Aqua Communications - Public Relations & Marketing | Portsmouth, NH | North of Boston http://www.aquacomm.net Public Relations & Marketing | Portsmouth, NH | North of Boston Tue, 29 Oct 2013 16:30:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Strawbery Banke Thanks Vintage & Vine Sponsors http://www.aquacomm.net/strawbery-banke-thanks-vintage-vine-sponsors/ http://www.aquacomm.net/strawbery-banke-thanks-vintage-vine-sponsors/#comments Mon, 01 Oct 2012 17:08:43 +0000 Michelle http://www.aquacomm.net/?p=1487

Opinion: Letter

Strawbery Banke Thanks Vintage & Vine Sponsors

October 01, 2012 2:00 AM

Sept. 24 — To the Editor:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and staff, I extend my utmost appreciation to our friends in the greater Seacoast community, whose hard work and energy contributed to Strawbery Banke Museum’s incredibly successful Vintage and Vine 2012, held Sept. 8.

The fine wine and food festival incorporated a Green, Grow, Global theme. By recycling and composting all materials, the event achieved zero waste for the first time with the support of EcoMovement.

Thanks to the partnership of New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets, the leadership of event co-chairwomen and trustees Cynthia Harvell and Michelle Firmbach Nadeau, event coordinators Jordan Osbon and Sarah Thibodeau of Aqua Communications, the devotion of auction coordinators Cynthia Fenneman and Siobhan Hyman, and unparalleled support from a manifold of businesses and individuals in the greater community, the wine festival exceeded fund-raising goals. This annual tasting resulted in a total income of $100,000 and a final profit of $72,000 to support our building and landscape preservations efforts, school and summer camp programs, and the wide variety of events and programs the museum provides for more than 75,000 annual visitors.

We also wish to extend a wholehearted thank you to our hard-working event volunteers and all of our community partners for their support. This event would not have been possible without their generosity.

Thank you to our 38 participating restaurants, 15 wine brokers, 35 sponsors, and more than 180 businesses and individuals who graciously donated items to the Vintage and Vine silent auction, which raised more than $20,000 for the museum.

Thank you to our sponsors: Waste Management, Planet Fitness, Demeters Steakhouse, David Wendell Associates Inc., Exeter Trust Company, Wentworth by the Sea Hotel & Spa, Aqua Communications, BayRing Communications, BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Federal Savings Bank, Hilton Garden Inn Portsmouth Downtown, Homewood Suites Hilton, The Mark Wentworth Home; McLane, Graf, Raulerson and Middleton; Northeast Credit Union; Optima Bank & Trust; Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference Center; Residence Inn Marriott Portsmouth Downtown Waterfront; R.M. Davis Inc.; Stonewall Kitchen; Sir Speedy Printing Center; Catapult Seacoast; Guy Esposito; Castello Banfi; Mary Ann Esposito of Ciao Italia; Jay Curcio of The White Apron; Foster’s Daily Democrat; Taste of the Seacoast; Coastal Home Magazine; Doris Rice Watercolors; Regal Limousine Service; Rhythm Method; EcoMovement; Graphic Details; Flower Kiosk; Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce; Cleary Cleaners; and Natural Rocks Spring Water Ice Co.

Thank you to our wine partners: Dunn Wine Brokers LLC; E&J Gallo/Pine State Trading Co.; Fortune Wine Brokers; Horizon Beverage Company; Jewell Towne Vineyards; LaBelle Winery; Martignetti Companies of New Hampshire; Moonlight Meadery; M.S. Walker; Perfecta Wine Company; Pine State Beverage; RP Imports; Southern Wine ane Spirits of New England; The Imported Grape LLC; and Vinilandia NH.

Thank you to our featured chefs: Amie Hurd of The Exchange, Ben Hasty of When Pigs Fly, John Forti Curator of Historic Landscape at Strawbery Banke Museum, Matt Louis of Moxy, and Morrgan Machado of Demeters Steakhouse.

Thank you to our restaurant partners: AJ’s Wood Grill Pizza; Anneke Jans; Attrezzi; Black Trumpet Bistro; Blue Mermaid Island Grill; Bonta; Café Mediterraneo; Cava; Chocolate Chic at Attrezzi; Epoch Restaurant and Bar at The Exeter Inn; Flatbread Co.; Henrys’ Market Café; Michelle’s on Market Square; MoJo’s BBQ Grill and Tavern; Portsmouth Brewery; Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference Center; Queen City Cupcakes LLC; Radici; Ristorante Massimo; Robert’s Maine Grill; Seaport Fish; Stonewall Kitchen; The Carriage House; The Common Man; The District; The Green Monkey, The Kitchen; The Library Restaurant; The Oar House; The One Hundred Club; The Portsmouth Gas Light, Three Chimneys Inn, and Wentworth by the Sea Hotel & Spa.

With deep thanks to the community and all involved.

Lawrence J. Yerdon

President and chief executive officer

Strawbery Banke Museum

Portsmouth

Source. Seacoast Media Group. http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20121001-OPINION-210010319

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Nadeau Honored for Professional PR Practice http://www.aquacomm.net/nadeau-honored-for-professional-pr-practice/ http://www.aquacomm.net/nadeau-honored-for-professional-pr-practice/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2012 20:44:19 +0000 Michelle http://www.aquacomm.net/?p=1398

Nadeau Honored for Professional PR Practice

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — The Seacoast’s own Michelle Firmbach Nadeau has been named to the 2012 Class of the New Hampshire Union Leader’s top 40 Under Forty, an award that recognizes successful and emerging business leaders in the Granite State under the age of 40.

Nadeau is the founder and CEO of Aqua Communications– a strategic public relations and marketing agency based in Portsmouth, NH.  Aqua provides public affairs counsel and high-quality professional services to a wide range of clients from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals.

The New Hampshire Union Leader and the Business and Industry Association honored Nadeau and her colleagues at a ceremony in mid-March. Nadeau brings more than 13 years of public affairs, marketing and journalism experience to the public relations practice founded in 2006.  The company has a proven track record of implementing effective strategies to achieve even the most challenging business objectives. Aqua offers the expertise and results of a large corporation at a small, close-knit public relations practice where clients can expect individual attention and support on a realistic and frugal budget.

Nadeau, 34, is an award-winning professional, a former journalist, and the former head of US public affairs and international marketing media relations for an international energy company. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of New Hampshire in Durham. She is working towards a master’s degree in strategic public relations at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Currently, Nadeau serves as a principled advocate for clients, an effective spokesperson and author of editorial pieces.

Nadeau applies her experience, ingenuity and media savvy in designing targeted campaigns and compelling content for her clients. Most recently, Nadeau was hired by Star Island Corporation to publicize its Third Annual Gosport Regatta set for Sat., June 9, 2012. Nadeau is working closely with the nonprofit to boost awareness and inspire community involvement and support for its historic buildings and landscapes including the Oceanic Hotel.

In addition, Nadeau is actively engaged in the New Hampshire community as a Trustee of Strawbery Banke Museum (SBM) in Portsmouth, NH. Nadeau volunteers her business expertise to design and co-direct the museum’s largest annual fundraiser — Vintage & Vine.

Nadeau’s husband, Justin P. Nadeau, was honored with the 40 Under Forty award in 2011.

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Online film “Bighorn” explores General Custer’s New England Patriots Super Bowl connection http://www.aquacomm.net/online-film-bighorn-explores-general-custers-new-england-patriots-super-bowl-connection/ http://www.aquacomm.net/online-film-bighorn-explores-general-custers-new-england-patriots-super-bowl-connection/#comments Fri, 27 Jan 2012 17:48:40 +0000 Michelle http://www.aquacomm.net/?p=1310 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan. 27, 2012

Media Contact & Images:
Alfred Thomas Catalfo
603.767.8444
bighornmovie@gmail.com
www.BighornMovie.com

Online film “Bighorn” explores General Custer’s
New England Patriots Super Bowl connection

DOVER, N.H. — With the New England Patriots heading to the Super Bowl, an online film is raising the possibility that a last-minute decision by George Armstrong Custer at the fateful Battle of the Little Bighorn may have affected the outcome of the New England Patriots’ first Super Bowl win.

That is the premise behind the short film “Bighorn,” a 15-minute, supernatural historical fantasy based on a true story: General Custer’s bandmaster, Felix Vinatieri — an Italian immigrant and the great-great-grandfather of NFL kicker Adam Vinatieri — was ordered to stay behind at the 7th Cavalry’s Powder River camp and just missed the Battle of the Little Bighorn where Custer and his entire regiment were annihilated.

