Month: November 2014

Road Trip

The Arts are Alive in Southern Delaware

Most of us immediately think about the beaches in Rehoboth, Dewey and Bethany when someone mentions southern Delaware; however, I am here to tell you that this area of the 1st state in the Union has “state of the art” galleries, theaters and music venues spread out all over Sussex County. I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a whirlwind tour of over 16 locations scattered between Rehoboth, Lewes, Milton, Milford, Ocean View, Millville and Seaford. The venues are comprised of painters, sculptors, jewelers, photographers, boat builders and live performance venues as well as Delaware’s only single screen theater located in Dagsboro. While we didn’t spend much more than 15-20 minutes at each location, I want to try to give each of the venues that hosted us a brief highlight. I am thankful for the information provided by each venue and Southern Delaware tourism. Hopefully this will entice you to map out a weekend trip with a few of the places that catch your eye. Rehobeth Heidi Lowe Gallery – 328 Rehoboth Ave. “This is a contemporary art jewelry gallery exhibiting works by owner, Heidi Lowe, and by numerous artists from around the world. The gallery hosts a variety of exhibitions including solo and group shows of both emerging and mid-career artists, the annual Multiples Show, and pop-up gallery and trunk show events. Also learn about Mosaic, the Rehoboth Beach Gallery Collective.” Heidi’s own jewelry creations are fabulous but I perceived another of her major strengths also lies in how passionate she is about helping others in her same field – she so obviously loves what she does. Kevin Fleming Photography – 239 Rehoboth Ave. “Delaware native, Kevin Fleming has covered the world as a photographer for National Geographic and has been recognized as America’s Best Observer…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publisher’s Notes November 2014

As I write this the skies are crystal clear, the sun is shining and the leaves are turning at a rapid rate and starting to fall…it will soon be winter. The month of November is a great time to take a short trip, whether to the water or to the mountains. The air is crisp and clean and while the fall foliage may have reached its peak a week or so ago, the leaves are still going to be worth taking a drive through. This is a great time of the year to take some time to enjoy the calm before the storm of the 2014 holidays kicks in. We celebrate Thanksgiving this month with friends and family. Sarah Becker offers up a holiday quiz and explains the beginnings of Thanksgiving in her History column. We welcome Lori Welch back after her recent honeymoon. Since she is no longer single she introduces her new column…Open Space. With the bounty of Thanksgiving and the wonderful food, Ryan Unverzagt tries to keep us on the straight and narrow by encouraging us not to overeat in From The Trainer. As the Civil War continues, Doug Coleman takes us along as General Sherman leaves Atlanta and heads to the sea, and Savannah in Civil Discourse. Lani Gering takes us on a Road Trip to southern Delaware highlighting some of the entities that contribute to the areas “Arts and Entertainment”. We like to call it the second season at the shore…crowds are gone and you have the beach and sights to yourself. Laura Parker captures the wanderlust of local restaurateur and traveler, Dimitri Alexis in Personality Profile and I had the pleasure of interviewing long time friend and fellow Old Towner David Martin at Goldwork’s for the Business Profile. David celebrates 25 years in business…

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Dining Out

Austin Grill & Tequila Bar – Tex-Mex With a Tequila Twist

We have been frequenting then South Austin Grill for over 20 years. It has always been a go to place for a good margarita and good Tex-Mex cuisine. After three months of extensive renovation last winter, the Austin Grill reopened this April. Like many established businesses they decided to try their hand at “rebranding”. As a result, they created the Austin Grill and Tequila Bar here in Old Town Alexandria. While we realize it has been over 6 months since the reopening, we wanted to wait and see how things all panned out before doing a dining out feature. Featuring a completely new interior design blending a “touch of Mexico with a bit of Texas style and Austin attitude”, the restaurant decor has dark wood tones and dramatic lighting including two striking chandeliers made of tequila bottles dubbed “monuments to tequila”. One hangs in the main bar and the other above the stairs going to the 2nd level. The massive set of longhorn “horns” that hung in the main bar area for years made the cut during the redecorating and reside above the serving area of the kitchen. With the addition of high tops on the main floor and family style tables and a large flat screen television on the 2nd level (a great place to watch sports as a group) and cowhide upholstered chairs, the restaurant has taken on an attractive new face. The menu changed exponentially as well.  With dramatically expanded offerings of Tex-Mex inspired cuisine and 100 Tequila selections, the long-time Alexandria favorite still offers a variety of heritage menu items including Fajitas, Baby Back Ribs and signature Austin Wings. They now offer fresh house made Guacamole made tableside. This gives guests the opportunity to have their guac as mild or as spicy as they want. We ordered the small portion at $7.50 and…

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Business Profile

Goldworks…celebrating 25 years!

