The Corner Bakery at 2200 Crystal Drive in Crystal City has closed.
It’s unclear when exactly the eatery shut down, but as of Monday its signs had been taken down and part of its interior had been removed.
The only other Corner Bakery in Arlington, at 2111 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse, remains open.
Last month the newly-minted University of Virginia graduate and long-time ultimate frisbee player was presented with the Callahan Award, issued annually to the most valuable collegiate men’s and women’s players in the sport.
In recognition of her award and her engagement with the local ultimate community, the Arlington County Board issued a proclamation praising Johnston at a meeting earlier this month.
To receive a Callahan Award, a player is evaluated on their offensive and defensive abilities as well as their sportsmanship. Likewise, Chair Mary Hynes explained that the Board’s June 16 proclamation was meant to highlight both Johnston’s formidable athleticism and her extraordinary leadership skills.
“We are here today to recognize the extraordinary achievements of Alika Johnston both on and off the ultimate frisbee field,” Hynes said.
According to the website Ultiworld, which also named her its 2015 Women’s Player of the Year, Johnston has been a core member of the UVA’s ultimate team (the Hydras) since her freshman year in 2011, and was instrumental in the team’s development into an “elite contender.”
“Johnston’s play has spoken for itself all season long… a lot of breath and ink used in the act of praising her prolific and relentless performance,” the website said. “On both sides of the disc, she’s been a top producer and drastically influenced the fate of her team. Opponents have most been forced to submit to her, going with the ‘stopping six other people is more likely than stopping her’ strategy.”
Johnston has been playing ultimate since her days at H-B Woodlawn and credits the school with some of her success.
“I am so grateful to H-B Woodlawn’s program for introducing me to the sport and making all of this possible,” she said. “I’ve been moved by the outpouring of excitement and support from Arlington’s ultimate community.”
Johnston has also dedicated herself to introducing a new generation of athletes to the sport. She serves as USA Ultimate’s Virginia Girls State Youth Coordinator, and works to grow the sport through clinics, events and mentoring young players.
Arlington’s youth ultimate programs have grown rapidly in the past several years, as the sport becomes increasingly popular across the country. Opportunities to play can be found through the Youth Ultimate League of Arlington.
Photo courtesy Lawrence Cheng
The wall is an 8 by 12 foot chalkboard with the words ‘I wish I had the courage to…’ stamped across the top. Below are spaces for passersby fill in what they wish they had the courage to face up to, using the chalk that will be made available.
Alexandria native Nancy Belmont first erected the Courage Wall in May, in the Del Ray community, to “create a conversation about fear and allow those passing by to reflect on what is holding them back from achieving their dreams.” It quickly went viral and was featured on Good Morning America and the Today Show.
While in Ballston, the wall will be located in Welburn Square, across from the Ballston Metro station. The current plan is for the wall to stay in the square until July 31.
Piedmont Office Realty Trust and the Ballston Business Improvement District worked together to bring the wall to Arlington. The BID says it hopes the wall will provide “an opportunity for reflection as the community begins celebrating the Fourth of July.”
The wall will be erased when it is full of entries, but prior to that a photo of the filled-in wall will be taken and posted to Facebook and Instagram.
Photo via nancybelmont.me
The low power FM station (WERA-LPFM) is a project of Arlington Independent Media. AIM Executive Director Paul LeValley says he believes the station will provide a much-needed service to the community.
“Radio isn’t dead; radio is doing great,” LeValley said. “We need more local media — this gives us the opportunity to do that on the radio side.”
LeValley expects the radio station to built, tested and ready to air by the Dec. 9 deadline previously set by the Federal Communications Commission. Once the station has been declared functional, WERA will apply to the FCC for a license to broadcast.
A logo for the station has been created and AIM is currently in the process of finalizing the site for their radio tower: 2300 Clarendon Blvd. The FCC has granted approval and the building owner has written a lease which is being executed this week; all that’s left is for Arlington County to give zoning approval for a radio tower, but LeValley does not anticipate any problems.
