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The Lee Heights Shops in May 2023 (via Google Maps)

It’s been a banner year so far for online holiday shopping.

Fresh records for online shopping were set on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There’s some question, however, as to whether the online holiday shopping growth — in total up 7.8% from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, according to Adobe — is a good sign or bad sign for brick-and-mortar merchants.

From Axios:

E-commerce sales don’t tell the whole story.

The segment makes up less than 16% of U.S. retail sales.

The National Retail Federation separately reported on Tuesday that more than 200 million people shopped online and in-person during the five day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday — exceeding last year’s record number of 196 million. […]

Thanksgiving fell early this year, which may have boosted numbers. Same goes for “favorable” weather, according to NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.

On the other hand, overall traffic to in-person retail locations was down slightly. From Reuters:

Online shoppers rose 3.1% to 134.2 million during the Thanksgiving weekend, making up for a slight dip in the number of customers who visited brick-and-mortar stores. The period saw about 121.4 million in-store shoppers, down from 122.7 million in 2022, according to the retail body.

Today we’re wondering how these numbers translate locally. Are Arlingtonians shifting more of their holiday spending online? Or are they still supporting local shops?

We have two polls, below, to try to gauge the state of local retail.


Morning Notes

View from the W&OD trail bridge over Langston Blvd (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

American Legion Drama — “Bob Romano has been Post 139’s field manager and coach the last 13 seasons, leading the team to district championships and state-tournament berths. He has heard he will not be permitted to return to the team, if one is fielded… Along with two other past commanders, Romano filed a complaint with the American Legion Department of Virginia, on issues related to the Post’s operations, he told the GazetteLeader. As a result, Post 139 is being investigated by the state and temporarily lost its charter, but got it back.” [Gazette Leader]

New Leader for Planning Dept. — “Samia Byrd has been named Arlington County’s next Director of Community Planning, Housing and Development (CPHD), beginning on Jan. 3, 2024. In this new role, she will provide vision and leadership for the next generation of land use regulations, plans, development policies and practices, housing, and community and neighborhood planning programs. Samia will succeed Claude Williamson who is retiring at the end of the year after a 26-year career with the County.” [Arlington County]

Latest on Lee Arts Center — “Its death sentence has been lifted, at least temporarily, but a modest patch of county parkland located behind the Lee Arts Center on Langston Boulevard may still need friends in high places to ensure its continued existence. ‘It’s maybe at risk,’ Arlington Park and Recreation vice chair Jill Barker said at the committee’s Nov. 14 meeting.” [Gazette Leader]

Armed Shoplifting Suspect Nabbed — From Dave Statter: “Good coordination between @ArlingtonVaPD & @PFPAOfficial tonight after an initial report a shoplifter pulled a knife on Macy’s staff at the Fashion Centre. As soon as the lookout was broadcast a Pentagon officer said that man just went into the Pentagon Metro Station. Pentagon officers went in after him and soon delivered one in handcuffs to Arlington officers.” [Twitter]

Tuesday Crash on I-66 — From Dave Statter: “This was the collision that tied up I-66W near Glebe Road just after 5 p.m. The crash caught the attention of the person walking their dog.” [Twitter]

Marker to Commemorate Lawyers — “The Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) on Nov. 15 gave approval to the markers, which will commemorate buildings that have fallen to the wrecking ball as redevelopment engulfs the Courthouse neighborhood. Among the buildings are five constructed between 1927 and 1941 along what was informally designated ‘Lawyers Row.'” [Gazette Leader]

New Site Design Coming in 2024 — ARLnow will be kicking off a major (for us, at least) website development project in January. We expect to replace ARLnow’s current site design, which dates back to early 2019, by mid-year. ARLnow’s sister sites and partner sites will also be updated. The work is being done by Australia-based The Code Company.

It’s Thursday — Mostly sunny with temperatures reaching a high of 53, accompanied by a south wind at 5 to 9 mph. As the night progresses, expect partly cloudy skies and a low of around 37, with a southwest wind blowing at 6 to 10 mph. []


Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.

Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.

Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.

Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Good Wednesday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar.

🕗 News recap

The following articles were published earlier today — Nov 29, 2023.

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on Thursday in Arlington, from our event calendar.

☀️ Thursday’s forecast

Expect a mostly sunny day with a high around 53 and gentle south winds at 5 to 9 mph. As night falls, the sky will turn partly cloudy, accompanied by a low of approximately 37 and southwest winds blowing at 6 to 10 mph. See more from

💡 Quote of the Day

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
– Winston Churchill

🌅 Tonight’s sunset

Thanks for reading! Feel free to discuss the day’s happenings in the comments.


Holiday Shop & Winter Bazaar at Wakefield High School

Get ready to embrace the holiday spirit at Wakefield High School’s annual Holiday Shop and Winter Bazaar! This festive event is the perfect way to kickstart the holiday season with your family and friends. Shop local vendors and artists for

An employee of a shop in Courthouse was beaten by a robber early Wednesday morning, according to police.

The robbery happened around 3 a.m. at the Tobacco Vape Cigars store at 2305 Wilson Blvd.

“The employee was inside the closed business when he heard the male suspect force entry into the store by shattering a glass door,” Arlington County police said today in a crime report. “The employee attempted to confront the suspect, who began collecting merchandise, and a physical altercation ensued during which the suspect struck the employee before fleeing the scene on foot.”

“Medics evaluated and released the employee on scene,” the crime report continued. “Responding officers broadcast a lookout and canvassed the area for the suspect yielding negative results.”

The smoke shop is located in a small building that formerly housed SuperStar Tickets.

The circumstances surrounding this morning’s robbery are somewhat similar to those of a high-profile case in Arlington from March 2020. A group of three people broke into a smoke shop in the Green Valley neighborhood during early morning hours, and an employee who was sleeping in the back shot one of them. The employee was charged with Malicious Wounding but found not guilty last year.

The wee hours of the morning ended up being a busy time for Arlington first responders today. Around the same time as the robbery was dispatched for police, firefighters were arriving on scene of a small fire at the Ethiopian Community Development Council building, just off Columbia Pike on S. Highland Street.

File photo

Police are investigating back-to-back reported armed robberies in the Arlington Mill neighborhood.

The robberies happened around 2:30 p.m. on the 800 block of S. Frederick Street. Initial reports suggest that a masked man with a semiautomatic handgun separately robbed two people of cash.

The Fairfax County police helicopter is currently overhead, assisting Arlington police with a search for the suspect.

Neither robbery victim has been reported to be injured.


The holidays are warmer and brighter when celebrated with those you love!

Lee Heights Shops has everything you need with gift ideas from a unique selection of curated shops and dining options — perfect for that special someone.

No matter how long or daunting your list might be, you’re bound to find something for everyone here at the Shops. And you may even discover something for yourself along the way!

We offer a festive experience with a mix of food, fashion, and fun right in the heart of Arlington including:

Enjoy the free parking, convenient UPS shipping, and shop local this holiday season!

Lee Heights Shops is located at 4500 Cherry Hill Rd, Arlington, VA 22207.

Tacos are closer to being served in Westover, just in time for the holidays.

After a nearly 4-month delay, Westover Taco at 5849 Washington Blvd — previously the home of the Forest Inn, a long-time dive bar which closed in June 2022 — is set to open around mid-December, per the company’s Instagram account.

“Alright! We are super excited to announce that we’ve overcome all the hurdles and will be opening to the public in the next few weeks,” the company posted yesterday (Tuesday). “We’ll announce the exact date as soon as we have it.”

Originally, Westover Taco aimed to start serving back in August. However, co-owner Scott Parker said the opening was delayed due to permitting issues.

“It was just the usual permit delays. Nothing too exciting,” Parker told ARLnow.

Construction began last spring, and it appeared the restaurant was adding the final touches when ARLnow recently checked in on its progress.

The restaurant’s menu boasts several types of tacos, including chicken, pork, steak and fish.

Complementing the taco selection is an assortment of tequila-based cocktails, including a cucumber jalapeño paloma with grapefruit and lime, a tequila colada with coconut water and coconut Rèal and the classic margarita.


This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

With the holiday season upon us, many of you will be gathering with friends and family this year, and if you’re looking for a unique venue for your holiday festivities, look no further than WHINO.

Launched in 2021, WHINO is a 6,200-square-foot combination restaurant and art gallery, located on the second floor of Ballston Quarter. Not only is WHINO known for its delicious small plate menu and delightful craft cocktails, but they are also an art gallery and nightlife venue featuring artists from all over the world.

Sounds cool, right? This year, BizLaunch is hosting BizArt at WHINO, on December 11, and YOU’RE invited!

BizArt is our annual networking event in partnership with Arlington Arts, connecting entrepreneurs and creatives alike — resulting in relationships and projects that make a lasting impact. With WHINO’s beautiful gallery of art and murals, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect backdrop for the event.

Join us at this amazing local Arlington venue on December 11, from 5-7 p.m. for some tasty bites on us and networking connections that will last a lifetime.

But wait, there’s more!

Looking for unique gifts for loved ones on your list? Check out our list of upcoming Holiday Markets featuring many Made in Arlington vendors

When you shop at 1,000+ small businesses on Open Rewards, you can earn 5% rewards when you upload your receipts to the app. Get 5% cash back rewards at WHINO and many other local restaurants on Open Rewards this holiday season.

Plus, thanks to the National Landing BID, shoppers can get an additional 5% if they shop at small businesses in National Landing.

All of us here at BizLaunch, wish you a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous New Year.



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