Elena Madden is Going to Knock You Out

Savannah artist Elena Madden has been in “a blue mood.” But she’s not looking for pity “That’s a good thing for me,” says the 33-year-old painter. “Sometimes I go crazy—monochromatic. Lately I’ve been feeling that cerulean blue color.”

“That cerulean blue” leaps off the surface of recent works in Madden’s Ring Series— abstract mixed media paintings of large, shimmering overlapping circles in rich teals, blues and reds covering canvasses three- to four-feet square and capturing a juxtaposition of elements that the artist has made her own—the intersection of water and light.

In the 13 years since receiving her painting degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Ring Series is perhaps Madden’s best-recognized and most lasting body of work.


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Category: Apr/May 06, Art, Lifestyle, The Magazine
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The Power of Pine

pine1Armed with one of the Peach State’s most abundant resources, one Georgia-based company is stepping up with an answer to the world’s energy crisis.

Deep in the South hides a material that could revolutionize the way the United States—and the world—consumes energy. It’s renewable, plentiful and probably in most backyards. It’s the Georgia pine tree. Disbelievers need only ask Ross Harding, senior advisor at Energy Launch Partners, about the power of the pine.

“Georgia has over 24 million acres of pine trees,” Harding explains. “New Mexico has solar energy, Montana has wind energy, and here in Georgia we have the ability to turn woody biomass into cellulose-based energy.” According to Harding, the Peach State lucked out in the natural resource department—unlike other forms of energy, wood can be used to produce not only heat, but also power, electricity and liquid fuels.


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Category: Apr/May 09, Business, The Magazine
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The South’s Guide to Getting Out

It’s one of those breezy, 75-degree Savannah spring days, and all you can think of is a way to get out of the office and into the sunshine. Yet once you’ve been freed from the confines of three cubical walls, you can’t quite figure how to best embrace the perfect weather.

If you are experiencing this situation at least once a week, you probably have what’s commonly referred to as “yadunnowhattodo-itis.” Don’t worry; it’s not fatal. But if left untreated, it could lead to a severe case of spring fever. The South’s Guide to Getting Out has been proven to reduce the symptoms of this debilitating condition, by offering suggestions for what to do on those irresistibly sunny days. Read it twice and call us in the morning. Oh yeah, and we are responsible for any pleasant side effects.


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Category: Apr/May 09
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Dishes to Dine For

Wiley’s: Beef Brisket
Wiley McCrary spent six years honing his brisket skills, balancing the multifaceted textures and flavors for an unbeatable outcome. His brisket is ranked one of the top in the nation, and it is no wonder why.

“The trouble with brisket is that some people treat it like a roast beef,” explains McCrary. “And it certainly is not. It is a delicacy unto itself when cooked correctly.” And a delicacy it is. The beef is smoked with cedar and hickory for 12 to 14 hours before a dry rub is applied, enhancing the flavor while keeping in all the juices. The end result is meat so deliciously tender that it melts like chocolate in your mouth.

McCrary recommends some old-fashioned macaroni and cheese as a side to his brisket rather than your average mashed potatoes. Even better is his Dutch crust sweet potato casserole, which is reportedly so decadent many diners say it should be a dessert rather than a side.


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Category: Apr/May 09, Dining, Dishes, The Magazine
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Power to the Pedal

Bicycling has already captured a large audience in Savannah, but led by the Savannah Bicycle Campaign, the movement isn’t putting on the brakes anytime soon.

You’ll notice Drew Wade when he walks into a room because he’s usually sweaty and breathing hard. With his eyes wide and alert, he may even seem a bit disoriented on two feet. But fresh from the road is how you want the leader of your city’s bicycle campaign to look. Give Wade five minutes and a cold drink and he’s soon relaxed and ready to conduct business as chairman of the Savannah Bicycle Campaign (SBC) or, if you catch him on a weekday, as a radiologist. Like many other campaign members and downtown dwellers, Wade has taken up bicycling as a way of life. “It’s a really pleasant way to get around,” he explains.


