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by Ethan Rothstein — November 14, 2014 at 11:00 am 2,152 0

Oak tree at N. Nottingham and 27th Streets (photo via iPetitions)Neighbors of a large oak tree on the corner of 27th Street N. and Nottingham Street are concerned that a new development will tear down their “champion tree.”

The tree, according to an online petition the neighbors have launched, is more than 200 years old and is the largest Wildenow’s Oak — a natural hybrid of a black oak and southern red oak — in Virginia. It’s on Arlington’s list of “Champion Trees.”

“Local naturalists have examined it and found it to be in excellent health,” the petition states. “In its long life, the tree has survived the widespread felling of Arlington’s trees during the Civil War and the neighborhood’s transformation from farms to a suburb dotted with neat rows of brick colonials, Cape Cods and ramblers.”

The lot on which the tree sits is slated to be redeveloped by DS Homes, a small construction company based in Manassas. When reached by ARLnow.com, DS Homes employee Manny Carneiro said “the plan right now is to save the tree.”

Nonetheless, Carneiro pointed out that the tree is on the lot and things could change. At the very least, DS Homes will have to trim some of the massive tree’s branches during construction, when it tears down the current home, built in 1950, for a new one. DS Homes bought the property to redevelop last month, according to Arlington County property records.

The online petition has 324 signatures as of 10:55 a.m. The petition’s organizers have a goal of 400 signatures.

Photo via iPetitions

by ARLnow.com — November 12, 2014 at 2:30 pm 412 0

Arlington County has released a new video with tips for keeping yourself and county workers safe on the roads.

The brief video (above) includes the following tips for driving in the vicinity of county work trucks.

1. Slow down around work zones and provide county vehicles and personnel additional space needed to safely operate
2. Stay out of truck blind spots, located between the doors and the rear of the vehicle
3. Do not pull in front of a truck when you need to stop or slow down
4. Be sure to signal your intentions and do not make moves abruptly
5. When parking, be sure to park as close to the curb as possible
6. Always be a PAL (predictable, alert and lawful) on the roads

The video encourages residents who have complaints about unsafe behavior on the part of county truck drivers to call Arlington’s risk management office at 703-228-4444.

by Ethan Rothstein — November 12, 2014 at 11:00 am 906 0

A new mural is being painted today at the new plaza at 19th and N. Moore Streets in Rosslyn.

New York City-based artist Jason Woodside has been working on the piece — which he describes as a “creative vortex” — since last Friday. Woodside plans on finishing the majority of his painting by tonight before putting the finishing touches on it the rest of the week.

The mural “kind of speaks just to what’s going in this zone,” Woodside told ARLnow.com while taking a break from spray painting the brick wall. “There’s a bus stop, there’s people coming and going, it’s really transient. It’s more of just something for people to look at and lose themselves in. I call it kind of a vortex, a creative vortex. It pulls people in, it makes their day. It’s all positive.”

The JBG Companies – which owns the property at 1911 N. Ft. Myer Drive and is constructing the Central Place development across the street — commissioned Woodside to paint the piece after seeing the work he’s done in large installations in Miami, Los Angeles, Sydney, Australia and New York. Woodside said it’s the first time he’s been to the D.C. area since he was two years old, despite being born in Fairfax.

The mural is part of the #JBGMurals series; the Chevy Chase, Md.-based developer has also commissioned a piece at L’Enfant Plaza for the campaign.

by Ethan Rothstein — November 10, 2014 at 1:30 pm 1,211 0

A new “lifestyle studio” focused on aesthetic skin and body improvements using high-tech, non-invasive techniques is planning to open a studio at 2012 Wilson Blvd, in the new 2001 Clarendon building.

The studio is called Radovà Lifestyle, named for its owner, Gabriela Radovà. Radovà, a “Master Aesthetician” according to her website, said the studio is currently under construction in the new space, and she plans on opening by Thanksgiving.

“We specialize in customizing face and body treatments for each of our clients so that you are assured of achieving your specific goals,” Radovà’s website reads. “Radio Frequency, Ultrasound, next generation Intense Pulsed Light (AFT) and Coolsculpting are a few of our advanced technologies used to remove body fat and tighten the skin without the risk of needles and downtime. Our customized skin and body sculpting treatments are expertly applied by Master Estheticians following proven European techniques and proprietary protocols developed by Gabriela Radová.”

Although the studio is not yet open, Radovà is already taking appointments for services like chemical peels, body fat and cellulite reductions, skin tightening and nutrition and weight loss consultations.

