up front A rising tide floats all boats, or so they say. I n New Hanover County, real-estate sales have become a rising tide. So much so that one former top agent has come out of retirement! Wrightsville Beach Magazine’s annual marketplace look back is encouraging, not only for property owners and Brokers — and architects, builders, designers, closing attorneys, subcontractors and suppliers — but for car dealers, restaurateurs, boutique owners, hair stylists and nonprofit charities in trickle-down dollars. With water, water every-where and waterfront as the common denominator in the Top 12 sales, the Azalea Coast is the place to be. We are gaining ground and the experts predict 2015, 2016 and 2017 will be a big enough tide to float your boat. This issue we showcase native son Lenny Simpson’s cel-ebrated 60-year tennis career and his return to Wilmington where he follows in the footsteps of his childhood mentor and coach, the inimitable Dr. Hubert Eaton Sr. who chal-lenged the all-white establishment and won. Intrepid photographer Curtis Krueger stalks the wilds of Wilmington and beyond where he captures birds through the lens of his camera. This story, written by our own intrepid birdman, Cole Dittmer, is illustrated with Krueger’s amazing photographs. Love blooms among the flowers, we learned, from Liz Carroll, North Carolina Azalea Festival President. It’s where cadets court queens and a few live happily ever after. Fall in love with Domonique Launey, the internation-ally known classic pianist and music teacher who calls Wilmington home. Wake up your winter mealtime with a shopping excursion to the Port City’s exotic food markets where you’ll find everything from cactus paddles, balut and yucca root to pomegranate molasses, just what’s needed for that Iranian recipe you’ve been waiting to make. Happy Valentine’s month with love from all of us to you, our readers. Editor/Publisher Pat Bradford shopping for fresh produce at La Huerta. 8 WBM february 2015 PHOTO BY JOSHUA CURRY Pat’s hair by Frank Potter, Bangz Hair Salon. Hair and makeup styled by Matt Matyi, Bangz. David Yurman earrings and necklace from Lumina Gem, boiled wool jacket and scarf from Talbot’s of Mayfaire.
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