Alexandria Living Magazine - May/June 2019

Page 1


Summer in Alexandria:

Your ‘No Metro’ Survival Guide Meet Alexandria’s King of

‘Healthy Ketchup’





Living, Loving, Listing Old Town There is something extraordinary about living in Old Town... the sense of community, my morning walk with Archie, or bumping into friends. I truly love this town and love even more helping my clients find their special place here. At McEnearney, our Associates take a curated approach to assisting their clients in every step of the home selling and buying process because our Associates are more than just agents, they live, love, and list in Old Town Alexandria. Lauren Bishop featured in her home in Old Town, Alexandria.

Lauren Bishop, REALTORÂŽ I tel. 202.361.5079 I I Alexandria I Arlington I Kensington I Leesburg I McLean I Middleburg I Spring Valley I Vienna I 14th Street 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 I tel. 703. 549.9292

B • May / June 2019

Escape to the great outdoors and take in the iconic beauty of George Washington’s Mount Vernon. The estate offers a host of activities for outdoor enthusiasts in Alexandria. Grab your running shoes, a bike, or your camera and hop on the Mount Vernon Trail to enjoy breathtaking views of the Potomac River. More than 9 miles from Old Town and fully paved, the trail follows the twists and turns of the Potomac River’s Virginia shoreline

Learn more and sign up for membership

and ends at historic Mount Vernon.

at or

Spring weekends are the ideal time to take in the sights and sounds of Mount Vernon.

claim your $20 new member discount.

Bring your family and your four-legged friend to wander through the four gardens on the estate. (General Washington loved dogs, and so do we. Guests are welcome to bring dogs on leashes during public daytime hours.) Meander through a French boxwood parterre in the upper garden and stroll through the fruit garden where trees are planted in the

present this ad at the ticket counter to

For questions, email Kara Hershorin, membership manager, at

arrangement that Washington recorded in his diaries. If you’re interested in getting your heart-rate up with an invigorating hike, explore the wooded landscape along our quartermile-long forest trail. Mount Vernon has a long history of welcoming guests arriving by river – one of the most scenic ways to arrive on the estate. Today, you can paddle down the Potomac in a kayak, canoe, sailboat or private vessel and dock it at the wharf. Private vessels are welcome on a first come, first served basis but must adhere to the Wharf Master rules. Looking for a more relaxing way to approach Mount Vernon by boat? Take a narrated sightseeing excursion on the Potomac River and take in the majestic views. Members enjoy free daytime access to the estate, 365 days a year! This spring, take an adventure to Mount Vernon and enjoy gorgeous weather while learning about America’s founding father.

Turn your backyard into

the destination spot of your dreams with a CommonWealth One Home Improvement Equity Loan.

Borrow up to 133% LTV of your home’s value and use the cash to add a pool, create an outdoor kitchen, redo your master bathroom and more. With the option to borrow up to $250,000, you’ll have the funds you need to create an outdoor oasis comparable to any resort. Home Improvement Equity Loan Features • Borrow up to 133% Loan-To-Value* • Loan Amounts up to $250,000

• Fixed Rate as low as 6.99% APR** • Terms up to 15 Years

You’ll never want to leave your home again, when you create the backyard of your dreams. Apply for a CommonWealth One Home Improvement Equity Loan Today! Visit, stop by our branch, or give us a call at (703)823-5211.

*LTV = Loan-to-Value. The 133% LTV only applies to the Home Improvement Equity Loan. Home equity loans are available on primary residences located in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Please check with your tax advisor regarding loan interest deductibility. Closing costs include credit reports, appraisal fee, flood certification, title search, recording fees and mortgage transfer taxes. Members will be obligated to pay the closing costs associated with the closing of this loan request. If a drive by or a full appraisal is required to support the loan request, this expense will paid by the member. Total closing costs generally range from $100 to $1,000 based on the loan amount. Closing costs can be incorporated and paid with the loan proceeds. Members should retain a copy of the home equity disclosures. Member may receive a refund of any fees if the rate changes and the member decides not to complete the process. Property insurance is required and flood insurance may be required. Loan is for home improvements only and documentation of bid/material list/ invoice will be required before loan disbursement. Granting of a home equity loan may result in the credit union acquiring a security interest in the property. Certain restrictions apply. **APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Rates are subject to change at any time. All credit union rates and terms are based upon the evaluation of applicant(s) credit. Your actual rate may vary. Rate is also tiered on loan terms. Maximum loan term is 15 years and minimum loan term is 5 years.

Equal Housing Lender | Federally Insured by NCUA



Around Town Get ready to get active at these three new fun venues coming to Alexandria.


Calendar of Events See events and activities that are coming to Alexandria.


Food & Dining Meet Alexandria resident Abe Kamarck, who is bringing healthier ketchup and BBQ sauce to store shelves nationwide.



Pets With the mercury climbing, why not check out one of these swimming spots where you can take your favorite pooch this summer?



Profile Meet the doctor who opened the National Breast Center in 2014 in Old Town Alexandria and brought a breast cancer fund-raising walk back to the area last year.


Profile Zach Terwilliger is the region’s top


federal law enforcement officer. The St. Stephens and St. Agnes grad loves his new job, and the city he calls home.


The Last Word Meet Urban Redeux’s mother-daughter team Willow Wright and Wendy Wells. The two offer home decor treasures and unique finds at their Mount Vernon-area boutique. Customers


might also meet the shop dog, Elsa.

58 May / June 2019 •


Your Home. Our Mission. A lifetime of community insight and over 26 years of real estate expertise: that’s the advantage to working with The Goodhart Group. When you work with us, we guide you through the selling or buying process. We’ve helped sellers to downsize and move-up. We’ve helped buyers to make their first time purchase. We are here for you.

Sue and Allison Goodhart | 703.362.3221

4004 Carson Place Alexandria, VA 22304

109 Pommander Walk Alexandria, VA 22314

4301 Fox Haven Lane Alexandria, VA 22304




Compass is a licensed real estate brokerage that abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Compass is licensed as Compass Real Estate in DC and as Compass in Virginia and Maryland. 106 N. Lee Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 | 703.277.2152



27 Home & Garden Alexandrians love their history. Here’s where you can find vintage furnishings and decor in town and just a short drive away. (Be sure not to miss a visit to a throwback five-and-dime store, Page 30.)


40 From Traffic to Telework With the shutdown of Metro looming, we have dived into ways to ease the pain for Alexandrians. From finding new ways to get to work — cycling — to new ways to work — telecommuting — we’ve got some answers to how you can weather the shutdown.


Alexandrians big and small enjoy Washington Sailing Marina this time of year. PHOTO BY CHRIS MILITZER

May / June 2019 •


A Letter from

Our Founders


Beth Lawton EDITOR

Mary Ann Barton MARKETING

Lora Jerakis Marguerite Leopold

Allen Anderson Meredith Bonitt Heidi Fielding DESIGN

Jessie Leiber PHOTO EDITOR

Chris Militzer

Alexandria Living Magazine is published six times per year by Alexandria Living, LLC © 2019. 106 N. Lee Street, Second Floor, 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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Welcome to the May-June issue of Alexandria Living Magazine! We hope you are enjoying all things late spring and early summer while you’re reading this issue, which is packed with ways to make your life easier, your surroundings more beautiful and this summer with your family (including your dogs!) more fun. One of the great things about Alexandria is its proximity to the nation’s capital. Many Alexandrians take the Metro, drive, bike and even scooter into the District for work. But this summer, Metro train riders are going to have to find a new way to get to work or a new way to work (think telecommuting from home or from your favorite local coffee shop) while the rail station platforms get an upgrade. We’ve got tips and ideas for you, from the area’s newest co-working spaces to coffee shop etiquette (you don’t want to be one of those people!) to cycling to work or outfitting a home office. It all starts on Page 40. You don’t have to travel across the Potomac to find interesting enterprises. There are plenty of folks doing amazing things right here in our midst. In this issue, we’re introducing you to the doctor who founded the National Breast Center in Alexandria, the second-youngest U.S. Attorney in the United States, and an Alexandria resident who makes sugar-free (and guilt-free) condiments. Alexandrians enjoy not only the historic surroundings around town but love to decorate their homes with unique vintage finds, often from mom ‘n pop stores either in town or a leisurely Sunday drive away. Beginning on Page 27, you’ll find a plethora of locally owned boutiques offering everything from custom-designed cupboards made from centuries-old wood to antique rugs and clocks. Not-to-miss: Writer Glenda Booth’s foray into a five-and-dime off of Fort Hunt Road and Photo Editor Chris Militzer’s exploration of antique shops just a short drive from Alexandria. (This includes a trip to Roanoke, where Chris visited Black Dog Salvage, as seen on TV’s “Salvage Dawgs.”) An issue of Alexandria Living Magazine wouldn’t be complete without a nod to our furry friends. This summer, when you start to plan your next trip to the pool or beach, • May / June 2019

Beth Lawton, publisher, and Mary Ann Barton, editor. Photo by Matt Mendelsohn, taken at Virtue Feed & Grain.

don’t forget to plan a similar outing for your best buddy. We found lots of ways for man’s best friend to enjoy a dip in the water during the warmer days ahead, on Page 20. With this warmer weather you’ll want to get out and about. Be sure to check out our Calendar starting on Page 9. We are especially looking forward to the brand-new Old Town Festival of Speed & Style, bringing together vintage cars, Old Town Boutique District fashions, a music festival and fun along lower King Street in May! In this issue’s “The Last Word,” meet Willow Wright and Wendy Wells, the women behind Mount Vernon’s Urban Redeux, where you’re sure to find unique decor for your home. The two do their best to find the best “junque, funk and furnishings” for their customers and clients. Last but not least, be sure to subscribe to our magazine for a chance to win a “staycation” right here in town this summer! Head to Page 23 for the details. Hope you’re having a wonderful start to your summer. We’ll see you back here in July!

Mary Ann Barton and Beth Lawton Founders


Our Team




Lisa Rabasca Roepe is a former Gannett newspaper reporter and a full-time freelance journalist. Her work has been featured in Fast Company, Family Circle, OZY, Quartz, Men’s Journal, The Week, Atlantic’s CityLab, CoveyClub and Arlington Magazine. She writes about the culture of work, personal finance, technology, and beer and spirits. She lives in Arlington with her husband and daughter. You can follow her on Twitter at @lisarab.

Angela Swartz is a freelance reporter based in San Francisco. She previously covered education at the San Mateo Daily Journal and technology at the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Her Daily Journal work garnered awards from The California Teachers Association and Peninsula Press Club. She interned at The Washington Post, The Investigative Reporting Workshop, All Things Digital (now Recode), and The Palo Alto Daily Post. Her work also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and Palo Alto Weekly.

Glenda Booth is a freelance writer who has lived in Northern Virginia for more than 40 years covering travel, history, people and conservation for local, state and national publications. Glenda has volunteered for Earthwatch in Botswana, Greece, France, Saskatchewan (Canada) and the Galapagos. She earned a bachelor’s at Longwood College and a master’s at the University of Virginia. A gardener, outdoors woman and lifelong learner, she lives in Fairfax County and is the mother of two grown sons.




Chris Militzer is a Virginia photographer whose work has been featured by USA Today, the United States Department of the Interior, Visit Virginia and Visit Alexandria. As a travel photographer, Militzer has shot album covers in New York and performances in Paris. As a consultant and photographer, he has aided brands in their social media outreach. Militzer has lived in Alexandria, Virginia for 20 years where he resides with his wife and two daughters.

