Alexandria Living Sept

online.magazines

12 NEW DEVELOPMENTS

GOING UP

GET AWAY TO THE

FLORIDA KEYS

NEW RESTAURANTS

COMING TO TOWN

Back to

School...

Learn something

new at any age!

ALEXANDRIALIVINGMAGAZINE.COM

September / October 2021 $4.95


Living, Loving,

Listing Old Town

Lauren Bishop, McEnearney Associate

One of my favorite things about Old Town is

when the seasons change... and I don’t necessarily

mean just the weather. It’s the mood, culture,

and energy that comes out to greet us. It’s the

celebrations, holidays, and traditions. It’s the

community, friends, and neighbors. I love Old

Town, and love even more helping my clients

find a special place here to call home. Wherever

you are in life, your first home or third, connect

with me to talk about how I can help you with

your next move.

Lauren Bishop, Realtor® Tel. 202.361.5079 I LBishop@McEnearney.com I www.LaurenBishop.com

Old Town Alexandria 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 I tel. 703.549.9292

Equal Housing Opportunity


Knowledge Is Power – And We Are

All About Empowerment

If the education you seek is financial

in nature, look no further.

CommonWealth One has been recognized at the state and national level for excellence in financial

education – for youth and adults.

We’re committed to increasing financial literacy and providing educational resources for everyone

through our seminars, workshops, online resources and one-on-one financial counseling. It’s all

designed to improve your financial well-being.

Your financial health is important to us, and your success is our goal.

Let’s work together to improve your finances and help you get the most out of your money.

Whether you’re looking for advice about buying a car or home, need to cover the basics or

would just like to gain a deeper understanding of your financial world, we’ve got you covered.

Check out our free online financial education resources and free financial webinars at

cofcu.org/empowerment. And, if you need help funding an education, we have solutions for that too.

4875 Eisenhower Avenue

Alexandria, VA 22304

(800) 424-3334

Monday - Thursday: 8:30am - 5:30pm

Friday: 8:30am - 6:00pm

Saturday: 9:00am - 2:00pm

Membership eligibility required. Membership is free and open to all residents of Virginia

and their immediate family members. For complete details visit cofcu.org/membership.

Federally Insured by NCUA. Equal Opportunity Lender.

v08.21


Community @ Atrium offers gorgeous light filled offices

ALX

a rooftop terrace offering Old Town’s best views.

with

will love this unique multi-use building with an amazing

You

space, Café, fitness studios, penthouse conference

coworking

and rooftop workspace with outstanding views of the

center,

skyline.

Alexandria

Amenities

and Meeting Spaces

Event

Fast WiFi

Lightning

Friendly

Dog

Site Parking

On

Terrace with 360 Views

Rooftop

Access

24/7

Bike Storage

Secured

7 7 S W a s h i n g t o n S t

2

l e x a n d r i a , V A 2 2 3 1 4

A

Offices

Private

at $1.2k/month

Starting

Unlimited

Flex

$199/month

Only

to Scan

your

schedule

w w . a l x c o m m u n i t y . c o m

w

0 3 - 8 2 6 - 0 0 2 0

7

Perfect for teams of all sizes.

Beautifully appointed workspaces and offices.

Memberships

Experience

Coworking

Modern

tour now!


CONTENTS

8

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

There’s lots going on this fall

in and around Alexandria. Get

out and have some fun!

PHOTO COURTESY OF ELIZABETH KUKLA

PHOTO BY MARY ANN BARTON PHOTO BY CHRISTY KOSNIC

26

30

18

20

24

26

30

52

FOOD & DINING

Here’s a look at the latest on

Alexandria’s restaurant scene, with

a surprising number of new eateries

opening their doors soon in our city.

THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Writer Rachel Kester delves

into the mystery of the Eastern

Cougar in the region.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

A look at a fascinating topic that

most residents have likely never

heard about before: Alexandria’s

secret magnolia bogs.

PETS

We take a look at how man’s best

friend is trained to become a therapy

dog, service dog or facility dog.

HOME & GARDEN

Renovating a condo? Condo

owners must look at community

and space concerns among other

decorating considerations. Here’s

a look at a new and improved

kitchen, bath and home office.

TRAVEL

After being pent up the past

year thanks to the pandemic, an

unexpected 10-day girls’ trip to

the Florida Keys was heavenly.

Start planning your trip to explore

all the Keys have to offer now!

52

56

THE LAST WORD

We chat with the new owners

of the popular Grounded Coffee

Shop, located on Telegraph Road.

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

3


FEATURES

38

Back to

School

PHOTO COURTESY OF HARLEY-DAVIDSON

Heading back to the

classroom isn’t just for

the kids this fall. Looking

to learn a new skill?

We’ve got you covered.

45

Bigger,

Taller,

Denser

Alexandria continues to

grow, with new buildings

and developments on

the horizon. Here’s a

look at the latest.

ON THE COVER

Old Town Alexandria

streetscape

SOCIALIZE WITH US

facebook.com/alexandrialivingmag @alexlivingmag @alexandrialivingmag

PHOTO BY LAURIE COLLINS

4 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


Babs Beckwith

Old Town’s Real Estate Expert

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

Call Babs and put her expertise to work for you!

Babs Beckwith, Realtor ® Tel. 703.627.5421 I Babs@BabsBeckwith.com I OldTownAlexandriaLiving.com

109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 I off. 703.549.9292 I Equal Housing Opportunity


PUBLISHER

Beth Lawton

A Letter

from Our Founders

EDITOR

Mary Ann Barton

ADVERTISING

Cleo Chitester

Teal Griffey

Lora Jerakis

DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION

Jessie Leiber

PUBLISHING ASSISTANT

Susannah Moore

INTERN

Tess Lundgren

Alexandria Living Magazine is published six

times per year by Alexandria Living, LLC

©2021. 201 N. Union St., Suite 110

Alexandria, VA 22314. For newsstand

or distribution locations or to

subscribe for home delivery, go to

alexandrialivingmagazine.com/subscribe.

CONTACT US

info@alexandrialivingmagazine.com or

call 571-232-1310.

PARTNER WITH US

Alexandria Living Magazine fully supports

the local business community and offers

several unique ways to partner with

the publication.

• Sponsored articles and multimedia content

on the website, in our popular email newsletters

and on social media.

• Highlighted events in our events calendar,

email newsletters and social media.

• Sponsored real estate listings.

• Brand awareness through online banner ads

designed to boost your business.

• Contests, sweepstakes and giveaways.

To learn more about how partnering

with Alexandria Living Magazine can

help build your business, contact us at

ads@alexandrialivingmagazine.com or

call 571-232-1310.

PRESS RELEASES & TIPS

Send news releases and story tips to

maryann@alexandrialivingmagazine.com.

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE

Subscribing to Alexandria Living

Magazine is easy! You can go to

alexandrialivingmagazine.com/

subscribe to pay securely online

by credit card, or mail a check with

the subscription mailing address to

Alexandria Living Magazine, 201 N. Union

St. Suite 110, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Subscriptions are $14.95 for one year or

6 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021

$24.95 for two years.

It's time for fall in Alexandria! Whether

you're enjoying a stroll under a canopy of

autumn leaves, taking in a local fall festival

or enjoying a meal with family and friends

in the crisp autumn air at one of the City's

restaurants, a new season always feels like

a time to celebrate and start anew.

You'll want to start your look at this issue

with a perusal of some of the many events

coming up, including the Old Town Festival

of Speed & Style and the Hollin Hills House

+ Garden Tour (the magazine is a sponsor

of both and we're like you, we can't wait to

check them out!).

Even before Labor Day, you probably are

either sending kids back to school or recalling

those school days and all the excitement

that comes with it. Guess what? That feeling

doesn't need to end! There are fun and interesting

things to learn at any age, and we've

compiled quite the list of new skills you can

learn — from archery and motorcycling to

cooking and woodworking and a myriad of

other activities, starting on Page 38.

We are constantly amazed at the growth that

continues in Alexandria despite the pandemic.

In this issue, you can check out some of

the latest apartment, condo and retail developments

going up in and around Alexandria,

on Page 45. And don't forget to check out

our interactive map (scan the code on Page

45) online on our website.

Can you guess what one of the most popular

topics in the magazine and on our website

is? Dining, and even more specifically, finding

out about new restaurants opening in

Alexandria. We take a look at the surprising

growth on the restaurant scene, starting on

Page 18.

Writer Rachel Kester explores two intriguing

topics in this issue: The mystery of the

Eastern Cougar and Alexandria's secret magnolia

bogs, on pages 20 and 24, respectively.

We all know how Alexandrians feel about

their dogs — most pooches can't take a

few steps without getting a treat from a

local retailer or quenching their thirst at a

Beth Lawton, publisher, and Mary Ann Barton, editor

PHOTO BY MATT MENDELSOHN, TAKEN AT VIRTUE FEED & GRAIN.

water bowl left outside a Mom 'n Pop shop.

Susannah Moore explores some of the dogs

that go above and beyond — serving as facility,

therapy or service dogs, on Page 26.

With many condo-dwellers in our City, we

decided to explore some of the ins and

outs that some experience when it comes

to major renovations. We get a look at the

results with kitchen, bath and home office

makeovers, on Page 30.

With colder weather on the horizon, now

may be the time to plan an escape to a

warmer climate. You can't do better than a

visit to the Florida Keys. Come along with us

on a 10-day girlfriends' getaway, on Page 52.

One thing that Alexandrians take pretty

seriously — their coffee shops. One of our

favorites is Grounded Coffee Shop. Meet the

new owners in The Last Word.

With this issue, we are celebrating our third

year in print. The years are flying by! Thank

you — all of our advertisers, subscribers,

contributors and others in the community

who have helped us along the way.

Enjoy your fall, and we'll see you back here

in November!

Mary Ann Barton and Beth Lawton

Founders


Our Team

Meet some of the contributors to this issue.

LAURIE COLLINS

Photographer

RODNEY FISHER

Photographer

RACHEL KESTER

Contributor

Even if the name Laurie Collins doesn't

ring a bell, chances are you know the D.C.

native by her social media nom de plume

DCcitygirl on Instagram, where 136,000

followers check in on her amazing photography

of the area, including Alexandria. She

captured one of Old Town's iconic historic

streets for this issue's cover photo.

Rodney is an Alexandria resident who can

always be found at a local Fairfax County

park, most often at Huntley Meadows.

He has had a satisfying career as a health

care and education policy adviser in and

outside of Congress. Originally from Texas,

he discovered Old Town Alexandria on

a visit during the Christmas holidays. He

was so taken with its beauty, elegance

and history that he decided that this

was where he wanted to live...forever.

Rachel is a freelance writer from

Chesterfield, Virginia whose work covers

topics ranging from environment to travel.

She also reviews books, art and other

creative pursuits, often with a socio-environmental

focus. She enjoys exploring

Alexandria’s historic parks and browsing

the lively Old Town Farmers’ Market.

PHOTO BY SHANNON FINNEY

CHRISTY KOSNIC

Photographer

Christy is an interiors photographer in

the greater northern Virginia area. Her

love of architecture started young. At

5, she was drawing floor plans with her

home-builder grandfather. By the age of

7, she was seriously addicted to This Old

House. Architectural photography stems

naturally from Christy’s inherent love of the

spaces we live, work and play. In collaboration

with design professionals, Christy

seeks to capture the stories of those

spaces and the visions of the designers.

SUSANNAH MOORE

Contributor

Susannah has happily called Alexandria

home since 2015. She graduated from the

College of Charleston and has worked in

the political and legal fields and is excited

for the opportunity to rekindle her interest

in writing. For fun, she enjoys running

along the Potomac with her husband

or spending time with her rescue cat,

Cinnamon, and golden retriever, Kai.

STACY ZARIN GOLDBERG

Photographer

Art has always been a huge part of Stacy's

life. She has had her eye behind the camera

for as long as she can remember. She's

been shooting professionally for more

than 15 years and specializes in architecture

and interior design photography.

Her work has been featured in numerous

local and national publications, including

Architectural Digest, House Beautiful,

Vogue, and HGTV. Stacy currently lives in

the DC Metro area, where she grew up,

with her husband, two kids and three dogs.

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

7


EVENT KEY

Arts

Food & Dining

Family-Friendly

Film

Historic/Educational

Literature

Live Music

Nightlife

Pet-Friendly

Recreation & Outdoor

Shopping

Theater

Workshop

Be sure to check out some of the fall events taking place at Huntley Meadows Park, 3701 Lockheed Blvd. PHOTO BY RODNEY FISHER

FALL 2021

Calendar of Events

September

Yoga on the Magnolia Terrace

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

Through Oct. 30

Join Carlyle House’s yoga instructor every

Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. or

Saturday at 10 a.m. for an hour-long

Vinyasa Flow yoga on the Carlyle House

Magnolia Terrace. Bring water, a towel

PHOTO COURTESY OF CARLYLE HOUSE

and a yoga mat and wear comfortable

yoga-wear. Classes may be cancelled due to

extreme weather. Class is $10 per class or

$40 for a five-class pass.

Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St.,

novaparks.com/parks/carlyle-house-historic-park

Stigma Art Exhibit

Sept. 3-25

Stigma affects many different people

in many different ways, including those

with mental health disorders, HIV,

homelessness, disabilities and more.

Stigma can encourage bullies, racists,

sexists and systemic exclusion. The STIGMA

art exhibit features artwork that shines a

light on stigma — how it feels, how it can

affect and/or disrupt lives and how it can be

overcome.

Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave.,

delrayartisans.org

The Old Town Festival of Speed

and Style

Sept. 5 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The Old Town Festival of Speed & Style

highlights all the things that make Old Town

unique — history, architecture, great food,

8 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


CALENDAR OF EVENTS

fabulous people, art, style and energy.

The festival kicks off Saturday, Sept. 4 with

the King Street High Octane Ball, sponsored

by Alexandria Living Magazine and others

from 7:30-9:30 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 5,

view dozens of exotic cars on display along

the lower three blocks of King Street. At

the same time enjoy a presentation of

live music and fashion provided by more

than 40 local merchants with the Old

Town Boutique District. The festival is

free to attend All proceeds benefit USO

Washington-Baltimore and ALIVE!

SEP

10-19

Lower three blocks of King Street,

festivalspeedstylealex.com

Blood and Strikes: American Labor

in the 20th Century

Sept. 5 | 2 p.m.

From deadly mine explosions to wartime

strikes, the history of the 20th century

American labor movement is full of violence

and controversy. This Labor Day weekend,

learn about the struggle for workers’ rights

at the home of one of its most powerful

spokesmen, John L. Lewis. Face masks are

recommended. The tour is limited to 10

participants. Tickets must be purchased in

advance and are $10 per person.

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org

Creations and Libations

Sept. 5 | 2-8 p.m.

Support local artists and enjoy local

libations as artists take over The Garden

ALX for a pop-up. Featuring the work of

10-plus local artists setup throughout the

event space, workshop and patio, as well as

local craft beer and cider.

The Garden Alexandria, 5380 Eisenhower Ave., Suite

C, thegarden.net

American Smallsword

Symposium 2021

Sept. 11-12 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The American Smallsword Symposium

is in its sixth year and exists to bring

together instructors, scholars, current and

prospective students and other parties

interested in the study and practice of small

swords and related subjects. Along with

fostering a general interest, the goal is to

bring about a recurring event along the

lines of the annual Smallsword Symposium

held in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St.,

novaparks.com/parks/carlyle-house-historic-park

Old Town Cocktail Week 2021

Sept. 10-19

Old Town Business presents Old Town Cocktail Week: A Celebration of the

Local Cocktail Community. Throughout the week, there will be a collection

of seminars and tastings alongside in-store specials at local boutiques.

Everything will be ticketed (managed by each store with funds raised going

directly to each store).

Various locations in Old Town, oldtownbusiness.org/old-town-cocktail

Prohibition in Alexandria

Walking Tour

Sept. 11, Oct. 16 | 10 a.m.

Discover the forgotten stories of teetotalers

and bootleggers on this walking tour of

Prohibition-era Alexandria. Learn about

the dramatic campaign to ban alcohol in

Virginia which threatened a long tradition

of local alcohol production and sale. The

tour begins at the Lee-Fendall House, home

to the Downham family, who were once

one of the city’s most prominent liquor

dealers. Face masks are recommended.

The tour is limited to 10 participants and

lasts approximately an hour-and-a-half.

Walking tours take place rain or shine

so wear appropriate shoes and clothing.

Tickets must be purchased in advance and

are $15 per person.

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org

August Wilson’s 'Fences'

Sept. 11-25 | various times

The Little Theatre of Alexandria will present

this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, which

also won the Tony Award for Best Play. It

is set in the segregated 1950s, where Troy

Maxson, a former Negro League baseball

star, is scraping by as a sanitation worker.

"Fences" explores the walls we build

around ourselves and our loved ones, while

also illuminating one family’s struggles in a

racist society.

The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe St.,

thelittletheatre.com

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

9


CALENDAR OF EVENTS

PHOTO BY CHRIS MILITZER

SEP

18-19

Concerts at The Birchmere

Music Hall

Check out some of the performances

scheduled for September and October at

The Birchmere. Check The Birchmere’s

website for the latest information and a full

concert list. The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m.

Ticket prices vary.

SEPT. 1, 2

Jeffrey Osborne

SEPT. 5

The Marshall Tucker Band

SEPT. 8

Blue Oyster Cult

SEPT. 11

Madeleine Peyroux

SEPT. 14

Suzanne Vega

SEPT. 16

Dave Koz & Friends Summer Horns 2021

SEPT. 20

Amy Grant

SEPT. 23, 24

The High Kings

SEPT. 27

Christopher Cross

OCT. 1

Preacher Lawson

OCT. 4, 5

Toad the Wet Sprocket

OCT. 13, 14

Damien Escobar

OCT. 18, 19

Boney James

OCT. 22, 23

The Whispers

OCT. 25

Gordon Lightfoot

The Birchmere Music Hall, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave.,

birchmere.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON'S MOUNT VERNON

8th Annual Old Town Pub Crawl

Sept. 11, 18, 25 | 2-6 p.m.

Port City is excited to once again host

the 8th Annual Old Town Pub Crawl. The

crawls will be held in Old Town Alexandria

on three different dates. Each day will

feature four restaurants and/or pubs,

an exciting selection of ales and lagers, a

commemorative pint glass and shirt and

some small surprises along the way. Their

goal is to keep the annual tradition going

in 2021, creating a more personalized and

hands-on experience, with hopes of having

a larger pub crawl back in July 2022. Port

City will work closely with their participating

partners to ensure safety is the top priority.

Tickets are required and space is limited so

be sure to secure your spot.

Various locations, portcitybrewing.com

Beyond the Battlefield: A Civil War

Walking Tour of Alexandria

Sept. 18 | 9 a.m.

This walking tour shares the stories of

soldiers, citizens and self-liberated African

Americans in Civil War Alexandria. It covers

the military occupation, the conversion

of public and private buildings into

hospitals and emancipation. Face masks

are recommended. The tour is limited to

10 participants and lasts approximately an

hour-and-a-half. Walking tours take place

rain or shine so wear appropriate shoes

and clothing. Tickets must be purchased in

advance and are $15 per person.

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org

Colonial Market & Fair

Sept. 18-19 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Step back in time at Mount Vernon’s

Colonial Market & Fair, featuring food and

wares made by colonial artisans. The event

is free after paying for admission.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount

Vernon Memorial Hwy., mountvernon.org

19th Annual Alexandria Old Town

Art Festival

Sept. 18-19 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The 19th Annual Alexandria Old Town Art

Festival is heading back to John Carlyle

Square in 2021. All artwork is juried,

which provides a higher level of quality,

diversity and creativity of art on display,

exemplifying the gifted artists in regions

from all over the country. Admission is free.

John Carlyle Square, 300 John Carlyle St.,

artfestival.com/cities/Alexandria

Smithsonian Museum Day

Sept. 18 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Museum Day is an annual celebration

hosted by Smithsonian Magazine. The

Lee-Fendall House Museum will join

thousands of other museums and cultural

institutions across the country to provide

free entry to anyone presenting a Museum

Day ticket. Register for your ticket at

smithsonianmag.com/museumday/venues/

museum/lee-fendall-house-museumgarden/

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org

10 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


6115 Vernon Terrace

FOR SALE IN BELLE HAVEN | OFFERED AT $2,395,000

JANET CATERSON PRICE

NVAR Lifetime Top Producer | Licensed in VA | 703.622.5984 | JanetPriceHomes.com | Janet@JanetPriceHomes.com

109 S Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 | 703.549.9292 | McEnearney.com | Equal Housing Opportunity

S H O P L O C A L , S H O P S M A L L

M A D E I N A L X . C O M

G i f t s f o r a l l a g e s a n d a l l i n t e r e s t s

f r o m A l e x a n d r i a ' s i n d e p e n d e n t m a k e r s .

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

11


CALENDAR OF EVENTS

SEP

25

‘Warm & Cozy’ Pop-Up Shop at

Lost Boy Cider

Sept. 19 | 1-6 p.m.

Lost Boy Cider is hosting some of

Alexandria’s best makers, creators

and artists for a one-day pop-up shop

in partnership with Made in ALX, a

partnership of local crafters. The popup

shop will feature candles, blankets,

honey for tea and dozens of other items

to get you ready for the cold weather —

whenever it arrives!

Lost Boy Cider, 317 Hooffs Run Dr., lostboycider.com

and madeinalx.com

Carlyle House Yoga Mala

(Sun Salutations)

Sept. 25 | 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Hollin Hills House + Garden Tour

Sept. 25 | noon-6 p.m.

The Civic Association of Hollin Hills welcomes all to the largest mid-century

modern home and garden tour on the East Coast. Hollin Hills is an awardwinning

mid-century modern neighborhood in Alexandria. This self-guided

walking tour will showcase stunning examples of mid-century modern

architecture, landscaping and interior design throughout this unique

neighborhood listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and National

Register of Historic Places. Registration will start at 10 a.m. at Hollin Meadows

Elementary School (2310 Nordok Place). Tickets are $50 for regular and $80

for VIP.

Hollin Hills, hollinhillsmodern.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF HOLLIN HILLS HOUSE + GARDEN TOUR

Celebrate the equinox on your yoga mat

with a mala. Sign up for one hour or more.

Bring a towel, mat and water. You will need

to sign a waiver for each hour you attend.

Registration is required as space is limited.

Price is $15 per class.

Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St.,

novaparks.com/parks/carlyle-house-historic-park

National Wine and Food Festival

Sept. 25-26 | noon-6 p.m.

Join in the excitement of the 12th Annual

National Wine and Food Festival, bringing

together world-renowned chefs, artisanal

craftsmen and culinary pioneers with

thousands of Metro DC foodies. General

admission tickets are $39 and VIP tickets

are $89 on Saturday and $59 on Sunday.

National Harbor, Md., 802 National Harbor Blvd.,

nationalharbor.uncorkthefun.com

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day

Celebration

Sept. 18 | 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Alexandria’s Irish

heritage organization, the

Ballyshaners, is excited

to host a “halfway to St.

Patrick’s Day celebration”

featuring vendors, food, beer and the best

Irish music and dancers in town. Festivities

will take place rain or shine.

Waterfront Park, 1A Prince St., ballyshaners.org

First Annual Hollin Meadows

Swim & Tennis Club Gala

Sept. 18 | 5 p.m.

Hollin Meadows Swim & Tennis Club

is excited to host an evening of music,

beverages, food and silent and live auctions

to benefit the building of a new pool, tennis

courts and grounds to create summer

memories for generations to come. Tickets

are $75 in advance/$100 at the door

and are encouraged to be purchased in

advance. This is an outdoor event, rain date

will be Sept. 25. The gala is open to the full

community (no membership required).

Hollin Meadows Swim & Tennis Club, 2500

Woodlawn Trail, hollinmeadows.org

Life Guard Society Fall Gala at

Mount Vernon

Sept. 25 | 6 p.m.

Join Mount Vernon Saturday, Sept. 25,

for a gala evening in support of the

restoration of the bedchamber of George

and Martha Washington. The evening will

feature cocktails on the East Lawn of the

Mansion overlooking the Potomac River,

and a black-tie seated dinner on the Estate

grounds. In addition, there will be afterhour

tours of the Mansion with a Mount

Vernon curator leading attendees through

a viewing of some personal objects owned

by the Washingtons that are not normally

on display.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount

Vernon Memorial Hwy., mountvernon.org

12 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


Burgundy Farm Country Day School, we believe children learn best in an

At

creative, and nurturing environment that engages the whole child.

inclusive,

us for an upcoming Open House to learn more!

Join

by visiting: burgundyfarm.org/admission/open-house

Register

7 0 0 B u r g u n d y R o a d

3

l e x a n d r i a , V A 2 2 3 0 3

A

Finding All

Opportunities in a

Changing Market

JILLIAN KECK HOGAN

REAL ESTA TE GROUP

Licensed in VA, DC & MD

703.951.7655 I JillianKeckHogan.com

109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 I 703.549.9292

Equal Housing Opportunity

D I S C O V E R

U R G U N D Y

B

An independent JK through 8th Grade school

b u r g u n d y f a r m . o r g

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

13


CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Sips & Secrets: A Speakeasy Night

Sept. 25 | 7 p.m.-10 p.m.

This annual fundraising party celebrates

Lee-Fendall House’s Prohibition-era

history, when the house was home to one

of Alexandria’s liquor wholesalers (and

possible bootleggers). Highlights include

dancing to live jazz music, a costume

contest, 1920s-style cocktails and more.

The event will raise funds for the repair of

the museum’s 220-year-old brick garden

wall as well as support the museum’s

ongoing work in historic preservation,

education and community engagement. A

private VIP pre-reception will precede the

main event. Tickets are limited.

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org

OCT

2

George Washington Patriot Run

Sept. 26

Join Mount Vernon and patriotic

participants around the country for a

10-miler and 5K. The racecourse will

include both lanes of a five-mile stretch of

the George Washington Parkway from the

George Washington Parkway Circle to W.

Boulevard Drive. After the race, the Finish

Festival will offer music, food and beverage

concessions and a free beer for each

runner. This race is in-person, with a virtual

option for participants who are outside of

the area.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount

Vernon Memorial Hwy., mountvernon.org

Expanding the Common Ground:

Voices of the Global Majority

Art Exhibit

Oct. 1-30

The Expanding the Common Ground:

Voices of the Global Majority art exhibit

explores what makes us one, seeks the

common ground among us and examines

what it means to heal the divides. Local

artists and high school students present

artworks examining all facets of diversity

and celebrating unity.

Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave.,

delrayartisans.org

Homeschool Day – Archives

Oct. 1 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Lee-Fendall House Museum welcomes

homeschoolers for Homeschool Day.

