You voted, we counted and the results are in.
Below you’ll find the winners of the ARLnow’s inaugural winter 2021 Arlies, as voted on by well over 1,000 readers. For each category, we’ve highlighted the top vote-getter, but have included up to two others that were close behind in the voting as additional winners.
Congrats to all of the winners and thank you to all who voted. The Arlies will return with a spring edition, featuring all new categories, in a couple of months.
Best Hill to Go Sledding
- Jamestown Park
- Other winners: Nottingham Elementary, Bluemont Park
- Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe
- Other winners: Bakeshop, Pastries by Randolph
- Kenny Riggleman
- Other winners: Michael & Son, Chandler’s Plumbing & Heating Co.
- Origins Thai Spa
- Other winners: Azure Dream Spa, The Art of Health
Best Family Dinner Spot
- Silver Diner
- Other winners: Pupatella, Lost Dog Café
Best Pet Boarding
- Fur-Get Me Not
- Other winners: WOOF’S! Dog Training Center, The Board Hound
Best Insurance Agent
- Johno Steffen
- Other winners: Mike Garcia, Lisa Miller
- Scott Murray Jr.
- Other winners: Cheryl Gottesfeld, Edward J. Beck
Best ARLnow Commenter
- Flood Czar
- Other winner: Virginia Koons
Best Real Estate Agent for First Time Buyers
- Natalie Roy
- Other winners: Conor Sullivan, Wethman Group
Best Coffee Shop
- Northside Social
- Other winners: Idido Coffee House, Kino Coffee
Best Place of Worship
- St. Charles Parish
- Other winners: Rock Spring Congregational Church, Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church
Best Family Physician
- Dr. Angele C. Seiler
- Other winners: Dr. Kenneth J. Lin, Dr. Hong Hanh L. Nguyen
Best Restaurant for Takeout/Delivery
- Lost Dog Café
- Other winners: Liberty Tavern, Bangkok 54
Best Nail Salon
- Yorktown Nails
- Other winners: Nails 2000, Aura Day Spa
Best Private Elementary School
- Full Circle Montessori School
- Other winners: St. Agnes Catholic School, Rivendell School
Best Beer/Wine Shop
- Arrowine & Cheese
- Other winners: Total Wine, The Brew Shop
Best Personal Trainer
- Andy Shin Fitness
- Other winners: Nadya Lutz, Sheila Cordaro
Best Plumber/Plumbing Company
- Chandler’s Plumbing & Heating
- Other winners: Caffi Services, Marines Plumbing
M.J. Stewart Makes Splash in Upset Win — “Former Yorktown HS standout M.J. Stewart was one of NBC’s players of the game in the Cleveland Browns’ playoff upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers tonight.” [Twitter]
National Award for County Naturalist — “Alonso Abugattas, natural resources manager for Arlington County, VA, received a Regional Environmental Champion award at the 2020 Natural Latinos conference.” [Bay Journal]
Cristol to Chair NVTC Again — “Arlington County Board member Katie Cristol will go another round as chair of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) for 2021.” [InsideNova]
McAuliffe Picks Up Local Support — “Four of the seven members of Arlington’s legislative delegation, including all three state senators, have announced their support for Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s bid for governor. McAuliffe ‘has the bold vision and proven track record we need to push Virginia forward,’ said state Sen. Adam Ebbin.” [InsideNova]
Nearby: Fairfax Vaccinating Teachers — “Starting as early as Saturday, Jan. 16, the Fairfax health department has partnered with Inova to vaccinate an estimated 40,000 teachers and staff of public and private schools and childcare programs across the health district.” [InsideNova]
Which local restaurant has the best takeout? What’s the best sledding hill in Arlington? Where should you go to board your pet?
Those are a few of the questions that ARLnow readers will help to answer as we launch The Arlies, Arlington’s community awards.
The Arlies will honor the top local places, people and organizations in Arlington, as chosen by a diverse swath of the community. At a time when many local residents and businesses are struggling, the Arlies provides a way to highlight some of the good things happening in our backyard, while bringing recognition to those whose dedication to service has earned the community’s trust.
Rather than running once a year, the Arlies will run quarterly, with different categories depending on the season, making it easier to vote and follow along.
The first round of voting for the inaugural 2021 Arlies will kick off next month. We’ll tally the votes and announce the winners soon after.
This will be strictly a reader-driven award, with readers and not editors choosing their favorites in each category. We’re excited to announce this new feature today and to bring it to you shortly after the holidays. Stay tuned!
