(Updated at 6:00 p.m) A walk-in studio art facility for veterans and active-duty service members plans to open Oct. 15 in Crystal City.
Alexandria-based The 296 Project launched a Kickstarter on July 24 with a $30,000 goal to fund the 1,100-square-foot space, which it calls “A Combat Veteran’s Healing Place.” The studio will be located in a retail space at the Shops at 2100 Crystal Drive.
Kickstarter proceeds will go toward renovation materials, art supplies and equipment for the facility, which will cater to service members with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a press release.
“When the suffering is so strong words can barely describe it, when no one understands, when there’s no support system, this new facility allows our men and women in uniform to tell their stories with a paintbrush, clay, pen and pencil, chalk, through music, digital design, 3D design, spoken word or through poetry,” Scott Gordon, executive director of The 296 Project, told ARLnow.com in an email.
The project plans to give service members a place to explore art as well as socialize. It plans to provide art therapists with a space for seminars, art classes and group therapy sessions, although it will not be a therapy-providing entity, according to The 296 Project spokesperson Rebekah Wiseman.
The general public will be allowed in, according to the organization, so it can learn more about the community of service members with PTSD and TBI who are helped by art and expressive therapies.
“With or without a PTS/TBI diagnosis, our facility, our seminars, workshops, etc., will be therapeutic,” Wiseman wrote.
Service members will have to provide records to prove that they are or were members of the military, said Wiseman. The facility plans to be open six days of the week, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
“We believe we can save thousands of lives in the Northern Virginia area alone,” Gordon said. “This is just too important not to support.”
The Kickstarter will accept contributions until Sept. 22. Currently, the project has six backers and has raised $710.
Images courtesy The 296 Project
(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) Officials cut a ceremonial ribbon in Crystal City this morning to celebrate the Arlington launch of the mobile parking app Parkmobile.
At the ceremony in front of Charlie Chiang’s Restaurant, county Director of Transportation Dennis Leach and Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette spoke about Parkmobile’s partnership with the county and the convenience Parkmobile will bring to residents. Parkmobile debuted in Crystal City on July 18 and in Shirlington July 17.
“People are not shy about embracing new things here,” Leach said. “I believe we’ve had 1,500 transactions so far this week in Arlington.”
Parkmobile’s mobile parking apps are available with iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry smartphones. The county said it plans to bring Parkmobile to Arlington’s other corridors in phases, with Pentagon City in the fall, and Ballston and Clarendon by the winter. By spring 2015, Courthouse, Rosslyn, Columbia Pike and the rest of Arlington’s 5,329 metered spots are planned to have Parkmobile.
“It’s all about making it easier,” Leach told ARLnow.com this morning. “I take transit, I walk and I bike almost everywhere, but I can appreciate it for all the residents, workers and visitors who may need to drive. If I were to drive, this is a great app.”
All drivers need in order to register is a smartphone, a credit card and their license plate number, although paying at traditional meters or pay-and-display meters is still an option. Parkmobile has been in use in the District since 2010.
“Over the last 10, 20, 30 years there has been quite an amazing metamorphosis and transition here in Arlington,” Fisette said. “You have a seamless system between the District of Columbia and Arlington with a single app, just like you can take your Capital Bikeshare across the river.”
Fisette said that Parkmobile is important for Arlington and its place in the regional economy. Parkmobile became available city-wide in D.C. in 2011 and collects 56 percent of the District’s parking revenue, according to Parkmobile CEO Cherie Fuzzell. Through mists of rain at the ribbon cutting, Fuzzell and Crystal City Business Improvement District President Angela Fox also spoke of the app’s benefits.
“Parkmobile is a great solution not only for consumers, but also for the county,” Fuzzell said. “They have had a 20 percent increase in their parking revenue. Why? Because people pay if you make it easier to pay.”
Fox said Parkmobile is a perfect service to have in Crystal City because it’s in keeping with the area’s focus on accessible transportation.
“We have this original neighborhood that’s metro oriented with an airport you can walk to,” Fox said. “Anything that builds on that base of accessibility, we get excited about.”