Buz Nachlas enjoys photography whether he’s capturing the Red Rocks in the American Southwest or snapping an image of an iconic monument at dusk in the nation’s capital. He often visits Alexandria, where he snapped photos of a boxing gym and a yoga studio from our fitness story in our last issue. When he’s not taking photos, you might find him cycling on one of the Washington area’s bike trails. A native of Wisconsin, Buz makes his home in Ashburn, Virginia.

Pepper is a 2-year-old mix that Publisher Beth Lawton’s family adopted this summer from local rescue organization K-9 Lifesavers. Pepper came from South Carolina, where she was brought in as a stray. She now spends her days at doggie daycare, sleeping on the couch at home or in the Alexandria Living Magazine office at the dog-friendly ALX Community. She enjoys chasing chipmunks, squirrels, birds, cats, deer and tennis balls.

May / June 2019 •



Active Openings In the next few years, a number of fun places for active people are opening in Alexandria. Here’s what’s coming:


Trampoline Park Get Air has filed paperwork with the City to open a 22,000-square foot indoor trampoline park at 340 S. Pickett St. in Alexandria’s West End. The location was formerly home to a U.S. Post Office. An opening date has not been announced. The Utah-based company, with locations nationwide and overseas, manages more than 80 trampoline parks, which feature wall-to-wall trampolines, dodgeball courts, basketball dunk lanes and obstacle courses. Get Air hosts birthday parties, fundraisers and large events. Their parks also feature fitness classes, live DJ nights, black light nights and a special time for parents and their kids, called “Toddler Time.” No word yet on if those same features will be a part of the Alexandria location.

Patagonia will be opening in 2020 in the former Old Town Theater in Old Town Alexandria. The sociallyconscious company started out making and selling tools for climbers. The company now makes clothing for a number of what it calls “the silent sports” – climbing, skiing and snowboarding, surfing, fishing, mountain biking and trail running. While Patagonia does not have specific plans yet, the company does plan to honor the building’s history. “We will preserve as much of the theatre’s history as possible and don’t intend to change the outside much at all,” Patagonia’s Corey Simpson told Alexandria Living Magazine this spring.

Laser Tag and Arcade Center Doyle’s Outpost is spending $700,000 to renovate the former AMF Seminary Lanes bowling alley in Alexandria to turn it into a laser tag and arcade center. The City Planning Commission approved the special use permit application for the entertainment space in 2018. The new facility at Seminary Plaza Shopping Center is nearly 15,400 square feet and is located next to Planet Fitness. In addition to laser tag, the center may include arcade games and a virtual reality attraction. Dining would include appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pizza and desserts. Plans also call for beer, wine and mixed drink offerings.

8 • May / June 2019



Calendar of Events EVENT KEY



Celestial Ball

Revolutionary War Weekend

Food & Dining

May 4 | 8 - 11 p.m.

May 4 and 5 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate hosts one of the largest reenactments in the nation with demonstrations, camps, historic displays and more.


Live music, English country dancing and more — late-18th century costumes are optional, but “after-five” attire is encouraged. Advance registration is required through

Live Music

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., GadsbysTavern

Family-Friendly Historic/Educational

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

Spring Pop-Up Market


May 5 | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.


Get your Mother’s Day shopping done at the Spring Pop-Up Market in Del Ray. Unique, local gifts, crafts and more.

Recreation & Outdoor

Pat Miller Neighborhood Square, Del Ray,


May / June 2019 •



Archaeology After Dark May 9 | 6:30 p.m. This program supports the Alexandria Veterans Curation Program (VCP) and its mission to rehabilitate at-risk U.S. Army Corps of Engineers archaeological collections. Highlights will include the program’s preservation efforts at the Fort Delaware Civil War prison camp. Advance registration is recommended through Lloyd House, 220 N. Washington St.,

After-Work Concert Series: Julie Pantinella May 10 | 6 – 8 p.m. Join other music lovers in Old Town Alexandria the second Friday of each month for a concert. Friday, May 10, hear the music of Julia Pantinella, flamenco artist. Sponsored by The Folklore Society of Greater Washington (FSGW) and The Office of Historic Alexandria. Locations will rotate each month. This concert is at Lloyd House. Beer and wine for sale; light refreshments available as well. No ticket required.

Firefighters During the Civil War Tour

Mother’s Day Tea at the Carlyle House

May 11 | 1 p.m.

May 12 | 2:30 p.m.

This walking tour explores firefighting

Enjoy an elegant afternoon tea at the

during the occupation by Union Troops

historic Carlyle House at the Magnolia

during the Civil War. Participants visit sites

Terrace. Advance registration and tickets

of four of the five fire houses and learn what

required. Call 703-549-2997.

happened if there was a fire.

Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., parks/carlyle-house-historic-park

Lloyd House, 220 N. Washington St.,

Friendship Firehouse Museum, 107 S. Alfred St.,

Growing Edibles in Containers

Mother’s Day Tea at Green Spring Gardens

May 11 | 10:30 a.m.

May 12 | 1 p.m.

Learn how to grow edible and ornamental plants in containers on your porch, deck, balcony or patio. This workshop will cover soil, containers, maintenance and selection of suitable plants.

Chef and food historian Nora Burgan

while enjoying food, live music, and

highlights culinary traditions associated

spectacular views at George Washington’s

with mothers and Mother’s Day. Advance

estate. Purchase tickets in advance through

reservations and tickets required. Call

the Mount Vernon website (this event

703-941-7987 for reservations.

frequently sells out).

Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Rd.,

Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Rd.,

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



Spring Wine Festival & Sunset Tour May 17 - 19 | 6 – 9 p.m. Sample wines from Virginia’s finest wineries

Old Town Festival of Speed & Style May 19 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The first ever Old Town Festival of Speed & Style brings together vintage cars, Old Town Boutique District fashions, a music festival and fun along lower King Street. See cars from the 1950s to 1970s, select modern luxury race cars, pop-up fashion shows and more. This event is free and created by Sonoma Cellar. Lower King Street

10 • May / June 2019



YMCA ALEXANDRIA 703.838.8085 register today for


Alexandria’s Holistic Dental Wellness Center

We are Northern Virginia’s patient centered, comprehensive dental health center, offering a full range of dental, airway and sleep services for the whole family. We utilize the latest technology in our equipment and provide the most up to date procedures to bring you the most comfortable experience possible. We encourage you to contact us whenever you have an interest or concern about any of the dental procedures or services we offer. Contact our office at (703) 745-5496 or visit us online at: Airway Improvement, TMJ & Sleep Center

Orthodontics & Ortho Alternatives

Cosmetic & Custom Smile Design Center Relaxation, Sedation, Anesthesia

General & Preventive Care

Implants, Dentures, Bridges & Gum Recession

Dr. Salatarsh Green, Holistic & Homeopathic Solutions For Baby & Children

11 Dental Excellence Integrative Center • 3116 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305 • (703) 745-5496 • May / June 2019 •


If Trouble Don’t Kill Me


May 18 | 2 p.m. on his book, If Trouble Don’t Kill Me, which

75th Commemoration of D-Day

follows the lives of Berrier’s family from the

June 1 | 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Virginia author Ralph Berrier will present

mountains of Virginia to the Grand Ole Opry. Duncan Branch Library, 2501 Commonwealth Ave.,

Come honor the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy in Historic Alexandria. Commemoration

Rivershed Run May 25 | 10 a.m. This fast and flat run will start in urban Alexandria and go though Cameron Run Park, finishing at Port City Brewery.

Armed Forces Day Fort Tours May 18 | 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Two 90-minute soldier-led tours of Fort

Port City Brewery, 3950 Wheeler Ave.,

Memorial Day Jazz Festival May 27 | 1 – 6 p.m.

events, period music and dancing, history booths, and more will pop up at Waterfront Park in Old Town. Waterfront Park, 1 Prince St.

The Musical Box: A Genesis Extravaganza June 2 | 7:30 p.m. From chart-toppers to rarely-heard tracks, enjoy a deep-dive into Genesis’ work from

A variety of jazz performers will fill

1970 to 1977. This unique 3-act show at

Waterfront Park with music for the 42nd

The Birchmere will also feature an array

and army life in the Civil War Defenses of

annual Memorial Day Jazz Festival. More

of vintage instruments and visual stunts.


information on performers will be available

Period attire encouraged.

Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site, 4301 W.


Braddock Road,

Waterfront Park, 1 Prince St.

Ward will focus on the history of the fort

Let us make your event memorable. Modern space in the heart of Old Town.

106 NORTH LEE STREET ALEXANDRIA, VA 703.826.0020 WWW C O M M U N I T Y •. C M 2019 MayO / June 12. A L

The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave.,

David Crosby and The Sky Trails Band June 4 | 7:30 p.m. Influential folk-rock artist David Crosby brings back old hits and newer music on his spring tour. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave.,

The Generals’ Tour: Robert E. Lee in Alexandria June 8 | 10 a.m. Take a guided walking tour through historic Old Town Alexandria that will discuss the legacy of Robert E. Lee’s life in the region. Wear comfortable shoes. Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614 Oronoco St.,

Magnificent Waterfront Living Handsome 5-story townhouse on the Potomac River offers the finest luxury waterfront lifestyle in Alexandria including a rare 35’ boat slip. 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, hardwood floors, 4 fireplaces, chef’s kitchen and well-appointed master suite. Spacious family room with wet bar opens to the serene patio and spectacular waterfront vista. Offered at $3,050,000.

Call Babs today to preview this incredible property!

Civil War Camp Day June 8 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Civil War reenactors will interpret soldier and civilian life in camps during the war. Artillery drills, firing

Babs Beckwith

Old Town’s Real Estate Expert 703.627.5421 |

demonstrations and an Army Field Hospital display are among the planned features. Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site, 4301 W. Braddock Road,

109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

A Fox on the Fairway June 8 – 29 | Times vary The Little Theatre of Alexandria presents “a charmingly madcap adventure about love, life, and man’s eternal love affair with… golf.” Mistaken identities, romantic confusion and more highlight this fast-paced comedy. The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe St.,

Romance Book Club June 9 | 3 p.m. Do you love to read romance novels? Want to talk about them with other romance book lovers? Join this new book club! Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke St.,

After Work Concert Series: Toccatta Players June 14 | 6 – 8 p.m. Join other music lovers in Old Town to hear the music of Toccatta Players (tango and Latin jazz). Sponsored by The Folklore Society of Greater Washington (FSGW) and The Office of Historic Alexandria. This concert is at Lloyd House. Beer and wine for sale; light refreshments available as well. No ticket required. Lloyd House, 220 N. Washington St.,

May / June 2019 •


Personal Checking


Convenient Checking Account

Independence Fireworks June 28 and 29 | 6 – 10 p.m. Start your summer holiday celebration at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, with fireworks, food, mansion tours and more. Tickets required.

No monthly fees, no minimum balances and no ATM fees nationwide

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


that’s better


The Late Shift at the Torpedo Factory June 14 | 7 – 10 p.m.

Life’s a little better when you’re free If using logos less than 75% size, please switch to logo size 2. Creative Writing Workshop of fees

Enjoy gallery talks, artist receptions, music, live performances, hands-on artmaking and much more. Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St.,

June 20 | 6:30 – 10 p.m.

Yoga on the Magnolia Terrace Every Tuesday | 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Every Saturday | 10 – 11 a.m.

Burke & Herbert Bank

Burke & Herbe

Burke & Herbert Bank

Burke & Herbert Bank

Community Building Art Works presents a creative writing workshop led by accomplished local authors. Use writing for introspection and connection. Bring a pen and notebook!

At Your Service Since 1852 ®

Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St.,

Amy Grant June 20 | 7:30 p.m. Award-winning singer and songwriter Amy Grant, known as the Queen of Christian Pop, performs at The Birchmere.

At Your Service Since 1852 ®

The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave.,

The Smithereens June 21 | 7:30 p.m. The Smithereens are joined by guest vocalist Marshall Crenshaw for this special show.

