Day: January 4, 2018

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What’s the Deal with the Repeal……of Net Neutrality?

What’s the Deal with the Repeal……of Net Neutrality? By Ashley Schultz What is the deal??? I know I am, and sure many of you are….confused and don’t understand what the repeal of Net Neutrality means for us in the future. Therefore, I took it upon myself to find out exactly what might happen, and  hopefully clear up any questions you might have. To make a long story short, in 2015, President Obama issued a “regulatory plan” to address the growing and changing Internet landscape. In laymen’s terms it required Internet providers to give consumers equal access to all content online without charging for high quality delivery and preferential treatment to certain websites. The New York Times recently released an article addressing all the rules that were repealed: BLOCKING: Internet service providers could not discriminate against any lawful content by blocking websites or apps. THROTTLING: Service providers could not slow the transmission of data based on the nature of the content, as long as it is legal. PAID PRIORITIZATION: Service providers could not create an Internet fast lane for companies and consumers who pay premiums, and a slow lane for those who don’t. So now, it looks like we might be heading toward a bundling plan, as other countries currently use this system. For example, in Portugal they have to purchase a “Social” plan in order to access all social media sites, e.g. “Messaging” plan to use anything such as Skype, an “Email” plan to access your various E-Mail accounts, etc. Another huge concern is that the Internet will become “Pay to Play” technology with two tiers; major conglomerates and affluent households would occupy the high-speed lane. Then there would be the rest of us in the slow lane. As a result, this could significantly affect businesses that don’t necessarily make…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publisher’s Notes

By Bob Tagert In January of 1988 we came out with the first issue of the Old Town Crier. This issue makes our 361stand a 30-year history that has been pretty amazing. I am not going to dwell on the history here because it will pop up in other places in this issue. All I want to say is thank you to our readers, our advertisers and those who have helped over the years. THANKS…   It looks like winter has finally arrived with temps in the 20’s; keep those pets safe and warm inside. This month’s Personality p\Profile is about Frances Killpatrick, the one who taught us to spell and construct complete thoughts in the beginning. The Business Profile is about our journey. Heck, if you don’t blow your own horn, who will? Lenny Campello explains the importance of art fairs today if you are an artist or own a gallery in his Gallery Beat column. Sara Becker brings us some insight into a young Robert E. Lee and his later years in A Bit of History. Jeff McCord continues his commentary in the Caribbean Connection on the recovery of St. John USVI as electricity is gradually returning but, the question is, are the tourists?   With the cold weather upon us we thought it right to remember our summer pals in Solomons Maryland in the From the Bay section. Except for the Tiki Bar, most of the businesses are open all winter and many have great promotions going on. I also wrapped up the Road Trip column with a recap of 2017 with excerpts from each month. Dining Out this month took us to Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse…a little out off the beaten path in in the scheme of things but what a good time!   I hope that…

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Dining Out, Wining & Dining

Teppanyaki Anyone??

By The Gastronomes Teppanyaki Anyone??   Let’s start out with the basics. What exactly is teppanyaki? According to the gurus I consulted via Google, it is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food. The word teppanyaki is derived from teppan, which means iron plate, and yaki, which means grilled, broiled, or pan-fried. In Japan, teppanyaki refers to dishes cooked using an iron plate, including steak, shrimp, rice, and vegetables. Well, here at Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse (TJSH), as in most modern day Japanese Steakhouses, the iron skillet consists of a large stainless steel grill surrounded by 8 chairs on three sides with room for the tableside chef on the other. This setting provides for the perfect place to “entertain” guests at the restaurant. It really is a show, however, this is not a place you want to go if you are in a hurry. We decided to dine at TJSH for the January column since it is a bit different than what everyone has been eating during the holiday season and it is a fun way to start out the New Year. The food offerings tend to be a bit more on the healthy side – well..maybe with the exception of the tempura – and we thought our readers might want to get a jump start on those weight loss resolutions. TJSH has been in operation since 1995 and they have sister locations in Woodbridge and Hampton, VA. The Old Town location on Canal Place isn’t exactly on the beaten path to anywhere and if you don’t have a GPS or haven’t downloaded Waze, the easiest way to get there is from North Fairfax Street and either way you are coming from turn toward the river on Canal Center by the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Look…

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From the Bay, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

Solomons Island…Open Year Round!

Solomons Island…Open Year Round!   Even though the internationally known Tiki Bar on Solomons Island closes for the winter the rest of the town is pretty much open for business. The restaurants might alter their menus to include some cold weather items but that crab cake is always a great choice year round. The cold weather months are when the oysters are at their best and caught daily. In this short piece we are going to inform you about Solomons and introduce you to some of those who will be serving you.   The island is about an hour and a half drive from Washington D.C. and Baltimore. As you approach the island from the west you will cross the impressive Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge. The bridge is 135 feet from the Patuxent River. You will get a nice birds eye view of Solomons, but I recommend the driver keep his eyes on the road.   Solomons is the home of the Calvert Marine Museum, a popular day trip destination plus the Annmarie Garden Sculpture Gardens and the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. The town is also just a nice place to go enjoy some seafood and the waterfront setting. If you follow the Riverwalk boardwalk along the Patuxent River, you can enjoy waterfront view and have access to man of the town’s restaurants and shops. Even though it is winter you might see some sailboats the water. Sailors are a hardy breed.   The Chesapeake Bay Biological Lab is located a little beyond the southern of the boardwalk and next to Charles Street Brasserie. Their welcome center is open to visitors Friday through Sunday. Other places to visit nearby include Annmarie Gardens and Sculpture Park where you can enjoy outdoor sculptures in a 30- acre park. Annmarie also hosts many special…

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Personality Profile

Franny the K

Franny the K   In honor of our 30th year, we thought it only appropriate to revisit a profile of one of our very favorite people on this earth who is also one of our very first writers of 30 years. The original profile was written in 2006 and much of it is reprinted in this space. We sat down with Franny the K a couple of weeks ago to catch up with her and to say a belated Happy 83rd Birthday and Merry Christmas all at the same time and asked if she minded of we ran her profile again. After some cajoling she agreed. The following is credited to OTC contributing writer Peggy Arvidson:   Franny Kilpatrick loves her family. On a recent Saturday afternoon over shrimp and avocado salad and coffee in the brick-walled, sunny dining room of Landini Brothers, this vivacious, genteel and multi-talented woman shared secrets of balancing career, philanthropy and family. Long-time readers of the Old Town Crier will recognize Franny as my predecessor writing the Personality Profile column sporadically throughout the past thirty years. “Writing for the Crier was really satisfying in so many ways-but mostly, I was touched by the opportunity to hear and share so many life stories,” quotes Franny. From Alabama through Rhodes College in Memphis Tennessee where she achieved an English degree to the University of Minnesota where she completed her Master degree in Journalism, Franny’s been collecting life stories. She insists her focus since meeting and marrying husband, Jim, has been on raising kids – they are the proud parents of two grown children, and grandparents to “three perfect grandchildren,” Matthew; Megan and Joseph, “they are the greatest thing in my life!” When they moved from Illinois back to Memphis, she taught part-time in the Journalism Department of…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Road Trip

2017 Was a Whirlwind of a Year!

2017 Was A Whirlwind of a Year!   As most of our readers know, every January I take a look back at the Road Trips of the previous year, and like our cover has said for 30 years…”From the Bay to the Blue Ridge”. Knowing full well that there is no better place to be than in Old Town Alexandria, from time to time we all just want to get away. This column can give you some good ideas and some good information every month of the year.   Febuary:Cambridge Maryland & the Hyatt Chesapeake Resort Our first adventure last February took us to Cambridge, Maryland and the impressive Hyatt Chesapeake Resort on the banks of the Choptank River. We usually like to keep the waterfront trips closer to the warmer months, but spring was right around the corner and the Chesapeake Resort makes for a great winter escape. Getting to Cambridge is easy. Take the Beltway to Route 50 and head east. Within two hours you will cross the bridge that spans the Choptank River into Cambridge. The Choptank is a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay and the largest river on the Delmarva Peninsula. The $155 million Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina is situated on the east shore in Cambridge. Completed in 2002, the resort is the only one of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic.   Settled by the English colonists in 1684, Cambridge is one of the oldest colonial cities in Maryland. During the colonial years, the English colonists developed farming on the Eastern Shore. The town was a trading center for the area. Cambridge was designated a Maryland “Main Street” community on July 1, 2003. In town there are many fine restaurants and shops…our favorite was the Portside Seafood Restaurant. Originally an…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Old Man Winter Has Arrived & MAGFest Is Here!

Old Man Winter Has Arrived & MAGFest Is Here! As I write this the day after Christmas, it is barely 30 degrees outside. A little nippy to take in the last of the holiday hoopla here in the Harbor as far as I’m concerned but looking out my balcony window I see lots of people coming out of the Fleet Street garage and heading toward the Plaza. Guess the lure of the tree and the Capitol Wheel along with our fabulous restaurants and shops – and maybe the fact that maybe they just needed to get out of house after being cooped up with their families all day on Christmas – are bringing these hardy souls out! January is a historically slow month in general in most municipalities and National Harbor isn’t much different. Even though it is technically a “resort” area, the only place that really has anything going on is the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center with MAGFest 2018. This is one whacked out gathering to say the least. I don’t really know how to explain it. After all, I am 64 years old and the only “video” games I know how to play are the likes of PacMan, Ms.PacMan, Centipede and Frogger. I never even got in to the Mario Brothers craze and I don’t think I have ever sat at a Play Station. My friend Mitch, who is in his late 30’s and has been sort of a “gamer” for several years, has tried to explain the lure of this event to me more than once. My only exposure has been seeing the “participants” walking around the Harbor in sort of a daze – lots of baggy jeans, plaid shirts and flip flops (not that there’s anything wrong with that) in the middle of the winter….

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Business Profile

From the Bay to the Blue Ridge!

From the Bay to the Blue Ridge! This issue of the Old Town Crier marks the 30th time we have printed a January issue. Looking back 30 years ago, not only does it seem surreal, but it also seems like it was just yesterday. We put our first issue together in December of 1987 in David Underwood’s dining room. Dave was my friend and business partner for 20 of these 30 years. He passed away in January of 2007. He has been missed! In the fall of 1994, my now partner, Lani Gering, joined us. She took a buyout after 20 years with the USDA and was headed back out west when she decided that she wanted to stick around the east coast. Her common sense – Dave and I lacked it at some points over the years – and organizational skills have been instrumental in getting us to where we are today. In all honesty, if it weren’t for her I doubt we would still be in business. She gets credit for the stitching and trimming (staples and rough edges cut off) and the glossy cover wrap. We are trying to see what new wrinkle we can bring to the publication in 2018.   We conjured up the concept of the OTC over several “adult” beverages at then Bullfeathers – now O’Connell’s. Neither of us had/has any background in journalism or publishing – Dave was a graphic artist and I sold insurance. We lucked out and found a guy that I played rugby with who was a technical writer for Pepco so we had someone who could do layout, someone who could sell advertising and someone who had some writing skills. Unfortunately our writer friend had some issues that resulted in his leaving us. Keep in mind, it never…

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On the Road, Pets, Places, & Things

On the Road

Alexandria residents and former OTC columnist, Mike Waite, and his wife Penny took a few minutes from visiting Copenhagen, Denmark in August to catch up on Alexandria news from the OTC. They were on a two week Celebrity cruise from Southampton, England to the Baltic Sea, stopping in Fredericia and Copenhagen Denmark, Stockholm, Sweden, Tallinn, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Russia and Warnemunde/Rostock, Germany. They say that St. Petersburg was worth the trip alone as it was one of the most beautiful cities they have ever visited.

Master's of Cuisine, Wining & Dining

Chef Anthony Gitangu

  By Chester Simpson Chef Anthony Gitangu Old Hickory Steakhouse Gaylord National Resort National Harbor 301-965-4000 Chef Anthony Gitangu moved to America from Kenya in 1996. In 2007, he graduated from L’Academie de Cuisine culinary school in Gaithersburg, MD. Gitangu then went to work and train at Vidalia restaurant in Washington, D.C. under chefs Jeff Buben and RJ Cooper.   Gitangu joined Marriott International, Inc. in 2008, where he successfully worked his way up in the kitchen holding a variety of chef positions at area Marriott properties. In 2016, he joined Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center as the Senior Sous Chef at the resort’s signature restaurant, Old Hickory Steakhouse.   When did you first become interested in cooking and what made you choose a culinary career?   I first became interested in cooking at 5 years-old. I was a young boy in Kenya and was always fascinated by food. I would watch my mother cook and she taught me how to prepare goat.   I originally went to school for finance. My first job in the USA was in the kitchen as a dishwasher. I would watch the chefs cook, then go home and try to duplicate what I had learned. I would also watch a lot of cooking shows and read cook books. From there, I realized I wanted a career as a Chef.   Who or what has been your biggest inspiration during your career?   I have always been passionate about French cuisine, so my biggest inspiration during my career has been Chef Michel Richard. I had the opportunity to work with him and always appreciated his simple, yet elegant culinary style. Chef Marcus Samuelsson has also been an inspiration. He has as similar style of cooking to me in that he likes to bridge…

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