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GOING UP<br />





Back to<br />

School...<br />

Learn something<br />

new at any age!<br />


<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 $4.95

<strong>Living</strong>, Loving,<br />

Listing Old Town<br />

Lauren Bishop, McEnearney Associate<br />

One of my favorite things about Old Town is<br />

when the seasons change... and I don’t necessarily<br />

mean just the weather. It’s the mood, culture,<br />

and energy that comes out to greet us. It’s the<br />

celebrations, holidays, and traditions. It’s the<br />

community, friends, and neighbors. I love Old<br />

Town, and love even more helping my clients<br />

find a special place here to call home. Wherever<br />

you are in life, your first home or third, connect<br />

with me to talk about how I can help you with<br />

your next move.<br />

Lauren Bishop, Realtor® Tel. 202.361.5079 I LBishop@McEnearney.com I www.LaurenBishop.com<br />

Old Town <strong>Alexandria</strong> 109 S. Pitt Street, <strong>Alexandria</strong>, VA 22314 I tel. 703.549.9292<br />

Equal Housing Opportunity

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4875 Eisenhower Avenue<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>, VA 22304<br />

(800) 424-3334<br />

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Friday: 8:30am - 6:00pm<br />

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Membership eligibility required. Membership is free and open to all residents of Virginia<br />

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8<br />


There’s lots going on this fall<br />

in and around <strong>Alexandria</strong>. Get<br />

out and have some fun!<br />



26<br />

30<br />

18<br />

20<br />

24<br />

26<br />

30<br />

52<br />


Here’s a look at the latest on<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>’s restaurant scene, with<br />

a surprising number of new eateries<br />

opening their doors soon in our city.<br />


Writer Rachel Kester delves<br />

into the mystery of the Eastern<br />

Cougar in the region.<br />


A look at a fascinating topic that<br />

most residents have likely never<br />

heard about before: <strong>Alexandria</strong>’s<br />

secret magnolia bogs.<br />

PETS<br />

We take a look at how man’s best<br />

friend is trained to become a therapy<br />

dog, service dog or facility dog.<br />


Renovating a condo? Condo<br />

owners must look at community<br />

and space concerns among other<br />

decorating considerations. Here’s<br />

a look at a new and improved<br />

kitchen, bath and home office.<br />

TRAVEL<br />

After being pent up the past<br />

year thanks to the pandemic, an<br />

unexpected 10-day girls’ trip to<br />

the Florida Keys was heavenly.<br />

Start planning your trip to explore<br />

all the Keys have to offer now!<br />

52<br />

56<br />


We chat with the new owners<br />

of the popular Grounded Coffee<br />

Shop, located on Telegraph Road.<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />



38<br />

Back to<br />

School<br />


Heading back to the<br />

classroom isn’t just for<br />

the kids this fall. Looking<br />

to learn a new skill?<br />

We’ve got you covered.<br />

45<br />

Bigger,<br />

Taller,<br />

Denser<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong> continues to<br />

grow, with new buildings<br />

and developments on<br />

the horizon. Here’s a<br />

look at the latest.<br />


Old Town <strong>Alexandria</strong><br />

streetscape<br />


facebook.com/alexandrialivingmag @alexlivingmag @alexandrialivingmag<br />


4 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

Babs Beckwith<br />

Old Town’s Real Estate Expert<br />

SOLD<br />

SOLD<br />

SOLD<br />

SOLD<br />

Call Babs and put her expertise to work for you!<br />

Babs Beckwith, Realtor ® Tel. 703.627.5421 I Babs@BabsBeckwith.com I OldTown<strong>Alexandria</strong><strong>Living</strong>.com<br />

109 S. Pitt Street, <strong>Alexandria</strong>, VA 22314 I off. 703.549.9292 I Equal Housing Opportunity


Beth Lawton<br />

A Letter<br />

from Our Founders<br />

EDITOR<br />

Mary Ann Barton<br />


Cleo Chitester<br />

Teal Griffey<br />

Lora Jerakis<br />


Jessie Leiber<br />


Susannah Moore<br />

INTERN<br />

Tess Lundgren<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong> <strong>Living</strong> Magazine is published six<br />

times per year by <strong>Alexandria</strong> <strong>Living</strong>, LLC<br />

©2021. 201 N. Union St., Suite 110<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>, VA 22314. For newsstand<br />

or distribution locations or to<br />

subscribe for home delivery, go to<br />

alexandrialivingmagazine.com/subscribe.<br />


info@alexandrialivingmagazine.com or<br />

call 571-232-1310.<br />


<strong>Alexandria</strong> <strong>Living</strong> Magazine fully supports<br />

the local business community and offers<br />

several unique ways to partner with<br />

the publication.<br />

• Sponsored articles and multimedia content<br />

on the website, in our popular email newsletters<br />

and on social media.<br />

• Highlighted events in our events calendar,<br />

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• Sponsored real estate listings.<br />

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To learn more about how partnering<br />

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Send news releases and story tips to<br />

maryann@alexandrialivingmagazine.com.<br />


Subscribing to <strong>Alexandria</strong> <strong>Living</strong><br />

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subscribe to pay securely online<br />

by credit card, or mail a check with<br />

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<strong>Alexandria</strong> <strong>Living</strong> Magazine, 201 N. Union<br />

St. Suite 110, <strong>Alexandria</strong>, VA 22314.<br />

Subscriptions are $14.95 for one year or<br />

6 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021<br />

$24.95 for two years.<br />

It's time for fall in <strong>Alexandria</strong>! Whether<br />

you're enjoying a stroll under a canopy of<br />

autumn leaves, taking in a local fall festival<br />

or enjoying a meal with family and friends<br />

in the crisp autumn air at one of the City's<br />

restaurants, a new season always feels like<br />

a time to celebrate and start anew.<br />

You'll want to start your look at this issue<br />

with a perusal of some of the many events<br />

coming up, including the Old Town Festival<br />

of Speed & Style and the Hollin Hills House<br />

+ Garden Tour (the magazine is a sponsor<br />

of both and we're like you, we can't wait to<br />

check them out!).<br />

Even before Labor Day, you probably are<br />

either sending kids back to school or recalling<br />

those school days and all the excitement<br />

that comes with it. Guess what? That feeling<br />

doesn't need to end! There are fun and interesting<br />

things to learn at any age, and we've<br />

compiled quite the list of new skills you can<br />

learn — from archery and motorcycling to<br />

cooking and woodworking and a myriad of<br />

other activities, starting on Page 38.<br />

We are constantly amazed at the growth that<br />

continues in <strong>Alexandria</strong> despite the pandemic.<br />

In this issue, you can check out some of<br />

the latest apartment, condo and retail developments<br />

going up in and around <strong>Alexandria</strong>,<br />

on Page 45. And don't forget to check out<br />

our interactive map (scan the code on Page<br />

45) online on our website.<br />

Can you guess what one of the most popular<br />

topics in the magazine and on our website<br />

is? Dining, and even more specifically, finding<br />

out about new restaurants opening in<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>. We take a look at the surprising<br />

growth on the restaurant scene, starting on<br />

Page 18.<br />

Writer Rachel Kester explores two intriguing<br />

topics in this issue: The mystery of the<br />

Eastern Cougar and <strong>Alexandria</strong>'s secret magnolia<br />

bogs, on pages 20 and 24, respectively.<br />

We all know how <strong>Alexandria</strong>ns feel about<br />

their dogs — most pooches can't take a<br />

few steps without getting a treat from a<br />

local retailer or quenching their thirst at a<br />

Beth Lawton, publisher, and Mary Ann Barton, editor<br />


water bowl left outside a Mom 'n Pop shop.<br />

Susannah Moore explores some of the dogs<br />

that go above and beyond — serving as facility,<br />

therapy or service dogs, on Page 26.<br />

With many condo-dwellers in our City, we<br />

decided to explore some of the ins and<br />

outs that some experience when it comes<br />

to major renovations. We get a look at the<br />

results with kitchen, bath and home office<br />

makeovers, on Page 30.<br />

With colder weather on the horizon, now<br />

may be the time to plan an escape to a<br />

warmer climate. You can't do better than a<br />

visit to the Florida Keys. Come along with us<br />

on a 10-day girlfriends' getaway, on Page 52.<br />

One thing that <strong>Alexandria</strong>ns take pretty<br />

seriously — their coffee shops. One of our<br />

favorites is Grounded Coffee Shop. Meet the<br />

new owners in The Last Word.<br />

With this issue, we are celebrating our third<br />

year in print. The years are flying by! Thank<br />

you — all of our advertisers, subscribers,<br />

contributors and others in the community<br />

who have helped us along the way.<br />

Enjoy your fall, and we'll see you back here<br />

in November!<br />

Mary Ann Barton and Beth Lawton<br />


Our Team<br />

Meet some of the contributors to this issue.<br />


Photographer<br />


Photographer<br />


Contributor<br />

Even if the name Laurie Collins doesn't<br />

ring a bell, chances are you know the D.C.<br />

native by her social media nom de plume<br />

DCcitygirl on Instagram, where 136,000<br />

followers check in on her amazing photography<br />

of the area, including <strong>Alexandria</strong>. She<br />

captured one of Old Town's iconic historic<br />

streets for this issue's cover photo.<br />

Rodney is an <strong>Alexandria</strong> resident who can<br />

always be found at a local Fairfax County<br />

park, most often at Huntley Meadows.<br />

He has had a satisfying career as a health<br />

care and education policy adviser in and<br />

outside of Congress. Originally from Texas,<br />

he discovered Old Town <strong>Alexandria</strong> on<br />

a visit during the Christmas holidays. He<br />

was so taken with its beauty, elegance<br />

and history that he decided that this<br />

was where he wanted to live...forever.<br />

Rachel is a freelance writer from<br />

Chesterfield, Virginia whose work covers<br />

topics ranging from environment to travel.<br />

She also reviews books, art and other<br />

creative pursuits, often with a socio-environmental<br />

focus. She enjoys exploring<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>’s historic parks and browsing<br />

the lively Old Town Farmers’ Market.<br />



Photographer<br />

Christy is an interiors photographer in<br />

the greater northern Virginia area. Her<br />

love of architecture started young. At<br />

5, she was drawing floor plans with her<br />

home-builder grandfather. By the age of<br />

7, she was seriously addicted to This Old<br />

House. Architectural photography stems<br />

naturally from Christy’s inherent love of the<br />

spaces we live, work and play. In collaboration<br />

with design professionals, Christy<br />

seeks to capture the stories of those<br />

spaces and the visions of the designers.<br />


Contributor<br />

Susannah has happily called <strong>Alexandria</strong><br />

home since 2015. She graduated from the<br />

College of Charleston and has worked in<br />

the political and legal fields and is excited<br />

for the opportunity to rekindle her interest<br />

in writing. For fun, she enjoys running<br />

along the Potomac with her husband<br />

or spending time with her rescue cat,<br />

Cinnamon, and golden retriever, Kai.<br />


Photographer<br />

Art has always been a huge part of Stacy's<br />

life. She has had her eye behind the camera<br />

for as long as she can remember. She's<br />

been shooting professionally for more<br />

than 15 years and specializes in architecture<br />

and interior design photography.<br />

Her work has been featured in numerous<br />

local and national publications, including<br />

Architectural Digest, House Beautiful,<br />

Vogue, and HGTV. Stacy currently lives in<br />

the DC Metro area, where she grew up,<br />

with her husband, two kids and three dogs.<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />



Arts<br />

Food & Dining<br />

Family-Friendly<br />

Film<br />

Historic/Educational<br />

Literature<br />

Live Music<br />

Nightlife<br />

Pet-Friendly<br />

Recreation & Outdoor<br />

Shopping<br />

Theater<br />

Workshop<br />

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

FALL 2021<br />

Calendar of Events<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember<br />

Yoga on the Magnolia Terrace<br />

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday<br />

Through Oct. 30<br />

Join Carlyle House’s yoga instructor every<br />

Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. or<br />

Saturday at 10 a.m. for an hour-long<br />

Vinyasa Flow yoga on the Carlyle House<br />

Magnolia Terrace. Bring water, a towel<br />


and a yoga mat and wear comfortable<br />

yoga-wear. Classes may be cancelled due to<br />

extreme weather. Class is $10 per class or<br />

$40 for a five-class pass.<br />

Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St.,<br />

novaparks.com/parks/carlyle-house-historic-park<br />

Stigma Art Exhibit<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 3-25<br />

Stigma affects many different people<br />

in many different ways, including those<br />

with mental health disorders, HIV,<br />

homelessness, disabilities and more.<br />

Stigma can encourage bullies, racists,<br />

sexists and systemic exclusion. The STIGMA<br />

art exhibit features artwork that shines a<br />

light on stigma — how it feels, how it can<br />

affect and/or disrupt lives and how it can be<br />

overcome.<br />

Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave.,<br />

delrayartisans.org<br />

The Old Town Festival of Speed<br />

and Style<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 5 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m.<br />

The Old Town Festival of Speed & Style<br />

highlights all the things that make Old Town<br />

unique — history, architecture, great food,<br />

8 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021


fabulous people, art, style and energy.<br />

The festival kicks off Saturday, <strong>Sept</strong>. 4 with<br />

the King Street High Octane Ball, sponsored<br />

by <strong>Alexandria</strong> <strong>Living</strong> Magazine and others<br />

from 7:30-9:30 p.m. On Sunday, <strong>Sept</strong>. 5,<br />

view dozens of exotic cars on display along<br />

the lower three blocks of King Street. At<br />

the same time enjoy a presentation of<br />

live music and fashion provided by more<br />

than 40 local merchants with the Old<br />

Town Boutique District. The festival is<br />

free to attend All proceeds benefit USO<br />

Washington-Baltimore and ALIVE!<br />

SEP<br />

10-19<br />

Lower three blocks of King Street,<br />

festivalspeedstylealex.com<br />

Blood and Strikes: American Labor<br />

in the 20th Century<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 5 | 2 p.m.<br />

From deadly mine explosions to wartime<br />

strikes, the history of the 20th century<br />

American labor movement is full of violence<br />

and controversy. This Labor Day weekend,<br />

learn about the struggle for workers’ rights<br />

at the home of one of its most powerful<br />

spokesmen, John L. Lewis. Face masks are<br />

recommended. The tour is limited to 10<br />

participants. Tickets must be purchased in<br />

advance and are $10 per person.<br />

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614<br />

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org<br />

Creations and Libations<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 5 | 2-8 p.m.<br />

Support local artists and enjoy local<br />

libations as artists take over The Garden<br />

ALX for a pop-up. Featuring the work of<br />

10-plus local artists setup throughout the<br />

event space, workshop and patio, as well as<br />

local craft beer and cider.<br />

The Garden <strong>Alexandria</strong>, 5380 Eisenhower Ave., Suite<br />

C, thegarden.net<br />

American Smallsword<br />

Symposium 2021<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 11-12 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m.<br />

