Dark Star Park Day in Rosslyn — It’s Dark Star Park Day in Rosslyn. Today commemorates the 30th anniversary of the park, which is designed to cast shadows that align with the art installation once a year, on Aug. 1. Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette is expected to speak at a celebration at the park, at 1655 Fort Myer Drive, starting at 9:00 a.m. [Rosslyn BID, Ode Street Tribune]
Roads to Close for Signature Open House — Part of Campbell Avenue in Shirlington will be closed from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday for the annual Signature Theatre open house. The event runs from noon to 10:00 p.m. and features numerous singing and theater performances, including a “Signature Idol competition.” [Signature Theatre, Arlington County]
Finding Love on Metro — Metro is D.C.’s most popular location for missed romantic connections. “There seems to be quite a lot of flirting, or at least furtive glancing, taking place on public transportation,” states the county’s Mobility Lab blog. As evidence of that, the blog interviewed Mary Rouleau, executive director of the Arlington-based Alliance for Housing Solutions, who met her husband while waiting for an Orange Line train. [Mobility Lab]
Library Seeks LEGO Creations — Arlington Public Library is seeking original creations for its 2nd annual LEGO exhibit. The exhibit is open to LEGO builders age 18 and under, and teams featuring at least one under 18 member. [Arlington Public Library]
Arlington Parkmobile Video — Arlington County has created a video showcasing its new partnership with Parkmobile, the smartphone app that allows you to pay for parking without feeding a meter. The service is currently available in Crystal City and Shirlington, and will be expanding to other parts of the county over the next 9 months or so. [YouTube]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
The Curious Grape, at 2900 S. Quincy Street in Shirlington, held its first chocolate tasting last night, guiding attendees through tasting five high-end chocolates. It’s the first in a series of chocolate tastings and seminars that Curious Grape plans to offer through August.
During the tastings, which range in price from $3 to $5, customers can come in between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. and taste five “rare heirloom varieties of chocolate,” said Curious Grape owner Suzanne McGrath. Artisan chocolate-making, she said, has been on the rise recently.
“There have been developments with chocolate in the past few years,” McGrath said. “Chocolate really is like wine. It depends on where it’s grown, how it’s grown and how it’s processed.”
At the chocolate seminars, attendees will taste more than 12 chocolates, with guidance and commentary from McGrath, and watch informational videos on chocolate production, McGrath said. The seminars cost $15 and accommodate 34 attendees.
“People are pretty jazzed by the end,” McGrath said. “It’s a lot of caffeine.”
Chocolate tastings will be held Aug. 13, 15 and 22, and will explore the differences in chocolate offered by single brands, or the variance between different brands making chocolates at the same cacao percentage, McGrath said. The 90-minute chocolate seminars will be held Aug. 19 and Aug. 26 at 6:30 p.m and registration is still open.
The cafe and wine shop has offered wine tastings since it first opened in 2001, and also offers cheese tastings and seminars, although wine will not be served at the chocolate events, McGrath said.
“Once you start mixing wines and chocolates, you miss the complexities in the flavor,” McGrath said. “There will be no spitting of chocolate.”
Although McGrath had offered chocolate events at her store in the past, she said that the improvements in organic and heirloom chocolate production inspired her to hold tastings and seminars again. Among the more than 40 new, white, milk and dark chocolate bars at the cafe, there is a range of cacao percentages, roasting techniques and conching styles among them, McGrath said.
“Those are big brands for me,” McGrath said. “Ritual is one that uses the same process to make chocolate from different origins, and Fresco uses different methods to make chocolate from one origin.”
But of all the options in her cafe, McGrath said the customer favorite is still Mo’s Milk Chocolate Bacon Bar.
“That’s always been our best-seller,” she said.
Fire at Pentagon Metro Station — A trash fire on the tracks at the Pentagon Metro station just before 8:00 this morning caused the station to fill with smoke. The fire was quickly extinguished by Arlington firefighters, but not before it resulted in delays on the Blue, Yellow and Green lines.
