When noted Irish-Australian journalist and author Paul McGeough wanted to propose to his girlfriend, he decided to do so in the place where they first met — the Shirlington library.
McGeough met now-fiance Nadia Itraish at the library 18 months ago, during the author talk for his book Kill Khalid: Mossad’s Failed Hit and the Rise of Hamas. Following a “very animated discussion” about the book, Itraish — a Palestinian-American peace activist, George Washington University alum and Freddie Mac manager — came up to McGeough to continue the conversation. The pair “hit it off” and started dating, according to library employee Ann-Marie Dittmann.
On Saturday afternoon, with the discreet help of library staff, McGeough brought Itraish to a library conference room — like the one in which they met — and asked her to marry him. She said yes, and the couple went across the street to Busboys and Poets to celebrate.
McGeough’s marriage proposal was a first for the four-year-old Shirlington library, according to Dittmann.
The engagement came 10 months after McGeough, the chief foreign correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald, survived a deadly Israeli commando raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that he was reporting on. McGeough spent several days in Israeli custody before being released.
Itraish spent those days in fear that McGeough had been killed, according to an article in The Australian newspaper. The story ended happily when McGeough returned safely to the U.S. The couple now lives in McLean.
Photo via the University of Sydney
On Thursday night Arlington County held a small business ‘listening session’ at Clarendon Ballroom. More than 50 business owners showed up to tell county staff what they like and don’t like about how the county treats small businesses.
The event was part of County Board Chair Chris Zimmerman’s year-long push to make Arlington more small-business-friendly. Zimmerman gave the opening and closing remarks at the event, but it was county planning and economic development staff who led the group discussions that were the evening’s main substance.
Among the things business owners liked about doing business in Arlington were the friendly personal interactions with county employees, the frequent county programs that teach you how to create a business plan, and the relative ease of running a home-based business. As expected, however, complaints far out-numbered compliments.
There was discussion of the advantages larger businesses have over smaller businesses when trying to navigate the county’s regulations and talk of loosening regulations preventing small businesses from participating in certain citizen-oriented programs. By and large, however, the discussion focused on three areas: clarity and accessibility of information, taxes and fees, and the county’s controversial sign ordinance.
Former editor Christian Pilling left the site last month, about five months after it launched. He is now working for a media technology start-up in Brooklyn, N.Y.
A job listing for the site was posted on Monster.com 11 days ago.
The hookah lounge/pool hall/nightclub/restaurant at 3111 Columbia Pike opened around the beginning of the year and was able to attract crowds to some events, but not on a day-to-day basis. The name has been removed from the building’s exterior and we haven’t spotted any activity there in several weeks.
Since the club has no listed phone number, we have been unable to confirm its fate. However, we hear the club had problems obtaining a live entertainment permit and was subject to several police inspections.
Before it housed Club 31-11, the building was home to a succession of restaurants, including Coco’s Italian Restaurant, Lalibela II, and Cottage Ethiopian Restaurant.
A song entitled “Arlandria” is track number five on the album, Wasting Light. Arlandria is the section of Alexandria around Mount Vernon Avenue, across from the Arlington border.
Grohl is no stranger to the area. He grew up in Northern Virginia, went to high school in Alexandria and recorded an early solo album in Arlington. His first Foo Fighters album included a song called “Weenie Beenie,” after the Shirlington hot dog stand.
Listen to the new Foo album here. The lyrics for “Arlandria,” after the jump.
Hat tip to Jim S.
This site is often a venue for serious debate about (mostly) serious issues. Which is fine — although we wish some folks would play a little nicer in the comments section.
On a day like today, however, with the sun shining, plants in bloom, and people enjoying the nice weather, maybe a less serious question is in order.
Whitlow’s Rooftop Deck Opens Today — Wilson’s on Whitlow’s — the new rooftop deck atop Whitlow’s on Wilson (2854 Wilson Boulevard) — will open for the season at 4:00 tonight. With sunny skies and temperatures reaching into the upper 70s, the place may get a bit crowded. [Clarendon Culture]
Library Accepting ‘Operation Paperback’ Donations — Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Qunicy Street) is accepting donations of gently-used paperbacks for our troops. Books donated between now and April 30 will be shipped to U.S. troops overseas as part of the ‘Operation Paperback‘ program. “All genres except romance are needed,” the library notes. [Library Blog]
Courthouse-Area Lunch Spots Lauded — Is Courthouse “one of the best places around for work lunches?” One D.C.-based blogger thinks so, citing spots like Pho 75, Five Guys, Ray’s Hell Burger, Dehli Dhaba, Fireworks and Earl’s Sandwiches. [I Spy Things DC]