Monthly Archives: June 2009


The Washington Post Travel Section recently referred to Lynchburg, Va., as “fine and funky.” Bohemian even. This is not how Ms. S&C would have referred to her hometown — not the hometown where she grew up. Fourteen years later, she still wouldn’t exactly say it is “bohemian” or “funky” — it is Jerry-Falwell-conservative after all. No, it is not quite bohemian or funky, but it pretty close to “hip.” And it is definitely host to a growing number of hip places.


Ms. S&C was in her hometown last weekend for a cousin’s wedding. While there, she ventured down to Main Street (an area she hasn’t visited in years), and was totally stoked. Yes, stoked. There was a street festival (Friday Cheers), and lots of new shops and restaurants.

One would expect to find an old-factory-turned-cool-establishment in Manhattan or Chicago, but not Lynchburg. That’s what is so exciting about the Craddock Terry Hotel.

The hotel, housed in what was once the Craddock Terry Shoe factory and a tobacco storage warehouse, is one of the cornerstones of a Main Street revitalization project. And, the place is gorgeous. Exposed wood beam ceilings, nine-foot tall windows, exposed brick and stone walls, decor accented with historical artifacts (read: old shoes!) — this turn of the century shoe factory has been transformed into a lovely boutique hotel.

Ms. S&C is always one to stop and read the historical marker, so here are some points of history on the Craddock Terry Company (once a thriving and important part of Lynchburg’s economy):

  • The company was at first a wholesaler of footwear. It had $311,465 in sales in 1889, and $1 million in sales 10 years later.craddock-report
  • Craddock-Terry began making shoes at the turn of the century. It built a number of factories and warehouses in Southside Va., St. Louis, Mo., and Milwaukee, Wi.
  • The company hit hard times during the Great Depression and got rid of the plants outside of Va.
  • During the Depression, Craddock-Terry continued annual picnics for all employees and their families. The picnics included beauty pageants and sports contests.
  • Business picked up again during WWII, when Craddock-Terry made boots for soldiers.
  • Sales peaked in 1978. During the 1980s, foreign competition was credited for declining sales, so the company was sold and filed for bankruptcy in the late 1980s.

Ms. S&C stopped by the hotel for a quick tour and had a drink at their fine dining establishment, Shoemakers. She also got word of a number of other hip places down the street, including A+ martinis at Bull Branch. Ms. S&C spent the better part of her teenage years wanting to get out of Lynchburg, — now, she can’t wait to go back.

posted by Ms. S&C

Getting Sentimental Over Shoes

A friend who happens to be very in tune with Miss Mojito’s purchasing habits once made the observation that I don’t tend to buy clothes so much as I tend to collect them. And she was at least a little bit correct. I do like to grow and nurture my wardrobe, building it up piece by piece so that I’ll have an outfit ready for any occasion. And if that meant that I had to wait a year before I found occasion to wear the red silk dress with necklace detailing, so be it. Or if a brown jersey cocktail dress with a jeweled tie has remained dormant in my closet for over three years now, that’s alright with me. I just feel better knowing it’s there, at the ready, making my closet more complete.

The same philosophy certainly applies to my shoes. The crown jewels in my footwear collection happen to be two of those pairs that I have never—nay, could never—wear, but for a different reason than you might imagine. The shoes are impossibly small, remarkably narrow, impeccably stylish, and admittedly in need of repair. They also happen to be about 60 years old.

Both pairs of shoes belonged to my grandmother, Bobbie. Based on the fabulousness of these particular pairs of shoes, she certainly shared the same taste for footwear that we here at S&C so value. Both pairs are peep-toe ankle straps, a shoe silhouette that has  retained its popularity today. The black pair, which bears the mark of Paul’s Aristocrats of Brooklyn, is decorated with polka dots and swirls, while the creamier pair is made of satin and tiny rhinestone buckles.


It’s sentimental favorites such as these that turn a wardrobe into a collection, one that inspires memories and a bit of sentimentality. And, on occasion, something to wear, too.

So, what would Miss Mojito sip were she able to cram her feet into these diminutive pumps? Why the Aviation, of course! It’s a classic cocktail concoction that gained popularity throughout Prohibition and into the 1930s, when my grandmother probably wore these shoes.

The Aviation Cocktail
Serves one.

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce Crème de Violette (optional)
  • Ice

Combine the gin, lemon juice and maraschino liqueur in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Add a drizzle of Crème de Violette and serve.

*Miss Mojito makes the Crème de Violette optional because some versions of the Aviation omit the liqueur entirely, plus it’s a bit cost prohibitive.

Miss Mojito wants to know: What “crown jewels” are in your closet? Or, rather, in your “collection.”

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Ms. S&C goes southernmost

It has been a month since Ms. S&C returned from her Key West vacay, and she has finally gotten her act together to write a recap of her trip. This was not Ms. S&C’s first visit to the keys. It was her third, actually. Trip number one was Spring Break, sophomore year in college. Trip two was Spring Break, senior year. Trip three was with Mr. S&C, who’s never been there. It is safe to say this visit was different than the first two — but not that different.

People of all kinds visit Key West. Bikers, gays, hippies, retirees, frat boys, the girls-who-love-frat-boys, couples. And many of them visit with one thing in common — drinking. There may be some people-watching and site-seeing, conch fritters and key lime pie, but there is an awful lot of drinking. This heavy-imbibing eclectic mix reminds me a lot of New Orleans. You can call Duval Street the southernmost Bourbon Street.


Ms. S&C had no choice but get used to drinking out of
plastic cups when in Key West

One thing that made this visit different from others: planning. When planning a trip, to Key West, or any other destination for that matter, Ms. S&C recommends you check out the usual suspects for travel ideas: the New York Times’ 36 Hours covers Key West; the Washington Post has several articles; and OpenTable helps with restaurant recommendations. Even with all these resources, nothing beats recommendations from friends (thanks, LC). And with that, Ms. S&C brings you her Guide to Key West.

(Note: Items with an * indicates that I recommend. Items with an * and in bold are the spots I highly recommend, and are the places I would 100% visit again. That means, you shouldn’t miss them if you find yourself there.)


Flew from D.C. to Miami (we got a really cheap flight–$325 for two, round-trip tickets).

Rented a car (splurged on a convertible b/c of cheap flight), and drove down Route 1.  The drive takes longer than you think because you can only go about 40 mph. But, I drove from Virginia my previous two visits, so this 3 and a 1/2 hour trip was a breeze.

Checked in at Island City House*. This is a lovely, affordable inn with gorgeous gardens and a friendly staff. It has a nice pool, serves breakfast, and is an easy walk to Duval Street (and everywhere else). But, it is also far enough way that you escape the constant party-goers.

Swam a few laps in the pool, drank a few Red Stripes (I can’t resit the Jamaican lager when I’m someplace beachy), then hit the town.

Dinner at Seven Fish* – a tiny intimate spot that is a favorite of locals. Probably because it feels far away from the rowdy crowds of Duval Street. There’s a lot of fresh fish on the menu, and the dishes are well prepared. The key lime cheesecake should not be passed up.

801 Bourbon Bar – literally ran in this bar because of an unexpected thunderstorm. I’m sure I’ll see a drag show sometime in my life, but I wasn’t feeling it my first night in Key West. The show is apparently quite good, and the bar itself is fun with great dance music, but I wanted to be out on the town.

Green Parrot* – when googling “jukebox bars + Key West,” the Green Parrot was the top result. Mr. and Ms. S&C love bars with jukeboxes. This jukebox was good, but far too specialized with too much blues and jazz. The place also appears to have a loyal following of locals, again, probably because it is a few blocks off Duval.


Lunch at B.O.’s Fish Wagon* – this can’t be described any other way than an open-air shack. I was a little bit intimidated by the lady-with-a-big-personality taking our order, but the food is definitely worth it. Try the grilled fish sandwich and share an order of fries.

Toured the Hemingway House* – you should take the guided tour (our tour guide was a hoot). You’ll learn about Hemingway, his family, his cats, his work, the house (great architecture and art), and some Key West history. The house itself, and the pool, are amazing by the way.

Captain Tony’s Saloon* – known as the original Sloppy Joe’s and favorite bar of Ernest Hemingway. Not sure he would enjoy it as much today, but it is a great place for people-watching (saw a guy dressed as a pirate, with a live parrot on his shoulder). There’s a mixture of tourists and townies, and maybe a few people who drink for a living. There’s also a really fun (and talented) acoustic guitarist who plays a few days a week. Then, there’s the Pirates Punch, of course.


Pirates Punch is a secret blend of Cockspur rum, gin and a tropical fruit mixture. Served in a souvenir cup that’s yours to keep.

Kelly’s Caribbean Bar and Grill* – Kelly, as in Kelly McGillis of Top Gun, has a casual, yet elegant eatery, with killer happy hour specials—three drinks for $8. Great margaritas.

Green Parrot, again.

Virgilio’s* – recommended by a local we met at Green Parrot. We skipped the martinis (a specialty) and dined on carpaccio, insalata mista and penne puttanesca. Waitress told us we could take our leftover wine “to go,” but we told her we couldn’t.

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Make Mine a Manhattan

Strawberries are already on their way out of season, so it’s time we take advantage of them while they’re still in their Strawberry Manhattanprime. The folks at Gourmet had the same inclination, and offered a host of strawberry-inspired ideas in a recent electronic newsletter. My favorite suggestion? Infuse some bourbon with fresh strawberries and bottle up some berry bourbon. Miss Mojito decided to use hers to whip up a batch of Strawberry Manhattans.

To make the strawberry bourbon, hull a pint of strawberries and place in a large bowl. Pour bourbon over the berries (I used a 750-milliliter bottle of Jim Beam because that’s what I had on hand, but I’m sure a liter of some nicer bourbon would work just fine). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 days. Strain out the berries and bottle the bourbon. I’m not entirely sure of the shelf-life of this liquor, but I’m guestimating you have a week or so to enjoy the intoxicating strawberry flavors.

Although I am a bourbon fan, I haven’t participated in much Manhattan mixing, and was pleased with the results. After much investigation, we decided on equal parts sweet and dry vermouth as a nice balance for the fruity bourbon. And the strawberry garnish is a necessary addition to fully enhance the fruity flavor. I advise you whip up a batch immediately, before it’s too late!

Strawberry Manhattan
Serves one.

  • 2 ounces strawberry bourbon
  • ½ ounce sweet vermouth
  • ½ ounce dry vermouth
  • 1-2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Sliced strawberries for garnish

Pour bourbon, both vermouths and bitters into a cocktail shaker. Shake well and pour over ice. Garnish with strawberries and serve.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

S&C spotted–shoe museum

Friends of S&C recently vacationed in Toronto, and visited a shoe museum. Yes, there’s a museum entirely devoted to shoes. And, why not?!?! The Bata Shoe Museum celebrates the style, function and history of footwear. There’s over 4,500 years of shoe history is on display. The museum’s collection ranges from Chinese bound foot shoes and ancient Egyptian sandals to chestnut-crushing clogs and glamourous platforms. In the “Footwear of Famous People” exhibit, you can see John Lennon’s “Beatle Boot” from the 1960’s, and Elton John’s platform boots circa 1973. 

And how did Ms. S&C hear of her friends’ spectacular and surely stunning cultural experience? A good, old-fashioned postcard. Ms. S&C was practically euphoric when it arrived in the mail.



postcard from the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto 

Have you spotted something spectacular? Share it with S&C! If you are out and about and run across something awe-inspiring, inventive or delicious — email shoesandcocktails(at)yahoo(dot)com, or send us a TwitPic @shoescocktails. Or, a postcard!

posted by Ms. S&C

Ready for a Reunion

Miss Mojito will be reunionizing with college friends in Charlottesville this weekend and has been in search of a dress, shoes and a cmaxidressocktail to help prepare for the festivities.

Outfit Requirements: A fun, cool and casual dress (that’s long enough to hide the alarming sunburn marks that are still on both of my legs as a result of my Nags Head vacation over two weeks ago) was my number one requirement. My hope was to find a maxi dress that wasn’t too clingy to match with a pair of comfortable flats.

Outfit Results: I snagged a pearly pair of bone-colored, Pierre DuDSCN1221mas thongs for a cool $24 at Richmond boutique Fab’rik. The flats are a perfect match for my turquoise maxi dress with a braided rope detail, but the best part is that I can pair them with tons of other summer-friendly outfits.

Cocktail Requirements: Blue and orange are the official colors of my alma mater, but I’m coming up empty on ideas for similarly colored cocktails with great flavors.

Cocktail Results: Since I’ve abandoned the color theme, I’m going to focus purely on taste with one of my favorite summer cocktails, the Basil Gimlet. Traditional versions often rely on Rose’s Lime Juice, but Miss Mojito prefers the fresh stuff instead – if you do have some Rose’s on hand, though, it can’t hurt to add a splash. Legend attributes the drink to Sir Thomas Gimlette, who apparently served the concoction to his shipmates in the late 19th century to promote health and prevent scurvy.

I first experienced this herbal version of the gin cocktail at Mas, a tapas restaurant in Charlottesville.

Basil Gimlet
Serves two

  1. In the bottom of a shaker, muddle 1 large handful of basil (torn), with 1 tablespoon superfine sugar using a muddler (or the back of a spoon as a backup).
  2. Add 1 ounce of lime juice, 1 ounce of grapefruit juice and 4 ounces of gin (preferably Tanqueray’s Rangpur version, which is a bit sweeter and has extra notes of citrus).
  3. Add ice and shake well. Strain and serve.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Get out and run

Ms. S&C ran in her first 5K on Saturday and now she is all hot-to-trot over this running thing. Tomorrow, June 3, is the inaugural National Running RD_LogoDay. National Running Day is an initiative whereby many organizations within the running industry are joining forces to promote running as a healthy, easy, and accessible form of exercise.

A few months ago, Ms. S&C was looking to start a regular exercise regiment. Two things were important to her: (a) she didn’t want to spend a lot of money (i.e. no membership fees), and (b) she didn’t want to dedicate more than an hour or so of her day (i.e. no wasting time in traffic, dressing and undressing in a locker room, etc.). I guess you could say there was really only one thing that was important to her: she didn’t want to join a gym.

She started with a stationary bike in her basement. This was great. She could watch reruns of The Daily Show and Real Housewives of New York City. She could flip thru magazines and listen to iTunes. Then, she got bored. And spring came. She wanted to be outdoors, so she decided to go for a run.

–Okay, enough of the third person– I am by no means a natural or gifted athlete. When I started running, I couldn’t run a mile without stopping, cramping, and cursing. I even joked to a friend that I only ran when an upbeat song came on my iPod. After awhile, a half mile turned into a full mile, a full mile turned into two miles, and so on. Running, up to this point, was entirely a solitary activity, so a friend suggested I run in a race. When I crossed the finish line at the Maya Angelou See Forever 5K, and saw Mr. S&C (also there with the S&C family dog) cheering me on, I’ve never felt more exhilarated. So, if you are looking to start an exercise routine, Ms. S&C thinks you should get out and run. She’s never felt better.asics

P.S. You didn’t think I forgot about shoes did you? I recently went shopping for a new pair of running sneakers and the sales associate told me that Asics make the best running shoes around. Ms. S&C wants to know from all the runners out there: Do you have a fave running shoe? I would love to hear your recommendations!

posted by Ms. S&C