Old Town Crier - March 2024

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oldtowncrier oldtowncrier.com otcregionalmag From the Bay to the Blue Ridge PRICELESS • SINCE 1988 MARCH 2024


As I write my publishers notes on February 26th, the temperature tomorrow is forecast to be 64 degrees and windy. Makes me wish my sailboat wasn’t still winterized. Would be a good day to be on the water!

Remember the old saying “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”? If the current weather holds out, that isn’t going to ring true. In any case, this month we feature the art work of Lee Jaworek on our cover celebrating the month of March coming in like a lion. To learn more about Lee and his “Artism®” read about him in the Personality Profile

Our very talented contributing writers have hit it out of the park with their columns again this month. We are truly blessed. We would also like to introduce you to a new column – Wellness Woman Penned by local transformation wellness coach, Adrien Cotton, the column will cater to the health of women with a concentration on those who are approaching middle age. We feel very fortunate to have her on board.

Here is a sneak peek in to some of what you have to look forward to in this issue:

A Bit of History, Sarah Becker celebrates History Month with Clara Barton. High Notes, Ron Powers highlights some of the up-andcoming acts in the music world. Last Word, Miriam Kramer explores the writing of Killers of the Flower Moon Grapevine, read about the warm, dry year we had in 2023 and how it affected Virginia's wine vintage. Dining Out, I highlighted our two amazing Irish Restaurants in town – Murphy’s and O’Connell’s. Stop in for a perfect pint of Guinness. "Slainte!" Exploring VA Wines, Doug Fabbioli explains how his winery got started and flourishes today. Let's Get Crafty, Tim Long teaches us about a proper Irish toast and a proper pint. From the Bay, Molly Winans explains the vernal equinox ritual of burning your socks. To the Blue Ridge, Julie Reardon writes a tribute to her beloved dog Tanzy. Caribbean Connection, read about the new Seahorse National Park in the Bahamas. Open Space, Lori Welch Brown explains "It's not the gold that's the prize, it's the rainbow."

Last and certainly not least, check out our Special Feature about some of your favorite Easter things. My partner, Lani, loves Easter almost as much as Halloween and Christmas so I have to be pretty creative with the basket that the Easter Bunny brings her each year. Last year I procrastinated on my hunting and gathering so the inventory was pretty sparse. I’m getting a jump/hop on it this year!

We also wanted to give a special shout out to our longtime friends, Brad and Cathy Bradford and crew, at King's Jewelry here in Old Town. They are celebrating 69 years in business. I can only imagine what the celebration next year is going to like. This family-owned business has been a long-time anchor in Old Town.

On a sad note, I want to remember my friend Ralph Hendry and his wife Kathy Brandel. If you have been watching the news, you probably know Ralph and Kathy were sailing near Grenada in the Caribbean when three escaped convicts boarded their boat and moved it to St. Vincent. There were signs of a struggle and some blood stains on board and it appears that their bodies were thrown overboard. I am still trying to wrap my head around this happening to someone I know.

Ralph was a true gentleman. I became good friend him when he ran the Atrium Health Club in the 200 block of South Washington Street. Ralph was always ready to help anyone in any way he could. He was always patient and very kind. Ralph also shared a townhome here in Old Town with my founding partner, David Underwood. We had many good times and laughs over the years. Ralph also provided the Old Town Crier with our Financial Focus column for several years. As of this writing, they have still not been accounted for. The outlook is grim, but maybe hope will prevail. If any of you knew Ralph, please say a prayer for he and Kathy. My heart is sad for my friend!

4 March 2024 Old Town Crier
Happy Easter from us to you! Photo circa 2019.


We love it when our subscribers take the time to put the Old Town Crier in their bags and take it on their travels. Celebrating her 70th trip around the sun, the Allin’s – who reside in Grand Junction, Colorado – sought out a couple of weeks of fun in the sun in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to celebrate Linda’s big day. We like this sexy pose of her on Medano Beach in front of the Riu Palace resort in Cabo.

We also think the image of the her with the rocks in the water behind her is pretty cool. Said rocks are the southern tip (cape or cabo) of the Baja Peninsula and the water beyond is all Pacific Ocean. These photos of Linda were taken by her husband, Dave.

If you would like to see your photo in this space, take the OTC with you on your next adventure and take a high resolution photo or photos of you and yours checking us out and send it with information for the caption to office@oldtowncrier.com and put “On the Road” in the subject line.

Old Town Crier March 2024 5 march‘ 24 A Division of OTC Media LLC OTC Media LLC PO Box 320386 Alexandria, VA 22320 571-257-5437 office@oldtowncrier.com oldtowncrier.com Published the rst 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 F. Lennox Campello Steve Chaconas Adrien Cotton Scott Dicken Mark Edelman Doug Fabbioli Matt Fitzsimmons Lani Gering Miriam Kramer Timothy Long Cindy McGovern Glenn Morel Meg Mullery Melinda Murphy Ron Powers Kim Putens Julie Reardon Bob Tagert Carl Trevisan Ryan Unverzagt Lori Welch Brown © 2024 OTC Media LLC. 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 from the Chesapeake Bay to the Blue Ridge Mountains and USVI. A Bit of History........................................13 About the Cover........................................6 Alexandria Events.....................................8 Art & Antiques........................................16 Caribbean Connection.............................26 Dining Guide...........................................29 Dining Out..............................................30 Exploring VA Wines ................................34 Financial Focus........................................12 First Blush...............................................41 From the Bay..........................................20 From the Trainer.....................................40 Gallery Beat...........................................16 Go Fish...................................................44 Grapevine..............................................35 High Notes..............................................17 Last Word...............................................18 Let's Eat.................................................32 Let's Get Crafty......................................36 National Harbor......................................46 On the Road.............................................5 OnStage..................................................14 Open Space.............................................45 Personality Profi le...................................10 Pets of the Month....................................43 Points on Pets.........................................42 Publishers notes.......................................4 Road Trip................................................24 Special Feature........................................19 To the Blue Ridge....................................22 Urban Garden..........................................11 Wellness Woman.....................................38 Where is the Mural?..................................6 36 10 24


The February mural clip must have been way too easy. We had several responses the fi rst week that the issue was on the streets. While we would love to be able to give gift certificates to everyone, Arlington resident, Carol Franks, was the fi rst to correctly identified the location of one of the newer murals in Old Town – the woman on the wall of the White House/Black Market building on the corner of Alfred and King.

This month’s image might be a bit more challenging since it isn’t in Old Town proper but is in a very prominent place in Alexandria. If you are the fi rst person to respond with the correct location, you will receive a $50 gift certificate to one of our amazing restaurant advertiser’s eateries.

In order to participate, you will have to Like and Follow us:

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.

This month’s cover artwork is a sincere labor of love by local artist Lee Jaworek. Lee is a bit different than many in his field since he lives with autism. In fact, he has coined the phrase Artism®. This image impressed us at an exhibit of his we attended last fall and we knew then that it would grace the cover of the March issue since…March comes in like a lion!

Lee is the subject matter of the Personality Profile in this issue. You can learn more about his path to becoming a successful artist despite the challenges that come with autism.

In addition to the images accompanying the profile, we thought you might enjoy seeing a couple of his current favorites. They are very different in context.

6 March 2024 Old Town Crier
Mural Photo by Lee Moody.
O N THE COVER LIKE AND FOLLOW US ONLINE Wwww.oldtowncrier.com Instagram: otcregionalmag Facebook: Old Town Crier Regional Magazine
The Bee
Old Town Crier March 2024 7 ELWOOD ADVERTISE WITH US o ce@oldtowncrier.com SMALL GROUP AND PRIVATE TOURS SEE DC TODAY Best Part of Our 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

Alexandria Announces Seasonal Cherry Blossom Events and Happenings: D.C. Cherry Blossom Cruises, Bike Tours, Art Events & More

Nothing is more symbolic of springtime in the D.C. region than cherry blossoms. This year, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the gorgeous white Yoshino blossoms and uffy pink Kwanzans in Alexandria, VA. Take a stroll along Old Town Alexandria’s picturesque streets lined with cherry blossoms and owering trees. 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. Find events that honor both American and Japanese cultures, such as The Athenaeum’s “Japanese Inspiration” exhibition and a special tour of Frank’s Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House. Roll up your sleeves with cherry blossom-themed workshops at Shop Made in VA and much more. Don’t forget to check out The National Cherry Blossom Festival from March 20 to April 14, 2024, and stay tuned for the peak bloom announcement. To explore cherry blossom-themed food and drink specials, hotel packages and more, head to VisitAlexandria.com/CherryBlossoms.

Water Taxi and Boat Tours

Water Taxi to The Wharf to See Cherry Blossoms

Daily, beginning March 20, 2024

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

Admission: Starting at $21 one-way; $37 round-trip for adults

Departs from the Alexandria Marina

1 Cameron Street 703-684-0580


Cruise from Old Town Alexandria to Washington, D.C., to enjoy the famous cherry blossoms. City Cruises Potomac Water Taxi offers a 25-minute direct water taxi from Old Town to The Wharf 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, Hains Point and a Capital Bikeshare station.

Cherry Blossom Cruises with City Cruises

Weekends beginning March 16 through April 21, 2024

Departures beginning at 11:30 a.m.; check website for details

Admission: Starting at $27 one-way; $37 round-trip for adults

Departs from the Alexandria Marina

1 Cameron Street 703-684-0580


Traverse the Potomac River from Old Town Alexandria and cruise past the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. on the Monuments Sightseeing Cruise from City Cruises. View and listen to the history of the iconic monuments, memorials and bridges as

the D.C. region awakens to spring. See beautiful cherry blossom trees as you glide past the Tidal Basin and head onward to Georgetown. The cruise is 45 minutes oneway and approximately 90 minutes roundtrip. Riders also have the option to explore Georgetown and return on a later boat. City Cruises is a proud sponsor of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Bike Rentals and Tours

Explore the Cherry Blossoms with Unlimited Biking

Rentals available all season long; D.C. tours from March 15 to April 12, 2024

Admission: Rentals start at $15; tours start at $44

Unlimited Biking: Old Town Alexandria 421 King Street 202-842-2453


Pedal from Unlimited Biking: Old Town Alexandria along the Potomac River to the famous cherry blossoms of Washington DC with Unlimited Biking's bike rental package that provides you with all that you need for your journey—maps, helmets, bike bags and locks. Hybrid bikes, road bikes, eBikes, kids bikes and kids attachments are available. Alternatively, join the famous “Washington DC.: Blossoms by Guided Bike Tour,” which integrates celebrating the natural beauty of our nation's capital during the Cherry Blossom Festival, while visiting some of the best monuments and memorials around Washington D.C. Cherry blossom tours are two hours long, run multiple times daily during the season and begin from Unlimited Biking: Washington DC at 998 Maine Avenue SW.

Cherry Blossom Guided Tours with Pedego Electric Bikes Alexandria

March 16 and April 14, 2024 (subject to change when cherry blossoms are in bloom)

Departures at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; special group times by appointment Admission: $69 per bike ($10 for passenger riders on cargo or tandem bikes)

Pedego Alexandria

210 North Lee Street 571-312-5168


Join a three-hour guided tour from Old Town Alexandria to the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., 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 ght traf c or nd a place to park downtown. We anticipate tours running between March 16 and April 14, 2024, or whenever the Cherry Blossoms are in bloom. Weekend tours ll up quickly, so make your reservations early through our online portal at pedegoalexandria.com or you can contact us at 571-312-5168 or info@pedegoalexandria.com. Special group times are also available with advance reservations. Group tour sizes will be limited. Must be at least 14 years old to ride alone.

8 March 2024 Old Town Crier EVENTS AROUND TOWN

Arts and Architecture Events

March150 Art Party and Exhibition

Event: March 2nd from 7 to 9 p.m.

Exhibition: March 3rd to 30th

Admission: Free

Gallery at Canal Center 11 Canal Center 703-746-4570


Torpedo Factory Art Center’s annual special exhibition and art sale returns with proceeds supporting free community programs at the Art Center. This year’s party and exhibition are at a new location - the new premiere Gallery at Canal Center (11 Canal Center) located on the river, north of the Art Center. This location is a new hub for cultural and artistic events in Alexandria. Experience a wide variety of art from local artists, each on an identical 10×10 wood panel. All works in this exhibition are priced at $150. The opening reception/art party is free and open to all. Jurors will announce their picks for “Best in Show” and participants can vote for the Viewer’s Choice Award. On the nal day of the exhibition, all works will be on sale for $100.

Pink Torpedoes: Cherry Blossom Art in An Old Munitions Factory March 23 to April 14, 2024

Admission: Free

Torpedo Factory Art Center

105 N Union Street



Explore all three oors of Torpedo Factory Art Center, home to the nation’s largest collection of working artists’ open studios under one roof, to view a building-wide exhibition of art inspired by the iconic cherry blossoms. Participating artists will exhibit one or more unique artworks in their studio or gallery. Each artist will explore their interpretations of the cherry blossoms—culturally, colorfully and viscerally—and visitors will discover new ways of thinking about the region’s seasonal pink event. Visitors will receive a “Pink Torpedoes” building map with locations of the artwork to discover. Each studio artist in the Art Center is selected by art experts and rank among the best in the region. Artists work in front of the visitor and discuss their work on view. Visitors may shop for one-of-a-kind art inspired by the cherry blossoms, plus more. Can’t visit the exhibition? A select exhibition of artwork will be on view at torpedofactory.org along with artist commentary.

The Burning Wic Workshop: Cherry Blossom Candle-Making

March 24, 2024, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Admission: $45 per person

Shop Made in VA 1121 King Street 703-861-9498


Immerse yourself in the delicate beauty of cherry blossoms during our enchanting class with The Burning Wic. Craft your own candle in a stunning Rose Gold Mercury Tumbler, infusing it with the soft allure of cherry blossoms, and the candle will captivate during the day and radiate warmth at night. This unique class not only includes an 11 oz. candle but also a car diffuser, ensuring you can carry the essence of cherry blossoms wherever you go. Come for a magical experience, creating a shimmering masterpiece that adds a touch of spring inspired by the eeting beauty of cherry blossoms to both your space and travels. Tickets are available via Eventbrite.

Special Gallery: “Japanese Inspiration” at The Athenaeum

April 4 to May 12, 2024

Admission: Free

Connect with us!

Web: VisitAlexandriaVA.com

Blog: Blog.VisitAlexandriaVA.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/VisitAlexandriaVA

Twitter: Twitter.com/AlexandriaVA

Instagram: Instagram.com/VisitAlexVA



Market Square

301 King Street

Saturdays, 7 am – 12 Noon

Year Round

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


Corner of Mt. Vernon and Oxford Avenues

Saturdays, 8 am to Noon

Year Round

This market is strictly a producer grown market.  Lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, sh and salmon, fresh mushrooms, baked goods, hard cider.  Farmers are within a 150 mile radius of Alexandria.  A non-pro t is featured each weekend.

The Athenaeum

201 Prince Street




Montgomery Park

901 North Royal Street

Thursdays, 3 pm – 7 pm

Year Round

Alexandria’s favorite dog friendly market! The Old Town North Thursday Market is a growers only market with a focus on produce from small family farms and local artisans. Products sold at the market include fresh fruits and veggies from Virginia’s Northern Neck, Micro Greens from an urban farm, Empanadas, Fresh baked pastries with a European air and much more.


4109 Mount Vernon Avenue

Sundays, 9 am – 1 pm

Year Round

This market offers fresh, nutritious food to people of all income levels and strives to re ect the diversity of Alexandria’s community. Local artisans display their arts and crafts as well.

To complement Washington’s festivities celebrating the Japanese cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin, the Athenaeum Gallery is featuring the work of three local contemporary artists whose work is in uenced and guided by traditional Japanese art. Sean Doonan is an illustrator whose fanciful posters are inspired by Japanese mythology, anime, video games and pop culture. David Gootnick creates lacy and delicate designs out of wood using an ancient Japanese artform called Kumiko. And Yoshiko Ratliff’s paintings are bold, but intricately detailed, representations of Japanese characters and kimonos.

Exclusive Tour: All Lit Up Like a Japanese Lantern: The Japanese Aesthetic in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House

April 6, 2024; tours at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Admission: $20 per adult; $10 per student (K-12)

Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House

9000 Richmond Hwy 703-780-4000 woodlawnpopeleighey.org

By 1941, the year Pope-Leighey House was completed, Frank Lloyd Wright had studied Japan for almost a half-century. He had become a serious collector of woodblock prints–even writing a book on the subject–and had won acclaim for his design of the Tokyo Imperial Hotel, one of the few buildings to survive the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. On this special tour, visitors will discover how the famous American architect incorporated his love of Japanese art, architecture, and philosophy into Usonian homes, and how this East Asian in uence shines in Wright’s Pope-Leighey House.


Recognized by Travel + Leisure among the Best Cities in the U.S. 2023 and voted a Condé Nast Traveler Top 3 Best Small City in the U.S. 2023, Alexandria is a welcoming weekend escape on the Potomac River, minutes from Washington, D.C. Founded in 1749 and boasting the nation’s third oldest historic district, Alexandria hums with a cosmopolitan feel. Stroll Old Town Alexandria’s King Street mile to nd more than 200 independent restaurants and boutiques plus intimate historic museums and new happenings at the waterfront. Explore vibrant neighborhoods beyond Old Town, trace George Washington and the Founding Fathers’ footsteps and follow the stories of Black Americans who shaped the history of Alexandria and the United States.

