Old Town Crier November Full Issue

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge


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We are almost at the end of 2023 and what a year it has been. War is declared in the Middle East, countries are evacuated and humanitarian aid is being hampered. At home, a few firebrands turned the House of Representatives on its ear where they can no longer hear the voice of Americans. As I write this, there was finally a consensus for the Speaker of the House so it looks like we are in the process of getting the US back in business. We needed a fresh breeze to blow over this landscape so we decided to visit the Museum of the United States Army in the Road Trip column. The cover this month is indicative of that experience. With this article we celebrate Veterans Day every day not just on the 11th of this month. Visiting this museum is a must see. Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and this means that the Christmas holiday is right on its heels. In fact, the area tree lightings take place the day after and the big celebration of the holiday season is the first week in December. See the calendar of events. As in years past, we dedicate a good portion of the November issue to Thanksgiving. It is a time to gather with friends and family and count our many blessings as well as a great excuse to eat as much as we want. I love the humorous tone that Tim Long took in writing his Let’s Get Crafty column. In addition to a bit of “poetry”, he has some great ideas for the perfect libation and smoke to accompany your Thanksgiving adventures. Lori Welch Brown embraces Thanksgiving as well in Open Space as she laments about “Gratitude”. In all seriousness, this is a month to really reflect on what is important. In general, this issue is jam packed with some really good stuff. Have you ever considered participating in an Escape Room adventure? Will crabbing on the Bay be allowed year-round? Do you know what the Spotted Lantern Fly does to grapes? This and much more inside!

Cheers to You and Yours!

By now the peak leaf-peeping season is passed in the mountains. If you missed the Blue Ridge opportunity, you might want to consider heading in the other direction – East toward the Bay. The leaves will still be colorful along the water fronts and the weather a little cooler with a breeze coming off of the Bay. Last month was Virginia Wine Month but November is also a wonderful time to visit the wineries, breweries and distilleries in the area. The crowds are smaller, the fire pits are ablaze and you can get on the ground floor of upcoming holiday promotions on product! A six pack of a Commonwealth brew, a bottle of Virginia wine or Virgina Spirits make for great host/hostess gifts as well as wrapped up and placed under the tree next month! Let’s hope that this time next month we have had good news from the Middle East and that our government has been funded for yet another year. Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Oyster Week 2023 is in the Books On October 14th, some of Alexandria's best restaurants gathered under the tents at Daniel O’Connell’s in the 100 block of King Street to compete in the Fourth Annual Oyster Shucking Competition. This event kicks off Old Town Oyster Week each year. In my estimation, the cool, rainy/misty morning was the perfect weather for the competition! The shuckers ranged from “professional” to “first timer”. It was actually very entertaining to watch and Lani was very flattered to be asked to be a timer this year. I’m betting she will be on the roster next year. Congratulations to guys at the Old Town Fish Market on another win. Lani with fellow timer Amanda Wallingford

4 November 2023

Cyrus Coleman, owner of The Wharf, giving the Fish Market guys a run for their money

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november‘23 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 first week of every month. Worth waiting for! PUBLISHER

Bob Tagert


Lani Gering Bob Tagert Meg Mullery





Erin Koons


Stephen Bearce Sarah Becker Alexander Britel Cheryl Burns F. Lennox Campello Steve Chaconas Scott Dicken Doug Fabbioli Matt Fitzsimmons Nicole Flanagan Lani Gering Miriam Kramer Timothy Long

Cindy McGovern Glenn Morel Meg Mullery Melinda Murphy Ron Powers Kim Putens Julie Reardon Ashley Stimpson Bob Tagert Carl Trevisan Ryan Unverzagt Catherine Varchever Lori Welch Brown © 2023 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........................................12 Fitness...................................................41 On the Road............................................5 After hours.............................................16 From the Bay.........................................20

Open Space............................................45

Alexandria Events....................................8 From the Trainer.....................................40 Pets of the Month...................................43 Art & Antiques........................................14 Gallery Beat...........................................14 Points on Pets........................................42 Business Profile.......................................10 Go Fish...................................................44 Publishers notes......................................4 Caribbean Connection.............................26 Grapevine..............................................35 Road Trip...............................................24 Dining Guide..........................................29 High Notes.............................................16

Special Feature.......................................19

Dining Out.............................................30 Last Word...............................................18 Thanksgiving Feature..............................33 Exploring VA Wines ...............................34

Let's Eat.................................................32 To the Blue Ridge....................................22

Financial Focus.......................................11 Let's Get Crafty......................................36 Urban Garden.........................................38 First Blush.............................................39

National Harbor......................................46 Where is the Mural?.................................6

ON THE ROAD WITH OTC Old Town Alexandria residents and good friends Kathy and Bob Condon and Holli and John Todhunter thought it fitting to take a copy of the OTC with them on their “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” Italian adventure in late August. This photo was taken after a lunch and tasting at the *Gambino Winery situated in the Mount Etna region of Sicily. Pictured from left to right are Bob, Holli, John and Kathy. 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. *Kathy made sure to tell us that they were told by the winery owner that there is no connection to the infamous Gambino’s of NYC. Personally, we think it adds an air of mystery to the story.

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November 2023 5


Where Is This Mural? Last months “clip” must have been way too easy because we had many correct guesses! Let’s see if this month’s image is a bit more challenging! Be the first person to respond with the correct location and receive a $50 gift certificate to a local dining establishment of our choice. In order to participate, you will have to Like and Follow us:


We had a bit of a debate about what theme to take on with this issue. Do we go the fall route? Do we highlight Thanksgiving? What about Veteran’s Day? That debate came to an end after our tour of the National Museum of the United States Army while doing the R&D for the Road Trip column. The exhibits and imagery at this museum are very impressive and in light of current events, Veteran’s Day won out. This cover photo doesn’t really do this exhibit justice. Photo by Lani Gering.

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. Mural Photo by Lee Moody.

LIKE AND FOLLOW US ONLINE www.oldtowncrier.com Instagram: otcregionalmag Facebook: Old Town Crier Regional Magazine W

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The Runner-Up was this image of local Artist Paul McGeHee’s colored pencil drawing “Natural Bridge” pictured here. Virginia’s Natural Bridge is a Commonwealth treasure located in Rockbridge County. Limited Edition prints are available for $100 at PaulMcGeHeeart.com

ADVERTISE WITH US office@oldtowncrier.com

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Going Home





23 24 S E A S O N



SEEDCTODAY.COM 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.”

SAT • Nov 4, 2023 at 7:30pm

Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center

SOLD OUT SUN • Nov 5, 2023 at 3:00pm

George Washington Masonic Memorial

James Ross, Music Director Stephen Seifert, mountain dulcimer Featuring Dawn Avery: Tscenacomoco (ASO at 80 commission, sponsored by Classical Movements), Margaret Bonds: Montgomery Variations, Conni Ellisor: Blackberry Winter, and Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9.

(703) 548-0885


Jill Fraser-Smith




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Pledge Not to Release!

November 2023 7


Named one of Oprah Daily’s Most Magical Christmas Towns Across the World and Condé Nast Traveler’s Best U.S. Cities to Visit at Christmas, Alexandria, VA, is filled with nostalgic wonder during the holiday season. Stroll along the King Street mile and feel transported into a European Christmas village as you pass by lantern-lit doorways and pop into buzzing shops and eateries, leading to the bustling Potomac River waterfront, within eyesight of Washington, D.C.

Plaid Friday: Alexandria’s Small Business Black Friday 24th Throughout Old Town Alexandria and beyond visitalexandria.com/blackfriday

Enjoy cherished holiday traditions happening throughout Alexandria including the 52nd Annual Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, featuring dozens of Scottish clans dressed in colorful tartans; the 23rd Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights sponsored by Amazon on the Potomac River; and “Shop Small” events kicking off with Plaid Friday: Alexandria’s Small Business Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. Plus, discover open-air markets, seasonal musical celebrations, candlelit tours at historic sites and more. All photos as courtesy of Visit Alexandria. For more holiday events and activities, visit VisitAlexandria.com/Holidays.

NOVEMBER City of Alexandria Tree Lighting Ceremony

Celebrate Plaid Friday: Alexandria’s Small Business Black Friday as shops in Old Town and beyond offering some of their best deals of the year, including early bird, storewide discounts and free gifts with purchase. Shoppers will find one-of-a-kind deals on self-care products, artwork, jewelry, fashionable finds, home goods and more.

Small Business Saturday 25th Throughout Old Town Alexandria and beyond visitalexandria.com/smallbusinesssaturday

18th 6 to 8 p.m. Admission: Free Market Square 300 King Street alexandriava.gov/calendar Ring in the city’s official start to the holiday season with the lighting of the 40-foot tree adorned with nearly 40,000 twinkling lights, plus enjoy appearances from Alexandria’s Town Crier and Santa himself. 8 November 2023

Celebrate Alexandria’s Small Business Saturday with special in-store and online specials at dozens of shops in Old Town and beyond. Stroll historic streets twinkling with holiday traditions as you enjoy special discounts, sip and snack on free treats like hot cider and local coffee and take home free gifts with purchase. Be sure to stop by Wine Gallery 108 on N. St. Asaph! Old Town Crier



52nd Annual Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk Parade 2nd 11 a.m. Old Town Alexandria alxscottishwalk.com Alexandria was founded in 1749 by Scottish merchants and was named after Scotsman John Alexander who owned the land that became Alexandria. Today, the city continues celebrating its heritage with the iconic Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk Parade on Saturday, December 2, 2023. Dozens of Scottish clans dressed in colorful tartans parade through the streets of Old Town, joined by pipe and drum bands from around the region, as well as terriers and hounds and more.

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, fish, fruits, vegetables and flowers for all those who visit.

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

OLD TOWN NORTH FARMERS & ARTISANS MARKET Montgomery Park 901 North Royal Street Thursdays, 3 pm – 7 pm Year Round

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

FOUR MILE RUN FARMERS & ARTISANS MARKET 4109 Mount Vernon Avenue Sundays, 9 am – 1 pm Year Round

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

23rd Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights 2nd

5:30 p.m. Festivities begin in the afternoon Old Town Alexandria Waterfront 1 Prince Street alxboatparade.com

Old Town Alexandria's historic waterfront shines at sundown as dozens of brightly lit boats cruise along one mile of the Potomac River shoreline during the 22nd Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights sponsored by Amazon. Visitors can enjoy dockside festivities, a pop-up beer garden and much more.

Connect with us!

Del Ray Holiday Tree & Menorah Lighting 3rd

6 p.m. Pat Miller Neighborhood Square Mount Vernon & Oxford Avenues visitdelray.com

Ignite your holiday spirit at the Del Ray Holiday Tree & Menorah Lighting: The Del Ray neighborhood will come together on Sunday, December 3, 2023, for the annual Christmas tree lighting, Menorah lighting and holiday carols. Enjoy hand-painted holiday windows in storefronts and start your holiday shopping with a stroll down Mount Vernon Avenue, which will be illuminated by thousands of luminarias.

Web: VisitAlexandriaVA.com Blog: Blog.VisitAlexandriaVA.com Facebook: Facebook.com/VisitAlexandriaVA Twitter: Twitter.com/AlexandriaVA Instagram: Instagram.com/VisitAlexVA

Old Town Crier

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Nepenthe:A Place of No Sorrow

Carrie with pieces from the family collection


e always love it when we are introduced to new businesses that we wouldn’t ordinarily seek out either because the location isn’t along a beaten path or doesn’t sell a ware that we normally seek out. Nepenthe Gallery is just such a place. Located off of Fort Hunt Road in the Hollin Hall area of Alexandria, Nepenthe sits behind the popular Hollin Hall Pastry Shop adjacent to where the iconic Variety Store is located. The way we ended up at Nepenthe was literally kismet. A former co-worker of mine from almost 40 years ago and I reconnected last fall and have kept in touch since. Her husband is an artist whose work was being featured at Nepenthe last month and he invited us to his reception. Unknowingly, a member of the Nepenthe staff had contacted us about possible advertising as well. When we arrived at the Gallery for the reception, all of the dots connected. After meeting proprietors Carrie and Jim Garland and members of their staff at said reception, we decided we needed to let our readership know about this amazing place. They opened their doors in March of 10 November 2023

Left to Right: Beth Hamed, Anne Fafara, Jim Garland, Patty Owens, Carrie Garland, Carolyn Johnson

Mixed Media by Romero Britto

last year and have been evolving ever since. Carrie was quick to tell me that their success is a result of the people they have surrounded themselves with. In addition to Carrie and Jim, Nepenthe currently has four very capable women with talents in varied areas that contribute to the day-to-day operation of the gallery.

located at 108 N. St. Asaph. This has proven to be an excellent move for both parties. Nepenthe gives their artists another location for exposure as well as promoting the wine side of Wine Gallery 108. As an aside, if you are a Madonna fan, you really need to check out the mixed media piece of her by Romero Britto on display here.

The Gallery is also very proud to house the home studio for renowned photographer Renee C. Gage. I met Renee while visiting the gallery to interview Carrie. She is, indeed, an amazing photographer but also a fun person to talk to.

Last but not least…Nepenthe has an onsite custom framer below the gallery. This is where Jim Garland uses his artistic eye. If you have the pleasure to meet him, take note of his quick wit.

While Nepenthe has much in common with most art galleries – featuring works by local artists they know personally as well as many from the DMV and around the USA, hosting artists receptions, etc. – the have works from Carrie’s family’s private collection of 19th century and early 20th century American art masterpieces. They offer gallery talks about the pieces led by Carrie’s mother. The Gallery itself is very inviting and not overwhelming. The selection of art ranges from familiar prints and fun neon images to originals in several mediums and sizes and sculptures and mobiles in a range of sizes. I admit that I am quite taken with one of the large mobiles on display now but, number one, I don’t have anywhere to hang it and number two, dusting it would be a chore! I know there is a home out there for it though! What was originally going to be a “Pop Up” location for a short time in Old Town, Nepenthe has partnered with Lisa Katic at Wine Gallery 108

Let’s circle back to the beginning. “Nepenthe” is a magic word for Carrie, Jim and their family. It is the name of a fabulous restaurant in Big Sur where her parents visited in the 1960’s, it was the mantra (retreat and calm down) when planning Carrie and Jim’s wedding in the 1990’s and her father named his boat Nepenthe (no whining or crying while on deck). Do you see a pattern here? When you visit the gallery, you will feel the vibe. It is sort of another take on “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

Nepenthe Gallery 7918 Fort Hunt Road 703-856-5277 Nepenthegallery.com Old Town Crier



Should you be thinking about volatility?

PROBABLY. When the stock market is on the rise, investors can fall into the trap of believing the good times will never end. But in all probability, market volatility will return, and chances are it’ll be when it’s least expected.

The potential benefit of having an investment plan is you may be able to do a better job of dealing with volatility because you’ve “baked it into” your plan so you should be better prepared for its possible impact and your reaction to it.

Rather than waiting for it to happen and risking the possibility of panicking and making costly investment decisions, you may want to think about volatility during those good times. That way, you can be strategic rather than emotional about dealing with it, which may lead to better outcomes.

What if you already have a plan?

What type of investor are you? What you should be considering now depends on which of these describes your current situation: 1.

You have an investment plan.


You don’t have an investment plan.

Let’s begin by addressing type two investors. Quite simply, if you don’t have an investment plan, you should think about creating one, and here’s why: A well-thought-out plan is built around what you’re investing for (goals), how long you have until you need to tap into your investments (time horizon), and, most important for this topic, the amount of market volatility you’re comfortable with (risk tolerance).

If you have an investment plan, you should be thinking about whether your portfolio is currently aligned with your strategic asset allocation. While it might be nice if you could set and forget your asset allocation, the fact is over time market activity can cause your investments to drift away — sometimes far away — from where you want them to be if you don’t keep an eye on them. For example, a hypothetical 50% stocks, 45% bonds, and 5% cash alternatives portfolio could become a 60% stocks, 35% bonds, and 5% cash alternatives portfolio without you realizing it. While that “new” portfolio may provide better returns, it’s also likely to fluctuate more in value if the market becomes volatile. In other words, you could be exceeding your risk tolerance without being aware of it. To help avoid this situation, consider periodically rebalancing your portfolio when necessary, which may require selling some investments and purchasing others to bring it back to your intended asset allocation.