Once the station is licensed, programs will be selected by an independent Program Advisory and Review Council appointed by the AIM Board, its staff and the WERA committee. The council will have 11 members, four from AIM and seven from the greater community.
“We’re going to try and be as diverse as we can geographically, occupationally and ethnically,” said LeValley.
Although the council will be independent, the AIM Board and staff and the WERA committee have written up a list of five values that the committee will use as “guiding principles” to decide which programs go on the air. Applications will be evaluated based on: service, enrichment, localism, diversity and innovation.
The community seems to have responded to the idea of a hyper-local radio station. LeValley says AIM gets inquiries every day from residents who want to get involved. In AIM’s view, the more, the merrier.
“We believe in a communication democracy,” said LeValley. “As many people as possible should be producers — media should be made up of many voices in conversation with one another, holding each other accountable.”
For those who want to get involved, but don’t know how, classes in basic radio production will be offered in the early fall. Courses will likely run about three weeks and cost around $90.
Although LeValley says there is still a long way to go between now and the Dec. 9 deadline, he is “as confident as any person can be when venturing into new territory.”
Last week, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, announced a $5 million donation to a non-profit right here in Arlington.
The announcement came via a Facebook post to Zuckerberg’s 32.7 million followers which has reached 153,072 likes and counting.
The organization in question, TheDream.US, is a scholarship fund designed to help undocumented immigrants realize their dreams of going to college in the United States. The brainchild of Don Graham, CEO of Graham Holdings Company and former publisher of the Washington Post, the non-profit has made its home in Graham’s Rosslyn offices for the past two years.
Through his work with other education-based charities in the area, Graham says he learned that there were many such undocumented students in the D.C. metro area, particularly in Northern Virginia.
These students are commonly called DREAMers after the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act that has been proposed several times since 2001 but has yet to pass in Congress. DREAMers are unable to receive federal aid to continue their education. In most states they are also not eligible for in-state tuition, which can make going to college prohibitively expensive.
“Certainly in Arlington County, almost every high school student has classmates who are DREAMers, and they quickly come to understand the unique cruelty of the situation of these students,” Graham told ARLnow.com. “They can be the valedictorian, they can be the president of the class. All the other low-income students in the class get U.S. government assistance in going on to higher education, and these students cannot.”
Graham says his organization was empowered to tackle this issue head-on after President Barack Obama announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in 2012. DACA allowed undocumented immigrants who had come to the United States when they were children to obtain a Social Security number, a driver’s license and temporary legal status, renewable after two years.
In the summer of 2013, Graham, program director Gaby Pacheco and Henry Muñoz III gathered people together and proposed the idea of a scholarship program to enable those who had obtained DACA status to go to college. Amanda Bennett and Carlos Gutierrez joined Graham and Muñoz in founding TheDream.US, which officially launched on Feb. 4, 2014.
TheDream.US currently partners with about 60 colleges across the U.S. Pacheco says they look for schools located in areas with high concentrations of undocumented students, where you can get a good education for around $25,000 (the scholarship amount offered by the non-profit). In Virginia, TheDream.US partners with Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University.
The fund currently has $81 million, including donations in the millions from Graham, Zuckerberg, Bill Ackman and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. TheDream.US also allows donors to specify where they want their money to go: for example, Zuckerberg’s $5 million donation was earmarked for students in the San Francisco Bay Area. Pacheco believes this ability to ask that their money be set aside for their own region attracts donors to the organization.
“People love to be able to help out in their own community,” she said. “Many affluent people have foundations in their names or their family names, so we target them and say, ‘look, we can bring a scholarship program to your area.'”
Graham says that as of now, the organization expects to see at least 3,000 students graduate college, but that he “would like to raise more money and make it at least 5,000, and possibly go from there.”
Another part of the organization’s mission is to tell these students’ stories. TheDream.US is doing this through their stories project, which spotlights the lives of notable DREAM scholars. Interns Julia Leibowitz and Sadhana Singh (a current DREAMer) are working on the project this summer in the Rosslyn office.
“For us, it’s really about leveling the field for these young people to go to college,” said Pacheco. “We’re going to allow our numbers to speak for themselves, and show that we are helping meet the gap for people needed in various fields.”
Those looking for Eastern European food should look no further than Ballston restaurant Rus Uz, which is now offering a specialty market right next door.
According to general manager Abraham Rakhmapullaev, the restaurant owners had been looking to open a specialty Russian/Uzbek market in the area for some time. Opportunity knocked when Cigar Connection — Rus Uz’s next-door neighbor — closed.
After some renovations to the space, Rus Uz Market opened for the first time earlier this week. (The restaurant opened in 2012.)
The market offers a wide range of goods ranging from pasta to deli items to imported Uzbek honey and Russian chocolate. The owners have also applied for a liquor license which they hope will come through within the next couple of months.
Rus Uz Market is located on 1000 N. Randolph Street near the Ballston Metro. Store hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Rakhmapullaev said that an opening ceremony is being planned for sometime in the next two weeks.
Tomorrow night (June 25) Arlington will hold the first of four planned meetings to discuss the relocation of Fire Station 8.
Last May, the county proposed a plan to move the fire station from Lee Highway to a county-owned green space near Marymount University on Old Dominion Drive. The Old Dominion Civic Association said it was “blind-sided” by the plan, and raised an outcry that prompted the county to reevaluate.
The Arlington County Fire Department wants to relocate Fire Station 8 further north in order to achieve their goal of four to six minute response times throughout the county. Arlington County studies conducted in 2000 and 2012 both indicated that while response times in most of the county met this goal, the northern part of the county was underserved and would benefit from having a fire station closer by.
At the meeting tomorrow night, residents will hear an overview of the issue from county staff, as well as the criteria and constraints for selecting a new fire station location. Residents will have the opportunity to give feedback.
“[The] process to select a site for the relocated FS8 will include dialogue with community stakeholders, including civic associations within the service area and other members of the public wishing to participate,” according to the county website. “The process will include a discussion of County needs; siting consideration and criteria; and evaluation of alternate sites within the service area.”
On Thursday, July 30, county staff plan to recap previous meeting results and provide another opportunity for community members to weigh in on alternative sites for the fire station. At this meeting, the county staff also plan to outline the process they will use to review the list of potential sites.
At the final meeting, currently scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 9, county staff will formulate a recommendation to be presented to the County Board.
The meeting tomorrow will be at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (2609 N Glebe Rd) from 7-9 p.m. There will be a meeting at St. Mary’s at the same time on July 9 recapping the first for any who were unable to attend.
Photo via Arlington County Fire Department
Three dogs that had been set for slaughter at a meat farm in South Korea are now alive and well in Arlington, thanks to the Humane Society and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.
The dogs first came to Arlington in January, part of a group of 23 that had been rescued by the Humane Society International and sent to D.C. area shelters. Now, two have been adopted and the other is still with AWLA, hoping to find a loving home soon.
AWLA provided an update on how the three are doing in their new environments.
Abi, a one-year-old female Corgi/Cattle Dog mix, was recently adopted by first time-dog owners Jackie and DJ Woodell. AWLA spokeswoman Kerry McKeel described Abi as “a beguiling blend of shy and wiley.”
Abi has also proven to be quite the escape artist; while at AWLA, McKeel said Abi would amuse herself by escaping through a weak spot in the fence of her enclosure and wandering the corridors. Abi’s new owners report that in her new home, she’s learned to unlatch her own crate and let herself out to explore.
All in all, “she’s pleasantly surprised everyone with her smooth transition to Easy Street,” said the Woodells.
Billy, a one-year-old Lhasa Apso/Poodle mix, was chipper and cuddly after coming to the shelter and was adopted within days.
Described as “a gregarious curly haired lapdog mix with a pronounced underbite and pleading eyes,” Billy was “well adjusted and ‘normal’ that he had us at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington convinced he was someone’s pet who’d been snatched off the street.”
Hope, a female Korean Jindo mix, is waiting to be adopted and currently living with a foster-guardian from K-9 Divine. McKeel said that Hope came to AWLA skittish and hyper vigilant, but seems to have found solace in companionship with the other dogs.
Hope spends her days at an off-leash daycare facility where she plays with the other dogs and goes home with Rachel Jones, her foster-guardian, at night. Jones reports that Hope has made great progress since living with her, and thinks she would make a wonderful pet for anyone willing to take the time to let her warm up to them.
Hope is available for adoption at AWLA’s website.
Photos courtesy Shelley Castle Photography
Chef Mike Isabella is preparing to open his latest Arlington restaurant later this summer.
Pepita Cantina — located at 4000 Wilson Blvd in Ballston, next to Isabella’s Kapnos Taverna, which opened in January — is holding an “open call” for job seekers today (Tuesday) and tomorrow. Interviews will be conducted at the under-construction restaurant between noon and 6:00 p.m. on both days, according to a Craigslist post.
Servers, bartenders, bussers and barbacks are being sought.
“Pepita Cantina is set to open this summer in Ballston, right by the already open Kapnos Taverna,” the job post notes. “This establishment will be a tequila, mezcal craft cocktail bar along with traditional Mexican food with a twist!”
So far, no official opening date has been set.
“We hope to announce an opening date in the coming weeks,” a PR rep told ARLnow.com “Stay tuned!”
Isabella’s company, Mike Isabella Concepts, is also planning on opening a “full-service, Japanese noodle bar and small plates restaurant” called Yona at 4000 Wilson Blvd, under the leadership of chef Jonah Kim. The ramen-centric eatery is currently under construction and is expected to open in “early fall,” we’re told.
Photos via Twitter
Which Wich Superior Sandwiches is planning to open its second Arlington location in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City this summer.
The eatery is noted for its selection — it offers over 50 sandwich varieties and more than 60 toppings.
Dallas-based Which Wich has an existing location in Arlington, adjacent to Ballston Common Mall at 4300 Wilson Blvd, and seven other locations in Virginia.
The new sandwich shop within the Pentagon City mall will be owned by a team of two brothers who are gunning to make it the company’s highest-grossing location in the U.S.
“Franchise owners and brothers Faisal and Irfaan Lalani are particularly excited about the expansion opportunity in Pentagon City because with the high traffic in the mall with tourists and commuters, it has the opportunity to be the highest grossing Which Wich location in the country,” said a PR rep. “The brothers have prior business experience, owning over 53 Little Caesar’s locations across the country and employing nearly 1,000 people.”
The restaurant will be located in the mall’s food court and is expected to open in August, we’re told.
The library is working with an Ohio-based company called Hoopla Digital, which bills itself as a “free Netflix-like service” which users can access through their Apple TV, smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Hoopla offers a range of digital content including e-books, comics, audiobooks, music and streaming TV and movies.
The library’s current contract with Hoopla gives library patrons access to audiobooks and music, according to library spokesman Peter Golkin, who described the partnership as the next logical step in adapting to new technology, something libraries have been doing for decades.
Golkin said one particularly attractive feature of Hoopla was the elimination of waiting lists. In the past, when libraries bought audiobooks, they would have to buy several copies — and even then patrons could end up waiting a long time for more popular titles. Through Hoopla, however, one title can be checked out by an unlimited number of patrons.
The company also touts its automatic returns, which it says eliminate library late-fees. Users will be able to check out up to six items a month and listen to them as often as desired. Due to record label restrictions, the same album may only be checked out twice in a 30-day period.
Arlington Public Library began using Hoopla last Tuesday (June 16), and is the 10th library system in Virginia to do so. To start using the service, patrons can create an account through the library’s website.
In honor of Father’s Day this weekend, the Lululemon marketing team in Clarendon decided to create a recipe for the perfect “dad bod.”
Store manager Kelsey Knutson said she was inspired by a recent spate of articles on the Huffington Post, the New York Times and elsewhere describing a phenomenon where women seem to go for softer, less in-shape men.
“The dad body describes men who are a little bit toned and who work out, but are also a little bit soft,” said Knutson. “It shows they have a balanced lifestyle, that they work hard but that they can also have fun, and there are all kinds of articles suggesting that women are most attracted to this type.”
The fad has garnered some arguably well-deserved mockery for the double standard it represents between the way that women’s and men’s bodies are treated in popular culture, but the Lululemon team was less focused on the physical aspect of the dad bod. Instead, Knutson wanted to examine the dad bod as an emotional form.
Knutson, assistant store manager Brittney Avey and one other member of the team put their heads together and tried to think about what emotional components produce the perfect dad bod. Their answer? The ideal dad is:
- 2.9 percent love
- 6.1 percent passion
- 1.6 percent pride
- .04 percent sweat
- 2.4 percent adventure
- 1.2 percent grit
- 4.1 percent cojones
- 81.6 percent beer
Knutson and Avey said that their brainstorming mostly involved reflecting on what they loved about their own dads. The sign went up last Friday (June 12), and the community has taken notice.
“It’s completely gotten people stopping,” said Knutson. “People think it’s funny — one woman put it on her blog and said it made her laugh. Lots of guys have stopped in to tell us, ‘Oh yeah, I have a dad bod!’ or asked if we have any clothes for dad bods.”
Knutson doesn’t think sales have gone up because of the sign, but she also said that wasn’t the point.
“It’s meant to brighten people’s days and get them engaged,” said Knutson. “It’s been a really great conversation starter.”
Arlington residents were invited to the neighborhood Wednesday to see the plans for the area as well as to take a walking tour that highlighted several large changes that could come as a result of the plan.
“I would hope this would be an area, unlike Rosslyn, Clarendon or Ballston, where people can come together and celebrate events in the heart of Arlington,” Jason Beske, the project manager for Envision Courthouse, told ARLnow.com.
Under the plan, multiple new buildings could be constructed some replacing existing structures and some with preserved facades. The vision for the area — which currently includes buildings, parking lots and some small green spaces — would be similar to that of a lively open town square under the new plan.
Before that vision can be realized, should the County Board approve the plan, the county will have to work with developers and building owners to come together and help implement it.
Among changes is a possible move for county government itself. The county office building at 2100 Clarendon Blvd is not currently owned by the county — it’s owned by Vornado — and when the lease is up, the county could choose to move to a building it owns outright, Beske said during the walking tour.
One possible location for this new building would be the new South Square, which is on the south end where the current public surface parking lot sits. Parking would be provided via underground lots, as the current public surface lot is set to be converted to mostly green space — the “square.”
The plan also calls for the transit plaza adjacent to the current county offices to be redone. The new plaza, dubbed Metro Plaza after the Metro entrance, would possibly feature an open Metro entrance similar to that planned in the Rosslyn Sector Plan.
The plaza would be “something that’s kind of lively, exciting,” Beske said.
The current AMC movie theater may be redeveloped into an office building or a building with primary entertainment and retail uses. A rooftop terrace be added to the building, with a view of D.C. and the monuments. Also set for redevelopment: the small, aging Courthouse Square West office building that currently houses county emergency management offices.
The street that currently runs next to the main county office building, 15th Street N., would become a low-speed, pedestrian-centric street. It would feature plenty of street trees, widened sidewalks and possibly granite pavers.
“We want to see this street become an extension of open space,” he said. On the other side of the public parking lot, 14th Street N. would receive a similar “shared street” treatment.
Another other big open space would be the “Memorial Grove.” The large space would have a grove in one of its corners and a possible underground parking lot under it. Memorial Grove would be located in what is now part of the parking lot, across the street from the current emergency winter homeless shelter. A large open lawn area would run from Memorial Grove down to the South Square.
To the south of South Square, in what is currently a public plaza next to the Verizon building and across from Ragtime restaurant, the Envision Courthouse envisions a new building, for public use, county use or both. The building, labeled Verizon Plaza, is one of four buildings — including the aging Courthouse Square West office building, South Square and the AMC Theater site,
Outside of the Courthouse Metro entrance near the Cosi building, meanwhile, is the potential site of a promenade with wider sidewalks, which could possibly extend from Clarendon Boulevard to 14th Street. Across the street, near Ireland’s Four Courts, the county plans for main street feel, with wider sidewalks, more retail lining the street and a possible tree canopy.
While the county is looking to the future with Envision Courthouse, Beske and his team is also trying to capture the past. There are preservation elements to the plan, mostly centered around the strip of older buildings known as Lawyers’ Row. The facades of the buildings housing the emergency winter shelter, Cosi, Jerry’s Subs and Boston Market are all singled out for preservation. A new building could be on top of the existing facades, but a full preservation is also possible, particularly for Cosi building, which used to be a bank.
The county will weigh the historic value of each building in considering its redevelopment, Beske said.
The County Board is expected to consider the plan for approval at its September meeting. Some of the planned changes may be implemented in the next few years, but many of the goals are classified as long term, taking five or more years to implement, often with the cooperation of private developers.
Arlington County plans to make permanent repairs to a sinkhole on Williamsburg Blvd in the coming weeks.
The sinkhole first appeared in February due to a water main break which created a small geyser near the corner of Williamsburg Blvd and Sycamore Street.
The temporary repairs, now several months old, allowed the road to reopen but are not a permanent solution. A large indentation in the road is “still there and getting worse,” with some cars having to swerve onto the median to avoid the hazard, according to resident Joe Keeley.
Permanent patching is scheduled for the “trouble spot” sometime within the next two weeks, according to Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Jessica Baxter.
Baxter said that the repairs in February were indeed temporary, and that final repairs had not taken place yet partially because hot mix asphalt — the material needed for permanent repairs — is not typically available in the winter months.
Instead, Baxter said that road crews used cold mix asphalt to perform temporary repairs and planned to return for final repairs when the weather warmed up.
In this case, Baxter said the road requires a full-depth repair, which involves installing a new sub-base layer of gravel and replacing both the base and top base layers of the road. Repairs are expected to cost approximately $3,500.
(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) Hundreds of cyclists took to Clarendon and Crystal City streets as part of the Air Force Association Cycling Classic this past weekend.
The two-day event saw professional, amateur and youth cyclists speed up and down Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards and Crystal Drive. The course also featured several tight turns for participants to whip around. The Clarendon Cup had five of these turns, which makes it one of the more difficult courses of its kind in the United States.
“It’s a really fun, local race. It’s one of the best in the area,” said Mattison Brady, a Washington, D.C. resident who placed second in the Amateur race.
The course’s technical challenges only add to the fun, Brady said.
But for some the two courses proved to be anything but fun. The Clarendon Cup’s challenges turned the race into a “race of attrition,” said Christopher Hair, a local cyclist with the United Healthcare/National Capital Velo Club Amateur team.
“It’s about an hour of excruciating pain,” Hair said. “Most people are smiling because it’s over.”
Riders also fell prey to the courses with multiple crashes throughout the two days. Multiple women hit the pavement during an early crash in the Clarendon Cup and at least two riders hit the ground during the men’s professional Crystal Cup causing a small slowdown.
The event was also apparently hazardous to a County Board candidate. Independent Board candidate Audrey Clement said the road closures from the Clarendon Cup hindered her ability to safely bike to Saturday’s Board meeting.
“As you know, I am an avid biker. I’ve biked to work every day for the past 25 years and I’ve biked to virtually every County Board meeting for the past three years,” Clement said in the meeting’s public comment period. “Yet today, I risked my life to bike to this meeting because the bike race… had blocked off all the streets in Clarendon. This represents not just an inconvenience to pedestrians, motorists and other bikers in the county, it constitutes reckless endangerment.”
For Hilton Clarke, a professional cyclist with United Healthcare, the two-day event was something to celebrate. The 35-year-old Australian cyclist won both the Clarendon and Crystal Cups and the Omnium.
“Well, I’ve been here a few times, and I’ve won now yesterdays race three times, and this race I’ve come in second three times, so it’s nice, even though my teammates normally beat me in this race, it’s nice to get a win here in this event so I’m really happy,” Clarke said.
For the women, Lauren Stephens took the Clarendon Cup after a long breakaway, and Coryn Rivera, a nationally-known cyclist, took the Crystal Cup and the Omnium.