Issue 21


Issue 21
What’s the big idea,
Square Scullery?
The Corner Pocket
Easy speak with
Chef Ernest Cornelius
Akron Art Museum | Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia
Artist Talk
Mark Mothersbaugh and curator Adam Lerner
Saturday, May 28 at 2pm
Akron-Summit County Public Library
60 S. High St., Akron 44326
Tickets: $10 for Akron Art Museum Members, on sale
May 2, and MOCA Members, on sale May 9; $20 for
general admission, on sale May 16. To purchase, visit
Myopia: Free Opening Party
Saturday, May 28 from 3–7pm
Akron Art Museum
Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia
May 29 – August 28, 2016
a shared exhibition presented by
Myopia is the first retrospective of the work of Mark Mothersbaugh, spanning the
beginning of his career in the early 1970s through the present. Born in Akron, OH, and
co-founder of the New Wave band DEVO, Mothersbaugh has been making art for
more than forty years—since before the band’s inception in the early 1970s. This body
of work presents a unique combination of cultural criticism and personal expression
through drawings, films, paintings, sculpture and music. But more than that, his work
provides a missing link in the history of contemporary art and culture. At once an artist,
musician, and tinkerer, he offers a key to understanding the current state of art, with
its hybridity, subjectivity and fluid boundaries. Mothersbaugh’s work reveals his unique
artistic voice and also asserts his role in the intersecting legacies that have formed
contemporary culture.
Myopia at the Akron Art Museum turns its attention on Mothersbaugh’s visual art
practice, including installations of recent sculpture, prints, rugs, and a collection of
30,000 postcard-sized drawings the artist has created and utilized for inspiration and
exploration throughout his career. The Akron Art Museum is partnering with MOCA
Cleveland to jointly present Mothersbaugh’s work in simultaneous exhibitions across
Northeast Ohio. By visiting the exhibition in both venues, audiences will get a wideranging perspective of Mothersbaugh’s prolific output of artwork, music, ideas, restless
invention, and distinctive sense of humor.
Energy Dome Planter Workshop
with Amy Mothersbaugh
Thursday, June 2 at 6:30pm
Gear up for the museum’s soon-to-be-open garden
with artist and Studio 2091 gallery owner Amy
Mothersbaugh by transforming a terracotta flower
pot into an energy dome and placing a plant
inside. For tickets, visit
The Yoga of DEVO & Mark Mothersbaugh
Thursday, June 2 from 6:30-8:30pm
Grab your red energy dome hat and your yoga
mat and join us for an evening of yoga and
meditation with Maria Santoferraro. For tickets, visit
Mothersbaugh-Inspired Sun Catcher
with Amy Mothersbaugh
Thursday, June 23 at 6:30pm
What shines with beauty and glows with more
natural Akron energy than a red glass DEVO
dome inspired suncatcher? Learn basic soldering
techniques as you create a sun catcher with
a decidedly Akron flavor. For tickets, visit
Art Talk: The Beginning Was the End
Thursday, June 30 at 7pm
Jade Dellinger and David Giffels, authors of the
definitive band biography Are We Not Men?
We Are Devo! talk about the many worlds of
Mark Mothersbaugh.
Zine Workshop with Amy Mothersbaugh
Thursday, July 7 at 6:30pm
Join the zine craze and learn about Mark
Mothersbaugh’s early adventures in zine making.
Participants are encouraged to bring images and
scraps to personalize your zine, but materials will
also be provided. For tickets, visit
Everything Is Awesome:
Mark Mothersbaugh Painting Party
Thursday, July 14 at 6:30pm
Join smARTStudio to paint a portrait of Mark
Mothersbaugh on canvas. Learn the process of
photo transferring onto canvas and painting
FUNdamentals. For tickets, visit
Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Its presentation at the Akron Art
Museum is generously sponsored by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, John P. Murphy Foundation, AudioTechnica and EarthQuaker Devices. Special thanks go to the Department of Print Media & Photography at Kent State
University and TKM. Media sponsorship is provided by Western Reserve Public Media and 91.3 The Summit.
AKRON ART MUSEUM • One South High • Akron, OH 44308 • 330-376-9186 •
table of contents
The Devil Strip
The Corner Pocket:
When a neighborhood
is a neighborhood
unto itself
12 E. Exchange Street
2nd Floor
Akron, Ohio 44308
Publisher: Chris “has all the best words” Horne
Email: [email protected]
Cell phone: 330-555-NEVER-ANSWERS
Art Director: Alesa “doesn’t sleep” Upholzer
Managing Editor:
M. Sophie “Has Many Names, Wears Many Hats” Hamad
Email: [email protected]
Big Idea:
The Square Scullery
10 New column:
Not Lost in Translation
Sales Director:
TJ Masterson
Email: [email protected]
The Editorial Team
15 Indie Link levels
the playing field
Lead Editor........................................Bronlynn “Space Kitty” Thurman
Asst. Editor.............................Megan “Oxford comma slayer” Combs
Literary Arts Editor..................Noor "Nervous Poodle Poet" Hindi
17 The League of
Extraordinary Women
Lead Editor ................Katie “Miss Jackson if You’re Nasty” Jackson
Asst. Editor...........................................Jessica “Spreadsheets!” Cherok
Asst. Editor................Ilenia “Our Short, Tired Garbanzo Bean Eatin',
WTF Video Girl Writer” Pezzaniti
21 Rollin’ deep in
New Blimp City
Music............................................. Brittany “Sass Master Flash” Nader
Music..................... Clay “Needs a Whimsical Middle Name” Chabola
Entertainment............... Andrew “Has a Mighty Fine Beard” Leask
23 Power of the Pen
Staff Writers, Columnists & The A/V Club:
27 The Small Business
table of contents
Visuals Editor: Svetla “The Balkan Comrade” Morrison
Copy Editor: Jessica “My name is not Jecca” Cherok
30 Chef Ernest’s
Northside Kitchens
Emily “Lady Beer Drinker” Anderson; Holly “The Wanderer” Brown;
Emily “Potty Perfectionist” Dressler and Marissa Marangoni,
Bathroom Culture Enthusiast; “Lost in an Altered Realm” Dan
Gorman & Brian Dunphy; Paul “I don’t write” Hoffman; Chris “the
Film Freak” Kessinger; Jacob Luther, the Towny Townie Toonist;
Theodore “Quieter Days” Mallison; TJ “Don’t Call Me Shirley”
Masterson; Mary “not so contrary, in fact, quite easy to get along
with” Menzemer; the absolutely real and totally non-fictional
Georgio Pelogrande; Roger Riddle, Wears the Purple Pants; The
Shane Wynn Supremacy; Gabe “Softballin’” Gott
31 Wander into the Front
Porch Cafe
34 Bar Crawler taps PLX
40 Standing Room:
6 Bands to Know
43 On the Record with
46 Urine Luck’s first re-review
Allie Angelo, Rick Bohan, Dominic Caruso, Mary Menzemer, Shelby
Heitzenrater, Brit Charek, Craftiest Staff Writer/Maker of Empires;
Jessica Conti, Says She’s Not That Clever But Must Be Lying;
Heather “Doctor, Doctor” Braun; Eric Morris, Was Abducted By Jojo
Pizzaface’; Scott Piepho; Bert Stevens
Office .....................................................................(330) 842-6606
General Info [email protected]
Advertising ........................................... [email protected]
Distribution ..................................... [email protected]
Website ..................................................
Twitter ..................................................................@akrondevilstrip
Instagram ................................................................ @thedevilstrip
Thinking about life after Scarborough
by Chris Horne
If you think you have Scott Scarborough Fatigue (new syndrome, totally made it up), imagine how I we feel.
Then quadruple that and you’re close to understanding the on-campus antipathy shared by most faculty,
according to the latest Akron AAUP survey. But whether he should stay or go isn’t really the question
bugging me these days.
Instead, I’m worried that the anti-Scarborough sentiment has gone so far that everyone will think everything
is awesome at UA if he’s ousted. There were, as he’s rightly pointed, serious issues when he arrived. There
are, I think, more now — some worse than before. So the really big question, which needs to be addressed
regardless of who is in office, is “What will it take for the University of Akron to grow again?”
Starting the first week of May, we’ll post those stories online at, addressing roadblocks
to that growth with questions like: Why don’t the trustees want the public to see their evaluation of Dr.
Scarborough? And, what made Scarborough think the former Akron Beacon Journal publisher was the right
fit for the university’s vacant Chief Diversity Officer position? If there are layoffs coming because of the fall’s
enrollment plummet, what happens when Stark State opens its downtown campus?
I hope it’s obvious that we all want a healthy, vibrant university. It’s foolish to believe in a single bullet
solution but if we look, we might just find a roadmap.
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
The Devil Strip is published bi-monthly by Random Family, LLC. Akron
Distribution: The Devil Strip is available free of charge, limited to one copy
per reader. Copyright: The entire contents of The Devil Strip are copyright
2016 by Random Family, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without
written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume
any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any
submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial,
advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address
listed above.
pub notes
Pub Notes >>
About the Cover
Mark Mothersbaugh:
Mark Mothersbaugh,
“School Days — My first pair of glasses,”
courtesy of the artist.
Do you understand how important it is that
Mark Mothersbaugh is coming home — to
Akron — for this exhibit? Not that he’s shied
away from his roots, but it’s a big deal. Not
just that he would be willing to do it, but that
there’s a place like the Akron Art Museum
(and MOCA in Cleveland) where he can. My
hometown of Macon, Georgia, birthed Little
Richard, Otis Redding and the Allman Brothers,
among others like REM’s Mike Mills and Bill
Berry, but until recently, you probably wouldn’t
have known it because outside of a couple of
named bridges and streets, there were few
markers to note these world-class musicians
and little infrastructure for it either.
My mom and I were yelling
dictator-y Hugo Chavez. What changed was my
Speaking of, take a look at this issue’s New/
at each other again when
I said it. It’d been awhile
story of Macon.
Native for a glimpse of why our arts editor
Bronlynn Thurman and entertainment editor
since we’d gotten along,
The old story had been of a city without
Andrew Leask are among my favorite people.
so the arguments weren’t a
surprise but I can’t shake how this one went. I
opportunity, one where I’d get stuck working
in the same damn zipper factory as my dad
They remind me of a Mos Def line from “Oh
No”: “The kids better buy my rookie card now/
was a high school senior and had just moved
had (or worse), one where I’d never get to be
Cause after this year the price ain't comin
back in with her for the summer after living for
creative for a living or make the kind of friends
down.” I mean, the Browns wish they could
a couple years with my dad, which is another
story altogether. However, he was heading to
who’d both accept my weird, grumpy ass and
still challenge me. The new story emerged
draft talent with this kind of upside. Fortunately
for Akron, some of our best organizations
Atlanta to start a business with his brothers
slowly, reluctantly as the city gave me a cadre
have recognized the opportunity. Andrew
and I needed somewhere to stay before college
started in Nashville.
of irreplaceable friends, like Roger Riddle; a
creative outlet in (and then employment with)
just joined United Way of Summit County as
their Marketing Manager and Bronlynn is now
The 11th Hour, our spunky start-up arts and
Program Associate for the Knight Foundation in
“I can’t wait to get out of this shithole town!” I
culture mag; and eventually my darling bride.
Akron, as well as the GAR Foundation’s contract
said, echoing every angry teenager on TV or in
a movie (or in a TV movie).
Soon, I was carried by the natural gravity of
“Why?” Mom asked, her voice breaking. She
sounded vulnerable, which never happened
when we fought. Maybe that’s why this sticks
with me. “All I ever wanted for you and
your sister and brother is to feel like you have
a home.”
giving myself to the city and getting more back,
which made me give more, and so on and so
forth until one day my story about the future
of the city changed too. Macon looks now a lot
like the city I hoped it’d be. Story can’t be the
only thing that changes, but it can (and does)
lead change.
Recalling it now makes me collapse a little
still. My eyes water, my throat catches. What a
brat. My mom was the second youngest of five
Creative placemaking — using the arts, culture
and creativity to transform public spaces — can
change the place and then change story. Think
kids in a family run by a conservative Christian
missionary. They grew up in southeastern
Africa, untethered to any place until she was
ready for college. As a kid, the way I saw it
was my mom had adventures. She’d been
to London and stood at the foot of Egypt’s
about Inside/Out and the winning projects
of the Knight Arts Challenge. Of course we
love that, but I think of what we do at The
Devil Strip and Unbox Akron as narrative
placemaking. We’re telling a story of the Akron
we see right now so we can all collaborate, as
pyramids. The way she experienced it: She
wasn’t from somewhere. No lasting friends. No
way to build real relationships.
a community, on the city we
want to become.
program assistant.
My wife says I get my smarts from my mom,
which I think is an insult to my mother’s
intelligence, but I do believe I’ve inherited a
few things from her. Aside from sarcasm and a
distaste for housekeeping, she gifted me with
the longing for sense of place. After I pulled
a six-year stint in Nashville, I moved back to
Macon, practically against my will. But a decade
later, I’d completely rebuilt my self-perception
around intense civic pride.
I love my fellow newbies and
the natives who never left,
but I have a real fondness for
repatriated Akronites. They,
as Johnny Cash once sang,
“went out there in search of
experience — to taste and to
touch and to feel as much,
as a man can before he
repents,” and then, like me,
returned home, changing
their story.
Thing is, Macon didn’t change a whole lot
in the time between leaving it at age 17 to
coming back at 23. In some ways, it got worse.
The biggest employer shut down and the
already controversial mayor was doing crazy
stuff like offering letters of support to the
Once you change your story,
you change what’s possible.
That’s why we do what
we do.
This won’t be the last shout-out I give for
members of our little family, especially
considering what all they’re already doing —
Svetla Morrison’s “Hi Neighbor” project, Noor
Hindi’s Nervous Poodle Poetry blog, Shane
Wynn’s Knight Arts-winning #overlooked and
M. Sophie Hamad graduating then coming on
soon as our full-time managing editor. These
people — all our contributors, the folks we
write about and those we’re going to write
about — are the story of Akron, the one I knew
was here when I first visited. My mom may hate
that we’re not in Macon anymore, but I have
found a home because she taught me how to
look for it.
Take care,
Mom, it hasn t always been this easy and fun, but
I know you always have my back and I will always
love you.
Your boy, Chris
None of them, however, were artists in the
same sense as Mothersbaugh, whose career
began in visual art and carried over into music
with Devo, then movie scores, postcards and
even eyewear. Hell, my kid knows who he is
because he taught her to draw on “Yo Gabba
Gabba.” There aren’t a lot of creatives with
the varied resume that Mothersbaugh boasts.
Personally, I hope this exhibit, which runs from
May 29 to August 28, 2016, only brings Akron
another step closer to embracing its greats so
they can return the favor. - Chris H.
MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5 /
THE Devil Strip |
New / Native: The Devil Strip Staff edition
Compiled by M. Sophie Hamad and Ilenia Pezzaniti
What do you wish was on more Akronites
radar? I grew up in Puerto Rico. Although
my wife and I usually visit the island during
the holidays, what I miss most between visits
(besides my family) is the cuisine. Alas, there’s
nowhere in Akron to get Puerto Rican food—
which, by the way, is nothing like Mexican food.
Until that changes, I may have to resign myself
to only getting my mofongo fix once a year.
Andrew Leask
Marketing Manager, United
Way of Summit County
Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Neighborhood: Highland Square
What is your favorite local cultural asset?
Two come immediately to mind, and
fortunately, they’re within a block of each
other: the Nightlight Cinema and Blu Jazz+.
They’re wonderful, intimate venues that provide
entertainment that’s hard to find elsewhere.
Every city, not just Akron, could use those.
When did you fall for Akron? I started
writing for the Devil Strip last October. Since
then, I’ve met with and spoken to a lot of
started to fall for the place myself.
turned me into a salted caramel believer. I
love the massaman curry at Cilantro. It’s my
Where in Akron do you like to escape?
It’s not a specific place, but in the past year,
favorite Thai curry dish, and Cilantro makes
it differently—thicker and richer—than other
I’ve gotten into taking long walks. It gives me
places I’ve had it. And I love the carrot cake
an opportunity to think, listen to music or an
they sell at the Mustard Seed Market. I live just
audiobook, and get some exercise all at the
same time. On most days, this means walking
across the street from the Highland Square
location, and my struggle to keep from eating it
down Market Street from my apartment in
Highland Square. I’m sure it doesn’t sound
particularly exciting, but it gives me the
opportunity to be inside my own head for a
while, which I find very useful as a writer.
every day is very real.
Why should everyone try your favorite
local restaurant? I can’t bring myself to pick
just one favorite restaurant, but I’ll gladly list
some of my favorite things I’ve eaten in Akron
Maybe it’s a cop out not to name one
restaurant, but that’s part of what I’ve grown
to love about Akron. There’s a lot of people—
artists and businesses alike—that are working
to find their own niche, and the excitement of
being new to Akron comes from seeing how
they are succeeding.
know) and the creativity, the art, the likeminded
individuals just blew me away.
I wish Akronites outside of Downtown, West
Bronlynn Thurman
Contracted Program Assistant
for Knight Foundation and
Contracted Program
Associate for GAR
Neighborhood: Downtown
Occupation: Chef, Catering Chef, Cook, food truck owner
operator and everything else in between.
Hometown: Norton, Ohio
Home Now: Akron Ohio, Highland Square, The 330!
330-760-9123; [email protected]
Occupation: Professional Photographer/Owner operator of Retro
Peacock Photos. Right hand boss lady of Square
Scullery Food Truck
Hometown: Akron, Ohio
Home Now: Akron, Ohio, Highland Square, The 330!
330-907-9755; [email protected]
since I moved here. There’s the salted caramel
a great place to live in. After getting to see
macarons at Sweet Mary’s Bakery. I usually
Akron through their eyes, it wasn’t long before I roll my eyes at food fads, but those macarons
What do you wish was more on Akronites'
radar? Our art scene is growing and thriving.
people who are devoted to making this city
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
Akron, and Highland Square were more aware
of it.
What is your favorite local cultural asset?
The Metro Parks. Hands down.
When did you fall for Akron? It was the
Where in Akron do you like to escape? The
Nervous Dog on West Market is my go-to spot
when I want some quiet time.
Why should everyone try your favorite
local restaurant? The Blue Door in Cuyahoga
Falls is a gem. It uses local, farm-fresh
Spring of 2014. I had just moved back to Akron
after living in Virginia for a year and Kent for
more than 4 years. I believe that it was my
first time visiting Highland Square (I know, I
ingredients, its menu is always new, creative
and delicious, and it stays away from corn
syrup, hydrogenated oils, etc.
Our big idea is to provide the streets and events
of Akron, as well as the rest of Northeast Ohio,
with chef-inspired, locally-sourced modern
comfort food. We will offer ever-changing
seasonal menus to highlight the best of what
Ohio has to offer
and family thought we were a little crazy to
throw everything that we had into doing this.
However, we do know that Akron is an amazing
city where the opportunity to thrive is present.
When we started talking to everyone around us
about what we were setting out to do the excitement and support just came pouring in. We
have taken every opportunity to show people
what we create and have had nothing but the
desire to want more.
Matt Ulichney: Because I crave it! We've
gotten this far in life by taking major risks, to
pursue our dreams, so why would this be any
different? There is nothing more gratifying to
me than feeding people. Whether it’s family,
friends or complete strangers. I love everything
that comes with what I do. The blisters, burns,
sweat, long hours, living life in a constant state
of chaos. It is something that is addicting. With
the love and support of my wife and two boys,
I am always searching to do the next bigger and
better thing. When the opportunity to make a
long term goal a reality we had no other choice
but to dive in head first.
We still don't know if it was a good idea, but
we do know it’s a big one. (haha!). Our friends
We hope to help Akron grow by showing the
people in the community what all their city has
to offer. We want to not only purchase as much
as possible from local providers but promote
them as well by letting people know where
their food is coming from. We also will be
giving back to our community by once a month
providing meals to people in need as well as the
people that help keep Akron as great as it is.
