CONTENTS MARCH / APRIL 2017
First of all 06 Break a Keg Intermission Beer Company
07 French Films A Man of Many Faces
Health 08 5 Foods for a Beautiful Smile Virginia Family Dentist
10 Organic Foods: Worth the Cost?
Flavor 13 In Search Of: Comfort Foods 14 Culinary Hanover 16 Tastebudz
Home 21 Home Buyers’ Desires A Look at Today’s Trends
24 Back to Nature In Your Own Backyard
Travel 26 Cherry Blossom Festival
10 26 02 Hanover Lifestyle
Are Organic Foods Worth the Cost? Well, Yes and No
Annual Cherry Blossom Festival Washington, D.C.
WHAT’S GOING ON? Okay, so we got an early start on spring this year. Who’s complaining? However once spring actually, officially arrives, our thoughts turn to a variety of seasonal activities. Regardless of your activity of choice, I bet you can find something on RichmondNavigator.com to inform, direct or just plain entertain you. Use the website’s Search feature to locate articles on a variety of springtime topics, such as: FIXING UP AROUND THE HOUSE: Last March, we posted a very helpful article, which provided “Five Springtime Improvements.” To locate this article, search Five Improvements. Also, in March, 2013, we had a really cool feature that provided excellent suggestions for spicing up the kitchen. Search Spice Kitchen
GARDENING: Vicki O’Neal had an interesting piece on theme gardens, in which she provided a host of great ideas from an English or Japanese garden to a rock garden or a butterfly garden. ITo find this fascinating article, which appeared online in March, 2014, search Theme Garden
ENJOYING THE GREAT OUTDOORS: In March of last year, Tom Gresham offered a number of great outdoor fun suggestions in his article, “West End Fun” in fact if you search West End Fun, you’ll discover his delightful and informative article.
CELEBRATING THE NATIONAL PASTIME: We’re talking about baseball, of course. As the Squirrels take to the field, locally, you might enjoy a fascinating article on the history of baseball in Richmond. It appeared in March, 2014. To read “Baseball Memories and Hometown Heroes,” search Baseball.
THE DIAMOND EXPERIENCE: That same search will also reveal another story from July of the same year. I’m going to go back and reread “The Diamond Experience: Baseball, Extreme Food & Craft Beer,” It will get me ready to Go Nuts come April 6. TAKE A (SPRING) BREAK: This is a great time of year to hit the road and get to know more about your state. Virginia pretty much has it all, including the amazing Crooked Road country music heritage trail. If you’ve never been, please read Davy Jones’ column from last year, On the Crooked Road. And start packing for an adventure of a lifetime. As you could guess, just search Crooked Road (actually just “crooked” will do).
From dining to travel to home & health, go to RichmondNavigator.com and search. March / April 2017
Hanover Lifestyle 03
From the Editor
on’t let the photograph fool you. I still identify as an old(er) man. However, I wanted to use this issue’s Editor’s Letter to help both you and me get better acquainted with our new managing editor, Elena Marinaccio, who comes to us via Westchester, New York. I’m always wondering how outsiders view Hanover County and the entire Metro area. In future issues, we’ll have an opportunity to get her take on a variety of topics of local interest. For now, however, I’m going to give Elena the rest of this space to tell us a little about herself and to provide a preview of this issue.
Steve Cook, Steve@RichmondNavigator.com I moved here last July with my family and we’re still in the throes of exploring all the area has to offer. Current obsessions include: anything happening on the river, discovering new thrift shops, and attempting to eat at every restaurant within a 50 mile radius. I love exploring And now to the magazine in your hands. It’s been my pleasure to work with such a cool, welcoming and dedicated team. We all want to deliver pages with eye-catching photos, some fine storytelling, a little humor and a lot of know-how. And I’ll grab this spot right here to personally thank Steve for all his help, guidance and good restaurant recommendations. From Mrs.Fearnow’s Brunswick Stew to Big Daddy Salsa, Hanover has a rich culinary heritage. Writer Tom Gresham takes a look at some of the fabulous foods that have put our county on the map. Also on the food front, writer Angel Weight explores the world of organic foods, while our In Search Of… crew scouted out the best in comfort foods in the area. Branching out further north, Zach Brown reports on the beloved and much-anticipated Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. While closer to home, we explore the latest trends in sustainable landscape and hardscape design, and Jordan Langely provides some interesting insights into what today’s homebuyers are looking for both inside the home and out. Enjoy!
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In Our Next Issue: Don’t go anywhere until you read our special annual DESTINATION METRO RICHMOND Issue coming in May. We’ll offers great ideas for “stay and play” vacations around (Chesterfield/ Hanover/The West End) and the entire Richmond area. PLUS: 5 Great Beaches You May Not Know About 5 Cool Virginia Getaways; Ashland Street Festivals Look for the next issue of Hanover Lifestyle coming in early May.
Editor’s Note: Shortly after completing her recent column, “Have You Had the
Right Talk,” (page 9) Constance Whitney informed me that her mother, Neva Juanita Elias, had passed away, on January 30, after a short illness. “She was my rock,” Constance said. “She was a huge influence in my life and I will miss her for the rest of my life.” Constance added: Thank you for publishing this article. May it inspire at least one person to have the right conversation and alleviate at least one person from having to go through the agonizing decisions that have ruled my life for the last five weeks.” All of us here at Hanover Lifestyle Magazine extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to Constance and her family. 04 Hanover Lifestyle
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Organic foods are all the rage right now. But are they worth the cost? We investigate how to get the most benefit from your organic food dollar. Tom Gresham takes a look at Hanover’s culinary heritage and future. “Home Buyers’ Desires” reveals current trends in the housing market.
804-569-0530 • BoyleDentistry.com March / April 2017
Hanover Lifestyle 05
FIRST OF ALL
Break a Keg by Elena Marinaccio
If you feel the need to break out into a soulful rendition of “Memories” or bring down the house with your version of “Defying Gravity” after downing a few handcrafted brews, well, we’ve found a brewery for you. Intermission Beer Company—started up by two selfproclaimed theater geeks—is slated to open later this spring at 10089 Brook Road, near the newly sold Virginia Center Commons mall. The couple plans to do most of the renovations themselves. Husband-and-wife-team Courtney and Justin White met in the early 2000s in the VCU Theater department, and their love—of theater, beer and each other—has only grown since then. Justin perfected his home-brewing skills. Courtney spent four years searching for the perfect home for the brewery. Justin, a
master carpenter, hand built their pilot system using water heater elements. Courtney earned a certificate in the Business of Craft Brewing from Portland State University. Justin loves a good stout, while Courtney refers to herself as “more of a DD [Designated Driver].” “It just speaks to our relationship,” said Justin. “She’s got strengths that I don’t have. I have strengths she doesn’t have. We complement each other in that regard.” The retail brewery (read: they won’t bottle or distribute) will debut with some light selections for spring; think a pilsner, maybe a
Imagine your home, totally organized!
lawnmower ale, offered in flights and growler fills. The emphasis here—and this coming from a stout lover—is light. “We don’t want it to be where you have one and think ‘Well I can’t do anything for the rest of the day,’” said Justin. “With all this retail shopping around us, we want it to be something you can do in the middle of the day.” With Intermission’s small batch-size, the couple said they’re able to experiment more than the bigger breweries, but like the idea of keeping it mellow: “We want to be where we can experiment with a touch of sanity,” said Justin.
