Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bylines Abound!

Hey there reporter's blog!

Just checkin' in with ya to let you know that I got my first hard copy bylines with Edible East End and Dan's Papers!

Unfortunately the Dan's Papers byline is coupled with an article that I did not write and (winemaker of Osprey's Dominion and Coffee Pot Cellars) Adam Suprenant's name was spelled wrong in it, but that's okay- my article about local wine for the holidays can be found in the Dan's Papers special holiday preview that came out about a week ago!
It's got a Christmas tree on it and my article is called "Wine Down," if you happen to see it on your travels around the East End/Manhattan.

I work my little squirrel tail off, so I haven't yet gotten the chance to post clips here for y'all, but I'll get there! (All in good time)

Super psyched to see the review I wrote about Leann Lavin's "Hampton and Long Island Homegrown Cookbook" when it gets posted on Edible's website 😊

In the meantime - check out this portrait of me from First and South in Greenport's "prohibition night," which was well attended by what seemed to be the entire population of the East End's 20-something hipsters--dressed to the nines in historic garb  (including yours truly)

Cheers, friends (and enemies too!)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Update to keep y'all up-to-date

Hey y'all,

I know I need to start scanning my pieces onto my craptop (crappy laptop), but I haven't had much time to myself these days, so there's that.

If I never showed y'all - this was the Long Island business news supplement containing my first piece for them about East Ender biz seasonal success stories, which contains a huge portrait I took of Otto and John Wittmeier of the Modern Snack Bar in Aquebogue.

I did three or four pieces for Dan's Papers that should be coming out soon - one about the Peconic Ballet Theater, another about holiday cocktails, and a third about local wine for the holidays. 

The fourth is one I've not yet written - and is really just an aggregation of original cocktails from this year's best of the best bartenders. 


Also my monthly mag feature for the Sag Harbor Express should be out soon - it's about fireplaces and how they add to the ambiance of a meal (=

I've also written my first few pieces for Edible East End! 

I did about seven "giftable" pieces, which are little blurbs about holiday gift ideas, a small piece on whisper vineyards in saint James and another small piece about how Rich Vandenburgh of Greenport Harbor Brewery finally got around to planting that barley we talked about last winter when I broke the news that their Peconic location could be Southold's first brew pub. 

I am now about to write a 500-word "notable"on Leann Lavin's "Homegrown Cookbook," which was supposed to arrive in the mail, but hasn't yet, leaving me heartbroken. 

Blahblahblah I love freelancing, but being impoverished is no fun blahblah.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Copy comin' out the ears: No complaints here!

Hello loyal/adoring fans!
(Obviously that's a joke)

Today is a very exciting week in publishing for this kid reporter!

Not only do I have at least three pieces published in three different publications, but one of them was my very first first-person piece! 

(Cue the tune - Happy, happy, joy, joy)

The art of scalloping can be found in this month's Sag Harbor Express magazine: XO On The Go.

Sag Harbor's Al Daniels is the subject of "The Art Of Scalloping."

 Also have a piece in the current Southampton Press "design and architecture" supplement on the effects of technology on design, as well as a piece in this week's Long Island Business News on how to run a successful business, despite the East End's seasonally-driven economy. 


Also: Just wrote a feature about the Peconic ballet Theater for Dan's Papers and another about master Malian kora player, Yacouba Sissoko, for the Sag
Harbor Express!

Now I will pass out (promptly with any luck!)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Plugging in - As seen in the Southampton Press Drive! Supplement



     When it comes to designing new cars, CAFE is king―and not the kind where you order a meal.
   CAFE, or Corporate Average Fuel Economy, is the number of miles per gallon that car manufacturers must meet when averaging the fuel economy of their entire fleet of passenger vehicles and light trucks, or else incur a stiff penalty.
   These federal regulations, first enacted by Congress in 1975, are largely responsible for the leaps and bounds made toward developing more fuel-efficient―and now even fuel-independent―vehicles in the last few   years, local car dealers say.
   No matter where consumers decide to buy a new vehicle, they will find improvements in fuel efficiency in nearly all makes and models.
   “The new CAFE regulations have a goal of 36.6 miles per gallon in 2016 and 55.5 mpg in 2025, which is a long way off from where we are today at 27 and change,” said Stuart Schoener, general manager at Storms Motors in Southampton. “Manufacturers have chosen different paths in order to get there, but at the end of the day we’re all making huge strides in fuel economy very quickly. In addition to hybrid and electric cars, transmission and energy technologies are being developed to make the regular gas engine car way more   efficient. For example, transmissions were three-speed automatics 20 years ago, and now we have General Motors and Ford working together on a 10-speed automatic.”
   Mr. Schoener said the strict new CAFE regulations, which were announced by the Obama administration in August 2012 and have been endorsed by all 14 car manufacturers, also will cause a bump in the use of diesel as a fuel source for some passenger vehicles. “Chrysler does not seem to be headed down the road of electric cars,” he said. “They seem to be heading in the diesel direction. Americans have never been open-minded to diesel, but it’s about to be rammed down their       
   throats." Manufacturers will be hit with huge penalties if they don’t meet these requirements―so huge, some of them could ultimately be prevented from existing. It’s the reason Porsche and Volkswagen merged as a company. Porsche doesn’t build cars that are fuel-efficient, so they merged to raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy of the fleet.”
   Other manufacturers are devoting significant resources to the development of fuel-efficient and electric cars. American car manufacturer General Motors, for example, took the plunge with the Chevy Volt, a car with a loyal following referred to in the industry as the “Volt cult,” said sales manager Les Corwin at Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac in Southampton.
   “The Volt is a little different than other pure electric vehicles, because it has a gas generator in it that kicks on to produce electricity after the battery dies,” said Mr. Corwin. “The battery has a range of about 40 miles for commuters, but you can’t get stuck in it because as long as you have fuel in it, it’s like any other car.”
   There is always the risk of running out of power in a fully electric car. Driving beyond the range of the car’s battery life, which for   most is about 100 miles, could leave the driver stranded.
   At Otis Ford in Quogue, marketing manager Tom Otis IV said the limited range of most purely electric cars, like the Ford Focus Electric, have made them less appealing to buyers looking for a primary vehicle, and more attractive to those who are locally based. “The Focus Electric is more of an around-town vehicle and would make sense for people in this area, because you could leave it here for weekends,” he said. The car has a range of about 75 miles, which, according to industry calculations, translates into the equivalent of 105 miles to a gallon. If the driver lives locally, he or she “could go back and forth to work every day and never fill up a tank of gas for the lifetime of the vehicle.”
   Mr. Otis said some commuters who make the daily trek to Manhattan have opted to buy an electric or hybrid vehicle to gain access to HOV lanes.
   He noted that it’s worth taking the time to research your needs and the rules of the road. “Our regular non-plug-in hybrid C-Max can’t go in the HOV lane, because you now need to have a plug-in hybrid in order to get access [to the HOV lane] when you buy a new car,” he said of the advantage to investing in a hybrid-electric vehicle. “We have people who buy the C-Max Energi specifically for that reason.”
   And though some argue against electric cars by citing the exorbitant cost of electricity―Long Island has some of the nation’s highest electric rates―Mr. Schoener said those costs are easily canceled out by equally high fuel costs in the area.
   “We’re talking about the relative cost to run your car in Southampton, so we don’t want to compare the cost of electricity here to the cost of gas in South Carolina,” he said. “We pay as much extra for gas as we do for electricity―if not more―so it balances out. And gasoline is also a lot more volatile from a price point than electricity, because it hits people immediately. When the gigantic meltdown we had in this country was $5-a-gallon gas, it hit you before the end of the week. You buy one of these plug-in electric cars and, depending on how many miles you drive, the nature of the drive and the accessibility to voltage, you can last a month without making a trip to the gas station.”
   Electric vehicles can be charged using standard 110-volt outlets. A Ford C-Max Energi will get a full charge if plugged in overnight. That time can be cut down to four hours by installing a 240-volt charging station at home. The number of 240-volt charging stations in public places is rapidly growing and can now   be found at some restaurants looking for a novel way to bring in customers.
   The future of electric cars is, however, uncertain. “Electric cars are not the future, they are the means to an end,” said general sales manager Frank DeBlanco at Apple Honda in Riverhead. “I think in the future, cars are going to run using hydrogen fuel cell technology, which is currently in the research and development stage.”
   Improvements in the performance, and the style, of alternative fuel vehicles is a priority of most car manufacturers, mostly because of increasing fuel consumption standards, but also to tap into a growing market of consumers who care about environmental issues.
   One manufacturer also recognized a need to offer a luxury version to the lineup. Tesla, a California-based car manufacturing upstart, this year released the Model S―an electric car that can go 265 miles on a single charge―a range that leaves most market competitors in the dust.  
   Advancements in electric and hybrid car technology is moving at a fast pace. “I think people should lease cars for the next four or five years, because the technology is moving so quickly,” suggested Mr. Schoener of Storm Motors. “Three years ago, in order to get 40 miles to the gallon, you had to buy the tiniest car you could find. Now you can drive out with a full-sized sedan that gets 40 miles to the gallon―and we’re only at the bottom of the hill. We’re only getting around 30 mpg, and we have to get to 55 average in a little over a decade.”
   Mr. Schoener said the increasing size of the fuel-efficient vehicle shows him that larger vehicles stand to benefit the most from the developing technology, because they have the room to hold enough batteries giving them a longer range.
   It is possible that eventually alternative fuel powered vehicles will become the standard―and all of us will be waving as we pass a gas station.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