Taking these factors into consideration, your plan should include a strategic asset allocation, which is how your portfolio is divvied up between different types of investments — primarily stocks, bonds, and cash alternatives.

Because creating a plan and keeping it in balance can be complicated, for help you may want to turn to a financial advisor with the necessary tools and experience.

You may be the type of investor who takes market volatility in stride. In that case, you likely have a relatively high risk tolerance. On the other hand, volatility may make it hard for you to sleep and cause you to panic, which would mean your risk tolerance is probably rather low.

Asset allocation cannot eliminate the risk of fluctuating prices and uncertain returns.

If you’re the second type of investor, a larger portion of your asset allocation would likely be in bonds, which historically have been more stable than stocks. However, along with that relative stability generally comes significantly lower returns.

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Carl M. Trevisan, Managing Director-Investments and Stephen M. Bearce, First Vice President- Investments in Alexandria, VA at 800-247-8602. Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

Investment and Insurance Products are: • Not Insured by the FDIC or Any Federal Government Agency • Not a Deposit or Other Obligation of, or Guaranteed by, the Bank or Any Bank Affiliate • Subject to Investment Risks, Including Possible Loss of the Principal Amount Invested ©2021-2023 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved.

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November 2023 11




National Geography Awareness Week “For generations, comprehension of world and national geography has been considered essential to the education of Americans,” President Ronald Reagan proclaimed in 1987. “Yet, today, in an interdependent world where knowledge of other lands and cultures is increasingly important, studies show that Americans need more geographical knowledge [especially] geography’s physiographic, historical, social, economic, and political aspects.” Public Law 100-78 designated the third week of November— November 13–17, this year—as National Geography Awareness Week. “The Week started 26 years ago not with a bang, but with a graceful launch,” The National Geographic Society [NGS] said. “The lure of land and the promise of freedom have gone hand in hand as dual attractions of America since the arrival of the first Europeans,” NGS agreed. “Vast stretches, apparently endless, beckoned them.” “Along the east coast of what is now the United States, Great Britain created 13 diverse colonies,” NGS continued. “A few men received huge royal grants; thousands of other settlers acquired acreage for little or no cash.” In 1632 George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore [1625] petitioned England’s King Charles I for a grant, for the rights to a North American region east of the Potomac River. The Charter was

12 November 2023

granted in June 1632. It was his son Cecilius who planned “the planting of the colony of Maryland.”

of 1787; the Midwest’s political introduction of Virginia’s William Henry Harrison.

“Westward the Course of Empire takes the Way,” poet and IrishAnglican bishop George Berkeley wrote in 1726.

Also in 1784: Virginia ceded its claim to territory from the Ohio River to Canada to the federal government. The state of Georgia organized The Tennessee Company; Spain closed the lower Mississippi to navigation, Captain John Greene’s voyage to Canton, China ended successfully, and Russia established its first permanent settlement in Alaska.

“After the Americans won their war for independence, diplomats at the 1783 treaty table dickered over boundaries,” NGS explained. “The region they got was larger than most of Western Europe.” The remaining question: as Connecticut engraver Abel Buell’s March 1784 map, the country’s first copyrighted map implies —who controlled the West, the area beyond the Appalachians? “Abuell’s map documents a unique time,” the Library of Congress wrote. “Until the adoption of the Constitution [1787], the federal government could not establish internal boundaries between states nor force the surrender or sale of western lands claimed by some of the states under their original charters.” Thomas Jefferson, the son of a surveyor, submitted the second draft of his Report of a Plan of Government for the Western Territory to the United States Congress Assembled on April 23, 1784. The Report suggested that new states could be formed from the western territories and admitted to the Union on an equal basis. The resulting legislation paved the way for the Northwest Ordinance

Question: In what year did the United States acquire Alaska: did U.S. Secretary of State William Seward arrange to buy the “large lump of ice” for two cents an acre, for the cost of $7,200,000? Answer: The 1867 purchase was known as Seward’s folly. The land, though seemingly barren, was rich in furs and fish. On September 1, 1784, surveyor George Washington, the retired commander-in-chief of the Continental Army headed west to study land opportunities. “What may be the result of the Indian Treaty I pretend not to say,” Washington wrote on November 3, 1784. “If a large cession of territory is expected from them, a disappointment I think will ensue.” “Such is the rage for speculating in, and forestalling of Lands on the No. West side of the Ohio, that scarce a valuable spot within any tolerable distance of it, is left without a claimant,” Washington

continued. “Men in these times, talk with as much facility of fifty, a hundred, and even 500,000 Acres as a Gentleman formerly would do of 1000 acres. In defiance of the proclamation of Congress, they roam over the Country on the Indian side of the Ohio—mark out Lands—Survey—and even settle them.” “There is no Utopian Scheme,” Washington concluded, “[but] to have actual Surveys of the Western territory; more especially of the Rivers which empty into the Ohio on the North West side thereof, which have the easiest & best communications with Lake Erie…is an important business, and admits of no delay—it would shew the value of those Lands more clearly – it would attract the attention of the Settlers, and the Traders—it would give the Tone & fix ideas that at present are as floating as chaos.” Thomas Jefferson’s book, Notes on Virginia is described by most as “the most important scientific…book written by an American before 1785.” Historian William Peden claims his Rivers section stands as a prototype of publications produced a century later by the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1786 Jefferson, Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Versailles urged Connecticut’s John Ledyard to seek a Pacific route across North America, “to explore the western part of our continent by passing thro St. Petersburg and Kamchatka [Russia]…to

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........ who knew? Nooka Sound [Vancouver Island].” Ledyard journeyed to Russia only to be expelled. Thomas Jefferson was elected President of the United States in November 1800. President Jefferson [1801-1809, VA-DR] launched [Meriwether] Lewis and [William] Clark’s expedition west in 1803, 220 years ago: the same year the state of Ohio was retroactively admitted to the Union. “We have been many years wishing to have the Missouri explored, & whatever river, heading with that, runs into the Western ocean,” President Jefferson wrote on February 27, 1803. “Congress, in some secret proceedings, has yielded to a proposition I made them permitting me to have it done. It is to be undertaken immediately with a party of about ten, & I have appointed Capt. Lewis, my secretary, to conduct it.” Lewis invited Clark, an expert marksman, to join the expedition in June 1803. “It was impossible to find a character who to a compleat science in botany, natural history, mineralogy & astronomy, joined the firmness of constitution & character, prudence, habits adapted to the woods, & a familiarity with the Indian manners & character, requisite for the undertaking,” Jefferson continued. “All the latter qualifications Capt. Lewis has— altho’ no regular botanist, etc., he possesses a remarkable store of accurate observations on all the subjects [and] has qualified himself

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for taking those observations of longitude & latitude necessary to fix the geography of the line he passes through.” In 1803 Jefferson depended on fellow American Philosophical Society [APS] members to prepare Lewis for the journey. APS, located in Philadelphia was the nation’s oldest Society dedicated to the pursuit of scientifically “useful knowledge.” Quaker physician Caspar Wistar schooled Lewis in fossils and anatomy. Physician Benjamin Rush tutored him in medicine; Mr. Andrew Ellicott in astronomy. “The object of this undertaking [is] to encourage settlements and establish seaports on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, which would not only facilitate our whaling and sealing voyages, but enable our enterprising merchants to carry on a more direct and rapid trade with China and East India,” The Martinsburg Intelligencer recounted. Lewis joined Clark in Indiana in October 1803. Together they formed the Corps of Discovery then wintered at Camp River Dubois. Their trek west resumed on May 14, 1804. Jefferson wanted not only future claims to western lands beyond the Louisiana Purchase, but also the federal backing of such. Not all Indians were friendly. “The Warriors are Very, much deckerated with Paint, Pocupin quils & feathers, large leagins

& mockersons, all with Buffalo roabs of Different Colours,” Clark chronicled. The Corps eventually secured the services of an Indian interpreter. French trader Toussaint Charbonneau and his pregnant Shoshone wife, Sacagawea, joined the group in November 1804. A year later—the Pacific Ocean was within view. “[W]e have penetrated the Continent of North America to the Pacific Ocean,” Lewis wrote Jefferson on September 23, 1806, “and sufficiently explored the interior of the country to affirm… that we have discovered the most practicable route which does exist across the continent by means of the navigable branches of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers…” “We view this passage…as affording immense advantages to the fur trade,” Lewis concluded. In addition to animal skins, “I have also preserved a pretty extensive collection of plants, and collected nine other vocabularies.” Three years later APS member William Maclure produced the first geological map of the United States [1809]. “I had long deemed it incumbent on the authorities of our country to have the great Western wilderness beyond the Mississippi explored,” Jefferson wrote in 1822, “to make known its geography, its natural productions, its general character and inhabitants.”

The love of discovery lived on long after the Lewis & Clark expedition ended. The Philosophical Society of Alexandria was formed “at the store of William Stabler” on June 17, 1832. Officers included apothecary William Stabler, educator Benjamin Hallowell, and shoemaker Reuben Johnston, Sr. “Barometrical & thermometrical observations” were just some of the topics discussed. Geography, as defined by The American Heritage dictionary: “the science dealing with the earth’s natural features, climate, resources and population; the physical characteristics, especially the surface features of an area.” My book pick for the Week of: Mapping the West with Lewis & Clark, by Ralph Ehrenberg and Herman Viola [2015]. This month we celebrate not only Lewis & Clark’s expedition west, but also— as per the United Nations 1966 Outer Space Treaty—America’s new frontier. Four countries now race to mine the newly discovered layers of the moon. Sarah Becker started writing for The Economist while a graduate student in England. Similar publications followed. She joined the Crier in 1996 while serving on the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association Board. Her interest in antiquities began as a World Bank hire, with Indonesia’s need to generate hard currency. Balinese history, i.e. tourism provided the means. The New York Times describes Becker’s book, Off Your Duffs & Up the Assets, as “a blueprint for thousands of nonprofit managers.” A former museum director, SLAM’s saving grace Sarah received Alexandria’s Salute to Women Award in 2007. Email: abitofhistory53@gmail.com

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The Art Bank

Center art: Steve Wanna, Myths of Creation - CE221111.1247, Mixed media on prepared board, cast in resin

For several years now, off and on a year here and there, it has been my honor and pleasure to have been one of the jurors for the panels which select artists from the DMV for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ Art Bank program.

Art Bank is essentially the process via which the city of Washington, DC selects artwork for its collection – it is a free and now totally online process for the artists to apply. As such, the only investment that an artist from the DMV has to do is set aside some time (once the call for applications has been made) to submit the required entry forms, etc. All online and free… and yet, each year I am surprised by the relative low number of visual artists who bother to apply to the call. It is one of my pet peeves when I hear local artists complaining about lack of opportunities in the area. I often point out Art Bank and I usually get a “Whatta bank… what?” look. That is why it is important to get information, and stay in tune with the DMV art scene.

Cory Oberndorfer, Chocolate Éclair Number 31 (after Pollock), latex on canvas


St. George Gallery 105 N. Alfred Street

Jeffrey Winter Fine Arts 110A S. Columbus Street

Random Harvest 810 King Street

The Art League 105 Union Street

Old Town Antiques 222 S. Washington Street

Acme Mid-Century + Modern 128 S. Royal Street

Local Colour Old Town 218 N. Lee Street

Johnston Matthew 105 N. Union Street

Verdigris Vintage 1215 King Street

Van Bommel Antiek Hous 1007 King Street

Imperfections Antiques 1210 King Street

Cavalier Antiques 400 Prince Street

Lloyd’s Row 119 S. Henry Street

B&B Art Gallery 215 King Street

The Antique Guild 113 N. Fairfax Street

Sumpter Priddy III 323 S. Washington Street


Enamelist’s Gallery 105 N. Union Street

Silverman Galleries 110 N. St. Asaph Street

Henry Street Antiques 115 S. Henry Street

Torpedo Factory Art Center 105 N. Union Street

Printmakers, Inc. 105 N. Union Street

Washington Square Antiques 425 S. Washington Street

Curzon Hill Antiques 108 S. Columbus Street

Principle Gallery 208 King Street

Kelly’s Art & Frame 510 N. Washington Street

Betty Grisham Studio 105 N. Union Street

The Hour 1015 King Street

Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery 105 N. Union Street

Oerth Gallery 420 S. Washington Street

Imagine Artwear 112 King Street

ANTIQUES Spurgeon-Lewis Antiques 112 N. Columbus Street BW Art, Antiques & Collectibles 108 N. Fayette Street

Susquehanna Antique Co. 608 Cameron Street

14 November 2023

Icon Galleria 101 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

Can I say “Union Station”? Cough… cough… And since Northern Virginia is part of the DMV, there’s a lot of nippleage being exposed in the Virginia state flag, but God forbid that the contemporary prudish City fathers and mothers ever allow a nude work of art to be acquired for the City’s collection. But I meander as usual. Now and through December 15, you can see the FY 2024 Art Bank Program Finalists in a very cool exhibition in the Commission’s first floor galleries, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5:30 pm at 200 I (Eye) Street Gallery SE. There’s photography, sculpture, painting, printmaking, textiles, and more! The gallery is free and open to the public. Installed in the gallery are the works of Barbara Januszkiewicz, Bradley Stevens, Bria Edwards, Carol Rowan, Cathy Abramson, Charles Jean-Pierre, Cheryl Edwards, Cory Oberndorfer, Daniel Rios, David Fulton, Davide Prete, Debra Jean Ambush, Elaine Wilson, Elizabeth Ashe, Eric Celarier, Erwin Timmers, Gail Shaw-

The most recent call for artists had a lot of good entries, and over the years the Commission has slowly but surely improved the process itself. I still have some serious peeves with this process, such as the fact that in the entire history

A Galerie 315 Cameron Street

of Art Bank, the city has never, ever acquired a work of art depicting a nude. And that’s OK if that’s a policy, but for simplicity’s sake: Put that info in the call for art prospectus so that artists do not waste their time sending nude artwork for a prudish process in a city which has hundreds of WPA era artwork nudity all over our federal and city buildings.

Exclusively representing the works of

“A woman F. Lennox Campello in love with Price and additional images upon request. abstraction” - 2021

“ONE OF 16x20 watercolor on THE MOST paper with embedded electronic images that INTERESTING rotate every PEOPLE OF5 seconds. WASHINGTON, DC” – Washington City Paper

Exclusively representing the works of

F. Lennox Campello Syreni Caledonii (Northern Atlantic Mermaid). Watercolor,

charcoal and Conte. 2019, 12x36 inches. Price and additional images upon request.

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

Old Town Crier

Clemons, Gary Kret, Gayle Friedman, George Tkabladze, Ivan Sigal, Jacqueline Crocetta, James Terrell, Jonathan Monaghan, Joseph Hamilton, Judith Peck, Judith Southerland, Julia Bloom, Julie Byrne, Julee Dickerson-Thompson, Justyne Fischer, Kasse Andrews-Weller, Khanh Le, Len Harris, Leslie Holt, Lexis Marie Jordan, Life Pieces To Masterpieces, Lina Alattar, Lory Ivey Alexander, Madeline Stratton, Mariah Bonner, Marilyn Gates-Davis, Mentwab Easwaran, Michael Sirvet, Michele Banks, Michelle Lisa Herman, Nami Oshiro, Pixie Alexander, Rania Hassan, Rashad Ali Muhammad, Rashin Kheiriyeh, Regina Miele, Roderick Turner, Sarah Bentley, Sayeh Behnam, Sean Dudley, Selena Jackson, Shanthi Chandrasekar, Sheila Blake, Sheila Crider, Sondra Arkin, Steve Wanna, Tea Okropiridze, Tom Kim, Valerie Theberge, Walter Bo Bullock, Zofie King, and Zsudayka Nzinga. As you can see from the list, it includes many of the DMV art superstars, but I am particularly pleased to see also many names which I do not know, which means new fresh artwork most likely being added to the City’s collection. I am also happy to see that many of the artists whom I gave good scores in the selection process made it to the finals! Congrats to all of them! And by the way, the commission also has fellowships and grants for writers, poets and other in the literature/writing/humanities genre. A poem by recent award winner Maria de Los Angeles is in this issue! 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.

First Fall Poetry by Maria de los Angeles I knew each of them so well, And loved them all, Thousands of them shifting with each waning Of the longest day into the sleepy arms of Samhain, Slowly twirling, each day, each one of them turning Orange, yellow, burnt sienna and umber, Dancing with smoke stirring upward from lonely chimneys I can see now Through the tangle of naked branches. Endless walks to nowhere, a sweet unknowning As the sun tucks its flames behind the hills of Vestal And brushes clouds with hues of pumpkin and apple skins. All of life Readying for the cold marrow of winter Where I place my trust as treasure to be rediscovered. Rounding the meadow I smell them before I see them, Discover thick leaves climbing a fence Hiding the juicy pleasures of Concord grapes. Of course I pluck, eat, delight, Let them burst purple glory in my mouth, And swallow earth unto me. I have nothing, yet have it all, Becoming evergreen In the liminal hours of midlife, Here, under a sky swaying violet in the moonless night. And I wonder, later, as I wash my hands of stains in the sink, Well water running ever so cold, If this girl from the tropics would have known her seasons In the equator of sameness. Printed with author permission https://heartcenteredmaria.com/writing/

Trunk Show

Meet the amazing Sue Peterson of Red Thread Sweaters for an equally amazing trunk show on

November 11th Saturday

Judith Peck, Coastal Communities, Oil on panel

Entertain in STYLE this fall season! We have all your tabletop needs in stock now — linens, flatware, ceramic bowls & plates, glassware, and candles too. Come on by!

Old Town Crier

Noon – 5 pm

Sue will bring a selection of her newest and most loved designs so you will have a lot of choices. This is a trunk show you will not want to miss. 1124 King Street • Alexandria, Virginia 22314 • (703) 548-1461 www.imagineartwear.com • csimagine@aol.com

ADVERTISE WITH US office@oldtowncrier.com

November 2023 15


The year is winding down and I’ve got just the song to keep your spirits up and hips swaying through the rigmarole of the holidays. With one of the most danceable beats ever pressed to wax, “Fantasy”, by Mariah Carey, sounds as fresh in 2023 as it did the day it hit the airwaves. Upon its release in 1995 the song garnered praise by critics around the world and shot to number 1 on the Billboard charts in the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. “Fantasy” is composed of perfectly catchy melodies, lyrics, and an upbeat feeling that is sure to deliver high spirits and funky fun. The song begins with an arrangement of dreamy synthesizers conveying an almost fairytale-like feeling. Additionally, we hear Carey’s extended melody notes mix with the music deepening the enchanted vibe. As the brief intro draws to a close, a pause in the music opens a space for Mariah’s iconic high-pitched voice to belt out a culminating melody. This is followed by the song’s ultra catchy beat. A beat that’s been making bodies move for nearly three decades now. For the verse music, a threepart melody arrangement composed of overdubs sung by Carey provides not only a snappy hook but an airy and soaring feeling as well. Scat guitar is also sprinkled 16 November 2023


throughout the music enhancing the funky feeling pulsating around this song. Additionally, snare mixed with claps and thumping kick drum hold down the rhythm of the verse while the bass follows the kick deepening the groove. The verse lyrics feature Carey singing about her boyfriend and expressing how attracted she is to him. With its relatable words and perfectly poppy melody, “Fantasy” has had little trouble connecting with millions around the world.

Flowing seamlessly from the verse Carey transitions into one of the best pop choruses of all time. Here the addition of synth pads fill the stereo field and add an expansive touch to the music. Hip hop synth melody lines are also added bringing a fun vibe to the party as they dance around the mix. The chorus hook seals the deal with an iconic topline and multiple harmonies singing the words, “But it's just a sweet, sweet fantasy baby / When I close my eyes / You come and you take me”. Some finishing touches are added to the vocals as Carey loosely follows the top line with flurries of ad libbed style melodies. This adds a soulful freestyle feeling to the music and keeps things from getting too mechanically pop.

concerts lined up around the United States. You can visit mariahcarey.com for the tour schedule. If you’d like to listen to “Fantasy”, or any of Carey’s other pop hits, you can find them on Spotify,

Apple Music, YouTube, and most other places music is streamed or sold. If you’d like to learn more about Mariah Carey you can find information on Wikipedia, Instagram, Facebook, and X.

AFTER HOURS Birchmere 703.549.7500 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave. birchmere.com The Blackwall Hitch 571-982-3577 5 Cameron St. theblackwallhitch.com Chadwicks 203 S. Strand St. 703.836.4442 Evening Star Cafe 703.549.5051 2000 Mt. Vernon Ave. The Fish Market 703.836.5676 105 King St. fishmarketoldtown.com

These establishments offer live entertainment. Call to confirm show times, dates and cover charges. Check our advertisers’ websites.

La Portas 703.683.6313 1600 Duke St. The Light Horse 703.549.0533 715 King St. lighthorserestaurant.com Murphys Irish Pub 703.548.1717 713 King St. murphyspub.com O’Connell’s 703.739.1124 112 King St. Rock It Grill 703.739.2274 1319 King St.

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.

Shooter McGees 703.751.9266 5239 Duke St. shootermcgees.com Southside 815 703.836.6222 815 S. Washington St. St. Elmos 703.739.9268 2300 Mt. Vernon Ave. Taverna Cretekou 703.548.8688 818 King St. TJ Stones 703.548.1004 608 Montgomery St. tjstones.com

The Study 703-838-8000 116 South Alfred Two Nineteen 703.549.1141 219 King St. Alexandria Bier Garden 710 King St. 703-888-1951 Augie's Mussel House 703.721.3970 1106 King St. eataugies.com Mason Social 703.548.8800 728 N. Henry St.

Mariah Carey will be hitting the road this November and December with thirteen Old Town Crier

Alexandria Film Festival Something for Everybody! Patagonia Old Town 815 King Street November 5th 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm FLYWAYS Special Screening Beatley Library 5005 Duke Street November 10th 12 pm – 2 pm Student Films Showcase: Suenos De Mi Hija, Hoof Trimmer, Whirled of an Artist, Flowers Die First, Personalized Futures, The Menace from Above 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm "No Ordinary Campaign" presented with I Am ALS AMC Hoffman Theater 206 Hoffman Street November 11th 11 am – 1 pm Chasing Dreams Showcase: Led by Compassion, Brief Tender Shorts Showcase: Heads Up Eyes Forward, Vulnerable, Saleeg, Aziz, Iskander, Fake ID, Things Visible and Invisible, Apple Pie, The Menace from Above Under the Gun Showcase presented with Safer Country: Arming the Left, The Song of Rifles Past Lives Showcase: 1805, Bloodlines of the Slave Trade

1 pm – 3 pm Shorts II Showcase: Raj-Lots and Found, Dos Bros Force, True North: Honest Stories of Finding Home, The Countryman, Unsuitable, Mic Drop 3 pm – 5:30 pm Artistic Vision Showcase: The Old Young Crow, Divine Instinct, Strings of Tradition Immigrant Stories Showcase presented with Ayuda: Crosses in the Dust, Temporaries 5 pm – 7:30 pm Fur Reels Showcase: By My Side, Cat City 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Reel Revolution Showcase: Eat Flowers, The Moths 7:30 – 9:30 pm Family Acceptance Showcase: Mandarins, Two Lives in Pittsburgh Lights, Camera, Comedy Showcase: Fake ID, Cinemata, Lousy Carter 9:30 – 11:30 pm Fight or Flight Showcase: North of Albany Weisser Glass Studio Light and Magic Showcase: Holy Frit November 12th 12 pm Normale 12 pm – 2:30 pm Warrior Women Showcase: Interception-Jayne KennedyAmerican Sportscaster,

Three Phases of Isa, Privacy 2 pm – 4 pm Journey of Discovery Showcase: Egghead & Twinkie 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm Affordable Housing Advocacy Showcase presented with PLTI Alexandria People's Assembly: The City, Guardians of the Flame 4 pm – 6 pm Belief Busters Showcase: Witch Hunt, UnCharitable Lyceum 201 South Washington Street November 11th 2 pm – 4:30 pm Clue La Palooza Showcase: Fleeced, Art Thief November 12th 11 am – 1 pm Salute to Service Members Showcase: Cinemata, By My Side, Soldier, My Over There, True North: Honest Stories of Finding Home 1 pm – 3 pm Overcoming Adversity Showcase: No Matter What, We Rise 3 pm – 5 pm International Showcase: The Furthest Distance in the World For complete info & tickets on these films and to order tickets at alexfilmfest.us12.list.manage.com

Celebrating independents for 17 years!

Alexandria Film Festival Live Programming Nov 10–12, 2023 Friday Beatley Library

Saturday and Sunday AMC Hoffman Theatre The Lyceum


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November 2023 17



The All Souls Trilogy W

itches, vampires, and daemons, oh my! The bitter winds and darkening days of November will inspire you to enjoy Deborah Harkness’s absorbing historical fiction trilogy: A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life. Drawn from her experience as a professor, she explores an enticing world of academia and ancient lore, dipping into history as her vivid characters take life, some in more ways than one. Start reading on November 2, All Souls Day, for fun. A Discovery of Witches, published in 2011, features Diana Bishop, descendent of a Salem witch and tenured professor of protochemistry at Yale. While living in Oxford for a year, she keeps denying her powers, keeping away from fellow witches and other non-human creatures, and attempting to control her environment and research her area of expertise as if she were a human. In particular she pours herself into studying the natural philosophy of alchemy. Alchemists focused on transmuting base metals such as lead into precious metals such as gold while looking to create the philosopher’s stone, an elixir of mortality known to many Millennials from the Harry Potter books. They also searched for panaceas to disease. If the paragraph above sounds tedious, don’t let it scare you off. Harkness is a vivid storyteller who weaves academia into an enjoyable, fast-moving tale of escapism. It involves romance, time travel, and the innate powers that people find when they explore what and whom they love, who they are, and become the best versions of themselves. At Oxford’s Bodleian Library, Diana asks to review a medieval text, labeled Ashmole 782 for the man who owned it. When she receives the book, she realizes that it is set apart by its imagery unusual to alchemy.

18 November 2023

A magical palimpsest, it is a text that contains another book within it. Three pages have been excised, damaging it while causing the words to race illegibly across its pages. She does not yet realize that because of a spell, only she can now access this book. After returning the book, Diana realizes that vampires, daemons, and fellow witches have infiltrated the Bodleian, sniffing out a text that each breed believes contains mysteries about their origins and powers. Living within a human world, they maintain cover in whatever ways they can, but in this case they are causing a disturbance in the world of humans. While conducting further research she turns around to meet Matthew Clairmont, a tall, cool, vampire who is likewise a professor, a scientist with an attachment to All Souls College. He too is searching for the book and sees her as the best way to find it. As he looms in the background, dark and enigmatic, they become slowly but strongly attracted to each other. According to an ancient covenant, witches, vampires, and daemons are not supposed to mingle, so they face entrenched prejudices towards unions between one another and each group in general. Diana becomes the hunted representative whose unsuccessful attempts to retrieve the book again from the library show that it is under a special spell. She faces dangers that cause the protective Matthew to take her to his ancient castle of Sept-Tours in the Auvergne region of France, where he had been born William Shakespeare. Shadow of Night proclaims their adventures in the Early Modern period in England. Diana adjusts to living in a world both heady and earthy, one in which she can practice the alchemy she has only studied and increase her formidable latent powers. By creating friendships and attachments with those in Elizabethan England, she also comes to experience the kind of family she

did not know after her witch parents were murdered when she young. The Book of Life continues Matthew and Diana’s search for the truth of the origins of all creatures, accompanied by a crew of witches, vampires, and demons who decide to defy the ancient covenant that keeps them divided. Author Deborah Harkness also focuses on Matthew’s study of genetics in the current era, which were sparked by his ideas from medieval and early modern times, as they try to escape the antipathy towards their love and create a new order, one in which as a human in 500 AD. There she bumps up against the disdain of his ancient vampire family as their relationship grows stronger. Diana, a timewalker, begins to experience uncontrollable spurts of power. So she and Matthew decide on the radical step of escaping creatures on her trail by removing themselves to 1590s, where she can learn from powerful witches and search for the intact manuscript before it belonged to Elias Ashmole. Matthew knows all the cultural figures worth knowing, such as Sir Walter Raleigh, Queen Elizabeth the First, Christopher Marlowe, and witches, vampires, and demons work together to unite their powers to benefit themselves and the world. Deborah Harkness has created a series in which she explores parallels to irrational prejudices of any kind, the necessity of academic and scientific pursuits, and self-realization combined with a powerful love rooted in family, both by blood and adoption. Her characters grow and change, even the ones who have lived hundreds of years. If I have an issue with the All Souls Trilogy, it’s that her tone changes gradually and a bit erratically over the last two books. Some of the many creatures keep us from suspending our disbelief in their existence with their contemporary quips and humor,

along with the minor plot holes that come with the phenomenon of time travel. The Book of Life is bogged makes with unnecessary plot twists, additional characters, and some excessive earnestness that make it more of a slog. It could have used an editor. This last novel is still worth perusing, however, to see how Diana, Matthew, and their friends and family have changed themselves and used modern and ancient resources to use history to improve the present for the humans and creatures around them. I have never sought out books featuring vampires, but this trilogy filled my current need for lively, fun reading with just a touch of seriousness. Also, when I worked at Olsson’s Books & Records on S. Union Street almost twenty years ago, I picked up The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, which is an adventure exploring the Dracula legend. Although more serious, this novel might also capture readers with a penchant for similarly themed wellwritten, romantic tales. If you adore the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, this series is for you. It too features a strong female character who lives in the present and the past, finding love in a place where she was flung by fate. Both are historical fiction and romances that involve more action than bodiceripping, and each is vividly written to be a fine escape from the everyday world. Outlander has also become a bingeable, highly successful television series. A Discovery of Witches is an AMC+ series that I hope to watch soon. So enjoy these literary adventures across eras and countries, along with the symbolic, spiritual growth of all these souls. If you would like to send comments, feel free to send them to the author at krameroldtowncrier@yahoo.com.

Old Town Crier



Got Plans for Your Holiday Company? Let Them Escape! How many of you readers knew that Old Town has two “Escape Room” options on King Street within three blocks of each other? I confess that I knew there was the one above Random Harvest and I’ve been inside the one in National Harbor just to see what the Scooby Doo Room was all about but that’s it. That said, I thought it would be fun to put out the “Escape Room” experience suggestion for you and your holiday company. Would be way more fun to “escape” on Black Friday than be stuck in the house or out shopping with the hoards! I have always been intrigued with the concept and wanted to get a group together but wasn’t quite sure what the drill was. After getting a bit of inside scoop from our designer, I thought I would see what I could find via social media. Well, I hit the jackpot with the PanIQ Escape Room site - www.paniqescaperoom.com. PanIQ has locations globally and their site is a wealth of information on and above the beginners guide they were willing to share with me for this write up. We could sit here all day and give up lots of generalized, “insider-edge” escape room tips on how to solve the kinds of puzzles you’re likely to find in escape rooms. But that’s really not the best way to go. First off, there are lots of different room developers out there, and some of them employ different strategies. So whatever tips we might offer would actually work against you if they don’t fit your developer’s style. But more important than that, it takes away from the fun to be had in escape rooms and kills that sense of accomplishment a bit when you finally figure it out. So instead, let’s focus on some best practices to help you strategize how to beat any escape room. 1) CHOOSE YOUR TEAM WISELY The ideal number of players in a PanIQ Escape Room is 4, even though it can be fun with even more than that. Beyond that, remember that being part of a team means that you don’t need to be the jack-of-all-trades in order to win. Try to find people who are good at thinking quickly and Old Town Crier

creatively. Newer-generation escape rooms have lots of skill and agility puzzles, so consider that too. If your buddy drops his phone every time he picks it up, the odds of him holding that mirror steady for a minute may be rather slim. But that same person might be the one with the keen eye who can spot the details that you might miss. On that note, many rooms are designed in a parallel way, meaning that they have different paths of puzzles working simultaneously. So, it’s better to split up, and you’ll want to have enough of the right skills to tackle those challenges as they come. 2) LISTEN CLOSELY TO THE STORY AND RULES The setup isn’t just some story; often this will give you a sense of what you need to accomplish, and it might also offer clues that might be useful later. Some great escape rooms have actually required you to look at a puzzle through the unique perspective of the characters in order to solve a puzzle, like the need to “cheat” at the answer when pretending to be a thief. Get in the zone and immerse yourself! 3) IDENTIFY THE OBJECTIVES When you first enter a room, search for the places where you need to input something: a keypad, a padlock, a keyhole, a recessed spot with a unique depression. Make a mental note of them all, identify the steps needed to move forward, and work backwards from there. Let’s say you find a door that leads to the next area, and it has a keyhole. The key is in a transparent safe in front of you, and the safe can be unlocked by a 4-digit code. Now you have your first objective … find those digits! 4) SEARCH EVERYWHERE Make sure to do a thorough search of the room for objects and puzzles. Try to seek out the tricky, hidden spots where designers have really worked at being clever. Spoiler alert: always look under the rug! But don’t waste time looking in places where the rules would stop you. If the gamemaster tells you before the game that nothing is hidden above your head and you don’t need to use physical force to

solve any puzzles, take that seriously. Sometimes in the excitement and rush of it all, players end up wasting valuable minutes searching irrelevant things because they ignored the gamemaster’s instructions. If you see a “Do not touch!” sticker on something, move on and search somewhere else. 5) COMMUNICATION IS KEY! According to Dr. Scott Nicholson (Professor of Game Design and Development and escape room expert), communication is essential in an escape room, which means lack of communication results in failure most of the time. So, when you find something, solve something, or just have a theory about what to do next, let your team know about it. Do it loudly so they all hear it! Escape rooms are a team effort, so it doesn’t make sense to keep information about it to yourself. 6) GET ORGANIZED It’s an unwritten law of escape rooms that you never use the same object twice. So, choose a spot where you all place already used objects so nobody gets confused about its function, and a different place to put unused objects so players know where to look for help when they’re stumped. This helps teams avoid the mistake of carrying an important clue that someone else needs while they search the room for others. Also remember that escape rooms are usually designed by smart and reasonable people, and not lunatics (although a little craziness here and there never hurt). That means that there is usually a certain logic to be found in the room, usually following an ordered sequence. Follow the patterns, even trying to stack related objects next to each other. Sure, red herrings may be there to confuse you, but experienced players will immediately be able to point out what is relevant and what is not simply by “reading the room.” 7) THE ANSWER IS IN THE ROOM Sometimes knowing simple facts might come in handy, like how many days are in the month of February or how to understand “military time”. But for the most part, you just need

to focus on information you can find INSIDE the room. No special prior knowledge or experience from the outside is usually needed, and that is an intentional move that designers make in order to ensure that just about anyone has an equal chance to beat the room. Also, don’t overcomplicate things. Remember Okkam’s razor … most of the time, the solution is simpler than you might think. Escape rooms are not a spectator event. If you aren’t contributing to solving a particular puzzle, try to move on to another one! Tackle the hard puzzle that everyone else gave up on. Rotate back through the room and double-check; sometimes a fresh pair of eyes is all that’s needed. Often one of the biggest time casualties comes from a failure to notice the thing that everyone already checked. 8) ASK FOR HINTS! Sometimes it’s pride or conceit, but players are often reluctant to ask for help from the outside. But the real secret is to ask for hints strategically. In most games, to get on the leaderboard, you have a limited number of hints available, and it’s OK to use them. But if you don’t have a limit, we still recommend that you avoid using hints within the first five minutes of the game or more than five times per game; where’s the fun and challenge in that? By strategically asking for hints, we mean to focus your clues on the puzzles that everyone has tried to solve without success, or when everyone agrees that the time is getting dangerously low. However, there is always an exception; if you’ve been stuck for a relatively long time, and you stop having fun, that’s a perfect time to ask for a hint. BONUS TIP: To take your game to the next level, choose an Alpha for your team before you enter the room. Escape Room Live 814 King Street – 2nd floor 571-771-2311 EscapeRoomLive.com Escape Quest 1127 King Street – 2nd floor 703-574-8175 EscapeQuestdc.com November 2023 19

Photo courtesy of Annapolis Boat shows



Winter Crab Harvesting? Yes or No? Virginia ponders reopening long-closed winter crab harvest.

Jackie McCready fills bushel baskets with female crabs aboard the Loni Carrol off Cape Charles, VA in 1990.

Fifteen years after Virginia shut down its winter blue crab harvest, the industry is seeking to claw its way back into the season — at least on an experimental basis.

al approved in time for this winter, said Pat Geer, head of fisheries management for the VMRC. The earliest it could be in place would be winter 2024–25.

based in Cape Charles who is not a board member, said he worries that the reintroduction of winter harvests will be offset by deep cuts in bushel limits on crab pots.

In 2007, the Chesapeake Bay crab population cratered at an estimated 251 million, prompting a federal disaster declaration the next year. Alarmed, Maryland and Virginia regulators enacted a series of sweeping measures aimed at protecting reproductive females through spawning.

But he cautioned that the proposal, if finalized, won’t be possible without concessions.

“In the big picture, we’re going to shoot ourselves in our own foot,” he told the advisory group.

One of the key moves in Virginia was to ban winter dredging. The practice, which involves dragging heavy, metal traps behind a boat to scoop up dormant crabs, was already illegal in Maryland. Over the past decade, annual surveys have counted an average of 392 million crabs per year. Some crabbers in Virginia say the prized crustacean has recovered enough to warrant reopening the winter dredge season on a small scale. In August, the state’s industry-dominated Crab Management Advisory Committee formally asked officials with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to propose a regulatory framework that would allow a modest number of boats to participate. At the time of the 2008 ban, there were 58 holders of winter dredge permits. The committee has recommended restricting the new fishery to no more than six entrants. “Watermen really need something like this to lean on,” said James “J. C.” Hudgins, president of the Virginia Watermen’s Association. “I think it’s something we could look at on a very limited basis, a managed basis.” It’s too late to get the propos20 November 2023

Since 2008, the three jurisdictions that oversee the Baywide crab fishery — Maryland, Virginia and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission — have enforced a 34% reduction in the female crab harvest. If Virginia increases its harvest in the winter, the state will have to reduce quotas during other times of the year, Geer said. Those cuts would almost certainly impact the commercial crab pot fishery, which represents 97% of the state’s crab take. In that fishery, watermen place bait in cages and sink them to the bottom, returning a day later to retrieve crabs that have been lured inside.

Several crabbers said they would prefer to see the crab

Nathan Reynolds, a crabber

About the Author: Jeremy Cox is a Bay Journal staff writer based in Maryland. You can reach him at jcox@ bayjournal.com. For more columns like this check out www.bayjournal.com. Photo courtesy of Dave Harp.

d A unique shopping and dining experience!

d e

One of the main reasons that regulators closed the winter dredge season was to relieve pressure on adult female crabs, Geer said. They would typically account for about 90% of the winter harvest.

The crab board’s members were somewhat divided over the winter dredge proposal during their August meeting, voting 6–3 in its favor.

Geer poured cold water on that idea, for now: “Water temperatures are chang-

ing. We may look into those things, but I think opening it up on a year-round basis today is probably not the path we want to go down.”

m A Most Cozy Wintertime Place!

The commercial crab pot season typically extends from March 17 to Nov. 30. The VMRC’s main board agreed in September to keep the season open until Dec. 16 this year to allow crabbers to take advantage of better pricing during that time of year.

Why? At that time of year, females migrate to the southern end of the Bay to release their eggs, Geer explained.

pot season extended to yearround. Because of climate change, the lower Bay’s waters are warming earlier in the year and staying warm later in the fall. As a result, crabs are spending less time hibernating in the mud, where dredges are the only device that can reach them.



Old Town Crier

a h c Cat t e s n u S in n r e h Sout ! d n a l y r a M

“The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.” — A. Einstein


For Chuck Floyd, it was 5 Carmen Gambrill paintings!

FalltoisGet hereThat & Time winterizing far Boat in the isn't Water! WE HAVE A behind! SLIP WAITING FOR YOU! DEEP WATER AND COVERED SLIPS AVAILABLE

14485 Dowell Road Solomons, MD 20629 410.326.4251 calvertmarina.com Photo Credit: David Sites


Welcome to abstract art. See what you want to see.

visit us

a n d or s e a by l

Gorgeous Waterfront Dining in St. Mary’s County

That’s the fun of it! No two people see the same thing because everyone’s experiences are different. Find YOUR joy.



Clarke’s Landing

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


Available by appointment 14550 Solomons Island Road Solomons, MD 20688

www.carmengambrillart.com 410.610.4075 (Celebrating 40 years on Solomons Island)



All photos courtesy of Blessing of the Hounds.

It’s Time to Bless the Hounds

The Blessing of the Hounds has roots stretching to the eighth century, long before the pilgrims came to America. That, as legend has it, is when St. Hubert saw a luminous crucifix between

the antlers of a stag he was hunting when he should have been at church. He changed his ways from that day on and entered the priesthood, but continued breeding black and tan hounds. Hubert was canonized after his death and became the patron saint of hunters. That's who the local foxhunting clubs in Virginia call on during a sweet little ceremony that celebrates the formal opening of hunting season in late October and November, and is sometimes held on Thanksgiving Day hunts. The early season, called cubbing, starts in September and is the time when young hounds and young foxes learn the ways of the hunt. Here in the U.S., kills are rare. Hunt staff do not carry terriers to flush foxes out of dens; once they go to ground the hounds are 22 November 2023

praised and called off. Riders' dress is informal, or ratcatcher. At the risk of sounding anthropomorphic, the foxes actually seem to have a sense of humor about being hunted and often lead the hounds and

the hunt on circuitous routes, doubling back and shimmying through cover that is hard for hounds to penetrate. Most hunts are open to spectators but during the pandemic, if they hunted at all, many of their activities were restricted or curtailed. A minister, usually from a local Episcopal church, delivers the blessing to the hounds before the start of the meet; and blesses the horses and hunters that follow them. Spectators often number in the 100s in favorable weather, and most of them arrive before 8 a.m. to congregate over breakfast and tailgating spreads. It’s worth the early start. What comes together on a rural grassy expanse in the hour or so before the blessing could be the inspiration for an 18th-century print: doz-

ens of horses in bay, chestnut and gray, their riders in formal coats, and 50 or more foxhounds bred and trained at the hunt’s kennels nearby, standing eagerly but obediently around their huntsman while the blessing is conferred. Some of the hounds have been bartered and gifted from other hunts, but hunts are forbidden to buy or sell hounds, so most breed their own to produce an animal suitable for the quarry and type of country they hunt.

and side of the pack. These are followed by field masters leading generally two fields: first flight, with the bolder horses and riders and those capable of pinch hitting as staff if needed. This field jump panels and fence lines and tends to run faster than the second field, with the non-jumpers and slower or less experienced riders and horses.

After the blessing, the pageant springs into action as the huntsman gathers his hounds and moves off in search of scent while the fields follow. The huntsman wears red, or scarlet, as do his staff, called whips or whippers-in, and the field masters. Certain senior hunt members who have earned their “colors” may also wear scarlet. The staff encourage lagging hounds

In the Blue Ridge, the Keswick hunt, near Charlottesville, does its annual Blessing of the Hounds on Thanksgiving Day as part of an outdoor service at Grace Episcopal Church in Cismont, established in 1742. This prayer service was first held on November 28th in 1929 and is a beloved hunt tradition. Most local hunts in Fauquier, Culpeper and Rappahannock County simply have a minister come to the meet and offer the blessing.

to join the pack, deters them from heading toward busy roads or away from the others and act as the huntsman's eyes and ears to the rear

These days, paying homage to the importance people's pets have in their lives, many churches are offering blessing of the animal’s ceremo-

nies. Locally, a church near me in Fauquier County has been having a Blessing of the Animals service in a nearby field and attracted cats, dogs, horses, a llama and a few other animals. Check with your church to see if this is done or if you can help start a tradition beloved by all.

540.687.6395 wwp.com


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Photo Credit: Lani Gering



The National Museum of the

United States Army "We are excited that you are here and planning to visit this beautiful state-of-the-art national museum. Here, we proudly tell the comprehensive story of America's oldest military service, the United States Army. America's Soldiers are among the finest of our citizenry and have been instrumental in the forming, fighting for, and protecting our nation. The Museum tells these stories through the very eyes and voices of our Soldiers. From the historic "Fighting for the Nation Gallery" to the "Army & Society Gallery," the artifacts, exhibits and programmatic elements will help you discover new stories and explore the ways our nation has benefited from the innovation and advancement of its Army. In the Experimental Learning Center and Fort Discover we offer fun, educational venues for all visitors. They provide the opportunity to learn specific Soldier skills and then use those skills to respond to a humanitarian mission. It is my sincere hope that you will leave the Museum richer in your understanding, knowledge and admiration of our American Soldiers and the many parts they have played in this nation's role as a global leader. We look forward to welcoming you at America's Army Museum where "Every Soldier Has a Story."

- Tammy E. Call, Director of the National Museum of the United States Army. 24 November 2023

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There are 11 galleries including the Preserving the Nation Gallery (1861-1890) which explores the defining American event of the 19th century...The Civil War. The gallery also explores the Army's role in westward expansion, including the Lewis and Clark Expedition into the western frontier, the Indian Wars as well as the Mexican War.

Since we do the R&D for this column a month out and October is a very busy month, we decided that we wanted to do something that would honor our Veterans in the spirit of Veterans Day on the 11th and also keep us close to home. The DMV is ripe with places to visit to do just that. We ventured

Our Nation has gone through some troubling times lately...our democratic society is being assaulted, our status as a world leader has been tarnished yet we continue to lead the free world. The Museum

In the Nation Overseas Gallery (1898-1918), you will learn about the Army's first venture onto the world stage. Operations in China and the Spanish-American War are exhibited, as are the Army's operations along the Mexican-American border which is still a fire-storm today. The exhibit also focuses on the Army's role in World War I and the changing face of warfare. Here you will encounter an immersive exhibit which features the FT-17 Renault "Five of

"Every soldier has a story."

down Richmond Highway to the complex that is home to the National Museum of the Army. The complex sits on 84 acres across the highway from the Tulley Gate into Fort Belvoir. It isn’t a part of the base so don’t make that assumption like we did. Keep driving past that exit and follow the directions on your GPS app of choice and you will be good to go.

Hearts Tank." The French-made tank, nicknamed the Five of Hearts, belonged to the 344th Tank Battalion in the Tank Brigade under Col George S. Patton, Jr. The Full track steel tank with a turret mounted 37-mm gun had a two-man crew and a road speed of 4.5 mph. There is also a virtual

The museum is fairly new as it opened in 2020. It spans 185,000 square feet of indoor space that is loaded with exhibits, artifacts, film clips, and interactive experiences tracing the history of the Army from the beginning. Touring the museum helps us to remember why we have the best military in the world and, in light of current events, the importance in maintaining that readiness. As you enter the main hall you will notice an array of freestanding pylons, each with an etched image of a Soldier's face accompanied by biographical information. The pylons are aligned in a formation, stretching from Museum's exterior into the building's entryway, through the lobby, and to the Army Concourse. These personal accounts of ordinary men and women from historic periods offer Museum visitors a unique perspective of the Soldier's experience. Every Soldier has a story, indeed.

of the United States Army helps to remind us who we are. Save fuel and take a short Road Trip to the Museum...bring a few friends too! General Information: The Museum is open daily from 9 am – 5 pm. Admission is FREE but timed-entry tickets are needed. You can reserve them online. The Virtual Reality and Motion Theater experiences are not free and range from $10 - $30.

reality tank experience available in the Army Action Center. There is a $12 charge for it but Lani says it is worth every penny! It is a fascinating experience. The accounts of the soldiers as they went about the business of war give a griping detail of each moment. The other Galleries include Founding the Nation (1607-1835), Global War (1919-1945) that encompasses WWII, the Cold War (19451991) encompassing Korea and Vietnam and the Changing World (1990-Present). For full accounts of each gallery log on to the website. Don’t bypass the film in the Army Theater. It truly is an immersive introduction to the Army and to the museum. Be prepared to be impressed! Each Gallery also has a series of videos pertinent to the exhibit with an area to sit. They do have an “Experiential” Learning Center that is interactive and good for all ages as well as rotating exhibits on the second floor. The Museum has all that you will need for a nice visit. There is a Café – indoor and outdoor dining space - and a Museum store with all sorts of souvenirs. There are ample seating accommodations throughout the exhibits for rest and quiet contemplation as you view the exhibits and news reels.

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National Museum of the United States Army 1775 Liberty Drive Fort Belvoir, VA www.thenmusa.org GPS coordinates – 38.7242806/-77.177874

November 2023 25


This Bahamas All-Inclusive Resort Just Reopened! It’s the frontier of The Bahamas: the far-off island of San Salvador, a tiny destination with sparkling blue water, a remarkable history and some of the best diving and snorkeling on earth. Now, the island’s biggest hotel is open again, with the relaunch of the Club Med Columbus all-inclusive resort. The property, which just reopened its doors for the season this weekend, is set on 1,500 feet of beachfront on San Salvador’s coastline. The resort has a total of nearly 240 rooms, set across a collection of two-story bungalows. There are several dining options, from La Pinta, a beach lounge with all-day dining, now offering Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. The main restaurant, Christopher’s, is also adding new plant-based menu items following a training led by noted vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli. The resort has also enhanced its wellness program, with a new “Wellness Fusion” program including comprehensive yoga, meditation, moonlit massages and holistic treatments at the Club Med Spa by Sothys. The resort also has a partnership with Only Blue Diving to help discover the island’s undersea world. San Salvador is best known as the landing point of Christopher Columbus on his initial voyage to the New World in 1492, a moment marked by a monument that can be accessed only by snorkeling or diving. The water in San Salvador is spectacular. If you’re looking for a smaller option, the island also has a handful of boutique hotels, none better than the beachfront resort called The Sands. Bahamasair flies nonstop between Miami and San Salvador. For more, visit the Club Med Columbus at clubmed.us. Publishers Note: We are happy to partner with Alexander Britell, Founder and Editor in Chief of the Miami, Florida based Caribbean Journal and his staff contributing to the OTC and our Caribbean Connection Section. Check out the popular online magazine/website at caribjournal.com for valuable information on all fabulous travel options and things of interest in the Caribbean.

26 November 2023

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Now that we're all working remotely

Wouldn't you REALLY rather work from the beach?


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 finer 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


Ann Street Gardens



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

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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 __________________________________________________________________

Key West Getaway One Block from Sloppy Joe’s




Contact: historichideaways.com • 1-800-654-5131 Old Town Crier

November 2023 27

“A Washington Post Capitol Cuisine Favorite” The Very Best Alexandria has to offer in the Heart of Historic Old Town Famous for our She Crab Soup, Steaks and Crab Cakes


9th Annual


Saturday Nov. 25, 6:30pm 9 Champagnes 5 Course Tasting Menu $150 each

(tax and gratuity not included)

Reservations Required

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

Happy Thanksgiving!

River Bend will be CLOSED all day

7966 Fort Hunt Road * 703-347-7545




LIVE MUSIC 7 NIGHTS A WEEK WITH NO COVER IRISH HAPPY HOUR 4-7 PM MONDAY-FRIDAY 713 King Street • Old Town Alexandria 703.548.1717 • murphyspub.com 28 November 2023

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1799 PRIME STEAK & SEAFOOD 110 S. Pitt Street 571-404-6001 ADA'S ON THE RIVER 3 Pioneer Mill Way 703-638-1400 AUGIE’S MUSSEL HOUSE 1106 King Street 703.721.3970 BLACKWALL HITCH 5 Cameron St. 703-739-6090 BOB & EDITHS DINER 1743 King Street 703-664-0043 JULA'S ON THE POTOMAC 44 Canal Center 571-800-6644 CHADWICKS 203 Strand St. 703-836-4442 CHART HOUSE One Cameron St. 703-684-5080 CITY KITCHEN 330 South Pickett St. 703-685-9172 fatcitykitchen.com EDDIE'S LITTLE SHOP & DELI 1406 King Street 571-312-8615 EVENING STAR CAFÉ 2000 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-549-5051 EXECUTIVE DINER & CAFE 1400 Duke Street 703-299-0894 FIVE GUYS 725 King St. 703-549-7991 FOSTERS GRILLE 2004 Eisenhower Ave. 703-725-1342 GADSBYS TAVERN 138 N. Royal St. 703-548-1288 HARD TIMES CAFE 1404 King St. 703-837-0050 HEN QUARTER 1404 King St. 703-684-6969 HOPS 'N SHINE 3410 Mount Vernon Ave. 703-566-1509 HUMMINGBIRD 220 South Union Street 703-566-1355 JACKS PLACE 222 North Lee St. 703-684-0372 JOE THEISMANNS 1800 Diagonal Rd. 703-739-0777 JUNCTION BAKERY & BISTRO 1508 Mount Vernon Avenue 703-436-0025 KINGS RANSOM 728 King Street 571-319-0794 LAPORTAS 1600 Duke St. 703-683-6313 THE LIGHT HORSE 715 King Street 703-549-0533 Old Town Crier

LORI'S TABLE 1028 King Street 703-549-5545 LOST DOG CAFE 808 North Henry St. 571-970-6511 MAJESTIC CAFÉ 911 King St. 703-837-9117 MASON SOCIAL 728 Henry Street 703-548-8800 mason-social.com MURPHYS IRISH PUB 713 King St. 703-548-1717 murphyspub.com NORTHSIDE 1O 10 East Glebe Rd. 703-888-0032 OAK STEAKHOUSE 901 N. St. Asaph St. 703-840-3395 OCONNELLS RESTAURANT & BAR 112 King St. 703-739-1124 DanielOconnells.com PORK BARREL BBQ 2312 Mount Vernon Ave. 703-822-5699 THE PEOPLES DRUG 103 N. Alfred Street 571-257-8851 RAMPARTS 1700 Fern St. 703-998-6616 rampartstavern.com RIVER BEND BISTRO 7966 Fort Hunt Rd. 703-347-7545 riverbendbistro.com ROCK IT GRILL 1319 King St. 703-739-2274 RT'S RESTAURANT 3804 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-684-6010 rtsrestaurant.com SHOOTER MCGEES 5239 Duke St. 703-751-9266 SLATERS MARKET 1552 Potomac Greens Dr. 703-548-3807 SMOKING KOW BBQ 3250 Duke Sttreet 703-888-2649 SONOMA CELLAR 207 King St. 703-966-3550 SOUTH BLOCK 106 N. Lee Street 703-465-8423 SOUTHSIDE 815 815 S. Washington St. 703-836-6222 SWEET FIRE DONNA'S BBQ & HOPS 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

TOASTIQUE GOURMET TOAST & JUICE BAR 1605 King Street 571-312-1909 UNION STREET PUBLIC HOUSE 121 South Union St. 703-548-1785 unionstreetpublichouse.com VIRTUE GRAIN & FEED 106 South Union St. 571-970-3669 VOLA’S DOCKSIDE GRILL & THE HI-TIDE LOUNGE 101 North Union St. 703-935-8890 THE WAREHOUSE BAR & GRILL 214 King St. 703-683-6868 warehouseoldtown.com ASIAN

ASIAN BISTRO 809 King St. 703-836-1515 INDOCHEN 1625 King Street (571) 404-6050 KISSO ASIAN BISTRO 300 King Street 703-888-1513 MALAYA 1019 King St. 703-519-3710 MAI THAI 9 King St. 703-548-0600 NASIME 1209 King St. 703-548-1848 SIGNATURE THAI 722 King Street 707-888-2458 SUNDAY IN SAIGON 682 N. St. Asaph St. 703 549-7777 TOKYO JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE 66 Canal Center Plaza 703-683-8878 CAPHE BANH MI VIETNAMESE 407 Cameron St. 703-549-0800 KAI ZEN TAVERN 1901 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-836-1212 SISTERS THAI 503 Montgomery St. 571-777-8154 RAILBIRD KITCHEN 804 North Henry St. 703-577-9023 CONTINENTAL

CEDAR KNOLL GW Parkway at Lucia Ln. 703-780-3665 OLD HOUSE COSMOPOLITAN 1024 Cameron Street 703-717-9361 ALEXANDRIA BIER GARDEN 710 King Street 703-888-1951 villagebrauhaus.com FRENCH

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

BRABO 1600 King St. 703-894-3440 LE REFUGE 127 N. Washington St. 703-548-4661 FONTAINES CAFFE & CREPERIE 119 S. Royal St. 703-535-8151 LA MADELEINE 500 King St. 703-729-2854 JOSEPHINE 109 South St. Asaph St. 703-683-1776 TWO NINETEEN RESTAURANT 219 King St. 703-549-1141 ITALIAN

ALDO'S ITALIAN KITCHEN 2850 Eisenhower Avenue (behind the building) 703-888-2243 ANDY’S PIZZA 107 N Fayette St 571-319-0497 BUGSYS PIZZA RESTAURANT 111 King St. 703-683-0313 FACCIA LUNA 823 S. Washington St. 703-838-5998 FRANK PEPE NAPOLETANA PIZZERIA 3231 Duke Street Alexandria Commons 703-719-2035 HANDOVER BY THE SLICE 728 King Street 571-319-0794 IL PORTO RESTAURANT 121 King St. 703-836-8833 LANDINI BROTHERS 115 King St. 703-836-8404 landinibrothers.com LENA’S WOOD-FIRED PIZZA & TAP 401 East Braddock Rd. 703-960-1086 MIA'S ITALIAN KITCHEN 100 King Street 703-997-5300 MICHAEL’S ON KING 703 King Street 703-838-9090 Michaelsonking.com PIECE OUT 2419 Mount Vernon Avenue 703-398-1287 RED ROCKS FIREBRICK PIZZA 904 King St. 703-717-9873 THOMPSON'S ITALIAN 1026 King Street alexandria@thompsonitalian.com MEDITERRANEAN

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

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

HANKS OYSTER BAR 818 N St. Asaph 703-739-HANK FISH MARKET-OLD TOWN 105 King St. 703-836-5676 fishmarketoldva.com THE WHARF 119 King St. 703-836-2834 WHISKEY & OYSTER 301 John Carlyle 703-567-1533 INDIAN

DISHES OF INDIA 1510A Bellview Blvd. 703-660-6085 DIYA 218 North Lee, 2nd Floor 703-706-5338 KISMET MODERN INDIAN 111 North Pitt Street 703-567-4507 NAMASTE 1504 King St. 703-970-0615 MEXICAN LATIN SOUTHWESTERN

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

November 2023 29



The Iconic

Bob & Edith's Diner Here we are getting a running start at the holiday season and thinking about what dining option we could give you all for the month of November. A few specifics came to mind while we were brainstorming said options – has to be close to home, have a reasonable price tag, a no muss no fuss menu and be open 24 hours. Hey, hey, we hit the jackpot with our very own Old Town Bob and Edith’s Diner (B&E). Although the Bob & Edith's on King Street near the metro station is relatively new, their reputation has been around Virginia since 1969. I know this to be true, since I discovered the Diner when I first came to Alexandria in 1977. The original Bob & Edith's is located on Columbia Pike. After closing some of the popular pubs in Old Town, we would head to Arlington for some late-night food and coffee. It was always a treat as we were very hungry and the food was great and very affordable. Today, B&E has six locations with the latest in Old Town. Ideally located near the metro and several hotels, the restaurant is

accessible to lots of visitors as well as locals and has the potential to be busy 24 hours a day. It is most well-known for breakfast – which is served 24 hours a day. The fare is traditional down home breakfast staples with a couple of specials tossed in and, trust us, it gets packed on the weekends in the mornings. There is a line out of the door and during these rushes they have a 30-minute dining timeframe that they impose so there’s no time to lollygag at a table with people waiting. This popular eatery is well lit with décor reminiscent of the diners of days gone by. There is a “modern” aka TouchTune juke box that you afford you the opportunity to play your favorites. There is a long rotating stool counter at the back of the restaurant and two smaller ones in the windows on each side of the entrance. Next time we are there, we are going to belly up to one of the counters. We did a random count the night we were here and came up with seating for 80-plus people. 30 November 2023

Just because breakfast is what they are known for, they serve up pretty decent downhome diner lunches and dinners. We decided to test those waters and I ordered the Signature Country Fried Steak. The steak was as advertised...chicken fried...coated in seasoned flour and batter fried. It was light and very tasty especially as it was smothered in sausage gravy. The mashed potatoes were creamy and came with the brown gravy. Being the gravy fan that I am, this meal really did the trick. The green beans and corn really rounded out this country meal and left no room for dessert. All of this for only $13.99. It really hit the spot for an early dinner. The other half channeled her craving for the upcoming Thanksgiving mainstay, turkey, and ordered the openfaced turkey sandwich. It was everything a traditional diner serves. White bread, topped with sliced pressed turkey and a substantial amount of brown gravy with mashed potatoes and more gravy and a veg on the side. Another deal at $12.49. The lunch and dinner entrée menu offerings range from 10oz. New York Strip for 19.99 to a fish platter at $9.99. In between they offer a hamburger steak, homemade meatloaf, grilled fish, liver and onions, fried chicken...a dining favorite. There are several sandwich, sub and burger options along with soups and salads. They are also known for their milkshakes and an amazing dessert menu including a banana

split – you don’t see that a lot – along with a nice selection of fresh pies and other ice cream options. In fact, B&E would be a good choice to just hit up for an afternoon treat and a cup of coffee. Bob & Edith's is Diner food at its best. No candle lit tables but there is the “juke box” if you want to dial up some romantic tunes. This is "Comfort Food" at its best. The service is impeccable and very friendly. Our waitress, Sara, was a delight and tried her best to serve me a second cup of coffee. As you have probably guessed, B&E does not serve alcohol, but if you are interested in an afterdinner drink, Joe Theismann's restaurant is on the other side of the intersection. You could always get one of their milkshakes to go, head over to Theismann’s and get your favorite shot added to it for a Big Boy/Girl Shake. If you end up with a house full of Thanksgiving company and don't want to break the bank but still treat them to a great sit-down dinner...check out Bob & Edith's. Our tab was only $35.71 for two. Bob & Edith's Diner 1743 King Street Old Town Alexandria (703) 664-0043 Bobandedithsdiner.com

Old Town Crier

Come join us after the Scottish Walk on December 2nd


Events - Parties - Dinner - Bar 121 S. Union Street Alexandria, VA 22314 www.unionstreetpublichouse.com (703)-548-1785

Old Town Crier

Look for me in the parade!

Parade Day Menu served All Day Doors Open at 10am 112 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

November 2023 31



Just Bring a Side... When you ask if you can "bring anything" to a Thanksgiving dinner, know that...they already have a pie, a bottle of Merlot and an orchid and that recipes last longer than all three of those things. (Especially the wine!)

Bake a shallow layer of cornbread for only a few minutes. Jiffy works for me. You want a teeny tiny amount of firmness to this bottom layer so the

Here are a few unique sides that you can bring that won't require much energy once you're in your host's kitchen. Greek cabbage salad. This one is super easy and should be done the night before. It doesn't take any cooking. Simply cut up cabbage into small strands. Cut up a cabbage and half because one cabbage is not enough and two cabbages is too many. Drench that in Italian dressing and add some Cavendars Greek seasoning. If you can get a low salt version, I recommend it. It's sort of like Lawry's seasoning only different. Let that marinate overnight. Bring that to the party and nobody will have ever had it and it will be a hit. I promise. Acorn squash wreaths are beautiful and easy to make. However, they do require some time in the oven. (But, easy to warm without getting mushy). Carefully slice the acorn squash and clean them like perfect little wreathe rounds using a round cookie/biscuit cutter or a glass as pictured. Lay them out on an oiled cookie sheet and sprinkle brown sugar and just a smidgen of corn starch on them. Add some chunks of butter to the pan and cook them at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until fork tender. Prior to reheating add some pomegranate seeds. Voila! It makes for a very nice holiday presentation.

peppers don't just sink into the wet cornmeal. After just a few minutes of baking the first cake like cornbread layer, gently layer your peppers with just enough spiciness in them because you removed the seeds. Then, add a second layer of Jiffy cornbread and bake per the Jiffy directions. It'll be warmed back up in a jiffy. Bring some butter. Happy cooking and enjoy the holiday festivities! 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.

Jalapeño layered cornbread is different than cornbread with diced jalapeños in it. You want to create a distinctive layer like the picture otherwise the pepper flavor gets lost. Cut and get the seeds out of the peppers. Don't even THINK about touching your eyes after doing this deseeding! Dice the jalapeños and add a few diced red pepper pieces for color. 32 November 2023

Old Town Crier



How Much Do You Know About Thanksgiving?? Since Thanksgiving is strictly an American tradition, I imagine there are several residents of our great nation who have immigrated from other countries that may not know some of the following tidbits about the holiday. In fact, I bet there are several naturalized citizens, including myself, that are/were unaware of a few of them. I consulted the History Channel as my resource so I feel pretty good about the legitimacy of the information. The first on the list is a fact that I totally didn’t realize. I actually thought it was one of the few holidays that isn’t commercialized!

Fact or Fiction: Thanksgiving is held on the final Thursday of November each year. Fiction. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln designated the last Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. However, in 1939, after a request from the National Retail Dry Goods Association, President Franklin Roosevelt decreed that the holiday should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month (and never the occasional fifth, as occurred in 1939) in order to extend the holiday shopping season by a week.

Fact or Fiction: One of America's Founding Fathers thought the turkey should be the national bird of the United States. Fact. In a letter to his daughter sent in 1784, Benjamin Franklin suggested that the wild turkey would be a more appropriate national symbol for the newly independent United States than the bald eagle (which had earlier been chosen by the Continental Congress). He argued that the turkey was "a much more respectable Bird," "a true original Native of America," and "though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage."

Fact or Fiction: Macy's was the first American department store to sponsor a parade in celebration of Thanksgiving. Fiction. The Philadelphia department store Gimbel's had sponsored a parade in 1920, but the Macy's parade, launched four years later, soon became a Thanksgiving tradition and the standard kickoff to the holiday shopping season.

Fact or Fiction: Turkeys are slow-moving birds that lack the ability to fly. Fiction (kind of). Domesticated turkeys (the type eaten on Thanksgiving) cannot fly, and their pace is limited to a slow walk. Wild turkeys, on the other hand, are much smaller and more agile. They can reach speeds of up to 20-25 miles per hour on the ground and fly for short distances at speeds approaching 55 miles per hour. They also have better eyesight and hearing than their domestic counterparts.

Fact or Fiction: Native Americans used cranberries, now a staple of many Thanksgiving dinners, for cooking as well as medicinal purposes. Fact. According to the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association, one of the country's oldest farmers' organizations, Native Americans used cranberries in a variety of foods, including "pemmican" (a nourishing, high-protein combination of crushed

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berries, dried deer meat and melted fat). They also used it as a medicine to treat arrow punctures and other wounds and as a dye for fabric. The Pilgrims adopted these uses for the fruit and gave it a name—"craneberry"—because its drooping pink blossoms in the spring reminded them of a crane.

Fact or Fiction: The movement of the turkey inspired a ballroom dance. Fact. The turkey trot, modeled on that bird's characteristic short, jerky steps, was one of a number of popular dance styles that emerged during the late 19th and early 20th century in the United States. The two-step, a simple dance that required little to no instruction, was quickly followed by such dances as the one-step, the turkey trot, the fox trot and the bunny hug, which could all be performed to the ragtime and jazz music popular at the time.

Fact or Fiction: On Thanksgiving Day in 2007, two turkeys earned a trip to Disney World. Fact. On November 20, 2007, President George W. Bush granted a "pardon" to two turkeys, named May and Flower, at the 60th annual National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation, held in the Rose Garden at the White House. The two turkeys were flown to Orlando, Florida, where they served as honorary grand marshals for the Disney World Thanksgiving Parade.

Fact or Fiction: Turkey contains an amino acid that makes you sleepy. Fact. Turkey does contain the essential amino acid tryptophan, which is a natural sedative, but so do a lot of other foods, including chicken, beef, pork, beans and cheese. Though many people believe turkey's tryptophan content is what makes many people feel sleepy after a big Thanksgiving meal, it is more likely the combination of fats and carbohydrates most people eat with the turkey, as well as the large amount of food (not to mention alcohol, in some cases) consumed, that makes most people feel like following their meal up with a nap.

Fact or Fiction: The tradition of playing or watching football on Thanksgiving started with the first National Football League game on the holiday in 1934. Fiction. The American tradition of college football on Thanksgiving is pretty much as old as the sport itself. The newly formed American Intercollegiate Football Association held its first championship game on Thanksgiving Day in 1876. At the time, the sport resembled something between rugby and what we think of as football today. By the 1890s, more than 5,000 club, college and high school football games were taking place on Thanksgiving, and championship match-ups between schools like Princeton and Yale could draw up to 40,000 fans. The NFL took up the tradition in 1934, when the Detroit Lions (recently arrived in the city and renamed) played the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit stadium in front of 26,000 fans. Since then, the Lions game on Thanksgiving has become an annual event, taking place every year except during the World War II years (1939–1944).

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Collaboration through the Industry and History B

efore water, there was wine. Well, maybe not before water, but we can trace the first wine making all the way back to Georgia in 6000 BC. Wine has been bringing people together for celebrations, mournings, and simple meals for most of our history. The land, air, water, and people, transform the humble grape into our chosen companion to our lives. Terroir is our term for the character of the wine that is unique to its special place on the land. A fine quality wine will express those unique terroir characters along with the varietal characters of the grape. Where that grape was crushed and crafted into wine, how it was aged, watched, stored, and cared for, all play a vital role in turning out what we ultimately pour into our glass. All this takes attention, sound business models and investment, and in the very best models, a community of collaboration. For many generations in the European winemaking regions, each town had a cooperative winery. The grapes were grown by individual growers, and brought to the winery for processing. The batches of grapes were kept separate from others so each grower had their own lot for sale or bottling for later. The larger wine companies would buy the finished wines from these coops in order to fill their needs as well. Or the owner would decide to have their own label and brand, or have the wine blended with others to make the house wine needed to feed the neighborhood. The idea of making a winery that houses many different wines has been in use here in the new world as well. This has also been the model for the dairy industry as well. Daily deliveries of milk to the coop dairy continues today in certain areas where the dairy industry continues. Here, in Northern Virginia, when the community dairy in Fairfax closed down in the 1960’s it essentially shuttered the industry of small dairy farms in Loudoun, as well as the W&OD railroad which was used for daily delivery. Our region was destined to make other liquids. But I digress! A number of local established wineries have helped 34 November 2023

out their grape growing neighbors by processing their grapes in their home winery. Some wineries have taken this act to a business model of a custom crush facility in order to make the wines for others. I do a bit of this at our winery. This both helps the client with their needs, and helps pay for my team and equipment without having to travel to other wineries, use other equipment, and train other staff.

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

The experience, intention, and mindset of the winemaker has a big impact on the success of the outcome. I always want the unique terroir and individuality of the vineyard to shine through in the finished wine. I spend time with each client to understand their vision so their wine is their style and character. Winemaking is a trade, an art, a process and a profession. Sometimes the grapes can be in better hands at a neighboring facility with well trained staff and higher tech equipment. The state of Virginia has adjusted its definitions and licensing of farm wineries in order to help and protect the farmers, the reputation of the industry and still allow this model of custom crush to continue. From this winemaker’s seat, quality products come from quality farm operations, knowledge, and experienced staff. Allowing the owners to focus on the grapes is a model that works for keeping the quality up in the region. Asking your winery where the wines are made is good, but where the grapes are grown is the most important.

real people. earth friendly. fabulous wines.

Enjoy the craft of what we grow, make and share. Bring Virginia wine home to share with others this holiday season.


About the Author: Farmer, winemaker, entrepreneur, educator, and leader, Doug Fabbioli has been accelerating the growth and quality of Virginia’s wine industry since 1997. With his wife Colleen, Doug is the owner/operator of Fabbioli Cellars in Leesburg, VA. He is the founder and

15669 Limestone School Rd Leesburg, VA 20176 703.771.1197 • fabbioliwines.com info@fabbioliwines.com


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NOVA Wineries Preparing for The Spotted Lanternfly In 2014, Pennsylvania discovered a new invasive insect – the spotted lanternfly (SLF). Native to east Asia, the SLF likely arrived on cargo arriving in Philadelphia. It’s since spread to 15 states along the East Coast, including a number of counties in northern and central Virginia. This insect is harmless to humans but can damage many tree species, ornamental plants, and economically important crops. According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture, left unchecked, the SLF can reduce grape harvests by 90%, making them especially dangerous to local viticulture. The spotted lanternfly inflicts damage by sucking the sap out of vines. They also excrete a sugary substance called honeydew, which attracts nuisance insects and causes the growth of a mold which inhibits photosynthesis. This mold can also cover manmade structures and can be difficult to remove, making the SLF a pest for homeowners as well.

Technically the spotted lanternfly isn’t even a fly; it’s a planthopper. These species of insects can’t fly very far. Instead, they spread by hitchhiking on unwitting vectors to find new feeding grounds. This has spurred a number of states to declare counties with high concentrations of spotted lanternfly as quarantine areas, and mandate certain businesses operating within them to acquire permits which certify they have a working knowledge of how to prevent the SLF’s expansion. 2023 a “dress rehearsal” for next year’s invasion “I imagine this coming year, or the one after, will be the real start of the war against the spotted lanternfly in the vineyard,” Mountain Run Winery owner David Foster explained in an email. As the spotted lanternfly doesn’t have native predators, vineyard owners must rely upon an integrated pest management system of traps and pesticides. These solutions only go so far, however, making prevention their preferred strategy. This includes removing the SLF’s favorite host, the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima). Unfortunately, the latter is easier said than done. This tree has an aggressive root system and cutting down one tree will only spur new growth. Even if these trees are removed, other food sources for the spotted lanternfly are available.

positive outcomes as a premium grape growing region.” For other vineyards, SLF preparations have already moved from a “dress rehearsal” to an immediate threat. “Last year we saw roughly 20 adult lanternflies in traps and around a few buildings,” wrote Scott Spelbring of Bluemont Vineyard. “This spring we started seeing nymphs and carefully watched for more. It was more concerning than alarming. But by mid-September we started to see adults move from the tree line to the vineyard. Now, it’s a full-on invasion.” What Virginia Residents Can Do If you find a spotted lanternfly – kill it! Stomp them, squish them, smash them however you like. You should also scrape egg masses found attached to trees, which can be found between late fall to early spring. But use insecticides judiciously, as they are unlikely to remove the SLF from the environment. If you’re in an area not under quarantine and see one of these pests, be sure to take a photo of

Winemaker Preston Thomas of Stone Tower Winery explained his strategy. “For SLF, we are prepared to mitigate them at all critical points of the year. We’ve already begun going through our vineyard blocks and identifying where we see egg sacs and eliminating them. Once we get to next spring, we will be setting traps to track the nymph emergence, at which point we will spray an insecticide to exterminate them. The crucial aspect of mitigating SLF is ensuring we nail the timing to catch them at the appropriate stage for spray efficacy. Navigating SLF has been, and will continue to be, a collaborative effort between all growers in Virginia and the mid-Atlantic. Sharing information about strategies and successes is vital for ensuring

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the offender and report it online at the Virginia Cooperative Extension website or contact spottedlanternfly@vdacs.virginia.gov. Residents in quarantined areas no longer need to report them. While wine growers don’t want to downplay the threat, they also want to put it into perspective. Other invasive insects, such as Japanese beetles, have caused scares in the past, only for their populations to crash as nature comes back into balance. “I think Pennsylvania is far enough into this issue that we can learn from them and will manage it just fine,” said Jason Murray of Arterra Wines. 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/. All photos courtesy of Virginia Tech College of Agriculture.

November 2023 35



‘Twas the Eve of

Thanksgiving... ‘Twas the eve of Thanksgiving And all bars were packed. All souls were holidaying, And looking to get shellacked. They showed up in droves, And raised quite a clatter. It was time to drink, they said, What else could possibly matter?................................................................................................................................................. OK, I’m no poet. But Thanksgiving Eve is a big event and worthy of recognition. Also known as Drunksgiving, it’s an informal holiday and the biggest bar night of the year. It even tops New Years Eve or “Amateur Night” as the bartenders call it. Many bartenders will tell you that Thanksgiving Eve compares to St. Patrick’s Day. That is a bold statement and puts into perspective just how big of a night it is. A study posted on Lightspeedhq.com in 2019 showed that bar sales in the Northeastern U.S. increased by 35% on Thanksgiving Eve, when compared to 36 November 2023

the previous Wednesday. And that the sale of shots increased by 173%, with tequila leading the way at 156%. I forgot that the first thing the Pilgrims did when they landed was make tequila. When I think of Thanksgiving, I always think of tequila. Hordes of college kids and young professionals return to their hometowns for the holiday weekend. And on Wednesday night, they fill the local watering holes. You combine this with the fact that virtually no one works on Thanksgiving Day, and it forms the perfect storm. When I was young and returning home to

spend the holiday with my family, I loved going out for Thanksgiving Eve. It was always a blast! You would see friends who you don’t normally see. And friends that you haven’t seen in years. It was a great night of merry making before being trapped with your family for the entire next day. Let’s face facts, football aside, Thanksgiving Day is boring. I’m not saying that I don’t like it, or that it’s not nice. But the NFL saved it. Thanksgiving has become a bland Norman Rockwell print of American culture. You’re imprisoned. There is no escape. Everything is closed. Except for places

that you didn’t need to be, the police station, the hospital, the morgue, etc. And oddly, it’s surrounded by the aforementioned exciting pseudo holiday Drunksgiving and followed by Black Friday. Personally, I avoid Black Friday like the plague, no pun intended. And for me, Thanksgiving Eve has become a happy hour event. I want to be home before the masses infiltrate the bars. I’m guessing that the odds are fairly good that many of you are going to go out and enjoy Blackout Wednesday. Let’s explore what beers you should be drinking on all three days of this wonderous

American holiday.

Thanksgiving Eve Go all out. Don’t worry about types or styles. Just drink whatever makes you happy. There’s no reason to be pragmatic. IPAs, stouts, lagers, what’s the difference? You’re having a good time! It’s also a great opportunity to explore any new craft beers that may be in your area. What will I be drinking? I’ll be in New York spending the holiday with family. And I love Brooklyn Brewery. Their Brooklyn Lager is a dry hopped floral delight with hints of toffee, grapefruit, and caramel. They also have on limited release a Black Old Town Crier


Whiskey and Cigar Recommendations


Ops Barrel Aged Stout that is aged in Four Roses Bourbon Barrels. I’m dying to try it. Exploring craft beer is such a fun and exciting hobby.

Thanksgiving Day I know it’s supposed to be about family and giving thanks. And it should be. But when it comes to your beer selection, it’s about a day of watching football. And it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Plus, you don’t want to be full when dinner rolls around. A good lager and/or pilsner is what you need. The Hardywood Pils is a perfect Turkey Day beer. It’s a wonderful German Style Pilsner made with true German pilsner hops. It has that wonderful clean, crisp, hoppy bite at the end of each dip that a pilsner is supposed to have. And with an ABV of 5.2%, it’s an easy all-day beer.

Black Friday If for some reason you get stuck shopping during this American-made nightmare, just drink whiskey. Beer’s just not going to do it for you. After watching grown adults fist fight over Barbie dolls, earbuds, ugly sweaters, and video games, you’re going to need a strong drink. Whatever mall, town center, city center, or downtown shopping area your family drags you to, there will be a bar. Just break away and order a whiskey. My preference, of course, is bourbon. My recommendation is in the next section. All joking aside, have a wonderful holiday. Enjoy the time with your family and friends. Enjoy NFL football. And enjoy whatever great craft beers and whiskeys you end up choosing. And if you do go out on Thanksgiving Eve, be careful. It’s a great time. But arrests for DUI do increase greatly that night. Be smart and be safe. Happy Thanksgiving. About the Author: Timothy Long is an educator, writer, consultant, and experienced restaurant operator. Email: tlong@belmarinnovations.com. Instagram and Twitter: @wvutimmy. Blog: What is that fly doing in my soup? http://whatflyinmysoup.com

Russell's Reserve 10 yr. Bourbon I’m writing about Thanksgiving in this article. So why not recommend a Wild Turkey product. The Russell Reserve 10 Year Small Batch is a great bourbon. Its flavor profile is perfect for this time of year. On the nose you get strong vanilla and caramel with a hint of graham cracker. The vanilla and caramel continue on the palate with a blend of tobacco, leather, and oak. This bourbon finishes wonderfully with all the above flavors plus rye spice and toasted marshmallow peeking through. At 90 proof and around $30 per bottle, it’s a Thanksgiving delight.

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

La Palina Double Digit This cigar starts off light, very light. I literally had to smoke a third of it before the flavors started coming through. But when they did, wow. The La Palina Double Digit is a great cigar. Despite the light start, it is bold and earthy. The palate gets spice, mostly pepper, with hints of leather and citrus. It finishes smooth and sweet with the pepper becoming a little more present. It’s a perfect after dinner, full belly smoke. Enjoy. 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.

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215 King St. Alexandria, VA 22314 sales@johncrouch.comcastbiz.net (703) 548-2900 | (703) 739-2302 November 2023 37



It’s Time to Prune! How to Select the Right Tool for the Task Deadheading, trimming, and pruning are part of growing and maintaining a beautiful and productive garden and landscape. Make sure you are outfitted with the right tool for the job. Matching the tool to the pruning task will help ensure a proper cut, reduce hand fatigue, and allow you to work longer. Since most pruning cuts in the garden and landscape are between 1/4" and 3/4", a bypass hand pruner is a must. These pruners have two sharp blades like scissors, making a clean cut that closes quickly. This helps reduce the risk of insects and disease moving in and harming your plants. Avoid hand-held pruners that are too heavy or open too wide for your hand size. Those with a spring action return help reduce hand fatigue as long as the opening matches the size of your hand. Make sure the pruner does not open wider than your hand can easily grip. Select a tool that fits in your hand, is comfortable, has an ergonomic grip and is easy to control. Matching your pruner to your hand size is as important as matching it to the cutting job. Opting for an oversized pruner to make larger cuts can lead to hand fatigue, frustration, and improper cuts. Measure the width across the palm of your hand at the 38 November 2023

base of your fingers. Next, measure the height from the middle of the base of your hand to the tip of your middle finger. A pruner rated for ½” cuts is a good match for those with small hands less than 3 1/2” wide and 6 ¼” high. If your hands measure 3 ½ to 4” wide and 6 ½ to 8” high, you may want to purchase a ¾” pruner. Those with larger hands should do fine with a 1” hand-held pruner. But size is just one factor to consider. Hand strength also influences the diameter of the stems you will be able to cut. Just because a tool is rated for ¾” doesn’t mean everyone will be able to apply the needed pressure to make such a large cut. Invest in tools with compound levers or ratchets when you need a mechanical advantage to make cutting easier. When the job is too big for you or the tool, select one better suited to the task. Employ a bypass lopper like Corona Tool’s Classic Cut SL with soft grips that fits various size hands and cuts limbs up to 1 ¾” in diameter. Loppers have long handles that give you greater leverage and extend your reach. This extra reach makes it easier to prune all parts of small trees, shrubs, and roses.

Invest in a foldable pruning razor tooth saw with a pull stroke cutting action and ergonomic handle. You’ll be able to make cuts fast and easy and minimize hand fatigue. Foldable saws allow you to tuck the blade into the handle for safekeeping and reduce storage space. Saws are useful tools for cutting larger branches on trees and shrubs that you can safely prune. Although I am a certified arborist, I only prune small trees and shrubs. I save big tree work for my colleagues that climb, have the equipment and training to do the job safely. Using the right size tool for the job is good for the health and beauty of your plants and you. You will enjoy a healthier, more beautiful garden and extend your time in the garden by reducing muscle pain. About the Author: Melinda Myers has written numerous books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series and the nationally-syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Corona Tools for her expertise to write this article. Myers’ web site is www.MelindaMyers.com. Old Town Crier



Food for the Skin As we approach the holidays, food becomes more than a necessity to nourish our bodies. It is a reason to bring families together, a reminder of fond memories, and the focus of many traditions. We don’t typically think of food as an important ingredient in our skin care products. In fact, many items from our holiday table are showing up in many skin care products. In the spirit of the holidays, one ingredient worthy of special attention is pumpkin. This enzyme is an alternative to alpha hydroxy acids as an exfoliant/peel ingredient for the skin. A fruit acid, pumpkin has many properties - as an exfoliation accelerator, a powerful anti-oxidant and a mild retonic acid substitute. As an exfoliant pumpkin gently breaks down the outer layers of the skin, leaving it looking fresher and feeling softer by sloughing off dead skin. As a powerful antioxidant, it combats oxidative and free radical damage. The beta carotene properties of pumpkin work to naturally repair skin damage. What also makes pumpkin so desirable in skin care products is that it does not contain fragrance chemicals that are often irritating to the skin. Since food ingredients are proliferating skin care products, let’s explore some of the other common ingredients penetrating our products, their usages and beneficial properties:

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Basil – contains antiinflammatory properties and protects the vascular system. In doing so, it calms inflammation and diminishes dark circles. Blueberries – another darling of the antioxidant world, blueberries also have an important vaso-constricting impact. They help diminish redness and, because of its gentle qualities, it is safe for the rosacea-prone to use. Chamomile – found in many forms, the principal components of the essential oil extracted from the flowers has moderate antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Cranberries – provides exfoliating properties, acts as an antioxidant to combat free radical damage, and works to combat inflammation. Cucumber – softens, hydrates and protects skin. It is also very gentle and often used in products for sensitive types. Ginger – as an antiinflammatory, ginger calms inflammation on the skin. Grapefruit – a fruit acid known for exfoliant and astringent properties. It also absorbs oil on the skin. Grapeseed – has powerful antioxidant properties known to help diminish the sun’s damaging effects and lessen free radical damage. It has also been shown to have woundhealing properties. Green Tea – contains

polyphenols which are the active ingredients and possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. Green tea polyphenols prevent ultraviolet -induced immune suppression and skin cancer induction. Early studies have found the ingredients in the tea can reduce sun damage and may protect skin from skin cancer when applied topically. Using green tea extract under sunscreen may yield a double dose of protection. Like antioxidants, polyphenols have also been shown to reduce free radical production. An antiinflammatory, polyphenols in creams and lotions may also slow signs of aging and reduce sagging skin and wrinkles. Lychee – with antioxidant properties, lychee works to neutralize free radicals and 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)

prevent damage to the skin. Papaya – an exfoliant that gently eats away dead skin cells. Peppermint – in the oil or extract form, peppermint has antimicrobial properties and assists in providing a closer shave. Rosemary – helps reduce inflammation, prevents bacteria build up on the skin and protects cells from free radical damage. Tomatoes – the source of the power antioxidant – lycopene – it has amazing ability to neutralize free radical damage providing important protective properties while reducing inflammation. Watercress – its main purpose is to tone and purify the skin.

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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

November November 2023 2023 39 39




Roll Into the Holiday Season with the FitBall Leg Curl This month’s exercise is the FitBall Leg Curl. This exercise focuses on the hamstrings, but also involves the glutes, lowback, and spinal extensor muscles. Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs straight. Position the center of the FitBall underneath your heels. Lift the hips up by contracting your glutes and low-back. You should form a straight line from your shoulders to the feet. Arms can be parallel at your sides or out perpendicular (like a “T”) for better balance. This is the start and finish position. Slowly roll the FitBall toward yourself using your hamstrings while maintaining the bridge position. Do not let your hips drop during the exercise. Keep the movement controlled as you roll the ball back to the start position. The slower you go, the more difficult the exercise. An advanced move is to perform this exercise with a single leg. From the bridge position, lift one foot off the FitBall a few inches while the other leg does all the work! This simple maneuver takes much more effort and focus. You will appreciate how much balance is required even though you are lying down! I hope you are keeping up with your exercise routine going into the holiday season, will make it a lot easier to justify eating your way through Thanksgiving! Have a good one. 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.

40 November 2023

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Staying Fit for The Holidays


he holiday season doesn’t just represent one day of overeating, it’s an extended period of time where there is more, alcohol, more snacks, and more appetizers that contain many more calories that are actually necessary. Media stories suggest that the average person gains 7 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In surveys, people say they gain, on average, about five pounds this time of year. However, several studies now show that the average weight gain during the winter holidays is just one pound. This news isn’t all good. According to the National Institute of Health, most people don’t ever lose the pound of weight they put on during the holidays. The average weight gain during adulthood is about one to two pounds a year, which means much of midlife weight-gain can be explained by holiday eating. The key to maintain a healthy weight during the holidays is to monitor your portions. Of course, this can be hard when the temptations are endless. For one, never arrive at a party hungry. It’s easy to over-eat when you arrive at a party and you’re starving. Try having a healthy snack and a glass of water before you head out. Opt for water or club soda instead of alcohol. Drinking alcohol not only adds on empty calories, it also inhibits your ability to control what you eat. Many people will eat more when consuming alcohol than if they were only drinking non-alcoholic beverages. Not to mention it will make you feel much better for your morning workout! Sticking to your workout plan will also play a big role in how your holiday season plays out. It’s a busy time of year and it is easy to get caught up with everything else going on. Your Monday morning spin class or that personal training appointment should remain on the top of your priority list. For one reason, that workout is going to give you the extra energy necessary to keep you going through your busy week. Exercise makes you work more efficiently, and helps you sleep better. Also knowing that you have to meet with your trainer in the morning will keep you focused when going out for a holiday party. When cooking this holiday season limit your quality control taste testing. I must say that I am guilty of this, but a lot of the times when cooking I like to taste throughout the cooking or baking process. The problem here is that it adds extra calories, and by the time the dish is made I have already eaten enough calories to count for a meal, and I’m full for dinner. Of course, when we are all doing much more baking, all those extra tasting calories can really add up. This holiday season make an honest effort to control portions, limit tasting while cooking, and meet with your trainer or gym buddy on a regular basis and you can keep that holiday weight-gain under control. Remember that just gaining one pound can add up unless you can really lose it after the holiday season is over. Although, if losing that weight was so easy in the first place, then I guess we would have nothing to make New Year’s resolutions over.

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November 2023 41



Pet Safety Tips for the Holidays Part of the fun of the holidays is that we get to do things we don’t do the rest of the year – decorate with shiny and sparkly baubles, bring beautiful winter greenery into the house, enjoy tasty seasonal food and drink. Many of us are more likely to welcome friends and family into our homes during the holiday season, too. Our pets are an important part of our households, and it’s natural to want to include them in the festivities. But the holiday hullabaloo can be stressful and hazardous for animals, and as responsible pet owners, we should keep some safety tips in mind. This article isn’t a comprehensive list of dangers, but an overview of some general areas to think about: parties and houseguests; food; and decorations. Check out the links at the end of the story for more detailed warnings and recommendations.

Pet-safe Parties Holiday parties are noisy and exciting, and may stress or upset pets. To help your pet stay comfortable and safe, here are some things you can do. Tell your guests that you have pets. People with allergies or other health conditions need to know beforehand so they can prepare for or skip the get-together. Warn people in advance 42 November 2023

if your pet is prone to biting or scratching when scared.

elsewhere. Here are some simple tips to minimize pet digestive issues.

Set some house rules about interacting with pets. It can be hard for animal-loving guests (like me) to not give pets attention. Some of us just want to pet any animal we can! Make sure your guests know if a quiet play or petting session is okay. Also, if your pet is shy, encourage people to respect their space and not force attention on them. If a pet runs away, people shouldn’t follow.

Keep your pet on their regular diet. Also, be judicious with treats, and stick with the kind your pet enjoys the rest of the year. If pup or kitty is gifted with a stocking full of goodies, don’t let them gobble everything at once.

Give your pet a safe space away from the commotion. This can be a room, crate, or carrier. Stock the room with the things your pet needs – water, food, toys, a cozy blanket, litterbox, etc. If you can, make this room off-limits to visitors. Let your pet retreat here whenever they want. Watch the exits. When you’re busy with hellos and good-byes, your pet may decide to make a break for it out an open door. Keep an eye out for furry escape artists!

Treats and Trash Cans Just think of all the delicious holiday goodies there are – and remember that all that deliciousness is for people, not pets. Nobody wants their pet to have an upset tummy and leave a “gift” on the carpet or

There is a long list of human foods that pets shouldn’t have – too many to talk about here. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to not feed pets people food at all. And that’s a lot easier than memorizing or googling all the things that are off-limits to our furry friends! Clear food from tables, counters, etc., as soon as you’re done preparing it or eating it. Don’t forget the snacks on the living room coffee table, too. When you’re discarding scraps, especially bones, put them in a closed trash bag inside a closed trash container. It’s also a good idea to move food-related trash into an outdoor garbage can when possible.

Deck the Halls Warm, glowing, sparkling, shiny. There are so many beautiful holiday decorations we use to adorn our homes. Pets see holiday decor as new and fascinating objects to touch,

sniff, and taste – and they can put themselves in danger. Even the bestbehaved pup or kitty can – or should that be “will”? -- get into mischief. Here are just some of the things to look out for. Choose plants carefully. According to the ASPCA, the consumption of any plant material may cause vomiting and gastrointestinal upset for dogs and cats. Some common, hazardous, holiday plants are amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, holly, and poinsettia. For more information, ASPCA’s database of hazardous plants is linked at the end of this article. Consider flameless (batteryoperated) candles. Traditional candles pose a fire hazard if a pet tips them over – and flames can burn whiskers on curious noses. There are flameless candles that look incredibly realistic, with the bonus of no dripping wax and no need to find a match or lighter. Be judicious or avoid using ribbons, tinsel, yarn, and similar products. I’ve known cats who could find anything remotely ribbon-like no matter where it was in the house and start chewing on it immediately. If a pet swallows something like ribbon, it can cause an intestinal blockage –

Old Town Crier


and an emergency trip to the vet. By keeping safety in mind and taking the time to learn about holiday hazards, pet owners can focus on what’s important – being thankful for our furry friends and enjoying their company. And one last reminder, this time about a holiday hazard for humans – trying to dress your cat in a holiday outfit may lead to chaos and mayhem.


Hazardous foods: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poisoncontrol/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets AVMA: https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/ petcare/holiday-pet-safety Humane Society: https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/ holiday-safety-tips-pets ASPCA: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/holidaysafety-tips ASPCA toxic and non-toxic plants database: https://www.aspca. org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants U.S. FDA: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/ keep-your-dogs-and-cats-safe-holiday-hazards About the author: Jane Koska gave up using ribbons on gifts many years and five cats ago and hasn’t taken her glass Christmas tree ornaments out of storage since she acquired two tabby kittens in 2021.

Selected Metro DC Animal Shelters/Rescues Animal Welfare League of Alexandria alexandriaanimals.org/

Fairfax County Animal Shelter www.fairfaxcounty.gov/animalshelter

Animal Welfare League of Arlington www.awla.org

Friends of Rabbits and House Rabbit Sanctuary

www.friendsofrabbits.org/ King Street Cats www.kingstreetcats.org/

Operation Paws for Homes, Inc. ophrescue.org/ Rikki’s Refuge Animal Sanctuary www.rikkisrefuge.org



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

Sky Sky is a gorgeous, unique-looking 3-yearold pup with soulful eyes and fabulous ears that go on for daaayyysss ...When Sky arrived at the AWLA, she was a little shy, but thanks to the dedicated work of our animal care team and volunteers, she has shown us her star qualities! As a youngster, she has a zest and vibrance for life and loves to have fun! Sky is an easy pup that takes treats gently. She knows "sit" and "paw," and she's a very good leash walker. Sky is very affectionate and leans in close for pets and head scratches. Even though she's a fairly chill pup, she still enjoys a game of fetch or tug. We know from her previous owner that Sky has very good house manners and is a lovebug through and through. Come meet Sky! She'll be your sunshine on a cloudy day!

Tanner Tanner is a 1-year-old beautiful chocolatecolored male dog. He arrived at the shelter as a found animal, but sadly no one came searching for him. He loves to have fun! Our staff and volunteers report that he absolutely adores running around the play yards chasing toys. He's not so great at bringing them back yet, but he's a work in progress! In between running after toys, he will plop down by you and ask for belly rubs and pets. Tanner is very attentive to treats. He already knows the cue for "sit," and he will take treats gently from your hand. Tanner would love to find an active family who would spend time taking him on walks or runs or allowing him time to play. Tanner recently had a play session with another adoptable dog named Kaiser, and they had a blast together.

Igor Igor is a 3-year-old dog with a heart as big as his noggin'. Igor has been a favorite of our volunteers, staff, and Summer Campers. He seems to really enjoy the kids and is gentle. He loves to chase toys and play in the yard. He also really likes a good back scratch/roll in the yard. He is a smart dog and knows the cues for sit and down. Igor is a good combo of low-key and active, so he will make a great adventure buddy, but also knows when it's time to relax. He's a strong boy and needs a little work on his leash manners, but he's very food motivated, so there's no end to what he can learn! Igor seems to be very interested in other playful pups, but he definitely needs someone in his weight class to spar with. We can facilitate doggie meet and greets here at the shelter with any possible adopters.

Schedule time to meet with any of these amazing adoptables by emailing Adopt@AlexandriaAnimals.org or calling 703.746.4774 opt. 2.

Old Town Crier

November 2023 43



Be Like Ike H

alls of fame require a high level of performance and the ability to generate revenue and fan growth. Excelling in all areas is Michael Iaconelli. Ike, as he is known, is a kid from Jersey who break dances and fished for bass when fishing wasn’t cool, worked his way into the pro bass fishing circuit, won the world championship, and then was elected to the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame. Young Iaconelli contrasted with good old boy bass anglers, breaking the mold of heavy set, tobacco chewing, aw shucks fishermen. Michael, soon to known as Ike, set himself apart from pros who were either reluctant or incapable of representing themselves or a sponsor’s product. Unwilling to reveal secret lures, pros were soon upstaged by Ike. When asked about his lure of success, Ike produced Mann’s Bait Company’s Stone Jig from his pocket detailing features that put this lure above the rest. Studying advertising and public relations, and graduating summa cum laude from Rowan University, Ike understood marketing and how athletes become celebrities while elevating their sports. Working at Dick’s Sporting Goods, he learned how to communicate fishing knowledge to help anglers catch more fish. This early customer service experience prepared him for positive fan relations. Maybe he dreamed these fishing fans would become Ike fans. On the water, he doesn’t sit or lean on a seat, but runs around the boat deck to gain advantage over bass with better casting angles or landing opportunities. With his bait always in the water, Ike fishes fast but slowly in fish spots, shouting when he catches a bass. It’s not an act but

44 November 2023

became his act. After the emotional BASSMASTER Classic win, we went fishing on the Potomac. It didn’t take him long to hook up and in inimitable Ike fashion, he screamed, “Giant, oh my God!”. No cameras were around. His raw excitement was real. Every fish was a giant and brought Ike to a fever pitch. A young Iaconelli scoured the pages of Bassmaster Magazine, In Fisherman and others. He credits the 80s and 90s fishing shows with creating the dream for him. Ike

shows “City Limits” “Fish My City” and “My World”, Twitter, Instagram, and Bass University projects satisfy fan and sponsor demands. Ike and wife Becky founded the Ike Foundation, introducing urban and rural children to fishing. Their company also operates a full-service angler management and marketing company, Professional Edge Fishing, Inc. On his way to pro bass fishing’s big stage, he composed a CD "How to Turn Pro in Five Years or Less",

Potomac River Bassing in NOVEMBER Much cooler water is slipping into the 50s. Still a good time for firetiger crankbaits and when water is stained, gold tandem Colorado/Indiana bladed spinnerbaits. Use 10 pound test GAMMA EDGE fluorocarbon line for both. Contact cover. Hard cover like docks, riprap and bridge pilings are great places to pitch Texas rigged Mizmo Tubes on 3/0 hooks. For flats close to deep water wintering areas, drop shot and Carolina rigs are great for covering water and various depths.

admired how older guys carried themselves as role models. Eventually winning in every tour, Ike absorbs as much fishing information as possible while spending a lot of time on the water. Ike is always fishing. Poise isn’t picked up in magazines. Ike capitalizes on angler, writer, and fan contacts. His stage presence feeds off fan energy and fans feed off the most excitable and exciting angler in pro bass fishing. Long lines of men, women, and children keep the Jersey pro busy with photos and autographs. In constant motion on the water, he’s also hard at work off the water. His Ike LIVE podcast, Ike in the Shop, Going Ike YouTube series, television

including tips for success and how to attract and keep sponsors. During the BASSMASTER Classic, the consummate promoter pitched his blueprint on professional bass fishing CD, mikeiaconelli.com. He eventually won this championship and made famous his last-minute win with the mantra, “Never give up!”. Relatable to anyone who has come from behind, his autobiography “Fishing on the Edge” was released following his win. As Ike became one of the most accomplished, recognizable, and respected figures in the sportfishing world, he was also one of the most hated. In 2006, Iaconelli was named one of the 10 most hated athletes

by GQmagazine. Accepting the challenge, Ike never had a problem being the bad guy knowing he could use it to grow the sport. Ike says everyone is obligated to impact someone in a positive way, growing fishing is his obligation. Ike’s recent Hall of Fame message prioritized his faith, family, fans and of course fishing. Still at the top of his game, Ike was gracious, acknowledging those who were critical in his journey. Specifically, he thanked his mom, Uncle Don, Becky’s parents, and his 4 children. He also showed his appreciation for the support and mentorship of writers and other industry people, realizing that just as every cast brings another opportunity to learn more and a chance for a keeper, Ike approaches everyone he meets the same way, learning and appreciating every lesson offered. Several of his crew were in attendance and added excitement to the presentation. This was the first time that many people from New Jersey were in a room where a waste disposal contract wasn’t discussed. Early in his career, he resisted change when it was apparent he didn’t fit in. Congratulatory calls came from anglers and fans for his Classic win. But it was legendary angler Rick Clunn who really encouraged him. Clunn said, “Don’t let the negatives discourage you…be yourself and keep doing what you do. You deserved that win.” With his accomplishments and successes, there’s no question we’ll hear more from Ike. The biggest question is who will play him in the movie? About the Author: Capt. Steve Chaconas is a Potomac bass fishing guide & freelance writer. Potomac River reports: nationalbass.com. YouTube channel NationalBassGuide.

Old Town Crier



Grateful, not grateful. I have been thinking a lot about gratitude recently. Thanksgiving aside, I try to practice gratitude as part of my daily routine. There are the obvious things of course—grateful for my health, my family, the roof over my head, etc. Then there are the things that often get overlooked—grateful that I live in a place where I’m not awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of gunfire or bombs being dropped. Grateful that I have access to clean drinking water and medical services. Grateful I don’t have to rely on my hunting and foraging skills to eat. Grateful if/ when I can fit in a particular pair of jeans. Grateful when my hubby offers to do the dishes. Then there are the things that maybe I shouldn’t be grateful for—the modern conveniences I’ve come to lean on that actually aren’t good for me. Hubby and I just finished watching the docu-series Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones on Netflix. Author and researcher Dan Buettner travelled the world in pursuit of areas where people live longer than average to uncover the secret to longevity. The ‘blue zones’ he uncovered are Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Ikaria, Greece; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California. And what do they all have in common? No Roombas, escalators, Vitamixers, electric chain saws, food processors, Instacart, Uber, Starbucks, or dishwashers. Heck—these people don’t even have a Gold’s gym. How are they living to be 100 without access to a stair master and/or treadmill let alone a $75/hour personal trainer? And—fact—these centenarians aren’t squirreled away in some assisted living facility, curled up in a catatonic ball, being spoon fed? One rather sprite geriatric jumped on a horse to lasso calves while his senior counterpart was busy cutting his lawn with a machete. If you recall, the subject of my October column was about aging gracefully, and I was grateful to be doing Wordle and getting up from the floor without using my hands—that one time I did it with the help of the very detailed tutorial I saw on Instagram. Apparently, you don’t need a monthly gym Old Town Crier

membership fee when you have to walk up the side of a mountain every day to get to your house or stone grind your own corn for Taco Tuesday. Their gym is their manual labor and the daily routines of their normal lives—which doesn’t include the Taco Bell drive through. They walk everywhere—up the steep inclines to get to their home, church, market, community gatherings. Oh—and they gather with their community a lot. And they drink wine. Good wine.

husband just had shoulder surgery to repair torn tendons which would not have been available to my grandfather. I’m very grateful my husband didn’t lose use of his arm because trust me—the first two weeks he was incapacitated almost killed him me.

I’m rethinking my gratitude. These ‘modern’ conveniences that we take for granted—they’re slowly killing us. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not about to toss my Nespresso machine, but I may move it downstairs so at least there is some modicum of effort involved. It is conceivable that I could grind my own coffee beans, but I really do need caffeine before I do pretty much anything.

I have a bad habit of focusing on things in my life that are lacking or in need of repair. What’s wrong vs. what’s right. So—I’m working hard on shifting my focus to the people and things (health, security, my Nespresso machine) present in my life actually making it better (vs. silently killing me).

The people in Okinawa sit on the floor vs. a nice, comfy Pottery Barn sectional so every time they get up to do something, they’re working their core. They didn’t watch some IG reel to learn how to get up off the floor. Visitors be warned—I’m swapping out my Ikea furniture for meditation cushions and bean bag chairs. But…I digress. These people naturally know how to do it because they don’t know anything different. They don’t know about those luxurious massage chairs they could be watching QVC from or Moby scooters which could not only carry them up the mountain, but also have storage space for their Supersized McDonald’s meals. Double win. Obviously, food has a lot to do with longevity. You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the benefits of a plant-based diet or the Mediterranean diet. The people of Nicoya subsist on the three foods readily available to them: corn, black beans, and sweet potatoes. Of course, if that’s all I had to eat, I’m not sure I’d want to live to 100, but hey. If they’ve never tasted king crab legs, a ribeye, or Five Guys’ fries, who am I to judge? I am grateful for things that have made our lives easier and healthier such as medical advances. My

I’m grateful that I don’t have to hand wash all my clothes like my grandmother did—although come to think of it, she once pulled a tree trunk out of the ground with her bare hands so I guess all that scrubbing was better than a Crossfit membership.

In that vein, I am truly grateful for my tribe— the people who show up for me, laugh with me, cry with me, and love me despite my moodiness, penchant for alone time, and exasperating Virgo ways. For them, I am both humbled and grateful— you know who you are. I am also very grateful for our faithful followers here at the Old Town Crier. You’re the reason I write. It goes without saying that I’m grateful for the three sets of eyes who wake me up every morning— and the paws that pounce on me most nights. They give me unconditional love in exchange for a twice monthly Chewy delivery—a small price to pay for so much joy—although I would appreciate an uninterrupted night’s sleep once in a while. And, blue zone be damned—I’m grateful for my Vitamix. I think every household should have one for making healthy smoothies and the occasional pumpkin spiced milk shake. No one wants to live to 100 without some indulgences. From my house to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! 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.

November 2023 45



Celebrating Our Veterans In the Harbor

National Harbor to Hold Spirit Park Celebration on Veterans Day! This year marks the first anniversary of Spirit Park. While it got off to a slow start, it was sure worth the wait. The park opened last year on Veterans’ Day and is designed to honor the history of the American flag and all of those who represent it— veterans, first responders, public servants and Americans across the USA. It has proven to be a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. There are lots of activities planned on the 11th as we celebrate not only the anniversary but also Veteran’s Day. I want to thank Kimberly Jorden from Bendure Communications for getting me the details of the day: The festivities will commemorate the park’s one year anniversary with a walk/run, sealing of a Patriot’s Value time capsule, performance by U.S. Air Force Band and the Harbor tree lighting! The day will begin at Spirit Park at 10 a.m. with a walk/run that will benefit The Check-6 Foundation. Since its inception in 2004, The Check-6 Foundation has assisted hundreds of veterans in need in paying their bills, receiving medical attention, finding jobs and so much more. It also continues to provide an unforgettable experience for children battling serious illnesses (and their families) through its Pilot for a Day Program nationwide. “Check-6” is a military term

used to reference an aviator’s practice of checking his wingman’s 6 o’clock position (directly behind him) to ensure it is clear of any threat. Simply put, it means “I’ve got your back and am looking out for you.” Participants in the walk/run must register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spirit-parkwalkrun-tickets-716153072117?aff=oddtdtcreator. The cost is $24.25 for civilians, $13.58 for military. There will be a pancake breakfast (early bird pricing is $13.58) in Spirit Park following the walk/ run. From 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., National Harbor will host the sealing of a Patriot’s Value time capsule at Spirit Park that will contain a variety of items and memorabilia commemorating the park’s opening as well as National Harbor’s opening more than 15 years ago. Aerial photos, an American flag that has flown over the park, a challenge coin, list of long-term employees, a chip from the grand opening of MGM National Harbor and more will be included—approximately two dozen items. Also, during this time, the U.S. Air Force Band Max Impact will perform. The Capital Wheel will provide free wheel rides from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for active and retired military. A military ID is required. Military family will receive the military discount.

At 5:30, National Harbor will hold its inaugural 2023 holiday tree lighting when its breathtaking 60foot tree comes to life with a custom light show and holiday medley recorded by the United States Air Force Band. Patriotic fireworks will follow the tree lighting. Since its opening a year ago, Spirit Park has seen thousands of visitors. The park features a 50 by 80foot custom-made flag (flown on special occasions including Veterans Day.) It is one of the largest flags in the U.S. It flies on a flag pole that is 177 feet and 7 inches tall commemorating the first Flag Day on June 14, 1777. It’s surrounded by 13 smaller flags representing the 13 colonies. These flags initially arrived by representatives from around the region who walked, ran, biked and swam the flags over to National Harbor. A few of the many additional elements of the park include Union Tower that rings daily and marks significant occasions with patriotic songs and American Bison sculptures, created by John Lopez. Spirit Park is located at 115 Waterfront Street. You can’t miss it since it is right on the corner as you turn into the downtown area. For more information on Spirit Park, visit www.NationalHarbor.com/ spiritpark.

Titanic Exhibit Update As promised in last month’s column, I did tour the exhibit. It is worth the money ($33.50 adult admission) if you are interested in taking advantage of the entire audio guide tour that walks you through every aspect of the exhibit with stories about the passengers and testimonies from survivors (hence the 80 minutes). Bring your smartphone and headphones if you don’t want to pay for the audio guide earphones. I tried it for about 15 minutes but it moved way too slow for me. In fact, I barely made it through the water slogging scenes in the movie Titanic starring Leonardo 46 November 2023

DiCaprio. My pal hung in there for much longer but he is also a big fan of the details of the history where I am all about the highlights and interactivity. The exhibits are well executed and you actually feel like you are walking down the hallway of the First Class Cabins when you “enter” the ship. I have always been intrigued with “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” and the exhibit pays a nice tribute to her. I looked at several reviews on the exhibit when it was in New York City and had friends tell me it was fantastic so I was prepared to be

way impressed. I was impressed with the caliber of the artifacts and the static exhibits, but can’t say that anything “wowed” me enough to pay $33.50 to do it again. On the flip side of that, my friend said he thought the price tag was very fair as the narration pulled him into the experience. This being said, if you are a history buff – especially where the Titanic is concerned - and love the details, reserve your tickets now. The exhibit is scheduled to run through December 10th. Titanic: The Exhibition 254 Mariner Passage TitanicExhibition.com Old Town Crier












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