Notes from the Publisher

November Publishers Notes

By Bob Tagert

We are almost at the end of 2023 and what a year it has been. War is declared in the Middle East, countries are evacuated and humanitarian aid is being hampered. At home, a few firebrands turned the House of Representatives on its ear where they can no longer hear the voice of Americans. As I write this, there was finally a consensus for the Speaker of the House so it looks like we are in the process of getting the US back in business.

We needed a fresh breeze to blow over this landscape so we decided to visit the Museum of the United States Army in the Road Trip column. The cover this month is indicative of that experience. With this article we celebrate Veterans Day every day not just on the 11th of this month. Visiting this museum is a must see.

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and this means that the Christmas holiday is right on its heels. In fact, the area tree lightings take place the day after and the big celebration of the holiday season is the first week in December. See the calendar of events.

As in years past, we dedicate a good portion of the November issue to Thanksgiving. It is a time to gather with friends and family and count our many blessings as well as a great excuse to eat as much as we want. I love the humorous tone that Tim Long took in writing his Let’s Get Crafty column. In addition to a bit of “poetry”, he has some great ideas for the perfect libation and smoke to accompany your Thanksgiving adventures. Lori Welch Brown embraces Thanksgiving as well in Open Space as she laments about “Gratitude”. In all seriousness, this is a month to really reflect on what is important.

In general, this issue is jam packed with some really good stuff. Have you ever considered participating in an Escape Room adventure? Will crabbing on the Bay be allowed year-round? Do you know what the Spotted Lantern Fly does to grapes? This and much more inside!

By now the peak leaf-peeping season is passed in the mountains. If you missed the Blue Ridge opportunity, you might want to consider heading in the other direction – East toward the Bay. The leaves will still be colorful along the water fronts and the weather a little cooler with a breeze coming off of the Bay.

Last month was Virginia Wine Month but November is also a wonderful time to visit the wineries, breweries and distilleries in the area. The crowds are smaller, the fire pits are ablaze and you can get on the ground floor of upcoming holiday promotions on product! A six pack of a Commonwealth brew, a bottle of Virginia wine or Virgina Spirits make for great host/hostess gifts as well as wrapped up and placed under the tree next month!

Let’s hope that this time next month we have had good news from the Middle East and that our government has been funded for yet another year. Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Bob

Oyster Week 2023 Is in the Books

On October 14th, some of Alexandria’s best restaurants gathered under the tents at Daniel O’Connell’s in the 100 block of King Street to compete in the Fourth Annual Oyster Shucking Competition. This event kicks off Old Town Oyster Week each year. In my estimation, the cool, rainy/misty morning was the perfect weather for the competition! The shuckers ranged from “professional” to “first timer”. It was actually very entertaining to watch and Lani was very flattered to be asked to be a timer this year. I’m betting she will be on the roster next year. Congratulations to guys at the Old Town Fish Market on another win.

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