❤️Baby's second Edible East End blog post❤️

Crooked Ladder Firetruck Beermobile Debuts at Chili Cookoff

Comment | September 26, 2013 | By  | Photographs by Gianna Volpe
As seen on

Red was all the rage at the 15th annual Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce Chili/Chowder Contest at the Boardy Barn on Saturday.
Riverhead’s Crooked Ladder Brewing Company, the East End’s newest microbrewery, brought their already well-loved Gypsy Red, along with two other beers, to the event via a red fire engine—because that’s just how they roll.
“We’ve seen lots of guys that have smaller vehicles like pick-up trucks or your traditional van with taps on the side,” says Steve Wirth, a partner in Crooked Ladder and owner of next door’s Irish pub, Digger O’ Dell’s.  “We took it a step further because we’re us, so we went fire truck.”
The literally fire engine red beermobile, which can fit 10 half-barrels in its back, was once part of brew-master Duffy Griffith’s fleet at the Jamesport Fire Department and was converted into a rolling keggerator with help from Long Island company, Clear Beer, which also maintains the epic draft system at Digger’s. The downtown restaurant also serves as a sort of tasting laboratory for the brewing company
The Saturday afternoon event was the engine’s first public jaunt, but its owners already seem at ease with its operation and worked soundlessly by its side.
As Wirth ladled their rouge-colored wild boar chili into sample-sized plastic cups for queued-up consumers, Griffiths expertly tossed back the truck’s taps for the thirsty ones. That’s right—I said wild boar.
“We got it through U.S. Foods, which has an exotic meat department,” says Wirth. “You name it, they’ve got it.”
In addition to cubed pork loin, the chili also contained a number of local harvest vegetables, including tomatoes from Harbes and Reeve’s farms.
And though the chili’s vegetables were local, Wirth said Crooked Ladder has no immediate plans for purchasing local hops for their beer.
“We haven’t really designed an IPA we’re happy with, but once we have that recipe down, we’ll consider doing a wet-hopped ale,” he says. “We’re going to crawl before we run.”
Beer lovers may want to consider crawling too; Wirth says they’ve got an Oktoberfest on its way. “We think our seasonal beers are going to be really big. Our pumpkin ale is our number one seller right now.”

❤️Baby's first Edible East End blog post ❤️

As seen on

Seafood and Barbecue at 

All for the East End Fund-raiser

Comment | August 21, 2013 | By  | Photographs by Gianna Volpe


Smoked oysters on brioche with whipped cream cheese, cauliflower foam and fresh dill from the Inn Spot on the Bay.

A sea of smiles and sweet tunes rolled into Riverhead Monday night for the All for the East End event at Martha Clara Vineyards, which brought a thousand-plus guests to the Sound Avenue farm to dance and nosh the night away in the name of the region’s thousand-plus nonprofits.
Local vendors, including The Wandering PalateFoody’s and Blondie’s Bake Shop, lined the event’s perimeter for general admission guests in need of something to snack on, but a VIP ticket allowed its owner access to a separate food tent, where a host of East End restauranteurs served up heavenly hors d’oeuvres. Picture-perfect seafood plates made up the majority of the bite-sized samples, including theNorth Fork Table & Inn’s, which prepared a delectable poached shrimp with red Thai peppers, lemongrass emulsion, green papaya and peanuts.