Crystal City will host the annual Crystal City Twilighter 5K race on Saturday.
The summer race, organized by Pacers, is dubbed ”the hottest 5K in town.” It kicks off at 8:30 p.m. and is followed by a post-race party. Registration is $40 for adults over the age of 18, but $20 for those 18 years old or younger.
The Arlington County Police Department is planning on closing a number of roads to make way for the race. From ACPD:
The following lane closures will be in effect between 6:30 p.m. and 11:15 p.m.
- Northbound lanes of Crystal Drive between 23rd Street and 20th Street
- Southbound lanes of Crystal Drive between 23rd Street and 20th Street
- A single southbound access lane from 20th Street to the parking garage entrance at 2100 Crystal Drive will be provided.
- A single southbound exit lane will be provided at the 2200 Crystal Drive exit with access to 23rd Street.
- Note, there will be parking and limited access restrictions in the horseshoe driveway at 2121 Crystal Drive starting at noon.
The following lane closures will be in effect between 8:00 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.:
- Northbound lanes of Crystal Drive between 23th Street and 12th Street
- One southbound lane of Crystal Drive between 20th Street and 15th Street. Western-most southbound lane between 15th and 20th Streets to remain open to provide parking garage access.
- Westbound lane of S. 12th Street between Crystal Drive and Long Bridge Drive.
- North and South bound lanes of Long Bridge Drive from 12th Street South to Boundary Channel.
- East and West bound lanes of Boundary Channel between Long Bridge Drive and Connector Road.
- Both directions of 10th Street between Long Bridge Drive and S. Ball Street.
- Both directions of 6th Street between Long Bridge Drive and S. Ball Street.
- Both directions of S. Ball Street between 6th and 10th Streets.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
WeWork, a company that specializes in co-working office space, plans to gut the 1960s-era office building at 2221 S. Clark Street and convert it into a community-oriented residential building featuring “micro-unit” apartments and large common areas. Many of the 252 apartments in the 12-story building will be 360 square feet or less.
“The Crystal City project will be WeWork’s first residential building, bringing the same benefits of co-working — shared amenities, a sense of community and opportunities for collaboration — to a residential building,” the county notes in a press release. “The project will offer an entirely new type of apartment living within walking distance of the Crystal City Metro Station, several bus stops and Capital Bikeshare stations, and will serve as a model for adaptive reuse of an outdated building until redevelopment can occur.”
WeWork signed a 20-year lease with property owner Vornado. The building is expected to be torn down after WeWork vacates the space, making way for a realignment of S. Clark and Bell Streets, as called for in the long-range Crystal City Sector Plan.
“This temporary conversion of an aging, vacant office building into an innovative live-work space is an example of how we continue to reinvent Crystal City as a more attractive, vibrant place that will attract more entrepreneurs and tech workers,” Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette said, in a statement.
In addition to extensive interior renovations, the building’s exterior “fins” will be painted with stripes of bright colors, an “experimental exterior color application” that will change in appearance as one moves around the building. Apartment dwellers will have access to 154 parking spaces and 94 bike parking spaces.
The project’s community benefits include “streetscaping, sidewalk improvements on 23rd Street, and outdoor areas including, play and lounge zones and a community garden.”
Photo (bottom) via Google Maps
ARLive Startup Smackdown, the competition where community members get to “invest” in Arlington-based startup companies, will take place tonight at Crystal Tech Fund (2231 Crystal Drive, 10th floor) from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Tickets are $20 at the door or can be purchased online. The tickets cover appetizers, beer and wine, as well as fake dollars to invest in one of 17 companies. The company with the most fake money at the end of the night wins a lunch at Good Stuff Eatery in Crystal City with Crystal Tech Fund founder and investor Paul Singh.
Thirteen of the companies participating have been featured in ARLnow.com’s weekly Startup Monday series, including: flower e-commerce company Bloompop, a Crystal Tech Fund company, food delivery service The Green Spoon, The Homemade Gin Kit — which plans on bringing gin samples — and crowdfunded sock company Boldfoot.