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Category: Apr/May 09, The Magazine
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7 Savannah Staycations

You may not believe it now, while you fanaticize about a spring vacation to some exotic getaway, but sometimes the best trips happen when you just stay home. Times are tight, and our wallets are even tighter. Layoffs, recession, and the ever-spiraling economy seem all consuming, forcing many of us to redefine our money-spending choices. In effect, the economic climate has altered the way in which we travel: People are staying close when leaving home, saving on time, money, gas and perhaps even guilt. But just because you’re staying local doesn’t mean you have to skimp on excitement. Who says that luxury can only be found by hopping on a plane to the Caribbean?

To remind you that the lap of leisure is closer than you think, we offer some fun, creative, affordable (and some splurge-worthy) ideas on where to stay, play, eat and shop, all in your own backyard. Read up on ideas to inspire, invigorate, enlighten and even ease the “guilt of travel” during such unstable times. So kick back, relax and enjoy; You’re on staycation.


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Category: Apr/May 09, Lifestyle, The Magazine, Travel
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Do You Speak Savannah-ese?

The South takes a look at some distinctly Savannah slang, courtesy of local wordsmith David Gignilliat and his popular invented slang blog, Quixotica.

barkalounger
\’bärk-e-”laun-jer\

n., A person who spends an extended period of time people-watching with their dog, most often at one of Savannah’s many canine-friendly locales.

Example:
While waiting to pick up our carryout lunch order at Vinnie Van Go-Go’s in City Market, we spotted two lucky barkaloungers (one with a poodle, one with a pit bull) leisurely sitting at an outdoor cafe table, eating steaming slices of pizza and lapping up a sublime, sun-soaked afternoon with nothing to do but lounge around downtown with man’s best friend.

Submit your own Savannah slang to editor@thesouthmag.com. For more inventive words and phrases, visit writer David Gignilliat’s official Quixotica blog at www.quixoticawords.blogspot.com


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Category: Apr/May 09, Blogs, The Magazine
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Get the Most from the Coast: Six Ways to Sail Away in Savannah

You don’t have to be a sailor to appreciate the beauty and legend of Savannah’s scenic waterways. Since the city’s founding, the sea has lured locals to explore its watery depths and picturesque coastlines while affording the area’s people ample business opportunities. Today, the Hostess City’s aquatic legacy lives on through the individuals thriving off our watery surroundings. Be it boating, paddling or just hanging out by the river, there are dozens of ways to keep life flowing towards adventure and fun on the coast.

With spring’s sweet days upon us, there is no better time to kick your land loving to the curb in lieu of a new, seaside perspective that will have you swaying to the tide of happiness. To help you along to nautical nirvana, The South presents six simple ways to reawaken your love for the coast.


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Category: Apr/May 09, The Magazine
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Lattimore Park

The South takes a look at the outdoor spaces defining Savannah.

In a city stuffed with squares, it’s easy to forget about Savannah’s lesser-known but no less beautiful outdoor spaces. Lattimore Park is one overlooked alfresco area, carefully situated within Ardsley Park, one of the city’s most elegant neighborhoods. In 1910, original developers Harry and William Lattimore were careful to design this classy community after the famous Oglethorpe Plan by placing 1-acre parcels of land along the Abercorn Street corridor, much like the squares of downtown Savannah. Yet to make their own mark, the Lattimores arranged the land without bisected roads—an effort that created peaceful parks instead of bustling squares.


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Category: Apr/May 09, The Magazine
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Choose Your Own Adventure

For many people leading busy lives, juggling seemingly endless responsibilities and commitments, life has become as exciting as a Sunday tea party and a trip to the strip mall. Often the only source of adventure is deciding whether or not to watch Indiana Jones save the world on Netflix.

Yet, according to the Savannah Adventure Club (SAC) life doesn’t have to be so mundane. A cadre of 20-, 30- and 40-something Savannahians who (according to the group’s website) “just want to get out there, have some fun, and make some friends,” the SAC invites locals to ambitiously explore the lay of the land in the Lowcountry.


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Category: Apr/May 09, The Magazine
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Camp Out

With summer camp sign-up season upon us, local branches of the YMCA are producing programs to keep little ones smiling through the dog days.

Slip and slide through gallons of chocolate pudding, sail the ocean blue, or become the next Tiger Woods; nearly anything is possible for kids in Savannah this summer. Luckily for parents and children alike, the Lowcountry has a plethora of ideal summer camps that are joyfully atypical.

