Old Town Crier March 2023 - Full Issue

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oldtowncrier oldtowncrier.com otcregionalmag MARCH 2023 From the Bay to the Blue Ridge PRICELESS
Setting the Standard In Old Town Since 1979
BorninIreland,RaisedinOldTown 112KingStreet,Alexandria,VA22314|703.739.1124 www.danieloconnells.com|info@danieloconnells.com LiveMusicFridaysat9pm,Saturdaysat9pm,andSundaysat5pm TraditionalIrishSessionsMondayeveningsat7pm TheSt.Patrick’sDayParadeonMarch4th LiveSixNationsRugbywithspecialguestMICKGALWEYMarch11th &12th St.Patrick’sDayonMarch17th AndGuinnessSixNationsSuperSaturdayonMarch18th! EAT, DRINK, AND BE IRISH THIS MARCH WITH:


Meet the "Mallaaards" who are in the yard! Daisy & Donald have made the photographers yard their home base this spring. They are shown on the cover checking out a nesting place. Also joining them are Peter, Paul & Mary. They picked the right place. Not many quackers are as lucky as these ducks. They get fed by hand! Photo by Chesapeake Bay photographer David Sites. His images have graced several OTC covers.


One of Old Town Alexandria’s favorite Irish lasses, Niamh O’Donovan, and her gal pal Michelle Skubic embarked on a whirlwind girl’s weekend in the Big Apple and decided it would be fun to include the OTC. Michelle decided to take a much needed break from Niamh’s tour of pretty much every Irish bar in New York City and is pictured here relaxing with the January issue in Times Square.

If you would like to see your photo featured here, just take the Old Town Crier with you on your next adventure and pick a fun place to snap a photo or two and send it, along with information for the caption to office@oldtowncrier.com.

2 March 2023 Old Town Crier march‘23 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 Erin Koons CONTRIBUTORS Stephen Bearce Sarah Becker Alexander Britel Kelsey Bonham Cheryl Burns F. Lennox Campello Steve
Genevieve LeFranc Timothy
Brown © 2023 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.
A Bit of History 6 After hours 9 Alexandria Events 5 Art & Antiques 12 Caribbean Connection 22 Dining Guide 33 Dining Out 30 Exploring VA Wines 36 Financial Focus 4 First Blush 39 Fitness 40 From the Bay 24 From the Trainer 41 Gallery Beat 12 Go Fish 42 Grapevine 34 High Notes 9 Let's Eat 32 Let's Get Crafty 37 National Harbor 44 Open Space 43 Personality Profile 8 Pets of the Month 21 Points on Pets 20 Publishers notes 3 Road Trip 28 Take Photos, Leave Footprints 16 The Last Word 10 To the Blue Ridge 26 Urban Garden 14 Where is the Mural? 11 16 37

Happenings Around Town – MARCH 2023

Old Town Alexandria’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Is Back!

Saturday, March 4th, 12:30 pm

Held annually on the first Saturday in March, the Parade has grown to be the largest one-day event in Old Town Alexandria. Featuring pipe bands, Irish dance schools, community groups, and a host of other musicians and performers. It is a fantastic day to spend with family or friends. For over 40 years, the Ballyshaners have been pleased to provide Alexandrians with the finest Irish celebrations. Join us as our parade steps out once again!

The parade will officially start at the corner of King and Alfred Streets at 12:15 pm and proceed east on to King Street, finishing at the corner of Lee and Cameron Streets. With

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Route

thousands of spectators and participants expected, parade goers are encouraged to take advantage of public transportation. The closest Metro is the Blue Line, King Street/Old Town. There is a free trolley from the Metro, or the activities can be reached by a short 10 minute walk down King Street.

Come early and check out the morning’s events. The classic cars are back this year as well as the very popular dog show sponsored by the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. Be sure to doll up your pooch and let them strut their best Irish stuff around Old Town as well.

This weather is so crazy, I don’t know what month it is. It is definitely going to be an early year for the Cherry Blossoms to bloom. Among the nearly 4,000 Yoshino cherry trees near the Tidal Basin, there is one that consistently flowers a week to ten days before the others. It is so reliable, National Park Service officials call it the “indicator tree,” and use it to predict when the rest of the trees will bloom. The 200 Okame cherry trees lining the shoreline of National Harbor are already in bloom. Read about the in the National Harbor column. Spring is on the way folks.

Lots of good stuff in this first edition of spring. If you are looking for an excuse to head to the islands this June, check out Rum Week in the Caribbean Connection. If Rum isn’t your thing, Matt Fitzsimmons went exploring the wineries of the Northern Neck in Virginia in his Grapevine column. Ingleside Vineyards is one of the wineries visited and the first winery we wrote about 36 years ago. Owner Doug Flemer has been a good friend for many years. In Exploring VA Wines, Doug Fabbioli laments on the challenges of warm weather for the farmer while winter weather might not be all gone. In Let’s Get Crafty, Tim Long asks if you are Irish – I think we all have a bit of Irish in our souls.

In From the Bay, Molly Winans explains her reluctance to burn her socks at the Annual Eastport Sock Burning - a ritual celebrating the vernal equinox. In To the Blue Ridge, Julie Reardon brings us the spring guide to hunt country steeplechase racing.

Gallery Beat author Lenny Campello explains the true value of the Trawick Prize. Lori Welch Brown coaches us on how to make it through these waning days of winter in Open Space Take Photographs and Leave Footprints finds Scott Dicken on the road to Kathmandu with a little camping in the Himalayas. Our Road Trip took us the most southern tip of the Commonwealth as we headed to Virginia’s Northern Neck and the Inn at Tabbs Creek in Mathews County.

9:00 - 11:00AM

Classic Car Show

100-111 N. Pitt Street

11:00AM - 12:00PM

Animal Welfare League Dog Show

300 King Street at the Fountain in front of Grand Reviewing Stand

About the Ballyshaners:

Ballyshaners means “Old Towners” in Gaelic, the Irish language. Ballyshaners, Inc. was founded in 1980 by a small group of dedicated volunteers for the explicit purpose of organizing a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Old Town, Alexandria. The Parade is now well into its fourth decade and the number and variety of participants is greater than ever before. The organization’s mission has grown to promoting and preserving Irish history and culture. Each summer, we host the Alexandria Irish Festival, featuring vendors, musicians, and traditional Irish dancers, and we host fundraisers and other social events throughout the year.

We found ourselves back at an old favorite in Dining Out this month …the Fish Market Restaurant in Old Town. The gentleman in the photo with me is Chris Loschack, who was our server that evening. Chris was a waiter here when I tended bar at the former Sunquest Bar when I was a mere 32 years old – that’s been a while ago. He is a great guy, good golfer and a very good waiter. Ask for Chris the next time you dine at the Fish Market - Eat Fish. Drink Beer. Live Longer.

Let’s do some celebrating spring with giving ourselves another hour of daylight on the 12th – see our feature on Daylight Savings Time in this issue – and warm up to the 17th and do some “Wearin’ O’ the Green” on the 4th and attending the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Old Town. As they say in the auld country…Erin Go Bragh!

Old Town Crier March 2023 3

Alexandria Eventws

Alexandria Cherry Blossom Experiences

Nothing is more symbolic of springtime in the D.C. region than cherry blossoms. This year, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the fluffy pink and white wonders in Alexandria, VA. Take a stroll along Old Town Alexandria’s picturesque streets lined with cherry blossoms and flowering trees and enjoy food and drink specials available for in-person dining or takeout. See the D.C. cherry blossoms from a Potomac River perch with high-speed water taxi tours or take a bike ride to the Tidal Basin. Don’t forget to check out highly anticipated return of The National Cherry Blossom Festival from March 20 to April 16th. Find events that honor both American and Japanese cultures, such as the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Cherry Blossom Jubilee. Learn more about cherry blossom experiences in Alexandria at VisitAlexandriaVA.com/CherryBlossoms and find a list of cherry blossom tours, special events and food and drink offerings.


Water Taxi to the Wharf to See Cherry Blossoms

Departures beginning at 1:30 p.m.; check website for details

Admission: Starting at $23 one-way; $37 round-trip for adults  Departs from the Alexandria Marina • 1 Cameron Street 703-684-0580 • citycruises.com

Cruise from Old Town Alexandria to Washington, D.C., to enjoy the famous cherry blossoms from the water. City Cruises Potomac Water Taxi offers a 25-minute direct water taxi from Old Town to The Wharf development in D.C. From the dock at The Wharf, it is a 10-minute walk to the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin. The water taxi docks at the Transit Pier, 950 Wharf St. SW, near the Tidal Basin, the National Mall, Haines Point and a Capital Bikeshare station.


Cherry Blossom Guided Tours with Pedego Electric Bikes Alexandria

Departures at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on weekends; by appointment on weekdays

Admission: $69 per bike ($10 for passenger riders on cargo or tandem bikes) Pedego Alexandria • 210 North Lee Street 571-312-5168 • pedegoalexandria.com

Join a three-hour guided tour from Old Town Alexandria to the cherry blossoms, including a ride through the blossoms around East Potomac Park. The views of the blossoms from a Pedego are fantastic, and you don’t have to fight traffic or find a place to park downtown. Tours will run as long as there are blooms on the cherry blossom trees. Group tour sizes will be limited. Must be at least 14 years old to ride alone. Weekend tours fill up quickly, so contact Pedego early to make your reservations. Call 571-312-5168 or email info@pedegoalexandria.com.


The Late Shift Art Night: Cherry Blossom Jubilee at the Torpedo Factory Art Center 7 to 10 p.m.

Admission: Free Torpedo Factory Art Center • 105 North Union Street 703-746-4590 • torpedofactory.org

In partnership with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Torpedo Factory Art Center invites visitors to explore the celebrated cherry blossoms through art and art activations. Visitors will enjoy art demonstrations, music and interactive activities among three floors of open studios and galleries.

Trip! “This tour was not only the highlight of our time here in DC but the best city tour/excursion we have been on in the 22 years we have been traveling.” 202.900.3015 SEEDCTODAY.COM NIGHT URS IN
Best Part of Our
Old Town Crier March 2023 4
Photo Credit Carol Jean Stalun Photography

Ask these four questions to help you prepare for retirement

To determine how much you will need to fund your retirement, it’s helpful to estimate what your budget will look like. These four questions could help you identify your retirement lifestyle and plan for the related costs.

1. What will I be doing?

• Do I plan to continue working past age 65 or after I reach my full retirement age? Full time or part time?

• Are there hobbies I want to pursue that will either cost money or make money?

• Is there volunteer work that may also have costs associated?

• Do I plan to travel? Where?

• Are there things I enjoy that have related costs?

2. Where will I be living?

• Will I stay in my current home or downsize to something smaller or a rental property?

• Will I move to a retirement community or assisted living facility?

• Will I sell my home and replace it with an RV or other alternative living option?

3. What situations could impact my expenditures?

• What health care coverage do I need for my health conditions?

• Do I have an emergency fund for unexpected situations such as a health care crisis or property loss due to a natural disaster?

• What if I stop working sooner than expected?

• What happens if I experience a significant income loss?

4. What barriers are keeping me from investing?

• I have nothing extra to invest.

• I have education loans or other debt.

• I don’t know how to start an investment plan.

• I have time to start saving later. Next steps

PREPARE RATHER THAN PANIC. Create an outline from your answers to these questions. It should give you the framework to calculate the income you may need to support your retirement lifestyle.

DECIDE TO ADJUST YOUR SPENDING PATTERNS TODAY. Choose something you really don’t need and redirect that amount into your retirement savings. Take advantage of growth potential over time. Pay yourself first instead of spending money on something that won’t support your future retirement needs. Creating that nest egg now could reduce your stress about money.

START OR ADD TO AN EMERGENCY FUND. Even if the amount seems very small, it’s important to take the first step. As that amount grows and the behavior becomes a habit, you will likely gain confidence and momentum in your investment activities.

MEET WITH A FINANCIAL ADVISOR to review your answers and turn your outline into a plan to help you work toward your goals.

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Carl M. Trevisan, Managing Director-Investments and Stephen M. Bearce, First Vice President- Investments in Alexandria, VA. Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and nonbank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. ©2023 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved.

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We’ve come a long

March is not only Women’s History Month: March 21 is also World Poetry Day. According to Fireside poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman (1819-1892) is “a universal poet—of women and young people.” Whitman’s poetry is “situated between” Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Transcendentalism and Realism.

“Where in Washington is the house in which Walt Whitman—printer’s devil, compositor, carpenter, country school teacher, editorial writer, publisher, tramp, hospital orderly, Federal employee, and immortal poet—resided?” The Washington Post asked. “In 1863 he disclosed he was paying $7 a month for a ‘bright little third-story front room’ at 1407 L Street NW.”

Whitman, born a Quaker worked as a Civil War hospital volunteer in both Washington and Alexandria. Cherry syrup, horehound candy, and money were among his favorite bedside offerings.

“You just maturing youth! You male or female!” Walt Whitman wrote in Chants Democratic 6. “Remember the organic compact of These States,/ Remember the pledge of the Old Thirteen thenceforward to the rights, life, liberty, equality of man,/ Remember what was promulged by the founders, ratified by The States, signed in black and white by the Commissioners,… Anticipate when the thirty or fifty millions, are to become the hundred, or two hundred millions, of equal freemen and freewomen, amicably joined....”

Hening’s Collection of the Laws of Virginia refers to femes covert, “orphans,

6 March 2023 Old Town Crier A BIT OF HISTORY © SARAH BECKER

femes covert (married women) and persons of unsound mind,” beginning in 1657-1658. In 1789, President George Washington’s inaugural year First Lady Martha Custis Washington was a feme covert; the property of her husband, without rights unable to vote or hold elective office.

“By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law,” British jurist Sir William Blackstone said in 1765, “that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband: under whose wing, protection and cover, she performs everything.”

“[M]arital unity’s…religious origins were in the one-

upon life’s sea,/ To yourself be true,/ And whate’er your lot may be,/ Paddle your own canoe./ Never, though the winds may rave,/ Falter nor look back./ But upon the darkest wave/ Leave a shining track…

Nothing great is lightly won;/ Nothing won is lost;/ Every good deed nobly done,/ Will repay the cost./ Leave to Heaven, in humble trust,/ All you will do:/ But if you succeed, you must/ Paddle Your Own Canoe.”

“(Women) are not one jot less than I am,” Whitman affirmed in A Woman Waits for Me. “…They know how to swim, row, ride, wrestle, shoot, run, strike,/ retreat, advance, resist, defend themselves./ They are ultimate in their own right....”

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, from Lucretia Mott to Alice Paul; from Susan B. Anthony to Victoria Woodhull to Hillary Clinton; from Frances Wright to Alexandria’s Virginia Fitzhugh Wheat Thomas (OTC Colored Rosemont, Pt. I, Jan 2020; OTC Colored Rosemont, Pt. 2, Jun 2020; OTC Virginia Fitzhugh Wheat Thomas and Colored Rosemont, Mar 2022).

Frances “Fanny” Wright, the Marquis de Lafayette’s Scottish traveling companion responded well to America especially her introductions to former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Like the Marquis, Wright abhorred slavery. Unlike Lafayette, she


flesh doctrine of Christianity,” author Norma Basch confirmed.

In 1832 bridegroom, newspaper editor and social reformer Robert Dale Owen, of Scotland and Indiana took issue with jurist Blackstone’s “feudal, barbaric” law. His counter: to write “a bold” marriage contract “with the Justice of the Peace…as witness.” The Second Great Awakening (1790-1840) solidified the position of evangelicals in American religious life and Owen opposed evangelical Christianity.

April 12, 1832: “This afternoon I enter into a matrimonial engagement,” Owen wrote. “Of the unjust rights which in virtue of this ceremony an iniquitous law tacitly gives me over the person and property of another, I cannot legally, but I can morally divest myself. And I hereby distinctly and emphatically declare that I consider myself…utterly divested, now and during the rest of my life, of any such rights….”

It was U.S. Representative Robert Dale Owen (D-IN) who introduced the bill that created the Smithsonian Institution. Owen favored public and industrial education, women’s property rights and liberal divorce laws. He also supported emancipation and the 1865 Freedmen’s Bureau.

In 1850 Owen served as a member of Indiana’s State Constitutional Convention. Women’s gains were many. Advocates included “pioneer Indiana poet laureate” Sarah T. Bolton, Mrs. Nathaniel Bolton. “By dint of perseverance through many obstacles, you have so efficiently contributed to the good cause of property rights of your sex,” Owen documented.

Wrote Bolton in 1850: “Voyager

Blackstone’s Law of Coverture remained in effect until the 1970s. “The work experience of women is considerably influenced by their household duties and the presence of children,” the U.S. Census Bureau wrote in 1972. The same year the U.S. Senate passed the Equal Rights Amendment, 84 to 8, and sent it to the states for ratification. Still the Equal Rights Amendment struggles—in the Courts and in Congress.

“…Anticipate your own life— retract with mercilous power,/ Shirk nothing—retract in time-,” Whitman suggested in Chants Democratic 6 “Do you see those errors, diseases, weaknesses, lies, thefts? Do you see that lost character?”....

If the U.S. Senate, Congress can pass the 2022 Respect for Marriage Act a.k.a. the marriage equality bill; provide statutory authority for samesex (Obergefell, 2015) and interracial marriages (Loving v. Virginia, 1967) then it can pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). According to the September 2021 Census Report the U.S. has 1.2 million same-sex-couple households, 59% of which are samesex married-couple households. Not surprisingly female same-sex marriedcouple households had a higher poverty rate than either opposite-sex or male same-sex married-couple households.

“Women sit or move to and fro, some old, some young,” Whitman’s Beautiful Women said. “The young are beautiful—but the old are more beautiful than the young.” Beauty: “a quality that pleases or delights the senses or the mind.”

History is rife with stories of female activists: from Abigail Adams to

“Me toward the Mexican Sea, or in the Mannahatta,/ or the Tennessee, or far north, or inland,…O, wherever my life is lived, O to be self-balanced…” In favor of equality: woman’s equality especially.

“The current resolution (the 117th Congress’ S.J.Res.1) has more than 50 bipartisan cosponsors,” U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) explained. “The required 38 states have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. The House has passed legislation eliminating the deadline for ratification. Now it is up to the (118th) Senate to remove any obstacles to certifying

A Brief History of Women’s Rights in the U.S.

promoted “A Plan for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery in the United States without Danger or Loss to the Citizens of the South.” Quaker and abolitionist Benjamin Lundy published her Plan in the Genius of Universal Emancipation and Baltimore Courier in 1825.

Wright’s goal: “To purchase… land, within the good south cottonproducing areas,…To place on this land from 50-100 negroes, and introduce a system of cooperative labor, promising them liberty…, along with liberty and education (including) a school of industry…The length of service approximately five years.”

“Could (enslaved) people be supplied to the (the utopian Nashoba, TN) establishment by the friends to abolition,” Frances Wright asked Dolley Madison in 1825. “The expenses would be brought within the reach of my own means. The deep interest I have long felt in the prosperity & honor of America has found an additional stimulus…in the suffering without hope of the unhappy race first doomed to bondage...”

“The magnitude of this evil (slavery)…is so deeply felt, and so universally acknowledged, that no merit could be greater than that of devising a satisfactory remedy for it,” Montpelier’s James Madison replied. “The remedy for the evil which you have planned is certainly recommended…1. It requires voluntary concurrence of holders of the slaves with or without pecuniary compensation: 2. It contemplates the removal of those emancipated either to a foreign or distant region.” Madison favored colonization, the American Colonization Society (1817-1964).

“I am eternally equal with the best—I am not subordinate,” Whitman wrote in Me Imperturbe

the ERA as the 28th amendment.”

The ball, it seems, is in Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s “court.” More than half of Alexandria’s population is female, 51.6%. Yet unlike the men the city’s women, American women everywhere remain c onstitutionally unequal. Maybe the fact that February’s Super Bowl LVII relied on an all-female Navy flight crew to navigate the national anthem’s four aircraft formation flyover will awaken reluctant politicians to need.

COLUMNIST’S REPLY: It seems gun violence remains on the minds of many. The total number of U.S. gun related deaths from January 1-February 16, 2023, was 5,445; the number of mass shootings 72. On January 24 U.S. Senators Mark Warner [D-VA] and Tim Kaine [D-VA] announced that they have teamed with Senators Dianne Feinstein [D-CA], Richard Blumenthal [D-CT], Chris Murphy [D-CT] and 32 Democratic colleagues to reintroduce gun control legislation, The Assault Weapons Ban of 2023.

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 March 2023 7 A BIT OF HISTORY | FROM PAGE 6

An Afternoon with Charlotte Hall

I had the pleasure of sitting down with the OTC’s longtime friend Charlotte Hall for a few minutes on one of the unseasonably warm afternoons in late February.

Most people that know Charlotte know that she is a very self-deprecating individual and it is hard to get her to talk about herself. She would rather talk about all of the characters she has met in her tenure in Alexandria than about what she has accomplished. Having been in the area myself for 31 years, she and I know quite a few of the same people and there are many – several who have been profiled in this space at one point in time.

In my attempt to keep this column “personal”…One of my favorite things about Charlotte is the nicknames she has acquired along the way and the stories behind them. A few of them are highlighted below.

The last time we really had a chance to talk about things was in the middle of the pandemic in 2020 when the 100 Block of King Street was first closed off and sidewalk/street dining was allowed. She was instrumental in making the closure of this block – and later the “0” block aka the space between Union Street and King down to the water - to vehicle traffic a permanent fixture allowing for a pedestrian mall feel. It has been a huge success. Just take a trek down to those blocks on any nice day/evening and you will see what I mean. During this discussion Bob Tagert, OTC Publisher, dubbed her the “Queen of King Street” and it caught on.

Charlotte has been an integral part of the Old Town Alexandria community for over 30 years going back to her days with Potomac River Boat Company – now owned and operated by Entertainment Cruises. This venture with water vessels wasn’t her first rodeo in the boat realm. Right out of college she worked in Richmond for their convention and visitors center and was instrumental in procuring a second vessel that could handle boat tours on the James River. She ended up spending a lot of time around the James (then referred to by many in the area as the “swamp”) and the then Richmond City Planning Director named her the “Swamp Boogie Queen”. This moniker followed her all the way up north to Alexandria. I wish I had something as cool as that as a referral.

While I think I have heard a good many of her “handles” – those old enough to know about CB radios get that – I heard a new one today and I think it has to be my favorite right now. While attending an Alexandria Chamber of

Commerce Chairman’s reception, she was wearing a full American Indian Chief headdress in keeping with the “Wild West” theme of the occasion and our mutual friend, Tim Geary, dubbed her as “Chief Tall Drink of Water”. This makes perfect sense since Charlotte is very tall –am guessing 6 feet. Tim may have clocked in at 5’9 – 5-10???? She has an incredible sense of humor.

With all of the nicknames she has had, I asked her what her legit title was these days at the Old Town Business Association (OTBA) where she has been doing her thing for the past several years. She told me that her Board of Directors say she is the CEO but she refers to herself and the CDSI…Chief Deck *Swabber and Instigator. It really does make sense. Check out the definition at the end of this column.

Adding another to the list…guess who is the Grand Marshall of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade here in Old Town? Yep, none other than Grand Marshall Charlotte! I talked her into letting me photograph her with some shamrock beads and a leprechaun hat so she could get in the mood for her new duties. As of this writing, she hadn’t been informed as to exactly what that entails but we all know she will be riding on the back seat of the coolest convertible in town with that Grand Marshall sash and doing her best parade wave. Erin go bragh!

When she isn’t swabbing or instigating, she spends time on the water kayaking and doing Pilates. I totally understand the love of kayaking but that dedication to Pilates has me baffled. Guess that’s why she is in great shape and me….not so much.

Charlotte is an avid lover of animals and has had many pets along the way. At this point in time she has an amazing black German Shepherd named “Chessie” and a cool rescue kitty named “Curtis”. Gotta admit that I totally get the dog’s name but I didn’t have the courage to ask if “Curtis” is named after someone. I guess the more you say it, the more it makes sense…I can imagine her saying “Here Curtis kitty, kitty, kitty”!

In all sincerity, I have met many people in the course of my 30 years here and Charlotte has been a constant in her dedication to the people and businesses that make up Old Town. She has been a champion of the underdog as well as promotor of the big dogs on the block. Be sure to give her a big wave if you go to the parade!

*One who does not consider himself too high, but washes the deck most delicately clean.

8 March 2023 Old Town Crier PERSONALITY PROFILE

Sheena Is a Punk Rocker

This month I’d like to focus on one of my all-time favorite songs by the legendary Ramones. “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” was released in 1977 and quickly became a punk rock classic. It tells the story of a young girl who rebels against the status

quo and embraces the punk lifestyle. The song is a prime example of the Ramones’ trademark sound, with its fastpaced, aggressive guitar riffs and upbeat drumming.

Since their formation in New York City in the early 1970s, the Ramones have been a major force in the punk rock

Brandenburg and Blue

Chamber series

movement. They have inspired countless musicians and fans alike with their no-holdsbarred approach to music, and “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” is no exception.

The Ramones kick things off with a fast and swaying guitar riff and a straightforward rock drumbeat. After a quick

musical intro, we hear Joey Ramone sing the lines, “Well the kids are all hopped up and ready to go / They’re ready to go now / And they’re going to the Discotheque Au Go Go”. The music and vocals mix together to create a feeling reminiscent of The Beach Boys and the sound of a growling dog. “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” is a prime example of how punk rock reignited the spirit of rock and roll. The Ramones presented the basic feeling and joy at the center of 50s and 60s rock music with an image and grit that resonated with a new generation.

For the chorus, the band introduces a new and fasterpaced chord progression that kicks up the energy of the song. On top of the music we hear the hook, “Sheena Is a punk rocker” repeated over and over by Joey. Under the top line, Dee Dee Ramone adds a vocal harmony that gives a boost to the scrappy power of the melody. Everything about this song is fun, fast, and catchy. It’s particularly enjoyable to listen at extremely high volume while letting the Ramones’ wall of sound envelop you.

When “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” was released, it was met with mixed reactions.

Some criticized the song for its seemingly simplistic lyrics and aggressive sound, while others saw it as a masterpiece of punk rock. Nevertheless, the song quickly gained a following among punk rock fans and continues to be a staple of the punk rock genre today.

The Ramones’ impact on the music world cannot be overstated. They paved the way for countless punk and alternative bands that would follow in their wake, and their influence can still be felt in the music of today. “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” is a prime example of the Ramones’ influence and their ability to craft a powerful and enduring punk rock classic. If you’d like to listen to “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” you can find it on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and most other places music is streamed or sold. If you’d like to learn more about the Ramones you can find them on Wikipedia, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

About the Author: Ron Powers is an independent A&R specialist and music industry consultant and is constantly searching for, discovering and writing about new talent.

22-23 season

MARCH 10, 2023 - 7:30 P.M. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

MARCH 12, 2023 - 3:00 P.M.

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Jonathan Kolm: TBA (World premiere commission) – sponsored by Virginia American Water

G.F. Handel: Excerpts from Water Music Suite No. 1

Adult: $45 Student: $15 Youth: $5

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J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, BWV 1046, F major

Distopian Fiction or Visionary Prophesy?

As a teenager in 1986 I first ran across Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, at Old Town’s wonderful Olsson’s Books & Records, which formerly stood on S. Union Street in Alexandria. I was taken aback by the power and simplicity of her writing. This classic work of radical dystopian fiction describes the fate and musings of one woman, Offred, a Handmaid in a monotheocracy called Gilead, formed after the imagined destruction of the United States of America. Recently Atwood’s powerful book has been adapted into an equally riveting series on the streaming network Hulu.

In this patriarchal post-American society, martial law and a totalitarian regime controls the movement of all citizens and women in particular, all of whom must cleave to traditionally interpreted monotheistic, puritanical values, or suffer terrible punishments. Those in charge twist the Bible’s words into propaganda, dividing women into high-status Wives, nunlike propagandists and teachers known as Aunts, servant slaves such as Handmaids and Marthas (housekeepers/cooks), low-status Econowives, and finally the Unwomen, those too unruly to do anything but shovel toxic waste in the Colonies until they die, or others who serve as speakeasy-style prostitutes. No women work outside the home, and none, even those with higher status, are allowed to read and write.

Fertile women are particularly prized for their ability to continue the human race, since disease and chemical waste in the former United States have caused sterility among the population at large. Therefore, those few women proven to be fertile who are not already married to highranking Commanders in the rigidly conservative new hierarchy are requisitioned as Handmaids. They exist as puritanically dressed sexual slaves subject to impregnation on religious monthly Ceremony Days. Handmaids bear the burden of continuing to populate the country in pleasure-free, wife-supervised rituals with these powerful men.

Having recently binged the new television series on Hulu, I was compelled to re-visit the book. June, a woman renamed Offred in the world of Gilead, since she is now the property “of Fred,” embodies a cloudy mournfulness and the lonely ambivalence of a woman whose existence is circumscribed and unwillingly focused, a mother whose first child has been taken away by Gilead’s police state. Her whole value now centers on her ability to bear another child, one that she might love, but one that would be taken away from her and given to her Commander and his faded wife, a cynical Tammy Faye Bakker–like former singer and televangelist.

In The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood shows her ability to write earthily


Published by Anchor Books

Release Date | March 1986

Length | 336 Pages

ISBN | 038549081X

and realistically in penning frank and often-brutal conversations between the Handmaids, their contemporaries, and their captors, of whom few trust one another. In capturing the complexity of Offred’s first-person flashes back to her life as a wife, mother, and daughter, she portrays a world where the former June took freedoms easily, despite her own mother’s

historic marching and struggling for women’s rights. Atwood poetically pens gorgeous images, as Offred’s daydreaming of swollen, fecund symbols of nature and appreciation of lovely flowers in her Commander’s garden reveals a desperate will to survive, one that keeps her grasping towards hope and any tiny visual or sensual gratification available.

The author has aptly imagined what it is like to be a prisoner for whom pleasure and freedom is proscribed, like a house slave on a Southern plantation, fed adequately but subject to any kind of sexual or other physical violence; or a citizen of any totalitarian regime, isolated and made paranoid by the possibility of being betrayed by a superior, colleague, neighbor, or friend. Her writing moves along rapidly, despite its symbolic depth, and The Handmaid’s Tale will thoroughly reward fans of dystopian fiction. While not quite as action-oriented as Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, fans of that trilogy, George Orwell’s 1984, or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World may enjoy it.

I urge everyone, even non-readers, to watch the complete first season of the new streaming series on Hulu. I cannot stop thinking about it. The first episode, “Offred,” is one of the best, most riveting first episodes of any TV series I have seen. While not uplifting, it is utterly compelling and addictive,


Where Is It?

Where Is This Mural?

Well…we finally stumped you all! Lots of guesses as to where the mural we featured in the February issue but none were right. Here is another part of said mural that may give you another clue and as another hint…it is located in Old Town between Queen and Duke Streets.

Be the first person to respond with the correct location and receive a $50 gift certificate to a local dining establishment of our choice. In order to participate, you will have to Like and Follow us on: Facebook @oldtowncrier

Instagram @otcregionalmag

Send a PM with your guess and we will contact the winner each month via PM to arrange for prize delivery.

with redemptive moments and a skillful interspersing of Offred’s current life and flashbacks to her earlier life as June, mother and wife. It is less contemplative and much more action-focused than the novel. I have never seen another series like it.

Expect The Handmaid’s Tale to receive a slew of Emmy nominations come award season. Elisabeth Moss is brilliant as Offred. The directing, acting, television adaptation, cinematography, and soundtrack are eerie, beautiful, and terrifying. For once, the book is not absolutely superior to the filmed version. They are two separate entities that enhance one another. The series has already departed somewhat from the book, and promises to continue to do so in Season Two.

In America, entities like Planned Parenthood and women’s legal rights over their own bodies are either on the funding chopping block or subject to alarming erosion. Every severe indignity and crime against women from The Handmaid’s Tale is also practiced

somewhere in the world today, so this series has an even greater global resonance. Still, the reader and watcher must remember the mock-Latin phrase Offred finds scratched at the bottom of her closet by an unknown former Handmaid: “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum,” or “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” Despite her circumstances, Offred never does.

Publishers Note: This column is a reprint from the July 2017 issue. Miriam accepted a last minute invitation to attend a Sister Cities International Africa Summit in Capetown, South Africa and asked that we publish a previous column that was relative to “Women’s History Month”. We decided that this review was a perfect fit. The Handmaid’s Tale garnered several Emmy nominations and Awards in 2017 as she predicted. There are now five seasons available now and an official renewal for a sixth and final season was confirmed in September of 2022. No release date has been set. Kramer will be back with a brand new column next month.

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Mural Photo by Lee Moody

Hey, DMV Museum Curators & Directors! Show our local talent some LOVE!

Those of you who are regular readers of this column know that one of my constant concerns is the poor relationship between DC museum area curators and DC area artists, and the rarity of interest by most DC area museum professionals in their own area’s art scene and artists.

Like anything, there are notable, but rare, exceptions, the most important and notable of them being the Trawick Prize, sponsored now for several decades by the amazing Carol Trawick.

And one of the unexpected benefits of the Trawick Prize and the Bethesda Painting Awards has been that they have “forced” the hired DC, VA and MD museum professionals and curators that they often hire to jury the prize, to look at the work of artists from the region.

As a result, some amazing success stories have spawned from that exposure. Area artists should be very

grateful to Ms. Trawick for all that she has done and continues to do for the fine arts around the capital region.

At American University’s beautiful Katzen Museum, its hard-working director Jack Rasmussen has orchestrated a show through March 19 titled “The Trawick Prize: 20th Anniversary Emerald Award.”

The show celebrates the impact of The Trawick Prize for Contemporary Arts, which as I have noted, is a “local” visual arts prize that honors artists from Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia in an annual juried competition.