The Twilight Zone-ish tale takes place in 2002 — when the New England Patriots won their first Super Bowl on Adam Vinatieri’s last-second, 48-yard field goal — and in 1876.

“Bighorn” can be viewed free online at www.BighornMovie.com

Nathaniel Philbrick, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of the New York Times Bestseller “The Last Stand,” applauded “Bighorn” on his blog, calling it “an ingenious and demented intermingling of the Battle of the Little Bighorn with the New England Patriots” and telling his readers “You’ve got to see this movie!”  The quirky short film recently won the Online New England Film Festival.

“I was captivated by the story,” writer/director Alfred Thomas Catalfo recounts.  “If Felix had died in the battle, Adam would not have been born.  I thought that was a poignant commentary about how tenuous life is and how a path taken today can have an effect even generations later.”

Adam Vinatieri is widely regarded as the greatest clutch kicker of all time.  The possibility that a different kicker might have missed the Super Bowl-winning field goal was made starkly evident when the Baltimore Ravens’ Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard, chip-shot kick at the end of this year’s AFC championship game, punching New England’s ticket to the Super Bowl.

“Bighorn” is the latest from award-winning filmmakers Catalfo, writer/director of the Internet hit “The Norman Rockwell Code” and winner of 21 major screenwriting competitions, and Glenn Gardner, producer of the film “Sniffer” that won the prestigious Palm d’Or, the top overall award, at the Cannes Film Festival.

Custer is portrayed by Steve Alexander, recognized by the U.S. Congress as “the foremost Custer living historian.”  Alexander has played him in numerous films and at the annual Native American re-enactment on the original battlefield.  Alexander lives in Custer’s former home in Monroe, Michigan.

“I remember saying that my next film would be simple and easy,” laughs Catalfo, a New Hampshire personal injury attorney by day.  “The next thing I know I’m directing Custer’s Last Stand with mounted cavalry charging, soldiers firing period weapons, arrows flying, and a very ornery herd of buffalo — on film with a $5000 budget.”

Catalfo and Gardner are next moving on to feature films and have several projects in development.

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Images & Media Inquiries:  bighornmovie@gmail.com

 

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City Celebrates the Season, Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth Continues http://www.aquacomm.net/city-celebrates-the-season-vintage-christmas-in-portsmouth-continues/ http://www.aquacomm.net/city-celebrates-the-season-vintage-christmas-in-portsmouth-continues/#comments Tue, 13 Dec 2011 19:03:36 +0000 Michelle http://www.aquacomm.net/?p=1242

Vintage Christmas 2011

Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth

Engage your friends and family in Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth in the final days before Christmas and the New Year. Find the schedule for all of your favorite holiday events here.

Thursday, December 15:
1pm – 8pm:
Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)

Friday, December 16:
1pm – 8pm:
Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)
7pm: An 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)

Saturday, December 17:
10am: An 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker (in a Nutshell) The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)
1pm – 8pm: Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)
1:30-10:30pm: Vintage Christmas Trolley 15 min. route
2 + 7pm: An 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)
5-9pm Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke, 14 Hancock St.

Sunday, December 18:
11:30am:
An 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker (in a Nutshell) The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)
1pm – 6pm: Vintage Christmas Pop-up Market at The Music Hall Loft (131 Congress St.)
1:30-10:30pm: Vintage Christmas Trolley 15 min. route
2pm: An 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker The Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St.)
4-8pm: Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke, 14 Hancock St.

Don’t miss these Community Events during the week and in the final days before 2012!
Tuesday, December 21 7:30pm The Music Hall Presents Messiah Sing!
Thursday, December 31 First Night Portsmouth

For more information, visit http://vintagechristmasnh.org

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25th Annual Button Factory Open Studios Dec. 3 & 4 http://www.aquacomm.net/25th-annual-button-factory-open-studios-dec-3-4/ http://www.aquacomm.net/25th-annual-button-factory-open-studios-dec-3-4/#comments Tue, 29 Nov 2011 16:39:08 +0000 Michelle http://www.aquacomm.net/?p=1204

Hand-crafted rings, pendants and earrings by David P. Virtue available at the Button Factory.