The American Smallsword Symposium<br />

is in its sixth year and exists to bring<br />

together instructors, scholars, current and<br />

prospective students and other parties<br />

interested in the study and practice of small<br />

swords and related subjects. Along with<br />

fostering a general interest, the goal is to<br />

bring about a recurring event along the<br />

lines of the annual Smallsword Symposium<br />

held in Edinburgh, Scotland.<br />

Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St.,<br />

novaparks.com/parks/carlyle-house-historic-park<br />

Old Town Cocktail Week 2021<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 10-19<br />

Old Town Business presents Old Town Cocktail Week: A Celebration of the<br />

Local Cocktail Community. Throughout the week, there will be a collection<br />

of seminars and tastings alongside in-store specials at local boutiques.<br />

Everything will be ticketed (managed by each store with funds raised going<br />

directly to each store).<br />

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

Prohibition in <strong>Alexandria</strong><br />

Walking Tour<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 11, Oct. 16 | 10 a.m.<br />

Discover the forgotten stories of teetotalers<br />

and bootleggers on this walking tour of<br />

Prohibition-era <strong>Alexandria</strong>. Learn about<br />

the dramatic campaign to ban alcohol in<br />

Virginia which threatened a long tradition<br />

of local alcohol production and sale. The<br />

tour begins at the Lee-Fendall House, home<br />

to the Downham family, who were once<br />

one of the city’s most prominent liquor<br />

dealers. Face masks are recommended.<br />

The tour is limited to 10 participants and<br />

lasts approximately an hour-and-a-half.<br />

Walking tours take place rain or shine<br />

so wear appropriate shoes and clothing.<br />

Tickets must be purchased in advance and<br />

are $15 per person.<br />

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614<br />

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org<br />

August Wilson’s 'Fences'<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 11-25 | various times<br />

The Little Theatre of <strong>Alexandria</strong> will present<br />

this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, which<br />

also won the Tony Award for Best Play. It<br />

is set in the segregated 1950s, where Troy<br />

Maxson, a former Negro League baseball<br />

star, is scraping by as a sanitation worker.<br />

"Fences" explores the walls we build<br />

around ourselves and our loved ones, while<br />

also illuminating one family’s struggles in a<br />

racist society.<br />

The Little Theatre of <strong>Alexandria</strong>, 600 Wolfe St.,<br />

thelittletheatre.com<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />




SEP<br />

18-19<br />

Concerts at The Birchmere<br />

Music Hall<br />

Check out some of the performances<br />

scheduled for <strong>Sept</strong>ember and October at<br />

The Birchmere. Check The Birchmere’s<br />

website for the latest information and a full<br />

concert list. The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m.<br />

Ticket prices vary.<br />

SEPT. 1, 2<br />

Jeffrey Osborne<br />

SEPT. 5<br />

The Marshall Tucker Band<br />

SEPT. 8<br />

Blue Oyster Cult<br />

SEPT. 11<br />

Madeleine Peyroux<br />

SEPT. 14<br />

Suzanne Vega<br />

SEPT. 16<br />

Dave Koz & Friends Summer Horns 2021<br />

SEPT. 20<br />

Amy Grant<br />

SEPT. 23, 24<br />

The High Kings<br />

SEPT. 27<br />

Christopher Cross<br />

OCT. 1<br />

Preacher Lawson<br />

OCT. 4, 5<br />

Toad the Wet Sprocket<br />

OCT. 13, 14<br />

Damien Escobar<br />

OCT. 18, 19<br />

Boney James<br />

OCT. 22, 23<br />

The Whispers<br />

OCT. 25<br />

Gordon Lightfoot<br />

The Birchmere Music Hall, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave.,<br />

birchmere.com<br />


8th Annual Old Town Pub Crawl<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 11, 18, 25 | 2-6 p.m.<br />

Port City is excited to once again host<br />

the 8th Annual Old Town Pub Crawl. The<br />

crawls will be held in Old Town <strong>Alexandria</strong><br />

on three different dates. Each day will<br />

feature four restaurants and/or pubs,<br />

an exciting selection of ales and lagers, a<br />

commemorative pint glass and shirt and<br />

some small surprises along the way. Their<br />

goal is to keep the annual tradition going<br />

in 2021, creating a more personalized and<br />

hands-on experience, with hopes of having<br />

a larger pub crawl back in July 2022. Port<br />

City will work closely with their participating<br />

partners to ensure safety is the top priority.<br />

Tickets are required and space is limited so<br />

be sure to secure your spot.<br />

Various locations, portcitybrewing.com<br />

Beyond the Battlefield: A Civil War<br />

Walking Tour of <strong>Alexandria</strong><br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 18 | 9 a.m.<br />

This walking tour shares the stories of<br />

soldiers, citizens and self-liberated African<br />

Americans in Civil War <strong>Alexandria</strong>. It covers<br />

the military occupation, the conversion<br />

of public and private buildings into<br />

hospitals and emancipation. Face masks<br />

are recommended. The tour is limited to<br />

10 participants and lasts approximately an<br />

hour-and-a-half. Walking tours take place<br />

rain or shine so wear appropriate shoes<br />

and clothing. Tickets must be purchased in<br />

advance and are $15 per person.<br />

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614<br />

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org<br />

Colonial Market & Fair<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 18-19 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m.<br />

Step back in time at Mount Vernon’s<br />

Colonial Market & Fair, featuring food and<br />

wares made by colonial artisans. The event<br />

is free after paying for admission.<br />

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount<br />

Vernon Memorial Hwy., mountvernon.org<br />

19th Annual <strong>Alexandria</strong> Old Town<br />

Art Festival<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 18-19 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m.<br />

The 19th Annual <strong>Alexandria</strong> Old Town Art<br />

Festival is heading back to John Carlyle<br />

Square in 2021. All artwork is juried,<br />

which provides a higher level of quality,<br />

diversity and creativity of art on display,<br />

exemplifying the gifted artists in regions<br />

from all over the country. Admission is free.<br />

John Carlyle Square, 300 John Carlyle St.,<br />

artfestival.com/cities/<strong>Alexandria</strong><br />

Smithsonian Museum Day<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 18 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m.<br />

Museum Day is an annual celebration<br />

hosted by Smithsonian Magazine. The<br />

Lee-Fendall House Museum will join<br />

thousands of other museums and cultural<br />

institutions across the country to provide<br />

free entry to anyone presenting a Museum<br />

Day ticket. Register for your ticket at<br />

smithsonianmag.com/museumday/venues/<br />

museum/lee-fendall-house-museumgarden/<br />

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614<br />

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org<br />

10 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

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<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />



SEP<br />

25<br />

‘Warm & Cozy’ Pop-Up Shop at<br />

Lost Boy Cider<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 19 | 1-6 p.m.<br />

Lost Boy Cider is hosting some of<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>’s best makers, creators<br />

and artists for a one-day pop-up shop<br />

in partnership with Made in ALX, a<br />

partnership of local crafters. The popup<br />

shop will feature candles, blankets,<br />

honey for tea and dozens of other items<br />

to get you ready for the cold weather —<br />

whenever it arrives!<br />

Lost Boy Cider, 317 Hooffs Run Dr., lostboycider.com<br />

and madeinalx.com<br />

Carlyle House Yoga Mala<br />

(Sun Salutations)<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 25 | 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.<br />

Hollin Hills House + Garden Tour<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 25 | noon-6 p.m.<br />

The Civic Association of Hollin Hills welcomes all to the largest mid-century<br />

modern home and garden tour on the East Coast. Hollin Hills is an awardwinning<br />

mid-century modern neighborhood in <strong>Alexandria</strong>. This self-guided<br />

walking tour will showcase stunning examples of mid-century modern<br />

architecture, landscaping and interior design throughout this unique<br />

neighborhood listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and National<br />

Register of Historic Places. Registration will start at 10 a.m. at Hollin Meadows<br />

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

for VIP.<br />

Hollin Hills, hollinhillsmodern.com<br />


Celebrate the equinox on your yoga mat<br />

with a mala. Sign up for one hour or more.<br />

Bring a towel, mat and water. You will need<br />

to sign a waiver for each hour you attend.<br />

Registration is required as space is limited.<br />

Price is $15 per class.<br />

Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St.,<br />

novaparks.com/parks/carlyle-house-historic-park<br />

National Wine and Food Festival<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 25-26 | noon-6 p.m.<br />

Join in the excitement of the 12th Annual<br />

National Wine and Food Festival, bringing<br />

together world-renowned chefs, artisanal<br />

craftsmen and culinary pioneers with<br />

thousands of Metro DC foodies. General<br />

admission tickets are $39 and VIP tickets<br />

are $89 on Saturday and $59 on Sunday.<br />

National Harbor, Md., 802 National Harbor Blvd.,<br />

nationalharbor.uncorkthefun.com<br />

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day<br />

Celebration<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 18 | 11 a.m.-7 p.m.<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>’s Irish<br />

heritage organization, the<br />

Ballyshaners, is excited<br />

to host a “halfway to St.<br />

Patrick’s Day celebration”<br />

featuring vendors, food, beer and the best<br />

Irish music and dancers in town. Festivities<br />

will take place rain or shine.<br />

Waterfront Park, 1A Prince St., ballyshaners.org<br />

First Annual Hollin Meadows<br />

Swim & Tennis Club Gala<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 18 | 5 p.m.<br />

Hollin Meadows Swim & Tennis Club<br />

is excited to host an evening of music,<br />

beverages, food and silent and live auctions<br />

to benefit the building of a new pool, tennis<br />

courts and grounds to create summer<br />

memories for generations to come. Tickets<br />

are $75 in advance/$100 at the door<br />

and are encouraged to be purchased in<br />

advance. This is an outdoor event, rain date<br />

will be <strong>Sept</strong>. 25. The gala is open to the full<br />

community (no membership required).<br />

Hollin Meadows Swim & Tennis Club, 2500<br />

Woodlawn Trail, hollinmeadows.org<br />

Life Guard Society Fall Gala at<br />

Mount Vernon<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 25 | 6 p.m.<br />

Join Mount Vernon Saturday, <strong>Sept</strong>. 25,<br />

for a gala evening in support of the<br />

restoration of the bedchamber of George<br />

and Martha Washington. The evening will<br />

feature cocktails on the East Lawn of the<br />

Mansion overlooking the Potomac River,<br />

and a black-tie seated dinner on the Estate<br />

grounds. In addition, there will be afterhour<br />

tours of the Mansion with a Mount<br />

Vernon curator leading attendees through<br />

a viewing of some personal objects owned<br />

by the Washingtons that are not normally<br />

on display.<br />

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount<br />

Vernon Memorial Hwy., mountvernon.org<br />

12 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

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Sips & Secrets: A Speakeasy Night<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 25 | 7 p.m.-10 p.m.<br />

This annual fundraising party celebrates<br />

Lee-Fendall House’s Prohibition-era<br />

history, when the house was home to one<br />

of <strong>Alexandria</strong>’s liquor wholesalers (and<br />

possible bootleggers). Highlights include<br />

dancing to live jazz music, a costume<br />

contest, 1920s-style cocktails and more.<br />

The event will raise funds for the repair of<br />

the museum’s 220-year-old brick garden<br />

wall as well as support the museum’s<br />

ongoing work in historic preservation,<br />

education and community engagement. A<br />

private VIP pre-reception will precede the<br />

main event. Tickets are limited.<br />

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614<br />

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org<br />

OCT<br />

2<br />

George Washington Patriot Run<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 26<br />

Join Mount Vernon and patriotic<br />

participants around the country for a<br />

10-miler and 5K. The racecourse will<br />

include both lanes of a five-mile stretch of<br />

the George Washington Parkway from the<br />

George Washington Parkway Circle to W.<br />

Boulevard Drive. After the race, the Finish<br />

Festival will offer music, food and beverage<br />

concessions and a free beer for each<br />

runner. This race is in-person, with a virtual<br />

option for participants who are outside of<br />

the area.<br />

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount<br />

Vernon Memorial Hwy., mountvernon.org<br />

Expanding the Common Ground:<br />

Voices of the Global Majority<br />

Art Exhibit<br />

Oct. 1-30<br />

The Expanding the Common Ground:<br />

Voices of the Global Majority art exhibit<br />

explores what makes us one, seeks the<br />

common ground among us and examines<br />

what it means to heal the divides. Local<br />

artists and high school students present<br />

artworks examining all facets of diversity<br />

and celebrating unity.<br />

Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave.,<br />

delrayartisans.org<br />

Homeschool Day – Archives<br />

Oct. 1 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.<br />

The Lee-Fendall House Museum welcomes<br />

homeschoolers for Homeschool Day.<br />

The theme this fall, in honor of American<br />

Archives Month, will focus on archives and<br />

how people learn about history through<br />

documents. Tours of the house will be<br />

offered every hour starting at 10 a.m.<br />

with the last tour starting at 3 p.m., with<br />

a limited number of people per session.<br />

Advance registration for a specific tour time<br />

is required. Face masks are recommended.<br />

Admission prices are: Adults (18 and older)<br />

$3, students (3-17) $5 and children under<br />

age 3 are admitted free of charge.<br />

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614<br />

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org<br />


Art on the Avenue<br />

Oct. 2 | 10 a.m.-6 p.m.<br />

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

event for its 26th year. Held each fall on Mount Vernon Avenue between<br />

Hume and Bellefonte avenues, Art on the Avenue strives to reflect the<br />

diversity of the Del Ray community through the artists and their work. This<br />

