by ARLnow.com October 21, 2010 at 3:46 pm 1,500 0

A happy hour and a cocktail party are on tap in Clarendon and Bluemont tonight.

The Reading Connection, a group that helps improve literacy for at-risk youth, is holding a happy hour at Mister Days (3100 Clarendon Blvd) from 5:00 to 9:00 tonight. A $5 donation gets you great happy hour specials and a raffle ticket for prizes like an Amazon Kindle 3G or gift cards to local stores.

Then from 7:00 to 10:30 p.m., Covet boutique (5140 Wilson Blvd )is holding a “Mad Men Cocktail Party” that will let you “get in touch with your inner Peggy Olson or Don Draper.”

“Join Covet for a night of vintage cocktails and party fare to celebrate life when people smoked through doctors appointments, air travel was sophisticated and men wore fedoras,” the store’s Facebook page beckons.

by ARLnow.com October 21, 2010 at 1:42 pm 4,154 27 Comments

The new Chick-Fil-A in Crystal City will open its doors on Thursday, Nov. 18, a PR rep for the Georgia-based company told ARLnow.com this afternoon.

The eagerly-anticipated restaurant will be located between the Corner Bakery Cafe and the Neramitra Thai restaurant on the 2200 block of Crystal Drive.

A groundbreaking ceremony featuring a company executive and the famous Chick-Fil-A cow was held in July.

The 3,683 square-foot restaurant will seat up to 81 people. It’s owned by a franchisee and mother of four, Natalie Yang, who is moving from Georgia to run the restaurant.

by ARLnow.com October 21, 2010 at 1:04 pm 1,563 2 Comments

The traffic lights at the intersection of Fairfax Drive and North Stafford Drive are dark due to a small power outage in the area.

About 100 Dominion customers are affected by the outage. The company expects to get the power back on by 4:00 this afternoon.

Police are placing portable stop signs on the road to remind drivers to treat the intersection as a four-way stop.

Earlier this morning, fire fighters responded to the adjacent Central United Methodist Church for a report of smoke in the boiler room, likely a result of the power outage.

by ARLnow.com October 21, 2010 at 10:53 am 9,136 85 Comments

The owner of Ballston Common Mall is “in the planning stages” of major renovations to the 24-year-old facility. The existence of the renovation plan was revealed at a real estate conference in Rosslyn this morning.

The plan may also involve the building of office space above or in place of the current Macy’s department store.

No timeline was given for the renovations. Ohio-based Forest City Enterprises owns the 580,000 square foot mall, which attracts 1,000,000 visitors per year.

Flickr pool photo by Tim Kelley.

by ARLnow.com October 21, 2010 at 10:40 am 2,847 20 Comments

Police are investigating a death on 2nd Street South in Alcova Heights this morning.

A passerby found a person shot to death in a car, police said. The car was parked on the side of the street, still running. Initial evidence points to suicide, we’re told.

2nd Street is closed to traffic between Glebe Road and South Oakland Street while police investigate the incident.

by ARLnow.com October 21, 2010 at 8:25 am 7,036 57 Comments

The Clarendon dog park soon won’t be just for the dogs any more. The park at Herndon Street and 13th Street is set to receive a $1.7 million face lift over the next year and a half. The project will transform what is essentially an open field adorned with plastic lawn chairs into a sleekly-designed green space that will be part dog park and part “person” park.

That is, unless the park bond fails in November.

All but $350,000 of the park’s funding relies on voters passing a $5.975 million park bond next month. If the bond fails, a new, piecemeal construction plan will likely need to be conceived.

“We would have to regroup and figure out how to proceed,” said Scott McPartlin, an urban planner with the county. “I don’t think anyone has the answer to that at this point.”

The current plan for the new park includes benches and picnic tables, a water feature, a demonstration garden, planed trees, solar panels to power a portion of the park’s features and a water reclamation system.

If the bond is passed, McPartlin expects construction to begin in late spring or early summer of 2011, to be completed by spring of 2012.

The county is currently conducting an online survey to determine a name for the park. With the exception of “Companionship Park,” the name choices — “James Hunter Park,” “Merchant’s Park,” “Nesmith Park,” and “Wheeler Park” — each have historical significance for the area.

Update at 12:45 p.m. — McPartlin clarifies that the $350,000 in funding already secured will go toward the dog park (in county parlance, a “community canine area”). The $1.3 million from the park bond will be used for the other improvements. Regardless of whether the bond passes, McPartlin says, the community canine area portion of the plan will move forward.

by ARLnow.com October 21, 2010 at 7:38 am 1,676 9 Comments

I-66 Ignored by Google Maps — If you recently tried to get directions to points west with Google Maps, and you were surprised when the directions included a long stretch on stop-light-heavy Route 50 instead of I-66, now there’s an explanation. The inside-the-Beltway portion of the highway, which is HOV-only at certain parts of the day, is no longer an option for Google Maps users. More from WTOP.

Wardian Profiled by New York Times — Prolific Arlington marathoner Michael Wardian is not running in the upcoming New York City Marathon. In fact, he hasn’t run the race in 12 years. But he was just profiled in the New York Times’ New York City Marathon blog.

Rating Arlington’s Indoor Pools — How do Arlington’s public indoor pools stack up? TBD scribe Jenny Rogers takes a look at the Yorktown, Washington-Lee and Wakefield pools.


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