Old Town Crier March 2024 9

Lee Jaworek and the World of “Artism® ”

Many of you who are faithful readers of the OTC may remember that this phenomenal artist was the subject matter of our Gallery Beat column in the July 2017 issue. Fast forward to 2023, were happy to be invited to the opening of his exhibit at the Nepenthe Gallery in Fort Hunt last fall and had the pleasure of meeting Lee and his parents in person. It was a very enlightening experience and opened our eyes to what is possible if you really put your mind and talents to work no matter the obstacles. We are always looking for interesting art and cool photos for our covers and decided we should feature on of Lee’s originals. When I saw the image of “The Lion Family ”, I immediately thought of our March issue since we all know that “March comes in like a lion…” We also thought it would be a good idea to feature Lee in this column since it ties in with the cover image.

In doing my research, I ran across F. Lennox Campello aka Lenny’s aforementioned Gallery Beat column. After reading it again after almost 17 years, I decided I could no way trump what he wrote. He was very happy to do some updating for us and we offer you the following:

This month I want to use this forum to discuss the work of a highly talented DMV area artist whose singular work came across my attention 7 years ago – Lee Jaworek.

Quoting from his own website (http:// www.leejaworek.com/), Lee Jaworek “calls his art Artism® - seeing the world through the prismatic lens of Autism. Lee is a young artist with Autism who tries to express his perception of the world through his art; the challenges -- the triumphs -the beauty.

Lee is a graduate of the Art Institute of Washington with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Since his graduation he has been pursuing a career in painting impressionistic and abstract works. His paintings and prints have been exhibited in the Virginia State Capitol

in Richmond, Alexandria Virginia's Athenaeum Art Gallery, and at the Paula Poundstone Performance/ Fundraiser at The Birchmere nightclub, as well as other galleries in the Washington Metropolitan area. Most recently his ‘Sunflower’ has been seen on CBS Sunday Morning as part of their sun art collection. Lee has received a number of commissions from private collectors while currently continuing to expand his portfolio.

Lee's Artism® is characterized by vibrant colors, balance, and impact. He believes ‘each color is just as important as every other color.’ Since an early age, Lee has been attracted to the basic spectrum of colors in the rainbow, and has incorporated them in many of his works. He is intense in his execution, and definite about his selection of subject. Lee's sensory experience of light and color have a great deal of infl uence on his art. Perhaps in viewing it, one may have a glimpse into an autistic person's

perception of the world -- stunning, curious, perplexing, magical, beautiful -- Artism® .”

The fi rst thing that struck me when I initially saw the works of this young artist was how visually “palpable” they were. This characteristic is not an easy one to achieve in either representational or abstract painting, and yet, nearly every work has a visual component that screams “this is how it would feel to touch it”, but the scream is in the use of colors and the brush (or fi nger) stroke.

As many of you know, my wife is Dr. Alida Anderson de Campello, one of the planet’s leading researchers in Special Education, how to teach children with disabilities, the empirical effects of Arts integration, language literacy, and many others line of research that she follows from her position on the faculty of American University, where she has been teaching for the last 15 years. And because of that relationship,

somewhat by osmosis I have learned a lot about some of the characteristics of the dizzying and many diverse points of knowledge about Autism (among many other things).

And I know that one of them is the almost critical manner in which many people in the spectrum of Autism “sense” the most sensory perception of touch.

In “Apples”, we see a perfect visual example of what I mean. These are not only an excellent offering of composition and color use, but also an insight as to how Lee “feels” the work through his special prism. These are apples engorged in texture, but a texture foreign to most eyes and I suspect quite mundane to his own and special set of artistic vision –they succeed as a work of art because of that palpability.

When I was a Navy officer and sailed several summers in a row around the Kola Peninsula at the top of the world, and later when I lived in Scotland, I was lucky enough to experience the mind-numbing encounter of seeing the Aurora Borealis in all of its unique mind-altering forms.

I don’t know if Jaworek has (in real) life even seen the “Dancing Lights” as the Scots call them, but in his 2015 “Northern Lights”, once again his visual/sensory delivery is intelligently different.

The lights are textured and presented in such a way that it would delight anyone and everyone who subscribes to the theory of everything, and the once radical idea that the pointy particles of particle physics can be also modeled as one-dimensional stringy objects – that’s how Jaworek delivers his Aurora Borealis.

Picasso once noted that “there are artists who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.”

Visit www. leejaworek. com and meet a superbly talented and visionary transformer.

Apples by Lee Jaworek Northern Lights by Lee Jaworek

How to Grow Your Very Own Shamrock

In the spirit of the month of March and one of the Old Town Crier’s favorite celebration days – St. Patrick’s Day – we bring you our annual column on growing shamrocks. We are sure you want to know the secret to growing these lucky plants!

Stories have it that shamrocks won't grow any place other than in Irish dirt. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. The word, "shamrock" is the English form of the Irish word "seamrog," which means "little clover" and clover is something that grows just about everywhere. If you'd like to grow shamrock, also known as "white clover," you'll fi nd it to be a fun and flowering, low maintenance plant. Read on to learn how to grow shamrock:

1. Select a good plant by looking for one with new growth, a few flower buds just opening and more ready to bloom. You can grow shamrock from seed, but starting with a plant is much more reliable.


While it can be grown outside, it does best indoors.

Shamrock needs bright light (not full sun) and moist, well-drained soil until its two- or three-month dormancy period in the winter. That's when you'll need to keep the plant in a cool, dry area and the soil barely moist until spring when watering should resume.

3. Place plants in trays or flower boxes for best results.

Shamrock grows from the tip by sending out runners that take root. Being in containers allow the tips to make contact with the soil to produce the runners.


Keep your plants cool at night, about 50 to 65 F and don't let them get any warmer than 70 to 75 F during the day. Plants habitually exposed to warmer environments will go dormant quicker.


Fertilize your shamrock once a month during the winter and spring growing periods. A liquid or water-soluble fertilizer works best. When the plant stops growing, fertilize every other month until it goes dormant.


Protect your shamrock against the occasional attack of aphids or whitefly. A natural and safe insecticidal spray can be made at home by chopping up onions and chilies, simmering them together. Shamrock is fairly disease free, susceptible only to root rot if you keep them too wet.

Pro Tip:

Be careful where you place your shamrock plant because if it is ingested by pets, it can cause them to suffer kidney failure or worse.

Publishers Note:

Credit for this article is given to contributors from ehow.com. To read more on How to Grow a Shamrock log on to the following link: http:// www.ehow.com/how_2156526_grow-shamrock.html#ixzz1EWkJuDbZ.

Old Town Crier March 2024 11

There is a direct correlation between fi nancial literacy and better overall fi nancial happiness, according to the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center. However, there has been a steady decline in overall fi nancial literacy among U.S. adults based on fi ndings from FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). Whether you call it fi nancial wellness or money literacy, continually striving to learn something new about money and your overall fi nances can help reduce stress, build wealth, and live a better fi nancial life. Next month, April, is Financial Literacy Month and Transportation Federal Credit Union has some tips to help you jumpstart your journey of becoming lifelong fi nancial learners.

What is Financial Literacy

Financial literacy or wellness is a lifelong process of learning about money, from savings to budgeting, debt management, credit card use, understanding interest rates as well as spending, giving, sharing, and planning. Other topics include rate environments, economic shifts, market news, and more.

Students of lifelong fi nancial wellness range in age from children to retired adults. In other words, YOU are a student of fi nancial literacy, whether you know it or not. By paying attention and being open to learning, you can help live a happier, healthier fi nancial life.

Boost Your Money GPA: 5 Money Courses You Should Continually Revisit

The basic idea behind lifelong fi nancial literacy is to always strive to boost your overall money intelligence. Here are five money basics that can help you improve your overall fi nancial wellbeing.

1. Budgeting and Expenses: The goal is to spend less than you earn, with a portion of your income going toward savings and retirement. When was the last time you reviewed your household budget?

2. Savings and Investments: When you go beyond simple savings, you’ll discover the wonders of compounding interest, money market accounts, certificates and more. Always strive to invest in your own future, whether that’s for retirement or educational pursuits.

3. Loans and Credit: There is a difference between good and bad loans as well as good and bad credit. Understanding the difference can have a huge impact on your future.

4. Risk Mitigation: Health, life, auto, and property insurance can help protect your fi nancial future. Building an emergency savings account with at least six months of your total income can help relieve stress and protect your family from the unexpected.

5. Retirement Planning: Always take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) or other fund matching plans. And be willing to work with a professional to map your retirement.

Where to Learn More

Check with local fi nancial institutions about upcoming online or in-person fi nancial literacy classes. Additionally, you can brush up on your fi nancial smarts by reading a money publication, listening to a fi nance podcast, doing some online research from trusted resources, and talking to fi nancial professionals.

Knowledge is Power

It’s important to stay informed and fi nancially up to date. Whether it’s home-buying advice, resources to help understand what a loan really costs, or how to set and stick to a realistic budget as you progress from a young person just starting out to someone nearing retirement, you owe it to yourself to be a lifelong student of money and fi nances.

This column courtesy of Transportation Federal Credit Union. Gain access to a wealth of financial information and learn more about Transportation Federal Credit Union at www. TransFCU.org.

12 March 2024 Old Town Crier FINANCIAL FOCUS
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Celebrating Women’s History Month with Clara Barton

According to the National Park Service [NPS]

“many women during Clara Barton’s era [1821-1912] attempted to advocate for an increase in women’s rights. While Clara was defi nitely a supporter of these efforts, she didn’t stop there. Barton led by example, forcing her way onto the battlefield and into the political sphere of influence.” Congress did not pass the 1923 woman’s Equal Rights Amendment until 1972.

Thirty of the required 38 states ratified the ERA within its fi rst year of struggle. “The U.S. Supreme Court greatly aided the cause when in 1973 it ruled that states could not, among other things, outlaw voluntary abortions before the sixth month of pregnancy,” historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., wrote.

In 1974 the NPS responded— by raising Barton’s profile. Her landmark Glen Echo, Maryland property became the first National Historic Site “dedicated to the accomplishments of a woman.” Clara was, the National Park Service said “a dedicated Civil War nurse, an active women’s rights suffragette, and the founder and fi rst president of the American Red Cross.”

Barton championed women’s rights: “the woman’s right to her own property, her own children, to her own home, her just individual claim before the law, her freedom of action [and] her personal liberty.”

Clarissa “Clara” Harlowe Barton began life in rural Massachusetts, the youngest of farmer Stephen and Sarah Barton’s five children. Clara, mostly home schooled, established a New Jersey elementary school in 1852: then quit the teaching profession when a male principal displaced her. She moved to the District of Columbia in 1854—in search of opportunity.

Barton’s next job: Clara was “the fi rst woman appointed to

an independent clerkship by government at Washington.”

And “the fi rst woman employed by the federal government [the U.S. Patent Office] to earn the same rate of pay as the men.”

President Franklin Pierce’s Secretary of the Interior Robert McClelland [D-MI] did not approve of working women. He demoted her: from a $1400 per annum recording clerk to a copyist who earned 10 cents for every 100 pages copied.

Barton became known as the Union army’s “Angel of the Battlefield” at age 41; “the lady in charge” of the hospitals of the Federal Army of the James two years later. Clara understood the need not only for medical nursing, but also delivery of the supplies directly to the battlefields.

The train and wagon deliveries began August 9, 1862, with the Battle of Cedar Mountain: a skirmish six miles south of Culpeper, Virginia. The Battle occurred two weeks before the Second Manassas campaign.

“When our armies fought on Cedar Mountain, I broke the shackles and went to the field,” Nurse Barton explained. “Five days and nights with three hours sleep—a narrow escape from capture—and some days of getting the wounded into hospitals at Washington, brought Saturday, August 30 [the Confederate counterattack]. And if you chance to feel, that the positions I occupied were rough and unseemly for a woman—I can only reply that they were rough and unseemly for men.”

“The Civil War was the defi ning event in Clara’s life,” historian Stephen B. Oates concluded, “shaping who she was and what she became. It gave her the opportunity as a woman to reach out and seize control of her destiny.”

Her field service included not only the Battle of

Cedar Mountain, but also Fairfax Station, Chantilly, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Charleston, Morris Island, Wagner, Wilderness, and the sieges of Petersburg and Richmond. Barton journeyed to Alexandria’s Camp Convalescent in October 1862.

In March 1865, by the authority of President Abraham Lincoln, Barton opened the Office of Correspondence with Friends of the Missing Men of the United States Army. The District of Columbia Office was located at 437 7th Street. She kindly responded to more than 63,000 grief-stricken families; successfully marked 13,000 Union graves. All in all she determined the fate of over 22,000 fighting men.

“Clara Barton led by example,” the National Park Service repeated. “In the classroom, on the battlefield, and in the boardroom she opened Americans eyes. Her perseverance in this maledominated era not only led to the establishment of one of the most important, most influential institutions in American history, but she also demonstrated that women can succeed, overcome society’s inequalities.”

The Army’s Missing Men’s Office closed in 1869. Clara then deployed to Europe: to help the International Red Cross during the FrancoPrussian War [1870-1871]. Barton’s fi rst autobiography was published in 1876, as a “sketch” for a women’s Cyclopedia compiled by fellow suffragist Susan B. Anthony.

March is not only National Women’s History Month it is also Red Cross Month. Clara Barton—the woman who gave us the fi rst aid kit; pioneered emergency preparedness and natural disaster relief [the Mississippi and Ohio River floods; Charleston, South Carolina’s earthquake, central Texas’ drought and Mount Vernon,

Illinois’ tornado]—is probably best remembered for her role in the 1881 formation of the American Association of the Red Cross. America acceded to the “Convention for the Amelioration of the Wounded in Time of War,” better known as the Geneva Convention the following year. From Clara Barton’s poem, The Women Who Went to the Field:

“The women who went to the field, you say/The women who went to the field; and pray/What did they go for?/ Just to be in the way!... They saw in high purpose a duty to do,/And the armor of right broke the barriers through./Uninvited, unaided, unsanctioned oft times,/ With pass, or without it, they pressed through the lines;/ And this was the ‘running’ the men saw them do…The nurses, consolers, and saviors of men.”

In 1898, Clara Barton President of the renamed American National Red Cross returned to the battlefield. The Spanish American War was ongoing and she and ANRC Secretary, Alexandrian Lucy Mariah Graves [1871-1946] traveled to Cuba to treat the wounded. They consulted with Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, shared medical supplies with his wounded Rough Riders, all the while promoting the American National Red Cross.

Barton later declined the role of honorary president of The National Society of the Spanish War. The society did not accept Black soldiers as members.

“I have a complete disregard of precedent and a faith in the possibility of something better,” Nurse Barton often retorted. “It irritates me to be told how things have always been done.”

“Nurses are a critical part of healthcare and make up the largest section of the health profession,” the

National Library of Medicine confi rmed. “And, yes, staffing shortages exist.” According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics “more than 275,000 additional nurses will be needed by 2032.” That is in addition to the AAMC’s projected U.S. physician shortage.

Eighty-seven percent of today’s registered nurses [RNs] are female [Nurse Salary Research Report, 2022]. Women, who on average make $14,000 less than their male counter parts. That said Clara Barton volunteered her services during the Civil War.

Barton’s bottom line: the 19th Amendment, the woman’s right to vote was not ratified until 1920, eight years after her death. The woman’s Equal Pay Act did not pass Congress until 1963. Ten years later sex-segregated, "help wanted" advertising was banned [U.S. Supreme Court, Pittsburgh Press Co. v. Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, June 21, 1973].

As for woman’s rights generally, the National Archives now calls the 1972 woman’s Equal Rights Amendment “America’s Most Popular Never-Ratified Amendment.”

About the Author: 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.

Old Town Crier March 2024 13 A BIT OF HISTORY © 2024 SARAH BECKER


March may not come in like a lion, but you’ll still be roaring with laughter at some of these theater offerings in the DMV:

Through March 10th


Signature Theater

Inspired by the true story of a deaf Welshman who becomes a celebrated World War I sniper, this new musical affirms the importance of friendship and the cost of war. Tickets at www.sigtheatre.org.


Keegan Theater

Stephen Sondheim’s problem musical—albeit with his most gorgeous, touching score—gets a solid production on this intimate DuPont- area stage with

fi ne performances from Ryan Burke and Harrison Smith as “the next Rodgers & Hammerstein.” But it’s Sarah Chapin’s Mary—the unrequited love interest—who will melt your heart. She did mine. Hats off to co-directors Christina Coakley and Jennifer Hopkins, who made the story congeal for me with the clever addition of a simple prop— one I’d never seen in Merrily before. Projections by Jeremy Bennett guided us through the show’s awkward timeline in another inspired Keegan addition. The band did a nice job with Jonathan Tunick’s popping orchestrations, which the ensemble performed admirably.

All in all, a very nice job—and for 1/8 the 400 bucks they’re charging on Broadway (okay, you do get to see Harry Potter in that one). Tickets at www. keegantheatre.com.


Folger Theatre

Writer/actor Madeline Sayet’s compelling tale about her Mohegan people and the trials they faced over centuries of betrayal and displacement. Tickets at www.folger.edu

Through March 17th


Constellation Theatre

Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, set to music and relocated from 15th Century Vienna to the Wild West. Tickets at www.constellationtheatre.org


Arena Stage

The story of Anna Julia Cooper, a visionary Black feminist and educator, and her herculean efforts to keep Black education alive, despite the racism, gossip and sexism that threatened to consign her to obscurity. Tickets at www.arenastage.org

Through March 24th


Synetic Theatre

Shakespeare again, this time in Synetic’s wordless movement style. Tickets at www.synetictheatre.org

March 2nd – 17th


Kennedy Center

Artemis, a wheelchair user, fi nds himself trapped in the library after a flood devastates his hometown. How will he get home? A Kennedy Center commission, this new musical teaches us how we can make the world a little better for everyone. For young audiences age nine and above. Tickets www. kennedy-center.org.

