Yonder Mountain String Band‘s bassist Ben Kaufmann has been enjoying a sense of renewal and rebirth for the last year and a half, as new additions Jacob Jolliff and Allie Kral have changed the group’s live dynamic. Added to Dave Johnston‘s plucky banjo and Adam Aijala‘s soulful guitar strumming, the five-piece is creating a fuller, more nuanced version of the band that is only now starting to hint at the incredible future they have as an ensemble.Our own Rex Thomson caught up with Kaufmann, talking with him about how the new line up is progressing, the importance of social media in music, and pushing the boundaries of their sound into new, exciting directions. Read on for the exclusive conversation.Live For Live Music: It looks like you had some fun ringing in the new year, especially with the different cover theme nights. How was the process of learning all those songs for you?Ben Kaufmann: It was awesome. It was a lot of work. We ended up doing 18 new songs that we learned over those days. So we were either rehearsing or playing for like three to five hours a day before playing. Also we had the guests, so we had to basically teach them, basically, the show. So we played a lot. But it was a really good idea. We go to play a bunch of songs we either had always really loved or in some cases songs that will be staying in rotation. We thought outside the box. There are some songs that we pulled off that…I don’t know…they really made me think that maybe there’s other ways to write music for us to play. It’s sort of inspiring to think of writing songs in the vein of the Smashing Pumpkins song we played that weekend.Yonder Mountain Covers Bowie, Stones, Dead & More At 70s Themed NYEL4LM: Like a creative filter in a way?BK: Yeah, or just sort of “Oh. I didn’t know we could play a song in that style and have it feel so good.” It’s different. It’s not bluegrass. It didn’t feel any thing like bluegrass to play it. It just worked though. I don’t know if it was because it was SO outside of the box, but it worked.It’s just another one of those quiet reminders that you don’t have to put any kind of restraints on. You don’t have to put yourself inside of a box. It’s just a good reminder that creativity is more wide open than you think it is. L4LM: Your fans, The Kinfolk, are always up to see you push the boundaries. Is this part of the material you’re getting ready for the new tour?BK: Yeah, I definitely think that it is. When we were gearing up to head out on this tour, we were talking about what songs we were gonna keep in rotation. We just got out of the studio right before we left, and we’re definitely experimenting with different sounds and plans. So those New Year’s shows did help start this conversation, musically.L4LM: A lot of bands who tour as extensively as you guys do seem to use the road as a proving ground for the new material. Will fans at these shows be getting sneak peeks to the new album?BK: Let me think. Nothing that we played over the New Years run will be on the new record. With the last record we did, Black Sheep, the majority of that was stuff that we wrote but not anything we played live.Yonder Shares Pro-Shot Video From Amazing Red Rocks PerformanceWe really kind of got off on that. I think we are gonna do our very best to approach the new record in the same way…rather than work them out onstage. So that, when it’s released, people will have ten new songs to have a first experience with. It sorta seems like a surprise that way. Like a Christmas morning.L4LM: In this age of spoilers, that seems kinda refreshing.BK: I like it. We wanna do it that way. The songs take a life of their own onstage anyway. We learned something, doing it that way, with Black Sheep. The songs take on a life of their own and you learn things about them. Sometimes after playing a song for a year, you start to rethink how you might have recorded them different.You think “Huh. Maybe we shoulda done this instead.” That’s the joy of playing in a live band. Songs can continue to grow, as you play them, and the way they are next year is not necessarily the way it’s gonna be now.L4LM: You seem like you’re due for like a live project, like a live record.BK: We’re workin’ on that. We’re gettin’ regular email requests for us to put together a list of what songs we’d want to feature. But think about it. Every show is available to any fan. Is there really any place for a specific live album any more?L4LM: Maybe not so much a show…maybe something more like a video.BK: Yeah, I think that’s where it’s at. I think that’s an area where Yonder could improve. I think it’s also a part of when we started, as a band. What you had to do, back then, is way different than what you have to do now, as far as generating content. It’s not enough anymore to let your fans tape and trade your shows, every night. You have to be constantly making videos and stuff to update your YouTube account. A band’s social media is the modern day equivalent of 15 radio station performances wrapped together in a day.You can generate more interest with one video than with thousands of interviews and on the air appearances. It’s simply a matter of time management. And having to wear different hats creatively. In this iteration of Yonder, we’re still running a lot of material for that night or new music. That takes up a lot of time, and that makes carving out some time to go do something interesting with the GoPro cameras…there’s only so many hours in the day.We can all play music…and I did go to film school…but that was twenty years ago. And wearing the creative hat, with visuals…That’s not something we’re particularly great at. We can’t exactly hire Steven Spielberg to come on tour with us…yet. It’s time consuming, but it’s important I think. It’s an area where we could improve people’s experience of us.L4LM: A lot of folks don’t look at this from a bigger picture. Yonder is more than a band, you’re a business based around traveling that employees several people. Beyond that, you’ve got wives and children back home. You HAVE to keep going. How hard is the balancing act?BK: Well..it helps that this way is the only way I’ve ever really known. I live on the tour bus six months out of the year, I live at home six months a year. To me…this IS life. This is what life looks like. Six months I get to see my son, six months I get to see my son on Skype. It depends on the day you catch me. Some days I’m just heart broken that I don’t get to see my son. Because of the way our tours work, every year I’m on the road on his birthday. I wish there was another way, but it is one of the weeks we’re working. It’s just the only way, logistically. On days like that, it’s heart breaking.At the same time, this is what I do, it’s what I’ve always done. Maybe eventually something will have to change. Maybe eventually something will happen is that makes a change necessary. But this is the only life I know. We ARE in the business of music. It’s never not being talked about. If we’re not on tour, we’re just taking a couple weeks off.I don’t know what I’d do if we took like a year off. I don’t know what I’d do. I don’t know if I would be making music or writing music like I am now. But I do know that I’m not going to have to worry about that, because it’s not going to happen. We’re always gonna be out there. This is something we’re all really enjoying. This is the way it’s gonna be.L4LM: You guys work with and host a couple festivals a year…Strings & Sol and the Northwest String Summit. Maybe part of the answer is to bring the families to those kinds of events, kill two birds with one stone.BK: Festivals are a great way to bring the families out. I’m often asked by people who’ve never seen the inside of a tour bus “Do you ever bring your family on the road with you?” I wanna ask them back “Are you fucking crazy?” A tour bus is no place for a child. Or a wife. Maybe for a day…but on tour? No, that’s insane.Strings & Sol, that one screams family vacation. String Summit as well. String Summit is one of the most family friendly events in the country. But again, something like that…it’s a great opportunity for family to show up…but we’re still working. We are going over music for hours, we’re working with our guests, we’re playing our side sets. It is still a workday for me and the rest of the musicians. The families can come out, but it still ends up being mom’s job to watch the kids, ’cause daddy has some work to do. Home is the place for hanging out with the family.L4LM: You’re well past the “New and Dangerous” stage with Allie and Jake. Has anything surprised you musically as you’ve gelled with them?BK: The things that I saw or identified about them early on that were sort of my instincts about them have just been solidified. Like Jacob. The first time I ever heard him play music I could identify that he was one of the best mandolin players on the planet. I could see folks like David Grisman and Sam Bush in quiet conversation like school girls talking about Jacob and how amazing he is. And how not only does he have the right technique, about how he plays it right. To see two of the modern masters of the instrument basically gushing over how good he is…yeah…I feel like that just sorta solidifies what I thought. He’s one of the best ever.And Allie…the thing that I’ve felt from the very beginning…from over the course of YEARS… she has something that I don’t know if you can develop. She just has this thing…you’re born with it. She’s the type of person, of personality, of performer…where it’s her turn to play a solo, and she hasn’t even played a note yet…and the audience is going crazy. They’re totally invested in her, in what she’s gonna do. I see it happen every night with her. She hasn’t even played a note yet, and the audience is going crazy.Something about her resonates with the audience. It’s something about her, about her talent, that’s just so rare. It’s an X factor I don’t have. It’s something to puzzle over. It’s something way more than “What note is she gonna play?” It’s an energy. She is operating at a different level than technique or style. I am in awe. It’s something ever so slighty divine.It’s something I can’t understand with my brain…It’s something I understand with my heart. That in Allie is as impressive to me as Jacob’s technical ability and creativity on the mandolin. Maybe you can learn to be as good as them, by practicing endlessly. You have to have been playing like that since you were seven. You gotta be inspired to never stop playing, to keep working at it. But then again, with Allie…she has obviously put in all the time in the world, but then she has that whole other thing.So there’s one answer to your question. The other surprises have been watching them find their home in Yonder Mountain, and what Yonder does. It was rough. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, what they saw when they joined the band. All of a sudden Allie and Jake come in. I knew they were gonna catch a lot of hell. It’s a tough gig to step into.In that situation, I’d recommend to not read anything on the internet ever again. Stay away from the web then, ’cause people can be fucking awful. We’re all for the most part pretty sensitive beings. Whatever creative thing you’re trying to do, you don’t want it pissed all over. But watching them find a home, musically speaking, in this project, has been really good.L4LM: From the very beginning, Yonder brought a jam band aesthetic to your bluegrass sound. Is that still the mission statement of Yonder 2.0?BK: I’m in a band that’s like fifteen or sixteen years old, but also only like a year and a half old. It’s a weird sort of place to be in. I started trying to imagine the first iteration of Yonder, and what we were doing in the first part of our existence. I realized…we were just starting to experiment what it meant to be a jam band that was trying to be a bluegrass band. When we started out, we were just playing bluegrass. We were writing stuff that sounded like bluegrass. That was very much what we were trying to do. We were trying to be a bluegrass band. That was the starting point. That was the common language.And now, flash forward…this version of Yonder is a very much a new thing. But again, we began with bluegrass. That’s the common ground we are starting from again. As we started again, that’s the parallel I found. The whole styles are shifting towards the bluegrass. It’s only after you log miles together, when you play all these shows and you play these songs ten or fifteen times that the improvisation really begins. You learn each others styles, their intentions. You learn to trust and anticipate how they’ll respond when you suggest something musically. That’s something that develops over time.It’s a good thing for me to remind myself of, because if you just think “I’m gonna take these two new pieces, get them in the band and presto! We’ll be jamming” It doesn’t work that way. It simply doesn’t. It takes more time than that, it takes repetition. More learning about each other so I know what they’re gonna do when I throw that weird rhythm in. What are their instincts when we really go out on a limb. Jamming…you never know what’s going to happen next. You are on the razors edge, musically, and that’s the most exciting place, musically.Anything can happen and there’s no safety net. I’m gonna throw this in there and we’ll see how everyone reacts. It’s awesome when it works, but it’s also scary. That’s when the train can crash. That’s something I am reminding myself…the really compelling jam bands have been doing this together for a while. And even they aren’t as fluid as they will be ten years from now. And that’s an exciting thing to realize. That means there’s this huge area that we’re gonna get to be a part of. That’s there’s this huge area of development in our future. And that’s exciting to me.L4LM: So I guess each new tour is a source of anticipation for you, musically.BK: It’s awesome. We can’t wait to see where the music takes us.L4LM: Well, thanks for taking some time form the tour to chat with us! Can’t wait to see you out there!BK: Thank you. See ya soon!Catch Yonder out on the road at any or all of the shows to come! You won’t be disappointed!
The new Sarah L. Krizmanich telescope atop Notre Dame’s Jordan Hall of Science will soon bring planets and stars from galaxies far, far away within reach of Notre Dame students and faculty members, physics professor Peter Garnavich said. “It’s pretty impressive, and I’ve seen a lot of telescopes,” Garnavich said. “I’ve been, as many of us have been, waiting for a long time for this telescope. It’s very exciting now that it’s arrived, and it hasn’t disappointed.” The latest addition to Jordan Hall’s cutting-edge technology will allow physics professors and undergraduates alike to investigate distant stars and galaxies with unprecedented ease and clarity, associate physics professor Chris Howk said. “The idea is that undergraduates who are taking advanced astrophysics courses will be able to come up here and do projects with this telescope,” Howk said. “Upper-level undergraduates, mostly physics majors, who are doing their own observational experiments will be able to come up here and use this.” Computer scientists and other non-physics majors could also benefit from the telescope and from the experience of using the device, Garnavich said. “We are providing a telescope which is very much like the cutting-edge professional telescopes around the world,” he said. “In fact, this is a professional telescope. And the goal really is to be able to train our students to use the bigger telescopes. “We hope to have a set up so that almost anyone that has some experience with telescopes can use it.” Howk said three light-collecting mirrors make up the telescope and work collectively to focus and direct the light from distant stars. That light creates an image astronomers can view either with an eyepiece or a digital camera. “The primary mirror is 32 inches across, and that makes it one of the biggest in the whole state, certainly one of the biggest on a campus in the state,” Howk said. Garnavich said finding a telescope with a large primary mirror was a priority, even though the device had to be compact enough to fit in a 14-foot circular dome on the Jordan Hall rooftop. “My goal was always to get the largest aperture telescope we could possibly afford,” he said. “The bigger, the better. More light-collecting area for the mirror means more stars you can see, fainter stars, more galaxies. It just opens up a lot more volume of the universe.” A specialized image collector called a charge couple device (CCD) will be added to the telescope in the coming weeks, Garnavich said. “It’s sort of like a monster camera similar to the things that are in your cell phone and everything else,” Howk said. “What we want to do is be able to see with very low light and low noise.” The CCD, along with wiring to the dome aperture that is still in the works, will also allow students and professors to control and look through the telescope remotely. “In theory, we can be at home at three o’clock in the morning when the telescope frees up,” Garnavich said. “Then we can sit in our pajamas and observe, then close it up at the end of the night.” Howk said the device, which was donated by the Krizmanich family, will give students and professors more freedom to test new ways of using telescopes and collecting data. “The skies in South Bend aren’t necessarily known for their clarity, but the types of things you can do are ones where you either need to experiment, because you aren’t sure it’s going to work, or you need to have access to a part of the sky over a long period of time,” he said. The physics department dedicated the telescope Sept. 20 and used it for the first time Friday, Howk said. “We looked at what’s called a planetary nebula. It’s a little fuzzy ball of gas in most telescopes, but most telescopes are smaller than this,” Garnavich said. “When we looked at it, it was spectacular. It looked brighter and more distinct than I’ve ever seen it before with the naked eye through a telescope.” Howk said the physics department hopes to inspire students to use the telescope for individual research. “The important thing is that ultimately this is really for the students,” Howk said. “For the students to be able to come out here and say ‘Wow I get to use this thing,’ and for it to be their telescope, that’s pretty powerful stuff.”
Starting next year, Pangborn Hall will serve as an interim housing for undergraduate women before they transition to the new women’s dorm opening in the fall of 2020, Heather Rakoczy Russell, associate vice president for Residential Life, announced in a statement Friday. “Residential Life is seeking at least 30 current undergraduate women [rising seniors, juniors and sophomores] who would choose to transfer to Pangborn for 2019-2020, and then we would assign another 70 new students (incoming first-year and transfer students) to round out the community,” Russell said in the statement. Moving these students into Pangborn will both ease overcrowding in women’s halls and prepare a community for the new dorm, Russell said. Pangborn is anticipated to hold anywhere from 100 to 131 residents. Russell said Residential Life is offering several incentives to women to transfer into the dorm. The first 10 seniors who apply to transfer, as well as resident assistants, are guaranteed singles. The first 10 juniors who apply are also guaranteed singles, and the first 10 sophomores who apply are guaranteed housing. The $500 per-semester fee for all singles will be waived for students who choose to transfer to Pangborn.The lottery number for room picks will be “tied to application order,” Russell said in the statement.Pangborn is expected to offer 15 doubles as singles for seniors, 10 additional singles, 40 doubles, three two-room quads, two three-room quads, two two-room triples as well as study rooms, a fitness area and community space.Students who want to transfer into Pangborn can apply in the Home Under the Dome portal starting Feb. 11. Tags: dorm features, new women’s hall, Pangborn, residential life
GasBuddy Annual Travel Survey finds 65% of Americans traveling by car for the holidays; 30% say gas prices are impacting their travel plansVermont Business Magazine GasBuddy, the smartphone app helping consumers avoid paying full price for fuel, today projects the national average gasoline price for Thanksgiving will be at its highest since 2014. While it may lead to some complaints — 30% of Americans saying high prices are impacting their plans — it won’t slow them down much, with a 7% rise in motorists on the road for Thanksgiving versus last year. Vermont prices today are averaging $2.62 per gallon, the same as a week ago but 15 cents lower than last year.GasBuddy projects the national average gas price this Thanksgiving will be $2.56 per gallon, a penny higher than last year. The national average has seen a smaller decline since October than usual, part of the reason for the higher prices this Thanksgiving versus last year. While prices have averaged a 10-cent decline from October to mid-November over the last decade, this year has seen a decline of just 5 cents over the same time frame. Prices are highest in northern Vermont and lowest in southern Vermont. Nationally, the South has the lowest prices and the West has the highest.“Change is hard, but when it comes to Thanksgiving, many things this year won’t be changing. First, expect the mediocre Detroit Lions and their fans, including me, to suffer for a third straight Thanksgiving Day. Second, expect the national average price of gasoline to be in the $2.50s for the third straight Thanksgiving. And third, expect average gas prices to drop between now and Christmas, giving motorists something extra to be thankful for,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.According to GasBuddy’s Annual Holiday Travel Survey, 30% of participants said high gas prices were impacting their travel plans, a 2% decrease from last year. 2019 is expected to see a 7% increase in travelers on the road for Thanksgiving compared to 2018, with more than half of drivers having 1-2 passengers in the car with them. Nearly one fifth of drivers expect to spend 4-6 hours in the car. Getting ahead of the holiday expenses, more than two-thirds of consumers will be using a loyalty or cash back program to save money or earn rewards when they fill-up for their Thanksgiving trip.The top considerations when choosing which station to stop at are 1) location 2) the price of gasoline and 3) the brand of gasoline. A shift in travel sentiment compared to last year: drivers are less concerned about the brand of fuel and putting more emphasis on location and price.GasBuddy offers several money-saving tips for motorists on the road this holiday season:The Day of the Week Matters. GasBuddy has analyzed gas price data year-over-year and found that Monday offers the lowest average gas price in 30 states, making it the best day to fill-up. The day with the most expensive average gas prices: Friday.Pay with GasBuddy. A free payments service(link is external) that offers at least 5 cents off per gallon on every fill-up at thousands of gas stations nationwide. Drivers can save upwards of $10 per tank when used with the GasBuddy app during their holiday travels. Don’t Drive Like a Maniac. Aggressive driving habits like speeding, rapid acceleration and braking as they can cost drivers up to an extra $477 per year in fuel consumption. Drivers in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Sacramento, Calif. are the most aggressive drivers in the country according to a recent GasBuddy study(link is external).Embrace the ‘Fuel-i-days’: GasBuddy’s Fuel-i-days celebration is bringing more than $30 billion in gasoline savings to Americans this holiday season. Participants will effortlessly get free gas when going about holiday activities like shopping for gifts and finding a parking spot. Follow @GasBuddy on Facebook(link is external) and Twitter(link is external) to get the latest updates. *Thanksgiving travel period defined as Wed. – Sun. during the week of Thanksgiving. GasBuddy’s Annual Holiday Travel Survey was taken by 500 respondents Oct. 1 – 4, 2019.About GasBuddyGasBuddy’s mission is to help consumers avoid paying full price for fuel. As the leading source for crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, millions of drivers use the GasBuddy app and website every day to find gas station convenience stores based on fuel prices, location and ratings/reviews. GasBuddy’s first-of-its-kind fuel savings program, Pay with GasBuddy, has saved Americans more than $10 million at the pumps since its launch in 2017. The company’s business solutions suite, GasBuddy Business Pages, provides Fuel Marketers and Retailers their best opportunity to maintain their station information, manage their brand, and promote to their target consumer audience. For more information, visit http://www.gasbuddy.com. (link is external)Source: BOSTON — 11.19.2019. GasBuddy
Barry Glantz in The Studios 24’s debut Wolverhampton schemeSource: The Studios 24The scheme, a converted office tower formerly occupied by collapsed construction firm Carillion, will have 218 en-suite rooms as well as shared kitchens, working and relaxation areas, a café and bar, a gym and a laundry.Fifty-five rooms have already been completed and let, and the rest of the scheme is scheduled for completion by spring 2020. Now the firm is looking to expand its model to other cities.Property Week spoke to The Studios 24’s managing director, Barry Glantz, to find out why he is so confident that the co-living market will work in the regions, and where the company will be looking for its next projects.Glantz was previously a director at Willowacre, a prime property company that has developed housing worth £200m in central London. He became interested in co-living around 2015, when his daughter was at university and he realised that while the student accommodation market was doing well, there was gap in the market for people leaving university and embarking on their first jobs.Regional opportunity“Student accommodation is very well funded and all the big investors are in it,” he says. “But I thought: what is there for people in their 20s when they leave university or move to another city? The options weren’t that great.”Around the same time, Glantz became aware of The Collective’s scheme in Old Oak, London – the first co-living development in the country to be completed. But he was not interested in the capital.“I have 30 years’ experience of doing developments in and around London, but I decided to look further afield,” says Glantz. “The fact is that the yield is there in the Midlands – you are looking at yields on two-bed flats of around 8% to 9% and on [the kind of accommodation] we are doing the yields can be even greater, which means we can offer people a better way of living.” Source: The Studios 24The building on Birch Street in Wolverhampton was selected as the first project for The Studios 24, which is backed by Assetz Capital. The 80,000 sq ft property was built in the 1960s for building materials company Tarmac and was Carillion’s headquarters until 2015, but has since lain vacant.The Studios 24 took a 125-year lease on the site and Glantz says he wants to replicate this model with other vacant or under-used commercial buildings. He says there are lots of opportunities of this nature, although he concedes that they might be pipped by for-sale developers on some schemes.Small city vision“We’re going to be looking for landlords with buildings that have been neglected and do not quite work for an office refurbishment or conversion into flats for sale,” he says. “If we can make it work for an 80,000 sq ft office building in Wolverhampton we can make it work anywhere.”The most high-profile co-living schemes that have been developed in the UK so far are in major cities such as London and Manchester, but Glantz is confident that they can work in smaller cities too. “Coventry, Leicester, Plymouth, Southampton, Cardiff – these sort of cities could do really well out of co-living,” he says.“There are always young people who have got jobs and are looking to move house or leave home – they might not be earning London wages but we just need to price it at a level that works for them,” he says.Rents at the Wolverhampton scheme are £600 per month including bills and council tax. Glantz accepts that given the transient nature of this target market, tenants may not stick around for long – and says the building will provide the flexibility to accommodate this. “We anticipate that people will only stay for nine months or so. It is easy to come in and then leave,” he says.Given the demand for flexibility and affordability among the younger generation, whatever city they live in, it seems that The Studios 24 could be on to a winner.
Short story writer and novelist, Sande Boritz Berger, who grew up on the south shore of Long Island, completed the MFA program in writing and literature from Stony Brook Southampton College, where she was awarded the Deborah Hecht Memorial Prize in Fiction. For years, she has also attended the Stony Brook Southampton summer writing program.A strong advocate of writing groups, she kept going to workshops even as her career path took her into scriptwriting and video producing. In “Split-Level,” she returns to her first and continuing passion — fiction — and a reader can see how decades writing for the mass media and exposure to “amazing writers” in the MFA program have informed her novels. Boritz Berger has a good ear for dialogue, especially the internal kind. In “Split-Level,” her first-person protagonist, self-aware, attractive but insecure, has conversations with herself. Little does she realize how life-shattering they will become. And little does the reader anticipate how it will all turn out.Alex Pearl, a young wife and mother and occasional painter living in suburban New Jersey, appears to be happily married to Donny, her teenage sweetheart, and deliciously in love with their two young daughters, though she allows her brash-talking good friend Rona to intimidate her daily on the phone, especially about shopping and decorating: “How can I so easily distinguish each Modigliani, a Manet from a Monet, but remain pathetically lost on chuck roast, tenderloin, and filet?”Alex also defers to her good-looking, restless, and frustrated husband who defers to his father, having given up hopes to make it in music, his love, in order to continue the family business: manufacturing high-end brassieres. In other words, Alex is settled into traditional marriage and motherhood, though she warily observes the failings of her own parents’ marriage.But wait: Boritz Berger sets her tale in the 1970s when, as readers of a certain age recall, the swinging ’60s seduced many young people into thinking they could make the earth move by way of sexual and political revolution. Not a time to be in the bra business, for sure, but also, as Alex discovers slowly and fearfully, not a time to count on traditions or conventions (religious and societal) to counter the influence of Woodstock.“The post-Nixon era was a time of great change,” the author says, “a shake-up of sorts when people took their government and maybe even lives for granted” and saw everything shift, creating “instability and mistrust . . . The changes affected families, marriages, jobs, and our country’s future.” Be happy was the mantra, be “free.” As a married neighbor says to Alex, “It’s certainly tough work, staying home and raising kids, plus I hear the pay is lousy.” The neighbor is Charlie Bell, who’s sexy as well as sympathetic.Even if Alex seems a passive player in the counter culture seeping its bohemian way into “split-level” life — the title obviously symbolizes suburban house and home — she does smoke pot and follows the beat of funk and rock. Still, when she realizes that her husband may have a roving eye (and more), her instinct is a couple’s retreat dedicated to marriage counseling — scenes Bortiz-Berger explores with humor and pathos. She knows how to make character change credible, avoid cliché, and integrate the complexities of desire, guilt, and mistrust. She also enjoys crafting steamy sex scenes.In light of the #MeToo movement and advances women have made in the workplace and in defining and refining their personal identities, “Split-Level” takes on special significance, especially considering how Boritz Berger resolves her plot complications. Although the author has said that today, unlike the 1970s, women today feel support with other women, “making us more cohesive and less fearful to ask for what we want and to express what we cannot accept: the unacceptable,” she knows that women still find themselves in complicated, often guilt-ridden relationships if not with spouses, then with parents and grown children. This is especially true for single mothers, who have split from, or have been split off by, their partners. Marriage has always been challenging, Boritz Berger says. Women struggle and much still gets put on hold “sometimes for many years, sometimes, forever.”“Split-Level” is certain to engage discussion in the kind of workshops or book clubs the author has enjoyed, both for its cultural history as well as for how she uses style and structure to represent the ’70s in a way that resonates for our own day. Share
Amid a slew of storefronts closed down in the village of Southampton, a restaurant opens that gives locals and tourists alike a hope for a thriving village, and something new to boast about.Michael Gluckman, whose prior establishments include Boathouse, Madison and Main, and Service Station, has teamed up with chef partner John Sagadraca and managing partner, Hillary Steedle, to open The Tackle Box, a year-round establishment taking over the former space of Little Red. With a beautiful outdoor area, the family-friendly venue has lawn benches, outdoor swings, and a lounge set up, all tucked under an awning and hidden by hedges. The interior layout hasn’t been changed from the former tenant, but has been painted blue, with sea boat rope, pictures of surfers, and all things nautical, making it casual yet comfortable.And then there’s the food. Sagadraca’s studied at the Culinary Institute of America and has worked at Michelin-starred Daniel, Bar Boulud, Colonie, and Chez Moi, to name a few.The raw bar sampler, including violet cove oysters with uni from Orient Point, little neck clams, and cocktail shrimp with tomato, cucumber, onion, and jalapeños — a personal favorite.Next, two lobster rolls sitting side by side. Sagadraca puts a spin on the typical New England-style choices and offers one with hot uni butter and the other wasabi sesame, both of which proved to be equally as rewarding as they were creative.Following that were two dishes that would possibly be served as my last dying meal at sea: charred Spanish octopus with chorizo and smashed fingerling potatoes, and seared local sea scallops with Long Island sweet corn succotash. Dessert included a key lime pie and chocolate cake. All cocktails are made with fresh juices and, for the eco-friendly diner, all straws are made of actual straw.The menu rotates every other week, always providing what’s fresh, local, and inventive. Based off of the tasting I experienced, I have no doubt that every dish will have seafood lovers leaving entirely satisfied. Opened for lunch and dinner seven days a week, The Tackle Box offers a daily happy hour from 3:30 to 6:30 PM that includes $5 beer, $7 wine, $10 house cocktails, $1 clams, and $1.50 Conscience Point local oysters.The Tackle Box is located at 76 Jobs Lane in Southampton. Call 631-488-4240. See the full menu at [email protected] Share
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Press release, November 27, 2013; Image: Strategic Marine Strategic Marine announced today it is constructing two marine infrastructure fabrication projects in its Vietnam shipyard. Both projects are for Australian clients.The company will build three 60-metre pontoons and three 90-metre gangways for application in Gladstone Port Corporation’s new tug base and three Buoyant Actuators for Carnegie Wave Energy’s renewable wave energy and desalination project off the coast of Perth.“We have been developing our general fabrication capability over the last few years,” said Reece Newbold, Group Business Development Manager, “with the clear intention to show our mettle in the construction of modules for the Marine & Civil Infrastructure, Mining, and Oil & Gas markets.”Strategic Marine’s head office is in Western Australia, and with the Australian mining boom previously in full swing, the decision was made to mount a concerted effort to showcase the cost benefits of building in Vietnam coupled with the use of expert local and Australian project management teams.In the last two years, the company has secured and successfully completed several projects on both the Western and Eastern seaboards of Australia.
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