Arlington, VA

Will Hurricane Joaquin hit hard this weekend, or will we be passed over? It’s hard to say. What we do know is there are still plenty of open houses in Arlington this weekend. It’s a good time to get out there if you don’t get rained in.

As always, see our real estate section for a full listing of open houses. Here are a few highlights:

3035Buchanan3035 Buchanan Street S.
2 BD / 1 BA Condominium
Agent: Thomas Arehart, Re/max Allegiance
Listed: $359,000
Open: Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

1343 Columbus1343 Columbus Street S.
3 BD / 2 BA, Single Family Detached
Agent: Thomas Syvertsen, Weichert Realtors
Listed: $499,000
Open: Saturday from 2-4 p.m., Sunday from 12-3 p.m.

1802 9th1802 9th Street S.
3 BD / 3 Full, 1 Half BA Townhouse
Agent: David Swartzbaugh, Weichert Realtors
Listed: $549,900
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

6320 24th6320 24th Street N.
5 BD / 2 Full, 1 Half BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Denise Kaydouh, Long & Foster Real Estate
Listed: $875,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

109 Highland109 Highland Street N.
3 BD / 2 Full, 1 Half BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Jane Morrison, Keller Williams Realty
Listed: $934,000
Open: Saturday from 2-4 p.m., Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

3856 Glebe3856 Glebe Road N.
6 BD / 5 Full, 1 Half BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Afarin Kovach, Fairfax Realty of Tysons
Listed: $1,599,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

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When you first step into the neighborhood of Madison Homes at Eleven Oaks, you can’t help but feel like it’s a movie set. The houses are beautiful, all in a row, and each with its own unique style — like the families you can imagine living in them.

I was curious first to visit The Beaumont, which is one of the “City Homes” models. Since Eleven Oaks is in Fairfax, a sunny suburb, I was wondering what the take on city living would be. This is a four-bedroom detached home that is modern and full of light. I particularly loved the cozy breakfast nook at the back of the first level. Upstairs, the crown molding and luxury bathroom made a big impression. This model shows off the optional elevator, a great way to get more from a new home

Next was The Collier, a larger city homes model, model with four bedrooms, plus a bedroom and bath in the finished lower level. It has a lovely open-plan ground floor and felt very spacious overall. The formal dining room, family room and deck made this home perfect for entertaining family and friends. Whether you plan to relax in the spacious den or have a family dinner, The Collier seemed like a good place to come home to.

There’s a special going on the Collier model now, so it’s priced starting at $989,900 and includes a complimentary elevator. There’s definitely something to be said for the convenience of an elevator in your home, and they are available in most Eleven Oaks residences.

Finally, I headed over to one of the single-family homes, the Evesham. It wowed right away with the long kitchen, which felt warm with its hardwood floors and curved center island. Upstairs, the master bedroom was dramatic with the best walk in closet ever. I loved the tray ceiling and soaking tub in he attached bathroom — it felt almost like a hotel, but with all the bedrooms and touches like the fireplace, it was clearly meant for a family.

Overall, Madison Homes at Eleven Oaks was a great time. The neighborhood was well-groomed and accessible to Fairfax, and especially convenient to the George Mason campus. The staff was friendly and helpful and I loved the luxurious components to the homes of every size and shape. It was clear that special attention was given to natural light and outdoor spaces, as well as the little details that can make a home so special.

The Eleven Oaks sales center and models are open daily at:

4411 George Mason Blvd
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 865-4165

The preceding post was sponsored by Madison Homes at Eleven Oaks.

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Monday

Seminar-group-shotNetworking 101 & Your Personal Elevator Pitch Career Seminar*
Link Locale (3140 Washington Blvd)
Time: 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Did you know 70 percent of jobs are found through networking? Learn to make an elevator pitch and gain contacts. Session will have a simulation networking meeting. Register on Eventbrite.

Wednesday

Affordable Housing Month logo (via Arlington County)APAH Affordable Housing Month Open House
Buchanan Gardens Apartments (926 S. Buchanan Street)
Time: 8 – 8:45 a.m.

The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing welcomes you to learn more during open houses. Learn about and discuss topics such as: what is affordable housing? Who lives in affordable housing? Why is it important? How is it financed?

Thursday

PrideRocksPride on the Rocks – Festival Countdown*
Redrocks Arlington (2501 9th Road S.)
Time: 6 – 11 p.m.