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FIRST OF ALL
Cannes on Cary by Elena Marinaccio
How do you say “silver anniversary” in French? This year marks the 25th presentation of the French Film Festival in Richmond, and soon Cary Street will be all dressed up in the French Tricolour. The internationally renowned festival—it’s the largest and most prestigious of its kind outside France—runs March 27 to April 2 and features: a three-day symposium; 30 world and North American premiere screenings, presented by their respective filmmakers and actors at the Byrd Theater; and musical performances, including an acoustic set from founding member of The Police, Henry Padovani. This year’s fest is loosely themed around the marriage of music and film, featuring three live performances, several films about music (Padovani will also be screening his new film Rock N’ Roll …of Corse!) plus screen and face time at the symposium from award-winning film composer Bruno Coulais, who’s bringing Pascale Cuenot’s new film In the tracks of Bruno Coulais, followed by a discussion on music in French cinema. The festival plays host to about 60 actors, directors and other renowned film professionals from Paris and beyond, including the technicians who arrange the screening specs at the Cannes Film Festival. “They’ll tweak the sound system and projectors to show these films in the ultimate conditions,” said festival co-founder Dr. Peter Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick founded the event with his wife, Dr. Françoise Kirkpatrick. They’re professors of French literature, culture and film studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond, respectively. So, Rams or Spiders? One thing the couple agrees on: The Byrd Theatre is the ideal venue for the event. “The Byrd Theatre is a magical place,” said Peter. “Symbolically it’s important because geographically it’s the mid-point between our two academic sponsors.” But Peter also notes the opportunity afforded the filmmakers to screen their films in such a historic setting. “Directors who come to Richmond and have 1,400 people watching their film and reacting to their film—that just can’t happen anymore. It’s amazing for them.” Both professors (and self-affirmed French film buffs) echo the idea of community as elemental to the fest’s ethos, “No one’s hiding out in their hotel room,” said Peter. “You can find all the actors, directors out on Cary Street.” The festival has become such a longstanding place to network that it’s spawned a few films of its own. The co-directors of the 2011 Academy Award-nominated The Intouchables told the Kirkpatricks that they met their film’s producer at the festival, and the film took off from there. As Peter tells it, the pair grabbed him and his wife, full of joy, exclaiming, “This film exists because of Richmond!”
The free three-day symposium French Film: Arts, Science & Technology at Work for Humanity will be held at The Ukrop Auditorium on the University of Richmond campus and at the VCU Grace Street Theater March 27 through 29. Screenings for the 25th French Film Festival run March 27 to April 2 at The Byrd Theatre.
GAUMONT et PATHÉ présent a coproduction LITTLE BEAR – GAUMONT – PATHÉ PRODUCTION
Check out our je ne sais quoi with ongoing coverage of the festival on our website, RichmondNavigator.com.
For more information visit FrenchFilmFestival.us March / April 2017
Hanover Lifestyle 07
Great For Your
Smile! by Louis N. Formica, DDS, MS
March is National Nutrition Month. As we hit the stride of the New Year, here are a few foods to help you smile a little brighter and healthier.
traditional over-the-counter homecare products for turmeric toothpaste, there is certainly a place for this golden spice as an additive to prepared dishes or even in healthy smoothies.
Often when people think of carrots and health they jump straight to the idea that carrots help your eyesight. Although not as widely known, carrots also help your “eye teeth.” The carrot has crunch and texture, which acts as nature’s toothbrush wiping away plaque that sticks to our teeth and gums. Crunchy vegetables like carrots also help produce significant amounts of saliva which bring in healthy enzymes and minerals to help protect our teeth.
Cheese Researchers have recently shown that among dairy products, cheese may be the best for your choppers. In a study comparing it with milk and yogurt in a control test group, cheese came through as the winner in effectively lowering pH in the mouth after consumption at various time intervals. A lower pH means lower acid content which can be protective of our tooth enamel.
Turmeric While more of a spice than a food, turmeric has been shown to combat dental plaque, gum inflammation and microbial colonies. Several studies have also linked turmeric to reductions in oral cancer cells. While I would not jump to trading in your
If you don’t live in a sunny area, most adults are deficient in vitamin D. Fatty fish, like salmon, contain high amounts of vitamin D without the negative side effects of the sun’s rays. Vitamin D is critical for helping your body absorb calcium from your diet. Vitamin D and calcium go hand in hand to contribute to healthy mineralization of your teeth.
Green tea Want fresh breath — try green tea. Polyphenols found in green tea have been shown to kill bacteria and suppress their byproducts leading to improved breath freshness. One study has shown that green tea had a better effect on breath freshness than mints or gum. Green tea also contains a host of other antioxidants which help reduce inflammation and promote healthy gums. Use fluoridated water to steep your next green tea for an added healthy tooth bonus! Virginia Family Dentistry is a group practice of more than 50 doctors specializing in Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Dental Implants, Prosthodontics, Periodontics, Endodontics, Cosmetic and General Dentistry. With 12 convenient locations in the Richmond Metro Area, we can assist you in creating your youthful smile. For a location near you, visit VAdentist.com.
Our two Hanover locations: Atlee–Ashland, (804) 550-3324; Mechanicsville–Hanover, (804) 730-3400 — VAdentist.com 08 Hanover Lifestyle
Dr. Louis Formica earned his Doctoral Degree in Dental Surgery from Virginia Commonwealth University. Originally from New Jersey, Dr. Formica completed his undergraduate education at NYU and attended Columbia University to earn a Master’s degree in Nutrition with honors. Our oral and general wellness is largely mediated by nutrition, and Dr. Formica’s background provides a unique lens to assist his patients identify and improve both their oral and systemic health. Dr. Formica has been recognized for his research bridging the fields of nutrition and dentistry by the prestigious Pierre Fauchard Academy and American Dental Association. Dr. Formica is a general dentist at Virginia Family Dentistry’s Tri-Cities location.