The event is also a chance to network with Arlington entrepreneurs and see the future of business in the county. Several of the companies have secured a combined millions of dollars in angel investment and venture capital in recent years.
Photo (bottom) via Twitter
Arlington County, which rarely misses an opportunity for a ribbon cutting event, will be holding one this week to kick off the county’s first pay-by-cell parking system.
Arlington will be rolling out the smartphone parking app Parkmobile over the next year — with the service first available to pay for street parking in Shirlington and Crystal City starting later this month.
The service will be expanded to Pentagon City this fall, Ballston and Clarendon this winter, and the rest of the county in the spring.
(Parkmobile is also currently used for pay-by-cell parking in the District of Columbia.)
The county will be holding a ribbon cutting to mark Arlington’s Parkmobile launch on Thursday, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., in front of Charlie Chiang’s Restaurant in Crystal City (320 23rd Street S.).
Those expected to help wield the giant pair of scissors include County Board Chair Jay Fisette, Arlington Director of Transportation Dennis Leach, Crystal City BID President and CEO Angela Fox, and Parkmobile CEO Cherie Fuzzell.
Both incidents took place on the 500 block of 15th Street S. Both involved two suspects in their twenties. One robbery was committed at gunpoint. The cab driver was assaulted during the other robbery.
From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
ROBBERY, 140626002, 500 block of S. 15th Street. At 12:20 am on June 26, two unknown suspects assaulted and robbed a cab driver of cash and his belongings. Suspect one is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’0″ and 160 lbs. He was wearing a black baseball cap, dark jacket over a white t-shirt, jeans, and black and white shoes. Suspect two is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’0″ and 160 lbs. He was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.
ROBBERY, 140629058, 500 block of S. 15th Street. At 11:10 pm on June 29, two unknown suspects robbed a cab driver at gunpoint of cash and his belongings. Suspect one is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’1″ with a skinny build. He had a full beard and was wearing shorts. Suspect two is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’2″ with a skinny build. He was wearing salmon colored shorts and a Hawaiian shirt.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.
(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) The bus line that will eventually run on dedicated lanes in Crystal City and along Route 1 to Alexandria is expected to open to riders later this summer.
WMATA announced today that the partial bus rapid transit line will launch Aug. 24 and will be called “Metroway,” instead of the given 9X route designation that had been previously planned. The dedicated transit lane is the first of its kind in the D.C. area.
The route will go between the Crystal City and Braddock Road Metro stations at first, but WMATA is planning to expand service to the Pentagon City station by 2015. By that time, Arlington expects to finish construction on the dedicated bus lanes it has approved for the northbound route on Crystal Drive and the southbound route along S. Bell and Clark Streets.
A portion of Alexandria’s section of the Metroway route will have dedicated bus lanes when it opens, from Potomac Avenue to E. Glebe Road. There will also be expanded weekend and late night service, WMATA says. Buses will run every six minutes between Crystal City Metro and S. Glebe Road during rush hour, every 12 minutes during weekday off-peak hours and every 20 minutes over the weekend.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with Alexandria on the region’s first dedicated transitway — using separated lanes to encourage travelers up and down the Route 1 corridor to choose transit rather than their cars,” Arlington County Board Vice Chair Mary Hynes said in WMATA’s press release. “We’re proud to be working the kinks out now so that the region’s Priority Bus Corridor Network can be smoothly implemented over the next 15 years.”
Buses along the line will be new, and painted with the “Metroway” branding “that differentiates it from other transit service,” WMATA said in its release. By 2015, WMATA also plans to have off-board fare collection, real-time bus displays, all-door boarding and “traffic signal optimization” to ensure the buses run on time along the route.
The route starting in August will include the following stations:
- Braddock Rd Metro
- Fayette Street (Opening 2015)
- Potomac Avenue
- Custis Avenue
- Swann Avenue
- East Glebe Road
- Reed Avenue
- S. Glebe Road
- 33rd & Crystal Drive (Opening 2015)
- 27th & Crystal Drive
- 23rd & Crystal Drive
- 18th & Crystal Drive
- Crystal City Metro
- Crystal City Metro
- 23rd & S. Clark Street
- 26th & S. Clark Street
- 27th & Crystal Drive
- 33rd & Crystal Drive (Opening 2015)
- S. Glebe Road
- Reed Avenue
- East Glebe Road
- Swann Avenue
- Custis Avenue
- Potomac Avenue
- Fayette Street (Opening 2015)
- Braddock Rd Metro
Images courtesy WMATA
An Uber driver was robbed in Crystal City early Thursday morning.