Green Building Update — “The County Board today adopted an update to the Green Building Incentive Policy for site plan projects that strengthens Arlington’s commitment to sustainability and carbon neutrality… ‘By raising the bar on green building incentives for site plan developments, Arlington is reaffirming our commitment to our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050,’ Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said.” [Arlington County]
Big Storm Expected Mid-Week — “A major winter storm is set to wallop the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday, with many areas from western Virginia to southern New England expected to see heavy snowfall. But for the immediate Washington area, a messy mix of precipitation is more likely than a major snowstorm.” [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]
Arlington Officer Honored — “Arlington County Police Officer Anthony Gatto was among 18 law-enforcement personnel from across the region who were cited Dec. 11 with the area’s 23rd annual ‘Law Enforcement Awards of Excellence for Impaired Driving Prevention.'” [InsideNova]
Dorsey’s Bankruptcy Case Dismissed — “Arlington County Board member Christian Dorsey, whose ethical and financial difficulties have tangled him in a web of false statements over the past year, fraudulently misrepresented his assets while filing for bankruptcy, a federal court ruled Friday… It was ‘an act of overt misrepresentation,’ [bankruptcy trustee] Thomas P. Gorman told the court at a hearing on Thursday, and ‘misconduct . . . so over the line’ that punishment was warranted.” [Washington Post]
Holiday Shopping Safety Tips — “ACPD wants you to have a happy and safe holiday season. While many are choosing to shop online this year, those shopping in-store are encouraged to be mindful of these safety tips.” [Twitter]
Event for Military Families Today — “An annual Winter Wonderland for Military Families hosted by a former NFL player and his wife will look very different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Derrick Dockery and his wife Emma will hold a drive-thru version of the event that provides toys and holiday cheer to military kids and families on Dec. 7 at a parking lot in Arlington, Virginia through their nonprofit, Yellow Ribbons United.” [Radio.com]
Santa Visit Still on This Weekend — “Santa Claus has paid a visit to the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department every year for over a century and he’s not going let the coronavirus pandemic force him to break that streak. In the interest of public safety, the jolly old elf will be meeting children outside this year in the parking lot of Cherrydale Baptist Church, which is located at 3910 Lorcom Lane.” [Patch]
More on CaBi Station at DCA — “Arlington County, Virginia, has installed a Capital Bikeshare station at Reagan National Airport, making it the first major metropolitan airport in the U.S. with a dock-based shared bike program. It is the 99th Capital Bikeshare dock installed in Arlington County.” [WTOP]
Gunston Coordinator Honored — “Shantha Smith, an education coordinator at Gunston Middle School, has been named a recipient of the 2020 Mary Peake Award for Excellence in Education by the state government. Awards were presented Dec. 3 in Richmond, and were named after a pioneering African-American educator.” [InsideNova]
New Italian Eatery Opening Soon — “Antonio Ferraro, whose Napoli Pasta Bar in Columbia Heights was named a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant in 2018, is opening a new market concept in Arlington’s Pentagon Row. Napoli Salumeria is specializing in grab-and-go-style meals, including Neapolitan street food (fried mozzarella and focaccia), homemade pastas, and sauces. Expect classic sandwiches, including cheesesteaks, Italian subs, and sausage and peppers… the hope is to open the market late next week.” [DCist]
Arlington ‘Bachelorette’ Contestant Still On — Jason Foster, a former pro football player who lives in the Courthouse area, remains a contestant on ABC’s ‘Bachelorette,’ though Bachelorette Clare seems focused on another beau: Dale, who the other contestants spent part of Tuesday’s episode roasting. [Washingtonian]
Some Skeptical of County’s Race Conversations — “James Moore is an Arlington community activist and owner of a 60-year-old neighborhood barbershop in the Hall’s Hill neighborhood. ‘Our communities in Arlington will want action more so than just conversation,’ Moore said. Moore said he would like to see the county support Black people living in the community by providing more mental health and housing resources.” [The Wash]
Kid’s Skatepark Petition Gets 600 Signers — “I would like for the Arlington county board to add a new skatepark to our area. As you may have noticed the Powhatan Springs skatepark is starting to get very crowded and is hard to ride around without bumping into other people. This park is actually becoming dangerous with all of the people riding in the bowls at one time.” [Change.org]
Chamber Names ‘Best Business’ Honorees — “Last night, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce celebrated the 34th Annual Arlington Best Business Awards at the Crowne Plaza Crystal City-Washington, D.C., in a hybrid format that allowed attendees to join in person and virtually.” [Press Release]
Arlington Among Top Places for Nature Lovers — A list of the “best places in America for outdoor enthusiasts to live and work” has ranked Arlington No. 21, between Scottsdale, Arizona and Tampa, Florida. Seattle ranked No. 1. [SmartAsset]
On November 15, advocates for housing in Arlington will take an evening to (virtually) honor the important work of the past year.
