Any Problem The Net Café Solves them All

first_imgJapan, is the home of manga. You might see lots of manga in every single book store, which are internationally famous. Do you want to try some?The bad news is that most of the manga in book stores are tied with vinyl tapes so that you can’t read them for free and you’ll never ever have enough money to buy ALL the manga you’ll want. The good news is that you have net cafés here in Japan! Not only you can read as much manga as you want, but also you can use the internet and drink as much as you want too!I’ll show you guys how to use net cafés by taking “メディアカフェポパイ天王寺店” in Osaka as an example.Let me in!Net cafés can be found here and there in Japan but most of them are basically near train stations. Thanks to this, it is pretty easy to find them if you are near a train station so you can quickly get to one even if you missed the last train of the day.I’ll show you the process flow from the entrance.1. Go inside and create a member cardAlthough it depends on the net café, most of them have membership system and require you to make a member card on your first visit. Note that you have to fill in information such as your name and address. Even though you will only use the net café once, just write your home address and phone number.It costs about 210 yen to make a member card. Once you have made one, you can permanently use it for the same net café or net cafés in the same group.2. Select the room type to useIn net cafés, you’ll stay in private rooms separated with walls.For example, “メディアカフェポパイ天王寺店” has 4 types of room: open space, reclining, flat and two people, which have different prices respectively.Other net cafés also have room grades, so you should ask the staff about what is different.(1) Table type Shower rooms are one of the useful facilities net cafés have and they are offered in almost all net cafés. They are empty most of the time but could be fully occupied from evening to night since many people use net cafés during that period.It is up to the net café whether it is free to use shower rooms or not. You need to go to the reception with your ticket and talk to the staff if you want to use a shower room.Printer It is a private room with a reclining chair, which is the most popular type among net café users. You can lower the back of the chair if you want to take a nap or even pass the night,(3) Flat type It is a seat which only has a PC, a table, a chair and half partition boards to keep your privacy from the next seats. Only this type is not a private room but it charges a lower fee than other types.(2) Reclining seat type It is a private room with a sheeted floor where you can lie down. You have to take off your shoes before entering this room.(4) Twin seat typecenter_img Almost all net cafés offer a free drink service where you can get drinks and even soups without any additional fee on the room charge. You can use this service freely while staying in the net café.Shower room It is a room for when you want to use a private room with a friend or your boyfriend/girlfriend. It has a larger space than other types and also has a large sofa where you can relax.It’s time to go to the room if you have decided which type to use.3. Get a ticket at the reception and go to the room with the number specified on your ticketAll the rooms have their own numbers and you have to go to the one with the number specified on your ticket. As shown in the picture, bookshelves and rooms are kind of mixed up, so it might be better to check where the manga you want to read is before you get to your room.Optional services which make you feel at homeYou might just want to do nothing but read manga in your room, however, there are optional services in net cafés which are useful especially for those who stay for a long time. Let’s take a look.Free drink service In net cafés, you can print out maps or information gained from the internet. There is no printer in private rooms but there are printers by the side of the reception (note that you will be charged an additional fee for printing out).Matters to be notedUnlike hotels or capsule hotels, there is no roof on net café rooms. Be careful as it will bother others if you listen to music or play video games on high volume. In addition, it is quiet in net cafés and it will be very noisy if you talk in a loud voice. Although you are in a private room, it is good manners to behave quietly.Let me clarify that what I’ve introduced you this time is only for “メディアカフェポパイ天王寺店”, and prices or available options really depend on which net café you use. I consider “メディアカフェポパイ天王寺店” to be one with substantial facilities and services among many in Japan.Just visit one and feel at home with good manners.Information*Net cafés can be found here and there in Japan.Media Cafe Popeye Tennouji Branch Store (メディアカフェポパイ天王寺店)Address:AIT building 4F, 2-1-29 Abenosuji, Abenoku, OsakashiBusiness hours:24 hoursHolidays:NoWi-Fi:AvailableCredit cards:Available (Edy)Nearest station:JR Tennoji stationAccess:3 minutes walk from JR line “Tennoji station” exit 13/ 3 minutes walk from Kintetsu line “Abenobashi station” exit 1/ 3 minutes walk from Osaka municipal subway tanimachi line, midosuji line “Tennoji station” exit 9Tel:06-6625-7220Official web site: read more

Traditional Sake Cups And Vessels To Use When Drinking Sake

first_imgShuki is the general name for sake vessels. Some of the shuki are made of pure wood and have a drum-like shape. The aroma of the wood harmonizes with the sake, making it mild and easy to drink. The sake will change its taste and become milder when poured in the wooden shuki.In ConclusionOne can enjoy both hot and cold sake in the all the sake vessels introduced above. Moreover, they match with any type of rice wine! You can gather your own collection of sake vessels when visiting Japan. You can choose them based on either aesthetic features like their shape, color and artistry, or depending on the sake type you plan to drink using them.Sake sets can be purchased at sake specialty stores or at stores selling tableware. We hope you find sake drinking even more enjoyable using the traditional Japanese sake vessels!You May Also LikeAtsukan- Japanese EncyclopediaFrom Sake To Wine – A Guide To Japanese Alcoholic BeveragesFukumitsuya Sake Brewery in Kanazawa – Learn How Premium Sake Is Made!Kameda Shuzo: A 260-Year Old Brewery Producing Sacred Sake (Part 1)Ginza Sushi Ojima – Enjoy Exquisite Japanese Kaiseki Cuisine! Serving sake in a glass is one of the modern and sophisticated methods of drinking sake. At many office parties or business meetings, sake is served in glasses. The glass enhances the flavor of the sake and is especially recommended for cold sake. The thin rim of the glass gives the drink a smoother texture. Glasses are especially good for high-quality, delicate sake, as they allow for the subtle flavors of the drink to be enjoyed. The glass best catches the aroma of fruity, light-bodied sake.Sakazuki – Flat Sake Cups Japanese sake is a drink loved by many people worldwide. Visitors to Japan often take a bottle of sake as a souvenir for their friends and family. Sake goes well with almost any dish and everyone enjoys it at home or when dining out. The Japanese have developed a wide range of vessels for drinking and decanting sake, fashioned from a variety of materials that include clay, porcelain, wood, and glass. Let’s see some of the best ways to enjoy sake using traditional Japanese containers and cups.What is Japanese Sake? Ochoko is a small sake cup. It typically has a shape that allows the fragrance of the sake to gently waft upward. Tokkuri is a small flask containing the sake that is going to be poured in ochoko. Sake sets containing a tokkuri and several ochoko are a popular souvenir from Japan.The ochoko come in various materials and shapes, and it is believed that the taste of the sake changes depending on the size of the cup. For example, if one uses an ochoko with a wide mouth, the fragrance of the sake will be enhanced. When one wants to properly taste the full flavor of the sake, it is best to use an ochoko made with thin materials. Small sake cups with various colors and shapes make a great souvenir.Masu – A Sake Containercenter_img The masu is a wooden square box which was originally designed as a measuring tool for rice and sake. It is a square cedar box holding 180 ml of sake at a time. Many restaurants serve sake using masu containers, thus making the old Japanese tradition more cherishable. “Mokkiri-zake”, a practice in which a glass is placed in the masu and filled until it overflows and fills the masu, is nowadays a major attraction at the Japanese izakaya and restaurants. Generally used on ceremonial occasions today, masu is quite popular and makes the sake even more tasty and enjoyable.Glass Sakazuki is a wide-mouthed, flat sake cup. Drinking sake from a sakazuki is an ancient way of enjoying the drink and has been used in Shinto rituals and ceremonies. This cup is most formally lifted to the mouth with two hands: one holds the bottom of the cup and the other hand holds it on one side. Available in a number of sizes from the smallest one to a large showpiece, a sakazuki most typically holds only a few sips. The sakazuki cups are often beautifully decorated and usually made of porcelain, clay or lacquered wood.Wooden Shuki (Sake Vessels) A beverage that is unique to Japan, sake is a type of liquor made from fermented rice. Commonly known as rice wine overseas, the main ingredients of sake are rice and water. For certain types of sake, the short-grain rice is first polished to remove some of its outer layers. The rice undergoes then a fermentation process, being left to age for about six months. The combination of various rice types and the fermenting agent results in various flavors of sake. The more polished the rice, the higher the quality of the sake.Japanese Sake Cups and ContainersThe flavor of the sake alters once its temperature changes. That is why sake is best served in a small cup so that it can be emptied it before its temperature changes. Below we introduce some of the special sake vessels that make sake drinking more fun.Ochoko (Small Sake Cups) and Tokkuri (Sake Flask)last_img read more

