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City Manager's Blog

Learn about the City of Roanoke from the City Manager's point of view.

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Sep 28

A Brief Break

Posted on September 28, 2020 at 2:11 PM by Melinda Mayo

We were recently reminded that we are the midst of a virus marathon, not a sprint.  Last week, Dr. Molly O’Dell with the Roanoke-Alleghany Health Districts warned about COVID fatigue, causing some to let their guard down.  She reminded us that it is as important today as it was six months ago to wear face masks, maintain physical distancing, avoid large crowds, and stay home if you feel ill.  This is critically important information as our Nation has surpassed 200,000 deaths associated with Coronavirus.  

But still, it does get old; it’s tiring and frustrating.  So, I thought with this post I would offer up a bit of a virtual break from all things COVID.  With the help of Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge, I want to use this post to highlight some of the ways those outside our community are talking about the great offerings we have here.  And the best part?  Much of what is highlighted is COVID-safe and still able to be enjoyed!

The Outdoors

AAA GO, which is distributed to all AAA members in North Carolina, recently highlighted our area in their “Mountains” issue.  Of course, the article began with Mill Mountain and the Star, then moved on to highlight the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Roanoke River Greenway, and other various adventures on area trails and overs.  Men’s Journal recently highlighted the Virginia Triple Crown as a hike, offering one of the 27 most epic views every hiker should see (Dragon’s Tooth to be exact).  Mountain Bike Action highlighted our status as “America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital” and Bike Rumor offers a series of videos showcasing the many biking trails in the area.

Food

It should come as no surprise that Roanoke is home to some pretty fantastic restaurants (all of which you can still patronize even during the pandemic), and now it seems the rest of the country is learning this. okra.Magazine recently featured a great article on “Lucky,” written by Roanoke’s own Hunter Johnson.  Southern Cast Iron magazine (did you even know there was a magazine focused on cast iron?) offered a great article on Aaron Deal featuring his culinary skills as practiced and the River and Rail Restaurant.  As an added bonus, the article highlights Aaron’s teaching at Virginia Western’s culinary program, helping expand opportunity for others in our area!  Finally, Condé Nast recently offered an insightful focus on the Lebanese food that can be found in Roanoke and its historic roots.  Aesy’s and Cedars Lebanese Restaurant both receive mentions in the article.

Places to Visit and Stay

Southern Lady Magazine dedicated an entire section of a recent edition to Roanoke.  The eight-page spread noted Chocolate Paper, Thornfield Farms, Ladles & Linen, Black Dog Salvage, and Grandin Village.  Our downtown museums are mentioned and Hotel Roanoke is prominently featured.  It is an article worth checking out for the photos alone!  

A Bit of Fun

If all that wasn’t enough of a break, VBR got in on some of the action itself by featuring a creative series called “imperfect substitutions,” offering a tongue-in-cheek set of quarantine “substitutions” for several area attractions.  This humorous play on current circumstances captured the attention of media outlets across Virginia, the Nation, and even as far as Canada and Germany.  It’s definitely worth checking out! 

So, stay strong.  Stay focused on what you and your family need to do to stay safe and healthy.  And also remember to take a break every now and again to enjoy what the area has to safely offer.

— Bob Cowell




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