86°Scattered Clouds

by ARLnow.com — July 8, 2016 at 10:45 am 0

Dillon Behr (photo via National Geographic Channel screenshot)This coming Tuesday, the National Geographic channel will air an episode of its “No Man Left Behind” series featuring the heroic story of a Courthouse resident and former Army special forces soldier.

The story, as reported in this Washington Post article, takes place in Afghanistan’s infamous Shok Valley, as a group of Green Berets are lured into a trap and ambushed by enemy fighters.

“In 2008, while on a daring raid in Afghanistan, US Green Beret Sergeant First Class, Dillon Behr suffered two gunshot wounds, one to his right bicep and one to his right pelvis/hip, as well as severe abdominal injuries,” said show notes sent by a Nat Geo PR rep. “In No Man Left Behind, he shares the unbelievable story of survival, recalling how his team managed to hold off the enemy for seven hours, despite several of them being injured, until they finally evacuated the wounded and returned to safety.”

Behr and his fellow Green Berets recount their experience during the hour-long show.

“I felt this strange calm and I remember thinking this is it, this is the moment I’m going to die,” he said.

Per the show notes: “Behr was treated for his injuries at Walter Reed Medical Center, and has been living in the D.C. metro area ever since. He received a Master’s Degree from Georgetown University and currently works for a cyber security firm. Up until a few months ago, he also ran a non-profit cross-fit gym for injured soldiers at Walter Reed.”

The episode will air Tuesday, July 12 at 9 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.

by Jackie Friedman — July 7, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

ArtJamz Underground Studio, a new “paint and sip” studio, will be opening next Friday, July 15, in Crystal City.

Located in the Crystal City Shops, at 2105-B Crystal Plaza Arcade, the 1,000 square foot public art studio and lounge will offer freestyle paint sessions, guided classes, and other private and public special events.

Studio time for customers includes art materials, an easel, a smock, two complimentary glasses of wine or one beer and local artists that are on hand to give tips and guidance.

“We really encourage original art, for people to create something unique,” said founder and CEO Michael Clements. “Our tagline is unleash your inner artist because we want our studios to be as close to what an artist would experience in their studio.”

Customers can choose from six different canvas sizes — and they’re also allowed to paint on the walls. Just for fun, fake artist mustaches and berets are offered at an additional charge.

This will be the first permanent ArtJamz location in Virginia (it also hosts popup locations). The business has two other physical locations in D.C.

“Our mission is make the world a more creative place,” said Clements.

Customers can book sessions online. Until opening night, ArtJamz is offering a special where patrons can book sessions using the promo code “opening16” to receive 20 percent off a reservation.

by ARLnow.com — July 7, 2016 at 3:30 pm 0

(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) A downed tree in the Ashton Heights neighborhood is leading to a call to the county ombudsman’s office.

The big tree, said to be more than a century old, fell last night near the intersection of N. Lincoln Street and 5th Street N., knocking out power to the area.

The neighborhood listserv is now abuzz with talk of what might have caused the old tree to fall during calm weather. Paving work on the street, residents are speculating, may have had something to do with it.

“A massive road repaving project brought in heavily vibrating equipment — many thought unnecessarily vibrating — which, according to our neighborhood listserv buzz, may have contributed to the tree’s fall, given very wet soil conditions,” a resident told us. “I lack professional credentials to shed light on that one way or another.”

Whether rooted in fact or not, residents are not content to leave the issue alone. They’re barking up the tree of the county ombudsman, according to a listserv email.

“Scott Sklar is contacting the county ombudsman about this problem today and complaining on behalf of Ashton Heights,” the email says. “The tree was 125 years old. Very sad.”

Sklar, president of the Ashton Heights Civic Association, said residents felt as if there was an “earthquake” when the heavy equipment was in use. One resident even reported that her morning cup of coffee rolled off the kitchen counter and broke as a result of the pervasive vibrations.

There’s “no question” about what caused the tree to fall, he said.