Watch for The Square Scullery’s kickstarter
campaign to go live later this month at
// Photos by Retro Peacock Photography
Adoptable Pets
What Akron's 427 Design has learned in a decade
of graphic design, web-making, photography,
animation and screen printing awesomeness.
You may not have seen 427 Design's office, which is amazeballs, or recognized their people when you saw them, but you probably have seen some
of their work, which is among the most creative you'll find, here or anywhere. Now, this wild bunch is celebrating 10 years in the business, so their
annual open house — May 26 at 4:27 pm, 190 N. Union St., Akron — is even more special-er than usual. To get this party started, we asked to Brad
and Justin, the guys who started it all, to share something about the lessons they've learned the hard way. Visit them online at
BRAD HAIN (President)
is a very social, friendly
and outgoing guy who
"I wish I would have known how gratifying and fulfilling it is to be a business owner in a community
like Akron. Akron is full of hard-working, talented and gracious businesses and organizations who are
doing great things. And we are lucky, and oftentimes inspired, to be asked to bring their ideas and
initiatives to life through great design, motion graphics, photography and the other services we offer.
If I could change one thing, its that I would have started 427 Design sooner.
adores being pet and being loved! Morris loves
everyone he meets and likes to greet you with
a friendly meow when you approach him. He
enjoys playing with cat nip filled toys, sitting in
laps and snoozing on comfy cat beds! Morris
seems to get along with other cats and dogs.
Morris is FIV positive but we know that will not
hold him back from finding a forever home
soon due to his stellar personality! If you would
like more information on FIV please call our
shelter at (330) 487-0333 and we would be
happy to give you tons of information! Morris
I also could have worked more to promote 427 Design early on. We have intentionally flown under
the radar, relying on word of mouth and referrals to provide new opportunities for ourselves. Our
clients have always been my best PR and salespeople. Our subtlety has become a part of our brand
and one of the things that make us who we are. We plan to engage more national accounts, and to
make that happen we'll be marketing ourselves more aggressively in our next ten years."
is hoping you stop by PAWSibilities, Humane
Society of Greater Akron soon and ask to meet
him today!
JUSTIN TOKOS (Creative Director)
"I wish I would have known, or perhaps better understood, the value and importance of community
involvement and networking. I get a lot of enjoyment from local projects and it makes me feel great
to see our work appear around town. That "hey we helped with that" feeling never gets old and
now it's one of my favorite kind of project to work on. There's a lot going on in Akron, and we could
have been more in tune to that in the early years."
is around 8 years old and
weighs about 25 pounds.
Despite her age, Jessie has spunk!! She loves
toys of all kinds and is a self-entertainer. After
a got a good play session, Jessie is ready to
cuddle up and get some pets and belly rubs.
She shows potential with the right dog but
wouldn't mind being the only pooch in the
palace either. Stop down and meet this lovely
lady today at PAWSibilities, Humane Society of
Greater Akron!
From those of you who "broke bread"
with us in the beginning, to those
who have joined the "fight" along
the way, we invite you to join us in
celebrating a Decade of (427) Design.
Pictured right: We think this photo and Justin's
handlebar mustache speak for themselves.
190 N Union St, Akron
by Greg Milo
PAWSibilities Humane Society
of Greater Akron
7996 Darrow Rd., Twinsburg, OH 44087
1.888.588.8436 | 330.487.0333
[email protected]
One-by-one, a dozen 10th graders from Akron Early College stepped to the front
and told the area’s leaders exactly what they think about the issues that matter
to them — and their ideas for making Akron a better place. Teacher Brad Scott’s
brainchild, Project Soapbox brought together an impressive list of guest judges
for the competition: 34th Ohio House District Representative Emilia Sykes, Summit County Executive Russ
Pry, Akron City Councilman Jeff Fusco, former APS Board of Education President Lisa Mansfield, Akron Public Schools Community Relations
Director Carla Sibley, Adam Motter-APS social studies curriculum specialist, Early College High School Principal Cheryl Connolly Akron and
senior class president Alexandria Couch. “My goal was to show students that they were important and their opinion was important,”Scott
told Greg Milo, “and that if they want their community or city to be great, it is up to them to make it great. No one will do it for them.”
You can read about the power of Project Soapbox in Greg’s full story at
MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5 /
THE Devil Strip |
Urban Explorer: Firestone Park
words and photos by Kristina Aiad-Toss
As much of Firestone Park’s population ages, too many storefronts and houses lay idle or vacant. However, among the “closed” and "for
sale" signs, these hidden gems are breathing life into one of Akron's proudest neighborhoods.
Calhoun Records
Miss Julie’s Kitchen
Boardwalk Thrift
Mod Salon & Gift Gallery
356 Reed Rd
Akron, OH 44301
Hours: Tues-Sat 12pm-6pm
1809 S Main St
Akron, Ohio 44301
(330) 819-3834
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat 9am-5pm
1501 Aster Ave
Akron, OH 44301
(330) 835-7570
Hours: Fri-Sat 11pm-5pm
357 Reed Ave
Akron, OH 44301
(330) 724-9040
Hours: Tues-Wed 9am-9pm, Thurs 1pm-9pm
Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 8am-4pm
Signless for two years, this record store hides
nameless amongst the empty buildings of the
neighborhood. Numerous colorful funk, soul,
jazz, hip-hop, rock and rare records for sale at
a reasonable price vinyls adorn the walls, span
Permeating with hippy vibes and scents of
heavenly sweet potato cake, this rare vegan
restaurant offers a cozy ambience and delicious
home-cooked food made from local organic
ingredients. With a cuisine unique among other
Beckoning to visitors with a colorful mural
consuming outside, intricate oddities and
charismatic antiques populate the inside of
this inviting and cozy thrift store. Amongst
towering stacks of old framed paintings and
Do you ever wish their was a place where
that styles hair and has a gift shop? From the
canvases baring sarcastic quotes to elaborately
decorated mugs, this gift shop’s quirkiness
shines through both its uncharacteristic
the tables, and consume the floor—flashin
names of funk, soul, jazz, hip-hop, and rock
Akron restaurants, this venue is perfect for
enjoying a healthy meal while surrounded by
arrangements of vintage furniture, treasures
lie waiting for the fortunate antique hunter to
location and the oddball items it sells. This
venue is painfully unique—offering traditional
legends. The breakdancer owner, a veteran of
the business and a competitive breakdancer,
has an in-depth knowledge of music that rivals
the store’s selection.
the feeling of familiarity that bleeds both from
the atmosphere and the friendly staff.
discover. In addition to a diverses selection of
rarities, the owners of the store are extremely
friendly and offer an environment where
customers will always feel welcome.
salon services, like manicures and hairstyling,
in addition to a intriguing store offering
merchandise teeming with personality.
It’s not all black & white
By Lenny Spengler
by Amanda Sedlak-Hevener
Another housing development trend follows
street names. It’s common to give all of
the streets in a development names that
follow along a particular theme. In the case
The first housing developments appeared
of Kickapoo Avenue, that theme is Native
in Goodyear Heights in the early 1900s.
American tribes. Other streets that run parallel
Just like with Firestone Park, the Goodyear
to Kickapoo Avenue are named after the Ute,
Rubber Company wanted to create affordable
Cree and Shoshone tribes. However, none of
housing for its employees – but with one
those tribes have ties to Northeastern Ohio. The
difference. Firestone Park housing was designed Kickapoo are from the Northwestern part of the
specifically for employees, while Goodyear left
state, as well as from the Ohio and Miami River
its possibilities open, and allowed non-factory
areas. The other tribes are from further west –
workers to purchase their houses. When you
proof that street names don’t necessarily need
consider the fact that most well-known housing to have specific ties to their namesakes.
developments began to appear around the
// Amanda Sedlak-Hevener is a local historian and a
U.S. in the late 1940s and 1950s, it’s amazing
graduate student at the University of Akron.
to think that Akron companies were ahead of
the trend, one that continued in the city until
the post-World War II period when most of the
houses in the Kickapoo Avenue area were built.
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
© 2016 Lenny Spengler
Some street names are more unusual than
others. To the casual observer, Kickapoo
Avenue, located off of Eastwood Avenue (and
near Brittain Road) in Goodyear Heights seems
like just another street, full of post WWII era
houses. However, when you look at the names
of the streets around it, a story unfolds.
every time i wear white...
The Mediterranean Revival style building was
erected in 1924 as a vaudeville and silent
credits, and is currently applying to have the
building added to the National Register of
film theater, seating up to 1,000 patrons. It
Historic Places.
operated as such until 1962 when the theater
The $1.2M Plan
to Resurrect
the Historic
Falls Theater
words and photos by Katie Jackson
After years of interest and speculation, it
appears that plans are finally moving forward
to renovate and repurpose the Falls Theater
located in the Riverfront District in
Cuyahoga Falls.
was purchased by Loew’s Corporation and
converted to a modern cinerama with reduced
CIC has been working closely with developer
Lauren Burge and her company, Coming
seating of 630 seats. Many locals have fond
Attractions Development, LLC, on a proposed
memories of seeing iconic films at the Loew’s
$1.2 million dollar plan to renovate the former
New Falls cinema, especially their weekly
theater site. On March 28th City Council
showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
approved legislation to help advance the
In addition to the theater, the building housed
proposal to convert the building into a mixed
two storefronts on either side of the theater
entrance and four apartments on the second
use space that will include a brewery in the
former theater location, as well as reviving
floor. However for the past 27 years the
the original footprint of two storefronts and
building site has remained vacant.
four apartments. If the historical tax credits are
The City of Cuyahoga Falls owned the property
until recently when ownership transferred to
the non-profit organization, Cuyahoga Falls
Community Improvement Corp. (CIC). On
March 1st, Cuyahoga Falls City Council voted
unanimously to approve historic landmark
designation to the building. The historical
designation is more than just a talking point
for the City though. With that designation,
CIC was able to file for both state and federal
historic preservation and rehabilitation tax
Akron HERstory:
By Ilenia Pezzaniti
Jean Palmer was a draftsman who worked for
Goodyear in the late 1920’s, becoming the
first female draftsman to work on Goodyear
airship plans.
This proposal is one of many exciting and
upcoming changes to the Cuyahoga Falls
Riverfront District, and a perfect example of the
kind of local preservation and revival we hope
to see more of in our communities.
// Photo credit: Katie Jackson
Jean Palmer
At Goodyear, a barely 5 foot tall Jean who
always wore 4-inch heels, was in charge of
drafting the electrical wiring systems of the USS
Akron and USS Macon (We finally got Akron
and Macon in the same sentence!) Jean left
Jean was born in 1902 in Govan, Scotland
Goodyear just before the USS Akron debuted,
where she learned draftsmanship at a Glasgow but when World War II started, she went back
shipyard and served four years as an apprentice. to work as a draftsman at Goodyear Aircraft,
She and her husband, John Palmer, moved
where she worked on war blimps.
to Akron in 1928. From 1929, to 1931, Jean
worked on blueprints for U.S. Navy dirigibles.
Jean and her husband John started the
United Way of Summit County
received, the building will be sold to Coming
Attractions, LLC., and they hope to complete
the project by 2018.
American British Progressive League in the
1940’s, a program that helped immigrants
get citizenship here. In 1965, Jean retired as a
drafts(wo)man at the Summit County Engineer’s
Office. She was 80 years old when she died of
cancer in 1983.
Pictured: Jean Palmer was the first female draftsman
to work on Goodyear airship plans like the USS Akron,
pictured here.
United way’s imagination Library provides free books from birth to age
five and improves early childhood literacy across summit County.
whaT ThIs pLacE NEEDs
Is EarLy rEaDErs.
great things happen when we LIVE UNITED!
United Way of Summit County
MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5 /
THE Devil Strip |
Lost in
by Steve Van Auken
The farming life was the backbone of this
country for centuries. It left us with a legacy
"Make hay while the sun
shines." Invest as much as
of practicality, self-reliance, inventiveness,
closeness to nature, and a sense of community.
Thank God it's gone.
you can in that promising new
start-up before everybody
else finds out about it.
Most of us don't want the agrarian life back.
Life on the farm often meant being too cold, or
too hot, bug-bitten, and tired. This is because
crops and animals do not turn themselves into
food all by themselves. They require hard work,
every day. You could be the best farmer for
miles around, do everything right, and still end
up ruined if a big storm blew in one night.
"Don't put all your eggs in
one basket."
I try to think about that any time I feel upset
because a client or a colleague doesn't fully
"Don't look a gift horse
in the mouth."
appreciate all my special qualities.
When your aunt
buys you an
iPhone6 for
your birthday,
don't tell her
you wanted
the iPhone
yard with a hatchet. But as with all change that
is mostly good, there are also some good things
that are becoming lost.
6s+ instead. Unless
you want nothing
but socks and
Our fore-mothers and -fathers acquired a lot of
wisdom while they were working hard all those
years. They put some of their best thoughts into
pithy phrases to guide others toward success.
Their wisdom survives and it would be a great
shame to lose it. But much of it is locked in
old-timey metaphors that don't speak to us
anymore. We need to be able to translate from
their language to ours, to bring their hard-won
knowledge into our lives.
as presents
for the rest of
your life.
Our ancestors lived close to nature, as most
of us do not. Many of their insights, their
aphorisms, refer to a natural world we no
longer inhabit. They, on the other hand, did
not live in a world shaped by instant access to
information , or indoor plumbing. So it requires
some reworking to allow their insights to come
into our world in order to guide us in the lives
we live today. Here are some of their "old
saws", with translations.
"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
If your software is working alright, don't trade it
in for the newer version. It might be a dog that think your seed corn will somehow
the sales guy is trying to unload so they can
grow your business if it is floating
bring in the really improved version.
around the Caribbean on a yacht.
"The time to fix the roof is when the sun is
shining." You'd better get that software fixed
this week while things at the office are kind
of quiet, because next week you will be on
deadline for that big project. You won't have
time to make the change then and you'll really
be up the creek without a paddle.
"Shallow brooks are noisy." The people who
send the most tweets are the people who have
the least useful things to say.
"Don't get up the creek without a paddle."
Use a little planning, or you'll end up walking
home through muddy water, or you'll have to
paddle your canoe with a stick. Have you ever
tried paddling with a stick? No, I didn't think
so. Or else you would have made that software
fix by now.
"A new broom sweeps clean." When Apple
hires its new CEO she will cancel all the projects
the old CEO had started.
"Don't eat your seed corn." Don't spend
your research and development money on an
executive compensation package. Unless you
Illustration by Paul Hoffman
Most of us are glad to be able to work in a
warm office, instead of mucking out the barn
early on a frosty morning. We are grateful to
be able to go to the store and buy chicken for
dinner without having to chase it around the
Don't invest your kid's
college fund in that
"can't miss" oil stock
your brother-in-law told
you about.
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
"Don't count your chickens before they're
hatched." Not every start-up will ever
earn enough to move its headquarters out of
mom and dad's garage.
"No sense shutting the barn door after the
horse has run off." Don't bother installing
good virus protection the day after hackers
associated with the Chechen mafia have made
off with all your data.
"The early bird catches the worm." It was only
the very first investors in Microsoft who got to
be billionaires. Your missed that worm, and it's
not crawling back.
over social media, don't be surprised when
someone finds yours.
With a bit of translation we can bring the
wisdom of our ancestors into our own lives. We
are not so far separated from them in place and
time that we can't in most cases understand
what they were thinking. Except maybe in a
few matters, such as why they thought the
two-seater outhouse was a good idea. Or what
they meant by, "Don't buy a pig in a poke." No
one knows what this means. Perhaps it can't
be translated, or doesn't need to be. But to be
safe, the next time somebody wants to sell you
their pig and it is sitting there in something you
don't recognize but which might be a poke,
just say no.
"People who live in glass houses shouldn't
throw stones." If your idea of a good time is
finding someone's flaw and denouncing it all
Memories: The Curds
in The Milk Of My Brain
by Georgio Pelogrande
Anyways, I sleep in the basement at my parents'
house. The ceilings are low so sometimes I
hit my head, sometimes I don't. But what's
more interesting than that, is the fact that I'm
surrounded by Pelogrande family history. So I'm
going to subtitle this little article, "Nostalgio Por
Georgio." Let's explore the relics found in the
darkest corners of this historic, often damp, and
relatively smelly archive. C'mon. Let's go.
1. HOT TUB: For years, the subtle whir of hot
tub jets would lull me to sleep as my head lay
ever so gently next to the asbestos insulated
tub that was dutifully installed in the basement
by my uncle Roncito. I was truly blessed with
blissful, baby-like sleep amid the dull hum of
the SonoJet motor.
Unfortunately, one night about three months
ago, the electrical components caught fire
and the whole thing went cajingo. Also,
my mustache was singed and I lost my left
eyebrow. Luckily my chest hair was saved
because it had been given a healthy
protectant coating of Manlay's Nighttime
Chest Hair Conditioning Sheep Slaw during my
bedtime routine.
(stage name Chi-Chi) was still alive when I was
a kid. He told stories of old Vaudeville that
harkened back to a simpler time. Tales of a
budding entertainment business captivated us
children and he recounted his interactions with
various singers, actors, dancers, puppeteers and
He was often ridiculed in the Vaudeville
community because of the hyper-realistic
size and overall scary look of his puppet
"Carl," but the family still considers him
to be an unrecognized pioneer in the field
of ventriloquism. Being outcast from the
entertainment world tore him apart and that
shameful sting stayed with him well into his
old age. He died when I was seven of what the
doctors called a "myocardial infarction," but we
all know he really died of a broken heart.
back and forcing him to talk by threatening not
to feed him if he didn't perform. Ironically, the
"puppet's" name was also Carl. Coincidence?
Probably not.
cousin's name was Carlo. In 1926, he wrote
a book called “Living With Gout, A Uric Acid
Trip Down Memory Lane.” His original notes,
outlines and the manuscript, which would
become the West Parma best seller is still intact,
along with the photos that were professionally
taken of him for the cover. He was a proud,
handsome man (despite the gout).
his best-selling book and never really worked
much after its release (which is good because
he was, of course, riddled with gout). To
cement his legacy, in 1942 he founded what
would eventually become Pelogrande and Son
Taste of Madrid Family Style Buffet, although he
never really worked at the restaurant much (on
account of his gout.)
SCRAPBOOK: Aunt Miranda was known as
"failed child actress" in most Hollywood circles
despite the fact that she only ever auditioned
for one film. When she was six, she tried out
for the role of the title character in the movie
“The Incredible Shrinking Child.” She lost
the part to one Shirley Temple. The film was
eventually scrapped because the studio thought
it was stupid to shrink a child considering most
children are already small. And that, folks, is the
magic of Hollywood.
I shall now leave you with my favorite quote
about nostalgia: "For if I only knew what the
word meant, I would cherish nostalgia the way
an old person cherishes his or her prunes. For
prunes are truly nature's most disgusting fruit."
-Georgio Pelogrande
Be nicer than you were yesterday, and read a
math book. Thank you and you're welcome.
most Saturdays on the Altered Realm Radio show on
AUG 14
Located at Urban Eats / 51 E. Market St.
He made quite a nice living just on the sales of
// Catch Georgio Pelogrande from 8 pm to midnight
Years later it was discovered he was just
jamming a pistol into a very, very short man's
Music Festival
Bring Guitar
Pack Camper Van
Bring AAA Card
Hit the Road
& Rock on
Your news feed is full of parenting advice.
So are our pediatricians.