The theme this fall, in honor of American

Archives Month, will focus on archives and

how people learn about history through

documents. Tours of the house will be

offered every hour starting at 10 a.m.

with the last tour starting at 3 p.m., with

a limited number of people per session.

Advance registration for a specific tour time

is required. Face masks are recommended.

Admission prices are: Adults (18 and older)

$3, students (3-17) $5 and children under

age 3 are admitted free of charge.

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org

PHOTO BY CHRIS MILITZER

Art on the Avenue

Oct. 2 | 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

One of the region’s top multicultural arts festivals will return to an in-person

event for its 26th year. Held each fall on Mount Vernon Avenue between

Hume and Bellefonte avenues, Art on the Avenue strives to reflect the

diversity of the Del Ray community through the artists and their work. This

year’s event will feature more than 300 local and regional artists. Live music,

international food, children’s activities and a pie-baking contest to benefit a

local non-profit round out the day’s activities.

Mount Vernon Ave., artontheavenue.org

Archaeology Family Day

Oct. 2 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Discover how archaeology uncovers the

past through family-friendly activities

at Mount Vernon. Sensory-friendly

accommodations will be made between

9-11 a.m. for visitors who need a quieter

experience. The activity is included with the

price of admission.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount

Vernon Memorial Hwy., mountvernon.org

14 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Spirits of Carlyle House

Oct. 8, 15, 22 and 29 | 6-8:30 p.m.

Carlyle House’s long and diverse history

is full of truths, myths and rumors that

makes it one of the most-visited places

on Alexandria’s ghost tours. Come and

experience a uniquely haunting tour of the

house and grounds by candlelight, perhaps

encounter the departed spirits of notable

residents and neighbors and hear their

tales of sadness and triumph. Reservations

are required; tickets are $10 and are

available on the website. Tours are on the

half hour.

OCT

30

Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St.,

novaparks.com/parks/carlyle-house-historic-park

Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour

Oct. 8-10 | 6-9 p.m.

Bring a blanket and relax while you enjoy

unlimited samples of Virginia wines on

the grounds of Mount Vernon after hours.

Attendees will also have the chance to meet

George Washington. Ticket prices are:

Friday: $49 members, $59 general public

Saturday: $53 members, $63 general public

Sunday: $43 members, $53 general public

VIP tables are also available.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount

Vernon Memorial Hwy., mountvernon.org

Beyond the Battlefield: A Civil War

Walking Tour of Alexandria

Oct. 9, 23 | 9 a.m.

This walking tour shares the stories of

soldiers, citizens and self-liberated African

Americans in Civil War Alexandria. It covers

the military occupation, the conversion of

public and private buildings into hospitals

and emancipation. The tour is limited to

10 participants and lasts approximately an

hour-and-a-half. Walking tours take place

rain or shine so wear appropriate shoes

and clothing. Tickets must be purchased in

advance and are $15 per person.

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org

Wait Until Dark

Oct. 16-Nov. 6 | various times

Set against the socially turbulent 1960s, this

play by Frederick Knott follows the story of

Suzy, a blind woman who, while left alone

in her apartment, becomes embroiled with

a group of con men hatching an elaborate

PHOTO COURTESY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON'S MOUNT VERNON

scam. As the tension mounts, Suzy must

fend for herself, but the phone line is cut

and the house is plunged into darkness.

Can Suzy outwit her murderous visitors?

The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe St.,

thelittletheatre.com

Fall Harvest Festival

Oct. 23-24 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Celebrate the crisp autumn season with

18th-century activities and demonstrations

at the farm at Mount Vernon. Beer making,

fish packing, spinning, textile-dying, cooking

and more will be featured. Cost is included

with the price of admission.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount

Vernon Memorial Hwy., mountvernon.org

Grief & Ghost Tours

Oct. 22, 23, 29 and 30 |7 p.m., 7:30 p.m.,

8 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Celebrate Halloween with a look at

Victorian mourning traditions coupled with

stories of tragic deaths and mysterious

occurrences at the Lee-Fendall House.

Customs such as draping the mirrors

after a death, funeral practices, hair

mementos, mourning clothing and séances

will be explored. These tours offer a rare

opportunity to see the house after dark.

Tickets are $15 per person. Tour groups

will be limited to 10 participants and tickets

must be purchased in advance. Face masks

are recommended.

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org

Fall Frolic

Oct. 30 | 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m.,

2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Enjoy some seasonal family fun in the

garden of the Lee-Fendall House during

Fall Frolic. Put on your Halloween costumes

and enjoy activities designed for children

ages 3-12. Activities include a “ghost” hunt,

crafts and a costume parade. Timed tickets

must be purchased in advance.

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon

Oct. 30 | 2-6 p.m.

Celebrate Halloween with 18th-century

entertainment and activities. Guests receive

a take-home craft and a bag of candy.

Tickets for adults are $17 for members or

$25 for the general public. Tickets for youth

are $9 for members or $15 for general

public.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount

Vernon Memorial Hwy., mountvernon.org

Keep an eye out for the annual

doggy-trick-or-treating in Old Town

hosted by The Dog Park store at

705 King St. and trick-or-treat for

the little ones hosted by Old Town

Boutique District.

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com 15


CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Fast Cars,

Hot Fashion

SEP

5

The Festival of Speed & Style is

returning to Alexandria on Sunday,

Sept. 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The car-and-fashion-show will take over

several blocks of King Street and Market

Square, featuring rare and unusual cars in

addition to fashion.

The event started in 2019 under the

guidance of Sonoma Cellar owner Rick

Myllenbeck. The event went into neutral in

2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event will include an eclectic mix of

Grand Touring sports cars from the 1950s

through the 1980s. Also included: “Exotic,

unique, rare and unusual modern-day

automobiles that draw people's attention

because they are wicked cool and

are rarely seen in public,” according to

event organizers.

The Festival of Speed & Style will raise money

for two charities: ALIVE! and the USO of

Metro Washington.

The USO is a volunteer organization that

focuses on keeping military members connected

to the people and places they love. In

addition, the USO hosts social and educational

events throughout the Washington

and Baltimore metro areas.

ALIVE! is an Alexandria organization that

focuses on helping those in need in the City

of Alexandria by providing food and a variety

of services to individuals and families.

For more information about the festival, visit

festivalspeedstylealex.com.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF OLD TOWN FESTIVAL OF SPEED & STYLE

16 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


We chose Melissa to list our beloved home of

24 years because her reputation of excellence

preceded her. From our very first conversation,

she instilled in us a confidence that we were being

expertly advised. From her hands-on approach

to preparing our property, to her creative

marketing strategies, to negotiating the terms

of an extremely smooth transaction, Melissa’s

guidance was spot on. Her communication was

thorough and effective and she was always

responsive to our needs and questions.

Our ability to fully rely on Melissa during a

period of major transition provided us comfort

and reassurance in otherwise uncertain times.

Melissa continually proved herself to be our

trusted advocate, and without hesitation we

would choose her again. We highly recommend

Melissa to anyone seeking a sharp, dedicated

professional to list and sell their home.

Camille and Jim M.

Yield a Higher Net Sale Price with

the Best First Impression

Melissa Shelby is an expert at preparing

your home for market. Through polished

presentation, critical positioning and

strategic pricing, you’ll be guaranteed

to impress the highest number of wellqualified

buyers from the moment your

home is launched.

Melissa Shelby

Realtor ® Licensed in VA

m: 703.627.0074

o: 703.229.8935

melissa.shelby@compass.com

melissasellsvirginia.com

Melissa.Sells.Virginia

MelissaSellsVirginia

Compass is a licensed real estate brokerage that abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. Information is compiled from sources

deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. Compass is licensed as Compass Real Estate in DC and as Compass in Virginia and Maryland.

1004 King Street Alexandria, VA 22314 | 703.229.8935


PHOTO COURTESY OF TACO BAMBA

Alexandria's Growing

Restaurant Scene

BY ALEXANDRIA LIVING MAGAZINE STAFF

Alexandria’s restaurant

community has changed over

the past few months. We

saw some openings, some

closings and more interesting

movements in the industry.

Here’s a look!

What’s Buzzing at Bradlee?

After Atlantis closed its doors in

January, after 40 years in business

at Bradlee Shopping Center, it didn’t

take long for a new business to take

interest in the spot. Signs popped up

stating “Have you heard the latest

buzzzzz? New neighborhood diner,

COMING SOON!”

Beeliner Diner is the new restaurant.

It will be run by a local company, but

the owners are not ready to release

details. For details, keep an eye on

alexandrialivingmagazine.com this fall.

Taco Bamba Coming Home

Alexandria residents are about to

have another option for Taco Tuesday.

Taco Bamba Taqueria is opening in

Alexandria’s West End later this year,

the company announced. The restaurant

will open its seventh location in

the Landmark neighborhood at 6259

Little River Turnpike. Chef Victor Albisu

reportedly worked in his mother’s Latin

market in the Landmark neighborhood

when he was growing up, so this

opening is a homecoming of sorts for

him. Taco Bamba will open in the fall or

winter, according to the company.

District Bagel Shop

Opening in Old Town

Call your friends and neighbors — and

your mother — and let them know that

Call Your Mother is expanding to Old

Town. The owners of 128 and 130 N.

Pitt St. confirmed the popular Districtbased

bagel shop will be moving into

1,800 square feet on the ground floor

of the building. The building has been

vacant since Helen Olivia Flowers

relocated to Del Ray two years ago. The

bagel shop, which also sells coffee and

sweets, describes itself as a “Jew-ish”

deli and is the creation of chef Daniela

Moreira and Andrew Dana, along with

partner Jeff Zients. They started out at

farmers’ markets before opening their

first location in DC’s Park View neighborhood

in 2018.

18 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


FOOD & DIINING

Historic Building Now

Home to Frozen Custard

This summer, a walk-up frozen

custard stand opened in

The Ice House building at 200

Commerce St. Goodies Frozen

Custard & Treats serves up

carry-out frozen custard, coffee

and baked goods. Goodies

is known for Wisconsin-style

frozen custard and treats like

the “donutwich” (an apple cider

donut stuffed with vanilla

frozen custard and topped

with caramel), sundaes,

shakes and floats.

Goodies started as a food

truck, self-described as

“Washington D.C.’s first

and only ‘Vintage Mobile

Eatery’ paying homage to the

Rock & Roll era.” The food

truck is available for events

(including weddings).

The Ice House was originally

the property of Mutual Ice Co.,

Alexandria’s largest ice distributor.

At just 300 square feet

inside, the building stored ice

before home refrigeration was

widely available. The Mutual

Ice Co. was founded in 1900

on the Potomac River waterfront,

selling ice to residents

and servicing rail cars along

the Potomac Yard rail line.

More Pizza? Yes, Please

Emmy Squared opened its doors this

summer at 124 King St., in the heart of

Old Town Alexandria, near the waterfront.

The restaurant features high

ceilings, brick walls, seating at tables,

booths and a bar and a friendly

and attentive staff. The menu includes

pizza, salads, appetizers and more.

Standouts included the Crispy Chicken

Crunchers appetizer and the Pepperoni

Pizza. The delicious pizzas come in thick

square slabs on wire racks.

In addition a new &pizza is opening

in Kingstowne (next to a new Chopt

Creative Salads venue), and another

&pizza in the Eisenhower East neighborhood

is in the works.

Jollibee to Open First Northern

VA Restaurant

The Filipino chicken restaurant

Jollibee is bringing its signature

Chickenjoy to Alexandria. Jollibee

will open in Lincolnia at the intersection

of Beauregard Street and Little

River Turnpike.

The building was previously occupied

by Boston Market. Jollibee has about

40 restaurants in the United States —

primarily in California — and more than

1,300 restaurants worldwide.

“Jollibee is best known for Chickenjoy,

which is delicately hand-breaded to

be crispylicious on the outside, with

a secret marinade making it juicylicious

on the inside. Every day, our

customers revel in the joy of our fan

favorites which include our sweetstyle

Jolly Spaghetti and scrumptious

Peach Mango Pie made with real

Philippine mangoes,” according to the

company’s website.

“Parallel to our mission to spread the

joy of eating across the globe, we are

all about family. As we expand, we

continue to forge partnerships with

local community organizations to be a

catalyst that spreads joy and the family

values we espouse wherever we go.”

The only other Jollibee restaurant in

Virginia is in Virginia Beach.

Bob & Edith’s Expanding to

Old Town

You can never have enough diners,

and we were excited to hear Bob &

Edith’s will open an Alexandria location.

Coming to 1743 King St., it will take

over the spot where Ernie’s Original

Crab House, which closed in April,

was located.

Elo’s Italian Opens Pop Up

The owners of Live Oak in Del Ray

opened Elo’s Italian Pop-Up over the

summer, serving up Italian favorites

from 4-9 p.m. Tuesday through

Saturday on their patio and for pickup.

Chadwicks Adds Outdoor Dining

The Alexandria City Council approved

Chadwicks’ plan this summer for a

new outdoor dining area, which the

restaurant is hoping to open soon.

The outdoor seating for 70 guests was

expected to be located at the front of

the restaurant, at 203 Strand St., and

on the side, partially in Gilpin Alley.

Chadwicks plans to include quiet outdoor

speakers to provide background

music in the outdoor dining areas.

What’s Next?

Hank & Mitzi’s, located at 600

Montgomery St., closed its

doors. “Opening a restaurant in the

middle of a global pandemic was not

without challenges and even with dedicated

staff and loyal customers we find

ourselves needing to pause, regroup,

and determine the best way to move

forward in this space,” the restaurant

said in a statement.

