Posts Tagged ‘Northern Virginia Magazine’

Cosmo Couture 2014: A Presidental Affair

Posted by Editorial / Friday, September 19th, 2014

By Cate Jensen

Haute Couture Award Winner 2014; Photo by Cate Jensen

Haute Couture Award Winner 2014; Photo by Cate Jensen

The 5th Annual Cosmo Couture event that took place this past Thursday had all the pomp and circumstance one would expect to see at an event that with a Presidential theme. While a star, spangle and banner party is nothing new in the Northern Virginia area, Cosmo Couture is a unique and special event all on its own, put on by the International Interior Design Association’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter, headed by event chair, Pedro Nunez.  The rules: An architecture or interior design firm is paired with a manufacturing company to produce a couture creation, having to use at least 85% of materials from that sponsoring vendor, varying from metallic fibers to lights. This year 25 teams competed against each other for six different awards.

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Hungry For Linkage: Pig Roast + Historic Manassas Restaurant Week + Good Year for Virginia Apples

Posted by Editorial / Friday, September 19th, 2014

Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

successo images / shutterstock.com

By Susannah Black

River Bend Bistro hosts Port City Brewing Company’s first pig roast on Sunday: a whole hog from Serenity Farms in Maryland will serve as the main course along with side dishes like balsamic-braised swiss chard, applesauce, corn on the cob and fried pig ears. ($45/pp) [Port City]

Historic Manassas Restaurant Week begins this Sunday, with such restaurants as Malones, City Square Cafe and Carmello’s participating. [Historic Manassas Restaurant Alliance]

Society Fair and TNT on Columbia Pike are expected to close its doors for business by the end of this month. [ARLnow].

Eat BBQ and drink Mad Fox Brewing Company’s Keller Kolsch, Defender APA, Stir About Oatmeal and Saison on Saturday at the Beer Bourbon BBQ Festival  in McLean. [Mad Fox]

Experience an authentic German food buffet, drink beer by not-yet-opened Portner Brewhouse and play board games in Alexandria today at Okto-Board-Fest. [Portner Brewhouse]

Stephens City apple farmer Dudley Rinker says that despite this summer’s “dry spell,” apple pickers can expect “a fairly large crop for 2014.” [NVDaily].



Technically, It’s Still Summer: 7 Season-Spanning Chambourcin Rosés from Northern Virginia Wineries

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Photo By Susannah Black

Rappahannock Rose Fizzy 2013/ Photo By Susannah Black

By Susannah Black

What is a dedicated drinker to do while moving from summer to fall? Jim Livingston of Hartwood Winery suggests that a a chilled Chambourcin Rosé is “naturally good for transitioning” from summer to fall because of its “dry, lighter…. and very refreshing” tasting notes. This rosé, a medium-bodied, fruit-forward, off dry, wine with mild earth tones and herbal notes, will satisfy summer’s dedication to drinkable, light wines while providing the richer, fuller notes of a colder-weather wine. Here are seven wineries in Northern Virginia that offer a noteworthy Chambourcin Rosé. 

Dry Mill Winery 2013 Chambourcin Rosé
Winemaker Karen Reed describes this $20 rosé as “reminiscent of summer’s first strawberries,” finishing with noticeable acidity and mild sweetness. / 18195 Dry Mill Road, Leesburg.

Hartwood Winery 2013 Rappahannock Rosé
This $19 French-style rosé won the bronze metal at Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.  General Manager Beverly Livingston suggests the “soft cherry-like flavors” and “hints of citrus” are well-suited to “light foods.” / 345 Hartwood Road, Fredericksburg.

Hidden Brook Winery 2010 Rosé
Tasting room manager Ken Strasberg suggests “this is not your typical rosé;” it is “very spicy” and collaborates with a “blend of lemon, blueberry, grapefruit and blackberry.”  This $20 wine pairs “great with Thai and Mexican.” / 43301 Spinks Ferry Road, Leesburg

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From City Bartender to Country Farmer, Gary Hall Opens Brassicas Farm Fresh Market & Cafe

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Photo by Stefanie Gans

Photo by Stefanie Gans

By Susannah Black

For the last eight years, Gary Hall worked at various establishments in various positions: bartending and cooking at Local 16 in D.C., bartending at Rocket Bar in Chinatown, and bartending and managing at Chi-Cha Lounge on U Street. While Hall’s work history gave him experience within the industry, he says he eventually became “interested in growing ingredients locally.”

Last year, Hall’s desire in “providing fresh, healthy, seasonal food in an accessible way” inspired him to temporarily move from D.C. to Loudoun County in order to open Brassicas Farm Fresh Market & Café. “I decided to give it a shot,” says Hall. 

Opened last month in Aldie, Brassicas is both a restaurant, market and farm. The locally sourced ingredients on the menu are as close by as the restaurant’s backyard, where a large garden provides much of the menu’s produce and the chickens living on the land provide the eggs. Other products are sourced from Quarter Branch Farm, with cheeses from Oak Spring Farm and George’s Mill Farm and smoked bacon from Spring House Farm, all in Lovettsville

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Transforming Arlington

Jay Fisette, chairman of the Arlington County Board.

Jay Fisette, chairman of the Arlington County Board. Photo by Erick Gibson.

Arlington planners focused on smart growth and innovation decades ago. Now their plans are paying off, as Arlington attracts new business, new industry and new investment, and gains a national reputation as a place to live, work and play. —Allyson Jacob

The views are similar: planes at Reagan National Airport take off and land with regular rhythm. The Capitol dome and the Washington Monument dominate the skyline. Bikes, buses and cars fill streets lined with up-and-coming restaurants and retail shops. Though they reside in separate corridors—Arlington Economic Development (AED) in the Clarendon Boulevard Court House building and the new offices of Disruption Corporation on Crystal Drive—they represent a vision and a plan for the county.

For a decade or so, Arlington has been considered a great place to live, work and play. American urban studies theorist Richard Florida, writing in Atlantic Cities in 2012 as a follow-up to his 2002 book “The Rise of the Creative Class,” named Arlington the most creative class county in the United States, second only to Los Alamos, New Mexico. Florida, a former professor of public policy at George Mason University, currently directs the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, is a global research professor at New York University and is the founder of the Creative Class Group.

Popular opinion on Florida’s theories might be cooling, but his research into economic development, and into which elements make a successful urban environment, have consistently pointed to Arlington as a model of what it takes to attract and retain a creative core of residents that support and grow an economy. Arlington has the highest density of 25 to 34 year-olds in the country. All that talent has brought new businesses, startups and venture firms to the area.

Twenty years ago, Arlington was a government town; Rosslyn to Ballston was an “old, deteriorating corridor,” according to Jay Fisette, chairman of the Arlington County Board. Now it’s a destination for cutting-edge industry and venture capital firms.

Fisette is in his fifth term as chairman of the board, and for nearly 17 years, he’s been working to ensure that Arlington is a center for smart growth—a term originating from the Environmental Protection Agency that involves mixed land use, a variety of transportation and housing choices, walkable neighborhoods and encouraging the community to collaborate in decision. The result is a county is labeled “innovative” as well as smart.

“Arlington County was an innovative organization before I got here, in the context of planning land use,” Fisette says. “Smart growth (means) not doing it the cheapest, fastest way, (but being) strategic.”

Innovative initiatives abound in Arlington County: a community energy plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by 2050, and a 10-year capital infrastructure plan that includes broadband fiber initiative for public facilities and schools—which now includes leasing broadband lines to the private sector— are just a few. “(You need) courage, creativity and planning,” says Fisette. “Local governments that are good are thinking long term, thinking outside the box, beyond the next profit and loss statement or election.”

A recent example: TandemNSI. The company is a public–private partnership between the Commonwealth of Virginia, AED and a private venture capital firm, Amplifier Ventures, founded and managed by Jonathan Aberman. TandemNSI launched in February 2014 to “better connect federal research and development labs with a highly curated community of innovators in cyber, data analytics, additive manufacturing [3D printing], robotics and geospatial engineering,” according to Jennifer Ives, former director of innovation and strategic partnerships and current advisor to the company.

TandemNSI helps private companies take advantage of declassified technology to build solutions for national security. “When tech is declassified, the private sector can commercialize,” Ives explains. “The Commonwealth is involved because [declassifying and commercializing tech] helps grow and create a larger job market. How do you leverage the technology? Create new businesses around it.”

Aberman founded TandemNSI out of the Ballston Innovation Initiative, a similar and successful program he funded and piloted in 2013. When he and Ives were looking for a physical location for TandemNSI, Arlington was a natural fit, says Ives. “Arlington has three [national security] agencies—Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)—clustered within two blocks of one another. Arlington is the ‘bullseye.’”

More companies are making bets on Arlington and taking advantage of the smart growth and innovation that Fisette and his predecessors have worked to obtain. Ashburn-native Paul Singh has divided his time between Silicon Valley and the district for most of his adult life, starting, selling and investing in companies. His most recent creation is Disruption Corporation, a research company for the private investment market. One arm of Disruption is the Crystal Tech Fund (CTF), a $50 million venture fund for entrepreneurs that are between seed and Series A funding rounds.

“I went to Bishop O’Connell and Fairfax High School and my memories [of Arlington] are clouded,” Singh laughs. “We would go to Court House or Clarendon and get hammered. Arlington was suits and defense—corporate. That’s what the industry was. Now, tech is the future.”

Companies in the CTF portfolio (six as of press time) can opt to work out of Disruption’s offices if they choose; Singh’s perch on the 10th floor is spacious with room to expand. Part of the reason Singh bet $50 million on Arlington is a local ace in the hole: commercial real estate giant Vornado owns 26 buildings in Crystal City, and Singh likes the idea of working with a single entity.

“Vornado is one of the largest real estate companies in the country,” Singh says. “[I can call and say] ‘Danny Boice from Speek [a CTF company] wants to live close to work.’ One landlord can roll out the red carpet.” But it’s more than convenience. Vornado has invested $10 million in the CTF. (Singh is quick to mention that Vorndao didn’t get special terms.) “They want to build a city. I need to build a city where the importance of tech is outlined. What we do here will vastly influence all the other [industrial] sectors,” he says.

“Tech isn’t a bunch of kids in a corner watching porn,” Singh adds. “It’s entering the mainstream. We’ve never done a good job explaining why tech is important.” With Disruption, Singh plans to change that.

When asked where he will be in five years, Singh’s response echoes the goals stated by Aberman and Ives: “Push[ing] circles of venture capital, high-growth companies and economic development together.” In Arlington.

 

Arlington County By the Numbers

Area:
25.8 square miles

Population:
215,000 (Jan 2014 est.)

Pop. Density:
8,332 per square mile

Education:
71.3 percent of adults in Arlington have Bachelor’s degree
or higher

(September 2014)



Maximize Your Mini Bag’s Style in 3 Ways

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, September 11th, 2014

By Danielle Harvey

When thinking about what investment pieces to buy each season, many people are looking for transitional staples that can be worn with almost anything. Accessories are the best bet for those who want to stay on trend without buying a whole new wardrobe.  In seasons past, the oversized bag or statement necklaces were the go-to for fashion fanatics. Some of us are ready for a change so take a cue from the runways and street style experts and invest in the mini bag. Here are three looks for any stylish situation where the mini bag is anything but insignificant.

 

The Casual Look

Photo Courtesy of dd-harvey/polyvore.com

Photo Courtesy of dd-harvey/polyvore.com

Shop this look: Mini Bag, Sweater, Shoes and Jeans

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Upcoming Events in NoVA

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Photo Courtesy of Paige Novick

 

By Danielle Harvey

Jewelry designer Paige Novick is showcasing her collection of fine jewelry at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase, Maryland on September 11-12 from 10 a.m-5 p.m. The informal atmosphere is great for browsing the new pieces. Known for her trendy yet timeless designs, she’ll also be featuring her jewelry collection Phyne by Paige Novick. If you’re looking for that special piece or finishing touch for an outfit that you can’t wait to wear, be sure to view her collections before you go.

Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? If that sounds like you, head over to Old Town Alexandria for their 7th Annual Old Town Boutique District Scavenger Hunt on September 18-20. Attendees have the option of pre-registering for the event from September 5-15, which makes the first 200 participants eligible for a Baggu tote bag, printed passport and promotional packet. Stores participating in this event include The Shoe Hive, Hysteria and lou lou Boutique to name a few. Participants in the scavenger hunt also have the opportunity to win prizes and up to $3,500 in gift certificates by completing their passports from visiting each store. Hours vary depending on each retailer, so check out the event website to learn more.

The beauty retailer Bluemercury, Inc. is coming up on 15 years in the business. To celebrate they are offering complimentary makeovers, mini-facials and treatment in-stores and you can visit each of the three locations in Virginia including Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax. Stop by on September 13 from 10 a.m-7 p.m. In addition to hosting the in-store parties, the company is also giving attendees the chance to see their 15th Anniversary Best Sellers Collection. So visit their website for more details about the company or to browse products.



3 Fall Fashion Trends From Local Boutiques

Posted by Editorial / Friday, September 5th, 2014

By Danielle Harvey
 
Cooler temperatures are approaching and that only means one thing to fashion lovers: fall trends. Local boutiques have got you covered on the latest styles you might need in the coming months. From graphic tees, leather booties, mod prints and everything in between–rest assured that fall is going to be your best season yet. Take a look at the trends below from Bishop Boutique, Swoon Boutique and Undeniable Boutique to stay up-to-date.

 

The Bootie

Bishop Boutique

 

 

 

Kelly Wearstler Grey Muscle Tank, $74; BCBG Midi Skirt, $158; photo courtesy of Swoon Boutique

French Connection “Serena” Bootie, $195; photo courtesy of Bishop Boutique

Leather details and varying heel heights make this shoe so versatile that it can be worn during any occasion. “Fall 2014 is all about the bootie and shoetie– designers have taken it in many different directions which allows anyone to incorporate this trend into their wardrobe,” Kelly Ferenc, owner of Bishop Boutique says.

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Cravings: Danny Deco Roll at Flying Fish

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Photo by Susannah Black

Photo by Susannah Black

By Susannah Black

Dish:
Danny Deco Roll, $14

Where: Flying Fish, 815 King St., Alexandria

Taste: Named after Flying Fish’s first (and former) sushi chef Danny Simmavong, the Danny Deco roll doubles the tuna, with the pink fish both inside and outside a ring of rice. Avocado contributes to the richness, tobiko (fish egg) brings a briny tang and fried tempura bits—and a mound of crispy potato straws—add crunch. Forgo the soy sauce and dip the Deco into a house-made creamy, tangy, sweet and spicy sauce decorating the plate. 

MORE | Cravings



The 5K Shuffle

I completed the 5K I decided all of two weeks ago to do, and trained for twice. It went quite well, considering.

The last 5K I did was Easter weekend and I felt pretty sensational during that one so I was a little worried this time around might be a challenge as I pretty much haven’t run since Easter. My only goal was not to be slower than my last time which I think was around 38 or maybe 39 minutes. I did finish in that allotted time and the race didn’t feel too terrible, as in, I could run without feeling like I might keel over at any moment. 

I did, however, notice that for the first mile and a half a slightly hunched senior citizen was in front of me. He seemed to be about seventysomething and ran in what resembled a slow shuffle. He was consistently in front of me, his senior shuffle just a tad faster than my jog. I wanted to beat him but I was at such a comfortable pace that I thought, why rock the boat and kudos to him for getting at it like that. But when I was pushing in on mile two, and still I felt comfortable to be coasting behind a rather old man who was shuffling while I dripped with sweat from my jog, I thought, maybe I ought to push myself just an ounce harder and overtake this guy. 

I did and yet his shuffle haunted me the rest of the race, making me run faster than I cared to. I kept trying to discreetly look over my shoulder without looking paranoid that he was gaining on me. I could hear his shuffle though, consistently reminding me to not get too complacent in my run and maybe run faster than the 70-year-old, who despite being 70 and shuffling was clearly more fit. 

My sister’s boyfriend snapped a photo of my finish and it made me realize something else. I couldn’t help but recall the 5K I completed on January, and the photo from that day as well. And then I suspected they might differ slightly. 

Here is the one from eight months ago.

Photo by Ryan DeHaven

 

 Here is the one from three days ago. 

 

Photo by Kurt Sanderson

 

 Even if I was getting surpassed by a very fit 70-year-old, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world after all.

-Cassandra



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