__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

Since 1988 • Priceless

From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

April 2021

oldtowncrier oldtowncrier.com


Setting the Standard In Old Town Since 1979


april’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 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 Ken Byrer Cheryl Burns F. Lennox Campello Steve Chaconas Scott Dicken Doug Fabbioli Matt Fitzsimmons Nicole Flanagan Lani Gering Jane Koska Miriam Kramer Genevieve LeFranc Sarah Liu

CONTRIBUTORS Cindy McGovern Meg Mullery Melinda Myers Vanessa Orr Billy Phibbs Ron Powers Kim Putens Julie Reardon Ashley Schultz Bob Tagert Aaron Tallent Carl Trevisan Ryan Unverzagt Lori Welch Brown

18

26

36

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

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

Personality Profile............................................................ 6

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

Publisher’s Notes.............................................................. 2

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

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

Road Trip...........................................................................26

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

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

Social Media Message................................................... 2

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

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

Special Feature: Earth Day.........................................30

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

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

Take Photos, Leave Footprints.................................18

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

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

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

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

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

To the Blue Ridge......................................................... 28

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

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

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

© 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.

On the road with OTC Long time Old Town Crier readers, Alexandria residents and "popular people about town", Jennifer (Moore) Meadows and her husband, Lee, took their March issue of OTC on a much anticipated trip down to Nags Head, NC. After being stuck in Old Town during the pandemic, they spent some much needed time relaxing and looking out over the Albemarle Sound.

about the cover “Don’t Mess with Mother Nature” – painting by Jim Warren. Warren is one of the most versatile and successful artists living today. Traditional in the sense that he uses oils on canvas but anything from conventional, Jim creates what he feels – never conforming. The whimsically surreal and amazingly unique creations he paints have inspired artists from around the world. For more about Jim and his work, visit his website at JimWarren.com or follow him on Facebook @Jim Warren Art.

Old Town Crier

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.

April 2021 | 1


PUBLISHER’S NOTES

BOB TAGERT

March has been a busy month for me. After two aborted attempts I finally had my right knee replaced on the 16th of March. My knee finally went bone-on-bone after I shattered my right femur in 1968. I have never had 100 percent flexibility in my right leg but now we will try to activate muscles I haven’t used in 50 years. My 9 week recovery is happening in Calvert County which means getting this issue out has had its challenges. Distribution is in my wheel house but I am fortunate enough to be partnered with someone who can pick up the ball – magazine bundles in this case - and run with it. Many thanks to Lani for keeping it all on track. Thanks to Meg Mullery and Nancy D’Agostino for their assistance as well. The weather this week has been beautiful except for an enormous amount of rain this past Wednesday. No worries, we needed the rain. Looking forward to many sunny days in April even though the saying is “April Showers Bring May Flowers”! As you can tell by the image on the cover, the April issue celebrates Earth Day with an “Interview with Mother Nature” and some insight to the origins of this annual observance. I remember seeing John Denver perform at one of the first Earth Days on the Mall in D.C. Billy Phibbs gets us off to a good start on April Fools’ Day with his tongue-in-cheek “St. John is Sinking” Caribbean Connection column. In Exploring VA Wines, Doug Fabbioli shows us why it is important to “Get out of the Cab Once in Awhile.” Lenny Campello’s Gallery Beat column echo’s what many of you may be feeling with “I Wanna Go to an Art Fair!” A Bit of History reflects on a controversial issue as Sarah Becker continues her look at Climate Change. Because of our immobility issues this month we called on our friend Vanessa Orr - who happens to be a very talented travel writer - to take us on a Road Trip. She did not disappoint as she took us on a tour of some of the more obscure museums in her hometown of Pittsburg. I am 74, when I think of Pittsburg I think of the steel mills...not so any more. Closer to home in St. Mary’s County Maryland, St. Clement’s Island Museum will host the first annual First Annual First Landing Wine & Arts Festival in partnership with St. Mary’s County Wineries. Mark your calendars for April 10, from 10am to 5 pm. In an effort to bring back Dining Out, or actually in, we took a quick lunch trip to one of our favorite restaurants and visited Kingfishers Seafood, Grill & Bar on Solomons Island in SoMD. I hope this weather continues to improve. April is a short month beginning with All Fools’ aka April Fools’ Day on the 1st, Easter Sunday on the 4th and Earth Day on the 22nd. Pull a fun prank, eat a couple of chocolate eggs and a few Peeps and go the extra mile for Mother Nature. Most of all, get out and enjoy this short, but glorious, month! Spring is upon us!

SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGE

On the Road to Recovery!

ASHLEY ROSSON

Streaming into Normalcy

N

ow that we are slowly and hopefully coming out of this Pandemic and where we can get out of our houses more often, let’s talk about something that was there for us while we were hunkered down in our homes streaming services. More and more people are switching out their cable subscriptions in favor of streaming service subscriptions including, Netflix, Hulu, and Disney +. There are countless pros to streaming services, including getting to choose what to watch, the convenience of watching “on the go,” 2 | April 2021

and being able to pause or cancel your subscription at any time. Another pro of streaming services is that with a more accessible catalog, you are sure to find something that you like. It’s also more convenient than ever to explore the different categories of streaming services and discover something new. For example, Netflix has algorithms that are designed to give you recommendations based on what you have previously watched. Since services like Netflix are so closely tied with SOCIAL MEDIA > PAGE 5

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.

Outdoor, physically distant and virtual happenings celebrate the season! Celebrate Architecture Month throughout April by wandering among Alexandria’s outdoor architectural gems and tuning into virtual events from AIA Northern Virginia Architecture Month. Take a floral-filled self-guided stroll with the 88th Annual Old Town Alexandria Historic Homes & Gardens Tour.  

FEATURED SPRING EVENTS

STAY UP TO DATE

on what to do, where to shop and dine, and the latest happenings

Groundswell Temporary Public Art Installation at Waterfront Park Late March to November 2021 Admission: Free Waterfront Park 1 King St. alexandriava.gov/publicart

Groundswell, the 2021 temporary public art installation from Brooklyn-based artist Mark Reigelman, will be on display at Waterfront Park in Old Town Alexandria in late March to November 2021 as the third Photo: Laura-Hatcher installation in the City of Alexandria’s “Site See: New Views in Old Town” annual public art series. Groundswell brings an element of play to Alexandria’s changing shoreline with a ground mural depicting the floor of the Potomac River and more than 100 wood pilings topped with etched blue mirrors that shimmer like water. The installation was inspired by Alexandria’s history going back to the 18th century when drastic measures began to manipulate the city’s shoreline. Thousands of wood pilings were driven further into the Potomac River over time, thereby shifting the city’s waterfront over decades. This allowed Alexandria to develop and grow its sprawling dock into a major commercial port.

Here’s how 1. Check out VisitAlexandriaVA.com 2. Stay tuned to the visitALX blog:

Blog.VisitAlexandriaVA.com

3. Follow Visit Alexandria on social media

AIA Northern Virginia Architecture Month April 1st to 30th Admission: Free for most events Virtual, aianova.org

4. Sign up for the Alexandria Insider monthly e-newsletter

VisitAlexandriaVA.com/eNews

Celebrate Architecture Month with AIA Northern Virginia through a series of programs that educate, engage and connect us to the built environment and the profession of architecture. This year’s events will be largely in a virtual format and offered online to allow you to participate without leaving home. Event themes range from lectures on architecture and CALENDAR > PAGE 7

Connect with us!

VisitAlexandriaVA.com • #visitALX • #ALXRestaurantWeek Blog: blog.VisitAlexandriaVA.com  Corporate Partner:

VisitAlexandriaVA Old Town Crier

AlexandriaVA

VisitAlexVA

April 2021 | 3


BUSINESS PROFILE

LANI GERING

M THE PEARMUND FARM STORE 6188 GEORGETOWN ROAD BROAD RUN, VIRGINIA 540-600-3276 INFO@PEARMUCNDFARMSTORE.COM

4 | April 2021

any of our faithful readers and Facebook followers are probably familiar with Pearmund Cellars for more than a few reasons. The winery has been featured in the VA Wine section of the publication many times over the years, they are good advertisers and their winery and tasting room are the setting for many a Facebook page post. On top of that….they have very good wine! And….now they have a very happening Farm Store on the property. The brain child of owner, operator and winemaker Chris Pearmund, this converted farm house is now home to a very eclectic assemblage of everything from pillows to party games, crackers to crafts, soups to nuts and….yes, those bag of chips! (Route 11 to be exact). The inventory is comprised of 90 % Virginia made food stuffs and products with the majority being produced in Fauquier County. There isn’t enough room to describe everything so I am hoping the images on these pages give you an idea of what awaits. In addition to the retail, the Farm Store is a nice place to sample a flight of Pearmund Cellar wines accompanied by a baguette, a cheese plate and the soup of the day. There is a nice enclosed sun porch on one side as well as seating on the front porch of the house complete with a porch swing! If being totally in the out of doors is more

to your liking, there are several seating areas around the yard and a nice fire pit setting. Another nice feature of the Farm Store is that the upstairs “bedrooms” have been transformed into intimate meeting/party spaces. The caveat to securing the space is the purchase of a $100 gift certificate that is good for all of the products in the store and wine at the winery. The gift card need not be spent on the day of your gathering and guests are encouraged to arrange for any catering needs on their own. The staff at the store have some nice local recommendations but you are free to cater food yourself. The only alcohol that is allowed on the premises is the wine that is sold at Pearmund Cellars. This is a VA ABC mandate, not a ploy for you to buy only their wine. I can see where this is a perfect space for a bridal/baby shower or just a ladies day out adventure. It is also nice space for a family gathering when you combine use of the rooms. I want to leave space for several images so am going to cut this a bit short. I think you have an idea of what is in “store” for you when you visit. The Farm Store will be a good stop to include on your next tour of the wineries in the area as well. Springtime is a great time to get out into wine country. When you stop in, be sure to tell them that the Old Town Crier sent you! Old Town Crier


SOCIAL MEDIA | FROM PAGE 3

social media and are made up by the majority of a younger viewership, they are ideal for creating a lot of exposure for shows and movies. Shows specifically made for streaming services, such as Netflix’s original series Bridgerton, has garnered massive viewership. As noted by Elaine Low in Variety, Bridgerton had the most significant debut to date “with viewership from 82 million households in its first 28 days online.” These large audiences are not only bringing new and exciting stories into the spotlight, but they’re creating a sense of community, where these 82 million households have something in common. It’s an opportunity to engage in discussion and make new connections, all in the name of entertainment. Streaming services and the content on them create a sense of community, something the world needs more than ever. HBO Max, another streaming service, was showing movies that were being released in theaters at the same time, so instead of having to pay the

now usual $12 movie ticket and sitting in a theater with a mask on, you were able to see the new releases in your home. I actually preferred this. Granted, nothing beats movie theater popcorn! One disadvantage of streaming services is the overwhelming and evergrowing amount there are of them. It seems like every week there is a new streaming service that gets announced or released. This can be stressful when it comes to choosing which streaming services you want to subscribe to. Luckily, most services offer trial periods where you can see if you would actually use it. My husband and I currently subscribe to 8 different streaming services. If you haven’t read my column over the past few years, he and I are huge Pop Culture nerds, mainly based around comic books. So it seems to cover all our bases, we have to have several streaming services. I have often thought about cancelling cable, but then I think about how will I watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy? Guess I would have to break out the rabbit ears!!

TRANSFORM YOUR BATH OR SHOWER IN AS LITTLE AS ONE DAY

Three ways to stay in touch!

CALL NOW! $500 OFF

Visit our Website oldtowncrier.com

FOR

NO PAYMENTS & NO INTEREST FOR 18 MONTHS

844-456-0169 • Over 850 Authorized Dealers in North America • Lifetime Warranty • Factory-Trained & Certified Installers • Made in the U.S.A.

get

!

your monthly fix

OR

OFFER EXPIRES 3.31.2021

Subscribe

Like us on Facebook @oldtowncrier

Subscribe today and enjoy every issue of the Old Town Crier at home. Fill out this form, enclose a check for $25 (12 issues) and drop it in the mail to: Old Town Crier, PO Box 320386, Alexandria, Va. 22320

Name ______________________________________________ Address ____________________________________________ City/State/Zip ________________________________________

Military & Senior Discounts Available

*Includes product and labor; bathtub, shower or walk-in tub and wall surround. This promotion cannot be combined with any other offer. Other restrictions may apply. This offer expires March 31, 2021. Each dealership is independently owned and operated. **Third party financing is available for those customers who qualify. See your dealer for details. ©2020 BCI Acrylic Inc.

Old Town Crier

April 2021 | 5


PERSONALITY PROFILE

New York Times foreign affairs columnist, Thomas L. Friedman, shares what the environment can teach us about thriving in an age of disruption in a conversation with James Manyika about his interview with Mother Nature. Thomas L. Friedman: Thinking about climate change, “good” or “bad” are not in my vocabulary because [it’s] here. And there’s nothing I can do about that. I want to try to think about how to manage it, to manage the unavoidable and avoid the unmanageable, for all of these things. As I thought about that, James, I said who do I go to? What do you want when you’re in the middle of a climate change? You want two things. Resilience—you’re going to take a blow, because stuff happens. And you want propulsion— you want to be able to move ahead in the world. You don’t want to be hiding under the chair, [until someone says], “James, come out, the climate change is over.”

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN W/JAMES MANYIKA

an appointment, and I went out to see her. I said, “Mother Nature, how do you produce resilience and propulsion when the climate changes?” She said, “Well, Tom, everything I do I actually do unconsciously. But these are my strategies.” First of all, she said, “I’m

or animal perfectly adapted to that niche.” Third, she said, “I’m incredibly pluralistic. Oh, I’m the most pluralistic person you’ve ever met. I tried 20 different

incredibly sustainable. Nothing’s wasted in my world. Everything is food. Eat food, poop seed, eat food, poop seed. So nothing’s wasted.” Fifth, she said, “I noticed that my ecosystems that are the most resilient and propulsive build complex adaptive systems

James Manyika: Right. You have to be on the move. Thomas L. Friedman: How do I get resilience and propulsion? Well, I sat back and thought about that. And I said, “Who can I interview on resilience and propulsion, besides McKinsey Global Institute?” And then I realized I knew this woman, she was 3.8 billion years old. Her name was Mother Nature. And she’d dealt with more climate changes than anybody. I called her up, and I made 6 | April 2021

incredibly adaptive. In my world, it’s not the strongest that survive, not the smartest that survive. It’s the most adaptive that survive. And I teach that lesson through a process I call natural selection. You may have heard of it.” Secondly, she said, “I’m incredibly entrepreneurial. Wherever I see a blank spot in nature, I fill it with a plant

species of everything. I see who wins. I love diversity.” And you know, she told me something interesting, James. She told me she noticed her most diverse ecosystems are also her most resilient and propulsive ecosystems. I love pluralism. Fourth, she said, “I’m

where all the parts network together. The soils, the plants, the animals, the trees, they network together. That really maximizes their resilience and propulsion.” Next, she said, “I’m incredibly hybrid and heterodox. I’ll try anything. No dogmatism in my world. I’ll try any trees, any soils. I’ll try any bees with any flowers. I’m always experimenting.”

Next, she said, “I’m a lifelong learner. And I apply my learning—through genomics—very quickly. But I’m always experimenting, learning, applying.” And lastly, James, she did say, “I do believe in the laws of bankruptcy, Tom. I kill all my failures. I return them to the great manufacturer in the sky, and I take their energy to nourish my successes.” My argument is that the company, the community, the county, the city, the town that most closely mirrors Mother Nature’s strategies for building resilience and propulsion when the climate changes is the one that will thrive in this age of acceleration. Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and, columnist. He is the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes – two for international reporting from the Middle East and a third for his columns written about 9/11. He is the author of seven New York Times bestsellers — From Beirut to Jerusalem, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Longitudes and Attitudes, The World Is Flat, Hot Flat and Crowded, That Used To Be Us (with Michael Mandelbaum) and, most recently, Thank You For Being Late. James Manyika is a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, chairman and director of the McKinsey Global Institute.  Printed with permission. For other interviews on related subjects www.mckinsey.com.

Old Town Crier


CALENDAR | FROM PAGE 3

design to creative building activities for children and families. Most events will also be offered free of charge. AIA Northern Virginia also joins AIA chapters across the state this year to offer a combined program and a wide range of opportunities.

The Late Shift Online: Cherry Blossom Jubilee by the Torpedo Factory Art Center April 9th from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Admission: Free; Virtual 703-746-4590 torpedofactory.org

Torpedo Factory Art Center welcomes the start of spring with The Late Shift Online: Cherry

Blossom Jubilee. This familyfriendly celebration is a free virtual satellite event for D.C.’s National Cherry Blossom Festival. The program will be live on the Art Center’s Facebook page and archived on YouTube.

88th Annual Old Town Alexandria Historic Homes & Garden Tour April 17th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission: $25 advanceonly ticket includes map of the self-guided Old Town Alexandria tour and admission to the grounds of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Various locations throughout Old Town Alexandria VAgardenweek.org

Part of Historic Garden Week in Virginia, this year’s new selfguided tour format will take you along historic tree-lined streets of Old Town Alexandria to explore garden installations and a plant sale at three designated tour hubs which anchor a trail of gorgeously decorated flower boxes, doors and gates adding a colorful spring flourish to Old Town’s iconic homes. The $25 advanceonly ticket includes a map of the self-guided Old Town Alexandria tour and admission to the grounds of George Washington’s Mount Vernon from April 17 to 24, with proceeds benefiting the Garden Club of Virginia’s historic restoration projects. Face masks and social distancing are required.