In addition, Rosemarino D’Italia closed

its doors in Del Ray, in part due to the

pandemic. The restaurant’s Dupont

neighborhood location in the District

continues operations.

Be sure to check our website

for the latest dining updates!

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

19


THE NEIGHBORHOOD

The Mystery of the Eastern

Cougar in Alexandria

BY RACHEL KESTER

In 2014, a potential Eastern

Cougar sighting close to

Riverside Elementary School

on Old Mount Vernon Road

went viral. School authorities

canceled outdoor recess out

of an abundance of caution.

Almost instantly, the county

set up cameras to confirm if

this fabled animal was back to

reclaim its territory.

Even though many believe this creature

to be rare, most are surprised to

learn that they were once common

to the area. Before their extinction,

Eastern Cougars lived in countless

areas near the community, such as

the Shenandoah, Blue Ridge and the

Allegheny Mountains. While these are

hours away, cougars can walk great

distances and they easily made the

long journey to Fairfax County’s forested

borders.

However, as early settlers began to

spread through the region, it proved

to be the beginning of the end of

the Eastern Cougar. Their consistent

presence led them to be perceived as

a menacing predator that would prowl

around at night in search of cattle and

people. Consequently, bounties were

provided by local governments to incentivize

hunters.

Eastern Cougar kits. PHOTO BY DAVID SCHINDLE FOR THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

Despite the broad belief that the hunts

would make the community safer, it

ended up being counter-intuitive, as

suggested by Rick Hopkins, president

of The Cougar Fund: “You don’t make

people or cattle safer by killing cougars.

If you hunt them too much, you

increase the number of sub-adult males

who tend to cause the most trouble so

conflict will go up.”

But why did the cougar disappear from

Alexandria?

Didn’t the nearby forests and mountains

provide enough room?

What is often forgotten is that during

the start of the 20th-century these now

lush wildernesses, like Shenandoah

National Park, weren’t always forests

but sprawling farms. As Edward Clark,

founder of The Wildlife Center of

Virginia, explained, “The advancement

of European colonists in these areas

turned their forests into pastures, pushing

the cougars westward.”

In an attempt to mitigate these disappearances,

the Eastern Cougar Recovery

Plan was developed. This 1982 project

did not succeed despite its best efforts,

and today, the effects of the cougar’s

absence are clear. For instance, you

might notice a recent influx of whitetail

deer in Northern Virginia — and while

intriguing, these creatures can wreak

havoc on farms and be road dangers.

The cougar diet managed the deer

population which kept their numbers

under control. Without them, the deer

population continues to increase, leading

to serious issues not only for their

own herds, but for humans, too.

While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

officially classifies the Eastern Cougar

as extinct, that doesn’t mean there’s not

a hidden colony somewhere, including

perhaps near Alexandria. This belief

is still a cause for debate as experts

vary in their opinions, although most

lean toward the extinction side of

the argument.

20 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


THE LOCAL

LENDER

Puma. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

Clark, for instance, declares that the

Eastern Cougar is gone and never coming

back, largely because it doesn’t coexist

well with humans. Hopkins agrees on

this point but doesn’t necessarily concur

with Clark on the complete absence of

the cougar from the area.

“A population is a somewhat self-sustaining

and breeding region,” he says.

“Cougars move great distances and

we’ve seen South Dakota cougars move

as far as Oklahoma.” Their thoughts

might differ but one thing’s clear:

Cougars need adequate space and privacy

if they’re to thrive.

There’s a slight possibility that against

all odds cougars have discovered a

well-hidden spot along the East Coast to

prosper. Because of its scope and terrain,

it can be difficult for even modern

explorers to track cougars. This could

provide hope that somewhere concealed

in its landscape there’s a small population

still unknown.

New research has also shown that

Western Cougars (basically cougars that

live in the West) are slowly moving back

East. While this doesn’t necessarily mean

a rebound, it could lead to nearby mountains

and forests seeing occasional cougars

once more. But, with development

booming along the Eastern Seaboard,

chances are slim. Cougars need space

and it would be hard for them to travel

in these areas without running into

sections where they could be killed or

spooked away.

So what about those mysterious cougar

sightings in Alexandria? More than

likely, they’re just bobcats passing

through. But cougar enthusiasts, don’t

despair. There’s still a sliver of a chance

that these encounters are much more

significant and could be an outlier of a

close-by population.

The next time you venture around the

city or glance out your window during

the evening, that quick flash of fur

you see out of the corner of your eye

might not be a figment of your imagination,

but rather a unique glance at

Alexandria’s past and perhaps its

secretive present.


Toni provided first

class service to ensure that

our loan application was

completed accurately. She

made the loan application

process as smooth as

possible and provided

guidance throughout

the process. Toni is very

proactive and will return

your calls as soon as

possible. Toni does not

hesitate to help you as soon

as you can. Toni even came

to our closing to show a sign

of support which is very rare

these days.

Don’t look elsewhere

as Toni comes highly

recommended. We will not

hesitate to use her again

in the future.

-Gary S.

Alexandria, Virginia

Mortgage Banker

NMLS#1083974

D: 703.466.4016

C: 703.402.6970

Toni.Miller@amerisbank.com


All loans subject to normal credit approval


SPONSORED

Experience Renewal, Rather

Than Retirement, By The River

Opening early 2022, The Landing

offers a wellness-focused lifestyle,

with options for Independent

Living, Assisted Living, Memory

Care & The Bridge.

“The Landing is redefining senior living by

focusing on renewal, rather than retirement.

The brand-new community, located

at 2620 Main Line Boulevard, is now leasing

and offering pre-opening incentives for

Founders Club members.

The Landing will offer Independent

Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care &

The Bridge, a transitional model of care,

all in a rental model with no long-term

commitment.

In this wellness-focused community, residents

are invited to relax, unwind, refresh

and enrich their lives by enjoying the

on-site full salon and day spa, fitness and

wellness center, restaurants, landscaped

terraces and art studio.

A WELLNESS-FOCUSED LIFESTYLE

Imagine calling a 5-star hotel home.

Wake up with a cup of coffee sipped on

your private balcony overlooking the

Potomac River.

Stroll down to the Thrive Fitness &

Wellness Center and enjoy a gentle yoga

class followed by a guided meditation.

Shower off and head to the full-service

salon, where an expert stylist awaits you.

A fresh blowout leaves you feeling beautiful.

On a whim, you decide to swap out

your nail polish for a new hue to match

your outfit.

You meet a friend for lunch at one of The

Landing’s three signature restaurants –

Delano’s, Riverside Café, and Pilot’s Pub –

each offering chef-driven menus featuring

regionally inspired cuisine, local ingredients

and health-conscious (and delicious!)

options like a custom mocktail menu.

Your mid-afternoon treat is a full-body

Swedish massage at the day spa. An hour

flies by as you lose track of time, your senses

immersed in the soothing atmosphere.

In a zen state of mind, you head outside

to one of the landscaped verandas and

grab a seat with a view to jot down a few

thoughts in your journal. Your doodles

inspire you to sign up for a lesson at the art

studio tomorrow.

You finish a wonderful day by meeting

friends for sunset drinks at the Skyline

Terrace before heading downstairs

for dinner.

DISCOVER THE DIFFERENCE

The Landing’s leasing gallery is located at

950 N. Washington Street, Suites 213 &

214, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. To learn

more, visit landingalexandria.com or call

(571) 577-6011.

22 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


Modern, Refined

Senior Residences—

Coming Soon.

Reimagine the Possibilities for

Independent and Assisted Living.

Debuting in 2022, The Landing is a

refined contemporary community

for seniors with possibilities just as

breathtaking as the views. Here, in

one of the D.C. area’s most desirable

neighborhoods, Independent Living

and Assisted Living go beyond what

you ever expected: world-class dining

options; a spa, salon, and fitness

center; enriching activities and outings.

The Landing: senior living, redefined.

To learn more, please contact

us at 571-577-6011.

landingalexandria.com

2620 Main Line Blvd. Alexandria, Virginia 22301 | 571-577-6011

INDEPENDENT LIVING · ASSISTED LIVING · THE BRIDGE · MEMORY CARE

A SILVERSTONE/WATERMARK RETIREMENT COMMUNITY

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

23


Alexandria’s

Secret

Magnolia Bogs

PHOTOS BY ROD H. SIMMONS

BY RACHEL KESTER

After grabbing their journals

and magnifying glasses on their

way out, early 20th-century

conservationists would hop

on the newly installed electric

trolleys around Alexandria to

visit a recent magical discovery

— magnolia bogs.

Once they arrived at their destination,

the researchers would quickly walk

through the bustling area to enter a tiny

secluded portion that, to the untrained

eye, looked like nothing more than a

muddy swamp.

After stepping inside, the loudness of the

city dissolved and the scientists found

themselves engulfed in an otherworldly

atmosphere that mimicked a Costa

Rican rainforest. The grounds were dim,

but the light gaps peeking through the

treetops provided just enough space

for sunbeams to reach through so they

could study its habitat.

Spanning no more than 1 acre in size,

early residents originally called these

natural wonders “magnolia swamps”

after the plentiful Sweetbay magnolias

growing around them. It was the

early 1900s when biologist Waldo Lee

McAtee gave them their official name

of magnolia bogs. McAtee was one of

the first to document these areas and

spent years trekking through the region

to write about their history, condition

and location.

But, over time, the grandeur of the

Alexandria bogs faded and they became

only a memory as development increased.

Today, one of the last of these,

the Beatley Bog, is fighting to survive.

Despite their rich history and importance

in the local ecosystem, many in the

area are still unaware of the existence of

these unique micro-ecosystems.

Fundamentally, the acidic bogs are a

testament of the Ice Age with most of

their topography and plants reflecting

this period. In fact, they’re some of the

rarest in the world because they thrive

exclusively within the East Coast’s Fall

Zone. Thanks to this setup, they have a

distinctive filtering system that strains

large quantities of rainwater that come

from upland terraces. As the water flows

along the clay terraces, they remove any

sand and gravel away before it falls into

the bogs.

Today, the main force behind preserving

magnolia bogs is Rod Simmons,

Alexandria’s Natural Resource Manager

and Plant Ecologist, who has spent more

than 30 years investigating them. In spite

of his decades of research, Simmons

is still amazed at the new discoveries.

Some of his most notable experiences

24 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


THE NEIGHBORHOOD

have been uncovering species that have never been

recorded or were thought to have disappeared

forever. He also fondly remembers coming across

century-old artifacts left behind by early magnolia

bog explorers.

Simmons explains that Alexandria has had a significant

loss of magnolia bogs simply due to human development

as well as mismanagement. Throughout

the 1900s, there were countless scattered around

the city. While the first surveyors didn’t give them

a specific name, they would track their location.

Because of this, we know there were bogs near

Hunting Creek, Hume Spring in Four Mile Run Valley,

Taylor Run, Lake Barcroft and Turkeycock Run, to

name a few. Scientists would hike through these

mostly now-vanished spots and collect rare flora like

Virginia bunchflower, nodding ladies’ tresses, white

fringed orchids and swamp sunflowers.

Simmons also describes magnolia bogs as biodiversity

hotspots that provide a habitat for a myriad

of rare dragonflies, damselflies, crustaceans and

birds. This makes them a favorite hideout for yellow-crowned

night herons, rusty blackbirds and little

wood satyrs.

In spite of their remarkable ecosystem, magnolia

bogs are unfortunately fragile environments

because anything that disrupts their hydrologic

supply (like pipe installations) harms their existence.

Besides this, invasive plants (especially poison ivy)

threaten their rare flora. Magnolia bogs are resilient

but any intrusions take their toll.

What is the main culprit behind the extinction

of magnolia bogs? In most cases, ignorance. The

National Park Service oversees one site at Oxon

Run, but despite an investment of over $29 million

two decades ago to protect it from the Metro, it is

still struggling to flourish.

Besides this, man-made adjustments of the tidal

plains have often redirected water resulting in

erosion and sediment deposition. Stormwater runs

have also proven to be troublesome. While magnolia

bogs are primarily filled by rainwater from nearby

springs, toxic pollutants on roads and landscapes

will get washed away and eventually drain into

them. As Simmons points out, “The water we have

isn’t created, just renewed. We don’t get more of it.”

Magnolia bogs might seem insignificant but they’re

a critical piece of Alexandria’s culture and environment.

As with so much of our local heritage, what

we have is unique and irreplaceable and these

strange, uncelebrated tiny swamps just might be

one of the jewels in that crown.

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

25


PETS

Calming

Canines

BY SUSANNAH MOORE

Therapy dogs, service dogs,

facility dogs: We recently delved

into the important distinctions

between these calming canines

and found out about a couple of

them serving right here in the

Alexandria area.

If you’ve spent time at ALX Community’s

coworking offices along the waterfront

in Old Town Alexandria, you may have

noticed a lively, reddish-brown Vizsla

hanging out with his owner, Elizabeth

Kukla. The pup, Dieter, is more than

just a beloved pet, he also works with

Kukla as a therapy dog. He offers a

monthly “De-stress with Dieter” event at

the office.

Therapy dogs are not breed-based but

behaviorally based, which means that

temperament is most important when

determining if a dog would make a good

therapy dog. That being said, some

breeds lend themselves better to the

job than others because they have been

bred to enjoy human interaction.

“If you specifically want to get a dog

to do therapy dog work, I would pay

attention to what breeds are in your dog

because purebred dogs and mixes of

purebred dogs are going to have traits of

what they were bred to do, and different

breeds of dogs have different tendencies

and habits,” explained Kukla.

