Arlington, VA

The fifth annual Arlington Youth Triathlon will kick off next Sunday, June 10, at the Washington-Lee High School pool.

The public event hosted by the Arlington Triathlon Club will feature swimming, running and biking among children ages 7-15 and will start at 7:30 a.m.  The Arlington Youth Triathlon is a part of the USA Triathlon Mideast Region Youth Triathlon Series, where young triathletes from Ohio to Tennessee will come to Arlington to participate.

The triathlon will include a pool swim, a bike ride on closed streets around the school and a track finish. Each event features short distances to include kids of all abilities.

This year’s triathlon will be held in honor of Anne Viviani, an Arlington resident who died April 9 in a car crash striking a deer on I-85 in South Carolina. Viviani, 68, was a world champion triathlete and coach.

Registration for the Arlington Youth Triathlon is open until June 9. It costs $75 to register before May 15, and $85 afterward.

Photo Courtesy Arlington Triathlon Club

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The Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) wants to hear your thoughts about the future of Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard.

The process, called the Future Cities Project, will engage members of the public on the area’s future. Simultaneously, the Crystal City BID will hold various public meetings throughout the summer at both the Pentagon City and Crystal City Metro stations, residential and office lobbies, shopping spaces and more. The schedule has yet to come out, but the BID will provide update in the coming weeks.

Throughout the process, the project will “consider public space and placemaking efforts, the strategic goals of the organization, and elevating a new identity for the area — all with the goal of transforming these interrelated areas into a lively, walkable urban center,” according to a press release.

The public engagement effort comes as the BID is weighing plans to expand its boundaries to include Pentagon City and the Arlington portion of Potomac Yard, which — should it happen — would necessitate a new name to reference the combined neighborhoods.The effort also comes as Amazon considers Crystal City as a possible destination for its second headquarters.

Photo courtesy Crystal City BID

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Tattoo artists and lovers alike are coming to the Hyatt Regency Crystal City next week.

Cost for The Nation’s Tattoo Expo, which is being held from June 1-3, is $30 per day or $60 for a three-day pass. Children under 12 may attend for free with a paying adult. Members of the military can receive $10 off a three-day pass.

The expo claims to be the D.C. area’s only summertime tattoo convention.

Expo goers can get pierced and tattooed at the convention. There will also be several contests held including one awarding the best “dad bod.” Meanwhile a female only “aloha girl pinup” contest will award the first place winner $300 and a trophy.

Another contest will award the worst tattoo at the convention a gift card to cover up said tattoo.

Some of the convention’s featured artists include Ink Master stars Daniel Silva, Mike Diaz, Roly T-Rex and James Vaughn.

Photo via DC Tattoo Expo

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(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) A group encouraging peer-led, male-only workouts is coming to Arlington.

Jim Gregory is the organizer bringing F3, a national organization whose name stands for “fitness, fellowship and faith,” to the county.

Gregory first experienced F3 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Then, when he moved to Arlington, he reached out to F3 about establishing a group in his new home.

“I had a great experience down there with these guys who were fun people to hang out with and it’s a free workout and I thought you know I want to start something here,” Gregory said.

F3, which was founded in 2011, has the stated goal of encouraging male community leadership. Gregory said part of the motivation for starting a male-only workout group is that it’s an opportunity for men to find friends.

He added that it can be difficult over time for men to create meaningful bonds after they leave college, get a job or get married.

“It also might help them become better husbands, better friends, better bosses, better crazy uncles,” Gregory said. “It helps them become better at it, because they develop confidence in a friendship group and a peer group that they can relate to that they may have lost.”

F3 has a female workout group affiliate called Females in Action (FiA), but Gregory said he doesn’t plan on being the one to organize an FiA in Arlington. Though he did say he hopes maybe the wives of F3 members will start one.

Though at least one resident contacted ARLnow.com to criticize F3’s exclusion of women, Gregory said he hasn’t personally received any criticism for bringing F3 to Arlington. He has about 25 men signed up for the first workout, which is set to take place at 7 a.m. on June 2 at Greenbrier Park, next to Yorktown High School.