Next month, the Old Town Crier will celebrate 27 years of bringing the people, places and things to our readers throughout the region. We have seen a lot of change over those years, and we have also seen a lot of consistency over those years…and David Martin at Goldworks is one of those rare jewels. Whether Goldworks is labeled a success story or a survivor, they will be celebrating 25 years of business at 1400 King Street. David Martin, owner and designer, knew of Alexandria long before he moved here. David was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Maryland from 1966 to 1968 where he reached the rank of Staff Sergeant. In 1983 David made his move to Alexandria and joined other jewelers at a co-op in Belleview shopping center near the Fort Hunt area specializing in jewelry design and repair. At the time David was doing repair work for jewelers throughout the Washington, D.C. area. In 1985 David decided to go his own way and opened his own store at 1400 King Street. In the next 25 years David worked hard to establish his reputation as a quality designer with exceptional repair work skills. As his business grew he continued with his education by studying at the Gemological Institute of America and specializing in jewelry design, casting and stone setting. At Goldworks David has many custom rings that he has designed and is just waiting for the right customer to come in and select the perfect gem for the setting. To compliment the one of a kind ring, Goldworks also carries a large selection of stones and estate pieces. As a jewelry designer one must master many skills – scientist, mediator, consultant and sculptor. David’s own personal background as a graphic illustrator in the fields of…

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To the Blue Ridge

Hunters Lead the Way in Conservation

As the season of Thanksgiving is upon us, give thanks for your local deer, duck or turkey hunter—even if you aren’t a hunter yourself and have never tasted wild game. They deserve our thanks; since the beginning of the last century, America’s hunters have led the conservation movement and hunting has been the cornerstone and most important conservation development and continues to be the leading contributor to conservation as man enters the 21st Century. Hunting is an exceptional form of sustainable use that has been proven to create conservation stakeholders, to stimulate conservation incentives and generate operating revenue for conservation budgets. Hunting has incorrectly been accused of being out of date, irrelevant to conservation or an anachronism no longer needed or acceptable. Some state and federal agency personnel have lost sight of the importance of hunting to conservation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Recent developments in one particular organization, Ducks Unlimited (DU), demonstrate conclusively the relevance and indispensable role of hunters. Analysis discloses that DU is annually generating more conservation funds than the highly acclaimed Pittman-Robertson Fund! DU is a sportsmen’s nonprofit conservation organization, and P-R is a conservation fund created directly by Congress. DU is funded largely by waterfowl hunters while P-R is funded with excise taxes on all firearms and ammunition. At the turn of the century, DU implemented one of the most visionary conservation plans ever. Its goal was to raise $600 million under HABITAT 2000, more than $150 million additional revenue for conservation each year. To fully appreciate the enormity of the DU contribution to conservation, just take into account that P-R funds on average are approximately one-fourth of the size of the sum of all state conservation budgets each year. DU has conserved eight million acres of waterfowl habitat and has over 604,000…

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National Harbor

Ho. Ho. Hold On – The Holidays are Coming!

Every year it seems that the holidays arrive earlier and earlier. I guess that’s a sign of my age – I’m starting to sound more and more like my parents… seems like yesterday that I was waxing poetic about summer here in the harbor and as I sit here writing this column, Halloween is only 5 days away with the subject matter of my column reflecting Thanksgiving and the approaching hullabaloo of the holidays! Much like years past, November starts out pretty quiet in the Harbor while retailers and restaurants gear up for the onslaught of the opening of ICE and lighting of the suspended glass tree at the Gaylord Resort on the 14th and the lighting of the beautiful tree on the plaza on Waterfront Street on the 15th. As much as I look forward to Christmas, I am sort of disappointed that the opening ceremonies are taking place before we have even started pulling together our Thanksgiving dinners. In fact, I don’t even know where I’m going to dinner. I may have to consider hosting it myself. If that does happen, I know that I will be doing some serious shopping at Stonewall Kitchen just around the corner from my condo here at One National Harbor. They have an amazing selection of both food items and clever kitchen adornments that are a must see if you need inspiration or just a few things to round out your traditional meal. For those of you who don’t have an inclination to cook at all, the restaurants at the Gaylord may have something that fits the bill. On Thanksgiving Day, parties can choose between the hotel’s alfresco buffet dining outlet, Pienza, an exclusive gathering atop the hotel’s 18th floor at Pose Rooftop Lounge or a fine dining experience at its signature…

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Caribbean Connection

Sensational St. John

St. John, the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, retains a tranquil, unspoiled beauty uncommon in the Caribbean or anywhere else in the world. Settled in the early 1700’s by Danish immigrants attracted to the island’s potential as a sugar cane producing colony, St. John soon blossomed into a thriving economy. The island’s unspoiled forests and stunning beaches attracted the attention of wealthy families who sought privacy and tranquility on the island. In 1956, Laurence Rockefeller was so moved by the island that he bought and donated broad expanses of land to the National Park Service to keep St. John “a thing of joy forever.” St. John was recently voted “Best Island in the Caribbean/Atlantic” by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s prestigious annual Readers’ Choice Awards poll. The following are some of the island’s highlights and attractions: Virgin Islands National Park Two-thirds of St. John’s 19 square miles is designated as protected national park land. Laurence Rockefeller deeded approximately 9,500 acres of rolling green hills and underwater preserve to the federal government more than 40 years ago. There are 22 self-guided hiking trails within the Virgin Islands National Park, where visitors can discover ancient petroglyphs and beautiful foliage along the way. Ecotourism Sustainable tourism programs and environmentally safe practices keep the island pristine and clean. Visitors are encouraged to appreciate the previous resources of the natural environment while enjoying the island’s beauty. Numerous ecotourism activities and attractions ensure the preservation of natural resources and ecosystems. Unique Accommodations St. John offers a variety of accommodation styles to suit all tastes and preferences. The island has two major luxury resorts – Caneel Bay Resort, and The Westin St. John. In addition, there are a plethora of villas, condominiums, and bed and breakfast inns from which to choose….

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Grapevine & Vintner Profile

Amrhein Wine Cellars: Fine Wines in the Southern Shenandoah Valley

Looking for a leisurely afternoon in the southern Shenandoah? A stop at Amrhein Wine Cellars between Roanoke and Blacksburg and just off the Blue Ridge Parkway will provide the delightful afternoon you’re looking for. Amrhein Wine Cellars offers Virginia-style wines with a German influence offering unique layers of fruit full of rich aroma. Amrhein Wine Cellars offers Virginia-style wines with a German influence offering unique layers of fruit full of rich aroma. All of their distinctive wines are born from the Blue Ridge Mountain Estate-Grown vineyards in Virginia. Try Amrhein’s signature Petit Verdot, a 2014 Virginia Governor’s Cup winner. It is a smooth, rich wine with dark plum flavors underlain by notes of cherry, blackberry, spice and subtle oak nuances. Or enjoy Aglianico, another award-winner made from an ancient Greek grape, translated into a medium bodied wine, displaying berry and plum flavors with a subtle undertone of tobacco in a light French oak structure. Whatever your choice, you are sure to enjoy your visit. The Amrhein setting is also appropriate for weddings, receptions, special events and corporate gatherings. The winery furnishes all catering needs and set-ups. Amrhein Wine Cellars is locate in the southern Shenandoah Valley, about five hours south of Washington, D.C. It is 30 minutes from Roanoke and from The Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 136 and convenient to Blacksburg and Virginia Tech.     Written by: Frank Britt Publisher Official Virginia Wine Lover e-Newsletter “THE Source for Virginia’s Wine news.” (Complimentary to OTC readers).

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