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Since 1988 • Priceless

From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

December 2019


december’19 A Division of Crier Media Group OTC Media LLC PO Box 320386 Alexandria, VA 22320 571-257-5437 Published the first week of every month. Worth waiting for! PUBLISHER Bob Tagert MARKETING & ADVERTISING Lani Gering Bob Tagert Meg Mullery





A Bit of History............................................................. 18

First Blush.........................................................................42

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

DESIGN & PRODUCTION Electronic Ink 9 Royal Street, SE Leesburg, VA 20175 703. 669. 5502

After Hours.......................................................................11


Personality Profile............................................................ 4

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

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

Alexandria Symphony Orchestra '19-'20 Season....11

From the Trainer............................................................43

Arts & Antiques..............................................................13

Gallery Beat.....................................................................12

Behind the Bar................................................................32

Go Fish...............................................................................45

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

Business Profile................................................................. 6


Special Feature: Christmas Trivia............................17

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

High Notes.......................................................................10

Spiritual Renaissance...................................................44

Celebrate the Holidays at National Harbor........48

Let's Eat.............................................................................36

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

National Harbor.............................................................47

Dining Out.......................................................................30

Old Town's Best Happy Hours.................................35

Exploring Virginia Wines............................................39

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

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

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

Open Space.....................................................................46

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

Peggie Arvidson Nancy Bauer Sarah Becker F. Lennox Campello Steve Chaconas Scott Dicken Doug Fabbioli Nicole Flanagan Lani Gering Miriam Kramer Genevieve LeFranc Sarah Liu

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

© 2018 Crier Media Group, Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The Old Town Crier is published monthly and distributed to select Alexandria residents, hotels, restaurants and retail shops. Also distributed in the Annapolis, Fredericksburg, Blue Ridge and Washington, DC areas and St. John, USVI.

Since 1988 • Priceless

Points on Pets.................................................................20 Publisher’s Notes.............................................................. 2

Take Photos, Leave Footprints......................................14 The Last Word.................................................................... 9

From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

December 2019


about the cover The Boat Parade by local folk artist Patricia Palermino. See her profile on Page 4.

On the road with OTC The OTC’s Last Word column writer, Miriam Kramer, took a copy of the publication with her on her trip to Moscow for a Russia-US Municipal conference. While there, she stayed at the historic Metropol Hotel, built in 1905 adjacent to Red Square where this photo was taken in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral. The cathedral was completed in 1561 and is an amazing piece of architecture. Be sure to catch her column in this issue. If you would like to see your photo in this space, take a high resolution shot and email it with a description for the caption to

Old Town Crier

December 2019 | 1



Another year is in the books. With this issue, we have completed 31 years of bringing the Old Town Crier into your lives. Along the way we have met and come to know some very interesting folks. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has been a great ride. As is our custom every December, our Road Trip this month brings us home for the holidays in Old Town Alexandria. Each month during the year we take a trip so we can write about all of the interesting local destinations. This month, home is our destination. In From the Bay, we take a look at the first Lights Parade in Annapolis put on by the Eastport Yacht Club. Like the Parade of Lights in Alexandria, sail and power boats are decorated with lights and cruise by strutting their stuff. In Caribbean Connection, Jeff McCord reminisces about how the Christmas season was celebrated in the Virgin Islands long ago. In Business Profile we take a look at the newest and most unique Airbnb in Old Town, The George. This month’s Personality Profile is about Patricia Palermino, a longtime resident of the Alexandria area and prolific folk artist. One of her paintings graces our cover this month. In Open Space Lori Welch Brown laments on the temptations of the upcoming holiday season and all of the good food waiting for us all. In Take Photos, Leave Footprints, Scott Dicken reviews his top travel destinations for 2020. When Dave Underwood and I started the Old Town Crier in January of 1988, a lot of our contemporaries were rightfully skeptical of our potential success. It is with much gratitude when we receive emails and letters of encouragement from our readership. A week or so ago one such email popped up on my screen from a reader and friend who was around 31 years ago – she was congratulating us on a job well done. Thank you Alicia Mundy for your kind words. You have helped us realize that it was all worth it! Ms. Mundy is a local award-winning author, reporter and columnist. I hope that everyone has a fabulous holiday season and a very prosperous New Year. See you in 2020!


Come discover the magic of Old Town Alexandria’s holiday festivities. Take in our Scottish Christmas Walk Parade and the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. Wander our brick-lined streets under a canopy of twinkling lights. Find that perfect one-of-a-kind gift. Then, celebrate the new year with the whole family at First Night Alexandria. Make Alexandria part of your own holiday tradition.

#ALXHolidays | 2 | December 2019

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DECEMBER 6TH & 7TH 49th Annual Campagna Center Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend & Parade  Parade is December 7th at 11 a.m. Admission: Free for parade and Heather and Greens Sales; $180-$290 for Taste of Scotland; $40 for Holiday Home Tours Throughout Old Town 703-549-0111

Don’t miss Old Town Alexandria’s most spectacular holiday weekend. In 1749, the City of Alexandria was officially established by three Scottish merchants and named after its original founder, John Alexander, also of Scottish descent. Today, the city continues celebrating its heritage with a weekend of festivities. At the Campagna Center’s iconic Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, 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. The parade, which takes place rain or shine, begins at St. Asaph and Wolfe Streets and concludes at Market Square with a massed band concert.

DECEMBER 7TH 20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights Parade begins at 5:30 p.m.; Dockside festivities 2 to 8 p.m. Waterfront Park (1 King St.) Admission: Free 703-746-3301

Old Town Alexandria’s historic waterfront will shine for the 20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights at 5:30 p.m. as dozens of brightly lit boats cruise along one mile of the Potomac River shoreline. Enjoy dockside festivities from 2 to 8 p.m. in Waterfront Park including holiday music and giveaways from 97.1 WASH-FM. Take part in hands-on activities during the afternoon sponsored by local businesses. At 3:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fireboat at the Alexandria City Marina to take photos with children and families at the annual Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Festival. Parade viewing areas: Founders Park (351 N. Union St.), Alexandria City Marina (0 Cameron St.), Waterfront Park (1 King St. and 1A Prince St.), Point Lumley Park (1 Duke St.), Shipyard/Harborside Park (1 Wilkes St.), Windmill Hill Park (501 S. Union St.) and Ford’s Landing Park (99 Franklin St.). Full details at

DECEMBER 24TH Waterskiing Santa   

1 p.m. Admission: Free Alexandria’s Waterfront: Waterfront Park (1 King St. and 1A Prince St.), Alexandria City Marina (0 Cameron St.), Founders Park (351 N. Union St.) and Point Lumley Park (1 Duke St.) Now in its 34th year, this favorite D.C.-area Christmas Eve event returns to Old Town Alexandria. Gather along historic Alexandria’s Potomac River waterfront for a spectacular show by Waterskiing Santa and his merry crew. The prime viewing area is Waterfront Park (1 King St. and 1A Prince St.), with more great views from the Alexandria City Marina (0 Cameron St.), Founders Park (351 N. Union St.), and Point Lumley Park (1 Duke St.). Come early to see the pre-show (on jet skis).

DECEMBER 31ST 25th Anniversary First Night Alexandria 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Admission Varies per event 703-963-3755

Grab your ‘besties and the rest’ and plan to meet up in Old Town Alexandria for the 25th Anniversary Celebration of First Night Alexandria. This annual live music and performing arts festival is the largest New Year’s Eve party in the D.C. region that is safe and fun for the entire family and culminates with a fantastic fireworks finale over the Potomac River at midnight. Take your pick from country to Caribbean, rock to reggae, jazz to swing, folk to acapella, or comedy to magic as you enjoy a concert or dance the night away. Thanks to our community partners, you can experience outstanding performing artists in cozy boutiques, art galleries, offices, ballrooms and historic sites from the Rail to the River. Ageappropriate activities await our youngest party animals at the four Kids Karnivals happening from 6 to 9 p.m., complete with their own creative countdown. Starting at 10 p.m., head to the waterfront with your All Access Badge for the ‘Rockin’ on the River’ dance party in the park, featuring DJ Ray Casiano and fireworks at midnight sponsored by MGM National Harbor, along with food trucks and prizes. For full details log on to

Old Town Crier

More Events NOV 29TH – 31ST Christmas at Mount Vernon 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: $20 for adults; $12 for youth (ages 6-11); free for children age 5 and below; extra cost for some activities George Washington’s Mount Vernon 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway 703-780-2000 Holiday programs and tours fill each day with delight at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Visitors of all ages can tour the Mansion, watch 18th-century demonstrations and hear stories of Christmases past from costumed characters. Meet Aladdin the camel and commemorate your holiday visit with a photo at the selfie station as you start a new tradition of visiting Mount Vernon during the Christmas season. christmas

NOV 30TH, DEC 14TH, DEC 21ST Photos with Santa in Old Town Alexandria 12 to 3 p.m. Admission: Advance reservation required Hooray for Books! 1555 King Street 703-548-4092 The region’s most beloved Santa and Mrs. Claus return to Old Town Alexandria to take keepsake photos with children on three Saturdays during the holiday season. Santa and Mrs. Claus will welcome families on Small Business Saturday, November 30, 2019, and on December 14 and 21, 2019. Advance reservation is required. To reserve a time block for your child to meet with Santa, call or visit Hooray for Books! to make any size donation to the bookstore’s special Santa account, which will be used to provide books, toys and games for the Alexandria Domestic Violence Program’s Holiday Party. Steven Halperson from local studio Tisara Photography has been invited to take pictures for you at these events. Photos with Santa in Old Town Alexandria is presented by the King Street Corridor Initiative and Hooray for Books!

DECEMBER 1ST Museum Store Sunday in Historic Alexandria Hours vary by site Admission: Free Old Town Alexandria Give the gift of history to your friends and family on Museum Store Sunday. Shop at Alexandria’s premier museums and enjoy special giveaways and discounts.  From books to historic reproductions, wine to local keepsakes, the perfect gift can be found in historic Alexandria. Participating museum stores include the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, the Alexandria Black History Museum, The Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum, Carlyle House Historic Park, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, CALENDAR > PAGE 7

December 2019 | 3



Alexandria Boat Parade


e have known Pat Palermino for many years here in Alexandria and began using her artwork on the cover of the Old Town Crier in the mid 1990’s. Her art work has been associated with Alexandria and Old Town for well over 25 years.

Patricia Palermino American Folk Artist

Pat and her son, Jay, setting up shop at the Old Town Farmers Market.

4 | December 2019

Palermino is self-taught and began painting in the 1970’s. When I asked her to define Folk Art, she replied, “It is mainly something that is self-taught. Every piece I paint is different and tells a story.” I am sure that you noticed her painting that adorns this month’s cover-The Boat Parade. She continues, “My love for America is inspiring and patriotic to me. I started painting scenes of America in 1979, capturing its cities, countryside, seacoasts, farmlands, and forests. I use vibrant colors and a cast of playful characters to create an array of magical scenes that combine a whimsical spirit with a hint of nostalgia.”

Palermino paints using acrylics which tend to make for vibrant colors and depth in a painting. All of her paintings are cheerful and display a lot of detail. You will notice on our cover that her painting brings to life the Alexandria Boat Parade of Lights. We felt this quite appropriate as this month marks the 20th Anniversary of the Parade. It is an annual spectacle that is the highlight of Old Town’s Annual Scottish Walk that takes place the first weekend of every December in Alexandria. Like most contemporary folk artists, her focus is on happy and historical events and holidays that result in her paintings. She is fascinated with American cities and makes frequent visits to places like New York City and Nantucket to capture what she experiences in her paintings. While she considers New York the starting place of her career, her favorite destination is Nantucket where she has been visiting almost every year since 1980. She has painted many scenes of this beautiful island over the years. When I asked how many hours she would put in on a typical painting every day, she replied, “I will paint until PERSONALITY PROFILE > PAGE 5

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the idea is gone, and then start again the next day or so.” She told me that it typically takes three months to finish a painting. This vibrant lady has slowed down in the past few years because of some surgery but she did play tennis until she turned 72, and that was a while ago. This beautiful lady is now 83 years young. You would never know it. (BTW, I have permission to publish her age) She also told me that she misses dancing. She and Jerry, her husband of 55 years live in the Mount Vernon area and their son Jay, who is her “right hand man” handles all of the marketing and PR for his mother. You will find him at the Old Town Farmers Market every Saturday morning manning the Palermino Folk Art tent in front of the fountain. Jay lives in Alexandria. She also has two daughters. Jay has a twin sister, Beth, and a younger sister Lisa. Today Beth lives in Seattle, Washington while Lisa and family – including Pat’s 4 lively grandsons-reside locally in Leesburg. Something that I don’t believe many people who

Pat in her Studio know Pat don’t know about her is that her formal training is as a nurse. This occupation, raising three kids on top of being a military wife kept her pretty busy for many years but she eventually found time for her art. Palermino works out of her home studio where she feels the most inspired to paint. Many of her paintings have depicted the quaint villages, festivals, fairs and parades so common in the Alexandria area and nearby Washington, D.C. Her paintings are primitive folk art prints and historical folk art prints that portray a true experience of those places. “Painting has been my passion since I was a

little girl and will always be a part of my life,” she says. The paintings of Palermino are hanging in historical places around the world including, the White House, the National Archives, Winterthur Museum, the American Museum in Bath, England, the National Horticultural Society and others. Her artwork has appeared on many posters and publications including the program cover of the National Easter Egg Roll at the White House, the UNICEF Corporate Christmas Card Collection, Historic Alexandria, Gadsby’s Tavern, Gunston Hall Museum, Woodlawn Plantation Museum and others. Her prints can be purchased on her online gallery, her Alexandria Gallery and numerous other galleries across America. Her original paintings were originally sold at the now defunct Frank J. Miele Gallery in New York City. It was a popular Gallery back in its day. In addition to these locations and the availability of her work at the Farmers Market, she will consider doing commission pieces on an individual basis.

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Old Town Crier


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December 2019 | 5





L Photos: The George

Clockwise from top: Dining Room Chase and Martha One of the 8 rooms Kitchen Sitting Room 6 | December 2019

ocated at 506 Cameron Street in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, this historic property, once owned by General George Washington and now his namesake, received a significant transformation and historic renovation earlier this year. It opened to the public mid-summer and is becoming a popular destination among the options for overnight accommodations in Old Town. This elegant and historic property in Old Town Alexandria has found new life as an eight-bedroom suite Airbnb property rental. After sitting through years of neglect, where it was most recently divided into individual apartments, Steven and Martha Shaw Peterson purchased the home and began renovating it back to its original glory

with modernizations and improvements. The spectacular, 6,000 square foot townhome features eight stunning suites—each named for each of the U.S. Presidents that hailed from Virginia (Washington, Monroe, Madison, Jefferson, Harrison, Tyler, Taylor and Wilson.) Each suite has its own modern bath and many of the rooms have seating areas and fireplaces. There are also multiple entertainment spaces throughout the home and a lovely outdoor patio. The kitchen, although still containing the walls and some of the appointments from Washington’s days of use, including the open hearth fireplace, has been updated and modernized. There are 5 off street parking spots that BUSINESS PROFILE > PAGE 7

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Friendship Firehouse Museum, Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, LeeFendall House and Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum. visitalexandria. com/museumstoresunday

DECEMBER 1ST, 2ND–6TH Alexandria’s Holiday Market at Carlyle Dec 1st - 6 to 8 p.m. and 2nd-6th 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission: Free John Carlyle Square Park 300 John Carlyle Street Alexandria’s Holiday Market is an annual signature event that transforms John Carlyle Square into a lively open-air festival, perfect for children young and old. On December 1, Santa and Mrs. Clause and the town crier will ring in the season with a live appearance. The holiday market and festivities are sponsored by The Carlyle Vitality Initiative.

DECEMBER 6TH-8TH, 13TH-15TH, 20TH-22ND Del Ray Artisans’ 24th Annual Fine Art & Fine Craft Holiday Market Fri, 6 to 9 p.m., Sat and Sun, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission: Free 2704 Mount Vernon Avenue Del Ray Artisans annual Holiday Market offers unique handmade fine arts and crafts from local artists. Choose from BUSINESS PROFILE | FROM PAGE 6

come with the property as well as street parking in front. The property sleeps up to 20 guests and can be rented as individual rooms or the full townhome. It truly is in the heart of Old Town and just steps from more than 200 restaurants, boutiques, museums and the waterfront. Each stay includes four complimentary tickets to Historic Mount Vernon. “We’ve worked closely with Mount Vernon to ensure that our guests at The George have an opportunity to see and fully experience the history of our initial property owner,” said Steven Peterson. Peterson’s wife, Martha, oversaw the general contracting and restoration of The George. She, and her son Chase Whitley, handled the contracting scheduling and a lot of the actual work themselves and oversaw the interior design. Their business involves buying distressed properties, renovating them and flipping them; however, when they saw this property, they knew they couldn’t flip Old Town Crier

wall art, pottery, photography, jewelry, glass and much more from different artisans each weekend. Plus, purchase 2020 wall calendars, cookbooks and upcycled tote bags to support Del Ray Artisans.

DECEMBER 7TH Soldier’s Christmas at Carlyle House 12 to 4 p.m. Admission: Free Carlyle House 121 N. Fairfax Street 703-549-2997 Visit Old Town on Saturday, December 7, 2019, to enjoy Alexandria’s rich Scottish heritage and see the Scottish Walk Parade march past Alexandria’s oldest stone building, Carlyle House. After the parade, enter the museum gates and step back in time for a free open house in the spirit of the holiday season. Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Festival  2 to 8 p.m. Admission: Free Torpedo Factory Art Center 105 N. Union Street 703-746-4570 The Art Center joins in the fun on Alexandria’s most festive holiday weekend of the year. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at 3:30 p.m. Music and singing fill the halls all evening. After sundown, the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights passes by The Art Center’s doors. Visit artists on all three floors to find the perfect gift of art.

it. “This is a special place with beautiful, historic architecture and a prime location,” said Martha, “We knew from the first day that we saw it that it needed a lot of work but we were not going to be able to flip it. This is one of those unique properties that we just wanted to hold on to.” Having spent a very enjoyable hour with Martha and Chase after my tour of this fantastic property, it is easy to see how dedicated they are to the property and making sure their guests are treated to an “experience” in addition to a very comfortable stay. Martha is a local girl and has a true love for Old Town and its surroundings. I firmly believe that son Chase is an old soul. His touch with bringing the many historical touches together with some very contemporary compliments is remarkable. This is a place to put on the radar the next time our local readers have guests coming into town or you are visiting Old Town from the many areas that the Old Town Crier is distributed and want a special place to stay. You will not be disappointed.

DECEMBER 8TH Holidays on the Avenue in Del Ray 6 p.m. Admission: Free Pat Miller Neighborhood Square Mount Vernon Avenue and E. Oxford Avenue 703-683-2570 Kick off the holidays with a visit to Del Ray for the annual holiday tree and menorah lighting, featuring a special appearance by Santa Claus, who will lead carols and sit for photos with children. Continue the celebration and start your holiday shopping with a stroll down Mount Vernon Avenue, which will be illuminated by thousands of luminarias and feature storefront windows hand-painted for the holidays. Pick your favorite in the neighborhood business association’s annual Christmas tree decorating contest.

