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Underground Bike Races Return to Crystal City With New Name

Registration is now open for Crosshairs Garage Races, formerly known as Wednesday Night Spins, in Crystal City.

The underground bike races will begin in March. The course will be set up on the G4 level of the parking garage at 201 12th Street S., Designed as a “dry criterium” course, it will feature plenty of turns and no dismounts.

In addition to the new name for the series, there’s also a new competition to see who can rack up the most points over the first four races.

“Crosshairs Garage Races challenges amateur and elite cyclists alike to compete weekly for prizes and points in pursuit of the ‘Petty Cup.’ Named in honor of Joseph Petty, the former Crystal City BID employee and Crosshairs racing team member who conceptualized the event, the Petty Cup is awarded to the racer in each category with the most points earned over the course of the first four weeks of the series (March 7th to 28th),” the Crystal City Business Improvement District said in a press release.

The event is free for spectators and $15 for most bicyclist race registrations. There will also be a pop-up bar.

Here’s the list of upcoming races:

  • March 7
    • Beginners’ Race Series, 6:30 p.m.
    • Women’s Open Series, 7:25 p.m.
    • Open Race Series, 8:25 p.m.
  • March 14
    • Beginners’ Race Series, 6:30 p.m.
    • Women’s Open Series, 7:25 p.m.
    • Open Race Series, 8:25 p.m.
  • March 21
    • Beginners’ Race Series, 6:30 p.m.
    • Women’s Open Series, 7:25 p.m.
    • Open Race Series, 8:25 p.m.
  • March 28
    • Beginners’ Race Series, 6:30 p.m.
    • Women’s Open Series, 7:25 p.m.
    • Open Race Series, 8:25 p.m.
  • April 4
    • Beginner/Intermediate/Junior Open Race, 6:30 p.m.
    • Feds v. Contractors Race, 7:25 p.m.
    • Cargo Bike/Tandem/Bikeshare Showdown, 8 p.m.
    • Fixed Gear Finale, 8:25 p.m.

Crosshairs Garage Races is hosted by the Crystal City BID in partnership with JBG Smith and In The Crosshairs.

Photo courtesy Crystal City/Bruce Buckley Photography

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Beyer: Trump Parade Idea Is ‘Vanity Project… Reminiscent of Authoritarians’

Congressman Don Beyer (D-Va.) is raining pointed criticism on President Donald Trump’s parade.

Calling the president’s idea of a grand military parade in the nation’s capital “terrible” and “an embarrassing misuse of our military leaders’ time,” Beyer says he is also concerned about the impact of tanks and large military vehicles on local roads.

Beyer is particularly concerned that if the parade follows the same route as Trump’s inaugural parade, as suggested, it could take heavy equipment over the deteriorating Memorial Bridge, which is currently undergoing major repairs.

The congressman issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon.

Most of the reasons why Trump’s idea of huge military parade is a terrible one are immediately obvious. Our military is already strong without having to waste millions of dollars on a parade that could be better spent improving veterans’ services. In 2018 such displays are reminiscent of authoritarians than they are of healthy democracies. Planning this vanity project for President Trump is already an embarrassing misuse of our military leaders’ time, which should be focused on keeping Americans safe.

But there is also regional opposition to this idea because of its local impact. At least one Department of Defense official has already expressed concerns that running heavy military equipment of the kind Trump has asked for could damage local infrastructure. We are still waiting to see the details of Trump’s long-heralded national infrastructure plan, and I fear that my constituents may see their roads ‘chewed up’ before they see any progress toward rebuilding roads and bridges.

Tanks rumbled and troops marched over the Memorial Bridge in 1991 as part of the National Victory Day Parade celebrating the end of the Gulf War.

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Independent Auditor Seeks Suggestions of Things to Audit

(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) Arlington County’s independent auditor is soliciting suggestions for potential government audits from residents.

Chris Horton, who has been in the job since Nov. 2016 after his predecessor, Jessica Tucker, decamped for California, wants residents to chime in with ideas for transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness measures that should be undertaken. The goal is to uncover suggested audit topics for his 2018 work plan that result in “a broad community impact, a significant financial impact or both.”

“Primarily, we want to find out if there are things that the members of the public, members of the community, are aware of that haven’t necessarily bubbled up to my level or to the board level,” said Horton, noting that having a formal, written process was preferred to individual phone calls.

The previous public call, under Tucker, resulted in approximately 81 submissions. Public comments can be submitted on the county website over the next 30 days, although it may be extended depending on feedback volume. There are no limitations on suggested topics, but anonymous submissions are not accepted and it is recommended that each submission only address one audit topic.

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Rosslyn Nando’s Sets Opening Date

(Updated at 6:30 p.m.) Rosslyn’s Central Place will soon be welcoming another restaurant option to the neighborhood.

Nando’s, a South-African/Portuguese chicken restaurant, is coming to 1800 N. Lynn Street. It is currently expected to open in March, we’re told.

There are already two Nando’s locations in Arlington: one at Pentagon Row and another a recently-opened Ballston location. The chain, originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, is most well-known for its peri-peri sauce, a chili-based, lemony sauce.

Nando’s is hiring 35 positions in both the front and back of the house, according to the location’s general manager, Jorge Lemus.

A number of restaurants opened last year as part of the Central Place development, including Little Beet, Sweetgreen and a new McDonald’s. Elsewhere in Rosslyn, Poke Bar and Bibimix are expected to open in the next few months.

Photo courtesy of Annathea Cook

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Pet of the Week: Daisy Mae Revel

Becky's Pet Care

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Daisy Mae Revel, a yellow lab who loves to play fetch for hours and make friends at Glencarlyn Park.

Here is what her owner Alex had to say:

Daisy Mae Revel came into our lives on March 13, 2016. My husband surprised me with Daisy while proposing at The Winery at La Grange. Around her neck was a collar and he asked me to put the tag on, which said “Will you marry my daddy?”

Daisy is the most loving, caring and fun yellow lab. She loves playing with all of her toys especially her Starbucks Puppuccino toy, she can play fetch for hours and any time she sees water she has to immediately jump in! On the weekends you can find Daisy playing with her friends at Glencarlyn Park, walking around Clarendon with her mom and dad, or laying on her bed (also known as the family room couch because she’s the Princess and the Pea).

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner of six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.

Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.

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Arts Focus: Explore Arlington’s Public Art Together On Valentine’s Day

This is a column written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

While candy and flowers are a safe bet for Valentine’s Day, you may find that art is where the heart is.

Dating Advice.com recently explored a variety of romantic things to do in Arlington, ranging from restaurants and spas to live music and theater. They also gave special attention to the romantic possibilities of Arlington’s internationally acclaimed public art collection.

Some public art can even help you say “I Love You.” Echo, the interactive sculpture by Richard Deutsch at Penrose Square on Columbia Pike contains concave elliptical parabolas carved into each of the two granite monoliths that reflect and project sound.

This allows sweet nothings spoken softly into one stone to be heard by a listener at the other. When it comes down to it, quality time together is the best gift. Touring Arlington’s public art collection is a great way to explore your community and connect with each other.

Curated by the County agency Arlington Public Art, the County’s collection of contemporary works has won seven Public Art Network Year in Review Awards, the only national program recognizing excellence in public art.

From Flame in Ballston and Arlington Boulevard at Rt. 50 and 10th Street in Courthouse, to Rosslyn’s Cupid’s Garden, Dark Star Park and the recent DesignArlington award-winner, Quill, there are more than 60 intriguing works of permanent public art to explore throughout the County.

As mentioned in the Dating Advice.com column, “The idea of creating your own tour, exploring on your own in tandem with some of the great restaurants that people come to Arlington for, would be a really fun thing to do on a date,” said Angela Anderson Adams, Director of Arlington Public Art.

The County agency which oversees the Public Art program, has created a series of self-guided tour maps (on foot, via bike or car) that you can download. While it may be a bit chilly in February, that gives you the perfect excuse to cuddle as you stroll.

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Morning Notes

Murder of Crows Pooping All Over Shirlington — A large contingent of crows have taken up residence in Shirlington, and locals are getting fed up with cars and sidewalks being covered in bird doo-doo. [WTOP, NBC Washington]

Design Contest for 2019 ‘I Voted’ Sticker — “In an effort to gin up voter enthusiasm during what is expected to be a slow 2019, Arlington election officials… plan to hold a competition to design a logo for next year’s election.” [InsideNova]

Arlington No. 3 on ‘Best Counties’ List — A new list of “best counties” in the U.S. ranks Falls Church — a city — No. 1 while Arlington is No. 3 and Fairfax is No. 6. The list was compiled by the website 24/7 Wall Street. [WTOP]

Mitten Given the Boot By Grand Rapids — The city of Grand Rapids, Michigan is restarting its search for a new city manager after an outcry from residents and interest groups. Arlington Deputy County Manager Carol Mitten was among the three finalists for the job to speak at a community forum, prior to the city announcing the restart. [Fox 17, MLive]

Police Recruiting for Student Safety Patrol Camp — “The Arlington County Police Department’s School Resource Officer Unit is currently accepting applications to the Summer Safety Patrol Camp. This weeklong camp is offered to incoming 4th and 5th grade students who want to participate in safety patrols during the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year.” [Arlington County]

More on Market Common Redevelopment Approval — The redevelopment of a portion of Market Common Clarendon will widen a narrow sidewalk that was the source of resident complaints, among other community benefits. Arlington County Board member Christian Dorsey hopes the project can help “bring a little funkiness back into Clarendon.” [Arlington Connection]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Ballston Quarter to Be ‘Entertainment Hub’ With Addition of New ‘Experiential’ Tenants

With the addition of new experience-oriented tenants, Ballston Quarter is billing itself as “one of the largest experiential and entertainment hubs in the D.C. area.”

The center is bucking its identity as a mall as construction continues on what was once the Ballston Common Mall. Set to open this fall, Ballston Quarter has already announced hip food options in its 18-restaurant food hall and a marquee entertainment tenant in the planned 25,000 square foot Punch Bowl Social.

This morning, mall owner Forest City announced a handful of new tenants, including:

  • 5 Wits — “A live-action entertainment venue that immerses visitors in realistic, hands-on experiences, similar to escape rooms…”
  • Cookology — A “recreational culinary school” that “offers professionally taught, hands-on cooking classes for adults and kids… perfect venue for families, date nights or corporate outings.”
  • Nook — “A modern indoor play and learning space for young families” that is moving from its current Lee Highway location.

Those are also in addition to the existing Regal Cinemas and Sport&Health club, which are undergoing multi-million dollar renovations.

More from a Forest City press release, after the jump.

Today, Forest City announced the initial group of experiential and entertainment tenants that will be featured at the 850,000 square-foot Ballston Quarter redevelopment project coming to Arlington, VA. Once completed in September 2018, Ballston Quarter will become one of the largest entertainment hubs in the region.

The new tenants and those under renovation will encompass nearly 40 percent of Ballston Quarter, enhancing the development’s inspired, growing lineup of best-in-class entertainment options to the region, including the following:

  • 5 Wits: 5 Wits is a live-action entertainment venue that immerses visitors in realistic, hands-on experiences, similar to escape rooms, but with higher quality environments, special effects and more compelling storytelling. Visitors of all ages feel as though they are an action hero dodging security lasers, tracking down a giant dragon or battling an angry pharaoh. It’s also available for private events such as corporate team-building functions or birthday parties. 5 Wits will open a 11,500 square-foot space in Ballston Quarter in Fall 2018, which will be the company’s seventh location in the country and first in the region.
  • Cookology: Cookology offers professionally taught, hands-on cooking classes for adults and kids, such as gnocchi workshops, family sushi classes and Duck 101, making it the perfect venue for families, date nights or corporate outings. Their professional culinary program offers a 21st century approach to culinary education. Cookology’s second-ever site and closest to the District at Ballston Quarter will include five commercial kitchens located in a 5,700 square-foot space.
  • Nook: Nook, a modern indoor play and learning space for young families, is moving its first location in North Arlington to a 3,500 square foot space in Ballston Quarter in Fall 2018. The space is divided into several different themed play areas, or “nooks,” offering children a calming, sensory-friendly space to engage in self-directed, play-based learning. Nook also features classes, hosts birthday parties and offers a variety of family-friendly programming, from classical music concerts to parent workshops and happy hours.
  • Punch Bowl Social: Punch Bowl Social – a beloved bar, restaurant and entertainment concept – will open a 25,000 square-foot location at Ballston Quarter in Fall 2018, serving as its first location in the D.C. region as part of the company’s nationwide expansion. Beyond incredible food and craft cocktails, Punch Bowl Social will feature eight bowling lanes, one bocce court, three private karaoke rooms and a 360 degree bar where visitors can eat, explore and play.

In addition to these new tenants, Ballston Quarter will also be home to a fully updated Regal Cinemas and Sport&Health, which are both currently undergoing multi-million dollar renovations. The 67,000 square-foot Regal Cinemas features reserved, luxury seating in all 12 theaters and a new box office. Once completed, Sport&Health will feature a new cardio center, barre, spin and group fitness studios, and luxurious locker rooms complete with steam rooms and saunas, among many other new amenities within the 35,000 square-foot space. Both are open through Ballston Quarter’s redevelopment.

