Mid-Shore Food: Hair of the Dog is Starting to Sniff

The Spy was on reconnaissance the other evening as we were checking out rumors of a new Vietnamese restaurant near Lowe’s. The good news is that our report can confirm that a Pho-themed venue is indeed happening. The bad news for the Spy that particular evening was that it wasn’t open yet.

But as we were swinging out of the shopping center, a quick look informed us that Hair of the Dog had made good of their promise to bust through a wall and open up the next door retail space to create a tasting room with an appropriate bar menu.

The Dog did well. It’s a remarkably open, pleasant space with very little doubt about its purpose. The tasting menu for both wine and craft beer seems endless, but just in case there is a credit card-run wine station where eight wines can be pumped out from a high tech encasement at various prices and sizes.

The food was good enough, which is a good thing. While the menu is creative to a point, none of the food offerings are designed to take center stage. It’s all about what one drinks.

 

 

Rotarian Moments with Patrick Fitzgerald

A few years ago, Patti Willis, the then president of the Rotary Club of Easton, described an experience that she predicted all her other Rotarian members would have, if they hadn’t already, which she labeled a “Rotarian Moment.”

This is when a Rotary member first recognizes the unique gift that comes with giving, or more precisely, when the act of their volunteerism, the primary goal of Rotary’s mission, produces a sense of contribution to one’s community never felt before. The Spy thought it would be beneficial to have members share these moments for the general public to understand more clearly the critical role the Rotary plays in the life of Easton and Talbot County.

We continue our series with attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. A native of Easton with strong family ties in the region including a grandmother with years of service on the Easton Town Council, Pat practices law with  Charles T. Capute, LLC.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about the Easton Rotary, please go here.

Spy Minute: A Primer on the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival with Al Sikes

A few weeks ago, the Spy sat down with Al Sikes for a freewheeling conversation about national politics. The former FCC Chair had a lot to say about the subject given his remarkable tenure in Washington, but it was also clear from that discussion that nothing makes Al more excited these days than talking about his passion for jazz.

For almost ten years now, Al Sikes has been the central force behind the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival and its ever-growing reputation as one of the Mid-Atlantic’s top performance series. Al’s recruitment of the legendary Monty Alexander to be its musical director has led to some of the very best musicians in the country making their way to Easton every year.

After we finished our interview with Al on world events, we took a few minutes to talk about what jazz lovers can expect when the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival returns to the Mid-Shore over Labor Day Weekend.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival and tickets please go here.

When Things Go Wrong: A Spy Chat with Easton Utilities Crisis Point Person Jim Crowley

As the Mid-Shore finds itself once again in the hurricane season, there is a relatively consistent feeling among Easton Utilities customers that the government-owned distributors of power (gas and electric), cable and internet services is exceptionally well equipped to handle whatever weather crisis comes its way. That’s no doubt due to the utility company’s well-earned reputation for customer service and safety.

But the Spy was curious, as we often are, about who were the actual people that would be leading the Talbot County’s recovery effort and we found one the other day.

If and when things go wrong around here, one of the critical point people will be Jim Crowley, the gas and safety manager for Easton Utilities. With a highly technical background of safety and crisis management, starting with his degree from the Mass Maritime Academy, Jim will be an essential part of the county’s SWAT team of agencies to get the greater Easton area back on its feet.

The Spy caught up with Jim outside of EU’s headquarters off Harrison Street last week to talk about the company plans for the “what ifs” that come with regional crisis management.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about Easton Utilities and what one can do to prepare for servere weather please go here

Mid-Shore Arts: Dr. Mel Rapelyea on the Chestertown Jazz Festival

It seems amazing that a jazz festival that was created in 1996 would still be humming along with the same volunteer director 22 years later. That certainly says a lot about how much Kent County and Chestertown loves the musical form, but it also says volumes about Dr. Mel Rapelyea’s devotion in keeping jazz alive for the countless aficionados in the community but has introduced the genre to hundreds of Kent County students over the years.

Started in 1996 as a project of the Kent County Arts Council, Mel and his team of volunteers have built a program that blends the musical  talent of renowned international artists like Cyrus Chestnut and Sean Jones, with the extraordinary local talent such as Karen Somerville and Phil Dutton and the Alligators.

The Spy sat down with Mel at the Spy HQ in Chestertown last week to talk about the festival coming up starting September 5 and his unique vision of how this unique hybrid has now grown to six days of concerts.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about Chestertown Jazz Festival – 2018 please go here

Spy Spotlight: TAP Takes on “Little Shop of Horrors”

It’s always a good sign when the director and actress of a new Tred Avon Player production show up for their interview in costume. Not only does it show how committed the cast and crew are but also the pure enjoyment it brings to the project.

That was the case when the Spy sat down with Little Shop of Horrors director Marcia Gilliam and Shelby Swann who plays Audrey, one of the main characters in this crowd-pleased theatrical production. Wearing their newly arrived “beehive” wigs, Marcia and Shelby talk about the history of the play, its music and its sometimes sobering plot line that has made it on to many actors “bucket lists” during their career. 

TAP will be presenting  the beloved musical comedy by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken, and based on the film by Roger Corman, screenplay by Charles Griffith. The show opens on Thursday, August 9 and runs through August 26 at the Oxford Community Center.

In Little Shop, Seymour Krelborn is a meek, dejected assistant in a seedy flower shop on Skid Row, who stumbles across a new breed of plant that he names “Audrey Two” after his co-worker crush. This R&B singing, carnivorous plant promises fame and fortune to the down-and-out Seymour as long as he keeps feeding it blood! As Audrey Two grows bigger and meaner, Seymour discovers the plant’s extraterrestrial origins and its intent of global domination, but has he discovered this too late?

The play is directed by Marcia and produced by Leigh Marquess. The cast includes Mike Sousa as Seymour, Shelby as Audrey, Beth Anne Langrell as Chiffon, Erinne Lewis as Ronnette, Rachel Elaina as Crystal, Bill Gross as Mr. Mushnik, Ricky Vitanovec as Orin Scrivello, D.D.S., Matthew Keeler as Mr. Bernstein, Kathy Jones as the voice of Audrey Two, and Sarah Anthony and Ed Langrell in the ensemble. Some actors play several roles.

Performance dates are August 9, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26. August 9 is Half-Price Preview Thursday, $10 for adults and $5 for students. Regular performances are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 pm and Sunday shows are at 2:00 pm. The Oxford Community Center is located at 200 Oxford Rd. Oxford, MD 21654. For tickets go to TredAvonPlayers.com or call 410-226-0061.

Talbot’s Chamber of Commerce Thinks about the Future with President Tim Jones

Its hard to come up with a better success story than the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce.  With over 800 members and decades of careful stewardship by the Chamber’s director, Al Silverstein, Talbot County’s local organization to support businesses and their owners has emerged as a classic model for other communities seeking a high impact advocacy group to promote local commerce.

But this legacy of accomplishment has not stopped the leadership of the Chamber to think about its future at a time when both local retail and business to business enterprises are going through radical changes in how customers shop and use services. With the advent of the internet and other technological changes in how products are delivered,  the Chamber must continue to make the case to its members and potential members of its relevancy.

Those factors have weighed heavily on Tim Jones, the current president of the Chamber. A native of Talbot County, and currently vice president for administrative services at Chesapeake College, Tim has had the unique experience of working in the private sector (Sotera Defense Solutions), the nonprofit sector (Delmarva Foundation), and now higher education, where he developed a strong bias for long-term strategic planning.

In his first Spy interview, Tim talks about the challenges that face the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce in this new era of business as well as the exceptional opportunities for members to continue networking, learning and volunteering well into the future.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce please go here

Quick Takes: Yes, Virginia, there is a Indian Restaurant on the Mid-Shore

The Spy has investigated many restaurant rumors that float through the Mid-Shore throughout the year, but when we received news that there was a possibility of an Indian restaurant in Cambridge, there was an instinctive reaction to label it “fake news.” Nonetheless, duty called, and we took a field trip last weekend to confirm or deny this existence of a venue for curry and are pleased to report that those reports have turned out to be entirely accurate.

Here are some of our findings:

1). The Indian restaurant goes by the name of Bombay Tadka and is located at 1721 Race Street in Cambridge.

2). The food is excellent and remarkably fresh.

3) Some staples of Indian cuisine are missing from the menu. Regrettably, Naan bread is not to be found along the favorite Tandoori chicken. It was also a disappointment that Tadka has yet to get their wine and beer license, which we hope will be resolved soon.

4) The service was attentive even during a busy night.

5). Like any new restaurant, there were a few hiccups and odd twists to our meal.  It is also safe to say that while the curry dishes were outstanding, they seemed remarkably different in taste and with presentation from your traditional curry house.

6) We conclude that Bombay Tadka is the “real deal” and a welcome addition to the Mid-Shore.

For more information about Bombay Tadka please go here

 

Mid-Shore Arts: The Eyes of Three Generations

It can only be reassuring to many who love photography that even in this age of digital cameras and software, the tradition of using film, film paper, and spending hours in a darkroom to develop images still lives on.

That is indeed the case with the three photographers participating in a new exhibition at the Trippe Gallery in Easton. Representatives from very different generations, starting with the work of award-winning George Merrill as the group’s elder, gallery owner, and photographer Nanny Trippe in the middle, followed by her daughter, Charlotte Cutts, who is a recent graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Set to open on First Friday in August, the three photographers compared notes recently at the Trippe to talk about the concept behind “The Eyes of Three Generations,” technique, and their passion for preserving the act of “developing” film.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information “The Eyes of Three Generations” please go here

 

Rotarian Moments with Bruce Armistead

A few years ago, Patti Willis, the then president of the Rotary Club of Easton, described an experience that she predicted all her other Rotarian members would have, if they hadn’t already, which she labeled a “Rotarian Moment.”

This is when a Rotary member first recognizes the unique gift that comes with giving, or more precisely, when the act of their volunteerism, the primary goal of Rotary’s mission, produces a sense of contribution to one’s community never felt before. The Spy thought it would be beneficial to have members share these moments for the general public to understand more clearly the critical role the Rotary plays in the life of Easton and Talbot County.

We continue our series with attorney Bruce Armistead, who has been a major volunteer leader in the community with years of board service with the Waterfowl Festival, Country School, Horn Point Environmental Laboratory, Chesapeake College Foundation, and Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about the Easton Rotary, please go here.