(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Arlington County, Alexandria and Fort Myer firefighters are battling a restaurant fire in Crystal City.
A fire that broke out in the kitchen of the Matsutake Hibachi Steak and Sushi restaurant (320 23rd Street S.) spread to the duct work, making firefighting efforts more difficult than usual. Half an hour after the initial fire dispatch, no flames could be seen from inside the restaurant but light smoke was still billowing out of the doors and vents.
A crowd of onlookers gathered to watch the fire response. S. Clark Street has been shut down at 23rd Street due to emergency equipment in the roadway. Meanwhile, smoky conditions have been reported in the nearby Buchanan apartment building as a result of the fire.
As of 3:35 p.m., firefighters were starting to pack up their gear and most of the smoke had dissipated.
Update at 4:55 p.m. — Per Arlington Alerts, S. Clark Street has reopened.
A tipster first noticed that the Latin/Mexican restaurant was closed and its sign had been painted over two weeks ago. As of Thursday afternoon, there was still no activity inside the eatery.
Hat tip to Tony B.
A man, believed to be homeless, was found dead today behind the Arlington Funeral Home in Virginia Square.
The man was found unresponsive behind a dumpster in the funeral home parking lot around 10:30 this morning, according to police. Officers arrived and determined that the man had passed away. Detectives are still on scene investigating the man’s death, though so far there’s no word of anything suspicious.
A man who said he was an acquaintance of the deceased said the man’s name was Lenny and he was in his 40s. Lenny was homeless and sometimes slept in front of the nearby St. George’s Episcopal Church, the acquaintance said.
The funeral home, located across from Arlington Central Library at 3901 Fairfax Drive, is closed and will eventually be torn down to make way for a new office building.
Rosslyn office workers will have an excuse to take a slightly longer lunch break today. “Flight Time Lang,” one of the world famous Harlem Globetrotters, will be dribbling basketballs across the Key Bridge starting at 1:30 this afternoon.
The publicity stunt will start at the intersection of N. Lynn Street and Lee Highway in Rosslyn. “Flight Time” will dribble and spin basketballs for one mile from the intersection, across the Key Bridge, and to a basketball court at a playground in Georgetown. (See a map of the route here.)
“Flight Time’s grand arrival tips off ‘Globetrotter Week’ in the D.C. metropolitan area, which includes multiple school visits and goodwill appearances,” the Globetrotters said in a press release. “The week concludes as the Globetrotters bring their one-of-a-kind skills to town for three big games on March 24 & 25: Verizon Center in Washington D.C. (Sat., March 24 at 1 p.m.) and the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA (Sat., March 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Sun., March 25 at 2 p.m.).”
A 22-year-old man died Saturday after collapsing while playing football at Washington-Lee High School.
The man collapsed around 5:40 p.m. during a flag football game. Police say witnesses immediately began treating the man, who briefly regained consciousness, but he was later pronounced dead in a local hospital.
“He was able to stand up and ask ‘what was happening’ before collapsing again,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “Witnesses on scene, including an ACPD officer and a nurse, were able to immediately begin CPR until medics arrived.”
So far, police have not confirmed the man’s identity, but friends of the victim have taken to Twitter to mourn his passing.
“A class act in life,” one friend said of the young man.
“You will forever be missed & loved,” Tweeted another. “Life isn’t fair, and the good really do die young.”
A woman died Saturday after falling from the parking garage at Ballston Common Mall.
The woman fell from an unknown level of the parking structure and landed on the sidewalk on the N. Randolph Street side of the garage. The woman was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The incident remains under investigation.
The incident happened around 5:25 p.m. on Saturday, as St. Patrick’s Day revelers were heading to local bars. Several passersby witnessed the fall, we’re told.
This is the second time in the past two years that someone has fallen to their death from the county-owned public parking garage.
Could Arlington’s insistence on preserving the single-family home communities along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor be the reason why it seems every new apartment building in the corridor is a “luxury” apartment building?
Last week Slate columnist Matthew Yglesais, author of The Rent Is Too Damn High, wrote about Arlington and suggested that the prevalence of expensive high-end rentals and condos stems from two factors: restrictions on building height and the width of the corridor itself, which is sometimes just 2-3 blocks wide, thanks to zoning restrictions intended to preserve the single family homes on either side of the corridor.
“What you see is a narrow thread of urbanism between Wilson Boulevard and Clarendon Boulevard, with a bit of a thicker blob of urbanism around the Metro station itself,” Yglesais writes. “I don’t really want to condemn this development paradigm because if you compare it to other suburban jurisdictions around the United States, what Arlington has done really stands out as practically best in class. But still the fact of the matter is that these single-family homes adjacent to the corridor of urbanism are sitting on some extremely expensive land.”
Yglesais suggests that opening up additional redevelopment along the R-B corridor would help bring cheaper market-rate housing options. Following up on our inconclusive poll from December — “Should Arlington Increase Density to Keep Housing Prices Down?” — should Arlington consider expanding the width of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor?
Lawmakers Punishing Arlington for HOT Lanes Suit — Arlington may have succeeded in blocking a state-backed plan to build High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-395 last year, but the lawsuit the county filed against the HOT lanes project is coming back to haunt it in Richmond. State lawmakers have proposed budget amendments that would reduce Arlington’s share of road maintenance funds by $100,000 — a form of punishment for the county’s legal tactics. [Washington Times]
Wardian Wins D.C. Marathon — Arlington’s Michael Wardian won the SunTrust Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Marathon in the District on Saturday, completing the race with a time of 2 hours, 26 minutes and 35 seconds. The 37-year-old father of two had previously won the race’s predecessor, the National Marathon, five times. [Competitor]
Sliced Shopper Demands Wi-Fi – A woman has penned an open letter to the Clarendon Trader Joe’s insisting that the store install free public Wi-Fi internet service. The letter writer says the store’s lack of Wi-Fi led her to accidentally slice her finger while cutting avocados at home. [Patch]
Signature Production Connects with Younger Audience — A production at Shirlington’s Signature Theater is accomplishing the difficult feat of connecting with a younger theater-going audience while at the same time shining a critical light on their generation. “Really Really,” by 26-year-old playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo, examines “the self-absorbed mindsets often exhibited by the twentysomething members of ‘Generation Me.’” The show runs through March 25. [Variety]