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by Andrea Swalec — September 23, 2014 at 12:00 pm 1,592 0

Ballston residents and workers can now get a hot Korean meal in a flash.

The 900 N. Stuart St. deli Mike’s Cafe opened a walk-up window last week that serves the rice, meat and vegetable dish bibimbap.

Owner Mike Kim said he wanted to offer a healthy, “trendy” lunch option.

“From the offices, they’re looking for something original,” said Kim, a 56-year-old Fairfax resident who opened the deli five years ago.

Bibimbap will be served from the window daily from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The meal costs $8.19 and is available with marinated beef bulgogi or less traditional options including pastrami, corned beef and ham.

Kim said he prefers serving customers sandwiches, salads and more in Ballston over his previous work in the steel industry in his native Seoul.

“This is more interesting,” he said. “I like so much to meet new people.”

by Ethan Rothstein — September 23, 2014 at 11:00 am 883 0

Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (4444 Arlington Blvd.) has been named to the Virginia Landmarks Register and could soon be named to the National Register of Historic Places.

The church was built in 1964 and designed by architect Charles Goodman, who also designed the original terminal at Reagan National Airport, according to Preservation Arlington. Several other Goodman-designed buildings, including the DCA terminal, have been named to the National Register.

“The building references traditional meeting halls and temple buildings in its form and has character-defining features of the Brutalist style in the Modern Movement,” the building’s registration form for the National Register reads. “Brutalist design sought to dramatize major building elements such as the frame, sheathing and mechanical systems. Known for an emphasis on bulky, heavy massing, Brutalist buildings often feature exterior walls made of unfinished concrete.”

Church additions were built in 1994 and 2013, but the main sanctuary and the plot of land’s site plan, designed by Goodman, have remained largely unchanged, the form states. The congregation wanted the building to “reflect their liberal, progressive beliefs and that would signify the UUCA’s leadership position within the denomination.”

Getting the church named a state landmark was a two-year process, Minister Linda Olson Peebles said. The church and its members were proud to see the architecture be recognized.

“[Congregants] told us they were impressed not only by the quality of the design of the building, but Charles Goodman spent a lot of time with the congregation and incorporating the values and theology of the congregation into the design of the building,” Olson Peebles said. “We’re hoping by it being put on the national registry, people will realize that the physical presence of a group in a community matters. It says something to the world.”

Hat tip to Preservation Arlington

by Andrea Swalec — September 22, 2014 at 1:30 pm 1,152 0

A kitten named Speedo is getting the physical therapy he needs.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is treating a two-month-old domestic shorthair known as a “swimmer” cat who walks by making swimming-like motions with his front paws.

Born with rear legs that splay outward, Speedo was dropped off at the AWLA at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr. by an owner who wasn’t in the position to deal with his medical issues, Chief Operating Officer Susan Sherman said.

The shelter found a foster home for the kitten, who gets physical therapy treatments every day. Rather than opting for surgery on his legs, Speedo gets massages and may even receive acupuncture treatments.

“The massage is meant to train the muscles and ligaments,” Sherman said. “The acupuncture would stimulate nerves.

“We do not believe he’s in any pain,” she added.

AWLA veterinarians made a special “alley” for Speedo to walk through with his hind legs bound, encouraging him to walk correctly.

To help pets like Speedo, AWLA is asking for donations to their Woody and Mickey Healthy Pet Fund, which helps special needs pets by paying for”above and beyond” services like orthopedic surgery, blood tests and dental surgery.

Despite his ongoing treatments, Speedo is a sweetheart, Sherman said.

“He is adorable. He’s very sweet and amazingly friendly.”

AWLA expects the kitten will need a permanent home later this year.

“We’re going to see how much he’s able to progress, and as soon as we think he’s going to be able to live a healthy, happy life, he’ll be up for adoption,” she said.

AWLA made this video of Speedo walking through his “alley”: 

by Ethan Rothstein — September 19, 2014 at 3:50 pm 1,702 0

Restoration Anglican Church has opened its new church after more than a year of construction, giving its 500 congregants a permanent home.

The new church’s first service was Sept. 7, and the building at 1815 N. Quincy Street wowed everyone seeing it for the first time, Rev. David Haynke said.

“It was one of those days you wish you could remember for the rest of your life,” he told ARLnow.com inside the church today. “I just sat there and watched people come in and say ‘wow, it’s so beautiful.’ It’s sort of breathtaking.”

The former building, which was built by the now-disbanded Trinity Baptist Church more than 70 years ago, was torn down Aug. 15, 2013, Haynke said. Buying the building and the land from Trinity and constructing the new building cost $4.3 million.

