Month: October 2018

Arts & Entertainment, Gallery Beat

The Curious Case of the DMV and Art Fairs

By F. Lennox Campello The Curious Case of the DMV and Art Fairs By the time that you read this column, an international art fair will have come and gone to the DMV. This is important and a key arts event for our area, as art fairs in cities across the world continue to remain as one of the key components of the planet’s cultural tapestry, with Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) still holding the title of the “big dance of the art world” each December in the Greater Miami area. Other cities around the world, London, Toronto, Madrid, Capetown, Frankfurt, Basel, Buenos Aires, etc., all host and have really good art fairs as well, and many American cities – besides Miami – also host excellent fairs, most notably New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, etc. And yet, in spite of several attempts by art fair world giants such as the Art Miami group, and by ubercollectors such as Mera Rubell, the DMV’s attempts to enter the art fair circuit have failed in the recent past. We are all hoping that this new attempt – titled SuperfineDC art fair – will succeed and return each year. Why is the DMV such a tough nut to crack for art fair organizers? It’s a paradoxically confounding issue! After all, according to a recent census data release, the DMV has the planet’s second highest concentration of multi-millionaires; the disposable income is present in the Greater DC area and surrounding counties (six of the top 10 richest counties in the United States are in the DMV). But it is also a fact that although the money is here, as anyone who’s ever tried to sell a piece of art in the area knows, the collectors themselves are far and few in between, and…

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Go Fish, Pets, Places, & Things

Lunker Learning

By Steve Chaconas Lunker Learning To become a better bass fisherman there’s no substitute for time on the water, except for Robert Montgomery’s new book Kickin’ Bass. Writing for Bassmasters Magazine, Montgomery has covered bass fishing for several decades. He’s written many books offering tips for catching bass. His recent offering boasts to make the bass of your dreams a reality. Kickin’ Bass divulges strategies and techniques, bass biology and behavior, fisheries management and stewardship, locations, and finally tacklebox contents. The book relies on bass fishing experts, covering the sport top to bottom, shallow to deep, on knowing how, where and when to catch them. Montgomery’s inclusion of guides is thoughtful. They can catch fish, but their real job is to break down the details involved to enable clients to achieve success. Books relying on pro anglers assume the reader is at that level and that the pro is able to get the points across. Pro fishing skills often don’t go much beyond magazine copy points. Montgomery references pro anglers to eliminate water and unproductive fishing spots and situations. Conservation, and its impact, is discussed with the most respected black bass fisheries biologist, Gene Gilliland. He says if a bass is caught in an area, fish it longer. The fish was there for a reason and others will be there for that reason. He also says there are a lot more fish in a spot than we could imagine. Electro fishing reveals a lot about fish population density, but also how they move and other details about their diet, memory and habitat. Predictable behavior is important to thinking your way to making the right decision on lures and fishing spots. It pays to have a great relationship with fisheries managers. After all their jobs depend on angling success. Additionally, fish…

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Financial Focus, Pets, Places, & Things

10 Reasons Why Beneficiary Designations Are Important

By Carl Trevison and Stephen Bearce 10 Reasons Why Beneficiary Designations Are Important Beneficiary designations can provide a relatively easy way to transfer an account or insurance policy upon your death. However, if you’re not careful, missing or outdated beneficiary designations can easily cause your estate plan to go awry. We often complete these designations without giving it much thought, but they’re actually important and deserve careful attention. Here’s why: Beneficiary designations take priority over what’s in other estate planning documents, such as a will or trust. For example, you may indicate in your will you want everything to go to your spouse after your death. However, if the beneficiary designation on your life insurance policy still names your ex-spouse, he or she may end up getting the proceeds. Where you can find them Here’s a sampling of where you’ll find beneficiary designations: • Employer-sponsored retirement plans [401(k), 403(b), etc.] • IRAs • Life insurance policies • Annuities • Transfer-on-death (TOD) investment accounts • Pay-on-death (POD) bank accounts • Stock options and restricted stock • Executive deferred compensation plans Because you’re asked to designate beneficiaries on so many different accounts and insurance products, it can be difficult to keep up. However, it’s worth the effort; failing to maintain the beneficiary designation on that 401(k) from three employers ago could mean money will go to the wrong place. When you first set up your estate plan, go over all the designations you previously made and align them with your plan. After that, you should review and update them regularly – a least once a year. 10 tips about beneficiary designations Because beneficiary designations are so important, keep these things in mind in your estate planning: 1. Remember to name beneficiaries. If you don’t name a beneficiary, one of the following could…

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

Artists of Rappahannock

Fall Art Tour By Bob Tagert Artists of Rappahannock As you will learn in this issue, October is Virginia Wine Month and a perfect time to drive out to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tailgating Virginia Wine Month is the 14th annual Fall Art Tour of the Artists of Rappahannock County the first weekend of November. The Blue Ridge Mountains are more than home to beautiful scenery and world class wine, they are also home to many outstanding artist’s studios and galleries. You are invited to tour over 40 galleries and studios featuring more than 100 participating artists showing works in a wide variety of media, including paintings, sculpture, pottery, forged ironwork, jewelry, textiles, stained glass and photography. The self-guided Tour begins at The Washington School in “Little” Washington, Virginia, where, for a $10 per person admission, you will be able to view representative artwork from each of the studios and galleries and pick up a map with driving directions to all locations. The Fall Art Tour is brought to you by the Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community (RAAC), the flagship nonprofit organization founded in 1982. RAAC offers art programs in multiple disciplines to the Rappahannock and surrounding communities. As those of you who regularly read our publication, we love the Blue Ridge and Rappahannock County. We try to spend at least one night a month out there. The fall months are the perfect time of the year to spend a few days in the mountains. The air is crisp, and the leaves are beginning to show their fall colors. The leaves will begin to change color earlier in the mountains than in the cities, so it is perfect timing. The Greenfield Inn is a primo place to lay your head after a long day of touring as is 29…

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Featured Post, History, History Column

Pandemic Spanish Flu of 1918

by ©2018 Sarah Becker   Pandemic Spanish Flu of 1918 Hospital reports of nursing shortages are nothing new.  Neither is flu season.  Influenza is a communicable, highly contagious, disease transmitted through droplet infection–or—by touching articles contaminated with infected nasaldischarge.  Contaminated hands, hand railings, enclosed air systems, populated school buses and military barracks are all breeding grounds.   In early 1918 “a mysterious malady” circulated through Spain “in the form and of the character of the grippe.”  It quickly spread to Switzerland, then to France, England and Norway.  World War I was ongoing and “in early August the disease, carried from Europe in ocean liners and troop transports,” arrived in the United States.  The Spanish flu was pandemic. On October 5, 1918 Dr. W.L. Wood, of the United States Public Health Service, appealed “to women, regardless of color, to aid in nursing persons afflicted with Spanish influenza.”  The USPHS further ordered “that from now on all windows on the cars of the Washington-Virginia Railway Company must be kept open.”  Persons who refused were “subject to arrest and the imposition of a fine.” Approximately 50 million of the world’s population died of the pandemic Spanish flu, perhaps three times the number of 1918 war deaths.  “Provisional totals of the United States, including the deaths of soldiers, sailors and marines, indicate about 500,000 deaths were due to the epidemic at the end of 1918, extending into the early part of 1919,” The Washington Post wrote.  The loss of life in 1919 was estimated at about 45,000. “In connection with statistics collected from other countries, the figures for the [United States] emphasize the supreme importance of discovering, first, the cause of the influenza; second, a means of prevention or control of its spread; third, a means of cure,” The Washington Post stated in 1920. …

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Master's of Cuisine, Wining & Dining

Masters of Cuisine: Chef Oscar Ordonez

Masters of Cuisine Chef Oscar Ordonez LaTasca 607 King Street Old Town Alexandria 703-299-9810 Chef Oscar presents the popular Spanish Gambas al Ajillo – Fresh prawns, fresh garlic, olive oil, dried Guindilla peppers & fresh parsley. Chef Oscar began his education in Honduras, assisting the Instituto Nacional de Formacion Profesional in his home town. His curiosity brought him to the United States where he started his culinary career like so many others, as a dishwasher. After years working as a dishwasher he was promoted to line cook by Chef Josu Zubikarai. Oscar worked under Chef Josu’s wing and in 2013 Chef Josu, La Tasca’s corporate chef, helped Oscar join the Carlos Rosario culinary academy in Washington DC. Oscar spent days studying at the culinary academy and evenings working at La Tasca DC. After two years he graduated and was promoted to Executive Chef at La Tasca DC. Oscar made the move to La Tasca Alexandria in late 2016. Oscar continues his education as a chef, just this year he enrolled at L’academie de Cuisine. What inspired you to pursue a career in the culinary field? I have been cooking since I can remember. I was always helping in my family restaurant, knowing that someday I wanted to become a chef. Since a very young age, I felt the call to the culinary arts and have never stopped learning and studying. The main reason I came to the United States, was the opportunity to pursue my passion. Who or what has made the biggest influence on you during your career? My mother and grandmother were my first influences in cooking, they taught me how to work with flavors and the importance of the basics. As I grew, my own passion for cooking and desire to learn more, I found Gaston Acurio to…

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Dining Out, Wining & Dining

Old House Cosmopolitan Grill – A Taste of Germany In Old Town!