Some of the most eclectic and respected summer programs can be found at any of the Chatham or Effingham branches of the YMCA of Coastal Georgia.

“We [have been] the No.1 summer camp for children for over 150 years,” says Mark Simons, director of the YMCA of Coastal Georgia Islands Branch. “Our Christian heritage and focus on building a healthy mind, body and spirit sets us apart from being a simple summer camp.”

With programs for children aged 5 to 14, every branch has something different to offer. Children can ride the waves at the Tybee YMCA’s Surf and Kayak camp, or at the Islands and Habersham locations, kids at Sports Camp can get outside and active as they learn a different sport each week. At the Islands YMCA, Simons reports, one year’s camp carnival days even had kiddies screaming with glee on a slide of chocolate pudding.


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Category: Apr/May 09, The Magazine
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Interior Desires: Eco-Nomics

Check out some hip new trends in home and interior design from an industry insider.

desires3Refined and Recycled
Recycled Quartz Countertops in Smoky Ash and Chocolate Truffle. CaesarStone’s unique ingenuity and ability to influence trends is captured in a new lineup of surfaces that push the boundaries of creativity combining the durability of quartz with high fashion colors, all covered by a lifetime warranty.
Buy locally: Multistone USA, 1022 Lynes Avenue, Savannah, 912.231.8401,


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Category: Apr/May 09, Entertainment, Shopping, The Magazine
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A Growing Obsession

The Deep South Orchid Society spreads the joys of growing one of the world’s most exotic flowers.

They may be beautiful, but beware—some say these flowers are specifically designed to seduce. The orchid’s powers were potent enough for local Gail Mathews and her husband to build seven personal greenhouses all dedicated to the plant. An orchid collector and co-founder of the Savannah-based Deep South Orchid Society, Mathews says her self-described obsession started over 35 years ago with one white flower and quickly grew into a collection that now tops 10,000 different plants.

“The true sign of an addict is when you want to get everybody addicted to the thing you’re addicted to,” Mathews explains. Her addiction inspired her to start a society dedicated to the breathtaking blossoms in 1981. Just as she suspected, with Savannah’s notorious humidity offering an ideal environment for growing many species of orchids, her obsession caught on quickly. Currently, the society has over 100 members ranging in age, experience and collection size, but not in passion.


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Category: Apr/May 09, The Magazine
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Passionate About Pets

In Savannah, a diverse and ever-expanding culture of animal lovers has tails wagging throughout the city.

Savannah, like New York City or Paris, is a cultured city of pet lovers. But it’s not quite enough to say that these beloved animals are well cared for and catered to. Rather, they are treated like favored eccentric relatives—so much so that the city’s pets aren’t relegated to a mere under-the table presence. In Savannah, they boast a special status with their own parks, pet-friendly bistros, fashionable boutiques, bakeries, spas and training academies. Savannah’s pet passion has created a social scene that in turn has created a dynamic local industry built upon exceptional animal care.

For the city obsessed with furry friends, The South has compiled a sampling of the finest Savannah’s pet scene has to offer. So, whether you’re pals with Puddles or soul mates with Scruffy, read on to learn the best ways to pamper and care for the critter in your life.


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Category: Apr/May 09, The Magazine
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Homegrown Heroes

Two Savannah eateries are taking organic dining to a whole new level by tapping local farmers to help create the freshest dishes around.

We like to think things are better here in the Lowcountry. Boasting beaches, marshes, pine and maritime forests, Savannah and the Coastal Empire certainly plays host to a slew of scenery to appreciate. Still, it is hard to scrub that provincial habit of looking over your shoulder and wondering, telling and asking about what’s going on in the bigger cities of Dixie. But just because the cities are larger doesn’t mean you have to run off towards sparkling skylines to fix every craving—especially when the craving is of the epicurean sort. After all, what are provinces if not the breadbasket of the cities?


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Category: Apr/May 09, Dining, Featured Restaurants, The Magazine
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Get Crackin’

For Southern belles and beaus alike, Georgian Lauretta Hannon’s The Cracker Queen: A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life is a springtime must-read.

