One can = one free haircut

September 27, 2010
by Lovelle Harris | Features Editor

Originally published in the Express on 09.27.10

Spam, the precooked meat product topped with a gelatinous glaze. Either you love it or you hate it.

Regardless of your feelings toward the popular Hawaiian delicacy, a can of spam or any other non-perishable food item, can get you a free haircut or manicure at City College’s cosmetology department from Sept. 29 through Oct. 6 during its semi-annual canned food drive benefiting The Sacramento Food Bank.

Cosmetology students under the supervision of instructors will do all the haircuts or manicures. So bring in those canned food items to support a good cause while updating your look at the same time.

Appointments can be made between 7:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Cosmetology building located at the corner of 12th Avenue and Freeport Boulevard or by calling 558-2595.

Boxed out

One writer’s struggle with her weekly community-supported agriculture spoils

by Lovelle Harris

Originally published in Sacramento News & Review on 04.22.10

While I delight in the culinary process, the weekly bounty that is my community-supported agriculture produce box quickly becomes a burden for my refrigerator. Seriously, sometimes it feels like a vegetable avalanche pile out when I open the door. And the vegetables—everywhere!—are starting to create friction with my husband.

The quarrel derives not from the money spent on the box, as the “Regular Mixed” service is a drop in the bucket for organic produce, at $31.50 a week, but rather the amount of food wasted because of our inability to keep up with the pace of the deliveries.

In an effort to bring harmony back into my home, I started giving vegetables from my CSA box away to friends—a squash here, a cabbage there. But it doesn’t make a dent.

So, I decide to challenge myself to better stay on top of the heap of mounting fruits and veggies and cook more.

You see, when I signed up for the Farm Fresh to You organic produce delivery service, I thought it would be a great way to eat healthier and support local growers. Farm Fresh to You, based out of the Capay Valley about 90 miles outside of San Francisco, is just one of the many CSA organizations that provides local, organic produce. With several delivery options, customers are able to vary both the composition and quantity of these veggie boxes.

But, not quite knowing what I was getting myself into, I opted for the more robust package—the “Regular Mixed” box, which the company touts as the perfect size for couples who enjoy cooking. And so, cooking I embraced.

During week one of my self-imposed challenge, I took a complete a vegetable inventory. Not pleasant, as I discovered, hidden in the far recesses of the refrigerator, slimy cilantro and red chard wilted beyond recognition. Upsetting.

The inventory also unearthed two large bundles of broccoli, not a favorite vegetable. But it inspires to cook something I’ve never prepared before: broccoli soup.

For insight, I look to my husband’s late father’s potato-cheese soup recipe, thinking it could be a great starting point for my experiment. Success—I’ve reduced the vegetable mountain by two bundles of broccoli, several potatoes and, more importantly, I haven’t defiled my husband’s father’s recipe.

Despite these efforts, week two of the challenge brings a bit more spoiled produce. This time, a beautifully ripened avocado falls victim to neglect and slowly turns into a withered orb of mush, along with a bundle of green chard and parsley.

And, regrettably, yet another avalanche has formed in the fridge, cauliflower being the culprit. Cauliflower is a vegetable that has perplexed me for years. I look to my trusty recipe finder, www.epicurious.com, and discover one for cauliflower au gratin. Again, I luck out: Three heads have been extricated from the mountain and, better yet, my husband loves the dish.

The final week of the challenge brings with it, sadly, a little more spoiled produce. But to my surprise, the dirty looks have subsided. I decide to take full advantage of the CSA box and prepare the ultimate in veggie reduction: a frittata. With just a few eggs and a gaggle of veggies, I reduce the stockpile by half and can even see the back of the refrigerator.

To all those thinking about signing up for this delectably challenging service, think about getting the small box. It just might save your relationship.

Lovelle Harris | 30s
Be prepared to resuscitate

Originally published in the Sacramento News & Review on 01.28.10

Growing up in a female-dominated household in the frigid confines of Alaska, I learned the word “feminism” through the daily struggles of the women in my life: the anxiety of living from paycheck to paycheck, surviving the horrors of domestic abuse, and relying on a welfare system that was often demeaning and intolerant. It was through witnessing these experiences that I gained an awareness of just what the women’s movement could mean: women pulling together in a united front to bring about positive change for one another.

