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Setting the Standard In Old Town Since 1979


january’21 A Division of Crier Media Group OTC Media LLC PO Box 320386 Alexandria, VA 22320 571-257-5437 office@oldtowncrier.com oldtowncrier.com Published the first week of every month. Worth waiting for! PUBLISHER Bob Tagert

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MARKETING & ADVERTISING Lani Gering Bob Tagert Meg Mullery SOCIAL MEDIA & WEBSITE Ashley Schultz DESIGN & PRODUCTION Electronic Ink 9 Royal Street, SE Leesburg, VA 20175 703. 669. 5502 Sarah Becker Cheryl Burns F. Lennox Campello Steve Chaconas Scott Dicken Doug Fabbioli Matt Fitzsimmons Nicole Flanagan Lani Gering Miriam Kramer Genevieve LeFranc Sarah Liu

CONTRIBUTORS Cindy McGovern Meg Mullery Melinda Myers Ron Powers Kim Putens Julie Reardon Ashley Schultz Jaime Stephens Bob Tagert Carl Trevisan Ryan Unverzagt Lori Welch Brown

© 2020 Crier Media Group, Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The Old Town Crier is published monthly and distributed to select Alexandria residents, hotels, restaurants and retail shops. Also distributed in the Annapolis, Fredericksburg, Blue Ridge and Washington, DC areas and St. John, USVI.

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37

A Bit of History................................................................ 9

Fitness................................................................................39

Open Space.....................................................................43

After Hours.......................................................................13

From the Bay...................................................................24

Pets of the Month.........................................................21

Alexandria Events............................................................ 3

From the Trainer............................................................40

Points on Pets.................................................................20

Arts & Antiques..............................................................15

Gallery Beat.....................................................................14

Business Profile................................................................. 4

Go Fish...............................................................................42

Caribbean Connection...............................................22

Grapevine.........................................................................36

Dining Guide...................................................................34

High Notes.......................................................................12

Dining Out.......................................................................31

Let’s Eat..............................................................................32

Exploring Virginia Wines............................................37

Local Farmers Markets................................................... 3

The Last Word.................................................................11

Financial Focus.................................................................. 8

National Harbor.............................................................44

To the Blue Ridge......................................................... 29

First Blush.........................................................................41

On the Road with OTC................................................... 1

Urban Garden.................................................................16

Publisher’s Notes.............................................................. 2 Road Trip...........................................................................26 Social Media Message................................................... 2 Take Photos, Leave Footprints.................................18

Oxford, England

Playa del Carmen, Mexico Kitty Ha North Carowk, lina

Rhine River, Europe

Chandler, Arizona

rs Headwate

about the cover The covers of 2020. We didn't miss an issue in the midst of this pandemic... ...on to year 33!

sissippi

of the Mis

Cabo San Lucas, Me xico

Philippines

On the road with OTC 2020 was pretty much the year from hell and we are glad to see it head on out the door; however, despite the tumultuous political atmosphere and the insurgence of COVID-19 and the travel ban, our readers were diligent in providing us with “On the Road” images. We thank our subscribers here at home and from all over the place for their submissions. With the travel restrictions in force due to the pandemic we haven't had many current submissions from our readers with their OTC's in hand while they are "On the Road". Until things get better, we would like you to send a photo of you and yours (including your furry family members) checking out the publication in the comfort of your own home/patio/pool or man cave or doing something fun and submitting it for publication. We can always create some fun captions! If you would like to see your photo in this space, take a high resolution shot and email it with a description for the caption to office@oldtowncrier.com.

Old Town Crier

January 2021 | 1


PUBLISHER’S NOTES

BOB TAGERT

Thank God that 2020 is now in the rear view mirror. It certainly was a survival year. For the past 32 years we have built our publication around the hospitality business. We built a nice book of business with restaurants, hotels and destinations like Calvert County, St. Mary’s County, Leonardtown and Solomons in Maryland, and Middleburg, Marshall, Sperryville, Washington and Culpeper in Virginia. When the “virus” hit we lost over half of our revenue. We had to make quick decisions for cost reductions that were painful. We are proud to say that we didn’t miss an issue during this past year - something very few print publications can say. We felt we owed it to our readers to keep some “normalcy” in their lives. With this issue we begin our 33rd year of entertaining the region and producing a product that many look forward to each month. This was, as is every month, a team effort. Our writers are the best. Some have been writing for us every month for over 20 years. They are the reason this publication has survived for 32 years. I also want to acknowledge our advertisers as well. Over 32 years many have come and gone. Some have been there at just the right time to help us get through a rough period. Corporate ads like Pulte, Craftmark and Brandywine were our backbone. Others who climbed on for the ride made every day interesting. We could not have made it without those folks who advertised with us yesterday, today and hopefully tomorrow. I encourage every one of you readers to patronize these fabulous establishments. I do hope a certain calm overcomes us all this year - like an early morning mist. I hope there is a light that shines on truth and understanding and I also hope for fair winds so….I can sail a lot this year! It’s all about me on this one. Seriously, I have high hopes for 2021 and pray for everyone’s health and happiness - HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Looking forward to those fair winds!

SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGE

Choosing the Right App! (and no we aren’t talking about the pre-entrée grub!)

I

t is that time of the year where we make our New Year’s resolutions. This is a different start to a new year than we have ever experienced before! Yet, our New Year’s resolutions probably stay the same, and most of the time, they involve getting into better shape! This day in age there are tons of fitness apps to keep you on track and make you accountable! We use our smartphone for organizing 2 | January 2021

ASHLEY ROSSON

our lives, and would not be surprising that we can depend on them to help us reach our fitness goals as well. Fitness apps are readily available for download, which we can use to train for a marathon, burn fat, build muscle, or become flexible. There are so many apps out there, how can you choose one that suits your fitness needs? Here are some pointers for choosing the app that suits you and your goals. Enables Personalization: We all have a unique body size and shape, with specific health conditions. Find a fitness app that allows you to personalize and accommodates your workout preferences according to your size, height, weight, sex, health conditions, and training level. Maximizes the features of your phone: Some apps use your audio function for instructing and motivating you. Others will use your GPS to track and provide you with the best routes for running, biking or hiking. Some will also utilize your camera to provide you with feedback in order to instruct

you in the correct form while working on a routine. Has social features: It is easier to lose motivation when we are working out alone. A good fitness app will allow you to connect socially with friends, family, and people striving for the same goals you are. They can encourage you to keep going, you can challenge each other to certain fitness targets and increase your accountability. Integration: Integration features with other apps can provide you with a wider perspective on your overall health. This feature is an essential factor to help your fitness app work for the maximum benefit. Reviews: When choosing an app, pay attention to the reviews. Comments of people who have tried the app are helpful in gauging how well it works for your needs. Here are a few apps that meet most, if not all, of the guidelines from above. My Fitness Pal: A combination of an exercise and food journal, this app can make a world of difference in your weight loss goals. Aside

from helping you calculate your daily caloric intake, it provides support for your efforts to live in a healthier way. Fat Secret: Users are praising this app for intuiting their needs for a tool that helps them monitor their weight loss. Its features include a food diary that provides a summary of your overall caloric consumption, a report of how many times you’ve eaten certain foods, plus a chart to view your progress. Waterlogged: This app reminds you to stay hydrated throughout the day. Its simple interface helps you increase the amount of water you consume with minimal effort. You can integrate this app to Fitbit, so your daily water log is also updated to your Fitbit profile. Endomondo: This app has a wide selection of workouts to choose from, depending on your fitness needs, and even include scuba diving and mountain biking. Installed in your mobile devices, it is very convenient to use when you’re on the go. It continues tracking or timing your routines even with a locked phone so you’re always updated with your progress in

real time. Accountability is also considered by the app creators, as there is a social-networking feature that allows you to share your progress, create workout challenges, and just generally keep in touch with family and friends. Happify: This app helps you monitor the state of your emotional well-being and take necessary measures to stay positive. It has features that keep you motivated, improve your self-esteem, and minimize and help you cope with stress. The app also assists in helping you reach a deeper level of consciousness for mindfulness and meditation. Of course most of these apps are free, but you do not get the full benefits of each without a little bit of cash from your pocketbook unless you want to constantly endure all the pop up ads! Follow the guidelines provided and you are sure to find an app, or series of apps, that will help get that New Year’s resolution rolling and having those rolls roll out of here! After this past year, I know a few of us have packed on those Pandemic Pounds! Old Town Crier


Alexandria EVENTS & INFORMATION

COVID-19 UPDATE

With the current situation with the COVID-19 virus all schedules events have been cancelled. We will post as we get information, in the meantime we encourage you to connect with the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association at:

VisitAlexandriaVA.com Blog.VisitAlexandriaVA.com Facebook.com/VisitAlexandriaVA Twitter.com/AlexandriaVA Instagram.com/VisitAlexVA Hashtags: #visitALX Ramsey House Visitors Center at the corner of King and Fairfax is now open.

LOCAL FARMERS MARKETS OLD TOWN FARMERS MARKET Market Square 301 King Street Saturdays, 7 am – 12 Noon Year Round

60+ Restaurants to Participate January 22 – February 7, 2021 For an extended two-week period, more than 60 restaurants in Alexandria, Virginia, will offer a $49 takeout, delivery or curbside pick-up dinner for two during Alexandria Restaurant Week To-Go, January 22 – February 7, 2021. New this winter, more than half of these restaurants will offer a $25 takeout dinner for one in addition to the $49 for two deal. This expanded offering was created in response to increased interest from single diners during Alexandria’s first Restaurant Week ToGo in August 2020. Guests are encouraged to bring Alexandria Restaurant Week home and enjoy special menus from the comfort of their dining room table, fireplace or couch, through Super Bowl Sunday. The to-go model reflects current customers’ CALENDAR > PAGE 7

The Old Town Market is thought to be the one of nation’s oldest continuing markets operating since 1753. It is said that George Washington sent his products from Mount Vernon to be sold here. Today the plaza is a mecca for farmers and artists to sell their wares. The Market is a primary source for meats, dairy, fish, fruits, vegetables and flowers for all those who visit.

WHEN:    

17 days and 3 weekends, January 22 – February 7, 2021

WHERE:   Neighborhoods throughout Alexandria, Virginia, including Old Town, Del Ray, Carlyle and Eisenhower and the West End

HOW:    $49 takeout or curbside pickup dinners for two; $25 takeout or curbside pickup dinners for one

INFO:       AlexandriaRestaurantWeek.com 703-838-5005

Connect with us! VisitAlexandriaVA.com Blog: blog.VisitAlexandriaVA.com #visitALX • #ALXRestaurantWeek 

VisitAlexandriaVA Old Town Crier

AlexandriaVA

VisitAlexVA

DEL RAY FARMERS MARKET Corner of Mt. Vernon and Oxford Avenues Saturdays, 8 am to Noon Year Round This market is strictly a producer grown market. Lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, fish and salmon, fresh mushrooms, baked goods, hard cider.  Farmers are within a 150 mile radius of Alexandria.  A non-profit is featured each weekend.

OLD TOWN NORTH FARMERS & ARTISANS MARKET Montgomery Park 901 North Royal Street Thursdays, 3 pm – 7 pm Year Round Alexandria’s favorite dog friendly market! The Old Town North Thursday Market is a growers only market with a focus on produce from small family farms and local artisans. Products sold at the market include fresh fruits and veggies from Virginia’s Northern Neck, Micro Greens from an urban farm, Empanadas, Fresh baked pastries with a European flair and much more.

FOUR MILE RUN FARMERS & ARTISANS MARKET 4109 Mount Vernon Avenue Sundays, 9 am – 1 pm Year Round This market offers fresh, nutritious food to people of all income levels and strives to reflect the diversity of Alexandria’s community. Local artisans display their arts and crafts as well Due to the restrictions of the pandemic, all guidelines suggested by the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health and the City of Alexandria are followed by the market managers and the vendors at these markets. January 2021 | 3


BUSINESS PROFILE

BOB TAGERT

A Stroll Down Memory Lane…

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s I write this there are 14 days left till 2021. Not being political here, but I cannot wait for 2020 to end. I has been a very difficult year for all of us, however, there is cause to celebrate as the Old Town Crier Regional Magazine will begin its’ 33rd year of printing this January. Much has changed in Alexandria since January of 1988. There are many new businesses, however there are some that are still here that were when we started the publication. We thought that we would take a stroll down memory lane and look at who was here then and what has changed. It has been quite a ride. We happened to look at our second issue printed in February of 1988 and noticed some of the advertisers who are still around today and some that advertised with us then and now. In that Issue Landini Brothers Restaurant advertised as did the Fish Market and the Warehouse. Back in those days, Gordon King had brought his successful D.C. restaurant Bullfeathers concept to Old Town. Gordon was one of the first D.C. operators to venture into Virginia...but others followed. Back in 1988 you could get a Maine Lobster Dinner or Prime Rib for $9.95. Early Bird dinners were $7.95. Today, Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Pub occupies that space. Two other D.C. talents came across the river to west Alexandria; Tom Jackson and Mike 4 | January 2021

Anderson opened Shooter Mcgee’s and then Eastport Raw Bar. Today Mike has a number of restaurants in Carlyle and Del Ray and although Tom is semi-retired, his partner Stephen Mann runs their four restaurants. Another quality addition to west Alexandria was Tempo Restaurant opened by Wendy and Serge Albert. Somewhat like the Inn at Little Washington, they converted an old gas station into a very affordable dining establishment featuring California and European cuisine. When I came to town in 1977, Franco Landini owned Pelicano Restaurant at 100 King Street – now Mia’s Italian - and by the time we started the publication he had moved across the street and changed the name to Landini Brothers. Bryan “Bugsy” Watson opened an Armand’s Pizza franchise on King Street and today is known as Bugsy’s. The late “Mr. Ray” Giovannoni anchored the 100 block of King Street with the Fish Market at one end and Il Porto at the other. Back then, the Fish Market occupied the current space and also the space stretching all the way to the corner of Union Street. Mike Kirby and Tom Russo were two other D.C. transplants when they brought their Chadwicks concept to Old Town. The waterfront was scary in those days but Moe still mans the gate at the parking lot on the Strand to this day. Where the new Robinson Landing is

getting the finishing touches, it will house two new restaurant concepts of Alexandria Restaurant Partners. Look for openings in spring. Also on Union Street is Windsor Salon and the Gentlemen’s Quarters...they advertised in our first issue. Owners Donna Windsor and her son Stephen have quite a story to tell and it involves some of the best music ever performed! Union Street Public House, also on, duh, Union Street didn’t advertise with us in the beginning because it may have still been King’s Landing... Frank Sinatra’s favorite restaurant when he came to D.C. After Jay Test built out Union Street it was instantly one of the new go-to places in Old Town. These are the kind of people who built Old Town Alexandria...always supporting each other and always looking to grow. It took time. Back in 1977 Old Town pretty much ended at Washington Street and most of the action was near the River. The other side of Washington Street was, well…pretty scary. There were a few hit or miss shops until you got to Hard Times Chili when the late Fred Parker took his homemade chili recipe to the masses. Tiffany Tavern was another oasis back in the day. Every Friday and Saturday night there were lines to get into the venues. We had music. The late Roger Henderson would pack them (me) into the Seaport Inn

at the corner of Union and King Streets (Starbucks, etc. today). Upstairs at the Wharf there was a stage with a huge bar and Sammy T. ran that show. Some of the best live music ever... Eva Cassidy, Mary Blankemeier Band, Al Williams, Lenny Williams, Mary Ann Redmon and others. IT ROCKED! Mr. Ray had piano music at both of his restaurants including the Trotta brothers with dueling pianos and Buck Kelly on the second floor on banjo. If you wanted a little classic, there was Daryll Ott wailing away on his piano. In 1977 Dan and Susan Geller purchased the business they were leasing...John Crouch Tobaconnist. This is the same year I arrived in Old Town and became friends with the shop and employees. They were located at 128 King Street when I met them but moved to their current location in the 200 block of King Street. The shop has been a mainstay for all these years taking care of their customers. Before I smoked cigars I remember going to John Crouch and buying a Macanudo Portofino in a white tube for $2.10 and taking it to Dave Jenkins, our bartender at Landini Brothers. In the 600 block of King Street Brad Bradford had a long pony tail and was selling jewelry at Kings Jewelry. Today Brad and his wife Cathy own Kings and it is a mainstay of the retail business of Old Town. They are not only good business

people but they know how to have fun and have been great partners of our publication. It is pretty remarkable how many employees have come to take over businesses in Old Town. It is also remarkable the new owners who opened and then the pandemic hit. Bill Gross is one of those who opened Village Brauhaus across the street from Murphy’s. Although he had a great contact with butchers in New York City for his meats, the virus still created problems. As it is with all, he has done his best and the business is moving forward. It is a great place for a hot brat and a Bavarian beer on a cold winter day. Today it is a lot different (excluding the virus). As the population has grown and folks discovered Old Town...it began to grow. Tom Mooney opened Murphy’s and Old Town crossed Washington Street. As more restaurants opened, the shops followed. Carol Supplee bought her first store on King Street – Fiber Designs (now Sweet Green). After a few years she changed the name to Imagine Artwear since she was handling one of a kind artisan creations. Today her store is located at 1124 King Street and be sure to check out the side bar to this article about the mural on the side of her building. Other restaurants and shops began to appear as new office buildings were built. When the Metro came to King Street BUSINESS PROFILE > PAGE 5

Old Town Crier


BUSINESS PROFILE| FROM PG 4

at the train station that whole end of town exploded as did Eisenhower Valley. Old Town Alexandria now extended from the Potomac River to the Metro Rail. Even though all our lives changed in 2020, what hasn’t changed is the cooperation of the players in Alexandria, in fact, the Coronavirus has put cooperation under a microscope and brought about a sense of urgency. With a push from the Old Town Business Association and Charlotte Hall, the city and merchants were brought together on how to make a bad situation better. Streets were closed, parking places sacrificed for outdoor dining and merchant venues. Everyone gave some to get some. Nothing is ever perfect but it became better. Now comes the vaccine. As my old waterman friend Mopey used to say...”ain’t nothin but a thang”! He is right. The vaccine is here but it will be a matter of months before some get inoculated and maybe some, never. Therefore due diligence is still necessary for eradication of the virus. What a great horror story you can tell your grandchildren, instead of the

Old Town Crier

old story, “I had to walk two miles uphill to school and two miles back home uphill!” We at the Old Town Crier lost half of our revenue as our advertising model and issue was based on hospitality and tourism. We WANT to be the publication to show you what you can do and where to go enjoy your life, whether it be four hours away or around the corner. In the process we continue to support verbally or in writing the patronizing of all businesses. They need our help. Having said that, I want to take the time to thank our ongoing supporters who have never failed. I am not going to name them because they are in this publication that you hold. I am also mindful of the fact that there are reasons that others have had to drop out but I also know that they are and will be supporters again. It has been a pretty shitty year! I hope you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Some of you remember those days, for the others...You Really Missed It! Shop Local, Eat Out Once A Week and take advantage of the curbside service. December 22nd was the shortest day of the year. Now every day gets longer and brighter. Happy 2021!

Happy New Year 2021!

Mon-Sat 10am-6pm Open Thurs 10am-8pm Closed Sundays

KingsJewelry.NET 609 King Street Old Town Alexandria 703-549-0011 Family owned and operated for over 65 years.

January 2021 | 5


Imagine Artwear and the Faces on the Kismet, “All You Need is Love” mural BY CAROL SUPPLEE

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bought my business in June of 1992.  Almost on day one, in walked Nina Tisara who introduced me to KiSMET.  I joined immediately and have been a member and/or an officer ever since. Kismet means destiny or fate and this was mine as it turned out 28 years later. In 1974, I was hired by Peggy Amsterdam to work on The American Freedom Train Foundation.  We remained friends through many moves and marriages and careers.  She became a fierce defender of funding for the arts and their importance to communities.  She moved to Delaware where she was Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts.  Then she moved to Philadelphia and served as President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.  We are shown here on a trip to China in 1998.  In Wilmington, she lived next door to Joe and Jill Biden. The next person who visited me was Joe Egerton.  He also championed beautifying the retail scene on King Street and is shown here from a 2009 Washington Post article with new planters on our street.  He happened to be photographed in front of Tiffany Tavern, a famous landmark for jazz and country music.  That was also the same time Joe, John Brown, Elizabeth Stone and I came up with the design and means to wrap King Street lampposts with garlands and red bows.  Funding came from the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association. In 2001, I again agreed to be a venue for First

Night Alexandria and I continued being a site for great entertainers every year until now.  We will miss this year because of Covid19.  I have enjoyed immensely being part of a highlight of the year in Alexandria.  Fireworks for many of the early years took place at George Washington Masonic Memorial, shown here. About that time, my dog, Hobbes, became the Chief Marketing Officer and Sales Associate for Imagine, appearing in ads for more than 10 years.  He is next to me here and flying the plane flying the banner with one of the themes of the Mural —Love is All You Need.  Love, love, love. KSMET took a leadership role in fundraising and construction of King Street Garden’s Park, a public art project of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts and the Alexandria Park and Recreation Commission.  And when the Upper King Street Task Force came up with the idea for Supper Under the Stars, KSMET took it on.  Sacandaga Totem was also a project that KSMET helped fund and develop with benches, lighting, new trees and installation of the sculpture. David Martin helped find funding for the first banners on King Street and keeping the Holiday lights lit longer than they were at the time.

Then came the summer of 2020.  And I realized that the mural had to recognize what was going on.  In 1984, I happened to move next door to Ann Hopkins, on Cathedral Avenue in D.C.  She was involved in a lawsuit with Price Waterhouse over being denied a partnership on the basis of gender stereotyping.  She won her partnership and became a Supreme Court landmark case.  She never compromised on what she valued or believed.  She wrote a book called “So Ordered, making partner the Hard Way.”  So Ann Hopkins took her place in my mural.  The Supreme Court is behind her.  The legend carved over the entrance reads “Equal Justice Under Law.” Oh, what about the figure standing next to Nina?  That’s my father, Bert “Red” Supplee.  He was the president of his Chamber of Commerce in Wayzata, Minnesota and “Man of the Year” in 1986.  So I was born into retail.

Warm Wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year To You All!

It has been a pleasure being a part of your lives these last 32 years and we look forward to many more.

Bring on 2021! 6 | January 2021

Old Town Crier


CALENDAR | FROM PAGE 3

desire to enjoy restaurant meals at home while providing new opportunities to support Alexandria’s community of locally owned restaurants. Alexandria’s first Restaurant Week To-Go was critical in keeping the city’s small business economy energized and essential to preserving a beloved experience of the city for residents and visitors alike as local establishments continue to weather the impact of the

COVID-19 pandemic. Alexandria Restaurant Week showcases the inventiveness of local chefs in neighborhoods throughout the city, including Old Town, Del Ray, Carlyle and Eisenhower, and the West End. From neighborhood favorites to restaurants specializing in international cuisine, guests will savor the flavors of Alexandria’s distinctive collection of eateries. In early January, guests will find a digital flip-book

of menus at participating restaurants on www. AlexandriaRestaurantWeek. com.

OLD TOWN Mini-Mart

Alexandria Restaurant Week was launched in 2009 by Visit Alexandria and has since been a favorite amongst patrons and restaurateurs, occurring biannually in the winter and summer. In addition to serving as an economic driver for Alexandria restaurants, Alexandria Restaurant Week bolsters the city’s reputation as a culinary destination.

THROUGH JANUARY 8TH ArtWalk by The Art League and Old Town Business Association Admission: Free Various locations along King Street (Union to Diagonal), and select side streets, oldtownbusiness.org Old Town Business Association is partnering with The Art League of Alexandria to offer a holiday themed ArtWalk in Old Town along King Street (Union to Diagonal) and select side streets. Each block will feature a work of art adorning a lamppost. Maps may be found at oldtownbusiness.org. Keep an eye out for holidays trees located on both upper and lower King Streets. Art by Rosemary Feit Covey

~ Opening January 4th ~ 822 King Street Old Town Alexandria, Virginia 703.549.7167 Open 5:00 am-Midnight

ABOUT ALEXANDRIA, VA Named a Top 5 Best Small City in the U.S. 2020 for three consecutive years by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards and one of the South’s Best Cities 2020 by Southern Living, Alexandria hums with a cosmopolitan feel and a walkable lifestyle—a welcoming weekend escape next to our nation’s capital. A nationally designated historic district founded in 1749, Old Town Alexandria is home to more than 200 independent restaurants and boutiques alongside intimate historic museums and new happenings at the waterfront. At the heart of it all is bustling King Street, a walkable mile recognized as one of the “Great Streets” of America. New restaurants tucked into 18thand 19th-century architecture still intact from the city’s days as George Washington’s hometown ignite historic and off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods as the waterfront district evolves with new energy. Learn more at VisitAlexandriaVA.com.

ADVERTISE WITH US office@oldtowncrier.com for inquiries Old Town Crier

January 2021 | 7


FINANCIAL FOCUS

CARL TREVISAN, CFP© & STEPHEN BEARCE

Managing your investments during difficult times

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n recent times, the combination of a pandemic, economic difficulties, political unrest, and natural disasters have all presented their respective challenges. Besides grappling with the near-term effects of these situations, investors may be wondering what effect these events could have on their investments. Which is why it’s helpful for investors to focus on three fundamental actions that could help them work toward meeting their investment goals—know yourself, build a plan, and keep an eye on the long term.

Know Yourself When stocks drop by 20% or more, some investors might ignore the drop, others might feel the urge to sell, while still others might see it as a good time to buy. This range of reactions illustrates different levels of risk tolerance, or how sensitive investors are to market volatility. Risk tolerance varies from one 8 | January 2021

investor to another, and no level of tolerance is considered the “right” level— there’s only the right risk tolerance for each investor. Talking with financial advisors or completing online questionnaires can help investors determine their risk tolerance. While understanding your risk tolerance is essential, it should not be considered in isolation. Risk tolerance, goals, and time horizon all play a role in setting an investment plan. Investing more aggressively may yield more rewards but the length of time available for investing also plays a part. A longer time horizon could give investors the potential for compound growth. And setting specific goals can help to determine how much an investor should accumulate to support their goals.

Build a plan Dwight D. Eisenhower may have said it best—“Plans are worthless, but planning is

everything.” Even though a plan may need to be modified to adapt to changes, the very process of setting a plan will help investors to discover and focus on their most important investment goals. For a plan to be useful, it’s important for investors to clearly detail which goals they are trying to achieve. Some of an investor’s goals will be shorter term, such as building a rainy day fund. Intermediate-term goals might include buying a house or paying for a child’s education. Longer-term goals might include planning for retirement and potentially leaving a legacy for charities or family. Investor assets can then be matched to those various goals. For example, investors might own shortterm bonds to meet a nearterm expense, and a mixture of stocks and longer-term bonds to meet needs that are further in the future. The investor’s risk tolerance will help determine the mix of more volatile assets—such as

stocks—to less volatile assets such as bonds.

Keep an eye on the long term Once a plan is in place, it’s important to maintain it over the long term. This process includes regularly rebalancing the portfolio if allocations move too far away from targets, a task that in many cases can be automated. Maintenance also includes revisiting plans as investor goals or situations change. A plan is meant to be a living document. While market drops can be troublesome, unpredictable economic events have presented challenges in the past. With resilience and creativity, America’s businesses and households have managed to overcome them. While there are no guarantees that past performance will repeat itself, history has shown us that investors who reach their goals are often those who stick

to their investment plans and take a long-term view of the markets. Wells Fargo Advisors is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advice. If legal or tax assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. This article was written by/ for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Carl M. Trevisan, Managing DirectorInvestments and Stephen M. Bearce, First Vice PresidentInvestments in Alexandria, VA at 800-247-8602. Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANKGUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. © 2019 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved. Old Town Crier


A BIT OF HISTORY

A

t long last the New Year has arrived. Joe Biden (D-DE) is presidentelect; COVID-19 continues its sinister spread, and Virginia no longer observes Robert E. Lee-Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson Day. LeeJackson Day was established in 1904. “It is past time that we stop honoring the Confederacy,” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said in 2020. The times—the politics—are ‘changin.’ Last October Virginia judge W. Reilly Marchant ruled Richmond’s controversial 1890 statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee can be wholly removed—from Monument Avenue by order of the Governor. Virginia Military Institute’s 108 year-old statue of Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson was removed last month. Jackson was nicknamed “Stonewall” after his showing in the first Battle of Bull Run. Lee-Jackson Day—celebrated coincident with Martin Luther King’s birthday—included Confederate wreath-laying ceremonies, a Civil War parade and ball. The lore is “deeply entwined in the state’s selfimage;” the related monuments “erected by propagandists pushing a Lost Cause.” In 2017 white supremacists and Neo-Nazis gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, to aggressively defend a 1924 statue of Confederate General Lee. Robert Edward Lee was born January 19, 1807, the fifth child of overspent Revolutionary War hero General Henry “Lighthorse Harry” Lee and his second wife Ann Hill Carter, the great granddaughter of Virginia slaveholder Robert “King” Carter. Robert E. did not live the “legendary Victorian virtue” as “celebrated in a thousand marble statues across the South.” His sense of Duty, Duty before desire did not include the South’s “terrible hardening of the heart.” Lee emancipated his father-in-law George Washington Parke Custis’ Old Town Crier

©2020 SARAH BECKER

The Lee-Jackson Debate

to authority. With characteristic self-discipline, he put the past behind him and moved forward.” Post-war Robert E. Lee “promoted political harmony. He also became president of Washington College in

Left: Appomattox Statue in the heart of Old Town Alexandria Center: The removal of the Appomattox statue. Right: Pedestal of the Appomattox statue after its removal by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, June 2020.jpg

Photo: Ser Amantio di Nicolao

slaves on December 29, 1862; approximately three months after President Lincoln’s September 23 Emancipation Proclamation was published in draft. Congress renamed Arlington’s historic Custis-Lee mansion—the Custis’ family home—Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial in 1972. The name change first discussed in 1954. The War Between the States, America’s Civil War began April 12, 1861, when dissatisfied South Carolinians fired on Fort Sumter. Virginians— initially—were reluctant to separate from the Union. The mood changed when President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to quell the “insurrection.” Union General Robert E. Lee, forever loyal to Virginia, resigned his U.S. Army commission on April 20, 1861, and followed the Commonwealth. “After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the [Confederate] Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources,” Confederate General Robert E. Lee told his troops on

April 10, 1865. “I need not tell the survivors…that I have consented to this [surrender] from no distrust of them; but, feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish nothing [more than] loss.” Reconstruction did not proceed easily. President Andrew Johnson, a southerner and Unionist Democrat, failed to win widespread political support. By contrast “[Lee’s] unchangeable sweetness, the absence of all rancour, of all bitterness of feeling so natural to the vanquished, raised him high above the prejudices and hatreds of the day,” author Edward Lee Childe then wrote. Defeated as of his surrender, former Confederate General Robert E. Lee declined an 1869 request to help mark the positions of the troops in the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg with granite memorials. “I think it wiser moreover not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife,” he said. Nephew Fitzhugh Lee also refused. “If the nation is to continue as a whole, it is better to forget and

forgive rather than perpetuate in granite proofs,” Lee told The Charleston Daily News on August 26, 1869. He was indicted for treason on June 7, 1865; entered his Richmond home a prisoner, applied for a pardon then later absolved. “In his captivity and in his humiliation Lee’s anxieties were still for his soldiers,” Union General Adam Badeau noted in 1887. “[Lee’s] specialty was finishing up,” Alexandria, Virginia school teacher Benjamin Hallowell said of student Robert’s studies. “He imparted a finish and a neatness, as he proceeded to everything he undertook.” “When Congress ordered the drafting of new constitutions in the former Confederate states and disgruntled southerners contemplated a boycott of the system, Lee announced that it was ‘the duty of the [southern] people to accept the situation fully’ and that every man should not only ‘prepare himself to vote’ but also ‘prepare his friends white and colored, to vote and to vote rightly,’” the Virginia Museum of History & Culture wrote. “Lee’s code of conduct demanded submission

Lexington, Virginia,” the Virginia Museum of History & Culture confirmed. President Lee died on October 12, 1870, one month before The Robert E. Lee Monumental Association of New Orleans was incorporated; a decade before The New York Times described The Lost Cause Regained. The economic downturn, combined with the emotion of Lee’s death resulted in a surge of southern sentiment. In 1880—in Virginia—72.7%, eight of the eleven Congressional office holders had Confederate roots. Of the eleven Southern States 75.8%, seventy-two of the ninety-five Congressional office holders were ex-Confederates. Their “greatest” granite “hero” was deceased Confederate General Robert E. Lee. In April 1885 Alexandrian Edgar Warfield, a pharmacist and former private in the 17th Virginia Infantry, asked the R.E. Lee Camp of the United Confederate Veterans to construct a monument on behalf of the Confederate dead. In 1888 the City A BIT OF HISTORY > PAGE 10

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A BIT OF HISTORY | FROM PAGE 9