A DV E NTU R E S I N AG I N G
Have you had the right talk? W
by Constance Whitney
e’ve all heard about the importance of having “The Talk” — not the birds and the bees one, the other one. The one where we honestly and succinctly let our loved one know what our wishes are in the event of a catastrophic event. My friends and my family and I have had these discussions numerous times. I can tell you exactly what each one of them wants — whether they want the ‘plug pulled’ or whether they want heroic measures to be taken to keep them alive — and they know in no uncertain terms what my wishes are if it ever happens to me. We had The Talk. We just didn’t have the Right Talk. In early January, my mom broke her hip. She tripped, and fell, and broke. The break in itself was actually not that bad. The sepsis and infection and a host of other complications were bad…really bad. While a gaggle of doctors and flocks of nurses and therapists worked tirelessly to stop her deterioration and get her on the road of recovery, there was a period where hospice and end-of-life planning were on the board. The only problem: mom and I had never had the right talk. What were her wishes in the event of a devastating, but potentially survivable event, where her quality of life might be, but also might not be, severely diminished? I knew exactly to the letter what her wishes were if she ended up on life support — pull the plug. But what if there was no plug? We never ever talked about that! Deb Campbell, RN, is perhaps one of the kindest women in the world. She is a hospice nurse. Her mission is to help families and patients through this stage of life, and she does it very well. While the medical teams kept working with my mom, she talked to me. Answered my questions. Dawn Saveley, my mom’s CNA, was as close to an angel as I’ve ever witnessed. Everything she did for my mom was truly filled with caring and love. The gentle nature of both these wom-
en empowered me to make the decisions that I needed to make. But what would have really empowered me, what was really needed, in that moment was to have had the right conversation when conversation was still an option. As soon as this crisis was over, I began investigating what exactly needed to be covered in the right conversation. The Conversation Project (theconversationproject.org) is a fabulous website dedicated to helping people initiate the right conversations. Statistics show that while 90 percent of people say that talking with their loved ones about end-of-life care is important, only 27 percent actually do it. And while 80 percent of people say that if seriously ill, they would want to talk about their wishes for medical treatment toward the end of life, less than 7 percent of people have actually had that conversation! Trust me, one conversation can make all the difference! The Conversation Project’s website features some great ‘starter kits’ to help you prepare for and have these conversations, including some thought-generating questions that will make you think about your true wishes. For instance, if you are seriously ill, do you want to know all the details about your condition and treatment, or would you prefer to know only the basics? Do you want your doctors making decisions or do you want to have a say in every decision? Do you want to continue receiving medical care indefinitely, no matter how uncomfortable treatments are or is your quality of life more important than your quantity? The website includes several starter kits addressing various scenarios and all are designed to get your wishes organized before you sit down to have the conversation — so you can have the right conversation! Don’t delay. Please. Give your loved ones the gift of knowing your wishes.
March / April 2017
Hanover Lifestyle 09
Organics Are Organic Foods Worth the Cost? Well, Yes and No by Angela Weight
t’s my ritual Sunday evening adventure — Grocery shopping for the week. Not exactly a James Bond movie plot, but someone’s gotta do it. Like most parents, I walk a fine line between buying the healthiest foods (that my kids will eat) and staying within our budget. As I meander through Kroger’s produce department, masses of vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables compete for my attention and checkbook. Just ahead sits the “high end” section. Organics! Costing an average of 35 cents more per item, you’d expect these big-ticket fruits and veggies to look the part – larger, more perfectly shaped, with no blotches and an extended shelf-life. But they’re not. In fact, compared to their conventionally grown, preservative injected, wax polished counterparts, organics often look like the runts of the produce litter. Organically grown meats and dairy products are equally unassuming. According to the Organic Trade Association, organic food sales have shown steady growth over the past decade, jumping 11 percent in 2014 alone! So, if it isn’t aesthetics or better taste, then what is it that compels people to shell out extra cash for these garden-variety eats? To answer this question, I surveyed RVA residents, grocers and farmers. But first, a little background info. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines organic food as: produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the con-
servation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too. Wow! Those are quite some organic hoops to jump through! Now back to my survey results. Organics shoppers place high priority on the assurance that they’re eating food grown naturally with as few additives as possible. They recognize the dangers of having a strange brew of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs and other unpleasant chemicals churning around in our bodies. Pesticides alone have been linked to many types of cancers such as prostate and bladder, leukemia and lymphoma, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders, hormonal imbalances, infertility, depression, chronic allergies, skin conditions and immune disorders, to name a few. Cows and chickens treated with growth hormones have long been speculated to cause early puberty in children.
ORGANIC FOOD SALES JUMPED
IN 2014 ALONE!
10 Hanover Lifestyle
The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce says that some food items are more prone to contamination from chemicals than others. Apples, celery, bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries and potatoes are referred to as the “Dirty Dozen” because they’re most affected by their growing environment. The EWG estimates that people can reduce their risk of pesticide exposure by a whopping 80 percent if they eat organic versions of these foods. Opposite the Dirty Dozen are the “Clean 15,” avocados, sweet corn, pineapple, cabbage, sweet peas (frozen), onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwi, eggplant, honeydew, grapefruit, cantaloupe and cauliflower. These fruits and vegetables have a thick, protective skin, rind or husk which pesticides can’t penetrate well. Therefore, it’s not as important that they’re organically grown. But please, organic or not, always wash all produce before cooking and eating it. For many organics buyers, it’s not necessarily about food safety, but more humane farming practices. Ashley Hall, a mother of two, buys only organic chicken that’s labeled “free range,” as well as cage-free eggs, mean-
BY AVOIDING THE
ing that they were raised with more room to move around than the average laying hen that doesn’t have enough space to flap her wings. “I can’t in good conscience eat eggs and chicken raised in deplorable conditions,’’ she says. “So, yes, I’m willing to pay more.” Still, though, organics make up a small percentage of U.S. food sales. Most shoppers have the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality and, therefore, aren’t willing to spend the extra money. “I haven’t seen enough convincing evidence that organic produce is any better or safer than what I buy at Kroger. Plus, organics go bad sooner than non-organic produce,” says Katie White of Midlothian.
