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by Ethan Rothstein — May 8, 2015 at 3:00 pm 2,368 0

Sephora is coming soon to 2800 Clarendon Blvd Sephora is coming soon to 2800 Clarendon Blvd

Sephora, the national cosmetics and beauty products chain, is opening its new store in Clarendon next Friday.

The location will be in the 4,533-square-foot former Eastern Mountain Sports space in Market Common Clarendon, next to the Barnes and Noble.

The store will sell more than 13,000 beauty products from more than 200 brands, it announced in a press release. Anyone who buys more than $50 at the store will be able to get a free “mini-makeover” while they’re there.

There is still construction ongoing in front of the store, which is covered in black and white plywood, with the words “Sephora has arrived” painted on.

by ARLnow.com — May 7, 2015 at 9:55 am 9,232 0

Jamie Foxx at Don Tito in Clarendon Jamie Foxx with photographer Dixie D. Vereen at Spider Kelly's in Clarendon

Jamie Foxx, the “Django Unchained” star and R&B artist, was spotted hanging out at a couple Clarendon bars last night.

Foxx, who’s lately in the news for his uninspiring rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, spent several hours at Spider Kelly’s and Don Tito, we’re told.

At Spider Kelly’s, he enjoyed a game of pool with locals and took photos with fans, including local photographer Dixie D. Vereen (above). At Don Tito, he sampled the tacos and drinks and posed for a photo with the staff and fans.

Foxx was in town for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Hope Awards in D.C.

by Ethan Rothstein — May 6, 2015 at 11:30 am 2,179 0

Arlington’s dwindling frozen yogurt market will get a boost sometime soon: the Pinkberry in Clarendon appears set to reopen.

The shop closed this winter when its franchise owner, which operated a handful of Pinkberry locations in the D.C. area, filed for bankruptcy. It was put up for auction and has been laying dormant ever since, with the frozen yogurt machines, cups and furniture all in place on the inside.

Last month, the shop started to show signs of life. A “Now Hiring” sign was posted, announcing the shop was looking for workers and managers, and two signs on the doors were posted, saying simply “Swirling Soon!”

There’s no indication of when the shop will reopen, or if a new franchisee will own it or the California-based Pinkberry corporation. A message to the email address listed on the “now hiring” sign was not immediately returned.

by ARLnow.com — May 4, 2015 at 3:30 pm 16,380 0

2014 All American Bar Crawl in Clarendon (photo via Facebook/Project DC Events)The men’s lifestyle website Thrillist thinks Clarendon is chock full of bros.

Thrillist included Clarendon in its list of “America’s 12 Bro-iest Neighborhoods,” ranked No. 10.

Bros, defined by Urban Dictionary as “obnoxious partying males,” are supposedly attracted to Clarendon as a temporary place of residence right out of college.

From Thrillist:

So, you just graduated from Georgetown and got yourself a job where your boss isn’t also the guy sitting across from you at Thanksgiving dinner. Congrats. Now, where do you go to rock your Vineyard Vines, drink craft beer, and live with your college lacrosse teammate? Clarendon, of course, right across the river from DC in Virginia. It’s where all the fresh-outta-school bros show off the extra cash before moving to Manhattan work in finance and be closer to family in Connecticut.

Ranking higher than Arlington on Thrillist’s bro scale are neighborhoods like Murray Hill in New York City (No. 1), Uptown in Dallas (No. 2), Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, Calif. (No. 3), Wrigleyville in Chicago (No. 4) and Capitol Hill in Seattle (No. 5).

Photo via Facebook/Project DC Events

by Ethan Rothstein — April 28, 2015 at 3:05 pm 4,779 0

S.H. “Doc” Friedman is a man of few words and less nostalgia. The 82-year-old pragmatist will be closing Public Shoe Store in Clarendon sometime this summer, closing the doors on one of the oldest businesses in Arlington.

Will “Doc,” a former podiatrist, miss the store that’s been a part of his life since he was five years old?

“No. It’s just a matter of time marching on,” he said. “Nothing stays the same.”

Friedman’s father, Sam, opened the business in 1938 across Wilson Blvd from N. Hudson Street, before the building was taken over to build the Clarendon Metro station in the late 1970s.