Jonai And Jogai Find Your Way Around Tsukiji Fish Market Like A

first_imgDay in and day out, Tsukiji Market is bustling with tourists both domestic and international. It is split into two areas: jonai and jogai. However, it is difficult to tell the difference between these two areas for first time visitors no matter where they come from. In this article, we will go over the differences between both sides of the market.Jonai MarketThe jonai, or inner market, refers to the area where professional buyers go to make their purchases.Tsukiji Market is the oldest central wholesale market of the eleven found in Tokyo, and not only provides seafood and marine products, but also fruits and vegetables. This market handles the greatest volume of seafood anywhere in the world, and mainly performs auctions and wholesale sales of unprocessed/fresh foods. At the auctions, the seller (wholesalers) sell the fish they’ve caught to buyers (who are intermediate wholesalers). The jonai auctions are typically open to the public; anyone can go and watch the tuna auctions that take place very early in the morning here.Intermediate wholesalers take the items they have purchased at the auctions and bring them to their own jonai-based shops. Please be careful when visiting the jonai area; the foods sold here are intended for seafood and sushi restaurants, as such they are sold by size/volume and are not suitable for home use.The jonai first and foremost is an area where tradespeople work. As you can see in the photo above, workers zip about using turret trucks or other vehicles, and there are no pathways for tourists to walk along here. Please be careful of the vehicles driving about around you when visiting the jonai area.Within the jonai is an area called Uogashi Yoko-cho. This is where people who work at Tsukiji Market come to eat, and it is open to the public as well.In Uogashi Yoko-cho you can find places that serve sushi and kaisen-don, which is a large bowl filled with rice and then topped with sashimi, as well as stores that sell kitchen knives for professional cooks, and souvenir shops. However, space that each establishment occurs is quite narrow, which means that there is limited seating no matter where you visit here.Many say that the jonai is where you will the absolute freshest, most delicious sushi, sashimi, and kaisendon in the area. There are always lines outside the restaurants like Yamato Sushi and Sushidai here.If you are planning to visit the jonai area, there are a few things you should note:- Young children, families with strollers, people wearing sandals or high heels, or anyone carrying or rolling large pieces of luggage may not enter the jonai area.- Watch out for cars, trucks, turret trucks, and other vehicles in the area.- Do not approach or attempt to climb on the turret trucks.- The jonai is a 100% no-smoking area. Do no smoke here other than in the designated smoking areas.- Visitors may not bring pets or dangerous items into the area (weapons, flammable liquids, etc).- Tours of intermediate wholesalers are only available after 9:00 to small groups of people.With these points fresh in our minds, just how do you access the jonai market?last_img read more

Visiting The Fujiko F Fujio Museum Tickets And Transportation

first_imgHow To Buy Tickets Fujiko F. Fujio is a well known manga artist who wrote various manga series loved by not only Japanese people but also people from all over the world, the most famous of which is of course Doraemon.The Fujiko F. Fujio Museum or Fujiko Museum for short in Kawasaki city, Kanagawa prefecture is the place where you can experience the world of Fujiko F. Fujio’s art. This article will show you how to reserve and purchase tickets for the Fujiko Musuem, how to get there and spots of interest nearby.Read also:Enter The World Of Doraemon! The Fujiko F. Fujio Museum Image courtesy of LawsonIn order to visit the Fujiko Museum, you need to buy tickets and choose the date and the time of your visit in advance. You cannot buy tickets at the museum on the day you visit. Four designated time slots for admission to the museum are available, at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00.You can make a reservation via the machine called “Loppi” in any Lawson convenience stores.center_img Image Courtesy of Lawson”Loppi” is only available in Japanese. But the Fujiko museum provides information on how to purchase tickets with Loppi in Japanese, English, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.last_img read more

Things To Note When Drinking Mineral Water In Japan

first_imgAs the previous article stated, Japanese tap water is safe to drink. For those travelers uncomfortable with drinking tap water, however, this will not likely change their minds nor preferences. This article will talk about how to buy mineral water and the various kinds available for purchase in Japan.Places to Buy Mineral WaterYou can buy mineral water at supermarkets, convenience stores and vending machines. In stores, the bottles will be displayed in these kinds of refrigerators.In the refrigerator, various kinds of coffee, energy drinks, juices and alcoholic beverages are sorted into broad categories. Mineral water is sorted in the same way. Clear bottles containing pristine water will vary in price by volume, but generally cost 100-150 yen.Types of Mineral Water1. Regular Mineral WaterThere are many bottled varieties of this mineral water, all drawn from places like Mount Fuji and Mount Rokko, where clean and delicious water spring forth. For this reason, store lineups will vary by region, and may contain water from a well-known spring in the vicinity. It would be good idea to pick up some local water as a souvenir of your trip.World-renowned water brands like Evian and Crystal Geyser are normally available too.One thing to remember is that Japan’s water supply generally consists of soft water, and mineral water is no exception. If you want to drink hard water, please purchase foreign brands like Evian.2. Sparkling WaterIn the past, non-carbonated mineral water was the standard in Japan. Carbonated products gradually made their way into the market, and now they are both sold in stores.The packaging will state 炭酸 in kanji, or “sparkling water” in English, so look for these markings on the label.3. Flavored and Aroma-Infused WaterSome Japanese water products may look identical to regular mineral water, but are scent-infused. They can contain citrus fragrances, fruity aromas, and even have a sweet flavor.There are even yogurt-flavored varieties being sold.Naturally, you can distinguish the difference by looking at the packaging. Most flavored or scented varieties will have pictures of fruit on the label. Also, as a general rule, these varieties will be slightly more expensive than regular water.If you want to drink regular water, pay close attention to the packaging.last_img read more

More Than 10 Off Smart Shopping At Onitsuka Tiger In Japan

first_imgThose planning to visit Osaka should go to the Shinsaibashi Store, the largest Onitsuka Tiger shop in the Kansai Region. In Osaka, Shinsaibashi is the best area to do shopping. Midosuji, the area with a concentration of famous brand shops, and Amerikamura with its vintage clothing stores, are also located nearby.To see detailed information about this shop, click the View Infomation tab below Onitsuka Tiger Shinsaibashi Shop View Informationshoe_storestoreHERE you will find a complete list of the Onitsuka Tiger stores. All the shops offer the discount services introduced in this article, so make sure to check them out during your sightseeing trip!Onitsuka Tiger Official Website: OT Magazine* In this article, we are introducing a tax exemption and discount service available only for foreign visitors to Japan. Japanese customers or non-Japanese residents of Japan cannot use these discounts. We kindly ask for your understanding.Shinsaibashi store photos courtesy of ASICS Corporation.Omotesando store and Shibuya store photos by Junichi Higashiyama.Sponsored by ASICS corporation. The Omotesando Store is located near the main street connecting Omotesando Station with Harajuku Station. There are prominent brand shops in this area, and Takeshita Street, the center of the Japanese kawaii culture, is also nearby. When visiting the Onitsuka Tiger Omotesando Store, you can enjoy a whole day of shopping!To see detailed information about this shop, click the View Infomation tab below Onitsuka Tiger Omotesando NIPPON MADE View Informationshoe_storestoreOnitsuka Tiger Shibuya Store: 3-Minute Walk from the Scramble Crossing If you go see Shibuya’s iconic Scramble Crossing, visit Onitsuka Tiger’s Shibuya Store, which is located within walking distance. It is open until 9 PM on weekdays, so a visit after dinner is also possible. There are many popular ramen shops and seafood taverns nearby.To see detailed information about this shop, click the View Infomation tab below Onitsuka Tiger Shibuya Shop View Informationclothing_storeshoe_storestoreOnitsuka Tiger Shinsaibashi Store: In Osaka’s Main Shopping Areacenter_img If you wish to buy products from Japan at the most convenient prices possible and also make good use of your precious travel time while shopping, then you should check the discount services that Onitsuka Tiger has in store for their customers from abroad.We will introduce here in detail the tax-free discounts and the other special discounts offered by Onitsuka Tiger, as well as three Onitsuka Tiger shops located in highly popular sightseeing areas in Tokyo and Osaka, where you can find these discounts. Use this article as a reference and take advantage of these great offers!Two Discount Services at Onitsuka Tiger Stores in JapanDiscount No. 1: 8% Off with the Tax Exemption!The Onitsuka Tiger shops offer tax exemption services, so 8% of the price, which is the consumption tax, will be deducted.** This discount is available for a purchase of at least 5000 yen.Discount No. 2: 5% Off with Your Passport!Travelers to Japan will get an additional 5% discount if they show their passports.These two services are only available at Japanese stores, so don’t forget your passport when visiting an Onitsuka Tiger store.Onitsuka Tiger Shops: Close to Major Sightseeing SpotsThe Onitsuka Tiger shops are located near major sightseeing spots. Even those visiting Japan for the first time should be able to find them easily.The new MEXICO 66 SLIP-ON sneakers can be found at the Onitsuka Tiger shops in Tokyo (Omotesando and Shibuya) or Osaka (Shinsaibashi). These are all flagship stores boasting a wide variety of products, so the customers can experience the Onitsuka world to the fullest. With bags and T-shirts also being on sale, Onitsuka fans should definitely check out these stores.If you cannot find your preferred color or size at the shops mentioned above, they might be in the stock of other nearby stores, so please ask the shop staff.The flagship stores have English, Thai and Chinese speaking staff members. They will help you find the right size, and also with the tax exemption procedures.** The Omotesando shop has Indonesian speaking staff as well.The Onitsuka Tiger stores tend to be crowded in the evening hours. If you wish to shop leisurely, visit the shops during daytime.Onitsuka Tiger Omotesando Store: In the Heart of Tokyo’s Fashion District!last_img read more

Seamless Air Alliance continues member growth agrees framework

first_imgHaving only been gathering new members since June, the pieces of the puzzle that the Seamless Air Alliance needs to fulfill its goals are now on the board, and are enabling the nonprofit standards-based organization to show a rough idea what the end game looks like –  and how it plans to get there.New major players joining the alliance since the APEX EXPO, when Runway Girl Network sat down with chief executive officer Jack Mandala, include aerostructures and interconnection systems specialist Latécoere, but Mandala explained that “the most recent of note would be Panasonic, iDirect, Astronics.”The alliance, Mandala said, is “continuing to build out the members from each part of the value chain. We’ve been lucky in that we’ve got everything from Airbus, the manufacturer, all the way through the satellite guys, Nokia, Panasonic, Rockwell Collins, Intelsat, Inmarsat, OneWeb, all the way down to the airlines, like Delta.”While a number of Gogo’s other airline customers are members of the Seamless Air Alliance – Air France, Aeromexico, GOL – the Alliance still does not list the service provider as a member, despite Gogo’s February announcement.Noting that the cost to join is not insignificant, Gogo’s 2Ku antenna provider, ThinKom, told RGN that it would “like to just be sort of an honorary member at this point”.ThinKom CTO Bill Milroy said he understands the value proposition of being able to roam into different networks. He added:I think everyone, including the Seamless [Air] Alliance folks, know there’s a lot of boxes to check to make that happen, and a lot of different rice bowls, if you will, that have to be shared to make that happen. I am an eternal optimist so I want to definitely support that. To the extent I mentioned we are MEO, LEO, GEO, I think we are doing the right job in that direction so we will see where it goes.Viasat seems to be taking a wait-and-see approach, with VP commercial mobility Don Buchman telling RGN in reference to Alliance membership: “We are watching it, right. It really looks like it’s a radio play, right? Are you going to use wifi or are you going to use a 5G radio? That seems to be the play there and we don’t see wifi changing in the future. We see wifi as pretty predominant as a technology going forward … So does integrating with 5G make sense or is wifi still going to make sense? That seems to be kind of the way it’s going.”The Seamless Air Alliance was specifically formed “to enable passengers to use their connected devices in a seamless way” ensuring that they can connect without login or credit cards as enabled by their current mobile operators. In the alliance’s view, that requires standards that can be adopted industry-wide.Seamless’ three working groups – chaired by Delta for operations, OneWeb for technical, and Airbus for the value chain – have been meeting regularly.The goal, too, is crystallizing. “We’ll have an open standard system architecture for inflight connectivity that will enable the airlines [to have] a choice in multiple service providers. That’s what’s going to drive innovation in the industry. That’s what’s going to drive lower costs,” Mandala said.In order to get there, Stéphane Bronoff, Airbus’ connectivity enterprise architect and chair of the value chain working group for the alliance, told RGN that the Seamless Air Alliance Table of Contents was approved by the SAA Board on 4 October. “This document, which is confidential for our members only, frames the future efforts of our Working Groups in developing the Seamless Technical Specification,” said the Airbus executive.Seamless’ approach is to build on existing work, “intentionally, because we have such a big task ahead of us, we want to leverage all the work that’s out there. If it’s an ARINC standard, if it’s 3GPP standard, if it’s an ETSI standard, if it’s whatever – if it’s borrowing what the [Airline Passenger Experience Association’s] connectivity working group is putting together in terms of the metrics that matter, we don’t intend to recreate anything that we don’t have to. By far, we’re looking for the shortest path to the finish line,” Mandala said.Seamless plans to define a set of minimum parameters to qualify as a Seamless-certified product.Seamless has a vision for seamless, automatic login and authentication in-flight on all devices. Image: Seamless Air AllianceThe appetite for this and other work the Alliance is undertaking means that it is taking place in a perfect storm. “When you look around at the innovation in flat panel antennas and modems and satellites and constellations being launched today, I mean, there is literally hundreds of terabits of capacity opening up in the next coming years that’s going to drive the cost down, that’s going to drive a different [industry],” Mandala said.Likening the demands from airlines to the consumer technology equivalent of desiring unlocked mobile phones for carrier portability, Mandala explained, “if you look at, for example, the Gogo 2020 plan, part of what they said was, ‘Hey, we’re not going to finance all the equipment like we did in the past. Right, so if you’re an airline and you’re paying for equipment to be installed on your aircraft, either retrofit or linefit, that better be unlocked.”Looking with an international focus, though, Chinese participation is a missing piece of the Seamless puzzle.“We have not,” Mandala said, seen appetite for engagement from the PRC. “I know last year, China announced funding for just this, to try and do it on their own. I think they’re not seeking us out right now, and from our perspective that’s a hole that feels like a black hole. It’s not that we’re avoiding it by any means, but there’s work to be done, a lot of work to be done, and it’s beyond something that’s going to get solved in the near term.A China move “would be phase two or three or whenever it comes, and solely based on the intricacies there”.Additional reporting by Mary KirbyRelated Articles:Seamless Air Alliance seeks to avoid silos as standards work beginsThinKom sees clear path to supporting LEOs and MEOs with its antennasQuestions remain over Seamless Air AllianceDominique Giannoni reflects on five intense years at Thales InflytCollaboration between Global Eagle, Telesat to fill gaps for both sidesPlug and play spec for next generation aero antennas takes shapePanasonic to sell GX connectivity to airlines in deal with rival InmarsatThinKom eyes near-term commercial airline launch of Ka-band antennaCarlisle eager to work with Inmarsat, Panasonic for nextgen GX installsRGN Premium: A changing market, begging for consolidators?SES eyes inflight model where application dictates connectivity pipeDemand for mobile connectivity persists outside the US: SITAONAIRPanasonic Avionics vows vast IFC improvements with third gen networkConsolidation is hot topic again as inflight connectivity maturesGilat makes the case for seamless roaming, ISP cooperationPress Release: Intelsat joins the Seamless Air AlliancePress Release: Airbus, Delta, OneWeb, Sprint, Airtel form IFC alliancePress Release: Astronics joins the Seamless Air Alliancelast_img read more

Press Release Lufthansa Technik app identifies seat cover part numbers

first_imgLufthansa Technik has developed the first digital assistance system for the identification of seat cover part numbers in the world.The new application is called Seat Cover Tool and is already being used for cabin maintenance work on the Lufthansa Airbus A380 fleet. Designed for both mobile and stationary use, it is compatible with all current PCs and iOS-based devices such as iPads and iPhones.Up to now, the entire process – from finding a dirty or damaged seat cover, cushion or belt, and identifying the part number to ordering and replacing the component – was completely manual. But through the use of the Seat Cover Tool, Lufthansa Technik has now digitalized the identification of the correct component and partly automated the overall process for the first time. Cabin mechanics thus save a lot of time for passenger seat maintenance.“With Seat Cover Tool, the part numbers of seat covers that need replacing can now be identified more quickly and easily. We’ve managed to reduce the respective process time from six minutes to less than one minute. In addition, the application is very simple to use and identifies every seat cover part number reliably,” says Stefan Mehler, Project Manager at Lufthansa Technik.Seat Cover Tool is set to be rolled out to other seat parts and all common aircraft types as early as next year. Once that version of the tool has proven itself in practice as well, Lufthansa Technik intends to offer it to other MRO companies for a fee so that they, too, can benefit from the advantages of Seat Cover Tool.Lufthansa TechnikWith some 35 subsidiaries and affiliates, the Lufthansa Technik Group is one of the leading providers of technical aircraft services in the world. Certified internationally as maintenance, production and design organization, the company has a workforce of more than 25,000 employees. Lufthansa Technik’s portfolio covers the entire range of services for commercial and VIP/special mission aircraft, engines, components and landing gear in the areas of digital fleet support, maintenance, repair, overhaul, modification, completion and conversion as well as the manufacture of innovative cabin products.last_img read more

Collins Aerospace stays the course with wireless vision for IFEC

first_imgCollins Aerospace is not straying from its plan to focus on supporting wireless connectivity and BYOD entertainment for airline passengers instead of embedded solutions, the company has confirmed to Runway Girl Network.The aerospace behemoth’s position on the subject might seem obvious, given that Collins Aerospace – when it was known as Rockwell Collins – previously vowed it would not invest in in-seat video capabilities, and more recently exited the sector with the sale of its commercial inflight entertainment business to digEcor, which has rebranded as Burrana.Nonetheless, some industry observers wondered whether Collins would seek to fill the (some might say glaring) gap in its portfolio through a tie-up or M&A activity involving much larger players in embedded IFE. After all, Collins’ remarkable nose-to-tail content in the commercial sector is presently missing both in-seat IFE and a cabin management system, though the firm continues to offer its Airshow moving map software to airlines.Following UTC’s acquisition of Rockwell Collins in November 2018, RGN reached out to newly named Collins Aerospace to understand if there has been a shift in thinking since last fall’s APEX EXPO, when Alexis Hickox, who works as head of strategic growth & business development in the firm’s Strategic Programs Division, said the company is seeing less and less need for in-seat IFE.“No, there hasn’t been a shift in our thinking,” Collins vice president, business development & strategy Joel Otto told RGN. “We believe that the trend for many airlines continues to be wireless systems that enable passengers to access content on their personal devices and allow for broadband connectivity. We are focused on supplying great connectivity solutions that enable a wide range of passenger and airline operational applications.”Collins Aerospace provides plenty of PaxEx products – from seats across travel classes and lavs to inflight connectivity as an Inmarsat Global Xpress VAR and even a moving map which runs on IFE systems. But it is not selling in-seat IFE hardware, or indeed dropdown screens. Image: Collins AerospaceTruth be told, B/E Aerospace – itself acquired by Rockwell Collins in 2017 – wasn’t the biggest champion of embedded IFE either. Werner Lieberherr, the former president and CEO of B/E who later served as the top Winston-Salem operational executive for Rockwell Collins before abruptly leaving last fall, penned an Op-Ed for RGN in 2017 in which he stated:Removal of embedded IFE may provide more space and promote different storage options for the lower seat pitch environment. This would be a huge weight/cost savings for airlines.His comments are in line with conversations we’ve had with certain aircraft interiors designers, who have quietly suggested that the need to provide in-seat IFE stymies aircraft seat innovation. In short, the interiors side of the industry hasn’t always taken a rosy view of IFE, even as many passengers welcome the distraction provided by in-seat systems, perhaps especially when seated in cramped conditions down back.But given the fact that UTC rival Safran boasts ownership of IFE unit Zodiac Inflight Innovations – which is working to carve out business on the 777X and 787 – and the fact that virtually all commercial widebodies are still delivered with embedded IFE, inquiring minds wondered if Collins as part of UTC would have a change of heart.According to management, it has not.As Collins reiterates it is not interested in rounding out its portfolio with seatback IFE, a new entrant in the form of Delta Air Lines start-up Delta Flight Products is on the march.Springboarding off of the work accomplished for Delta’s Airbus A220 wireless seatback system, Delta Flight Products has taken full ownership of delivering wireless seatback IFE to the US major’s brand new Airbus A330-900neo and A321neo fleets, and when retrofitting the system to its Boeing 767-400s.Would anyone be surprised if this particular solution, which features Hitachi tablet displays, finds its way onto Delta partner airline fleets? After all, some of those airlines followed Delta’s lead in adopting Gogo 2Ku inflight connectivity.For its part, digEcor reported last week that its acquisition of Collins’ commercial IFE business has closed, and that it has rebranded as Burrana. It said the move marks the beginning of “an exciting new chapter” for the firm.Specifically, the acquisition brings into the Burrana fold the Rockwell Collins PAVES family of seatback and overhead narrowbody solutions, as well as on-demand TES and eTES systems, which can still be found on aged widebodies.“The workforces from both organizations have been merged together to form Burrana and we are in growth mode. We have an amazing engineering capability focused on continuing our journey of innovation. Our global presence remains as is with facilities in the US, UK, France, Mexico, Australia and China,” Burrana CEO David Withers told RGN via email this week.As noted when RGN first broke the news of the acquisition, the arrangement has catapulted digEcor-now-Burrana into an interesting strategic position in the IFE market, giving it linefit offerability with airframers for the first time.Indeed, Burrana is now laying claim to being the third largest embedded IFE provider in the market. The company has not publicly declared its exact market share, with Withers noting “that would be proprietary” though #PaxEx data crunchers no doubt have more details at the ready.Is there an opportunity to further grow the dropdown side of the business? “As long as customers are ordering narrowbody planes, and the figures from both Boeing and Airbus indicate their orders are on the rise, as this is a popular category of plane, then there is indeed a good deal of opportunity for overhead IFE systems,” stated Withers.It would be reasonable to assume that Burrana will seek to leverage its new relationships with TES and eTES airline customers to potentially grow its seatback IFE retrofit business with these widebody operators. But, said Withers: “We plan to engage with all of our customers, and wouldn’t highlight one as more important than any other. We aim to deliver the solutions that fit the needs of each individual customer, and wouldn’t wish to make assumptions of their needs in advance of these conversations.”He did not address whether Burrana plans to ultimately seek linefit offerabiity for its own in-house Glide seatback system, which now boasts an Android OS, telling RGN: “We are currently developing and shaping our innovation pipeline, in collaboration with our customers, and will be making announcements on this to the market in the near future.”Related Articles:Delta Flight Products expands IFE platform to be totally Delta-sourcedZodiac Inflight Innovations readies for RAVE 777X/787 linefitDifferent IFE focuses pursued by rivals Panasonic, Thales, ZodiacIFEC revolution set to take untapped markets by stormRockwell Collins looks to bring the geo-magic to its moving mapsdigEcor to acquire Rockwell Collins’ embedded IFE businessPackaged deals? Rockwell Collins readies for nose-to-tail portfolioRoom for another seatback IFE player? digEcor on why it jumped inOp-Ed: The integration of connectivity and cabin environmentsCould a new sort of alliance emerge to benefit passengers?Press Release: digEcor rebrands after completing purchase of Collins IFElast_img read more

Airlines try IFC service harmonization and subfleet differentiation

first_imgMeanwhile, Global Eagle, whose largest customer is Southwest Airlines (with well over 700 aircraft installed), is comfortable with its decision to focus on being a one-stop-shop for the single-aisle market, quite specifically. That strategy “has really, really played out well for us”, said Norén, because it ensures Global Eagle is focusing on “the network, network capacity and network performance where our customers’ fleets are flying” and it enables the company to optimize the network “to get the right availability and speed”.This approach has also helped Global Eagle strengthen the relationships within its supply chain – “our partner suppliers and how we manage that. You don’t want to fly around with dark airplanes.” And it is a key part of the reason why Global Eagle believes it can set a new #PaxEx standard in Europe with the rollout of its latest Ku system on Air France’s A320 family aircraft. The service went live on seven Air France aircraft last week, and more than 60 installs are planned for this year.But with Viasat Ka and Gogo 2Ku setting a video streaming service benchmark in the industry, Global Eagle understands that the streaming question is on passengers’ minds.“Air France decides which services to offer passengers. The Orange + Global Eagle solution installed on narrowbody aircraft is proven to support streaming and Air France is likely to make streaming available on narrowbody aircraft in the future,” assured Alexis Steinman, senior VP aviation at the firm.But passengers want more than just words. The savviest of travelers now know enough about the #PaxEx industry that they point fingers at vendors who are seen as offering inferior service. Cathay Pacific’s recent admission to RGN that most airlines with inflight connectivity are now “in the priority of trying to harmonize between different portals internally, building to a future that can potentially work across alliances” is very much in line with what Global Eagle management says it is hearing from carriers that have gone dual- and triple-source for IFC vendors.“The trend I see is airlines have a focus on a consistent customer experience and if you have different philosophies from different suppliers – especially the piece that engages with the passenger like the portal – these are not easy things to get done. So if you have different philosophies in how you deliver that, your customers will have a different customer experience,” noted Global Eagle president Per Norén.Will industry trend towards fewer multi-source arrangements? Norén responded with a “soft yes”, insofar as “consistency is a strategic thrust on many airlines’ top agenda”. He did not point to what might be considered an obvious recent example – the decision by Southwest and Panasonic to part ways. But even here, there is no guarantee that Southwest won’t tap another provider to ensure its primary IFC vendor stays on its toes.Stateside, the IFC programs at United Airlines and American Airlines could also prove instructive.Consistently inconsistentUnited Airlines’ highly ambitious IFC strategy sees it working with four providers – Viasat Ka direct; Gogo; Thales with Viasat service; and Panasonic Avionics. So different are these services that #PaxEx data firm Routehappy by ATPCO splits them out in its ratings. The lowest ranking is listed as email and messaging, followed by basic web browsing, then Netflix streaming-capable.Though United previously sought consistency across the different connectivity services, it has opted to unleash a video streaming class of service on its Viasat Ka-fitted Boeing 737 MAX 9s, which means it garners the Netflix-streaming capable accolade from Routehappy for this subfleet, even as it blocks streaming on its other aircraft.So it seems that United sees the benefit of differentiating with streaming when and where it can.American Airlines, too, has a mix of IFC service providers, with some staffers quietly lamenting that the Panasonic Ku service on long-haul aircraft doesn’t match what can be achieved with Viasat Ka in North America. The contrast in capabilities at American became more stark last week when the carrier announced it is now offering free access to Apple Music on the 455 aircraft in its fleet that are equipped with Viasat Ka (in the long-term, over 800 aircraft will have Viasat Ka).Brian Richardson, who serves as senior director marketing customer experience, onboard products & partnerships at American, explained the new Apple Music partnership at the APEX TECH conference in Los Angeles (and noted that American’s Gogo 2Ku-fitted aircraft might ultimately offer the same arrangement). Related Articles:Cathay aims for IFC critical mass, narrowbodies and new portalUnited to offer streaming class of inflight Internet on the MAXGlobal Eagle expects IFC on Air France A320s to set European standardExclusive: Southwest Airlines and Panasonic Avionics part waysAirbus in internal talks to bring OneWeb IFC to cabins and cockpitsGlobal Eagle goes all in on connected entertainment experienceIntelsat vows new BizAv service won’t share capacity with airlinesWhy Global Eagle is largely committed to supporting IFC regionallyPanasonic IFC pivot taken into account as Southwest studies wifi issuesSeamless Air Alliance continues member growth, agrees frameworkViasat shares narrowbody IFC growth expectation for North AmericaSouthwest, GEE, PAC field fleet questions after IFC announcementPress Release: Air France taps Global Eagle, Orange for IFC on A320slast_img read more

Spotlight Party with a purpose

first_imgReggie Bell, DC Hot Spotsby Mimi MontgomeryGetting back on your feet can be hard. The Carying Place in Cary tries to make it a little easier. The nonprofit helps working homeless families achieve independence through a mentoring system that focuses on managing personal finances, obtaining affordable housing, and maintaining a steady job. Families selected to work with the program are housed by the nonprofit for 16 weeks while they take steps toward independent living. After they move out on their own, the families become part of a thriving support system that includes about 300 volunteers who  work with them to develop budgeting skills and debt-payment plans and help find permanent housing. Volunteers also work with children of the families to help develop their self-esteem and build a sense of stability. It’s a successful program, which is why The Carying Place is in such high demand: Last year, 350 families who sought assistance from the organization met the initial criteria of its three-tiered application process. Currently, the organization only has eight housing units available, which allows it to help 22 families a year. Executive Director Leslie Covington is eager to increase that number, which makes the April 16 Taste of the South event all the more exciting. It’s an annual gala hosted in Washington, D.C. by a committee representing 12 Southern states as well as members of Congress from across the South. Proceeds from the event are donated to Camp Koinonia in Knoxville, Tenn.; Dog Tag Inc. in Washington, D.C.; and one charity selected by each participating state. This year, The Carying Place is the North Carolina nonprofit recipient. It’s a choice expected to make a real difference. “When choosing The Carying Place as our N.C. charity, it was important to us that our donation be able to make a strong impact on the organization, and would not just be a drop in the bucket of their donor pool,” says Laura Gulledge, vice chairman of the North Carolina committee for the event and a Raleigh native. Last year, the event donated close to $6,000 to its N.C. charity.Courtesy Taste of the South (Laura Gullege and Katie Lawrence.) Covington knows the philanthropic support will be put to good use. “This will allow us to hopefully seek out more housing and maintain it,” she says, and to “find those families who are willing to work hard and get on their feet, and we’ll have the space for them to do that.” And there’s more purpose-driven partying happening closer to home, too. The Carying Place hosts its own gala April 29 at Prestonwood Country Club. It’s a busy social month for the nonprofit, but Covington knows the fun falls second to the true mission. “It’s for the families.” Courtesy The Carying PlaceTaste of the South: April 16; Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.; tasteofthesouth.orgThe Carying Place 15th Annual Benefit Auction: April 29; 6 p.m.; Prestonwood Country Club, 300 Prestonwood Parkway, Cary; ticket and sponsor information as well as volunteer opporunities: thecaryingplace.orglast_img read more

Hijinks at High Point

first_imgThe renowned High Point Market, the largest home furnishings trade show in the world, will draw as many as 80,000 attendees from 100 countries to High Point, N.C. April 22-26. Last year, ourcorrespondent was among them for the first time…by CC Parkerillustration by Dwane PowellMy pilgrimage to the High Point furniture market began with a quest. A quest for a set of Celerie Kemble patio furniture. For months I cyber-stalked this gorgeous all-weather wicker, but it’s really expensive, and I’m not patient. I was determined that our family needed this set. It would make our children want to bring their friends home on the weekends. Our social life wouldblossom. I would look younger and thinner sitting on this furniture. But if you’re unwilling to pay full retail (I’m not) and can’t find a discounted price online, what’s a girl to do? Then I remembered: High Point Market! Right at my back door. Wholesale prices, to the trade only. I am not in “the trade.” But I was undeterred. In fact, I had it all figured out. I would simply register myself online as a designer, finagle my way in, and nab it wholesale! Against the odds, I would get that Celerie floor sample for my family!Laying the groundwork  To do this would be no problem. On the home front, I would get an “overnight hall pass,” and assure my husband that the trip would be purely educational. No shopping whatsoever. Next, I would register for Market online, and enlist some wingmen (girlfriends) to join me. Proper groundwork laid, I would arrive at High Point early, nab a primo parking spot, flash my barcode to the attendants, and waltz on in, hopefully running into a HGTV celeb or two. With my pockets full of cash, I’d head straight to the Lane Venture showroom where my beloved Celerie set would be on display. Once there, I’d give the salesman my winningest smile, chat him up a little (let’s hope it’s a “him”), and offer, off the cuff, to buy his floor display for a rock-bottom price. You know – I’d be happy to take it off his hands. Arrangements to retrieve it after market would be made, and then: Voila! The Celerie would be coming home with me, and I’d have the next two days at Market to play with my buddies. Perhaps we’d see The Pointer Sisters perform Sunday evening. Three girlfriends (Jennifer, Jeana, and Kerri) agreed to join the adventure, each with her own ulterior motive. We booked a hotel room at the airport Marriott, as we knew the general consensus is that you must give Market two days: There is just so much to see.Strategery Phase one proceeded as planned, though my husband rolled his eyes when I claimed I had no intention of shopping. Online registration was surprisingly easy, and the High Point website was full of directions and showroom maps to help me plan my mission. I did call HPM customer service, and spoke to the loveliest High Point native who shared a lot of shopping and dining scoop. I think she may have suspected I was a desperate housewife posing as a designer, but she was informative and pleasant, and I appreciated it. So, logistics nailed down, I had to think about how I was going to negotiate this transaction. I consulted my friend Fran, whose family’s furniture business has been integrally involved at Market for years. She’s done some “posing” herself, and talked me through the process: When I entered a showroom, she told me, an attendant would scan the badge on a lanyard around my neck. This would inform the showroom of my business type and region, so they could direct me to my area rep. Area rep? Thankfully, people are usually welcome to walk in without appointments to look at the merchandise as well.  And if you are a desperate housewife posing as a designer and want to buy singles, not multiples, the lingo, she told me, goes like this: “Hi there, Mr. Showroom Rep., I am a designer and my client (ahem) is in need of patio furniture for her river home near Little Washington” (really less a boldfaced lie than wishful thinking). Then you say: “I do not have a store,” or “I’m non-stocking,” which means you don’t have a store and don’t stock merchandise. I very quickly learned – gulp – that buying singles tags 30 percent onto the wholesale price. Some more lines to deploy: “What is your minimum to place an order? What is your shipping cost? And when will it be delivered?” This, she said, would pretty much cover it. Lines memorized, I then consulted my “real” designer friends for their top Market tips. Turns out they were less interested in showroom recommendations than in dishing about the food and after-parties. It’s all about the free food and the fun, they told me: where to get it, when to get it, and how to find it. One showroom specializes in PJ Punch! Another place serves a “hidden” lunch buffet – you have to head straight for it like you know it’s there. Another showroom offers a full sushi buffet and live music! Yet another serves cupcakes for the afternoon slump. The list went on and on. Friends were generous with their notes, but the best advice is always from my sister Frances in New York, who has been to Market many times: “Start with BoBo; great pimento cheese is served at a church downtown; take cash – it’s king. You’ll need $20 for parking. Download their free app to find vendors. P.S.: for Pete’s sake DO NOT wear tennis shoes (though you will be tempted).”Liftoff With my homework complete and the Celerie set dancing before my eyes, I gathered my friends.  At the crack of dawn, we fired up our convoy of gas-guzzlers and headed west, led by market veteran Jeana Young. She led us straight to convenient and cheap parking ($10 per car, Freeman’s Tire Center on West English). We noticed several freestanding stores that looked like they had fabulous loot, including my sister’s recommended BoBo Intriguing Objects. The Furniture Market is comprised of many buildings, but thankfully the Suites at Market Square – ground zero – was closest. It’s where we were given our lanyard badges and pocket guide with market maps and showroom locations. Everyone was still waking up from boisterous parties the night before, so it was quiet and peaceful, like being in a museum before opening hours. As we made our way through the beehive of showrooms, it wasn’t long before we ran into Raleigh friends Ben Everett and Ross Spain, the proprietors of Acquisitions Limited in Raleigh. They were wheeling and dealing with clients, but still gave us a big wave and didn’t seem at all surprised to see us. Carlette Peters from Davenport @ Five was there to buy for her darling shop, and gave a big hello and a bigger laugh when she saw my business badge. As luck would have it, we stumbled upon the permanent showroom of friends and furniture designers extraordinaire Beth and Chris Collier of VanCollier, the Washington, N.C. interior and furniture design firm (see the Walter profile of the couple and their business at After hugs, kisses, and introductions to our crowd, we took in the Colliers’ fabulous collection, including their signature ginkgo accent pieces and my favorite, the Charles Ottoman. Furniture aside, we wanted scoop about the designer A-List party the Colliers attended the night before. All of the shining designer stars were there. Kerri confessed that she’s a Mark Sikes devotee and hoped to catch a glimpse of him. No problem, said Beth, and offered to introduce us. Up we marched to the Henredon showroom, where he was promoting his new furniture line. I knew that Lady Luck was with me when I noticed the Lane Venture showroom, with my Celerie collection, just across the hall. I craned my neck to catch a glimpse of it as Beth disappeared to find Mark. She reappeared with a young woman instead. It was Celerie Kemble – not the furniture set, but the woman herself! She’s so young!  Oh my gosh, should I be embarrassed I’m unwilling to pay full retail for her product?! I found myself reaching for my lip gloss. I realized I wanted to talk to her instead of bargain with her. I had some questions: What does she think about North Carolina? What about High Point? Where does she like to eat? Where does she like to stay? Are her kids with her? Inquiring minds wanted to know! And we proceeded to have a lovely conversation. It was at this point – you may have guessed already – that my grand plan unraveled. I didn’t deploy my well-rehearsed non-stocking designer spiel. Eventually, I did perform some half-hearted haggling for The Celerie with the folks at Lane, who said they would be glad to sell samples, but I had to buy the entire showroom. I got the salesman’s card and told myself I’d try to cut a deal before summer. Or, I may have to pay full retail, daggone it. So…no patio set. And I wasn’t alone. As it turned out, none of us bought a single piece of merchandise. And we ended up paying for almost every morsel of food we consumed. That hidden lunch buffet? Perhaps it’s hidden from desperate housewives, because we never did find it. But there’s no question about it. It was a blast. We walked and walked and gawked for hours – the people and the products were riveting. We loved seeing the local artisans. N.C. metalworker Tommy Mitchell’s pieces are incredible, and did you know they are now making temporary wallpaper? You get tired of it, you just peel if off the wall! Our day ended outside the Market at BoBo Inspiring Objects. Of course my sister was right: The inventory was incredible and it was “cash and carry,” but I didn’t. Instead we settled ourselves in makeshift chairs by fires that burned in galvanized containers. A local family was grilling ribs and “trotters,” or pigs’ feet. I’m glad I tried them but I won’t again. It was like nibbling a human hand. But propped up with my friends, my trotter, and a glass of Two Buck Chuck, I was in heaven. My dear friend Betty Nelson of Raleigh’s Eatmans Carpets & Interiors joined us as her day of work was done, and we made our way to dinner in Jamestown, which offered more people-watching. We never did make it back to Market to hear The Pointer Sisters. We stumbled to the hotel to sleep. So, this desperate housewife did not go home with The Celerie. But I did leave inspired and excited about what I saw in the marketplace. If you are worried for the economic future of our country, come to High Point Market. The USA still has “the secret sauce.” If you think business friendships have been eliminated by email, join the friendly crowd at the Eastern Accents’ PJ Punch after-party. If you think that no one is willing to “walk across the aisle,” then you haven’t seen a completely tattooed art director hugging a suited furniture factory owner. The High Point Market is the result of a grand collaboration of talented, diverse people and its community, which supports it 100 percent. Watching this magic happen in my backyard makes me proud to call North Carolina my home state – no matter what patio chair I’m sitting in.last_img read more