The new church has seating for 375 — “18 inches per butt,” Haynke said — and new space below the chapel to host children’s activities and classes. The church was designed with a terrace to host its now-signature snacks after services, where “we can eat doughnut holes and just talk.”

Restoration had been holding one 5:00 p.m. Sunday service at Little Falls Presbyterian Church, but turnout was low because the time was inconvenient for many people. The pews have been filled for the two services held since the new church opened, Haynke said.

“It’s special because they all know they had at least a small part in it,” the reverend said, referring to congregants’ donations.

The church will be holding a consecration tomorrow, Saturday, at 10:00 a.m. with Bishop John Guernsey of the Mid-Atlantic Anglican Diocese. Haynke said two baptisms will be performed as part of the celebration. The church holds three services on Sundays, at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

by Andrea Swalec — September 19, 2014 at 10:00 am 2,993 0

Joe Tenne packed his black Tundra truck full of camping supplies Wednesday night, said goodbye to his wife and son — and then headed to the Clarendon Apple store.

Tenne, 43, was first in line at the 2700 Clarendon Blvd. shop to buy the new iPhone 6. The Woodbridge resident, who got a tweet of support from William Shatner, arrived Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.

He was followed by hundreds of Apple fans who waited for the phones Friday morning.

“It’s a whole social experience, in addition to getting the phone,” Tenne, who runs an I.T. company, said minutes before the product went on sale.

The line at 8:00 a.m. snaked around the Market Common Clarendon complex, nearly reaching the Crate & Barrel store.

A photo of Tenne with a camp chair and cooler caught the eye of Shatner on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

“If you’re by the Clarendon Apple store & see this guy-bring him a coffee or offer to stand in for a bathroom break,” the actor tweeted.

Tenne said he used the restroom in the Apple store and at the nearby Starbucks, and ordered pizza with the second and third people in line — a couple from Alexandria who arrived at the store on Thursday at 11:00 p.m. Tenne, who has staked out the tech outpost for new products for the past three years, said he appreciated the sense of community.

“I’ve met all the store managers and made a lot of friends.”

Before 8:00 a.m., Apple employees ceremoniously removed black curtains from the shop windows, counted down the remaining seconds and then let a first set of customers rush inside.

Tenne bought the thin, fast iPhone and shook the hand of a staffer as he headed to his truck.

“See you next year,” she said.

Asked how he would spend the rest of the day, Tenne said he was headed back to Woodbridge.

“I’ll probably go home and play with it for 15 minutes and then go sleep for eight hours,” he said.

by Ethan Rothstein — September 18, 2014 at 11:00 am 4,178 0

Bar TNT and Society Fair closing on Columbia Pike Bar TNT and Society Fair closing on Columbia Pike

The cafe Society Fair and the “rock ‘n’ roll bar” Bar TNT are expected to close their shared location on Columbia Pike by the end of the month.

The 2413 Columbia Pike establishment opened in 2012 as Bar TNT and Eamonn’s, a fish and chips restaurant, owned by EatGoodFood Group. The Eamonn’s part of the business turned into a second location of Society Fair earlier this year. The company’s other location is in Old Town Alexandria.

A Society Fair employee told ARLnow.com yesterday that the owners planned to close both parts of the business, facing Penrose Square, by Sept. 30.

“We don’t get as much business as the manager would like,” the employee said. “The owner thought this would do as good as Society Fair in Old Town. It’s a little more expensive than I guess the community would like. I guess a lot of people also don’t know that we’re here.”

The owners were traveling and could not immediately be reached, a spokeswoman said.

The news of the closing came the same day Bar TNT was nominated for “The People’s Best New Bars” of the Southeast by Food & Wine magazine. The pub that serves rock ‘n’ roll-inspired drinks like the Cocktail Left on the Nightstand (flat Coke and smoked Jack Daniel’s whiskey) was the only bar nominated in Virginia.

by ARLnow.com — September 17, 2014 at 11:40 am 931 0

Diners at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Crystal City (2231 Crystal Drive) Monday night had some especially muscular, familiar-looking waiters.

Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris and other team stars donned aprons and name tags for the second annual Blitz For The Better Celebrity Waiter Night fundraiser.

Raising funds “to provide opportunities, support and resources to children and families in need in the Washington, D.C. area,” according to the team blog, the event was organized by Blitz for the Better founder and Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.