The event is the Alliance for Housing Solutions’ Ellen M. Bozman Affordable Housing Awards. If you support affordable housing in Arlington, I hope you will join us. The event is free and open to the public.
In January, I had the great privilege of joining the board of the Alliance for Housing Solutions (AHS). In February, we launched a campaign to push the County Board to double the revenue provided to the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF). Arlington’s budget outlook was optimistic as the office vacancy rate was lower. I was excited to be working with Arlington’s community of housing advocates to increase AHIF to $25 million and make significant progress on the supply of affordable housing in coming years.
Once the pandemic hit, the need shifted to keeping our neighbors in their homes during a public health and economic crisis beyond anything we have experienced in our lifetimes. Although the crisis is unfortunately not over, we can take the time to recognize Arlingtonians who stepped up to protect our neighbors most in need of affordable housing.
Each year, the Bozman Awards recognize organizations and individuals who demonstrate a commitment to the preservation of housing affordability in Arlington. The award is named for Arlington civic leader and AHS founding board member Ellen M. Bozman.
This year, we will gather virtually to recognize two groups that stand out for their extraordinary effort to help low-income Arlingtonians facing eviction or other housing insecurity: Arlington Thrive and The Church at Work. In addition to critical work at the height of the pandemic, these groups remind us that most important thing we can do for the long-term response to the pandemic is keep families in their homes.
Arlington Thrive supports vulnerable resident by making same-day emergency financial assistance. This can make the difference for a family facing a dire need. Because they have proven capacity to distribute aid quickly, Arlington Thrive became the County’s primary partner for distributing funds from the Department of Human Services, as well as private donors. This work is keeping thousands of Arlingtonians who have faced job loss or health struggles in their homes.
The Church at Work is less formal and only coalesced during the pandemic. After Arlington Public Schools shut down in March, social worker Phyllis Thompson mobilized a coalition of local churches to support families in need. Together, this group raised $300,000 in two months for APS families to pay rent during the pandemic.
The event will also honor the legacy of Erik Gutshall, the Arlington County Board member who we lost too soon. I first learned about “missing middle” housing by following Gutshall’s campaign in 2017. He was a strong advocate for diversifying Arlington’s housing stock. He also understood that making density work in Arlington would require a holistic approach to planning, including issues such as parking and transportation.
I hope you will join me at the 2020 Bozman Awards to honor advocates for affordable housing in this challenging year, and start thinking about what we can achieve in 2021.
Ellen M. Bozman Awards
Sunday, November 15
RSVP to join this virtual event
Jane Fiegen Green, an Arlington resident since 2015, proudly rents an apartment in Pentagon City with her family. By day, she is the Membership Director for Food and Water Watch, and by night she tries to navigate the Arlington Way. Opinions here are her own.
Possible Microwave Attack in Arlington — “Shortly after Thanksgiving 2019, according to three sources familiar with the incident, a White House staffer was hit while walking her dog in Arlington, Virginia… the staffer passed a parked van. A man got out and walked past her. Her dog started seizing up. Then she felt it too: a high-pitched ringing in her ears, an intense headache, and a tingling on the side of her face.” [GQ]
Arrest in Arlington Mill Shooting — “Charges have been sought against a juvenile suspect related to the shooting that occurred on October 21, 2020. The suspect has been charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony.” [Arlington County]
‘Headlines’ Mobile Art Project in Arlington Today — Updated at 10:30 a.m. — Per a press release: “The exhibit is called #HeadlinesAreFrontlines, a multimedia show deployed on mobile trucks featuring 12-foot screens of 1,460 daily news headlines, in order, about Donald Trump. The traveling exhibit moves through the streets of DC and Arlington on October 26th at 9am. Look for the multimedia truck in Rosslyn and Crystal City.” [Instagram, BYT]
Locals Recognized for Good Works — Two Arlington residents were recently featured on ABC 7’s local news broadcasts: 26-year-old Dominique Cross, an abuse survivor writes song to uplift victims of domestic violence, and 15-year-old Chip Nordlinger, who spends his free time helping homeless veterans.
Boy Gets Award for Saving Ailing Mom — “On October 13, 2020, tragedy struck one of our own. While playing outside, Aiden, son of Firefighter Josh Wise, noticed that his mom began suffering from a serious medical emergency. He recognized the situation and courageously called 911, providing his address and full details… Aiden was awarded an honorary Lifesaving Award, one of the department’s highest honors, for his efforts in saving his mother’s life.” [Facebook]
‘Open Schools’ Signs Also Being Stolen — “The debate over whether kids should be learning in or out of schools is getting ugly in Arlington. So much so, dozens of signs that said ‘Open Schools Now’ have gone missing. ‘Some of them have gotten stolen and neighbors have found them in trash cans,’ parent Russell Laird said Friday, standing near 100 new signs that had just been delivered. ‘I told people, keep count of how many were stolen, come back with double.'” [Fox 5]
County Getting More COVID-19 Aid — “The Arlington County Board today accepted more than $3 million dollars in additional federal aid to support low-to-moderate-income residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aid included more money for housing vouchers and funding for a range of relief programs to support families and small businesses.” [Arlington County]
Restaurant Week Starts Today — “Arlington Restaurant Week will run from October 19-26. During the week, diners can try set menu items from many local restaurants, at a discounted price. The idea is for diners to find a new to-go place for dining out.” [ARLnow]
W&OD Trail Detour Shifting — “The current W&OD Trail detour route just east of Lee Highway (Route 29) will be shifted for about two weeks beginning October 19 to allow additional construction activity. Crews will reconstruct sidewalks on Lee Highway, the Econolodge entrance on Fairfax Drive, and nearby curb ramps on Lee Highway. Trail users will be directed to a new sidewalk and trail adjacent to the new trail bridge during this detour.” [VDOT]
Gutshall Posthumously Honored By Chamber — “The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that the late Erik Gutshall is our 2020 inductee into the Arlington Business Hall of Fame.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]
Local Church Gets Big Donation — “Today, Our Lady, Queen of Peace Church in Arlington received 40 pallets of toiletries and household products worth $250,000 from @FoodForThePoor. They plan to give away the items during their weekly food distribution and through the parish thrift store.” [Arlington Catholic Herald/Twitter]
AED Wins Prestigious Awards — “Arlington Economic Development took home numerous honors at this year’s International Economic Development Council (IEDC) 2020 Excellence Awards, which were announced earlier today at the organization’s annual conference. AED’s programs and partnerships were recognized for Economic Excellence in several categories.” [Arlington County]
Online Forums Devolve into Shouting Matches — Falls Church News-Press columnist Charlie Clark writes about how a Nextdoor post about kids not wearing masks during a baseball game erupted into a barrage of insults and debates among neighbors. Nextdoor is not alone in becoming a forum for heated local debates on hot button issues: last month the popular Fairlington Appreciation Society Facebook group shut down after flame wars broke out over issues related to the Black Lives Matter protests. [Falls Church News-Press]
Virtual ‘Arlington Cares’ Event Tomorrow — “This free, virtual event will recognize the 2020 Community Service Award Winners and remind us of the importance of serving others. A heartwarming opportunity for all ages that will celebrate the overwhelming goodness that is within our community.” [Event Calendar]
Reduction in Homelessness Prior to Pandemic — “For the 20th consecutive year, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Homeless Services Planning and Coordinating Committee has conducted a regional Point-in-Time (PIT) enumeration of the area’s residents experiencing homelessness and those who were formerly homeless. This year’s enumeration and survey occurred on January 22, 2020. Arlington saw a 7-percent reduction in overall homelessness, down from 215 persons in 2019 to 199 in 2020.” [Arlington County]
More Flood Damage in Waverly Hills — “After countless floods in Arlington’s Waverly Hills neighborhood soaked his basement, Tom Reich finally ordered a custom-made waterproof door to protect his home’s bottom level.
On Tuesday, the day before it was scheduled to arrive, yet another storm dumped buckets of rain on the region — and especially on 18th Street North. There, overwhelmed storm water mains sent three feet of water coursing down the street.” [Washington Post]
Beyer Furious at Response to Shooting Inquiry — “‘For nearly three years Bijan Ghaisar’s family and community have sought answers from federal authorities about why these officers killed Bijan and what consequences they will face. This response which tells us nothing after an eight-month delay is an insult to the people we represent,’ said [Rep. Don] Beyer. ‘The contempt such a pathetic answer shows for public transparency and accountability is unacceptable and will further damage the standing of the U.S. Park Police at a time when the region’s trust in them is already at an all-time low.'” [House of Representatives]
Report Businesses Flouting the Rules, Gov. Says — “As Virginia starts seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Ralph Northam reiterated Friday what has become a familiar message about limiting crowds, washing hand frequently and wearing face coverings. But he added a new fourth point: Report businesses flouting the rules to the local health department.” [InsideNova]
Freddie’s Closes Temporarily — “Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to close temporarily. One of our employees has tested positive for COVID-19. We are actively reaching out to customers and staff who may have been in contact since Wednesday July 8. We are beginning the process to have the restaurant fully sanitized so we may safely reopen as soon as possible.” [Facebook]
Nearby: MoCo Starting School Year Online — “Montgomery County students will begin the next academic year online, with a phased approach to bring them back to school buildings part-time by the end of November, according to the school district’s draft plan released Saturday.” [Bethesda Magazine]