Friedman doesn’t remember exactly when his father’s store had to move, but when it did, it replaced a cadre of six Vietnamese businesses occupying the less-than-5,000-square-foot space. Before that, it had been a Kay Jewelers; Friedman still has the sign, well-preserved hanging over the stairs that lead to the basement.

When the store moved across the street, Friedman was still working as a podiatrist, with an office just a few blocks away. But when his father could no longer work in the store, he took it over. Doc had been working as a podiatrist in the neighborhood.

When asked where specifically his office was, he shrugged and replied “I don’t remember that far back.”

But keepsakes around the store provide more clues about its, and Doc’s, past. Friedman has photos from the original shop the year it opened, with employees dressed in suits and the shelves immaculately organized. He brings out a picture of his father, standing proudly in front of a Cadillac he won, pointing out that the car was the inspiration for a jingle his wife wrote for the store, long ago.

His memory extends to the surrounding community. Few, if any, are as familiar with the changes in Clarendon over the last three-quarters of a century. At one point, when it was considered the “Downtown of Northern Virginia,” there were a half-dozen shoe stores in the area, he said.

Public Shoe Store is the only one left standing, and soon it will be gone.

“That’s one stage in life,” he said. “But things change.”

Before the Metro came in, the area was known as “Little Saigon.” Now, as the years have gone on, Clarendon has transitioned again to the food and nightlife hotspot it is now.

“It just changed from clothing-type stores and furniture-type stores to alcohol,” he said. “There’s a bunch of restaurants because kids around here don’t cook, and they go out to eat, and they all have money.”

He doesn’t know what the storefront will become next. He owns the building and is working with a real estate agent to lease the space. He assumes a restaurant is likely, but doesn’t have a preference as long as it’s someone “who looks like they’ll stay and not give any trouble.”

Next door, the owner of Kabob Bazaar, Mohammed Kafi, said that’s exactly the type of neighbor Friedman has been for the 20-odd years he’s owned his restaurant.

“He’s a very nice gentleman, never had any problems with him,” Kafi said. “It’s been very nice knowing him. Once he’s gone, he’ll be missed.”

Friedman has children and several grandchildren, but none of them wanted to take up the mantle of Public Shoe Store the way he did from his father. His children are all at or near retirement, and the next generation are aspiring teachers and scientists.

“They don’t seem to be interested in it,” he said. “Kids today are into different things, it’s a different world.”

Although his loyal customers will miss coming into the shop and seeing him every day, shuffling deliberately across the store and trying his hardest to find the perfect shoe for each foot problem, he hasn’t thought much about what his next step will look like.

First, he said: tending to his Lyon Village home, which is just a few minutes ride from the store via his motorized red scooter.

“I’m going to clean out all my junk,” he said. He smiles when he’s asked what he’ll miss most about the store, and said only, “I don’t know yet.”

by Ethan Rothstein — April 28, 2015 at 12:45 pm 1,586 0

Neighborhood Day: Fairlington DayNeighborhood Day, when many neighborhoods around the county hold celebrations of their little pocket of Arlington, is May 9 this year.

Next Saturday, neighborhoods like Clarendon, Bluemont, Westover and Barcroft are each holding events intended to bring neighbors together and celebrate their immediate surrounding area.

In Clarendon, county officials will gather to celebrate the now-upscale neighborhood’s time in the post-Vietnam War 1970s and 1980s when it was known as “Little Saigon” for its high population of Vietnamese immigrants. At 1:30 p.m., former Little Saigon residents and historians will narrate a tour of the area, displaying historic and still-standing businesses from the era.

The whole event, called Echoes of Little Saigon will run from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., and will include displays of Vietnamese art and Lemongrass food truck, a frequent Arlington visitor during lunch hours, will provide the country’s cuisine.

Below is a list of the neighborhood day events from other areas of the county, via the Department of Parks and Recreation (all events are on Saturday, May 9).

