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ArtJamz: The Crystal City Sessions — Unleash your inner artist. Starting tonight, the 12th floor of a Crystal City office building will be converted into a giant art studio, featuring amateur artists painting at 50 canvases while jamming to great music and eating tasty hors d’oeuvres. Reserve a canvas here.
TripperBus – Heading to NYC for the holidays? Why schlep to a bus stop in the District when TripperBus departs just one block from the Rosslyn Metro station? Tickets are inexpensive and you get free WiFi and power outlets for laptops.
Arlington Community Federal Credit Union — ACFCU is Arlington’s better way to bank. Check out their low rates for car and home loans here.
Alexan24 — This brand new apartment community, conveniently located near I-395 and Glebe Road, is offering up to two months free rent. Plus, the apartments look sharp and the building has great amenities.
Dudley Chapman — If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, give Dudley a call. He grew up in Arlington, knows the area like the back of his hand, and can help guide you through the particulars of the local real estate jungle.
So What’s the Deal — You know Groupon? WTD is similar to Groupon, but it’s a homegrown, local company that has some pretty sweet deals you won’t find elsewhere.
A kid involved in the theft of watches from a store in the Pentagon City Mall went to great lengths to try to avoid getting caught by police.
According to this week’s crime report, the juvenile fled to the Pentagon City Metro station and then ran through a Metro tunnel with police in hot pursuit. He was eventually arrested at the Pentagon Metro station.
Metro trains were stopped in the area during the pursuit, according to police.
GRAND LARCENY-ARREST 11/11/10, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. On November 11 at 9:30 pm, several subjects stole watches from a store at the mall. They were located by police in the Pentagon City Metro Station. One subject fled from police into the metro tunnel. Trains were stopped until the subject was apprehended at the Pentagon Metro Station. Two juveniles were detained and petitions are pending.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
Sushi Rock, Arlington’s leather-clad, rock ‘n’ roll take on Japanese cuisine, got the live entertainment permit it wanted from the county board last night, but it came with a restriction the business fought to avoid.
Sushi Rock volunteered for most of the provisions sought by residents of the high-end condos above the restaurant: keeping doors and windows closed during live entertainment, using sound-dampening materials, testing decibel levels in condos, designating a “neigborhood liason,” prohibiting loitering outside the business, picking up trash outside, and so forth.
Owners did not agree, however, to restricting the use of outdoor speakers on the restaurant’s patio. But that’s exactly what happened last night. The board approved the live entertainment permit with a provision that the outdoor speakers be shut off after 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and 11:00 p.m. on weekends.
Sushi Rock partner Tony Hudgins was incredulous. He said the live entertainment permit would have no bearing on what’s broadcast through the speakers.
“If I’m following the logic… we’re actually being asked to give up what we’re already allowed to do, in order to get a live entertainment license that won’t allow us to broadcast [live performances] outside,” he said.
But two residents asked the board to restrict the use of the speakers.
“If the speakers are allowed to be on outside, I wouldn’t be able to sleep,” said condo owner Marilyn Lythgoe. It’s not clear if she had already been affected by the speakers, which were in use this summer.
Phyllis Bradley lives three stories above Sushi Rock. She also argued against the speakers, even though during a recent sound test, in which the outdoor speakers were in use, she acknowledged that “we did hear a sound, not even a pin drop.”
“If that’s how it’s going to be when they get their permit, I have no objections,” she said. “But I don’t think so.”
Police are out at Yorktown Bistro (5171 Lee Highway) after county code enforcement reported that a back door to the restaurant was open and no one was inside.
Apparently the same thing happened during business hours yesterday, leading at least one officer to believe that the restaurant may be abandoned.
Yelp reveals some unflattering customer reviews. A web site for the restaurant is no longer in operation.
The mother of four brought 30 family members in from various parts of the country for tomorrow’s opening of her Crystal City store. Of her nine brothers and sisters, eight made the trip.
The family members were joined in the store this afternoon by many of Yang’s 46 employees. Also among the crowd were nearly 30 corporate employees and fellow store owners, who were here to train employees and help out with the marketing.
Chick-fil-A’s marketing is primarily based around giving away lots and lots of food. Yang estimated that the store has given away at least 4,000 chicken sandwiches in the past couple of days, in addition to countless biscuits and chicken nuggets.
As the family members and employees sat around inside the shiny new store on Crystal Drive today, 110 campers were lounging around in the park across the street. They arrived with tents and cold weather gear early this morning to get in line for the First 100 promotion — a time-tested marketing gimmick which promises a year’s supply of Chick-fil-A meals for the first 100 people in line at store openings.
What motivated the campers to spend more than 24 hours in the cold in Crystal City, awaiting tomorrow’s 6:00 a.m. opening?
“My husband used all the Chick-fil-A coupons that I had from last time, so I had to come and get more,” said Anna Matson, a stay-at-home mom from Lynchburg, Va. Matson was joined by her 17 month old son Judah, who has already attended five Chick-fil-A openings (if you count the two or three while Matson was pregnant with him).
Matson said the openings are also fun, with music, games, free food and, of course, the guy in a cow costume.
Towson University student Femi Gbangblasa, a grand opening first-timer, said he was also here for the free food. He and his six friends were trying to stay warm while chatting around one of the park’s picnic benches. Gbangblasa said he has been spending most of his time studying, but has been enjoying the experience, for the most part. Would he do it again?
“I would do it again in warmer weather, probably,” he said.
You may have seen the IBM ads on TV talking about “building a smarter planet.” Those ads reference the company’s Smarter Cities Challenge, which seeks to award 50 cities (or counties) in North America with $250,000 to $400,000 in free technology and consulting services to solve a key problem facing each locality.
The company is now hoping that Arlington applies to the program.
“There could be a number of ways for IBM to help in Arlington, from traffic problems to Metro efficiency and safety,” said IBM rep Max Luckey. “The IBM grant could help fund new infrastructure improvements, streamline administration costs, or even help with projects like the Rosslyn Gateway Park redevelopment.”
The solutions provided by IBM are data and technology-driven, but such solutions can be applied to most problems facing local governments, we’re told. Better citizen engagement and improved delivery of services are two other examples of ways in which the Challenge can help.
The deadline for applying to the program is Dec. 31.
If you ran the county government, what problem would you try to solve?
Trader Joe’s fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Last night the county board granted the grocery store chain the site plan amendments it sought as a condition of moving into the new Clarendon Center development.
The changes will allow Trader Joe’s to reserve underground parking spaces for customers and shopping carts, utilize the loading dock from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and allow an outdoor display of merchandise.
“I’m very happy to take this vote,” County Board Chairman Jay Fisette said, shortly before members voted 5-0 to approve the amendments without modifications. “It’s about time Trader Joe’s figured out what a great market Arlington is.”
Should the board have denied the site plan amendments, Trader Joe’s indicated it would have walked away from the deal. Instead, following the vote, a Trader Joe’s rep told the board to expect a Summer 2011 opening date.
Most of the handful of residents who spoke out about Trader Joe’s at last night’s board meeting expressed support for the proposed store. Some, however, had specific concerns as well.
Those concerns included the noise from delivery trucks idling, the practicality of the reserved parking scheme, whether validated parking will be abused, the potential for predatory towing in the parking garage and worries about the outdoor product display. In the end, the board discussed but did not specifically act on the concerns.
Fisette and county staff noted that Arlington has a explicit policy of modifying regulations in order to attract grocery stores.
Be Careful Commuting This Morning — A thunderstorm packing driving rain and high winds swept through the area overnight, causing trees and power lines to fall and coating local sidewalks and roadways with wet leaves. The leaves could make for slick conditions for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers alike this morning. More on the storm damage, including this morning’s closure of George Mason Drive, here.
Whitlow’s Hopes to Open Rooftop Deck by Thanksgiving — Whitlow’s owner Greg Cahill tells TBD that he hopes to have his new rooftop bar, Wilson’s on Whitlow’s, open in one or two weeks. Cahill is working hard to open in time for Thanksgiving eve, traditionally one of the busiest nights for bars. Bring your coat.
Meet Arlington’s County Manager — Barbara Donnellan, Arlington’s (relatively) new county manager, will participate in a public forum with the local League of Women Voters tonight. Donnellan “will speak about challenges facing the County and her plans for the County’s future,” according to an invitation. The forum will be held from 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the third-floor county board room at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.
A 54 mile per hour wind gust was recorded at Reagan National Airport during the storm, which covered area roadways with wet leaves and, in some cases, trees and utility lines. As of 3:10 a.m., 2,400 Dominion customers were without power in Arlington.
The most significant damage was reported in Arlington’s Tara-Leeway Heights neighborhood, near Virginia Hospital Center. Downed trees and utility lines blocked numerous side streets, which were darkened by the power outage. County tree crews were out in the neighborhood with chainsaws and wood chippers at 2:30 this morning.
A large tree and live power lines also fell across George Mason Drive, next to the hospital. Police have shut down George Mason Drive between Washington Boulevard and 15th Street while Dominion cleans up the mess. The road is expected to remain closed through the morning rush hour.
Storm damage was reported in the following locations:
- 1600 block of North George Mason Drive
- 1900 block of North Glebe Road
- 1400 block of North Greenbrier Street
- 5500 block of 14th Road North
- 1300 block of North Illinois Street
- 1600 block of North Harrison Street
- 1800 block of South Monroe Street
- 2900 block of 16th Road South
Update at 9:55 a.m. — The number of Dominion customers without power is now below 300. However, the medical offices of Virginia Hospital Center (not the hospital itself) are among those in the dark. Dominion spokesperson Le-Ha Anderson says crews hope to have power restored there within an hour.
Update at 10:00 a.m. — WJLA meteorologist Adam Caskey says that after analyzing radar data, he believes there’s a slight possibility that a tornado hit part of Arlington.