Morris, caught on camera (above) by TMZ Sports outside the event, participated along with tight end Niles Paul, safety Ryan Clark, and fullback Darrel Young, and a number of linebackers and linemen: Jackson Jeffcoat, Gabe Miller, Adam Hayward, Shawn Lauvao and Braxston Cave.

by Ethan Rothstein — September 17, 2014 at 9:20 am 1,728 0

World Gym logoWorld Gym at 1058 S. Walter Reed Drive told its members yesterday that it plans to close at the end of the month

Located on the ground floor of the Halstead apartment building, on Columbia Pike, the location is World Gym’s only in Arlington.

An employee there told ARLnow.com that the business is closing because of a dispute between the franchise owner and the building manager, but couldn’t provide any details.

World Gym opened in January 2011 and was the first gym of its kind on Columbia Pike, though it soon started competing with XSport Fitness, further up the Pike.

The fitness center changed ownership in 2013 and became Exercise Nation, before it took back the World Gym name this year. The company sent its members a brief message saying it would close Sept. 30 due to “circumstances beyond our control.”

Several readers sent ARLnow.com the email, which is copied below in its entirety:

To Our Valued Members:

We are sorry to inform you that due to circumstances beyond our control, World Gym will be closing this location effective September 30, 2014. We appreciate all the support and business you have given us and apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the gym at 703-892-1861 or through email at wgarlington@worldgym.com.

Sincerely,
World Gym

by Ethan Rothstein — September 16, 2014 at 12:30 pm 734 0

An Arlington, Va., church has hung 176 T-shirts on its front lawn, with each shirt representing someone shot to death in the D.C. area last year.

First Presbyterian Church, at the intersection of N. Carlin Springs Road and Vermont Street, steps from Ballston Common Mall, displayed the shirts on Saturday. Each garment shows the name of a victim, the victim’s age and the date in 2013 that he or she died.

Eighty-two white shirts represent people killed in D.C. Victims in Northern Virginia are honored with 31 yellow shirts. And 63 blue shirts were hung for people in Maryland. The display was coordinated by Heeding God’s Call, a faith-based nonprofit with a mission to end gun violence.

“Each [victim] is a human being, a child of God,” a flier the organization is distributing at the memorial reads. “Each one deserves to be remembered. Each passing deserves to be noted and mourned.”

Heeding God’s Call is trying to grow support for its efforts to combat “straw purchasing” done when someone legally purchases guns to re-sell them, sometimes to people who cannot legally purchase a gun because they have a criminal record, a mental illness or are too young. The group says the cemetery-like display is designed to be a reminder that straw purchasing is how many guns “end up illegally in the hands of those who use them to destroy countless lives.”

“Unlike a cemetery, this memorial isn’t behind trees and gates where no one can see it,” the flier reads. “It’s on public view where folks driving, biking or walking past not only can see it but can be reminded of the violence that happens day in and day out in the Greater Washington area and, yes, throughout the country.”

The memorial will be on display through Sept. 27.

Hat tip to @ipadreporter

by Ethan Rothstein — September 16, 2014 at 10:00 am 5,339 0

Aerial view of Rosslyn (Flickr pool photo by @ddimick)Arlington County has been named the third-best place to live in the country, among localities with a population between 20,000 and 350,000.

Arlington ranked behind No. 1 Madison, Wis., and No. 2 Rochester, Minn., according to Livability.com, a website that “explores what makes small-to-medium sized cities great places to live.

“Arlington strikes a great middle ground for those who want something less urban than Washington D.C., but more suburban than many of the other towns that ring our nation’s capital,” Livability editor Matt Carmichael wrote. “Arlington’s status on this list can be traced largely to a decision made back in the 1960s.”

“Arlington lobbied to run the Metro underground and planned for high-rise and high-density development nearby,” Carmichael continued. “The result is the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor that planners imagined as an ‘urban village.’ Each stop has its own function and identity. Together, its mix of retail, residential, government buildings, and offices help draw residents and businesses, but also help support the more traditional suburban parts of Arlington such as the cul-du-sac [sic], single-family-home neighborhoods of Country Club Hills and Columbia Pike.”

Livability scored localities in eight categories: economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and health care. Those factors were graded out of 100 and added together. Arlington had a score of 680 (Madison finished at 705, and Rochester and 685). Arlington received 88 points for its school system and 76 for amenities.

County leaders touted the ranking in a press release.

“This is gratifying recognition of decades of long-term thinking, planning and follow-through by many community leaders,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “Our outstanding transportation network, strong neighborhoods, welcoming business climate, mixed-use development and great schools were all factors in our ranking.”

Flickr pool photo by @ddimick

by Ethan Rothstein — September 15, 2014 at 4:35 pm 3,359 0

Passersby along 14th Street N. in Virginia Square should not be alarmed by what appears to be a black bear climbing a tree on the street — it’s just a new carving from an Arlington artist.

