Day: November 1, 2016

Featured Post, Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes

By Bob Tagert As we were putting the finishing touches on the November issue, our designer’s computers crashed, which set us back three days. However it did give us the chance to attend the Halloween party at Stoney’s Broomes Island. Here I am with Jeannie Stone or more affectionately…”Puss in Boots”. It was a great way to end the season and welcome in fall.             As we approached November, I was pleased to see that this Halloween weekend the sky was clear and the high temps in the mid 70’s…one last sail before putting the boat up for the winter. As the changing colors of the leaves reach their peak in the early weeks of November, it is a great time to make a final trip to the Virginia wine country and enjoy the clear crisp air and a glass of Virginia’s fine wines. Our spread on the Wineries of Northern Fauquier County shows you the best wineries to visit. It is also an excellent opportunity to try a few wines before making your choices of what to buy for Thanksgiving dinner and for consumption over the holidays. Now is also a good time to pick a getaway to kick off the holiday season. Most kickoff events in this area occur during the first weekend in December. Check out the ad for Tula’s in Little Washington for a very special event. The holiday festivities kickoff in Culpeper on November 20th, Check out the ad in this issue as well as the shopping and dining available. Our very own Alexandria will be starting up the season with the tree lighting after Thanksgiving. Remembering Veteran’s Day this month, I took a road trip to the different War Memorials in the metro area. Hop the metro and see these impressive works of art…

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Business Profile

PA River Naval Air Museum

By Dan Bramos PAX River Naval Air Museum Our Mission Preserve – Educate – Inspire Preserve significant artifacts of naval aviation research, development, test and evaluation history and technology. Educate the public about the historic and social significance of the work of the U.S. Navy that is uniquely carried out in St. Mary’s County. Inspire and encourage excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and embrace its future promise as a pathway to advanced innovations and an improved quality of life.   After much anticipation, the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum opened its doors to the public during a celebration last May on Memorial Day weekend. The museum complex is open to all ages interested in discovering the heritage of naval aviation’s research, development, test and evaluation at Patuxent River, Maryland.   The 20,000 square-foot new exhibit hall, located next to the main entrance to the Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, is arguably the most recognizable structure on Three Notch Road.   “As many know, design and construction of the museum have been ongoing for several years,” said George Hill, president of the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association. “From its roofline reflecting the shape of an aircraft, to its state of the art environmental controls, this building is a source of pride for St. Mary’s County and all of Southern Maryland.” First opened in 1978, the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum (PRNAM) now spans three buildings and includes a flight line of [14 different] one-of- a-kind aircraft and aircraft configurations unique to the Naval Test Center here at NAS Patuxent River.   Visitors to the museum will witness a range of test and evaluation-centric artifacts including a replica A-1 Triad, the U. S. Navy’s first aircraft; the X-35 prototype of the Navy latest aircraft; galleries of aircraft engines…

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Behind the Bar, Featured Post, Wining & Dining

Behind the Bar: Andy Gillies

  Andy Gillies Public House Bar & Restaurant 199 Fleet Street National Harbor 240-493-6120 Andy is behind the bar Monday through Friday days. How did you get started in the bartending business? I got started out in the business through my Dad – best known as “Russian Mike”. He owned a few joints back in the day including the Quarter Deck in Arlington and Jonathan’s Place in Crystal City (he was partners with Bill Bayne Sr.) and Michael Anthony’s in Maryland. This was the 70s early 80s .When it was time to get a job – I was 17 getting ready to turn 18 – I started waitressing at Champions in Falls Church which later became Broadstreet Bar and Grill. I’ll never forget it! My first night started out as a disaster! I was thrown to the wolves! Lol! The first table I waited on was these guys in this band called the Road Ducks. Some of you might remember them, they were very popular through NOVA back then. Anyway, the lead singer, Mike McCormick (who is gorgeous by the way), and his girlfriend (who was wearing a fur jacket –white at that) were at the table and I spilled my whole tray of drinks on them! Needless to say, my money went to dry cleaning that night. My dad’s best friend, Bill Bayne Sr., and his son Billy Bayne Jr. along with Arty Dourty and Jimmy Madden opened the Crystal City Sports Pub in August of 1994. That was really the bar I can say I grew up working in. What is your biggest bartender pet peeve? Don’t ever come to my bar and say “can you hook me up?” and then proceed with telling me you are “in the industry” and my tip will be better if…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Let Us Give Thanks!