  • Bluemont: Bluemont Park (601 N. Manchester Street), 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The annual Walk for the Animals fundraiser for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington is back for Neighborhood Day. The 20th anniversary walk has already raised more than $50,000, and this year will include its first “pet festival.” The festival will include vendors, food trucks, photos with pets, adoptable shelter dogs available to play and more.
  • Westover: Westover Branch Library (1644 N. McKinley Road), 3:00-5:00 p.m. A “family fun afternoon” with activities that include face painting.
  • Penrose: Penrose Park (2200 6th Street S), 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The south Arlington is hosting “Family Fitness day,” holding activities for nutritional and fitness awareness, a moon bounce and fitness classes for all ages.
  • Yorktown: Chestnut Hills Park (2807 N. Harrison Street), 11:30 a.m. Celebrate the ribbon-cutting on the renovated playground with neighbors. FitArlington will be on hand promoting its new website and fitness initiative. Children can participate in the free scavenger hunt for prizes.
  • Barcroft: Barcroft Elementary School (625 S. Wakefield Street), 4:00-6:00 p.m. The Barcroft Elementary Spring Fair is intended to be an early evening of pure fun, with activities likea bounce house, games and a cake walk, all for prizes.
  • Old Glebe: Gulf Branch Nature Center (3608 N. Military Road), 10:00-11:30 a.m. The north Arlington nature center will join the neighborhood to “welcome back hummingbirds.” Each family will make its own feeders as the birds with the fastest wings in the world migrate back to the county. Register online.
  • Glencarlyn: Long Branch Nature Center (625 S. Carlin Springs Road), 7:00-8:00 p.m. The nature center will host families in the amphitheater for a campfire discussion about snakes. Games, songs and s’mores will all be in abundance.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — April 28, 2015 at 10:05 am 4,178 0

Police car (file photo)A man was bleeding from the head and another lost a tooth after a large fight erupted outside Bronx Pizza in Clarendon over the weekend.

The brawl started around 1:45 a.m. early Sunday morning, in front of 3100 Clarendon Blvd. Police say one of the victims was just trying to stop the violence.

“A male victim sustained a laceration to the head and a second victim sustained a broken tooth when he tried to break the fight up,” according to the Arlington County crime report. “The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 5’9″ to 6’2″, wearing blue jeans and a white button down shirt. He fled prior to police arrival.”

File photo

by Ethan Rothstein — April 22, 2015 at 2:00 pm 730 0

Air Force Cycling Classic Crystal CupThe D.C. region’s biggest cycling race is coming back to Arlington for its 18th running next month.

The Air Force Association Cycling Classic will take place in Clarendon and Crystal City over the weekend of June 13 and. The event will have several races, inviting cyclists of all ages and skill levels to participate in the event most appropriate for them.

The premier race of the weekend is Saturday’s Clarendon Cup, a pro/am race that will take riders up and down Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards in the heart of the neighborhood. That race is part of the National Criterium Calendar, a 13-race tour organized by USA Cycling.

Sunday morning, the Challenge Ride — a 15-kilometer jaunt up Route 110 and around the Pentagon, Air Force Memorial and Crystal City — will kick off, allowing anyone to register and compete.

During the Challenge Ride, staffs from congressional representatives will be invited to compete as teams, racing for their party. There are also races for kids, competitive amateurs and opportunities to compete as corporate teams. The Challenge Ride costs $60 to participate, with a $10 discount for active, reserve and retired military members.

Sunday afternoon, the event will conclude with the Crystal Cup, another National Criterium Calendar race, that will take riders along Jefferson-Davis Highway and Crystal Drive in Crystal City.

File photo

by Ethan Rothstein — April 21, 2015 at 4:15 pm 9,516 0

Jay's Saloon & Grille in ClarendonIn less than a month, Jay’s Saloon in Clarendon will join the long list of Arlington dive bars forced to close to make way for new development.

The last day of Jay’s will be May 18, after which the building will be demolished and replaced with a mixed-use development called 10th Street Flats. The building will have 135 residential units, 3,660 square feet of retail, almost 5,000 square feet of office space and nine live/work units.

Two days before it closes, on May 16, Jay’s (3114 10th Street N.) will host an auction for the multitudes of memorabilia that have adorned the walls, in growing numbers, since the watering hole opened in 1993. Among the possible auction items: a sign that says “Our house wine is Jagermeister.”