In a society obsessed with elective plastic surgery and the oversexed women of MTV’s Jersey Shore, it looks as if the women’s movement is currently in a state of decline, or perhaps in need of a shot of adrenaline into its failing heart. Gone are the days of picketing for equal pay in the workplace; marching in the streets for reproductive rights; and rallying in the halls of justice against the pervasive and destructive chain of physical, sexual and psychological violence against women.

While great strides have been made through the years, there is still much work to be done. Rather than the organized, grassroots activities that marked the first three epochs of the feminist movement, the issues have moved from the streets and into the corporate boardrooms on Wall Street and congressional quarters on Capitol Hill. From Sallie Krawcheck’s meteoric rise as wealth management chief at Bank of America to Barbara Boxer’s campaign to convince the United States to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, a global-rights treaty adopted by the U.N. General Assembly more than 30 years ago, women are poised to blast right through that proverbial glass ceiling.

In the last 20 years, I have seen the fight for women’s issues evolve from symbolic gestures into highly politicized, cultural hot buttons, fought on the political front lines. Take the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act in 2009, named after a former employee of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company who alleged that she was paid 15 to 40 percent less than her male colleagues. It’s a piece of legislation that extends the statute of limitations on pay-discrimination lawsuits, and clearly a monumental win in the gender-based wage-gap issue, yet I only recently became acquainted with its existence. The moment occurred with barely a blip registering on the teleprompters of the mainstream media.

Perhaps this is why so many women in my generation, women in their early to mid-30s, don’t self-identify as feminists: Politics is confusing, the corporate world is intimidating and, to be perfectly honest, both are downright scary at times. I don’t believe my generation has forsaken the ideals associated with the women’s movement; there are many examples of local, young, strong, empowered women exacting change in their communities all around the greater Sacramento area. But I feel that there isn’t a singular, grand agenda uniting the masses.

Maybe that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With the expansion of the Internet and the emergence of the blogosphere, perhaps technology is poised to take the stage as the grand unifier of women in this decade. One need only type in “blogs + women’s issues” in a Web browser to see just how much potential this newest wave of the feminist movement has.

However, given the current state of things, it still might be a good idea to have a defibrillator on hand—just in case.

Lovelle Harris is a 35-year-old writer still aiming for her first Pulitzer in journalism. She is forever grateful to the literary gods for getting her out of Anchorage, Alaska.

Photo: Carolyn King

Sacramento’s Sam Malone
Todd Temby

by Lovelle Harris

Originally published in Sacramento News & Review on 01.07.10

So a guy walks into a bar carrying a duck smoking a cigar. The bartender asks the man, “Why are you carrying a duck smoking a cigar?” If this is the joke you’ve been dying to tell, and you come into R15 for a cocktail or two after a long day at the office, you may not want to continue to the punch line if Todd Temby is behind the bar. While he enjoys most of his patron’s witty banter, he does not enjoy cheesy bar jokes. So, if you come at him with a joke that starts out with rabbi, a priest and football player, don’t bother: He won’t play along.

How do you deal with the people who come in just looking to get hammered?

If it’s really busy, then that’s the best time to have douche bags at the bar, because you’re just too busy to have to really deal with them. If it’s slow and you’ve got douche bags, you’re just trapped like a caged tiger with people throwing peanuts at you.

What is your favorite drink?

Right now, I would have to say that would be Jägermeister, but I like froufrou drinks like piña coladas and mojitos. I just have a sweet tooth; I like fruity stuff, fruity ice creams especially. I like ice creams that have some kind of a fruity swirl with some kind of graham cracker crust—something that’s got crunch to go along with that sweet, creamy goodness.

When did you start bartending?

Since 1984, I think, or 1985. I didn’t want to be a bartender; I wanted to be a waiter, and I was nagging my boss to be a waiter and he asked me if I wanted to be a bartender, and I said sure. I wanted to be a waiter, but bartending was the opportunity that I got, so I just rolled with it. It ended up being cool, so I like it. I was bussing at Vito’s on Fair Oaks Boulevard between Fulton and Howe, now the Zinfandel Grille. So I got the gig, and I just remember I was really excited to get it and I kept badgering a couple of the bartenders to teach me, asking them how do you make this drink, how do you make that drink? So they’d give me little lame tasks to do to keep me busy so I wouldn’t bother them.

How did you get involved in the music scene in Sacramento?

I met a musician by the name of Ross Hammond, because I had done a recording session with sax player, Aaron Thurman, and they were looking for a drummer, and out of that came the Sardonics. Right now I’m in a band called Savage Rascal and have a side project called Kidtastrophy. I just enjoy playing music with other artists that I like.

Do you hear any good jokes being a bartender?

A lot of people think that the bar is a good place to tell jokes, and I’ve learned over the years to just listen to them. In the old days, I told people I didn’t want to hear jokes, but if something funny happened to you yesterday, then you can tell me that. But I don’t want to hear a joke.

How long have you been with the Paragary Restaurant Group?

I started with them at Zito’s in 1984 and that turned into Paragary’s. I was working at the Paragary’s on 28th and N [streets], and then I left for about two years to work at the Inland Boat Club. When I left there, that’s when I started at the Monkey Bar, and then I ultimately moved on to R15.

Why do you enjoy bartending?

I just don’t want to have to work a lot, and bartending fit that desire. You can make good money and you don’t have to work a lot, and it’s entertainment—you’re onstage, and I love to entertain people. I like making people laugh because I like to laugh.

What would you do for a living if you weren’t bartending?

I would be the water boy for the Miami Dolphins, because I love the Miami Dolphins and I want to be on the sideline with the boys, getting up in their faces going, “Yeah, good play,” and squirting water in their mouths.

My very, very earliest memory is when they were in the Super Bowl in 1973 or 1974, I think it was against the Redskins, and they were just winners when I was a kid, so that’s why I’ve always liked them. I’ve never been to Miami, but I figure I’ll get there someday, say, when I get my [water boy] job. I’m pretty sure they’re going to be calling me now after this interview comes out.

Are you from Sacramento? If so, where did you go to school?

Yes, born and raised. I went to Crocker [Riverside] Elementary, [California] Middle School, before they closed it, and McClatchy [High School]. Seventh grade was the worst, though, because I hardly knew anybody, and my dad made me wear these fucked-up shoes that he picked out, and I did not want to wear them. I felt like a goober, so seventh grade was really traumatic for me.

Who are some of your heroes?

Frank Zappa is a hero for sure, a local producer by the name of “Bongo” Bob Smith and Andy Partridge from XTC.

Strong like a mountain

December 7, 2009
by Lovelle Harris | Staff Writer

Originally published in the Express on 12.07.09

Teresa LeBeau, Pit River Nation, speaks at a panel discussion about domestic violence against native women Nov. 19 at the City College Cultural Awareness Center. Randy Brigg

Teresa LeBeau, Pit River Nation, speaks at a panel discussion about domestic violence against native women Nov. 19 at the City College Cultural Awareness Center. Randy Brigg

Native American women experience a harsh and oftentimes brutal reality, like salmon swimming upstream.

The classic image of the Native American culture is much like the river—strong and a provider of the home. Unfortunately for many Native-American women that home is plagued by violence perpetuated by a community of silence.

A face was given to the plight of Native-American women who have suffered physical, mental and sexual abuse, three faces in fact, when the Cultural Awareness Center presented a panel discussion on Nov. 19 featuring stories of domestic violence survival by three women willing to bare their souls in a room full of strangers.

“What I can tell you today is it can escalate to the point where you have no control whatsoever,” says Teresa Towne, First Nation Cree and Northern Paiute and member of City College’s Indigenous People’s Club. “When we went to the police, you know what they said to me? ‘Native American women are used to this, there’s a lot of you in this system.’”

Emma Snuggs, panel speaker and domestic violence victim shared her reactions to violence Native American women experience.

“I’m pretty mad, like I’m angry about what has happened to me and it makes me angry when I see what’s happened to other people,” says Snuggs, also a member of the Indigenous People’s Club and Cherokee Nation.
“I guess I lean more towards anger than tears.”

Those in attendance were as varied as the tribes represented by the three women who bravely, and out of the traditional norm, presented their stories of survival.

“I know there are some men in here,” says Teresa LeBeau, 44, member of the Pit River Nation. “Some men think that women are weak because we stayed in the relationship. We’re not weak. We’re strong to have endured that pain.”

People in the audience voiced their appreciation of the women who spoke at the event.

“Women don’t come out and talk about it,” says Francisco Dominguez, a 50-year-old freelance photographer.

“It’s very inspirational that [these women] would come out to tell their story to others.”

According to a 2005 report by the Department of Justice, Native American women are likely to suffer violent crime at a rate three and a half times greater than the national average.

“Growing up all five kids saw my dad beat my mom,” LeBeau says. “I mean he beat her. So me being so young, I really thought it was normal. I thought it was tradition for a women to get beat like that.”

LeBeau sought to escape the violence of their childhood by starting her own family, but the cycle of violence continued.

“About five months into the relationship I got pregnant,” LeBeau says. “The first thing he did was punch me in the stomach. Like I said it was a learned behavior. I learned it was fine to take that punch in the stomach. I learned it was okay to stay in that relationship, and I did for 18 and half years.”

LeBeau proves that there is salvation from devastating abuse.

“When I got beat down, I would walk down to the creek,” LeBeau says. “I would go down to the creek and pray. They say that if you pray and you touch that water, it can take it away; that pain you have inside your body, in your spirit and your soul, so I’m grateful that I am here today.”

The 80s have returned, in fashion that is

October 12, 2009
by Lovelle Harris | Staff Writer

Originally published in the Express on 10.12.09

A sea of glamorous women sporting jackets with shoulder pads, pleated trousers and ultra-mini dresses strut down a narrow walkway intently.

No, this isn’t a clip from the 80s television hit “Dynasty” but the scene at the fall 2009 Marc Jacobs fashion show highlighting some of the latest trends to make a comeback from the age of excess into the fashion mainstream.

While these and other 80s inspired pieces ruled the runway at the Marc Jacobs, Balmain, Antonio Berardi and other famous designers’ fall 2009 fashions shows, some of these trends have already filtered down to City College.

Leggings, asymmetry and other 80s looks have shown up on campus for the last several seasons, but the likelihood of the shoulder pad trend making its way into the wardrobe of local trendsetters is pretty slim says Lynne Giovannetti, professor in the fashion and design program at City College.

“The students are wearing vintage clothes,” Giovannetti says. “They’re going to the second-hand stores and they’re picking up the original (but) I’m not seeing so much in (the way of) shoulder pads.”

“But you have to remember that the stuff that goes on a runway will probably never be seen on the streets of Sacramento,” Giovannetti says. “It’s like the epitome of what their collection is, but it’s not what the everyday person is going to wear to Safeway to go shopping. It’s also not what you’re really going to see on our campus.”

At the Marc Jacobs show, the shoulder pad played a key role with models strolling down the runway in fiercely structured jackets, cardigans and dresses evocative of Alexis Carrington – shoulder-pad-wearing ex-wife of “Dynasty’s” wealthy patriarch.

“Shoulder pads are like partly a mystery to me,” says fashion major Amanda Carroll. “But I’m sure they serve a definite purpose somewhere.”

“The shoulder pads aren’t really my thing,” says City College student Fawna Wallace, 19. “It reminds me kind of the football player type thing.”

While shoulder pads may not be for Wallace, another trend from the era of fingerless lace gloves did make it into her wardrobe.
“I just feel that I like being different,” Wallace says. “Not too many people wear leg warmers. I got orange, purple, green – two different shades of green – [and] these pinks ones.”

London-based designer, Antonio Berardi also channeled the Carringtons in his fall collection with a parade of cropped blazers and jackets – all adorned with a structured, exaggerated shoulder.

“Shoulder pads really help establish an hourglass figure on a person,” says Giovannetti. “As long as you don’t look like Joe Montana, you really do want to have shoulder pads.”

According to Vogue magazine’s senior accessories editor, Filipa Fino, the trend is catching on. She recently blogged about her observations at Paris Fashion Week indicating, “Every chic fashionista is sporting some kind of padded-shoulder jacket.”

“What goes around comes around,” says Giovannetti, who also teaches a course on the history of Western fashion. “There is usually about a 30-year split, so we’re just on the cusp of really entering the 80s.”

Poetic Justice
Sacramento’s new poet laureate is one of City College’s own

October 26, 2009
by Lovelle Harris | Staff Writer

Originally published in the Express on 10.26.09

City College adjunct professor Bob Stanley performs an instructional poetry reading to students Oct. 18 at CSU, Sacramento. Stanley was recently named poet laureate by the City of Sacramento. Randy Briggs

The family business: a destiny fulfilled for some and a launching point for others. For Sacramento’s newly anointed poet laureate, adjunct City College and Sacramento State English instructor Bob Stanley 55, it was both.

“I worked in the family business [an auto parts distribution company] for about 30 years,” Stanley says. “So after we sold the business [in 1999] I didn’t want to work for the new owners and I’d always had this hobby.”

Stanley says he’s always had a knack for and interest in poetry.

“I had written poetry, I’d gone to readings, I’d gone to workshops around the country. I mean I loved writing poetry and I loved reading it and talking to people about it.”

For someone who admittedly gravitated toward math and science as a youth, Stanley seemed destined to become a poet.

“I love word play,” Stanley says. “My grandfather played with words, inverted things – I got the gene.”

It was in high school that he first caught the poetic bug.

“I took a class, Introduction to Modern Poetry, and read Whitman, Yeats, Lowell,” Stanley says. “I really liked Yeats.”

Stanley describes his process as free flowing and spontaneous.

“Poetry came more naturally to me,” Stanley says. “I think in fragments, in metaphors.”

For Stanley, bringing poetry to an expanded audience and the community are important to him.

“At the Sacramento Poetry Center, where we do readings every Monday, it’s all about local writers,” Stanley says. “There are lots of great poets in Sacramento.”

“I want to take poetry outside of midtown,” Stanley says. “There’s so much action there already. I want to get people from other areas; I want to get it out into the county.”

Stanley’s also taking poetry to the Internet with County Lines, a showcase of local poets on the Sacramento Municipal Arts Commission Web site.

“I want to be the first online poet laureate,” Stanley says. “I manage [County Lines] for the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Council and I might start a blog.”

“Writing inspires me,” Stanley says. “One or two pages into it and things start to pop up.”

Initially Stanley was hesitant to enter himself in the running.

“I’m not Mister Famous Poet,” Stanley says. “I’m just a schlep.”

His decision to submit came largely in part from a local fan of his work.

“My daughter, who’s a writer, Carolyn, urged me to apply,” Stanley says.
Those on the selection committee also seemed to agree with the 26-year-old NYU graduate student.

“His community involvement was really what impressed the committee,” says Anja Aulenbacher, grants and cultural programs coordinator for the SMAC, the organization that manages the poet laureate program through funds received from both the county and city of Sacramento. “His passion for poetry really showed through on his application.”

A contemplative romantic at heart, Stanley found inspiration jazz music and plays the guitar and has taken piano lessons. But it always comes back to the writing.

“How can we best use the written word to say what we need to say?” Stanley says. “I need to write, but I’m still finding my voice.”

It’s that time of year again my pretties
Ghosts and goblins and witches, oh my!

October 26, 2009
by Lovelle Harris | Staff Writer

Originally published in the Express on 10.26.09

Photo: Kristen Stauss

It’s time to ring in the fall with the second highest revenue-generating holiday in the United States: Halloween. With the U.S. Census Bureau reporting an estimated 36 million in potential trick-or-treaters and over $1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins produced in 2008 as well as billions of dollars generated in annual candy revenue, it’s easy to see why.

But from where does this confection-filled, costumed-obsessed holiday originate and how is it celebrated across the globe?

“It dates back to the Celtic festival of Samhain,” says Pamela Lindell, anthropology professor. “A time that they thought the spirits of the dead returned to this world.”

While Halloween’s beginnings stem from ancient rituals, much of the modern world has embraced it – with each culture adapting the holiday to its own norms.

There are holidays all over the world that celebrate the returning of spirits to their ancestral homes at this time of year.

“I know in Japan they celebrate All Souls Day,” says Brita Wynn, adjunct professor of anthropology. “[Their custom is] making little origami boats and putting candles in them to float them down waterways in honor of the ancestors.”

Although early immigrants from Europe brought with them the seedling that would sprout into the modern Halloween tradition, it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that Americans embraced jack-o’-lanterns, trick-or-treating and Halloween parties.

“They did something in the 1950s to tame it down because before that people would get together and egg houses and toilet paper things and it got out of hand apparently,” Wynn says. “They decided to tame it down and make it a trick-or-treat thing for little kids.”
In Mexico and Latin America there’s a celebration known as Día De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, and is marked by a three-day celebration that begins on Oct. 31.

“Mexican culture believes that the dead can come and see you, they can come and hang with you for a couple of days,” Wynn says. “I think that’s a positive thing to bring it back to remembering why we have this holiday, that it is an honoring of the dead.”

With all of this talk of death it’s hard to imagine that American’s spent $2.2 billion, according to the National Confectioners Association, on something that conjures images of childhood innocence and joy, Halloween candy.

“I think part of it is, it’s sort of like the difference between the really religious community and really secular community,” Wynn says. “The really religious community does whatever they do in terms of their traditions and the secular community wants to celebrate.”

For City College students the celebrations are as diverse as the cultures they represent.
“I like to get dressed up and go have fun,” says City College student Jose Delgado, 21. “I try to hit as many parties as I can.”

“Halloween to me, it’s my favorite holiday,” says teaching assistant and photography lab technician Angela Lowrie, 33. “I do set up a little altar to the ancestors; [to honor] grandparents and friends who have passed away. It’s just not [about] a party.”

Local hair artist sets out on her own

by Lovelle Harris, published on August 12, 2009

Originally published on Sacramentopress.com on 08.12.09

Hovering above the 18th and L Street corridor like a radiant crystal amulet is an oasis of beauty, style and art. Amithyst Salon, located at 1124 18th St., serves as a haven of sorts, offering its clientele a respite from split ends, graying locks, and even bare walls.

While the fledgling salon has been in operation for only three and a half months; it already has two Second Saturdays under its belt and legions of loyal clients jockeying for position in the schedule book, its young proprietor, Amithyst Bailey, 28, of El Dorado Hills, looks poised for success.

“On an average day I have four to six clients a day,” Bailey says. “The money is good, but I don’t do it for the money.”

Thanks, in part, to a massive picture widow that looks out onto the street below, the salon is a bright, sunny, slice of lime green with splashes of eggplant. The walls, adorned with canvases displaying art work for sale and photographs of glamorous women bearing Bailey’s artistic hair creations, reveal Bailey’s interest in all things creative.

With the local economy slowly rebounding and some clients going longer between appointments, Bailey remains optimistic about succeeding in her new venture.

“Today I just got a message from a lady that I haven’t seen in like probably a year and she wants to come back and get her hair cut,” Bailey says. “They always come back.”

This is an investment the self-professed hair architect was seemingly destined to make.

“I always did people’s hair,” Bailey says. “Since I was little I would brush my mom’s hair and my grandmother’s hair and they’d pay me. Then [I did] friends’ hair through high school and then I finally just decided to go to cosmetology school.”

While a formal education wasn’t in the cards, her instruction in hair didn’t suffer; in 1999 she left school to accept an apprenticeship at Rowena & Takashi in her home town.

“Rowena was a Vidal Sassoon instructor so I wanted to learn from her,” Bailey says. “To get paid and to have that kind of training is like unheard of.”

After Rowena & Takashi, Bailey moved on to Tripoli in Carmichael before heading on to midtown’s Lush and Spanish Fly Hair Garage salons respectively, where she ultimately became the creative art director for the latter.

“I did all of their events and fashion shows and photo shoots,” Bailey says.

Carefully flat ironing a client’s long, curly locks, Bailey’s porcelain skin glistens as sunlight pours in from the large window next to her station. She is in her element as steam billows from between the client’s fiery red mane and the apparatus employed to remove all its curl.

With professional accomplishments ranging from styling hair for professional photo shoots and fashion shows, to catering to a devout clientele, Bailey also looks forward to rebuilding her professional portfolio.

“I just don’t want to go on a photo shoot and do hair,” Bailey says. “I want to be in charge of helping choose the models, helping choose the stylists and the actual wardrobe.”

While she had much of this creative freedom at her previous place of employment, Bailey decided to go out on her own after five years with the Lush-Spanish Fly salon group.

“It wasn’t planned,” Bailey says. “It just kind of happened because it was time I guess. I was getting bored [and] I was waiting for the next thing to happen.”

With the assistance of her architect-cum-contractor father, and her always-supportive mother, the salon was up and running within two and a half weeks of its inception.

“All of my clients are excited for me,” Bailey says. “People are rebooking, people are sending in their friends. Everybody’s excited for me.”

The flame-haired client ultimately emerges from the steamy confines of the flatiron, departing with a hug and a smile she runs her fingers through her silky, freshly straightened locks.

“Clients love it here,” Bailey says. “It’s just personal and more exclusive. That’s the good part about having your own place; you have more control over pampering your clients in a better way.”

While Bailey revels in the new space, managing the daily business of a salon has taken time, patience and the addition of another pair of hands in the form of her first employee, and fellow hair architect, Karli.

“I took laundry for granted, I took dishes for granted,” Bailey says. “Even maintaining the cleanliness [of the salon], taking out the trash, having product there to sell, it isn’t easy.”

While she is currently in the process of building a team that incorporates hair design, make-up; she’s still on the hunt for an artist, and photography by boyfriend Ryan Brett Puckett, Bailey also looks to the future.

“I’m starting my whole [portfolio] book over,” Bailey says. “I am going to start brand new, build my book then get an agent and hopefully that will connect me to better jobs in print.”

While she aspires to work with those in the editorial and fashion worlds, Bailey’s primary focus is the salon and building its reputation.

“I want people to know that they should come in and get their hair done, have some chocolate and sip some champagne,” Bailey says. “And spy on people [on the street] from my window.”

Dark history, bright future
Eventful past created an edgy artist

by Lovelle Harris | Guest Writer

Originally published in the Express on 05.09.09

Photo: Kimberly Nguyen

The bar in LaRocca’s Corner Tavern has been described as small and dark. A San Francisco landmark nestled in the heart of North Beach, the place is home to drunken bartenders and, rumor has it, the Mafia.

Some say it’s served as a meeting place for the clandestine group, providing neutral ground for crime families to settle important business.

This is just one of the tales that photographer and City College photography lab assistant Angela Casagrande Lowrie, 33, grew up hearing in her small Italian-American community in Humboldt County.

“Grandpa said there used to be a table with a bullet hole in it,” Lowrie says. “Someone pulled a gun and started shooting. If I remember right, it seemed to be over a woman.”

Grandpa Angelo Casagrande passed away in Lowrie’s hometown of Eureka in 2002, but continues to live on in his namesake.

“I hung out with him more than the women in my family,” Lowrie says. “So I picked up a lot of his habits. Even my husband says, ‘You don’t act anything like your mother. I think you act more like your grandfather.’”

Lowrie, who graduated from Humboldt State in 2000 with a degree in fine art, picked up photography 13 years ago after taking a course. She moved with her husband to Sacramento two years later.

“I wanted to get away from where I grew up,” Lowrie says.

The timing would prove tragic.

“I moved down here and 10 days later he went into the hospital. Five weeks after that, he passed away,” Lowrie says of her grandpa. “About a week or so before his 82nd birthday.”

In 2004, her interest in photography led her to City College and into instructor Paul Estabrook’s medium-format photography class. Estabrook would encourage her to get into teaching.

Now, in her second semester assisting former Bee photographer Randy Allen in his intermediate photography class, Lowrie finds a balance between finding time to work on her own art and assisting her students.

“I know it’s like morbid, but I like going out to the cemetery,” Lowrie says. “I like to look at the headstones and what people put on them.”

Lowrie describes her work as edgy.

“That’s the common word I hear most from people. I never know what to say about it. It just ‘is’ to me.”

Her dedication to her students is exhibited by the insightful yet gentle criticism she provides.

“She’s shown me different techniques for photography,” says Courtney Farnworth, 27, a student in Allen’s intermediate photography class. “She’s shown me how to get out of myself some more instead of just being so bottled up sometimes, just personally.”

Allen’s comments speak to the inner workings of their professional relationship.

“We kid each other about the fact that I’m a lot more traditional and she’s a lot more experimental.” Allen says. “I honestly think that we have a relationship where we learn a lot from each other, which is really, really helpful.”

Wearing a bright orange T-shirt bearing the likeness of two characters in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” re-imagined as oranges, Lowrie beams when discussing her students.

“I enjoy the students. They’re not afraid to try something new.”

A gentle breeze rustles the blond streak of hair floating in the sea of brunette in her choppy bangs. As the sun shines in her eyes, she thinks back to her grandfather. She thinks back to the legend of LaRocca’s. The story of gunplay at the tavern still intrigues Lowrie years after its telling.

“Mafia-related? Not sure, but I looked for the table when I was there,” Lowrie says. “No luck.”


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