Posts Tagged ‘Northern Virginia’

Northern Virginia Filmmakers Showcase at The DC Shorts Film Festival

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, September 11th, 2014

D.C. Shorts Film Festival.

Photo courtesy of the D.C. Shorts Film Festival.

By Andy Tran

The DC Shorts Film Festival is back. Starting tonight, 135 short films from 25 different countries hit local theaters in the District and Merrifield, showcasing the talent of storytelling in a two-to 30-minute span. New to the festival: 17 90-minute film showcases with a mix of drama, Sci-Fi, animation, documentaries, comedies and experimental films. Q&As with the filmmakers will follow the screenings, as well as parties

To get you started, here is a taste of some Northern Virginia talent represented at the festival.

‘The Champion’
By Jaclyn Noel

“The Champion” is three- to four-minute film that centers on a young boy (played by Xandro Martin) who is enthralled by an Olympic swimming event. He dreams of being on the team, yet his initiative to practice ends with two broken arms. His fascination, however, is undaunted. Inspired by her college roommate, Kelly Marchisio, who had a dream of being a diver when she was a child, Jaclyn Noel directed, produced (with Nick Young) and wrote the film.  

The Champion from Jaclyn Noel on Vimeo.


‘The Voyage of Discovery’
By Carla Schaffer

What inspires an artist? How do scientists bring their work to the masses in an intriguing way? And, is biology worthy of an artistic work? In Carla Schaffer‘s documentary, “The Voyage of Discovery,” the world of art meshing with science is brought to the forefront. Schaffer interviewed three D.C. artistsJessica Beels, Ellyn Weiss and Michele Banks, whom she met while working at American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)—about the inspiration of science in their creative process, and their goal of drawing interest to what scientists are doing.

Voyage of Discovery from Carla Schaffer on Vimeo.


By Joe Dzikiewicz

“12-step” is a screenplay written by Joe Dzikiewicz that follows Count Dracula as he enters a 12-step program to rehabilitate his past transgressions. He goes to a bar and tries to make amends with Mina, a damsel in distress who wants nothing to do with him. Frankenstein and The Wolfman also make appearances. Dzikiewicz will participate in the Screenplay Competition that allows the audience to listen to a table reading.

DC Shorts
Screenings happening throughout Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia
September 11-22
 Ticket prices vary

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/

Photo Courtesy of dd-harvey/

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.

Hungry For Linkage: Debating the Family Dinner + Fall Culinary Trends + Cheesetique’s 10th Birthday

Posted by Editorial / Friday, September 5th, 2014

Photo by Susannah Black

Photo by Susannah Black

By Susannah Black

Men’s Journal names Catoctin Creek Distilling Company’s Roundstone Rye 92-proof one of the top five Great American Craft Whiskeys. [Men's Journal]

New bill guarantees more rights for Virginia farmers and agro-tourism industry. [Fauquier Now News]

This weekend Cobbler Mountain Cellars of Delaplane offers the chance to camp on the vineyard with a three-day-tasting pass during Wine Under The Stars. [Custom Adventure]

Unusual cauliflower concoctions, seafood charcuterie, and Ancho Reyes (a Mexican chile liqueur) cocktails are just a few food trends happening in New York. Expect to see them in NoVA in … [NYT] (Also NSFW food trend list.)

Trummer’s On Main hosts the Clifton Farm Dinner featuring locally grown ingredients and wine from Paradise Springs Winery. [FB]

 Cheesetique celebrates its 10th birthday by hosting events in Alexandria and Arlington. [Cheesetique]

#ModernDebate: Is there value in a home-cooked dinner?
It’s expensive and time-consuming and often done for a bunch of ingrates who would rather just be eating fast food anyway.”  Amanda Marcotte [Slate] 
Soccer moms driving their kiddos half a day one way to a tournament, stopping at the drive-by for “chicken” nuggets, and then dismissing the kitchen as “too stressful” is an upside-down value system.” Joel Salatin [Mother Earth News] 

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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NoVA’s First Annual Fashion Walk

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Photo Courtesy of The Shoe Hive

By Danielle Harvey

Get those walking shoes ready for September 18. The Shoe Hive, Hysteria and Sara Campbell are hosting the first annual fashion walk from Fairfax to Royal Street in Alexandria. The event is free and open to anyone.  Enjoy cocktails at The Shoe Hive and Hysteria while browsing the latest collections from 6-7p.m.  The runway shows at Sara Campbell will feature three categories including casual wear, work attire and evening wear at 7:30p.m and 8:30p.m. Guests can expect to see trends ranging from leather and houndstooth details to peplum tops and animal print dresses just to name a few. The informal atmosphere features a runway carpet with space to admire the looks being shown while people are shopping. With models showcasing options for any occasion, attendees will be ready for any fashionable moment fall brings their way. All three stores offer a free gift with purchase and guests can also register to win a gift card at each location. 



The Perfect Boots are One Click Away

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

 By Angela Bobo


Adie Brown Fitted Boots, $370;

It’s no secret that the style obsessed love fall fashion as it is the time when sartorial chops are expertly on display with carefully layered knits, scarves, leather and colorful jackets. One item that never evades the cold weather wardrobe starting five is a pair of boots. Whether cut short around the ankles or stacked tall to the knee, you could live in the right pair of boots all season long.  It is so frustrating to finally get your hands on the new must-have boot only to find that it wasn’t made for you; it’s too tight or the calf is too wide.  I seem to be in the latter tribe, which is why I was delighted to discover Duo Boots. The website offers a wide range of stylish shoes in 21 calf sizes and varying widths for a fit that will seem as if the cobbler made them solely for you. Visit the website today and grab your pair before the weather cools down. 

Brando Navy Chelsea Boots, $180;

The Fabulous 1940s Party Brings the Swing

Posted by Editorial / Monday, August 25th, 2014

By Bailey Lucero-Carter

Itching for a fabulous night of be-boping and wild kicks? Join the party and make new memories the old way at the Fabulous 1940s Party at Oatlands this Saturday. This event will be hosted under the stars in a tented area for an evening of retro fun.

Photo courtesy of Oatlands Historic House and Gardens.

The Fabulous 1940s Party is new to Oatlands this year. Last summer, the Leesburg plantation began the decade-themed party series with its 1920s party, which attracted over 100 attendees. But why the 1940s?

“Our history inspired it,” says Executive Director Andrea McGimsey, 49. The Fabulous 1940s Party brings back the glamour of Hollywood, remembers the opening of the National Gallery of Art in 1941, and will be serving heavy hors d’oeuvres—including German wiener schnitzel and Polish pierogis—based on a theme of international peace.

The event also serves to honor Morton Eustis, who was the son of Oatlands owners William and Edith Eustis and who fought during World War II as a lieutenant in the 82nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Armored Division.

Most of all, the Fabulous 1940s Party is a celebration. “We just want to celebrate that glamorous time,” McGimsey says. The event is full-blown fun, featuring authentic music from Doc Scantlin’s Palmettos, swing lessons from Dance King Studios, two antique cars and plenty of hors d’oeuvres and drinks. The event also features local wines from Fabbioli Cellars and Willowcroft, and cocktails from Catoctin Creek, the first distillery since prohibition in the 1920s. 

Although not required, 1940s attire is welcome. Last summer, a majority of attendants appeared in period clothing to party against the beautiful backdrop of the Oatlands estate, which stands almost untouched by history.

“It really was like going back in time,” McGimsey says.

Tickets for this unique vintage event are available now.


Fabulous 1940s Party
20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg
August 30, 7:30 – 11:30 p.m.

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.


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