Certified Organic vs. Locally Grown
more inclined to buy foods that are grown locally by farmers they’re familiar with than large chain supermarket items that were likely shipped hundreds of miles or even internationally from corporate farming operations. “From a product standpoint, local is gaining a lot of traction, more so than organics. An apple, for instance, may be certified organic, but might be shipped all the way from Washington State. Think of the carbon footprint,’’ says David Taylor, co-owner of Libbie Market. “Our customers would rather buy apples here that come from an orchard in, say, Charlottesville. That orchard might not have the money to go through the certification process, but their apples are still grown safely and naturally. Richmond is a tightknit, well educated community. Buying local is important to us. We support our own.” As for my own grocery shopping, I’ll be switching to organic versions of the Dirty Dozen for sure. And I’ll make a point to visit more local farmers markets and find out where my family’s foods are coming from, how they’re grown and what additives are included. Because, as the old saying goes, “you are what you eat.”
“From a product standpoint, local is gaining a lot of traction, more so than organics. An apple, for instance, may be certified organic, but might be shipped all the way from Washington State,” Taylor said. “Think of the carbon footprint.”
“A lot of farmers are moving away from organic certification,” says Mark Lilly, founder and owner of Richmond-based Farm to Family aka the Farm Bus — a popular mobile farmers market operating out of a converted school bus. “Getting certified by the USDA is too costly for many of the smaller farms that are already growing foods naturally and organically.” Lilly goes on to say that his customers are March / April 2017
Hanover Lifestyle 11
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In Search Of: Comfort Foods Kreggers – Gumbo 9523 King’s Charter Dr., Ashland; 804-299-2176; KreggersRVA.com Kreggers features food and fun, with an eclectic spin on New American cuisine, plus local craft beers, inspired cocktails and unique wines. The atmosphere includes bar and rail seating, a dining room with a view of the high-energy kitchen, 60-inch HD TVs, expansive patio and fire pit. Kreggers makes their flavorful gumbo, the Louisiana favorite, with chicken, shrimp, sausage, the Cajun trinity of onions, celery and green peppers, Creole seasonings and black-eyed peas, served with a scoop of rice and topped with scallions.
JAKE’S PLACE RESTAURANT AND MARKET – Pulled Pork Barbeque Sandwich
HANOVER TAVERN – Shrimp and Grits
511 Thompson St. Ashland; 804-798-EATS; JakesPlace.com
Opinions vary on how shrimp and grits became so popular, but the dish’s origin is rarely in dispute: it hails from the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia, combining the Southern tradition of grits – those roughground corn grains, simmered to make a soft, porridge-like dish – with shrimp. Gullah slaves would catch shrimp in the Lowcountry marshes, adding them to their grits. Charlestonians often ate it for breakfast during shrimp season, sometimes using the small, immature creek shrimp for their sweeter flavors. Hanover Tavern takes you to the coast with their version of shrimp and grits, serving jumbo shrimp over local Byrd’s Mill stone-ground white cheddar grits in a light sherry cream sauce with bacon.
Not too far from the Center of the Universe you will find this quaint, rustic restaurant serving up some really good barbeque. The regional American pairing: Pulled pork barbeque sandwich served with cool, crispy coleslaw and tangy Carolina sauce, which pairs perfectly with an ice cold Pocahoptus, a hop forward India Pale Ale from Center of the Universe Brewing.
13181 Hanover Courthouse Rd.; HanoverTavern.org
March / April 2017
Hanover Lifestyle 13
Culinary Hanover by Tom Gresham
anover County has a delicious history. Over the years, food has played a vital role in the culture of the county and its people. Part of that history has been the founding of iconic dishes and beloved
hometown dining establishments. With that in mind, here are three culinary markers in the county’s modern times — including two popular mainstays and one newcomer with a hot brand on the rise.
From Mrs. Fearnow’s Kitchen to Grocery Shelves Far and Wide Few canned goods taste as convincingly homemade as Mrs. Fearnow’s Brunswick Stew, a comfort food that has been warming bellies on cold days since the early 20th century. A recipe that is ingenious in its straightforward blending of ingredients, the stew is comprised of chicken, potatoes, lima beans, tomatoes, onions, carrots, corn and various seasonings and spices. Lillie Fearnow moved from West Virginia to Mechanicsville in 1919 with her husband, George, and soon started to enter her standout stew in state fair competitions. Blue ribbons and acclaim followed, eventually prompting local department stores to clamor for jars of the stuff. In 1946, Fearnow’s two sons helped her build her home-based business, which had been limited to what she cooked in her own kitchen, into a more ambitious operation. To keep up with demand, the Fearnow family purchased a second farm in Hanover, which they named Hope Farm. They grew and canned vegetables there. Decades later, the stew remains a fan favorite. Owned by North Carolina-based Boone Brands, Mrs. Fearnow’s Brunswick Stew can be found on grocery store shelves in its distinctive yellow can and warming on kitchen stoves all over.
A Hometown Favorite Suzanne Wolstenholme is reluctant to pat herself on the back, but she is proud of her thriving business and the strong affection it has inspired in her customers. Homemades by Suzanne, an institution in Ashland for 34 years, serves natural foods with good quality ingredients, and diners can’t get enough. The cafe’s selection of sandwiches, salads and scrumptious desserts have attracted a rabid following. “We serve food that someone you love would make for you,” Wolstenholme said. “We make foods that our customers like and we know this because they tell us. I think we make our customers feel welcomed.” In addition to a la carte cafe service, Homemades by Suzanne offers full-service and self-service catering, boxed lunches and food gift bags. There is also an outpost at the John Marshall Hotel in Richmond. Wolstenholme said the Ashland cafe’s base of customers has grown to include I-95 travelers lured by top ratings on Yelp and TripAdvisor. Wolstenholme and her team are grateful for their strong ties to Hanover County. “It is our home, and why would we want to be anywhere else?” It’s a team that seems destined to have come together. “Apparently God wired me, my partners, and our long-term team to love to put food out for others,” Wolstenholme said. “That has given much joy to us as we go about our work. That joy seems to spill over to our customers.” 14 Hanover Lifestyle
Building a Following One Chip at a Time When Chris Galiffa was in college, he frequented a popular Richmond bar called the Texas-Wisconsin Border Cafe. There, he often enjoyed a dinner of cold beer and chips with the cafe’s unique and spicy salsa. When the cafe closed in 1999, it dispersed its recipes with employees to continue the life of the place. One of Galiffa’s neighbors had been a waitress at the cafe and shared with Galiffa the salsa recipe. Galiffa tinkered with the recipe for a year or two before he was satisfied with the results. He then shared it with grateful friends and neighbors for 13 years. Finally, he decided to make the leap and package and sell the salsa, launching it as a weekend business from his Mechanicsville home.
