Posts Tagged ‘Alexandria’

September’s Can’t-Miss Events

Edited by Jessica Godart

Alexandria Fall Art Show

Photo courtesy of Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association.

112th Annual Alexandria Festival of the Arts
Hosted on King Street, the festival transforms the historical main street into an outdoor gallery fixed with jewelry, sculptures, photography, ceramics and more all stretching over six blocks. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase some of the art on display, all of which totals over $15 million. / Alexandria / Sept. 13 & 14


Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5k.

Photo courtesy of Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5k.

2Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K
In memory of Sept. 11, 2001, this race raises money from its thousands of participants that will go towards charities such as American Red Cross, Wounded Warrior Project and the Pentagon Memorial Fund. The race will begin in Crystal City and runners will pass the Pentagon during the course. / Arlington / Sept. 6



Photo by Ross Halfin.

3Aerosmith & Slash Live at Jiffy Lube
Mixing Guns N’ Roses’ Slash with Aerosmith? As frontman Steven Tyler sings, “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing!” On one of the last stops of the Let Rock Rule tour, the combo will rock the stage at Jiffy Lube Live from the pit to the lawn. Think you’ll ever see a show like this again? “Dream On.” / Bristow / Sept. 6


50th Golden Anniversary Jaguar Club Car Show

Photo courtesy of Bocman1973/

450th Golden Anniversary Jaguar Club Car Show
Jaguars are on the prowl in Reston Town Center as they mark their 50th anniversary of the XKE and the 25th anniversary of the XKJ. The displayed cars will include a new Jaguar F-Type as well as a 1927 Swallow. Heads up, Market Street will be filled to the brim with the King of the Urban Jungle: Jaguars. / Reston Town Center / Sept. 21




(September 2014)


Have a Few Minutes, an Hour, a Weekend? Get Organized

DIY Organization at Home.

Photo courtesy of Elena Elisseeva/

Whether you have one minute or five, an hour or an afternoon, local professionals offer their tips to help you get organized. Consider their suggestions, try them out, get inspired—but remember that staying on task for a block of time is the key to accomplishment.

If you have five minutes:
Look around the space you are sitting in. What is the biggest eyesore? What is causing the most stress? Ask yourself what you can add or eliminate now to make it more functional or beautiful. –Kacy Paide

When I give talks, I always take a roll of empty paper towel roll with me and I say look through the roll, anything you see through that roll you can do in five minutes. It helps them focus on one tiny little area, so they don’t get overwhelmed. –Melanie Patt-Corner

Take charge of one shelf in your refrigerator. Take everything out and wash the shelf. Only put back the things that haven’t expired or aren’t moldy or ruined. Sometimes people get carried away and they’ll do a second shelf. –Melanie Patt-Corner

If you have 15 minutes:
Ask yourself what would give you the most immediate relief right now? This can be as small as a pencil cup or corner of the countertop. Zero in on clearing that space by tossing, trashing or moving things to other parts of the home or office that don’t belong. –Kacy Paide

If you have 30 minutes:
Empty out a junk drawer and organize it. Use little boxes or plastic trays to contain small objects, and throw out all the little twist ties, old used-up pens and pencils and dead rubber bands. –Melanie Patt-Corner

Walk through your whole house with a laundry basket and fill it with items you don’t want anymore. Then bag them up and immediately put them in your car to donate. A lot of people have no trouble gathering up bags of things to donate. But then they leave them in the living room or basement for six months, which defeats the purpose. You want to get those bags of donations out of your house within 24 hours, or you will lose momentum and they will become part of the ongoing clutter. –Melanie Patt-Corner

If you have an hour:
Clean out your coat closet. Take everything out, and only put back what you wore this winter. Hang a pocket organizer on the inside of the closet door to organize mittens, gloves and small objects. Put baskets or bins or a small shelf on the closet floor to hold boots and shoes. Separate the shoes by owner, with a different basket or shelf for each person. –Melanie Patt-Corner

If you have an afternoon:
Toss. Toss. Toss. Challenge yourself to eliminate anything in your home or office that is useless, broken or ugly. Start with the low hanging fruit. Determine where the highest concentration of trash or donations are lurking and start there. –Kacy Paide

If you have a weekend:
Do a whole clothes closet. Take everything out of the closet, put all the clothes on the bed and only hang up things you have worn in the past one or two years and that still fit you. Put everything else in bags and donate them. It’s OK to keep a fancy dress or outfit that you only wear now and then as long as it still fits you. Don’t forget to go through all of your purses and shoes and larger totes as well. Don’t keep something just because you spent a lot of money on it; if you’ve never used it, will never use it or hate it, get rid of it. I organize clothes by season, and then within the season, by type of clothing and then by color. –Melanie Patt-Corner

(August 2014)

Standing Up

A single act of determined, non-violent heroics by one of Alexandria’s native sons marks the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement in Virginia.

By David Hodes

Alexandria's Barrett Branch Library Sit-In in 1939.

(left to right) William Evans, Otto L. Tucker, Edward Gaddis, Officer Jack Kelley, Morris Murray and Clarence “Buck” Strange exiting the current-day Barrett Branch Library on August 21, 1939 after the sit-in. Photo courtesy of The Alexandria Black History Museum, S.W. Tucker Collection

Alexandria, the early 1900s.

It’s a separate but equal world in Virginia. That was the law throughout the country since 1896. Segregation was legal. Americans were living under a virtual apartheid system.

Grade schools for African Americans in the city were segregated—and substandard. There was no high school for black kids. They had to go into D.C. to pursue higher education.

Like all cities in Virginia, the black and white populations lived apart in Alexandria: whites lived on King Street and south, blacks lived on Queen Street and north.

One of those black families was the Tuckers: father Samuel A. Tucker, Jr., born in Alexandria; wife Fannie, a farmer’s daughter and teacher from Fauquier County; sons George, Otto and Samuel W.; and daughter Elise.

Samuel Tucker, Jr., was a smart, serious guy, a jack of all trades trying out different jobs. He ran a grocery store, a restaurant; he was an insurance man, a bartender. Then he bought a building and got into the real estate business around 1924.

Lawyer and Civil Rights pioneer Samuel Tucker.

“He was not well known, but he was the genius behind the fight,” says Senator Henry Marsh of Samuel Tucker (above). Photo courtesy of The Alexandria Black History Museum, S.W. Tucker Collection

With him in the building he owned was a family friend and attorney, Thomas Watson. Tucker, Jr., wanted to be a lawyer, went to law school at night in D.C., but didn’t pass the bar. Tucker’s son, 10-year-old Samuel W. Tucker, would hang out in his dad’s office, read law books from Watson’s collection, listen intently to what was going on as the two men talked about business and law, even prepared court documents for Watson by the time he was 13, building a foundation to question the establishment and get involved at a young age for a life that he knew was unfair to black people.

Then, still just a boy, he got arrested in an event that changed his life and focused his future ambitions.

Every day, young Tucker took the trolley over the 14th street bridge into the district, passing the whites-only Jefferson High School in Alexandria just a few blocks from his family’s house. Then, after crossing the bridge, he would walk two-and-half miles to go to Armstrong High School. He was doing well in school, studying to be an architect.

The trolley would stop in the middle of 14th street on the way back to Alexandria, and an announcement was made: all whites come to the front, all blacks go to the back. That’s the way it was in 1927.

On this particular day, Tucker, riding with his brothers Otto and George, repositioned one of the moveable seats in the white section to face seats in the black section. A white woman objected to the incursion into the white part of the bus, but the three boys refused to turn the seat back around. When the trolley stopped in Alexandria, she found a fireman, told him about the incident, and 14-year-old Tucker and his 11-year old brother George were arrested for disorderly conduct. They were tried and convicted of the crime. 

Their dad’s attorney friend, Watson, appealed the conviction and an all-white jury found them not guilty. Through that experience—young Tucker’s first-person experience of suffering the indignities of segregation and seeing how the law could be used to fight it—he had found his calling.

Fast forward a dozen years; 1939. Segregation was being challenged and quiet events were happening in the background around schools and property issues. The white establishment in Virginia was beginning to sense trouble brewing.

Smart African American men in the state were stepping up. Under the watchful mentoring of Watson, Tucker—a cool, composed whip-smart 26-year-old, six years out of Howard University who taught himself law and passed the bar when he was just 20—was the right guy at the right time who was destined to make a difference.

Tucker had studied law at the Library of Congress. Right across the street at the time, the Supreme Court building was being built. He would spend his later years trying landmark desegregation cases there.

He was a trained debater from his time on the debate team at Howard. He saw how words influenced actions, how people responded to a leader who stood up for what is right.

At Howard, people from India were brought in as part of speaker’s program about solidarity in the face of racism. Tucker learned about the non-violent civil disobedience acts Mahatma Gandhi invoked to help his people resist the oppression from the British.

Tucker had read about the 44-day sit-in autoworkers staged in December 1936, at a General Motors plant in Flint, Michigan for better wages and working conditions that resulted in the formation of the United Auto Workers Union.

It was clear that sit-ins had become a new non-violent tool in the fight to equalize the have-nots with the haves. And there was always the Constitution that said all men are created equal. Tucker was a constitutional scholar, and he would use that document throughout his professional career to fight for the equality promised to all Americans.

In 1939, a new, whites-only library had been built in Alexandria, just a block from Tucker’s house. When a black neighbor in Alexandria tried to get a library card and was refused, Tucker saw his chance to do the right thing. He would use his officer’s training as a second lieutenant in the infantry reserves at Howard to organize and conduct an operation.

He got his brother Otto and five others to stage a protest at the Alexandria library. Each young man, properly dressed and respectful, went into the library, one by one, and asked for a library card. When they were denied, they each took a book from the stack, sat down and refused to leave. The librarian called the police.

Bobby Strange, 14, was one of the protestors assigned to be the lookout and update Tucker about what was happening. When Tucker heard the police were coming, he alerted the press who got there just as the five protestors were lead out in front of a crowd of stunned onlookers.

The boys were charged with trespassing; however, Tucker challenged it, successfully arguing that they had a right to be in the public library, and the charge was changed to disorderly conduct. At trial, Tucker got the librarian and the arresting officer to admit that the protestors were arrested only because they were black, not because they were disorderly.

The opposing counsel was Armistead Bruce, a lawyer who would share bourbon with Tucker out of sight of the general public in a social setting of mutual admiration, and would go on to be one of Tucker’s lifelong friends.

An official ruling was never made, the case ended up in limbo, and the protestors were never jailed.

A smaller, beat-up library was quickly opened for blacks to use, but Tucker wasn’t having it. In a letter to the librarian of the Alexandria library, he wrote: “I refuse and will always refuse to accept a card to be used at the library … in lieu of a card to be used at the existing library … for which I have made application. Continued delaying … in issuing to me a card … will be taken as a refusal to do so, whereupon I will feel justified in seeking the aid of court to enforce my right.”

Two years later, in March 1941, Tucker was called into action during World War II, serving in the all-black 366th Infantry Regiment as first lieutenant, later as captain. He took part in fighting in Italy in 1944, action that hardened him to the fights he was to enter into once home again in 1946.

He moved from Alexandria to Emporia to continue his law practice, the only black lawyer in the city, and married Julia Spaulding in 1947, a woman who he met 10 years earlier and kept in touch with while in the service.

By the 1950s, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), founded in 1909 and making headway fighting for voting and housing rights for blacks in the Supreme Court, was on the offensive fighting the separate but equal ruling for schools in the state. They recruited Tucker, along with Howard Law School graduate and future Supreme Court justice (1967) Thurgood Marshall, and one of Tucker’s law school colleagues Oliver Hill. Marshall led the team of lawyers that won the landmark Brown v. Board of Education cases in 1954, proving that it was unconstitutional for whites and blacks to have separate schools, ruling that school boards must desegregate schools.

Civil Rights pioneer Samuel W. Tucker and wife Julia.

Samuel W. Tucker and wife Julia. Photo courtesy of The Alexandria Black History Museum, S.W. Tucker Collection.

The work with the NAACP and its lawyers began a long law career for Tucker, who argued discrimination cases in the state for years, becoming a key attorney in the leading law firm handling desegregation cases in Virginia in 1961, the Tucker and Marsh law office in Richmond.

Partner Henry Marsh III, from Richmond, had been the president of the NAACP chapter in high school and was a recent law school grad back from a two-year stint with the Army. Oliver Hill joined in 1965. These three strong, powerful connected attorneys at the Hill, Tucker and Marsh law firm were perfectly aligned for the fight for equal rights that many believe peaked in the late ’60s and early ’70s but still goes on today.

Today Marsh—serving as a Virginia senator since 1992, who also served as the first black mayor of Richmond in 1977—is a well-known civil rights lawyer and politician who handled over 50 school desegregation cases throughout his career. His interest in civil rights has been around since a very early age: “I used to walk five miles to school, first through fifth grade. And yellow buses taking white children to schools would pass me by. I used to ask where those buses were going, and why are those kids riding like that and I am walking?”

In college, Marsh read about the massive resistance hearing in Richmond; the state was defying the federal ruling on desegregating schools. Marsh went down and testified on behalf of the student government, the only student speaking amid 37 speakers, all mostly white. NAACP attorney Oliver Hill watched and was impressed. Hill told him to keep in touch.

In 1960, with John F. Kennedy as president, Hill was appointed housing commissioner. Hill moved to D.C., and gave up his practice. That’s when he introduced Marsh to Tucker, who was now in his 20th year of practice. “We shook hands on a partnership and we started right in on cases of desegregation in the office,” Marsh says. “I didn’t practice before, but I was thrown into the frying pan so to speak.”
Over the years, the two lawyers challenged the massive resistance laws. “We challenged the tuition grant program that put a lot of public funds into schools,” Marsh says. “We cut the spigot off. And we sued companies for all kinds of discrimination.”

When Hill rejoined the firm in the late ’60s, he became a political weapon in the fight, Marsh says. “We sued the school boards and won all the cases. I did cases with Mr. Tucker in Virginia that went to the Supreme Court. We defended teachers and principals; we handled a lot of cases. Mr. Tucker was a major force and I was just a sidekick, so to speak.” 

Tucker taught him everything, Marsh says. “He taught me how to practice law. He taught me how to fight for civil rights. He taught me how to litigate and be committed to the struggle. Neither one of us was concerned about the money. We were just in the fight.”

Tucker’s Supreme Court case in 1968, Green v. New Kent County, a landmark case that helped speed up desegregation in the state, was tried before the Supreme Court where Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice, presided. Tucker won a unanimous decision.

When Tucker moved to Richmond to join the law firm, he left his brother Otto to run his law practice in Alexandria along with Melvin Miller, who came to Alexandria in 1958. Miller, another Howard Law School graduate, was interested in civil rights cases and championed the cause of fair housing practices throughout his career in Alexandria.

“Otto and I handled the local stuff until it got to where it would go to the appeals court. Then [Tucker] would take it from there,” Miller says. Tucker was just “sharp as a tack. Just talking to him was quite an amazing thing for me as a lawyer, particularly on the Constitution issues,” he says. “[Tucker] was really very good, and had such a grasp of all of that.”

It was Tucker’s deep understanding of the Constitution, and how he used that in a thoughtful and direct way, that became the foundation for his search for justice for blacks in the late ’50’s and ’60’s. “It wasn’t that the legislators of Virginia didn’t know that all men should have these rights,” Miller says. “It was just that they didn’t want to do it.”

One of the first lunch counter sit-ins at that time in the area was in Arlington, which began to affect lunch counters in Alexandria. The mayor of Alexandria appointed a biracial committee to come up with recommendations on what should be done. Miller was a committee member: “Some kids from Howard University called over to Otto’s office and said they were going to stage a sit-in in Northern Virginia, and thought Alexandria was the ideal place to do it because there would be more exposure to the event.” 

