Alibi V.19 No.47 • Nov 25-Dec 1, 2010

Cute Culture

Gallery owner brings San Francisco chic to Burque

In addition to a delightfully unusual name, Leslie Acosta-Isengard has a magnificently light voice. It’s dainty and guileless, the perfect complement to her hands, which are so slender that when shaking one of them, you almost wonder if it’s going to dissolve in your palm. Add to these traits a head of jet-black hair and a sylph-like physique, and you’re basically dealing with a woodland sprite. But although she may seem delicate, she’s a woman who isn’t afraid of chasing down what she wants.

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New Mexico in a Glass

The roots of our state’s wine industry reach deep into the past, and, like tangled vines in an ancient vineyard, many surprising tidbits are found in its unraveling. For instance, grapevines were planted in the Rio Grande valley 140 years before California broke ground on its first vineyards. And while California is considered the premier wine-producing region in the New World, New Mexico has attracted a growing interest from European vintners over the past 30 years. Now more than ever, the Land of Enchantment is becoming a formidable contender in the highly competitive arena of the world’s favorite fermented juice.

news

Not Just Net Neutral

FCC commissioner rallies New Mexicans around Internet freedom but remains silent on plans

Michael Copps of the Federal Communications Commission had a lot to say about the importance of access to information and the Internet. But he remained tight-lipped on how and when the FCC would protect it.

Hard Lessons

In the end, what did 2010’s election mean?

Ten days after the election, I took our collies for their regular morning romp at one of Albuquerque’s dog parks. I pulled up alongside an ancient vehicle. In the window was a declaration: “If Obama is too stupid to understand what the voters said this year, we need to repeat the message in 2012.”

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Massachusetts—School administrators at North Brookfield Elementary School were forced to clarify policy after a teacher sent students home with a note stating that all writing instruments had been banned from classrooms. Earlier this month, sixth-grade teacher Wendy Scott sent a letter to all parents of sixth graders announcing that she and fellow teacher Susan LaFlamme were instituting a new rule banning students from carrying writing implements—including pencils, pens and mechanical pencils. According to the memo, students would be issued a pencil for use in class. That pencil would be collected at the end of the school day. The memo went on to say that any student found with a writing implement on their person or in their backpack after Nov. 15 would be assumed to be using it “to build weapons.” The memo said any offending students would be sent to the principal’s office for disciplinary measures. Within a day of the memo’s release, however, interim Superintendent Gordon L. Noseworthy explained that the teacher’s memo had not been reviewed or approved by either the principal or the superintendent. Noseworthy told Worcester’s Telegram that the memo was “over the top” and does not reflect any North Brookfield School District policy. Police Chief Aram Thomasian Jr. told the newspaper he was approached after the memo was released by parents of one student who had been suspended for having a pen that had been altered to fire a wadded-up piece of paper. “The student showed me how it worked. I'd be surprised if the spitball traveled 4 feet. And at that, I'm not even sure it had any spit on it,” he said. The school’s principal sent a follow-up memo to the families stating that no changes would be made to school procedure, Mr. Noseworthy clarified. “This was an attempt by a fairly new sixth-grade teacher to make changes that were not warranted. The student who was found with an altered pen was suspended and as far as administrators were concerned, the matter was put to rest.”

film

Reel World

If you enjoyed Experiments in Cinema v5.1—Basement Films and UNM Department of Cinematic Arts’ annual celebration of international experimental film—then fear not. Experiments in Cinema v6.3 (not really clear on the numbering system myself) is coming up in April 2011. It’ll be another five days’ worth of film screenings, lectures, workshops and more. Of course, if you’re a filmmaker interested in getting your very own genre-busting, media-bending work into next year’s fest, you need to act quickly. All entries must be postmarked by Dec. 1. To get details on the festival or to download an application for submission, log on to experimentsincinema.com.

Burlesque

We hereby postpone this striptease act to give you a Christina Aguilera concert

The best way to break it down is like this: If you’re going to see Burlesque for the burlesque, you’re in for a major disappointment. If you’re just going to see it for Cher and Christina Aguilera belting out the tunes, then you’re in marginally better shape. Despite the art form’s alterna-chic revival, average American citizens have no freaking idea what burlesque is anyway. As a result, most viewers will be in the second filmgoing category. To them, I say: The soundtrack is available for download on iTunes and OPI has a new Burlesque nail polish collection. Enjoy the show!