To find a pediatrician near you, visit
the arts
Ace Epps reads to a packed house at the Cashmere
Cricket in Cuyahoga Falls for an event hosted by
ArtsNow and Collide, a collaborative organization
dedicated to helping create a vibrant Cuyahoga
Falls. (PHOTO: Svetla Morrison/The Devil Strip)
MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5 /
THE Devil Strip |
the arts
The palette: May events
Our picks for arts events in May
by Noor Hindi and Bronlynn Thurman
‹ Mom, The Masterpiece
Friday, May 6 at Summit ArtSpace, 6:30 pm
production called Lend Me A Tener, a rousing
comedy about an Italian opera singer who is
Jennifer Davis of SmART Studio is back again
with another painting event. This time, in
celebration of Mother’s Day, you get the chance
to paint that very special someone in your life,
drugged and replaced by an assistant. Mishap,
misunderstandings and mayhem ensues. Don’t
miss it. Tickets are $22, but there will be a $12
preview on May 12 only. Find more information
your mother. Davis is a fantastic teacher who
does a brilliant job of guiding those who are
initially hesitant about flexing their creative
muscles. Tickets are $40 per person and
those interested can find more information at
é Give My Regards to Broadway
å Just Go With It Improv
Friday, May 6 at Akron Center for
Art Music & Performance, 7 pm
Join local improv group, Just Go With It and
Oberlin College’s improv group, Sunshine
Scouts as they tickle your funny bone and you
laugh yourself into stitches. The show starts
at 7:30pm and tickets are $5. Visit facebook.
com/events/2002270679997518/ for more
ç Hack the Arts
Tuesday, May 10 at
Akron Civic Theater, 5:30 pm
Collaborating for the first time, ArtsNow and
OSC Tech Lab seek to bridge the gap between
the blooming art and tech scenes in Akron.
This event will give attendees an opportunity
to interact and find innovative ways to reinvent
Akron. This event is free, but registration is
encouraged. Visit
for more information.sweets. Hurry and get
your tickets before they’re gone. Members pay
$6.27, while non-members pay $11.54.
‹ Lend Me A Tenor
May 12 - June 5 at Coach House Theatre
Coach House Theatre is putting on a
May 13-14 at Springfield Junior/Senior
High School, 7:30 pm
Join Springfield High School for its first musical,
“Give My Regards to Broadway.” It’s an
intriguing story about a young boy’s passion for
baseball, which overtakes his father’s love of
acting. Admission is $7 at the door.
included photographing friends after they’ve
had three glasses of wine.
Mothersbaugh’s work reveals his unique artistic
voice and also asserts his role in the intersecting
ë Riverfront Art Walk
legacies that have formed contemporary
Saturday, May 21 at
Riverfront Merchants, 11 am
Join the Riverfront Merchants for an
afternoon of shopping to help promote
small business, local arts and downtown
Cuyahoga Falls. This celebration is a great
way to kick off your summer and spend time
with family and friends. Visit
events/1125983074112558/ to stay up-to-date
on all information.
í Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia
Saturday, May 28
Artist Talk featuring Mark Mothersbaugh and
Saturday, May 14 at
Curator Adam Lerner 2-3 pm. Ticket Required:
Our Lady of the Elms, 7 pm
$10 for Akron Art Museum Members and
Breath of Dreams is a fundraiser for the
MOCA Cleveland Members, $20 for General
organization Alchemy, a group that has received Admission. FREE opening party for the
the National Arts and Humanities Youth
exhibition from 3-7 pm
Program Award from the President’s Committee
for its commitment to helping urban male
Exhibit runs from May 29 to August 28
youth. Alchemy facilitators use the telling and
Myopia is the first retrospective of the work of
analysis of myths and fairytales to help urban
Mark Mothersbaugh, spanning the beginning
adolescent boys develop a sense of purpose in
of his career in the early 1970s through the
life and to thrive as members of a family, school present. Born in Akron, OH, and co-founder of
and community by “becoming the hero in their the New Wave band DEVO, Mothersbaugh has
own story.” This event is free, but registration is been making art for more than forty years—
encouraged. Visit since before the band’s inception in the early
to register.
1970s. This body of work presents a unique
combination of cultural criticism and personal
expression through drawings, films, paintings,
ê Wine and Shine
Friday, May 20 at
sculpture and music. But more than that, his
Hazel Tree Interiors, 7 pm
work provides a missing link in the history
Join photographer Svetla Morrison for an
of contemporary art and culture. At once an
evening of wine, stories and laughter. Brazilian artist, musician, and tinkerer, he offers a key
photographer Marcos Alberti inspired Svetla
to understanding the current state of art, with
through his photography project, which
its hybridity, subjectivity and fluid boundaries.
è Breath of Dreams
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
The Akron Art Museum is partnering
with MOCA Cleveland to jointly present
Mothersbaugh’s work in simultaneous
exhibitions across Northeast Ohio. Myopia
in Cleveland focuses on experimentation,
performance, and sound. Works on view
present the Mothersbaugh’s early sketchbooks
and ephemera, documentation of DEVO’s first
performances, the band’s commercial and
conceptual development, and Mothersbaugh’s
ongoing experimentation with manipulated
musical instruments. Myopia at the Akron Art
Museum turns its attention on Mothersbaugh’s
visual art practice, including installations of
recent sculpture, prints, rugs, and a collection
of 30,000 postcard-sized drawings the artist
has created and utilized for inspiration and
exploration throughout his career. By visiting
the exhibition in both venues, audiences will get
a wide-ranging perspective of Mothersbaugh’s
prolific output of artwork, music, ideas, restless
invention, and distinctive sense of humor.
Taken together, this incredibly unified body
of work reveals the artist’s persistent attempt
to navigate between the conflicting forces of
cynicism and freedom, and irony and originality.
Like his early work with DEVO, Mothersbaugh
explores the complex relationship between
what is synthetic and what is authentic.
For questions or more information call
330.376.9186 x214.
Five Tips For
Comic Creators
Strengthening the Weakest Link
Joe shares five tips for comic creators
and illustrators who are just stepping
into the market.
1. “Make sure your heart is in it. Success
won’t happen immediately, but if
your heart is in it, you’ll be able to
How Indie Link is bringing
comic creators and illustrators together
by Megan Combs
keep going.”
2. “Have discipline and put in the hours
needed to get your work done. Don’t
get jaded by other people’s success. If
So you’ve got an idea for a
“There is only one comic book distributing
comic creators to share pro tips on his site in an
comic book, but no one to
illustrate it. Or maybe your
company,” Michael said. “And you have to
make a certain amount of money before they
effort to help others save money on marketing
or from making rookie mistakes. There are
comic book is complete,
distribute you. So it’s hard for people who are
also tips for creating an effective kickstarter
you put in the time and effort, you’ll
but now you don’t know
just starting out to get anywhere.”
campaign, how to videos, a community forum
get there too.”
how to distribute it. That’s
where Indie Link comes in.
3. “Be diligent when it comes to choosing
your collaborators. A project can be
destroyed by the wrong creator or
illustrator. Then be patient with the
people you do end up working with.”
4. “You’ve got to have tough skin.
There are always going to be critics
and naysayers.”
5. “Build a strong network of support
from local shops and fellow creators.
Don’t treat this like a competition,
just think of it as a bunch of
Created by Akron native Joseph A. Michael,
the website Indie Link ( was
created to be a space where comic illustrators
and creators can share tools and tricks of the
trade for people who are just starting out.
Anyone who joins Indie Link has the
opportunity to create a profile and use it as an
online portfolio to showcase their talent. Users
can then add release dates, convention dates
and more. It’s also a place where comic shop
owners can create profiles to reach out to users
looking to distribute their work.
and more.
Not to mention competing with the likes of
Marvel and DC for shelf space.
Indie Link was born out of the struggles
Michael and his comic creator and illustrator
friends faced on a daily basis. As the creator of
the comic book series “Only Human,” Michael
wanted to share his experiences and how he
overcame them to help others.
“I’ve experienced years of struggle and
hundreds of hours of research, lost sleep and
money,” Michael said. “It’s not an easy industry
to break into. There is a steep learning curve.”
“I want the independent creators to have a
voice among the big players,” Michael said.
“Right now there is no singular voice for us and
it’s sad. We all try to support each other and
that’s my hope for Indie Link.”
The website is still under construction, and
Michael plans to relaunch in about three or four
months. Until then, Like the Indie Link page
on Facebook to connect with other creators
around the nation.
// Megan loves writing about comic illustrators and
creators. Tweet her at @WhoIsMeganCombs if you’d
Michael has asked some more established
like to be featured.
MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5 /
THE Devil Strip |
A Merchant Millennial
How Barberton’s Merchants Association has been shaping up since its first Fourth Friday
words and photos by Mary Menzemer
into her own personal
business. Her story
coming from Akron
Association include a representative from the
on a big challenge. There is no job description,
and Canton and
mayor’s office, a member from the South
human resources department, or anyone to
adds an interesting
train her on what her duties will be in the
coming months, or possibly, years. What was
twist on the ever-
all over the region.
We’ve had to expand
Summit Chamber of Commerce and a rep from
the Barberton Community Foundation. All
the event into Second
together, the association has 30-plus contacts
Twenty-three year old Hannah Gerbec is taking
once a three-person job is now a one person
going conversation
about millennials,
job: the head of newly formed Barberton
many of whom are
Street, and we already and resources to help them to continue to
have five more
grow and revitalize the downtown area into an
Merchant’s Association.
urban dwellers and
businesses who want
young professionals.
to join in.”
When three high school seniors from Barberton
High School, Justine Liddle, Ashley Cook
and Katie Ebner, formed the monthly Fourth
Friday event in downtown Barberton, they
encouraged businesses to form the Barberton
Merchant’s Association alongside. But now
they are busy with graduating high school,
applying to colleges, and attending the DECA
International Career Development Conference
competition in Nashville which was April 23-26.
So with the teens unavailable, who better to
be the forefront of the association than one of
Barberton’s very own small business owners?
“I’ve always had an attachment to this town,
and I really want everyone in the association to
work together and grow so we can have even
more events,” Gerbec said. “It’s the direction
where I want to take my life, and continue to
be involved in business and politics. As stressful
as it may be, I’m enjoying it.”
Gerbec helps run Aunt Hannah’s Antiques
and Collectibles with her mom, and has even
recently purchased some real estate to turn
Other business
owners have seen
the benefit, too.
“We’ve done really
well on Fourth Friday,
and it’s been pretty
consistent,” said
Jason Miller, owner of
Stuff Genie Emporium
on Tuscarawas.
“People have been coming into my store and
saying ‘we just moved here’ or ‘we’ve just
moved back’. We’re trying to make it a more
trendy, artsy area.”
There has been plenty
of talk about what
young professionals
are doing, and how
kids are coping with
life after college, but
what about young
Could Barberton start
becoming the perfect
breeding ground for young entrepreneurs,
or for those who don’t like so much the
idea of college, and are looking to use their
interpersonal and leadership skills?
independently run art mecca.
“The area alone definitely has a strong art
feel to it considering the rich history of the
downtown buildings,” Gerbec said. “Every
kind of art is gaining popularity in the area and
everybody just wants to hit one location. That’s
why all of the stores work so well together.”
The Merchant’s Association wants to continually
advertise their event and try to make it stand
out from the First Friday event in Canton. Miller
says they also hope to gain some funding over
time to help pay musicians and artists who are
currently dedicating their time for free for
the evening.
// Mary Menzemer believes in maximizing the
It very well could be, but it would have to be
based upon high population growth and hip,
startup businesses making their headquarters
there. While these things aren’t impossible,
they’re tricky, and would most likely take a
number of years to completely settle in.
potential of any city. She also just started a blog
Miller has recently taken leadership over Blue
called Peace Signs & Pulp. Check it out at
Sky Drive In in Wadsworth, hoping to turn it
back into a farmer’s and flea market. He’s also a
part of the board of the Merchant’s Association,
owns an auction shop, and is a contributor on
“The first night of Fourth Friday we had traffic
jams in the store,” Gerbec said. “People are
There have only been three Fourth Friday events
so far. Among the others in the Merchant’s
the Altered Realm radio show on KRMA Radio.
The next Fourth Friday will be from
5 to 8 pm on May 27 on downtown
Barberton’s Tuscarawas Street.
Harrison Nevels, Junior
“I used to be really bad at art, but
now it’s something I like and that
I’m good at. My freshman year, I did
a Gandalf portrait in chalk. I want to
get into tattooing or special effects
makeup after high school. I just like the idea of being
able to do something that you like for a career, and I
They may not get a certificate and
recognition on the loudspeaker, but some
Barberton HS kids deserve our recognition
for staying true to their art and themselves
don’t feel pressured when I do art. It’s just something
that I want to do, nothing that I’m told to do.”
words and photos by Mary Menzemer
Mikaila Carrington, Senior
Remember the cool angel sketch we published last month done by
Xavier, a high school senior? Or how about those bloody, but oh
so cool, anime sketches done by Jazmin, high school freshman and
aspiring animator?
We have some more awesome things that other teens have done, and
we’re not stopping there. Here’s what these Barberton High School
students have to say about their work, in their own words.
Know any art students worthy of recognition? Email
[email protected] and tell us about them!
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
“Making jewelry is fun. I draw posters for my room, too.
I have them everywhere. I started drawing when I was
little because I didn’t have a TV or anything. I want to
teach art in high school. I think education should be to
improve the individual rather than the entire class as
a whole. So I’d focus on each of the kids. My mom one time wanted to
get a tattoo of a fairy, and I had done one in 3D. She took it and got that
tattooed on her chest. That’s the art accomplishment I’m most proud of.”
Photo courtesy of Bright Star Books and WIC
Photo courtesy of Bright Star Books and WIC
Bright Star Books
Brings Literacy
to the Children of
Greater Akron
by Melanie Anderson
Imagine what it would be like to grow up
without books. For many low income children
books. Many of these donations are due to
book drives. These are a great opportunity for
in Summit County, this is a reality.
children to actively participate in the community In addition to book fairs, Bright Star Books
by giving to others in need.
also recently expanded to work with Summit
County Public Health’s Barberton, Summit
Bright Star Books is also partnering with the
Lake, and Graham Road Women, Infants, and
“This City Reads!” coalition to host a “This
Children (WIC) clinics, which collectively serve
City Reads!” event at the Akron Rubber Ducks
about 3,000 children in the greater Akron area.
Because of the success of their donations so far
this year, Bright Star Books is able to contribute
five books twice a year to all children served
by these clinics, reaching more than two-thirds
of all children up to age 5 living in poverty in
Summit County.
This came as a surprise to Christin and Keith
Seher’s then 3-year-old son in 2014. Upon
telling him that many children do not have
books to read at home like he did, he replied,
“Then we have to give them some!” Since
then, Keith and Christin Seher have founded
Bright Star Books, a 501(c)3 non-profit
organization dedicated to meeting the literacy
needs of low income children in greater Akron.
home with them.
“What we discovered when we started two
years ago was that the most pressing need for
books was for limited-resource, 0- to 5-year-old
Already, the program has proven to be
immensely rewarding. Keith shared an incident
children,” said Keith, co-founder and executive
director of the organization. “More than 60
percent of these children have non ageappropriate books in their homes, and therefore
are not exposed to the amount of speech or the
number of words that a growing brain needs.
Too often this leads to children starting school
that occurred recently: “As I was leaving the
Summit Lake WIC clinic after dropping off some
books, I heard a little boy come in and ask,
‘Mommy, can I go get my books now?’ For him,
a trip to WIC has turned into something special.
He was excited about his new books. For us,
that is exactly what success sounds like.”
developmentally behind their better-resourced
peers -- a gap many children never close.”
game on June 15. With this event, anyone who
donates a new or gently-used children’s book
can purchase game tickets for $6.
The books reach children through events such
as Bright Star Book’s first “Free Book Fair,” held
at Findley Community Learning Center in Akron
last month. At the book fair, every student had
the opportunity to pick out five books to take
or follow them on Facebook.
// Melanie is an aspiring writer and professional
wanderer who is freshly emerging from the
undergraduate student life and is still looking for
hidden portals to Narnia.
Uniting Women Artists of Akron
by Bronlynn Thurman
respect and support of the community.” They
achieve this goal through supporting the Akron
youth. Each year they sponsor a scholarship for
an Akron area, female high school student who
wishes to study art.
before admittance. These days the process
is not nearly as rigorous. The WAL now allows
all those interested in art and currently boasts a
In addition to scholarships, they also hold a
Spring juried show. This year’s show will be held membership of 70 women.
at the Almond Tea Gallery in Cuyahoga Falls
To learn more, visit
from May 24 through June 30.
Their mission is “To unite the women artists of
Akron who are interested in the advancement
of the arts, who desire to be of service to the
In the past, potential members had to have
community in a way that merits the recognition, their artwork judged by current members
no goats
no glory
Custom pieces include lighting,
wood pieces and metal fabrication
as well as custom jewelry, aprons,
boho-style clothing, gypsy flags as
well as monthly tarot and oracle
reading and massage therapy,
acoustic artists and more.
Mon-Tues 12-6 * Wed closed
Thurs-Fri Sat 10-6 * Sun 12-4
To find out more,
check out the organization’s website,
Women’s Art League of Akron
Behind the doors of the Akron Women’s City
Club, an art league that has spanned nearly
seven decades convenes. Started by notable
women like Gertrude Seiberling, Germaine
Verheyden and Amy Goehring, the the
Women’s Art League of Akron (WAL) gather
on every second Saturday between September
and May.
Over the year and a half since the organization
began, Bright Star Books has been able to
collect more than 55,000 books to put into the
hands of disadvantaged children. It recently
exceeded its 2015 total of donations, bringing
the total for 2016 up to more than 32,000
// Photos by Sara Heston
Photo courtesy of Shane Wynn
may Comics • may Comics • may Comics
culture & community
The only time Andy Bixenstine and
Michael Purdy get to ride bikes anymore
is when they're testing them out before
putting them out for sale. Get to know
them in Ilenia Pezzaniti's profile on
Blimp City Bike and Hike, page 21.
(PHOTO: Ilenia Pezzaniti/The Devil Strip)
MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5 /
THE Devil Strip |
culture & Community
‹ Babywearing Salsa
Friday, May 6 at The Bit Factory, doors open
at 7 pm, event runs from 8-10 pm
PechaKucha International hits Akron again.
As always, there will be free food and a cash
bar. The event is free, but a $2 donation
is suggested to support PK International.
Seats must be reserved in advance through
å March for Babies presented by
Tuesday, May 10 - Uncorked Wine Bar, 7 pm
Parents will learn basic steps for salsa and
merengue--all while wearing their babies in a
baby carrier! The dances learned will be fairly
low to moderate intensity for beginners. Be sure
to dress in comfortable clothing that allows for
movement, and wear suitable shoes (any shoe
that has support, but doesn't have a ton of
grip, such as a jazz shoe). Cost is $8 per parent,
available at the door or through
Saturday, May 7 at Lock 3, 9 am-1 pm
é Exploring the World
March of Dimes
Get ready to walk in the March for Babies!
It promises to be a fun day out with people
who share a passion for improving the health
of babies. There'll be family teams, company
teams and people walking with friends. Money
raised will go to help babies right here in our
community. The March for Babies is a 4 mile
walk or 1 mile family fun route that starts at
Lock 3 park, ending back at Lock 3 for food
and entertainment.
ç Akron Symphony and
GroundWorks DanceTheater
Present Carmina Burana
Saturday, May 7 at EJ Thomas Hall, 8 pm
EJ Thomas Hall will reverberate with the
power of nearly 200 musicians when
the Akron Symphony Orchestra (ASO),
conducted by Christopher Wilkins, and
GroundWorks DanceTheater, directed by David
Shimotakahara, present Carmina burana,
Carl Orff’s well-known work celebrating fate
and chance. The production will feature 24
adult and student dancers performing new
choreography to music presented by ASO
and the Akron Symphony Chorus, as well as
sophisticated lighting to create a projected set.
The evening will also feature the On the
Waterfront Symphonic Suite by Leonard
Bernstein. Bernstein’s Academy Awardnominated score for the 1954 film was the
starting point for the Symphonic Suite. A year
after the release of the film, Bernstein adapted
the score into a 20-minute suite consisting of
six continuously flowing movements. Some
consider it to be one of the most distinctive
symphonic portraits of an American scene.
through Storytelling
Saturday, May 14 at Akron-Summit County
Public Library Main Branch, 10 am-4 pm
Once Upon A Time...the stories of the
world come alive in an interactive and
multidimensional festival.
The festival celebrates stories of the world
and multilingual and multicultural storybooks.
The celebration includes interactive, handson experiences through which students and
families can explore world cultures with
authentic cultural exhibits, stories and book
readings, music, art, dance, storytelling,
puppets and world languages. For more
information, check out the facebook event
è Social Media Marketing Panel
Monday, May 16 - OSC Tech Lab,
6:30-8:30 pm
What does the future of Social Media look
like? The power of social media is radically
transforming the marketing function for
startups and the role of the marketing
professional. Join our panel of experts for a
conversation on social media trends for 2016.
Our panel will share their insights, experiences
and predictions that will change the way you
use social media for your brand or business,
while sharing best practices for applying them.
The panel discussion will be followed by drinks
and networking courtesy of Launch League.
‹ The Club @ the Civic Motherhood presented by
Wandering Aesthetics
Friday, May 20 at Akron Civic Theatre, 8 pm
Motherhood is a beautiful thing, but do you
really know your mother? While she was busy
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
May 7 // ACCESS Race to a New Start 2016
3807 Ridgewood Rd, Copley
A fundraiser to support ACCESS, a local
community events
‹ PechaKucha Akron, Volume 3
Akron 5Ks
adoring you and taking care of your every need,
she was also busy being a person– a wife,
daughter, co-worker and friend… did you see
all the balls she had in the air? Get to know
your mother at this storytelling performance.
This is a cabaret performance, set on the Civic
stage. Performers and audience are on the
beautiful Civic stage for the performance.
Seating is limited!
‹ Just Be: A Relaxed Gathering
for All Women
Saturday, May 21 at
The Bit Factory, 9:30 am-4 pm
Just Be is an opportunity for women to come
together and do just that: “Just Be.” Women
will be encouraged to be themselves, share
their hearts’ desires, begin charting their goals,
and expose their areas of challenge. Moreover,
the attendees will have the opportunity to hear
from various speakers throughout the course
of the event who used life’s challenges as a
platform to boost themselves to higher ways
of thinking and new ways of approaching and
conquering their personal, family, career, and
community goals.
Just Be will provide access to local business and
community organizations who have programs,
products, and services that are in alignment
with the overall well-being of women (mind,
body, and spirit). Additionally, there will be
the opportunity for local business and other
organizations to showcase their offerings in an
area designated for vendors. Tickets are $45
and available through
‹ A Walk in the Garden Night
Thursday, May 26 at Buchtel Community
Learning Center, 5:30-8 pm; Wetland Play
from 7-8 pm in the auditorium
Check out the new community garden, native
shade garden, walking path and exercise
garden, and hear student composed music,
student-created videos, and presentations
centered around a healthy environment and
community. Students have written a wetland
play and will perform it in the auditorium to
end the evening. Bring the whole family
and come have fun with the students and
community of Buchtel CLC!
(continued on page 45)
organization working to empower homeless
women and children by providing tools they
need to create their new beginning.
May 8 // Mother’s Day 5K 2016
521 S. River Rd, Munroe Falls
A stroller-friendly course fundraiser and
“friendraiser” for the Metro Parks Foundation,
celebrating Mom’s on their special day.
May 14 // ADM Recovery Challenge 5K
3445 S. Main Street, Akron, OH
A fun obstacle course challenge and fundraiser
to support those who are in recovery.
May 21 // Torchbearers AKRun & Crawl
1735 Merriman Rd, Akron
10th Anniversary run AFTER DARK with a
Flashlight Glow Run along the Towpath Trail
followed by a bar crawl through Merriman
May 28 // Akron Color Vibe 5K Run
Lock 3, 200 Main St, Akron
Have a fun time and get blasted with color
while you run, celebrating with a dance party
at the finish line!
June 4 // Rhino Rush 5K Run/Walk
Portage Lake State Park
5031 Manchester Rd, Akron
An event dedicated to preventing the
extinction of rhinos from the wild through
habitat preservation, surveillance, and antipoaching techniques, presented by the Akron
Zoo Chapter of AAZK.
June 18 // Akron Autism 5K Run & Walk
Lock 3, 200 Main St, Akron, OH
A family friendly walk for Autism awareness
with proceeds helping to fund programs for
the Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA)
serving those in Medina, Portage, Stark,
Summit and Wayne Counties.
June 18 // 5KRunDead Zombie Run
Heritage Farms, 6050 Riverview Rd, Peninsula
Test your speed, endurance and strength while
trying to avoid ravenous zombies. Runners
must make it to the finish line with at least one
flag or become one of the walking dead!
June 25 // Akron Marathon Race Series:
National Interstate 8K & 1 Mile
InfoCision Stadium, 361 S. Union St, Akron
The first training run to prepare participants
for the Akron Marathon this fall. This course
will highlight The University of Akron’s campus
with a unique tour of downtown Akron.
culture & community
How Blimp City Bike and Hike Bike Shop was born
words and photos by Ilenia Pezzaniti
A carnivalesque popcorn machine sits beside
the counter. Crotch-shaped seats cling to the
wall nearby. Rows upon rows of bikes hang
upside down like bats. Some stand tidily, their
front wheels wedged between metal rods
that keep them separated. A “Beware of Killer
Dachshund!” sign is tacked to a back wall,
despite there being no actual dog in sight.
it goes along with the fact that I actually like
cycling as well,” Andy said. Andy has over 30
bikes of his own.
Blimp City Bike and Hike Bike Shop, a family
business that’s relied mostly on word of
mouth by Akron’s citizens, has a sense of
playfulness, embodying the adventurous nature
Manager, with the help of his stepfather and
shop owner, Michael Purdy, they’ve been open
for seven years. Michael, who worked as a
North American sales rep traveling the country,
contracted mechanic, the guys can find busy
season challenging, bringing in over 200 bikes,
“Sometimes it’s a struggle to take care of
everybody properly. And if you can’t do that,
they propose.
“shopped around” bike shops the first few
seasons. In October 2009, they found their first
what’s the point? No matter how much money
you make, if you can’t take care of people
It all started with Akronite Andy Bixenstine
“skibummin’” in Vail, Colorado. Home for
the summers, he’d work at Century Cycles
in Medina, fueling his love for mechanical
apparatuses. He’d take home “dead bikes”, aka
donated bikes, and fix them up. “Growing up,
I loved Legos. Disassemble. Reassemble. Do it
as you’re supposed to or do it your own way.
That kind of tinkering kinda just kinda fits. Then
building. By Black Friday, doors opened in the
Merriman Valley.
because they didn't like your service they’re not
coming back,” Andy said. “The nice thing is, it
always works out. I think it’s because Michael
and I make a good team. I keep it kinda
enthusiastic, and he keeps it real. A
good balance.”
Andy and Michael are proud to be located in
Akron and want to see the city thrive. “Akron
has a lot of potential and it’s a little painful to
see how slow progress moves in this area but
at the same time, my enthusiasm for bikes,
my enthusiasm for skiing- I have the same
Ready to pursue his dream after working at
other outdoor sports realms, Andy left his
initial idea of combining a ski and bike shop,
settling on two wheels. Now the General
enthusiasm for the potential this area has. After
living in a resort city like Vail, an area that’s
pretty walkable, you come back here and, you
know, we’re very auto-centric. We’re behind
the times on that kind of stuff. My passion for
Akron is to see it grow.”
he said. “The coolest part of the job? Well it’s
just playing with bikes all day instead of calling
it work,” Andy said.
May is their busiest month. Pay them a visit at
their new location. Ya buy a bike, ya get a
free t-shirt.
With a small staff, the two of them plus a
Michael’s favorite part is interacting with the
customers, “I love coming in here every day,”
Pictured above: Their new building, located at 1675
Merriman Road, is much larger than the last, creating
more room for more bikes and mechanic work
Blimp City Bike and Hike Bike Shop
1675 Merriman Road, Akron, OH 44313
(330) 836-6600
MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5 /
THE Devil Strip |
culture & Community
The Black Hand
When Mobsters Ruled Akron
by Katie Jackson
From the outside, it
appeared to be an average
As Borgio’s empire spread throughout the city,
so did the growing disdain for the illegal activity
neighborhood general store
by the Akron police force, who remained largely them for arrest he was shot three times.
was never charged with additional crimes, and
in North Hill. But inside the
backroom? Alarms armed
untouched by Borgio’s extortion. By 1918,
officers began raiding Borgio’s gambling dens
Passerby George Fink saw the incident and
quickly ran to flag down other officers. The two
on February 21, 1919 he and Mazzano were
executed by electric chair at the Ohio State
the front and back doors.
and brothels, arresting both gang members and
assailants, Frank Mazzano and Paul Chiavaro,
Penitentiary. The Akron Beacon Journal reported
Foot-long spikes were built
into pits beneath the stairs.
A trapdoor hid an arsenal of submachine guns,
rifles and pistols at arm's reach. The owner? A
well-connected businessman with most of the
city’s politicians on the payroll. Also known as
the most feared man in Akron in the 1910’s:
Rosario Borgio.
Borgio, an Italian-American mobster, arrived in
Akron at the turn of the century as an eager
henchman. It didn’t take long before he was
first in command of the local chapter of The
Black Hand, a criminal empire of bootlegging,
prostitution, gambling, and blackmail. The
gang, reported to have gained its reputation by
delivering threatening extortion letters signed
with a sketch of a hand in thick black ink, was
two suspicious men. Richards trailed and
apprehended the men, and while preparing
clientele. In retaliation,
Borgio called a meeting
of his Black Hand thugs
to declare war on the
Akron police force.
Offering a bounty of
$250.00 on the head
of any officer, it didn’t
were captured and
arrested. Sadly Richards
passed away, but not
before confirming the
identity of his killers.
take long for the first
victim to fall.
to Richard’s killing
and confessed to an
even larger story:
the murders of all
four officers were
connected. Not only
were they connected,
but they were ordered
by the infamous mob
boss, Rosario Borgio.
Officer Robert Norris
was patrolling his
evening beat on
Market Street when
he witnessed what
appeared to be
a robbery. As he
infiltrating Italian-American communities across
the midwest.
While in custody,
Mazzano admitted
a gruesome Triplett Road murder, with the
hope that it would delay his execution. Borgio
their deaths in detail, describing Borgio as dying
within 20 seconds of electrocution.
Unfortunately, Borgio’s criminal influence did
not die immediately with him. Within weeks of
his death, three other Akron Police patrolmen
were shot while on duty by revengeful members
of The Black Hand, resulting in the death of
yet another officer. Additionally, fifteen years
after his arrest, Lorenzo Biondo’s life sentence
was inexplicably repealed by then-Governor
George White. Biondo fled to Italy and virtually
The Black Hand organization gradually vanished
from Akron, and across the United States, in
the mid-1930’s as police forces cracked down
harder on organized crime. As a result, many
confronted the suspected assailant, Norris was
shot twice in the back and left for dead. He
passed away on Christmas Eve 1918. A few
With an influx of young men to Akron to fill the weeks later, officers Edward Costigan and
Black Hand members reintegrated themselves
Borgio and five of his gang members - including into society as neighborhood “protectors”.
Frank Mazzano, Paul Chiavaro, Tony Manfredi,
Pasquale Biondo and Lorenzo Biondo - were
While Akron might not be as tough and well-
assembly lines of the bustling rubber factories,
Borgio and his squad were nothing if not flush
with clients. There wasn’t a bottle of moonshine
or a late night mistress that couldn’t be traced
back to Borgio’s Furnace Street operation. Nor
were there many elected officials who weren’t
turning a blind eye to the activity in exchange
for some form of bribery.
arrested and indicted for the officer’s murders
within weeks of the confession. With the
exception of Lorenzo Biondo, all were
sentenced to the death penalty.
Joseph Hunt found themselves in a similar
pursuit and were also gunned down and killed.
The police, unaware of a connection between
Borgio and the murders, were baffled and
unable to find a motive for either of the killings.
In early 1919, Officer Gethin Richards
was patrolling a railyard when he spotted
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
known for underground mafia activity as New
York, Chicago, or even Youngstown, we were
not unaffected by its reach.
// While not traveling or daydreaming, Katie shares
While awaiting his fate in the Summit County
jail, the weakened Borgio was reported to have
confessed to a string of other crimes, including
the responsibility of renovating an 1868 farmhouse
with a handsome troubadour, two dogs, and a curious
8 year old.
culture & community
Area schools expanding a new tradition of team writing
by Patrick Worden
Unless you run impossibly fast, you can’t
play football by yourself. And if you believe
that writing is always a solo endeavor, you’ll
be amazed to meet our area academic
writing teams, who are going head to head
against other schools in timed composition
The organizations that are making this happen,
PoP (Power of the Pen) in area middle schools,
and PenOhio in high schools, have thrown
down a gauntlet in terms of their stated
mission, vowing to make writing teams as
ubiquitous in schools as football squads.
The middle-school version has been in existence
since the mid-1980s, an offshoot from an inclass competitive writing program developed by
Nordonia Hills teacher Lorrainne Merrill. More
recently her son, Tom Merrill, was tapped to roll
out PenOhio to Northeast Ohio high schools.
Their first regional tournament will be held on
Saturday, May 14th.
and forty minutes to complete a paper. Each
student writes independently, and competes
directly against a member of the other team
(teams are rotated, round-robin-style, so that
no two students compete against each other
twice in the same tourney). Essays are judged
by a panel of volunteers, local librarians, and by
the teacher-coaches, who only review papers
major fiscal sponsor of PenOhio, although
additional sponsors and volunteers are actively
being sought. The organization is in the process
of establishing itself as a 501c3 nonprofit, and
offers free program participation to public,
private and parochial high schools. Its inaugural
year has seen schools in Cuyahoga, Summit and
Stark counties sign on, with goals to expand
authored by opposing teams. Competition
continues through three rounds until a winning
team, and a single highest-scoring composition,
are crowned. Prizes include scholarships,
with the teacher-coaches earning continuingeducation credit and the opportunity to bring
an unconventional writing emphasis into their
throughout Ohio and beyond over the next
two years. Power of the Pen, meanwhile, is
coordinating 42 middle-school writing meets
per year, with 500 schools participating at the
district, regional and state levels.
It works like this: teams are comprised of six
students. In each round they’re pitted against
an opposing school and given a writing prompt, The Cuyahoga County Public Library is the
Both programs, Tom Merrill tells us, help kids
get college-ready by exposing them to different
forms of narrative and expository writing, and
to new writing techniques. With writing skills
so central to all academic disciplines, not to
mention in the workplace, Merrill says that
competitive writing benefits not just students
who want to pursue writing careers, but all
students. Teachers and schools likewise benefit
with supplemental course material geared to
help them meet new state learning standards,
and to prepare students for the recently
increased weighting of the English sections of
standardized tests like SAT and ACT.
Academic competitive writing, born in
Northeast Ohio and poised to expand far
beyond, just might transform how an entire
generation approaches team activities, and the
written word. It’ll be fascinating to see how it
also comes to impact the ways they learn, work
and live.
// Pat Worden lives, writes and BBQs in East Akron.
PenOhio needs
sponsors and volunteers!
Please visit
or email [email protected]
MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5 /
THE Devil Strip |
The Corner Pocket
When a neighborhood is a neighborhood unto itself.
The pocket neighborhood. If you’ve never lived
may have been quickly surrounded by industrial
swamps, rivers, canals and other waterways—
in one, then you’ve probably never seen one,
since they are often hard to find. Often hidden,
shops, small factories and other commercial
businesses that were created to support Akron’s
can set a natural neighborhood boundary. In
some cases, they can serve as a scenic amenity.
and more often forgotten, these are the small-
Rubber Boom. In other cases, housing may have
to-medium-size enclaves of houses that exists in been quickly erected in areas where zoning
SEMI-UNDEVELOPED LAND – this can include
cities everywhere. Akron has them, too—hidden or development was still in transition – due to
behind factories, walled off by expressways,
demand and expediency. Later in the century,
a large park, cemetery or forest land, large
recreational areas—like ball fields, reclaimed
obscured behind urban overgrowth and stashed the expansion of the highway system also
across a bridge or perched at the end of a
played a major factor in creating some of these
narrow lane.
pocket neighborhoods.
urban land (cleared of prior structures) as well
as brownfields (cleared industrial lands) and
even open areas, like landfills.
A few were created with intention. Most were
created by accident; when geographic and
socio-economic development factors collided
What makes a pocket neighborhood unique
is not necessarily its size—though they
are generally not very large—but its sense
these include major transportation arteries like
highways, but can also include railroad tracks
and left them as the inevitable result. In this
case, they are often the residue of short-sighted
and too-rapid land development, poor road
planning and general neglect.
of isolation. Commonly, these types of
neighborhoods are bordered on three sides by
various types of barriers, leaving only one side
(or in some cases, a single street) connected
to the outside world. These barriers can take a
number of forms, for example:
and rail yards (in use and abandoned) as well
as airports.
This was especially the case with some centralcity neighborhoods during the early part of the
20th century. Several blocks of viable housing
include factories, large scale retail developments
and everything that goes with them—including
parking lots.
TOPOGRAPHIC BARRIERS – like hills, valleys,
Akron’s Pocket Neighborhoods
laird st. area
culture & community
Looking back over the years, it’s easy to see that in a hilly, fast-growing industrial city like Akron, there would
have been plenty of opportunities for small neighborhoods to get cut off from the rest of town. Here are just a
few examples.
This small neighborhood in old
Middlebury, nestled on a high bluff
overlooking Case Avenue on the
north, is hemmed in by the old
AC&Y rail line on the east, and East
Akron Cemetery and Seiberling Field
on the South. The only entrance is
via two access streets on the west
side, Willard and Fulton, which run
off of E. Market between two old
Goodyear parking lots. Most of the
houses here were built by 1910, and
for many years, this neglected area
became run down and a haven for
crime. A close look at Google Maps
reveals that housing density in the
neighborhood has been significantly
reduced through aggressive
demolition; about 40% have been
removed, with the result that this
area has been mentioned as a
possibility for future redevelopment.
Centered around the old Lewis
Miller Estate, this tiny enclave
of apartments and old houses is
surrounded by Glendale Cemetery
on the west, Glendale Park on
the north, and finally cut off from
the rest of town when the RT 59
Innerbelt was constructed along
its east and south sides. Generally
well-maintained, the area remains
its “own little world” and provides
excellent views of downtown Akron.
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
It would be easy to miss this tiny
enclave of about 20 houses as
you pass south under I-76 along
Innovation Way (formerly Martha
Ave.). Tucked between the highway
and Middlebury Run Park, it
probably dates from about the same
period as Laird Street, though the
circumstances of its envelopment
center around the fact that it was
largely cut off from the rest of
East Akron by the construction
of I-76. Earlier, an industrial plant
had encroached from the east, and
major rail lines (now abandoned)
had formed the boundary to the
south. On the west was the huge
Goodyear Plant II complex, now
home of the company’s Tech Center
and International HQ.
culture & community
Big Plans for Tiny Places?
These are just a handful of such neighborhoods; and easy highway access is a plus. The same
and there are many others scattered throughout holds true for the tiny “village” of Englewood/
Akron. What makes them interesting is not only League St. near Goodyear’s World HQ.
their individual character and the way they were
created, but also what they have to offer for the Pocket Neighborhoods have their advantages.
future. Some of these Pocket Neighborhoods,
like those off Merriman Rd., will continue to
provide comfortable family living. Northside,
small-but-mighty, continues to mature into
an exciting mixed-use neighborhood with
the addition of a new hotel. Small as it may
be, Oak Park Hill may have an important role
to play as a visual anchor with the eventual
redevelopment of the Innerbelt.
Many are quiet, with limited access and street
traffic, plus the added security of neighbors
who may know or at least recognize each other.
Another thing to consider is that even though
they are small, they can have a big impact on
larger areas – serving as an anchor of stability,
an outpost of innovation or even “weirdness”,
or a potential laboratory to try out an urban
development idea on a very small scale.
The future is less certain, but no less interesting
for areas such as Laird St. The high percentage
of vacant lots points to eventual redevelopment
in the future—residential or otherwise—and its
close proximity to the East End development
Sometime in the spring, take a look at a map of
Akron, get on your bike and visit some of these
pocket neighborhoods. Take a look at them
with a city planner’s eye. What kind of potential
is there? What would you do with them?
member of the month
WKSU's Amanda Rabinowitz!
Roger Riddle: What was your favorite item in March's box?
The two small enclaves have been
Pocket Neighborhoods from the
very start, and retain their sense
of separation due to topographic
reasons (they are on the edge of a
valley) steep grades and railroad
tracks that lie on both the east and
the west. Access for each is by a
single road; in the case of Bastogne,
it crosses over a rail line.
A couple of decades ago, we
might not have thought of this
as a neighborhood, but since the
completion of the Northside Lofts
and the condominium units on
Howard Street, this unique “pocket
neighborhood” provides a great
example of mixed use development.
Furnace St. offers a narrow access
corridor from the east and west, but
the area is separated from the rest
of town by the slopes of the Valley
and its railroad line, undeveloped
land and the formidable swath of
MLK Blvd that was the result of the
RT-59 / Innerbelt terminus. Cut off
from the rest of downtown, the
future may have looked bleak 30
years ago, but the area has survived
and thrived, becoming a popular city
hot spot.
Amanda Rabinowitz: Since it was my first box, I didn’t
know what to expect! I loved having samples from places
throughout Akron that I didn’t even know existed. I really
enjoyed the caramel popcorn from Metropolis Popcorn! It
was fresh and tasty and most importantly, local!
RR: Which family member or friend wanted which items from
your last box?
AR: I loved showing off my first box at work. I showed it to all
of my coworkers and they wanted to know where to sign up!
My coworkers were especially jealous of my buy-one-get-one
free ticket to the Nightlight Cinema!
RR: Where would you take someone who only had one day
to spend in Akron?
AR: I would show them around Lock 3 and take them to the
Akron Art Museum then take them somewhere to eat, like
the Lockview or Crave. Rubber City Clothing is a cool place
for an Akron-themed souvenir. I love the Metro Parks so
maybe take them for a walk at the Nature Realm and finish
the day with some drinks at the new Northside Speakeasy!
To sign up for your subscription, visit
culture & Community
UA’s Experiential Learning Center Brings Together Local Teens for a Week of Community Problem Solving
words and photos by Andrew Leask
For most high school students, spring break
means sleeping in on weekday mornings. It
means hanging out with friends or staying up
late playing video games. It means a week of
rest and relaxation. When most high school
For Ian Schwarber, Resource Director of the
EXL Center, the most surprising aspect of
working with the students, most of whom are
sophomores, is how aware they are of issues
affecting their community. “Their minds are
Allan Thomas, a sophomore from Akron’s STEM
High School.
students make plans for spring break, they
don’t expect to spend four days working with
strangers to develop creative solutions to
pressing issues in their community.
given $1,250 to give to the local organization
of its choice during a public pitch meeting. For
Thomas’s group, Team Yin Yang, which chose
to work on the issue of prescription painkiller
addiction, this meant donating to the County
of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental
here, that they gave us this opportunity and the
chance to actually do something like this, and
actually having someone listen to us.
Yet that is precisely how the teenaged
so exposed to so many things that I wasn’t,”
he said. Looking ahead, Schwarber and the
EXL Center hope to grow “What’s YOUR
Problem?”, first by expanding the number
of participants for next year, and eventually
by turning it into a summer program. The
participants of “What’s YOUR Problem?” — an
alternative spring break program hosted by
the University of Akron’s Experiential Learning
Center — chose to spend their vacation.
program fits within the EXL Center’s larger
goal — to foster entrepreneurship within UA
and to promote civic engagement between the
university and its surrounding community.
Health Services Board.
Pictured Above (from left to right): Group picture:
From March 28 to 31, the pilot program
brought 22 local high school students to the
And indeed, their hard work will have a real-life
effect. At the end of the week, each team was
the audience. “Usually, as teenagers,” she said,
“a lot of people don’t take the time to listen
to us, because we don’t know anything.” The
audience laughed at this, but she continued. “It
does really mean a lot that you guys came out
“Thank you.”
(from left to right) Allan Thomas, Erica Frazier, Will
Freeman, Megan Sutterluety, and John Bulgrin of
As the students huddled together to prepare
their pitches for the upcoming reception, their
Team Average Joes, which focused its work on
homelessness, chose to support Haven of Rest
Ministries. Team We HATE Country Music —
named after the first thing its members realized
they had in common — chose to fight hunger
University of Akron campus for four days of
workshops, team exercises, and mentoring
sessions with community leaders. Throughout
the week, the participants, as part of four
randomly assigned teams, identified pressing
issues in the Akron community — from
enthusiasm for the Akron community — as
well as their hard work — was on full display.
Though most of the students had not met
before starting the program, by the third day,
they had developed an easygoing rapport.
Though they were giving up four days of their
in Northeast Ohio by donating to South Street
Ministries. And Team A Blank Canvas, which
focused on finding ways to promote urban
farming, made its donation to UA’s Hult Prize
Competition team, which has developed a type
of foam brick which can be used in place of soil
ideas; Jeff Hoffman, Founding Director of the EXL
homelessness to hunger — and then worked to
develop and propose ways to solve them. On
the final day of the program, during a reception
spring break to take part in the program, they
were having fun.
to cultivate plants in urban spaces.
at the Williams Honors College Complex, each
team pitched a solution to its chosen problem.
“In school, we learn problem solving, but this
is problem solving we can use in real life,” said
Team Yin Yang present a check to the County of
Summit ADM Board; Daniel Hampu, Project Manager
at the University of Akron Research Foundation, gives
program participants advice on how to pitch their
Center, introduces the teams during the Presentation
Reception; Naudia Harris, of Team Average Joes,
discusses her team’s chosen issue, homelessness;
Tommy Sarayath, of Team Average Joes, discusses his
team’s chosen issue, homelessness.
// Andrew Leask likes reading and taking long walks
As Team Average Joes finished its presentation,
down Market Street. He writes fiction in the
Courtney Libby, a student from St. Vincent-St.
Mary’s High School took a moment to address
company of his wife, Amy, and their two cats, Monty
and Nigella.
Grocery Shopping Flavored
With Local Art! – COMING SOON!
1835 W. Market St., Akron
Jean Blackburn
10 Trees
Neil Sapienza
Character Counts
Diane Pribojan
Our Neighborhood
Shop Your Newly Remodeled
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
culture & community
West Hill Hardware
words by Rick Bohan; photos by Katie Jackson
You run a small, somewhat organized
you’d like to do a better job of maintaining, if
part they need even when one of the big box
“Our market niche,” adds owner Richard
hardware store in northwest Akron. Stained
glass windows, plumbing fixtures, single pole
switches, and knick-knacks salvaged from
nearby homes as they were being demolished
you can find the time. Lowe’s has a quarter of
a million employees, Home Depot has more. At
your store, there are just three employees.
stores doesn’t. The folks at those stores will
sometimes send customers our way for certain
items they know they don’t carry.”
Tschantz, “is made up of the owners and
residents of all these old houses in the area.
Some of the homes are a century old and
more. They need hardware that’s not easy to
share space on your shop shelves. One of your
competitors, Lowe’s Stores, sold more that
The question is…how do you compete? How
do you stay in business for 85 years? How do
Staying in the hardware business for nearly a
century isn’t a given. The West Akron area
find at other stores. So they come here. Lowe’s
has any part you might need so long as your
$56B worth of single pole switches, plumbing
fixtures, and other goods and services last year.
It spent about $800M of that on advertising.
Another direct competitor, Home Depot, sold
$83B worth of goods and services and bought
the same amount of advertising. Your own
advertising consists of a Facebook page that
you carve out your niche?
has seen larger stores, like DIY and Builders
Square, come to the area and fail. And the
competition keeps coming with a new Ace
Hardware of Wallhaven having opened its doors
in February. (Ace Hardware is a co-op rather
than a franchise or corporate store, so all stores
are independently owned.)
house was built after 1970 or so. If your house
was built in the ‘50’s, that’s a new one in this
“Customers come here for a number of
reasons but mainly because their parents and
grandparents came here,” says employee Vern
Christian. “Another reason is that they know
we are likely to have the plumbing or electrical
When asked where he gets such a hard to find
inventory, Taschantz replies, “Some of it
(continued on page 45)
Proposals are now being accepted from local companies interested in operating a new café/coffee shop in the
Akron Global Business Accelerator, 526 S. Main Street. The café is slated to open in late 2016, early 2017.
Proposal requirements may be found online at: No phone calls or emails please. • 330.835.9945
MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5 /
THE Devil Strip |
culture & Community
Months and months ago, we heard
that Theron Brown, who is the
epitome of the cool, jazz musician
archetype, would portray pianist
Herbie Hancock in "Miles Ahead,"
Don Cheadle's biopic about the
legendary (and mercurial) Miles
Davis. That's a layer cake of amazing
news for one sentence. Well, the
cherry on top was debuting it at The
Nightlight downtown with Mr. Brown
in attendance for a Q&A followed by
a live performance around the block
at Blu Jazz. Though it sold out quickly,
photographer Shane Wynn was in
attendance to capture the event.
Photos by Shane Wynn/The Devil Strip
Opening May 6th
Linklater’s Sequel to Dazed and Confused
Directed by Richard Linklater
Food & Drink
Speakeasy bartender Bryan Burns and DBA chef
Ernest Cornelius enjoy dinner for two before
guests arrive. Go into the kitchen with Ernest
on page 30. (PHOTO: Ilenia Pezzaniti/The Devil Strip)
MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5 /
THE Devil Strip |
Photos courtesy of Ernest Cornelius
food & Drink
In the Kitchen
From dishes to handburgers, speaking easy with
Speakeasy’s chef de cuisine, Ernest Cornelius
by Ilenia Pezzaniti
THE DEVIL STRIP: You're now working at two
of the nicest places to get a meal in Akron —
D.B.A. and Speakeasy — but your start in the
culinary industry wasn't so glamorous. How did
you begin your career?
ERNEST CORNELIUS: It’s funny you say that
because I always tell my cooks that starting at
the bottom and working your way up allows
you to see if working in a professional kitchen
is what you actually want to do as a career.
I personally started working in a kitchen at
the young age of 14 because I wanted to go
to concerts with my friends, and my mother
cut me off financially because the idea of
her mohawk-adorning son being out late
in Cleveland at some dive bar was less than
appealing, and I’m sure didn’t allow her
much sleep. I started at 14 as a dishwasher,
something I now look back on and appreciate
more than anything. The work was hard and
the pace was very fast, but I developed a very
good work ethic years before any of my friends
even thought about finding jobs to make
some extra money for themselves. I actually
still remember the first food related job I had
in the kitchen. It was a busy Friday and after I
got all my dishes caught up from the lethargic
and always drunk daytime guy, I was asked to
portion sour cream. 2-oz portioning spoon,
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
plastic ramekin and a lid. Seems simple right? I
think I got more sour cream on the prep table
than in the cups, but over the course of two
5-pound containers, I had effectively found a
method that worked better, and by the last
30 or so cups I was running very efficiently.
Trouble shooting and patience were learned
in one shift, and I was hooked. I thought to
myself, “If I can apply what I learned today to
other tasks in the kitchen, I think I could be very
good at this.” Now here I am, 15 years later,
still learning every day. One sour cream cup at
a time.
TDS: It seems obvious you bring a lot of your
personality to your work and each of the
restaurants where you are chef de cuisine have
their own unique personalities. How do you
bring those things into balance with the art of
cooking itself?
EC: With being the Chef de Cuisine, I have
freedom with the menu but I still have to
remember that Chef Dante markets his
restaurants, and especially Restaurant DANTE
and Dante Boccuzzi Akron, as “Modern
American fine dining with Japanese and Italian
influence” I come from a different school,
with my family heritage being predominantly
Swedish. I sneak in my influence where I can,
whether it’s technique or ingredients, but
sticking to the mold is something I’ve had
to learn.
TDS: As if you weren't busy enough, you
also started ECdiets earlier this year. What
exactly is it and what possessed you to take
on that challenge?
EC: Ahh, ECdiets. So a couple years ago I had
the idea of getting healthier, prepared meals
into the hands of people who are maybe less
compelled, fortunate or able to do so for
themselves. My business model is 100% based
off convenience. I want to fit into the part of
your day where you may make a decision that
affects you selecting something healthy to eat.
My meals consist of a lean protein, a low GI
starch, fiber rich seasonal and green vegetables
and a clean fat based sauce. My clients
range from body builders, diabetics, business
professionals and students. All in all, feeding
people something they don’t have to feel guilty
about is rewarding at the end of the day and
something that I have also adapted into my
day-to-day as well. You wouldn’t believe how
much better you feel after removing some of
the toxic dietary decisions you’ve made in the
past from your life. Live well.
Photos courtesy of Ernest Cornelius
food & Drink
The Wanderer
Hanging out on the Front Porch
words and photos by Holly Brown
The first time I went to the Front Porch Cafe,
it was a beautiful day in April. The sun beat
down on the freshly renovated brick building.
Everything was quiet with the exception of the
bright red and yellow “open” sign that rustled
in the spring breeze. It was 11 o’clock A.M on
a Friday, I was hungry, the day was beautiful
and budding, and in the wake of this place, I
couldn’t help but feel possibility.
connect unemployed and underemployed men
and women from the recovery and reentry
communities to transition into employment
in the food service industries.” More than
anything, Front Porch serves to be the literal
front porch of South Akron: it is a meeting
place, a place for anyone in need of company,
recovery, family to talk, work, eat.
Once across the threshold, I was greeted by
my dining companion, the miraculous Mary
O’Connor. I had the immense pleasure of
getting to know Mary through the NEOMFA
When I moved to Akron, alone, almost two
years ago, the time when I was the most
lonely was when I cooked dinner. For me,
food is connective tissue, it brings together
families, cultures, countries, and in the case
where we shared our writing, taking a
of the Front Porch: Akron, comprised of so
nonfiction workshop
during the fall. It is a
singular delight to know
that you have found
many amazing people,
the place I have been
seamlessly welcomed into,
the community I have
someone at once warm
and fascinating, whose
work you admire and
whose company you
enjoy. After the semester
came to a close, Mary
e-mailed me from the
airport on her way to
Key West for an acting
grown to love and call my
own. From the moment
I walked into The Front
Porch, I felt welcome.
gig over winter break
(because that’s just
the kind of thing that
happens to Mary), saying she read my latest
Wanderer column. After a few more e-mails
back and forth, she invited me to The Front
Porch Cafe, enticing me with a photograph of
the French bar soap holder in the ambi-gender
Mary has been involved with Front Porch since
she moved to Akron from New York City. She
is the Architect for the ongoing renovation, but
is moving into a career as a writer. Mary is one
of those people who surrounds herself with
stories, the Front Porch is one of them.
The Front Porch Cafe opened its doors in
2011. The Cafe itself is run by South Street
Ministries and has two major goals: create
community under its roof and serve delicious
food. Here, arms are open to those who need
it; their self-described vision “is to train and
Mary led me through
what was once a hall, the
bones of which are still
there in the stage at the
back, the high ceilings,
the open floor plan. The
room is airy, a mess-hall
style eatery with classic touches including the
faux stained-glass lamps and, of course, the
French bar soap holder.
Mary and I sat across from one another at a
long table. There was a smattering of other
patrons, some with friends, some working at
laptops, all eating home-cooked delicacies
ranging from omelettes to hot subs. My
decision was a game-time one, as many of my
food related decisions are. Mary requested a
clam, cheese and tomato omelette, handing
our server a bag of her own clams from home,
“the benefits of being ‘in’ with this place,” she
said to me and chuckled. I wanted a diner-style
sandwich, something warm and hearty and
the spring air had given me a hankering for
barbecue sauce. I wanted nothing other than a
pulled pork sandwich (pictured above).
(continued on page 45)
Wow! The food was so delicious, the margarita flavors were unique, and the service was
amazing! I have been hearing about this place for awhile and have been wanting to try it.
My husband and I were not disappointed. I got the margarita flight where I chose 3 flavors
of margaritas. The jalapeño cilantro was my favorite! We ordered the habenero jelly
guacamole which comes with house chips as an appetizer and it was so good! Our entrees
were equally delicious. The prices weren't bad and the service was superb. Well done
Nuevo! We will definitely be back! (3/3/2016 on Yelp)
54 East Mill St. Akron 44308
(330) 762-8000
Hours: M-Th 11-10, F 11-11, Sat 3-11
food & drink
Get to know one of
Akron's Hidden Gems
Locavore Lovin’ from the Oven
words by Lia Pietrolungo; photos by Paul Mangus
How I’ve lived nearly twenty-two years on this
reserving the leaves for later use. Heat
the broth. It is important to keep it warm
more embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t all too
throughout cooking to ensure that the
knowledgeable about these fleeting springtime
lovelies, until my friend Taylor told me about a
patch that he found while hiking.
Ramps (Allium Tricoccum) are one of the first
vegetables to poke through the soil in the
spring, and only stick around from late March
to mid-May. This delicate plant declares itself
with a strong garlicky & onion flavor that begs
to be pickled, caramelized in butter, or grilled
A quality community cafe in South Akron
that brings people from different backgrounds together
Now serving homemade grits & healthy salads that will fill you up.
whole. I chose to celebrate their complexities
by caramelizing the whites for risotto and
blanching the greens for a peppery pesto.
Visit us for breakfast or lunch
Monday through Friday • 7am to 3pm
798 Grant St., Akron, Ohio | (330) 375-1991
I have the fondest memories of making risotto
with my dad as a kid. It’s definitely a comfort
food for me. With all of the change in the
air this spring, my soul was in need of some
We Get You ...
Spring’s arrival also brings the most anticipated
Lambing Day at The Spicy Lamb Farm, a
family-operated farm nestled in the heart of the
Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It is part of the
Countryside Initiative and the Urban Shepherds
grazing program. The farm is over one hundred
years old, and is located on 12 acres of lush,
lovingly nurtured land. The owners and farmers,
Michael and Laura Minnig, were kind enough
to give me a personal tour, where I got to hold
a sweet little lamb and learn about the history
of the farm and the land.
• Where you want to go -
• What you want to know -
The spice blend used in this recipe is from
American Lamb, and is a combination of
rosemary, mint, mustard seed, garlic, and salt.
with TripTik® Travel Planner
maps and directions
with hotel, discount and gas
price information
For the risotto:
2 bunches of ramps, rinsed
2 cups Arborio rice
• Help along the way -
with easy road service request
Our apps keep you mobile.
Download today.
temperature remains even in the risotto pan.
• Heat the butter and olive oil in a large
saucepan over medium-high heat until it no
longer foams and crackles. Add the ramps
and stir constantly until browned and tender,
about 3 minutes.
• Add the rice and coat with the ramps,
stirring frequently. Once the rice takes on a
pale, golden blonde color and has developed
a slightly nutty aroma, pour in the wine and
continue to stir until it is fully absorbed.
• Turn the heat down to medium-low. Begin
adding the broth to the risotto cup by cup,
stirring in-between additions until the liquid
is fully absorbed.
• Finish with a fresh pepper, to taste. For
creamier risotto, stir some grated parmesan
directly into the rice before serving.
childhood nourishment.
After becoming emotionally attached to my
little lamb friend, I was relieved to learn that
the farm sources their meat from Sugar Valley
Meats in Sugarcreek, Ohio. Their lamb is grassfed, antibiotic & hormone free, and is flashfrozen to preserve freshness. The chops that I
used were tender, juicy, and slightly sweet as
lamb should be. The Spicy Lamb Farm’s Dorset
sheep are used for wool, which Laura makes
into beautiful blankets and other cozy goods.
© Sigrid Olsson / Alamy
• Thinly slice the clean the ramp whites,
earth without ever having encountered a ramp
is beyond me. As an amateur chef I’m even
½ cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken broth, divided
Parmesan cheese to your heart’s content
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
For the Pesto:
2 bunches of ramp leaves, rinsed
Drizzle of olive oil + more as needed
A decent-sized chunk of Parmesan cheese
Lemon juice and zest
• Blanch the leaves in boiling water for about
50 seconds. Drain in a mesh strainer and run
under cold water until completely cool.
• Transfer to a food processor (or blender).
