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“Soon” by The Cars

By Ron Powers For this month’s Flashback article, I’d like to talk about a song from one of The Cars’ lesser-known albums. “Soon” is the fourth track off the iconic band’s seventh and final studio album, Move Like This which was released in May of 2011. The song has a heartfelt and sweet melody that complements touching lyrics which are addressed to the singer’s significant other. “Soon” is the sort of song that sends low-key vibes and sentimental feelings running through your soul. It has a way of bringing the truly important people in your life to mind and makes you feel grateful for them. “Soon” begins with softly played organ chords accompanied by faintly picked rhythm guitar notes. As the song progresses, sparse lead guitar is added with vibrato and reverb effects. After two bars of intro music, singer Ric Ocasek’s melodic magic hits the ears like a spell being cast. The words and melody work with the music to draw the listener into the song’s mellow sweetness. If you’re looking for a love song, it doesn’t get much better than this one. For the pre-chorus extra depth is introduced to the music by way of subtly distorted synth with hefty bass frequencies. The band quickly transitions into the chorus where the arrangement is further added to with emotive synth string chords. A classy echo effect is added to Ric’s vocal as he sings the chorus lyrics: “But soon / the time / will come / I know what I put you through / the time / will run / away from us like time it will do”. One of my favorite aspects of this song is the gradual introduction of new musical elements. The palm-muted electric guitar introduced on the second verse is a great example of this….

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Caribbean Connection, Featured Post, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

The Loose Mongoose – A BVI Destination Beach Bar!

By Alexander Brittell The Loose Mongoose – A BVI Destination Beach Bar! It‘s a ritual for travelers to the British Virgin Islands… …Land at Beef Island Airport, go through customs, gather your luggage and head to Trellis Bay, where you’d find your ferry or charter, step on your boat and begin your BVI vacation. But in recent years, Trellis Bay has become more than just a jumping-off point. It has become a destination in its own right. And that’s in large part thanks to the Loose Mongoose, a Mecca in the British Virgin Islands, a restaurant and beach bar and town square all in one. The open-air eatery on the waterfront in Trellis Bay is a marvelous mix of outstanding food, creative cocktails and even a bustling weekend brunch, along with morning coffee for boaters in search of java fuel (or those heading to an early ride on the Anegada ferry). It’s not new, of course. For years, Loose Mongoose was a haven for boaters, travelers and rum lovers —until the storms of 2017 had their say. And now, following a dramatic reconstruction project, the Loose Mongoose has a whole new look and a new place in the pantheon of Caribbean beach bars, and a compelling argument for BVI travelers to stay a little longer in Trellis Bay. Loose Mongoose, which is the sister company of the renowned Anegada Beach Club hotel, is green, too, having been built from recycled hardwoods in true Caribbean style, with a thatched-roof look married with sleek, modern design. “Loose Mongoose was created to be a multi-faceted gateway to the outer islands, while serving as a unique destination in of itself,” owner Doug Riegels tells Caribbean Journal. That’s precisely what it’s done: Loose, as it’s affectionately known, has instantly become one of the coolest-looking beach spots in all of…

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Business Profile, Featured Post

The Old Town Shop – “Where the Past Is Your Present”

By Lani Gering The Old Town Shop – “Where the Past Is Your Present” It is hard to believe that this wonderful little shop hasn’t been around for many years. It just has that sort of vibe when you walk into the foyer and into the door on your right at 105 South Union Street. The Old Town Shop (OTS) will celebrate its 5 year anniversary in March of 2022. After the closing of a longtime favorite specialty retailer, The Virginia Shop that was located pretty much just across the street from the OTS, it was a welcome addition to the shopping scene in Old Town. We missed our “Virginia” specific retailer and were very excited to hear about long time Alexandria resident Valerie Ianieri’s plan to open an “Old Town Alexandria” specific venue. This shop is not just for those visitors who want to take something home to remind them of their experience in our fair city but it is for those of us who live here and want to share our fabulous locally made products and history with family and friends alike. Ianieri is definitely following through with her vision to help preserve and promote the culture, history and most importantly the creativity of our Alexandria locals along with others in the Commonwealth. This shop is a PERFECT place to find a gift that will impress that person on your list who has everything. The description on the OTS website pretty much says it all: “The Old Town Shop is the only area shop to feature a variety of local curated artisan products that are offered at the Alexandria Farmers’ Market. This section, known as Locals’ Alley, is dedicated to showcasing a variety of artisans who vend regularly at the Farmers’ Market, giving these artisans a more permanent presence in…