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

international food, children’s activities and a pie-baking contest to benefit a<br />

local non-profit round out the day’s activities.<br />

Mount Vernon Ave., artontheavenue.org<br />

Archaeology Family Day<br />

Oct. 2 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m.<br />

Discover how archaeology uncovers the<br />

past through family-friendly activities<br />

at Mount Vernon. Sensory-friendly<br />

accommodations will be made between<br />

9-11 a.m. for visitors who need a quieter<br />

experience. The activity is included with the<br />

price of admission.<br />

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount<br />

Vernon Memorial Hwy., mountvernon.org<br />

14 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021


Spirits of Carlyle House<br />

Oct. 8, 15, 22 and 29 | 6-8:30 p.m.<br />

Carlyle House’s long and diverse history<br />

is full of truths, myths and rumors that<br />

makes it one of the most-visited places<br />

on <strong>Alexandria</strong>’s ghost tours. Come and<br />

experience a uniquely haunting tour of the<br />

house and grounds by candlelight, perhaps<br />

encounter the departed spirits of notable<br />

residents and neighbors and hear their<br />

tales of sadness and triumph. Reservations<br />

are required; tickets are $10 and are<br />

available on the website. Tours are on the<br />

half hour.<br />

OCT<br />

30<br />

Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St.,<br />

novaparks.com/parks/carlyle-house-historic-park<br />

Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour<br />

Oct. 8-10 | 6-9 p.m.<br />

Bring a blanket and relax while you enjoy<br />

unlimited samples of Virginia wines on<br />

the grounds of Mount Vernon after hours.<br />

Attendees will also have the chance to meet<br />

George Washington. Ticket prices are:<br />

Friday: $49 members, $59 general public<br />

Saturday: $53 members, $63 general public<br />

Sunday: $43 members, $53 general public<br />

VIP tables are also available.<br />

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount<br />

Vernon Memorial Hwy., mountvernon.org<br />

Beyond the Battlefield: A Civil War<br />

Walking Tour of <strong>Alexandria</strong><br />

Oct. 9, 23 | 9 a.m.<br />

This walking tour shares the stories of<br />

soldiers, citizens and self-liberated African<br />

Americans in Civil War <strong>Alexandria</strong>. It covers<br />

the military occupation, the conversion of<br />

public and private buildings into hospitals<br />

and emancipation. The tour is limited to<br />

10 participants and lasts approximately an<br />

hour-and-a-half. Walking tours take place<br />

rain or shine so wear appropriate shoes<br />

and clothing. Tickets must be purchased in<br />

advance and are $15 per person.<br />

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614<br />

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org<br />

Wait Until Dark<br />

Oct. 16-Nov. 6 | various times<br />

Set against the socially turbulent 1960s, this<br />

play by Frederick Knott follows the story of<br />

Suzy, a blind woman who, while left alone<br />

in her apartment, becomes embroiled with<br />

a group of con men hatching an elaborate<br />


scam. As the tension mounts, Suzy must<br />

fend for herself, but the phone line is cut<br />

and the house is plunged into darkness.<br />

Can Suzy outwit her murderous visitors?<br />

The Little Theatre of <strong>Alexandria</strong>, 600 Wolfe St.,<br />

thelittletheatre.com<br />

Fall Harvest Festival<br />

Oct. 23-24 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m.<br />

Celebrate the crisp autumn season with<br />

18th-century activities and demonstrations<br />

at the farm at Mount Vernon. Beer making,<br />

fish packing, spinning, textile-dying, cooking<br />

and more will be featured. Cost is included<br />

with the price of admission.<br />

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount<br />

Vernon Memorial Hwy., mountvernon.org<br />

Grief & Ghost Tours<br />

Oct. 22, 23, 29 and 30 |7 p.m., 7:30 p.m.,<br />

8 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.<br />

Celebrate Halloween with a look at<br />

Victorian mourning traditions coupled with<br />

stories of tragic deaths and mysterious<br />

occurrences at the Lee-Fendall House.<br />

Customs such as draping the mirrors<br />

after a death, funeral practices, hair<br />

mementos, mourning clothing and séances<br />

will be explored. These tours offer a rare<br />

opportunity to see the house after dark.<br />

Tickets are $15 per person. Tour groups<br />

will be limited to 10 participants and tickets<br />

must be purchased in advance. Face masks<br />

are recommended.<br />

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614<br />

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org<br />

Fall Frolic<br />

Oct. 30 | 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m.,<br />

2 p.m. and 3 p.m.<br />

Enjoy some seasonal family fun in the<br />

garden of the Lee-Fendall House during<br />

Fall Frolic. Put on your Halloween costumes<br />

and enjoy activities designed for children<br />

ages 3-12. Activities include a “ghost” hunt,<br />

crafts and a costume parade. Timed tickets<br />

must be purchased in advance.<br />

Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, 614<br />

Oronoco St., leefendallhouse.org<br />

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon<br />

Oct. 30 | 2-6 p.m.<br />

Celebrate Halloween with 18th-century<br />

entertainment and activities. Guests receive<br />

a take-home craft and a bag of candy.<br />

Tickets for adults are $17 for members or<br />

$25 for the general public. Tickets for youth<br />

are $9 for members or $15 for general<br />

public.<br />

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount<br />

Vernon Memorial Hwy., mountvernon.org<br />

Keep an eye out for the annual<br />

doggy-trick-or-treating in Old Town<br />

hosted by The Dog Park store at<br />

705 King St. and trick-or-treat for<br />

the little ones hosted by Old Town<br />

Boutique District.<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com 15


Fast Cars,<br />

Hot Fashion<br />

SEP<br />

5<br />

The Festival of Speed & Style is<br />

returning to <strong>Alexandria</strong> on Sunday,<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>. 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.<br />

The car-and-fashion-show will take over<br />

several blocks of King Street and Market<br />

Square, featuring rare and unusual cars in<br />

addition to fashion.<br />

The event started in 2019 under the<br />

guidance of Sonoma Cellar owner Rick<br />

Myllenbeck. The event went into neutral in<br />

2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.<br />

The event will include an eclectic mix of<br />

Grand Touring sports cars from the 1950s<br />

through the 1980s. Also included: “Exotic,<br />

unique, rare and unusual modern-day<br />

automobiles that draw people's attention<br />

because they are wicked cool and<br />

are rarely seen in public,” according to<br />

event organizers.<br />

The Festival of Speed & Style will raise money<br />

for two charities: ALIVE! and the USO of<br />

Metro Washington.<br />

The USO is a volunteer organization that<br />

focuses on keeping military members connected<br />

to the people and places they love. In<br />

addition, the USO hosts social and educational<br />

events throughout the Washington<br />

and Baltimore metro areas.<br />

ALIVE! is an <strong>Alexandria</strong> organization that<br />

focuses on helping those in need in the City<br />

of <strong>Alexandria</strong> by providing food and a variety<br />

of services to individuals and families.<br />

For more information about the festival, visit<br />

festivalspeedstylealex.com.<br />


16 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

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<strong>Alexandria</strong>'s Growing<br />

Restaurant Scene<br />


<strong>Alexandria</strong>’s restaurant<br />

community has changed over<br />

the past few months. We<br />

saw some openings, some<br />

closings and more interesting<br />

movements in the industry.<br />

Here’s a look!<br />

What’s Buzzing at Bradlee?<br />

After Atlantis closed its doors in<br />

January, after 40 years in business<br />

at Bradlee Shopping Center, it didn’t<br />

take long for a new business to take<br />

interest in the spot. Signs popped up<br />

stating “Have you heard the latest<br />

buzzzzz? New neighborhood diner,<br />


Beeliner Diner is the new restaurant.<br />

It will be run by a local company, but<br />

the owners are not ready to release<br />

details. For details, keep an eye on<br />

alexandrialivingmagazine.com this fall.<br />

Taco Bamba Coming Home<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong> residents are about to<br />

have another option for Taco Tuesday.<br />

Taco Bamba Taqueria is opening in<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>’s West End later this year,<br />

the company announced. The restaurant<br />

will open its seventh location in<br />

the Landmark neighborhood at 6259<br />

Little River Turnpike. Chef Victor Albisu<br />

reportedly worked in his mother’s Latin<br />

market in the Landmark neighborhood<br />

when he was growing up, so this<br />

opening is a homecoming of sorts for<br />

him. Taco Bamba will open in the fall or<br />

winter, according to the company.<br />

District Bagel Shop<br />

Opening in Old Town<br />

Call your friends and neighbors — and<br />

your mother — and let them know that<br />

Call Your Mother is expanding to Old<br />

Town. The owners of 128 and 130 N.<br />

Pitt St. confirmed the popular Districtbased<br />

bagel shop will be moving into<br />

1,800 square feet on the ground floor<br />

of the building. The building has been<br />

vacant since Helen Olivia Flowers<br />

relocated to Del Ray two years ago. The<br />

bagel shop, which also sells coffee and<br />

sweets, describes itself as a “Jew-ish”<br />

deli and is the creation of chef Daniela<br />

Moreira and Andrew Dana, along with<br />

partner Jeff Zients. They started out at<br />

farmers’ markets before opening their<br />

first location in DC’s Park View neighborhood<br />

in 2018.<br />

18 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021


Historic Building Now<br />

Home to Frozen Custard<br />

This summer, a walk-up frozen<br />

custard stand opened in<br />

The Ice House building at 200<br />

Commerce St. Goodies Frozen<br />

Custard & Treats serves up<br />

carry-out frozen custard, coffee<br />

and baked goods. Goodies<br />

is known for Wisconsin-style<br />

frozen custard and treats like<br />

the “donutwich” (an apple cider<br />

donut stuffed with vanilla<br />

frozen custard and topped<br />

with caramel), sundaes,<br />

shakes and floats.<br />

Goodies started as a food<br />

truck, self-described as<br />

“Washington D.C.’s first<br />

and only ‘Vintage Mobile<br />

Eatery’ paying homage to the<br />

Rock & Roll era.” The food<br />

truck is available for events<br />

(including weddings).<br />

The Ice House was originally<br />

the property of Mutual Ice Co.,<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>’s largest ice distributor.<br />

At just 300 square feet<br />

inside, the building stored ice<br />

before home refrigeration was<br />

widely available. The Mutual<br />

Ice Co. was founded in 1900<br />

on the Potomac River waterfront,<br />

selling ice to residents<br />

and servicing rail cars along<br />

the Potomac Yard rail line.<br />

More Pizza? Yes, Please<br />

Emmy Squared opened its doors this<br />

summer at 124 King St., in the heart of<br />

Old Town <strong>Alexandria</strong>, near the waterfront.<br />

The restaurant features high<br />

ceilings, brick walls, seating at tables,<br />

booths and a bar and a friendly<br />

and attentive staff. The menu includes<br />

pizza, salads, appetizers and more.<br />

Standouts included the Crispy Chicken<br />

Crunchers appetizer and the Pepperoni<br />

Pizza. The delicious pizzas come in thick<br />

square slabs on wire racks.<br />

In addition a new &pizza is opening<br />

in Kingstowne (next to a new Chopt<br />

Creative Salads venue), and another<br />

&pizza in the Eisenhower East neighborhood<br />

is in the works.<br />

Jollibee to Open First Northern<br />

VA Restaurant<br />

The Filipino chicken restaurant<br />

Jollibee is bringing its signature<br />

Chickenjoy to <strong>Alexandria</strong>. Jollibee<br />

will open in Lincolnia at the intersection<br />

of Beauregard Street and Little<br />

River Turnpike.<br />

The building was previously occupied<br />

by Boston Market. Jollibee has about<br />

40 restaurants in the United States —<br />

primarily in California — and more than<br />

1,300 restaurants worldwide.<br />

“Jollibee is best known for Chickenjoy,<br />

which is delicately hand-breaded to<br />

be crispylicious on the outside, with<br />

a secret marinade making it juicylicious<br />

on the inside. Every day, our<br />

customers revel in the joy of our fan<br />

favorites which include our sweetstyle<br />

Jolly Spaghetti and scrumptious<br />

Peach Mango Pie made with real<br />

Philippine mangoes,” according to the<br />

company’s website.<br />

“Parallel to our mission to spread the<br />

joy of eating across the globe, we are<br />

all about family. As we expand, we<br />

continue to forge partnerships with<br />

local community organizations to be a<br />

catalyst that spreads joy and the family<br />

values we espouse wherever we go.”<br />

The only other Jollibee restaurant in<br />

Virginia is in Virginia Beach.<br />

Bob & Edith’s Expanding to<br />

Old Town<br />

You can never have enough diners,<br />

and we were excited to hear Bob &<br />

Edith’s will open an <strong>Alexandria</strong> location.<br />

Coming to 1743 King St., it will take<br />

over the spot where Ernie’s Original<br />

Crab House, which closed in April,<br />

was located.<br />

Elo’s Italian Opens Pop Up<br />

The owners of Live Oak in Del Ray<br />

opened Elo’s Italian Pop-Up over the<br />

summer, serving up Italian favorites<br />

from 4-9 p.m. Tuesday through<br />

Saturday on their patio and for pickup.<br />

Chadwicks Adds Outdoor Dining<br />

The <strong>Alexandria</strong> City Council approved<br />

Chadwicks’ plan this summer for a<br />

new outdoor dining area, which the<br />

restaurant is hoping to open soon.<br />

The outdoor seating for 70 guests was<br />

expected to be located at the front of<br />

the restaurant, at 203 Strand St., and<br />

on the side, partially in Gilpin Alley.<br />

Chadwicks plans to include quiet outdoor<br />

speakers to provide background<br />

music in the outdoor dining areas.<br />

What’s Next?<br />

Hank & Mitzi’s, located at 600<br />

Montgomery St., closed its<br />

doors. “Opening a restaurant in the<br />

middle of a global pandemic was not<br />

without challenges and even with dedicated<br />

staff and loyal customers we find<br />

ourselves needing to pause, regroup,<br />

and determine the best way to move<br />

forward in this space,” the restaurant<br />

said in a statement.<br />

In addition, Rosemarino D’Italia closed<br />

its doors in Del Ray, in part due to the<br />

pandemic. The restaurant’s Dupont<br />

neighborhood location in the District<br />

continues operations.<br />

Be sure to check our website<br />

for the latest dining updates!<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />



The Mystery of the Eastern<br />

Cougar in <strong>Alexandria</strong><br />


In 2014, a potential Eastern<br />

Cougar sighting close to<br />

Riverside Elementary School<br />

on Old Mount Vernon Road<br />

went viral. School authorities<br />

canceled outdoor recess out<br />

of an abundance of caution.<br />

Almost instantly, the county<br />

set up cameras to confirm if<br />

this fabled animal was back to<br />

reclaim its territory.<br />

Even though many believe this creature<br />

to be rare, most are surprised to<br />

learn that they were once common<br />

to the area. Before their extinction,<br />

Eastern Cougars lived in countless<br />

areas near the community, such as<br />

the Shenandoah, Blue Ridge and the<br />

Allegheny Mountains. While these are<br />

hours away, cougars can walk great<br />

distances and they easily made the<br />

long journey to Fairfax County’s forested<br />

borders.<br />

However, as early settlers began to<br />

spread through the region, it proved<br />

to be the beginning of the end of<br />

the Eastern Cougar. Their consistent<br />

presence led them to be perceived as<br />

a menacing predator that would prowl<br />

around at night in search of cattle and<br />

people. Consequently, bounties were<br />

provided by local governments to incentivize<br />

hunters.<br />


Despite the broad belief that the hunts<br />

would make the community safer, it<br />

ended up being counter-intuitive, as<br />

suggested by Rick Hopkins, president<br />

of The Cougar Fund: “You don’t make<br />

people or cattle safer by killing cougars.<br />

If you hunt them too much, you<br />

increase the number of sub-adult males<br />

who tend to cause the most trouble so<br />

conflict will go up.”<br />

But why did the cougar disappear from<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>?<br />

Didn’t the nearby forests and mountains<br />

provide enough room?<br />

What is often forgotten is that during<br />

the start of the 20th-century these now<br />

lush wildernesses, like Shenandoah<br />

National Park, weren’t always forests<br />

but sprawling farms. As Edward Clark,<br />

founder of The Wildlife Center of<br />

Virginia, explained, “The advancement<br />

of European colonists in these areas<br />

turned their forests into pastures, pushing<br />

the cougars westward.”<br />

In an attempt to mitigate these disappearances,<br />

the Eastern Cougar Recovery<br />

Plan was developed. This 1982 project<br />

did not succeed despite its best efforts,<br />

and today, the effects of the cougar’s<br />

absence are clear. For instance, you<br />

might notice a recent influx of whitetail<br />

deer in Northern Virginia — and while<br />

intriguing, these creatures can wreak<br />

havoc on farms and be road dangers.<br />

The cougar diet managed the deer<br />

population which kept their numbers<br />

under control. Without them, the deer<br />

population continues to increase, leading<br />

to serious issues not only for their<br />

own herds, but for humans, too.<br />

While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service<br />

officially classifies the Eastern Cougar<br />

as extinct, that doesn’t mean there’s not<br />

a hidden colony somewhere, including<br />

perhaps near <strong>Alexandria</strong>. This belief<br />

is still a cause for debate as experts<br />

vary in their opinions, although most<br />

lean toward the extinction side of<br />

the argument.<br />

20 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021


LENDER<br />


Clark, for instance, declares that the<br />

Eastern Cougar is gone and never coming<br />

back, largely because it doesn’t coexist<br />

well with humans. Hopkins agrees on<br />

this point but doesn’t necessarily concur<br />

with Clark on the complete absence of<br />

the cougar from the area.<br />

“A population is a somewhat self-sustaining<br />

and breeding region,” he says.<br />

“Cougars move great distances and<br />

we’ve seen South Dakota cougars move<br />

as far as Oklahoma.” Their thoughts<br />

might differ but one thing’s clear:<br />

Cougars need adequate space and privacy<br />

if they’re to thrive.<br />

There’s a slight possibility that against<br />

all odds cougars have discovered a<br />

well-hidden spot along the East Coast to<br />

prosper. Because of its scope and terrain,<br />

it can be difficult for even modern<br />

explorers to track cougars. This could<br />

provide hope that somewhere concealed<br />

in its landscape there’s a small population<br />

still unknown.<br />

New research has also shown that<br />

Western Cougars (basically cougars that<br />

live in the West) are slowly moving back<br />

East. While this doesn’t necessarily mean<br />

a rebound, it could lead to nearby mountains<br />

and forests seeing occasional cougars<br />

once more. But, with development<br />

booming along the Eastern Seaboard,<br />

chances are slim. Cougars need space<br />

and it would be hard for them to travel<br />

in these areas without running into<br />

sections where they could be killed or<br />

spooked away.<br />

So what about those mysterious cougar<br />

sightings in <strong>Alexandria</strong>? More than<br />

likely, they’re just bobcats passing<br />

through. But cougar enthusiasts, don’t<br />

despair. There’s still a sliver of a chance<br />

that these encounters are much more<br />

significant and could be an outlier of a<br />

close-by population.<br />

The next time you venture around the<br />

city or glance out your window during<br />

the evening, that quick flash of fur<br />

you see out of the corner of your eye<br />

might not be a figment of your imagination,<br />

but rather a unique glance at<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>’s past and perhaps its<br />

secretive present.<br />

“<br />

Toni provided first<br />

class service to ensure that<br />

our loan application was<br />

completed accurately. She<br />

made the loan application<br />

process as smooth as<br />

possible and provided<br />

guidance throughout<br />

the process. Toni is very<br />

proactive and will return<br />

your calls as soon as<br />

possible. Toni does not<br />

hesitate to help you as soon<br />

as you can. Toni even came<br />

to our closing to show a sign<br />

of support which is very rare<br />

these days.<br />

Don’t look elsewhere<br />

as Toni comes highly<br />

recommended. We will not<br />

hesitate to use her again<br />

in the future.<br />

-Gary S.<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>, Virginia<br />

Mortgage Banker<br />

NMLS#1083974<br />

D: 703.466.4016<br />

C: 703.402.6970<br />

Toni.Miller@amerisbank.com<br />

“<br />

All loans subject to normal credit approval


Experience Renewal, Rather<br />

Than Retirement, By The River<br />

Opening early 2022, The Landing<br />

offers a wellness-focused lifestyle,<br />

with options for Independent<br />

<strong>Living</strong>, Assisted <strong>Living</strong>, Memory<br />

Care & The Bridge.<br />

“The Landing is redefining senior living by<br />

focusing on renewal, rather than retirement.<br />

The brand-new community, located<br />

at 2620 Main Line Boulevard, is now leasing<br />

and offering pre-opening incentives for<br />

Founders Club members.<br />

The Landing will offer Independent<br />

<strong>Living</strong>, Assisted <strong>Living</strong>, Memory Care &<br />

The Bridge, a transitional model of care,<br />

all in a rental model with no long-term<br />

commitment.<br />

In this wellness-focused community, residents<br />

are invited to relax, unwind, refresh<br />

and enrich their lives by enjoying the<br />

on-site full salon and day spa, fitness and<br />

wellness center, restaurants, landscaped<br />

terraces and art studio.<br />


Imagine calling a 5-star hotel home.<br />

Wake up with a cup of coffee sipped on<br />

your private balcony overlooking the<br />

Potomac River.<br />

Stroll down to the Thrive Fitness &<br />

Wellness Center and enjoy a gentle yoga<br />

class followed by a guided meditation.<br />

Shower off and head to the full-service<br />

salon, where an expert stylist awaits you.<br />

A fresh blowout leaves you feeling beautiful.<br />

On a whim, you decide to swap out<br />

your nail polish for a new hue to match<br />

your outfit.<br />

You meet a friend for lunch at one of The<br />

Landing’s three signature restaurants –<br />

Delano’s, Riverside Café, and Pilot’s Pub –<br />

each offering chef-driven menus featuring<br />

regionally inspired cuisine, local ingredients<br />

and health-conscious (and delicious!)<br />

options like a custom mocktail menu.<br />

Your mid-afternoon treat is a full-body<br />

Swedish massage at the day spa. An hour<br />

flies by as you lose track of time, your senses<br />

immersed in the soothing atmosphere.<br />

In a zen state of mind, you head outside<br />

to one of the landscaped verandas and<br />

grab a seat with a view to jot down a few<br />

thoughts in your journal. Your doodles<br />

inspire you to sign up for a lesson at the art<br />

studio tomorrow.<br />

You finish a wonderful day by meeting<br />

friends for sunset drinks at the Skyline<br />

Terrace before heading downstairs<br />

for dinner.<br />


The Landing’s leasing gallery is located at<br />

950 N. Washington Street, Suites 213 &<br />

214, <strong>Alexandria</strong>, Virginia 22314. To learn<br />

more, visit landingalexandria.com or call<br />

(571) 577-6011.<br />

22 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

Modern, Refined<br />

Senior Residences—<br />

Coming Soon.<br />

Reimagine the Possibilities for<br />

Independent and Assisted <strong>Living</strong>.<br />

Debuting in 2022, The Landing is a<br />

refined contemporary community<br />

for seniors with possibilities just as<br />

breathtaking as the views. Here, in<br />

one of the D.C. area’s most desirable<br />

neighborhoods, Independent <strong>Living</strong><br />

and Assisted <strong>Living</strong> go beyond what<br />

you ever expected: world-class dining<br />

options; a spa, salon, and fitness<br />

center; enriching activities and outings.<br />

The Landing: senior living, redefined.<br />

To learn more, please contact<br />

us at 571-577-6011.<br />

landingalexandria.com<br />

2620 Main Line Blvd. <strong>Alexandria</strong>, Virginia 22301 | 571-577-6011<br />



<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />


<strong>Alexandria</strong>’s<br />

Secret<br />

Magnolia Bogs<br />



After grabbing their journals<br />

and magnifying glasses on their<br />

way out, early 20th-century<br />

conservationists would hop<br />

on the newly installed electric<br />

trolleys around <strong>Alexandria</strong> to<br />

visit a recent magical discovery<br />

— magnolia bogs.<br />

Once they arrived at their destination,<br />

the researchers would quickly walk<br />

through the bustling area to enter a tiny<br />

secluded portion that, to the untrained<br />

eye, looked like nothing more than a<br />

muddy swamp.<br />

After stepping inside, the loudness of the<br />

city dissolved and the scientists found<br />

themselves engulfed in an otherworldly<br />

atmosphere that mimicked a Costa<br />

Rican rainforest. The grounds were dim,<br />

but the light gaps peeking through the<br />

treetops provided just enough space<br />

for sunbeams to reach through so they<br />

could study its habitat.<br />

Spanning no more than 1 acre in size,<br />

early residents originally called these<br />

natural wonders “magnolia swamps”<br />

after the plentiful Sweetbay magnolias<br />

growing around them. It was the<br />

early 1900s when biologist Waldo Lee<br />

McAtee gave them their official name<br />

of magnolia bogs. McAtee was one of<br />

the first to document these areas and<br />

spent years trekking through the region<br />

to write about their history, condition<br />

and location.<br />

But, over time, the grandeur of the<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong> bogs faded and they became<br />

only a memory as development increased.<br />

Today, one of the last of these,<br />

the Beatley Bog, is fighting to survive.<br />

Despite their rich history and importance<br />

in the local ecosystem, many in the<br />

area are still unaware of the existence of<br />

these unique micro-ecosystems.<br />

Fundamentally, the acidic bogs are a<br />

testament of the Ice Age with most of<br />

their topography and plants reflecting<br />

this period. In fact, they’re some of the<br />

rarest in the world because they thrive<br />

exclusively within the East Coast’s Fall<br />

Zone. Thanks to this setup, they have a<br />

distinctive filtering system that strains<br />

large quantities of rainwater that come<br />

from upland terraces. As the water flows<br />

along the clay terraces, they remove any<br />

sand and gravel away before it falls into<br />

the bogs.<br />

Today, the main force behind preserving<br />

magnolia bogs is Rod Simmons,<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>’s Natural Resource Manager<br />

and Plant Ecologist, who has spent more<br />

than 30 years investigating them. In spite<br />

of his decades of research, Simmons<br />

is still amazed at the new discoveries.<br />

Some of his most notable experiences<br />

24 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021


have been uncovering species that have never been<br />

recorded or were thought to have disappeared<br />

forever. He also fondly remembers coming across<br />

century-old artifacts left behind by early magnolia<br />

bog explorers.<br />

Simmons explains that <strong>Alexandria</strong> has had a significant<br />

loss of magnolia bogs simply due to human development<br />

as well as mismanagement. Throughout<br />

the 1900s, there were countless scattered around<br />

the city. While the first surveyors didn’t give them<br />

a specific name, they would track their location.<br />

Because of this, we know there were bogs near<br />

Hunting Creek, Hume Spring in Four Mile Run Valley,<br />

Taylor Run, Lake Barcroft and Turkeycock Run, to<br />

name a few. Scientists would hike through these<br />

mostly now-vanished spots and collect rare flora like<br />

Virginia bunchflower, nodding ladies’ tresses, white<br />

fringed orchids and swamp sunflowers.<br />

Simmons also describes magnolia bogs as biodiversity<br />

hotspots that provide a habitat for a myriad<br />

of rare dragonflies, damselflies, crustaceans and<br />

birds. This makes them a favorite hideout for yellow-crowned<br />

night herons, rusty blackbirds and little<br />

wood satyrs.<br />

In spite of their remarkable ecosystem, magnolia<br />

bogs are unfortunately fragile environments<br />

because anything that disrupts their hydrologic<br />

supply (like pipe installations) harms their existence.<br />

Besides this, invasive plants (especially poison ivy)<br />

threaten their rare flora. Magnolia bogs are resilient<br />

but any intrusions take their toll.<br />

What is the main culprit behind the extinction<br />

of magnolia bogs? In most cases, ignorance. The<br />

National Park Service oversees one site at Oxon<br />

Run, but despite an investment of over $29 million<br />

two decades ago to protect it from the Metro, it is<br />

still struggling to flourish.<br />

Besides this, man-made adjustments of the tidal<br />

plains have often redirected water resulting in<br />

erosion and sediment deposition. Stormwater runs<br />

have also proven to be troublesome. While magnolia<br />

bogs are primarily filled by rainwater from nearby<br />

springs, toxic pollutants on roads and landscapes<br />

will get washed away and eventually drain into<br />

them. As Simmons points out, “The water we have<br />

isn’t created, just renewed. We don’t get more of it.”<br />

Magnolia bogs might seem insignificant but they’re<br />

a critical piece of <strong>Alexandria</strong>’s culture and environment.<br />

As with so much of our local heritage, what<br />

we have is unique and irreplaceable and these<br />

strange, uncelebrated tiny swamps just might be<br />

one of the jewels in that crown.<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />


PETS<br />

Calming<br />

Canines<br />


Therapy dogs, service dogs,<br />

facility dogs: We recently delved<br />

into the important distinctions<br />

between these calming canines<br />

and found out about a couple of<br />

them serving right here in the<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong> area.<br />

If you’ve spent time at ALX Community’s<br />

coworking offices along the waterfront<br />

in Old Town <strong>Alexandria</strong>, you may have<br />

noticed a lively, reddish-brown Vizsla<br />

hanging out with his owner, Elizabeth<br />

Kukla. The pup, Dieter, is more than<br />

just a beloved pet, he also works with<br />

Kukla as a therapy dog. He offers a<br />

monthly “De-stress with Dieter” event at<br />

the office.<br />

Therapy dogs are not breed-based but<br />

behaviorally based, which means that<br />

temperament is most important when<br />

determining if a dog would make a good<br />

therapy dog. That being said, some<br />

breeds lend themselves better to the<br />

job than others because they have been<br />

bred to enjoy human interaction.<br />

“If you specifically want to get a dog<br />

to do therapy dog work, I would pay<br />

attention to what breeds are in your dog<br />

because purebred dogs and mixes of<br />

purebred dogs are going to have traits of<br />

what they were bred to do, and different<br />

breeds of dogs have different tendencies<br />

and habits,” explained Kukla.<br />


Vizslas like Dieter are bird-hunting<br />

dogs but are also known for being very<br />

friendly and people-pleasers. Kukla was<br />

inspired to train her dog to be a therapy<br />

dog after her sister did therapy dog work<br />

in <strong>Alexandria</strong> with her Golden Retriever.<br />

One of Kukla’s main motivations to<br />

train Dieter was to visit people in<br />

nursing homes, which was her favorite<br />

place to take him prior to the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic.<br />

“A lot of people in nursing homes ... a<br />

lot of times they will have to give up<br />

any pets that they have. The Alliance of<br />

Therapy Dogs — their slogan is ‘Sharing<br />

Smiles and Joy’ — and I think the most<br />

true place I’ve seen that is at a nursing<br />

home,” said Kukla.<br />

The Alliance of Therapy Dogs<br />

(therapydogs.com) is one of two national<br />

organizations that can certify a dog as a<br />

therapy dog. The second is Pet Partners<br />

(petpartners.org). Kukla said both do<br />

great work, but she decided to go with<br />

the Alliance of Therapy Dogs because<br />

they have less dietary and other restrictions<br />

on their therapy dogs.<br />

Kukla encourages owners interested<br />

in doing therapy dog work with their<br />

dog to start training them as young as<br />

possible. Puppies should get exposed to<br />

all kinds of people, places, objects and<br />

situations and should be taught basic<br />

obedience skills.<br />

She recommends getting the AKC Canine<br />

Good Citizen program and test which<br />

is a good baseline. While training is not<br />

necessarily required, it helps a lot with<br />

passing the test to become a therapy<br />

dog, which includes testing on practical<br />

skills and three site visits. Once a dog<br />

passes the therapy dog test, dogs are required<br />

to do therapy work at least every<br />

three months, submit yearly vet records<br />

and a renewal form.<br />

Kukla says that Dieter knows when<br />

it’s time to be in work mode. He has a<br />

special collar that he only wears when<br />

26 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

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

What about emotional<br />

support animals (ESA)?<br />

Emotional support animals do not<br />

require any training and simply<br />

require a doctor’s or therapist’s<br />

note. They provide comfort and<br />

support to owners struggling with<br />

a physical or mental health issue.<br />

ESAs used to be allowed on airline<br />

flights but recently many airlines<br />

have banned ESAs in the cabin<br />

including Alaska Airlines, American<br />

Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier<br />

Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest<br />

Airlines, and United Airlines.<br />

he’s doing therapy work. “When he sees<br />

that and you take him into a facility he<br />

is much more calm…it’s like something<br />

switches in his brain,” she said.<br />

You don’t have to be a dog owner to<br />

contact one of the therapy dog organizations.<br />

If you are simply looking for a<br />

therapy dog to visit your school, nursing<br />

home or other place, you can reach out<br />

to the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and they<br />

will connect you with a local therapy dog<br />

and handler.<br />

Therapy dogs vs. service or<br />

facility dogs<br />

Therapy dogs should not be confused<br />

with service dogs or facility dogs (which<br />

are a type of service dog) who perform<br />

an important service for an individual<br />

owner or are assigned to a specific<br />

professional health care, visitation or<br />

educational setting.<br />

These dogs undergo intensive training<br />

from birth and are often bred specifically<br />

for that purpose. In fact, therapy dog<br />

handlers can lose certification for misrepresenting<br />

their dogs as service dogs.<br />

It is also a class 4 misdemeanor according<br />

to Virginia law.<br />

Two-year-old Labrador/Golden Retriever<br />

mix Rylynn recently joined the Fairfax<br />

County Department of Family Services<br />

as a facility dog. Specifically, she works<br />

with children and families going through<br />

sexual abuse investigations. Rylynn<br />

was bred and trained by the non-profit<br />

organization Canine Companions ® which<br />

provides service dogs, hearing dogs,<br />

facility dogs, skilled companions and<br />

assistance dogs for veterans at no cost<br />

to the recipient.<br />

Rylynn and other Canine Companions ®<br />

dogs are always Labrador Retrievers,<br />

Golden Retrievers or a mix of the two<br />

and are bred by the organization in<br />

California. At 8 weeks old, the puppies<br />

are sent to live with volunteers who raise<br />

the puppies until they are approximately<br />

a year-and-a-half old.<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />


PETS<br />




Then, the dogs attend a six-month-long<br />

professional training program at one<br />

of the organization’s six centers located<br />

across the country. There, the dogs<br />

learn 40 commands and are taught to<br />

pull wheelchairs, open and close doors,<br />

retrieve items and other essential skills.<br />

After the six-month training, the dogs<br />

attend a two-week long team training,<br />

where they are observed and matched<br />

with their recipients; the recipients<br />

then learn how to work with their dogs.<br />

Rylynn was matched with Samantha<br />

“Sam” Carrico, LCSW, who works with<br />

the Fairfax County Department of<br />

Family Services.<br />

“So we got matched on the second or<br />

third day,” she said. “They had us all<br />

sit down on the floor with the dog bed<br />

and had different dogs rotate through.<br />

Rylynn is the calmest dog I have ever<br />

met and I think they just knew because<br />

of her personality she would be<br />

perfect for child protective services,”<br />

Carrico explained.<br />

Rylynn has already sat in on an interview<br />

with a child victim and Carrico said that<br />

she automatically knew to go over to the<br />

child and get petted and then sat under<br />

the child’s chair. “You can definitely see<br />

the anxiety subside,” Carrico said.<br />

“I think even just petting the dog…the<br />

dog is a great ice breaker to make the<br />

child comfortable. We can talk about the<br />

dog, what does the dog like to do? What<br />

do you like to do? Do you have pets?<br />

Especially for children that are young or<br />

are reluctant to talk, it is a great way to<br />

bond with them and get them talking.”<br />

Rylynn will work with children through<br />

the lifetime of their case and be there<br />

for interviews and court appearances<br />

to support the child through what can<br />

often be a very traumatic experience.<br />

Rylynn and Carrico will have to undergo<br />

continual training at various intervals<br />

— six months, one year and then every<br />

three years — to keep up their skills and<br />

maintain certification.<br />

Canine Companions ® maintains ownership<br />

of the dogs for as long as they<br />

are working, but Rylynn gets to live with<br />

Carrico as a pet when she isn’t working<br />

and enjoys swimming, walking and playing<br />

in her backyard.<br />

She can’t go to dog parks because she<br />

wouldn’t know how to interact with<br />

aggressive dogs and the dogs are not<br />

necessarily vaccinated. Sometimes, she<br />

gets to have play dates with another<br />

facility dog, Virgil, who works at the<br />

SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center of<br />

Fairfax County.<br />

Facility dogs like Rylynn usually work until<br />

they are 8-10 years old, depending on<br />

their health. When Canine Companions ®<br />

decides that it’s time for Rylynn to retire,<br />

Carrico can decide to keep her as a pet<br />

or return her to Canine Companions ® .<br />

Carrico emphatically confirmed that she<br />

definitely plans to keep Rylynn when<br />

that time comes!<br />

28 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

205 S. Union Street | <strong>Alexandria</strong>, VA | 703.838.9788<br />



Before<br />

Modern &<br />

Functional<br />

Condo owners have space, community concerns<br />

when remodeling.<br />


With an eye toward<br />

functionality and modern<br />

design, Case Architects &<br />

Remodelers recently worked<br />

with the owners of a condo in<br />

Carlyle Towers in <strong>Alexandria</strong> to<br />

bring new life to a bathroom<br />

and kitchen.<br />

Unlike a single-family home, renovating<br />

a condo can be a bit more restrictive.<br />

“The biggest design challenge is not<br />

being able to move certain things, such<br />

as plumbing or ductwork or sprinklers,<br />

as sometimes they are shared by multiple<br />

units,” said Elena Eskandari, who<br />

worked with April Case Underwood on<br />

the project.<br />

“That is why we try to keep things like<br />

sinks and toilets in the same location,”<br />

she noted. Both women are directors of<br />

project development at Case Architects<br />

& Remodelers.<br />

In addition, they said, many condo<br />

buildings have restrictions about work<br />

hours (especially when the work can be<br />

noisy), use of the freight elevator and<br />

security. To compensate, Eskandari said<br />

her company builds in some extra time<br />

for projects in condo buildings.<br />

The Kitchen<br />

Unable to move plumbing around,<br />

Eskandari and Underwood lucked<br />

out with the sink already being under<br />

the window — the preferred location,<br />

they said. They were able to move other<br />

elements, though, including the refrigerator<br />

and ovens, to create more counter<br />

space around the cooktop and sink. The<br />

kitchen was just 105 square feet, which<br />

meant storage and functionality were<br />

both highly important.<br />

Going for a more contemporary look,<br />

the cabinet finish is a thermally fused<br />

laminate with low-profile pulls on the<br />

30 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021


upper cabinets. The hardware on the<br />

lower cabinets and drawers was inspired<br />

by the black tempered glass that was<br />

used as the peninsula top and backsplash.<br />

(Those materials were black<br />

lucite and chrome by Hickory Hardware.)<br />

Black stainless appliances from<br />

KitchenAid pulled the design together.<br />

Unlike the common black appliance<br />

finish, black stainless showcases the<br />

stainless texture. (A bonus is that black<br />

stainless appliances show fewer fingerprints<br />

and smudges than the more<br />

common gray stainless appliances.)<br />

To add storage, Eskandari and<br />

Underwood installed a pullout cabinet<br />

with storage next to the refrigerator that<br />

served as functional “filler” between the<br />

ovens and fridge. This allowed the refrigerator<br />

door to open fully.<br />

A new floor tile brought the look of the<br />

new kitchen together. “We managed<br />

to find a floor tile that matches the<br />

rest of the condo perfectly,” Eskandari<br />

noted. “We removed old brown tile that<br />

previously split the kitchen in the middle<br />

(a result of the previous remodel). Now<br />

the flooring is seamless throughout the<br />

space, which makes everything look<br />

more cohesive.”<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />



The Bathroom<br />

The bathroom footprint didn’t<br />

change much from the original, but<br />

Underwood and Eskandari removed<br />

walls and found space to make the<br />

bathroom feel larger.<br />

With space at a premium and aiming<br />

for a clean, modern design, Eskandari<br />

and Underwood removed a wall<br />

between the toilet and the vanities,<br />

which opened space to install larger<br />

vanities with more storage.<br />

Before<br />

32 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

We love the homes we<br />

do - everything from highly<br />

traditional to rock star!<br />

They also removed a solid wall that was separating the shower<br />

and the tub and replaced it with a glass panel. By happy luck,<br />

they also found a space behind the shower, allowing them to<br />

add a bench without taking space from the shower.<br />

Modern design elements also made the bathroom feel bigger.<br />

“The floating vanities are popular, and not only in a modern<br />

setting,” Eskandari said. “They allow the eye to travel all<br />

around the room, creating an illusion of a larger space.”<br />

Call us and let us help<br />

you love your home!<br />


FOR 25 YEARS<br />

703-299-0633<br />

janetbertin@decoratingden.com<br />

janetbertin.decoratingden.com<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />



Venue <strong>Alexandria</strong><br />

Adds Modern Flair<br />

to the Timeless<br />

Charm of Old<br />

Town <strong>Alexandria</strong><br />

A new collection of condominiums<br />

and townhomes in Old Town<br />

North — plus a new home for<br />

renowned MetroStage theater.<br />

Few places in the DC metro area<br />

have the allure and historic charm<br />

of Old Town, <strong>Alexandria</strong> and even<br />

fewer can provide the striking<br />

design and central location that<br />

homeowners demand. Only Venue<br />

has it all.<br />

Located along the banks of the Potomac<br />

River, Venue sits at the heart of Old Town<br />

North. Located just blocks from historic<br />

Old Town and the shops and dining of<br />

King Street and adjacent to the Mt. Vernon<br />

Trail allowing for easy access to one the<br />

region’s most famed trails.<br />

It’s a rare opportunity for an ideal Old<br />

Town lifestyle with a modern flourish<br />

— and people are taking notice. With<br />

Phase I completely sold out, Venue is now<br />

releasing its second phase of homes to<br />

those looking to experience the best Old<br />

Town has to offer.<br />

Venue's unique selection of homes is<br />

what has made the community so alluring<br />

for many. Regardless of household size,<br />

there is a well-designed home available<br />

— either within the main condominium<br />

tower, The Residences at Venue, or within<br />

the surrounding townhomes, The Towns<br />

at Venue.<br />

The awe-inspiring 13-story high rise is<br />

home to 119 condominium residences.<br />

Available homes range from 1- to<br />

3-bedrooms and up to 2,300 square feet<br />

of bright, open spaces featuring floorto-ceiling<br />

windows and refined finishes.<br />

Residences in the tower are available from<br />

the $500s to $2.7 million.<br />

Also included at The Residences at Venue<br />

is a portfolio of on-site amenities. The<br />

rooftop sky lounge is a spacious outdoor<br />

terrace, furnished with fireplaces and<br />

seating to take in the 360-degree views<br />

from above, including a sweeping vista<br />

of the Potomac River. Other amenities<br />

include bike storage and a dog wash.<br />

Flanking the main tower are 41 newly<br />

constructed townhomes. A select few of<br />

these spacious homes come complete<br />

with an in-home elevator and up to 4 bedrooms<br />

and 5 baths, ranging from 2,300 to<br />

nearly 4,000 square feet. All townhomes<br />

include a 2-car garage and private rooftop<br />

terrace. Townhomes at Venue start from<br />

$1.4 million.<br />

Upon completion, Venue will also be the<br />

new home of MetroStage, a revered local<br />

theater company with three decades of<br />

history in Old Town North. Best known<br />

for their innovative productions, this<br />

critically-acclaimed group will be bringing<br />

its talents to Venue. Here MetroStage will<br />

deliver original productions and adapt<br />

celebrated favorites. With both floor and<br />

gallery seating available, the intimate<br />

space can offer seating for an audience of<br />

120 people each night.<br />

Over 70% of the homes at Venue have<br />

been sold and construction is underway at<br />

the future location: 925 N. Fairfax Street,<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>, VA 22314. Interested buyers can<br />