DECEMBER 10TH Alexandria Harmonizers Carol Crawl 7 to 9 p.m. Beginning at Market Square Old Town Come hear the Harmonizers’ annual Carol Crawl through Old Town Alexandria, as they stop to sing Christmas carols in various establishments along King Street, from Market Square to the waterfront, and end up at Chadwicks.

DECEMBER14TH Alexandria Black History Museum’s How to Celebrate

Kwanzaa Workshop 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission: $5 Alexandria Black History Museum 902 Wythe Street 703-746-4356 Join the Alexandria Black History Museum’s annual Kwanzaa workshop, suitable for adults and children. It will focus on the history, principles, symbols and activities relating to Kwanzaa. Get ideas to plan your own celebration.  Del Ray Holiday Pop-Up Market 1 to 4:30 p.m. Admission: Free Pat Miller Neighborhood Square Mount Vernon Avenue and E. Oxford Avenue 703-683-2570 Find the perfect gift at this pop-up market featuring local artisans and at-home entrepreneurs. Then, stroll along Mount Vernon Avenue and see shops sporting festive seasonal murals.

DECEMBER 15TH Colonial Handbell Ringers Concert 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Admission: Free Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum 201 South Washington Street The Colonial English Handbell Ringers perform clad in colonial attire, bringing a 5-octave set of nearly 80 handbells from the world-famous Whitechapel foundry in London. The ringers will perform

children’s classics, timeless holiday tunes, and original show-stoppers. Audience participation in the sing-along is encouraged. No reservations will be accepted in advance, and seating capacity is limited.

ABOUT ALEXANDRIA, VA Experience holiday magic on historic streets in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, located just minutes from Washington, D.C. Recognized by Oprah Magazine as one of the Most Charming Christmas Towns Across the World in 2019 and by Southern Living as the Perfect Southern Town for a Hallmark Christmas Movie in 2019, visitors feel transported by an old fashioned sense of holiday wonder on Old Town Alexandria’s centuries-old bricklined streets, twinkling with holiday traditions and magical events. Bask in the warmth of time-honored festivities like the Campagna Center’s 49th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, featuring a parade of Scottish clans and Scottie dogs, as well as the 20th Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on the Potomac River. Dozens of independent boutiques welcome you with greenery at their doorsteps, offering everything from chic fashions and home décor to classic toys and gifts for dogs. Duck into cozy cafés and chefdriven restaurants tucked into 18thcentury buildings to warm up with loved ones and good cheer. Under a canopy of sparkling lights, a stroll on historic King Street is like being in a real-life Dickens Village, complete with European flair. Recognized as a Top 3 Best Small City in the U.S. 2019 by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, Alexandria offers an authentic holiday experience—the way it was meant to be. To learn more about Alexandria at the holidays, visit Holidays.

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ou want to retire comfortably when the time comes. But you also want to help your child pay for college. With the cost of college tuition increasing and no guarantee that Social Security will be around at the time you retire, the amount of money you need to save may seem overwhelming. How do you balance both of those goals? By starting to plan now, you can strike a strategic balance between saving for retirement and saving for college, says Will Larson, Retirement Planning Strategist for Wells Fargo Advisors. “A good way to help achieve both goals is to sit down with your financial advisor as soon as possible and create an investment plan,” he says. Your financial advisor will talk to you about your goals, estimate how much money you need, and then put together a plan to get you on your way toward saving for both retirement and your child’s college education. These strategies can be a good place to start.

Saving for Retirement and Your Child’s College Education

Pay yourself first Your top priority should be saving for retirement, Larson says. He recommends putting aside around 15% of your income every year. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can tap into your retirement plan to pay tuition — taxes and penalties mean you’ll take a big hit. 8 | December 2019

Invest your money in tax-advantaged accounts

Take advantage of changes in income or expenses

Your money will work harder for you if you take advantage of tax-friendly accounts like 529 savings plans. The key is starting as early as possible, says Kirk Pacatte, Planning and Life Events Specialist at Wells Fargo Advisors. “The earlier you get money in there, the better the potential for it to grow tax-deferred and compound,” he says. “That’s especially important when saving for education because you have a shorter window to save than you do for retirement.”

If you get an unexpected inheritance, stash at least some of it in your savings. And if you get a 2% raise, consider putting 1% toward college savings and 1% toward retirement. If you no longer have to pay for daycare or preschool because your child goes to public elementary school, keep making those payments, but put them into your child’s college savings account instead, Larson suggests.

Set clear expectations with your child

Have a frank conversation with your high-school-aged children about the level of financial support you can provide for college, Pacatte suggests. Some parents commit to paying the equivalent of the cost of instate tuition for four years at a state school. Others agree to pay for half of the bill and let their children know they are expected to cover the rest.

Look for ways to save on tuition Even if you have significant savings for college, apply for scholarships and financial aid — you never know what you’ll get, Pacatte says. You

can also encourage your children take Advanced Placement or college-level courses in high school. If they earn enough college credit, they could potentially graduate from college in three years. “Being able to lop off a full year of college funding makes a huge difference in cost,” Larson says. An investor should consider, before investing, whether the investor’s or designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits, such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state’s 529 college savings plan.

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 800-2478602. Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANKGUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. © 2019 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved. Old Town Crier


et it snow, let it snow, buy seasonal chocolates at Trader Joe’s.” The mantra above always runs through my head at this time of year. I also love browsing through new advanced review copies, book reviews, and holiday gift guides to see what I might get for my unsuspecting and deserving friends and relatives. To get into the spirit of holidays, try a seasonal and funny detective novel. A dogfriendly series will please those of you living in dog-crazed Alexandria. David Rosenfelt’s mystery novels feature a snarky, intrepid defense lawyer, Andy Carpenter, and a golden retriever named Tara, in addition to the other canines that romp through. In Rosenfelt’s newest novel, Dachshund Through the Snow, the witty Carpenter gathers his eccentric group of cohorts together to solve a mystery involving a boy’s missing father, who is on the run for a murder he may not have committed. The embattled defense lawyer also represents a German Shepherd suffering from “species discrimination” within the police department. Rosenfelt’s Deck the Hounds and The Twelve Dogs of Christmas from previous years will also make you laugh as you settle in with a glass of wine, a nice fire, and your own sleeping pooch. To shift gears, you might try a gloomier but satisfying Nordic noir thriller. Jo Nesbø hits the shelves again with his latest book featuring the alcoholic, driven detective Harry Hole: Knife. An endlessly inventive writer, Nesbø has surpassed himself to write his best Hole novel in years. The detective, accused of murder

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after a blackout drunken evening, is irrevocably altered by two important and psychologically shattering deaths, both of which may shift the series in a different direction after this novel. He is on the track of a serial rapist named Svein Finne, whose weapon of choice is a knife. Nesbø’s latest installment in the series shows more development within the Harry Hole character and his changed modus operandi in writing a detective novel. Hole’s heartbreak, outrage, and honed sense of vengeance will lead him to a very unexpected set of conclusions. While grim, this novel moves along at a very fast clip. It will satisfy those who have read him for years, along with new devotees. Adrian McKinty’s recent book, The Chain, is a great choice for your friend or relative who loves twisty thrillers. McKinty is known for a series of detective novels set in Belfast during Northern Ireland’s Troubles of the 1980s. The Chain is a higheroctane, standalone work with an unnerving premise: What would you do to get back your kidnapped child? Would you kidnap another one to get your own back, and instruct that child’s parents to kidnap another child to keep this “chain” going, following a set of instructions that threatens your own child’s death if you alert the authorities? I was surprised when this book did not sell more copies right after it came out because of its propulsive story-telling. One of my favorite pop public intellectuals is Malcolm Gladwell. I’ve enjoyed his work as the equivalent of intellectual beach books: easy to take on


Gr for eat Ho Rea Ch lid ds e e r ay


airplane or to the hospital because they’re so streamlined you can put them down and pick them up again without backtracking. At the same time they are well written. A non-reader friend, who just retired from the US Marines, recently texted me and told me how much he enjoyed Gladwell’s recent release Talking To Strangers, which is the reason I’m including it here. (I certainly enjoyed it but prefer classics like Blink and The Tipping Point.) Santa likes gift suggestions for hard-to-shopfor people. There is also a Malcolm Gladwell box set out right now that might be an appropriate gift for my friend and others who finally have some time for good books but don’t know where to start. Environmentalists, scientists, laypeople, and those who love them might read Richard Ford’s The Overstory. As an environmentalist and former National Geographic documentary filmmaker, my friend fell in love with this recent Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction 2019. Ford writes the interwoven stories of nine Americans with specific personal experiences around trees. The novel addresses the destruction of forests and and pleads for us to recognize our connections to nature. My friend extolled it, and I found it

worthwhile. The recently published Rick Atkinson book The British Are Coming might be one to gift your favorite Revolutionary War history buffs, if they don’t already have it. As Volume 1 of the Revolutionary Trilogy, this work’s subtitle is The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777. It is as vividly researched and written as Atkinson’s Pulitzer Prizewinning An Army at Dawn and the two other books in his World War II Liberation Trilogy. You might pick the latter trilogy if your recipient already owns the first book of the former. Perhaps you or your mother would love to read a memoir about Julie Andrews’ years in Hollywood. Then pick up Home Work, a delightful sequel to her first memoir. After all, Christmas is the time to see the movie version of The Sound of Music, and it might also be time to introduce children and

grandchildren to Mary Poppins and other Andrews cinema classics. Do you or a loved one adore Michelle Obama and wish she were still First Lady? Then you have the option of buying a special boxed, signed version of Becoming, her hit autobiography that helped prop up brick-and-mortar bookstores with its runaway sales. It’s not inexpensive, but for those who find the former First Lady a wise, classy role model and solace in troubled times, it might be a particularly precious gift. In addition, due to its size it can always be used as an effective doorstop. Novelist Colson Whitehead won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2017 for his surreal take on The Underground Railroad, in which the railroad itself was real. His newest novel, The Nickel Boys, runs to about 200 taut, streamlined pages. This work of fiction is based on a real boys’ reform school for blacks and whites that existed mostly in the twentieth century Jim Crow THE LAST WORD > PAGE 11

December 2019 | 9



Light It Up by Katelyn Macs


was recently talking to a friend of mine in the music business who knows I am always looking for outstanding new artists to review. He said, “Light It Up, Katelyn Macs, check it out”. Well my friend is very successful and knowledgeable and a very good judge of talent, so I wasted no time in finding the song on Spotify and saving it to my favorite pop playlist. Now I’m here telling you about a song I can’t stop listening to. It was a surprise to learn that Light It Up is Katelyn Macs’ first single. The quality of this track is truly amazing. Katelyn steps directly into the big league of pop music here. Competition in the music business is intense.

10 | December 2019

Every day there are over 40,000 new songs uploaded to streaming services. Standing out has never been more of a challenge. However, if Macs continues to release tracks of this caliber, there is absolutely nothing that can stop her. The chorus for Light It Up is what hooked me. It reminds me a little of Shake It Off by Taylor Swift. Katelyn Macs’ melodies are very memorable. In fact, I found myself singing along to the chorus before I finished the song for the first time. Light It Up is the kind of track that stays in your head for days. So, be prepared to enjoy yourself. This song does not disappoint. Top 40 Billboard charting rapper “Waka Flocka Flame” is featured alongside Macs on Light It Up. These two

talented artists complement each other well. There’s a clear synergy between them which has resulted in an instant pop gem. Katelyn Macs’ smooth and cool vocal delivery mixes well with Waka’s aggressive and seasoned flow. This collaboration is more evidence that Macs is ready to play in the big leagues. The music for Light It Up is composed of a buzzing sub bass, catchy synth melodies, and sampled drum and perception sounds. For me, the most interesting thing about the music is the sound of the chords. They were created by routing recordings of Macs’ voice into a keyboard. This effectively turned her voice into a synthesizer. It’s an incredibly creative idea and is part of

why Light It Up impresses me so much. The production for this song is world class. Every element sits perfectly in the mix. Often, when I listen to music, I notice little things here and there that could have been done differently. Even when it’s music I like a lot there’s always something that could be done better. That’s why I’m a little nonplussed with this song. I can’t find a single thing wrong with it. Katelyn and her team really attended to every last detail. I look forward to hearing what this up and coming artist cooks up in the future. If Light It Up is any indicator of what is to come, Katelyn’s star is sure to rise fast. If you’d like to learn more about Katelyn, you can find her on Instagram. If you’d like to hear her music, you can find her on Spotify, Apple Music, and most digital music services. Ron Powers is an independent A&R specialist and music industry consultant, and is constantly searching for, discovering and writing about new talent. Old Town Crier


South near Tallahassee, FL. While hard to bear, this book is easy to read and symbolically potent. On the surface it may not seem the most likely of Christmas presents, but it is perfect for anyone who wants to read meaningful fiction while researching the history that inspired it. In fact, when you read about one particular character’s resurrection, you may see The Nickel Boys as more perfect for Christmas than any other gift. If you want a great read from Stephen King that focuses a little more on the paranormal than horror, pick up a copy of his newest novel, The Institute. I do not read him often only because I don’t generally like horror, even though I like him and love his book On Writing. The Institute focuses on children kidnapped for scientists to experiment with their abilities towards psychokinesis, telepathy, and other paranormal abilities. It does not take itself too seriously, and it is extremely hard to put down. While the children in the book make plans to save themselves while cracking jokes and making cultural references that you’d only hear out of a seventysomething Baby Boomer from Maine, that flaw is totally overwhelmed by the fun of the book. Since it has recently been made into an HBO Series, I’m revisiting and rerecommending the fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. Pullman’s ostensibly child-aimed series comprises The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. It is really best appreciated by anyone from the late teens to full adulthood because of its symbolism and adventurous storyline based on a young heroine named Lyra and a young hero named Will, each from a parallel Oxford that has places in which one can cross from parallel world to world. In Lyra’s world, humans’ souls have names and take the shapes of companion animals called dæmons, companions that never leave you and only settle on one permanent shape upon puberty. Pullman’s story moves along very quickly and indulges in glorious world-building. It also speaks firmly against institutions that promote highly restrictive religious rules to control populations. His fantasy masterpiece is one of those indefinable sets of works, such as Alice in Wonderland, that straddle a line between multiple Old Town Crier

age groups. I do not hope that the TV series will come anywhere near the perfection of the books, which are now cult classics, but I hope it will at least lead people to read them. If you know of very advanced teen readers of fantasy with open religious viewpoints or their older relatives, this might be just the gift for them. Any reader who hasn’t spent the last year living in an unplugged Mongolian commune already knows or has heard of the book Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It has been one of the best-written, best-selling Southern novels with a female protagonist of the past calendar year, and has now been released in a deluxe edition in time for Christmas and the two or three book groups left in the country who have not yet discussed it. If you are at odds as to what to purchase your mom, aunt, or adult daughter, this is an excellent bet for a very wide variety of tastes. Just make sure she does not already own it. When booking accommodation for a business trip in Russia, I thought of the lovely novel by Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow. I immediately made a reservation at the Metropol Hotel, built in 1905 near Red Square. (Dear Reader, please see a photo of me dancing around Red Square on page 3 of this December 2019 issue with a copy of the OTC in my hand!) In this very wellreceived 2016 novel, a Russian aristocrat, the Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, is sentenced by a Bolshevik tribunal to life within the Metropol from the 1920s onwards. This warm, witty novel celebrates life even as it addresses the pathos of Stalinism’s victims and that leader’s version of Soviet existence, which devoured people, places, and memories. The Count himself is a stylish gentleman and a scholar, an affirmation of life as it should be lived regardless of one’s circumstances. In addition, I also highly recommend The Rules of Civility, Towles’ first novel about urbane sophisticates set in the New York City of the 1930s. He is an author to watch. I’ll finally end with a tip of my cap to author Bill Bryson. Known already for his travel writing, he first impressed me with his wise, funny work called A Walk in the Woods, a travelogue about hiking the Appalachian Trail with his outof-shape friend. It he discusses the need to preserve nature in the Smoky Mountains, along with writing about the

released a book called The Body: A Guide for Occupants, a work about our anatomy filled with facts and anecdotes for laypeople. Bryson’s constant curiosity and clear writing make him a joy, no matter what his subject. He is the author you’d want homeschooling your children to give them the best all-around education possible. So I wish you joy picking out gifts for your loved ones and yourselves. If needs be, you can always give Jeff Bezos more of your money, but if you can possibly shop at an indie bookstore or brick-and-

culture of those hiking the trail from Georgia to Maine. Since then he’s written books about multiple subjects. One success was A Really Short History of Nearly Everything about science. Among recent works he penned a book called At Home: A Short History of Private Life about how architecture, commerce, technology and geography shaped homes into what they are today. My father loved Bryson’s work about a pivotal year in American history, One Summer: America, 1927. Recently this year Bryson

mortar shop like Barnes & Noble, please do. We are now developing bookstore deserts throughout the country because of Amazon’s monopoly on the marketplace. Browsing is part of the fun of reading, and we do it much differently mentally and physically in stores. Stores will also give you gift receipts so your recipient can drop by if another book fits his or her tastes better. I wish you a glorious holiday season, and some time to snuggle up with your own reads in the days at the end of December, if not the days before.

Alexandria Symphony Orchestra 2019-2020 Season NUTCRACKER POTPOURRI

James Ross, Music Director Morgan Short, harp HUMPERDINCK: Prelude to Hänsel and Gretel TCHAIKOVSKY: Excerpts from Nutcracker Suite 71A RODRIGO: Concierto de Aranjuez ELLINGTON: Nutcracker Suite Saturday, December 14, 2019  at 7:00 p.m. Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall Sunday, December 15, 2019  at 2:00 p.m. George Washington Masonic Memorial


James Ross, Music Director Berta Rojas, guitar MOZART: Serenade No. 6 “Serenata notturna” CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO: Guitar Concerto in D Major PRICE: Andante Moderato from String Quartet in G Major (arr. by James Ross) SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 5 Saturday, February 15, 2020  at 8:00 p.m. Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall

AFTER HOURS Birchmere 703.549.7500 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave. The Blackwall Hitch 571-982-3577 5 Cameron St. Carlyle Club 411 John Carlyle Dr. 703-549-8957 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. La Portas 703.683.6313 1600 Duke St. The Light Horse 703.549.0533 715 King St. Murphys Irish Pub 703.548.1717 713 King St. O’Connell’s 703.739.1124 112 King St.

Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. George Washington Masonic Memorial

MUSICAL TALES OF BELONGING James Ross, Music Director Claudia Chudacoff, concertmaster PRECHTL: Tribute (world-premiere) FRANK: Three Latin-American Dances RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Scheherazade

Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. George Washington Masonic Memorial Tickets: $20-$85 for adults. Student tickets $10 (with ID). Youth tickets $5 (age 18 & under). Military, senior and group discounts available.  Purchase online at or call 703-548-0885. Free parking provided by the ASO at both venues. The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center is accessible by Metro bus lines 7A, 7B, 7F, 7Y, 25A, 25C and 25E, as well as DASH bus line AT6.  The George Washington Masonic Memorial is accessible by the Blue and Yellow metro line (King Street station), numerous Metro, Dash and Richmond Highway Express bus lines, and the King Street Trolley in Old Town, Alexandria.

Rock It Grill 703.739.2274 1319 King St. Shooter McGees 703.751.9266 5239 Duke St. 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. LaTrattoria 703-548-9338 305 S. Washington St. Two Nineteen 703.549.1141 219 King St. Village Brauhaus 710 King St. 703-888-1951 These establishments offer live entertainment. Call to confirm show times, dates and cover charges. Check our advertisers’ websites.

October 2019 | 11




hroughout the years that I’ve been writing this column, I’ve often discussed what I call “true stories from the art world”, where I highlight interesting, unusual and eye-opening things which I have experienced in the sometimes puzzling day to day of running a gallery or manning an art fair booth. And one of the more eye-opening and entertaining things in attending an art fair is seeing the dynamics that go onto the decision to buy a piece of art. Put together a few thousand people, paying an entry fee to enter the fair, an assortment of dealers, and a huge diverse variety of offerings and it’s an education in people watching. And thus, for your entertainment, let me present: “Scenes from the art world.”

The married couple:

“Do you like it?” “Yeah, I like it- it’s just what we’ve been looking for.” “Where would we put it?” “We have a couple of spots that it’d fit.” “Do you really like it.” “Yeah, how about you?” “Yeah, I kinda of like it.” “Should we get it?” “If you want it.” (five minutes later) “Let’s think about it.” “OK” [To me] “Do you have a business card?”

The couple (not married): Her: “Do you like it?” Him: “Sssoright” Her: “Where would we put it?” Him: “Dunno.” Her: “Do you really like it.” Him: “So’OK.. Yeah, how about you?” Her: “Yeah, I kinda, sorta, really like it.” Him: “Dunno though” Her: “What? You don’t like it?” Him: “If you want it.” (five minutes later) Him: “Let’s think about it.” Her or Him: “OK” [To me] “Do you have a business card?”

The Single Woman (SW) with a Woman Friend: SW: “WOW! Now, I really like this!” Friend: “Yeah... it’s nice” SW: “It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for!” Friend: “I have a friend who does work just like this...” SW: “I am really drawn to it!” Friend: “Are you really sure that you like it?” SW: “Uh - yeah!... why? Don’t you like it?” Friend: “Yeah... it’s OK” SW: “I think it’s really good... I think it’s the first piece in this whole show that I really like.” 12 | December 2019

Friend: “There’s a few more booths we haven’t seen...” SW: “I think I’m going to buy this.” Friend: “Are you sure?” SW: “Uh - yeah!... It’s a good price too.... why? Don’t you like it?” (five minutes later) SW: “Do you have a business card?”

The Single Woman (SW) with a Man Friend: SW: “WOW! Now, I really like this!” Friend: “Yeah... Cool” SW: “It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for!” Friend: “I think it’s a lithograph” [it’s actually a charcoal] SW: “I am really drawn to it!” Friend: “Are you really sure you like it?” SW: “Uh - yeah!... why? Don’t you like it?” Friend: “I have something like it... I got it cheaper though...” SW: “I think it’s really good... I think it’s the first piece in this whole show that I really like.” Friend: “You like lithographs?” SW: “I think I’m going to buy this.” Friend: “Are you sure?” SW: “Uh - yeah!... It’s a good price too.... why? Don’t you like it?” (five minutes later) SW: “Do you have a business card?”

The Single Focus Dream Buyer: [Walks straight up to one piece, never looks at the rest of the work in your booth] “I’ll take this” [Me] “Thank you... it’s a very striking charcoal drawing - will be that be a check or charge?” “Charge” [Me] “I can send you more information on this artist...” “That will be great - I love this work - it’s exactly what I’m interested in!” [Me] “I have a few more pieces here, would you like to see them?”

“No, thanks...”

The “I’m glad you’re here guy (IGYHG)”: IGYHG: “Hey! I’ve been looking for you!” [Me]: “Hi, how are you?” IGYHG: “... been walking this whole fair looking for you!” [Me]: “Yeah... lots of dealers this year... glad you found us!” IGYHG: “Howsa been goin’?”


Old Town Crier


Curzon Hill Antiques 108 S. Columbus Street

B&B Art Gallery 215 King Street

Exclusively representing the works of


The Hour 1015 King Street

Gallery West 1213 King Street

Price and additional images upon request.

Spurgeon-Lewis Antiques 112 N. Columbus Street

A Galerie 315 Cameron Street

BW Art, Antiques & Collectibles 108 N. Fayette Street

Enamelist’s Gallery 105 N. Union Street

Random Harvest 810 King Street

Imperfections Antiques 1210 King Street

Printmakers, Inc. 105 N. Union Street

Acme Mid-Century + Modern 128 S. Royal Street

The Antique Guild 113 N. Fairfax Street

Van Bommel Antiek Hous 1007 King Street

Silverman Galleries 110 N. St. Asaph Street

Lloyd’s Row 119 S. Henry Street

Red Barn Mercantile 1117 King Street


Washington Square Antiques 425 S. Washington Street

Torpedo Factory Art Center 105 N. Union Street

Susquehanna Antique Co. 608 Cameron Street

Principle Gallery 208 King Street

Old Town Antiques 222 S. Washington Street

Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery 105 N. Union Street

Verdigris Vintage 1215 King Street

St. George Gallery 105 N. Alfred Street

Cavalier Antiques 400 Prince Street

The Art League 105 Union Street

Sumpter Priddy III 323 S. Washington Street

Local Colour Old Town 218 N. Lee Street

Betty Grisham Studio 105 N. Union Street

Henry Street Antiques 115 S. Henry Street

Icon Galleria 101 N. Union Street

Imagine Artwear 112 King Street


[Me]: “Yes... quite good actually...” IGYHG: “Well, let me look at what you’ve got!” [three minutes later] IGYHG: “Well... I’m glad you’re here... see ya next year!”

The “I Shudda Bought It Last Year Guy (Shudda)”: Shudda: “Hey! You’re here again!” [Me]: “Hi, how are you? Yeah... It’s our 7th year here...” Shudda: “... been walking this whole fair looking for you!” [Me]: “Yeah... lots of dealers this year... glad you found us!” Shudda: “Howsa been goin’?” [Me]: “Yes... quite good actually...” Shudda: “Well, let me look at what you’ve got!” [three minutes later] Shudda: “Where’s that really good watercolor of the fill-inthe-blank?” [Me]: “Uh... I sold it last year but I have a few more pieces by that artist.” Shudda: “Ah! - I really wanted that one! Do you have another one?” [Me]: “Well, no... it was an original watercolor, and I sold it; but I have ---” Shudda: “I really wanted that piece; and it was a good price too...” [Me]: “Maybe you’d like some of his new work...” Shudda: “I shudda bought it last year” [Walks away] Old Town Crier

Shudda: “You gonna be here next year?”

The “Where’s That Piece Guy (WTP)”: WTP: “Hey! You’re here again!” [Me]: “Hi, how are you? Yeah... It’s our 7th year here...” WTP: “... been walking this whole fair specifically looking for you!” [Me]: “Yeah... lots of dealers this year... glad you found us!” WTP: “Howsa been goin’?” [Me]: “Yes... quite good actually...” WTP: “OK... last year I saw this piece... it was a fill-in-thebank and I should have bought it then! “ [Me]: “Yeah... that is a nice piece.” WTP: “I’ve been thinking about it for a whole year” [Looks around the booth and doesn’t see it] WTP: “Do you still have it?” [From here there are two paths...] Path One [Me]: “Uh... I sold it last year - but I have a few more pieces by that artist.” WTP: “Ah! - I really wanted that one! Do you have another one?” [Me]: “Well, no... it was an original watercolor, and I sold it; but I have ---” WTP: “I really wanted that piece; and it was a good price too...” [Me]: “Maybe you’d like some of his new work...” WTP: “I shudda bought it last

Kelly’s Art & Frame 510 N. Washington Street Oerth Gallery 420 S. Washington Street Jeffrey Winter Fine Arts 110A S. Columbus Street

F. Lennox Campello


Johnston Matthew 105 N. Union Street

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

Alida Anderson Art Projects, LLC, Washington, DC /

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

year” [Walks away] WTP: “You gonna be here next year?” Path Two [Me]: “Let me get it for you... I have it in the back!” WTP: “Great” [I bring it out and give to WTP] WTP: “Yeah this is it! It’s great!” [Me]: “This artist has done really well this last year and ---” WTP: [Handing it back] “Excellent! I’m glad you still have it... until what time are you going to be here?”

915 King St. • Old Town Alexandria • 703-684-1435 •

Check us out online at

Come see our entire line of amazing American-made clothing, jewelry and crafts.

Cloisonné Bracelet by Laura Stamper Designs Art Jewelry.

Holiday Gift Ideas

Lovely winter wool socks. Cozy chenille scarves. Elegant hand-painted silks. Hats – both comfy casual and gracefully dressy. Party clothes from Harshita Designs, Kay Chapman, Kiyo, Lee Andersen and Lori Ross. Winter flannel shirts from Eleven Stitch Design. Lots of sweaters – Jaskar, Margaret Winters and Putorti. Woolen and fleece jackets from Go Lightly, Baabaazuzu, Woolflower, Janska and Mia Tyson. Cards and ornaments from local artist Patricia Palermino. Pewter nativity sets and ornaments, hand-crafted metal Springerlee Christmas ornaments from Village Designs. Accessories and jewelry to enhance your holiday outfits. Serving pieces and home accents. Gift wrap always. Holiday Hours begin December 1st Mon – Sat 10 am – 8 pm • Sunday 11 am – 6 pm

Above: New Attitude Jacket. Textured Silk Crepe de Chine by Gloria Lewis. Left: The Gail Jacket. Black and white geometric fabric by Connie Roberson.

1124 King Street | Alexandria, Virginia 22314 (703) 548-1461 |

December 2019 | 13




hy settle for socks in your Christmas stocking when you can give someone a travel experience to remember for a lifetime? Every year I feel a twinge of excitement when the world’s most famous travel guide publisher, Lonely Planet, releases its annual top ten countries to visit, and the 2020 list has just hit the streets. While their list is by no means scientifically generated, their top 10 destination picks reveal the buzz that countries are generating amongst the tourist industry and general public. But how is a savvy gift giver like yourself going to pick from those ten destinations? Without doubt, all ten are worthy of their place on the list, but I’ve chosen to highlight two countries that, despite their diminutive size, have a whole lot to give!

eSwatini (Lonely Planet Ranking Number 5) eSwatini (formerly the Kingdom of Swaziland) may be extremely tiny and often overlooked by tourists, but what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in its diversity of wildlife, scenery, and culture:

World-Class Safari ippos! Beware of H

Stunning Sce

nery at Every


eSwatini is home to three major safari destinations: Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Hlane Royal National Park and Mkhaya Game Reserve. Both Hlane and Mkhaya are home to four (Lion, Elephant, Rhino, and Leopard) of the “Big Five” must-see animals on safari and draw tourists keen to experience a traditional big game safari. In the big game hubbub Hlane and Mkhava generate, the Milwane Game Reserve can often be overlooked. This small, but extremely picturesque sanctuary isn’t home to any dangerous carnivores, which means that visitors are free to mountain bike or even walk through the park! It’s certainly a unique and relaxing safari experience that shouldn’t be missed. From personal experience, I just suggest you exercise caution when mountain biking in the vicinity of Milwane’s hippos!

Dramatic Scenery

itional Witness Trad s Ceremonie

eSwatini plays host to some of the most dramatically diversified scenery the continent of Africa has to offer. From the ruggedly volcanic Lubombo Mountains, an 800km range that stretches along eSwatini’s eastern border, to eSwatini’s lowveld and fertile valleys, there’s something to appeal to even the most discerning of pallets. This scenic diversity supports a vast array of outdoor activities including a morning of soaring high above eSwatini’s gorges on a zipwire and an afternoon exploring deep beneath the surface of Southern Africa’s only subterranean granite cave system.

Traditional Culture eSwatini is home to some of Africa’s most colorful, traditional and authentic ceremonies. If experiencing African culture unimpeded by the typical tourist trappings is of interest, then make sure you time your visit to experience Incwala. Held during the southern hemisphere’s summer solstice, Incwala is a Kingship ceremony shrouded in mysticism and centered on the monarchy. Lasting over a month, this age-old tradition is eSwatini’s most important cultural event and is one of the last remaining examples of traditional African ceremony; so much so that it requires total privacy from tourist interference or participation on certain days (so do plan accordingly).

14 | December 2019

Old Town Crier

Costa Rica (Lonely Planet Ranking Number 6) Costa Rica accounts for a mere 0.03% of the earth’s surface, and yet it manages to pack an enormous 4% to 6% of the world’s biodiversity into that tiny patch of land. Undoubtedly, the highlight of a trip to Costa Rica is the chance to explore some of the best National Parks out there in one of the world’s finest eco-tourism destinations. Here are my three all-time favorites:

The Poster C hild of Costa Ric a, the Sloth

Highland Cloud Forests Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is located in Costa Rica’s Central Highlands. As its name suggests, it’s an area often descended upon by dense cloud cover, creating a unique and other-worldly setting for wildlife spotting. Think Jurassic Park without the T-Rex. It’s home to over 100 different mammal species including capuchin and howler monkeys, plenty of big cats including jaguar and puma as well as deer, tapir and the much-loved sloth. It also has 1,200 species of amphibians and reptiles, including venomous and nonvenomous snakes, frogs and toads. The Monteverde forest’s walking trails include suspension bridges which allow you access to the forest canopy for a unique wildlife sighting opportunity high above the forest floor. For something even more exhilarating, you shouldn’t miss the canopy zip lines!

etlands in Explore the W iman Search of Ca

Coastal Wetlands Tortuguero National Park offers the chance to feel like a true explorer. Only accessible by boat or light aircraft, this wetland park is a wonderland fringed by tropical rainforest and the Caribbean Sea. Swapping the trappings of modern tourism such as glamorous hotels, swanky restaurants, and tacky souvenir stands for a more ecofriendly vibe, the park has maintained its rugged, back-to-basics appeal. It offers the unique opportunity to spot wildlife by boat and foot that you might not have the chance to see elsewhere in Costa Rica. My personal highlight is visiting the green turtle nesting grounds at night by taking a small boat (kayak or canoe as well) along the park’s myriad canals. This nighttime excursion will also provide the exciting chance to spot caiman, American crocodiles and the elusive West Indian manatee.

Marine Paradise Manuel Antonio is one of the smallest national parks in the country at only 16 square kilometers, but it packs a seriously big wildlife punch. You’re likely to see red-eyed tree frogs, iguanas, bats, monkeys (capuchin, howler and squirrel), coatimundi and raccoon. Its pristine beaches are also the start of a vibrant marine wildlife habitat that includes spotted dolphins, humpback whales, sea turtles and manta rays. Head out on one of the many boat tours on offer and you’ll be able to swim and snorkel to your heart’s content. It’s the perfect relaxing way to end a tour of Costa Rican paradise.

Relax on Co sta Rica’s Be a


Looking more 2020 travel inspiration? Make sure to check out the rest of the Lonely Planet Top 10 destinations: Bhutan, England, North Macedonia, Aruba, the Netherlands, Liberia, Morocco and Uruguay – and don’t forget to check us out online at www.

Old Town Crier

December 2019 | 15




he holiday season has arrived. That means you will be on the giving or receiving end of a poinsettia, Christmas cactus, cyclamen, amaryllis or other holiday plant. Extend the beauty and longevity of these holiday beauties with proper care. And

that starts the minute you leave the florist or garden center. Always protect your gift plants from the harsh outdoors. Professional florists and garden center staff will provide a care tag and wrap your plants in a plastic or paper sleeve. Remove the wrap as soon as you arrive home. This is especially important when caring for poinsettias. The upturned leaves emit ethylene, a ripening hormone, that can shorten the longevity of your poinsettia’s colorful display. Rewrap your

holiday plant anytime you move it outdoors and never leave it sitting in a cold car while running errands. A chilled plant looks

fine until it thaws. By the next day the plant turns grayishgreen, wilts and may die. Not such a nice gift after all. Once your plant arrives home, place it in a cool, brightly lit location. The cool temperatures and indirect light help the blooms last longer. Avoid drafts of hot and cold air. These can dry or chill the plant, resulting in leaf and blossom drop. Fold down the foil wrap to allow sunlight to reach all the leaves. Keep the soil moist, like a damp sponge, but not wet. A quick touch of the top inch or two of soil will let you know when it is time to water. Water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil are crumbly and just slightly moist. Pour out any water that collects in the foil, basket, decorative pot or saucer. Or place pebbles in the bottom of the container or saucer to elevate the plant above any sitting water. Plant your amaryllis bulb in a container that is slightly larger than the bulb and has drainage holes. Set the bulb in a well-drained potting mix with 1/3 of the pointed end exposed. Water the potting mix thoroughly and place the container in a cool sunny location. Continue to water thoroughly, but only often enough to keep the soil barely moist. Or go soilless. Place several inches of pebbles in the bottom



KNOW 16 | December 2019


of a glass vase or watertight container. Cover the pebbles with water. Set the bulb on top of the pebbles, adding more stones around the bulb to hold it in place. Leave the top one third of the bulb exposed. Add water as needed to maintain the water level just below the bulb. Now relax and wait the month or more needed for your amaryllis bulb to wake up and start growing. Water more often once sprouts appear. Keep your floral display looking its best by removing spent flowers from azaleas, Christmas cactus, cyclamen and kalanchoes. This keeps the plant looking fresh and often encourages more blooms. Remove the true flowers, those yellow knobs in the center of the colorful leaves of the poinsettia. This extends the longevity and beauty of the poinsettia plant. And once the holidays are past, keep enjoying these plants through the gray days of winter. Move the plants to a sunny window, fertilize with a dilute solution of complete or flowering plant fertilizer and water as needed. Add some artificial berries, cut flowers in water picks or silk blooms to replace the faded flowers. Use colorful stakes or natural twigs for added beauty and to support floppy leaves and stems. Be sure to add a few holiday plants to this year’s gift list. They’re guaranteed to brighten everyone’s holiday celebrations. Melinda Myers is the author of more than 20 gardening books and is the host of The Great Courses’ How to Grow Anything DVD series. Her website, www., offers gardening tips and videos.

The showy colored parts of poinsettias that most people think of as the flowers are actually colored bracts (modified leaves). For more poinsettia facts, go to

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ads featuring a big, smiling Santa?

1. In Frosty the Snowman, who brought Frosty back to life? 2. Who lost $8,000 in It's a Wonderful Life? 3. In How the Grinch Stole Christmas, what biological shortcoming made the Grinch so mean? 4. Who tells you she's in town by tap, tap, tappin' at your windowpane? 5. What is the biggest selling Christmas single of all time? 6. What was Scrooge's first name? 7. Where was I when I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus? 8. What was the name of Rudolph's dogsled driving friend? 9. Who said "God Bless Us, Every One!"? 10. What carol contains the line "O tidings of comfort and joy"? 11. In The Night Before Christmas I sprang from my bed to see what? 12. Name the three reindeer whose names begin with a "D"? 13. In the song "Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer" what did Grandma go to get? 14. What was the first gift my true love sent on the sixth day of Christmas? 15. In what city did Miracle on 34th Street take place? 16. In It's a Wonderful Life, how did Clarence cleverly save George's life? 17. Who kept time with the Little Drummer Boy? 18. In The Night Before Christmas, where were the stockings hung? 19. What is the name of the little girl in most versions of The Nutcracker? 20. What is the last ghost called in A Christmas Carol? 21. What color is the Grinch? 22. How many pipers piping did my true love give to me?

80. What does Alvin want for Christmas? reindeer is never mentioned in "The Night Before Christmas"?

Chipmunk Song"?

31. St. Nick's beard is like what feature of winter?

56. In It's a Wonderful Life, what part of George's house is always broken?

32. Name the two reindeer whose name begins with a "C"? 33. In It's a Wonderful Life, what did Clarence receive for accomplishing his mission: wings or a halo? 34. What carol contains the word "Fa-la-lala-la-la-la-la-la"?

57. Traditionally, does the oldest or youngest family member open the first present? 58. What carol demands figgy pudding? 59. What flower does Moore compare St. Nick's cheeks to? 60. Whose eyes were made of coal?

35. In the "Nutcracker" section of Fantasia, what fungi dance the Chinese dance?

61. What song was originally titled "One Horse Open Sleigh"?

36. What did the Grinch use as a substitute for reindeer?

62. What holiday film annually appears on television more than 300 times?

37. Who were nestled snug in their beds? 38. What 1990 movie told of a boy's experience when two men break into his house during Christmas?

63. In It's A Life, Wonderful Life what two friends share their names with two Sesame Street characters? 64. What is Frosty's nose made

85. After red and green, what are the two most popular Christmas colors? 86. What song contains the line "Somebody waits for you, kiss her once for me"? 87. What popular Christmas toy is based on a 1903 political caricature? 88. Who first recorded "Here Comes Santa Claus"? 89. What song does a caroler sing outside Scrooge's office? 90. What two words are normally preprinted on gift tags? 91. Where was Mommy when she was kissing Santa Claus? 92. What film told the plight of a poor mountain family during the days of the Depression? 93. On every street corner you hear what song?

65. How does Scrooge improve Cratchit's life the day after Christmas?

94. What was Brenda Lee doing around the Christmas Tree?

41. In It's a Wonderful Life, what kind of spirit is Clarence?

66. What country started the tradition of exchanging gifts?

42. What were Frosty's last words?

67. In A Charlie Brown Christmas, what winter recreation is the cast of characters doing in the opening scene?

95. In A Charlie Brown Christmas, how many cents does Lucy charge for her psychiatric services?

43. What piece of heavenly apparel does the Littlest Angel not wear correctly? 44. What is Charlie Brown's complaint about Christmas?

46. On what street did a Santa Claus miracle occur?

25. In A Charlie Brown Christmas, who plays the dusty innkeeper in the Christmas play?

47. Counting Rudolph, how many reindeer are there?

26. What did the traffic cop holler to Frosty?

48. What happened to the drummer boy's lamb when he played his song for the baby Jesus?

96. Elvis Presley recorded what sad song in the fifties?

68. What are tiny, inexpensive gifts usually called?

97. In "Winter Wonderland" the lovestruck couple pretends a snowman is who?

69. Name the reindeer whose name begins with a "B"?

98. What parade was first held January 1, 1886?

70. What WWII First Lady wrote a Christmas story about a girl named Marta?

99. What song is full of threats and warnings about Santa Claus?

71. What non-smoking association sponsors Christmas seals?

100. Where did Santa land his sleigh in "The Night Before Christmas"?

72. Visions of what dance in children's heads?

101. Who yelled "Stop" to Frosty?

73. How many times is the name of Santa Claus used in "The Night Before Christmas"?

49. What did Rudolph never get to join in?

74. What is the most popular tree topper?

50. What Emmy award-winning cartoon was based on a newspaper editorial?

75. What song contains the line "Although, it's been said, many times, many ways"?

29. What Saturday Evening Post artist was known for his whimsical pictures of Santa Claus?

51. What carol is known as the counting song?

76. What did the Little Drummer Boy give to the Christ Child?

52. Where did there arise such a clatter?

77. What snack is often left out for Santa?

53. What type of canned pie filling is a big seller at Christmas time?

78. In It's a Wonderful Life, who starred as George Bailey?

30. What one

54. What three characters sing "The

79. What cola company was known for its

Old Town Crier Old Town Crier

84. What do most elves wear on the tips of their shoes?

40. What glittery bits of metal are hung on a Christmas tree?

24. What was Rudolph's punishment for his red nose?

Answers on page 29

83. What men's grooming appliance became a sled for Santa in commercials of the sixties?


23. In the movie The Santa Clause, who starred as the substitute Santa Claus?

28. What popular bite-sized chocolate candy comes wrapped in red and green foil at Christmas?

82. What does the nutcracker become after killing the Mouse King?

39. What fruit is St. Nick's nose like?

45. What instrument does Amahl play as he leads the procession in Amahl and the Night Visitors?

27. What holiday drink contains sugar, milk, and eggs?

55. What gift did Caspar bring?

81. Who wrote "The Night Before Christmas"?

102. In It's A Wonderful Life, what did George dream of becoming? 103. What is the name of the first reindeer Santa calls in The Night Before Christmas? 104. What is the name of the most famous Christmas ballet? 105. What is the theme or essence of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"? 106. Who wrote A Christmas Carol? answers on page 56

December 2012 | 53 December 2019 | 17




he President of the United States is impeachable at any time during his continuance in office,” James Madison wrote (Federalist Paper No. 39). The 2019 calendar is turning and still the country contemplates President Donald Trump’s (R-NY/ FL) conduct in office. “If impeached, tried, and, upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors, [the President will be] removed from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law.” Last October the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats especially voted to further its impeachment inquiry. “The legislative, executive, and judiciary departments ought to be separate and distinct,” Alexander Hamilton concluded. “Power being almost always the rival of power, the general government will at all times stand ready to check the usurpations….” Power: the ability or capacity to perform effectively; to control. President Donald Trump and, in turn, the Executive branch have repeatedly refused to respond to Congressional subpoenas; requests for information related to the un-redacted Robert Mueller report, citizenship and the 2020 census, Ukraine and an acknowledged Executive quid pro quo. Quid pro quo: thing given as compensation; return made for a gift or favor. Trump’s failure to reply to the latter may result in obstruction of Congress charges. Executive privilege is an implied power, “derived from the concept of ‘process privilege.’” It allows the president and other high 18 | December 2019

Graphic by Gregory Grinnell/Northeastern University

Executive Privilege Impeachment officials of the Executive branch to keep “sensitive” communications private should the disclosure of such prove disruptive to the Executive branch. Executive privilege was not legally explained until 1974—United States v. Richard M. Nixon— and mostly applies to matters of foreign policy, national security, and or national defense. President George Washington first exerted his Executive prerogative in 1795. President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared the prerogative a privilege in the 1950s, during Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “Red-hunter” era; the famous McCarthy-Army hearings. “Any man who testifies as to the advice he gave me won’t be working for me that night,” President Eisenhower scowled. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe

during World War II, and or his Administration invoked Executive privilege a total of 44 times. “Only by consistently and forcefully resisting Congressional incursions can Executive prerogatives [privileges] be preserved,” Assistant Attorney General, now Attorney General William P. Barr wrote in 1989. Barr highlighted “ten types of legislative provisions commonly included in proposed legislation that weaken the Presidency.” By type: No. 4 Micromanagement of the Executive Branch especially foreign affairs; No. 5 Attempts to Gain Access to Sensitive Executive Branch Information; No. 6 Concurrent Reporting Requirements, and No. 9 Attempts to Restrict the President’s Foreign Affairs Powers. “The term Executive privilege is a 20th century

thing,” Kevin C. Butterfield, Executive Director of George Washington’s Presidential Library wrote. “Congress asked President George Washington for information regarding Arthur St. Clair’s devastating 1791 defeat, and he gave Congress every scrap there was.” General St. Clair’s attempt to construct forts in the Ohio region was violently opposed. “I Take the liberty of Communicating to your Excellency The disagreeable News of our defeat,” William Drake wrote President Washington on November 10, 1791. “We Left fort Washington the Begining of Septr, a Jornel of our march to the place of Action & the whole proseedings on our march I hoped to have had the Honour to inclose to you but that and all other papers, Cloathing & ca was Taken by the [Ohio] Indians.” “Washington was later

asked for information about the Jay Treaty negotiations, and he refused to give material to the House of Representatives,” Butterfield continued. The debate dates back to incidents involving not only President George Washington (1795), but also President Thomas Jefferson, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, and conspirator Aaron Burr (United States v. Burr 1807). “I have considered your… request…to lay before your House, a copy of the instructions to the Minister of the United States, who negociated the treaty with the king of Great Britain, together with the correspondence and other documents relative to that treaty, excepting such of the said papers, as any existing negociation may render improper to be disclosed,” President Washington wrote the U.S. House of Representatives on March 30, 1796. “No part of my conduct has ever indicated a disposition to withhold any information, which the constitution has enjoined upon the President, as a duty, to give, or which could be required of him by either House of Congress, as a right,” Washington continued. “And with truth, I affirm, that it has been, as it will continue to be, while I have the honor to preside in the government, my constant endeavor to harmonize with the other branches thereof.” “The nature of foreign negociations requires caution,” Washington explained, “and their success must often depend on secrecy: and even when brought to a conclusion, a full disclosure of all the measures, demands, or eventual concessions, which may have been proposed or contemplated, A BIT OF HISTORY > PAGE 19

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would be deemed impolitic; for this might have a pernicious influence on future negociations, or produce immediate inconveniences, perhaps danger and mischief, in relation to the other powers. The necessity of such caution and secrecy was one cogent reason for vesting the power of making treaties, in the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate… To admit, then, a right in the House of Representatives, to demand, and to have, as a matter of course, all the papers respecting a negociation with a foreign power, would be, to establish a dangerous precedent.” “It does not occur, that the inspection of the papers asked for can be relative to any purpose under the cognizance of the House of Representatives, except that of an impeachment; which the resolution has not expressed,” Washington concluded. “In fact, all the papers affecting the negociation with Great Britain were laid before the Senate.” “Much of the trouble that Senator Joe McCarthy got into arose from his rejection of the concept of Executive privilege,” Washington Post columnist George E. Sokolsky wrote in 1959. “True, ours is a tripartite form of government and each branch is independent of the other, except as the Constitution provides checks of one upon the other. Still lawyers whom I have queried could provide me with no law concerning Executive privilege. That said, the money power is vested in Congress [and] foreign aid is an expenditure…There can be no Executive privilege concerning the expenditure of public money.” The notion that Executive privilege applies to foreign aid, the expenditures related to “is based on the ancient dictatorial philosophy that the people should be satisfied with whatever their rulers deem they should have,” Soloksky concluded. “If we American citizens ever agree to such a bureaucratic philosophy in Washington, then we dig the grave for the free American government.” President Trump’s 2019 Ukranian Executive quid pro quo is connected not only to foreign aid but also the ongoing House impeachment Old Town Crier

inquiry. On October 25, 2019, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell issued a 75page opinion which states the U.S. House of Representatives “was legally engaged in a judicial process that exempts Congress from normal grand jury secrecy rules.” Judge Howell dismissed arguments by committee Republicans that the House must first vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry, calling the notion politically appealing but legally fatally flawed. “Even in cases of presidential impeachment, a House resolution has never, in fact, been required to begin an impeachment inquiry,” Howell said. Yet Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called for a Halloween vote. Her constitutional concern as of mid-November: bribery. President Trump seemingly is of a type. In 2016, prior to his Presidential inauguration, Trump settled a now defunct Trump University lawsuit. On November 4, 2019, a federal appeals panel said “that President Trump’s accounting firm must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, a setback for the president’s attempt to keep his financial records private.” Also in November: A judge ordered Trump to pay $2 million “to an array of charities as a fine for misusing his own charitable foundation to further his political and business interests.” And, as per the Mueller Report, former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone was found guilty of seven counts of lying, witness tampering, and obstruction. The U.S. Supreme Court, United States v. Richard M. Nixon (1974), decided that “absent a need to protect military, diplomatic, or sensitive national security secrets,” the President’s “generalized interest in

confidentiality” [executive privilege] was outweighed by the “demonstrated, specific need for evidence in a pending criminal investigation.” The House of Representatives took its impeachment hearings public on November 13. Will formal charges, Articles of Impeachment follow? Only time will tell, including the integrity of the ongoing impeachment process. Columnist’s Notes: In November the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims can sue gun manufacturer Remington. In addition a federal judge prohibited a Texas based company from publishing gun blueprints, distributing 3D blueprints online. On November 14, in Santa Clarita, California a 16 year-old student shot and killed two of his Saugus High School classmates; injured three others. It was 2019’s 85th school gun violence incident. (Let’s Not Be Scared, Let’s Be Prepared Crier Nov/2019) 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: December 2019 | 19




t’s the most wonderful time of the year, and many families enjoy celebrating with their animal companions. While festive, this exhilarating environment presents a unique set of temptations and challenges to pets and owners alike. The following are a few tips to alleviate seasonal stress and keep your holidays safe and pet-friendly: LIGHTS & CANDLES: Blinking lights and flickering flames enchant children and adults alike. Unfortunately, they are also irresistible to many pets, who can inadvertently suffer serious burns or electrical shocks from fire, cords, wires, and batteries. Make sure menorahs and other candles are out of reach, and well positioned in stable holders. Where possible, opt for pillars over tapers, as tapers are more likely to topple and spread fire. Extinguish flames when you leave the room, prevent your pet from accessing the room where candles are burning, or consider battery operated flameless candles. Where lights are concerned, keep cords and wires out of reach or prevent access by covering or hiding them. Consider trying thicker rope-style lights with bulbs encased in clear thick tubing, which are safer for pets prone to chewing. SKIP THE TINSEL: Ask any veterinarian about holiday pet safety and one of the first

olive, which are equally festive but much less toxic. No matter the variety, continue to keep plants and flowers out of reach to prevent ingestion and mischief.

TIPS TO HELP YOUR PETS HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON responses you’re likely to get is “NO TINSEL.” It’s highly attractive to pets: crinkly, sparkly, and generally available in varying lengths that beg to be chased and chewed. It’s also surprisingly strong, and does not break down in the intestinal tract once its swallowed. After ingestion, the tinsel can lodge and tangle any number of places including under the tongue, in the stomach, or the intestines - resulting in potentially lethal illness, expensive diagnostics, and even surgery. If you suspect your pet has eaten tinsel, contact your vet immediately. Never attempt to pull tinsel or other material protruding from your pet’s rear end; if the strand is tangled inside, pulling could seriously damage her internal organs. ORNAMENTS: Whether hanging from a tree or gracing


Are you or someone you know free during weekday mornings? King Street Cats is looking for weekday morning caregivers and vet taxis to transport our cats to the vet. Please email: for details. King Street Cats is looking for foster homes! You provide the spare room and TLC and we can provide food, litter and all vetting. Please email: for details.

20 | December 2019

a side table, any “new” object is subject to exploration by our animal companions. Cats especially cannot resist the dangling ornaments on the lower branches of trees and have no respect for heirloom knick-knacks, which are easily knocked or pushed off tables. Broken glass can cause cuts in humans and animals alike. Shards from ornaments can be ingested causing damage to the mouth and internal organs. Consider opting for plastic or other shatterproof décor in pet-accessible locations. Be careful with homemade or foodbased ornaments, such as popcorn chains, cranberries, gingerbread, or candy, as these may be more attractive to pets and can result in toxicity or blockages. TREES & PLANTS: Anyone with an active cat or large dog knows the challenges

KING STREET CATS 25 Dove Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 Every Saturday and Sunday from 1.30pm-4.30pm PETVALU Bradlee Shopping Center, 3652 King St, Alexandria, VA 22302 Every Sat/Sun from 1pm-4pm

faced by a family Christmas tree. Reduce temptation to climb and tackle by locating tempting ornaments in higher branches. Consider olfactory repellants such as orangebitters, which can be sprayed on or around the tree to dissuade attention. For extra protection, try the Christmas Tree Defender, available on Amazon, which acts as a physical barrier to prevent pets (i.e. cats) from climbing up the tree from the bottom. Where all else fails, create barriers with baby-gates or exercise pens, or put the tree in a room off-limits to the pets, allowing access only when supervised. When it comes to plants and flowers, avoid mistletoe, poinsettia, lilies, amaryllis, and holly, which are poisonous to most cats and dogs. Opt instead for safer alternatives such as Christmas cactus, roses, orchids and autumn

FOOD: For many humans, food is the best part of the holidays, and we love to share the joy with our animal friends. Treats are okay, but make sure to use moderation and be speciesappropriate. Obviously, chocolate is out, but also avoid anything sweetened with xylitol (candy, mints, toothpaste, grapes and raisins (raisin bread, mincemeat), avocados (guacamole), dairy (ice cream, whipped cream), garlic, onions, and macadamias. Prevent illicit ingestion by properly storing leftovers and securing any candy or human-treats left on tables or counters. Even if the food or candy is not toxic, any foil or wrappings swallowed can cause digestion issues or intestinal blockage. If you can’t resist sharing your own holiday meal, a small amount of fully cooked boneless, skinless turkey or chicken is generally safe, but avoid the bastings or juices, as many spices are toxic to cats and dogs. Dogs may also enjoy a number of raw or plain cooked vegetables such as carrots, green beans, and pumpkin. However, be sure to prepare your friend his own POINTS ON PETS > PAGE 21

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portion, without dairy, sugar, salt, or spices. Better yet, just visit your local pet store for some specially made gourmet dog biscuits and turkey flavored cat treats. GUESTS: Finally, the holidays are a time for friends and family. Whether throwing the

holiday work party or hosting grandma and grandpa, make sure all visitors understand the house-rules for your pets. Prevent “door-dashing” by warning visitors to text before arrival, ring the bell, and close doors quickly. Advise guests about the dangers of peoplefoods for animals, and request they ask permission before giving treats or foods to your

non-human companions. Many pets, especially dogs, are just as excited to host guests as we are, but others quickly feel overwhelmed by the energy. Cats especially, but also shyer or older dogs, can benefit from a quiet “escape” room, complete with familiar blankets and toys, litter and food, to take time off from the hub-bub and stress. For your

guests with small children, make sure they are supervised when interacting with your pets. Encourage quiet voices and gentle touches, and ensure the safety of both animal and child by monitoring your pet’s body language.

Sarah Liu is a volunteer at King Street Cats in Old Town Alexandria. Originally from Indiana, Sarah enjoys travel, The Walking Dead, and sushi. She works so her cat can have a better life.



Cremation of Horses & Companion Animals (571) 835-0540 Chantilly, VA



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

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Young, Spayed Female and Neutered Male, Black and Grey Long-haired Rabbits

Senior, Spayed Female, Gray Tabby Domestic Short Hair

Adult, Spayed Female, Brindle with White American Pit Bull Terrier

Deep down, under all of those layers of fluff, Moose and Reed are cuddle-bugs are heart. Content to snuggle in the arms of their friends, these bonded buns are all about affection. Even the way the share their hay, each starting from one end like Lady and the Tramp, shows their sweet natures. So if you’re searching for a pair of pets with hair as big as their hearts, stop by the AWLA to meet Moose and Reed today. Moose and Reed’s Photo courtesy of Alison Lane Photography

People always tell me, “Baby, it’s cold outside.” To which I reply, “Yes, that’s why we should stay right here on the couch instead.” Although I’m not the Baby I was in my younger years, I find myself only improving with age. Like a finely-aged wine, my sweetest notes are only becoming more pronounced. Regardless of how you feel about sweet wine, you’re sure to love sweet me. As for my name, yes, I will still be your Baby because the more of your attention I get, the better. You can call me Baby, and I’ll call you best friend. / Baby’s Photo courtesy of Alison Lane Photography

Ms. Sparkle is looking for a best friend who will help her shine. True to her name, Ms. Sparkle’s multifaceted awesomeness radiates from her for everyone to enjoy. Looking for a smart pup who is always ready to learn new things? Ms. Sparkle is ready! Looking for a sweet pup who can’t stop wagging her tail when you call her name? Ms. Sparkle’s tail is wagging at the thought! Looking for a dog with the cutest ears? Look no further than Ms. Sparkle! Ms. Sparkle’s Photo courtesy of Alison Lane Photography

December 2019 | 21


Lords of Misrule and

Killing Ting Pappy

Photo: Margot Jorda

Quelbe Musicians

The festival song has this refrain: A time to be merry, a time to be gay. A time to celebrate and have fun all day. So come on out and make it snappy Cause we’re going to have a grand time and kill ting pappy.

22 | December 2019


was recently talking with an older gentleman driving a cab on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas. With the holidays approaching, the conversation turned to Christmas many years ago when he was a young man. “We’d go house-to-house in the city of Charlotte Amalie singing carols. At each door, we’d be given sweet bread and glasses of guavaberry wine. By end of night, we’d be fairly lit up!” Strong drink and the raucous singing of holiday songs, of course, have also been centuries old traditions in Virginia. Colonial villages would designate a Lord of Misrule to act as a sort of master of ceremonies and court jester to lead men through the town singing and making merry. Dating back to Danish colonial days, an annual Christmas Festival on the U.S. island of St. Croix starts December 26 and runs through New Year’s Eve (locally called “Old Year’s Night”) and into New Year’s Day. The festival slogan is “Kill Ting Pappy” meaning “have a good time.” The “kill” may refer to the old name for rum (“kill devil”) while “ting” means “thing” and “pappy” is likely the old year. Kill ting pappy may mean “kill the old year” with rum. It was guavaberry wine, however, that gave my wife and me our first taste of Christmas in the tropics when we moved to the island of St. John several years ago.

The wine, made from the small purple and orange/ red fruit of the guavaberry tree, can’t be purchased in stores. Island families compete with each other on the taste and strength of their home-made beverage, which is given away or sold person-to-person. Fermented guavaberries, dashes of ginger, cinnamon, sorrel, cane sugar and, most importantly, the most aged Cruzan rum available are all mixed with secret ingredients to produce a liqueur that is tasty sweet and surprisingly potent. “Every year, we’d take a jimmy john, a big jug, and put the guavaberry and rum in it, and put the jimmy john under the bed, not touching it for a year, until the following Christmas, then bring it out,” explained former Virgin Islands agriculture commissioner Arthur Petersen during a recent Christmas Eve presentation (as reported by St. John Source). Quelbe (folk) singers and bands would be paid with guavaberry wine, the commissioner said. In Cruz Bay, St. John, Ms. Andro Childs told the St. John Historical Society of holidays in the 1930s and 40s. “Thanksgiving signaled the

Photo courtesy of Farsighted Girl

Guavaberry wine (Inset: Guavaberries) beginning of preparations for Christmas. Special liqueurs had to be prepared, not only bottles of the traditional guavaberry, but also guava and sea grape liqueur. My Mama was a master at blending and creating these drinks from native berries and rum. During the same period out in St. John’s Coral Bay, Mr. Guy Benjamin recalled (in his book “Me and My Beloved Virgins”): “How we savored the [Christmas] ham as it steeped in our big iron pot. The water was used for cooking fungi, the skin for our Kallaloo, and the meat for our teeth.” Fungi, a very popular island side dish is boiled corn meal stirred to a thick consistency with butter, CARIBBEAN CONNECTION > PAGE 23

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salad oil, lard and salt. It is then rolled into balls. Kallaloo is a mixture of “edible leaves cooked together with fish, crab meat, pig’s tail and flour droplets seasoned to taste and eaten with a ball of fungi,” Mr. Benjamin explained. Kallaloo is popular at Old Year’s Night parties. Coral Bay knows how to “Kill Ting Pappy”! Jeffrey R. McCord is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Gannett newspapers and, among other publications. For more than 20 years he’s called Northern Virginia home. Jeff is the author of two fact-based Caribbean novels available on Amazon. com: “Undocumented Visitors in a Pirate Sea,” a quarterfinalist in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest; and, “Santa Anna’s Gold in a Pirate Sea,” a finalist in the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book contest. He and his family moved back to Virginia after Hurricane Irma after splitting their time between here and St. John, USVI for many years.

MYSTERY READING AT ITS BEST by Virginia author Jeffrey Roswell McCord

Photo courtesy of Olive and Mango

Kallaloo Soup

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December 2019 | 23



Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade



he Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade, one of Annapolis’ signature events for more than 30 years, is just around the corner! This year the parade is generously sponsored by the Eastport Branch of Long and Foster Real Estate. The parade bursts upon the Annapolis waterfront with up to 40 boats of all shapes and sizes, power and sail, brightly decorated with thousands of lights and crewed by jolly revelers. This festive maritime event is great fun for the entire family. Skippers participate for the fun of it, and circle the waterfront in two fleets: one circling in front of Eastport, the City Dock and the Naval Academy seawall, the other circling the length of Spa Creek, inside the bridge. This year, the Lights Parade will be held on Saturday, December 14th, between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00

PM. The event will occur rain or shine, with only high winds forcing a cancellation. Twenty to thirty thousand people line the waterfront each year to watch this glittering holiday parade. This is great fun for the entire family with entries such as Santa Claus, Polar Bear Express, and The Abominable Snowman. Lights Parade participants can compete for prizes and recognition either individually, or as a representative of their club. The parade is an excellent opportunity to show off a boat or to showcase a club.  Anyone may enter and Eastport Yacht Club provides safety briefings as well as decorating tips. The People’s Choice Award is based upon online voting on Facebook via: The Lights Parade will be streamed live again in 2019.  The Lights Parade will be broadcast LIVE on December 14th and may be accessed on any mobile

device. There will be a link to the livestream on the Eastport Yacht Club web site, lights-parade. For further details, you can check out the EYC Lights Parade on Facebook: EastportYachtClubLightsParade.  People can take home memories of the Lights Parade by purchasing prints and cards. These will be available through the Eastport Yacht Club, and several downtown locations.  Original artwork is displayed on these items.  Skippers may register their boats until December 10th for this joyful holiday event. Entry forms are available online at For more information about the Lights Parade including parade maps, parking information, and viewing sites, visit the Eastport Yacht Club website at:

Experience the Magical Holiday Light Show that is Annmarie Garden in Lights!


ight show runs November 29, 2019 through January 1, 2020, with lots of new elements, along with nightly entertainment, special themed nights, great shopping, holiday cate, and more! Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center in Solomons, Maryland, announces the Annmarie Garden in Lights schedule for the 2019 holiday season. This family-friendly light art event is a joyful outing for all ages - and is a favorite Southern Maryland holiday tradition. The Garden is transformed with more than one million lights in dazzling and unique installations and vignettes. Guests will be delighted with the quirky and unique “light sculptures” that transform the Garden into a glittering kaleidoscope of color. Take a walk through the protected ¼ mile wooded path, then come inside and enjoy live entertainment, food, and holiday shopping. Annmarie Garden in Lights will be open to the public from November 29, 2019 to January 1, 2020, 6-9pm nightly (closed Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 24, 25). Annmarie Garden in Lights also features live entertainment each night, the Hardesty Haven Holiday Café, unique shopping in the Annmarie Gift Shop, an Ornament Show & Sale, Holiday Popup Shops, and much more! Special themed nights throughout the month include, Snow Princess Night, Scout Caroling Night, Santa Night, Festive

24 | December 2019

Holiday Attire Night and Pet Night. Special nights include live characters who will greet guests and provide great photo opportunities. Admission at the door is $7; free for children 2 & under; free for Annmarie members. Visit to purchase special Fast Pass Tickets and for a detailed entertainment schedule. “Appreciation Nights” throughout the event sponsored by friends in the community, offer special admission for public servants such as first responders, educators and military members. These nights are open to the public and are a great opportunity to come out and thank these dedicated people for their service. Sponsors for Garden in Lights include Bath Fitter; GH Clark Contractors, Inc., ChoiceOne Urgent Care; Just Tech; Katie Watts; Roy Rogers, Solomons; Beechtree Apartments; College of Southern Maryland; Exelon Generation; Jane and Walter Grove; Toyota Southern Maryland; SMECO; Quality Built Homes; Inc.; Asbury Solomons; PNC Bank; Jan Kleponis, O’Brien Realty; Team Hyundai; Sabre Systems; Comcast; Community Bank of the Chesapeake; Evie Hungerford; Smile castle Pediatric Dentistry, Holiday Inn Solomons. Directions to Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center From Washington DC (about a 60 minute drive): take Route 4 South to Capital Beltway Exit 11 (to Prince Frederick). Continue on 4 South, following signs to Solomons. Left on Dowell Road at Hilton Garden Inn Annmarie is less than 1/4 mile on left.

“This is one of our favorite times of the year at the Garden. It’s all about celebrating creativity and a celebration of the season. We create the light show each year with love and enthusiasm and the ultimate goal spreading joy. This year, as always, we’re adding more lights and new ideas to dazzle our guests.” —Stacey Ruff, director of Annmarie Garden.

Old Town Crier

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ach month we take a road trip to explore the many fascinating destinations around Alexandria, Virginia. Every December it has become our practice to take a look back at Alexandria and bring our fair city to those of you “From the Bay to the Blue Ridge”. Alexandria, and Old Town in particular, has experienced an explosion of growth along our ever developing waterfront with new restaurants, condos and retail. At the other end of Old Town the Metro station underwent a three month renovation. The station is now remodeled and the trains running again has alleviated the traffic mess in Old Town but the parking lot is still under construction. Along the Potomac River the Old Dominion Boat Club is concluding two years in their beautiful facility while construction continues next door on a new mixed use building and the construction on the Robinson Landing continues. Inspired by the Old Town waterfront, the residenses at Robinson Landing have been thoughtfully designed to provide unprecedented river views. Condominiums feature wide open living spaces and floor-to-ceiling windows that frame matchless panoramas of D.C. and the Potomac River. Distinctive townhomes face Old Town’s historic streets, blending graciously with surrounding homes, and many feature private elevators that rise to expansive rooftop terraces. The Portside Park at the foot of King Street opened last year and is the scene for artistic attractions and visitors and residents are invited to enjoy free-to-the-public events and happenings throughout the year. This December 7th you can watch the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights from the waterfront. The expanded Waterfront Park seemlessly connects Old Town’s historic district and retail corridor with the Potomac River. Visitors can enjoy four distinct areas--an open plaza, a waterfront promenade, shade structures and a modular space that can adapt to different purposes throughout the year. The park, which is adjoined to the original Waterfront Park, is designed for ongoing enjoyment and special activities and events. After ongoing restoration and maintenance the Tall Ship Providence has finally returned for good to her home on the waterfront. The Tall Ship Providence Foundation is looking to mid-December when all final preparations will be completed before allowing guests aboard the ship. The Providence will be a permanent attraction offering public tours, chartered cruises, educational programs, and beer cruises presented in partnership with Alexandria’s own Port City Brewing Company. The celebrity tall ship, which has appeared in the international blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean, is a full-scale replica of one of the U.S. Continental Navy’s first warships, built in 1768, which was captioned by John Paul Jones, the father of the U.S. Navy, under the leadership of General George Washington. The current Providence is a replica built in 1977 and has a fiberglass hull. The Providence will be participating in the Boat Parade of Lights on the 7th. A model of The Providence will also be entered in the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade on the same day. Along the waterfront and the city dock you can find the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Yes, the Torpedo Factory Art Center once was an actual torpedo factory! It all began the day after Armistice Day, November 12, 1918, marking the official end of World War I. Ironically, on that day, the U.S.

26 | December 2019

Old Town Crier

Navy began construction on the original building, the U.S. Naval Torpedo Station. Once fully operational, it was responsible for the manufacture and maintenance of Mark III torpedoes for the next five years. The silver torpedo by the riverfront entrance is a Mark III, but was not manufactured in Alexandria. The Mark XIV green torpedo, currently displayed in the main hall, was produced here in 1945. It was painted bright green so that the Navy could find it in the water when it was tested at Piney Point, MD. In 1969, the City of Alexandria bought the buildings from the Federal Government for $1.6 million. In 1973, The Art League had a lease at 315 Cameron Street that was expiring. James W. Coldsmith, editor of the Alexander Journal and chair of the Alexandria Bicentinnial Commission, suggested to the Art League’s president Marian Van Landingham, who was also part of the Commission, that they consider the expansive old torpedo plant for a new location. She pitched the idea as a three-year pilot to Mayor Charles Beatley Jr. and it passed City Council on May 7, 1974. Today, the Torpedo Factory Art Center is home to the nation’s largest collection of publicly accessible working-artists studios under one roof. More than 165 artists work, exhibit, and sell their art across three floors. It is the creative engine of the region. During the holidays merchants decorate their stores and the city provides lighting for the trees and brings the night sky to life. The annual Christmas tree stands front and center at City Hall and reflects on the fountain. Most of the shops in Old Town are a one-of-a-kind store. While retail has had some hard times, Old Town is home to some businesses that have served their patrons for over 35 years. Some of these shops include Imagine Artwear, Kings Jewelry, America, the Christmas Attic and Comfort One Shoes. Landini Brothers Restaurant celebrated 40 years on October 28 by bringing back the menu and pricing from 40 years ago. There are many restaurants that have been in Old Town for years and the choices are widespread from casual to fine dining. Some of the Old Town classic dining spots have been acquired by new owners but the restaurant has not changed while other new owners have opened up their own concepts which have increased the choices of dining options. Although the largest concentration of restaurants is near the waterfront, there are many fine restaurants and cafes that run all the way to the King Street Metro 18 blocks from the waterfront. Speaking of the waterfront and the metro, a free trolley runs every 15 minutes between the waterfront and the metro, pausing at many stops along the way enabling passengers to get off and on at their leisure. Even though King Street is the main drag in Old Town, there are a lot of other shops and restaurants on the adjacent streets throughout town. There are lots of things happening in Old Town Alexandria during the holiday season (see the calendar of events in this issue) but one of the “coolest” might be watching Jolly Old St. Nick do some waterskiing on the Potomac on Christmas Eve! This is a must see. I encourage all of you to consider the advertisers in this issue as you do your holiday shopping. They are the people that make printing this column possible each month as well as the entire issue. Take a road trip this month and discover the magic of Old Town Alexandria. Wishing a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

Old Town Crier

December 2019 | 27



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ares tains sh of my n u o m in the it’s one ’s ho lives y season and w d uthor n e i A fr olida ut the a ound for h o y d r n e v u ar ry e ly fo this sto I only recent ons have been s Prayer . i s s e r t m e . st a favori ce various v A Chri y a true story d le t i n i t s ll ly a s u u t o c i name e a r n t ears, va ote it o t it’s no many y ifle, and tha erder and wr plain the ex eR ph and Th r was a shee ering how to n. I think o d h n t o u ld i p a ch re ile The ght wh ristmas to his i n g n i freez do. of Ch ch as I eaning true m njoy it as mu ll e you wi

28 | December 2019

a never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving. It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the rifle that I’d wanted so bad that year for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible. So, after supper was over, I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read scriptures. But Pa didn’t get the Bible, instead he bundled up and went outside. I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity. Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.” I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he’d told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn’t know what. Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn’t going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up the big sled unless we were going to haul a

big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn’t happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. “I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said. “Here, help me.” The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on. When we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. “Pa,” I asked, “what are you doing?” ”You been by the Widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I’d been by, but so what? “Yeah,” I said, “why?” “I rode by just today,” Pa said. “Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.” That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading. We went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. “What’s in the little sack?” I asked. “Shoes. They’re out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a little candy.” We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen’s BLUE RIDGE > PAGE 29

Old Town Crier


pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn’t have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us. It shouldn’t have been our concern. We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked and the door opened a crack and a timid voice said, “Who is it?” “Lucas Miles, Ma’am, and my son, Matt. Could we come in for a bit?” Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

“We brought you a few things, Ma’am,” Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children---sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out. “We brought a load of wood too, Ma’am,” Pa said, then he turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring enough in to last for a while. Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.” I wasn’t the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and, much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks and so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy filled my soul that I’d never known before. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had

made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people. I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. “God bless you,” she said. “I know the Lord himself has sent you. I’ve been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us.” In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I’d never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it. Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on a first name basis with the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes. Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when

we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn’t want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine. At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We’ll be by to get you about eleven. It’ll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn’t been little for quite a spell.” I was the youngest. My two older brothers and two older sisters were all married and had moved away. Widow Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you, Brother Miles. I don’t have to say, “’May the Lord bless you,’ I know for certain that He will.” Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little

Publishers Note: This column first appeared in the December 2016 issue of the OTC. Ms. Reardon had computer problems and was unable to get her column in before deadline. The wonders of automation…..

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money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle. I started into town this morning to do just that. But on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and knew what I had to do. So, son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.” I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Just then the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen’s face and the radiant smiles of her three children. For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensen’s, or split a block of wood, I remembered; and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle.

The Loft – Little Washington

More Info Contact-

1 Santa Claus 2 Uncle Billy 3 His heart was two sizes too small 4 Suzy Snowflake 5 "White Christmas" 6 Ebenezer 7 On the Stairs 8 Yukon Cornelius 9 Tiny Tim 10 "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" 11 What was the matter 12 Dasher, Donder, Dancer 13 Her medication 14 Six geese a-laying

from page 17


15 New York 16 He jumped into the river first 17 The ox and the lamb 18 By the chimney 19 Clara 20 The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come 21 Green 22 Eleven 23 Tim Allen 24 Could not play in reindeer games 25 Pigpen 26 "Stop" 27 Eggnog 28 Hershey's Kisses 29 Norman Rockwell 30 Rudolph 31 Snow 32 Comet and Cupid

33 His Wings 34 "Deck the Halls" 35 Mushrooms 36 His dog 37 The children 38 Home Alone 39 A cherry 40 Tinsel 41 An angel 42 "I'll be back again someday" 43 His halo 44 It is too commercialized 45 His reed pipe 46 34th 47 Nine 48 He came back to life 49 Reindeer games 50 Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus

51 "The Twelve Days of Christmas" 52 On the lawn 53 Pumpkin 54 Alvin, Theodore, and Simon 55 Myrrh 56 The bannister 57 The youngest child 58 "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" 59 A rose 60 Frosty's 61 "Jingle Bells" 62 It's a Wonderful Life 63 Bert and Ernie 64 A button 65 He gives him a raise 66 Italy (Romans) 67 Ice Skating 68 Stocking Stuffers 69 Blitzen

70 Elinor Roosevelt 71 American Lung Association 72 Sugarplums 73 None 74 Angel 75 "The Christmas Song" 76 A song on his drum 77 Cookies 78 Jimmy Stewart 79 Coca-Cola 80 A hula-hoop 81 Clement C. Moore 82 A handsome prince 83 Norelco Electric Shaver 84 Bells 85 Silver and gold 86 "A Holly Jolly Christmas" 87 The Teddy Bear 88 Gene Autry

106 Charles Dickens 105 Peace on earth, goodwill to men 104 Nutcracker 103 Dasher 102 An engineer/architect 101 The traffic cop 100 Upon the roof 99 "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" 98 Tournament of Roses 97 Parson Brown 96 "Blue Christmas" 95 5 cents 94 Rockin' 93 "Silver Bells" 92 The Homecoming 91 Underneath the mistletoe 90 To, From 89 "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen"

Old Town Crier

December 2019 | 29




The Tuscan and The Washington

Take a Holiday Break Where the Locals Eat

Fontaine Caffe & Creperie


his fun, cozy little place is the perfect venue for a break in your holiday shopping or just taking a night off of cooking during the hustle and bustle. While I have never traveled in France, it is what I imagine a small French Caffe is like in Paris. Fontaine’s was opened in 2008 by two sisters who wanted to bring a touch of nostalgia on to the Old Town dining scene and the Creperie became an instant hit. It recently changed ownership but it has been a seamless transition. The same high quality service, food and ambiance remain. For those of us of a certain age, it is a throwback to the 1970’s when Crepes and Fondue were “the” thing. In fact, Old Town had its very own creperie - Maison de Crepe - “back in the day” that was located in the space where Bugsy’s Pizza in the 100 block of King Street has been operating for over 30 years. We are definitely happy that crepes made a comeback. We do believe that fondue is also still alive and well within the walls of the Melting Pot Restaurant located in neighboring Arlington. Some of you may have never experienced eating crepes/ galettes. What are they exactly? Basically, they are both a VERY thin pancake made from flour (the galette is made with buckwheat flour), eggs, milk and water that is cooked on a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat until golden brown. Or…if you are fancy, you may use a “crepe maker” pan – also a popular gift item back in the 70’s. 30 | December 2019

Fontaine’s offers both sweet and savory varieties with a plethora of choices of fillings. Like all good eateries, these guys use 100% pure olive oil and organic dairy products as well as locally sourced vegetables and meats and breads along with naturally sustained seafood – most of which is delivered daily. We understand that their housemade tomato juice is a popular item among the regulars. Looks like a Bloody Mary is in the cards on a future visit. This trip to Fontaine’s was the first time for one of us but one of many for the other. I think females are more attracted to the idea of crepes than the guys are since I believe they are perceived to be “light fare”. However, that is somewhat a misnomer when it comes to the crepes at Fontaine’s. The portions are enough to satisfy most guy’s appetites. There are 10 savory options that are served with an accompanying mixed green salad tossed in their house-made Dijon red wine vinaigrette and 12 sweet versions. They also offer 4 different crepes with kids under the age of 6 years in mind. All of the savory crepes are gluten free and there are vegan options as well. In addition to the regular menu offerings, there are daily and seasonal specials featured here. Let’s talk about what we ate. We started off with a bottle of Little James’ Basket Press sauvignon viognier. The bonus is we lunched on Tuesday and Tuesdays are ½ price wine day! I ordered my absolute favorite savory – the Tuscan. This galette is loaded with sweet Italian sausage, cannellini

beans, red peppers and onion in a chunky tomato sauce. YUM! B ordered the Washington. It was on the lunch specials menu and consists of tender beef, onions, mushrooms, carrots and potatoes in a rich dark chocolate and red wine gravy. It was a hearty meal. We ended our repast by splitting the Blueberry Pie sweet crepe. This one is filled with blueberry ice cream and fresh blueberries drizzled with blueberry sauce. This was worth every bite for sure. If crepes really aren’t your thing, there are lots of other options on the menu including sandwiches – they even have crab cake sandwiches – and an assortment of roasted chicken, fresh fish and seafood dishes offered at both lunch and dinner. The wine, beer and cider menu is very extensive at Fontaine’s. For such a small place, they have a fantastic choice of beverages. There are 16 wines by the glass or bottle, 37 wines by the bottle, 10 craft beers, 15 imports and 6 ciders. I didn’t see any Coors or Bud Light on the menu however. Full bar service is also available. The interior is simple and understated with art from local talent adorning the walls. One image in particular caught our eye, a painting by Len Garon that captures the shoreline of National Harbor. A nice connection of Old Town to our neighbor across the river. There are bistro tables out front for al fresco dining during those nice winter weather days we have once in a while as well as a second dining area that

is perfect for a private dinner party or other celebration. This room is offered with personal service, including your very own server and choice of music. While we were there the exterior was being dolled up for the season by local designer Ruth Ryder. Stacy, the General Manager, asked that we give Ruth a shout out. Ruth is a longtime resident and told us that she has several clients in Old Town. She said, “My goal is to keep Old Town beautiful

and encourage others to do the same. One storefront at a time!” The price point at Fontaine’s is just about right for the area. It may actually be a bit under the norm. In any case, it is well worth a visit during the holiday season or anytime for that matter. Serving Breakfast and Lunch Monday-Friday from 9 am – 2:30 pm, Dinner WednesdaySaturday 5:30-10 pm and weekend Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am – 3 pm.

Inspired by foods found in cities across America with a toast to their craft brews, wines, and spirits

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Old Town Crier


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

Open New Year’s Day for Brunch 11 AM - 2 PM

713 King Street • Old Town Alexandria 703.548.1717 •

Old Town Crier

December 2019 | 31




Gordon serves up the Chop Shop Classic Margarita – Reposado tequila and agave garnished with citrus and black lava salt. No commercial mix used in this joint.

How did you get started in the bartending business?

Tell us about an interesting encounter you have had with a customer(s).

I was in an accident and I needed to make some extra cash to pay for medical bills. There is no way I could do it today because healthcare is soooo expensive.

It was a series involving a couple. I introduced them, they got engaged, they got married, they had kids, they moved to Loudoun County, they celebrated life, they divorced, they each met someone new.  They never forgot where it started and would visit for anniversaries and so forth.  IMOP it’s the ultimate guest/bartender experience. I call it the mega cycle.

What is your biggest bartender pet peeve? “We have a lot of fun behind the bar, but I want to talk about something serious. The packs of wild stray dogs controlling most major cities”.-RB. I guess you could say…the lack of a sense of humor.

What is the cleverest line anyone has ever used to get you to give them a free drink? It is not so much a line per say. It is an act of kindness. Being polite. Guests letting others order first when it is busy. Most bartenders notice, I know I do.

32 | December 2019

If you could sit down and have a drink with anyone in the world, past or present, who would that be? I get enough of people. I would love to have a beer on my deck with our old rottweiler again. She passed many years ago. I miss her leaning into me for attention and complying with a head scratch.

What is the best/worst pickup line you have overheard at the bar?

Gordon is behind the bar Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. AM- Sat

I have never heard any of the ones I read about actually working at the bar. KISS. Say hello, buy a drink...and LISTEN. Keep your face out of your phone.

If you would like to see your favorite bartender featured in this space, send contact info to office@oldtowncrier. com. Old Town Crier

This year’s hottest stocking stuffer

Small Batch, Gourmet Hot Sauce


We apply the “Hurricane Category Heat Index”

Cajun Dew

$3 off our Original Single Malt and Original Rye during the month of December at distillery store locations and your favorite VABC Store.

Bayou Inspired

Tour. Taste. Shop.

9 River Lane Sperryville 540.987.8554 901 Capitol Landing Road Williamsburg 757.903.2076

Cajun Dew is the perfect blend of Cayenne and Habenero peppers along with garlic, vinegar and salt. Simple and flavorful. Available for purchase online at or at The Old Town Store on Union Street in Old Town. Also carried in fine restaurants including Union Street Public House, O’Connell’s, Columbia Fire House, and Virtue

MerryChristmas and

Happy New Year

from all of us at



Enjoy our Regular Menu or Try Our $75 Tasting Menu and $35 Wine Pairing Reserve Champagne List also Available

& Wine



Menu Specials, Egg Nog and Create Your Own Bloody Mary Bar

Open Christmas Eve • Closed Christmas Day 7966 Fort Hunt Road (In the Hollin Hall Shopping Center) Reservations: 703-347-7545 • Old Town Crier

December 2019 | 33


AUGIE’S MUSSEL HOUSE 1106 King Street 703.721.3970

JOE THEISMANNS 1800 Diagonal Rd. 703-739-0777

BILBO BAGGINS 208 Queen St. 703-683-0300

JUNCTION BAKERY & BISTRO 1508 Mount Vernon Avenue Alexandria 703-436-0025

BLACKWALL HITCH 5 Cameron St. 703-739-6090

LAPORTAS 1600 Duke St. 703-683-6313

CAFE 44 44 Canal Center 571-800-6644 CARLYLE CLUB 411 John Carlyle St. 703-549-8957

THE LIGHT HORSE 715 King Street 703-549-0533

CHADWICKS 203 Strand St. 703-836-4442 CHARLIE'S ON THE AVENUE Mount Vernon Avenue 703-851-3270

LORI'S TABLE 1028 King Street 703-549-5545 LOST DOG CAFE 808 North Henry St. 571-970-6511

CHART HOUSE One Cameron St. 703-684-5080

MACKIE’S BAR AND GRILL 907 King St. 703-684-3288

CITY KITCHEN 330 South Pickett St. 703-685-9172 COLUMBIA FIREHOUSE 109 S. St. Asaph St. 703-683-1776

MAGNOLIA’S ON KING 703 King St. 703-838-9090 MAJESTIC CAFÉ 911 King St. 703-837-9117 MASON SOCIAL 728 Henry Street Old Town Alexandria 703-548-8800

EVENING STAR CAFÉ 2000 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-549-5051 EXECUTIVE DINER & CAFE 1400 Duke Street 703-299-0894 FIN & HOOF 801 N. Saint Asaph St. 703-836-4700 FIVE GUYS 725 King St. 703-549-7991 FLAT TOP BURGER 529 East Howell Ave. 571-970-1006 FOSTERS GRILLE 2004 Eisenhower Ave. 703-725-1342 GADSBYS TAVERN 138 N. Royal St. 703-548-1288 GRATEFUL KITCHEN 727 N. Henry Street HARD TIMES CAFE 1404 King St. 703-837-0050 HEN QUARTER 1404 King St. 703-684-6969 HUMMINGBIRD 220 South Union Street 703-566-1355 JACKS PLACE 222 North Lee St. 703-684-0372 JACKSON 20 480 King St. 703-842-2790 JAVA GRILL 611 King Street 571-431-7631

34 | December 2019

LIVE OAK 1603 Commonwealth Ave. 571-312-0402

MOUNT VERNON INN Mount Vernon, Va 703-780-0011 MURPHYS IRISH PUB 713 King St. 703-548-1717 MYRON MIXON PITMASTER BBQ 220 North Lee St. 703-535-3340 NECTAR COFFEE & WINE BISTRO 106 Hume Avenue 571-431-6150 NORTHSIDE 1O 10 East Glebe Rd. 703-888-0032 OCONNELLS RESTAURANT & BAR 112 King St. 703-739-1124 PORK BARREL BBQ 2312 Mount Vernon Ave. 703-822-5699 THE PEOPLES DRUG 103 N. Alfred Street RAMPARTS 1700 Fern St. 703-998-6616 RIVER BEND BISTRO 7966 Fort Hunt Rd. Hollin Hall Shopping Center 703-347-7545 ROCK IT GRILL 1319 King St. 703-739-2274 RT's RESTAURANT 3804 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-684-6010

SAMUEL BECKETTS IRISH GASTRO PUB 2800 S. Randolph St. Villages of Shirlington 703-379-0122 SHOOTER MCGEES 5239 Duke St. 703-751-9266 SMOKING KOW BBQ 3250 Duke Sttreet 703-888-2649 SONOMA CELLAR 207 King St. 703-966-3550 SOUTH BLOCK 106 N. Lee Street 703-465-8423 SOUTHSIDE 815 815 S. Washington St. 703-836-6222 SWEETGREEN 823 King St. 571-319-0192 SWEET FIRE DONNA'S BBQ & HOPS 510 John Carlyle Street 571-312-7960 T.J. STONES GRILL HOUSE & TAP ROOM 608 Montgomery St. 703-548-1004 UNION STREET PUBLIC HOUSE 121 South Union St. 703-548-1785 VERMILLION 1120 King St. 703-684-9669 VIRTUE GRAIN & FEED 106 South Union St. 571-970-3669 VOLA’S DOCKSIDE GRILL & THE HI-TIDE LOUNGE 101 North Union St. 703-935-8890 THE WAREHOUSE BAR & GRILL 214 King St. 703-683-6868 ASIAN

ASIAN BISTRO 809 King St. 703-836-1515 MALAYA 1019 King St. 703-519-3710 MAI THAI 9 King St. 703-548-0600 NASIME 1209 King St. 703-548-1848 STREETS MARKET AND CAFE 3108 Mt. Vernon Ave. 571-431-6810 THAILAND ROYAL 801 N. Fairfax St. 703 535-6622 TOKYO JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE 66 Canal Center Plaza 703-683-8878 CAPHE BANH MI VIETNAMESE 407 Cameron St. 703-549-0800 KAI ZEN TAVERN 1901 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-836-1212 THE SUSHI BAR 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue 571-257-3232


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

BASTILLE 606 N. Fayette St. 703-519-3776 BISTRO SANCERRE FRENCH 1755 Duke Street LE REFUGE 127 N. Washington St. 703-548-4661 FONTAINES CAFFE & CREPERIE 119 S. Royal St. 703-535-8151 LA MADELEINE 500 King St. 703-729-2854 TWO NINETEEN RESTAURANT 219 King St. 703-549-1141 ITALIAN BUGSYS PIZZA RESTAURANT 111 King St. 703-683-0313 FACCIA LUNA 823 S. Washington St. 703-838-5998 HANKS PASTA BAR 600 Montgomery Ave. 571-312-4117 IL PORTO RESTAURANT 121 King St. 703-836-8833 LA TRATTORIA 305 S. Washington St. 703-548-9338 LANDINI BROTHERS 115 King St. 703-836-8404 LENA’S WOOD-FIRED PIZZA & TAP 401 East Braddock Rd. 703-960-1086 MIA'S ITALIAN KITCHEN 100 King Street 703-997-5300 PARADISO 124 King St. 703-683-5330 PINES OF FLORENCE 1300 King St. 703-549-1796 RED ROCKS FIREBRICK PIZZA 904 King St. 703-717-9873


LA TASCA 607 King St. 703-299-9810 TAVERNA CRETEKOU 818 King St. 703-548-8688 PITA HOUSE 719 King St. 703-684-9194 DELIAS MEDITERRANEAN GRILL 209 Swamp Fox Rd. Alexandria, VA 703-329-0006 VASO'S MEDITERRANEAN BISTRO 1118 King Street 703-566-2720 VASO'S KITCHEN 1225 Powhatan Street 703-548-2747 SEAFOOD

CATCH ON THE AVENUE 2419 MOUNT VERNON AVE 703-566-1283 HANKS OYSTER BAR 1026 King St. 703-739-HANK FISH MARKET-OLD TOWN 105 King St. 703-836-5676 ERNIES ORGINIAL CRABHOUSE 1743 King St. 703-836-0046 THE WHARF 119 King St. 703-836-2834 INDIAN

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

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

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M-F 4-7pm Sat-Sun Noon-5 pm 606 N. Fayette Street $6 Coq-tails, $5 House Wine, $2 off Beers

CHADWICKS 4-9pm M-F 203 Strand Street 703-836-4442

House Drinks $4.00, House Wines $4.00, Narraganset and Chadwick’s Lager $4.00 Select Bottles $3.00



4- 7pm M-F 330 South Pickett Street 703-685-9172 $3.75 Select Wine, Liquor and Beer

3-7 pm M-F 105 King Street 703-836-5676 Select Import Bottles $5.00 Rail Drinks $5.00 Classic Margaritas and Cocktails $6.00

MACKIE’S SPORTS BAR & GRILL 3 - 7pm M-F 907 King Street 703-684-3288

Select Draft and Bottles $3.00, House Wine $5.00, Rail Drinks $5.00, Jameson $5.00


HAPPY HOURS MURPHY’S GRAND IRISH PUB M-F 4-7pm 713 King Street 703-548-1717

RAMPARTS TAVERN & GRILL M - F 4 - 7pm 1700 Fern Street 703-998-6616


Everyday 4-7pm 3804 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703 684-6010

Select Draft, Rail Liquor and House Wine $3.50

$1.00 Off House Liquor Drinks, Premium Wine Selections $6.00 Select Beers $4 - $5


4 -7pm M-F 214 King Street 703-683-6868


$2 off Draft Beers and House Wine by the Glass. $5 House Spirits

Rail Drinks $6.00, Draft Beer $5.00, Domestic Bottles $4.00, Wine $6.00

Draft $5.00, Speciality Cocktails $10.00, $2.00 Off Wine By the Glass, $4.00 Well Drinks

Rail Drinks, Draft Beer, House Wine, Jameson and Bushmill Specials!

Old Town Crier



M-F 4-7:30PM Beer: $4.50 Select Imports and Virginia Craft Drafts Select Domestics $3.75 All Rail Drinks $$4.50 House Wines $5.50

4-7 pm M-F 608 Montgomery Street 703-548-1004 Draft Beer: Yuengling, Blue Moon, PBR, Parkway Amber $3.25 House Wines $3.25

M - F 4-7 M-F 710 King Street 703-888-1951

December 2019 | 35



White House Eggnog 6 or 7 egg yolks (5 ounces, pasteurized if possible) 1 cup sugar ¾ cups each, bourbon, cognac, dark rum, such as Meyers 6 or 7 egg whites (7 ounces, pasteurized if possible) 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups heavy cream 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 1 quart milk, more if needed Freshly grated nutmeg for serving


his recipe from former White House Chef Walter Scheib, The American Chef, was published in this space shortly after he left his post on Pennsylvania Avenue. We met Walter at the inaugural Food & Wine Festival in National Harbor 9 years or so ago and formed a nice friendship then. Chef Scheib co-authored a column called “Cooking Fran and Wally” with longtime Old Town Crier contributor Frances Killpatrick for several years in the mid 2000’s. He was the Executive Chef at the Whitehouse from 1994 to 2005 during the administrations of both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He died in the summer of 2015 while hiking in the mountains surrounding Taos, New Mexico. He is remembered for his memoir, The White House Chef: Eleven Years, Two Presidents, One Kitchen. We hope you enjoy this holiday memory.

1. Put the yolks and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip until yellow ribbons form, 5 to 7 minutes. 2. Add the bourbon, cognac and rum, whip well, scrape down the sides and mix again. Transfer the mixture to a 6-quart bowl. 3. In a separate clean mixer bowl using a clean beater, whip the egg whites and salt until very stiff. Fold into the eggnog mixture. 4. Wipe out the mixer bowl, pour in the cream and vanilla and whip until very stiff peaks form. Pour this into the eggnog mixture. Add the milk and whisk until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. 5. Transfer the eggnog to an airtight container, chill in the refrigerator and serve within 2 or 3 weeks, if using pasteurized eggs, 3 to 5 days if not. While the eggnog is refrigerated, foam will rise; simply whisk to reincorporate it. Serve very cold, with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

celebrating american cuisine with libations from around the world

Braised Lamb Shank Month

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36 | December 2019

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Join Us Dec. 21st. and 23rd.

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Sabrage is a technique for opening a champagne bottle with a saber, used for ceremonial occasions. The wielder slides the saber along the body of the bottle to break the top of the neck away, leaving the neck of the bottle open and ready to pour. 38 | December 2019


ike a life raft for the forsaken after 2018, this year’s Virginia grape harvest started a little damp and unsteady, but when the sun came out in late spring, all was well. More than well, actually—splendid. Superb. All the right feels— wet, dry, sunny, cool, hot—at all the right moments. Some who live that life 24x7, like Melanie Natoli, might even say that 2019’s is a vintage beyond compare. So a few weeks ago, the winemaker from Cana Vineyards in Middleburg did what many an exhausted, giddy winemaker did to mark the end of this year’s knockout harvest: she knocked the head off a bottle of champagne with a machete— “sabering” it. When you have a job that, at times, makes you want to turn the machete on yourself, a completion ritual like sabering is relief: mental, emotional, physical. One more harvest over, one more transition from the heat of the vineyard to the chill of the cellar. One more start of the cycle, complete.

Melanie during budbreak19 These days, the wine industry is such an important part of Virginia’s economy that harvest success and failure regularly make the 6:00 news. But twenty years ago, while most of us had some vague, glamorous notion of life on a vineyard, few of us knew anything real about what it takes to run a winery. And what we did know – or thought we knew – looked a lot like those Bartles & Jaymes guys relaxing on their porch. “You call that a job?” we would have scoffed, if we’d thought about the wine life at all.

My window into the lifestyle grew from a peephole to a porthole one sunny fall day when my now-husband and I stopped by the nowclosed Piedmont Vineyards. After sampling a couple of nice Chardonnays, we asked to try some reds. “We’re out,” they said. Turns out they’d lost nearly an entire vintage of red grapes to deer. Deer? We were floored. Deer like grapes? If, like me, you’ve never farmed, it’s hard to fathom the slow, sad feeling of defeat that must come from an entire season of growing ending in a whole bunch of nothing. Wineries have learned much over the years, and they now have better ways of controlling the wildlife onslaught, the bugs, the rot and the mildew. Weather, though, is forevermore the big unknown. An early frost can kill all the tender vine buds that deliver the grapes. A drought will stress the vines and cheat wine of its flavor. A late-September hurricane, always perfectly GRAPEVINE > PAGE 40

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he scariest step is always the first one! This concept is consistent through business, relationships and life. The learning curve for the first time doing something is always the steepest. Kissing your crush, getting behind the wheel of a car or making a batch of wine can all be intimidating the first time. But it’s amazing how having an understanding coach and doing a little homework ahead of time on what to expect can help ease some of that anxiety. The learning process for growing grapes can be challenging. At one vineyard, I inherited grapevines planted in curved rows. That is not a well-engineered plan and can cause major issues down the road… but I had to learn that the hard way. There is the health of the vines, the team coming in to help do the job, the weather, the soil conditions and what feels like an infinite number of other things that can go wrong that you don’t even know about! I remember very well the first time that I surveyed and planted a vineyard all on my own. Even though I had been growing the grapes at another vineyard for a number of years I had never started from scratch before, and in this instance, it was my own vineyard that I was putting in the ground. But once you have been around the block a few times, your confidence begins to build. Years ago, premium wineries were concerned about the world-wide cork shortage and the high prices that caused for quality wine corks. Because of it, suppliers came up with plastic corks, screw caps and other alternatives to a natural cork. The biggest concern for wineries was worrying whether consumers would think that those substitutes meant a lowerquality product and stop buying the wine. I think we have grown past those issues and concerns as the consumer has become better educated about the various alternatives. My current “Zero to One” effort is to add some alternative packaging for our wines. We are experimenting with wine in bags and kegs. We have always pushed ourselves to be earth-friendly and to recycle or compost as much as possible of the waste material we generate on the farm. Packaging is a major waste issue and currently, the recycling system is not working as well as it has in the past. For some of our larger-use customers, buying wines in a different vessel may prove more cost effective and less wasteful. We think the biggest market for this will be the restaurants. Selling wine by the glass is important for both the restaurant and the winery. The customer can have a glass without committing to a bottle and the winery can gain a customer thanks to the restaurant. The challenge for the restaurant is that a partial bottle of wine will not stay fresh for more than a couple of days. By having a vessel that will not allow oxygen to contact the wine, the wine will stay fresh for months—much less waste! We are hopeful that this step is something that will help our customers and our business. This is the hard part, the Zero to One, but our efforts at getting a handle on that learning curve now will make going from step one to two, and two to three that much easier. Publishers Notes: In the meantime, pick up a couple bottles of your favorite Virginia Vintages and enjoy them during the holidays. Many wineries are decked to the nines during the holidays so you might want to schedule a day in wine country this month.

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email us at 15669 Limestone School Rd • Leesburg, VA 20176 703.771.1197 •


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Or pick one up at these select wineries: Pearmund Cellars, Magnolia Vineyards, Two Twisted Posts Winery, Narmada Winery, Desert Rose Winery, Lake Anna Winery, Sassafras Shade Vineyard

December 2019 | 39


timed to coincide with the harvest, can drench vines and dilute grapes at the final critical stage of growth. And a year like 2018 can just break your heart. Last year, the rain never stopped. Most wineries got their usual rainfall quota, plus another 50%, with many areas

suffering their rainiest year ever. Growers had to choose between picking too soon or letting the grapes hang to potentially rot on the vines. But then, along comes 2019. I’ve been following Melanie Natoli’s Facebook posts for several years and always admired the truth in her stories: the unvarnished bad, the unembellished good, and

the long stretches of mundane in between. After harvest, Melanie found herself needing to think, and to write, to process both the enormous effort and the confusing juxtaposition of 2018 and 2019, two very different seasons. What she shared was beautiful, insightful, and full of humility. To her,


offering ITALIAN VARIETALS 10100 Three Fox Lane, Delaplane, VA (540) 364-6073 •



40 | December 2019

2018’s guiding question was “Can I fix it?” This year, by comparison, it’s “Can I do it justice?” I love that, because it’s at once specific – it’s about the grapes – but also inclusive, about all the mentors and the history, the land and the helpers that came together to put those perfect grapes into her care. I share her words with you below, and I hope that 2019 was a “year to saber” for you, as well. “It’s been one week since the last press of 2019, and I feel myself slowly assimilating back into the rest of the world. Every harvest is its own journey, and this was one I felt I really needed to decompress from. Why this year, a vintage of beautiful fruit? Why not last year? I’m not sure I have an answer to that. Maybe it’s because in a tough vintage like 2018 the goal is to just survive, so when you do, success is easy to recognize, and you can just move on. Following that vintage, the cautious optimism that

beautiful in its entirety... spraying yourself in the face with the hose because you dropped the nozzle, ripping your pants on a barrel hoop nail, mysterious bruises from climbing under/over/ behind/around everything in the crowded cellar, total exhaustion coupled with the inability to sleep because you’re busy planning the next day/week in your head, walking into a wall because you took the corner too tight again, essential equipment breakdowns, wet’s all part of the journey. I could not share those parts with you and just paint the romantic picture of it all that some think is the truth, but I really couldn’t. And now, just one week out, all of that makes me smile and I struggle to remember the toughest days of this vintage. I’m left with joy in my heart and memories of: the gorgeous fruit; the amazing aromatics of my Albarino filling the cellar; the Tuesday I tasted the first rose’ in and it made me jump up and down

typically prevails through the growing season was accompanied by a heightened anxiety. An anxiety that was not quelled when the most beautiful fruit I have ever seen came out of the vineyard and into the cellar. There was no relief that Mother Nature didn’t steal it from us this year. Instead I felt more pressure to do it justice, to allow that beautiful fruit to shine, to extract and showcase that beauty so I could share it with you. Winemaking is more than an occupation, more than a harmony of art and science. It is heart and soul. I think that’s why I felt the need to decompress and readjust to life after this harvest. For 10 weeks I poured all of me into this vintage. My heart is with my wine all year, but for harvest time it gets almost all of it. That may sound hokey, but it’s the complete truth. Life/Wine is real and

and hug the tank; when my second rose’ surprised us all and made me think; that one barrel of Chardonnay that felt so complete already; the amazing promise of depth and complexity the reds are showing; and how good it felt to saber those bubbles last Saturday. This vintage is so beautiful and filled with love and I can’t wait to share it with you in the bottle.” You can taste Melanie’s wines at Cana Vineyards, 38600 John Mosby Hwy, Middleburg, VA;; open 12-6 Thursday through Monday, 11-6 Saturday. Nancy Bauer is the author of the book, Virginia Wine Travel Journal (available on Amazon), and the founder of the website and travel app, Virginia Wine in My You can reach Nancy at nancy@ Old Town Crier



with a light jog around the block and some AB crunches and push-ups. It is always better to do something than do no exercise at all. • Keep yourself hydrated: You won’t drink as much water because you don’t feel as thirsty. Remember that dry indoor air can be more dehydrating that running outside. Make sure to keep drinking plenty of fluids during the day and especially during and after a workout.

Working out Through the Winter


ith the cold weather rolling in and the days getting shorter it seems like we all have less time on our hands. With an already jampacked schedule we tend to skip out on workouts (or stop exercising entirely) and by the time we get to the New Year we all feel compelled to get back to that pre-holiday shape. This year lets try to do things a little different. Instead of slowing down on the exercise routine and abandoning your diet completely, keep up the good work and by the time the New Year gets here you will be starting off on a positive foot. Pay attention to what you eat at your holiday parties and keep your butt moving through the last leg of the holiday season. Here are just a few tips to keep you looking and feeling your best! • Keep Moving: Without realizing it we sometimes slow down on our exercise routines. This time make a steadfast commitment to workout. Just like you make

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your work schedule, take time to pencil in a workout. If you end up missing a workout make it up as soon as possible. Remember it is easier to stick to a fitness program than it is to start one after months of inactivity. • Take your workout outdoors: Most people will bring their workouts inside when the weather starts to get chilly. Instead, take advantage of what the weather has to offer. Bundle up a bit and take a walk, you’ll have to walk a bit faster to keep yourself warm while also burning more calories. • Travel Smart: Don’t abandon your workout because of traveling for work or family holiday parties. If you are on a business trip try staying at a hotel that has a gym. You don’t need a whole room full of exercise equipment to get a workout done. If gym access is not available get yourself moving

• Eat hot and HEALTHY: Most people throw out those diet guidelines for the winter and fill up on home made chili and beef stews. Start your meals off with a bowl of chicken and vegetable soup instead. Not only is chicken soup good for you, studies have shown that people who ate it as an appetizer consumed less calories throughout the entire meal. • Go Nuts! At the office holiday party instead of pigging out on the baked goods, candy and chips grab a handful of mixed nuts and munch on it slowly. Nuts are loaded with protein and healthy fat which makes you feel more full and therefore less likely to fill up on empty calorie foods. • Drink Better: Eggnog is a diet disaster. Instead of consuming half your day’s calories in one drink go for a glass of red wine or a rich tasting dark beer. Drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink. This will keep you hydrated and reduce your calorie intake. • Eating Out: When eating out try to avoid that “too full” feeling that usually comes at the end of a meal. One pasta plate at a restaurant is enough to easily feed two people. Instead of devouring everything yourself, offer to split a low fat appetizer, a salad and a meal. By doing this you will eat less and also save a couple bucks. • Stay Healthy: One of the biggest set backs during the winter months is getting sick. Catching a cold can set you back a week depending on how sick you get. Work

toward improving your immunity by keeping up on your cardio. A recent study at the University of South Carolina in Columbia found that adults who get regular moderate exercise have significantly fewer colds. If you already have a cold, moderate exercise probably won’t make it worse, but consult your doctor if you have possible flu symptoms such as fever, muscle aches or heavy coughing. • Go to Sleep: Missing out on sleep as stress and time demands grow can result in lower virus fighting “natural killer” cells in our bodies. Sleep gives your body the recovery time it needs to stay healthy and to keep your immune system working at its best. • Eat your Vegetables! Eat plenty of carotenoid rich vegetables like winter squash, carrots

and pumpkin. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report, a diet high in carotenoids can raise your immune-cell count by a third, which will help ward off illness and keep your fitness level intact Trying to stay healthy through the holidays can be tough, especially when everyone brings out their favorite pies and dessert goodies. Remember that the holidays come around once every year so its not like you are going to miss out on something if you don’t stuff yourself like a thanksgiving turkey. Focus on keeping your fitness a priority and you will be able to start the New Year with a lot more pep than everyone else who decided to take the last three months off of exercise. Enjoy the rest of the holiday season by staying healthy and fit!



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he look for the holidays is all about “bling”. It’s bling for the hair, on our nails and on our face. Shimmer, shimmer, shimmer is the mantra for the holiday season. But remember its shimmer, not glitter. There is a big difference. Shimmer is dewy and glowing. Glitter is reminiscent of our children’s art box. Avoid the glitter and embrace the shimmer. Shimmer products are best used to accentuate one’s luminous glow. It’s best applied on the cheeks, the lips and down the bridge of the nose. It also looks great along the brow line to give the eye an instant lift. And who doesn’t want a little lift? It’s certainly cheaper and easier than going under the knife. Warm hues of copper and champagne are top notch this holiday season. Think sun kissed, bronzed and glowing, like George Hamilton. Try copper shades on the eyes accented with bronzer on the cheeks and face. Finish the look off with warm champagne hues for the lips. To fully capture this look, the lips should be 24 kt, a la J. Lo. In keeping with the trend for the fall, smoky eyes are still fashionable for the holidays. While not appropriate for the office, the smoky eye is a great evening accessory to the little black dress. Consider shades of amethyst and navy, instead of black, to add some sparkle. Simply take a dark liner and line the eyes along the top and bottom rim. Use a similar shade of eye shadow color and color over the eyeliner and smudge. Some brands have smudge pots that make creating the smoky eye a breeze. A great alternative to the smoky eye is the sultry red lip. Red lips look especially festive during the holiday season. If you intend to wear red, make sure your red lips match your attire. The worst is when the reds don’t match. A rosy, pinky red lip and a candy apple red blouse will make everyone see red. And, when choosing red lips, make sure to keep the rest of your makeup subtle. The red lips are supposed to be the focal point and too much makeup on the face will run the risk of looking like a clown. At the same time, don’t look geisha-like either. It’s okay to wear a little color on the rest of the face. For another great look during the holidays, consider the “rosy glow.” This monochromatic look using a rosy palette is fresh and youthful for all ages. If the thought of rosy doesn’t make you glow, consider shades of coral to achieve the same look. To get this look, simply take your rosy or coral cheek color and sweep it on the cheeks, up the temples and along the eyelids. Use similar colors with a little shimmer to highlight along the brow bone and the cheeks. Finish it off with a rosy or coral shade of lip-gloss. The hair is no exception to glimmer this holiday season. Spray on glimmer hair sprays give the hair a little extra sparkle. Hues of champagne and copper are popular with blondes, brunettes and redheads. And, let’s not forget our finger and toes. Popular new nail shades for the season are red, ivory and copper. No matter which makeup trend you choose, keep the skin glowing and looking healthy. During the busy holiday season, it’s easy to let our skin go. But, remember, healthy skin means glowing skin. If your skin seems dull and lifeless, consider a mask to brighten the skin. If you are feeling pale, try a little selftanner on the face, neck and décolleté. During these cold, dry winter months, it’s also important to keep the skin moisturized. Makeup always looks best on healthy, hydrated skin. Old Town Crier




he holidays have arrived in quick fashion and for many of us it’s probably one of the busiest times of the year. Whether you’ve made travel plans to see family and friends, trying to find that perfect Christmas gift or attending multiple holiday parties, this time of year is fun, but can also be stressful. As we get wrapped up in the holiday madness, it’s easy to let your fitness routine slide, which can mean unwanted weight gain. However, there are a few simple things you can do to avoid the extra pounds.

Choose Snacks and Drinks Wisely at Holiday Parties Holiday parties are a great way to unwind, but they can also set us up for easy weight gain. You want to try to limit sweets, juices, and alcohol. Instead, opt for tea, coffee, and water. If you choose to drink alcohol, stick with the light beer. You should stay away from high-fat meats and cheeses such as salami, mini-dogs, and cheddar and jack cheeses. Look to eat turkey breast, ham, low-fat cheeses like mozzarella, swiss, or provolone instead. Always fill your plate with plenty of fruit and vegetables and eat them first!

Stay Active This might be the most difficult task to achieve, especially when the weather is bad. If you can’t make it to the gym for a workout, there are some activities you can try at home. Hold a contest between family and friends to find out who can perform the most sit-ups, pushups, crunches, squats or jumping jacks (Do this only before eating, of course). Walk up and down the stairs during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV show. Better yet, play Wii video games all day! If you don’t have a Wii find someone who does. If the weather is nice, go for an afternoon walk or bike ride around the neighborhood.

Don’t Skip Dessert! That’s right. This is not a misprint. You should be able to treat yourself during the holidays, rather than feel deprived. Just adjust your portion sizes down at the dinner table so you can have that piece of pie, fudge, cookie, or cake. Remember to do so in moderation.

Drink Water 0 Calories! What more do I need to say? I hope that you find these tips useful in your battle to fight off those unwanted “holiday pounds”. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season!

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December 2019 | 43



very year has to end and I won’t be sad to close the door on 2019. When 2018 ended my life was a swirling hot mess of what-ifs and how-could-itget-any-worses. Within two months I was moving back East, to be with and near my parents and regroup, putting solid ground below my feet each, tiny step of the way. As I look over my shoulder, thinking “good riddance to bad rubbish” I have to say it’s not all been bad. Or let me rephrase. It’s been the exact year I needed to get on with my life in the best possible way. I’ve been told I’m like Pollyanna and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. It seems that I was born with a positive disposition. I didn’t necessarily learn it in the family that raised me – they tend to be a more stoic sort – I just simply have the predilection to put my head down, gaze at the belly button and come out the other side with some lessons learned. What have I learned in 2019 is the key to good life for me. I suspect had I been paying attention to the more subtle ways these lessons were coming at me, it wouldn’t have come like a tsunami. I may be a generally positive person, but clearly, I’m not great at picking up on subtle cues. So be it. We all have our strengths. Here’s what I see in hindsight. I share it in case it can help you too. No matter how dark there’s definitely a light. That light may be down the hall, in a closet you didn’t know existed hidden behind the dresser. It’s there nonetheless. After the initial shock and pain of my life being ripped apart, I made it a priority to do nothing and give myself space to explore on the inside what was happening on the outside. That’s where the light seeped through. Get help when you need it. Ask and it will be given. Sometimes this comes in directly calling those you love 44 | December 2019

and asking specifically for what you need – be it a case of wine, cash or moving supplies. Other times it means letting that dark night of the soul wash over you in waves while you gnash your teeth and ask God (or whomever/whatever you may believe in) to help you find your way. The supplies you need arrive with regularity when you ask for what you need. Along these lines – get thee to a therapist. No one knows how to be a whole human all the time. Getting a professional in on the process is empowering. There are no short cuts and good friends make it bearable. My core belief is that life is an opportunity to learn to love and forgive. There are millions of ways to get to heaven (or enlightenment/ nirvana/oneness) although the common theme seems to be love and forgiveness. Love and forgiveness, in my mind, are the same thing. There is no other in this process. Just you. All one. Getting to that belief in your bones and soul requires time in the saddle of digging deeper and deeper. In other words, it takes time. I’m 54 and just barely scratching the surface here. Same goes with

moving across the country. It takes time and wheels on pavement, with plenty of nights in strange hotel rooms. A good friend (or two) along for the ride physically and spiritually makes it all bearable. Stop apologizing. Things didn’t work out the way you

wanted. You can probably, in hindsight and with too much self-effacing digging, find ways that you contributed to the outcome. Apologize, forgive yourself and go on with it. Don’t apologize for being you, for needing help, for having your life implode.

It did. You moved through. Apologizing repeatedly when you are learning and growing is counterproductive. So stop. There really is no place like home. I came home because of all the places I wanted to be – including staying in Tucson, I knew that being at home meant something valuable. I also knew it would mean facing uncomfortable truths, revisiting relationships that may have been awkward or strained and overturning someone else’s life and routine. I figured if I could learn a new version of me through all that had happened, I could certainly find a way to heal and adapt at home. Ultimately, all our life lessons are hatched in our first family. They will come back to visit us, over and over, until we learn to heal them. Going home is the best way I knew how to heal. Here’s to 2020. A brand-new decade! I’m sure there will be more lessons along the years, I’m hoping I can keep my rosecolored glasses along for the ride.

Are you at a crossroads and need to make some serious decisions? If you’re feeling stuck at work, in love or in general, it can feel impossible to get out of your own way. Peggie helps you assess your situation, using ancient and modern tools to help you move forward with a specific plan of action. Private Sessions are available by phone or Skype. Old Town Crier



Fishing for Holiday Gifts?


hopping for anglers is frustrating; but for the person on the receiving end, there’s a guaranteed stint in the return line! Choose gifts for on and off the water! Sport team logos on hoodies might show team spirit but won’t hold up. Walls has manufactured work wear, western wear and hunting gear for men and women since 1938. The Walls 3LB Heavyweight Hoodie is a thick, heavy, durable, full zip, water repellent hoodie. Articulated elbows provide greater reach. A three-panel hood enables greater peripheral vision. Finishing the 3LBer off is a rib knit waistband and cuffs, hand warmer pockets and even metal tipped draw cords. A zippered chest pocket stows phone, wallet and truck key securely. The Walls 3LB Hoodie raises the bar beyond the reach of any other hoodie, setting the standard as the thickest, toughest and burliest of the bunch. Beat bulky jackets or the tattered old hoodies and grab a Walls 3LB hoodie! walls. com From the beginning of the 20th century Carl Grundén, a Swedish fisherman’s son, knew not to count on the weatherman for accurate weather forecasts. Grundens’ Charter Gore-Tex® Jacket is a packable storm protection jacket. Nothing better than proven Gore-Tex® waterproof/ breathable performance to keep

you dry. Anglers testing the limits of Mother Nature will choose to weather the storm or outrun it. Stick around and make one more cast. But the Grundens Charter GoreTex jacket is versatile and doubles as protection from pop up storms and especially for airport travel. Zippered hand warmer pockets, adjustable hood and hook and loop cuff closures, and even a kill switch anchor add features to a comfortable and functional rain jacket. Women deserve outdoors clothing! Since 1897, Filson has provided rugged outdoor wear for miners, prospectors and lumbermen. This tough company has a softer side too! Filson’s new Women’s Pioneer Wool Shirt is a wool and rayon blend fabric to ensure comfort, breathability and durability. A snap-front with button closure at collar is adorned with fauxhorn snap buttons with antique brass rims. Cuffs secure with two snaps. A tight weave provides durability and wind resistance. For milder days, visionary angler outfitter Simms presents the watershedding, insulated pull-on ExStream BiComp Hoody for men and women. Stitchless quilted construction and a stretch-fleece lower is perfect for an under-wader or bib layering piece. PrimaLoft Cross Core Gold insulation provides added upper body warmth. Ultra-durable Toray

Karuishi stretch-fleece fabric provides warmth and mobility. The ExStream BiComp hood is insulated and has water shedding cuffs with thumb loops. Slipping into something more comfortable, sport sandal maker TEVA created the new Ember-Mid. Part sneaker, part sleeping bag, Ember Mid is a shoe in for traveling airport feet, slipping feet around the house, stepping out to get the paper, or even at the campground. The easy-on shoe features a collapsible back allowing feet to slide in while heels rebound for slipper like comfort in an outdoor leisure shoe. The perfect frequent flyer footwear, carry-on packability and stands up to layovers in style. Polyurethane sockline/ footbed delivers comfort with an ultra-light EVA foam midsole, and grippy rubber outsole for all-day wear and travels. Men’s and women’s. Don’t reflect upon the suns glare! World famous Maui Jim sunglasses PolarizedPlus2® technology protects eyes from glare and harmful UV rays to reveal and enhance vivid colors. Lightweight and comfortable nylon frame with embedded rubber nose pads and spring hinges, Makoa stylishly fits men or women. SuperThin

(ST) glass lenses provide the clearest view and are scratch and solvent resistant. These lenses are 32% thinner and lighter than standard glass. Coed clarity comes in five bold color combinations, including their latest mirror treatment, MAUIGreen. Makoas are available in prescription. Football players wear gloves for better grip. Anglers need to keep their grip and their fingers warm. Fish Monkey Task Fleece Fishing Glove provides complete hand coverage, making it the perfect fit for cold water angling. Whether on the phone or depth finder, touch screen index fingers can swipe, click and tap or pinch.

Fish Monkey makes gloves that are more like a second skin. A synthetic leather palm is imprinted with non-slip silicone to secure a superior grip, wet or cold. Keeping hands warm, the Tec Fleece material, is warm, blocks wind and allows ease of use with so much dexterity, you’ll check to see if they’re on. Several angling gloves are available. Gift certificates are great. Online, catalog and brick and mortar stores are loaded with outdoors gifts. But the best gift of all is time on the water. Find a buddy, a spouse and especially a child, and go fish! Author Capt. Steve Chaconas is Potomac River bass fishing guide. Potomac fishing reports: Book trips/ purchase gift certificates: info@

Potomac River Bassing in December Target hard cover near drops as fish prepare to head into winter holes. Use Quantum spinning rods with faster Quantum Smoke reels and downsize to GAMMA 6-pound test Edge fluorocarbon either as a main line or leader with 10-pound test GAMMA Torque braid. Reels with smooth drags are important, like the Quantum Smoke. Drop shot, shaky head, and split shot are best bets. Use Mustad 1/0 Mega Bite hooks along with 3/16-ounce Water Gremlin BullShot weights for drop shots and split shots. Time for 3” avocado Mann’s Stingray grubs on ¼ ounce ball head jigs made with Mustad Ultra Point hooks. Also break out Punisher hair jigs with matching chunks. Use slow horizontal presentations. Soak soft plastics and jigs in bait spray. Also time to tie on Silver Buddy lures. Use ½ ounce silver on sunny days, gold when cloudy, on 10-pound test GAMMA EDGE on casting reels like QUANTUM Smoke on KVD Quantum spinnerbait rods with enough tip flex for casting and hook-setting backbone. Mann’s Loudmouth II cranks on 10-pound test EDGE work along warmed surfaces. Use shad patterns in clearer water or sunny days, craws otherwise. On warmest days, try suspending jerkbaits when water reaches 50 degrees.

Old Town Crier

December 2019 | 45






46 | December 2019

hristmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Sadly, so am I. Sheesh. I haven’t even gone fullblown holiday season yet my muffin top knows no boundaries. How do I keep myself from plunging head first into a Christmas cookie coma? Keto? GF? Vegan? Non-GMO? Paleo? Oh Holy Night! Too many choices and not a wise one to be found. I’ve been known to enjoy things in excess—potato chips, French fries, glasses of wine, etc. I’m an over-achiever of the highest caliber. I also happen to be a stress eater. I was having coffee with a friend the other day who told me that he often just gets busy and forgets to eat. He might as well have told me he had just water ski’d across the Mojave Desert. Huh? I’m starting to think about my strategy for getting through the holiday season with waistline—and mind—intact so I’ve tee’d up some positive self-talk around my holiday indulgences. There will be a plentitude of treats—I don’t have to scarf them down like my dog Dozer approaches his dinner bowl. He inhales it. If I eat slowly and mindfully, I’ll actually be able to savor the beautifully buttery flavor of that sugar cookie. I don’t

need to count calories—I need to count minutes between cookies. I don’t need to stand by the food table. I can walk away. There will be plenty of opportunities to raise a glass with friends. I don’t have to raise them all in the same night. It’s hard to practice moderation around the holidays with eating and drinking let alone everything else—buying, spending, overpromising, over-booking, overbingeing Hallmark movies, etc. All that excess just amounts to a lot of bloated bellies, overdrawn bank accounts and STRESS. That is why I am making my lists and checking them twice. If I have a list in hand when I’m shopping, I’ll be less likely to over purchase and just grab things off the shelf because, “Oh look—it’s so cute! Little Luna will look adorable in this!” Granted— there can be a little bit of that, but it’s no bueno to start wrapping presents and realize you have 32 of those little cute outfits. Been there, done that. The three wise men showed up with three gifts of gold, myrrh, and frankincense. They didn’t need to fill up the manger with X-boxes and fancy electronic gadgets they couldn’t afford or that would put their kingdoms

in hoc. As I’m writing this column, it’s the middle of November and holiday party invitations have already started to filter in. I get so excited, but I know that I am not going to be able to make it to every single event. As much as it pains me, I will have to send my regrets to a few so I can fit in other commitments and fun things I want to do - such as sleep. Managing stress is challenging this time of year. It’s hard to maintain one’s normal decorum with all the extra calendar demands, mall crowds, and parking lot wars alongside your typical commitments and responsibilities. The holiday season is about peace on earth, good will and…”Hey! WTF?! That is MY parking space!” Everyone is in such a hurry to go spread good cheer and/ or light a menorah, that they overlook the opportunity to smile at the person in front of them in line or forgive that horse’s you-know-what in the Volvo who just stole your parking spot. For just these occasions, I have created an imaginary pause button on my right wrist. When I start feeling agitated, I press my pause button, take a breath (or 12) and try to find my

center. Sometimes it works, and sometimes I roll down my window and flip someone a very lovely Christmas dove. If you make it out of the mall parking lot unscathed with your new little black cocktail dress in tow, you’re still not out of the woods. You have your office holiday party to get through. Go and have fun, but remember it’s a work event—professionalism is still required in the midst of an open bar if you plan on returning to your cubicle on Monday. Don’t be that girl who careens into the CEO on the dance floor sloshing her Cosmopolitan all over his Manolo Blahniks. And, if you’re bringing a date, do some pre-screening. You don’t want your date to be memorable because he/she is the one who shut down the bathroom for HAZMAT clean up. Give yourself the gift of moderation. Spend in moderation. Drink in moderation. Eat in moderation. It might sound boring, but think of it as banking your full-tilt excess for your Caribbean vacation. Happy holidays and peace be with you. Old Town Crier



his year I had some help from my PR pals at the Gaylord in compiling this column. I was running short of time and they were a huge help. As with the 11 years past, I was fortunate enough to attend the media preview again and what a blast that is! No lines and not a ton of kids! I started my evening with an adult beverage at the Belvedere Lounge Lobby Bar – the only way to go! Christmas on the Potomac opened on November 15th with more Christmas per square foot than any other attraction in the Washington, DC region. The nearly 2,000-room resort offers a holiday tradition that is open to both hotel guests and the public with miles and miles of activities for all ages including the incredibly popular ICE! indoor walk through exhibit fashioned from more than 2 million pounds of sculpted ice. Exclusive to Gaylord hotels, ICE! is famous for photos of those cozy blue parkas guests don before entering the colorful wonderland of ice sculptures, scenes, and slides all hand carved by artisans from Harbin, China. This year’s installation is bigger than ever as the 15,000 square foot “cold room” welcomes the classic holiday story, Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas! featuring scenes from the heart-warming holiday tale including The Grinch lurking through the chimneys of Whoville homes, The Grinch’s heart growing three sizes after realizing Christmas means a little bit more, and sitting down at the Who’s feast where The Grinch carves the roast beast.  Also new in 2019, The Grinch fans will have the opportunity to meet the star of the show at the resort’s Feast with The Grinch breakfast. Diners can enjoy a buffet of Who-ville inspired Old Town Crier


items, table-side visits with The Grinch and Max, plus special touches Dr. Seuss fans are sure to adore. There’s even a new adventure inviting kids to follow clues through the resort looking for riddles and

children to share their Christmas wishes and take souvenir photos. A long list of activities for children of all ages includes an all-new adventure even Santa’s reindeer will love. The new Reindeer Rush Ice Tubing

Christmas On the Potomac


puzzles dreamed up by The Grinch as he attempts to steal Christmas. In The Grinch’s Wonderful Awful Idea Scavenger Hunt, solving clues leads to a grand prize and a change of heart for The Grinch.  Christmas Village is just a quick sleigh ride from the North Pole where Santa waits for the Big Day welcoming

Hill offers all the fun of sledding with the added speed of ice. I took a couple of runs on this as well as my annual trip down the two-story ICE! slide. The only drawback is that it isn’t long enough – you do whip right down it on your tube!  The new outdoor Winter Square overlooking the Potomac River will brighten holiday spirits

with twinkling lights and festival decorations that include an outdoor Ice Skating Rink and Tinsel Tavern, a new, over-the-top ugly sweater themed bar. Adult beverages and hot chocolate add to the cheer at this warm and cozy outdoor space. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to check out the skating rink and the tavern on my visit but I will grab some pals and head over there during the season for sure!  Inside the artfully lit Garden Atrium, revelers will be dazzled by the 55-foot suspended Starlight Christmas tree and nightly Christmas Miracles laser, light and music show magically reminding us that miracles live in all of us if we believe – and believe we will when snow starts to fall indoors! The Garden Atrium is also home to the newest version of Cirque Dreams Unwrapped, a spellbinding production of seasonal dreams combining breathtaking choreography, music and showmanship from around the world. This intimate extravaganza on the stage and in the air will have guests on their feet and at the edge of their seats.  Christmas on the Potomac runs through December 30th. The list of fun is so long, even Santa will have to check twice to be sure not to miss a thing! Individual attraction tickets and flexible discount bundles including multiple attractions and experiences, along with hotel packages, are available on the resort’s website at www.ChristmasOnThePotomac. com or call 301-965-4000. Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or whatever else any of you readers may celebrate! Let’s make this a very happy holiday season! TM & © 2019 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All Rights Reserved.

December 2019 | 47

Top Six Ways to Celebrate the Holidays at National Harbor Capture the holiday spirit with tree lightings, fireworks, Santa, movies, shopping and more! Celebrate the holidays at the Washington, D.C. region’s premier waterfront escape. National Harbor’s popular holiday celebration takes place throughout the destination with events and activities all season long for the whole family. Here are the top six ways to celebrate the season at the Waterfront District at National Harbor Presented by Chase:

SATURDAYS NOV. 30TH – DEC. 21ST SATURDAYS NOV. 30TH – DEC. 28TH NOV. 30TH – JAN. 5TH Take a spin on The Capital Wheel with Santa


On the Wheel Pier; Saturdays from Noon to 4 pm

5:30 pm; On the Waterfront

Purchase a ticket to The Capital Wheel and you can ride with Santa on a first-come, first-served basis. Santa will be available for pictures, wish list sharing and a once-in-alifetime family experience. Each climate-controlled gondola will be wrapped in holiday cheer featuring peppermint striping, Santa hats and snowflakes. Chase cardholders will also get a special discount on wheel rides throughout the Holiday Season. Don’t forget to stop by the Flight Deck for a beverage before you board – they have some nice big fire pits going and some hot beverages to warm you up.

Watch spectacular fireworks light up the sky on the waterfront.

SATURDAYS NOV. 30TH – JAN. 4TH Catch a Holiday Movie

Enjoy a Frozen Carousel Christmas Carousel; Noon to 2 pm Purchase a ticket to the waterfront Carousel and meet an Ice Princess and her favorite Snowman on Saturdays from Nov. 30 to December 21 from noon to 2 p.m. A frosty backdrop and wintry theme create the perfect spot to meet these heart-warming characters and pose for holiday photos.

Jumbo Screen on the Plaza; 3:30 pm Bring the whole family and enjoy family holiday movies on the plaza screen each Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Complimentary popcorn provided by Chase and the first 120 guests for each weekly movie, will receive a Chase blanket. 11/30               The Grinch 12/07               Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 12/14               The Polar Express 12/21               A Christmas Story 12/28               Love Actually 01/04               The Holiday

ICE! featuring Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! Be amazed by two-story ice slides and larger-than-life ice sculptures in this walk-through winter wonderland carved from more than two million pounds of ice.

Harbor Tree Lighting Daily on the half hour from sundown to 9 pm Waterfront & American Way Ignite your holiday spirit with the nightly lighting of the 56foot tree and two million twinkling lights. On weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) there will be snowfall over the tree during the light show. For more information about celebrating the Holidays at National Harbor, visit

Ice Sk

atin g

Ice Skating Practice your perfect figure eights on our new outdoor ice skating rink in Winter Square.

Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions Share cookies, carols and a cozy storytime with Mrs. Claus’ as she reads ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Reindeer Rush Ice Tubing Feel the rush as you slide down this 2 story tall, four-lane ice tubing hill!

Feast with The Grinch This one-of-a-kind interactive breakfast experience includes a buffet of Who-ville inspired items, table-side visits with The Grinch and Max.

Tinsel Tavern Warm up with hot chocolate or a holiday cocktail when you stop by this Tacky Christmas bar.

Gingersnap’s Christmas Kitchen Have fun and with this delicious holiday tradition. Select from one of our gingerbread kits to create your own delicious masterpiece.

What’s Cooking at Gaylord National Join Gaylord National Resort’s Culinary Team for a hands on cooking demonstration and learn the secrets to preparing gourmet holiday fare.

Located in National Harbor, MD – across the river from Old Town Alexandria. TM & © 2019 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All Rights Reserved. PEPSI, PEPSI-COLA and the Pepsi Globe are registered trademarks of PepsiCo, Inc.

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48 | December 2019

For tickets and more information –

11/14/19 3:27 PM

Old Town Crier

Exceptional Alexandria Living with Craftmark Homes


2-Car Garage, 4-Level Rooftop Townhomes from the Mid $700s Discover a unique sense of place in a lively community close to Old Town Alexandria, Amazon HQ2, Yellow Line Metro, and much more. Enjoy the best of all that D.C. has to offer just beyond your brand-new Craftmark townhome featuring designer packages, upgraded features and Bosch appliances, and walkability to the upcoming South Alex®️ Town Center.

Sales Manager | Lori Windsor (703) 507-6882 DECORATED MODEL NOW OPEN | QUICK MOVE-INS 4-Level Rooftop Townhomes from the Upper $700s Explore Craftmark’s luxurious new townhome, The Bradley, available at this remarkable Alexandria neighborhood. Central to our nation’s capital, major commuter routes, and everything that matters to you, the stage has been set for extraordinary living. Come discover it all for yourself. Call for a VIP Appointment and Reserve Your Homesite!

Sales Manager | Eric Yakuchev (703) 989-6662 Brokers Warmly Welcomed. Must register and comply with policy terms.

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Old Town Crier- Full Issue December 2019  

Old Town Crier- Full Issue December 2019  

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