Notes from the Publisher

Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes May 2022

As we move into the month of May the Democracy of America still seems up for grabs, there is a potential nuclear war threatened by Russia in Ukraine, gas prices are high and Elon Musk bought Twitter for a paltry 44 billion dollars. The good news is that the May issue of the Old Town Crier is in your hands and we will attempt to take you away to a calmer world. To get this off on the right foot, Tim Long takes a look at whether you should change your preference in beer in Let’s Get Crafty as summer approaches. Side note: as I write this Tim and his wife are in St. Barth exploring some of the island nectar. Can you spell Rhum? Along with that Caribbean theme, Alexander Britell takes us to the Bahamas and the Goombay Smash in the Caribbean Connection. See, you are already feeling better. If wine, women and song are more to your taste, check out the women of wine in Grapevine and read about The Love Songs of W.E.B Dubois in The Last Word. Our Road Trip took us down to Solomons, Maryland and Annmarie Sculpture Gardens and the Calvert Marine Museum to a visit to the Fairies, Gnomes, Otters and Rays. In To the Blue Ridge, Julie Reardon takes a new twist on Older Women, Younger Whiskey…Faster Horses (then check out the ad on the inside back cover). For those Java lovers out there, we explored the allure of coffee and mentioned the independents in Old Town in Dining Out. In Personality Profile we introduce you to Rick Boyd, a true Old Town man about town. On May 22nd the Old Town Festival of Speed & Style returns to Old Town. This is a chance to enjoy vintage automobiles and explore…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes

By Bob Tagert “It’s a Strange, Strange World We Live In, Master Jack” This song was performed by Four Jacks and a Jill and released in 1967. There are a lot of us baby boomers walking around silently singing this song these days. Google it and listen along. Great lyrics. Last month I was writing about the change in weather and as I write this, I will be damned if it isn’t going to be in the well below freezing over the next two days and now we are over 30 days into a war in Europe, gas prices are still high, and everyone on Facebook has become a war strategy expert with a minor in petroleum cost. It is truly a strange world! While keeping one eye on Ukraine, we managed to get another Old Town Crier to the printer. The only thing about the weather that concerns me as I write this is the massive storm on the horizon – however, in the meantime we will focus on this month’s issue. This month our trek took us to a constant in our lives…the Atlantic Ocean and the beautiful Boardwalk Plaza Hotel in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Read about this peaceful spring destination in Road Trip. We stopped in at Mae’s Market & Cafe at 277 South Washington Street to get material for this months Business Profile. Our Dining Out destination returned us to Landini Brothers Restaurant, an Old Town original going back over 40 years. Winemaker Doug Fabbioli explains the art of barrel making in Exploring Virginia Wines. In From the Bay we get a look at one of the largest in-water sailboat show in America. Music aficionado Ron Powers writes of an enigma…G.H. Hat in his High Notes column. April brings us Earth Day and History, Sarah Becker…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes

By Bob Tagert The weather sure has been strange these past few months. I am writing this on February 23 and the temperature is 75 degrees and sunny. Tomorrow it will be a high of 37 and rain. No rhyme or reason. Kinda like a lot of things that happen these days. With March being the month we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the fact that Old Town won’t have the parade again this year, we added a touch of Irish in this issue with Dining Out at Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub and an interview with one of Old Towns favorite Irish lassies, Niamh O’Donovan in the Personality Profile. The folks at the Caribbean Journal write about their favorite Caribbean islands in the Caribbean Connection while Doug Fabbioli explains “If it goes wrong, at least I will get caught trying” in his Exploring VA Wines column.Spring arrives this month and so does the annual sock burning in Eastport, MD. Check it out along with information about the Annapolis Oyster Festival in From the Bay. Let’s Get Crafty Timothy Long explains the difference between a Stout and a Porter in his column. Matthew Fitzsimmons enlightens us on the vermouth being produced in the Commonwealth and how it’s made. In her To the Blue Ridge column, Julie Reardon examines the virtue of a Party of One. Lori Welch Brown takes a look back at two years of covid in Open Space. In Take Photos, Leave Footprints Scott Dicken tells us about the wildlife experience in Costa Rica. Sarah Becker celebrates Women’s History Month while writing about Virginia Fitzhugh Wheat Thomas, a former Alexandrian, in A Bit of History. I hope that you enjoy reading this issue of the Old Town Crier as we transition from winter to spring this month. In another…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes February 2022

