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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com — March 15, 2012 at 8:50 am 2,933 57 Comments

‘Housing 4 Hipsters’ Attracts a Crowd — Arlington’s inaugural “Housing 4 Hipsters” event attracted a crowd of about 100 young people Monday night, though it seems unlikely that any of the attendees were actually “hipsters” in the literal sense. [Washington City Paper]

ShoeFly to Close — Clarendon shoe store ShoeFly is closing up shop after 10 years in business. The store is planning on holding a going-out-of-business sale. [Washington Business Journal]

Va. Congressional Districts Approved — The U.S. Department of Justice has approved Virginia’s redrawn congressional districts, allowing the state’s congressional primaries to move ahead on time. The primaries are scheduled for June 12. [Office of the Attorney General]

‘Green Patriot’ Award Nominations — George Mason University is seeking nominations for its “Arlington Green Patriot” awards. The award “recognizes an individual, business or organization that exemplifies sustainability in more than one aspect of their recent life or operations to better civic life in Arlington.” An online nomination form is available. The deadline for nominations is March 30.

  • CW

    Too bad about ShoeFly, I guess??? Every time I went in there with my GF we determined that they were selling Payless quality no-name stuff at Wilson Boulevard prices. The whole cute “local” thing can’t keep you afloat if you don’t have substance to back it up.

    How about “Galaxy Hut West” in that spot??!!

    • Josh S

      Hard to believe it’s already been ten years. I wandered through once several years ago. Seemed like it was better suited for Dupont Circle. Or Telegraph Ave in Berkeley.

      But in general, it is disappointing to see local retail fail. It’s a shame that the rent is probably too high to support a used book store.

      • CW

        Ooh, I would like that. I can’t do e-books.

        It’s bad to see local retail fail, but the problem is that a lot of local retail follows the same formula…1) trendy location, 2) cutesy decor, 3) rest on laurels.

        • DarkHeart

          Could be they had a 10 year lease and that rate was far less than what you can charge these days. Too bad. Fewer interesting people around there now.

          • CW

            I’m no expert on commercial real estate but do they do 10 year leases for small independent retail? Seems somewhat risky given that few last that long.

          • Sikudhani

            Up until 4 or 5 years ago, they were located in the empty lot across the street from CD Cellar (as was CD cellar itself).
            … Perhaps they had a 5-year lease in their new(er) location…

      • KalashniKEV

        “It’s a shame that the rent is probably too high to support a used book store.”

        Hahaha… yeah, I know, right? :)

        Wait… are you serious?

        • Josh S

          Go back to flexing in front of the mirror, wouldya?

          • KalashniKEV

            Haha… Funny, I got that out of the way this morning…

            It’s SUMMA-TIME, BRO!

            Toss me a Mick Ultra!

          • CourthouseChris

            I’m starting to think, as I do for Novasteve, that this persona doesn’t really exist and is just some caricature you plan on comment boards.

          • The Dope of South Arlington

            Like me!

        • MC 703

          I would love to see some off-beat kitschy shops like a used book store in Clarendon.


        • drax

          Come on, Josh, Kev doesn’t care. Books involve reading.

    • JamesE

      Prime location for a Taco Bell.

      • CW

        Don’t joke.

    • veeta

      +1: too many plastic, made in China shoes.

      • Tabs

        Ex-actly! (sing-songy voice)

  • Sophia

    Sad about Shoefly. I wish Arlington would come up with some sort of affordable leasing program for retailers so low-income retailers who meet some sort of revenue guidelines could qualify for subsidized commercial rent. We are losing our low-revenue retailers from Arlington, and with it the very diversity that makes Arlington such a diverse place to live!

    • MC 703

      Like Bertuccis. So sad.

      • CW

        I think it was a joke.

    • JamesE

      That would only attract thugs and ruin the perfect utopia of Clarendon. I would support affordable commercial real estate in someplace more ghetto like courthouse.

      • MC 703

        I miss the record shop

        • Tabs

          yeah, now that dude had character.

    • Frank

      Absolutely agree. It is difficult in Arlington for a local retailer to pay the high rents to be in locations where people will shop. Margins are not what they are for yogurt, pizza and burgers. You have to sell a whole lot of shoes to pay $5000 a month in rent or more.

      • Tabs

        The Comfort Shoe people told me their landlord (in Clarendon) was putting the squeeze on them so they bailed on that location. And those are people with two stores in Dupont Circle–not like they don’t know what location is worth.

        • CW

          I think it is that people who live in Arlington aren’t looking for true urban living. They still want a car, etc. People living in Dupont wish they were in NYC or SF. People in Arlington would just as soon hop in their car and hit DSW. Thus the problem with local retail.

      • DSS10

        How do they do it in old town alexandria? Although there are a few too many banks and drug stores there is a diversity of local merchants that you do not see here in Arlington.

    • SomeGuy

      Nicely done, Sophia.

    • Tre


    • Burger

      So we should subsidize business that can’t make it on their own? Good Grief. The communists have won.

    • Burger

      So we should subsidize business that can’t make it on their own? Good Grief. The communists have won.

      • SomeGuy

        I’m pretty sure you missed Sophia’s sarcasm.

  • kdub

    Sorry to see Shoefly as a local business leaving; however I won’t miss the terribly rude lady that works there (or at least was there every time I went in). She could benefit by some customer service 101.

    • RK

      I was just going to say that, kdub. They had some cute shoes in there but the service was terrible, especially that rude lady. I felt like I was bothering her every time I went in there.

      • Tabs

        me three.

  • drax

    The link goes to at story about the state legislative districts, not the federal ones. Any map for those? Any changes for Arlington?

  • T.J. Sullivan

    Great picture. I can’t see Russia, but I can see the back of my house!

    • DSS10

      Silly question, but where was that picture taken? thanks….

      • CW

        Looking down 12th st north from fillmore…

        • R. Griffon

          Also known as the backside of Market Common in Clarendon.

          • DSS10


        • Justin Russo

          It’s looking from Garfield TO Fillmore

          • CW

            Ok, fine, so we dont know if this is the full field of view. Maybe they were shooting zoom from Garfield or a wider angle from closer in. But its Fillmore in the foreground. sheesh.

  • meh..

    Shoe Fly on the Pike!!!!

    i’m just saying….it would work.

  • Jennifer

    They were open 10 years, I wouldn’t call that a failure. Someone made a snarky comment about affordable housing for retailers, but Arlington has changed a LOT in the 5 years I’ve been there. How would you suggest a small business compete with the monster chains that have taken over?

    • SomeGuy

      Work hard? Adapt?

  • Allie

    I had my first visit at ShoeFly a few weeks ago, and found the woman working there to be extremely helpful and nice. Must have been someone different from the above commenters.

    The selection wasn’t amazing, but they had some great sales at the time and I was really happy I stopped in. I’ll be sad to see yet one more independent retailer leave — if there’s one thing that really bothers me about living in Arlington, it’s the lack of boutiques/non-chain retail. Makes me miss Boston more than I already do.

    • CW

      If you are feeling homesick, I can put on a Celtics jersey and puke beer all over you this Saturday shortly before getting into a fight…

      • Allie

        But will you blast the lead-in to The Boondock Saints as well at the same time?

        • CW

          DKM on loop, duh…

          • JamesE

            Wicked pissah

          • Allie

            Great. And maybe puke beer on a Yankees/Knicks fan instead of me, please. Otherwise good to go.

          • FrenchyB

            Or a Phillies fan, please (although they’re usually the pukers).

      • Tabs

        Boston men “expect sex on the first date”


  • Arlington, Northside

    Clarendon/Courthouse is going through what Georgetown went through 20 years ago. Who else remembers Commander Salamander’s?

    • Juanita de Talmas

      And now all of those Persian stores selling ghetto clothes on Wisconsin Ave. are closing.

      Maybe they can move to Clarendon!

    • drax

      Commander Salamader/Commander Salamander’s.

      People just can’t resist adding a possessive where there isn’t one for some reason.


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