Hotel Palomar For Sale? — Connecticut-based HEI Hospitality LLC is in talks to buy Hotel Palomar (1121 19th Street N.) in Rosslyn for a reported $45 million, or nearly $300,000 per room. The high-end hotel is currently owned by JBG Cos. and operated by Kimpton Hotels. [Bloomberg]
Redistricting Lawsuit Could Delay Primaries — Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has requested that the state delay the June 12 congressional primaries by two months, following a decision by the Virginia Supreme Court to allow a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s recent redistricting process to proceed. [Washington Post]
Planetarium Renovations On Track — Renovations to Arlington’s David M. Brown Planetarium are underway and on schedule. The modernized planetarium is expected to reopen this fall, perhaps as early as September. A citizen-formed nonprofit group, the Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium, helped to raise more than $400,000 for the renovations. [Sun Gazette]
Yorktown Band Seeks Donations — The Yorktown Band Boosters are seeking donations of used musical instruments and cases. The 501(c)3 nonprofit asks that those with questions about donating call 703-228-5370.
Yorktown High School students found a creative way to remind their classmates to avoid drinking during Homecoming: they created an original song and a corresponding music video.
“[The video] was produced as part of the school’s participation in the Choose Health campaign to reach out and work on guiding students to better, healthier choices,” said Arlington Public Schools spokesman Frank Bellavia. “The message to students is to stay sober and make good choices during Homecoming.”
Yorktown’s Homecoming was held earlier this month.
Construction to Begin on Rosslyn Office Project — The long-stalled Central Place office project may finally be moving forward. Developer JBG says construction on a new 390-foot office tower, adjacent to the Rosslyn Metro station, will likely begin in the second quarter of 2012. The project will be competing with the nearby 1812 N. Moore Street project for the title of tallest skyscraper in the D.C. area. [Washington Post]
Taxi Fee Increase in the Works — The Arlington County Board is expected to advertise public hearings for a possible increase in two fees charged by taxi cabs. County staff is recommending the initial base taxi fare (the “drop fee”) be raised from $2.75 to $3.00, while also recommending the extra-passenger charge be hiked from $1.00 to $1.50. All fees charged by Arlington-based taxis are set by the county. [Sun Gazette]
Is Arlington Blocking I-66 Widening? — Why isn’t VDOT rushing to widen additional sections of I-66 inside the Beltway? Bob Chase, of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance blames obstructionism from Arlington. But County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman says a lack of money is behind the lack of action — and that Arlington “by itself doesn’t have the power to get in the way of more lanes.” [Washington Examiner]
H-B Woodlawn, a.k.a. Hippie High — H-B Woodlawn Secondary School — the educational experiment once known as ‘Hippie High’ — turned 40 this year. According to the Post: “Hippie High enters middle age far more conventional than it once was, with many of its students loading up on AP courses and obsessing about their SAT scores and grade-point averages just like their peers at ordinary high schools.” [Washington Post]
This summer Joel Orbina Laguidao, the Red Top Cab driver who keeps a portable karaoke machine in his taxi, gained regional notoriety thanks to local media coverage.
Now, the ‘Karaoke Cab’ has gone national, thanks to a feature story on this morning’s Today Show.
As part of the five-minute segment, Today Show co-host Savannah Guthrie took a musical ride around Arlington in the Karaoke Cab with Joel. As Arlington landmarks like Whitlow’s passed by in the background, Guthrie was joined in the cab by a number of random taxi passengers and by one not-so-random Arlington resident: NBC News White House Correspondent Chuck Todd.
Guthrie called the cab “a new innovative way of getting around the D.C. area” that “gives a whole new meaning to ‘traffic jam.’”
The segment was filmed on Friday, Sept. 16, with the cooperation of Clarendon-based Red Top Cab.
Have you ever hopped in a Red Top Cab at night and realized that it wasn’t just a taxi, it was a karaoke parlor on wheels?
If so, you’ve probably met Joel Orbina Laguidao, the subject of an amusing Washington Post Style section feature this week.
A former truck driver, Laguidao started driving a cab shortly after moving to Virginia from the Philippines. After becoming bored with just driving all the time, he installed a karaoke machine.
The Post recently rode shotgun as Laguidao hauled bar-goers from Clarendon back to their apartments in Ballston, Pentagon City and elsewhere. Intrepid reporter Dan Zak bore witness to the looks of disbelief on the faces of first-time riders, and to the loud, terrible drunken singing that serenades Laguidao during his workday (that is, when Laguidao is not on the mic himself).
The symphony, conducted by Jeff Dokken, will play at a free concert called “Honoring America” which will feature patriotic-themed classical music. It will take place tonight at 7:30 in the theater at Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road).
The Symphony Orchestra of Arlington is a professional caliber volunteer orchestra founded in January. Its goal is to foster education, outreach and entertainment while providing high quality classical music to residents in and around Arlington.
The concert will also feature the Open5ths, a Washington, D.C. based men’s chorus.
Rep. Jim Moran isn’t the only member of the Moran family who’s courting your vote. Keira Moran, the congressman’s granddaughter, needs your help to win an national songwriting contest.
Keira’s song “When I’m With You” is one of two finalists in an online competition on SmashTune.com. The 16-year-old T.C. Williams (Alexandria) High School student is neck-and-neck against her fellow finalist, 22-year-old Californian Lucia Sosa. Voting closes today at 2:00 p.m.
Rep. Moran has been campaigning for Keira and posting words of encouragement on the contest page.
“You’re an amazing talent Keira,” he wrote, via Facebook. “I’m so proud of you – not just because of your songwriting and other artistic gifts, but even more so because of what a truly good and kind person you are. I’m one lucky Grandpa!”
In addition to playing the piano, Keira is also the first chair cello in the T.C. Williams orchestra. See her perform other self-written songs here.
We’re turning off the comments to prevent the inevitable creep of politics into a basically non-political story.
Groundbreaking for Lee Highway Condos — The Christopher Companies has broken ground on Dominion Heights, a 66-unit condo building at 3565 Lee Highway. Construction is expected to last 14-18 months. [Marketwire]
Suggestions for Field Near Ballston Mall — One writer has a suggestion for a barren quarter-acre field next to the Ballston Common Mall parking garage at the corner of Glebe Road and N. Randolph Street. The field should be turned into a public plaza, complete with specimen trees and a lunch kiosk, GGW’s Joey Katzen writes. [Greater Greater Washington]
It’s Accordion Awareness Month — One Arlington resident and hardcore accordion enthusiast describes how she’s celebrating National Accordion Awareness Month. [Patch]
Tuckahoe staffers produced and starred in a music video set to Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” as an “end of the year gift” to students.
The video is intended to be “something to make [students] smile and uplift them before they go off for the summer,” in the words of one teacher.
The video is long (nearly an hour) and the audio is low, but the county’s television channel has posted a video of an fascinating panel discussion on this history of rock and roll in Northern Virginia.
Featured in the video are five men who promoted local concerts in the ’60s and 70s: Derwood Settles, Teddy Bodnar, Michael Oberman, Mike Schreibman, and Bud Becker. The discussion, organized by cultural historian Jeff Krulik, was held in the Artisphere in November.
Civil War ‘History Mobile’ Coming to Arlington — A tractor trailer turned mobile history museum will be visiting Arlington several times this summer, as part of commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The History Mobile’s exhibits “look at the war through the eyes of civilians, slaves and soldiers.” [Sun Gazette]
ART Contractor Wins Safety Award — The contractor that operates Arlington Transit (ART) buses won a top safety award on Sunday. The company, Forsythe Transportation, helped reduce safety complaints on ART by 58 percent in one year, according to a county press release. [Arlington County]
Pentagon City Casting Call for Kid Singers — Organizers of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic — held later this summer in D.C. — are looking for kids between the ages of 6 and 12 to sing the National Anthem prior to featured tennis matches. A casting call will be held at the Pentagon City mall from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 4. Multiple winners will be selected. [Legg Mason Tennis Classic]
Flickr pool photo by Mark C. White
The Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel (2800 S. Potomac Avenue) in Crystal City held a swank grand opening celebration last night.
The NYC-based musical duo of electric violinist Caitlin Moe and DJ Mia Moretti performed for a stylishly-attired crowd. Waiters and waitresses dressed as fashionable flight attendants served signature cocktails and international hors d’oeuvres, in keeping with the party’s “jet set” theme.
The 300-room Renaissance hotel and the attached, 325-room Residence Inn opened to the public in March. More photos, after the jump.
“We touch you kid like that / We grope your kid like this / We touch them up and down because they might be terrorists,” Remy sings, dressed as a mustachioed TSA agent. “We do the pokey pokey because we somehow are allowed, that’s what it’s all about.”
Sohaib Athar achieved worldwide fame for providing real-time Twitter updates during the raid — without knowing that it was a raid or that it was Osama bin Laden’s secret hide-out that was being raided. Munasifi, meanwhile, achieved region-wide fame for his music video ode to life in Arlington.
Despite the fact that Athar lives in Abbottabad, Pakistan and Munasifi lives in Clarendon, Remy’s comedy apparently crosses physical and cultural borders — his parody video “Hey There Khalilah” is one of Athar’s “favorites” on YouTube.
A song entitled “Arlandria” is track number five on the album, Wasting Light. Arlandria is the section of Alexandria around Mount Vernon Avenue, across from the Arlington border.
Grohl is no stranger to the area. He grew up in Northern Virginia, went to high school in Alexandria and recorded an early solo album in Arlington. His first Foo Fighters album included a song called “Weenie Beenie,” after the Shirlington hot dog stand.
Listen to the new Foo album here. The lyrics for “Arlandria,” after the jump.
Hat tip to Jim S.