The following stories received the most page views on ARLnow.com in 2012. All of these articles, with the exception of No. 5, benefited to varying degrees from links from national websites like Drudge Report and Reddit.
5. Road Sign Wishes Passersby a ‘Happy 420′ (18,012 views) — Some pranksters hacked into a road sign near the Madison Community Center in north Arlington on April 20, and 3,500+ Facebook shares later the article had a very “high” page view count.
4. Crime Report: Man in Wheelchair Robs CVS (27,341 views) — A man in a wheelchair tried to shoplift an electric razor and some bottles of wine from the CVS Pharmacy in Courthouse, according to police. When an employee tried to wheel the alleged thief back into the store, police said, he brandished a knife and made a getaway — that is, until cops caught up with him at the Courthouse Metro station.
3. Video: Arlington Resident Has the World’s Largest Natural Breasts (33,061 views) — Fairlington resident Annie Hawkins-Turner raised some eyebrows around town when she appeared on the TLC show Strange Sex to talk about her size 102ZZZ chest, recognized as the world’s largest natural breasts. While much of the traffic for this story was local, coming from email links and social networking sites, Reddit also contributed several thousand views.
2. Man Questioned for Molotov Cocktail at Mall (55,372 views) — The much-maligned Ballston Common Mall briefly made national news, but for all the wrong reasons. A man threw a Molotov cocktail-like incendiary device into the mall’s food court, but the flammable liquid inside failed to ignite after it hit the floor and no one was injured. The FBI and the ATF came to investigate the incident, but good old fashioned police work — acting on a tip from a citizen — led to the arrest of a suspect near the county government building by ACPD officers.
1. Crime Report: Pulling Guns on the Ritz (65,535 views) — We wish we could claim it was the semi-clever headline, but really it was a link from the Drudge Report that led more than 60,000 people to read the strange tale of Andrew Dziuk, a 29-year-old Centreville man. Dziuk was accused of brandishing a pair of loaded handguns, apparently in a drunken state of incredulity after learning the room rates at the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton hotel.
Our No. 1 article’s 65,535 views makes it the second most-viewed article since the launch of the site in January 2010. The most-viewed ARLnow.com story of all time remains our article about former Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Gene C. McKinney, who was accused of hitting a person with his car after what his passengers described as the slug line ride from hell. The article has received 74,188 views, thanks in part to the Drudge Report. McKinney pleaded guilty to reckless driving and disorderly conduct late last year and was ordered to serve 10 days in jail.
Mind Your Body Oasis is scheduled to open at 1750 Crystal Drive on January 12. Owner Amanda Shipe said the area has been hurting for a business of this type.
“I’ve lived here for 15 years, I own a house on South Glebe Road, so I kind of know the lay of the land really well. I’m also a realtor,” said Shipe. “There’s not a yoga studio in the area. It’s very densely populated and is really in need of something different than what’s happening with the restaurants and shops.”
In addition to yoga, the center will offer massages, facials, acupuncture and nutritional coaching.
“There is nothing else like my studio,” said Shipe. “You have your yoga studios that have just yoga and maybe massage, but there is not a center that has hot yoga, regular yoga, pilates and the spa options and acupuncture. There is no other studio that combines everything I’m doing into one in the entire D.C. metro area.”
The Crystal City location made even more sense to Shipe after she led a few outdoor yoga classes in the neighborhood earlier this year. She said the studio will be easy to get to by Metro, and customers can enjoy the renovated courtyard area at the Crystal City Shops. Shipe said customers can take food they buy at her studio into the courtyard to eat.
The food will be provided by local startup Postmodern Foods. Business owner Denise Hicks will make the pre-packaged health food that will be sold out of a refrigerator near the studio’s front desk. Hicks became more involved with health foods when she became ill a number of years ago, and she saw positive changes in her body and emotions due to a change in diet and exercise. She then attended the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York and learned about concepts such as cooking foods to keep them nutritionally intact.
“It took me to another level in terms of understanding different philosophies about food. I think food is really powerful, but it can be more powerful if you handle it respectfully,” said Hicks. “I’m really excited to be able to create food that I believe in and give it to the market. I want to make sure that people have access to really healthy foods that can change the quality of their lives.”
Although about 80 percent of the selections will be raw foods, Hicks plans that around 20 percent of the products will be cooked.
“100 percent raw is not something that you want all day, every day, especially not in winter,” she said.
Hicks makes all the items herself and plans to sell the beverages in glass containers, and the food in compostable, cornstarch based plastic containers. One of the pre-packaged dishes she’s featuring will be a quinoa and egg scramble, with an organic tortilla, corn, salsa fresca and a spicy black bean sauce.
Shipe said she is excited to have Hicks on board for the wholistic center, not just because of the healthy raw food concept, but also because she enjoys helping local people start a small business. Another business she’s helping out by selling its products is House of Steep, which is owned by Shipe’s sister, Lyndsey DePalma.
“We really play off of each other with our strengths and weaknesses. She helped me with the business plan, I helped her with the marketing,” Shipe said. “She’s a little bit ahead of me, so she gives me a future view of what I should be doing. It’s a very, very fun bonding experience for us. It’s been two years since we started this journey. We’ve been along for the ride together.”
If all goes well for both businesses, the sisters would eventually like to open a location combining Mind Your Body and House of Steep. But for now, Shipe is focused on getting out the word about her wholistic center.
“I want Mind Your Body Oasis to be a community and be a place where people can come and meet like minded people and escape the world,” said Shipe. “When you walk in the studio you have a sense of peace and harmony and it’s your little oasis to escape to for a while and forget about anything you’re dealing with that day.”
Mind Your Body Oasis will have a grand opening event from 2:00-9:00 p.m. on January 19. There will be raffles and samples of the juices that will be sold at the center. Customers are also welcome to check out the facility and enjoy a free yoga class.
Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation is offering winter indoor tennis lessons starting on January 22 and running through the first week of March. Lessons for children ages 3-13 will take place at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street).
Registration is also open for early spring tennis classes for both children and adults. Those classes will begin the second week in March and run through the second week in April.
Registration for the tennis courses, and for other winter classes, can be done online.
Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)
New Year’s Eve is traditionally a celebration associated with Champagne and other sparkling wines, and while there will be a fair amount of that going around at my house this year there are many alternatives available for beer fans. Broad-appeal Lagers and Pale Ales are always welcome when there’s a crowd, so pick your favorite and stock up. When the clock strikes midnight, though, you may want something special for the occasion. Here are some suggestions:
Deus Brut des Flandres: One of the more unique beers on the planet, this Belgian Ale is fermented twice at the brewery before being sent to France to be treated in the Method Champenoise. The result is an Ale that is as close to Champagne in character as you’re going to find. With a cider-like note and fine carbonation, Deus is the beer to ring in the New Year with in lieu of Champagne. Deus is pricey and not always readily available, but worth splurging on this time of year to experience it for yourself.
Gueuze and other Sour Ales: With their bracing acidity, Gueuze and Sour Ales in general make for nice celebration beverages. Knowing your crowd is important here, as Sour Ales are certainly not for everyone. I’d recommend Tilquin’s outstanding Oude Gueuze as it is both less funky than other Sours but also more balanced and elegant in its acidity.
Large formats: When you can find them, big bottles always work for a group. If you can still find them, there should be some Anchor Christmas 1.5-liter magnum bottles available along with magnums of Gulden Draak, Duvel, maybe even Chimay if you get lucky. Recently I’ve even seen 3L and 6L bottles of Allagash Tripel, which is a lot of beer but great for a party.
Whatever you do, have a great New Year’s Eve, and please be safe: it’s amateur hour out there unlike any holiday save for St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy your friends and your celebrations and we’ll see you back here next week to start 2013.
Nick Anderson maintains a blog at www.beermonger.net, and can be found on Twitter at @The_Beermonger. Sign up for Arrowine’s money saving email offers and free wine and beer tastings at www.arrowine.com/mailing-list-signup.aspx. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
A number of venues still have space available for their celebrations, but some will increase ticket prices at the door. Options also exist for those in search of family friendly activities. Here are some of the celebrations around Arlington:
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse — (2903 Columbia Pike) Watch New York City’s celebration in Times Square on the movie screen and take in music during the 1980s themed party. The $15 admission price covers entertainment and party favors. Food and drinks can be purchased from tableside waitstaff. Guests must be at least 21 years old.
Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill – (2424 Wilson Blvd) The $50 admission price ($70 at the door) includes a dinner and dessert buffet, live entertainment, a coffee bar, a midnight champagne toast and party favors. The event runs from 9:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m. and guests must be 21 or older. There will be drink specials all night.
Artisphere — (1101 Wilson Blvd) Starting at 8:30 p.m., three DJs and a live video show will be highlighted at the art venue’s celebration. Tickets are currently $95 and include entertainment, a two hour premium open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres and party favors.
Capitol City Brewing Company — (4001 Campbell Avenue) The event begins at 9:00 p.m. with an appetizer buffet that runs through midnight. Admission is $30, with a $10 cover charge for guests arriving after 10:00 p.m. Music, party favors and a champagne toast are included.
Clarendon Ballroom — (3185 Wilson Blvd) Doors open at 8:00 p.m. for the party, featuring Liquid A with DJ Squirrel in the lower lounge. Tickets are currently $105 and include entertainment, a dinner buffet, party favors, four drink tickets, a champagne toast and a balloon drop at midnight. Tickets can be be purchased online or by calling 1-888-695-0888.
The Comedy Spot — (Ballston Common Mall) The whole family can enjoy the PG comedy performance. Tickets for the 8:00 p.m. show are $15 and party hats will be provided. At the end of the show, performers will welcome Rio de Janeiro’s new year for those who can’t stay up until midnight local time.
Extra Virgin Modern Italian Cuisine – (4053 Campbell Avenue) The first of the restaurant’s two dinner seatings costs $55 and runs from 5:00-7:00 p.m. The second seating runs from 7:30-9:30 p.m., with party favors, a champagne toast and live music included in the $85 cost. Starting at 10:00 p.m., walk-ins can pay $20, which includes party favors and access to the band.
Iota Club and Cafe — (2832 Wilson Blvd) The music venue presents the bands The Beanstalk Library, Ugly Purple Sweater and Alex Vans & the Hideaway. Tickets are $18 and include music, party favors and a midnight toast. Bands are scheduled to begin at 9:00 p.m.
Signature Theatre — (4200 Campbell Avenue) Take in a special performance of Dreamgirls at 8:00 p.m. and then stay for heavy hors d’oeuvres, a midnight champagne toast and music from a DJ. Tickets to the musical start at $40; tickets for the after party are $75 for subscribers and $100 for non-subscribers. Tickets for the party can be purchased by calling 703-820-9771.
Union Jack’s — (Ballston Common Mall) The annual Little Black Dress Ball includes a dinner buffet from 8:00-10:00 p.m., live entertainment, a midnight toast, party favors and a late night continental breakfast. Tickets are currently $20 but will increase, and can be purchased online or by calling 703-778-3568.
Crews are out today pre-treating roads with a brine solution. They’re focusing on primary (red) and secondary (blue) routes, which can be seen on the county’s online 2012-2013 snow map. Workers will deploy from 4:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. tomorrow to treat and plow roads as necessary during the storm.
Although areas north and west of D.C. may get around 4 inches of snow, significant accumulation isn’t expected in Arlington. The Capital Weather Gang’s forecast currently calls for a warm up on Saturday afternoon that should change the snow to rain or a wintry mix. However, a snow crew will remain on call through Sunday morning to treat icy roads in case a re-freeze occurs.
The Department of Environmental Services encourages residents to stay informed and to be prepared with extra food and water in case the storm worsens. Residents are also asked to avoid parking on the street, if possible, or to coordinate with neighbors to only park on one side of the street. Snow removal vehicles need a width of at least 15 feet to pass down a street.
The National Weather Service issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for the D.C. area, noting that it’s still unclear exactly where the worst of the storm will hit. An excerpt from the advisory follows:
.THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR THE MARYLAND PORTION OF THE
CHESAPEAKE BAY…TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER…AND ADJACENT COUNTIES IN
CENTRAL MARYLAND AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA AS WELL AS THE DISTRICT OF
DAY ONE…TODAY AND TONIGHT
A STORM SYSTEM WILL BRING WINTRY PRECIPITATION TO THE AREA LATE
TONIGHT. THE HIGHEST CONFIDENCE OF ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL RESIDES
ACROSS PORTIONS OF CENTRAL MARYLAND WHERE A WINTER WEATHER
ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT BEGINNING LATE TONIGHT. PLEASE REFER TO
WBCWSWLWX FOR FURTHER DETAILS.
.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY
THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR PORTIONS OF CENTRAL MARYLAND
CONTINUES ON SATURDAY. FURTHER SOUTH INCLUDING THE GREATER
WASHINGTON METRO AREA…THERE REMAINS SOME UNCERTAINTY REGARDING
WHERE THE RAIN/SNOW LINE WILL SET UP AND EXACTLY HOW MUCH SNOW
WILL FALL. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MAY
NEED TO BE EXPANDED FURTHER SOUTH…SO PLEASE MONITOR THE LATEST
A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY MAY BE NEEDED FOR PORTIONS OF THE WATERS
LATE SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY.
Fight to Keep National Science Foundation — The National Science Foundation’s lease in Ballston is up next year, and neighboring communities are trying to lure the agency away from Arlington. So far, officials in Alexandria are some of the only ones who have openly expressed interest in bidding for the NSF. Fairfax County officials have kept quiet about whether they’re interested, specifically for areas along the upcoming Silver Line like Tysons Corner or Reston. Communities have until January 9 to submit proposals to the federal government. [Washington Examiner]
Parking Concerns with Ashlawn Elementary School Expansion — Updated at 9:25 a.m. — Despite criticism from some neighbors in Boulevard Manor, last week the School Board approved plans for the expansion of Ashlawn Elementary School. Neighbors raised concerns about adding a new entrance on N. Manchester Street and adding additional parking on the school site. The issue will likely go before the County Board, which is able to adjust the number of parking spaces required under zoning requirements. [Sun Gazette]
SoberRide Program Ends Tuesday — SoberRide will continue offering free cab rides until Tuesday, January 1 at 6:00 a.m. Customers can call 1-800-200-TAXI for a free ride home (up to a $30 fare) from 10:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m. every night until the program ends. All requests must be called in to the SoberRide dispatch and not to other cab companies. [Washington Regional Alcohol Program]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick