Contaminated Legacy: From slave plantation to industrial pollution, a hidden history of North Old Town — “The land where the power plant is now located was once a slave plantation owned by the first rector of Christ Church, Townshend Dade. In the 1920s, the area experienced rapid industrialization. The American Chlorophyll Company set up operation on the spot where the power plant would later locate the coal pile. And the Potomac River Clay Works had an operation on what is now the parking lot of the power plant. Neighbors in North Old Town say they want all that contaminated soil cleaned up rather than capped in place and left where it is, a common way to deal with these kinds of heavily polluted sites.” [Gazette]
Alexandria Symphony Orchestra opens fall season — “So thrilled the @Alex_Symphony is back, live and in-person at the Schlesinger Center! Live music is back, masked and vaccinated and better than ever!” [Twitter]
Today’s weather — “Cloudy early. Scattered thunderstorms developing later in the day. High 81F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%… Scattered thunderstorms in the evening. Partly cloudy skies overnight. Low around 65F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 50%.” [Weather.com]
New job: Alexandria haunted pub tour guide — “We specialize in performing haunted pub tours. Think ghost tour combined with Pub Crawl and there you have it. Our website is www.NightlySpirits.com and we are currently looking for tour guides to work 2-3 days per week, but possibly more depending on the season. Our pub tours operate Wednesday-Sunday evenings, so you must have evening and weekend availability. Tours run roughly 3 hours. We are looking for exciting, life-of-the-party tour guides. If people find you boring, don’t bother applying. You also must be able to learn quickly, memorize a script and ACT IT OUT, as well as be able to interact with the group. Typically our tour guides have worked in a bar/restaurant or have some acting skills as well as the ability to herd cats.” [jobshq.com]
Alexandria appoints flood mitigation manager — “Effective Oct. 11, Daniel Medina will serve as the Flood Action Alexandria program manager. The new position will include coordination across city departments on the flood mitigation program and manage the city’s stormwater capital project lineup.” [Patch]
McAuliffe, Youngkin unload in feisty final Virginia debate — “Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin bickered their way through the second and final debate of Virginia’s competitive governor’s race on Tuesday, trading attacks and accusations from the start of the hourlong meeting.” [Politico]
Taste of Old Town North is Thursday — “Don’t miss The Taste of Old Town North, September 30 at 4p.m. Great food, music and more at this free event happening at Montgomery Park.” [Twitter]
Here’s a list of great walks in Alexandria — “Known for its walkable lifestyle, Alexandria is a city best experienced on foot.” [Visit Alexandria]
Today’s weather — “Mostly sunny. High 73F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph… A mostly clear sky. Low 52F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]
New job: Pet sitter and dog walker — “Alexandria Pet Care seeks an experienced career pet expert to work with animals in their homes.” [Indeed]
Alexandria Symphony to provide live soundtrack for six short films — ” The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and the Alexandria Film Festival (AFF) are teaming to bring a special, immersive experience to audiences. On Saturday, Nov. 6, ASO will perform at Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center as six original films play onscreen.” [Zebra]
Local documentary explores ‘The Pits’ before it was Kingstowne — “For me, the gravel pits behind Hayfield Secondary School was the local fishing hole – at age 10, in 1972, I’d grab something out of my mom’s refrigerator to use as bait, and head on up there on foot or on bicycle and fish for hours. Usually, I’d catch a bunch of bluegill fish, maybe hook a snapping turtle or two, and head home. If I was lucky, I had some change in my pocket or find a few returnable bottles, and I’d stop at 7-11 for a Slurpee.” [Zebra]
TedXOronocoBayPark returns Oct. 2 — “This event will feature 10 speakers in the afternoon, followed by a reception and a live music event in the evening.” [Alexandria Living]
Today’s weather — “Partial cloudiness early, with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Gusty winds and small hail are possible. High 83F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%… Scattered thunderstorms early (in the evening). Skies will become mainly clear overnight. Low 56F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.” [Weather.com]
New job: School crossing guard — “The Alexandria Police Department is looking for a few qualified individuals for a rewarding part time opportunity to connect with the community and provide safety to our smallest citizens. This is a great opportunity for individuals with flexible schedules including students, the stay-at-home parent and retirees.” [Indeed]
There’s a lot in store this week in Alexandria. Here’s a few events to look forward to.
Wednesday, September 8
- Blue Oyster Cult at The Birchmere (7:30 p.m.) — The 1960s-era band is known for such hits as ” The Reaper”, “Burnin’ for You”, and “Godzilla”. All guests must provide proof of vaccination if they want to attend the performance.
- Outdoor story time for toddlers (11:30 a.m.) –This outdoor program is perfect for ages two-to-five, and will be held outdoors and in-person at Burke Branch Library. Masks are required, and you might want to bring something to sit on.
- Trivia night at The Light Horse (7 p.m.) — “Grab your mates & head down to 715 King Street for a great evening of Q&A in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Delicious food, cold craft beers and delish cocktails await”
Thursday, September 9
- Julia Fordham at The Birchmere (7:30 p.m.) — The British singer-songwriter is performing after her shows were rescheduled from April and October 2020, and all tickets from those shows will be honored. Additional tickets for Thursday night are on sale.
- Willa Cather book discussion (7 p.m.) — “In the upcoming year, a statue of novelist Willa Cather will be installed in statuary hall in the U.S. Capital Building. Let’s celebrate with a discussion about one of Cather’s intriguing novels, The Professor’s House.”
Friday, September 10
- August Wilson’s “Fences” at the Little Theatre of Alexandria (7 p.m.) — “Join Manumission Tour Company on September 10th at 7pm to see a special performance of August Wilson’s famous play, FENCES. Proceeds raised from this special showing will go to the production of an upcoming MTC about black history in Old Town’s South East Quadrant.”
Saturday, September 11s
- September 11 remembrance ceremony (10 a.m.) — The city will honor all of the victims on the 20th anniversary of the attacks of September 11. The event will be held at Waterfront Park, or, in the event of rain, at City Hall. Masks are required at the event.
- Madeleine Peyroux ‘Careless Love Tour’ at The Birchmere (7:30 p.m.) — The American singer-songwirter with Parisian roots will perform vintage jazz and blues.
Alexandria could receive refugees from Afghanistan — “Currently, it is believed that many of the Afghan evacuees will settle in the U.S., including Alexandria, under Special Immigrant Visas, which are given to Iraqi or Afghan nationals who have been employed by the U.S. Armed Forces as a translator or interpreter, or has been employed by a contractor of the United States government overseas. SIVs are eligible for the same resettlement benefits as refugees for up to eight months after arrival. They arrive with legal permanent resident status and can apply for citizenship after five years.” [City of Alexandria]
Bishop Ireton grad chosen for Visa Black Scholar and Jobs Program — “Luke Pilot, an Alexandria resident who attended Bishop Ireton High School, is one of the 50 students selected for the program. Pilot is attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.” [Patch]
Alexandria Symphony Orchestra changes performance selection next month — “The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) had planned to open the 2021-2022 Season by performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Alexandria Choral Society. It was announced earlier today that because of COVID-19 concerns, they have opted to perform the Fifth Symphony instead.” [Zebra]
Today’s weather — “Thunderstorms likely (during the day). Potential for severe thunderstorms. High 81F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 100%. Rainfall near an inch… Becoming partly cloudy after some evening rain. Potential for flooding rains. Low 62F. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall near a half an inch.” [Weather.com]
New job: Bank teller in West End — “At Wells Fargo, we are looking for talented people who will put our customers at the center of everything we do. We are seeking candidates who embrace diversity, equity and inclusion in a workplace where everyone feels valued and inspired.” [Indeed]
Bowl America agrees to sale — “Shareholders of Bowl America Inc. voted Wednesday to approve its $44 million sale to Bowlero Corp., which in turn, plans to go public through its own marriage with a blank-check company that values the larger company at about $2.6 billion. Bowl America (NYSE: BWL-A), the Alexandria-based operator of 17 bowling centers in the Greater Washington, Baltimore, Richmond and Jacksonville, Florida, areas, said it expects its sale to close Monday.” [Washington Business Journal]
McAuliffe and DNC Chair visit Alexandria — “Great event this morning at Port City Brewing Company with Terry McAuliffe and DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison! It’s clear that if we want to see Virginia’s economy continue to rebound we need Democratic leadership to build on President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan.” [Facebook]
DASH launching new bus network, going fare-free Sept. 5 — “The network changes include the implementation of frequent, all-day service on major transit corridors across the city – in Old Town, Arlandria, Potomac Yard, Parkfairfax, the West End and the King Street corridor. These improvements mean buses will run every 15 minutes or less, throughout the day, seven days a week.” [Zebra]
Homegrown Restaurant Group honored by Beautification Commission — “CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of this year’s special Beautification Awards celebrating businesses that creatively embraced their outdoor environment during unprecedented times. These businesses represent the best of beautification by bringing the indoors outdoors in Alexandria during COVID-19. The combined presence of Tequila & Taco and Sweet Fire Donna’s has helped bring the Carlyle neighborhood to life this year.” [Facebook]
The Rainbow Rock Band is playing at the upcoming Sidewalk Sale — “We are SO EXCITED that Rainbow Rock Band will be back in Del Ray for a live outdoor show on Saturday at 10:30am outside the Mt. Vernon Rec Center… After a morning of fun, visit The Purple Goose and Bellies & Babies Consignment Boutique for back-to-school shopping at bargain prices — the Alexandria Sidewalk Sale in Del Ray takes place August 14-15!” [Facebook]
Today’s weather — “Partly cloudy skies (during the day). A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 97F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph… Partly to mostly cloudy skies with scattered thunderstorms before midnight. Low 74F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.” [Weather.com]
New job: Entry level maintenance technician ($3,000 signing bonus) — “The Mechanic C is an entry level position with the Hertz Corporation and is the launching point for our maintenance team. In this role you will be performing preventative maintenance, with a focus on Oil and Tire Changes. Must be a quick learner, and have an assortment of tools, including oil filter wrenches, socket set, and a toolbox to keep them in.” [Indeed]
Next month, likely the biggest headlining band is 60s/70s rock band Three Dog Night, performing on August. 28 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $79.50.
Go-go star turned Alexandria High School teacher Sugar Bear, frontman for local band Experience Unlimited and featured in this year’s Oscars, will be performing at The Birchmere for a birthday celebration on Aug. 8.
Other upcoming shows include:
- July 30: Judith Hill
- July 31: The Fabulous Thunderbirds
- Aug. 4: Shinyribs
- Aug. 6: Air Supply: The Lost in Love Experience
- Aug. 7: 1964: The Tribute
- Aug. 8: Sugar Bear
- Aug. 9: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
- Aug. 11: En Vogue
- Aug. 12: Paul Thorn
- Aug. 13: Chrisette Michele
- Aug. 15: Jonathan Butler
- Aug. 17 and Aug. 18: Colin Hay
- Aug. 19: Pure Praire League and Firefall
- Aug. 20: Kathy Mattea
- Aug. 21: Tanya Tucker
- Aug. 21: A Night of Pure Elegance
- Aug. 25: The Secret Sisters
- Aug. 27: Bo Deans and Billy Coulter
- Aug. 28: Three Dog Night
- Aug. 29: John B.
- Aug. 30: Leonid & Friends
- Aug. 31: Todd Snider
What an unexpectedly busy summer week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.
Our top story was on an Alexandria woman who claims she was roofied at a restaurant on the waterfront on the evening of July 9. A police report has been filed, and no charges have been made.
This week we sat down with acting Police Chief Don Hayes, who said that he’s thrown his hat in the ring with City Manager Mark Jinks to keep the top job. Hayes, a 40-year veteran of the Alexandria Police Department took over after the sudden departure of Chief Michael Brown last month, and will have to contend against candidates in a national search.
The Tokyo Olympics also start this week, and the games will include three T.C. Williams High School graduates — sprinter Noah Lyles, high-jumper Tynita Butts-Townsend and boxer Troy Isley. In fact, Lyles just had a comic book biography published in the Washington Post. If you’re a fan of the Olympic games, check out this list of local restaurants celebrating with special events and meals.
- Pot enthusiasts quiet in early days of legalization in Alexandria
- Alexandria sees 90 COVID cases in July, another death
- Local historians profile former slave in Alexandria who struggled to rescue his family
- Alexandria man caught with gun at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport checkpoint
- New Potomac Yard luxury condo community sells 30% of properties before construction starts
- Testing for Alexandria’s controversial stream restoration work starts next week
- Two years after massive flooding, city moves forward with Holmes Run trail restoration
- Del Ray licensed family counselor completely booked since launching in May
- Alexandria businesses advised to sharpen e-commerce as consumer patterns evolve
- Alexandria swimming pools operating with reduced hours, residents signing waitlists with capacity overload
- Without annual music festival, Del Ray is celebrating with a bar crawl
- Del Ray affordable housing completes long-awaited overhaul
- Woman claims she was roofied at Old Town restaurant
- Residents protest against conditions at West End apartment complex
- Developers eye Beauregard redevelopment with West End upgrades on the horizon
- Former chef at ‘The Alexandrian’ opening new restaurant in Arlandria on Monday
- No injuries after shots fired in Braddock area on Wednesday
- DASH takes lessons from D.C., Baltimore and Oregon in eliminating bus fares
- ‘Call Your Mother Deli’ signs lease in Old Town
- After last month’s Democratic primary, Republican Darryl Nirenberg tops campaign donation leaderboard
- New city health improvement plan aims to fix inequities
- Poll: Have you been to the Winkler Botanical Preserve?
- Lee-Fendall House to throw speakeasy party to finance building repairs
Have a safe weekend!
Local musicians bring jazz home with Yellow Door Concert series — “The Ambrose’s founded the Yellow Door Concert Series in 2018 after noticing a lack of opportunity for community members to experience the arts and music in Alexandria. They named the series after the yellow doors they have at their home. Robyn, a classical bass player, and Vaughn, a jazz saxophone player, began the predominantly jazz concert series by hosting their first concerts inside their home in Alexandria.” [Zebra]
Alexandrians eliminated from ‘Crime Scene Kitchen’ reality show — “Alexandria’s own Erinn Roth and Amanda Carter went out on a high note from the competitive cooking show on FOX.” [Alexandria Living]
New chef at Kaizen Tavern in Del Ray — “The restaurant introduced a new menu from Chef and Owner Melvin Urrutia. Urrutia was formerly the executive chef at The Handover ALX, People’s Drug and the now-closed sushi favorite, Flying Fish in Old Town…” [Patch]
Today’s weather — “Mostly sunny skies. High 96F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph… Partly cloudy. Low 76F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New job: Temporary enrichment and fitness instructor — “In pursuit of service excellence the Enrichment and Fitness Instructor provides youth, adult, and senior leisure classes at various recreation centers through the City of Alexandria. In this role, you will have the opportunity to ensure that the goals are met to provide a safe, fun, structured and engaging atmosphere for all our customers. Enthusiasm, flexibility and excellent communication skills are needed to be successful in this position.” [Indeed]
Alexandria’s Reggae band FeelFree is back on the road, and their latest single “Big Shot Man” is a political statement that took years to write.
What system are they rebelling against? The presidency of Donald Trump, which inspired musical creations that garner millions of listens.
Andrew Pfeiffer, the band’s lead singer and trombonist, said that the song’s not so much about complaining as it is an expression of what he and his bandmates felt for a while.
“It was just a response from living the last four years,” Pfeiffer said. “I mean, the chorus just says it all — ‘We love what you hate, we build what you break.'”
It’s FeelFree’s second single of 2021, and the band plans to release three or four more songs before the end of the year. The COVID shutdown meant shifting from playing 90 or so live performances a year (mostly local, with some tours) to no gigs whatsoever for the band that won the 2019 Whammy Award for Reggae Album of the Year.
“We were playing almost 90 dates a year, and we’re trying to get back to that now that the great awakening is upon us,” guitarist Evan Hulehan said. “I think it was a good reset for me. I got to take a step back and build up parts of my studio and get a little more creative and experimental.”
FeelFree will play on Friday, July 2, at Hammerheads Dockside in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; On July 3 at Riptide Pool Bar in Ocean City, Maryland; and a ticketed show at Union Stage in D.C. on Saturday, July 17.