By the Gastronomes Old House Cosmopolitan Grill – A Taste of Germany In Old Town! When we started the Old Town Crier in 1988 our first office was in the 100 block of North Henry Street. On the east corner of North Henry and Cameron Street a small restaurant opened called Pasta Peasant that was one of our regular “hang outs”. There have been a few other restaurants in that location over the years and today the new incarnation is the Old House Cosmopolitan Grill. Chef and owner Ivica Svalina has done an excellent job of creating a very welcoming eatery. The warm and cozy atmosphere in the dining room, the open kitchen, and the comfortable bar on the lower level are very welcoming. There is also a second floor that opens up to more dining, a nice room for meetings and a nice patio deck above the bar for alfresco dining or just enjoying happy hour. Chef Ivica, or Ivan as he likes to be called, has owned the successful Cosmopolitan Grill at 7770 Richmond Highway for 15 years and decided to extend his reach to Old Town three months ago. The price was right so he purchased the building and began the makeover. The dining room is a combination of dark brown ceiling with a rustic burgundy exposed brick wall, dark tables and chairs with a tan colored bench seat that runs the length of the wall. The bar area is in the back of the building so as not to disturb those who appreciate dining in a quiet atmosphere. It is small but it is fully stocked and there is a large high definition television for your watching pleasure. This is the only TV in the building and we like that. We were informed that they serve…

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Beauty & Health, Featured Post, Fitness

Keeping up the Motivation

By Nicole Flannigan Keeping up the Motivation Now that summer is in full swing and the days are getting hotter and longer it’s easier to find excuses not to exercise. For some people it’s an everyday battle just to get up and get to the gym, although I’m sure most of us find that once we walk through the door of the club it’s not all that bad. By the time the workout is done, you feel like a different person than the one that rolled out of bed just over an hour ago. Weather it’s working out before the sun comes up or taking a 20 minute power walk to break up the busy work day, here a few easy ways to keep up the good work this summer. 1. Workout Early In the Morning – If you get up and go early you will increase your chances of getting in a good workout. At the beginning of the day, we have the least amount of excuses for skipping a workout. If getting up early enough is the problem, try limiting your snooze to five minutes. This way, you won’t fall back into a deep sleep. Once you get into a routine of getting up and out early it will get easier. Not to mention you will get to work feeling more focused and energized. 2. Lift Before You Run – Instead of sitting on a cardio machine and sweating your calories away try doing a quick toning routine pre-cardio. Strength training is something that demands a little bit more attention and skill than running on an elliptical so it works best to do these exercises first. 3. Finish Strong and Increase Your Metabolism – After your toning routine, jump on the treadmill for a high intensity cardio workout…

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Arts & Entertainment, Featured Post, High Notes

“Broken” by lovelytheband

By Ron Powers “Broken” by lovelytheband   What a lovely band – “lovelytheband” consists of vocalist Mitchy Collins, guitarist Jordan Greenwald and drummer Sam Price. After meeting in a nightclub in West Hollywood in 2016, they formed lovelytheband, an Indie Rock band, and soon after had their hit single “Broken” released in April 2017. With the catchy chorus and relatable lyrics, it came as no surprise that “Broken” not only made the Billboard Hot 100 at #48, but also on the Billboard Alternative Songs Chart at #1 while setting the record for longest-running track on alternative radio. Not bad for a band formed just a year prior. While this song targets a large percentage of alternative genre fans, it also pushes the envelope into mainstream pop with comparisons to “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People, “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye, “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities and “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon. “Broken” is a song about finding somebody with issues the same as you might have. With it’s happy beat and melancholy lyrics and a chorus containing verses like “I like that you’re broken / Broken like me / Maybe that makes me a fool” followed by “I like that you’re lonely / Lonely like me / I could be lonely with you”, you can’t help but connect to the song and relish in the hope of new love found with somebody who is “damaged” the same as you. Appropriately, on the meaning behind the song, vocalist Collins said, “We all have our demons we fight every day. It’s about finding someone whose problems complement yours. Perfectly imperfect. Everybody is a little broken inside, trying to find their band aid.” He also explained the song by saying, “This song is about finding someone who is…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publisher’s Notes

By Bob Tagert As I write this we are bracing for the last rain storm of September. I am sure that we are all tired of the rain, but none more so than our Virginia winery friends. As they are getting ready to celebrate Virginia Wine Month, the wineries are hopeful that October will bring some relief from the weather. They have been devastated by rain thru all of 2018. Doug Fabbioli discusses the effects it has had this year in his Exploring VA Wine column in this issue. I encourage you to read about what too much rain can do to the grapes. The rain has not only damaged some of the fruit but has kept attendance down and in some cases, floods have closed wineries numerous times. As Philip Strother of Philip Carter Winery stated, “This season will certainly put a number of wineries out of business. Thankfully, we have built up an inventory over the past 10 years which will enable us to continue forward without any problems.” He went on to say, “We are down close to 10% this year in gross sales, when we should be growing. I just lost my entire crop, which is another $60,000 in grapes. We could use some love now.” Road Trip this month is about heading to the mountains and visiting some of these wineries. The air will hopefully be cooler and crisper and that makes for clear skies to better see the foliage and view the mountains. Taking it south, in the Caribbean Connection we have a great interview with the owner of the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke in the BVI’s and their new rums – Soggy Dollar Old Dark and Soggy Dollar Island Spiced. The Dollar is owned and operated by a DMV local….

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