Posts Tagged ‘Falls Church’

Modern Family

When it comes to families, the new ‘normal’ is that there is no ‘normal.’

Adoption in Northern Virginia.

Bonnie Gardner & Owen. Photo courtesy of Bonnie Gardner.

By Cynthia Long

Owen Gardner, 8, was in first grade when his teacher asked him to bring in baby pictures to class. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any photos from when he was an infant. In third grade, he was given an autobiographical assignment called “The Day I Was Born.” He was supposed to list the time he was born, the people who were present at his birth and other details about the momentous occasion. The assignment made the little boy’s stomach turn somersaults. He worried he would get a bad grade on the project because he couldn’t answer any of the questions.

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Hungry for Linkage: Get your VA-made product on Whole Foods’ shelves

Posted by Stefanie Gans, Dining Editor / Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Celery better than kale

Ines Behrens-Kunkel/

Next guess for the new kale: celery. [Today]

Liberty Tavern Group will expand with a restaurant in Falls Church. [Arlington Magazine]

With the release of Lonely Planet‘s “The World’s Best Brunches,” you can win a copy of the new book by tagging your brunch #LPBestBrunches on Instagram. [LP]

Dear Virginia food companies: Pitch your product to the forthcoming Ashburn Whole Foods. [Loudoun Times]

“So we’re not all going to die from gluten eventually?” [Lucky Peach]

Virginia was shut out of the James Beard awards, but one D.C. chef got a nod. [JBF]

Hungry For Linkage: Get to know trash fish

Posted by Editorial / Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Garden of Eatin'

Photo courtesy of Nova Medical Group

By Nicole Bayne

Reston’s Northern Virginia Restaurant Week starts today. [RestonNow]

Get the scoop on all Restaurant Week specials in Falls Church. [FB]

Participate in the first Willow Wine Club event tomorrow from 6-8 p.m. for $25. [Willow]

The Randy Radish food truck takes over Garden of Eatin’. [TheRandyRadish]

Is foraging through the office fridge stealing? [NPR]

Screaming Eagle, “the Holy Grail of Cabernet.” [WaPo]

Worried about overfishing? Try trash fish. [WSJ]

18 new and almost opened restaurants, breweries and coffee shops in Northern Virginia

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

New and Almost Open restaurants in Northern Virginia

Photo courtesy of 360b/

Need a new spot to nosh? Here is a list of new restaurants now open or opening soon.

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Hungry for Linkage: Free Lunch Today at Nando’s Peri-Peri in Gainsville

Posted by Stefanie Gans, Dining Editor / Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Photo Courtesy Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Photo Courtesy Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Later this summer Clarendon will get a European-inspired tavern, Park Lane Tavern. [ARLnow]

Giveaway today at Nando’s Peri-Peri in Gainsville: one free 1/4 chicken, chicken sandwich, wrap or pita, per person, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m, dine-in only. [Nando’s]

Falls Church scores two new bakeries: Happy Tart focuses on gluten-free items and Astro Doughnuts serves doughnuts and fried chicken. [Eater, Eater]

The players behind Mt. Defiance, Loudoun‘s second distillery to open since Prohibition. [Loudoun Times Mirror]

Middleburg‘s Popcorn Monkey looks for employees for its new location in the Manassas Mall. [FB]

When Lady Gaga meets Falls Church folk

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

From left to right: Julie Ann Greene, Lea Mae Rice Camarda, Larry Rice. Photo courtesy of Larry Rice.

From left to right: Julie Ann Greene, Lea Mae Rice Carda, Larry Rice. Photo by Tim Camarda.

By Matthew Tracy

Most people know “Poker Face.” They know that Lady Gaga wants to “hold ‘em like they do in Texas, please.” And in Falls Church, folk band The Big Cheese holds ‘em like they do in Virginia.

The Big Cheese’s tagline is “‘Cripple Creek’ meets Lady Gaga.” Using old time folk tunes, they put a special twist on pop classics such as “Poker Face.”

Bandleader Larry Rice gives the lowdown on their music: “The oldest tune that we play is from the 1500s,” he says. “It’s a really old folk tune, but it’s a cool melody. It’s timeless. We take old songs, and we sort of mash them up.”

Rice’s music career began in a band with his brother when he was growing up in Falls Church. He then went on to cofound country rock band Flatbush in Cleveland and made a name for himself in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

Flatbush released two 45s and an LP during its time together. One tune, “Snug as a Bug in a Rug,” became a Cleveland radio hit in 1979, yet Flatbush broke up soon after this success. Rice chose to continue with music, making a part-time gig as a music teacher in Falls Church his full-time passion.