Police say two men assaulted the driver and took his cash and belongings around 12:20 a.m. From an Arlington County crime report:
ROBBERY, 140626002, 500 block of S. 15th Street. At 12:20 am on June 26, two unknown suspects assaulted and robbed a Uber cab driver of cash and his belongings. Suspect one is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’0″ and 160 lbs. He was wearing a black baseball cap, dark jacket over a white t-shirt, jeans, and black and white shoes. Suspect two is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’0″ and 160 lbs. He was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.
Last week’s Arlington County crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.
(Updated at 6:00 p.m.) The proposed night and arts markets in Clarendon have been cancelled, but a new arts market is on its way to Crystal City in July.
Matt Hussmann, the executive director of the Clarendon Alliance, told ARLnow.com this afternoon that the markets fell through when the “parking lot operator” changed its terms –not Wells Fargo Bank, as he originally stated.
(A tenant in the Wells Fargo building, who declined to speak on the record, disputed Hussmann’s account.)
“The change made it unaffordable and too risky because we’re a nonprofit and can’t take on that kind of risk,” Hussmann said. “We’d like to do a market, we know that there’s demand for one in Clarendon, we’ve just got to find some space to do it.”
The Clarendon Alliance applied to the County Board for a permit for a night market in May, and had planned to launch May 31 from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays.
The arts market was part of the night market application, and was planned to be called “Sparkmarket” and managed by Jessica Blaszczak, who managed the former Ballston Arts Market. A similar market is coming to Crystal City on the 1800 block of Crystal Drive, called “Sparket Creative Market.”
According to organizer Diverse Markets Management, the market will launch on Wednesday, July 16, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will continue weekly until Oct. 29.
“A diverse mix of art, crafts, handmade jewelry, accessories, bath/beauty and other local and handcrafted products are desired,” Diverse Management said in a press release. “As an additional draw, live-music and select food products will be part of the programming mix.”
Crystal City Business Improvement District President Angela Fox said the market will be another addition to the neighborhood’s offerings like its weekly farmers market on Tuesday afternoons.
“We’re excited to launch it,” she said. “We think it’s a great activator, we think it’s something fun for workers to do during the day, and we love creativity and want to bring it here.”
Hussman said Clarendon Central Park next to the Metro could be an option for a night market or another type of market — it’s where Clarendon hosts its weekly farmer’s market on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Clarendon Alliance had to move out of its space next to South Block Cafe because its lease expired, Hussman said, so no movement on another market has happened while he had to pack up the office.
We, The Pizza, the pizza shop launched by former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn, is now open in Crystal City.
Located next to TechShop in the Shops at 2100 Crystal Drive, the pizza shop has only been open “a couple of days” according to a manager in the store, and it was still crowded for lunch at 1:30 p.m. today. The shop has signs posted alerting customers “Staff is training (Be Gentle).”
The shop is open from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily and serves slices of 16 custom pizzas, including a chicken poblano spicy Mexican pie, a Mortadella pico de gallo pie and a Cajun chicken and andouille pie. Slices of each pie cost $4 and a cheese slice costs $3. A medium full pizza of any style costs $18 and a large costs $20.
The restaurant also offers wings and salads, and boasts that many of its ingredients are sourced from local farms in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Mendelsohn also owns the Good Stuff Eatery burger shop two doors down from We, The Pizza.
Arlington County Police say the three men robbed a woman of her purse at a hotel on the 2000 block of Jefferson Davis Highway, near Crystal City, around 11:30 p.m. this past Saturday. As they were running away, one of the suspects accidentally left a couple of things behind.
“As the subjects were fleeing, one dropped his wallet and cell phone, which were recovered by security,” according to the police report.
