Posts Tagged ‘Northern Virginia Magazine’

Burning Railcars and Moving Museums in Manassas this Weekend

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Civil War Weekend in Manassas

Photo Courtesy of Historic Manassas, Inc.

By Bailey Lucero-Carter

Flames will light the night sky this Saturday in Old Town Manassas as Civil War re-enactors burn a railroad car to commemorate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s 1862 raid on the junction. This event is just one of many that will bring history back to Manassas as part of Civil War Weekend.

In addition, Old Town Manassas is commemorating Civil War Weekend with guest speakers like Bob O’Connor, author of “Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War,” tours of the plantation Liberia, weapons demonstrations and a special three-day exhibition of the Virginia Civil War 150 HistoryMobile.

Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission's HistoryMobile.

Photo courtesy of Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission.

The HistoryMobile, winner of the American Association of State and Local History’s 2013 Leadership in History Award of Merit, was established summer of 2011 in accordance with the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas, also known as the Battle of Bull Run.

This museum on wheels is a tractor-trailer packed full of interactive exhibits and activities. The outside of the moving museum is laden with unique prints that depict places and people from the Civil War.

Inside, the museum is divided into four sections—Battlefront, Homefront, Journey to Freedom and Loss-Gain Legacy—where patrons can get a glimpse of what life was like for soldiers, civilians and enslaved families, while also learning about the sacrifices and benefits of the war.

Executive Director Cheryl Jackson says the museum’s new features include scanned family documents, photos and journals for patrons to examine.

In addition, visitors can become a part of the exhibit through the Legacy Project, which invites individuals to submit Civil War documents from their own families to the exhibit.

Civil War Weekend and the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile are free admission. The events and attractions are enjoyable for all ages.

Civil War Weekend
Historic Downtown Manassas
Aug. 22-23, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., Aug. 24, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Free Admission

The Universal World of Singledom

Every now and then we need to escape our lives. Getting away is therapeutic and oh-so-necessary. This is especially true in the Type A Land that is the Washington region.

Well, I did escape recently, as I do at least once a year. I went to Belize for a glorious, epic, furious, busy, exemplary 16 days. Some trips are relaxing. This one was invigorating.

I hiked, I snorkeled, I spelunked (which maybe sounds swankier than “I trudged through caves”) and I swam.

But along the way I also chatted and conversed with everyone who crossed my path— locals, fellow travelers, bartenders, guides. A constant topic, though not driven or instigated by yours truly, somehow always seemed to be relationships and the state of being single. Specifically being a single woman is, I guess, a situation that others crave to know.

“Why,” for certain, seemed to be the prevailing question, as if every singleton spins a “Wheel of Fortune” wheel and selects it.

It’s what the very first taxi driver of the excursion posed not 15 minutes after I had disembarked from a plane and wanted to not have to address. Actually, this gent’s phrasing was more like the following:

Why aren’t you married? You need to find a good man and then that guy should
handcuff you unless you’re traveling with him.

This sounds sexist or offensive. It was half in jest and half a result of not getting it, not being in my shoes. Yet his sentiment was somewhere along the lines of this:

I’m too independent. I’m too free, too wild. To some, the notion that a woman who
is not legally bound or otherwise tethered to a man is almost dangerous, crazy,
certainly out of their realm.

Why travel solo? Why run off and interact with strangers in strange lands? Why not follow the well-worn path?

Mind you, I met wonderful and progressive Belizeans with incredibly articulate perspectives on gender roles. Some men seemed honestly worried about being the type of man who allows a woman to do her thing. Yet, at the same time, they also want to “be a man” and flex their masculine muscles and step up as provider. It’s a tough spot to be in. I certainly didn’t have the secret formula for them to follow and concoct.

But I did have some answers for my taxi driver. We bantered for a few minutes, him saying how unusual it was that—at over 30—I’m childless. In Belize, he was quick to point out, many women have already delivered several babies by several men at this point in adulthood.

