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2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finalists, photo via Scripps National Spelling Bee Twitter
2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finalists (via Scripps National Spelling Bee/Twitter)

(Updated at 11:10 p.m.) Arlington eighth-grader Charlotte Walsh will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee final after taking the semis by storm yesterday afternoon.

Fifty-six spellers from across the country — ages 9 to 14 — fought for a spot in the final. Only 11 remain.

Walsh advanced after correctly spelling “anilox,” a noun Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines as “a system of printing that utilizes ceramic-coated metal cylinders to transfer consistent amounts of ink from a supply to the printing plates.”

Walsh, who is homeschooled and lives in Lyon Park, was one of the last students to spell in front of the judges. In a brief interview with ARLnow, she acknowledged how nerve-wracking this wait was, as well as the feelings of relief she experienced after getting the word right.

“Making it to the finals has been my goal since I was little — no matter what happens, I’m proud of myself,” Walsh said this morning, just hours before her last Scripps competition.

Walsh’s photo was splashed across newspapers nationally after being captured gasping during her time on stage.

Another Arlington eighth-grade semifinalist, Nathaniel Hersey, will not be moving forward to the finals. He was thrown for a loop when given the silent-P-word “psalterial.”

“[Going into the competition] I was familiar with the majority of the 4,000-word list for rounds one and two,” Hersey, who lives in Bluemont, told ARLnow. “I heard that the words in the final rounds would be more obscure and less often studied.”

Judge Mary Brooks acknowledged his graceful efforts in the competition and wished him the best as he begins high school this fall. He currently takes classes through Virginia Virtual Academy.

A third Arlington participant, Kenmore Middle School student Ruby Kadera, was eliminated in the third round of the competition, their mother, Arlington School Board member Mary Kadera, confirmed to ARLnow. 

Walsh will represent Arlington County in the final competition tonight at 8 p.m. on the ION television network, available over the air and on several streaming platforms.

Photo via Scripps National Spelling Bee/Twitter

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2019 Armed Forces Cycling Classic
The 21st Armed Forces Cycling Classic held in Clarendon and Crystal City in 2018 (courtesy Douglas Graham/WLP)

Hundreds of cyclists will descend on Crystal City and Clarendon this weekend for the 25th annual Armed Forces Cycling Classic.

There will be several races over the course of the weekend. Spectators can watch participants race through Arlington on three separate routes: one in Crystal City, another in Clarendon, and a third spanning Crystal City to Rosslyn. A schedule lists the start times for every race.

From 7 a.m. on Saturday, spectators can watch the Crystal City Challenge Ride, which starts and finishes on 12th Street S. east of S. Eads Street, according to a route map.

The route extends past the Pentagon and continues all the way to Rosslyn before circling back. Competitors must complete as many laps as possible before the race ends at 10 a.m.

Attendees may also observe the competitive pro races through Crystal City, along a rectangular route that starts and ends on 12th Street S., then loops onto S. East Street, 15th Street S. and Crystal Drive. The first heat takes off at 10:25 a.m.

Crystal Cup map 2023
The Crystal City Cup (via Armed Forces Cycling Classic)

Then, on Sunday, spectators can watch pro and amateur cyclists race through Clarendon from the start and finish line at the intersection of N. Herndon Street and Wilson Blvd, beginning at 10:05 a.m.

The course circles through Washington Blvd, N. Highland Street, and Clarendon Blvd.

Clarendon Cup Map 2023
The Clarendon Cup Race (via Armed Forces Cycling Classic)

In a traffic advisory, Arlington County Police Department suggests attendees and spectators ditch their cars when heading to the weekend’s races.

The Crystal City Metro station (Blue and Yellow lines) is located near the Challenge Ride/Crystal Cup racecourse at the corner of 18th Street and Clark Street and will be accessible on Saturday, June 3. The Clarendon Metro Station (Orange and Silver lines) is located within the Clarendon Cup racecourse at the corner of Wilson Boulevard and N. Highland Street. Vehicular traffic (to include buses) will not be able to access the Clarendon Metro Station after 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 4.

For those who are not able to watch in person, the races will be live-streamed on Saturday from 11 a.m.-2:15 p.m. and on Sunday from 9:45 a.m.-2:15 p.m.

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A child plays in a sprayground at Virginia Highlands Park (file photo)

Sprayground season has finally arrived in Arlington.

Families will be able to put the county’s spraygrounds to use starting this Friday — the beginning of Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start to consistent summer weather.

These outdoor spaces, where children can play for free in water during hot summer months, are located throughout the county:


Interactive Water Features

“Spraygrounds at Drew Park, Hayes Park, Lyon Village Park and Virginia Highlands Park will be open on Friday, May 26,” Dept. of Parks and Recreation Jerry Solomon told ARLnow. “Spraygrounds at Mosaic and Penrose Parks will be undergoing some final system adjustments and open on Saturday, May 27.”

Weekly hours vary by location and are listed online.

Although the parks are open to everyone, the parks department requires appropriate swimwear and adult supervision, as no life guards will be present.

The spraygrounds are scheduled to remain open through Labor Day weekend.

The One Medical coming to Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A new One Medical office will open in Rosslyn this fall.

The office will provide “full lab services, preventative and everyday health visits, chronic illness management and mental health support,” a spokeswoman told ARLnow.

A “coming soon” sign is posted on the lower level of the recently-built Cortland Apartments building (1788 N. Pierce Street). The clinic will sit in between a new location of a Foxtrot market and the main entrance to the high rise.