Gobble, Gobble

Thanksgiving around the dial

America is the only country that celebrates Thanksgiving—a holiday dedicated to eating as much as humanly possible and then lying around on the couch in a tryptophan-induced coma until you’ve digested enough to attack that pecan pie your aunt Rose brought over. What could be more all-American? To aid you in this day-long salute to gluttony and sloth, here are the TV highlights that will keep you and your fat relatives couch-bound this Thursday.

music

It’s Elvis Time

How The King’s Christmas album saves my sanity

Say what you like about Elvis—culture thief; sad, boozy drug addict; cheese sandwich—but the man had a voice that could soothe volcanoes, particularly the volcano that is my head during the 29 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is a time when every single store in the country, from Nordstrom to 7-Eleven, feels obligated to play Christmas music. And it’s not even the good stuff. As far as I can tell, no one except little kids enjoys hearing syrupy, cutesy “Jingle Bell Rock” played ad nauseam. Last year I made an obnoxious and totally doomed pledge to not shop anywhere Christmas music was playing. I should have stocked up on groceries in October.

Coffin Break

Old-skool in tha house! When it comes to classic grind, no one did a more Fangora-worthy job back in the day than Autopsy. There were equals, forebearers and even bands like Napalm Death, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation that eclipsed the California trio both technically and stylistically, but in terms of unabashed bloody gore fests, no one pulled it off time and time again with Autopsy’s sublime dedication to good old-fashioned splatter.

A Spiritual Wallop

Ravi Coltrane’s quartet ascends to improvisational heaven

The title of saxophonist Ravi Coltrane’s most recent album, Blending Times (Savoy Jazz), released in 2009, works on two levels. First, harking back to a track of the same title on his previous album, In Flux (Savoy Jazz), it refers to the simultaneous blending of time signatures in a composition. Second, it refers to two distinct time periods in both Coltrane’s personal life and the recording of Blending Times. Those periods are divided by a cataclysmic event: the death of his mother, Alice Coltrane, musician, composer and spiritual leader, on Jan. 12, 2007.

Flyer on the Wall

Taking a break from the T-shirts of marijuana-steeped college students, socialist icon Ernesto “Che” Guevara calls on New Mexico denizens to do their duty in service to rock music on Saturday, Nov. 27, at Hallenbrick Brewery (3817 Hawkins NE). The Dregz plays from 7 to 10 p.m. and the show is free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

Song Roulette

Michael Henningsen phucking hates Phish

Michael Henningsen has played in many a band—Bad Touch Uncle, The Strawberry Zots, Young Edward. He now plays in the David Kurtz Band, and will soon reunite with the Ant Farmers for a reunion show at Low Spirits on Dec. 4. Henningsen was also the Alibi’s editor-in-chief and music editor for a million years. As of this month, he’s back writing about scary black metal in a column called Coffin Break (see the second edition in this week’s issue). Below are random selections from his music collection.

art

Culture Shock

Thanksgiving. It's the all-American holiday. A day of repose, a time to gather and reflect and celebrate violence by watching football.

A Tale of Betrayal

Tricklock weaves a tangled web

In Traitors, things are not as they seem.

The original script by Tricklock Company member Kristen D. Simpson weaves together the stories of Benedict Arnold, Judas Iscariot and Sen. Joseph McCarthy. On the surface, the play is a reflection on the nature of betrayal, patriotism and forgiveness. But there’s another surprising current that sweeps through the show. Religion is the undertone of the production, and its presence left me more than a little confused.

food

A Cook’s Library

I’ve been reading a lot of food books by and about chefs lately, and in doing so, found a few titles that have been referenced repeatedly. This particular trio of tomes helps the cook understand flavors, why food behaves the way it does, the reason behind recipes and how to make dishes your own. The information in these books is useful for beginners and professional cooks alike. It’s about understanding the logic of recipes in general and why they work—or don’t. Fair warning with McGee: You may become an unending source of food trivia.