Photo via Twitter/@F3_Arlington_VA

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

In the span of 20 years, Ken Robbins, one of the co-founders of Millie, moved 12 times with his wife during his career in the Army.

One time Robbins moved from Arlington to Germany and then back to Arlington in just a year and a half. From all that moving, Robbins wished the military provided more information about the places he was moving to, on subjects like commuting, schools and the cost of rentals.

“The military moves about half a million people every year and they don’t provide a lot in terms of resources,” Robbins said. “They provide the moving truck, but it’s up for the family to decide where they’re going to live, rent, buy.”

Robbins’ wife is also a real estate agent in Arlington and she and Robbins collectively realized there wasn’t a country-wide network of veteran and military spouse real estate agents. Thus began the creation of Millie, an online marketplace that informs military families about their new homes.

Currently, Millie has 400 pages of content about 35 housing markets, which covers about 75 percent of the active duty military population, Robbins said. To make money, the Arlington-based startup has two features — AgentHero and Scout.

AgentHero is a service where Millie connects veterans and their spouses to real estate agents near their relocations. Millie receives a referral fee if the real estate agent closes on a deal. Robbins added that Millie only refers real estate agents that are veterans or military spouses, that have been in the business for at least five years and are in the top 15 to 20 percent of their market. Millie is currently working with roughly 700 real estate agents across the country.

Scout is a service that allows families to request a military spouse to check out a home or rental and its neighborhood for a rate typically between $50 to $75. This service is particularly for families who can’t afford to scope out a new potential home themselves, Robbins added.

Of the estimated 60,000 page views to Millie’s website, only about 1,000 people have used the services, Robbins said.

“Not everybody that consumes our content necessarily uses one of our services, and we’re completely ok with that,” he said. “That was part of the reason we built it was we wanted to help educate military families and reduce the stress especially on the military spouse so we recognize not all of them will turn into customers.”

Within the next 60 days, Millie may add a third stream for revenue by creating a content subscription page for real estate agents looking to learn more about how to better serve veterans and military families. Robbins said most people don’t realize that veterans comprise nearly 20 percent of the home buying market in the country, and this new subscription page could be a good resource for realtors looking to better understand that market.

“Most real estate agents, or a lot of them, don’t know how to speak to speak to the military community, or maybe they don’t understand what they’re going through,” Robbins said.

All of Millie’s employees are military spouses and Robbins is proud that he has found a way to serve the military community while also running a for-profit enterprise.

“Too often in the military community everything is about volunteering and non-profits and there’s a certain role for that, that’s great,” he said. “But it’s also important for us that we empower military spouses and give them the ability to earn money for their family.”

Photos courtesy Millie 

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Taste of Arlington will result in significant road closures in the Ballston area this weekend.

The closures will begin on Saturday at 12 p.m. through Sunday at 10 p.m. to accommodate the annual event, which runs from 12-6 p.m. Sunday. Organizers are encouraging attendees to take the Metro or other forms of transit, rather than driving.

Here are the specific roads that will close for the event, according to Arlington County Police:

  • Wilson Boulevard will be closed between N. Randolph Street and N. Lincoln Street, all North/South cross streets will be blocked.
  • The 7-11 Store at 3510 Wilson Boulevard will be open and accessible by motorists using the eastern parking lot entrance.
  • N. Quincy Street will be closed with modified traffic between N. 5th Road and N. 9th Street.
    All traffic trying to cross Wilson Boulevard on Pollard, Piedmont, Oakland, Nelson and Monroe Streets will be turned around.
  • N. Randolph Street will be open between the Ballston Parking Garage/Loading Dock to N. 9th Street, the area garages will not be closed.
  • Other area roadway restrictions may be in place to minimize traffic impacts in the event and area neighborhoods.
  • Motorists are encouraged to use Fairfax Drive as an alternate East/West route.

The Girls on the Run 5K, held in conjunction with Taste of Arlington, will be happening Sunday morning. Here are the specific times some roads will be closed in Ballston, per ACPD:

  • Fairfax Drive, from N. Taylor Street to Kirkwood Road. Both directions will be closed from 8:15 AM until 10:15 AM.
  • Fairfax Drive, from Kirkwood Road to Wilson Boulevard/N. 10th Street, eastbound lanes only, from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM.
  • Traffic lanes will be closed, from N. 10th Street to N. Irving Street, then east on N. 7th Street to Washington Boulevard. Roads will be closed from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM, but parking will not be affected.
  • Washington Boulevard, from N. 7th Street to N. 10th Street, will be closed to eastbound traffic. Motorists from Washington Boulevard will be diverted to N. 10th Street east toward Rt. 50. from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM.
  • 10th Street, from Washington Boulevard to N. Irving Street, will be closed to eastbound traffic from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM.
  • Wilson Boulevard will be closed in both directions at 10th West bound traffic will be diverted onto Fairfax Drive, while east bound traffic will be turned south prior to Jackson Street, where drivers can access Pershing Drive and maneuver around the race course.
  • Wilson Blvd. will be closed from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM.
  • Ballston Metro Buses will be delayed for 15 minutes at the start of the race and ALL buses will be re-routed via N. Quincy Street to exit the area and continue their assigned routes.
  • Motorists are reminded that other roads in the Ballston area will be closed further west of the race course for the Taste of Arlington event. Pershing Drive, Glebe Road, and Lee Highway are recommended as alternate routes to reach points west and north of Ballston.

For both events, ACPD notes there will limited parking in the area and motorists should look out for “No Parking” signs. Those who violate the signs run the risk of getting ticketed or towed.

Photo courtesy of ACPD

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(Updated at 11:50 a.m.) Joe’s Place Pizza & Pasta will be celebrating its 40th anniversary next week, and several state legislators and Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol are expected to be in attendance.

On Wednesday, Joe’s Place will offer its pizza, pasta and salad buffet bar at the original price of $3.99 for both lunch and dinner.

The restaurant, at 5555 Lee Highway, is the final remaining branch of a family-run chain that began in Woodbridge in 1978, a rep noted. It was founded by Joe Farruggio, who came to the U.S. from his hometown of Agrigento, Sicily. It is now managed by Joe’s nephew, Rosario Farruggio, and hosts numerous community events and fundraisers for local schools, sports teams and nonprofits each month.

A private event will also be held at the restaurant next week and is expected to feature a brief program during which a Congressional proclamation from Rep. Don Beyer’s office will be presented to the office.

“We have so much to be grateful for, especially all of our longtime staff and loyal customers,” the restaurant’s staff wrote. “Thank you!”

File photo

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From Arlington’s vast array of workout options to the high levels of education and income among its residents, local fitness and health professionals believe there are plenty of likely reasons why Arlington was recently crowned as “America’s fittest city.”

The ranking was determined by the American College of Sports Medicine’s American Fitness Index and has made headlines across the country. In the report, Arlington was ranked the fittest city for “achieving a balance of both healthy behaviors and community infrastructure” as well as placing in the top 10 in 13 of the group’s 33 ranking indicators.

The report also found that 63.9 percent of Arlington residents are in “very good” or “excellent” health (compared to the report’s average of 51.9 percent), and that Arlington had lowest rate of smoking among its 99 peer cities at 5.9 percent.

Ginny Wright, founder and owner of BbG Fitness in Arlington, said she thinks income and education play a role in the county’s fitness ranking. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Arlington is $108,706 and the average age is 34.1. Arlington also has the highest percentage of residents with a bachelor degree in the D.C. area, according to the county.

Scott Parker, local restauranteur and co-owner of soon-to-open studio Bash Boxing, believes there’s a direct connection between people getting educated and understanding the importance of fitness.

“There’s definitely a lot of people here that care about being fit,” he said.

But Wright also noticed that there has been a significant increase in fitness studios and other gym facilities since she launched BbG Fitness 15 years ago, giving people considerably more options than they once had.

“I had very little competition,” Wright said.