Well, here it is February. As I write this the last week of January, we are once again anticipating another winter storm this weekend. Guesses of accumulation range from a couple inches to possibly half a foot or more. January will give us more snow than we have seen for years. If you are not out skiing or enjoying the snow, it is a good time to build a fire, grab a glass of Virginia wine and enjoy our February issue. Speaking of snow, our February Road Trip took us to Harrisonburg, Virginia close to Massanutten Ski Resort. While we were there they were making snow and have had natural snow the past couple of weeks. February also brings us Mardi Gras with Fat Tuesday falling on March first. With this in mind, we ventured into Del Ray to write about RT’s Restaurant for Dining Out. RT’s is Alexandria’s closest thing to New Orleans-style food. In Exploring VA Wines, Doug Fabbioli gives us some insight into the mind of a wine maker when it comes to planning for the future. If this cold weather has got you down and you want to get away, read about the new luxury eco-friendly resort on the southern coast of Dominica in Caribbean Connection. Timothy Wheeler gives us hope of oysters helping to clean up polluted rivers and the Bay in From the Bay. Grapevine columnist Matt Fitzsimmons takes us to Sweet Vines Winery and introduces us to Seidah Armstrong (Sadie to her friends), Virginia’s first Black female vineyard owner. Meg Mullery interviews one of Middleburg’s iconic residents, Vicky Moon, about her book Sylvia Rideout Bishop Had a Way With Horses! in Personality Profile. In Let’s Get Crafty, Timothy Long describes the Fish Market’s rise from a one beer pub to a craft beer…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publisher’s Notes

By Bob Tagert Publisher’s Notes This month begins another milestone for us. We begin our 35th year of producing the Old Town Crier. With this issue that makes 409 issues. Back in January 1988 our Old Town friends never thought we would complete 9 – issues that is. We are proud of the service that we have provided to not only Alexandria but also the connection of the Bay to the Blue Ridge. It always was our intention to make Old Town and Alexandria the centerpiece of the magazine while including the Chesapeake Bay area around southern Maryland and the Blue Ridge mountains, the Shenandoah Valley and the Virginia wineries. We have accomplished that while others have tried to copy our plan. When we started, the heart of Old Town was only eight blocks long with a few shops on Cameron Street. Now Old Town stretches from the Potomac River to the Metro station and more shops and restaurants have filled the side streets. Reaching this milestone would not have been possible without a number of folks who have made our trip easier. I will not attempt to name them for fear of leaving out someone, but you know who you are! In addition to those who gave a helping hand, we also could not have done it without those who supported us with their advertising dollars…and you know who you are! Please take a look through this issue and make it a purpose of the New Year to patronize those businesses in this publication. They are truly our partners. We started the publication when I was 40 years old. I turn 75 this year. I have seen a lot, but nothing like January 6th of last year. Say a prayer for our country or better yet, get active. I…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes

Publishers Notes By Bob Tagert This issue represents 34 years of bringing the stories “From the Bay to the Blue Ridge” to you readers. It all began here in Old Town Alexandria at the bar in Bullfeathers restaurant (now O,Connell’s). We shared our adventure with our friends at events like our annual Old Town Crier Cup sailboat races in Solomons, Maryland and our annual tent at the Virginia Gold Cup races in The Plains, Virginia. These were very good times that we all miss. Here’s looking to some new adventures next year. As the expression goes…We made one more trip around the sun, and what a year it has been. The pandemic of COVID-19 wreaked havoc on our respective lives. Businesses suffered. We are still in recovery mode. I want to profoundly thank those advertisers who stayed the course with us as well as the ones who returned to support us when they got back on their feet. If it were not for those folks, I would not be writing this now, for there would be no Old Town Crier publication. Once again, thanks to our steadfast advertisers and wonderful readers. Couldn’t do it without either. Speaking of steadfast advertisers, congratulations to Union Street Public House on their 35th Anniversary! If you haven’t stopped in there lately, treat yourself this month! This issue is full of informative and entertaining content. I normally give you all a synopsis of what is inside but I am only allowed so many words for these notes…so keep turning those pages. We would also like to pass on a get well to our writer Julie Reardon who has been with us since almost the beginning. Her From the Blue Ridge column has been part of our success. She has a rough road in front of…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes October 2021

Publishers Notes October 2021 As I write this piece, the Autumn Equinox happened yesterday. It definately announed its arrival with bright lightening and loud thunder at 3:40 am on the twenty third. The temperatures this week are in the low to mid 70’s with low humidity. This month is the time to get outdoors or hit the road. Our Road Trip this month takes us back to one of our very favorite destinations, by land or water…Naptown! It is also a perfect time to head to Virginia wine country because this is Virginia Wine Month. All of the wineries will be putting their best foot (bottle of wine) forward and will be offering numerous events throughout the month. Support those wineries that support the Old Town Crier throughout the year…Pearmund Cellars group, Barrel Oak, Rappahannock Cellars, Fabbioli Vineyards, Philp Carter and Valley View. In A Bit of History, Sarah Becker continues her insight into the Equal Rights Admendment. In Photos and Footprints, Scott Dicken takes us to one of the most beautiful places on earth. After having my knee replaced I wrote about The Physical Therapy Zone where I finished up my therapy in the Business Profile column. We learn about how Autumn reveals trees’ true colors in the From the Bay column! Last spring, our friend Chester Simpson, had a gallery showing of his Rock n Roll photographs scheduled but COVID ended that. It has been rescheduled at the Principle Gallery in the 200 block of King Street on October 15-16. Don’t miss this opportunity to see his historic rock ‘n roll photos and to buy some high quality prints. October brings us the Columbus Day holiday and Halloween. I am hoping to be on the water during the long weekend enjoying the cooler fall weather and am currently…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes September 2021

Publishers Notes By Bob Tagert The end of summer occurs this month and fall begins. I don’t think we will miss the heat, humidity and endless rain. Fall is a lot of people’s favorite time of year.  Both the mountains and the shore are more inviting. Speaking of mountains and the shore, our Road Trip this month took us to the Shenandoah Valley. It is a pleasant article with a little bit of romance thrown in. With COVID cases on the rise again Caribbean Connection recommends how to go to the Caribbean without the hassle! As our Dining Out article continues its comeback, we went outside of Old Town to Aldo’s Italian Kitchen. In Business Profile Lani Gering visited Harbor Wines in Maryland. Our Personality Profile features the one and only Tim Bauckman…of Tim’s Rivershore fame! In A Bit of History, Sarah Becker remembers 9-11, a day we will never forget and it seems odd that it has been 20 years already! In Let’s Get Crafty, Timothy Long teaches us about “Oktoberfest” the way he learned to celebrate it. Speaking of German beer check out the ad in this issue for Village Brauhaus. VB is the place to be for Oktoberfest in Old Town. Scott Dicken takes us on a trek to Oman in the Arabian Peninsula in Take Photos/Leave Footprints. Scott and his wife Ashton take all of the photos that accompany his column. They both have a great eye! All of this and much more await in this issue. As COVID increases again, I am perplexed. Being from the days of the polio vaccine, I don’t understand the reluctance of many to get vaccinated for this deadly virus. The first round nearly put us out of business. Like everyone else, we made adjustments but kept on truckin’. We…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes August 2021

By Bob Tagert As the month of July closes with pretty darn nice weather, I hope the trend continues into August. Thirty years ago August was a slow month in Old Town Alexandria for the restaurants and shops. Not so much anymore! The town is four times as big as then with an equal increase in people. When I started the Crier in 1988 I remember one merchant telling me, “business is so slow, I may as well close up for the month.” Thirty years was a long time ago. Speaking of thirty years ago, Chadwicks had already been open for 12 years. We revisited them for brunch last month. Check it out in Dining Out. Julie Reardon talks about her new pup in To the Blue Ridge while Doug Fabbioli expands on what a “Farden” is in Exploring Virginia Wines. We put a twist on the Business Profile column and asked Rick Myllenbeck to fill us in on the 2021 “Festival of Speed and Style” scheduled for September 5th. This month we introduce a new column written by long time Alexandrian Timothy Long about Getting Crafty in these days of craft beverages. Sarah Becker explores The Art of a Nation in A Bit of History and Lori Welch Brown explains “The Dog Days of Summer…then and now” in her Open Space column. In Take Photos/Leave Footprints, fly with Scott Dicken and his beautiful wife Ashton to Lukla, the world’s most dangerous airport – this is a great story. The Road Trip column highlights Ashley Stimpson’s trek up north to Havre de Grace, Maryland where the Susquehanna River enters the Chesapeake Bay. On a sad note, Old Town Alexandria lost one of its early building blocks. Bryan Watson passed away last month at age 78. Bryan was the living definition…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes July 2021

Publishers Notes July 2021 Here we are halfway through 2021 and the masks are beginning to disappear. It is amazing how many people I have met this past year that didn’t know I had a goatee. I guess these masks hid a lot of our personality. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Lots of good content again this month. As more and more shops and restaurants return to full capacity we visited one of our favorite dining establishments…Bastille Brassiere & Wine Bar for the R&D on Dining Out. Bastille Day is this month after all. In A Bit of History Sarah Becker introduces us to Washington, D.C.’s newest memorial, the National World War I Memorial and President Woodrow Wilson. Lori Welch Brown welcomes us to the summer of 2021 in her Open Space column! In Personality Profile, Kathy Weiser introduces us to Uncle Sam. The Road Trip trek took us on a three day adventure as we explored the Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine Loop. There is a lot to see and do and staying overnight at either Shadow Mountain Escape or the Mimslyn Inn in Luray is a real treat. Scott Dickens takes us on a visual tour of Meteora, Greece in Take Photos/Leave Footprints while Matt Fitzsimmons keeps it local in his Grapevine column as he introduces us to Virginia’s newest wineries…all in Northern Virginia. As a special to Fitness/Health Section we explore the need to get vaccinated. Some good advice in this piece. On Wednesday, June 23, we attended the retirement party for Lorraine Lloyd. Lorraine is longtime friend and was a dedicated employee of 20 years with VisitAlexandria aka the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association. A true Old Town Alexandria gal, Lorraine knew the town well and put that knowledge to good…

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