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Arlington/Alexandria – It's Read All Over!

A Day to Recognize Our First Responders

Posted on | May 5, 2016 | No Comments

By Kris Gilbertson

Assembled together, the Valor Award recipients and their families were honored with a special breakfast at Belle Haven Country Club.

Assembled together, the Valor Award recipients and their families were honored with a special breakfast at Belle Haven Country Club.

On April 20, a cool but bright spring day, the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2016 Public Safety Valor Awards, as it has for 30 years. The Valor Awards recognize outstanding performance among first responders in the Alexandria Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, and Fire Department—the people who put their own lives in danger to keep us safe.

This year’s event was staged at the Belle Haven Country Club and attended by more than 220 business leaders, elected officials, representatives of the agencies honored, media, and general public. Mayor Allison Silberberg, City Manager Mark Jinx, Councilwoman Del Pepper, and former mayor Bill Euille attended. Unable to attend, Senator John Warner sent a personal letter to each award winner. Read more

The Carlyle Club – Alexandria’s Premier Supper Club

Posted on | April 8, 2016 | No Comments






Swing Era elegance, Art Deco beauty, and the best entertainment today

By Kris Gilbertson

When their now college-age children were very young, a friend approached Alexandrians Brennan and Sharon Reilly about joining a group of investors to lease the restaurant operation in Gadsby’s Tavern. They did, and Brennan, an attorney, negotiated the lease with the City. This was the Reilly’s introduction to the restaurant business.

Then that friendly advisor bought a bar outside of Baltimore and the Reillys bought Yesterday’s All-American Café, a restaurant and deli on the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach. “But after four or five seasons,” says Sharon Reilly, “the children were growing up and wanting to do urban kid stuff during summers.”

So the Reillys sold Yesterday’s, returned to Alexandria, and sank the proceeds into an Art Deco entertainment and event venue, the first Carlyle Club, which opened in 2007 at 411 John Carlyle Street, in the developing Carlyle District, between Duke Street and Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria.

The Satin Doll Trio at the Carlyle Club in 2015. (Courtesy Carlyle Club)

The Satin Doll Trio at the Carlyle Club in 2015. (Courtesy Carlyle Club)

Why Art Deco?

“There wasn’t any place for us to go out, to see a show, to dance, to listen to music,” Sharon Reilly says. “The clubs are for young people, they’re not for older people—so we felt like there was a need. And Brennan always loved history, especially the Art Deco period, the glory days of Hollywood and all that.”

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Posted on | June 14, 2016 | No Comments

An Americana legend makes it to the other side by coming home to his beloved band.

By Steve Houk

The Jayhawks (L-R, Tim O'Reagan, Karen Grotberg, Gary Louris, Marc Perlman)

The Jayhawks (L-R, Tim O’Reagan, Karen Grotberg, Gary Louris, Marc Perlman)

For a supremely talented guy like Gary Louris, writing music seems effortless. The consistent magnificence of Louris’ work over the many decades that he has been the front man and driving force behind alt-rock legends The Jayhawks is evident on every record the band has made since their stunning debut, Hollywood Town Hall, in 1985.

But life gets in the way of even virtuostic musicians, and a bout with addiction sidelined Louris for a while, threatening to deprive him of creating more incredible music, and us as loyal fans from hearing it. Lucky for us, Louris survived, and once again is thriving, as evidenced by The Jayhawks excellent new record Paging Mr. Proust and their highly anticipated current tour. Read more

Titan ROWERS Mine Gold in Ontario

Posted on | June 9, 2016 | No Comments

Titans End 2016 Season with 3 Gold Medals at Canadian NATIONALS

In their last event of the season, the T.C. Williams Crew Team traveled to St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada to compete in the Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association (CSSRA) Championships, commonly referred to as the Canadian Nationals, on June 3-5.  The Titans are regular, strong competitors at this annual event held at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta course, the world-class international rowing site that hosted the 1970 and 1999 World Rowing Championships and rowers for the 2015 Pan American Games.

All three T.C. Girls Boats captured gold medals at the Canadian Nationals, including the Girls First Varsity 8, the Girls Varsity Lightweight 8, and the Girls Freshman 8. They celebrated their victory together.

All three T.C. Girls Boats captured gold medals at the Canadian Nationals, including the Girls First Varsity 8, the Girls Varsity Lightweight 8, and the Girls Freshman 8. They celebrated their victory together.

Titan rowers challenged themselves and their competition and left their mark.  Every one of the 41 Titan student-athletes excelled in early races and fought their way to Sunday’s finals.  All three Titan women’s boats – the Girls First Varsity 8, the Girls Varsity Lightweight 8 and the Girls Freshman 8 – captured gold medals in the Canadian Nationals.  This was the best T.C. result in this regatta for years and capped an outstanding season for the Titan rowers.

The CSSRA has hosted this championship series, which is open to high school teams from around the world, since 1945.  This year’s event included boats from almost 100 Canadian high schools from coast to coast, and 27 U.S. schools, mostly from New York and Michigan.  The 200o-meter Henley Course is the same distance used for World Championship and Olympic rowing, compared to the 1500-meter courses run in most U.S. regattas.  In addition to the longer race course, the Canadian Nationals also include different weight categories than in U.S. regattas, so T.C. Women and Men Lightweight rowers competed against rowers who, on average, were able to weigh 8 pounds more throughout the racing season. Read more


Posted on | June 7, 2016 | No Comments

One of music’s hottest acts combines superior talent and a tight bond to make a red hot band.

By Steve Houk

Lake Street Dive 1

Photo courtesy Danny Clinch

It could have all happened so differently.

Four strangers, four kids really, all attending Boston’s prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in the early 2000’s, all with separate yet equally passionate dreams of musical success. They could have easily found other bandmates, other collaborators at that mecca of musicianship to mesh and join bands and make beautiful music with. Or they all could have decided to go it alone.

But no, serendipity would step in, as it often has for this quartet. And thanks to one of them making the first move, a musical force of nature called Lake Street Dive was born. Read more


Posted on | May 26, 2016 | No Comments

Almost 50 years in, one of rock and roll’s coolest still finds a deep connection to his audience. 

By Steve Houk

Peter WolfIt’s been almost 40 years ago now since my high school buddy Ted Riegel used to crank up “Musta Got Lost” from the J. Geils Band‘s seminal 1976 live record Blow Your Face Out on a cassette player in our locker room before our varsity baseball and soccer games to get us psyched up. It was that perfectly raucous combination of rock and roll, soul and R & B that the Geils band was so good at, especially with their powerhouse lead singer Peter Wolf blasting out the vocals in a style truly unique to him. And boy, did it get you stoked to go out and do some damage on the field.

I related this story to Wolf recently, and what do ya know, he had a very similar story related to him by one of rock’s most notorious leading men, a story that made us both laugh at the almost identical nature of the memory that involved Wolf and his wild old band. Read more


Posted on | May 23, 2016 | No Comments

A rock legend carries on his timeless legacy while also finding powerful new subjects to write about.

By Steve Houk

Justin HaywardOf all the miraculous, timeless music Justin Hayward has created – from the wondrous songs he wrote as a member of prog rock legends The Moody Blues as well as his strong solo work – there’s a song he recently wrote and debuted on his current tour that very well might be his most stunning. That’s saying alot from the guy who wrote such rock classics as “Nights In White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Your Wildest Dreams.” But “The Wind Of Heaven” is something different altogether.

Hayward had worked with filmmaker David Minasian on a live DVD of his Atlanta performance a few years back, and recently found out Minasian was working on a new film with a powerfully emotional story. Hayward was so moved by it that he and his friend wrote a song about it. Read more

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