Nina Mickelsen came late to painting, but is making up for lost time

By Mary Ann Benyo  |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the September 2016 Issue

artist Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #93Nina Mickelsen points to an irregular swish of gold leaf on a magenta background with little pink and blue circles. “That’s ‘Sunset in Assateague Bay,’ ” she says. Mickelsen laughs heartily, obviously familiar with the need to explain some of her works. She gestures to “Ocean Breeze” and “Heat Wave,” and there is somewhat of a resemblance between the title words and the images. Sort of. She’s quick to add, “No, you’re right. These are abstracts. A natural artistic evolution.”

On another wall of her studio, bright, playful images depict beach balls, sailboats and seashells, part of her “Beach Fun” collection. Her works on wood, rough linen or canvas, depicting easily recognizable subjects as well as abstractions, all show the influences of her Finnish roots — strong color, clean lines, crisp images, often featuring a lot of white.

Diners have a growing appetite for the bivalve, which raw bars are happy to satisfy

By Pam George | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the September 2016 issue

culinarycoastoyster Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #93During a day trip to Rehoboth Beach, Tina and Rick Betz of Wilmington decided to belly up to the bar at Henlopen City Oyster House. They each ordered a beer and a dozen oysters on the half-shell. As the afternoon progressed, they ordered another four dozen. “The bartender said: ‘Boy, you guys like oysters, don’t you?’” Rick Betz recalls. “So they gave us a dozen on the house.”

Eighty-four bivalves evidently were not enough. They then sat at a table in the restaurant to enjoy fried oyster po’ boys and oyster stew. Too full to drive home, they got a hotel room in town.

The Betzes aren’t the only restaurant customers who love this particular shellfish. The popularity of oysters on the half-shell has been rising. At the end of 2014, they appeared on 9.6 percent of all menus nationwide, according to Nation’s Restaurant News, an industry magazine. That was a 15.7 percent increase from 2010.

This past year, three restaurants with a raw bar opened at the beach: Matt Fish’s Camp in the Lewes area, Chesapeake & Maine in downtown Rehoboth and Starboard Raw in Dewey Beach. Oysters are also appearing on menus in restaurants without raw bars.

“More and more restaurants are offering them,” agrees Eric Sugrue, managing partner of Big Fish Restaurant Group, which owns Big Fish Wholesale Seafood Co. “They are now offering more varieties. The product is getting better, and people are into it.”

Lloyd’s isn’t just a place to buy groceries. The Lewes store connects customers to a simpler, and perhaps more satisfying, time.

By Chris Beakey | Photograph by Kevin Fleming

Lloyds Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #93Should you find Libby Lynch, who was born in Beebe Hospital 90 years ago, sitting on her porch at Market and Third streets in Lewes, she’ll be happy to reminisce about “the old days” when locals bought most of their clothing, home goods and groceries in town.

It might seem like those days are gone forever — unless you’ve visited Lloyd’s Market on Savannah Road, which has been owned and operated by Lloyd and Dottie Purcell since 1971. The market today is much as it’s always been, with quaint signs on the large front windows advertising specials, chickens turning on a rotisserie next to the fisherman’s cooler where fresh crabmeat and oysters are kept on ice, and four cozy aisles where a cart can be loaded with a week’s worth of groceries in short order.

“I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have that store right here in town,” Lynch says after a recent shopping trip, where Lloyd’s staff and a neighbor who arrived at the same time lent her a hand. “I think I’ve known everyone who’s worked there — they’ve all been really good people.”

Photos of many store employees are prominently displayed near the entrance. Some have worked at Lloyd’s for decades, forging strong connections to customers and to the Delmarva farmers who supply more than 90 percent of Lloyd’s produce during the summer months. Among those farmers are 10-year-old Cailan Wilkinson and his 5-year-old brother, Aiden, the unlikely purveyors of Brothers Organic Produce. The boys’ family began growing vegetables at their Mulberry Street home in Lewes in 2012 before moving to a larger property on Gills Neck Road last year. Today, the Wilkinsons count on Lloyd’s as a first stop when they bring their harvests to market.