Capitals to Hold Blood Drive — The Washington Capitals will hold their annual summer blood drive at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston this weekend. The event will take place from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. [Associated Press]
New Bus Route Serving Shirlington — Alexandria’s DASH will begin new service to the Shirlington Transit Center on Monday. The DASH AT9 will run from the Mark Center to Shirlington to Potomac Yard. [DASH Bus]
WJLA Sale Approved — The sale of Rosslyn-based TV station WJLA (ABC 7) has received FCC approval. Long-time owner Allbritton Communications is selling WJLA, NewsChannel 8 and seven other stations to Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group. [Politico]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen
Board Members Spar Over Streetcar PR Funds — Of the $7-8 million contract with Parsons Transportation Group to serve as project manager of Arlington’s streetcar system, up to $650,000 will be spent on “public-education efforts during the first year of the contract.” That isn’t sitting well with Board member and streetcar critic Libby Garvey. “We should not be wasting $650,000 on PR,” she is quoted as saying. [InsideNova]
DJ Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Women — DJ Joey Flash, who counts A-Town Bar and Grill in Ballston among his former clients, has pleaded guilty to charges of rape and sexual battery. The nightlife fixture, whose real name is Joseph Rivera, admitted to bringing highly intoxicated women back from bars, having sex with them while they were unconscious, and filming the encounters. [Washington Post]
Capital Bikeshare Runs Out of Membership Keys — Anyone wanting to sign up for Capital Bikeshare will have to wait until the second week of July. CaBi says it has run out of membership keys “due to issues with our supplier, and heavier than anticipated member sign ups.” [DCist]
Animal Hospital Coming to Shirlington — Two veterinarians will be opening a new facility, Shirlington Animal Hospital, this fall at 2770 S. Arlington Mill Drive. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]
Sinclair Hoping to Close on WJLA Sale Soon — Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is buying Rosslyn-based TV station WJLA (ABC 7), is hoping to close on the sale by July 27. The company is selling TV stations in Harrisburg, Pa. and Charleson, S.C. to facilitate FCC approval of the acquisition of WJLA and six other Allbritton Communications stations. [Arkansas Business]
Flickr pool photo by David Bender
Park Activists Taking It Too Far? — Residents pushing for the Arlington School Board to scrap a plan to build a new elementary school on parkland next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School might have taken their effort to preserve parkland too far. Activists reportedly placed “Save TJ Park” signs in the yards of some school board members overnight before the vote on a new Arlington Public Schools Capital Improvement Plan. School-related activism “seems to be getting out of hand,” writes Sun Gazette editor Scott McCaffrey. [InsideNova]
HOV Enforcement Today — Virginia State Police, Arlington County Police and other D.C. area law enforcement agencies are conducting an HOV enforcement campaign today on I-395, I-66 and other local highways. The enforcement took place during the morning rush hour and will take place again during the evening rush hour. [Associated Press]
WETA Takes Ownership of ‘NewsHour’ — Shirlington-based public TV station WETA has taken ownership of the PBS NewsHour from longtime owner MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. The NewsHour is produced at WETA studios in Shirlington, but has lately been struggling to raise funds for its $25-30 million budget. [New York Times]
This evening, the running club is throwing its fifth anniversary party at its usual post-run watering hole, Bungalow Sports Grill (2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive). The club’s runners participate in its 5K runs on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., then heads to the restaurant for happy hour.
Mirentxu Meyer and Shirley Santos founded the running club when Santos was training for a triathlon, and, seeing as how they “hated to run,” they figured they would start a community group to make it a little more fun.
“Shirlington is a really young place with new families,” Meyer said. “We [saw] a lot of cuties out at the grocery store and we wanted to bring them out.”
The club was designed as a “not too intimidating and not too easy group,” and it’s grown exponentially as runners sign up to have their attendance tracked, earn free T-shirts with attendance milestones and enjoy a few beers with their running counterparts at Bungalow. Meyer said people “don’t have to be a runner” to join the club, and their attendance will still be taken.
Tonight, at 6:30 p.m. the party will include raffles with prizes like free tickets to a show at Shirlington’s Signature Theatre, a shoe fitting with New Balance and 10 vendors on hand to offer their wares to members both new and old.
There will be a rain date later this week — yet to be announced — if the run is cancelled due to the inclement weather in the forecast, but that won’t stop the carousing. Four years ago, at SRC’s first anniversary party, the skies opened up during the raffles, Meyer said.
“All of a sudden there was a big crack and there was a crazy downpour,” she said. “There was no power left, but the beer kept pouring.”
Photo via Shirlington Running Club. Morgan Fecto contributed to this report.
The Shirlala Music Festival begins June 12 with urban folk rock artist Justin Trawick, performing in the plaza in front of Signature Theatre (4200 Campbell Avenue) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The concerts will take place every Thursday through August 21.
The festival will also include a weekly $5 wine tasting, with the proceeds going to benefit the Arlington Food Assistance Center. The concerts themselves are free for the public.
Here is the schedule of performers:
- June 12 — Justin Trawick (urban folk rock)
- June 19 — The Morrison Brothers (Southern rock)
- June 26 — King Teddy (swing)
- July 3 — Taylor Carson (acoustic rock)
- July 10 — Down Wilson (pop rock cover band)
- July 17 — Scott Paddock (jazz)
- July 24 — Ewabo (tropical steel drums)
- July 31 — The Shack Band (Southern funk)
- Aug. 7 — Paul Pfau (pop, rock & blues)
- Aug. 14 — Lloyd Dobler Effect (80s & 90s cover band)
- Aug. 21 — Dan Haas Trio (pop rock)
JetBlue Adding Service from DCA — JetBlue Airlines will begin direct service from Reagan National Airport to Charleston, S.C.; Hartford, Conn.; and Nassau, Bahamas on June 19. On July 2 the airline will add a second daily flight between DCA and Tampa. [InsideNova]
Beyer Accused of Using Car Dealership Ads to Boost Campaign — Del. Patrick Hope is accusing fellow Democratic congressional candidate Don Beyer of trying to “buy an election” and increase his name recognition by increasing ad buys for his eponymous Don Beyer Volvo dealership. Hope’s campaign says radio station WAMU has pulled ads for Don Beyer Volvo until after the June 10 primary. [Blue Virginia]
Celebrity Spotting in Shirlington — Actor and director Beau Bridges was reportedly spotted having dinner at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington this past Friday night. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]
Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber
Construction was being performed on the interior of the store today. That construction is expected to wrap up and the new Peet’s coffee shop is expected to open “in approximately 6 weeks,” according to Molly Hippolitus, a spokeswoman for the Village at Shirlington shopping center.
Minneapolis-based Caribou announced last year that it would be closing about half of its stores and converting the others to the California-based Peet’s brand.
The former Caribou location in Crystal City was originally expected to become a Peet’s store, but is instead becoming a new We, the Pizza location. The pizza shop from celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn is expected to open any day now.
‘Most Clarendon Craigslist Ad Ever’ — Is this listing for rooms in a house in the Clarendon-Courthouse area, which starts out with the greeting “Whasup Craiglist,” the “most Clarendon Craigslist ad ever,” as our tipster puts it? According to the listing, two people are leaving the four-person house and the remaining residents “are looking for new members [to add] to our wolfpack.” [Craigslist, Twitter]
Arlington Is 2nd Most Affordable for Car Insurance — A website says Arlington has the second most-affordable car insurance in the country. The ranking is based on the average insurance rate for a Ford F-150 as a percentage of the county’s median income. [Nerd Wallet]
SpringFest in Shirlington Tomorrow — Campbell Avenue in Shirlington will be closed to traffic tomorrow (Saturday) for the first annual Mid-Atlantic SpringFest beer festival. It costs $30 for tickets to sample the festival’s brews, which are being provided by more than 45 breweries. [Capitol City Brewing]
Summer Opening Eyed for Silver Line — After a series of delays, Metro is hoping to open the first phase of the Silver Line at some point this summer. [Reston Now]
ACPD Participating in Prescription Drug Take-Back — From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday), Arlington County Police will participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Those who have expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs lying around can bring them to one of three Arlington fire stations to have the medication safely disposed of, no questions asked. [Arlington County]
A new cajun seafood restaurant has opened in Shirlington Village at 4251 Campbell Avenue.
The restaurant is called Blue Sea Seafood and Bar, and it’s located in the former Bear Rock Cafe space. The concept behind it is “to make sure people were getting a great portion, great price and great food,” general manager Jonathan Theriault told ARLnow.com.
The restaurant opened to the public yesterday. Its menu features Cajun classics like pecan-crusted catfish and crab cakes, with entrees ranging from $18 to $31. The food and drink menu will change seasonally.
Theriault, who comes to Arlington from the Miami restaurant scene, said his team worked hard to create a cool, welcoming ambiance.
“I would like to think the restaurant has [a Miami vibe,]” Theriault said. “You walk in, you get the blue on the floor on the walls, so you feel a little Miami-ish but with a New Orleans background, too… The ambiance is hard to find something done this nicely anywhere around.”
Theriault said he hopes Blue Sea’s Shirlington restaurant is the first of multiple locations. The restaurant will eventually have outdoor seating and host live music on Saturday nights. Blue Sea plans to offer specials like all-you-can-eat shrimp and crab events and raw bar nights.
The site near Shirlington that was once eyed for an urban-style Walmart appears on its way to becoming a self-storage facility.
The site, at 2631 Shirlington Road, is currently occupied by Redman Fleet Services, a towing and truck service company that has a contract with the Arlington County Police Department. Big box retailer Walmart was thinking about building a store there in 2011, which prompted the County Board to change its zoning ordinance so it could regulate the design and plans for Walmart or other “big box” retailers.
The plans for the Walmart ultimately fell through, and the run-down two-story warehouse and large car storage lot on 2631 Shirlington Road remain. The building, however, has been approved for demolition and, in its place, a five-story facility referred to as “Shirlington Self Storage” has been proposed to take its place.
The self-storage facility’s building permit has been approved by county staff, but the zoning application was tentatively rejected in its last review by staff, which said an ongoing subdivision process needs to be completed before the zoning can be approved.
Hat tip to Preservation Arlington
Crow penned the music and lyrics while the movie’s writer and director, Barry Levinson, wrote the book (musicals’ version of a script), according to Variety. The entertainment publication reports that the musical will debut at Signature (4200 Campbell Ave.) from Dec. 9 to Jan. 25.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show was scheduled to open on Broadway twice before delays and may still end up there, depending on the show’s performance at Signature. The show will be directed and choreographed by three-time Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall (“Anything Goes,” “The Pajama Game,” “Wonderful Town”).
Set in Baltimore in 1959, the musical is based on Levinson’s 1982 debut feature about burgeoning adulthood, which follows a group of former high school buddies who reunite in their twenties at their favorite hangout as one of them prepares to get married. The movie’s ensemble cast included Kevin Bacon,Ellen Barkin and Mickey Rourke.
Levinson adapted the book for the show from his Oscar-nominated screenplay, while Crow wrote the music and lyrics, marking the first foray into musical theater for both.
A pre-Broadway tryout for Diner originally was announced to play San Francisco’s Curran Theatre in fall 2012, and a Broadway opening was scheduled to follow in spring 2013. That target was later pushed back to last fall, with an out-of-town tryout being scrapped in favor of further workshops. However, that plan also failed to come together.
Photo via Signature Theatre
Irish PM Visits Shirlington — Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny visited Samuel Beckett’s Irish Pub (2800 S. Randolph Street) in Shirlington over the weekend to watch an Irish rugby game. The Taoiseach, as the position of Irish prime minister is also called, is in the U.S. celebrating the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. [Facebook, The Independent]
County Board Approves Ashlawn Addition Revision — The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved a revised plan for an addition to Ashlawn Elementary School but not before making Arlington Public Schools officials explain how the project went wrong. Local residents have complained about several aspects of the plan, including tree removal the building of a parking lot. [InsideNoVa]
‘Intersection of Doom’ Left Out of Rosslyn Planning — A draft Rosslyn sector plan framework doesn’t include any solutions for the so-called “intersection of doom” — the intersection of N. Lynn Street and Lee Highway that has been the site of numerous pedestrian and bicyclist vs. vehicle accidents. Some believe a pedestrian tunnel or bridge may be the best solution for the busy intersection. [Greater Greater Washington]
County Board Approves New Synthetic Field Surface — The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved up to $701,000 to replace a 10-year-old synthetic turf field at Wakefield High School. [Sun Gazette]
Photo courtesy @mindpivot
The event, the inaugural Springfest, is planned for Saturday, April 26 from noon to 7:00 p.m. Forty-five breweries, almost exclusively from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland, are expected to pour their brews at booths. According to Capitol City Director of Brewing Operations Kristi Griner, the format will be the same as Capitol City’s annual Octoberfest, but the event will be smaller.
Partygoers can pay $30, which will give them a wristband and 10 tasting tickets. Additional tickets are $1 apiece, but must be bought at least five at a time. The event will likely shut down Campbell Avenue in Shirlington Village, although specifics about road closures have not been determined.
In addition to the beer, Griner said she expects neighboring Shirlington restaurants, like Copperwood Tavern and Samuel Beckett’s to participate and offer food to the festival patrons. DJ Julius, who hosts Capitol City’s karaoke nights, will provide the music. The taps will be turned off at 6:00 p.m.
“We’re trying to do something to help stir up the first quarter,” Griner said. “But spring is here, and especially after this winter in particular, everybody is ready to get outside. It seemed like a good bookend to winter with our Oktoberfest.”
Capitol City’s annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest was most recently held in Shirlington on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013.