Notes from the Publisher

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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Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes

By Bob Tagert Last year at his time the COVID-19 pandemic began to tighten its grip. Social distancing was in place and face masks were mandatory. Restaurant seating was drastically reduced and bars were closed. Marketing for tourism dried up and retail had to monitor the number of shoppers in the store. Our revenues dropped well over 60 percent as advertising dried up. We were indeed lucky to retain some of our core advertising that saw us through the rough times and we will forever be grateful to those businesses and individuals. Now, a year later, we are emerging from that abyss. Local destinations are once again looking for tourist dollars to help their struggling economies. Take note in this issue of our Road Trip to St. Mary’s County in Maryland. If you are looking for a drive to the mountains check out The Blue Ridge Whiskey and Wine Loop ad. We still have a way to go but the tide has finally turned. In this issue Sarah Becker takes a look at Juneteenth in A Bit of History. In Grapevine, Matt Fitzsimmons shows us how to mix wine with exercise and adventure. Miriam Kramer takes us into the mind of Adella Ajullar in “Mistress of the Art of Death” in The Last Word. Take Photos, Leave Footprints takes us to Iceland and The Blue Lagoon. In Open Space, Lori Welch Brown writes a letter to her late father for Father’s Day. On that note, Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dads that are out there. So far this year we have seen much improvement in the battle with the virus. Let’s hope that the numbers in VA and the surrounding areas keep dropping so the mandates can be lifted on the 15th and we can begin to put…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes May 2021

Publishers Notes May 2021 As I write this we have had our first super moon of the month and the first 80 degree day of the year. It feels like change is in the air. COVID-19 restrictions are being eased in some situations. We can now sit at the bars and enjoy a cocktail with friends. It remains to be seen if folks will return to their favorite watering holes or will absence make the heart “wander”. I have had my two COVID shots so I feel a little less vulnerable to the virus, but I will still have my mask handy for deployment. Why take chances? With this new freedom there are many choices for adventure. As mentioned, we can renew friendships at our favorite restaurants or we can hit the road and head to Virginia wineries and distillers. The brown from the hillsides has been taken over by the early colors of green. The air is perfect for an open window drive. You can also start to make plans to attend the Potomac Jazz & Seafood Festival in St. Mary’s County in July. Look for their ad in our June issue or check out the St. Mary’s County website. In this month’s issue learn how not to fear your physical therapy professional in Personality Profile. A Bit of History learn about the relationship of cannibas and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Shop in Alexandria. Vanessa Orr takes us on a Road Trip to the Laurel Highlands. Lori Welch Brown reminds us of some of the pain of Mother’s Day in Open Space. Speaking of Moms check out Caroline Simpson’s tribute to MOM. The Urban Garden column tells you how poppies are relevant to Memorial Day and how to grow them. And last but certainly not least, if you haven’t heard…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes April 2021

Publishers Notes April 2021 March has been a busy month for me. After two aborted attempts I finally had my right knee replaced on the 16th of March. My knee finally went bone-on-bone after I shattered my right femur in 1968. I have never had 100 percent flexibility in my right leg but now we will try to activate muscles I haven’t used in 50 years. My 9 week recovery is happening in Calvert County which means getting this issue out has had its challenges. Distribution is in my wheel house but I am fortunate enough to be partnered with someone who can pick up the ball – magazine bundles in this case – and run with it. Many thanks to Lani for keeping it all on track. Thanks to Meg Mullery and Nancy D’Agostino for their assistance as well. The weather this week has been beautiful except for an enormous amount of rain this past Wednesday. No worries, we needed the rain. Looking forward to many sunny days in April even though the saying is “April Showers Bring May Flowers”! As you can tell by the image on the cover, the April issue celebrates Earth Day with an “Interview with Mother Nature” and some insight to the origins of this annual observance. I remember seeing John Denver perform at one of the first Earth Days on the Mall in D.C. Billy Phibbs gets us off to a good start on April Fools’ Day with his tongue-in-cheek “St. John is Sinking” Caribbean Connection column. In Exploring VA Wines, Doug Fabbioli shows us why it is important to “Get out of the Cab Once in Awhile.” Lenny Campello’s Gallery Beat column echo’s what many of you may be feeling with “I Wanna Go to an Art Fair!” A Bit of History…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publisher’s Notes March 2021

By Bob Tagert Although February wasn’t brutal this winter we did have snowy and rainy weather for a good part of the month. As I write these notes it is 53 degrees and sunny outside with a high today of 61. Feels like spring. I hope this is a precursor to the entire month. Cherry Blossom time is just around the corner so we want to be sure the weather holds for them. While there won’t be all of the “normal” Cherry Blossom Festival activities this year, a drive around the tidal basin is always a welcome treat. If you are tired of being stuck at home, this month would be a good time to take a drive to Historic Ellicott City near Baltimore, MD. Read more about it in this month’s Road Trip. If Ellicott City isn’t far enough away, check out Scott Dicken’s Take Photos, Leave Footprints column, where he highlights five less travelled destinations. In Gallery Beat, Lenny Campello gives us another online art review, although he would rather be there in person. This month we returned to one of our favorite destinations, Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville to interview Sean McCaskey for the Personality Profile – whiskey with a melody. In her The Last Word column, Miriam Kramer gives us some insight into skin tones in The Vanishing Half. In Grapevine, Matt Fitzsimmons reveals the important role of the Vineyard Manager. Lori Welch Brown gives us some tips on how to “Quiet Our Worrying Machine in her Open Space column. In Business Profile read about Old Town’s one-stop-shop at the corner of King and Alfred Streets. If you plan to stay in on St. Patrick’s Day, check out the recipe for Irish Stew in Dining Out. The beer is your choice. We encourage you to patronize…

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