Day: May 1, 2018

Personality Profile

Emro the Sun Conure of the Boardwalk

By Lani Gering Emro the Sun Conure of the Boardwalk We decided that since we got such a fun reaction to our interview with “Aladdin the Christmas Camel” in the December issue we would feature our feathered friend “Emro the Sun Conure of the Boardwalk” in the May issue. I was lucky enough to tag along with Bob when he was doing the R&D for his Road Trip column for this month’s issue. The trek to Rehoboth, Delaware and the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel is always a fun one and that’s how I met Emro Jr. We met the original Emro three years ago when we were staying at the Boardwalk conducting much of the same business of gathering information for a feature on Southern Delaware. Sadly, Emro Sr. passed away two years ago at the age of 24, however, happily, Emro Jr. was rescued shortly after. With a little help from the staff at the Boardwalk Hotel, I was able to garner some important information about my new BFFF (Best Feathered Friend Forever). Jennifer Zerby, Proprietor of the Boardwalk, told me that the original Emro belonged to her husband Jeff’s grandfather, Orme Meade.  That is how Emro got his name – “Emro” is “Orme” spelled backwards! Very clever, don’t you think? I might have to think about that with the next pet I get that will need a name. Ummm, wait, maybe not so much…Inal?? Nope. Jennifer told me, “Emro Sr. lived with Jeff’s grandparents for a time, but he needed more attention than they could provide, so the family decided he would get plenty of attention from our guests here at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel.  We installed him in the lobby and he was an instant hit with guests and our staff alike. After he passed away, all of us…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

Hit the Deck!

By Lani Gering Hit the Deck! I just couldn’t wrap my head around something special to write about this month. The Harbor celebrated 10 years last month and that was pretty big news so I got to thinking about how to top that. I decided to take on the mindless task of sorting through the business cards in my purse in order to clear my head around 2 a.m. on the 26th and there it was. Derek Lovato’s card. He just happens to be the GM of the Capital Wheel operations as well as a very good guy. We have become fast Harbor friends over the last year or so. It donned on me that the Wheel celebrates its 4th Anniversary this month so I decided we needed to pump it up! The Wheel is the result of another of National Harbor developer Milt Peterson’s inspirations. It followed on the heels of the installation of the much loved Carousel. Like many things in the Harbor, it was met with mixed emotions. Residents thought it would be too noisy and too “bright” – why move into a resort area and expect some music and lights? (That’s a subject for another column) Needless to say, I don’t believe the Wheel has caused anyone any consternation other than being a beautiful addition to the waterfront. It did get off to a bit of a rough start.  The initial cost of tickets (almost unaffordable for an average family of 4 if you wanted to do anything else in the Harbor) and the fact that the concession that was promised at the base was non-existent were probably the major issues. In the last 4 years, they have both been addressed. Ticket prices have been lowered and there are several fun packages that can be purchased…

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Master's of Cuisine, Wining & Dining

A Rite of Spring – Pasta Primavera

Let’s Eat By Charles Oppman A Rite of Spring – Pasta Primavera Now that spring is in full swing we’re likely to see the seasonal springtime dish pasta primavera on Italian restaurant menus across America. It just makes sense―the word primavera means “spring” in Italian. But what is pasta primavera exactly, and what’s its culinary history? Let’s begin with the heart of the dish, the pasta. Long before they invented the mechanical clock, gunpowder and paper, the Chinese invented noodles, which would come to be called pasta, “dough” in Italian. Although the origin of pasta evokes much speculation, many historians credit the 13th century explorer, Marco Polo, with bringing pasta to Italy from China. During his 17 years in China the Venetian merchant probably dined with the likes of Kublai Khan, Polo must have sampled a variety of Asian pastas, which were generally made with rice flour or millet. The Chinese began using wheat for noodles about 3000 BC. The medieval Chinese didn’t eat dry strands of pasta like we do today. Instead they cooked fresh pasta. Pasta primavera is an Italian-American dish―created in New York City in the 1970s― consisting of pasta and fresh vegetables. There is no one recipe for this dish. It may contain almost any kind of vegetable, but cooks tend to stick to firm, crisp vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, peas, onions and green, red or yellow bell peppers, with tomatoes. Pasta primavera is usually highlighted by light flavors, aromatic herbs and bright colors. A seasonal addition would be fresh asparagus, which is inexpensive and plentiful during the spring season. Chicken, sausage or seafood may be added, but the star of the dish is always the vegetables. A Classic primavera sauce is based on a soffritto (the Italian version of a French mirepoix) of garlic…

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Go Fish, Pets, Places, & Things

Culling Regulations On the Potomac

By Steve Chaconas   Culling Regulations On the Potomac To pierce or not to pierce is confusing for Potomac River tournament anglers. Tournament fishermen can legally catch a limit, 5 fish over the minimum size, and then begin to cull out their smallest fish when replacing it with another larger fish. Possession of the 6th fish must accompany the release of one. To keep track of their fish, tournament anglers use some sort of culling organizer. Most if not all of them consist of a metal hook, similar to the old chain stringer hooks, and either colored or numbered floats. This allows anglers to quickly identify and retrieve the fish that needs to be put back. It also allows the fish to be attached to a scale or a balance beam to determine which is the smaller fish to be released.   The perceived problem is that the fish are harmed with the piercing of the lower jaw. This is even truer when the hooks are incorrectly pierced, allowing the chain to rip a large hole in the mouth of the fish or even breaking the jaw. Two things enable better use of these hooks. First, sharpen the point so they will penetrate easier. Then place the entry point close to the lower jaw of the fish. And then when removing the fish, use the chain to guide the fish to hand lip them to prevent putting too much pressure on the hook in the mouth of the fish.   In August 2016, the BASSMASTER Elite Series was caught by surprise when Maryland DNR set forth a requirement for all anglers to use non-piercing culling devices. Pros scrambled to find non-piercing clips, which were few and far between at the time. While B.A.S.S. complied, their Conservation Director Gene Gilliland pointed…

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Exploring VA Wines, Wining & Dining

Trading Cards Arn’t Just for Baseball!

Trading Cards Arn’t Just for Baseball! By Doug Fabbioli The rural team of Loudoun County’s Economic Development Department started a unique program a couple of years back. On opening day of the Major League Baseball season, in conjunction with the Loudoun County Public School Nutrition Services, they release a series of Farmer Trading Cards. The cards are distributed throughout the elementary schools through the county. The farmers featured, do a card signing and greet the students on their way from the cafeteria during lunch. Last year, one of our former staff members and students in The New Ag School was featured on a card. Alex is now at Virginia Tech on a 2 year program for animal husbandry. Many of the farmers featured over the years can be seen at the farmers markets, at their farm or involved with the community. As this is a public school based program, the powers that be thought it was best to not include the farm wineries and farm breweries that focus on an alcoholic beverage as their end product. I was fortunate enough to be recognized this year as the director and head farmer of The New Ag School. Our focus is to use mentoring and online modules to educate future farmers and agricultural leaders, giving our region more farmers to use these great lands for production. I had the opportunity to sign some cards for the students at Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Leesburg. We talked about animals, pineapples, strawberries, the farming lifestyle and how they rely on farmers. Pizza was on the lunch menu so it was an easy transition to talk about making cheese from milk, sauce from tomatoes and pizza crust from grains. With the fifth graders, we were able to discuss entrepreneurism and sustainability and how that related…

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Arts & Entertainment, Gallery Beat

Where is the DC Museum of Art?

Where is the DC Museum of Art? By F. Lennox Campello Those of you who are regular readers of this column know that one of my constant concerns is the poor relationship between most capital area museum area curators and VA/DC/MD area artists, and the rarity of interest by most DC area museum professionals in their own city’s art scene and artists. Like anything, there are notable, but rare, exceptions, and Jack Rasmussen at American University’s Katzen Art Museum is an important and critical exception and through the Alper Initiative, the Katzen is ensuring that area artists get the exposure that sometimes only a museum show can deliver. The generous funding that Ms. Carol Trawick delivers through the Trawick and the Bethesda Painting Awards have also highlighted multiple area artists. And one of the unexpected benefits of the Trawick Prize and the Bethesda Painting Awards has been that they have “forced” the hired DC, VA and MD museum professionals and curators to look at the work of artists from the region; some amazing success stories have spawned from that exposure. Area artists should be very grateful to Ms. Trawick for all that she has done and continues to do for the fine arts around the capital region. But getting back on subject and generally speaking, most of the DC area museum curators and directors still find it easier to catch a flight to another city to look at an emerging artist’s work from that city, than to take a cab to a DC area artist’s studio or visit a local gallery. Seriously, when was the last time that a curator from the Hirshhorn visited a local artist’s studio – I cannot recall a single time, but I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before… once in 1981. I think part…

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Single Space

A Colorful Life

By Lori Welch Brown   A Colorful Life A friend of mine passed unexpectedly a couple of months ago. It was a shock, but he had endured many years of suffering and pain. I’m 51 so it wasn’t my first encounter with grief, but it reminded me that you can never really prepare yourself for death and the many different colors of grieving. His wife is one of my closest friends, and I won him in the deal. We were about as different as two people could be and still like each other. He was a math/science guy. I’m an English/arts girl. He was into cars and sophisticated engines. I’m into Uber and paint by numbers. His jam was algorithms and analytics. My jam is the Style section and Sunday mornings. He worshipped technology. I curse it. Daily. He could remember details from an event 30 years ago (of course, I think he may have expanded upon a few details). I can’t remember what I had for lunch. I remember sitting outside a coffee shop with him waiting for my friend/his wife. He was explaining how telescopes work and was really digging into the minutia. I’m not a minutia kinda girl. About six minutes in (which felt, btw, like 82 hours), he looked at me and said, “Your eyes are glazing over.” We got each other. We were yin and yang, but what he was to me isn’t as important as what he meant to me, to the friends he left behind, and more importantly, to his wife.   She was one of the first ones of our group to get hitched so he became the guy who would willingly tag along to our various hen parties (aka wine nights). I cannot begin to count the number of times he…

