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by Katherine Berko August 8, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

Another free weekly yoga event has begun in Crystal City.

The new program, “Yoga at the Fountain,” will be held at the Crystal City Water Park (1751 Crystal Drive) each Sunday night from 7:30-8:45 p.m. through the end of September, according to Amanda Shipe, one of its organizers. The first event was held this past Sunday.

The event is sponsored by the Crystal City BID and the weekly classes are led by instructors from Mind Your Body Oasis, a holistic wellness center and yoga studio based in Crystal City.

The BID and Mind Your Body Oasis have been hosting a similar event, “Monday Morning Yoga,” at the water park from 7-8 a.m. for six years. Attendance has grown tremendously since the event first began, according to Shipe, the studio’s owner.

“We see a lot of familiar faces each Monday morning and then the people that come end up bringing their friends,” Shipe said, adding that local hotels also support the program and recommend the free yoga classes to their guests.

Hosting classes in the morning allows for participants to enjoy the outdoors before the summer heat and humidity become stifling. Having the new class on Sunday nights in August and September should also ensure comfortable conditions.

“I don’t know why it took us this long to think of [doing Sunday yoga classes],” said Shipe. Hosting the classes by the sound of running water, she said, makes them extra relaxing.

“The calming effects from the fountain are really influential in the overall effect that people have after the class because water has negative ions,” Shipe said. “Negative ions are very calming to people which is why people love to be around waterfalls and the ocean and rivers.”

Monday sessions are focused on Vinyasa Flow classes for all levels. Sunday night yoga classes, however, will each have different themes.

This past Sunday’s event was “Glow Yoga” where people brought glow sticks and wore reflective clothes. Around 30 people showed up, which, according to Shipe, is the highest attendance ever seen at one of these yoga events.

The themes for the next few Sundays vary. On August 13, the theme is “Family Yoga Night,” where parents can bring their children for a laid-back, unscripted class. The following class, on August 20, is “Downward Dog Yoga” where participants are encouraged to bring their dogs.  The last Sunday of the month will be “Relaxing Night Flow” which will be more of a restorative class.

Angela Fox, the president and CEO of the Crystal City BID, said “Yoga at the Fountain” will continue to take place on Sunday nights next year, from May 1 through September 30.

Courtesy photos. Disclosure: The Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.

by Katherine Berko August 7, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

(Updated at 7:20 p.m.) Local coffee shop Commonwealth Joe is encouraging Arlingtonians to explore businesses in Crystal City and Pentagon City with special “passports.”

The program will run for a week, from today (August 7) until Sunday, August 13. People can stop by Commonwealth Joe (520 12th Street S.) and pick up their own passport, or they can get a team passport for up to three people.

Once passports are claimed, the goal is to visit all of the participating businesses to get the passports stamped.

Participating businesses include: Sweetgreen (Crystal City), Orangethoery Fitness, Pure Barre, CrossFit South Arlington, Earth Treks, WeWork Crystal City, TechShop and the Crystal City Wine Shop.

Once the passports have all of the necessary stamps, participants turn their passports into Commonwealth Joe, where each team that completes the challenge within the week will get a free drink.

In addition, there will be prizes for the first three teams to get all of the stamps. These grand prizes include day passes from Earth Treks, free Sweetgreen salads, WeWork merchandise and more.

A spokeswoman for Commonwealth Joe said they started this event to help build relationships with other local businesses and to help people explore the neighborhood.

by ARLnow.com July 28, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

Greens Endorse McCullough — The Arlington Green Party is backing Charles McCullough, an attorney who lives in Nauck, in his run for Arlington County Board. McCullough is “a young progressive who will bring new ideas” to county government, said Green Party head John Reeder. [InsideNova]

Arlington Cops Jump Rope with Kids — The Arlington County Police Department’s Twitter account posted photos of police officers hula hooping and jumping rope with kids at the Gates of Ballston affordable housing complex yesterday. [Twitter]