Miller recommended they do it near Alexandria, believing Alexandria would cave in because they could see what was coming. That became the sit-in at the Drug Fair in the Cherrydale community in Arlington on June 10, 1960.

The next day, the committee drafted a statement which resulted in lunch counters in a few of the chain restaurants in Alexandria opening for blacks. Others followed in 1961.

Throughout the careers of these men, all faced personal challenges about what they were trying to accomplish. Tucker was charged by the Virginia State Bar with unprofessional conduct. They tried to have him disbarred because of the work he was doing on desegregation. That didn’t happen.

Miller says the 1939 Alexandria library sit-in was a precursor to things that happened all over the south. “In order to do things like that, there has to be some organization and discipline behind it,” Miller says. “And you can’t always wait for a lot of people to do it. You can’t expect everybody to go out and get on the line and maybe get arrested. It just doesn’t happen.”

But if you are organized and disciplined—if you are right—the pressure will create the downfall of discrimination, Miller says. “You just put enough pressure and shine enough light on it, and you would find that the power structure would then decide that this isn’t worth the battle.”

So what are the lasting effects of lessons learned from the 1939 sit-in? “The only problem now is that racism is a little more subtle,” Miller says. “It was very easy to fight that ‘I couldn’t use that library’ or ‘I couldn’t eat in that restaurant’ or ‘I couldn’t sit down at that lunch counter’,” he says. “Those kinds of issues, in my mind, were easy battles.”

Racism is more disguised now, he says. “Whenever we try to do something now in the low income housing, particularly if we do it in a neighborhood that has either predominantly white or large numbers of whites in it, they fight it not because they are African American or Hispanics but because of parking or something like that,” Miller says.

Marsh says Tucker literally gave his life for the struggle for civil rights. “He was not well known but he was the genius behind the fight. Because without his interest, the outcome of the movement might have been different.”

He was way ahead of his time, Marsh says, organizing the sit-in long before students did sit-ins in the ‘50s and ‘60s. “He was a true pioneer in the civil rights movement.”


Alexandria's Civil Rights Movement

Alexandria in the Civil Rights Movement

(August 2014)

Water Pups

Just as humans take to the water in sweltering heat, dogs want a part of the action, too.

By Kate Masters

How to Keep Your Pets Cool and Hydrated this Summer.

Photo courtesy of Franklin Park Staff.

While fetch is fun and it’s hard to beat a nice walk in the park, swimming might take top dog in terms of canine cardio. According to Roger Collins, the owner and operator of the Northern Virginia Animal Swim Center in Middleburg, there are wide-ranging health benefits for dogs that swim regularly, from increased muscle tone to pain relief.

For younger, healthy dogs, swimming can provide an invigorating break from their normal exercise routine or regularly supplement their daily activity. For older dogs, the benefits might be even greater. Collins says that water eases arthritis and joint pain in geriatric dogs by giving them a greater range of mobility, and rebuilds muscle much faster than walking or running. Swimming can even help dogs with degenerative neuromuscular diseases, slowing deterioration and providing a level of activity that improves their outlook on life.

Despite their shaggy exteriors, most dogs take like ducks to water—if they’re given the opportunity to develop their skills. Veronica Sanchez, a trainer and behavior consultant at Cooperative Paws in Vienna, says that breeds like Labradors and Newfoundlands were bred to work in the water and usually jump right in with little to no prompting. With other breeds, it’s not so easy. Dobermans don’t particularly enjoy the water, nor do many lap-dog breeds. In cases like these, Collins says pups need time to build confidence before they embrace the doggy paddle.

How to Keep Your Pets Cool and Hydrated this Summer.

Photo courtesy of Michelle P. Long.

“All dogs have the instinct to swim, but it needs to be developed,” Collins says. “Dogs suddenly introduced or thrown in will panic.” Collins and Sanchez recommend training reluctant dogs in calm, shallow areas of water to make them feel more comfortable.

“Tossing toys or offering treats when the dog walks into a shallow area can help build confidence,” Sanchez says. “It can also help if the owner enters the water first, or if the dog has a canine friend that is happy to play in the water.”

Whether they’re novice paddlers or seasoned swimmers, Collins says that a dog’s safety in the water depends on their owner’s common sense. “Some people think dogs can swim forever, but they do get exhausted,” he says. “You have to consider a dog’s limitations and keep them away from areas frequented by non-dog owners,” such as boat camps and crowded beaches, where broken glass can litter the ground, as well as fishing grounds where dogs can get caught on broken lines or stray hooks. Collins also says it’s important to watch out for dirty water—since all dogs drink while they swim, it’s up to the owner to check the site’s water quality.

Pooch swimming is all about safety, and Virginia’s sweltering summers present the perfect opportunity to warm dogs up to water. With a little owner oversight and a doggy life vest, pups can swim anywhere their humans would, and enjoy it just as much.

Mason Neck State Park
7301 High Point Road, Lorton; 703-339-2385
Mason Neck is known for bald eagle conservation, but the beach may overshadow the birds for water-loving pups. Take the Bay View Trail for easy access to Belmont Bay, an ideal inlet for doggy paddling.

Prince William Forest Park
18100 Park Headquarters Road, Triangle; 703-221-4706
Prince William Park protects some of the earliest settled land in American history, and visitors can find centuries of history hidden along its forested paths. Explore sites like an abandoned pyrite mine while Fido splashes through brooks and pools formed by industrious beaver colonies.

Leesylvania State Park
2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive, Woodbridge; 703-730-8205
You can’t get more Virginia than Leesylvania State Park, the ancestral home of the Lee and Fairfax families. Head to Freestone Point Beach at the northern tip of the park for a sandy strip of Potomac shore, perfect for wading or a few rounds of fetch.

Northern Virginia Animal Swim Center
35469 Millville Road, Middleburg; 540-687-6816
Ideal for swimming beginners, the Northern Virginia Animal Swim Center offers a safe environment for dogs to adjust to the water. The Center offers year-round training, conditioning, and rehabilitation sessions for dogs in their two indoor swimming pools, where owners can guide their canine friends through the water with a chest harness and lead.

Pup ’N Iron
21 Perchwood Drive, Unit 111, Fredericksburg; 540-659-7614
Besides training, fitness and wellness services, Pup’N Iron in Fredericksburg also offer a heated hydrotherapy pool for dogs with injuries or mobility issues. Healthy dogs are also free to make a splash—the facility offers Fun and Fitness sessions where owners can play in the pool with their pups.

Shirlington Dog Park
2601 S. Arlington Mill Drive, Arlington; 703-228-6525
The Shirlington Dog Park offers its furry visitors unique access to a creek that runs alongside the main play area. Pups can wet their paws in the shallow areas near the bank, or enjoy a full-fledged swim in the deeper areas by the creek’s waterfall.


Pools Offering Dog Swim Days

Atlantis Waterpark
7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville

Pirate’s Cove Waterpark
6501 Pohick Bay Drive, Lorton

Ocean Dunes Waterpark
6060 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

Great Waves Waterpark
4001 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria

Volcano Island Waterpark
47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling
While the parks haven’t set an official date for their dog swim days, they’re traditionally held on the Saturday after Labor Day.

Larry Weeks Community Pools at Vint Hill
4248 Bludau Drive, Warrenton
The pool will hold a Doggy Swim Pool Party on September 6 from 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

A.V. Symington Aquatic Center
80 Ida Lee Drive NW, Leesburg
Swim day scheduled for September 6.

Lovettsville Community Center Pool
57 E. Broad Way, Lovettsville

Franklin Park Pool
17501 Franklin Park Road, Purcellville
Weekend of September 13, usually 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

Veterans Memorial Park
14300 Featherstone Road, Woodbridge
The pooch plunge is held the weekend after the pool closes.

Curtis Park Pool
58 Jesse Curtis Lane, Stafford
Curtis Park is holding a Drool in the Pool event on September 6 from 10 a.m.–noon.

(August 2014)

Part Doughnut Shop, Part Speakeasy: Sugar Shack Opening in Old Town Alexandria

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Photo Courtesy of The Sugar Shack

By Allison Michelli

The Richmond doughnut bakery Sugar Shack’s  new location in Alexandria will be part bakery, part speakeasy. Owner of the Northern Virginia location VA Del. Rob Krupicka (D-Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax) explains that, “We are going to have a very intimate speakeasy next door to the donut shop. We are excited to do something unique that will be a  real kind of destination spot.” Menu items at the speakeasy will include doughnuts-inspired food and hand-crafted cocktails. Krupicka says, “Doughnuts work all day long. People have them for breakfast and people also have them as dessert.” 

Read the rest of this entry »

Ice Cream is Always the Answer

Posted by Editorial / Friday, August 15th, 2014

Photos by Ariel Yong

By Ariel Yong 

It feels like summer is almost over (where is the humidity?!). But don’t worry, there’s still ice cream to be eaten. Here are some ice cream lovers spotted on the street, taken over two days in Arlington and Alexandria. 

Send us your ice cream photos @NoVADining

Ice cream details:

Read the rest of this entry »

Your One-Stop Destination for Antique Shops in NoVA

By Christina Marino

We’ve looked deep into the areas of NoVA to bring you a list of Antique shops that are sure to quench your inner collector’s thirst. 



Red Barn Mercantile store front; photo by Rashmi Pappu.


Evolution Home

6239 Shields Ave. Alexandria, 22303 | (703) 519 1911

Looking for a shop that offers antiques, consignment, and rentals for staging? Swing by Alexandria for your fix. With an average of 30 independent dealers both local and abroad this shop finds the best pieces for your home. A collaboration of the original Potomac West Antiques and Not Too Shabby Consignments were blended together to bring you Evolution Home as your one stop destination. Keep up to date on their constantly changing inventory through their website or on their social media accounts below.


Lawrence Miller & Co

121 S. Royal St. Alexandria, 22314 | (703) 548 0659

Having been in business since 1968, the Rubesch family original owners held title of the store until their retirement in 2003 when Lawrence purchased the business.  A shop almost as old as the pieces in it you’re sure to find one of a kind items with a rich history to back them up. Diamonds are a girls best friend, or so they say, for those who may disagree wait until you enter this shop that has an array of antique and estate jewelry as well as options for custom designs. Other services they offer consist of repairs and restorations as well as sell drink and table ware.  


Maggie Jane’s

913 King St. Alexandria, 22314 | (571) 643 8293
A blend of vintage, french, and urban chic style – this shop has a variety things that are sure to fit your home. You have to come early if you want antique pieces from here since this location doesn’t host many antiques, and they go fast. Those interested in learning how to restore? Classes are provided on how to properly restore pieces, and they are the exclusive retailer of Ce Ce Caldwell Chalk and Clay paint. Snuggled in a 18th century row house on King Street this shop kept as much of the original architecture of the building when opening. Visit their location or like them on Facebook to see their newest pieces. 

Red Barn Mercantile

1117 King St. Alexandria, 22314 | (703) 838 0355

Beginning as strictly a antique store and blooming into a collaboration of consignment and new pieces, this shop will have all the little nick-knacks you could possible look for – and if they don’t they’ll try and find it for you. Antiquing has been in the blood of owner Amy Rutherford’s family beginning with her Grandmother who ran a shop inside her home in Oklahoma. You can find Rutherford scouring flea markets looking for the next best thing for her store. See and shop the latest items online or visit them in-store to see the eclectic group of pieces for yourself.


Spurgeon-Lewis Antiques

112 North Columbus St. Alexandria, 22314 | (703) 548 4917 

Been in the business since as early as 1990 this antique destination has American pieces as old as 1780. A location that houses primarily formal antiques – and a few consignment – and holds a stringent process for those items that are accepted to the shop.  One of the partners of the shop still holds onto his first purchased antique piece from when he was a mere six years old – a store with an history (almost) as old as it’s pieces. Shop the pieces on, an online marketplace, or in-store. 




Falls Church:


Stylish Patina store front; photo by Kelly Millspaugh Thompson


Stylish Patina 

410 S Maple Ave, # 114, Falls Church, 22046 | (703) 663 8428
Don’t let a shop with a humble beginning on fool you – with years in the making this antique location isn’t your common shop. From dressers, to dining room tables, and home decor accents you can find about almost anything to furnish your home. Looking for interior design consultations, custom painting, staging services, or vintage rentals? You can find it all here. Shop at their store location, online, or on their Etsy shop. 



Leesburg Antique Emporium

32 South King St. Leesburg, 20175 | (703) 777 3553

A multi-dealer shop in the heart of downtown Leesburg will have what your looking for, and more. With more than 40 dealers currently in the shop and specialties that range from jewelry, to furniture, to hardware, and record albums you’re sure to find an eclectic variety of pieces to fill your home. Family run and operated since its 1997 opening this two story shop will take you some time to venture through. Check them out next time your in Leesburg. 


Don’t see your favorite shop here? Comment below and well make sure to add them to our list.

Gay marriage could start in Virginia next week; McDonnell had $90k in credit card debt

By Carten Cordell

In Virginia, Gay Marriages May Begin Next Week

Washington Post reporter arrested in Ferguson, Mo. after a tumultuous night of protests
(The Washington Post)

Scammers posing as police target Alexandria

Prosecution outlines the McDonnells $90,000 in credit card debt at trial
(The Washington Post)

Water main break shuts down Alexandria road


Shaping Our Local Synergy

Erin Perkins, current editor of The Scout Guide Northern Virginia, shares her go-to items for transitioning from lunch meetings at the Waterfront Market & Café to hitting the streets to discover and connect local businesses.

Erin Perkins, editor of The Scout Guide Northern Virginia.

Photo by Erick Gibson.

Some may find it hard to transition from the spotlight to a supporting role, but Erin Perkins welcomed the change of pace. After spending four-and -a-half years singing and dancing in regional theater productions and her own cabaret show in New York City, she decided to shift her focus towards an area with more of a community vibe. Having always loved discovering local shops and eateries, she found herself right at home learning the value of hard work, connectivity and the trials of small businesses while managing locally owned Periwinkle Boutique.

 It was there that Perkins met the previous editor of Scout Guide Northern Virginia, a publication aimed at showcasing local businesses, and quickly found herself agreeing to become the editor of volume three, published in June.

“Editor is a loose term; it’s basically the CEO or director of sales. You are the person in charge from conception to delivery,” she says. After spending months networking, Perkins was able to secure 32 businesses for the 50-page guide and execute 28 photo shoots in two months with the help of photographer Dan Chung and stylist Kathryn Martin.

 After hosting a successful launch party at Decorium Home and Design and afterparty at Virtue Feed & Grain in Alexandria, Perkins aims to continue the momentum by providing networking opportunities throughout the area to help distribute the 20, 000 printed copies of the guide. Despite having an incredibly busy year, she remains excited and passionate about bringing the focus to the area and “what makes our little place of the world unique and special.”–Angela Bobo


The Scout Guide Northern Virginia's Erin Perkins

Photo by Erick Gibson.

(August 2014)

The Perfect Golf Date for Your Golf-Free Relationship

By Elke Thoms

Golf ball in roses

Photo courtesy of photofriday/

Summertime means freedom from the cold weather dinner-and-a-movie staple, and for golf lovers, it’s an excuse to spend time with the person you love and the sport you love in the same evening. However, unless you happened to meet in the tee box, chances are your partner isn’t as big a golf fan as you are (and maybe that’s putting it nicely). Still, there are several nearby golf courses that promise to let you work on your swing, while providing enough entertainment for your significant other to forget that you’re actually golfing. The challenge is selecting the perfect golf course. 

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