Council approved the project, permitting placement of the statue—Appomattox— at the intersection of Prince and Washington Streets. The Confederate statue stands— in part—where local soldiers, mostly between the ages of 19 and 26, assembled prior to evacuation. “The memory of the Confederate soldiers who fell in the Battle of Manassas…has at last been perpetuated by a monument,” The Washington Post reported in 1889, President George Washington’s Centennial year. Said U.S. Senator (D-VA), speaker and former Confederate Major John W. Daniel: “There was an irrepressible conflict between the freelabor system of the North and the African-labor system of the South. That northern sentiment was growing very rapidly because of immigration and the addition of new States, and in excess of the Southern sentiment, it was apparent that it was bent upon destroying slavery and that the fight must come…The Southern situation: The slaves will be freed if we remain in the Union [and] with freedom will come suffrage, with suffrage will come race conflict; for no two races so differing from each other as the African and the Anglo-Saxon have ever in the world’s history lived side-by-side in peace...The Southern people realized it, and events have shown that whether wise or not in the remedy they adopted, they truly diagnosed the evil which they vainly sought to avert.” A Lost Virginia caused Confederate General Lee’s statue to be placed “in the Statuary Hall of the National Capitol” in 1909. Said Virginia State Senator Don Peters Halsey (D-20th) on February 8, 1903: “In presenting the Bill now under consideration, I did so from no desire to offend Northern sentiment, or to reopen old wounds now happily healed. Rather I did so from entirely opposite motives, for, believing that the feeling of good will between the sections is now greater than ever before, I considered this an opportune time for Virginia to accept the invitation so long held out to her by the Federal Government, and place in the National Valhalla, by the side of [President, rebel, and Revolutionary War General George] Washington, the figure of him whom she deems to be his peer, and the fittest of all her sons for this high distinction, there-by showing her good

feeling towards the reunited nation of which she is a part. Right glad am I to feel that those who are the truest exponents of the sentiment of the North, sustain me in my belief that in this era of good feeling the statue of Lee may be thus placed without justly exciting passions of sectional animosity or tirades of bitter comment. I did not hope, of course, that the idea would meet with the approval of everybody…. I recognize the fact that there are those in the North who are still irreconcilable as well as those in the South who are still “ unreconstructed “ — to use that word in the Northern sense — but I take it also that the irreconcilable of the North are no more representative of the true sentiment of that section, than the unreconstructed are representative of the true sentiment of the South, and, therefore, I believe that the great heart of the North beats in unison with that of the South in honoring the memory of the great exponent of the chivalry and the glory and the true manhood of the South, just as I know that the South delights to honor the memory of his great adversaries, Lincoln and Grant, the first of whom pursued his course from a sense of duty as he saw it, “with charity towards all, and malice towards none,” and the other of whom uttered those words —”Let us have peace.” Let us have peace indeed! It seems the more Black Lives Matter the less Lost Cause advocates can ably defend. More than 100 Confederate statues were installed after 1950. In response to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka: school desegregation? Last year Congressman Don Beyer [VA-8] introduced legislation requesting the removal of Lee’s memorialized name from Arlington House. In 1972 the country was again debating change. An allwhite jury acquitted black academician, prison reform advocate, and Communist party member Angela Davis of murder charges. Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment, black women included. More disturbingly, presidential candidate and Governor George Wallace [D/AIP-AL] was shot while campaigning in Laurel, Maryland. A southern segregationist reared in the “Rebel-haunted reaches of southeast Alabama” Wallace’s racial message was clear. President-elect Biden’s selection of retired 4-star Army General Lloyd Austin to serve

as the first black Secretary of Defense is historic. Lee did ask his fellow southerners “to accept the situation fully,” every man white and colored “to vote and to vote rightly.” Talk of secession has gained loose-lipped momentum following President Donald Trump’s [R-FL/NY] election loss. Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh [FL] now claims the U.S. is again “trending towards secession.” Black’s law dictionary defines sedition as an “‘insurrectionary’ movement tending toward treason, but wanting an overt act; attempts made by meetings or speeches, or by publications, to disturb the tranquility of the state.” To what extent is Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton’s December 8, 2020 lawsuit against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin a seditious act? The AG asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the states 2020 election results. The Supreme Court rejected the case three day later. Texas Republican Party Chairman Allen West, a black replied: he suggested “perhaps law abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.” The more than 100 Republican House members who signed the accompanying amicus curiae did so out of loyalty. Amendment 14, Section 3, as ratified July 18, 1868: “No person shall be a senator or representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who having previously taken an oath…to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same….” Sarah Becker started writing for The Economist while a graduate student in England. Similar publications followed. She joined the Crier in 1996 while serving on the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association Board. Her interest in antiquities began as a World Bank hire, with Indonesia’s need to generate hard currency. Balinese history, i.e. tourism provided the means. The New York Times describes Becker’s book, Off Your Duffs & Up the Assets, as “a blueprint for thousands of nonprofit managers.” A former museum director, SLAM’s saving grace Sarah received Alexandria’s Salute to Women Award in 2007. Email abitofhistory53@gmail. com Old Town Crier


THE LAST WORD

MIRIAM R. KRAMER

CREEP, GENIUS, AUTEUR

I

just finished reading famed film maker Woody Allen’s memoir, Apropos of Nothing, in which he discusses his life from childhood to his current age of 84. I borrowed it from the library, since as a disillusioned fan, I was not sure I wanted him to receive more of my money. I have kept up with him out of fascination for his artistry since I first encountered his work at age fifteen. His custody fight over the children he adopted with Mia Farrow first swept the news in the early 1990s, and recently was resurrected during the #MeToo era, as his purported son, Ronan Farrow, raked powerful men like movie impresario Harvey Weinstein over the coals for his abuse of women. Although Woody Allen grew up in a loving home in Brooklyn, he describes himself as an anxious misanthrope by nature. From the very beginning, he was good at baseball and other sports, but hated the boredom and repetition of school despite, or probably because, of his high IQ. He also denies his reputation as an intellectual, saying that his black glasses and ability to extract apt quotations from serious thinkers and writers helped him gain that reputation. He proclaims that his penchant for intellectual, bohemian girls also made him bone up on certain academic subjects to attract them. His parents did not encourage intellectual activities, and he cut high school many times to go to the movies and art museums, also learning to play the clarinet after discovering a lifelong love for jazz. At sixteen he started writing

Old Town Crier

jokes and submitting them to various newspaper columns across New York City. Finally some of them made it into the paper, and he started making more money even than his shady but loving father, who bounced from job to job, letting his stern mother Nettie hold down the family and pay the bills. Once he was able, he married his first wife Harlene very young, eventually divorcing her and marrying actress Louise Lasser, a mercurial woman with undiagnosed mental illnesses whom he loved but couldn’t live with. In the meantime, he honed his craft, writing for the groundbreaking comedy variety series Your Show of Shows in the 1950s, and signing up with the fabled comedy agents Jack Rollins and Charles Joffe, who pushed him to go out on the comedy circuit instead of just writing for other performers. After his second divorce, Allen took up with the quirky, lovely, and unsophisticated Diane Keaton. While they only remained together romantically for one year, they remained lifetime friends. One of his first big hit plays and movies, Play It Again Sam, featured her as his lead actress. She would go on to win the Best Actress Oscar in one of Woody Allen’s most famous films, which incorporated aspects of her life and their sweet relationship. That movie also won Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Woody Allen, along with Best Movie for producer Charles Joffe, who stuck with him for most of his movies.

Eventually he came to know Mia Farrow, a gifted actress who had already established a pop culture presence through her Hollywood parents, director John Farrow and actress Maureen O’ Sullivan, and her marriage to Frank Sinatra. She also was known as a selfless maternal figure who had a number of children and adopted others, many from South Korea. Allen and Farrow were together for twelve years. Most people who care about Allen’s films know that they were fruitful years artistically. Yet they ended in disaster when Woody Allen started an

affair with Mia Farrow’s daughter, SoonYi Previn, then somewhere between eighteen and twenty-one according to her uncertain birth records. Allen sued unsuccessfully for custody of his so-called biological child, Satchel, renamed Ronan; Dylan; and Moses. The stigma of his leaving nude pictures of Soon-Yi on a mantelpiece, where Mia had originally found them, left many people, including me, disgusted and in shock. Eight months after

finding the pictures, Mia filed suit against him for molesting Dylan. Mutual accusations flew back and forth, in which Woody accused Mia of locking her adopted children into closets if they did not follow her orders and brainwashing her daughter Dylan, then seven years old, into testifying against him. Mia’s adopted son Moses, an adoption therapist, defected THE LAST WORD > PAGE 13

January 2021 | 11


HIGH NOTES

RON POWERS

B

ad Flamingo is composed of two nameless female members who wear Lone Ranger style masks and old school western-style clothing. They have the most mysterious and well-developed aesthetic I’ve seen in a band since the White Stripes. Like their image, the music of Bad Flamingo has a dark mystique. They wield the power of the blues with steely-eyed feminine power. Songs do not get any cooler than their latest single “Dead Man’s Hand”. This song begins with a drum groove that feels something like a bandit rolling into town on his horse for a gun fight. The first lyrics are “I saw a lone tree with a murder of crows / I’ve been thinking about going down to Mexico.” These lines, along with the melody, mix with the drum groove and the magic spell that is this song begins to permeate the listener. After the first verse ends, a sharply distorted guitar briefly bursts out and creates an exciting contrast as the song transitions into the dark chill vibe of the chorus. “Dead Man’s Hand” reveals Bad Flamingo as

12 | January 2021

Dead Man’s Hand BY BAD FLAMINGO a band that knows exactly when to add and when not to add to their music. It’s not something you consciously grasp while listening, but going back over the track I’m struck by these young lady’s ability to express a feeling. There is a unity in everything heard. Every element holds every other element and together expresses a single undeniably cool voice. One gets the feeling that every note and sound was lovingly chosen to hang on the walls of this exceptionally well decorated song. There’s something to please the ear at every turn. Whether it’s the sparce bass notes on the chorus, the single descending guitar synth sound that’s only heard once, or the Xylophone briefly introduced on the second verse, Bad Flamingo is always doing something interesting to capture your attention.

“Dead Man’s Hand” never varies from its original groove laid down at the start of the song. Variation in the music is established through the layering of different sounds. This is done with such smoothness you hardly realize what’s happening to you as you listen. There are not many moments during this song that jump out as if to say, “LOOK AND ME”. Instead, the band seduces you. Slowly adding or taking away layers of sound and melody as they bring the song to its effortless and satisfying completion. The production quality of “Dead Man’s Hand” further adds to its appeal. There’s a gritty shine to the sound of this track. So much of what is heard has a pleasing saturated or distorted sound. However, echo effects are also generously applied which give the song a bit of sparkle. The vocal performances are another

key ingredient. The topline and harmonies are delivered with a relaxed confidence and smoothness that contrasts nicely with some of the more aggressive sounds on the song. In my eyes “Bad Flamingo” have little to no competition from today’s popular music. They are tigers among kittens. If you’d like to follow them you can find them at badflamingomusic.com, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. If you’d like to listen to their amazing music you can find them on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and most other places music is streamed or sold. Ron Powers is an independent A&R specialist and music industry consultant, and is constantly searching for, discovering and writing about new talent. Old Town Crier


THE LAST WORD | FROM PAGE 11

to Woody and Soon-Yi’s side, testifying to psychological abuse from Mia and pointing to the fact that one of her adopted children committed suicide, another died, and then another took an overdose of pills, accidentally or not. Woody Allen was eventually acquitted of the child molestation charge. This horrifying story of family dysfunction and disintegration of an exciting artistic partnership died down in the news until the #MeToo movement raised its head. Dylan, now an adult with a changed last name, spoke up against Allen. When the publisher Hachette decided to publish this memoir, Apropos of Nothing, their employees protested, as did Ronan Farrow, known for his groundbreaking work published by Hachette about Harvey Weinstein, Catch and Kill. Farrow threatened to cut ties with the publisher. They then dropped the book, which was eventually picked up by Arcade Publishing. Woody’s memoir is a chronological listing of at least some of his artistic accomplishments, along with a laundry list of the many great actors, directors, and producers with whom he has worked along the way, full of praise for almost each of them, and self-deprecation regarding his own talents. He also praises Soon-Yi, with whom he has maintained a relationship and then a marriage since he left Mia, along with adopting two children. His diction tends to be littered with gratuitous fiftycent words, old pop-cultural references, and somewhat excessive Yiddish phrases, but that is what one might expect both from him and from a man not interested in keeping up with the times. I would have liked to hear more about the movies he made, but he describes his process very simply: shoot quickly, do few takes, hire great actors, get out of their way, let them re-write his dialogue if their versions are better, and get home by dinner time. After that, he starts to write another movie the next day or as quickly as possible. He mostly speaks of casting problems, not the plotlines of the successful or underperforming movies he Old Town Crier

made. In addition, he never re-watches his films, so he can only speak to the process of making them, rather than his view of them in hindsight. As he mentions, in his later years, he made films in Europe when offered funding, since he was appreciated in Europe while his box office take was often underwhelming to American film executives. Woody does not like to dwell in the past, he says. While that may apply to his movie making, it does not apply to his accounts of his relationship with Mia and the debacle it became. I have read articles supporting Mia in Vanity Fair magazine and in her book What Falls Away. After reading both of their sordid accounts, I see it as a he said, she said story almost impossible to untangle, with unsavory aspects appearing undeniable for each. I ended up disliking each of them while unable to discern any real truths. Woody mentions once that he thinks Ronan is his son, although he does not know since Mia said that he might be a result of an affair with her former husband, Frank Sinatra. For anyone with eyes, Ronan Farrow looks exactly like a combination of Mia and Frank, and nothing like Woody Allen. Allen sometimes comes off as very naïve, trapped in his artistic bubble as a storyteller. In addition, while writing great, in-depth parts for many women in his films—for years actresses have done anything to work with him—he mostly refers to them here by their looks, sex appeal, and acting ability. What disappointed me most was this memoir’s shallowness. Allen writes upfront that he is not the intellectual people think he is, but rather a storyteller with a knowledge of human nature. In this book, he is mostly here to settle a score with Mia and praise his artistic compadres to the skies rather than discuss his movies, some of which are duds and some of which are exemplary. His effective storytelling is in his movies, not here. The book has no great comic or dramatic elements, other than in its distasteful reactions to Mia Farrow and comments on their shambolic relationship. When I first saw the movie Annie Hall, even as a teenager, it shot to the top of my list. Its humor, bittersweetness,

and originality made it one of my three favorite films then. It stands the test of time. Other favorites include Play It Again Sam, Love and Death, Manhattan, Hannah and her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Husbands and Wives, Match Point, Vicky Cristy Barcelona, Midnight in Paris, Blue Jasmine, and others I am sure I am forgetting. In putting out a film almost every year, he is so prolific that it is hard to remember all his works. If you can separate the man from the movie, please put these alternately hilarious, entertaining, icy, charming, and moving films on your list. The idea that artists can be amoral, misanthropic, unlikeable beings and produce great works is not a new one. In the end, if you feel you want a brilliant film, watch one of these movies on your streaming service, particularly if you do not want to pay extra for them. You might not want to be friends with Woody Allen, or watch his many failed movie experiments, but when he is great, he is a glorious storyteller and observer of the human condition.

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January 2021 | 13


GALLERY BEAT

F. LENNOX CAMPELLO

“Isla Balsera (Raft Island)” - Happy Birthday America, Wishing We Were There! Collage on Paper, Framed to 30x40 inches, c. 1976 Was in a private Collection in New Jersey - donated to American University Art Museum in 2015

Let’s Make a Deal…

O

ne of the benefits of living in this amazing age of great technology and nanoseconds-fast communications is how easy it is for someone to find you in Al Gore’s Internet. With that easiness come all kinds of things associated with art, including how easy it is for a collector or their descendants to “find” you decades after they purchased one of your works of art. To me, getting an email with an image and a description of how they got that piece of art – sometimes the story itself is worth the time travel backwards – is like finding an old friend 14 | January 2021

that you created and now has returned… or is attempting to. Sometimes the collector is interested in selling or deaccessioning the artwork – more often than not it is the children of the original buyer, who may have inherited the artwork after mom or dad passed away. In any event, the issue is that they have several of your pieces and they want your help in selling them somewhere/somehow. What to do? What not to do? The second one is easy: never, ever take the artwork back to try to sell it for them – unless you’ve already got a “new” buyer lined up ahead

of time who only wants your vintage work from 1979. What to do? In the nicest possible way thank the collector for supporting your career through the years, and make the following recommendations to him or her to do the following – I repeat – have THEM do it… not you: Auction Houses - There are hundreds of auction houses in the United State alone which sell art - while most of them only deal with big name art only (Picasso, Matisse, Campello…), there are also many which accept most original artwork on consignment for their next

auctions. All of them have an online submission process, where they generally want to know the basics of the work being offered (title, year, medium, size), the provenance, plus an image of the front and back. I’d recommend to the person to formulate a strategy starting at the top of the auction world food chain (Sotheby’s, Christie’s, etc.) and then work way down. Nearly all the auction houses in the world are listed and available for proposed auction lots at www.invaluable.com and/or www.liveauctioneers. com - It’s generally free to do this submission review process, until the artwork

sells - Make sure that your collector reviews all the associated costs, as most auction houses generally charge both the buyer and the seller a percentage of the final hammer price - in other words you do not pay anything UNLESS the work sells. This is good both for the seller (your former collector), as he or she may get something (better than nothing) for the artwork… and for you (the artist), as it starts putting your name out in the secondary art market. Expect really, really low prices at these auctions (unless you’re lucky enough to have to bidders in a bidding war with each other). Option two is for your collector to work via an online art sale locations - sites such GALLERY BEAT > `PAGE 15

Old Town Crier


ART&ANTIQUES ANTIQUES

GALLERY BEAT | FROM PAGE 14

as www.artsy.net also sell artwork online, but generally only through a gallery, so the former collector need to find a gallery willing to put your work online and sell for a commission – not an easy task for an emerging artist’s works. There are several of these sites online... as a last resort, your collector can also try Facebook Marketplace and/ or EBay. The last option is my favorite: donate the artwork. Your collector can also donate the work to a museum and/or university or college. While this is a donation, rather than sale, it does generally have generous tax write-off benefits, as usually one can deduct the full current value of the work from income taxes, but make sure to advise your collector to consult with their tax

professional to find the most current laws. This has the benefit of (a) getting them a tax write-off, and (b) getting your work into a small museum or a university’s collection. The smaller the college the more likely they’d be in accepting a donation of artwork for their permanent collection. This latter one actually happened to me, and one of my super early (1970s) series of works in which I use the poor enslaved island of Cuba as the focus of the works (titled imaginatively as “The Cuba Series”) ended up a few years ago in the collection of American University thanks to a generous collector from New Jersey who donated the work – which he acquired in 1978 or so – to the University. More recently, a similar scenario happened, where another collector (this time a former school mate of

“Isla Llorona”, oil on board, c.1978 In the collection of Queens University, Charlotte, NC

mine who had acquired a work from the same Cuba series when I was a student at the School of Art at the University of Washington in Seattle between 1977-1981) passed away and her son approached me for advice on how to donate the work to his mother’s undergraduate alma mater. As a result, the work is now in the permanent collection of Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina!

GALLERIES Torpedo Factory Art Center 105 N. Union Street Principle Gallery 208 King Street

Spurgeon-Lewis Antiques 112 N. Columbus Street BW Art, Antiques & Collectibles 108 N. Fayette Street Imperfections Antiques 1210 King Street The Antique Guild 113 N. Fairfax Street Silverman Galleries 110 N. St. Asaph Street Red Barn Mercantile 1117 King Street Washington Square Antiques 425 S. Washington Street Susquehanna Antique Co. 608 Cameron Street Old Town Antiques 222 S. Washington Street Verdigris Vintage 1215 King Street Cavalier Antiques 400 Prince Street Sumpter Priddy III 323 S. Washington Street Henry Street Antiques 115 S. Henry Street Curzon Hill Antiques 108 S. Columbus Street The Hour 1015 King Street A Galerie 315 Cameron Street Random Harvest 810 King Street Acme Mid-Century + Modern 128 S. Royal Street Van Bommel Antiek Hous 1007 King Street Lloyd’s Row 119 S. Henry Street

Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery 105 N. Union Street St. George Gallery 105 N. Alfred Street The Art League 105 Union Street Local Colour Old Town 218 N. Lee Street Icon Galleria 101 N. Union Street B&B Art Gallery 215 King Street Gallery West 1213 King Street Enamelist’s Gallery 105 N. Union Street Printmakers, Inc. 105 N. Union Street Kelly’s Art & Frame 510 N. Washington Street Oerth Gallery 420 S. Washington Street Jeffrey Winter Fine Arts 110A S. Columbus Street Johnston Matthew 105 N. Union Street Huddy Studio 105 N. Union Street Mezzanine Multiples 105 N. Union Street Silverman Galleries 110 N. St. Asaph Street Cochran David 105 N. Union Street Betty Grisham Studio 105 N. Union Street Imagine Artwear 112 King Street

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Price and additional images upon request.

“ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING PEOPLE OF WASHINGTON, DC” Syreni Caledonii (Northern Atlantic Mermaid). Watercolor, charcoal and Conte. 2019, 12x36 inches.

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Old Town Crier

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January 2021 | 15


URBAN GARDEN

JACQUELINE MURPHY

General January Gardening Tips • Sow seeds of warm-season annuals • Plant balled-and-burlapped, container, and bare-root trees, shrubs and vines • Apply dormant spray to fruit trees before buds swell • Plant conifers and broad-leaf evergreens • Plant bare-root perennial vegetables • Plant seedlings of cool-weather vegetables • Sow seeds for frost-tolerant perennials • Plant container and bare-root roses • Plant summer-blooming shrubs and vines

The best laid plans …need not be original

J

anuary is an excellent month in several ways. The days are noticeably longer, most houseguests have vacated your premises, many orchids are in bloom, plus this month marks the beginning of a brand new decade. This is a great time to take a break from contemplating the (possibly fleeting) wisdom of your New Year’s resolutions and focus instead on some serious armchair gardening and horticultural enlightenment. It’s also the time of year that I can almost appreciate the chilly temperatures that persuade me to slow down, curl up and read. I usually like to start with the latest crop of glossy and seductive gardening catalogs to see what hybrids are hot and absorb advice on culture, growth habits and clever designs that combine familiar plants in unusual ways. You might prefer to view these same catalogs online. Although colder temperatures tend 16 | January 2021

to limit outdoor gardening activities, they do provide the perfect excuse to stay inside and scheme, plan and rearrange your garden; whether it’s all in your head, sketched out on paper napkins or digitally enhanced on your laptop. Whatever dreams you entertain for your very own great outdoors you can bet someone else has already created your perfect dreamscape (or pretty darn close to it) and has been lovingly tending it for decades. Rather than feeling discouraged by some famous gardener’s fait accompli, focus on the aspects that you like and adapt them to your own conditions. Or borrow directly and shamelessly. Nothing says you have to reinvent the wheel or come up with an entirely original garden plan. Besides, whatever you’re going to install in the coming season won’t be recognizable as a transplanted copycat Versailles or Sissinghurst; even by next year. And even if it were, I wouldn’t be shy about

crediting my inspiration. Over the course of time we all find certain design styles that we adore and want to emulate. And scores of garden plans are published, ready and waiting for you to scavenge in the form of books, magazines, catalogs and even online. So go ahead and ease into a new year of gardening without straining the little gray cells too much — reap the benefits of accomplished experts who have studied horticulture and garden design for eons. There are plans for the perusing that address every outdoor location and function: front yards, backyards, play yards, small yards, poolscaping, container gardens, green roofs; you name it, there are ready-made plans that are perfect for your unique situation. Once you’ve selected a location or locations on which to focus, start homing in on design styles (formal, naturalistic, modern, cottage, etc.) that you like and want for your own yard, and hunt around until you find

corresponding books of plans. There are books of plans by just about every great garden designer I can think of and all you have to do is read them and dig a few holes. I’m not discouraging budding (or experienced) designers from experimentation. Rather, I’m hoping to free people from the sometimes tyrannical pressure to be supremely original and creative. By all means, when the garden design spirit moves you, knock yourself out. Thomas Jefferson said “Though an old man, I am but a young gardener”, which I interpret as: there’s never going to be enough time to learn everything there is to know about gardening no matter how long we’re at it. That’s what keeps it eternally fresh and engaging for me. Too bad we can’t learn by osmosis; it’d be so much quicker…the next best thing is to borrow ideas directly from the greats and enjoy the collaboration. Old Town Crier


DO YOUR PART TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19

KEEP YOUR DISTANCE • WASH YOUR HANDS THROW PROTECTIVE ITEMS AWAY IN THE TRASH YOURSELF! AND PLEASE... WEAR THAT MASK! Old Town Crier

January 2021 | 17


TAKE PHOTOS, LEAVE FOOTPRINTS

SCOTT DICKEN

Photos: Scott Dickens

PHOTOGRAPHING PEOPLE:

THE ART OF TRAVEL “STREET” PHOTOGRAPHY AND PORTRAITURE

L

et me set the scene: imagine you’re in your hometown and you’re on your way to meet a friend for a spot of brunch. You’re walking past a famous landmark on your way to the restaurant when a coach pulls up and out jump a gaggle of foreign tourists (a common scene in London). You imagine they’ll all immediately turn their attention to the famous landmark right behind you, but instead outcome the cameras and with no word or warning you’re suddenly the focal point for twenty zoom lens’ all jockeying for the best angle of you in your ‘Sunday best’. Sounds weird, disconcerting and frankly pretty rude, right? Then why is it that street photography, particularly photographing local residents, seems so acceptable to travelers when we’re overseas? Sure, we all want to capture the essence of wherever we’re traveling, but where lies the boundary of acceptable social decorum and when do we unwittingly (or not) cross it? My raising this question, and seeking a set of guidelines for photographing people, in part stems from personal experience. My wife and I were on our honeymoon and we happened to spend some time in Shanghai. Wandering down the Bund (essentially a promenade along the riverfront) we found ourselves with a tail. Following closely behind us were two young women armed with cameras and fairly significant zoom

18 | January 2021

lens’. They were, at least to their mind, ‘inconspicuously’ following us taking photos (well, it was really my wife they were photographing, but in my head I like to be the center of attention and with red hair I imagine I had an ‘exotic’ demeanor worthy of their attention). What made this particular incident stand out was that each time we turned around to face them they would pull their cameras away and pretend like nothing had happened. Rather than come and talk to us (having been ‘caught’) they thought it more appropriate to pretend like they worked for a seemingly incompetent private investigatory service that only hires giggling teenagers. So, what could they have done better and what could we do better as travelers that want to photograph people going about their everyday business? And, beyond the sensitivities involved, what could they have done to get the best possible photos of their ‘subjects’ i.e. us? Let’s be honest, photos of my backside or me turning around with an angry look on my face, whilst entertaining, are highly unlikely to be winning a Pulitzer anytime soon.

CULTURAL, SOCIAL AND LEGAL SENSITIVITY Know what’s legally acceptable. I’m going to start with the worstcase scenario (as a typically pessimistic Londoner) and consider the

consequences of the law. In general, I subscribe to the general rule that people can be photographed in public without consent unless they can reasonably expect a degree of privacy (although you should seek advice on any country specific legislation - and of course aggressive photography of an individual could be deemed as harassment). Now of course, if you’re planning to use the photography for commercial purposes then a whole different set of rules might apply and at that point you’ll probably want to seek out some reliable legal advice. The other thing to consider is the location in which you’re photographing a person and what kind of person they are: certain locations have restrictions such as government facilities, courts and museums as do people such as law enforcement officials.

Know what’s culturally acceptable. Not everything is as simple as right or wrong, and if you’re traveling to far-flung places then you’ll also want to consider the cultural acceptability of photographing people (after all, you don’t want to offend your hosts). In some cultures photographing people can be seen as taboo, in some taking a photo of someone is thought to steal their soul. In some parts of Asia, taking a photo of three people is thought to mean that one of them will soon die. In some religions, it is unacceptable to take photos of worshippers. In some cultures,

photographing feet is frowned upon, and in others photographing unaccompanied women is objectionable. The list could go on and on, so if in doubt, then I suggest you ask what is acceptable.

Ask First, Photo Second. This mainly comes down to personal preference. It’s probably worth noting that doing things this way may result in losing that candid street photo you’re really looking for. Instead, you’re likely to end up with ‘street portraiture’ – not necessarily a bad thing, but very different results. I guess the best advice I can give is to use some common sense. I’m also particularly careful when photographing young children. Quite often you’ll arrive in a remote village where children are playing; they’ll see your camera and eagerly run over to you asking for their photos to be taken. Whilst the children might be eager their parents might not be so keen. Even worse is if you’re just trying to take some inconspicuous and candid street photography of children. How would you feel if a stranger started taking pictures of your child at the playground? If in doubt, and wherever possible, seek permission of responsible adults before you start clicking!

TAKE PHOTOS, LEAVE FOOTPRINTS > PAGE 19

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Consider your choice of equipment from a social perspective. Pretty much any lens can produce a good portrait or street photography shot under the right circumstances, so perhaps it’s actually more important to consider the comfort of the subject. Using a short focal length is going to mean that you have to be up close and personal (which, admittedly, can produce some great photos). Now I don’t know about you, but if I have a camera right up in my face then I don’t typically feel all that comfortable. If your subject is not comfortable then the photo is going to look forced. You might try backing it up and using a longer focal length when needed. The result will likely be a more natural shot and might also help you get more candid, relaxed photos. Alternatively, spend some time getting to know the person before photographing them.

Be Generous. Don’t be that person that snaps away for thirty minutes and then just walks away! If the person has been generous enough to give you even the smallest amount of their time, then treat them as a person rather than an inanimate object. It goes without saying that you should thank them for their time and willingness to allow you to cram a lens in their face, but you could also offer to send them some prints (or even just an email with the JPEGS – assuming they have an email address and access

Old Town Crier

to a computer). In some cases people might ask you for remuneration up front, so I like to carry small change.

TECHNICAL TIPS Equipment Choices Street photography, by its very nature is supposed to be capturing everyday life at its most raw and candid. In terms of lens choice, it really all comes down to how confident you are because you can pretty much use any lens you want. A longer focal length will mean that you can be sneakier from afar. The closer you get (the shorter the focal length) the closer you’re going to have to be to the action. In some situations that might mean your subject might react to the camera. This could be either good or bad; it really depends on what results you’re looking for. One thing I would recommend is using a fixed (prime) lens i.e. one without zoom capabilities. This will mean you spend less time fidgeting with the zoom and rapidly get more accomplished at finding the best compositions. Street portraits on the other hand are exactly what they sound like: posed portrait photography that happens to be taken in a public setting where the subject is well aware that the photo is about to be taken and has given consent for the photo to be taken. I would personally include staged events in the category e.g. tribal ‘shows’ where participants are adorned in tribal or national clothing

but the set-up is predominantly for tourist-consumption (and you might even possibly pay a fee to watch). As the subject knows you’re taking the photo you can be a little braver with your lens choices and get ‘up close and personal’. I would recommend a short focal length (I personally use 35mm but a lot of people recommend 85mm) prime lens. Using a prime lens for street portraits generally increases the quality of your image and allows you to blur the background (bokeh) so that the focal point of the photo is the persons face (prime lens’ are particularly good for this purpose because they have wide aperture settings which means a tighter depth of field.

Get to Know Your Equipment Now you have all of this sparkly new equipment it’s time to practice before you go. People don’t tend to hang about waiting for you to try and figure out where your ISO or white balance settings are located. Learn as much as feasibly possible about your camera and practice taking photos in different lights. The aim is to figure out how to work your camera at home rather than in the middle of a shoot. When in doubt, you could simply apply the old photo-journalism adage of “F8 and be there.”

Be Ready, it’s all About Timing Evaluate the time of day and the weather conditions and have your

camera settings ready in advance. Even simpler, make sure that the lens cap is off; you have no idea how many times I’ve tried to take a photo with the lens cap still on and then had to fluff around with the camera whilst missing the (now giggling at my lack of ability) person strolling off in to the distance.

Creating Context (or not) Sometimes choosing the right background for ‘people pictures’ can make all of the difference, and other times the person’s face alone (with nothing in the background to distract our attention away from the subject) creates the most striking image. This decision all comes down to whether the context adds value to the picture you’re taking and creates a storyline that accompanies the person. If the person’s face alone tells the story, then it becomes even more important to ensure that the face is the pure and only focus. You could achieve this by using a low aperture and blurring the background, shooting against an ‘unfussy’ background, or filing the frame with the person’s face. For obvious reasons, if you go for the latter option you’ll either need to feel comfortable getting close to your subject or have a decently long focal length lens. Looking for more travel and photography advice? Check out takephotosleavefootprints.com

January 2021 | 19


POINTS ON PETS

CINDY MCGOVERN

Make a New Year’s Resolution for Your Pet

I

t’s a safe bet that many New Year’s resolutions fell by the wayside this year with all eyes focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. This January provides another opportunity to take stock, evaluate what you would like to change, and resolve to accomplish those goals. While you do that, take a few minutes to consider resolutions that might improve your pet’s life.

Weight Maintenance Just as losing weight is a popular resolution for humans, consider weight loss or weight maintenance for your pet in 2021. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, roughly 56 percent of dogs and 60 percent of cats in the Unites States are overweight or obese. Using body weight as a guide, dogs and cats are considered to be overweight when they weigh 10 to 20 percent above their ideal body weight. Both are considered obese when they weigh 20 percent or more above their ideal body weight. Extra weight can lead to health problems, such as heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure and kidney disease. Obese cats can also find it difficult to groom themselves, leading to more hairballs and skin irritation. Increased exercise for your canine companion will usually do the trick for weight loss and can be a resolution all its own. However, overfeeding, rather than lack of exercise, 20 | January 2021

is often the culprit in both overweight dogs and cats. Check with your vet on the best food for your pet, based on their lifestyle and stage in life: younger/older, very active, or a couch potato. Then, follow the instructions and recommended serving size; don’t just eyeball the serving size, measure it out at each meal. Limiting treats and human snacks will also help your pet maintain a healthy weight.

Dental Hygiene The Virginia Veterinary Centers estimates that 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have periodontal disease by the time they are three years old. Without proper dental care your pet can develop a wide variety of dental health issues, such as periodontal disease, which is caused by the build-up of bacteria. It forms a film over the teeth called plaque that can become hardened by the calcium in your pet’s saliva. This is called tartar, and can eventually lead to gingivitis, or gum inflammation, and even an infection in the root of the tooth. A dental exam at the vet normally includes x-rays to check on the overall health of the teeth and ensure there aren’t any broken or damaged teeth. After putting the pet under general anesthesia, a dental cleaning involves removing plaque and tartar from the teeth and then polishing the teeth to smooth

out scratches in the enamel. Finally, a fluoride treatment or barrier sealant will be applied to strengthen and desensitize the teeth, and prevent more plaque from developing. Brushing your pet’s teeth is also recommended, but not always an option. There are a number of products on the market that can help kill some of the bacteria in your pet’s mouth, as well as toys and treats that remove plaque and tartar. Be sure to check with your vet before giving any of these products to your pet and remember, they are not a substitute for professional dental care.

Playtime Did Santa bring your dog or cat a new toy for the holidays? Playtime is great way to bond with your furry friend. Play also keeps your pet physically and mentally active and can keep them from getting bored (which often leads to destructive behaviors, overeating and other problematic issues). Make a plan to incorporate dedicated playtime into each day and vary your activities; chase a laser toy, play hide and seek, tug of war or let your dog explore a new area while walking.

In addition to play, make time to groom your pet, whether it’s brushing, bathing or trimming your pet’s nails. Not only does brushing remove excess fur from the coat, which means less on our clothes and furniture, it also helps to distribute oils from the skin to the fur, keeping the coat shiny and healthy. Most pets enjoy being groomed and having your undivided attention.

Identification The American Kennel Club (AKC) cites statistics POINTS ON PETS > PAGE 21

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POINTS ON PETS | FROM PAGE 20

that up to a third of pets will become lost at some point in their lives. In addition to an ID tag with their name, address and phone number, consider a microchip for your pet. A microchip is a radiofrequency identification transponder, about the size of a grain of rice, carrying a unique identification number that is transmitted to the vet or shelter when the microchip is scanned. It is injected under the loose skin between the animal’s shoulder blades. This procedure can be done in your vet’s office and is no more invasive than a vaccination. Your vet can also ensure the microchip is appropriately registered in the national pet recovery database. According to the AKC, pets with microchips are up to 20 times more likely to be reunited with their owners, making the decision an easy one.

A safe home Since our pets spend most time at home or in our yards, we should do our best to build them safe, entertaining places to rest and play. Make sure all potentially harmful substances (such as cleaning products and medications) are kept in cabinets that your pet cannot easily reach or

access. It’s also a good idea to clean out your pet’s clutter. Take a fresh look at their toys and stop holding on to old, ratty, and often germ-infested toys. A new bed may also be in order and favorite blankets should go in the wash for a good cleaning.

We don’t yet know what 2021 will bring, but by making a few simple resolutions, it can bring happier, healthier pets. Cindy McGovern is a King Street Cats volunteer who works so her Siberian cat, Bella, can live a good life.

Sources: https://petobesityprevention.org/2017/ https://virginiaveterinarycenters.com/why-dental-careimportant-pets/ https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/how-do-dogmicrochips-work

Start Out the New Year

By Adopting a Furry Friend!

Meet former King Street Cats Alumnus

Peppercorn She now resides in the office of The Old Town Crier and it has been rumored that she is quite helpful with the paperwork.

Bath & Primp • Nail Trim & file • Full Haircut Deshed • Theraclean Treatment • Teeth Brushing Hair Coloring • Exotic Grooming Gianna Schjang, Gabriella Brown • Paw Spa LLC 315 South Washington Street, Alexandria 22314 703-517-4428 • www.thepawspava.com

Love. Brush. Groom. Repeat.

PETS

OF THE MONTH

ACE

Adult, Neutered Male, Black and White Domestic Short Hair

4101 Eisenhower Avenue Alexandria, VA 703-746-4774 alexandriaanimals.org Mon-Fri, 1-8 pm Closed Wed Sat & Sun, 12-5 pm

Ace is the sweetest, cow-spotted boy you’ll ever meet! Sit with him and he’ll immediately cuddle up on your lap, purring happily. He’s looking for a best friend who loves snuggles as much as he does. Could that be you? When Ace isn’t snoozing on a nap, he loves playing with his toys and looking out windows. Schedule an appointment to meet Ace at AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment.

Adopt by appointment at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria! In-shelter and virtual appointments are available at AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-ByAppointment. View all of our adoptable animals at AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt. Old Town Crier

BETTY SPAGHETTI Adult, Spayed Female, Brown and White Terrier

Hi! I am Betty Spaghetti and I am just as silly as my name! Though honestly I should probably be named Velvet as my friends here at the AWLA say that’s what I feel like as I have the softest fur! I am looking for a new best friend and would love to find someone as active as I am. No worries with training me as I will do anything for treats! I have already mastered “Sit”. I am very sweet and affectionate and if you give me belly rubs, I will be your friend for life! I would love a family who likes to walk and hike, but I also like my down time with my person, and I would be very happy cuddled up on the couch with you at the end of the day. So schedule an appointment to meet me at AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment.

NIMBUS AND ALTO Adult Parakeets

Meet Nimbus and Alto! Their favorite song? “Come Fly with Me!” Their favorite treat? Millet. Their favorite pastime? Tweeting, but with each other rather than online. These two parakeets are best friends and can’t wait to find a family flock to call their own. Schedule an appointment to meet them at AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment.

January 2021 | 21


CARIBBEAN CONNECTION CARIBBEAN JOURNAL STAFF

Ziggy Marley on His Father, Reggae and Jamaica BY BOB CURLEY, CARIBBEAN JOURNAL

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iu Hotels and Resorts has debuted its newest adults-only resort in Jamaica, the product of a complete transformation of the Riu Montego Bay resort. The new adults-only Riu Montego Bay officially opened its doors this week, set on the beach in Montego Bay alongside the Riu Reggae and Riu Palace Jamaica resorts.  The new-look, 800-room, all-inclusive property has a completely redesigned pool system, along with a new Splash Water World park on site.  In total, the property now has five pools, one of which comes with its own swim-up bar.  The property has also launched a new wellness center, with spa treatments on offer and a new fitness facilities.  The new-look Riu Montego Bay has five eateries, including the new Kulinarium – featuring international cuisine - along with a new casual poolside grill called Pepe’s Food.  It’s the latest effort in what has been a years-long push by Riu to transform its resorts in the wider Caribbean-Mexico region.  Jamaica is currently open for tourism; you can find more on the country’s health protocol log on to visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization. For more info on the resort, visit riu.com/en/hotel/ Jamaica/montego-bay/hotel-riu-montego-bay/.  The OTC is happy to partner with Alexander Britell, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of the Miami, Florida based Caribbean journal, and his staff. Check them out online at caribjournal.com for valuable information on all of the fabulous travel options and things of interest in the Caribbean. 22 | January 2021

Bob Marley would have been 75 years old this year, and while the reggae legend’s life was tragically cut short, his oldest son, Ziggy, has not only carried on his father’s musical legacy but his quest to make the world a better place, too. Days after being wounded in an assassination attempt at his home in 1976, Bob Marley performed at a peace concert in Kingston, Jamaica, famously saying, “The people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?” That’s a lesson that Ziggy Marley has taken to heart. Winner of eight Grammy awards for his music, Ziggy’s humanitarian work has included serving as a Goodwill Youth Ambassador for the United Nations and participating in Bob Marley Foundation initiatives worldwide. His own charity, U.R.G.E. (Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment), a non-profit organization whose mission ranges from building new schools to operating health clinics, receives a portion of the proceeds from his latest project, More Family Time, a new children’s reggae album featuring four of his school-age children as well as the voices of Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, Angelique Kidjo, Lisa Loeb, Tom Morello, Alanis Morissette and Busta Rhymes. Marley’s first children’s album, Family Time, won a Grammy in 2009. “My children play an important role in

CARRIBEAN CONNECTION PAGE 23

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CARIBBEAN CONNECTION FROM PAGE 20

inspiring that,” says Marley, with the latest record drawing upon the “wild energy and excitement” of his youngest son, Isaiah, 4. In addition to positive messages — “a lot of it has to do with loving each other, having manners, and having fun” — says Marley — the books also have a strong environmental message. “I’m trying to instill into children one of the most beautiful ways to make the world a better place,” he said. To mark his father’s “diamond jubilee,” Marley also released “Bob Marley: Portrait of the Legend,” an oversized photo book filled with images drawn from the Marley family’s collection, including rare behind-the-scenes and casual depictions of Marley’s personal life. “The focus is on understanding Bob outside the legend, and as a human being,” said Ziggy, who helped curate the collection. “It brought back a lot of memories about that time period,” he added, including playing soccer with his father and accompanying

him on a tour of Zimbabwe. Bob Marley died in 1981 of cancer at age 36, when Ziggy, now 52, was just 13 years old. “Going through the photos, it hit me how young he was,” said Ziggy. “It’s sad, but he did so much in that time— it’s still a testament to his ethics and spirituality. He knew he had to do everything in the shortest amount of time.” Bob Marley’s “songs of freedom” still resonate with marginalized people all over the world, and Ziggy has trodden a similar path with his social justice work, including support of the Black Lives Matter movement and his efforts to raise environmental awareness. Reggae, says Ziggy, “never goes out of style.” “In good times and bad, it has a place in society,” he says. “It gives strength and encouragement to people who are oppressed.” In addition to his work on the Bob Marley photo book, Ziggy has also authored a children’s book called “I Love You, Too,” based upon a dialogue with his daughter, Judah; and the Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook, filled

with traditional Jamaican recipes and healthy ‘ital’ food drawn from Rastafarian culture. Food is one way that Ziggy, a resident of the U.S. for the past 15 years, stays connected to Jamaica. “America is a very big, sprawling country and an individualized place,” he says. “Jamaica more natural and spiritual — where these is more nature, there is more spirituality.” Ziggy urges visitors to Jamaica to connect to the country’s natural environment, including at less well-known places as Cane River Falls in St. Andrew Parish and the mineral springs in Bath, near Kingston, where Ziggy would go to sooth his aching muscles during his soccer-playing days. Staying at a rural inn or AirB&B would give visitors an opportunity to connect with the Jamaica that’s closest to his heart, Ziggy says. “It’s not a storybook or a fantasy — Jamaica is a modern place, but more rebellious against western culture,” he says. “In the countryside most people don’t have much material wealth, but they are full of happiness and joy.”

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January 2021 | 23


FROM THE BAY

KATHY RESHETILOFF

The “Miss Butler” cultivar of Ilex opaca, the American holly — native to much of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Photo: Tom Potterfield, via Creative Commons 2.0

A

s I walked through a tiny wooded trail near my home, I tried to tread softly so I could spy any birds or mammals remaining for the winter. It was impossible as my feet crunched on the crisp orange, yellow and brown leaves that covered the ground. Here and there leaves still hung, almost desperately, to a few large oaks. But, for the most part, what had been a fiery autumn landscape a couple of months ago was now a dull palette of grays and browns. Amid this background, one tree stood out with glorious color. Overlooked most of the year, an American holly (Ilex opaca) now took center stage with its bright green leaves and ripe red berries, feeding my hunger for color. Like all evergreens, the American holly does not 24 | January 2021

lose its leaves en masse at the end of the growing season — largely because the thick and waxy leaves don’t lose water, which is the primary trigger for deciduous trees dropping their leaves in the fall. Smooth and satiny green with a yellowish green underside, American holly leaves are usually easy to identify; most have needlesharp spines protruding from their edges, though that’s not always the case. Often there will be both spiny and smoothedged leaves on the same tree — with the spines more common on lower branches, perhaps as the tree’s defense against foraging mammals. Ilex opaca is only one of several hundred holly species found throughout the world. People have long had a reverence for these evergreens. Druids viewed the holly as a tree never abandoned by the

sun that they worshipped. Romans presented holly boughs with gifts to esteemed friends. And, of course, many people nowadays “deck the halls” with holly, using them as seasonal decorations. People aren’t the only ones who enjoy these evergreens. Hollies provide excellent shelter for many types of birds — especially in winter, when leafy shelter is harder to come by. And of course birds are the principal consumers of their bright red fruit. Northern flickers, gray catbirds, cedar waxwings, mourning doves, ruffed grouse, northern bobwhites, cardinals, blue jays, northern mockingbirds, white-throated sparrows, eastern towhees and wild turkeys all are known to feed on holly berries. And birds return the favor, by dispersing holly seeds. Perhaps the most important

in seed dispersal are the large winter-migrating flocks of small birds, such as cedar waxwings and American goldfinches. Many other animals eat American holly, including white-tailed deer, gray squirrels, chipmunks, meadow voles, red foxes, raccoons, cottontail rabbits, white-footed mice and box turtles. Hollies are dioecious, meaning that a single tree will have either male or female flower parts, and only the female tree bears fruit. Both male and female flowers are small and creamy white. They appear in late spring or early summer, and pollination occurs thanks to bees, wasps, ants and moths. Often appearing more like a large shrub or small tree, the American holly is a slow grower, but it can reach up to 60 feet. The berries, known to

botanists as drupes, ripen from September through December and, if not eaten, stay on the tree throughout the winter. Ilex opaca does best in we ll drained, sandy soil but will tolerate somewhat poorly drained areas. In nature it is commonly a shade-tolerant understory tree, but it also thrives in full. It’s natural range, generally speaking, is the southeastern U.S., reaching north along the coast as far as Massachusetts and west across the deep South as far as eastern Texas. In cultivation it does well in areas well outside its native range. This native holly makes a wonderful landscaping tree when planted singly and given sufficient space to grow. It is important to plant both males as well as females if berry production is desired. Many homeowners choose to group them as hedges to screen their yards from activity and noise or to serve as background plantings. Hollies planted near our homes attract wildlife activity, especially the birds that use them as both shelter and sustenance. And for us humans, the sustenance is spiritual; hollies not only symbolize the season of giving, they give our winter-weary eyes a splash of color, of dazzling red and green, at home and in nature. Kathryn Reshetiloff, a Bay Journal columnist, is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Chesapeake Bay Field Office in Annapolis. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the Bay Journal. This article first appeared in the Bay Journal and was distributed by the Bay Journal News Service. Old Town Crier


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Old Town Crier


A

s most of you know, we take a road trip each month and write about our destinations in this space. I has been our custom to highlight our previous year’s treks in the January issue each year. We do this for two reasons. One is that it is fun to remember last year’s destinations and the other is, well, due to the holidays our production schedule for the January issue gets moved up so not a lot of time to take a trip. Last February we went to one of our favorite destinations... the Boardwalk Plaza at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. If you grew up in the northern Virginia/Maryland area you probably spent your summers, or a part of them at Ocean City, Maryland or up the coast at Rehoboth Beach. Fifty years later, volleyball on the beach and other activities have given way to watching sunrises along the coast with a Bloody Mary in hand. The wintertime is great in Rehoboth. The crowds are gone yet most of the businesses are open as Rehoboth is a year round town. There are no lines for dinner and there is always a seat at the bar. Although Fun Land is closed there are other venues open for your enjoyment as you walk the boardwalk. You may even get lucky and catch a 60-degree day in the winter and you will think it is spring. I have seen many sunburned faces after a couple of these kinds of days. In the evenings the firepits are lit and a nice cocktail under a complimentary blanket by the fire is a wonderful end to the day. In March we took a trip south to Hollywood Maryland in beautiful St. Mary’s County. Hollywood is famous for the letter “O” just like Los Angeles, except in this Hollywood the “O” stands for Oyster. Aquaculture has become a popular profession and is creating and industry of sustainable oyster farming. The Patuxent River, which runs between St. Mary’s County and Calvert County, is the deepest river on the east coast and is over a mile wide where the Hollywood Oyster Farm is located. Also in Hollywood is Sotterly Plantation, a historic landmark plantation. If you are looking for something to eat while in Hollywood, look no further than Stoney’s at Clarke’s Landing on the Patuxent River. The best crabcakes anywhere and our friend Jeanie Cousineau-Stone, the owner, will be glad to meet you. The pandemic reared it’s ugly head in mid-March and Old Town Crier

the protocols put the squelch on almost everything. The rules for social distancing, masks and reduced indoor seating for restaurants, small businesses closed and travel was totally discouraged. As we all began to feel the weight of the pandemic, all of the options for normal were no longer. Stay at home provisions, working from home and only small or family gatherings. Our whole world changed. This is when we looked at our road trip as a way for folks to get out of their houses and go to open spaces, however even those were changing as parks began to close and camping out became scarce. In these uncertain times when we didn’t know what the rules were from week to week, we thought it a good idea and take a drive just to get out of the house. Make no mistake about it... I strongly support the idea of social distancing and that is the point of the article. If we could be sequestered in our homes, apartments or condos, why couldn’t we take a drive with those we are routinely in contact with or by ourselves. With all of these rules in mind, I encouraged you to get out to open spaces where you are not around others but for a brief moment and can enjoy the beautiful spring weather and refresh your soul. We took a drive through the Blue Ridge. You could get food to go but all establishments were closed to indoor dining. It was a tough time. We also took the back roads past blooming flowers and greening fields. Just to get away from the house and roll the window down was a treat. Last April was a month to get very creative for a road trip because all the destinations were closed. In May we had to get creative again and wrote about “North, South, East or West & All Points In Between”. This whole virus thing had really “put a cog in the wheel” of our daily lives for the most part. It didn’t, however, prevent us from getting in our vehicle and taking a drive. We live in an area that offers the mountains to the west and the waterfront to the east with both in sight when you venture north or south. Even taking a spin around the community where we live checking out our neighborhood and driving by our favorite haunts proved to be therapeutic. We normally have a particular destination in mind when we take off but in 2020 it was just a case of getting in the truck and deciding to head toward the Beltway or

the Parkway and wing it from there. We like to take the back roads and are up for just taking a turn to see where it goes. After all, everyone pretty much has a GPS, Waze or another brand of directional application at their disposal so you can always find your way home. In June a few restrictions were relaxed as businesses could partially open. After two months of lockdown, the world was getting a little brighter. We decided that a trip to Solomons, Maryland and Annmarie Sculpture Gardens to see the “Fairies In the Garden” exhibit would be the ticket. In addition to the fairy houses and gnome homes, the sculptures throughout are very impressive. Annmarie Garden is a fascinating destination and the themes change every so often which makes a return trip worthwhile. The July Road Trip highlighted the annual trip our friend Chester Simpson and his extended family take to Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. Janine Breyel graciously offered to pen the column and this was a perfect destination in a “Corona Virus” world. A trip to Ocracoke Island, like other things of value, requires some effort. From the D.C. area it is a little more than a four hour drive to reach the beginning of the Outer Banks in North Carolina, then another hour and a half on NC 12 to where the barrier island ends. From there you board the Hattras Ferry that transports you across the Pamlico Sound to Ocracoke, the last habitable island in the Outer Banks. Once you disembark, you are reconnected to NC 12 and for 13 miles you drive along the narrow strip of land, frequently catching glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean to your left over dunes before reaching the quaint village of Ocracoke. For those seeking crowded boardwalks, chain restaurants, busy putt-putt courses, and similar attractions that dominate so many beach towns on the Eastern seaboard, this is not the place for you. But for those of us who seek a quiet, relaxing vacation in a location with interesting history, friendly locals, miles of empty beaches and opportunities to enjoy nature, then the drive is worth every minute. With the Corona Virus still creating problems, the R&D for the August column found us taking a drive to Skyline Drive on a hot July day. With Skyline Drive as our destination we also ROAD TRIP > PAGE 28