Rosslyn BID Helped to Woo Nestle — The Rosslyn Business Improvement District played a significant role in helping to convince Nestle to move its U.S. headquarters to Rosslyn. In a bit of a departure from typical functions of a business improvement district, the BID “helped coordinate a series of neighborhood tours for Nestle employees weighing whether to move east with their jobs, showcasing the various restaurants and shops in Rosslyn, brokering discounts and exclusives to local restaurants and playing the overall role of ambassador.” [Washington Business Journal]

County Touts State Dept. Lease — “The federal government’s decision to keep its State Department offices in Rosslyn for another 15 years and create a mini campus there is the latest win for what has been an exciting 2017 for Rosslyn and all of Arlington’s business community,” Arlington County said in a press release. “The State Department, long a fixture of Rosslyn’s economic footprint, is keeping its 280,000 square feet in its existing Fort Myer Drive building, and adding 60,000 square feet of space next door at 1200 Wilson Blvd., which it will share with one of its contractors already in that building.” [Arlington County]

by Chris Teale July 17, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

The Crystal City Business Improvement District announced today (Monday) it is looking to study the feasibility of a new pedestrian link between Crystal City and Reagan National Airport.

In collaboration with other stakeholders in the neighborhood, the BID issued a Request for Proposals asking for consultants to study a possible connection.

Respondents will need to study optimal alignments, private and public real estate considerations, regulatory requirements, costs and financing and implementation, including the necessary agency and stakeholder approvals that would be required. Proposals are due August 4.

“Crystal City is the area’s most accessible neighborhood – with Metro, [Virginia Railway Express], connections to every major area highway, bike paths and an airport you can literally walk to,” said Angela Fox, Crystal City BID president and CEO, in a statement. “A new pedestrian connection will bring the airport even closer, from a 15-minute walk to a four-minute walk and transform the area into a unique multimodal transportation hub serving as a major economic development catalyst for Crystal City, Arlington County and the Commonwealth.”

In their announcement of the RFP, BID officials said the new pedestrian crossing would help leverage various upcoming enhancements to Crystal City’s transportation infrastructure, including the revamped VRE station and a proposed new Metro station entrance on Crystal Drive. Reagan National is also set for a $1 billion refresh, with construction there expected to conclude in 2021.

by Chris Teale April 14, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

Arlington will again be alive with the sound of thousands of pedaling cyclists, as the Armed Forces Cycling Classic returns in June.

Previously known as the Air Force Association Cycling Classic, the event will celebrate its 20th anniversary when it takes place on June 10 and 11.

Presented by The Boeing Company, the event benefits members of the U.S. armed forces.

“For two decades, the Cycling Classic has paid tribute to the men and women in uniform who serve courageously to protect America at home and around the world,” said Boeing chairman, president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg in a statement. “Throughout our 100-year history, Boeing has a proud tradition of partnering with the U.S. military, and we’re honored to support this year’s event, which benefits active-duty and retired veterans and their families.”

The weekend begins with the Clarendon Cup, in the heart of Clarendon. The following day, the Challenge Ride offers a closed course to cycling enthusiasts of all abilities in and around the Pentagon, Crystal City and the Air Force Memorial.

The race for the Crystal Cup follows on Sunday in Crystal City, pitting professional and amateur racers from around the world in a series of races. Free races for children aged 9 and under also will be held both days, in addition to the lifestyle and sponsor expo.

“We’re proud to celebrate our involvement with the Armed Forces Cycling Classic,” said Angela Fox, president and CEO of the Crystal City Business Improvement District, in a statement. “Over the past decade, we’ve watched both the professional races and community Challenge Rides grow while providing an exciting and transformative experience for participants and spectators alike.”

Photo via Armed Forces Cycling Classic

by Chris Teale March 24, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

The national political climate and art are colliding this year at Artomatic.

The free six-week art extravaganza debuts tonight in Crystal City. Among the politically-inspired pieces: a large paper mache President Trump with a Russian flag lapel pin and a Gollum-like Vladimir Putin on his shoulder.

