Posts Tagged ‘Alexandria’

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.” 

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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:

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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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Torpedo Factory’s anniversary mural brings the center “Outside the Lines”

Commissioned piece is just the beginning of the changes at the art center. —Jessica Godart

Torpedo Factory artist Rachel Kerwin.

Photo by Erick Gibson.

When the Torpedo Factory opened its doors 40 years ago, its modus operandi was to take its surroundings and turn it into art—renovating a venue of war paraphernalia making into a gathering space for artists. Looking forward to its next 40 years the center is, again, taking its surroundings as inspiration, using the streets of Alexandria as the blueprint for the latest artwork.

Art is a moving, living medium and the changes at Torpedo Factory are changing in this vein through a new look, logo, website and programs.

New programs are still under wraps,  but the new look reflects the “contemporary” and “sophisticated” feel that CEO of the Factory, Eric Wallner, wanted. The Factory is “really looking at how we [can] thrive for the next 40 years.”

Entrusted with patrons first look at the new face of the Torpedo Factory, resident artist Rachel Kerwin, was commissioned to create the mural that transposes the outside streets of Alexandria into the space at the waterfront entrance. After a call for entry, 13 artists responded, but Kerwin’s proposal won over the rest. “[Kerwin] had a really imaginative approach to the space,” says Wallner.

“It’s a great representation of both the physical environment around us and the creative atmosphere that happens in the building.”

Currently working in Studio 203 of the art center, Kerwin spent a total of over 200 hours sketching and painting the mural, mostly during business hours when visitors would pass by and see her creation at work. “It helped me think about the piece and how people see it,” she says.

The initial idea of the piece was based on a paint-by-numbers vision the artist had with large sections of the mural remaining outlined and uncolored. Kerwin took photos of the surrounding area of the building and then projected it on the wall, tracing the pictures before coloring in the final product.

Kerwin describes her 436-square-foot piece, “Coloring Outside the Lines,” as a “panoramic view” of scenes of life outside the building flowing into an abstract fusion of shapes and colors. When planning the mural, which wraps the entryway walls, Kerwin took care to keep a Factory favorite: the chalkboard  that visitors are able to draw, write and create on. The board has been repainted and the mural blends into the piece.

  • “Coloring Outside the Lines,” a mural by Torpedo Factory's resident artist, Rachel Kerwin. Photo by Erick Gibson.

  • “Coloring Outside the Lines,” a mural by Torpedo Factory's resident artist, Rachel Kerwin. Photo by Erick Gibson.

  • “Coloring Outside the Lines,” a mural by Torpedo Factory's resident artist, Rachel Kerwin. Photo by Erick Gibson.

  • “Coloring Outside the Lines,” a mural by Torpedo Factory's resident artist, Rachel Kerwin. Photo by Erick Gibson.

  • “Coloring Outside the Lines,” a mural by Torpedo Factory's resident artist, Rachel Kerwin. Photo by Erick Gibson.

  • Torpedo Factory's resident artist Rachel Kerwin with her mural, “Coloring Outside the Lines”. Photo by Erick Gibson.


(August 2014)

Hungry for Linkage: Lazy Man Lobster’s Dinner + Clarendon Food Crawl + Arlington County Fair Starts Today

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH /

By Ariel Yong

Love lobster? Hate all the work cracking it? The Grille at Morrison House in Alexandria is doing it for you. For the entire month of August, order the “Lazy Man’s Lobster Dinner” and feast on one and a half pounds of lobster for $29. 

A second location of Copperwood Tavern is set to open in Ashburn’s One Loudoun in September 2015. [WBJ]

Eat your way through Clarendon this Saturday at the Clarendon Food Crawl

The Arlington County Fair starts today. 

After 12 years, Song Que deli at Eden Center will close on September 15. [WaPo]

Grapes that taste like cotton-candy. [The Splendid Table]

Wenches, Knaves, 15th Century Accents and Meat Pie at John Strongbow’s Tavern

Posted by Editorial / Monday, August 4th, 2014

Photo by Ariel Yong

By Ariel Yong

Alexandria welcomed a new tavern last month, but from the outside, it may be hard to believe that it’s a restaurant and not a museum. John Strongbow’s Tavern is designed like a castle, complete with decor featuring the flag of Wales, the Scottish lion, paintings of Henry II and Henry V and “a reproduction of a stain-glassed piece of Richard Strongbow [John's brother],” says Karla Booth, a restaurant representative. 

The owners, a group of United States veterans, used the Strongbow name to complement the British-themed tavern. The restaurant is also a nod, says Booth, of the owners’ appreciation of history and the arts. 

While a 15th century tavern serving 15th century food may seem out of the ordinary, this is not a new concept to Alexandria. A few of the owners of John Strongbow’s also owned Medieval Madness on King Street, a similarly themed establishment which closed earlier this year. However, Medieval Madness has a new home above John Strongbow’s dining area in the Great Hall. In addition to a four-course feast, the Great Hall features live entertainment, including comedy, singing and a live sword competition. Booth says some of the tavern’s owners serve as actors in the battles and use real swords and armor. 

The Great Hall also hosts live bands, including local ones like Moch Pryderi. This traditional Celtic band from Fredericksburg is complete with bagpipes and a harp. Eventully, John Strongbow’s intends to bring the live music downstairs to the dining area.

The tavern’s dining area features 15th century food served by people dressed as wenches and knaves, who speak with accents of “various degrees of success,” says Heather Howard, the restaurant’s director of arts and entertainment. Howard hopes to host workshops for the staff on how to improve medieval accents in the future to keep with the tavern’s 15th century theme. “The idea is to provide a unique dining experience that blends art, history and culinary art,” Howard says. The tavern focuses on spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg, which are “very comforting” and “speak hospitality,” says Howard. “Some people have come in and been like, ‘Oh, it smells like Christmas in here. What’s cooking?’ It’s definitely comfort food and a lot of what you see in modern day pubs is basically modern takes on what we’re [using] the original recipes for.”

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