ESSAY: Fifteen Minutes a Day

ESSAY: Fifteen Minutes a Day

  By Tom Robotham Last December in this space I wrote an essay about my renewed interest in studying French with an app called Duolingo. I’d fallen in love with the language while taking it for two years in college and have always wished I were fluent. Alas, I...

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ESSAY: Fifteen Minutes a Day

ESSAY: About Face(book)

  By Tom Robotham A strange thing happened to me a couple of months ago: I woke up one day and had no desire to open Facebook.  For many people, that wouldn’t be noteworthy. I have a number of friends who rarely look at the site. But for me it was significant....

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VIEWPOINT: Jim Crow 2.0

VIEWPOINT: Jim Crow 2.0

(John Carlos,Tommie Smith, Peter Norman during 1968 Mexico City Olympics medal ceremony) By Jerry Gaines & Sue Rowdon When I realize I am older than the majority of Americans living today, it seems strange.  In 71 years and seven months, a person can see a lot...

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ESSAY: Fifteen Minutes a Day

ESSAY: The Call of the Mountains

  By Tom Robotham In the woods…a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life, is always a child. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson The older I get, the more I appreciate the approach of springtime. It is heartening, as I sit here on a...

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Virginia Arts Festival Leads Arts Return

Virginia Arts Festival Leads Arts Return

(Americana artist Oliver Wood of The Wood Brothers performs April 12 at Bank Street Stage to open the 2021 Virginia Arts Festival) By Jeff Maisey You know the old proverb “necessity is the mother of invention”?  Turns out to be true yet again. The folks at Virginia...

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NATO Discussion

NATO Discussion

(General James N. Mattis, United States Marine Corps, served as Supreme Allied Commander Transformation from 2007-09 and as Secretary of Defense in the Trump Administration. Photo courtesy of NATO ACT.)  By Jeff Maisey In the spring of 2015, French Air Force General...

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The New Phoebus

The New Phoebus

(Interior view of Fox Tail Wine Bar. Photo by Michael Fernando.) By Jeff Maisey “I felt like the type of experience we’re offering did not exist in this neighborhood and there was an opportunity to bring something new, fresh and exciting to a community that was...

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Falletta’s Finale 

Falletta’s Finale 

(Maestro JoAnn Falletta bids us farewell with Beethoven. Photo by David Beloff.)  By Montague Gammon III Celebrating Beethoven by polishing off a couple of Fifths, JoAnn Falletta, formerly Music Director of our Virginia Symphony Orchestra and now appointed to the...

MUSIC REVIEWS: Runnin’ Shine/Chang3/Demons & More

MUSIC REVIEWS: Runnin’ Shine/Chang3/Demons & More

Runnin’ Shine “Nowhere to Go” (Self-Release) Award-winning contemporary country band Runnin’ Shine have another excellent album to be proud of with the 13-song “Nowhere to Go.” Rockin’ country requires some upfront guitar and they are keen to deliver it on songs like...

d’Art Center’s New Forever Home

d’Art Center’s New Forever Home

(A separate gallery space is housed inside the former bank vault.) By Betsy DiJulio Slipping into the sleek and low-slung lobby of the Atlantic Permanent Savings and Loan Building on Boush Street in downtown Norfolk is akin to stepping onto the set of Mad Men or maybe...

Meet Holly Koons

Meet Holly Koons

  By Jeff Maisey Last October, Christopher Newport University named Holly Koons as the inaugural executive director for its $60 million-dollar state-funded 83,000-square-foot Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center. The Torggler Center, named for the CNU Benefactor and...

REVIEW: Tony Vincent Delivers on Music of Bowie

REVIEW: Tony Vincent Delivers on Music of Bowie

(Tony Vincent superbly sings the Music of David Bowie while backed by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and rock band Windbourne Music. Photo by Jeff Moore.)    By Jeff Maisey Ground Control to Hampton Roads: Concerts are back. Saturday night’s “Music of David...

PREVIEW: The Music of David Bowie

PREVIEW: The Music of David Bowie

(David Bowie's "Aladdin Sane" album cover reimagined by Norfolk artist Dwight Easter) By Jeff Maisey On Saturday, May 22, the Virginia Arts Festival will present “The Music of David Bowie” featuring rock band Windborne fronted by Broadway star Tony Vincent and backed...

The Baker’s Wife Bistro + Bar: A Cinderella Story

The Baker’s Wife Bistro + Bar: A Cinderella Story

(Phillip and Dana Epstein opened The Baker's Wife, a casually-upscale, French-inspired bistro and bar in Phoebus, in January. Photo courtesy of The Baker's Wife) By Marisa Marsey Once upon a time there were two chefs... Ugh! Sorry for that saccharine start. But in my...

Reaver Beach Brewing Opens Norfolk Location

Reaver Beach Brewing Opens Norfolk Location

(Reaver Beach Brewing Co. taps will flow in Norfolk) By Jeff Maisey Get ready for some award-winning hoppy and sour beers on North Colley Avenue in Norfolk. Reaver Beach Brewing Company is set to open its second location on Friday, February 19. Operating as Reaver...

DINING REVIEW: NOLA in Ghent

DINING REVIEW: NOLA in Ghent

(Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo) By Jeff Maisey In 1960, Norfolk-born singer Gary US Bonds had a hit single titled “New Orleans,” on which he sang the lyrics: “Well come on ev’rybody/Take a trip with me/Well, down the Mississippi/Down to New Orleans.” It’s fair...

New Ghanaian & Turkish Dining in Norfolk

New Ghanaian & Turkish Dining in Norfolk

(One of the most requested Ghanaian meals at Yendidi Restaurant is Beans Stew and fried sweet plantains AKA “Red Red or Gob3.” Photo courtesy of Yendidi.) By Marisa Marsey Opening a restaurant is tough. Harder still in a pandemic. Near impossible when your menu might...

1865 Brewing Company – Freedom Starts Here! 

1865 Brewing Company – Freedom Starts Here! 

HISTORIC BREW: (L-R) Whitteney Guyton, Randy Jones and William “Billy” Comer. Photo credit Diane Catanzaro.  By Diane Catanzaro and Chris Jones The Phoebus section of Hampton oozes charm. Cruise down Mellen Street at the intersection with Mallory and you get the feel...

Downtown Norfolk Restaurant Week Begins

Downtown Norfolk Restaurant Week Begins

(Brick Anchor Brew-House offers a variety of pub fare and healthy options) By Jeff Maisey From January 17-24, Downtown Norfolk will be presenting its winter Restaurant Week. This year, in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, it is a welcomed promotion for restauranteurs...

Smartmouth and O’Connor Among Best in Nation

Smartmouth and O’Connor Among Best in Nation

  By Jeff Maisey Norfolk-based O’Connor Brewing Company and Smartmouth Brewing Company each scored gold medals earlier this fall when the Brewers Association held a virtual version of the 34th annual Great American Beer Festival in Denver. In total, 1,720...

HOLIDAY DINING: Feast Out (Or Get Gobbles To Go)

HOLIDAY DINING: Feast Out (Or Get Gobbles To Go)

(Thanksgiving to-go includes delicious Edwards’ ham biscuits from Chef Kevin Sharkey at 1608 Craft House in Virginia Beach.) By Marisa Marsey I can’t blame infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci for squashing big family gatherings at home this Thanksgiving. Even...

The Rebranding of St. George Beer

The Rebranding of St. George Beer

  By Jeff Maisey Knights, castles, dragons — oh my.  I’ve always been drawn to the imagery, symbolism and concept of St. George Brewing Company in Hampton.  From the prominent red cross on white background crest of St George and the weaponry of Medieval British...

Pandemic Brings Pizzeria to Norfolk Tap Room

Pandemic Brings Pizzeria to Norfolk Tap Room

(Vincent Ranhorn, Todd Craig, and Todd Leutner)  By Jeff Maisey Back in the 1980s and ‘90s, I used to make my way up to New York City for concerts, shopping in SoHo and the Village, and an authentic slice of the Big Apple — pizza.  When some old school music friends...