Alexandria Living Magazine - September/October 2021

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Back to School...

Learn something new at any age!





Living, Loving, Listing Old Town Lauren Bishop, McEnearney Associate

One of my favorite things about Old Town is when the seasons change... and I don’t necessarily mean just the weather. It’s the mood, culture, and energy that comes out to greet us. It’s the celebrations, holidays, and traditions. It’s the community, friends, and neighbors. I love Old Town, and love even more helping my clients find a special place here to call home. Wherever you are in life, your first home or third, connect with me to talk about how I can help you with your next move.

Lauren Bishop, Realtor® Tel. 202.361.5079 I I Old Town Alexandria 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 I tel. 703.549.9292 Equal Housing Opportunity

Knowledge Is Power – And We Are All About Empowerment If the education you seek is financial in nature, look no further.

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Your financial health is important to us, and your success is our goal. Let’s work together to improve your finances and help you get the most out of your money. Whether you’re looking for advice about buying a car or home, need to cover the basics or would just like to gain a deeper understanding of your financial world, we’ve got you covered. Check out our free online financial education resources and free financial webinars at And, if you need help funding an education, we have solutions for that too. 4875 Eisenhower Avenue Alexandria, VA 22304 (800) 424-3334

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Experience Modern Coworking ALX Community @ Atrium offers gorgeous light filled offices with a rooftop terrace offering Old Town’s best views. You will love this unique multi-use building with an amazing coworking space, Café, fitness studios, penthouse conference center, and rooftop workspace with outstanding views of the Alexandria skyline.

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There’s lots going on this fall in and around Alexandria. Get out and have some fun!

















Here’s a look at the latest on Alexandria’s restaurant scene, with a surprising number of new eateries opening their doors soon in our city.

Writer Rachel Kester delves into the mystery of the Eastern Cougar in the region.

A look at a fascinating topic that most residents have likely never heard about before: Alexandria’s secret magnolia bogs.

We take a look at how man’s best friend is trained to become a therapy dog, service dog or facility dog.

Renovating a condo? Condo owners must look at community and space concerns among other decorating considerations. Here’s a look at a new and improved kitchen, bath and home office.

After being pent up the past year thanks to the pandemic, an unexpected 10-day girls’ trip to the Florida Keys was heavenly. Start planning your trip to explore all the Keys have to offer now!

We chat with the new owners of the popular Grounded Coffee Shop, located on Telegraph Road.

52 September / October 2021 •




38 Back to School Heading back to the classroom isn’t just for the kids this fall. Looking to learn a new skill? We’ve got you covered.

45 Bigger, Taller, Denser Alexandria continues to grow, with new buildings and developments on the horizon. Here’s a look at the latest.

ON THE COVER Old Town Alexandria streetscape



4 • September / October 2021

 @alexlivingmag

 @alexandrialivingmag

Babs Beckwith






Old Town’s Real Estate Expert

Call Babs and put her expertise to work for you! Babs Beckwith, Realtor® Tel. 703.627.5421 I I 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 I off. 703.549.9292 I Equal Housing Opportunity


Beth Lawton

A Letter from Our Founders



Cleo Chitester Teal Griffey Lora Jerakis DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION


Susannah Moore INTERN

Tess Lundgren Alexandria Living Magazine is published six times per year by Alexandria Living, LLC ©2021. 201 N. Union St., Suite 110 Alexandria, VA 22314. For newsstand or distribution locations or to subscribe for home delivery, go to

CONTACT US or call 571-232-1310.


Alexandria Living Magazine fully supports the local business community and offers several unique ways to partner with the publication. • Sponsored articles and multimedia content on the website, in our popular email newsletters and on social media. • Highlighted events in our events calendar, email newsletters and social media. • Sponsored real estate listings. • Brand awareness through online banner ads designed to boost your business. • Contests, sweepstakes and giveaways.

To learn more about how partnering with Alexandria Living Magazine can help build your business, contact us at or call 571-232-1310.


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It's time for fall in Alexandria! Whether you're enjoying a stroll under a canopy of autumn leaves, taking in a local fall festival or enjoying a meal with family and friends in the crisp autumn air at one of the City's restaurants, a new season always feels like a time to celebrate and start anew. You'll want to start your look at this issue with a perusal of some of the many events coming up, including the Old Town Festival of Speed & Style and the Hollin Hills House + Garden Tour (the magazine is a sponsor of both and we're like you, we can't wait to check them out!). Even before Labor Day, you probably are either sending kids back to school or recalling those school days and all the excitement that comes with it. Guess what? That feeling doesn't need to end! There are fun and interesting things to learn at any age, and we've compiled quite the list of new skills you can learn — from archery and motorcycling to cooking and woodworking and a myriad of other activities, starting on Page 38. We are constantly amazed at the growth that continues in Alexandria despite the pandemic. In this issue, you can check out some of the latest apartment, condo and retail developments going up in and around Alexandria, on Page 45. And don't forget to check out our interactive map (scan the code on Page 45) online on our website. Can you guess what one of the most popular topics in the magazine and on our website is? Dining, and even more specifically, finding out about new restaurants opening in Alexandria. We take a look at the surprising growth on the restaurant scene, starting on Page 18. Writer Rachel Kester explores two intriguing topics in this issue: The mystery of the Eastern Cougar and Alexandria's secret magnolia bogs, on pages 20 and 24, respectively.

Subscribing to Alexandria Living Magazine is easy! You can go to We all know how Alexandrians feel about subscribe to pay securely online their dogs — most pooches can't take a by credit card, or mail a check with few steps without getting a treat from a the subscription mailing address to local retailer or quenching their thirst at a Alexandria Living Magazine, 201 N. Union St. Suite 110, Alexandria, VA 22314. Subscriptions are $14.95 for one year or • September / October 2021 6 for two $24.95 years.

Beth Lawton, publisher, and Mary Ann Barton, editor


water bowl left outside a Mom 'n Pop shop. Susannah Moore explores some of the dogs that go above and beyond — serving as facility, therapy or service dogs, on Page 26. With many condo-dwellers in our City, we decided to explore some of the ins and outs that some experience when it comes to major renovations. We get a look at the results with kitchen, bath and home office makeovers, on Page 30. With colder weather on the horizon, now may be the time to plan an escape to a warmer climate. You can't do better than a visit to the Florida Keys. Come along with us on a 10-day girlfriends' getaway, on Page 52. One thing that Alexandrians take pretty seriously — their coffee shops. One of our favorites is Grounded Coffee Shop. Meet the new owners in The Last Word. With this issue, we are celebrating our third year in print. The years are flying by! Thank you — all of our advertisers, subscribers, contributors and others in the community who have helped us along the way. Enjoy your fall, and we'll see you back here in November!

Mary Ann Barton and Beth Lawton Founders

Our Team Meet some of the contributors to this issue.


RODNEY FISHER Photographer


Even if the name Laurie Collins doesn't ring a bell, chances are you know the D.C. native by her social media nom de plume DCcitygirl on Instagram, where 136,000 followers check in on her amazing photography of the area, including Alexandria. She captured one of Old Town's iconic historic streets for this issue's cover photo.

Rodney is an Alexandria resident who can always be found at a local Fairfax County park, most often at Huntley Meadows. He has had a satisfying career as a health care and education policy adviser in and outside of Congress. Originally from Texas, he discovered Old Town Alexandria on a visit during the Christmas holidays. He was so taken with its beauty, elegance and history that he decided that this was where he wanted to live...forever.

Rachel is a freelance writer from Chesterfield, Virginia whose work covers topics ranging from environment to travel. She also reviews books, art and other creative pursuits, often with a socio-environmental focus. She enjoys exploring Alexandria’s historic parks and browsing the lively Old Town Farmers’ Market.





Christy is an interiors photographer in the greater northern Virginia area. Her love of architecture started young. At 5, she was drawing floor plans with her home-builder grandfather. By the age of 7, she was seriously addicted to This Old House. Architectural photography stems naturally from Christy’s inherent love of the spaces we live, work and play. In collaboration with design professionals, Christy seeks to capture the stories of those spaces and the visions of the designers.

Susannah has happily called Alexandria home since 2015. She graduated from the College of Charleston and has worked in the political and legal fields and is excited for the opportunity to rekindle her interest in writing. For fun, she enjoys running along the Potomac with her husband or spending time with her rescue cat, Cinnamon, and golden retriever, Kai.

Art has always been a huge part of Stacy's life. She has had her eye behind the camera for as long as she can remember. She's been shooting professionally for more than 15 years and specializes in architecture and interior design photography. Her work has been featured in numerous local and national publications, including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Vogue, and HGTV. Stacy currently lives in the DC Metro area, where she grew up, with her husband, two kids and three dogs.

September / October 2021 •


EVEN T K EY Arts Food & Dining Family-Friendly Film Historic/Educational Literature Live Music Nightlife Pet-Friendly Recreation & Outdoor Shopping Theater Be sure to check out some of the fall events taking place at Huntley Meadows Park, 3701 Lockheed Blvd. PHOTO BY RODNEY FISHER


FALL 2021

Calendar of Events September Yoga on the Magnolia Terrace Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday Through Oct. 30 Join Carlyle House’s yoga instructor every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. or Saturday at 10 a.m. for an hour-long Vinyasa Flow yoga on the Carlyle House Magnolia Terrace. Bring water, a towel

and a yoga mat and wear comfortable yoga-wear. Classes may be cancelled due to extreme weather. Class is $10 per class or $40 for a five-class pass. Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St.,

Stigma Art Exhibit Sept. 3-25



Stigma affects many different people in many different ways, including those with mental health disorders, HIV, homelessness, disabilities and more. Stigma can encourage bullies, racists, • September / October 2021

sexists and systemic exclusion. The STIGMA art exhibit features artwork that shines a light on stigma — how it feels, how it can affect and/or disrupt lives and how it can be overcome. Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave.,

The Old Town Festival of Speed and Style Sept. 5 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The Old Town Festival of Speed & Style highlights all the things that make Old Town unique — history, architecture, great food,

CALENDAR OF EVENTS fabulous people, art, style and energy. The festival kicks off Saturday, Sept. 4 with the King Street High Octane Ball, sponsored by Alexandria Living Magazine and others from 7:30-9:30 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 5, view dozens of exotic cars on display along the lower three blocks of King Street. At the same time enjoy a presentation of live music and fashion provided by more than 40 local merchants with the Old Town Boutique District. The festival is free to attend All proceeds benefit USO Washington-Baltimore and ALIVE!



Lower three blocks of King Street,

Blood and Strikes: American Labor in the 20th Century Sept. 5 | 2 p.m. From deadly mine explosions to wartime strikes, the history of the 20th century American labor movement is full of violence and controversy. This Labor Day weekend, learn about the struggle for workers’ rights at the home of one of its most powerful spokesmen, John L. Lewis. Face masks are recommended. The tour is limited to 10 participants. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are $10 per person. Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614 Oronoco St.,

Creations and Libations Sept. 5 | 2-8 p.m. Support local artists and enjoy local libations as artists take over The Garden ALX for a pop-up. Featuring the work of 10-plus local artists setup throughout the event space, workshop and patio, as well as local craft beer and cider. The Garden Alexandria, 5380 Eisenhower Ave., Suite C,

American Smallsword Symposium 2021 Sept. 11-12 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The American Smallsword Symposium is in its sixth year and exists to bring together instructors, scholars, current and prospective students and other parties interested in the study and practice of small swords and related subjects. Along with fostering a general interest, the goal is to bring about a recurring event along the lines of the annual Smallsword Symposium held in Edinburgh, Scotland. Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St.,

Old Town Cocktail Week 2021 Sept. 10-19 Old Town Business presents Old Town Cocktail Week: A Celebration of the Local Cocktail Community. Throughout the week, there will be a collection of seminars and tastings alongside in-store specials at local boutiques. Everything will be ticketed (managed by each store with funds raised going directly to each store). Various locations in Old Town,

Prohibition in Alexandria Walking Tour

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614 Oronoco St.,

Sept. 11, Oct. 16 | 10 a.m. Discover the forgotten stories of teetotalers and bootleggers on this walking tour of Prohibition-era Alexandria. Learn about the dramatic campaign to ban alcohol in Virginia which threatened a long tradition of local alcohol production and sale. The tour begins at the Lee-Fendall House, home to the Downham family, who were once one of the city’s most prominent liquor dealers. Face masks are recommended. The tour is limited to 10 participants and lasts approximately an hour-and-a-half. Walking tours take place rain or shine so wear appropriate shoes and clothing. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are $15 per person.

August Wilson’s 'Fences' Sept. 11-25 | various times The Little Theatre of Alexandria will present this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, which also won the Tony Award for Best Play. It is set in the segregated 1950s, where Troy Maxson, a former Negro League baseball star, is scraping by as a sanitation worker. "Fences" explores the walls we build around ourselves and our loved ones, while also illuminating one family’s struggles in a racist society. The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe St.,

September / October 2021 •





Concerts at The Birchmere Music Hall Check out some of the performances scheduled for September and October at The Birchmere. Check The Birchmere’s website for the latest information and a full concert list. The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices vary. SEPT. 1, 2

Jeffrey Osborne SEPT. 5

The Marshall Tucker Band SEPT. 8

Blue Oyster Cult SEPT. 11

Madeleine Peyroux SEPT. 14

Suzanne Vega SEPT. 16

Dave Koz & Friends Summer Horns 2021 SEPT. 20

Amy Grant SEPT. 23, 24

The High Kings


8th Annual Old Town Pub Crawl

Colonial Market & Fair

Sept. 11, 18, 25 | 2-6 p.m.

Sept. 18-19 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Port City is excited to once again host the 8th Annual Old Town Pub Crawl. The crawls will be held in Old Town Alexandria on three different dates. Each day will feature four restaurants and/or pubs, an exciting selection of ales and lagers, a commemorative pint glass and shirt and some small surprises along the way. Their goal is to keep the annual tradition going in 2021, creating a more personalized and hands-on experience, with hopes of having a larger pub crawl back in July 2022. Port City will work closely with their participating partners to ensure safety is the top priority. Tickets are required and space is limited so be sure to secure your spot.

Step back in time at Mount Vernon’s Colonial Market & Fair, featuring food and wares made by colonial artisans. The event is free after paying for admission.

Various locations,

SEPT. 27

Christopher Cross OCT. 1

Beyond the Battlefield: A Civil War Walking Tour of Alexandria

Preacher Lawson

Sept. 18 | 9 a.m.

OCT. 4, 5

This walking tour shares the stories of soldiers, citizens and self-liberated African Americans in Civil War Alexandria. It covers the military occupation, the conversion of public and private buildings into hospitals and emancipation. Face masks are recommended. The tour is limited to 10 participants and lasts approximately an hour-and-a-half. Walking tours take place rain or shine so wear appropriate shoes and clothing. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are $15 per person.

Toad the Wet Sprocket OCT. 13, 14

Damien Escobar OCT. 18, 19

Boney James OCT. 22, 23

The Whispers OCT. 25

Gordon Lightfoot The Birchmere Music Hall, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave.,


Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614 Oronoco St., • September / October 2021

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.,

19th Annual Alexandria Old Town Art Festival Sept. 18-19 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The 19th Annual Alexandria Old Town Art Festival is heading back to John Carlyle Square in 2021. All artwork is juried, which provides a higher level of quality, diversity and creativity of art on display, exemplifying the gifted artists in regions from all over the country. Admission is free. John Carlyle Square, 300 John Carlyle St.,

Smithsonian Museum Day Sept. 18 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Museum Day is an annual celebration hosted by Smithsonian Magazine. The Lee-Fendall House Museum will join thousands of other museums and cultural institutions across the country to provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. Register for your ticket at museum/lee-fendall-house-museumgarden/ Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614 Oronoco St.,

6115 Vernon Terrace

F O R S A L E I N B E L L E H A V E N | O F F E R E D AT $ 2 , 3 9 5 , 0 0 0

J A N E T C AT E R S O N P R I C E NVAR Lifetime Top Producer | Licensed in VA | 703.622.5984 | | 109 S Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 | 703.549.9292 | | Equal Housing Opportunity



Gifts for all ages and all interests from Alexandria's independent makers.

September / October 2021 •


CALENDAR OF EVENTS ‘Warm & Cozy’ Pop-Up Shop at Lost Boy Cider



Sept. 19 | 1-6 p.m. Lost Boy Cider is hosting some of Alexandria’s best makers, creators and artists for a one-day pop-up shop in partnership with Made in ALX, a partnership of local crafters. The popup shop will feature candles, blankets, honey for tea and dozens of other items to get you ready for the cold weather — whenever it arrives! Lost Boy Cider, 317 Hooffs Run Dr., and

Carlyle House Yoga Mala (Sun Salutations) Sept. 25 | 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.


Hollin Hills House + Garden Tour

Celebrate the equinox on your yoga mat with a mala. Sign up for one hour or more. Bring a towel, mat and water. You will need to sign a waiver for each hour you attend. Registration is required as space is limited. Price is $15 per class. Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St.,

Sept. 25 | noon-6 p.m. The Civic Association of Hollin Hills welcomes all to the largest mid-century modern home and garden tour on the East Coast. Hollin Hills is an awardwinning mid-century modern neighborhood in Alexandria. This self-guided walking tour will showcase stunning examples of mid-century modern architecture, landscaping and interior design throughout this unique neighborhood listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places. Registration will start at 10 a.m. at Hollin Meadows Elementary School (2310 Nordok Place). Tickets are $50 for regular and $80 for VIP. Hollin Hills,

National Wine and Food Festival Sept. 25-26 | noon-6 p.m. Join in the excitement of the 12th Annual National Wine and Food Festival, bringing together world-renowned chefs, artisanal craftsmen and culinary pioneers with thousands of Metro DC foodies. General admission tickets are $39 and VIP tickets are $89 on Saturday and $59 on Sunday. National Harbor, Md., 802 National Harbor Blvd.,

Life Guard Society Fall Gala at Mount Vernon

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

First Annual Hollin Meadows Swim & Tennis Club Gala

Sept. 18 | 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Sept. 18 | 5 p.m.

Alexandria’s Irish heritage organization, the Ballyshaners, is excited to host a “halfway to St. Patrick’s Day celebration” featuring vendors, food, beer and the best Irish music and dancers in town. Festivities will take place rain or shine.

Hollin Meadows Swim & Tennis Club is excited to host an evening of music, beverages, food and silent and live auctions to benefit the building of a new pool, tennis courts and grounds to create summer memories for generations to come. Tickets are $75 in advance/$100 at the door and are encouraged to be purchased in advance. This is an outdoor event, rain date will be Sept. 25. The gala is open to the full community (no membership required).

Join Mount Vernon Saturday, Sept. 25, for a gala evening in support of the restoration of the bedchamber of George and Martha Washington. The evening will feature cocktails on the East Lawn of the Mansion overlooking the Potomac River, and a black-tie seated dinner on the Estate grounds. In addition, there will be afterhour tours of the Mansion with a Mount Vernon curator leading attendees through a viewing of some personal objects owned by the Washingtons that are not normally on display.

Hollin Meadows Swim & Tennis Club, 2500 Woodlawn Trail,

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.,

Waterfront Park, 1A Prince St.,

12 • September / October 2021

Sept. 25 | 6 p.m.

Finding All Opportunities in a Changing Market JILLIAN KECK HOGAN R E A L E S TAT E G R O U P

Licensed in VA, DC & MD 703.951.7655 I

109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 I 703.549.9292 Equal Housing Opportunity



An independent JK through 8th Grade school At Burgundy Farm Country Day School, we believe children learn best in an inclusive, creative, and nurturing environment that engages the whole child . Join us for an upcoming Open House to learn more! Register by visiting: 3700 Burgundy Road Alexandria, VA 22303 September / October 2021 •



Sips & Secrets: A Speakeasy Night

George Washington Patriot Run

Sept. 25 | 7 p.m.-10 p.m.

Sept. 26

This annual fundraising party celebrates Lee-Fendall House’s Prohibition-era history, when the house was home to one of Alexandria’s liquor wholesalers (and possible bootleggers). Highlights include dancing to live jazz music, a costume contest, 1920s-style cocktails and more. The event will raise funds for the repair of the museum’s 220-year-old brick garden wall as well as support the museum’s ongoing work in historic preservation, education and community engagement. A private VIP pre-reception will precede the main event. Tickets are limited.

Join Mount Vernon and patriotic participants around the country for a 10-miler and 5K. The racecourse will include both lanes of a five-mile stretch of the George Washington Parkway from the George Washington Parkway Circle to W. Boulevard Drive. After the race, the Finish Festival will offer music, food and beverage concessions and a free beer for each runner. This race is in-person, with a virtual option for participants who are outside of the area. George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.,

Expanding the Common Ground: Voices of the Global Majority Art Exhibit Oct. 1-30 The Expanding the Common Ground: Voices of the Global Majority art exhibit explores what makes us one, seeks the common ground among us and examines what it means to heal the divides. Local artists and high school students present artworks examining all facets of diversity and celebrating unity. Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave.,

Homeschool Day – Archives Oct. 1 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614 Oronoco St.,

The Lee-Fendall House Museum welcomes homeschoolers for Homeschool Day. The theme this fall, in honor of American Archives Month, will focus on archives and how people learn about history through documents. Tours of the house will be offered every hour starting at 10 a.m. with the last tour starting at 3 p.m., with a limited number of people per session. Advance registration for a specific tour time is required. Face masks are recommended. Admission prices are: Adults (18 and older) $3, students (3-17) $5 and children under age 3 are admitted free of charge.



Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614 Oronoco St.,


Art on the Avenue Oct. 2 | 10 a.m.-6 p.m. One of the region’s top multicultural arts festivals will return to an in-person event for its 26th year. Held each fall on Mount Vernon Avenue between Hume and Bellefonte avenues, Art on the Avenue strives to reflect the diversity of the Del Ray community through the artists and their work. This year’s event will feature more than 300 local and regional artists. Live music, international food, children’s activities and a pie-baking contest to benefit a local non-profit round out the day’s activities. Mount Vernon Ave.,

Archaeology Family Day Oct. 2 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Discover how archaeology uncovers the past through family-friendly activities at Mount Vernon. Sensory-friendly accommodations will be made between 9-11 a.m. for visitors who need a quieter experience. The activity is included with the price of admission. George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.,

14 • September / October 2021


Spirits of Carlyle House Oct. 8, 15, 22 and 29 | 6-8:30 p.m. Carlyle House’s long and diverse history is full of truths, myths and rumors that makes it one of the most-visited places on Alexandria’s ghost tours. Come and experience a uniquely haunting tour of the house and grounds by candlelight, perhaps encounter the departed spirits of notable residents and neighbors and hear their tales of sadness and triumph. Reservations are required; tickets are $10 and are available on the website. Tours are on the half hour.



Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St.,

Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour Oct. 8-10 | 6-9 p.m.


Bring a blanket and relax while you enjoy unlimited samples of Virginia wines on the grounds of Mount Vernon after hours. Attendees will also have the chance to meet George Washington. Ticket prices are:

scam. As the tension mounts, Suzy must fend for herself, but the phone line is cut and the house is plunged into darkness. Can Suzy outwit her murderous visitors?

Friday: $49 members, $59 general public Saturday: $53 members, $63 general public Sunday: $43 members, $53 general public VIP tables are also available.

The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe St.,

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.,

Oct. 23-24 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Beyond the Battlefield: A Civil War Walking Tour of Alexandria Oct. 9, 23 | 9 a.m. This walking tour shares the stories of soldiers, citizens and self-liberated African Americans in Civil War Alexandria. It covers the military occupation, the conversion of public and private buildings into hospitals and emancipation. The tour is limited to 10 participants and lasts approximately an hour-and-a-half. Walking tours take place rain or shine so wear appropriate shoes and clothing. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are $15 per person. Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614 Oronoco St.,

Wait Until Dark Oct. 16-Nov. 6 | various times Set against the socially turbulent 1960s, this play by Frederick Knott follows the story of Suzy, a blind woman who, while left alone in her apartment, becomes embroiled with a group of con men hatching an elaborate

Fall Harvest Festival Celebrate the crisp autumn season with 18th-century activities and demonstrations at the farm at Mount Vernon. Beer making, fish packing, spinning, textile-dying, cooking and more will be featured. Cost is included with the price of admission. George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.,

Grief & Ghost Tours Oct. 22, 23, 29 and 30 |7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Celebrate Halloween with a look at Victorian mourning traditions coupled with stories of tragic deaths and mysterious occurrences at the Lee-Fendall House. Customs such as draping the mirrors after a death, funeral practices, hair mementos, mourning clothing and séances will be explored. These tours offer a rare opportunity to see the house after dark. Tickets are $15 per person. Tour groups will be limited to 10 participants and tickets must be purchased in advance. Face masks are recommended. Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614 Oronoco St.,

Fall Frolic Oct. 30 | 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Enjoy some seasonal family fun in the garden of the Lee-Fendall House during Fall Frolic. Put on your Halloween costumes and enjoy activities designed for children ages 3-12. Activities include a “ghost” hunt, crafts and a costume parade. Timed tickets must be purchased in advance. Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614 Oronoco St.,

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon Oct. 30 | 2-6 p.m. Celebrate Halloween with 18th-century entertainment and activities. Guests receive a take-home craft and a bag of candy. Tickets for adults are $17 for members or $25 for the general public. Tickets for youth are $9 for members or $15 for general public. George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.,

Keep an eye out for the annual doggy-trick-or-treating in Old Town hosted by The Dog Park store at 705 King St. and trick-or-treat for the little ones hosted by Old Town Boutique District.

September / October 2021 •



Fast Cars, Hot Fashion



The Festival of Speed & Style is returning to Alexandria on Sunday, Sept. 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The car-and-fashion-show will take over several blocks of King Street and Market Square, featuring rare and unusual cars in addition to fashion. The event started in 2019 under the guidance of Sonoma Cellar owner Rick Myllenbeck. The event went into neutral in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event will include an eclectic mix of Grand Touring sports cars from the 1950s through the 1980s. Also included: “Exotic, unique, rare and unusual modern-day automobiles that draw people's attention because they are wicked cool and are rarely seen in public,” according to event organizers. The Festival of Speed & Style will raise money for two charities: ALIVE! and the USO of Metro Washington. The USO is a volunteer organization that focuses on keeping military members connected to the people and places they love. In addition, the USO hosts social and educational events throughout the Washington and Baltimore metro areas. ALIVE! is an Alexandria organization that focuses on helping those in need in the City of Alexandria by providing food and a variety of services to individuals and families.

For more information about the festival, visit


16 • September / October 2021

We chose Melissa to list our beloved home of 24 years because her reputation of excellence preceded her. From our very first conversation, she instilled in us a confidence that we were being expertly advised. From her hands-on approach to preparing our property, to her creative marketing strategies, to negotiating the terms of an extremely smooth transaction, Melissa’s guidance was spot on. Her communication was thorough and effective and she was always responsive to our needs and questions. Our ability to fully rely on Melissa during a period of major transition provided us comfort and reassurance in otherwise uncertain times. Melissa continually proved herself to be our trusted advocate, and without hesitation we would choose her again. We highly recommend Melissa to anyone seeking a sharp, dedicated professional to list and sell their home.

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Alexandria's Growing Restaurant Scene BY ALEXANDRIA LIVING MAGAZINE STAFF

Alexandria’s restaurant community has changed over the past few months. We saw some openings, some closings and more interesting movements in the industry. Here’s a look!

What’s Buzzing at Bradlee? After Atlantis closed its doors in January, after 40 years in business at Bradlee Shopping Center, it didn’t take long for a new business to take interest in the spot. Signs popped up stating “Have you heard the latest buzzzzz? New neighborhood diner, COMING SOON!” Beeliner Diner is the new restaurant.


It will be run by a local company, but the owners are not ready to release details. For details, keep an eye on this fall.

Taco Bamba Coming Home Alexandria residents are about to have another option for Taco Tuesday. Taco Bamba Taqueria is opening in Alexandria’s West End later this year, the company announced. The restaurant will open its seventh location in the Landmark neighborhood at 6259 Little River Turnpike. Chef Victor Albisu reportedly worked in his mother’s Latin market in the Landmark neighborhood when he was growing up, so this opening is a homecoming of sorts for him. Taco Bamba will open in the fall or winter, according to the company. • September / October 2021

District Bagel Shop Opening in Old Town Call your friends and neighbors — and your mother — and let them know that Call Your Mother is expanding to Old Town. The owners of 128 and 130 N. Pitt St. confirmed the popular Districtbased bagel shop will be moving into 1,800 square feet on the ground floor of the building. The building has been vacant since Helen Olivia Flowers relocated to Del Ray two years ago. The bagel shop, which also sells coffee and sweets, describes itself as a “Jew-ish” deli and is the creation of chef Daniela Moreira and Andrew Dana, along with partner Jeff Zients. They started out at farmers’ markets before opening their first location in DC’s Park View neighborhood in 2018.


More Pizza? Yes, Please Emmy Squared opened its doors this summer at 124 King St., in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, near the waterfront. The restaurant features high ceilings, brick walls, seating at tables, booths and a bar and a friendly and attentive staff. The menu includes pizza, salads, appetizers and more. Standouts included the Crispy Chicken Crunchers appetizer and the Pepperoni Pizza. The delicious pizzas come in thick square slabs on wire racks.

Historic Building Now Home to Frozen Custard This summer, a walk-up frozen custard stand opened in The Ice House building at 200 Commerce St. Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats serves up carry-out frozen custard, coffee and baked goods. Goodies is known for Wisconsin-style frozen custard and treats like the “donutwich” (an apple cider donut stuffed with vanilla frozen custard and topped with caramel), sundaes, shakes and floats. Goodies started as a food truck, self-described as “Washington D.C.’s first and only ‘Vintage Mobile Eatery’ paying homage to the Rock & Roll era.” The food truck is available for events (including weddings). The Ice House was originally the property of Mutual Ice Co., Alexandria’s largest ice distributor. At just 300 square feet inside, the building stored ice before home refrigeration was widely available. The Mutual Ice Co. was founded in 1900 on the Potomac River waterfront, selling ice to residents and servicing rail cars along the Potomac Yard rail line.

In addition a new &pizza is opening in Kingstowne (next to a new Chopt Creative Salads venue), and another &pizza in the Eisenhower East neighborhood is in the works.

Jollibee to Open First Northern VA Restaurant The Filipino chicken restaurant Jollibee is bringing its signature Chickenjoy to Alexandria. Jollibee will open in Lincolnia at the intersection of Beauregard Street and Little River Turnpike. The building was previously occupied by Boston Market. Jollibee has about 40 restaurants in the United States — primarily in California — and more than 1,300 restaurants worldwide. “Jollibee is best known for Chickenjoy, which is delicately hand-breaded to be crispylicious on the outside, with a secret marinade making it juicylicious on the inside. Every day, our customers revel in the joy of our fan favorites which include our sweetstyle Jolly Spaghetti and scrumptious Peach Mango Pie made with real Philippine mangoes,” according to the company’s website. “Parallel to our mission to spread the joy of eating across the globe, we are all about family. As we expand, we continue to forge partnerships with local community organizations to be a catalyst that spreads joy and the family values we espouse wherever we go.” The only other Jollibee restaurant in Virginia is in Virginia Beach.

Bob & Edith’s Expanding to Old Town You can never have enough diners, and we were excited to hear Bob & Edith’s will open an Alexandria location. Coming to 1743 King St., it will take over the spot where Ernie’s Original Crab House, which closed in April, was located.

Elo’s Italian Opens Pop Up The owners of Live Oak in Del Ray opened Elo’s Italian Pop-Up over the summer, serving up Italian favorites from 4-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday on their patio and for pickup.

Chadwicks Adds Outdoor Dining The Alexandria City Council approved Chadwicks’ plan this summer for a new outdoor dining area, which the restaurant is hoping to open soon. The outdoor seating for 70 guests was expected to be located at the front of the restaurant, at 203 Strand St., and on the side, partially in Gilpin Alley. Chadwicks plans to include quiet outdoor speakers to provide background music in the outdoor dining areas.

What’s Next? Hank & Mitzi’s, located at 600 Montgomery St., closed its doors. “Opening a restaurant in the middle of a global pandemic was not without challenges and even with dedicated staff and loyal customers we find ourselves needing to pause, regroup, and determine the best way to move forward in this space,” the restaurant said in a statement. In addition, Rosemarino D’Italia closed its doors in Del Ray, in part due to the pandemic. The restaurant’s Dupont neighborhood location in the District continues operations.

Be sure to check our website for the latest dining updates!

September / October 2021 •



The Mystery of the Eastern Cougar in Alexandria BY RACHEL KESTER

In 2014, a potential Eastern Cougar sighting close to Riverside Elementary School on Old Mount Vernon Road went viral. School authorities canceled outdoor recess out of an abundance of caution. Almost instantly, the county set up cameras to confirm if this fabled animal was back to reclaim its territory. Even though many believe this creature to be rare, most are surprised to learn that they were once common to the area. Before their extinction, Eastern Cougars lived in countless

areas near the community, such as the Shenandoah, Blue Ridge and the Allegheny Mountains. While these are hours away, cougars can walk great distances and they easily made the long journey to Fairfax County’s forested borders. However, as early settlers began to spread through the region, it proved to be the beginning of the end of the Eastern Cougar. Their consistent presence led them to be perceived as a menacing predator that would prowl around at night in search of cattle and people. Consequently, bounties were provided by local governments to incentivize hunters.


Despite the broad belief that the hunts would make the community safer, it ended up being counter-intuitive, as suggested by Rick Hopkins, president of The Cougar Fund: “You don’t make people or cattle safer by killing cougars. If you hunt them too much, you increase the number of sub-adult males who tend to cause the most trouble so conflict will go up.” But why did the cougar disappear from Alexandria? Didn’t the nearby forests and mountains provide enough room? What is often forgotten is that during the start of the 20th-century these now lush wildernesses, like Shenandoah National Park, weren’t always forests but sprawling farms. As Edward Clark, founder of The Wildlife Center of Virginia, explained, “The advancement of European colonists in these areas turned their forests into pastures, pushing the cougars westward.” In an attempt to mitigate these disappearances, the Eastern Cougar Recovery Plan was developed. This 1982 project did not succeed despite its best efforts, and today, the effects of the cougar’s absence are clear. For instance, you might notice a recent influx of whitetail deer in Northern Virginia — and while intriguing, these creatures can wreak havoc on farms and be road dangers. The cougar diet managed the deer population which kept their numbers under control. Without them, the deer population continues to increase, leading to serious issues not only for their own herds, but for humans, too. While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially classifies the Eastern Cougar as extinct, that doesn’t mean there’s not a hidden colony somewhere, including perhaps near Alexandria. This belief is still a cause for debate as experts vary in their opinions, although most lean toward the extinction side of the argument.

20 • September / October 2021



Clark, for instance, declares that the Eastern Cougar is gone and never coming back, largely because it doesn’t coexist well with humans. Hopkins agrees on this point but doesn’t necessarily concur with Clark on the complete absence of the cougar from the area. “A population is a somewhat self-sustaining and breeding region,” he says. “Cougars move great distances and we’ve seen South Dakota cougars move as far as Oklahoma.” Their thoughts might differ but one thing’s clear: Cougars need adequate space and privacy if they’re to thrive. There’s a slight possibility that against all odds cougars have discovered a well-hidden spot along the East Coast to prosper. Because of its scope and terrain, it can be difficult for even modern explorers to track cougars. This could provide hope that somewhere concealed in its landscape there’s a small population still unknown. New research has also shown that Western Cougars (basically cougars that

live in the West) are slowly moving back East. While this doesn’t necessarily mean a rebound, it could lead to nearby mountains and forests seeing occasional cougars once more. But, with development booming along the Eastern Seaboard, chances are slim. Cougars need space and it would be hard for them to travel in these areas without running into sections where they could be killed or spooked away. So what about those mysterious cougar sightings in Alexandria? More than likely, they’re just bobcats passing through. But cougar enthusiasts, don’t despair. There’s still a sliver of a chance that these encounters are much more significant and could be an outlier of a close-by population. The next time you venture around the city or glance out your window during the evening, that quick flash of fur you see out of the corner of your eye might not be a figment of your imagination, but rather a unique glance at Alexandria’s past and perhaps its secretive present.

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Experience Renewal, Rather Than Retirement, By The River Opening early 2022, The Landing offers a wellness-focused lifestyle, with options for Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care & The Bridge. “The Landing is redefining senior living by focusing on renewal, rather than retirement. The brand-new community, located at 2620 Main Line Boulevard, is now leasing and offering pre-opening incentives for Founders Club members. The Landing will offer Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care & The Bridge, a transitional model of care, all in a rental model with no long-term commitment. In this wellness-focused community, residents are invited to relax, unwind, refresh and enrich their lives by enjoying the on-site full salon and day spa, fitness and wellness center, restaurants, landscaped terraces and art studio. A W ELLNESS- F O CU S E D LI F E S TY LE Imagine calling a 5-star hotel home. Wake up with a cup of coffee sipped on your private balcony overlooking the Potomac River. Stroll down to the Thrive Fitness & Wellness Center and enjoy a gentle yoga class followed by a guided meditation. Shower off and head to the full-service salon, where an expert stylist awaits you. A fresh blowout leaves you feeling beautiful. On a whim, you decide to swap out your nail polish for a new hue to match your outfit. You meet a friend for lunch at one of The Landing’s three signature restaurants – Delano’s, Riverside Café, and Pilot’s Pub – each offering chef-driven menus featuring regionally inspired cuisine, local ingredients and health-conscious (and delicious!) options like a custom mocktail menu.


Your mid-afternoon treat is a full-body

es immersed in the soothing atmosphere.

You finish a wonderful day by meeting friends for sunset drinks at the Skyline Terrace before heading downstairs for dinner.

In a zen state of mind, you head outside


to one of the landscaped verandas and

The Landing’s leasing gallery is located at 950 N. Washington Street, Suites 213 & 214, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. To learn more, visit or call (571) 577-6011.

Swedish massage at the day spa. An hour flies by as you lose track of time, your sens-

grab a seat with a view to jot down a few thoughts in your journal. Your doodles inspire you to sign up for a lesson at the art studio tomorrow. • September / October 2021

Modern, Refined Senior Residences— Coming Soon.

Reimagine the Possibilities for Independent and Assisted Living. Debuting in 2022, The Landing is a refined contemporary community for seniors with possibilities just as breathtaking as the views. Here, in one of the D.C. area’s most desirable neighborhoods, Independent Living and Assisted Living go beyond what you ever expected: world-class dining options; a spa, salon, and fitness center; enriching activities and outings. The Landing: senior living, redefined. To learn more, please contact us at 571-577-6011. 2620 Main Line Blvd. Alexandria, Virginia 22301 | 571-577-6011 INDEPENDENT LIVING









Alexandria’s Secret Magnolia Bogs PHOTOS BY ROD H. SIMMONS


After grabbing their journals and magnifying glasses on their way out, early 20th-century conservationists would hop on the newly installed electric trolleys around Alexandria to visit a recent magical discovery — magnolia bogs. Once they arrived at their destination, the researchers would quickly walk through the bustling area to enter a tiny secluded portion that, to the untrained eye, looked like nothing more than a muddy swamp. After stepping inside, the loudness of the city dissolved and the scientists found themselves engulfed in an otherworldly atmosphere that mimicked a Costa Rican rainforest. The grounds were dim, but the light gaps peeking through the


treetops provided just enough space for sunbeams to reach through so they could study its habitat. Spanning no more than 1 acre in size, early residents originally called these natural wonders “magnolia swamps” after the plentiful Sweetbay magnolias growing around them. It was the early 1900s when biologist Waldo Lee McAtee gave them their official name of magnolia bogs. McAtee was one of the first to document these areas and spent years trekking through the region to write about their history, condition and location. But, over time, the grandeur of the Alexandria bogs faded and they became only a memory as development increased. Today, one of the last of these, the Beatley Bog, is fighting to survive. Despite their rich history and importance in the local ecosystem, many in the • September / October 2021

area are still unaware of the existence of these unique micro-ecosystems. Fundamentally, the acidic bogs are a testament of the Ice Age with most of their topography and plants reflecting this period. In fact, they’re some of the rarest in the world because they thrive exclusively within the East Coast’s Fall Zone. Thanks to this setup, they have a distinctive filtering system that strains large quantities of rainwater that come from upland terraces. As the water flows along the clay terraces, they remove any sand and gravel away before it falls into the bogs. Today, the main force behind preserving magnolia bogs is Rod Simmons, Alexandria’s Natural Resource Manager and Plant Ecologist, who has spent more than 30 years investigating them. In spite of his decades of research, Simmons is still amazed at the new discoveries. Some of his most notable experiences


have been uncovering species that have never been recorded or were thought to have disappeared forever. He also fondly remembers coming across century-old artifacts left behind by early magnolia bog explorers. Simmons explains that Alexandria has had a significant loss of magnolia bogs simply due to human development as well as mismanagement. Throughout the 1900s, there were countless scattered around the city. While the first surveyors didn’t give them a specific name, they would track their location. Because of this, we know there were bogs near Hunting Creek, Hume Spring in Four Mile Run Valley, Taylor Run, Lake Barcroft and Turkeycock Run, to name a few. Scientists would hike through these mostly now-vanished spots and collect rare flora like Virginia bunchflower, nodding ladies’ tresses, white fringed orchids and swamp sunflowers. Simmons also describes magnolia bogs as biodiversity hotspots that provide a habitat for a myriad of rare dragonflies, damselflies, crustaceans and birds. This makes them a favorite hideout for yellow-crowned night herons, rusty blackbirds and little wood satyrs. In spite of their remarkable ecosystem, magnolia bogs are unfortunately fragile environments because anything that disrupts their hydrologic supply (like pipe installations) harms their existence. Besides this, invasive plants (especially poison ivy) threaten their rare flora. Magnolia bogs are resilient but any intrusions take their toll. What is the main culprit behind the extinction of magnolia bogs? In most cases, ignorance. The National Park Service oversees one site at Oxon Run, but despite an investment of over $29 million two decades ago to protect it from the Metro, it is still struggling to flourish. Besides this, man-made adjustments of the tidal plains have often redirected water resulting in erosion and sediment deposition. Stormwater runs have also proven to be troublesome. While magnolia bogs are primarily filled by rainwater from nearby springs, toxic pollutants on roads and landscapes will get washed away and eventually drain into them. As Simmons points out, “The water we have isn’t created, just renewed. We don’t get more of it.” Magnolia bogs might seem insignificant but they’re a critical piece of Alexandria’s culture and environment. As with so much of our local heritage, what we have is unique and irreplaceable and these strange, uncelebrated tiny swamps just might be one of the jewels in that crown.

September / October 2021 •




Therapy dogs, service dogs, facility dogs: We recently delved into the important distinctions between these calming canines and found out about a couple of them serving right here in the Alexandria area. If you’ve spent time at ALX Community’s coworking offices along the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria, you may have noticed a lively, reddish-brown Vizsla hanging out with his owner, Elizabeth Kukla. The pup, Dieter, is more than just a beloved pet, he also works with Kukla as a therapy dog. He offers a monthly “De-stress with Dieter” event at the office. Therapy dogs are not breed-based but behaviorally based, which means that temperament is most important when determining if a dog would make a good therapy dog. That being said, some breeds lend themselves better to the job than others because they have been bred to enjoy human interaction. “If you specifically want to get a dog to do therapy dog work, I would pay attention to what breeds are in your dog because purebred dogs and mixes of purebred dogs are going to have traits of what they were bred to do, and different breeds of dogs have different tendencies and habits,” explained Kukla.



Vizslas like Dieter are bird-hunting dogs but are also known for being very friendly and people-pleasers. Kukla was inspired to train her dog to be a therapy dog after her sister did therapy dog work in Alexandria with her Golden Retriever. One of Kukla’s main motivations to train Dieter was to visit people in nursing homes, which was her favorite place to take him prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. “A lot of people in nursing homes ... a lot of times they will have to give up any pets that they have. The Alliance of Therapy Dogs — their slogan is ‘Sharing Smiles and Joy’ — and I think the most true place I’ve seen that is at a nursing home,” said Kukla. The Alliance of Therapy Dogs ( is one of two national organizations that can certify a dog as a therapy dog. The second is Pet Partners ( Kukla said both do great work, but she decided to go with • September / October 2021

the Alliance of Therapy Dogs because they have less dietary and other restrictions on their therapy dogs. Kukla encourages owners interested in doing therapy dog work with their dog to start training them as young as possible. Puppies should get exposed to all kinds of people, places, objects and situations and should be taught basic obedience skills. She recommends getting the AKC Canine Good Citizen program and test which is a good baseline. While training is not necessarily required, it helps a lot with passing the test to become a therapy dog, which includes testing on practical skills and three site visits. Once a dog passes the therapy dog test, dogs are required to do therapy work at least every three months, submit yearly vet records and a renewal form. Kukla says that Dieter knows when it’s time to be in work mode. He has a special collar that he only wears when

Dieter and Elizabeth Kukla his owner winning awards at various competitions. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ELIZABETH KUKLA

What about emotional support animals (ESA)? Emotional support animals do not require any training and simply require a doctor’s or therapist’s note. They provide comfort and support to owners struggling with a physical or mental health issue. ESAs used to be allowed on airline flights but recently many airlines have banned ESAs in the cabin including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.

he’s doing therapy work. “When he sees that and you take him into a facility he is much more calm…it’s like something switches in his brain,” she said.

for that purpose. In fact, therapy dog handlers can lose certification for misrepresenting their dogs as service dogs. It is also a class 4 misdemeanor according to Virginia law.

You don’t have to be a dog owner to contact one of the therapy dog organizations. If you are simply looking for a therapy dog to visit your school, nursing home or other place, you can reach out to the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and they will connect you with a local therapy dog and handler.

Two-year-old Labrador/Golden Retriever mix Rylynn recently joined the Fairfax County Department of Family Services as a facility dog. Specifically, she works with children and families going through sexual abuse investigations. Rylynn was bred and trained by the non-profit organization Canine Companions® which provides service dogs, hearing dogs, facility dogs, skilled companions and assistance dogs for veterans at no cost to the recipient.

Therapy dogs vs. service or facility dogs Therapy dogs should not be confused with service dogs or facility dogs (which are a type of service dog) who perform an important service for an individual owner or are assigned to a specific professional health care, visitation or educational setting. These dogs undergo intensive training from birth and are often bred specifically

Rylynn and other Canine Companions® dogs are always Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers or a mix of the two and are bred by the organization in California. At 8 weeks old, the puppies are sent to live with volunteers who raise the puppies until they are approximately a year-and-a-half old.

September / October 2021 •





Then, the dogs attend a six-month-long professional training program at one of the organization’s six centers located across the country. There, the dogs learn 40 commands and are taught to pull wheelchairs, open and close doors, retrieve items and other essential skills.

Canine Companions® maintains own-

After the six-month training, the dogs attend a two-week long team training, where they are observed and matched with their recipients; the recipients then learn how to work with their dogs. Rylynn was matched with Samantha “Sam” Carrico, LCSW, who works with the Fairfax County Department of Family Services. “So we got matched on the second or third day,” she said. “They had us all sit down on the floor with the dog bed and had different dogs rotate through. Rylynn is the calmest dog I have ever met and I think they just knew because of her personality she would be perfect for child protective services,” Carrico explained.


Rylynn has already sat in on an interview with a child victim and Carrico said that she automatically knew to go over to the child and get petted and then sat under the child’s chair. “You can definitely see the anxiety subside,” Carrico said. “I think even just petting the dog…the dog is a great ice breaker to make the child comfortable. We can talk about the dog, what does the dog like to do? What do you like to do? Do you have pets? Especially for children that are young or are reluctant to talk, it is a great way to bond with them and get them talking.” Rylynn will work with children through the lifetime of their case and be there for interviews and court appearances to support the child through what can often be a very traumatic experience. Rylynn and Carrico will have to undergo continual training at various intervals — six months, one year and then every three years — to keep up their skills and maintain certification. • September / October 2021

ership of the dogs for as long as they are working, but Rylynn gets to live with Carrico as a pet when she isn’t working and enjoys swimming, walking and playing in her backyard. She can’t go to dog parks because she wouldn’t know how to interact with aggressive dogs and the dogs are not necessarily vaccinated. Sometimes, she gets to have play dates with another facility dog, Virgil, who works at the SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center of Fairfax County. Facility dogs like Rylynn usually work until they are 8-10 years old, depending on their health. When Canine Companions® decides that it’s time for Rylynn to retire, Carrico can decide to keep her as a pet or return her to Canine Companions®. Carrico emphatically confirmed that she definitely plans to keep Rylynn when that time comes!

205 S. Union Street


Alexandria, VA





Modern & Functional Condo owners have space, community concerns when remodeling. BY BETH LAWTON

With an eye toward functionality and modern design, Case Architects & Remodelers recently worked with the owners of a condo in Carlyle Towers in Alexandria to bring new life to a bathroom and kitchen. Unlike a single-family home, renovating a condo can be a bit more restrictive. “The biggest design challenge is not being able to move certain things, such as plumbing or ductwork or sprinklers, as sometimes they are shared by multiple units,” said Elena Eskandari, who worked with April Case Underwood on the project.


“That is why we try to keep things like sinks and toilets in the same location,” she noted. Both women are directors of project development at Case Architects & Remodelers. In addition, they said, many condo buildings have restrictions about work hours (especially when the work can be noisy), use of the freight elevator and security. To compensate, Eskandari said her company builds in some extra time for projects in condo buildings.

they said. They were able to move other elements, though, including the refrigerator and ovens, to create more counter space around the cooktop and sink. The kitchen was just 105 square feet, which

The Kitchen Unable to move plumbing around, Eskandari and Underwood lucked out with the sink already being under the window — the preferred location, • September / October 2021

meant storage and functionality were both highly important. Going for a more contemporary look, the cabinet finish is a thermally fused laminate with low-profile pulls on the


upper cabinets. The hardware on the

stainless texture. (A bonus is that black

A new floor tile brought the look of the

lower cabinets and drawers was inspired

stainless appliances show fewer fin-

new kitchen together. “We managed

by the black tempered glass that was

gerprints and smudges than the more

used as the peninsula top and back-

common gray stainless appliances.)

to find a floor tile that matches the

splash. (Those materials were black

rest of the condo perfectly,” Eskandari noted. “We removed old brown tile that

lucite and chrome by Hickory Hardware.)

To add storage, Eskandari and

Black stainless appliances from

with storage next to the refrigerator that

KitchenAid pulled the design together.

served as functional “filler” between the

the flooring is seamless throughout the

Unlike the common black appliance

ovens and fridge. This allowed the refrig-

space, which makes everything look

finish, black stainless showcases the

erator door to open fully.

more cohesive.”

Underwood installed a pullout cabinet

previously split the kitchen in the middle (a result of the previous remodel). Now

September / October 2021 •



The Bathroom The bathroom footprint didn’t change much from the original, but Underwood and Eskandari removed walls and found space to make the bathroom feel larger. With space at a premium and aiming for a clean, modern design, Eskandari and Underwood removed a wall between the toilet and the vanities, which opened space to install larger vanities with more storage.


32 • September / October 2021

We love the homes we do - everything from highly traditional to rock star!

They also removed a solid wall that was separating the shower and the tub and replaced it with a glass panel. By happy luck, they also found a space behind the shower, allowing them to add a bench without taking space from the shower. Modern design elements also made the bathroom feel bigger. “The floating vanities are popular, and not only in a modern setting,” Eskandari said. “They allow the eye to travel all around the room, creating an illusion of a larger space.”

Call us and let us help you love your home!

SERVING ALEXANDRIA FOR 25 YEARS 703-299-0633 September / October 2021 •



Venue Alexandria Adds Modern Flair to the Timeless Charm of Old Town Alexandria A new collection of condominiums and townhomes in Old Town North — plus a new home for renowned MetroStage theater.

Few places in the DC metro area have the allure and historic charm of Old Town, Alexandria and even fewer can provide the striking design and central location that homeowners demand. Only Venue has it all. Located along the banks of the Potomac River, Venue sits at the heart of Old Town North. Located just blocks from historic Old Town and the shops and dining of King Street and adjacent to the Mt. Vernon Trail allowing for easy access to one the region’s most famed trails. It’s a rare opportunity for an ideal Old Town lifestyle with a modern flourish

— and people are taking notice. With Phase I completely sold out, Venue is now releasing its second phase of homes to those looking to experience the best Old Town has to offer. Venue's unique selection of homes is what has made the community so alluring for many. Regardless of household size, there is a well-designed home available — either within the main condominium tower, The Residences at Venue, or within the surrounding townhomes, The Towns at Venue. The awe-inspiring 13-story high rise is home to 119 condominium residences. Available homes range from 1- to 3-bedrooms and up to 2,300 square feet of bright, open spaces featuring floorto-ceiling windows and refined finishes. Residences in the tower are available from the $500s to $2.7 million. Also included at The Residences at Venue is a portfolio of on-site amenities. The rooftop sky lounge is a spacious outdoor terrace, furnished with fireplaces and seating to take in the 360-degree views from above, including a sweeping vista of the Potomac River. Other amenities include bike storage and a dog wash. Flanking the main tower are 41 newly constructed townhomes. A select few of

34 • September / October 2021

these spacious homes come complete with an in-home elevator and up to 4 bedrooms and 5 baths, ranging from 2,300 to nearly 4,000 square feet. All townhomes include a 2-car garage and private rooftop terrace. Townhomes at Venue start from $1.4 million. Upon completion, Venue will also be the new home of MetroStage, a revered local theater company with three decades of history in Old Town North. Best known for their innovative productions, this critically-acclaimed group will be bringing its talents to Venue. Here MetroStage will deliver original productions and adapt celebrated favorites. With both floor and gallery seating available, the intimate space can offer seating for an audience of 120 people each night. Over 70% of the homes at Venue have been sold and construction is underway at the future location: 925 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Interested buyers can get a glimpse of what awaits in the model unit, available for viewing by appointment at the sales center located at 314 Montgomery Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. The sales team can be reached at 703.214.6655 or via


A Better Home Office BY BETH LAWTON

Spending so much time at home in the past 18 months has forced a lot of homeowners to reevaluate their space. Among them: Sarah Mazzochi. “Once the pandemic hit and we were working from home full time, I wanted it to be a better work-from-home space,” said Mazzochi, who owns a small, one-bedroom condo in Del Ray. “So that meant things like adding an accent wall to be something more interesting to look at during Zoom calls, and cutting into my kitchen’s drywall to make more shelving, which makes cooking from home much easier,” she said.

Working with designer Basma Masood, owner of Basma Interiors, Mazzochi renovated her small condo to add color and functionality. “We’ve all been inside homes that feel either cramped or too vacant. I didn’t want that. With small spaces, to make them really livable, everything must be ‘just-so.’” Mazzochi has been working from home since March 2020 and has only gone into the office a handful of days in the past 18 months. Teleworking may be the norm for her and her co-workers, she said, even once we’re “back to normal.”

What’s the best thing about this renovation? Mazzochi: That everything is multipurpose and is there to bring joy to the eye. That was really important to me, since it’s been my sole visual landscape for the last 18 months – I have to like looking at it and being there. For example, my dining room table is also my home office, which meant my dining room chairs needed to be pretty but comfortable at the same time.


September / October 2021 •




The Decorating Conversation I’m Jan Bertin and welcome to The Decorating Conversation. I decided on that as the title to my column because that’s precisely what I hope to engage in with you: A conversation. And the subject, your home, has lots of different dimensions: The things that make it special to you and what you’d like to change to make it more beautiful or comfortable or functional. And, yes, even what you absolutely can’t stand about it and has to go now! For some of you, the conversations we’ll be having in this space about issues that matter to you might be your first time talking (albeit indirectly) with a decorator. Over my 25 years working here in Old


Town and before that in the New York City suburbs, I’ve learned that we decorators can be seen as intimidating. Or as too expensive or snooty or overly fussy types. I hope to show you that such isn’t the case. My philosophy is that you set the tone with your likes, dislikes, needs, sentimental attachments and budgets. My job becomes to lend my experience, my expertise and my guidance to your efforts. Those are some of the elements that make any relationship work and interior decorating is no exception. As we decide on the scope and options for your project, the elephant enters the room. What’s all this going to cost? Experience has taught me that this is the biggest obstacle that keeps people from getting in touch with an interior decorator. • September / October 2021

Experience has also proven that it is the easiest to overcome. Yes, we’d all love to have the finest of everything. And no, we all eventually give in to reality. Where I enter the equation is in presenting my clients options that work within a realistic framework. Just as you wouldn’t expect to walk into a dealer showroom with $10,000 and drive out with a Rolls-Royce, you can’t realistically expect Amazon pricing when working with a decorator. But working with a decorator most certainly doesn’t imply you’re going to be paying Rolls-Royce prices. Here’s how the balance is struck. We do the legwork of sorting through the thousands of options available to you for fabrics, paint, wallpaper, furnishings, flooring and carpeting, contractors of all



descriptions and suppliers of everything from lighting to plumbing. And all of it is done based on the budget we arrived at initially. In the end, all of that legwork, combined with the collective experience and varied but complementary visions my colleagues and I bring to an engagement, begin to describe the principal ways we as full service decorators add value to the effort. The project photos you see here brought all of the elements I described into play. Working with – and adding to – customer vision. Working within budgets that make sense. Handling the logistical elements that can derail a project. Providing the hand-holding and psychic support that always are needed at some point in a project. In a nutshell, that’s what we do and I

have only begun to describe how we do it. Now, let’s get on to the fun part. Please tell me what’s been on your decorating radar. In upcoming pieces, we’ll be dealing with the universal subject of creating more storage spaces into existing rooms; how to make rooms multifunctional spaces, and we’ll give you a look ahead into what you can expect to see next year after I return from the furniture market in North Carolina this fall. But that’s just what’s on my mind. I’m more eager to learn what’s on your mind, so please get in touch with me at with your questions and observations and I’ll cover them here. Thanks for reading and I’ll talk to you soon.

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Back to School Learn Something New, at Any Age

Alexandria resident Renee Hendly always had a passion for cooking, but it wasn’t until her husband, Scott, passed away that she truly embraced it.

“I would like to go into the culinary business — and what I’d like to do in Alexandria, in particular, is a restaurant that has an outdoor patio, really good food, pretty food, alternative food and wine,” she said. “Just a place where people want to come in and hang out.”

With the encouragement of her adult children, Hendly

Moving to New York or going back to school may not be in the cards for everyone, but there are a lot of benefits to learning new things, even if it’s picking up a new hobby or taking a single class.

enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. While working part time remotely (her day job is in research), Hendly learned everything from knife skills to how to create health-adaptive dishes and more. “It has been an amazing experience. When the alarm goes off, I am so eager to go and see my friends — and we’re all learning together. It’s really a positive environment.” The experience has been rewarding and healing for her, she said. Hendly is completing an externship at Daniel Boulud’s flagship restaurant, Daniel, in New York City. Neighbors have been drooling over her Facebook posts the past several months, eager for her to return to Alexandria and start her second career.

Reading, learning and picking up new activities is good for your health. A Harvard Business Review piece noted that reading can reduce stress levels, and both mental and physical activity can help delay symptoms of cognitive decline. Learning new skills as we age is associated with improved memory, as well. Learning is also good for you socially, writes author John Coleman, who has written extensively on passion and purpose. “I’ve noticed in my own interactions that those who dedicate themselves to learning and who exhibit curiosity are almost always happier and more socially and professionally engaging than those who don’t.”

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Cake Decorating Looking to up your game when it comes to birthday parties and other celebrations? Learn to decorate cakes like a pro at Fran’s Cake & Candy Supplies in Fairfax, which features cake-decorating classes from Cake Decorating 101 to an Open Sugar Peony Class. 10927 Main St., Fairfax; 703-352-1471;

Cooking Sur la Table offers in-store classes at its Pentagon Row store. Each class is 2 to 2.5 hours and you’ll work in groups of four. Beginning in September, here’s a small “taste” of classes that are coming up: Flavors of the Greek Isles, Savoring Vietnamese, Homestyle Fried Chicken and Parisian Steakhouse. Sign up fast, classes fill up quickly. 1101 S. Joyce St., B-20; 703-414-3580; in-store-cooking-classes. Looking for something a little more intimate? You can book private classes or small group classes with your friends through Judy Harris Cooking School in the Fort Hunt neighborhood. judy@;


Kids aren’t the only ones who are going back to school this fall. There are countless classes out there just waiting for you. Always wanted to ride a Harley? How about knit a sweater? Or fly on a trapeze? If you’ve thought about it, chances are, there’s someone out there who will teach you the ropes. We recently went in search of classes that anyone can try this fall. School’s in session!



Archery You may have taken up the bow and arrow as a kid at summer camp, but have you touched it since? The NOVA Fencing and Archery Club in Falls Church is the closest option for Alexandria residents offering introductory classes, private lessons and competitions. 3501 Carlin Springs Road, Falls Church; 703-999-8077; Fairfax County Parks & Rec also is also offering an archery class at Burke Lake Park this fall.

Beekeeping The movement to save our pollinators, from bees to butterflies, is strong in Northern Virginia. If you love honey and gardening and you have a little bit of space (or know someone who does), beekeeping may be right for you. It’s a real commitment, but the beekeepers behind Alexandria Honey Co. tell us it’s worth it. The Northern Virginia Beekeepers Association offers low-cost classes about everything from hive health to equipment.; • September / October 2021

Unleash your inner artist with a class at Alexandria’s Art League. They have a class (both virtual and in-person) for every genre – from sculpture and painting to jewelry-making, drawing and photography. 305 Madison St.; 703-683-2323;

You may also consider Del Ray Artisans for a variety of creative classes and workshops for all ages both in-person and online. 2705 Mt. Vernon Ave.; 703-838-4827;

Dancing A small studio on Dove Street has become home to multiple dance companies here in Alexandria, including the Local Motion Project, AVA Dance Company and The Lion’s Den. Founded by a former professional dancer, Alexandria’s AVA Dance Company offers dance classes for adults from jazz to hip hop. Lessons are available for dancers of all levels and backgrounds. 2377 S. Dove St., The Lion’s Den offers classes in unique disciplines such as jookin’ and belly dancing.; The Local Motion Project offers a variety of adult and youth classes. For adults, this includes dance, somatic movement, aerial hammock and a variety of workshops. 703-299-0017;

Fencing Did the Summer Olympics get you dreaming of your own gold medal? The Virginia Academy of Fencing offers classes for all levels at its Springfield campus. VAF’s Olympic Sport fencing program includes group classes and private lessons in foil, sabre and epee. 703-321-4922; (NOVA Fencing and Archery Club, mentioned above under Archery, is another option!)

Floral Arranging You say you love beautiful flowers but your arrangements are just so-so? Time to sign up for a floral design workshop from Alexandria florist Helen Olivia. You sign up for the class, your flowers are delivered to you (or you can pick them up the day of class); and you can follow along live on Instagram. 1519 Leslie Ave. 703-548-2848; workshop-landing.


Flying an Airplane

Foreign Languages

Located at Potomac Airfield in Fort Washington, Maryland, GT Aviation flight school offers classes for those who want to get their pilot’s certificate. The school offers both a monthly plan or hourly rates. The airfield is just a 20-minute drive from Alexandria, across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. 10300 Glen Way, Friendly, Md. 301-248-1711 Email:;

For so many of us, learning a foreign language was little more than a high school or college requirement — something we got through and promptly forgot. In our increasingly multicultural world, maybe it’s time to get back into learning a foreign language. From American Sign Language and Arabic to German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish, Northern Virginia Community College has classes to help. 5000 Dawes Ave. (Alexandria campus);

Flying on a Trapeze So, you went to the circus when you were a kid and you always wanted to fly through the air? At the Trapeze School, first-time students are outfitted with a safety belt and practice their “take off” on the ground. Students are connected to safety lines at every step of the way — from their first step on the ladder until they roll off the safety net below. Standard lessons last two hours and involve 10 students. Sessions are available for all levels. 520 Tingey St. SE, DC; 202-479-6861; washingtondc.;

Horseback Riding Owned by Bonnie Erbé, Soft Landing Stables in Accokeek, Maryland, is just over the river from Alexandria and has been in business for 15 years. They offer horseback riding lessons mainly to adults, depending on which horses are available for riding. 207 Farmington Road West, Accokeek, Md. 703-944-9456 Adults can also take lessons at Meadow Wood Stables in the Gunston Cove area and in Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. Go online for more information about these programs.

September / October 2021 •


Diving is for you. Blue Octopus Scuba offers Discover Scuba sessions in a local heated, indoor pool. While not a scuba certification course, Discover Scuba Diving is a quick and easy introduction to what it takes to explore the underwater world. 4154 Duke St. 703-461-3483; Looking to ride the waves instead of diving under them? For surfing classes, you’ll have to travel a bit. The best offerings within a short distance are in Virginia Beach. Start at to find a wide variety of options for all skill levels.



Piano Playing

Fibre Space in Old Town Alexandria offers several beginner knitting classes each month. Three 1.5-hour classes are $75 (and you’ll walk away with a scarf you made yourself!). You can shop in-person or online for yarn and knitting needles if you don’t already have those items on hand. Fibre Space also offers classes in crochet and more. 1319 Prince St. 703-664-0344;

(or Another Instrument)

Motorcycle Riding Harley Davidson offers a New Rider Motorcycle Course in Manassas and Fairfax, no experience needed, according to Chris Taylor, a spokesman for the Manassas dealership. “A good place to start is someone who can ride a bicycle for balance,” he said. There is one instructor for six people in each class, which consists of book-learning and on-site riding on dealer-provided motorcycles on empty school and shopping mall parking lots. Classes attract all ages — from age 16 to retired couples in their 70s. “For some, it’s a check off their bucket list,” Taylor said. Classes are $429; bikes start at about $9,500 and go all the way up to $50,000. learn-to-ride;



If you haven’t played piano since you were a kid (or maybe not even then), Li-An Chen Piano Studios might be your ticket to learning how to play the piano. One student, now 50, notes that her husband gave her piano lessons for her birthday and she was playing in a recital in less than three months. 4654 Kirkland Place (703) 835-2729;

Playing in a Rock Band Fulfill your teen dreams of rocking out by joining the School of Rock Music Camp for Adults, for anyone over age 18. Students of every skill level learn how to take the stage and work toward a real performance played in front of a live audience. 3260 Duke St. (571) 376-7625; alexandria/music-camps.

Scuba Diving Have you always wondered what it’s like to breathe underwater? If you want to try scuba diving, but aren’t quite ready to take the plunge into a certification course, Discover Scuba • September / October 2021

Tired of spending so much money to get your pants hemmed? Want to create your own dresses? Stitch Sew Shop in Old Town Alexandria offers group and private lessons, from how to thread a needle to using a sewing machine. 1219 King St.;

Skateboarding Skateboarding is the newest Olympic sport and something a lot of us tried as teens. As long as you have pads for your knees and elbows — and a good helmet — you can be the coolest adult on your block. Royalty Skateboard School, part of the GoSkate network, offers private and group lessons for all ages, including at the Duke Street Skate Park in Alexandria. They can also teach you to skateboard in the privacy of your own driveway.

Wine 101 (Oenology) If you want to expand your wine vocabulary beyond “red or white,” you might consider signing up for the Introduction to Wine Basics course offered by Capital Wine School. Check out their many classes for beginners here: 5207 Wisconsin Ave., NW, DC.; (202) 792-5020; PHOTO COURTESY OF HARLEY-DAVIDSON

Woodworking Woodcraft in Springfield offers woodworking classes for all skill levels in everything from woodturning and hand tools to router techniques, woodworking fundamentals and sharpening. Check out classes offered here: washington-dc-area/classes. 5248 Port Royal Road, Springfield; 703-912-6727.

Welding There are plenty of opportunities to pick up a torch and create masterpieces of metal. Start at The Garden, operated by Building Momentum in Alexandria’s West End, offers private and small group welding classes that focus on a group or individual challenge to solve and build. The Garden also offers “Wine & Welding” couples events. 5380 Eisenhower Ave., Suite C,

Where Adults Can Learn When’s the last time you sat down with the course catalogue from Northern Virginia Community College? Or flipped through the Parks & Rec guides from Fairfax County Parks Authority or the City of Alexandria? Here are just a few of the classes being offered this fall that caught our eye…

Northern Virginia Community College Automotive Engineering & Mechanics; Ceramics; Film Production; Interior Design; Photography; Public Speaking

Fairfax County Parks & Rec

Dance (including Ballroom, Hula, Country & Western and Swing); Golf; Guitar; Ice Skating; Martial Arts, including Indonesian Kung Fu; Pickleball; Swimming

Alexandria Parks & Rec

AquaSpin; Fencing; Hula Hoop; Pickleball; Roller Skating

September / October 2021 •


WHY RIDE So you can find the perfect date night spot. We’re increasing bus frequency, improving connections and going fare-free! Discover the New DASH Network at

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Across Alexandria and Southeast Fairfax County, construction companies are working to build new apartment and condo buildings and retail developments. Some projects that were planned as office buildings are turning residential, as the coronavirus pandemic upended the way many people work. Here are just a few of the biggest developments underway and upcoming in our region, and those that have drawn the most interest from our readers. At, our interactive map now has more than 70 development projects noted with descriptions. Check out the online map to see what’s going up in your neighborhood!

September / October 2021 •


1. Landmark Mall

6. Potomac Yard

2. Upland Park

7. GenOn Plan

3. Seminary Road Afforable Housing

8. The Heritage

4. Mount Vernon Village Center 5. Arlandia Afforable Housing




9. Wegmans 10. Huntington


11. South Alex 12. Grovetown


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4 5








September / October 2021 •


Potomac Yard Virginia Tech Campus (map #6)


Landmark Mall

Residences at North Hill (map #13)


After more than 15 years of planning, replanning and replanning again, there’s real hope that Landmark Mall will be demolished. In late December 2020, the City of Alexandria and Inova Hospital announced that Inova Alexandria will build a new hospital and trauma center on the site of the former Landmark Mall. Other parts of the Landmark property will be used for residential and retail development, parks and civic uses, including a new fire station. The hospital could open in 2028. Other construction will start and could open sooner. The “old” Inova Hospital in Alexandria’s Seminary Hill neighborhood will be sold to a residential developer. 2

The Alexandria Housing Development Corp. is planning to build 40 residential units and 15 townhome-style homes. The project will be built just east of the fire station and Francis Hammond Middle School and could provide an opportunity for lower-income residents to get on the property ladder through a special ownership program. One of the current properties on that block is owned by Sheltered Homes of Alexandria (which operates a group home for intellectually or developmentally disabled clients), and some of the new units would be transferred to SHA. Construction could be completed in 2024.

Upland Park Developer Hekemian is moving forward on building a new residential neighborhood and park on land occupied by a number of small single-family homes in Alexandria’s West End near the intersection of North Beauregard Street and Seminary Road. Just one-tenth of a mile down the road, Monday Properties is developing a residential complex at 2000 N. Beauregard St. that will include 300 residential units. It replaces an office building. The company also owns buildings at 1500, 1600 and 1800 N. Beauregard St. that may be redeveloped at a later date.


Seminary Road Affordable Housing


Mount Vernon Village Center Mid-Atlantic Realty Partners is seeking to redevelop a shopping center in the 2800 block of Mount Vernon Avenue — near Mom's Organic Market — into a mix of retail and multifamily residences in a project dubbed Mount Vernon Village Center. The site is currently home to a shopping center and supporting parking lot that contains MOM’s Organic Market and several other stores. The proposal calls for the demolition of the existing buildings and the construction of 23,332 square of ground floor retail including a spot for a grocery store and 593 residential units. • September / October 2021


Arlandria Affordable Housing The Alexandria Housing Development Corp. is working toward building hundreds of new affordable housing units at the intersection of Mount Vernon Avenue and West Glebe Road. AHDC has signed a letter of intent with the owner of 221 West Glebe Road and 3610-3612 Mt. Vernon Ave. 3700 Mt. Vernon Ave., a city-owned property, is also involved. These properties include Sherwin Williams (formerly Safeway) and El Cuscatleco restaurant. Construction could be completed in 2024. The number of apartments is projected at more than 450.


Potomac Yard Work continues on the $1 billion Virginia Tech Innovation Campus and surrounding residential, retail and office developments at Potomac Yard. Developer JBG Smith started construction in January on the massive redevelopment project on the 20-acre site. The movie theater was torn down earlier this year to make room for new buildings.

South Alex (map #9)


GenOn Plant Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP), based out of the Chicago suburb of Northbrook, Illinois, announced the purchase of the old Potomac River Generating Station (PRGS), a 20-acre site at 1400 N. Royal St. in North Old Town.The site was purchased from Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), which will retain a small portion of the site in order to run an electrical substation. The project could include housing, commercial office, dining and retail, and public open space along the Potomac River. Hilco does not expect to break ground on any buildings until at least 2023 and full development could take 7 to 10 years.


The Heritage Asland Capital Partners is moving forward on plans to replace the current garden-style apartments (The Heritage) near Wilkes Street Park with a much larger mixed-income community, including affordable housing. The project has been through much back-and-forth with the Board of Architectural Review, which has requested numerous changes to the size, scope and design of the project. The number of apartments in the project has been reduced and the plans call for 750 housing units in the project. The project has been approved by city council and current residents could start to be relocated as early November 2021.

Wegmans (map #10)




The most anticipated grocery store opening in years is coming to the Carlyle neighborhood. A Wegmans grocery store is under construction now as part of a larger, mixed-use project on a 5-acre site, according to developer StoneBridge Associates. The grocery store has signed a lease for the 84,000-square foot store at Carlyle Crossing, just north of the popular AMC movie theater. Expect several hundred residential units in multiple new apartment buildings, a dog park and additional retail, too. Wegmans is expected to be completed in 2022. 10

Huntington Huntington could be nearly unrecognizable in some spots in the next decade, as plans call for the redevelopment of the Huntington Club and several new high-rise apartment and condo buildings. One proposal in the neighborhood calls for building 1,400-1,500 residential units and 360,000 sq. ft. of office or retail in the area surrounding the Metro station between North Kings Highway and Huntington Avenue.

South Alex Combined Properties was making significant progress on the new South Alex residential and retail development when a five-alarm fire in 2019 caused $48 million in damage and significantly pushed back the project timeline. Originally set for completion this year, the developer does not yet have a completion date for the project, but describes South Alex as “a vibrant mix of distinctive shops and residences in an art-inspired setting of bright community spaces.”


Groveton Between Belle Haven and Hybla Valley, several developers are working on multiple different projects, primarily along Richmond Highway. In anticipation of Bus Rapid Transit in the coming years, Fairfield Residential, Pennrose and other developers are bringing new apartments, condos and townhomes to the area. In addition, Fairfax County officials are considering building a new fire station with an adjacent emergency shelter that has drawn both support and criticism from neighbors.

See the interactive map at development for details about each project.

September / October 2021 •



Alexandria’s Old Town North neighborhood, the area’s best kept secret, is brimming with life as it becomes a cultural hub for recreation and the arts. Nestled along the waterfront, this vibrant community is undergoing rapid transformation to become the city’s first official Arts District, designed to encourage enlightened engagement for both artists and residents. The most exciting addition to the neighborhood is Muse—a stunning boutique condominium community that offers residents premium access to the Alexandria waterfront and Old Town North’s growing restaurant and retail scene. With construction well on its way, the 73 luxury residences are scheduled to deliver in late 2021, with prices starting in the $800,000’s. Each of the 29 unique floor plans, ranging in size from 920 to 2,000 square feet, feature an open-concept design and distinctive finishes. These well-appointed residences are built with 9 to 19 ft. ceilings and a wall of functional windows, giving homeowners exclusive panoramic views of the Potomac River and historic Old Town. Spacious balconies easily accommodate patio furniture so residents can enjoy spending time outdoors while admiring the beautiful landscape below. Inside you’ll find 7.5-inch-wide engineered oak flooring, custom designer lighting, large bedrooms, spacious closets and full-sized laundry and powder rooms. Kitchens feature expansive quartz countertops, state-of-the-art Bosch® appliances and handmade Snaidero® cabinets imported from Italy. Spa-like owner’s bathrooms, adorned with a neutral color palette, include stunning vanities with LED light mirrors and quartz countertops and high-end Waterworks® fixtures. Select floorplans include stand up showers with spa benches, Kohler® tubs, Calacatta porcelain tile floors, and decorative accent tiles.

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Residents at Muse will enjoy a variety of amenities including a penthouse lounge with an outdoor terrace that offers expansive water views. The top floor will also include an indoor-outdoor fitness center, complete with a dedicated space for yoga and personal training sessions. A 24-hour concierge and building attendant will offer white glove service, ensuring every request is accommodated with a smile. Additional amenities include a fully equipped pet spa, package room, private storage, resident parking and more. Muse will be comprised of two distinct buildings with glass, brick and panel facades, connected by an enclosed bridge that sits above an outdoor “Arts Walk”, which will feature open space seating, a sculpture garden, and space for art on display. The building’s first floor will be home to The Art League and house art studios and galleries, providing space and equipment for a medley of artisans and craftspeople, both professional and aspiring. These spaces will host private classes, art exhibits and special events open to the neighborhood. With the Mt. Vernon Trail just steps away, residents have direct access to a number of parks and trails along the waterfront to engage in recreational activities like running, biking and relaxing by the water to watch the sailboats float across the river. Sales have officially begun at Muse and over 30% of the building units have already sold. Interested home-buyers can schedule a private appointment at the Muse sales gallery where they can explore the different floor plans on a touchscreen display, choose their unit on the 3D building model, view an array of interior finishes and get a sneak peek of the amazing waterfront views that Muse will offer. Don’t miss the unique opportunity to own a beautiful condominium on the waterfront in Old Town North and be among the first to call the Alexandria Art District home. To learn more and to schedule your visit, visit (Muse Condominium is being developed by Carr Companies and was designed by Bethesda-based SK&I Architecture. Interior design is by Akseizer Design Group of Alexandria)

September / October 2021 •


Girls Escape to the Conch Republic

The ocean views are beautiful from a Sebago catamaran sunset sail in Key West.


When my friend Nan told me she was heading down to Marathon in the Florida Keys for 10 days but her husband couldn’t get away, I jumped at an invitation to take his place. Add Nan's sister, Sandi, and we were ready to head to Florida for a girls’ getaway. Connected by 42 bridges just south of Miami, the Keys are the largest coral reef chain in the country, ending at Key West, the southernmost point in the continental United States. While the Keys are a great place to visit if you’re into a tropical laidback lifestyle, you’ll also find water sports, fishing, art


galleries, history, architecture, great food, marine life, shopping and more. The Florida Keys have always been somewhat independent. In 1982, Key West momentarily seceded from the United States in response to the border patrol stopping cars to purportedly search for illegal drugs or illegal aliens, resulting in a 17-mile traffic backup. Although the secession was temporary, the state of mind was not and you'll see the Conch Republic flag flying proudly. With that independent lifestyle in mind as the backdrop for our getaway, we flew into Fort Lauderdale on a two-hour, 40-minute flight on Southwest Airlines out of Reagan National and rented a car for the three-hour drive down U.S. 1 to • September / October 2021

The Reach Key West hotel features murals and other artwork by local artists.

Marathon. We stopped for tacos and margaritas at Senor Frijoles in Key Largo and made Marathon our home base. Key West is about an hour’s drive south. After a trip to a local grocery store, we settled into our hotel in Marathon (more about that below). It’s hard to squeeze in everything we did in 10 days here, but here’s a look at some of the activities, dining and accommodations we experienced that you can also try.

Things to Do Conch Tour Train 303 Front St., Key West

An injured sea turtle swims at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon.

This 75-minute tour is the perfect way to find out all there is to know about Key West — the fascinating history about everything from the free-roaming roosters you'll hear crowing everywhere you go to the Harry S. Truman Little White House and Ernest Hemingway's home.

Dolphin Research Center 58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key

See dolphins up close; founded as a nonprofit corporation in 1984, the goal is to ensure the dolphins have a home and establish a unique education and research facility. Research is conducted on behavioral engagement.

Kayaking Eco Tour at Lazy Dog Adventures 5114 Overseas Highway, Key West

Guests enjoy live music on a Sebago sunset sail in Key West.

A great spot to explore the mangroves and see manatees. Be sure to wear a swimsuit, water shoes, a hat, a sun shirt and plenty of sunscreen.

Sebago Land's End Sunset Sail 205 Elizabeth St., Key West

The beautiful sunsets in the Keys are an event, whether it's in Key West at Mallory Square or elsewhere. There are several sunset sails and Sebago's, aboard a 70-foot catamaran, does not disappoint with live music and refreshments. Buy a ticket at the waterfront.

Turtle Hospital

2396 Overseas Hwy., Marathon

Guides at Lazy Dog Adventures take kayakers out to see mangroves and manatees in Key West.

Sea turtles that are injured, many hit by speed boats, are brought to the hospital for rescue and rehabilitation. Some undergo surgery, which we watched during a tour from behind a glass partition in a program supported by visitor fees. In addition to a talk about sea turtles, you'll also get a chance to see and feed some of the recovering turtles.

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Barnacle Barney's Tiki Bar The Hammocks Marathon Resort 1688 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL

Hidden away at The Hammocks Marathon Resort, be sure to try the Key Lime Colada, a frozen concoction created after two Key Lime pies were smooshed in transit to the bar. Mary Jo, the manager, created the drink that is now the most popular on the menu.

Chef Michael's

81671 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada

The best-tasting meal during our trip was at this popular upscale spot on Islamorada, where you must make a reservation. Be sure to try the Hogfish, "the fish" of the Keys, and the carrot cake.

First Flight Island Restaurant & Brewery 301 Whitehead St., Key West

The fresh seafood was out of this world and beautifully presented at this lovely venue with outdoor seating under Key West's signature Banyan trees. The historic spot served as the birthplace of Pan American World Airways.

Patrons of First Flight Island Restaurant & Brewery in Key West dine under native Banyan trees.

Four Marlins

The Reach Key West 1435 Simonton St., Key West

This lively oceanfront restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including a happy hour and Sunday brunch. The restaurant's name was inspired by the four marlins caught by author and Key West resident Ernest Hemingway on his boat the Pilar, named for one of his wives.

Il Postino


Kermit's Cafe Kitchen 200 Elizabeth St., Key West

For the past 30 years, Kermit Carpenter has been in the business of all things key lime including of course key lime pie. Hands-down, Kermit serves the best key lime pie in the Keys. Find a seat by the koi pond and enjoy! Next door is Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shoppe. Keep your eyes peeled for Kermit himself — he's dressed in Key Lime green from head to toe.

This delectable lobster dish is on the menu at First Flight in Key West.

Robbie's Marina

77522 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada

Isla Bella Beach Resort 1 Knights Key Blvd., Mile Marker 47, Marathon

Lighthouse Grill

This restaurant beat out all others when it comes to its ambiance next to the water with twinkling lights, a sandy beach and friendly service. We wanted to return for happy hour and live music during our trip but ran out of time.

The best dessert during our trip was served here — not key lime pie, but chocolate-covered pistachio ice cream that is not on the menu, but was recommended by our waiter.

Faro Blanco Resort 1994 Overseas Hwy., Marathon • September / October 2021

The main attraction at this sprawling restaurant and bar, the Hungry Tarpon, is feeding the tarpon from the dock. Even though there is a sign not to feed the pelicans, they elbow their way onto the docks to the delight of the young at heart. Great brunch spot.


Guests at The Reach Key West enjoy swimming at the pool and beachfront amenities.

The Reach Key West 1435 Simonton St., Key West

We stayed two nights at The Reach Key West, part of Hilton's Curio Collection, right on the ocean. Its name is inspired by a nautical term — "sailing on a reach," which are ideal sailing conditions. This romantic resort reflects Key West in its whimsical artwork by local artists. Lifelike statues on the property prompt calls at least three times a week to the front desk. A life-size chessboard, bocce pit, pool and beach round out the stunning property. Barefoot Billy's offers jet ski, kayak and stand-up paddle board rentals and sunset cruises. An overseas gazebo at The Reach is often used for weddings. The Reach guests are welcome to visit sister property Casa Marina, next door.

The Hammocks at Marathon Resort

The views are breathtaking from the balcony of the Hammocks at Marathon Resort. PHOTO BY NAN RYANT

1688 Overseas Hwy., Marathon

The Hammocks at Marathon Resort is located on the Gulf side of the Intercoastal Highway and part of the Bluegreen Vacation club. Our condo included two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, dining area and living room as well as a balcony overlooking the pool, a marina and Barnacle Barney's tiki bar. The sunset views from the balcony were breathtaking.

If You Go Be sure to check out and, which offers a savings pass of up to $850.

September / October 2021 •





Mediterranean (Sébastien) Peruvian (Carla) T O P T R AV E L D E S T I N AT I O N S :

Southern France and Lima, Peru FAV O R I T E M O V I E S :

Mafia movies (Sébastien) "Amélie" (Carla) FAV O R I T E T V S H O W:



Fishing (Sébastien) Going to the beach (Carla) FAV O R I T E S P O T I N A L E X A N D R I A :

Carla Zamora and Sébastien Rondier

Fontaine Caffe and Creperie (119 S. Royal St.) DRINK OF CHOICE:

Wine, especially from Bordeaux

Owners, Grounded Coffee Shop INTERVIEW BY SUSANNAH MOORE

The chances of a chef from France and a dentist from Peru meeting, falling in love and operating a café together might seem unlikely. Then again, when living in an area as diverse and international as the DMV, perhaps not, because that’s exactly what happened to Carla Zamora and Sébastien Rondier. The couple met while hanging out with friends at Boqueria on M Street in D.C. in 2015. Three years later, they were married in Peru and now live in Old Town Alexandria with their two Westies, Fred and Sophia.

Rondier began training to be a chef at the age of 16 in his native southwest France. Since then, he has worked in a number of widely acclaimed kitchens, including Michelin three-star restaurants in Paris, Monte Carlo, New York City, Puerto


Rico and in D.C. at The St. Regis. Most recently, he was the executive chef at Brabo, located at 1600 King St. in Old Town. Between Rondier’s long hours as an executive chef and Zamora working full time as a dentist, the couple were looking for a change in pace. “Our lives were really busy, so after we got married, we wanted to find something that could allow me to help him in a way so that we could spend more time together,” explained Zamora. They began the process of looking for a coffee shop they could purchase, and were excited when the opportunity arose to own Grounded Coffee Shop, located at 6919 Telegraph Road. The café was started by Candy and Wilfred Briffa 12 years ago and was already well established in the community. Zamora was familiar with the café and its customers through her work as a dentist in the area. Since taking over the café in September, Rondier and Zamora have slowly been putting their own touch on the place, while still trying to respect the café’s important place in the surrounding community. • September / October 2021

“People were scared, people don't like change; even though the concept stayed the same, some people were [hesitant],” said Rondier. A year later, they feel like they have become established and that the consistent quality and customer service keep people coming back. French antiques and memorabilia from Rondier’s career as a chef fill the cozy and welcoming space. They sell 12 to 15 different croissants on any given day and have filled out the menu to feature Rondier’s talents. Zamora helps out when she can, while still practicing dentistry three days a week. Future short-term and long-term plans for the café include renovating the front counter area, bringing back live music on Sundays, expanding the menu to include a brunch menu, serving wine and beer and possibly opening a second location in another part of Alexandria. For now, the couple is having fun and enjoying time together while creating a happy space for their customers and their employees.

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S A L E S @ D Y L A N VA . C O M

© Copyright 2021 Dylan. Renderings, building elevations, depictions of amenities, drawings and floor plans of the condominium and units are for marketing/illustrative purposes only and are not part of the basis of the contract between Seller (i.e., the Declarant) and Purchasers. They do not necessarily reflect actual dimensions and configurations. Features, finishes, and prices are subject to change without notice. Certain features are available in select units and are subject to change. The specifications, room dimensions, and features shown in the unit floor plan are approximate and are for marketing/illustrative purposes only. Square footage totals and room dimensions provided may not be relied upon as definitive, are subject to modifications without notice, and may differ from the actual square footage and dimensions delivered. Actual layout, room dimensions, window sizes and locations, and steps to grade may vary and are subject to modifications without notice. The units, as constructed, may differ somewhat from the floor plan. The actual dimensions of condominium units will be as described in the condominium declaration and as shown on the Condominium Plats and Plans, recorded or to be recorded among the Land Records for the City of Alexandria, Virginia. References to ‘FORTIS’ and/or ‘The Fortis Companies’ refer to The Fortis Companies LLC. The Fortis Companies LLC’s development affiliates build homes in Virginia and across the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Individual projects are developed by FORTIS-affiliated partners and/or entities, and all representations regarding the development, construction, or sale of any project or property refers to those affiliates. Dylan is being developed and sold by 2551 Main Line LLC, the “Declarant” of the condominium project. No representations regarding the development, construction or sale of any portion of the Dylan community is made by The Fortis Companies LLC or any FORTIS affiliate except 2551 Main Line LLC. Sales of Units in the Dylan Condominium shall be managed by The Mayhood Company, agent for 2551 Main Line LLC. Buyers should carefully review their purchase and sales agreement before purchasing. The condominium was registered by the Common Interest Community Board in May 2021.

201 N. Union St., Suite 110 Alexandria, VA 22314



Coldwell Banker (Old Town)


Compass (Lee Street)


TTR Sotheby’s (Old Town)


Weichert (Old Town)


Keller Williams (Old Town)


Long & Foster (Old Town)


Compass (king Street)


McEnearney Associates (Old Town)

The Trusted Real Estate Resource for Alexandria and Beyond

Data obtained from Bright™ MLS for all residential sales settled in Alexandria City for January 1-June 30, 2021. Sales data is deemed to be accurate but not guaranteed.

830 Herbert Springs Road, Alexandria, VA 22308 | $2,953,000 Exclusively Represented by Susan Taylor

Old Town Office | 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 tel. +1 703 549 9292 | Equal Housing Opportunity

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