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From the Publisher: The Right Place

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Published June 12, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.


From left, clockwise:  The stuffed focaccia sandwich at Fancy's; Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 at Burlington Discover Jazz Festival; Champ with a young fan at a Vermont Lake Monsters game.; a photo on display at the Kents Corner State Historic Site - PHOTOS BY PAULA ROUTLY, DARIA BISHOP AND COURTESY OF VERMONT LAKE MONSTERS
  • Photos By Paula Routly, Daria Bishop And Courtesy Of Vermont Lake Monsters
  • From left, clockwise: The stuffed focaccia sandwich at Fancy's; Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 at Burlington Discover Jazz Festival; Champ with a young fan at a Vermont Lake Monsters game.; a photo on display at the Kents Corner State Historic Site

I've often remarked that Seven Days makes Burlington — and northern Vermont — look bigger and more bustling than it actually is. That's a result of our collective weekly effort to acknowledge everything going on, from poetry readings to pig races, within the physical territory we cover.

Compiling the weekly calendar of events is a full-time job, and, as part of it, Emily Hamilton also chooses which ones to feature on the Magnificent 7 page. Chris Farnsworth and Alice Dodge provide the same comprehensive listings and spotlights in the realms of music and visual art, respectively.

In addition, our culture reporters write longer stories about what they find noteworthy. Seven Days aims to be your guide to Vermont arts, food and culture, with local experts pointing the way. After flipping through the paper, or reading it online, I hope the takeaway is: Wow, there's a lot more going on in this tiny place than I imagined. I should go out and experience some of it.

Over the weekend, I took my own newspaper's advice. I did four things that I learned about from reading last week's issue — some of which are ongoing.

First: Fancy's. In her restaurant review last week, food writer Melissa Pasanen raved about the new, mostly vegan eatery in Burlington's Old North End. The Oak Street space is tiny — chef Paul Trombly shares it with Poppy — so showing up at 7:30 p.m. on a weekend night was risky. But my partner, Tim, and I got lucky with two seats at the counter against the window. Each dish was more delicious and creative than the last.

With bellies full of cauliflower, celtuce and chocolate creemee, we walked down to the Burlington waterfront to get a load of Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 — one of seven shows Dan Bolles and Chris Farnsworth recommended in their combo coverage of last week's Burlington Discover Jazz Festival. Tim and I were huge fans of Kuti's father, the late Nigeria-born Fela Kuti, aka the King of Afrobeat. For a perfect hour and a half, we took in the complex rhythms, butt-shaking dancers and clouds of weed as the crescent moon set behind the Adirondacks.

The next day, I got up and set off for the Kents Corner State Historic Site in Calais. My friend Erin and I wanted to see "The Quarry Project Echoes," an art show inspired by a site-specific dance-theater piece that Vermont artist Hannah Dennison created two years ago. Oh, and Pamela Polston wrote about it in last week's Seven Days.

En route we stopped at Red Hen Baking in Middlesex, taking time first to walk around the adjacent Camp Meade outdoor performance area, with its odd sculptures and exhibits, marveling at the ingenuity of our fellow Vermonters.

Speaking of: At the Kent, we found Dennison at the entrance and, later, in one of the many small rooms that host the works of other artists in response to hers. With stunning photographs by Julia Barstow and Michael Wisniewski, as well as installations that artfully incorporate props, costumes and flotation devices from Dennison's 2022 piece in a Barre granite quarry, the exhibition is an appreciation and continuation of her vision. It's up through June.

I got back to Burlington just in time to catch a 5:05 p.m. Vermont Lake Monsters game at beautiful Centennial Field. Some of my colleagues were there, tabling for our annual Good Citizen Challenge. I read about that in Seven Days, too.

Summer weekends in Vermont are jam-packed with possibilities; there's nothing illusory about it. Want to know what's happening here, there and everywhere? You're in the right place.

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