The N. Pierce Street location is the latest for the company — which partnered with MedStar Health in June 2020 to increase its foothold in the D.C. area — but the first in Arlington. There are several full-service clinics in the area, including one each in Tysons and the Mosaic District.

At the time, the clinic noted in a press release that it offers a straightforward appointment-making experience as well as as comprehensive and affordable medical services through its work with MedStar.

Amazon, which is preparing to debut the first phase of its second headquarters in Pentagon City next month, purchased One Medical in February. The acquisition marked a shift for the company, which tried, unsuccessfully, to start its own telemedicine and primary care provider.

Hat tip to Edward MacNabb and Josh.


Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that highlights Arlington-based startups, founders, and local tech news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

Arlington-based entrepreneur Elodie Cally will be in New York this week showcasing her clean, sustainably made products at a trade show focused on non-toxic beauty brands.

Cally will be displaying the cleansing balm, serum and men’s aftershave from her brand, Elodie’s Naturals, at Adit Live, which connects makers like Cally with retailers as big as Costco and Saks Fifth Avenue.

The chance to network with household-name retailers is a big opportunity for Cally, who currently sells her wares at Virginia Mercantile in Clifton, Slow Down Market in D.C., Atlas Bodyworks in Falls Church and Pura Piel Skincare Studio in Annandale. Her eventual goal is to sell through third-party platforms that focus on sustainable products, such as Credo.

Cally started Elodie’s Naturals in response to the need for clean, non-toxic skincare in the United States, getting her start by running camps teaching children how to make organic skincare. Now, she offers classes to kids and adults as well as ready-made products, which she began developing in the last two to three years.

A French lab has tested all her products to ensure they meet standards for products sold in France. It is a high standard high in her home country, where people talk of le bombe toxique when discussing the list of chemicals and hormone disruptors in everyday products — from skincare to furniture glue to cleaning supplies.

In America, by contrast, skincare brands are not similarly regulated or have as stringent product testing requirements.

“When you put a product on the market, there’s no regulation in the U.S.,” she said. “In France, you need to go through so much testing.”

That is starting to change, however. She is starting to see a shift among her American customers, who are beginning to care more about what goes into their products and the packaging they come in.

“People want to know it’s healthy for them and good for the planet,” she said. “It’s a good trend, I love it.”

Elodie Cally of Elodie’s Naturals skin care (courtesy Elodie Cally)

She notes that her customers 50 and older frequently request details about ingredients, as they want to know what they’re putting in their bodies.

That may be plum oil, shipped directly to her door from France, but it won’t be the more than 2,000 ingredients banned in Europe, of which most are permitted in the U.S.

“The less you use, the better (the product) is,” Cally said.

Her younger customers, meanwhile, are attracted to the sustainability of the packaging. Many send their used products back to her or by way of the stores where she sells her products.

“Almost every week, I have a bag on front of my porch from people giving back to me the containers so I can recycle them,” Cally said.

She says her minimal ingredient list and sustainable packaging will be points in her favor at Adit Live. The retail expert assigned to Elodie’s Naturals by Adit Live told Cally the brand will stand out among other clean skincare businesses attending the show, where she hopes to land a contract with a retailer as well as press from attending magazines, including Glamour and Elle.

For Cally, going to New York City culminates months of work.

“It’s challenging to be honest, it’s been a year and a half to make this product,” she said. “Not only developing a formula but also the manufacturing process — it’s very difficult, very technical.”

Elodie’s Naturals hyaluronic acid serum (courtesy Elodie Cally)
Dumpling Week graphic (via ChiKo)

ChiKo in Shirlington (4040 Campbell Ave) will take part in the local chain’s Dumpling Week next week.

For Dumpling Week, co-owners Danny Lee and Scott Drewno are drawing inspiration from several cuisines to offer customers a different dining experience each day.

“The world needs dumplings,” Lee said.

The dumpling festivities will run from Monday, March 13 to Sunday, March 19, starting on Monday with a $58 tasting menu.

The tasting box hosts five pieces per flavor for a total of twenty-five dumplings — Chinese sausage and shrimp, chicken wonton, fried yachae mandu, shrimp and scallop siu mai, and classic pork and chive. Dipping sauces will be served with this dumpling smorgasbord at no extra cost.

On Tuesday — 3/14 — ChiKo plans to honor dumplings in dessert form with “Pie Day.” The restaurant’s second special includes fried apple dumpling hand pies with a vanilla glaze ($7).

China Chilcano’s head chef Will Fung has partnered with ChiKo to serve its customers handmade Hong Kong-style shrimp wontons with white pepper dashi on Wednesday.

The chef’s “Mama Fung” sauce is drawn from his mother’s culinary influence and included in the dish to accompany the wontons. The proceeds from Wednesday’s special will be donated to World Central Kitchen — restaurateur Jose Andres’s non-profit that works to serve international populations affected by humanitarian crises.

Fung’s feature precedes the week’s latter dishes: chicken dumplings with ghost pepper chili oil on Thursday ($12), St. Patrick’s Day-inspired Irish beef dumpling stew on Friday ($15) and Korean barbecue dumplings on Saturday ($13).

The celebration will close with Sunday’s crab rangoon special ($14).

ChiKo’s wide-ranging interpretations of the traditional dumpling parallel Lee and Drewno’s multifaceted culinary backgrounds. The owners use Dumpling Week to get creative and share their love of the doughy dish.

“Dumplings equal joy,” says Drewno.

All featured plates are exclusive to the annual event and are not included on the standard menu. Dumpling Week specials will be available during dinner hours; ChiKo will serve its regular lunch options throughout the week.


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