Monday, June 28, 2010

Rubdown Throwdown

I recently took advantage of special offers to get my achy muscles rubbed down. I work out pretty frequently and feel like "body work" is an essential component of circulation and muscle movement. The problem is I can't really afford the monthly indulgence of massage in an upscale spa (the only places I've had them)--so I went outside my softly scented spa box and into massage-specialty shops to see what's what.

First off was Nirvana Reflexology Spa on Rockville Pike. (Though I announce their opening in the current issue of Bethesda Magazine, I visited as a paying customer.) I had never tried "shiatsu," "reflexology" and, other than acupuncture, never had my "chi" moved in any way. That day I can attest the chi moved. My feet soaked in an aromatherapy bath while the therapist worked on my head and then managed to cover every other part of my body while I was clothed. Although some parts were off-the-chart deep (eeeow my therapist must have had hands of steel), I felt incredibly light afterward. The room was communal, but lovely, dark and very private - you're unaware of the other massages going on. For $39, it was life-changing.

Next try was Massage Heights on Congressional Lane . I took advantage of the $39 special for a 60-minute hot stone massage. I chose a lightly scented aromotherapy oil and loved the feel of the oil mixed with hot stones. I was so relaxed afterward, I felt totally out of it and was sorry to have to face the blazing heat and hubbub of the Pike, even though it was for a shopping trip. The massage was exactly to my specifications. I asked for firm pressure and got it. Not too deep, but not soft either. I didn't want it to end and was blissfully out of it for much of the time. My therapist was attentive without being chatty and there was no sales pitch to sign up for a membership (you can buy a series of massages) or to come back. But I will. Next I may even try the Montgomery Mall massages; I have a friend who swears by them. Before my foray into the massage world, that would have been a "no." Now it's an easy "why not?"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rock the Town Square

The Nighthawks? Seriously? And I missed them!! Don't miss out on the free concerts, happy hours, and family events going on at Rockville Town Square all summer long. On Tuesdays get hot with Latin music at Beso de Cielo at The Rooftop; on Thursdays start high at the SkyatFive lounge for drinks and DJ spins, then head outside for a free outdoor concert -- and yes, that would include the Nighthawks I missed June 3. Bill Kirchen and Justin Trawick are on the roster as well as many others. There are free movies on Wednesdays, children's events and so much more. Please visit for a complete schedule of events.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wisconsin Place jazzes it up

The Shops at Wisconsin Place recently added summer jazz concerts to a plaza already filled with art, a fountain and great restaurants and boutiques. Some of my favorite shops are there and I love the new Tasting Room. The free concert series will take place on Saturdays from 4-6 pm, featuring world-class musicians starting June 12. Here's the lineup:

June 12
Peter Fraize Quartet featuring Greg Hatza: The WAMMIE award winners for Best Jazz Recording 2009.

June 19
Origem: described as “modern Brazilian music at its best" by Clave Magazine.

June 26
Tommy Cecil Trio: DC's in-demand musical group whose leader has been described as an "outstanding bassist” with “understated brilliance... deep, pronounced groove" by the All Music Guide.

July 10
The SharĂ³n Clark Quartet: Clark is the winner of the Billie Holiday Vocal Competition.

July 17
Peter Fraize Quartet featuring Greg Hatza.

July 24
Larry Brown Quintet: this award winning hard bop group called, “straight-ahead jazz at its best" by