Mike Gruss Archive

Chesapeake's Pharoah is new impressionist in chief

Here's Jay Pharoah, Chesapeake's comic wonder, dressed up as President Obama and ready for his close-up.
"Live from New York, it's Saturday night!"
He has barely finished shouting when the first critiques of America's new impressionist in chief come in. As in real politics, the dissection starts immediately.

One restaurant aims to change the face of the city

The job candidate was from Melbourne. Australia.
Drew Ungvarsky, the owner and creative director at Grow Interactive, wanted to hire him.

Will another high-rise help us hit height of ambition?

There's no place to go but up.
No one can really build out anymore. Out has long ago been off limits or out of style or just plain too far removed.
So on Tuesday in Virginia Beach, developers announced plans for a 14-story building at Town Center, one with a futuristic name, Phase 5, that is part of a futuristic vision of a city with tall buildings.

Knowing shortcuts can bring urban-orienteering glory

I've been spending a lot of time in Portsmouth, and after a few, lengthier-than-expected trips from Norfolk, delayed because of tunnel traffic, a friend said he could help. I needed to learn the shortcuts, he said.

Beach and the region should counter the narrative

THE ESTEEMED Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Breton recently referred to Virginia Beach as "the backwater sticks." The esteemed Matt Yglesias of Slate, musing about the possibility of a pro basketball team moving to the Beach, wrote: "I thought it was ridiculous. The NBA has had success in small markets, but come on."

On the rails from D.C., training for the real thing

Amtrak was always for other people. People farther up the Eastern seaboard. People with places to go and white papers to read. People beyond the cul-de-sac of South Hampton Roads.

Belting out songs on beltway may not be safest move

Sometimes I've gotta let it all out.
Behind the wheel, I usually tune in to talk radio. But if I do happen to be listening to music in the car and I'm in the right mood (especially on Fridays) and the perfect song comes on, pretty soon I'll find myself singing along.
"Just a small-town girl... "
The volume builds.

Retailer research shows NBA arena is no slam dunk

I don't think Virginia Beach is going to get an NBA team anytime soon, and here's why: from parts of the coastal city, it's more than 30 minutes to the nearest Apple store.
Apple is the world's most valuable company, worth more than $620 billion. Executives follow a careful strategy in selecting the best spots for its pristine and shiny retail shops.

Ease the pain of going online before Election Day

Dylan Wittkower is not a therapist or an advice columnist. Want help? Want Carolyn Hax? That's somewhere else in the paper. He doesn't judge. He doesn't know what kind of relationship you have with your brother, your neighbor, that super-creep who used to work with you two jobs ago but befriended you online. "I hesitate to give any specific advice," he prefaced.

Sticker shock after inspection decal is stolen

I don't know when it disappeared. Nothing else in the car - a batch of sloppily burned concert bootlegs, rain boots, empty paper bags from Dunkin' Donuts - had been touched. But something wasn't right. It resembled a scene from a bad - like Keanu Reeves bad - movie. My vehicle inspection sticker was gone. Where was the last place I put it? Right there on the windshield.

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