Pulse until a paste forms, adding olive oil as
needed. Toss in the cheese and pulse until
smooth. Add lemon to taste.
For the Lamb
1-2 pounds of lamb chops
1 tin of American Lamb Spice Blend
3 cloves of garlic
Mint jelly
Olive oil
• Combine about half of the rub with enough
olive oil to make a paste. Mince the garlic
and add to the rub.
• Rub onto the chops and refrigerate for one
hour. Remove the chops about 20 minutes
Food & Drink
Brickoven Brewpub
by Stephanie Baker, Kevin Wirth and Justin Lyons (@akronpizzatf)
This month the Akron Pizza Task Force went to
Ellet to try The Brickoven Brewpub at 604
Canton Rd. The Brickoven Brewpub has only
been around for a couple years, but they have
found a niche in the pizza arena.
Brickoven Brewpub has all the
topping options you’d expect
with some nice additions:
namely goat cheese and
house made soppressata
and Italian sausage. They also
offer some interesting specialty
pizzas and feature a special of
the week that can be more unusual.
A past special of the week was a gumbo pizza
with gumbo, bell peppers, onions, garlic,
tomatoes and cajun seasonings.
When you walk through Brickoven’s doors you
see their awesome wood fired oven adjacent
to the dining room. It’s fun to watch the pizzas
cook, and it gives the whole restaurant a great
aroma. There’s also seating available at the bar
in the back room.
and was cooked well. The wood fired oven left
the crust crispy and dark in color. The margherita
pizza was not what we expected based on the
pizza featured in Brickoven's facebook profile
picture. Our pizza had a generous
amount of fresh mozzarella spread
over the pizza, and though
it had more basil than we
typically enjoy, the pizza was
still delicious.
Brickoven Brewpub does have a second focus,
draft beer! Though we won’t be reviewing the
beers, check out this year’s Annual Manual for a
review of their beers.
// Akron Pizza Task Force are professional
We want to hear from you! Tweet us @akronpizzatf ...
by Leslie Shirley Nielson
(The Bar Crawler)
1090 Brown St. • Akron, OH 44301
I remember this being a great neighborhood
bar. Nice location in Firestone Park. If done
right, could have potential.
// Lia is slightly obsessed with novelty salt and pepper
shakers. Her cat, Heathcliff, is slightly obsessed with
finding ways to break them.
Lunch and
The Brown St. Cafe
Devour every last bite!
n ne
What are your favorite pizza toppings?
before grilling.
• Grill for about 7-8 minutes on each side, or
until desired tenderness.
• Serve with the risotto, pesto, and mint jelly.
Overall, we really enjoyed
our experience at Brickoven
Brewpub. It’s great to have a pizza
restaurant in town that is using quality
ingredients to make interesting pizzas. We look
forward to coming back and trying their deep
dish style pizza.
pizza consumers.
We stopped in this month to try their
margherita (pictured) and plain cheese pizza.
The cheese pizza was good with a sweet sauce
Thank you to Michael
and Laura Minnig of
the Spicy Lamb Farm
for the wonderful tour!
For more information
and to check out
their upcoming events and workshops, visit Remember to harvest
ramps sparingly & sustainably to ensure that
they return next spring.
rewpub in Highland Squ
HAPPY HOUR: 1/2 off appetizers and $3 house drafts
LUNCH SPECIAL: M-F 11:30am-3:00pm
Late night menu after 10pm
Live music beginning in May!
For details visit or
804 W. Market Street, Akron, OH 44303 • (234) 208-6797
(at the corner of Highland Ave and W. Market St.)
Hours: M-W 11:30-midnight, TH-Sat 11:30-Close, Sun 1pm-midnight
food & drink
Every month, the Bar Crawler scouts around the great greater Akron area for his new favorite
Dietz's Landing
401 W. Turkeyfoot Lake Rd.
Howie’s on The Lake M.T. Pockets Bar
and Grill
4856 Coleman Dr.
drinking holes, hideouts, dives and neighborhood bars. Have a drink in one of his picks and
2758 Manchester Rd.
post a selfie with the hashtag #AKBarCrawler for a chance to get a t-shirt from The Devil Strip.
One of my favorite things about Akron is that you can get almost anywhere here in 15
minutes or less, barring traffic or bad directions. So why are we reluctant to leave our own
neighborhoods for one of these quick ventures across town? People in North Hill generally
party in North Hill. Same for the folks in Highland Square and so on. I’m asking myself, as well
as you. I mean the cops in this town aren’t total jerks, like some of the suburban areas that
come to mind. Maybe the Akron cops get it. They like to blow off steam like the rest of us,
right? A former mayor (not mentioning any names) could pick up what I'm throwing down
here. I mean, if I were a policeman or even the Mayor, I imagine that come beer:30, I would be
hitting the sauce after some of the crap I had to deal with on my last shift. Again, it’s a part of
the Rust Belt survival guide, so why not have more fun with it? Public transport isn’t too bad in
this town, so if you're a rookie, a lightweight or just can't find a designated driver, please take
advantage of it.
What I’m trying to encourage you boozehounds to do is, to take a short trip to the Key Largo
of Akron, one of the most unique areas of our city, the place we call Portage Lakes. How
many cities have an area in town like Portage Lakes? I’m thinking very few. Rich in history
(and drinking history too), it has been a leisure destination for almost 200 years and not nearly
enough of us take advantage of the fun that can be had out there. A recognized landmark
dating back to the War of 1812, Portage Lakes is connected to both Lake Erie and the Ohio
River and was used by natives and early settlers alike. In 1825, as Akron was being laid out,
Irish laborers working on the canals settled here and over time Portage Lakes became less
of commerce resource and more of a vacation destination. Watering holes, hotels, marinas,
brothels, gambling halls and restaurants all made their home in this area. Now, million dollar
homes are popping up on the Lakes, but you can still find a lot of that old history out there,
Area in Akron
Portage Lakes
Portage Lakes
Portage Lakes
Happy Hour
Every Minute
11am - 7pm
Biggest sellers
Bud Lt./Jägermeister
Bud Light/Tito's
Craft Beer/Crown Royal
Bands, Karaoke
Live music, Karaoke, Pool
Full Menu
Full Menu
Full Menu
Dietz's Grocery
Has always been Howie’s,
but used to offer more
services like gas and
Celebrity personality
Willie Nelson meets
Kevin Costner
Goldie Hawn meets Kurt
Russell. Guess I should
have just said Kate Hudson.
Dennis Quaid meets
Pat Benatar
One of the many places in
The Lakes that you can get
to by tugboat.
The one bar in Akron
where it's actually easier to
get there by boat.
I wish they offered a chip
dip martini.
minus the brothels and gambling halls (...I think).
The more I've learned about this area, the more I want to apologize to The Lakers, as they are
known out there, for letting their little secret out. But it must be shared. My stubbornness and
sworn duty as The Bar Crawler will surely lead me back to try again. In the meantime, know
that a micro-vacation is only minutes away, so venture out to these places and take a selfie,
with drink in hand. Like Harvey Firestone used to say, "I'm going to Portage Lakes to drink gin
and juice, with my mind on my money and my money on mind.” And remember to tell your
bartender that The Devil Strip sent you!
Cheers and enjoy responsibly,
Leslie Shirley Nielson
Name: Jeremiah Cooper
Favorite place to eat: Luigi's
Go-to dish: Lasagna
the dish
Name: Rachel Whinnery
Favorite place to eat: The Lockview
Go-to dish: craft beer
Name: Byron Delpinal
Favorite place to eat: The Lockview
Go-to dish: #9
The Bar Crawler
Name: Roger Riddle
Favorite place to eat: Bajaa Fresh
Go-to dish: I just learned about Bajaa Fresh
from the OSC Tech Lab crew. Their chicken
burrito is the best burrito I have ever had.
Name: Nick Petroski
Favorite place to eat: Cilantro
Go-to dish: pad see ew spicy level 4
extra noodles
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
Name: Eric Browning
Favorite place to eat: Nepali Kitchen
Go-to dish: thukpa soup, try it with pork
and get it spicy!
Name: Sophie Hamad
Favorite place to eat: Pad Thai downtown
Go-to dish: Avocado curry with rolled tofu.
The rolled tofu is unlike any tofu I’ve tried.
In a good way.
Name: Patrick Regan
Favorite place to eat: Diamond Deli
Go-to dish: Old Bald Guy
// compiled by Noor Hindi
Pictured: Bajaa Fresh Burrito (PHOTO: Roger Riddle)
Old Bald Guy (PHOTO: Patrick Regan)
food & Drink
It’s a tough job but someone’s got to drink it
by Leslie Shirley Nielsen
Royal Gardens
Sam-E's Lounge
Sand Bar
Upper Deck
660 Carnegie Ave.
3822 S. Main St.
The Basement at
The Lakes
Tonix Bar
690 W. Turkeyfoot Lake Rd.
3090 S. Main St.
357 W. Turkeyfoot Lake Rd.
Morse code
3420 Manchester Rd.
carrier pigeon only
Portage Lakes
Portage Lakes
Portage Lakes
Portage Lakes
Portage Lakes
Portage Lakes
noon-6:30 pm
Bud Light/Smirnoff
Bud/Washington Apple
Bud Light/Crown Royal
Craft Beer/Three Olives
Bud/Jack Daniels
Craft Beer/Fireball
Darts and I probably
shouldn't make this public,
because I'll never be able to
get on the damn thing now,
but they have an old school
bowling machine. I'm such
an idiot
Pool, Keno
Darts, pool, cornhole (can't
they come up with a better
name for this?), D.J.s
Bands, Pool, Darts
Full Menu
Bar Menu
No food
No food
Full Menu
Who needs food when you
have booze?
Always has been
The Interloop
Drink'em Up
K.C.'s Lakes
Red Bull
The White House
Shelley Duvall meets
Dennis Hopper & peppered
with Charles Bukowski
Ted Danson meets
Johnny Cash
Sam Elliot meets
Bonnie Raitt
Urban Meyer meets
Tim Allen
Jim Varney meets
Marisa Tomei with a splash
Eli Wallach
Sandra Bullock meets
Merle Haggard
Not much has changed
about this place in 68
years, other than a few flat
screens. Old music on the
jukebox, horseshoe bar,
wooden booths, vintage
popcorn machine, and a
freaking bowling machine!!
Pretty much everything I
want out of a dive bar, and I
love old school dive bars.
This place feels like you
are partying at your
neighbor’s house, only
there's a cash bar.
A nice man wearing a
cowboy hat, holding the
door for me, said "Howdy!"
What most would look for
in a sports bar.
Is it normal for your GPS to
say, "Your next stop after
this destination is Orianna
House"? Kinda freaked me
out on the way there.
I was told that this is the
oldest building in Portage
Lakes, dating back to the
mid-1800's. If this place has
ghosts, they probably have
an Irish accent.
Countryside Conservancy is excited for both of its popular outdoor
markets to be returning. Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe
Meadow will open for the season on Saturday, May 7th and will
feature over 70 vendors offering a wide selection
of local food. The market recurs every Saturday
from 9 am to noon and runs through October 29th.
Countryside Farmers’ Market at Highland Square will
feature 18 vendors, the popular Countryside Kids
program and rotating community activities. Opening
day at Highland Square is May 19th and will be
celebrated with live music; market hours are 4pm to
7pm every Thursday through September 29th.
Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow is located at
4040 Riverview Rd, Peninsula, in Cuyahoga Valley National
Park. Countryside Farmers’ Market at Highland Square
is located on the corner of West Market Street and
Conger Avenue. Countryside Farmers' Markets are free
and open to the public. For purchases, customers may
use cash, check, credit card, or the Ohio Direction Card.
Ohio Direction Card holders are also eligible for Carrot
Cash, a program that provides matching funds for purchases
of fresh fruit and vegetables.
For more information on Countryside Farmers’ Markets, visit
Buy One Drink, Get One
9:00 p.m. until midnight
Compliments of TPH Productions
$1.75 Pint Special
$5.50 Burgers
DJ Larry starts at 9 pm
with early trivia
Taco Nights
$1.50 to $3.00
Drink Specials Available
Chef Todd’s Food Specials
Regular Burgers
(dine-in only)
12oz Strip Steak $12.00
Check Out Our
Live Music Schedule
Karaoke hosted by Natalie
(Now 9:00 to 1:00)
$0.50 Wings (dine-in only)
Super Power Hour
From Open - 8:00 P.M.
$3.50 Well Drinks
$3.50 Bud Light Drafts
Monday through Friday
Until 8pm
Monday through Friday
open at 2pm
Saturday & Sunday
open at 12:30
549 W Market St, Akron
Phone: (330) 376-8307
food & Drink
Elegantly Casual
Dining featuring
Modern Twists on
Your Favorite
Comfort Foods and
Classic Cocktails
Open 7 days a week
As many of you are probably already aware,
the Ohio Brewing Company is up and running
at their new Highland Square location. If you
haven’t checked it out yet, you really should.
The brewpub features 20 taps of high-quality
craft beer, half of which are OBC beers made
fresh in-house. The liquor selection is wide, with
I asked him to chat with me a bit and here's
what I learned:
signature cocktails like the OBC Manhattan on
the menu. I’m not a wine drinker so I won’t
judge the choices, but they looked pretty cool.
Chris Verich standing with his brewing equipment
You can get a flight of beer for $9, and tasters
of bourbon are always available. The food
menu is full of hearty sandwiches, fresh salads,
PIZZA, and original appetizers like beet chips
with garlic aioli.
If you’re like me, everything I mentioned
above sounds like a pretty sweet deal, but you
have some questions about the Ohio Brewing
Company. Like, Is this the same OBC as the old
one? Are the owners the same? What’s the
deal with the pizza? Is this an environmentally
and socially conscious business that I should
Akron’s Home
of the All Day
featuring a
Bloody Mary
Menu, Mimosas
and much more...
1688 W. Market St
at Westgate Plaza
in Akron
Open 7 days a week
Thinking about these things as I ate a blue
cheese burger with a tall O’Hoppy Ale at the
OBC one day, a man walked up to me and
asked me how everything was. Turns out this
man was Chris Verich and he runs the place.
Chris founded the OBC in 1997 in Niles, Ohio
with his brother. He was inspired to open a
brewery by his love for beer, home brewing,
and world traveling. After a few years, the
brewery was moved from Niles to Youngstown
and Chris was bought out by his partners in
2004. Chris opened OBC again in 2008, this
time in Akron, and after that location closed
and OBC beers were produced “gypsy style”
for a few years with the help of other local
breweries like Platform in Cleveland. The
new location comes with new ideas and a
slightly different vibe. He was convincing and
enthusiastic about his business plan.
The goal is simple – provide the people of
Akron with good, homemade beer and food
in a fun, cool environment. Chris says that this
smaller operation gives him the opportunity
to be more eclectic and try more things. He
has a passion for classic styles, but uses local
ingredients in his food and beer whenever
possible. The pizza dough is made with spent
grain from the brewing process, and the sauce
behind the bar
1682 W. Market St
at Westgate Plaza
in Akron
words and photos by Emily Anderson
has Cardinal Ale in it. The urinals are made
from repurposed kegs.
Big plans this summer include lots of traveling
the country for beer competitions, live music
from local bands at the brew pub, opening the
patio, and a walk-up pizza window that will
serve extra-large pizza slices after 10pm.
Chris not only runs this operation, he is also
a State Representative. Some social media
accounts from previous OBC operations still
exist, but the Facebook page is current and tap
updates are posted daily. I for one am thankful
to have a little brewery down the street from
my apartment and I hope Chris enjoys sweet
success at this location. Cheers!
// Emily Anderson isn’t afraid to ask the tough
questions after a few beers. Find her on Twitter
Julie Corl
Frank's Place on Market
Hometown: Buffalo, N.Y.
What was your first night like? “The bosses bossed me around and it went well.
...At some point, a guy changed his shorts at the bar.”
Best tip you ever received? "Always wait 30 minutes after eating, before swimming."
Good or bad, what is the one thing you wouldn't have known if you weren't a
bartender? "Gin cleans glasses the best."
Where do you go when you are not at work? "Globetrotting, I travel as much as I
can. Recently, Florida."
Do you have a signature drink? "Blackberry bourbon lemonade"
music & entertainment
a local music showcase every third Thursday from May
to September in one of Akron's most unique spaces.
Thanks to the good folks at the City of Akron and Lock
3, there'll be food trucks, craft beer (Thirsty Dog in the
house!), yard games like cornhole and a giant Jenga,
and a few other surprises from 5 pm to 10 pm. We get
started every month with DJ Roger Riddle on the 1s and
2s, followed by two bands, including Jeff Klemm & the
Letters, Jul Big Green, Rebekah Jean, the Gage Brothers,
Michael Black, The Beyonderers, Gretchen Pleuss and a
few others. For details, visit us at
(PHOTO: Shane Wynn/
MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5 /
On May 19, The Devil Strip is launching Live at Lock 4,
THE Devil Strip |
music & entertainment
Lenz performs his own original compositions,
as well as classics of American roots, blues and
country. Admission is free.
theatrical, highly skilled prog rock playing,
Musica is the place to be. Chicago’s District
97 is making a stop in Akron as part of their
European/Eastern U.S. tour in support of
è By Light We Loom,
The Dreemers (CD Release)
their new album, “In Vaults.” Local musicians
Axon-Neuron will also be performing tracks off
Friday, May 13 at Jilly’s Music Room,
of their latest release, “Metamorphosis,” an
exciting double-disc album featuring a 21-piece
6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Celebrate the release of Akron rock ‘n’ roll band orchestra. The lineup continues with Akron’s
Figurehead and Titles from Detroit. Tickets cost
The Dreemers’ new EP (reviewed in this issue;
Photo by Scott Green
by Andrew Leask & Brittany Nader
Imarhan, Relaxer, Obnox, Original
Friday, May 6 at Musica, 8 p.m.
For more than a decade, EarthQuaker Devices
has produced guitar pedals for some of the
most exciting and legendary artists of our
time. The local biz presents a special event
downtown, introducing locals to Algerian desert
rock band, Imarhan, who are making Akron
their initial stop in their first-ever U.S. tour. Also
on the bill are Northeast Ohio favorites Relaxer,
Obnox and Original Soundtrack, who bring
an eclectic range of rock ‘n’ roll to the Rubber
City. Admission costs $10, which also includes a
raffle ticket for a chance to win your very own
EQD pedal.
ç Tall Tales of Akron
Friday, May 6 at Uncorked Wine Bar, 8 p.m.
Unwind at Uncorked with a glass of wine and
the rock-tinged folk harmonies of Tall Tales of
Akron. Lean back and let your shoulders sway.
It’s as relaxing an end to your workweek as
you’re ever going to find. The group may even
introduce a few surprises, including a new lead
guitarist and just-inked songs sure to move you.
Admission is free.
é Radical Brass Night, feat.
Detroit Party Marching Band,
All Over The Place, Environmental
Encroachment, Detroit
Pleasure Society
Friday, May 6 at Hive Mind, 8 p.m.
Where else will you find a guerilla marching
band, bebop, ska, performance art and a
magic circus bunny band all in one place?
Expect a vivacious evening full of horns, eclectic
improvisation and plenty of boogying from
musicians based out of Chicago, Detroit and
Northeast Ohio. Suggested admission is $5 at
the door.
‹ Mike Lenz Band
Thursday, May 12 at The Tasting Room
at Hoppin’ Frog, 8 p.m.
Knock back a few beers at one of Ohio’s best
breweries while listening to the stripped-down
sound of blues multi-instrumentalist Mike Lenz.
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
‹ Rubber City Beatlefest
Dreemers and a special guest at 9 p.m. $5 cover Saturday, May 21 at
Akron Civic Theatre, 6:30 p.m.
for those under 21.
This year’s tribute to the greatest band of all
ê David Mayfield, Mo’ Mojo
‹ Sports, Harbor, GHOST SLIME,
From Borealis
The Devil’s Dozen
å EarthQuaker Devices Presents:
$10 or $12 for attendees under 21.
husband and wife indie-pop duo By Light We
Loom will perform at 6:30, followed by The
Saturday, May 14 at
Jilly’s Music Room, 5:30 p.m.
Originally hailing from Kent, David Mayfield has
established himself as one of the most original
Americana performers on the scene. Now
residing in Nashville, Mayfield has spent the last
several years performing with the likes of The
Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, and dozens
of celebrated musicians at Bonnaroo. Joining
Mayfield on the bill is female-fronted zydeco
group Mo’ Mojo, who have been a standout
for their big-band sound and reggae, Cajun and
funk influences. Admission is free.
see pg. 43) at Jilly’s Music Room. Cleveland
time features an exhibit of the work of rock
photographer George Shuba and performances
by The Liverpool Lads, The ReBeats and Hard
Day’s Night. Tickets are available at AkronCivic.
com for $25.
‹ Benefit concert for CANAPI,
feat. Tatsuya Nagashima
Tuesday, May 24 at Pub Bricco, 6:30 p.m.
Pub Bricco hosts its annual fundraiser for the
Community AIDS Network/Akron Pride Initiative
featuring a performance by Tatsuya Nagashima.
A renowned classical pianist, Nagashima has
performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center
in New York City, as well as throughout the
world. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased
over the phone or in person at Pub Bricco.
Monday, May 15 at It’s a Kling Thing!
House, 7 p.m.
If you dig the post/math rock sound of local
trio From Borealis, you won’t want to miss
this cohesive lineup of dreamy alternative
soundscapes. Sports, residing in Boston, and
Chantanooga, Tenn. players Harbor join From
Borealis and GHOST SLIME for a basement
party at your favorite venue for house shows.
Suggested admission is $5.
‹ CityCop, Gillian Carter,
Wallcreeper, Sorry
Wednesday, May 18 at
Fool Mansion, 7 p.m.
Midway through the band’s spring tour, Gillian
Carter swings by Akron to rattle the walls with
attention-grabbing screamo and loud, fast
beats. Local hardcore punk outfits CityCop and
Wallcreeper keep the energy going, while Drew
Baker, under the moniker sorry., brings things
down a notch with his unique blend of lo-fi
sadpop. Suggested admission is $5.
ë Mint Condition
Friday, May 20 & Saturday, May 21 at
The Tangier, 8:30, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
Mint Condition had their first success with
1991’s “Breakin My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)”
and have been churning out R&B hits ever
since, working with music legends like Toni
Braxton along the way. Tickets cost $55 and
up and can be purchased in advance at
í District 97, Axon-Neuron,
Titles, Figurehead
Friday, May 20 at Musica, 8 p.m.
If you’re in the mood for some complex,
Live & Local
The Gage Brothers
w/ Veseria and Gretchen Pleuss
Saturday, May 21 at 9 PM, Musica
Akron-born, Akron-lovin’ brothers Ben and
Zach, of the eponymous Gage Brothers, are
coming home, fresh off a Cleveland gig (and a
TV appearance on Fox 8) with the Speedbumps.
This time, the quartet (two brothers, two
others — Chris Volpe and Brendan O’Malley)
headlines Musica with their face-melting
original Americana stylings. They’re joined by
the Devil Strip-reviewed-and-approved local
Gretchen Pleuss, as well as Veseria, an indie
rock band from Indy, Indianapolis. This is an allages show that’ll only set you back a Hamilton,
unless you’re under 21 in which case you pay
$2 extra. For details, visit the damn show.
Seriously, go have a good time so you can be
the person who gives your friends the details
when they start asking questions about your
new obsession with the Gage Brothers.
music & entertainment
Acid Cats photo by Luis Arocho Jr.
Make like the undead on May 14
at Annabell's for the Akron Zombie Walk.
Admission is just $5 and two nonperishable
food itemsat the door. All proceeds benefit
the Akron/Canton Food Bank.
(Additional make-up costs are separate.)
by Clay Chabola
Doors open at 12:30 pm.
The Zombie Walk starts at 4:30 pm
The Acid Cats are one of the funkiest bands in
Akron, and they are playing a sold-out show
with the Grammy-nominated supergroup,
“I’ve always told musicians that if you want to
get better that you should play in styles that
you aren’t comfortable with,” Tibbs says. “I
Snarky Puppy, at the Beachland Ballroom and
Tavern on May 9. The Acid Cats — composed
of Justin Tibbs (sax), Michael Vincent (guitar/
keyboard), Cameron Bickley (drums), Blaine
think even Miles [Davis] said something like,
‘You need to decorate your room with different
genres of music.’”
Klein (steel pan), Tommy Lehman (trumpet/
vocals/organ) and Zachary Wolfe Nagi-Schehl
(bass) — bring their own unique style to the
acid jazz scene. They are a talented group that
have been playing around Akron for a while,
and they are ready to pump up the crowd at
the Beachland for the Snarky Puppy pre- and
This is a huge show for the Acid Cats, and will
serve to promote the ever-increasing lineup of
talented musicians that Akron is dripping with
at the moment. Tibbs thinks the scene in Akron
is only getting better, and calls Akron “the
next Nashville.” There are tons of great shows
happening in Akron all of the time, and the
scene has never been stronger.
I recently sat down with Tibbs and Vincent at
the Mustard Seed Cafe in Highland Square,
and they were both unquestionably excited
about getting to perform with Snarky Puppy.
Vincent and Wolfe Nagi-Schehl play in another
group called Broccoli Samurai, a progressive
electronica band created in Cleveland, and one
of the members helped to book the Acid Cats
at the Beachland Ballroom. Vincent said that
they lucked into the gig at the Beachland, but
they are an immensely skilled group, and I truly
believe that they orchestrated this opportunity
“That’s why I think Akron is very unique,”
Tibbs says. “Because you have the niche where
you have jazz musicians, rock musicians, punk
musicians, country musicians, and we all
intermingle with each other.”
This is just the tip of the iceberg for what The
Acid Cats are capable of and where they are
taking the Akron music scene. Each player’s
diverse range of skills, backgrounds and
influences has played a role in their continued
success. Sharing the stage with such a uniquely
progressive fusion band like Snarky Puppy is a
no-brainer, considering how much Acid Cats’
style blends genres, decades and styles.
The Acid Cats have events coming up next
month at The Mustard Seed Cafe in Highland
Square, Neuvo in downtown Akron, and they
are playing a dual show with Jon Ingram’s
Slugfest at the Stone Tavern in Kent in June. If
you haven’t heard any of their albums, I highly
recommend heading over to their Bandcamp
page,, to check
them out. You can also find out more info
about upcoming gigs on their Facebook page, If you want to
stay cool this spring, you need to turn up the
A/C: the Acid Cats.
// Clay Chabola is musician in Akron and eventually
wants to become a grownup someday.
with buffet and live bands to follow.
Visit the Annabell's page on Facebook for
more info at
Photo courtesy of Paul Hoffman Photography/
Fri 5/6
Accidental Seabirds
Sat 5/7
Big Big Mess (early) followed by Lazy Ass Destroyer,
Automatic Evolution
Thu 5/12
The Painbirds, Punch Drunk Tagalongs, Birthday Noose
Fri 5/13
Enhailer, Iron Jaw Guru
Sat 5/14
FEDS / ZOMBIE WALK, Time Has Come, Smash N Grab
Tues 5/17
Lost In Society
Wed 5/18
The Misery Jackals, The Imperial Rooster
Fri 5/20
Aaron Novak's Birthday Show: Worship This!,
Shitty Neighbors, Heart Attack Man, House of Wills
Sat 5/21
Tues 5/23 Weird Penis, Eviction Party, Some Kind of Nightmare,
- Thu 5/26 Feral Children, Neil & The McGangbangs
Fri 5/27
The Arbitration, Violent Troubadours,
The Abstract, Sleepjacket
Sat 5/28
Sarah Lovelace Birthday Party:
The Brothers Band, Northern Gold
Tues 5/31
Akron Apex of
music & entertainment
Standing Room
Six Akron Area Bands
You Should Know
MAY 12
å Backtalk
a smaller group, made up of highly active,
“DIY OR DIE,” once the mantra of the
aggro hardcore/punk rock scene, has been
prolific Akron-based musical masters. Vincent
recently performed at Jilly’s Music Room with
adopted by a new sect of local indie rockers
and emo projects. Backtalk released a split
six-song EP with Cleveland doomy hardcore
band Anxieties, the result of which is was
made possible through the help of Flowerpot
Records, friends and local supporters. While
Anxieties’ sound is heavy, dense, and accented
with pained yowls and words of anger,
Backtalk’s tracks play the role of the fresh and
welcomed opposition. Described as “the good
and evil sides of the Midwest,” Backtalk’s
Akron influences serve as the more emotive
local jazz players Max Brady on trombone,
Matthew DeRubertis on bass and Holbrook
Riles on drums. The trio’s fusion of jazz, soul
and funk was a perfect fit for the venue,
lighting up downtown with red-hot tunes
from this new group of collaborators. If there’s
one thing the Akron music scene definitely
isn’t lacking, it’s incredible jazz played by a
diverse group of skilled performers. Vincent’s
trio is certainly one to watch this year.
heart of the new release. The duo consists
of Jack Johnson on vocals and guitar, along
with drummer Ryan Brown, and can be found
ê Yokai
online at
MAY 13
MAY 14
MAY 20
MAY 21
(4:00PM SHOW)
MAY 21
(9:00PM SHOW)
MAY 26
MAY 27
MAY 28
AKRON, OH 44308
Akron’s punk rock roots run deep, and
devout listeners still come out in droves to
experience loud, fast playing and on-stage
shenanigans at live shows around the city. The
sound has been embraced and reinvented by
several bands thriving from the magic of this
ç Mildrid
Solo artist Mildrid’s angelic acoustic tunes are a deafening music. Like a car crash just outside
breath of fresh air in the Northeast Ohio scene. your window, Yokai aim to make ears bleed in
Her cherubic voice and melancholy chords
the best of ways with loud, heavy tunes like
chime out songs of longing, loneliness and
“BlackMedicine” and “Underwater.” The trio
the ever-changing qualities of Ohio that have
consists of Chris Brown, Eric Starr and Paul
inspired much of her original demos. Her cover Hooper and can often be found tearing up the
of Julian Baker’s “Go Home,” is a standout,
stage at Annabell’s. Check ‘em out online at
with a captivating voice that aches out words
like, “There’s more whiskey than blood in my
veins,” painting a portrait of hard drinking and
the anxiety of being alone. Mildrid will play a
ë The Conway Brothers Trio
Inspired by that good, old-fashioned ‘60s and
house show at Akron’s Fool Mansion Sunday,
May 15. Hear her hushed and effortless demos ‘70s soul, Corey and Dylan Conway add a
fresh funk flavor to songs influenced by the
now at
likes of Freddie King and The Meters. Local
bass players Spencer Cutlip and Steve Clark
have fleshed out the brothers’ sound over the
é Husbands & Wives
With solid pop hooks, dynamic
years at venues like Jilly’s, Empire Concert Club
instrumentation and guitar-driven melodies,
and the Riverfront in Cuyahoga Falls. Though
Husbands & Wives’ sound is nothing short of
few in members, the rich, blues-soaked tunes
addictive. Think the Britpop revival meets mid- fill the Rubber City, adding a little spice and
2000s garage rock with catchy Replacements/ zest to our humble home. Keep up with
Big Star-inspired melodies tossed in for good
The Conway Brothers Trio’s news, shows
measure. The trio debuted new material at
and recording updates at
Annabell’s back in March and is in the process TheConwayBrothersTrio.
of releasing a new recording, a follow-up
to their debut album, “Prepare to Meet Thy
God.” Marc Dottavio, Tony Scarpitti and Brian // Photos courtesy of the artists; Husbands & Wives
photo courtesy of Rob Quicci; Michael Vincent photo
McCoy’s unforgettable original tunes can be
courtesy of McKenzie Beynon.
found online at
è Michael Vincent Group
Noted in the local music scene for his groovin’
guitar playing with festival favorites Broccoli
Samurai, Michael Vincent has put together
music & entertainment
Celebrate a Month of
May Bass Madness
at Pub Bricco
by Brittany Nader
If you are searching for a place to relax, unwind and experience live jazz in an
intimate setting, you’re certainly in the right city. Weekends in Akron provide
the perfect opportunity for couples and groups to be serenaded with the cool,
smooth sounds of horns, bass, drums and guitar from highly skilled local musicians.
While downtown may be regarded as the epicenter of jazz performance around
these parts, the Valley on Wednesday nights is often the best place to go to
discover some of the most proficient, masterly playing to get you over the
hump of the work week. Pub Bricco’s small and charming Jazz Room,
part of the None Too Fragile theatre in the back of the restaurant,
has been a hidden gem of sorts, hosting some of the greatest
music in the area, from gypsy jazz to acid jazz rock and
bombastic jazz vocalists.
This month, Pub Bricco will hold a special concert
series spotlighting several of the very best jazz bass
players in or from the region. Owner David Glenny said
the idea for the themed performances came about
when he had the opportunity to book Mike Forfia, an
Akron native who currently resides in New York, who
is one of the most accomplished and versatile upright
and electric bass players from the area.
As a performer and educator, Forfia says his “aim is to
present media that evokes a passion for social change.”
He was recently awarded Arts Leadership Program
funding from the Eastman School of Music at the
University of Rochester, which will allow him to intern
at St. Peter’s, “The First Church of Jazz,” in New York
(conitnued on page 45)
Sounds Like Home
The Akron Symphony
Orchestra crowdsourced
everyday sounds of
Akron to compose a
unique piece of music.
We can rattle off the sights, smells and tastes of
Akron, no problem. But the sounds of Akron?
That’s a tad trickier. The Akron Symphony
Orchestra commissioned, with the support of
the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation,
composer Clint Needham to capture the sounds
of our fair city. Needham, a Texas native, posed
the question to Akronites. Many people said
nature, blimps and cars driving on brick-paved
streets, Needham told the audience at the
world premier of Sounds of Akron: City meets
Symphony on April 16 at EJ Thomas Hall. Many
more submitted sounds of laughter, children
playing in the yard and people singing through
the Sounds of Akron smartphone app.
words and photos by Nicole Stempak “You sent me not just a lot of city sounds,”
Needham said. “You sent me a lot of heart.”
He went on to say, “Composing the Sounds of
Akron: City Meets Symphony was a journey of
Akron, a little pastoral to industrial to present
day. I’ve sure enjoyed getting to know you as a
city. I hope I’ve done you proud.”
Akron Symphony Orchestra photo courtesy
of Nicole Stempak.
Highland Square
Sunday, 5/1 • 12 – 3pm
Sonny Moorman –
Blues Guitar &Vocals
Cinco de Mayo Celebration
Thursday, 5/5 • 6pm – 9pm
Pete Cavano –
Acoustic Guitar
Prince Tribute Concert
Friday, 5/6 • 9pm – Midnight
Zach & The Bright Lights –
Soul & Inspiring
Indie Folk-Rock
Saturday, 5/7 • 9pm – Midnight
Ray Flanagan & The
Authorities – Roots Rock
Sunday, 5/8 • 12 – 3pm
Ted Yoder – Folk
Friday, 5/13 • 8pm – 11pm
Jazz Shepherds – Jazz
1 Year Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, 5/14 • 9pm – Midnight
F5 – Rock & Roll
Sunday, 5/15 • 12 – 3pm
Little Steve-O Blues Duo –
Friday, 5/20 • 9pm – Midnight
Umojah Nation – Reggae
Saturday, 5/21 • 9pm – Midnight
Soulshine – Blues & Rock
Sunday, 5/22 • 12 – 3pm
Jen & Anthony –
Blues, Jazz, & Old-Time
Friday, 5/27 • 9pm – Midnight
The Jen Maurer Project –
Original Roots
Saturday, 5/28 • 9pm – Midnight
Ahi-Nama –
Akron’s Only Live
Salsa Band
Sunday, 5/29 • 12 – 3pm
Ryan Humbert –
Americana, Pop & Rock
867 West Market Street
Akron, Ohio, 44303 • 330-434-7333
music & entertainment
On Stage with >>
The Got It Got It Need It, an Akron/Canton-
his guitar to work out the guitar and vocals
based blues-hard-rock band, recently recorded
parts, which he then records with an app on
its second EP with John King at RealGrey
his phone so that he can remember them. He
Records in Canton.
will then either email the ideas to the other
members of the band or bring the recordings
“It was a small room with really big ceiling, and
to practice for the other members to get the
it sounds perfect in there,” vocalist and guitarist idea, so they can figure out the song together.
Jason Goodwin says. “We came in with a
However, while songwriting and practicing are
certain idea, and John was down with that idea. necessary, he really enjoys performing for a live
We wanted to record live — we wanted to have audience.
By Gabe Gott
it sound like when we perform. [John] kept up
with how fast we wanted to move, how quickly
“When we’re writing and practicing, I’m really
we wanted to record, and he was very open to
lighthearted and open to ideas and really
our ideas.”
thinking about working and stuff like that, but
on stage I am a different animal. Like, believe it
The three-song EP, titled “The Villain” after its
or not, I’m a pretty big dude, like almost seven
featured track, has no release
foot tall and 300 pounds, but
date yet and is currently being
mixed and mastered. According
to Goodwin — who goes by
Jaybird Goodie when on stage —
they plan to release it as soon as
possible and then build up to a
full-length album in the next year
or so. He explained the appeal of
releasing an EP, which is a popular
format for bands right now.
when I’m on stage, I’m jumping
around that stage,” he says.
“The only reason why when we
play Musica I’m not on those
subwoofers on the sides of the
stage is because I have to sing.
It becomes an adrenaline rush,
so I’m not even seeing the room
anymore — I’m not even feeling
the ground.”
“I think it has to do with people’s
attention spans,” Goodwin says.
“Some people are still buying
LPs, but a lot of people are just
listening to things from Spotify
or iTunes or um, Bandcamp, and
they just want to hear, like, a
little bit, you know? It’s a good
Goodwin thinks the Northeast
Ohio music scene is a good place
to be a fan of music, comparable
to that of Nashville, Tenn., New
Orleans or Austin, Texas.
thing and it’s a bad thing. It’s a
good thing that they’re at least
going to listen to something, but
the bad thing is, being an artist,
people that like hip-hop and
R&B, and of course there’s
always a big country crowd
around here,” he says. “But
I want to show them my whole
palette of what I’m doing. But, if
three songs, or five songs, is their
attention span, if it is what they
want to hear and they’ll enjoy,
then that’s what we’ll do — and
it’s mostly cost-effective.”
The Got It Got It Need It started
as a duo with Goodwin and
a good friend, who have since gone their
separate ways, and is now a four-piece with
Goodwin, Josh Garrett on guitar, Dustin
DeMattio on drums and, the most recent
addition, Reed Parker on bass. Goodwin
describes the band’s sound with the current
lineup as being “less jazzy and bluesy and more
just straight-ahead rock.” The band’s first EP,
appropriately titled “First EP,” was released last
June with the original lineup, but Goodwin
is excited for the new one, as it features this
thicker, fuller version of the band.
“[The first EP] took a really long time, and
we recorded it in a step-by-step process,” he
explains. “I was happy with it at the time, but
it’s just that the next one that’s coming out will
blow the old one away.”
Goodwin is the band’s main songwriter, and
he describes his creative process as being “the
usual process.” He generally sits down with
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
“I like that there’s rock ‘n’ roll
fans. You know, there’s always
there’s people out there that
want to go out on a Friday and
Saturday night, or any night of
the week, and they want to see
a live rock ‘n’ roll band play, and
they don’t care — they want to
see local and see what you’ve
got, kind of thing, which is very
rare. People don’t know how
lucky we are. You can
go and see something pretty decent almost
every weekend.”
The Got It Got It Need It recently shared
Musica’s stage with Southern Ohio’s Buffalo
Killers (whose 2008 album, “Let It Ride,” was
produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach),
and on June 11 will be opening for Nashvillebased rock band Simo, whose members are
currently on a national tour.
“This is fun. This band has been together for
five years,” Goodwin says. ““I am the longest
lasting member, and this is the most fun it’s
ever been. You know, the songs are really good,
the performances are really spot on — there are
worse things that I could be doing with
my time.”
// Gabe Gott was born during a showing of "This is
Spinal Tap," and has been a music fan ever since. His
amps also go up to 11.
music & entertainment
Carrying on The Akron Sound, The Dreemers
Debut EP ‘Is Is’ Leaves You Wanting More
by Gabe Gott
If you have seen The Dreemers play around the
first single, is also the first track on the set.
area over the past year or so, then you, like me,
The six-plus minute song goes by quickly, and
have probably been eagerly anticipating the
you find yourself wanting it to keep going (if
East Akron group’s first official recording.
not for the rest of the songs). It immediately
captures your attention with a reverb-soaked,
On Record Store Day this past April 16, the
blues-tinged guitar line, which the bass and
band gave us a taste in the form of a released
drums pick up for a short moment, then
single. However, on May 13, the trio, comprised switches gears when the main riff — which is
of Benjamin Patrick on vocals and guitar (and
reminiscent of the tight grooves of DEVO —
a little drums), Robert Keith on bass and vocals
takes over, and Patrick and Keith begin their
and Natalie Grieshammer on drums and vocals,
will be releasing their debut EP, “Is Is,” which
contains the single, “little Asian Things,” and
three other songs those familiar with their live
set will also recognize. If you aren’t familiar with
it, then you are in for a treat.
dual vocal exchanges.
As fans of the band already know, The
Dreemers sound is distinct and original, yet
familiar, all at once, and that is captured well
on this debut. A listener can pick out a variety
of influences from garage soul and surf to the
more new wave side of punk (à la The Talking
Heads), with a healthy dose of the Akron Sound
The lyrics are delightfully quirky, and you can’t
help but sing along to the chorus: “Little
Asian Things, Little Asian Things, Little Asian
Little Things.” I’ll let you decide on your own
interpretation of what they’re singing about.
Just when you think the song is over, it is only
really about half through, but that’s OK because
what follows is a big part of what makes this
song so interesting. The trio really gets a chance
to jam out and play around with the sounds
and the rhythms of the song.
thrown in the mix.
“Little Asian Things,” in addition to being the
The next track, “If I Were Older,” is another fun
(continued on page 46)
Hollow Bone Records
would like to thank everybody
who came out and supported us on
Record Store Day 2016.
We pay cash for Vintage Vinyl
Located at:
2721 W. Market St.
Fairlawn, OH 44333
MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5 /
THE Devil Strip |
music & entertainment
(Dermot Mulroney) in a tragic auto accident.
The solitude of her luxurious family estate, the
an emotional onion, peeling back one layer at
a time. India feels like a girl whose world has
peace of her tranquil town and the unspoken
just crumbled down around her and, perhaps, a
somberness of her home life are suddenly
upended by not only this mysterious accident,
piece of herself has died with her father. There's
so much within the way Wasikowska performs
but also by the sudden arrival of her Uncle
this character that is reminiscent of the silent
Charlie (Matthew Goode), whom she never
pictures era of film. Her character proves
even knew existed. When Charlie moves in with that actions speak louder than words, and it
her and her emotionally unstable mother, Evie
makes for a very hypnotizing, scene-stealing
(Nicole Kidman), India thinks the void left by
performance. She doesn't just shine going blow
her father's death is finally being filled by his
closest bloodline. Soon after his arrival, India
for blow with on-screen mother Kidman,
but their brilliant interactions and on-screen
comes to suspect that this mysterious, charming chemistry provide a symbolic passing of the
man has ulterior motives. Yet, instead of feeling
torch for the majestic Wasikowska.
outrage or horror, this friendless young woman
by Chris Kessinger (The Film Freak)
s far as acting chameleons go, Mia
Wasikowska plays a magically diverse
range of characters over the course
of her career. Unbelievably, in just 12 years on
the silver screen, the 26-year-old Australian has
carved a reputation for being a quiet storm of
sorts in the roles she takes on. Her characters’
hushed personalities offer just enough mystery
behind the sort of seductive smiles that leave
us wanting more. That's when the real genius
of her spell takes place. Through playing
opposite of some of Hollywood's hardest
hitters, Wasikowska time and time again steals
the show from the very best because of her
undeniable emotional depth and ability to
get lost in every character. Beginning May 27,
Wasikowska will once again reprise her role as
Alice Kingsleigh and fall into Wonderland in
“Alice Through the Looking Glass.”
becomes increasingly infatuated with him. This
There's also a lot of deeper meaning below
dangerous game of cat and mouse has India
some of the tense and claustrophobic feelings
discovering things about herself she never
envisioned she was capable of.
(continued on page 45)
If reading the plot to "Stoker" doesn't make
you feel awkward enough, the dark and
ominous atmospheric tones for the movie
will. Park's films always view the world as an
unforgiving place, and "Stoker" is certainly
no different. His use of silence and the effect
it has on character, mood and composition
really serve as a delightful strength to the film's
STOKER (2013)
growing cloud of caution. This is a family with
Chan-Wook Park's North American directorial
a tortured past that really comes back to haunt
debut centers around brash family motives
them in the present day. We as an audience get
embraced by mysterious characters. India Stoker the feeling that anything is possible within the
(Mia Wasikowska) is emotionally reeling after
enigmatic psyches of our main characters. Most
However, not everything has been sunshine and
talking hatters for the Aussie. To understand
why she's so great as a childlike adult who
refuses to ever grow up, you must first witness
the darker side to this stigma. Lets check out
one of the most astonishingly deranged films I
have ever seen.
the death of her father and best friend Richard
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
notably in India, who Wasikowska develops as
(continued from page 44)
(continued from page 20)
of India's experiences with Charlie that is
easy to pick up on. One can translate India's
awakening externally as a sort of modern-day,
growing-up tale when the child becomes the
adult. There's certainly enough evidence to
support this in India's daily wardrobe, suited to
look like an early 20th-century schoolgirl. We
see a couple of times in the movie where she
is handled and treated like a fragile little girl,
despite her look and age being a completely
ê Food Truck Frenzy and
different telling. One scene in particular
Food Truck Fridays
showcases Charlie tying India's shoes for her
so that she doesn't fall. Scenes like this and
Friday, May 13 kick-off event, 4-8 pm
the subtext of one character standing higher
11:30 am-1 pm
In the CG&FS parking lot facing East Market
Every Friday May 20 through Sept 2,
than the other on a staircase more than
communicate to the audience the kind of
adolescent coming-of-age tale that screenwriter
Wentworth Miller (Yes, of TV's "Prison Break"
fame) was trying to tell. It's a transformation
that the audience can believe in, if only for the
wellbeing of India's mental stability.
"Stoker" is a beautifully twisted story, artfully
composed and fiercely performed. This film
triumphs as a hyper-visual gothic masterpiece
that can't be missed. At the helm is a
spellbinding performance from Wasikowska,
who executes a psychological storm of
emotional depth years ahead of her prime.
Small Business Chronicles
(continued from page 27)
is just here and has been for years. We also
do some salvage, though not as much as we
used to. Overall, we keep our inventory small
as we can. The big box stores can carry every
type of electric hardware you can imagine.
We just carry a few but it’s the few that the
neighborhood seems to need.”
problem and are hoping we can help them find
the parts they need and give them advice on
how to fix the problem. We spend time with
them, giving them the right instructions. You
can’t be sure of getting that sort of service at a
big box hardware store. And if we can’t help,
we have a list of trade people that we trust who
we recommend.”
“It is a challenge competing with the big guys
but we have a pretty loyal customer base that
seem to like what we’re doing, so I guess we’ll
stay at it for the time being,” says Tschantz.
Find more film reviews by Chris Kessinger, The
Film Freak at
Good service must be a part of any small
business’ strategy and West Hill Hardware is
no exception. Vern Christian describes the
personal touch that all West Hill Hardware
customers receive: “About half our customers
know what they need when they come in. The
other half don’t have any idea. They have a
The Wanderer
(continued from page 31)
Bass Madness at Pub Bricco
(continued form page 41)
Maria Jacobs at Blu Jazz+ and performs at Pub
Bricco May 4 to kick off the May Bass Madness
Mary and I sat and chatted, she told me about
the renovations of the Front Porch that had
concluded earlier this year, we talked about
writing, about our love for Akron. Somewhere
in the midst of talking, food appeared and I was
grateful. My sandwich was perfectly executed.
City and develop new initiatives in jazz
programming, education and local and global
outreach efforts. Glenny says Forfia will bring a
trio from Rochester with him to the Jazz Room
stage on May 11.
series. Glenny says he doesn’t have plans for
any additional themed events just yet but tries
to keep his options open. In this circumstance,
he was lucky to have had such diverse,
established bass players open to hitting the Jazz
Room stage this month as they continue their
varied education, conducting and performing
“Mike Forfia is rarely available anymore, so
The hoagie roll was crispy and flaky on the
outside, doughy on the inside, the ideal vehicle
for pulled pork (the inside will absorb the sauce
BUT the bun will remain intact due to crust).
The pork itself was tender, totally scrumptious.
I love barbecue sauce, though (like anything) in
moderation. I want to taste the meat and not
just the sauce. This pulled pork had literally the
perfect sauce to meat ratio; I got tang and kick
but I also got that rich, chewy meat.
I love food. Food is so much more than
sustenance, than energy, than even keeping
us alive. Food has the capacity to make us live,
to bring us together, to share, to have happy
bellies. Because the Front Porch Cafe can use
food to do this, I am in awe.
when I have the chance to book him, I do,”
Glenny says. “Then, coincidentally, Aidan Plank
was headlining for the first time at the Pub, so I
thought of the theme at that point.”
Plank serves as the bassist for the Cleveland
Jazz Orchestra’s current season and works
as both a performer and composer, having
played for crowds at Carnegie Hall, Severance
Hall, The Knitting Factory and other notable
venues around the U.S. He, along with pianist
Rock Wehrmann, will bring his skills to the
much smaller Pub Bricco stage May 18. Glenny
says Plank has performed there in the past
with other groups but reached out in hopes
of securing his own gig. From there, Glenny
spotted a trend of bass players who were
interested in showcasing their skills as individual
artists, and he sprung into action to book other
accomplished bassists at the venue.
“That’s when I reached out to Dan Pappalardo
798 Grant St. Akron, M-F 7 am - 3 pm to continue the theme since he is the young
// Holly Brown is about to finish her second year (of
three) at the NEOMFA. She is looking forward to a
summer filled with long runs, poems, and of course
eating lots of yummies.
and upcoming guy from Oberlin,” he says.
West Akron residents, and beyond, hope
that West Hill Hardware stays at it for at least
another eight decades.
Street at the corner of North Forge Street
They are back! Food trucks are serving to help
our kids. Child Guidance & Family Solutions
(CG&FS) and food truck chefs are partnering
again to bring the best of ‘street food’ to
Akron for the summer. This is the third year for
Food Truck Fridays and the trucks and the staff
at CG&FS are excited for the summer eating
season to begin.
Favorite trucks will be returning – OrangeTruk,
Wholly Frijoles, Manna Truck, Firetruck Pizza,
Stone Pelican, The Spread, Beachcomber,
Swenson’s, and Popsmith; joined by new trucks
that include to-date Lobster Louie’s, Betty’s
Bomb A** Burgers, The Slop Truck, Hunger
Squad and ForkfulTruck. Each week there will
be a selection of 4-5 trucks offering a variety
of tasty lunchtime choices. Check the CG&FS
website or Akron Food Truck Fridays Facebook
page to see which trucks will be there each
week. Rain or shine, they will be serving the
best of truck food – tailgate and eat it there
or pick up enough for your office and take it
back. This is some great eating at more-thanreasonable prices.
with larger groups, ensembles and orchestras.
Glenny says the bass madness will conclude
with a performance on May 25 by Sausalito,
featuring Dorianne Denard and Kyle Magilavy,
who are regular staples at Bricco’s Wednesday
jazz nights.
This year, to kick off the Food Truck Friday
season, CG&FS and the trucks are creating a
‘Frenzy’….a Food Truck Frenzy! On May 13th
from 4-8 pm more than a dozen trucks will be
serving up their specialties, from crab cakes to
tacos, fruit pops to mud cake.
“Their bass player, Johnny, is not normally
featured, but they are going to [feature him]
this night,” Glenny explains. “His claim to fame
is he had never played upright bass – just guitar
– until Kyle Magilavy put an ad on Craigslist
looking for a bass player.”
All the trucks donate a portion of their proceeds
to support the work of CG&FS.
Since 1939, Child Guidance & Family Solutions
has been helping our children become healthier,
our families and our community richer by
providing mental, emotional, and behavioral
healthcare to children and adolescents who
are suffering. With offices in Akron, Barberton,
Cuyahoga Falls and Twinsburg, CG&FS works
closely with doctors, hospitals, school districts
and the County of Summit Alcohol, Drug
Addiction and Mental Health Services Board
(ADM Board) to provide a safety net of services
for children who are facing the challenges of
mental, emotional and behavioral health issues.
For more information about the programs of
Each May Bass Madness performance begins
at 7:30 p.m., located at 1841 Merriman Rd.
Admission is free, and audience members can
enjoy food and beverages from Pub Bricco’s
expansive menu. More information about the
restaurant and its Jazz Room can be found at
Child Guidance & Family Solutions, call CG&FS
at 330-762-0591 or visit
Pappalardo has shared the stage with musicians
and vocalists like Russ Nolan, Sam Blakesee and
MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5 /
THE Devil Strip |
back of the book
Summit ArtSpace
Review NUMBER 2
Are you looking for a place where you can
We could hang out in here. Maybe they
maybe fall in love and talk about Big Ideas and
Art and what it means to search for happiness?
should add a chair or a cozy loveseat. A small
hammock! Maybe a seat right outside the
You think there is no such place in Akron? Dear
restroom so people can at least hope to catch
Reader, there is!
some of the ambiance. We know, we shouldn’t
When we were first invited to Summit
be offering suggestions after such an extensive
bathroom overhaul, but we just can’t help it.
ArtSpace’s Loolapalooza, we noted its April
The flashy fixtures and artsy additions have
1 date and wondered if we were signing up
for a public teepeeing or to be the sad victims
of an April Fool’s prank, but this gala was no
joke: Summit ArtSpace celebrated everything a
bathroom is, should be and can become. These
Urine Luck writers could not be more delighted
in the changes!
started us thinking about all the possibilities
bathrooms hold within their bowels.
The recently renovated first-floor men’s and
women’s bathrooms are actual works of art.
But the kind where you can pee and poop in
the same room as the art, and no one tells
you to stop. We are really impressed with the
way the artists at SA collaborated with the
community to use and improve upon what they
had. The toilet trophy we presented to Summit
ArtSpace officials is on display outside the
men’s bathroom. Soon, toilets all across Akron
will compete for such a trophy. And they will
have to up their game to compare to the hot
new look of the dashing dumpers at Summit
Next to the antelier, the other stunning feature
in the men’s room is the aforementioned infinity
mirror. Sure, women’s rooms seem to take
#URINELUCK selfie station (PHOTO: Chris Horne/The Devil Strip)
additions, but they look sleek and modern.
It probably goes without saying, but the new
We did not expect the noxious smell to be
and improved women’s restroom at Summit
ArtSpace gets an impressive, and the first ever,
5 out of 5 toilets from us.
taken care of--we figured it was due to the
water quality, but to our surprise, the sewer
smell hasn’t just dissipated. In fact, it--dare we
say--smells good in a way that provides patrons
with just the right amount of freshness in the
air. This is probably one of the most difficult
things to achieve in a public bathroom, and
First (since women are more important), the
rarely have we encountered it, but here it is,
women’s restroom: Obviously, we love the Urine shining like a diamond in the rust belt.
Luck selfie station at the mirror, and we hope
the sign stays up forever and ever (#urineluck).
The artwork in each stall is a nice and easily
This is where we will bring out of town guests
underlooked personal touch. We hear there are
and dignitaries. This is where we will take our
plans for a spotlight that turns on when you sit
LinkedIn photos and our children’s preschool
down? Clearly, something needs to compete
the vanity stereotype more seriously, always
including large reflective surfaces for hair-fixing
and food removal from teeth, but what about
the men? Summit ArtSpace is giving them what
they need, too--offering a mirror where they
can see themselves forever and ever and ever.
This bathroom does not celebrate style
over substance. Like the women’s room, it
demonstrates and defines the intersection of art
and public space. For a cool place to hang out
infinitum, go to the first floor men’s room at
Summit ArtSpace and see for yourself why this
men’s room gets 5 out of 5 toilets.
graduation photos. This is where we could
have had our baby showers and weddings.
Future business idea for Summit ArtSpace: rent
out those bad boys!
The women’s room retained its original fixtures
and colors, but the newly added art, sparkling
surfaces, fluffy towels and complimentary
emery boards fulfill the potential that was
already in this bathroom space. The red
soap and paper towel dispensers are simple
On The Record
(continued from page 43)
song lyrically, and it reminds me of an early ‘60s
rock ballad, while “Feeling Fine” has a definite
surf-rock vibe in the vocal harmonies and heavy
reverb on the guitar. The latter gets stuck in
your head the most, but that’s OK (at least I am
OK with it), because if you weren’t feeling fine
before hearing it, you will be afterward. The
title track is also notable: It works well as the
closing number, leaving you wanting more, and
with the antler chandelier in the men’s room,
and a spotlight is the right direction, but let’s
keep generating ideas. A tampon ceiling fan?
Maybe a personal strobe light instead of a
bigger spotlight? What about a music feature?
Not all women think peeing and pooping
sounds are cool, and they might not want a
spotlight for the occasion, but a soundtrack
for a bodily function that is often considered
a nuisance (though it should be celebrated)?
Count us in!
is probably the darkest tonally — although not
that dark. There are also little bits and pieces
between the songs that sort of tie it all together
and leave you hanging at the end so you might
just let it repeat a time or two.
Patrick has a soulfulness to his voice and can
howl out lyrics with the best of them. Keith has
unique sounding vocals that pair well Patrick’s
singing, but his bass playing is really the glue
that holds it all together. Grieshammer’s
drumming is tight and steady, and there is just
| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #5
You know how men always wonder why
women use the restroom in groups? I bet you
anything that male visitors at Summit ArtSpace
start heading to the restroom together to pose
for selfies in front of the swanky infinity mirror
(#urineluckman). Soon they will understand.
We don’t visit nearly enough men’s restrooms,
so this is now our baseline.The antelier (Summit
ArtSpace coined this term. It’s a chandelier/
antler, and it is the Next Big Thing) light feature
is a marvelous touch and feels like you’re at
a rustic disco. The men’s room also gives off
a cigar club vibe, but this aesthetic does not
compete with the rustic disco vibe. A cigar
club could comfortably meet with class in this
establishment (if, of course, smoking were legal
in public bathrooms--maybe there could be a
special dispensation for a monthly meet-up).
enough of a flair that it keeps it interesting.
One might think of Alan “The Human
Metronome” Myers of DEVO, with a slight Meg
White edge.
My only real criticism is that it ends too soon.
Of course, it’s also pretty expensive to record,
and a lot of people only really listen to the first
four or five songs on an album anyway, so I can
see why The Dreemers (and many other
bands right now, for that matter) go for the
shorter format. “Is Is” was recorded in analog
// Emily Dressler lives in Akron and writes stories and
not-stories. She probably has to pee.
// Marissa Marangoni definitely has to pee. Every five
minutes. She is working on her second novel, but it’s
not about peeing.
140 E Market St, Akron, OH 44308
(330) 376-8480
at the band’s eastside studio, The Electric
Company, on an eight-track reel-to-reel, which
contributes to the throwback feel of the songs.
It was engineered, produced, mixed and
mastered by Nate Bucher and the band, and
Patrick and Keith are the main songwriters.
The Dreemers will celebrate the release of “Is
Is” with a release party at Jilly’s Music Room on
Friday, May 13 at 9 p.m. where you can pick up
your own copy and, if you haven’t already, see
the band live.
AirportPtogram_DevilsStrip_10x135_AirportProgram_DevilsStrip_10x135 4/7/16 2:23 PM Page 1
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