By Lani Gering Let Us Give Thanks! Every November I find it harder and harder to stick to a theme for this column that doesn’t involve talking about the Christmas holidays. Every year it seems like the holiday “stuff” is on display in stores even before Halloween is over – as is the case while I write this on October 28th. I took a stroll along American Way a couple of days ago and took the photos that appear here and promised myself that, other than a calendar listing for the tree lightings, I wouldn’t touch on any holidays other than Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. The photo of General Dwight D. Eisenhower is one of many of the bronze statues that grace American Way. He stands very near “Rosie the Riveter” that I wrote about last month! He is a good reminder that we need to take some time to thank those who serve our country this month. There are several restaurants in the Harbor that are offering special rates and/or free meals to any active member of the military. Also along American Way are the new clay pots surrounding the tree wells. This is a very nice addition to the local scenery. Planted to the brim with assorted pansies, they really do stand out. Many of the storefronts and display windows are decked in fall finery. My favorite window is the one at Stonewall Kitchen. I just love that store! Speaking of which, please see the calendar listing for their Thanksgiving Prep event. They are having a free drawing for a $100 gift basket that day – be sure to drop in and fill out an entry form. November is also a good time to take a deep breath and treat yourself to a nice dinner and a stroll…

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Arts & Entertainment, Events, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

National Harbor November Events

National Harbor November Events   Saturdays & Sundays through November 13th   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 including fall mums, and much more holiday fare.   Saturdays through Dec 17th   Holiday Performances On the Plaza   Live Music! 1:00 pm FREE!   Musical entertainment provided by area musicians and groups on the Plaza.   Harbor Holiday Movies 2:00 pm FREE!   Holiday movies on Saturday afternoons! Pack your chairs, grab food to go from one of our delicious dining establishments, and meet us at the Plaza screen for a FREE afternoon of fun for all ages! Film runs “snow” or shine!   13th – Prancer 19th – The Santa Clause 26th – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation   13th   Stonewall Kitchen Thanksgiving Prep 170 American Way 12 Noon – 3 pm   Stop in and enjoy special samples and tips to inspire the perfect Thanksgiving meal. Enter to win a chance at a Thanksgiving gift basket with a retail value of over $100!   National Harbor Tree Lighting Ceremony On the Plaza 12 Noon   Enjoy live music, card-making for troops, street performers, Santa, fireworks, and more! Bring a non-perishable food item to fill the DARCARS trucks for the Capital Area Food Bank.   SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: 10am – 2pm – The Capital Wheel giveaway: 1 ticket per car parked in our three garages 12pm – Marine band performance, Plaza stage 2pm – 4pm – Card making for deployed troops, East Pier Tent 3pm – 5pm – Santa at The Black Dog 4pm – 5pm – Victorian carolers, roaming 5pm – Santa at the Carousel 5:30pm – Holiday band performance: Radio King…

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Beauty & Health, Product of the Month

Arabica Coffee Scrub

Arabica Coffee Scrub By artnaturals   Dead Sea Salts combine with Kona Coffee, Shea Butter and Sweet Almond Oils to create a scrub for the reduction of cellulite and deep exfoliation. Caffeine in coffee is a rich source of antioxidants which fight the free radical process. A powerful aid for improving the appearance of age spots, acne, rosacea, varicose veins and eczema.   Does It work: We used this product for a month and have to say that it pretty much lived up to the hype other than none of us were sure that it really did much for our cellulite, however, we only used it for a short time. Our skin did feel fabulous after use and the coffee scent was uplifting in the morning!   The only real down side of this scrub is that it is messy and you have to be really sure to get your shower floor rinsed off after you use it.   Active ingredients: dead sea salt, kona coffee, shea butter, sweet almond oils   $18 via  