Jay’s co-owner Kathi Moore wasn’t at the bar when ARLnow.com visited this afternoon, and the manager working said the date of the auction might change. But regular patrons know Jay’s hasn’t changed much in 22 years, still serving $8 pitchers of beer during happy hour and some of the cheapest food in Clarendon.

“You don’t get good food for this price around here anymore,” the manager, Sally, told ARLnow.com. “Everybody’s going to miss us.”

The most sought-after item in the saloon, Moore told us last summer, is the naked woman painting that hangs over the bar. Despite the amount of money that would go for in a customer auction, Moore said it’s not for sale.

File photo. Hat tip to John Fontain.

by Ethan Rothstein — April 21, 2015 at 2:10 pm 2,764 0

Northside Social in Clarendon(Updated at 2:20 p.m.) Three years after the Fedorchak brothers, Stephen and Mark, opened The Liberty Tavern in Clarendon, they were working to open two new businesses within, they hoped, “six months to a year of one another.”

But, as is common in the restaurant industry, the opening dates changed, and the timetables of the coffee shop and brasserie the Fedorchaks were trying to open kept lining up more and more.

“I remember when it happened, it was like a freight train coming down the tracks,” Stephen Fedorchak told ARLnow.com last week. “We thought ‘these things are going to open within days of each other.’ We’re proud that we pulled it off, but we wouldn’t necessarily try to do it like that again.”

Five years ago this month, Northside Social, the coffee house and wine bar, and Lyon Hall, the brasserie, opened seven days apart. Combined with Liberty, they give the Fedorchaks and their partner, Brian Normile, a trifecta of staples in the Clarendon restaurant scene.

“They really are anchors in the Clarendon community,” Matt Hussmann, the executive director of Clarendon Alliance, said. “The three restaurants they have, each are distinctive, they fit in really well with the community.”

That’s not a surprise, since the owners of three of Clarendon’s most celebrated restaurants all live in the neighborhood. They’ve seen it grow, seen it change, and they have had hands in both.

Before Northside Social Coffee and Wine opened, the distinctive red building at the intersection of Washington, Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards was home to Murky Coffee, where Fedorchak said his team “must have met 100 times” when discussing their burgeoning business. When Murky was closing and the space opened up, they felt they had to jump on it.

“It has a legacy of not only a coffee shop but a community gathering place, and the building itself has been a community gathering place for 100 years,” he said. “We wanted to offer a place where you could visit every day if you wanted to. We liked the idea of something versatile, open a lot of hours, and the idea of an old-fashioned coffee house vibe with a cultural center feel to it.”

To ensure business from sunrise to sunset, they installed a wine bar on the second floor, and the idea clicked. “The business has been busy since day one,” Fedorchak said. They also expanded the outdoor patio, which rarely has an empty seat on sunny days, and the food menu, a tricky feat considering the building’s historic status precludes the owners from installing some industrial kitchen equipment.

The building is part of the secret sauce that makes Northside unique. Fedorchak said people ask him all the time if a second Northside Social is in the works somewhere.

“I tell them, ‘when we can find a space we like as much as this one,'” he said. “Between the two floors and the outside capacity, it’s awesome. The visibility is unparalleled, there’s great sunshine, the upstairs during the day is quieter; it allows us to have a variety of ambiences.”

Lyon HallWhile the Northside Social opportunity opened up, Lyon Hall (3100 Washington Blvd) was the product of the ownership team seeking out a new venture.

“We thought it would provide some diversity to what’s out there,” Fedorchak said. The French-style brasserie — with some German influences — serves dishes like a Bohemian sausage platter. It provided variety to a Clarendon restaurant scene which at the time was experiencing an influx of frozen yogurt and pizza restaurants.

“Lyon Hall has been a lot of fun for us because the business continues to improve every year,” Fedorchak said. “It’s kind of worked for us, because it is perceived as distinctive. People wouldn’t normally go to a German restaurant, but we tried to offer a fun bar, we have happy hour there seven days a week, we really love the patio. It worked out great.”

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — April 21, 2015 at 9:15 am 3,213 0

Lightning over Rosslyn (Flickr pool photo by J. Peterson)

Australian Restaurant Coming to Clarendon — Oz, a new Australian restaurant, will be opening in the former La Tagliatella space in Clarendon late this summer. The restaurant is owned by Australian native Michael Darby, co-founder of Monument Realty, and his wife Ashley Darby, the 2011 Miss District of Columbia winner. [Washington Business Journal]

New Ballston Apartment Project in the Works — Saul Centers, which developed the Clarendon Center project, is planning a new residential and retail development on the Orange Line. The developer is in the early stages of proposing a 12-story, 431-unit apartment building to replace the Rosenthal Mazda dealership at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Wilson Blvd. [Washington Business Journal]

Parking Lot Hit-and-Run Case in Court — A court hearing was held Monday for Alexandra Mendez, the woman accused of running over a man in a Columbia Pike parking lot and then fleeing the scene. Prosecutors showed the court a cell phone video of the incident, which nearly killed 40-year-old Noormustafa “Noor” Shaikh. A doctor testified that Shaikh’s “bones were like shards” after being run over by Mendez in her SUV. [WJLA]

Arlington Highly Ranked by AARP — Arlington County is the 6th most livable place in the U.S. with a population between 100,000 and 500,000, according to a new survey by AARP. Also in the AARP survey, Arlington ranked No. 1 in the “Best Cities for Staying Healthy” category, thanks to an abundance of exercise opportunities. The survey targeted Americans age 50 and older. [WTOP]

VHC and County Considering Land Swap — Virginia Hospital Center and Arlington County have started discussing a possible land swap. The swap would trade soon-to-be-vacated county properties adjacent to the hospital — which would allow VHC to expand — for hospital property elsewhere in the county. Virginia Hospital Center, meanwhile, is getting kudos from the federal government. According to new hospital rankings from Medicare, VHC is the only “four star” hospital in the D.C. area. [InsideNova, Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by J. Peterson

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — April 15, 2015 at 5:00 am 1,442 0

The 3rd Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts returns with an explosion of color, an abundance of talent and a myriad of artistic media.

This two-day art show, produced by Howard Alan Events and hosted by the Clarendon Alliance, features the finest artists from around the country including exceptional local talent, as well as new and emerging artists.

Bold and vibrant paintings, contemporary and whimsical art, life-size sculptures, photography and jewelry are among the many original works of art that will be on display and for sale, transforming Highland Street in Clarendon, into an outdoor eclectic art gallery. A free art giveaway will feature the work of award-winning artist Joyce Stratton, www.joycestratton.com. No purchase will be necessary to register for the giveaway.

The artists are juried by an independent panel of expert judges and hand-selected from hundreds of applicants based on quality and diversity. All of the artwork is original and handmade. “We have a very selective jury process and choose only the finest artists providing festival-goers with an extraordinary experience,” says festival promoter Howard Alan.

All of the artists will be on site for the duration of the show and festival patrons are encouraged to engage the artists as they explore the exhibits. The prices are set to suit all budgets and will range from as low as $25 up to $30,000. The wide array of art will appeal to collectors and art enthusiasts as well as those looking for unique and affordable gift items.

“You have the opportunity to meet many different artists in one location and personally connect with them before purchasing a piece, which makes the investment much more meaningful,” assures Alan.

The artists, local merchants, restaurants and hotels all benefit from the festival, which drives additional guests and dollars to the community.  Howard Alan advocates the importance of supporting the arts and artists because this in turn helps the community.  He believes we can make a difference that will positively impact the local economy.   “We need to invest in each other, investing in our artists and our community will help to fuel the economy,” adds Alan.

Howard Alan Events develops and produces some of the nation’s finest juried art shows in more than 40 venues each year, many are ranked among the top 100 art fairs in the country by Sunshine Artist magazine.  These shows, which attract locals and tourists alike, include the Alexandria King Street Art Festival (Alexandria, VA), the Downtown Aspen Art Festival (Aspen, CO), the Beaver Creek Art Festival (Beaver Creek, CO), and the Las Olas Art Fairs, (Fort Lauderdale, FL).