Dieter. PHOTO BY SARAH MARCELLA

Vizslas like Dieter are bird-hunting

dogs but are also known for being very

friendly and people-pleasers. Kukla was

inspired to train her dog to be a therapy

dog after her sister did therapy dog work

in Alexandria with her Golden Retriever.

One of Kukla’s main motivations to

train Dieter was to visit people in

nursing homes, which was her favorite

place to take him prior to the

COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of people in nursing homes ... a

lot of times they will have to give up

any pets that they have. The Alliance of

Therapy Dogs — their slogan is ‘Sharing

Smiles and Joy’ — and I think the most

true place I’ve seen that is at a nursing

home,” said Kukla.

The Alliance of Therapy Dogs

(therapydogs.com) is one of two national

organizations that can certify a dog as a

therapy dog. The second is Pet Partners

(petpartners.org). Kukla said both do

great work, but she decided to go with

the Alliance of Therapy Dogs because

they have less dietary and other restrictions

on their therapy dogs.

Kukla encourages owners interested

in doing therapy dog work with their

dog to start training them as young as

possible. Puppies should get exposed to

all kinds of people, places, objects and

situations and should be taught basic

obedience skills.

She recommends getting the AKC Canine

Good Citizen program and test which

is a good baseline. While training is not

necessarily required, it helps a lot with

passing the test to become a therapy

dog, which includes testing on practical

skills and three site visits. Once a dog

passes the therapy dog test, dogs are required

to do therapy work at least every

three months, submit yearly vet records

and a renewal form.

Kukla says that Dieter knows when

it’s time to be in work mode. He has a

special collar that he only wears when

26 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


Dieter and Elizabeth Kukla his owner winning awards at various competitions. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ELIZABETH KUKLA

What about emotional

support animals (ESA)?

Emotional support animals do not

require any training and simply

require a doctor’s or therapist’s

note. They provide comfort and

support to owners struggling with

a physical or mental health issue.

ESAs used to be allowed on airline

flights but recently many airlines

have banned ESAs in the cabin

including Alaska Airlines, American

Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier

Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest

Airlines, and United Airlines.

he’s doing therapy work. “When he sees

that and you take him into a facility he

is much more calm…it’s like something

switches in his brain,” she said.

You don’t have to be a dog owner to

contact one of the therapy dog organizations.

If you are simply looking for a

therapy dog to visit your school, nursing

home or other place, you can reach out

to the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and they

will connect you with a local therapy dog

and handler.

Therapy dogs vs. service or

facility dogs

Therapy dogs should not be confused

with service dogs or facility dogs (which

are a type of service dog) who perform

an important service for an individual

owner or are assigned to a specific

professional health care, visitation or

educational setting.

These dogs undergo intensive training

from birth and are often bred specifically

for that purpose. In fact, therapy dog

handlers can lose certification for misrepresenting

their dogs as service dogs.

It is also a class 4 misdemeanor according

to Virginia law.

Two-year-old Labrador/Golden Retriever

mix Rylynn recently joined the Fairfax

County Department of Family Services

as a facility dog. Specifically, she works

with children and families going through

sexual abuse investigations. Rylynn

was bred and trained by the non-profit

organization Canine Companions ® which

provides service dogs, hearing dogs,

facility dogs, skilled companions and

assistance dogs for veterans at no cost

to the recipient.

Rylynn and other Canine Companions ®

dogs are always Labrador Retrievers,

Golden Retrievers or a mix of the two

and are bred by the organization in

California. At 8 weeks old, the puppies

are sent to live with volunteers who raise

the puppies until they are approximately

a year-and-a-half old.

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

27


PETS

Sam Carrico and Rylynn. PHOTO COURTESY OF CANINE COMPANIONS ®

PHOTO COURTESY OF FAIRFAX COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF

FAMILY SERVICES

Then, the dogs attend a six-month-long

professional training program at one

of the organization’s six centers located

across the country. There, the dogs

learn 40 commands and are taught to

pull wheelchairs, open and close doors,

retrieve items and other essential skills.

After the six-month training, the dogs

attend a two-week long team training,

where they are observed and matched

with their recipients; the recipients

then learn how to work with their dogs.

Rylynn was matched with Samantha

“Sam” Carrico, LCSW, who works with

the Fairfax County Department of

Family Services.

“So we got matched on the second or

third day,” she said. “They had us all

sit down on the floor with the dog bed

and had different dogs rotate through.

Rylynn is the calmest dog I have ever

met and I think they just knew because

of her personality she would be

perfect for child protective services,”

Carrico explained.

Rylynn has already sat in on an interview

with a child victim and Carrico said that

she automatically knew to go over to the

child and get petted and then sat under

the child’s chair. “You can definitely see

the anxiety subside,” Carrico said.

“I think even just petting the dog…the

dog is a great ice breaker to make the

child comfortable. We can talk about the

dog, what does the dog like to do? What

do you like to do? Do you have pets?

Especially for children that are young or

are reluctant to talk, it is a great way to

bond with them and get them talking.”

Rylynn will work with children through

the lifetime of their case and be there

for interviews and court appearances

to support the child through what can

often be a very traumatic experience.

Rylynn and Carrico will have to undergo

continual training at various intervals

— six months, one year and then every

three years — to keep up their skills and

maintain certification.

Canine Companions ® maintains ownership

of the dogs for as long as they

are working, but Rylynn gets to live with

Carrico as a pet when she isn’t working

and enjoys swimming, walking and playing

in her backyard.

She can’t go to dog parks because she

wouldn’t know how to interact with

aggressive dogs and the dogs are not

necessarily vaccinated. Sometimes, she

gets to have play dates with another

facility dog, Virgil, who works at the

SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center of

Fairfax County.

Facility dogs like Rylynn usually work until

they are 8-10 years old, depending on

their health. When Canine Companions ®

decides that it’s time for Rylynn to retire,

Carrico can decide to keep her as a pet

or return her to Canine Companions ® .

Carrico emphatically confirmed that she

definitely plans to keep Rylynn when

that time comes!

28 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


205 S. Union Street | Alexandria, VA | 703.838.9788

www.markswoods.com


HOME & GARDEN

Before

Modern &

Functional

Condo owners have space, community concerns

when remodeling.

BY BETH LAWTON

With an eye toward

functionality and modern

design, Case Architects &

Remodelers recently worked

with the owners of a condo in

Carlyle Towers in Alexandria to

bring new life to a bathroom

and kitchen.

Unlike a single-family home, renovating

a condo can be a bit more restrictive.

“The biggest design challenge is not

being able to move certain things, such

as plumbing or ductwork or sprinklers,

as sometimes they are shared by multiple

units,” said Elena Eskandari, who

worked with April Case Underwood on

the project.

“That is why we try to keep things like

sinks and toilets in the same location,”

she noted. Both women are directors of

project development at Case Architects

& Remodelers.

In addition, they said, many condo

buildings have restrictions about work

hours (especially when the work can be

noisy), use of the freight elevator and

security. To compensate, Eskandari said

her company builds in some extra time

for projects in condo buildings.

The Kitchen

Unable to move plumbing around,

Eskandari and Underwood lucked

out with the sink already being under

the window — the preferred location,

they said. They were able to move other

elements, though, including the refrigerator

and ovens, to create more counter

space around the cooktop and sink. The

kitchen was just 105 square feet, which

meant storage and functionality were

both highly important.

Going for a more contemporary look,

the cabinet finish is a thermally fused

laminate with low-profile pulls on the

30 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


ALL PHOTOS BY STACY ZARIN GOLDBERG

upper cabinets. The hardware on the

lower cabinets and drawers was inspired

by the black tempered glass that was

used as the peninsula top and backsplash.

(Those materials were black

lucite and chrome by Hickory Hardware.)

Black stainless appliances from

KitchenAid pulled the design together.

Unlike the common black appliance

finish, black stainless showcases the

stainless texture. (A bonus is that black

stainless appliances show fewer fingerprints

and smudges than the more

common gray stainless appliances.)

To add storage, Eskandari and

Underwood installed a pullout cabinet

with storage next to the refrigerator that

served as functional “filler” between the

ovens and fridge. This allowed the refrigerator

door to open fully.

A new floor tile brought the look of the

new kitchen together. “We managed

to find a floor tile that matches the

rest of the condo perfectly,” Eskandari

noted. “We removed old brown tile that

previously split the kitchen in the middle

(a result of the previous remodel). Now

the flooring is seamless throughout the

space, which makes everything look

more cohesive.”

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

31


HOME & GARDEN

The Bathroom

The bathroom footprint didn’t

change much from the original, but

Underwood and Eskandari removed

walls and found space to make the

bathroom feel larger.

With space at a premium and aiming

for a clean, modern design, Eskandari

and Underwood removed a wall

between the toilet and the vanities,

which opened space to install larger

vanities with more storage.

Before

32 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


We love the homes we

do - everything from highly

traditional to rock star!

They also removed a solid wall that was separating the shower

and the tub and replaced it with a glass panel. By happy luck,

they also found a space behind the shower, allowing them to

add a bench without taking space from the shower.

Modern design elements also made the bathroom feel bigger.

“The floating vanities are popular, and not only in a modern

setting,” Eskandari said. “They allow the eye to travel all

around the room, creating an illusion of a larger space.”

Call us and let us help

you love your home!

SERVING ALEXANDRIA

FOR 25 YEARS

703-299-0633

janetbertin@decoratingden.com

janetbertin.decoratingden.com

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

33


SPONSORED

Venue Alexandria

Adds Modern Flair

to the Timeless

Charm of Old

Town Alexandria

A new collection of condominiums

and townhomes in Old Town

North — plus a new home for

renowned MetroStage theater.

Few places in the DC metro area

have the allure and historic charm

of Old Town, Alexandria and even

fewer can provide the striking

design and central location that

homeowners demand. Only Venue

has it all.

Located along the banks of the Potomac

River, Venue sits at the heart of Old Town

North. Located just blocks from historic

Old Town and the shops and dining of

King Street and adjacent to the Mt. Vernon

Trail allowing for easy access to one the

region’s most famed trails.

It’s a rare opportunity for an ideal Old

Town lifestyle with a modern flourish

— and people are taking notice. With

Phase I completely sold out, Venue is now

releasing its second phase of homes to

those looking to experience the best Old

Town has to offer.

Venue's unique selection of homes is

what has made the community so alluring

for many. Regardless of household size,

there is a well-designed home available

— either within the main condominium

tower, The Residences at Venue, or within

the surrounding townhomes, The Towns

at Venue.

The awe-inspiring 13-story high rise is

home to 119 condominium residences.

Available homes range from 1- to

3-bedrooms and up to 2,300 square feet

of bright, open spaces featuring floorto-ceiling

windows and refined finishes.

Residences in the tower are available from

the $500s to $2.7 million.

Also included at The Residences at Venue

is a portfolio of on-site amenities. The

rooftop sky lounge is a spacious outdoor

terrace, furnished with fireplaces and

seating to take in the 360-degree views

from above, including a sweeping vista

of the Potomac River. Other amenities

include bike storage and a dog wash.

Flanking the main tower are 41 newly

constructed townhomes. A select few of

these spacious homes come complete

with an in-home elevator and up to 4 bedrooms

and 5 baths, ranging from 2,300 to

nearly 4,000 square feet. All townhomes

include a 2-car garage and private rooftop

terrace. Townhomes at Venue start from

$1.4 million.

Upon completion, Venue will also be the

new home of MetroStage, a revered local

theater company with three decades of

history in Old Town North. Best known

for their innovative productions, this

critically-acclaimed group will be bringing

its talents to Venue. Here MetroStage will

deliver original productions and adapt

celebrated favorites. With both floor and

gallery seating available, the intimate

space can offer seating for an audience of

120 people each night.

Over 70% of the homes at Venue have

been sold and construction is underway at

the future location: 925 N. Fairfax Street,

Alexandria, VA 22314. Interested buyers can

get a glimpse of what awaits in the model

unit, available for viewing by appointment at

the sales center located at 314 Montgomery

Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. The sales

team can be reached at 703.214.6655 or via

VenueAlexandria.com.

34 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


HOME & GARDEN

A Better

Home Office

BY BETH LAWTON

Spending so much time at

home in the past 18 months has

forced a lot of homeowners to

reevaluate their space. Among

them: Sarah Mazzochi.

“Once the pandemic hit and we were

working from home full time, I wanted it

to be a better work-from-home space,”

said Mazzochi, who owns a small,

one-bedroom condo in Del Ray.

“So that meant things like adding an

accent wall to be something more

interesting to look at during Zoom calls,

and cutting into my kitchen’s drywall to

make more shelving, which makes cooking

from home much easier,” she said.

Working with designer Basma Masood,

owner of Basma Interiors, Mazzochi

renovated her small condo to add color

and functionality.

“We’ve all been inside homes that feel

either cramped or too vacant. I didn’t

want that. With small spaces, to make

them really livable, everything must be

‘just-so.’”

Mazzochi has been working from

home since March 2020 and has only

gone into the office a handful of days

in the past 18 months. Teleworking

may be the norm for her and her

co-workers, she said, even once we’re

“back to normal.”

What’s the best thing about

this renovation?

Mazzochi: That everything is

multipurpose and is there to bring joy

to the eye. That was really important

to me, since it’s been my sole visual

landscape for the last 18 months – I

have to like looking at it and being there.

For example, my dining room table is

also my home office, which meant my

dining room chairs needed to be pretty

but comfortable at the same time.