Button Factory Open Studios Event Dec. 3 & 4

70 Artists & Craftspeople Featured

The 25th Annual Button Factory Open Studios – one of the oldest and most eagerly anticipated holiday arts events on the Seacoast – will be held Dec. 3 & 4 in Portsmouth, 11 am – 5 pm.

The Button Factory artists  open their doors to the public once a year on the first weekend in December. The public is invited to visit the artists, explore their studios, and purchase their work. It all takes place in a building that has become the hub of an emerging arts district in Portsmouth’s West End.

The Button Factory is located at 855 Islington Street across from Plaza 800.

The weekend kicks off Friday evening with a preview Open Studios event. The artists who are tenants in the building will be showing and selling their work.  To add to the festivities, Regina Delaney and Friends will play Celtic music.

Juried artists from outside the building will join on Saturday and Sunday with booths staged throughout the sprawling, three level structure. Explore the various studios and you’ll find that each one is unique, reflecting each artist’s creative personality. Follow the labyrinth of hallways and discover a truly eclectic group of over 70 artists and craftspeople displaying beautiful handcrafted gifts.

Among this year’s offerings are paintings, jewelry, pottery, handmade furniture, fine art photography, hand-made bags and scarves, quilts, paper art, stained glass mobiles, and much more.

Place & Time:

The Button Factory
855 Islington Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Saturday and Sunday, December 3 & 4, Hours 11:00 AM to 5:00PM
Friday Preview (Tenant artists only will be showing their work), December 2, Hours 5:00 to 8:00PM

How To Get There:

The Button Factory is located on Islington Street in Portsmouth, across from Plaza 800 and the Hannaford Supermarket (formerly Pic ‘n’ Pay), and a short drive from the Portsmouth Traffic Circle.

For more information about the Button Factory, visit: http://www.buttonfactorystudios.com

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Star Island to host Starry Night 2011 benefit Sat., Nov. 19 http://www.aquacomm.net/star-island-to-host-starry-night-2011-benefit-sat-nov-19/ http://www.aquacomm.net/star-island-to-host-starry-night-2011-benefit-sat-nov-19/#comments Tue, 08 Nov 2011 21:13:07 +0000 Michelle http://www.aquacomm.net/?p=1192 Star Island to host Starry Night 2011 benefit event

Fine crafts for sale Sat., Nov. 19

Starry Night returns to the Discover Portsmouth Center November 19 with a ceramics exhibition by the Banks Gallery in Portsmouth. The third annual fine arts and crafts event will feature a select group of jewelers showing their unique hand-crafted pieces.

RAIN for the Sahel and Sahara, an international non-governmental organization that works with women artisans of the Sahel and Sahara to help them achieve economic self-sufficiency, will also display its work.

The evening will also feature the savory Mediterranean appetizers of Portsmouth-based Café Nostimo and a choice selection of Samuel Adams and Angry Orchard brews for tasting. Musical entertainment will be provided by jazz duo Kemp Harris and Scotty Vercoe who bring their own spin on genre classics. All proceeds will benefit Star Island Corporation.

RSVP (603) 430-6272 • $30 IN ADVANCE • $40 AT THE DOOR

SPECIAL $50 TICKET ALLOWS ADMISSION AT 4:00 P.M. AND EARLY ACCESS TO THE JEWELRY AND CERAMICS DISPLAYS

Star Island to Host Starry Night 2011 Benefit Event

 

 

 

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Best of Taste Bash to be held Friday, October 14 http://www.aquacomm.net/best-of-taste-bash-to-be-held-friday-oct-14/ http://www.aquacomm.net/best-of-taste-bash-to-be-held-friday-oct-14/#comments Wed, 28 Sep 2011 19:58:50 +0000 Michelle http://www.aquacomm.net/?p=1156 Attention food & wine lovers! Don’t miss the upcoming Taste Bash!

Taste of the Seacoast Magazine will host its Best of Taste Bash Fri., Oct. 14 at the Portsmouth Harbor Events and Conference Center to highlight its readers’ poll picks, 7-9:30 pm.

The winners of the Best of Taste 2011 contest will come together for one night only offering food, wine and cocktails to sample. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the NH Food Bank.

Tickets are now available at Taste of the Seacoast Magazine.

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Guests raise their glasses at annual museum fundraiser in Portsmouth http://www.aquacomm.net/guests-raise-their-glasses-at-annual-museum-fundraiser-in-portsmouth/ http://www.aquacomm.net/guests-raise-their-glasses-at-annual-museum-fundraiser-in-portsmouth/#comments Mon, 12 Sep 2011 14:02:59 +0000 Michelle http://www.aquacomm.net/?p=1143 Here is the latest Vintage & Vine 2011 event coverage by Foster’s Aimee Lockhardt.

Guests raise their glasses at annual museum fundraiser in Portsmouth

By AIMEE LOCKHARDT
Special to the Democrat

Monday, September 12, 2011

Picture
EJ Hersom/Staff photographer Pete Peterson of the band Rhythm Method plays guitar during a wine festival at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth Saturday. 

Click here to view Foster’s prints for sale

PORTSMOUTH — Strawbery Banke invited guests to take a stroll through their historic homes and gardens in style Saturday, with fine wines and gourmet foods.

It was all part of the sixth annual Vintage and Vine fundraiser, which helps raise money to support educational programs at the museum. It is the largest annual fundraiser for the museum and is hosted solely by the board of trustees.

In partnership with New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets, visitors also had the chance to purchase wines at discount prices for one night only, as well as taste some of the rarest wines offered in the state.

The event also featured a silent auction, live music and a VIP area offering more expensive wines ranging in price to as high as $150 a bottle.

Three years ago the event was a little bit different, held under a single tent under the property and the vintage aspect was associated with cars, but that was changed to better represent the museum.

“We decided to change vintage from cars to what we have to offer here: historic homes and gardens on the property,” said Michelle Firmbach Nadeau, event co-chair, museum trustee and owner of Aqua Communications in Portsmouth. “Those are the vintage pieces of the events. It helps people to understand the importance of Strawbery Banke and what they have to offer.”

In keeping with the theme of the museum, there was an educational aspect as well.

“Guests have the chance to tour houses and learn about the history, all while sipping glasses of wine and trying gourmet food from top seacoast restaurants,” said Nadeau.

At each historic home and garden included in the tour on the property was a restaurant with gourmet food paired with wine brokers serving and educating about the wines. Museum interpreters were also available in costume to speak about the history of the house.

Kitty Malloy, a fine wine and spirit specialist at Martignetti, was serving guests in the VIP tent at Goodwin Garden. She said the crowd favorite for the night was a red wine made with seven grapes called The Prisoner Red.

“It has a lot of fruit, but a spicier finish,” she said. “A lot of people say they had to come over and try (a certain wine). No one is tasting in order. A lot of the time when I do (wine tastings) I start with white and then move up to the heavier wines, but most people are starting with red.”

While there are also many choices of food with which to pair wines, Malloy said she did not notice many people matching them. Instead, she said most people were loading food on their plates and eating it with whatever wine they could get to first.

Of the 900 people at the event, Malloy said she has noticed connoisseurs and amateur wine tasters alike.

“The event is for anyone,” she said. “People ask me what I like, but it’s whatever you like is what is good. There are too many wines in the world. If you don’t like one, dump it and go to something else. There are millions of wines. It’s a cocktail party. It’s meant to be fun. It’s meant for the moment. You could have one today and say it’s not good, but then sit down with a bunch of friends later and say it’s delicious.”

In the central area of the museum’s yard, five-star chefs served visitors as the evening went on.

“(The chefs) are able to talk to them about what they are preparing and the local ingredients used,” Nadeau said.

She added the museum tried to make the event as green as possible by asking area restaurants to use as many local ingredients as they could.

Chef Michael Buckley, of Surf Portsmouth, took the green idea even farther. After serving up 1,000 grilled oysters with two different sauces — a smoke tomato mignonette and charmoula sauce, a North African pesto-style spice sauce — he asked people to place their eaten oysters in a bin where they would then be taken to an organization that places them into Great Bay to build oyster beds.

“We’re not only feeding people, but we’re saving the bay,” he said.

Surf Portsmouth is a new restaurant to the area, having just opened in May, and Buckley said he was happy to be invited to participate as a star chef.

“We’re very honored and excited,” he said. “We’ve gotten a great reception in Portsmouth. We can’t be more thankful how kind people are. We’re very happy we made the move.”