get a glimpse of what awaits in the model<br />

unit, available for viewing by appointment at<br />

the sales center located at 314 Montgomery<br />

Street, <strong>Alexandria</strong>, VA 22314. The sales<br />

team can be reached at 703.214.6655 or via<br />

Venue<strong>Alexandria</strong>.com.<br />

34 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021


A Better<br />

Home Office<br />


Spending so much time at<br />

home in the past 18 months has<br />

forced a lot of homeowners to<br />

reevaluate their space. Among<br />

them: Sarah Mazzochi.<br />

“Once the pandemic hit and we were<br />

working from home full time, I wanted it<br />

to be a better work-from-home space,”<br />

said Mazzochi, who owns a small,<br />

one-bedroom condo in Del Ray.<br />

“So that meant things like adding an<br />

accent wall to be something more<br />

interesting to look at during Zoom calls,<br />

and cutting into my kitchen’s drywall to<br />

make more shelving, which makes cooking<br />

from home much easier,” she said.<br />

Working with designer Basma Masood,<br />

owner of Basma Interiors, Mazzochi<br />

renovated her small condo to add color<br />

and functionality.<br />

“We’ve all been inside homes that feel<br />

either cramped or too vacant. I didn’t<br />

want that. With small spaces, to make<br />

them really livable, everything must be<br />

‘just-so.’”<br />

Mazzochi has been working from<br />

home since March 2020 and has only<br />

gone into the office a handful of days<br />

in the past 18 months. Teleworking<br />

may be the norm for her and her<br />

co-workers, she said, even once we’re<br />

“back to normal.”<br />

What’s the best thing about<br />

this renovation?<br />

Mazzochi: That everything is<br />

multipurpose and is there to bring joy<br />

to the eye. That was really important<br />

to me, since it’s been my sole visual<br />

landscape for the last 18 months – I<br />

have to like looking at it and being there.<br />

For example, my dining room table is<br />

also my home office, which meant my<br />

dining room chairs needed to be pretty<br />

but comfortable at the same time.<br />


<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />



Before<br />

The Decorating Conversation<br />

I’m Jan Bertin and welcome to<br />

The Decorating Conversation. I<br />

decided on that as the title to my<br />

column because that’s precisely<br />

what I hope to engage in with you:<br />

A conversation. And the subject,<br />

your home, has lots of different<br />

dimensions: The things that<br />

make it special to you and what<br />

you’d like to change to make it<br />

more beautiful or comfortable or<br />

functional. And, yes, even what<br />

you absolutely can’t stand about it<br />

and has to go now!<br />

For some of you, the conversations we’ll<br />

be having in this space about issues that<br />

matter to you might be your first time<br />

talking (albeit indirectly) with a decorator.<br />

Over my 25 years working here in Old<br />

Town and before that in the New York City<br />

suburbs, I’ve learned that we decorators<br />

can be seen as intimidating. Or as too expensive<br />

or snooty or overly fussy types. I<br />

hope to show you that such isn’t the case.<br />

My philosophy is that you set the tone<br />

with your likes, dislikes, needs, sentimental<br />

attachments and budgets. My<br />

job becomes to lend my experience, my<br />

expertise and my guidance to your efforts.<br />

Those are some of the elements that<br />

make any relationship work and interior<br />

decorating is no exception.<br />

As we decide on the scope and options<br />

for your project, the elephant enters<br />

the room. What’s all this going to cost?<br />

Experience has taught me that this is the<br />

biggest obstacle that keeps people from<br />

getting in touch with an interior decorator.<br />

Experience has also proven that it is the<br />

easiest to overcome.<br />

Yes, we’d all love to have the finest of<br />

everything. And no, we all eventually give<br />

in to reality. Where I enter the equation<br />

is in presenting my clients options that<br />

work within a realistic framework. Just as<br />

you wouldn’t expect to walk into a dealer<br />

showroom with $10,000 and drive out<br />

with a Rolls-Royce, you can’t realistically<br />

expect Amazon pricing when working with<br />

a decorator. But working with a decorator<br />

most certainly doesn’t imply you’re going<br />

to be paying Rolls-Royce prices.<br />

Here’s how the balance is struck. We<br />

do the legwork of sorting through the<br />

thousands of options available to you<br />

for fabrics, paint, wallpaper, furnishings,<br />

flooring and carpeting, contractors of all<br />

36 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021


Before<br />

descriptions and suppliers of everything<br />

from lighting to plumbing.<br />

And all of it is done based on<br />

the budget we arrived at initially.<br />

In the end, all of that legwork,<br />

combined with the collective experience<br />

and varied but complementary<br />

visions my colleagues<br />

and I bring to an engagement,<br />

begin to describe the principal<br />

ways we as full service decorators<br />

add value to the effort.<br />

The project photos you see here<br />

brought all of the elements I<br />

described into play. Working<br />

with – and adding to – customer<br />

vision. Working within budgets<br />

that make sense. Handling<br />

the logistical elements that<br />

can derail a project. Providing<br />

the hand-holding and psychic<br />

support that always are needed<br />

at some point in a project. In a<br />

nutshell, that’s what we do and I<br />

have only begun to describe how<br />

we do it.<br />

Now, let’s get on to the fun part.<br />

Please tell me what’s been on<br />

your decorating radar. In upcoming<br />

pieces, we’ll be dealing with<br />

the universal subject of creating<br />

more storage spaces into existing<br />

rooms; how to make rooms<br />

multifunctional spaces, and we’ll<br />

give you a look ahead into what<br />

you can expect to see next year<br />

after I return from the furniture<br />

market in North Carolina<br />

this fall.<br />

But that’s just what’s on my<br />

mind. I’m more eager to<br />

learn what’s on your mind, so<br />

please get in touch with me at<br />

janetbertin@decoratingden.com<br />

with your questions and observations<br />

and I’ll cover them here.<br />

Thanks for reading and I’ll talk<br />

to you soon.<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />



38 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

Back<br />

to School<br />

Learn Something New, at Any Age<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong> resident Renee Hendly always<br />

had a passion for cooking, but it wasn’t<br />

until her husband, Scott, passed away that<br />

she truly embraced it.<br />

With the encouragement of her adult children, Hendly<br />

enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education in New<br />

York City. While working part time remotely (her day<br />

job is in research), Hendly learned everything from<br />

knife skills to how to create health-adaptive dishes<br />

and more.<br />

“It has been an amazing experience. When the alarm<br />

goes off, I am so eager to go and see my friends — and<br />

we’re all learning together. It’s really a positive environment.”<br />

The experience has been rewarding and healing<br />

for her, she said.<br />

Hendly is completing an externship at Daniel Boulud’s<br />

flagship restaurant, Daniel, in New York City. Neighbors<br />

have been drooling over her Facebook posts the past<br />

several months, eager for her to return to <strong>Alexandria</strong><br />

and start her second career.<br />

“I would like to go into the culinary business — and<br />

what I’d like to do in <strong>Alexandria</strong>, in particular, is a<br />

restaurant that has an outdoor patio, really good food,<br />

pretty food, alternative food and wine,” she said. “Just a<br />

place where people want to come in and hang out.”<br />

Moving to New York or going back to school may not<br />

be in the cards for everyone, but there are a lot of<br />

benefits to learning new things, even if it’s picking up a<br />

new hobby or taking a single class.<br />

Reading, learning and picking up new activities is good<br />

for your health. A Harvard Business Review piece<br />

noted that reading can reduce stress levels, and both<br />

mental and physical activity can help delay symptoms<br />

of cognitive decline. Learning new skills as we age is<br />

associated with improved memory, as well.<br />

Learning is also good for you socially, writes author<br />

John Coleman, who has written extensively on passion<br />

and purpose. “I’ve noticed in my own interactions<br />

that those who dedicate themselves to learning and<br />

who exhibit curiosity are almost always happier and<br />

more socially and professionally engaging than those<br />

who don’t.”<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />


Cake Decorating<br />

Looking to up your game when it comes<br />

to birthday parties and other celebrations?<br />

Learn to decorate cakes like a<br />

pro at Fran’s Cake & Candy Supplies in<br />

Fairfax, which features cake-decorating<br />

classes from Cake Decorating 101 to an<br />

Open Sugar Peony Class. 10927 Main St.,<br />

Fairfax; 703-352-1471; franscakeandcandy.com.<br />

Cooking<br />

Sur la Table offers in-store classes at its<br />

Pentagon Row store. Each class is 2 to<br />

2.5 hours and you’ll work in groups of<br />

four. Beginning in <strong>Sept</strong>ember, here’s a<br />

small “taste” of classes that are coming<br />

up: Flavors of the Greek Isles, Savoring<br />

Vietnamese, Homestyle Fried Chicken<br />

and Parisian Steakhouse. Sign up fast,<br />

classes fill up quickly. 1101 S. Joyce St., B-20;<br />

703-414-3580; surlatable.com/cooking-classes/<br />

in-store-cooking-classes.<br />

Looking for something a little more<br />

intimate? You can book private classes<br />

or small group classes with your friends<br />

through Judy Harris Cooking School<br />

in the Fort Hunt neighborhood. judy@<br />

judyharris.com; judyharris.com.<br />


}<br />

Kids aren’t the only ones<br />

who are going back to<br />

school this fall. There<br />

are countless classes out<br />

there just waiting for<br />

you. Always wanted to<br />

ride a Harley? How about<br />

knit a sweater? Or fly<br />

on a trapeze? If you’ve<br />

thought about it, chances<br />

are, there’s someone out<br />

there who will teach you<br />

the ropes. We recently<br />

went in search of classes<br />

that anyone can try this<br />

fall. School’s in session!<br />

Archery<br />

You may have taken up the bow and arrow as<br />

a kid at summer camp, but have you touched it<br />

since? The NOVA Fencing and Archery Club in<br />

Falls Church is the closest option for <strong>Alexandria</strong><br />

residents offering introductory classes, private<br />

lessons and competitions. 3501 Carlin Springs Road,<br />

Falls Church; 703-999-8077; novafencingclub.com.<br />

Fairfax County Parks & Rec also is also offering<br />

an archery class at Burke Lake Park this fall.<br />

Beekeeping<br />

The movement to save our pollinators, from<br />

bees to butterflies, is strong in Northern Virginia.<br />

If you love honey and gardening and you have a<br />

little bit of space (or know someone who does),<br />

beekeeping may be right for you. It’s a real commitment,<br />

but the beekeepers behind <strong>Alexandria</strong><br />

Honey Co. tell us it’s worth it. The Northern<br />

Virginia Beekeepers Association offers low-cost<br />

classes about everything from hive health to<br />

equipment. nvba@novabees.org; novabees.org<br />

Creating Art<br />

Unleash your inner artist with a class<br />

at <strong>Alexandria</strong>’s Art League. They have<br />

a class (both virtual and in-person)<br />

for every genre – from sculpture and<br />

painting to jewelry-making, drawing<br />

and photography. 305 Madison St.;<br />

703-683-2323; theartleague.org.<br />

40 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

You may also consider Del Ray Artisans<br />

for a variety of creative classes and<br />

workshops for all ages both in-person<br />

and online. 2705 Mt. Vernon Ave.; 703-838-4827;<br />

delrayartisans.org.<br />

Dancing<br />

A small studio on Dove Street has<br />

become home to multiple dance companies<br />

here in <strong>Alexandria</strong>, including<br />

the Local Motion Project, AVA Dance<br />

Company and The Lion’s Den.<br />

Founded by a former professional dancer,<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>’s AVA Dance Company offers<br />

dance classes for adults from jazz to<br />

hip hop. Lessons are available for dancers<br />

of all levels and backgrounds. 2377 S.<br />

Dove St., avadanceco.com.<br />

The Lion’s Den offers classes in unique<br />

disciplines such as jookin’ and belly<br />

dancing. thelionsdendmv@gmail.com;<br />

lauren-devera.com/thelionsden.<br />

The Local Motion Project offers a variety<br />

of adult and youth classes. For adults,<br />

this includes dance, somatic movement,<br />

aerial hammock and a variety of workshops.<br />

703-299-0017; localmotionproject.org.<br />

Fencing<br />

Did the Summer Olympics get you<br />

dreaming of your own gold medal?<br />

The Virginia Academy of Fencing offers<br />

classes for all levels at its Springfield<br />

campus. VAF’s Olympic Sport fencing<br />

program includes group classes and<br />

private lessons in foil, sabre and epee.<br />

703-321-4922; vafinc.com.<br />

(NOVA Fencing and Archery Club,<br />

mentioned above under Archery, is<br />

another option!)<br />

Floral Arranging<br />

You say you love beautiful flowers but<br />

your arrangements are just so-so? Time<br />

to sign up for a floral design workshop<br />

from <strong>Alexandria</strong> florist Helen Olivia.<br />

You sign up for the class, your flowers<br />

are delivered to you (or you can pick<br />

them up the day of class); and you can<br />

follow along live on Instagram. 1519<br />

Leslie Ave. 703-548-2848; helenoliviaflowers.com/<br />

workshop-landing.<br />


Flying an Airplane<br />

Located at Potomac Airfield in Fort<br />

Washington, Maryland, GT Aviation<br />

flight school offers classes for those<br />

who want to get their pilot’s certificate.<br />

The school offers both a monthly plan<br />

or hourly rates. The airfield is just a<br />

20-minute drive from <strong>Alexandria</strong>, across<br />

the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. 10300<br />

Glen Way, Friendly, Md. 301-248-1711<br />

Email: info@gt-aviation.com; gt-aviation.com.<br />

Flying on a Trapeze<br />

So, you went to the circus when you<br />

were a kid and you always wanted<br />

to fly through the air? At the Trapeze<br />

School, first-time students are outfitted<br />

with a safety belt and practice their<br />

“take off” on the ground. Students<br />

are connected to safety lines at every<br />

step of the way — from their first step<br />

on the ladder until they roll off the<br />

safety net below. Standard lessons last<br />

two hours and involve 10 students.<br />

Sessions are available for all levels. 520<br />

Tingey St. SE, DC; 202-479-6861; washingtondc.<br />

trapezeschool.com; dcoffice@trapezeschool.com<br />

Foreign Languages<br />

For so many of us, learning a foreign<br />

language was little more than a high<br />

school or college requirement — something<br />

we got through and promptly<br />

forgot. In our increasingly multicultural<br />

world, maybe it’s time to get back into<br />

learning a foreign language. From<br />

American Sign Language and Arabic to<br />

German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish,<br />

Northern Virginia Community College<br />

has classes to help. 5000 Dawes Ave.<br />

(<strong>Alexandria</strong> campus); nvcc.edu<br />

Horseback Riding<br />

Owned by Bonnie Erbé, Soft Landing<br />

Stables in Accokeek, Maryland, is just<br />

over the river from <strong>Alexandria</strong> and has<br />

been in business for 15 years. They<br />

offer horseback riding lessons mainly<br />

to adults, depending on which horses<br />

are available for riding. 207 Farmington Road<br />

West, Accokeek, Md. 703-944-9456<br />

Adults can also take lessons at Meadow<br />

Wood Stables in the Gunston Cove area<br />

and in Rock Creek Park in Washington,<br />

D.C. Go online for more information<br />

about these programs.<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com 41

Diving is for you. Blue Octopus Scuba<br />

offers Discover Scuba sessions in a<br />

local heated, indoor pool. While not<br />

a scuba certification course, Discover<br />

Scuba Diving is a quick and easy introduction<br />

to what it takes to explore<br />

the underwater world. 4154 Duke St.<br />

703-461-3483; blueoctopusscuba.com/courses<br />

Looking to ride the waves instead of<br />

diving under them? For surfing classes,<br />

you’ll have to travel a bit. The best<br />

offerings within a short distance are<br />

in Virginia Beach. Start at visitvirginiabeach.com<br />

to find a wide variety of<br />

options for all skill levels.<br />


Knitting<br />

Fibre Space in Old Town <strong>Alexandria</strong><br />

offers several beginner knitting classes<br />

each month. Three 1.5-hour classes<br />

are $75 (and you’ll walk away with a<br />

scarf you made yourself!). You can shop<br />

in-person or online for yarn and knitting<br />

needles if you don’t already have those<br />

items on hand. Fibre Space also offers<br />

classes in crochet and more. 1319 Prince St.<br />

703-664-0344; fibrespace.com<br />

Motorcycle Riding<br />

Harley Davidson offers a New Rider<br />

Motorcycle Course in Manassas and<br />

Fairfax, no experience needed, according<br />

to Chris Taylor, a spokesman<br />

for the Manassas dealership. “A good<br />

place to start is someone who can ride<br />

a bicycle for balance,” he said. There<br />

is one instructor for six people in each<br />

class, which consists of book-learning<br />

and on-site riding on dealer-provided<br />

motorcycles on empty school and shopping<br />

mall parking lots. Classes attract all<br />

ages — from age 16 to retired couples<br />

in their 70s. “For some, it’s a check off<br />

their bucket list,” Taylor said. Classes are<br />

$429; bikes start at about $9,500 and go<br />

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

learn-to-ride; bullrunhd.com/riding-academy.<br />

Piano Playing<br />

(or Another Instrument)<br />

If you haven’t played piano since you<br />

were a kid (or maybe not even then),<br />

Li-An Chen Piano Studios might be your<br />

ticket to learning how to play the piano.<br />

One student, now 50, notes that her<br />

husband gave her piano lessons for her<br />

birthday and she was playing in a recital<br />

in less than three months. 4654 Kirkland<br />

Place (703) 835-2729; li-anchen.com<br />

Playing in a Rock Band<br />

Fulfill your teen dreams of rocking out<br />

by joining the School of Rock Music<br />

Camp for Adults, for anyone over<br />

age 18. Students of every skill level<br />

learn how to take the stage and work<br />

toward a real performance played in<br />

front of a live audience. 3260 Duke St.<br />

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

alexandria/music-camps.<br />

Scuba Diving<br />

Have you always wondered what it’s<br />

like to breathe underwater? If you<br />

want to try scuba diving, but aren’t<br />

quite ready to take the plunge into a<br />

certification course, Discover Scuba<br />

Sewing<br />

Tired of spending so much money to<br />

get your pants hemmed? Want to create<br />

your own dresses? Stitch Sew Shop in<br />

Old Town <strong>Alexandria</strong> offers group and<br />

private lessons, from how to thread<br />

a needle to using a sewing machine.<br />

1219 King St.; stitchsewshop.com.<br />

42 42 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

Skateboarding<br />

Skateboarding is the newest Olympic<br />

sport and something a lot of us tried as<br />

teens. As long as you have pads for your<br />

knees and elbows — and a good helmet<br />

— you can be the coolest adult on your<br />

block. Royalty Skateboard School, part<br />

of the GoSkate network, offers private<br />

and group lessons for all ages, including<br />

at the Duke Street Skate Park in<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>. They can also teach you to<br />

skateboard in the privacy of your own<br />

driveway. royaltyskateboarding.com.<br />

Wine 101 (Oenology)<br />

If you want to expand your wine vocabulary<br />

beyond “red or white,” you might<br />

consider signing up for the Introduction<br />

to Wine Basics course offered by Capital<br />

Wine School. Check out their many<br />

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

5207 Wisconsin Ave., NW, DC.;<br />

(202) 792-5020; info@capitalwineschool.com.<br />


Woodworking<br />

Woodcraft in Springfield offers<br />

woodworking classes for all<br />

skill levels in everything from<br />

woodturning and hand tools to<br />

router techniques, woodworking<br />

fundamentals and sharpening.<br />

Check out classes offered<br />

here: woodcraft.com/stores/<br />

washington-dc-area/classes. 5248 Port<br />

Royal Road, Springfield; 703-912-6727.<br />

Welding<br />

There are plenty of opportunities<br />

to pick up a torch and create<br />

masterpieces of metal. Start at<br />

The Garden, operated by Building<br />

Momentum in <strong>Alexandria</strong>’s West<br />

End, offers private and small<br />

group welding classes that focus<br />

on a group or individual challenge<br />

to solve and build. The Garden<br />

also offers “Wine & Welding”<br />

couples events. 5380 Eisenhower Ave.,<br />

Suite C, thegarden.net/training.<br />

Where Adults Can Learn<br />

When’s the last time you sat down with the course<br />

catalogue from Northern Virginia Community<br />

College? Or flipped through the Parks & Rec<br />

guides from Fairfax County Parks Authority or<br />

the City of <strong>Alexandria</strong>? Here are just a few of the<br />

classes being offered this fall that caught our eye…<br />

Northern Virginia Community College<br />

Automotive Engineering & Mechanics; Ceramics;<br />

Film Production; Interior Design; Photography;<br />

Public Speaking<br />

Fairfax County Parks & Rec<br />

Dance (including Ballroom, Hula, Country &<br />

Western and Swing); Golf; Guitar; Ice Skating;<br />

Martial Arts, including Indonesian Kung Fu;<br />

Pickleball; Swimming<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong> Parks & Rec<br />

AquaSpin; Fencing; Hula Hoop; Pickleball;<br />

Roller Skating<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />


WHY RIDE<br />

So you can<br />

find the perfect<br />

date night spot.<br />

We’re increasing bus<br />

frequency, improving<br />

connections and<br />

going fare-free!<br />

Discover the New<br />

DASH Network at<br />

dashbus.com/newnetwork.<br />

44 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

BIGGER,<br />

TALLER,<br />

DENSER<br />

Cranes above Duke Street. PHOTO BY BETH LAWTON<br />

Across <strong>Alexandria</strong> and Southeast Fairfax County, construction<br />

companies are working to build new apartment and condo<br />

buildings and retail developments. Some projects that were<br />

planned as office buildings are turning residential, as the<br />

coronavirus pandemic upended the way many people work.<br />

Here are just a few of the biggest developments underway<br />

and upcoming in our region, and those that have drawn the<br />

most interest from our readers.<br />

At alexandrialivingmagazine.com/development, our<br />

interactive map now has more than 70 development projects<br />

noted with descriptions. Check out the online map to see<br />

what’s going up in your neighborhood!<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />



1. Landmark Mall<br />

6. Potomac Yard<br />


2<br />

2. Upland Park<br />

7. GenOn Plan<br />

3. Seminary Road<br />

Afforable Housing<br />

4. Mount Vernon<br />

Village Center<br />

5. Arlandia Afforable<br />

Housing<br />

8. The Heritage<br />

9. Wegmans<br />

10. Huntington<br />

11. South Alex<br />

12. Grovetown<br />

3<br />

1<br />

46 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

4<br />

5<br />

6<br />

7<br />

9<br />

8<br />

10<br />

11<br />

12<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com 47

Potomac Yard Virginia Tech Campus (map #6) Residences at North Hill (map #13)<br />

1 Landmark Mall<br />

After more than 15 years of planning,<br />

replanning and replanning again,<br />

there’s real hope that Landmark Mall<br />

will be demolished. In late December<br />

2020, the City of <strong>Alexandria</strong> and<br />

Inova Hospital announced that Inova<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong> will build a new hospital<br />

and trauma center on the site of the<br />

former Landmark Mall. Other parts of<br />

the Landmark property will be used<br />

for residential and retail development,<br />

parks and civic uses, including<br />

a new fire station. The hospital could<br />

open in 2028. Other construction will<br />

start and could open sooner. The<br />

“old” Inova Hospital in <strong>Alexandria</strong>’s<br />

Seminary Hill neighborhood will be<br />

sold to a residential developer.<br />

3 Seminary Road Affordable<br />

Housing<br />

The <strong>Alexandria</strong> Housing Development<br />

Corp. is planning to build 40 residential<br />

units and 15 townhome-style<br />

homes. The project will be built just<br />

east of the fire station and Francis<br />

Hammond Middle School and could<br />

provide an opportunity for lower-income<br />

residents to get on the property<br />

ladder through a special ownership<br />

program. One of the current<br />

properties on that block is owned<br />

by Sheltered Homes of <strong>Alexandria</strong><br />

(which operates a group home for<br />

intellectually or developmentally<br />

disabled clients), and some of the new<br />

units would be transferred to SHA.<br />

Construction could be completed<br />

in 2024.<br />

5<br />

6<br />

2 Upland Park<br />

Developer Hekemian is moving<br />

forward on building a new residential<br />

neighborhood and park on land<br />

occupied by a number of small single-family<br />

homes in <strong>Alexandria</strong>’s West<br />

End near the intersection of North<br />

Beauregard Street and Seminary<br />

Road. Just one-tenth of a mile down<br />

the road, Monday Properties is developing<br />

a residential complex at 2000<br />

N. Beauregard St. that will include 300<br />

residential units. It replaces an office<br />

building. The company also owns<br />

buildings at 1500, 1600 and 1800 N.<br />

Beauregard St. that may be redeveloped<br />

at a later date.<br />

4<br />

Mount Vernon Village<br />

Center<br />

Mid-Atlantic Realty Partners is seeking<br />

to redevelop a shopping center in the<br />

2800 block of Mount Vernon Avenue<br />

— near Mom's Organic Market —<br />

into a mix of retail and multifamily<br />

residences in a project dubbed Mount<br />

Vernon Village Center. The site is currently<br />

home to a shopping center and<br />

supporting parking lot that contains<br />

MOM’s Organic Market and several<br />

other stores. The proposal calls for<br />

the demolition of the existing buildings<br />

and the construction of 23,332<br />

square of ground floor retail including<br />

a spot for a grocery store and 593<br />

residential units.<br />

Arlandria Affordable<br />

Housing<br />

The <strong>Alexandria</strong> Housing Development<br />

Corp. is working toward building<br />

hundreds of new affordable housing<br />

units at the intersection of Mount<br />

Vernon Avenue and West Glebe Road.<br />

AHDC has signed a letter of intent<br />

with the owner of 221 West Glebe<br />

Road and 3610-3612 Mt. Vernon Ave.<br />

3700 Mt. Vernon Ave., a city-owned<br />

property, is also involved. These<br />

properties include Sherwin Williams<br />

(formerly Safeway) and El Cuscatleco<br />

restaurant. Construction could be<br />

completed in 2024. The number of<br />

apartments is projected at more<br />

than 450.<br />

Potomac Yard<br />

Work continues on the $1 billion<br />

Virginia Tech Innovation Campus and<br />

surrounding residential, retail and<br />

office developments at Potomac Yard.<br />

Developer JBG Smith started construction<br />

in January on the massive<br />

redevelopment project on the 20-acre<br />

site. The movie theater was torn<br />

down earlier this year to make room<br />

for new buildings.<br />

48 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

South Alex (map #9) Wegmans (map #10)<br />

7 GenOn Plant<br />

9 Wegmans<br />

11<br />

8<br />

Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP),<br />

based out of the Chicago suburb of<br />

Northbrook, Illinois, announced the<br />

purchase of the old Potomac River<br />

Generating Station (PRGS), a 20-acre<br />

site at 1400 N. Royal St. in North Old<br />

Town.The site was purchased from<br />

Potomac Electric Power Company<br />

(Pepco), which will retain a small<br />

portion of the site in order to run<br />

an electrical substation. The project<br />

could include housing, commercial<br />

office, dining and retail, and public<br />

open space along the Potomac River.<br />

Hilco does not expect to break ground<br />

on any buildings until at least 2023<br />

and full development could take 7 to<br />

10 years.<br />

The Heritage<br />

Asland Capital Partners is moving<br />

forward on plans to replace the<br />

current garden-style apartments (The<br />

Heritage) near Wilkes Street Park with<br />

a much larger mixed-income community,<br />

including affordable housing.<br />

The project has been through<br />

much back-and-forth with the Board<br />

of Architectural Review, which has<br />

requested numerous changes to<br />

the size, scope and design of the<br />

project. The number of apartments<br />

in the project has been reduced and<br />

the plans call for 750 housing units<br />

in the project. The project has been<br />

approved by city council and current<br />

residents could start to be relocated<br />

as early November 2021.<br />

10<br />

The most anticipated grocery store<br />

opening in years is coming to the<br />

Carlyle neighborhood. A Wegmans<br />

grocery store is under construction<br />

now as part of a larger, mixed-use<br />

project on a 5-acre site, according to<br />

developer StoneBridge Associates.<br />

The grocery store has signed a lease<br />

for the 84,000-square foot store at<br />

Carlyle Crossing, just north of the<br />

popular AMC movie theater. Expect<br />

several hundred residential units in<br />

multiple new apartment buildings, a<br />

dog park and additional retail, too.<br />

Wegmans is expected to be completed<br />

in 2022.<br />

Huntington<br />

Huntington could be nearly unrecognizable<br />

in some spots in the next<br />

decade, as plans call for the redevelopment<br />

of the Huntington Club and<br />

several new high-rise apartment and<br />

condo buildings. One proposal in<br />

the neighborhood calls for building<br />

1,400-1,500 residential units and<br />

360,000 sq. ft. of office or retail in the<br />

area surrounding the Metro station<br />

between North Kings Highway and<br />

Huntington Avenue.<br />

12<br />

South Alex<br />

Combined Properties was making<br />

significant progress on the new South<br />

Alex residential and retail development<br />

when a five-alarm fire in 2019<br />

caused $48 million in damage and<br />

significantly pushed back the project<br />

timeline. Originally set for completion<br />

this year, the developer does not<br />

yet have a completion date for the<br />

project, but describes South Alex as<br />

“a vibrant mix of distinctive shops and<br />

residences in an art-inspired setting<br />

of bright community spaces.”<br />

Groveton<br />

Between Belle Haven and Hybla<br />

Valley, several developers are working<br />

on multiple different projects, primarily<br />

along Richmond Highway. In anticipation<br />

of Bus Rapid Transit in the<br />

coming years, Fairfield Residential,<br />

Pennrose and other developers are<br />

bringing new apartments, condos and<br />

townhomes to the area. In addition,<br />

Fairfax County officials are considering<br />

building a new fire station with<br />

an adjacent emergency shelter that<br />

has drawn both support and criticism<br />

from neighbors.<br />

See the interactive map at<br />

alexandrialivingmagazine.com/<br />

development for details<br />

about each project.<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />



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

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

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

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

residents premium access to the <strong>Alexandria</strong> waterfront and Old Town North’s growing restaurant and retail scene.<br />

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

the $800,000’s.<br />

Each of the 29 unique floor plans, ranging in size from<br />

920 to 2,000 square feet, feature an open-concept design<br />

and distinctive finishes.<br />

These well-appointed residences are built with 9 to<br />

19 ft. ceilings and a wall of functional windows, giving<br />

homeowners exclusive panoramic views of the Potomac<br />

River and historic Old Town. Spacious balconies easily<br />

accommodate patio furniture so residents can enjoy<br />

spending time outdoors while admiring the beautiful<br />

landscape below.<br />

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

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

and handmade Snaidero® cabinets imported from Italy.<br />

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

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

Kohler® tubs, Calacatta porcelain tile floors, and decorative accent tiles.<br />

50 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

Residents at Muse will enjoy a variety of<br />

amenities including a penthouse lounge<br />

with an outdoor terrace that offers<br />

expansive water views. The top floor will<br />

also include an indoor-outdoor fitness<br />

center, complete with a dedicated space<br />

for yoga and personal training sessions.<br />

A 24-hour concierge and building<br />

attendant will offer white glove service,<br />

ensuring every request is accommodated<br />

with a smile. Additional amenities<br />

include a fully equipped pet spa, package<br />

room, private storage, resident parking<br />

and more.<br />

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

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

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

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

exhibits and special events open to the neighborhood.<br />

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

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

the river.<br />

Sales have officially begun at Muse and<br />

over 30% of the building units have<br />

already sold.<br />

Interested home-buyers can schedule a<br />

private appointment at the Muse sales<br />

gallery where they can explore the different<br />

floor plans on a touchscreen display,<br />

choose their unit on the 3D building<br />

model, view an array of interior finishes<br />

and get a sneak peek of the amazing<br />

waterfront views that Muse will offer.<br />

Don’t miss the unique opportunity<br />

to own a beautiful condominium on<br />

the waterfront in Old Town North<br />

and be among the first to call the<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong> Art District home. To learn<br />

more and to schedule your visit, visit<br />

www.museoldtown.com.<br />

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

Interior design is by Akseizer Design Group of <strong>Alexandria</strong>)<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />


Girls Escape<br />

to the Conch Republic<br />

The ocean views are beautiful from a Sebago catamaran sunset sail in Key West.<br />


When my friend Nan told me<br />

she was heading down to<br />

Marathon in the Florida Keys<br />

for 10 days but her husband<br />

couldn’t get away, I jumped at<br />

an invitation to take his place.<br />

Add Nan's sister, Sandi, and we<br />

were ready to head to Florida<br />

for a girls’ getaway.<br />

Connected by 42 bridges just south of<br />

Miami, the Keys are the largest coral<br />

reef chain in the country, ending at<br />

Key West, the southernmost point in<br />

the continental United States. While<br />

the Keys are a great place to visit if<br />

you’re into a tropical laidback lifestyle,<br />

you’ll also find water sports, fishing, art<br />

galleries, history, architecture, great<br />

food, marine life, shopping and more.<br />

The Florida Keys have always been<br />

somewhat independent. In 1982, Key<br />

West momentarily seceded from the<br />

United States in response to the border<br />

patrol stopping cars to purportedly<br />

search for illegal drugs or illegal aliens,<br />

resulting in a 17-mile traffic backup.<br />

Although the secession was temporary,<br />

the state of mind was not and you'll see<br />

the Conch Republic flag flying proudly.<br />

With that independent lifestyle in mind<br />

as the backdrop for our getaway, we<br />

flew into Fort Lauderdale on a two-hour,<br />

40-minute flight on Southwest Airlines<br />

out of Reagan National and rented a car<br />

for the three-hour drive down U.S. 1 to<br />

The Reach Key West hotel features murals and other<br />

artwork by local artists.<br />

Marathon. We stopped for tacos and<br />

margaritas at Senor Frijoles in Key Largo<br />

and made Marathon our home base.<br />

Key West is about an hour’s drive south.<br />

After a trip to a local grocery store, we<br />

settled into our hotel in Marathon (more<br />

about that below). It’s hard to squeeze<br />

in everything we did in 10 days here, but<br />

here’s a look at some of the activities,<br />

dining and accommodations we experienced<br />

that you can also try.<br />

52 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

Things to Do<br />

Conch Tour Train<br />

303 Front St., Key West<br />

An injured sea turtle swims at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon.<br />

This 75-minute tour is the perfect way to<br />

find out all there is to know about Key West<br />

— the fascinating history about everything<br />

from the free-roaming roosters you'll hear<br />

crowing everywhere you go to the Harry<br />

S. Truman Little White House and Ernest<br />

Hemingway's home.<br />

Dolphin Research Center<br />

58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key<br />

See dolphins up close; founded as a<br />

nonprofit corporation in 1984, the goal is<br />

to ensure the dolphins have a home and<br />

establish a unique education and research<br />

facility. Research is conducted on behavioral<br />

engagement.<br />

Kayaking Eco Tour at Lazy<br />

Dog Adventures<br />

5114 Overseas Highway, Key West<br />

Guests enjoy live music on a Sebago sunset sail in Key West.<br />

A great spot to explore the mangroves and<br />

see manatees. Be sure to wear a swimsuit,<br />

water shoes, a hat, a sun shirt and plenty of<br />

sunscreen.<br />

Sebago Land's End Sunset Sail<br />

205 Elizabeth St., Key West<br />

The beautiful sunsets in the Keys are an<br />

event, whether it's in Key West at Mallory<br />

Square or elsewhere. There are several<br />

sunset sails and Sebago's, aboard a 70-foot<br />

catamaran, does not disappoint with live<br />

music and refreshments. Buy a ticket at the<br />

waterfront.<br />

Turtle Hospital<br />

2396 Overseas Hwy., Marathon<br />

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

Sea turtles that are injured, many hit by<br />

speed boats, are brought to the hospital for<br />

rescue and rehabilitation. Some undergo<br />

surgery, which we watched during a tour<br />

from behind a glass partition in a program<br />

supported by visitor fees. In addition to<br />

a talk about sea turtles, you'll also get a<br />

chance to see and feed some of the recovering<br />

turtles.<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />


Dining<br />

Barnacle Barney's Tiki Bar<br />

The Hammocks Marathon Resort<br />

1688 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL<br />

Hidden away at The Hammocks<br />

Marathon Resort, be sure to try the<br />

Key Lime Colada, a frozen concoction<br />

created after two Key Lime pies were<br />

smooshed in transit to the bar. Mary Jo,<br />

the manager, created the drink that is<br />

now the most popular on the menu.<br />

Chef Michael's<br />

81671 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada<br />

The best-tasting meal during our trip<br />

was at this popular upscale spot on<br />

Islamorada, where you must make a reservation.<br />

Be sure to try the Hogfish, "the<br />

fish" of the Keys, and the carrot cake.<br />

First Flight Island<br />

Restaurant & Brewery<br />

301 Whitehead St., Key West<br />

The fresh seafood was out of this world<br />

and beautifully presented at this lovely<br />

venue with outdoor seating under Key<br />

West's signature Banyan trees. The historic<br />

spot served as the birthplace of Pan<br />

American World Airways.<br />

Four Marlins<br />

The Reach Key West<br />

1435 Simonton St., Key West<br />

This lively oceanfront restaurant with<br />

indoor and outdoor seating is open for<br />

breakfast, lunch and dinner, including<br />

a happy hour and Sunday brunch. The<br />

restaurant's name was inspired by the<br />

four marlins caught by author and Key<br />

West resident Ernest Hemingway on<br />

his boat the Pilar, named for one of<br />

his wives.<br />

Il Postino<br />

Isla Bella Beach Resort<br />

1 Knights Key Blvd., Mile Marker 47,<br />

Marathon<br />

This restaurant beat out all others<br />

when it comes to its ambiance next to<br />

the water with twinkling lights, a sandy<br />

beach and friendly service. We wanted<br />

to return for happy hour and live music<br />

during our trip but ran out of time.<br />

Patrons of First Flight Island Restaurant & Brewery<br />

in Key West dine under native Banyan trees.<br />

Kermit's Cafe Kitchen<br />

200 Elizabeth St., Key West<br />

For the past 30 years, Kermit Carpenter<br />

has been in the business of all things<br />

key lime including of course key lime<br />

pie. Hands-down, Kermit serves the<br />

best key lime pie in the Keys. Find a seat<br />

by the koi pond and enjoy! Next door<br />

is Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shoppe.<br />

Keep your eyes peeled for Kermit himself<br />

— he's dressed in Key Lime green<br />

from head to toe.<br />

Lighthouse Grill<br />

Faro Blanco Resort<br />

1994 Overseas Hwy., Marathon<br />

The best dessert during our trip was<br />

served here — not key lime pie, but<br />

chocolate-covered pistachio ice cream<br />

that is not on the menu, but was recommended<br />

by our waiter.<br />

This delectable lobster dish is on the menu at First Flight in<br />

Key West.<br />

Robbie's Marina<br />

77522 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada<br />

The main attraction at this sprawling<br />

restaurant and bar, the Hungry Tarpon,<br />

is feeding the tarpon from the dock.<br />

Even though there is a sign not to feed<br />

the pelicans, they elbow their way onto<br />

the docks to the delight of the young at<br />

heart. Great brunch spot.<br />

54 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

Accommodations<br />

Guests at The Reach Key West enjoy swimming at<br />

the pool and beachfront amenities.<br />

The Reach Key West<br />

1435 Simonton St., Key West<br />

We stayed two nights at The Reach Key West, part of<br />

Hilton's Curio Collection, right on the ocean. Its name<br />

is inspired by a nautical term — "sailing on a reach,"<br />

which are ideal sailing conditions. This romantic resort<br />

reflects Key West in its whimsical artwork by local<br />

artists. Lifelike statues on the property prompt calls at<br />

least three times a week to the front desk. A life-size<br />

chessboard, bocce pit, pool and beach round out the<br />

stunning property. Barefoot Billy's offers jet ski, kayak<br />

and stand-up paddle board rentals and sunset cruises.<br />

An overseas gazebo at The Reach is often used for<br />

weddings. The Reach guests are welcome to visit sister<br />

property Casa Marina, next door.<br />

The Hammocks at Marathon Resort<br />

1688 Overseas Hwy., Marathon<br />

The Hammocks at Marathon Resort is located on the<br />

Gulf side of the Intercoastal Highway and part of the<br />

Bluegreen Vacation club. Our condo included two bedrooms,<br />

two bathrooms, a full kitchen, dining area and<br />

living room as well as a balcony overlooking the pool, a<br />

marina and Barnacle Barney's tiki bar. The sunset views<br />

from the balcony were breathtaking.<br />

The views are breathtaking from the balcony of the<br />

Hammocks at Marathon Resort. PHOTO BY NAN RYANT<br />

If You Go<br />

Be sure to check out keywestattractions.org<br />

and keywestvaccationpass.com, which<br />

offers a savings pass of up to $850.<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021 • alexandrialivingmagazine.com<br />





Mediterranean (Sébastien)<br />

Peruvian (Carla)<br />


Southern France and Lima, Peru<br />


Mafia movies (Sébastien)<br />

"Amélie" (Carla)<br />


"Seinfeld"<br />

HOBBIES:<br />

Fishing (Sébastien)<br />

Going to the beach (Carla)<br />

Carla Zamora and<br />

Sébastien Rondier<br />


Fontaine Caffe and Creperie<br />

(119 S. Royal St.)<br />


Wine, especially from Bordeaux<br />

Owners, Grounded Coffee Shop<br />


The chances of a chef from<br />

France and a dentist from Peru<br />

meeting, falling in love and<br />

operating a café together might<br />

seem unlikely. Then again,<br />

when living in an area as diverse<br />

and international as the DMV,<br />

perhaps not, because that’s<br />

exactly what happened to Carla<br />

Zamora and Sébastien Rondier.<br />

The couple met while hanging<br />

out with friends at Boqueria on<br />

M Street in D.C. in 2015. Three<br />

years later, they were married<br />

in Peru and now live in Old<br />

Town <strong>Alexandria</strong> with their two<br />

Westies, Fred and Sophia.<br />

Rondier began training to be a chef<br />

at the age of 16 in his native southwest<br />

France. Since then, he has worked in a<br />

number of widely acclaimed kitchens,<br />

including Michelin three-star restaurants in<br />

Paris, Monte Carlo, New York City, Puerto<br />

Rico and in D.C. at The St. Regis. Most recently,<br />

he was the executive chef at Brabo,<br />

located at 1600 King St. in Old Town.<br />

Between Rondier’s long hours as an executive<br />

chef and Zamora working full time<br />

as a dentist, the couple were looking for a<br />

change in pace. “Our lives were really busy,<br />

so after we got married, we wanted to find<br />

something that could allow me to help him<br />

in a way so that we could spend more time<br />

together,” explained Zamora.<br />

They began the process of looking for a<br />

coffee shop they could purchase, and were<br />

excited when the opportunity arose to own<br />

Grounded Coffee Shop, located at 6919<br />

Telegraph Road. The café was started by<br />

Candy and Wilfred Briffa 12 years ago and<br />

was already well established in the community.<br />

Zamora was familiar with the café and<br />

its customers through her work as a dentist<br />

in the area.<br />

Since taking over the café in <strong>Sept</strong>ember,<br />

Rondier and Zamora have slowly been putting<br />

their own touch on the place, while still<br />

trying to respect the café’s important place<br />

in the surrounding community.<br />

“People were scared, people don't like<br />

change; even though the concept stayed<br />

the same, some people were [hesitant],”<br />

said Rondier. A year later, they feel like they<br />

have become established and that the consistent<br />

quality and customer service keep<br />

people coming back.<br />

French antiques and memorabilia from<br />

Rondier’s career as a chef fill the cozy and<br />

welcoming space. They sell 12 to 15 different<br />

croissants on any given day and have<br />

filled out the menu to feature Rondier’s talents.<br />

Zamora helps out when she can, while<br />

still practicing dentistry three days a week.<br />

Future short-term and long-term plans<br />

for the café include renovating the front<br />

counter area, bringing back live music on<br />

Sundays, expanding the menu to include<br />

a brunch menu, serving wine and beer<br />

and possibly opening a second location in<br />

another part of <strong>Alexandria</strong>. For now, the<br />

couple is having fun and enjoying time<br />

together while creating a happy space for<br />

their customers and their employees.<br />

56 alexandrialivingmagazine.com • <strong>Sept</strong>ember / October 2021

Now Open for Preview Sales<br />

The future is coming to <strong>Alexandria</strong>. Introducing Dylan: new inspired residences<br />

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

HQ2 and Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus—Dylan celebrates <strong>Alexandria</strong> with<br />

luxurious condominiums and boutique amenities designed to enhance modern<br />

lifestyles. Experience this vision for yourself: Dylan’s Sales Gallery and New<br />

Model are now open.<br />



2316 RICHMOND HWY,<br />

ALEXANDRIA, VA 22301<br />




571.970.0068<br />


SCHEDULE A TOUR AT LiveDylanVA.com<br />

© 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<br />

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<br />

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<br />

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<br />

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<br />

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<br />

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

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<br />

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.<br />

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<br />

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<br />

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

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

201 N. Union St., Suite 110<br />

<strong>Alexandria</strong>, VA 22314<br />


The Trusted Real Estate Resource<br />

for <strong>Alexandria</strong> and Beyond<br />

$303M<br />

McEnearney Associates (Old Town)<br />

$157M<br />

Compass (king Street)<br />

$102M<br />

Long & Foster (Old Town)<br />

$77M<br />

Keller Williams (Old Town)<br />

$63M<br />

Weichert (Old Town)<br />

$62M<br />

TTR Sotheby’s (Old Town)<br />

$60M<br />

Compass (Lee Street)<br />

$50M<br />

Coldwell Banker (Old Town)<br />

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

Sales data is deemed to be accurate but not guaranteed.<br />

830 Herbert Springs Road, <strong>Alexandria</strong>, VA 22308 | $2,953,000<br />

Exclusively Represented by Susan Taylor<br />

Old Town Office | 109 S. Pitt Street, <strong>Alexandria</strong>, VA 22314<br />

tel. +1 703 549 9292 | www.McEnearney.com<br />

Equal Housing Opportunity

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