Farm vs. Factory

Congress will soon vote on the most significant piece of food legislation ever passed. Here's some of what's at stake.

Produce, milk, meat, eggs, nuts and all manner of processed foods have made people sick in recent years, and Congress has been understandably itching to cook up a big pot of food-safety legislation. The result, Senate Bill 510, is likely headed for a vote soon in the lame-duck session.

Alibi V.19 No.46 • Nov 18-24, 2010

Keeping the Peace

Burque’s fair-trade mecca faces closure

A cooperative of more than 800 South African Zulu works full-time to create brightly colored baskets and bracelets fashioned from telephone wire. These crafts catch the eye upon entering Peacecraft, Albuquerque's only retailer that deals exclusively in fair-trade products. The items sold here provide enough income to support the Zulu co-op’s members and families, says Sharon Cantrell, Peacecraft's outreach director. The trade also creates jobs for fathers, she says, in a region where many families are split apart when men have to travel across the continent to find work.

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Local Makers

Have crafty Christmas and a handmade Hanukkah—all of these presents are made right here in New Mexico

Cigar Box Guitar Kit

Etsy-Querque

Some of our favorite ABQ vendors on cottage-industry supersite Etsy.com

ButtonsAndSocks

etsy.com/shop/ButtonsAndSocks

These animal-like dolls have loads of personality. They're fashioned out of soft knitted fabrics and too-cute buttons. Non-allergenic fiberfill means your baby can snuggle one to her heart's content.

A Read on the Holidays

You know you have a relative who spends most of his or her days reading inside a well-lit room. Here’s your chance to New Mexify that loved one’s Christmas or cheer up a friend who moved away. (Or make them even more homesick. Either way.)

Film Gifts

For friends who like to watch

Albuquerque has no shortage of homegrown, hardscrabble filmmakers. Not only would you please the film-lovers in your life by stuffing their stockings with a made-in-New-Mexico DVD, but you'd make the Christmas of a poor, starving auteur just trying to scrape enough money together to shoot another feature.

DIY X-Mas

Gifts with class(es)

Give a girl a tea cozy and her tea will be ... cozy? Teach her to make a tea cozy and all of her friends and family members will have them, too—whether they need them or not. This year, consider giving someone you love the gift of knowledge—or, if you're a fast learner, craft your own presents. Below are a handful of businesses and organizations with a specialty in instruction.

Stop, Shop and Stroll

Arts and crafts festivals in your ’hood

No middleman here—arts fairs mean a direct line from you (the eager shopper) to the local artisan (the happy-to-help entrepreneur). These holiday events bring hundreds of options together under one roof—or tent—and offer New Mexican-made presents with gas-saving convenience. You won’t find this stuff at Kmart.

art

Culture Shock

I was a teenage tagger. My high school was administered by lapdogs of the dark prince. The only logical way to deal with them was to grab a fat-tipped marker and write a three-, four- or five-letter moniker, probably with the word "one" tacked on to the end (BEARONE, for example). The adults hated graffiti more than anything.

food

The Ultimate Toy Store

Holiday shopping at National Restaurant Supply

If you’re shopping for a serious foodie, you’ve got to start thinking like a chef. Which means you’ll need to head straight over to National Restaurant Supply. Whether you’re looking for the “big gift” for someone special or an assortment of stocking stuffers, this store has it.

Italian Land and Sea

The pleasures of pesce alla Ligure

Special series: The Alibi’s resident food columnist Ari LeVaux reports from Italy for a few issues. Buon appetito!

news

Transgender Day of Remembrance

On a July night in 2009, Teri Benally was with some acquaintances in an Albuquerque park. She told her friends she was going home and left. That was the last time they saw her. According to news reports, Teri was found badly beaten and unconscious on Maple near Coal the next morning. She died, at the age of 42, in the hospital.

A Dose of History

Boutique lodging is the cure for an ailing hospital

On Sept. 5, 1926, Albuquerque began weeklong festivities to mark the opening of the Santa Fe Hospital. Built in the Italianate architecture style, the facility was designated to treat employees of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway company. In the '40s the name was changed to the AT & SF Hospital and later, in the '80s, was purchased by a group of psychiatrists who named it Memorial Hospital. This week sees another grand opening for the building at Central Avenue and I-25. It's come back to life as the Hotel Parq Central.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Massachusetts—A former pastor at St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill has been charged with stealing $83,147 from the church—most of which was used to pay off his extensive pornography bills. According to Haverhill police reports, Rev. Keith LeBlanc had a credit card he used exclusively for online pornography. By the time he was caught, the credit card had racked up a $25,000 balance. Haverhill’s Eagle Tribune reports that Comcast cable bills from the church rectory show that LeBlanc charged $4,021.14 worth of “adult” movies to the church during his tenure. An Archdiocese of Boston investigation led by attorney Mark Dunderdale led to LeBlanc’s removal from the pulpit in June. “Father LeBlanc admitted to Dunderdale that he has an addiction and needs help,” police Detective Glenn Fogarty wrote in his report. According to Det. Fogarty’s report, LeBlanc has been sent to St. John Vianney Center in Pennsylvania, a church-run retreat that specializes in “behavioral health issues” of clergy. LeBlanc was pastor at St. John’s for six years.

film

Reel World

Actors, there will be a casting call for the sci-fi social networking film 0000 (catchy title, no?) this Thursday, Nov. 18. Casting will be from 9:45 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel (7620 Pan American Freeway NE). Compensation is dependent on the particular role. Producers are looking to fill the following parts: two police officers, a TV host, an 11-year-old girl, a teacher and a homeless people. Extras in the following categories are also needed: kids ages 9 through 11, teenagers, people ages 30 to 50 and “crackhead look-alikes.” All actors, male and female, must be willing to shave their heads. Please bring headshots with you. And check out 0000themovie.com to get a hint of what this madness will entail.

Enter The Void

Sex and death make for the ultimate trip in Gaspar Noé’s eye-bending flight of fancy

Gutter-dwelling Agentine-French provocateur Gaspar Noé returns with his first feature since 2002’s you-can’t-unsee-it brilliant Irréversible. Enter The Void is nothing less than a two-hour-and-20-minute, neon-colored assault on the senses. It’s as if Trainspotting and the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey had a baby. Fair warning: This is eye candy for advanced viewers. Casual moviegoers could fall and hurt themselves.

VideoNasty

The Car (1977)

You know what scares the hell out of me? No, not the thought of a Sarah Palin presidency. (I find that particular idea more vomit-inducing than frightening.) Give up? Well, I’ll tell ya. Ordinary, inanimate objects coming to life and trying to kill me, that’s what. Ever since I was knee-high to a chainsaw, my dreams have been haunted by images of household appliances and vehicles, possessed by some otherworldly force, making every possible effort to dismember me. And I’m not just talking about demonic dolls here. Sure, who wasn’t scared shitless by that famous clown-doll scene in Poltergeist? But dolls are tiny and made of easily destroyed materials. What gets my engine of fear revved up are cars, trucks, lawnmowers and other metal objects of mayhem. Those things are not only lethal—but you just know that death by demon-driven bulldozer would freaking hurt (Killdozer, anyone?).

Been There, Done Chat

“Conan” on TBS

If you’ve been living in a TV-free cave, you may have missed the fact that Conan O’Brien returned to the late-night airwaves on Monday, Nov. 8. A year ago, Conan was the most high-profile casualty of the Late-Night Ratings War: Round 2. When Jay Leno was promoted to NBC’s prime-time lineup (a move even the most casual of TV viewers knew was boneheaded), O’Brien inherited the sweet 10:30 p.m. “Tonight Show” slot. A few months later, when NBC executives realized their grand plan was tanking, Leno was shipped back to “The Tonight Show.” With nowhere to go (his old “Late Night” slot got taken over by Jimmy Fallon), O’Brien was sent packing.

music

Is That Surf Music?

The fearless fun of Benjamin Herman’s Dutch jazz

Don’t let the suit and tie fool you. Alto saxophonist Benjamin Herman, voted the Best Dressed Dutchman of 2008 by Esquire magazine, may favor the buttoned-up look of fashionably tailored threads, but he’s one of the most unbuttoned players on the jazz scene today. Herman seems ready to play anything, anytime—as long as everyone involved is having a good time and ready to dance.

Le Serpent Rouge Slithers Onto Stage

“Vaudeville” traditionally refers to mixed entertainment on the same bill, and Le Serpent Rouge is just that. A trio of belly dancers, The Indigo, weaves its act between two live musical groups, each old-timey in its own way—the Crow Quill Night Owls and the Gallus Brothers. The show is touted as “vintage cabaret with ragged edges,” implying a touch of disorder or a bit of bawdiness. Or both.

Flyer on the Wall

GDP and Pistol bring hip-hop from New Jersey; Obelisk will contribute Santa Fe heavy metal; Albuquerque’s Stabbed in Back provide the punk rock. This eclectic evening of music happens on Thursday, Nov. 18, at REVLIS (712 Central SE) beginning at 7 p.m. A fiver gets you in. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

Alibi V.19 No.45 • Nov 11-17, 2010

Culture Shock

When I first started working as the Arts and Literature editor at the Weekly Alibi, I wanted to send out requests for art.

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Army Strong

A gay soldier's life of service

Lt. Col. Steve Loomis was discharged from the military in 1997, five days before he was eligible for retirement. He'd been in the Army on active duty for almost 20 years and in the Reserve for another 10.

music

There’s a Ph.D. in the Mosh Pit

Bad Religion celebrates 30 years of intellect

The early punks and pre-punks openly pursued starry-eyed deals with major record labels. The majors, however, felt burned by commercial failure and unprofessionalism (New York Dolls: “They’re junkies!” The Sex Pistols: “Loudmouth yobs!”) and wanted little to do with bands that followed. Smelling further disaster, the majors backed off until “safe” acts tagged as new wave appeared.

Songtelling

Faun Fables’ animated music

Dawn McCarthy is an adventurer. When the musician behind Faun Fables answers the phone for this interview, the rushing wind and frequent connection breaks make it clear she’s on the road, in some rural area without good reception. A baby’s constant fussing and car noises increase the ambient fuzz, but through it all, McCarthy’s voice is calm and focused. The Bay Area-based musician has done plenty of touring—solo, as a duo, with a band and now with a new kind of group. “We have our kids with us. We have a really young one—4 months old—and we have a 2-year-old,” she says. “So it’s kind of an experiment.” Since McCarthy and the other half of Faun Fables, husband Nils Frykdahl, have already been on tour for a month and a half, it appears the experiment is working.

Coffin Break






One thing Gdańsk-based black metal master Behemoth has never suffered from is a lack of vision. Evangelion, the latest in a masterful BM triumvirate that began in 2004 with Demigod and continued with 2007’s The Apostasy, underscores the difference between real conviction and the poorly hewn philosophical drivel that plagues too many of the genre’s releases from a lyrical standpoint. On the contrary, Adam “Nergal” Darski and co. don’t dish out anything they haven’t thoroughly chewed. Rather than trade in dime-store Satanism and eye-rolling ritual, Behemoth takes gnosticism and hammers it into a cohesive lyrical fabric that glistens like fine tinwork. It all sits atop angular riffage rivaling just about everything available in a genre that continues to expand exponentially.

Flyer on the Wall

From The Rolling Stones to Rocky Horror, lip imagery is a constant in music art. Seen here, four hip-hop acts— ECID, Jordan Miché (Minneapolis), Noah 23 (Ontario) and K-the-i? (L.A.)—employ lip art for a trip around the West titled the “Attack of the Vampire Mermaid Tour.” Along with locals Omen 20012 and Sapience Christ, the performers appear at The Spot (504 Yale SE) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17. Admission is $5. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

Song Roulette

Obscure tracks from Derek Caterwaul

Derek Caterwaul is a promoter of local DIY music and arts events, as well as a DJ—most notably he’s a long-time host on KUNM’s “Music to Soothe the Savage Beast” on Tuesday nights. Appropriately, his contribution of random tracks may be the most obscure this column has seen since its inception a year ago.

art

Expression by Any Means

The Talking Fountain Gallery & Boutique

Artist Katie Calico first saw a “talking fountain” while visiting Rome. The fountains don’t speak on their own—for centuries, they’ve served as meeting places for people to express themselves. Calico says they were even used during the Fascist regime in Italy, a time when freedom of speech was curtailed.

