Day: November 1, 2023

Arts & Entertainment, Events

Alexandria Winter Events

Named one of Oprah Daily’s Most Magical Christmas Towns Across the World and Condé Nast Traveler’s Best U.S. Cities to Visit at Christmas, Alexandria, VA, is filled with nostalgic wonder during the holiday season. Stroll along the King Street mile and feel transported into a European Christmas village as you pass by lantern-lit doorways and pop into buzzing shops and eateries, leading to the bustling Potomac River waterfront, within eyesight of Washington, D.C. Enjoy cherished holiday traditions happening throughout Alexandria including the 52nd Annual Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, featuring dozens of Scottish clans dressed in colorful tartans; the 23rd Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights sponsored by Amazon on the Potomac River; and “Shop Small” events kicking off with Plaid Friday: Alexandria’s Small Business Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. Plus, discover open-air markets, seasonal musical celebrations, candlelit tours at historic sites and more. For more holiday events and activities, visit November 18th City of Alexandria Tree Lighting Ceremony  6 to 8 p.m. Admission: Free Market Square 300 King Street Ring in the city’s official start to the holiday season with the lighting of the 40-foot tree adorned with nearly 40,000 twinkling lights, plus enjoy appearances from Alexandria’s Town Crier and Santa himself. 24th Plaid Friday: Alexandria’s Small Business Black Friday  Throughout Old Town Alexandria and beyond Celebrate Plaid Friday: Alexandria’s Small Business Black Friday as shops in Old Town and beyond offering some of their best deals of the year, including early bird, store-wide discounts and free gifts with purchase. Shoppers will find one-of-a-kind deals on self-care products, artwork, jewelry, fashionable finds, home goods and more. 25th Small Business Saturday  Throughout Old Town Alexandria and beyond Celebrate Alexandria’s Small Business Saturday with special in-store and online specials at dozens of shops in Old Town and beyond. Stroll historic streets twinkling with holiday traditions as you enjoy special discounts, sip and snack…

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Arts & Entertainment, Special Feature

How Much Do You Know About Thanksgiving??

By Lani Gering Since Thanksgiving is strictly an American tradition, I imagine there are several residents of our great nation who have immigrated from other countries that may not know some of the following tidbits about the holiday. In fact, I bet there are several naturalized citizens, including myself, that are/were unaware of a few of them. I consulted the History Channel as my resource so I feel pretty good about the legitimacy of the information.  The first on the list is a fact that I totally didn’t realize. I actually thought it was one of the few holidays that isn’t commercialized! Fact or Fiction: Thanksgiving is held on the final Thursday of November each year. Fiction. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln designated the last Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. However, in 1939, after a request from the National Retail Dry Goods Association, President Franklin Roosevelt decreed that the holiday should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month (and never the occasional fifth, as occurred in 1939) in order to extend the holiday shopping season by a week. Fact or Fiction: One of America’s Founding Fathers thought the turkey should be the national bird of the United States. Fact. In a letter to his daughter sent in 1784, Benjamin Franklin suggested that the wild turkey would be a more appropriate national symbol for the newly independent United States than the bald eagle (which had earlier been chosen by the Continental Congress). He argued that the turkey was “a much more respectable Bird,” “a true original Native of America,” and “though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage.” Fact or Fiction: Macy’s was the first American department store to sponsor a parade in celebration of Thanksgiving. Fiction. The Philadelphia department store Gimbel’s…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Celebrating Our Veteran’s In the Harbor

By Lani Gering This year marks the first anniversary of Spirit Park. While it got off to a slow start, it was sure worth the wait. The park opened last year on Veterans’ Day and is designed to honor the history of the American flag and all of those who represent it—veterans, first responders, public servants and Americans across the USA. It has proven to be a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. There are lots of activities planned on the 11th as we celebrate not only the anniversary but also Veteran’s Day. I want to thank Kimberly Jorden from Bendure Communications for getting me the details of the day: National Harbor to Hold Spirit Park Celebration on Veterans Day! The festivities will commemorate the park’s one year anniversary with a walk/run, sealing of a Patriot’s Value time capsule, performance by U.S. Air Force Band and the Harbor tree lighting! The day will begin at Spirit Park at 10 a.m. with a walk/run that will benefit The Check-6 Foundation. Since its inception in 2004, The Check-6 Foundation has assisted hundreds of veterans in need in paying their bills, receiving medical attention, finding jobs and so much more. It also continues to provide an unforgettable experience for children battling serious illnesses (and their families) through its Pilot for a Day Program nationwide. “Check-6” is a military term used to reference an aviator’s practice of checking his wingman’s 6 o’clock position (directly behind him) to ensure it is clear of any threat. Simply put, it means “I’ve got your back and am looking out for you.” Participants in the walk/run must register at: The cost is $24.25 for civilians, $13.58 for military. There will be a pancake breakfast (early bird pricing is $13.58) in Spirit Park following the walk/run. From 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., National…

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Business Profile

Nepenthe: A Place of No Sorrow

By Lani Gering We always love it when we are introduced to new businesses that we wouldn’t ordinarily seek out either because the location isn’t along a beaten path or doesn’t sell a ware that we normally seek out. Nepenthe Gallery is just such a place. Located off of Fort Hunt Road in the Hollin Hall area of Alexandria, Nepenthe sits behind the popular Hollin Hall Pastry Shop adjacent to where the iconic Variety Store is located. The way we ended up at Nepenthe was literally kismet. A former co-worker of mine from almost 40 years ago and I reconnected last fall and have kept in touch since. Her husband is an artist whose work was being featured at Nepenthe last month and he invited us to his reception. Unknowingly, a member of the Nepenthe staff had contacted us about possible advertising as well. When we arrived at the Gallery for the reception, all of the dots connected. After meeting proprietors Carrie and Jim Garland and members of their staff at said reception, we decided we needed to let our readership know about this amazing place. They opened their doors in March of last year and have been evolving ever since. Carrie was quick to tell me that their success is a result of the people they have surrounded themselves with. In addition to Carrie and Jim, Nepenthe currently has four very capable women with talents in varied areas that contribute to the day-to-day operation of the gallery. The Gallery is also very proud to house the home studio for renowned photographer Renee C. Gage. I met Renee while visiting the gallery to interview Carrie. She is, indeed, an amazing photographer but also a fun person to talk to. While Nepenthe has much in common with most art galleries –…

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Caribbean Connection, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

This Bahamas All-Inclusive Resort Just Reopened!

By Caribbean Journal Staff It’s the frontier of The Bahamas: the far-off island of San Salvador, a tiny destination with sparkling blue water, a remarkable history and some of the best diving and snorkeling on earth. Now, the island’s biggest hotel is open again, with the relaunch of the Club Med Columbus all-inclusive resort. The property, which just reopened its doors for the season this weekend, is set on 1,500 feet of beachfront on San Salvador’s coastline. The resort has a total of nearly 240 rooms, set across a collection of two-story bungalows. There are several dining options, from La Pinta, a beach lounge with all-day dining, now offering Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. The main restaurant, Christopher’s, is also adding new plant-based menu items following a training led by noted vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli. The resort has also enhanced its wellness program, with a new “Wellness Fusion” program including comprehensive yoga, meditation, moonlit massages and holistic treatments at the Club Med Spa by Sothys. The resort also has a partnership with Only Blue Diving to help discover the island’s undersea world. San Salvador is best known as the landing point of Christopher Columbus on his initial voyage to the New World in 1492, a moment marked by a monument that can be accessed only by snorkeling or diving. The water in San Salvador is spectacular. If you’re looking for a smaller option, the island also has a handful of boutique hotels, none better than the beachfront resort called The Sands. Bahamasair flies nonstop between Miami and San Salvador. For more, visit the Club Med Columbus at Publishers Note: We are happy to partner with Alexander Britell, Founder and Editor in Chief of the Miami, Florida based Caribbean Journal and his staff contributing to the OTC and our Caribbean Connection Section. Check out the popular…

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Dining Out, Wining & Dining

The Iconic Bob & Edith’s Diner

By the Gastronomes Here we are getting a running start at the holiday season and thinking about what dining option we could give you all for the month of November. A few specifics came to mind while we were brainstorming said options – has to be close to home, have a reasonable price tag, a no muss no fuss menu and be open 24 hours. Hey, hey, we hit the jackpot with our very own Old Town Bob and Edith’s Diner (B&E). Although the Bob & Edith’s on King Street near the metro station is relatively new, their reputation has been around Virginia since 1969. I know this to be true, since I discovered the Diner when I first came to Alexandria in 1977. The original Bob & Edith’s is located on Columbia Pike. After closing some of the popular pubs in Old Town, we would head to Arlington for some late-night food and coffee. It was always a treat as we were very hungry and the food was great and very affordable. Today, B&E has six locations with the latest in Old Town. Ideally located near the metro and several hotels, the restaurant is accessible to lots of visitors as well as locals and has the potential to be busy 24 hours a day. It is most well-known for breakfast – which is served 24 hours a day. The fare is traditional down home breakfast staples with a couple of specials tossed in and, trust us, it gets packed on the weekends in the mornings. There is a line out of the door and during these rushes they have a 30-minute dining timeframe that they impose so there’s no time to lollygag at a table with people waiting. This popular eatery is well lit with décor reminiscent of the…

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Exploring VA Wines, Wining & Dining

Collaboration through the Industry and History

By Doug Fabbioli Before water, there was wine. Well, maybe not before water, but we can trace the first wine making all the way back to Georgia in 6000 BC.  Wine has been bringing people together for celebrations, mournings, and simple meals for most of our history. The land, air, water, and people, transform the humble grape into our chosen companion to our lives. Terroir is our term for the character of the wine that is unique to its special place on the land. A fine quality wine will express those unique terroir characters along with the varietal characters of the grape. Where that grape was crushed and crafted into wine, how it was aged, watched, stored, and cared for, all play a vital role in turning out what we ultimately pour into our glass. All this takes attention, sound business models and investment, and in the very best models, a community of collaboration. For many generations in the European winemaking regions, each town had a cooperative winery. The grapes were grown by individual growers, and brought to the winery for processing. The batches of grapes were kept separate from others so each grower had their own lot for sale or bottling for later. The larger wine companies would buy the finished wines from these coops in order to fill their needs as well. Or the owner would decide to have their own label and brand, or have the wine blended with others to make the house wine needed to feed the neighborhood. The idea of making a winery that houses many different wines has been in use here in the new world as well. This has also been the model for the dairy industry as well. Daily deliveries of milk to the coop dairy continues today in certain areas…

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Financial Focus, Pets, Places, & Things

Should you be thinking about volatility? Probably.

By Carl Trevison and Stephen Bearce When the stock market is on the rise, investors can fall into the trap of believing the good times will never end. But in all probability, market volatility will return, and chances are it’ll be when it’s least expected. Rather than waiting for it to happen and risking the possibility of panicking and making costly investment decisions, you may want to think about volatility during those good times. That way, you can be strategic rather than emotional about dealing with it, which may lead to better outcomes. What type of investor are you? What you should be considering now depends on which of these describes your current situation: You have an investment plan. You don’t have an investment plan. Let’s begin by addressing type two investors. Quite simply, if you don’t have an investment plan, you should think about creating one, and here’s why: A well-thought-out plan is built around what you’re investing for (goals), how long you have until you need to tap into your investments (time horizon), and, most important for this topic, the amount of market volatility you’re comfortable with (risk tolerance). Taking these factors into consideration, your plan should include a strategic asset allocation, which is how your portfolio is divvied up between different types of investments — primarily stocks, bonds, and cash alternatives. You may be the type of investor who takes market volatility in stride. In that case, you likely have a relatively high risk tolerance. On the other hand, volatility may make it hard for you to sleep and cause you to panic, which would mean your risk tolerance is probably rather low. If you’re the second type of investor, a larger portion of your asset allocation would likely be in bonds, which historically have been more…

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Beauty & Health, First Blush

Food for the Skin

By Kim Putens As we approach the holidays, food becomes more than a necessity to nourish our bodies.  It is a reason to bring families together, a reminder of fond memories, and the focus of many traditions. We don’t typically think of food as an important ingredient in our skin care products. In fact, many items from our holiday table are showing up in many skin care products. In the spirit of the holidays, one ingredient worthy of special attention is pumpkin. This enzyme is an alternative to alpha hydroxy acids as an exfoliant/peel ingredient for the skin. A fruit acid, pumpkin has many properties – as an exfoliation accelerator, a powerful anti-oxidant and a mild retonic acid substitute. As an exfoliant pumpkin gently breaks down the outer layers of the skin, leaving it looking fresher and feeling softer by sloughing off dead skin. As a powerful antioxidant, it combats oxidative and free radical damage. The beta carotene properties of pumpkin work to naturally repair skin damage. What also makes pumpkin so desirable in skin care products is that it does not contain fragrance chemicals that are often irritating to the skin. Since food ingredients are proliferating skin care products, let’s explore some of the other common ingredients penetrating our products, their usages and beneficial properties: Basil – contains anti-inflammatory properties and protects the vascular system. In doing so, it calms inflammation and diminishes dark circles. Blueberries – another darling of the antioxidant world, blueberries also have an important vaso-constricting impact. They help diminish redness and, because of its gentle qualities, it is safe for the rosacea-prone to use. Chamomile – found in many forms, the principal components of the essential oil extracted from the flowers has moderate antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Cranberries – provides exfoliating properties, acts as an…

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Beauty & Health, Fitness

Staying Fit for The Holidays

By Nicole Flanagan The holiday season doesn’t just represent one day of overeating, it’s an extended period of time where there is more, alcohol, more snacks, and more appetizers that contain many more calories that are actually necessary.  Media stories suggest that the average person gains 7 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  In surveys, people say they gain, on average, about five pounds this time of year. However, several studies now show that the average weight gain during the winter holidays is just one pound.  This news isn’t all good. According to the National Institute of Health, most people don’t ever lose the pound of weight they put on during the holidays.  The average weight gain during adulthood is about one to two pounds a year, which means much of midlife weight-gain can be explained by holiday eating. The key to maintain a healthy weight during the holidays is to monitor your portions. Of course, this can be hard when the temptations are endless. For one, never arrive at a party hungry. It’s easy to over-eat when you arrive at a party and you’re starving. Try having a healthy snack and a glass of water before you head out. Opt for water or club soda instead of alcohol. Drinking alcohol not only adds on empty calories, it also inhibits your ability to control what you eat. Many people will eat more when consuming alcohol than if they were only drinking non-alcoholic beverages. Not to mention it will make you feel much better for your morning workout! Sticking to your workout plan will also play a big role in how your holiday season plays out. It’s a busy time of year and it is easy to get caught up with everything else going on. Your Monday morning spin class…

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