Day: June 1, 2018

Dining Out, Featured Post, Wining & Dining

Al Fresco Dining

“Al Fresco Dining” With nice weather finally here, we thought it a good time to check out some of our favorite outdoor dining venues in and around Old Town Alexandria. The phrase “al fresco” is borrowed from Italian for “in the cool air”. Warm days and cool evenings make for a unique experience when it comes to outdoor dining. Cedar Knoll Restaurant  Located down the George Washington Memorial Parkway you will find Cedar Knoll Restaurant housed in a historic building built in the 1800’s. The restaurant is situated on a small knoll allowing for panoramic views of the Potomac River. Cedar Knoll offers a great selection of wines and seasonal fare including their smoked duck crepes which pair nicely with a rose wine in a beautifully appointed period restaurant. The full- length patio offers beautiful views and excellent dining. Brunch is offered every Sunday. Union Street Public House In Old Town you will find Union Street Public House located at 121 South Union Street. Offering great food in a stylish setting, Union Street provides al fresco dining on their intimate second floor patio overlooking Union Street. Enjoy seafood and grilled meats at this upscale American eatery which also offers a dark wood tap room on the lower level as well as a newly renovated Whiskey Bar which is open Wednesday through Sunday evenings. Chadwicks Located at 203 Strand Street, Chadwicks is a true D.C. style restaurant offering the best in casual dining and arguably offers one of the best brunches in town. Chadwicks features a neighborhood bar with English pub décor, happy hour, burgers & American fare. Their patio is directly out front and looks out on the newly built Old Dominion Boat Club. Fish Market Restaurant Located at 105 King Street, the Fish Market will be the first of…

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Behind the Bar, Wining & Dining

Behind the Bar: Kyle McNeely

Kyle McNeely Blossom Cocktail Lounge MGM Grand Casino 101 MGM National Avenue National Harbor Kyle conjures up the Nellie Blossom – Grey Goose Vodka, Cherry Blossom Tea, Pomegranate, Lemon, Rose Syrup shaken and topped with Champagne and a Fresh Orchid Garnish How did you get started in the bartending business? My fraternity in college would frequent the local bars and it always seemed like it would be something fun to do, and still yet make money. What is your biggest bartender pet peeve? Snapping fingers and yelling.  Bartenders definitely see everyone and we keep mental notes of who is next.  So…I appreciate those who are more patient. What is the most “clever” line anyone has used on you to get a FREE drink? There really hasn’t been a most “clever” line, however, there is the most used line – “it’s my birthday, I get a free shot right?” To which I respond “what did you get me for my birthday?” What is the best or worst pickup line you have overheard at your bar? Best: Excuse me, you owe me a drink…..Because when I looked at you, I dropped mine. Worst: I don’t have a library card, but do you mind if I check you out? Tell us about an interesting encounter you have had with a customer(s). A few years ago while working at a club downtown, a guest – who I hadn’t seen all night – came up to the bar and asked for two wine glasses. While I was looking around for the glasses, I asked my fellow bartenders if they had sold a bottle of wine. They all responded no! I went back and asked the guest why she needed the glasses since no bartender had sold any bottles tonight. Without hesitation she pulled out a…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publisher’s Notes June 2018

It looks like spring has finally decided to stay. Starting off the week with three days of rain was a little much but it did rid us of some of the pollen that has plagued many of you. I do, however, hope that the 80’s will hang around for a few months before the high 90’s of August arrive. Speaking of nice weather, check out the Dining Out column for some of our favorite places for a good meal and al fresco dining. Miriam Kramer takes us on a ride “on the hurtling comet of Robin William’s life and career” as she reviews the new book, Robin in Last Word. Peggie Arvidson gives some advice to new Grads in Spiritual Renaissance. Our Road Trip this month takes us to the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay and the Town of North Beach. They have a lot going on in June, so the time is right for a road trip to one of the closest sandy beaches to Old Town. Lori Welch Brown is doing double duty this month as she celebrates our “Four Fathers”…a look inside the life of 4 local dads…in the Personality Profile. Ron Powers revisits Mick Jagger, the legendary front man of The Rolling Stones in High Notes. Lori Welch Brown addresses social media in a social world in her popular column, Open Space. In A Bit of History, Sarah Becker looks at hemp over the generations and how Mount Vernon has planted an industrial cultivar of hemp on their 4 acre farm. This and much more awaits in the following pages. We can’t forget about all those dads out there – here’s wishing you all a great Father’s Day. You might want to take a look at the “manly” recipe in the Let’s Eat column and…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

The Night Lights Are On!

By Lani Gering The Night Lights Are On! When we were coming up with the call outs for the cover for this issue I thought I would be writing about how the Harbor is “heating up” for the summer, however, after I saw the new addition of the “overhead” lighting on Fleet Street, I changed my mind! Night time here in National Harbor is special, especially when the weather is beautiful, and is my favorite time to roam around and take in the sites. The Capital Wheel and the Carousel are no doubt the largest “light” attractions here. I love the fact that Derek and his team at Icon Attractions program the wheel so that it lights up in colors that support local happenings. They are burgundy and gold when the Redskins play, purple and black when the Ravens play, have a curly W when the Nationals are on top of their game and right now it is “Rockin’ the Red” for the Capitals! I swear those red lights have been a good luck charm for our fickle hockey team. The American flag that adorns the first block of American Way is impressive in both daylight and night. The lights that adorn the trees in the first block of American Way, however, are in need of some tender loving care. When I first moved over here from the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, the multi-colored box shaped lights were spectacular. They are now in need of replacement so hopefully that will take place soon. Peterson Companies is pretty particular about this space on the Maryland side of the Potomac so I am positive the situation will be rectified soon. Now for the piece de resistance – the new “overhead” lights in the one hundred block of Fleet Street! While walking…

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Caribbean Connection, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

Sensational St. John

Sensational St. John St. John, the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, retains a tranquil, unspoiled beauty uncommon in the Caribbean or anywhere else in the world. Settled in the early 1700’s by Danish immigrants attracted to the island’s potential as a sugar cane producing colony, St. John soon blossomed into a thriving economy. The island’s unspoiled forests and stunning beaches attracted the attention of wealthy families who sought privacy and tranquility on the island. In 1956, Laurence Rockefeller was so moved by the island that he bought and donated broad expanses of land to the National Park Service to keep St. John “a thing of joy forever.” St. John was recently voted “Best Island in the Caribbean/Atlantic” by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s prestigious annual Readers’ Choice Awards poll. The following are some of the island’s highlights and attractions: Virgin Islands National Park Two-thirds of St. John’s 19 square miles is designated as protected national park land. Laurence Rockefeller deeded approximately 9,500 acres of rolling green hills and underwater preserve to the federal government more than 40 years ago. There are 22 self-guided hiking trails within the Virgin Islands National Park, where visitors can discover ancient petroglyphs and beautiful foliage along the way. Ecotourism Sustainable tourism programs and environmentally safe practices keep the island pristine and clean. Even more so since the destruction caused by hurricanes Irma and Marie last fall. Visitors are encouraged to appreciate the previous resources of the natural environment while enjoying the island’s beauty. Numerous ecotourism activities and attractions ensure the preservation of natural resources and ecosystems. Unique Accommodations St. John offers a variety of accommodation styles to suit all tastes and preferences. The island has two major luxury resorts – Caneel Bay Resort, and The Westin St. John. In…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Road Trip

North Beach, Maryland – The Jewel of the Chesapeake Bay!

By Bob Tagert North Beach, Maryland – The Jewel of the Chesapeake Bay! With warm weather finally moving in we thought it a good time to head to the beach…North Beach that is! The iconic Chesapeake Bay Bridge was first opened in 1952 allowing access to the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. Before that bridge, folks from Washington, D.C. and Virginia would take their weekend retreats to the western coast of the Chesapeake Bay and one of the most popular venues was North Beach in Calvert County. Located on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, the town of North Beach epitomizes the expression “land of pleasant living.”   The seven-block waterfront has a fishing pier and a half-mile-long boardwalk. The boardwalk forms the bulkhead to the bay at the southern end and flares out into a sandy beach at the north end. This past winter the town initiated a reclamation project to replenish the sand. On nice and not so nice days you will find locals and visitors enjoying a walk, sunbathing and enjoying the refreshing Chesapeake Bay. The boardwalk has numerous benches for casual strollers to rest and watch the boats sail on the bay. The town encompasses a wildlife refuge in its tidal marshland where native species make their home and seasonal migrants find a welcome place to rest. North Beach experienced a renovation at the hands of Mother Nature when Hurricane Isabel hit in 2003. Many homes and other buildings were destroyed and some never rebuilt. The older homes lost were replaced with brightly colored new homes and a condominium complex. Walking through the town gives one the feeling that they might be in Key West. There are a number of shops where you can spend the afternoon and dining accommodations ranging from a casual Neptune’s…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

June National Harbor Events

Harbor Events June 2018 Ongoing through October Fitness on the Potomac On the Plaza Participate in FREE fitness classes on the Plaza. All classes run from 7-8 pm with Saturday morning Yoga that runs from 10-11 am. Mondays – Cardio Hit Tuesdays – Kickboxing Wednesdays – Zumba Saturdays – Yoga Farmers Market Returns American Way Saturdays and Sundays 10am-5pm 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. Located on American Way by the fountain. Miller Farms is a 267-acre farm in Clinton, MD that has been family owned and operated since 1840. Ongoing Through September Summer Fridays Are Back! On the Plaza 4 pm- 8 pm Start your weekend right with Summer Fridays at National Harbor! Play Corn hole, Connect Four, Giant Jenga, hula hoop, hopscotch, and more with family and friends. Enjoy performances by Bobby McKey’s, giveaways, and listen to the DJ spin your favorite summer jams. And of course, joining us means you get front row seats to the best sunset view in the DMV. Get your cameras ready and your flip flops on! Movies on the Potomac On the Big Screen At the Plaza Nothing says summer like an evening under the stars—and there’s no better way to enjoy the season than movie nights at National Harbor. Pack your chairs, grab food to go from one of our delicious dining establishments, and meet us at the Plaza screen for a free evening of fun! Date Night Movies – 7 pm 7th – Going in Style 14th –  Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tells 21st –  Forrest Gump 28th –  Dream Girls Family Night Movies – 6 pm 3rd – Matilda 10th – Bolt* 17th –  Zookeeper 24th –  Charlotte’s Web…

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Business Profile

Lulu Sage – Experience the Difference!

By Lani Gering Lulu Sage – Experience the Difference! Time really flies when you are having fun. I can’t believe that it has been over six years since we first met Cindy Sage and introduced Lulu Sage Salon and Spa to the salon and spa scene here in Old Town Alexandria. Located a bit off the beaten path on Madison Street in the north end of town, Lulu Sage is still bringing a little different salon atmosphere to the area. When I conducted my first interview, I asked what prompted Sage to open her own salon after being in the business for 22 years. She told me that after spending that many years working for someone else, it was her time to “shine”. Well, six plus years later she has indeed done that. With 7 full time stylists on board – and room for one more – and one of Old Town’s most popular nail technicians, Nila, in house, she has made a name for herself in Old Town. When asked what she thought set Lulu Sage apart, Cindy said, “When I decided to open a salon of my own, I wanted an upscale salon but I also wanted it to be designed in a way that made it a comfortable and approachable environment for clients to relax and be pampered. The concept here at Lulu is to make your beauty regimen something to look forward to rather than another thing on your “to do” list.”  I can confirm the fact that she got what she wanted. The salon is indeed both upscale and inviting. Cindy has a fabulous reputation when it comes to color – I know this via comments from several close friends of mine who are very picky – and she assures me that the other members…

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From the Bay, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

The Summer Sailstice: Free and Open to the Whole World

The Summer Sailstice Free and Open to the Whole World by Molly Winans I have written about my beau’s serious sailing addiction before. The man has a problem. It’s not even summer yet, and he went sailing four times last week. Yes, in case you’re wondering, he does have a job. He commutes from Annapolis to Arlington, VA, three days per week and still managed to go sailing four times last week, two evenings and two afternoons. Given his addiction, my editing the sailing magazine SpinSheet, our proximity to the water, and the ease with which he throws off his lines, friends assume that sailing just happens for us. What envious friends do not see are the unromantic hours we spend rearranging the puzzle pieces of our lives and plotting out sailing days on a shared Google calendar. Two professionals with the usual sailing barriers—commuting, family complications, work that flows into the weekend—couldn’t possibly go cruising for 10 weekends in a season without serious advanced planning. Many cruisers, racers, and daysailors, who love sailing with all their hearts, are lucky to make it out on the water one entire weekend this season. The many masts you see at port on the sunniest, breeziest weekends prove it. Our frantic, over-scheduled, smart-phone-buzzy lives get in the way of sailing. Frustrated with this phenomenon, John Arndt of the mother of all regional sailing rags, Latitude 38, in San Francisco, CA, decided to do something about it and unite all types of sailors—from the reservoir sailors of Nebraska, to the offshore racers of New England, to the windsurfers of Oregon, to the gunkholing cruisers of the Chesapeake Bay. “It takes an event on the calendar to remind people to make the time for sailing,” he says. He created the Summer Sailstice, a global event,…

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Let's Eat

Porcine Perfection

Let’s Eat by Charles Oppman Porcine Perfection With Fathers’ Day just around the corner many families are wondering what they can do for dad to make his special day a memorable one. No, you can’t just give him a card and be done with it. And cutting the lawn for him isn’t good enough either. Doing a household chore for dad isn’t exactly a gesture of unconditional love. As a devoted family who appreciates dad you’re obligated to come up with something he won’t soon forget. What better way is there to say “Pops we love you.” than to feed that special guy an unforgettable meal? Here are easy BBQ pork and black bean salsa and corn recipes for Fathers’ Day.  This is also a good way to kick off the BBQ season. The Pork Roast First you need to select the correct cut of pork. You could use pork loin, but this is not the best choice. The loin cut is devoid of collagen and only has a scant amount of surface fat. (One of the cruelest rules of nature I know is that animal fat equals flavor.) I would select pork shoulder or butt for this particular cooking method, dry radiant heat. A 5 to 7 pound roast should do nicely. It’s better to cook a roast that is more than necessary because approximately one-third will be lost to shrinkage and there is that pesky bone. Preheat the coals as you would for any other BBQ procedure. If you have a gas grill, heat the chamber to 300ºF. The Dry Rub 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon cumin powder 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon chili powder Combine all dry ingredients and hand-rub mixture over pork roast. Cover…

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