Today, Daddy G’s is in 30 craft breweries around the state, among other locations, and continues to attract plaudits and customers. Business has grown so substantially that Galiffa’s weekends could no longer contain it — he went full time in January 2016. Galiffa still does the lion’s share of the work — production, marketing, labeling, packaging, distribution and bookkeeping — though his wife and children pitch in when they can. He hopes to expand into the restaurant and large grocery store market in 2017. Galiffa said his home base ultimately has both personal and strategic value. “We’ve lived in the area going on 22 years now and are proud to promote our business being based in Mechanicsville,” Galiffa said. “Logistically, the Atlee area where we live is accessible to 95 and 295, so we can easily get to our customers quickly.”
Mechanicsville resident Chris Galiffa shows off his Daddy G Salsa (top) and and some of the quality ingredients that contribute to its popularity.
The Future For David Napier, the property was a dream come true. The facility featured a large kitchen that would be perfect for his catering business and for producing a new line of sauces and other foods. There was also considerable space for a robust vegetable garden, critical to Napier’s farm-to-table approach to food. In addition, and perhaps of nearly equal importance, he appreciated the unmistakable pull of the past. The property, located in Hanover County, had once been a family farm and production facility for Mrs. Fearnow’s Brunswick Stew – the beloved dish Napier has enjoyed since he was a child. “The history of the place meant a lot to me,” he said. Napier, who is leasing the property, is now working through the regulatory process to move his catering business, White House Catering, into the facility and to launch Hanover Finest Foods products there. Currently, the production for White House is done in a space in downtown Richmond, and Napier also makes some food in a small kitchen in Atlee. Napier believes the increased capacity in Hanover will allow him to eventually invite
small, artisan producers to share the kitchen with his operation to make their own delicious items. In fact, Old Church Creamery, which makes dairy products such as kefir, yogurt and milk, has committed to moving its operations into a portion of the space and will begin production there soon. Napier said he is thrilled at the prospect of becoming a part of the Hanover culinary community. Among the items he plans to grow in a vegetable garden are Hanover tomatoes, which he will use to make — and bottle — Hanover green tomato relish. Napier’s thriving catering business has grown too large for his current home, and he envisions making significant efficiency gains in the Hanover facility. Once the catering shifts to Hanover, he can potentially transform his Richmond space, which now has occasional dining-in hours, into a full-time restaurant. Napier said there is an element of theater in his approach to food. The kitchen in Hanover offers a promising “canvas” to do something new and thrilling. “I always want to do something special with food,” he said.
March / April 2017
Hanover Lifestyle 15
tastebudz with Elena Marinaccio and Steve Cook
First, I want to welcome a brand-new Taste Bud, our new Managing Editor here at Hanover Lifestyle Magazine, Elena Marinaccio. If you’re wondering where Whitney Kiatsuranon is, we’ll tell you more about her at the end of this column. As for Elena, I’m guessing that she probably didn’t know when she signed up for the job that she’d be required to eat her way around the Metro area. But she’s a trooper. So, let’s take a look at what’s new on the food and beverage scene.
AD LIB–ATIONS: Want more from our interview with Intermission Beer Company’s Courtney and Justin White (See the feature article, Break a Keg, in this issue)? After doing time in VCU’s theater department, the couple switched gears, landing jobs in IT. But their passion stays with the theater. As Justin tells it, after the Times-Dispatch stopped running audition calls in their pages, Courtney carried the torch for her fellow thespians and started up RichmondVATheater.com. The website publishes news about local casting calls, job openings, theater classes and more. (EM)
THE REALLY BIG WINE SHOW: One of the year’s most anticipated events is the Virginia Wine Expo Presented by Kroger, which will be held at the Richmond Convention Center March 8–12. This is the Expo’s 10th anniversary and it keeps getting better. One of the two new events Thursday night’s (March 9) A Noodle & Dumpling Affair, to be held in the Hofheimer Building in Scott’s Addition. Feast on a cornucopia of noodles and dumplings from around the world, plus, exceptional wine and sake as well as some of Scott’s Addition’s best craft beer. The main event is the WalkAround Grand Tastings on Saturday and Sunday at the Convention Center in Downtown Richmond. You’ll be able to taste not only some great Virginia wines, but the wines of the 2017 International Guest Region, Spain and Portugal, and National Guest Region, Sonoma County, California. The tasting will be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. At this all-inclusive event, more than 650 bottles of wine will be available to taste. For tickets and additional information, visit the website: VirginiaWineExpo.com. (SC) 16 Hanover Lifestyle
GOING NUTS ABOUT THE FOOD: The Richmond Flying Squirrels have proven since just about day one that you don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy heading out to the Diamond. In fact, you might want to go just for the food. Whitney and I had the chance to meet with Josh Barban, the team’s head chef and director of food and beverage, recently. Josh had prepared a few of the delicacies that fans will be enjoying this year. My favorite was the West Coast Dog. This ain’t your average hot dog. It’s topped with jalapeno-mango barbecue sauce, pico de gallo, tortilla strips and chipotle mayonnaise. Much like a Hunter Strickland fastball, this dog has a little heat to it. The item that Josh was most excited about was a spin (maybe I should say a “curve”) on your everyday mac and cheese. This baseball-shaped dish features battered, deep-fried macaroni and cheese, with smoked beef brisket mixed in and topped with a moonshine sauce. Josh says that it’s a “complete Southern meal all in one.” (SC)
SPREAD ‘EM: “This is the first thing we’ve ever done like this,” Nino Palazzotto tells me as regulars stream in to Cupertino’s New York Bagel through the late morning. Nino makes everything in-house here, and starting in late April, the deli will offer what he calls a “garden selection” of gourmet spreads, using their housemade cream cheese and locally sourced produce. First up: Sundried Tomato Basil, Herbes de Provence and Raspberry Vinaigrette—the latter contains fresh raspberries as well as a raspberry-balsamic reduction. Now, when I say that there are regulars in the deli, what I mean is that Nino seems to know everyone who walks through that door. While chatting in one of the window booths over a Nova Lox Bagelwich, we are politely interrupted by a woman carrying out a to-go bag. “You know you have the best cream cheese—you do!” She’s like a proud, doting grandmother. She practically pinches his cheeks. This seems to be the norm here at Cupertino’s. “It’s been my life since I can remember,” Nino tells me. He grew up in his parents’ restaurant, Angela’s in the Tuckahoe Shopping Plaza, and then worked at Cupertino’s for five years before purchasing the deli, tucked away off Cox Rd. in Twin Oaks Commons, in 2015. “This is all I’ve ever wanted to do.” If you’re not out near Innsbrook, you can grab Cupertino’s kettleboiled, hearth-baked bagels throughout the city, at Lamplighter’s Coffee Roasters, Ellwood Thompson and Whole Foods. (EM)
HAVE YOU HEARD? You can now hear Whitney on the air with TasteBudz Minutes. These tidbits of the latest restaurant, food and brewery news can be heard throughout the day on Wednesday through Friday on The Wolf – 98.9; Hank FM – 98.3 and BBT – 107.3. If you have any news to share email us at TasteBudz@ RichmondNavigator.com. (SC)
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MARCH 31 – APRIL 2
They’re back! The Richmond Divas—Debra Wagoner, Cathy Motley-Fitch and Desiree Roots with pianist Ryan Corbitt—reunite to perform fan favorites and classics from Broadway and jazz to standards and pop.
