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In its 4th year, the Annapolis Irish Festival draws an ever-larger crowd seeking Celtic music and heritage

Two past winners illustrate the magic of make-believe

Creativity comes out to play in Twin Beach Players’ Kids
Playwriting Festival

Talent Machine’s young actors are rehearsing for life

Summer’s darlings, winter’s pests

Fish recipes from the Chesapeake

Farewell to one neighbor; bon voyage to another

For most of my earlier years, the neighborhoods where I lived were grids, and connections followed straight lines, side to side and front to back. Sometimes I was lucky and the next- or nearly next-door neighbors were people of shared interests beyond the chance of proximity. That’s how husband Bill and I developed dear friendships with the Kirkpatricks, next door but one, and the Ladleys, next door but two, in Holland Point, where we spent our first years in Chesapeake Country.  ...

A Hollywood stuntman moonlights as a wheelman but winds up in the mob’s crosshairs after a heist goes bad

Los Angeles stunt driver, Driver (Ryan Gosling: Crazy, Stupid, Love.), isn’t above moonlighting to make a little extra cash. He offers his services as a wheelman to robbers in the greater L.A. area.     He lives a monk-like existence, moving from one Spartan apartment to another and speaking with no one but his manager/boss/agent Shannon (Bryan Cranston: Contagion). Driver is content with that existence until he meets shy waitress Irene (Carey Mulligan: Never Let Me Go)...

Even the actors don’t know whodunit in this appealing mystery

The works of Agatha Christie, the queen of murder and reportedly the best-selling author of all time, are timeless because her characters transcend their settings. The privileged classes, it seems, are no happier than the rest of us, so we adore their frailties as much as the grandeur that surrounds them. Christie mysteries are box-office gold even when they’re so-so; Colonial Players’ The Unexpected Guest is diamond-studded platinum.     As this production’s...

Autumn’s Won My Heart Away

Summer on the Chesapeake is not a perfect season, but I sure hate to see it go. Summer 2011 showed us its terrible temper in plenty of ways: weeks in the stew pot, torrential rains, gale-force winds or none at all, stink bugs on the peaches, mosquitoes on me. But such moods don’t overshadow my love for the thrill of a breeze, the exuberance of the leaves, the moment to seize.     For summer does not stay. The pool where I swim opens only one more day, inviting humans in...

Phoenix-like, a local landmark ravaged by fire has risen in time to celebrate Oktoberfest

On the second Friday of the Old Stein’s new lease on life, the liter glasses — each bearing the logo of one of the resurrected German bierstube’s 10 taps — stand ranged and polished on the shelves of a new-old, laborious refurbished bar, ready to be filled, raised and joined.     But it’s not yet time to shout zum Wohl!     Carpenters Scott Griffiths and Jeff Mattero pace the brand-new Honduran mahogany floor. Wainscoting —...

Chesapeake Beach Resort unveils its all-new historic band shell for outdoor concerts

When Otto Mears first brought the railroad to Chesapeake Beach in 1900, he spent $6 million to build his dream town, a Monte Carlo on the Bay. More than a century later, Chesapeake Beach Resort partner Gerald Donovan is keeping that dream alive by rebuilding one of Mears’ original attractions.     “Mears built this huge boardwalk on the Bay, so people would come from around the D.C. area,” says Donovan. “He advertised it as one hour to the sea. It was...

How Patuxent animals coped with high water

The record-setting flood on the Patuxent River that shut down parts of Route 4 and Route 301 on September 8 also created chaos and danger for the animals living in Jug Bay marshes. Mattress-sized clumps of uprooted marsh plants and large logs floated fast downstream. The current in the river’s main channel was pumping three times faster than normal.     On the river’s edges, where wild rice and cattail stalks poked above the brown waters, the heads of red-bellied and...

You can’t stick those root balls back in the ground

If Irene pushed over a tree in your landscape, chances are it will never recover, so it is best that you remove it and replace it. Over the years, I have seen many home gardeners and arborists try to rescue toppled trees by bracing them. However, I have never seen full recoveries, even after the trees have been braced for several years. Shortly after the braces are removed, the trees begin leaning. In the Garden this Week Repot Your House Plants Now     Houseplants become...

When the fish bite, you gotta be there to catch them

First came Irene, then seven straight days of even greater deluge from Tropical Storm Lee. With so much forced inactivity, I was on the brink of angling despair. When the forecast suggested our first day of precipitation-free weather, I loaded my skiff.     Arriving at the ramp and launching at first light, I had no misconceptions about my chances. All the Bay’s tributaries had been swollen in flood stage for days.     Water was the color of coffee with...

Atlas’ daughters beckon

The waning gibbous moon still rises on the heels of sunset at week’s end. But by the 20th,  when Luna reaches last-quarter, it crests the horizon past midnight.     Thursday and Friday the moon keeps company with Jupiter, leading the gaseous giant the first night and trailing it the next. Both nights, the two are less than 10 degrees apart, more than close enough for your outstretched fist to block out both.     Luna spends the weekend amid Taurus the...