“The County contractors are using percussion rollers to compress the road under-bed — which uses intense weight and sound rather than the usual heavy roller compression approach,” he told ARLnow.com. ” There is no question in my mind, that this new approach is what caused this old tree to fall after the heavy rain we just had.”

“Use of percussion rollers should not be used in areas where there are large trees and old homes (pre-2000),” Sklar said. “Manufacturer’s warnings on percussion rollers explicitly state they should not be used near large trees or old buildings

Meghan McMahon, spokeswoman for the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services, said in a statement that the county is “reviewing the matter.”

DES crews have been performing roadbed reclamation and paving on Lincoln Street over the past week. The roadbed reclamation process, which was completed on June 30, is more disruptive than normal paving or patching. This process uses a machine that churns and mixes the base of the road at a deeper level so more vibrations and disturbance may occur. This process is specifically used for underbuilt, lower volume roads like Lincoln Street. Our paving contractors use vibratory rollers and other heavy machinery during the roadbed reclamation process. These rollers are also used on every street during maintenance and repaving. Rollers are commonly used to gain better compaction in asphalt construction. Yesterday’s work on Lincoln Street was repaving.

We have used these processes for several years in this neighborhood and several others like it that have older trees and houses. This is the first we have heard of such impacts from this type of work. We are reviewing the matter to determine what caused the tree to fall.

As seen in the photos above, some paving equipment was underneath the tree when it fell.

“Two County vehicles were enclosed by the tree canopy when it fell, but neither were impacted or damaged,” said McMahon. “The storm drain was damaged, but we have already put in a work order to fix this. It will be prioritized based on other work we have and safety.”

Photos courtesy Elizabeth Lyon

by Jackie Friedman — July 7, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

There’s a curious retail practice on display this week in Clarendon, and perhaps elsewhere in Arlington. Despite the sweltering weather, we’ve spotted retailers like T-Mobile, Bluemercury and Lululemon keeping their front doors open while the store’s air conditioning is running on full blast.

A Lululemon employee said that they keep the doors open to create a friendly environment, as a way to attract more customers into the store. However, they will close the door if the air conditioning is not keeping up with the heat outside, she said.

Keeping the doors open during hot weather is not uncommon among stores. As reported by the New York Times, it was so ubiquitous in New York City that the city banned the practice, starting this summer, to save energy. The effort’s slogan: “Shut the Front Door!”

When calling the Lululemon corporate office, a company spokesman denied that keeping doors open was corporate policy. He stated that it is up to a store’s preference to keep the door open or closed during hot weather.

by Adrian Cruz — July 6, 2016 at 4:55 pm 0

Due to courtyard construction work at 3100 Clarendon Blvd, Mad Rose Tavern is adjusting to a summer without its popular outdoor patio.

With the patio closed for the next month or so, until construction wraps up, the restaurant has added new specials and events to help maintain business during the summer months.

On Tuesdays, it will host District Karaoke, which is moving from the former Hard Times Cafe across the street along, with an extended happy hour.

(The normal daily happy hour is from 4-8 p.m.)

Also recently introduced is a “Rosa Brava” international party night on Thursdays with top 40 and Latin music. Before the party starts, free dance lessons are now being offered starting at 9:30 p.m.

Here is a full list of events and specials, according to the restaurant:

  • Sunday — Yappy Sunday: “Brunch with your best friend” from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. All you can eat for $22. Bowls provided.
  • Tuesday — District Karaoke — Extended happy hour runs through 9 p.m. Karaoke runs through 11 p.m.
  • Wednesday — All You Can Eat Crab Legs: Buffet cost is $29.99. RSVP at https://www.seatme.yelp.com/r/mad-rose-tavern/
  • Thursday — Rosa Brava International Party Night
  • Saturday — Brunch
  • Friday and Saturday nights — DJs: Dance club experience featuring Top 40, EDM and international music.

by ARLnow.com — July 6, 2016 at 11:35 am 0

There were enough people jaywalking between the Starbucks and the Whole Foods in Clarendon that it apparently prompted Arlington County to install a new sign.