The Big Cheese performing at Epicurean Café. Photo courtesy of Larry Rice.

The Big Cheese performing at Epicurean Café. Lea Mae Carda (middle) on the mountain dulcimer. Photo courtesy of Larry Rice.

Just eight years ago Rice formed The Big Cheese with his former mandolin student Julie Anne Greene and his daughters Lea Mae Camarda and Shannon Rice, who is on performance hiatus while serving in the Navy.

“I’d have to say it’s just as fun (as Flatbush); it’s just different,” says Larry Rice.

Fans can tell they have a fun time from the humor of recent novelty tunes like “Redneck Cappuccino,” a song about Mountain Dew, and “Harvey,” which is about what Rice calls a fierce “ninja cat.” And one thing that makes The Big Cheese different is its members’ variety of tastes.

“Shannon is a little more modern. Julie’s into traditional; she’s into bluegrass in particular as a mandolin player,” Rice says. “And it’s sort of a democratic band. Everybody picks the song they want to do.”

The band also stands out in its choice of instruments. “(Lea Mae Carda) plays the (mountain) dulcimer, and literally a crowd gathers round because most people have never seen one,” Rice says. “It’s a very traditional sound, but when you put it into some newer music, it’s kind of a cool tune.”

The Big Cheese uses ten different acoustic instruments, giving them vibrancy other local bands lack.

“All our instruments are acoustic,” Rice says. “But mixed together with more modern approaches, it’s really neat music.”

Audiences can see Larry Rice perform with Lea Mae Carda and three of his fiddle students Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Epicure Cafe in Fairfax in anticipation of the band’s “Live Culture” CD release party on March 28.

To learn more, visit Larry Rice’s site or The Big Cheese’s Facebook page.


Arctic air breaks weather records; Defendant accused of attempted hits on child witnesses

By Carten Cordell

Arctic air breaks weather records

Virginia bills duel over limits on Police use of Drones

Va. House kills bill on Herndon elections
(The Washington Post)

Falls Church defendant allegedly asked about hit man to kill child witnesses
(The Washington Post)

Ethics legislation in Virginia still leave many questions

After Trial Run, French Chef Bertrand Chemel Will Continue Leading Pizzeria Orso (and 2941)

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Photo Courtesy of Pizzeria Orso

Photos Courtesy of Pizzeria Orso

By Stefanie Gans

Before December, Bertrand Chemel never made pizza.

The French chef who quit school at 16 to cook for a living has made terrines, sausages, pasta, and even worked under Daniel Boulud, but the 39-year-old chef of 2941—and now the corporate chef of Pizzeria Orso—never attempted the Italian classic. 

After Orso’s most recent chef, Will Artley, left the Falls Church restaurant in October (he’s now cooking at D.C.’s BLT Steak), Chemel stepped in as 2941 and Orso share ownership. Chemel was supposed to be a placeholder until Orso found a new face, but Chemel wanted the challenge of developing the menu and learning how to toss dough; he will fly to California in March to train for his VPN certification.  

The basis of the menu will not stray from Artley’s touches, making the family-friendly Orso much more than a pizza place with plenty of interesting small plates and entrees. Chemel’s Orso menu debuted yesterday. / Pizzeria Orso, 400 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church

Falls Church’s supernatural series, Malice, spotlighted at Rosebud festival

Posted by Editorial / Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Rosebud Film Festival

Photo courtesy of Philip J. Cook.

By Matthew Tracy

Falls Church may be rich in history, but now it’s ground zero for a wave of supernatural turbulence the world has never seen.

So goes the premise behind the award-winning web series “Malice,” created by Falls Church native Philip J. Cook and now available on YouTube. Described as “‘Juno’ meets ‘The Shining’“, “Malice” is the story of the Turners, a family who moves into their late grandmother’s house in Northern Virginia only to find something evil this way comes. It’s up to daughter Alice, played by Herndon native Brittany Martz, to save the family from a wicked fate.

Malice webseries

(From left to right) Actress Brittany Martz (Alice Turner); Director Philip J. Cook; Actor Mark Hyde (Nate Turner); Actress Cathryn Benson (Carolyn). Photo courtesy of Philip J. Cook

Alice’s latest adventure takes her to the heavens in “Malice: 1999,” which is part of the Showcase Lineup at the 25th Rosebud Film & Video Festival happening this weekend at the Artisphere in Arlington.

Cook is a seasoned veteran of the film industry. In 1992, his first film, “Outerworld“, reached a national audience when it aired on Syfy. He has made a new name for himself with “Malice,” and he did it through YouTube, an outlet he says has opened the market for different kinds of storytelling.

 “(YouTube) allows people to make their own media, which was impossible 20 years ago,” Cook says. “If you said (back then): ‘Hey, there’s this free international distribution platform. It costs no money. You don’t need a distributor. They don’t take 20 percent. And you can reach a wide audience right now, from your home,’ you would have thought that’s crazy.”

Although YouTube has changed how creators reach audiences, it can be difficult to break into the broader media landscape. Cook describes the Rosebud Film Festival as a major conduit for area filmmakers.

“There’s a lot of work that gets done in town, but we haven’t yet crossed the threshold into theatrical releases or mainstream cable television,” Cook says. “Like everybody, we’re all struggling, trying to get our projects made, financed and released. And that’s why Rosebud is a fun thing.”

Open to filmmakers in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., the Rosebud festival seeks to highlight the ” innovative, unusual, experimental, and deeply personal” in regional short-film cinema.

“What I really love about it is they’re really proactive in trying to connect with the local community in terms of getting the message out on all these people,” Cook says.

Audiences can see Cook’s “Malice: 1999″ and more at the Rosebud Film Festival this Saturday, Jan. 24, in Arlington, Virginia.

For more information, visit


Warm Up this Winter with Paint-Your-Own Pottery

Posted by Editorial / Friday, January 9th, 2015

Pottery painting in Northern Virginia

Photo courtesy of Brian A Jackson/

By Micaela Williamson

Your house is already too messy from snow days and delayed openings. Bring the kids to one of these great paint-your-own pottery places in Northern Virginia to create one-of-a kind treasured gifts to last a lifetime and get the creative spirits flowing.


Art from the Heart
325 Garrisonville Road
Stafford, 22554

No appointment is needed at this creative little studio. Try your hand at the great paint-your-own pottery selection or glass fusing. There are also “Pottery to Go” kits that allow customers to paint their pieces at home and bring it back to the studio for glazing. Refer to their website to learn about special events, such as a monthly homeschool days, preschool story hours, ladies’ nights and much more.


Clay Cafe Chantilly
13894 Metrotech Drive
Chantilly, 20151

Clay Cafe Falls Church
101 North Maple Ave.
Falls Church, 22046

These award-winning pottery studios continuously offer the largest selection of pottery and glass fusion pieces in the metro area. Plus, all materials are non-toxic, lead free and safe for the environment. Besides pottery, young artists can participate in origami, bottle cap magnets, scrapbooking, beading and card making. Always check the website for special events, coupons, and promotions.


Color Me Mine Ashburn
22855 Brambleton Plaza
Ashburn, 20148

Color Me Mine Fairfax
4209 Fairfax Corner Ave.
Fairfax, 22030

So much at the Color Me Mine locations is geared towards families. There are frequent kids’ nights out and pajama paints on the calendar. All the paint used is non-toxic and safe for kids. Both studios are in great locations (Brambleton and Fairfax Corner) near lots of shops and restaurants.


Jimmy Potters
6504 Williamsburg Blvd.
Arlington, 22213

The motto at Jimmy Potters Studio is “there are no mistakes in pottery,” and they strive to create a fun, artistic space for people of all ages.  Jimmy Potters offers open studio time for clay work and paint-your-own ceramics, as well as parties, workshops, and special events. Their special handprint pieces make the perfect keepsake, and a staff member will even come to your home, upon request, to capture your little one’s handprint.


Kiln & Co.
132 Church St., NW
Vienna, 22180

Artists of all ages are invited to work with pottery, sculpture, painting and other mediums at this new whimsical studio in downtown Vienna. Special classes and workshops are offered like Mommy & Me (ages 12 & under), Cupcake Sundays, Daddy-Daughter Date Night and Come Play Footies Fridays.

Paint This
1013 King Street
Alexandria, 22314

Situated in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, Paint This is a great outing. Families can select to paint pottery products such as dinnerware, ceramic pieces, and picture frames, or have a go at mosaics or glass fusion. Please check the website or call ahead for special events and promotions.


Paint Your Own Pottery
10417 Main Street
Fairfax, 22030

With a selection of over 600 pieces, everyone is bound to find something they want to paint. All their glazes are lead free and non-toxic. Studio hours, coupons, and updates are constantly updated on the website.


Courtesy of Tiffany Brown, Mamaratzy Photography

Micaela Williamson is a co-author of local travel guide, Kid Trips Northern Virginia, an extraordinary resource that provides descriptions, useful information and insider tips for hundreds of local destinations. Micaela is also an award winning blogger who enjoys supporting area businesses and scouting out family-friendly venues with her two young sons.

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