Meanwhile, a display that gained national attention during the 2016 campaign season encourages attendees to take photographs of their own backsides in a cut-out “Rump” poster. And dueling portraits feature two politicians holding their fingers to their lips, telling each other to be quiet.

By and large, however, the event is more eclectic than political. Other works include giant plywood street art rabbits and a painting of a nude woman wielding a sword.

Artomatic kicks off tonight for its third stint in Crystal City. The event includes the work of 600 artists across seven floors of vacant office space at 1800 S. Bell Street — 100,000 square feet of visual artwork, film, performance art, three stages of live music and free art workshops. It will also host the first Artomatic wedding on April 22.

“Artomatic has a very simple mission: to build community among artists,” Artomatic board chair emeritus George Koch said at a preview event Friday morning.

Among the collaborators this year is the Crystal City Business Improvement District, which partnered with Artomatic and developer Vornado to make the space available. Crystal City previously hosted Artomatic in 2007 and 2012.

Crystal City BID president and CEO Angela Fox said that as the neighborhood evolves, such events help “give it a soul.”

“We pave the way, then get out the way and Artomatic comes in here, all volunteers and transforms this space,” Fox said.

Artomatic begins Friday with its opening night party, starting at 7 p.m. It will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 10 p.m., and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to midnight. The exhibits are closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

by Chris Teale March 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm 0

Rosslyn CAFE eventsSome of Rosslyn’s lesser-known venues will be transformed into active community spaces with food, drink and art as part of a new event series.

Rosslyn CAFE — Community, Arts, Food and Entertainment — is being produced by the Rosslyn BID. The free events are part of the business improvement district’s goal to create community events that take advantage of “unknown or unused spaces in the neighborhood.”

Next month’s series, known as April Arts & Beats, will take place on Fridays and feature a happy hour with new local artists each week, complimentary small plates and cocktails, wine and beer available for purchase.

The Bennett Park Art Atrium at 1601 Clarendon Blvd will host each Friday night. The space already has several pieces of public art by the likes of Virginia sculptors Foon Sham and Kendall Buster, and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Entrance is free, but space is limited. More information is available on the Rosslyn BID website.

by ARLnow.com June 10, 2016 at 7:30 pm 0

A decade ago, the picture for Crystal City looked bleak.

Despite its proximity to D.C. and National Airport, Crystal City was not seen as a particularly desirable place to live, work or go out. It was most commonly associated with blocky office buildings and an underground shopping center that was a useful passageway in bad weather but a somewhat sad place to be on a nice day. On top of all that, its aging office buildings would soon start emptying due to DoD offices moving out as part of BRAC.

It was in that context that the Crystal City Business Improvement District was born.

“When the Crystal City BID was formed in 2006, many aspects of the neighborhood had already started to change, the perception, however, had not,” said Crystal City BID president and CEO Angela Fox.

While there’s undoubtedly still room for improvement, Crystal City has come a long way in the 10 years since the BID’s founding. At its annual meeting this week local business and government leaders detailed some of the ways the BID has helped Crystal City achieve a newfound vitality.

For one, the BID’s events and arts initiatives — everything from 5K Fridays to beer and wine gardens to Artomatic to fashion shows to Synetic Theater — have helped to made Crystal City an increasingly popular place to run, bike, eat, drink and otherwise spend time in.

“We host literally hundreds of events each year — from 5Ks every Friday in April, to fun sipping and tasting events throughout September, weekly farmers markets, art markets and world-class theater,” Fox said. “We’ve brought hundreds of thousands of people to the area each year. We have shown that if you create a place that people chose willingly to spend their time, the businesses, residents and investment will follow.”

(Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser and frequently advertises events on our site.)

There’s also behind-the-scenes work, helping with the marketing of Crystal City as a business destination. Recently, trendy restaurants and bars like Taylor Gourmet, Good Stuff Eatery and Highline RxR have opened, with the encouragement of the BID and local property owners.

Customers of such places include both long-time residents and workers and relative newcomers, many of whom work in Crystal City’s burgeoning tech and innovation scene. High-tech membership-based workshop TechShop, incubators 1776 and Eastern Foundry, co-working company WeWork and its residential living experiment WeLive all have set up shop in Crystal City within the past few years. In deciding to locate in Crystal City, many such companies cite what they view as an upward trajectory for the neighborhood.

There’s plenty still to come for Crystal City, said Fox.

“New buildings and renovations are underway,” she said. “We also expect to bring more retail and entertainment options to the area, as well as a new aquatic center.”

“We envision Crystal City to be not just a place for tech and innovative companies to locate but also a place where new ideas, concepts, technologies and strategies can be actively tested and brought to market,” Fox continued, “a true innovative laboratory, as well as an awesome place to live, work, play and stay.”

by Jennifer Currier November 19, 2015 at 6:00 pm 0

Holiday decorations in RosslynThe Rosslyn Business Improvement District’s annual holiday market is scheduled to return for the third year in a row.

The Rosslyn Holiday Market Festival is a two-day festival this year, to be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10 and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11 at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway).

“Like Rosslyn, the holiday market has evolved over the years with a focus on creating experiences where people can spend time and have fun with their co-workers, neighbors and community,” Rosslyn BID President Mary-Claire Burick said in an e-mail.

The family-friendly event will host a full schedule of holiday themed activities, including live music, crafts, games and photos with Santa. There will also be local vendors at the festival, selling goods, food and beverages.

The festivities will end on Friday night with a bonfire in the middle of the market’s “winter wonderland.”

A complete schedule of events can be found online.

by ARLnow.com September 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm 1,468 0

Mary-Claire Burick (photo courtesy Rosslyn BID)The Rosslyn Business Improvement District has appointed an Arlington businesswoman as its new executive director.

Mary-Claire Burick, a Douglas Park resident, has been named to the top post that the BID. She will lead the BID during the pivotal “Realize Rosslyn” urban planning process, which will help to shape a long-term vision for the community.

Burick, 46, most recently ran a management consulting company. Before that, she spent 20 years managing operations at Rosslyn-based Allbritton Communications, which owns WJLA-TV (ABC 7), NewsChannel 8 and Politico.

Burick replaces Cecilia Cassidy, who retired as executive director earlier this summer after 21 years with the  BID and its predecessor, Rosslyn Renaissance.

In a press release (published in full after the jump), the BID said Burick will lead the organization during “an important time in Rosslyn’s history.”

“We are very fortunate to have Mary-Claire Burick at the helm of the new Rosslyn,” said Peter N. Greenwald, president of the Rosslyn BID and senior advisor for Penzance Companies. “She is a strategic leader who knows how to engage key stakeholders in realizing a vision for change.”

Photo courtesy Rosslyn BID

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by Aaron Kraut July 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm 5,933 38 Comments

Crystal City will be hosting an event this fall geared to lovers of both dogs and beer.

The inaugural “Pups and Pilsners” outdoor beer festival will be held on Sept. 23. The Crystal City Business Improvement District and Washington Wine Academy is stocking the event, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 1405 Crystal Drive, with a beer garden of 10 craft brews and food from Crystal City restaurants.

Entry to the “dog-friendly festival” is free — and bringing Fido is optional. The beer garden will cost you, though. Tickets will be available at washingtonwineacademy.org.

Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser

by ARLnow.com May 31, 2012 at 2:42 pm 4,145 93 Comments

The Rosslyn Business Improvement District has issued a press release regarding its support for additional mobile food vendor regulations in Arlington County.

Citing “challenges” posed by the 100 or so food trucks and carts licensed in Arlington, the BID says the county should work to create a “level playing field” between mobile vendors and restaurants. Among the BID’s recommendations are regulating the “location and schedule of food trucks, trash, parking and access to restroom facilities.”

We reported exclusively last week that the BID was in the process of formulating a set of recommended county regulations for food trucks, at least in part to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants against the onslaught of competition from food trucks, which don’t make the same kind of long-term investments in a neighborhood as restaurant owners.