Radovà joins Southern restaurant Tupelo Honey Cafe, a 7-Eleven, a Hair Cuttery, Olive Oil Boom and a nail salon as retail businesses moving into the ground floor of the recently opened building.

by Ethan Rothstein — November 7, 2014 at 11:30 am 1,257 0

PetMac in Virginia Square, which is closing this year A cat rests in a display at PetMac in Virginia Square, which is closing this year

PetMAC, the pet supply store and adoption center at 822 N. Kenmore Street in Virginia Square, is closing its doors before the end of the year and moving to Reston.

The store’s lease ends at the end of December, according to owner Cindy Williams, and business has slowed down to the point where she can’t afford to keep the store in such an expensive area.

The people of Arlington have been great and we love our Ashton Heights and Lyon Park neighbors. However, more and more people are telling us they are purchasing online,” she said. “That, coupled with PetCo opening down the street, has hurt our sales dramatically. I tried to move elsewhere in Arlington but everything was too expensive for a small, independently owned shop like PetMAC. I hate leaving our loyal customers but we just can’t afford to stay.”

PetMAC is planning to open a store in Reston’s Lake Anne Plaza, where it will move some of its inventory. Williams expects the Virginia Square location to close depending on when the Reston shop is ready to open. Her Arlington customers will get 20 percent off for the next year when they visit the Reston store.

PetMAC will continue to host its adoption events until the store closes, including this Saturday from noon to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 2:00 p.m.

by Ethan Rothstein — November 6, 2014 at 11:30 am 1,983 0

Citizen Burger Bar's location at 1051 N. Highland Street Citizen Burger Bar's location at 1051 N. Highland Street

Citizen Burger Bar, a sit-down, farm-sourced burger restaurant, hopes to open at 1051 N. Highland Street in Clarendon around the new year.

The restaurant announced in a press release that it expects to open “in about two months,” with a full bar and a large, open space with an open kitchen. The restaurant’s first branch opened in Charlottesville in 2012, and the Clarendon location will be its second.

“The idea is to broaden people’s horizons when it comes to simple, ‘classic American’ fare,” said owner Anderson McClure, an Alexandria native. “We want to serve great food and drinks, and do it in a way that might also change people’s perception and standards.”

The restaurant, according to a press release, will source its grass-fed beef, eggs, cheese and produce from farms in Virginia “each run with ethical, sustainable, free-range priorities.” All of the waitstaff will be trained to explain the origins of the menu and bar items. The restaurant says it will partner with “neighborhood bakers” for the bread used in its burger buns.

As far as the bar, customers can expect a rotating tap list and more than 100 bottles of beer, plus “cutting-edge craft cocktails and an upstanding wine list showcasing many Virginia wineries.”

There will also be flatscreen TVs throughout the bar.

The Charlottesville location was named the “best burger” and “best place to watch the game” in the 2014 edition of C-Ville Weekly, a Charlottesville magazine.

by ARLnow.com — November 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm 1,014 0

Update on 11/6/14 – Board consideration of this apartment building has been delayed until December.

The Arlington County Board is slated to consider a 453-unit apartment building that’s proposed to replace a vacant Pentagon City office building this month.

The Board on Nov. 15 is scheduled to vote on a site plan for a new apartment complex at 400 Army Navy Drive. Bethesda-based developer LCOR has proposed a 20-story building with two towers on one, three-story platform, located east of the planned PenPlace development and west of the Crystal City DoubleTree hotel.

County staff have suggested a number of community benefits from the developer, in exchange for the extra zoning density needed for the project. Among them: affordable housing, public art, park and utility fund contributions; streetscape improvements; and LEED Gold certification. Also, Arlington is considering using of a county-owned parcel in front of the property for a streetcar operations and maintenance facility, but would like the developer to spruce it up in the interim.

The apartment building will replace an aging office building that was formerly home to the Department of Defense Inspector General’s office.

by Ethan Rothstein — November 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm 3,498 0

California Tortilla in Courthouse will be offering free burritos to customers on Thursday to celebrate a transition to a new franchise owner.

The restaurant, at 2057 Wilson Blvd, has been closed for renovations and sports a new look inside. On Thursday, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., all customers can get a free burrito and a drink. The first 20 customers in line get a “Burrito Elito” loyalty card with free burritos for a year.

