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Arlington Agenda: Sept. 20-26

AFAC celebrates 25th anniversary
AFAC donations

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County.

If you’d like your event considered, fill out the event submission form to submit it to our event calendar.

Monday, Sept. 20

Arlington Branch NAACP Fall Candidate Forum*
Virtual
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Arlington County Board and School Board candidates will discuss their views on housing, law enforcement, economic development, governance, environmental justice, education and other topics.

Tuesday, Sept. 21

Me, My Body & Alcohol — A Group for Women*
Zoom
Time: 2:30-3:45 p.m.

A support group for women who struggle with drinking moderated by two psychotherapists, Jyotika Vazirani, MSN and Sarah Moore, LPC, who see clients individually and in group.

Wednesday, Sept. 22

Fill the Truck for New Hope Housing
Library Courts Apartments (1040 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 3-6 p.m.

New Hope Housing in collecting queen size sheets sets, blankets, and kitchen essentials (dish sets, silverware, pots and pans) for people in Arlington who need homes.

Thursday, Sept. 23

Free Homebuying 101 Webinar*
Zoom
Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Arlington Community Federal Credit Union Vice President of Lending Katherine Magruder and Loan Officer Chantal George help prepare you to buy your first home, walking you through each step from down payments to mortgages.

Getting to Carbon Neutrality: Reimagining Arlington
Virtual
Time: 7-8 p.m.

Community experts discuss how Arlington can address the climate crisis and reduce its carbon footprint.

Friday, Sept. 24

Shuler King Live
Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Shuler King claims to be one of the only comedian/funeral directors in the comedy circuit. His comedy is influenced by his religious upbringing, his family’s funeral business and his family’s values.

Saturday, Sept. 25

Arlington Drive Electric Day*
Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road)
Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Electric vehicle owners will bring their cars and discuss the benefits.

Shredding For Hunger | Free Community Drive-In Shredding Event
Arlington Church of the Brethren (300 N. Montague Street)
Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The church will take monetary and/or non-perishable food donations for Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC).

Sunday, Sept. 26

Stuff the Bus AFAC Food Drive
Giant Food at Lyon Village (3115 Langston Blvd) and Giant Food at Virginia Square (3450 Washington Blvd.)

Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

AFAC is collecting canned vegetables, soups, beans, tuna, peanut butter and cereal on Arlington Transit STAR vehicles.

* Denotes sponsored listing

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Connor Garwood and Sarah Buzby at a virtual prom last May (courtesy of National Down Syndrome Society)

This photo of two Arlington teens with Down syndrome will appear on JumboTron screens in Times Square this weekend as part of a visibility campaign for people with the genetic condition.

It depicts Connor Garwood, 18, and his girlfriend Sarah Buzby, 16, at a virtual prom held in the Garwood’s workout room last May. The two met in preschool at Ashlawn Elementary School and have been “inseparable” ever since, said Connor’s mom Suzanne.

She said she submitted the photo of Connor, wearing his dad’s tuxedo and embracing Sarah, because it was sweet.

“Yeah, that picture is cute,” Connor said. “She kissed me.”

The photo, selected from more than 2,100 entries, will be one of 500 in the hour-long presentation this Saturday (Sept. 18).

“Connor and Sarah’s photo will be shown on two JumboTron screens in the heart of Times Square, thanks to the support of ClearChannel Outdoor,” a National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) press release says.

The video will kick off the Buddy Walk in New York City, hosted by the NDSS, which raises awareness about the disability. The video will also be live-streamed on the society’s Facebook page from 9:30-10:30 a.m. the same day.

“These collective images promote the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome in a very visible way,” said the press release.

The couple’s prom was hosted by Best Buddies, a national organization that matches kids and adults with disabilities with high school and college students without disabilities. The pandemic-era dance gave Connor, now a Yorktown High School graduate, and Buzby, a senior at Washington-Liberty High School, a chance to see each other during the lockdown.

“It was fun. We danced,” said Connor, who then showed off some of his signature moves.

For Connor, being on the Jumbotron means demonstrating that he is a capable adult. This year, he started the Program for Employment Preparedness at Arlington Career Center, which partners with employers and worksites to transition adults with differing abilities to life after school.

“I want people to know that I know stuff,” he said.

Suzanne said the program teaches him “how to ride the ART bus and the Metro and cook and balance a checkbook, which frankly more colleges ought to teach.”