Chris Farley, owner of Pacers Running, estimated that there are 10 times the number of fitness studio options now since Pacers Running opened in 2004. But he also believes that the county’s bevy of trails has provided an accessible, scenic option for runners looking to get out of the gym — in all, the report found that Arlington has 49 miles of paved mixed-use trails.

Yet Kimberly Barbano, a trainer and instructor at Next Phase Studio, believes studios do more than simply give people options to work out. With instructors like herself on hand, she feels the county’s influx of studios has provided a valuable resource to Arlingtonians looking to get in shape.

“I think it’s really exciting and a testament to how hard the studios work,” Barbano said of the “fittest city” designation.

As an Arlingtonian for most of his life, Farley also believes people in the county simply have more driven personalities.

“Fitness really matters to people who live in Arlington,” he said. “They have the mindset.”

Dr. Reuben Varghese, the public health director at Arlington County, said Arlington’s ranking does not surprise him, as this is not the first report to award Arlington high health marks. But he cautioned that the fitness ranking only tells part of the story about the health of county residents.

“People are surprised that with life expectancy within a mile distance of Arlington between Rosslyn and the Buckingham area, there’s a 10-year difference of life expectancy,” he said. “So it’s very good news about the health behaviors overall are doing well. However, there are health disparities that do exist and so we need to remember we can always improve.”

Photo via Facebook

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The owners of a new Rosslyn observation deck are holding a contest to give people the opportunity to catch a first glimpse of the views from the space at CEB Tower at Central Place before it officially opens this summer.

Four winners will be able bring up to four guests each to tour the observation deck, located at 1201 Wilson Blvd. Entry for the contest ends Thursday.

Views from the 12,000 square foot deck feature much of the Georgetown waterfront, the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol building and more. According to the Washington Post, the space — expected to be a major tourist attraction — will also offer fourteen 55-inch touch screens that will highlight local landmarks. There will also be a bar with light food options.

Once it officially opens, the deck will charge $21 for admission, with reduced rates for students, seniors, children and the military. Admission will be free for Arlington residents.

Photo courtesy of Rosslyn BID

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Market Common Clarendon is hosting a free concert series called “Rock the Loop” from May through July.

The concerts are held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. every Thursday at “The Loop” in the shopping center.

Here’s the full concert schedule below:

  • May 17 – Gary Smallwood (Classic Rock/Blues)
  • May 24 – Shane Gamble (Country Rock)
  • May 31 – Driven to Clarity (Acoustic Covers)
  • June 7 –  Hand Painted Swinger (Pop Rock)
  • June 14 – Chris Bruno (Popular Covers)
  • June 21 – Yellow Tie Guy (Rock/Alternative/Folk)
  • June 28 – Smokin’ Lounge (Pop/Rock/Jazz)
  • July 5 – Brian Weber (Rock/Blues/Folk)
  • July 12 – Elizabeth, Phil & Chris (Rock/Latin/Go-go)
  • July 19 – Nina Casey Trio (Acoustic Blues/Swing)
  • July 26 – Phil Kominski (Acoustic/Folk)

Market Common Clarendon is also offering free concerts for kids each Friday through August, starting at 10:30 a.m. each day.

Photo via Facebook

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Asiatique, a “Cajun seafood and sushi lounge,” will be holding a soft opening Thursday (May 17) in Clarendon, according to a restaurant rep.

Starting Thursday until the end of May, the restaurant — located at 3225 Washington Blvd., on the ground floor of the Beacon at Clarendon apartment building — will offer restaurant-goers 25 percent off its meals.

Signs were up in January and the restaurant’s owner previously told ARLnow that it would likely open in mid-February. Recently the restaurant placed a lighted “open” sign on the window.

Food on the menu includes fried baskets, with options ranging from chicken tenders to oysters, and a wide variety of sushi offerings, which range in price from $6-$18.

The restaurant also offers blue crab, crawfish, crab legs, shrimp, mussels and steamed scallops. Alongside the seafood orders, customers can choose a sauce to accompany each dish and choose a level of spiciness.

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