Burke & Herbert Bank At Your Service Since 1852


Visit your neighborhood branch today!

The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Burke & Herbert Bank At Your Service Since 1852 ®

The Righteous Brothers June 28 | 7:30 p.m.

Burke & Herbert Bank 703.684.1655

Burke & Bill Medley joins Bucky Heard to bring back Herbert that lovin’ feelin’ with old classics for a new Bank audience.

At Your Service Since 1852 ®

At Your Service Since 1852 ®

$25 minimum to open a Convenient Checking Account. ©2018 Burke & Herbert Bank.

14 • May / June 2019

The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave.,

Join a yoga instructor for an hour-long Vinyasa Flow Yoga on Carlyle House’s Magnolia Terrace. Build heat with sun ® At Your Service Since 1852 salutations, then progress to balance, deep stretching and relaxing meditation. Please bring water, a towel, and yoga mat. Wear comfortable yoga wear. Class may be canceled due to extreme weather, please call the site to check class status. $5 per class or $20 for five classes. Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., parks/carlyle-house-historic-park

Trivia Nights at Historic® Sites At Your Service Since 1852 Every other Friday | 7 p.m. Staff members at Carlyle House Historic Park and Lee-Fendall House Museum have combined their random nerd knowledge to create bi-weekly trivia nights in the beautiful gardens located at Lee-Fendall House. Test your knowledge on all things from pop culture to history. Trivia nights are $7 a person which includes 1 drink ticket. Additional drinks can be bought at the cash bar. Ages 21 and over only. For more information on how to register call 703-548-1789 or visit Dates may be subject to change due to inclement weather, but projected dates are May 17 and 31, June 14 and 28, July 12 and 26, August 9 and 23. Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614 Oronoco St.,



13 Alexandria’s Birthday Celebration July 13 | 7 – 10 p.m. Fireworks, birthday cake, music, a cannon salute and activities for all ages — come celebrate the 270th birthday of Alexandria! Alexandria, founded in 1749, was named in honor of an early land owner in the region, John Alexander of Scotland. Enjoy music, bring a picnic and spend time with friends and family July 13. Oronoco Bay Park, 100 Madison St.




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Sauce, Reinvented An enterprising military veteran proves that ketchup, BBQ sauce and even sriracha can be healthy. BY MARY ANN BARTON

Using the same grit and determination he used to become a successful Navy helicopter pilot overseas, Alexandria resident Abe Kamarck is now finding his niche in the business world with a food company he started called True Made Foods. The company makes low-sugar condiments by switching out sugar and corn syrup for veggies. Born in Washington, D.C., Kamarck grew up in Arlington. When he was 10 years old, his family moved to Brooklyn, N.Y. and later back to the D.C. metro area. He went to high school at Walt Whitman in Bethesda and headed to Vanderbilt on a Navy ROTC scholarship. “It’s strange looking back at all the places I lived as a kid and what they have now become,” said Kamarck, who now lives in Alexandria with his wife and their four children. “Clarendon was actually a little seedy when I was a kid. It’s unrecognizable now. It’s strange because I can’t afford to live any place I grew up.”

AN ACT OF REBELLION While most would consider not joining the military as an act of rebellion, it was the opposite for Kamarck. “My dad was a conscientious objector in Vietnam, so I guess joining the military was my own way of rebelling,” he said.

Abe Karmarck, center, with his family / COURTESY OF TRUE MADE FOODS

“My parents weren’t against me joining the military, but they definitely weren’t pushing it,” he noted. “My parents had me young and my dad was a junior lawyer when I was kid. He was never around and always grumpy. His idea of spending quality time with me was letting me play in the conference room of his office while he worked on weekends. Those experiences definitely made me want to avoid working in an office at all possible costs and likely influenced my desire to join the military and subsequently become an entrepreneur.” Kamarck was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, but as a Navy pilot, he never physically went into Iraq. He was deployed as a helicopter pilot on the USS Gettysburg with the Enterprise Strike Group. His role was to identify possible threats. In general, as a Seahawk pilot, the biggest challenge, he said, “was always the ambiguity of what you were expected to do on every mission.” “Our mission was to launch and ‘go see what’s beyond the horizon,’” he said. “Basically our mission every night was to see what was out there in the dark. You never knew what to expect and had to always be prepared for everything. Most of the time, it would be rote and boring, but we had a few exciting finds and calls that we had to be ready for. These missions forced me to be a jack of all trades and a master of none, which really helps set the stage for entrepreneurship.”

IMPACT ENTREPRENEURSHIP Kamarck discovered something called “impact entrepreneurship” when he was in business school in London. “I was stationed in England for my shore duty and was working for the US European Command in places like Africa and Eastern Europe, then on the weekends I was taking classes at the London Business School,” he said. Impact Entrepreneurship — using entrepreneurial businesses to solve/affect social problems — seemed like a perfect blend of the problems he was working on with the military and what he was learning every week in business school. Fast forward to life back in the United States, where his family inspired him to build a better mousetrap...or in this case, a healthier condiment. May / June 2019 •


“I have always hated ketchup,” he said. “I’m a hot sauce guy and love spicy stuff. I’ve always looked down on ketchup as nothing but red sugar. Regular ketchup has more sugar than ice cream, ounce per ounce. But ketchup became part of my life when I had kids. I tried so hard to keep my kids from eating ketchup, but that was a losing battle. We love cooking out and going to burger places and my daughter puts ketchup on almost everything, so I was stuck.” He met a guy at a Patriot Bootcamp event who told him about how he and his wife had found a recipe online for putting vegetables in ketchup and it “just sent off the lightbulb for me,” he said. Kamarck grew up helping his mother in the kitchen and learned to make salad dressings and pasta sauces at a young age. “We always used vegetables like carrots and squash to naturally sweeten our pasta sauces, so I thought, why wouldn’t it work for ketchup?” True Made Foods was born, and got its start at the Capitol Post, a business incubator in Alexandria that teaches military vets and their spouses how to think and act like entrepreneurs. Last fall, he received an assist with funding from the PenFed Foundation’s Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program, to help move the company to the next level.

FRIES WITH A SIDE OF SUGAR Most people don’t know this but ketchup, BBQ sauce and sriracha are probably the worst products (from a health perspective) in your refrigerator, Kamarck noted. Per ounce, he said,

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ketchup has more sugar than ice cream, and sriracha has more sugar then ketchup. True Made Foods’ low-sugar ketchup contains half the added sugar per serving of a traditional ketchup; its key ingredients are tomatoes, carrots, butternut squash and spinach. The company’s barbecue sauce has 70 percent less sugar than leading brands. Kamarck is excited about his company’s latest “game changer.” “Our brand-new No Added Sugar Ketchup may change ketchup forever,” he said. “We don’t use any artificial or refined sweeteners at all, only whole fruits and veggies. Every ingredient in our No Added Sugar Ketchup is good for you. You could live on it, which is good because I know a lot of kids live on ketchup.” There seems to be a big market for his products. True Made Foods can be found in more than 2,400 stores nationwide and are about to add another 1,500 this year. Stores include Walmart, Wegmans, Safeway, ShopRite and is coming soon to Whole Foods, Giant and Giant Eagle. The sauces are made in a facility in North Carolina near the Virginia border. In 2018, the company saw 120+ percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) on gross sales and Karmack expects that to increase in 2019. The company is aiming to reach $2 million in sales this year. When asked what’s next, he said with a smile: “Putting Heinz out of business.”


The Wellness Cooperative We all have that moment at some point in our lives — that moment when the world is crashing in around us, when it feels like your life just drove off a cliff and you don’t know what to do. When that moment happens, you have to get up off the bathroom floor and wash your face, slap on some mascara and go about your life like it isn’t falling apart. Everything is fine. At least, that’s what the world needs to think. I’m Jeanette, owner of The Wellness Cooperative here in Alexandria, and this is my experience with heartbreak, keeping my life on track, and doing it holistically. That moment for me was a Thursday afternoon when I found out my almost four-year relationship was over. Immediately, my thoughts went to our plans and this new business I bought with him. What on Earth was I going to do now?! Well, first I did what any woman would do: I canceled happy hour, sat on my bathroom floor and cried for about 4 days.

(apparently you can’t run a heart-based business with a closed-heart chakra). Half-way through the day when holding it together had me exhausted, wild orange and peppermint were a pick-me-up instead of that sixth espresso shot. Time for sleep? Magnolia to calm my nerves and soothe me to rest. After a couple of weeks of constant concoctions, Reiki and an emotional release abdominal massage, clarity and peace came to me. The world became my oyster again and now my oil routine is based on sore feet from being out dancing, oils to be creative in my new ventures and things that make me feel strong and confident. In moments like now, I could not have been more grateful for my holistic background, where I could use the gifts Earth gave us to help get through a time when I could have gotten lost in or ended up on anxiety and depression medication forever.

But, I’m a business owner. Living in a cave was not an option and since I am in the holistic alternative healing world, neither was Xanax. Luckily for me I have a magic box of potions, also known as essential oils. I have used essential oils for years to help maintain my physical and mental health. A drop of clove a day to keep my immune system happy, some wild orange to keep my energy up, a motivation blend to get me through things like these articles or payroll. Now was time for me to practice things I had taught other people but had no personal experience with: oils for pulling it together and putting on the brave face. Let’s look at the symptoms of an emotional breakdown: Anxiety? Sadness? Fatigue? Lack of focus? Check, check, check and check. It could have been easy to reach for the lavender because that is the go-to for stress management and calm, but lavender wasn’t going to cut it for this kind of pain, nor was it going to keep me focused when I needed to focus on my business and the next steps in my life. I would love to tell you what my exact magic potion was that got me to the point of clarity and peace, but it varied from moment to moment. In the moments when the tears wanted to fall, I was reaching for a blend of sandalwood, rose, frankincense and patchouli. A moment later, vetiver was in the diffuser to help me regain focus and open my heart chakra May / June 2019 •

This sponsored content is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice.



Dog Days of Summer BY MARY ANN BARTON

Hit the water with your dog this spring and summer at these dogfriendly beaches, pools and lakes. Alexandrians love their pooches and as the weather heats up, leaving them at home seems downright cruel if you know they’d rather be hanging out with their people at the lake, the beach or a pool. In addition to the end-of-summer swim at several pools in and around Alexandria (look for those after Labor Day weekend), here’s where Fido can cool off in the water.

20 • May / June 2019

SAFETY FIRST • Don’t assume that all dogs can swim! Before throwing them in the pool, walk them down the stairs (or wade into the lake with them) and stay close by until you’re sure they’ll be ok. • Several companies make doggie flotation devices and life jackets that can prevent your dog from drowning if he gets tired or stuck. • Beware that some creeks and ponds can have bacteria, resulting in ear infections or digestive issues. It’s a good idea to give your dog a bath after swimming and dry out their ears to prevent infections. • Always check local water quality reports at lakes and beaches for safety before you hit the road. Even if the water is safe, bring fresh water for your dog to drink.

