Author: oldtowncrier

Beauty & Health, First Blush

Fall Beauty Trends

By Kimberly Putens The trends for the season seem like a repeat of the trends from last fall. The themes are the same – bold, rich, 80’s inspired. The main difference is the extent to which the trends have skewed to garner attention and make a statement. EYES:  Eyes are the focus this season. Wild eyes are the best way to describe them. The big trend are cat-like eyes made by drawing eyeliner past the corners of the eyes and out to the temples. Many may remember this look in the 80’s. However, what makes this more modern is it is paired with bold colors in shades of red, orange, violet and yellow. But, for a smoldering eye, hues of black, blue, brown or gunmetal still remain a trend. Other wild trends for eyes this fall are glittery eyelids, blue eye shadow, and under-eye accents.  Glittery eyelids are paired with the cat inspired look. Blue eye shadow is making a comeback on its own without further amplification. It is also shown paired with cat-like eyeliner. Under-eye accents, inspired by Twiggy, are making a different appearance. This look is achieved by applying jeweled accents and extra long eyelashes to the lower lashes to create a wide-eyed and doe-eyed look. BROWS:   If the eyes are the picture, think of the brows as the frame. And, framing these wild eyes is the key to being on point with this trend. This season, brows are well defined and well groomed. Groomed brows should not have a hair out of place. If bald spots exist, the groomed brow is drawn on and filled in to achieve perfection. LIPS:  The look of lips this season can only be described as extreme – opposite ends of the spectrum. On one end of the spectrum are bold, red…

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

The Temples of Taipei

By Scott Dicken With over 12,000 temples registered across the country, it’s fair to say that religion plays a vital role in everyday life in Taiwan. In terms of pure numbers, Taiwan has one of the highest temple per capita ratios in the world. To put that statement into perspective, there are more registered temples than there are convenience stores in Taiwan (a statistic that I’m sure has the senior management team at 7-11 quaking in their boots). That doesn’t only mean that the Taiwanese population practices a large number of common faiths in peaceful harmony (although that statement is certainly true). It also means that they take those faiths and mix them up with a hodge-podge of religious and spiritual beliefs that often overlap with native ‘folk religions’. This diversification means that a trip to Taiwan could have you visiting temples honoring Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, and Hinduism, in addition to the worship of divine figures as diverse as Mazu, the Earth God, and the Electric-Technco Neon Gods (yes, that’s really a thing and has nothing to do with rave music). All in all, ‘religiously diverse’ is probably a good way to describe Taiwan and this is appropriately reflected in the temples of Taiwan’s capital city, Taipei. So, saddle up and take a quick tour of some of Taipei’s temples with me. Mengjia Longshan Temple Longshan Temple, built in 1738, is probably the most famous of Taipei’s multi-denominational temples. In my opinion this isn’t necessarily because of the temple’s size or because of any particularly exciting architectural characteristics. Instead, the real draw for me is the atmosphere. I’ve visited Longshan on two separate occasions and both times it was my favorite place in the city (in fact on my last visit I spent an hour standing in…

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

Fall Fun For All

By Julie Reardon October’s bright blue skies, moderate temperatures and brilliant colors make it the ideal month to plan a day trip to the Blue Ridge for leaf peeping and more. Many annual festivals and events that have not been held for the past two years because of the pandemic restrictions are now back and open for you to enjoy. Orlean Day is Saturday, October 8th this year at the Orlean Market and Pub, 6855 Leeds Manor Rd., Marshall (it is actually 10 miles south of the actual town of Marshall). This historic country store/restaurant/gas station is the heart of the pretty little village in the foothills overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains and is host to Orlean Day, a free, family friendly event with activities for children and adults alike. There will be face painting and a bouncy castle for the little ones and a fitness obstacle course for both children and adults. Live music will play all day and good food will be available onsite. For those who enjoy steeplechasing, there are three good ones to attend this fall locally. The Virginia Fall Races will be held this year on Saturday, October 8 at Glenwood Park in Middleburg. Gates open early for the fox hunter championship finals and post time for the first race is at 1 pm. More information is at vafallraces.com On October 22, The International Gold Cup races will be held at Great Meadow in The Plains; advance ticket sales and information can be found at VaGoldCup.com . The racing season closes on November 5th with the Montpelier Races held at the lovely and historic Montpelier estate near Gordonsville. MontpelierRaces.org has details.  Advance purchase of tickets is strongly recommended, visit the websites for more information. Another popular event is the Fauquier Farm Tour, scheduled this year…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Fall Is In Full Swing at National Harbor!

By Lani Gering I love the month of October! I love fall and I love it that the holidays are just around the corner! I am so looking forward to getting out my sweaters and jeans and wearing the cool socks I have collected over the years with my boots. Don’t get me wrong, I do like keeping my tan as long as possible but I am over the 88 degree days! It has been a little over two years since I moved back to Old Town and I still miss living in the Harbor, especially this time of the year! While the summer activities and concert series have come to an end there are still plenty of things to keep you busy here. The tourist traffic slows down, the weather tends to be cooler and the Gaylord is gearing up for the holidays. If you are football fan, bring your chair or a blanket and sit in front of the big screen on the Plaza and take in the action on the weekends. The NCAA games air at 12 noon on Saturdays and NFL games at 1 pm on Sundays. The “Commanders” – I still can’t get used to calling the Redskins that – will definitely air and you can check the Harbor Facebook page for other games scheduled. There is always something happening at the Capital Wheel and at the Flight Deck right beside it. October is a fantastic month to enjoy a spin around the Wheel and a beer or glass of wine on the Deck. This is probably one of my very favorite places here in the Harbor. It sits right on the water and is a fabulous place to people watch. It is a great location to frequent both during the day and at night….

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History, History Column

A Mixed History of Alcohol and Alexandria

by ©2022 Sarah Becker How do lawyers and historians pass their respective bar exams?  Lawyers mostly study hard. Spirited historians sip booze. The American Whiskey Trail, championed by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States includes both distilleries and historic sites, sites such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon distillery and Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. GW’s favorite alcohol drinks: sweet, fortified wines like Madeira and Port; rum punch, and porter [dark beer]. Reconstructed as of 2007 Mount Vernon’s “whiski distillery” was originally built in 1797: the same year John Adams succeeded George Washington as President. Two years later the distillery was one of the country’s largest 18th century facilities, producing approximately 11,000 gallons of whiskey annually. Whiskey sold for $.50 a gallon and a federal Excise Whiskey Tax was due. The 1791 tax was used “to offset a portion of the federal government’s assumption of state debts.” Mount Vernon’s distillery was a spinoff—born of Washington’s want “to simplify his farming operations.” It generated a substantial profit, thanks mostly to the efforts of Scottish farm manager James Anderson. The Estate produced ample grain; the gristmill and water system were previously installed, and enslaved labor was cheap. Better still, the remaining slop—distilled grain—was recyclable. The distillery was home to 150 pigs and 30 cows. The “demand,” Washington wrote, was “brisk.” Alexandria merchant and leading surveyor George Gilpin was among the distillery’s earliest customers. The un-aged whiskey was made from 60% rye, 35% corn, and 5% malted barley. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health 85.6% of Americans ages 18 and older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime; 69.5% reported that they drank in the past year. The top alcohol drinks, in descending order: 12-oz. of regular beer, 1½-oz. of distilled spirits, and 5-oz. of…

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Financial Focus, Pets, Places, & Things

Key questions to answer to help plan to pay for retirement

By Carl Trevison and Stephen Bearce Your retirement could last 20 years or more. Now could be the time to ask yourself, “What do I want to do when I retire?” It’s an important question to ask sooner rather than later, as the answer could impact your retirement savings plans, so that you can align the retirement you want with the retirement you can afford. The first two steps in that process are: (1) decide what you want to do, and then (2) determine the potential costs. The answers to these questions could help you take the first step toward creating the retirement lifestyle you hope to achieve. What will I be doing during my retirement days? Do I plan to continue working past age 65 or after I reach my full retirement age? Full time or part time? Are there hobbies I want to pursue that will either cost money or make money? Is there volunteer work that may also have costs associated? Do I plan to travel? Are there things I enjoy doing that have related costs? What are the activities that make up my ideal retirement day? Where will I be living in my retirement years? Will I stay in my current home or downsize to a smaller home or a rental property? Will I move to a retirement community or assisted living facility? Will I sell my home and replace it with an RV or other alternative living option? What situations might occur that could impact my retirement expenditures? What health care coverage do I need for my specific health conditions? Do I have an emergency fund for unexpected situations such as a health care crisis or loss of property due to a natural disaster? What if I stop working sooner than expected? What happens if I experience a significant loss…

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From the Bay, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

It’s Show Time on the Bay

By Lani Gering I remember the days when we wouldn’t miss a sailboat boat show that went down within our commuting area unless the weather was close to hurricane status. Those were the days when my pal was on the hunt for a “bigger” boat and I was really fond of having every latest *saily gadget for the galley and just the right splash jacket for the hanging locker. Not to mention seeing the latest and greatest in bottom paint, boat soap and other fancy cleaning gadgets and potions. Moving on to present day (15+ years)….I am still using many of the *saily gadgets and I definitely need a new splash jacket and the “bigger” sailboat could really use some of the latest and greatest in paint, soap and potions. This all being said, I believe we will head to Annapolis for the Sailboat Show this year. In full disclosure, we spend quite a bit of time in this Sailing Capital and it is one of my favorite places in the United States! I enlisted the help of our pals at Annapolis Boat Shows to get the scoop on the 2022 events. See below: The boating world will once again rejoice as fall approaches and visitors from the U.S. and abroad return to Annapolis for two iconic boat shows, the United States Powerboat Show (Oct. 6-9) and United States Sailboat Show (Oct. 13-17). This year, in addition to celebrating the return of international travel, the Annapolis Boat Shows will celebrate the 50th United States Powerboat Show. Each year, the team from the Annapolis Boat Shows transforms Annapolis Harbor into a floating showcase of new models of boats and innovative products. This year, the boat shows will again have an impressive lineup of new and premiering boats. Shoreside exhibit areas and tents…

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Beauty & Health, Fitness

The Benefits of Hiring a Personal Trainer

By Nicole Flanagan Many people today are making the decision to include exercise as part of their healthy lifestyle. After all, it has been recognized that a balanced exercise program of cardio, strength and flexibility can help to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, manage weight, strengthen bones, improve sleep and make you look and feel great.  Beginning an exercise program should be fun and motivating. In order to keep up the good work a person should be seeing results and feeling great, right? For those who are new to exercise, starting a program can be a bit overwhelming.  If the last time you stepped foot in a gym was is PE class in high school it may be a good idea to hire a trainer just to get you started. Personal Training today is much more available and much more affordable than it’s ever been. Many sports clubs even offer a free introductory lesson as part of a membership. Know that this is not always an actual personal training session, but more of an introduction to the facility and the equipment. For some, this may be all you want or need. At Old Town Sport and Health Club each new member receives a complimentary Smart Start with a certified Personal Trainer. During this one-hour session a personal trainer will conduct a full baseline assessment that includes a health questionnaire, body composition, movement analysis, health and lifestyle analysis and a discussion of long and short range fitness goals. The trainer will also talk a little bit about the importance of nutrition and show the new member how to use the equipment. This is a great way to get back to the gym and learn about new equipment and how to use it safely. One of the great benefits of having a…

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Arts & Entertainment, High Notes

Alchemy of Earth by David Campbell and Pauline Frechette

By Ron Powers Alchemy of Earth begins with Pauline Frechette’s “Spring Awakening”. I was taken away by this song’s delicate progressions. It unfolds like the blooming of a flower and expresses a deep and meaningful feeling. This song is a good example of music communicating something words cannot. The light and airy feeling of “Spring Awakening” seamlessly melts into the album’s second song (“Summer Skies”). As you might expect from the title, this song has more warmth to it. As I was listening an image of sunset came to mind. It expresses all the beauty of a sky full of expansive clouds painted with glowing pink, orange, and purple light as a summer’s day comes to an end. For the album’s third track Frechette continues with her seasonal theme, delivering “Liquid Moon”. This song is one of my favorites by Frechette. It makes you feel like you’re stepping out into nature when you listen to it. “Liquid Moon” also appears on an EP by Pauline called A Winter’s Tale. For Frechette’s fourth and final installment of seasonal gems, we’re treated to the exquisite and vigorous “Ice Storm”. This song has a dark and enchanting power pulsating through it. From its mysterious and meandering melody lines to its thundering brass section. “Ice Storm” is a piece of music that keeps your attention from beginning to end. Legendary composer David Campbell keeps things moving with the album’s fifth track, “19th Century Entanglements”. The bustling energy of this song pulls you in and gets your blood pumping without warning. I was particularly struck by the depth of prowess that this song exudes. Every note rings with the weight and authority of a man who has mastered his craft. Campbell continues his entangled journey with the beautifully eerie “20th Century Entanglements”. The emotion of…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Road Trip

Where the Potomac Eagle Rides the Rails – Romney, West Virginia

By Bob Tagert To get a jump on the folks seeking fall foliage in October, we hopped on the Potomac Eagle for a leisurely trip through the heart of the West Virginia Potomac Highlands and the South Branch of the Potomac River in Romney. The vintage diesel locomotive took us on a three hour round trip ride through the beautiful mountains and fields that border the South Branch of the Potomac. The journey begins at Wappocomo Station located next to a charming homestead and a sprawling view of the mountains. Once you get out of the station, the train tracks are about 25 to 50 feet back from the river. The summer foliage that we encountered made for difficult views of the river except when the train came to the occasional clearing and then views of the rapids and kayakers were spectacular. Although the foliage was dense in some spots, by the time this column is read, fall will be upon us and the leaves will have started to turn and begin to fall. Since October and November in the West Virginia Highlands will be colder, the viewing will be much better as well as more colorful. Soon the fields and pastures began to disappear as the mountains closed in on the river from both sides. We had entered a part of the canyon named The Trough. The Trough is a 6-mile long wooded gorge carved by the river as it continues northwestern course with several bends in the river and large boulders dislocated from the ridges above dotting its shores. The steep slopes of the Trough are forested primarily with oaks, hickories, Virginia pine and large quantities of paw paw; with several rock outcrops visible on both sides. The two wooded ridges that define the Trough make it inaccessible…

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