By Michael Vyskocil
It used to be that Budweiser and Coors Light were names synonymously linked with the cold ones you knocked down in between innings at the ballpark or during your own at-home happy hour. Now there are Belgian-style ales and other types of craft beer attracting attention among beer enthusiasts. And thanks to the efforts of individuals like Brian Strumke, people are sitting up in their easy chairs and taking notice.
Strumke, the founder of Stillwater Artisanal Ales, is the equivalent of a musical conductor. Although he has a musical background, Strumke now spends his days dealing in barley and hops, rather than bass clefs and half notes. The 35-year-old brewmaster concocts hand-crafted, Belgian-inspired beers. He calls Baltimore his home, but you won’t find a Stillwater Ales production facility in Charm City. That’s because Strumke, a self-described “gypsy brewer,” prefers to work with some of the world’s renowned brewers to transform raw ingredients into ales that defy strict categorization. He’s worked with some 25 different breweries in the past 2 1/2 years he’s been in the beer business. This year, he was ranked 58th in the top 1,000 best brewers in the world by ratebeer.com.
A self-taught home brewer who stepped up to the big leagues of the beer industry, Strumke is in the process of opening his first Baltimore business venture, a market and tavern called Of Love & Regret, to showcase the best of artisanal, craft beers.
Contract brewing, or renting another individual’s tanks to produce beer, poses unique challenges for brewers. Because of the inability to keep watch over the product during its fermentation and conditioning, one has to rely on individuals to carefully monitor the investment. And that’s fine as far as Strumke is concerned. “I didn’t have a million dollars to build a brewery. I don’t know how to weld. I don’t know how to fix the glycol system,” he says, noting that he also didn’t want to brew someone else’s beer as an apprentice.
“Getting into brewing was kind of like scratching my creative itch,” he says. “I wanted to create original beers. I wanted them to be an expression of what’s going on with me.”
Strumke’s discerning eye for quality is evident in his selection of breweries he chooses to work with. Take his Of Love & Regret, for instance – a creation brewed at ’tHofboruwerijke in Beerzel, Belgium. He brews in the saison (farmhouse-style) tradition with the addition of unusual ingredients like lavender and chamomile, dandelion and violets. But don’t think these ales are like a dose of herbal tea. The subtle undertones of the ingredients contribute to the overall aromatic quality and hearty flavor of the ales.
The complexity of flavor, moderate alcohol content and a crisp finish are some of the distinctive features of Stillwater Ales products.
When Strumke is in the U.S. (he recently returned from a brewing expedition in France when he sat down for a discussion with the Frederick Gorilla at Frederick’s Volt Restaurant), his choices for breweries are also local. DOG Brewing Co. of Westminster, Maryland, brews his aptly-named Stateside series of beers.
Beers in a Rocky Market
The Brewers Association, an organization made up of more than 1,400 brewery members, reported that in 2010, beer sales were down in the U.S. by an estimated 1.2 percent and 1.3 percent in 2011. But during that same period, the craft brewing industry rose 13 percent by volume and 15 percent in dollar amounts in 2011.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that with the variety of styles and flavors to choose from, Americans are developing a strong taste for high quality, small-batch beer from independent brewers,” says Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association.
Most beer introductory manuals will identify saison as a type or style of beer, but Strumke views his own beers as transcending a specific style. He also says that beer rankings, such as those by ratebeer.com, beeradvocate.com and others, are just that – rankings. “If you’re putting a product or something out there for the public, it’s going to be judged and you’re going to be open to criticism,” he says. “Not everybody is a proper judge, but that’s life. I’d still be doing what I’m doing with or without the rankings.”
A Sip of Saison
Stateside Saison was the first beer Strumke and Stillwater introduced to the market. It’s made with the finest European malts and incorporates hops from New Zealand. Saison is fermented using a traditional farmhouse style of ale yeast.
Then there’s A Saison Darkly, an ale that takes its cues from its deep, dark color. This beer contains slight hints of flavors imparted by the addition of rose hips, hibiscus and Schisandra berries.