Flashback to 1958 and be a part of the studio audience for the live broadcast on (fictitious) WJKS studio. RVA favorites (including Craig Evans and Brad Tucker) cover Elvis Presley, Budd Holly, Ricky Nelson and more. Enjoy dinner before either of the evening shows from DeFazio’s Catering: 5:30 p.m., $23.
The Carousel at Kings Dominion is turning 100! There will be giveaways, special guests at more at this special event.
The Richmond Divas 7: Anything Goes
7 p.m. / $28 / Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 2880 Mountain Rd., Glen Allen / (804) 261-2787 / ArtsGlenAllen.com
Rock & Roll Jubilee!
March 31–April 1 at 7 p.m.; April 2 at 2:30 p.m. / $28 / Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 2880 Mountain Rd., Glen Allen / (804) 261-2787 / ArtsGlenAllen.com
MARCH 23 – 26
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Out of This World Farewell Tour After 146 years, the tents come down. But for one more time, moms and dads and kids of all ages will be on the edge of their seats with heart-pounding spectacles of gravitydefying feats, magnificent animals, and unforgettable thrills. Showtimes vary, $15 and up / Richmond Coliseum, 601 E Leigh St., Richmond | (804) 780-4970 / RichmondColiseum.net
MARCH 24 – 26
Virginia Horse Show This premier event for horse owners, riders and enthusiasts offers three days of shopping, seminars, demos and clinics. Special guest and international horseman and entertainer Guy McLean will showcase his skills on all three days. New this year: Secretariat’s Birthday Celebration on March 24 from 7 – 10 p.m., including celebrity appearances and autograph signings by the Secretariat Racing Team, and a showing of the Secretariat movie with commentary by the Secretariat Team. $10–15 Adult 1-Day Ticket; $8–$10 Child (ages 5–12) 1-Day Ticket; children 4 and younger admitted free with a paid adult admission; $20–25 Three-Day Pass; $80 Secretariat Birthday Celebration Ticket / The Meadow Event Park / 13048 Dawn Blvd. | Doswell, VA | (804) 994-2800 / VirginiaHorseFestival.com
Night Idea CD Release Party First stop on Night Idea’s record release party: The Mainline stage at Ashland Coffee & Tea. Check out Richmond’s indie math rockers’ playful take on prog. $8 advance; $10 at the door / Ashland Coffee & Tea, 100 N. Railroad Ave., Ashland / (804) 299-3605 AshlandCoffeeAndTea.com
Flying Squirrels Opening Night Celebration The Squirrels kick off a brand new season of baseball against the Hartford Yard Goats, followed by a “Dueling Fireworks” performance. 7:05 p.m. / $8–$14 / The Diamond, 3001 N. Boulevard, Richmond / (804) 359-3866 / SquirrelsBaseball.com
Autism Awareness Day Featuring a gluten free menu, quiet areas throughout the park, earplugs and a KD Kid Tracker wristband. $1 for every admission ticket purchased through the Autism Awareness Day link (check their website) will be donated to the Autism Society of Central Virginia. Kings Dominion, 16000 Theme Park Way / Doswell / (804) 876-5000 / KingsDominion.com
The Loving Story The Loving Story is a documentary account of the Loving vs. Virginia Supreme Court case that legalized interracial marriage in 1967. Following the film, Virginia Tech scholar Peter Wallenstein will lead a discussion about this landmark decision. Free / 7:30 p.m. / SunTrust Theater at Brock Commons, 304 Henry St., Ashland / RMC.edu
Ashland Railroad Run Race the rail at one of Central Virginia’s longest established road races. In its 39th year, this is the area’s longest running 5K,10K and kids 1 mile fun run. Benefits the Hanover Arts & Activities Center. Registration through raceit.com. 8 a.m. / Registration fees: $10–$40 / facebook.com/AshlandRRR
Carousel 100th Anniversary
Kings Dominion, 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell / (804) 876-5000 / KingsDominion.com
MAY 6 – 21
Richmond’s Homearama 2017 This annual show, presented by the Home Building Association of Richmond, features 10 new homes, each furnished, decorated and filled with the latest building and design trends. New Market Estates at Round Trey / 2307 Farham Ln. / Midlothian / (804) 282-0400 / HBAR.org
MAY 20 – 21
Strawberry & Wine Festival Two days of wine, beer and food (including James River Cellars and Return of the Mac) plus music, vendors and of course strawberries. Kids 10 and under are free. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. / $10–$15 / Hanover Vegetable Farm / 13580 Ashland Rd, Ashland / (804) 752-2334 / HanoverVegetableFarm.com
APRIL 8 – 16
Children’s Nature Hunt Free with a regular-priced admission ticket. Bring the family to Berkeley and learn its amazing history while searching for treasures along the river shore, gardens and grounds. Children’s brochures and picnic area available. 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. / $12 adult, $7 child (ages 6-16) / Berkley Plantation / 12602 Harrison Landing Rd. / Charles City / (804) 829-6018 / BerkleyPlantation.com
APRIL 23 – 25
James River Plantations Historic Garden Week Tour Berkeley, Shirley and Westover Plantations celebrate Historic Garden Week. Tour proceeds fund the restoration and preservation of gardens throughout the state. Sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia. 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. / $45 / Berkley Plantation, 12602 Harrison Landing Rd., Charles City / (804) 829-6018 / VAGardenWeek.org
For a more extensive Events Calendar visit RichmondNavigator.com/search/event/calendar-of-events March / April 2017
Hanover Lifestyle 19
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Home Buyers’ Desires A LOOK AT TODAY’S TRENDS by Jordan Langley
he American dream, to some, includes home ownership – a place of one’s own, or at least the bank’s for a while, then completely our own. Home ownership gives us more reasons to decorate the way we wish, to raise our kids, form relationships with neighbors or live free-range on acreage, break bread with friends and family around our table and make memories. The suburbs of Richmond are no exception to the dream. Stalling out after the turbulent 2008, the real estate market struggled to rebuild itself and, today, enjoys steadily increasing sales. Today, real estate agents and builders are swamped. Future homebuyers are enthusiastic and discerning, armed with their own research. What are the current home trends in the Richmond suburban markets as far as location, exterior style and interior options?
I spoke with Kevin Currie, principal, and Jessica Coaker, real estate agent of Kevin Currie Group (KevinCurrieGroup.com). They offer a full-service agency to aid new or moving homebuyers in finding their forever home. Tapping into their combined years of experience and resources, the pair give insight into Chesterfield, Henrico and Hanover housing trends. “Buyers are looking for move-in ready across all areas,” Coaker tells me. “Older homes are competing against new construction. Buyers want updated. No one has time for D.I.Y.” Currie adds, “Buyers want to ride bikes with their kids, not paint cabinets.” The inventory availability is equal in Chesterfield and Henrico, the counties with the highest sales in the Richmond market. Homebuyers
are watching how many days a house sits on the market to determine a final sale price, Currie says. Location is ever important in the homebuying process. Some may even cross county lines to get more house for their money. In Henrico and Chesterfield, Currie says, “Most are looking for frontyard living, a community pool and association, maintenance-free and curb appeal, nice landscaping, regardless of trees or not.” However, Hanover buyers want more acreage “to live off the land with chickens and horses,’’ he says. Buyers are also looking for easy access to highways and good schools, Coaker says, adding “They ask for lots of light, character, an open floor
March / April 2017
Hanover Lifestyle 21
plan but also want a closed off home office or living/playroom space on the first floor; loft space on the second floor, also.” Perhaps due to the influx of Northern transplants in Richmond, Currie says, basements are on the rise because they are used more than a finished thirdfloor space. The appeal of building your own home involves picking the best area, neighborhood and lot for your family’s needs. The interior and exterior design selection, crafting a home to your personal specifications, is a favorite step in the process. Janet Hart, Design Studio Manager at Richmond-based Main Street Homes (GoMSH.com) scouts design and retail shows and conducts research to provide the latest home offerings to her clients. Custom building a home requires choosing a dizzying array of products and finishes with attention to space and layout. “Craftsman style is going to a farmhouse look, less shake, more vertical siding with metal roofs accented with dormers and shutters, Hart says, adding that windows have darker window panes and frames, not white. For interiors, “the first-floor master is still popular with everyone,’’ Hart explains. “Buyers are planning for somewhere they can stay long-term. The master suite is a haven.” “Open-concept is still popular with even a decline in formal dining spaces,” Hart says. White kitchen cabinets with white subway tile, gray or navy island colors are big. Granite and quartz countertops, which are less porous and more hygienic, and stainless steel, black or slate-colored kitchen appliances, are sought after. A black faucet on a quartz island with outdoor-style lantern pendants looks clean and sleek. “Islands are getting bigger,’’ she adds. “They are a gathering place.” Hardwood floors remain a staple in the modern home. Hart shows me a sample of a newly engineered wide-plank hardwood that is made of compressed vinyl. One might raise an eyebrow and think of ‘70s mustard-yellow kitchen tiles, but in touching the sample, it has the feel, look and durability of real hardwood. The technology of quality home goods is ever-evolving. The most popular hardwood floor finishes are, she says, “any color from rustic hickory to a light blonde. Buyers are getting away from cherry or dark red tones.” The updated master bathroom, a luxurious retreat after a long day, can showcase granite countertops over a gray vanity fitted with stainless steel faucets and a framed mirror. “Bathroom floors and shower stalls are being fitted with 12inch by 24-inch elongated tiles. In showers, there is more simplicity, less mosaic,” Hart says. Like kitchens, bathrooms are a recommended area to spend a good portion of the budget for resale. Often overlooked is the mud room, but active families require a place to drop bags, sports equipment and shoes so as not to clutter up the rest of the house. Custom cabinetry, benches and easily-cleaned flooring for this room is a must. To complement a sidewalk community, buyers want outdoor spaces to kick their feet up, entertain guests or commune with neighbors. “Outdoor kitchens or living spaces, big decks, a concrete patio with fire pit or big front porches are desirable,” says Coaker. “Homebuyers are waiting until they’re older to buy, so the budget can be, say $350,000, where it would have been less before,” Currie adds. If your budget doesn’t stretch as far as you’d like, real estate experts and builders will work within your means to find the perfect abode. While a homeowner may have to compromise on a few items from their dream list in the beginning, knowing what is essential now can keep options open for the future. High-end finishes, additions and improvements can always be added later. In all, potential homebuyers in the Richmond area have many possibilities to choose from, whether it be to purchase an existing home with history and mature landscaping or to dive into a new build. Location is a personal preference, and one can’t go wrong with the hustle and bustle of Henrico, the traditions of Chesterfield or the sprawling country of Hanover. Wherever you choose to live, make that house your home.
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Hanover Lifestyle 23
Back to Nature In Your Own Backyard Native plants are key to a low-maintenance, environmentally friendly landscape. Succulents provide a way to insert color and texture into your surroundings. Fruits and vegetable planting are an under-utilized way to bring color to your yard while also providing delicious additions to your dining table.
by Susan Higgins
Photo: EP Henry
esidential are relatively self-sufficient — they are often trees into ornamental beds landscaping drought tolerant as well as insect and disease where they are both decorais returning resistant. And natives help support local wildtive and delicious, we give to its roots. life and beneficial insects by providing food new meaning to the term locaHomeowners are no longer and habitat. vore. And, we’re feeding our famimanicuring our backyards into Homeowners are also cultivating a suburlies with the home-grown produce of submission. Instead, we are relinquishban version of farm to table. By introducing our own back yards. ing our responsibilities and acknowledging edibles like vegetables, herbs and even fruit Even hardscaping is part of the trend. Sean with some relief that nature is a betLarkin, natural stone and hardscapter gardener than we are. She can ing manager for Pete Rose, Inc., sees take care of herself – if we let her. more and more customers building The trend is called sustainable patios, walkways and driveways landscaping and it is characterized out of permeable pavers, which are by low-maintenance garden deinstalled with porous joints and a signs that have minimal environgravel underlay. “Rainwater seeps mental impact. It plays out when through the joints into a collecwe choose to plant native species, tion system below, where it slowly when we trade turf grass for “greenpermeates the earth” he explains. er” surfaces or when we replace In addition to reducing rainwater decks with patios constructed of runoff, the systems trap suspended permeable pavers. solids and help to filter pollutants. Plant species which have adapt“Permeable pavers are so effective ed to local soil and climate conwhen used consistently,” Larkin As you can see from the three yardscape photos accompanying this article, permeable pavers come in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes ditions are called native plants. adds. “Municipalities in the waand styles, making them design-friendly and essential to environBecause they adapt in response to tershed are beginning to require mentally responsible outdoor living spaces. regional influences, native plants them.” 24 Hanover Lifestyle
Photo: EP Henry
Raingardens are a more elaborate application of the same principle. Rainwater from a downspout, driveway or sump pump is collected in a shallow depression that has been planted with deep rooted, native species, where it is filtered, absorbed by the plants or diverted into the water table. Capturing runoff before it reaches the sewer system prevents local flooding, protects the watershed and recharges local groundwater systems. Rain-
gardens also help control mosquito populations by minimizing the standing water where the pests breed. Gardeners are enjoying the fruits of their newfound freedom on paved courtyards that open onto several rooms of the house. These are permanent living spaces that function as extensions of our indoor space. Furnished with outdoor fabrics for year-round comfort, they often feature fully furnished
March / April 2017
kitchens, fireplaces or fire pits and water features, all illuminated with specialized lighting. Want to get in on the trend? Beautiful RVA, a coalition of public and private agencies dedicated to urban greening in and around Richmond, provides a list of 122 native or naturalized plant species on its website, BeautifulRVA.org. The site also offers four simple, environmentally friendly residential landscape designs for incorporating raingardens, permeable pavers and native plants into your own backyard.
Hanover Lifestyle 25
Festival An Enduring Celebration of Transient Beauty by Zach Brown
eginning on March 20 and running through April 16, the 2017 Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival will herald the return of spring in the nation’s capital. For over 100 years, Washington D.C. has been home to a grove of Japanese cherry blossom trees that is the catalyst for a grand, four-week festival that includes food, entertainment and art, which expands across the culture of America and Japan. The history of the celebration of the cherry blossoms, however, extends beyond the Capital or even the founding of America. Since the 8th century, the cherry blossom has encapsulated an allure and appreciation of life that has echoed in the millennia since. There exists a feudal Japanese proverb that states “among blossoms, the cherry blossom; among men, the warrior.” At the time of the proverb’s origin, Japan was controlled by the revered ‘samurai’. As such, the cherry blossoms’ beauty was considered unmatched in the same way a samurai’s abilities, authority and honor were unrivaled. Woodblock prints, haiku and currency would often laud the beauty of the cherry blossom flower throughout the country’s history.
It is not simply the blossom’s appearance that gives the tree such weight through the history of Japan, but rather the symbolic nature the trees carry with them. The Japanese concept of mono no aware or the “pathos of things” — a Japanese term for the awareness of impermanence — takes root in the symbolism of the cherry blossom through its graceful, but wholly volatile, beauty. To this end, mono no aware, and by extension the cherry tree, serve as reminders of the beauty and fragility of life even beyond our own. It was with this concept that Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki gifted Washington D.C. 3,000 cherry trees in 1912. It wasn’t until 1927 that the first “proper” Cherry Blossom Festival took place on our nation’s capital when a group of school children reenacted the initial planting that had taken place 15 years prior. Since that time, the festival has continued to grow. A century later, the spirit of Ozaki’s initial gesture of friendship and empathy holds true. What once was a single day of watching the blossoms has become a four-week celebration of culture, art and unity. A near month of events, parades and celebration surround the symbolism of the cherry blossom as visitors from across the globe migrate to
“In the cherry blossom’s shade, there is no such thing as a stranger.” — Kobayashi Issa
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Photo: Ron Engle
Photo: Ron Engle
our nation’s capitol. “Each year, we welcome more than 1.5 million atas the area around the cherry blossoms is filled with events, performtendees to Washington, D.C. and 2017 marks the 90th anniversary since ers and art pieces celebrating the end of winter and the return of spring. the first Festival,” says Nora Strumpf, a spokesperson with the National One such event, the Blossom Kite Festival, will take place on the grounds Cherry Blossom Festival. One of last year’s most popular events was the of the Washington Monument on April 1. Starting at 10 a.m., kite makSakura Matsuri, a Japanese Street Festival, which will return this year on ers and fliers from across the globe will gather for competitions such as Saturday, April 8. In 2016, some 25,000 took advantage of the opportuthe Hot Tricks Showdown as well as non-competitive flying exhibitions. nity to explore Japanese-inspired cuisine, vendors and Both professional and amateur kite fliers are welcome to To the Japanese, artists, and Strumpf suggests that this year will be no difthe Blossom Kite Festival, as a make-your-own-kite staferent. “We’re excited for the return of the Sakura Matsuri, tion will be featured for children and budding kite artists. the cherry tree which will be produced by the Japan-American Society of On April 8, the National Cherry Blossom Parade roars and it’s blossoms Washington, D.C., as it is one of our premiere events.” to life along Constitution Avenue. The parade will begin Another highlight of the festival is the Pink Tie Party on have traditionally at 10 a.m. at the National Archives, and then proceed 10 March 16. This precursor to the blossoms includes food, blocks towards the Washington Monument. The mobile drinks and a silent auction to benefit the non-profit Na- served as symbolic festivities are sure to delight, as parade goers are wowed tional Cherry Blossom, Inc. General admission is $200, by lively music from marching bands, grand helium balreminders of the with those “budding” attendees, age 21 to 30, getting in loons, beautifully crafted floats, and both foreign and dobeauty and fragil- mestic celebrities. for less than half the price. If the Pink Tie Party is not your scene, don’t worry. The Finally, on April 16, the Festival’s finale weekend will ity of life. very next weekend, on March 25, will see the Cherry Blospresent the Southwest Waterfront Firework Festival, which som Festival’s Opening Ceremony descend on the Warner Theatre. The ceris sure to dazzle, delight and ring in spring in extraordinary fashion. emony will offer both traditional and contemporary performance pieces Beyond the festivities and fun of the festival, the bloom of the cherry from American and Japanese performers alike. In addition to the Opening blossoms is rooted in a universal understanding. Kobayashi Issa, the Ceremony, the Festival Directors are introducing a new event — the SAAM famed 19th century poet, once wrote: “In the cherry blossom’s shade, Cherry Blossom Celebration, produced by the Smithsonian American Art there is no such thing as a stranger.” And in these trees that have fasciMuseum. Though details are still forthcoming, the celebration promises to nated people for over a millennium and inspired art, poetry, songs and entertain. philosophy, maybe we too can find a gentle appreciation of life in this Following the Opening Ceremony, the Festival goes into full bloom timeless celebration.
March / April 2017
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