OLD TOWN Mini-Mart

MORE SPRING EVENTS & TOURS “Line by Line” Exhibit at The Art League Through April 4th Admission: Free The Art League Gallery Torpedo Factory Art Center 105 N. Union St. 703-683-2323 theartleague.org

In this spring’s exhibit from The Art Gallery, all of the artwork is a visual response to or interpretation of a work of poetry. The juror for this show is Jordann Wine, a D.C.based muralist and painter.

Office of Historic Alexandria Lecture Series: “A White Historian Reads Black History”

April 24th, May 15th & June 12th from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Admission: Free; registration required Virtual; alexandriava.gov/historic Historian Susan Strasser brings her early years as a civil rights activist and experience as an American history professor to her lecture series, “A White Historian Confronts American Slavery.” Strasser is an award-winning historian and a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She has been praised by The New Yorker for “retrieving what history discards: The taken-for-granted minutiae of everyday life.” This four-part series is sponsored by the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project.

Easter Egg Hunt at LeeFendall House

April 3rd; sessions offered at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Admission: $15 for participating

Old Town Crier

children ages 2 to 12; $5 for accompanying adults; free for infants under 2 Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden 614 Oronoco St. 703-548-1789 leefendallhouse.org Find Easter eggs hidden in the Lee-Fendall garden on this socially distant take on their popular annual egg hunt. Sessions are offered on the hour March 27 and April 3, 2021, beginning at 11 a.m. with the last one starting at 3 p.m. Attendance will be limited to enforce social distancing. Face masks are required. Advance reservations only. Bring your own basket.

Cherry Blossom Exhibition at the Torpedo Factory Art Center

Through May 2nd Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission: Free Torpedo Factory Art Center 105 N. Union St. 703-746-4590 torpedofactory.org Art lovers are encouraged to stop by the Torpedo Factory Art Center throughout April to view floral art displayed on all three floors. Participating artists will display their most colorful spring and cherry-blossom-inspired works in their studios from Wednesday, March 31, until Sunday, May 2. Torpedo Factory Art Center is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those who wish to visit are asked to adhere to current Virginia Safer at Home guidelines, including maintaining a social distance with people from different households, wearing face coverings indoors

and frequent handwashing for 20 seconds or use of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

First Thursday in Del Ray: Petal Porch Party

April 1, 2021, 6 p.m. Various locations in Del Ray in Alexandria, VA 22301 visitdelray.com First Thursday in Del Ray launches on Thursday, April 1, with the theme Petal Porch Party. Del Ray will be part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Petal Porch Parade. Neighborhood porches, yards, sidewalks and windows will be decorated in a Cherry Blossom theme, with registered Del Ray homes competing for a prize from the Del Ray Business Association. Order dinner and drinks for carryout from one of Del Ray’s local restaurants, stroll the neighborhood and have dinner on your front porch, front steps or front yard. Held the first Thursday from April to September along Mount Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, First Thursday is a series of free outdoor street festivals that bring the community together around a fun theme, benefiting a local nonprofit.

NOW OPEN! 822 King Street Old Town Alexandria, Virginia 703.549.7167 Open 5:00 am-Midnight

shutters, shades & blinds

FREE MEASUREMENTS. FREE QUOTES. CONSULTATION. FREE CONSULTATION

Buy One Get One

40% OFF 0% 1

Alexandria Wedding Showcase

April 17 to 24, 2021 Admission: Free Virtual and various locations throughout Alexandria, VA alexandriaweddingshowcase.com This year, those planning a wedding can enjoy a hybrid format of the Alexandria Wedding Showcase. Couples will be able to access a fun Alexandria Wedding Showcase mobile CALENDAR > PAGE 13

PLUS

FINANCING for 12 months2 HURRY, OFFER EXPIRES JUNE 30!

Louver Shop is America’s #1 choice for shutters, shades and blinds.3 With a vast selection to fit your style. And budget. Our knowledgeable design experts bring the showroom to your living room. It’s the easiest way to elevate your home.

I T ’ S T I M E T O E L E V AT E Y O U R H O M E .

844-526-0716 Average Google Reviews Rating:4.75

© 2021 Louver Shop. 1BOGO offer good on products of equal or lesser value. Prior purchases are excluded. May not be combined with other offers. Offer expires 6/30/2021. 2Subject to credit approval. Ask for details. 3Based on a national survey conducted by Vernon Research Group, November 2018. NMLS #1416362

April 2021 | 7


FINANCIAL FOCUS

CARL TREVISAN, CFP© & STEPHEN BEARCE

Top Five Portfolio Ideas for 2021

A

s we start 2021, with COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics approved for market, many investors wonder when we can return to more stable social and economic activity. Even though Wall Street recovered before Main Street, history suggests that the two may not diverge for long periods of time. In the “2021 Outlook Report: Forging a path forward,” Wells Fargo Investment Institute (WFII) strategists detail opportunities that may arise in the new year, and how investors might take advantage of them. Here, WFII strategists offer their top five ideas for 2021.

Hold the right amount of cash Investors may be overallocated to cash, as money market balances remain near all-time highs. In our view, investors should hold enough cash to meet shortterm liquidity needs to avoid selling assets at inopportune times. One potential way to invest excess cash is through dollar-cost averaging—instead of investing one large sum, invest smaller sums over time. 8 | April 2021

Selectively increase risk

Diversify income sources

As investors look forward to the end of the pandemic, we expect riskier assets like stocks to outperform. However, we suggest that investors be selective in how they increase risk. We generally favor U.S. stocks over international stocks, because we believe that growth prospects are stronger in the U.S. Within the U.S. stock market, we prefer largecap and mid-cap stocks over small-cap stocks, because larger companies tend to have higher cash balances, less debt, and better earnings growth. In fixed income, we favor taking credit risk and keeping interest-rate sensitivity neutral.

Within fixed income sectors, we favor municipal bonds and investment-grade and high-yield corporates, as we believe those sectors are well positioned to offer yield. Emerging market bonds, dividend-paying stocks, and preferred securities may also offer attractive income streams to a well-diversified portfolio.

Consider exposure to higher-quality, growthoriented sectors Quality remains a key theme, but cyclicality could play a bigger role. We favor cyclical sectors that should demonstrate more consistent performance as the U.S. economic recovery advances. Our favored sectors include Information Technology, Health Care, Communication Services, and Consumer Discretionary.

Be proactive, not reactive Investors tend to exhibit certain behaviors that can lead to unwise decisions. In periods of high volatility, we suggest taking action thoughtfully and not reacting emotionally. *A periodic investment plan such as dollar cost averaging does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in declining markets. Since such a strategy involves continuous investment, the investor should consider his or her ability to continue purchases though periods of low price levels. There is no guarantee that dividend-paying stocks will return more than the overall stock market. Dividends are not guaranteed and are subject to change or elimination.

All investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal. Asset allocation and diversification do not guarantee investment returns or eliminate risk of loss. Each asset class has its own risk and return characteristics. The level of risk associated with a particular investment or asset class generally correlates with the level of return the investment or asset class might achieve. Stock markets, especially foreign markets, are volatile. A stock’s value may fluctuate in response to general economic and market conditions, the prospects of individual companies, and industry sectors. International investing has additional risks including those associated with currency fluctuation, political and economic instability, and different accounting standards. This may result in greater share price volatility. These risks are heightened in emerging markets. Exposure to the commodities markets may subject an investment to greater share price volatility than an investment in traditional equity or debt securities. Bonds are subject to market, interest rate, price, credit/default, call, liquidity, inflation, and other risks.

Prices tend to be inversely affected by changes in interest rates. Cash alternatives typically offer lower rates of return than longer-term equity or fixed-income securities and may not keep pace with inflation over extended periods of time. WFII is a registered investment adviser and wholly owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., a bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. 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. © 2021 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved. Old Town Crier


A BIT OF HISTORY

“C

limate change threatens all weather patterns,” John Kerry, special presidential envoy for climate said on February 19, 2021. “The planet is warming in large part because of greenhouse gas emissions that are pumped into the sky from power plants, cars, planes and industry. America is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases [and] we have only a few years left to avoid a climate catastrophe.” Merriam Webster defines greenhouse gases as “any of the various gaseous components (such as carbon dioxide CO2 or methane CH2) that absorb radiation; trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to the greenhouse effect.” “Scientists told us three years ago we had 12 years to avert the worst consequences of climate crisis,” Kerry detailed. “We are now three years gone, so we have nine years left.” Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide (76%), methane (16%), nitrous oxide (6%) and fluorinated gases (2%). The most abundant greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide is the product of burning fossil fuels. “The time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are Old Town Crier

©2021 SARAH BECKER

exhausted, when the soils shall have been still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields, and obstructing navigation,” President Theodore Roosevelt [R-NY] told State Governors in 1908—113 years ago. “Conservation of our natural resources, though the gravest problem of today, is yet but part of another and greater problem to which this Nation is not yet awake, but to which it will awake in time, and with which it must hereafter grapple if it is to live,” Roosevelt continued. Carbon dioxide molecules, once emitted, remain in the atmosphere for almost a century. “One distinguishing characteristic of really civilized men is foresight,” Roosevelt concluded. “We have to, as a nation, exercise foresight for this nation in the future!” “We must emphasize research on solar energy and other renewable energy sources,” President Jimmy Carter [D-GA] commanded in 1977. Today his Georgia farm fields are packed with solar energy panels. In 2017 President Donald Trump [R-NY/FL] announced he was pulling the U.S. out of the 2015, 190 nation Paris Climate Accord. The Trump administration [2017-2021] rolled back more than 100

environmental regulations. Incoming President Joe Biden [D-DE] rejoined the Paris Climate Accord on February 19, 2021. His administration celebrates Earth Day April 22, 2021, with more ambitious emission targets. President Biden plans to spend $2 trillion over the next four years to increase the use of clean energies: in the transportation, electricity and building sectors. “He has set a goal of eliminating fossil fuel emissions from electricity generation by 2030 and has vowed to put the entire United States economy on track to become carbon neutral by midcentury.” “The big key levers for the 2030 pledge will be the auto and utility sectors,” Biden’s domestic climate adviser Gina McCarthy said on March 4. “The 2015 pledges made by nearly every country on Earth to cut their planet-warming emissions will no longer cut it,” Kerry explained. “Even if we did everything that every country set up to do in the Paris Agreement, and we’re not, the Earth’s temperature is predicted to increase something like 3.7o Celsius. That’s obviously catastrophic, and that’s why ambition is so critical.” “It is time to stop waffling and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the

greenhouse effect is here,” NASA climate change expert Dr. James E. Hansen concluded in 1988—33 years ago. “It is happening now.” Lyndon Johnson (D-TX) was the first U.S. President to concern himself with Clean Air and Water Quality. “There is no excuse for a river flowing red with blood from slaughterhouses,” Johnson said in 1965. “There is no excuse… for chemical companies and oil refineries using our major rivers as pipelines for toxic wastes. There is no excuse for communities to use other people’s rivers as a dump for their raw sewage.” President Richard Nixon [R-CA] established the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] in 1970: “We have the chance today to do more than ever before in history to make life better in America—to insure better health…better transportation, a cleaner environment…Let us be bold in our determination to meet those needs in new ways.” The EPA first proposed “bold actions” to curb warming in 1989. “We cannot dwell upon remembered glory,” President Jimmy Carter said in his 1977 Inaugural address. “We cannot afford to drift…to lack boldness as we meet the future.” Carter was the first president to openly

criticize America’s dependence on foreign oil; to install solar panels in the White House. Succeeding President Ronald Reagan [R-CA] removed the panels in 1986. “[T]ogether, in a spirit of individual sacrifice for the common good, we must simply do our best,” Carter concluded. To wear face masks in this pandemic age: to forego gasguzzling vehicles. Researchers at Melbourne, Australia’s RMIT University— in an effort to curb COVID-19 pandemic waste—may “have developed a way to repurpose single-use [disposable face] masks into roads. A new study, published in Science of the Total Environment, shows that using recycled masks to make a 1-kilometer twolane road would use up about 3 million masks, preventing 93 metric tons of waste from ending up in landfills.” The pavement mixture consists of both shredded face masks and processed building rubble “designed to meet civil engineering safety standards and add stiffness and strength to the pavement.” Microsoft founder, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Bill Gates describes today’s ongoing A BIT OF HISTORY > PAGE 10

April 2021 | 9


Ask about our amazing Pipe and Cigar Humidor Sale and Our Military and First Responders Plus Discount Program

215 King St. Alexandria, VA 22314 sales@johncrouch.comcastbiz.net (703) 548-2900 | (703) 739-2302

A BIT OF HISTORY | FROM PAGE 9

climate effort “as bigger than anything humanity has done to date.” NOAA calculates that “From 1990—through 2019—the warming influence of all major human produced greenhouse gases has increased by 45%.” In his new book, How to Avoid Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need Gates claims “just a 2 degrees Celsius rise in ocean temperatures could kill coral reefs and destroy the food source for 1 billion people.” UNESCO claims the coral reefs in all 29 reef-containing World Heritage sites “will cease to exist as functioning coral reef ecosystems by the end of the century if we continue to emit greenhouse gases under a business as usual scenario.” The United Nations estimates 17% of the food produced globally is wasted, approximately 1.03 billion tons annually. Researchers at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory are developing a way to convert U.S. food scraps into an energydense biofuel that powers trains, planes and heavy duty trucks. “If we do not eliminate greenhouse gases within the next three decades the planet will be lost,” Gates said. “Corporate America needs to make buying green—green aviation fuel, for example –a priority. And every day Americans must change the cars they drive.” “An international effort is required of all new autos produced around the world to achieve an average of at least 40 miles per gallon of gasoline,” President George H.W. Bush’s 1989 Environmental Protection Agency decided. Also: “To require all automobiles in industrial countries to install catalytic converters, like those required in the United States, to reduce gases from tailpipe emissions.” According to the Rhodium Group carbon dioxide emissions rose 2.7% in 2018, the second largest annual spike since 2000. “Much of the emissions spike was driven by the continued rise of transportation emissions, now the nation’s top source of emissions.” What is the social cost of carbon? “It’s approximately the damage done by driving from San Francisco to Chicago, assuming that about a ton of carbon spits out of the tailpipe over those 2,000 miles,” MIT’s Technology Review

CALL BY JUNE 30

to schedule your FREE in-home consultation

571-932-5842 BOGO 40% OFF Call for details

10 | April 2021

said. The Obama and Trump administrations numbers are “contentious”—depending “on how you value future damages.” “In the U.S. nearly one in two passenger cars sold today is an SUV,” the International Energy Agency [IEA] reported in October 2019. “If SUV drivers were a nation, they would rank seventh in the world for carbon emissions.” “As the global fleet of SUVs has grown emissions from the vehicles have increased more than fourfold, from 2010 to 2018,” the IEA report continued. “In that period, SUVs doubled their global market share from 17% to 39% and their annual emissions rose to more than 700 megatonnes of CO2. No energy sector except power drove a larger increase in carbon emissions, putting SUVs ahead of heavy industry (including iron, steel, cement and shipping), aviation and shipping.” The climate effort, Gates concluded, “involves reducing the 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases produced yearly; reducing [if not eliminating] the production of things such as cement, steel and plastic. And the public— especially car owners—must pressure their public officials to actively do something about the crisis.” Lately it seems Alexandria’s auto-related gains are few. Volvo recently announced it is phasing out the production of all cars with internal combustion engines, including hybrids by 2030. As interesting, Consumers Reports annual April auto issue tells of its New Green Choice program, CR’s first ever rankings of all-electric vehicles (EVs) and gas-electric hybrids. “Just as a synthetic rubber corporation helped us win World War II, so will we mobilize American determination and ability to win the energy war,” President Carter said in his 1979 Crisis of Confidence speech. “Every act of energy conservation is more than just common sense—I tell you it is an act of patriotism. We often think of conservation in terms of sacrifice. In fact… every gallon of oil each one of us saves is a new form of production.” All of us look forward to the District’s National Cherry Blossom Festival [March 20-April 11, 2021]—a masked properly distanced stroll through the Tidal Basin’s beautiful blooms. The National Park Service predicts Peak bloom to be April 2-5. Did you know that the

warmer temperatures associated with climate change are affecting the cherry blossoms? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, peak bloom dates for the cherry trees have shifted. Since 1921 peak bloom— defined as when 70% of Yoshino cherry blossoms are open—is approximately five days earlier. Envoy John Kerry equates cleaner energy with opportunity: “For the greatest economic transformation since the Industrial Revolution.” The Industrial Revolution [1760-1840] marks England and America’s change from an agrarian and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacturing. The success of any New Energy economy depends on clean tech—like batteries, solar and wind power. “Yet no fundamentally new energy technology has been discovered in nearly a century,” The Manhattan Institute for Policy noted. The Biden administration is moving closer to approving the country’s first full-scale off-shore wind farm, the [Martha’s] Vineyard wind project. Question: Given the recent Texas power debacle; the country’s increasing dependence on clean tech, how will America’s 2030 power, backup power grid be explained? So far the Biden administration has said only “the U.S. will use the government’s buying power and natural carbon sinks—as well as tougher regulations” to meet its climate goals. Answers to these and other environmental questions are expected on April 22. 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

W

hether ancient Greeks who believed in Helios riding his chariot across the sky, or Egyptians worshipping Ra, king of the Egyptian gods, humans have drawn inspiration and attempted to increase the fertility of crops and animals by venerating different gods of the sun since our beginning as sentient creatures. Spring has arrived in the northern hemisphere, and with it the earth’s eternal renaissance of blooming flowers and riotous fauna emerging after a fallow, frozen period. From now on we live the lengthening days until our sun-drenched summer solstice. The writer Kazuo Ishiguro, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017, recently released the novel Klara and the Sun, a subtle, beautiful science fiction novel about a complex robot of delicate understanding whose love for the sun helps her find ways to bridge the uneasy gap between our tendencies to cross ethical boundaries in our quest to advance science and the marvels we can achieve through testing those boundaries. Klara is a Girl AF (Artificial Friend), on sale in a store in an unnamed city at an unnamed time. Boy and Girl AFs are available for purchase to children of higher social status with wealthy parents to monitor the children’s health, keep them from being lonely by offering their children companionship, while encouraging them to succeed in their studies. In Klara’s store, she tries to recognize not only visual patterns and engage in simple conversations with other AFs and “Manager,” but also move closer to the window, where she can examine human behavior. While AFs are droids, they are also made to be unique and therefore more like humans than early robots. They are even individual to some extent Old Town Crier

MIRIAM R. KRAMER

within their particular models. Unusually perceptive and observant, Klara distinguishes herself to “Manager” as a highly intelligent droid, quick to put the puzzle pieces of her observations together and use them as building blocks for increasingly sophisticated levels of understanding. Solarpowered, she follows the paths of the Sun throughout the day, watching his patterns across the floor and tracking his daily disappearance over a building in the window. She craves his touch and watches him to find a way to predict what she sees as his own patterns and whims in pouring his “nourishment” across his surroundings. When a child comes up to the window and talks to Klara, she is allowed to respond and obey the proper rules of etiquette by looking the child in the face and responding as a way of encouraging the child to buy her. Josie, a girl who comes from a highstatus family, has been “lifted,” meaning “genetically altered” to give her higher intelligence and therefore better prospects towards upper mobility. The downside for Josie is that the alteration has made her prone towards illness. Her older sister, Sal, had passed away after being lifted. As Josie talks to Klara, Klara relies on an unusual sense of intuition to see that she is the right AF for this lonely, sickly girl. Josie promises her that she will be able to watch the Sun disappear under the horizon instead of at the top of the building across the street, and that they will, in effect, track the Sun together. Unlike most AFs, Klara asserts her own will, refusing to encourage another child to pick her until Josie returns to the store. When Josie and her stressed, unhappy mother return to the store, the mother also must be convinced that this AF can learn everything there is to be

learned about Josie, for reasons to be revealed. When Klara returns home with Josie, she becomes a part of the household in one way while holding herself in reserve to watch it and begin to understand emotional complexity. Already prone towards, and we assume programmed for, empathy, Klara’s skill and intelligence lies in being able to not only recognize emotions but also begin to understand how several can coexist at the same time. She also has at least a limited understanding or feeling of symbols that evoke feelings, from seeing a bull in a field as a symbol of destruction or a view of smoky “Pollution” emerging from a machine as a disgusting death force cutting off the Sun’s ability to heal and grow those in his path. Her simplicity of viewpoint sometimes makes her more observant and straightforward than her human family, and better able to brush aside the blinders humans place on themselves by viewing the world through their own insecurities and passions. As she tells the story of her existence viewing Josie, Josie’s beloved friend, Rick, and Josie’s divorced parents, among others, Klara describes a level of delicacy and formality to her

desire to give privacy to Josie, whose loneliness in part stems from taking lessons by herself with only a tutor giving her instructions over an oblong (smartphone or tablet). Josie’s peers are forced to come together for semiregular social interactions intended to make them better able to attend college en masse. They have been genetically edited to become better versions of their natural selves, but in the process have become isolated and less able to relate naturally to one another. While she cannot put herself in the place of fully inhabiting Josie and her family’s emotions, Klara understands how to react to them in the best interests of Josie, even to the detriment of

herself. In fact, Klara herself has a determined personality and optimistic viewpoint. As an AF she is AI (Artificial Intelligence) at a later stage of advancement than we currently know. In her simplicity, she worships the Sun as a god, the way earlier civilizations worshipped it. She looks to it for the solutions to Josie’s health and happiness, ascribing to it qualities such as goodness and benevolence. Kazuo Ishiguro’s skill is immense. Even as he allows us to infer Josie and her family’s emotions through Klara’s formally put yet still empathetic understanding, he reminds us of her status as a robot in THE LAST WORD > PAGE 13

April 2021 | 11


HIGH NOTES

RON POWERS

E

very month I try to talk about music that I love. Sometimes the pickings are slim and sometimes not. This month I’m happy to say that a band called The Heavy Hours have made my job very easy. In July of last year, they released a true gem of a song called “Don’t Walk Away.” Although I’m thrilled to have discovered it, I can’t believe I didn’t hear about the song sooner. It has such a bright and sunny feel to it. And with Spring here, it feels like the perfect tune to talk about. “Don’t Walk Away” begins with an exceptionally sung melody which is accompanied by a strummed acoustic guitar, bass, snappy drums, and happy sounding hand claps. As the verse melody repeats, a mellow sounding Roads piano is introduced which loosely follows the topline creating an interesting sonic texture with the sound of the already established arrangement. At the end of the second verse an ingenious melody variation is implemented which adds a lovely bit of tension just before the chorus is delivered. “Don’t Walk Away” holds up against the best of them and the chorus is a big reason why. During the chorus

12 | April 2021

we hear big booming group vocals singing the easy-to-remember words with a sound and energy that lifts one’s spirit. I could not help imaging a concert hall full of happy people belting this song out with the band. Interestingly, Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys front man) co-wrote “Don’t Walk Away.” Auerbach’s influence is heard throughout the song. In fact, “Don’t Walk Away” sounds like it could have been part of Auerbach’s second solo album, “Waiting on a Song”, a work I highly recommend. The similarity between Auerbach and The Heavy Hours, in no way, lessens the band’s credibility, but instead reflects the impressive distinction that they possess in contrast to the sea of bands out there. The four-piece from Ohio is cut from the same cloth as the best of them. The sound of “Don’t Walk Away” shines out like a breath of fresh air. From the Motown vibe of the horn section to the woodsy warmth of the acoustic guitar to the tight delay and reverb which gives Kelvin Swaby’s vocal such an enjoyable shimmer. The textures and tones of the song come together to create a sound that feels light and effortless. Each part

shares the sonic space in a way that feels smooth and natural. Although I enjoy every element of this song, the magic of “Don’t Walk Away” is in the harmony created by the sounds coming together. This serves the purpose of create something bigger and more beautiful than any single part. The Heavy Hours are just getting going with their career. As of the time of this writing, they have released three songs, the first of which was “Don’t Walk Away.” The band has garnered plenty of attention thus far being added to big playlists like Spotify’s “Rockn’ Vibes”, Apple Music’s “Breaking Rock”, Amazon’s “Fresh Alternative”, and many more. If you’d like to stay up to date with what is happening with The Heavy Hours you can follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. If you’d like to listen to the music, you can find it on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and most 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

showing how she views the world through engineered eyes. The physical objects of her gaze disintegrate into boxes, planes, funnels, cones, and even jagged shapes whenever she becomes disoriented under physical pressure or her own limited version of emotional stress. Yet she can pull herself together regardless, and even selflessly pursue Josie’s welfare, by recognizing human beings’ love for one another as the main reason the Sun she worships should grant humanity the “nourishment” that is her own lifeblood as a solar-powered AF. Klara and the Sun is a novel of tremendous beauty, power, and poetry. For a book presenting so many complicated ideas, it is very approachable. CALENDAR | FROM PAGE 7

microsite that will include a directory of businesses, venues and services, guiding them from place to place starting on April 17 and continuing through that entire week. For those who want to stay virtual, each participating wedding company will have an option for a virtual tour, video or scheduled appointment. As they visit (in person or online) each venue and talk to wedding service providers, they will “check in” with the business. Couples that visit with at least five businesses during the week will be entered to win a grand prize staycation. More information will be available in the coming weeks at alexandriaweddingshowcase.com. 

Taste of Old Town North April 21st to June 21st Admission: $10 for a passport Various locations throughout Old Town North 703-836-8066 oldtownnorth.org

Enjoy a two-month stroll through the neighborhood with this year’s reimagined Taste of Old Town North.  Passport holders will be able to use their Passport to receive discounts at small businesses throughout Old Town North: The Arts and Cultural District, Parker-Gray and Braddock Road West. Passport sales will begin Sunday, March 21. Passports may only be used once at each participating business; if 75% of a Passport has been used by June 21, the Passport holder will be entered into a drawing to receive prizes. Passports may be purchased online at oldtownnorth. org or at the Community Table at the Old Town North Thursday Farmer’s Market. Proceeds will support the work of the Old Town North Community Partnership and ALIVE-inc.org. Old Town Crier

Ishiguro brings up muchdiscussed questions of bioethics and the ethics of artificial intelligence while offering no simple solutions. What aspects of genetic engineering or artificial intelligence are morally acceptable or necessary, and what aspects of so-called progress move us backwards? Is Klara more authentic in some ways than her Homo sapien owners? Are her values healthier and more indicative of less advanced but happier communities? Is Josie and her family’s society, in which genetically modified “lifted” children are considered hierarchically superior to those “unlifted” better for humanity? Is love the human quality that cannot be quantified and reduced, equivalent to the

Historic Gardens at Historic Sites Lecture from Carlyle House

April 22nd at 7 p.m. Admission: $5 per Zoom link; additional $30 per tea box Virtual 703-549-2997 novaparks.com/parks/carlylehouse-historic-park April is Virginia Garden month. Many historic house museums have recreated gardens on their grounds. How do sites choose what is appropriate for these gardens? Join Dean Norton, director of Horticulture at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, for a virtual presentation about historic house gardens. For a bonus, Carlyle House is partnering with both The Spice & Tea Exchange and Firehook Bakery in Alexandria to offer a tea box to-go. Enjoy a delicious blend of tea and some tasty treats while listening to the lecture. Tea boxes can be picked up at Carlyle House the day of the program between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. or be delivered with contactless drop-off up to two miles from Carlyle House. Stay tuned for tickets to go on sale online.

Revolutionary War Weekend at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

May 1st & 2nd from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: Included with general admission ($28 for adults; $15 for youth ages 6 to 11; free for children); free for members George Washington’s Mount Vernon 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy. 703-780-2000 mountvernon.org Mount Vernon’s serene 12-acre field transforms into a battleground as hundreds of Continentals,

Sun in its power and ability to engender health and happiness? Can love be felt by a machine? Is self-sacrifice as human or healthy a quality as selfinterest? Ishiguro means for us to feel the tension between viewing Klara as a B2 series Artificial Friend or a quasi-person with the empathy some human beings have trouble feeling. Without being able to judge her value system, I find Klara to be the humanity in the machinery. She is ironically primal, an archetypal disciple worshipping her one and only God, the Sun. As a highly advanced example of artificial intelligence, she is willing to sacrifice herself to achieve the goals that make her human family’s lives worth living.

Become a Published Author with Dorrance. We want to read your book! Trusted by authors for nearly 100 years, Dorrance has made countless authors’ dreams come true.

Complete Book Publishing Services

Our staff is made up of writers, just like you. We are dedicated to making publishing dreams come true.

Redcoats and Hessians conduct military drills, perform cavalry demonstrations and engage in 18th-century battle reenactments. Wander through the encampment and meet the soldiers, discuss military techniques and meet General Washington.

FIVE EASY STEPS TO PUBLICATION: 1. Consultation

4. Distribution

2. Book Production 5. Merchandising and Fulfillment 3. Promotion

Call now to receive your FREE Author’s Guide

877-974-8307

www.dorranceinfo.com/otc

For more spring events and activities in Alexandria, see the listings below and explore more at VisitAlexandriaVA.com/Spring.

AFTER HOURS Birchmere 703.549.7500 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave. birchmere.com The Blackwall Hitch 571-982-3577 5 Cameron St. theblackwallhitch.com Carlyle Club 411 John Carlyle Dr. 703-549-8957 thecarlyleclub.com Chadwicks 203 S. Strand St. 703.836.4442 Evening Star Cafe 703.549.5051 2000 Mt. Vernon Ave.

"The Music Is Back" Please check with these fine venues to see who is playing!

The Fish Market 703.836.5676 105 King St. fishmarketoldtown.com La Portas 703.683.6313 1600 Duke St. The Light Horse 703.549.0533 715 King St. lighthorserestaurant.com Murphys Irish Pub 703.548.1717 713 King St. murphyspub.com O’Connell’s 703.739.1124 112 King St.

Rock It Grill 703.739.2274 1319 King St. Shooter McGees 703.751.9266 5239 Duke St. shootermcgees.com Southside 815 703.836.6222 815 S. Washington St. St. Elmos 703.739.9268 2300 Mt. Vernon Ave. Taverna Cretekou 703.548.8688 818 King St.

TJ Stones 703.548.1004 608 Montgomery St. tjstones.com LaTrattoria 703-548-9338 305 S. Washington St. Two Nineteen 703.549.1141 219 King St. Village Brauhaus 710 King St. 703-888-1951 These establishments offer live entertainment. Call to confirm show times, dates and cover charges. Check our advertisers’ websites.

April 2021 | 13


GALLERY BEAT

F. LENNOX CAMPELLO

Michelle Lisa Herman untitled snack shop video still

L

ast month I wrote how the Covidian monster still had us in its grip, and art galleries were still mostly online, etc. Since then, although I’m not so sure the monster has changed, and although the President is still wearing two masks and tripping all over the place, there has been a slight shift to the normalization of the Covidian Age. Children are returning to 14 | April 2021

Untitled (Technology / Transformation)" Mixed Media Sculpture

school (I vote for mandatory summer school), art fairs all over the world are planning to stage art fairs, some governors are in deep doodoo and others have emerged as leaders of the pack and soon there will be more vaccine brands and kinds than Starbucks franchises. And yet, art galleries seem to be a little reticent to open fully; at least around here. GALLERY BEAT > `PAGE 15

Old Town Crier


GALLERY BEAT | FROM PAGE 14

Not that art galleries are ever packed places to start with… cough… cough. The average gallery hopes to pack it up on opening night, but after that it is usually crickets most days… and that’s why art galleries should do art fairs. What else? Let’s hope that the Torpedo Factory can come back to its former glory – if the city of Alexandria does it right, its best days may still be ahead… fingers crossed! The City needs to listen to the artists – there’s a LOT of corporate knowledge there! Wanna stay outside no matter what? Our area has some of the best outdoor art shows in the nation, and while nearly all of them were cancelled in 2020, they are all planning a comeback in 2021 – it is probably the best response to a Covidian model that demands being outside to see and buy art and for those who may still be afraid to step foot inside a space. A couple of the best art shows not to miss in the DMV are (in no particular order): the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival; now in its 30th year, the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, one of the top five outdoor art shows in the country, has a long-standing reputation for showcasing high quality artwork. In a cool, walkable outdoor 11 block setting, this juried and highly competitive festival, which usually takes place in May, has been rescheduled for September 1012 at the Reston Town Center, Reston, VA; Bethesda Row Arts Festival (October 9-12 and one of the top 30 Fine Art Shows in the United States), which attracts about 45,000

art patrons over the two-day event, which is staged on the streets around Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues in Bethesda. Switching to indoor art galleries, I’m a BIG fan of student shows, especially MFA shows, and over at the VisArts Common Ground Gallery in Rockville, through May 14, the MICA MFAST 2020 Thesis Exhibitions are taking place. This series of exhibitions is of the Maryland Institute College of Art’s lowresidency MFA (MFAST) 2020 graduate students thesis work. Of particular interest appears to be Michelle Lisa Herman: Always Already? Always, Already? consists of “interconnected video and light installations that explore alternate realities by ‘representing’ everyday aspects of our own. An absent-butalways-present force threads its way through the works— providing the viewer with subtle clues to unraveling but never fully explaining what is “off.” Together, the works merge into an immersive, simulated environment that aims to transport the viewer to another-worldly space in order to allow them to consider different modes of being and embodiment. In one video projection piece, “default” assumptions— such as the height of a light switch—are questioned. In another animated work, a ‘decimated’ cityscape presents a juxtaposition of neoclassical architecture and the quick-stop convenience of capitalism.” Vis Arts is at 155 Gibbs Street, in Rockville, Maryland. Cooperative galleries can survive almost anything by the sheer power of artists

Sustainable living FOR EVERY CORNER OF YOUR HOME

banding together, and in the region we have some of the best co-ops in the country! Over in Bethesda, Waverly Street Gallery, still going strong and still open by appointment currently has a very good group show as it welcomes a new member. Claire Wright is described as “an avid nature explorer, a biologist by training and a rock climber by passion, and her photography is intimately connected to nature. She attempts to comprehend its essence, the essence of life and Earth by capturing shapes, textures, patterns, and colors. Her photographs can be close ups or aerial shots, they are often foreign to our naked eye, yet we sense their beauty and familiarity as they are revealed by the camera.” Waverly Street Gallery is located at 4600 East West Highway, Bethesda and open by appointment on Thursdays and Saturdays, 1 - 4 pm. Del Ray Artisans is another great member of the DMV art tapestry. Their “The Art of Nature” exhibit (May 7-29, 2021) “reminds us of Mother Earth’s gifts through local artists’ interpretations of the natural world.” View the exhibit at Del Ray Artisans, 2704 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria. Gallery hours: Thursdays and Fridays 126pm, Saturdays 12-4pm. Plus register for nature-themed creative workshops now! Del Ray Artisans is ALX Promise certified, requiring face masks and limiting gallery capacity. Details: www.DelRayArtisans. org/exhibits

ART&ANTIQUES ANTIQUES 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

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

Exclusively representing the works of

F. Lennox Campello

Price and additional images upon request.

“ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING PEOPLE OF WASHINGTON, DC” – Washington City Paper

Syreni Caledonii (Northern Atlantic Mermaid). Watercolor, charcoal and Conte. 2019, 12x36 inches.

Alida Anderson Art Projects, LLC, Washington, DC www.alidaanderson.com / info@alidaanderson.com

Find Your Perfect

Polka Dot There are so many choices. Come in and see our new arrivals. Wednesday – Sunday 11 am – 5 pm Springtime hours coming soon Shop online anytime www. imagineartwear. com

915 King Street, Old Town Alexandria | 703-684-1435

Old Town Crier

1124 King Street • Alexandria, Virginia 22314 (703) 548-1461 • imagineartwear.com

April 2021 | 15


URBAN GARDEN

A

t long last, spring has arrived! (or has it?) As you look out upon your garden, does the nagging question of “where do I even begin” sound familiar? There is so much to do in every corner of the yard this month that it is difficult to know where to start. In our opinion, the first and foremost thing to do is to stand back for a moment, and simply enjoy the beauty that Mother Nature has given us.... listen to the birds as they sing you a spring melody... dream a little, and then put on the gardening gloves and head out to make your dream garden a reality! Here are a few April garden projects that you can do to help keep your garden looking its best the rest of this season.

Perennials, Annuals, and Bulbs April is the month for planting summer flowering bulbs like dahlias, gladiolas and lilies. Mix bulb fertilizer, processed manure and peat moss into the planting soil. Tuberous Begonias and Canna should not be set outdoors until all danger of frost has passed, so wait until next month. ✿Plant annual seeds of asters, cosmos, marigolds, and zinnias in the garden. ✿When all frost danger has passed you can move your stored fuchsias and geraniums outdoors. Trim them back, feed and repot if necessary. Water them well. When they have finished blooming, you should deadhead your spring flowering bulbs. Do not cut off the green foliage yet! These green leaves continue to grow for a few weeks, and provide the bulb with food for flowering next year.

✿Divide perennials like Daylilies, Delphiniums,Iris, Chrysanthemums, Daisies,and Phlox. The additional plants you create can be traded or given to friends, or moved to a new area of the garden. ✿Hybrid Tea Roses should be fertilized prior to buds beginning to bloom. Using a systemic fertilizer will help prevent insect infestation later in the summer, as it feeds your rose. Plant new rosebushes before growth starts and buds swell.

Odds and Ends It seems that different states can’t agree to a universal Arbor Day, but more than likely the day exists in your individual state or country, at some point in this month.... Plant a tree! Although we think of this as a rainy month, it can fool us. Keep transplanted flowers well-watered during dry

spells. Be sure to take a little time to check the plants in containers and those under the eaves of the house and under tall evergreens to see that they are getting enough water. If you receive mail-order plants or can’t resist the urge to pick up a few perennials before you are ready, make a trench and heel them into the ground in a protected area. Driving around the neighborhood, or visiting a local nursery may give you some great ideas of what you’d like to have blooming in your yard at this time next year. Take a stroll in the woods or the park at least once each season to enjoy a little bit of Mother Nature’s gardening handiwork! Remember that whatever you accomplish in the garden now will definitely cut down on yard maintenance later this season! Publisher’s Note: Urban Garden provided courtesy of GardenHelpers.com. Please sign on for more springtime tips.

F YI

As you begin your quest for the perfect garden, don’t overdo it! It’s probably been a few months since you gave those muscles and bones a good workout, so start out slowly and avoid that Monday morning backache.

16 | April 2021

Old Town Crier


DO YOUR PART TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19

KEEP YOUR DISTANCE • WASH YOUR HANDS GET VACCINATED (IF YOU ARE ABLE) THROW PROTECTIVE ITEMS AWAY IN THE TRASH YOURSELF! AND PLEASE... CONTINUE WEARING THAT MASK! Old Town Crier

April 2021 | 17


TAKE PHOTOS, LEAVE FOOTPRINTS

SCOTT DICKENS

Photos: Scott Dickens

H

ave you ever dreamt of spending the afterlife buried in a giant shoe? Perhaps you’d prefer a luminous orange fish, or a miniature Boeing 767? I thought not. Nonetheless, those are just some of the infinite fantasy coffin options on offer in the Ghanaian suburb of Teshie; a mere 20-minute drive from the center of Ghana’s capital city, Accra. This small town has found itself at the center of Ghana’s custom coffin business. A place where the term “going out in style” takes on a whole new meaning! 18 | April 2021

Fantasy Coffins – An ‘Eternal’ Market Funerals in Ghana are not the somber, morbid affairs so many of us are used to. They are a celebration of life and a toast to the departed. With hundreds in attendance for even the most humble of events, and with costs stretching upwards of $25,000, Ghanaian funerals are also big business! On a recent trip to Accra I played witness to Ghana’s festival-like approach to death. Huge billboards announcing recent bereavements littered the walls and lampposts of Accra’s

suburbs. What appeared to be roadside celebrations featuring live DJs, dancing, an abundance of alcohol, and BBQs turned out to be the Ghanaian equivalent of a wake. But going beyond the common extravagance and pageantry of the event itself, one thing clearly stood out above all else; the tradition of what in Ghana are known as “Fantasy Coffins”. The trend for elaborate coffins can be traced back through several decades of Ga community tradition to a man better known as the founder of the custom coffin craft, Kane Kwei. The craftsmanship

behind the intricate designs, better known as Abebuu Adekai (“boxes with proverbs”) by the ethnic Ga, has since been passed down through generations of trained apprentices. Paa Joe, who is probably the most famous successor to Kane Kwei, has since toured the world exhibiting his designs. The UK’s Independent newspaper went as far as to describe him as the man who “puts the ‘fun’ back into funeral”. With Kane Kwei now laid to rest (no doubt in one of his own elaborate designs) a whole host of apprentice workshops can be found in Teshie.

As a result of what I can only describe as a classic case of morbid curiosity, on the second day of my visit to Accra I found myself sitting in the workshop of one of these very apprentices. While I gather that afterlife conversations are not usually the preferred vacation activity of the average tourist, I soon found myself engrossed in deep conversation on the finer points of coffin design, interior coffin linings and cost estimates (international clients like myself apparently pay more because they generally request higher quality materials). But my visit to Teshie, it

TAKE PHOTOS, LEAVE FOOTPRINTS > PAGE 19

Old Town Crier


TAKE PHOTOS, LEAVE FOOTPRINTS FROM PAGE 18

seems, was not all that unusual. In fact it puts me alongside other esteemed (and “somewhat” more notable) tourists including Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. But what draws people to paying anything up to $5,000 for something that will ultimately be buried in the ground? For Ghanaians it all boils down to the firm belief that life continues beyond death. More than that, it assumes that the deceased will wish to continue their day job in the afterlife. Admittedly, the thought of an eternity sitting behind an office desk writing reports does little to inspire me. Nonetheless, in Ghana at least, fantasy coffins are designed as a reminder to the recently deceased of their life’s work (just in case they forgot their vocation whilst passing over to the other side). It’s therefore of little surprise that you’ll see a wealth of coffins shaped like fish (for fisherman), shoes (cobblers), and farm animals (farmers and herders). One thing’s for sure; it’s a cultural eccentricity that shouldn’t be missed if you visit Accra!

Practical Information If you’re located in the middle of downtown Accra then Teshie is about 13km east of the city on the La/Teshie beachside road. With typically problematic Accra traffic that translates to a drive time of about 3045 minutes. My advice is to hire a taxi by the hour and make sure it knows exactly what you’re looking to see. After canvassing a host of taxi drivers, 95% seemed to have taken tourists to the fantasy coffin workshops in the past and knew where to find them. That said, they aren’t exactly hard to find. Once you’re in the center of Teshie on the Teshie Road you’ll see the coffins roadside; just keep your eyes peeled on both sides of the road. It’s highly unlikely that you’re actually visiting to buy a coffin and more likely that you just want to take a look at them and see the craftsmen in action. In other words, you probably won’t spend any money but will want to engage with the workers and take a good nose around. As such, and as was recommended to me by my driver, it only seemed fair to tip the workers for taking the time to show me around the workshop and for letting me take pictures of their artistic exploits. You may wish to consider doing similarly. Oh, and in case you were wondering, as the author of the ‘Take Photos Leave Footprints’ website I was reliably informed that I should be buried in either a boot or a camera! If you’re looking for more travelrelated advice and inspiration, make sure to visit our website: www. takephotosleavefootprints.com Old Town Crier

April 2021 | 19


POINTS ON PETS

A

s we passed the one year anniversary of Covid-19 lockdowns and the disruptions to our lives, I took a moment to reflect on how pets have helped us get through these difficult times. They deserve an extra tasty treat and an extra-long hug for the services they have provided. The virus took two main paths among the population. Many of us hunkered down as public health officials advised, while others simply lacked that option. People working in retail, construction, and similar areas couldn’t do their jobs from home while the first group adjusted to video meetings and finally getting that home office operational. All of us adapted to a new world of masks, limited occupancy in grocery stores, the practical end of going to movies or live music, and other fundamental disruptions to how we live our lives. Through it all, our pets were there to help. In a changed 20 | April 2021

KEN BYRER

world, they forced us to keep some parts of our routines intact as at least an echo of normalcy. We served their dinners on schedule as woofs and meows demanded. We took walks forcing us to leave the house on some kind of regular basis. We played fetch or with the flippy toy. The responsibility for the happiness and welfare of other living beings kept us both focused on a meaningful task and provided a welcome distraction from a constant flood of bad news. No longer just wishful thinking, researchers suggest our pets can indeed sense our moods. National Geographic noted research suggests dogs use visual and auditory cues to determine when a human is angry or sad and change behavior based on their determination. Less obvious, cats too likely understand human emotion and react to what they sense, according to an article published by the BBC in 2015. It is

worth noting that cats are notoriously more difficult to study, and that these experiments only advance the idea of animal empathy toward us rather than “prove” it. Until we get further proof, we can only rely on thousands of years of anecdotal evidence provided by wagging tails and sympathetic snuggles. Unscientifically, I am absolutely convinced that our cat Loki understood the new stress in “his” house and went out of his way to be extra affectionate for our benefit. Friends tell of similar reactions from their pets. The AARP newsletter reported anecdotes from several people about how their pets – dogs, cats, birds, horses, pigs, and

others – have helped their human guardians deal with the pressures of quarantine. According to a November 2020, post from the journal Nature: “Previous studies indicated that owning a companion animal, such as a dog or a cat, has benefits for good mental health. Interactions with animals may help with depression and anxiety, particularly under stressprone conditions. Human– animal interactions may even improve peer-to-peer social relationships, as well as enhance feelings of respect, trust, and empathy between people.” No wonder then that the COVID-19 era saw a huge influx in pet adoptions. In

January of this year, the Washington Post noted the huge demand for animals to adopt. “We thought people would stop adopting because they would need to conserve their money,” said Cindy Sharpley, founder and director of Last Chance Animal Rescue, a nonprofit animal shelter in Waldorf. “But that hasn’t happened. It’s been just the opposite. They’re going like hot cakes. We can hardly keep them in stock. Time named the rescue animal 2020’s Pet of the Year. It seems the need for love and companionship outweighed concern for conserving money during the COVID-19 crisis, but POINTS ON PETS > PAGE 21

Old Town Crier


POINTS ON PETS | FROM PAGE 20

it is important that people don’t change their minds once things begin returning to normal conditions. Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment, not checking out a library book to return when you’re done with it. A new concern appears as we humans gain cautious optimism about the end of the COVID-19 era. As our companion beasts adapted to our changed behavior, so they must adapt to the next shift when we return to those destinations we have been denied for the last

year. Chiefly that means the eight hours or more (plus commute) spent away from home will return, and it is quite possible your pet will be unhappy about it. Most experts expect more problems with dogs when we return to the world-that-was. The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers guidance on addressing canine separation anxiety when their people go back to splitting their time between home and work. Essentially, guardians will need to revisit the training their dogs first received as newcomers to the house. AKC’s advice includes increasing the time your

dogs spend by themselves while you are there; gradually increasing your time away from home; slowly restarting your normal routine several days before going back to work; providing extra exercise to help tire your pooch out; and furnishing extra toys – especially challenging, mentally stimulating ones – to provide distractions. Cratetrained dogs may need a refresher course. ABC Everyday notes that cats are certainly not immune to separation anxiety, although they may express it differently, and that, in general, pets previously displaying separation anxiety

are the ones most likely to have the condition return. You are the best judge of how concerned you should be for your pet, and how much support your pet will need. You will need the same patience you showed in the beginning, and to remember they do not understand why things are changing again. The COVID-19 crisis reminds me of the love and

support we all receive from our pets every day. Helping them readjust to our changing world is the least we can do to thank them for all they have done to get us through a difficult time that hopefully seems to be ending soon. K.R. Byrer lives in Alexandria with his redheaded wife, Eugenia, and their Flame Point Siamese, Loki.

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

COLA

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

SABRINA

Adult, Female, Yellow-Bellied Slider

2 Year Old, Female, Black Domestic Short Hair

Looking for a best friend who loves to explore? A best friend who loves working on target training and is always ready to earn a treat? Meet Cola the turtle! Yes, turtle! This sweet slider is ready to steal your heart with her silly personality, sense of adventure and love she has for her friends.

In case you can’t tell, Sabrina is one funny feline! She can’t wait to make you laugh with her spunky play style and wow you with her pounces and purrs. In her two years so far, Sabrina is yet to meet a toy she hasn’t loved. Wand toys, jingle toys, toys that bounce, toys that roll. Every toy is a joy for Sabrina, and she can’t wait to play with you!

Cola photo courtesy of Dirty Paw Photography

COOKIE AND CHISPIN

Senior, Female, Tan and Black and Brown and White Hound Mixes Cookie and Chispin are best friends! They finish each other’s sentences and each other’s snacks, share their beds and love cuddling up side by side. Currently staying with one of the AWLA’s foster families, they are described as the sweetest, most well-behaved gals you could ever meet. Are they the pair of pups for you?

Adopt by appointment at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. Schedule an in-person or virtual appointment at AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment.

April 2021 | 21


CARIBBEAN CONNECTION BILLY PHIBBS

T

he Virgin Islands has survived for hundreds of years on a solid foundation of community based ethics, cultural beliefs and strength amidst a myriad of past disasters and a storied history of social indecencies and difficult times. More recently, Hurricanes Irma and Maria left a scar that many still bear, an emotional trauma that caused some to leave but made others grow stronger, further supplanting their roots deep into the same soil their families and ancestors built, suffered and eventually thrived upon. This past year brought many new hurdles. Invisible airborne enemies laid waste to the economy and left a society built on neighborly interactions trapped inside their homes for many months. The advent of the vaccine has given everyone that calls the islands home a bit of “Hope”. Unfortunately, as we all know, “Hope” can sometimes bring further degrees of disappointing expectations. Last month a picture was posted that caused quite a bit of turmoil amongst many readers. The unknown location was a picturesque stock photo of a shoreline, pulled from recent archives to highlight the editorial Spring Break with a Vengeance. After an onslaught of opinions and arguing, people began to ask where in fact this alleged imaginary location was on St.John? Truth is, no one knew where it was taken... That is, until now, and the result has caused widespread panic. This deliberation of the unknown location hit social media with a thunderclap of responses. It was not until members of the geological sciences world stepped in that the fateful detailing of this 22 | April 2021

conundrum was unmasked. Yes the photo was in fact taken on St. John and the reason why this area was unable to be verified was mind blowing... St. John is sinking. Heavyweights from the Geological Science department from the University of Phoenix (online) jumped on this breaking news and quickly stormed St. John with their tape measures, pocket pencil protectors and safari hats, digging right in to the matter. The community was in disbelief when it was determined that the picture was taken by a drone hovering over the illustrious gated community known as Ditleff Point. Home owners whose villas are located on this lavish peninsula were in shock, none of which noticed the quickly creeping shorelines. Villa Marea, a large, sprawling residence located on the very edge of Ditleff Point had disappeared altogether. When asked about the impromptu vanishing, many answered that they thought it was under renovation. A rather creative Ditleff resident named Nathan (7 years old) said he heard they were renaming the villa Atlantis and in the underwater construction process of “making the most radical snorkeling bed and breakfast ever created”. I was able to catch up with the University of Phoenix (online) geological team leader, Dr. Clarence B. Dimwitty, who detailed the event as having a catastrophic conclusion. “It’s kind of like when you get in an elevator and see the sign that says ‘Maximum Weight Capacity’ and you look around and start estimating everyone’s weight. You realize you are cutting it kind of close, then walks in Larry from accounting whose gastrointestinal band

surgery didn’t work out and your hopes for going up begin to sink, rapidly” said Dimwitty, one of the leading investigative scientists behind the sinking city of Venice, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the bankruptcy of the Little Caesars Pizza chain. Dr. Dimwitty believes that the lack of openly available travel destinations due to the Covid pandemic around the world has funneled such an influx of tourism to St. John that the tiny island cannot bear the weight of their massive migration any longer. He morbidly joked with his colleagues stating St. John is “one family reunion getaway from sunk!” This sparked further outrage in the community. Some argued it was from all the new building being done by uncaring outside investors and other business entrepreneurs. Others, needing a reason to further instill their vicious opposition of mask wearing, said that the addition of cotton face coverings to everyone’s daily attire was the cause, claiming when it rains, cotton becomes heavy and is weighing down the island. Others argued the masks are preventing the release of “hot air” while breathing, making people explosive as well. This carried on for hours until masks were re-identified as the “devil in disguise” (pun intended). Strangely enough, residents of Coral Bay Area were quite calm. Many of the Coral Bay conspiracy theorists believe the Earth is flat. Sinking would only cause us to reappear on the underside of the world map, a momentary inconvenience that could bring about new horizons and benefits of a new location out of the hurricane alley we currently reside in. To prepare, many began outfitting their homes for the

event they are calling “The Big Upside Downer”, anchoring furniture, prized possessions and loved ones to the ceilings in their homes for an easy transition Many businesses have found this dire declaration to be a golden opportunity to increase their previously plummeting bottom lines. Dinghy sales and scuba certification courses are up over 100%. The real estate community has driven their prices up well over estimated values on all properties, stating that all of the homes that they are currently brokering are “soon to be prime beachfront real estate”. Airfares have risen and flight industry moguls like Spirit airlines have coined new catch phrases to make this dramatic moment more appealing. Slogans like “Don’t Miss your chance for one last glance at Paradise!” and “Don’t miss St. John’s last sunset... ever!” Kevin Costner is still alive and has stopped production on Field of Dreams 2: Outside the Lines. He is now penning a sequel to his grossly expensive 1995 box office mishap Waterworld, to be shot on location in St. John as the last days of the island disappear into the turquoise sea of the Caribbean. Though the news is shocking, people here in St. John are forging forward, choosing to take the high road even while staring into the eyes of calamity. Easter is just around the corner and the community is looking forward to celebrating in the now somewhat safer, vaccinated, and still mask abiding atmosphere that they have been striving for and for the most part, have attained. Dr. Dimwitty did mention that Easter may be the proverbial D-Day of sorts for

St. John, although. He believes that the Easter rock might be the tipping point for the islands dwindling above water days. Legend says that the night before Easter Sunday, this giant rock rolls down to the water for a drink, returning before sunrise, yet appearing wet with evidence of its nocturnal beverage binging. The rolling of this land mass down to the water’s edge will cause a major shift in the already bursting occupancy of the island and most likely be the pale grey-granite horse of demise for the once buoyant and beautiful Island. St. John has truly seen it all, and this Easter will be more significant than any Easter ever before (well other than the original Easter, that was pretty monumental) for it will most likely be the last. Dimwitty and his cohorts pleaded with the community to flee or at the very least cease the high season tourist invasion. His somewhat educated guesses and pages of spreadsheets proving his sinking theories did not invoke the fear he had hoped. The close knit community of St. Johnians scoffed at his morose implications and bid him farewell. The very spirit of St. John is it’s knack for perseverance. People here have withstood the test of time for ages, no sense side stepping danger now! April is a time for rebirth and growth. Whether or not this yearly molting is to come by hell or high water (literally), we will stand, united and knee deep in the salty sea and celebrate the privilege we have of perhaps being the last St. Johnians the Earth will ever see. So come one, come all and CARRIBEAN CONNECTION PAGE 23

Old Town Crier


CARIBBEAN CONNECTION FROM PAGE 20

help us sink this ship together while searching for painted Easter eggs and sipping on painkillers! Come to St. John for its last call as an earthly geological location! Grab the family, some floatation devices and reef safe sunscreen and let’s kick in the spring with some super saturated fun in the sun. You would truly be an ‘April

fool’ to miss this once (most likely last) in a lifetime event! Easter Sunday 2021 is truly going to be one for the history books. About the Author: Phibbs is a Rutgers Graduate originally hailing from NJ. He now lives in St. John with his island wife Cory Emerson and Renfield. his nefarious cat. An English Major during college and an avid dabbler in the black art of

creative writing over the last 20 years, Billy and Cory also run a grocery provisioning service, Landlubber Logistics. Having spawned this service amidst the Covid 19 pandemic, it was designed to help community members and flourished into a luxury service for villas. Using social media as his platform, he seeks to educate himself as well as adventurers to all the magic St. John has to offer...and bring them groceries.

Now that we're all working remotely

Wouldn't you REALLY rather work from the beach this summer?

Fully furnished beachfront condo next to private park has 2BR 2BA in quiet low density building with on site manager. Second BR makes ideal office; Murphy bed folds into wall and has built in desk. Watch spectacular sunsets from LR, MBR and balcony or right on the beach. Everything is ready for your extended stay: well appointed kitchen, beach towels, linens, utilities and high speed internet. Uncrowded sugar sand beach, crystal clear sparkling turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. MINIMUM LEASE TERM per condo rules is 90 days. See us on Facebook at Oceanfront Winter Rental Naples FL Email hopespringsfarm@gmail.com or call (no texts) 540-364-9480.

CLIFFHANGER k

Ann Street Gardens

y

ey west getawa

SEE OUR AY HOMEAW 5 AT #28629 LISTING AY.COM HOMEAW

As featured on HGTV and winner of “Bang For Your Buck” in St. Thomas. This recently renovated villa resides on the edge of a cliff 200 feet above the Atlantic Ocean crashing onto the rocks below. The best location on the island—a private, secure, gated community of luxury villas—the villa offers spectacular views of the Atlantic and various islands including St. John, Jost Van Dyke and Tortola. The main house has 3 bedrooms with a detached cottage with its’ own queen size bed. Large deck, pool and spa. Phone 703 628-9005 • Fax 703 765-5900

Key West Getaway One Block from Sloppy Joe’s Contact: historichideaways.com • 1-800-654-5131 Old Town Crier

April 2021 | 23


FROM THE BAY

MOLLY WINANS

VALUE

CORE CORE VALUE

Core training on the water. Photo by Dan Phelps/SpinSheet

L

et’s try some guided imagery to start the sailing season. Take a deep breath. Relax. Imagine. It’s your first big day on the water and a sunny, 70-degree one. You slip on your new Maui Jims and work your way up on deck to rig up the new jib (this is imagery, right? It’s all shiny and new). Fast forward to envisioning yourself at the mast. Hoist! Later, you change a sail or two on the bow, mess with the pole, and run down below to pack a chute. Brace yourself for that puff! Whoa, that was a good one. Now you’re in the cockpit. Can you pass up that other headsail? Careful, it’s heavy. I got it. Can you hand me a winch handle? Trim, trim, trim. Ease, ease. Nice. Can you guys hike out a bit? Could you crawl out to skirt the jib? Such an upbeat sailing day goes by quickly. I’ll take a beer. Ah. Here, I can help you with the boom cover. Need a hand? Hand me that big duffel bag. Pass me the cooler. What 24 | April 2021

a wonderful day, thank you! Fast forward to the next day. How does your back feel? Let’s slide out of sailing fantasy camp and into reality. How does your back really feel the next morning after the first windy day sail or race? Local sailor Kerry De Vivo knows about painting hulls, hoisting sails, hiking out, doing quick tacks, and how all of it affects the back and body. As a Pilates instructor with Excel Pilates Annapolis, she says, “We’re all trying to get our sea legs back. It’s important to get ahead of the curve and take care of yourself rather than wait until you get hurt.” De Vivo and her husband Erik Fridley, “racers at heart,” cruise with their five-year-old son more than race these days (although he does tag along for some Wednesday night races on Round Bay on their J/27 Super G). Pilates, says De Vivo, appeals to many sailors because it conditions the body and has mental and spiritual components, but “there’s no chanting as in yoga, which is

why a lot of people like it.” Pilates (pronounced piLAH-teez) is a system of exercise, which is a fullbody workout—involving mat and apparatus work— focused on core strength. De Vivo, who can tailor programs for sailing crews, notes that strengthening the core is every bit as important as upper body strength for sailing. Core strength is not only helpful in preventing the back injuries common in sailing, but it also greatly improves the flexibility and balance necessary to go under the boom, brace yourself in a puff, switch sides on the rail, or trim sails on windy days. Here’s one easy exercise De Vivo urges sailors to begin today: “Stand with your heels together and toes a fist distance apart. Stand upright with good posture. Think about lifting your abdominals toward your spine. Posture is huge for injury prevention. Just like when you get your sail in the right position, when your posture is good, you flow” (excelpilatesannapolis.com).

Ben Jenkins, a trainer at Annapolis Athletic Club, recommends three corestrengthening exercises we can all start right now to strengthen our core for sailing. He says to start with “the plank.” Get in pushup position but on your forearms instead of hands (a little more challenging). “Maintain a straight line without letting hips go down or arch up. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Do three reps. Work up to holding it for a minute.” Jenkins also suggests a “V-fit.” Starting in a situp position with knees bent, keep your back straight with your arms across your chest. Lean back until you feel your abdominal muscles engage. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds (progress to a minute). Repeat three times. For upper body strength, he recommends two exercises that can be done anywhere: push-ups (do them on your knees if you must) and tricep dips with a chair (annapolisathleticclub.com). When asked for his top three exercises for

sailors, Harry Legum at Annapolis Sailing Fitness, who specializes in training racing sailors, responds, “Because everyone’s so different, it cannot be boiled to the top three exercises, but rather top three routines or types of exercises, such as core, balance, and agility training and cardio. Each has numerous ways to practice such as yoga or Pilates classes, the use of a Bosu ball or paddleboarding, and running or cycling. Strength training with weights should also be mixed in ideally” (annapolissailingfitness.com). Geez Harry, we were hoping for short cuts. So much for pain-free imagery. If we’re going to be fit for spring sailing, we had better get moving. About the Author: Winans is the Managing Editor of the very popular Annapolis/Eastport, MD based SpinSheet sailing magazine, PropTalk power boating magazine and FishTalk magazine. Old Town Crier


ur o k c e ch k page o faceboly specials! ek e w r o f

y visit us b

RR

YEA

Spring is upon us!

l a n d or s e a

Gorgeous Waterfront Dining in St. Mary’s County

N ! OPE OUND

WARM UP AROUND ONE OF OUR DECKSIDE FIREPITS!

Clarke’s Landing

24580 Clarke’s Landing Ln. Hollywood, MD 301-373-3986

STONEYSSEAFOODHOUSE.COM

WE HAVE A SLIP WAITING FOR YOU! VOTED BEST CRAB CAKES IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND 2012 Maryland Life

STONEY’S KINGFISHERS DOG FRIENDLY SEAFOOD BAR & GRILL OUTDOOR PATIO 14442 Solomons Island Road Solomons, Maryland 20688 WATERSIDE SolomonsKingfisher@gmail.com DECK SEATING 410.394.0236 TAKE OUT SERVICE TRANSIENT SLIPS FIND US ON FACEBOOK!

DEEP WATER AND COVERED SLIPS AVAILABLE

14485 Dowell Road Solomons, MD 20629 410.326.4251 calvertmarina.com

Spring’s here in Southern MD!


ROAD TRIP

VANESSA ORR

W

hen you think of a museum, what first comes to mind? Priceless art? Imposing dinosaur skeletons and “taxidermized” beasts? Civil War relics or Revolutionary War cannons? While Pittsburgh has all of those and more, it is also home to some odder—but still just as intriguing—museums that cater to more specific interests. Bicycle Heaven Shop & Museum, for example, has more than 6,000 different types of bicycles on display; Johnny Angel’s Ginchy Stuff is filled to the brim with rock-n-roll history and collectibles from the 1950s. And Randyland pretty much defies description—part art museum, part Pittsburgh social hub and one of the happiest places in the ‘burgh, it’s main attraction is its owner and artist-in-residence Randy Gilson. While all of these museums are well worth a visit simply for their cool factor alone, the fact that they are all free, and located on the Northside of Pittsburgh, makes them a mustvisit when stopping in the Golden Triangle.

Bicycle Heaven Bicycle Heaven is what happens when a guy likes to collect things…and then he rides that passion right into Trip Advisor’s #1 spot of things to do in Pittsburgh. Back in 1991, Craig Morrow found a bike in the trash that he decided to repair; flash forward three decades, and Morrow is now the curator and owner of the world’s largest bicycle museum. You’d think that if you’ve seen one bike you’ve seen them all, but nothing could be further from the truth. Two floors of a massive warehouse are filled with everything from Howdy Doody and Donald Duck kids’ bikes to the red-and-white striped racer that Pee-Wee Herman rode in his big adventure. And while you may consider bikes playthings, they are serious investments, too. Bicycle Heaven is the only place in the world to see 17 Bowden Spacelander bicycles (only 30 still exist); each is worth about $18,000 now, down from $50,000 in their original condition. You can spend hours in this museum, and you’re still not going to see everything inside, though I highly recommend making a stop in the Groovy Cranky Panky Socket Room—part art project and part, well, bike parts, it’s a psychedelic experience that you won’t soon forget. If you happen to be a bike rider, you can also find bike parts, bikes to trade, and even bikes to rent so you can see even more of the city. 26 | April 2021

BICYCLE HEAVEN 1800 PREBLE AVE 412-734-4034 BICYCLEHEAVEN.ORG

Old Town Crier


Johnny Angel’s Ginchy Stuff

JOHNNY ANGEL’S GINCHY STUFF 1800 PREBLE AVENUE 412-766-1846 JAGINCHYSTUFF.COM

Located just a couple doors away in the same building, Johnny Angel’s Ginchy Stuff is a tribute to the artists that created some of the most memorable music of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and it is curated by no less than well-known Pittsburgh performer Johnny Angel (aka Jack Hunt), lead singer of Johnny Angel & the Halos. Angel, who has shared the stage with The Marvelettes, Ben E. King, Lou Rawls, Mary Wilson and more, began collecting signed records, clothing and other items from the people he performed with over the years. When his attic, basement, second floor, mother’s house, sister’s house and a warehouse was full, they suggested (and he agreed) that he should create a museum honoring his idols. The result is an impressive collection of musical history, up to and including the shirt right off of Jimmy Merchant’s back, which was given to Angel when the member of Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers was having dinner at his home. It’s an added plus if Johnny is there when you visit; he’s a storyteller as well as a musician, and it’s pretty impressive to hear about the history of three decades of music straight from the man who lived it. If you happen to be in the mood for shopping, the front part of the museum is also full of collectibles to buy, so if you need gifts for any pop culture fans, this is absolutely the place to stock up on Marilyn Monroe figurines, Elvis memorabilia, Mick Jagger figures and more. Both Bicycle Heaven and Johnny Angel’s Ginchy Stuff are located in the R.J. Casey Industrial Park on Preble Avenue on the Northside, and there is free parking on-site. Bicycle Heaven is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Johnny Angel’s Ginchy Stuff is closed Monday and Tuesday, but open the rest of the week from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., unless Johnny has a gig. Best to call to make sure it’s open.

RANDYLAND 1501 ARCH STREET 412-342-8152 RANDY.LAND

Randyland You don’t get to call yourself a true Pittsburgher until you’ve spent some time hanging out at Randyland, located in Pittsburgh’s Mexican War Streets neighborhood. When Randy Gilson moved to the area more than 40 years ago, he started planting gardens and taking care of neighbors’ yards to beautify the area, while also using it as a way to help himself focus. Diagnosed with ADHD, he found that gardening, painting and creating art out of recycled objects gave him a much-needed outlet. Once he got his own property, an investment of $15,000 which is now worth approximately $1 million, he started expressing himself through art— all over the outdoor courtyard and up and down the block as well. The area is awash with colorful murals and attracts people from all over the world; one fence wall is dedicated with welcome signs in more than 100 different languages. Other sights include mannequin heads, brightly colored chairs strung from the ground to the roof, and a row of rocking horses. On most days, you can also talk with Randy, who likes to share his inspirational story with visitors while jumping into group selfies. If the weather is good, you’ll find a lot of locals as well as visitors hanging out in the vibrant spot; just be prepared to smile a lot as this is about as far from a staid, boring museum as you can imagine. Randyland is located at 1501 Arch Street in Pittsburgh, and there is usually plenty of free street parking. It is open from noon to 5 p.m. every day. Old Town Crier

April 2021 | 27


TO THE BLUE RIDGE

JULIE REARDON Panoramic shot of Old Rag

Photos: Lauren Fleming instagram.com/lfbphotography

View fr

How Well Do You Know the Blue Ridge Mountains?

