Novo was a fixture of the arts scene in Columbia, S.C. up until earlier this month, when he packed up and moved to Arlington. Novo, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, left Columbia after 18 years to allow his wife, a chemist, to take a new job in the Washington area. As newspapers mourned his departure, Novo prepared himself for his new life in D.C.
The first act in his D.C. story comes tonight, when a selection of his works entitled “Sueños de Insomnio” (Dreams of Insomnia) will go on display at Piola restaurant (1550 Wilson Blvd). Novo hopes the exhibition, which runs through November 27, will serve as an “informal introduction… to the local audience.”
An opening reception will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 tonight.
After the jump, we ask Novo about his plan for joining the local arts scene.
Thanks to shifting political winds and dogged determination, the decades-long quest to get a boathouse built on the Arlington side of the Potomac may finally result in action on the part of the federal government.
The National Park Service is expected to launch an extensive environmental and historical impact study for potential boathouse locations in the next several months, the first step in what is expected to be a lengthy but, at last, finite process.
The impact study would likely wrap up by the end of 2011. If it the boathouse then gets the go-ahead, and if funding can be secured for the project, the Park Service would seek bids for the planning, building and daily operation of the boathouse.
In other words, don’t hold your breath.
“We’re still a very, very long way away from the finish line, even if it is approved,” said Brian Stout, Arlington County’s federal government liaison. “There will be a lot of issues for them to study.”
The Park Service is a central player in the boathouse process because it controls most of the riverfront land in Arlington County. The Park Service would be responsible for building and running the boathouse, but county leaders hope the agency would allow “robust community and public access” to the facility. Among the local groups chomping at the bit for a new boathouse are Arlington’s three public high school rowing teams (Yorktown, Washington-Lee and Wakefield), which currently pay for access to crowded boating facilities in the District.
Stout says the county hopes the Park Service would choose to build the boathouse just north the the Roosevelt Island parking lot, near the pedestrian access from the Mount Vernon Trail to Key Bridge. That part of the river is uniquely suited for rowing facilities, he said.
Via the scanner, we hear that the Arlington Fire Department is working on freeing three people from a stuck elevator at the Rosslyn Metro station.
Firefighters are currently trying to determine where the elevator car is within the long elevator shaft.
Update at 3:30 p.m. — TBD reports that the three passengers were freed by firefighters after spending about 20 minutes stuck inside the elevator.
Pizza Autentica has applied for sidewalk seating outside its forthcoming Ballston restaurant, and county staff is recommending that the request be granted.
The county board is expected to decide on the matter at Saturday’s board meeting. Staff is recommending that the board approve seating consisting of eight tables with two seats apiece at the northwest corner of Wilson Boulevard and North Randolph Street, facing Ballston Common Mall.
Pizza Autentica has apparently done its homework on the county’s outdoor seating do’s and don’t. It has agreed to not have any outdoor speakers in the cafe area, the seating will still allow for a clear seven foot path on the sidewalk and the Ballston Partnership is supporting restaurant’s request.
Pizza Autentica is also slated to open a new location in Crystal City in the near future.
The lane closure, put into place to facilitate a utility relocation project, was originally supposed to be lifted in July. Now, it will likely be in place through the end of the year.
Washington Gas will wrap up their portion of the utility work by the end of October or beginning of November, according to VDOT utility relocation manager Matthew McLaughlin. Then it’s expected that Dominion will start a two-month installation of an underground electrical conduit. The existing lane closure will stay in place during that time.
The planned two-month duration of the Dominion work “can increase very quickly” in the event of inclement weather, we’re told.
The lane closure has made a tricky merge from Courthouse Road onto westbound Route 50 even trickier. Somewhat ironically, the ultimate goal of the utility relocation work is to prepare for the construction of a safer Route 50/Courthouse Road interchange.
The multi-month delays in the project were caused by additional utility relocations that had to be made due to changes in the interchange construction plan, McLaughlin said.
Photo courtesy Todd DuBois
Given the potential for stringent new energy efficiency requirements for new and renovated homes in Arlington, you may be wondering what such a “green” house would look like.
The answer: something like this.
Local builder Arlington Designer Homes is showing off this custom-built house on North Underwood Street today, after it received Arlington’s first Gold-level Green Building Certification from the National Association of Home Builders.
According to the builder, this is only the sixth house in Virginia to receive Gold-level certification.
It’s 45 percent more energy efficient than a standard new home, thanks to a solar water heater, Energy Star appliances, and spray-in foam installation. It was built using environmentally-friendly construction techniques and is sealed from outside pollutants and allergens.
Family-owned Arlington Designer Homes says they’re now busy building two new green homes in Falls Church.
A task force convened by the county board has released its list of preliminary recommendations for reducing carbon-based energy consumption in Arlington.
The ambitious and sometimes ambiguous recommendations range from tax incentives for energy efficiency to installing 160 megawatts worth of solar electricity generating capacity to migrating high density neighborhoods to district energy systems (centralized heating and cooling plants serving numerous buildings).
One recommendation that may receive particular resident scrutiny is a requirement that all new home renovations, starting in 2015, must prove a 30 percent gain in energy efficiency (over today’s average). Likewise, all new commercial building renovations must prove that the work will provide a 50 percent gain in efficiency.
As for new development, new houses will need to prove 30 percent higher efficiency than current code starting in 2015. On the commercial side, “new construction planning requests will also be expected to include a narrative regarding how they will meet the higher levels of efficiency. Incentives may be provided to developers in exchange for higher energy performance.
Crystal City Serves Up Latin Flare — On Sunday, food and wine lovers flocked to Crystal City for the consumption bonanza known as Vintage Crystal. Now in its fourth year, Vintage Crystal continued last year’s Latin theme. There were South American wines, tequila tastings, salsa dancers and lots and lots of food. See more photos on Flickr.
Capital Bikeshare Gets New York Times Write-up — The Old Gray Lady spent some time in Arlington recently to preview the Capital Bikeshare system, which officially launched yesterday. Not content to give Arlington and DC all the spotlight for hosting the largest bike share system in the country, the Times noted that New York is studying a possible bike sharing program of its own: 30,000 bikes, nearly 30 times as many as Washington’s modest collection of 1,100 custom-designed Capital Bikeshare cycles. More from the New York Times.
Arlington Real Estate Down a Bit in August — According to data from local Realtor Laura Rubinchuk, the average residential real estate sale price in Arlington fell 2 percent last month. Overall, Rubinchuk says the market is holding steady. More from Arlington Real Estate News.
Park(ing) Day Fun in Rosslyn — The Ode Street Tribune catches some urban hula hooping on tape during Friday’s quirky Park(ing) Day celebration.
Flickr photo by Cliff1066