The full press release is below.

The Rosslyn Business Improvement District is collaborating with Arlington County and other County-based BIDs to explore different ways of actively managing mobile food vendors within the community.

Business Improvement Districts across the nation and within the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area are working with municipalities, business communities and other stakeholders to create vibrant hospitality zones and sociable cities, and restaurants and food trucks are part of that mix.

“Our review of this issue is a work in progress,” says BID Executive Director Cecilia Cassidy. “The goal is a level playing field, an enriched streetscape and a variety of dining experiences, while enabling brick-and-mortar food purveyors as well as food trucks to thrive.”

Over the past few years, the number of food vendors has significantly increased in Arlington, with 100 food trucks currently licensed to do business in Rosslyn, Crystal City, Ballston and other areas throughout Arlington County. Georgetown and other D.C. neighborhoods also have seen dramatic increases.

Food trucks enliven the streets and offer dining options to residents, workers and visitors, and as such can be welcome contributors to communities.

Challenges

Food trucks, however, present certain challenges.

  • Trash left behind by food truck vendors that property owners must pay to have removed
  • Pedestrian walkways blocked by food truck lines, creating safety issues
  • Limited parking spaces absorbed by food trucks, preventing customers from reaching brick and mortar businesses
  • Restrooms within property owners’ buildings being used by food truck vendors and customers
  • Health, hygiene and safety concerns

“AED [Arlington Economic Development] staff has started discussions about our retail policies with Arlington’s BIDs and Partnerships, property owners and small businesses, and mobile food vendors,” said Arlington Economic Development’s Director, Terry Holzheimer. “We recognize that any change to the rules and regulations must do three things: accommodate the needs of the mobile food vendors; address the concerns of property owners and businesses; and provide clarity for staff involved in enforcement.”

The BID is coordinating a set of recommendations with other Arlington County BIDs that will be presented to the County within the coming weeks. Based on benchmarking of best practices with other cities across the country, issues covered in the recommendations include location and schedule of food trucks, trash, parking and access to restroom facilities.

For the past 10 years, the Rosslyn BID has worked with Arlington County, local businesses and property owners to revitalize the area and create opportunities for growth. By working collaboratively with Arlington County, the BID seeks to tackle the challenges raised by property owners and tenants by devising a strategic retail plan for Rosslyn.

The Rosslyn BID has established a Retail Task Force to devise strategies to promote strong restaurant and retail development within Rosslyn, recognizing the contribution that food trucks make to the street and dining scene. The Retail Task Force has developed marketing collateral to promote Rosslyn and attract new restaurants and other retailers to the area. Chaired by Wright Sigmund of Vornado/Charles E. Smith, the Retail Task Force is comprised of community members, retailers and property owners.

“New retail opportunities are on the horizon,” says Wright Sigmund. “We have 60,000 square feet of available retail space in Rosslyn, and 44,500 square feet of retail space will be available with the completion of Central Place and 1812 N. Moore Street office towers.”

“We are optimistic that the Rosslyn community can have multiple exciting choices: both food trucks and restaurants,” says Wright Sigmund. “This issue is not unique to Rosslyn, and we welcome continued dialogue on the topic to make it a win-win for all.”

by ARLnow.com June 13, 2011 at 8:39 am 2,848 40 Comments

Training Day — U.S. Navy Lt. Christine Flood, an Arlington native, trains Afghan National Army medics on basic nursing skills, infectious disease control and hospital trauma procedures at the Kandahar Regional Medical Hospital on June 5. [U.S. Army]

House Fire in Leeway-Overlee — A fire broke out in the back of a house on the 5500 block of 24th Street N. on Sunday afternoon, possibly due to a lightning strike. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze before it spread to other parts of the structure.

Streetcar Supporters Meet Tonight — The Northern Virginia Streetcar Coalition will meet tonight at Bangkok 54 (2919 Columbia Pike) to discuss “the development impacts of streetcar projects in the Washington-Metropolitan region,” including the Columbia Pike streetcar project. The discussion is being called “If you build it, they will come.” [Alexandria Times]

Crystal City BID Extended — The Crystal City Business Improvement District has been renewed. The BID, which sponsors events and performs other activities designed to boost the image of Crystal City while bringing more visitors to the neighborhood, was approaching the end of its original five-year sunset provision. The County Board voted to renew the BID in perpetuity, with a staff review in five years. The BID is funded by a tax surcharge on businesses within Crystal City. [Sun Gazette]

Military Man Becomes Priest — The Sun Gazette profiles Luke Dundon, one of the three new priests in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. Dundon is a Bishop O’Connell and a Naval Academy graduate, as well as an avid marathoner. [Sun Gazette]

Military photo by Sgt. Richard Andrade

by ARLnow.com December 13, 2010 at 3:58 pm 3,383 19 Comments

Ballston will be getting a business improvement district, but Arlington will not be getting additional taxis. Those two decisions were reached unanimously by the county board at its Saturday meeting.

The board approved a supplemental commercial property tax in Ballston to pay for the formation of a Ballston Business Improvement District. It did so with the encouragement of many large property owners — like JBG, Shooshan Company and Ballston Common Mall owner Forest City — but over the objections of a few, like the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Nature Conservancy.

“A Business Improvement District for Ballston is the best vehicle for building on Ballston’s already considerable assets and positioning it for the future,” Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette said in a statement. “With the success of our BIDs in Crystal City and Rosslyn, we know that this new BID will contribute greatly to the future success of Ballston.”

The Sun Gazette, TBD and Arlington County have more information on the BID’s passage.

In other action Saturday, the board rejected a request from two “green” taxi companies to expand their fleets.

County staff took a hard line on the issue, recommending that the board reject the request to add 75 taxis to Arlington’s current licensed fleet of 765 cabs. Cab drivers spoke passionately at the board meeting about their difficulty making ends in Arlington, arguing that allowing new cabs would impose an additional hardship.

EnviroCab, which currently operates 50 taxis in the county, and a would-be start-up called GoGreen Cab had hoped to win board approval for new environmentally-friendly taxis. In the end, county staff pointed out that Arlington has a taxi density that rivals New York City and Chicago when the county’s size and population is figured in.

The Washington Post, Sun Gazette and TBD all have more on the taxi decision.

Flickr pool photo (top) by Tim Kelley

by ARLnow.com November 8, 2010 at 9:43 am 5,717 76 Comments

Rosslyn and Crystal City are doing it. Now Ballston wants in on the action.

This weekend a group of large local property owners will ask the county board to advertise a public hearing on the creation of a Ballston Business Improvement District.

The Ballston BID would be responsible for marketing Ballston to potential businesses, residents and visitors. It is necessary, property owners say, to keep Ballston competitive with other fast-growing commercial office markets in the District and in Northern Virginia. (Such as Tyson’s Corner, which is a few years away from becoming Metro-accessible.)

“The common view is that Ballston is a ‘good’ place but, it is not yet a ‘great’ community — a goal all urban mixed-use communities need to achieve in order to remain competitive, attractive and sustainable,” the BID’s boosters wrote in a proposed business plan.

The BID, with an initial budget of just over $1 million, would focus on “improving the business climate through branding, marketing and events.”

Organizers say the BID would be similar in function to the Crystal City BID, which has been very active in beautifying the streets, working to attract new businesses and organizing events meant to showcase various desirable neighborhood characteristics.

Ballston BID supporters propose spending $186,000 on events, $205,000 on marketing and branding, and $300,000 on signage, including banners, a “gateway” and navigation aides. The BID would also create a new “fully interactive website.”

A large part of the BID’s mission will be to “enhance and sustain Ballston’s image as a premier live-work-play community.”

A common complaint about Ballston is a lack of reasons to stay past 5:00 p.m. on weekdays or to visit on weekends. As such, the BID would take steps to promote the neighborhood as “a place where visitors and employees will stay longer and enjoy the BID’s after-work and weekend energy.”

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