Trivia! Raffle! Frivolity! Free parking! “Pride on the Rocks” features food and drink specials, team trivia, and more! Team trivia starts at 7:30pm, and there are prizes! RedRocks Arlington donates 10 percent of all sales that evening to Northern Virginia Pride!

Pump and Dump Evening of ComedyThe Pump and Dump: A Parentally Incorrect Show and Night Out For Once
Arlington Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:45 p.m. – 10 p.m.

“The Pump and Dump” is a night out to make you laugh away a kid-filled day. Comedian/musician Shayna Ferm and her sidekick, MC Doula, host this evening of comedy. Tickets are $20.

Saturday

Arlington bike leafAnnual Arlington Fun Ride*
Crystal City (18th Street and Crystal Drive)
Time: 8 a.m. -12 p.m.

This scenic, family-friendly event will give riders a chance to experience the paved trails of the “Arlington Loop.” Riders may choose to stop at rest stops in Crystal City, Columbia Pike, Ballston and Rosslyn. Learn more at www.arlingtonfunride.org.

Metal recycling at E-CARE (photo via Arlington County DES)E-CARE Fall Recycling Event
Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road)
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The Arlington Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE) is an event where Arlington residents can safely dispose of hazardous materials and recycle many household items. Here is a complete list of accepted items.

TED x ArlingtonTEDx Arlington
Spectrum Theater (1611 N. Kent Street)
Time: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

TEDx is just like the famed Ted Talks you see online. At TEDxArlington, we will explore connectedness from different layered perspectives including family, neighbors, community. Tickets are $75 and must be purchased in advance.

Sunday

Workers are installing 250 solar panels on the roof of the Arlington Central LibrarySolar Home Tour
706 N. Ivy Street
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Two buildings near the Clarendon Metro will be open for view as part of a national solar home tour. See solar water heating, a direct-exchange HVAC system and much more. Groups, students, families welcome. For information email [email protected].

*Denotes featured (sponsored) content

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It’s supposed to be a rainy one this weekend, so why not get inside and look at some homes? Lots of Sunday open houses in both North and South Arlington, so now’s a great time to get out there.

As always, see our real estate section for a full listing of open houses. Here are a few highlights:

1530 Key1530 Key Boulevard
1 BD / 1 BA Condominium
Agent: Raymond Zakka, Weichert Realtors
Listed: $385,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

5037 12th5037 12th Street S.
2 BD / 2 BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Anthony Cammarota, Re/max Distinctive Real Estate
Listed: $499,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

1810 21st1810 21st Street N.
2 BD / 2 Full, 2 Half BA Condominium
Agent: Robin Cale, Mcenearney Associates
Listed: $754,900
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

3219 5th3219 5th Street S.
4 BD / 2 Full, 2 Half BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Sean Judge, Keller Williams Capital Properties
Listed: $874,900
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

4300 4th Court N4300 4th Court N.
4 BD / 4 Full, 1 Half BA Townhouse
Agent: Jayson Wingfield, Real Living at Home
Listed: $929,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

2825 Tacoma2528 Tacoma Street
5 BD / 4 Full, 1 Half BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Susan Forest, Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Penfed Realty
Listed: $1,574,900
Open: Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

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There are two D.C.-area eateries that made Yelp’s Top 100 List in 2014. One is a restaurant in Dupont Circle marked on Yelp with “$$$$.” The other is a taco truck in Arlington.

Tacos El Chilango parks at the corner of 14th Street N. and N. Quinn Street nearly every day. From the truck, people can see drivers whiz by on Route 50. Before customers get a $2.50 taco (or five), they might stand in a line that goes down the block. The menu is limited to only six kinds of meat tacos and a small selection of drinks. But no one is complaining.

Making Yelp’s Top 100 List in 2014 was no easy feat. Engineers from Yelp took into account number of reviews and star ratings to reveal the most popular spots in the country, over the past 10 years that Yelp had been up and running. Tacos El Chilango made number 58.

Jesus and Juan Antonio Santacruz opened the truck together in Arlington in 2007. Juan Antonio now runs El Chilango’s D.C. location (1119 V. Street NW), which opened in 2012. It has a somewhat larger menu including veggie options and indoor and outdoor seating space.

When the two first opened shop, they were inspired by their parents, who moved from Central Mexico to Mexico City in the 1950s and opened their first taco business.

My parents had the house, and in the front they had the business, so we practically lived there. We are eight siblings and we all have taco shops,” Juan Antonio said.

Five taco stores are in Mexico, and three are in the U.S.– the two El Chilango locations, and Tacos El Papi, another truck, owned by their eldest brother, is parked on Columbia Pike in Arlington.

Juan Antonio and Jesus established their space because Jesus lives nearby, and one winter they got snowed into the spot. People started noticing the truck because there aren’t really other businesses around. And so they stayed.

What makes these tacos special? People could look to the 349 Yelp reviews (only five of which are under three stars) or ask someone who took to the street at lunchtime today.

Maurice Dayton calls himself a “religious patron” of El Chilango. He said he comes to get his lunch at the truck at least twice a week. He’s not the only super fan — 55 Yelp reviews used the word “love” to describe their feelings for the fresh tacos.

“I’m not lying, I’m from Texas and I know a thing about tacos, this is the closest I’ve come to being back home with tacos, and I have to say, it’s even better,” Dayton said.

Jesus says the secret to the tacos is never changing the recipe — and keeping ingredients fresh every day.

A lot of people ask for sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes and we say ‘no.’ We like to keep them authentic, the way we grew up with them, the way we make them in Mexico. We make everything pretty much every day,” Santacruz said.

Dayton lives in Maryland but works in a nearby State Department office, where he says everyone makes the walk down to the truck. He mentioned a few other spots he said had good tacos, but they didn’t compare.

“I just absolutely love coming here. You have to try the El Mixto. They’re some of the absolute best tacos anywhere. I wish I could franchise this place,” Dayton said, laughing.

Matt Evans is a longtime patron of the truck who just moved in Arlington, just blocks away from El Chilango’s parking spot — a move he’s very excited about.

“I have a lot of coworkers who are super into District Taco, and hands-down this is way better than District Taco. It’s that authentic, it’s like California tacos,” Evans said.

It makes sense that they would be authentic, as “Chilango” is a Mexican slang word meaning the people who live in or come from Mexico City. And Juan Antonio says even though there is the most business on Fridays and Saturdays, the truck is busy year-round.

“Even when it’s so hot or so cold, people want tacos,” he said.

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Shirlington Oktoberfest 2015 bannerCapitol City Brewing will be hosting the 16th Annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest in Shirlington on Saturday, October 3 from 12-7 p.m.

The event will feature more than 60 local breweries, food from local vendors and authentic German music and food. As usual, Oktoberfest will be held along Campbell Avenue at The Village at Shirlington. 

“We have about 90 vendors, 65 breweries, thousands of people come out, it’s just a whole lot of fun,” said Sean Carney, a manager at the brewery’s Shirlington location. Carney says he expects two to three thousand people to come to the event, “Maybe even more… it’s one of the bigger festivals in the fall around here, that’s what gets people so excited.”

Tickets are $30 for the the beer tasting, which includes 10 four-ounce pours, wristband and tasting glass. For non-drinkers, the event is free to attend.

Arlington County has made a video publicizing ways to get there without using a car, both as part of Arlington’s Car-Free Diet, as well as to encourage responsible drinking.

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Abingdon Elementary School renovation renderingAbingdon Elementary School in Fairlington will be undergoing a renovation and adding a 30,000 square-foot expansion, after receiving unanimous County Board approval for a use permit on Monday.

The addition includes 12 classrooms, as well as a new gymnasium, entrance plaza and outdoor instructional area. With this, the total building capacity will be brought from 589 to 725 students. The school’s enrollment is currently 630 students, with some of the excess student population served by four classroom trailers, according to a press release.

There will be a new bus loop and changes to the site’s existing parking configuration. The Board approved also approved a use permit that will allow school staff to park at the nearby Farlington Villages Community Center.

The approved plan includes extensive stormwater runoff management, which is aimed to reduce impact on the school’s neighbors. The existing building requires major building system upgrades, as well, including an updated HVAC system, electrical and plumbing improvements and new interior furnishings.

“This expansion breathes new life into an elementary school that opened its doors in Fairlington in 1950,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “Back then, Abingdon helped relieve overcrowding at Fairlington Elementary. Now, so many decades later, we are partnering with Arlington Public Schools to expand Abingdon to once again serve burgeoning enrollment in this part of the County. There has been robust community conversation about this latest expansion of Abingdon. When completed in 2017, it will serve the community well for years to come.”

The school’s expansion comes as part of the School Board’s FY2015-FY 2024 Capital Improvement Plan, which was adopted in 2014. The plan includes funding for over 1,000 elementary school seats, including the 136 seats that will be added at Abingdon, as well as others at McKinley Elementary School, and a new elementary school to be determined in South Arlington by FY 2019, in order to accommodate increased enrollment.

Abingdon Elementary was completed in 1950 and expanded in 1964, 1970 and 1990. The public review for the addition has taken place over the last 11 months, and included review by the Public Facilities Review Committee (PFRC), Environmental and Energy Conservation Commission (E2C2), Transportation Commission, and Planning Commission.

Not all neighbors support the plan, however. Some have expressed concerns about the loss of trees and potential for noisy construction traffic as a result of the project.

Arlington’s PreK-12 student population has risen by more than 3,000 since the start of school in 2013. At the beginning of this school year, APS counted 25,307 enrolled students.

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African American GuideWork has begun on a second edition of a booklet that once gave insight to the African American history of Arlington.

The 20-page booklet, “African American History in Arlington, Virginia: A Guide to the Historic Sites of a Long and Proud Heritage,” was first published in 2001. It was a joint project between the Arlington Convention and Visitors Service, the Chamber of Commerce and the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington.

The funding for the booklet comes from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, in the form of a $3,000 grant that was accepted by the County Board.

Print copies of the guide ran out several years ago, but the booklet is still available online in a PDF.

According to a press release, the booklet was popular among Arlington residents and visitors who wanted to explore memorials such as Arlington House, the historic neighborhoods of Nauck, Hall’s Hill and Butler Holmes and various celebrated churches and historical homes.

Cynthia Liccese-Torres, Arlington County historic preservation planner, said that her office has found “quite a bit of new additional research” that will enhance the guide.

The still-operating Green Valley Pharmacy in Nauck will be featured in the new edition. It was opened in 1952 and served African Americans who were refused service in Arlington’s segregated drug stores.

Also included will be dozens of graves previously considered “lost” that have been identified in the cemetery at Calloway United Methodist Church.

Liccese-Torres estimates that the guide will be completed and ready for distribution in spring 2016.

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Joan HorwittThe two and a half acre of land where the Reevesland farmhouse sits was divided into two parcels — one which will contain the farmhouse and one that will become a public park.

The County Board’s decision allows the county to preserve the view of the farmhouse while still being able to sell it to a private party, Chair Mary Hynes said. The county also approved a permit to make the farmhouse a “unified residential development,” which makes it easier to sell, possibly as a single-family home.

Under the decision, the county manager cannot divide the land until directed by the Board, which extends the time for the county to hear proposals and decide what exactly to do with the farmhouse. The entire two and a half acre property will remain a local historic district, preventing major changes.

“The creation of a separate lot that includes the farmhouse would enable the County to market the house for sale to a private buyer willing to restore and maintain it,’ the county said in a press release. “The newly created lot is meant to give a potential owner privacy and the flexibility to expand the house with oversight by the county’s Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board.”

Board member Walter Tejada was the only vote against the division of the property. He also voted against the sale of the Reevesland farmhouse in May.

Tejada made a motion to include a direction to the county manager that the land could not be divided until a path to the “historic milk shed,” which would sit on the piece of land made into a park, was made compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. County staff said it might not be possible to have an ADA compliant path within the three years, and the motion failed.

The Board voted to sell the Reevesland farmhouse property after deciding it could not put up the $2-2.5 million it would cost to renovate the building for public use. In order to keep the building as county property, Arlington would have to rebuild parts of the farmhouse to make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and modern safety codes, including strengthening the floors and updating the buildings utilities, Board Chair Mary Hynes said at a June board meeting.

Board member Jay Fisette voted against selling the parcel in May, saying he wanted more time to find a solution for the farmhouse.

“I will say that was primarily because I wanted more time to explore a nonprofit partnership that would allow continued public use. I have always been attracted to that idea and continue to be at that time,” Fisette said. “The proposal that we’re about to do today allows for that additional time, in fact, by not recording this subdivision plat until a later date.”

Separating the farmhouse and potentially allowing it to become a private residence allows the County Board to have a fall back plan, Hynes said.

“Here is this really unique [farmhouse], and we need to find a way to preserve that,” she said. “The view shed, the experience of seeing this farmhouse on the hill, to me, is the most important thing.”

Several citizens and neighbors spoke about their disapproval of the Board’s previous vote to sell the historic property, during the public comment portion of the Board meeting. They protested that the decision was too quickly made, and that before the land can be subdivided, the Board should return to that issue.  

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Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Monday

Seminar-group-shotResumes and Cover Letters Career Seminar*
Link Locale (3140 Washington Blvd)
Time: 7 – 8:30 p.m.

If you haven’t refreshed your resume lately, come hear about the newest trends for resumes and cover letters in hiring and recruiting, so bring along your resume. Visit the Eventbrite page to register.

 

Class at Yorktown High SchoolESL English Classes*
Redeemer Church of Arlington (716 S. Glebe Road)
Time: 7 – 9 p.m.

This is the first class in a fall session of classes for English-language learners. Beginner, intermediate and advanced levels are available. New students have a $25 fee, which includes the cost of books. Scholarships are available.

Tuesday

YEAlogo-gifYoung Entrepreneurs Academy Information Session
Arlington Chamber of Commerce (2009 14th Street N.)
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is a groundbreaking class that transforms students into entrepreneurs. The class (comprised of students aged 11-18) meets one day a week from October through May. Pre-registration for the session is encouraged.

Wednesday

Plants at Arlington Central Library's volunteer gardenWednesdays in the Garden Programs
Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 7 – 9 p.m.

This series of programs, taught by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and VCE Master Gardeners, teaches gardening skills to a wide audience. This week’s topic is “Inside Arlington Kitchens: Tasting Our Cultures.” No registration required. 

Thursday

Conversations with Tyler: A Conversation with Dani Rodrik*
Founders Hall, GMU Arlington Campus (3351 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Dani Rodrik, one of the most influential voices on globalization and economic development, will join George Mason University Professor Tyler Cowen for a wide-ranging intellectual dialogue as part of the Conversations with Tyler series.

Saturday

Affordable Housing Month logo (via Arlington County)Affordable Housing Bike Tour
Clarendon Blvd & N. Pierce Street
Time: 9:30-11 a.m.

Tour Arlington’s affordable housing properties, including Parc Rosslyn, which has 101 affordable units and Colonial Village, with 162 affordable units. The event is free. No reservation necessary, but RSVP to [email protected].

Scenes from Clarendon Day 2011Clarendon Day
Around the Clarendon Metro Station
Time: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

The 18th Annual Clarendon Day Street Festival is everything a street fair should be. Last year, well over 30,000 people attended. The event starts with a 10K/5K/Kids Dash race in the morning, followed by live musical performances, crafts, food and more.

Sunday

MH

Many Hopes 5K Run/Walk*
Gateway Park (1300 Lee Hwy)
Time: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Join us as we run/walk the Custis Trail, while supporting Many Hopes’ mission to to make positive change in coastal Kenya. All fees and donations will go directly to operations on the ground. Registration is $35 in advance, $45 day-of.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) content

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As the weather remains relatively cool and clear, it’s hard not to notice the earlier sunsets happening these days. Even as the days get shorter, there’s still time to check out the multitude of open houses around Arlington this weekend.

As always, see our real estate section for a full listing of open houses. Here are a few highlights:

455428th4554 28th Road S.
1 BD / 1 BA Condominium
Agent: Julie Chesser, Century 21 New Millennium
Listed: $255,000
Open: Saturday from 1-4 p.m.

6940Fairfax6940 Fairfax Drive
2 BD / 2 BA Condominium
Agent: Heather Bennett, Redfin Corporation
Listed: $415,900
Open: Saturday from 12-2 p.m.

310813th3108 13th Street S.
4 BD / 2 BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Alison Miller, Keller Williams Realty Falls Church
Listed: $549,900
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

46134th4613 4th Road N.
3 BD / 3 Full, 1 Half BA Townhouse
Agent: Meredith Strerrett, Century 21 New Millennium
Listed: $770,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

1418Edison1418 Edison Street N.
3 BD / 2 Full, 1 Half BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Shahrzad Miller, Mcenearney Associates
Listed: $989,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

5515LittleFalls5515 Little Falls Road
5 BD / 3 BA Single Family Detached
Agent: David Lloyd, Weichert Realtors
Listed: $1,200,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

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