PHOTOS BY CHRISTY KOSNIC AT @CHRISTYKOSNICINTERIORS

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

35


SPONSORED

Before

The Decorating Conversation

I’m Jan Bertin and welcome to

The Decorating Conversation. I

decided on that as the title to my

column because that’s precisely

what I hope to engage in with you:

A conversation. And the subject,

your home, has lots of different

dimensions: The things that

make it special to you and what

you’d like to change to make it

more beautiful or comfortable or

functional. And, yes, even what

you absolutely can’t stand about it

and has to go now!

For some of you, the conversations we’ll

be having in this space about issues that

matter to you might be your first time

talking (albeit indirectly) with a decorator.

Over my 25 years working here in Old

Town and before that in the New York City

suburbs, I’ve learned that we decorators

can be seen as intimidating. Or as too expensive

or snooty or overly fussy types. I

hope to show you that such isn’t the case.

My philosophy is that you set the tone

with your likes, dislikes, needs, sentimental

attachments and budgets. My

job becomes to lend my experience, my

expertise and my guidance to your efforts.

Those are some of the elements that

make any relationship work and interior

decorating is no exception.

As we decide on the scope and options

for your project, the elephant enters

the room. What’s all this going to cost?

Experience has taught me that this is the

biggest obstacle that keeps people from

getting in touch with an interior decorator.

Experience has also proven that it is the

easiest to overcome.

Yes, we’d all love to have the finest of

everything. And no, we all eventually give

in to reality. Where I enter the equation

is in presenting my clients options that

work within a realistic framework. Just as

you wouldn’t expect to walk into a dealer

showroom with $10,000 and drive out

with a Rolls-Royce, you can’t realistically

expect Amazon pricing when working with

a decorator. But working with a decorator

most certainly doesn’t imply you’re going

to be paying Rolls-Royce prices.

Here’s how the balance is struck. We

do the legwork of sorting through the

thousands of options available to you

for fabrics, paint, wallpaper, furnishings,

flooring and carpeting, contractors of all

36 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


SPONSORED

Before

descriptions and suppliers of everything

from lighting to plumbing.

And all of it is done based on

the budget we arrived at initially.

In the end, all of that legwork,

combined with the collective experience

and varied but complementary

visions my colleagues

and I bring to an engagement,

begin to describe the principal

ways we as full service decorators

add value to the effort.

The project photos you see here

brought all of the elements I

described into play. Working

with – and adding to – customer

vision. Working within budgets

that make sense. Handling

the logistical elements that

can derail a project. Providing

the hand-holding and psychic

support that always are needed

at some point in a project. In a

nutshell, that’s what we do and I

have only begun to describe how

we do it.

Now, let’s get on to the fun part.

Please tell me what’s been on

your decorating radar. In upcoming

pieces, we’ll be dealing with

the universal subject of creating

more storage spaces into existing

rooms; how to make rooms

multifunctional spaces, and we’ll

give you a look ahead into what

you can expect to see next year

after I return from the furniture

market in North Carolina

this fall.

But that’s just what’s on my

mind. I’m more eager to

learn what’s on your mind, so

please get in touch with me at

janetbertin@decoratingden.com

with your questions and observations

and I’ll cover them here.

Thanks for reading and I’ll talk

to you soon.

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

37


PHOTO COURTESY OF SUR LA TABLE

38 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


Back

to School

Learn Something New, at Any Age

Alexandria resident Renee Hendly always

had a passion for cooking, but it wasn’t

until her husband, Scott, passed away that

she truly embraced it.

With the encouragement of her adult children, Hendly

enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education in New

York City. While working part time remotely (her day

job is in research), Hendly learned everything from

knife skills to how to create health-adaptive dishes

and more.

“It has been an amazing experience. When the alarm

goes off, I am so eager to go and see my friends — and

we’re all learning together. It’s really a positive environment.”

The experience has been rewarding and healing

for her, she said.

Hendly is completing an externship at Daniel Boulud’s

flagship restaurant, Daniel, in New York City. Neighbors

have been drooling over her Facebook posts the past

several months, eager for her to return to Alexandria

and start her second career.

“I would like to go into the culinary business — and

what I’d like to do in Alexandria, in particular, is a

restaurant that has an outdoor patio, really good food,

pretty food, alternative food and wine,” she said. “Just a

place where people want to come in and hang out.”

Moving to New York or going back to school may not

be in the cards for everyone, but there are a lot of

benefits to learning new things, even if it’s picking up a

new hobby or taking a single class.

Reading, learning and picking up new activities is good

for your health. A Harvard Business Review piece

noted that reading can reduce stress levels, and both

mental and physical activity can help delay symptoms

of cognitive decline. Learning new skills as we age is

associated with improved memory, as well.

Learning is also good for you socially, writes author

John Coleman, who has written extensively on passion

and purpose. “I’ve noticed in my own interactions

that those who dedicate themselves to learning and

who exhibit curiosity are almost always happier and

more socially and professionally engaging than those

who don’t.”

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

39


Cake Decorating

Looking to up your game when it comes

to birthday parties and other celebrations?

Learn to decorate cakes like a

pro at Fran’s Cake & Candy Supplies in

Fairfax, which features cake-decorating

classes from Cake Decorating 101 to an

Open Sugar Peony Class. 10927 Main St.,

Fairfax; 703-352-1471; franscakeandcandy.com.

Cooking

Sur la Table offers in-store classes at its

Pentagon Row store. Each class is 2 to

2.5 hours and you’ll work in groups of

four. Beginning in September, here’s a

small “taste” of classes that are coming

up: Flavors of the Greek Isles, Savoring

Vietnamese, Homestyle Fried Chicken

and Parisian Steakhouse. Sign up fast,

classes fill up quickly. 1101 S. Joyce St., B-20;

703-414-3580; surlatable.com/cooking-classes/

in-store-cooking-classes.

Looking for something a little more

intimate? You can book private classes

or small group classes with your friends

through Judy Harris Cooking School

in the Fort Hunt neighborhood. judy@

judyharris.com; judyharris.com.

BY MARY ANN BARTON

}

Kids aren’t the only ones

who are going back to

school this fall. There

are countless classes out

there just waiting for

you. Always wanted to

ride a Harley? How about

knit a sweater? Or fly

on a trapeze? If you’ve

thought about it, chances

are, there’s someone out

there who will teach you

the ropes. We recently

went in search of classes

that anyone can try this

fall. School’s in session!

Archery

You may have taken up the bow and arrow as

a kid at summer camp, but have you touched it

since? The NOVA Fencing and Archery Club in

Falls Church is the closest option for Alexandria

residents offering introductory classes, private

lessons and competitions. 3501 Carlin Springs Road,

Falls Church; 703-999-8077; novafencingclub.com.

Fairfax County Parks & Rec also is also offering

an archery class at Burke Lake Park this fall.

Beekeeping

The movement to save our pollinators, from

bees to butterflies, is strong in Northern Virginia.

If you love honey and gardening and you have a

little bit of space (or know someone who does),

beekeeping may be right for you. It’s a real commitment,

but the beekeepers behind Alexandria

Honey Co. tell us it’s worth it. The Northern

Virginia Beekeepers Association offers low-cost

classes about everything from hive health to

equipment. nvba@novabees.org; novabees.org

Creating Art

Unleash your inner artist with a class

at Alexandria’s Art League. They have

a class (both virtual and in-person)

for every genre – from sculpture and

painting to jewelry-making, drawing

and photography. 305 Madison St.;

703-683-2323; theartleague.org.

40 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


You may also consider Del Ray Artisans

for a variety of creative classes and

workshops for all ages both in-person

and online. 2705 Mt. Vernon Ave.; 703-838-4827;

delrayartisans.org.

Dancing

A small studio on Dove Street has

become home to multiple dance companies

here in Alexandria, including

the Local Motion Project, AVA Dance

Company and The Lion’s Den.

Founded by a former professional dancer,

Alexandria’s AVA Dance Company offers

dance classes for adults from jazz to

hip hop. Lessons are available for dancers

of all levels and backgrounds. 2377 S.

Dove St., avadanceco.com.

The Lion’s Den offers classes in unique

disciplines such as jookin’ and belly

dancing. thelionsdendmv@gmail.com;

lauren-devera.com/thelionsden.

The Local Motion Project offers a variety

of adult and youth classes. For adults,

this includes dance, somatic movement,

aerial hammock and a variety of workshops.

703-299-0017; localmotionproject.org.

Fencing

Did the Summer Olympics get you

dreaming of your own gold medal?

The Virginia Academy of Fencing offers

classes for all levels at its Springfield

campus. VAF’s Olympic Sport fencing

program includes group classes and

private lessons in foil, sabre and epee.

703-321-4922; vafinc.com.

(NOVA Fencing and Archery Club,

mentioned above under Archery, is

another option!)

Floral Arranging

You say you love beautiful flowers but

your arrangements are just so-so? Time

to sign up for a floral design workshop

from Alexandria florist Helen Olivia.

You sign up for the class, your flowers

are delivered to you (or you can pick

them up the day of class); and you can

follow along live on Instagram. 1519

Leslie Ave. 703-548-2848; helenoliviaflowers.com/

workshop-landing.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SOFT LANDING STABLES

Flying an Airplane

Located at Potomac Airfield in Fort

Washington, Maryland, GT Aviation

flight school offers classes for those

who want to get their pilot’s certificate.

The school offers both a monthly plan

or hourly rates. The airfield is just a

20-minute drive from Alexandria, across

the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. 10300

Glen Way, Friendly, Md. 301-248-1711

Email: info@gt-aviation.com; gt-aviation.com.

Flying on a Trapeze

So, you went to the circus when you

were a kid and you always wanted

to fly through the air? At the Trapeze

School, first-time students are outfitted

with a safety belt and practice their

“take off” on the ground. Students

are connected to safety lines at every

step of the way — from their first step

on the ladder until they roll off the

safety net below. Standard lessons last

two hours and involve 10 students.

Sessions are available for all levels. 520

Tingey St. SE, DC; 202-479-6861; washingtondc.

trapezeschool.com; dcoffice@trapezeschool.com

Foreign Languages

For so many of us, learning a foreign

language was little more than a high

school or college requirement — something

we got through and promptly

forgot. In our increasingly multicultural

world, maybe it’s time to get back into

learning a foreign language. From

American Sign Language and Arabic to

German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish,

Northern Virginia Community College

has classes to help. 5000 Dawes Ave.

(Alexandria campus); nvcc.edu

Horseback Riding

Owned by Bonnie Erbé, Soft Landing

Stables in Accokeek, Maryland, is just

over the river from Alexandria and has

been in business for 15 years. They

offer horseback riding lessons mainly

to adults, depending on which horses

are available for riding. 207 Farmington Road

West, Accokeek, Md. 703-944-9456

Adults can also take lessons at Meadow

Wood Stables in the Gunston Cove area

and in Rock Creek Park in Washington,

D.C. Go online for more information

about these programs.

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com 41


Diving is for you. Blue Octopus Scuba

offers Discover Scuba sessions in a

local heated, indoor pool. While not

a scuba certification course, Discover

Scuba Diving is a quick and easy introduction

to what it takes to explore

the underwater world. 4154 Duke St.

703-461-3483; blueoctopusscuba.com/courses

Looking to ride the waves instead of

diving under them? For surfing classes,

you’ll have to travel a bit. The best

offerings within a short distance are

in Virginia Beach. Start at visitvirginiabeach.com

to find a wide variety of

options for all skill levels.

PHOTO COURTESY OF FIBRE SPACE

Knitting

Fibre Space in Old Town Alexandria

offers several beginner knitting classes

each month. Three 1.5-hour classes

are $75 (and you’ll walk away with a

scarf you made yourself!). You can shop

in-person or online for yarn and knitting

needles if you don’t already have those

items on hand. Fibre Space also offers

classes in crochet and more. 1319 Prince St.

703-664-0344; fibrespace.com

Motorcycle Riding

Harley Davidson offers a New Rider

Motorcycle Course in Manassas and

Fairfax, no experience needed, according

to Chris Taylor, a spokesman

for the Manassas dealership. “A good

place to start is someone who can ride

a bicycle for balance,” he said. There

is one instructor for six people in each

class, which consists of book-learning

and on-site riding on dealer-provided

motorcycles on empty school and shopping

mall parking lots. Classes attract all

ages — from age 16 to retired couples

in their 70s. “For some, it’s a check off

their bucket list,” Taylor said. Classes are

$429; bikes start at about $9,500 and go

all the way up to $50,000. patriodhd.com/

learn-to-ride; bullrunhd.com/riding-academy.

Piano Playing

(or Another Instrument)

If you haven’t played piano since you

were a kid (or maybe not even then),

Li-An Chen Piano Studios might be your

ticket to learning how to play the piano.

One student, now 50, notes that her

husband gave her piano lessons for her

birthday and she was playing in a recital

in less than three months. 4654 Kirkland

Place (703) 835-2729; li-anchen.com

Playing in a Rock Band

Fulfill your teen dreams of rocking out

by joining the School of Rock Music

Camp for Adults, for anyone over

age 18. Students of every skill level

learn how to take the stage and work

toward a real performance played in

front of a live audience. 3260 Duke St.

(571) 376-7625; locations.schoolofrock.com/

alexandria/music-camps.

Scuba Diving

Have you always wondered what it’s

like to breathe underwater? If you

want to try scuba diving, but aren’t

quite ready to take the plunge into a

certification course, Discover Scuba

Sewing

Tired of spending so much money to

get your pants hemmed? Want to create

your own dresses? Stitch Sew Shop in

Old Town Alexandria offers group and

private lessons, from how to thread

a needle to using a sewing machine.