Now in its 20th year, the prize was established by Bethesda, Md.-based community activist and philanthropist Carol Trawick in 2002. To date, The Trawick Prize has awarded over $300,000 to local contemporary artists and has exhibited the work of more than 200 artists who reached the level of finalists in each year’s competition.

This exhibition presents the work of artists who were awarded the “Best in

Show” in the competition over the last 20 years, and features contemporary paintings, sculptures, film, mixed media, and many others.

The exhibition features artists working in a variety of media including sculpture, painting, mixed media, film, and more. Works from artists such as my good friend Jiha Moon, James Rieck, and many others will be displayed in the galleries. Themes “span a range of concepts important to each artist from race, oppression, and genealogy to culture, humanity, and emotion to name a few.”

In the words of Carol Trawick “there is no need to travel to see great art, there are numerous talented artists right in our backyard!” This year, the juried competition resulted in selecting “the best of the best” over the past 20 years, awarding artist WonJung

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Jonathan Monaghan, Den of Wolves, 2020. Video projection, 19-minute loop. Edition of 3, 1 AP. Courtesy of Bitforms Gallery. Trawick Prize Contemporary Arts Awards, 20th Anniversary Emerald award winner WonJung Choi with Carol Trawick

Choi with The Trawick Prize Emerald Award.

Featured artists:

Lauren Adams, WonJung Choi, Richard Cleaver, Larry Cook, Oletha Devane, Neil Feather, Mia Feuer, Caroline Hatfield, Lillian Hoover, Gary Kachadourian, Cecilia Kim, Maggie Michael, Jonathan Monaghan, Jiha Moon, David Page, James Rieck, Jo Smail, and Lomax & Wickerham

But getting back on subject and generally speaking, most of the DC area museum curators and directors, with the rare exception of American University’s Jack Rasmussen, still find it easier to catch a flight to another city to look at an emerging artist’s work from that city, than to take a cab to a DC area artist’s studio or visit a local gallery. I think part of this is because, again with an exception here and there, most of these curators came from other parts of the nation and overseas, and they tend to bring their regional familiarities with them, rather than discover new ones (it takes a lot of work).

They are also part of a curatorial scene where little risk is taken, and the herd mentality reigns supreme. As a result, one can count in one hand the number artists (local or otherwise) who have had their first ever museum show (or any museum show) in a DC area museum. And yet, even major museums (such as the Whitney in New York) have given artists their firstever museum solos, although this is becoming rarer and rarer.

The rarity of local focus is also caused partially because of the fact that DC area museums generally tend to think of themselves as “national museums,” rather than as “city museums.” We have no Washington Museum of Art.

Furthermore, because of the sad lack of coverage by the DC local media of the DC local art scene and events, museum professionals have to spend more personal time (which they often lack) to “learn” about DC area artists and galleries, rather than learning from reading, as they do about what’s going on

in NYC and LA and Miami and Seattle from the national magazines, or perhaps the coverage that those cities’ news media gives to their local arts, and even from reading the Washington Post’s writers’ coverage of other cities’ galleries and museums. And thus it takes an “extra” effort on the part of a DC museum curator to get his or her interest aroused on any event in the local scene. Some of it is networking (a big name museum donor requests a visit

to a gallery or a studio), some of it is financial (they are paid to jury a show), some of it is media-driven (such as the rare positive review in the even rarer news media coverage) and some of it is accidental (such as a curator admiring the work of a “new” artist in a LA gallery only to be told that the artist is a DC artist). All of these have happened in my experience… the more you know.


About the Author: F. Lennox Campello’s art news, information, gallery openings, commentary, criticism, happenings, opportunities, and everything associated with the global visual arts scene with a special focus on the Greater Washington, DC area has been a premier source for the art community for over 20 years. Since 2003, his blog has been the 11th highest ranked art blog on the planet with over SIX million visitors.

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Bee’s Knees, Butterfly Kisses & Hummingbird Hovers

You don’t need a prairie or large lot to attract and support pollinators. A meadow or informal, formal and even container gardens can bring in bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to help pollinate plants. It’s just a matter of selecting the right plants, adjusting your maintenance practices, and skipping the pesticides.

Create your garden by converting a few square feet of lawn, garden bed or front yard into a pollinator-friendly garden. You may want to start by switching out part of an existing garden or container to more pollinator-friendly

flowers. Expand your planting options by converting a portion of your lawn into a pollinator garden. Outline the bed with a hose or rope. Remove the sod, add compost as needed to improve drainage and you’ll be ready to plant. Simplify and dress up your efforts by using an easy-toassemble raised garden kit like the Pollinator Garden Bed (gardeners.com). Its long-lasting cedar planks slide into aluminum corners to create a hexagonal bed. Get creative while increasing the garden’s size by adding additional sections to create a honeycomb or other

interesting design. Mark the outline of the raised bed you select. Cut the grass short and cover with newspaper. Set your raised bed in place and fill with a quality planting mix. Mulch four to six inches surrounding the raised bed for ease of mowing and to eliminate the need to hand trim.

Once your planting bed is prepared, you’re ready to plant. Include single daisylike black-eyed Susans, coneflowers, and asters that allow visiting insects to rest and warm when sipping on nectar or dining on pollen.  Add a few tubular flowers for butterflies and

hummingbirds. They both like bright colors and can be seen visiting salvias, penstemon and nasturtiums.  And don’t forget the bees that are attracted to bright white, yellow, blue and ultraviolet colors. You’ll find them visiting these and other blossoms like catmint, sweet alyssum and perennial geranium. Include spring, summer and fall bloomers to keep pollinators visiting and well fed throughout the season.  You’ll enjoy the seasonal changes along with the color and motions the visitors provide. Include early spring perennials and bulbs to attract visitors in early spring as they search for muchneeded food. Add fall flowers to help prepare them for winter or migration to their winter homes. Those in milder climates will want to add some pollinator-friendly flowers to support and attract pollinators wintering in their backyard.

Plant flowers in groups for greater design impact and to reduce the energy pollinators expend when gathering nectar and pollen from one flower to the next. Provide plants with enough space to reach their mature size. Temporarily fill in voids with annuals like salvia, single zinnias and nicotiana that also attract pollinators.

Mulch the soil with leaves annually. It suppresses weeds, conserves moisture, improves the soil and provides homes for many beneficial insects. Allow healthy plants and

grasses to stand for winter. These provide homes for many beneficial insects and food for birds. Wait as long as possible to clean up your garden in spring. If needed, pile clippings out of the way to allow beneficial insects to escape these winter homes once temperatures warm.  Then shred and compost the plant debris in summer.

Don’t let all the plant and design possibilities overwhelm you into inaction. Contact your local garden center or if you are more on line with online purchasing, Gardener’s Supply Company has plans for designing gardens to attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds plus tips on keeping them safe in your garden.

As your gardens flourish, you will want to create more pollinator-friendly spaces.  Your efforts will be rewarded with beautiful flowers, increased harvest and the added color and motion these visitors provide.

Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series and the Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Gardeners Supply for her expertise to write this article.

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What’s the Deal with DST?

It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were “Falling Back” and the world turned dark there for a few months. Now that March has arrived, we can see the light at the end of the day when we “Spring Forward” on the 12th.

Every U.S. state observes daylight saving time (DST), with the exceptions of Arizona (although some Native American tribes do observe DST in their territories) and Hawaii. Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, do not observe daylight saving time even though they are U.S. territories. This may change this year even though legislation over whether to make daylight saving time permanent is still hung up in Congress.

As I was looking to the “interwebs” for some updated information on where the legislation stands, I ran across some pretty cool background relative to the creation of DST. The information below was garnered from a piece I found on the NBC Channel 5 in Chicago’s website:

What is daylight saving time?

Daylight saving time is a changing of the clocks that typically begins in spring and ends in fall in what is often referred to as “spring forward” and “fall back.”

Under the conditions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, daylight saving time starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

On those days, clocks either shift forward or backward one hour. But it wasn’t always that way.

Clocks used to spring ahead on the first Sunday in April and remained that way until the final Sunday in October, but a change was put in place in part to allow children to trick-or-treat in more daylight.

In the United States, daylight saving time lasts for a total of 34 weeks, running from early-to-mid March to the beginning of November in states that observe it.

Some people like to credit Benjamin Franklin as the inventor of daylight saving time when he wrote in a 1784 essay about saving candles and saying, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Buwt that was meant more as satire than a serious consideration.

Germany was the first to adopt daylight saving time on May 1, 1916, during World War I as a way to conserve fuel. The rest of Europe followed soon after. The United States didn’t adopt daylight saving time until March 19, 1918. It was unpopular and abolished after World War I.

On Feb. 9, 1942, Franklin Roosevelt instituted a year-round daylight saving time, which he called “war time.” This lasted until Sept. 30, 1945.

Daylight saving time didn’t become standard in the US until the passage of the Uniform Time Act of 1966, which mandated standard time across the country within established time zones. It stated that clocks would advance one hour at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday in April and turn back one hour at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday in October.

States could still exempt themselves from daylight saving time, as long as the entire state did so. In the 1970s, due to the 1973 oil embargo, Congress enacted a trial period of year-round daylight saving time from January 1974 to April 1975 in order to conserve energy.

Under legislation unanimously passed by the Senate earlier this year, known as the Sunshine Protection Act, the seasonal changing of clocks would effectively be eliminated in the U.S., except for Hawaii and parts of Arizona and go into effect this November.

Overall, thoughts on the potential shift vary.

The Sunshine Protection Act was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who suggested it would reduce crime, encourage kids to play outside and lower the risk of heart attacks and car accidents.

According to the Department of Transportation, daylight saving time has a number of benefits. The DOT’s website highlights the following:

It saves energy. During Daylight Saving Time, the sun sets one hour later in the evenings, so the need to use electricity for household lighting and appliances is reduced. People tend to spend more time outside in the evenings during Daylight Saving Time, which reduces the need to use electricity in the home. Also, because the sunrise is very early in the morning during the summer months, most people will awake after the sun has already risen, which means they turn on fewer lights in their homes.

It saves lives and prevents traffic injuries. During Daylight Saving Time, more people travel to and from school and work and complete errands during the daylight.

It reduces crime. During Daylight Saving Time, more people are out conducting their affairs during the daylight rather than at night, when more crime occurs.


are curious to know how our readers feel about making DST permanent come November. If you have an interest in chiming (you see what I did with that grandfather clock reference) in, send your comments to office@oldtowncrier.com with DST in the subject line.

Four Glorious Days in Kathmandu

The capital city is the primary entry point into Nepal before your onward journey takes you deeper into the country where the brunt of your Himalayan adventure really begins. As a result, in Kathmandu you’ll often find hordes of likeminded hikers frequenting the cafes and awkwardly gathering with their tour groups for the first time before proceeding to spend two weeks camping in close confines. To many of these tour groups Kathmandu serves a clear purpose; a jumping off point that provides tour leaders a good way to gather the entire group in one place before setting off. Some tours even have 24-48 hours in Kathmandu

touring the more popular tourist sites before hopping back on a plane to Pokhara or Lukla. With this in mind, and assuming you can spare the extra days off work (we can all dream), then my advice is to set aside 4 days for exploring Kathmandu under your own steam before joining up with your tour group.

Whether you’re on a trekking adventure or not, I’ll highlight a basic itinerary that’ll make sure you can capture as much of the spirit, culture and history that Kathmandu Valley has to offer.

Day 1

You’ll arrive at Tribhuvan

International Airport after a potentially long flight and probably want nothing more than a shower and some much deserved relaxation (this is a holiday after all). Kathmandu City can be a little hectic after a long day traveling, so head directly out of the city and spend the night in Nagarkot – a small Hill Station nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas about an hour’s drive from the airport. The Club Himalaya Resort is a good place to check out if you need a recommendation. Just in case you’re wondering – no, I’m not sponsored by them! After the drive from the airport (which can be arranged through Club Himalaya), you can settle in to your room and shower up before enjoying a dip in the Resort’s indoor pool

If you’re heading to Kathmandu, then there’s a strong chance you’ve booked yourself on to a trekking holiday in the Himalayas.
16 March 2023 Old Town Crier


(weirdly by the dining room, so not for the faint of heart). Alternatively, you could take a quick stroll around the town (it won’t take long, it’s a tiny place). Towards sunset, head to the Resort’s outdoor terrace with a bottle of local brew (or a G&T, I’m not demanding) to watch the sunset over the mountain range. On a clear night you may see Everest from your hotel room balcony. Before you retire for the evening, make sure you arrange with the Resort for a driver to pick you up the following morning at about 9am. You’ll want your driver for the whole day so that you aren’t constantly searching for taxis.

Day 2

Today you’ll be exploring Bhaktapur and the surrounding area, so check out my Bhaktapur Destination Guide on the takephotosleavefootprints.com website for more detailed information on the temples and sites you’ll see (in addition to tips on how to maximise your visit).

Morning: Nagarkot is famous for its sunrises. The good news is that with the jet lag you’ll undoubtedly be experiencing, it shouldn’t be all that difficult to wake up for it! If you’re staying at the Club Himalaya Resort then you can enjoy the sunrise over the mountains and the valley from your hotel balcony or from the roof terrace. If you’re staying elsewhere, then you might want to arrange for a taxi to take you up to the viewing station for the best panoramic views. After sunrise grab some breakfast before checking out of your accommodation and meeting up with your driver. Your first stop will be Changu Narayan; one of the most important monuments in Kathmandu Valley and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll probably want to spend about 2 hours exploring the temple and small town before you make the short drive to Bhaktapur City. When you arrive at the main gate to the old city (near Bhaktapur Durbar Square), make sure you purchase your city ticket before heading to one of the restaurants / cafes overlooking Durbar Square for lunch.

Afternoon: After lunch you’re going to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Bhaktapur on foot. Most visitors focus their attention on the temples, palaces and museums in Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square and Dattatraya Square as well as visiting Pottery Square to pick up those much needed souvenirs for family/friends. It’s really easy to get carried away with souvenir shopping in Kathmandu Valley so just remember that you might end up straining under the weight of your new purchases for the next two weeks! Aside from the main squares, the real highlight of Bhaktapur lies in strolling around town and exploring the myriad back streets and endless alleyways. As a ‘living museum’ the entire city is of significant historical importance, so

if you want to get more information then I suggest you hire a local tour guide. Don’t worry about finding one; they’ll probably find you before you find them. After several hours of wandering (and praying that you manage to navigate your way back to your driver – particularly as he’ll have your luggage in the car) you’ll drive to your second night’s accommodation in Kathmandu City; which will be your base for the remainder of your stay in Kathmandu. Before you leave your driver make sure to ask him if you can hire him for the following two days and arrange for a pick-up at 8am tomorrow – now you’re negotiating directly with the driver you might even get a better deal than the first day. If s/he isn’t available, then no doubt you can arrange a new driver through your hotel.

Evening: After a long day of exploring (and an extremely early wake-up call for sunrise), you may well want to retire a little earlier than usual this evening (especially if you’re old before your time; like me). So, after checking in to your hotel and freshening up, ask reception for some restaurant recommendations for a spot

of dinner and drinks before heading back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.

Day 3

Today you’ll be focusing your attention on Kathmandu City, so check-out my Kathmandu Destination Guide on the takephotosleavefootprints.com wesbite for more detailed information on the temples and sites you’ll see (in addition to tips on how to maximise your visit).

Morning: You’ll be met by your driver at 8am this morning and should head straight for Pashupatinath; one of the four most sacred sites for devotees of Shiva and a UNESCO cultural heritage site. Although nonHindus can’t enter the main temple, you’ll still want to dedicate at least a couple of hours to exploring the entire complex on both banks of the Bagmati River; the site is teeming with activity. Keep in mind, this site is essentially a crematorium, so I’ll leave it up to you to find your own balance of what is appropriate/inappropriate to photograph. Your next morning stop will be the Monkey Temple (or,

more accurately, Swayambhunath). If you’re feeling energetic, then get dropped off at the bottom of the main entrance stairs. Tell your (now dubious) taxi driver that you’re going to hike the stairs and meet him/her in the car park at the top (and through all the way to the back of the site). It’s a fairly serious climb up to the temple on a hot day so make sure you have water with you; and beware of the monkeys! Not called monkey temple for nothing. Next, before lunch (and if you’re not starving/dehydrated/ fed up with monkeys by now), make a quick pit-stop at the three Buddha’s Temple which is just behind the Swayambhunath Complex. Although it’s a fairly new temple (and isn’t as steeped in history as everything else on the itinerary), it is worthy of a 30 minute visit to watch everyday worshippers going about their routine. Finally (or as soon as your co-patriates start looking at you murderously like my wife did), head over to Thamel Chowk for lunch (it may just save your marriage!).

Afternoon: After a long, leisurely lunch (and perhaps a well-deserved beer or two after climbing the steps of Swayambhunath), spend some time wandering the chaotic streets of Thamel. The area is fairly touristy but provides a great opportunity to stock up on low-cost, highly dubious, trekking gear and souvenirs before you head out to the Himalayas. After a couple of hours of shopping and exploring Thamel (and probably buying more than you can fit into your backpack), head back to your hotel to freshen up for the evening.

Evening: Head out again over to Boudhanath Stupa just before sunset. Choose one of the many restaurant terraces that overlook the stupa for dinner and drinks as the sun goes down and worshippers flood the

Old Town Crier March 2023 17

square. As the sun sets, the gold on the stupa creates fantastic reflective colours that make for the perfect photo. Once twilight serenely settles into darkness, the Stupa’s atmosphere takes on a whole new lease on life as candles are lit and cauldrons are set ablaze. Head down to circle the Stupa and really take in the buzz, spin the prayer wheels and feel inspired or confused by the worshipers’ activities (including prostrating on the ground). It does get pretty smoky down on ground level so you might want to have your pollution mask handy. Once you’ve had enough inspiration and/or confusion, head back to the hotel for a nightcap – you’ve earned it!

Day 4

Today you’ll be focusing your attention on Patan City (also known as Lalitpur), so check-out my Patan Destination Guide on the takephotosleavefootprints.com website for more detailed information on the temples and sites you’ll see (in addition to tips on how to maximise your visit).

Morning: By this point your driver will have made a small fortune from his time with you as you’ll need him for yet another full day of sight-seeing! He’ll pick you up at around 9am and although you’ll focus most of your day in Patan you’ll start out by visiting Kathmandu Durbur Square. After paying your entrance fee and getting

the accompanying map you’ll spend about 3 hours exploring the entire square. The outer complex is where you can see the Kumari-Ghar (home of the living Kumari Child Goddess who appears in the interior courtyard window from time to time), ShivParbati Temple and the Big Bell. The inner complex houses the palace area and its courtyards. After you’ve seen more temples than you can shake a stick at head over to Freak Street (which was named in reference to the hippy trail of the 60’s and 70’s) for lunch.

Afternoon: After lunch your driver will take you south of Kathmandu to Patan City (don’t worry it’s only an 8km drive) where you should start by exploring Patan Durbar Square (that’s right, a third Durbar Square). Personally, this is my favourite of the

three Durbar Squares and hence I thought I’d save the best for last. Start with the focal point of the square: the ancient Royal Palace which consists of three Chowks (courtyards) that are the home of exquisite woodwork and stone fountains (particularly Sundari Chowk). Another highlight of Patan Durbar Square is the Patan Museum which exhibits the cultural history and art of Nepal. If you’re still hungry after lunch (or in need of a drink to escape the heat), then the museum also has a café set in a perfect, relaxing, courtyard setting (highly recommended). After visiting Patan Durbar Square, walk towards the Golden Temple (Hiryanya Varna Mahabihar) which is only about 5 minutes from the square. During the walk you’ll pass craft shops displaying the artisanal work that Patan is famous

for (it’s also known as the City of Fine Arts!). The Golden Temple’s centrepiece is a three-storey Golden Pagoda which was built in the 12th Century. It’s only a small temple (with an equally small entrance fee), but it’s well worth dropping by. If you have time left in your day then you might also want to try and set aside some time for your driver to take you to visit one of the Ashoka Stupas (there are four of them on each of the 4 corners of Patan City) and the Jawalakhel Handicraft Centre, which is the centre of the Tibetan Refugee ‘Camp’.

Evening: It’s the end of your solo adventure. If you’re trekking, this evening you’ll likely meet up with your tour group for a meet-and-greet and dinner!

My four-day itinerary is fairly intensive but still doesn’t cover everything you might want to see. If you’re a newbie trekker (or just find yourself short on stamina prior to your trek), you may wish to pin this itinerary to the end of your expedition (while basic it’s still pretty comprehensive).

About the Author: Scott Dicken is a world traveler and amateur photographer on top of being employed full time at an internationally known company. His love of travel is evident – you can read more articles like this at takephotosleavefootprints.com

18 March 2023 Old Town Crier
Four ways to stay in touch! 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 __________________________________________________ Like us on Facebook @oldtowncrier Visit our Website oldtowncrier.com Visit us on Instagram Subscribe LEAVE FOOTPRINTS | FROM PAGE 17

Erin Go Bragh!

The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years.

On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink, and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

The First Parade

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in the United States. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City on March 17, 1762. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers to reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.

Over the next thirty-five years, Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished, prompting the rise of so-called “Irish Aid” societies, like the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society. Each group would hold annual parades featuring bagpipes (which actually first became popular in the Scottish and British armies) and drums.

In 1848, several New York Irish aid societies decided to unite their parades to form one New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Today, that parade is supposedly the world ‘s oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States, with over 150,000 participants. Each year, nearly three million people line the one-and-a-half mile parade route to watch the procession, which takes more than five hours. Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Savannah also celebrate the day with parades including between 10,000 to 20,000 participants. A bit larger than our very own parade that takes place on the 4th.

No Irish Need Apply

Up until the mid-nineteenth century, most Irish immigrants in America were members of the Protestant middle class. When the Great Potato Famine hit Ireland in 1845, close to a million poor,

uneducated, Catholic Irish began to pour into America to escape starvation. Despised for their religious beliefs and funny accents by the American Protestant majority, the immigrants had trouble finding even menial jobs. When Irish Americans in the country’s cities took to the streets on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate their heritage, newspapers portrayed them in cartoons as drunk, violent monkeys. However, the Irish soon began to realize that their great numbers endowed them with a political power that had yet to be exploited. They started to organize, and their voting block, known as the “green machine,” became an important swing vote for political hopefuls. Suddenly, annual St. Patrick’s Day parades became a show of strength for Irish Americans, as well as a must-attend event for a slew of political candidates. In 1948, President Truman attended New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, a proud moment for the many Irish whose ancestors had to fight stereotypes and racial prejudice to find acceptance in America.

Wearing of the Green Goes Global

Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by people of all backgrounds in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Although North America is home to the largest productions, St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in other locations far from Ireland, including Japan, Singapore, and Russia. In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use St. Patrick’s Day as an opportunity to drive tourism and showcase Ireland to the rest of the world. Last year, close to one million people took part in Ireland ‘s St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions, and fireworks shows.

Publishers Note: Our thanks to the many resources on the worldwide web.

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, the day that is his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century.
19 March 2023 Old Town Crier

Is Pet Insurance Right for You?

In addition to accidents caused from our pets’ curiosity and goofiness such as eating string on the floor or a bone found in the trash can, we also must manage the health of creatures who age much faster than ourselves. Like human medicine, veterinary care can be extremely expensive, given a seemingly endless train of miraculous treatments and drugs. Humans have access to insurance to help fund those miracles when needed – should your

pets, too?

A Pawlicy Advisor brief asks what would you do if your dog or cat had an unexpected $5,000 vet bill? It’s a troubling question for many if not most people, who have a median bank balance of not much more than that sum. The group cites a provider saying they have “difficult discussions” every day with pet owners who cannot afford the cost of their animals’ care and asserts that one in three pets will

need emergency care each year. $34.3 billion in medicine and treatment make up about a quarter of the $123.6 billion Americans spent on pets in 2021. In an industry roundup by MarketWatch, more than 90 million Americans have pets, and about 13% of them have pet insurance as of 2022. From 2017 to 2022, insured dogs increased from 1.5 million to 3.25 million, and cats from 290,000 to 727,000. So, more Americans are buying pet insurance. Should you be one of them?

What it is

Geordie is a very handsome 8 year old adopted Celtic kitty (red hair like his mum) who enjoys the Old Town Crier in the evenings after a rigorous day outside.  It both relaxes him and prepares him for upcoming adventures about town. He belongs to Alexandria residents and Old Town Crier fans, Don and Lynn Roberts. We love it when the animals want in on the action!

Pet insurance uses the same familiar terms as other insurance: premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and so forth. It presents the same choices between cost and coverage that concern consumers of health, auto, and life insurance. Available underwriters include national insurance brands like Nationwide and Progressive as well as niche specialists like the ASPCA or big retailers like Costco. Blue Weave Consulting described the market as split into three core categories for dogs, cats, and other animals, with dogs (ahem) leading the pack in coverage “…due to their popularity across the country, higher care costs, and greater risk of accidents...”. As far as policy substance, the industry offers three main kinds of products: accident-only, substantially similar to a “catastrophic” health policy intended to deal with disasters; accident and illness, which expands coverage further into non-routine medical problems; and the catch-all “others,” that can include wellness features such as routine physicals.

Not surprisingly, a number of sites (such as Findinsurance,

Pawlicy Advisor, and Forbes, to name only a few) offer web-based comparison shopping. These sites present summaries of a policy’s high points and general contours such as maximum amount covered, reimbursement rates, and deductibles offered. ValuePenguin (part of Lending Tree) presented current pet insurance data as of 2023, citing a $49 average monthly cost for dogs ($588 annually) and $29 for cats ($348 annually). Again, dog insurance runs higher -- 69% more expensive than cats for accident and illness policies –due to a higher rate of health issues. Breed affects prices, as does age and location. Further modeling in the same brief identified the features of the most common policy as a $500 deductible, a $5,000 annual maximum payout, and an 80% reimbursement level.

When to Buy

Where consumers have more experience with insurance products aimed at them, pet insurance can mystify newcomers. Pet insurance behaves more like health insurance -- purchased as soon as possible -than life insurance, where consumers typically wait until the covered subject ages, according to Pawlicy Advisor. The same group notes that, unlike human health insurance and an enormous consideration in the pet market, no pet insurance covers preexisting conditions. They therefore recommend buying coverage as part of getting a new pet, ideally protecting puppies and kittens from the time they enter your care so that insurance kicks in before conditions develop

A counterpart to the joy we get from our fuzzy companions is constant worry about their safety and well-being.

and are thus excluded from coverage. A pet with preexisting conditions can still be insured for any new problems, and some insurance will cover a current condition it defines as “curable” rather than “chronic” and will cover them once they are declared cured by the insurer’s required process. Many insurers require a vet exam prior to approving a policy.


Pet and human insurance share many features because insurance is a business. In both cases, the insurer needs to make more from your premiums than it pays for your expenses and uses a variety of means such as caps, co-pays, and exclusions to make sure that happens. Both kinds of providers premise the value of their product on letting consumers pay gradually in anticipation of a large sudden expense, again with maximums and co-pays to protect themselves. That said, coverage can be the only way to deal with a huge unforeseen vet bill.

In both cases, the issue comes down to affordability. Among humans, over 8% remain uninsured (and far


more if not counting public insurance). However, an industry group found that “…85% of dog-owners and 76% of cat-owners think of their pets as family,” which puts the pet insurance question back in the perspective of protecting the health of family members. That framework suggests that if a household can afford coverage, doing so takes concrete steps to preserve the health and happiness of the non-human family members for years to come.

About the Author: Ken Byrer is a writer living in Alexandria, VA. He can be seen walking Loki his flame-point Siamese on his leash around town. (photo courtesy of Ken).

Selected Metro DC Animal Shelters/Rescues

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria alexandriaanimals.org/ Animal Welfare League of Arlington www.awla.org

Fairfax County Animal Shelter www.fairfaxcounty.gov/animalshelter Friends of Rabbits and House Rabbit Sanctuary www.friendsofrabbits.org/

King Street Cats www.kingstreetcats.org/

Operation Paws for Homes, Inc. ophrescue.org/

Rikki’s Refuge Animal Sanctuary www.rikkisrefuge.org


Are you looking for a lucky charm this St. Paw-trick’s Day? Look no further than Rosie! She is a 3-year-old female dog who is ready to shamrock and roll. She is described as an epic snuggler, lover of plush squeaky toys, but a gal with just the right amount of energy to revel in outdoor adventures like searching for pots o’ gold.

4101 Eisenhower Avenue

Alexandria, VA 703-746-4774


Mon-Fri, 1-8 pm Closed Wed Sat & Sun, 12-5 pm


Ready to “spring ahead?” Murphy is dreaming of more daylight hours to enjoy his squeaky toys and sniffaris. He is a distinguished gentleman at 8 years old. Mr. Murph has waited far too long for family - and we can’t understand why! He gets along with everyone he meets, loves a good booty scratch, and - even better - he has excellent house and crate manners.


Hay! What is it good for? Absolutely everything! Buddy boy loves munching and crunching on it, but also playing hide and seek in it. Some of his other favorite foods are carrots, apples, and berries. His friends describe him as friendly and charming once he gets comfortable with you. Buddy is a male guinea pig and can’t wait to show you his impressive zoomies!

Old Town Crier March 2023 21
Schedule time to meet with any of these amazing adoptables by emailing Adopt@AlexandriaAnimals.org or calling 703.746.4774 opt. 2.

Now that we're all working remotely Wouldn't you REALLY rather work from the beach?



Naples has again claimed the top spot by Travel and Leisure and several other groups for best beach town in the US. The jewel of SW Florida’s Paradise Coast has sugar sand beaches, turquoise clear waters and every amenity worthy of a world class resort town. Seasonal lease of well furnished 2BR 2BA condo in the very best beachfront location is available this winter (90 day minimum lease term). No ner view from inside and better beach access at any price and most rentals in area start at twice the price. Includes carport parking, heated pool, elevators and privacy; uncrowded beach and, onsite management. Photo is the view from inside!

Call (no texts), email or visit our Facebook page @NaplesOceanfrontCondo. 540-364-9480 • hopespringsfarm@gmail.com

In Bonaire, an Unforgettable Caribbean Summer Festival

June 12th – 17th

Maybe you’ve been to a rum festival. Maybe you’re just beginning a journey into the world of premium rum. Or maybe you’re just looking for a new kind of beach vacation.

Either way, Bonaire Rum Week should be on your calendar and you should start making your plans to attend NOW!

The ultimate summer rum festival in the Caribbean is back again this June, a weeklong celebration of premium rum – set against the backdrop of the ultimate Dutch Caribbean paradise.

If you have been to a rum festival, forget everything you know. This isn’t an expo in a stuffy conference center in a densely populated city.

This is about enjoying the premium Caribbean rum where it’s meant to be enjoyed — at the edge of the ocean. And it’s also about enjoying Bonaire, the Caribbean capital of ocean conservation, home to a dynamic culinary culture (and some of the region’s greatest restaurants) and a growing fine spirits movement.

Bonaire Rum Week is a series of events held across the island, from beach parties with steel bands to rum-pairing dinners to sunset cocktails, all in spectacular waterfront settings.

“The first edition of Bonaire Rum Week was a massive success, and we can’t wait for the 2023 edition,” said Alexander Britell, editor and publisher of Caribbean Journal, which organizes the event in collaboration with Tourism Corporation Bonaire. “There is no

22 March 2023 Old Town Crier key west getaway Ann Street Gardens Key West Getaway One Block from Sloppy Joe’s Contact: historichideaways.com • 1-800-654-5131
The Brass Boer, home to the final dinner and party of the week. The Buddy Dive Happy Hour The perfect pairing.

summer festival quite like this; it’s a must-visit event whether you’re a longtime rum aficionado or just looking for a great beach vacation in the Caribbean.”

The event puts the spotlight on Bonaire, the crown jewel of the ABC islands, one that’s renowned as the global capital of diving and marine conservation, from a landmark marine protected area that goes all around the island to the home of the region’s premier coral restoration movement.

Bonaire Rum Week is a chance for “locals and visitors can mingle while experiencing Bonaire’s culinary scene,” said Miles Mercera, CEO of Tourism Corporation Bonaire.

This year’s event is supported by Moon Tower Bonaire, along with hotel partners including Delfins Beach Resort, Harbour Village Beach Club, Captain Don’s Habitat, Plaza Beach and Dive Resort Bonaire, Grand Windsock Bonaire , Bamboo Bonaire, Buddy Dive Resort Bonaire, Divi Flamingo Beach Resort, along with Rum Runners and the Brass Boer. The official travel partner of the event is Caradonna Adventures.

“This is an unforgettable week in the Caribbean,” said Guy Britton, EVP and Managing Editor at Caribbean Journal.

“If you’re a Caribbean aficionado, this is a must do on your calendar.”

For more, visit BonaireRumWeek.com. For questions, contact rum@caribjournal.com.


12TH - The event kicks off with a VIP event

13TH - Grand opening party at Bonaire’s original cocktail bar, Rum Runners.

14TH - The can’t miss Rum on the Beach party at the Plaza Resort Bonaire

15TH - Rum Lunch at Harbour Village and Rom Rincon’s fantastic Happy Hour on the sunset deck at the Divi Flamingo Resort later in the afternoon.

16TH -  Rum Happy Hour at the Buddy Dive resort and the unforgettable rum evening at the Brass Boer, the number one restaurant in the Caribbean (and the only Caribbean outpost of Holland’s three-Michelin-star Die Librije.)

17TH – A new addition this year, you can attend a combination of Taste of Bonaire, the island’s regular street food festival, with an infusion of rum.

Publishers Note: We are happy to partner with Alexander Britell, Founder and Editor in Chief of the Miami, Florida based Caribbean Journal and his staff contributing to the OTC and our Caribbean Connection Section. Check out the popular online magazine/website at caribjournal.com for valuable information on all fabulous travel options and things of interest in the Caribbean.

Old Town Crier March 2023 23
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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. CARRIBEAN CONNECTION | FROM PAGE 22 Top local band Silver Bullet was on hand for the Rum on the Beach event at Plaza. Last year’s opening party at Rum Runners.

Rites (And Refusals)

a pocket and dropping them into the bonfire. As if removing and torching one’s footwear as a seasonal ritual isn’t quirky enough, imagine what the outside world would make of such cheating. As well as a fondness for the occasion, the sock-in-pocket crowd and I share a preference for warm feet on damp, chilly March days. Besides toasty toes, I have other reasons for clinging to my socks. I don’t have that many pairs. If I’m wearing them to a bonfire party, it’s likely that I consider them part of my sailing gear. I’m not trying to perpetuate the stereotypes of the frugal sailor or the starving writer. I can afford new socks, but I choose not to buy them often. Why? I’m not desperate yet. My feet are still warm. I have enough pairs of socks to get by—just not enough to sacrifice to the equinoctial gods for fun.

I refuse to burn my socks.

It’s a quiet refusal. I’m not trying to mess up anyone’s rites of spring or to rally support for an anti-sock-burning movement. It seems to me that my quiet rebellion, exercising my right to just be me, is in the spirit of the season.

I’m not the only sailor in Annapolis who will attend a sock-burning gathering for the vernal equinox and walk away still wearing socks. I’ve seen a few shamelessly sock-clad friends participate by pulling old socks out of

I think a lot of sailors have this sort of attitude toward their gear. They hang on to it until it’s lost, destroyed, or so leaky that they suffer for one bitter day before throwing it away, if they can part with it. Imagine a sailor friend blowing out a toe in his old dinghy boot. Does he: a) immediately drive to a boat supply store to buy new boots, or b) duct-tape it? If he chooses the tape option, when it wears off, does he: a) go out and buy new boots, or b) re-duct-tape it? If this image makes you smile, then you know that it’s less about frugality and more about the challenge of surviving a boot blowout and the joy of sporting a boot with a story.

Sailing gear, even a pair of socks, has memories attached to it. That’s why it’s tough to say goodbye to it. I would love to survey sailors about the first time they wear their foul weather gear in the spring and what treasures from the previous season they find in the Velcro pockets. Among the items friends and I found last year were a ginger beer cap, lost sunglasses, a cotter pin, a hotel key, a nail file (crucial on deck in foul weather), a business card from a guy long forgotten, five beer bottle labels stuck together, and two drink tickets from the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Even if each item in our pockets didn’t spark a specific memory (such as the Bermuda ticket surely did), a relic like a ginger beer cap suggests a lively moment in time. After a long winter, such a memento may rekindle hope, as a budding crocus does, and reminds us that sailing season is coming. Pull enough hopeful tidbits out of any jacket pocket, and it’s a sure bet that you’ll become attached to it for its pleasant association if not for its warmth and wicking wonders. That’s why we tend to hang on to our gear until it’s over.

Perhaps this is a rationalization for being too cheap to buy new gear. There’s a grain of truth in that. But there’s more to it. My attachment to my gear, including my socks, is a mix of practicality, sentimentality, and resistance to change. Besides the fact that it’s a lighthearted, home-grown tradition, what’s so charming about the Burning of the Socks, is that it’s a

shunning of cold days—held on a cold day. The temperature at the spring equinox usually peaks at 48.9 degrees in my neighborhood. Not exactly flipflop weather, but the natives strip off their socks and burn them anyway. If that doesn’t hold some loony charm for you, then you won’t like this place.

As much as I enjoy the concept, I resist it. That the chill may linger for a few weeks following the equinox is okay with me. I like the winter months and their empty weekends, free for dawdling around the house or taking walks. Fresh in memory is a beautiful, bright February morning walking through the fluffy snow, so light that it whisked away with one swoop of a broom, and seeing it sparkle in the trees. I don’t need to rush forward into the next season when there’s still something to savor in this one.

Do I want to go sailing? Yes. Soon. But on that symbolic date when the day is as long as the night, I’m going to hang on just a little while longer to my memories, my quiet time, and my socks. Whether we force it or not, spring will come.

The Annapolis Maritime Museum Oyster Roast and Sock Burning will unfold March 19th from noon to 4 p.m. Visit amaritime.org to learn more.

About the Author: Winans is a longtime friend of the Old Town Crier and the Managing Editor of SpinSheet and Prop Talk boating magazines based in Eastport, MD.

24 March 2023 Old Town Crier FROM THE BAY BY MOLLY WINANS
Gorgeous Waterfront Dining in St. Mary’s County Clarke’s Landing 24580 Clarke’s Landing Ln. Hollywood, MD 301-373-3986 STONEYSSEAFOODHOUSE.COM visit usbyland or sea OPEN YEARROUND! “The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.” — A. Einstein Available by appointment 14550 Solomons Island Road Solomons, MD 20688 www.carmengambrillart.com 410.610.4075 (Celebrating 40 years on Solomons Island) For Chuck Floyd, it was 5 Carmen Gambrill paintings! Welcome to abstract art. See what you want to see. That’s the fun of it! No two people see the same thing because everyone’s experiences are different. Find YOUR joy. WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY? Spring is just around the corner! WE HAVE A SLIP WAITING FOR YOU! DEEP WATER AND COVERED SLIPS AVAILABLE 14485 Dowell Road Solomons, MD 20629 410.326.4251 calvertmarina.com Old Town Crier March 2023 25 O T T E R M A N I A ! O T T E R M A N I A ! S A T U R D A Y , M A R C H 2 5 , 2 0 2 3 S A T U R D A Y , M A R C H 2 5 , 2 0 2 3 •• 1 0 A M - 4 P M 1 0 A M - 4 P M R E S E R V E R E S E R V E T I C K E T S A T T I C K E T S A T C a l v e r t M a r i n e M u s e u m c o m 1 4 2 0 0 S o l o m o n s I s l a n d R o a d S S o l o m o n s , M D 2 0 6 8 8 Come Down South this Spring
Photo by Lani Gering


Point to point season kicks off this month in the Blue Ridge

Our mild winter, balmy spring days in January and February bode well for the spring point to point and steeplechase season here in the Blue Ridge hunt country. And, there’s no better cure for a little cabin fever than taking in some world class racing action over fences just an hour from Washington D.C. It all starts Saturday, March 4 with on the circuit’s newest course in rural Culpeper County hosting the Rappahannock Hunt Point to Point Races. Rappahannock Hunt’s races have long been a favorite fixture on the early spring circuit but had a 12 year hiatus searching for a new course until 2020 when the new location opened for business. And it may be the circuit’s prettiest course, located in the shadow of some of the best Blue Ridge views around in Boston, Va., at the Hill Farm.

The Rappahannock Hunt season opener is already a winner with both fans and horsemen, not only for the views but the careful attention paid to making the course and grounds inviting for both horses and people. The Hill Farm has a long history of hosting fox hunts and not surprisingly, hunting owner Larry Levy has also trained and ridden races. It’s near the Culpeper/Rappahannock county line about halfway between Culpeper and Sperryville. Officials report due to its instant popularity, reserved railside party spots are selling briskly but it still remains one of the best general admission viewing course and starting at $10, is a bargain. Gates open at 10 am on March 4th (rain date March 11) for the first race at noon. For up to the minute details visit the hunt’s website at www.RappahannockHunt.com or their Facebook page. The next race on the schedule is Warrenton Hunt’s point to point held at Airlie on March 18th.

Point to point races are the minor leagues of steeplechasing, or racing over fences, a sport popular in our state since colonial times. These races have roots in the hunt field--

hundreds of years ago, a pair of Irish foxhunters raced cross country using a church steeple as a landmark, to settle the question of who had the faster hunting horse. Now, as back then, horses still race over natural countryside and farmland and jump natural obstacles, although courses are set up so spectators can see all or most of the race from the sidelines or the infield. Later in the spring, races are sanctioned by the National Steeplechase Association and offer cash purses and in some locations, pari-mutuel wagering, but the feeder program for these prestigious races is the local point to point circuit, with none bigger and more competitive than Virginia’s.

The local hunt clubs are the backbone and the labor force of the point to points in Virginia, where clubs sponsor race meets in the spring. Foxhunting clubs are mostly subscription-based but for most, their point to point is the major source of income to offset the costs of maintaining a kennel of hounds,

horses, trucks, trailers and tractors as well as associated feed, veterinary and staff expenses. Every hunt member, including non-riding social members, volunteers for the myriad tasks involved, from entries, hospitality tents, parking, programs and admissions, and course maintenance— no small task, since most of the “courses” are actually cow pastures.

These meets, long referred to as the “pots and pans” circuit, are considered “unsanctioned” and offer little or no prize money—horses race for bragging rights, trophies and seasonend awards. But the competition is nevertheless fierce; point to points provide an important training ground for horses and riders that will go on to run in the bigger national races sanctioned by the sport’s governing body, the NSA, such as the Virginia Gold Cup. For the fans, the point to points offer the fans a chance to see the action up close and rub elbows with the owners, trainers and riders.

Admission fees are generally less than half of what the big sanctioned

races cost, and most of the courses offer spectacular scenic views of the racing as well as the iconic Blue Ridge splendor in the background.

Admission starts at just $10 per person at the Rappahannock Hunt’s March 4th races; a variety of reserved railside tailgating spaces and tent rentals are available by advance reservation at most.

If you go to just one, we suggest Rappahannock Hunt’s races. “He [the Hill farm owner Larry Levy] has pulled out the stops to make it perfect. You drive through the beautiful, pristine farm to get to it, and it’s in a natural bowl, with parking on three of the four sides of it. All will have really good views of the course,” said a Rappahannock Hunt race committee co-chair. “We’re having good food, too,” she added. “While many prepare and bring their own tailgate picnics, several food trucks will be offering delicious on site fare. Really good stuff, like fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, good old country cooking.”

Race day attire is country casual; these March race meets are not as much about high fashion’s latest trends as they are about being warm and comfortable for early or variable spring weather. Head gear and footwear tend to be practical rather than fanciful. Admission prices vary for each race meet, most offer discounted pricing for advance ticket purchase and general admission on race day. Visit their websites if available or call the listed numbers for specific questions. Races are generally run rain or shine but unusually wet or inclement weather has been known to force postponement or even cancellation; if any questions visit the website or call the information number listed for each race.

For information and the race schedule log on to http://www.centralentryoffice.com/ calendar.aspx.

26 March 2023 Old Town Crier TO THE BLUE RIDGE JULIE REARDON
Visst 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 The Loft – Little Washington • 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 More Info Contact- Samantha.rpkgetaways@gmail.com HUNT COUNTRY RELAX. ENJOY. STAY. RELAX. ENJOY. STAY. waypointhouse.com 211 South Church Street | Berryville VA 22611 | 540-955-8218 a contemporary, pet-friendly B+B in the Northern Shenandoah Valley 540.687.6395 wwp.com THE PREMIER BROKERAGE FIRM REPRESENTING THE CAPITAL REGION

THE INN AT TABBS CREEK Southern Hospitality at Its Finest!

With February temperatures spring like, we decided to take a road trip to Mathews, Virginia and stay at the Inn at Tabbs Creek. After years of sailing my own boat and sailing with others I had heard a lot about the maritime history of Mathews County. During the 18th and 19th centuries, more than 2,000 vessels were built in Mathews. The demand for sailing ships increased during the Revolutionary War and the industry dominated in the county until before the Civil War. During this time period, more vessels were constructed in Mathews than anywhere else in Virginia. The history of Gloucester and Mathews counties revolves around the Chesapeake Bay and those who worked its waters for generations. Those old enough to recall the days when buy boats came in and out of the harbors will tell you that many of the vessels were crafted by local boatbuilders. Today, there are those who work to keep the history of these artisans and their boats from being forgotten.

Mathews and Gloucester counties lie along the Chesapeake Bay and are bordered by the Rappahannock and the York Rivers. There are a number of routes to take to get there. We decided to avoid I-95 and Fredericksburg and chose to head into Maryland, take route 5 south to Waldorf and continue down Route 301, across the Potomac River, across the Rappahannock River and into Port Royal. From there we picked up Route 17, the “Tidewater Trail” and headed south. After traveling for about 45 minutes you will come to the county seat and you can either take route 3 or continue on 17. As you go deeper into the county

you will need a good map or GPS. Here the driving is like Rappahannock County…no traffic lights and spotty internet service.

After you pass through the town of Mathews you will come to the very small town of Port Haywood. After a sharp right turn on Turpin Lane (look for the Marlboro sign), follow

the gravel road to a right turn and the approach to the Inn at Tabbs Creek. The approach is a straight arrow road that is pointed at the front door. With two huge Magnolia trees guarding the entrance and Tabbs Creek painting the background, you will know you have arrived.

The main house is a circa late 1800’s

wooden structure that was built by one of the local boat builders. It is known that the one of the former owners was a boat captain. The house makes a strong statement as you view from the outside, but once inside you will note the classic hardwood floors and sturdy staircase leading to the upstairs bedrooms. The first floor has an office on the right side and an intimate study complete with two brown-leather over stuffed couches, a TV, a wall case of books as well as a nice gas fireplace for these cool nights. Straight back is the gathering area of the kitchen around a huge wooden table/counter. It was here that we met our hosts Greg and Lori Dusenberry. As they explained, in the morning there is a fresh pot of coffee and also a small refrigerator stocked with wine. Each guest is allowed a bottle of their choice upon arrival. The kitchen is to the left and the dining area is directly back with some two top tables and a large common table in the side dining room. There are wrap around windows that allow views of the pool, the grounds and the creek to the kitchen side and directly out back. The fire pit is located in the back yard sitting along Tabbs Creek. Greg stacks the firewood each evening so all one needs to do is light the prepared kindling. We spent both our damp, but not rainy evenings by the beautiful fire pit.

After chatting with some of the other guests, we were shown to our room. We were assigned the “Captains Room” that is located upstairs and centered in the middle of the house with 270 degree views on both sides and back towards the creek and boat dock. The room was very comfortable with a TV, bathroom with a walk in shower. There was also a sitting room with a mini fridge and a welcoming cheese plate. The hit of the room was the wonderful bed. You don’t just lie on the bed but it rather molds around you like a gentle hug. Very nice. From

28 March 2023 Old Town Crier ROAD TRIP BY BOB TAGERT ROAD TRIPS > PAGE 29
INN AT TABBS CREEK 384 Turpin Lane Port Haywood, VA 804-725-5136 Innattabbscreek.com
Our hosts Greg and Lori Dusenberry.

our viewpoint we could see almost all of the property except for directly in front of the Inn. Facing directly out back we could see Tabb Creek and the boat dock. To the left was East River and to the right was the pool (although covered this time of year), one of the standalone cottages as well as more water in the distance. We didn’t tour either of the cottages because of guests but the photos we saw indicates that they are just as amazing as the main house. You can check them out on the Inn’s website and Facebook page.

After taking a few minutes to check out the property we began to feel a little hungry and thirsty. Even though we had stopped in Port Royal for a nice Mexican lunch, the three hour drive was beginning to take its toll. On a recommendation from Greg we drove about ten miles to the Hole in the Wall Waterfront Grill. Although there were no horses parked outside, this was just the kind of place we were looking for. Great food, good prices and exceptionally friendly folks. The restaurant derives its name from a shallow passage over a sand bar that can become visible with a very low tide. With shallow draft work boats, it is always an adventure I am sure.

On our second day we took a drive north to Deltaville. As the saying goes, “Deltaville, a place that has more boats than people and perfect for sailors or fishers”. Deltaville is also home to Norton Yachts, the largest dealer of new and used boats on the Chesapeake Bay. I have sailed in there a few times over the years…great folks. On this particular afternoon we visited the Deltaville Marine Museum. We were short on time, but you could spend the whole day here. It is fascinating. Also, here, the boatbuilding legacy of the area is alive.

We also visited the Voll Winery tasting room and restaurant, which is a chef owned winery with an emphasis on food as well as wine through tastings. The wine flights we had were very good. It is a different concept than what we are used to in the Blue Ridge.

For dinner on our second night we ventured to the White Dog Bistro at our Innkeepers recommendation. Originally Lane’s Hotel, this elegant

columned structure has been standing its ground for over 175 years. From 2009 to 2012 the property was renovated and reopened as The White Dog Bistro. An analogy that would work well here in Mathews County, the White Dog Bistro is the mother pearl in this oyster! Clearly, the food is fresh as most is local. The dining room is beautiful while the prices were very reasonable. Both establishments at which we dined were very different but both excellent at what they do.

Although the weather was overcast while we explored Mathews County, it didn’t rain…until we left. The bright spot was one more breakfast from Chef Greg. This cannot be underestimated, you don’t eat this breakfast, you savor his creations. As we dined with the couple from Richmond whom we had shared the fire pit the last two evenings, we swapped business cards and made our way into the increasing drizzle outside.

Although our weather wasn’t ideal, it certainly wasn’t bad. We hope to return in the warmer months when the pool is open, the kayaks, a canoe and the paddle boards are back at the dock. In addition to these amenities there is also a restored dead rise boat, the Helen Elizabeth, available at the floating dock for excursions on the water that involve tonging for oysters, lessons on shucking oysters and other “waterman” type adventures.

The Inn at Tabbs Creek IS one of those places you tell your friends about. They spare no expense in time and effort to make your stay amazing. The attention to detail from the room appointments to the breakfast and the amenities is a cut above the norm by a long shot.

Out and About in Mathews,

Old Town Crier March 2023 29 ROAD TRIP | FROM PAGE 28
Sailor Bob in his element at the Deltaville Maritime Museum Tasting Wine at Zolls Sign Up for a Waterman's Excursion

Established in 1976, this month’s restaurant is one of the original eateries that helped put Old Town Alexandria on the map and, is for me, a trip down memory lane. When I came to Old Town in 1977 the Fish Market became my go-to bar and restaurant. We would gather at the then, Brass Bar, for beers in the afternoon. It was, and still is, a gathering place for many locals including… businesspersons, shopkeepers and artists from the Torpedo Factory. It is also a go to place for the thousands of tourists

Eat Fish, Drink Beer, Live Longer!

quality is just as good as back then and the menu has been upgraded to include very diverse offerings. Then, as now, the Fish Market is still putting Old Town on the map.

Franco Landini and his son Noe bought the restaurant from the estate of Mr. Ray (Giovannoni) - who founded the restaurant – in 2006. The Landini’s immediately gutted the place, took out a bar, and rebuilt the entire place including a new and modern kitchen. Today, the restaurant offers a raw bar, soups and chowders, starters and salads,

of beer. This practice still exists and has many faithful

famous and popular items. Simmered in a rich creamy broth with potato chunks and large chunks of clam, this dish can almost be a complete meal. Complemented with some oyster crackers and a large schooner of beer… you are set. They also offer seafood stew, crab soup and lobster bisque and Guinness Stout oyster stew, perfect for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. All of these are excellent. One of the best items they offer is their version of peel and eat shrimp. The shrimp they source are large and very firm but the magic is the incredible melted butter and spice combination in which they are prepared. Another item that is great finger food is their hush puppies dipped in melted butter.

One of my favorite entrees is the fried butterfly shrimp. Succulent shrimp and fried just right. I can munch on these for hours…the taste just keeps on coming. They also offer ten different sandwich options starting with their original filet-o-fish and crab cake to a Mahi Ruben and others. The restaurant also offers a number of platter options either baked, grilled

or fried. There are twelve options to choose from so check out their menu online. And to make note that this is just not your average fish house, they offer Crab Norfolk, Jambalaya and Catfish Étouffée, as well as Surf and Turf and a variety of pasta dishes which are very good.

The different dishes offered are the main attraction but the atmosphere is something else. With five dining rooms that are each reasonably small you have a sort of intimacy with others in the room. If you want to break away and pick it up a beat, you can head to the Anchor Bar. This ground floor bar is large enough to handle a crowd. On weekends there is usually live music and lots of tables and booths. The room also has numerous large screen TV’s which are perfect to watch March Madness.

The Fish Market was a part of my life early on in Old Town. Like everyone, it has evolved but the fact remains it is one of the restaurants, like Landini Brothers, the Wharf, Il Porto and the Warehouse who started it all…and not only survived but have flourished.

Old Town Crier Fish Market Restaurant & Bar 105 & 107 King Street Old Town Alexandria 703-836-5676 FishMarketVA.com
1 2 1 S o u t h U n i o n S t A l e x a n d r i a V A • 7 0 3 - 5 4 8 - 1 7 8 5 E v e n t s @ u n i o n s t r e e t p u b l i c h o u s e c o m u n i o n s t r e e t p u b l i c h o u s e c o m E l e g a n t W e d d i n g s , R e h e a r s a l D i n n e r s , P r i v a t e E v e n t s F o u r b e a u t i f u l e v e n t s p a c e s , a t t e n t i o n t o d e t a i l , & u n m a t c h e d s e r v i c e
Kelly Spaine Photography
Old Town Crier March 2023 31 Best Brunch in Old Town Saturday & Sunday 9am- 4pm “A Washington Post Capitol Cuisine Favorite” e Very Best Alexandria has to o er in the Heart of Historic Old Town Famous for our She Crab Soup, Steaks and Crab Cakes Eight Glorious Days to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day WWW.MURPHYSPUB.COM SATURDAY, MARCH 4TH PARADE DAY: Live music by Pat Garvey, Pat Carroll, Powers & McLaughin, and Irish Dancers. Jameson specials! THURSDAY, MARCH 9TH POUR THE PERFECT PINT CONTEST: Signup starts at 6 p.m., contest starts at 7. Must be 21+ to participate. Live music by Rocky Guttmann. SATURDAY, MARCH 11TH ST. PRACTICE DAY: Guiness Personalized Pint event, 4-6 p.m., Live music by Pat Carroll, Rocky Guttmann, Poehemia, and Irish Dancers. SUNDAY, MARCH 12TH IRISH BREAKFAST with Jameson tea time flight. TUESDAY, MARCH 14TH IRISH TRIVIA at 8:15 p.m., Live muisic downstairs at 8:30 p.m. with Pete Baker. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15TH TASTE OF IRELAND: Whiskey, beer and cheese pairings; Live music at 8:30 p.m. by Kenny Kohlass and Pat Carroll. FRIDAY, MARCH 17 HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY! Live music by Pat Carroll, Brandon Kennedy, Atlantic Bridge, and Pat Garvey. Murphys Irish Pub • 713 King St. Alexandria, VA • 703-548-1717 7 Glorious Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day For more information call 703-548-1717 or visit us at murphyspub.com 7966 Fort Hunt Road Call 703-347-7545 RiverBendBistro.com Spring is just around the corner. Try our new menu March 20 March 17 Corned Beef and Cabbage!!

“Traditional” Irish Stew

With St. Patrick’s Day almost upon us, there is no better way to celebrate this special day than to make that quintessential Irish dish—Irish Stew. There isn’t just one recipe for Irish stew (Irish: stobhach or stobhach Gaelach). Recipes can vary from home to home or region to region, but all are agreed that the meat must be lamb or mutton can be used, but this is meat from an older sheep and is less tender, fattier and has a stronger flavor. Another point of agreement is that the dish must include onions and potatoes. Many are adamant that carrots are a must and some even like peas, turnips, parsnips and/or celery. The purist will insist it must also contain pearl barley, but this would not be common nowadays at least. The meat used is not the best cuts of lamb, but the cheaper ones such as shoulder, leg or shank. This famous meat stew is different than most in that the meat is not browned. In French culinary parlance, it is cooked blanquette style.


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 salt

1/2 ground black pepper

2 bay leaves

1 large onion, sliced

2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch sections

1 parsnip, peeled and cut into large chunks (optional)

4 cups beef broth, canned is acceptable

3 large red potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

½ cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish


Heat oil over high heat in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add lamb pieces and cook over medium heat, stirring gently, but do not allow to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Add onions, bay leaves and beef broth. Cover and simmer over low heat until meat is slightly tender, but still undone—approximately 20-30 minutes.

Add the carrots, potatoes and parsnips. Replace lid and cook until meat and veggies are fork tender— approximately 15-20 minutes. Stir in parsley and rosemary. Taste again for salt and pepper; adjust a necessary. Serve piping hot in bowls garnished with sprig of fresh parsley or rosemary. Serve with crusty bread and butter.

32 March 2023 Old Town Crier LET’S EAT BY CHARLES OPPMAN



1799 PRIME STEAK & SEAFOOD 110 S. Pitt Street



3 Pioneer Mill Way


AUGIE’S MUSSEL HOUSE 1106 King Street 703.721.3970


5 Cameron St. 703-739-6090

BOB & EDITHS DINER 1743 King Street


CAFE 44 44 Canal Center


CHADWICKS 203 Strand St. 703-836-4442


One Cameron St. 703-684-5080


330 South Pickett St. 703-685-9172 fatcitykitchen.com


1406 King Street



2000 Mt. Vernon Ave.



1400 Duke Street 703-299-0894


725 King St.



2004 Eisenhower Ave. 703-725-1342


138 N. Royal St. 703-548-1288


727 N. Henry Street


1404 King St. 703-837-0050

HEN QUARTER 1404 King St. 703-684-6969


3410 Mount Vernon Ave. 703-566-1509


220 South Union Street


JACKS PLACE 222 North Lee St. 703-684-0372

JOE THEISMANNS 1800 Diagonal Rd. 703-739-0777


1508 Mount Vernon Avenue Alexandria 703-436-0025


728 King Street 571-319-0794

LAPORTAS 1600 Duke St. 703-683-6313

THE LIGHT HORSE 715 King Street 703-549-0533

LORI'S TABLE 1028 King Street 703-549-5545

LOST DOG CAFE 808 North Henry St. 571-970-6511

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 DanielOconnells.com

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


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

SWEETGREEN 823 King St. 571-319-0192

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


510 John Carlyle Street 571-312-7960


116 South Alfred Street 703-838-8000



608 Montgomery St. 703-548-1004 tjstones.com


1605 King Street



121 South Union St. 703-548-1785 unionstreetpublichouse.com


106 South Union St. 571-970-3669


101 North Union St.



214 King St. 703-683-6868 warehouseoldtown.com



809 King St.



1625 King Street

(571) 404-6050


300 King Street



1019 King St.



9 King St.



1209 King St.



722 King Street



801 N. Fairfax St.

703 535-6622


66 Canal Center Plaza



407 Cameron St.



1901 Mt. Vernon Ave.



503 Montgomery St. 571-777-8154



GW Parkway at Lucia Ln. 703-780-3665


1024 Cameron Street 703-717-9361


710 King Street 703-888-1951 villagebrauhaus.com



606 N. Fayette St. 703-519-3776 bastillerestaurant.com


BRABO 1600 King St. 703-894-3440


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


ALDO'S ITALIAN KITCHEN 2850 Eisenhower Avenue (behind the building) 703-888-2243

ANDY’S PIZZA 107 N Fayette St 571-319-0497

BUGSYS PIZZA RESTAURANT 111 King St. 703-683-0313

FACCIA LUNA 823 S. Washington St. 703-838-5998

FRANK PEPE NAPOLETANA PIZZERIA 3231 Duke Street Alexandria Commons 703-719-2035

HANDOVER BY THE SLICE 728 King Street 571-319-0794

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 ON KING 703 King Street 703-838-9090 Michaelsonking.com

PIECE OUT 2419 Mount Vernon Avenue 703-398-1287

RED ROCKS FIREBRICK PIZZA 904 King St. 703-717-9873

THOMPSON'S ITALIAN 1026 King Street alexandria@thompsonitalian.com


BARCA PIER & WINE BAR 2 Pioneer Mill Way 703-638-1100

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 818 N St. Asaph 703-739-HANK FISH MARKET-OLD TOWN 105 King St. 703-836-5676 fishmarketoldva.com

THE WHARF 119 King St. 703-836-2834

WHISKEY & OYSTER 301 John Carlyle 703-567-1533



1510A Bellview Blvd. 703-660-6085

DIYA 218 North Lee, 2nd Floor 703-706-5338

KISMET MODERN INDIAN 111 North Pitt Street 703-567-4507

NAMASTE 1504 King St. 703-970-0615


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


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 March 2023 33

Exploring Northern Neck Wine

When people think of the Northern Neck, seafood, history, and weekend getaways usually come to mind. Few people realize it’s also one of the birthplaces of American wine, as well as one of the few American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in Virginia.

The Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA (or Northern Neck for short) is one of 267 locations the federal government recognizes as uniquely suitable for winemaking. Created in 1987, this tongue-twister of a name captures the AVA’s two essential features; the oceanic influence which defines its terroir, and the area’s colonial history.

Flanked by the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers, the Northern Neck peninsula (“Neck” in local parlance) juts into the Chesapeake Bay roughly halfway between Norfolk and D.C. According to Ingleside Vineyards owner Doug Flemer, life in the Neck is slow and local wineries tend to be smaller than their counterparts elsewhere in the Commonwealth.

Doug’s family founded Ingleside in 1980, making it the 4th oldest winery in the Commonwealth. As the area’s longest-serving vintner, Doug explained his take on growing wine in the Northern Neck.

“The region is challenging. We’ve made some great wine over the years, although we don’t get a lot of credit like some of the larger wineries in Virginia. But we’ve been growing grapes since the 1970s and with that experience we know how to tweak things to get the most out of our area.

Ingleside is only at 180 feet elevation, which is actually the highest point on the peninsula. It takes time to heat the waters around us so our springs are slow but steady and the heat stays


Touring the Northern Neck

Today, the Northern Neck is home to ten wineries and a cidery, most of which are part of the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail. Befitting its location as a vacation area, many wineries have on-site lodging.

Seafood is so important to the local economy this area is part of the Virginia Oyster Trail. The peninsula hosts oyster crawls in the spring and fall, and nearby Urbanna hosts an annual oyster festival every November. This makes the Northern Neck an excellent place to explore the concept of ‘merroir’; that an oyster’s flavor is impacted by the environment where it’s grown.

Dudley Patteson, proprietor of both Hope and Glory Inn and Dog and Oyster Vineyard, explained the influence merroir has on Northern Neck wine. “Our area can boast the perfect pairing; wine made from grapes grown on land next to water where oysters grow. Each reflect where they are grown, a sense of place.”


SIP: At The Estate at White Hall Vineyard, Ingleside Vineyards, Backporch Vineyard, or Monroe Bay Winery

DINE: At Wilkerson’s Seafood; but look for the Denson’s food truck

TOUR: For history, visit the George Washington Birthplace National Monument or Stratford Hall. For nature, watch bald eagles at Caledon State Park.

STAY: At the Ingleside Airbnb


SIP: At General’s Ridge Vineyard, Rivah Vineyards at The Grove, or The Hague Winery

DINE: At The Backdraft

TOUR: Westmoreland State Park for camping and shark tooth hunting, or kayaking from the Slips of Kinsale marina

STAY: At a guest houses at General’s Ridge or The Hague Winery


SIP: At Ditchley Cider Works, Good Luck Cellars, Jacey Vineyards, or Triple V Farms

DINE: Try the prix fixe at Hope and Glory Inn

TOUR: For history, visit historic Christ Church. For outdoor adventures, try Belle Isle State Park or Sail & Surf Adventures

STAY: At the Hope and Glory Inn or an Airbnb from Harmonized Getaways

Also visit their Chesapeake Bay neighbors; Caret Cellars, Wind Vineyards, and Zoll Vineyards on the Middle Peninsula.

longer into the fall. That provides a longer growing season than elsewhere in the state, and we almost never get frost.

Unfortunately the Northern Neck also tends to have high nighttime temperatures, which causes the acidity in our grapes to drop. That’s why we like higher acid grapes, since losing some acid doesn’t bother them.

We are one of the first wineries to do much with Albariño; it really does well in our hot, humid climate. We also grow Cabernet Sauvignon and get it to maturity, although the one we really like is Petit Verdot, and I think it’s one

of the best reds we can grow.” Blending History and Wine

The Northern Neck is also rich in history. Three of the first five presidents, namely George Washington, James Madison, and James Monroe, were born here.

A number of original colonial buildings still stand. Washington’s birthplace, Popes Creek Plantation, is a national monument. The Lee family, whose progeny includes two signers of the Declaration of Independence and General E. Lee of the Confederacy, called nearby Stratford Hall home. Historic Christ Church remains one of the best-preserved colonial parish churches in the United States.

This area also played an early role

in the American wine industry thanks to the Carters of Virginia, one of the most prominent families in the colony. The Carter family succeeded where Thomas Jefferson failed; making the first wine in British North America.

In 1759 - almost two decades before Jefferson planted vines at MonticelloCharles Carter already had a vineyard at his plantation at Cleve. A major political figure and entrepreneur, Charles began a correspondence with the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufacture, and Commerce in London, suggesting winemaking as a method of economic diversification.

In 1762, Charles sent a dozen bottles to the Society, likely made from a combination of native and European

grapes. They were so pleased with the results they awarded Charles a gold medal as the first person to make a “spirited attempt towards the accomplishment of their views, respecting wine in America.”

If the name “Carter” is familiar to Virginia wine lovers, it’s because owner Philip Carter Strother of Philip Carter Winery is a descendant of the Carter family, and names his flagship red blend after Charles’ estate.

Author: Matthew Fitzsimmons is a blogger who has visited nearly every winery in Virginia – most of them twice. Track his progress at https:// winetrailsandwanderlust.com/.

Old Town Crier March 2023 35

Springtime Farming…Sort of!

As every farmer does, I have had to learn to dance with Mother Nature. A farmer can take some risks when planting, but it sure is nice when we have some consistency in patterns and expectations for the weather. Over the past couple of decades our weather has been erratic from year to year, and with the relatively warm winter we have just experienced farmers have a lot of things to consider, both good and challenging.

On the positive side, we have been able to prune our vines and keep our crews working in the vineyards without snow days and major cold weather considerations. We will have a lull in pruning projects as we finish our rough pruning because we will wait until after bud break for the final pruning. This break will allow us to catch up on other projects that we have not been able to get to yet. Trellis repairs, hardscape projects on the farm, and building maintenance all come to mind when I think of this opportunity of time. A downside to this could be cash flow: many farms have tight budgets and plan on costbalancing by using those snow days for indoor work. There are times where a farmer will loan out some team members to other farms that don’t have the staff. This helps keep the team working, the budget

balanced, and helps to cement solid relationships with the neighbors.

Another positive aspect of this mild weather is the ability to work the ground. Timing for farmers is critical year-round, hence the phrase “make hay while the sun is shining.” Another farming hint on when to start working the ground is “when you watch your neighbor work his ground and not get stuck!” Frozen ground does not till well with any tractor or implement. Soggy ground is even worse. So timing when to get your tractor out in the field is important and watching the forecast to find the best window to work the ground before the next rain is critical. We do a bit of large scale gardening on our farm in addition to the grapes. Most years in Virginia, late March is the earliest we can get out, but I was working the ground on Valentine’s Day this year. It’s a dance step of balance: getting it done early or risk making more of a mess.

Just because the winter is mild and the plants are waking up earlier does not mean that the cold of the season is gone. For our region, we’re told that Mothers Day is our last chance for a frost. We have had a number of frosts right around Mothers Day over the years and they can be very damaging. If my new green shoots have been

out and growing for a few weeks I can lose all the fruit for the season as well as all the energy the plant used to push out those shoots. We like it when there is a steady cold winter season and then a steady warm up with no late cold snaps.

Another challenge that our farmers face with a warm winter has to do with pests. We want the diseases and predatory insects to die off in the winter cold so we can start fresh in the spring. When the weather is not cold enough the spores from some of the funguses can survive and give us an early disease pressure. The bugs can do the same thing. Cold during the winter, while the plants are dormant, is good for getting rid of some of these problems we might face in the growing season. Consistency is best so that what we learn in one year will apply to the next, but is a luxury we don’t always get. Give some thought to these issues as you sip your locally grown wine, eat your local food, and watch the weather man. The dance with Mother Nature changes regularly and nobody knows that more than the farmer!

About the Author: Farmer, winemaker, entrepreneur, educator, and leader, Doug Fabbioli has been accelerating the growth and quality of

Virginia’s wine industry since 1997. With his wife Colleen, Doug is the owner/operator of Fabbioli Cellars in Leesburg, VA. He is the founder and director of The New Ag School,

which focuses on teaching the next generation of farmers and agriculture-related leaders. No wonder they call Doug Fabbioli the Godfather of DC’s Wine Country.

36 March 2023 Old Town Crier EXPLORING VA WINES DOUG FABBIOLI real people. earth friendly. fabulous wines. OPEN THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY 11-5 PLEASE CALL FOR RESERVATIONS FOR GROUPS OF SIX OR MORE 15669 Limestone School Rd Leesburg, VA 20176 703.771.1197 • fabbioliwines.com info@fabbioliwines.com


The Water of Life

Are you Irish? If you answered no, you’re wrong.

Fine, you’re not wrong. But there is a fact you need to face. You’re going to be Irish. A day is coming, a grand day. A day that will cause you to be Irish, whether you like it or not. Because on that day, everyone is Irish! It’s the most magical day of the year. On March 17th you’ll rise from bed and you’ll be Irish! Well, at least for one day anyway. It’s a beautiful thing. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself craving Irish beer and whiskey. It’s been known to happen. You may even eat potatoes, or corned beef and cabbage.

This miracle of a day needs to be celebrated properly. First, you’ll need to pick a good Irish pub. There are plenty of them. Almost every town has one. The shamrock is everyone’s friend.

Next, you’ll need to decide which Irish beer and Irish whiskey you’ll be drinking. Guinness is always a good start. I usually start with it. Then follow it with Smithwick’s. In the Irish language, Irish whiskey is referred to as uisce beatha, which means the

“water of life.” I guarantee you just pronounced it wrong. Everyone does, even most of the Irish. Here is the phonetic spelling: ish-ca baa-ha. Many of you probably mispronounced Smithwick’s as well.

And Irish whiskey is always spelled with an “e”. This was done to differentiate their whiskey from the Scots who spell it whisky. The Canadians and Japanese drop the “e” as well. Here in the states, we spell it whiskey, like the Irish do.

The roots of Irish whiskey are quite fascinating. Irish whiskey was one of the earliest distilled drinks in Europe, arising around 12th century. According to new-hibernian.com:

“The exact origins of Whiskey are widely debated, but it has been suggested that Irish monks may have picked up the skills of distilling perfumes while on trips to the Mediterranean during the 11th century. Producing Irish Whiskey evolved from a local pastime into an industry in 1608, when Northern Ireland’s Bushmills Distillery became the world’s first licensed whiskey


Remarkably, it was Irish whiskey, not scotch, that dominated the world in the 19th century. Irish whiskey accounted for nearly 60% of global whiskey sales. This dominance ended when The Irish War of Independence, Prohibition in the United States, and two world wars greatly damaged the industry. Many distilleries were bombed and destroyed during the wars. By the mid-1970s, there were only two large distilleries left, New Midleton Distillery, which made Powers and Jameson’s Irish whiskey, and the Old Bushmills Distillery. And this is how things remained for decades.

But Irish whiskey has rebounded. Perhaps a better word is exploded. By 2010, there were four distilleries in Ireland. And by 2020, there were 40. What used to be a selection of two shelves in liquor stores in the U.S. is now an entire section.

Yes, I am a bourbon drinker. But I have also always loved Irish whiskey. These whiskeys tend to be sweet, malty, and smooth. They also contain

the complexities that a brown liquor should. The flavor profiles can range greatly depending on how the whiskey was distilled. It’s not uncommon to find Irish whiskeys with floral, spicy, or silky notes. The rules are not as complex for making Irish whiskey as they are for bourbon or scotch. The main rule, it must be made in either Ireland or Northern Ireland. The process is similar to scotch, except that scotch starts with malted barley and Irish whiskey starts with a mix of both malted and un-malted barley. Legally, Irish whiskey falls into four categories: Single Malt, Single Pot Still, Single Grain, or Blended. Each of these processes can give you a variety of flavors.

Now, back to St. Paddy’s Day. You’ll be Irish for a day. Take advantage of the situation. Enjoy an Irish whiskey. Try a couple of different ones. You can start with the big boys, like Jameson or Bushmills. I personally love Redbreast Single Pot Still 12. (I recommended it


Tim’s Whiskey and Cigar Recommendations

in last March’s article, “A Stout or Porter, What’s The Difference?”) Or go with one of the newer Irish whiskeys. Teeling Whiskey opened in Dublin in 2015 and makes great product. Their Single Grain and Single Pot Still are two of my favorites. Slane Irish Whiskey makes a Triple Cask Blend that has wonderful complex flavors. And Clonakilty

Distillery has a Double Oak Irish Whiskey that’s matured in ex-bourbon casks and then finished in American Oak and shaved, toasted, and re-charred ex-red wine European oak casks. No wonder I love it.

For decades my friends and I have traditionally gone to the upstairs bar at Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub in Old Town. I’m not stating how many decades. I want to stay young in your eyes. A variety of Irish beers and whiskeys will be sampled. We’ll also honor our heritage by slaughtering Irish folk songs at the tops of our lungs. We prefer celebrating in the afternoon. As my one friends always puts it “Let’s get out before Amateur Hour hits.” Amateur Hour starts around happy hour on St. Patrick’s Day. Everyone may be Irish on that day. But not everyone is good at it.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Slainte!

Bushmills 12 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey

I love this whiskey. There was a time when some of my friends would have admonished me for recommending a Bushmills product. It was the whole northern/southern, protestant/catholic Irish situation that many Irish Americans had strong opinions about, and some still do. But there’s been a peace accord since 1998. Things are different now. I’d rather embrace a Northern Irish whiskey in the name of unity. And this whiskey is worth embracing. It’s uniquely aged. It starts off in 11-yearold ex-bourbon and ex-Oloroso casks that have been married. Then it’s finished for six to nine months in exmarsala casks. I think this second step is what develops its smooth dried fruit taste and warm soft mouth feel. You definitely get dried fruit on the nose; apple and pears, with some malt and vanilla too. The palate is fantastic with more dried fruit, honey, nuts, vanilla, and a hint of sweet strawberry. The finish is sweet and smooth with honey, fruit, and malt. It’s 80 Proof and well worth the $60 price.

Montecristo Espada Oscuro Guard

You need a good cigar with a little body to go with your Bushmills 12-YearOld Single Malt. This is it. I had another whiskey and cigar conversation with my friend John Pann at John Crouch Tobacconist in Old Town. He and I thoroughly enjoy our whiskey and cigar talks. He recommended the Montecristo Espada Oscuro Guard. And once again he hit the nail on the head. The wrapper has that classic roasted coffee bean color that I love. Up front, you get chocolate and malt, with citrus followed by some baker’s spice on the back. As you smoke it, this cigar gets earthy. But in a good way. The citrus and baker’s spice are joined by cedar and a hint of pepper on the tongue. It’s medium body and spices blend well with Irish whiskey. The finish is wonderful with all the flavors still fully present. Enjoy.

This cigar, and many other fine cigars, are available at John Crouch Tobacconist at 215 King St. in Old Town Alexandria.

About the Author: Timothy Long is an educator, writer, consultant, and experienced restaurant operator. Email: tlong@ belmarinnovations.com. Instagram and Twitter: @wvutimmy. Blog: What is that fly doing in my soup? http://whatflyinmysoup.com

John CrouCh

38 March 2023 Old Town Crier GET CRAFTY | FROM PAGE 37
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 TobacconisT
“If you’re
lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough!”
– Irish Proverb

After bone dry winter weeks of resorting to messy buns and wool caps to mask lifeless, static-stricken locks, everyone is ready for a new hair look. Temperatures are fluctuating and spring is right around the corner, but I just can’t wait to give my favorite transitional season look a go…..the braid.

While spring and summer provide the moisture to give hair gorgeous volume and texture, winter weather strips your mane of any body or bounce. A braid, however, doesn’t rely on volume to look great, and instantly disguises limp locks in a chic and puttogether ’do. It’s quick, easy, and looks effortlessly sexy.

Unlike popular trends like skinny jeans or skin-tight minis, braids work for women of all ages—everyone can wear them! Braids are an inclusive trend women can get in on and pull off, no matter age or hair length. I love braids because they can be dressed up or down, transition easily to a workout, are appropriate and practical for work, simple and sexy for a date, and add flair to typical pulled-back styles.

Many women avoid braids due to their juvenile reputation earned by the likes of Pippi Longstocking and Cindy Brady. However, braids are now more edgy and modern and have been elevated to high-glam status by the many celebrities sporting them. For those of us past our awkward youth but bored with ponytails and uptight buns, braids are the perfect way to switch up your hairstyle while remaining age appropriate, stylish, and elegant. Give these various styles a go this spring, and you’ll be in on the latest hair trend hitting the runway and red carpet.

The Braid is the Thing…

The Messy Side Braid

Probably my favorite braid style, the messy braid is the epitome of effortless, relaxed sexy—this undone style gives off a carefree, sultry vibe. Since the whole idea behind this look is tousled, imperfect bed head, it’s extremely simple and fast to pull off. No need for perfection here—go for a look that’s less Pocahontas perfect and more pulled out, uneven, and partially undone. This look suits thick, long hair, sweeping the hair out of the way without the severity of a pristine updo. Plus, when you take it out you’ll be left with romantic soft waves, a la Boticelli’s Birth of Venus.

First, spritz on a bit of texturizing spray or wax to add some thickness and texture, like Sally Hershberger Genius Spray Wax ($12.50). Next, create a deep side part and sweep your hair to one side. Braid it loosely, beginning just below the ear. Don’t worry about pieces falling out—the looser and messier the better! Once your braid is secured with a hair elastic, gently break up any tightness or tension by using your fingers to massage and separate the braid. If you’re worried about looking like a beach bum, fancy it up! Adding a hair accessory like a sparkly clip or comb makes this messy look instantly elegant for a wedding or formal evening event.

The Milkmaid Braid

Don’t let the name fool you; the milkmaid braid is sweet and feminine, and perfectly romantic for any occasion. Also called the headband braid, the milkmaid is a braid that goes around the crown of your head—the

perfect combination of carefree flower child and sophisticated trendsetter. This look requires very long hair, so either resist the salon for the next few months or opt for a braided hair extension that matches your color. Start by creating two long pigtails, and don’t stress about making a perfect part. Pull out a few faceframing pieces so the look isn’t so perfect, or else you’ll actually look like an old school milkmaid tending to an udder. Braid each pigtail loosely, starting at the ears, and secure with an elastic band approximately 2-3 inches above the ends. For that relaxed, intentionally imperfect look, make sure to gently pull apart the braids with your fingers. Next, lift one of the braids toward the top of your head and place it about an inch back from your forehead. Where the elastic is, attach the braid to your head with bobby pins that match your hair color. Repeat with the other braid, and place it on top of the first braid, making sure to position it so that it hides the first braid’s elastic band. Tuck the end of the second braid under the first and securely fasten with bobby pins. Make sure to add extra bobby pins near your ears, since the hair here is prone to falling out.

The “Lauren Conrad” Braid

This wildly popular trend is probably something your nieces or daughters know all about. This mini “hairline” braid was made famous by Laguna Beach and The Hills reality TV star Lauren Conrad, and has been spotted, ever since, on celebrities from Jennifer Aniston to Jessica Stam. This look is subtle, easy to wear as well as create, and works on nearly any type

or length of hair. These little braids are also perfect for sweeping back bothersome bangs, or fringe you’re fighting to grow out of the awkward in-between stage.

Begin by parting your hair to the side and separating about two inches of hair away from your forehead. Tie back the rest of your hair that will not be used for the braid so it’s out of the way. Begin French braiding your bangs or hairline locks downwards until you reach your ear. Next, secure your braid by tucking it behind your ear and pinning into place with several bobby pins. Finish with a quick spritz of hairspray for a little shine and firm hold.

The Accessorized Braid

If you really want to punch up any type of braid, take it a step further by adorning it with accessories. It’s easy and fun to give a simple braid a little extra something with ribbons, strips of fabric, flowers, or bows. My favorite is the ribbon or fabric accessorized braid. This romantic look is perfect in spring and summer when you’re feeling boho chic and a little unique. Divide your hair into three equal sections as you would for a typical braid, and place the length of ribbon or fabric around the middle section. Then, weave the ribbon under and over the right-hand section. Holding the ribbon or fabric firmly, begin to braid normally as you incorporate the ribbon into the braid as you go, trying to keep the ribbon on top so it will actually show. When you reach the end of the braid, secure your hair and ribbon with an elastic band. If need be, trim the end of the ribbon neatly with scissors and tuck the end into the braid.


Start Running Into Spring

Spring is in the air and so is the pitter pat of beginning runners of all ages hitting the roads and trails across the country. Similar to the masses of new gym goers in January excited by New Year’s resolutions to become fitter, beginning runners often hit the road at the first sign of warmer weather with similar aspirations. Many new runners head out with good intentions and admirable goals, but often find themselves overwhelmed or unenthused with the progress of their new activity. Why is that? Running is often the first choice of new fitness enthusiasts because of the low startup costs, the fact that you can do it just about anywhere, and there are no long term dues or fees associated with running. Because of the low cost and ease of access, many new runners aren’t prepared mentally or physically for the new demands they’re about to put on their bodies and well as the time investment needed. Here are 10 tips to help ensure success with your new adventure into running.

Get Fitted

Pay a visit to your local independent running store. Often these smaller stores have more knowledgeable staff than the big box retails stores. Many provide a gait analysis that reveals your foot strike pattern. Knowing this will help in selecting the best shoe for your foot type. Don’t skimp on your shoes. Be prepared to pay $80 to $100 for a good pair of running shoes.

Get Technical

Invest a little in some technical fabric running shorts, tops, and socks. Technical fabric can be made of a variety of fibers including natural and synthetic materials. Avoid 100 percent cotton. It tends to retain sweat causing chaffing, irritation, and even blisters. Technical fabrics allow the moisture to rise to the surface where it can evaporate. They still get damp, but not nearly as much as 100 percent cotton.

Get a Group

Motivation, inspiration, accountability, and commitment increase dramatically when you’re a part of a running group or at least have a running buddy. Everyone experiences times when they don’t want to run, but if you know you have buddies counting on you, it can make all the difference in the world when it comes to rolling over and getting out of bed. Check with your local running store. Many provide beginning running groups or know of running coaches in the area that work with beginning runners.

Get a Plan

Just getting out the door and running often does not work for many people, especially if you’ve been sedentary or away from exercise for any period of time. Find a beginning running plan to follow. There are beginning running programs online or you can contact your local running store, running club, or running coaches in the area to inquire about beginning running plans. One of the most effective ways to begin is with a run/walk method

Get Acclimated

Whenever you begin new exercise your body’s fitness level will actually dip a little while you acclimate to the new demands you’re putting on your body. Understand before

you take up running that it takes your body about four to six weeks to acclimate to the new demands. Anticipating that “wiped out feeling” can actually make it less of a shock. Just know that you’re going to feel the effects of your new activity. Hang in there and before you know it, you’ll pull out of that dip and begin to feel stronger than before you started. Also, start slowly. Many new runners experience shin splints, pulled calf muscles, cramping quads, or sore hips from going out too fast or from doing too much too soon.

Get Fueled

Fueling your new activity is very important. Timing is key. It’s a good rule of thumb to eat about 1.5 hours prior to your run. This will give your body time to digest the food and provide your body with the needed energy for your activity. Not eating or not eating enough before your run can make your run feel labored or cause your muscles to feel fatigued.

Get Hydrated

Being well-hydrated is just as important as being well fueled. Be sure to drink about 20 oz. of water about two hours prior to running. This will give it time to pass through your system and be voided before your run. During your run, drinking water is fine. Once you’re running more than 45 to 60 minutes, you’ll need to switch to a sports drink to help replace vital electrolytes which are minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus) that play a major role in helping to maintain proper water balance in your body. Electrolytes can be lost though your perspiration.

Get Warmed-Up

Before you head out on your run, be sure to warm-up your muscles with a dynamic stretch. A five-minute walk is a great way to do this. This will help decrease the chance of your muscles feeling tight during your run. Save the traditional stretch-and-hold stretches for after your run.

Get In Tune With Your Body

Listen to your body. If you’re feeling something other than regular workoutrelated muscle soreness, don’t run. Running through the pain is never a good idea. If you’re experiencing pain along your shin, hip, IT Band or any area of the body that’s beyond normal muscle soreness, ice it, elevate it, and use your normal choice of anti-inflammatory medication and rest. When you no longer feel any pain, ease back into your running. If the pain persists, don’t let it linger.


Get Rest

Rest is just as important as your workout. Rest allows your body time to rebuild and recover. When you run or do any type of exercise, you actually create little micro tears in the muscle tissue. Your body then rushes in to rebuild and repair the tears. This is the normal muscle-building process that makes you stronger. However, if you don’t take the proper rest, your body may not have time to fully repair before your next run causing you to feel sore, tired, and sluggish. When you first start your beginning running program, it’s a good idea to have at least one day of rest in between runs.

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Mastering the Kettle Bell

Welcome once again to another missive From the Trainer…..This month will begin with a new look as I explain and show the techniques of some of your favorite exercises. Keep in mind that every exercise has some sort of variation to it, so I will mention a few of them along the way. If you’ve been reading my column for any amount of time, you might remember that I suggested buying a kettle bell for a fitness gift. However, I did not explain anything about how to use one. This is my chance to explain the most basic exercise to master with the kettle bellthe swing.

The starting position begins by straddling the kettle bell with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Squat down keeping your back aligned and dropping the hips. Grab the kettle bell handle with an overhand grip with both hands. I like to start the swing with a “counter movement,” just like what you do before jumping. Lift the kettle bell by squatting upwards, keeping the arms straight so it hangs between the legs. This is your true starting position.

Next, slowly lower the kettle bell toward the ground while keeping good back posture. As soon as your knees bend about 90 degrees, explode back up using the power in your legs as if you wanted to jump. This will develop enough momentum for you to swing the kettle bell out away from you using the arms. There are many ways to finish the swing, but I suggest swinging it about 135 degrees or ¾ of the way

up, not all the way over your head. There is a good chance of falling backwards if you do this!

You’re not done just yet. Let gravity take the kettle bell back toward the ground. You must keep your squat technique in tact without leaning forward and the arms straight. As soon as the kettle bell swings between the legs, explode back up using the same technique. Let your legs do most of the work. Your arms shouldn’t have to lift very much, just enough to swing it away from you. Try at least 10 reps with a very light weight so you master the movement before progressing to a higher resistance. If you do this one correctly, your legs and butt will be sore, not so much in the arms.

To finish, don’t just drop the kettle bell on the floor. Absorb the momentum of it when it comes back down by finishing in the squat position, and then set it on the ground. One variation of the kettle bell swing is using only one arm and switching hands at the top of the swing. Let me know how you do! Feel free to send emails to my attention at office@oldtowncrier.com.

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

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Keepin’ it Legal...

On a warmer than usual January day, a Virginia bass tournament angler was checking out a few Potomac River spots.

A Maryland Natural Resource Police officer pulled up and checked the angler’s registration and safety gear. When asked for his license, the angler presented his Virginia Freshwater license. The officer informed the angler he was required to have a Virginia Saltwater License, but gave a verbal warning followed by the promise of a ticket should the angler show up again without the “correct” credentials. This was incorrect as the angler did indeed possess the proper license. The DNR realized this and is passing the correct information to all officers. For now, this situation has been resolved.

But the fact remains the Tidal Potomac persists as a licensing quagmire. Just a few years ago, anglers fishing the Tidal Potomac River only needed 2 of three licenses. MD residents purchased a MD Tidal Fishing license and Virginia anglers purchased a VA Freshwater License. These MD and VA licenses were reciprocal. To fish in the waters of the District of Columbia, a DC Fishing License was required. Even fishing from the Alexandria waterfront, a DC fishing license is required. The DC border starts at Jones Point and runs diagonally to the northeast. The Potomac River Fisheries Commission has an easy to read chart to answer most licensing questions. prfc.us/ reciprocity_guidelines.html

Boating isn’t easy either. Boating in DC waters requires a unique Coast Guard Approved Safe Boating Course. A different course is needed in Virginia (required for vessels over 10hp) and another for Maryland (required if born after 1972). VA and MD reciprocate; however, courses

must be equivalent. (Thankfully, BoatUS.org has free online safety courses.)

In 2010, Potomac River anglers were required by the Federal Government to sign up (at no cost) with the National Saltwater Registry. In a span of only a few years, a lot has changed and has confused anglers.

In addition, for 2011, states were given the option to participate in registry data collection for the National Saltwater Registry…or the Federal Government would create their own database and charge anglers a $15 fee on top of local licenses.

Both Virginia and Maryland legislatures had a year to scramble to enact legislation and develop a data collection process that would exempt their license holders from having to “personally” register with the National Saltwater Registry, avoiding a $15 Federal fee. MD and VA still reciprocate fishing licenses and have complied with the new law…but for Potomac River anglers there’s more!

In Virginia, to fish in the upstream Potomac River and tributaries, anglers must purchase a VA Freshwater License just as before, but now they must additionally register with VA’s Fisherman Identification Program (FIP) every year. It’s free and to keep costs down, VA prefers anglers register online(www.mrc.virginia. gov/FIP), but no longer accepts phone call registrations. After providing name, phone number, address, email address, date of birth, and where, in general, you fish, you’ll be given an identification number. VA State Law requires carrying this number to prove registration.  If you provide an email address, VA will send an automatic reminder every year to register again.

Likewise, good news from Maryland’s General Assembly. Lawmakers drafted legislation to come into compliance. Maryland’s

Legislature, working with the MD Department of Natural Resources completed the process making the registry a seamless part of the MD Tidal Fishing License system. Through the purchase of a Maryland Tidal Fishing License, Maryland will automatically enroll purchasers in the National Registry at no extra cost. Purchasers of a Maryland or DC license will not be required to register with NOAA.

However, both MD and VA Potomac River anglers must register with the other state to fish across state lines. Holders of a VA fishing license must also register online at no cost with MD, https://compass.dnr.maryland. gov/dnrcompassportal. MD anglers must register with VA, http://www. mrc.virginia.gov/FIP.

To fish in DC…everyone needs a DC license, except those over 65 or

under 16, to fish in DC waters...DC is in compliance, and you DO NOT need to register elsewhere.

In the course of a fishing day, Potomac River bass anglers can pass through three jurisdictions. VA and MD were challenged to comply, and they have. No increased cost to anglers, and it’s fairly painless to register. DC is in compliance, no need to purchase a Federal NOAA license or to register.

To be sure, USCG approved PFDs, a throwable, working fire extinguisher, whistle, and current boat registration are required for everyone.

Author Capt. Steve Chaconas is a Potomac bass fishing guide & freelance writer. Potomac River reports: nationalbass.com. YouTube channel NationalBassGuide.

Potomac River Bassing in MARCH

Days are getting warmer, and water is staying above 45 and getting to 55 during the warmest days in the last days of March.

In early March, target bass on steep drops with Silver Buddy lures. This will allow you to cover water and depths. Tie on a ½ ounce Silver Buddy on sunny days and gold when it’s cloudy or water is stained. Use small burps on 10 pound test GAMMA Edge fluorocarbon line on fast casting reels. A medium action rod is best. Once fish are located, try Ned rigs. Open hook presentations are still effective when bite is light. As fish get more active, try split shot, and drop shot rigs.

As water gets closer to 50, fish creek mouth points with suspending jerkbaits on 10 pound GAMMA EDGE line to get shallow fish to commit. Slight taps and long pauses will work. If fish are more active, break out lipless cranks in red patterns. Slowly retrieve along the bottom.

Finding shallow fish where there is wood, a ¼ ounce spinnerbait with white skirts and gold blades will produce by coming in contact with the cover.

Also break out hair jigs with matching chunks. Use slow horizontal presentations. Soak soft plastics and jigs in bait spray.

Flat-sided cranks on 10-pound test EDGE work along warmed surfaces. Shad patterns in clearer water or sunny days, craw otherwise.

42 March 2023 Old Town Crier GO FISH STEVE CHACONAS


Sleep Like a Dog!

Is it safe to come out from under the covers? Thanks to Cupid and some decent President’s day sales, there were some bright spots, but holy guacamole. Is it my imagination or have the last few weeks felt like a cold, dark, damp sucker punch to the throat? My saving grace has been skipping the news and heading straight to Wordle

This time of year can be tough— short, overcast days and long dark nights interspersed with bleak headlines. I had lunch recently with a friend who said her husband was having a particularly difficult time dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression known to hit during the winter months that saps your energy and can cause mood swings. “Ever since COVID, I’ve barely been able to get him off the couch—but now it’s even worse.” Hmmm.  “Sounds familiar,” I thought. I’ve heard the same from quite a few folks.

Devastating earthquake aside—I don’t want to place all the blame on Mother Nature blanketing us with melancholy weather when the world in general has felt dark and heavy. Mass shootings continue to dominate the masthead. UFOs are now a thing. AI has replaced driverless cars in my nightmares. Don’t get me started on cancel culture.

I was trying to think of a time before COVID-19 threw us into a worldwide tailspin.  Were we happier? Lighter?

Kinder? Maybe it just seems that way. Or, maybe we were happier as recently as September—when we still had some light in the evenings to enjoy cookouts and porch sitting.

When I feel lethargic—which is a frequent occurrence these days—I remind myself that winter is for slowing down, resting, and restoration.  We’re not supposed to be high-energy and frenetic. Napping is good for us. Doing nothing is actually a thing called ‘just being’ as in ‘being in the moment’ without thoughts of what needs to be done or worries about what was done.

And, nothing lasts forever.  Not SAD, or COVID, or even the days crawling up to spring. Contrary to Shakespeare’s caution, “The ides of March are come.” “Ay, Caesar, but not gone,” they will be at some point. Are we there yet?

In the meantime, we can take time to rest, make a few plans with friends who energize (vs. deplete) us, sip a hot toddy by a warm fire. In other words, settle in for a spell. This is probably the only time of year that I actually enjoy a cup of hot tea during the afternoon. It feels warming and cozy.

But—that is different from depression.  If you and/or your significant other are experiencing

depression, I highly recommend seeking assistance from a mental health professional.  Trust me—I have for years, and it’s been a lifesaver.

Before you know it, we will be bathed in the glow of sunlight and complaining about the heat and humidity. Sadly—there will always be bad news dominating the headlines. That’s life. But, we get to be in control of how much and when we digest it. If the news is giving you anxiety, it might be time to put down the paper and/or turn the channel—or take a break from Facebook. And, it also may be time to take a break from certain friends and/or family members who are pig piling onto your stressors.

I’ve been thinking and talking a lot about self-care lately vs. actually doing it. What am I thinking? Winter is the perfect time for ME time. Not that there’s a bad time, but hey. If you saw me, you’d think I was the ground hog and wonder why I didn’t crawl back in my hole.  My nails are a hot mess, my roots need a touch up, and let’s just say this ground hog might have to shimmy a bit to fit back into the ground.

But whatev’. It’s not marathon time. It’s not pretty toes, sandal time. Frankly, it’s not salad time, although I have been trying.  It’s meat and

potatoes and hearty stew time. Okay— well, you’re right. It’s also not ice cream every night time either, but it is Girl Scout cookie time!

If you managed to get through January without alcohol, pat yourself on the back. If you’re giving up chocolate for Lent, my prayers are with you. But, if you found yourself sitting down to watch a Law & Order marathon and polished off a sleeve of Thin Mints, that’s okay too.

All I’m saying is to cut yourself some slack as you’re putting yourself down on the couch for a nap. Another friend just told me about a human dog bed she recently purchased. Huh?  Yep—it’s a big, cozy pillow-like bed you toss on the floor and curl up in. I bought her a weighted blanket in case it storms to sooth her and am thinking about getting her a chew toy. I joke, but I also have one in my cart and am thinking about pulling the trigger.

If you want to be happy(ier), be like your dog. Go for a walk, chase a squirrel, and then take a big, long snooze. I’m in.

About the Author: Lori is a local writer, painter and pet lover who loves to share her experiences and expertise with our readers. She has been penning a column for the OTC for over 25 years. Please follow Lori online on Medium for more missives like this.

Old Town Crier March 2023 43 OPEN SPACE LORI WELCH BROWN

Blossoms and Bison

Whoa…what is wrong with this weather? I have no clue what it’s going to be by the time this issue hits the streets but it’s in the mid 60’s as I write this and is going to hit 80 degrees in the DMV tomorrow! Pretty wild temps for this area in late February and I’m not complaining as long as a freak freeze doesn’t blow through any time during Cherry Blossom season.

Speaking of which…the Okame cherry trees in the Harbor have been blooming for over a week now. Many of you might remember that the last of the 200 of these trees were planted in the Harbor in 2019 and in these last 4 years they have grown exponentially. They grow about two feet a year and are very desirable for areas that want quick, hardy, spectacular color. They are also more tolerant to the cold than most other types of cherry trees and are early bloomers with flowers lasting up to three weeks. They are earlier than ever this year and are way ahead of National Harbor’s Cherry Blossom Festival that kicks off on March 16 and runs through April 16.

In a region that is known for its cherry blossom displays and celebrations, the trees at National Harbor have quickly become a large draw not only because they are some of the first to blossom, the Harbor Festival is full of celebrations that complement the events that take place in D.C.

Information on National Harbor’s Cherry Blossom Festival is in this link: www.nationalharbor.com/events/ annual-events/cherry-blossom-festival/ March and April are both great months to visit the Harbor before the onset of Memorial Day and the beginning of tourist season. One of

the newest attractions and also one of my favorite is Spirit Park. You may remember when I wrote about it in my November 2022 column, it had yet to be completed then and we only had access to a photo of a rendering. Until it was complete and I saw the 50 foot by 80 foot American flag flying from the 177 foot 7 inch (this dimension is a tribute to the first Flag Day that was celebrated on June 14, 1777) flagpole did I realize the magnitude of the message of the park. The 13 smaller flags that surround it are representative of the original colonies and the bulk of the elements of Spirit Park reflect historical military/patriotic events. Union Tower - a 17 foot 77/100 inch bell tower - was set to ring daily and to mark significant occasions with patriotic songs of history. I can’t actually attest to the fact that it does indeed ring daily since I haven’t heard it on my visits to the Harbor, but only one way to find out….go check it out.

While I’m as patriotic as the next guy and I love our flag, I really am partial to bison. I am a Wyoming native and this majestic animal adorns our state flag. That being said, the best part of this space are the sculptures of a family

of bison created by South Dakota artist John Lopez. Daddy bison is 6 and a half feet tall and weighs in at about 1000 pounds while Mama is a mere 6 feet tall and Baby takes up the slack at 3 feet. I can’t tell you how much I love these three. They are amazing looking in the evening when there is a beautiful sunset and the light reflects off of them.

The park also has an amphitheater with 6 rows (number of white stripes on the flag) of seating and a 50 foot (representing the 50 states) round stage where performances will take place seasonally. When not in use, this is a nice place to just sit and reflect on the message the park represents and to watch the aforementioned sun set on Old Town Alexandria across the river.

When the month of March rolls around I always feel a little better about things…spring is right around the corner and one of my very favorite days of the year happens on the 17th! While I’m not 100% Irish, I have enough leprechaun in me that it just makes me don all of my shamrock laden apparel and consume a Guinness or two. Please join me in spirit on St. Patrick’s Day and give a nod to the Irish in all of us! Welcome Spring!

Tickled Pink

44 March 2023 Old Town Crier
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