Year: 2019

Personality Profile

Patricia Palermino: American Folk Artist

Patricia Palermino American Folk Artist We have known Pat Palermino for many years here in Alexandria and began using her artwork on the cover of the Old Town Crier in the mid 1990’s. Her art work has been associated with Alexandria and Old Town for well over 25 years. Palermino is self-taught and began painting in the 1970’s. When I asked her to define Folk Art, she replied, “It is mainly something that is self-taught. Every piece I paint is different and tells a story.” I am sure that you noticed her painting that adorns this month’s cover-The Boat Parade. She continues, “My love for America is inspiring and patriotic to me. I started painting scenes of America in 1979, capturing its cities, countryside, seacoasts, farmlands, and forests. I use vibrant colors and a cast of playful characters to create an array of magical scenes that combine a whimsical spirit with a hint of nostalgia.” Palermino paints using acrylics which tend to make for vibrant colors and depth in a painting. All of her paintings are cheerful and display a lot of detail. You will notice on our cover that her painting brings to life the Alexandria Boat Parade of Lights. We felt this quite appropriate as this month marks the 20th Anniversary of the Parade. It is an annual spectacle that is the highlight of Old Town’s Annual Scottish Walk that takes place the first weekend of every December in Alexandria. Like most contemporary folk artists, her focus is on happy and historical events and holidays that result in her paintings. She is fascinated with American cities and makes frequent visits to places like New York City and Nantucket to capture what she experiences in her paintings. While she considers New York the starting place of her career, her…

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Arts & Entertainment, Events, Events

December 2019 Alexandria Events

Alexandria Events Dec 2019 FEATURED EVENTS 6TH & 7TH 49th Annual Campagna Center Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend & Parade  Parade is December 7th  at 11 a.m. Admission: Free for parade and Heather and Greens Sales; $180-$290 for Taste of Scotland; $40 for Holiday Home Tours Throughout Old Town 703-549-0111 Don’t miss Old Town Alexandria’s most spectacular holiday weekend. In 1749, the City of Alexandria was officially established by three Scottish merchants and named after its original founder, John Alexander, also of Scottish descent. Today, the city continues celebrating its heritage with a weekend of festivities. At the Campagna Center’s iconic Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, dozens of Scottish clans dressed in colorful tartans parade through the streets of Old Town, joined by pipe and drum bands from around the region, as well as terriers and hounds. The parade, which takes place rain or shine, begins at St. Asaph and Wolfe Streets and concludes at Market Square with a massed band concert. 7th 20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights Parade begins at 5:30 p.m.; Dockside festivities 2 to 8 p.m. Waterfront Park (1 King St.) Admission: Free 703-746-3301 Old Town Alexandria’s historic waterfront will shine for the 20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights at 5:30 p.m. as dozens of brightly lit boats cruise along one mile of the Potomac River shoreline. Enjoy dockside festivities from 2 to 8 p.m. in Waterfront Park including holiday music and giveaways from 97.1 WASH-FM. Take part in hands-on activities during the afternoon sponsored by local businesses.  At 3:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fireboat at the Alexandria City Marina to take photos with children and families at the annual Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Festival.  Parade viewing areas: Founders Park (351 N. Union St.), Alexandria City Marina (0 Cameron St.), Waterfront Park (1 King St….

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, Take Photos Leave Footprints

Top Travel Destinations for 2020

Take Photos, Leave Footprints By Scott Dicken Top Travel Destinations for 2020 Why settle for socks in your Christmas stocking when you can give someone a travel experience to remember for a lifetime?  Every year I feel a twinge of excitement when the world’s most famous travel guide publisher, Lonely Planet, releases its annual top ten countries to visit, and the 2020 list has just hit the streets. While their list is by no means scientifically generated, their top 10 destination picks reveal the buzz that countries are generating amongst the tourist industry and general public. But how is a savvy gift giver like yourself going to pick from those ten destinations? Without doubt, all ten are worthy of their place on the list, but I’ve chosen to highlight two countries that, despite their diminutive size, have a whole lot to give! eSwatini (Lonely Planet Ranking Number 5) eSwatini (formerly the Kingdom of Swaziland) may be extremely tiny and often overlooked by tourists, but what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in its diversity of wildlife, scenery, and culture: World-Class Safari eSwatini is home to three major safari destinations: Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Hlane Royal National Park and Mkhaya Game Reserve. Both Hlane and Mkhaya are home to four (Lion, Elephant, Rhino, and Leopard) of the “Big Five” must-see animals on safari and draw tourists keen to experience a traditional big game safari. In the big game hubbub Hlane and Mkhava generate, the Milwane Game Reserve can often be overlooked. This small, but extremely picturesque sanctuary isn’t home to any dangerous carnivores, which means that visitors are free to mountain bike or even walk through the park! It’s certainly a unique and relaxing safari experience that shouldn’t be missed. From personal experience, I just suggest you exercise caution…

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Grapevine & Vintner Profile, Wining & Dining

2019 in Virginia Vineyards, a Time to Saber

By Nancy Bauer 2019 in Virginia Vineyards, a Time to Saber Like a life raft for the forsaken after 2018, this year’s Virginia grape harvest started a little damp and unsteady, but when the sun came out in late spring, all was well. More than well, actually—splendid. Superb. All the right feels–wet, dry, sunny, cool, hot–at all the right moments. Some who live that life 24×7, like Melanie Natoli, might even say that 2019’s is a vintage beyond compare. So a few weeks ago, the winemaker from Cana Vineyards in Middleburg did what many an exhausted, giddy winemaker did to mark the end of this year’s knock-out harvest: she knocked the head off a bottle of champagne with a machete–“sabering” it. When you have a job that, at times, makes you want to turn the machete on yourself, a completion ritual like sabering is relief: mental, emotional, physical. One more harvest over, one more transition from the heat of the vineyard to the chill of the cellar. One more start of the cycle, complete. These days, the wine industry is such an important part of Virginia’s economy that harvest success and failure regularly make the 6:00 news. But twenty years ago, while most of us had some vague, glamorous notion of life on a vineyard, few of us knew anything real about what it takes to run a winery. And what we did know – or thought we knew – looked a lot like those Bartles & Jaymes guys relaxing on their porch. “You call that a job?” we would have scoffed, if we’d thought about the wine life at all. My window into the lifestyle grew from a peephole to a porthole one sunny fall day when my now-husband and I stopped by the now-closed Piedmont Vineyards. After sampling…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Urban Garden

Keep Holiday Plants Looking Their Best

Urban Garden By Melinda Myers Poinsettia and other holiday plants should be kept in a cool, brightly lit location.  Photo credit:  Melinda Myers, LLC Keep Holiday Plants Looking Their Best The holiday season has arrived.  That means you will be on the giving or receiving end of a poinsettia, Christmas cactus, cyclamen, amaryllis or other holiday plant.  Extend the beauty and longevity of these holiday beauties with proper care. And that starts the minute you leave the florist or garden center.  Always protect your gift plants from the harsh outdoors.  Professional florists and garden center staff will provide a care tag and wrap your plants in a plastic or paper sleeve.         Remove the wrap as soon as you arrive home. This is especially important when caring for poinsettias. The upturned leaves emit ethylene, a ripening hormone, that can shorten the longevity of your poinsettia’s colorful display.      Rewrap your holiday plant anytime you move it outdoors and never leave it sitting in a cold car while running errands. A chilled plant looks fine until it thaws. By the next day the plant turns grayish-green, wilts and may die.  Not such a nice gift after all.     Once your plant arrives home, place it in a cool, brightly lit location.  The cool temperatures and indirect light help the blooms last longer.  Avoid drafts of hot and cold air.  These can dry or chill the plant, resulting in leaf and blossom drop.  Fold down the foil wrap to allow sunlight to reach all the leaves.      Keep the soil moist, like a damp sponge, but not wet. A quick touch of the top inch or two of soil will let you know when it is time to water. Water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of…

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On the Road, Pets, Places, & Things

On the Road-December 2019

The  OTC’s Last Word column writer, Miriam Kramer, took a copy of the publication with her on her trip to Moscow for a Russia-US Municipal conference. While there, she stayed at the historic Metropol Hotel, built in 1905 adjacent to Red Square where this photo was taken in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral. The cathedral was completed in 1561 and is an amazing piece of architecture. Be sure to catch her column in this issue.

Arts & Entertainment, High Notes

Light It Up by Katelyn Macs

By Ron Powers Light It Up by Katelyn Macs I was recently talking to a friend of mine in the music business who knows I am always looking for outstanding new artists to review. He said, “Light It Up, Katelyn Macs, check it out”.  Well my friend is very successful and knowledgeable and a very good judge of talent, so I wasted no time in finding the song on Spotify and saving it to my favorite pop playlist. Now I’m here telling you about a song I can’t stop listening to. It was a surprise to learn that Light It Up is Katelyn Macs’ first single. The quality of this track is truly amazing. Katelyn steps directly into the big league of pop music here. Competition in the music business is intense. Every day there are over 40,000 new songs uploaded to streaming services. Standing out has never been more of a challenge. However, if Macs continues to release tracks of this caliber, there is absolutely nothing that can stop her. The chorus for Light It Up is what hooked me. It reminds me a little of Shake It Off by Taylor Swift. Katelyn Macs’ melodies are very memorable. In fact, I found myself singing along to the chorus before I finished the song for the first time. Light It Up is the kind of track that stays in your head for days. So, be prepared to enjoy yourself. This song does not disappoint. Top 40 Billboard charting rapper “Waka Flocka Flame” is featured alongside Macs on Light It Up. These two talented artists complement each other well. There’s a clear synergy between them which has resulted in an instant pop gem. Katelyn Macs’ smooth and cool vocal delivery mixes well with Waka’s aggressive and seasoned flow. This collaboration is…

