This article was written by Maddy Berner
Last week, Redfin.com released a list that ranked Arlington as the best place for successful, educated, single women. According to the website, Arlington boasts high percentages of female college graduates (69 percent) and women with high incomes (49 percent). When asked about it on the streets of Clarendon, many young members of both genders seemed to agree with the ranking.
“It’s the best city for single people,” said Antwand Wardrick, 29. “It has so much to do, so many different venues, so many different people. Whatever you like, you can find it, and once you get it, you have to hold on to it.”
Even on a rainy Wednesday night, Spider Kelly’s was still bustling with people eating dinner and playing pool, the picture of a vibrant singles scene. Still, talking to some of those hovering around the bar, there were aspects of Arlington’s dating culture that remained debatable.
Elizabeth L., 25, grew up in Arlington, and said the county’s high marks were a bit odd because her personal experiences with dating. People in the area are competitive and too focused on their jobs, she said.
“Every time I go out, a man offers me a job or a security clearance when they’re hitting on me,” said Elizabeth, “which is really awkward.”
Taking shelter from the rain just outside of Clarendon Ballroom, Katharine Milburn, 31, vehemently supported the “successful” aspect Redfin’s choice. The Arlington native owns her own company in the area, and said many of her friends have high-paying jobs and are continually climbing the ranks within them.
Milburn agreed that Arlington has plenty of people and places to go — listing Galaxy Hut, Iota Club & Cafe and Northside Social as a few — yet there were still some factors that made the scene frustrating. The conversation, she said, lacks variety.
“I think Arlington is very cookie cutter,” she said. “I think you find that the same type of people have the same type of conversations with people over and over again.”
Standing in front of a quieter Whitlow’s on Wilson, Amro Shihadah, 24, and Charlie Morris, 27, also said Arlington is home to several places to meet people, but the conversation is more of the same.
“It’s the same people, from the same schools, from the same area, who know the same people,” said Shihadah.
While he doesn’t think Arlington is necessarily the top location for single women, Jayme Maddox, 25, said he thinks the high concentration of young professionals in the area makes it one of the best. He says he loves places like Fuego, Wilson Tavern and Clarendon Grill, which each yield different types of people.
“It is a great place to meet grounded, intelligent, and successful (or on their way) people,” Maddox said. “You consider that with the relatively intimate size of Arlington and that just increases the opportunities for dating.”
Arlington: Top ‘City’ For Successful, Educated, Single Women — Arlington is the top “city” in the country for women who are college graduates, who have a high income, and who are single, according to the real estate website Redfin. As an added bonus to the single, successful women, there are 6 percent more single men than women. [Redfin]
Homeless Twins Still Recovering from Assault — Two homeless, 26-year-old twins are still recovering from a vicious attack that took place outside Arlington Central Library last month. Through donations and determination, they are attempting to overcome their injuries and get their lives back on track. [Washington Post]
Pike Business Owners Waiting for Streetcar — Though it’s controversial with residents, many Columbia Pike business owners are counting on Arlington County’s plan to build a streetcar system along the corridor. Among those business owners is Adriana Torres, owner of Cafe Sazon, who recently had to take a full-time job at Home Depot to pay the business’ bills. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Lawrence Cheng Photography
Too Much Cash on Hand? — Is Arlington County’s nearly $300 million cash hoard excessive? Many county officials says the extra cash cushion is an example of good fiscal stewardship. County Treasurer Frank O’Leary, however, suggests the cash reserves are “causing us to pay more taxes than we should.” [Sun Gazette]
More Coverage for Girls’ Firefighting Camp — The Today Show broadcast a segment yesterday about the Arlington Girls’ Fire Camp. The unique camp has also been covered by CBS News, among other broadcast outlets. [Today Show]
Korean War Tribute at Twilight Tattoo — Last night’s Twilight Tattoo performance at Fort Myer featured a special tribute to the heroes of the Korean War. The high-energy performance commemorated the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice and was hosted by Joseph Westphal, Under Secretary of the Army. [U.S. Army]
Dating Event for Ages 31-40 — Date Social, the Arlington-based dating startup, will be hosting a dating mixer for those ages 31-40 at Hard Times Cafe tonight, starting at 7:00. Tickets are $12. [Clarendon Nights]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
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.
