ESSAY: The Call of the Mountains

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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NEWS: Phoebus Rising

NEWS: Phoebus Rising

(Mango Mangeaux is nationally famous and a hotspot on Mellen Street.) By Michael Curry The historic town of Phoebus is in the midst of another resurgence and revitalization. There is a palpable sense of excitement and progress in the air, and it's infectious! Some say...

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High Praises for WVEC’s Janet Roach

High Praises for WVEC’s Janet Roach

(WVEC’s Janet Roach is a multi award-winning newscaster. Photo courtesy of WVEC.)  By Larry Bonko   Janet Roach, co-anchor of the WVEC Monday through Friday "13 News Now" at 4, 5 and 6 p.m. has won another award. Yep. Another award. She has a house full of them.  ...

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One Man’s Story About Overcoming Racism

One Man’s Story About Overcoming Racism

  By John L. Horton Now that Black History Month is once again upon us and race relations are being put forth as a serious topic of discussion, and as the “Village Griot” and “Family Patriarch,” I have a story to tell and experiences to share.  Please lend me...

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ESSAY: The Call of the Mountains

Prologues to What is Possible

  By Tom Robotham  I dwell in Possibility / A fairer House than Prose – Emily Dickinson  On January 20, I turned on CNN first thing in the morning to watch the long hoped for departure of Donald Trump. As he flew away I was overwhelmed by a sense of relief. The...

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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...

LOCAL MUSIC: New Releases Reviewed

LOCAL MUSIC: New Releases Reviewed

Demons “Ravage” (Single) (Spartan Records) In advance of the April 30 national release of Demon’s full-length album “Privation,” the Norfolk-based quartet unveiled “Ravage” as a lead-off single. As the song title implies, “Ravage” is an unrelenting assault on the...

Two Times Four for the Brentano Quartet

Two Times Four for the Brentano Quartet

  By Montague Gammon III The elegance of chamber music brings a socially distanced relief from the arts starvation of the COVID ravaged world when the Brentano Quartet performs at the Virginia Arts Festival’s new Bank Street Stage and at the Sandler Center. Since...

MUSIC: The Ballad of Duane & Nakia

MUSIC: The Ballad of Duane & Nakia

(Nakia Madry-Smith and Duane Smith) By Jeff Maisey There are probably 100 different ways I could tell the story of Duane Smith and Nakia Madry-Smith. The dynamic duo have shared a young life of love and adventure through music and education. Sitting with the...

THEATER PREVIEW: Giving Voice to August Wilson

THEATER PREVIEW: Giving Voice to August Wilson

(The late August Wilson) By Jerome Langston “Of course everybody knows that one and two-person shows are the easiest way back, with social distancing and safety...” says Anthony Stockard, NSU Theatre Company’s producing Artistic Director, regarding the decision to...

ART: Spanish Influence

ART: Spanish Influence

(Mary Cassatt, Offering the Panal to the Bullfighter, 1873, oil on canvas, On loan from Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute) By Betsy DiJulio Though most of us aren’t going much of anywhere right now, you can take the Grand Tour to Spain by way of Norfolk...

Live at Last: Virginia Symphony Brings Bach Back

Live at Last: Virginia Symphony Brings Bach Back

(Violinist and guest conductor Cho-Liang Lin) By Montague Gammon III Bach’s Brandenbug concertos are like embraces from the Mona Lisa. Some are spritely  and flirtatious, some dignified, languorous and tender, some passionate, but all are sublime and wonderful. Each...

ART: Rosenbaum’s Folkloric Journey on Display 

ART: Rosenbaum’s Folkloric Journey on Display 

(Art Rosenbaum, Howard Finster with Couple and Fire) By Betsy DiJulio Art and Margo Rosenbaum have spent their careers and marriage traveling across different media and modes through various states of space and time. Trained and active in painting, they have, for over...

ART: Orchid Fascination

ART: Orchid Fascination

(Jennifer Angus, Floriography) By Jeff Maisey Flower lovers will no doubt rejoice when experiencing Orchids: Attraction & Deception, the second temporary exhibition presented by the Barry Art Museum at Old Dominion University.  “The work included in this...

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...

Saddle-up to the Coach House

Saddle-up to the Coach House

(Dana & Kevin Kern bring delicious bistro fare to the north end of Colley.) By Jeff Maisey I pony my hungry self up to the Coach House, ask for a Soggy Dollar Painkiller to relax my mind a bit, and peruse the menu while I await the arrival of two amigos.  It’s...

Well-Aged Williamsburg Winery

Well-Aged Williamsburg Winery

(Winemaker Matthew Meyer stands proud of his gold medal winning 2017 Petit Verdot Reserve. Courtesy photo.) By Jim Roberts In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 is turning out to be a vintage year for the Williamsburg Winery. In January the winery won 11 medals at...