NEW! Fall 2011: PICKS

Love schtick
Leaves falling from the trees, snuggly sweaters and cool, crisp autumn air—it’s the perfect recipe for romance, no? This fall, cozy up to your special someone and keep these tips, from Angelo owners Pam and Lee Marraccini, in mind. More than 35 years of marriage and they own, of all things, a jewelry store? It doesn’t get much more romantic than that.

Begin with a similar value system.

“We were both raised with very similar backgrounds, in third generation Italian families. We began from the same base. It was much easier to understand each other and understand each others’ families; there was one less stressor at the beginning having that.”

Laugh together and enjoy each other’s company.

“One of the things that I liked about Lee most was that I had never felt so at ease with any other guy I had met before him. He laughed at my jokes. He thought I was funny. And the fact that I was even joking was a sign of how at ease I was with him. I noticed that and thought, No one else thinks I’m funny like he does. And in a way, that was a form of support and appreciation that I never experienced before.”

Develop a respect for each other’s independence.

“We naturally support each others’ individual interests, time spent with friends without each other. We work and live together, so there isn’t a lot of time apart. He travels to shows and yoga workshops without me. I travel to meditation retreats without him. We pursue our own interests.”

Pay attention to each other.

“We listen to each other as a habit. We don’t tune each other out. We may not agree at all times, but we honor the other person’s right to have their own opinion. We are together a lot. We often have lunch together. We cook and eat dinner together, sitting at a table on the screened in porch.”

Have patience and faith to overcome difficulties that arise.

“A happy marriage is something you have to work at, in the everyday, mundane sort of way.”

Go deep
This football season, you don’t have to be a UVA wide receiver to train like one. We asked Hyam Hosny, owner of Clay Fitness + Nutrition, for explosive drills that’ll get you fit without getting you tackled.

Side-To-Side Ladder: Jump so that your right foot lands in the ladder’s first box and your left foot lands outside. Alternate feet moving forward so that your left foot lands inside the second box and your right stays outside. Continue for five lengths of the ladder, and complete five sets.

Kettlebell Snatch with Proposal Lunge: Assume the proposal position (no diamond necessary) with your right knee down and kettlebell hanging at your right side. Quickly push off your left foot and stand, snatching the bell straight over your head. Exercise control by keeping your right foot suspended as you stand. Try 15 snatches with each arm.

Body Bar Battling: Face your partner, each of you holding a weighted body bar at a 45-degree angle. Touch the bars in the center to form an “X.” Push against each other, fully extending your arms. Then re-cross your bars, each of you forming the opposite “leg” of the “X.” Repeat for two one-minute drills.

TRX Atomic Press: For the athletically daring, Hyam recommends TRX® Suspension Training®. Place both feet inside the rings and assume a plank position. Draw your knees to your chest while lifting your hips toward the ceiling. Pause at the top before releasing back through the plank position and doing a push up.—Taylor Harris

Get outta town
It takes adulthood and a full-time job to teach us just how much can be seen and done in 48 hours. Fortunately, our state boasts leaf-peeping locales complete with charming B&Bs all close enough for the relaxation to begin before you can say, “Are we there yet?”—Megan Headley

Only an hour and a half north in the Shenandoah Valley is this town known for its beautiful caverns, which make up a 4 million-year-old underworld. Above ground, in addition to the 360 degree views that the Skyline Drive lookouts and Shenandoah National Park hiking trails afford, is an ornamental garden maze that’s just too much fun not to attempt. When you find your way out, head straight to the Woodruff House—a Victorian B&B with jacuzzis and fireplaces in every room.

Head an hour west on I-64 during the peak of fall’s foliage and you’ll no longer take this neighboring town for granted. With top notch restaurants, like Staunton Grocery and Zynodoa serving the best of local ingredients, along with Shakespeare at the Blackfriars Playhouse and live music at the Mockingbird, you’ll want at least 48 hours here. For in-town lodging, try the Frederick House, or for a countryside feel, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is straight out of England.

We all have the faded childhood photo of our heads in the stockades, but this town (along with nearby Jamestown and Yorktown) just two hours east on I-64 has tons to offer beyond its colonial schtick. The Berkeley plantation and mansion along the James River marks the site of the first official Thanksgiving in 1619 and offers stunning views from boxwood terraces and flowered gardens. For lodging, the Williamsburg Manor is about as quintessential as B&Bs go.

She was a day tripper

Desperate for a change of scenery, but want to be home in time to feed the dog? We’re blessed with beauty less than an hour east, west, north and south of us.

East: Just 10 minutes on 250E and you’ll feel a million miles away upon entering Keswick Hall’s idyllic property. Treat yourself to lunch or cocktails on the terrace or taste wine at nearby Keswick Vineyards.

West: Just past Crozet is the pastoral town of Afton, where wineries like Afton Mountain, Pollak and Veritas have wine as appealing as the views. Beer lovers can get a local pint at Blue Mountain Brewery and foodies can fill up on local produce at amFog.

North: Orange County’s Montpelier, the home of James Madison, holds its “Fall Big Woods Walk” around the 200-acre Landmark Forest on October 16, and the famous steeplechase horse races on November 5.

South: The half hour drive down Route 20 to Scottsville is country driving at its best, especially when your trip continues in a canoe or kayak down the James River surrounded by autumn’s array of colors.—M.H.

Listen in
Charlottesville’s own Lindsay Pitts, of the indie rock duo Birdlips, may be off touring the country, but she took the time to check in with music lovers back here at C.

She says,”These are a combination of things that I have loved forever and some things I’m listening to a lot right now in no particular order.” We say, load ‘em on your iPod to listen while you’re waiting for the bus.—Christy Baker

Paul Simon: “I Know What I Know”
Broadcast: “American Boy”
Shuggie Otis: “Inspiration Information”
Pink Floyd: “The Great Gig In the Sky”
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti: “Fright Night”
Kurt Vile: “Jesus Fever”
Dungen: “Ta Det Lungt”
Joni Mitchell: “Free Man In Paris”
Fleetwood Mac: “Dreams”
Margo Guryan: “California Shake”

Tip of the day
Navigating the social and financial expectations of tipping can be daunting. Every pizza delivery, every manicure, even a poker hand may be accompanied by the question of whether to tip and, if so, how much? C asked some local ladies about the tricky business of gratuity.

Claibourne Reppert, a seasoned stylist at Moxie Hair Lounge, says 20 percent is a pretty standard tipping start. And if you feel especially smitten with your stylist, toss a little more her way.

As for other salon workers, Reppert says to tip accordingly, percentage-wise, to the price on your bill. Shampooers are to a salon what valet parking attendants are to a hotel, she says. “Just throwing them a couple bones is pretty standard if that’s not a stretch for you.”

When it comes to gratuity for taxi drivers, Casie Fitzgerald, a dispatcher for Access Taxi (and a former cabbie herself), says there aren’t any set standards. “I still think along the same lines as waitressing is fair—you know, 20 percent.

Playing the tables? Anne Tejano, a Charlottesville-based poker dealer, says, “[Tipping] totally depends on whether or not the table’s hot, and if there are large transfers of money. …Normally people just tip $.50 to $1 or $2 per hand.”—C.B.

Did you know? The USDA updated the age-old food pyramid. The new “MyPlate” format divides daily servings into four food groups. Here’s what you should take away: Fruits and veggies take up one half of the plate (with veggies taking up slightly more of your diet) and protein and grains occupy the other half (with grains weighing a bit more heavily). Dairy’s moved to a side dish, and the USDA recommends reaching for low-fat or nonfat dairy as often as you can.

Reclaim your lunch hour
Nothing breaks up the work day like lunch, but if you’re stuck in a rut, foraging for your midday meal can become a chore—not to mention unhealthy and expensive. Jeanette Peabody, Chef de Cuisine at Hamiltons’ at First and Main, thinks like a restaurant chef when it comes to most of her meals, but for her own lunches, she keeps it simple and likes to make use of leftovers. Here’s a week’s worth of chef-worthy lunches that will keep you waiting for noon to strike.—M.H.

Monday: Sliced pork tenderloin on a baguette spread with grainy dijon and topped with sautéed greens.

Tuesday: Mixed greens topped with Caromont goat cheese, sliced apples, roasted beets and pecans dressed in a cider vinaigrette.

Wednesday: Seared tuna (inside tip: Seafood at West Main sells its uneven cuts for half price) with ginger/soy dressing, green beans sautéed in garlic and sesame oil, cucumbers and radishes over mixed greens.

Thursday: Ratatouille (a mixture of eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs) over whole wheat couscous or polenta, topped with parmigiano.

Friday: Marinated tofu over raw kale and shredded carrots dressed with a mixture of tahini, lemon, garlic, dijon, honey, parsley and olive oil.

Kid-friendly, mother approved
Your kids might ask for turkey and cheese on whole wheat five days in a row, but when they are hungry, they’ll welcome a surprise in their lunch box, especially if it’s a tasty adaptation of your own lunch. Thursday’s ratatouille is sweet and savory enough to resemble tomato sauce, so serve it over spaghetti with a sprinkle of parmigiano or spread it on a whole wheat pita and melt fresh mozzarella over top for a gourmet pizza.

Get to class
A recent poll in the Wall Street Journal says Americans are spending more time in front of the T.V. and less time hitting the books. Knowing we can do better than that, we sifted through a few local course catalogs to find classes so fun, you’ll forget all about the latest episode of “Modern Family.” Here are six opportunities to get your learn on.—Caite White

At Piedmont Virginia Community College
“Preserving Fruit at Home” ($69)
September 24, 1-4pm
Picked too many apples at Carter Mountain (or have an overabundance from the trees in your backyard)? Mike Lachance teaches you how to maximize your bounty.

“The Story of Your Life: Writing Your Memoir” ($149)
Wednesdays, August 31-September 28, 6-8:30pm
We always say, “That’ll go in my memoirs.” Now’s our chance (and yours, too)! Identify and structure your narrative, and use memory exercises to recall some key moments you may have been missing.

“Basic Drawing” ($125)
Tuesdays, September 13-October 18, 6:30-8:30pm
Start with the basics and work your way up to figure drawing.

At UVA’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies
“The Great American Singers” ($150)
Mondays, September 12-October 17, 6:30-8:30pm
Discuss everything from Billie to Ella to ol’ Blue Eyes, plus some country and rap thrown in for good measure.

“Introduction to Mindfulness” ($125)
Thursdays, August 25-September 15, 7-9pm
Learn to reduce stress and cultivate positivity through focusing on the present moment.

“Introduction to French Language” ($190)
Wednesdays, September 15-November 2, 6:30-8:30pm
Master the basics in the language of love. Oui oui!

A few others, if you please:
Charlottesville Trade School ( A roaming school (it sometimes sets up at The Bridge/Progressive Arts Initiative) for everything from knitting and printmaking to coffee brewing and backcountry cuisine.

McGuffey Art Center ( Wheel-throwing, dancing and mixed media classes (among others) are available for adults and kids alike.

The Charlottesville Cooking School ( You’ll find classes in everything from creating beautiful birthday cakes to tasty Thai dishes at this hands-on culinary school.

Les Fabriques ( Pattern drafting, embroidery and sewing basics are a few of the classes on the menu at this 29N spot.

Brows will be brows
Whether you like them thin and arched or full and natural, shaping your eyebrows can be tricky. Luckily, CitySpa’s “Eyebrow Queen,” Sara Arredondo, schooled us on the art of brow grooming.

Her first instructions? Grab a pencil, and place it vertically alongside of your nose. Where the pencil intersects with your browline is where your eyebrow should start. To find your brow’s natural endpoint, hold the pencil from your nostril to the edge of your eye. Tweeze any hairs that fall outside.

But remember that all plucks are not created equal. “You tweeze pulling up and outward instead of down,” Sara advises, “because when you [pull downward], you damage the hair follicle, and the hair will start growing in the direction you tweezed it.”

If you still see renegade hairs, try trimming them. Brush your eyebrows up and cut the hairs out of line, then brush down and repeat.

Are your brows in need of a lift? Ask a friend to mark the spot along your browline above each iris. This is where your eyebrows naturally want to arch.

And if you accidentally get tweezer-happy, know you’re in good company. “I’ve done it before, too,” admits the Eyebrow Queen.—T.H.


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