Author’s note: Writers are naturally attracted to the feel of paper. After all, it is paper that binds us together in the written word when we publish our books. The electronic book, be it in the form of a smartphone, tablet or Kindle offers so little to the bibliophile who craves that ‘new book smell’ or yearns for the feeling of paper coursing past their fingers when turning a page. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever experienced a paper-cut while turning the page on a Kindle. This is truly one of life’s unique experiences and one that cannot be duplicated in the electronic medium. Making notes on paper, the exemplification of the written arts with the written word is a timeless pastime.
Author’s note: Originally, I sought to work in the wine business. My parents encouraged the enjoyment of wine at the table and in our deep European travel in the 60s and 70s. This eventually evolved to a career in the culinary arts. Writing about wine, tasting wine, wine travel and, of course, the study of culture through wine became a career. As a former trained chef who started at the very bottom— the dish sink, wine appreciation is a wonderful way to teach the palate (and the mind) about the best things in life. Culturally, wine is part of our civilization. We learn to follow the drinking of wine and history is written shortly thereafter. Soon, the creation and the documentation of cocktails became another passion of mine, but in life, I believe that things happen for a reason. A lifetime of tasting wine has offered me knowledge, making it easier to enjoy small-producer, hand-crafted organic and biodynamic wines— my favorites! These are the ones that almost always grace the dinner table because they go so well with the kinds of foods I prepare, from scratch with love. For me, wine is the art that inspires memories and deepens relationships. A special bottle of wine shared between friends makes for experiences that never end. Every sip in the future reminds one of the past. It’s just that easy!
When owners Will and Danyelle Prouty first opened Division Wines in 2011 on Portland’s Division Street, they did so with the intention of creating a small wine store they believed would add value to their neighborhood. After all, the shop would be a mere 12 blocks from their home of 23 years, where they currently raise two teenage boys and their accompanying two cats, an anecdote mirrored on the Division Wines website. Danyelle and Will have 30 and 35 years experience, respectively, in the restaurant business–Will, positioned at downtown Portland’s South Park for the past 19 years, running their esteemed wine program for the most recent 13. As time beckoned for the couple to venture out on their own, the wine business was a natural segue. With eCommerce and big box stores ruling retail, they sought to create a neighborhood place where people know who you are and remember what you like to drink, a spot people can trust while exploring wines from around the world.
“What first attracted me to wine over 30 years ago still defines the shop today. Wine is connected to everything around it. Wine is farming, science, politics, religion, history, ambition, ego, grace, beauty, calamity, and more,” Will shares. Speaking with him for just a few moments, it becomes obvious why Will sees wine in everything. “The story of the vine is the story of the human experience. It needs to struggle a little to find true expression. Too much stress and it could break. Not enough, and it grapples with finding character. This journey defines me, and it defines our humble shop,” he says.
The Cannabis space has certainly changed on the West Coast of the United States in the past decade or so. With this change has come certain challenges. Legal ones come to mind immediately and with any sort of cannabis legalization, there needs to be talented and intellectual people to defend high profile cases against improper charges and institute change across the boundaries of what is correct, to what is right. Criminal defense attorneys are not just born, they are nurtured. And by the very basis of their craft, the craft of cannabis, there is more and more the need to develop strategies and intellectualism for more than just a street corner drug bust. That’s where Allison Margolin comes to the table. She operates in a very studious fashion and rightfully so. One does not become successful and a go/to in the cannabis world without being the very best!
Nina doesn’t want to dwell on the past, nor does she relish the thought of doing anything else but what she’s doing right now. And that would be raising her daughters and establishing her future in print. Well, not really in print, not just yet- but in the virtual space, and what a beautiful space it is! The periodical is called the Highly and it’s a guide to the ‘good, good’… Not just the swag or the ‘so-called’ kind. But the very best. The top of the house. Where you go to find that everything is green and submarine. Well, to paraphrase Pink Floyd is heading in the right direction. At least chronologically anyhow. You see, Nina has a formal finance background and a not-so-formal now. She lives in the now, not the former Nina, the one that she glosses over, the international business star, mom, business-woman, living viscerally while all others sleep. No one is complaining. It brought her here- but that’s about all she wants you to know about the past. The present is what she is proud of and it’s named the Highly. What Nina does is write about processes, people, places, products and emotions- all that are intrinsic, pure and deeply authentic. They involve the finest medical cannabis that money can buy- that is for certain, but they also serve as a metaphor for fabulous health, good living and overall wellness. The wealthy with high-end tastes are aging like all of us- and their individual methods for alleviating ills can be quite revealing. The Highly is the guide to that form of medicating. By our own hand and in the direction that we see fit, using the best ingredients that money can buy. Because, Health is Wealth. And what Nina has founded is a form of brilliance that only comes through utter determination, passion and an entrepreneurial spirit.
Sarah is not your typical cannabis entrepreneur. She is brimming with excitement and wants to share her own personal story of how she got into this business and the way of cannabis- and why now? But first the Viride Geopipe, which is how this article got started in the first place. The Viride Geopipe is made of heavy stoneware and is shaped like a crystal, a geode. Geodes offer good energy and healing, certainly the basis for the healing uses of cannabis, which Sarah is certainly exemplifying in her life. In short, this is a very intellectual individual working in a new market as an entrepreneur. And the Viride Geopipe is the tool that brought me to meet Sarah. I saw it- searched and found… Sarah Remesch, living- right here in NYC!
So I asked her if she would like to answer some interesting questions, not the usual ones- certainly unlike any interview she’s ever been asked to do! One that will… quite literally change the world as we know it.
