Think of the concept of Datesocial as a group date for the digital age. Singles (and their friends) can sign up for one of the events online and then show up at the designated event for an in-person experience.
Co-founder and CEO Ian Lang explained that 20 men and 20 women can participate in each event, and they are split into groups of four. The groups are each paired up for 12 minutes at a time — we’re told that’s long enough to make an impression, but not so long as to make things awkward. At the end, participants turn in a list of up to five people they’d like to see again. If there’s a mutual match, Datesocial will re-introduce them via email within 24 hours.
“Basically, we’re taking that great experience at a bar that happens when you and a group of your friends meets a group of guys/girls, and making it a little more focused, safer and comfortable for everyone involved,” Lang said.
Lang is a senior columnist for AskMen.com and stumbled upon the idea while doing research about dating trends.
“It was clear based on the success of sites like Grouper that the next big thing in ‘online dating’ wasn’t online at all, but rather using the web to facilitate real life interactions,” said Lang. “One night, my wife and I were having drinks outside at Toscana Grill [in Courthouse], and there was a speed dating event next door at Velocity 5. It seemed kind of awkward, and at first we joked about how we could do better. Eventually, we stopped joking, and about a month later Datesocial was born, with my wife Ashley and I as the founders.”
The first Datesocial event in Arlington will take place this Friday, June 21, at Velocity 5 (2300 Clarendon Blvd). Anyone interested in participating can sign up online. Registration is $5.
ARLnow.com contacted the Department of Environmental Services regarding the section of N. Veitch Street between Clarendon Blvd and Wilson Blvd.
The street does not have a yellow divider line and on numerous occasions, it has created confusion over which lanes belong to southbound drivers and which belong to northbound drivers. Some drivers even believe it may be a one way street.
According to DES spokeswoman Jennifer Heilman, the lane that is closest to the bike lane and bordered by the solid white line is for southbound drivers heading straight. The one directly next to it is for northbound vehicles turning west onto Wilson, and the final lane is for northbound traffic traveling straight.
Now that the county is aware of the confusion, we’re told a white arrow will be painted on the street in the lone southbound lane to reinforce the direction of travel. The intersection will remain without a yellow line because that could actually cause even more confusion for drivers based on where it would be placed, Heilman said.
“The reason there is no yellow line is because first of all, it technically would not be in the middle of the intersection,” said Heilman. “If you put in a yellow line, drivers would be crossing over the line into the middle of the turn lane.”
Heilman admitted that this is indeed a tricky area for drivers to navigate.
“It’s a very oddly shaped intersection, is what it comes down to,” she said.
Because the need for the new painted arrow was just discovered today, a formal request still has to be made and there is no set time for when drivers should expect to see it added.
Photo via Google Maps
(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) An Arlington Transit bus suffered an apparent brake malfunction and rolled down a steep hill on N. Barton Street this morning, coming to a stop half-way down the hill after it ran into a car.
The crash closed N. Barton Street between Fairfax Drive and 14th Street N. in the Courthouse area for more than an hour, as a heavy-duty tow truck was brought in to haul away the bus.
According the driver of one of the vehicles damaged in the crash, the natural gas-powered ART 45 bus started rolling back toward Fairfax Drive as it neared the crest of the hill. It rolled at least 10 feet before slamming into a black Lexus, which in turn rolled back into a Volkswagen minivan and a Reston Limousine bus.
The driver of the Lexus was transported to the hospital for evaluation, we’re told. The driver of the ART bus was shaken but not hurt. So far, no other injuries have been reported.
The crash may have prevented an even more catastrophic incident; had the other vehicles not stopped it, the bus could have gained speed as it rolled all the way down the steep hill.
Arlington County said late Monday afternoon that the bus “experienced a braking systems failure” and that it would pull three all three natural gas-powered ART buses from service while it investigates the cause of the malfunction. The county press release about the wreck, after the jump.
Courthouse restaurant Toscana Grill is giving away free food tonight (Wednesday) before closing for emergency renovations.
On Friday, the Italian restaurant suffered a busted pipe that left three inches of water on the floor. Owner Joe Smith says the restaurant will have to close until mid-June for renovations, including a new dining room floor, new ceiling and new paint.
Not content to let the remaining food in the kitchen go to waste, Smith says he and his staff will be cooking it up and giving it away for free tonight. The free food giveaway will take place from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
“We will be giving away everything on the menu,” Smith told ARLnow.com via email. “One dish per person, to go only (but there is a patio to enjoy).”
There will also be tip jars set up for the restaurant’s staff. Smith said he’s hopeful that insurance will pay their wages while the restaurant is closed.
Toscana Grill will celebrate its second anniversary under current ownership in mid-July. The restaurant is located in the courtyard area of Courthouse Metro Plaza (2300 Clarendon Blvd).
Photo courtesy Joe Smith
An Arlington resident is in the running to become the next Miss USA.
Shannon McAnally, who lives in Courthouse, is the reigning Miss Virginia USA and will compete for the national title live on NBC on Sunday, June 16.
Though she will be representing Virginia, McAnnally is actually a native Texan. She moved to Arlington just over a year ago to help her family expand its construction business to Virginia.
The company, MCC and Associates, specializes in restaurant construction and renovation. McAnally is the company’s marketing director and a licensed contractor — the latter being an exceedingly rare accreditation for a young beauty pageant contestant.
“It is very unique… I don’t know many women my age who are involved in the commercial construction industry,” she said. McAnally noted, however, that the Miss USA pageant has featured women who are attorneys and doctors.
“That’s one of the misconceptions you find in beauty pageants, is that you think it’s just about being a pretty face, when it has more to due with the substance of a person,” she said. She said her involvement in pageants started as a fun hobby, but grew into a serious goal and drive to become Miss USA.
McAnally said she picked Arlington and the Courthouse neighborhood as her home above every other locality in Virginia because of the county’s urban amenities, which for made an easier transition from her hometown of Dallas.
“Everything is so convenient,” she said. “You can walk to restaurants and stores, it’s just a perfect area to live in.”
McAnally says she’s an appreciator of museums, dining out, shopping, and music. Her favorite shopping destinations are Georgetown and Tysons Corner, but she can often be spotted at the Courthouse farmers market on Saturday mornings, or two favorite Clarendon food destinations: Whole Foods and Circa restaurant.
Just don’t expect to see her out much between now and June 16. McAnally says she’s been busy training for the pageant, working with walking coaches, interview coaches and other advisers. A vegetarian, McAnally has also been eating extra healthy and “exercising like crazy,” so she can be in top shape for the swimsuit competition.
If you do see McAnally out and about, it may be as she tours the Commonwealth in her role as Miss Virginia USA. She has been able to crisscross the state in style, thanks to the silver 2013 Mercedes Benz C250 that she received as part of her statewide pageant win this past November.
The Office Depot at 1515 N. Courthouse Road is closing next month.
Signs and flyers inside the Courthouse store say it will close its doors on June 29. Customers are being encouraged to instead shop at the Alexandria store at 6211 N. Kings Highway or the Falls Church store at 3536 S. Jefferson Drive.
Flyers being handed out by employees offer a $10 discount on purchases of $50 or more at the Alexandria or Falls Church stores. Those who need office supplies in Arlington also have the option of going to the Staples store at 3804 Wilson Blvd in Virginia Square.
Employees told us they’re not sure what will be replacing Office Depot once it closes.
Hat tip to Rob Stern
The new Sweet Leaf Cafe in Courthouse quietly opened its doors this past weekend and handed out free food to customers who stopped in. Now, the restaurant is officially open for business.
Sweet Leaf Cafe moved in at 2200 Wilson Blvd, formerly occupied by Hikaru Sushi. It is the third location, with others in McLean and Vienna. Owner Arita Matini said she’s been wanting to expand into Arlington for a while.
“I love the young environment here, it’s so refreshing,” she said.
Matini believes the cafe stands out because it doesn’t specialize in just one food item. Customers can pick up a little bit of everything, including sandwiches, smoothies, coffee or all day breakfast items. There is also a kids menu and a variety of freshly baked treats.
“We try to do a little bit of everything but also try to keep it simple. We care about providing really good quality food and being part of the community,” said Matini. “Customer service is really big for me. I want to be sure that everyone who comes in is really happy when they leave.”
Matini grew up in Northern Virginia and was an interior design major at Marymount University. She was inspired to get into the restaurant business during her commute to and from Marymount because she felt there were too many chain restaurants in the area. She sought help from her mom, who owns Sweet Stuff in McLean. Matini says all the members of her family now play some role at Sweet Leaf Cafe.
“It wasn’t really something that we thought we were going to do, it was one of those things that kind of just happened. We all loved it and it was successful and we wanted to open another one,” said Matini. “My parents definitely helped me out. Without them, this probably wouldn’t have happened.”
From the couches in the lounge area to the doorknobs functioning as coat hooks to the pieces of an old chicken coop serving as a holder for bags of chips, Matini’s interior design education shows through. She travels around the area searching for unique antiques to adorn the restaurant. She describes the vibe as “farm fresh, country, like your mother’s home.” The free sunflower seeds placed on the table for customers to munch on also add to the country feel.
If things go well with the new location, Matini would like to expand into other areas of Arlington, such as Rosslyn. She hopes to have a grand opening celebration in a few weeks. Until then, the staff will continue serving the curious customers who have been steadily coming in.
“It’s been a good welcome to the neighborhood,” said Matini. “Everybody’s been really nice and welcoming.”
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea (ROK) has offered Arlington County the use of prime land in the Courthouse area at no cost. The County Board is scheduled to vote on the lease agreement at its meeting this Saturday, May 18.
The two parcels of vacant land run along Clarendon Blvd, between N. Adams Street and N. Barton Street. The ROK Arlington Embassy Annex building lies adjacent to the land, but faces Wilson Blvd. The land parcels up for grabs currently house nothing but fenced asphalt and gravel lots.
The embassy reports that the space is only used a few times each year during large meetings. It decided to offer the land to the county as a goodwill gesture.
Terms of the lease would allow the county to use the land free of rent as long as it maintains the parcels. The county may use the property for any legal use, provided it notifies the embassy prior to changing the land use. Any permanent improvements on the land would first require consent from the embassy.
The lease agreement would be in effect for a minimum of two years and would continue until terminated by one of the parties. The county staff report indicates maintenance costs associated with the lease would be minimal and no significant fiscal impact is expected.
Although the county staff report recommends the Board approves the deal, so far no firm plan has been developed for the future of the land. The county’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development (CPHD) performed a preliminary land analysis and came up with some potential uses and improvements to the property. CPHD is prepared to solicit public input on possible uses for the site.
Law enforcement personnel from Arlington, neighboring jurisdictions and locales as far away as London gathered outside the Arlington County courthouse this morning for the county’s annual observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day.
Among those speaking at the ceremony were Police Chief Doug Scott, Sheriff Beth Arthur and County Board Chairman Walter Tejada. The ceremony honored the six Arlington officers who have been killed in the line of duty since 1935.
“Losing even one officer is too many,” said Chief Scott. Those who fell while in the service of Arlington County are:
- Special Police Officer Louis Shaw, killed on Dec. 6, 1935 when his vehicle was struck by a fuel tanker and burst into flames. A prisoner in the vehicle was also killed.
- Detective Russell Pettie, shot and killed on Jan. 20, 1954 while executing a search warrant.
- Officer Arthur Chorovich, fatally injured on Dec. 5, 1964 when his police motorcycle was struck by a vehicle.
- Officer Israel Gonzalez, shot and killed on Oct. 25, 1972 during a bank robbery in Crystal City.
- Officer George Pomraning, Jr., shot and killed on Sept. 2, 1973 while transporting a prisoner. The prisoner pulled a gun out of his boot while in the backseat of a police car and shot Pomraning several times.
- Officer John Buckley, shot and killed on April 15, 1977 during a bank robbery.
Also recognized were law enforcement officers who have died outside the line of duty over the past year.
The ceremony, part of National Police Week, included bagpipe music and the playing of Taps. The 1400 block of N. Courthouse Road was closed to traffic during the ceremony.
The incident happened at 2:52 p.m., when the man intentionally climbed down to the tracks and stood there, about 15 seconds prior to a train entering the station, according to WMATA spokesman Dan Stessel.
“The train operator saw the man and stopped the train in time,” Stessel told ARLnow.com. “Third rail power was taken down, and the man climbed back onto the platform under the supervision of the train operator and the station manager.”
“The man was not injured,” Stessel continued. “He was transported to the hospital for a psychological evaluation.”
Orange Line delays from the incident have since been cleared, according to WMATA.
Photo via @mikekap3
The victim was walking the dog on the 2400 block of 11th Street N., in Courthouse, when her ex-boyfriend approached her and began an argument, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The man then allegedly choked the victim and ran off with her Chihuahua. He was arrested when he tried to give the dog back.
“He came back to the scene to return the dog and was greeted by Arlington County police,” Sternbeck said.
Jonathan Jimenez, 24, was arrested and charged with strangulation, attempted malicious wounding, grand larceny, and domestic assault and battery. He was held without bond.
File photo via Paul Komarek/Wikipedia
It’s been closed for the past 15 months, but Potomac CrossFit is reopening this weekend at its new location in Courthouse.
Last year, Potomac CrossFit at 1039 N. Highland Street in Clarendon closed, along with nearby businesses, to make way for a new development that’s currently under construction. Tomorrow, the gym will hold a grand reopening celebration at its new home at 1320 N. Courthouse Road.
With more than 8,000 square feet, the Courthouse location offers more than double the space of the previous site. Employees at the new location also boast of shower facilities, new equipment and a revamped class schedule.
Everyone is welcome to stop by for a free class tomorrow (Saturday) at 10:30 a.m. No CrossFit experience is necessary. Immediately following the class, the grand reopening celebration will kick off at 11:30 a.m. Visitors can check out the facility, meet instructors and enjoy food and drinks.
The incident took place in broad daylight, at 12:35 p.m. yesterday (April 23), on the same block as Arlington County Police headquarters and the Arlington County jail.
From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
ATTEMPTED ROBBERY, 04/23/13, 1400 block of N. Courthouse Road. At 12:35 pm on April 23, a subject asked a victim for money. The victim stated that he did not have any money and walked away. The suspect then chased the victim and struck him several times in the face. Diavonte Dejean Barlow, 19, of Alexandria, VA was arrested and charged with attempted robbery and assault and battery.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
The stations will close beginning today at 10:00 p.m. and running through closing on Sunday. The closures allow for track circuit replacement, which is a safety measure recommended by the NTSB.
Trains will operate every 15 minutes in two segments: between Vienna and Virginia Square, and between Rosslyn and New Carrollton. There will be free shuttle buses to take passengers between stops from Virginia Square to Rosslyn. Customers using the shuttles should add 15 minutes to their travel time.
To allow for shuttle bus connections, the last train from Vienna to Virginia Square will depart 31 minutes earlier than normal on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The train will leave Vienna at 2:05 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 11:05 p.m. on Sunday.
Riders on the Blue and Yellow lines should also expect delays. Trains will be single tracking between Braddock Road and Pentagon City due to maintenance such as rail tie, fastener and insulator renewal. Blue and Yellow trains will operate every 30 minutes.
The New Orleans Jazz Festival begins next week and that’s often considered the beginning of crawfish season. Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road) is holding an event featuring the crustaceans this weekend to kick off the season.
The restaurant is kicking off its Third Annual Crawfish Boil series this Saturday, April 20. A spokeswoman for Bayou Bakery noted that chef David Guas is a Louisisana native and has been cooking crawfish “practically since he was in diapers.”
Visitors can purchase boiled crawfish and peel-and-eat shrimp by the pound, along with sides like corn on the cob. Beer specials will also be available. The event is first-come, first-served, and customers may call in to make sure there is still crawfish available.
The patio party begins at 5:00 p.m. and a New Orleans-style jazz quartet will begin playing at 5:30 p.m. It will wrap up around 7:30 p.m. The crawfish boils are scheduled for every Saturday through crawfish season, which typically ends in early June.