GIVERS A Lotta Love

first_imgLotta SjoelinBringing beauty and dignity to kids in crisisby Liza Robertsphotographs by Missy McLambWhen a child arrives at Wrenn House, the Triangle’s only homeless, runaway, and crisis intervention shelter for kids ages 10 – 17, it could be any hour of any day. But no matter when a young person arrives, he or she is welcomed into a place not only of help and safety, but also one of calm and dignity, with clean and beautiful furnishings, a freshly made bed, and a sense of order. For 30 years, Wrenn House, a program of Haven House Services, has been serving local youth in need of safety, counseling, and temporary shelter nonstop, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. But it wasn’t until this year that the home looked and felt as good as the work that it does. “It has been an amazing transformation,” says Lotta Sjoelin, founder of the nonprofit A Lotta Love, which recently refurbished and redecorated the house from top to bottom with a fleet of volunteers, a $30,000 grant from the Women’s Giving Network of Wake County, and thousands of dollars of donated goods and services. Painters, floor installers, electricians, and tilers all chipped in: “When they see what the work is for, they say ‘I’m not going to send you a bill,’” says Sjoelin, who is an interior decorator by trade. The contractors, like her volunteers, were inspired by Wrenn House’s mission and a sobering understanding of its need. “There are very few places like this,” she says. And none, it’s safe to say, that look like it. Wrenn House serves eight kids at a time who stay anywhere from one night to three weeks; the typical stay is about a week long. Kids come because they are homeless, because their family is in crisis, because they are unsafe, because they’ve run away. Parents living in their cars sometimes drop kids off at Wrenn House at night so that they can sleep in a bed. “There are 2,700 homeless kids in Wake County,” Sjoelin says. “The poverty in Wake County is incredible. One in four kids go to school hungry. It’s heartbreaking. And it’s not getting better, it’s getting worse.” Kids at Wrenn House are provided with counseling, case management, referrals, and an education in life skills. Social services workers facilitate their return to relatives, friends, or someone they trust. Thanks to Sjoelin, these kids are able to weather the storm in physical surroundings that also address their psychological and emotional needs. Creating a home Sjoelin transformed Wrenn House with a combination of scrappy ingenuity, professional know-how, penny-pinching, and an occasional splurge. The dining room table, for instance, is a one-of-a-kind creation made from a single slab by a woodworker in the mountains (“I got a very good price for it”); original oil paintings donated by the Durham Arts Council bring serenity to several rooms. “That painting was commissioned,” Sjoelin says of the geometric canvas on the living room wall. “I wanted color. I wanted this to be an energetic room.” She chose furniture in practical materials that wear well like leather and wicker; many rugs are sturdy indoor/outdoor types. At every turn, she tried to make Wrenn House feel like a home, not an institution, even putting picture frames on the requisite documents on the walls – fire routes, house rules – and turning them into graphic works of art. When she finished transforming the dining room, her first room at the house, the kids in residence walked in and their jaws dropped. “They said: ‘This is for us?’” Sjoelin recalls. “They didn’t understand. We told them yes, it is for them. They deserve it.” Much of the elbow grease that went into the clean-out, clean-up, painting and installing was done by groups of 20, or more volunteers Sjoelin gathered for what she calls “D-Day” blasts. “It’s so much fun,” she says. She knows how to plan and execute a project like this because she’s done it before. She started in late 2014, when a friend told her that the HomeStart shelter for homeless women and children in Chapel Hill could use some pillows. When Sjoelin arrived with her arms full, she was dismayed to find the shelter spare, depressing, “bleak.” She immediately decided to gather resources, volunteers, and furnishings to transform it room by room. Former HomeStart resident Mimi Lubin says she was amazed when she saw what Sjoelin had done. “I thought, who would come and decorate my room?” The impact, she says, was huge: “It made me feel like life was going to get better. It really gave me energy. It brought me to life.” A mission and a nonprofit – A Lotta Love – was born. Sjoelin has since transformed environments in five other Triangle shelters, including Wrenn House, and spawned two A Lotta Love chapters. “I’ve found my passion,” Sjoelin says. “I’m so fortunate.” Powerful advocate Sjoelin’s enthusiasm, expertise, and concern for the people whose living environments she transforms make her a powerful advocate. “I got $3,000 worth of Pottery Barn Teen things today,” she says, “Bedding, accessories, backpacks … I ask everywhere. You can only get ‘no.’” She also asks everyone, especially kids, to get involved. Sjoelin requests that donors consider raising enough money to donate a room (about $700); she then designs rooms for maximum style, efficiency, and durability. Finally, she asks volunteers to pitch in to paint, hang curtains, and move furniture. She’s got teams of students who help her. Students at Durham Academy, for instance, have founded an A Lotta Love club that raises money with bake sales to refurbish rooms at Durham shelters. And the Alpha Chi Omega sorority at UNC-Chapel Hill has raised as much as $10,000 for HomeStart renovations and put on Christmas parties for its residents. “My goal is not to raise as much money as possible, but to raise awareness,” Sjoelin says. Awareness of the problems that contribute to homelessness, especially in young people, will bring change, she believes. “If we can expose them, they can change it.”  So lately, when people ask how they can get involved, she urges them to follow her lead: “Just start with a room,” she says. “If I can do it, anyone can do it … My goal is to see this in Greensboro and Charlotte.”; havenhousenc.orglast_img read more

David Crabtree

first_imgby The Rev. Greg Jonesphotography by Smith HardyHe grew up in a blue-collar family outside of Nashville, Tennessee. He started playing the drums when he was ten because he couldn’t afford to take up the sax. Hewgley’s, the great music store once located on Commerce Street in Nashville wouldn’t rent band instruments in those days, and shiny new saxophones cost more than $200 in 1957. But drumsticks cost only a dollar a pair, and the lesson book was 85 cents. David Crabtree could swing that. His brother made him a practice pad out of a block of wood with a piece of inner tube stretched thin on top. He played the pad and started cutting grass. He used to mow the lawn of Hank Cochran, a neighbor, and composer of I Fall to Pieces, the tune Patsy Cline made great.The young drummer finally mowed enough grass to buy a set of Ludwigs and he played them hard. Legendary guitarist Chet Atkins once heard Crabtree play the drums and he said, “Son, you might want to tone it down a bit.” Crabtree thought about music non-stop, going to sleep at night and waking up in the morning with a transistor radio playing under his pillow. Like a lot of guys in Nashville in the 1950s and early 60s, he ended up playing professionally in bands and even did session work for radio jingles. When he started to wonder what he wanted to do when he grew up, he prayed to God about it. He says he heard a very clear response. The Lord said, “You’ve got your voice.” Crabtree became a DJ.He took a break from the radio, and served a short stint as press secretary for the Tennessee House of Representatives, before Crabtree returned to the air as a reporter on Nashville’s WNGE. He has been on the TV news ever since, with stops in Washington, North Carolina, and Denver, Colorado, before winding up in Raleigh in 1994. His first Nashville radio producer co-wrote the song Son of a Preacher Man. Which is kind of funny, because while most people know David Crabtree as the anchorman of record in Raleigh, many also know him as a preacher man.The Reverend David Crabtree is his real name. He felt the call years ago, and was eventually ordained in the Episcopal Church. Every Sunday he is not only reading the news, but proclaiming the Good News as a deacon. He first felt the call to ordained ministry through his work as a news reporter. Interviewing people on death row led to honest heart-to-heart conversations and even friendships with people sentenced to death, which moved and inspired him.Crabtree learned early on that the most important thing in life is to be present in the moment. As a drummer, being present in the moment is the heart and soul of the band. As a newsman, being present to what’s going on is how you tell the story. Being present in the moment with people is at the heart of being a pastoral friend to those in need. David Crabtree has been present to countless people for a long time, on television, and in prisons, and at church. While he may be retiring from TV, he is only getting warmed up in ministry. And who knows, maybe he’ll hit the drums again.last_img read more

Retro Modern Furnishings

first_img300 W. Hargett St., Suite 24; Open 12-6 p.m. on Monday, Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday; Visit for more information. The brand kicked off five years ago, when founder Kelly Wohlgenant decided to turn a passion for refurbishing furniture into a full-time job. Wohlgenant has a background in industrial design, but had been working as a social scientist and policy analyst for many years. “I really missed design work, and fortunately my husband had a stable job. So we had a conversation about it and I started doing this full-time.” The company started small: Wohlgenant would scour thrift stores and flea markets for Mid-century pieces, then rehab them herself at home. She’d sell her wares on Etsy and in pop-up markets, and over time, more and more people were asking for a storefront to browse her goods. She began with a tiny studio on Saint Mary’s Street, then applied to a grant program for downtown retail shops three years ago, which allowed her to open up the store. Now, she has two employees and a nearby warehouse, home to her woodworking shop and even more vintage pieces. Retro Modern offers a mix of refurbished and handmade goods with a Mid-century twistby Ayn-Monique Klahre | photography by Eamon Queeney Inside the Retro Modern store, you’ll find a mix of old and new, with an eye towards supporting other local makers. “Most of our stuff is handmade, and we strive to consider where everything’s coming from,” says Wohlgenant. That being said, she’s aware that “design enthusiasts have all different budgets,” so she tries to keep things affordable. Her clientele is a diverse mix, from college grads to nostalgic baby boomers furnishing their homes for downsized downtown living. “Many people remember growing up with this style and want to go back to it,” she says, noting that North Carolina has the third-largest concentration of Mid-century Modern architecture in the United States. On a busy stretch of Dawson Street, just off the the northwest corner of Nash Square, is the peppy storefront for Retro Modern Furnishings. It fits right in to the rest of the the building—the marigold-and-cobalt Hue apartments—and inside you’ll find a mix of goods: refurbished vintage finds, local accessories and upholstered pieces with a bent towards Mid-century modern style. Retro Modern showcases a mix of pieces from local artists on its walls and participates in First Fridays. Recently, Wohlgenant started designing her own pieces: a low TV stand with an acrylic front (“You can actually use a remote!”), a table with hairpins legs that come in a slew of colors, shelves supported by cut-leather straps and a slim, slatted bench. Each piece is completely customizable, and still fits into the Mid-century aesthetic that launched her business even as she does more of her own construction. “The plan is to keep designing different pieces. I have about a hundred things in my head!” last_img read more

This SmallTown North Carolina Barbecue Joint is Getting National Attention

first_imgAt the root of it all, Register says that he hopes to celebrate the South and the history of Southern cuisine. “Growing up in Eastern North Carolina, I’ve always eaten barbecue, but I never grasped how important it was to who we are.” He says he hopes to teach people the stories behind the recipes in his book. “The barbecue guy is going to buy my book, but his wife will probably use it more,” Register laughs. It includes over 100 recipes from cornbread to catfish, as well as a condensed history of three regions of cuisine: Memphis and the Delta, the Low Country and of course, North Carolina. He delves into topics including: the age-old East vs. West N.C. barbecue debate, the origins of Frogmore Stew and why you should try a Kool-Aid pickle (hint: they resemble the bread-and-butter variety). There are anecdotes and historical references, like a tribute to the Gullah People and the legend of Country Captain (a curried chicken and rice dish). “I didn’t feel like I could share these recipes without including some sort of history behind them.” Register says that these regions have meant the most to him while cooking, and each recipe is something he has served at Southern Smoke or South Catering. “When you look at regions where we predominantly cook from in Southern cuisine,” he says, “these are it. These are places that have shaped the way I cook.” Register calls his book deal ‘a dream come true,’ but he wasn’t sure at first if he had a story to tell. “When I sat down, I just started writing. It’s easy to write about something you really love.” He says that he hopes people read the book and learn something about Southern cuisine: Why is fried chicken important? How did okra get here? Why do we eat rice with everything? His book answers all of these questions and more. “A book about Southern food is really like a love letter about why this is important,” he says. “I finished writing knowing more about the food I cook than when I started.” Possibly the most important thing, however, is that you can actually make recipes yourself. In the book’s foreword, Smith agrees: “Matthew means for you to really use this book. He starts with the elemental, like in the Joy of Cooking, where they tell you how to boil water.” Aside from the storytelling and mouthwatering recipes, Register offers tips and tricks, like why he believes Duke’s Mayonnaise is always the best option or to make sure the butter for your biscuit mix is cold. There’s a page on what belongs in a Southern pantry—including Texas Pete Hot Sauce, made in Winston-Salem (“This classic hot sauce has a great balance of heat and salt.”) and a hot tip on mustard (“No need to get fancy. I find that the vinegary acidity of Piggly Wiggly brand mustard goes well with most recipes”). Register also includes recommendations for further reading, including Vivian Howard’s Deep Run Roots and The Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis. Register’s book is an anecdotal how-to of Southern food, filled with nostalgia and humor. “I did not want to write a chef-y cookbook. You can get most of these ingredients at any regular grocery store.” Everyone has their favorite: From West to East, barbecue can get controversial in North Carolina. Matt Register, a native of Garland and a fan of the Eastern stuff, is cooking it with the best of ‘em at his restaurant, Southern Smoke. It’s on the way—kind of—when you’re headed to Wilmington or its nearby beaches, and only an hour and change from Raleigh. Any way you slice it, a visit to Southern Smoke is well worth the detour. On the Western edge of Sampson County, Garland has under 1,000 residents, but it’s rich in agriculture and Southern flavor. Register’s restaurant is smack-dab in the center of the 1.1-square-mile town, and officially opened in 2014—before that, Register was smoking and grilling just for fun. “I was always a grill guy because I could stand outside, listen to music and drink beer,” he says. He credits the genesis of his career in barbecue to a book: “I read John Shelton Reed’s Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina BBQ and it changed me. It inspired me to start my own barbecue journey, using traditional techniques that had fallen by the wayside.” And since he started smoking the old fashioned way, on oak wood, he’s certainly made a name for himself. Register and Southern Smoke have been featured on The Today Show, he travels to share his dishes at festivals like Charleston and Wilmington’s Wine + Food and was named 2019’s Top 10 Best N.C. Barbecue by USA Today. While Register doesn’t have any formal culinary training, it seems that watching his family members cook turned out to be just as helpful. “I was so lucky to be surrounded by cooks in my childhood.” His first book, Southern Smoke, which was released in May, pays homage to a particularly special cook—his grandmother, Dorothy Hart. Many of the recipes in the book are from the influence of her kitchen. “There was always substance to her food, what most people would call soul. I don’t think she intended to cook food from the soul every day; it just seemed to happen… As a kid, I wondered why she would constantly be sending my grandfather out on a food delivery to someone I didn’t even know. But as I got older, I understood that food was her way of showing someone that she cared. When you were eating her food, you were family.” Register has certainly maintained that feeling in his own cooking. So much, in fact, he’s selling out his restaurant each day and is booked full with catering gigs across the state. As a result, he expanded his business and launched South Catering, the upscale sister to Southern Smoke. “We wanted to showcase the diversity we’ve been doing for several years now. It’s the more elegant side to Southern Smoke,” he says. The catering menu features items like smoked tomato gazpacho, pimento cheese crostinis and oyster shooters—but don’t worry, you can cater classic barbecue items, too. After ordering from the chalkboard menu, head out back to find picnic tables and a wraparound bar that’s built from a 1965 Ford truck. Sell-out specials include Delta tamales—simmered in a spicy broth—and fried chicken sandwiches. Some mainstays are classics like pulled pork, slaw and ribs, but Register flexes his creativity when it comes to sides. “People love our barbecue, but the sides are just as important. We have funky, weird sides that people love.” Bill Smith, renowned chef of Chapel Hill’s Crook’s Corner, says he was blown away by Register’s creative vegetable combinations. “I immediately loved his point of view: the way he sees his cooking and the way it informs how he lives his life. Matthew is doing a cool take on a traditional North Carolina thing. The barbecue is top notch, and when I tried his collard chowder, it was both familiar and a surprise at the same time.” Taste anything on the menu at Southern Smoke and you’ll feel just that: familiarity, surprise and perhaps a pang of why didn’t I come up with that? Register’s hospitality and Southern Smoke’s atmosphere, plus the squash casserole and fried chicken on the day of my visit, had me feeling right at home. Even if you don’t have Eastern N.C. roots like I do, take one trip to Southern Smoke and you might feel like you’ve been there your whole life. Some of Register’s creativity is driven by local farmers (of which there are a plethora in Sampson County), who drop by with whatever’s in season that week or month. “We’re sourcing everything we can from local farmers. Sometimes we have a ton of squash, or a ton of sweet potatoes, and we work with what we get.” Register is joined in the kitchen most days by his right-hand man Rodolfo Sandoval, who started four years ago as a high-schooler looking to make some money, but is now crucial to the business, working events and developing new recipes with Register. “I was sitting outside talking to Rodolfo about soccer, and told him I needed a little extra help. He’s been with us ever since.” After Sandoval graduates from UNC-Pembroke, he’ll join Register full time at Southern Smoke. “Most people don’t realize that Rodolfo and I are the only ones that cook at the restaurant,” he says. While Sandoval and Register may be the only two cooking out back, it takes a village to run the place. “Most of our employees didn’t interview. They were either friends, customers or students of my wife, who’s a local high school English teacher. Now they’re like family,” says Register. Register is a self-proclaimed bookworm, and credits his collection of quirky cookbooks to his creativity in the kitchen. “Our house is full of books. I’ve got everything from The French Laundry Cookbook and Sean Brock’s Heritage to vintage books on Southern cuisine. We really want to expose our kids to all different kinds of things.” Family, which he mentions often, is a constant for Register and his business. He says that his dad, Tim, ‘manages the chaos,’ helping with everything from brining chicken to manning the smoker. His wife, Jessica, and three children, Taylor Grace, Nash and Harrison, serve as sounding boards for new recipes. “When I’m going through a process of new recipes, they’re the first I go to. Especially my wife, she just has an amazing palate. And she has no problem telling me when I’ve missed something.” He also named his two signature sauces after his children: Sweet Grace, a Memphis-style sauce and Two Brothers, a vinegar-based blend. Register says that he also draws a lot of inspiration from his wife’s Italian roots, where he’s learned to stretch outside his comfort zone of Southern cuisine. Jessica Register’s grandfather owned a barbecue restaurant in Sanford, North Carolina, and Register says he learned much of his business from conversations with him. “I can remember things he said to me vividly before we even started talking about a restaurant. I was just trying to gain knowledge and learn his philosophy,” says Register. “He never got to see Southern Smoke, but he was very influential in the early stages of my career in barbecue.” Southern Smoke BBQ is worth the trip to Garland, N.C. by Catherine Currin | photography by Smith Hardy Back home in Garland, however, he’s keeping it simple, and the decision to stay in his small town was intentional. “If we were going to succeed or fail, the best thing for us was to do it in Garland. My focus was to build it here and do it our way,” he says. “I wanted it to be a bright spot, not just for Garland but our whole county.” His charming joint is exclusively open for lunch Thursdays and Fridays, and the limited menu is likely to sell out before close. The atmosphere feels like you’re right at home in your backyard; the space is small but packed with all the fixins’ and the menu changes daily. Register isn’t just teaching with his cookbook. He coaches high school women’s soccer at nearby Harrells Christian Academy and he visits other local high schools to talk about his food and his business. He even recently judged a Shark Tank-style food truck competition at Lakewood High School in Salemburg, N.C. He says these relationships are important to him, as many of his employees are high school or college-aged. He talks to them about cooking, owning a business and finding success in your hometown. “I hope some local kids can look at the success I’ve had and say ‘If he can do it where he is, I can do it where I’m from.’ You don’t automatically have to go to a big city to start something. I can provide for my family and lift up the community where I am.”last_img read more

Annie Lennox MASS MoCA Exhibition Announced

first_imgAcross and within a massive earthen mound wending through two galleries, renowned performer and social activist Annie Lennox will create a site-specific installation comprised of hundreds of artifacts culled from her personal collection of memorabilia, found objects, and personal effects amassed throughout her lifetime.Annie Lennox: ‘Now I Let You Go…’ will be on view beginning Saturday, May 25. The exhibition will open with a reception from 5:30-7:00pm, preceded by a special charity event at 4:00pm to benefit The Annie Lennox Foundation’s philanthropic work, and MASS MoCA’s Fund for New Music, in support of emerging and mid-career musicians. Tickets for the special benefit, “An Afternoon of Conversation and Song with Annie Lennox” are on sale at“Annie’s ferocious talent as a songwriter, her dynamic stage presence, and her passionate call to social activism makes her work cut an exceptionally wide swathe across global culture. We know and admire Annie Lennox’s work in the public sphere, and there will be sections of this show in which that iconic persona reverberates — sometimes metaphorically, sometimes sonically, sometimes stylistically, and sometimes with just trace of irony. But juxtaposed against her public face, as we examine this excavation of remarkably personal objects, we will come to better understand some of the underlying and more private forces that motivate her work in song, and her passionately-argued campaigns for justice, global health, and social equity across gender and race,” notes MASS MoCA Director Joseph Thompson.The exhibition — part material diary, part art installation, and utterly human — is accompanied by a printed “field guide” in which Lennox annotates many of the objects on display, identifying the objects and adding recollections, personal stories, and provenance.In connection with the exhibition, Lennox will discuss her work, and perform songs in a performance at MASS MoCA, with proceeds to benefit The Annie Lennox Foundation and MASS MoCA’s Fund for New Music.For information about tickets to the benefit performance, An Afternoon of Conversation and Songs with Annie Lennox on May 25, visit Tickets are on sale Wednesday, February 20.last_img read more

UN Announces Plan To Help Safeguard Religious Sites

first_imgIn the wake of a horrific mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has announced his intention to launch a UN action plan for the safeguarding of religious sites, declaring that “mosques and all places of prayer and contemplation should be safe havens, not sites of terror.”Mr. Guterres was addressing representatives of the press at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, to show his solidarity with the worldwide Muslim community, a week after the murder of some 50 Muslim worshippers by a gunman in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15.The UN chief spoke, with a “heavy and full heart,” of the grief and sympathy felt for the families of the victims, and the moving displays of “leadership, love and community from the people of New Zealand.”Although the attack was “utterly appalling,” he said that it was not utterly surprising, because “around the world, we have seen ever-rising anti-Muslim hatred, anti-Semitism, hate speech and bigotry.”Reminding the press that he has repeatedly warned about these dangers, Mr. Guterres said that hate speech is “spreading like wildfire,” whether via social media or public discourse, with many political movements admitting neo-Nazi affiliation. He described the phenomenon as “a cancer,” and declared that “it is our duty to find the cure.”Citing a US academic study, the UN chief highlighted the important role of the media in the representation of Muslims and Islam, noting that, over the last decade, attacks in the United States received 357 per cent more coverage than attacks carried out by others.Mr. Guterres called for a reaffirmation of the sanctity of all places of worship and “the safety of all worshippers who visit revered sites in a spirit of compassion and tolerance. People everywhere must be allowed to observe and practice their faith in peace.”The Secretary-General announced that he has asked the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Moratinos, to develop an Action Plan for the UN to be fully engaged in support of safeguarding religious sites. The Alliance, he said, will reach out to governments, faith-based organizations and religious leaders to explore ways to prevent attacks and guarantee the sanctity of religious sites.“You are not alone,” Mr. Guterres promised the Muslim community, and all others feeling targeted. “The world is with you. The United Nations is with you. I am with you.”last_img read more

Your Chance To Join Ringo Starr On His Birthday

first_imgHere’s your chance to celebrate Ringo Starr’s birthday with him in LA.Celebrate Ringo Starr’s Birthday with Him in is giving you the chance to join Ringo at his birthday bash – and join his family and friends to sing happy birthday on stage – and all you have to do to go in the draw to win this amazing opportunity is donate to charity. The more you donate, the more chances you have to win.Every year, Ringo Starr has asked for one simple birthday wish: peace and love. To celebrate that wish, at noon your local time on July 7, people all around the world think, say or post, “peace and love.” But this year will be extra special, because you’re joining Ringo for the celebration in person! You and a friend will head to LA for Ringo’s epic birthday bash, where you’ll take in this awesome moment — on stage — with Ringo, his family and his celebrity friends. From sharing peace and love (and some cake!), to singing Happy Birthday to Ringo while millions tune in from around the world, you’re in for a day you’ll never forget.Proceeds from this draw go to the David Lynch Foundation. The David Lynch Foundation (DLF) targets the epidemic of trauma and toxic stress among under-resourced populations through the implementation of the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation technique. DLF has served more than 500,000 children and adults worldwide, with a focus on urban youth in underserved schools, veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and their families, and women and children who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. DLF also works with the homeless, prison populations, people living with HIV/AIDS and others.To find out more about the draw and make a donation, click here.last_img read more


Twitter Facebook Advertisement Broadcasting more than just the hits, Calgary’s VIRGIN RADIO MORNING SHOW Host, Danaye Maier has been recognized as one of three international VIRGIN RADIO Stars of the Year!Announced live on Calgary’s VIRGIN RADIO MORNING SHOW with Tyler, Danaye, and Fuzzy (weekdays from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. MDT), VIRGIN RADIO International surprised Danaye and listeners with the news through a personalized recorded message.“Danaye, you not only wake up the city of Calgary every morning, but you have also inspired the city of Calgary with your ‘A Woman a Day YYC’ Instagram account,” said Nick Jackson, Group Brand Manager, VIRGIN RADIO International. Advertisement DANAYE MAIER Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Recognized for her dedication to Calgarian women, Maier created “A Woman a Day YYC,” an Instagram initiative that celebrates a Calgary woman each day of the year. Following the launch of the initiative on International Women’s Day in 2019, Maier sparked a powerful movement within Calgary, organizing meet and greets between nominee and nominators on the account to celebrate the strengths and successes of women in the community.Maier will be travelling to London, U.K. on Monday, Nov. 18 to join Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, for a celebration of success achieved by VIRGIN RADIO employees world-wide.For more information on the “A Woman a Day YYC” initiative, please visit @awomanadayyc or @danayemaier on Instagram. read more