March 5th – 17th


National Theatre

TV’s South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone teamed up with Broadway composer Robert Lopez (Avenue Q and Frozen) to pen this wacky Tony ® Award-winning send up of America’s homegrown religion. Irreverent as it may be (have

you watched South Park ?), Mormon turns out to be a kinda sweet Rodgers & Hammerstein-like musical, albeit with plenty of fart jokes. Tickets at www.broadwayatthenational.com


Shakespeare Theatre Company

The rise and fall of investment bank Lehman Brothers over 160 years of family struggles, achievements, and missteps, ending in the largest fi nancial crisis in American history. Tickets at www.shakespearetheatre.org

Through March 30th


First grade has never been more daunting (and exciting) for Junie B when this stage musical adaptation of Barbara Park’s popular young reader series-- now in its 30th year-- visits historic Glen Echo Park. Tickets at www.adverturetheatre-mtc. org

March 5th – April 21st


Signature Theater

The long-suffering Mrs.Odysseus, stuck home in Ithaca while hubby gets all the ink, has a few things to get off her chest. A new, woke take on Homer’s

The Iliad and The Odyssey, this world premier musical flips the script on the dutiful wife, as Penelope steps out of the background to claim her share of the spotlight. Tickets at www.sigtheatre.org

March 9th – 23rd

QUIJOTE Y SANCHO PANZA Gala Hispanic Theatre

Join the lively misadventures of the gentleman from La Mancha and his loyal squire as they face daring rescues, unconventional challenges, and mistaken

14 March 2024 Old Town Crier MARK EDELMAN ON STAGE

identities in this bi-lingual performance from the DMV’s pre-eminent teatro en espanol. Tickets at www.galatheatre.org

March 12th – 31st


Kennedy Center

Stephen Sondheim’s groundbreaking musical comedy about a group of New Yorkers celebrating their single friend Bobby’s birthday gets a change to the distaff side. This time, those friends of “Bobbie” keep asking why can’t she fi nd the right man, and isn’t it time to settle down and start a family? In his Tony ® Award winning score, Sondheim plumbs the depths of being single, being married and being alive. Tickets at www. kennedy-center.org

March 13th – April 20th


Studio Theatre

Carlo crashes her ex’s wedding with three simple goals: Don’t get drunk. Don’t make any kids cry. Don’t try to win back the bride, no matter how boring the groom is. Studio offers up a new comedy about loneliness, estrangement, and a slowburn romance with being alive. Tickets at www. studiotheatre.org

March 15th – May 18th


Ford’s Theatre

That big old scary plant returns to Ford’s in this musical theater favorite. Doo wop and Motown infuse a classic boy-meets-girl, boy-introduces-girl-to carnivorous, bloodthirsty plant story with a great score by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, who went on to save Disney animation with The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Tickets at www.fords.org

March 23rd – April 13th


Alexandria Little Theatre

DC’s own Ken Ludwig adapted Agatha Christie’s potboiler about a wealthy American businessman discovered dead on the eponymous and opulent Continental sleeper train. If “whodunit?” is a question you enjoy pondering, this plot-twisting masterpiece should be just the thrill ride for you. Tickets at www.thelittletheatre.com

About the Author: Mark Edelman is a playwright who loves writing about theater. He is a lifetime member of the Broadway League and a Tony voter.

Photo credits: Sam McClellan and national tour of Book of Mormon photo by Julieta Cervantes; Ryan Burke, Sarah Chapin, and Harrison Smith in Merrily We Roll Along by Cameron Whitman. Britney Coleman and Jacob Dickey in Company by Matthew Murphy


This hit musical

loosely based on the story of Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s. A mixture of soul, blues, jazz, and rock ‘n roll, surrounded by racial tension and rivalries.

Set in 19th Century London, this delightful farce depicts the chaos that ensues when a woman tries to gain entry to a fictional club of explorers. Lots of silly gags, tricks, and physical comedy.

The Broadway musical based on the Gothic novella by Robert Louis Stevenson, follows a London-based legal practitioner who investigates a series of strange events involving his friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll and a murderous criminal named Edward Hyde.

DEC. 7 – 21, 2024

Roald Dahl’s


The delightful musical tale of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a sharp mind and a vivid imagination, dares to take a stand to change her story with miraculous results.

A comedy by William Shakespeare, this play revolves around two romantic pairings that emerge when a group of soldiers arrives in town. The play relies on tensions created by a paradoxical use of deception by its characters.

During the performance of a play-within-a-play, a plethora of disasters befall the cast and crew, including doors sticking, props falling, and floors collapsing. Cast members misplace props, forget lines, break character, and experience hilarious situations.

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The Little Theatre

The Independent Art Gallery – A Labor of Love

When the Fraser Gallery fi rst opened in Georgetown in 1996, it seemed that everyone was full of advice to us on how to succeed; people who otherwise had never ever operated a gallery business were suddenly masters of the business of running a gallery, which after all is a business!

It is also a labor of love, and most fi ne arts, independently owned commercial art galleries in this great nation of ours (note that I wrote “most” or 98% of them) are labors of love and often run by the skin of the owners’ teeth!

“Who is your backer?”, once asked the then director of the Hirshhorn Museum as I gave her a ride to her home after a rare gallery visit. “Backer?” I said, not understanding her question.

“Who’s fi nancing your gallery?”, she asked in all honesty, as she had been surprised that we were about to enter the art fair scene in New York.

“Ah!”, I responded after I fi nally understood her question; “Mr. Visa and Mr. MasterCard.”

There are a lot of hardworking galleries in our area; some, like Judy Heartsong’s Artists & Makers Studios in Rockville and the Art League in the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, are surrounded by dozens of hardworking artists’ studios and thus a visit is a huge super bang for the buck.

In Kensington, the great Adah Rose Gallery hosts regular vernissages nearly every month!

From her represented artists, for years I’ve admired the work of Gregory Ferrand, who is not only a brilliant and skilled painter, but also an intelligent story maker via his super interesting works.

Next at Adah Rose is "May You Live In Interesting Times" a two-person shows with two very talented and hard-working artists with a formidable artistic footprint in our area: Maremi Andreozzi and Wayson Jones.

In Bethesda there’s Waverly Street Gallery, a really good cooperative gallery where they just had their INVITATIONAL 2024 exhibition which featured gallery artists and guest artists. In this gallery I really like Dennis Crayon’s “wet” paintings, which showcase Crayon’s terrific skills in using the visual power of water to cleverly abstractify (I just invented that word) otherwise ordinary subjects. Next at the gallery is a show titled CIRCLES by Geoff Desobry.

Washington’s Foundry Gallery is a powerful DMV cooperative, full of talented artists in all media, many of whom are “new” to me, such as Mrinal Joshi, a Nepal-born artist whose artwork is concurrently attractive, terse, and immensely intelligent. The artist states that instilled in her work “a sense of longing for the past and a desire to preserve the present while understanding that nothing lasts forever. The glaring appropriation creates a sense of familiarity and invokes times gone by while being veiled with lightheartedness. Underneath, however, is a ground to ponder the ephemerality of beauty, power, fame, glamour, and youth, and a sense of isolation and alienation.”

Next on their exhibition schedule is Tamsin Avra with an exhibition titled “… So That This May Become False.”

Both Foundry and Waverly Street are cooperatives -- I am a big fan and supporter of cooperative galleries. Together with independently owned commercial fi ne arts galleries (such as Adah Rose), non-profit galleries, university galleries, museum galleries, and alternative art spaces, they make up the visual arts tapestry of a city or region.

All galleries everywhere, including fabled places like New York and LA, struggle to survive and sell work in order to pay the artists, pay rent, pay for publicity, pay for openings, pay for electricity, pay for the plumber the 2-3 times a year that somebody flushes a sanitary napkin (or one of those indestructible hand towels) down the toilet at an opening and clogs the pipes, pay for websites, etc. We are lucky to have them.

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.

16 March 2024 Old Town Crier
Photos: “Old Neighborhood” by Dennis Crayon (top left), "This is the Life!" by Gregory Ferrand (bottom right)
Exclusively representing the works of F. Lennox Campello Price and additional images upon request. Alida Anderson Art Projects, LLC, Washington, DC www.alidaanderson.com / info@alidaanderson.com Syreni Caledonii (Northern Atlantic Mermaid). Watercolor, charcoal and Conte. 2019, 12x36 inches. “ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING PEOPLE OF WASHINGTON, DC” – Washington City Paper Exclusively representing the works of F. Lennox Campello Price and additional images upon request. “A woman in love with abstraction” - 2021 16x20 watercolor on paper with embedded electronic images that rotate every 5 seconds. ART & ANTIQUES ANTIQUES Spurgeon-Lewis Antiques 112 N. Columbus Street BW Art, Antiques & Collectibles 108 N. Fayette Street Imperfections Antiques 1210 King Street The Antique Guild 113 N. Fairfax Street Silverman Galleries 110 N. St. Asaph Street Washington Square Antiques 425 S. Washington Street Susquehanna Antique Co. 608 Cameron Street Old Town Antiques 222 S. Washington Street Verdigris Vintage 1215 King Street Cavalier Antiques 400 Prince Street Sumpter Priddy III 323 S. Washington Street Henry Street Antiques 115 S. Henry Street Curzon Hill Antiques 108 S. Columbus Street The Hour 1015 King Street A Galerie 315 Cameron Street Random Harvest 810 King Street Acme Mid-Century + Modern 128 S. Royal Street Van Bommel Antiek Hous 1007 King Street Lloyd’s Row 119 S. Henry Street GALLERIES Torpedo Factory Art Center 105 N. Union Street Principle Gallery 208 King Street Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery 105 N. Union Street St. George Gallery 105 N. Alfred Street The Art League 105 Union Street Local Colour Old Town 218 N. Lee Street Icon Galleria 101 N. Union Street B&B Art Gallery 215 King Street Enamelist’s Gallery 105 N. Union Street Printmakers, Inc. 105 N. Union Street Kelly’s Art & Frame 510 N. Washington Street Oerth Gallery 420 S. Washington Street Jeffrey Winter Fine Arts 110A S. Columbus Street Johnston Matthew 105 N. Union Street Huddy Studio 105 N. Union Street Mezzanine Multiples 105 N. Union Street Silverman Galleries 110 N. St. Asaph Street Cochran David 105 N. Union Street Betty Grisham Studio 105 N. Union Street Imagine Artwear 112 King Street Join me at the Torpedo Factory Arts Center 105 North Union S treet For my Pop Up “4 0 Yea rs of Art Making” By Kristina Hagman April 4th, 5th & 6th From 2 to 7 Instagram - @hagmanarts kristinahagman.com

Artists To Watch In 2024

I thought it would be fun to highlight a handful of artists from different genres of music that I think will be making waves this year. With over 100,000 new tracks being uploaded to streaming services each day, it can be overwhelming to zero in on just one artist. So, I’ve taken the time to cherry pick four exceptional artists from rock, dance, classical, and pop music. Each of these artists offer quality music that stands out from the pack in their respective styles.

The Los Angeles rock band Dead Sara recently caught my attention with a blistering alternative song called “Violent”. After listening I decided to check out much of their other music and found myself jaw dropped by the power and quality of their work. The band consists of vocalist Emily Armstrong, guitarist Siouxsie Medley, and drummer Sean Friday. This power trio have all the makings of a legendary rock band and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see them become a household name in the near future.

Another musician that has impressed me for quite some time is EDM artist G.H. Hat. This multi-genre producer, remixer, composer and performer offers some of the best vocal and Instrumental EDM available today. G.H. Hat’s piano jam series is particularly enjoyable, and his billboard charting hit “I Got A Problem” is one of the catchiest pop songs I’ve ever heard. The scene feels ripe for some big moves from this talented producer and 2024 feels like it might be the year of G.H. Hat in the EDM world.

Classical music is an emotionally nourishing genre of music for me, and Pauline Frechette makes some of the best in the business. Her neoclassical originals provide some of the most soothing piano playing and orchestral arrangements to ever move through my speaker system. There’s an emotive power in Frechette's work that you don’t see every day, and many are beginning to take notice. Look out for big moves from this talented composer this year. The stage is set for a breakout moment in 2024 for Pauline Frechette.

Moving over to pop music we have Meg Smith: a Brooklynbased rising star who started making moves in 2020. Meg’s music is catchy like Taylor Swift’s except it has more charm and humor to it. There’s also a subtle biting edge to much of the lyrics and musical arrangements that reflects the standout quality of this artist. Meg Smith has been releasing great music on a regular basis for the last four years and her fan base continues to steadily grow. Judging by the progress she’s made thus far, I feel like 2024 could easily be a big year for her.

So, there you have it: Four exciting artists to watch in 2024. It’s such an interesting time in music history right now. Never before have we had so many artists releasing so much music. There are endless new and old songs to choose from and they are all just a couple screen taps away. I hope you’ll enjoy one or two of the artists I’ve presented here, and I hope they help your year shine a little brighter.

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.


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Dead Sara GH Hat Meg Smith Pauline Frechette

On Page vs. On Screen: Killers of the Flower Moon

David Grann unearthed a stunning chapter in Native American history with his nonfiction work Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. In 2017 he appeared in multiple top ten books of the year lists from news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, NPR, and Slate. His revelatory book about widespread murder in the Osage settlements in Oklahoma and how this phenomenon helped J. Edgar Hoover birth the FBI has become a modern classic.

Recently director Martin Scorsese turned his hand to adapting the story into a film, which is heading into this 2024 Oscar season with multiple nominations.

although these Native Americans were wealthy to the point of not needing to work. White and Black servants took care of their houses and met their needs.

As Mollie worried about the deaths of her sisters and her mother, who also died of a wasting disease, Grann paints a picture of an Osage community diminishing quickly and unnaturally through violent murder and general illness. Mollie’s last remaining sister, Rita, was blown up in her nearby house. Mollie inherited all headrights for Osage wealth from her mother and all but one sister.

Grann’s story begins in 1921 with a woman named Mollie Burkhart, an Osage Indian woman living in the Osage settlement of Gray Horse, Oklahoma. Distressed by the mysterious murder of one of her sisters, Anna Brown, Mollie saw one of her other sisters die of a mysterious wasting disease several years earlier. As a member of the Osage tribe, she was an accidental inheritor of tremendous wealth.

The Osage, driven in the 1870s from their lands in Kansas, ended up on a rocky Oklahoma reservation that seemed worthless until prospectors discovered that the land sat above huge oil deposits. Because of an unusually canny legal proviso in their favor, each member of the tribe could lease their land, but were due yearly profits from any oil wealth, which came to a staggering amount that only increased over the years to equal today’s equivalent of $400 million in 1923 alone. At one point the Osage were considered the wealthiest people per capita in the world, while still seen as second-class citizens for their skin color and status as Native Americans.

Most importantly, headrights, the right to these profits and land per person, could not be sold, but only handed down by inheritance through family connections, marriage, and children.

Mollie Burkhart, like her sisters and many other Native Americans, married a white person. She bore her husband children, practiced Catholicism and even spoke some English, although she kept to many Osage traditions and wore Osage clothes. Her husband, Ernest Burkhart, a Texan, had moved to Fairfax, a city in the Osage territory, to live with his uncle, a cattleman named William K. Hale.

Hale, a shrewd businessman, had connections with prosperous lawyers, doctors, bankers, and other professional people in the bustling Osage towns, including Gray Horse, Fairfax, and the capital, Pawhuska. Ernest’s brothers, Bryan and Horace, had also been lured to the Osage community by the prospect of oil wealth. Hale became like a father to them, a figure who gave commands and expected them to be carried out without reservation or delay. Along with the Osage, the reservations towns bustled with colorful miscreants and businessman, making them a remnant of the lawless Wild West. Bootleggers scoffed at Prohibition with their stills, cowboys and dubious medicine men walked the streets, and outlaws strode alongside fi nanciers and oil magnates in a motley crowd drawn there to make their fortune. The Osage mingled with them through marriage and other social connections,

Murders in Osage towns remained unsolved. There seemed to be no way for private eyes and figures of law and order to make headway through asking members of so-called respectable society for clues or help.

When J. Edgar Hoover, acting director of the Bureau of Investigation, heard about the murders on the reservation, he found a way to consolidate power at a branch of the Justice Department that would eventually become the Federal Bureau of Investigation. With a former Texas Ranger named Tom White at the helm, Hoover sent a crew of federal investigators to infiltrate the Osage reservation and solve both overt and covert murders.

Despite the Osage’s unusual wealth and seeming privilege, David Grann uncovered a little-known historical episode with a typical theme: the dismissal and murder of Native Americans seen as savages as whites expanded throughout the continent grabbing money and resources.

As the mixed Osage-white community meets J. Edgar Hoover’s chosen men during the Osage Reign of Terror in the early- to mid-1920s, Grann shows the humanity and innovation of the original investigators. These men adapted to the Osage towns and community before Hoover could eventually impose his tightly ordered version of colorless bureaucrats who spread across the country to solve crimes with no consideration for local conditions.

Grann’s true-crime depiction starts slowly in showing the complexity of interactions between the Osage and the white professional community. It is difficult to keep names straight when reading about ne’er-do-wells who met with doctors who attended to wealthy Osage Indians who got married to and divorced from various whites.

