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Flying Colors: Celebrating 27 Years in Business

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Flying Colors is a sponsored column on the hobby of backyard bird feeding written by Michael Zuiker, owner of the Wild Birds Unlimited store at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center. Visit the store at 2437 N. Harrison Street or call 703-241-3988.

14,191,000. What makes up a minute? How do you fill up an hour? How does a day “fly” by? Where did the month go? Is another year gone?

Simple questions to wonder about when a “milestone of time” occurs. For us at Wild Birds Unlimited, that milestone is now!

For 27 years, WBU has been bringing people and nature together in an ever-changing landscape; mentally, emotionally and physically. For 27 years, our eyes have been looking out into our center. And boy, the things we have seen.

In the beginning, the center was failing. 20-40% vacancy was not uncommon. We worked endlessly to get people to discover our new, unique nature store dedicated to “wild birds” in the neighborhood yards.

On Sundays at 4 p.m. in the fall, the parking lot was 95% empty! A winning Washington football team, a failing grocery store and a failing discount pharmacy did not help this situation.

When they left, the center reinvented itself. One fifth of the center was removed and a new anchor grocery store opened up. A small coffee shop also opened up; Star… something or other.

More businesses came and more businesses went. Here is just a short list of what Wild Birds Unlimited has said goodbye to:

Super Fresh Grocery, Rite Aid, Foam Center, Seredipity, Dogma, TCBY Yogurt, McDonalds, Popeyes, Baskin-Robbins, Oriental Gourmet, cleaners, optometrist, another yogurt store, a dance studio, book store, children’s clothing store, florist, fabric store and there are a few others I am sure I have missed.

Yet, through it all, Wild Birds Unlimited has maintained its relationship with Arlington; but more importantly our friendships with our customers.

Businesses may come and go, but it is gut wrenching and heartbreaking to lose those friendships that we have developed all these years. When we started, many of our customers were in their 40’s through their 70’s. Twenty-seven years adds up and takes its toll. Those that have left us, have left us too soon and we miss them. They cannot be replaced.

Now, the Arlington demographics have evolved over the last 10-15 years to a much younger family nucleus. The blur of tiny bundles of energy in the form of four, five, six, seven-year old’s and higher have energized the center. Talk about energy! Wow.

That is part of the new makeup of the center that our bird store has seen. So, we adapt. Yet our mission is not different then is was when we opened.

We Bring People and Nature Together!

It does not matter if the person is 4 or 80, our goal is to educate them and help them enjoy the wild birds in their backyard.

So, after being open for 14,191,000 minutes, we have to have a party. This Saturday, September 29th, we will open our doors at 8 a.m. and be open for 12 hours to celebrate with all of you.

Take a look below and come on by and let us thank you. Whether you have been a customer for 27 years (and yes, they exist) or coming in for the first time. We are here to help you enjoy the beauty, peace and “JOY” of nature in Arlington.

Thank you, but I have to go now. The minutes are ticking!

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Signature Theatre just released single tickets for all 33rd season productions, which highlights the organization’s long-time relationship with legendary composer Stephen Sondheim. Beginning with the musical adaptation of The Color Purple and irreverent No Place to Go, the season continues with three Sondheim musicals, the DC premieres of Off-Broadway hit Which Way to the Stage and Pulitzer Prize finalist Selling Kabul, the Tony Award®-winning rock musical Passing Strange, and return of Signature’s cabaret series honoring legendary artists.

“Last November, the world lost an icon. The death of Stephen Sondheim was a blow to everyone in the theater community. Signature Theatre would not be the same without Sondheim — he IS Signature’s ‘signature.’ This season, we are honoring the legend with productions of Into the Woods, Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd dedicated to his memory. These shows represent the diversity and range of Sondheim,” said Signature’s Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner about the new season.

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“Probing the highly imaginative, inspired mind of Teresa Oaxaca is not altogether unlike having a present-day conversation with an Old Master,” says Nashville Arts Magazine.

Here is an unusual opportunity to learn from this incredibly talented and accessible artist, at Art House 7’s two-day oil painting workshop in October. Teresa will give 2 portrait painting demonstrations for 3 hours each morning. Students will then be painting from a clothed live model. Teresa will offer individual critiques that focus on materials, techniques, process and artistic vision. You’ll get jazzed up about painting and become more confident about your abilities.

Art House 7, Two-Day Oil Painting Workshop with Teresa Oaxaca. Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT $250.

See more about Teresa Oaxaca here. Art House 7 5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22207

Submit your own Community Post here.

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All are invited to come tour the new spa and to take

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