California Tortilla also has locations at Reagan National Airport and in Crystal City. Those, along with all other “Cal Tor” locatons, are offering free chips and queso sauce to any customer who tells the cashier they voted. The promotion is valid today only.

by ARLnow.com — November 3, 2014 at 11:10 am 923 0

Ice skating rink at Pentagon Row on 11/3/14

If the weekend’s wind and cold temperatures weren’t enough of a sign that winter is coming, here’s another: the ice skating rink at Pentagon Row is now open.

The rink opened for the season on Saturday. It usually remains open through March.

With the exception of special holiday hours around Christmas and New Year’s, the public skating hours at the rink are:

  • Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 or 10:00 p.m., depending on rink rentals
  • Monday-Wednesday: Noon – 10:00 p.m.
  • Thursday: Noon – 7:00 or 10:00 p.m., depending on rink rentals
  • Friday: Noon – 11:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Skating fees are $8 for adults and $7 for children (12 and under) and seniors (55 and up). Skate rentals are $3.

The rink was expanded last year as part of a renovation of the Pentagon Row plaza.

by Ethan Rothstein — October 31, 2014 at 1:30 pm 1,082 0

Many of us go through the annual struggle of figuring out a creative Halloween costume. For Clarendon resident and amputee Josh Sundquist, his disability presents him an annual showcase for his creativity.

Sundquist is dressing up as a foosball player — the tabletop soccer game — this year after being named to the U.S. Amputee Soccer team. His previous costumes include a lamp, a gingerbread man with a leg bitten off and a brilliant flamingo costume.

Josh Sundquist Halloween costume (photo via Josh Sunquist)The above video is how Sundquist made this year’s costume. Sundquist is a 2006 Paralympian in downhill skiing and, according to his website, the only person in history named to both the Paralympian ski team and the amputee soccer team. He lost his leg after being diagnosed with bone cancer when he was 9 years old.

Sundquist is an also an author and motivational speaker, and his book, Just Don’t Fall is on sale now.

Photo via Josh Sundquist

by ARLnow.com — October 31, 2014 at 11:30 am 3,875 0

Pupatella (photo via Google Maps)Pupatella is getting accolades for its Neapolitan style pizzas. A recently released list puts it at the top, compared to all other pizza joints in the state.

FlipKey.com, a TripAdvisor company, put together a list of “Best Pizza Worth Traveling For” and chose one pizza place for each of the 50 states. Arlington’s own Pupatella received the honors for Virginia.

A representative for FlipKey said the winners were chosen based on market research and traveler feedback.

The full list of the best pizza worth traveling for in each state is available online.

Last year, Pupatella won another ABBIE for being named the best pizza place in Arlington, and also made the Washington Post’s list of “40 dishes Washingtonians shouldn’t live without in 2013.”

by ARLnow.com — October 30, 2014 at 5:30 pm 1,105 0

The eyes have it. A new art installation featuring interactive LED-lit eyes launched today at the final Ballston Farmers Market of the season.

The display is called “The Eyes of Ballston” and users interact with it through their mobile device. The concept is that five characters live in the tree in the middle of Welburn Square — the baby, the grannie, the flirt, the grump and the raver — and they look at users through the interactive eyes.

Visitors stand near the tree and answer a character’s questions on their mobile device, to which the character responds via the eyes. The character will display different emotions depending on the user’s answer. They can perform numerous actions, including crying, winking and blowing a kiss. Each character has a circadian rhythm, so they’re not all awake and interacting with people at all hours of the day.

“I want them [users] to have fun and interact and enjoy public art, and understand that a great piece of public art is great for place-making and bringing people together,” said artist Lola Lombard, who came up with the eyes concept. “It’s showing them it’s OK to have a little fun. I like my artwork to always have a sense of humor and I think this does that.”

More than 3,000 LED lights, hundreds of feet of wiring, a metal structure and a Linux-based computer make up the project’s technical components.

“It’s really nice to make this stuff as art,” said Branden Hall, whose role focused on the electronic aspects of the art display. “It’s nice to make people smile, I really enjoy that.”

The display is part of the Ballston BID’s “Public Displays of Innovation” series, which also includes the lifeguard chairs placed throughout Ballston.

“We want to bring the amazing creativity and imagination of the people who live and work in Ballston to the street level,” said Ballston BID CEO Tina Leone. “We weren’t even sure at first if it could be done. I didn’t realize it was going to be this cool. It makes you stop to think about how you interact with your neighborhood.”

Sen. Tim Kaine showed up at the farmers market, campaigning for County Board candidate Alan Howze. He checked out the electronic eyes and said he likes the idea of having more public art in communities.

“Why not make communities beautiful?” Kaine said. “I think art, and it doesn’t have to be expensive, I think it makes people feel better about the place where they live.”

The interactive eyes will be in Welburn Square through November.

by Ethan Rothstein — October 29, 2014 at 3:45 pm 2,532 0

Lucky Pot, the Chinese and Thai restaurant in the new 1919 Clarendon Blvd building, is now open for business.

Lucky Pot opened last Thursday with its storefront on the Wilson Blvd side of the building, across the street from the Colonial Village condominiums. It’s owner Zhong Lin’s first restaurant after working in Chinese restaurants for more than 20 years, he said.

“I always liked to cook,” Lin said with a smile. “My friends were always very happy to come over to eat.”

In the first week of business, he’s sent out 12,000 menus to try to draw attention to his business, the second to open in the building, after a nail salon a few doors down.

The restaurant delivers and encourages online ordering (with a $15 minimum and $1 delivery charge). Lin said the Thai dishes, like Pad Thai and curry shrimp, are the most popular things on the menu, but he doesn’t have a specialty. “Everything’s good,” he said.

Lucky Pot opens at 11:00 a.m. Monday-Saturday and closes at 10:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It’s open from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sundays.

by ARLnow.com — October 29, 2014 at 11:40 am 2,142 0

(Updated at 1:10 p.m.) Bistro 360 quietly opened its doors two weeks ago for a soft opening, but word already has spread quickly.

Customers have trickled in to check out the new restaurant at 1800 Wilson Blvd, in the former Cafe Assorti space, while staff work to get operations running smoothly. The grand opening will be next Wednesday, November 5.

Long time Arlingtonian Art Hauptman owns the new restaurant, as well as Cassatt’s Kiwi Cafe on Lee Highway. He noted the Bistro 360 space combines three different settings: a gourmet market, a bistro for more elegant dining and a wine bar for casual drinks and snacks.

“We’re trying to build on the success of Cassatt’s, but in a different format,” Hauptman said. “We want to bring some of the best items from many of the world’s cuisines to Arlington, just as we brought the idea of a New Zealand style cafe 12 years ago. One of the basic ideas is that travel affects food and we want to show that as well.”

Art’s brother, Bob Hauptman, said the diverse menu emphasizes Art’s world travel and includes something for everyone, at a good value.

“We like to say we’re ‘world’s fare at your door.’ You have stuff from around the world right here,” Bob said. “We know it’s different and we think it will work.”

French-born chef Jacques Imperato is an Arlington resident and helped develop the seasonal menus.  The bistro menu includes items like Asian glazed duck, tuna tempura, Turkish pide and a lemongrass pork chop. The wine bar serves nibbles like tomato and cheese croquettes, bay scallops ceviche and Georgian cheese bread with egg. Cheese and charcuterie are available in both the bistro and wine bar, as well as the market. The market also will sell some of Bistro 360′s freshly baked breads and small dishes that can be taken home.

The restaurant should add lunch and brunch soon, but right now will focus on dinner. There will be outdoor seating in the spring. Bob noted management also is interested in the possibility of delivery down the road — both for food and wine.

“Come in and give us a try,” Bob said. “Come and enjoy!”

by Ethan Rothstein — October 23, 2014 at 11:00 am 1,215 0

Arlington resident Matthew LaMagna with Alex Trebek (photo courtesy Jeopardy Productions, Inc.) Arlington resident Matthew LaMagna, right, on Jeopardy (photo courtesy Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

A digital consultant in Arlington will be giving answers in the form of questions on national television tonight.

Matthew LaMagna will be on Jeopardy! tonight on WJLA (channel 7 for Comcast subscribers) at 7:30 p.m. LaMagna works as a data science and research manager for Targeted Victory, a campaign consultant firm.

On LaMagna’s company biography page, he claims to have “a near-encyclopedic memory of 80s and 90s song lyrics, which helps him to win numerous rounds of pub quiz throughout the Washington metropolitan area.” He’s a Georgetown graduate and a native of Freehold, N.J., almost 50 miles south of Hoboken.

LaMagna is far from the first Arlington resident to compete on Jeopardy! in recent years. One woman, Liz Murphy, advanced to the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions in 2010. Lawyer Melissa Jurgens competed on the game show last year.

Photos courtesy Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

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