Eventually the story speeds up, however, as the scope of the murders comes into focus and the investigators from the yet-to-be-named FBI arrived to solve crimes committed by a startling large ring of criminals on the reservation. Grann has revealed an ugly aspect of American greed and sense of entitlement in the face of those they considered second-class citizens.

This tale also depicts the clash of two civilizations, one of which started as a tribe that did not even believe in ownership of land and ended up with incredible wealth that did it little good. It also shows how distrust is handed down through generations, as Osage descendants today believe that crimes against their community were and are still considered unimportant, handled inadequately even by the nascent FBI.

Martin Scorsese’s film version fi rst paints a vibrant picture of the towns, with their exciting lawlessness and colorful mix of people. His interiors are then purposefully dark and depressing to depict the malaise within the community.

Robert DeNiro as William K. Hale, also known as King, shows his usual impeccable acting, and Leonardo DiCaprio as Ernest Burkhart gamely takes on his character, although I fi nd it hard to forget who he is. Lily Gladstone, a Native American actor nominated for Best Actress, is perfectly cast as Mollie Burkhart. Her performance is beautifully subtle and accurate to the character depicted in the book. She deserves all her accolades.

Out of necessity the film version focuses much more on the personal relationships between Mollie, her sisters, the Burkharts, William K. Hale, and a few other characters. It also takes a more superficial view of the federal investigators who arrive towards the end of the film to save the day. Grann’s depiction, on the other hand, covers a huge cast of intertwined characters, both from the Osage community and the Bureau of Investigation.

Despite some excellent acting, it is hard to understand why this film is nominated for Best Picture unless the Academy of Motion Pictures simply defaults to nominating a much-loved director’s pictures and fi nds the movie important in making this story better known. At almost three-and-a-half hours, Killers of the Flower Moon moves, as these Oklahomans might have said, like molasses in June. It comes across as plodding, confusing, and turgid, with a constant low hum of melancholy early blues and country music in the background. Watching on Apple TV+ at home, I often wanted to stop the film and watch animal videos on my phone or check my messages.

Killers of the Flower Moon is well worth reading for true crime aficionados, those interested in American and Native American history, and readers who want to see the dark underbelly of how the West was won. Give the movie a miss unless you are a devotee of DeNiro, interested in seeing Lily Gladstone’s breakthrough performance, or want to see striking visuals of the community that bred a shadow over the oil-rich lands.

18 March 2024 Old Town Crier

Tidbits about our favorite Easter things

The Easter Bunny

The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; nevertheless, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity’s most important holiday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny fi rst arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.

Easter Eggs

Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. In the U.S., the White House Easter Egg Roll, a race in which children push decorated, hard-boiled eggs across the White House lawn, is an annual event held the Monday after Easter. The fi rst official White House egg roll occurred in 1878, when Rutherford B. Hayes was president. The event has no religious significance, although some people have considered egg rolling symbolic of the stone blocking Jesus’ tomb being rolled away, leading to his resurrection.

Easter Candy

Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America, after Halloween

Among the most popular sweet treats associated with this day are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe. Eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus’ resurrection. Another egg-shaped candy, the jelly bean, became associated with Easter in the 1930s (although the jelly bean’s origins reportedly date all the way back to a Biblical-era concoction called a Turkish Delight). According to the National Confectioners Association, over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the U.S. each year for Easter, enough to fill a giant egg measuring 89 feet high and 60 feet wide. For the past decade, the top-selling non-chocolate Easter candy has been the marshmallow Peep, a sugary, pastel-colored confection. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based candy manufacturer Just Born (founded by Russian immigrant Sam Born in 1923) began selling Peeps in the 1950s. The original Peeps were handmade, marshmallow-flavored yellow chicks, but other shapes and flavors were later introduced, including chocolate mousse bunnies.

The Easter Parade

In New York City, the Easter Parade tradition dates back to the mid-1800s, when the upper crust of society would attend Easter services at various Fifth Avenue churches then stroll outside afterward, showing off their new spring outfits and hats. Average citizens started showing up along Fifth Avenue to check out the action. The tradition reached its peak by the mid-20th century, and in 1948, the popular film Easter Parade was released, starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland and featuring the music of Irving Berlin. The title song includes the lyrics: “In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it/You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.”

The Easter Parade tradition lives on in Manhattan, with Fifth Avenue from 49th Street to 57th Street being shut down during the day to traffic. Participants often sport elaborately decorated bonnets and hats. The event has no religious significance, but sources note that Easter processions have been a part of Christianity since its earliest days. Today, other cities across America also have their own parades.

Publishers Note: Many thanks to History.com for this Easter history lesson.

Old Town Crier March 2024 19 SPECIAL FEATURE

Rites & Refusals

Irefuse 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 a pocket and dropping them into the bonfi re. 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-inpocket 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 bonfi re 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 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-ducttape 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 blow-out 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 fi rst time they wear their foul weather gear in the spring and what treasures from the previous season they fi nd 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 flip-flop 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 23rd from noon to 4 p.m. Visit amaritime.org to learn more.

Publishers Note: This article first appeared in the March 2007 issue of SpinSheet. We only feel it right to publish it annually since it is a ceremony dear to our sailor hearts.

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

20 March 2024 Old Town Crier FROM THE BAY MOLLY WINANS
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Most of us have told ourselves at some point, “Well, that didn't go as planned, but I'm ok with that.” And so it was with the life of Tanzy, aka Hope Springs Tanganyika JH. She was born here at Hope Springs in January of 2009.

As all puppies are, she was a beautiful baby, the largest female and second largest in that litter of ten. It's still a mystery how she ended up so little, at the very bottom of the standard for Chesapeake Bay retrievers. Her mother and a sister – who we kept from another litter - were big girls, and her 85 lb. sire was a normal size. Not until she was older did she even attain 50 lbs. - weighing in at 47 or 48 lbs most of her life.

But what she lacked in size, she made up for with sheer determination and a sweet disposition that won over everyone who met her, two or four legged.

Tanzy wasn't highly titled or a mighty huntress and, in fact, it was a miracle she lived to five much less past 15 after surviving and thriving after a freak accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down as a 4 year-old. We never knew what happened; she didn't have a mark on her and never made a sound.

Looking uncomfortable in the morning, she was ambulatory but not herself. By lunch time she could barely walk,

and had to be carried into the vet's two hours later. All available tests were normal so we ended up taking her to a specialist for overnight, since she had to be on fluids and a catheter. The next morning saw no change, so I had two choices: euthanasia or take her to a new veterinary neurology practice an hour away, where better diagnostics including an MRI were available. Everyone who knows me knew that was an easy choice.

At the neurology practice in Leesburg, the MRI revealed two badly broken vertebrae in her neck. But the neurology vet assured me she had a good chance, they did spinal surgeries routinely with over 90% success. While her surgery wouldn't be routine, I liked the odds and wrote the check. When she was discharged five days after surgery, I wondered if I'd made a huge mistake. The poor girl couldn't even raise her head or wag her tail. But I had explored rehab options and delivered her to what was probably the fi nest dog rehab specialist in the area, also in Leesburg.

The fi rst day of rehab was discouraging. I posted a video clip on social media of Tanzy in the water treadmill with the rehab guy. He had to put a life vest on her and hold her head up; to keep

Little But FIERCE A Tribute to a Beautiful Life

the incision and staples on her neck out of water while she took her tentative fi rst steps. It was pitiful, but it garnered her a huge internet following cheering her on. She improved daily, by leaps and bounds and two weeks after the accident, she walked out of there (with the help of a harness) and came home. We continued rehab on an outpatient basis, utilizing cold laser, acupuncture, range of motion exercises and water treadmill.

Almost a year after the surgery, Tanzy made nearly a full recovery. Only if you knew her well would you notice subtle things like her slightly herky jerky gait and lack of ability to do the full body shake like normal wet dogs. Needless to say, per her vet team, a retrieving career was out.

Perhaps due to the extensive rehab, she remained the best house dog I'd ever had. She was content just to be near her people and the other dogs here. She swam, ran and played like a normal dog. She had her second litter of pups. Of her two small litters her babies were beautiful and normal to large sized; the only reason I never kept one was that all of them were males.

Tanzy was also the unofficial nanny of the other litters born here as her quiet non-

threatening ways and gentle demeanor meant the other mothers here never felt threatened so they allowed her to interact with their puppies at a very young age. She also taught many young dogs, from puppy to 12 months, to swim. Because she was little and maternal, they trusted her and she was never rowdy or rambunctious around them knocking them over or scaring them the way the other dogs, including their own mothers, could be. Everyone should have a Tanzy in their life. Friendly and welcoming everywhere she went. She warmed a room with her presence. When I was stricken with COVID and came home weak and bedridden, she laid quietly beside me. The only anxiety she ever showed was after we lost her beloved big sister, Der. Tanzy was 13 and quietly gnawed on the cypress siding of the house and wore her top teeth down to the gums. We have no hard proof animals grieve when they lose a friend, but I'm sure they do. Not long after that, we both suffered from glaucoma and it became an eyedrops factory here. Hers was only in one eye. My eyes were helped, but we couldn't get the pressure down in hers so she had an eye removed at 14. This too she handled with equanimity and grace.

That she lived to 15 years, one month and one day is a tribute to a beautiful life. We said good bye in the room where she was born, since her holistic rehab vet does house calls. She's buried in our dog graveyard, with her family that left us before her. We don't yet have a tree picked out—each grave has a flowering tree planted in memory. But I think we've decided on a pink dogwood. The pet cemetery has pink, white, lilac and blue blooms from April through August from redbuds, dogwoods, vitex and crape myrtle trees.


22 March 2024 Old Town Crier
Puppy Tanzy (right) and adored big sister Der Tanzy's memorial fl owers Tanzy on her 15th birthday

2024 Spring Racing

Admission prices vary for each race meet, most offer discounted pricing for advance ticket purchase and general admission on race day. 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 call the information number listed for each race.

Saturday, March 16 - 12:00 PM

Warrenton Hunt Point to Point Airlie Race Course Warrenton, Virginia (540) 270-1730


Saturday, March 23 - 1:00 PM

Piedmont Fox Hounds Point to Point Salem Course Upperville, Virginia (540) 592-7100

Sunday, March 24 - 9:00 AM

Piedmont Fox Hounds Hunter Pace Events Salem Course Upperville, Virginia (410) 790-5359

Saturday, March 30 - 9:00 AM

Orange County Hounds Hunter Pace Events Old Whitewood Farm 3760 Whitewood Road The Plains, VA 20198 (540) 295-5141

Saturday, March 30 - 1:00 PM


Blue Ridge Hunt Point to Point Woodley Farm Berryville, Virginia (540) 636-0500 (540) 974-0500


Saturday, April 6 - 12:00 PM

Old Dominion Hounds Point to Point Ben Venue Farm Ben Venue, Virginia (571) 276-0702


Sunday, April 7 - 1:00 PM

Old Dominion Hounds Hunter Pace Events 40 Hungry Farm Lane Amissville, VA (540) 270-3585



Naptown and the MRE

For this month’s Road Trip we decided to stay close to home and visit two of our favorite places... Annapolis aka Naptown and Eastport aka MRE to the locals in Maryland. One of the reasons why we have such a close relationship with this area is because it is part of our marketing area...hence the moniker on our cover, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge. There are other reasons for our close relationship and one is sailing. I have a sailboat in Solomons and we occasionally sail to Annapolis. Annapolis is also considered the “Sailing Capital of the World", home to the Naval Academy and home to the Annapolis Sailboat Show - the largest inwater boat show in the world.

Annapolis has historical significance for many reasons. Most significantly it was the capital of Maryland as well as the country's capital when the Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War, was signed there. All four Maryland signers of the Declaration of Independence had impressive homes in Annapolis, which still stand today.

Our intention was to take a nice day trip to visit some favorite places and maybe run into some old friends while discovering what is new.

Our fi rst stop was, of course, the waterfront. This is where you can fi nd metered parking and Ego Alley. Ego Alley is not an alley in the traditional sense of the word; rather than a walkway, it is a narrow

waterway that spills out into Spa Creek. The name "Ego Alley" comes from the queue of expensive boats that parade through the waterway on evenings and weekends. Yes, I have sailed in Ego Alley and tied up to the bulkhead to spend the night. It is a great front seat view of the incredible action on the waterfront.

When we were there, it was still February...sunny with a chill in the air but nice enough for sweater and vest. This time of year, the action in Ego Alley is limited as most boats are stored on land or south for the winter. However, the bonus is that the crowds have not arrived yet. We were there on a Thursday and there was a school group on a field trip and a hand full of strollers walking the brick sidewalks. After we walked over to the bulkhead to pay respects to Ego Alley (kind of like returning to the beach and saying “hi” to the surf), we walked to the other side of the Alley to have lunch at a relatively new restaurant...The Choptank.

The Choptank is about two years old and the newness is clear. With white tile floors and a very large white marble bar, there was plenty of light to see and gaze out the wall-to-wall windows that look out over the harbor. After securing my fi rst rum drink of the day, I ordered steamed clams in a bacon and herb broth. This dish was incredible. Lani, my companion, ordered the fried chicken sandwich which was huge, delicious and crunchy.

Not only is Maryland noted for its' seafood, but also its' fried chicken.

Retracing our steps to City Dock, we visited a favorite restaurant and former advertiser in the Old Town Crier Middleton Tavern. One of the original taverns and bars in Annapolis, Middleton’s is a favorite of locals, tourists and midshipmen from the academy. Here I enjoyed another rum while Lani ordered her favorite, an oyster shooter and a National Bohemian aka Natty Bo draft. The shooter consists of a flavorful oyster in a plastic shot glass with cocktail sauce accompanied by another shot cup of beer. Slainte!

From here we went next door to McGarvey's, another legendary bar famous for their steamed mussels - they are Lani’s go-to when we dine here. I ordered another rum – you starting to see a pattern here? We had a great time talking with our bartender, Marty Gardner, who has been here for 28 years. When you get it right, there is no reason to change. We had a great time talking about the Annapolis of old like I like to talk about Old Town Alexandria back in the day.

From here we took a short stroll around City Dock and up Main Street, the center of the city. This is a great street full of shops and eateries. In my opinion, this is one of the prettiest Main Streets in the DMV – especially in the spring, summer and fall. While everything looks the same for the most

24 March 2024 Old Town Crier

part, just like Old Town, some of the merchants have changed. It wouldn’t be a trip to Naptown without a stop at A.L. Goodies General Store who celebrate 40 years in business this year. If they don’t have what you want, you don’t need it. A new place (only 2 months old) that caught our eye is The Boat House. It is a very eclectic, contemporary, mid-century modern furniture store with a nautical theme and worth stopping in.

Our next stop was across Spa Creek and into Eastport, or rather, the Maritime Republic of Eastport. A little quick history here: Twentyfive years ago, the bridge connecting Annapolis to Eastport closed for some months for needed repairs. The closure created massive traffic reroutes and delays. Rather than panic, the leaders of Eastport got together and decided to create a diversion. They retreated to Leon's Barber shop and over a few beers, decided to declare war on Annapolis and secede from the mainland by forming the Maritime Republic of Eastport. They rounded up about 50 re-enactors and complete with musket and cannon attacked Annapolis from the banks of Eastport. The organizers went further, by organizing events and fundraisers. They even had credentials made up for certain officers. Lani and I were made the "Official Ambassadors to

the Commonwealth". For us, this was an honor. The end result was, instead of letting a hardship create problems...they rallied and actually raised money for charities and to this day there is an annual November event to remember the bridge closing...The Slaughter on the Water. They had Yale Cordage make them a 1700-foot rope that they use for a tug-of-war across spa Creek. Groups from Annapolis against groups from Eastport. As the MRE motto goes..."Up the Republic".

The fi rst stop in Eastport was Boatyard Bar and Grill. Ordering another rum, we began to reminisce of those days. Next thing we heard was a voice, "I thought I might fi nd you guys here”. It was Kevin Brooks, good friend and one of the founders of MRE as well as The Eastport Oysters Boys, a fantastic band that is still kicking today. Do yourself a favor and check them out on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or www. oysterboys.com. This made our day - evening by this time - but we still had one more stop.

It was hard not to order the Eastport Steamer Sampler at Boatyard but we saved ourselves for a couple orders of the Baltimore-Style Steamed Shrimp (1/2 lb of large gulf shrimp smothered in onions served with Old Bay, cocktail sauce and drawn butter) at one of the oldest bars in Eastport - Davis Pub. This place was packed (a lot of local

regulars) but we were invited to sit at the only two empty chairs in the place, and share a table with two gentlemen. Time for another rum and the aforementioned shrimp. We engaged in good conversation, exchanged emails and then met their friend, the publisher of Chesapeake Bay Magazine

I am guessing that those of you who don’t know me are wondering about those rum drinks. Lani, being of sound mind and body, booked us a room at the Scotlaur Inn B&B while we were reminiscing with Marty at McGarvey’s. The Scotlaur is a small B&B above Chick & Ruth's Diner on Main Street in Annapolis. Chick & Ruth’s has always been our go-to for breakfast on overnight stays and we have always wanted to stay in the Inn so this was a win-win. A very comfortable room in the heart of the town with a good down-home breakfast for a mere $175.00.

For new people, Annapolis is a wonderful experience. For those of us returning, it is a place of wonderful memories from boat shows, to sailing to barhopping till the wee hours. Our day out only touched a very small part of what Annapolis and Eastport have to offer. We hope, however, that maybe we enticed you to treat yourself to some time there this spring. It was a perfect Road Trip.

Old Town Crier March 2024 25
Choptank- a great restaurant on the water Inside view of the Boathouse furniture store- super fun! Beautiful view of Annapolis from Eastport

The Bahamas’ Newest National Park Is the Seahorse Capital of the World

It’s a mile-long pond in Hatchet Bay on the island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas. But this body of water is filled with wonders.