“I guess I’m behind. Or maybe I’m ahead. I don’t know,” I said to him, as some sort of ridiculous explanation.

The thing is it’s not really possible to explain such things. Why am I single? I haven’t met my soul mate. I date and I try. I’m not opposed to a male mate. Other than that, however, it’s a one day at a time pursuit.

Then it occurred to me that, way off in Belize, as I made my escape, it was the same type of discussion I’d have on American soil. Single ladies the region over constantly find themselves defending or explaining or just relaying stories from the war zone of dating.

I guess there’s no escape from that, even in far-flung travel.


Mark Your Calendar: SJP is Coming to NoVA

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom

By Helen Ray

Ladies, grab your wallets and clear you schedules because Sarah Jessica Parker is coming to Tyson’s Corner on August 22. The “Sex and the City” star is celebrating the launch of her fall 2014 Nordstrom’s collection at local stores.

The line made its first debut earlier this year, making quite a wave in the fashion world. The collection, “SJP,” is designed by Parker and George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik, who together created a line of brightly colored shoes, trendy handbags and “city-chic” outerwear. The collection is nothing short of fabulous and a line we’re sure would have Carrie Bradshaw exclaiming “me likey.”

It’s going to be a real treat for die-hard SATC fans as well as the fashion obsessed of Northern Virginia to be able to shop the new collection and see SJP in person later this month. Check out the images  below for a sneak peak of the upcoming line. 

Where:  Nordstrom’s at Tyson’s Corner

When: August 22nd from 5-6pm. 

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3. 2. 1. Go. – New interactive game teaches kids about The Cold War

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Image by Dane Penland, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

By Jessica Godart

It’s 10 a.m. Your briefing begins sharp on the hour. The fate of precious American cargo is in your hands as a plane has gone down too close to the Soviet Union. That same plane was carrying U.S. citizens who are now in danger as they are in enemy-filled territory.

The Cold War is spreading across Europe and affecting the world’s most powerful countries. Your mission is to find a safe route to save the lives of the pilots and regain the plane’s cargo using satellite imagery and aerial surveillance. All intelligence information you receive is vital to complete your mission as soon as possible.

However, you must complete this mission by 3:50 p.m. and be sure not to deviate from your parents during the discovery process.

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center will be adding this new interactive game, TechQuest: Eye in the Sky, to their kids’ programs starting Aug. 8 and 9. The alternative reality situation allows kids to experience the role of intelligence analysts during The Cold War.

New Horizons Satellite at Udvar-Hazy. Image by Dane Penland, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

“We’ve set up a scenario in which a plane has gone down,” said Shannon Marriott, Explainers Program Coordinator at Udvar-Hazy. “They’re going through the game looking at different artifacts and looking at the kind of images they can take to eventually plan a safe route to rescue the pilots in this plane.”

TechQuest is designed to use codes, ciphers, puzzles and satellite imagery created by Udvar-Hazy Explainers. While the images and codes cannot be revealed so their secrecy remains intact, graphic designers specifically created the images so they were as accurate as possible to the period that the game is set in.

 “We wanted to make a scenario that was plausible but wasn’t actually based on real events,” said Marriott.

The pictures are used by the kids, acting as intelligence analysts during the game, to “map out a route of rescue” to safely return the pilots and their cargo home.

Participants are given printed guides to follow in order to explore four different artifacts all related to the Cold War. They are instructed to go to certain satellites and aircraft, where senior advisers will walk the participants through the process of taking satellite photos.

The game is designed to last between 60 and 90 minutes and ends with the kids and parents returning to the Claude Moore Lab, where the briefing is held, for the debriefing once they have finished the tasks.

TechQuest: Eye in Sky is designed to be available to play the second Friday and Saturday of every month, starting in August. It is geared towards kids around the ages of third to eighth grade and their parents. Marriott mentioned that eventually they would like to offer the activity to school groups during visits.

TechQuest: Eye in the Sky
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy, Chantilly
Aug. 8 & 9 (10 a.m. – 3:50 p.m.)

Sales and News in NoVA

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

photo courtesy of

South Moon Under Student Sale 
South Moon Under has paired up with Teen Vogue’s “Back to School Saturdays” series for the second year in a row, bringing students sweet deals before school starts again. On August 16 all South Moon Under locations will be giving students a 20 percent discount as well as an opportunity to win a shopping spree, get some free styling advice and get a special gift with every purchase.

Lili the First Fashion Support Launch 

As of August 1, Vienna boutique Lili the First, added a unique “Fashion Support” rack to the store in order to fundraise for The Women’s Center. The designated clothing rack is made up of locally donated gently worn clothes which are resold through the store all year long, with 100 percent of the proceeds donated to the Women’s Center. The Women’s Center is a Vienna-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving “the psychological, career, financial and legal well-being of women, men, teens and children, regardless of their ability to pay.” 

The launch of the event will be on August 14th from 6-8 where CEO of the Women’s Center, Shirley Clark, will speak, hors d’oeuvres from Culinaria Cooking School will be served and a silent auction of boutique goods will be sold to celebrate the new way Lili the First is raising awareness.

Nordstrom Pop-In

Nordstrom is at it again this summer with a continuation of their Pop-in series. Beginning August 8 and going through to September 7 they will host Pop-In@Nordstrom with Rag & Bone as they introduce their Fall 2014 women’s and men’s collections. Pop-In@Nordstrom houses curated goods at select stores which features exclusive items and limited-edition collectibles. Visit Nordstrom at Tysons Corner Center or online at to shop this limited time offer when it launches.

Lessons to Avoid the Psychos

Flipping through channels on my TV the other week I came upon a comedian boiling down online dating.

The guy, a contestant on “Last Comic Standing,” was riffing on the concerns of men vs. women when it comes to meeting a romantic interest and transitioning from digitally connecting to the real thing.

Guys’ biggest fear, according to the comedian: I hope she’s not uggo.

Ladies’ biggest fear, according to the same comedian: I hope I don’t die. I hope my head stays on my body after this date, and I survive.

Hearing this, my first reaction was to laugh. Then, I realized my laughing, nay my cackling, was because of how true the statement was.

On nearly all of the dates that I’ve gone on lately, especially as a product of Tinder, I’ve showed up and the man I’m meeting feels the need to make some statement about how I compare in person to my pictures:

“You look like your pictures.”

“You look better in person.”

“Your pictures seem like they’re recent.”

Or even some vague reference to women and what they post to show how they look, such as “You never know what someone’s actually going to look like in person.”

Literally, these are all statements males have made. God forbid a woman is five pounds heavier than they anticipated, less busty or somehow not their physical ideal. 

I understand that some women lie and post photos that are not a true reflection of how they appear at the moment. Clearly men do, too. I met a date once who, unbeknownst to me, was bald. His photos clearly showed him in hats or with a full, thick head of brown wavy hair. False advertising much.

In my experience, it’s the men that put so much stock in this photo/in-person match. God forbid she’s not as hot as imagined.

I’d also have to agree with the comedian on women’s worries. Yup, I’ve entered a date and thought the same things I did before skydiving, “Here are the steps I need to take to make sure I stay safe.”

Yet when the person is someone you discovered on a website or app, there’s this extra uncertainty and fear factor. Is he who he says he is? Is he a he? Do I even want to find out?

The other night a former soldier in the Army wanted to take me out. He lives in Laurel. Actually, his employer’s putting him up in a hotel in Laurel and then on weekends he returns to the remote part of Pennsylvania where he has a house. Not exactly geographically ideal, but he seemed kind and complimentary, so I agreed to meet him—if he abided by a few rules.

Now, I’m not the rules type. “The Rules” has never been my Bible. I have a serious spontaneous streak, and I live an unstructured, freelance lifestyle. Still, I value, you know, having a head and living, so I decided to take some control. Army guy met me in D.C. where I wanted to eat. He parked his car, I walked over to the tavern. Afterwards, he went his way and I went mine. And, because a drone isn’t penning this post, I did, in fact, live to tell the tale.

As I go on dates, especially ones arranged by Tinder, here are the safety precautions I’ve started taking. The goal isn’t to be a buzzkill but also not to be a sucker at someone else’s mercy or put in a really horrible, awkward position if he skews toward jerk (though, let’s face it, there will be awkwardness):


Stay in your neighborhood, at least for the first date if you have any qualms. At first this felt really selfish to me, to have someone come to me. But then I realized that I live in a central area that has amenities, so this is not a huge ask. Any guy worth his salt, too, should be willing to head your way. Keeping close to home can allow for a quick escape, too, if it comes to that.

Don’t reveal certain personal tidbits just yet. Your last name, your kid’s name are better saved until it’s clear you’re not dealing with a serial killer.

Don’t friend him on Facebook. Particularly if you link up on social media prior to the date, then the date turns out to be a dud or, worse yet, one you never want to remember again, this gets messy. Being connected on whatever app or site first brought you together is enough for starters.

Tell someone know where you are. This is an oldy, but goody that needs to make a resurgence. Let a pal know that you’re at that taqueria down the street or just that you’re out that night with “the scruffy guy we talked about.” It may seem cliche, but he or she can text and create a reason for your departure should that be necessary.

Trust your instincts. Whenever I listen to that little voice in my head I make the right call. When I put her in a corner like Baby in “Dirty Dancing,” no good comes. Go with your gut in love, not to mention life.

Oh, and be the girl in your photo. Represent yourself correctly and at least the guy is getting you. If he doesn’t like it, forget him. Plenty more singles are online.

Just be careful parsing through them.


Keep Your Cool: Jeans and Tanks Re-purposed

Posted by Editorial / Monday, July 14th, 2014

By Helen Ray

You know the heat is too much when you wake up and it’s already 90 degrees. You want to dress trendy but you know more then likely you’re just going to end up feeling sweaty and wanting to hide away in the air conditioning. You’re wondering ‘what’s the point in dressing up’? So, you opt for a classic look– something that’s comfortable, familiar and appropriate for multiple occasions. We’re talking about the good ole jeans and tank look. And yes, we love our jeans and tanks, but just because we’re opting for a simpler outfit doesn’t mean it has to be boring. To help inspire your heated mornings we’ve put together four looks you can keep your cool in, while being comfortable and still feeling fabulous. 

Leather tank and white jeans

Photo courtesy of helen-ray/

Leather tank, white jeans, red flats, necklace and bag

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Strong is the New Skinny: Four Ways to Get Your Muscle On

4 Ways to Get Your Muscle On

Photo courtesy of Edyta Pawlowska/

By Helen Ray

The trending mantra “strong is the new skinny” has made a wave in women’s health in recent years.  Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are seemingly flooded with images of women flaunting their six packs over six ribs.

This world of strong women has even welded their own celebrities including Virginia native, Christmas Abbott, who is a well-known CrossFit enthusiast, NASCAR’s first female pit crew member and mega-muscle woman. If becoming the next G.I. Jane is an interest to you, here are some exercise routines and nutrition information you can adopt to suit your new muscle needs. 

Is a general strength and conditioning technique that incorporates functional moves such as squatting, jumping, pulling and lifting, performed at high intensity. CrossFit varies workout routines by following a workout of the day (WOD) method so you avoid a monotonous routine.  CrossFit is great for people who get bored at the gym easily, who don’t have a lot of time to work out and who thrive off working in groups.  

Ballston Crossfit, 1110 N. Glebe Road Arlington, 22201

Crossfit Verity, 22710 Executive Drive Sterling, 20166


General Strengthening
There are some local gyms that specialize in strengthening, incorporating similar functional moves to build strength but don’t follow the intensity of CrossFit. These gyms are great for people who are looking for more personalized routines, who like working out  in a smaller group of people and if you’re not quite the competitive type.

Underground Athlete, 3150 Spring Street Fairfax, 22031 and 101 Executive Drive Suite D Sterling, 20166


Was adopted from the idea of generating controlled movements. It incorporates a unity of mind and body where you’re constantly trying to strengthen your “powerhouse”— the core of your body including your abdomen, lower back, inner thighs and buttocks. Pilates is great for people who want a general body strengthening and toning, who are introverts when it comes to working out and who believe in quality of quantity.

Inner Core Wellness, 2108-A Gallows Road Vienna, 22182

Mind the Matt,  3300 B Fairfax Drive, Arlington, 22201 and 2214 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, 22301


Pole Fitness
This type of exercise has become very popular in women’s fitness as a way to hone strength and confidence. Pole fitness incorporates acrobatics and dancing for an ultimate workout that tones your core, arms and legs. It’s great for open-minded women who work out best in female-friendly zones and who want to work out in a unique and feminine way. 

Diva Fit, 4080 Lafayette Center Drive Suite 210 C Chantilly, 20151, 157 B Hillwood Ave Falls Church, 22046 and 317 Sunset Park Drive Herndon, 20170

Pole Pressure, 2304A Huntington Avenue Alexandria, 22303


While deciding the right workout is important for the appearance of your body, you also don’t want to neglect what you put into it. Danielle Omar, local registered dietitian/nutritionist, suggests keeping your calories up through protein intake and watching portion sizes. She also recommends increasing water intake since muscle is mostly made out of water, “you need to keep your water intake up to preserve muscle and to build more muscle. The more dehydrated you are, the less muscle you’ll be able to build.”

Warrenton’s Historic Jimmie’s Market Plans to Close After 75 Years of Business

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Photo Courtesy of Jimmie's Market

By Allison Michelli

After 75 years in business, Jimmie’s Market, Kidwell Caterers and The Madison Tea Room in Warrenton will be closing their doors this October.

Original owner Jimmie Kidwell opened the market in December 1939 after the A&P he worked at initiated self-service shopping—a more conventional form of  shopping—where customers didn’t need to directly interact with store employees to pick out their grocery items.

According to a statement provided by Jimmie’s current owner, Susan Feely, this allowed Jimmie to move his clientele to his new business where fine service was the standard. Jimmie’s Market sold specialty foods like hand-cut veal liver, fresh meats and produce and Italian, Spanish and Greek specialty food from D.C. Feeley remembers that Jimmie’s was the first store in the state of Virginia to sell Birdseye frozen vegetables. She explains, at that time the owner of Bird’s Eye frozen foods had a home in Warrenton and he wanted to show off his new products so he sent Jimmie a freezer so that he could sell the frozen vegetables in the store.

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The Pursuit of Curls

Posted by Editorial / Monday, July 7th, 2014

Curly Hair

Inga Ivanova/

By Helen Ray

While the summer weather brings about joyous cheers for most, to those with curly hair the humid weather prompts screams in fear of dry, unruly and frizzy curls. So, as we prepare for the middle of summer in the notorious swamp region we call home, we’ve reached out to two experts, Mona Harb, “curlyologist” and owner of  Lofty Salon, as well as Denise Viveiros of W Salon for tips and tricks on how to prepare our curls for the worst. After-all, all curly haired gals ever want is everyday perfect Carrie Bradshaw-esque curls, and is that too much to ask for?

The Cut:

Viveiros explains that a cut won’t eliminate frizz but the key to well-shaped and manageable curls begins with a pair of scissors. Harb agrees telling us that, “the cut is super important, you need enough length to pull down the curls but want it to frame the face and not be too short.” So, don’t skimp on who you go to for your cut–even if that means going to one stylist for color and another for your curls. 

Before and after mellow curls

Style by Mona Harb, photo courtesy of Lofty Salon

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