Serving Bucks, Hunterdon and Mercer Counties February 2012

Babies Delivered with Tender Loving Care
Gift Wrapping Optional
Feel confdent and comfortable knowing our team of
fve obstetrical physicians are here to deliver your baby.
Make the right choice. Call for an appointment today.
Babies Delivered with Tender Loving Care
Gift Wrapping Optional
Jean O. FiTzGeraLD, MD • ViVian Yeh, MD • CarOLYn ianieri, DO
nesTOr i. senDzik, MD • Tuan a. Le, MD
708 Shady Retreat Rd., Suite 7, Doylestown, PA 18901
215.340.2229 • www.doylestownwomenshealth.com
Most Insurances Accepted • Evening Hours
dTown GiftWrap.indd 1 1/25/12 7:40:38 PM
194 W. Ashland Avenue
Doylestown, PA 18901
(215) 340-1003
www.thefreighthouse.net
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Meet Your Friends at the Best Happy Hour in Town!
5 – 7 Weekdays! Then Stay for Dinner!
Wednesday and Friday
Join us for Piano Music
provided during the dinner
hour by Dave Gustafson!
6 – 10 pm
Friday and Saturday
Relax, Refresh and Unwind
Join us for dinner, stay for
the dancing or make FH
your last stop of the Night!
Late Night - 10 to close
Dancing with DJ
Sunday
Philly Sports – Special
menu & pricing during
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Great TV’s – Great People!
Warm up on chilly nights!
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Every Night! Join friends and colleagues in our Heated Tent on the Deck!
Big City Dining in the Heart of Doylestown
194 W. Ashland Avenue
Doylestown, PA 18901
(215) 340-1003
www.thefreighthouse.net
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Hyves
Meet Your Friends at the Best Happy Hour in Town!
5 – 7 Weekdays! Then Stay for Dinner!
Wednesday and Friday
Join us for Piano Music
provided during the dinner
hour by Dave Gustafson!
6 – 10 pm
Friday and Saturday
Relax, Refresh and Unwind
Join us for dinner, stay for
the dancing or make FH
your last stop of the Night!
Late Night - 10 to close
Dancing with DJ
Sunday
Philly Sports – Special
menu & pricing during
games.
Great TV’s – Great People!
Warm up on chilly nights!
Fire Pit lit each night at dusk!
Every Night! Join friends and colleagues in our Heated Tent on the Deck!
Big City Dining in the Heart of Doylestown
Got a soft spot for
a good burger?
Go online at dtownmag.com to vote
for your local favorite today!
BUSINESS… p. 22
Publisher:
Pearson Publishing
Editor-in-Chief:
Justin Elson
Managing Editor:
Jack Firneno
Art Director:
Paul Rowlands
Photography:
Wendy McCardle
Contributing Writers:
Justin Elson
Jack Firneno
Carla Merolla Odell
Rich Pietras
Julia Weber
Kyle Bagenstose
Corinne Pulsinelle
Megan McClure
Distribution Manager:
Tom Cormican
Graphic Designer:
Lyndsay Jurema
Sales Manager:
Kevin Noone
To advertise, contact us at
215.896.2767 or via email at
info@dtownmag.com.
For all editorial content, contact
us at editor@dtownmag.com.
MUSIC
Striking a Chord With Romance ........................... 16
BUSINESS
Estetiks Sneaker and Clothing Boutique .............. 22
ARTIST
Laura Muraco ....................................................... 26
HOME
Avoid the Construction Blues .............................. 34
SPOTLIGHT
Shannon Presti ..................................................... 41
A CLOSER LOOK
Love Dot Com ...................................................... 42
A CLOSER LOOK
On Stage in the Digital Age .................................. 50
FOOD & DINING
J. Scones ............................................................. 58
BACKPAGE
I (heart) Cupcakes ................................................. 62
CONTENTS
ARTIST
Laura Muraco… p. 26
dtownmag.com / 7
1
2
3
4
8 / AROUND TOWN / FEBRUARY 2012
Around Town
1. Kim Metallo, owner of
Twentytwentyseven, models her unique
hair pieces and headbands with friends
Anya Skapura and Danielle Messina
at the Freight House in Doylestown.
2. The Connelly Family enjoying a family
meal at the Freight House.
3. Stasia Kanriga, owner of Love Saves the
Day in New Hope, relaxing outside with
Dr. Ty Culiner.
4. Rob Worth and Lisa Carmichael at the
Amber Inn.
5. Jim Kerrigan posing with a recent issue
of dtown in front of the Petronas Towers
in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
6. Dmitry Gelfand and Oksana Iourkiv taking
a winter stroll through Tyler State Park.
5
6
dtownmag.com / 9
42 East State Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
267-247-5567
www.lifeontheleash.com
Organic food, natural
treats, unique toys and
supplies for your furry
best friend.
Dogs Welcome
10 / DOG OF THE MONTH / FEBRUARY 2012
BREED: FRENCH BULLDOG / AGE: 10 MONTHS OLD
OWNERS: HEATHER, ALVIN, MIKE AND RYAN WALTON
Murphy
Like a four-legged Mick Jagger or
Marilyn Monroe, some dogs have “it,”
those intangible traits that draw
attention anywhere they go. One look
at Murphy and it’s a sure bet you’ll see
why he possesses that same X factor.
He’s even managed to garner a fan
club of sorts.
On Murphy’s many walks through
Doylestown, he makes it a point to visit
all the shop owners, who keep a bowl
of water at the ready. In turn, he gets
a delicious treat for his loyalty. And
since Murphy seems to make new
friends wherever he goes – both human
and canine alike – passersby often stop
to meet him. Perhaps it’s his distinctive
ears or unique blue-fawn coat that
draw the crowds. But no matter what
it is, Murphy revels in the attention.
Holiday House Pet Resort is proud to offer every dtown Dog of the Month
2 nights of free lodging and a premium bath.
When not out and about, Murphy
fnds plenty of time for snuggling.
Of course, should someone want to
“wrestle,” he’s always game. But when
playtime is over, Murphy pursues
another passion: naps. But beware.
His snoring, it’s said, is loud enough
to make the Walton’s house rattle.
BREED: FRENCH BULLDOG / AGE: 10 MONTHS OLD
OWNERS: HEATHER, ALVIN, MIKE AND RYAN WALTON
Set Your Home Apart
from the Ordinary
Call 215.348.8681
215-794-1900
3336 Durham Road (Rt 413)
Mechanicsville, PA 18934
Shop online at
copperlanternlighting.com
The Art of Distinctive
Handcrafted Lighting.
Bucks County’s
Source For
Veterinary Care
Set Your Home Apart
from the Ordinary
Call 215.348.8681
We Are Celebrating
25 Years!
Restaurant • Bar • Comedy Cabaret
Happy Hour 4 - 6 pm Monday thru Friday
1/2 price on all Drinks & Appetizers at the Bar & Tables!
pocos.com
(215) 348.3424 | 625 N Main St Doylestown
Live comedy every Friday & Saturday night
comedycabaret.com
(215) 345.5653
Two Words...
Nice.
Before
and After.
Get a sneak peak at your new little bundle and start that
baby book a bit early.
We are now offering 3D/4D ultrasound imaging in our Doylestown
office. Call our office for further details and appointment times.
The Pavilion at Doylestown Hospital
599 West State Street, Suite 301
Doylestown, PA 18901
215-489-2066
www.buckscountyobgyn.com
Scott A. Dinesen, D.O., F.A.C.O.G.
Melanie R.Ware, D.O.
Kamela King, P.A.C.
Janice Kerr, A.R.D.M.S.
Purchase a personalized
commemorative gear and
get 10% off your membership.
Visit buckskids.org for details.
Look,
it’s here!
500 UNION SQUARE, NEW HOPE, PA
BUCKSKIDS.ORG 215.693.1290
Now booking birthday parties!
Bucks County's First
Children's Museum




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16 / MUSIC / FEBRUARY 2012
BY JACK FIRNENO
PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOHNNY PENA, MARC WHITAKER AND ILLINOIS
Turn on any radio station or fip through
your iPod. Odds are the majority of the
songs you hear and see are about love
in some form or another. But with so
many out there, what makes a great
love song – the kind people choose for
weddings or remind them of their own
love lives, for better or worse? To fnd
the answer, dtown spoke with song-
writers, musicians and producers to fnd
out what goes on behind the scenes.
The Panel
Singer-songwriter Christy Jefferson
has played her songs for thousands at
music festivals and sporting events, on
television and on the East-Coast college
circuit. In 2011, she took her work
abroad, touring the Falkland Islands
and England. This year, she’s focusing
more on teaching voice, piano, guitar
and songwriting from her studio
in Bucks County.
Chris Archibald and drummer J.P.
Kuyper of the Doylestown-based band
Illinois have covered the good, the bad
and the ugly when it comes to love.
Their previous release, The Adventures
Striking a
Chord With
Romance
The Makings of Great Love Songs
Christy Jefferson looks deep and searches
her soul when crafting her own brand of love-
inspired songs.
of Kid Catastrophe, was culled from
hundreds of songs the band wrote and
made major waves in the indie-rock
scene upon its release in 2009. Their
upcoming album, distilled from over
700 demos, promises to do the same.
Award-winning music producer and
manager Steve Muhic “relays the human
condition in four-and-a-half minutes
or less – preferably to a good beat.” The
Bucks-County native, currently located
in California, has worked with musicians
ranging from R&B to indie rock and
contributes audio work to television
shows and web series’. He’s currently
developing his own television show
and is planning his frst project to
perform and release his own songs.
How should a good love song make
the listener feel?
» Archibald: My favorites are the
ones that make you feel vulnerable.
It’s like pillow talk. Those moments
where time kind of pauses and you’re
at the mercy of something else.
That’s what love is. It’s when you
MUSIC
Producer Steve Muhic casts love songs across
genres, encompassing different styles while
maintaining a singular vibe.
Chris Archibald (second from right) and J.P.
Kuyper (far right) of Illinois are no strangers
to love songs.
people will fll in the blanks and
choose their own path.
» Jefferson: I like to use opposites. For
any subject but especially love. It’s
important to get the whole picture.
When there’s something beautiful,
you use black and white to color it.
Love and fear, beauty and ugliness.
Complimentary ideas will make
a song well-rounded.
» Muhic: It depends on the genre.
In modern pop, there are lots of
colorful metaphors. In R&B, hip-hop
and soul, the best songs are direct
and literal. Ultimately, you’re giving
a glimpse into just one aspect of love,
a detail that you’ve harped on and
said in a way that no one else has.
You can’t cover the entire emotion
in three minutes.
Is there anything that necessarily has
to happen musically?
» Muhic: You have to create emotion
and energy. Otherwise, the song will
fall fat.
dtownmag.com / 17
frst hear a song, and it could make
you drive off the road or miss a turn.
Just that vibe.
» Muhic: Coming from the sadder side
of things, that comfort or camaraderie.
A good love song gives voice to an
otherwise mute emotion; the artist
has given voice to something we all feel.
» Kuyper: The songs I listen to over
and over are the ones that stir up
feelings of people I’ve known in the
past or present. For all we know, the
guy could be singing about his dog,
but it’s what you perceive it to be
about that’s important. Happy or sad,
it will tell a story that speaks to you.
What lyrical elements do you look for
in a great love song?
» Archibald: I go specifc. You want
people to be able to relate and say,
“I swear that happened to me.”
That’s why couples have “our song”
about going down the shore or
something they did together. If what
you write is close to their experience,
» Kuyper: Dynamics are very important.
You want to hit harder on the choruses,
things like that. As a drummer, less
is more here. The most important
parts are the lyrics and the melody
in a love song. Everything else is just
background.
» Jefferson: The actual performance
has to be intense and authentic. It’s
like acting. The person or group has
to have gone deeply to the root of
the place where the song comes from.
You have to fnd the energy that
exists there and capture it on tape.
What clichés or overused ideas do you
avoid in a love song?
» Jefferson: Generally, if it’s been
written, it shouldn’t be written
again. Come up with a different
way of saying what you want to say.
There are infnite possibilities.
» Kuyper: A lot of today’s mainstream
music is saturated with sexual
songs, especially in R&B and hip-hop.
There’s not much emotion in it. I was
listening to some country guy sing
about going to a bar, picking up a girl
and bringing her home. That’s kind
of weak, too.
» Muhic: I can’t even think of any,
because I block them out [laughs].
I hear some Top-40 stuff that’s so
cliché, but it rhymes so they use it.
It doesn’t give me anything to feel
good or bad about.
How natural is it for you to write love
songs as opposed to other topics?
» Muhic: I have the most fun writing
and producing lost-love or love-gone-
wrong songs. When you’re feeling
bad, that’s when you’re questioning –
Is anybody out there? Does anyone
understand? When I need to hear
those songs – and it’s a guy singing –
it’s a big brother feeling. You’re not
alone. If it’s a female, there’s empathy
and compassion.
» Archibald: I’m always throwing the
“L” word in there. It doesn’t have to
be a romantic or relationship kind of
love. It can be a John Lennon peace-
on-earth kind of love. I usually start
my songs with the titles, and they
always have love in them.
» Jefferson: It’s pretty natural, because
in my spiritual perspective, the
baseline of everything is love. The
thoughts and characters you create
and the metaphors you use, they are
always going to root back down into
that rich, organic soil that is love.
What are some of your favorite
love songs?
» Jefferson: Beautiful Day by U2. I saw
them a few months ago, and there
was nothing like thousands of people
singing it. The energy of the crowd
was amazing. It’s a love of living
for the moment. We Belong by Pat
Benatar. Not a cookie-cutter love
song but I love the performance and
the intensity with which she sang
it. There’s this compelling intensity
that sweeps me away every time. It
stirs up deep emotions about loving
humanity. And it may sound cheesy
but I absolutely love Christmas songs,
the feeling of family and people
coming together. And the story itself
is so profound. There’s no deeper love
than that of God and Jesus.
18 / MUSIC / FEBRUARY 2012
BY JACK FIRNENO
PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOHNNY PENA, MARC WHITAKER AND ILLINOIS
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Whitehorse
» Kuyper: The Air That I Breathe
by the Hollies. It’s emotional
even if you don’t relate to
it right then. And it’s got a
huge chorus. In My Life by the
Beatles. It’s very simple, but
right away, you know the writer
has gone through exactly that.
It’s deeply affecting. Everything
I Own by Bread. It’s just a great
story. That’s key.
» Muhic: Angel by Sarah
McLachlan. I can’t say enough
good things about her writing.
When it comes to love songs,
she just does it for me. The
song is about the times when
you feel nobody’s there for you.
I could listen to it over and over
again. Classic Girl by Jane’s
Addiction. It may be cliché
but it’s a great summertime,
bouncy groove. Next Lifetime
by Erykah Badu. It’s about
meeting someone you’re
interested in, but they’re taken
at the time. It’s a very specifc
emotion. I remember working
as a DJ in Mexico and meeting
a girl there. I literally had to
translate the song to her.
Go online at
• christyjefferson.com
• illinoistheband.com
• youtube.com/LAmusicandmix
Illinois will be performing at the
TLA in Philadelphia on February 25.
MUSIC
Check out page 38 for
dtown’s staff picks
to create your perfect
Valentine’s Day playlist.
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22 / BUSINESS / FEBRUARY 2012
BY JULIA WEBER
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHAZ BOYD AND LIORA KLEIN
Estetiks Sneaker and
Clothing Boutique
For the Love of the Game
BUSINESS
Sometimes, clothes do make the man.
But for Shael Fisher, owner of Estetiks
Sneaker and Clothing Boutique in
Doylestown, the designer wear that flls
his store is about more than just looking
good. “I’m still here for a reason,” he
says. “I show others how to ‘ball’ on
a budget. It makes me feel good when
they love what I love.”
Located at 5 South Main St., near the
corner of State Street, Estetiks greets
each customer with the fresh scent of
leather and new fabrics. The shelves
are lined with custom-designed shoes
along with hats, jackets and shirts from
names like 10 Deep, Alife and Crooks &
Castles with more brands coming this
spring. “Sneakers and clothing is fne;
that’s enough to handle,” Fisher says.
“I am always good with working with
what I have.”
For Fisher, working with what he has
is also how he developed his own sense
of style. Growing up on hand-me-downs
from his cousin and older brother,
occasionally he’d luck into some
designer clothes by Ralph Lauren.
Other times, being fashionable was
a roll of the dice. “My brother had
a pair of pink corduroy pants that he
hated wearing. He’d even change out
of them once he was on the school bus,”
Fisher recalls. “By the time they got
to me, I had already grown out of them,
but I wasn’t always so lucky. I did get
stuck wearing lederhosen.”
Fisher eventually learned how to fnd
his fashion – and his passion – through
skateboarding. “I got my frst board
at a yard sale for eight dollars, and
it was the greatest thing ever,” he
remembers. “I realized that if you want
something you have to work for it.”
As a teenager, Fisher landed more than
a few gigs to pay for his new lifestyle.
“People used to call me the mayor,” he
says, recalling juggling up to fve jobs
at a time. “I worked for everybody.”
I show others how
to ‘ball’ on a budget.
– Shael Fisher
dtownmag.com / 23
24 / BUSINESS / FEBRUARY 2012
Soon, he was “clearing out” the
sneaker selections in his favorite stores,
collecting shoes made by Airwalk,
Vans, Nike and Vision Street Wear. “I
just had to have them,” Fisher explains.
“I’d see famous skaters wearing them
in magazines and thought, ‘Why can’t
I?’ I’d buy a new [skate] board and
sneakers every week, even using some
of my lunch money.” He’d often sell
an old board to a friend after using it
for a week to get cash for his growing
collection. “The hustle I got from my
mom,” he adds, laughing. “She is still
in denial about how many pairs of
shoes she owns.”
Fisher’s sense of style and beat for
business eventually turned to thoughts
of opening his own storefront, where he
could share his enthusiasm for footwear
and clothes with a wider audience. While
he says the concept that eventually
became Estetiks was a topic of numerous
conversations and planning for almost
six years, it became a reality when the
“perfect spot” became available in the
center of Doylestown.
With open doors for four years,
Fisher’s now-realized business is still
growing. Estetiks’ Facebook page
boasts over 1,500 fans and counting,
and Fisher’s Web site takes orders from
as far as Japan and South America.
“There is one guy in particular that
keeps ordering from Australia,” he says.
“It’s cool to know that this subculture
that’s been such a big part of my life
reaches around the world.”
But whether his clients are abroad or
spending an afternoon in Doylestown,
there’s at least one customer with
whom Fisher shares a certain bond.
He loves catering to eager area youth,
who sometimes spend their entire
allowance or hard-earned paychecks in
the store. “So what if a kid has 40 pairs
of sneakers?” he laughs. “I’m sure he or
she either saved or worked hard for what
they want. And at least you know what
they’re spending their money on.”
Go online estetiksonline.com
BY JULIA WEBER
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHAZ BOYD AND LIORA KLEIN
respected. That’s how we get satisfied
clients. Enthusiastic referrals. Repeat
business. We’d like to know your wishes.
Please call Michael or Frank Montemuro:
215-340-7890, or visit us at
www.landscapedesigngroupinc.com
LANDSCAPE DESIGN GROUP INC.
Landscape Architecture and Construction
Doylestown, PA
Beauty is the point....
Practical experience is the inspiration.
Together, they make your property
blossom. Effective landscape
architecture creates the setting for your
residence to display the elegance of your
life-style – and a growing investment
in the appearance and value of your
property. Enhancing your home with
practical, simple-to-maintain plantings
and eye-pleasing spatial arrangements
is our skill. Your ideas receive serious
attention. Your custom design gets our
quality execution. Your budget is
ad-landscape design 108:Layout 1 12/1/07 9:18 PM Page 1
26 / ARTIST / FEBRUARY 2012
BY CORINNE PULSINELLE
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LAURA MURACO
If art is for everyone then some creators,
collectors and brokers missed the
memo. But don’t tell Laura Muraco.
While her work exhibits a level of
sophistication found in only the fnest
of trained artists, perhaps the most
satisfying aspect of her paintings is
that they are not meant for a solely
elitist crowd. “Art is for the non-artists.
When I paint, I do so with a reverence
to the viewer,” Muraco says. “It’s sad
when people are intimidated by art and
feel they cannot access the work. But
the work is dead if no one ever sees it.”
Laura
Muraco
Art in the Eye of the Beholder
Everything is a self-
portrait. How can it
not be? – Laura Muraco
Muraco’s artistic process is symbiotic
in nature. Her paintings often feature
young female fgures in abstract settings.
In many of the pieces, their eyes seem
to be directly addressing the viewer.
The audience brings the work to life,
Muraco says, while the work exposes
the viewer to a consistently honest
and raw perspective on the human
condition. “My philosophy going into
each painting is that the worst thing
you can be is a liar,” she offers. “It is
confusing enough to be a human being.”

ARTIST
On one level, the viewer becomes
engaged by Muraco’s mastery over her
materials. She creates harmonious color
palattes that set the mood of each piece.
With a balance of subtle brushwork and
tightly rendered details, Muraco brings
a believable personality to each of her
subjects. But Muraco’s true expertise
lies in her ability to make a deliberate
statement every time she adds more paint
to her canvas. Muraco’s work is devoid
of fuff, created out of passion rather than
pressure. “In the lack of urgency, there
is more honesty,” she explains.
Muraco’s skillfully crafted and insightful
body of work began as a result of an
emotional revelation early in her career.
While studying illustration at the Pratt
Institute in New York City, Muraco
found it diffcult to create a cohesive
series. In an effort to please a wide
audience, it was nearly impossible to
develop one distinct, signature style.
“In school, I was shy and needing
of approval,” she says. “I made one
thing for one professor and something
completely different for the next.”

dtownmag.com / 27
28 / ARTIST / FEBRUARY 2012
dtownmag.com / 29
30 / ARTIST / FEBRUARY 2012
But with time away and space from
an academic agenda, Muraco found
the freedom to paint from personal
experience. “I started to get inspiration
from those moments right before you
fall asleep, where the dream world
meets the conscious world,” she
recalls. Focusing on these moments,
Muraco began to channel a world of
unobstructed creativity and symbolism.
“Sometimes these moments can even
be scary,” she adds, “ but the meaning
just comes out clearly in the end.”
Muraco’s breakthrough piece,
entitled Potential, is a self-portrait in
which she depicts herself as a strong
fgure with an assertive gaze that
seems to travel right through the
viewer. Muraco leaves us to unpack
the meaning of the piece with a few
universal symbols: a snake, an egg,
a butterfy. “I realized that it is okay for
people to feel how they do in reaction
to the work as long as I am sharing it,”
she says.
And while Muraco began developing
similar characters in her work while
still living in New York, her move
to Bucks County has not only had
a geographical impact, but is now
refected on her canvas, as well.
Muraco’s older pieces refect a compact
lifestyle, sometimes hauntingly
claustrophobic, with little open space
in each painting. “I am currently
building more of a world around the
characters now that I have space
around me,” she explains.
So who are the women in Muraco’s
work? “Everything is a self-portrait,”
she says. “How can it not be?” And in
a language Muraco wants us all to read,
she depicts the facets of her nature
and experience: “As an artist, you have
to fgure out what’s unique about how
you see the world.”
Laura Muraco’s work will be exhibited
in a group show on Mar. 31 from 6 p.m.
to 10 p.m. at Our Garage Space in
Easton, Pa.
Go online at lauramuraco.com
BY CORINNE PULSINELLE
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LAURA MURACO
EXPERIENCE A TIME WHEN THE
ART WORLD CAME TO BUCKS COUNTY
Exhibition Sponsor Maureen and Gregory Church
Major Support from Carol & Louis Della Penna and Kathy & Ted Fernberger
Additional support from Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio
200 works · 50 artists · 1 exhibit
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34 / HOME / FEBRUARY 2012
BY KYLE BAGENSTOSE
PHOTOS BY WENDY McCARDLE
When it comes time to improve your
property – whether it’s a new backyard
patio for spring cookouts at home or
a new veneer to impress clients at your
business – there’s the correct way to do
the work and the not-so-correct way to
do the work. Hire the wrong company
to come in and lay brick and you might
be doing it all over again a few years
down the road. Hire the right guy and
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sat down with David Nagle, owner of
David B. Nagle Masonry and Excavation,
to fnd out how to avoid some common
pitfalls and the head-in-hands frustration
that comes along with them.
Avoid the
Construction Blues
Navigating a Project With Ease
Strength in Small Numbers
While it might seem counterintuitive,
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A Man for All Seasons
While having one point of contact might
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With all things green on the forefront
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Oftentimes, a major sticking point for
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fnding a contractor to incorporate
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“Rather than go out and buy it new,
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dtownmag.com / 35
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BY JACK FIRNENO
38 / MUSIC / FEBRUARY 2012
Jack Firneno, Managing Editor:
Sometimes I want a carefree romance again
or think about what makes a grown-up relationship
work. Other times I want to go all Little Rascals
and nail up a “No Girls Allowed” sign. Fortunately,
with two kids in the house, there’s never a shortage
of love around here.
Taking a Chance on Love – Tony Bennett
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) – Bruce Springsteen
Sarah Saturday – The Bouncing Souls
Dreaming – Blondie
For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her –
Simon and Garfunkel
David Pearson, Publisher:
This might read like some sort of rock opera so
to speak, but what’s a relationship without some
drama? They start, they end and then you get to
fall in love again. It might be the story of my life
but one I wouldn’t trade for anything.
This Year’s Love – David Gray
In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
Porcelain - Moby
Frying Pan – The Lemonheads
Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
Justin Elson, Editor-in-Chief:
I haven’t always been lucky in love. Until now.
With my recent engagement, I like to think this list
tells the story of my relationship. Past, present
and for a future that will certainly surpass even
my expectations.
This Modern Love – Bloc Party
Punk Rock Girl – The Dead Milkmen
Oh My Love – John Lennon
Rocksteady – No Doubt
I Love You More Than Words Can Say – Otis Redding
Wendy McCardle, Photographer:
If you’re anything like me, the standards of Elvis,
Billie and Bennett won’t win your whole heart.
You’d rather receive a mixtape that begins with
the punch of loud guitars, a bouncy rhythm section
you can dance to and quirky lyrics. Here are a few
suggestions sure to charm your alt-rock honey.
(She’s Making Me) Nervous – Wyldlife
This is Love – PJ Harvey
Noticed – Mute Math
Achin’ To Be – The Replacements
Wonderwall – Cat Power
Continued from page 19…
Whether you’re strictly analog
or a digital wizard, creating
a mixtape or a playlist, music
sets the perfect Valentine’s Day
mood. We polled our own staff
for the tunes that remind them
of falling in love all over again.
For the complete staff picks and more from area musicians, go online at dtownmag.com
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BY MEGAN McCLURE
PHOTOS COURTESY OF SHANNON PRESTI
Shannon Presti believes that love comes
in many forms and has spent the past
year portraying as many as possible.
Her project, 52 Weeks, 365 Days, One
Year of Love, began on Valentine’s Day
2011. By its conclusion, she’ll have
52 pieces, each one-of-a-kind painting
telling a different story. “Everybody
experiences love differently. I wanted
to capture that,” Presti says.
The paintings depict subjects
from a couple on their 30th wedding
anniversary to a pet owner with her
dogs and a baby boy surrounded by the
things he loves. One woman, a mother
of three, asked Presti to portray each
of her children’s love of music on canvas.
Another commissioned a painting for her
husband, which she will surprise him
with when Presti features the project in
a gallery environment. “She’s going to
see if he can pick out which one is for
him,” Presti explains.
The ambitious project has its roots
in Presti’s “day job” as a wedding
photographer. Traveling nationwide
Shannon Presti
A Year’s Worth of Love Stories
SPOTLIGHT
dtownmag.com / 41
to capture a happy couple’s big day, she
says she loves getting to know the bride
and groom, observe their relationship
frsthand and share the ceremony with
them. “Everybody’s happy,” Presti says.
“The more comfortable everyone is, the
better the pictures are.”
Last year, Presti’s cousin and his wife
commissioned a painting that would
express them as a couple. This would
become the catalyst for 52 Weeks, 365
Days, One Year of Love. “The painting
was so awesome and so personal and
so special to do, because I knew them,”
Presti explains. “It was a symbol of
them. It’s not like I was doing a painting
for painting’s sake. The result was so
meaningful. I wanted to do more of them.”
And the more she does, the bigger her
project becomes. Originally slated to last
one year, Presti decided to double its
length. “I’ve gotten so many requests,
and there are so many great stories to
tell,” she says. “I want to tell them all.”
Go online at shannonprestiphotgraphy.com
42 / A CLOSER LOOK / FEBRUARY 2012
BY JACK FIRNENO
This June, Vince and Sherry will be
married. When Vince proposed last
July, the question came as a surprise,
but it wasn’t totally unexpected. “We
were at a friend’s wedding nine months
before, and we both realized we
wanted to get married,” Sherry recalls.
“But we weren’t ready just yet.” The
couple met in 2008, and, after a few
dates, soon realized they had found
something special. “I liked spending
time with him,” Sherry says. “Family
is important to both of us, and I liked
how he responded to meeting mine.”
Vince felt the love connection, as well.
“She [Sherry] was getting her master’s
degree when I met her, so I knew she
was a smart cookie,” he recalls “And as
time went on, I saw strong core values
in her that were the same as mine.”
Initially, what drew Vince to Sherry was
the sight of her with a huge Margarita
glass. “I fgured she was laid back,” he
laughs. But they didn’t meet at a bar
or a party or a concert. The picture was
posted on Match.com, an online dating
site where both were members.
Love Dot Com
Couples and Singles Sound Off About Online Dating
A New Path to Happiness
With the rise of social media as
a cultural phenomenon, online dating
has become more prevalent and less
stigmatized than it was only a decade
ago. Web sites like Match, OkCupid,
Chemistry, eHarmony and myriad niche
sites for anyone from single parents
to vegans to animal lovers abound,
each with anywhere from hundreds
to thousands of members. “Some older
people I know were shocked to fnd
out we met online, but I have a couple
friends who have met husbands and
boyfriends in the same fashion,” Sherry
notes. And Vince agrees: “It’s becoming
more common now that more people
are comfortable with it.”
For many, meeting people over the
internet is simply a better option than
fnding dates over drinks. “I had no
game picking up girls if I were out,
and I didn’t think it was the best way
to meet people anyway,” Vince says.
“Online, I could say, ‘Here I am. Here’s
all the good stuff you won’t fnd out
about me in a bar.’” Julie, another
Ed. Note: Some names have been changed to protect the
innocent. Or guilty depending on how you see it. Others asked
to be identifed by frst name only – especially those who
dished a little dirt.
Online, I can say, ‘Here I am.
Here’s all the good stuff you won’t
fnd out about me in a bar.’ – Vince
dtownmag.com / 43
online dating adventuress, was also not
impressed with the bar scene. “I had
been divorced for years before I started
dating again,” she says. “It’s hard to
meet people at a bar if you’re not in
your twenties. I’m usually watching the
coats and purses. I’ll see one guy go up
to every single girl in the place. Maybe
I’m too picky, but I don’t want to waste
my time again.”
A similar problem drew April to the
ethereal world of digital romance. “It
wasn’t because I was having diffculty
meeting men,” she says. “Every time
I went out, men would fock to me. I like
to think it’s because I am super-cute
with a great personality. But in reality,
I think we all know their true intentions.
Fending off unwanted advances really
dulled my dating experiences.” Perhaps
on the fip side of April’s argument is
Allen, who says he makes it plain online
that he’s not looking for long-term
relationships: “I have an offce
job. I’m always bored at work,
so I fgured, ‘Why not try to meet
chicks while I’m here?’”
And he’s not the only one
who’s used online dating as an
alternative to clock-watching.
Meghan met her fancé, Jared,
in 2007 via a post on Craigslist.
“I had just broken up with
someone I didn’t even really like
at a time when work was really
slow,” she recalls. “One day, I
decided to post an ad to see what
kind of people I’d attract. People
would respond and I’d forward
them to a friend for a laugh. I had
something like 40 e-mails at the
end of the day.” But fate seemingly
intervened at the last second. “In
the 15-minute window from when
I deleted the post to when it
was actually removed from the
site, Jared e-mailed me,” she continues.
“His response was funny and awkward,
and I got a case of the giggles reading
it. He sent me his Myspace page and
seeing all his interests on the screen
made him all the more appealing. He
gave me his number, we met the next
day and we’ve been inseparable since.”
Can You See the Real Me?
While many have found advantages
to dating online rather than meeting
people in social settings, it’s still not
all smooth sailing. The avenue has its
problems, some similar to the “real
world” and others specifc to it. Vince,
for example, preferred laying out all
his best qualities in a profle. But the
“how” proved diffcult. He was managing
to get a few dates here and there, he
says, but things turned around after
some of his co-workers “adopted” him,
helping him re-write his profle and
44 / A CLOSER LOOK / FEBRUARY 2012
even taking new photos for him
to post. “It was neat, because I
got an outsider’s view of myself,”
he says. “I realized I wasn’t being
open enough and was downplaying
important parts of my personality.”
April also had trouble translating
her personality into an online
persona. “While I like to think I’m
attractive, I also photograph very
well. In a way, you could say this
misrepresented who I was,” she
admits. “I certainly couldn’t walk
around with my famous head
tilt and a picture-perfect smile.
Creating a profle also gave me
considerable time to think about
‘myself.’ Whatever kind of man
I was looking for at the time,
I flled in the blanks to attract that
person. In that regard, I don’t
consider it an honest experience.”
Julie, who used online dating
occasionally over two years, says
she met people who hid behind
their profles. “Some guys would
either lie or post pictures that
were 20 years old,” she recalls.
“One guy only posted a tiny
picture and would never talk to
me on the phone. He’d only text
me. As soon as I saw him in
person, I wanted to run.”
And whether online or in
person, some things never seem
to change. After Britney posted
profles on Zoosk and OkCupid
last summer “just to see what
would happen,” the results
echoed the kind of advances
she doesn’t appreciate in person
either. “I put it up to see what
kind of people would fnd me.
But it was the same as usual,”
Britney says. “Guys wouldn’t
message me with a simple,
A CLOSER LOOK
dtownmag.com / 45
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46 / A CLOSER LOOK / FEBRUARY 2012
BY JACK FIRNENO
‘Hi, how are you?’ Instead, I’d get, ‘Hi,
you’re really sexy.’ It was pretty much
what I thought was going to happen.”
The Best of the Worst
What would a dating story – online
or otherwise – be without a few horror
stories? April’s reservations about the
honesty of her own profle came back
to haunt her the frst time she went out
with someone she met online. Talking
to Anthony via emails and texts, she
says he gave thoughtful answers to
questions and liked the same kind of
movies she did. In person, however,
he was a different story. “I barely
uttered, ‘Nice to fnally meet you’ before
he launched into an hour-long diatribe
about himself,” she says. “From there,
he almost started a fght with someone
who tried to buy me a drink and then
literally began showing off his martial-
arts moves in a crowded bar before he
got kicked out. Funny, I didn’t recall
‘intense’ or ‘crazy’ listed on his profle.”
Britney’s worst experience wasn’t
even with her own online rendezvous.
A friend met someone on a dating site
who, turned out, landed a position at
the same seasonal holiday job where
they worked. “He taped a note to my
car saying I was beautiful. Then I found
out he did the same with all the girls who
worked there,” Britney says, laughing
at the absurdity. But the situation turned
serious after he sent a barrage of
extremely vulgar and vaguely threatening
text messages, because she wouldn’t
hang out with him, prompting her to
contact the police. “I Googled him, and
it turns out he was in jail fve years ago
for assault,” she says.
And while Julie never encountered
anyone that intense, she’s dealt with
a few guys who wouldn’t take a hint.
“I was polite with one guy and fnished
our date even though I had no interest
in him,” she recalls. “I told him there
was no chemistry, but he said that
would happen over time. He kept texting
me for weeks until I fat out told him it
wasn’t going to happen.” Another date
got upset when she wouldn’t commit
to him. “We went out on one date and
suddenly he’s texting me with ‘Sweetie’
and ‘Dear’ all the time,” Julie adds.
“Then he asked me if we were going
steady. Am I still in high school?”
And as for Vince? “I had a lot of frst
dates that didn’t go anywhere. Maybe I
am a few girls’ horror stories,” he laughs.
Making it Work
People like April, Julie and Britney
may be soured on the idea of online
dating, but others’ happy endings
make it hard to deny that online dating
works for many. “In retrospect, I still
can’t believe Jared and I survived,”
says Meghan, who has now been
with Jared for fve years. “I didn’t do
any online dating beforehand, and
normally, I have apprehensions about
everything. We agreed to meet outside
a bar, and when I saw him walking
down the street, I just started smiling.
We got to talking, and I felt like I knew
him forever.”
Vince and Sherry point out that
they never would have met each other
without the help of a dating Web site.
She was living in Cherry Hill when they
met; he was in Bucks County. However,
while online dating solved that problem,
there are still some old relationship
issues that an internet connection just
can’t fx. “When did we get engaged?
I’ve got that one,” says Vince, proudly
and assuredly. “July 29, 2011!” Sherry’s
reply begins with a pregnant pause.
“July 28,” she says. Better luck next
time, Vince.
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50 / A CLOSER LOOK / FEBRUARY 2012
BY RICH PIETRAS
PHOTOS COURTESY OF TIM HENDRICKS AND BRANDEE NICHOLS
Not since Thomas Edison invented
the phonograph in 1877 has the music
industry gone through seismic changes
as powerful as those it’s experienced
in the last few years and continues to
manage. Depending on where you fall on
the demographic scale, the days of going
to the local record shop, the mall or the
newest big-box retailer to buy records
or CDs are quickly becoming a relic of
the past. Even the tactile product itself
is becoming a dinosaur, giving way to
digital technologies as the preferred
means to collect, store and consume
your favorite tunes. And it all leads to
one conclusion: declining numbers in
the traditional revenue stream for record
labels and distributors alike.
According to a report by the
International Federation of the Phono-
graphic Industry (IFPI), a nonproft
organization that represents the
On Stage in the
Digital Age
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Today’s Concert Scene
Music is not at arm’s
length anymore. People
are invested in their music,
and it is exciting.
– Liz Schiller
worldwide interests of the recording
industry, recorded music revenues fell
8.4 percent last year, down $1.5 billion.
Overall sales of products like CDs fell
more than 14 percent, now down to
“just” over $10 billion annually. Today,
fans can fnd the artists they want
through social-media Web sites and
YouTube while legal downloading and
illegal pirating has weakened what
was long perceived as an unsinkable
ship. Digital sales currently account for
approximately 30 percent of worldwide
recorded music revenues. Last year,
according to IFPI, people spent $4.6
billion on their digital music, but illegal
downloading has taken its toll on that
market as well, typically cutting its
numbers in half annually.
And while the statistics spell bad
news for corporate interests, one avenue
has consistently remained open for
A CLOSER LOOK
dtownmag.com / 51
Tim Hendricks, pictured
below the TLA’s marquee,
provides a vital link
between musicians, fans
and the industry at large.
52 / A CLOSER LOOK / FEBRUARY 2012
musicians and their fans: the live show.
Sure, music lovers can download live
albums and bootlegs or watch concert
clips online, but no amount of broadband
wizardry can replicate standing shoulder-
to-shoulder with fellow fans, feeling the
rush and thunderous applause when the
house lights go down and being up close
and personal with their favorite acts.
Bucks County-native Tim Hendricks
has seen frst-hand that, while the
recording industry is taking a hit and
crying foul, people continue to go out to
see and hear the music they love. Eight
months ago, Hendricks took over as the
production/operationsmanagerforthe
Theater of the Living Arts, also known
as the TLA, in Philadelphia. Originally
a single-screen movie house on South
Street in the 1970s that showed cult
classics and midnight screenings of
the Rocky Horror Picture Show to flm
audiences, the TLA converted to
a music venue in the early 1980s.
Since then, it’s risen to the top
of the charts, so to speak, in
providing and promoting national
and local acts from every corner
of the musical universe and
continues to evolve as the industry
around it changes.
From Water Boy to Head Coach
Hendricks called Point Pleasant
home as a child and graduated
from Central Bucks East High
School. He now lives just a few
blocks from his second home, the
TLA, where he oversees both
the day-to-day operations of the
building while handling all the
artist’s needs before, during and
after each show.
Hendricks, who admits he
was “never that into college,”
says his new gig grew from
humble beginnings. After taking a few
courses here and there at Bucks County
Community College, Hendricks fell
in with local caterer Max Hansen in
1999. Hansen’s company grew to serve
thousands of visitors to the National
Constitution Center in Philadelphia,
as well as artists and select visitors
to the many music venues in and near
the city like the now Susquehanna Bank
Center, the now Wells Fargo Center and
the Electric Factory. “I really worked
my way from the bottom,” Hendricks
recalls. “I washed dishes. I served.
I even used to get beverages for the
performers. People used to call me
the water boy.”
That experience led to Hendricks to
Live Nation, the international music-
industry giant that now owns the TLA.
His six years there included working
as a production assistant on shows
like Live 8, which drew hundreds of
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A CLOSER LOOK
thousands of fans to the Benjamin
Franklin Parkway, in 2005. “I guess
that is where I got a lot of ‘big
show’ experience,” Hendricks says,
on working with acts like Linkin
Park, the Dave Matthews Band
and Jay-Z. “I’m obviously working
on a smaller scale now, but I
learned a lot from that experience.”
At the TLA, Hendricks does
everything from coordinating food
and parking when an act arrives
in town to overseeing equipment
load-ins and proper security for
the show. And, if all of this for
an estimated 180 shows annually
doesn’t seem like enough,
Hendricks is also responsible for
the daily operations of the club,
including its bar.
Perhaps oddly enough, Hendricks
does not consider himself a huge
music expert or fan. “I like the
old stuff like Marvin Gaye, Stevie
Wonder, all that old soul,” he says.
But his new responsibilities at
a club that is a stop for countless
national touring acts is not
lost on him either. “I am pretty
proud,” Hendricks adds. “This
is a historic venue.”

Striking a Chord With Social Media
While the digital age has helped
drive traditional music sales
down, it has had the opposite effect
on live music and the artists that
count on it to make their living.
Liz Schiller is the marketing
manager for the TLA and calls
digital tools like Facebook and
Twitter invaluable. She works
closely with Hendricks and the
rest of the staff of about a dozen
employees to secure acts and
promote the shows. The TLA
54 / A CLOSER LOOK / FEBRUARY 2012
BY RICH PIETRAS
PHOTOS COURTESY OF TIM HENDRICKS AND BRANDEE NICHOLS
holds up to 1,000 people, and Schiller
says that last year approximately half
the venue’s shows sold out.
Featuring an eclectic mix of local
artists and national acts like Lauryn Hill,
Good Charlotte and Jon Anderson,
who rose to fame with the iconic prog-
rock band Yes, Schiller says the TLA
strives to fnd a happy medium between
promoting new talent and welcoming
marquee names. “We have become
a regular stop for national artists,
but we also work hard to cultivate
local artists like Good Old War, who
played our New Year’s Eve show.” The
Philadelphia-based indie-folk band
performed a version of Auld Lang Syne
as part of a “Good Old New Year’s With
Good Old War” promotion on Youtube.
Schiller says that is just one of the latest
examples of how artists and the club are
digitally spreading the word and getting
the audience involved even before the
curtain goes up. “Our fan engagement
is growing every day. It’s growing
for musicians, as well,” she explains.
“People are tweeting and tagging [on
Facebook] not only before show, but
during shows, too. And so are the artists.
Music is not at arm’s length anymore.
People are invested in their music on
Facebook and Twitter, and it is exciting.”
Schiller says she now interacts with
music fans herself, asking them online
who their favorite artists are or posting
questions and offering a couple of
tickets for those who participate.
“I think that more often than not people
are paying to see a show live, and it
makes music more special because of
this new involvement,” she says. “The
artists are involved, and the audience
is involved. It really is a whole new
conversation. Music fans are rabid, and
the fact they can be engaged personally
is huge.”
For more information on the TLA
and a complete list of upcoming
shows and other LiveNation events,
go online at tlaphilly.com.
Good Old War, pictured on stage, brings
the house down during a New Year’s Eve
performance at the TLA on South Street.
t
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This Valentine’s Day
Who was born Declan Patrick MacManus
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a.) Samuel Jackson
b.) Tommy Lee Jones
c.) Elvis Costello
d.) Eddie Rabbit
Answer this month’s Trivia Question correctly and enter to win
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To answer, go to dtownmag.com and look for the Trivia Question
box in the right-hand column on the homepage.
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58 / FOOD & DINING / FEBRUARY 2012
BY JUSTIN ELSON
PHOTOS BY WENDY McCARDLE
It’s the rare individual that recognizes
their true passion in life, pursues their
goals and realizes their dreams, all
on their own terms. For Jodi Schad,
pastry chef and owner of J. Scones in
Doylestown, her improbable path became
a fruitful reality. And it happened almost
by accident.
Coming from a long line of food
afcionados, Schad caught the cooking
bug early. Originally from Churchville,
she began baking as a teen and had
already started her own catering
operation by the time she had graduated
high school. The next logical step was
formal training. “I went to culinary
school before it was all the rage,”
explains Schad, who graduated from
Johnson and Wales University. After
fnding a kitchen position in Providence,
RI, she returned home to Bucks County
and landed a job as a pastry chef at the
Lambertville Station.
Still, even with her degree and a job at
an upscale restaurant, Schad’s epicurean
education and maturation was hardly
complete. “I chose to study further under
the European chefs because of their
discipline,” she explains. “It’s a totally
different school of thought, but it’s a huge
part of becoming a successful chef.” Schad
also learned what gives her baked goods
their distinct, delectable taste. “I wanted
to learn all the old-school techniques,”
she continues. “What I’m doing today is
taking the European style and adapting
it to what I learned from my mother.”
But while Schad’s style is born of
both formal and informal training, the
defning moment in her career came
quite by chance. While working at
a gourmet shop, Schad took a leave
of absence to attend to her ailing sister
in California. Before leaving, she left
some dough in the freezer. Upon Schad’s
return months later, she baked the
What I’m doing today
is taking the European
style [of baking] and
adapting it to what I
learned from my mother.
– Jodi Schad
J. Scones
Something New in the Oven
FOOD & DINING
dough on a whim. “I thought it was
going to be freezer-burnt or worse, but
it was fne,” she says. The surprising
results put her career on an entirely
new track: “The integrity of the dough
had remained intact. That’s when the
light bulb went off. I had a product
I could sell everywhere.”
Since opening J. Scones in September
2004, Schad’s frozen dough has taken
off. Coming in 10 different seasonal
varieties, her product is nearly foolproof.
“You keep it frozen and thaw it over-
night,” she explains, describing the
preparation process. “It comes wrapped
in the parchment paper you use to bake
it on. All you have to do is cut the dough
into small triangles, wash with a bit of
cream or milk and put it in the oven. It’s
easy to make and tastes great.”
While Schad’s scones may take center
stage, like any good bakery, you’ll
fnd the traditional cookies, brownies,
cakes and other tasty treats in her case,
as well. And just in time for Valentine’s
Day, if your sweetheart has a sweet
tooth, Schad is unveiling a sure hit:
cupcake fowers. From the red velvet
topped with silver dragees to the
chocolate-chocolate complete with
a sugar-paste fower, from the citrus
chiffon with pink buttercream icing
dtownmag.com / 59
60 / FOOD & DINING / FEBRUARY 2012
BY JUSTIN ELSON
PHOTOS BY WENDY McCARDLE
and coconut shavings to the chiffon
featuring a Nutella-based icing and
ganache, there’s a favor for every taste.
“They’re all cream-flled too,” Schad
says. “So they’re way better than
getting a rose.”
Next month, in honor of St. Patrick’s
Day, Schad’s Irish soda bread returns.
“We have two varieties: traditional and
rustic,” she explains. “The traditional
is baked with currants [dried seedless
grapes] and is a little sweeter. The
rustic is made with wheat bran and
is savorier. It pairs well with soups
or a hearty meal. Caraway is optional
in either, and both are wonderful.”
And while Schad’s wholesale and
mail-order dough business has proved
to be successful a formula over the
years, the slow economy has reminded
her of the beneft of having not only
a traditional storefront, but a community
minded spirit, as well. More than just
another means to sell her baked goods,
Schad sees her counter as a “way to do
more” for the people who’ve supported
her. “The local business community has
really pulled together lately, and it’s
working,” she says. “I’m receiving so
much support. It’s wonderful. I’m living
my dream. I have my family around,
and I’m where my roots are.”
For more information on J. Scone’s
products or to place an order, call
215-489-9198.
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62 / BACKPAGE / FEBRUARY 2012
BY CARLA MEROLLA ODELL
Once upon a time, my corner kitchen
cabinet held a half bag of four, enough
granulated sugar for a few cups of
coffee, unopened baking soda, expired
baking powder and some cinnamon
I used mostly for stews.
Ironically, Chopped is my favorite
TV show, which I watch every Saturday
afternoon on the Food Network.
The challengers get three baskets of
doesn’t-usually-go-together stuff to
turn into a tasty and “pretty” three-
course meal. Without a recipe, they
spend the next “television” hour
crazed, which is pretty much how I roll
in the kitchen. For you TV foodies, you
know that Chopped precedes Cupcake
Wars, another challenge to create
something yummy and glam.
So I kind of slid into “Wars” and, for
a time, watched while doing something
else like vacuuming. But cupcakes soon
called to me. When my husband asked
what I wanted for the holidays, I replied,
“A cupcake boot-camp kit.” Now that
my cabinet is flled with chocolate and
cocoa powder, food coloring, candied
sprinkles, candy molds, pastry bags
with more than 25 decorating tips and
Dior-caliber cupcake liners, I am cranking
out delights every Sunday.
To be honest, my motives at frst were
entirely selfsh. As a dessert-lover but
I (heart) Cupcakes
chronic weight-watcher, I could keep
a few for us and give the rest away to
avoid temptation. When I explained my
plan to Mom, she said, “Bake a cake,
eat what you want and freeze what’s
left.” Really? Does that work for
anyone? Aren’t most people sawing
through a block of chocolate ice with
a serrated knife for a sliver to throw
into the microwave for 20 seconds at
10:30 at night?
I could give the rest of a cake away,
but a “leftover” just doesn’t have the
same charm – or effect – as a perfectly
formed cupcake that is all yours and
has been equally loved and doted upon
as the others. I’d never drive anywhere
to deliver a slice, whereas last Sunday,
I drove an hour back and forth to deliver
two lemon cupcakes. They were freshly
decorated and I wanted my friends to
smile, which, in turn, made me smile.
I can make lots and lots at one time
and share lots and lots of love. And even
in this crazy got-to-have-it-all world,
even if they could eat more, people are
delighted and appreciative to get only one
apiece. This is like the Tao of Cupcake.
Anyway, I need to pick up a bag of
marbles – to slide into the tins to create
heart-shaped cupcakes. No cards this
year. Just lots of driving. May your
Valentine’s Day be as sweet.
MON-THUR: 10-6
FRI-SAT: 10-9
SUN: 11-7 & by appointment
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