Day: June 2, 2016

Notes from the Publisher

Publisher’s Notes

By Bob Tagert Yeah Man!!! As I write this, the sun is shining and it is warm – in fact it is almost 90 degrees outside. It is about time. This weekend I will finally be able to go sailing for the first time this season. Speaking of sailing…well at least water….be sure check out the Road Trip column this month. We took a drive to Deep Creek Lake in beautiful Garrett County, MD. This is one road trip where the trip was as exciting as the destination – especially when you take the road(s) less travelled. It is Father’s Day this month, so everyone treat Dad to a great day. In this month’s Dining Out we have compiled a few words about our favorite restaurants in Alexandria for your use in picking the perfect restaurant for a Father’s Day feast. The choices are many and all are very good. Along with the Father’s Day theme, Lori tells us about her Dad in her Open Space column. I am sure there are many things that those of you who grew up in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s can identify with in this piece. I’m going to take this space to do a little venting. I have become so annoyed with Facebook and the internet that I think I will subscribe to the Washington Post. At least that way, when I am reading something, I know that the page will not go blank. Not only is that annoying, but now when they sucker you into clicking on an item, it goes to a damned ad and then you can’t get back to what you wanted to read…you need to get entirely out of Facebook and start all over. Maybe I am just too old for all of this! There…I feel a…

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Events, National Harbor

National Harbor June Events

National Harbor June Events By Lani Gering   Saturdays & Sundays Through October   Farmers Market American Way 10am – 5 pm Miller Farms Farmer’s Market returns to National Harbor with their wide array of fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, beautiful flowers and plants, and much more.   Tuesdays thru September   Turbo Kick/Cardio Kickboxing On the Plaza 7-8 pm FREE! Compliments of No Excuse Workout.   Wednesdays thru September   Family Fitness Class On the Plaza 10-10:30 am FREE! Compliments of No Excuse Workout.   Hip Hop Zumba Class On the Plaza 7-8pm FREE! Compliments of No Excuse Workout.   Saturdays thru September   Yoga On the Plaza 9-10 am FREE! Compliments of No Excuse Workout.   Summer Fridays thru September On the Plaza 4 – 8:30 pm   New this season! Join your friends for one of the many lawn games the likes of bocce ball, corn hole, yahzee, tic-tac-toe and jenga! Games start at 4 pm. From 6-7 pm Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Boom Box will be on hand. The evening rounds out with a DJ and dancers handing out give aways! FREE!   Saturdays thru September   Salute the Sunset Concert Series On the Plaza 7 pm FREE!   World-class performances by bands from the nation’s Armed Forces at National Harbor will stir the hearts and souls of civilians and military personnel alike, while their tuneful stylings in a variety of genres please music lovers of all ages.   4th – USAF Singing Sergeants 11th – USN Country Current 18th – USAF Concert Band 25th – USAF Strings   Movies On the Potomac On the Plaza Nothing says summer like an evening under the stars—and there’s no better way to enjoy the season than a Date Night at National Harbor. Join us on the Plaza…

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Featured Post, Personality Profile

Rick Myllenbeck – Owner, Wine Boss & Mystery Man

By Bob Tagert   Rick Myllenbeck – Owner, Wine Boss & Mystery Man   Rick Myllenbeck, owner of Sonoma Cellars in Old Town is truly a guy on the move. An adventure seeker with a flair for technology, Myllenbeck has found a way to combine the two throughout his life. Growing up in Silicon Valley in California, he was immersed in the technology culture at an early age. He started his career at Amdahl Corp, a manufacturer of mainframe computers. This certainly was the dark ages. In 1987 he move to Apple Computers where he experienced one of the high points of his career. “It was during the glory years when Apple was pushing business marketing,” he says. Little was known about the networking ability of the Mac, which had been considered by users and the media to be a stand alone machine. The whole area of networking was an exciting new market, but it was a problem explaining the technology to unseasoned business and technology reporters. “The editorial community was skeptical and not familiar with networking technology, which was complicated, “ he explains. “They weren’t sure what questions they should be asking, and they didn’t understand the answers.” Myllenbeck’s solution to the problem was to hold a seminar on networking technology for 40 reporters in Cupertino, CA, bringing in technology experts to lecture and write chapters on their particular subjects for a take-home binder. Apple’s PR team was then positioned as a resource on the subject, providing clarification on specific tech questions. “The benefit was huge,” he says. “The reporters walked away with enough knowledge that when they came back we had some ground to work with.” When asked what he thought of Steve Jobs, Myllenbeck reflects, “He was such a visionary…he could see things before anyone else.” After…

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Dining Out, Restaurant Guide, Wining & Dining

It’s His Day! Stellar Dining Options to Celebrate Dad!

Restaurants for June 2016 For this months restaurant we thought that we would highlight our favorites and give you a little insight as to what they are. Here in so particular are the best!   Ramparts Tavern & Grill A tradition in Alexandria for over 30 years Ramparts has been a local place serving quality food at a very reasonable price. The newly renovated dining room is a calm respite from one of the best local bars in Alexandria. With different lunch and dinner special every day there is a variety from the regular menu serving great soups and salads to their focus on hearty servings of beef, ribs, pork and seafood. Prices are in the moderate range and check out their monthly specials.   Union Street Public House Occupying a renovated Colonial warehouse, USPH has been serving revolutionary American cuisine in a warm and lively atmosphere since 1986. Locals and out- of-towners alike flock to the waterfront location for fresh seafood, grilled steaks, and a taste of Old Town’s “favorite tap and grill.” The Oyster Bar is one of Old Town’s best-kept secrets where you can get the freshest catch from the Chesapeake Bay.       T.J. Stones A relative newcomer to Alexandria, T.J.’s made an immediate impression with their house specialty of barbecue, steaks and southern cuisine. The bar area is separated from the masculine dining room which has one of the few wood burning fireplaces. Not necessary now, but you get the idea. They have a craft beer selection that is huge. This is casual dining at a very moderate price.       River Bend Bistro Going into their second year, River Bend has made a great addition to the Hollin Hall/ Mount Vernon area. At a very reasonable cost you can enjoy Chef Caroline’s…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Road Trip

Experience Deep Creek Lake!

Experience Deep Creek Lake! Garrett County, Maryland By Bob Tagert Over Christmas of last year our road trip took us to the New River Gorge in Fayetteville, WV. Looking forward to a snowy get-a-way in the high country, we were greeted with temperatures ranging from a low of 72 degrees to 78 degrees during the day. This past month we took our road trip to the beautiful Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, Maryland and with a reversal of fortunes; we endured temps as low as 40 degrees at night and highs of around 65 in the afternoons. As we all know by now, the weather the past few months has been anything but routine. Deep Creek Lake in Maryland’s Garrett County has long been an attractive place to go in the winter to ski at the popular Wisp Ski Resort. I can remember skiing there with friends twenty years ago and staying a short drive from the mountain at one of the many rental properties available in and around Deep Creek Lake. Wisp is the only full service ski resort in the state of Maryland. When we were out there last month, the snow was gone from the lush ski slopes however the resort is still open offering events throughout the spring and summer including bonfires, kayak tours, paint ball, skate park and disc golf, not to mention a full size golf course. For the thrill seekers there is also the zip line tour that lets participants fly over the slopes and through the woods covering the mountain. The resort also includes the Mountain Coaster, which is a hybrid coaster car going 3,500 feet downhill over 350 vertical feet on the eastern side of the mountain. My pal Lani says she is going to ride it the next time…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Welcome Summertime!

By Lani Gering Welcome Summertime!!   There is always something cool going on here at National Harbor. No one could ever say that this is a boring place to live or visit! Some time in early May the sculptures that are pictured here popped up randomly on the corners at the intersection of American Way and Fleet Street. There appears to be quite a bit of mystery behind them since I was unable to get any official information about their final destinations. All I do know is that there is a total renovation of American Way in the block between Waterfront Street and Fleet Street going on right now and these fun pieces of art are part of the final plan that is supposed to be completed this September.   “Embracing Peace”, “Forever Marilyn” and “Holding Out” are products of J. Seward Johnson, well-known sculptor of our very own “Awakening” down on the Plaza. Johnson is a member of the successful Johnson & Johnson family of whom I am sure you all have a couple of their products in your households. In fact, he was working in the family business until he was fired by his uncle in 1962. It is obvious that his creative side was calling and this was probably a good thing that happened.   He is best known for his trompe l’oeil painted life-size bronze statues, which are actually castings of living people of all ages depicting them engaged in day-to-day activities. A good example is “Holding Out”. He also has his hand in creating statues of famous icons the likes of “Forever Marilyn” and “Embracing Peace”. I am happy to have them here and am hoping there are plans for many more to be placed around the Harbor.   Friday nights during the summer have…

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From the Bay, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

Calvert Marine Museum

This month we are supporting our friends at the Calvert Marine Museum with some extra editorial coverage. We have always felt that they play a very important part in the history and preservation of the heritage of the Bay and the waters of Calvert County. Put the Calvert Marine Museum at the top of your list of fun things to do this summer! There are activities and events for all members of the family. For a complete schedule, visit   Saturday, June 4 – Chris Young in Concert 6:00 p.m. – Gates open. See country music star, Chris Young, live in concert at the PNC Waterside Pavilion. Southern Maryland’ very own, Sam Grow will open the show for the chart topping Chris Young and emerging country star, William Michael Morgan. Tickets are $39 and $49 (additional fees apply). Buy tickets Museum closes at 3:00 p.m.   Tuesday, June 7, Thursday, June 9, and Wednesday, June 15 – Sea Squirts 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Pirates at Sea – Ahoy Matey! Come dressed as a pirate for this fun program and become the scallywags of the high seas. Free drop-in program for children 18-months to three years and their caregivers.   Thursday, June 9 – Pub Night 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Bring your friends and join well-known chantey singer, Myron Peterson of Ship’s Company, for a rollicking evening of sea chanteys and hearty cheer. This will be a regular monthly gathering through September. Beer and wine available for sale. FREE event.   Thursday, June 16 – Children’s Kalmar Nyckel Tours 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – Waterman’s Wharf located at the end of Williams Street in Solomons. Children in the 1st – 8th grade are invited to climb aboard the beautiful Kalmar Nyckel, the Tall Ship of Delaware and experience what life on a tall ship was like in 1638. The ship is a full-scale…

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Grapevine & Vintner Profile, Wining & Dining

June is Wine Festival Month Across Virginia

By Frank Britt JUNE IS WINE FESTIVAL MONTH ACROSS VIRGINIA Festivals are favorite outings for Virginians, particularly wine festivals. They provide opportunities to learn about Virginia’s wonderful wines and to visit some of the state’s most interesting sites. There are wine festivals in every region of Virginia this month, and we are pleased to feature just a few here.   (NORTHERN VIRGINIA) JUNE 4-5: VINTAGE VIRGINIA BULL RUN SPECIAL EVENTS CENTER-CENTREVILLE   Thirty-five years and counting, this ALL VIRGINIA event is presented by the Virginia Wineries Association. Sine 1982, Virginia’s oldest wine festival has been offering wine lovers an opportunity to taste nearly half of the state’s homegrown wineries, from the oldest and the largest to the smallest boutiques and exciting new players.   The festival is a must for everyone from newbies to foodies.  Try your favorite wines, find new favorites, buy bottles and cases and take them home to enjoy all summer. Great Local foods to taste from festival favorites to DC’s hottest Food Trucks. Live Music from Great Regional Bands, all in a family friendly setting with kids activities. Tickets: $30 advance / VIP $69 7700 Bull Run Drive-Centreville, VA 20121   (CENTRAL VIRGINIA) JUNE 11: JAMES RIVER WINE & MUSIC FESTIVAL RIVERFRONT PARK, DOWNTOWN LYNCHBURG Once a campground for Monacan Indians, Riverfront Park is today a premier venue designed specifically with events in mind. And, the first event at the Park since it closed in January 2014 for major construction is the fourth annual James River Wine and Music Festival on Saturday, June 11. The festival is an opportunity to showcase Lynchburg’s revitalized downtown and Arts and Cultural district to residents and visitors.   On June 11, wine lovers will gather to taste award-winning Virginia wines, listen to “cool” music and enjoy a variety of foods…

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Behind the Bar, Wining & Dining

Behind the Bar: Joe aka Yousif Khalil

Joe aka Yousif Khalil Bar Deco 717 6th Street NW Washington DC 202-774-5867       How did you get started in the bartending business? Many, many years ago I was working in the family business and slinging subs at the Ol Philly cheesesteak factory in G-town on the side. All the bartenders from Rhino Bar and Pump House would come in and I finally went there. One day they asked me to help in the kitchen, and then at the door, and then bar backing, and then, wait for it……”hey joe, you wanna bartend”? What is your biggest bartender pet peeve? I don’t have any pet peeves but I do have 3 pet dogs. Oh, and by the way, mean and foul language people stay away. What is the most clever/original line anyone has ever used to get a free drink from you? Can I speak to a manager? What is the best/worst pick up line you have overheard at the bar? A girl asked a friend I was working with to lean closer because she couldn’t yell…when he did she licked his neck. Startled, he said what are you doing.!? She then told him “now we’re both wet”. Tell us about an interesting encounter you have had with a client. I served an alien, (the illegal kind)!   If you could sit down and have a drink with anyone in the world (past or present), who would that be? Blanche from the Golden Girls. Ooh oh oh. Chikachikaaaaa!!       Joe is behind the bar evenings every Tuesday through Friday!! You won’t be disappointed if you stop by to say Hi! If you would like to see your favorite mixologist featured in this space, send contact information to!

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