Sweetings Pond, a land-locked saltwater pond, is home to what is said to be the densest population of seahorses anywhere in the world.

The unique population has helped earn this global seahorse capital a new title: the newest national park in The Bahamas, called, fittingly, Seahorse National Park.

It’s called Seahorse National Park, and the park encompasses 548 acres — protecting both the pond itself and the area beyond — including the Hatchet Bay Caves system, what The Bahamas National Trust calls “one of the longest dry cave systems in The Bahamas.”

It’s part of a nearly decade-long effort by the Trust to have Sweetings Pond declared a national park.

The park designation “has been a long time coming,” said Bahamas Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Clay Sweeting. “. It represents a milestone in our journey towards sustainable development. It symbolizes our collective responsibility to safeguard our natural heritage and create a harmonious relationship between economic progress and environmental preservation.”

The idea is to “transform Sweetings Pond into a world-class national park,” said Lakeshia Anderson-Rolle, executive director of The Bahamas National Trust.

Seahorse National Park is now the 33rd national park in The Bahamas, though just the second one in Eleuthera (along with the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve in Governor’s Harbour).

“The declaration of Seahorse National Park is more

than just a designation; it is our shared promise to our community, to future generations, and to the world that we are committed to conserving our unique and diverse ecosystems for the benefit of all Bahamians,” she said.

The park is yet another reminder of Eleuthera’s vast, pristine natural environment, from pinksand beaches to imposing cliffs to the worldfamous Ocean Hole in Rock Sound.

Publishers Note: We are happy to partner with Alexander Britel, 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 at caribjournal.com for live links and valuable information on all fabulous travel options and things of interest in the Caribbean. Photo by Jeff rey Surianto courtesy of pexels.com.

The Bahamas Is the Caribbean’s Hottest Spring Destination

The Bahamas is the most popular destination in the Caribbean for spring travel, according to a new report from travel insurance company Squaremouth

The Bahamas was the only Caribbean destination to make the top 10 among the most popular destinations for a spring break period in 2024, joined by tourism heavyweights like Italy, Mexico, Spain and France, among others. The report was based on travel insurance purchases made through the Squaremouth platform.

Squaremouth said travelers were also spending more on their trips this year, with an average trip cost of $7,719, an 11.2 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Bahamas vacations insured on the platform cost an average of $5,325, according to the company. Photo: The British Colonial Resort, Nassau Bahamas, courtesy of The Caribbean Journal.

Old Town Crier March 2024 27 key west getaway Ann Street Gardens Key West Getaway One Block from Sloppy Joe’s Contact: historichideaways.com • 1-800-654-5131 NAPLES FL TOPS THE LIST FOR BEST BEACHES IN USA BEACHFRONT SEASONAL RENTAL AVAILABLE 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 Now that we're all working remotely Wouldn't you REALLY rather work from the beach? SUBSCRIBE TODAY and enjoy every issue of the Old Town Crier at home. Fill out this form, enclose a check for $35 (12 issues) and drop it in the mail to: Old Town Crier • PO Box 320386 • Alexandria, Va. 22320 Name Address City/State/Zip As featured on HGTV and winner of “Bang For Your Buck” in St. Thomas. This recently renovated villa resides on the edge of a cliff 200 feet above the Atlantic Ocean crashing onto the rocks below. The best location on the island—a private, secure, gated community of luxury villas—the villa offers spectacular views of the Atlantic and various islands including St. John, Jost Van Dyke and Tortola. The main house has 3 bedrooms with a detached cottage with its’ own queen size bed. Large deck, pool and spa. Phone 703 628-9005 • Fax 703 765-5900 CLIFFHANGER SEE OUR HOMEAWAY LISTING #286295 AT HOMEAWAY.COM oldtowncrier oldtowncrier.com otcregionalmag
28 March 2024 Old Town Crier 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 7966 Fort Hunt Road Call 703-347-7545 RiverBendBistro.com AND THE SPRING MENU March 21 St.Patricks Day Irish American Month National Irish American Heritage Month Music in Our Schools Month National Celery Month National Craft Month National Frozen Food Month National Nutrition Month National Peanut Month National Women’s History Month Red Cross Month Social Workers Month Who Said March Was BORING? 7 Glorious Ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Murphy’s PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. ©2024 Imported by Pernod Ricard USA, Purchase, NY SATURDAY, MARCH 2 – PARADE DAY Irish Dancers and Live Music by Pat Carroll, Pat Garvey, and Powers & McLaughlin, Jameson Drink Specials SATURDAY, MARCH 9 - ST. PRACTICE DAY! 6 Nations Ireland v. England at 11:45AM Guinness Personalized Pint 12-2PM Irish Dancers and Live Music by Pat Garvey and Poehemia SUNDAY, MARCH 10 – IRISH BREAKFAST Irish Brunch with Jameson Specialty Cocktails TUESDAY, MARCH 12 Irish Trivia Upstairs at 8:15PM, Live Music Downstairs by Pete Baker WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13 Taste of Ireland from 5-8PM featuring a pairing of Irish whiskey and cheeses. Live Music by Kenny Kohlhaas THURSDAY, MARCH 14 The Perfect Pint Contest with Guinness at 7PM. Entrants must be 21+ to participate. Live Music by Pat Garvey. SATURDAY, MARCH 16 & SUNDAY, MARCH 17 –HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY! Irish Dancers and Live Music all weekend long featuring Pat Carroll, Pat Garvey, and Rook Richards. Doors Open at 9AM!




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3 Pioneer Mill Way 703-638-1400


1106 King Street 703.721.3970


5 Cameron St. 703-739-6090


1743 King Street 703-664-0043


44 Canal Center 571-800-6644


203 Strand St. 703-836-4442


One Cameron St. 703-684-5080


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


1406 King Street 571-312-8615


2000 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-549-5051


1400 Duke Street 703-299-0894


725 King St. 703-549-7991


2004 Eisenhower Ave. 703-725-1342


138 N. Royal St. 703-548-1288


1404 King St. 703-837-0050


1404 King St. 703-684-6969


3410 Mount Vernon Ave. 703-566-1509


220 South Union Street 703-566-1355

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


1800 Diagonal Rd. 703-739-0777


1508 Mount Vernon Avenue 703-436-0025


728 King Street 571-319-0794


1600 Duke St. 703-683-6313


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


MURPHYS IRISH PUB 713 King St. 703-548-1717



10 East Glebe Rd. 703-888-0032

OAK STEAKHOUSE 901 N. St. Asaph St. 703-840-3395



112 King St. 703-739-1124


PORK BARREL BBQ 2312 Mount Vernon Ave. 703-822-5699

THE PEOPLES DRUG 103 N. Alfred Street 571-257-8851

RAMPARTS 1700 Fern St. 703-998-6616


RIVER BEND BISTRO 7966 Fort Hunt Rd. 703-347-7545


ROCK IT GRILL 1319 King St. 703-739-2274

RT'S RESTAURANT 3804 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-684-6010


SHOOTER MCGEES 5239 Duke St. 703-751-9266

SLATERS MARKET 1552 Potomac Greens Dr. 703-548-3807

SMOKING KOW BBQ 3250 Duke Sttreet 703-888-2649


207 King St. 703-966-3550

SOUTH BLOCK 106 N. Lee Street 703-465-8423


815 S. Washington St. 703-836-6222


510 John Carlyle Street 571-312-7960

THE STUDY 116 South Alfred Street 703-838-8000

T.J. STONES GRILL HOUSE & TAP ROOM 608 Montgomery St. 703-548-1004 tjstones.com


1605 King Street 571-312-1909


121 South Union St. 703-548-1785



106 South Union St. 571-970-3669



101 North Union St. 703-935-8890


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



809 King St. 703-836-1515


1625 King Street (571) 404-6050

KISSO ASIAN BISTRO 300 King Street 703-888-1513


1019 King St. 703-519-3710


9 King St. 703-548-0600


1209 King St. 703-548-1848

SIGNATURE THAI 722 King Street 707-888-2458


682 N. St. Asaph St. 703 549-7777


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407 Cameron St. 703-549-0800


1901 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-836-1212


503 Montgomery St. 571-777-8154

RAILBIRD KITCHEN 804 North Henry St. 703-577-9023



GW Parkway at Lucia Ln. 703-780-3665


1024 Cameron Street 703-717-9361

ALEXANDRIA BIER GARDEN 710 King Street 703-888-1951




606 N. Fayette St. 703-519-3776



1600 King St. 703-894-3440


127 N. Washington St. 703-548-4661

FONTAINES CAFFE & CREPERIE 119 S. Royal St. 703-535-8151


500 King St. 703-729-2854


109 South St. Asaph St. 703-683-1776

TWO NINETEEN RESTAURANT 219 King St. 703-549-1141



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107 N Fayette St 571-319-0497


111 King St. 703-683-0313


823 S. Washington St. 703-838-5998


3231 Duke Street

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728 King Street 571-319-0794


121 King St. 703-836-8833


115 King St. 703-836-8404 landinibrothers.com


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

ELAINE'S 208 Queen Street 571-970-0517

NANDO'S PERI PERI 2462 Mandeville Lane 571-473-5500


818 King St. 703-548-8688



719 King St. 703-684-9194

DELIAS MEDITERRANEAN GRILL 209 Swamp Fox Rd. 703-329-0006


1118 King Street 703-566-2720

VASO'S KITCHEN 1225 Powhatan Street 703-548-2747


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


DISHES OF INDIA 1510A Bellview Blvd. 703-660-6085


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

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


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

TAQUERIA POBLANO 2400-B Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-548-TACO (8226)

TEQUILA & TACO 540 John Carlyle Street 703-721-3203

URBANO 116 116 King Street 571-970-5148

Old Town Crier March 2024 29


A Touch of Ireland

March is a grand time to visit our two wonderful Irish Restaurants...Murphy's Grand Irish Pub and Daniel O’Connell's Irish Restaurant & Bar. Even though this article is in our Dining Out Column, the approach will be different. I wanted to write about the opening of each and my thoughts.

Some of you might not agree with me, but I feel that Murphy’s is more of neighborhood “Cheers” kind of place while O’Connell's is more upscale with Old World charm. You can’t deny, however, that they are both Irish to the core.

Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub & Restaurant

I moved to Old Town in 1977. This beautiful destination was not anywhere as big or popular back then. Actually, only Alexandrians knew much about Old Town. Old Town proper back then extended from the Potomac River to the 700 block of King Street, one block on the other side of Washington Street. Almost all of the action was down on the waterfront with restaurants and shops occupying old seaport warehouses. In fact, the revitalization of the wharf area had only begun that decade. Back in the 60's, Old Town was just a thought.

I met a guy, David Stasko, at the Fish Market Restaurant in the Brass bar and we became lifelong friends. Dave grew up in Alexandria and knew everything and everyone. He invited me to come play rugby with West Potomac Rugby and I accepted. This was my entree to Old Town. We would meet with other new friends every day at one of the bars on lower King Street. The now defunct Ireland’s Own was the only established Irish bar in

Old Town but word about a new Irish bar opening up in the west end of town drifted down to the water so we decided to investigate.

I don’t recall exactly what time of the year it was, but one nice day in 1978, we walked up to 713 King Street and walked in the front door of Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub. They were still in the opening stage, fi nishing up the bar and setting up the room. We met the owner, Tom Mooney, and had a good conversation. His goal was to bring authentic Irish cuisine

30 March 2024 Old Town Crier DINING OUT THE GASTRONOMES
Grand Irish
King Street, Alexandria VA 22314
Daniel O'Connell's Irish Restaurant & Bar 112 King Street, Alexandria VA 22314 703-739-1124
Photo by Norman Maddeaux Photo by Chris Cruz

to Alexandria at a fair price and good Irish hospitality and music as well. He and his family have achieved that goal. Today, rather than on the outskirts of Old Town they are one of the anchors in the middle achieving Tom's goal every day.

In addition to food offerings that you may fi nd on most menus, they have some unique Irish offerings as well. Shrimp Killarney, Jameson Baked Oysters, Irish Egg Rolls, Shepherd’s Pie, Irish Stew, Bangers and Mash, Guinness Burger and Irish Meat & Potato Pie.

Murphy's also has one of the largest bars in Old Town and is usually packed with locals who call this pub home. They have a wide selection of draft beers and Irish Whiskeys. There is a small stage in the middle of the restaurant along the wall opposite the bar where entertainment is provided seven nights a week with no cover charge. It is here that I fi rst met some of the talented musicians in the Alexandria and D.C. area.

For those chilly days there is a wood burning fi replace centered two-thirds of the way back in the dining room. It is magnificent!

Murphy's has a second floor dining room with a full bar and a stage as well as a fi replace. This room is used for special events, private parties or for overflow on weekends or other special occasions.

I give my congratulations to Tom Mooney, his wife Melinda and son Tommy for achieving their goal as they celebrate 46 years in Old Town.

walls. For those chilly spring days, they have a gas fi replace with high tops in front available to warm you up.

O'Connell's also has a second floor for dining that is open and looks down into the main dining room. Also on this floor are the Fitzgerald Room and Bar and the O’Sullivan Room and Bar. Both are utilized for special events and private parties. The upstairs is decorated with antique furnishings as well with a pulpit from a church over-looking the downstairs dining area. On nice days the, second floor bar has a deck for outdoor dining and drinking.

The bar at O'Connell's is extensive with numerous Irish whiskies in the line-up. As a matter of fact, they will be launching their hand selected O’Connell’s George Dickel Platinum Anniversary hand selected barrel this month. While Dickel is a Tennessee whisky, we think this is pretty special. And for all of you beer lovers, they have 16 on tap and too many to mention in cans and bottles.

Like Murphy’s, O'Connell's offers "Auld Favorites" like Fish & Chips, Shepherd's Pie, Full Irish Breakfast, Bangers and Mash, Guinness Burger, Lamb Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage in addition to other American offerings.

This establishment has become one of Old Town's favorite gathering places as the Irish hospitality is welcoming. As with Murphy’s, I have been a regular since their opening.

Both Murphy’s and O’Connell’s offer great happy hour prices, brunch on weekends, live entertainment and my favorite – the Six Nations Rugby tournament play in real time. I bet you were wondering how I was going to

in Old Town

Daniel O'Connell's Irish Restaurant & Bar

Compared to Murphy’s, O'Connell's is a new kid on the block - they celebrate their 19th year this month. After an extensive build out – the space was formerly Bullfeather's Restaurant - the “new” Irish place picked a great day to open its doors for the fi rst time...St. Patrick's Day 2005. The management removed all of the furniture except one table in the back of the main bar and stored everything in a box truck parked out front (clearly that was before 100 King became a pedestrian mall). They must have had a premonition, since it was standing room only and folks were shoulder to shoulder after a few hours. We took advantage of the grand opening and headed for O’Connell’s early. We were lucky and sat at the only table on the ground floor. Needless to say, it was a very successful grand opening.

O'Connell’s was founded by Dublin resident John Brennan and former partner, Billy Sullivan, and is today run by his daughter Kate who is also the General Manager. Kate is doing an excellent job at O'Connell's with the help of their very capable staff.

Once the build out was done, they brought a life-long collection of antiques from churches, museums and other historic structures in Ireland to be placed in the new restaurant. One of the fi rst things you will notice upon entering the establishment...their attention to the details. It is truly a step back in time and you feel as if you are in a pub in Ireland. There is a smaller bar as you enter with furnishings from an apothecary. After climbing two steps you enter the main bar and dining room. Keep in mind that the back bar is hundreds of years old – yes hundreds. Be sure to check out all of the artifacts on the shelves and

weave rugby back into this story. In fact, at the time of this writing Ireland is at the top of the heap.

As St. Patrick's Day approahes, be sure to check out the St. Patrick’s celebration events in both of these places in their respective ads in this issue. Sláinte!

Old Town Crier March 2024 31

Creamy Salmon with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Spinach in Garlic Parmesan Sauce

Perfect for any occasion or a cozy night in, this recipe elevates the humble salmon into a gourmet delight that will leave your taste buds singing.


12 oz. salmon

4 Tbsp. olive oil (divided)

2 Tbsp. butter

1 small onion (diced)

4 cloves garlic (minced)

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp. ground basil

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

2 cups fresh baby spinach,

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley for garnish.


Start by seasoning the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the salmon fillets and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked to your desired doneness. Once done, remove the salmon from the skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and butter. Sauté the diced onion until it becomes translucent, then add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.

Next, add the cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, vegetable broth, heavy cream, ground basil, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir well to combine all the ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer.

Once the sauce has thickened slightly, stir in the Parmesan cheese until it melts and the sauce becomes creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Add the fresh baby spinach to the skillet and cook until it wilts, stirring gently to incorporate it into the sauce.

Return the cooked salmon fillets to the skillet, spooning some of the sauce over the top. Allow the salmon to heat through for a couple of minutes in the sauce.

To serve, plate the creamy salmon alongside a generous portion of the garlic parmesan sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach. Garnish with fresh parsley for a pop of color and added freshness. You can leave out the cream if you want a lighter sauce.

About the Author: Glenn Morel is a producer turned chef. His website is www.ifihadachef.com . With experience in restaurants from Florida to Manhattan, he specializes in bringing his clients their very own personal chef for any special event. In addition to private parties of 12 (or more-or-less), he also offers catering for small and large groups. Chef Glenn works with you to create a customized menu and first-class event. He brings culinary professionals with him that dress appropriately and are experienced in handling food. They are also often trained mixologists and fine dining servers.

