125,000 (!), Jenrette has owned and restored 14 major properties, most dating back to the early 19th century. Currently, he has seven properties: Edgewater; Roper House, an 1838 Greek Revival mansion overlooking the harbor in Charleston, SC; Millford Plantation, another grand Greek Revival near my hometown, Camden, that was nearly burned during the Civil War; a third home in the Carolinas; one in St. Croix; and adjacent residences — a Georgian brick town house and a carriage house — on East 93rd Street in Manhattan.