(Updated at 10:10 a.m.) Arlington’s Rosslyn neighborhood is the best place to look for single men in the D.C. area, according to the real estate website Trulia.
For a blog post called Looking for Love in All the Right Places, Trulia looked at single adults below the age of 65 in some major metropolitan areas, including D.C. The company found that “downtown” employment centers — like Rosslyn — typically have more single men than women, while “uptown” residential areas have a higher ratio of women to men.
Rosslyn was recognized as the highest men-to-women ratio in a ZIP code (22209) with at least 1,000 population and 20 percent population alone. Similarly, Upper Connecticut Avenue in D.C. took the honor of the highest women-to-men ratio.
While Rosslyn took the regional title, the Crystal City/Pentagon City area also looked like fertile ground, with more single men than women. Parts of southwestern Arlington — including Shirlington and Fairlington — had the county’s highest ratio of single women to men. The Clarendon, Courthouse and Ballston area collectively had a slightly higher ration of women to men.
Map via Trulia
Home Sales Up, Prices Down — October home sales in Arlington were up 45 percent by volume, year over year, but prices were down. The average home price decreased to $542,941 from $562,217 in October 2011, which was partially attributed to a larger proportion of rowhouse and townhouse sales in relation to detached single-family homes. [Sun Gazette]
‘Incredible Edible Book Contest’ — On Dec. 1, the Cherrydale Branch Library will hold an “Incredible Edible Book Contest.” Contestants will create something edible to represent a book title, scoring points for cleverness and originality. The entries will be judged by a panel that will include Justin Stegall of Bakeshop and David Guas of Bayou Bakery. [Arlington Public Library]
Arlington Teacher on Date Lab — Jose Fuentes — a teacher at Key Elementary School, we’re told — was set up on a date as part of the Washington Post’s weekly Date Lab feature. Unfortunately, his date was “not really a Clarendon person” and the dinner at Eventide did not lead to a second date. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Maryva2
A new Bloomberg list of “large U.S. cities with wealthy one-person households” ranks Arlington as No. 2, second only to Hoboken, New Jersey. (Twenty-five percent of workers in Hoboken are employed in finance, insurance or real estate.)
To compile the list, Bloomberg examined U.S. Census data from 2006 to 2010 and identified cities of at least 50,000 people where men and women ages 15-64 “lived alone and had median incomes greater than national averages.”
In Hoboken, 53 percent of the population fell into that category. In Arlington, 43 percent of the population was classified as wealthy and living alone.
In August, Arlington ranked No. 4 on a CNN Money list of “Best Places for the Rich and Single.” According to figures cited by CNN Money, Arlington’s population is 41.5 percent single and has a median family income of $132,580.
Also on this year’s list were Alexandria, at #12, and Towson, Md., at #8. Newton, Mass. ranked #1 on the list, which takes into consideration a place’s percentage of single people and the median family income.
According to figures cited by CNN Money, Arlington’s population is 41.5 percent single and has a median family income of $132,580. In writing about Arlington’s well-to-do single scene, the publication observed:
When the sun goes down, it’s time to turn the BlackBerry off and move and shake to a different groove. With its namesake Ballroom, the Clarendon neighborhood is the area’s hub for singles-spotting. Still, Arlington’s other “urban villages” are catching up. Head to Restaurant Row in Crystal City or Shirlington’s burgeoning nightlife scene to engage in a little bipartisan congress.
No Homicides in 2011 — It’s official: for the first time since at least the 1950s, Arlington County did not record a single homicide in 2011.
Another Book Dating Session — The Shirlington Branch Library is holding another Book Dating for Singles session, after the inaugural book dating event in October was deemed a success. This month’s book dating session will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15. Using books as conversation starters, participants will have three-minute “dates” moderated by library staff.
Arlington to Install Real-Time Traffic System — Arlington County is planning to install a real-time traffic system along Route 50. The system will track anonymous Bluetooth information from drivers’ cell phones in order to calculate the time it would take drivers to get from one point to another. [Washington Business Journal]
If the answer to all three of those questions is ‘yes,’ then the Arlington Public Library has just the event for you this weekend.
On Sunday evening, the Shirlington Branch Library (4200 Campbell Avenue) will be hosting the library’s first-ever ‘Book Dating’ event. Library officials are billing the event as a “novel” way to help the literary-minded find love.
To participate, think about a couple of books you’d like to share: favorites, disappointments, readings-in-progress, etc. Bring them from home or pick them up at the library. Then head over to the event (from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.) and library staff will set you up on a series of 3 minute mini-dates with each of the other participants.
There will be “no fines for overdue romances,” library spokesman Peter Golkin noted.
Refreshments will be provided by Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Arlington has placed seventh in this year’s Money magazine ‘Best Places for the Rich and Single’ list.
“Home to the Pentagon and several other government agencies, Arlington is filled with policy wonks, analysts and researchers,” the magazine said of dating scene in the county. “Bar hop in the Clarendon-Court House neighborhood, where happy hour, pub quizzes and karaoke nights make playing the field fun and easy.”
Manhattan Beach, Calif. placed first on this year’s list, Tyson’s Corner placed second, Herndon placed 20th and Alexandria placed 23rd. The list was published in the September 2011 issue of Money.
Last year Arlington placed 11th.
Flickr pool photo by Michael T. Ruhl
Until the legislature acted earlier this year, Virginia was one of only six states that did not offer protective orders — a legal means of preventing contact with abusive partners — to men and women in dating situations. Now, as of July 1, the state allows individuals who are not married and not living with their partner to obtain a protective order.
Yesterday, Doorways issued the following press release about the new law.
Women ages 16 to 24 are at the greatest risk of experiencing an abusive relationship. Yet for the vast majority of those women — specifically those in dating relationships — the legal system offered little defense. That is because protective orders, a civil order issued by a judge to protect one person from another’s threatening behavior, were previously only available to those in a “domestic” situation — married, living together or having a child together.
July 1st marks a historic day for the protection of those previously unprotected as a bill passed in the Virginia legislature goes into effect, allowing survivors of dating abuse to be eligible for protective orders against their abusers. Until the beginning of this month, Virginia was one of only six states that did not afford this legal protection to dating partners. Doorways for Women and Families, one of Arlington’s leading providers of services to women and families experiencing homelessness and abuse, encourages all in our community to spread the word that help is now available to survivors of dating abuse.
“This is a huge step forward in protecting our community from intimate partner violence” explained Caroline Jones, Executive Director of Doorways. “ Given the incidence of violence in younger relationships, Doorways has been actively partnering with schools, universities and community partners to bring greater education and prevention strategies to our youth. The toll of violence in relationships is far too great to become complacent in our efforts.”
[ ... ] With the implementation of the new protective order law, a whole new segment of the population should know that there is help available. One in five teens in a serious relationship has experienced physical abuse with an estimated 33% of high school students having been a survivor of dating abuse.
Doorways encourages any survivor of dating abuse to call their 24-Domestic Violence Hotline at 703-237-0881 to find the help they need to be safe. Any survivor seeking a protective order can speak with Doorways’ Court Advocate by calling 703-244-5165 and be guided through the legal process.
“We want everyone to know that they are not alone in the pathway to safety,” Jones concluded.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg News declared that single women had “long odds” when it came to dating in the District.
D.C. has a female-to-male ratio — 112 women for every 100 men — that’s higher than any of the 50 states. Plus, the article suggests, men in Washington are much more focused on their careers than on making good conversation.
The article’s conclusions are not directly transferable to Arlington, since it focused exclusively on the population of the District. So we ask: who has the harder time finding a suitable mate in Arlington?