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Events, Featured Post

The Birth of American Independence

The Birth of American Independence When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical. By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in Thomas Paine’s best selling pamphlet “Common Sense,” published in early 1776. On June 7, when the Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, the Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence. Amid heated debate, Congress postponed the vote on Lee’s resolution, but appointed a five-man committee—including Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York–to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.” On July 4th, the Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence that had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence. Early Fourth of July Celebrations In the pre-Revolutionary years, colonists had held annual celebrations of the king’s birthday, which traditionally included the…

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Featured Post, Special Feature

WANTED: MOM…Apply Within

WANTED: MOM…Apply Within By: Caroline Simpson Job Title: Mother. Requirements: must be willing to work overtime for no additional compensation. Necessary Skills: patience, fortitude, and super-human ability to multitask. Salary: none but must be able to provide monthly (at least) payments to clients. Travel: yes – lots. Benefits: bedtime and the one day a year that it is all about you! Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!  If I was in charge, I would recommend you for a promotion and a raise, your service over the years has been remarkable.  However, since I do not play the CEO role in this family, I will take this opportunity to honor you by giving you an inside look at my new plans for this holiday. In all seriousness, Mother’s Day is an important holiday.  Allow me to provide a bit of the history for you.  The tradition dates back as far as the Greek Empire and their Annual Spring Festival; various religions and spiritual groups dedicated a specific day in May to celebrate the Mother Mary, Mother Earth, the Mother of All Deities, etc.  England expanded this honor to not just religious mother figures, but to all mothers, and the United States made it the celebration it is today about 150 years ago, when Anna Jarvis, mother and homemaker, decided that there were days for men and days for children, but there just was not a single day devoted to mothers alone. Anna would be proud.  Today, Mother’s Day results in the highest volume of telephone traffic over any other day of the year, restaurants are more crowded on this second Sunday in May than any other holiday, and, of course, Hallmark card sales increase dramatically. Well, this Mother’s Day, I want to do more than just buy a card.  I know that nothing…

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Featured Post, Urban Garden

The Memorial Day Poppy

by Rita Jacinto The Memorial Day Poppy The inspiration for this column began at the local shopping mall. Yeah, I know it is a pretty bizarre place to get any kind of inspiration let alone gardening inspiration but sometimes you just have to go with the flow. You see sitting out front of one of the mega stores was a WWII veteran and what looked like his grandson. On the shaky card table were a bunch of red silk poppies and a can for donations. I always put some money in the can and get a poppy to wear. It’s a habit I picked up from my Dad when I was a little kid. He always bought a poppy and kept it in the visor of his truck. I didn’t know why he did this exactly except that it had something to do with the war. He was a veteran of WWII and since he is no longer around to buy his poppy I do it for him. That old vet sitting at his table a few weeks before Memorial Day got me wondering about the story of the red poppy. There are many kinds of poppies but the poppy mentioned in John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields”, was found growing in the fields of Flanders and often referred to as Flanders Poppy is actually Papaver rhoeas more commonly called Corn Poppy. This Mediterranean native is found growing in cultivated fields all over southern Europe. Its legend reaches back thousands of years. They have been found in Egyptian tombs dating back 3,000 years. There is a drawing of a poppy that was found in the Codex Vindobonensis which was put together for the Byzantine princess Anicia Juliana. The Codex is dated at over a thousand years. Homer mentions poppies in…

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

Watery Heaven? Or Crowding Hell? Exploring and Avoiding the Crowds at Plitvice Lakes National Park in Crotia

By Scott Dicken Watery Heaven or Crowded Hell? Exploring and Avoiding the Crowds at Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia We had been told to expect startling, other-worldly, turquoise, blue and green waters. We’d been told to expect stunning landscapes and autumnal foliage. We’d been told to expect cascading waterfalls in numbers that belie the size of the National Park we were visiting. What we hadn’t been told was to expect tourists in numbers more akin to New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Welcome to Plitvice Lakes National Park: Not Always Suitable for Enochlophobics. Our trip to Plitvice, which is Croatia’s second most popular tourist sight (the most popular being Dubrovnik), took place in October (not during the pandemic, just to be clear!). One would think that October would be a fairly safe month to choose. After all, we had avoided the summer rush and were well into Croatia’s ‘shoulder’ season – so much so that the weather had started to turn noticeably colder at Plitvice’s elevation. All signs pointed to a relaxed hike in what is billed as one of the most picturesque national parks in Europe: home of 16 lakes, hundreds of waterfalls, brown bears, wolves, and the elusive lynx. Unfortunately, our early optimism rapidly diminished when we were greeted at the park’s entrance by more coaches than would typically be seen at Disney in the height of summer. We brushed aside our immediate concerns (along with ten selfie-stick wielding tourists) as we breezed through the ticket counters (due to our guide’s influence, and apparently not possible in the summer months). Our hike started from Entrance 1, and it was immediately obvious that Plitvice is undeniably stunning. The color of the water is genuinely otherworldly (hopefully my photos do it some justice) and known to change throughout the…

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Arts & Entertainment, Events, Events, Featured Post

Earth Day 2021- “Restore Our Earth”

Earth Day 2021 -“Restore Our Earth!” We believe that most of you who are reading this will agree with us here at the Old Town Crier that EVERY day should be Earth Day, however, April 22nd of each year since 1970 has been the designated day to pay extra homage to our beautiful planet. We thought you might enjoy a bit of insight to the designation so we contacted EARTHDAY.ORG to get just that. ORIGINS OF EARTH DAY Earth Day 1970 gave a voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet. In the decades leading up to the first Earth Day, Americans were consuming vast amounts of leaded gas through massive and inefficient automobiles. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of the consequences from either the law or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Until this point, mainstream America remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how a polluted environment threatens human health. However, the stage was set for change with the publication of Rachel Carson’s earth bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries as it raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and the inextricable links between pollution and public health. Earth Day 1970 would come to provide a voice to this emerging environmental consciousness, and putting environmental concerns on the front page. EARTH DAY TODAY Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes. Now, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change…

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Featured Post, Pets, Places, & Things, Road Trip

Historic Ellicott City – A Pleasant Surprise!

By Bob Tagert Historic Ellicott City – A Pleasant Surprise! This month’s Road Trip took us to Ellicott City, Maryland. Unfortunately, over the last five years the biggest publicity that Historic Ellicott City has gotten has been the devastating news of the floods of 2016 and 2018 but one would never know it was so severely affected by the looks of this quaint little town today. Ellicott City was founded in 1772 and built along the Patapsco River. It is located 10 miles west of Baltimore and at the site of the Tiber River, along with other connected tributaries, causing it to be vulnerable to severe flooding. Before the 2018 flood, Ellicott City was pretty much submerged during the 2016 Maryland flood on July 30th. That flooding was considered an oddity, likely only occurring once every 1,000 years. When we recently drove to Ellicott City we did not notice any residual problems from the floods. The town is nestled in a small valley that lies along the Patapsco River. It is what you could call a “vertical” town. Walking is the best form of transportation as street parking is minimal but the town does have large free parking lots. This quaint city is a picture perfect little place with many shops, restaurants, galleries, salons and museums. Most of the shops are situated on Main Street which runs through the center of town. There are also many shops, etc. located on the side streets that intersect Main Street and they are walkable as well. On the snow covered day that we were there the town had a vibe of a ski resort nestled at the bottom of the mountain. Indeed, on snowy days the 150 foot elevation from the town can make for a nice short ski run. The city is…

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