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Pets of the Month, Pets, Places, & Things

Pets of the Month- December 2019

Pets of the Month – December 2019 Moose and Reed, Young, Spayed Female and Neutered Male, Black and Grey Long-haired Rabbits Deep down, under all of those layers of fluff, Moose and Reed are cuddle-bugs are heart. Content to snuggle in the arms of their friends, these bonded buns are all about affection. Even the way the share their hay, each starting from one end like Lady and the Tramp, shows their sweet natures. So if you’re searching for a pair of pets with hair as big as their hearts, stop by the AWLA to meet Moose and Reed today. Adoption profile: Adoption information: Moose and Reed’s Photo courtesy of Alison Lane Photography Baby, Senior, Spayed Female, Gray Tabby Domestic Short Hair People always tell me, “Baby, it’s cold outside.” To which I reply, “Yes, that’s why we should stay right here on the couch instead.” Although I’m not the Baby I was in my younger years, I find myself only improving with age. Like a finely-aged wine, my sweetest notes are only becoming more pronounced. Regardless of how you feel about sweet wine, you’re sure to love sweet me. As for my name, yes, I will still be your Baby because the more of your attention I get, the better. You can call me Baby, and I’ll call you best friend. Adoption profile: Adoption information: Baby’s Photo courtesy of Alison Lane Photography Ms. Sparkle, Adult, Spayed Female, Brindle with White American Pit Bull Terrier Ms. Sparkle is looking for a best friend who will help her shine. True to her name, Ms. Sparkle’s multifaceted awesomeness radiates from her for everyone to enjoy. Looking for a smart pup who is always ready to learn new things? Ms. Sparkle is ready! Looking for a sweet pup who can’t stop wagging her…

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Let's Eat, Wining & Dining

White House Egg Nog

Let’s Eat By Walter Scheib et al. This recipe from former White House Chef Walter Scheib, The American Chef, was published in this space shortly after he left his post on Pennsylvania Avenue.  We met Walter at the inaugural Food & Wine Festival in National Harbor 9 years or so ago and formed a nice friendship then. Chef Scheib co-authored a column called “Cooking Fran and Wally” with longtime Old Town Crier contributor Frances Killpatrick for several years in the mid 2000’s. He was the Executive Chef at the Whitehouse from 1994 to 2005 during the administrations of both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He died in the summer of 2015 while hiking in the mountains surrounding Taos, New Mexico. He is remembered for his memoir, The White House Chef: Eleven Years, Two Presidents, One Kitchen. We hope you enjoy this holiday memory. White House Eggnog 6 or 7 egg yolks (5 ounces, pasteurized if possible) 1 cup sugar ¾ cups each, bourbon, cognac, dark rum, such as Meyers 6 or 7 egg whites (7 ounces, pasteurized if possible) 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups heavy cream 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 1 quart milk, more if needed Freshly grated nutmeg for serving 1.      Put the yolks and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip until yellow ribbons form, 5 to 7 minutes. 2.      Add the bourbon, cognac and rum, whip well, scrape down the sides and mix again. Transfer the mixture to a 6-quart bowl. 3. In a separate clean mixer bowl using a clean beater, whip the egg whites and salt until very stiff. Fold into the eggnog mixture. 4.      Wipe out the mixer bowl, pour in the cream and vanilla and whip until very stiff peaks form.  Pour this into the eggnog…

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History, History Column

Executive Privilege and Impeachment

Copyright ©2019 Sarah Becker Written by ©2019 Sarah Becker Executive Privilege and Impeachment “The President of the United States is impeachable at any time during his continuance in office,” James Madison wrote (Federalist Paper No. 39).  The 2019 calendar is turning and still the country contemplates President Donald Trump’s (R-NY/FL) conduct in office.  “If impeached, tried, and, upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors, [the President will be] removed from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law.”  Last October the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats especially voted to further its impeachment inquiry. “The legislative, executive, and judiciary departments ought to be separate and distinct,” Alexander Hamilton concluded.  “Power being almost always the rival of power, the general government will at all times stand ready to check the usurpations….”  Power: the ability or capacity to perform effectively; to control.   President Donald Trump and, in turn, the Executive branch have repeatedly refused to respond to Congressional subpoenas; requests for information related to the un-redacted Robert Mueller report, citizenship and the 2020 census, Ukraine and an acknowledged Executive quid pro quo.  Quid pro quo: thing given as compensation; return made for a gift or favor.  Trump’s failure to reply to the latter may result in obstruction of Congress charges. Executive privilege is an implied power, “derived from the concept of ‘process privilege.’”  It allows the president and other high officials of the Executive branch to keep “sensitive” communications private should the disclosure of such prove disruptive to the Executive branch.  Executive privilege was not legally explained until 1974—United States v. Richard M. Nixon—and mostly applies to matters of foreign policy, national security, and or national defense.      President George Washington first exerted his Executive prerogative in 1795.  President…

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