Day: March 2, 2017

Arts & Entertainment, High Notes

Music Music Music

By Chris Anderson   Ryan Adams: Prisoner One of the more prolific artists of his generation, Ryan Adams has been cranking out masterpiece after masterpiece ever since his Whiskeytown days, over twenty years ago. Prisoner is his sixteenth solo album and one that often evokes the feel of classic Tom Petty, Bryan Adams, Mellencamp, that sort of dark 80’s heartland rock. Written and recorded while Ryan was dealing with a very public divorce (from Mandy Moore) this album is his own Blood On The Tracks, twelve tracks of catharsis, and some of the best work of his career.   Kicking off with “Do You Still Love Me?”, the mood is set right off the bat. “I am a prisoner for your love”, he sings on the title track. While details of the split have never been explicitly discussed, it’s clear that this was a traumatic experience and one that can be read all over these songs. This sense of loss and loneliness can be found in “Haunted House” – “I live here alone and no one else….my friends all disappeared one by one”. “I miss you so much I shiver and shake”, he sings on the following song, while “To Be Without You” finds him confiding that “every night is lonesome and longer than before” and “I feel empty, I feel tired, I feel worn”. Musically, these songs are generally upbeat but these are words of defeat. The singer at the end of side one is, if not broken, then significantly marred.   Side two finds bitterness bubble to the fore in “Anything I Say To You Now”, where he says that “anything I say to you is a lie” – communication is down. These are the sorts of feelings we all experience in a breakup, especially a tumultuous one….

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Exploring VA Wines, Wining & Dining

Inaugural Maryland Wine Month. Visit St. Mary’s County wineries

Inaugural Maryland Wine Month Visit St. Mary’s County wineries By Bob Tagert           This month marks the first ever Maryland Wine Month. To uncork the month, they will have a calendar on their website consisting of events and activities happening at wineries across the state. They will also launch the Wine Month Challenge! Participants can pick up a challenge card from local wineries. Each time a participant visits a winery they will receive a sticker to pace next to that winery. At the end of the month, members can send in their marked challenge card to the Maryland Wineries Association for prizes. The Maryland Wineries Association will be hosting a Winemakers Seminar Series in different regions throughout the month. Pick your weekend, region and a topic that interests you. With the incredible spring weather we have had, March appears to be the perfect time to sit back, sip and savor not only the flavor of the county, but also some of the wines being produced by Port of Leonardtown Winery and Slack Winery in nearby St. Mary’s County. Port of Leonardtown Winery is located on the beautiful grounds of Port Leonardtown Park in Leonardtown Maryland. The winery is right off of Route 5 and sits a few dozen yards from the beautiful McIntosh Run. There are kayaks and canoes on site for rental and the run empties into Breton Bay two miles away.      Port of Leonardtown Winery is the end result of The Southern Maryland Wine Growers Cooperative and was formed in 2007 as the region began to transition away from tobacco production to other agricultural pursuits. The potential for the emerging wine industry to positively affect agriculture and tourism in southern Maryland was recognized and supported by the state of Maryland, the local government and farmers. Partnering with…

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Pets of the Month, Pets, Places, & Things

Pets of the Month

Beanie (A069887): Meet Beanie! Beanie is a neutered male Terrier mix, estimated to be about four years old. Beanie is a cute pup whose favorite activity is, by far, playing with toys! We think Beanie would do best as an only pet in an adult-only home, as he is a dog who values his personal space. Beanie will also need an owner who is willing to help him with potty training and other doggie manners.     Tink (A070049): Say hello to our sweet Tink! Tink is a spayed female Pit Bull terrier, estimated to be about five years old. Like the Disney character she shares her name with, Tink is as loyal as they come (all she’s missing are her wings!)! Come to the AWLA to experience just how magical she is!           Mimi (A068382): Her name is Mimi- so nice, they named her twice! Mimi is a spayed female Domestic Shorthair, estimated to be about five years old. She has been with us since last July when her family moved and could not take her with them. We have learned that Mimi sometimes plays favorites with her human friends, but once you’re in her good graces then she will never leave your lap! If you’re looking for a beautiful kitty who’s also full of personality, ask us about Mimi!

Grapevine & Vintner Profile, Wining & Dining

The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Wins 2017 Governor’s Cup

The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Wins 2017 Governor’s Cup ~The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Joins 11 Other Virginia Wines to Comprise the 2017 Governor’s Cup Case ~ Governor Terry McAuliffe awarded the 2017 Virginia Wineries Association’s (VWA) Governor’s Cup to The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards for their 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon.   The VWA’s Governor’s Cup Gala, hosted by the Virginia Wine Board is a private, invitation-only event and was held Tuesday evening at John Marshall Hotel, in Richmond, Virginia. Speaking at the Governor’s Cup awards ceremony, Governor McAuliffe said, “I’m excited to see The Barns at Hamilton Station Cabernet Sauvignon win this year’s Governor’s Cup. Andrew and Maryann Fialdini are seeing the results of eight years of planning and hard work come to fruition. My congratulations to them on this outstanding wine and for their success with their winery.” The winning Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine with well-balanced acidity. It is aged in French and American oak and expresses notes of dark cherry and coffee. It is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and is complemented by a soft tannic structure that is integrated with the fruit. Clove and tobacco notes add complexity and extend through the finish. Andrew Fialdini stated, “We are honored to be among the Virginia wineries who have won the Governor’s Cup in previous years. After years in government service, my wife and I were looking to start a second career where we could work the land. This experience has surpassed all our expectations. We are very proud of this Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 vintage was a special one and we knew we wanted to develop a wine that was 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with the fruit from this vintage.” “Our team is especially proud of this wine. It is a classic Virginia…

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Caribbean Connection, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

“Rogues, Vagabonds, the Idle and Dissolute”and the Luck of the Irish

“Rogues, Vagabonds, the Idle and Dissolute” and the Luck of the Irish By Jeff McCord As we anticipate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, it’s fun to think about the role of the Irish in the Virgin Islands and Virginia. Sons and daughters of Eire have been pioneers, planters, pirates, entertainers and much more throughout the Western Hemisphere. It all started in 1603, when English King James 1 declared the people of Ireland dispossessed by invading English armies and occupiers to be “rogues, vagabonds, idle and dissolute.” That made them eligible for deportation as indentured servants to West Indian sugar plantations, which needed cheap labor. Those not deported often became sailors or joined the British military out of desperation. A sailor named Francis Magnel was the first Irish man known to visit both the Virgin Islands and Virginia. He served in the band of explorers and colonizers that landed on the then uninhabited island of St. Thomas in the spring of 1607 before continuing northward to found Jamestown in Virginia. Less than 100 years later, ten percent of the sugar plantations that would be established on St. Thomas were owned by Irish men and, by the mid 1750s, most of the plantations on the larger, more easily farmed island of St. Croix were owned by the English and Irish, according to the historian William W. Boyer who chronicled “America’s Virgin Islands.” Two strong-willed Irish women made their mark in the Caribbean. One was the pirate Anne Bonny and the other the famed actress Maureen O’Hara. Bonny, born in County Cork about 1698, travelled with her parents to Charleston, SC as a child and grew to become a “fierce and courageous” teenager who spent a lot of time with sailors in saloons, says pirate story teller Captain Charles Johnson (a likely…

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Arts & Entertainment

The 3rd Annual Film Festival at Little Washington, VA

The 3rd Annual Film Festival at Little Washington, VA            Next month, on April 7 –9, The Film Festival at Little Washington, VA will once again light up Rappahannock County. The Festival has entries in many categories including features, shorts documentaries, student, animations, web series or episodes, and music videos. The Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community (RAAC) is once again the proud sponsor of this prestigious event. All filmmakers, both professional and amateur, were invited to submit work completed after January 1, 2012. The submission period closed on January 15, 2017. The premier event came about three years ago when several Rappahannock filmmakers approached the RAAC, whose mission is to enhance the lives of community residents through exposure to the arts and active participation in art programs and request a forum for their films,” explains festival program director, Theresa Wood. Despite being kept rather low- key, the 2015 festival was well received, leading to the decision to expand the event. “This is the only film festival in the state featuring films partially or wholly produced in the state of Virginia by filmmakers who reside here part-or full time, Wood says. Wood also points out the Virginia Film Office, a division of Virginia Tourism, has been very supportive of this film festival, as it aligns perfectly with their mission of bringing film ad television series to the Commonwealth. The Film Festival is an all- volunteer, non-profit enterprise with net proceeds going back into the arts community in the form of Claudia Mitchell grants. (The Fund was established with a generous bequest from the estate of Claudia Mitchell, RAAC’s president for many years and a dedicated supporter of the arts community.) This years Festival kicks off with an Opening Night Reception at Tula’s Restaurant and Bar from 500-7:00 p.m. The…

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Arts & Entertainment, Events

St. Patricks Day Parade Day!

Saturday – March 4th   Classic Car Show North Pitt Street 9:00 AM   Fun Dog Show Market Square 10:30 PM   Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade On King Street in Old Town 12:30 PM   This is a day of fun and excitement for the whole family in Old Town Alexandria. Don’t miss the Classic Car Show on North Pitt Street (in front of the former Ireland’s Own location) and the Fun Dog Show at Market Square with Steve Rudin, ABC7 meteorologist. For detailed information go to   2017 Grand Marshalls   Bill and Karan Butcher   The Ballyshaners, organizer of Alexandria’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, is pleased to announce that Bill and Karen Butcher, founders of Port City Brewing Company, will be the Grand Marshals of the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This will be the 36th parade that the organization has hosted in Old Town.   “We are thrilled that the Butchers accepted our invitation to serve as the Grand Marshals for our upcoming parade,” said Ballyshaners Chairman Mike Pablo. “The Butcher family’s long history in Alexandria, plus Bill and Karen’s efforts not only to create outstanding craft beers, but also to also make Alexandria better-known throughout the nation made them an obvious choice,” Pablo noted.   Bill Butcher is a fourth generation Alexandrian and serves on the Board of Governors of Visit Alexandria. Karen is a Partner at Morgan Lewis, where she leads the global trademark, copyright and advertising practice. She also has enjoyed watching their boys participate in Alexandria Little League baseball over the last several years. Karen and Bill live in Rosemont with their two sons, Riley and Key. Bill noted, “Karen and I were thrilled to be asked to lead the Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We have participated in the event…

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Beauty & Health, Spiritual Renaissance

What’s Your Brand?

By Peggie Arvidson What’s your brand? This topic has been floating around my head for a while now. It started when I got a call out of the blue to apply for a contract at a big employer in my hometown. I’ve worked for myself for 13 years and the idea of working for a big company, even on a contract, seemed daunting. The idea of pushing my own boundaries in 2017 was at the forefront of my mind when I thought, “What the heck!” and went for it. Low and behold they offered me not one, but three different possible contracts. At first I thought it was a fluke and played small in my own mind – “they must not have many people to choose from…” and “Wait until they find out I really don’t know what I’m doing!” all cropped up as I tried to talk myself down from what I identified as my inflated ego. I chose one of the contracts and went about my life, preparing for another big upheaval in my life just 4 months after moving across the country. All I could think was that there was no time like the present to start pushing my boundaries and getting out of my comfort zone. It turns out that although it had been more than 13 years since I set foot, willingly, in a corporate setting, I was, I am a natural. Some people are born to sing and it appears, I’m born for business. Who knew?! Although my colleagues are and average of 15 years younger than I am, and the workplace is incredibly different than it was my last time around (who knew you barely keep any paper in or on your desk anymore?!) much has remained the same, and although it pushed…

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

Spring Point to Point Preview

By Julie Reardon SPRING POINT TO POINT PREVIEW Technically spring’s not here yet, but an unusually warm February had many of us itching to get outside and enjoy all the area has to offer. And as reliably as blooming forsythia and daffodils, March brings the opening of Virginia’s legendary hunt race meets. Yes, we could still get a big winter storm, although I personally take comfort in the fact that the snow doesn’t hang around in March the way it does in January or February. Gardeners are itching to get their hands dirty although we know better—we scratch the itch by starting seeds indoors and pruning things that need it ‘til the danger of frost passes. This winter, most farm ponds never froze and barely even got occasional skim ice, so Canada geese and wood ducks have been pairing up and nesting since last month. This can be a tricky month to plan ahead for outdoor activities, but most of the early spring races are held rain or shine (or mud) unless it’s unusually prolonged or a danger to the horses and jockeys. Our mild winter has allowed owners, trainers and riders to keep horses in training all winter, so entries should be plentiful offering full fields at the early meets. And dressing and preparing a tailgate for unpredictable early spring weather is part of the fun, but just in case we’ve included numbers so you can call the day of the meet if the weather looks questionable. Most of the point to point meets offer general admission with decent viewing areas. With general admission tickets available at the gate, if you like spur of the moment adventures, not much advance planning is required. However, reserved tailgating spaces, especially those with the best views of the race course, need to…

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Behind the Bar, Wining & Dining

Behind The Bar: Katy Gorman

Katy Gorman Daniel O’Connell’s Restaurant & Bar 112 King Street Old Town Alexandria 703-739-1124 How did you get started in the bartending business? I was 20 and studying abroad in Northampton, England. What I thought would be a great adventure turned out to be a very stressful time. My dad, who was back home in the US, was diagnosed with GBS and put on life support and instead of calling me home, I was asked by my family to stay where I was and continue my studies. To add to the situation, I was broke. I then decided to take a job tending bar at Wembley Arena in London. I just served drinks for concert goers, but it was my first taste of service. When I got home, I realized that I had more potential to help support my family at the time by working nights at a local restaurant.  I was a daughter-nurse by day and a server/bartender by night. And so you have it… What is your biggest bartender pet peeve? I’ve really grown out of most of them by now. The biggest one these days is when a guy is pushing me to give him my number. Sorry, guys, but it’s not always welcome. It’s actually rather uncomfortable, especially in front of other guests. What is the cleverest line anyone has ever used to get you to give them a free drink? I can’t think of anything special. I know I used to get free drinks all the time! What are the chances…being a cute female and all…no lines needed. What is the best/worst pickup line you have overheard at the bar? So this guy tells me his pickup method at bars: he tells a girl he bets he can guess the last 4 digits of…

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