Chef Evan Mallett, of Black Trumpet Bistro & Wine Bar, has participated in the Vintage and Vine fundraiser before, but Saturday was his first year as a star chef.

“It’s a wonderful honor,” he said. “I’m happy to do anything that benefits Strawbery Banke. The event means a lot to me. I’m a huge supporter of Strawbery Banke. It’s a huge living museum in our backyard.”

Black Trumpet made for the event grilled sun gold tomatoes and stuffed squid with olive marinated halloumi cheese.

Mallet said the decision behind picking this dish was because “it goes well with a lot of wines — white and red. It’s a versatile dish.”

Mallet said he was also looking forward to making the dish because he was able to use a grill.

“We don’t have a grill in our restaurant so it’s fun to grill outside on a beautiful night,” he said.

Nadeau said she was happy with the results of the event and said it would not have been possible without all the background players.

“We want to thank the hard working committee and all guests for coming out this evening to explore Strawbery Banke and support the preservation of our building and landscapes,” she said.

The Foster’s article may be found online at: http://fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110912/GJNEWS_01/709129973

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Firmbach Nadeau: Stitching a city, a nation back together http://www.aquacomm.net/firmbach-nadeau-stitching-a-city-a-nation-back-together/ http://www.aquacomm.net/firmbach-nadeau-stitching-a-city-a-nation-back-together/#comments Sun, 11 Sep 2011 14:08:03 +0000 Michelle http://www.aquacomm.net/?p=1127
In this 9/11 article, Michelle Firmbach Nadeau reflects on her experience at Ground Zero. Nadeau is the founder and principal of Aqua Communications and a former Portsmouth Herald staff writer.

Stitching a city, a nation back together

September 11, 2011 2:00 AM

By Michelle Firmbach Nadeau
michelle@aquacomm.net

In my left hand is a long, thick sewing needle.

I extend the needle into the fabric below, and with one complete movement, I sew a single loop. With one piece of thread, I make a single red knot in the symbolic cloth. With one simple weave, I mend the fabric, fastening a wound in the red, white and blue flag resurrected from “ground zero.”

The tattered flag was found dangling from 90 West St. after the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Stitched back together years later by Kansas tornado survivors, it is now known as the National 9/11 Flag. The flag visited Portsmouth’s Fire Station 2 last month, offering local service heroes and residents a chance to sew New Hampshire’s restorative patch onto the flag.

With one small stitch, I remember.

Dispatched to the city

Like many other Americans, I watched from my living room in disbelief as the second plane struck the South Tower. I arrived in the Portsmouth Herald newsroom within minutes, where reporters and editors were gathered silently, watching the television news. The phones started to ring. We anxiously turned to our desks and began recording each moment, telling the story.

My coverage of the attacks began with an evening prayer service at Greenland’s Bethany Church for Portsmouth resident and American Airlines co-pilot Tom McGuinness, who was killed when terrorists hijacked Flight 11 and crashed the jetliner into the North Tower at 8:46 a.m. It was the first plane to strike the World Trade Center. It was the first in a series of events that would transform our world and define what we now know as Sept. 11, 2001, a day of unprecedented horror and suffering in the history of our nation.

The next day, I traveled to New York City to give readers a first-hand perspective on the historic destruction and devastation that befell America. It was a story I felt compelled to report at a time when all of us were grasping for some small way to help pick up the pieces. I arrived at Penn Station on the evening of Sept. 12 to a desolate city, a ghost town. Only the jarring sound of emergency sirens could be heard as I hailed a cab and made my way uptown to a friend’s home at the corner of 88th and York, one block from Gracie Mansion, then the home of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani. A dusty haze of smoke and ash lingered in the streets.

10 days at ground zero

Shaken by the seemingly endless ruin, for the next 10 days I would make my way to and from the rubble to write a daily story. It was there that I met New York firefighters Marty Liptak and Gene Renne, who offered chilling accounts of the disaster.

“It’s a living hell. It’s a nightmare,” Renne said. “I know a lot of guys. We all know guys. This was our life.”

Liptak and Renne found time to rest in an alley adjacent to West Street after two days of working on the bucket brigade.

“Today, we were digging in a spot that was marked for a body and we could smell it, but we just couldn’t get down to it,” Liptak said. “We could tell we were getting close, because the odor was getting stronger.”

I came across others, like Anthony Luparello Jr., who in the days following the collapse of the Twin Towers wandered in search of their loved ones, posting photographs of the missing and feared lost.

“I went down there to try to see if he got out,” said a panic-stricken Luparello, while holding his father’s picture. “I had to run for my life when the building collapsed. I was shocked. We just couldn’t believe our eyes. It just gets worse.”

His father, Anthony Luparello Sr., 62, was working on the 101st floor of the South Tower when the building collapsed after burning for 56 minutes, killing 600 workers and first responders. Luparello was among the nearly 3,000 who died that day.

I chronicled the accounts of others who lined the West Side Highway in unity, waving American flags and cheering on relief workers as the search for survivors in the five-story pile of steel continued. Only 18 survivors would emerge from the wreckage in total.

I spoke to others along the barricades struggling to hold on.

“Do you remember?” asked New York City police officer Joey Suarez, speaking of the former World Trade Center towers. “Do you remember what they looked like? I can’t remember.”

The stories of these New Yorkers remain a powerful testimony to the destruction of 9/11. I carry them with me and dedicate this stitch to all of those who lost a piece of themselves that day as I did.

Picking up the pieces

The world as we knew it had changed forever. A new war on terrorism had begun.

“It was the single most earth-shattering event in our lifetime,” said then Portsmouth Fire Capt. Val Pamboukas in a recent interview. “It was the audacity of it.”

Pamboukas, who is now retired, arrived in New York on Sept. 12 and toiled amid the smoldering wreckage for three days, assisting in any way he could.

“I remember standing on top of the pile, thinking no one is coming out of this hole,” he said. “It was like a boiling kettle.”

Ten years later, Pamboukas said he is grateful he was able to help.

“I felt if there was a little piece I could pick up to make things right, perhaps that would make a difference,” Pamboukas said. “Clearly, the people who were most impacted were the families of people who lost their lives. I hope and pray they have a chance to put their lives back together as best they can and find comfort in the nation that rallied behind them.”

Triumph over tragedy

This haunting experience in New York City revealed to me the powerful resilience of the American people.

As I pull the stitch firmly into place, I find comfort in the fact that I am able to help restore this fabric that has become an emblem of hope, a badge of courage and a sign of compassion and healing for all Americans.

The flag, which visited Portsmouth’s Fire Station 2 on Aug. 23, will soon become part of the 9/11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center.

While we cannot replace all that has been lost, we can find ways to heal and move past the tragedy on the 10-year anniversary of the attacks by carrying on the spirit of volunteerism and service exhibited by the American people during the 9/11 disaster and confirmed daily by our soldiers serving in the global war against terror.

“There is triumph over tragedy,” said Carolyn Deters, National 9/11 Flag Tour events manager. “There is something we can do to overcome the tragedy.”

Michelle Firmbach Nadeau is a Portsmouth resident, a former Herald staff writer and owner of Aqua Communications, a strategic public relations firm in Portsmouth.

Read the article at Seacoastonline: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20110911-NEWS-109110328

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Vintage & Vine: Top reasons to attend this fine food and wine tasting tour http://www.aquacomm.net/vintage-vine-top-reasons-to-attend-this-fine-food-and-wine-tasting-tour/ http://www.aquacomm.net/vintage-vine-top-reasons-to-attend-this-fine-food-and-wine-tasting-tour/#comments Fri, 02 Sep 2011 14:19:26 +0000 Michelle http://www.aquacomm.net/?p=1108

Seacoastonline previews Vintage & Vine 2011 set for Sat., Sept. 10 in this article by food & wine writer Rachel Forrest.

Vintage & Vine

Top reasons to attend this fine food and wine tasting tour

September 02, 2011 2:00 AM
rachel.forrest@dowjones.com

Each year we have some killer events to go to involving food, wine, beer and other booze and this year every single one of those events is, as any good PR person will tell you, “bigger and better than ever.” They have to be, otherwise with our short attention spans we just wander off and do something else. But Vintage & Vine this year from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Strawbery Banke is really going to rock. Gone are the vintage cars of V & V’s past — all so lovely but they took up space that could be used by Star Chefs and plenty of wine reps pouring reds, whites, and sparklings. Why go this year? Well, I’m going to tell you.

* Hundreds of wines. So many wines, so little time! Be very selective. Scope it out. Ask questions of the experts. You can’t try all of these great wines so try something new, branch out. You’ll be stopping at 15 of Strawbery Banke Museums houses and gardens and get to be under tents sampling wines you probably have never seen or tasted before. That’s cool.

* Star Chefs. I thank Bacchus that they didn’t call them Celebrity Chefs, the ones who wind up on TV with their bad acting like Eric Ripert and David Chang on Treme and Bobby Flay on Entourage (seriously? Would they let the actors cook in their restaurants? Ugh!) But our Star Chefs — Stellar of course. This year the chefs will be grilling up some terrific dishes. I know for one that Chef Tom Perron from Mombo is making a chowder to order right there grilling clams and such. They’ve also got Chef Evan Mallet from Black Trumpet who probably went out and caught something with his bare hands for this and Chef Mark Segal from the 100 Club, who, when I saw him out drinking a beer had a few dishes in mind — all great. Then there’s new Chef on our block at least, Chef Michael Buckley from Surf who will bring some great seafood and then there’s Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier from Arrows who will cook something from… surprise! Their new book “Maine Classics,” which I co-wrote, in case you’ve been in prison and didn’t know that already.

* A Free Ride. Just to make it extra special and safer, Regal Limousine is throwing in a 26-passenger Regal trolley to squire guests and volunteers from points in the City of Portsmouth to the event. This is from 3-8 p.m. and you just need to check in on the Vintage and Vines Facebook page to see where the pick up and drop off points are. This way you don’t have to walk far in high heels.

* Get a discount. Let’s say you love a few of the wines you taste at the event. Your enjoyment doesn’t have to be a passing fancy. The wines tasted at the event can be ordered that night at a discount of 15 percent off six or more bottles with convenient pick up and payment at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet of your choice.

* Add to your drinking glass collection. My collection of glassware at home includes logo festooned pint glasses, wine and champagne glasses and snifters from breweries and wineries all over the globe. Nothing matches. But one thing I don’t have — yet — is a Riedel Ouverture Magnum tasting glass machine blown in Bavaria, Germany. I can get one at the event for just $10 and use it all night and then some.

* Dancing. If I drink just enough wine, I’ll likely be dancing to the funky lively tunes of Rhythm Method by a bonfire. You must see that.

* Even more food. The Meat House will be there grilling up some tips in the main tent and all around the grounds at spots like the Victory Garden, Walsh House, Heritage Garden, Pitt Tavern, Chase House, and others, there will be food with the wine from restaurants like Anneke Jans, Blue Mermaid Island Grill, Brazo, Cafe Mediterraneo, Dolphin Striker, Flatbread Company, Hebert Brothers Seafood, Mojo’s BBQ Grill and Tavern, Oar House, Poco’s Bow Street Cantina, Radici, Ristorante Massimo, Rudi’s Portsmouth, Seaport Fish, The Carriage House, The Common Man, The District, The Farm Bar & Grille, The Green Monkey, The Kitchen, The Meat House, Tulsi and Wentworth by the Sea Hotel.

* VIP Tasting. If you get a VIP ticket, then you can taste special wines worth up to $100 a bottle! I only get to do that if a rich guy takes me out to dinner. Which never happens.

* It’s Cheap. Sorry — inexpensive. $40! Really??? For all that food and wine. $75 VIP. And if you’re bringing a designated driver, they can get in for $20 and eat the food or $40 to get into the VIP tent where there’s even more special food. It’s going to be a great night so I hope to see you there!

Go&Do

WHAT: Vintage & Vines: A Fine Food & Wine Tasting Tour

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 10, 4-7 p.m.

WHERE: Strawbery Banke Museum, Marcy Street, Portsmouth

COST: Tickets $40 per person or $75 including the VIP Reserve Tasting from 4- 5:30 p.m. Tickets for museum members $30 per person or $60 including the VIP Reserve. A portion of each ticket benefits Strawbery Banke Museum and is tax deductible.

CONTACT: Tickets may be purchased online atwww.strawberybanke.org. Designated driver tickets are also available online at a discount.

View the article online now at: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20110902-LIFE-109020301

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