Victor Lewis

Essentials: “S.” J.J. Abrams’ Mystery Book

What do you get when J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst decide to write a book together? A head-spinning investigative piece of interactive literary art. For those familiar with unreliable narrators, loose ends and looser interpretations, “S.” has all the hidden-narrative goodies you already expect from the man behind “Lost.” In fact, there’s plenty of similarities to be drawn between “S.” and J.J. Abrams’ body of work. Questions of identity (“Alias”), shades of existentialism (“Lost”) and the blending of genres (“Super 8,” “Cloverfield,” “Star Trek”) all help lend the book a sense of gravity. Abrams’ fascination with found-object storytelling is...

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New Lunch Restaurant Coming to Carrboro

Inspired by traditional home cooking and focused on the kind of inspiration that only seasonal dishes and daily cravings can provide, the soon-to-be-open Mel’s Commissary and Luncheonette promises to be a worthy addition to Carrboro’s already prestigious restaurant offerings. The restaurant is the next project of the local power couple behind the locally famous and award-winning Al’s Burger Shack, Melody and Al Bowers. Mel’s will open its doors and start serving up seasonal Southern comfort food in March, on West Main Street in Downtown Carrboro. “In many ways, Mel’s is a tribute to Mama and all the female Southern...

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UNC Student Named Churchill Scholar

Set up at the request of Sir Winston Churchill, the Churchill scholarship helps to fulfill the famous Prime Minister’s vision of a US-UK scientific exchange that promotes the advancement of science and technology on both sides of the pond. This year, for the third year in a row, a UNC Student has been awarded the Churchill. Benjamin Kompa – a 22-year-old, fourth-year student at UNC – has been named a recipient of the prestigious award. One of only 15 selected, Kompa plans to graduate this May with a double major in mathematics and computational science, as well as a...

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Duke University Receives Record Number of Applications

Only five percent of applicants to Duke University are expected to be accepted for admission this year, with an expected first-year class of slightly more than 1,700 students and a record-breaking 34,400 applications received. “We’ve been increasing the visibility of our programs for low-income and first-generation students, and people are paying attention,” said Christoph Guttentag, Duke’s dean of undergraduate admissions when discussing the nearly seven percent increase in admission applications. A recent partnership with QuestBridge, a non-profit organization that helps to connect low-income students who show academic promise with high-profile and selective universities, has helped to boost Duke’s applications...

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Pass the Pigs!

Have you ever seen a “leaning jowler?” What about a “double razorback?” For those familiar with the game “Pass the Pigs,” those lucky positions represent 15 and 20 points, respectively. “Pass the Pigs” is a whimsical take on the classic dice game “Pig” that features asymmetrical dice in the form of model pigs. On Sunday, January 29, City Barbeque in Durham will be hosting a “Pass the Pigs” competition to benefit local food banks with the help of Food Rescue, an organization that helps to connect food banks and those who wish to support them. “Our work at Food...

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Essentials: “Live at Union Chapel”

Recorded in May 2015 and released this past November, Bill Laurance’s “Live at Union Chapel” represents everything good about Grammy-winning artists. The politics of any award are often going to get in the way of giving credit where credit is due. We’ve seen it in #OscarsSoWhite and Iggy Azalea, in winners being chosen out of sheer popularity and sales numbers. “Art” and “talent” are large words, brimming with possibility and subjectivity. But sometimes, musicality and technical expertise are a simple fact. That’s what you get when Bill and his boys come to town. As a founding member of the...

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New Business Round-Up: Steakhouse, Beer Garden, Tacos, and More!

A hallmark of Chapelboro living, patronizing local businesses is a simple way of showing support for local entrepreneurs. Here’s this week’s new business round-up, with a few new storefronts worth taking a look at. Bell Tree Speakeasy Located at 100 Brewer Lane in Carrboro, the Bell Tree Speakeasy pays respect to olden days with a Prohibition-era atmosphere open to influences from modern cocktail culture. A simple door set in a brick wall leads directly into a low-lit bar tended by dapper-dressed staff. The menu may not be expansive, but the craft behind the cocktails indicates that your bartender can...

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Adeste Fideles Apéritif

Benjamin Earl Weathersby is not your average bartender. Old-school but not entirely traditional, Weathersby is the sort of barkeep who likes to play and perfect before putting anything on his menu. When it comes to cocktails that taste like Christmas, Weathersby has more than a few tricks up his sleeve. “I like to stay seasonally focused in general, as far as ingredients and the feel of the cocktail,” said Weathersby. “I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to coming up with the drink, the ingredients, and the name of it. More often than not, the name of a...

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Moose in a Santa Hat: Christmas at the Crunkleton

Holidays at the Crunkleton mean two things: making merry, and making drinks. The Crunkleton on Franklin Street is a Chapel Hill institution. Serving up hooch in a warm, old-timey atmosphere since 2008, the bar has become a downtown staple. Owned and operated by Gary Crunkleton, the bar serves patrons an ever-growing list of specialty liquors and features a cocktail menu that rotates by season while maintaining the old standards customers know and love. “Holiday cocktails are fun because they’re celebratory,” said Gary Crunkleton. “They’re fun, but they’re also hard to make. People were doing them a lot in the...

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