The 3rd Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts runs Saturday and Sunday, April 18-19, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm each day, admission is free.  The artists will be set up along Washington Boulevard, Clarendon Boulevard and N. Highland Street.  For additional information about the 3rd Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts and other Howard Alan Events shows across the country, visit www.artfestival.com or call 561-746-6615.

The preceding post was sponsored by Howard Alan Events

by ARLnow.com — April 10, 2015 at 9:40 am 3,063 0

Pentagon City office building at dusk

Arlington Ranks High for Tax Burden — Arlington County has the second highest overall tax burden in the nation, according to stats compiled by the website NerdWallet. Arlington’s high median income and high real estate costs factored heavily in the calculation, which includes federal, state and local taxes. [NerdWallet, Washington Business Journal]

Trevor Noah Performs in Arlington — Comedian Trevor Noah performed his first stand-up comedy show since being named the next host of The Daily Show last night in Arlington. It was the first of seven sold-out shows Noah is performing this weekend at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse. In writing about the performance, the New York Times described the Drafthouse as “about a half-hour drive outside Washington, with drinks far cheaper than most places in the District.” [New York Times]

Amsterdam Falafelshop Offers Pot PairingsAmsterdam Falafelshop, which has a location in Clarendon, is offering a “pot pairing menu” in time for 4/20. Also on April 20, the restaurant will offer sandwiches for $4.20. [Washington City Paper]

Arlington Resident in Voice Contest — Tara Cannon, an Arlington resident, is among the singers hoping to get a guaranteed audition for The Voice, via an online voting contest on NBC 4’s website. [NBC Washington]

Fairlington 5K Road Closures — Arlington County Police are planning on shutting down a number of roads Saturday morning for the second annual Fairlington 5K race. The roads are expected to be closed between 7:00 and 9:30 a.m. [Arlington County]

Cherry Blossom Race Closures — Police are planning on closing the Memorial Bridge and Memorial Circle to traffic Sunday morning for the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K. The closure is scheduled to be in place from 5:00 to 11:00 a.m.

by Ethan Rothstein — April 7, 2015 at 11:45 am 1,521 0

Stand With Rand karaoke poster (image via Facebook)Tonight, O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub, at 3207 Washington Blvd in Clarendon, will be the flagship bar for a nationwide karaoke event heralding a just-announced presidential candidate.

#LibertyKaraoke has been celebrating Republican candidates for years in Arlingotn and growing steadily. Tonight’s weekly event coincides with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)’s announcement that he is running for president.

The event is free, but a donation to Paul’s campaign is encouraged. More than 250 people have RSVP-ed so far.

What started as an Arlington-only event, founded by Arlington-Falls Church Young Republicans Chairman Matthew Hurtt, has exploded nationwide. Tonight, there will be more than 60 events across the country, from Vermont to Minnesota to Texas, all free, all karaoke to raise money for the Libertarian-leaning candidate.

Hurtt told the Washington Post that a “special guest” could make an appearance at #LibertyKaraoke Manchester, N.H., implying the senator himself might grab the mic. At previous karaoke fundraisers at O’Sullivan’s, Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) have stopped by.

Image via Facebook

by Ethan Rothstein — April 6, 2015 at 1:15 pm 8,653 0

"Let's Not Do Flip-Flops" sign in Clarendon "Let's Not Do Flip-Flops" sign in Clarendon

Arlington residents have long been teased for their summer footwear fashion sense, but an anonymous, self-appointed member of the fashion police is hoping to change that.

A sign posted on N. Highland Street in front of Delhi Club implores passersby “This year let’s not do flip flops,” and it is signed, ungrammatically: “Thank you, an arlington county services message.”

So far, there is no indication of who posted the sign.

Fashion, however, might not be the only beneficiary of an anti-flip-flop trend; there could be health benefits as well. The flip-flops that can be seen adorning the feet and exposing the toes of many Arlington men and women as soon as the weather gets warm could actually be safety risks.

National Flip-Flop Day is June 19 this year. A smoothie cafe in Virginia Square annually gives everyone wearing flip-flops a free smoothie to celebrate the holiday.

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