Beneath a protective sheet of plastic wrap, newly formed bowls and vases in all shapes wait their turn to enter the fiery kiln that will turn them into finished pieces of pottery. These pieces are the end results of The New Phoenix Pottery's classes, which take place six days a week and allow beginning and advanced students to mold reclaimed clay either by hand or atop a spinning pottery wheel. Both adults and children can attend, providing a multigenerational outlet for artistic dreams or a healthy release of pent-up anger at Clay Aiken.
At the Maryland Junior Hunt Cup, pint sized jockeys and their saddled sidekicks gather each year to compete in 11 races at Shawan Downs. The races cover a full spread of equine excellence, including lead line trot, pony flat, and junior steeplechase races, and the lineup of leg-powered performances promises to provide riders young and old with inspirational strides, horseletic feats, and photo finishes unseen since the days when jockeys worked the one-hour camera shop. Those filled with equine jealousy can test their own hooves by entering the Peoplechase or the Stick Pony Race.
In the world of athletic training, Robert Taylor, Jr.’s resume speaks for itself. In addition to stints as the head strength and conditioning coach for two NCAA Division I programs, his expertise also landed him gigs with professional baseball, football, and basketball franchises. Now, along with the other experienced coaches at SMARTER Team Training, Robert shepherds high school athletes toward their full potential at training camps and clinics. Whether they’re honing position-specific skills for football, basketball, field hockey, soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, or other sports, or increasing overall athleticism during the school’s signature Speed, Agility, and Conditioning Camp, students always find a challenging itinerary designed to bring skills to a more advanced level. There's even a college prep training program, which gets high school players ready for the increased intensity at the college level.
The menu at Piv's Pub & Restaurant includes a variety of seafood and classic American cuisine alongside a hefty list of draft beers and craft bottled beers. An ever-gracious hostess, the vegetable du jour accompanies many entrees to their respective tables, including the jumbo-lump crab cakes, served over grilled tomatoes ($17.99 single order, $24.99 double order), and the juicy filet mignon with homemade mashed potatoes ($22.99). The shrimp salad ($9.99) is pleased to attend the table alone or with the companionship of a baked potato and onion rings ($4.99 each) from the à la carte menu. Diners looking for a solid base can turn to jumbo shrimp, lump crabmeat, and juicy scallops swathed in a cream sauce atop Piv's Norfolk Pasta ($19.99).
As the official history explains it, Jedediah Bumphus founded Wits End Saloon in 1867 "with a dream to serve cheap whiskey and freshly made raccoon sandwiches to the locals." If that sets your stomach growling, prepare for disappointment—it's completely untrue.
By its own admission, Wits End's history—including a bit about Jedediah's dual enlistment in both the Union and Confederate armies—is "fantastic and completely fabricated." The comedic touch makes sense for a saloon located at Magooby's Joke House, where local comedians take the stage every Tuesday, filling out a calendar of live events that also includes live music and trivia nights. While you won't find raccoon on the menu, there are plenty of classic bar bites including veggie quesadillas, Creole-style catfish tacos, and burgers made from local grass-fed beef. As for the whiskey, that might be the only part of Wits End's history that's actually true, as bartenders pour shot of more than 50 varieties, along with craft beers and handmade cocktails.