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by Katie Pyzyk — June 7, 2012 at 10:45 am 8,500 111 Comments

There are a lot of places in Arlington that sell cupcakes, but up until now, it’s been tough to find someplace devoted to pie. That’s where Heather Sheire and Leah Haskvitz come in, with their business “Livin’ the Pie Life.”

They first began operating in October, and now have their own booth at the Wednesday Farmers Market in Clarendon.

The two, who have children attending the same school, met while working at a PTA bake sale a year and a half ago. After months of learning about regulations and starting a business in the area, they began testing their original recipes.

To keep in line with health codes, Sheire and Haskvitz use the kitchen at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington. They bake on Fridays and invite neighbors over for pie tastings. They’ll make several versions of the same type of pie with just one thing changed to get input on what tastes best.

The women change their menu often based on what’s in season. In the fall, apple caramel pies were a big hit, and now berries are a summer favorite. They also use locally sourced ingredients, and no additives or preservatives.

“The whole idea is that we want people to feel good about pie,” Sheire said. “Pie is dessert. Pie is special. Pie is handmade. It should come from local sources.”

Not all of the offerings are sweet concoctions like the pecan pie and margarita pie. Customers have also been digging into savory pies like tomato basil or macaroni and cheese.

Haskvitz contends that the pies blow cupcakes out of the water.

“It’s got fruit, it’s seasonal,” Haskvitz. “I think it’s just got a healthier twist and it’s got a little more of that home, rustic feel.”

On Fridays, the duo deliver the freshly made pies to the homes of customers who ordered online. They arrive dressed up in 1950s garb to add to the business’ nostalgic, family vibe.

“It just makes it fun,” Sheire said. “We’re trying to have fun with this whole thing.”

Contributing to the nostalgia is the practice of giving a $1 credit to anyone who returns a pie tin from the larger pies ordered online. Those tins are then reused, as they often were in decades past. The tins for the smaller pies sold at the farmers market are recyclable, as is the rest of the packaging.

Although they’ve thrown around the idea of starting a food truck, they’re not interested in a brick and mortar location. Right now, they’d like to keep a focus on convenience.

“If we have a store, you have to come into the store. But we want to bring it to you,” Haskvitz said. “It takes care of an area that I don’t think is covered. There’s a lot of storefronts here, there aren’t that many where you have the convenience of ordering online and having it delivered to you.”

Although they’ve only been in business for a few months, the women have been accruing regular customers. Both say they’re proud of their products.

“Our first priority is that the pie should be fresh and delicious,” said Sheire. “Our goal is that you have the best pie you’ve ever had.”

by ARLnow.com — May 1, 2012 at 8:15 am 2,230 3 Comments

May Day — It’s the first of May and, after a relatively cool April, the weather is finally expected to warm up today. [Capital Weather Gang]

Worries Over Westover Farmers Market Parking — As part of a compromise between the organizers of the new Westover Farmers Market and the Arlington County Board, the market will close at noon (instead of 1:00 p.m., as originally proposed) and will provide attendants to direct patrons to designated parking areas. Still, some businesses and residents are worried that market-goers may cause parking woes in the neighborhood. [Arlington Mercury]

Defense Contractor Relocating to Arlington — DRS Technologies, a military contractor, is relocating its corporate headquarters to Crystal City from New Jersey. The move is expected to bring at least 75 new jobs to Arlington, on top of the 26 employees who already work in an existing DRS office in Crystal City. Gov. Bob McDonnell reportedly initiated talks with DRS about moving to Virginia while attending an air show in England. [Washington Business Journal]

Photos: Children Reading to Dogs — The library has posted some photos from a recent Paws-to-Read session at Westover Branch Library. The Paws-to-Read program, which is now in four Arlington libraries, gives children an opportunity to practice reading aloud to a cuddly, non-judgmental audience. [Arlington Public Library]

by Katie Pyzyk — April 30, 2012 at 10:52 am 1,507 5 Comments

Today marked the start of Crystal City’s “Fit Week,” a series of events “designed to keep the community fit, healthy, and green.”

It began this morning with outdoor yoga at the Crystal City Water Park (1750 Crystal Drive). The free yoga sessions will continue every Monday through September, starting at 7:00 a.m.

Tomorrow, the FRESHFARM Farmers Market returns with a variety of items from local growers and producers. The market is open from 3:00-7:00 p.m., and will be held every Tuesday through November on Crystal Drive between 18th and 20th Streets.

On Wednesday, another outdoor class will get participants moving. A Zumba class will be held at noon in the courtyard at 2121 Crystal Drive. This class will take place every Wednesday through September. Anyone who takes part can freshen up afterward with a free shower at the nearby Sport & Health club.

A “Fit Fair” will be held at Crystal Drive and 18th Street from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Thursday. A number of health screenings will be available, including blood pressure, stress test, body mass index, and a gait analysis for runners. Attendees can get information on smoking cessation or receive a chair massage. A blood donation station will also be set up.

Thursday night, a new season of street hockey will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot adjacent to 220 20th Street. Matches run for 11 weeks on Thursday evenings or Sunday mornings. Individuals pay a $25 fee and teams pay a $250 fee.

The final Fit Week event, called the Floral Frenzy, is on Friday. Residents and workers are invited to dig up the thousands of tulip bulbs along the sidewalk in front of 2121 Crystal Drive. The bulbs can be replanted at home and should continue to bloom for several years.

More information about Crystal City Fit Week can be found online.

Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.

by ARLnow.com — April 23, 2012 at 9:00 am 2,720 29 Comments

Westover Farmers Market Approved — The County Board on Saturday unanimously approved a use permit for the proposed Westover Farmers Market. The market will operate on Sundays starting on May 6. [Arlington County]

Complaints About Parking Meters at New Park — The Arlington Soccer Association has raised concerns about parking meters at the recently-opened Long Bridge Park. It’s expensive for parents and referees to park their cars in the Long Bridge Park lot, Arlington County Board members were told over the weekend. Board members asked county staff to study the impacts of allowing free parking on Saturdays. [Sun Gazette]

‘Earth Day Every Day’ in Arlington – Sunday might have been the nationally-recognized environmental awareness day known as Earth Day, but to the county government “every day is Earth Day in Arlington.” In a press release, the county touted some recent environmental initiatives, including obtaining LEED Silver certification for Fire Station No. 3, reducing county government electric and natural gas use by 3 percent, and work in progress to install 153 energy-efficient LED streetlights along Columbia Pike. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Alex

by ARLnow.com — April 20, 2012 at 11:19 am 3,412 32 Comments

The Arlington County Board is set to consider a proposal for a new farmers market in Westover Village at its Saturday meeting.

The farmers market has been in the works for a couple of years. If approved, it will be the seventh weekly farmers market in Arlington.

Organizers are asking the County Board to approve a market that will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sundays along the 1700 block of N. McKinley Road. The street location is temporary — organizers are hoping to eventually hold the market on the adjacent Walter Reed School property, but are still awaiting approval from Arlington Public Schools.

Taking vendor setup and breakdown times into account, the street will be closed from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. That has drawn criticism from the owners of some businesses in the Westover Shopping Center, since it will limit access to the shopping center’s driveway and parking lot. However, county staffers are recommending the open air market request be approved, stating that “the market should not have a substantial adverse impact on neighboring properties.”

As part of their application, market organizers agreed to encourage market patrons to park along Washington Boulevard and in the Reed School’s McKinley Road parking lot, instead of in the nearby residential neighborhoods.

Should the application be approved, organizers are hoping to kick off the farmers market’s inaugural season on May 6.

by ARLnow.com — April 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm 4,415 27 Comments

As the weather gets warmer, Arlingtonians can expect more options for buying farm-fresh produce and artisan goods.

With the expected launch of the new Westover Farmers Market, this year there will be seven local farmers markets for residents to choose from. We’ve compiled the following guide, for your reference.

  • Courthouse (N. Courthouse Road and 14th Street N.) — Saturdays – Perhaps the largest of Arlington’s farmers markets, the Arlington Farmers Market in Courthouse is open year-round. Its expanded summer hours — from 8:00 a.m. to noon — will begin next weekend, on April 21.
  • Columbia Pike (Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive) — Sundays — The only other year-round farmers market in Arlington, besides Courthouse, the Columbia Pike market is now operating under the “regular” seasonal hours of 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., according to the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization website.
  • Clarendon (Clarendon Blvd and N. Highland Street) — Wednesdays — The Clarendon Farmers Market kicked off its 14th season yesterday afternoon (April 11). The market, which is open from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., runs through the end of October, with its peak summer “high season” starting in May.
  • Crystal City (Crystal Drive between 18th and 20th Streets) — Tuesdays — The Crystal City farmers market, operated by FRESHFARM Markets, serves a largely workday crowd from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. The market will open for the season on May 1 and will run through November 20.
  • Westover (Washington Blvd and N. McKinley Road) — Sundays — Organizers of Arlington’s newest farmers market are hoping to kick off its inaugural season on May 6. When it does launch, the market will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Check the market’s new website for updates.
  • Rosslyn (Wilson Blvd and N. Oak Street) — Thursdays — The only Arlington farmers market that has its own dedicated concert series, the Rosslyn Farmers Market will be open from May 31 to October 25 this year. The market serves a lunchtime crowd from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Ballston (N. Stuart Street and 9th Street N.) — Thursdays — Located at Welburn Square, the Ballston farmers market has the latest starting date: June 7 June 28. The market will be open from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., through the end of October. FRESHFARM Markets will be taking over management of the farmers market this year, according to Ballston Business Improvement District Executive Director Tina Leone.

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2012 at 8:30 am 1,973 30 Comments

Bill Would Open Classrooms to Parents — Del. Patrick Hope (D) has proposed a bill that would require local school boards to “ensure that the parent or legal guardian of a student or prospective student enrolled in the school division may, subject to reasonable notice and with minimized disruption, act as an observer in the child’s classroom.” The bill is in response to a Washington Post column about a couple whose request to observe a class at Arlington Traditional School was denied by school officials. [Washington Post]

Lyon Hall Named ‘Best Beer Bar’ — Lyon Hall (3100 N Washington Blvd) has been named one of America’s 100 Best Beer Bars by Draft Magazine. “Its bartenders have a passion for of-the-moment beer, and no one will care if you drink your 21st Amendment Back in Black straight from the can,” the publication said. [Draft Magazine]

Board Wants Speedier Farmers Market Permit Process — The County Board asked Arlington County staff to speed up the permit approval process for the planned Westover Farmers Market. Organizers — who would like to open the market in May — have said that the permitting process has been proceeding at a slower-than-hoped-for pace. [Sun Gazette]

by ARLnow.com — January 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm 3,492 31 Comments

The proposed Westover Farmers Market is getting closer to becoming a reality.

A group of local volunteers has incorporated a nonprofit company to run the farmers market, and have applied for recognition as a charitable organization from the IRS. The nonprofit is currently seeking donations and vetting applications from farmers market vendors.

Meanwhile, organizers say they hope to hold the first farmers market in May, on the grounds of the Westover Branch Library and Reed School on N. McKinley Road. The start date could potentially be held up, however, by the arduous process of applying for county permits and permissions.

“The County recently changed the application process for open-air markets to one requiring issuance of a use permit by the County Board,” farmers market organizer Robert Swennes noted in an email. “The details of implementing that change are still being worked out, and that is creating more delay for us than a well-established approval process would.  Also, the site selected for the market is property owned by the Arlington County Public Schools, so permission from ACPS must also be obtained.”

When it finally does clear all regulatory hurdles, the market will operate from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sundays.

“Many people within County government and generally in Arlington have expressed their support for a farmers market in the Westover area, so we are confident that one will be launched this year,” Swennes noted. “The question is how soon that can be done.”

Photo via Arlington Green Party

by ARLnow.com — August 12, 2011 at 9:54 am 3,128 120 Comments

The Sun Gazette reports this morning that the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is asking residents to consider leaving Fido at home when they go to the Pike farmers market on Sundays.

Responding to a complaint to the county health department, market officials are asking residents to voluntarily leave their dogs at home or, at the very least, “keep them out of vendor booths and away from tables that have food on them.”

The Saturday farmers market in Courthouse, meanwhile, is more explicit about its policy about dogs.

“We love your pets, but please leave them at home,” the market says on its web site. “With the exception of service animals, Public Health regulations preclude the presence of live animals in the Courthouse Farmer’s Market.”

Should dogs be allowed at farmers markets in Arlington?

by ARLnow.com — July 20, 2011 at 10:34 am 1,435 7 Comments

With temperatures expected to reach into the mid-to-upper 90s over the next two days, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District has decided to nix three of its signature outdoor events.

Today’s Rosslyn lunchtime concert, slated to feature New Orleans-inspired rock quartet The Grandsons, has been canceled “due to excessive heat.” Thursday’s lunchtime concert has also been canceled, as has the Thursday lunchtime farmers market.

Despite the forecast of triple-digit temperatures on Friday, the BID has so far not pulled the plug on its outdoor film festival, which is scheduled to feature 90s comedy Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. The films start at dusk on Fridays.

by ARLnow.com — June 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm 1,677 10 Comments

Due to today’s heat advisory, two local farmers markets have been nixed.

The sweltering temperatures have prompted organizers of both the Ballston Farmers Market — held every Thursday in Welburn Square — and the Rosslyn Farmers Market — held Thursdays at the corner of Wilson Boulevard and N. Oak Street — to cancel.

Temperatures are expected to come close to the 100 degree mark today.

Flickr pool photo by MichaelTRuhl

by ARLnow.com — May 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm 3,633 21 Comments

A new food cart is planning to launch in Arlington this weekend.

Capital Empanadas will serve “freshly-made Andean-style empanadas” to denizens of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and, in a few weeks, Crystal City as well.

The cart’s owner, Richard Villegas, is a native of Colombia and a ten-year Arlington resident. Villegas says he is “thrilled” to introduce this “unique treat” to the area.

“Our Andean-style handmade empanadas have typical flavors from our beloved Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru,” the Capital Empanadas web site says. “We put our heart and soul into our empanadas and you’ll feel the love once you meet us and enjoy them.”

The cart is scheduled to make its first appearance at the Courthouse Farmer’s Market, starting at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. Empanada fans will be able to follow the cart on Twitter and Facebook.

The Capital Empanadas menu includes:

  • Meat (carne) empanada
  • Chicken empanada
  • Cheese empanada
  • Veggie empanada
  • Plantain chips
  • Dulce de Leche
  • Water and soft drinks (including Colombiana, Inca Kola and Coke products)

Photo courtesy Capital Empanadas

by ARLnow.com — May 24, 2011 at 8:27 am 1,427 9 Comments

Krupicka Uses Marine in Mailer — State Senate candidate Rob Krupicka has gotten the attention of a conservative web site for printing an endorsement from a Marine sergeant, along with a photo of him in uniform, on a campaign mailer. If the Marine is on active duty, such an endorsement would violate military guidelines. The Sun Gazette’s Scott McCaffrey also points out that Krupicka’s mailer also makes reference to supporting “soldiers and their families” — which would refer to members of the Army but not the Marine Corps. Krupicka, an Alexandria city councilman, is facing off against Arlington School Board Chair Libby Garvey and Del. Adam Ebbin in the Democratic primary. [Sun Gazette]

Medical Care By Lottery — Every month, the Arlington Free Clinic holds a lottery to see who will receive medical care. With demand for care exceeding supply, this month only 25 people were selected out of a pool of 140. [WAMU]

Ballston Farmers Market Starts This Week — The Ballston Farmers Market will hold its season grand opening this Thursday. The market is free and held every Thursday (until October) from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Wellburn Square, between N. Stuart and N. 9th Streets.

by ARLnow.com — May 3, 2011 at 9:07 am 3,911 95 Comments

Zach Galifianakis Spotted in Clarendon – In town for the White House Correspondents Dinner, actor Zach Galifianakis was spotted walking the streets of Clarendon on Saturday. According to the caption, he did some shopping and had lunch at Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland Street). [ContactMusic.com]

Arlington Young Republicans Growing — The Arlington Young Republicans have added nearly 100 members over the course of a year, making it the largest Young Republican organization in Virginia. [Sun Gazette]

Goose Lays Eggs in Shirlington — A mother goose is apparently nesting her eggs in a planter outside the IO Piazza apartment building. So far, no friendly deer have been spotted. [Shirlington Blogspot]

Crystal City Freshfarm Market Starts Today — The first Freshfarm market of the season in Crystal City will be held on Crystal Drive between 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. today. [Freshfarm Markets]

by ARLnow.com — May 2, 2011 at 9:38 am 1,571 28 Comments

Above: A look back at last year’s presentation of a steel beam from the World Trade Center at Arlington County Fire Station 5. Firefighters from Fire Station 5, in Pentagon City, were among the first to respond to the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

School Budget Approved – The Arlington County School Board has approved a new $475 million budget for FY 2012. The budget funds pay raises for teachers and staff, expands professional learning activities for teachers and eliminates ‘early release Wednesdays’ at four elementary schools. It also includes $1 million to study options for addressing the school system’s looming capacity crisis. [Arlington Public Schools]

Columbia Pike Farmers Market Returns — Sunday marked the start of the summer season for the Columbia Pike Farmers Market. [Pike Wire] (Disclosure: The organizer of the farmers market is an ARLnow.com advertiser)

Arlington Home to Fast-Growing Companies — Arlington is home to six of the 50 fastest-growing privately-held companies in Virginia. [Sun Gazette]

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