The bear was carved in front of 3600 14th Street N. by Arlington native Andrew Mallon, a 2001 graduate of Washington-Lee High School, carpenter and, for the last two and a half year, the owner of Potomac Tree Sculptures. The bear was commissioned by homeowner Joanne Goode, who has lived in the house since 1958.

The tree is a dying oak that Goode was having workers cut down when, she said, their chainsaw stopped working and the bark was partially stripped off. She said her son told her about Mallon, who says he gave her a discount because the tree is prominently displayed out front. Unlike the famed “busty mermaid” statue that stood along Lee Highway for years before being cut down this spring, Goode wanted the sculpture to be part of the tree.

“I didn’t know the mermaid was a tree, I thought it was just a statue,” she said. “I didn’t want something to look like a statue, I wanted the tree to be there so you knew it was a tree.”

Mallon said the carving is the first publicly visible one he’s done in Arlington, and he’s not done with it. He plans on carving a hawk on top of the tree, a fox, and maybe squirrels and raccoons. Mallon said a bear like Goode’s would normally run one of his customers about $800. It took eight hours in total — six on Sept. 5, two on Sept. 9 — to create.

Mallon uses a chainsaw to carve the sculpture and a blowtorch and sandpaper to achieve the bear’s dark brown color. He said he can carve sculptures into basically any tree, but wouldn’t recommend it for live trees since the process kills the tree.

“If it’s a tree that’s dying, get a tree company to come, cut all the limbs off, and we can come up with something great to put in it,” Mallon said. “There are a lot of designs I haven’t tried yet. I love sea life. I’d love to do a shark or a marlin. I’ve done plenty of turtles, and some bass jumping out of the water.”

In just the first weekend the tree went up, Goode said she had dozens of comments from neighbors and people walking and driving by. All of the comments, she said, have been positive.

“People either parked their cars or drove by and said, ‘Hey, that’s cool, that’s neat, I love it,’” she said. “It’s just unreal the amount of attention it’s gotten.”

Mallon can be reached at 703-919-4835 or at potomactreesculptures@gmail.com.

by Ethan Rothstein — September 15, 2014 at 10:00 am 1,353 0

A new gift shop, Two the Moon, is now open in the Williamsburg Shopping Center (6501 29th Street N.).

Two the Moon opened on Sept. 2 and is owned by Williamsburg resident Johanna Braden. Braden retired earlier this year as an end-of-life specialist with Virginia Hospital Center, where she had worked the past 10 years. She said she retired “for about a half a day, until the house was clean,” before she decided to get to work opening up a gift shop.

“The kids don’t need me anymore, so my husband asked me what I wanted to do,” she said in her Boston accent. “Who asks a 56-year-old woman what she wants to do?”

She said she knew immediately she wanted to open a gift shop in her neighborhood, so she leased the basement space in the strip mall, which had been vacant for seven years since Action Music moved out of the space. It was “in ruins” she said, but in six months she, her family and friends fixed it up and made it ready to use.

Now open, the shop features gifts and wares from about 20 Arlington vendors as well as people from the surrounding area and up and down the East Coast. Braden keeps a book with the stories of each artist or vendor sold in the shop, so she and her employees can give the full story to every customer.

“It’s a fun place,” she said as she waltzed around the store, proudly showing stationery with drawings of Westover landmarks, blankets made from recycled cotton and linens made by a cancer survivor that say “Fork Cancer.” “I think it’s going to be a hit. I really want it to be about community, because I live in the community and I care about the community.”

The store is open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, from noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays and closed on Mondays. For one weekend a month, Braden is planning on holding a showcase for an Arlington artist and serving wine and cheese. This past weekend, the artist was Jessica Lee Designs, which specializes in handmade jewelry.

by Andrea Swalec — September 12, 2014 at 10:00 am 1,249 0

Arlington Career Center students train to be cosmetologists (via Arlington Career Center).Getting a hair cut or your nails done in one of the most expensive areas in the country doesn’t have to cost a fortune — Arlington cosmetology schools offer low-cost services under professional supervision.

High school students at Arlington Career Center provide spa services as they prepare to pass the state exam to become licensed beauticians.

“The students do the work and it’s overseen by two cosmetology teachers,” instructor Rosenia Peake said.

A blowout costs $15, a haircut costs $10 and senior citizens get a 10 percent discount. Appointments at 816 S. Walter Reed Dr. are scheduled for 8 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. and can be made by calling (703) 228-5799.

Students aren’t giving manicures now but will be later this year, said Peake, who noted the Arlington Public Schools-run program gets teenagers job-ready.

“You’re a professional in the 11th grade, and you haven’t even graduated from high school,” she said. “This is a stepping stone to another life.”

ACC principal Margaret Chung said the program serves both locals and students.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for our students to be able to give back to the community,” she said. “Students get hands-on experience and learn to interact in a professional way.”

For a little more money, Graham Webb Academy offers more extensive salon services in Rosslyn. At 1621 N. Kent St., student stylists give haircuts ($19), blowouts ($14), full highlights ($57) and more, according to their website. A manicure there costs $12, and a Brazilian Blowout runs $175.

Appointments can be made by calling (703) 243-9322 and walk-ins are available.

In Virginia Square, Kenny’s Beauty Academy advertises women’s haircuts for $15, men’s haircuts for $10 and manicures for $10. A Brazilian keratin treatment there costs $100, the school’s website says. The 3461 Washington Blvd. school can be reached at (571) 522-4566.

Photo via Arlington Career Center

by Ethan Rothstein — September 11, 2014 at 11:15 am 451 0

Daisy (right) and Tulip (photo courtesy AWLA)With domestic violence in the news, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington is spreading the word about a program that allows those in dire situations to shelter their pets.

The nonprofit organization, located at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive, has a program called “Safekeeping.” The program allows pet owners in Arlington and Falls Church to shelter their pets at AWLA for up to two weeks while the owner is coping with an emergency, like domestic violence, losing a home or the owner’s death.

With the national spotlight thrust on domestic violence after video surfaced of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée, AWLA is hoping to remind abuse victims that their pet’s well-being could be at risk as well as their own.

“A strong connection has been documented linking animal abuse and domestic violence,” said AWLA spokeswoman Kerry McKeel. “Women often delay their decision to leave an abusive partner out of concern for the safety of their pets.”

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 83 percent of women and 63 percent of children, after having arrived at a domestic violence shelter — such as Doorways for Women and Families – reported incidents of pet abuse.

“At AWLA our steadfast mission throughout the year is to improve the lives of animals and one way in which we accomplish this objective is through our Safekeeping program,” McKeel said. “Animals often give continuity and hope during a crisis, so it is distressing for many when they feel forced to part with a pet due to their circumstance. During a crisis, pet owners often just need some short-term help to get back on their feet and that is what we offer through the Safekeeping program.”

Animals can be sheltered at AWLA for two weeks at a time, and the owners are required to check on the pet’s welfare after one week, AWLA says. There is no limit for how many times an animal can be sheltered in case of emergency. McKeel said that, since Safekeeping was launched as a service in 2005, more than 200 animals have been sheltered.

File photo courtesy AWLA

by Ethan Rothstein — September 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm 5,100 0

ZIP code map (image via City-Data)(Updated at 2:25 p.m.) Arlington’s 22201 ZIP code, which contains Clarendon, Courthouse Virginia Square and part of Ballston, is the top area for “educated millennials” in the country, according to a new report.

Redfin, a real estate firm, released a study that found 22201 has the highest percentage educated people between the ages of 25 and 34 in the country, at 44 percent. Just behind 22201 is the 22209 ZIP code, which comprises all of Rosslyn and Ft. Myer Heights, with 43 percent.

In addition to sporting the most millennials per capita of any ZIP code in the country, Arlington also has by far the highest median income of any of the top 25 millennial-dense neighborhoods, according to Redfin’s data. 22201 is first at $110,300, 22203 — 16th in density at 30 percent — is second at $100,900. The 22206 ZIP code, which includes Shirlington, is 14th in density at 32 percent and third in income at $95,000, while 22209 is fourth in income at $94,100.

Two ZIP codes in Chicago trail immediately behind Arlington in terms of millennials per capita, with a Miami ZIP code ranked fifth. Washington, D.C.’s 20009 (Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan) is seventh in the country and 20008 (Woodley Park, Cleveland Park and north of Dupont Circle) is 18th.

Redfin’s report looks at the common attributes of millennial ZIPs,” said Redfin’s Alina Ptaszynski. “Not surprisingly they are diverse, urban areas that are expensive places to live and buy a home.”

In addition to having the highest percentage of — and arguably the richest — millennials in the nation, Clarendon was named the D.C. area’s “best neighborhood for millennials” earlier this year by Niche.com.

Unsurprisingly, Redfin found that millennials across the U.S. have a lower rate of home ownership than the population as a whole — 42 percent for millennials compared to 65 of the overall population.

Image via City-Data

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