32 March 2024 Old Town Crier LET’S EAT GLENN MOREL

Events - Parties - Dinner - Bar



a r c h a t


The Platinum Anniversary Blend Hand Selected George Dickel Barrel Launch Party from 6pm-9pm



Live Music from Colby Sard 7pm-10pm

Live Music from Up All Night 9:30pm-12:30am


O’Connell’s opens at 10am

Super Saturday with Guinness Six Nations Rugby All Day

Live Music from Driven to Clarity 9:30pm-1am


O’Connell’s opens at 10am 1pm-4pm Live Music 7pm-10pm Live Music




Old Town Crier March 2024 33
1 2 1 S . U n i o n S t r e e t A l e x a n d r i a , V A 2 2 3 1 4 w w w 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
H I G H L I G H T S : H I G H HL IIG H T SS: H I G H L I G H T S :

Selling Wine “Out There”

When we fi rst started our winery, a true Garagist venture from the cellar of our house, there was not really a plan to be open to the public. My vision was to continue making wine for others, selling some grapes from our farm, and making a few barrels of wine from the rest. Sales would mainly be to local wine shops and restaurants, and, periodically opening the cellar doors for our customers to come by and purchase. Well, not all things fall into the well-made plan.

The growth of our tasting room operation, increasing staffing, creating a wine club, adding events, building additions, and eventually, building a whole new structure, is another story for another day. Through it all, our relationships with wine shops and restaurants have remained an important part of our business plan.

If the operator of a wine shop likes my wine, believes they can sell it to their customer base, and at a price that covers my wholesale price and makes them money, we all win. Much of our wine, and that of my fellow winemakers, is consumed in homes, at parties, and the like. Having our wines available at these shops expands my customer base beyond my tasting room, and makes it easier to reach more people who enjoy good wine. It is also a valuable, stamp of quality. These shops often have dedicated customers who trust the buyer for that store to make only the best available. If the store has the wine on its shelf, you can be certain it’s a good wine and priced fairly.

I just came from a delivery to a local shop where I had a tasting with customers a few weeks ago. The manager was happy to see me and I to see him. He enthusiastically asked when I would be coming back to pour again. It felt good to know that me being at his business selling my wine was good for him. That is the model we are looking to replicate.

Years ago, as we were starting out, our marketing plan was built on 3 legs. First, having the winery for folks to taste all of what we have to offer, join the wine club, bring wines home, and have

a physical location to promote our other events, locations and retail shops that carry our wine. Second, is pouring and selling wine at offsite events like farmers markets, wine festivals, and the like to encourage folks to visit the winery and buy some wine while they are there. We also use these events to promote the wine shops and restaurants that carry our wine in their local area. Third, are those shops and restaurants because they see the majority of wine buying folks and can help promote and sell our wines. Periodically, their customers get a chance to taste our wine and meet a character from the winery like me.

As some of the traditions of the wine industry may seem a bit aged, in an industry thousands of years old, that is to be expected, some practices, like tastings and chatting about wine are timeless. Whether it is at a winery, a wine shop, a farmers market, a street fair or a restaurant, take the opportunity to taste the wine offered and have the conversation.

Deep down, and sometimes not so deep down, we winemakers are all part Garagist — passionate makers and passionate sharers of the simple idea of making and sharing great wine. Whether it is straight from our garages, cellars, or local shop shelves, we in the industry all want our wines tried and enjoyed by both new tasters and vintage ones. Our wines, both traditional and cutting edge, are meant to be enjoyed. Cheers!

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

34 March 2024 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 founder and director of
School, which focuses on teaching the next generation of farmers
agriculture-related leaders.
No wonder they call Doug Fabbioli the Godfather of DC's Wine Country.

Virginia Winemakers Excited Over the 2023 Vintage

2023 is likely to go down as a banner year in the Virginia wine industry. Warm, dry weather provided ideal growing conditions for much of the state, resulting in what many local winemakers are calling some of the best fruit they’ve seen in a decade. It’s what romantics might call, ‘a good vintage’.

But what makes a good vintage? In a state as geographically diverse as Virginia, defi ning this may be harder than you think.

Virginia’s main wine growing regions usually have unique seasonal variations. There are years where central Virginia suffers from latespring frost, while northern Virginia skates by without a hitch. Yet the following year, NOVA vineyards with grapes still on the vine may suffer from late season rain, weeks after Charlottesville wineries have mostly fi nished harvest. Meanwhile, the Shenandoah Valley asks, “What rain?”.

Different styles of wine also have different needs. Those who prefer classic, cool-weather expressions of Chardonnay may grumble over a hot season’s high alcohol levels, while neighboring winemakers who like bold reds are positively ecstatic.

Fortunately, the 2023 growing season is one of the few years that’s received almost universal praise across the state.

According to Jason Murray, owner & winemaker of Arterra Wines in Delaplane, “Simply put, overall, 2023 was an outright ideal vintage for us.

We had ideal spring rains for initial growth, and then it went very dry.

We had just the right amount of rain at just the right moments to keep the vines on a quality path, while just barely averting significant vine damage. 2023 achieved the same intensity and concentration as 2019, without the excessively high alcohol levels. It’s an impressive vintage, with what I would call ‘perfect’ fruit.”

Rough Start to a Great Year

While the season turned out great, it didn’t start off easy. An abnormally warm winter meant vineyards were hitting ‘bud break’ ahead of schedule. This makes them susceptible to a late frost, which kills fragile shoots just as they are emerging from the bud. Several vineyards encountered frost snaps as late as May, inflicting losses to early ripening grapes such as Chardonnay.

Once summer hit, things moved quickly. Data from NOAA show the summer of 2023 ranks as the 15th hottest on record in the United States. As heat speeds a grape’s maturation process, it forced winegrowers to harvest their grapes at a record speed.

“2023 was a wild ride, with one of the most condensed seasons I've experienced,” shared AJ Greely, winemaker for Hark Vineyards. “We ran our wind machine to keep the cold air off our vines 12 times in the spring, and kept a serious eye on the temperature more than double that number. When harvest came we picked and processed every other day, with a one week break to catch our

breath. Then we picked and processed for another 10 days!”

While frost singed some vineyards, the lack of rain was ultimately a more pressing issue. Drought stress caused ripening to stall for some varieties, and also caused alcohol levels to spike while reducing cluster weight.

However, dry weather also has its advantages.

“2023 was an abnormally dry growing season in Virginia, although it also makes life in the winery easier,” explained Robert Muse of Muse Vineyards.

Rain is the chief catalyst for mildew infections in the vineyard. Winemakers can use sulfite to combat them in the cellar, which eliminates bacteria that impair the quality of the wine. Unfortunately, these sulfite additions are inadvertently harmful to the yeast necessary for a thorough fermentation. To avoid these issues, clean fruit is essential.

A grower can ensure clean fruit with a meticulous spray program in wet years, or he/she can relax by the pool knowing a dry sunny ripening season is taking care of most disease issues in the vineyard. 2023 was such a year.”

Wineries Expecting Lower Quantities but Much Higher Quality

While the overall tonnage for the 2023 vintage might be lower than normal, the wines should make up for it in quality, said Toni Kilyk of Granite Heights Winery.

“Our grapes are smaller than normal size to begin with, but this year they were even smaller. We had close to the same number of grape clusters but with very little juice inside, hence our harvest weights were much lower than normal. That said, less juice means a higher skin-to-juice ratio, so we’ll have more potent wine.

I don't ever want to jump the gun, but I'm very excited about the 2023 vintage wines,” Toni continued. “They are aging nicely, and I think we'll see wines that easily compare with 2010/2017/2019 vintages in terms of quality.”

Many winegrowers echoed her assessment, and were particularly optimistic about their red wines.

“I’m excited about tannat and cabernet franc this year,” wrote Doug Fabbioli of Fabbioli Cellars. “You can count on these grapes to make great wine almost every year, but this years can be outstanding!”

Virginia’s weather is normally hot and humid, and grapes that require dry weather often struggle. But dry climate varieties may be the 2023 vintage’s sleeper hits. A number of winegrowers expressed excitement how normally difficult-to-ripen varieties such as cabernet sauvignon, malbec, sangiovese, tempranillo, and petite sirah would turn out.

About the 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/

Winemakers, Jason Murry - Arterra Wines (left) and AJ Greeley - Hark Vineyards (right)


You’ll need to shout out a proper toast on St. Patrick’s Day! And raise a proper pint of beer!

St. Paddy’s Day is coming. And a word is about to be shouted in Irish pubs around the country. Sláinte! An Old Irish expression that is derived from the Irish word “slan” meaning healthy or safe. Slainte [slahn-cha] is used in modern times as an equivalent of the word “cheers”. By raising your pint of beer, or glass of whiskey, and offering a “sláinte” before you drink, you are toasting “good health” to those around you. But in Irish culture, you are doing much more than that. According to Irishcentral.com:

In Ireland, Sláinte is more than just a word; it's a cultural practice. When someone raises a glass and says "Sláinte," it's an invitation for those around them to do the same, creating a shared sense of connection and camaraderie. It's a way of acknowledging the importance of friendship and community, and of celebrating the good things in life.

If the Irish are good at anything, it’s celebrating the great things in life. That’s what St. Patrick’s Day has become, a celebration of all the great things in our lives. And celebrating life itself. It’s by far my favorite holiday. It replaced Christmas right around the same time that I figured out that I love beer. I do love beer. And one of my favorite beers is Guinness stout. I always start St. Patrick’s Day with a pint of Guiness. It’s a tradition I share with many of the celebrants on St. Paddy’s Day. However, drinking Guinness does present a challenge. St. Paddy’s Day is a marathon, not a sprint. And stout is not a marathon beer. Stouts and porters are tasty, but they are also heavy. They can weigh you down rather quickly. So, after a couple pints of Guinness, one’s strategy must change. This is where my go to St. Paddy’s Day beer comes into play, the Irish Red Ale.

Oddly, Irish Red Ales are much more popular in the United States than they

are in Ireland. The Irish love their stouts and porters, all other beer styles come in second. So how did America come to fall in love with Irish Red?

Once upon a time, in the early 1990s, America was beginning to crave new and different beer styles. The craft beer trend was in its infancy. Coors jumped on the specialty beer craze early and began to heavily market it’s Killian’s Irish Red. Coors had bought the Killian’s name back in 1980 from fifth generation Irish brewer George Killian Lett. Lett had closed his brewery and was happy to make money from the name. Coors now saw a huge opportunity to market their new Irish beer. The beer was a success and became readily available everywhere in the states.

Today, the most well-known and popular Irish Red is actually from Ireland. Smithwick’s Red Ale traces its origins back to 1710 in Kilkenny Ireland. This is where John Smithwick established his brewery at St. Johns Abbey. By the way, there’s a good chance that you pronounced the name of the beer wrong. You don’t pronounce the “h” or the “w”. The Irish pronounce it “Smitticks”. And if you fi nd yourself in an Irish pub, you’ll be corrected, and sternly, if you pronounce it otherwise.

Irish Red Ales tend to be amber or a deep reddish copper in color. You’ll get malt and caramel on the nose. These beers are all about the malt, not the hops. Their mouthfeel tends to be very smooth. When you drink one, you’ll get a buttery malt and caramel flavor. You may even notice buttered toast or toffee flavors. The lightly roasted grains given Irish Reds a dry fi nish. You’ll get little to no hop flavors. Any bitterness you may detect comes from the roasted grains.

These beers are great St. Paddy’s Day beers. After a couple of stouts, you’ll need to make a change. And this beer should be your next stop. It’s wonderful malt flavors and dry fi nish make it a perfect marathon beer. They are not overly light, but also not so heavy that they will slow you down. You can trust

36 March 2024 Old Town Crier LET’S GET CRAFTY TIMOTHY LONG

me on this, I have done years of research. Sláinte!!

Here are a couple of my favorite Irish Red Ales that I recommend for your St. Paddy’s Day enjoyment. smithwick’s irish red ale

Tim’s Whiskey and Cigar Recommendations

Writers’ Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey

Pronounced “Smit’icks”, this copper red colored ale is one of my favorites. It has a creamy head. Not as creamy as Guinness, but very creamy. The mouthfeel has that typical red ale smoothness. Its maltiness is perfect. It doesn’t overpower the other flavors. Nuttiness, coffee, and toffee all complement Smithwick’s deep malty caramel flavor. It’s roasted malt flavor lingers in the after taste. And since it is owned by Guinness, it’s easy to fi nd. And at a 4.5 ABV, it’s easy to enjoy all day long.

center of the universe bald irishman Center of the Universe Brewing Company is out of Ashland, VA. They do a great job. My good friend Kevin introduced me to their Irish red ale about a month ago. You immediately get the toasted malt on the nose. They use five different malts when brewing this beer, so the palate is full of great caramel and malt flavors. The ABV is 6.5 %. So be a little more careful with this one. What I love the most about this beer is that 10% of the proceeds from the can sales go to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to help fund children’s cancer research. great lakes conway’s irish ale

Another huge favorite of mine. This full-bodied delight has wonderful toasty biscuit and malt flavors. It stays smooth to the very end with a nice dry fi nish. Its ABV is 6.3%. So, keep that in mind while you’re enjoying it. Conway’s would be a great addition to your St. Paddy’s Day beer selection. As I have joked before, Great Lakes Beer is the only good thing to come out of Cleveland. Sláinte!!

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 fl y doing in my soup? http://whatfl yinmysoup.com

This whiskey is a recreation of a blend of pot still and malt whiskeys, both distilled in copper pots, that were popular in 19 th and early 20 th century Ireland. It is rumored that many great Irish writers of the day favored it. It is said that they enjoyed it so much, that their tears were of whiskey, hence the name. I received a bottle of Writer’s Tears’ Copper Pot from my good friend, Old Town Crier Publisher Bob Tagert. This whiskey is sweet on the nose, where sugar and bubblegum immediately come through. It is smooth and sweet on the palate with malt at first followed by vanilla and oak. It has a soft and delicate finish. I chose this whiskey because it doesn’t have the traditional biscuity and bready flavors commonly found in Irish whiskey. Enjoy this with a good stout or porter. It may be a little too malty to blend with an Irish Red.

Gurkha Grand Age 2 Conneticut Toro

It’s St. Paddy’s Day, not the day for a heavier cigar. This wonderful smoke is quite affordable and a great cigar to share with friends. It has a great burn and a smooth creamy flavor that is highlighted by notes of cedar, nuts, and spice. It remains smooth throughout the smoke with a sweet finish. This will go great with that Irish Red you are enjoying. Slainte!

This cigar, and many other fine cigars, are available at John Crouch Tobacconist at 215 King St. in Old Town Alexandria. Mention this article and get 10% off the purchase of this month’s recommended cigar.

Old Town Crier March 2024 37 GET CRAFTY | FROM PAGE 36
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

The Wellness Wheel: An Approach to Overall Fitness

As a women’s midlife wellness expert, I am often asked, “What is your secret to looking and feeling fit?” My answer is always, “The Wellness Wheel.” I created the Wellness Wheel, my proprietary approach to holistic wellness, after my two decades of experience as a wellness, nutrition, and fitness professional and the owner of a boutique gym. Throughout my work, I noticed specific strategies that best served my clients. These strategies, which I call the spokes to my Wellness Wheel, became the basis of my sustainable wellness practice–and frankly my own life.

The spokes are designed to address all aspects of wellness instead of only tracking the number on the scale or our daily calories. They are so incredibly simple, yet they are also NOT what society wants you to believe is the recipe for success. They include:

● Ample and Quality Sleep

● Stress Resilience

● Movement

● Food as Fuel

● Calendar Management

My Wellness Wheel is the product of witnessing the struggles of countless women who sought an improved quality of life (AKA look and

feel better) while also taking care of their families and other obligations. Our diet and our movement are undoubtedly essential components of a healthy existence, but they are merely two pieces of a much larger puzzle.

Success happens when our mindset about our own wellness overall shifts from what it was when we were in our teens, twenties, and thirties. Shifting our mindset to one that centers on the entire self rather than singular aspects, like solely focusing on diet and/or fitness which got us by before. Now, in our forties and beyond, we are more than the result of what we eat and/or our fitness. Our optimization relies on sustainability and consistency, and we can’t get that through diet and cardio alone.

Here is a closer look at each spoke of my Wellness Wheel and how they work together to support your complete wellness:


Sleep is integral to our wellness. It is not something we can wait to figure out when we have more time or once there is less to do. Not getting ample (7 to 7.5 hours) quality (uninterrupted) sleep often leads to weight gain, irritability, anxiety, depression, and even heart disease.

The time to build quality sleep habits is right now! Women particularly in perimenopause

38 March 2024 Old Town Crier WELLNESS WOMAN

and menopause need 7 to 7 ½ hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. We are not alone in our quest for better sleep. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, 70 million Americans have chronic sleep problems. A study from 2020 found that 88 percent of Americans lose sleep from bingewatching TV. For women, the numbers are startling—nearly 46 percent of women report having sleep problems most nights. We are a nation of nonsleepers. It is time to take back our ZZZs.


The keys to movement are consistency and strength. Showing up every Tuesday for your morning walk with a friend will do more for your waistline, and more importantly your wellness, than an intense HIIT session once a week that may or may not happen because of other obligations. The fact that you showed up matters more than the intensity or the potential pool of sweat you’ll see from the high intensity workout.

Reframing our mindset about movement is where the magic happens. We are all athletes. We possibly just haven’t found our sport. When we fi nd an activity we enjoy doing each week, we see and feel the results. We may also build some strength and flexibility in the process. Whether it’s pickleball, a morning swim, a yoga class each week, using resistance bands between meetings, or a 30-minute walk with your pup, there are thousands of ways to move. Food As Fuel

Food can often be associated with guilt, failure, and shame. It is often to blame for so many people not looking or feeling good. Calorie counting and deprivation dieting have not helped matters. I nstead, shifting our mindset to viewing food as the essential fuel we need bodes well for our bodies and the rest of the spokes on the Wheel. We need food to function.

Rapid weight loss and quick fi x diet programs wreak havoc on the body and our gut. It can stagnate metabolism and negatively affect our resting metabolic rate, which is the number of calories the body utilizes while it is at rest. Dieting can even disrupt our hunger cues, making it more difficult to differentiate between hunger and cravings.

Instead of demonizing carbs and excessively counting calories, we need to get back to the source of what food is: fuel for our bodies. Food fuels the lives we have chosen.

Mastering Your Calendar

You may be wondering how the way we spend our time can affect our waistline and why I have mastering your calendar as an equal spoke on my Wheel as food.

I believe time is our greatest asset. How we choose to spend it reflects our purpose and our values. No one ever asked for a tombstone that says “she was the most productive person” or “she was the best multitasker.” If, in fact, health and wellness is a top five core value, would I see it reflected on your calendar?

We call scheduling our wellness: filling my bucket first. We often have difficulty saying no and feel like the busier we are the more productive and successful we will be. It’s important to adjust our mindsets on how to effectively manage our time while also taking care of our wellness. When we take the time to prioritize ourselves, we fi nd that our calendar begins to align with our values and goals.

Stress Resilience

Stress impacts every aspect of our health. It wakes us up in the middle of the night. It impacts our food choices. It decreases our motivation to move.

An overpacked calendar can be the culprit. Stress raises the level of the hormone cortisol in our bodies. Cortisol is our body’s alarm system hormone. When it is triggered, it activates our sympathetic, or “fight or flight,” system. Stress is a normal human reaction and can be a good thing, like when needing motivation to complete a project or being chased by a lion (which hopefully doesn’t happen often), but it can also inhibit productivity and wellness, particularly when it is chronic and left unchecked.

I get the overwhelm that comes with stress. In my mid-40s as the mother of twin toddlers, I felt a level of overwhelm I had not experienced. My neverending days and neglecting my own needs to take care of others while also managing my own business left me feeling debilitated by stress. Eventually, I could no longer keep up with the pace I set for myself. I sought the advice of a health professional and adopted a stress resilience practice that continues to be as important to me as any other item on my to-do list. I’m forever thankful I changed my mindset toward stress. You can too.

When we adopt a holistic approach and incorporate strategies from the Wellness Wheel, we experience a total revolution in our lives. We step away from the cycle of fad diets, medication, and exercise programs that perpetuate feelings of negativity and unworthiness about ourselves and instead integrate a positive wellness practice.

This journey isn’t effortless. It requires making a conscious decision to prioritize yourself each day. This journey is worth it though, and with the Wellness Wheel as our guide, it is a path that will keep us moving toward sustainable, fulfilling wellness.

About the Author: Adrien Cotton believes the greatest gift you can give yourself is the gift of wellness. She excels in shifting mindset and helping her clients leverage small habits that yield lasting results. As a transformational wellness coach, Adrien leverages her holistic proprietary approach to helping people feel healthy, strong, and confi dent in their bodies and their lives.

Learn how you can uplevel your wellness with Adrien, in-person or virtually, at adriencotton. com.

Old Town Crier March 2024 39 The magic of Small Group Concierge Wellness is waiting for you. about Adrien’s unique & comprehensive approach to midlife wellness at AdrienCotton.com Virtual or In-person sessions now available!

How to Calculate Your Heart Rate

Welcome back to another edition of “From the Trainer”! I hope you enjoyed last month's article about the amazing heart. We'll continue the heart theme this month, too. I have discussed exercise heart rates in previous columns, but I'll dive a little deeper into the methods on how to calculate these values. If you love to crunch the numbers, this article is right up your alley.

American Heart Association Target (AHA) Heart Rate Guidelines

The AHA recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderately-intense exercise per week. This equates to at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days per week, or any combination that adds up to 150. But what is considered moderatelyintense? The answer may surprise you. It's not as difficult as you might think.

50-70% of your age-predicted heart rate maximum is considered moderate intensity. The age-predicted HR max is figured by taking 220-YOUR AGE. This is a very simple method. Example for a 50 year old:

220-50 =170 beats per minute (bpm)

50%--170 x 0.5 = 85 bpm

70%-- 170 x 0.7 = 119 bpm

Heart rate reserve is a good indicator of fitness level (the higher the number, the better). The more fit you are, the lower your resting heart rate will be, which means your HRR will be higher. So how can we use this method to calculate target heart rates? For moderate intensity, aim for about 50-70% of your heart rate reserve number. Once you have figured this, you will add your resting HR back in for your target HR numbers. Again, for the 50 year-old:

Considering that a normal resting heart rate is between 60-100 bpm, these numbers may not fit your recommendations by the AHA. In the example above, lets say the 50 year old's resting heart rate is already at 85 bpm. This person will be exercising at a greater intensity level (70% or higher), especially if he or she is a beginner. Higher heart rates will be common at a low fitness level. Over time, the muscles and heart adapt to the fuel and oxygen demands of aerobic exercise. As a person gets in better shape, the resting heart rate will eventually decrease. Why does this happen? The heart's stroke volume and cardiac output will increase, meaning that it can pump more blood per beat to meet the body's demands. The heart becomes more efficient at filling up and squeezing. This will lead to a lower resting heart rate.

102 x 0.50 = 51

102 x 0.70 = 71

51+70 = 121 bpm @ 50% of HRR

71+70 = 141 bpm @ 70% of HRR

Take a look at these numbers compared to the original age-predicted HR max method. Big difference. 85-119 bpm vs. 121-141 bpm using the same percentages. It's important to remember that both methods are estimates to figure maximum heart rate values. Unless you're an elite athlete, it's usually not safe, fun, or practical to have yourself tested to find out what your actual maximum heart rate really is. Surprisingly, I've seen multiple geriatric patients achieve well above their age-predicted max heart rates during treadmill stress testing in the cardiovascular lab.

You might be wondering which method is the best way to figure exercise heart rates. Even though the Age-predicted Max HR method is easier to calculate, the Karvonen method is a little more accurate. This factors in your resting heart rate, whereas the other one does not. And, as resting heart rates decrease, the heart rate reserve will increase, changing your target heart rate numbers. If the 50-year old's resting heart rate decreases to 62 bpm, here's how the numbers change:

172 (max HR)-62 (resting HR) = 110 beats vs. 102 beats

110 x 0.50 = 55

110 x .70 = 77

55+62 = 117 bpm @ 50% of HRR

77+62 = 139 bpm @ 70% of HRR

Another method to calculate exercise intensity is the Heart Rate Reserve or Karvonen Method. The heart rate reserve is the difference between your maximum exercise heart rate and resting heart rate. In the previous example, HR max is 220- AGE, however, this method can be off by 10 to 20 beats. According to the Cleveland Clinic website, researchers have come up with a different way to calculate maximum HR. Take your age and multiply it by 0.7 and then subtract this total from 207.

50yrs x 0.7 = 35

207-35 = 172 bpm (Max HR)

So far, not much difference in the age-predicted max HR from above (170 bpm). But, when you factor in your resting HR, the numbers can change dramatically. Measuring resting HR is easy. Most people have a smart watch that keeps track of the HR every minute of the day. Just sit quiet for 5 minutes, and then look at your watch. For those that don't have one (like me), you can feel for a pulse using one of the carotid arteries on the front side the neck or on the thumb-side of your wrist for the radial artery. Watch a clock or start a timer on your phone for 30 seconds and count your pulses. Take that number and multiply it by 2. Say it's 35. 35 x 2 = 70 bpm. So, for the 50 year old;

Heart rate reserve (HRR) = Max HR – resting HR 172 – 70 = 102 beats

These target numbers change at the same percentages, but you'll be aiming for the higher end of the range once you have some regular exercise under your belt. Remember, these examples are for moderately-intense exercise designed for cardiovascular health.

If you are not sure if exercising is safe for you, especially if you have a heart condition, I recommend visiting with your doctor to discuss what's best for your situation. The majority of heart medications will affect the heart rate (usually lower) and these target numbers may not align with your goals. Same goes for anybody with a pacemaker and/or defibrillator.

Apple and android smart watches calculate target heart rates using the 220-AGE method, which is perfectly fine. Some smart watches can also monitor oxygen and give ECG readings. What’s important here is that you stay active enough to produce positive changes for your heart and overall health. It doesn’t take much to make a big difference.

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.

Old Town Crier March 2024

Tricks & Tools of the Trade

Let’s face it gals, it’s a tough world out there and who couldn’t benefit from a few tricks and tools that make our beauty routines (and lives) easier. We all want to look our best and be able to rely on tools that get the job done quickly and effectively. With a beauty arsenal of reliable weapons, you can face each day with confidence knowing you possess the must-haves to pull off any great look.


You may think there is little difference between the drug store tweezer you discovered in the back of a messy drawer and the precision options praised by beauty editors. But quality makes all the difference. Tweezerman is the Cadillac of tweezers and relatively inexpensive when you consider its unmatched performance and precision. Its sharp steel tips are hand-filed and grab the hair every time. It comes in different shapes, sizes and styles, some with fun patterns to complement your style. And here’s a bonus - Tweezerman will sharpen your tweezer when it becomes dulled from everyday use at no cost! This coveted favorite pays for itself, so invest! Nothing frames your face better than a set of neatly groomed, excellently manicured brows.

Eyelash Curler

Short of a solid eight hours in dreamland, nothing makes you look more awake or bright-eyed than curled eyelashes. Even if you have absolutely no time to throw on makeup, curling your eyelashes takes seconds and gives you a flirtatious look that lasts all day. Don’t feel like swiping on the mascara? No problem—a pair of curled lashes makes your peepers pop. Invest in a quality tool to make your curl last. The brand adored by makeup artists and professionals is Shu Uemura. It yields a perfect curl with unmatched precision, accentuating even the smallest lashes. This top performer lifts lashes to new heights with exceptional results and curls your lashes quickly with little pressure or tugging. After all, who has successfully batted their eyelashes at the cute Starbucks guy without curling them fi rst?

Brush Set

This one almost goes without saying. Your makeup is only as good as the tools with which you apply it, so this is not the place to cut corners. Good makeup brushes are expensive, but will outlast their cheap cousins by a long shot and yield a noticeable difference in the application of your makeup. Whether you collect them individually or buy a set, do some research about which type works best for you. Synthetic brushes are easy to clean and available in antibacterial versions, while animal brushes last but will cost you. The three brushes every woman should possess are eyeshadow, powder and blush. Add different brushes to your collection over time. Trust me, they’re worth it!

Good Hair Tools

The same goes for hair tools—your hair will only look as good as the tools you use to maintain and style it. Every woman should have a decent hair dryer and hairbrush. Whether you’re willing to break the bank or prefer to shop around for cheaper alternatives, every good hair dryer should have multiple heat and speed settings with 1800 watt power or higher. Diffusers and nozzle attachments are added bonuses. I use my hairdryer as much to dry my locks as for handy beauty tricks. When you don’t have the time to allow just-painted nails to fully dry, use your hairdryer to speed things along! Keep it on a low, cool setting so as not to distort the polish from the dryer’s heat or blast of air. If you curl or flat iron your hair, invest in a solid, ceramic iron.

As for hairbrushes, the champion of mane tamers is the Mason Pearson, originated in 1885. These rubber-cushioned brushes are handmade with the best materials to care for your tresses. Regular brushing conditions and cleans your hair and stimulates the scalp while imparting suppleness and healthy sheen. Mason Pearson’s quality simply cannot be matched and is available in boar hair and nylon bristles. Always use a wide-tooth comb on wet hair, never brush it!


If I could only have one “beauty tool” in my bag at all times, it would be the Q-Tip. It’s your cheap and versatile beauty workhorse. Stash them in your desk, purse and car—you’ll thank me! Q-Tips fi x mascara smudges, correct makeup mistakes, function as an applicator for lipstick, gloss, and shadow, and are perfect for removing unsightly clumps of makeup buildup from the inner corners of your eyes. Correct polish slipups with Q-Tips while the color is still wet. Your hands and feet will look like they were done professionally. And here’s a bonus: run an oil-soaked Q-Tip along sticky, stubborn zippers. The oil acts as a lubricant making the teeth open and close with ease.

Mani/Pedi Tool Set

As much as I love indulging in a professional mani/pedi, I often kick myself for indulging in something that chips three days later! Manicures and pedicures are relatively simple to perform at home, so shop around for a tool set that will get the job done right. You can fi nd professional quality, affordable sets with a full array of tools and most come with a step-bystep guide to ensure a perfect paint job. By deciding to DIY your mani/pedi, you can afford that new pair of sandals you’ve

been dying to buy and show off your handiwork at the same time. Even if you’re not a nail polish kinda gal, keep a nail file on hand for unexpected breaks or tears. In a pinch, you can use a closed zipper as a file! A little crude, but it works!

Clear Nail Polish

Not only does slapping on a coat of the stuff instantly give dull, naked nails a shiny, sophisticated polish, this unassuming little bottle will wow you with its versatility. Everyone knows the helpless feeling when you spot the start of a run in your stockings. That little hole that, with your luck, you notice just as you’re walking into that allimportant job interview. A dab of clear polish will stop the run dead in its tracks. Similarly, you can prevent frayed fabric from unraveling at cuffs and hems by brushing on a swipe of the clear goo. My favorite trick is applying it to inexpensive costume jewelry to keep it sparkling clean and free of tarnish. And remember, storing polish of any color in the fridge keeps it fresher longer!


It’s cheap, it’s versatile, it’s amazing! Buy a small jar and stash it in your bag. It will last forever and you’ll be surprised how often you pull it out for one reason or another. Vaseline is an excellent moisturizer, especially in winter months when dry skin is at its worst. Use it as hand cream, to sooth rough cuticles, as lip balm, or to tame unruly brows. Put a thin coat on eyelashes before bed. It promotes longer, thicker lashes over time. When applied at perfume points before spritzing, Vaseline maintains the scent longer. In a pinch, Vaseline will work as a makeup remover, too.

Old Town Crier March 2024 41 FIRST BLUSH GENEVIEVE LEFRANC Good Haircut! Long Lasting Color! A Very Good Price! Haircuts $15 Shampoo, Cut & Blow Dry $18 (extra charge for long hair) Scissors Cut $17+up Color $43+up Permanent $45+up (including haircut & conditioner) Van’s Hairstylists 107 North Washington Street (near corner of King & Washington streets) 703-836-1916 Monday-Friday 9 am-7 pm • Saturday 9 am-6 pm We care and will give you only the best! Biolage • Vital Nutrient • Socolor • Matrix Perm • Paul Mitchell • Nexxus Beautiful Perm!

Itchy & Scratchy!!

Auggie is a 90 pound all American dog with folded ears and a stubborn streak. He is also prone to dry and itchy skin that has sent him and his mom to the vet on multiple occasions. He has dry skin on his elbows and has had allergic dermatitis on his stomach caused by an allergy to potatoes of all things. He has tried limited ingredient food, medication and prescription shampoo. Auggie is not unique, and many dogs suffer from a host of skin conditions, caused by many factors.

How do you know if your dog is suffering from a skin condition? Itching is one of the most obvious symptoms and it’s normal for occasional scratching. But frequent or prolonged itching will manifest in behavior like excessive licking or rubbing the affected body part against furniture or other objects. Be on the lookout for sores or lesions, dry, flaky or scaly skin, rashes, lumps, redness, or bumps.

If you notice these symptoms, it’s always best to consult your vet. Left untreated, an easy to treat condition can quickly lead to an infection or something more serious. Not only that, but chronic itching can be just as debilitating and distressing as chronic pain. Ultimately, skin

problems can cause great discomfort and irritation leading your dog to be irritable, withdrawn, or restless.

Some of the most common skin problems in dogs are due to allergies and allergic dermatitis caused by environmental or food allergies. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from allergies to pollen, grass and dust mites, but rather than having watery eyes and a runny nose, dogs will develop irritated, itchy skin. The most common areas affected are the face, feet, chest and stomach. There is a blood test to help determine if your dog has a reaction to certain common allergens. Such allergies can be difficult to treat and may require special shampoos, medication and even injections. You can take simple steps to minimize the risk of irritation from outdoor irritants by wiping your dog with a damp cloth or rinsing them off when coming inside. For dust mites, treat carpeted areas and wash your dog’s bedding regularly.

Dogs can develop food allergies from the type of protein in their food (beef, eggs, chicken, duck and dairy). Less common, but no less concerning are allergies to wheat or vegetables, which can be ingredients in treats and food (like Auggie’s potato allergy).

Food allergies usually manifest with increased itching involving the face, feet, ears, and anus. To determine the source of the allergy, dogs must go through an elimination diet process for 8-12 weeks to rule out different causes and triggers. Before starting, consult with your vet on the process. It’s important to not feed your dog any of the suspected allergens during the elimination process to get a clear result. Once you have identified the food allergen, stay away from those foods and be sure to read ingredient labels so you do not inadvertently include them in your dog’s diet.

Another common skin condition in dogs (and cats) is ringworm. Despite the name, it is not a worm but rather a fungus that is highly contagious and can take up to six weeks to eradicate. Ringworm will normally appear as crusty, circular patches and is often found on a dog’s head, paws, ears, and front legs. The skin can also appear inflamed and red from where they have irritated the area from scratching. To confi rm a ringworm diagnosis, your vet may use a special ultraviolet lamp called a Wood’s lamp to examine the dog’s skin and coat. However, not all ringworm will respond to the fluorescence. Additional tests, like a culture, may be needed. Ringworm is

normally treated with a combination of topical creams, ointments or shampoos and anti-fungal drugs by mouth. Ringworm cultures will be taken periodically after the start of treatment to determine if your pet is still infected. It’s critical to continue treatment until your pet is cleared; stopping treatment too soon can result in a recurrence of the fungus. Yeast loves to grow in hard to reach, warm areas on your dog, like the ears, between the toes, and groin region. Yeast infections tend to smell unpleasant (musty) and can cause the skin to thicken leading the dog to itch and bite at the infected areas. If left untreated in the ear, extreme yeast infections can cause hearing loss. Diagnosing a yeast infection involves culturing the affected area. Once confi rmed, it will be treated with a topical ointment or medicated shampoo. Serious infections will require oral medications.

Like humans, dogs can get dandruff or ‘scurff ’ and dry skin particularly in winter. Simple cases of dandruff are normally easy to treat with shampoos but always check with your vet to ensure there isn’t a serious, underlying cause. If approved, you can rub coconut oil or vitamin E oil into your dog’s skin. You can also

42 March 2024 Old Town Crier 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 www.friendsofrabbits.org/ King Street Cats www.kingstreetcats.org/ Operation Paws for Homes, Inc. ophrescue.org/ Rikki’s Refuge Animal Sanctuary www.rikkisrefuge.org POINTS ON PETS CINDY MCGOVERN


add omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) to your dog’s food. Auggie’s coat glows when he gets a bit of fish oil. Ticks, fleas and other parasites can cause itching and irritation for your pet year-round. Flea saliva enters the body after an insect bites, leading to an itching allergic reaction and scratching and chewing for relief. Severe parasite allergies include inflamed red skin and in extreme conditions, a dog’s fur will fall out in patches. The best prevention is to ensure your pet is up to date on the approved preventative treatments. It also helps to be diligent in cleaning your carpets and any bedding. Some parasites, such as ear mites, demodex, and scabies mites are only treated by prescription-strength medications.

I’m happy to report Auggie is doing well and only occasionally gets skin flareups. His mom is alert to his symptoms, is diligent in monitoring his diet and has established a rapport with his vet so he can be his best self.







At the Third Annual ALX Dog Walk Event April 20 th!

It's that time of the year again! The biggest annual 2-mile dog walk and celebration is back in Old Town Alexandria on Saturday, April 20th, starting at 7 AM. Walk with us as we spread awareness about the importance of plastic-free and sustainable living. It's time to educate the community and make a positive impact together.

On Saturday, April 20th, 8 AM – 11 AM, walkers meet at Oronoco Bay Park in Alexandria for an unforgettable experience. Over 500 furry friends and countless dog enthusiasts will enjoy a scenic 2-mile walk down historic Union Street returning along and the picturesque Potomac River to Oronoco Bay Park for an action-packed celebration hosted by NBC Washington's Storm Team4 Meteorologist, Chuck Bell.

Walkers will enjoy a Sustainability Festival, ACT for Alexandria’s Spring2ACTion Nonprofit Village, DJ music, a judged dog competition (six

winners receive $100 gift card to The Dog Store!), photo booths, dog obstacle course, dog tattoo artists, bubbles, a fun park game with exciting prizes, baked goods and coffee, and an adorable doggie topiary silent auction bidding table! Kids aged 12 and under can walk for free alongside registered participants. Military and students receive a discounted registration fee, and be sure to bring your ID to check-in.

Indulge your taste buds at the scrumptious bake sale hosted by The Board of Lady Managers of Inova Hospital. Help raise funds for Inova by enjoying their delectable treats. Bring a stainless steel (no glass/ceramic please) coffee mug to the event, and you can enjoy some hot coffee and loads of kudos for being plastic-free and zero waste! Also, we’re a plastic-free event, so #BYOB – bring your own water bottle! To make your Walk Day easier, we’re hosting a

pre-event registration check-in on Wednesday April 17th, from 12 pm to 7 pm to check-in and collect your sustainable Goodie Bag, t-shirt, and doggie bandana, treat, and more. Stay tuned, as we’ll announce the location closer to the event. Don't miss out on this fantastic event. Register now! www.alxdogwalk.com/register

While dogs and cats remain the popular choice for companion animals, rabbits can make amazing and loyal friends. Here's just a few reasons why:

• They're quiet and don't take up much room - perfect for city living.

• Rabbits form strong bonds with their guardians.

• They can be as cuddly as a dog or cat.

• Rabbits can be litter box trained.

• Their schedules match ours. They're most active at dawn and dusk.

• They are full of personality and character.

• Despite their small size, they live longer lives - around 10 years is their estimated life span. We usually have a number of loveable rabbits available for adoption. Pictured are Mallow, Sonic, and Poppy. You can find them all at: www.AlexandriaAnimals.org/adopt.

Old Town Crier March 2024 43
PETS OF THE MONTH 4101 Eisenhower Avenue Alexandria,
Mon-Fri, 1-8
Closed Wed Sat & Sun, 12-5 pm Schedule time to meet with any of these amazing adoptables by emailing Adopt@AlexandriaAnimals.org or calling 703.746.4774 opt. 2.
VA 703-746-4774 alexandriaanimals.org
Poppy Sonic Mallow


Pennsylvania’s Pride

For bass fishing professionals, family support is essential, but corporate fi nancial support allows pros to stay on the road and focus on fishing. Believing business is local, Pennsylvania pro Grae Buck is capitalizing on fishing success.

Since 2017, family-owned Nyce Crete and Landis Block and Concrete have sponsored Grae. This growing relationship includes advertising on Grae’s BassCat boat and his truck. Bass fishing fans are homeowners who make home improvement decisions. In addition, bass fishing participants own and manage construction and landscaping companies. Like Grae, this company has Pennsylvania roots and serves their community. Taking an active leadership role in the Philadelphiabased Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers organization, Grae brought Nyce Crete on board to grow appreciation and respect for the outdoors through fishing. Grae also provides fishing trips to the company.

His career took off in 2019 as his fishing skills attracted attention. He was in his 3rd year as a traveling pro and had never fished south of Virginia. He took 2nd at an FLW tour event, won a BFL a month later, and then won a B.A.S.S. Open which qualified him for the Bassmaster Classic. These successes kick-started his fishing career. In 2020 he fi nished 3rd overall for the FLW angler of the year, producing enough sponsors where he didn’t need to work another job and could focus on fishing.

Following a tournament win, Grae approached rod and reel maker Favorite Fishing USA. He’d been using their rods and they were interested in partnering. Grae promotes Favorite rods and reels

as high quality gear that’s affordable for younger anglers. Grae’s social media pages endorse gear and offer a 20% discount code.

YouTube builds Grae’s brand with anglers of varying skill levels. His how-to videos are well produced and demonstrate a variety of gear especially his go-to Z-Man Chatterbaits and ElaZtech soft plastics. The company noticed Grae’s confidence in Z-Man after his Classic qualification and 2nd place FLW fi nish. Grae introduces new products and techniques, directing people to Z-Man’s website and online retailer FishingOnline. com, also a Pennsylvania company. When products are mentioned, he provides product links to exact colors and sizes to enable his audience to get products from FishingOnline.com at great prices. For boat batteries, Grae bucks the trend. As anglers drop lithium batteries into their boats, Grae relies on East Penn’s DEKA 31 Series AGM Marine Master batteries. He used to run lithium in his Bass Cat boat but noticed handling issues attributed to the lack of weight in the back of the boat. Lithiums are substantially lighter than AGM, but high performance bass boats are engineered for battery weight to allow them to sit in the water to maintain contact with running surfaces. DEKA AGM

Batteries allow his boat to get on a plane quicker and really grip the water, a huge advantage over lighter lithium. And AGMs deliver long-lasting power for his Lowrance Ghost trolling motor, 5 Lowrance graphs, and 2 Power Pole Blades. They also handle rough boat rides. Pennsylvania-based East Penn, the biggest battery maker in the country, supports his kids events. Additionally, Grae, with a degree in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State, is proud to represent a company that recycles nearly 100% of every battery. This contrasts sharply with the environmental impact

of lithium mining and disposal. East Penn batteries are made in the US, lithium batteries are not. “Who would have thought that batteries were my most exciting sponsorship.” He extolls the benefits of using Deka Marine Master batteries at about ¼ the price of lithium.

One of many pro anglers using Power Pole Shallow Water Anchors, Grae says 10’ Blades work well in most fisheries. He insists Power Poles keep him on fish better, especially in clear water, than trolling motor spot lock and are totally quiet without muddying water. He promotes the swift and silent operation, and the exemplary service Power Pole provides their customers.

It’s social media that sponsors want. “I can’t count on winning and fishing well, I have to put it all together.” He says it’s more important to respect yourself on social media and know who you are instead of focusing on pure entertainment. Grae is responsive to fans, maintaining his presence and responding to questions.

Grae delivers sponsors 10,000 Facebook followers, 40,000 Instagram followers, and 4,000 YouTube subscribers. Cross promoting these platforms, he makes nearly daily fishing photo and video posts with sponsor products to improve reach. Numbers of “likes” are beyond his control so he sets realistic social media goals in the number of posts. Grae forwards posts and sends a quarterly report to sponsors as they assign value to this form of marketing.

As companies compete for the best pro staff and sponsor budgets are being cut, Grae believes if he outworks other anglers, he can compete for sponsor support. Bottom line, old fashioned relationship building and growth, and believing in sponsors has led to his promotional success.

About the Author: Capt. Steve Chaconas is a Potomac River bass fi shing guide. Potomac fi shing reports: nationalbass.com. Book trips/purchase gift certificates: info@NationalBass.com.

Potomac River Bassing in MARCH

Water is warming. Fish are moving into shallow flats. Use red craw lipless crankbaits, tied to 12 pound test Gamma Edge fluorocarbon line. Gold bladed willow Colorado spinnerbaits on 12 pound test Edge with white skirts work slowly retrieved in shallow water stay close to the bottom.

In isolated cover or emerging grass, pitch Mizmo tubes with 3/16 ounce weights on 10 pound test Edge. Green pumpkin colors are best, Texas rigged with 3/0 hooks.

In slightly deeper edges, try drop shots with 1/0 hooks and Mizmo fi nesse worms. A 3/16 ounce weight tied to 10 pound Gamma Copoly leader on 10 pound test Gamma Torque braid.

Silver Buddys, ½ ounce silver on sunny days, gold when cloudy. 10-pound test GAMMA EDGE on casting reels on rods with enough tip flex for casting and hook-setting backbone. Barely bring Silver Buddys off the bottom. Controlled drops encourage cold water bass to bite.

44 March 2024 Old Town Crier

Chasin’ Rainbows and Pots o’ Gold

I was very driven in my 20s, 30s—even my 40s. I had dreams and goals. I wanted things, nice things. I wanted to be a homeowner by the time I was 30. I wanted a new car vs. a used clunker. I wanted to go out to nice restaurants and sip dirty martinis at fancy bars.

So, I worked hard and I chased pots of gold so I could use it to pay off my AMEX—which, funny enough, if you make many big, timely payments; attain an above-average credit score; and agree to a large annual fee—will in fact turn to gold.

That’s the American dream, right? Want, work, get.

I didn’t come from wealthy, blue-chip stock. There was no trust fund and/ or daddy with deep pockets. And, frankly, I’m glad. I earned my way. No regrets. It is important to note, however, that not everybody is running the same distance at the same speed. And, my chase wasn’t as long or riddled with as many hurdles as others. I was jogging through my ‘chase’ at a comfortable clip on a path lined with safety nets, silver-lining opportunities, and easy access. Of that, I am aware. Even though at the time, it sure didn’t feel that way. While I never achieved crazy wealth aka Real Housewives of Name Your City, I managed to pay my bills and live quite comfortably.

Maybe the gold you’re chasing isn’t money. Maybe it’s a person or an ideal—whatever that one thing is that is going to change your life. The ‘thing’ that will magically transform your bah hum life to the stuff of movies. The thing that is going to be like winning the lottery—your pot of gold. Whatever it is that you are chasing.

When you’re young, you don’t mind the chase. The chase is what you do— and you probably don’t even realize that you’re doing it because the chase is who you are. You have energy, drive, and seemingly run on caffeine and pizza with less than five hours sleep. But at some point—maybe because you’re tired or burnt out or broke or got your heart broke—you realize that you’re chasing the wrong thing.

It’s not the gold that’s the prize, it’s the rainbow.

The rainbow is not only where the magic lies, it’s where the beauty resides. It’s the place where you stop, breathe, and take in the wonder of the journey. It’s where you pause and fi nd peace, joy, and maybe happiness.

The rainbow stops you in your tracks and reminds you how precious this one life is and asks you to take a moment to give thanks for where you are and who you are. It’s the place where you realize that perhaps you can fi nd joy without the gold. The joy is in the beauty of what’s right in front of you if you slow down long enough to appreciate it.

Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars?” ― Nora Roberts

Maybe it’s time to stop chasing and start noticing. Maybe it’s time to pause and reflect. You don’t have to be middle-aged like me to understand the importance of being present, and you certainly don’t need me to spew Monday morning quarterback wisdom from the comforts of my home. But note that if you’re still here reading, you’ve already made an important decision—to stop for a moment, sit, and enjoy a leisurely moment. You’ve stopped whatever you were doing—cleaning, shopping, running errands, and paused to do something for yourself—something small like read a local paper. And doesn’t that feel good? If you’re breathing and enjoying a moment of rest, you’ve found your rainbow. As it turns out, rainbows are everywhere.

If you’re a ‘mature’ reader, this is not breaking news. If you can name three songs off of Ye’s latest album or just bought your fi rst Juicy Couture track suit, perhaps you’ll fi nd a nugget of wisdom to share on TikTok. Regardless of what you’re chasing - maybe it’s a green beer - I leave you with this Irish blessing:

As spring unfolds, may your life blossom with joy and laughter as vibrant as the emerald hues of Ireland. May this St. Patrick's Day bring abundant blessings, exceeding the abundance of shamrocks. Maybe it’s shamrocks we should be chasing.

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 20 years. Please follow Lori online on Medium for more missives like this.

Old Town Crier March 2024 45

Blossoms & Brides

Springtime in the Harbor is fast approaching. What better way to celebrate the season than taking a stroll around the waterfront and revel in the beauty of the very fi rst cherry blossoms in the DMV as well as participating in the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. The celebrations and events at the Harbor are on a much smaller scale than those in D.C. but they are equally as impressive without the huge crowds. Springtime also means that there is “love in the air”. The 2024 Wedding Walk Showcase is a fabulous place for those of you who are thinking about tying the knot to get some inspiration for the big day and all that is entailed leading up to it.

I relied on my PR pals for the Harbor to provide all of the details for these events below:

National Harbor Celebrates Cherry Blossoms: March 20th to April 14th

National Harbor has become a prime location in the D.C. region to celebrate its spectacular (early) cherry tree display. The 350-acre resort property has more than 200 cherry blossoms. Visitors can enjoy the trees along the 1.2 mile waterfront trail that bloom earlier than those on the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.

This year’s festivities take place from March 20th to April 14th with National Harbor also serving as an official participant of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. In addition to National Harbor’s breathtaking waterfront views, this year’s celebration will be filled with entertainment, hotel room packages, food and drink specials, classes and more.

The annual Sakura Sunday festival, an official participating event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, will be held on Sunday, March 24th from noon to 6 p.m. and will feature free cultural activities including Japanese inspired art, music, dance, culinary delights, and a Japanese market.

Throughout the month, National Harbor will host classes and events including origami, sushi making, Japanese games provided by Katsucon Entertainment, Inc., bonsai, sake, and candle making.

Restaurants throughout National Harbor will celebrate with food specials and will join National Harbor hotels and retailers in having a variety of special offers and displays. MGM National Harbor has its beautiful spring conservatory installation.

Some of National Harbor’s eight hotels will offer specials and packages. Select hotels will provide special National Harbor welcome swag bags with Cherry Blossom package deals.

For more information on National Harbor and cherry blossom activities and offerings, go to www. nationalharbor.com/cherryblossom/. Events and activities will be added to the schedule as they are confi rmed.

Wedding Walk Showcase 2024: March 9th

Join us for the National Harbor Wedding Walk & Showcase where you can visit wedding-centric shops, retailers, and venue spaces on Saturday, March 9th from 11am-4pm on a self-guided tour. Plan everything for your big day as you take a walk through this waterfront destination on this self-guided tour, enjoy the views and have fun planning your upcoming nuptials.

National Harbor offers a stunning waterfront for the wedding of your dreams. The unbeatable views of the water and the breathtaking sunsets are unique to National Harbor. From intimate ceremony space to vast outdoor lots for incredible receptions, their premier event space offers a gorgeous backdrop for the big day. The destination has it all, whether you’re planning the ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner, bachelor/bachelorette party, shower, or all of the above, National Harbor has the spot to create an extra special experience. Your guests will be in awe of our beautiful hotels, award winning restaurants, luxurious spas, a thriving night life scene, and the best sunsets in the DC metro area.

Tickets are required and check in is located in the Sunset Room on the second floor of 137 National Plaza Suite 200. Check out the event's participating locations and purchase tickets on our website at nationalharbor.com.

46 March 2024 Old Town Crier NATIONAL HARBOR LANI GERING
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