Débutante resulted from collaboration between Stillwater Ales and The Brewer’s Art, a Baltimore-based institution that, according to Strumke, “helped to pioneer the Belgian beer movement in the States.” Brewed with both spelt and rye, it also incorporates flavors of the “h trio” – heather, honeysuckle and hyssop.
Strumke’s labels are also unique and an embodiment of his brewing style. His Existent label, for instance, bears an image of and a quote from German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: “And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” Call it a social commentary on Strumke’s approach to the world of craft beers. “This is an ale for you to define,” he says.
Did You Know?
The Farm Brewery Manufacturer’s License Bill was introduced into the Maryland state legislature earlier this year. The bill will allow Maryland farmers to acquire a permit allowing them to brew and sell as much as 15,000 barrels of beer per year from their farm. Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the bill into law on May 22. The bill goes into effect July 1. Learn more about the provisions of the bill here: http://mlis.state.md.us/2012rs/bills/hb/hb1126t.pdf
Joanna McVicker Overcame a Brain Injury to Build an Independent, Productive Life with the Help of a Unique Goodwill Rehabilitation Program
By Michael Vyskocil
Images Courtesy of Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley
“You’ll never be able to graduate.”
“You’re not smart enough to go to college.”
“You’ll never be able to find a job.”
Joanna McVicker heard such comments from a variety of people for much of her young life. The Middletown woman’s battle began 20 years ago with a brain injury she sustained after being kicked in the head by a horse at age 4. It was unclear at first how this accident would affect her life, but her classroom experience slowly revealed the extent of the damage. “They started noticing it when I was in school, and I had trouble concentrating, learning and understanding,” McVicker recalls.
A battery of exams and testing confirmed what she and her family feared — her cognitive functions and ability to retain and process information had indeed been impaired. Growing up, McVicker struggled to perform simple tasks, such as remembering where she placed objects in her home. These challenges also spilled over to her young adulthood, impacting her dreams of furthering her education and securing a good job.
That’s where Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley (GIMV) entered McVicker’s life. The nonprofit Frederick County organization conducts a unique Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) program devoted specifically to helping individuals with head trauma learn strategies to cope in their personal and professional lives. The program has been in place there for two years.
After numerous failed attempts to secure meaningful employment, in August 2010, McVicker received a GIMV referral. Her Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) counselor felt she would benefit most from a course that provided both cognitive and vocational training skills, and the ABI program was a natural fit. The instructor, Patie Elsberry, like her pupils also has a brain injury. “She understood my issues because she lives with the same things I was struggling with,” McVicker acknowledges.
“You learn memory skills. You do word scrambles where you have to challenge your brain. There are lots of things you have to read about how to improve your memory. We had tons of journaling that we had to do every day,” McVicker recounts of her time in the ABI class. “The program teaches us how to be independent, and through that, we received job training skills workshops.”
But the real test remained – would she be successful at finding employment?
McVicker ultimately landed a job with the Tourism Council of Frederick County’s Visitor Center. Robyn Hildebrand, the center’s manager, says McVicker was the first person the organization hired from Goodwill’s programs.
However, Goodwill was no stranger to Hildebrand. “Initially, Goodwill was doing our lead fulfillment mailings offsite, at their Church Street facility. This was arranged by Tom Buttner, business consultant with Monocacy Valley Goodwill. After a time, Tom approached us with the idea of placing a candidate from the ABI program to do the mailings on site at the new Visitor Center. Joanna was that candidate,” she explains.
McVicker admits to being hesitant to accept the offer: “I was a little nervous at first. I was afraid I’d lose a job again.” But thanks to her ABI training and Hildebrand’s help, McVicker says she has the confidence and ability to fulfill the duties of her position, which include organizing mailings, restocking brochures, preparing welcome bags for tour groups and manning the center’s front desk where she fields questions from visitors.
“Everyone is very happy to have Joanna as a staff member. In addition to her sweet personality, she is an asset with skills that have been helpful beyond her responsibility for the lead fulfillment mailings,” Hildebrand says.
“For the first time, I feel empowered in my life,” McVicker exclaims. “I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned at Goodwill with other people.” In addition to those personal achievements, her efforts, work ethic and determination to succeed have also earned a national award. In late June,McVicker will travel to Florida to receive the 2012 Kenneth Shaw Graduate of the Year award from Goodwill Industries International. The honor recognizes individuals who have successfully completed a Goodwill career program and attained subsequent employment by a non-Goodwill employer in their local communities.
“Disabilities like Joanna’s are often invisible to the public,” remarks Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “She proves to others with similar disabilities that there are ways to be successful in the workplace.”
McVicker says that the help she received through Goodwill has inspired her to return to college to study gerontology with the goal of one day working with the elderly.
“I would tell anyone not to give up and to keep going after their dream,” she says.
To learn more about Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley and the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) program, visit www.gimv.org/programs_Brain.html.
Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley
400 E. Church St., Frederick
By Michael Vyskocil
Photography by Troy Dean
Hey, you. What’s your favorite vice? No, we’re not talking about reruns of Miami Vice. From beer and boats to shopping and sports, most of us indulge in at least one leisure activity subject to being labeled a “vice.” Beginning with this issue of the Frederick Gorilla, we’ll explore some aspect of popular vices through our Add’Vice department.
In this issue, we investigate the world of artisanal craft beers with Brian Strumke, founder of Stillwater Artisanal Ales. Strumke has been described as the “gypsy brewer” of the beer domain; his creations are crafted in breweries across the world — no small feat for this self-taught brewmaster. Strumke’s influence on beer and brewing has attracted the attention of individuals who have set aside their six packs of Bud, Coors and Miller in favor of ales laced with the flavors of chamomile, oak chips, violets, and, yes, even Old Bay Seasoning.
Strumke recently sat down with the Frederick Gorilla at Frederick’s Volt Restaurant to discuss his brewing philosophy at Stillwater Ales.
A caramel color rises in the glass, erupting in a sea of foam at the mouth. Beyond that malty flavor is something quite peculiar – a hint of rose hips, hibiscus and Schisandra berries. These
ingredients make up the alchemy that is A Saison Darkly, a craft beer formulated by master brewer Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales. These craft beers are in a class of their own, elevated beyond the canned classics commonly available at liquor stores and the discount beer warehouses.
Described by some as the gypsy or vagabond brewer (he doesn’t own his own brewery) with a desire to work with brewers across the country and the world, Strumke, 35, of Baltimore, has produced beers that could rival ales produced by Belgian’s best breweries. In the span of 2 1/2 years, Strumke has created a virtual cult classic of sorts for those who seek to imbibe in a vice of luxury with a bottle of one of his brews.
While this might seem unusual given the recent economic recession that’s plagued the country for the past several years, Strumke feels that beer has become “the affordable luxury.”
“Wines became pricey. If you want the very best bottle of wine, you’re not going to get that for $20,” he says.
And the beer industry has capitalized on serving a growing market of craft beer. According to the Brewers Association, an organization
representing craft beer producers and distributors, craft brewing grew by 13 percent in volume and 15 percent in revenue in 2011. An estimated 11,468,152 barrels of craft brews flowed in 2011, the association reports.
Craft beers have also proven themselves worthy of making their way to the dinner table, says Graeme Ritche, Executive Sous Chef for Volt Restaurant. Ritchie notes that, much like wine pairings, the flavors of craft beers can be used to either complement or contrast the flavors in foods.
And Strumke, for that matter, approaches a beer much like a chef approaches a recipe – with careful consideration of the ingredients
being used. This connection has prompted a rise in beer and food pairings (see sidebar), a trend noted by Megan Krigbaum, an associate editor at Food & Wine. “Finally people are coming around
to this idea that beer has a place on the dining table,” Krigbaum notes.
Strumke’s Stillwater beers are complex creations of beermaking alchemy. While some, like his Existent – a dark ale redolent with the
bittersweet tones of earthy hops and a roasted coffee-like flavor – are brewed fairly locally (DOG Brewing in Westminster), others like his A Saison Darkly are brewed at places like the Huisbrouweij
Sint Canarus in Gottem, Belgium.
The idea, Strumke notes, is to make each beer its own art form, a unique expression from him. “I make beer for myself first, and then I share it with other people,” Strumke says of his products.
Take Strumke’s Premium, for example. Brewed with Pilsner malt, corn and rice with Cluster, Northern Brewer and Saaz hops, it’s fermented with a farmhouse strain of yeast and two strains of brettanomyces (a type of yeast strain) to yield a “post Prohibition” style of beer that weighs in at 4.5 percent ABV (alcohol by volume).
The mélange of flavors, colors and aromas creates a brew that is unlike any mass-produced beer on the market. Yet the acquired tastes of these craft beers can take some getting used to.
For those uninitiated to the styles of these craft style beers, Strumke suggests attending beer events and beer tasting venues.
“Find out where your palate is at and what you like. Even I have some I like more than others,” he says.
–The Frederick Gorilla’s Mike Beatty, Troy Dean and Matt Livelsberger contributed to this story.
Learn more about Brian Strumke and Stillwater Artisanal Ales in the Web Exclusives section of frederickgorilla.com.
Indulge Your Vice
The Gorilla asked Stillwater Artisanal Ales owner Brian Strumke and Volt Restaurant Executive Sous Chef Graeme Ritchie to create their ideal pairings of Stillwater brews and food.
Table Beer – 4.7 “Dry, hoppy, not too bitter”; pairs well with goat cheese,sashimi and ceviche
Cellar Door – boasts a base of German wheat and pale malt with accents of Sterling and Citra hops and white sage; pairs well with almost any dish, including salads and poultry
Stateside Saison – Stillwater’s flagship ale brewed with European malts and hops from the United States and New Zealand and fermented with classic farmhouse style strains of yeast; pairs well with creamier-based dishes such as foie gras
Existent – dark farmhouse beer that “looks like one thing, smells and tastes like another” and contains an earthy hops flavor with a mildly roasted aroma; pairs well with red meat dishes, particularly game
Folklore – big Belgian stout flavor with aromas of Belgian yeast and earthy-flavored hops; pairs well with decadent desserts like chocolate torte
Debutante – contains a combination of spelt rye with accents of honeysuckle, heather and hyssop; pairs well with desserts such as panna cotta
Chef and restaurateur Bryan Voltaggio is bringing another restaurant to Frederick. The diner will be called Family Meal and will offer a modern take on the classic diner. Located at 880 N. East St., the establishment is slated for opening in early June.
Check the Web Exclusives area of www.frederickgorilla.com for updates on the opening, dinner specials and the beer selection
on tap at the Family Meal.
Purchasing Stillwater Ales
Of Love & Regret
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
1028 S. Conkling St., Baltimore
Opening this summer
Frederick Wine House
Clemson Corner Shopping Center
7820 Wormans Mill Rd., Suite L, Frederick
Ye Olde Spirit Shop
1005 W. 7th St., Frederick
For more information on Stillwater or Brian Strumke, visit the Stillwater Artisanal Ales blog.
By Matt Edens
“Inferior building materials, incompatible buildings and the possibility for McMansion-type homes ….”
That’s what the exclamation point-studded flyer stuck in my door a few weeks back warned would be coming should Nexus EnergyHomes succeed in its proposal to secede from the Downtown Frederick Historic District.
According to the leaflet’s authors (a group styling themselves as The Friends of Historic Preservation), removing the roughly 60-lot development would “imperil our beloved Frederick City Historic District.”
In the end, the flyer — and all those exclamation points — were for naught. Nexus withdrew their proposal, and the new homes being built around Bentz and Sixth streets will remain within the historic district. But the brief kerfuffle did get me thinking, and not just because our house — which also sits in the designated zone — backs up to the new development.
The handout had it right; for the most part, people do love downtown’s historic district. In the press and at the planning commission hearing on the proposed rezoning, lots of people professed their affection for the 40-block district (including some who actually live there …).
But is history why we love the historic district?
It’s part of it, certainly. Like a lot of folks, I’m fond of the architecture — from the Federal and Italianate to that lone Art Deco sitting at the corner of Second and Market. Others love the fact that, among other things, George Washington literally slept here. And, while that particular building where the Father of Our Country snoozed may be long gone, there are still scores of buildings downtown that serve as touchstones to significant events in the city’s — and even the nation’s — past.
However, these things don’t entirely explain why people love coming downtown and walking around on First Saturdays, or why my neighbors and I chose to live where we do. Texture, context and the patina of age: all these are important, but underpinning them all is the fact that downtown Frederick is a pretty nice piece of urban design. We like walking around these city blocks in large part because the arrangement of buildings and streets work together to produce a walkable environment of human-scaled spaces.
But is good urban design necessarily historic? Sadly, in America, that’s largely the case. Suburban critic James Howard Kunstler sums up why pretty well in his book The Geography of Nowhere, in a passage about Disneyland’s Main Street, USA.
For all its authenticity, downtown Frederick is essentially the sort of place Disney sought to re-create.
But, more importantly, it’s the sort of place America spent more than 50 years trying to make illegal. Americans, writes Kunstler, would “walk down Main Street (the Disney version) and think, ‘Gee, it feels good here,’ then they’d go back home and … pass zoning laws that forbade grocery stores in residential neighborhoods and
setback rules that required every new business to locate on one acre lots until things became so spread out you had to drive everywhere.”
The fact that downtown Frederick is a special place is partly a matter of policy. Luckily, those policies are starting to change — for the better. Because, while all the things that make a place “historic” take time to accumulate, the only requirements for good urban design are an understanding of what it is and the willingness to do it.
The Gorilla Probes Local Bankers About the State of Their Industry
Moderated by Pattee Brown
Photography by Bill Millios
INTRO FROM PATTEE:
Gorillas, I have wanted to have a discussion about the banking industry and where our local banks are for quite some time. I have friends who have been hit very hard by this economy. These are friends who are underwater with their mortgages but can’t get refinanced, friends who have lost their homes, friends who can’t get loans to buy a new home and friends who can’t get business loans. When Marty LaPera, president and CEO of Frederick County Bank and Rick Miller, president and CEO of Woodsboro Bank, agreed to join me at one of my round-table discussions, I reached out to Jason Judd, president of Cashbox Partners, a statewide advocacy organization and
Mark Wharton, Senior Mortgage Loan Officer at Presidential Bank Mortgage to add their thoughts.
PATTEE: What do you say to someone who says, “The bankers are full of crap. They’re sitting on all the money they received from
the federal government while the rest of us are starving for it.”
RICK: What money are we talking about? Marty and I have not gotten any money from the federal government.
MARTY: I think everybody hears about the money that was given to the larger banks by the federal government because of the systemic risk facing the banking industry at that time. Unfortunately, due to that publicity, everybody believes that all banks received that money. Only the larger banks received the bailout money. Banks that were very healthy and not in trouble at the time of the bailouts were still compelled by the government to take the bailout money. Many people think of all banks as being equal.While most of the publicity was on the billions and billions of dollars that went to the large banks, most of the smaller community banks really did not take any bailout money in any form. I know that’s true of Woodsboro Bank and
Frederick County Bank.
RICK: The industry doesn’t see it as a bailout. There was a severe liquidity crisis that was not just banking related.The money given to the big banks was to address a liquidity crisis, and as Marty mentioned, the government forced some healthy institutions that didn’t need the liquidity to take the money.
MARTY: When the larger institutions were compelled to participate in the program, it allowed the middle size banks and the community banks that needed additional capital and liquidity to be part of the program.
JASON: I don’t think there’s any doubt that there were some banks that needed what the government was providing. Bank of America
is an example. CitiBank was another bank that was saved by the tax dollars pumped into them. One end of the industry exhibited some bad behavior, and there was some laxness on the part of regulators. The other end of the industry, made up of thousands of community banks, didn’tparticipate in those unhealthy practices, but they
ended up paying the price. Woodsboro is a bank of approximately $220 million in assets; Bank of America is now a bank of approximately $2.1 trillion. My organization is interested in trying to make policy that makes sense for small business and small banks in Maryland.
RICK: And what most business owners that I’ve talked with have said is that, “I’m struggling to get credit from my bank.” Chances are they’re talking about one of the big banks. If you look at Bank
of America, for example, their small business lending loans are under a million dollars, which would support the smallest of small businesses. Those loans as a percentage of the bank’s total
assets are at about 1.5 percent. But if you take a small business focused bank, like Rick’s or Marty’s, I’d guess their percentages
are in the neighborhood of 15 to 25 percent. Maybe a quarter of all the lending that they do, and a quarter of the bank’s total assets, is in loans under $1 million.
PATTEE: Mark, where does Presidential Bank Mortgage fit into this discussion?
MARK: We are more of a residential lending bank. If you break down the comments you heard from 10 people about banking, you probably
heard of two people who can’t get a loan to buy a house and the other eight who are probably saying that they can’t refinance.
PATTEE: The refinance thing is what I hear that is really killing people.
MARK: A lot of it is the representation portrayed by the media. When people come to us and they discover there are so many strings attached to getting the refinancing, they are disappointed.
PATTEE: Most people want to know how they can continue moving forward without losing their homes. They want to know why the banks
aren’t being held accountable for lending the money on an investment that turned out to be erroneously inflated.
RICK: Banks are not investors. We’re lenders; we have a lot of rules and regulations that we have to comply with. If you come to me and you’re under water, I can’t make you the loan. The Dodd-Frank Act will not cure the problem that caused the financial crisis. It’s further concentrated a lot of the banking assets in the few very big banks, creating bigger and more “too big to fail” banks. Plus, it puts an additional burden on community banks that we didn’t have before. A perfect example of this is a provision in the Dodd-Frank Act called a QRM, a Qualified Residential Mortgage. The regulations say that your debt to income can’t exceed this number. Your limited value can’t exceed this number, and your credit score can’t exceed or fall below this number. If a bank writes a mortgage to someone who has a higher lender value, a lower credit score or a higher debt to income, that borrower, at any time during the life of that mortgage,
can come back and sue the bank saying, “You made me a loan I can’t afford.” The bank would have to refund all the interest, fees and costs in underwriting that mortgage.
JASON: We got a law that attempts to clean up some of that, and it’s going to be clunky as they work out the rules. But the big problem is that the banks that are “too big to fail” are still larger
than ever. The problem is they’re so instrumental to the functioning of the economy. Dodd-Frank does not get at the core problem that those large institutions need to be broken up. These banks are so enormously powerful; they hire every lobbyist available in Washington to make sure the bill’s written for their industry.
PATTEE: What would happen if every single human being that lives in Fredrick took their money out of the national banks and put it into local banks? Would that help you or hurt you?
MARTY: That depends if we have a loan demand and we need the funding.
PATTEE: But we know there is loan demand,don’t we?
MARTY: It depends. Excess liquidity tends to chase assets and push asset values up. Unfortunately, the asset values that went up are real estate, both commercial and residential.
PATTEE: Is that how we got into this mess?
MARTY: Excess liquidity pushes asset values up. Now, you take that liquidity out of the market, and those asset values deflate. To some
extent, it’s not the banks; it’s not the regulatory issue that was the problem. It was the monetary policy of the Fed to try to even out the cyclical environment. The Fed thought that they could accomplish this by continuously lowering interest rates or increasing the money supply if there was any sign of employment going up or if the GDP
[Gross Domestic Product] started to go down. But the banks took that excess liquidity and created assets out of thin air. But if asset values go up – and our credit decisions are based on maximum loan to
values and the ability to service the debt – and all of a sudden those asset values go down, it’s going to cause a lot of disruption, even within the banks that felt that they were operating conservatively.
PATTEE: Jason, what can you tell me about this Lend Local bill that just passed in Annapolis?
JASON: The bill says, “Let’s keep more Maryland dollars in Maryland’s economy.” There’s anticipation that our loan demand will
start to pick up, and then banks will be ready to make more loans.
PATTEE: Do all of you see the situation getting better or worse?
JASON: I think you’re going to see a rosier picture of residential real estate than you will probably see in the commercial market.
Just to give you a snapshot of Fredrick County regarding supply … during the worst time ever, which started back in August of 2007 for the residential mortgage business, we had inventory in the county of about 2,200 units. That number is single family, townhomes, condos and everything. Today, we’re sitting on inventory of about 840 units, and we settle about 140 a month.
MARTY: I agree with Mark, and I see it for the commercial end of the business as well. We’re seeing more demand because there are consumer confidences, small business confidence and more demand for residential.
PATTEE: Do you guys still love your jobs?
RICK: I still love it. The level of stress and the days I go home disappointed that I can’t do something for somebody have greatly increased. Bankers – and I’m speaking I’m sure for Marty and for Mark – are in this because we like working with and helping people. We don’t like saying no.
PATTEE: Any last thoughts to share?
JASON: We need to protect ourselves and that’s the role of public policy. We haven’t done a good job at the state level or at the national level, but I think we’re starting to make that change in Maryland and in the Lend Local Act models.
MARTY: I think the Lend Local Act really can have a significant impact. Public funds and state money can really be part of that formula. If there are conditions set that we have to lend, that is OK
because we want to lend anyway.
PATTEE: I’m going to get you a T-shirt that says, “I want to lend anyway.”
Visit the Media Vault section of frederickgorilla.com,
where you can watch the Round Table in its entirety.
The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is a U.S.federal statute that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 21,2010. The Dodd-Frank Act implements financial regulatory reform sponsored by the Democratically-controlled 111th United States Congress and the Obama administration. Since the Dodd-Frank Act was passed as a response to the recession of the late 2000s, it represented a significant change in the American financial regulatory environment affecting all federal financial regulatory
agencies and almost every aspect of the nation’s financial services industry.
Boudoir, Burlesque and Pinup Photography Is Today’s New Sexy
Photography Courtesy of Capitol Bombshell
The plethora and appeal of ephemera dating from the early to mid-20th century era America is shared by thousands of Americans. One of the more curious trends that has cropped up in recent years has been the reemergence of pinup, boudoir and burlesque photography. Scores of women have flocked to artists such as Capitol Bombshell of Urbana to showcase their sexuality in a tasteful, albeit retro manner – think of them as the feminine forms of retrosexuals.
Frederick Gorilla art directors Amanda Baker and Jessica Dean recently visited Capitol Bombshell to take part in a pinup photo session hosted by owner and photographer Luigi Crespo.
A Letter from Jessica Dean, Art Director, Frederick Gorilla
Dear Frederick Gorilla readers,
I have to say that I was more than excited to be a part of this feature. I have always been an old soul, so when the opportunity arose to be a “pinup” model for the day — how could I say no? Being an art director for the Frederick Gorilla definitely has its perks! When this story was in its initial stages, I was ecstatic. It gives me the opportunity to “properly” introduce myself…Very lady-like, that just feels nostalgic.
My love for vintage anything started a while back. My first car was a cherry red, ‘68 Ford Mustang (and no, it was not given to me, I worked two jobs to pay for that puppy!). My next passion would be for swing dancing. My husband Troy and I looked for ward to every Wednesday, when we would strap on our dance shoes and head out to the Frederick FOP lodge for our weekly class. It was a blast — g reat music, fun people and lots of fond memories.
This shoot was another extension of my love for nostalgia. Luigi, Annesses and Jennifer greeted us with excitement and sincerity. The studio was decked out with lots of old props — an old armoire that was Luigi’s grandmothers, a typewriter, any kind of vintage appliance/household utensil you could think of and of course tons of beautiful shoes! I also loved that during our session, they had standards and swing music playing in the background to help get “in the mood.”
I found the shoot and this type of photography to be artistic and very empowering. For me, it was about the hair, makeup and clothes — coming together in an overall look that represented one of the many facets of me. Luigi showed Amanda and me plenty of examples of women expressing their own personalities in shots that were completely different from ours, but just as interesting and beautiful. Actually, I can’t wait to go back!
A Letter from Amanda Baker, Art Director, Frederick Gorilla
Dear Frederick Gorilla readers,
It feels like a long time since I’ve taken the time to write a personal letter, but no occasion seems more appropriate than the release of the “new” Gorilla. In my day-to-day life, email has replaced handwritten letters, microwaves have replaced home-cooked meals and pixels have replaced pencils. As an art director for Frederick Gorilla, it’s my job to stay on the cutting edge of technology, but that doesn’t change my love for all things old or vintage (perhaps that’s what drives my obsessive recycling and up-cycling).
When given the opportunity to introduce myself via a pinup photo shoot, I jumped at the opportunity. Pinup art, to me, has always held an appeal because the models themselves are self-possessed. They more accurately represent the modern woman because they have interests, hobbies and talents; they too wear many hats. Modern pinup, even more so than classic pinup, is less about sexuality and more about power.
To prepare for the big day, I set my satellite radio to the oldies station, combed Etsy for vintage clothing (er, I mean, inspiration) and channeled my inner diva.
From the second I arrived at Capitol Bombshell, I was transported to 1940. Don’t tell my husband, but the vintage clothes shopping was unnecessary — Luigi’s shoe collection was enough to make any girl swoon, and the dresses were endless. I was literally speechless with excitement. Luigi, Jennifer and Annesses were able to read my personality and channel it into art. Their dispositions were so comforting; it was like spending time with old friends.
The photo shoot allowed me to truly unleash (Luigi’s catchphrase). I’ve had hips since I was 8 years old, so an art form that reveres rather than shuns them was right up my alley. I didn’t have to think about how to hide from the camera but instead how to balance on 6-inch heels. My experience as a whole was truly empowering — I was encouraged to embrace my femininity, which allowed my authentic personality to shine through.
Today’s young women find that posing as yesterday’s pinups lets them have their cheesecake and eat it, too.
From indie chanteuse Lana Del Rey to Mad Men’s curvy Christina Hendricks, the vintage vixen look is back. The growing trend of siren chic can be seen on college campuses, fashion runways and the pages of slick style magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair. It’s also reflected in the popularity of pinup photography, both original work and modern imitations by women who are rediscovering the glamour of their grandmother’s (or even great-grandmother’s) day.
Although seemingly tame and modest by today’s bareall, body-part sexting standards, why are late teen and 20-something ladies willing to strike a steamy pose in period clothes — some even in lingerie?
Some pop-culture observers believe it’s a reaction against the modern mainstream lad-mag ideal of female sexuality as a stick figure with breast implants spray tanned the color of a traffic cone. Then there are those who speculate it’s a way of rebelling against the old bra-burning women’s lib movement itself.
And still others see it as a manifest act of postfeminism, reclaiming an art that once objectified women and turning it into a creative form of sexy self-expression and empowerment. They could be right. After all, picture the nose art painted on WWII planes — usually a shapely, scantily clad lass with a winsome smile astride a bomb about to drop on Der Fuhrer’s face. If that ain’t a depiction of strong, confident sexuality, I don’t know what is.
Then again, maybe it’s just about fun, feeling beautiful and experiencing the glamorous era of the ’40s and ’50s.
That’s what local professional photographer Luigi Crespo says is his goal as the owner of Capitol Bombshell studio. Aided by master hairstylist and makeup artist Jennifer Butt along with studio assistant Annesses Gross, Crespo helps women detonate their inner bombshell. And just in case you don’t own any leopard prints, polka dot dresses, ruby red lipstick, or a pair of boudoir mules, Crespo offers the use of a wardrobe of vintage outfits and accessories as well as some period props as part of his photo session packages. —Mike Clem
See more photos of our glamour girls in the Media Vault section of frederickgorilla.com.
Pining to be a pinup but don’t know how to get that Rita Hayworth look? Capitol Bombshell can help. On July 22, the Urbana photo studio holds a “How to be a Pinup Girl Class” with New York Times acclaimed celebrity model, modern burlesque queen and founder of Pretty Things Academy, Go-Go Amy. You’ll learn the secrets of doing vintage hairstyles, makeup and more. Then you can enjoy a complete retro-makeover before modeling in your own Capitol Bombshell photo shoot. For more information or to register, go to www.capitolbombshell.com.