Cindy Halloran, left, and Claudia Fleming of North Fork Table and Inn.

The seafood plates were all superb and thematically appropriate to the strictly East End affair, but because Riverhead’s Maple Tree BBQ strayed from the sea, they were a welcome addition to the line-up as my taste buds became fatigued with fish, and, in my mind, the barbecue joint served two of the evening’s most delicious dishes.
“For the first dish, we put smoked baked beans with an Alabama-style barbecue chicken on crostini with a white horseradish-based barbecue sauce, topped with red hot barbecue sauce,” said Maple Tree’s Sean Judge of their Monday evening offerings. “Our second is herb crusted potatoes, North Carolina-style barbecue pulled pork and white horseradish-based barbecue sauce.”
To transition my tastebuds back to seafood, I stopped at the table of “Cheffe” Collette Connor of the Inn Spot on the Bay, where I was able to sample the best of both worlds. The Hampton Bays eatery served smoked oysters on brioche with whipped cream cheese, cauliflower foam and fresh dill, which Connor said was just for garnish, but I ate the entire sprig anyhow. (I love dill.)
“The oysters are local, and so are we,” said Connor, who coined the term for lady chef, “Cheffe,” with Inn Spot on the Bay co-owner, Cheffe Pamela.

Gianna Volpe is a freelance multimedia reporter on the East End of Long Island and one of 2013′s New York Press Association Rookie Reporters of the Year. She received her bachelor degree in journalism with an emphasis in photojournalism at the University of Missouri in 2010 and grew up at the foot of the Palisades in New Jersey, which overlook New York City. She now lives in Riverhead. Follow her on twitter @agentjanefox

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Filling in the gap

Now that I've downloaded the blogger app for my iPhone, I'm sure I will begin using this more frequently (rather than next to never.)

Let me update you: I am currently one of the four New York Press Association "Rookie Reporters of the Year," an award I won the Suffolk Times for my reporting throughout 2012.

This is something I'm incredibly proud of - especially because two of the four rookie reporters are from the Queens Courier, where crime actually occurs now and again.

Obviously I'm being a bit facetious and truth be told, I am incredibly proud I received this honorable award.

So don't worry, I have made sure to tell every living creature that has crossed my path in the past few months that, "I'm one of the four New York Press Association 'Rookie Reporters of the Year.'"

I celebrated the win by consistently scooping a former colleague with crime stories, which was fun!

Now I've turned to freelancing stories, mostly for magazines and newspaper supplements.

This is something I've been avoiding (along with living in New York City.....until I have enough money to actually LIVE there..... because if I'm going to just scrape by I would rather do it with some leg room), but at this point in the game I'm beginning to wonder why.

Something I finally said out loud today while pondering why it felt like Denise Civiletti had just stabbed me in the abdomen when she suggested I turn my sights toward magazines is that my training as a newspaper writer and photographer may have led me to look down on magazines.

The gloss, the flash, the color, the broader brush employed through their diction induced a recoiling reaction from me.

I was so busy learning to kill my voice that I couldn't even think about marrying it to my facts, which is why features were actually more difficult for me when I was starting out!

Now I write features like it ain't no thang and during my tenure at Times/Review, I certainly wrote a lion's share of those bad boys.

Nowadays I get steady work with the Sag Harbor Express, will hopefully continue writing/photographing for Edible East End and the other gorgeous Edible magazines, and have just begun my relationships with the Southampton Press, Long Island Business News and Dan's Papers.

Barbaraellen Koch, a local veteran photojournalist for whom I have the utmost respect, thinks it's time for me to somehow get into The New York Times, maybe by writing a column about the two weeks I just spent being homeless on the East End or by breaking a big story............ So yeah, if you are the Long Island serial killer, hit me up at and offer me an exclusive because I'm not sure if The Grey Lady prints columns written by veritable nobodies!

I will start updating this ol' boy with my work - I swear! So people can um. You know. Read my stuff. And things.

That's all I got, so signing off, this is special agent Jane Fox aka Gianna Volpe.

Over and out