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Caribbean Connection, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

Among the Privileged Few No Longer

Among the Privileged Few No Longer By Jeff McCord For eight-and-a-half years my family has been among the relatively few “Continentals” to live on St. John. With more than 60 percent of the land a national park and much of the remaining terrain too steep or inaccessible to develop, the island can only accommodate a handful of full-time residents: about 4,500 at last count. During our time on-island, we were privileged to be part of both the Coral Bay sailing and Virgin Islands National Park communities. We were fortunate to have sold our sailboat well before Hurricane Irma decimated the fleet. And, after a bitter sweet and hectic three months of storm-damage repair and offering our Gifft Hill home on the real estate market, we found the perfect buyer in a long-time St. Johnian who values our lush tropical plants and trees and the bird habitat they afford. To islanders, the progress made in the seven plus months since the apocalyptic visit by two category five hurricanes (Irma and Maria) is encouraging. Long-time residents are accustomed to making do in a world characterized by local government dysfunction and frequent outages of power produced by a utility that was managerially challenged even before the storms. Bald tired automobiles held together with wire and duct tape are taken for granted by hearty Virgin Islanders now accustomed to shortages of parts and tires. People mostly accept the high prices of essential items caused in-part by inexplicable customs duties levied upon products “imported” from other parts of the United States. Overcoming hardship breeds a special camaraderie and esprit d’ corps among locals that most visitors who come for the spectacularly beautiful scenery and beaches cannot comprehend.   Tourists are often unaware of property managers’ herculean efforts to maintain, prepare, provision, service private generators and fill…

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

Virginia Is for Horse Lovers in May

By Julie Reardon   Virginia Is for Horse Lovers in May The first Saturday in May is home to what may be the most popular horse race over fences in the country: the Virginia Gold Cup. Kentucky may have the Kentucky Derby on the same day, but here in our area, that first Saturday is Gold Cup day. And Virginia’s love affair with horses runs longer and deeper than Kentucky’s; we’re even starting to produce some decent whiskey locally and young girls still hope to find a pony under the Christmas tree. So the cowboy ballad by the legendary Tom T. Hall about older whiskey, younger women and faster horses could have been written about our state. While the Kentucky Derby, first run in 1875, is the oldest continuously run annual sporting event and likely the best known horse event in America, George Washington was hunting hounds here in Virginia and colonials were racing horses before Kentucky was even settled. Here in the Hunt Country, the Derby is held on Gold Cup day, not the reverse. On May 5th, the Derby will have to share top billing with the Virginia Gold Cup steeplechase race meet, held at Great Meadow, The Plains,VA. With regular crowds in excess of 40,000 attending, the best Gold Cup arrangements and tailgating parties are planned months, even years, in advance; prime tailgating and rail side boxes are often passed down in wills and contested in divorces. Good ones are usually sold out long before race day. You can, however, still get general admission tickets up until race day starting at $85 for a car pass that admits 6 by contacting or calling 540-347-2612. The country’s top steeplechasers aren’t the only fast horses you can see this month. Lighting fast, responsive and keen, able to turn…

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Arts & Entertainment, High Notes

G.H. Hat – Sukiyaki – EP Review

By Ron Powers   G.H. Hat – Sukiyaki – EP Review With ‘Sukiyaki’, his latest release, G.H Hat taps into the melodic beauty of the only Japanese song to ever make it to the #1 Chart position in the US (1963). Modernized, for a new generation, this epic melody becomes a pop/dance classic that from the 2000’s perspective is even better than the original. And some of you baby boomers might like it better too. G.H. Hat seems to be doing everything right as an artist right now. His last single release “I Got a Problem (I Wonder…)” [feat. Mickey Shiloh] made its way to Billboard’s Dance Club Songs (Top 50) chart for ten weeks, peaking at #16. The release also doubled charted on Billboard’s Hot Singles Song Sales for a whopping 7 weeks, reaching #5 at its greatest moment. Adding to an already impressive journey, all of this comes after Hat originally put out an immense 290 releases under the classical genre, before deciding to venture over into the world of EDM. As it turns out, this was a strong decision – we see him going from strength to strength with his new approach to creativity. Things look set to keep getting better.   This release is a concise EP showcasing the same song under three different spotlights – though this is part of a larger, 10 track album of remixes that further explore the true essence of the 2000s with tracks by Grammy nominated Ralphi Rosario and the very popular Dinaire+Bissen.   The first recording on this shorter project features the stunning vocals of Alina Renae. The track builds up from a simple piano part, a gathering of synths, and an underlying vibrant energy on the verge of bursting its banks, to something that is infectiously uplifting and…

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