W

hile we Virginians fondly like to claim them as our own, what’s called the Blue Ridge is the extremely long mountain crest that runs from just north of the Potomac River on the VirginiaMaryland border south all the way to northern Georgia. The Blue Ridge Mountain complex can be thought of as the Blue Ridge, with two main additions: its low continuations north of the Potomac into Maryland and Pennsylvania and the whole series of high mountains centered on western North Carolina and extending west into Tennessee and south into Georgia. These high ranges include the Great Smokies and many others, and contain all of the 6,000-foot peaks except New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington. The entire huge complex of the Blue Ridge Mountains has clear natural boundaries. On the east, the mountains rise up distinctly from the flatter, rolling hills of the Piedmont. On the west, the Blue Ridge drops to the extraordinary Appalachian Valley, a continuous trough running from Alabama to Montreal. The Blue Ridge and its associated ranges are almost entirely thickly forested, gentle, rounded mountains. Way too far south to even approach having a timberline, even the summits of Mt. Mitchell (6,684 feet) and Clingmans Dome (6,636 feet) are in the middle of deep forest and would have no views whatsoever if lookout towers hadn’t been built. No other large mountain range in the country has as many 28 | April 2021

good, paved roads meandering through the high country and up to important summits. But pointed, craggy summits are as rare in the Blue Ridge as low, rounded ones are in the Tetons. However, as with any huge area, generalizations are never totally true. There may not be any timberline, but the summits of many “Balds” in the Blue Ridge area are open meadows with often fine views. There are pockets of rugged, challenging terrain, and even a few peaks with rocky ledges at the summits that poke above the trees and provide spectacular mountain settings-Old Rag (3,268 feet) in Virginia and Grandfather Mountain (5,984 feet) in N.C. come to mind. The lack of challenging “monster mountains” isn’t necessarily a drawback, either. The many high roads in this area, plus the gentle slopes and often short walks to summits from high trailheads, make the Blue Ridge an excellent place for mountain explorers who don’t go for backpacking, rugged scrambling, or rockclimbing. A family or retired couple in their car doing easy day hikes can spend huge amounts of time in the highest country in the east without ever getting a mile away from a car. Also, mountains need not present sheer, craggy faces to impress; the Blue Ridge charms with its endless waves of green hillsides, the incredibly diverse flora and fauna in its damp forests, its haunting blue morning mists (which gave the Blue Ridge and the Great Smokies their names), and the fascinating Appalachian culture

of the long-time residents. Some of the mountain folk, isolated in their deep mountain hollows, speak English so similar to the Elizabethan dialect of the 1600s that it has interested Shakespearean scholars. The very high average height of the southern Blue Ridge region gives it a climate that most people do not associate with the south. Winter snows can be heavy, and even spring blizzards can happen, as Appalachian Trail through-hikers getting an early start in April in Georgia sometimes find out. The area has the greatest rainfall in the contiguous U.S. outside of the Pacific Northwest, and is also much cooler and less humid than the surrounding lowlands. Asheville, NC, the large city in the center of the southern Blue Ridge Complex, has been rated as having one of the most pleasant climates, due to more bearable summers than in, say, Atlanta, with more bearable winters than found in places like New England. This pattern is less true for the northern Blue Ridge in Virginia, with its much lower elevations and much narrower mountain mass. The parts of the Blue Ridge nearest to us don’t even lay claim to any of the highest mountains in the state, much less the entire range. With few peaks in the state topping 4000 feet, Apple Orchard Mountain at 4,225 near Bedford is the highest one in the state. The Blue Ridge from the Potomac River at scenic and historic Harpers Ferry, WV south to Chester Gap near

om the

Mt. Mit

Front Royal, VA is a single, sharp, ridge, still relatively low but slightly higher than the Blue Ridge or South Mountain north of the Potomac. It starts out by rising to about 1100 feet directly up out of the Potomac, curiously lower than parallel Short Hill Mountain (1,484 feet) just to the east. Short Hill Mountain soon dies down into insignificance, though, while the Blue Ridge continues south, gaining height gradually and letting no streams across its crest, despite several wind gaps where highways such as I-66 cross. South of Ashby Gap the Blue Ridge reaches 2000 feet, and south of Manassas Gap (950 feet where I-66 crosses) High Knob (2388’) is the highest point on the whole Blue Ridge north of Shenandoah National Park. The Appalachian Trail follows the backbone of this ridge at first, but for a long stretch where the ridge is known as Mount Weather it sadly dips below the crest and follows along the low western slopes. For its first 15 miles, this low and (let’s face it) somewhat uninteresting 40-mile crest marks the Virginia-West Virginia border. Despite John

chell ov

erlook n

ear Ash

eville, N

C.

t. Mitchell Hiking from M t.Craig M k, to a nearby pea

Denver’s song “County Roads”, in which he sings “Almost Heaven/ West Virginia/Blue Ridge Mountains/Shenandoah River”, this insignificant chunk of the massive Blue Ridge is all West Virginia can claim. The Shenandoah River and its namesake valley, paralelling the ridge to the west, is also in West Virginia for only 15 miles. Strangely, though, the Appalachian Trail Conference is headquartered in Harpers Ferry, WV. This means that the umbrella organization for all hiking clubs that maintain the 2,000 mile long Appalachian Trail is in the state with by far the least amount of A.T. mileage, 15 measly miles that are shared with neighboring Virginia

Old Town Crier


Visit THE BLUE RIDGE YOUR

ADVENTURE BEGINS HERE

Quality Sport & Trail Horses For Sale Open Year-Round Lessons • Training •Trail Rides • Special Events www.therockingsranch.com • 540.678.8501

29 Main On the River – Sperryville

A quaint cottage on the Thornton River in the Heart of the Village of Sperryville. Spacious one bedroom/one bath suite Kitchenette Private deck overlooking the River Outdoor shower Popular for Hikers and Foodies, looking for a great getaway. VRBO#1001234 • AirBnB #18582009

• • • • • •

Large put cozy, suite above Little Washington Spa 1 Bedroom/1 Bath Living room with pull out sofa Kitchenette Great Location in the center of town VRBO#735456 • AirBnB #7131304

• • • • •

The Loft – Little Washington

More Info Contact- Samantha.rpkgetaways@gmail.com

Old Town Crier

April 2021 | 29


SPECIAL FEATURE

EARTH DAY 2021

W

e believe that most of you who are reading this will agree with us here at the Old Town Crier that EVERY day should be Earth Day, however, April 22nd of each year since 1970 has been the designated day to pay extra homage to our beautiful planet. We thought you might enjoy a bit of insight to the designation so we contacted EARTHDAY. ORG to get just that.

ORIGINS OF EARTH DAY Earth Day 1970 gave a voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet. In the decades leading up to the first Earth Day, Americans were consuming vast amounts of leaded gas through massive and inefficient automobiles. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of the consequences from either the law or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Until this point, mainstream America remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how a polluted 30 | April 2021

environment threatens human health. However, the stage was set for change with the publication of Rachel Carson’s earth bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries as it raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and the inextricable links between pollution and public health. Earth Day 1970 would come to provide a voice to this emerging environmental consciousness, and putting environmental concerns on the front page.

EARTH DAY TODAY Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes. Now, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more and more apparent every day. As the awareness of our climate crisis grows, so does civil society mobilization, which is reaching a fever pitch across the globe today.

Disillusioned by the low level of ambition following the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 and frustrated with international environmental lethargy, citizens of the world are rising up to demand far greater action for our planet and its people. The social and cultural environments we saw in 1970 are rising up again today — a fresh and frustrated generation of young people are refusing to settle for platitudes, instead taking to the streets by the millions to demand a new way forward. Digital and social media are bringing these conversations, protests, strikes and mobilizations to a global audience, uniting a concerned citizenry as never before and catalyzing generations to join together to take on the greatest challenge that humankind has faced.  By tapping into some of the learnings, outcomes, and legacy of the first Earth Day, EARTHDAY.ORG is building a cohesive, coordinated, diverse movement, one that goes to the very heart of what EARTHDAY.ORG and Earth Day are all about — empowering individuals with the information, the tools, the messaging and the communities needed to make an impact and drive change. Old Town Crier


DINING OUT

THE GASTRONOMES

Happy Hour Is Back! Deeply Discounted Food & Drinks

All You Can Eat Oysters Sundays 12-7 ONLY $22

Live Music

14442 SOLOMONS ISLAND ROAD 410-394-0236 SOLOMONSKINGFISHER@GMAIL.COM

T

his month’s Dining Out took us to one of our favorite places in the DMV – Solomons Island, Maryland - and our favorite drinking and dining establishment on the island, Kingfishers Seafood, Bar and Grill. It was nice to have a bit of a sense of “normalcy” as our friends in the hospitality business are emerging from the restrictions due to the pandemic in the last year. It has been a rough ride for sure. It was nice to be able to sit (no standing) at the bar – socially distanced – and have an adult beverage and a meal. Many of you readers know that the Gastronomes are fans of sitting at the bar to dine. We are very social people and the banter at the bar is part of the experience and we think the service is usually a bit faster/ better since your server can’t really escape you.

Old Town Crier

We have been dining at Kingfisher since it opened in 2003. The inviting décor has remained the same with the waterfront murals and wood carvings of Chesapeake Bay creatures and the large windows offering a waterfront view from the entire length of the dining room. They added fire pit tables on the deck to provide for more seating this winter and they will stay in place for those cool spring days and evenings. The menu has changed over the years but the ever popular 5 ounce original Stoney’s Crab Cake is still available for you “crab cake aficionados” and the popular Rockfish Bites and Crab Dip are prepared “just right” here! A few other things that stand out on the menu as far as we are concerned include the Steamed Dinner for Two, the Chicken Sandwich and the Diablo Cobb Salad. Snow Crab

Ben Connelly Acoustic Guitar Thursdays & Fridays, 6-9

legs and shrimp - tossed in Old Bay garlic butter if you like – served with your choice of two sides comprise the Dinner for Two. As far as the chicken sandwich is concerned, it is a pretty standard piece of chicken breast (grilled or fried) served on a brioche roll with lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion and mayo on the side; however, every time either of us has ordered it, EVERYTHING is fresh and the chicken is perfect. Not sure exactly what they do but it is worth ordering. The Diablo Cobb has a Romaine lettuce base topped with hardboiled egg, avocado, bacon, corn & black bean salsa, tossed in sweet chili ranch dressing and topped with parmesan cheese croutons. I like the salad just like it is but if you need a bit more protein you can top it off with your choice of chicken, steak, salmon, shrimp, crab

cake or seared tuna. Another attractive option on the Kingfisher menu is the “Grilled” offerings. There are 3 steps to ordering these: 1) Choose a protein - chicken, salmon, flat iron steak; 2) Choose a topping - parmesan crust, garlic & herb butter, shrimp alfredo, crab Oscar; 3) Choose 2 sides – mac & cheese, hushpuppies, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, fries, Brussel sprouts. Our favorite dessert here is the Key Lime Pie but they have their popular Chocolate Lava Cake ala Mode for you chocoholics as well as cheesecake and bread pudding. These items are just a peek at what is available to please your palate both for dining in and taking out. The bar at Kingfisher is like many of the bars in the area – a version of “Cheers”. The locals have a “system” that can be compared to a bar crawl of

sorts, but on a regular basis. They seem to start at one end of the island and end up at Kingfisher for the finale. We have been known to follow suit. They have the ever popular Crushes in all sorts of flavors (grapefruit is mine) and a host of craft cocktails but the Painkiller they serve here is the best on the island in our opinion. If you are a beer drinker, there are both domestic and craft on tap and in cans and bottles. The wine list is pretty substantial as well. And….they know how to pour a good drink here. Treat yourself to a drive down Route 4 South to Solomons Island and take in Annmarie Gardens and the Calvert Marine Museum, check out the shops that are open and stop in at Kingfisher. You won’t be disappointed!

April 2021 | 31


LET’S EAT

CHARLES OPPMAN

A RITE OF SPRING

N

ow that spring is in full swing we’re likely to see the seasonal springtime dish pasta primavera on Italian restaurant menus across America. It just makes sense­—the word primavera means “spring” in Italian. But what is pasta primavera exactly, and what’s its culinary history? Let’s begin with the heart of the dish, the pasta. Long before they invented the mechanical clock, gunpowder and paper, the Chinese invented noodles, which would come to be called pasta, “dough” in Italian. Although the origin of pasta evokes much speculation, many historians credit the 13th century explorer, Marco Polo, with bringing pasta to Italy from China. During his 17 years in China the Venetian merchant probably dined with the likes of Kublai Khan, Polo must have sampled a variety of Asian pastas, which were generally made with rice flour or millet. The Chinese began using wheat for noodles about 3000 BC. The medieval Chinese didn’t eat dry strands of pasta like we do today. Instead they cooked fresh pasta. Pasta primavera is an Italian-American dish—created in New York City in the 1970s—consisting of pasta and fresh vegetables. There is no one recipe for this dish. It may contain almost any kind of vegetable, but cooks tend to stick to firm, crisp vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, peas, onions and green, red or yellow bell peppers, with tomatoes. Pasta primavera is usually highlighted by light flavors, aromatic herbs and bright colors. A seasonal addition would be fresh asparagus, which is inexpensive and plentiful during the spring season. Chicken, sausage or seafood may be added, but the star of the dish is always the vegetables. A Classic primavera sauce is based on a soffritto (the Italian version of a French mirepoix) of garlic and olive oil, and finished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Rich Alfredostyle cream sauces may be used to enrich the dish. The choices of pastas with this dish are typically smaller shapes, such as penne, farfalle, rigatoni and fusilli. If using longer, like spaghetti or fettuccine, the vegetables are cut in julienne style, or thin strips, to match the shape of the noodles.

Ingredients 1 1/2 cups warm water 1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces 1/4 lb green beans (preferably French haricots verts), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces 3/4 cup frozen baby peas, thawed 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 pint grape tomatoes 1 lb farfalle pasta 1/4 cup unsalted butter 2/3 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil Garnish: Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings

Preparation 1. Blanch green beans in boiling, salted water for 3 minutes. Cook beans first since they take the longest. Add peas and asparagus and cook until just tender, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Immediately strain vegetables and transfer to a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process, reserving hot water in pot for cooking pasta. Drain chilled vegetables in a colander. 2. Cook 1 teaspoon garlic and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes in 2 tablespoons oil in a large, heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring just until garlic is wilted, about 1 minute. Stir garlic and add drained vegetables and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl. Reserve skillet. 3. Cut tomatoes lengthwise. Cook remaining teaspoon garlic and remaining red pepper flakes in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over moderately low heat, stirring, just until garlic is wilted, about 1 minute. Add halved tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste and simmer, stirring occasionally. Add cream and simmer until sauce is thickened and halved tomatoes are softened, 3 to 4 minutes. 4. Boil water and cook farfel until al dente. Drain in a colander. Immediately add butter and zest to skillet with tomatoes and simmer gently, uncovered, 2 minutes. Stir in cheese and add pasta, tossing to ensure pasta is well coated. Add green vegetables, parsley, basil, and salt and pepper to taste and toss gently to combine. Serve dish topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings. Serves 6 guests.

32 | April 2021

Old Town Crier


Now Offering:

Curbside Pick Up - Food & Beverage To Go - Inside/Outside Dining

GRAB ABITE “A Washington Post Capitol Cuisine Favorite” DISCOVER THE BEST OF TIMES!

CALL US FOR COMPLIMENTARY LOCAL DELIVERY with no fees or contract!

The Very Best Alexandria has to offer in the Heart of Historic Old Town Famous for our She Crab Soup, Steaks and Crab Cakes

Best Brunch in Old Town Saturday & Sunday 9am- 4pm

Call 703-548-1785 to place order. Visit our website for menus www.unionstreetpublichouse.com 121 SOUTH UNION STREET, OLD TOWN ALEXANDRIA 703.548.1785 • UNIONSTREETPUBLICHOUSE.COM

Old Town Crier

April 2021 | 33


DINING GUIDE AMERICAN

ADA'S ON THE RIVER 3 Pioneer Mill Way 703-638-1400 AUGIE’S MUSSEL HOUSE 1106 King Street 703.721.3970 BLACKWALL HITCH 5 Cameron St. 703-739-6090 CAFE 44 44 Canal Center 571-800-6644 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 HOPS 'N SHINE 3410 Mount Vernon Ave. 703-566-1509 HUMMINGBIRD 220 South Union Street 703-566-1355 JACKS PLACE 222 North Lee St. 703-684-0372 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 THE LIGHT HORSE 715 King Street 703-549-0533

34 | April 2021

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 MURPHYS IRISH PUB 713 King St. 703-548-1717 murphyspub.com NORTHSIDE 1O 10 East Glebe Rd. 703-888-0032 OAK STEAKHOUSE 901 N. St. Asaph St. 703-840-3395 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 SHOOTER MCGEES 5239 Duke St. 703-751-9266 SLATERS MARKET 1552 Potomac Greens Dr. 703-548-3807 SMOKING KOW BBQ 3250 Duke Sttreet 703-888-2649 SONOMA CELLAR 207 King St. 703-966-3550 SOUTH BLOCK 106 N. Lee Street 703-465-8423 SOUTHSIDE 815 815 S. Washington St. 703-836-6222

Please Contact your favorite restaurants for updates on their "Social Distancing" policies. 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 SISTERS THAI 503 Montgomery St. 571-777-8154

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

BRABO by Robert Weidmaier 1600 King St. 703-894-3440 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 WHISKEY & OYSTER 301 John Carlyle 703-567-1533 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 Old Town Crier


(Take Out Only)

Weekend Brunch | Sat & Sun $3 Mimosas $5 Bloody Mary’s All available for curbside pickup or delivery to your door via Uber Eats, Door Dash & GrubHub

*See details and full menu offerings at

MACKIESBARANDGRILL.COM

907 KING STREET OLD TOWN ALEXANDRIA 703.684.3288 | MACKIESBARANDGRILL.COM

Old Town Crier

oldtowncrier.com

Steak Dinner for Two & a Bottle of Wine - $79

Check us out online at

GOOD SPORTS GOOD FRIENDS GREAT EATS!

Carryout, Indoor, Outdoor Seating Open Daily Lunch, Dinner Sunday Brunch

Try Our New Spring Menu

7966 Fort Hunt Road

(In the Hollin Hall Shopping Center)

Reservations: 703-347-7545

RiverBendBistro.com

April 2021 | 35


GRAPEVINE

MATT FITZSIMMONS

VIRGINIA’S EXPLODING

SCENE

T

his past February, Silver Hand Meadery was awarded 6 gold medals during the 2021 Virginia Governor’s Cup wine competition, tying for the 2nd highest gold medal tally of any winery, cidery, or meadery in the state. While this haul surprised many in the wine industry, in retrospect it shouldn’t have. Silver Hand and other Virginia meaderies have been making great beverages for years; the public is just catching up to this fact. Part of mead’s popularity can be attributed to the rise of historic fiction or fantasy TV shows. Even now, many meaderies capitalize on this theme with Viking-style names and an emphasis on mead’s backstory as the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage. But mead has a following that goes beyond Renaissance fairs. For the past few years, mead has been one of the fastest growing niches in the beverage market, and Virginia is no different. While Hilltop Berry Farm in Nellysford has served mead since 1998, in the past three years alone the number of Virginia meaderies has tripled to around a dozen businesses. In 2020, two new meaderies - Honey & Hops Brew Works and Saga

36 | April 2021

Meadery & Winery - opened in Front Royal alone. Part of mead’s popularity is the desire to ‘drink local’, which allowed the state’s craft beverage industry to grow by leaps and bounds for the past decade. Most meaderies source from local farms whenever possible. Some, like Valley View Farm in Delaplane have created their own aperies. Another factor is meads have become more creative. The most recent Mazer Cup international mead competition had over 20 categories for different mead styles and levels of sweetness. Virginia meads likewise have a range of options, with everything from beverages made in the traditional method to crazy combinations of cinnamon or orange blossom.

Mead – It’s Not Just for Vikings Despite mead being around for thousands of years, it’s still unfamiliar to a lot of people. Owner Kim Pugh of Hilltop explained “Now we’re seeing more and more people specifically because we have mead. But for years, we’d have customers who were totally unfamiliar with it and we’d

basically just tell them it’s alcohol fermented with honey. I love the history and we can use that and turn it into something bigger. But it needs to be a drink that people are willing to drink now. Mead is wonderful if people give it a chance”. This theme of valuing but not overemphasizing mead’s historical and fictional tieins was echoed by a number of meadery owners. Stephen Ausband, owner of Atheling Meadworks in Roanoke stated “I appreciate it but don’t want to hang my hat on it. Mead is more than that weird drink you try at Renaissance festivals”. While mead shares many similarities to wine, it’s a mistake to treat it like wine (or beer). If anything, mead occupies a unique space in the market between these beverages. Isaac Rushing of Honey & Hops may have said it best: “It’s the right place and the right time for

mead. You can think of mead as wine for beer drinkers, or a beer for wine drinkers”. That’s likely part of mead’s appeal. Today’s beverage market is becoming increasingly diverse, with hard ciders, alcoholic seltzers, and sparkling drinks gaining an increasing market share at the expense of beer (and eventually, perhaps wine as well). Mead fits the description of something that’s different and tasty, qualities people are looking for.

Understanding What’s In Your Mead Only three ingredients – honey, water, and yeast – are necessary for your basic mead. And fun fact, mead is one of the few alcoholic beverages that

can occur spontaneously in nature! But mead’s production is costlier than other beverages, which contributes to its relative scarcity. A bee hive typically produces around 40-60 lbs. of honey, which equates to give-or-take 1320 gallons of mead. By comparison, 15 gallons of ale can be made with water, yeast, and 50 pounds of different malts and hops. There are also many types of mead. Melomels are fruitbased meads. Cysers are meads fermented with apple cider or juice. Braggots are made of mead and beer. Pyments use grapes. A metheglin is a traditionalstyle mead with added spices. The list goes on. It’s not just about the styles of mead that makes them different; it’s the honey they use. Silver Hand Meadery owner and meadmaker Glenn Lavender explained “We consistently use 10 plus types of honeys to

GRAPEVINE > PAGE 38

Old Town Crier


EXPLORING VA WINES

DOUG FABBIOLI

Get Out of the Cab T Once in a While

real people. earth friendly. fabulous wines. HOLD YOUR ‘FABB’ EVENT AT FABBIOLI CELLARS! WEDDINGS • CORPORATE OUTINGS • GRADUATIONS • CELEBRATIONS

email us at info@fabbioliwines.com 15669 Limestone School Rd • Leesburg, VA 20176 703.771.1197 • fabbioliwines.com Old Town Crier

his winter we had a bit more snow than usual, and the snow removal process is something that we get to do ourselves out on the farm. I heard the comment from somebody, and I cannot remember who, that “the plow driver does not get out of the cab of the truck.” I understand the logic of this: keeping that machine moving is the most efficient way to get the job done. There is always more snow to push and the machine sure does it fast. But the machine cannot do it all. A little shoveling or fine tuning is needed sometimes to finish the job. Ok, but what does this have to do with the wine industry here in northern Virginia? As good as we farmers are at our jobs, we need to make the time to teach the next generation what we have learned. I often hear someone grumbling that the younger generations do not want to work, but part of that may be simply that our generation is not willing to teach! You can’t mentor a new learner from the cab of the tractor; you need to get out and share your thoughts once in a while. The understanding that goes along with the actions is the key to the success of the job, and the skills learned through experience give credibility. I remember many years ago being at a cooperage assembly forum hosted by a few barrel companies from France. I was quite impressed because a couple of the reps were the owners of the company, with the same last names as the ones branded on the heads of the barrels. I was even more impressed when two of these grey-haired gentlemen pulled off their suit coats, tucked in their ties, rolled up their sleeves, and started pounding the hoops of a partially finished barrel. Their hammer swings were powerful, deliberate, and productive. Although their job is running a cooperage, their skill and authenticity was built on the shop floor constructing barrels. Their experience showed with each blow to the barrel hoop. As they explained what they were doing to craft the best barrels for my wine, it was clear that they put a lot more than brute force into the process, and that their skills came from a lifetime of learning. We rely on teachers and our education system to teach the next generation the things they need to know. We hope that the kids have learned the basics, and can find an inner passion to keep learning. But most of the details and context for any productive job need to be learned on the job, and as society’s agricultural practices got bigger, the jobs became more tractor-driving than teamwork. Those of us already doing the job need to harness the students’ desire to learn and effectively mentor them in order to train them and build them up to take over from us one day. This process is one of the most important issues in our agricultural industries. The average age of our farmers today is 65 and that average continues to rise. I have a neighbor farmer who is working over 800 acres, is over 80 years old and has not trained anyone to do the job that he does. I love this old man, but he did not take advantage of the day-today working operation to train up someone to help him or to take over. We have a lot of acres around here in northern Virginia that will need a farmer/steward/caretaker in a few years to keep them healthy and productive. We need to train a new generation to step in. Our efforts at the New Ag School are about addressing these needs, advocating for and providing an agricultural education for all. We have been focusing on the high school students but we work with the second-career farmers as well. Encouraging our people who already have the skills and experience to share them with the next generation, and in the hands-on way where the learning happens, is critical. Check out the website at Newagschool.org for more information and to see how you can help. Remember to get out of the cab once in a while to teach someone a little bit about what you are doing. You never know who will pick up your words and run with them! April 2021 | 37


GRAPEVINE FROM PAGE 36

(Left) Altheling Meadworks in Roanoke (Below) Bourbon Barrel Crisp Apple at Saga Meadery

emphasize this variety in our mead. It’s like a winemaker using merlot vs. cabernet sauvignon.” Virginia has a huge lineup to choose from, but here are some favorites: Atheling Meadwork’s: Eir’s Song (pyment). Made with merlot, Eir’s Song is semi-

(Above, Right) Honey and Hops at their new Front Royal Location

(Above) Glen Lavender and Sam Straight of Silver Hand Meadery

sweet yet robust. It has a lot of floral notes and strong winelike characteristics. Hilltop Berry Farm: Voyage (honey mead). Slightly sweet with some fruit notes, it’s hard to beat this old-school mead. Extra points for being made from the owner’s family recipe. Honey & Hops Brew Works: Stacks (bochet): Made from mead with honey that’s been caramelized, bringing out a complex flavor of graham crackers and toasted coconut. Saga Meadery: Winter Cheer (metheglin). It doesn’t need to be Christmas to enjoy Christmas in a glass. Mulling spices warm you up, with notes of orange. Try this warmed up if you want the spices to get big and bold.

Silver Hand Meadery: Gold medal winners. How can you pick one of these? With six gold medals Silver Hand broke new ground not just for Virginia mead, but the entire Virginia wine industry. Four of these meads melomels, with a cyzer and traditional rounding out the pack. Be sure to visit Virginia’s many meaderies, including Atheling Meadworks, Black Heath Meadery, Blacksnake Meadery, The Capital Hive Meadery, Haley’s Honey Meadery, Honey & Hops Brew Works, Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery, Hinson Ford Cider & Mead, Misty Mountain Meadworks, Saga Meadery, Silver Hand Meadery, Stone House Meadery, Valley View Farm, Windchaser Meadery, and Zoll Vineyard. Matthew Fitzsimmons is a wine blogger who has visited almost every one of Virginia’s nearly 300 wineries. Track his progress on https:// winetrailsandwanderlust.com/.

Now open, The Pearmund Farmstore is located at the entrance of the grounds of Pearmund Cellars. Enjoy our wines in a rustic environment, featuring local goods for sale, parlor rooms for reservation and seating surrounding the vineyard Family friendly. For reservations call 540.347.3475 info@pearmundfarmstore.com PearmundFarmstore.com PearmundCellars.com 6190 Georgetown Road, Broad Run, VA

38 | April 2021

Old Town Crier


NICOLE FLANAGAN

FITNESS

Spring is finally here!

A

t last we can enjoy the longer daylight hours and the warmer weather. It’s time to pack away those heavy winter jackets and pull out our warm weather wardrobes. While going to the gym during the pandemic has

had its challenges, no need to worry about it with this routine. This month is a good time to focus on stepping up your workout and getting the results you desire for summer. Changing seasons is a great time for a fresh twist on an

DENTAL Insurance Medicare does not cover dental care1. That means if you need dental work done, it can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars out of your own pocket. Get Dental Insurance from Physicians Mutual Insurance Company. It helps cover over 350 procedures — from cleanings and fillings to crowns and dentures. • See any dentist you want, but save more with one in our network • No deductible, no annual maximum • Immediate coverage for preventive care

Call to get your FREE Information Kit

1-844-694-3414

dental50plus.com/otcrier

“Medicare & You,” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2020 Includes the Participating (in GA: Designated) Providers and Preventive Benefits Rider. Product not available in all states. Acceptance guaranteed for one insurance policy/certificate of this type. Contact us for complete details about this insurance solicitation. This specific offer is not available in CO, LA, NY; call 1-800-969-4781 or respond for similar offer. Certificate C250A (ID: C250E; PA: C250Q); Insurance Policy P150 (GA: P150GA; NY: P150NY; OK: P150OK; TN: P150TN); Rider kinds B438/B439 (GA: B439B).

1

6255

Old Town Crier

old routine. This spring do something different with your workout. Head outside, get some fresh air and try some of these exercises to target your arms, abs and thighs. The best part about this workout is that there are no weights required so you can exercise any time anywhere!

Give your abs a killer workout in just fifteen minutes with these exercises.

elbow toward the ceiling. Next lift your leg to hip height as you extend your arm toward your leg keeping your palm facing forward. Lower your leg to starting position. Do 8-10 repetitions and then switch sides.

Get a better butt in just a few minutes with these awesome exercises.

ABDOMINAL SIT AND HOLD- Start sitting on a chair and place your hands on the edge with your fingertips facing forward. Tighten your abs and lift your feet a few inches off the floor then lift your butt off the chair. Hold this position for 15-20 seconds and then relax. Rest for ten seconds and repeat. Do this for 2minutes.

SQUAT JUMP- start standing with your knees slightly bent and your feet about hip width apart. Keeping your abs tight jump straight up. When you land sit back into a squat and hold for a count of 5. Keep in mind that when you squat your knees should not bend farther than your toes. From this squat position you will go into your next jump. Do ten consecutive jump squats and then rest. Do three sets.

THE PLANK-Start in full push-up position with your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Tighten your abdominal muscles wand hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Relax for 10 seconds. Do a set of three planks. As you gain strength with this exercise hold it longer.

HIP LIFT- Lie on your back with your arms at your sides with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Lift your hips toward the ceiling. Hold for 1 count, and then lower back down. Focus on pressing your heels into the ground and forming a straight line with your shoulders, hips and knees.

OBLIQUE CRUNCH- kneel on the floor and lean all the way over to your right side, placing your right palm on the floor. Keeping your weight balanced, slowly extend your left leg and point your toes. Place your left hand behind your head, pointing your

TOE TOUCHES- Lie on your back with your arms on your sides. Lift your feet, bending both knees to 90 degrees so your thighs are perpendicular to the floor. Now tap your toes on the floor alternating your feet. Do this for one minute.

Tone your arms and shoulders with three simple steps. PUSH-UPS- start in the full push-up position. Lower your body to the ground until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. Watch your lower back and be sure to keep your abdominals tight to support your core. If full push-up are too difficult start with your knees on the floor. CHAIR DIPS-Sit on the edge of the chair with your feet together. Place your hands on the seat on either side of your thighs and keep your feet flat on the floor. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and lower yourself toward the floor. Raise your body by straightening your arms. Do 8-10 repetitions. Opposite arm and leg liftBegin on all fours, knees under hips, palms beneath shoulders, and abs engaged. Slowly extend left arm forward parallel to floor and right leg behind you to hip height. Hold for 2 or 3 counts, lower, and repeat on opposite side. Do 8 to 12 reps per side Try adding these new exercises to your old routine for a change. The best part is that you can perform these exercises with very little or no equipment. Try adding these exercises either before or after an outdoor run or walk. Changing up your workout will make it more interesting, which will make you more likely to stick to it. April 2021 | 39


FROM THE TRAINER RYAN UNVERZAGT

Time for a Little R&R

T

hanks for being a loyal reader of the Old Town Crier! Don’t forget to support the fine businesses that advertise within these very pages. Without them, none of this quality material would be possible, and we contributing writers would not be able to share our expertise. With that said, April is an exciting time of year because the weather is getting nicer and the grass is getting greener. I hold faith that most of you have been diligently working on your wellness lifestyle. However, there comes a time when you should pull back on the reins, take your foot off the accelerator, or just stop to “smell the roses.” (or cherry blossoms in DC) I’m mainly speaking to all those hard-core fitness enthusiasts who constantly workout to the point of no return. Don’t get me wrong, I promote physical activity on most, if not all days of the week. These activities can include leisurely walks, bike rides, roller-blading, or taking the family to a water park. However, structured exercise (in which there are specific, measurable parameters such as intensity, duration, sets and reps) should be performed in moderation to prevent overtraining. There are very few personal trainers who will admit that more exercise is not always better. Rest and recovery are probably the most overlooked aspects of any fitness program, even above flexibility. A little bit of R & R is important because you want to prevent needless injuries, burnout or staleness, and avoid the overtraining syndrome. Here is a list of symptoms associated with over-training: • Performance plateau, followed by decreased strength & endurance 40 | April 2021

• Decrease in lean body mass • Decreased appetite • Less energy & desire to exercise • Irritability • Interrupted sleep patterns • Excessive muscle soreness • Increased heart rate at rest and during exercise Without adequate rest, there will not be positive adaptations to exercise. Exercise is a stressor to the body, so what you do between workouts is just as vital as what you do during your workout. During that time between exercising, your body is trying to regenerate, recover, and ultimately adapt to handle the physiological stress placed upon it. Just because you had an awesome workout doesn’t mean you should sabotage it by not taking care of yourself until the next workout. Over-training is a serious issue for the extreme exerciser. Here are a few suggestions for meaningful rest and recovery: Nutrition: This is the first thing you need to address. It’s true that you are what you eat and the best time to eat for recovery is within one hour after finishing a workout. You should include a mixture of protein and carbohydrates. Try a turkey and cheese sandwich, or cottage cheese with fruit or sliced tomatoes, or just a glass of skim milk does the trick. Sleep: Get as much of this as you can because your body recovers best with rest! Try for at least 8 hours a night. If your schedule allows, take a 20-minute nap during the day too. (Just not at work!)

athletes take advantage of this strategy to help them prepare for an important game or event.

exercise, which is by far the worse consequence of all!

Listen to your body: Don’t ignore the symptoms listed above because you could end up ultimately giving up on

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.

OLD TOWN DENTISTRY Frinet Kasper, DDS • Family & Cosmetic Dentistry • Crowns & Bridges • Invisalign • Sealants • Fillings • Whitening • Same Day Appointments 1203 Prince Street • Alexandria, Va. 22314 • 703.683.0800 • www.oldtowndentistry.com Hablamos Español

Add in a few light workouts: Yes. It’s ok to lighten up the intensity a bit. This way you get a chance to recover while still staying active. Even professional and Olympic Old Town Crier


FIRST BLUSH

S

kirt hems are getting shorter; chalky, winter skin is peaking out from under stuffy layers; and store windows are already showing off tiny bikinis and resort wear. The weather is getting warmer, which means shorts, sundresses, tank tops—and with it—bare skin. If you’re not blessed with one of the rich brown mocha skin tones of your African, Indian, Asian and Middle Eastern sisters, you can get a jump on summer by transforming your skin from milky, winter white to glowing, supple bronze. There’s no doubt—a tan makes you feel prettier, look healthier, and enhances muscle definition. Nothing beats being on the receiving end of compliments on your luminescent complexion when you’ve been putting in overtime at the office and haven’t seen the light of day in weeks. However, by now we all know the perils of overexposure to the sun and baking in it during your vacation is the fastest way to age skin, speed the formation of wrinkles, and increase your chances of developing Old Town Crier

GENEVIEVE LEFRANC

skin cancer (I won’t even get into tanning beds but if you’re are still using one, stop immediately). If you’re ready and willing to pass up or at least drastically reduce laying out but don’t want to give up that warm healthy glow, selftanners are one of the best options. Some formulas do a great job of building color gradually with natural results that can last up to a week, but many self-tanners get a bad rap for their less than pleasant smell, streaky application, or orangutan-like results. Skeptics, take note! Follow these tips, do’s and don’ts, and suggestions for the best formulas, and you’ll be looking like an exotic island princess in no time—no vacation required. It’s not only about the product you choose. You need to know the essential tips and tricks of application, or any self-tanner will end up looking tragic. First and foremost, you must exfoliate with a body scrub in the shower, paying close attention to rough, dry areas like elbows and knees—dry skin will absorb more tanner, creating an uneven, blotchy look.

Try Laura Mercier’s Almond Coconut Milk Scrub. Shave beforehand, but do not apply moisturizer, lotion, sunscreen, deodorant, or perfume—your skin needs to be totally clean to ensure proper absorption of the self-tanner. Stay away from sugar or salt scrubs that are oil based. When you’re ready, rub Vaseline on your cuticles and nails to protect your manicure and keep your fingertips and nails from staining. Next, apply the tanner limb by limb, starting with your legs, sweeping the product over the shin and calf, and then over the ankle, foot, and toes. Continue with your thigh, from front to back, applying any excess over the knee. Then, apply tanner to hips, stomach, and torso, and lastly shoulders and arms. Wait ten minutes before getting dressed, and don loose fitting, dark clothing. No point staining your favorite pieces. Avoid water, bathing, or activities that will make you sweat for at least eight hours. If your tan hasn’t properly set, sweating will cause unsightly streaking a la Christina Aguilera. By now your hands

will be covered in the product, so to remove the tanner from your palms and not the tops of your hands, rub your palms along a wet washcloth. If you mess up or your end result is streaky, you can fix flubs with an astringent toner or even toothpaste. If your application is patchy and uneven, try exfoliating again. If the color is too light, repeat after allowing time for the tan to fully develop. Now that you

Haircuts $15 Shampoo, Cut & Blow Dry $18 (extra charge for long hair) Scissors Cut $17+up Color $43+up Permanent $45+up (including haircut & conditioner)

know how to properly apply self-tanner, you’re ready to go out and pick the perfect product. Do your research based on your skin-type and tone to see what comes highly recommended. Finally, don’t forget to always wear a moisturizer with SPF to prolong your sunless tan, and. more importantly, to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

A Very Good Price!

Good Haircut! Beautiful Perm!

Long Lasting Color!

Van’s Hairstylists 107 North Washington Street (near corner of King & Washington streets)

703-836-1916

Monday-Friday 9 am-7 pm • Saturday 9 am-6 pm We care and will give you only the best! Biolage • Vital Nutrient • Socolor • Matrix Perm • Paul Mitchell • Nexxus April 2021 | 41


GO FISH

STEVE CHACONAS

NO FISHING?

W

hen Maryland Governor Hogan banned fishing and boating last spring and social distancing and limited gatherings stopped bass tournament anglers in their tracks, many thought that would be the end of anti-fishing pressure. Now two areas are extending Government control of navigable Virginia and DC waters. Just over a decade ago Quantico Marine Base set a precedent, laying claim to a sizable portion of the Virginia shoreline adjacent to its base and navigable Chopawamsic Creek entering the base. In the name of national security, the off limits extends over 300 yards into the Potomac River. In DC’s Washington Channel, Fort McNair is in the process of closing off its perimeter out to 300 yards, citing security measures specifically due to the 2001 9/11 terrorist attacks and 2013 Navy Yard shootings. McNair’s Officer housing, Officers club and golf course are among the sensitive targets. Surrounded by water, the perimeter is monitored with security cameras, lighting, and a road frequently patrolled by Military Police. A restricted area (RA) would provide a false sense of security or at least be ineffective should an attack be launched. In the past, there’s been an unofficial off-limits area, arbitrarily enforced. Congress passed DC Cong. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s bill to redevelop the Southwest Waterfront and the Wharf, the sites most affected by the proposed rule. A reinvigorated Wharf has brought the DC community together and generated tax 42 | April 2021

revenue. She says the rule is unnecessarily restrictive. “…and even when given the opportunity, military officials have not addressed the question of whether less restrictive measures could provide the same security.” Echoing the call for security common sense is DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Residents and visitors alike are discovering for the first time the bounty that our Anacostia and Potomac Rivers offer in terms of recreation and relief from the stresses of city life.” The Mayor was concerned that fishing would not be permitted during periods of increased security. “The District continues to be concerned about the inclusion of the phrase ‘other periods of increased security’ since the ambiguity of the phrase could result in extended closures in the RA.”    Fishing was hardly mentioned in the proposal or during Cong. Norton’s public meeting. The proposal states “All persons, vessels, or other craft would be prohibited from anchoring, mooring or loitering within the Restricted Zone without the permission of the Commander, Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall/ Fort McNair or his/her designated representatives.” These are fishing activities. When specifically asked about fishing, General Jones referred to paragraph D, “Fishing is permitted within the RA”.   Cong. Norton asked Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the proposed rule restricting public access to the Washington Channel, saying the rule is “…arbitrary, capricious and unnecessarily restricts recreational and commercial

Pohick Dock Inset: Fort McNair

access to the Channel without providing any benefits to Fort McNair.” According to the Army, there have been “credible and specific threats” to Army personnel. Major General Omar Jones said the Washington Channel was the weakest security point. District of Columbia Ward 6 Councilmember Allen and others suggested a physical barrier would be more secure and less obtrusive than the proposed channel closure and said, “Let’s call it what it is. This is a taking of public water, our water, our river, and that ultimately won’t make the Fort any safer.” In early March, Cong. Norton received a response from Secretary of Defense Austin referencing a memorandum from President Biden’s office regarding a “Regulatory Freeze Pending

Review.” To comply, the Fort McNair restricted area action will not be finalized until a department or agency head appointed by President Biden reviews the rule when the freeze status changes. The Army will consider all public comments in their RA decision. There’s no timeline and this could take months. While fishermen have been voicing concerns on social media, not a single comment was registered by any angler to oppose this proposed restriction. Only Potomac riverkeeper Dean Naujoks commented at Cong. Norton’s meeting. “It really needs to be understood that the Potomac River and the Washington Channel belong to the public, not the Army.” Naujoks was concerned about setting precedents with every military base along the river closing off

access. Meanwhile, in Virginia, the military dock at Fort Belvoir in Pohick Bay is creating issues for anglers. The dock has signs “RESTRICTED AREA STAY BACK 500 FEET”. This is being enforced by personnel on the dock, loudspeakers warning boaters and a military boat to chase down violators. The area to the upstream and downstream sides of the docks don’t fall into the posted 500 foot restricted zone nor are they marked; however the Army is enforcing a 500 foot restriction. 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 April Water is reaching the mid 50s and fish are moving and staying shallow on wood cover and submerged grasses. Use red lipless crankbaits or squarebill crankbaits on 12 pound test Gamma Edge fluorocarbon line and drag along gravel bottoms. Also dragging a Carolina rig with 50 pound Gamma Torque braid, a ¾ ounce weight, and a 12 pound test Edge leader can locate grass patches. Once grass is found, follow up with soft plastics. Drop shots with 15 pound Torque braid and 10 pound test Edge leader and a 3/16 ounce Water Gremlin BullShot weight will find grass and remain to get fish in highly pressured grass beds. If water is a bit stained, try ¼ ounce spinnerbaits with gold Colorado/Indiana blades and a white skirt on 12 pound test Edge. Slowly retrieve and bump cover or snap out of grass. Pitch Mizmo tubes with ¼ ounce Mud Puppy Custom Baits insert heads. Skipping under docks and near cover will also produce along with Neko and Ned rigs. Faster Quantum Smoke spinning reels make it easier to take up slack for hooksets with 15 pound Gamma Torque braid with 8 pound Edge leader.

Old Town Crier


OPEN SPACE

LORI WELCH BROWN

ARE WE THERE YET? H

as everyone received their vaccines? Some of you are on the fence, and I get it. It’s been a scary year, and all this pandemic stuff is unprecedented, not to mention confusing. It’s hard to know what to do, when to do it, and where to do it. Personally speaking, I cannot wait to get in the queue for mine. As of this writing, I have not had the opportunity, but I’m a coiled spring to roll up my sleeve and take it in the arm. In some respects this year has been unfathomably hard. My ‘hard’ was not being able to see my Dad as well as other family members and friends. My hard was way less hard than Dad’s however. He was cooped up in a 10x12 room with no visitors, and due to his physical handicaps (wheelchair/limited vision), was at the mercy of his caregivers for TV watching, phone calls, etc. It was tough on him, and yet his ‘hard’ may have been less hard than others’. Everyone was impacted differently, and there really is no point in comparing and contrasting. Suffering is suffering. Relatively speaking though, I had it easy. I could make my way to a grocery store,

Old Town Crier

dine outdoors when weather permitted, Zoom with friends, buy cutesy masks. Sure, life was different and maybe even inconvenient at times, but it wasn’t hard beyond my worries over Dad and others like him. I wasn’t impacted financially, and I (knock on wood) didn’t get sick. My world got a little smaller, but that was okay. I spent time with my neighbors, read more books, and caught up on the latest ‘must see’ Netflix and Prime shows. Privileges I have taken for granted were temporarily suspended. Things we value as our ‘right’- like dining in restaurants and congregating in groups of more than ten - were taken away from us. Many feel like being asked to wear a mask is a violation of their personal freedom. I’ve never served in the military so I have no idea what it is to put my life on the line for freedom, but I’ll just say that I think we have a bit of a skewed view as to our rights vs. our privileges. And, even then, when we are asked to do something for the good of the people vs. the inconvenience of the self, well…Put on the darn mask already. The pandemic got political. That was almost as hard as the pandemic itself. Even

within families and friends there were divisions. Camps formed over maskers and non-maskers, Trumpers and anti-Trumpers, the far left and the far right. Actually, you didn’t have to be far anything to feel the mounting tension. Sad times made even sadder. Like many of you, I rediscovered the joy in stillness when many of my normal distractions were shuttered. I sought community in unexpected places such as online classes. When I couldn’t rub elbows with my fellow local artists at The Art League, I signed up for online workshops and learned intuitive painting techniques alongside folks from Australia to British Columbia to Pittsburgh. My world got both smaller and bigger simultaneously. Being quarantined stripped away all my excuses not to write. I had the time and the space. And, I likely had more people looking for more things to read. I rediscovered the joy of slowing down and honed in on what really matters. When you can’t see an aging parent, their importance takes on new meaning. When you can’t visit a loved one in the hospital or hold their hand, you understand the value in

closeness. Also like many of you, I gained some things—namely, an extra 19 pounds. The COVID-19 is real folks. I took the hunkering down to heart, and comforted myself with all the ooey, gooey feelgood foods—mac and cheese, chocolate chip everything, mashed taters loaded with butter. You name it, I ate it. And, if it came in a bottle with a cork, I drank it. I took to nightly desserts, and my waistline took to embracing them wholeheartedly. When cold weather hit, and I went to trade my shorts for jeans, my jeans burst out laughing. I ordered more yoga pants, and became a student of the wellness app, Noom. I feel badly for the businesses who have suffered, but there are others, like Noom, who have certainly prospered. You’re welcome. I’m in awe of the businesses who re-invented themselves in one way or another to stay afloat. Restaurants shifted gears and stoked up their carry-out/delivery options, retailers offered curbside pickup options, etc. Entrepreneurs got more creative and found new, better ideas to help us. I am never ceased to be amazed by the ingenuity and grit of people.

We survived, and we are coming through the other side. And like the rest of you, I can’t wait to put COVID-19 in my rearview mirror. As illuminating as this trip around the sun has been, I think we are all ready to get to our next destination—the one with the hugging and petting farm. The one where we can sit across from each other and dance side by side. The one where we can fling open the doors of our parents’ homes and race in for long-awaited embrace. Sadly, many of us lost that opportunity thanks to COVID. The one where we can safely return to our gyms and clubs and concert halls and movie theaters. The one where we can toss hats in the air and cheer and whoop and holler. The one where we can stand together, arm in arm, and show our gratitude for all that we have and move forward in faith and hope. Because, you know, it’s the season of hope and faith. I just want to know, “Are we there yet?” In the meantime, I’ll be over here watching Netflix. Happy Easter from my nest to yours. April 2021 | 43


NATIONAL HARBOR

DEBBIE EVANS

Flight Deck at The Capital Wheel The waterfront, outdoor lounge will be open daily during Spring Break offering soda, beer, wine and amazing sunsets. Cozy up to a fire pit, enjoy the fresh air and celebrate spring with plenty of room for social distancing. VIP reserved seating available. events@ iconattractions.com 

Enjoy a short cruise from Alexandria VA to National Harbor. Water Taxi service began for the season on March 19th.

Floatboat 360

Schedule

Unique round float boats offer a fun and memorable way to experience the Potomac River. Boats seat up to 9 passengers plus a guide. Opens for the season on April 1.

• Fridays – Sundays 9am-9pm, last ticket sold at 8:30

Classic, waterfront enjoyment for kids of all ages. Adults ride free with a paying child. Open daily beginning through April 11th and then weekends until Memorial Day weekend when The Carousel will once again be open daily. Hours vary.  

Water Taxi – Alexandria to National Harbor

N

Free Activities Include: Zen Garden at The Awakening, on the waterfront April 4th and 11th a local sand artist peacefully rakes the sand creating a Zen atmosphere. Noon2:30 pm

The Capital Wheel

The Belvedere

Take in the beautiful day and nighttime views from 180-feet above the Potomac River. Each gondola is sanitized after every ride and guests always get their own private, climate-controlled gondola. Value-priced packages including tickets, beverages to take on board your ride, and souvenir cups are available. Open 365 days a year.

A spectacular terrazzo mural depicting the history and geography of MD, VA and DC. Discover special places on the map by reading clues on the benches surrounding the work of art.

44 | April 2021

Dino Safari In the Harbor through April 11th, you can grab a prehistoric passport this spring break and join over 40 giant moving dinosaurs on a globetrotting expedition at Dino Safari, a completely drive-thru Dino adventure for the whole family. Get up-close-and-personal with the most fascinating prehistoric creatures from the mighty T-Rex of North America to the giant amphibious Spinosaurus from Africa while you learn how dinosaurs evolved over time, where on earth they lived, and the discoveries paleontologists have made about how they ate, moved and behaved. Beware….Along the journey, earthquakes might erupt, dinosaurs could battle, and your family might just have to help save a baby dinosaur’s life! So buckle up for the spring break of a lifetime in this completely COVID-safe experience! 

The Carousel

ational Harbor is the perfect destination for a safe Spring Break. Fun seekers can skip the beach and enjoy a safe Spring Break at National Harbor with plenty of open-air fun, room to roam, waterfront attractions and cherry trees in bloom. Keeping health and safety top of mind, visitors will discover numerous dining options including outdoor seating, COVID-19 friendly attractions that allow families to social distance together, and plenty of free things to do.

by texting ACNH to 56512 to discover an interactive guide and scavenger hunt that brings the art to life as you walk the Harbor.

Art Walk Experience the Art Collection at National Harbor

• Monday – Thursdays 12pm-8pm, last ticket sold at 7:30 Tickets are sold on a per-car basis, meaning the more people you bring, the lower your per-person cost!

Tickets Entrance to the drive thru park and a Survival Pack featuring a “Park Passport” scavenger hunt and other fun surprises! $49.95 per car up to 7 occupants* $59.95 for large capacity vehicles (8 or more occupants, some size restrictions apply—see our FAQs for details) *not including taxes or fees That’s as low as $7.13 per person for a family of 7!

Purchase tickets at dinosafari.com. Old Town Crier


BUST OUT! The days are longer, the sun is warmer, and the road beckons. We invite you to visit both of our unique distillery locations for whisky flights and craft cocktails, and of course, bottles of your favorites to bring home. We’ve been waiting for you.

Experience the flavor journey that never ends.

9 River Lane Sperryville, Virginia 540.987.8554

901 Capitol Landing Road Williamsburg, Virginia 757.903.2076

www.copperfoxdistillery.com


LIVE BETTER

WITH CRAFTMARK HOMES

3 - 4 LEVEL 24' GRAND TOWNS FROM THE $800s

NEW TOWNHOMES IN CHANTILLY FROM THE $600S

HURRY IN!

COMING SOON TO FAIRFAX COUNTY Take a breath of fresh air, embrace endless comfort, and experience a true retreat in this new Fairfax County community. Our future townhomes will be built around a quaint neighborhood pond, surrounded by idyllic greenspace and walkable to retail & dining options, with easy access to all the area has to offer.

We have limited spring & summer move-ins available in this amenity-rich community. Find your dream home before it’s too late and luxuriate in our spacious new floor plan, full of high-end finishes and many thoughtful included features AWARD-WINNING FLOOR PLAN: Elevator-Ready Layouts • 9’ Ceilings on 3 Levels • Gourmet Kitchen with Bosch® Appliances • 5” Engineered Hardwood Flooring • Luxury Owner’s Suite with Spacious Walk-In Closet • Spacious Loft Level • Professional Landscaping Package

OPENING FOR SALE THIS SPRING JOIN OUR VIP LIST! CraftmarkHomes.com/RetreatAtWestfields

COMING SOON TO FAIRFAX COUNTY

NEW SINGLE FAMILY HOMES IN OAKTON

ELEVATED LIFESTYLE: Walkable Dining & Retail Options at Downtown Crown & RIO • Retreat Clubhouse • Outdoor Swimming Pool & Fireplace • Community Metro Shuttle • Idyllic Outdoor Parks SCHEDULE YOUR PERSONAL APPOINTMENT Sales Manager | Lori Windsor (703) 507-6882 (Call or Text!) | lwindsor@craftmarkhomes.com Sales Manager | Eric Yakuchev (703) 989-6662 (Call or Text!) | eyakuchev@craftmarkhomes.com

CraftmarkHomes.com/Crown Take a Virtual Tour! STAY TUNED! DETAILS RELEASING SOON!

Brokers Warmly Welcomed. Must register and comply with policy terms.

Profile for Old Town Crier

Old Town Crier- April 2021 Full Issue  

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement