Category Archives: Art & Culture

Discover the Talented Chainsaw Wood Carvers in Virginia

wood carverWhen you think about chainsaws, you only think about two things. The first one is that it is a scary tool that is used to cut trees. The other one is the horror movie that has horrified one generation after another. Either way, both are bad images of a chainsaw. The great news is that chainsaws actually have a lot other purposes. Enter the chainsaw wood carvers in Virginia.

It takes a special skill to do what they do. This group of professional sculptors doesn’t just use the chainsaw to cut trees. They also use the chainsaw to create a fantastic work of art. They are individuals who are highly dedicated. They maximize the use of this tool in such a way that you have never seen an art like what they have done. Aside from displaying finished products, they also provide 45-minute shows. In just 5 minutes, they can transform an ordinary log into a work of art. Their high energy performance has left onlookers breathless. They perform with high energy, but with great accuracy and precision. It is like seeing a group of dancers trying to impress a judge. When they are done, you will see something magnificent like you’ve never seen before. Even the smallest details have been looked into. For some other carvers or sculptors, it would take days or even weeks to complete what these amazing carvers in Virginia have created.

Road shows

You don’t have to visit Virginia though to see these professionals in action. They are now providing road shows where they visit different states and countries to perform. There are wood carving performances in Japan, Canada, Germany, and Australia. This is how talented they are that their skills are highly in demand even in other countries.

You can buy one too

After the show, an auction sale takes place. You can buy the works of art if you get the highest bid. You won’t regret it though sine the money collected will go to fund the shows of these artists. Besides, even if you invest a lot, these creations are just wonderful. You can even use them as the centerpiece of your home decoration. This might seem like a new concept to you, but some of these performers have been doing their craft since the 1990’s.

Learn how to do it

Right now, you can just watch them in action. Soon, you can be one of them. Of course, you have to start by conquering your fears of using chainsaws. It is not easy, but you can do it if you give it a try. You can check out the best chainsaws to buy online. You can also read about affordable chainsaw reviews. When you have found the best chainsaw, go ahead and invest right away. Even if you don’t learn how to carve wood using a chainsaw, you can still use it in cutting trees and logs. This is still a useful skill after all. It might be needed especially during storms when trees have to be cut to avoid injuries.

People in Virginia are Fitness Conscious, Be One of Them

CrossFit Training Push Ups

CrossFit Training Push Ups

Based on the ranking of the states with the least obese people in the entire United States, Hawaii ranks first with just 19%. It might be because of the nature of the lifestyle in the island. People are always outdoors and so they tend to exercise their muscles more. The jobs available are also usually related to physical activities. Though quite far behind, Virginia is still in the middle of the pack. With only 27.2% obesity rate, it is pretty clean that the people of Virginia put a lot of emphasis on their health.

If there is evidence aside from this statistics, it is the growing number of cross fit gyms in the state. Though this challenge is becoming popular all over the country, it has caught up easily among the people of Virginia. It could be because of the nature of the challenge. It is intense and the results are seen right away. In contrary, Virginia’s neighbor, West Virginia, is at the bottom of the list. It is second to the last with 34.3% obesity rate, just a rank higher than Mississippi.

When you move to Virginia, you might also be challenged to live a healthier lifestyle. Aside from the growing number of gyms, you will also be inspired by how people live their lives. Before you know it, you have already enrolled in the nearest cross fit center and get on with the challenge.

Gearing up for the cross fit challenge

To begin with, you need to prepare yourself for this intense challenge. You can start by doing warm up exercises. You should also get used to cardio exercises. Take note that cross fit is very intense and it could literally take your breath away. Therefore, you need to control your breathing well and use your energy wisely.

When your body has fully adjusted, the next step is to buy the right gear for cross fit. Your next move it to look for best shoe for crossfit. There are specific types of shoes designed just for cross fit. You cannot wear ordinary shoes since they won’t protect you. Again, cross fit can cause great impact and might be harmful to your body. It could lead to injuries. With the right footwear, you avoid all these accidents. If you worry because of tight budget, then you can check out affordable best crossfit shoes.

Changing your habits

Cross fit alone won’t be enough to help you achieve your goals. If you want to be healthy, then you need to be healthy inside out. You should also watch what you eat. Though there are a lot of fast foods in Virginia, there are also a lot of organic shops and vegetarian restaurants. After hitting the gym, you can treat yourself by heading to these restaurants. You won’t feel guilty eating a lot because you know you are taking the right kind of food.

It is inspiring to see the people of Virginia taking on the cross fit challenge. You can do the same thing and see a better you.

Food Culture in Virginia

olio bistro richmond

Virginia doesn’t exactly have a reputation as a hotspot for culinary excellence, but upon closer inspection it’s clear that we actually have a burgeoning food scene that includes both high end fine dining style restaurants as well as a huge number of diners and small eating establishments that serve simple, straightforward, fantastic food. In this post I hope to convince readers that Virginia as a state shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to the food and restaurant scene.

First off, we’re a southern state, so we have all the traditions that come with that – if you’re looking for great barbecue, incredible pies or delicious fried stuff, we’ve got all of that here. One thing that is particularly special and that only comes out of Virginia is Virginia country ham – it’s well known throughout the country and is pretty damn delicious if I may say so myself. We’re also famous for our peanuts – Virginia peanuts are the largest peanuts grown in the US and make for a great bar snack.

The seafood in Virginia is also pretty incredible, and in particular we have fantastic blue crabs. While the blue crab is often associated with Maryland, the crab that comes out of this region is equally as good. We also have great oysters, and Tangier Island (on the eastern shore of the state) is said to be the ‘soft shell crab capital’ of the world. The seafood in this region is fresh and is just generally high quality product.

Virginia is also something of a wine hub – we have a rapidly growing wine industry, and the state now has over 200 wineries and that number is growing by the day. While we can’t match up to Napa valley just yet, anyone who’s looking to do a wine tour on the east coast should  put the great state of Virginia into their itinerary right away. Along with the many wineries, there are also frequent wine festivals and tasting events suitable for connoisseurs and amateurs alike. There’s loads of useful information at VirginiaWine.org if you’re thinking about doing a wine tour in the area. Here’s a quick video that will definitely interest you if you’re a wine person.

The one thing that you probably wouldn’t expect in the state is great fine dining – but actually, the restaurant scene in Virginia has really taken off in the last half decade. Almost every reasonably sized city in the state has a downtown area with great restaurants, and whether you’re looking for exotic cuisines or a modern take on classic southern food, we’ve got it all. Richmond, Alexandria – even the tiny little city of Staunton all have amazing restaurants and excellent food. One theme that you’ll find runs through many of the state’s best restaurants is a focus on high quality local meat and produce. Many chef’s would agree that great farms make for great food, and Virginia is a place with a rich history of agriculture. Be on the lookout for restaurants that proudly display their suppliers – the quality of the local meat and produce that you find in high end restaurants in Virginia will rival anything that you can find in the entire country. For those looking for actual restaurant recommendations or reviews, check out this list. It only covers northern Virginia, but a bunch of my own favorites are on there so I’ll give it a pass.

We’re also seeing more and more farmer’s markets, (aforementioned) wine festivals, and local food events in the state. While none of the cities in Virginia are ‘known’ as trendy food locales like Austin or Seattle are, I personally think that places like Staunton are up and coming in the food world, and in a few years many places in Virginia will start popping up on those ‘most underrated food cities’ lists that you find so often around the web.

So, that’s my brief take on the Virginia food scene in general – and if you don’t believe that the food is great here, come and try it for yourself.

Music in Virginia

bluegrass

You may know Virginia as a Southern state and therefore expect the majority of the music in the region to be country music, but the Old Dominion is actually a state with a great diversity in terms of music. Everything from country and rock to hip hop and R&B – we literally have it all.

Now, obviously country music does have a long and storied history in Virginia, and it’s probably the kind of music that most people out there associate with the state. A lot of the sounds of country music in general have roots in one way or another in Virginia, and bluegrass in particular is a hallmark of the state that traces back all the way to colonial times and endures today. The style is has influences from all over – from the early music of the British colonialists to the traditional music of the Africans brought over in the slave trade. Bluegrass is characterized by its breakneck pace, and more esoteric instruments like the fiddle, the mandolin, and the banjo are used in conjunction with more common instruments like acoustic guitars to create a distinct sound. In recent years, bluegrass has experienced a resurgence in popularity thanks to the progressive bluegrass sub genre which is catching the attention of hipsters and bearded folk all over the US.

Here’s one of my personal favorite progressive bluegrass/newgrass bands.

Outside of country music, Virginia also happens to be the home of a whole host of Hip Hop and R&B superstars. Obviously Pharrell Williams and his production partner Chad Hugo are legendary as The Neptunes – probably the most successful production team in the past two decades. Missy Elliot and Timbaland are two more very notable and accomplished Virginia natives in the Hip Hop and R&B space. There are also a bunch of less well known up and coming artists from the Virginia area that are worthy of more attention – Clipse is an extremely well regarded hip hop duo, and although the two members are going their separate ways, both artists (Malice and Pusha T) deserve to be more well known as artists.

There’s also a thriving rock scene in a number of cities in Virginia – whether you’re in Richmond or Fairfax, Alexandria or Virginia Beach, you can probably at least find a handful of up and coming bands that will blow you away. There’s also a reasonably prominent heavy metal scene in and around Richmond if you’re into that kind of music (I’m not).

The live music scene is thriving in Richmond and a whole bunch of other smaller cities across the state. Whatever your jam is, you can probably find a bar or club where they play your type of music pretty close by. If festivals are more your thing, there are plenty of those happening in and around the are as well. One of my favorite places for live music in Richmond is Balliceaux – the music there is varied, and on any given night you might find yourself listening to jazz, rock, or just pretty random world music that you’ve never come across before. The food and drinks are also great – if you find yourself in Richmond and you’re looking for a live music experience, you should definitely check it out. As for festivals, FloydFest is a pretty well known festival that features a bunch of pretty high profile bands as well as a ton of great acts that you may not have heard before.

Hopefully, you’ve learned a little something about Virginia and it’s rich musical tradition from the little that I know about it. Now, go to youtube and watch some bluegrass videos or something.

 

Everything that’s going on in Virginia

Norfolk

Hi all,

I’m hoping to develop this site into basically a lifestyle hub for everything to do with Virginia. I hope to cover everything from lifestyle stuff, restaurants, bars and other nightlife. Music, culture and arts, and even outdoors stuff like hunting and fishing in the area. I love this state – and I want to turn this site into a resource for both locals and visitors to the great state of Virginia.

So, what makes me love Virginia so much. First and foremost I was born and raised here, so that’s one obvious reason. But beyond that, I just feel like Virginia has a lot to offer – obviously, it has a rich history, and is and always will be tied to the American history.That also ties into the architecture that you can see around the state – I don’t think any other state has as many well preserved buildings with colonial architecture. We also have a great food culture – obviously, Virginia ham is a well known specialty and is beloved both by locals and by folks in other states, but beyond that, we also have amazing sausages and a bunch of rich, hearty comfort food traditions that outsiders might not know but that locals cherish (everyone should try shoofly pie, it’s crazy good)

We also have a rich tradition of producing great musicians – with country music, this great state has produced notables as Patsy Cline, and the (pretty old school) Statler brothers and Carter Family. Outside of country, the great state of Virginia has also produced Jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald, hip hop/RnB aritsts like Timbaland, Missy Elliot, and music industry legend Pharrell. Jason Mraz, the Dave Matthews band, and Dave Grohl (of the Foo Fighters) all have roots in Virginia as well. We also always have stuff going on in the state in term of concerts and smaller performances – the official Virginia website is great for updates on this front.

Then we have the outdoors. Hunting and fishing in Virginia is probably one of the most satisfying and fulfilling experiences you can get anywhere in the country. We have some really incredibly natural scenery that will take your breath away, and even if you don’t like hunting or fishing, just taking a stroll through the countryside or going on a hike can be really rewarding.

As you can probably tell, I really love this state, and no, I don’t work for the Virginia Tourism board. I just loved growing up here, and I continue to love living here, and I wish that the state would get more recognition as both a great place to visit and an amazing place to live. It offers an excellent balance of everything – no matter what you’re into, you’ll be able to find it here.

So, if you’re a local looking for stuff to do around the state or in your city specifically, or if you’re a planning a visit to Virginia in the near future – be sure to check back here. We don’t have a lot of stuff up yet, but I’m hoping to turn this site into a real resource for anyone looking for stuff to do in the state, and I’ll try to add content on a pretty regular basis to keep abreast of everything that’s going on here.

This is Virginia Beats.