Dining Out, Featured Post, Wining & Dining

RT’s Restaurant

RT’s Restaurant By Bob Tagert   This months’ restaurant takes us away from Old Town and out of the heart of Alexandria to the wilds of Arlandria on Mount Vernon Avenue. RT’s is a short distance from the ever popular Birchmere Music Hall and is pretty much the only place to fine dine in the immediate area. RT’s will also take us back in time. In order to understand RT’s you have to know a little about the legendary founder and owner, Ralph Davis. I first met Davis in the early 80’s when I first discovered Old Town. Davis had finished college and had taken a job as a bartender at the Wharf Restaurant…something to do before graduate school. Davis enjoyed what he was doing and took an interest in the restaurant business and was thrust into management by owner Cliff Cline. Cline also owned the 219 Restaurant at the time, and soon Davis was running that restaurant as well. His interest in the business grew and when the city announced plans for the revitalization program for Mt. Vernon Avenue, Davis jumped at the chance to start his own restaurant, and RT’s was born. In September of 1985 RT’s opened its doors and soon the restaurant was one of the most popular in the area. It was the first restaurant to open in that end of town and is the highest rated restaurant in the DelRay area and one of the highest rated by most Alexandria web sites. When food critic Phyllis Richmond of Washington Post fame visited early on and gave the establishment rave reviews, their reputation was complete. Since then, RT’s has been a fixture in Washingtonian Magazine’s “Top 100 Restaurants” list in the metropolitan area and is one of the highest rated seafood restaurants in the nationally…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, To the Blue Ridge

Animal rights activists do not care about your animal’s welfare

Animal rights activists do not care about your animal’s welfare Julie Reardon Just when you thought you were safe from politics, my column, normally focused on rural life, has a political hot potato this month. But this is not liberal vs conservative politics; it’s city vs country. As the percentage of us that grew up and/or still live on, or who have family that live on farms in rural areas shrinks, the animal rights movement continues to grow and shape attitudes about animals. So let me make an important distinction: Animal rights is not about what is best for animals, not wildlife and not domestic animals, including farm animals and your pet cat or dog. Animal welfare groups do seek to ensure all animals have humane treatment and basic needs met; animal rights and the activists that push that agenda, have very little to do with caring for animals in a humane manner and everything to do with humanizing them and insisting they need to be treated as equals with people.   Those of us that own, and make our living from the raising, training or breeding of animals, do so because of our love for them. It’s hard work for very low pay to provide them with the best possible care, including seeking professional advice when needed. And that advice, including their housing, land requirements, nutrition and veterinary care, does not come from the ranks of the animal rights activists. Indeed, few if any have actual experience or knowledge of animal husbandry. As more and more people grow up with only Walt Disney’s portrayal of animals, the animal rights movement has gained enormous foothold and influence over how we think of them. Indeed, the very notion that we should be the guardians and not the owners of our cattle,…

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From the Bay, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

The Pre-Loved Vessel

The Pre-Loved Vessel by Molly Winans To shop for used boats, you have to have an active imagination. If it’s wintertime, a particularly vivid one. The April boat shopper may walk down a dock under sunny skies, to the tune of chirping birds, to look at a 38-foot sloop with freshly washed decks. Even if it were 60 degrees, imagining the freedom of throwing off the lines, while wearing shorts and a wide-brimmed hat, is not a big mental leap. Now back up six or so months and subtract 30 degrees. Under gray skies and layered wool, you carefully trudge down the dock, while eyeing the ice on the creek. Boarding that 38-footer may be treacherous due to ice or slush. Hoping the deck would look nice if hosed down, you go below thinking it may be warmer down there. It’s not. You open and close drawers and lockers, as boat shoppers do, and pause to blow on your fingertips for warmth. When you can see your breath, those shirt-sleeve, straw hat, mix-me-a-margarita sailing day images take more creativity to muster. A few winters ago, I captured a glimpse of this tough process, as a friend searched for a used, cost-effective, 35- to 40-foot sailboat to live aboard. Liveaboard sailors on the Chesapeake Bay lead interesting, surprisingly normal lives that are not as ruled by winter heating issues as much as we dirt dwellers may believe. My soon-to-be liveaboard friend shared his Excel spreadsheet of specifications he sought in a pre-owned vessel. Electric heat was number 18 on the list, preceded by draft, beam, sail inventory, roller furling, engine, and other sailing and docking considerations. Cockpit size and exterior canvas were also priorities as added living space, especially with a bimini and dodger setup fit to be wrapped in eisinglass…

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