The sign recently appeared mid-block on the Whole Foods side of Clarendon Blvd. It instructs pedestrians not to cross and to use one of the marked crosswalks up the block.

The block is often congested with traffic turning into the Whole Foods parking lot, making it even more dangerous for pedestrians trying to cross the street outside of a crosswalk.

Update at 1:05 p.m. — As readers are pointing out, the sign has, in fact, been there since at least 2014, as proven by Google Street View. It is not “new” except, perhaps, on a geological timeframe. The 2012 Street View image does not show the sign. The 2007 and 2009 Street View images both show people standing where the sign currently is, apparently waiting to cross the street.

by Adrian Cruz — July 5, 2016 at 4:40 pm 0

"Biggest residential American flag in Arlington" near Columbia Pike

There were plenty of flags to be seen around Arlington this past week, in celebration of Independence Day. One household in the Arlington Heights neighborhood, near Columbia Pike, took their patriotism to another level.

The residents of a home on the 800 block of S. Ivy Street draped an enormous, 20’x30′ American flag across the side of their house.

“We hung it up on Sunday and we’ve had a lot of positive reactions from neighbors and people just driving by,” resident Chelsie Bain told ARLnow.com, via email. “Over the weekend we saw several people get out of their cars/walk by and take pictures, people would honk as they drove by and neighbors stopped by to thank us for showing our patriotism.”

Bain said the flag appears to be the biggest residential American flag in Arlington, at least as far as she is aware. She added that the flag is still up but it will probably be taken down later this week.

Photo by Jackie Friedman

by ARLnow.com — July 5, 2016 at 11:45 am 0

Entrance to Room 19, in the back of Boulevard Woodgrill in Clarendon (courtesy photo)Clarendon is getting a new “speakeasy.”

Room 19,” as the speakeasy is called, will take place weekly in the back of Boulevard Woodgrill restaurant (2901 Wilson Blvd), starting next Monday night, July 11. It will feature classic cocktails in an intimate setting.

“The goal of Room 19 is to give the DC and NOVA crowd something they have not experienced before,” wrote Minh Tran, a spokesman for the venture.

“We want patrons to feel as if they have stepped away from 2016 and entered a hidden world,” Tran said in an email. “Room 19 will feel intimate, dark, and secretive. This is about having an immersive experience of the Prohibition era. Jazz music from the 1920’s and 1930’s will add to the ambience. This is a place you want to have a great time with your date or to share a new experience with friends. It is an escape.”

Room 19 graphicBehind Room 19, Tran said, are Boulevard Woodgrill owner Joe Corey and mixologist Chris Bassett, whose resume includes Ping Pong Dim Sum and Old Town Alexandria speakeasy PX. The cocktail menu includes classics like a Negroni, a Sazerac, and a “cedar smoked” Old Fashioned, plus cocktails with names like “Sherry’s got me by the stones,” with tequila, apricot liqueur and sherry; and “That smokey sweetness,” with single malt whiskey, raspberry syrup and lemon juice.

Room 19 will initially take place Mondays from 6 to 11 p.m., but may stay open later if the crowd doesn’t thin out. Additional days of the week are expected to be added.

There’s a dress code: casual attire is allowed, but flip flops, tank tops and “regular,” non-trendy sneakers are all verboten. Those wishing to make table reservations are asked to email [email protected].

Courtesy photo

by Jackie Friedman — July 2, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

American Flag at Iwo JimaThe long holiday weekend has finally arrived, not a minute too soon.

It’s Independence Day weekend and Arlington is offering plenty of activities to celebrate the holiday, from community parades to firework viewings.

There will be multiple road closures on Monday as a result of Fourth of July festivities, including Route 50 ramps and the Memorial Bridge.

