Of actors, architecture and appetites


Nicholas Cage shooting near you. For residents near Mount Vernon Estates, the possible sound of helicopters in the night is no reason for alarm, say producers of National Treasure: The Book of Secrets. Nighttime aerial scenes will be shot April 12 around the Potomac and Estate for the blockbuster sequel with permission from the Federal Aviation Administration. So, relax and enjoy your close encounter with movie-making.

Applauding beautiful architecture: declaring April 9-14 Alexandria Architecture Week, Mayor WilliamD. Euille gives applause to efforts by the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in recognition of the 150th anniversary of a national organization which nationally-renowned local architect Glenn Brown (1854-1932) helped establish. Attend a free lecture on Alexandrias famous architect on April 12 at 7 pm at the Lyceum as part of its Glenn Brown exhibit delivered by William B. Bushong, staff historian of the White House Historical Association. Or take an architect-led walking tour of Old Town on April 15 which concentrates on Browns local designs. reservations@aianova.org.

Local chef tops his field: adding yet another stunning achievement to an impressive list of accolades, chef Cathal Armstrong of Old Towns Restaurant Eve has been nominated for the Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic by the James Beard Foundation. Winners will receive a bronze medallion at a grand ceremony on May 7 at the Lincoln Center, New York City. A tradition for 20 years, James Beard award recipients are selected by a nation-wide prestigious food and beverage panel as a strong component of the foundations mission to promote culinary excellence in step with the late chef and food enthusiast James Beard.  

Punch knocks out competition: Bittersweets Pineapple Upside Down Punch won Gadsbys Tavern Museums 3rd Annual Great Rum Punch Challenge leaving the crowd of 150 begging for more. The March 24 competition was stiff, featuring entries from six formidable local distilleries, restaurants and caterers. Inspired by the educational American Whiskey Trail, Gadsbys is doing its part to further the appreciation and knowledge about the history of spirits in America. Designated drivers drank punch containing shrub, the soda-equivalent of the day.

Heroism recognized: Carnegie Medals have been awarded to two Alexandria residents for their courageous actions which helped save lives on Jan. 9, 2005 at the Goodwin House. John C. Springer, an administrator for legal firms visiting his mother at the retirement home and Amadu Jalloh, a private nurse were present when a knife-wielding employee went on an assault rampage. Springer and Jalloh received a bronze medal and $5,000 for endangering themselves to help others. Suffering slashes to his face, Springer is still haunted by the event but claims that helping others became ingrained in him following a bout with cancer nearly 20-years ago. Jallohs bravery resulted in the weapon being confiscated and the perpetrator being restrained until authorities arrived.

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