“Although dining and retail will certainly be an important aspect of Ballston Quarter, nearly 40 percent of the property will account for experiential offerings such as 5 Wits, Cookology and Regal Cinemas, among others, positioning Ballston as an exciting and fun, go-to entertainment hub of the region,” said Will Voegele, Forest City’s senior vice president of development.

Once complete, Ballston Quarter will feature 360,000 square-feet of retail, an 18-restaurant, 25,000 square-foot food hall, a 22-story, 406-unit residential building, 176,000 square-feet of office space and a completely renovated Ballston Common Mall–all designed with the community in mind and the creation of a true city center in Northern Virginia.

“At Forest City, we specialize in creating mixed-use urban villages with best-in-class residences, dining, retail and entertainment, which are all critical to creating an experience that elevates how people live, work and, of course, play,” said Deborah Ratner Salzberg, president of Forest City Washington. “Once Ballston Quarter is complete, it will achieve this objective threefold, elevating not only Arlington, but the entire D.C. region.”

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Meanwhile in D.C.

Photo by Leeann Cafferata

Dating in the city, a bitcoin real estate deal, #DCision18 debate, and other news of the day over in the District.

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APS Opening on Two Hour Delay Due to Icing Concerns

`(Updated at 8:40 a.m.) Very spotty frozen precipitation fell overnight in Arlington, leading to some slick spots but no serious issues.

Concerns about an icy commute, however, led Arlington Public Schools to delay the start of school.

More from APS:

All APS schools and offices will open two hours late today. The Extended Day program will also open two hours late and morning field trips are canceled. Essential employees and food service workers should report to work at their regularly scheduled time. All other employees should report to work two hours past their usual start time.

The school system’s decision, in turn, prompted Arlington’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation to also delay or cancel some of its programs.

From DPR:

Due to an Arlington Public School two-hour delayed opening, DPR will proceed as follows:

  • All congregate meal programs are cancelled.
  • All Early Childhood Programs (Preschool and Co-ops) are cancelled.
  • All Enjoy Arlington classes, 55+ classes, trips, nature center programs and sports league activities scheduled to start prior to 11:59 a.m. are cancelled in all buildings.
  • All Enjoy Arlington classes, 55+ classes, trips, nature center programs and sports league activities with scheduled start times of NOON or later will proceed as scheduled.
  • All evening Enjoy Arlington classes, sports league activities and nature center programs will proceed as scheduled.
  • All Community Centers (including the five joint use centers at Langston, TJ, Gunston, Carver and Drew will open on time as schedule.
  • APS Pools are open on time.

Arlington County government is expected to open on time.

Other delays and closures of note around the region this morning:

  • Federal government: Two hour delay
  • Fairfax County Public Schools: Closed
  • Loudoun County Public Schools: Closed
  • Prince William County Schools: Closed
  • Falls Church City Public Schools: Two Hour Delay
  • Alexandria City Public Schools: Open on time
  • Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools: Closed
  • D.C. Public Schools: Open on time
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Just Reduced Properties in Arlington

Each week, “Just Reduced” spotlights properties in Arlington County whose price have been cut over the previous week. The market summary is crafted by licensed broker Aaron Seekford of Arlington Realty, Inc. GET MORE out of your real estate investment with Aaron and his team by visiting www.arlingtonrealtyinc.com or calling 703-836-6116 today!

Please note: While Aaron Seekford provides this information for the community, he is not the listing agent of these homes.  

Guys and gals, here is your one-week warning: Valentine’s Day is in seven days.

The red and white, Cupid-clad goods have colored local shelves for weeks now, so don’t forget to treat your boo to something special.

Among the top items that signify enduring love and commitment? A home that you and your sweetie decide to call your very own.

Yes, I know, a brand new home would be quite the jaw-dropping, extravagant Valentine’s Day gift. But, at the very least, it can be a perfect day to start thinking about the future with your loved one.

Real estate remains among the best investments you can make in Arlington County – and across the globe – and can certainly be a journey that makes any bond that much stronger. When you’re ready to roll on finding a home you’ll love, give me a buzz and let’s make it happen.

As of February 5 there are 138 detached homes, 23 townhouses and 159 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 20 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.

Here is this week’s selection of Just Reduced properties:

Please note that this is solely a selection of Just Reduced properties available in Arlington County. For a complete list of properties within your target budget and specifications, contact Aaron Seekford.

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