Washington Sailing Marina


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There are several dog-friendly beaches and lakes within a few hours’ drive if you’re up for a day trip! Check online for details about hours, fees and water conditions before you go. • First Landing State Park Beach, 2500 Shore Dr., Virginia Beach, VA • Chris Green Lake Park, 4748 Chris Greene Lake Rd., Charlottesville, VA • Assateague National Seashore, 7206 National Seashore Ln., Berlin, MD • Metapeake Park Dog Beach, 1112 Romancoke Rd., Stevensville, MD • Bayfront Park, 7255 Bayside Rd., Chesapeake Beach, MD Much closer to home, here are a few dog parks with water access: • Shirlington Dog Park, 2710 S. Oakland St., Arlington, VA • Glen Carlyn Dog Park, 301 S. Harrison St., Arlington, VA

Summer fun along the Potomac River Full day Sailing and Windsurfing camps Transportation available from Bethesda/ Chevy Chase Area Week long sessions June 4 - Aug 17 (Ages 8-15) Washington Sailing Marina • Alexandria, VA For on-line registration visit Questions? Email

• Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge, Fort Belvoir, VA • Burke Lake Park, 7315 Ox Lake Rd., Burke, VA • Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Dr., Centreville, VA

5 Team Members for a Senior Move Interpreting a community’s downsizing options and resources can be tricky. How does one make sense of all them? To the rescue are folks who specialize in the knowledge and skills needed to help:

Dog Pools An increasing number of veterinarians are recommending swimming as a rehabilitation exercise for dogs who have gotten injured, had surgery or need to lose a few pounds. Whether for fun, exercise or therapy, here are two places you can take your dog swimming in a heated, indoor pool.

K9 Aquatic Center, 12948 Travlah Road, Potomac, MD, is a swim facility just for dogs. Swim sessions are $48 for 30 minutes, with longer swims for the same price on Fridays and discounts on Wednesdays. Discounts also are available if you buy multiple sessions at once. You can even plan a swim birthday party for your dog and up to five doggie friends. No chlorine or bromine is used in the 85-degree pool. Learn more at

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SENIOR REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST (SRES). Only 2% of Realtors are trained to help you explore all the options from condos to the myriad retirement living options. CERTIFIED SENIOR ADVISORS. If needed, these are local experts who can match your wants and needs to specific senior communities. PROFESSIONAL DE-CLUTTERERS. These professionals can help with the most overwhelming part! MOVE MANAGER. A moving company specializing in senior moves is crucial. A manager can help you set up the new place exactly how you want it. DONATIONS & DISCARDS. Where a SRES gets to work again! Help discarding items and preparing property for sale.

The Team approach to a 50+Better/Senior move is the best way to pull together all the appropriate tasks with minimal stress. Coordinating with an SRES is a must: I have all the vendor recommendations you may need. Contact me today for more sources that can help.

Olde Towne Pet Resort, 8101 Alban Road, Springfield, Va. Swim sessions are $35 at the facility’s 20-foot long heated lap pool. Dogs who need movement therapy or just want to have some water fun are welcome. Learn more at

PETER CROUCH, Associate Broker 703.244.4024 2018 SRES National Winner Outstanding Service Award

NVAR Lifetime Top Producer Specialist in “Mature” Moves

109 S. Pitt Street Alexandria, VA 22314

May / June 2019 •


Dr. David Weintritt (right), started the National Breast Center in 2014 in Alexandria

Better Odds for Alexandria Women Doctor opens National Breast Center to provide more cancer detection and treatment options BY ANGELA SWARTZ

With lots of potential paths, Alexandria resident Dr. David Weintritt discovered where he wanted to focus his professional career during medical surgery residency in the early ‘90s in North Carolina. He had just met his future wife, Tara, whose mother died from breast cancer the year before. “Just hearing my wife talk about her experience, with her mom being diagnosed — treatment wasn’t very specialized,” said Weintritt, who completed his surgical residency at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, N.C. “More women diagnosed with breast cancer at that point were dying from it.” Fortunately for many women, a lot has changed since then. From 1990 to 2010, the breast cancer mortality rate dropped 36 percent, according to National Cancer Institute data.

22 • May / June 2019

This exposure to the issue led to Weintritt’s decision to become a breast surgeon. He’s focused on new technologies that can help diagnose and treat a person based on the specifics of the case. After a stint as a general surgeon for the Air Force, he began a private practice in Annapolis, Md. and worked in at a new hospital’s breast center, learning about breast ultrasound and minimally invasive image guided procedures for breast disease. In 2003, Weintritt moved to Alexandria and started a program for sentinel node biopsy and was the first to bring partial breast radiation and nipple sparing mastectomy to this area. He is involved in state-of-the-art medical technology and clinical trials. “Every time I have [a patient], even in the most affluent or educated situation, say, ‘Wow, I never knew that was an option,’ it’s just very rewarding,” he said. Despite a busy medical practice, Weintritt started the National Breast Center, now based in Old Town Alexandria in 2014.


The group’s mission: to increase access to screening and treatment for breast cancer for women in town. “We found there were women just lacking simple supports,” he said. “They didn’t have the means to get a test. Bad outcomes were completely preventable.” The Washington, D.C. area has the highest incidences of breast cancer of any state. In particular, D.C. has some of the highest mortality rates and of late stage breast cancer in the country. The area’s incidence rates have decreased in the last five years, according to the National Cancer Institute. For one pregnant patient diagnosed with breast cancer — and told by other doctors that she should terminate her pregnancy and undergo chemotherapy — Weintritt used genomics technology to determine that there was only a 1 to 2 percent chance the cancer would spread. With that, he determined she could have surgery to remove the cancer after the baby was born. The result? She had a healthy baby and went on to have another. “Physicians on the medical side are resistant to adopt technology,” he said. “But we’re trying to let them know we’re not trying to replace value of a treating physician, we’re trying to provide them with more information and provide better recommendations.” He also brought a breast cancer walk back to Alexandria after

several years without one. In 2016, the center hosted the Walk to Bust Cancer at Fort Hunt Park. Almost 800 people participated in the 2018 walk and it raised about $82,000. This year’s walk will be held on Oct. 6 at Fort Hunt Park. “I wanted the walk to be restarted within that year no matter how big or small it was,” he said. “They deserve a platform to come and commemorate and celebrate and needed to start raising money again for the service.” The center also holds an annual golf tournament, Swing to Bust Cancer. This year’s event will be May 6 at Belle Haven Country Club. Outside of work, Weintritt likes to spend time with his wife and three children. He also enjoys staying active and traveling. This stems from his childhood, backpacking along the Appalachian Trail and diving into the Florida Keys outside of school. His family was always in front of wildlife and sunsets and not a TV, he said. “Nobody will ever confuse me with a participant in the X Games, but I love being on or in the water, hiking, skiing, and in general seeing all the natural beauty our world has to offer,” he said. For more on the center, go to

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Alexandria’s Top Legal Eagle The nation’s secondyoungest U.S. Attorney calls Alexandria home BY MARY ANN BARTON

Alexandria resident G. Zachary “Zach” Terwilliger is standing behind a bar in his basement on a Saturday, his wife Anne nearby, telling a hilarious story about one of the most terrifying moments of his life involving a wild boar. He laughs about it now. Lighthearted moments with his family — he met his wife 20 years ago at their alma mater, the University of Virginia, and they have two young children — keep him grounded. The levity balances the life of the 38-year-old Del Ray resident, who recently became the second youngest U.S. attorney in the United States, serving as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. He first stepped foot in the office as an intern when he was a senior in high school, attending St. Stephens and St. Agnes in Alexandria. “The school was really my anchor,” he said in a recent interview at his office, located in Alexandria’s Carlyle neighborhood. At St. Stephens, he was class president, served as captain of the football team and was co-captain of the lacrosse team with now-Councilman John Chapman. “As my wife likes to say, I peaked in high school,” Terwilliger jokes. “That was the high-water mark. Until I got this job.” He was recently appointed to be the top federal

24 • May / June 2019

U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger with his wife Anne / PHOTO BY BUZ NACHLAS

law enforcement officer, from Northern Virginia to Virginia Beach, overseeing 300 employees at his office as well as the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). He’s up to his neck in cases involving everything from sex trafficking to opioids to gangs to white collar fraud. Some of the most important cases — involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and CIA espionage, and previously, the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, a conspirator in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks — come through the office. “To get to do this in your hometown is just tremendous,” he said. “You look out the window here and see the Masonic Temple — my friends and I used to play up there during middle school and got into a huge snowball fight during a snowstorm.” Born in Washington, D.C., Terwilliger was six months old when his family moved to Vermont, where his father, George Terwilliger III, was U.S. attorney. “We got threatened a few times,” he said. “I have a very distinct memory in first grade, the nuns took my sister and I and hid us in the convent. A motorcycle gang my dad was prosecuting was threatening us.” His family returned to Northern Virginia when he was 11 after his dad accepted a position as deputy attorney general under Attorney General William Barr (serving in the job the first time around), in 1991-93, in the George H.W. Bush administration. As a little boy, Terwilliger ran around his father’s Justice Department office, he said. (Years later, he would return to that office to serve as chief of staff to then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.)


To get to do this in your hometown is just tremendous.

After prosecuting violent crimes, Terwilliger then headed to Capitol Hill for a year serving as counsel to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley. “It has its own language, its own rules, its own dress code. Everyone on the Hill literally had brown shoes on. I try not to be a follower but I kid you not, it made a difference,” he laughs. It expanded his network and his Hill experience helped land him his position working with then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Working in that office “was a marathon,” he said. “I’m a hard worker. In the 18 months I was there I had never worked that hard in a sustained manner.” In addition to working on matters such as the opioid crisis, the office was also busy rebuilding relationships with state and local law enforcement, he noted.

Terwilliger played lacrosse while attending St. Stephens and St. Agnes in Alexandria

Terwilliger graduated from law school at William & Mary and clerked in Florida. He focused on criminal law “because I’m a people person,” he said. “I really liked the fact I’d be using my skills for justice and for good.” He returned to Alexandria, joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria as an assistant U.S. attorney, and successfully prosecuting MS-13 gang members, human trafficking cases and other violent and white-collar crimes for nearly a decade. When the MS-13 gang threatened Terwilliger and his family, his wife left town and he moved out of their home to a secure location with protection from the U.S. Marshals Service. He feels some of the most impactful cases he worked on involved sex trafficking of underage women. “This was happening right under our noses in Alexandria,” he said. The cases themselves were not that complex, but breaking through and building trust with the victims could be difficult. Another case that sticks with him is prosecuting a group that found people on the verge of foreclosure and swindled them out of their “last nickels” pretending to help them stay in their homes. “That was incredibly gratifying” to put the bad guys behind bars, he said. Another case that he’ll always remember was one that involved heroin traffickers who targeted young to middle-aged women who “had their lives together,” but hooked them on the drug to steal from them.

“To get to be his chief of staff I got to see everything. It was...for me, I never in a million years thought that would happen,” he said. “I never thought I’d be traveling around the country with the attorney general. I still pinch myself.” From there, he was appointed, last year, to his current job as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Terwilliger said he feels lucky and is happy at the turn of events that has brought him full circle to a job he relishes. He thought, instead, that he and his family would eventually move away from Alexandria, to a mid-market city that was more affordable, he said. “We love the community that is Alexandria. Not only was our family here but our church, our friends. This is a great place to raise a family,” he said. “One of the key parts of Alexandria,” he said, is the great communication between feds and locals working together to fight opioids, gangs and sex trafficking. “It works really well together here.” Today, Terwilliger counts other “top cops” in Alexandria — including Commonwealth Attorney Bryan Porter and Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne — as his colleagues. “For me, coming back here, it’s really a community,” he said. “I go to a restaurant and see my 8th-grade math teacher or the farmers’ market and see my P.E. teacher... I feel like a son of Alexandria.” May / June 2019 •


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Whether you love antiques or just want your home to have an antique look to it, here are some local and regional options for shopping for unique decor and furnishings. May / June 2019 •



Wood Crafters Offer Custom Decor in Alexandria BY MARY ANN BARTON

One recent blustery Sunday, Jerry Sinn was hard at work, unloading wood from his van. He had purchased the centuries-old wood from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania.

The craftsmen use centuries-old furniture-making techniques to get the same outcome as the period for a piece of furniture.

That wood will turn into custom wood furnishings and décor, hand-made by talented local craftsmen.

In addition to furniture created by area craftsmen he contracts with — creating cupboards, tables, chairs and more — the store also offers custom furniture built to your specifications and home decor items such as wood salad bowls, rolling pins or butcher blocks.

Sinn enthusiastically pointed out the rings in the wood that show how old it is and the patterns that will make it a unique piece once it’s made into furniture. The history of the wood and its story are just as important as the finished piece, he said.

The furniture is custom-made from beautiful woods and the prices reflect that. A Tiger maple sideboard is priced at $2,200 or a mahogany blanket chest for $3,600 for example. But there are plenty of other smaller pieces, such as a “catch all” bowl or jewelry box which can be

28 • May / June 2019

further customized with dates or initials for an anniversary or birthday gift. Another popular offering is furniture restoration and repair. The store serves as something of a show floor, so that customers can get ideas for furniture they might want to have created at Sinn’s wood-making shops. In addition to furniture, the store also works with interior designers, architects and builders to create wood walls, ceilings or flooring for homes or businesses, Sinn said. You can stop by the store at 1211 King St., or visit their website at






There are a few other places to check out for custom wood furniture locally: Hardwood Artisans designs and makes solid wood, heirloom-quality furniture here in Virginia. This includes bookcases, bedroom sets, dining sets, and smaller things like Chapman wood puzzles and cutting boards. The store has a location in the Village at Shirlington, 2800 S. Randolph St. Learn more at

R-Home Furniture in Alexandria specializes in natural live-edge wood slab furniture, crafting custom wood tables and furniture for dining rooms, living rooms and even restaurants. They also work in reclaimed wood. Learn more at and visit the showroom at 5641-A General Washington Dr.


703-299-0633 May / June 2019 •



A Throwback to the 1950s Five-and-Dime BY GLENDA C. BOOTH

When tackling another big box “warehouse” or frenetic shopping center seems overwhelming — and you need to pick up a lava lamp, dashboard hula girl, rubber chicken, boa, bandana, shaving soap, Styrofoam balls, paper doilies, wooden clothespins, wine glasses, a pink flamingo lawn ornament, Mason jars, iron skillet, hairbrush, a Slinky, pet toy, and a yard of fabric — the Hollin Hall Variety Store is the go-to place. And that’s just a smattering of the more than 12,000 items that this old-school five-and-dime has sold for 68 years at 7902 Fort Hunt Road in Mount Vernon’s Hollin Hall Shopping Center. The store’s motto: “If you cannot find it here, you don’t need it.”

30 • May / June 2019

Ann and Ben Vennell opened the store in 1958 in the south section of the strip mall and in 1964 moved to its current location. In 2008, when rumors flew that the Vennells were retiring and selling, a “local firestorm” erupted, Ben told a local reporter. Doug and Deborah Bentley, who had a gift shop next door,

Owners Doug and Deborah Bentley in the store’s front aisle / PHOTOS BY GLENDA BOOTH

stepped in and bought it. “It’s not going to change,” Doug promised. And not only did its friendly 1950s ambience not change, they added another room, quadrupling the original store’s size. Most customers love not having to navigate Richmond Highway to shop at Target or Walmart or brave the Beltway to go to a mall. Mount Vernonite Mary Stauss started shopping at the Variety Store in 1968, especially for toys and sewing and school supplies. “I did one year’s Christmas shopping totally there,” she said. “I have run the gauntlet of Route 1 and come back to the store for the best picture frames, good kitchen items and baby shower gifts.” Louise Potter, a retired teacher, said, “It’s terrific for teachers



Above Right: Braden Lilly, 3, checks out the candy bins. His mother, Rachel, said, “For him, it is an amazing store — his favorite.”

— posters, awards, small tokens for prize boxes. It’s a throwback to the Woolworths of yesterday.”

Victoria Secret’s,” quipped Dee Bodkin,

Kay Titerence, River Farms resident, likens it to a museum. “You can find everything you need.” When at the last minute, she needed little girls’ white cotton gloves for a wedding, she found them at the Variety Store.

the store is on a stable path, but noted

EVERYTHING BUT BRAS “We’re a variety store. We have a little bit of everything,” explained Bentley. “Shrink a Target to 8,000 square feet, delete the electronics. That’s us.” He brags that his Legos compete with Target’s and Walmart’s. There’s always a seasonal aisle, like summer beach and pool items. “We sell what sells and what customers request,” he commented. He even sells underwear, including “Granny ones,” referring to their Carole’s Flattering Fit, nylon undies for $4.99. “Those drawers are better than

Three Generations of Shoppers

an employee. With a loyal following, Bentley feels that the biggest challenge is Amazon. Millennials shop online and expect two-

“When I was growing up, the Variety

day delivery, he noted. But clicking on a

Store was the place to go for school

website does not provide the physical,

supplies, craft and hobby items, kitchen

visual, olfactory and tactile experience of

gadgets and just about anything else.

wandering up and down crammed aisles

When our children were small, the

to browse 360 varieties of “penny candy” and 1,500 bolts of fabric with piñatas dangling overhead.

Variety Store was a great place to take them to experience commerce. To reward good behavior, we gave them a

Bing Crosby sang that he met his

dollar for a shopping spree. They could

“million-dollar baby” in a five-and-

select trinkets or candy not to exceed

ten-cent store. “She was selling china,

a $1 limit and usually came home with

and when she made those eyes, I kept

a bag of goodies. These days, I take my

buying china, until the crowd got wise,”

grandson, age 18 months, after our

he crooned. The Bentleys don’t promote

weekly Music Together class. I let him

the Variety Store as a place ripe for romance, but shoppers can find just about anything else and few leave without

pick out a kids’ rhythm instrument.” – Kelly Myatt St. Clair, Mount Vernon resident

buying something. May / June 2019 •






for Antique and Vintage Shopping Alexandria and the Northern Virginia area have plenty of antique shops, estate and auction houses and boutiques where you can find any number of historic items – but how do you know what to look for?


Start with some of the lingo with these definitions from the Federal Trade Commission: • Vintage items are generally more than 20 to 30 years old. • Vintage collectibles are at least 50 years old. • Antiques are more than 100 years old. • Reproductions are made to look like vintage or antique items, but have no real value in the antiques world. The FTC also recommends doing some research before you go shopping. This may include online research into the history of certain items and their value, visiting shops, looking at price guides and auction catalogs, and talking to reputable dealers. The website (stands for Everything But The House), an estate sale marketplace, has pricing information on hundreds of items so you can see what you • May / June 2019

should be paying for a piece when you go out shopping. will also provide you with helpful pricing information. When you go shopping, there are a few questions you’ll want to ask your antiques dealer, including how long they’ve been in business, whether they belong to any professional associations, whether they specialize in any specific items, and how they know the items they have are real and not fakes or reproductions. In addition, pay attention to the paperwork you’re getting with your items. The FTC recommends, “When you decide to buy an item, get a written receipt that includes the seller’s name, address, and phone number; the date; a complete description of the item, including age, origin, any repairs or replacements, the price you paid, and how you paid; and, if the seller claims the item is authentic, a written guarantee.” Get more consumer tips on antique shopping at


Antique Finds Close to Home BY CHRIS MILITZER

Looking for a 19th-century French provincial oil painting that once hung over a doorway in Burgundy? Maybe an early-1900s German bird cage music box that has been lovingly restored to its original condition is on your wishlist? Perhaps you need a vintage rug to really tie the room together? Whatever your antique wish, our region is filled with endless options for your shopping pleasure — and many are in areas perfect for a day trip or a weekend adventure.


Leesburg is the county seat of Loudoun County and was founded in 1740. With wineries aplenty nearby, it has been called one of the country’s most picturesque towns. Learn more at visitors.  SUGGESTED STOP

Leesburg Est. 1740 Pop. 54.200 Distance from Alexandria

45 miles Trivia

The Old Lucketts Store is a 138-year old restored general store and family home. Built in 1879 by the Luckett family, it was brought back to life in 1996. The shop now is home to more than 35 dealers who specialize in antiques, vintage finds and just plain cool stuff. Events include a monthly seasonal Design House, Vintage Spring Market and even painting classes.

During the War of 1812, Leesburg briefly was the seat of the U.S. government.

May / June 2019 •





Middleburg, a 30-minute drive southwest of Leesburg, was established in 1787 and is a well-known destination for equestrian events. The town has a rich Civil War history and more than 160 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Find out more at ď?… SUGGESTED STOP Hastenings Antiques is an importer of 18th- and 19thcentury French provincial, Italian, and English furniture and art objects. Rare antique tables and furniture, design accessories (such as the aforementioned German bird cage music box), and even custom designed furniture and artwork fills this Middleburg shop.

34 • May / June 2019

Middleburg Est. 1787 Pop. 850 Distance from Alexandria

50 miles Trivia

The town was established by Revolutionary War Lt. Col. Leven Powell, a first cousin of George Washington. He named the area Powell Town.


 SUGGESTED STOP Middleburg Antique Emporium features Multiple levels of furniture, antique equestrian accessories, clocks, rugs, china and jewelry just to start. Plan to spend some time looking at everything, and finding your way back out! No website, but call (540) 687-8680 for hours and more information.

May / June 2019 •




The Plains Est. 1720s Pop. 250 Distance from Alexandria

49 miles Trivia

The Plains was a key base for John Singleton Mosby (who led Mosby’s Raiders) during the Civil War.

Less than 10 miles southwest of Middleburg, The Plains is a town of fewer than 300 people in Fauquier County. It is called the “Gateway to Hunt Country” and features a variety of small-town shops, restaurants and gorgeous scenery. Learn more about the town and what’s there at  SUGGESTED STOP Baileywyck Antiques is a 4600-sq. ft. gallery filled with furniture, artwork, signage, lighting. You name it and this place has it. This super-friendly shop even hosts a 1st Friday event monthly, featuring different countries or themes and appetizers and refreshments.

36 • May / June 2019



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At the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley, Roanoke has plenty for the outdoor enthusiast from hiking to kayaking to mountain biking. The region also a rich history, arts, events and an up-and-coming dining scene. Plan your trip at ď?… SUGGESTED STOP Black Dog Salvage As seen on TV in the show Salvage Dawgs, this Roanoke-based shop has 40,000 sq. ft. of warehouse filled with architectural salvage and amazing rare finds. This shop is like opening a treasure chest after someone else did all the work to unearth it. New pieces are sometimes made from the finds, or you can buy the reclaimed antiques for your own project, or shop their new salvage-inspired furniture line.

38 • May / June 2019

Roanoke Est. 1852 Pop. 97,000 Distance from Alexandria

230 miles Trivia

The area that became Roanoke was once called Big Lick.


Maximize Your ROI with Professional Staging As you probably know by now, our mission at Seward Realty Group of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty is to serve our clients’ highest and best interests above all else, which includes doing everything in our power to be sure that we are getting the maximum amount of dollars that the market will bear for the sale of your home. One of our tools for hitting this mark is Professional Staging and Photography. (Others include pricing strategy,





web sites, print marketing, and more...) As you probably have also noticed, our finished product that goes to market ALWAYS shines! Most of this we owe to our incredible stager, Elaine McCall with Staged4Sale, and the talented photographers at HomeVisit. We sometimes call it “Staging Magic” or “Fake Life.” It’s one of the most important tricks of the trade and, at the risk of sounding egotistical (#sorrynotsorry), we are masters of it. And, it works! The 2017 Profile of Home Staging by National Association of Realtors found that: • 77% percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. • 1/3 of buyers’ agents said staging a home increased the dollar value offered btwn 1-5% compared to other similar unstaged homes. • Staging the living room for buyers was found to be most important (55 percent), followed by staging the master bedroom (51 percent), and staging the kitchen (41 percent). • 38% percent of sellers’ agents said they stage all sellers’ homes prior to listing them for sale. 14% percent noted that they only stage homes that are difficult to sell. We wanted to share with you some before/after pictures of some recent listings so you can see for yourself. The before pictures were taken with a phone (which, believe it or not, some agents use to market their clients’ homes!) and included the homeowner’s personal belongings. The after pictures were taken by professional photographers, all personal belongings were eliminated and items were removed to open the space showcasing square footage and light. And, of course, the rooms have been spruced, re-arranged and sparkled by Elaine’s magic wand!!

If you’re curious about getting your home on the market, we’d love to chat with you about what that process could look like and what the current market could potentially yield for your sale. Even if you’re a year (or more) away, it’s never too early to start thinking about next steps. We love helping our clients plan and strategize! Call or email us at anytime! If you want to reach out to Elaine to discuss styling your home or staging for market, you can find her at (703) 582-4252 or

Seward Realty Group Full Spectrum Concierge Real Estate at Every Price Point Let us know how we can help you, your family and friends with any real estate needs.

Lyssa Seward, (703) 298-0562, Brittanie DeChino, (202) 802-0158, Melody Abella, (703) 371-9219, Anita Edwards, (703) 928-7637, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, 400 S. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 310-6800

May / June 2019 •


40 • May / June 2019




Co-working, coffee shops and commuting alternatives

There’s no way to sugarcoat it: Commuting in Alexandria this summer is going to be difficult. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is completely shutting down all six Metro rail stations south of Reagan National Airport from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The reason: much-needed platform repairs and other fixes that will help Metro on its campaign to get service and equipment “Back to Good” after years of neglect. Officials from WMATA, the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, Visit Alexandria, the local Chamber of Commerce, DASH bus and other organizations have been working hard on mitigation plans for the tens of thousands of commuters who need to get to work in the District this summer. For the latest information on getting from Point A to Point B, go to If you start telecommuting, working from a coffee shop or looking for a new, temporary office space this summer, take a look at the advice on the following pages from residents and experts who have gone before you.


May / June 2019 •




At Work, There’s No Place Like Home BY BETH LAWTON

There are so many benefits to working from home: There’s no lengthy slog through rush-hour traffic, which often means more time with family or friends. You don’t have to smell your co-worker’s tuna fish sandwich or burned popcorn. You can work where and how you want, often with a more flexible schedule.

42 • May / June 2019

For a lot of people, working from home sounds like a dream. But before you set up shop at the dining room table, there are a few things you should know, do and think about. We talked to a few telecommuters in the area for advice.

IS YOUR COMPANY SET UP FOR TELECOMMUTING? As a computer programmer, the company Rachel Schoenbaum Jaffe works for has the technology and systems in place to support telecommuting.

The company has video conferencing and collaboration software in use. In addition, to help Jaffe and other employees be productive, the company provided a monitor, docking station and other equipment as part of her employment package. Not all companies are so supportive. Before you propose a telecommuting arrangement, find out if there are other people in your office or in similar positions who work from home. Are there systems already in place for conference calls, video conferences and collaboration? How is productivity assessed or tracked? If your company puts a high value on “face time” and in-person collaboration, full-time telecommuting may not work well or be an option. Erin Hawk, who owns an international education organization, works from her home in the Alexandria area and also manages people who work from home.

For tips on how to convince your boss to let you work from home, go to workfromhome.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself: • Do you get distracted easily, or are you disciplined and find it easy to focus on work?

• Can you set boundaries? While working from home can boost work-life balance, work can very easily creep into non-work hours.

Before starting a telecommuting arrangement, both people should have an understanding about how frequently they should communicate, how quickly they should respond to emails, timelines and more. Especially at the beginning of a telecommuting arrangement, “I think employees and employers have to be really good about communicating what their needs are,” she said. Lisa McLaughlin, who owns a products company in Alexandria and works from home, also manages a part-time assistant and several remote contractors. “Another thing to remember is that if I was an employee switching to work from home, I’d really appreciate my

manager telling me what they expect.”

EVALUATE YOUR PERSONALITY. Telecommuting can be lonely. “If you generally like interactions with other human beings, you have to make an effort. It’s not just going to happen while you’re sitting in your house,” said Jaffe, who has been working from home for the past nine years. To combat the loneliness, she goes on runs with members of the local Moms Run This Town group and makes efforts to connect with friends. “But I am by myself all day. It can be really lonely and isolating. You have to be really good at reaching out to people.” Jaffe suggests doing a trial day or two of telecommuting before committing to it full time. “You might find there are challenges to it that you weren’t expecting,” she said.


“I think you have to be honest with yourself, your work environment and your employer. As an employer, you have to build a culture of trust with your employees and you have to keep it real,” she said.


• Is your family, spouse or roommate supportive of you working from home? Will it lead to conflicts over how you use your time? • Even if you hate your commute, do you like the structure that going to an office provides? Also consider the people who may be around you: Is your spouse also going to be working from home? Will you drive each other insane? If your kids are home in the afternoons, will their noise or needs be a significant distraction? Your answers to those questions can give you some guidance in deciding if telecommuting is the right move for your career.

EVALUATE YOUR SPACE. Whether you’re working from a corner of the dining room table or have a spare bedroom, having a dedicated work space free from distractions during work hours is critical to your telecommuting success. “Start mentally thinking about that as your work space, even if it’s not a room,” Jaffe said.

May / June 2019 •


• Do you thrive working alone, or do you routinely seek out other people at the office to collaborate on projects (or socialize)?




When Jaffe and her husband started looking for a new home a few years ago, Jaffe’s work played a role in choosing a house. “I looked specifically for a home where I could have a good home office and somewhere I could be comfortable,” she said. For her, that meant having a spare bedroom that did not do double-duty as a guest bedroom. “I didn’t want to have an office/guest room, because I didn’t want to share that space.” She also didn’t want to be in the basement.

said. Her setup includes a desk, printer, scanner and a dedicated phone line.

Her office now has a dedicated desk, file cabinets, natural light and everything else she needs to be both productive and comfortable at work.


Like Jaffe, McLaughlin has a dedicated space in her home as an office. Custom, built-in desks and shelves on her top floor space have helped her be productive. Hawk is also working from a spare bedroom. “To me, it’s always been important to have a door that I can close,” she

44 • May / June 2019

If you expect to have any video conferences, you’ll want to make sure your computer and camera are set up in an appropriate location. A clean, quiet and professional background will come across better than a view of your messy kitchen, screaming toddler or barking dog. (This also gives those who work from home a good reason to shower and get dressed.)

Working from the couch may be comfortable for a little while, but your back and neck will start hurting eventually. For health reasons (and to increase your productivity), it’s important to have a proper setup.

a little plastic chair, which was awful for her back. “I had a really nice office chair in my office, and I wish I could have taken it with me,” she said. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time in that chair, it’s important to go to a few stores and sit in them, test them out and find one that provides proper support. The Healthy Back Store (3218 Duke St.) can provide guidance if you don’t know where to start or what to look for in a chair. Local ergonomics consultants can also help you adjust your chair and desk. A number of local companies also sell sit-stand desks, walking desks and other options. A reliable high-speed Internet connection is critical for most jobs, and you may need a landline for phone calls. In addition, you may want a headset for

For most desk jockeys, that means getting a high-quality, adjustable office chair. For the first few months of working from home for a Dallas-based company, Margaret McKinnon worked from

lengthier calls. A larger monitor than the one on your laptop, and a keyboard and mouse or trackpad can also help.


MAKE SOME FAMILY RULES. Just like work can creep into non-working hours, chores and errands can creep into work time.

Can I deduct my home office on my taxes?

If you have a spouse, children or even roommates, there should be some ground rules in place, a consistent schedule and limits on what non-work things can be accomplished during the day. “Create boundaries, whether it’s physical spaces just for work, or a schedule,” said McLaughlin, who schedules herself (on some days, at least) as if she were in an office. “I say, ‘I’m working at these times. I’m not throwing in laundry, I’m not throwing food in the crockpot.’”

“You cannot be 100 percent present for either of those things if you’re trying to do both. I don’t care how good of a multitasker you are,” Hawk said. “I’m not doing justice to my kids and I’m not doing justice to my work when I’m trying to do both.” Even with its challenges, working at home has huge benefits, Jaffe said. “I could sit out on my porch and work in the sunshine if I wanted. That’s not something you can always do in an office.”


Also, Hawk laughs at people who think they can be productive working from home while watching the kids.


Hawk takes a different approach. “I treat my daily routine and rituals the same as if I were going into an office,” she said. Her father worked from home (and still does today), and she remembers him kissing her mom goodbye in the morning and going upstairs to work.


Jaffe says working from home has provided her with more work-life balance because she uses her time as efficiently as she can. “If I’m on a call, I am never sitting down,” Jaffe said. While she’s on conference calls, she may also be folding laundry or cleaning. “If I don’t have to be sitting at my desk, I try to do those things. I chose that on purpose to help our family.” She’s even gotten grocery shopping down to a high-speed science and can get it done during her lunch hour.

There isn’t a straight yes-or-no answer to this question for telecommuters. Whether you can take a tax deduction for your home office or the equipment in it depends on your job and the space. While it doesn’t need to be a full room with walls and a door, the minimum requirements are that the space needs to be specifically identifiable and used exclusively for work. Talk to a professional accountant about whether you can (or should) write off your workspace.

CoWorking • Prototyping Woodshop • Classroom Metalshop • Events Space Conference Room • Snacks Coffee • Port City on Tap World-Class Tech Training 5380 Eisenhower Avenue, Building C Alexandria, VA 22304

As to whether she’d ever go back to working in an actual office, McLaughlin said maybe – when her kids are older and for a big salary increase. “They’d have to pay me a lot more to deal with the traffic.”

May / June 2019 •


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It’s true that working from home has its perks: The commute from bed to office is usually negligible, the dress code is flexible and it’s easy to avoid Sue from accounting. But working from home – or from a coffee shop – can also have its drawbacks. As a colleague once said, working from home while building her business put the “solo” in “solopreneur.” People who work in co-work communities or in shared office spaces because they don’t like to or can’t work from home say they’re more efficient and


“For the very small business, or the professional who does not have his or her own office, co-working can be a big productivity booster, especially when the alternatives are working from home or working from a coffee shop,” said Matt Whitaker, owner of Intelligent Office. “In the right co-working environment, you will find all of the tools needed to be productive, including fast internet connections, quiet and substantial workspace, and an environment where you are surrounded by other productive people.”

the number of places where you can

Those other people can be key: “Networking is one of the biggest benefits of co-working, because you have the opportunity to meet so many different types of people and collaborate, which you don’t get to do when you’re in a coffee shop,” said Kelly Grant, COO of the ALX Community co-working and event space in Old Town Alexandria.

Alexandria isn’t alone in its growth




focused at “the office.” In addition, having an office to go to can provide some work-life balance by creating more physical separation of work from home.


Office Space: Co-working Grows Up

With an increasing number of people choosing to telecommute, joining the “gig economy” or hanging a shingle, rent a workplace have grown. In Alexandria alone, there are more than two dozen places where telecommuters, entrepreneurs and small businesses can rent a desk, an office or a conference room for a day, week, month or longer — and benefit from anything from free snacks to chance connections with people who can help you and your business grow. Some offer receptionist services, mail services and more.

in catering to people interested in co-working. In the local metro area, co-working is growing by more than 20 percent per year, keeping pace with other markets. That doesn’t include the growth of executive office suites and shared offices.

May / June 2019 •




While many rentable, professional workplaces offer free coffee and office services, not all spaces are the same. Some offer true co-working with a combination of open desks and offices, networking opportunities, events and professional development. Other places are designed to be executive office suites, where each person or company has an office for privacy, and in some cases collaboration and events are less frequent by design. A number of new places are trying to offer the best of both worlds, with both co-working and private offices and the opportunity for businesses to scale in place without being tied to a long-term lease.

The biggest consideration is to be honest with yourself about which type of environment will work best for you and for your business. “People should look carefully at the environment and match it to their needs and the needs of their business,” Whitaker said. “For example, if you




With so many places to choose from, how do you know where to start?


48 • May / June 2019

need a place to meet clients, then a space with no closed offices may not be ideal. If you provide professional services at a high hourly rate (such as an attorney or CPA), then you probably want to look for a space that conveys the same type of image that a client would see if they went to a larger firm in your industry.” Start by asking yourself what you need – and differentiating it from what you want.

lease for business owners whose businesses may be seasonal or experience other ebbs and flows. “You might also consider the flexibility available at the co-working space, in case you need to scale up or down quickly, or in case you may not be able to commit for more than a few months at the beginning,” Whitaker said. In addition, if volunteer and networking opportunities are important, factor that in. Some places offer opportunities to

Grant suggested that people ask themselves these questions: “What’s the level of privacy they need with the work they do? How much time will they spend on the phone? How much conference or meeting space will they need? What kind of vibe do they want? What type of space will help them propel themselves forward?”

get involved with the local nonprof-

Another thing to consider are the additional services offered, Whitaker said. Some spaces just offer you a desk and little else, whereas others offer a full range of support, including a receptionist and administrative assistance.

• How much noise can I tolerate?

A co-working space or executive office suite may be better than a long-term

• Do I want to be able to bring my dog

it community. ALX Community, for example, supports organizations like Together We Bake, Spring2ACTion and local services for women. Other questions to ask: • How much natural light do I want in my space?

• Do I need to be able to get home quickly and easily? (Location matters!) • Is commuting and parking easy? to work?

• Do I want 24/7 access?

The company thinks of itself as

• What equipment do I need? Is printing included?

a hospitality company first and

• What’s my budget for renting a space? • Am I willing to commit to a lease or would I rather have more flexibility?


foremost, said Mandi Meros, who is heading up the Eisenhower East location. Learn more at The Garden in the Eisenhower West neighborhood (5380 Eisenhower Ave. near the Van Dorn Metro station) is a new concept for Alexandria: It’s a

The latest two spaces to open in Alexandria are giving telecommuters, entrepreneurs and small business owners even more options.

co-building community.

Industrious, which opened this spring near the Eisenhower Metro station, offers dedicated desks, offices with natural light and a variety of services for individuals and businesses. In addition to Eisenhower East, the company has office spaces in Tysons, Ballston and the District, as well as in more than 30 other cities.

tance for growing business owners.

Industrious offers a balance of spaces in each office for collaboration, private meetings and focusing, in addition to wellness rooms, member events, unlimited free printing and workplace support.

preneurial inventors and makers. The


In addition to offering open desks, private offices, conference rooms and equipment, The Garden offers assis-

What makes The Garden unique is that it has large spaces for tinkering and creating: metal machining, electronics development equipment, soldering, hand tools, a wood shop, cutter – the space is built for entreGarden also has event space and offers a variety of classes, team-building programs and professional development opportunities. Learn more at

Metro shutdown


SKIP YOUR COMMUTE during the Blue & Yellow


Enjoy a productive workspace close to home at Industrious Alexandria Get your best work done with fully-equipped conference rooms, private offices, and beautiful common spaces

236 Eisenho w

er Ave


49 5



silkscreen printing and even a laser

LEARN MORE alexandria-carlyle-tower 49 May / June 2019 •




Coffee Common Sense Tips for coffee shop etiquette BY LISA RABASCA ROEPE

Enter any coffee shop in Alexandria and you’ll see a familiar scene—moms pushing strollers often with another toddler in tow, friends chatting over lattes and lots of folks typing away on laptops.

50 • May / June 2019

Coffee shops are the adult version of the sandbox. Somehow everyone manages to get along. Yet ask anyone who sometimes uses their local coffee shop as an alternative office, and you’ll get an endless list of complaints about other customers. They’re too loud, they hog the outlets, they don’t use ear buds while listening to music, they stay too long, and they take up too much space. I admit it: I’m guilty of that last one. I’m a spreader. Even when I’m alone, if there’s a four-person table available I will take it, put my bags on the empty chairs, and scatter my notebooks, smartphone and laptop across the table. Signs like “Please be so kind as to share your table” make me feel anxious… and guilty. While most of us can easily rattle off our biggest gripe about the person at the next table, how often do we consider how our own behavior impacts the other patrons — or even the shop owner? Read on for seven tips for coffee shop etiquette from local owners and baristas.


Etiquette Hang Up the Phone (or Take It Outside)

Know Your Order

You may think you’re using a quiet voice to talk on the phone, but chances are everyone can still hear you and you’re annoying. “If you get a call or need to make a call while you’re at the coffee shop, it’s best to take the call outside,” said Kathleen Burke, a barista at St. Elmo’s in Del Rey. Speaking in a quiet voice isn’t always sufficient, and taking the call on speakerphone is a clear no-no.

If you’re going use the coffee shop as an office and stay for more than an hour or two, be considerate and buy more than a single bottle of water or a cup of black coffee. “People will stay here for hours but most will buy more than just a plain coffee,” Burke said. And the coffee shops owners usually don’t mind: “We like that we have customers who come in for breakfast and stay for lunch,” Waller said.

Because every order can be customized in an infinite number of ways— oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, different flavored syrups, an extra shot of espresso—it’s important to know what you want before you get to the counter and to state your order clearly. Talking on the phone while you’re ordering is rude to the staff and customers, Burke said.

Watch Your Belongings (and Maybe Someone Else’s)

If It’s Crowded, Share a Table

What happens to your stuff when you need step outside or use the restroom? It’s inconvenient to pack up and, if you do, there’s a good chance your table will be occupied when you return. You can ask another customer to watch your things, but Burke recommends asking someone you’ve seen at the shop before. “Many patrons who ask other customers to watch their things have established relationships with the other patrons,” Burke said. “Because most of our customers are regulars, there is a sense of trust.”

Most owners don’t mind if you take up a large table as long as the coffee shop is not too busy. But, if you see a large group looking for a place to sit down and you’re alone at a huge table, consider sharing it or moving to smaller table, said Candy Briffa, owner of Grounded, near Kingstowne. Try to keep what you bring with you to a minimum, too. One frequent Starbucks customer reported seeing a man set up a computer tower, fullsized monitor, keyboard and mouse to work at a Starbucks in Alexandria last year.

Baristas want to make sure customers get their drinks at the proper temperature and texture, said Rob Shelton, owner of Killer ESP in Old Town. But so many times, coffee cups sit on the counter unclaimed. “It’s not uncommon to call someone’s name five or six times, and then 20 minutes later they come up and ask where their drink is,” Burke said.

It takes a certain amount of concentration and mindfulness to make a good latte or cappuccino, especially because it’s not uncommon for baristas to have five to 10 drinks lined up waiting to be made so please don’t disturb the barista. “Don’t walk up to the barista and ask for a knife or a spoon or a cup of water,” Briffa said. “Go the counter instead.”


Don’t Disturb the Barista

Listen for Your Order


If you don’t see any patrons you know or trust, don’t ask the staff to watch your laptop, Burke said. “That is not in the job description,” she said. It’s really difficult to make food and drinks, and watch customer’s belongings, especially when it gets busy, said Susan Baharmast, who owns Nectar in Del Rey with her sister Shirley Waller.


It’s OK to Stay All Day

“None of these drinks improve with time,” Baharmast said “Your cappuccino is going to change into a flatuccino.” Another pro tip: If it’s crowded, wait at least eight minutes before asking where your drink is, Burke said. “Just because you don’t see a line of customers, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any orders ahead of yours.”

May / June 2019 •


Alexandria’s Best Coffee Shops for Workers Alexandria has a number of great, independent coffee shops – but not all of them are suited for telecommuting. In addition to a steady flow of caffeine, people who work from coffee shops will likely need large tables, power outlets and reliable, fast wifi. The amount of natural light, ambiance, temperature and background noise in any given café can vary by the time of day, so factor in your personal preferences when choosing where to set up shop.


Nectar Del Ray Coffee Bar & Wine Bistro 106 Hume Ave. (Del Ray) (571) 431-6150


Hours: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday

Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday



St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub 2300 Mt. Vernon Ave. (Del Ray) (703) 739-9268 Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday; 6 a.m. to Tuesday and Wednesday; 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.


Atmosphere: With larger tables than most local coffee shops and a number of power outlets, St. Elmo’s is a popular work spot for Del Ray residents. St. Elmo’s has a lot of natural light, comfortable seating and a diverse menu. 3

Swing’s Coffee Roasters 501 E. Monroe Ave. (Del Ray) (571) 385-0378 Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Atmosphere: This popular coffee roaster has a number of large tables, plenty of natural light for large windows facing Braddock Road, high ceilings and a variety of baked goods. Power outlets are harder to find than other coffee shops.


Killer ESP 1012 King St. (Old Town) (703) 200-3200

Grounded Coffee 6919 Telegraph Road (703) 341-6612 Hours: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday Atmosphere: Grounded Coffee Shop on Telegraph Road near the intersection of South Kings Highway is an eclectic, colorful, light-filled pasty shop and café. With a variety of tables and couches, Grounded is known for being kid-friendly.


Java Loco 289 S. Van Dorn St. (West End) Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday Atmosphere: This coffee shop offers much more than croissants with full lunches and dinners, a variety of snack options and has a warm, cozy atmosphere. Expect parents with little ones to drop by with some frequency – it’s located right next to The Little Gym.

Hours: 8 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday Atmosphere: This homey, narrow coffee shop and bakery on King Street has small tables and a few couches for casual solo working. On nice days, head outside to the garden patio.

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Atmosphere: We’d be remiss not to mention Misha’s in this list. With primarily smaller tables, the coffee shop is better suited for working solo than for group meetings. The background noise can be louder here than in some other coffee shops, particularly when the baristas are grinding beans. A second Misha’s location is in the works, and the original Misha’s is planning to move to a new space on nearby King Street in 2019.

Atmosphere: With two levels overlooking large windows, a fireplace and a variety of seating options, Nectar is a hidden gem in Del Ray. (The café housed Emma’s Espresso and Wine Bar until 2017.) 2

Misha’s 102 S. Patrick St. (Old Town) (703) 548-4089

For a guide on how to avoid being a java shop jerk, see page 50.






4 5



May / June 2019 •


If you haven’t been on a bicycle much since before you could drive a car, here are tips on switching your commute from four wheels to two.




Shifting Gears for Your Commute



The Metro rail shutdown of all Metro stations south of Reagan National Airport between Memorial Day and Labor Day this year will set off a scramble for many commuters to find alternative ways to get to work.

more bicycle-friendly than most other areas in the United States, and it shows in how many people bike to work.

Bike Friendly Community,” according to Alexandria’s online bicycling guide at

According to Census data, the District has the second-highest bike commuting rate in the nation with 4.6 percent of commuters reporting bicycling as their primary commute method. The City of Alexandria has the second highest rate in the region, at 1.8 percent.


It may even push more people to start pushing the pedals.

In 2018, Alexandria was re-awarded Silver Status as a Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) by the League of American Bicyclists in 2018. Washington, D.C. earned Gold Status, moving up from Silver.

Both Schwatken and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s Colin Browne recommend planning out your route using local bicycle and trail maps. (WABA has links to maps for the entire region available at resources/maps-and-documents.)

Alexandria resident Brian Schwatken rides to work almost every workday from his West End home to his office near the White House – about 12 miles each way. As a part-time professional triathlete, Schwatken spends hours on his bike every week, but even non-athletes can bike to work with the right preparation and equipment, he said. The Washington, D.C. metro area is

54 • May / June 2019

“The City’s expansion of the Bikeshare program, installation and designation of new bike lanes and routes, as well as the continual installation of bicycle parking throughout the City are just a few of the initiatives that make the City of Alexandria a nationally-recognized

Schwatken, who rides in any weather that isn’t dangerous (primarily thunderstorms or ice), said being prepared is the most important thing when it comes to biking to work.

Keep in mind that your best bicycle route is unlikely to be the route you normally drive. See if you can stick to trails or roads with dedicated bicycle lanes for safety, Schwatken recommended.



Some buildings have a shower room, locker room or a relationship with a local gym where you can shower and get dressed. You’ll want to check to see if you need to provide your own soap, towels, hairdryer and other essentials to get ready for work after bike commuting. You may consider bringing a few days’ worth of clothes into the office on the weekend so you can bicycle commute in during the week without worrying about how to transport a suit. BEFORE YOU TAKE OFF “Do an ABC Quick Check, and if anything seems wrong, take it to your local shop

In addition to videos on the WABA website, many bicycle shops in the area offer basic maintenance classes, guidance on the best routes for riding into D.C. (or elsewhere), and more. Beyond selling you a new bike and equipment, bicycle shops can be a great resource for information. Knowing how to change your tire (and bringing a spare tube and CO2 canister) is critical, Schwatken said. WABA offers a special City Cycling class for commuters that’s perfect for those who may be comfortable on their bike but nervous about riding in the City. WABA’s spring education season starts in late April. Classes and rides are listed at



“Once you’re parked, will you need to change your clothes? Give yourself some time to do that, too,” Browne said.

The ABC Quick Check involves checking the tires for air (the tires should feel firm, and use the tire’s PSI recommendation as a guide). The B is for brakes: Test both hand brakes “making sure the whole brake pad squeezes tightly on the wheel’s metal rim, not on the rubber tire or on empty air,” according to guidance from WABA. C is for the bicycle chain, which should be rust free and move smoothly. Quick is for quick check on the rest of the bicycle, looking for any other problems.

The percentage of Alexandria commuters report “bicycle” as their primary method of commuting.


When you arrive at work, you’ll need somewhere safe to park your bicycle. Some buildings offer indoor bicycle parking or parking in a nearby garage. Or, there may be a bicycle rack outside. You may want to ask your employer’s human resources department about this, or find a colleague who has been biking to work for advice. (See page 56 for information about bike locks.)

for a look,” Browne said. “Especially in the spring, many shops have a very busy repair schedule, so make sure to allow a few days for this.”


It’s a good idea to take a test ride into work so you know how long it will take and what you may encounter along the way. “Try out your route on a weekend, or whenever you can allow some time to get lost,” Browne said.

The number of Capital Bikeshare docking stations in Alexandria.

49 The number of miles of bicycle lanes, shared lanes and trails for bicyclists in the City of Alexandria.

May / June 2019 •


Save the Date for Bike to Work Day!



The Washington Area Bicyclist Association, which does both advocacy and education for bicycle riders across the metro area, is hosting Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 17, as a way of encouraging people to try biking to work. There will be several bike stops along trails and commonly used routes. Much more information is available at

Biking on Alexandria’s Mount Vernon Trail BY RICHARD NOWITZ





Aside from a bicycle, there are a few things you’ll want to have with you for your ride.

A light. “A single white light on your handlebars and a red light on the rear of your bike make you much more visible, not just at night, but if it’s raining or foggy. A white front light and red rear light or reflector are required by law if you’re riding after dark in most of the region. If you’re riding on a trail, make sure to angle your front light down a little so you’re not blinding oncoming riders,” Browne said.

A lock (or two). Even if you’re parking your bike in a bike room or locked cage in a parking garage, you really should lock up your bike securely so it doesn’t get stolen. Pick up a secure U-lock or heavy-duty chain lock (or two) and make sure you lock your bike to a secure, grounded structure, avoiding bus stop signs and trees. If you have two locks, be sure to lock both the front and back tires as well as the frame. For more information on bicycle security, go to preventing-bicycle-theft.

A SmartTrip Card and your cell phone. Sometimes the weather changes during the day unexpectedly, especially in the spring and summer. If you don’t want to ride home in the rain, you can put your bike on the front of a Metro bus and ride home. Or, leave your bike at work (preferably inside somewhere safe) and use other means to get home.

56 • May / June 2019

Water. Even in the early morning hours on a relatively easy commute, biking can be a workout. Have water with you.

Helmet. Technically, helmets are not required by law anywhere in the region, according to Browne. However, it’s a really very good idea to wear one if you can. You only get one brain and you need to protect it in the event of an accident or crash.

Cell phone. Sometimes things go wrong. You should know how to change your tire, Schwatken said, so you can continue with your commute after getting a flat tire. However, other serious malfunctions may stop you in your tracks. Always have your lock with you so you can lock up your broken bike somewhere safe, and use your cell phone to call someone for a ride or look up the closest bus stop. And remember you can put your bike on the front of a Metro or DASH bus if you need to.

Optional: Bike shorts, biking shoes, etc. While not necessary, having properly fitting bike clothing can make your commute more comfortable. GO ELECTRIC For longer bike commuting trips or for those who may worry about their endurance while bike commuting, electric bikes are a good option. The motor-assisted bicycles, like those sold by Pedego Electric Bikes and other shops in Alexandria, can make riding up hills or going long distances easier and faster.

In fact, a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology in 2016 showed that using an electric bike (or e-bike) can result in better fitness, improved blood sugar control and less body fat. Todd Ketch’s Pedego Electric Bikes shop in Old Town Alexandria offers a variety of electric bikes that make riding easier without taking away the fun. The bikes range from road bikes to mountain bikes to heavy-duty tricycles. If you want to try out an electric bike, Pedego offers a variety of guided tours in addition to test rides and hourly rentals. Learn more at BIKESHARE PROGRAMS You don’t need your own bike to cycle to work! The Alexandria area has more than 30 Capital Bikeshare stations – part of a regional bike sharing system with more than 500 stations in the District, Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County and nearby Maryland. Capital Bikeshare users use an app connected to a financial service to unlock a bike from a docking station, ride it to the Capital Bikeshare station closest to their destination and return the bicycle. Learn more at A number of companies are providing dockless bikeshare programs, including Lyft and Lime. Some of these bicycles are also electric.



Officials from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County and other entities have been working hard to help commuters figure out alternative ways to commute between Memorial Day and Labor Day. If you don’t want to bike to work, here are more options that will help you avoid sitting in traffic this summer. For more information on all of these, go to



WMATA, Alexandria City’s DASH Bus service and Fairfax County Connector bus service are providing additional options and routes for commuters this summer. This includes free shuttles to Metro rail stations (including Pentagon and Crystal City), more frequent service and additional express buses. WMATA also offers quick MetroWay transit from the Braddock Road Metro Station to Crystal City. For more information, go to the bus service websites.

The City of Alexandria is in the midst of a demonstration program with several electric scooter companies. (Some of those companies also offer electric bikes.) The scooters can make it faster to get to a bus stop. Each scooter company has its own mobile app for riders to sign up and pay to unlock scooters for use. Scooters are not allowed on sidewalks in the City of Alexandria and all riders must obey traffic rules.



The Potomac Riverboat Co. offers water taxi service between Alexandria and the Wharf in the District. Additional services are available to Georgetown, Nationals Park, National Harbor and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. Season passes are available, which can lead to significant savings if you plan to use the water taxi a good amount this summer.

If you’re a runner, consider running to work. Like biking, this will require some preparation – figuring out your route, where to shower and change when you arrive, etc. Local running clubs including those hosted by Pacer’s or Potomac Runners will link you up with other local runners who can provide solid advice for your first run commute.



The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) will continue to operate out of Old Town Alexandria. It goes from the Alexandria Amtrak Station to L’Enfant Plaza and to Union Station in the District. Weekly and monthly passes are available to save money.

Uber, Lyft and other rideshare apps offer “carpool” options, which can lower the price if you use one of those services to get to and from work. In Alexandria, first-time Lyft users can save $5 with the promo code VISITALX19. For additional carpool and other transportation options, check

May / June 2019 •





Q&A On Wright’s home style… “I look for things first that are something I haven’t seen before, but I also buy things that I like. … I have a very neutral palate in my home. This is a safe way for me to indulge my adventurous decoration side, knowing it will be good for someone’s house, just not mine,” she said.

On finding what people want…

Willow Wright in her Alexandria vintage boutique, Urban Redeux.

Willow Wright and Wendy Wells The women behind Urban Redeux

Nestled between a Mexican restaurant and a bank is one of the Mount Vernon area’s retail gems: Urban Redeux. In just a few months, the store gained a loyal following of customers interested in “Junque, Funk, Furnishings” – and whatever catches the eyes of founder Willow Wright and her mother and co-founder, Wendy Wells. The mother-daughter team opened Urban Redeux at 8742 Cooper Road in 2018. Wright describes the store as “a little bit of antique, a little bit of treasures, local manufacturers and whatever’s interesting.” The store includes furniture and items found at local estate sales and auction houses (they won’t disclose their sources), locally-manufactured items (from A|VA apparel and Ohh Soy Goodness) and more. Prices range from 50-cents to more than $500. There’s quite possibly something for everyone. The duo has sold a very wide variety of items from antique rotary phones to yard sticks, silver, figurines, furniture, textiles and more. Wright graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in sports medicine, but chose the entrepreneurial route early. After years in direct sales, a death in the family spurred her to reevaluate her own life and career. Wright’s mother was a musician and “maker” – she still paints and sells some of her works at Urban Redeux – and her father worked on historic renovations. Inspired by her arts-focused upbringing and by a shop in Richmond called Class and Trash, Wright started to distill her own vision for what would become Urban Redeux. “The curation began well before the shop opened,” Wright said. “By the time summer came around – we have a two car garage – and I had four complete dining sets, things stacked to the ceilings, and the kids couldn’t get their bikes out.” Wright now has at least part of her garage back, she said. Urban Redeux will celebrate a year in business this September.

58 • May / June 2019

“I read Southern Living, Décor, House Beautiful… So, I try to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening in style right now and knowing what people might be drawn to, and then I’m aware of those items when I’m out searching,” Wright said.

Most interesting sale… Wright and Wells ended up with a rocking chair that the previous owner said was haunted: Several people saw a young boy in 19th-century period clothing and blonde hair in the room with the chair. The rocking chair was at Urban Redeux for less than two hours and was bought by people who were fascinated by the story behind it.

Can people consign their items to you? “We aren’t consignment, we don’t take donations. I generally give people referrals to estate sale companies, or I refer to a local auction house, or I even tell people to try Craigslist or eBay. But there’s a great market for someone who should open a consignment shop,” Wright said.

What did you think would never sell? Wright: “My mom found a big, tall, sailboat lamp made out of chalkware and one of my best customers came in and had to have it for her kid’s room.” Wells: “Willow will get things and I think they’ll never sell, and they sell. Our tastes are very different but complement each other.”

On working together… When asked about their challenges, Wright joked: “Learning to work with your mother.“ Wells replied: “Learning to work with your daughter! But Willow is why people come here; this is all about watching her do this and she’s fabulous at it and I’m so proud.”

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Data obtained from Bright™ MLS for all residential sales settled in Alexandria City for January 1-December 31, 2018. Sales data is deemed to be accurate but not guaranteed.

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