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Butterflies and the Kings of Queens

Great Spangled Fritillary (photo by Paul Cavalconte)

Great Spangled Fritillary (photo by Paul Cavalconte)


In this weekly WFUV feature, our staffers pick a trio of their current personal faves that we think you might want to check out too. "Cavalcade" host Paul Cavalconte not only loves local music and decadent seafood, but he's a genuine lepidopterist too.

Hollis Brown
I'm damn proud of these Queens boys, who have bashed together a mighty breakthrough of a pop record called Ozone Park. The well-built standard chassis rock and roll that they've honed is now ready for sleek new lines, and this year's model is dripping in the the chrome of synth and the rich appointment of rhythm. Singer Mike Montali's angel-pure voice sounds as authentic blasting through a megaphone on the album closer "Go For It" as it does tenderly crooning Jesse Malin's heartbreak ballad, "She Don't Love Me Now." Catch Hollis Brown when they're around and you too can say that you knew 'em when.

The Silence of the Fritillaries
All of my life, I've been fascinated by, and have seriously studied, butterflies. For real — if I weren't such a klutz at math, I'd have had a science career long ago. Now before you entertain fantasies of me in khaki fatigues, pith helmet, and net in hand (unless that's your weird thing) please know that eclectic professionals with the same passions for ecology and zoology also share the avocational interest and empirical knowledge. And—we're here with not-fake-news—global warming and human activity are changing the game for some of nature's most beloved creatures, not for the better. The plight of the Monarch has generated publicity, but a lesser-known peril has drastically impacted one of the majestic butterflies of country summertime: the Great Spangled Fritillary. Numbers this season are alarmingly down, and potential causes range from pesticide and land management abuses to pathogens and introduced bio-control agents that target pest species along with beneficial ones. We should know better by now. If you come upon this summer beauty in your rambles, know what it's up against this year.

Pearl's Lobster Roll
Poor little Cornelia Street's restaurant row in the West Village has taken a beating of late, losing the Cornelia Street Café, Po, and Little Havana—all gone. But the stalwart Pearl Oyster Bar still remains, a gem amidst an ocean of change. On a recent hot evening, I wished that I was by the sea, and Pearl granted my wish with its sublime lobster roll. Its balance of creamy, briny, crunchy, salty magnificence is like a spash of Montauk surf spray with every bite. Pearl's shoestring fries elicit weeping in some; Meg Ryan fist-pounding the table in others. Yes! Yes! YES! And I'll have what she's having.

Listen to Paul Cavalconte's "Cavalcade" on 90.7 WFUV, Sunday nights from 8-11 p.m.