1219 King St.; stitchsewshop.com.

42 42 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


Skateboarding

Skateboarding is the newest Olympic

sport and something a lot of us tried as

teens. As long as you have pads for your

knees and elbows — and a good helmet

— you can be the coolest adult on your

block. Royalty Skateboard School, part

of the GoSkate network, offers private

and group lessons for all ages, including

at the Duke Street Skate Park in

Alexandria. They can also teach you to

skateboard in the privacy of your own

driveway. royaltyskateboarding.com.

Wine 101 (Oenology)

If you want to expand your wine vocabulary

beyond “red or white,” you might

consider signing up for the Introduction

to Wine Basics course offered by Capital

Wine School. Check out their many

classes for beginners here: capitalwineschool.com/which-course-is-right-forme/#beginner.

5207 Wisconsin Ave., NW, DC.;

(202) 792-5020; info@capitalwineschool.com.

PHOTO COURTESY OF HARLEY-DAVIDSON

Woodworking

Woodcraft in Springfield offers

woodworking classes for all

skill levels in everything from

woodturning and hand tools to

router techniques, woodworking

fundamentals and sharpening.

Check out classes offered

here: woodcraft.com/stores/

washington-dc-area/classes. 5248 Port

Royal Road, Springfield; 703-912-6727.

Welding

There are plenty of opportunities

to pick up a torch and create

masterpieces of metal. Start at

The Garden, operated by Building

Momentum in Alexandria’s West

End, offers private and small

group welding classes that focus

on a group or individual challenge

to solve and build. The Garden

also offers “Wine & Welding”

couples events. 5380 Eisenhower Ave.,

Suite C, thegarden.net/training.

Where Adults Can Learn

When’s the last time you sat down with the course

catalogue from Northern Virginia Community

College? Or flipped through the Parks & Rec

guides from Fairfax County Parks Authority or

the City of Alexandria? Here are just a few of the

classes being offered this fall that caught our eye…

Northern Virginia Community College

Automotive Engineering & Mechanics; Ceramics;

Film Production; Interior Design; Photography;

Public Speaking

Fairfax County Parks & Rec

Dance (including Ballroom, Hula, Country &

Western and Swing); Golf; Guitar; Ice Skating;

Martial Arts, including Indonesian Kung Fu;

Pickleball; Swimming

Alexandria Parks & Rec

AquaSpin; Fencing; Hula Hoop; Pickleball;

Roller Skating

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

43


WHY RIDE

So you can

find the perfect

date night spot.

We’re increasing bus

frequency, improving

connections and

going fare-free!

Discover the New

DASH Network at

dashbus.com/newnetwork.

44 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


BIGGER,

TALLER,

DENSER

Cranes above Duke Street. PHOTO BY BETH LAWTON

Across Alexandria and Southeast Fairfax County, construction

companies are working to build new apartment and condo

buildings and retail developments. Some projects that were

planned as office buildings are turning residential, as the

coronavirus pandemic upended the way many people work.

Here are just a few of the biggest developments underway

and upcoming in our region, and those that have drawn the

most interest from our readers.

At alexandrialivingmagazine.com/development, our

interactive map now has more than 70 development projects

noted with descriptions. Check out the online map to see

what’s going up in your neighborhood!

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

45


DEVELOPMENT KEY

1. Landmark Mall

6. Potomac Yard

MAP BY JESSIE LEIBER

2

2. Upland Park

7. GenOn Plan

3. Seminary Road

Afforable Housing

4. Mount Vernon

Village Center

5. Arlandia Afforable

Housing

8. The Heritage

9. Wegmans

10. Huntington

11. South Alex

12. Grovetown

3

1

46 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


4

5

6

7

9

8

10

11

12

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com 47


Potomac Yard Virginia Tech Campus (map #6) Residences at North Hill (map #13)

1 Landmark Mall

After more than 15 years of planning,

replanning and replanning again,

there’s real hope that Landmark Mall

will be demolished. In late December

2020, the City of Alexandria and

Inova Hospital announced that Inova

Alexandria will build a new hospital

and trauma center on the site of the

former Landmark Mall. Other parts of

the Landmark property will be used

for residential and retail development,

parks and civic uses, including

a new fire station. The hospital could

open in 2028. Other construction will

start and could open sooner. The

“old” Inova Hospital in Alexandria’s

Seminary Hill neighborhood will be

sold to a residential developer.

3 Seminary Road Affordable

Housing

The Alexandria Housing Development

Corp. is planning to build 40 residential

units and 15 townhome-style

homes. The project will be built just

east of the fire station and Francis

Hammond Middle School and could

provide an opportunity for lower-income

residents to get on the property

ladder through a special ownership

program. One of the current

properties on that block is owned

by Sheltered Homes of Alexandria

(which operates a group home for

intellectually or developmentally

disabled clients), and some of the new

units would be transferred to SHA.

Construction could be completed

in 2024.

5

6

2 Upland Park

Developer Hekemian is moving

forward on building a new residential

neighborhood and park on land

occupied by a number of small single-family

homes in Alexandria’s West

End near the intersection of North

Beauregard Street and Seminary

Road. Just one-tenth of a mile down

the road, Monday Properties is developing

a residential complex at 2000

N. Beauregard St. that will include 300

residential units. It replaces an office

building. The company also owns

buildings at 1500, 1600 and 1800 N.

Beauregard St. that may be redeveloped

at a later date.

4

Mount Vernon Village

Center

Mid-Atlantic Realty Partners is seeking

to redevelop a shopping center in the

2800 block of Mount Vernon Avenue

— near Mom's Organic Market —

into a mix of retail and multifamily

residences in a project dubbed Mount

Vernon Village Center. The site is currently

home to a shopping center and

supporting parking lot that contains

MOM’s Organic Market and several

other stores. The proposal calls for

the demolition of the existing buildings

and the construction of 23,332

square of ground floor retail including

a spot for a grocery store and 593

residential units.

Arlandria Affordable

Housing

The Alexandria Housing Development

Corp. is working toward building

hundreds of new affordable housing

units at the intersection of Mount

Vernon Avenue and West Glebe Road.

AHDC has signed a letter of intent

with the owner of 221 West Glebe

Road and 3610-3612 Mt. Vernon Ave.

3700 Mt. Vernon Ave., a city-owned

property, is also involved. These

properties include Sherwin Williams

(formerly Safeway) and El Cuscatleco

restaurant. Construction could be

completed in 2024. The number of

apartments is projected at more

than 450.

Potomac Yard

Work continues on the $1 billion

Virginia Tech Innovation Campus and

surrounding residential, retail and

office developments at Potomac Yard.

Developer JBG Smith started construction

in January on the massive

redevelopment project on the 20-acre

site. The movie theater was torn

down earlier this year to make room

for new buildings.

48 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


South Alex (map #9) Wegmans (map #10)

7 GenOn Plant

9 Wegmans

11

8

Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP),

based out of the Chicago suburb of

Northbrook, Illinois, announced the

purchase of the old Potomac River

Generating Station (PRGS), a 20-acre

site at 1400 N. Royal St. in North Old

Town.The site was purchased from

Potomac Electric Power Company

(Pepco), which will retain a small

portion of the site in order to run

an electrical substation. The project

could include housing, commercial

office, dining and retail, and public

open space along the Potomac River.

Hilco does not expect to break ground

on any buildings until at least 2023

and full development could take 7 to

10 years.

The Heritage

Asland Capital Partners is moving

forward on plans to replace the

current garden-style apartments (The

Heritage) near Wilkes Street Park with

a much larger mixed-income community,

including affordable housing.

The project has been through

much back-and-forth with the Board

of Architectural Review, which has

requested numerous changes to

the size, scope and design of the

project. The number of apartments

in the project has been reduced and

the plans call for 750 housing units

in the project. The project has been

approved by city council and current

residents could start to be relocated

as early November 2021.

10

The most anticipated grocery store

opening in years is coming to the

Carlyle neighborhood. A Wegmans

grocery store is under construction

now as part of a larger, mixed-use

project on a 5-acre site, according to

developer StoneBridge Associates.

The grocery store has signed a lease

for the 84,000-square foot store at

Carlyle Crossing, just north of the

popular AMC movie theater. Expect

several hundred residential units in

multiple new apartment buildings, a

dog park and additional retail, too.

Wegmans is expected to be completed

in 2022.

Huntington

Huntington could be nearly unrecognizable

in some spots in the next

decade, as plans call for the redevelopment

of the Huntington Club and

several new high-rise apartment and

condo buildings. One proposal in

the neighborhood calls for building

1,400-1,500 residential units and

360,000 sq. ft. of office or retail in the

area surrounding the Metro station

between North Kings Highway and

Huntington Avenue.

12

South Alex

Combined Properties was making

significant progress on the new South

Alex residential and retail development

when a five-alarm fire in 2019

caused $48 million in damage and

significantly pushed back the project

timeline. Originally set for completion

this year, the developer does not

yet have a completion date for the

project, but describes South Alex as

“a vibrant mix of distinctive shops and

residences in an art-inspired setting

of bright community spaces.”

Groveton

Between Belle Haven and Hybla

Valley, several developers are working

on multiple different projects, primarily

along Richmond Highway. In anticipation

of Bus Rapid Transit in the

coming years, Fairfield Residential,

Pennrose and other developers are

bringing new apartments, condos and

townhomes to the area. In addition,

Fairfax County officials are considering

building a new fire station with

an adjacent emergency shelter that

has drawn both support and criticism

from neighbors.

See the interactive map at

alexandrialivingmagazine.com/

development for details

about each project.

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

49


SPONSORED

Alexandria’s Old Town North neighborhood, the area’s best kept secret, is brimming with life as it becomes a cultural hub

for recreation and the arts. Nestled along the waterfront, this vibrant community is undergoing rapid transformation to

become the city’s first official Arts District, designed to encourage enlightened engagement for both artists and residents.

The most exciting addition to the neighborhood is Muse—a stunning boutique condominium community that offers

residents premium access to the Alexandria waterfront and Old Town North’s growing restaurant and retail scene.

With construction well on its way, the 73 luxury residences are scheduled to deliver in late 2021, with prices starting in

the $800,000’s.

Each of the 29 unique floor plans, ranging in size from

920 to 2,000 square feet, feature an open-concept design

and distinctive finishes.

These well-appointed residences are built with 9 to

19 ft. ceilings and a wall of functional windows, giving

homeowners exclusive panoramic views of the Potomac

River and historic Old Town. Spacious balconies easily

accommodate patio furniture so residents can enjoy

spending time outdoors while admiring the beautiful

landscape below.

Inside you’ll find 7.5-inch-wide engineered oak flooring, custom designer lighting, large bedrooms, spacious closets and

full-sized laundry and powder rooms. Kitchens feature expansive quartz countertops, state-of-the-art Bosch® appliances

and handmade Snaidero® cabinets imported from Italy.

Spa-like owner’s bathrooms, adorned with a neutral color palette, include stunning vanities with LED light mirrors and

quartz countertops and high-end Waterworks ® fixtures. Select floorplans include stand up showers with spa benches,

Kohler® tubs, Calacatta porcelain tile floors, and decorative accent tiles.

50 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


Residents at Muse will enjoy a variety of

amenities including a penthouse lounge

with an outdoor terrace that offers

expansive water views. The top floor will

also include an indoor-outdoor fitness

center, complete with a dedicated space

for yoga and personal training sessions.

A 24-hour concierge and building

attendant will offer white glove service,

ensuring every request is accommodated

with a smile. Additional amenities

include a fully equipped pet spa, package

room, private storage, resident parking

and more.

Muse will be comprised of two distinct buildings with glass, brick and panel facades, connected by an enclosed bridge that

sits above an outdoor “Arts Walk”, which will feature open space seating, a sculpture garden, and space for art on display.

The building’s first floor will be home to The Art League and house art studios and galleries, providing space and equipment

for a medley of artisans and craftspeople, both professional and aspiring. These spaces will host private classes, art

exhibits and special events open to the neighborhood.

With the Mt. Vernon Trail just steps away, residents have direct access to a number of parks and trails along the waterfront

to engage in recreational activities like running, biking and relaxing by the water to watch the sailboats float across

the river.

Sales have officially begun at Muse and

over 30% of the building units have

already sold.

Interested home-buyers can schedule a

private appointment at the Muse sales

gallery where they can explore the different

floor plans on a touchscreen display,

choose their unit on the 3D building

model, view an array of interior finishes

and get a sneak peek of the amazing

waterfront views that Muse will offer.

Don’t miss the unique opportunity

to own a beautiful condominium on

the waterfront in Old Town North

and be among the first to call the

Alexandria Art District home. To learn

more and to schedule your visit, visit

www.museoldtown.com.

(Muse Condominium is being developed by Carr Companies and was designed by Bethesda-based SK&I Architecture.

Interior design is by Akseizer Design Group of Alexandria)

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

51


Girls Escape

to the Conch Republic

The ocean views are beautiful from a Sebago catamaran sunset sail in Key West.

STORY & PHOTOS BY MARY ANN BARTON

When my friend Nan told me

she was heading down to

Marathon in the Florida Keys

for 10 days but her husband

couldn’t get away, I jumped at

an invitation to take his place.

Add Nan's sister, Sandi, and we

were ready to head to Florida

for a girls’ getaway.

Connected by 42 bridges just south of

Miami, the Keys are the largest coral

reef chain in the country, ending at

Key West, the southernmost point in

the continental United States. While

the Keys are a great place to visit if

you’re into a tropical laidback lifestyle,

you’ll also find water sports, fishing, art

galleries, history, architecture, great

food, marine life, shopping and more.

The Florida Keys have always been

somewhat independent. In 1982, Key

West momentarily seceded from the

United States in response to the border

patrol stopping cars to purportedly

search for illegal drugs or illegal aliens,

resulting in a 17-mile traffic backup.

Although the secession was temporary,

the state of mind was not and you'll see

the Conch Republic flag flying proudly.

With that independent lifestyle in mind

as the backdrop for our getaway, we

flew into Fort Lauderdale on a two-hour,

40-minute flight on Southwest Airlines

out of Reagan National and rented a car

for the three-hour drive down U.S. 1 to

The Reach Key West hotel features murals and other

artwork by local artists.

Marathon. We stopped for tacos and

margaritas at Senor Frijoles in Key Largo

and made Marathon our home base.

Key West is about an hour’s drive south.

After a trip to a local grocery store, we

settled into our hotel in Marathon (more

about that below). It’s hard to squeeze

in everything we did in 10 days here, but

here’s a look at some of the activities,

dining and accommodations we experienced

that you can also try.

52 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


Things to Do

Conch Tour Train

303 Front St., Key West

An injured sea turtle swims at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon.

This 75-minute tour is the perfect way to

find out all there is to know about Key West

— the fascinating history about everything

from the free-roaming roosters you'll hear

crowing everywhere you go to the Harry

S. Truman Little White House and Ernest

Hemingway's home.

Dolphin Research Center

58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key

See dolphins up close; founded as a

nonprofit corporation in 1984, the goal is

to ensure the dolphins have a home and

establish a unique education and research

facility. Research is conducted on behavioral

engagement.

Kayaking Eco Tour at Lazy

Dog Adventures

5114 Overseas Highway, Key West

Guests enjoy live music on a Sebago sunset sail in Key West.

A great spot to explore the mangroves and

see manatees. Be sure to wear a swimsuit,

water shoes, a hat, a sun shirt and plenty of

sunscreen.

Sebago Land's End Sunset Sail

205 Elizabeth St., Key West

The beautiful sunsets in the Keys are an

event, whether it's in Key West at Mallory

Square or elsewhere. There are several

sunset sails and Sebago's, aboard a 70-foot

catamaran, does not disappoint with live

music and refreshments. Buy a ticket at the

waterfront.

Turtle Hospital

2396 Overseas Hwy., Marathon

Guides at Lazy Dog Adventures take kayakers out to see mangroves and manatees in Key West.

Sea turtles that are injured, many hit by

speed boats, are brought to the hospital for

rescue and rehabilitation. Some undergo

surgery, which we watched during a tour

from behind a glass partition in a program

supported by visitor fees. In addition to

a talk about sea turtles, you'll also get a

chance to see and feed some of the recovering

turtles.

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

53


Dining

Barnacle Barney's Tiki Bar

The Hammocks Marathon Resort

1688 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL

Hidden away at The Hammocks

Marathon Resort, be sure to try the

Key Lime Colada, a frozen concoction

created after two Key Lime pies were

smooshed in transit to the bar. Mary Jo,

the manager, created the drink that is

now the most popular on the menu.

Chef Michael's

81671 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada

The best-tasting meal during our trip

was at this popular upscale spot on

Islamorada, where you must make a reservation.

Be sure to try the Hogfish, "the

fish" of the Keys, and the carrot cake.

First Flight Island

Restaurant & Brewery

301 Whitehead St., Key West

The fresh seafood was out of this world

and beautifully presented at this lovely

venue with outdoor seating under Key

West's signature Banyan trees. The historic

spot served as the birthplace of Pan

American World Airways.

Four Marlins

The Reach Key West

1435 Simonton St., Key West

This lively oceanfront restaurant with

indoor and outdoor seating is open for

breakfast, lunch and dinner, including

a happy hour and Sunday brunch. The

restaurant's name was inspired by the

four marlins caught by author and Key

West resident Ernest Hemingway on

his boat the Pilar, named for one of

his wives.

Il Postino

Isla Bella Beach Resort

1 Knights Key Blvd., Mile Marker 47,

Marathon

This restaurant beat out all others

when it comes to its ambiance next to

the water with twinkling lights, a sandy

beach and friendly service. We wanted

to return for happy hour and live music

during our trip but ran out of time.

Patrons of First Flight Island Restaurant & Brewery

in Key West dine under native Banyan trees.

Kermit's Cafe Kitchen

200 Elizabeth St., Key West

For the past 30 years, Kermit Carpenter

has been in the business of all things

key lime including of course key lime

pie. Hands-down, Kermit serves the

best key lime pie in the Keys. Find a seat

by the koi pond and enjoy! Next door

is Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shoppe.

Keep your eyes peeled for Kermit himself

— he's dressed in Key Lime green

from head to toe.

Lighthouse Grill

Faro Blanco Resort

1994 Overseas Hwy., Marathon

The best dessert during our trip was

served here — not key lime pie, but

chocolate-covered pistachio ice cream

that is not on the menu, but was recommended

by our waiter.

This delectable lobster dish is on the menu at First Flight in

Key West.

Robbie's Marina

77522 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada

The main attraction at this sprawling

restaurant and bar, the Hungry Tarpon,

is feeding the tarpon from the dock.

Even though there is a sign not to feed

the pelicans, they elbow their way onto

the docks to the delight of the young at

heart. Great brunch spot.

54 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


Accommodations

Guests at The Reach Key West enjoy swimming at

the pool and beachfront amenities.

The Reach Key West

1435 Simonton St., Key West

We stayed two nights at The Reach Key West, part of

Hilton's Curio Collection, right on the ocean. Its name

is inspired by a nautical term — "sailing on a reach,"

which are ideal sailing conditions. This romantic resort

reflects Key West in its whimsical artwork by local

artists. Lifelike statues on the property prompt calls at

least three times a week to the front desk. A life-size

chessboard, bocce pit, pool and beach round out the

stunning property. Barefoot Billy's offers jet ski, kayak

and stand-up paddle board rentals and sunset cruises.

An overseas gazebo at The Reach is often used for

weddings. The Reach guests are welcome to visit sister

property Casa Marina, next door.

The Hammocks at Marathon Resort

1688 Overseas Hwy., Marathon

The Hammocks at Marathon Resort is located on the

Gulf side of the Intercoastal Highway and part of the

Bluegreen Vacation club. Our condo included two bedrooms,

two bathrooms, a full kitchen, dining area and

living room as well as a balcony overlooking the pool, a

marina and Barnacle Barney's tiki bar. The sunset views

from the balcony were breathtaking.

The views are breathtaking from the balcony of the

Hammocks at Marathon Resort. PHOTO BY NAN RYANT

If You Go

Be sure to check out keywestattractions.org

and keywestvaccationpass.com, which

offers a savings pass of up to $850.

September / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com

55


THE LAST WORD

PHOTO BY MARTIN ZAMORA

FAVORITE CUISINE:

Mediterranean (Sébastien)

Peruvian (Carla)

TOP TRAVEL DESTINATIONS:

Southern France and Lima, Peru

FAVORITE MOVIES:

Mafia movies (Sébastien)

"Amélie" (Carla)

FAVORITE TV SHOW:

"Seinfeld"

HOBBIES:

Fishing (Sébastien)

Going to the beach (Carla)

Carla Zamora and

Sébastien Rondier

FAVORITE SPOT IN ALEXANDRIA:

Fontaine Caffe and Creperie

(119 S. Royal St.)

DRINK OF CHOICE:

Wine, especially from Bordeaux

Owners, Grounded Coffee Shop

INTERVIEW BY SUSANNAH MOORE

The chances of a chef from

France and a dentist from Peru

meeting, falling in love and

operating a café together might

seem unlikely. Then again,

when living in an area as diverse

and international as the DMV,

perhaps not, because that’s

exactly what happened to Carla

Zamora and Sébastien Rondier.

The couple met while hanging

out with friends at Boqueria on

M Street in D.C. in 2015. Three

years later, they were married

in Peru and now live in Old

Town Alexandria with their two

Westies, Fred and Sophia.

Rondier began training to be a chef

at the age of 16 in his native southwest

France. Since then, he has worked in a

number of widely acclaimed kitchens,

including Michelin three-star restaurants in

Paris, Monte Carlo, New York City, Puerto

Rico and in D.C. at The St. Regis. Most recently,

he was the executive chef at Brabo,

located at 1600 King St. in Old Town.

Between Rondier’s long hours as an executive

chef and Zamora working full time

as a dentist, the couple were looking for a

change in pace. “Our lives were really busy,

so after we got married, we wanted to find

something that could allow me to help him

in a way so that we could spend more time

together,” explained Zamora.

They began the process of looking for a

coffee shop they could purchase, and were

excited when the opportunity arose to own

Grounded Coffee Shop, located at 6919

Telegraph Road. The café was started by

Candy and Wilfred Briffa 12 years ago and

was already well established in the community.

Zamora was familiar with the café and

its customers through her work as a dentist

in the area.

Since taking over the café in September,

Rondier and Zamora have slowly been putting

their own touch on the place, while still

trying to respect the café’s important place

in the surrounding community.

“People were scared, people don't like

change; even though the concept stayed

the same, some people were [hesitant],”

said Rondier. A year later, they feel like they

have become established and that the consistent

quality and customer service keep

people coming back.

French antiques and memorabilia from

Rondier’s career as a chef fill the cozy and

welcoming space. They sell 12 to 15 different

croissants on any given day and have

filled out the menu to feature Rondier’s talents.

Zamora helps out when she can, while

still practicing dentistry three days a week.

Future short-term and long-term plans

for the café include renovating the front

counter area, bringing back live music on

Sundays, expanding the menu to include

a brunch menu, serving wine and beer

and possibly opening a second location in

another part of Alexandria. For now, the

couple is having fun and enjoying time

together while creating a happy space for

their customers and their employees.

56 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • September / October 2021


Now Open for Preview Sales

The future is coming to Alexandria. Introducing Dylan: new inspired residences

in the heart of Potomac Yard. Next to National Landing—home of Amazon’s

HQ2 and Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus—Dylan celebrates Alexandria with

luxurious condominiums and boutique amenities designed to enhance modern

lifestyles. Experience this vision for yourself: Dylan’s Sales Gallery and New

Model are now open.

NEW CONDOMINIUMS PRICED FROM THE $600s TO $1.1M

SALES GALLERY LOCATION:

2316 RICHMOND HWY,

ALEXANDRIA, VA 22301

CALL OR REGISTER

ONLINE TO SCHEDULE

YOUR APPOINTMENT

571.970.0068

SALES@DYLANVA.COM

SCHEDULE A TOUR AT LiveDylanVA.com

© Copyright 2021 Dylan. Renderings, building elevations, depictions of amenities, drawings and floor plans of the condominium and units are for marketing/illustrative purposes only and are

not part of the basis of the contract between Seller (i.e., the Declarant) and Purchasers. They do not necessarily reflect actual dimensions and configurations. Features, finishes, and prices are

subject to change without notice. Certain features are available in select units and are subject to change. The specifications, room dimensions, and features shown in the unit floor plan are

approximate and are for marketing/illustrative purposes only. Square footage totals and room dimensions provided may not be relied upon as definitive, are subject to modifications without

notice, and may differ from the actual square footage and dimensions delivered. Actual layout, room dimensions, window sizes and locations, and steps to grade may vary and are subject

to modifications without notice. The units, as constructed, may differ somewhat from the floor plan. The actual dimensions of condominium units will be as described in the condominium

declaration and as shown on the Condominium Plats and Plans, recorded or to be recorded among the Land Records for the City of Alexandria, Virginia. References to ‘FORTIS’ and/or ‘The

Fortis Companies’ refer to The Fortis Companies LLC. The Fortis Companies LLC’s development affiliates build homes in Virginia and across the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Individual

projects are developed by FORTIS-affiliated partners and/or entities, and all representations regarding the development, construction, or sale of any project or property refers to those affiliates.

Dylan is being developed and sold by 2551 Main Line LLC, the “Declarant” of the condominium project. No representations regarding the development, construction or sale of any portion

of the Dylan community is made by The Fortis Companies LLC or any FORTIS affiliate except 2551 Main Line LLC. Sales of Units in the Dylan Condominium shall be managed by The

Mayhood Company, agent for 2551 Main Line LLC. Buyers should carefully review their purchase and sales agreement

before purchasing. The condominium was registered by the Common Interest Community Board in May 2021.


201 N. Union St., Suite 110

Alexandria, VA 22314

ALEXANDRIALIVINGMAGAZINE.COM

The Trusted Real Estate Resource

for Alexandria and Beyond

$303M

McEnearney Associates (Old Town)

$157M

Compass (king Street)

$102M

Long & Foster (Old Town)

$77M

Keller Williams (Old Town)

$63M

Weichert (Old Town)

$62M

TTR Sotheby’s (Old Town)

$60M

Compass (Lee Street)

$50M

Coldwell Banker (Old Town)

Data obtained from Bright MLS for all residential sales settled in Alexandria City for January 1-June 30, 2021.

Sales data is deemed to be accurate but not guaranteed.

830 Herbert Springs Road, Alexandria, VA 22308 | $2,953,000

Exclusively Represented by Susan Taylor

Old Town Office | 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

tel. +1 703 549 9292 | www.McEnearney.com

Equal Housing Opportunity

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines