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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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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REVIEW: Jae Sinnett Trio, “Altered Egos”

REVIEW: Jae Sinnett Trio, “Altered Egos”

The Jae Sinnett Trio “Altered Egos” (J-Nett Music) Jazzman Jae Sinnett has a new studio recording, suburban home, and culinary video show. All are relevant here as Sinnett’s trio brings the house on “Altered Egos,” a 10-song album that’s absolutely cooking. ...

MUSIC REVIEWS: Every King & Commoner/Reptile Tile and more

MUSIC REVIEWS: Every King & Commoner/Reptile Tile and more

Every King & Commoner “Pioneers! Oh, Pioneers!” (Self-Release) Look out! Every King & Commoner are back in a big way with their long-awaited, epic sounding album, “Pioneers! Oh, Pioneers!.”  “Money” was the first track released to the public in the form of a...

ART: Work in Progress Impresses

ART: Work in Progress Impresses

(Jowarnise Caston, Tangled Roots) By Betsy DiJulio George’s Floyd’s death last summer, the resulting Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests and counterprotests, and the aftermath, which continues to reverberate, have been the catalysts for all kinds of conversations...

Re-Experiencing The Dark Side of the Moon

Re-Experiencing The Dark Side of the Moon

(Pink Floyd’s landmark album “The Dark Side of the Moon” remained on Billboard’s Top Album chart for 957 weeks.) By Jeff Maisey On July 1, Black Jacket Symphony — a full rock band with strings — will perform Pink Floyd’s landmark album “The Dark Side of the Moon” in...

MUSIC: Free Cracker Concert

MUSIC: Free Cracker Concert

(Cracker members Johnny Hickman and David Lowery rehearse.  Photo by Bradford Jones) By Jeff Maisey Alt-country outfit Cracker will be one of the first national level concerts to hit Hampton Roads since the pandemic shut large event gatherings down, and best of all...

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...

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...

Fall For Restaurant Wines

Fall For Restaurant Wines

(At Voilà, delicious red wines from South Africa, Sonoma, and the Burgundy region of France pair perfectly with the ever-popular entree, Beef Wellington.) By Marisa Marsey When 2020 began, the biggest headaches in the wine world were tariffs and hard seltzer. Then...

757 Breweries Win Awards

757 Breweries Win Awards

(Elation Brewing Company of Norfolk scores a silver in the Fruit/Vegetable category) By Jeff Maisey Breweries from Hampton Roads scored medals in Richmond on Monday where the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild announced the 2020 winners in its ninth annual statewide...

Kings of Their New Realm

Kings of Their New Realm

(New Realm’s canned beers are everywhere these days in the Hampton Roads region)  By Jeff Maisey One year after opening its production brewery in Virginia Beach, New Realm Brewing Company conquered the Commonwealth by winning the 2019 Virginia Craft Beer Cup when...