Day: May 1, 2020

From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

When the storm passes #wheelbewaiting

By Lani Gering As much as I have been trying to keep a “the glass is half full” attitude while this pandemic carries on, it is getting harder and harder to do. I keep telling myself that I live in a “resort” and that the “resort” is basically closed down! Without the Gaylord being operational and all of the restrictions for gathering together, the Harbor has pretty much been a ghost town for the last 8 weeks.  My purpose for penning this column each month has always been to generate foot traffic to the Harbor and we know that even if there was something going on we couldn’t gather anywhere…..even the piers that lead to the water have been closed off so I can’t even walk out to the ends to clear my head. Trust me, I need a little head clearing. A few of the restaurants are providing delivery and curbside pickup. McCormick and Schmick’s has probably had the most success on this front since they are also offering grocery items at a very reasonable price. As with the restaurants across the bridge in VA, they are selling adult beverages to go along with wine and beer. Retail is virtually non-existent. There are a couple of stores that are offering online shopping deals but I’m not sure how successful they are. It is tough enough for them during the slow season when locals are their main audience so this has really taken a toll. Normally, whatever that is, we would be getting all squared away for the free fitness classes, the Friday night happy hours, games and live entertainment, concerts, movies on the Potomac and festivals that start up in the Merry Month of May. Bobby McKey’s is “airing” virtual performances on Facebook but I have no clue how,…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Road Trip

North, South, East or West & All Points In Between

By Bob Tagert and Lani Gering North, South, East or West & All Points In Between This whole virus thing has really “put a cog in the wheel” of our daily lives for the most part. It hasn’t, however, prevented us from getting in our vehicle and taking a *drive. We are fortunate enough to live in an area that offers the mountains to the west and the waterfront to the east with both, when you venture north or south. Even taking a spin around the community where you live checking out your neighborhood and driving by your favorite haunts can be therapeutic. You might even think about picking up something curbside from your favorite restaurant or doing a little window shopping and ordering something online from a local retailer. Might not be as convenient as clicking your mouse and ordering from Amazon but it will sure help out a small business person and you will get some fresh air at the same time. We normally have a particular destination in mind when we take off but in these past weeks it has been a case of just getting in the truck and deciding whether to head toward the Beltway or the Parkway and wing it from there. We like the back roads and are up for just taking a turn to see where it goes. After all, everyone pretty much has a GPS, Waze or another brand of directional application at their disposal so you can always find your way home. It has been difficult to keep in mind that we can’t just stop at our favorite eateries and watering holes during our treks so it takes a bit of planning when it comes to refreshment. Most of our destinations have restaurants that offer curbside pickup and there are…

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Dining Out, Wining & Dining

Curb-side Pick Up? Delivery? Dining at Home!

By the Gastronomes Curb-side Pick Up? Delivery? Dining at Home! It has been nearly eight weeks since we sat in our favorite restaurant or bar and watched the folks outside gaze in the windows to check out the action inside. Is the bar too crowded? Are there any seats available? Some even had their noses pressed against the glass as to eliminate the glare on the window. Soon afterward the COVID-19 virus began to spread and business, as we know it, came to a standstill. With the closing of restaurants in the Alexandria area we were hit with an economic disaster. Restaurants began to close and subsequently applied for Small Business Association backed loans in an effort to survive. Social distancing was the next rule and soon the crowds were gone. It reminded me of when I came to Old Town Alexandria in 1977. In 1977, Old Town Alexandria was only seven blocks long – it ran from the waterfront to the 700 block where Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub has recently reopened. The Woodrow Wilson Bridge (the first one) had just opened 16 years earlier. Old Town was relatively young. The Fish Market Restaurant as well as the Wharf and 219 were the only restaurants here that are still here today. The Landini brothers owned Pelicano Restaurant at 100 King Street. The Warehouse was another restaurant but whose former name escapes me, and where Union Street Public House is located there was Kings Landing. The Seaport Inn Restaurant sat at the corner of Union and King Streets, where Starbucks serves coffee today. Business was slow and Old Town was entering their growth stage to where today, Old Town Alexandria is 20 blocks long. Unlike today, you could usually find a place to park on the street and there were very…

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From the Bay, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

Coronavirus Hinders Bay Cleanup Efforts, Seafood Industry

Coronavirus Hinders Bay Cleanup Efforts, Seafood Industry By the Bay Journal news staff Watermen have no restaurants that can buy their catches. Help for farmers who want to install runoff controls has been sharply curtailed. Streams throughout the region are missing their annual spring cleaning. And many students are losing their chance to experience the Chesapeake Bay firsthand. The impact of the novel coronavirus, barely on the radar only a few months ago, is rippling through the Chesapeake Bay region, with impacts felt from Pennsylvania farm fields to Eastern Shore oyster grounds. While some impacts are minor, such as the postponement of meetings and cleanup events, others could become significant if the COVID-19 crisis lingers, potentially creating another setback for Bay pollution control initiatives. While some point to slivers of positive news — air pollution is down — the near-shutdown of business activity is likely to slam state budgets in coming months, and possibly years, at a time when they had hoped to significantly increase spending on the Bay cleanup. “There’s obviously going to be a delay in any new plans and conservation work,” said Lindsay Thompson, executive director of the Maryland Association of Conservation Districts. In a sentiment reflected by many, she added, “Right now, it’s really just [about] trying to keep the wheels rolling and keep everyone safe.” Delays & cancellations Tree plantings, school field trips, citizen oyster restoration activities and the region’s largest litter cleanup event are all being postponed or altered as environmental groups struggle with the sweeping disruptions. “We’re in uncharted territory,” said Willy Agee, vice president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, as his group, as well as the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, have been forced to delay environmental field work. The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has been forced to postpone Project Clean Stream,…

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

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers SMILE: It’s an all American Breed

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers SMILE: It’s an all American Breed by Julie Reardon If you’ve read my column often or only occasionally over the past 30 years, you’ve no doubt seen or read about my Chesapeake Bay Retrievers that appear frequently in photos and stories. I currently share my farm with six of them, and have owned many generations of them since I got my first in 1981. As I type, Pottsy is smiling at me—I know this without actually seeing her goofy grinning maw because I can hear her snorkling under my desk. That’s what we call the snorting noise they make breathing through the scrunched up nose and peeled back lips. The doggy smile is actually a gesture of submissive surrender, as in, “You mean that wasn’t my dinner? That trash can just tipped over right in front of me and oh, I’m so hungry!” and is also seen when the dog sees you after a brief absence, even if only for five minutes. “I thought you left for good and were never coming back!” In the case of Pottsy, who smiles all the time for any reason, she’d been reprimanded for garbage surfing and now I am the recipient of her supplicating smile. But perhaps they know what we owners learn quickly: you simply cannot stay mad at a smiling dog. Smiling is not a breed-specific trait although it does seem more common in some breeds, including Chesapeakes, than others. And it definitely runs in families. Although the toothy grin can be a bit unnerving to those not familiar with it or dog body language, it’s unmistakably harmless and indeed, submissive. An aggressive or fearful dog might bare its teeth in warning, but the look is completely different from a smiler with stiff upright posture including erect ears,…

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On the Road, Pets, Places, & Things

On the Road

Since our readers can’t travel very far for the time being, we are happy that our friend and Old Town Crier fan, Jackie Hall, who resides in Southern Maryland, took some time to celebrate with her dog Penny and catch up on some good news from Northern Virginia. We have been told that since this photo was taken, Penny has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. From all accounts she was a fantastic pooch and I am sure she is greatly missed.