Marijuasana Found Stacey Mulvey: Stacey Mulvey loves teaching movement, viewing it as a spectrum of energy–from yin to yang and everything in between. Growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah, Mulvey left the Mormon church at 21 in protest over its discrimination towards the LGBTQIA+ community, women, and minorities. Overweight and unhappy, she began practicing and teaching mindful movement in Callanetics after having an epiphany about mortality and taking control of her own quality of life. Eventually, Mulvey discovered that cannabis helps her concentrate and enhances her motivation. Upon moving to Colorado, she began teaching pole dancing at Boulder Spirals while training directly under second-generation Pilates instructors and founders of the internationally renowned Pilates Center of Boulder, the world’s foremost teacher training school for classical Pilates instructors. Mulvey continued her studies at Naropa University in yoga, painting, and psychology. After completing her coursework honing her skills in mindful and meditative practices, Mulvey launched Marijuasana where she now travels the U.S. and internationally teaching all-inclusive classes fusing the wonders of cannabis with yoga, flow, and mindfulness meditation. http://www.marijuasana.com
I love the magic of the inter-webs. Instagram, the darling of the moment has led me down many paths to enlightenment in my newest career. I’m fortunate to meet some amazing people along the path to enlightenment- at least in my own direction in life. One of these paths led me to one Cannabis Entrepreneur in particular, and this person is weaving her magic in the modern, Pacific Northwest Cannabis Industry. As an introduction to this dialogue, I’m lucky to have been accepted by a deeply spiritual world of healers -an entrepreneurial path based on our overall desire to be well and to heal. Wellness bubbles over in the universe and it encourages us to do better by others. I’m satisfied to say that through the use of Cannabis as a medicinal methodology, it has become something that explains much, without shouting or being overtly antagonistic in the methodology of altruism and smoking anywhere and everywhere. I don’t do that. I usually let my book, Cannabis Cocktails speak for itself as a life form and a method of medicating without being too overt. What I’m fortunate to do is not for everybody- but those who get it find the science beguiling and intriguing- all at the same time. Then there are the recipes of course, delightful, inspirational and candidly delicious. They get people’s attention- like my salubrious Vietnamese Iced Coffee with THC infused Condensed Milk. Yum. That one is a good intro to my craft. But I digress. Emma Chasen is doing what I wish I could do, had I the bulk of educational research and razor sharp intellectual curiosity that brims from each word in her myriad of descriptors about what makes her different that the others. Emma has the hard work, the empirical science down pat and she makes it easy to understand- and better yet, to enjoy what she has to say. So few people make words that resonate, rather than just talk to a ‘talking head.’ Emma is not that person. As usual I want to shake things up a bit and make it exciting for my readers to find out something a bit deeper about their favorite person. And in this case I wanted to know more about Emma Chasen, a disruptor and bud-tender educator, eater. In short, curious and intriguing. Thank you, Emma for being so forthright in your answers and showing your pure smile in your hunger producing words.
Flavored Craft Whiskies such as Catskill Provisions Honey Flavored Rye Whiskey offers new levels of expertise in the hands of a home mixologist. The honeybee, weaving a veritable pot of gold, transforms the attentive drinker into a conceptualist who communicates with good taste. Honey, in this case from hives located in New York State’s Catskill Region has its own specific terroir or taste of the place. The surrounding farms and forests alike, bursting with the burdens of Spring attract these Happy Bees to an intellectual Mecca of all things creative and intriguing. Catskill’s lithe and utterly gorgeous bottle is just brimming with the passion and tenaciousness of the namesake honeybees. Each sip melded together with their brightly refreshing Rye Whiskey. Each further sip brings interest, delight and exploration. From the moment that you open the handsome, tall-necked bottle with a curve, just at the right point in the experience, it’s pretty clear that this whiskey is more than a marketing project. And with the first whiffs, the drinker will know that the honey is definitely more than a metaphor with this whiskey. Honey drives the experience of the rye whiskey and takes it to a place unexpected. From the peppery start- spiraling around the tip of your tongue to the languid motion as it slips, pensively down the throat into the gullet. The finish goes on and on and it takes contemplation to another level.
A quiet pursuit of excellence is taking place by the careful and studied guidance of Eric Tschudi, the affable and youthful beverage director of Shuko. His hand-chosen selection of esoteric, Japanese Whiskies will certainly intellectualize even the most altruistic guest in your dinner party. And then there is a private dining room that intrigues the carefully interested. This space is the most private room, set deeply down in the subterranean part of the former bakery- a quite hidden, inner sanctum, located in the depths of 47 East 12th Street in New York City. This is certainly not a tourist restaurant, nor does it have any signs announcing the constantly changing approach to an educated curiosity that takes place within the walls daily. There are no lines of paparazzi craning their necks towards the stars, nor very much in the way of foot traffic on this part of the street, set just off the teeming hustle and bustle of soon to be, lower Broadway. Find some parking just across the street, just up the way a bit and stretch your legs, but only so much. The scent you detect in the air may well tinge of sea salt water on this tiny spit of land only a few short blocks from the churning East River. The Japanese inspired liquids are driven by the culinary treats that emulate from within the tabla rasa walls. And all of these surprises are completely undetected from the street. A hidden gem surrounded by so much darkness.
It’s Greek Moonshine… and to Greek people it’s best known as Tsipouro. OK, now that you got that, sometimes it’s better known as Raki (but not the Raki that you may think you know, the one from Turkey or Armenia…) Rakii *spelled with two i’s for TTB/legal reasons-not to confuse the consumer with the best known Raki on the market, this style of Raki is usually made only in Greece and named Tsipouro. Lazy Eye Rakii is being craft distilled in a most unlikely place, Southern New Jersey. Richland, NJ. This craft distillery is not just around the corner from anywhere in particular, like NYC for instance, it makes for a good day trip.