This Guy Ain’t Right

Mother Road gives catching a movie a run for its money

There's music in the dark. Someone shuffles onto the stage and sits, but a guitar strum cuts through the silence for a long while, almost too long. Uncomfortably long.

news

Pedal Power

Green-thinking recovery center gets its motor running—but still needs fuel

Jesse was far from home last winter, detoxing at a rehab facility in in the Midwest. The 23-year-old recovering addict returned to New Mexico to take up residence at the Endorphin Power Company. At the transitional living facility, exercise helps addicts kick their habits, replacing the euphoria of drugs with endorphins.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Sweden—A 51-year-old man was acquitted of drunk driving because the court couldn’t rule out the possibility that he was sleepwalking. The man, who was not identified, had a blood alcohol level nearly 10 times the country’s legal limit when he was arrested in May, reports Swedish daily The Local. The man said he awoke late one evening in the driver’s seat of his car, which had landed in a ditch in Karlskrona in southern Sweden. The driver was wearing a T-shirt and sweat pants and told police he was on his way to replenish his supply of snus, a moist powdered tobacco snuff popular in Sweden. The man later claimed to have no memory of his post-accident interview with officers, but that “he spoke with a police officer and that he was in shock and extremely intoxicated when the interview took place.” During trial, the man’s doctor said he may have been sleepwalking at the time of the arrest, as he had previously displayed “what could be interpreted as sleepwalking.” A judge in Blekinge District Court tossed out the drunk driving charge, stating that “it cannot be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the man was aware of his actions when he drove the car.” The man’s attorney said he expected prosecutors to appeal the decision.

film

Reel World

Indie Q—the Albuquerque Film Office’s networking group for local, independent filmmakers—will have its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 17. The meeting will take place at the KiMo Theatre in Downtown Albuquerque and will include screenings of several notable, recent shorts from area filmmakers. Joshua Klein will screen his music video for Monster Paws’ “Champagne Bike Ride.” Hannah Macpherson will show off the first episode of her successful web series “Date Doctor.” Brennan Foster, Reinhard Lorenz and Brent Morris’ documentary “Beauty Bend”—made for the 2010 Int’l Doc Challenge—will also be screened. Ultimatum Pictures’ entry into the 2010 National Film Challenge, “Hibiscus,” is the penultimate offering. The screening closes out with Joshua Klein’s highly polished 30-minute mini-epic “The Incredible Voyage of Captain Hook.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Screenings will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. This movie-filled get-together is free and open to the public, but an RSVP to jherron@cabq.gov is recommended. Seating is limited to first-come, first-served.

Return of the Man Behind Repo Man

An interview with filmmaker Alex Cox

Bursting out of the streets of Liverpool and onto the avenues of Los Angeles, filmmaker Alex Cox made a resonant cultural impact with 1984’s Repo Man. At the time, Universal Pictures didn’t understand the satyrical punk rock comedy; but it became a major cult hit on the burgeoning home video market anyway. Cox followed it up with 1986’s music industry biopic Sid & Nancy. A string of increasingly cultish films (Straight to Hell, Walker, Highway Patrolman, Searchers 2.0) trickled out in slow but steady succession.

Dead Men

“The Walking Dead” on AMC

It’s a wide gulf between “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead,” but AMC is happily (albeit temporarily) trading swingin’ ’60s ad executives for zombies in its latest bid for Emmy supremacy.

food

Paternoster’s Table

Restaurateur is a humanitarian with a lot on his plate

It’s no secret that restaurants are strong supporters of the communities in which they serve. They are, after all, the face of the hospitality industry. This year Scalo Northern Italian Grill received the New Mexico Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Neighbor Award, sharing accolades with sister restaurant Brasserie La Provence. Their ongoing contributions have supported many Duke City groups including schools, churches, civic organizations and, notably, Dismas House, a transitional living facility.

Apples to Urbanites

How one man is reconnecting the inner city to fresh produce

James Johnson Piett digs retail—specifically, food retail. Focusing on things like "operationalizing how consumers move through a store," as he puts it, might seem prohibitively geeky. But Piett makes it seem very cool.