The video and walk also preview Down syndrome Awareness Month in October, a month that Suzanne uses to highlight the challenges of living with or caring for someone with Down syndrome.

“I try to post things… that, if people knew, they could help with advocacy and make changes to the law that would make life easier for our kids,” Suzanne said.

She is watching some bills in Congress right now that could make it possible for people like Connor to earn more than a sub-minimum wage. Additionally, caps on income and assets for those with Down syndrome to access federal programs like Medicaid may disincentivize seeking higher-paying employment, she said.

October is also a time to humanize people with the condition.

“People think people with Down syndrome have X and Y characteristics and I don’t think that’s necessarily true,” she said.

Connor is a social media maven who enjoys exercising, especially kickboxing, saying he could protect Sarah in an altercation with his skills. But in a fight, Sarah would likely utilize her charm and humor.

“She’s cute, kind and funny and she makes jokes and dances with her dolls,” said Connor.

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Arlington Agenda: Sept. 13-19

Rosslyn Jazz Fest crowd shot (via Rosslyn Business Improvement District)

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County.

If you’d like your event considered, fill out the event submission form to submit it to our event calendar.

Monday, Sept. 13

Encore Learning presents: Cyberwarfare: The War No One Sees
Via Zoom
Time: 3-4:30 p.m.

Cybersecurity consultant Tom Manteuffel talks about the state of cybersecurity in the nation and steps you can take to make sure your online information is secure.

Tuesday, Sept. 14

Return on Creativity: Return on Leadership*
Virtual
Time: 1-4 p.m.

Keynote presenters from The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center and Arlington Community Federal Credit Union talk about challenges leaders face and how to best ease your team back into working in the office.

Travel – All-Member show in the Focus Gallery at Gallery Underground
Gallery Underground in Shops at Crystal City (2100 Crystal Drive)
Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This exhibit features work based on the travels of the artists, both real travels and the imaginary.

Wednesday, Sept. 15

Ceramics – The Wheel for Adults
Art House 7 (5537 Lee Highway)
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This ceramics class is for adults who are new to pottery.

Rosslyn Jazz Fest Neighborhood Pop-Up Performances
Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street)
Time: 5-7 p.m.

Local guitarist Cristian Perez will perform at the Rosslyn Farmers Market.

David Byrne’s American Utopia
Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7 p.m.

The cinema will stream Talking Heads frontman (David Byrne) and Spike Lee’s broadway show American Utopia on HBO. Attendees must be 21 or older unless accompanied by a parent or guardian before 9 p.m. and everyone in attendance must be 21 or older after 9 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 16

Rosslyn Jazz Fest Neighborhood Pop-Up Performances
Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street)
Time: 5-7 p.m.

Kingman Island Orchestra will perform jazz tunes during Continental Beer Garden’s happy hour.

Friday, Sept. 17

Free Benchmade Laser Engraving
Casual Adventure (3451 N. Washington Blvd.) 
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Benchmade Knife Company will engrave your knife for free.

Saturday, Sept. 18

Preparing To Sell: How To Declutter Your Home And Pack*
Century 21 Redwood (1934 Wilson Blvd.)
Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Representatives from Basic Organization will host a seminar on decluttering.

International Coastal Cleanup
Barcroft Park (4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive)
Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Help clean trash from our waterways as part of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.

Rosslyn Jazz Fest — Main Performance
Gateway Park (1300 Langston Blvd.)
Time: 1-5 p.m.

Three Man Soul Machine will perform from 1-2 p.m. Aaron Myers will perform from 2:30-3:30 p.m. And, Sin Miedo will perform from 4-5 p.m. at this outdoor musical festival with food trucks, drinks and giveaways.

Melwood Arlington Community Night
Melwood Arlington (750 23rd Street S.)
Time: 6-10 p.m.

Live music, plant sales, food trucks, free popcorn, movies, free ice cream and handmade jewelry for sale will all be available at this community night.

* Denotes sponsored listing

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Ceremonies and events will be held in Arlington this weekend to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Saturday.

The events will pay tribute to those who died as well as to Arlington’s first responders, whose response to the Pentagon attack has been hailed as a “model for the nation” by the 9/11 Commission.

Among the events on tap are a wreath-laying ceremony, a memorial 5K, a bike ride, a softball tournament, and a private event at the Pentagon for the families of the victims.

With some events at-capacity or closed to the public, the county says locals can observe the day from home, by watching short videos produced by the county, or by hanging American flags.

Wreath-Laying Ceremony

The Arlington County Public Safety Combined Honor Guard will perform a Presentation of Colors and lay a wreath at county government headquarters at 2100 Clarendon Blvd at 9 a.m tomorrow (Friday). A moment of silence will be observed at 9:37 a.m., when American Airlines Flight 77 struck the Pentagon.

The ceremony can be steamed on the county website, YouTube, or Facebook, or viewed on Comcast channel 1085 or Verizon FiOS channel 39.

Memorial 5K

Arlington’s police and fire departments, the Sheriff’s Office and the Emergency Communications Center will host the annual 9/11 Memorial 5K Run and fundraiser this Saturday. The race starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Crystal City (300 Army Navy Drive). The in-person race is at capacity, but the event is still registering virtual participants.

Pentagon Memorial Event

The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial is currently closed due to COVID-19, with no reopening date set. Family members of victims and other invited guests will be admitted this weekend for a seated event with social distancing and various speakers.

‘Ride of Hope’ Cycling Event

Cyclists will ride 15 miles, starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday, and stop at the nine Arlington fire stations that responded to the attack. The ride ends with a moment of silence and a wreath ceremony.

Those who responded 20 years ago will ride to the Pentagon 9/11 memorial and lay another wreath. All retired and active first responders are invited, as well as family and friends 18 and older. If spots are available, other adults can join as well.

Photography Exhibit

Three local photographers will host a photography exhibit entitled “Still Standing — Still Free” at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall, with original photos, a video of the immediate aftermath, 9/11 artifacts and never-before-seen snapshots. The display will be free to the public. It runs from Saturday, Sept. 11 through Monday, Oct. 11.

First Responders Cup Tournament

A softball tournament at the Barcroft Park (4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive) on Saturday will raise money for Pentagon Disaster Relief charities. All games are free to participate in and open to anyone who is interested. Opening ceremonies start at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, and will feature the Armed Services Color Guard, the 3rd Army Old Guard Ceremonial Fife and Drums Corps, and the fire department.

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Arlington residents can now register to receive a free tree for their yards as part of an effort by the Department of Parks and Recreation to increase the county’s tree canopy.

Registration opened today (Tuesday) for young, slender trees known as “whips.” The whips are in two-gallon containers ranging from 2-4 feet in size.

“This annual program is very popular and has yielded many beautiful trees and benefited our community,” said the county. “The trees you plant are part of our mission to expand and enhance Arlington’s urban tree canopy.”

Residents will be able to pick up their trees at Bon Air Park or Barcroft Park in late October. County landscape staff and members of the Arlington/Alexandria Tree Stewards organization will be on-site to help residents choose their trees, answer questions and share tips on caring for them.

Available tree species include:

  • Black Gum
  • Red Cedar
  • Dogwood
  • Fringe tree
  • Hornbeam
  • Sweetbay Magnolia
  • Red Maple
  • Red Oak
  • White Oak
  • Redbud
  • River Birch
  • Sassafras
  • Serviceberry

The first pickup day is Saturday, Oct. 23 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot of Tucker Field at Barcroft Park (4208 S. Four Mile Run Drive). The second is Tuesday, Oct. 26 from 4-6 p.m. in the rose garden parking lot at Bon Air Park (850 N. Lexington Street).

One tree is offered per residential property.

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Arlington Agenda: Sept. 6-12

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County.

If you’d like your event considered, fill out the event submission form to submit it to our event calendar.

Tuesday, Sept. 7

Rosh Hashanah at Kol Ami*
Virtual
Time: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Celebrate the Jewish new year with Kol Ami over zoom.

Wednesday, Sept. 8

Ceramics – The Wheel for Adults
Art House 7 (5537 Lee Highway)
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This ceramics class is for adults who are new to pottery.

Camp Summer House: Camp Cookout
Gateway Green (101 12th Street S.)
Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

A “campfire jamboree” in Crystal City. Enjoy live music, archery, games and hot dogs from Swizzler’s Food Truck at this summer camp-themed event.

Thursday, Sept. 9

Pals App Launch Party
Oakland Park (3705 Wilson Blvd.)
Time: 4-7 p.m.

Pals is a new app that helps facilitate meetups between dogs in the area. The app launches this week and their launch party will feature games, giveaways and, of course, treats.

Friday, Sept. 10

Live Comedy: Mitch Fatel
Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:30 p.m.

Long-time NYC-based standup comic Mitch Fatel, noted for his late night talk show and Howard Stern Show appearances, performs.

Saturday, Sept. 11

URBNmarket – Upscale, Handmade and Vintage Market – at Westpost
Westpost, formerly Pentagon Row (1201 S. Joyce Street)
Time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Find some unique artisan goods at this market including jewelry, soaps, beauty products, candles, clothing, home decor, specialty foods and more.

* Denotes sponsored listing

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Gavin Andersen and Steve Dierkes (courtesy Lawn Barbers)

Steve Dierkes and Gavin Andersen — co-owners of local lawn care business The Lawn Barbers — have dealt with snakes, poison ivy and swarms of cicadas when caring for the lawns of Arlington residents.

But they say the bugs and weeds were worth the experience of running a company together.

The two dabbled in lawn care in high school, and when their summer internships were canceled due to the pandemic, they decided to turn their high school jobs into a business.

“I was going to work at a big consulting firm in D.C. — so a little different than landscaping,” Andersen said. “We tried to find a silver lining in an otherwise gloomy situation.”

“I was going to work at a think tank and, frankly, I’m not too upset I ended up in landscaping,” said Dierkes.

The two built up their client base on Nextdoor, trading names with other area lawn care businesses. After starting out with tools and equipment Dierkes’ parents kept in a shed, they soon earned enough money to buy their own equipment.

Their diligence paid off. Now in its second year, Lawn Barbers offers all kinds of lawn care services — from general yard maintenance to weed control to landscaping renovations — and their business was voted in the top three lawn care businesses in last week’s Arlies.

They say their bond is the key to their success. The friends, who are both 22, met in preschool at Westover Baptist Church and went through elementary school, high school and college together. They both studied at William and Mary.

“We’ve known each other for pretty much our entire lives,” said Dierkes.

“It’s pretty crazy, Steve,” added Andersen.

Drawing on nearly two decades of friendship, the two joke around while their hands are deep in weeds. They say the customers respond well to their positivity and energy.

“What’s better than having two guys on your lawn in 100-degree weather having a blast?” said Andersen. “I don’t think I’ve ever done anything I enjoy as much as waking up to do this with Steve.”

Their friendship has helped them through tough times: long hours, backbreaking work and the occasional argument. Once, they moved more than 10,000 pounds of rocks in wheelbarrows to create a drainage solution and pulled up 500-1,000 square feet of English Ivy.

“That was pretty brutal,” Andersen said. “I’ve had to mow a lawn with snakes in it and weeds up to my shoulders.”

For one job, the two scaled a steep hill that gave them a view of all the houses in the neighborhood.

“It made for a great picture,” Dierkes said.

The work gave them another view of Arlington: one through the eyes of people who have been here for decades and seen the community grow and change. Completing projects near the schools they attended, Tuckahoe Elementary School and Yorktown High School, reminds them of how they’ve done the same.

Despite now being able to call themselves an award-winning lawn care duo, Dierkes and Andersen are trading their mowers for desks and office jobs as the summer ends. Looking forward, the partners say their experience will make them better employees and people.

“There’s a lot of life lessons in doing what others consider elementary work,” said Andersen.

“I think working in landscaping, and working in the summer, you really learn resilience and persistence,” said Dierkes. “Gavin and I couldn’t just quit after six hours. You had to get the job done.”

Dierkes is now in Pittsburgh, working at a startup, and Andersen is still in the D.C. area as a consultant, but they refuse to say goodbye to the business. They say they will be available for work over holiday breaks and other times they’re both in Arlington.

“I’m not [expletive] leaving,” said Dierkes, adding that he misses Arlington and his lawn care partnership. “It’s like that corny Dr. Seuss line, ‘It’s not goodbye, it’s just see you later.'”

Andersen agreed.

“The barbershop is eternally open,” he said.

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Hand-painted canvases, ceramics and other works of art will adorn the streets of Clarendon this weekend for an art festival.

The Arlington Festival of the Arts will take place this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 4-5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event, now in its ninth year, will be outdoors on N. Highland Street, beginning at the corner of N. Highland Street and Washington Blvd.

Howard Alan Events, which hosts the festival, had an independent panel of judges select the artists. Some of those who made the cut are based in the D.C. area.

“Visitors will have the chance to see thousands of fine works from across the globe in a prestigious show encompassing fine jewelry, exquisite works of art and hand-crafted apparel and decor,” Howard Alan Events said. “Whether your passions run to sparkling jewels and one of a kind paintings; masterfully crafted glasswork or an art deco sculpture, you are sure to find it during the free, two-day event.”

Art prices will be available to view at the event and all the artists will be available to answer questions during the festival.

The Labor Day weekend event will feature paintings from Allen Levy, whose works have been displayed at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria and whose studio is in Woodbridge. Mixed media artist and interior designer Vered Yanay, based in Bethesda, will have her work at the festival as well as Prince George’s County-based graphic artist Bryane Broadie.

Parking is available at the event’s 3003 Washington Blvd location and pets on leashes are welcomed to peruse the art. They may be interested in Joseph Brewer’s pet portraits.

Parking restrictions and several major road closures are planned in the area, which may lead to traffic delays for drivers.

More from the Arlington County Police Department:

Setup for the event will begin at 4:00 a.m. on Saturday, and the event will be open both days from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closures from approximately 4:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 4th through 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 5th to accommodate the event:

  • Westbound Washington Boulevard will be closed from N. 10th Street to Clarendon Boulevard
  • N. Highland Street will be closed from N. 11th Street to Washington Boulevard
  • Eastbound Washington Boulevard will be reduced to one lane from Clarendon Boulevard to N. 10th Street
  • Southbound traffic on N. Garfield Street will only be allowed to turn left (eastbound) on Washington Boulevard

Other closures not mentioned above may be implemented at law enforcement discretion in the interest of public safety.

Street parking in the area will be restricted and motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.

Attendees are encouraged to use Metro (Clarendon station) or other “for hire” transportation options to reduce vehicular traffic in the area.

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Rosslyn Jazz Fest crowd shot (via Rosslyn Business Improvement District)

The Rosslyn Jazz Fest, which was socially-distanced and live-streamed last year due to the pandemic, is returning this week in its full glory.

The celebration of jazz, now in its 21st year, begins this Wednesday and will span three weeks. There will be pop-up performances throughout Rosslyn featuring food trucks, beer and wine, restaurant deals and giveaway prizes.

The event, organized by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, is free to attend but reservations are encouraged to secure a spot.

Starting this Wednesday, bands and soloists will perform during the Rosslyn Farmers Market at Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street), as well as at 1401 Wilson Blvd Park and the Continental Beer Garden (1901 N. Fort Myer Drive).

Planned “pop-up” performances include the following.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 1: Crush Funk Brass Band (Central Place Plaza, 1800 N. Lynn Street) from 4:30-5:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 1: Crush Funk Brass Band (1401 Wilson Blvd Park) from 5:45-6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 15: Cristian Perez (Central Place Plaza, 1800 N. Lynn Street) from 5-7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 16: Kingman Island Orchestra (Continental Beer Garden, 1901 N. Lynn Street) from 5-7 p.m.

On Thursday, Sept. 9, the BID will host a Jazz Supper Club at Amuse restaurant (1121 19th St. N.) from 5:30-9 p.m. The reservation-only event includes a prix fixe menu, a complimentary themed cocktail, themed giveaways and a live performance by Akua Allrich.

Guests will be seated in two time slots — 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Reservations can be made through Amuse.

The festival culminates on Saturday, Sept. 18 with performances at Gateway Park (1300 Langston Blvd):

Around the park there will be food trucks serving hot dogs, wings and carnival-themed sweets, Salvadoran food and the flavors of New Orleans. Beer and wine will also be available for purchase.

Attendees can also dine at select local restaurants with a 10% discount. Participating restaurants currently include Continental Beer Garden, Toryumon and Vitality Bowls, but the list is subject to change.

Check-in for the final day of performances begins at 12:15 p.m. To access Gateway Park, attendees will need to enter through the middle entrance along Langston Blvd (formerly Lee Highway).

Public parking will be available at the Atlantic Parking Garage on N. Moore Street between 19th Street N. and Langston Blvd for a flat fee of $5 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but space is limited.

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Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County.

If you’d like your event considered, fill out the event submission form to submit it to our event calendar.

Tuesday, Aug. 31

NOVA Running Club 5K
Bluemont Park (329 N. Manchester Street)
Time: 6:30-8 p.m.

This course goes through W&OD trail and offers a low-key weeknight opportunity for exercises and getting to know your Arlington neighbors.

International Overdose Awareness Day
Virtual 
Time: 7-8 p.m.

This ceremony includes a tribute to those we have lost to drug overdoses, a remembrance board and available resources for those struggling with addiction.

Wednesday, Sept. 1

Rosslyn Jazz Fest Neighborhood Pop-Up Performances
Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street) & 1401 Wilson Blvd Park
Time: 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Crush Funk Brass Band will perform free outdoor jazz concert in two locations: Central Place Plaza (4:30-5:15 p.m.) and 1401 Wilson Blvd Park (5:45-6:30 p.m.).

Thursday, Sept. 2

Opening Reception: “Magnifica” Exhibition at Cody Gallery, Marymount University
Cody Gallery at Marymount University (1000 N. Glebe Road, Second Floor)
Time: 5-7 p.m.

This exhibit will feature new work by the Italian female artists Goldschmied & Chiari.

Brad Silnutzer performs at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse
Arlington Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:15 p.m.

Writer and comedian Brad Silnutzer from Comedy Central’s list of Comics to Watch performs.

Friday, Sept. 3

Travel – All-Member show in the Focus Gallery at Gallery Underground 
Gallery Underground in the Shops at Crystal City (2100 Crystal Drive)
Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This exhibit features work based on the travels of the artists, both real travels and the imaginary.

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A newly-opened bistro in Clarendon is hoping to attract a slightly more mature crowd in an area known for its youthful nightlife.

Maison Cheryl, located in the former Heritage Brewing space at 2900 Wilson Blvd, had its soft opening last Thursday. The 2,000-square-foot restaurant offers a refined, yet casual spot for Arlingtonians to take dates, meet their neighbors, and explore an ever-evolving menu of drinks, dishes and desserts.

Though the bistro can accommodate nearly 80 people in the dining room, the centerpiece of the eatery is the pristine, marble bar counter, around which strangers and friends gather, talk and indulge in creamy and rich “French-New American” food.

The restaurant’s chef and owner Robert Maher and his wife moved from New York City to Bethesda earlier in the pandemic to be back in his wife’s hometown. He planned to open a restaurant there, but found the Clarendon spot and loved the energy in the neighborhood.

“When I started it, I wanted a restaurant that would look beautiful but also a place you could take a date, but also something that was all-inclusive and not only have good food but have good drinks and have good wine,” said Maher. “I have a real problem. I like to make everybody happy. It’s a good thing, but it keeps you awake at night.”

With many Clarendon nightlife spots catered toward younger adults in their 20s, Maher and general manager Rami Sabri wanted to create a restaurant geared toward older millennials — those in their 30s, starting to settle down in Arlington. In other words, the kind of “elder millennial” that gets made fun of in those Progressive commercials.

The restaurant is planning on officially opening soon after Labor Day. Maher and Sabri said the community response has been very positive so far.

“We already have regulars,” said Sabri. “We have five or six couples who have already come back. Nothing has been sent back, almost nothing boxed.”

“Except my mom. My mom’s like this big,” added Maher, indicating her petite size. “She saves [leftovers] for breakfast the next day.”

Even after being in business less than a week, certain dishes are starting to stand out.

“My favorite dish has to be the fried burrata. It’s really simple, really fresh. There’s something so satisfactory about cutting burrata and it oozing out,” said Maher. “The shrimp with spicy kewpie mayo and cabbage and lime salad, I mean that is probably our number one selling dish.”

Sabri added that the crispy cauliflower always comes back as “a clean plate.”

Maher says menu items will rotate throughout the seasons and depending on what patrons say they’re interested in seeing added.

“My plumber was like, ‘Oh I love bison,’ and I was like, ‘Listen, tell me you’re coming, I will buy some bison and I will put it as a special.’ Anything to make anybody happy,” said Maher.

The bistro is also working on menus for brunch and lunch. It’s serving its first weekend brunch this Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to around 1 p.m. and will continue to offer it every weekend.

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