The butter-fingered suspect was arrested after he went back to the hotel to try to find his belongings, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Another was arrested at his home a short time later.
“Muqtadir Mustafa, 19, of Arlington, Va. and Andre Costa, 19 of Arlington, Va. were arrested and charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery,” the police report said.
A third suspect, whose identity is now known to police, remains at large.
Voting Starts in Congressional Primary — Polls opened at 6:00 this morning in the seven-way race for the Democratic nod to replace Rep. Jim Moran. The polls will close at tonight 7:00. The candidates seeking the nomination are Don Beyer, Bill Euille, Lavern Chatman, Adam Ebbin, Patrick Hope, Derek Hyra and Mark Levine. [Washington Post]
Few Surprises in Howze Speech — County Board candidate Alan Howze addressed the local Democratic faithful at the Arlington Jefferson-Jackson dinner on Saturday. Howze talked about school overcrowding and global warming in the speech, which was described as “low-key,” and said little that would suggest a significant change in strategy since his special election loss to independent candidate John Vihstadt. [InsideNova]
County Employee Sentenced for Taking Bribes — Francisco Hernandez, who worked in Arlington County’s Dept. of Motor Vehicles Select office, has been sentenced to two years in jail after being convicted of taking bribes in connection with his job as a tax assessor supervisor. [FBI Washington Field Office]
Crystal Car Festival This Weekend — In honor of Father’s Day, Crystal City will hold its second annual Crystal Car Father’s Day Auto Festival from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 15. The free event features cars on display, live music, kids activities and a beer/wine garden. [Crystal City]
Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi
Parts of Wilson, Clarendon and Washington Boulevards in Clarendon will be closed most of the day Saturday for the Air Force Association Cycling Classic.
Roads will close starting at 4:30 a.m. Saturday and re-open at 5:00 p.m. to accommodate the Clarendon Cup portion of the Cycling Classic, which also features races in Crystal City and along Route 110 on Sunday.
Registration is closed for the Cycling Classic, which is part of USA Cycling’s National Criterium Calendar, but spectators are invited to watch and visit booths at the expo on Clarendon Blvd. The Clarendon Cup, according to the Cycling Classic’s website, is “known as one of the most difficult criterium races in the U.S. due to technical demands of the course and the quality of the participants.”
Here are the closures that will take effect on Saturday from 4:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.:
- Wilson Boulevard will be closed from N. Fillmore Street to Washington Boulevard
- Clarendon Boulevard will be closed from Washington Boulevard to N. Fillmore Street
- Washington Boulevard will be closed from Wilson Boulevard to N. Highland Street
- N. Highland Street will be closed from Wilson Boulevard to Washington Boulevard
- N. Garfield Street/N. Fillmore Street will be closed from Wilson Boulevard to Washington Boulevard
File photo. The Air Force Cycling Classic is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
Arlington Tied for Lowest Unemployment in Va. — Though it once held the title by itself, Arlington is now tied for the lowest jobless rate in Virginia. Arlington and the city of Falls Church both had a jobless rate of 3.2 percent in April. [InsideNova]
Police Release Photos of Burglary Suspect — The Arlington County Police Department has released surveillance photos of a suspect accused of stealing a laptop computer from an office in Ballston. [Arlington County]
CNBC Broadcasts from Crystal City — CNBC broadcast a live shot from Crystal City yesterday morning. The network’s real estate reporter, Diana Olick, profiled the new $50 million Crystal Tech Fund, its collaborative workspace and founder Paul Singh. [CNBC]
Arlington Was Home to the Original Twitter — Arlington residents had access to Twitter as early as the 1950s. Well, perhaps not all residents — mostly Henry Clay Elementary School students. Twitter was the name of the Clarendon-based school’s newspaper, copies of which are now available for review at Arlington Central Library. [Preservation Arlington]
Rockville Gets Its Own Remy — Local comedian-rapper Remy now has some regional competition for his Arlington Rap. An artist going by the name “Rockville Slim” has created a “Rockville Rap.” [Washington City Paper]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann