Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com October 12, 2012 at 8:55 am 3,695 65 Comments

Colonial Invasion Comes to Ft. Myer — The annual spirit night for George Washington University basketball is coming to Ft. Myer’s Conmy Hall tonight. The event, which is usually held on the GW campus, will start at 8:00 p.m. It’s being held at Ft. Myer as a tribute to the military, and to celebrate GW’s basketball history — the team played at Conmy Hall from 1956 to 1975. GW students will be bused to the event from the school’s Foggy Bottom campus. [Colonial Hoops]

Late Night Shuttle Service Eyes Arlington — The DC Hopper, a nightlife shuttle service for bar-goers, is thinking about coming to Arlington. The service just launched in Bethesda, taking passengers from Bethesda to Georgetown to Dupont Circle and back in 30-passenger minibuses outfitted with TVs and free Red Bull energy drinks. Rides cost between $24 and $10. The owners say they would eventually like to expand the service to include Arlington, U Street NW, and H Street NE. [BethesdaNow]

Convert Quincy Park to Central Park? — Greater Greater Washington contributor Peter Harnik, director of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land, has an idea for Arlington’s Quincy Park. He said the park, located adjacent to Arlington Central Library, should be converted to “a great central park” with trees, a pond, a bridge, landscaping, curving baths and “not a single chain-link fence.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Flickr pool photo by Alex

  • i dunno about turning quincy into a central park thing… lots of peeps use the sports fields as they are now…

    i do think it could use some definite upkeeping, maybe adding some kind of memorial to some dead white guy & definitely planting some trees…

    • FrenchyB

      It’s a cool idea in theory, but you’re dead on about the athletic fields – they’d definitely need to replace those somewhere.

      • Taylor

        So basically this guy’s idea is to remove well-used athletic facilities and a valuable community asset in order to have a “trophy park” where office workers and condo dwellers can sip coffee from exotic restaurants while watching over a “generous water element.”

        Oh, and eliminate parking so that most Arlington residents wouldn’t have convenient access to it.

        For some reason, this doesn’t sound like a great idea.

        • Also

          And Washington-Lee High school’s baseball field and tennis courts. I don’t think most know that YHS and part of WLHS athletic faciliies are in parks run by Parks and Rec…hence, BTW, the dismal state of the grass in many areas.

        • westoverflow

          Yeah, somehow I’m not convinced that he would be willing to let the WLHS marching band rehearse in his backyard after taking away their practice field.

      • Again

        That baseball field is were WLHS plays its games. Where would you have them walk to if you were to replace it?

    • JamesE

      Memorial to Trev

      • JamesE

        holding a slice of pizza pointing to the sky

      • WeiWeiQiang

        beer fountain in the form of a toilet … a sort of john fountain

        • sunflower

          coffee ALL over the keyboard….

        • SomeGuy

          Well done.

        • John Fontain


  • internet tourettes

    I totally agree with the chain link fence comment.

    What is it about Arlington and chain link fences?

    • internet tourettes

      I like the curving baths though!

    • Chain Link Fences

      In the 1950s (-ish) time frame, our wacky county government gave away chain link fences to residents and that is why you see so many very old chain link fences along sidewalks. The odd behavior of our county board appears to be deeply ingrained and not new.

      • internet tourettes

        Thanks! I knew there had to be something behind it. Do you know what the logic was behind the give away? Was the fence company owned by Francis X. O’Leary?

        • drax

          You know that was a joke, right?

          • Typical Republican

            Conservatives will believe any bs posted on the internet, as long as it reinforces their worldview.

          • WeiWeiQiang

            I can say there is a definite personal bias against chain link in SARWOK+ [South Arlington Ridge West of Kent]. Seriously, vocal disdain. I don’t know where it comes from.

          • internet tourettes

            I have never in my life seen so many chain link fences in so called up scale neighborhoods. Those fences are right up there with cars on blocks in the driveway and broken appliances in the front yard. I’m not from here but if you have a house that is worth more than a half a million dollars you try to at least put a little effort in to making it look nice…..

          • sunflower

            if you fill the spaces with red and/or blue solo cups they don’t look half bad….

          • Chain Link Fences

            You know that dr_x’s comments are jokes?

          • internet tourettes

            I thought yours was, hence the Francis X. O’Leary comment in my orginal reply.

  • novasteve

    good fences make good neighbors

    • Novasteve’s neighbor

      I completely agree.

  • Staringattheskyguy

    Nice Pic!

  • arlgirl

    Baths? Sure, let’s spend more money we don’t have on more park amenities we don’t need. I’m for leaving the park the way it is. And we don’t need Mr. Harnik telling Arlington what to do with its parks.

    • JamesE

      If they spent a million on a dog park in Clarendon I am sure they will find a way to spends millions on this, then my car will magically go up in value next year.

    • ballsteve

      Who is this “we” that “don’t need Mr. Harnik telling Arlington what to do with its parks?” Arlington residents? Because that would mean that he is included in “we,” as his bio line under the article clearly states that he lives here.

  • Save the Fields

    “Elegant features for other users need to take precedence over sports facilities in a central park, while the county can satisfy the need for playing fields elsewhere.”

    Could be one of the dumbest things I have seen written this year! Exactly where on earth does this twit think he is going to find space for playing fields?

    As it is those fields are being eyed left and right for things like new elementary schools!

  • WeiWeiQiang

    Let’s improve the maintenance on the parks we have, shall we?

    While my only frequent experience is with VA Highlands Park – which has fallen in to a state of significant disrepair around the tennis and basketball courts and aux field – I’m sure that we could better spend our money maintaining and improving the parks we have. Plus, the “central park” idea seems disconsonant with the whole Arlington Neighborhood approach.

    • Bluemontsince1961


      • Hmmm

        + 1

  • Juanita de Talmas

    The GGW commenters didn’t much go for the idea either.

  • bobco85

    I think the “central park” idea would not work, especially at Quincy Park. The park is not even close to the center or Arlington (what’s South Arlington, chopped liver?). The best choice for something like this could be TJ, as it’s at least in a central location (but not close to any metro rail stations).

    the “central park” idea seems disconsonant with the whole Arlington Neighborhood approach

    I absolutely agree with WeiWeiQiang on this. Arlington is not centralized around any particular area, as you have the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, Pentagon/Crystal City, and typical suburbs inbetween.

    I also think this article was custom-made for the person with the username SuburbanNotUrban!

    • drax

      How’d you do that quote thingie?

      • bobco85

        I used a blockquote tag for it. The comments on this site allow for html tags to be used, and I recommend W3Schools (free) HTML Tutorial for further reading.

        Examples (I’m also testing to see which ones actually work):


        a (used for links)
        font color=”red” (text color)

        • bobco85

          Hmm, last 2 did not work. Maybe strong and emphasized?

          • SomeGuy


          • SomeGuy

            That didn’t work how I thought it would.

    • ballsteve

      Isn’t his proposed park next to something called the Arlington “Central” Libraray?

      • ballsteve

        Library. Woops.

      • bobco85

        Yeah, I think my argument would have to change to:

        They shouldn’t call it Arlington Central Library because it’s not in the center of Arlington.

      • WeiWeiQiang

        Seriously, calling something “Central Park” uses an iconic reference [and actually tries to create a space mimicking (sp?) the iconic space]. I’m sorry, but as legimate as the connection to the Central Library may be, it’s less than compelling to me.

        Having said that, I applaud the guy for trying to increase appreciation for and use of ArlCo public spaces. Maybe after the entire existing park system is brought up to a standard consistent with his vision of Central Park, we can collectively assess whether we want to turn a large undeveloped space into a park in Manhattan-On-The-Potomac. Until then, I will use the baths at the Clarendon CCA.

    • drax

      Arlington is centralized around the urban corridor.

  • CW

    Sorry, you lost me at “Greater Greater Washington.” Do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not read article by freshman urban planning student about how we should try to make our city look like Paris.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Amen again!

    • ballsteve

      I know, this guy is a total amateur: http://www.tpl.org/about/peter-harnik.html

      • Observer

        His idea is very amateurish.

      • CW

        I didn’t read this article; it was a joke – they often do feature articles from current students, hence the joke.

  • JohnB

    I’ll repeat what I said over there:

    Peak VT:

    This proposal is makes no sense because Arlington is not configured like Manhattan. Arlington’s high-density urban areas are long, thin strips only a few blocks wide. The rest of the county is suburban, and has plenty of parks to boot. So there’s not really a need for a large urban park. And much of the appeal of Central Park stems from its stark contrast to the hyper-density of Manhattan, which is further reinforced by the hard boundaries of water bodies on all sides of the island. Arlington doesn’t share those features, so the feel of Central Park couldn’t be replicated.

    If you’re going to import an element of urban planning from elsewhere, you should choose one from a city that has more in common with Arlington. Manhattan, and New York as a whole, is pretty much sui generis.


    I agree with Peak VT. This location is not central and the north side of the park is bordered by single family homes. What we need is many great public spaces that are context sensitive, not a single showpiece park. Arlington has many diverse neighborhoods from quite suburban single family homes to bustling dense urban corridors. Our parks mimic that diversity and should continue to do so.

  • NIMBY the Chicken

    I got so frustrated trying to pick apart every point he tried to make I just gave up. Everyone on that site is out of their mind.

  • John

    I think the idea here is to have a large non-sports dominated park close to a high concentration of residents and public transportation, which is a good idea. The published rendering looks bad though, really bad. It looks like some outdated 1960s vision of a park with those mini railroads for the kids. But most suburban towns (not DC-area) have landscaped parks with water features like a lake or a duck pond, etc, and Peter’s idea is not without merit.

    Welburn Square and the Oakland Mini Park are sorry excuses for suburban/urban parks, and most Arlington parks are dominated by athletic uses, or they are long linear parks with bike trails or wilderness areas with hiking trails. I don’t think the solution is eliminating the popular baseball and flag football/soccer fields at Quincy, but maybe the poorly designed softball field could be 86’d for an extension of the landscaped area of Quincy Park. Also the entire park could benefit from a landscaping master plan, and the intervention of a forward-looking landscape architecture firm.

    • drax

      Perhaps this is a good idea, but a better location would be Oakland Park, that empty park with no athletic fields right in the middle of the urban corridor on Wilson between Oakland and Nelson (Va. Square).

      • NIMBY the Chicken

        Where would the bums sleep during the construction? That’s not very inclusive thinking!

  • scumsuckingcondodweller

    if you’re not a HS student or play team sports, then QP is useless as a neighborhood asset.
    Would be nice if was a pretty inviting place to hang out…like Dupont circle or other DC neighborhood parks or even a playground
    now its just a thing to walk through on the way to somewhere else

    • Ren

      Respectfully, I disagree. The GGW proposal is a solution in need of a problem. It’s an interesting idea though!

      Mosaic Park, which incidentally, is about to be expanded significantly, has playground equipment and I believe will be even more ‘kid and recreation’ focused when upgraded. That’s approximately a 1/4 mile away. In terms of places to stroll and ‘get the park experience’, Arlington is well served. From the middle of Ballston, Bluemont and Lubber Run are roughly as close as the CL. They might be a bit of a lunchtime hike from the east, but begs the question: if too far for such a subgroup of users, how many folks would we really be talking about? And the east side of Quincy Park itself is actually pretty ‘tree’d’ (and always empty).

      Arlington’s government should also get credit for its overall development plan, which winds up using more residential neighborhoods to treat the whole county like a big park. It’s not tough to get into ‘leafy’ setting here quickly. On ‘water features’, they’ve been all the rage in recent development deals and 3901 Fairfax (right next to the Library) is supposed to have a pretty significant one.

      Lastly, the GGW scope is off. Despite some (charitable) comparisons to Manhattan, Arlington does not fit the category in comparing metro-NYC and metro-Washington. Like it or not, we have a Central Park…at the Mall. An appropriate Arlington comparison would probably be to one of the other boroughs like Brooklyn. Not to mention the center of Arlington – if thought of as an entity (the way I imagine planners should) – is basically ANC or the 50 corridor. How would a ‘Central Park’ on the edge of Ballston serve Crystal City and Shirlington?

      • Observer

        This is a well written post.

        I don’t even want to get into the incorrect application of English park vs French jardin that the GGW guy engages in. It’s one thing for a policy guy to say “There should be a park there”, but please leave the design to professionals.

        Arlington has a great park system already, that has grown up to reflect the vernacular of its neighborhoods. The best thing about Arlington parks is that you can not point to Arlington’s Main Park.

      • Openly Gator

        An appropriate Arlington comparison would probably be to one of the other boroughs like Brooklyn

        Prospect Park is pretty analogous to Central Park, so try again.

  • YTK

    “Convert Quincy Park to Central Park”??

  • John Fontain

    GGW’s view: If it ain’t broke, fix it.

    • CW

      So true. I tried to follow them for about a year, I really did, but it just caught up to me.

    • drax

      Yes, I recall GGW calling for a huge pedestrian bridge across the Potomac just so people in DC can get to Roosevelt Island on foot, just because the island is part of the District.

  • that’s what she said

    The Hopper!

  • Mc

    Let’s upgrade Quincy Park, and make it look notice and pleasant to be in. Now it is shabby, and the only non sports types who spend time there seem to be homeless. It needs to be a place you can enjoy without having to wearing a T-shirt.


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