Opposite Page (L to R): Annmarie Sculpture Gardens Solomons MD; Emro Jr. at the Boardwalk Plaza Rehoboth Beach, DE; Sweet Jesus Oysters, Hollywood, MD; Rappahannock Cellars; Skyline Drive (Background) This Page (Top to Bottom): On the Water in Anne Arundel County (Photo: David Sites) Yorktown, VA; Ocracoke Island January 2021 | 27


ROAD TRIP | FROM PAGE 27

Clockwise, from top:: The Mill stream Social Distancing at Pearmund Cellars Home for the Holidays (Photo: Lani Gering) 28 | January 2021

had the opportunity to stop by some of our favorite places. When we left Alexandria the temperature was beginning to reach 90 degrees. Once on Skyline Drive the temps dropped to 72 degrees. What a relief. We put the windows down and the fresh breeze felt wonderful. One of our favorite places to stop before climbing to Thornton Gap is the town of Sperryville with a stop off at Copper Fox Distillery. Despite the pandemic we could still get a sampling of their fine whiskeys and a couple of their original cocktails and sit out back by the gently flowing Thornton River. We have known these folks since they started the business and they are a class act. Check out their ad on our inside back cover. Our September, written in August, took us all the way to Historic Yorktown Virginia. We had to go to Williamsburg to conduct some R&D for an upcoming business profile on Copper Fox Distillery (yes, they have two). After our time at Copper Fox we picked up the scenic Colonial National parkway toward Yorktown. The parkway runs along the shore line of the York River, across ponds and scenic overlooks. Before we reached the York River we turned right into Yorktown. The first thing you will notice is how clean and freshly painted everything looks. Historic buildings are now house museums, restaurants and small inns. It is just stunning! The town is most famous as the site of the siege and subsequent surrender of General Charles Cornwallis to General George Washington and the French Fleet during the American Revolutionary War on October 19, 1781. Today, Yorktown is one of three sites of the Historic Triangle, which also includes Jamestown and Williamsburg as important colonial-era settlements. Yorktown is the eastern terminus of the Colonial Parkway connecting these three locations. The month of October is Virginia Wine Month celebrating our wonderful Virginia Wineries. Today there are over 300 wineries in Virginia and as many vineyards. So‌.we decided to visit a couple of our favorites. Our first stop was Pearmund Cellars outside of Warrenton. The tasting room is smack dab in the middle of the vineyard with ample seating around the vineyard. The barrel room is in the same building as the tasting room and invites a visit

to admire the stacked barrels. All pandemic protocols are practiced here and if you forgot your cigars, you can find a good one here at a reasonable price. Other wineries we visited were Barrel Oak Winery and Farm Taphouse. Owner Brian Roeder has created an open space winery that caters to guests with fresh oysters, pizza and fresh crafted brews in addition to excellent wines. Check out his ad in this issue for his Barrel Oak Bubbles! Other wineries included Rappahannock Cellars, Philip Carter Vineyard. November found us returning to Berryville, Virginia and visit our friends Rachel and Jonathan Worsley and their beautiful Waypoint House Bed and Breakfast. We met them about five years ago when we wrote about the Bed and Breakfast. On this trip we decided to make a big loop by taking Route 50 out through Middleburg and horse country and back by way of Leesburg. Continuing on Route 50 we came to Millwood, home to many of Clarke County’s most historic sites including the Burwell-Morgan Mill, Carter Hall, The Greenway Historic District, Long Branch, Old Chapel and the River House. The historic Locke Store is a great place for a hearty sandwich and a bottle of wine. Berryville makes for a great base of operation to explore the northern Shenandoah Valley with Winchester Virginia to the west and Charleston, West Virginia to the north east. December is always when we stay home and write about our delightful Old Town Alexandria. The Potomac River still flows at the bottom of King Street and the metro delivers folks to the west end of town. Old Town is a wonderful destination with an array of restaurants and one-ofa-kind shops. History was born here and the legacy lives on. The hotels are still welcoming travelers and adhering to all pandemic protocols. The pandemic has been just as lethal here as anywhere else but the holiday spirit still abounds. Working with heated outdoor dining and vending, the restaurants and shops have gone above and beyond with decorations and hometown spirit. We live in a marvelous corner of the world. Note: These are brief descriptions of each road trip from last year. If you want to read the whole article go to our online version at oldtowncrier.com. At the top of the splash page hit Pets, Places &Things and then click on Road Trip. I hope you enjoy the publication. Old Town Crier


TO THE BLUE RIDGE

N

ow that 2020 has finally ended, let’s help it make a clean break and kill the use of a whole host of trite phrases and sayings it spawned and/or popularized. I took an informal poll of my little corner of Fauquier County to find out if it was just me that was hugely annoyed by the overuse of these jaded words and phrases this past year, or if they were more

universally disliked. What phrase or word did you find the most annoying one of 2020? And go! Yes. Yes, I really said “And go.” Even though it’s at the top of my own and many other lists of most hated words and phrases on social media. Do people really think strangers, or even friends for that matter, are eager to fall over and race each other jockeying to be the first to answer a question you were too trifling to research yourself? “Let that sink in.” We all love to hate this one. Unfortunately it just doesn’t want to sink out of use. Probably because it’s so festooned with dead wood from being attached to memes and earnest blogger pleas to change your mind on some political hot potato. All that dead wood from past, present and future attachments will probably keep this baby from sinking, ever. “Adulting” is not a verb. Just stop using it as one. Grow up and get a job. Likewise, curated used with anything other than an art gallery or collection. No. I’m sure I’m not the only one that sometimes feels at a loss Old Town Crier

JULIE REARDON

THE WORST OF 2020: Let’s *YEET these words and phrases back to the last decade!

for words when complimenting someone on social media, for example, praising some of the really eye catching photos that scroll by daily. You hate to repeat something that’s just been said a half dozen times, but anything you could say about a cute baby or puppy photo has already been said many times. But please—let’s not use “adorbs” any more. As one local said, “It sounds like a brand of disposable diaper, not a compliment.” “Woke”. Not sure what it is about this word that irks me so much. I guess it’s because those that use it always seem to be holier-than-thou and smugly sanctimonious about the fact that they are enlightened but you are just a redneck bigot. If you have the nerve to use that word for real I think you woke up on the wrong side of your bed. Several friends brought up what they called up speak or up talk. I wasn’t familiar with either of those terms, but knew immediately what they meant. This is the raised voice at the end of a sentence that is not a question, but is spoken like one. Usually uttered by a millenium female, in a high pitched, quaverng or insecure voice as if seeking your approval. Said one friend,

“It’s almost impossible to take anyone seriously when they do this because the message it sends is, “I’m not confident of the value of my words and I’m trying to ingratiate myself.” And then there are some phrases and words that became popularized in the past year that you might find annoying but you still snicker, precisely because of why they are annoying. “OK Boomer.” OK, yes as a boomer I do get my hackles up at this one. I could whine that I feel marginalized, but then I remember how fun it is to label and insult millenials and boom! They beat us at our own game with one little phrase. I do, however, find great amusement in calling a meddlesome middle aged woman a “Karen”, to the dismay of my many good friends actually named Karen. And I’m pretty sure if Julie was the moniker for this insult, I’d be far less amused. But, you have to recognize the genius of the insult of being called a Karen. People hate the label. But it’s not profane or vulgar. There’s no fat shaming, no

slut shaming, no reference to genitalia or puerile potty humor as so many female insults contain. I think it’s funny and hope it lasts into 2021. If you don’t like the Karens, well—“you do you”. Ah. There it is. “You do you.” I can’t believe I just used this, it’s just that dreadful. It fits right in with the other loathsome words and phrases we all love to hate. “It is what it is”. “Whatever”. 2020 style. “It is what it is” seems to be universally despised. Commented one woman: “What does this actually say? I am finished talking about it; I don’t want to answer you. I have nothing intelligent to say. I am done with this subject. This is how I deal with things that I don’t want to deal with. Don’t want to change, not talking about it.” A shame you can’t really convey all that with five little words. We’ve all grown weary of the lack of variety and generalizations of so many of

the words and phrases spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent quarantine. “We’re all in this together.” Nope, not even close. “The new normal.” Insert puking emoji here. Makes you almost forget we already had a full litany of jaded words and phrases that were so overused prior to COVID that they no longer even register, such as “like”, and

“literally”. “I was, like, literally dying laughing to find out literally how, like, the word literal is overused and, like, how many times it can be, like, used in literally the same sentence. It’s literally surreal.” Literally dying laughing is, in fact, the opposite of the meaning since you’d be figuratively, not literally dying. Did I miss any of your favorites? Let’s hear them--find us online at www. OldTownCrier.com and click on this story in From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, and leave your comments if I left out any of your favorites or poked fun at any of your sacred cows. *YEET – To throw with a lot of force. Who knew???? January 2021 | 29


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THE GASTRONOMES

DINING OUT

W

hile the pandemic protocols are still in full force for our restaurant and bar businesses we are looking toward a much brighter future. There is a vaccine now and more people seem to be willing to dine at an establishment - indoors and out - but we need to conjure up all of the good juju we can get. Let’s start off the year with some “good luck” foods that just might help change the course of 2021! We enlisted the help of Real Simple contributor, Betty Gold, and she has outlined the lore of 9 of these lucky edibles for us. “We pour bubbly on New Year’s Eve, but what about the menu? That depends on where you live. In different cultures, certain foods are considered to bring good luck in the year ahead. These traditional New Year’s food options all have unique stories behind them, and are well worth considering putting on your menu as you set your 2021 intentions. Whether it is black-eyed peas on a New Year’s Day brunch or cabbage on New Year’s Eve, adding these New Year’s good luck foods to your menu plans are a delicious way to say “see-ya” to the old year and “hello” to a lucky new year.

Black-Eyed Peas Eating blackeyed peas on New Year’s Day is a time honored tradition. Not to be confused with green peas (or the hip hop Old Town Crier

band!), black-eyed peas are actually a kind of bean. There are a few different reasons why they’re associated with luck on New Year’s Day. One theory anchors the tradition in the Civil War, when Union soldiers raided the Confederate army’s food supply, leaving behind only this bean. Another is anchored in African American history, where newlyfreed slaves celebrated the January 1863 Emancipation Proclamation with dishes made of black-eyed peas—one of the few foods available to slaves. But other theories date the legume’s lucky reputation all the way back to Ancient Egypt, suggesting that eating the pea—a vegetable readily available to even the poorest slaves—was a way to show humility to the gods.

Pork Ham is often a holiday centerpiece, but pork is specifically known to bring good luck on New Year’s Day. Why is pork a New Year’s a tradition? First, it has to do with the way pigs, as opposed to other animals, behave. According to some theorists, while chickens and turkeys scratch backward, a pig buries his snout into the ground and moves forward—in the same direction you want to head in the New Year. Another reason is logistics: Pigs are traditionally slaughtered in late fall, which made pork an ideal choice to set aside for

celebrating the New Year. Pork (and cabbage) eaten on New Year’s is a tradition that hails from Germany and Eastern Europe, and was brought from there to America by people who settled in the United States.

Cabbage Right alongside the pork is often sauerkraut or some form of cabbage. This tradition also hails from Germany and Eastern Europe, and is, again, rooted in simple logistics: A late fall harvest coupled with a six-to-eight-week fermenting process means that sauerkraut is just about ready when New Year’s rolls around. But cabbage on New Year’s is also steeped in symbolism—the strands of cabbage in sauerkraut or coleslaw can symbolize a long life, while cabbage can also symbolize money.

Greens Black-eyed peas naturally go hand-inhand with greens as a great combination, but greens themselves are known to be lucky for New Year’s. Why do people eat collard greens on New Year’s? It’s all about the green, which symbolizes money and prosperity. According to some tradition rooted in the South, greens can be hung by the door to ward off any evil spirits that may come your way. Can’t hurt, right?

Lentils Another legume, lentils are often served in Italian households, and again, their legend is rooted in prosperity: The round legumes look like coins. Lentils for New Year’s Eve are traditionally eaten after midnight, along with pork and sausages.

Fruits In Filipino culture, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with fruits. How many kinds of fruit for the New Year? Twelve, to symbolize each month. Filipinos also look for round fruits, but mangoes and watermelon can make the cut. In Mexico, grapes are eaten at midnight to symbolize the year ahead, and throughout the world, pomegranates, a symbol of fertility and birth, are eaten at the New Year. A pomegranate-based cocktail is a sophisticated way to start the New Year on the right foot.

Fish Fish for New Year’s is another common dish popping up on plates around the world on New Year’s— especially in cultures close to water. For example,

in Scandinavian countries, herring was considered a harbinger of good fortune, especially as the silver-scaled fish called to mind valuable money. Herring, heavily traded, also was essential to the prosperity of the country, so eating herring was a way to hope for a good catch in the months to come, as herring had unpredictable migration patterns, and a good year didn’t necessarily indicate the next year would be as successful. The history is complicated, but the fish is not. Today, not only can it symbolize good fortune, it can also make a great New Year’s appetizer. Pickled herring makes a tasty crostini topper on any crostini party platter.

Noodles In China, Japan, and many other Asian countries, it’s customary to serve and eat noodles on New Year’s Day. Their length symbolizes longevity—just make sure not to break or shorten the noodles during the cooking process. Serve soba noodles, udon or sesame stirfried noodles.” We are doing all we can to get our readers to patronize their local eateries as much as they can via to-go, delivery or dine-in. Every one of the foods mentioned here can be purchased at many of these establishments. Please know that all pandemic protocols are being followed for your safety so please do what you can to support them. January 2021 | 31


LET’S EAT

CHARLES OPPMAN

Cassoulet

N

ow that we’re in the cold weather months it is good time for a hearty country dish. Why not make a classic bean dish―cassoulet? Cassoulet is a rib-stickin’, slow-cooked bean stew or casserole originating in the south of France, containing meat (typically pork sausages, pork, goose, duck and sometimes mutton), pork skin (couennes) and white haricot beans. The dish is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the cassole, a deep, round, earthenware casserole dish. I made cassoulet the other day with northern beans. I made it in an ultra-heavy cast iron Dutch oven I found at a Salvation Army for like $5. I cooked it on the stove top, but could have baked it, which I considered doing because I was thinking about whipping up a batch of corn bread as well, the perfect quick bread for this dish. I vary the meat when I make cassoulet, but this time I used smoked sausage, bratwurst, pork spare ribs, thick-cut bacon and some pieces of pork butt and a ham bone I had in the freezer. I was also able to use the last of my home-grown thyme and rosemary.

Ingredients 1 pound bratwurst, cut into 3” pieces 1 pound pork butt or shoulder, cut into 1” cubs 1 pound of smoked sausage, cut into 3” pieces (ham hocks can replace smoked sausage) 4 slices bacon, cut into 1” pieces 1 pound duck breast halves (optional) 1 whole onion, diced 4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced 3 sprigs fresh thyme 2 sprigs fresh rosemary 1 cup coarsely chopped curly parsley 1 pound dry navy or northern beans, soaked for 3 hours 3 bay leaves, large 1 cup celery, diced (optional) 1 (or more) quart chicken broth, canned is fine. (Please do not use bouillon cubes.)

Directions In a large skillet sauté the bacon to render the out fat. Then brown the pork pieces, sausages and duck breast over medium heat. In a large slow cooker or heavy Dutch oven place soaked and drained beans, duck, sausage, bacon, onion, fresh herbs, bay leaf, parsley, onion, celery and garlic. Add enough stock to cover the ingredients. Tie together thyme and rosemary, to be retrieved later. Bring to boil then turn down to simmer with lid on. Add stock as the beans absorb it to keep the dish from drying out. Cassoulet should have plenty of liquid when it’s done. Keep covered and cook until beans are tender, about 2 hours in a Dutch oven. In a slow cooker maybe longer depending on the temperature setting. Serve with cornbread or a good baguette. Condiments should be Dijon mustard and hot sauce. A good wine to have with this dish would be a Gewürztraminer or Riesling or a semi-dry white. Even a slightly chilled Pinot Noir would work. If you don’t have time to cook and this recipe made you hungry, you might want to check out the Cassoulet at Bastille Brasserie & Bar and River Bend Bistro & Wine Bar – both are delicious. (See their ads in this issue for contact information. Serves: 6

32 | January 2021

Old Town Crier


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January 2021 | 33


DINING GUIDE AMERICAN

AUGIE’S MUSSEL HOUSE 1106 King Street 703.721.3970 BILBO BAGGINS 208 Queen St. 703-683-0300 BLACKWALL HITCH 5 Cameron St. 703-739-6090 CAFE 44 44 Canal Center 571-800-6644 CARLYLE CLUB 411 John Carlyle St. 703-549-8957 CHADWICKS 203 Strand St. 703-836-4442 CHART HOUSE One Cameron St. 703-684-5080 CITY KITCHEN 330 South Pickett St. 703-685-9172 fatcitykitchen.com COLUMBIA FIREHOUSE 109 S. St. Asaph St. 703-683-1776 EVENING STAR CAFÉ 2000 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-549-5051 EXECUTIVE DINER & CAFE 1400 Duke Street 703-299-0894 FIVE GUYS 725 King St. 703-549-7991 FOSTERS GRILLE 2004 Eisenhower Ave. 703-725-1342 GADSBYS TAVERN 138 N. Royal St. 703-548-1288 GRATEFUL KITCHEN 727 N. Henry Street HARD TIMES CAFE 1404 King St. 703-837-0050 HEN QUARTER 1404 King St. 703-684-6969 HUMMINGBIRD 220 South Union Street 703-566-1355 JACKS PLACE 222 North Lee St. 703-684-0372 JAVA GRILL 611 King Street 571-431-7631 JOE THEISMANNS 1800 Diagonal Rd. 703-739-0777 JUNCTION BAKERY & BISTRO 1508 Mount Vernon Avenue Alexandria 703-436-0025 LAPORTAS 1600 Duke St. 703-683-6313

34 | January 2021

THE LIGHT HORSE 715 King Street 703-549-0533

LIVE OAK 1603 Commonwealth Ave. 571-312-0402 LORI'S TABLE 1028 King Street 703-549-5545 LOST DOG CAFE 808 North Henry St. 571-970-6511 MACKIE’S BAR AND GRILL 907 King St. 703-684-3288 mackiesbarandgrill.com MAGNOLIA’S ON KING 703 King St. 703-838-9090 MAJESTIC CAFÉ 911 King St. 703-837-9117 MASON SOCIAL 728 Henry Street 703-548-8800 mason-social.com MOUNT VERNON INN Mount Vernon, Va 703-780-0011 MURPHYS IRISH PUB 713 King St. 703-548-1717 murphyspub.com NORTHSIDE 1O 10 East Glebe Rd. 703-888-0032 OCONNELLS RESTAURANT & BAR 112 King St. 703-739-1124 PORK BARREL BBQ 2312 Mount Vernon Ave. 703-822-5699 THE PEOPLES DRUG 103 N. Alfred Street 571-257-8851 RAMPARTS 1700 Fern St. 703-998-6616 rampartstavern.com RIVER BEND BISTRO 7966 Fort Hunt Rd. Hollin Hall Shopping Center 703-347-7545 riverbendbistro.com ROCK IT GRILL 1319 King St. 703-739-2274 RT's RESTAURANT 3804 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-684-6010 rtsrestaurant.com SAMUEL BECKETTS IRISH GASTRO PUB 2800 S. Randolph St. Villages of Shirlington 703-379-0122 SHOOTER MCGEES 5239 Duke St. 703-751-9266 SMOKING KOW BBQ 3250 Duke Sttreet 703-888-2649 SONOMA CELLAR 207 King St. 703-966-3550

Please Contact your favorite restaurants for updates on their "Social Distancing" policies.

SOUTH BLOCK 106 N. Lee Street 703-465-8423 SOUTHSIDE 815 815 S. Washington St. 703-836-6222 SWEETGREEN 823 King St. 571-319-0192 SWEET FIRE DONNA'S BBQ & HOPS 510 John Carlyle Street 571-312-7960 T.J. STONES GRILL HOUSE & TAP ROOM 608 Montgomery St. 703-548-1004 tjstones.com TOASTIQUE GOURMET TOAST & JUICE BAR 1605 King Street 571-312-1909 UNION STREET PUBLIC HOUSE 121 South Union St. 703-548-1785 unionstreetpublichouse.com VERMILLION 1120 King St. 703-684-9669 VIRTUE GRAIN & FEED 106 South Union St. 571-970-3669 VOLA’S DOCKSIDE GRILL & THE HI-TIDE LOUNGE 101 North Union St. 703-935-8890 THE WAREHOUSE BAR & GRILL 214 King St. 703-683-6868 warehouseoldtown.com ASIAN

ASIAN BISTRO 809 King St. 703-836-1515 KINGS RANSOM 728 King Street 571-319-0794 KISSO ASIAN BISTRO 300 King Street 703-888-1513 MALAYA 1019 King St. 703-519-3710 MAI THAI 9 King St. 703-548-0600 NASIME 1209 King St. 703-548-1848 SIGNATURE THAI 722 King Street 707-888-2458 STREETS MARKET AND CAFE 3108 Mt. Vernon Ave. 571-431-6810 THAILAND ROYAL 801 N. Fairfax St. 703 535-6622 TOKYO JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE 66 Canal Center Plaza 703-683-8878 CAPHE BANH MI VIETNAMESE 407 Cameron St. 703-549-0800 KAI ZEN TAVERN 1901 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-836-1212

THE SUSHI BAR 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue 571-257-3232 CONTINENTAL

BRABO by Robert Weidmaier 1600 King St. 703-894-3440 BRABO TASTING ROOM 1600 King St. 703-894-5252 CEDAR KNOLL GW Parkway at Lucia Ln. 703-780-3665 OLD HOUSE COSMOPOLITAN 1024 Cameron Street 703-717-9361 TEMPO 4231 Duke St. 703-370-7900 temporestaurant.com VILLAGE BRAUHAUS 710 King Street 703-888-1951 villagebrauhaus.com FRENCH

BASTILLE 606 N. Fayette St. 703-519-3776 bastillerestaurant.com BISTRO SANCERRE FRENCH 1755 Duke Street LE REFUGE 127 N. Washington St. 703-548-4661 FONTAINES CAFFE & CREPERIE 119 S. Royal St. 703-535-8151 LA MADELEINE 500 King St. 703-729-2854 TWO NINETEEN RESTAURANT 219 King St. 703-549-1141 ITALIAN

BUGSYS PIZZA RESTAURANT 111 King St. 703-683-0313 FACCIA LUNA 823 S. Washington St. 703-838-5998 HANK & MIMI'S PIZZA AND PASTA 600 Montgomery Ave. 571-312-4117 IL PORTO RESTAURANT 121 King St. 703-836-8833 LANDINI BROTHERS 115 King St. 703-836-8404 landinibrothers.com LENA’S WOOD-FIRED PIZZA & TAP 401 East Braddock Rd. 703-960-1086 MIA'S ITALIAN KITCHEN 100 King Street 703-997-5300 MICHAEL’S LITTLE ITALY 305 S. Washington St. 703-548-9338 RED ROCKS FIREBRICK PIZZA 904 King St. 703-717-9873

MEDITERRANEAN

TAVERNA CRETEKOU 818 King St. 703-548-8688 tavernacretekou.com PITA HOUSE 719 King St. 703-684-9194 DELIAS MEDITERRANEAN GRILL 209 Swamp Fox Rd. 703-329-0006 VASO'S MEDITERRANEAN BISTRO 1118 King Street 703-566-2720 VASO'S KITCHEN 1225 Powhatan Street 703-548-2747 SEAFOOD

HANKS OYSTER BAR 1026 King St. 703-739-HANK FISH MARKET-OLD TOWN 105 King St. 703-836-5676 fishmarketoldva.com ERNIES ORGINIAL CRABHOUSE 1743 King St. 703-836-0046 THE WHARF 119 King St. 703-836-2834 INDIAN

DISHES OF INDIA 1510A Bellview Blvd. 703-660-6085 DIYA 218 North Lee, 2nd Floor 703-706-5338 NAMASTE 1504 King St. 703-970-0615 MEXICAN LATIN SOUTHWESTERN

CASA TEQUILA (next to Crate & Barrel) 1701 Duke 703-518-5312 CHOP SHOP TACO 1008 Madison Street 571-970-6438 DON TACO TEQUILA BAR 808 King St. 703-988-3144 LOS CUATES RESTAURANT 1116 King Street 703-548-2918 LOS TIOS GRILL 2615 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-299-9290 LOS TOLTECOS 4111 Duke St. 703-823-1167 TAQUERIA POBLANO 2400-B Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-548-TACO (8226) TEQUILA & TACO 540 John Carlyle Street 703-721-3203 URBANO 116 116 King Street 571-970-5148

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January 2021 | 35


MATT FITZSIMMONS

GRAPEVINE

Understanding Virginia’s

“Natural Wine” N

atural wine is a trendy term in the wine industry. It certainly hits several items on the hipster bucket-list. Some claim that it’s healthier for you than regular wine (unlikely to be true). Natural wine is often confused with organic wine (not the same, but somewhat in the ballpark). While there is some overlap with biodynamic, natural wine doesn’t necessarily have to be biodynamic. So if it’s none of those things…what is ”natural” wine? The U.S. wine industry has struggled with this question because – unlike organic wine – there is no legal definition for the term ‘natural wine’. It’s also unfair to imply that conventional making is somehow ‘unnatural’, or that organic automatically means ‘good for you’, further adding to the confusion. So lacking a U.S. definition, France’s adoption of the term vin méthode nature is a good starting point. Introduced in 2019, French wines utilizing this label must adhere to the following standards: • Low (maximum 30 ppm) or no sulfites (with separate logos for both options) • No additives (except for sulfur) in the wine cellar or “brutal” treatments • Only indigenous yeast fermentation is allowed • Grapes must be organically farmed and hand-picked 36 | January 2021

But even France’s wine industry admits this is more of a marketing term that qualified producers are allowed to post on their label, not an official certification for ‘natural wine’. Moreover, pinning down specific criteria may miss the point. As natural wine expert Alice Feiring once said, “In my heart of hearts, I just don’t think natural wine is certifiable”. So rather than think of natural wine as a product, think of it as more of a philosophy how wine can be made. As winemaker Ben Jordan of Early Mountain Vineyards explained, “It seems to me that the market accepts something as natural when a wine checks most of those boxes, and when the character of the wine fits the overall ethos, but since there is no certification, there are no hard and fast rules.”

The Natural Winemakers of Virginia Lacking a U.S. standard to go by, several Virginia wineries – including Arterra Wines in Delaplane, Briede Family Vineyards in Winchester, and Rock Roadhouse Vineyards in Hot Springs, have created their own approaches to natural wine. While they diverge in individual areas such as their use of sulfites, natural yeast fermentation, or farming practices, their overall approaches are very much in

tune with the ethos of natural winemaking. Rock Roadhouse’s method addresses the use of sulfites - perhaps the most divisive aspect in defining natural winemaking. Sulfites have gotten a bad rap for years as it’s often (inaccurately) blamed for ‘wine headaches’ (blame your 5th glass of cabernet for those), but in reality it’s often naturally present in wine. Sulfites have been an important ingredient in winemaking since at least Roman times, acting as a preservative by preventing oxidation and defeating unwanted bacteria. But sulfites also kill non-hostile microbes. Add too much and you can remove the natural features which makes a wine truly terroir-driven – the antithesis of what natural winemaking is all about. Owner Bob Donze addresses this through the use of specialized equipment which protects against oxidation and using a special yeast called “Alpha” which slows the fermentation process, tactics which help him minimize or sometimes skip the use of sulfites. His location in the mountains also allows him to limit the use of pesticides, in line with the philosophy behind natural winemaking. Jason Murray of Arterra Wines is one of the most wellknown ‘natural wine’ makers in GRAPEVINE | FROM PAGE 36

Arterra Wines is co-located with Hawkmoth Arts

A wine flight at Arterra Wines

Bob Donze, showing off his Italian fermentation equipment Old Town Crier


EXPLORING VA WINES

DOUG FABBIOLI

What is Terroir and Why Does it Matter?

O

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ne of the nice things about social media is that we can have some thought-provoking discussions without having to be together in the same room. Yes, sometimes we get some trolls or ridiculous characters spouting off their opinions so they feel better, but when you know the people behind the words, this method of communication can work. We had a pretty good discussion the other week about terroir and whether or not Virginia wines show terroir. First off, what is terroir? Well, literally it is the French word for region, and comes from the word for soil, terre. But in the wine and foodie world, it has come to mean “the sense of place.” Oysters are the ultimate example of sense of place as the water of each estuary is a little different and that shows itself in the oyster’s flavor. As for wine, the terroir is expressed by a consistency of style in wines made in the same region or from the same vineyard. I have heard terroir described as the combination of the ground, the grower and the grape. Do we add the winemaker to that “ground, grower, and grape” definition of terroir? Do we push for consistency, drinkability, reflection of the vintage, or what can sell? As a winemaker, I want my wine to show more about the soil and the fruit than it does my involvement in making it. I like to think that the fruit quality will shine through the many

choices a winemaker makes during the long process. One challenge winemakers run into, though, when trying to be “hands off ” is vintage variance. With our changing climate we have had some widely varying growing seasons resulting in grapes and wines of different flavors and styles. In a year like 2018, for example, when the rains continued to come down all the way through harvest, many winemakers in the area chose not to make red wines at all, while others worked extra hard to make a wine consistent with their style and previous vintages. A heavier hand from the winemaker was needed in that vintage to make the wines work in the bottle. I feel the challenges we continue to face with vintage variance need to allow for the winemaker to do their job to make locally grown wines that sell. Our region may still be too young to express true terroir. Our vineyards are still relatively young and our viticulturists are still learning what works best here. We will continue to grow and refine, and I think these answers will come over time. One thing is for sure, Virginia is very well suited to be a leader on the Atlantic coast for quality wines, and we have the passion and the drive to keep the industry growing. This is not an easy business, but striving for excellence with every wine and every vintage will continue our growth as a high-quality wine region, with an emerging and distinctive terroir. January 2021 | 37


GRAPEVINE FROM PAGE 36

Virginia, although he uses the term ‘clean wine’ to describe his products. It’s a minor but notable difference; ‘natural’ winemakers usually don’t filter their wine to remove cloudiness, as most winemakers do. However, Jason worries that some wine drinkers will assume cloudy wine is faulted, so he’s willing to make this concession to make ‘clean wine’ more approachable. Besides that, the term ‘clean’ speaks directly to his signature style – the use of native yeasts, which won’t ferment without especially-clean fruit. Jason explained “One thing all of these wineries agree on is natural wine starts with clean fruit. While none (of the natural winemakers in Virginia) currently use certified organic or biodynamic grapes, they take extra precautions to ensure the fruit they use is free of residual pesticides/fungicides.” Paul and Loretta Briedé of Briedé Family Vineyards know more than a thing or two about natural wine, as they previously managed one of Virginia’s only

The lineup at Rock Roadhouse Winery organic vineyards. They also understand how challenging this undertaking is, as in 2018 they were forced to give up their organic certification when disease threatened to destroy their vines and they had to use conventional pesticides to save them. Having farmed both organically and conventionally, the Briedés understand that having an organic program doesn’t mean that organic grapes aren’t by definition more exceptional, or that conventional viticulture strongly deviates from organic viticulture. Many of their current vineyard practices borrow heavily from when they maintained their vineyard

organically, including minimal spraying and housing beneficial insects to control the balance of good bugs and bad ones. It also helps that they planted grapes which perform well in Virginia’s humidity, minimizing the need for conventional pesticides. Hybrids are a popular choice for natural wines, as Europeanstyle vinifera grapes are difficult to grow without using conventional pesticides. One of these grapes is a newer red hybrid from Cornell University named Arandell. The other is Cayuga, a white grape hybrid extensively planted along the east coast and especially used in sparkling wines. As for sulfites, even their

Arandell and the Speed of Sound red blend Sparkling Winchester wine still has 35 ppm, all of which is naturally occurring yet higher than what the French definition of ‘natural wine’ would allow.

Local Natural Wines You Can Try While it’s a small market, Virginia does have a number of options you can sample. Here are some favorites: As a longtime member of Arterra Wines, I can attest to their entire lineup. The natural

yeast Jason uses gives his wines a viscosity and raciness not found in more conventional wines. But my favorite is his Tannat. Jason is something of a Tannat magician, and his have a width on the palate that I can’t get enough of. Rock Roadhouse’s wines are harder to describe – perhaps because until my visit I’ve never had wine made in this style. The 2018 Cabernet Franc with strawberry notes on the nose but a full but fruity palate was arguably my favorite, but their Cayuga and Merlot-blend Rosé was up there. Briedé’s Arandell is possibly the most difficult of this lineup to describe, but my take is it reminded me of certain earthy Italian varietals, despite a heritage which includes Pinot Noir. Recently they also released a 50/50 Arandell/ Tannat blend, which is an exciting combination. Regardless of what you drink, remember; “natural” is still in the eye of the beholder. But so long as producers are up-front with what’s in the glass, natural wines will find avid consumers looking for something different.

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Old Town Crier


FITNESS

J

anuary marks the beginning of a new year, and for most of us that means some type of resolution to do something different for the next twelve months. So far this winter has been rather kind to us and for the most part we have been able to keep our outdoor workouts alive. However, if your old workout routine is starting to seem uninspiring, try something new to start the year off on a good note. People have been practicing yoga for thousands of years. There is a reason this ancient practice has been around for so long. There are many benefits of practicing yoga that go far beyond the physical aspect. Yoga can help you balance your mind and spirit as well as your body. When the mind is clear and the body feels balanced, it is easier to face the challenges of each day regardless of what they may be. Many people work out because it makes them feel better. Yoga is certainly a workout, but in a different way than going to a gym and lifting or cycling. It is physically challenging, yet Old Town Crier

NICOLE FLANAGAN

relaxing at the same time. Yoga is a great way to stay in shape. The postures tone organs and develop long, lean muscles. The practice of forward bends, back

activities such as running or spinning. In yoga the heart receives the actions of various poses much like the rest of the body, through toning, stimulating and massaging

and massage internal organs. As a result, every cell in the body has improved function giving a person the sense of renewed energy and a reduction in overall stress. A

bends, lateral poses, twists, and inversions, balances and works every muscle, bone, joint, and organ in the body. Yoga can improve circulation of blood and lymph throughout the body. Inversions such as a headstand reverse the flow of gravity, improving the blood supply to the lungs and brain and give the legs and heart a rest. The heart is exercised by the different postures with many similar benefits of aerobic exercisewith one exception. Through yoga postures, the heart is not stressed as it is in aerobic

actions. Weight bearing yoga poses can help improve bone density and slow the progression of osteoporosis. Flexibility and strength of the muscles and range of motion in the joints is greatly increased as well as overall stamina and endurance. Yoga gives you energy. Yoga postures bend the spine in many different ways. Moving the spine this way keeps the spine flexible and healthy and nourishes the entire nervous system. These poses release tension and blocked energy, lengthen and strengthen muscles, and tone, stimulate

reduction in stress helps to keep the body and the mind in a healthy state. When the body is in a constant state of stress, it takes a toll on overall health. Yoga can help you relax through specific breathing techniques called pranayama. Pranayama invigorates the entire bodymind system. The respiratory and nervous systems are calmed and strengthened. When pranayama is done correctly the body’s vital energy is balanced and replenished and fatigue is lessened. Conscious relaxation techniques systematically

guide you into a state of deep relaxation. As the noisy chatter of your mind recedes, your body is able to let go and release muscle tension. As your muscles relax, the breath rate slows and deepens so the respiratory system is allowed to rest. As the breathing rate slows, the heart rate responds and slows down as well. This positively affects the entire circulatory system and rests the heart. When the heart is relaxed this sends the message to the nervous system to initiate a relaxation response. It is this deep relaxation that goes right to the core of decreasing fatigue. After experiencing a deep relaxation yoga class you will feel full of energy as if you have just taken a mini-vacation from your stressful day. This year, make a new addition to your workout regime and try a yoga class. It will balance your mind and body and give you a feeling of renewed energy. It will help to reduce stress and fatigue and improve overall strength. Not to mention it can be done in a nice warm studio if winter does show its true colors before spring. January 2021 | 39


FROM THE TRAINER RYAN UNVERZAGT

Goal Setting 2021

T

he year has FINALLY come to a close. In spite of the whole COVID mess, take a moment to reflect back on this past year. Did you accomplish the things that you said you wanted to do? Did you actually stick to those New Year’s resolutions you had made for yourself? More than likely, the answer is probably not. Why? It might be because you set unrealistic goals, especially when the focus is on exercise. Losing weight and getting in shape is at the top of the New Year’s resolution list. The first step in successful goal setting is to write it down. This seems too obvious, but post your goals where you can see them every day: on the fridge, front door, bathroom mirror, framed on your work desk, or even set them as a screen-saver on the

computer. The more often you see your goals, the better your chances of taking action. The second step of goalsetting is to be specific. “Lose weight” is a good goal, but how much? A conservative approach is to figure losing one pound a week. Too many times we get caught up on the end result and forget that we can control what we do to get there. The little things we do along the way are referred to as process goals. The end result is called the outcome goal. My point here is that we have greater control over process goals than we do on outcome goals. Focus on smaller achievements such as going to the health club twice a week, eating a healthy breakfast in the morning, or working on correct exercise technique. This will help build your confidence

levels. More times than not, the outcome goal will take care of itself. The third step of goal-setting

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is to create a time-frame. There needs to be a sense of urgency for anything to happen. Try to gather some social support from family, friends, and coworkers. They need to know what your goals are so they can help you stay on track. The final step of successful goal-setting is to identify why your goal(s) are important to you. If your goals have no meaning, what’s the point of working hard to achieve them? To attach meaning to your goal, ask yourself, “How

will this make me feel?” This is the ultimate way to keep motivated. After reading this article, hopefully you can finally stick to those resolutions for the New Year. Remember to write them down to read every day, be specific, create a timeframe, and identify why they are important to you. These are just a few things to consider while establishing your New Year’s resolutions. Let’s hope that 2021 is going to be a good year!

Unverzagt holds Bachelor of Science degree in Wellness Management from Black Hills State University. He is a certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength & Conditioning Association and a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

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Old Town Crier


FIRST BLUSH

T

he holidays are over and the winter blues have set in. You looked fabulous getting through the season but the hectic schedule and craziness have left you feeling blah. So, here’s how to survive the winter blues and look good doing it.

Take care of your skin. When your skin looks great, your makeup looks even better. During these cold, drab winter months, it’s easy for our skin to start looking dull and lifeless. A couple of ideas to jumpstart the appearance of your skin – apply a mask, experience a deep exfoliation, and apply a richer moisturizer. Try a mask that has rejuvenating properties. Masks that rejuvenate the skin work to exfoliate off dead skin and bring back its natural glow. These masks specifically get the blood flowing to the surface so that the skin looks youthful and glowing. A deep exfoliation will get rid of the layers of dull dry skin that have accumulated as a natural winter blanket on the skin. Most over the counter Old Town Crier

KIM PUTENS

physical exfoliants – the granular ones – will do the trick. Chemical exfoliants with glycolic acid are also very effective. Finally, make sure to apply a richer moisturizer than usual. These winter months are incredibly dry and impact the skin’s natural moisture levels. Using a proper moisturizer is important in providing relief and in diminishing the look of dry, aging skin.

Take care of your hair. For many of us, our mood and how we approach the day is dependent upon the way our hair looks. Frizzy hair, split ends, and lifeless locks are consequences of the dry winter months. Frizzy locks are very common. There are many ways to help the hairs lay flat. Try a deep conditioning mask once a week or once a month, depending upon how frizzy the hair. Apply to the hair, wrap in a towel, and allow the hair to marinate in the conditioner. Rinse and let it air dry to give your hair a break from the heat of a blow dryer. On a daily basis, use

leave in conditioners and defrizzing styling products on the hair before heat styling. To combat split ends, get your coif trimmed frequently. Lifeless locks can be revived with a change in routine. Try a clarifying shampoo once a week to combat build up caused by using lots of hair products such as hair sprays, styling aids, and heavy conditioners.

Take care of your nails. With all the worries over COVID and flu season and winter colds, we are washing our hands more often than we have in winters past. This causes our hands to become dry and our nails brittle. Give your hands a treatment to keep them looking youthful and your nails healthy. Once a week, apply an extra deep moisturizer to your hands and wrap them in socks overnight. The next morning, your hands will feel smooth and be less dry and cracked. It will also help to improve the look of your nails as the moisturizer penetrates to make them less brittle and prone to breakage. For added

protection and help, apply a cuticle moisturizer over the entire nail bed and cuticle area. Finally, keep nails trim and deal with breakage immediately by filing with an emery board to prevent further damage.

Take care of your feet. Feet constrained in high heels and fancy shoes during the holiday season are in need of a respite. Nurture your tootsies with foot soaks, foot scrubs and foot moisturizers. Once a week, give your feet the soak they deserve. Look for foot soaks with moisturizing ingredients and soak them often. After the soak and while your feet are softer, use a foot file to scrub off the dead skin. Finally, apply a deep moisturizer to keep the feet feeling soft and smooth. As with your hands, try applying a deeply moisturizing foot cream and stuff your feet into socks overnight. The heat of the socks reacts with the moisturizer to make them softer and more hydrated the next day. Trying doing this once a week or as needed. January 2021 | 41


GO FISH

STEVE CHACONAS

Fulfilling a New Year’s Resolution

Fly Fishing Was on the Table for 2020

O

ur fifth annual twoday small mouth bass fishing trip with Captain Matt Miles almost never happened. Traditionally my buddy Alan Friedlander and I schedule a trek to Lynchburg Virginia in August. However our trip last year was postponed due to the virus. So we rescheduled for late October. At 3:45AM our 4 hour drive to the Lynchburg Marriott to meet Capt. Matt was underway. For me, it’s the only time I opt for my fly gear. It’s also the only time when I’m totally focused on my fishing. Hopping into Capt. Matt’s truck we headed to the Roanoke River. A 45 minute drive in Capt. Matt’s truck and our shuttle guy dropped us at the launch site. Then he drove the truck to where we would eventually pull off the water 8 hours later. This has been standard procedure for the past 5 years. We returned to a familiar Roanoke River float. Welcome fresh air greeted us as we assembled Orvis 6 weight fly rods, threaded Scientific Angler fly line through the guides and tipped with Gamma Frog Hair leaders. Water had some color and was cooler. Capt. Matt said fish have been a bit off the 42 | January 2021

bank, closer to deeper water. It’s all relative as deeper was around 4 feet. We started with the Game Changer, a fly version of a traditional suspending jerkbait. But first, it was time to reacquaint with casting, working the baits, and hopefully hooksets and landing fish. Doing this only once a year for the past five years, Capt. Matt got me up to speed quicky. As a long time guide, I didn’t want to upstage or intimidate our guide. All I had to do was pick his brain and execute his instructions. I began casting right handed, something picked up last year. Capt. Matt gave me a quick refresher course on working the bait and hook sets. It didn’t take long for me to hook up with my first fish. My new Maui Jims HT sunglasses enabled me to see ledges, rock or wood current breaks. Seeing fish take my lure, I executed hooksets sooner. This was making sense. Mending keeps slack out of floating line to create more natural presentations and more direct hooksets. I couldn’t figure it out. A quick question to Capt. Matt and I was executing this much needed action. It was simple too and quite logical. Just a simple lifting of the line and laying it over and voila...

mending accomplished, leading to more bites and better hooksets. Capt. Matt’s Tequilly flies have a light lead head and some rubber legs with a chenille body. It dropped slowly. The legs vibrated, creating a tantalizing and irresistible bait. Occasional snaps of the line, a strip, a pause, and bang! Bigger smallmouth were eating. Catching multiple 15 inch plus small mouth was a blast. Fighting line and current, these muscle bound river bullies applied every ounce of strength to pull and stress my Orvis rod. The key was keeping the rod hand index finger on the line while using the other hand to make pulls to keep the hook secured and the fish under control. Slack in

the line would unload the rod and allow the river acrobat to send the hook flying free. Tired fish were prepared for Capt. Matt to capture in the net. Leaving the net in the cool water, the defeated fish is allowed to recover as Capt. Matt readied the camera for the memory shot. A few shots and another dip into the net, this time for release. The biggest fish stood out. Gliding down river, a log creating a current break came into view. Quickly I determined to make at least 4 casts, trying for 5. Nothing on the first. Nothing on the second. But on the third, a dark torpedo emerged from the log’s shadow to enter the swift current and engulf the Tequilly. It was a sight set. Bait disappears, set the hook and the fight was on. The ambush

brought the fish closer to the boat, which meant some fast stripping was required to set the hook and to keep tension on the line. Mission accomplished. Now it was up to the rod to tire the fish, directing it to the final net destination for Capt. Matt’s net to slice through the water, cradling the biggest of the two day excursion. Tired but relaxed, our 5th annual trip was a combination of perfect October weather, great fishing and awesome company. It was so good; we resolved to book trip number 6 in 2021. Author Capt. Steve Chaconas is Potomac bass fishing guide. Potomac River reports: nationalbass.com. Book trips/ purchase gift certificates: info@ NationalBass.com.

Potomac River Bassing in January Water is cold, into the 40 degree range. Late morning starts to around 4 pm is the best time to get out. Tides will move fish, but not a lot. The strike zone will narrow from 4 feet to 10 in general. Fish will move up to hard surfaces as the sun warms these areas. Still the best lure is the Silver Buddy. Using ½ ounce baits on 10 pound test Gamma Copoly line, cast to the shallow areas and slowly work down the drop with gentle lifts and semi slack falls. Fish eat these baits on the fall, so be ready to reel quickly and pull when fish are on the line. A medium heavy rod is perfect to apply pressure but not too much to pull hooks out of the fish. Several good follow up presentations will also work once Silver Buddys find the right depth and areas. Two grubs will work. Three inch stingray grubs and 4 inch curl tail grubs, both on ¼ ounce ball head jigs can be lifted slightly and allowed to pendulum horizontally with pauses when they hit the bottom and then repeating. Don’t be in a hurry.

Old Town Crier


OPEN SPACE

LORI WELCH BROWN

go of worries that only burden us. Letting go of stress that damages our bodies. Letting go of anger and resentments that weigh us down. Letting go of negativity that scars our souls. Letting go of expectations that disappoint us. Letting go of fears that hold us back. Letting go of negative self-talk that is just the bullsh#t stories we tell ourselves. Letting go of shame that doesn’t deserve our time or energy. There is a tremendous relief in letting go. It clears space for other, beautiful things to enter. We are all deserving of changes and newness that the blank slate of a new year has to offer. We each hold power over what (and whom) to fill our days, time, and mind with, and I hope that you chose to fill your moments with activities that make your heart sing, people that bring out the best in you, and thoughts that make your whole body light up. Stay positive, strong, and healthy. Fill your body with fuel to keep it strong and energized for the bright days ahead because they are coming. Wrap yourself in warmth and optimism and soak in the rays of a bright New Year filled with joy, health, and immense happiness. Happy New Year!

THE GIFT OF LETTING GO

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y brothers and I laid our beloved father to rest on December 19, 2020. It was a lovely service complete with military honors and a chorus of Amazing Grace. When he died on December 10 from complications due to COVID-19, he was 19 days shy of his 91st birthday. Yeah, he was 90 and lived a full life, yaddah yah. But, he spent the last nine months of his life virtually alone, and he died alone. Planning a funeral while other people are planning Christmas menus and Hanukah festivities adds an extra layer of sadness to an already painful process, but it also felt like par for the course for this dreadful year. How else could this year possibly end but by ripping my heart apart? Old Town Crier

It was a year plagued with worry and stress around COVID-19. How to keep from contracting it, passing it. To glove or not to glove? Masks definitely. The election. Forget it. The revolving news stories that seemed to just get worse with each passing day. Each and every one of us has been living with a level of stress humming in the background like a record we hate, but can’t shake. We have been in a constant state of worry about friends and family, jobs, businesses we love, maybe even rent and mortgage payments. I laid in bed at night worrying about Dad. Was he getting the care he needed and deserved? Did anyone turn on Judge Judy for him? Did they help him cut his meat? When he said he was at Montgomery Wards was it a bout of

dementia or the beginnings of a UTI? What if he fell? What if he ended up needing skilled nursing care? Could we afford it? If so, for how long? Now my worries are gone, stolen away in the middle of the night. Dad is in a better place. He is at peace and reunited with Mom and my brother, Phil. If that’s what you believe, and I do. I have to. It’s what helps me get up in the morning. And, if we don’t have faith, what are we left with? I am tremendously sad and grieving the loss of a great man. I’ve circled through anger, bitterness, and a plethora of emotions in the last hour. I cried so much the days before he passed that I thought I had exhausted my tears for eternity. The day after the service, I drove to North Carolina to rest and restore and found I could

actually cry more. I’m also trying to remind myself that there’s a lightness in letting go. Dad might not be here with me physically, but he is with me in spirit, memory, and forever imbedded in my heart. When he left his body, he took my worries with him. Now I know he is truly okay. His passing is bittersweet. I have a Texas-size hole in my heart, but he is free from pain and suffering. I am free from worry. And while I don’t get to spend Christmas or his birthday with him, I feel as if his passing was his last gift to me. “Stop worrying, sweetie. I am okay—now you need to be. Let go and let God.” As we strike out into the New Year, I hope we can all give ourselves the gift of letting go. Letting go of a past that no longer serves us. Letting

If you would like to read more of Lori’s work, you can follow her on Medium at Lori Welch Brown. January 2021 | 43


NATIONAL HARBOR

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LANI GERING

appy New Year Everyone! Unfortunately 2020 isn’t behind us as I write this but I have high hopes that 2021 emerges with lots of positive things, including restrictions on indoor dining being lifted in PG County. As I write this, indoor dining has been banned and capacity in the shops has been reduced until January 13th. My question is….what in the wide world of sports happens on the 13th that makes it “OK” to open back up? It is ridiculous when restaurants in surrounding counties and across the bridge in Alexandria can still offer indoor dining. Without indoor dining, many of the eateries in the Harbor cannot function. Take out and the minimal outdoor space many of them have will not generate enough income to keep them open. Right now, about the only entity in the Harbor that the new mandate doesn’t affect is the Wheel and the Flight Deck. They operate outside and the pandemic protocols they have had in place pretty much since the inception keep their patrons safe. Sitting by the fire pit with a hot beverage and good friends is always a good time. (See their winter special in the sidebar). I don’t want to start off the year with a “Debby Downer” column, so let’s concentrate 44 | January 2021

on what you can do at the Harbor. In addition to being able to take a spin on the wheel, there are some restaurants that have the capacity to keep outdoor, semi-enclosed, heated dining available. We can only hope that the January weather is as pleasant as much of December has been. Your best bet is to check with the restaurant of your choice before heading to the Harbor to make sure they are open-especially during the week. No need to set yourself up for disappointment upon your arrival. Several of the shops remain open with reduced capacity and the statues along American Way and the sunsets will be welcoming you to come take a stroll. Let’s do our best to support the businesses in the Harbor and the surrounding areas so they can keep their doors open. January and February are usually slow in good years and adding the pandemic just adds insult to injury. It is important that we do what we can. For updates on everything related to the Harbor, you can monitor their facebook page and website – nationalharbor.com. In the meantime, wear your mask, wash your hands, keep your distance and let’s get that vaccine circulated so when springtime emerges we can get back to semblance of “normal”!

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Here’s hoping your glass is half-full in the coming year. Cheers to 2021!

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