Feel free to discuss the Fourth or any other local topic of interest. Have a great holiday weekend!

by ARLnow.com — July 1, 2016 at 5:05 pm 0

Hard Times Cafe in Clarendon is closing for good this weekend.

The restaurant, noted for its chili and chili dogs, will serve its last customers Saturday.

“Folks, I am communicating to you the sad news that Hard Times Cafe will be closing our doors at close of business tomorrow, Saturday July 2, 2016,” the restaurant’s manager said in an email to a group that holds events there.

Hard Times employees and other local business owners were told of the closing Friday afternoon. There had been rumors of an impending closing since a “for lease” sign had been placed above the entrance in March. That sign has since been taken down, though a leasing representative did not reveal any future plans for the space when contacted by ARLnow.com today.

The 8,240 square foot, three level location — located directly across the street from the Clarendon Metro station, at 3028 Wilson Blvd — is being marketed as a “trophy restaurant or retail space.”

by ARLnow.com — July 1, 2016 at 3:55 pm 0

ARLnow monthly readership as of 7/1/16 (via Google Analytics)In March we celebrated a record month for readership. Today, on the eve of a Fourth of July holiday weekend, we’re doing it again.

In June, ARLnow.com was read by about 350,000 unique visitors who accounted for 1.43 million pageviews, a new record for the site.

Across our network of four sites — ARLnow.com, Reston NowHill Now and Borderstan — we saw a record 527,000 unique visitors and 1.92 million pageviews. In all, our sites have 94,953 subscribers/followers across email, Twitter and Facebook.

Borderstan, which serves mid-city D.C. communities like Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, U Street and Columbia Heights, hit a high water mark for readership since we relaunched it last year, with about 85,000 unique visitors and 200,000 pageviews.

“We want to thank our loyal, local readers for another great month,” said Scott Brodbeck, founder of Local News Now LLC, the publisher of ARLnow.com. “We’re looking forward to continuing to serve our communities with relevant, interesting and impactful local news and features.”

by Jackie Friedman — July 1, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

In preparation for the Fourth of July holiday, flags have been placed on homes, vehicles and local businesses throughout Arlington.

And the abundance of flags isn’t the only sign of the Independence Day holiday. There are also the fireworks stands now open along Lee Highway and Columbia Pike.

Photos by Jackie Friedman

by ARLnow.com — June 30, 2016 at 5:00 pm 0

A new barbershop called Roosters is coming to Pentagon City.

The shop will be opening on the ground floor of The Acadia at Metropolitan Park apartment building, near the corner of 12th Street S. and S. Fern Street, according to “coming soon” signs in the window.

“Roosters Men’s Grooming Center provides an authentic barbershop experience in a modern, upscale, and unpretentious environment,” says the company’s website. “Our focus is on delivering consistent, exceptional service, and providing men an escape from their busy lives.”

Services offered include hair cuts, shaves, beard trims, facials and hair coloring. Discounts are offered for active duty military, police, fire and EMS personnel.

“We believe you deserve to have a space of your own, so sit back and enjoy the charm and comforts of an old school barbershop updated for the modern man,” the website said.

No date was given for the expected opening. Roosters has existing locations in 21 states, including locations in Ashburn, Herndon, Leesburg, Reston, Vienna and Bethesda.

Other ground floor businesses in the Acadia building, both opened and planned, include Sweetgreen, Orangetheory Fitness, Corepower Yoga and European Wax Center.

by Adrian Cruz — June 30, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

Arlington County hopes to teach locals about its “Car-Free Diet” initiative with a catchy new rap video.

The new song, titled “Options for Days,” highlights the different options Arlingtonians have to travel around the county without a car, including taking the Metro, walking, biking and riding the bus. Throughout the video, performers clad in tee shirts and sunglasses dance, rap and sing to promote the transit initiative.

This isn’t the first quirky video the County has released to help highlight the initiative. Officials released a “Car-Free Diet Show” sketch comedy series almost five years ago and have posted videos regularly on YouTube since 2009.

Video via Youtube / Car Free Diet

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