Grab a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, light up a cigarette, and get ready to meet Lauretta Hannon, author of The Cracker Queen: A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life. Hannon sugarcoats nothing in this collection of stories about the characters and conflicts that have defined her life, starting with her early years in Warner Robins, Georgia, and extending to her current residence in Atlanta, with a few stops in Savannah (Pinkie Masters, anyone?) along the way. Armed with a raucous sense of humor and an arsenal of specifically Southern experiences, Hannon gives us an alternative to the classic Southern Belle: the Cracker Queen. “She cusses, laughs inappropriately, and raises t-total hell when the line is crossed,” Hannon writes. But, more importantly, a queen knows “loss and hurt; these things have made her beautiful, resourceful and, above all, real.”


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Category: Apr/May 09, The Magazine

Grill It

Spring is here and for many people that can only mean one thing: time to light up the grill. Should you be a grilling greenhorn or the master of mesquite, here are three grills to get anyone’s fire going.

grillit1Gas:

Gas grills may be pricier than your standard cookout gear, but the longevity, versatility and appearance is worth the extra penny. General Electric gas grills offer a wide variety of features, including side burners or even a rotisserie for that perfect chicken. A tank of fuel can last a long time, but Robert Harrison of Livingood’s in Savannah suggests you keep a spare on hand so that you and your steak don’t get left out in the cold. $3500–$7000, depending on ordered features. Check out this grill at Livingood’s, 912.330.5505, www.livingoodsonline.com.


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Category: Apr/May 09, Entertainment, Shopping, The Magazine
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Songs of Silence

To parishioners of Christ Church Savannah, the ancient sounds of the Compline Choir offers something more than good listening.

On Sunday evenings at Christ Church Savannah, time seems to stop. In the darkness of the sanctuary, candles are lit, and, in a Christian tradition dating to the Middle Ages, up to 100 people gather together to say farewell to the day and good night to God.

For several years, Christ Church, with its white-pillared facade gracefully situated on Johnson Square, has offered a popular weekly Compline service to parishioners as a quiet alternative to the chaos and clamor of modern life. The practice of Compline (from the word “completion”) began in European monastic communities centuries ago as a concluding service giving thanks to God and asking for protection in the night and day ahead. True to the historic traditions, the Compline service at Christ Church is a sedated, intensely spiritual ceremony. As worshippers pray in silence and listen to scripture, the service is punctuated by the sounds of the Compline Choir, a small group of specially trained male and female singers clad in simple black robes. From the back balcony, they sing haunting melodies that are said to transport observers to a new spiritual plain.


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Category: Entertainment, Feb/Mar 09, Music, The Magazine
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Sister Act

The mounting success of Georgia’s own Lovell sisters is a story of near global proportions.

When the Lovell Sisters Band returns to Savannah in March, they will be fresh off their third European tour. Norway, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland—the sultry tunes of their unique brand of homegrown bluegrass has taken these Southern girls far and wide. Yet, it wasn’t long ago that the Calhoun, Georgia, natives were simply sisters and far fro the tremendous trio they would one day become.

Classical piano and violin lessons learned in childhood took on new meaning for Jessica, Megan and Rebecca when, several years ago, a friend took them to the Mountain Opry in Signal Mountain, Tennessee, and they were exposed to the intoxicatingly country sounds of bluegrass. “[The music] acted as a social glue,” Jessica recalled of her first experience with mountain music.


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Category: Entertainment, Feb/Mar 09, Music, The Magazine
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Music Makers

If you take a moment in Savannah to stop and listen, the sweet sounds of success can be heard emanating from the Benedetto Guitar workshop.

On a cold morning several years ago, a young guitarist performed on a sidewalk in the Latin Quarter of Paris, cadging euros from tourists with a fairly fluent rendition of Django Reinhardt’s “Nuages.” When we told him where we were from, he detonated with delight. “Savannah? Savannah! Yes! Yes!” he said. Gleefully, he pointed to the name inscribed on his instrument.

“Benedetto!” he exclaimed. “Le meilleur du monde!” (“Benedetto! The best in the world!”)


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Category: Entertainment, Feb/Mar 09, Music, The Magazine
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